C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Tricity on fast track
New link road with Mohali Flyover to Panchkula
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The engineering department of the Chandigarh administration will commence work on a new link road to Mohali and a flyover to Panchkula in the coming financial year (2007-2008). The projects, aimed at improving connectivity with the adjoining towns, are only two of more than 12 projects identified under the head of Plan budget for the city.

The centre has already approved a Plan budget of Rs 267.63 crore for the UT. The list of projects will be handed over to the parliamentary standing committee on union territories, which meets in New Delhi on April 4.

The projects connecting the adjoining townships will reduce the traffic rush witnessed during office hours everyday. The official note says that "traffic density on the Chandigarh-Kalka road, which is the link to Panchkula, has increased beyond the capacity of the existing road" and hence an elevated highway from Transport Chowk to the Chandigarh Housing Board chowk, Mani Majra, had been planned.

The traffic rush to Mohali has also risen manifold, particularly over the past five years.

The non-Plan budget for 2007-2008 has been approved for Rs 1,150 crore, a majority of which is spent on the salary of staff (400 crore approximately), grant-in-aid to the Municipal Corporation (Rs 337 crore) and purchase of power (Rs 303 crore).

High bridges on Patiala ki Rao near Dhanas and Khudda Jassu, Sukhna Lake (near Kishangarh) and near Bapu Dham are a few of the major projects that will be carried out. Construction of a second Grain Market and widening of V2 and V3 roads (dividing Sectors), which have come under purview of the administration also atop the agenda.



Death of a game
Tax the bookies as in Europe

At whatever level in sports these days, suspicion lurks like a murky shadow. Remarkable sporting achievement is often viewed as fueled by something other than protein shakes and push-ups — criminal intent and the business of murder. The macabre death of Pakistan cricket team coach Bob Woolmer has once again turned focus on bookies. This is what city sportsmen told our reporter.

Ashok Malhotra
Ashok Malhotra

Media reports on match-fixing in the World Cup are mere speculation. Such allegations are baseless as the cricketers have been earning enough money from the game. However, these remind me of the Hansie Cronje’s episode. I am only concerned about Team India. And I am sure all my players are playing a fair and clean game.

Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur

If the allegations made by the media prove to be correct, then it is serious matter not only for cricketers, but also the game itself. At the moment it is difficult to comment as nothing concrete has come out. The Scotland Yard and Jamaican police are investigating the matter. Let the final decision come. 

G. S. Walia
G. S. Walia

The media reports about the alleged murder of Bob Woolmer and match- fixing are serious. Earlier also the game has suffered at the hands of bookies and many players have burnt their fingers. At all international matches, the ICC makes elaborate arrangements to check this menace. The death of Woolmer is unfortunate.

Ashish Pathak
Ashish Pathak

It is not possible to prove match-fixing because the transaction is never done by cash. It is difficult to nab the bookies. In Europe, betting is legalised and the governments have been charging 30 per cent tax on it. Our government should also adopt this pattern to earn revenue and end murky deals.



Tricolour controversy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Ranjit Bajaj’s tryst with controversy continues. But this time it is not about a brawl. It’s about the Tricolour, which the MTV roadie and co-owners of Asia’s biggest sports bar in Sector 8, allegedly left hoisted beyond sunset.

At 11.45 pm yesterday, the Chandigarh police control room received a call, stating that the national flag was hoisted atop the building of Score, the sports bar, where Bajaj is chief operating officer.

A PCR van and two police officers were sent to the spot to verify the claims, which is tantamount to insult of the Tricolour under the Emblem Act.

Not folding the Tricolour by sunset for a ceremonial hoisting the next morning is an infringement of rules and an insult to the flag.

A senior UT police officer said police personnel sent for a spot-check found “no flags hoisted on the building”. SSP Gaurav Yadav also said, “Had we found any evidence, we would have taken action.”

Eyewitnesses, meanwhile, informed the Tribune that two flags — the Tricolour and another black flag bearing the “Score” insignia — were aflutter the building last night.



Boy done to death by father
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
An 11-year-old boy was allegedly strangled to death by his father inside a local gurdwara in the wee hours of today. On a complaint of Jaspal Singh, priest of Dalima Vihar Gurdwara, the police has arrested the suspect, Rajinder Singh.

The priest alleged that Rajinder and his wife Gursharandeep Kaur, who were accompanied by their son Arshpreet (11) and daughter(7) Manpreet, woke him up 2 am. They urged him to open the doors of the gurdwara as they wanted to pay obeisance. He did so.

As he strolled in the gurdwara corridor, he could hear the couple recite their prayers inside. "However, when I peeped inside through the window, I saw Rajinder strangulating Arshpreet," Jaspal Singh said. He raised an alarm and a crowd gathered at the gurdwara.

Rajinder took an unconscious Arshpreet to his home. In the meantime, the crowd informed the police and took the boy, a student of Class VII, to a local hospital, where was declared dead.

Sources blamed the murder on superstition. They said Rajinder was a frequent visitor to deras. His wife was a kidney patient .

“The murder seems to be an outcome of superstition,” SHO Bikramjit Singh Brar said, adding that a case under Section 302 of the IPC had been registered.

During interrogation, Rajinder confessed that he was a frequent visitor to deras. Last Sunday he had visited a house in Chandigarh with his family, where a "baba" held akhand path. The sources said Rajinder was depressed because of his wife’s illness.

An inconsolable Rajinder said he could not figure out what he had done. The police said Rajinder would be interrogated later as he was “greatly disturbed" and could barely talk.



Judge’s book reveals Kalapani realities
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Bred on patriotism, inmates of Cellular Jail or Kalapani went on a hunger strike in 1937 after a patriot was tortured to death by the prison authorities.

Mahatma Gandhi intervened and requested them to call off the strike. But in a communiqué forwarded to the inmates, desire for repatriation was mentioned as the cause of the agitation. Needless to say, it gave the fasting revolutionaries a taste of pain.

All this and many more grave realities of torture, fatal brutalities and noxious hardships have been brought alive by sitting Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice S.N. Aggarwal in his book, “The Heroes of Cellular Jail”.

The paperback, which takes the reader from the time the jail was a nothing less than a torture factory to its memorial status, was released at a function at Law Bhawan here this evening by High Court Chief Justice Justice Vijender Jain. The ceremony coincides with the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev.

For Justice Aggarwal, it all started with his posting as a judicial officer at the Andamans.

“The UPSC wanted to know why I wanted to go there and I categorically told them that I want to salute the soil where the blood of the freedom fighters mingled with the soil for attaining freedom.”

In an anguished voice punctuated with emotions, Justice Aggarwal says: “Those were the days when the revolutionaries were not treated as political prisoners, but simple anarchists. In fact, the first batch of 216 freedom fighters, sanctifying the soil with their arrival in 1858, was described as ‘sepoy mutineers’ by the Britons. Even chanting of the national song used to invite penal action, resulting in flogging and torture of the revolutionary!”

Quoting the chapters on hardships faced by the prisoners and their sheer will to succeed against the odds, he says: “An editor of a revolutionary newspaper, Ram Hari, was confined to a dark cell. But he managed to jot down a three-page note on the existing non-living conditions after getting hold of a pen and paper.”

The note was published in a newspaper after it was handed over to the editor of another newspaper in Bengal by a fellow prisoner released earlier from the jail. It was, subsequently, carried in The Tribune, which was read in London. It compelled the authorities there to question the chief commissioner of the Andamans about the existing conditions.

Haryana Governor A.R. Kidwai, present at the function along with sitting and retired High Court judges, said the book should be included in the curriculum.



Citizens’ Grievances
Stench in city sub-centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Consumers visiting the BSNL office-cum-collection centre and Piccadily theatre in Sector 34 have not just been facing unhygienic conditions but also stench wafting from choked sewer lines for the past nine months.

While medical officer of the health and public health circle of the Chandigarh municipal corporation have been making tall claims of keeping the city free of garbage and stink, the existence of unhygienic conditions in the city’s sub-centre is a poor reflection on the monitoring services of the high-profile civic body.

Due of the apathy of the civic body, the frequented city sub-centre has also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Many shopkeepers and offices have started dumping waste and garbage on the stagnant water, turning it into a cesspool.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has reportedly brought the plight of its staff and customers to the notice of the municipal corporation several times, but to no avail. So far, no corrective measures have been taken.

BSNL SDO (buildings) Amarjit Singh said his department had brought the matter to the notice of the municipal corporation on a number of occasions. However, inordinate delay in fixing the problem was leading to unnecessary harassment to general public.

He said in a communication on January 25, 2007 to the executive engineer, municipal corporation, division 4, Sector 9, the BSNL authorities had stated that “foul smell is spreading all around and road in front of the cinema hall has been flooded with sewage coming out of a manhole”.

He added: “The situation was brought to the notice of the junior engineer concerned at the office in Sector 32 but to no avail. BSNL sewerage system outlet is the only one connected to the manhole, but due to blockage the internal sewerage system of the telephone exchange is badly affected and public coming to the exchange is facing a lot of inconvenience.”



Pitfalls of illegal immigration underlined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Punjab is the biggest source of illegal migrants from India to Britain, followed by Tamil Nadu, said Creon Butler, chargé d’affaires, British high commission.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Migration - myths and realities” organised here today.

He said illegal migrants often fell prey to crime and unscrupulous elements.

Butler said the high commission intended to spread awareness about the pitfalls of illegal migration and the exploitation of youth at the hands of agents.

He said Britain was open to legal entrants under various categories.

He said Britain had tied up with other European countries to tighten a grip on illegal migrants in their countries.

The seminar was organised by Anil Malhotra and Ranjit Malhotra.

The seminar is part of a series of initiatives aimed at increasing awareness in the state about the risks and consequences of illegal immigration and disseminating information on the right means of travelling to the UK.



Land Acquisition
Kishangarh farmers’ novel protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Landowners and farmers of UT villages today chose to register their protest against the land acquisition policy of the Chandigarh administration by donating blood.

At least 80 units of blood were donated at a camp organised at Kishangarh.

Under the banner of the Mani Majra Farmers’ Welfare and Environment Protection Association (MFWEPA) and the Pind Bachao Committee, the landowners marched to the venue to mark their protest.

The day was chosen to coincide with the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

Voicing their concern over the Land Acquisition Act, the landowners sought equal partnership in the development projects of the administration.

Angrez Singh, president of the committee, who has been instrumental in raising the concern of farmers, said land acquisition affected the future of coming generations of farmers.

Madhu Sarin spoke on the use of land acquisition where originally land was earmarked for purchase by displaced farmers.

Kultar Singh, a farm owner, said the benefits from the development of their land must be passed on to them.

The association plans to release a white paper on the study of land acquisition for phases I and II of the Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park within a month.

Jyoti Subramanian, president, Chandigarh farmers’ action group, said landowners had been kept in the dark about the development planned in their area.

She urged the administration to stop acquisition of land immediately and frame a time-bound rehabilitation policy for them.

Residents of Shastri Nagar also joined the peaceful protest by landowners.



Traders donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
At least 116 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal to mark the death anniversary of its founder-president Inder Lal Batra.

SSP Gaurav Yadav, who was the chief guest, lauded the gesture of the trading community of the city in organising the blood donation camp.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest, mandal president Charanjiv Singh spoke about the contribution of Batra towards the cause of trader’ unity.

A team from the PGI, led by Dr Neelam Marwah, head of department of transfusion medicine, conducted the camp.

The mandal also conferred lifetime achievement award posthumously on Inder Lal Batra.

Balwant Rani Batra, his widow, received the award from Yadav.



Ex-servicemen want Rs 10 coin on martyrs

Chandigarh, March 23
Welcoming the decision to introduce a coin of Rs 10 denomination, ex-servicemen in the city have urged the government to dedicate the new coin to Param Vir Chakra (PVC) winners.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Saviours for Human Rights of Armed Forces, a local NGO, has stated that the government has in the past issued coins in the memory of political leaders, the letter states that through the coin the nation will pay homage to its soldiers who have died in the battlefield.

The NGO has also asked the Reserve Bank of India to issue a set number of coins of Rs 10 denomination dedicated to each PVC winner. — TNS



Condom bar opens in city
Part of HIV prevention programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A homosexual activist working in the HIV awareness sector today launched the city’s first-of-its kind condom bar.

Part of the ambitious programme of State AIDS Control Society (SACS), the bar has come up as an HIV/AIDS prevention measure. The logic - use of condom helps you avoid risk behaviours.

The bar has been opened at Yuvsatta, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26.

Inaugurating it, Sulemaan, the activist, said it would help people avoid risks.

Besides providing condoms, the bar will also provide information on their proper use, through models, handbills, posters and stickers.

Dr Kavita Chavan, deputy director, SACS, said millions were getting infected with HIV just because they were not using condoms.

It was possible to eradicate the transmission of the virus and prevent suffering from AIDS by promoting prevention efforts.

She said condoms helped prevent sexually transmitted diseases like human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis A, B, and C.

About the promotion programme of the SACS, Parmod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, said the objective was to open condom bars in all of field offices of Yuvsatta.

To promote correct and consistent use of condoms, volunteers will hold special one-on-one sessions, street plays, condom fairs, poster exhibitions, film and magic shows.

In days to come, around 100 different types of condoms combining different features will be provided through condom bars.



Trade delegation meets Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A delegation representing trade and industry of the city yesterday called on UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues.

A profile of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) and its activities was presented to the administrator by official spokesperson Diwakar Sahoonja.

Gen Rodrigues appreciated the contribution of welfare bodies like the CBM towards social causes.

The administrator also asked the business community to adopt new changes in order to achieve prosperity and economical growth and assured implementation of need-based reforms in building bylaws soon.

CBM president Charanjiv Singh and Industries Association president M.P. Chawla were part of the delegation.



Help assessees plan taxes, consultants told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Chief commissioner of income tax R.S. Mathoda today called upon tax consultants to help income tax assessees in tax planning for better coordination between the department and general public.

Addressing members of the Income Tax and Sales Tax Bar Association, Mathoda hoped that the computerisation and modernisation in the department would go a long way in the smooth functioning of the tax administration.

Lauding the role of tax consultants in the taxation system, the chief commissioner advocated the division in hindu undivided family, particularly transfer of assets in the names of female members of the family, for better tax planning and empowerment of women.

He assured the members of earmarking a place for members of the bar association in the central revenue building.

R.K. Chaudhary and Prem Inder Rattan, president and general secretary, respectively, of the association, also spoke.



Admn must focus on industry, says body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The administration needs to resolve various issues related to industry and draw a road map for infrastructure development on the basis of projections for the next 25 years and even ahead, said Vikram Sahgal, chairman, Chandigarh committee of the PHDCCI, at its first meeting here yesterday.

He said the city did not have a convention centre, which could accommodate around 1,000 persons under a single roof, for business related activities.

It was a big handicap for business both in and around the city and restricted pro-business activities.

Madhukar Gupta said the centre should be built on the lines of India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, adding that the idea was initiated by the administration on an earlier occasion and a site in Sector 15 was earmarked for the purpose.

On power it was desired that the administration should establish a Chandigarh electricity regulatory commission, a statutory body that had representatives from industry to deal with related matters.

Subhash Kohli, co-chairman, of the committee, while appreciating the move of administration to get 24-hour radio cabs and light and sound shows started in the city, said there was a room for improvement in tourism infrastructure, including establishment of more hotels, information centres, trained tourist navigators, etc. which would help grow the service sector.

The PHDCCI asked the administration to have sufficient industry representatives and offered its Chandigarh office as the secretariat to the Chandigarh advisory council.

The PHDCCI also appreciated opening of “sampark centres”, but suggested that these be made more effective while providing complete service to public.

It added that the administration should start issuing social security number on the lines of developed nations for bonafide residents of city and give privileges to those who registered themselves with full information so that important services like issuance of ration card, licence, date of birth certificates, vehicle registration, police clearances and depositing challans, could be carried out without additional documents.



War Widow Case
Dimpy found innocent, released
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 23
Taking a U-turn, the police today released Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy arrested for allegedly duping a war widow of her land.

A senior police official said the police carried out investigations and even interrogated Dimpy but failed to find that he had any role to play in the land fraud case.

As such he was released.

Dimpy was brought from Delhi on March 20. He was remanded for two days by the police.

His remand ended today after which an application was given in the court by the police to set him free.

Mohinder Kaur , a war widow, had complained to the police that she had been duped of her land which was allotted to her by the state government after her husband Amar Singh was killed in action.

Inspector general of police S.K. Sharma had directed the SSP to register an FIR against those involved in the case.

The police had arrested Dimpy while two others wanted in the case are still at large.



Couple hypnotises, robs 62-yr-old woman
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
A 62-year-old woman was hypnotised by a couple, in Sector 20, Panchkula, yesterday.

The couple duped her of her gold jewellery.

The incident took place yesterday, when Prem Lata, a resident of Jal Vayu Vihar in Sector 20, was returning home in the afternoon after paying her telephone bill.

She was accompanied by her two-year-old grandson. As she was walking towards her home, she was stopped by a bespectacled woman, who said she knew of a saint who could help solve all her problems.

Just then, a 50-year-old man, dressed in saffron robes, came there.

He asked the woman to put all her ornaments in a piece of cloth and asked her to close her eyes.

After performing some puja and reciting mantras, he gave her the cloth and asked her to open it only after she reached home.

When she reached home, she found that the cloth contained only two iron bangles.

The police have registered a case on the victim’s complaint and has begun investigations.



Jewellery, cash worth Rs 2 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 23
Thieves decamped with gold jewellery, cash and other household items, worth Rs 2 lakh, from a house in Phase V here.

Gurdeep Singh, the owner of the house, who works in the BDPO office in Kharar, said he and his family had gone to Kurali on March 21. When they returned this morning they found the house ransacked.

Singh said the thieves had broken the lock of the main door of the house to gain entry into the building. The metal rod used by them to break the lock was found near the gate. One of the thieves must have got injured while breaking the lock as a handkerchief full of blood was found in the house.



Man booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Lalru, March 23
The police has booked Daljit Singh, a resident of Kainor village in Ropar district, on the charge of duping a resident of over Rs 1.1 lakh. In his complaint to the police, Jarnail Singh, a resident of Shada Pur, near here, alleged that the accused took Rs 1.1 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. However, he was neither sent abroad nor his money returned. A case has been registered.



‘Sell North India as one tourism destination’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The three-day India Travel Mart was inaugurated by commissioner of tourism Keshni Anand Arora here this evening. The event, which is the seventh in a series, is being organised at Hotel Shivalik View.

Arora said the need of the hour was that North Indian states joined hands and offered themselves as a single tourism destination to domestic and foreign tourists. Since films and television had an important part in promoting the country as a tourist destination, “ we must promote our destination to cinema producers.”

The mart offers a variety of holiday destinations and packages, including packages by three foreign tourism boards- Dubai Tourism, Singapore Tourism Board and Tourism Malaysia.

Among the states participating in the mart are CITCO, Haryana Tourism , Himachal Tourism and Karnataka Tourism. The highlight of the show is pilgrimage tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, medical and herbal tourism and wildlife tourism, besides promotion of preferred, unexplored and summer destinations.

The Indian Railways, leading hotels, resorts and palace hotels and tour operators/ travel agencies are participated in the show.



‘Tourism picking up in city’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
“Tourism and hospitality are fast picking up in Chandigarh and the city is going to have more opportunities for trained and competent hospitality professionals,” said UT home secretary Krishna Mohan on the annual day function of the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management (CIHM), Sector 42, here yesterday.

Krishan Mohan said very soon the city would not only be a tourist destination but also have the best facilities and connectivity. He said after five years the city would be a completely different place buzzing with a host of activities with tourist-friendly facilities.

In his address, S.K. Saluja, principal, CIHM, highlighted major achievements, academic performances and other activities of the institute in the current academic year.

UT home secretary also released “Cater Craft”, the annual magazine of the CIHM.

Krishan Mohan distributed prizes among meritorious students in the fields of academics, sports, and general activities. Arti Singh was declared best student. Gurnam Singh was declared most dedicated student. Vaibhav Soni, Vijay and Surinder were adjudged most regular students.



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