C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

No conversion charges for change in trade
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
In a decision affecting hundreds of business establishments in the city, the Chandigarh Administration has allowed change in trade on upper floors of shop-cum-offices without any conversion charges. Earlier, those changing trade had to pay exorbitant charges.

Owners of commercial properties located in the commercial centres of Sectors 17 and 34 stand to benefit the maximum. Earlier, traders had to pay anything between Rs 600 per sq yard Rs 1000 per sq yard for change of trade, depending on the floor.

On the other hand, the Administration stands to loose lakhs on account of conversion fee. The Estate Office would have to withdraw hundreds of notices of misuse issued across the city.

Following the orders issued by the Chief Administrator, those planning to open a health centre or an academic coaching or diagnostic centre can go ahead without paying the charges. “The list of high-intensity trades has been drastically cut down”, said an official.

“It is a welcome step. It would promote business activity in southern sectors. Earlier, the Damocles sword of misuse of premises used to hang over the head of businessmen”, said Mr J.S. Kalra, general secretary of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.

However, the relaxation has not been given to those planning to open a restaurant, a lodging house, a guest house, a bar or an outlet for sale of goods. Those opting for display and sale of goods, opening of restaurants (sale and serving of prepared foods and beverages, including banquet facilities) and lodging houses, provided that such use is allowed under the building rules, bylaws and zoning plans, would have to pay exorbitant conversion charges.



Industrialists seek review of UT conversion policy
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Going by the fact that less than two dozen industrialists have applied for conversion of their trade in the Industrial Areas, Phase I and II, in the year which ends on September 18, the demand by industrialists seeking a review in the policy terms and conditions gains ground.

There will be no great rush expected shortly because industrialists will be required to pay Rs 2000 per square yard more for conversion after September 18. The existing rates after 10 per cent concession are Rs 18,000 per square yard. The Chandigarh Housing Board has received approximately 21 applications till date.

Even if half a dozen more units applied on the last day, the fact will remain that more than 3000 units in the Industrial Area would have stayed out of the conversion applecart.

It is also worth pointing out that Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, the Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, recently made a tour to the Industrial Area to inspect the grounds set for change. He is said to have asked the officials to tighten the loose ends. The administration has to take care of the heavy human encroachments all over the place and also the big chunk of area occupied by the scrap dealers.

Industrialists are also peeved with the transport companies plying their trade from the Industrial Area. The heavy rush of the trucks on the roads and the accompanying material, besides being an eyesore, is also a trouble for the daily commuters.

Mr Raminder Singh Kapany, president of CITCO Shed Owners Association, said “the policy means nothing to the majority of the occupants of the industrial area. Conversion means a little change till the time the administration ensures a proper infrastructure in place for the area. The roads need to be broadened because traffic jams are a commonplace occurrence at the moment.

The parking space is inadequate in case of changed land use in the industrial area. An industrialist who has gone in for conversion said “the administration should initiate some action against the industrialists who have already converted their trade in the area. Instead of factories, certain plots were being used as product outlets. While we are paying so heavily, why should they be allowed to carry their trade free of cost?”

It is worth pointing out that location of the plot and the financial background of the applying party have been big driving factors in the current status. Those who have already got the permission for conversion include PASCO Motors, which have further handed over the deal to Uppal Developers, Meter instruments, Mr Manmohan Chadha, Mr M.P.S. Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, the president of the local unit of the BJP and his brother and Adarsh Furniture. At least 11 more applied today.



Man charred to death in factory fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A 32-year-old man was charred to death in a factory, manufacturing seats cushions, in Industrial Area, Phase II, this afternoon.

The police suspects that the fire was caused by a cigarette, thrown inadvertently on foam and other raw material used for stuffing cushions.

The deceased has been identified as Jaipal, a resident of Jind district in Haryana. He was visiting his friend Ramesh Chand and they were allegedly consuming liquor in the unit when the incident took place around 3.30 pm.

The unit was taken on rent by Ramesh Chand’s son Parveen Kumar, a resident of Zirakpur.

The police took Ramesh Kumar to the hospital for a medical examination to ascertain if he was drunk. However, he was booked on the charge of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC.

The police said when the fire broke out, Ramesh ran out, while Jaipal apparently tripped before being engulfed by flames.

Parveen Kumar told the police that his father and Jaipal were consuming liquor in the unit, situated on the first floor. Jaipal was an old friend of Ramesh and the latter had told Parveen that they were meeting after a gap of 15 years.

He said though he had not seen them consume liquor himself, they were drunk.

According to the eyewitnesses, they noticed smoke coming out of the windows of the manufacturing unit. As the smoke billowed from the unit, people gathered at the scene and called the fire office.

Soon fire tenders reached the spot and battled for an hour to douse the flames. Seven fire engines were pressed into service for the operation.

The body, which was completely charred, was found on the floor. The room measuring 10x15 feet was packed with raw material.

While inspecting the scene, a fire officer said the foam used for stuffing cushions was highly inflammable. Ruling out the possibility of a short circuit, he said there was a power cut in the area at the time of the accident.

He said the chances of a cigarette causing the fire could not be ruled out.



Four-laning enters fast lane
Work on Ghaggar Bridge begins
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, September 15
The four-laning of the 35-km “killer stretch” of the Ambala-Zirakpur highway seems to have entered the fast lane with work on the parallel bridge to the damaged Ghaggar bridge getting underway.

The work on the three-laned bridge, being constructed as part of the ambitious four-laning project, has begun ahead of schedule. The bridge is expected to be completed about six months ahead of schedule, November 2008, sources said here today.

The closure of the Ghaggar bridge to heavy traffic on August 14 seems to have spurred the GMR Ambala-Chandigarh Expressways Private Limited, executing agency of the project, and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), to advance the construction of the bridge.

The closure of the bridge has spelled trouble for commuters travelling by state transport corporation buses. They have to spend more time and money for travelling between Chandigarh and Ambala.

With the Banur-Tepla road taken by the buses not geared for heavy vehicular traffic, travelling on this road has become a nightmare, says Neeru Gandhi, a commuter.

Traffic jams are a routine affair and it takes anywhere between one-and-a-half hours to two hours to commute between Chandigarh and Ambala, commuters allege.

The completion of the project, which entails the building of over 2.6 km-long flyover at Zirakpur, three major bridges and a 7.5 metre-wide service lanes for the local population, will remove major traffic bottlenecks on the highway.

The four-laning project had been hanging fire for at least a decade now, inconveniencing commuters. It was during the previous NDA regime that the project was approved under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). The then Minister for Surface Transport and National Highways, Maj-Gen B.C. Khanduri (Retd), had performed “bhumi poojan” over two years back.



For BCCI, Chandigarh is part of Punjab
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it seems, is not fully aware of the political and administrative set-up of the country, if one goes by the stance of its president and senior politician, Mr Sharad Pawar.

This has apparently held up the direct affiliation of the UT Cricket Association, Chandigarh (UTCA), with BCCI, which has been hanging fire for the past 20 years as the Board considers Chandigarh as part of Punjab.

The Board’s stance was conveyed to a UTCA delegation when they had met Mr Pawar at New Delhi in this regard earlier this month.

“Politically and administratively, Chandigarh is not a part of Punjab but has a separate identity by virtue of its being a union territory,” Col A.S. Judge, president of the UTCA said.

“It appears that Mr Pawar has been misled by some people with vested interest and malafide intention to believe that Chandigarh is part of Punjab,” he added.

Various sports associations of Chandigarh like hockey, football, tennis, table tennis and so on are affiliated with Chandigarh Olympic Association are recognised and affiliated with the respective national-level sports federations.

“If this be so, then why not cricket,” Col Judge questioned.

Chandigarh has produced a number of cricketers like Kapil Dev, Yograj Singh, Chetan Sharma, Ashok Malhotra, Bhupinder Sr, Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia, who have done the country proud at the international level.

At present, cricketers from Chandigarh are officially allowed to play in tournaments conducted by BCCI either for Punjab or Haryana.

“With both states developing their own cricket infrastructure over the years, fewer players from Chandigarh are able to grab a prominent place in the teams of either state. Only direct affiliation will enable Chandigarh to nurture talent and participate regularly at the highest level, including the prestigious Ranji Trophy”, Colonel Judge remarked.

When Mr A.C. Muthia was president of the BCCI, a fact-finding committee had submitted a report to the board in 2001, reportedly in favour of UTCA. After change of command, with Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya, becoming the president, things changed.

“Interestingly, it was during Mr Dalmiya’s tenure as the Secretary of BCCI that Chandigarh’s plea for affiliation had come up and he was well acquainted with the issues involved,” said Mr Judge.

Moreover, according to UTCA’s members, their contribution in promoting cricket has been substantial. A registered body with a permanent office at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium, is running its activities at various venues of Chandigarh under a regular annual calendar since 1995, which includes coaching camps, tournaments, umpires’ clinics etc and the accounts of the association is audited on an annual basis.

Furthermore, the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium, which earlier hosted one Test match and several one-day internationals in the past, is also hosting practice matches for the ICC Champions Trophy Sri Lanka-Bangladesh teams against the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) XI on October 4 and 5. Though all infrastructure and arrangements are of the Chandigarh Administration, the matches would be held under the banner of the PCA.

“As per normal practice in sports, any national or international events are to be held through the host country or state’s sports body. If BCCI or any state cricket association approach the Chandigarh Administration for any ventures, principally it should be through UTCA, which is the central controlling body for Cricket within Union Territory of Chandigarh. We are also approaching Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, to apprise him of the situation”, said Colonel Judge.

When M.P. Pandove, Joint Secretary, BCCI and also Secretary to PCA was contacted, he said that it was the committee members of Chandigarh Administration only who approached us to allot the practice matches to Sector 16 Stadium.

“Otherwise, we had wider choice as Punjab has ample stadia of international standard and matches could have been scheduled either in Patiala or Jalandhar,” said Mr Pandove.

Regarding the UTCA’s affiliation with BCCI, he supports their cause being secretary to PCA only. “As secretary to PCA, I would be the happiest person on earth if UTCA gets direct affiliation with the Board as more number of players, representing our state, would come up then.”

“But, being Joint Secretary of BCCI, I must stress that according to the constitution of the BCCI, the direct affiliation can be granted to the states only. Chandigarh is the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, which are already possessing direct affiliation to the BCCI. In that case, UTCA’s standpoint becomes weak. Otherwise also, the players of Chandigarh are more advantageous in the manner that they have the option to play from either of the states.”

“Moreover, it was also proposed by the Board that all the Union Territories’ associations to come under one roof. If they do so, then and only then, one unit (vote) of Union Territories can be considered”, Mr Pandove clarified.

Also the Punjab Cricket Association, as well as well as the Haryana Cricket Association, have district units functioning in Chandigarh and take part in all the activities of the state bodies. This is also a hindrance in UTCA’s stance.

Now, the UTCA has been left with two choices either to co-opt the office-bearers of these two bodies in an effort to put up a combined plea to the BCCI, just as other Union Territories like Pondicherry and Diu did by getting themselves associated with Madras Cricket Association and Saurashtr Cricket Association, Rajkot, respectively. The other way out could be that they should be on one platform with other Union Territories to form a joint association, to enjoy the voting right in the Board.



IT officer held for graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
An Income Tax officer, Mr S.R. Sharma, was caught red-handed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) while accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 from an agriculturist, Tarsem Dass, and his son, Karam Pal, at the latter’s house in Burail village late this evening.

The official had threatened Tarsem Dass that he would be implicated in a case of disproportionate assets if a bribe of Rs 1 lakh was not paid to him. Finally, a settlement was made for Rs 50,000. When the official came to the house of the complainant, CBI officials waiting there nabbed him with the bribe money.

The CBI team was led by ASP R. Upasak. According to information, the Income Tax official was posted in the Panchkula office of the Income Tax Department. .

Tarsem Dass, said the Income Tax Department official visited their house a few days back on the pretext of taking a room on rent. The complainant had constructed 25 rooms in his Burail house. “After repeated visits, the official started demanding Rs 3 lakh for settling our Income Tax accounts. Finally, the settlement was made for Rs 50,000”.



4 youths steal bank money, one nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Alert public today chased and nabbed one of the four persons who had stolen Rs 8.5 lakh from a Sector 9-based branch of Centurion Bank of Punjab here, this afternoon. After taking him into custody, the police recovered Rs 3 lakh from his possession.

The incident took place when one of the suspect came to the bank allegedly on the pretext of opening a bank account. As he reportedly talked to bank officials, his accomplices entered the bank. Noticing big piles of cash on a table near officials, they grabbed the money and ran out. Bank employees raised the alarm. Some people standing outside the bank gave a chase and managed to nab one of them. He has been identified as Gopi of Kerala and appeared to be in his twenties.



‘Missing Girls’— strict steps needed to curb female foeticide
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The second consultation on ‘‘Missing Girls’’ — a drive to eliminate foetal sex determination and female infanticide — has suggested a stringent system of enforcement with regard to the issuing and checking of licences of nursing homes, setting up of vigilance committees at the every level and encouraging the media to work closely with the medical authorities to expose and publicise female infanticide.

The suggestion stemmed from a day-long deliberations of senior officials of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh Health Departments under the patronage of the Population Foundation of India and the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab (VHAP).

Officials from various states highlighted the initiatives they had taken at the government level for preventing sex determination tests in their respective areas.

It was, however, felt that there was an urgent need for the states to take up the cases of erring medical practitioners with the Medical Council of India (MCI) for the suspension of licences of doctors found to be misusing ultrasound equipment.

The MCI had recently suspended the licences of five doctors in Rajasthan. This was disclosed by the UNFPA representative, Ms Ena Singh.

Mr Subhash Mendhapurkar of the Society for the Social Upliftment Through Rural Action (SUTRA) and Dr Almas Ali of the Population Foundation of India (PFI) suggested the mapping of sex ratio at birth, and once the sex ratio data was prepared, they said, the same should be superimposed with the data on patient record from ultrasound clinics.

This would bring out the co-relation of the accessibility factor, showing thereby the relationship between access to ultrasound clinics and sex ratio.

Haryana has developed a carefully designed strategy termed ‘‘tracking’’ in which a close watch is kept on pregnant women with 10 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Out of these, women who already have one daughter are termed as ‘‘vulnerable’’, while those with two daughters are put in the ‘‘most vulnerable’’ category with regard to female infanticide.

A close watch on these women and counselling by health workers can go a long way in reducing Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) based on the sex of the foetus. The Director, Health Services, Haryana, Dr Avinash Sharma, said Haryana had devised several methods to reduce female infanticide. She said four doctors had been caught red-handed by special teams led by her at Kurukshetra, Karnal, Barwala and Ladwa.

All cases, she said, would be taken to a logical conclusion and she hoped that her request for the cancellation of licences by the MCI would be accepted soon. She, however, strongly advocated the setting up of ‘‘fast track courts’’ to deal with all such cases where doctors and others linked to nursing homes had been found to be guilty.

She further suggested a state-level coordination between health officials of districts that shared a state border.

The Kaithal Civil Surgeon, Dr Satvir Chaudhary, while explaining the concepts of tracking and counselling adopted by Haryana said all states should make it mandatory for the pregnant women to carry some identification in the form of a voter I- card, driving licence or certificate from the sarpanch of the village to prove her permanent address.

This, he said, would go a long way in curbing female infanticide as it would ensure the tracking of the women as most MTPs were currently being done by furnishing false addresses. He further suggested strict scrutiny of records for picking up ‘‘vulnerable and ‘‘most vulnerable’’ mothers, self -referrals, out-of-district patients and patients with incomplete addresses. ‘‘It is these cases that are most likely to go in for MTP based on ultrasound reports and MTP is most likely to be conducted in nursing homes with deficiencies in these records’’, he said.

Mr Manmohan Sharma, Executive Director, VHAP, disclosed the findings of the study conducted after the Patran incident on the subject.

The study ,besides other recommendations, has suggested that the Nawanshahr Model should be replicated at most places. The study also suggested sensitisation of people at all levels, besides introducing schoolchildren to the subject of female infanticide.



Hooda lays stone for Kisan Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, today said his proposed visit to Europe from October 7 to 18 aimed at marketing Haryana as a place of ultimate choice for multinational companies and investors in areas of industry and tourism.

He was talking to reporters after laying the foundation stone of Kisan Bhavan to be constructed at a cost of over Rs 3.74 crore in Sector 14 here.

Meanwhile, the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB) plans to set up a chain of post-harvest management facilities in various mandis of the state. These facilities include refrigerated vans, cold chambers, storage grading or sorting and packaging facilities for farmers.

The Agriculture Minister, Mr H.S. Chatha, said with the introduction of post-harvest facilities, not only post-harvest losses would be minimised, but the value of the produce would also be enhanced.

The Chairman of the HSAMB, Mr Shadi Lal Batra, said the Kisan Bhavan would have a covered area of 35,000 square feet and provide excellent accommodation to farmers visiting the state capital.

It would also be a hub for various activities like conferences, seminars, workshops and exhibitions related to agriculture and marketing of agricultural produce. It would have IT-enabled facilities on agriculture.

He said Kisan Bhavan would be constructed over an area of two acres and completed within a year. The four-storeyed building would have six rooms with attached toilets for farmers and a dormitory for 10 persons on the second floor. On the third floor, it would also have six rooms with attached toilets and a dormitory for 10 persons.

The bhavan would have six rooms for VIPs with attached toilets, a conference hall for 50, a library, an agri business-cum-exhibition hall, an entertainment room, a gymnasium and an administrative block.

Prominent among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, Power Minister Venod Sharma, Education Minister Phool Chand Mullana and Chief Administrator of the HSAMB Navraj Sandhu.



Western Command celebrates 59th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A solemn wreath-laying ceremony to pay tributes to martyrs marked the 59th Raising Day celebrations of Western Command at its headquarters in Chandimandir, near here, today.

In a departure from convention over the previous years where a wreath was laid by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) on behalf of all ranks at the Veer Smriti war memorial, this year floral tributes were paid by all senior officers and unit commanders.

The environs of the war memorial, which came up in 1997, have also been spruced up, with busts of gallantry award winners being installed along the newly laid marble sidewalks.

In his special order of the day, the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen Daljeet Singh, commemorated the sacrifices of the veterans and said the path shown by them would be the guiding force in all future ventures taken up by the Command.

He also reaffirmed the Army’s commitment in providing all possible help to the veterans.

A large number of officers and other ranks stationed in Chandimandir attended the wreath-laying ceremony. A ceremonial guard reversed arms while buglers sounder the Last Post followed by the Rouse.

To mark the occasion, a barakhana for the Army personnel and civilian staff of the Command as well as a band concert were organised.

The celebrations concluded with a social get-together for serving and retired officers.

Raised as Delhi and East Punjab Command on September 15, 1947, with its headquarters in Delhi, it was re-designated as the Western Command in January 1948. In 1954, the command headquarters moved to Shimla and in 1985 was relocated at Chandimandir.

Since its inception, 11 Western Army Commanders have risen to the rank of Chief of Army Staff, including the present chief, Gen J.J. Singh. Others who made it to the apex include Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, Gen S.M. Shrinagesh, Gen K.S. Thimayya, Gen P.N. Thapar, Gen S.H.FJ. Manekshaw, Gen T.N. Raina, Gen K.V. Krishana Rao, Gen K. Sundarji, Gen S..F Rodrigues and Gen B. C. Joshi.

The Western Army has a glorious tradition. Its officers and men have acquitted themselves creditably in all conflicts since Independence.

It was instrumental in effectively blunting the Pakistani aggressions in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and subsequently carrying the battle into enemy territory.

Its formations and units have participated and distinguished themselves, winning a large number of gallantry awards, including 11 Param Vir Chakra.

The Western Command has time and again, provided succour to the civilian population during natural calamities. During the past year, troops of the Western Command won the hearts and minds of the people of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh by promptly rendering a helping hand in times of crises.



None apply for tenement lease renewal
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The UT Administration’s lapse in fixing the responsibility for the renewal of the lease of one-room tenements constructed under the rehabilitation scheme of the Administration a few years back seems to have given owners of these tenements an opportunity to take thing easy.

Despite the putting up of notices and public notices, no owner has submitted an application for the renewal of lease.

Under its rehabilitation scheme, the Administration had constructed 2,765 tenements in Sectors 52 and 53, near Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran and Kajehri in 1998.

Of these, a total of 2,655 tenements had been allotted while 100 were still lying vacant.

The Estate Office had allotted these houses for five years. According to rules, the lease had to be renewed in 2003.

Once the term period was over, no steps had been taken to renew the lease. According to Municipal Corporation sources, work did not start as it could not be decided as to who would do it.

The Finance Department had finally decided that the Municipal Corporation would be responsible for the same.

According to the sources, it was the three-year lapse that gave tenement dwellers an opportunity to take things easy.

The Municipal Corporation had to first collect data from the Estate Office before starting work. The Estate Office had conducted a survey of violations in these colonies and later, a fresh survey had been conducted by the Municipal Corporation.

According to the sources, it had been found in these surveys that commercial activities had been going on in many tenements and many tenements had been sold on the basis of power of attorney. These two factors were being considered as a major reason for no one turning up to renew lease.

Public announcements had also been made in these colonies for renewing lease.

In the notice put up by the Municipal Corporation, it had been mentioned that tenement owners should remove all violations and all pending dues should be cleared before filling in applications for lease renewal, along with documents, including proof of residence.

According to the sources, the lease money for the three-year period in between would also be claimed from tenement owners and the same would be decided soon.

The one-month notice period would come to an end on September 18 and no application had been received yet.

The further course of action would be decided after September 18 if no application was received till then.



MC to buy stationery worth Rs 2 lakh
Our Correspondent

Office furniture piled up outside the SYL office at Mohali on Friday, following a court order to vacate the premises.
Office furniture piled up outside the SYL office at Mohali on Friday, following a court order to vacate the premises.

Mohali, September 15
The municipal council has cleared a proposal to buy stationery worth Rs 2 lakh for various branches of the office.

The stationery will be purchased at government rates from Phulkari, Punjab Government Emporium, Ludhiana.

This was decided at the first meeting of the newly elected body, during which items on the agenda were cleared unanimously, here today.

Mr Amrik Singh said the council should not clean only a part of the area for the visit of VVIPs, but there was a need to clean the entire town.

It was then decided that congress grass should be cut from all parts of the town and the streetlight situation be improved before Divali.

Mr Paramjit Singh Kahlon pointed that the storm water sewer from Phase III-A to the YPS Chowk was not functioning properly and water entered the houses of residents after heavy rain.

He also said PUDA authorities should be asked to instal machinery at the Sector 57 waterworks at the earliest so that the town’s share of water from Phase IV of the Kajauli waterworks could be utilised.

Ms Harvinder Kaur said there was water shortage in Phase VII as two tubewells in the area were not functioning.

Mr Harpal Singh complained that Mataur village was not being supplied water and the area was lacked sewerage connection, causing a lot of inconvenience to residents.

Mr B.B. Maini objected to the proposal of the civic body regarding the payment of Rs 2.73 lakh to the Forest Department for cutting trees from a stretch of road which was to be widened.

He also pointed out that if the president and the senior vice-president were functioning from one table sitting side by side, similar arrangements should be made for the vice-president of the civic body.



“Hindi fortnight” celebrations end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Northern Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Standards organised the concluding function of “Hindi fortnight” celebrations here last evening.

Dr Neeru Kaura, Reader (Hindi) Department of Correspondence Studies, Panjab University, was the chief guest. She said the Hindi language was instrumental in taking forward our culture and values. Mr Chandrashekhar, Deputy Director-General, (North), BIS, stressed on the need for greater use of Hindi for official purposes. He congratulated all BIS employees for their enthusiasm in participating in various competitions.

During the celebrations, competitions like “Rules/Regulations,” Hindi typing on computers and presentation of views on a given topic were held.

Dr Kaura gave away prizes to all winners. Ms Rashmi Chug stood first in the extempore competition. Ms Kamal Oberoi stood first in computer Hindi typing, whereas Ms Alka Rawal took the first position in the “Rules & Regulations” contest.

The Laboratory of BIS at Mohali also organised the concluding function here today. Dr K.C. Dubey, Station Director, All India Radio, Chandigarh, was the chief guest.

Various competitions to promote the use of Hindi were organised at the State Bank local head office from September 1-15 as part of “Hindi fortnight” celebrations. Competitions in essay writing were organised.

The “Hindi fortnight” celebrations at the Regional office of HUDCO also ended today. Contests on Hindi essay writing, poetry and typing were held during the fortnight. The Chief Vigilance Officer, HUDCO, Mr T.K. Sanyal, was the chief guest. He gave away prizes to the winners.



Officialdom creating hurdles: BJP
NAC status for Naya Gaon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
The BJP has flayed the Punjab Government for allegedly creating unnecessary hurdles in the way of granting a notified area committee (NAC) status to Naya Gaon village.

Various BJP and SAD leaders criticised the Congress government at a rally held in the village today, alleging that the uncalled for clearances being sought by Punjab Forest Department from the Union Forest Ministry to delist Naya Gaon land from the Indian Forest Act were totally ill conceived and misplaced in the light of the fact that no such sanction was actually required.

Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, President of the state unit of the BJP, blamed the Punjab Government and the Forest Department for jeopardising the interests of thousands of residents of Naya Gaon who had been striving hard to get the NAC status for last so many years.

He said the government was adopting double standards on the issue by first announcing to grant the NAC status to Naya Gaon and then creating bureaucratic wrangles by seeking permission from the Union Forest Ministry.

Mr Khanna pointed out that Naya Goan fell under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) and thus it was absolutely immature and illogical to seek its delisting under the Indian Forest Act. The unnecessary leverage being given to the Union Forest Ministry on the issue was clearly aimed at harming the interests of the residents, he alleged. It was the BJP-SAD government which had initiated the process of granting NAC status to Naya Gaon five years ago. The Congress government had done nothing but only befooled residents of Naya Gaon by making false claims to notify Mr Khanna added.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, General Secretary of SAD, said the government was not interested in the welfare of Naya Gaon residents and as such was creating legal and bureaucratic hurdles in the process.



Disabled try to block traffic

Chandigarh, September 15
It was a mini chaos on the Madhya Marg today as physically challenged candidates who had come for interviews at Haryana Panchayat Bhawan, Sector 28, marched towards the Matka Chowk.

Efforts of the police to control the agitators proved futile as candidates tried to block traffic.

The candidates who had come in from across Haryana were in for a surprise when they were informed that interviews for jobs in various departments of Haryana like Irrigation, Fisheries, Food and Supply and Electricity, had been postponed. — TNS



Shopkeepers of Sec 9 back MC move

Chandigarh, September 15
Shopkeepers of the Sector 9 market have defended the Municipal Corporation for beautifying the parking area by installing parking lights and other fancy illumination.

The press release comes against allegations by Mr Chandermukhi, a Congress councillors, who had said the project had been carried out without taking him (the area councillor) into confidence.

Shopkeepers said the councillor never visited their area because they did not comprise his votebank since a majority of them did not live in the area. — TNS



Gujral wants to know about disbursal of funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
With an eye on the forthcoming elections to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the President of the District Youth Congress (Urban-I), Chandigarh, Mr A.S. Gujral, has moved an application under the Right to Information Act, seeking details about disbursal of funds by Mrs Harjinder Kaur, councillor from Ward No. 9.

Mr Gujral has sought the funds spent by the councillor with effect from January 1, 2002, to August 31, 2006, on BBMB Colony and Defence Account Colony, Sector 35.



Third front soon, to contest MC poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A series of meetings of various political outfits have begun efforts to launch the third front in the Union Territory of Chandigarh for the coming Municipal Corporation elections.

According to Mr Gurnam Singh Sidhu and Mr Jaswinder Singh Brar, president and secretary of the Akali Dal 1920, Chandigarh unit, residents of the union territory were not happy with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party and were looking for an alternative.

They said the former Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, was actively working for the launch of the third front.



Seminar on ‘Hindutva’ tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 15
Hindutva will be the subject of a national seminar being organised here on September 17. The Panchnad Research Institute, an organisation known for taking up debate and research on contemporary issues is organising the seminar on “Relevance of Hindutva”. Justice M. Rama Jois, former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, will preside.

According to Mr Shyam Khosla, chairman of the institute, Swami Avdeshanand Giri from Madhya Pradesh, Prof Azhar Hashmi and prominent RSS leader and former editor of Marathi daily “Tarun Bharat” M.G. Vaidya will address the seminar.

The seminar will be held in the Law Auditorium, Panjab University, at 10.30 a.m. Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, senior serving and retired officers of the administrative wing, police and armed forces as well as distinguished persons from all walks of life will attend the seminar.



Farmers return home after assurance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Members of various kisan unions, who were in the city for the past five days, left this evening after assurance that their demands would looked into. The members stated that they would wait for the Chief Minister to take a decision till next week.

Thousands of farmers from different parts of the state owing allegiance to the BKU (Ekta), the BKU (Ugran), the Punjab Kisan Sabha, the Punjab Kisan Sangarsh Committee, the Punjab Kisan Union, the Jhamoori Kisan Sabha, the Kirti Kisan Union and the Jameen Ugara Committee had been in the city to press for their demands. The union members were sitting on a day and night dharna.

Earlier in the day, various leaders addressed the farmers. The union members demanded waiver of loans to farmers, framing of rules for private moneylenders, that prices of crops be fixed with 1966-67, as the base year and declaration of Jat Sikhs in Punjab as other Backward Class.



Commuters demand more buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Commuters between Rajpura and Chandigarh and students face a lot of inconvenience in reaching their places of work and educational institutions, respectively, in the absence of an adequate number of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) buses during the morning and evening hours.

According to a commuter, Mr Kamal Kant of Rajpura, there is hardly any PRTC bus for Chandigarh from Rajpura between 8 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. Whenever a bus from Patiala halts at Rajpura, there is a great rush..

Women, patients and weak persons find it difficult to board the bus. A number of purse and chain snatching incidents have taken place during heavy rush of passengers. People have to go in for private conveyance.



Ex-service League to meet on Oct 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Chandigarh chapter of Indian Ex-services League has flayed the central government for its “anti-soldier” attitude during its meeting held here yesterday. A statement issued here said that while the government is tolerating the loss of thousands of crores through scams and frauds, it just met out a few crumbs for ex-servicemen.

The statement added that while Parliamentarians have unanimously increased their own salaries, not even a single genuine demand of servicemen have been accepted despite recommendations of various committees.

During the meeting it was also decided that the next annual general body meeting of the League would be held on October 29.



A clarification

Apropos the news-item which appeared in Chandigarh Tribune on September 9 “Preeti Randhawa has topped the Nursery Teacher training course in the city.” The course has been topped by Alyonika, a student of Raja Ram Rai Institute of Vocational Studies, Sector 27. — TNS



Purse snatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Ms Amritpal Kaur of Sanrama village in Gurdaspur district reported to the police that an unidentified motorcyclist snatched her purse in Sector 16 on Thursday night. The purse contained Rs 46,000, a mobile phone, an ATM card, a credit card and other articles. A case was registered in this regard.


Thieves decamped with music systems after breaking into two cars in a neighbourhood in Sector 44-B late on Thursday night. The cars were parked outsides the houses.

Ms Kavita Arora, a resident of Sector 44-B told the Chandigarh Tribune that a music system along with speakers was stolen from her Santro car, parked outside her residence.

Her father, S.C. Pathela lodged a complaint with the police in this regard.

Similarly, their neighbour, Mr Rajesh Joshi, reported to the police that the music system of his car along with speakers had also been stolen.

The police has registered a case of theft.

Ganja seized

The local police arrested Man Kishore of Bihar from Sector 45-C on the charge of carrying 5.50 kg of ganja on Thursday. A case under Section 20 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Man looted

Four unidentified motorcycle-borne youths snatched a bag from a Sector 45 resident at the Sector 43 ISBT on Thursday night.

Mr Bhupinder Singh of Sector 45 lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that four unidentified persons on two motorcycles snatched his bag from near the Sector 43 ISBT on Thursday night.

The bag contained a gold chain, a gold bracelet, a PAN card, a driving licence, registration certificate of a scooter, debit and credit cards along with Rs 14,500 in cash. A case was registered.

Scooter stolen

Mr Surinder Mohan Singh of Sector 23 reported to the police that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-01-W-8828) was stolen from the Sector 34 shopping complex on Wednesday.

One held

The Crime branch of the Chandigarh police arrested Mahesh Yadav of Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh at the Sector 14 and 15 traffic lights on Wednesday with 2.5 kg of ganja. A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered.



Stereo stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
An stereo system was reportedly stolen from a car parked outside a house in Phase I here.

According to information available, the vehicle was parked around 8 p.m. last night after which someone broke the window of the car and decamped with the stereo system. A complaint has been made to the police in this regard.

Meanwhile, a resident of Sector 69, has complained to the police that cash was stolen from her house by her servant. Ms Mohinder Bir Kaur alleged that her servant, Pooja, had opened the lock of an almirah and stole Rs 52,000, apart from jewellery.

The police has registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC in this regard.

In another case, the police has seized 444 pirated CDs from a shop in Chadialan Soodan on the complaint of a resident of Panchkula, Mr Sanjeev Handa.

The police has registered a case under Sections 51, 52A, 64, 68A of the Copyright Act and booked Dalip Kumar Dhawan in this regard.



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