C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Admn asks PU to check student poll skirmishes
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
As an expected follow-up to the Supreme Court decision, Chandigarh Administration has asked Panjab University to purge its student body elections from the waste that accompanies the elections each year.

In a formal communication to Ms Raji P Shrivastava, DPI (Colleges), Prof R.C.Sobti, Vice Chancellor of PU, has informed that UT “recommendation relating to the Student’s Council will be strictly complied with so far as this university is concerned”.

The step is seen as a major development on the front of checking certain unpleasant occurrences, particularly brawls during elections each year. Each year the elections are witness to at least half a dozen skirmishes. The classroom teaching is hampered and the entire campus is flooded with hoarding of student bodies contesting polls which is a slight improvement over the earlier practice of a majority of university walls plastered with posters.

The Supreme Court order said that “no candidate or his supporters shall deface any university property. All candidates will be jointly liable for any destruction to university property”.

Unlike the existing practice of students using" designer posters and campaign material”, candidates can use only hand-made posters at certain places in the campus which will be notified in advance by the authorities. At the moment PU elections are witness to florescent pamphlets made attractive for the eye of the voters. No candidate will be allowed to make use of printed posters or pamphlets for canvassing.

It has been clarified that campaign process will not hamper the classroom teaching at any cost. PU campus classes often go in for a toss during the campaign period because of the student bodies making a beeline to enter the crowded classes to impress the voters.

It will be interesting to keep a watch on the inflow of funds from sources other than students in PU as provided in the Supreme Court order. Besides minor interference from the prominent political parties, certain powerful senators are known to back the student elections, also financially.

Other issues worth consideration on the PU campus, like many other places, will be the court order saying “criticism of other candidates, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programmes.” Campaign on PU campus largely borders on a mud slinging contest. Infact the election manifestoes of a majority of the parties are full of “allegations and quoting old stories of violence”.

It has also been pointed out in the order that the candidates should attend at least 75 per cent of the total lectures delivered. PU elections are full of leaders who are short of lectures and appear examination on a “grace” given to them, sometimes following ‘dharnas’.



Commercial Utility On Anvil
UT to get encroached land vacated
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The Chandigarh Administration plans to earn over Rs 1500 crore from commercial utilisation of about 200 acres of land to be vacated from slum dwellers spread across the city

Around 23,000 families have encroached upon the government land all over the city under 18 colonies which contained a population of about 69,000.

Under the rehabilitation scheme, the administration has formulated a one-time scheme, the Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme-2006. The single-room tenements are being built on the south-western fringe.

Sources in the administration revealed the land vacated would be used for commercial, institutional and residential purposes.

As per the figures available, the tentative cost of 55 acres of land under colony no.5 alone was worth over Rs 175 crore.

Prior to the new scheme the slum dwellers were given tenements under a special scheme, licensing of Tenements and Services in Chandigarh-1979. Low cost tenements had been provided on ownership basis to slum dwellers. The cut off date for eligibility for allotment under the scheme was December 8, 1996. The slums which existed as on December 8, 1996, were only eligible under the scheme.

But now all persons whose name appeared in the biometrics survey and voters’ list as on January 1, 2006, have been made eligible for allotment of a flat on licence basis.

Sources said till the elections to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, slum dwellers from Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, press sites in Industrial Area and Madrasi Colony, Sector 26, were being rehabilitated on temporary sites. Some sites in Sector 52 and 53 had been readied for shifting of the slums.

A large chunk of land in Sector 25 had been allotted for dental college to Panjab University. Already about 2800 jhuggi dwellers (as per the 1996 cut off list) had been shifted. The remaining 2500 jhuggi dwellers would now be relocated at a new site.

In another case about 750 sites allotted to industrialists near colony no. 4 had been under illegal occupation of slum dwellers. Another cluster of slums in Madrasi colony near Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26 is also to be shifted. About 5000 hutments of the slum dwellers are to be relocated at the new site, said the official.



PGI body stands by K.K. Talwar on dual charge
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 9
The apex decision-making body of the PGI today decided that the PGI Director, Professor K.K. Talwar, would continue as Director and Professor of Cardiology.
The decision was taken here at a meeting chaired by the Union Health Minister, Dr Anbhumani Ramadoss, at Nirman Bhawan, headquarters of the Health Ministry.

It has also been decided to advertise a post of Professor of Cardiology at the institute, Punjab University Vice-Chancellor R.C. Sobti, who is also a member of the Institute Body told TNS on Thursday evening that the institute body, has decided to maintain the status quo on Professor Talwar’s position as Director and Professor of Cardiology.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the PGI to reply by November 13 on the dual charge held by Professor Talwar. The court asked for the reply on a petition challenging the dual charge held by Professor Talwar. The petition has been filed by Additional Professor, Cardiology, Dr Anil Groveer, who is at present away on deputation to Nepal.



When people need them, buses go off road
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
At the peak hours during the evening a majority of the bus stops and inter-state bus stand (ISBT) of the city are overcrowded with commuters waiting for their transport. The only reason is that more than 45 Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses are standing off-the-road.

Official sources say that the buses were out of use because of non-availability of staff. The CTU problem of making payments for overtime wages as compared to the earnings leads to the buses resting in the depots.

According to sources, there is shortage of around 70 conductors. To cope with the problem, the staff (mainly conductors) has to do double duty on double wages as overtime. The payment of the overtime wages causes the crunch in the revenue of the CTU, consequently leading to the parking of the buses of the general route at the depots during the peak hours in the evening.

The evening peak hours start at 4.30 pm when the office-goers along with other commuters start assembling in a large number at the bus stops or the bus-stand to catch the buses. The situation remains the same till 7 pm. Thus the shortage of the buses at that time is a big inconvenience for the hapless passengers, who have to wait for more than half an hour for the buses and are forced to travel in overcrowded buses.

As per the CTU management, they are forced to park a total of 47 buses of general route during the evening hours because the amount of overtime payments are more than the amount earned by the transport at that time, which causes a loss to it.

According to sources, the buses missed the 4,103 and 3,779 km on November 5 and 6, respectively, while around 40 to 50 conductors of all the three depots do double duty regularly.



Watch out

Jagat Ram
Jagat Ram 

Prof Jagat Ram from the Department of Ophthalmology, PGI, Chandigarh, will make presentations at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Conference to be held at Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, from November 10 till 14.

An author of the first-ever book on Paediatric cataract surgery by any Indian ophthalmologist, Professor Jagat Ram will explain the management of childhood blindness due to retinopathy of prematurely and displacement of the crystalline lens in children. He will share his experiences and works done in last 27 years at the PGI.



In Town

Rajesh Misra
Rajesh Misra

Mr Rajesh Misra, owner of the Misra Group of Hotels, with properties in Kolkata and Darjeeling, will be in town on Friday to participate in the 42nd convention of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI). Mr Misra will also be taking over as the President of this all- India body of hotels and restaurants, during this convention.

It is perhaps for the first time that the City Beautiful is playing host to the national convention of hotliers and restraunt owners. The three day convention will delibrate upon issues facing the hospitality industry besides projecting Chandigarh as ‘Destination Next’. Chandigarh is fast emerging as a host city not only for scientific and education conferences but also as toursim destination.



Passing Through

Ulla Blass-Henderson
Ulla Blass-Henderson, real-estate businesswoman, Vienna, Austria, on her first visit to India

How has your experience been ?

Being in India is very unusual and different from what travelling in Europe is. The people here are very friendly, warm and hospitable which makes one feel welcome and good. They are also very proud of their country. On the flip side, poverty, homelessness and seeing women and children, who should be going to school, labouring on the roadside is depressing. I would like to visit India again and am keen to see the Taj Mahal and the coastal areas.

Is what you saw here different from what you get to read or see on TV back home ?

I was not so surprised to see things here. I have read a lot of critical books on India and I am familiar with the society including issues like the caste system.

What are the current trends in the real estate market in Austria ?

Real-estate is a growing market as we are opening our doors to the east and a lot of people are coming in. There is a market for houses as well as commercial property.

Can an average Austrian salaried employee buy a house in a big city?

Vienna, for example, is relatively cheaper than other European capitals of major cities and except for certain localities, it is not too difficult to buy a house to suit your status. Another reason is that the prices of real estate have stagnated over the past few years. Also, a trend now emerging is group housing schemes.

— Vijay Mohan



State of parties: BJP-SAD-CVM
The trio may run into rough weather on seat-sharing
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Cobbled together for the sole objective of defeating the ruling Congress, the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance may run into rough weather on the issue of seat-sharing in next month ‘s Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) elections.

In fact with only 26 seats on offer, the three alliance partners had plenty of aspirants for the seats which is already giving the leadership sleepless nights. This coupled with the threat of rebel candidates may make the going tough for the alliance candidates. And a lot will depend on the choice of candidates as apart from the parties personal clout of the candidates play an important rule in the municipal elections.

The alliance, which has a tally of five seats in the 20-member civic body, is primarily banking on the “anti-incumbency” factor and Congress’ “failure” on all fronts.In the wake of the alleged failure of the ruling-Congress to rein in the bureaucracy, all sections of society are at the receiving end of the officialdom and this should go against the Congress in the elections.

Picking holes in the claims of the large-scale development works by the Congress, the alliance sources said the failure of the Congress at the local front and the UPA Government at the national level are going to be main issues during the elections.The failure of the Central Government to check the spiralling prices was a cause of concern for the common man and the Congress leaders would have a hard time in facing the electorate on this issue.

Moreover, the imposition of various taxes, including property tax and parking fee, would come in handy for the alliance, which its leaders alleged ran counter to the Congress manifesto released for the 2001 MCC elections. To top in all, the alleged failure of Mr Pawan Bansal, Minister of State for Finance, to get any mega project for the city even after several months after his elevation as the minister was also high on the agenda of the alliance.

It may be recalled that during the last 2001 elections, the Congress has secured 38% votes and the alliance 35%. During the last parliamentary elections in 2004, the Congress was way ahead with 52% seat as against 42% of the alliance.



Removal of two Cong councillors sought
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 9
Coming down heavily on two Congress councillors, members of the municipal council, led by its president, Ms Manvir Gill, today demanded their removal and the registration of an FIR against them for meddling in development works initiated in other wards.

The president said councillors, R.K. Kakkar and V.K. Kapoor, as also the president of a NGO People’s Voice God’s Voice, Mr B.L. Tandon, and the husband of another councillor, were playing politics in the garb of checking development works in Ward 10 represented by Ms Jalmegha Dahiya.

Supported by at least 16 other councillors, Ms Dahiya rued that the gang was unnecessarily creating bottlenecks in ongoing development works in her ward.

“They visited one such spot and alleged that I was in connivance with the contractor and getting substandard works carried out. Without any basis, they level such allegations against anybody at the drop of a hat. They have no business to defame anybody. If they are so convinced, they are free to produce evidence,” she said.

Taking cudgels on her behalf, the other councillors, too, condemned this “unnecessary meddling” and the room resounded with shouts of “shame, shame”. They demanded the resignation of the two councillors and met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh, seeking their removal.

“We will go and meet the Superintendent of Police and demand the registration of an FIR against the trouble-makers. Besides, we will forward complaints against them to the Local Bodies Minister and the department for hampering public works executed by the government,” Ms Gill said.

Mr Kakkar said it was a conspiracy to cover up rampant corruption.

“I raised slogans in favour of the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Hooda, in the House, which the councillors had not been able to digest. The INLD and the Congress have joined hands and are working in tandem. By holding this press conference, the party leadership in the district is only encouraging factionalism. We are not party to any embezzlement and will not be cowed down by such threats. We will continue our efforts to expose corruption,” he stated.

“We are representatives of the public. If somebody calls us up to inform us of embezzlement, we have to go and investigate. The Hooda government is committed to wiping out corruption. The public complained that funds were being misused by replacing quality tiles with substandard tiles. We visited the place to convince ourselves that the funds were not being wasted. However, we came back convinced that substandard work was being carried out,” Mr Kapoor insisted.

Following an NGO’s allegations that tiles from a park were being sold in the market, the two councillors today went to check the spot. They maintained that they found a cartload of material being towed away for sale in the market.

Meanwhile, Mr Tandon submitted a representation to the Deputy Commissioner on the misuse of funds by the municipal council.



Newly weds’ cases keep police on toes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
A high drama was witnessed on the Punjab and Haryana Court premises when the Police Control Room (PCR) received two calls about newly wed couples here this morning. However, in both the cases none of the couple came forward to lodge a complaint.

In one of the case, the police got a call that a Karnal based newly-wed couple, Harpreet and Reenu, was kidnapped by the family of the girl. The couple had reportedly gone to the high court to seek police protection. But later, the family told the police that they had given their consent to the marriage.

In the second case, the PCR got a call that a newly wed couple from Patti, who had come to the high court, had been kidnapped. The girl’s family had reportedly taken away her. But the boy did not give any complaint to the police.

Yet in another incident, the police claimed that the reported kidnapping of a six-year-old girl from near the Sector 47 mandir had been solved. The girl was tracked down in Janta Colony, Nayagoan.

The child had wandered away from Sector 47 and had lost track of her mother. The mother of the girl, Reenu, had alleged that her daughter had been kidnapped.

The father of the girl told the police that his nine year son, Vipin Kumar and six-year-old Gudia had accompanied his mother to a house where she worked as a maid. While she was working in a house, her children waited near the temple.

Vipin had told her mother that a person wearing a black trousers had taken his sister for employing her in a house. But when the man did not turn up with the girl, the parents lodged a complaint with the police.

A team of the Sector 31 police station was able to locate the girl in Nayagoan. The girl was unable to tell her address. The police is trying to investigate whether any mischief was involved in the incident.



Citizens’ Grievances
Cyclists forced to stop in their tracks
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Cycle tracks in the city still lead to inconvenience. Little has so far been done by the authorities concerned to commence work on the project of laying tracks throughout the city, scheduled to restart after the end of the rains.

In the absence of a complete network of tracks, cyclists and rickshaw-pullers are being forced to paddle on roads saturated with fast-moving vehicles.

If in the process, the intention behind laying tracks is being frustrated, the authorities are just not bothered.

A visit to different parts of the city is enough to reveal that the work of laying tracks is far from complete.

The pathway on the road separating Sectors 18 and 21 is still unmetalled, by and large.

Cyclists using the track have to practically save themselves from slipping on the gravel.

The pathway on the road separating Sectors 19 and 20 is also not usable.

Portions of the track have sunk due to rain.

Potholes and depressions have surfaced all along the track, yet repair work has not been carried out.

The condition of the track in front of the Punjab Engineering College on the road separating Sectors 12 and 11 is hardly any better.

There are at least two spots where the land has sunk, converting the track into an accident-prone area.

As the track is often used by students of educational institutes in the vicinity, victims are largely youngsters.

On several major roads, including the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, the authorities concerned have not even planned a cycle track despite the high rate of accidents involving slow-moving vehicles.

The decision to lay tracks throughout the city had been taken by the Administration in 2004.

It was to have around 106 km of tracks, to be laid at a cost of around Rs 7 crore by the Engineering Department.

A senior official in the department said almost 80 per cent of the work relating to the laying of tracks was over.

The remaining work of topping some portions of tracks was being undertaken in a phased manner, he added.

Describing the problems as initial hiccups, he said once the work was complete, not a single pothole would be found on any track as the Administration had laid down stringent quality standards.



Conflicts doing tremendous harm to developing nations, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Experts today focused their deliberations upon terrorism as a deterrent to peace and development during the ongoing International Conference on Peace and Development in memory of P.N. Haksar at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here.

Stating that new challenges and threats have been added to long existing ones, Mr Pham Van Chuong from Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, said that the costly arms race kept accelerating while resources and conducive environment for peaceful development were still lacking.

Disputes and conflicts, ethnic and religious strifes, terrorism and counter-terrorism and coersive and unilateral measures imposed by some developed countries have done tremendous harm to developing nations, he said.

Citing Iraq as an example, he said that stronger, richer countries bullied weaker and poorer countries, infringing upon the latter’s independence and territorial integrity and even launching wars which destroyed whatever developments they might have achieved. Pointing out that another noteworthy feature of the current international scene is globalisation, he said globalisation should be geared towards benefiting the largest number of countries and adequate resources be generated to alleviate poverty and improve economic conditions.

Deputy Director, Myanmar ISIS, Mr Han Sein, said the actual cost of terrorism to a country’s economy was greater than what it appeared on the surface. Terrorism created a climate of uncertainty and it attacked soft targets, due to which there was little or no growth in the service, tourism and entertainment sectors.

Terrorism also causes long term damage to economy even for some year after terrorism has ended, he said. One of the most pernicious effects of long term terrorism, he added, is that it tends to polarise the political spectrum..

Mr Paw Lwin Sein, also from Myanmar, was of the view that though they are many and varied threats to peace, they all have one thing in common - they arise from multiple causes from multinational roots. The solution to them also lies in multiple efforts from multinational partners. He said that the problems of arms proliferation, urban poverty, health, environment and trade imbalances needed to be tackled on a multilateral basis.

Dr Abdul Barkat from the University of Dhaka said the expanded religious fanaticism, armed communalism and associated fundamentalisation of economy was not a simple social problem, but was indicative of a deep-rooted crisis of embattled faith rooted in increasing inequality and fear.

He said that the crisis emanated from politics of communalism and economics of fundamentalism could be overcome only through enlightened political movement and backed by substantive public actions.

In their presentations, Dr Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra and Ms Seema Shekhawat from the Centre for Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Jammu, focused on terrorism and its socio-economic impact in Jammu and Kashmir.



Change mindset on foeticide, says minister
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 9
The Haryana Health Minister, Ms Kartar Devi, today stressed the need for partnership with multi-stakeholders for the effective implementation of the pre-natal diagnostic techniques (PNDT) Act saying that the issue of survival of girl child was a critical one.

She was speaking at the concluding session of the two-day workshop on “Effective implementation of the preconception and prenatal diagnostic techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection Act)” organised here today.

The workshop was organised to discuss the gaps in the understanding the provisions under the PNDT Act and to brainstorm the successful implementation of the Act in the state.

Mrs Kartar Devi also urged the delegates to emphasise on changing the mindset of the people to deal with the issue of female foeticide. While raising her concern on the alarming adverse sex ratio, the Haryana Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Health, Ms Urvashi Gulati discussed the two-pronged strategy to tackle the issue of adverse sex-ratio — arresting foeticide by strict enforcement of the PNDT Act and addressing the issue of ‘neglect of the girl child’ by providing adequate nutrition and support. She also emphasised monitoring the sex-ratio since the Health Department had undertaken registration of births and deaths.

Discussing the state commitment on the strict enforcement of the PNDT Act, Director General Health Services, Dr N.K. Sharma said the state had established State Task Force, State Advisory Committee, State and District Appropriate Authorities for initiating and supervising strict action against sex-selective abortions in the state. Dr Sharma also stressed on the need for multi-stakeholder partnership with NGOs, doctors, religious leaders and other members for addressing the menace of sex determination.

While elaborating on the initiatives undertaken by the Government of India and various provisions under the PNDT Act, Dr Rattan Chand, Director (PNDT), Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare spoke about circumstances under which penalties could be imposed on violation of the Act.

Applauding Haryana for the first conviction of the doctor for sex determination under the PNDT Act in the country, Dr Sabu Gorge,an activist, said that the state need to undertake medical audit of the ‘Form F’ submitted by the doctors or clinics and should continue with full vigor in the ongoing cases in the court of law.

Dr Arun Aggarwal, Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, PGI, Chandigarh, addressed the gender and social issues emerging due to the declining sex-ratio.

He also addressed the reasons for such gender biases and stressed on the need for gender-sensitive upbringing of the children so that the biases do not get carried forward to the next generation.

Speaking on the need for creating awareness and advocacy on the issue, Mr. R. S. Meena Kalki, Hindi Editor IEC, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, stressed on the need to bring a change in the “son-obsessed” mindset.



One for the road(ies)
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
They are the new breed of youngsters of today — confident, strident and yes very cool. They are the “Roadie” generation wanting their excitement literally on the roads and for the foursome selected from the city for MTV’s “Hero Honda Roadies 4” — on air from November 11 — reality television provided each of them with that special zing they had been looking for.

It was the spirit of adventure that brought them all together and as Vishal Karwal, Sahil Anand, Gurbani Judge and Oorja Narang traversed all over India, as part of a team of 13 youngsters chosen for this cult-adventure reality television show. It all translated into extreme exploration — of the country, its people, their own diverse personalities, of getting along and yes of great camaraderie too.

The road that took them from Thiruvananthapuram to Bathinda and even as far as Gangtok took all of them over 8,400 km in 40 days on bikes (albeit Sahil learned how to ride one only on the show) and all of which will be aired on prime-time television.

So what made their selection happen from among the hundreds who vied for the slots from all over the region? Various individual traits, it comes to pass.

Vishal (20) believed it was his confidence that did the trick. “The judges asked me to bribe them, which went totally against what I believed in. I think my positive stand won the day for me,” he smiles.

For “mama’s boy” Sahil, it was his desperate begging to be on the show that worked, while for non-conformist Gurbani it was her “black nail polish” that got her through. Finally for Oorja, it was her copious weeping at the prospect of being rejected that worked.

Nothing really in common except that they all believed it was a splendid experience, barring Gurbani who rued the fact that “I was misunderstood and misinterpreted because I was not like the others”.

Indeed the “politics” of being on a show like this, getting along with people from all over the country can be pretty taxing but none of them are talking! “Watch the show”, they insist with a laugh promising loads of fun and “catfights” galore thrown in for good measure.

So what next, now that the ride is over?

For the two young lads, glamour and films it is. “We are moving to Mumbai after we finish college and have even found the place to live,” they laugh.

For Gurbani, it is a strange and feisty determination to get into an art college and finally emerge as a fashion photographer, never mind the fame that will come from the show and for Oorja it is life as usual as a DJ, mixing music and making people groove to her tunes.

And are the four of them friends, after this whole junket? “We used to be, well we shall, oh I guess so,” comes Gurbani’s candidly refreshing reply.

At the end of the day, they did feel the changes, some in personality traits like Oorja, who believes she has emerged more confident and less sensitive, and some like Sahil, who has loved the fame, the free trip all over the country and the chance to make his parents proud.

And will they participate in this sort of thing again? “Yes”, they chorus, except maybe dogmatic Gurbani, “lemme think,” she smiles.



Interactive website for Mohali dist soon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 9
The Mohali district police is launching an interactive website which will get functional soon. Residents of the district will then be able to send their complaints , comments and seek required information from the web .

This was stated by the SSP, Mr Naunihal Singh, while addressing a press conference here yesterday . He said a software was also being prepared at the district level which would help in linking all police stations and police posts to the office of the SSP.

The district police chief said the police was today distributing 51 computers to various police stations and these were also being provided to the offices of senior police functionaries . The Mohali police now possessed 84 computers and the immediate target was to have 150 computers. This would help in computerising work in almost all wings of the department. He said by the end of 2007 the district police should be having 300 computers when 100 per cent computerisation would be done. He said till then the entire police staff would be knowing how to operate a computer.

He said 51 computers were now purchased out of funds provided by the Punjab Government. As many as 11 computers had been made available earlier to various police stations under the Common Integrated Police Application Project ( CIPA) and 22 computers had been given to the Mohali district by the Punjab Police headquarters.

Nearly 180 employees and officers had been given computer training which was being provided by the computer and telecommunication wing of the Punjab Police and the Department of Information Technology, Punjab.

The SSP said under CIPA, efforts were being made to link all police stations at all levels through a common computer network which would help in getting information about crime and criminal elements from every part of the country. 



Commuters harassed
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, November 9
Hundreds of commuters travelling between Zirakpur and Dera Bassi were a harassed lot today on account of a stand-off between three-wheelers and mini bus owners.
The stand-off took a violent turn with two persons being admitted to the local civil hospital.

With charges and counter-charges flying high, the commuter were put to a lot of inconvenience as both the mini bus operators and three wheeler owners resorted to a strike in the wake of the dispute.

A mini bus operator, Mr Baljit Singh, alleged that a conductor of a bus, Mr Gurcharan Singh, was assaulted by certain three-wheeler owners. On the other hand, three wheeler owners — Mr Bhola Singh, Mr Sher Singh and Mr Surta Singh — alleged that one of their colleagues, Mr Jagdish Singh, had also been admitted to the hospital.

Though the dispute between the two parties could not be resolved yet three-wheelers and mini bus started plying between Dera Bassi and Zirakpur late in the evening on the intervention of the police.



Seminar on e-filing of corporate returns
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 9
A seminar on e-filing of corporate returns, including fringe benefit tax and tax deduction at source was organised at Red Bishop, here today. Participants at the seminar were explained the entire process of e-filing.

The chief guest, Mr Jaspal Singh, Commissioner of Income Tax, Panchkula, said the IT Department was undergoing a change and they were moving towards electronic filing of returns. He said that the ultimate benefit of e-filing would be passed on to the assessees in the final tally with faster processing and issue of refunds.

Primarily for corporate assessees, their counsels, advocates and chartered accountants, the seminar saw a presentation by Mr Raman Chopra, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax. With November 30 being the last date of e-filing, he gave participants a demonstration of e-filing.

Beginning with how to register, he explained the utilities available for filing corporate returns, how those are uploaded and how these are digitally signed. The various options of submitting the returns with or without digital signatures, errors that come up or are likely to come up were among the queries addressed at the camp.

Mr Chopra further explained that those without digital signatures need to file paper returns as well. The seminar was arranged by Mr S.P. Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Inome Tax, Panchkula.



Police magazine ‘Darpan’ launched
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 9
The police should become a friend of the public and help in solving the problems of the latter instead of harassing them. These views were expressed by most of the persons present at a function organised by the Mohali district police to launch “Darpan”, a police magazine, at the local level here today.

Views and suggestions of Punjabi writers and others on the magazine were also sought by the police. “Darpan” was earlier released by the Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr S.S.Virk, in Chandigarh on November 6.

Santokh Singh Dhir, a prominent writer, said people should not have any fear in mind while approaching the police regarding their problems. He said when he was young, he used to avoid passing from near a police station out of fear. But times had now changed and as such, the police should become people-friendly.

Manmohan Singh Daon suggested that the magazine should also have write-ups on health, sports and children so that it became a family magazine. Shiv Nath said the magazine would help in eradicating fear of the police from the minds of the people and was a good exercise to get close to the public.

Nr Naunihal Singh, SSP, said there was a need to change the mindset of the police. It should be aware that it was there to help the people and not to harass them. 



Private guards for parks likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Gardens and parks in the city may soon have private security guards. An agenda in this regard will be discussed in the Finance and Contact Committee meeting tomorrow. As of now, the MCC has 620 chowkidars against the need for 888.

The MCC has 39 parks, gardens and green belts in the city. It has been proposed to hire 91 security guards. The expenditure for each security guard is proposed at Rs 4,445 per month.

The F&CC will also discuss the issue of providing augmentation of street-lights on V-3 roads between Sectors 2 and 11, Sectors 3 and 10, Sectors 4 and 9 and Sectors 5 and 8, construction of multi-level parking on “build-operate-transfer” basis in Sector 17, purchase of 100 new garbage bins and auctioning of old condemned water meters. 



More facilities at Sec 25 dharna site
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
To inspect the availability of basic amenities at the new dharna site at Sector 25, the UT Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Mr P.S. Aujla, Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, and the UT Chief Engineer Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, visited the site today.

An official press note said that the administration was conscious of the problems faced by the various protesters.

As per the directions of the UT Administrator, all short comings would be removed very soon. The Administration had decided to level the entire 10 acre ground. Landscaping, grassing, plantation and fencing and would be done in the area.

The provision of electricity connection would be made. The Corporation has been asked to depute safai karamcharis at the dharna place. At least 10 urinals and other related facilities will also be constructed.



BJP men join Uma’s party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The president of the Mandal No 4 of the BJP, Mr Mahesh Sharma, today joined the Bharatiya Yuva Jan Shakti(BYJS) along with his followers.
According to a press note issued here today, the BYJS will soon come out with a “youth policy” for the city youth in the run-up to the elections.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) has constituted the election committee under the chairmanship of Mr Yogesh Behl. The party also invited applications from the prospective candidates for the coming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) till November 15.



Captain’s martyrdom day on Nov 11
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
The Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lieut-Gen A.N. Aul, will lay a wreath on the memorial of Capt Rohit Kaushal in his native village, Jalauli, near Panchkula on November 11 to commemorate his martyrdom day.

He had died fighting militants in Kashmir in 1995 just a few days before he was to get married. Though hit in the chest and neck, he continued fighting and killed two militants before succumbing to his injuries. For his actions, he was decorated with the Sena Medal for gallantry.



Rioting: colony residents booked
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 9
The police has booked residents of Nehru Colony on charges of attempt to murder, deterring a public servant from performing their duty and rioting.
According to the police , a case had been registered against unidentified persons who had pelted stones at the police and employees of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) who had gone to plug a gate illegally opened by the residents of the colony to enter Phase III-A of the town. The case had been registered on the complaint of an executive engineer of the GMADA.

The SP ( Security), Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, said the police would make efforts to recognise the guilty from the photographs taken at the time of the protest.

Soon after the work of closing the gate was started by employees of the GMADA , residents of the colony started gathering. Nearly 200 persons gathered and started attacking those on duty with stones. The police and GMADA employees fled from the spot, looking for cover. Even the wall which had been raised about three-feet-high was demolished by protesters.



Firing in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Three persons were booked for firing in the air near Kalagram, Mani Majra. According to the police, Shakti Sharma, a constable in the 13th Battalion of PAP, Bahadur Khan and Balwant Singh have been arrested.

A 9 MM service pistol along with two lives, three empty cartridges and a catridge were seized from the possession of Shakti Sharma. His motor cycle has been taken into custody. The matter has been taken up with the Director General of Police to place the constable under suspension.

Youth booked for luring girl

The local police has booked Sham for luring away an 18-year-old Assamese girl from Sector 19 Market here on October 26. The incident came to light after the boy did not fulfil his promise to marry her on November 7.

Following a complaint lodged by the victim, the police has registered a case under Sections 366 and 376 of the IPC. The victim in her complaint stated that she came from Jalandhar and the accused approached her and started talking in Assamee. The boy took her to a house in Sector 9 on the pretext of marrying her.

After spending the night with her, the boy left on the promise of marrying her on November 7. But he never returned.

Body found

The Body of a Bapu Dham resident, Narinder, was found lying in Industrial Area, Phase II, here this morning. A widower, is survived by three daughter and was a vegetable vendor. The identity was established from his voter I card.

Driver’s rude behaviour

Two Class IV employees of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Vyas and Vishnu were allegedly assaulted by Radhey Sham, driver of an advocate’s car in the parking lot over following a heated argument. No case was registered.



Disabled youth held for snatching

Chandigarh, November 9
The local police today claimed to have solved a two-month-old incident of snatching which took place near the sector stadium in September last.

In the incident, Ms Madhu Garg, Krishna and Bani were going in a rickshaw when two scooter-borne youth snatched their purse, containing two cell phones and some other valuables. The snatcher, Rajinder Singh Chauhan, a deaf and dumb, has been arrested. He had borrowed the scooter from his another deaf and dumb friend. TNS



Two held for car theft
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 9
The district police claims to have arrested two car thieves who allegedly stole a car from the parking of a restaurant in Sector 5. Acting on a tip off, the police laid a naka at the Nursery Chowk and nabbed Sandeep, alias Sonu, and Deepak, alias Kala.

The police said during questioning, the duo admitted to have stolen a car and sold the same in Patna.

They were later produced in court and the judge remanded them in police custody till November 15.



PSIEC keen on land deal with farmers for new sectors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 9
The Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), which plans to set up two new Sectors in the town, is ready to accept the proposal of farmers on land pooling.

Mr Roshan Sunkaria, Managing Director, PSIEC, today said the corporation was planning to develop two new Sectors — 83 and 10 — in the town for which land was being acquired.

The process of land acquisition was on and the Deputy Commissioner had been asked to announce the rate so that the PSIEC was able to work out the funds required.

A notification under Section 6 would be brought out after that. Around 800 acres of land was to be acquired for both Sectors, which would be developed at a cost of Rs 200 crore. Mr Sunkaria said a farmers’ welfare committee had demanded a plot measuring 1,125 sq yd for residential purposes and another plot measuring 121 sq yd for commercial purposes in lieu of each acre of land that would be acquired by the government, which would be given free of cost. He said since the PSIEC developed industrial plots, it could not offer commercial plots to farmers. “We are working on the economics of giving industrial plots to farmers”, he added.

He said the number of land owners was quite big and each one of them had their own terms and conditions.

When asked if government approval had been received for accepting the demand of the farmers regarding the land pooling scheme, Mr Sunkaria said it was an internal matter of the PSIEC, which was competent to take a decision in this regard. The Managing Director said both Sectors would be developed under a mixed land use policy.

As much as 60 per cent of the area would be reserved for industrial use, 30 per cent for residential and only 10 per cent for commercial use.



Punjab gets 238 projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
NABARD has sanctioned 283 projects amounting to Rs 178.87 crore for various schemes to Government of Punjab, under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.
The projects include lining of 35.62 km of Pakhowal distributory in Ludhiana district, flood protection project in 20 km from Khanuri to Krail in Sangrur district, 15 roads in Gurdaspur and Sangrur district, 266 rural drinking water schemes in Hoshiarpur and Ferozpore districts.

Various projects envisage to reduce seepage loss through unlined canal sections, provide protection from floods to an area of 20 km, ensure safe drinking water to 578 villages and connecting 80 villages with various towns and marketing centres. The projects will be implemented by various departments of the Government of Punjab and will be completed by March 2009. 



Dealers told to file VAT-I forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
All registered dealers in the union territory under the Sales Tax Act and continuing their businesses after implementation of VAT are required to file their VAT-I form alongwith their complete returns in the accordance with the provisions of the Vat Act at the earliest.

An official press note said here today that at the time of introduction of the Punjab Value Added Tax Act, 2005, the TIN Numbers were issued to all the dealers registered under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, as applicable to UT.

It had been noticed that the returns were filed by quite a less number of dealers and probably others had close their businesses or were not covered under VAT or TOT of the Punjab Value Added Tax Act, 2005.

As such, it was for the information of all registered dealers under the Sales Tax Act and continuing under VAT Law, who had not filed their VAT-I forms in their respective wards, it would be presumed that either the dealer was not existing or the turnover of the dealer was not covered under VAT or TOT of the Act.

Therefore, their TIN number would be cancelled April 1, 2007, onwards.



Industrialists’ body plan new name

Mohali, November 9
The Industrial Welfare Association , Phase IX, organised a curtain-raising function for adopting a new name, the Mohali Chamber of Industry and Commerce, here today. Mr Roshan Sunkaria, Managing Director of the PSIEC, was the chief guest at the function. OC



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