C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Love golf? Home in on the periphery
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Wooing investors to the city’s periphery with luxury apartments, penthouses and swimming pools may soon be passé. Residential projects with golf courses are the new rage. And real estate firms could have well hit the nail on the head given the residents love for golf and fondness for a good life.

Five such projects are coming up in this region, the latest to join the bandwagon being Ansals API’s Golflinks coming up in Mohali. Though this project will not have a golf course within the premises, it shall overlook the 18-hole course to be built by PUDA.

Ansal API director D. Sachdev said that Golflinks would be spread over 200 acres in Sector 114 of Mohali. “it would have 3,300 flats and penthouses, 100 villas and 600 plots. The residential units will be in the price range of Rs 25 to 50 lakhs,” he said.

Originally an American concept, Collage Group, Omaxe, Timber Trail group and ATS are also trying to woo investors by offering a haven with a perfect view of the greens. Be it a 18-hole golf course or a nine-hole one, each of the real estate firms is eager to sell “dream houses” among the greens.

Collage Group is coming up with a golf course settlement near Zirakpur. The ambitious project shall be a signature 18-hole golf course with an integrated housing project spread over 200 acres. The settlement shall have over 600 villas and apartments but these would be sold through invitation only.

The Omaxe Patiala Development Authority project would offer a mini golf course along with green belts over 330 acres. ATS Greens is also coming up with a integrated housing project at Dera Bassi overlooking a nine-hole golf course. This project will have almost 2,600 residential units.

Developers feel that having a golf course will raise the general standard of living and working ambiance of those who opt for these villas/ apartments. They feel that these golf villas would not only be hot sellers among NRIs but also with local residents known for their fondness for a good life.

The Timber Trail group is also planning to come up with a residential complex amid an 18-hole golf course near Raipur Rani, Panchkula. The project will be spread over 400 acres. Work is expected to begin by March this year and the project is expected to be completed by 2009.



No need to get affidavit: Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 29
UT Home Secretary Krishna Mohan has asked all departments not to ask for any affidavit along with the application from the public for any work/service, except in cases where the provision to obtain an affidavit exists in the statute.

In a memo issued to the departments, these have been asked to examine and initiate cases for suitable amendments in the statute, so that the public would not undergo pains for the preparation of affidavits as granted by the Administration.

The Home Secretary observed, “Besides the harassment and cumbersome procedure for the preparation of affidavits, the public has to spend money for preparation of affidavits.



Jagir a victim of conspiracy: LHRI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) today termed the case of molestation involving Inspector Jagir Singh and a SI, a conspiracy. The city-based Human Rights Organisation after conducting an inquiry into the matter said that the Inspector was a victim of internal factionalism of the Chandigarh Police.

Members of the LHRI today shared the findings of their inquiry with the media and said nothing of this sort happened on that day and Inspector Jagir Singh was arrested in a false case. They added that the woman SI became a tool in the hands of a group hostile to Inspector Jagir Singh. She got help from the in-charge of the crime branch, who was not concerned with the matter in any way.

The team of LHRI, which prepared the 14 page report was comprised of Mr Tejinder Singh Sudan, the president, Mr R.S. Sodhi, the vice-president, P.K.S Gill, Gasgan Aggarwal, Yadvinder Singh Dhillon, Manpreet Singh, S.S Bawa and Vipin Negi. Mr Sudan stated that the copies report had been sent to the UT Administrator, Home Secretary, Inspector-General of Police and National Human Rights Commission.

Putting a question mark over the sequence of events that led to the arrest of the inspector, they asked how it was possible that an inspector rank officer managed to molest his colleague in the room of another SHO in the broad day light. They expressed surprise over the presence and the subsequent intervention of SI Gurjit Kaur, who reportedly intervened into the matter. Despite the fact there was enough staff of the Sector 17 Police Station present there.

About the role of the crime branch they asserted that as the woman SI was posted in the crime branch, it was enough indication for its role in the entire conspiracy.

They also mentioned that inspector Jagir Singh was also humiliated by crime branch officials.

Mr Amar Singh Chahal, member of the LHRI said that this is perhaps for the first time in the history of the Chandigarh Police that the things come to such a low level due to internal rivalry.

They also questioned the invoking of Section 506 of the IPC in this case.



NHRC moved over man’s torture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A city-based human rights organisation today moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the alleged torture of a Mauli Jagran resident by the police.

Acting on a report published in a section of the press, the Global Human Rights Council in a complaint to the NHRC alleged that Jagdish Chander of Mauli Jagran was picked up by the city police and was tortured.

The complainant alleged that this was for the first time that the police resorted to such inhuman treatment. This was despite a letter of the SSP stating that there were no incidents of torture in police stations in the city. The police was not only aware of human rights, but also committed to protect them, the SSP’s letter had said.



Cycling row: PU likely to move court
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Panjab University Sports Department is all set to move court against the disqualification of its women cycling team during the All India Inter-Varsity Cycling Championship. The championship was held in November last year at Punjabi University, Patiala.

Hosts Punjabi University disqualified the PU team stating that it had flouted rules -- one of its members was allegedly not a bonafide PU student. The controversial player, Gurpreet Kaur, was a student of Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana. Interestingly, Punjabi University claimed that Gurpreet was their university!

Elaborating upon the course of action, Dr D.S. Toor, Adviser to the Sports Department, said: “The Sports Department executive committee has recommended legal action against Punjabi University’s decision. We have forwarded the matter to the Vice-Chancellor and are awaiting his nod to move court.”

Dr Toor alleged that disqualifying the PU team was a conspiracy and had exposed the malafide intentions of the hosts. “Our team was sweeping all gold and silver medals in the women’s section,” he said. “They scratched the whole team because of Gurpreet’s controversy. Even if we do presume that Gurpreet was ineligible, they should have only disqualified her. Cycling is not a team event but an individual game. The disqualification was announced upon completion of all events. Rules do not allow that. The Chief Commissaries can disqualify the tented player but not the whole team as per UCIQCFI rules,” he said.

About the controversy surrounding cyclist Gurpreet Kaur, Dr Toor said, “She was a bonafide student of our university. She had appeared as a private candidate in the BA Part I exams conducted by PU in 2006 and had a registration number.

At the time of the championship, she was a student of BA Part II of Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, affiliated with PU. So the decision to disqualify her was incorrect.”

Interestingly, after the PU team was disqualified, the hosts were adjudged winners.



Pandits to spread AIDS awareness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
After maulvis, priests and granthis of the city, it is now pandits and pujaris who would preach the devotees on HIV/AIDS, its preventions and consequences. Stressing upon the role of pujaris in combating HIV / AIDS, the state AIDS control society, Chandigarh, organised a workshop at Guga Mari Temple in Sector 20, here today. Over 50 pandits and pujaris from various city temples attended the workshop. The society had earlier conducted workshops with maulvis, priests and granthis, on the topic.

Religious leaders can play an important role in HIV / AIDS prevention because of their influence and acceptance among their respective congregations, the society feels

Dr Sonia Trikha Khullar, Project Director, State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, in an interactive session with the pujaris emphasised on their role in spreading awareness regarding the disease having no cure so far, and urging people to adopt safe behaviour. She also stressed upon the need for a concerted effort and collective responsibility of religion and community in combating the disease. She also clarified certain myths and misconceptions and shared details about testing facilities available and the city.

Pandit Kishori Lal highlighted the importance of premarital testing and also urged other participants to spread awareness while visiting homes for pujas. He also spoke on the role of religious leaders in reducing stigma and discrimination. Pandit Nand Kishore Shastri urged all pujaris to add a promise of being faithful, at the time of solemnisation of marriage.



AWWA releases its first calendar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The first-ever Western Command AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association) calendar was released by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen Daljeet Singh, in Chandimandir today. He also released the Western Command calendar.

Western Command AWWA president Mohini Daljeet Singh and senior command officers and AWWA officials were present. Depicting the theme of national integration, the calendar uses paintings by children of army personnel. It elaborates upon the origin and ethos of AWWA, rights of a woman after her husband’s death, legal rights of women along with health tips for pregnant women and children. The calendar was conceptualised shortly after the National Integration Week celebrations.



Fauji Beat
What a fall for soldiering!

DURING the Raj days, soldiering was considered as one of the best professions in India. In fact, the only service that had an edge over it was the Indian Civil Service (ICS). Yet, some of the ICS officers sent their sons to the Army. Both these services enjoyed an enviable status and offered good life to their members. There was no lure for money those days and this kept most of the services clean and free from corruption.

Where the military service scored over the ICS was that it offered a well-regulated and adventurous life. Besides, its glamour, dazzle of uniform, an attractive mess life and enthralling band music added an elitist touch to it, which even the ICS officers looked at with envy.

The military uniform and the smartness of its wearers seemed to create a magnetic attraction for most girls who preferred to get married to soldiers. The exterior veneer aside, the service gave the maximum respect to the ladies (which it still does). The “ladies first” syndrome at all social functions made them feel jubilant.

Today, not only has the military profession become almost the last choice of our youth but even in the matrimonial market, its rating has plummeted to a new low. “No, not an Army officer”, most of the prospective in-laws say these days.

Martial music

With the beating of the retreat at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, on January 29, every year, the Republic Day celebrations come to an end. Perhaps, very few in India know that this function is considered to be one of the best of its kind in the world. This is the only occasion when the massed-bands, both brass and pipe, from the Army, the Navy and the Air Force attired in their colourful dresses enthrall a select gathering.

It was for the first time in December 2006, that the Indian Army Band was invited by Japan to take part in its Ground Self Defence Force Band Festival in Tokyo. Japan holds this festival annually since 1953. The other guest bands that participated in the two-day festival were the US Army Band in Japan, US 7th Navy Band and US Marine Corps Band. The performance of our band was highly appreciated by the spectators, numbering around 50,000.

Military bands have a special significance in a soldier’s life, for martial music is known to have inspired soldiers during wartime. In the olden days, battles used to commence at the sounding of the reveille in the morning and come to a halt at the sounding of the retreat in the evening.

Military identity card

Major M.S. Brar (retd), who lives in Sector 36, Chandigarh, tells this writer: “After taking premature retirement from the Army in 1998, I had gone to Canada. On coming back now, I applied for a mobile telephone connection and showed my military identity card as well as ex-servicemen identity card as a proof of my identity and residence. The mobile company did not accept any of these and asked me for my voter identity card/ration card. I do not possess either of these. Does this mean that a military identity card has no value?” At present, the voter identity card/ration card/PAN card or Passport are required as the proof of residence for various purposes. Incidentally, the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr N. Gopalaswami, said the other day that the serving soldiers can now vote by using their military identity cards instead of voter identity cards.

If the military identity card can be accepted as a proof of your identity and residence for voting, there is no reason why it should not be accepted for all other purposes. But what the serving/retired military personnel need to remember is that, unlike other cards, a photocopy of the armed forces/ex-servicemen identity card cannot be submitted to any office for security reasons.

— Pritam Bhullar



Housing Woes
Land mafia ‘out to grab’ park
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 29
After being allegedly at the receiving end as far as civic amenities are concerned, residents of the Shalimar Enclave are faced with another problem. If the allegations of the Residents’ Welfare Association are any indication, land mafia is trying to grab a park of the colony falling in Himmatgarh village in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits.

Mr GS Saini, president of the association, alleged that certain unscrupulous persons had removed the board from the park. Besides removing the board from the park, several hundred bricks had been placed near the park, he said adding that they could be used for the construction work.

The board had been removed despite the fact that a petition for the provision of the civic amenities had been pending with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The next date of hearing is March 7.

Mr Saini alleged that though the PUDA authorities had been approached several times yet no action had been taken against the coloniser regarding the provision of civic amenities in the colony which was approved by PUDA.

The association urged the authorities concerned to take steps to restrain the land mafia from takin illegal possession of the land. The taking over of the park by unscrupulous persons could result in law and order problems in the colony.



Air Marshal inspects 3 BRD

Chandigarh, January 29
Air Vice Marshal A.K. Shyam, the Senior Air and Administrative Staff Officer of the IAF’s Nagpur-based, Maintenance Command, arrived at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD), here today on an inspection visit.

He visited various sections and projects and discussed the important aspects of modernisation of the existing infrastructure and installation of advanced technologies to improve production at the depot.

He also visited the ongoing married accommodation projects in Sector 31 and 47. In his presentation to the visiting dignitary, Air Commodore R.K. Srivastava, AOC, 3 BRD, briefed him on various activities and projects being undertaken at the depot. Air Marshal Shyam appreciated the tremendous efforts put in by the Depot personnel. — TNS



Prisoners’ wages hiked

Chandigarh January 29
As part of the Administration’s drive for the welfare of jail inmates and to bring them into mainstream, it has approved new wages for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled prisoners.

As per the recommendations of the meeting held under the chairmanship of Inspector-General, Prisons, regarding the enhancement of wages of the prisoners, the wages have been increased to Rs 30 for skilled, Rs 25 for semi-skilled, Rs 20 for un-skilled prisoners which earlier were Rs 12, Rs 10 and Rs 8. The minimum wages paid to the prisoners exclude the overall expenditure incurred on prisoners per day. — TNS



Tribune employee bereaved

Chandigarh, January 29
Mr Jagdish Ram, father of Mr Subhash Gautam, Section Head in the Advertisement section of The Tribune, died today at Batholi village near Talwara, Hoshiarpur district at 8.15 pm. He was 84. He is survived by two sons and one daughter. The cremation will take place tomorrow at Batholi village at 11 a.m. — TNS



Man found hurt on road, dies in GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A man was found lying seriously injured along the road in the industrial area this morning. He was rushed to Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The police said it was a case of hit and run accident.

The police said it received information about the man at round 8:10 am. He was lying along the road and blood was oozing out from the backside of his head.

A deep scar was also found near his left eye. The man was breathing at that time and was immediately taken to the hospital, where he died.

The police said address of a factory was recovered from him and they were trying to contact someone known to that man.

Meanwhile the body has been lying in the morgue of the hospital. A case has been registered.


Mr Naveen Sharma of Sector 29 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his purse containing Rs 3,000 and a gold set was stolen from his scooter parked in the Sector 22 market.

In another incident, Mr Jagmeet Singh Randhawa of Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, reported to the police, alleging that Rs 5,000 and other documents were stolen from his shop in NAC, Manimajra.



Claim on dead body: Ludhiana man held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The police today arrested a Ludhiana resident, Jang Singh, on the charge of taking away a body, claiming it to be of his son in August this year. Two other suspects in this case are still at large, the police said.

Sources said Jang Singh and his brother took away the body of an unidentified man from the police saying that it was of their son, Vikram Singh. The body was recovered by the police from near Sunbeam Hotel in Sector 22 on August 1. An advertisement was given in in this connection in newspapers . On August 5, they claimed the body by furnishing false information.

The police said Vikram Singh had a matrimonial dispute with his wife, Manjit Kaur and was booked in three criminal cases, including attempt to murder on complaints filed by his in-laws. He allegedly conspired with his father and uncle to show himself dead in order to avoid litigation.

The matter came to light when his wife got wind of his plans and reported the matter to the UT SSP.



PTC employee ends life
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 29
An employee of the Punjab Tubewell Corporation allegedly committed suicide at the corporation’s office in Phase VI here last night.

According to the police, the deceased, Ranjeet Singh ( 52 ), had left a note which seemed to have been written by the him, which indicated that he was unhappy with one of his sons and his daughter-in-law.

He was working as a driver with the corporation and used to stay in a room of the office whenever he got late from duty. He was a resident of Silbatta village, near Gharuan.

The police further said the body was found hanging by a chowkidar from a hook in the ceiling. He used a strap of a holdall to take the extreme step. Investigators suspected that the alleged suicide took place after 11 p.m.

The police has taken possession of the alleged suicide note and registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC against the elder son of the deceased.



Eve-teaser held

The police arrested Tahir alias Shehjada of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, from Manimajra on the allegation of indulging in eve teasing on Sunday. A case has been registered in this connection.



Property dealer commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
Suffering from depression a city based property dealer allegedly committed suicide by handing himself with the ceiling fan of his room in Sector 20 this afternoon.

According to the Police, body of Mr Sanjay Arora (50 ) was funding handing in his room by his wife and children after they returned this afternoon. Mr Arora had been in depression after his brother Ashish Arora was put behind bars for allegedly killing his brother-in-law. His condition had worsened after Ashish, who was on payroll, went absconding.

No suicide note was found from his room. The police has started investigating the case. 



2 drunkards detained

Panchkula, January 29
Two drunkards were today rounded up for creating nuisance in public here today. While Sector 19 resident, Kaku, was taken into custody by the police for smashing windows of neighbouring houses, Rajiv Colony resident Rampal was arrested for breaking into a house and creating a ruckus in the General Hospital, Sector 6.

In Sector 19, 40-year-old Kaku went around smashing window panes of his neighours in an inebriated state. Residents Rajiv Kumar, Babhuti and Sona Devi alleged that Kaku was the trouble-maker of the colony and would often get drunk and create problems for residents of the area.

Meanwhile, Rampal was arrested while he was trying to break into a house in Sector 15.He was taken to the General hospital, Sector 6.Police sources said he tried to run away while his medical was being conducted.

In a separate incident, attendants of patients in the maternity ward said that somebody had stolen their money while they were attending to their patient. An attendant of Rekha Rani, a resident of Pinjore, said that she was attending to the new born when somebody took away two purses which had cash and silver jewellery for the newborn.

Petrol pump staff duped

The police was informed that two boys in a white gypsy, got petrol worth Rs 1400 filled at a petrol station in Sector 5 last night and sped away without making any payment. TNS



4 hurt in road accident
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 29
Four persons were injured, one of them seriously, in a collision between a Qualis and a dumper truck at a chowk separating Phases X and XI here today.

According to the police, the tipper was coming at high speed from Chandigarh direction while the Qualis was coming from Phase X when the collision took place. The Qualis overturned injuring four occupants, including the driver.

The injured persons — Mr Sanjiv, Mr Devinder, Mr Gaurav and Mr Rajiv — were taken to GMCH, Sector 32 , Chandigarh. Mr Gaurav who was seriously injured, was later taken to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The driver of the truck fled from the scene soon after the accident. The police has registered a case in this regard.



Punjab emerging as second ‘fashion eyewear hotspot’
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Eye to eye with fashion, sunglass manufacturing companies are now looking at Punjab for expanding their market vision. For, the state is fast emerging as the country’s second “fashion eyewear” headquarters after Delhi . It may raise your eyebrows, but Mumbai is far behind in fashion eyewear scene.

In Chandigarh for launching Hugo Boss eyewear, Regional Manager (Sales and Marketing) of Safilo Group Amarbir Singh says so far the sunglass manufacturing companies have been eyeing the metropolitans. But now they are eyeing the Punjab market.

The reason, he says, is not hard to see. Fashion conscious Punjabis keep an eye on not just the national, but even the international trends. For, having relatives abroad, they travel across the seas and bring back with them style statements.

This is not all. Most Punjabis cannot only afford to buy stylish eyewear, but are also willing to pull cash out of their wallets to take home expensive sunglasses.

The customers are not just youngsters but people of all age groups.

“For tapping the market potential in Punjab and other parts of the region, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, Safilo Group has deployed a team of sales personnel at Chandigarh,” he asserts.

Having an eye on fashion, the company with sales of over one billion Euros has more than 20 licensed and four brands. The frames, sunglasses and sports glasses produced by the group reach around 150,000 customers in over 120 countries worldwide.

In India , the company has a strong base with a network of over 450 dealers. It wears 50 per cent of the market share and the company’s business has expanded by 32 per cent in 2006-7 compared to the previous year.

The sunglass market is ever growing. Even the middle and the upper middle class are going in for designer sunglasses. “Over the past few years, the customer profile has changed largely due to the strong emergence of dual-income families and expansion of job-base for the youngsters,” he says.

Gone are the days when a person would buy just a pair of goggles for protection. “The sunglasses now are more of fashion accessories. The customers wear different glasses for mornings and evenings.

Some even put them on for evening parties after matching them with their attires”. Of course, there is more to it than what meets the eye.



‘LG Lohri Dhoom’ winners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
LG Electronics today announced the names of lucky winners of the second weekly draw of their promotional scheme “LG LOHRI DHOOM”. Mr. Gurmeet Singh of Khanna won the first prize of a direct cool refrigerator, followed by Mr. Ashish Kumar of Ludhiana who won a motorbike.

The other prize winners are Mr. Raj Kumar of Hoshiarpur, Ms. Ravinder Kaur of Jalandhar and Mr. Vikas Kumar of Jalandhar. A company release said that LG customers have shown an extremely enthusiastic response to LG's 'Lohri Dhoom' scheme.



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