C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Nayagaon burden to fall on 3 MCs
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Even while the constitution of the Nayagaon nagar panchayat by the department of local government, Punjab, remains rife with controversy, the department will now be asking the municipal councils of Mohali, Kharar and Nangal to pay Rs 1.2 crore for the development of the new civic body. While Mohali and Kharar have elected councils, the Nangal MC is functioning under the SDM, Anandpur Sahib.

According to sources, each of these councils will be asked to pay Rs 40 lakh each to form the core fund, which will pay for the development of the new nagar panchayat. These councils are expected to dole out these amounts from their own sources of income.

However, with no collection from octroi, these councils may find it difficult to shell out this amount with as much ease as it has been demanded. The sources add that the department will be also chipping in some funds from the Punjab Municipal Fund.

Interestingly, while the Chief Minister is said to have ordered that the notification issued for the constitution of the NAC be amended, local government officials, in a tearing hurry to implement the notification, held a meeting recently to work out ways and means by which the various works of development would be carried out in the NAC.

During the meeting, chaired by the principal secretary, local government, Mr B.R. Bajaj, it was further decided that an executive officer and a junior engineer, along with support staff, be deputed at Nayagaon and a building be taken on rent for their functioning. It was felt during the meeting that the local government department’s activities in the area should be coordinated with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority, under whose jurisdiction the three villages under the nagar panchayat fall.

The local government department would also facilitate the taking over of Shamlat land from the village gram panchayats to the nagar panchayat for their safeguarding and development for various purposes. It was further decided that since the water supply work was being carried out by PWD water supply (rural), these be allowed to continue for this year and the next.

Interestingly, no forest official attended the meeting despite having been asked to do so. The sources added that the forest department, however, sent written comments to the local government department regarding the meeting, reiterating its opposing stand in the matter.

A Delhi-based senior Additional Advocate-General, Punjab, Mr Saroop Singh, in a letter to Punjab Chief Secretary K.R. Lakhanpal, recently pointed out that the state government should have taken the union Ministry of Environment and Forests into confidence before having issued such a notification. He added that the constitution of the NAC went against the orders of the Supreme Court.

“This situation is likely to create embarrassment for the state, if not constitute contempt of court,” wrote Mr Saroop Singh.

The sources added that Mr Lakhanpal had asked Mr Bajaj to reply to Mr Saroop Singh, justifying the constitution of the NAC.

Governor seeks report

The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen S.F. Rodrigues, has asked for a report from the Punjab Government regarding the notification of the Nayagaon nagar panchayat. Former Forest official Pritam Singh Kumedan has, in a letter to the Governor, pointed out that a notification for the formation of a local body is to be issued by the Governor and not by the Chief Minister, as has been done in this case. 



‘You killed my son’
Deceased student’s father confronts Principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Holding the school authorities responsible for his son’s death, Mr L. Nirodosai Singh, father of Lairenmayum Albestron Singh, found dead under mysterious circumstances on the roadside in Sector 16 here on Monday, today alleged that it was the callous attitude of the Principal which claimed his son’s life.

Talking to the media in the Sector 16 General Hospital, Mr Nirodosai Singh asserted that he had never told the Principal of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, to hand over his son to one Sanjay Kumar, as claimed by him. He, however, claimed that they had nominated 23-year-old Mallemnganba of Sector 15 as guardian, not Sanjay Kumar.

Meanwhile, the postmortem report mentioned head injury as the cause of the death. The doctors stated that clots were found in the head indicating that the deceased had sustained a serious internal injury, which claimed his life. However, no visible external injury was found on the head. In order to ascertain the exact cause of the death, the viscera samples have been taken and will be sent for a chemical examination. The body was handed over to father after the post-mortem. Earlier during the day, Mr Singh, along with members of Manipur Students Association, Chandigarh, went to the school to meet the Principal.

Inside the office, emotions ran high as the dejected father asked the Principal whether it was proper to hand over his son to another minor Sanjay Kumar without his permission. He shouted at her saying, “You have killed my son. You are a liar and have no feelings. You did not spare a thought about where the boy would go after being thrown out of the school”. He further alleged that she did not bother to inform him about the expulsion and even the expiry of his son.

Ms Jasminder Kaur, Principal said, “No comments.”

On the other hand, Sanjay stated that Albestron had called him to his school saying he was in trouble. When he reached there, the hostel warden asked him to sign a paper and then sent Albestron along with his luggage.

Mr Shanta Singh, former president of the Manipur Students Association, stated that they were considering the feasibility of legally proceeding against the school authorities for their negligent conduct. 



‘Bengal Tiger’ in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Former Indian cricket captain and “Bengal Tiger” Saurav Ganguly arrived in city here late tonight.
The West Bengal cricket captain will lead the star-studded team comprising among others Rohan Gavaskar, Deep Dass Gupta and Shiv Shankar Pal, against Punjab during a Ranji Trophy match at the PCA stadium on November 23.

Meanwhile,Saurav caused a flutter at Hotel Mountview where a fashion show was in progress as cricket fans surrounded him to get autographs.

Saurav Ganguly was expected here yesterday. He, however, preferred to delay his arrival in the city by a day and arrived late at night. For his agony, the lifts at the Hotel Mountview were not operational which made Dada upset.

Saurav preferred to travel by road from the union Capital in a special vehicle provided by Sahara, one of his sponsors.

Saurav, once known for his intimacy and close association with the former BCCI chief, Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya, has still a point to prove to the present BCCI chief, Mr Sharad Pawar, and his trusted lieutenant, Mr Inderjit Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association.

That he still has some “cricket left in him”, he still needs a “moral lift” which he terribly missed on his arrival at Hotel Mountview here. The lifts were in operational either due to low voltage or because of heavy rush of fashion show revellers thronging the hotel.

The four-day Ranji Trophy match against Punjab may perhaps be one of the avenues for Saurav Da to prove his mettle.



CCTVs find little use in Estate Office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
It seems that the close-circuit cameras, installed to keep a watch on public dealing by employees, has found little use in the building branch of the Estate Office.

Installed few months back to streamline the functioning of the estate office, as many as 16 closed-circuit cameras were today installed at different public dealing branches in the Estate Office.

However, the camera installed on a pillar in the building branch has been removed for reasons best known to the concerned officials.

SDO (Building) T.P. Singh said he was not aware whether any camera had been installed in the building branch. The maintenance of the camera was not under me, he added.

Interestingly, the sitting arrangement in the branch was changed a few days back. The staff has been seated in different rooms. The camera was meant to keep a watch on public dealing and other functions of the building branch.



Sec 61 MIG flats nobody’s baby

Chandigarh, November 21
The geographical location of 504 MIG flats in Sector 61 is proving to be bane for residents of the area. Surrounded by marla houses in Phase VII, the development of the area has been a causality, as neither the Chandigarh Administration nor the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is ready to own the responsibility of providing the basic amenities there.

Due to the passing of buck both by the Engineering Department and the Municipal Corporation, the carpeting of the V3 road separating Sectors 52 and 61 has remained incomplete. Streetlights have been out of order for the past two years.

“Again on November 16, it was said that the maintenance of the area was shifted to the Municipal Corporation on May 9, 2005. But the corporation is not paying any heed to their request,” said B.C. Gupta of Sector 61 MIG residents body. — TNS



Watch out

Rakesh Sharma, president Swami Ram Tirtha Memorial Society, Punjab, will be in Delhi on Wednesday in connection with the expansion activities of the society in other parts of the country. A prominent poultry farmer of Punjab and son of Hans Raj Sharma, former Finance Minister of Punjab, Mr Sharma will also explore the possibilities of co-operation in the poultry sector with the representative of the other states.

Mr Sharma, who is a prominent figure in the social circle of the Banur area also intends to open education institution in this area.



In Town

Mr Craig Mckenzie, who is managing the International Division of Australian National Airline College in Melbourne, will be in Chandigarh from Wednesday for two days to educate youngsters about careers in aviation, in general, and flying, in particular. He will be visiting various schools and colleges in the city and its periphery. India needs about 4,000 commercial pilots during the next few years, say experts.

Holding a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Craig has been working in the aviation industry since 1992 as an instructor and has trained pilots from all over the world. He has also established and operated the first commercial seaplane operation in Indonesia.



Passing Through

Bhupesh Kumar
Bhupesh Kumar, Marketing Manager, Tourism Malaysia

* Tell us about the Malaysia, My Second Home programme, launched by Tourism Malaysia recently?

This programme, promoted by the Government of Malaysia, allows people from all over the world to stay in Malaysia as long as possible on a social visit pass. Nature lovers can spend their life in this natural paradise, initially for a period of 10 years, which can be renewed further.

Successful applicants below 50 years of age will have to initially open a fixed deposit account of RM 3,00,000 (Rs 33 lakh) while an applicant above 50 years of age will have to open a fixed deposit account of RM 150,000 (Rs 16. 5 lakh) besides giving proof of monthly off-shore income of RM 10,000 ( Rs 11 lakh).

After one year, the applicants can withdraw all, but RM 60,000 from the FD. However, these applicants cannot start any business of their own, though they can be sleeping partners in a business started by a Malaysian national.

They can only buy and keep two residential properties at a time.

* How many people are you targeting from Punjab?

Initially, we are looking at about 1000 persons from Punjab to apply under this scheme.

Other than Punjab, we are eyeing Gujarat and Maharashtra to get applicants under this scheme. This scheme was launched a year ago in Europe and West Asia, and we have received a number of applications from Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

* What is the reason for the success of this programme?

The programme has been successful because of government support and the growing economy of Malaysia. Malaysia offers the highest standard of living in Asia, though the cost of living is nominal.

Political stability, its multi-cultural outlook, good weather and infrastructure have all contributed towards the emergence of Malaysia as a best investment option.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Girl’s molestation: parents cite another unsavoury incident
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Ten days after the case of alleged molestation of a Class XI girl student by a physical education teacher of the Sector 16 Government Model Senior Secondary School hit the headlines, now it seems to be drawing to a conclusion.

Today, parents of the girl submitted a written statement before the inquiry committee, headed by the DEO, Mrs Kamla Bains and one of its members , Mrs Saroj Mittal, Principal of GMSSS-40, stating that it was the same teacher, Vinod Kumar, who had abused their daughter three years ago . They mentioned ‘choicest of words’ in their written statement.

Sources revealed that the girl’s parents also admitted that they had lodged a complaint with the Principal of the school three years ago and it was the ‘weak decision’ taken then, which led to the present tragedy. The parents grudged in the statement that had the teacher been taken to task earlier, their daughter would have saved the tragedy.”

Quoting the contents of the written statement, the sources further disclosed that the girl’s parents had also demanded questioning of all those persons who were defending the culprit.

The ‘teacher under cloud’ was yesterday served a show cause notice of 48 hours by the DEO to explain his position, the time of which would lapse tomorrow evening.

The DEO today confirmed that after much persuasion the parents of the girl had given a written statement to the committee. “We had to virtually ‘struggle’ to convince them that they should give a written statement as the show cause notice of 48 hours was going to lapse tomorrow evening. Before that, it was very necessary to put the statements of the parents on record also. So, I and Ms Mittal went to have their word in this case”.

The DEO further said the parents agreed to all that what was published in news reports. Revealing some of the contents of the report, Mrs Bains said, “The girl’s parents had given a written statement that three years ago, when their child was in Class IX, she was harassed by the same physical education teacher. Now, the report from our side is thoroughly complete and after the lapse of the show cause notice period, immediate action will be taken.”

The DPI (S), Mr Ashwini Kumar, also confirmed that the girl’s parents had given their statement in writing and used very harsh language against the teacher.

The Principal of the School, Mr Ram Kumar, only got the teacher transferred from the senior wing to the junior wing as ‘punishment’. The posting of the same teacher to the senior wing from July to November this year was the reason behind the girl’s mental agony. She also, reportedly, went to the Principal with one of her close associates on November 2 and expressed her agony. She firmly told the Principal that he knew everything and that he was defending the guilty teacher.

The Principal, too, earlier denied all reports maintaining throughout that it was a case of a “mentally upset and non-performing child” being reported to the Psychiatry Department of the PGI. However, he later admitted to the teacher’s guilt in the preliminary report prepared by the inquiry committee.

On the other hand, the alleged teacher, Vinod Kumar denied all the allegations against him. He stated that he was being implicated and he had not seen the girl for years.



MC Poll
Tussle over ticket in Cong, seat sharing in oppn
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Only two days are left for the filing of nominations for the Municipal Corporation elections. However, the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance is yet to decide on seat sharing.
Being considered as the biggest opposition to the Congress-led MCC this indecision on part of the alliance is not going down well with the voters, who don’t even know which candidates from the party would be fielded in their wards.

Candidates can file nominations from November 24. The elections are slated to be held on December 20. Talking to The Tribune, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former BJP MP, stated that formal talks were on with the other parties. Attributing the delay to the recent sad demise of Sandeep Singh, general secretary of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM), Mr Jain said a decision would be taken in the coming three-four days.

“It is not that big an issue. In fact in the last MCC elections candidates were announced almost on the last date of filing the nominations,” he stated.

According to sources, the BJP is preparing a list of candidates from all 26 wards. “We would, however, announce the candidates only from those wards that the BJP would contest from. We have prepared our cadre to the possibility that some of them might not get ticket after the seat sharing with the alliance,” stated Mr Jain.

According to sources, the BJP is keen on contesting from a majority of wards and is expected to ask for at least 18 of the 26 seats.

The Akalis are, however, expected to ask for a fair share of the seats too. Talking to The Tribune, Capt Kanwaljeet Singh stated that the Akalis would soon be meeting with the BJP and the CVM to discuss the issue. “We will be taking a decision shortly, within a day or two,” he stated. “I don’t think that it would make a major difference to the voters if we decide even after the nominations have started,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to sources, infighting seems to have started within the Congress as many sitting councillors and prominent workers of the party are asking for ticket from the same ward. According to sources, a tiff was witnessed at Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal’s residence yesterday, where an informal meeting was being held. Mr Jasjit Singh Kang, brother of Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Tourism and also a close worker of Mr Bansal, has asked for a ticket from Ward No. 9 (Sectors 39 and 40). Mr Pawan Sharma, another close associate of Mr Bansal, too has asked for ticket from the same ward, as has Mr Raman Khanna, a prominent Congress worker. According to sources, Mr Bansal is now in a fix as all three are equally close and prominent to him and deciding who would get ticket would be an uphill task.

A similar situation is also being witnessed in a few other wards. From Ward No. 22 (Sectors 31, 47, 48, Industrial Area and Phase II-entire), Mr Bansal’s associate, Mr Bal Kishen Bansal, Mr Surjit Chaudhary, district president Congress committee, and Mr A.S. Chaudhary, president, resident welfare association, have asked for ticket. The decision here will also be a serious issue with the Congress.

From Ward No. 7 (Maloya, EWS Colony, Maloya, West of Sector 39, and Grain Market), which is also a Scheduled Caste reserved ward, has two sitting councillors — Mr Sohan Lal Vaid and Mr Balraj Singh — asking for ticket.

The most interesting is, however, the case of Ward No. 18 (Sectors 27, 28 and 30). Mr Devinder Singh Babla, his wife Harpreet Kaur Babla, who is also a sitting councillor have applied for ticket. Mr Ravinder Singh Pali, general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee, who is said to be a close associate of Mr Manish Tiwari, secretary, All-India Congress Committee, has also asked for ticket. Ms Pushpa Sharma, a sitting councillor, has also asked for ticket from the same ward. According to sources, it will be a tough decision.



Common front to field candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A few of the small parties of the city have decided to join hands and form a common front to field candidates for the upcoming Municipal Corporation elections. The parties which have joined hands are the Akali Dal (1920), Akali Dal (Longowal), Akali Dal (Ramoowalia), Janata Dal (U), Janata Dal, Jan Morcha, Lok Jan Shakti, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Bharatiya Jan Shakti, CPI and CPM.

Gurnam Singh Sidhu, president, Akali Dal 1920, will contest the elections from Ward No. 1, Manjit Kaur Sandhu (CPM) from Ward No. 14, Narinder Kaur (Akali Dal) from Ward No. 17, L.K. Khuranna, secretary, BJS, from Ward No. 18, K.S. Lamba, vice-president, BJS, from Ward No. 21 and Mr Des Raj Gupta, president, of the BJS, from Ward No. 25.

Another meeting of the common front is scheduled to be held on November 23, after which the candidates will be decided for the rest of the 20 wards. The common front has decided to contest from all wards.



Small parties yet to make it big
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Though it is the third election to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) since its inception in 1995, the fact that candidates, who belong to smaller parties and are not part of the Congress or BJP alliance, are yet to open their account in the civic body speaks volumes of the popularity of these parties in the city.

However, these parties, including the BSP, the CPM, the CPI and the NCP, which are recognised as national parties by the Election Commission, are determined to reverse this trend. And like in the past, various combinations and permutations are being worked out by these parties.

But most parties have failed to come on one platform to take on the Congress and the BJP alliance. Only a few — the Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party (BJSP) of Uma Bharati, the Jan Morcha of actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, the Akali Dal (Longowal) and the Akali Dal 1920 — have come under one banner called the “common front” to fight the elections jointly.

All eyes are set on the distribution of party tickets by the Congress and the BJP alliance. Since the adoption of dissident candidates by opposition parties is an accepted norm in Indian democracy, the same can prove true in the civic body poll here.

The top brass of the BJSP consists of former senior leaders of the BJP and the poaching of dissidents in the BJP would be high on the agenda of Uma Bharti’s party. Similarly, senior leaders of the other parties also enjoy pockets of influence in the city. However, it needs to be seen if the influence translates into votes.

Another worry for these parties is the fact that given the strong base of both the Congress and the BJP alliance, making an entry into the civic body would be a formidable task.

Leaders of these parties said that the electorate has seen the performance of both the Congress and the BJP during the past decade. They have alleged that there is basically no difference between the policies of the Congress and the BJP. With these two major parties failing to come to the rescue of the common man, the bureaucracy had ruled the roost.

They claimed that voters were least concerned about party affiliations and wanted good representatives in the civic body to solve their problems. Keeping this mind, these parties stand a good chance of making an entry into the MCC, an observer added.



Govt has failed to tackle unemployment: MLA
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, November 21
Terming unemployment as Punjab’s number one problem, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Banur MLA, yesterday alleged that the Amarinder Singh government had failed to tackle this problem during the past about five years.

Talking to reporters during a tour of certain Gujjar-dominated villages in the Dera Bassi subdivision, Capt Kanwaljit Singh alleged that spiralling prices of essential commodities had made the lives of the common man miserable. This coupled with the withdrawal of certain incentives to the weaker sections of society had dealt a death blow to the social security system in the country.

All sections of society, including government employees, the traders, the youth and the farmers, were reeling under the oppressive policies of the Congress government. While the common man was at the receiving end of the bureaucracy, certain influential sections, such as liquor barons, were being given attractive incentives by the government, he claimed.

Even Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo, and senior Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar did not see eye-to-eye on several major issues, bringing factionalism within the party to the fore. When the top leadership was not united, how could the workers go to the Assembly elections in a united manner, Capt Kanwaljit Singh asked.

Coming down heavily on the Punjab Vikas Yatra of the Chief Minister, the former minister alleged that precious government funds were being diverted by the Congress for electioneering purposes. 



Cong activists join BJP

Dera Bassi, November 21
Predicting a win for the BJP-SAD alliance in the forthcoming elections to the Punjab Assembly, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP , has said the alliance will contest all seats in the state.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday night, Mr Khanna informed that about 20 election rallies would be organised by the alliance by December 31.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Khuswant Rai Giga, president of the Mohali district unit, Mr Suresh Gupta, general secretary of the Mohali district unit, Mr Dev Raj Lalru, member of the state executive,, Mr Mukesh Gandhi, Dera Bassi Mandal president, and Mr Sushil Rana, president of the Lalru unit.

Meanwhile, several activists of the Congress joined the BJP at a function here. TNS



Coming up: housing bonanza for slum-dwellers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Ministry of Urban Development has shown keen interest in ‘The Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme-2006’, a rehabilitation scheme for slum-dwellers. Under the Rs 1,200-crore scheme, 23,321 single-room tenements are to be built in the southern part of the city.

A senior official of the ministry, during a recent visit to the city, while pointing out that it was a unique scheme, asked officials of the Administration to submit a detailed project report so that Central assistance under the National Urban Renewal Mission Scheme could be released.

Sources in the Administration said for the first phase, a Rs 170-crore project was being submitted before ministry officials by Chandigarh Housing Board chairman Mohanjit Singh on November 23.

“Though the construction cost of the entire scheme is Rs 1,200 crore, getting so much of Central assistance in one go is not possible. So phase I of the project is being forwarded to the ministry. The land cost has not been included in it”, said a senior official.

Initially, the CHB planned to construct around 6,000 dwelling units in Sectors 38, 49, Ram Darbar and Maloya. Around 66 acres had been acquired for the purpose.

The sources said an earlier proposal of the Administration had been rejected as it included land cost.

Under the total project, 23,321 families would to be rehabilitated. The beneficiaries had encroached upon government land all over the city under 18 colonies, which contained a population of at least 69,000.

The Administration planned to earn over Rs 1,500 crore from the commercial utilisation of about 200 acres to be vacated from slum-dwellers.

As per figures available, the tentative cost of 55 acres under the Colony No. 5 was worth over Rs 175 crore.

Prior to the new scheme, slum-dwellers had been given tenements under the special scheme ‘Licensing of Tenements and Services in Chandigarh Scheme 1979’.

The cutoff date for eligibility for allotment under the scheme was December 8, 1996. But now all persons whose name appeared in the biometrics survey and voter list as on January 1, 2006, had been made eligible for allotment of a flat on rental basis. 



Safety audit ‘must’ to check deaths on roads
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 21
The new president of the Indian Roads Congress, Mr Subhash Patel, said today that road safety was emerging as an important part of project preparation in the making of roads. “We strongly recommend the case of road safety audit within the framework of project preparation,” he stated.

Mr Patel was speaking at a press conference to mark the conclusion of the sixty-seventh session of the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) at Red Bishop, Sector 1, here today. “We want a kilometre by kilometre audit of every highway and every road to ensure complete safety of people using it,” he said.

The Secretary of PWD, Gujarat, Mr Patel was elected president at the meeting of the council this afternoon. Citing an example from his state, Mr Patel said the Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway recorded as many as 200 deaths in a year.

“That’s when we realised something was drastically wrong somewhere. After these statistics, the four-laning of the highway was suggested and carried out. Within no time, the number of accidents came down,” he remarked, emphasising the need for the road safety audit.

Stating that the IRC deliberated on manuals for highways, specifications and standards of roads among other things during the five-day session, Mr Patel said roads were over-loaded with ever-increasing traffic and growing urbanisation around the area.

“Over-loading is causing the maximum damage to our road surfaces. The Transport Department in each state is different from the PWD Department. They do not realise that the roads being over-burdened with heavy vehicular traffic are not designed for the same. Because these roads are forced to take all the load thrust upon them, these get damaged much before time,” he explained.

Listing out the challenges before the Congress, he said making roads more durable was the biggest of all. “We have not been able to address natural disasters, which take a toll on our roads. We have to come out with some restoration plan for our roads as do the state government to maintain smooth highways,” he said.



Reach trouble spots fast, says IGP 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Taking a serious note of the incident of hooliganism in the Sector 15 market here last night, UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Shanti Kumar Jain today asked his men to reach the spot immediately after receiving information about such incidents. He made it clear that hooliganism would not be tolerated.

Sources in the police said the delay on the part of the police — it was a free-for-all for about 30 minutes — prompted the IGP to pull up his men for quick action under such circumstances.

While briefing subdivisional police officers for taking vigorous preventive measures for preventing such occurrences, he asked his men to conduct aggressive patrolling and display police presence in crowded places.

A press note issued by the Chandigarh police said the IGP instructed station house officers of all police stations to take prompt, effective and immediate action in situations where public peace was disturbed.

He directed his officials to intensify patrolling in market areas, particularly in evenings, and conduct random checking of vehicles to keep pressure on anti-social elements.

The police said a case of attempt to murder, causing hurt, rioting and criminal intimidation had been registered.

The police had arrested three accused while efforts were on to trace the other persons involved in the crime.



Suspended zoo Director’s house vacated
Dr Vinod Sharma lodges complaint of trespass
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 21
The vacation of the official residence of Dr Vinod Sharma, suspended Director of the Mahindra Chaudhary Zoological Park at Chhat village, near here, by the Wildlife Department today kicked off a row, with Dr Sharma and the zoo authorities coming out with contradictory versions about the events leading to the vacation of the house.

While Dr Sharma claimed that the department acted in haste as the allotment was not cancelled, department officials asserted that the premises were vacated to be used for more “productive use” as it was not being used by the former director for the past few years.

A team of zoo officials, accompanied by the police, reached the premises just outside the zoo and allegedly tampered with the locks of the house. In the meantime, Dr Sharma also reached the spot and registered his protest against the illegal vacation of the house.

Dr Sharma, who also lodged a complaint at the Zirakpur police station for tresspass into his house, claimed that the department was deducting monthly rent from salary. The department action was taken without intimation or notice to him and it was only through some acquaintance that he came to know about breaking open of the locks by the department, he said.

However, Mr Dharminder Sharma, field director, claimed that the premises were vacated on the recommendations of the high-level committee headed by a deputy director. The committee decided to use the sprawling premises for more productive use, department sources said. Dr Sharma was also informed in the morning to be present or send a representative.

The entire operation was videographed and an inventory of the household articles was made for future reference, Mr Dharminder Sharma said. In fact, it was in 2004 that Dr Sharma requested the department to disconnect the water and electricity from the house, Mr Dharminder Sharma claimed.

Dr Sharma was suspended for alleged irregularities by the Wildlife Department in 2003. He was reportedly attached to headquarters in Chandigarh after his suspension. Since then, he had not been living at his zoo residence and living at the official residence of his wife in Sector 22 in Chandigarh.



Govt money goes down drain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Even as work on laying of concrete roads in Tribune Model Gram, Baltana, near here, is yet to be accomplished, the newly laid roads have developed pits.
Almost on all concrete roads upper layer has come off, leaving behind pits with loose “rori” and sand. There have been instances of persons getting hurt after their cycles or vehicles skidded on the loose sand.

Residents of the colony alleged that the contractor used substandard material in laying the roads.

The president of the colony society, Mr Kamal Dev Sharma, said he, along with other office-bearers of the society, met NAC Chairman N.K. Sharma recently and apprised him of the poor condition of the newly laid roads.

The Chairman asked the Junior Engineer concerned to look into the matter.

But, there has been no action in this connection so far. 



Lucky child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A young couple from the city, Sunil Dudani and Upasana, have been in the news, thanks to their baby, Mihir. Sunil is an exporter while Upasana is a housewife. Mihir was not only adjudged winner of the Cutest Baby contest held at Kala Gram last week but also won several prizes. A raffle ticket picked by Mihir got his parents a return air ticket to Malaysia in another contest last week.

He also won the ICICI Cutest Baby contest. And in one of the rounds, Mihir helped his Mom to win the kid-mom prize also.



Accident victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A cyclist hit by a Maruti van on Sunday succumbed to injuries in the PGI here on Tuesday.
According to the police, Darmian Singh of Baterla village, Chandigarh, had been seriously hurt after being hit by a Maruti van (CH-02-1129) at the Sector 42 turning on Sunday.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the van driver Love Kumar of Sector 40.

Motorcycle stolen: Mr Arvind Singh of Sector 36 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his motorcycle (CJK-02-N-9905) was stolen from his residence during the intervening night of November 17 and 18.

A case of theft has been registered.

Medicine stolen: Mr Davinder Kumar of Dashmesh Colony, Zirakpur, reported to the police that a large number of medicines were stolen from his shop in Sector 34 during the intervening night of November 18 and 19.

The exact loss was yet to be estimated, said the police. A case has been registered.

Foreigner held for overstay: The local police arrested a Kenyan national, Atulosayx, presently living in Sector 38 on the allegation of overstaying in India as his permits expired long ago. He was arrested from Piccadilly cinema in Sector 34 on Tuesday.

He had served a sentence in jail and was released recently, said the police. A case under Section 14 of the Foreigner Act has been registered.



Mutilated body of man found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The mutilated body of an unidentified man in his mid-thirties was found on the railway line near the bridge in Mani Majra here this afternoon.
According to sources in the railway police, the death came to light around 1.30 p.m. The body was badly mutilated, as it was cut into two parts.

No document or any other article establishing the identity of the deceased was found on the body. They added that it was not known at what time and under which train he was crushed.

The police said marks of trident and another religious sign were found on his body. Meanwhile, the body has been shifted to the Civil Hospital in Kalka. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174, CrPC, in this connection.



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