C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sector 23 Leisure Valley landscaping threatens Mother Teresa Home building
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The UT Administration’s project to landscape Sector 23 Leisure Valley area might just be starting but it is already threatening some existing structures.

Bearing the brunt of indiscriminate bulldozing of land in its backyard is the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa Home) building in Sector 23, which houses over 200 abandoned and destitute children. The project execution is such that the protective rear compound wall of the Home will crumble, experts point out. It is already vulnerable.

As a result of levelling of land, where UT Administration plans to plant grass for beautification, the natural rainstorm water flow out of the Home has been obstructed. Earth dug up from the target area of the landscaping project has been moved back towards the rear wall of the Home thoughtlessly and it has literally covered the mouth of rainstorm water drains located in the wall. The result has been large-scale seepage of water into the wall through capillary action which is a proven nuisance to any building.

A visit to the site reveals the extent to which capillary action has set in, threatening the foundation of the Home. Unable to escape to the Leisure Valley stream through its natural route (as earlier), rainstorm water has started seeping into the rear wall. Water seepage by way of capillary action has risen to six feet level in the compound wall of the Home and the first signs of vulnerability have started to show. Hapless inmates can do nothing, but watch the damage being done.

The problem, say experts like Dr G.S. Dhillon, is only surfacing. Mr Iqbal Singh Kalsi, former Project Manager, ONGC, who has been voluntarily assisting in the maintenance of the Home for four years, also admits: “The digging of earth around the perennial stream has disturbed the natural flow of water through the stream. In their zeal to landscape the area, the UT Administration has brought down the level of earth in Sector 23 to an extent that flooding of residential areas is inevitable. Following the digging process, the ground level of Sector 23 has come down by 60 feet in comparison to Sector 2 where the Leisure Valley stream enters the city.”

Mother Teresa Home, he says, is especially vulnerable as its drainage system has been blocked. Drain water has no proper outlet. When rains come, flooding of the area will further cause rainwater to push against the wall of the Home and block its sewer system. Disintegration of the wall is a matter of time, he says.

Alarmed by the problem, Mr Kalsi has written to Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), requesting him to monitor mindless planning of UT Engineering Department and demand accountability on projects. The management of Mother Teresa Home has also written to the DC, apprising him of the problem. They say the Administration has assured them of alternative arrangements for drainage. But experts feel it might be too late.

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Tension in Saketri after demolitions
Villager dies of shock
Tribune News Service

Sher Singh
Sher Singh

Panchkula, January 18
Unrest is brewing in Saketri and gradually snowballing into a protest. A tense village and anxious villagers today met to deal with the threat of demolitions of “unauthorised structures” looming large over them even as they mourned the death of a fellow villager.

“Without any prior intimation, the staff of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) descended on our village yesterday and demolished two houses as a warning. We were still to come to terms with the demolition when 60-year-old Sher Singh, owner of the house adjoining those demolished, suffered a massive heart attack and died. He could not bear the chance of losing his house to JCBs,” says village sarpanch Mohan Singh.

With nearly 450 houses outside the lal dora, the villagers maintained that the government had already approved extending the municipal limits of Panchkula to include Saketri way back in 2003.

“We had suggested the expansion of the lal dora to include 450 houses on its periphery. However, since the government did not want to make it a precedent for others to follow, it was decided that the abadi deh would be increased to accommodate us. We have been awaiting its implementation ever since it got the nod,” says Mr Krishan Bhardwaj, president of the Saketri Bachao Morcha.

Maintaining that the houses outside the lal dora had been issued notices under the Periphery Control Act, the villagers said they had been asked to vacate the houses and demolish these failing which the government machinery would be pressed into service and they would be levied charges for the effort.

“The HUDA officials must realise that the lal dora was defined somewhere in 1917, nearly nine decades ago. The population has increased and the compelling circumstances prompted us to represent to the government, which recommended our case favourably. Also, HUDA’s demolition is unjustified because there is a case pending in court since 1985 and we have got a stay,” explains Mr Bharat Bhushan Bansal, a former member of the block samiti and Congress worker from the area.

Perturbed with this first move made by HUDA to demolish the structures, the villagers today met Deputy Chief Minister and local MLA Chander Mohan to apprise him of their problem. “He has assured us that he will take up the matter with the Town and Country Planning Department. We will also meet the Member of Parliament, Ms Selja, and then approach the Chief Minister if the need arises. We are even game to begin a fast-unto-death outside the houses of the top shots if our pleas fall on deaf ears,” adds 38-year-old Mahavir Singh, another villager associated with the morcha.

Meanwhile, sources in HUDA said the land possession was with HUDA and the demolitions carried out yesterday were only to discourage people for carrying out fresh constructions. “We have told them to desist from new constructions and we will not touch them,” an official said while adding that the houses in Saketri were in violation of the Schedule of Road Act since there was no land left to broaden the road.

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National Bravery Award for Kashika
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Kashika Singh, daughter of Punjab DIG, Mr Khubi Ram, has been chosen for the National Bravery Award 2006. 13-year-old Kashika showed remarkable grit and courage by saving the life of her 6-year-old friend and neighbour, Ishista Arora.

The incident took place in May last year when Kashika and Ishita fell into a seven-feet ditch when the path they were walking on caved in at a park near their houses at the Commando Complex, Phase 11, Mohali. Ishita fell deeper into the open sewerage line that was bare under them. Barely hanging on to the roots of a tree herself, Kashika asked Ishita to hold her legs to make sure she is not swept away by the gushing water below. Both the children were badly bruised. Despite being in pain, Kashika pulled her out and put her on a pile of rubble inside the ditch. The little girl, who could have been gobbled into the sewerage line, was saved .

A class IX student of Saint Stephen’s School, Sector 45 here, Kashika will receive the award from Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on January 24. Later, she along with other awardees, will be part of the Republic Day parade.

Kashika and Ishita had earlier received the Punjab State Bravery Award on August 15, 2006, and were also honoured during the State Children’s Day function on November 14.

Recalling the incident, Kashika says it had been raining throughout the day and she and Ishita were taking a walk in the park when the path caved in. “I fell on the slabs inside while Ishita fell deeper into the quick sand. I saw her inside the quick sand with only her head and one arm outside. I shouted to her to catch hold of my leg, which she did. I was not afraid. I stood on the rubble and called out for help. An electrician passing by heard us and brought a ladder to help us get out,” she says.

“We did not believe that the kids had such a narrow escape. We were not at home when the accident occurred. But when we saw the ditch, we realised the gravity of the situation,” says Mrs Shubhra Singh, Kashika’s mother.

Kashika now wants to join the Army. Ishita, daughter of another Punjab police officer, Dr Naresh Arora, continues to be her best friend. 

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‘Lakshmi’ for Luxman
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, January 18
Luxman Singh, a resident of Ramdasia Mohalla here, who lived in penury till recently, has hit the Rs 1-crore jackpot ‘Lohri bumper’ of the Punjab Lotteries Department .

In fact, Luxman had been buying lottery tickets for the past over 30 years and perseverance has paid off.

With lady luck smiling on the family, the house was abuzz with activity today as curious neighbours made a beeline to congratulate the family."It is God's grace," said Luxman.

When asked what the family planned do with the money, Baldev said the family only wanted to live a comfortable life. “We may also help poor people like us with a portion of the money”, she added.

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PGI staff end strike

Chandigarh, January 18
The PGI Employees Union (Group B, C and D employees), Chandigarh, today ended their long ongoing chain hunger strike following a negotiation between the union and the PGI management.

A press note issued by the union chairman stated that the protesting employees withdrew their chain hunger strike after the union leaders and a team of the Welfare Committee of the PGI administration met. — TNS

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Defacement: Police wakes up
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Taking suo-motu cognisance of a news report carried in these columns on the defacement of public property in the city by political parties contesting the Assembly elections in Punjab, the Chandigarh Police today launched a massive anti-defacement drive and registered cases under the provisions of the West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act of 1976 as applicable to the city as well.

The men-in-khaki, however, did not register a case against the members of a political party involved in the defacement of pillars on the bridge over Sector 17.

The sources in the police headquarters said the police did not act fast in the matter and allowed the party supporters to tear away the posters even before action could be initiated against them.

They added that instructions to act against the violators were issued by the top brass of the local police in the morning itself. In fact, the Station House Officers of all police stations were categorically asked to carry out the anti-defacement drive by constituting special teams for visiting the areas under their jurisdiction.

A survey of the city later during the day, however, revealed that despite today’s drive defacements continued to mar city’s beauty. “Go to the Panjab University grounds and you will still find posters of different political parties glued on the pillars,” said a language lecturer. “The problem is worse in the area around the hostels and the varsity market”.

Describing the drive as ‘half-hearted’, the lecturer said the police had launched similar drives earlier also. But in the absence of proper checks and sustained operations against the menace, posters and handbills resurfaced soon after the drives conclusion.

Besides the university, posters announcing concerts, fashion shows and religious functions could be seen glued on trees in front of the Reserve Bank of India in Sector 17 and on the pillars in the Sector 11 market. The sources agreed that the defacement of public property invited strict punishment for the violators as the offence was cognisable and punishable with imprisonment.

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Tribune Impact
IAS officer stripped of ‘substantive posting’
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Taking note of The Tribune story about an IAS officer managing a “substantive posting” in Chandigarh so that he could hold on to a government house here, the Punjab Government has stripped of his main charge.

The officer, Mr Ashok Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, had been posted as the Special Secretary (Wildlife) leaving him with the additional charge as the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. He was the only Deputy Commissioner in the state to hold the charge of Deputy Commissioner as an additional charge, that too during the election time.

However, some days ago, the Punjab Government issued orders, removing him as Special Secretary (Wildlife), posting him as the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana.

The Tribune had reported how Mr Gupta had unauthorisedly occupied a government house for over four years and when asked to give up its possession, managed a “substantive posting” in Chandigarh so that he could hold on to the Sector 16 house here.

Earlier, the officer, had also been slapped a fine of over Rs 8 lakh for illegal occupation of the government house. It had also been reported that while posting Mr Gupta as the Special Secretary (Wildlife) and giving him additional charge of the Deputy Commissioner, the government had not have given a serious thought to the fact that the post of DC assumes huge significance in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.

When contacted, Mr S.S. Rajput, Secretary (Personnel), Punjab, said that after reading the newspaper report, the Chief Minister directed the officer’s immediate shifting from the post. A note in this regard was also sent by the Chief Minister’s office to the Chief Secretary.

The latest order means that he will not be able to cling on to the government house in Chandigarh as UT Administration rules do not allow allotment of a government house to state cadre officers unless they have substantive posting in Chandigarh.

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Giani Gurdit Singh cremated

Chandigarh, January 18
The mortal remains of Giani Gurdit Singh, eminent Punjabi writer, were consigned to the flames at the cremation ground in Sector 25 here today. His last rites were attended by a large number of persons from all walks of life, including writers, journalists, academicians, bureaucrats and Sikh scholars.

His elder son, Mr Roopinder Singh, lit the funeral pyre amidst the reciting of Gurbani by priests. The antim ardas and bhog will be held at Sri Guru Granth Sahib Vidya Kendra on January 21, Sunday, at 12.30 p.m.

Wreaths were placed on the body on behalf of the Punjab Governor, Gen S.F Rodrigues (retd), and also by Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian of the Institute of Sikh Studies and the Punjabi Lekhak Sabha. The cremation was attended by, among others, Major-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd), former Chairman of the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, Prof Rajpal Singh from the Punjab Arts Council, Mr Rajinder Singh of the Khalsa Panchayat, Mr Gulzar Singh Sandhu, noted Punjabi writer, Mr Ajaib Singh Machakki and Dr Man Singh Nirankari. — TNS

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Passing Thru

T.A. Krishnan, vice-president (North), Blue Dart Express
T.A. Krishnan, vice-president (North), Blue Dart Express

What brings you to the city?

I am here to inaugurate the new service centre of Blue Dart at Zirakpur. This new ultra-modern centre is spread over 1800 sq. feet to support the growing need of customers in the surrounding areas. As it is located on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, it will provide easy access to Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

What are the other initiatives planned for North India?

We propose to set up 13 new facilities across North India by the end of this year. This will be in addition to the current strength of 54 offices and 61 business associates.

What is the growth rate of Blue Dart?

We are market leaders in courier and integrated air package distribution company, with 45 per cent market share. Last year, the company’s turnover was Rs 518 crore with a growth of 20-25 per cent.

— Ruchika M. Khanna

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No relief from cell spam
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Despite the hue and cry by consumer rights activists and cell phone subscribers over spam calls and unsolicited messages, there is no letting up on the part of the telemarketing companies and cellphone operators to put an end to these calls.

Spam on the cell phone - generated both by telemarketers and cell phone operators - gets you even while you are watching a movie, rushing for some important assignment, letting your hair down at a party or a holiday, or even during an important business conference. And what is worse is that you are forced to pay for all these calls and smses, while on roaming!

Anup Sharma, who runs an advertisement agency in Sector 21, and has just returned from a five-day business trip to Kathmandu said, “Each day, I receive two to three such unsolicited calls and SMSes, while on international roaming. Since my business demands it, I have to accept every call.”

“From credit card companies to car insurance agents and banks - everyone is trying to sell his services without realizing the harassment being meted out to me,” he said adding that earlier the cell phone operator had not activated international roaming and he had to pay Rs 2000 for making repeated calls to the operator for it.

Residents in the city complain that in spite of the Supreme Court ruling on invasion of privacy and spam by telemarketers, most banks and credit card companies continue with this "aggressive marketing". They complain that despite the recent order by the Delhi Consumer Forum on a leading cell phone operator, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and certain banks, there is no let up in the telemarketing calls received by them.

Many cell phone operators too have added new cell phone numbers which advertise their new services and beep at all odd hours. Interestingly, subscribers who call back on these numbers, hear the voice at the other end say that the "number does not exist".

Interestingly, a leading operator in the region has introduced a ‘do not call’ registry, where a consumer is forced to pay Rs 6 for each call that he wants to block including the telemarketing calls by the operator himself.

A spokesman of Spice Telecom, when contacted by TNS said that they were a responsible and customer focused brand and had processes in place to help Spice subscribers preserve their privacy. He added that Spice does not share customer information with marketers.

"The subscriber also has the option to deactivate all our promotional calls by logging onto the Spice website and choosing the option of "Do not disturb", he added.

Meanwhile, residents demanded that an authority like Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) should insist on a national ‘do not call’ registry for subscribers.

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Concrete road opening by month-end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Harassment of daily commuters will hopefully end with the scheduled opening of the first concrete road in the city dividing Sectors 31 and 32 by January 25.

Already behind schedule by several months, the Engineering Department officials are hoping to open the road to traffic by January 25. The previous two deadlines — October 19, 2006 and December 31, 2006 — have not been complied with.

There is not much to rejoice for those using the road stretch to reach the Purav Marg. A part of the road from the roundabout of Sectors 30 and 31 to the small rotary near the Sector 32 Fire Brigade Station was being opened to light motor vehicles. “The entire 1.2 km stretch till the roundabout of Sector 46 Government College would be opened by March 31”, said an official supervising work at the spot.

To meet the deadline, work was in progress to lay the road berms and road divider on the dual carriageway. The temporary entry to the hospital had been closed.

Mr V.K.Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration, confirmed that the entire stretch would be opened to traffic by March 31. He said the apprehension of the road level being higher than the roundabout of Sectors 30 and 31 was baseless as every aspect of natural gradient for flow of rain water had been kept in mind.

Keeping their fingers crossed, city residents strongly feel that in such cases the Administration cannot inconvenience commuters for a long period. Apart from being an alternative link to the Sector 32 Government Hospital, it serves as a vital link to a number of southern sectors. Daily commuters and those coming from outside have to take longer routes.

Initiated as a pioneering project, residents had welcomed the work to strengthen infrastructure. Mr Kulbir Singh, a senior resident, who has to come frequently to the Sector 32 hospital from Sector 46, has to pay extra to hire a rickshaw.

In case of the concrete road, no advance marking for alternative routes had been put up by the Engineering Department.

Officials claim that concrete roads do not wear out easily. Compared to regular roads which have a life span of about four years, these roads did not require maintenance like renewal and strengthening for a good 25 years. The entire stretch would cost about Rs 2.83 crore.

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

An official at the spot said apart from the strom water drain, curve channels had been laid on both sides of the road.

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Hike in school bus charges likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Chandigarh School Buses Operators Welfare Association has hinted at a hike in bus fares if insurance companies did not roll back the hike in insurance premium. The hike could be around Rs 30 per child per month.

In a representation to the President of India, the Prime Minister, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority, Hyderabad, and the Chairpersons of all insurance companies, the association has sought that the hike in the premium amount should be rolled back.

This was conveyed by Mr Manjeet Singh, president of the association.

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Car catches fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The driver of a Maruti car had a narrow escape when his car caught fire today. The incident occurred at about 6.45 pm near the Transport chowk.

The driver, who was unaware that his car had caught fire, was informed by an alert passer-by. By then, it was too late for him to get out of the car.

He was rescued only after fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

While the fire was doused within minutes, passers-by gathered in numbers to see what had happened. This resulted in a traffic jam which lasted for more than 45 minutes.

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MC sets agenda to begin work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The introductory meeting of officers and councillors of the Municipal Corporation was held today. Mayor Harjinder Kaur chaired the meeting.

The councillors were requested to give a brief of the problems being faced in their wards and give their suggestions about various developmental works that could be undertaken there.

While giving a presentation about the functioning of corporation, Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said that in the future, they have to complete the town planning exercise for villages included in the municipal area, to improve existing civic infrastructure in these villages and to initiate appropriate steps for implementation of the fifth and sixth phase of additional water supply from Kajauli. In addition, the widening of V-5 roads to 33 feet and the provision of pedestrian pathways on V-5 roads, the construction of air-conditioned marriage palace, proper maintenance of parks through outsourcing by imposing cess on water charges, would be taken up.

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Nodal officers’ meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Nodal officers of different departments of the UT Administration met under the chairmanship of the Director, Public Relations, Mr Vivek Atray, here on Tuesday. Nodal officers were appointed by the administration for regular interaction and better understanding of the need to provide more information to the public.

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Blankets distributed

Chandigarh, January 18
As a part of the social activities launched by the SBI, Mrs Nisha Contractor, president of the State Bank of Ladies Club, Chandigarh, today distributed blankets among poor and needy patients at the PGI. A press note issued by the Assistant General Manager (Public Relations and CSB), the club has been distributing free books and school uniforms as well. — TNS

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HSBC sponsors 20 kids of SOS Children’s Village
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, January 18
In a unique gesture the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Chandigarh, today sponsored 20 children of the SOS Children's Village here.

A cheque of Rs 1.20 lakh was handed over to the village Director, Col Harinder Singh (retd), by Mr Sachin Vinayak, Vice President and branch head, HSBC, at a brief function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sachin Vinayak appreciated the work being done by SOS India which had made possible for these hundreds of destitute children to grow in a very conducive environment.

Colonel Harinder Singh, while thanking the HSBC, said SOS India was working for the orphan and destitute children for the last more than 40 years in India. Today it has 39 SOS Children's Villages all over the country. In Punjab the SOS Children's Village, Rajpura, was established in 1996. It has 14 family houses where 162 orphan children are living on permanent care basis.

Each house has 10-12 children of different age and sex who live together as brothers and sisters under the love and care of an SOS Mother. Along with these, the village also supports 40 children through its ‘strengthening family programme’ and 50 children through ‘outreach programme’.

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Doctor booked for causing miscarriage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
A housewife in Kajheri village may never be able to conceive a child following the alleged negligence of a ‘doctor’, who was today booked by the local police on the allegation of causing a miscarriage and grievous hurt.

The doctor is reported to be absconding and efforts are on to trace him, said the police.

Giving details, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said that 26-year-old Kiran of Kajheri village went to Aman Nursing Home in the locality on January 14 after she developed complications following excessive bleeding.

Dr A.K. Kaushal operated upon her and sent her home. It is alleged that he, during the operation, cut a vein through his negligence.

The patient continued to suffer for next two days and went back to the doctor. Dr Kaushik, reportedly, carried out several tests on her including an ultrasound scan, but to no avail.

Yesterday, Kiran went to the General Hospital in Sector 16 after her condition deteriorated further. The doctors there, judging the seriousness of her condition, referred her to the PGI.

Doctors at the PGI operated upon her and removed her womb in order to save her life, said the police.

The condition of the victim, a mother of two children, is stated to be serious. Her husband is a junk dealer.

The SHO said that taking cognisance of the matter, a case of causing miscarriage and grievous hurt under Sections 313 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

The police said they would also verify the doctor’s credentials to find out whether he was authorised to practise medicine.

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Addl sessions judge booked for cheating and impersonation
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Taking up the complaint of a woman hailing from Chandigarh, the Delhi Police has booked her husband - an Additional Sessions Judge - on the allegation of getting matrimonial advertisements issued in leading newspapers.

The sources in the Delhi Police said Judge Narinder Pal Kaushik had been booked under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code on the allegations of cheating and impersonation and other offences on the complaint of Ms Suman Kaushik.

The first information report registered in the matter says the accused had got his matrimonial advertisement published in newspapers by 'misrepresenting' himself to be a divorcee and issueless.

The sources add that the Judge is the father of an 18-year-old girl and has filed a case seeking divorce. The matter is still pending.

Considering the stature of the accused, the Delhi Police reportedly carried out a series of extensive inquiries, which lasted for over five months. The sources add that the cops cautiously gathered evidence against the accused, including telephone records from where he operated his internet and newspapers in which the advertisements were carried, before proceedings in the matter.

The police has also in possession recording of telephonic conversation in which Kaushik has claimed that he was legally divorced, the sources add. Giving details, the sources assert that police has also procured records of eight matrimonial advertisements published in the newspapers within a span of four months in 2006.

The police then verified the email identity given by the accused in the advertisements and traced it to his telephone numbers, including his official number from which he was operating his internet connection.

Ms Kaushik in her complaint lodged with the Tilak Marg, Police Station, New Delhi, on August 1, 2006, had alleged that her husband got advertisements issued in matrimonial columns of newspapers published from Chandigarh and New Delhi seeking match, in April and May last year. He was described as a "Saraswati Brahmin, 48 years old, 5'8 ½ inches, legally divorced, teetotaller, senior class I officer, no liability, reputed family". She also alleged that Kaushik's actual age was concealed. It was stated that he was 47 whereas he was above 54.

Ms Kaushik had also informed the police in her complaint that the accused had given the advertisements on the name and addresses of his brother and sisters. A senior police officer in the Tilak Marg Police Station, New Delhi, on condition of anonymity, confirmed the registration of the case against Mr Kaushik. He added that the police has conducted a thorough inquiry into the matter. About the arrest, he said they were following the procedure and would seek permission before proceeding further in this matter. The officer said the two had married in 1987. Her mother lives in Sector 2, Panchkula.

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30 residents of Colony No. 5 booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The police today carried out a search operation in Colony No. 5 in today. The police in all rounded up 250 persons on suspicion.

The SHO of Sector 34 police station, Inspector Jagir Singh, said the operation was carried out to check the antecedents of persons, who had settled in the colony recently. The operation was supervised by DSP (South) KIP Singh and around 200 police personnel from various wings of the police were pressed into the operation.

He added that 250 persons were rounded up during the four- hour- long operation which started at 3 am. After verification police identified 30 persons who failed to satisfy the cops about their antecedents. They were booked under Section 109 of the IPC and later produced before a local court.

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Cop suspended for detaining woman

Chandigarh, January 18
In the infamous case of mistaken identity of Santosh of Karnal, the police today placed under suspension Head Constable Ram Kumar for his goofing. At the same time, a show cause notice for censure has also been issued to the SHO of Sector 36 police station for supervising the entire episode in a lackadaisical manner.

The DSP (South), Mr K.P.I Singh today submitted the report of his fact finding inquiry in this matter. Ram Kumar had been transferred to the police lines. A regular departmental inquiry for imposing a major penalty had also been ordered against him for his misconduct. — TNS

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Father accuses police of demanding bribe for son’s release
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 18
The father of a person allegedly arrested by the police on charges of buying stolen jewellery has claimed that the police has demanded a bribe for the release of his son.

Mr Mukhtiar Singh told mediapersons at a press conference, here today, that a CIA official has demanded Rs 60,000 for the release of his son, Gurmeet Singh, who has a jewellery shop in the Phase IV rehri market. They produced a recorded CD of the conversation between Bhupinder Singh, the brother of the accused, and the CIA official.

They said the police had raided their house on January 14 to nab Gurmeet. As he could not be traced, the police took away Mukhtiar Singh. Bhupinder Singh later approached the police and asked it to release his father as he was old and detain him instead.

Mr Mukhtiar Singh further added that on January 15 he handed over Gurmeet to the police. The same day, Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, held a press conference where he presented Satnam Singh, allegedly involved in 21 incidents of chain snatching, before the media, but Gurmeet was not brought forth. Satnam Singh, a resident of Phase II, is said to have sold a part of the stolen jewellery to Gurmeet Singh.

The father said he had given a complaint to the SSP against the CIA staff on charges of illegally detaining his son and demanded his release.

Mr Dhillon, SSP, in response, said the members of the family of Gurmeet Singh were levelling baseless allegations against the CIA official. Interestingly, he added that the accused is wanted by the police but has not been arrested so far. He alleged that Gurmeet Singh was a habitual buyer of stolen jewellery and members of his family are now trying to put pressure on the police by levelling allegations so that the recovery of the stolen jewellery do not take place. As a case has been registered against him, he will have to produce the stolen gold chains after his arrest, the SSP added.

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Mobera Systems to get CMMI certification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
City-based Mobera Systems, an ISO 9001 certified company, is now adopting world-class quality processes in order to manage its internal working and deliver high quality software solutions and services to its growing base of international clients.

Mobera Systems has now engaged DQS India, the subsidiary of DQS, Germany's largest organisation for management system certification, for the maturity level 3 SCAMPI assessment on CMMI model. With the world's leading corporates like Siemens, Henkel, T-Systems, T-Mobile, IBM and BASF as its clients, DQS is one of world's largest organisation in the business of management system certification.

According to Ms Anupama Arya, Director, Mobera Systems, the company will be making significant investment in terms of cost, time and effort to achieve its goal of becoming a world-class company. “Our target is to be CMMI-assessed by May 2007,” she said. DQS India shall evaluate the Mobera Systems processes and practices leading to assurance of better quality, efficiency and security of software products and consequently will help in the scaling up of the company operations.

Mobera Systems, which recently took on a US-based software company, is focussed on developing and delivering high-performanced and fully-secured software products to its customers. “This is for the first time that any IT company in the tricity has gone in for an independent CMMI certification,” said Ms Arya.

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Biz Clips
Rock Show

Reliance Communications, a leading telecom service provider, will organise a regional selection for Campus Rock Idols, India’s largest Inter -College Rock Music Competition on February 3 at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10. The show will feature a series of “Reliance Rockshalas” where college students can test their musical mettle and participate in a series of contests and activities. The jury comprising of senior representatives from the music industry shall short-list the winners. The top two winning bands from the regional selections shall compete with other bands in the North Zone Finals to be held in Delhi,said an official release. — TNS

Customer meet

The Life Insurance Corporation of India on Tuesday organised a customer meet for its policy holders of the tricity. The policy holders interacted with senior officials of LIC, including the Senior Divisional Manager, Mr Mahendra Kumar. The officials not only redressed the complaints, but also informed them about the achievements of LIC and initiatives taken with regards to customer service. — TNS

Blankets for poor

Officials of Canara Bank, Circle Office, Chandigarh, on Wednesday distributed 100 blankets among poor and sick people residing in Colony No 5. Mr Y L Madan, General Manager, Canara Bank, gave away the blankets. — TNS

Chlormint contest

Perfetti Van Melle, a leading confectionary company, Wednesday gave away cheques of Rs 1 lakh each to Mahesh Jindia, Joginder Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Rajat Aggarwal. They had participated and won in the Mega Scheme of Chlormint. The prizes were given away by Mr Ashish Kapoor, Brand Manager of Perfetti Van Melle. — TNS

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Modern terminal market for city soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The city will soon have a big a modern terminal market (MTM) for fruits, vegetables and other perishable products.

The project, to be established in the proposed Agriculture Zone in Sector 39, is expected to be completed over a period of 15 months.

Sources in the Administration said on January 8, a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act had been issued to acquire about 29 acres of land. The acquisition process would be completed in another six months. Some chunk of land under the Grain Market was also available with the Administration.

Moving ahead in the direction of setting up the market, the Chandigarh State Agriculture Marketing Board today issued a global tender inviting request for quotation for the project.

The applications have to be submitted within 40 days and the list of qualified applicants for the bidding stage will be announced in 65 days.

The Home-cum-Agriculture Secretary, UT Administration, Mr. Krishna Mohan, said this would go a long way in harnessing the potential of the emerging consumer demand, and in providing a professionally managed competitive alternative marketing structure that provides multiple choices to the farmers for sale of produce.

The market will have electronic auction, cold storage facilities, temperature controlled warehouse, ripening chamber, sorting grading washing and packing lines. The market will also have arrangements for labelling of produce, transport services, including cool chain, quality testing facility and material handling equipments.

The market will also have futures trading facility, banking services, including settlement of transaction.

It would also have waste and refuse treatment and disposal facility apart from sufficient storage area of plastic rates, basic lodging services and vehicle fueling services. It will also have bulk weighing facilities and price displays and bulletin services.

The market is proposed to be set-up on about 50 acres on the land earmarked as Agriculture Zone in Sector 39.

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