C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Shoddy slip roads menace commuters
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Unfinished portions of slip roads made worse by ongoing monsoon have made commuting in the city a nightmare.

Though planned to ease congestion at crowded roundabouts, they had become a source of traffic bottlenecks. The police confirmed traffic hold-ups and even accidents, particularly during rush hours, due to unfinished roundabouts.

More than half a dozen stretches on Dakshin Marg were dug up and an odd worker or a bulldozer was visible indicating the "urgency" with which the work was being undertaken. There were no markings to show diversion.

Diversions which had been newly constructed on the Madhya Marg but not indicated with a sign were likely to be missed by travellers. Those driving into the city for the first time were sure to miss the spot, particularly at the roundabouts of Sectors 21-22-34-35 and 33-34-21-20(Labour Chowk). Says Nitish Sharma, an engineer, "The work on these roads commenced well before the monsoons and should have been completed by now. Also, the debris, mud and the pebbles needed to be prevented from scattering on the roads during the rains."

The slip roads on the two sides of Labour Chowk, one adjoining Sector 20 and another Sector 33, lay dug up since long. Besides, inconveniencing daily travellere, the site was an eyesore. The slip road adjoining the gurdwara in Sector 20 on Dakshin Marg had also been dug up for several months. Even a normal shower led to flooding on the roads. The one diagonally opposite Sector 32 had also been dug up.

Slip roads at the junction of Sector 30-32-33-20 were also incomplete. A segment of road dividing Sectors 29 and 30 had been recarpetted while the rest lay unattended. The streetlights on the section were sill to be recommissioned.

Slip road near the Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII) complex in Sector 31 also lay incomplete, partly because the adjoining road was being redone by the administration.

The electricity poles stood right in middle of the roads. An electricity pole stood right in the middle of the road near Kisan Bhavan. On the slip road adjoining IMTECH in Sector 39, improper marking had caused mishaps.

A senior official of the Engineering Department said, "The work is held up because of the monsoons. Very soon the roads will be smooth".

Dug up portions smelt foul because of dumping solid waste and garbage. Work on shifting telephone junction boxes and electric poles was still to be taken up at many roundabouts.



Rent of Sec 56 tenements cut to Rs 1,000
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
In a decision which may bring cheer to slum-dwellers, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to lease out one-room tenements in Sector 56 here to slum-dwellers on an annual rent of Rs 1,000.

The rent has been brought down to Rs 1,000 from Rs 3,000, sensing the mood of the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries, at least 800 inhabitants of the Madrasi Colony in Sector 26 here, will be shifted to the tenements, which have been constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board, in the first phase.

The land vacated will be used for widening the road to the Information Technology Park and related services.

The shifting of the Madrasi Colony is expected to begin within a week, according to a senior official.

Officials have been chalking out the strategy to shift the slum-dwellers in a phase manner.

According to sources in the Administration, the decision to charge a rent of Rs 1,000 will be made public soon.

Under the proposal, the beneficiaries will be given the option to pay the price of the dwelling units after 25 years. If the occupants do not agree, they can continue to pay the rent, according to the official.

During the recent survey conducted by the district administration, it has been found that there are about 3,000 dwelling units in the Madrasi Colony and the Gandhi Colony in Sector 26, adjoining the Bapu Dham Colony.

So far, around 800 dwelling units have been constructed in Sector 56.

In another development, about 750 sites allotted near the Colony No. 4 and slum-dwellers from the Kumhar Colony in Sector 25 will be shifted to Sector 52, near Kajheri.

The land in Sector 25 is being vacated on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

About 2,800 slum-dwellers, as per the 1996 cutoff list, have been shifted.

The remaining 2,500 slum-dwellers will be relocated to the new site.



Home budgets stagger under rising food prices
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Sky-rocketing prices of most grocery items, milk and poultry, fruits and vegetables, and cereals and pulses are playing havoc with the monthly budgets of most families. Over the past eight months, the prices of most of these items are heading skywards, forcing families to cut out on recreation and other luxuries, to ensure that they can keep the kitchen fires burning.

It’s not just the wheat flour and rice, but also the prices of bread, pulses, refined oil, ghee, milk and milk products (curd, butter, cheese), eggs, fruits and vegetables that are rising. As a result, the monthly budget of families have increased by over 60 per cent since December last year. “We have been forced to reduce on our weekly family outings. Salaries are not in consonance with the hike in prices of daily commodities,” said homemaker Monika Ghai.

The prices of wheat flour and pulses have seen the maximum rise in recent months. The prices of wheat flour (branded and unbranded) have gone up by Rs 2 a kg (Rs 14 a kg for branded and Rs 11. 50 a kg. for unbranded). “It is people like us who are the worst affected. Now, we cannot afford to have even plain dal-roti,” says Sia Ram, who is an ad hoc Class IV employee at the State Bank of India, while adding that even vegetables like peas are out of reach at Rs 35 a kg.

The prices of pulses like moong, urd and rajmah have gone up by Rs 20 a kg (80 per cent rise). From being sold for Rs 23-30 a kg, the three pulses are now being sold at Rs 45-60 per kg. The price of urd — a staple pulse in most Indian households and eateries — has increased by 100 per cent, from Rs 23 a kg in November 2005 to Rs 54- 64 a kg now. Similarly, moong is selling at Rs 45-52 a kg (an increase of almost 90 per cent in eight months) , informs Mr Gulshan Ohri, who runs a grocery store in Panchkula.

Interestingly, while the prices of eggs have increased to Rs 2 per egg (Rs 24- 25 a dozen), the prices of chicken have gone down. With an increase in the number of broilers in poultry farms and less number of layers (egg laying birds), the prices of eggs have gone up and that of chicken have gone down. The rate of chicken (legs and chest) varies from Rs 40 - Rs 60 a kg.

There has also been an increase in prices of desi ghee, refined oil, and recently in the price of milk, ghee and curd. Mr Deepak Kalsi, a businessman in the city, says, “For my family of five, the monthly grocery budget has increased by Rs 2,500 a month. We are forced to cut corners,” he said.



PU development on Senators’ agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Panjab University Senate members will take up a special discussion on the “vision for the development of the university” during the next meeting scheduled to be held on September 24.

A note to this effect has been forwarded to all Senate members by the university Registrar.

The fellows would consider the setting up of a Joint Research Board of all science departments on the grounds that the increase in the number of science departments (which at present is 15) and the requirements of PhD research are distinct in science subjects from those of arts.

The Senate will also approve the transfer of Rs 10 crore out of the corpus account ‘Foundation of Higher Education and Research Fund’ to the ‘PU Pension Corpus Fund’ account to facilitate payment of pension to the university faculty members. The members will, as a result, also modify the existing guidelines for the use of the corpus fund account of foundation for higher education and research.

Senators would also consider a host of other Syndicate decisions, including the introduction of internal assessment in each paper of the three-year law course.

Quantifying the importance of attendance for the first time in the university, internal assessment worth 20 marks would include five marks for attendance and 15 for the project report and moot court discussions. For students who have attendance from 75 to 79 per cent would get 1 mark, 80 to 84 per cent would get 2 marks, 85 to 89 per cent would get 3 marks, 90 to 94 per cent would get 4 marks and attendance above 95 per cent would fetch 5 marks.

The fellows would also consider if compartment candidates be allowed to appear in the examination set on the same syllabus even when the syllabus has otherwise changed in two chances. Students who had completed the first year of post-graduation were allowed to appear in the II year examination within the next three years of having passed the first year test. The Senators would in this meeting consider increasing this to five years.

The chairpersons and coordinators of university and college principals might also get entitled to compensatory earned leave in lieu of the vacations that they cannot avail of due to the meetings they attend or convene.

The fellows would also consider the transfer of the land lying unused at Kaoni village where PAU Ludhiana is running a home science college.



Refugees in their own homeland
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Angrez Singh
Angrez Singh

Chandigarh, September 17
Mr Surinder Singh, in the prime of his youth, was a towering personality. He commanded attention on his walks along the green fields that dotted the environs of what is today Chandigarh.

One fine day in 1952, he was asked to shift his residence from Kanchan Majra village, in the north, to Manimajra, in the east, for the realisation of Le Corbusier’s masterplan. He was shifted to a house owned by a Muslim who migrated to Pakistan.

Barely had he settled down in his new nest when, in 1966, he was asked to shift to Faidan village, located in the southern belt. And now for implementing the Chandigarh administration’s proposal for “a new mega project”, he may soon have to build a new house.

The story of Mr Surinder Singh is not an isolated one. He is one of the hundreds of original inhabitants of the land, says Mr Angrez Singh Badheri, chairman of the Pind Bachao committee, who has championed the cause of the original inhabitants of the city.

Mr Badheri limps with great effort. He cannot sit for 10 minutes and cannot even lie down straight because of his spinal problem.

His resounding voice is his most noticeable feature. In fact, for most of the original inhabitants who are trying to save their land from government acquisition or seeking compensation according to the market rates, they have nothing to fall back upon except their voice.

Hundreds of families were uprooted from more than 50 villages that dotted the area where City Beautiful has come up. A large number of the original inhabitants are crying hoarse over the “unfair deal” they got in return.

In Chandigarh, even today, farmers are getting Rs 12 lakh as compensation for an acre while the administration was able to sell land at more than Rs 20 crore for a housing project recently.

“In a virtual repeat of the 1950s, with no land left to till, no government jobs as promised and no due compensation, they feel cheated. There are certain farmers who are now running ‘rehras”, Mr Badheri says.

In the first phase, 17 villages were “uprooted”. The villagers were given compensatory land and houses, majority of which came on account of Muslims from Butela, Makhan Majra, Hallo Majra and other villages leaving for Pakistan. Those who were uprooted in the second and third phases of development of the city have not been adequately compensated, he says.

Mr Badheri says, “what perplexes me is the fact that the development of the city continues to be governed by the ‘lal dora of 1894’. The population has multiplied many times but the “dora” remains the same.

The migratory population occupying government land is given an alternative place to settle down. However, the houses of farmers on their land are destroyed in the name of this “dora”. How can the officers justify the denial of fair play?

“All they say is that we are looking into the case. I have heard that the administration is merging five villages with the MC. Let us see how they accept as regular the houses already constructed which were facing demolition as illegal constructions outside ‘lal dora’,” he said.

There are 19 colonies in the city. Many residential colonies have been built for the migratory population. The politicians want to secure their vote bank. “Watch it. Within a few years the migrants will be in majority and it could lead to the city having a

Member of Parliament from outside the state.

“Different political parties have nursed the migratory population. All development of the migratory population has been done at the cost of the original inhabitants”, Mr Badheri says.

Of course, the Pind Bachao Committee has not been idle. It wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who, in turn, forwarded it to the Adviser of the UT Administrator.

Interestingly, the Ministry of Urban Affairs in a communication to the Committee in September 2000 had said that “the issue of extending the red line was under the active consideration and an action was expected shortly”.

The Chandigarh Administration in a letter to the National Commission for Minorities in November 2002 had said that the administration had already paid compensation to the oustees. “It is clarified that the oustees do not belong to any minority community or religious groups”, the letter added

City Beautiful stands on the threshold of entering an era of irreversible change which will put a big question mark on preserving it the way it was envisaged by Le Corbusier.

“The third phase is still under development and the population has already crossed 11 lakhs”, Mr Badheri said.

In 1950 Baba Bakhatawar Singh led 15,000 people into jail while protesting against land occupation. A compromise was reached that no villages beyond Sector 22 would be acquired. In 1966, the city became a Union Territory and since then a lot more land has been acquired.

“The government sells all three flats it constructs on our piece of land for which we were paid singularly? Why can’t we give the land on lease to the government as it does”, Mr Badheri asks.

The veteran is very critical of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, which he calls obsolete and framed by the British for establishing their cantonments. The law does not exist even in the United Kingdom.

The 1894 Act clearly lays down that the government is empowered to acquire land required for public use which in a layman’s language means road, hospital, old age home, canal, bridge etc. At present, the government is acquiring land only for commercial purposes. The self-employed farmers are being forced into compulsory unemployment.

It is also worth pointing out that the National Advisory Council, which has recommended that the government should “ensure that displaced families have a standard of living better than the one before their displacement. The gains to the displaced person should be on the same scale as to the project beneficiary”.



Draw for plots in Sector 27 today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
The stage is set for the much-awaited draw for plots in Sector 27 here tomorrow. Last-minute details for the smooth conduct of the proceedings were finalised, as officials and staff of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) spent the day preparing a blueprint for tomorrow.

While the draw will begin at the HUDA office in Sector 6 at 10 a.m., the draw for plots in Sector 28 will be held at the same venue on September 19. The authorities have made arrangements for seating 2500 people, including a separate enclosure for senior citizens.

The first draw will be held for the oustees, while other categories will follow. There are reserved categories for oustees, war widows, defence and para-military forces, government employees (serving and retired) as also the SCs and OBCs.

An official of HUDA said that categories which have decimal plots, that is their share of plots is less than one plot since reservation is only in terms of percentage, will be merged into the general category.

Two screens will be put up at the entry and the rear end of the building to enable the public a close view of the draw. Two loudspeakers will also be installed to enable everybody to hear the proceedings going on at the venue of the draw. Meanwhile, direct airing of the draw has also been arranged by the authorities in collaboration with the local cable network.

According to information, it will be a challenge to conduct the draw peacefully, especially in the face of disapproval by the oustees whose applications have been clubbed with the general category after they were found ineligible for allotment in the category of oustees following the final scrutiny.

Besides, the availability of plots available for the general public is likely to suffer in the 10- marla category and the one-kanal category with a majority of oustees opting for these plots.

A total of over three lakh applications have been received by HUDA for 574 plots in the two sectors, 218 of which are in Sector 27.There are 356 plots available in Sector 28. This number is inclusive of the oustees quota.



MCPI(U) for new economic agenda, says Lyallpuri
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
For octogenerarian Comrade Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, holding of the special national congress of the Marxist Communist Party of India (United), in Chandigarh, is like a dream coming true.

The congress, which started today would continue till September 20, will provide a Marxist-Leninist basis for developing a revolutionary communist party, that can meet the aspirations of the masses hit hard by the new economic policy (imperialist globalisation) introduced by the Congress rulers in early 90s.

Says Mr Lyallpuri: “Because of the bankrupt path of developing capitalism and the collapsed socialist camp, the Congress government started yielding to new colonial dictates. As a way out of the crisis, it declared the new economic policy or economic liberalisation. It is in essence a policy of imperialist globalisation. This is in no way an original policy statement of Dr Manmohan Singh.”

Some people tried to depict the economic policy as distinct and different model of development from the earlier period after 1947 which was described as Nehruian model of Socialist economy because it built public sector and nationalised banks. To defame the very concept of socialism, this period is held responsible for bankruptcy of the Indian economy and that in order to rescue the country from this crisis, is a necessary and reverse the previous path through new economic policy, asserts Mr Lyallpuri.

The small-scale industry numbering about 30 lakh units, has been the mainstay of industrial force, providing wide variety of goods and employment to lakhs. It contributes 44 per cent of the total industrial production and 35 per cent of Indian exports.

This sector has been opened for economic aggression. Not only the reserve quota system relating to more then 1400 industrial has been withdrawn but also the MNCs have been provided with relief in taxation by way of reduction in custom and excise duties and by clearing special economic zone policy, felt Mr Lyallpuri.

On the labour legislations front, says Mr Lyallpuri, the employers, including the management in public sector with open connivance of the government with its labour department and brutish police force have already in practice rendered defunct almost all such legislations.

They aspire for left oriented pro-people alternative policy, around which, the pontanious struggles could be united and channelised. This task can be fulfiled by a revolutionary communist party, armed with revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism, says Mr Lyallpuri, holding that all these issues would be discussed during the congress.

The MCPI(U) has therefore, undertaken the task of updating a programme based on revolutionary principles and guidance of the November 1964 programme passed at Calcutta.

The special congress of the MCPI (U) has already released a draft updated programme as 400 delegates from Kerala, TN, AP, Rajasthan, Punjab, UP, Bihar and West Bengal are in Chandigarh’s Kisan Bhavan named as “Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar.



MCPI (U) flays rising prices, unemployment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Ahead of the four-day All-India Unity Conference, the Marxist Communist Party of India (United) organised a rally at Parade Ground, Sector 17, this afternoon.

Addressing a gathering of over 5000 persons, Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, convener, All-India Preparatory Committee, MCPI (U), said the Congress was mortgaging the Indian economy and sovereignty to imperialists. He expressed his deep anguish over the role of the CPM leadership to support the Congress.

Mr V.B.Charrian, member, All- India Preparatory Committee, MCPI (U), stated that the so-called Left governments were faithfully implementing the pro-imperialist policies of globalisation there. He held the WTO-dictated policies responsible for the increasing prices, unemployment and other problems facing the people of India. The rally was presided over jointly by the chief commander of the Tilangana Armed Struggle of Andhra Pradesh, Mr B.N.Reddy, and Mr M. Rajan from Kerala and Mr Prem Singh Bhangu from Punjab.

It was also addressed by Mr Chander Shekhar, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Venkat Reddy, Mr Shiv Ram, Mr Vijay Kumar Chowdhary, Mr Kiranjeet Sekhon, Mr Didar Singh and Mr Sher Singh Pharwahi.



Bailey bridge on Ghaggar suggested
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
A former instructor at the College of Military Engineering, Pune, Col S.K. Lamba (retd), today suggested that the Punjab PWD Department could construct a Bailey bridge to overcome the inconvenience caused by a defective span of the Ghaggar bridge.

He said last year the Himachal Pradesh Government had constructed these bridges over rivers in a couple of days so that the public did not suffer. “Only the fifth span of the bridge is weak while the remaining 11 spans are intact. To deal with public inconvenience, the PWD can construct a Bailey bridge which is available with the departments. This would cater to one-way traffic, controlled by the traffic police,” he said.

Stating that the length of a Bailey bridge is in multiples of 10 feet, Col Lamba was of the opinion that the department would have to use nine panels to cover the entire length of the bridge.

He suggested that laying 95-foot- long steel sheets from the fourth span to sixth span to cover the fifth span which was affected. “The public is being put to harassment which can be avoided and Bailey bridges are the best option available. On account of diversions, the public is forced to pay enhanced travel charges,” Col Lamba opined.



Some Pakistan people still suffer from Partition trauma
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
There is still a generation in Pakistan that has yet to come to terms with the trauma of Partition. This is the impression one gets after talking to Dr Afzal Javed, a psychiatrist from Pakistan, who was here to attend the first annual conference of the Indo-Pak Punjab Psychiatric Society at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, today.

Dr Javed who is also vice-president of the society, claimed though a majority of the elderly persons who shifted to Pakistan during Partition were no more, yet patients suffering the Partition trauma were still pouring in various hospitals and medical institutions in Pakistan. He said the families that shifted to Pakistan and India, respectively, still recalled the old days and had a great affection for their ancestral motherlands.

Dr Javed claimed that culture and language were the two important factors causing mental illness worldwide. India and its counterpart — Pakistan — have been facing similar mental health problems since Partition.

While talking to The Tribune, Dr Javed said the three-day conference was organised to find out ways and means to cope up with the mental health problems being faced by citizens across the border. He said a conference in Ludhiana provided a historical opportunity for mental health professionals from either parts of Punjab (in India and Pakistan) to meet and interact on various issues on health facilities in both the countries.

“The Partition of Punjab came at a colossal human cost. Over the years, people on both sides of the border started making attempts to re-establish old ties and heal old wounds, political differences notwithstanding. This generated the idea of forming a common professional society of psychiatrists across the border,” claimed Dr A.K. Kala from Ludhiana.

Psychiatrists comprising Dr Kala, Dr Haroon Rashid Chaudhary from Lahore, Dr Afzal Javed from the UK and Dr Ajit Avasthi from Chandigarh constituted the society in 2006 to provide a platform for scientific exchange and an opportunity for psychiatrists on either side to interact and establish new ties.

Prof N.N. Wig, Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry, PGIMER, addressed the delegates on Punjabi Sufi poetry and mental health while a lecture on cultural psychodynamics and Punjabi personality was delivered by Prof V.K. Varma.



Land promised for Bihar Bhavan in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A Bhojpuri folk songs and dance evening marked the silver jubilee celebrations of Bihar Parishad here this evening.

Four Bihar ministers— Mr Vrishan Patel (Education), Dr Anil Kumar (Science and Technology), Mr Ashwani Chubey (Town and Country Development) and Mr Janardhan Shigriwal (Youth Welfare and Sports)— could not make it to the venue as they remained stuck in a train on the way to Chandigarh due to disruption of rail traffic on the Howarah to Delhi route caused by a rail accident.

Mr Satyapal Jain, former MP and BJP leader, was the chief guest. While speaking on the occasion, Mr Jain assured the members of Bihar Parishad that he would help them get land to set up a Bihar Bhavan in Chandigarh.

Mr Deo Brat Dwivedi, president, Bihar Parishad, while welcoming the guests said Bihar Parishad was an organisation which had been working for the promotion of the Bihari culture.

Mr Rajeshwar Raj, general secretary, JD(U), appreciated the work being done by the parishad.

He said Bihar was progressing under the leadership of Mr Nitish Kumar and would soon be one of the most developed states in the country.

Mr Pankaj Mishra, organiser of the progamme, said there were a lot of people from Bihar who were getting settled in this part of the country and contributing to the development of the region.

Among others who were present on the occasion included DIG (Terhut Range, Bihar) Mr Gupteshwar Pandey, Mr Ram Dhani Singh, former MLA and JD (U) leader, Mr Rajeshwar Raj, Mr Kanhiya Bhelari, senior journalist from Jharkhand, Dr S.K Singh, Head, Urology Department, PGI, Chandigarh, Mr Davesh Moudgil and Mr Jasjyot Singh, president and vice-president respectively, BJYM (Chandigarh).

Chotu Bihari, a famous Bihari singer, held the audience captivated for more than two hours. Through his folk songs, he described the richness of Bihar's culture.

Another folk singer from Bihar, Reena Pandey, also enthralled the audience.



Job quota demanded for Christians
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 17
Members of the United Christian Front (UCF) today demanded that Punjab should reserve jobs for Christians as had been done in Kerala. This was stated by Mr Kanwal Bakshi, Chairman of the UCF, while addressing a congregation of Christians here today.

Calling for unity among the Christians in Punjab, Mr Bakshi also demanded the formation of a minority commission in the state with a Christian as its Chairman.

He said the number of Christians in the state was about 20 lakh and could form a crucial factor in the forthcoming Assembly poll. “But this part of the society has always been marginalised and never been a part of the mainstream,” he pointed out.

Speaking about the front, he said it had managed to consolidate the Christian community in Punjab. “The front has formed committees at the district level. There are 115 block level committees and 7,135 village level committees,” he said.

While touring the state, he observed that the official figures about the Christian population were nowhere near reality. “There are at least 2,000 to 2,500 Christian voters in each Assembly constituency. In about 30 constituencies the Christian votes ranges between 10,000 - 35,000,” he claimed.

He appealed to the congregation to join the UCF since the need of the hour was that the community should join hands to form a pressure group.

The main organiser of the event, Mr Pastor Samuel, urged the entire community and the priests and pastors in particular to join the hands with Mr Bakshi and support the issues raised by the UCF.



Economy-based quota sought
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, September 17
Mr Devi Dayal Prashar, president of the Punjab Brahmin Sabha, today opposed the reservation policy of the Central Government.

Addressing a rally here, Mr Prashar demanded that the reservation should be based on the economic criterion. The caste-based reservation was playing havoc with the social fabric of the country, Mr Prashar alleged.

To protest against the caste-based quotas, a national rally would be organised at New Delhi on November 12.

Prominent among who spoke were Mr Ashwani Sharma, Mr OP Sharma, Mr Ravinder Vaishnav and Mr Narinder Mohan Sharma.



Victim of police indifference
Tribune News Service

Mehar Singh shows his injured arm
Mehar Singh shows his injured arm. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 17
Contrary to claims of the Chandigarh police being a people-friendly force, Mehar Singh, a safai karamachari at the PGI, became a victim of indifference of the police officials at the Sector 31 police station.

After being injured by his son Vijay Kumar, the safai karamchari rushed to the Sector 31 police station to lodge his complaint at about 3 pm. Instead of taking him to the hospital, an official at the police station advised him to go to the GMCH, Sector 32, to get medical treatment.

“The policemen told me that the hospital authorities would automatically inform them,” said a harried Mehar Singh, who went on his own to the hospital with a bleeding arm.

The doctors at the hospital after giving the treatment told the safai karamchari that the police would automatically reach him.

But he was discharged without the police reaching him. He has demanded action against his son.



Vehicles checked for pollution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
To create awareness about safe keeping of environment and global warming, various branches of the State Bank Of India organised pollution check-up camps for vehicles. These camps were organised at various branches in Chandimandir, Ambala, Rewari, Rohtak, Bahadurgarh and a total of 359 vehicles were examined at these camps.

A lecture on the protection of nature for the students was organised at Sri Dashmesh Public school, Chandigarh, and a tree plantation programme held at Ram Darbar.



SAD gets more members
Tribune News Service

Lalru, September 17
Members of various political parties today joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at a function in Chauhenderi village, near here.

The SAD general secretary and Banur MLA, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who welcomed the members to the Akali fold, alleged the Congress governments at the Centre and the state had done nothing to check the rising prices.

Prominent among those who joined the SAD were Mr Dev Raj, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, Mr Shyam Kumar, Mr Sheo Ram, Mr Dyal, Mr Ajaib Singh, Mr Ram Karan, Mr Amar Nath, Mr Rajesh Kumar, Mr Avtar Singh and Mr Hari Dass.



Thanksgiving akhand path held

Dera Bassi, September 17
Activists of the youth wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) on Sunday organised an akhand path as a thanksgiving for the miraculous escape of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amrinder Singh and his Cabinet colleagues, who survived a helicopter crash recently.

Prominent among those,who were present on the occasion were Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon,Vice-Chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), and Mr Ranjit Singh Reddy, president of the local unit of the youth wing.

A blood donation camp was also organised. — TNS



Ramleela artistes hold dress rehearsal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Artistes of the Shree Ramleela Committee today held a full dress rehearsal ahead of the coming Ramleela celebrations.

According to Mr Suresh Bakshi, director, the full dress rehearsal before the public was done for the first time by the committee. The committee has been rehearsing for the Ramleela for the past about one month at a Sector 22 hotel, here.

The full dress rehearsal was done with a view to hone the skills of the artistes and provide them a proper audience, Mr Bakshi added.



Entries for logo sought
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 17
The recently formed Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) yesterday invited entries for its logo design from the general public.

According to a press note issued here today by Mr MS Narang, Additional Chief Administrator, Rs 10,000 would be paid to the selected entry. The final selection would be made by a jury of officers and technical experts.

Entries must reach the Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, PUDA Bhavan, Sector 62, Mohali, before September 25.

Further details could be had from Ms Namrita Kalsi, architect, GMADA, the press note added.



Admn functioning reviewed

Chandigarh, September 17
The Joint Secretary (Home), Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr K.S. Sangthan, yesterday held a meeting to review the functioning of the Chandigarh Administration. The Budget spent under the plan and non-plan heads was reviewed, it is learnt.

Sources said the officials discussed development plans. Attention of the Chandigarh Administration officials was drawn towards the shifting of various powers to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. TNS



Minor boys arrested for selling stolen articles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The police arrested four minor boys of Burail village from the village when they were trying to sell stolen articles this morning.

Acting on a tip-off, the police conducted a raid near a government school and nabbed the accused when they were trying to sell the stolen articles. The accused are aged between 14 and 16.

SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Jagir Singh said 100 taps were stolen from a shop in Burail village on the night of September 15. A complainant, Mr Om Prakash, had informed the police that the thieves had gained entry into the shop by breaking open the locks. A case of theft was registered in this regard.

Later, the police received information that some youngsters were selling water taps in Burail village, Subsequently, a police party conducted a raid and arrested the boys.

The police said their arrest had led to the recovery of 100 brass water taps, five silver taps, 12 pipes and various other sanitary materials. They were later produced before a local court, which sent them to juvenile custody. One of the accused was arrested by the police in July on theft charges. A case has been pending trial against him and he was released from jail recently.



Mohali resident beaten up
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 17
A resident of Mohali was allegedly beaten up by a group of villagers when the former asked them not to tease the women of the village.

According to the police, complainant Dalvinder Singh said the accused Harvinder Singh, Fateh Singh resident of Rurki and Gursewak Singh, resident of Sohali village and all students of classes X and XII of Government Senior Secondary School Teor had beaten him up as he had stopped them from teasing the women of neighbouring villages.

Dalvinder Singh was rushed to the Kurali hospital where he is under treatment.

A case under sections 341, 323 and 34, IPC, has been registered against the accused.

Mobiles stolen

Several mobile telephone sets were stolen from a booth in Phase VII, here, today.

The police said a case had been registered on the complaint of the shopkeeper.



PGI tap thief caught red-handed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A Sector 41 resident was allegedly caught red-handed while stealing water taps from the PGI on Saturday.

Giving details, sources in the Sector 11 police station said Sanjay, a PGI employee, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Manjit Singh of Sector 41-A was caught red-handed while stealing water taps from the second floor of the OPD, PGI, on Saturday.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.

Car stolen

Dr Sumit of Sector 35 reported to the police alleging that his Maruti Esteem Car (CH-03-D-4366) was stolen from the Sector 34 market place on September 13. A case of theft was registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Smack seized

The local police arrested Rajesh Kumar of Janta Colony, Sector 25, from near the Sectors 14 and 25 turn on Saturday for allegedly carrying 11 grams of smack.

A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.

Opium seized

The local police arrested Bhushan Kumar of Sector 45 from Sector 17 on the allegation of carrying eight grams of opium on Saturday.

A case under Section 18 of the NDPS Act was registered in the Sector 17 police station.


The local police arrested Sanjiv Kumar of Mori Gate Mani Majra from Sector 7 for allegedly indulging in eveteasing in Saturday.

A case under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the accused. He was later released on bail.



Tips given on online business
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Success is all about being in the right place at the right time. On a commercial portal, you can get connected to millions of users in every corner of the world.

This was emphasised by officials of eBay, an online market place, while addressing a seminar where they taught the participants how to start an online business. Over 250 persons from the city — senior citizens, housewives, exporters, young entrepreneurs — participated in the seminar held at Tagore Theatre yesterday.

The participants were told that the reach of online commercial portals was across the globe and that e-business was growing rapidly in India. “From 2.5 crore users and a trade of Rs 25 crore in 2004-05, this has grown to 4 crore users and trade of Rs 1200 crore through our business portal in 2005-06,” they said.



CBM hails decision on use of SCOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) today hailed the decision of the Chandigarh Administration for waiving conversion charges for the use of upper floors of SCOs in the city. In a joint statement issued here, senior leaders, Mr Subhash Sethi, Mr J.P.S. Kalra, Mr L.C. Arora and Mr Kamaljit Panchhi, hoped that the decision would give a fillip to commercial activity in the city. Under amended building rules, market forces in Chandigarh would be able to compete with MNCs, which were coming in a big way to capture the retail market.

As malls and multiplexes had been allowed to do commercial activities, including opening food and eating joints in the entire complex, the same concession should be extended to upper floors of SCOs and SCFs, they demanded. The CBM also demanded the vertical expansion of booths and bay shops, which would generate more revenue and employment opportunities.



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