C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Admn finalises plan to resettle slum-dwellers
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 6
In a significant decision, the Administration today informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that a policy to resettle inhabitants of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, and Colony Number 4 by providing them one-room tenements at soon-to-be constructed complexes would be notified soon.

The decision would benefit at least 24,000 inhabitants of these two illegal colonies, both of which were situated on encroached land.

The slum-dwellers would be handed over possession of one-room tenements for a nominal monthly licence fee for the next 20 years, but would not have ownership rights.

After 20 years, the then market value of houses would be assessed and a lump sum would be taken from those wishing to become property owners.

The move would also mean that almost 73 acres of Panjab University (PU) land in Sector 25, currently under illegal occupation of Kumhar Colony residents, would be free for further development of the PU.

During the resumed hearing of separate petitions filed by the PU and allottees of plots at the proposed sites, the court was informed that land had been acquired in Maloya and Dhanas for the resettlement of colony residents.

The senior standing counsel for the UT Administration, Mr Anupam Gupta, informed the court that he had held detailed discussions with the Administrator on the issue.

Handing over a copy of the proposed notification to the court, he said it pertained to the permanent rehabilitation of all slum-dwellers in the city, wherever they might be.

He said the Administration had conducted a biometric survey, which included getting each inhabitant photographed and taking his or her fingerprints, of the 18 colonies and slums in March.

This was done to established the physical presence of inhabitants in slums.

All inhabitants of the colonies registered as voters as on January 1, would be covered.

He stated that the Chandigarh Housing Board had been designated the nodal agency for the rehabilitation scheme.

He said as a temporary measure, inhabitants of the two slums would be shifted to either Sector 51 or Sector 52.

Mr Gupta refused to give a time frame for the project to be completed, but said it would take at least two years.

He stated that temporary rehabilitation would be completed by the end of February next.

After hearing the counsel, the Bench headed by Mr Justice Viney Mittal adjourned the matter to February 2.



Thieves, beware! Third eye coming up
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Chandigarh police is going hi-tech.

In an attempt to catch — at least on camera — vehicle thieves, it has decided to instal a third eye in all major parking lots in the city.

A detailed proposal regarding the installation of close-circuit cameras in parking lots is being forwarded to the Administration for approval and necessary action. The police is working out modalities, say police sources.

The development is significant as cases involving theft of valuables from cars and other vehicle from parking lots across the city are not unknown.

Besides this, the number of cases of vehicle theft from parking lots has been increasing steadily.

Though exact data is not readily available, the sources assert that 393 vehicles had been stolen from January till September 30.

Out of the total, a substantial number of vehicles had been stolen from parking lots.

Besides this, complaints of theft of batteries and other accessories, along with valuables kept in vehicles, have also been reported to the police.

The sources add that in a large number of cases, thieves have broken side window panes of vehicles fitted with electronic locks to steal without triggering an alarm.

They assert that the police deployment in parking lots has been stepped up and FIRs have often been registered against parking lot contractors, but the problem continues.

With the installation of cameras at the entry, exit and other strategic points in parking lots, the identification of real culprits will become easier, the sources add.

Chandigarh police Inspector-General S.K. Jain says the cameras will go a long way in providing a clearer picture to the police, besides acting as a deterrent.

He adds that the thieves, apprehending identification and detection, will now think twice before making an attempt to either steal a vehicle or escaping with valuables.



Drunk cop, not a gentleman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
An inebriated cop allegedly abused and tried to slap a woman waiting for a bus at a stop along with husband in Sector 32 here this afternoon.

The cop reportedly fled from the spot, leaving his car behind, when people gathered there after she objected to his behaviour.

The drama continued for about two hours and came to an end only when Inspector Jagir Singh, SHO of the Sector 34 police station, reached the spot and received a written complaint from her.

According to Mr Anil of Ram Darbar, the woman’s husband, the incident took place around 3 pm when they were waiting for a bus at the stop on the road separating Sectors 32 and 46.

Occupants of an Indica Car (DL-8-GG-7576)alighted from the vehicle near them and went to a roadside hawker, where they began drinking.

Head Constable Gurnam Singh came in a Maruti car (CH-01-J-6532) shortly afterwards and questioned them.

He was heavily drunk and instead of taking action against the trio, he let the three men go.

He turned to Mr Anil and his wife and began questioning them as to why they were standing there.

When they tried to explain the situation to him, he began abusing them and used vulgar language against her.

People gathered at the spot and asked him to behave, but when he did not mend his ways, they surrounded his car.

Judging the worst, he signalled a motorcyclist for a lift and escaped, leaving his car behind.

The motorcyclist came back after some time and on being asked about the cop, said he dropped the cop near the Sector 46 beat box.

The matter was reported to the police, which reached the spot, but made no effort to trace the cop.



State-of-the-art auditorium almost ready
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
A state-of-the-art auditorium, the first one of its kind in the region, has been constructed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority in Sector 5 here.

Almost ready, the auditorium is getting finishing touches and will be inaugurated on November 17 to coincide with the beginning of the Indian Roads Congress.

This will also be the first event to be hosted at the auditorium, constructed at a cost of 13.8 crore over 4.4 acres, complete with a conference hall and greenery around.

The auditorium, with a seating capacity of 1300, is likely to solve the problem of hosting big functions indoors.

The Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh, with a seating capacity of 580, and the PGI auditorium, with a capacity of 900, are the only two options for organisers.

Designed to be airy and spacious, the auditorium is centrally air-conditioned and has push-back sliding chairs.

There ia an indoor parking capacity of 250 vehicles and ample space for parking in the vicinity of the auditorium.

Conceptualised long back, the construction of the auditorium began in 2003.

Equipped with the latest in audio systems, the auditorium has a conference hall, besides the main hall.

The conference hall, which has been done up again, can accommodate 110. The building uses a lot of glass in the facade while the interiors are a combination of blue and ivory.

The auditorium has blue carpets, spread to conceal the acoustic systems, while the flooring in the lobby and surrounding areas has been done up in katani stone.

Care has been taken to give it an appealing outer appearance while the area in front of it has been landscaped.

A fountain will be installed in the garden and the auditorium will be ready by November 15.

It is likely to be inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.



Woman arrested for abandoning her newborn
DNA mapping helps police solve case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Chandigarh Police has adopted more scientific ways of investigation. The police used DNA mapping to trace a woman, who had abandoned her baby in July this year, and arrested her from Panchkula late last night.

The police said the accused had been identified as 23-year-old Pooja. She was living in Colony Number 5, but after abandoning her baby she went to Panchkula and had been living under an assumed name. Originally from Uttar Pradesh, Pooja had separated from her first husband after some time of the marriage. Later, she started living with another man. But she again parted ways with the second man and married Harjit Singh. She delivered a baby four days after her marriage with Harjit Singh. She had managed to conceal her pregnancy from Harjit Singh and abandoned the child after delivery. Then she along with her husband started living at Panchkula.

The SHO of Sector 34 police station, Inspector Jagir Singh, said in the wee hours of July 19 this year they received information that a newborn baby boy was found abandoned in Colony Number 5. The police reached the spot and found that the baby was still alive. They took the infant to the Government Medical College and Hospital, where the child remained for four days. Later, he was shifted to the Mother Teresa home in Sector 23. A case was registered in this regard.

Giving the sequence of events that led to the arrest of the accused, the SHO said, “We took blood and other samples of the baby for DNA mapping and sent the same to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Sector 36. Meanwhile, a police team gathered information about women who were pregnant in the colony at that time. It was found that no one knew about the delivery of a baby by Pooja. The police questioned Pooja. She failed to satisfy the investigating officials. The police took her sample for DNA matching. Finally, on Friday the CFSL reports established her relationship with the baby”.

When the police raided her house to arrest her, she was not found there. The residents told the police that she had left the place long ago. The police then nabbed her from Panchkula.



Watch out

Rajpal Singh has made his well-wishers as well as the city people proud by ensuring his berth in the list of 23 probables for the men’s hockey team for the forthcoming Doha Asian Games scheduled next month.

Rajpal, a trainee at the Sports Wing of the Sector 42 Stadium since 1992, had already represented India in the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. He scored the famous goal against the Pakistan team in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tourney that was held in 2004.

Rajpal played a key role in Chandigarh Dynamos’ dynamic performance during the Premier Hockey League at Hockey Stadium, Sector 42, Chandigarh earlier this year.



In Town

The Governor of Karnataka, Dr T.N. Chaturvedi, will be in Chandigarh on Tuesday to chair a session on “Relations Among Nations in a Globalised World”, being organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Research (CRRID) as part of the ongoing International Conference on Peace and Development in the memory of P.N. Haksar.

A distinguished parliamentarian, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha in July 1992 besides being a member of the Executive Board, UNESCO, in Paris and a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He had assumed office of the Governor on August 21, 2002.



Passing Through

Sarah Goulet
Sarah Goulet, Student, Simon Fraser University Vancouver, Canada

Do you find any difference in the system of education here and in Canada?

The way students are taught here is different from the way they are taught in Canada. Also here education is not expensive while in Canada it is very expensive. Here there is a lot of insistence on attending classes and there is a lot of discipline. There it is not this strict. Attendance is compulsory only in a few courses. We rarely miss classes though, since every class is important and it can lead to getting poor grades.

What about the curriculum? What difference do you find in that?

Here the focus is on academics, theories and specialisation while in Canada we read many other related subjects while we are doing our major in a particular subject. There we are asked to specialise in a subject much later. The courses we do in bachelors, for example, are two majors and some minor subjects. For example I am doing majors in English and Humanities and a minor in education. The field project in India, for which I am in 
Chandigarh, is part of the education minor.

Do your parents support you in education?

They may or may not. In my case I am paying for my education in the university. I work in hostels in the university as a counsellor. It pays for my education and also one feels independent.

What do you want to take up as a profession?

I am going to be a teacher. I have learnt a lot here. There are so many ideas which have occurred to me while I was here in Panjab University and also during our teaching sessions at Pustak School and Sikhiya School in Chandigarh.

— Chitleen K. Sethi



Chandigarh Calling

The “efficiency” of the largest public sector bank — the State Bank of India(SBI) — is legendary as a colleague experienced during the past over one month. In fact, it seems to believe in the dictum that “promises are meant to be broken”.

Tired of the “harassment” and higher user charges of the ICICI bank, and lured by the intensive advertisement campaign launched by the bank during the festival season, a colleague opted for a switchover of a home loan from the private to the public sector bank. He was promised the switchover in a “week” by the SBI.

However, once the completed application was submitted, the typical “sarkari” attitude took over and the switchover continued to be delayed for the one or the other reason. In the meantime, the scribe continued to pay the daily interest to the ICICI through the nose but that seems to be of little interest to the public sector giant.

Interestingly, the scribe was singled out for “special treatment” by the bank. That is another matter that the “special treatment” for loan switchover continued well past one month!

Will the SBI management, which is quick to make tall claims over prompt service, spare a thought for the redressal of the grievances of the common man? Well, we can only hope and pray.

Begging menace

With the inflation graph touching the sky, the number of begging bowls has also increased in the city. So much so that one finds beggars’ presence at every lightpoint, marketplace and public place of the city. And it’s little surprise if you are surrounded by their gang at the marketplace or elsewhere. If you refuse them, they would follow you quite a distance. If you give in, you have no option but to make light of your purse. And a fiver per member is the least they demand from you. Either the Administration should give them some work or provide them the bare minimum — two square meals. Or a charity fund should be set up unitedly by the Administration, NGOs and the public. A collective little effort by us will certainly go a long way in improving their lot.

IAF adopts village

As part of the IAF’s platinum jubilee celebrations, Air Force Station High Grounds has adopted village Alipur, adjacent to the station. A free medical camp was organised at the village this week to mark the project.

The camp was inaugurated by the Station Commander, Gp Capt B.K. Sood, and was conducted by the station medi-care centre team, led by Flt Lt Preeti Tripathi. A large number of villagers attended the camp.

The station would be offering many facilities to this village, including education to children at the pre-primary Air Force school and training in stitching, quilting and embroidery for girls and women at the hobby centre run by the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA).

NCC cadets donate blood

A large number of NCC cadets, including girls from Chandigarh, donated blood at a camp organised here by the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate.

The camp was a part of a nationwide blood donation drive launched by the NCC, being conducted as part of the commemoration of NCC Day, observed every year in November. It was conducted in collaboration with the General Hospital, Sector 16.

Stormy MC meetings

The Municipal Council meetings can be a lot of fun provided you don’t have to go back and report the same. At the recently held meeting after a gap of four months, councillors came charged as they raised issue after issue.

While the House was rocked by a lot of angry voices, at the end of the meeting nobody knew the fate of any of the items listed on the agenda. The president of the council, Ms Manvir Gill, said that all items had been passed barring one which had remained undecided. Everybody had little choice but to take her word on the matter.

Contributed by Pradeep Sharma, Tarundeep Aggarwal and Vijay Mohan



Vigilance Awareness Week begins

Chandigarh, November 6
Celebrations for the Vigilance Awareness Week that began today in almost all government departments. The celebrations will continue till November 10.

This week is being celebrated to aware the people about the initiatives being taken for the improvement of the system and procedures, complaint handling policy, avenues available for redressal of grievances etc.

The celebrations are being held in AG Haryana office, KRIBHCO, Punjab, Income Tax Department, BSNL, Central Bank of India, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank,United India Insurance Company etc.

On this occasion, employees of several government offices administered a pledge to bring about transparency in their working and eradicate corruption in all spheres of life. TNS



Most pro-poor administrative steps remain unimplemented: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
It is the sustained tempo of industrialisation and modern agricultural production that makes democratic governance a success. Stating this here today, Prof D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilisations Project of History of Indian of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, Kolkata, said in this connection, the case of Punjab could be perfectly recalled.

Insurgency in Punjab, he said, could be effectively tackled not only because of a strong administration, but also because of the industrial and agricultural development of the hard working and outward-looking people of the state.

He was here to deliver a lecture on “Democratic governance and decentralisation as a necessary condition for peace and development: The Indian experience” as part of the International Conference on Peace and Development in memory of P.N. Haksar at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here.

Poverty and casteism, though outwardly and different, he said, were like twin characters in the major part of the Hindi-speaking areas. The benefits of the poverty alleviation programmes and the intended benefits of the welfare legislations do not reach the intended target groups beyond 85 per cent cases, he added.

Professor Chattopadhyaya said that the naxal movement revealed clearly that there was highly uneven distribution of cultivable agricultural land among peasants and those who live in the hills, forcing them below the poverty line.

Most pro-poor administrative measures, he said, remained unimplemented because of the lack of will on the part of the political authority and the so-called local self-government. At the ground level, the poor people continue to be exploited, he added.

Prof Rahul Mukherji from the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, put forward three types of research agendas for comprehending the state of the Indian nation under globalisation.

On the issue to adjustment to international best practices, he said it needed to be debated whether India was making adjustments due to internal consensus and in a manner which suited India’s interests or whether the adjustments were externally induced.

He said uncovering the dynamics of international rule formation could help India engage effectively with global regimes. He said it must be understood clearly whether the rules reflected just the power of the strong to exploit the weak or whether they reflected persuasive arguments about logic of appropriateness that ought to govern inter-state conduct.

He cautioned that globalisation could also increase social vulnerability, requiring the state to tax and redistribute resources to increase its capacity to provide welfare. Liberalisation and hard budget constraints had increased autonomy of states to pursuer development, which may aggravate inter-state inequality as well, he said. Good governance, especially in the poorest states facilitated by conditional central finance to nudge them along the development path was essential, he added.

Professor Mukherji also stressed that improving physical and human infrastructure was directly related to India’s international competitiveness and that it required strengthening regulation and promoting competition in various sectors of the Indian economy.



Centre committed to ensure equal opportunities for disabled: Meira
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the assistance of state governments has been making best possible efforts to ensure equal opportunities to disabled persons of the region. Lists are being prepared of all such persons at every block and district level so that aids, appliances and services may be provided to the disabled and elderly persons, said Mrs Meira Kumar, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Mrs Kumar was addressing a gathering of disabled persons on the inaugural of “Samarthya 2006”, a national-level exhibition of assesitive devices, teaching kit, learning information on technologies available in the field of disability commenced in the Circus Ground, Sector 17, today.

A four-day exhibition is being organised by the Departments of Social Justice and Empowerment of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory, Chandigarh, from November 6 onwards for the benefit of disabled persons especially those who lose their limbs in agricultural accidents.

The minister said almost one third of the country’s population had been suffering from various types of disabilities and a majority of the affected persons were being deprived of the benefits and facilities because of many reasons. She claimed that teams had already been constituted for conducting a comprehensive survey of the disabled population in remote areas of Himachal Pradesh and rural area of its neighbouring states.

After completion of the survey, lists of the persons entitled for benefits (for disabled) would be prepared and necessary assistance would be provided to them, she added.

She said that the exhibition -10th in the series organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment - was aimed at creating awareness about prevention, early intervention and barrier-free environment among general public.

“Some new activities like organising of mobile courts for redressing the grievances of persons with disabilities, screening of audio described films - Hanuman and Black - for visually impaired are arranged to motivate and boost their moral for the first time”, said Mrs Kumar.

The Punjab Finance and Health Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, asked Mrs Meira Kumar to take up the issue of hike in wages of Anganwari workers with the central government and sought compensation for those who lose their limbs in accidents while on duty.

Tossing the ball in the court of Mrs Renuka Chaudhary, Union Minister for Woman and Child Development, Mrs Kumar said that she would strongly take up the issue with Mrs Chaudhary.

Those how spoke on the occasion include Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, Ms Kartar Devi, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Haryana, and Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Minister for Social Security, Women and Child Development, Punjab.

In addition to stalls, displaying various assistive devices, activities like assessment and free distribution of aids and appliances, counselling, distribution of disability certificate, workshops and competitions were also be organised at the venue.

Mobile court

The Government of India has decided to establish mobile court for hearing the grievances of persons with disabilities relating to central government departments, the Chandigarh Administration and State Governments of Punjab and Haryana.

Chief Commissioner and State Commissioners will hear the grievances of persons with disabilities. The complaints relating to the central government departments from November 6 to 9, complaints relating to the Chandigarh Administration on November 7, relating to the Government of Punjab and Haryana on November 8 and 9, respectively.

A nodal officer from the department concerned or state has been asked to be present during the hearing for redressing the grievances of the complaints and for issuing appropriate advice and directions to the authorities concerned on the spot.



She helps jawans smile
‘Music is meant to entertain people’
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
For her, the jawans and their families are special. It comes as no surprise that her mission is to make them smile, forget about their strict working hours and disciplined life; and, of course… to make them dance to her tunes — literally.

From the rarefied fields of Kargil to the quaint Mhow, the plains of Jalandhar to Delhi — Ms Niharika Naidu, has travelled far and wide in the army cantonments to regale the jawans and their families. “They are special, and I love to perform for them,” says Ms Niharika Naidu, wife if Lt-Gen M.L. Naidu, presently posted as Commandant, Army War College, Mhow. A professional singer, who has enthralled audiences within and outside the country, Ms Naidu has made it her mission to perform regularly for the jawans under the aegis of Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA).

“Since Army is the only reason that I have been able to do, what I wanted to do and get critical acclaim, that I decided to repay the institution by performing for them regularly. Army is the only institution that can provide a complete support system — be it professional, vocational, educational or medical support. This allowed me to pursue my career,” explains Ms Naidu, whose entire family has been serving in the defence forces. While her father and husband have served or serving in the Army, her son and daughter in law are pilots in the Air Force.

While delivering a performance at the Western Command headquarters, Chandimandir, this evening, Ms Naidu mesmerised the audience with her mellifluous voice. Exhibiting variety in her singing style, she sings with as much élan a peppy number like “Kajra Re” as she would sing a bhajan “Allah Tero Naam”, or the classical “Baiyan Na Dharo”. “Music is music — be it classical or the peppy numbers. Since I have trained in classical vocal music, since a young age, I do not find it difficult to shift from one mode of singing to another,” she says.

Trained in Gwalior gharana, she does not abide by the purist tradition, and says that music is meant to entertain people. “Be it classical or the film music, its sole 
objective is to entertain. The more simple the music is, more are the chances of its acceptance by the common man,” she says.

Ask her about what her expectations are from music, prompt comes the reply, “Music gives me complete satisfaction. This, and the response that I get from the audience is reward enough for me”. 



Fauji Beat
Soap operas cannot make Army attractive

THE army has hired Lintas IMAG, an advertising agency, for launching a media campaign to attract the right kind of material to opt for it. Seeing its rating in the eyes of the youth sagging, the Army hired a media company to refurbish its image in 1996, for the first time. The second such exercise was carried out in 2003. These campaigns did not cut much ice. Nor should we expect any tangible or cost effective results from the current media campaign.

The Indian armed forces are confronted with two problems on this front. One is at the intake level where the Army as a career has slipped to an all-time low. The current media campaign is focusing on the privileges that an Army officer enjoys. This brings us to the Army’s second problem of a sizeable number of officers quitting the Army for the reason that they do not see much future in it. This in itself proves that the current media campaign hangs on a failure.

According to a recent media report, 2,712 officers from the Army and the Navy had put in their papers in the past five years. Of them, 2,061 were allowed to leave the service. The Air Force keeps its figures under wraps, for it knows that divulging them will sound alarm bells.

Unless the top brass and the government look the problem in the face and take concrete steps to improve the terms and conditions of service and pay packets of the armed forces substantially, the military service will continue to remain unattractive.

Canteen smart card

The policy guidelines for the introduction of the Canteen Inventory Management Software (CIMS), interfaced with smart card system for the unit-run canteens, were issued by the Quarter Master General’s Branch at the Army Headquarters on May 1, 2004. For the implementation of this system, a Central Control Organization (CCO) was also established in the office of the Deputy Director-General Canteen Services (DDGCS) at the Army Headquarters. The Smart Chip Ltd was selected as a vendor to implement the project.

For more than two years now, the Army authorities have been giving hopes to the serving/retired military men that the smart card system would be introduced in a few months’ time. Recently, it was understood that the system would be introduced in all left out canteens across the country on November 1.

The Army authorities often say that the introduction of the system is slow because of the teething problems. There is an astronomical spurt in the field of information technology today. If the software for the Railway and airlines can be worked out and implemented in six months’ time, there is no reason why we should drag our feet on this simple project.

A memorable operation

On November 3, 1988, 50 Para Brigade was given the task of launching an airborne operation to rescue the President of Maldives, Mr Abdul Gayoom, from the mercenaries.

Barely 16 hours after the receipt of the warning order, the paratroopers landed at the Maldives island. And within four hours, a company of 6 Para under Maj R.J.S. Dhillon rescued the President and his family. The operation was further enlarged by 3 Para and 7 Para battalions. The paratroopers captured/killed 110 mercenaries, besides recovering a big cache of arms and ammunition.

On completion of this operation code named “Cactus”, Para Brigade returned to India. But on the request of the Maldives’ President to the Government of India, two companies of 6 Para were left behind for one year to reorganize and train the Maldives National Security Service.

— Pritam Bhullar



Go on a drive, to confusion!
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
All roads lead to confusion in Chandigarh.

In the absence of appropriate signposts and pointers demarcating one sector from another at the beginning of the roads passing through the city, the journey to the destination becomes all the more longer.

Residents and regular visitors, with that extra drive, have taught themselves to identify sectors with the help of landmarks and familiar sights like offices and buildings.

But the state of affairs is actually bad for motorists not coming to the city frequently from other stations.

A round of the city is enough to reveal that the situation is worse on the roads cutting the sectors in two halves.

To begin with, almost all sector markets situated on these roads look the same.

The fact that the sectors are not numbered in sequence only makes matters worse.

Mr Rajeev Kathuria, an executive, says Sector 20 begins where Sector 30 ends, but there is nothing to indicate it.

“I know that I have entered Sector 20 after leaving Sector 30 as soon as I see a particular cloth house. Except for that, there is nothing to tell me that I am in Sector 20”, he says.

If he sounds repetitive in his assertion, it only shows how desperately he wants to bring to the fore the problem that makes the destination further that it actually is.

“Chandigarh is an organised city, then why this problem”, he questions.

Mr Raman Sharma, an advocate, says rotaries have signboards listing roads running in different directions.

But pointers indicating the sector numbers have just not been installed at these intersections.

“More often than not, I overshoot after failing to differentiate one sector from another. I realise my mistake after I see signboards in the middle of sectors,” he says.

“Taking a U-turn is not always possible during rush hours. I have to drive down to the intersection for coming back. Precious time and fuel is wasted in the process”, he says.

The conditions are hardly different on major roads like the Madhya Marg.

Though Mr Dheeraj Vashistha, a bank employee, has been coming to Chandigarh from his office in Panchkula for months now, he still cannot say for certain that he has rightly entered Sector 18 from the Madhya Marg because the buildings are just like those in Sector 19.

“I drive till the middle of Sector 18 for reaching Panchayat Bhavan and then turn in. Though I have to drive half a kilometre extra for reaching my house, I do not mind it. It is better than getting confused”, he says.

An officer in the Chandigarh Administration says dividers on roads like the Madhya Marg initially had breaks for enabling motorists to turn in and as such, indicators were in the middle of roads.

Now they will look into the matter and do the needful.



Mini-Secretariat security beefed up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
One more building of the Punjab Government will turn into a fortress encircled by security procedures that can pose more hurdles for visitors entering, it rather than bring the people closer to the government.

In the name of security, the Mini-Secretariat located in Sector 9, here will now follow strict security restrictions to regulate the entry of visitors on the pattern followed in the main Secretariat in Sector 1 and the Punjab Police headquarters in Sector 9.

The Home Department today issued instructions that nobody will be allowed entry from the front gate without having a valid parking sticker on his vehicle or having a valid entry pass. The entry pass for visitors will be issued at the rear entrance of the Mini-Secretariat.

The drivers who sit in the porch will be provided room that will be air conditioned and will also have a television and newspapers.

The crucial aspect in the building is that some of the public dealing offices like the health, education and irrigation, among others are located here and there are huge number of visitors. Over 300 persons come daily for their work in the NRI cell. They will have to get passes made at the gate.

At present, there is no place for them to wait. At the rear entrance, there is no protection from rain or sun. However, at the main Secretariat, adequate space exist for waiting, and has protection from rain and sun. Getting an entry pass made at the main Secretariat is a task in itself. Already entry to the Punjab Police headquarters is regulated and passes to meet senior officers are made after a thorough on-the-spot investigation.

A source in the government said there was nothing wrong in regulating entry. However, the related infrastructure had to be created. It was good that the drivers would have a waiting room. 



Lobbying on for MC nominations
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Leaving nothing to chance and to ensure a majority of their party in the general house of the municipal corporation after the elections, leaders of various political parties are now busy lobbying in Delhi to get 
their members nominated to the corporation.

The recent delimitation of wards and new reservation of seats has left an air of uncertainty over the outcome in the corporation elections.

According to sources, efforts are on by political parties to ensure that the nine members who will be nominated are in favour of their respective parties as in case results of elections are not in their favour, they will like to ensure that at least the decisions go in their favour in the general house.

According to the Punjab Municipal Act, extended to Chandigarh, nine councillors are nominated from various fields.

It is at the discretion of the UT Administrator to nominate them.

The nine councillors enjoy voting rights on issues on agendas and on selecting the Mayor, but none of the nominated councillors can be the Mayor of the corporation.

With Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, in New Delhi, it is learnt that the Congress is hopeful that a majority of those nominated will be inclined towards the Congress.

The BJP, though not opposed to nominated members, is opposed to the nominated members having voting rights.

With the nominated members having played a big role in their tenure during 1996-2001, it is learnt that it is not too keen to let the nominated members continue to have voting rights.

Mr Satya Pal Jain says it is the only corporation in India where nominated members can vote, which is not against the democratic set-up.

Other political parties will approach the UT Administrator to consult all political parties before nominating the councillors. CVM chief Harmohan Dhawan favours someone who is non-political and excels in his or her field.



Candidates can spend more in MC poll
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Election Commission has increased the budget each councillor can spend for the municipal corporation elections from Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh. For panchayat samiti elections, each candidate can 
incur an expenditure of upto Rs 10,000.

Candidates can incur these expenses on their day-to-day requirements for campaigning. Usually the expenses cover a few things permissible by the Election Commission like two vehicles, banners, stickers, party flags, pamphlets, mikes, name slips and one table and four chairs put up at polling stations on the day of polling. The security fee of Rs 500 submitted along with the nominations papers by the candidate is also included in the election expenses.

Candidates are required to maintain accounts books and keep accounts of their daily expenditure.

At the end of the elections, the candidates, irrespective of their winning or losing, are required to give details of their expenditure within one month of the date of election to the Election Commission, failing which they can be debarred from contesting the elections.

A writ had been filed against Ms Geeta Rani for not having filed the 
details in time.

The expenses go much beyond the stipulated limit set by the Election Commission.

Political parties have started collecting their party fund in the form of the application fee that ticket seekers are required to submit along with their application for a ticket.

Many well-wishers also contribute to the party fund to help please the voter. Each councillor keeps the expenses within the stipulated budget on paper. 



Former treasury officer dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Mr Parshotam Singh (71), a former Treasury Officer, Punjab, and former Treasurer, Punjab Charitable Endowment Fund, died this evening, after a prolonged illness. He is survived by wife, son and two daughters.



No end to commuters’ inconvenience
Road unlikely to be completed by year-end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The ambitious project of the first concrete road in the city dividing Sectors 31 and 32 has not been completed with in the scheduled time. The project was to be completed by October 19.

Daily commuters are being inconvenienced due to the unfinished road for the past six months. They will have to continue taking diversions, meaning longer routes to reach their destinations. Even officials say the project is unlikely to be completed by the yearend.

The Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, who inspected the site recently, was told that the project would be completed by December 31.

Initiated as a pioneering project, residents had welcomed the work to strengthen infrastructure. Mr Parshotam Singh, a senior citizen, said, “You can’t inconvenience commuters for a long period. At least people coming from outside the city are a confused lot in the absence of any markings for alternate routes”.

Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, said, “We will have a new road in the new year. The work got stuck because of the non-availability of a particular brand of cement. We are getting the supplies from the Centre. We have been told about the scarcity of supplies. Recent communications indicate that the supplies will be restored very soon”.

Giving details, Mr Bhardwaj said the concrete roads did not wear out easily. Compared to regular roads that had a comfortable life span of about four years, these roads did not require maintenance like renewal and strengthening for a good 25 years.

He added that the 1.2 kilometre stretch between Sectors 31 and 32 was being laid at a cost of Rs 2.84 crore. The road, he asserted, was chosen keeping in view the heavy flow of traffic.

After preparing the base of 12 inches, the road was topped with four inches of dry lean concrete before laying the top layer with 14 inches of pavement quality concrete. In all, the crust is of 30 inches.

Works would also begin on the stretch between Sector 39 and the waterworks in the same area and the road between the junctions of Sectors 37 and 52.



Tribune photographer hurt in mishap 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Vinay Malik, a staff photographer with The Tribune, was injured in a road accident at the Sector 36 and 37 traffic lights point here when a Tavera (03-J-TP-8391) vehicle hit his motorcycle from the rear this morning. He sustained minor injuries. The driver of the Tavera vehicle managed to flee in the presence of the police.

Vinay said he was on his way to office around 9:45 am when he halted at the traffic lights. A green colour Tavera multi-utility vehicle, which was moving at a high speed, hit his motorcycle from the rear. Vinay lost control over the motorcycle and fell on the road. His two front teeth got loosened, while his left arm was injured. He also suffered bruises on other parts of his body. He informed the police about the incident and a PCR vehicle reached the spot.

Vinay, however, could not note down the number of the vehicle but found a broken number plate bearing a part of the number nearby. His motorcycle was also damaged in the mishap.

As the policemen were “inspecting” the accident site, the driver of the Tavera vehicle managed to give them a slip. Meanwhile, the police has lodged a daily dairy report in this regard.



Clean chit to Crime Branch officials in torture case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
A fact-finding inquiry has given a clean chit to Crime Branch officials, who are investigating the Sector 30 maid servant murder case, in an alleged torture of some youths.

Sources in the police said the conduct of the PGI doctor, who prepared the report which mentioned torture on the youth, had also come under scanner.

A statement issued by the police today said the alleged medical examination of Roshan Kajur and Suresh Munda conducted in the PGI was looked into during the inquiry and certain procedural irregularities were found. The police had videographed their statements. The police maintained that both the youths had asserted that they were not tortured.

The police has also verified the medical records of the two youths in which complaints of pain, severe weakness and erectile dysfunction were mentioned.

The police further questioning the conduct of the doctor concerned, pointed out that Suresh Munda was examined by the doctor concerned as in the out patient record he had been shown absent. The police said they had taken the opinion of the Sector 16 General Hospital, which stated in its report that there was no external injury mark noticed on the “victims”, suggesting that they were incapable of performing sexual intercourse.

It may be recalled that Suresh Munda and Roshan Kajur were summoned by the Crime Branch on October 15 in connection with the investigations of maid servant murder case. Later it was alleged that the youths were tortured by investigating officials and were also given electric shocks.



Proclaimed offender held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The local police today arrested a proclaimed offender (PO) wanted in three cases of burglaries.

According to the SHO of the Sector 19 police station, Inspector Sukhdev Singh Bhullar, 35-year-old Udhey Raj of Colony Number 4, Industrial Area, was arrested on the basis of secret information. He had been absconding since July 2005. Udhey was wanted in three cases of burglaries committed in various parts of the city.

Driver decamps with car

Mr Arvinder Pal Singh of Vikas Vihar, Ambala, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his driver Harish Kumar, alias Sonu of Meera Colony, Shahbad, had taken away his Skoda Octavia car (HR-10-S-1617) from Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 on Saturday. A case has been registered in this regard.

Scooter stolen

Mr Ravinder Kumar of Dashmesh Colony, Balongi, reported to the police alleging that his scooter (PB-65-B-0326) was stolen from the Sector 22 market on Sunday. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.



Golf Club brawl: NRI gets bail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
NRI Mandhir Singh was granted bail by Judicial Magistrate Shashi Bala Chauhan at the district courts here today.

Represented by lawyers drawn from the Punjab and Haryana High Court and from the local court, the case was primarily argued by Mr Umesh Mahour, Ms Anju Suri and Mr P.M.P. Singh on his behalf.

They argued that Section 323 of the IPC was not applicable in the case made out against Mandhir since he had not assaulted either Mr Varinder Dahiya, SDM, or Mr V.S. Kundu, Higher Education Commissioner, Haryana.

They maintained that according to the FIR, Mandhir only charged at the two and aimed his club at them before being checked by security personnel.

The SDM hired a private counsel, Mr K.D.S. Dahiya, who opposed granting of bail to Mandhir on the grounds that following the incident, his client suffered severe mental depression and was admitted to hospital.

In their complaint to the police, Mr Dahiya and Mr Kundu alleged that they were abused and threatened by the NRI while playing golf at the club.

Trouble ensued when he executed a wrong shot, to which other members objected.

Irked at the objections, the NRI, accompanied by his wife, retaliated by using filthy language and threatening them.

He charged at the two officials, his club in hand, but was checked by security guards.

On the complaint of the SDM, the NRI was booked under Sections 323 and 506 on the IPC.

Mandhir was sent to judicial remand after he was produced in court.



Woman duped
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 6
A resident of Phase X was robbed of gold jewellery by two persons here today.

Ms Piyar Kaur was going to see a doctor when she was stopped on the way by another woman who started talking to her. She told Ms Piyar Kaur that she was accompanied by a “sant” who could help her in fighting her health problems. They took her to a park where all three sat for sometime. The woman told Ms Piyar Kaur to remove her earrings which would be returned to her wrapped in a handkerchief later. She was asked to go and open the handkerchief only after reaching home.

When Ms Piyar Kaur reached home and saw the handkerchief contained only a piece of paper and her jewellery was missing. The police has registered a case.

Theft case

A resident of Sector 70 has complained to the police that his servant had allegedly stolen cash and jewellery from his house. Mr Joginder Singh Atwal told the police that Sonu, who lived in a jhuggi near Paragon School in Sector 69, worked as a servant in his house. He had decamped with a gold ring, a wrist watch and Rs 10,000. The police has registered a case.



Six booked for assault on cop

Dera Bassi, November 6
The police today booked six persons for assaulting a policeman on duty at Mubarikpur village last night.

The incident occurred when the policemen tried to restrain certain persons from disrupting a “Bhagwati jagran” being held in the village. These persons assaulted the police personnel— Mr Amrik Singh — and allegedly tore off his uniform.

Those booked are Bittu,Kala, Makhan, Vijay Kumar, Rakesh and Moni. They have absconded. — TNS



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