C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Admn caught in building bylaws bungle
Notification for villages withdrawn
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
In a classic case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, the Chandigarh Administration notified the building bylaws for villages within the municipal limits only to realise later that “wrong” rules had been issued.

It was only after officials of the Municipal Corporation pointed out to the UT Administrator that while vetting the notification, certain changes had been incorporated in the rules that the notification was withdrawn.

Sources said the “changes” concerning the commercial use of residential buildings and maximum height allowed that had been incorporated in the notification, had gone unnoticed by the officials concerned and were issued as “ The Chandigarh Administration (erection and re-erection of Buildings) Rules, 2006” on November 16, 2006 --- a day prior to the coming into force of the model code of conduct for the MC elections.

The rules had been made keeping in view the needs and requirement of the villages. But the changes made by the office of the Legal Remembrance (LR) were as per the urban specifications. Now, a fresh draft has been sent to the Administrator for approval.

Though officials in the corporation claim that the changes had been made without consulting the civic body, officials in the LR section pointed out that changes had been incorporated as per the urban specifications. The MC has been pushing for relaxing the specifications keeping in mind the requirement of the villagers.

Terming the proposed rules as “ meaningless”, Mr H.S Billing, General Secretary of the Original Oustess Association, said very few villagers had large land holdings. Most of these had small plots along the village phirni, he said.

“In most of the cases, the villagers have plots measuring 10 marlas or 5 marlas. The new policy should encourage small farmers to survive”, said Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, General Secretary of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee.



Dialysis fluid: Health teams raid medical stores
Tribune News Service

Stocks vanish from shops

Meanwhile, stock of the dialysis fluid, manufactured by a Jalandhar-based company, was withdrawn from all chemist shops operating from the PGI, GMCH and the GMSH by the distributors overnight just after the detection of a bottle of fungus-infested dialysis fluid at the PGI. The chemists were too quick to disperse the product as a raid by the UT Health Department at chemists shops in the PGI yielded no results.

Chandigarh, December 23
In less that 24 hours of the detection of a fungus-infested intra-peritoneal dialysis fluid at the PGI, the UT Health Department took samples of the liquid from local medical stores today.

A team of the department, lead by Drug Inspector, raided a Sector 17 medical store, Singla Medicos, a distributor of the fluid manufactured by a Jalandhar-based company. The team took samples of the fluid.

Spokesperson of the PGI said the authorities had taken up the issue with the Director, Health Service, soon after the case came to light yesterday. Following which a Drug Inspector inspected the medical stores on the PGI premises.

Thought the PGI authorities allot the medical stores through an open-bid system every year, they have no power for keeping a quality control over them. The authorities have to seek help of the UT Drug Controller in such cases.

Sources in the department said a majority of the chemists supplied substandard material allegedly in connivance with drug inspectors. Hardly any chemist shop at PGI, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, has been inspected by the officials of the drug control section of the UT Health Department in the past a couple of years.

A strong lobby of chemists, who are allegedly hand in glove with the officials concerned, run a majority of the chemist shops in these health institutions.

There have been cases when attendants or paramedical staff found containers with wrong medicines just seconds before being administered to the patients, the sources added.

Efforts to contact Dr M.S. Bains, UT Drug Controller, proved futile.



Nominated not to back ‘shady’ councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
A week ahead of the election for the new Mayor, at least five of the nominated councillors held a meeting to decide on their role in the election. The women nominated councillors, however, were not present at the meeting.

The meeting, held at Chandigarh Club, saw the councillors reach consensus that the support to the candidate for Mayorship would be issued-based. “No candidate with criminal background would be allowed to have an important post in the civic body”, said a nominated councillor.

Sources said with the hung House likely, role of the nominated councillors had assumed significance. One of the women nominated councillors is said to be away to the USA, hence would not be able to take the oath on January 1.

The sources said at least five of the nominated councillors had direct or indirect association with the Congress.



UPA govt preparing strategy to check hike in prices: Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Concerned at the spiralling prices becoming a major issue in the forthcoming assembly elections, including Punjab, the Congress-led UPA government has chalked out a strategy to check prices of essential commodities, the Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, said here yesterday.

The Central Government was alive to the problems posed by rising prices for the common man and certain already-initiated concrete measures should see the prices come down in the weeks to come, the minister said at a press conference, organised to brief the reporters on the results of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

Admitting that the price rise was an issue in the recent MCC elections, the minister claimed that in an unprecedented decision the Central Government was set to lower the interest rates on the farm loans to 7 per cent. The decision would go a long way in ameliorating the plight of the debt-ridden farming community.

Terming rising prices a "global phenomenon", Mr Bansal asserted that besides lowering of the interest rates, the government would import 55 lakh tons of wheat to ease the foodgrains situation.

The foodgrain crisis and the rising prices were the outcome of the "lopsided" policies of the previous BJP-led NDA government which resorted to large-scale export of foodgrains without taking into account the needs of the country.

Predicting a win for the Congress in the February, 2007 Punjab elections, Mr Bansal claimed that the state was at a major "take-off" point on the development front in the wake of the numerous mega projects. While now the state's resources were being spent on the development projects, the previous SAD-BJP government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal "squandered" precious resources on projects which were of least benefit to the general public.



UP, Bihar parties trying to get foothold in UT
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Many political parties more visible in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh trying to get a foothold in the city politics have managed to get 14.5 per cent of the total votes polled this year at the MC elections. A total of 2,41,162 votes were polled this elections.

Parties like Samajwadi Party, Lok Jan Shakti Party, Rashtriya Janta Dal, Bhartiya Jan Shakti Party and Bahujan Samaj party hopeful of a win fielded their candidates mostly from the colonies where they have a heavy presence.

To the surprise of many BSP did manage to get a seat finally bringing these parties in the spotlight. Also considering the MC elections as a gateway to bigger politics of the neighbouring states these political parties are seeing these elections as a minor ‘victory’.

The SP fielded 6 candidates of the 26 and has managed to get 584 votes (0.24 per cent), Uma Bharti’s Bhartiya Jan Shakti Party has bagged 8000 votes and 3.31 per cent of the vote bank. The BSP candidates meanwhile have 12,739 votes, 5.28 per cent of the vote bank, which is same as that of the Akali Dal, which fielded four candidates and have had 5.33 per cent votes polled in their favour. The NCP has taken 2.15 per cent of the vote bank.

The CPI who fielded one candidate alone took away 181 votes while the LJSP has managed 163 votes for its candidates.

The growing popularity of these parties is visible in the colonies where most of the dwellers belong to Bihar or other regions. A whopping 35,194 votes (14.5 per cent) going to these parties just goes to show the ever-increasing vote bank in the increasing colonies and periphery of the city.

As many as 5,57,070 voters are listed for the MC and panchayat samiti elections this year. In 1996 the total voters were 4,08,596, while in 2001 the total voters in the city were 5,48,205.

In 2001 the Congress polled a total of 37.73 per cent while the BJP got only 21.38 per cent votes.



Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam to perform in city
Tribune News Service

New Year festivities

* “Old is Gold,” a programme of old film songs - December 30 ( Sector 22)

* Display of fireworks - December 31

* Performance by Subash Gosh - January 1(Sukhna Lake)

* Lunch for slum children - Sukhna Lake

* All buildings of the Chandigarh Administration buildings will be lighted up.

Chandigarh, December 23
Renowned playback singers Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam will perform during the New Year celebrations being organised by the Chandigarh Administration.

Beginning December 26, a series of programme are being organised in the run-up to the New Year celebrations.

The decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of the UT Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, here today. Other programmes will be held on December 29 and December 31 at Leisure Valley and Chandigarh Club, respectively. For children, fun and frolic has been planned at the Sector 17 Plaza.

The youth of Chandigarh can enjoy rock show on December 27 at the Sector 17 Plaza. “Wonder Boys”, a group of 20 young artistes from Mumbai, will perform as singers, dancers and musicians in the show.

A bakery demonstration will be held at the Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, as part of the celebrations.

Old film song lovers will have a treat on December 30. Singers will sing the songs and melodies of K.K Saigal, Talat Mehmood, Pankaj Malik, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Sharda, Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Mubarak Begaum, Suman Kalyanpuri in the programme, “Old is Gold,” at Sector 22. There will also be a plaza carnival at Sector 17.

The New Year will begin with classical music performance by Mr Subhash Ghosh at the Sukhna Lake on January 1, 2007. The concluding function will be held on January 2 at the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42.

The Nehru Yuva Kendra Troupe will also present a cultural programme on the day. Lunch for slum children will be organised at the Sukhna Lake by the Tourism Department in collaboration with the Hotel and Restaurant Association and CITCO.

The Chandigarh Administration’s buildings will be lighted up in the festival days. A display of firework will be organised on December 31.



Chaos returns to parking lot as cops disappear
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Eyewash - nothing else can describe the initial action of Chandigarh Police to tow four-wheelers away from the parking lot meant for two-wheelers in front of Mehfil restaurant in Sector 17.

After a week of hectic policing to prevent the misuse of the parking lot, Chandigarh Police personnel have simply disappeared from the scene, leaving the lot open for four-wheeler drivers.

The visitors to the Sector confirm that the cops have not been spotted at the lot for over two days now. The result of their absence is there for all to see. The traffic on the narrow strip comes to a standstill every now and then due to haphazard parking.

The situation is worse during lunch hour and again in the evenings, as the vehicles come to a screeching halt on the road to accommodate four-wheelers moving in and out of the parking lot after picking up or dropping passengers.

Sources in the police headquarters agree this is the second time the Chandigarh Police has back-tracked from its stand of preventing the illegal use of the parking lot. Earlier also, cops were deployed in the lot only to be withdrawn after one day.

At the time of launching "operation clear-up" this time on December 12 following the publication of a news-item in these columns on the illegal parking of four-wheelers, the cops had insisted that the exercise would continue.

In fact, UT Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gaurav Yadav had claimed the adoption of necessary measures to prevent the misuse of the parking lot.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, he had stated that instructions in this regard had been issued to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) and the SHO concerned.

Though senior police officers are unwilling to comment on the issue, the return of the vehicles have once again pt a question mark on the credibility of the local police.



Chhatbir’s elusive pig-tailed macaques
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
A loose pig-tailed macaque pair today outwitted the Mahendera Chaudhary Zoological Park authorities for more than eight hours.

Brought from the Sepahijala Zoological Park, Tripura, yesterday, the Chhatbir zoo got two pairs of leopard cats, one pair of pig-tailed macaques and one pair of Himalayan palm civets in exchange of one pair of majestic Royal Bengal tigers.

The pair was released in the enclosure meant for the pig-tailed macaque. Already the zoo has a female pig-tailed macaque and that was shifted to another enclosure before their arrival.

Within minutes of their release, they disappeared. Alarm bells sounded and the entire staff was put on task to search the 500 acres of the zoo.

Nearly 80 employees were involved in the dawn-to dusk operation. Finally they were traced. They were sitting on a 100-foot tree. As employees ghearoed the area, one of the macaques jumped on to another tree.

Finally, a hydraulic ladder was brought and Ram Dev, a veterinary pharmacist, climbed it. But could not come close enough to fire a tranquilliser.

This continued for nearly one hour and the macaque was finally administered a sedative dose. Within few minutes it landed into the net being held by the employees.

The other macaque was also ghearoed and was unable to move any further. But with sun setting, the authorities decided to stop the operation till tomorrow.

“It was funny yet had a serious side to it. Besides, it will help us hone our skills for a similar situation in future,” said Ajmer Singh, a zookeeper.

“It was actually interesting as it tested our skills,” said Dr Kuldip Kumar, Director, Chhatbir. He said the trapped female macaque was safe.

The animals from Tripura had reached Chhatbir after a 10-day-long journey. Maybe the animals wanted a short break after the tiring journey.

Now, the zoo has two female macaques. Tomorrow’s operation will be important and if the authorities fail to trap the male, it will hamper the conservation-breeding programme.



Sohana has water scheme
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 23
The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, inaugurated a Rs 30 lakh drinking water scheme under a NABARD plan in Sohana village here today.

The MLA said there were two tubewells in the area but these were inadequate to meet the water requirements of residents of the village. Now each resident would have the facility of 70 litres of water per day. The water tank had a capacity of 1. 50 lakh litres.

The MLA also laid the foundation stone of a project to construct a phirni in Durali village. The 1 km long road project will involve an expenditure of Rs 10.30 lakh.



Xmas spirit rules at Plaza Carnival

Chandigarh, December 23
Christmas spirit pervaded The Tribune-sponsored Plaza Carnival at Sector 17 this evening as the "Rodrigues" belted out favourite Hindi, English and Punjabi numbers.

Santa Claus was a hit with the children, who surrounded him to get sweets. Colourful dances by Sunny Dutta Gupta, Michael, Sanjana and Victor drew thunderous applause.

The artistes' corner had its own crowd of art lovers, according a press note. — TNS



Cop’s son held for snatching mobile phone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Alert public caught a Punjab Police cop’s son after he snatched a mobile phone from a woman in Sector 22 last night.

According to the police, the woman, Ms Khushi Kushik, resident of Phase IX, Mohali, was walking past the Hotel Jullandhar in Sector 22 at around 9.15 pm on Friday. The accused, Sawinder Singh, resident of Ropar, snatched her mobile phone and tried to flee.

The victim raised alarm and soon people gathered there and nabbed the accused. The police also reached there and arrested him.

The police said the accused, a son of a Punjab Police Assistant Sub-Inspector, disclosed during the interrogation that he ran short of bus fare and thus snatched the phone. A case has been registered.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Ajay Kumar of Dhanas lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (CH-03-P-7276) was stolen from Sector 22 market on Friday.

A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

Briefcase stolen

Mr Dinesh Kumar reported to the police that his briefcase containing important documents was stolen from near a temple in Sector 29 on Friday evening.

A case has been registered.

CDs seized

The Special Investigation Cell of the Chandigarh Police has arrested Rajiv Kumar of Baltana from his shop R.K. Music Point on the allegation of possessing pornographic CDs on Friday.

The police recovered 88 CDs from him and registered a case under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code.

Smack seized

The local police arrested Chander Bhan of Sector 25 from near government tubewell in the same sector on Friday evening while allegedly carrying 3 grams of smack.

A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered.



Bottling unit employee held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Chandigarh Police today arrested an employee of a city based-soft drink bottling unit on the allegations of duping the company of Rs 6.5 lakh in connivance with other three employees by selling cold drinks without making any entries in the records.

Sources in the Economic Offences Wing of the Chandigarh Police said Mr Updeep Singh, the Deputy General Manager of the Chandigarh Bottling Company, Phase II, Industrial Area, lodged a complaint alleging that Joginder Pal Sharma, the stock accountant of the company, in connivance with gatekeeper Ram Sarup and two salesmen, Satinder Pal and Jaswant Singh, had duped the company of Rs 6.5 lakh by selling the various brands of cold drinks and mineral water without making any entries on record.

Mr Amarjit Singh, the investigating officer of the case, said Mr Sharma told the police that they were informed about the irregularities being committed while maintaining the records and certain employees were indulging in embezzling. When the records were examined in November this year the fraud came to light. The matter was reported to the police.The police after verifying the matter registered a case.

The police said Ram Sarup has been arrested while the other three accused were absconding.



Four booked for land fraud
Tribune News Service

Lalru, December 23
The police has booked four persons, including a patwari, in an alleged land fraud case.

Acting on the complaint of Mr Pritam Singh, a resident of Sihpur village near here, the police booked Kaushalya Devi alias Pal Kaur, Hari Singh, Ram Chander and the patwari, Sukhdev Singh.

An inquiry into the case was conducted by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mohali Police and the accused were reportedly found guilty after preliminary investigations.



CII focus on green buildings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Chandigarh Council of the CII organised ''LEED workshop on Green Buildings'' at the CII Northern Region Headquarters here yesterday. The workshop was organised with an intended goal to impart knowledge on Green Building design strategies and acquire knowledge on the LEED green building rating system.

Addressing delegates at the workshop, Mr M. Anand, Counsellor, CII Godrej GBC (Green Business Centre), Hyderabad, stated, "Green Buildings are not just about making a building more nature friendly: they have systems that work reliably and properly, meeting the occupant's needs and accomplishing the organisation's mission while consuming a minimum amount of resources ".

Mr R. Prasad Jadhav, Counsellor, CII Godrej GBC, stressed the need for constructing Green Buildings.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |