C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Surplus budget, but nothing in UT kitty
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Chandigarh is probably the only Union Territory in the country that has surplus budget, yet it does not get a penny out of its revenue- generating ventures.

"Chandigarh recorded a surplus of Rs 85 crore in 2000-2001. In last year’s budget(2005-2006), it recorded a surplus of Rs 420 crore and the figures are even higher this year," a senior official said. All the surplus goes to the Centre.

The sale of land, recoveries, land rent and taxes are major sources of the UT revenue.

A senior officer said the UT may plead with the Central government for a share in the total surplus amount each year for local projects. It is felt that when most states and UTs present deficit budgets each year, Chandigarh should be given a “special” share out of its surplus money for fresh ventures.

"We should have a certain percentage of share in the total surplus so that we can initiate more programmes for public welfare," he said.

Chandigarh needs to work on permanent sources of income, rather than employing stringent tax laws. It is felt that tax as a source of income means only a bigger hole in the pocket of the tax payer.

The administration in 2005 announced that all commercial property was to be given on a leasehold basis. The administration generated a revenue of Rs 177 crore on account of sale of land, recoveries and land rent during the last financial year.

Major commercial projects which will be a permanent source of income are shopping malls, education city and amusement park. Out of the approved non-Plan budget of Rs 868 crore this year, at least Rs 410 will be spent on salaries.

Out of this total, education will get Rs 101 crore for salaries, Rs 73 crore for police, Rs 44 crore for engineers, Rs 35 lakh for Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Rs 30 lakh for staff of high court and Rs 24 lakh for salaries of medical college staff.

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‘Instant’ orders stump pupils
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
On the opening day of registration for admission to Class IX, high drama was seen outside the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, among the four schools to be converted into Smart Schools.

At least 150 students, who have passed Class VIII from the school, and their parents today staged a protest against the denial of admission to Class IX.

The school authorities received orders in this regard from the education department via home secretary-cum-education secretary Krishan Mohan a day after the result for Class VII was declared.

The agitated parents criticised the “instant order” which said as the Smart School concept has been implemented in the school, admissions to Class IX would be made on the basis of percentage of marks obtained in Class VIII.

On the intervention of the newly appointed DPI (S) SK Setia, appeared at the scene along with outgoing DPI (S) Ashwani Kumar and listened to the parents’ grouse.

PTA president Arvind Jain submitted a representation, demanding that an additional section be raised for mediocre students.

The Class IX rooms were locked and the students were made to stay outside the gate. It came as a shock to Nilesh, Deepak, Balwinder, Karan Jodhkar, Amit and Akshaythat they would now have to find another school to continue their studies.

“Where does their much-talked-about ‘Education for all’ goal stand,” said a parent.

Another parent said they would seek information under the RTI Act as to under what conditions the administration had taken the decision.

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Cop Block
Wife beater constable scot free
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, April 3
Chandigarh police personnel seem to be above the law. If allegations of dowry harassment are to be believed, the Chandigarh police is shielding a constable booked in a dowry case along with his family.

The victim, Tara Bharti, wife of constable Surinder Kumar, lodged a complaint with the UT Inspector-General of Police on March 28. Since then justice has eluded her. No action has been initiated against her cop husband. “He has yet to be arrested in the case,” alleged Vishnu Singh, the victim’s brother.

Vishnu told TNS that his sister Tara Bharti was hospitalised on March 3 after she was assaulted by her husband and in-laws at their residence in Sector 46. She was stabbed by the accused.

Tara alleged that her husband, posted with the Sector 9 police headquarters, had demanded Rs 2 lakh from her parents.

The police then registered a case of dowry harassment and causing injury against the constable and his family.

Tara Bharti in her complaint said as her husband, his father and his brother were in the Chandigarh Police, the investigating officials had not proceeded against them as per the law. She alleged that despite the fact that the court had rejected her husband’s bail plea, the police had made no effort to arrest him. She demanded that the case be transferred to the crime branch for impartial investigation.

Denying the allegations, officials at the woman and child support unit of the Chandigarh police said efforts were afoot to arrest the constable. Surinder Kumar, his father and brother had been placed under suspension. Except for Surinder Kumar, the rest had been given bail.

All dowry articles mentioned by the complainant along with ornaments worth about Rs 60,000 had been recovered from the family.

Tara was hospitalised after she was allegedly assaulted by her husband and his family. Her husband, his brother and father are all cops. The husband is yet to be arrested, despite a complaint lodged on March 3.

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Scrutiny into senior officers’ role in carbine theft case sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The defence counsel in the recently held general court martial (GCM) in which it tried two Army personnel for alleged theft of a carbine has urged the Army authorities to investigate the role played by senior officers in the whole episode.

The GCM, held at Ferozepore, had held the two accused, Nb Sub Madan Lal and Hav Krishan Kumar, not guilty of various charges levelled against them. On being ordered to revise its findings, the GCM had last month upheld its earlier verdict.

In a petition sent to Chief of the Army Staff, the defence counsel, Col S.K. Aggarwal (retd), has alleged that the entire court of inquiry, recording of summary of evidence and court martial proceedings was stage managed by Major-Gen B. Sivashankar and Major-Gen Mahavir Singh, both former commanders of 7 Infantry Division, with the help of their staff officers.

Stating that the prosecution had planted false evidence during the trial and had tutored witnesses to depose falsely on oath, the petition added that a careful scrutiny of the proceedings would disclose that no carbine was in fact stolen on February 15, 2005 as alleged.

The weapon was hidden by those who were part of the conspiracy which, in turn, was part of a larger conspiracy which took place out side the unit.

Colonel Aggarwal has claimed that the court of inquiry, conducted by Col T Ravindra, needs to be scrutinised as it had played a pro-active role in the initiation of court martial proceedings against innocent persons.

Further, the inquiry had not complied with stipulated provisions (Army Rule 180).

The petition has also prayed that Sub Madan Lal and Hav Krishan Kumar be compensated as per provisions of law for the humiliation, mental torture and financial loss suffered by them for over two years due to the actions of senior officers.

Calling for action to be imitated to find out the truth, the petition has sought disciplinary action against some military personnel involved in the proceedings for violation of provisions of law.

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198 push-ups to world record
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
Believe it or not, but the dialogue ‘Tera Kya Hoga Kaalia’ which immortalised Gabbar Singh and Sholay which created cinematic historym, can actually help enhance your memory. To know how this can be done has been dmonstrated in a book with an unusual title ‘Tera Kya Hoga Kaalia,’ authored by a Punjab Engineering College (PEC) graduate Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury.

The book was released in the Capital today by Biju Khote and Mac Mohan who acted in Bollywood’s blockbuster ‘Sholay’as Kaalia and Sambha respectively.

And to prove that the book is not just about improving mind but also body power, he also managed to create a new world record with a near impossible 198 push-ups as per the Guinness World Record guidelines in one minute by surpassing the previously held record of 138 push-ups.

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Exam Toll
Former MLA’s son commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Unable to face failure in examinations, 20-year-old son of a former MLA from Pathankot allegedly hanged himself to death at his rented accommodation in Sector 15 here this evening.

SHO of the Sector 11 police station inspector Puran Chand said Abhishek Sharma, in his suicide note, had said he was ending his life as he had failed in the fifth semester (final) of the law examination.

The police found Abhishek’s body hanging from the bathroom shower with a necktie. He was living in the house along with his sister. He was studying law at Lincoln College of Arts, Patiala.

In another incident, a man in Rajpura hanged himself to death.

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Abhimanyu arrested; out on bail

Dehra Dun, April 3
The police today arrested Abhimanyu Walia, one of the Doon School students involved in the death of a motorcyclist in an accident about a week back. He was later bailed out.

Accompanied by his father Arun Walia, Senior Additional Advocate- General, Abhimanyu had come to the court to surrender when the police arrested him. He was presented in the court of Civil Judge, who granted him bail. — TNS

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Father tries to molest daughter

Panchkula, April 3
Forty-year-old Shyam today allegedly attempted to rape his four-year- old daughter while his wife, Sheela, and three other children were out for work. In her complaint to the police, Sheela said he had attempted to molest her two teenaged daughters as well.

Sheela took shelter in an NRI couple's house in the neighbourhood. My husband fled the spot, hurling abuses. — TNS

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Garbage dump has workers fuming
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 3
An industrial unit owner here has demanded that the garbage dump in the area be shifted to other place as it was creating a major health hazard for inhabitants and workers of Sector VIII.

Managing director of Masterline Naresh Nanda said here today that the Residents Welfare Association, Sector VIII B, and the Mohali Industries Association had been urging the authorities concerned to shift the garbage dump, but to no avail. He said vehicles of the Municipal Council continued to dump garbage at the site, which was just next to his industrial unit.

He said it was difficult for the workers to work or sit in the open because of the foul smell emanating from the garbage.

It was doubtful whether the civic body had taken the approval from the Punjab Pollution Control Board to use the site for dumping garbage as the area was not demarcated in the master plan of the town.

At times the waste was put on fire, leaving workers in the area suffocated. The dump had become a breeding place for mosquitoes and flies, said Nanda.

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Delegation meets Governor on paid parking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
A joint delegation of BJP-SAD yesterday called upon Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh General S.F. Rodrigues at the Punjab Raj Bhawan. The delegation consisted of BJP president (Chandigarh) Pramod Mahajan, Gurpratap Singh Riar, Gurcharan Das Kala, leader in the house of MCC, among other BJP councillors.

The delegation discussed the abolition of paid parking lots and impressed upon the administrator that the resolution passed in the house recently should be implemented immediately after approval by the UT administration.

The delegation also pressed upon the Governor the need to formulate different ward committees in the city and also requested that welfare associations, Beopar Mandal and other religious institutions should also be given representation in these committees.

Interestingly, according to sources, neither mayor Harjinder Kaur nor any of the members of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch accompanied the delegation. The CVM, which is a part of the coalition, had the issue of paid parking on its manifesto as well.

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Selling headgear not a norm here
City two-wheeler dealers flouting Act
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Dealers of two-wheeler in the city are flouting the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act by not providing helmets to customers on purchase of two-wheelers.

The Rule 138 (F) of the Motor Vehicle Act states that “with effect from April 2006, manufacturers of two-wheeler shall provide to all its customers a protective headgear conforming to specifications prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the BIS Act, 1986.”

However, a survey by Chandigarh Tribune across various two-wheeler dealerships in the city revealed that none of these provided headgear to the customers, even after a year of its implementation.

Most dealers were unaware of the amendments to the Act.

They said they were not aware of the amendment, which makes it mandatory for them to provide helmets to customers.

While two dealers in Sector 35 did not have helmets in their stock, others said customers were unwilling to buy helmets from them, though two-wheeler manufacturers were sending these to the dealers.

An official in the Industrial Area, Phase I, said dealers usually sent in a request to the manufacturer regarding the number of helmets they needed. “It is based on this demand that we are supplied with helmets,” he said.

Dealers told the TNS that they could not force customers into buy helmets. “Since it is not mandatory for women and the Sikhs to wear a helmet while driving, they cannot be forced into buying these. Also, many people who already own a helmet cannot be forced into buying another one. The manufacturers, on their part, now provide in-built helmet locks for most two-wheelers,” said an official at a scooter dealership in Sector 35.

Around 3,000 two-wheelers (scooters and motor cycles) are sold on an average in the city every month. However, a very few of the customers, around one per cent, actually buy helmets from the dealership.

Meanwhile, officials at the BIS said they were not authorised to check dealerships.

Deputy director general, BIS, Bhupinder Singh said ISI-marked helmets had been made mandatory because these were heat conditioned, low temperature conditioned, besides being conditioned to moisture and UV rays.

“The shell and protective padding should also be according to the established guidelines for strength, which is not there in ordinary helmets,” he said.

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Income Tax
Rural areas see higher returns
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Penalty

Penal action under various provisions of the IT Act, 1961 will be initiated against those still defaulting on the payment of income tax after March 31, extended deadline for filing of returns, said Manoj Mishra. The defaulters face a penalty up to Rs 5,000.

Chandigarh, April 3
Rural and semi-urban areas have taken a lead in the filing of returns in the Chandigarh region, where 2.57 lakh assessees filed their return before the March 31 deadline.

In fact, the range V and VI, which comprise a substantial part of the rural and semi-urban population, have accounted for an increase of over 10,000 returns of the total increase of 13,524 returns over the last year.

As many as 2,43,606 persons have filed their return in the last financial year. Sources said here today 27,424 persons filed their returns in the range I, comprising Sectors 1 to 11, Mani Majra and Industrial Area, Phase II.

For range II, which consists of Sectors 12 to 18, 24 and 25 and Industrial Area, Phase I, the figure was 26,076. The range III accounted for 23,039 returns this year, registering a marginal increase over last year’s figures of 22,896.

The range IV, having jurisdiction over areas from Sector 26 to Sector 35, accounted for 30,170 IT returns.

However, range V having area of Sector 35 onwards and the UT villages registered a record number of 90,322 persons filing returns, an increase of 5,045 returns over the last year.

Similarly, range VI, which covers Mohali, Kharar, Ropar and Nangal, accounted for 60,017 income tax returns. Last year 55,139 persons had filed returns in this range, showing an increase of 4,978 this year.

Since ranges 1 to IV primarily fall in old Chandigarh, there is not much scope for increase in the number of those filing their returns, income tax officials said today.

“The areas falling in ranges V and VI are developing areas, as is reflected in the increase in the number of returns. This coupled with awareness among general public about the payment of various taxes can be the primary reason for the increase in the absolute number returns in range V and VI, which were predominantly rural and semi-urban,” Manoj Mishra, commissioner of income tax-I, told Chandigarh Tribune.

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Family alleges negligence
Emeritus professor dies of cardiac arrest
Our Correspondent

In the death of Dr A.K. Parsad, former DUI and Prof Emeritus of Geology, the country has lost an eminent scientist, a warm and compassionate human being, an able administrator and a wonderful senior colleague. It will take a long time to fill the void created by his death.

— Dr R.C. Sobti

Mohali, April 3
Emeritus professor of Panjab University A.K. Prasad died at a private hospital here today amid allegations by his family of negligence in medical treatment.

Dr Prasad (70) underwent bypass surgery at Grecian Super-Speciality Hospital on March 12. He died of cardiac arrest.

An agitated Prof Rajesh Anand, joint secretary, University Grants Commission, New Delhi, said the family came to the hospital for heart surgery, but his father “died due to pneumonia”. His father’s lungs were clear before operation and even two days after it. He alleged that he caught the lung infection in the hospital only.

Arguments were witnessed between Professor Anand and medical director, Shachi, Joshi Samra, as the latter did not want to give all original X-rays to the former. Madhu Jha, anaesthesia technician, tried to forcibly stop the Tribune lensman from taking photographs in the room.

Professor Anand said his father was suffering from angina and a preventive check-up was done earlier at Fortis hospital here.

Angiography was done on March 9 at Grecian hospital and the family was told that three arteries were blocked. A bypass surgery was recommended, which was done on March 12.

Professor Anand said he was told by Dr Shivpreet Singh Samra, managing director of the hospital and cardiothoracic surgeon, that the operation had been successful.

His father was alright for two days and was shifted to the room on the third day. He was forced to eat but he felt dizzy and was taken back to the ICU. He was put on ventilator where he developed pneumonia. He said no bronchoscopy was done by doctors.

Professor Anand said Dr Prasad developed intestinal problems after he was removed from the ventilator. He was brought to the private room and was forced to eat. A supplement of potassium was given after which he began to shiver and later gasp. He was taken to the ICU again, Professor Anand said, adding that his father was in a critical condition last night, but no doctor allegedly came to attend on him.

No proper feedback was given to the family relating to the state of health and treatment of his father, he added.

Professor Anand said the hospital management gave a Rs 1.75 lakh treatment package initially to Dr Prasad but kept demanding more money every now and then. A total of Rs 4.25 lakh was paid for which no detailed bills were given.

Denying any negligence, Dr Shivpreet Singh Samra said all efforts were made to give the best treatment. He said Dr Prasad was suffering from angina since 1979 which was getting worse. It was a case of unstable angina. Dr Prasad could have benefited from surgery. He underwent triple vessel surgery and later developed some breathing problems for which he was given the required treatment. His condition improved, but subsequently the problem recurred. Strong and heavy antibiotics were then administered to Dr Prasad and he recovered.

However, acute respiratory distress syndrome developed which did not respond to any treatment, added Dr Samra. Bronchoscopy was a risky procedure and Dr Prasad’s condition did not allow this. The heart and kidney functions were normal . The heart stopped because of failure to get oxygen because of the lung condition.

Talking about the hospital expenses, Dr Samra said a package was given to patients for 10 days , which included the cost of surgery. This included three days’ stay in the ICU and seven days in the ward or room. If a patient developed complications, such expenses were beyond the package amount. For the last about one week no room charges had been levied in Dr Prasad’s case. Charges had been asked only for heavy medicines administered to him. An outstanding amount of Rs 80,000 had been waived.

He said the hospital could not give a daily bill to attendants of patients. However, a proper account would be given. Photocopies of medical records were also given to Prof Anand.

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Life an unending struggle for him
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
For Mehraj Deen, a 33-year-old resident of Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir, life has been an unending struggle. Suffering from multiple diseases and undergoing treatment at the PGI, debt-ridden Mehraj and his mother are hoping against hope and facing acute financial crunch for their treatment.

In fact, trauma of the mother, Sunder, is compounded by the fact at the age of over 60 years she is forced to look after his only ailing son. And Sunder is suffering from acute gout, whose treatment cost is a whopping Rs 3 lakh, beyond the reach of the family. "Our diseases had played havoc with our financial health and we have taken at least Rs 50,000 on loan to part finance the treatment," Mehraj told The Tribune here today.

For now, his son's treatment is priority for the old lady. Mehraj was operated upon for throat tumour in July, 2006. However, another operation for the throat tumour is slated soon. Besides, ENT problems had also been troubling him for long and his eye sight has grown weak. To top it all, skin allergy is making his life difficult.

"Though I was the only bread winner of the family yet I could not marry because of my diseases. Not only that, my 30-year-old sister could also not marry as she was polio-stricken," he said with a heavy heart.

Mehraj's tryst with misfortunes started in 2004 when his father died of cancer. "While still undergoing treatment at a Srinagar hospital, I was able to make both ends meet by working as a casual worker. However, after I was referred for treatment at the PGI a couple of years back, I had to virtually stop working leaving the family to the mercy of relatives and neighbours," Mehraj said.

Mehraj said he was waiting for a miracle to happen. Financial help could go a long way in curing him and earning bread and butter for family. "I want to recover and take care of the family," he quipped.

Mehraj can be contacted at Bed No 3-4, Janata Serai Hall, PGI, Chandigarh, or mobile No 99158-30463.

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A sign of authenticity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
In the competitive liquor trade, a veteran player has successfully brought out a new practise of certifying the quality of every bottle sold at his counter.

“I started the practise last year. I daily put my signatures on over 700 bottles”, said liquor contractor Sat Pal who runs a vend in Attawa village.

He said the practise checked smuggling of liquor within the city. “The signatures ensure that my employees do not buy cheap liquor from other vends and sell them at my counter,” Pal said. A regular check ensures that the employees do not indulge in illegal practises.

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Experts dwell on ‘Knowledge City’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Change is imperative and the process of evolution demands it. Change can be more effective if mankind is empowered with knowledge.

This was stated by Gen (retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and administrator, Chandigarh, while delivering the inaugural address at a session on “Towards being a Knowledge City” organised at CII, here, today.

Dwelling on the concept of Knowledge City, the Governor said it had to evolve from the existing culture and conflicting attitudes of the city and could not be transplanted.

The Governor added that the administration was planning on creating centres of excellence in different streams, structured to suit the needs of the industry and service sectors.

Partap Aggarwal, chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, said the concept was based on the principles of sharing information for the holistic development of the community. It focussed on empowering the deprived, Aggarwal stated.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Krishan Goyal, ex-chairman, CII Chandigarh Council; M.S. Brar, director, IT Chandigarh, and Vivek Atray, director, tourism and public relations.

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1,860 BSNL connections disconnected

Chandigarh, April 3
The mobile connections of 1,860 subscribers of BSNL in Chandigarh region (comprising of the city, Panchkula and Mohali) have been disconnected.

D.R. Paul, the principal general manager, telecom, Chandigarh, informed TNS that the step was initiated after the subscribers had failed to provide their proof of residence.

This was done following the guidelines of TRAI which had asked all telecom operators to verify their subscribers. The officer said these phones had been temporarily disconnected and would be reactivated after the subscribers provided their proof of residence. — TNS

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Lineman devises quake warning system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
As there were reports of mild tremors in several parts of Punjab, including Chandigarh, an assistant lineman with the UT electricity department, Jagdish, today claimed that a system devised by him had detected the seismic activity.

Last year, the Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted an earthquake warning system developed by the lineman.

“After feeling the shocks, the device gave an alarm. I was informed about the activity as I had left for my office,” Jagdish, who has had no formal background in seismology, said.

With meager funds to prepare a working model, Jagdish is trying to meet officials of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) so that the concept could be put to use.

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Dr A.K. Prasad passes away

Chandigarh, April 3
Anand Kishore Prasad (70), former head of geology department, Panjab University, died of lung failure at a city hospital today.

Awarded the honour of emeritus professor at the PU convocation held last month, Dr Prasad had guided 32 research scholars in his lifetime. Their area of research ranged from subjects including Himalayan geology and economic geology to environmental geology, remote sensing and geophysics. Dr Prasad’s area of expertise, however, was environment geochemistry and Himalayan geology. He was credited with the discovery of some precious minerals found in the Himalayan geological system. He is survived by two sons and two daughters. His uthala will be held on April 15 at house no. 5204/3, Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra. — TNS

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400 trees face axe
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 3
Around 400 trees will be axed to widen a road linking Mohali and Chandigarh.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has planned to widen all link roads connecting Mohali to Chandigarh due to excess traffic, beginning with the road dividing Sectors 53 and 54. The road has the maximum traffic because it connects Mohali with Fatehgarh Sahib link road.

The 400 trees to face axe are about 20 years old and are on either side of the road. The GMADA proposes to plant a second line of trees in the left over berm.

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Letters

Poor lighting

Apropos the news report ”The ‘dark’, bright side of city roads” in the April 31 edition of Chandigarh Tribune, it is a fact that street-lighting in this so-called modern city is far from satisfactory. It has often been the cause of accidents, with stray cattle making matters worse. Often, while lights are seen working during the day, these inexplicably go non-functional during night time. This is nothing but utter disregard for citizen’s safety. About time that the administration did something about the problem.

— Monica, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com  or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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Phoren dream has him duped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The local police booked a man last night for cheating several persons from Punjab of Rs 50 lakh on the pretext of sending them to New Zealand. The police is yet to ascertain his identity.

Sources in the police said a case had been registered on the complaint of Surinder Pal Singh of Ludhiana against Vinod Kumar of Fizza Enterprises in Sector 22, who claimed to be working with the New Zealand High Commission as an agent. Surinder Pal Singh said he learnt about the agency through newspapers and approached Vinod Kumar.

The latter demanded Rs 1.08 lakh from him to arrange for a visa. The amount was paid through two demand drafts (dated February 25) purchased in favour of New Zealand Immigration Services, Delhi. When he did not hear from Vinod, he visited his office in Sector 22, only to find it locked.

Surinder Pal said Vinod had duped several persons from Punjab. Vinod had shown his own account number on the website as that of the high commission.

The police is trying to trace a Panchkula-based woman employee of Vinod.

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Two of gang held for robbery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The local police today arrested two members of a notorious Muradabad-based gang involved in robberies in the city.

The SHO of police station, Sector 17, said the two gang members - 40-year-old Ravinder Pal and 32-year-old Sanjay - had robbed Rs 4,700 from Chandpal, a stamp vendor in Sector 17, around 5 pm near the LIC building today.

They sped away on a scooter, while Chandpal informed the police about the incident.

A massage was flashed to other units and the police nabbed the accused near the KC traffic lights.

The robbed amount was recovered from the two.

The SHO said, the local police had earlier arrested six members of the gang. Three of the gang members were arrested last year after they had robbed Rs 32,000 from a city resident in broad daylight.

The gang had remained inactive for around six months after the catch before starting its activities again.

The two were staying in Kisan Bhavan.

The other members of the gang fled after they learned about the arrest of their fellows, the SHO said.

He added that more cases of robbery were likely to be solved following their interrogation.

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Nabard: Rs 5,386 cr spent on rural development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Nabard’s support to agriculture and rural development in Punjab and Haryana and Chandigarh touched a record Rs 5,386 crore during 2006-07, up by 36 per cent over Rs 3,972 crore achieved during 2005-06.

An official press note said of the Rs 5,386 crore, Rs 1,467 crore (27 per cent) constituted support to commercial, regional rural and co-operative banks (including long-term structures) towards long-term investment loans for capital formation. Another Rs 3,450 crore (64 per cent) went towards supporting co-operative and regional rural banks to meet the short-term credit needs of farmers for carrying out seasonal agricultural operations, while Rs 469 crore (9 per cent) went to governments of Punjab and Haryana through rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF) for the creation of various rural infrastructure like roads, bridges, irrigation, drinking water supply, etc.

During 2006-07, under the RIDF, 44 irrigation projects, 116 roads, three bridges and 460 rural drinking water supply schemes, aggregating Rs 825.39 crore, had been sanctioned.

When completed, it would bring 64,798 hectares of additional arable land under irrigation. Also, it will add 873 km of road and 888 metre of bridges providing connectivity to 1,760 villages with a population of 80 lakh, 303 rural marketing centres and 92 urban marketing centres, and ensure potable water to 889 villages with a population of 23.41 lakh, respectively.

Concurrently, these schemes will generate employment of 337.95 lakh mandays.

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