C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


BMW car driver alleges implication in accident case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

For substantiating his contentions, BMW car owner Tarun Ghai has already contacted the car manufacturer for the recreation of the accident. He told TNS that the company had asked him to send all the details of the accident along with photographs and they would reconstruct the scene in order to find out what actually happened. 

Chandigarh, December 28
In a surprising turn of events, the Chandigarh Police has registered cases against drivers of BMW car and Punjab Police bus, just two days after the vehicles collided near a rotary on a road separating Sectors 3 and 4.

Sources in the police assert this is one of those rare events in which the FIR is registered against both the parties involved in a mishap. Under normal circumstances, the case is registered on the complaint of the party which has suffered more in the mishap, or, the party which is at fault.

In the present case, not only did the BMW car driver suffer a fractured hand, but his car worth Rs 30 lakh was also badly damaged in the accident. Legal luminaries add that the possibility of Chandigarh Police succumbing to the pressure exerted by their counterparts could not be ruled out.

Mr Tarun Ghai, who was driving his BMW car on that fateful day, today met UT Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gaurav Yadav and claimed implication in the case. Giving details of his meeting, Mr Ghai said he had told the SSP about the attempt made by the investigating officer (IO) of the case to persuade him into entering a compromise. The IO also assured him of compensation by the Punjab Police, following which he signed a document. 

To his utter surprise, he was subsequently told that he had been booked for rash driving and damaging property. Mr Ghai alleged that the police tried to blame him for the mishap. The Investigating Officer told him that the car had rammed into the right side of the bus. On the contrary, the condition of my car clearly indicates that it was hit on its left side first by the bus. The damage to the car by the front tyre of the bus provides testimony to this effect. He further elaborated that in case of car hitting the bus, the damage would have been on the front.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ms Pamela, an eyewitness, alleged she, too, was being approached by certain influential persons to change her statement in order to shield the driver of the Punjab Police bus. She, however, made it clear that the bus was at fault and not the car as it was now being projected. IO Mewa Singh, while denying the allegations, maintained that the police has conducted the investigations in an unbiased manner.

He added that the case was registered on the basis of a statement recorded by Mr Suresh Kumar, a third person-cum-eyewitness to the mishap. Investigations were on. He also stated that Mr Ghai had agreed for a compromise, saying that he did not want compensation but later backtracked and said he wanted registration of a case. He was then told that cases would be registered against both the parties.



Cup of celebrations overflows
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Singing sensations from the tinsel town crooning hot hit numbers for the out-to-chill crowd, glitzy psychedelic lights adding to the glimmer, bubbles bursting at the brim of the sparkling cut-glass saturated with golden elixir and disc jockeys gyrating some cool funky numbers for making the evening all the more hot----with the New Year just around the corner---grooving season is in full swing in the night clubs and discotheques across the city.

If you still haven’t decided upon the hot spot, it’s not too late. Just make your reservations and get ready for slipping into your stilettoes and letting your hair down for a bash.

It’s Sonu Nigam night at Chandigarh Club. The singing star of Bollywood promises an evening full of tearing excitement and a night to remember. For revellers in dancing shoes, there will be enough space and opportunity to twirl around.

In case your kind of deal involves hitting the dance floor with live music and impromptu jam-ups, drop in at the warehouse for the “biggest and the longest party of the year”! Situated far from the madding crowd at Chimney Heights Resort on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway, the place is all set to offer unlimited snacks along with dinner and drinks on the house.

Or else, drive down to Hideout—-the nightclub at North Park just on the outskirts of Panchkula. “International” disc jockey Ricky from Dubai will mix the music for you.

“Live it up” at the CGA Golf Range. Enjoy spectacular performances by a dance troupe in cozy ambience, along with multi-cuisine dinner. Exclusive fireworks are ready to welcome the rise of the New Year from the ashes of old.

You get to enjoy candle-lit night and pasta treat during special food festivals at Hotel Aroma, that also without paying anything extra. “We have garlanded the entire hotel with bright lights for welcoming the new year,” says CEO Man Mohan Singh Kohli.

It’s “liquid buffet” at Taj Chandigarh. You can drink to your heart’s content from “select bar” without pulling out anything extra from your wallet. Adding flavour to the party spirit are international dancers reaching Chandigarh directly from Europe via Mumbai.

Depending upon your mood and budget, you can savour “fandu music”, or Punjabi delicacies in the pre-Independence ambience. “At the Grand Ballroom, you get to taste dishes from an impressive buffet of over 150 dishes, along with dance by international artistes for Rs 6,500 all inclusive,” says Food and Beverage Manager Vinu Varghese. “By paying Rs 2000 less, you can dance your way into the new year at Lava”.

Black Lotus promises captivating music by a live band, along with a special six-course menu and much more for Rs 4,000. At Cafe 17, you can tantalise your taste buds for Rs 3,500. At Dera, it’s celebrating the big day in 1940 style.

At Hotel Himani, its guest disc jockey creating magic from behind the console for the crowd to jive to the beats of pulsating music. “You can also take home gala prizes,” says Managing Director Ankit Gupta.

For tripping the light fantastic, just head for Sip `n’ Dine. Along with cool music, you will savour special hookas. At Manor, the lights are already focused on the dance floor for you to cut foot loose to the thumping beats of reverberating music. Get ready to cut foot loose at the Noodle Bar. With disc jockeys spinning tracks, it’s going to be an evening full of dance sequences, undoubtedly. Rajasthani singer Latif’s voice will fill the air with excitement at Metro-35. Whatever is your party style, you will not be disappointed. 



Ban on sale of fluids made by Punjab Formulations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Taking a serious note of reports about the use of fungus-infested dialysis fluids in the PGI, the UT Health Department has directed stockists and chemists in the city to stop selling fluids manufactured by Punjab Formulations Limited, a Sura village-based industry in Jalandhar district.

The Health Department has also asked stockists and chemists to properly examine the fluids manufactured by even other companies before selling these for end use.

Dr Manjit Singh Bains, UT Health Department Director-cum-Drug Controller, said the president of the Chandigarh Chemists Association had already been asked to circulate the orders among the city chemists. Expressing concern over infected fluids being in circulation in the region, Dr Bains said since the issue was related directly to the health of the people, there would be no compromise on the issue.

He said the department had taken samples of the fluids manufactured by the company and further course of action would be initiated after the arrival of the test reports from the Drugs and Food Laboratory. The laboratory reports were expected next week, he claimed.

He said the department had been facing shortage of staff. There were only three drug inspectors for handling over 1,060 drug stockists and retailers in the city, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunny Chopra, senior divisional manager of Punjab Formulations Limited, has said that the company management has found that the lapse was not on their part. Plastic bottles often develop such problems during transportation.



New twist to widow’s allegation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Adding a twist to the controversy of sexual harassment involving a clerk of the Directorate Sainik Welfare (DSW), Raj Kaur and Director, Sainik Welfare Punjab, Brig. J.S Jaswal, certain staff members of the DSW today submitted a memorandum to UT Senior Superintendent of Police casting doubts over the Raj Kaur’s claim of being war widow.

The staff members, including women and men, today met the SSP in his office and asserted that Raj Kaur had not taken legal divorce from her first husband, who lived in Patiala, before marrying Hawaldar Gurmail Singh. They further alleged that she was now living with her brother-in-law.

They demanded that a proper inquiry should be initiated in this connection to reveal the truth and if found guilty then all benefits given to her should be withdrawn.

Besides this, they also claimed that Raj Kaur was not efficient in her work and thus used to have problems with her officer.

In stead of taking action against her she was generally helped by others, including Brig. Jaswal.

Terming her allegations as baseless they said the whole thing was part of a conspiracy to tarnish the image of Brigadier Jaswal, who had done every possible thing to improve the functioning of the department.

On the other hand, DSP Devinder Kumar Thakur today initiated an inquiry into the matter and recorded the statement of Raj Kaur. He had also visited the directorate in this regard.

The representatives of the Local unit of the All India Anti Terrorist Front stated that they would also look into the matter and find out why the staff members of the department were against the widow. 



Watch out

Avneet Kaur, a Plus one commerce student of Paragon Senior Secondary School, Mohali, is now in South Korea as part of a delegation visiting the Jeong Myung Girls Middle and High School and American Missionary Adventure Mokpo city, South Korea. The visit is part of a mutual friendship and cultural exchange programme with the school. She is an active and brilliant student of the school. She has good relations with South Korean students. Two South Korean students stayed at her home while they visited Mohali in November 2006.



In Town

Poet and literary critic, Harvinder Bhandal, Kapurthala Noted Punjabi poet and literary critic Harvinder Bhandal is in town to participate in the ongoing Gursharan Singh Naat Utsav on the invitation of the Suchetak Rang Manch. Bhandal has been awarded the state-level Nav Pratibha Award-2006 instituted by the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, for his contribution to Punjabi literature. With three books on poetry and one on literary criticism to his credit, Bhandal maintains that the contemporary Punjabi poetry is being appreciated and recognised at par with any literary genre at the national level. But he rues its poor promotion and propagation by the NRIs and Punjabis settled abroad.



Passing Thru

Pran Chadha
Pran Chadha, Director, Universal Sports Industries, Jalandhar

Tell us a little about your company?

Our over 55-years old industry is engaged in manufacturing various kinds of sports goods. Our experienced and well trained craftsmen have developed a widely diversified line of products that caters to the present requirement and style. Our company has also won several Export Excellence Awards for our products.

What standards do you follow for boxing equipments?

Since it is a power game with acute contact, we have to be very particular about meeting international safety standards. Our gloves are of the world famous Mexican style, laced up with hand crafted padding and a Korean outer cover. We also manufacture Thai bag gloves with cut thumbs and wrap-around straps.

Do you export your products?

Yes, at present we are exporting our products to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and parts of Europe. We have earned a good reputation by never compromising with raw material and by keeping our prices very competitive. — G. S. Paul



Estimates of Rs 3.5 crore cleared for maintenance works
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 28
Estimates of Rs 3.5 crore for maintenance works were cleared at the general house meeting of the Municipal Council held here today.
The council plans to strengthen many internal roads in the residential and industrial sectors apart from constructing footpaths in different parts of the town.

The MLA , Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who was present at the meeting said he had planned to give Rs 5.5 lakh under the Punjab Nirman Yojna for an air -conditioned chamber to keep dead bodies in cases where the funeral got delayed . Since the Civil Hospital had been upgraded , a mortuary with a capacity for 10 bodies was being constructed , the money could now be given for the construction of two rooms at Government Primary School, Phase IX.

When the proposal to clear the taking over of seven parks from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority ( GMADA) was taken up for discussion the MLA said it was not yet clear as to what role the GMADA would perform in the town’s development. It was necessary to hold a meeting with the GMADA and council officials in his presence so that there was no overlapping of work undertaken by the two agencies. The proposal on the parks was later cleared.

All items on the agenda of the meeting were cleared except the one relating to the request of a safai sewak. The request was to allow her to work in the office of the Directorate but the salary be paid by the office of the civic body. Mr Kuljeet Singh Bedi said already 70 safai sewaks were working in the houses of senior government officials but the council had to bear the burden of their salaries which was unjustified.

Mr Harmanpreet Singh, vice-president of the council, complained that his ward was being discriminated against by the council authorities as estimates for development works from his area had not been put on the agenda.The council president, Mr Rajinder Singh Rana, however, disagreed with the contention and said he would present a list of the estimates of maintenance works cleared for the ward.

Mr B.B.Maini questioned the clearance of the promotion of an employee, Mr Avtar Singh Kalsia, at the November meeting of the council. He alleged that the employee was facing police cases and inquiries were pending against him. He objected to the manner in which the agenda item relating to the promotion was cleared. The House then rejected the proposal on this promotion.



Admn officials get new phone numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The Chandigarh Administration has opted for the centrex facility of the BSNL and new telephone numbers will become operational on or before December 30.
The facility will provide free intercom connection to all departments.

The new numbers of different offices are: Office of Adviser to the Administrator 2740154, 2740164; Home Secretary 2740008, 2740216;

Finance Secretary 2740017; Deputy Commissioner 2700109; Joint Secretary, Finance 2740045; Additional Deputy Commissioner 2700218; SDM (Central)

2700115; SDM (East) and RLA 2679010; SDM (South) 2676016; Joint Secretary, Home 2740039; Director, Public Relations 2740056; Director, Industries 2679007; Legal Remembrancer 2740153 and Chief Architect 2740236.

The other changed numbers are:Chief Engineer 2740029; District Education Officer 2740398; Director, Tourism 2740420; Director, IT 2740641; SSP 2740584; SSP (Operations) 2740541; PBX UT 2740200, 2740021, 2740591, President, Consumer Forum-1, 2700171; President, Consumer Forum-II, 2700172; President, District Forum 2700183; Director, Health Services 2700255; Director, Environment and Chief Wild life Warden 2700284, 2700217; Controller, Printing and Stationary 2700184; Secretary, STA 2700159 and Public Relations Officer 2740025.

The numbers of the Raj Bhavan, IG, Police, CITCO, Chandigarh Housing Board and hospitals have not been changed.



Restrain ministers from squandering public money: BJSP
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 28
The district unit of the Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party has written to the Chief Election Commissioner to restrict Congress ministers in the state from laying foundation stones and announcing grants to woo voters.

The president of the unit, Mr Anil Kumar, said in the letter that previous packages given by the Congress government to voters should be cancelled. He said the Congress government had done nothing for the welfare of the people in the state during the past about five years. There had been little progress in fields like agriculture, development and construction of roads, bridges, canals etc.

He said now, when the Assembly elections were nearing, the Congress government was making false promises.



Doc in charge found absent on duty

Mohali, December 28
The MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, carried out checking of the homoeopathic dispensary in Phase VII here today and found the doctor in charge absent .

The MLA then informed the Secretary of the Health Department who sent an official to inquire into the absence of the Dr Bhupinder Singh Chandhok and submit a report.

It is reported that the doctor had attended to several patients in the morning before going for some time for work in a bank. —OC



Army may restructure officer cadre
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
As part of the ongoing move to restructure its officer cadre and rationalise retirement age, the Army is considering a proposal to further increase the number of vacancies at the level of colonel by nearly 250.

According to sources in the Army Headquarters, the Defence Ministry had approved an additional 750 vacancies in the Army after the implementation of the A.V. Singh Committee recommendations. This is now being raised to 1,000.

“There was also a recommendation that the number of vacancies at the level of colonel be increased before the implementation of the second phase of the A.V. Singh Committee report,” a senior officer said.

The second phase of the report deals with promotion of colonels and above. The first phase of the report, announced in December 2003, was concerned with faster promotions of officers up to the rank of colonel and equivalent.

Sources reveal that so far 175 out of the approved 750 vacancies have been released. Consequently, some posts in static establishments and headquarters were upgraded to be tenable by colonels. Similarly, commanding officers in NCC units are now colonels and instead of lieutenant colonels.

Though the Army is officially not acknowledging the move to raise the retirement age, sources reveal that a major-general posted in Pune, on directions from New Delhi, had headed a study group in this regard, which had submitted its recommendations to the Army Headquarters two or three months ago.

Based upon the recommendations, it is learnt the army is proposing that the retirement age of lieutenant colonels, colonels and brigadiers be raised by two years and that of major generals be raised by a year. Retirement age of lieutenant generals and general remain the same.

Officers in the rank of lieutenant colonel and colonel in most arms and services retire at the age of 54 years. Under the re-employment scheme, they can continue to serve up to the age of 58 years. Brigadiers, who on the other hand are no entitled for re-employment, retire at the age of 56 years. Retirement of senior rank earlier was felt by the service brass to be unfair. That was the rationale behind increasing the retirement age and doing away with re-employment. In fact, it was one of the specific terms of reference of the study.

Sometime ago, the ministry of personnel had also floated a proposal to raise the retirement age of all central government employees.

The proposal had been sent to all ministries and departments, including the MoD, which had disseminated it to service headquarters for comments.



Governor lays stone of shelters for poor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Gen S.F Rodrigues(retd) today laid the foundation stones of two projects, "Shelter for rickshaw pullers and built-up sites for plastic rag dealers" in Sector 52, here today.

These projects envisage the rehabilitation of 25,000 rickshaw pullers and 120 plastic rag dealers in hygienic living and working conditions, in a phased manner, realising the dream of Le Corbusier, who wanted modern basic facilities to be made available in the city, even to the poorest of the poor.

Interacting with senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration on the occasion, General Rodrigues emphasised the need for forming cooperatives of these unorganised and vulnerable sections.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, said in the first phase three sites, one each in Sector 52, Sector 37-A and Ram Darbar, were being developed for the rickshaw pullers. On the first floor, there will be 16 dormitories with double accommodation, with a capacity for 370 rickshaw pullers. Kitchen and dining halls have also been provided with a capacity of about 150 persons at a time.

Similarly, in the second project of plastic rags dealers, built-up sites will be provided all civil amenities.



BJP councillors flay demolitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
All six newly elected BJP councillors have criticised the demolitions carried out in a few houses in Sector 23 yesterday. Blaming the Congress-led Central Government for such anss (I) had sought votes on the promise that it would not allow any demolitions in residential houses.

However, post-election, the Congress (I) has backed out and "its Administration" has again started demolitions in the houses. The councillors deman demanss (I) had sought votes on the promise that it would not allow any demolitions in residential houses.

However, post-election, the Congress (I) has backed out and "its Administration" has again started demolitions in the houses. The councillors demanded that need based changes made in houses by the people should be regularised and such demolitions should be stopped immediately. 



Card business gets e-thrashing
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
New Year greeting cards have found a least expected adversary in information technology (IT), with SMS greetings and e-greetings, bringing down the sales of cards in the city by more than 50 per cent this year.

Though the sale of New Year cards has been on the downslide for more than four years, it has never been so dismal. The reason, say card shop owners, is pure economics. With a card being available for anything between Rs 20 and 225, SMS, MMS or e-cards are much quicker and least expensive options. A random survey by The Tribune revealed that sales of New Year cards have gone down by a few lakhs this year.

According to rough estimates, the city last year registered a sale of New Year cards worth around Rs 30 lakh by the corporate sector alone. Another couple of lakhs was raked in through the sale of cards in the non-corporate sector.

The only solace for the greeting card dealers and retailers has been the corporate sector, which is still hooked on to this traditional form of greetings. Mr Shantanu Saxena, a business executive, says for most people in the corporate sector, New Year greeting cards remain the most convenient way of being in touch with their clients/regular customers and dealers. “No modern means of communication can erode the importance of greeting cards, as these can serve to be formal or informal, as desired by the customer.”

Interestingly, the corporate sector has taken to buying cards marketed by various charitable organisations, as a part of their social responsibility. This, in spite of the fact that cards for charity are sometimes more expensive. Be it the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), Helpage and the cards printed by the Blood Bank Society of Chandigarh, Child Relief and You (CRY), these remained the favourite picks.

However, this year it was the Christmas greeting cards that showed an upward trend in the city because of rapid globalisation and various city residents making many a friend during their frequent travels abroad or through the Internet. Mr Ankur Jindal of Friends Gift Gallery, Sector 15, says, “There is a limited sale of New Year cards, which is almost half of the sales last year. But the Christmas cards sales made up for the loss.”

Capt Rajneesh Talwar of Station 14, Panjab University, one of the oldest card galleries in the city, said majority of the customers buying New Year cards were youths. “But with information technology revolutionising the urban life, people have started preferring the e-greetings option,” he added.



Congress foundation day

Chandigarh, December 28
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), celebrated the foundation day of the Congress at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Sector 35, here on Thursday.
CTCC President, Mr BB Bahl, thanked Chandigarh voters for reposing faith in the Congress as portrayed in the recent MCC elections. TNS



Book released

Chandigarh, December 28
Prof R.C. Sobti,VC, today released a book on ‘Butterflies of North-West India’ authored by Dr H.R. Pajni, Dr H.S. Rose and Dr V.K. Walia faculty members of the university.
The VC appreciated the details in the book pertaining to nearly 80 per cent of the species which included 63 species of North-West India.



Youths snatch woman’s purse in Sector 34
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
In yet another incident, two unidentified motorcyclists snatched a purse of a woman in Sector 34 this afternoon.
The police said, Ms Tajinder Kaur of Fatehabad, lodged a complaint with Sector 34 police station, alleging that her purse was snatched by two unidentified youngsters this afternoon. She was travelling in a rickshaw, when the incident took place. The purse contained cash Rs 4,500, a State Bank of India ATM Card and some important documents. A case has been registered with the Sector 34 police.

2 assault cases registered

Mr Mahesh Chander of Sector 22, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that he was assaulted and threatened near his house on Wednesday by Ramesh Kumar of Sector 22. A case has been registered in this regard.

Similarly, Mr Ravi Kumar of Sanjay Colony, filed a complaint alleging that Sabiwal, another resident of same colony, assaulted and threatened him near his house today. Ravi Kumar got injuries and was admitted to Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. A case has been registered in this connection.



26-yr-old woman sustains 90 pc burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
A 26-year-old married woman sustained burn injuries under mysterious circumstances at her residence in Burail here tonight. She was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital with 90 per cent burns. Her husband, Rajbir Singh, is a roadside vendor.

According to the police the incident took place around 10 pm. The victim, identified as Nanhi, a mother of two, was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition.

The police was investigating the matter till the filing of the report.

However, the SHO of the Sector 34 Police Station, Inspector Jagir Singh, said the Ilaka magistrate had been informed about the incident. 



Delegation meets Excise Commissioner

Chandigarh, December 28
The PHDCCI has organised a meeting of industry members with Mr Rajendra Prasad, Commissioner, Central Excise and Customs.
In his remarks, Mr Bagrodia said the indirect taxes contributed around 62 per cent of the total tax revenue and played a very vital role in nation-building. Central Excise revenue alone contributes around 39 per cent of the total tax revenue.

He informed that the PHDCCI has formed an Indirect Taxes Committee with an objective to facilitate industry and trade to reduce transaction costs associated with enforcement and administration while ensuring compliance with laws.

Mr Prasad, in his reply, appreciated the genuineness of the problems and issues raised by the participants and assured the members that the department would look into the matter and appropriate directions to various commissionerates would be issued. TNS



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