C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

A life lost for want of timely police help
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
A callously driven, speeding black Esteem struck down a man at the crossing in front of the petrol station in Sector 28 here late last night.

Sixty-year-old Pyara Singh, a rickshaw-puller, breathed his last around midnight, about half an hour after being hit.

He waited for help, for a passerby to save him, and then, when he could take the pain no more, waited for death.

Death came first and everything else followed — help, law, the police and onlookers, but by then, another number was added to the death list of the police.

Reclining on the seat of the police Gypsy under the dim cabin light sat an indifferent Mahavir Singh Yadav, recording statements and even making enquiries in a harsh tone.

Anxious members of the family of the deceased went from policeman to policeman, trying to assess the seriousness of the injury to him, asking about his whereabout and worried about his health.

“He left the house around 11 pm after dinner. He wanted to visit his elder brother, living in the Industrial Area.

He was a safe rickshaw-puller, ferrying schoolchildren.

Taking them to school was a labour of love and money was coincidental”, said his daughter-in-law Reshma.

The sight of the mangled front tyre of his rickshaw turned upside down sent a shiver down his wife’s spine.

Weeping inconsolably, she looked to the police for hope, to her neighbours for support and to members of her family for consolation, but in a flurry of activity, with the police all around, she was the last person on anybody’s mind.

“I was coming out of the ATM when I saw a long black car hit him. He fell on the road. I rushed towards him, as did other passersby. He was writhing in pain, asking for help.

It was around 11:30 pm and we frantically began calling up on the number 100, but nobody answered.

Then finally, we got through while there was life in him.

Though the city was dotted with policemen in view of the Prime Minister’s visit, the police showed up a lot later, past midnight, when the victim was no more”, said Mr Raj Sehgal of the Air Force, one of the first to reach the spot.

“I saw him fall. There was no car to rush him to hospital. A black Esteem zipped past on the road opposite while we were attending to him.

We took down the number and handed it to the police. I hope that it can zero in on the driver”, said Mr Swaranpal of Panchkula, another eyewitness, who was returning after dinner at a dhaba nearby.

The police maintained that it was intimated of the accident at 11:55 pm, reached the spot past midnight and took the victim to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead.

While the police could record as many statements as it pleased and investigate till it reached a dead end, the schoolchildren he ferried would not see him and members of his family would live with memories of a good man who was.

Through it all, one claim has become a casualty — the police motto ‘We care for you’ stands belied.



Man succumbs to injuries

Panchkula, September 28
A Sector-17 resident, Krishan Lal, admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6, with injuries after he was found by the roadside, died here today.

Krishan Lal’s family members said he had gone to the apni mandi to buy vegetables on Tuesday evening. Some passersby found him lying injured by the roadside and informed the family. While the cause of the wounds remains a mystery, doctors who attended to him said these were apparently caused by a sharp-edged object.

The police is investigations the case. — TNS



Technology park-II gets SEZ status
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The second phase of the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) has been accorded the status of a special economic zone (SEZ), according to a press note.

Approval has been accorded to 41.88 hectares which fall under Phase II of the park.

The major information technology companies on the list of projects in the second phase include Wipro, Tech Mahindra, e-Sys and Bharti Airtel.

The Board of Approval for SEZs constituted by the Ministry of Commerce met under the chairmanship of Mr G.K. Pillai, Special Secretary, Commerce, at the Udyog Bhavan in New Delhi today and approved the proposal of the Department of Information Technology of the Chandigarh Administration.

Earlier, the board had notified Phase I of the RGCTP as an SEZ, where Infosys had started operations with 1,000 information technology professionals.

The 13 companies which had been allotted BTS sites in Phase I were enthusiastic of starting construction, with the KMG Infotech having done ‘bhoomi poojan’ and IDS Infotech, Amadeus and Net Solutions ready for the same.

A number of new information technology companies were in the process of getting architectural plans passed, for which the Chandigarh Administration had provided a single window service.

For inform companies more on procedures of getting letters of approval, the request of the Director, Information Technology, for deputing an officer to visit Chandigarh and give a presentation, detailing procedures for getting SEZ clearance, had been accepted.

The interaction of SEZ officers with BTS site owners would be held at the SPIC Building on the Punjab Engineering College campus in Sector 12 here, exact dates for which would be given separately.



Citizens’ Audit
Cycle tracks or accident-prone zones?
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Cycle tracks running throughout the length and breadth of the city can be injurious to health — you will never find the message printed across a road sign in bold letters at the beginning of a trail. But so many residents using them can actually vouch for their hazardousness.

For, potholes, ditches and heaps of garbage scattered all along the pathways have converted these tracks into accident prone zones. Though the mishaps are seldom reported to the cops, the users confirm that every other day one or two accidents take place on these pathways.

Senior Business Manager with a liquor giant-cum-Sector 27 resident Pradeep Sethi learnt it the hard way. Even though over 10 days have lapsed since the incident, his memory is still as fresh as the wounds on both his knees.

Late for his regular evening walk to Sukhna Lake, Mr Sethi decided to stroll down the track running along the road dividing Sector 26 and 7. Little did he realise at that time that the poorly-illuminated track was dotted with potholes and ditches.

“I was just not aware of the fact that I was heading for trouble, literally,” he says. “After covering a few yards at a brisk pace, I fell into a depression right in the middle of the track. I tried to get up, but found it extremely difficult. It was only then I realised the enormity of the problem I was in.”

Still looking grim, Mr Sethi adds: “Somehow I managed to reach home only to find out that both my knees had been badly bruised in the mishap…. I have been practically out of action since then, despite all the medical attention.”

Concerned about the safety of the track users, Mr Sethi has only one thing to say to the Chandigarh Administration: “Please carry out a detailed survey of all the pathways! Find out the tracks in need of urgent repair and do the needful for preventing the re-occurrence of the accident”.

UT Chief Engineer V.K. Bhardwaj says: The Engineering Department is still in the process of laying the tracks. “Once the work is over, the tracks will be absolutely smooth. For, the department has laid stringent standards for itself,” he concludes.



Watch out

Saba Anjum
Saba Anjum

Saba Anjum, a product of the Sports Authority of India Centre, Sector 18, will be seen in action in the match against Germany in the Women’s World Cup Hockey Tournament at Madrid in Spain on Friday.

A forward, Saba, is representing the country for the second time in the World Cup. She was part of the national squad in the World Cup held in Argentina in 2001.

She was also part of the team that made the nation proud by winning gold medal in the Commonwealth Games held at Manchester in England in 2002.

The ace forward had also participated in Sub-Junior Asia Cup at Hong Kong in 2000 and Asian Games at Busan (Korea) in 2002.

Saba, has been training under Jaswinder Singh.



Passing Through

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here to launch Hyundai’s premier car, Verna. The Verna combines international styling, power-packed performance, luxurious interiors and high-end safety features. The Verna, which has got rave reviews in US and the European markets, is set to boost the already formidable Hyundai’s line-up of products in India.

How do you see the competition in this segment?

Honda City, Ford Fiesta and Aveo are our main competitors. However, the state-of-the art facilities in Verna should give the competitors a run for their money.

What future do you foresee for the premium cars in India?

With the Indian economy booming, the premium cars have a bright future. In fact, more and more people are upgrading from smaller cars to bigger cars and even the first-time buyers have taken fancy for these cars.

Can you tell us something about your expansion plant?

In addition to existing plant in Chennai, the company is coming up with a new plant to provide the Indian customer the global technology. The plant would produce 3 lakh units per annum, doubling our capacity by 2007.

— Pradeep Sharma



PM’s cavalcade causes chaos on roads
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 28
The city and all roads leading to Sector 4 were virtually out of bounds for city residents today as the area was combed and sanitised for the visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. Greatly inconvenienced on account of the VVIP visit, city residents spent a good two hours in the hot sun, behind barricades.

After nearly 45 minutes of the complete closure of roads, the cavalcade of the Prime Minister, led by an escort vehicle, zipped past the vacant roads of the city as residents looked on. Once the cavalcade passed, the public urged the police to open the route for them to pass. However, the police, instructed by seniors, were unwilling and unrelenting, sticking to their stand of keeping roads closed.

In the long queues formed as a consequence of blocked roads, there were school buses taking children back to their homes after school.

Consequently, from the time of the PM’s arrival to his departure, people looked for shade and shelter from the sweltering heat. After a couple of hours the cavalcade was out of sight, the city sprung back to life. As vehicles clamoured to cross the road first, there was absolute chaos as the police had packed up and left.

At the Sector 21 bridge, the situation was worse with the traffic jam holding up traffic all along the Naraingarh-Panchkula road. With the Ghaggar bridge in Dera Bassi closed for heavy vehicular traffic and the Ghaggar bridge in Sector 1 closed for repair, motorists had a harrowing time, waiting for the route to open.

Meanwhile, accompanied by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, the Prime Minister expressed his condolences to Prof M.L. Sudan’s family members — Col Sandeep Sudan and Mr Randeep Sudan. He stayed there for about 25 minutes.

Family sources said the PM’s wife, Ms Gursharan Kaur, came before Dr Manmohan Singh. She stayed with the family for nearly 45 minutes. All through the period of their stay, talk revolved around the days of Prof Sudan and Dr Manmohan Singh, spent together at the University College in Hoshiarpur.



PM’s wife visits Sant Waryam Singh’s house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 28
Ms Gursharan Kaur, wife of Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, was in the town today to seek the blessings of Bibi Ranjit Kaur, wife of late Sant Waryam Singh.

There were tight security arrangements and nobody, including mediapersons, were allowed to enter the house of Bibi Ranjit Kaur when the wife of the Prime Minister visited.

Ms Gursharan Kaur was on a private visit.

Jaswinder Singh, a sewak of the family of Sant Waryam Singh, told mediapersons that when Dr Manmohan Singh wanted to leave politics some years ago, Sant Waryam Singh had told him not to do so, as the former was bound to reach a prestigious position.

Ms Gursharan Kaur, who spent around 15 minutes in Phase III B 1 here, thanked Bibi Ranjit Kaur and also sought her blessings.

She said Dr Manmohan Singh also wanted to come here to seek the blessings but could not do so for security reasons.



Protest staged outside police station
Murderous assault on Ram Darbar resident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The local police this afternoon arrested five persons in connection with the “murder” of a man, who was thrashed by at least 15 persons on the alleged behest of his neighbour on yesterday. The severely injured victim succumbed to his injuries at the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on last evening.

On the other hand the victim’s family along with residents of Ram Darbar staged a protest against the alleged police inaction. They alleged that the cops were shielding the main suspect.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (South), Mr K.I.P. Singh while refuting the allegations said police teams had been constituted and three police stations of the south division were making joint efforts to nab the suspect.

Earlier, while addressing mediapersons, the SHO of the Sector 31, Inspector Har Sahai Sharma, said the police was investigating the case and not shielding anyone. He said a special team was constituted to solve the case and acting on information, five persons had so far been arrested.

Those arrested are - Rajinder, Parveen, Sanjay, Sunny and Ashok - all residents of Ram Darbar. He further said efforts were on to trace the remaining suspects.

The victim, 29 year-old Bobinder Kumar, alias Bobby, a father of two daughters, died at the hospital due to severe head injuries. He was allegedly thrashed by Bajinder, his sons and brothers with rods and batons, when he was about to go to his work in the morning. Both families had an old enmity. They clashed with each other several times earlier, also.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune outside the police station today victim’s brother Varinder Kumar said they would not take the body from the hospital until the police arrest all suspects, including the main suspect, Bajinder Singh. He further alleged that they had lodged a complaint with the UT Inspector-General of Police on August 30 expressing a threat to their lives from Bajinder Singh and his family, but no action was taken in this regard. “We have been repeatedly pleading to the police that Bajinder and his family were threatening us, but no one listened to us and now that my brother has been killed, the police is sitting over the case and not making real efforts to arrest the prime accused”, said Varinder in a choked voice.

The Residents protesting outside the police station said they would continue their protest till the police arrested all accused. The cooked food in a makeshift kitchen in front of the police station.

Meanwhile, anticipating that a suspect in the yesterday’s murderous assault on a Ram Darbar resident would surrender in the court, cops of Chandigarh Police remained posted outside the court premises throughout the day.

A police official said they were expecting that at least three of the suspects would surrender in the court. But till late in the evening, none of them surrendered there.



Widening of V-3 road in violation of rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The work on the widening and relaying of the V-3 road dividing Sectors 29 A and 30 B is in progress in violation of the guidelines of the Chandigarh Administration.

In a missive to the Municipal Corporation, the Chandigarh Administration has clearly said that no development works will be carried out on the encroached areas. However, the administration itself is flouting the guidelines.

The area falls in the ward of a former Senior Deputy Mayor, Ms Pushpa Sharma. The residents of Sector 30 B have opened doors on the rear of their houses towards the road. The administration and the Municipal Corporation have not bothered to clear the unauthorised structures raised by the residents on public land. A large chunk of land is under encroachment along the V-3 road.

“Due to the widening of the road, the road berms have come close to the unauthorised constructions. This could lead to accidents as the residents park their vehicles on the road. The authorised entry to the houses is from the front”, said an official of the Municipal Corporation.

Much to the chagrin of the road users, there are two cuts in the road divider raised on the V-3 road.

It may be mentioned that the corporation had stalled development works in several areas like Bapu Dham, Maloya, Sector 15 and Sector 19, as encroachments existed on public land. In Ram Darbar, the MC and the Estate Office carried out a massive demolition drive last month to clear encroachments on public land.



Tibetans hold candle light vigil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and The Regional Tibetan Freedom Movement today staged a candle light vigil to pay homage to martyrs of the Tibetan freedom struggle.

Tibetan students and supporters of the Tibetan freedom movement also joined the vigil. The demonstration started from Punjab University, passing through Sectors 15, 16 and 22. It culminated in Sector 17 Plaza. The students were sporting anti-Chinese placards and raised slogans against the Chinese regime. On reaching Plaza, the protesters observed a two-minute silence in the memory of martyrs.

About the spirit of the event, Tenzin Norsang, President of the Regional Tibet Youth Congress (RTYC), said: “Candles symbolise the undying hope, courage and steadfast commitment of the Tibetans to the struggle for freedom. We light these candles to redeem the undying spirit of freedom from tyranny, freedom from terrorism.”

Present on the occasion were Harmohinder Lucky, Deputy Mayor, Arvind Thakur, General Secretary, Lawyers for Human Rights International and Baldev Pandey, General Secretary and Spokesman of Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress and Coordinator, Friends of Tibet, Chandigarh Chapter.



Conference of sweepers unions today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Sweeper unions from across the country are all set to join hands to form a unified strategy on their long-standing issues concerning the community. The unions from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, New Delhi, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir will participate in a conference tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference today, Mr Shyam Lal Ghanwri, president of the Sweepers Union, Chandigarh, and Mr Kesho Ram Parcha, president of the All India Safai Mazdoor Congress, said, “The government has been neglecting our demands, including the demand for discontinuing the practice of awarding contracts for sweeping”.

“The government should stop awarding contracts for sweeping work. It should follow the regulation laid in the Government of India notification that calls for the appointment of 375 sweepers for every lakh of population, a rule seldom followed by the government”, said Mr Parcha.

The safai karamcharis are demanding a provision for an insurance cover up to Rs 7 lakh, the formation of safai karamchari commissions in all states on the pattern of the Union Government, the allocation of residential houses at concession. The conference will deliberate on other issues like rationalising the procedure of issuance of SC certificates and the implementation of the procedure adopted by the Delhi Government in this regard.



CTU information system soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) will shortly introduce a passenger information system. This will enable the commuters to have correct information of arrival time of the buses at the bus queue shelters. The board will also enable CTU buses to display and announce time at the next stoppage. The schedules and time will be updated as per current location.

This is being introduced as traffic congestion in cities makes it difficult for the CTU buses to deliver services according to schedule. An ambitious plan is afoot to make available real time information to passenger at about 100 bus queue shelters in the first phase.

The CTU will also install global positioning system (GPS) in CTU buses to know the exact location of the vehicle and stoppage time.



Dr IT Planet unveils park at Sec 67
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 28
Cashing in on the ongoing IT revolution in the region, Dr IT Planet Limited, a Chandigarh-based IT company involved in software development and call centre business, today unveiled its ambitious IT park in Sector 67 here.

The construction of the IT park got off to a religious start with Jagatguru Shankaracharya Madhwashram Ji Maharaj of the Badrinath Math performing the “bhoomi pujan” at the site allotted by the Punjab Government.

To be spread over one acre, the Rs 15-crore project would have potential to generate employment for over 2,500 persons, Mr Kamal Mahajan of Dr IT Planet said.



Thakur installed Lions Club chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Mr H.S. Thakur was installed as president of the Lions Club Chandigarh (Host) at a ceremony held in Sector 18 last night. Mr N.K. Grover, past district governor, who was the chief guest, appreciated the club for its services to society.

The team was installed by Mr Kuldeep Kuthiyala, district vice-governor. Mr Jagtaran Singh, Mr Arun Khullar and Ms Renu Bali were installed as secretary, treasurer and public relations officer, respectively.

Mr R.K. Rana, district governor, Lions International, and Mr K.S. Sandhu and Mr K.K. Sawhney, both past district governors, were present at the ceremony.

The club also honoured teachers. They were Ms Divya Mohan, Ms Rajinder Kaur, Ms Vijay Kumari Thakur, Mr Ram Krishan, Mr Bikram Singh Rana, Ms Raman Chadha, Dr Shubhlakshan K. Kumar and Prof Harmit Kaur Gill.



Two held for thefts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Two persons have been arrested in separate incidents of theft during the past 24 hours. Sources in the police said Mohammad Syamat of Baterla village reported to the police that Harwinder Singh of Sector 41 was allegedly caught red-handed yesterday while stealing a mobile phone from his residence.

In another incident, Avtar Singh of Bathinda filed a complaint alleging that Jatinder Kumar of Dhanas village was caught red-handed while stealing a bag from an ambulance parked in the PGI yesterday. Two cases have been registered in this regard.

Two held for consuming liquor

The police yesterday arrested Gurdeep Singh and Bhola, both residents of Mani Majra, for allegedly consuming liquor at public place. Two cases have been registered against them under the Excise Act. The two were released on bail.

Cash stolen

Rajinder Kumar of Dhakoli village in Mohali district lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that Rs 70,000 was stolen from his car parked in NAC, Mani Majra, yesterday. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

Poppy husk seized

The local police today arrested Narinder Singh of Sector 56 from the same area while allegedly carrying 8 kg of poppy husk. A case under Section 15 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered.



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