C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Not fair: Industrialists
Industrial plots’ auction on June 11
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
For the first time, the Chandigarh administration has decided to auction plots in the industrial area. In order to determine the market price,it has decided to put four plots in the third phase of the Industrial Area in Raipur Kalan on auction on June 11.

The administration has decided to auction four plots in sizes of two kanals, 1.5 kanal, 1 kanal and 15 marlas to arrive at a standard price for different sizes, sources said. The property will be given on a lease-hold basis for 99 years.

Industrialists are opposing the auction move. M.P.S. Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, said: " We will meet senior officials of the administration and point out that industrial property has never been auctioned earlier.The city has a long list of applicants not allotted property for the past more than two decades.These people are being sidelined."

Chawla said: " There was a category of industrialists who approached the Supreme Court.They won the case and were allotted property. There was another category who was offered a refund after nearly two decades and without any interest. Many have not accepted the refund.”

A senior official of the administration said even the court had asked the governments to allot land at the market price. We don't have a set market price for the land. An auction is the best option for gauging the market price. It is not to any favour. "

A senior industrialist said: " If at all, the administration wanted standardised pricing, the best option would be to charge the collectorate rate. It would work out to approximately Rs 19,200 per square yard.

“Financiers are likely to enter the scene in case of an auction. Only the moneyed class will be benefited."

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LAO Failure
Attach DC’s car, orders court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Additional district and session judge S.K. Aggarwal today issued warrants for the attachment of the official Ambassador cars of the DC, Additional DC and nine other vehicles attached with different departments of the district administration.

The attachments orders were passed after the land acquisition office failed to pay the remaining part of land compensation ordered by the court.

Bhupinder Singh, Amar Singh and Surjeet Singh had moved the court against the land compensation awards announced by the district administration in 2006. The land owners had then moved the court seeking enhanced compensation.

After making part payment, the LAO failed to make the remaining payment. 

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5 of family drugged by servant
Stuffs pills into paranthas; Woman doped in another case
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 17
Six persons, including five members of a family, were drugged by their servants in two separate incidents, the motive being theft.

Five members of a family in Sector 71 were allegedly drugged by their servant when he served them breakfast this morning.Two of them were children. All were taken to Cheema Medical Complex ( CMC) in Phase IV. Later, they were shifted to Fortis Hospital.

Ram Singh (70), his wife Bimla (63), his daughter-in-law Dr Reeti Saini (41) and his two grandchildren, Pujita (10) and Khajit (7), were found semi-conscious by their neighbours who then informed the police.The servant had been employed only a few days ago.

It is reported that the servant stuffed some drug into the paranthas. Doctors at the CMC suspect that a heavy dose of sleeping pills were mixed in the dough or the mixture.

The incident came to light when a milkman supplying milk to the family reached the house in Sector 71. He rang the door bell but failed to get a response. He then got in touch with some neighbours who were shocked to see the family members lying in a semi-conscious state.

The police said when it reached the house, it found Dr Reeti lying on the sofa while her in-laws were lying in the bedroom.The children had been locked in the store and the police had to break open the door to take them out. The house had been ransacked. Dr Reeti works in a private hospital in Sohana. Her husband, Dr Devinder Prasad, who is employed at the PGI , is in the UK.

Varinder Pal Singh, SP (City), said the police had registered a case under Section 329 of the IPC.

In a similar fashion, Shashi Sethi ( 67 ) of Phase III B 1, was allegedly drugged by her servant during lunch. She was all alone in the house at that time. Shashi Sethi was also taken to the CMC where doctors attending on her said she too have been given sleeping pills in her meals.

Mini, daughter of Sethi, a school teacher, said she came back from the school today a little before the usual time. When she reached home, she found the door bolted from inside. She called for the servant, who opened the door.

She found her mother semi-conscious. she called out for the servant again but he was nowhere to be found.

The servant had been employed about three days ago and his verification was yet to be got done. He hailed from Nepal. The servant took away a mobile phone and Rs 7,000 in cash.

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Flag march in UT; High alert in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh Police holds a flag march on Thursday afternoon
The Chandigarh Police holds a flag march on Thursday afternoon.—A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 17
In the wake of the unrest in Punjab and various other parts of the country over the Dera Sacha Sauda issue, the Chandigarh Police today held a meeting with representatives of gurdwara committees in the city.

Senior officials urged the representatives to cooperate with the police to maintain law and order. DSP S.S. Randhawa said representatives of all gurdwara committees participated.

Earlier in the day, the police held a flag march with 300 cops and 30 police vehicles. The march began at 2 pm from the Parade Ground A high alert was sounded in Panchkula district. SP Balbir Singh said they had beefed up security in the city.

“We have asked our force to be ready to deal with any eventuality. They have been briefed to be ready at short notice for any emergency anywhere in the district ,” the SP said.

With Nada Sahib Gurdwara located within the city, police patrolling has been stepped up. Sources said that a number of trucks carrying members of the Sikh community left for Punjab from different parts of the district.

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RTI Act not perfect: Expert
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Urging people to look at the Right to Information (RTI) Act in the context of the past 60 years, Shekhar Singh, founder member, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, said while the Act was not perfect it would improve with the participation of the government and people. “Systems do not work well in this country and there are no expectations from the government so there is a need for the Act,” he said.

Giving a presentation on the fine print of the Act as well as the problems being faced by the government, people and the information commissioners, at a seminar conducted by the Asian education Society at the UT guest house, he drove home the point that the Act needed to be looked at in a holistic manner. “You have a dual responsibility, you are custodians and citizens,” he averred, maintaining that the civil servants were the single largest group using the Act.

However, he was clear that an early amendment to the Act was not something he wanted, adding it would take sometime for the Act to be clearly understood.

Stating that there were a few issues that needed to be looked into, he specified, “Prescribing a time limit for appeals, a unified fee and rule structure, some sections of the law to be covered under penalties, a contempt provision for the non-compliance of orders given by information commissioners among others need to be addressed.”

Citing the Supreme Court observation that Right to Information was the fundamental right and no reasons were required to access information, he said every citizen of the country was a stakeholder. “There are no ‘holy cow exemptions’ unless there is a valid reason for refusal. Secrecy has nothing to do with the RTI Act. What can be accessed by the government can be accessed by its people,” he elaborated.

He said systems could be made to work more efficiently by analysing the queries coming in and putting information out automatically.

With the Act fast gaining a reputation as the ‘magic of 30 days’ within which any information was to be given, he said it was more to do with solving than just giving information. “The Act will not be successful unless it is a deterrent, unless there are systemic changes.

It does not pit civil servants against people. It binds them in the sense that it helps good officials to join hands with people and solve issues.”

Earlier, Dr Talwar, director, PGI, who inugurated he seminar, spoke of the Act being an “important instrument” in bringing justice to the common man’s life. However, he did stress that information must be used correctly to facilitate better governance and not as an exploitative tool.

The seminar also included a presentation by Pitney Bowes representatives about software developed by them in compliance with the requirements of the RTI Act which would service the needs and requirements of the seekers and providers. 

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Polio-ridden boy to teach special children of Kargil
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Ashok Philamon could well have resigned to fate. But he had dreams to live -- dreams he nurtured since childhood when he could not even walk straight.

Ridden with polio and poverty, Ashok crawled for a better part of his life. He would still be crawling had it not been for the support of others. As a 10-year-old he was adopted by Roshni, a Rajpura-based society for rehabilitation of the disabled, which arranged for his corrective surgery and gave him a new life.

“It is time to pay back,” says Ashok, who has decided to spend his future serving the special children in Kargil. One of the target areas for Roshni, Kargil is known for a high population of disabled children -- 8 per cent of the area’s children are disabled, as per surveys.

Add to this the problems posed by difficult terrain. Literacy level in the region is dismal and shows no sign of improvement despite government efforts. Now, with the help of Roshni which has adopted 30 children from Kargil for comprehensive rehabilitation, the local administration plans to achieve its goal. Special focus will be English language for the students of Sankhoo, the first of the project areas in Kargil.

To begin with, Ashok will be Roshni’s face in Sankhoo. The organisation has already tied up with local schools, which have several disabled children on rolls. Says Ashok, who was in Kargil recently for a survey, “Because of their disability, children find it difficult to attend school.

They are particularly poor at English, which I plan to teach intensively. I will go to them rather than they come to me,” Ashok told The Tribune on his visit to Chandigarh today. He will leave for Kargil tomorrow.

As for skills, the boy has plenty. Courtesy Roshni, he went to the best of schools, including St Joseph's at Jalandhar and Sacred Heart at Ludhiana. “I shifted as and when Roshni’s headquarters shifted. Ever since I left home, I have been under the care of Father Thomas, who heads Roshni. My parents think I have made the right decisions,” said Ashok, who cleared classes X and XII from the National Open School. Later he even acquired a diploma in computer applications and now he handles office work for Roshni.

For a while, Roshni will feel Ashok’s absence. “But that’s how the world must be served. Those who have been helped must move on to help others. The chain of service must not be broken,” said Father Thomas who has been collaborating with the Diocese of Jammu and Kashmir to rehabilitate the children of Kargil.

His association with Kargil began last year when he conducted a medical camp there and identified 30 cases needing immediate medical attention - something that’s amiss in Kargil.

For Roshni, education is a new area of intervention in Kargil. But its caretakers are sure Ashok will set a trend. The boy is also raring to go as is evident from the zeal is his tone: “The project will be a test of my abilities, of all that I am worth. And I know I am worth something.”

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Table Marking
VC calls for list of examiners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Panjab University vice-chancellor today directed various examiners at the table-marking centre here to give an undertaking that they were well-versed in the language that the candidates had used in the answer-sheets.

A news report was carried in the columns of Chandigarh Tribune on May 15, highlighting that college teachers belonging to states other than Punjab were checking answersheets written in Punjabi about which they had no knowledge.

VC Prof RC Sobti said he had called for the list of the examiners who had examined the answersheets at the centre since the first week of April. “We have shortlisted at least five examiners about whom we are not sure if they know the Punjab language and script. But these five lecturers are not coming in for checking copies these days. They will be called for a meeting. In case found guilty, action will be taken against them. Also the copies will be re-marked,” he said.

Many college teachers who have joined various UT colleges through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are from other states and have little or no knowledge of the Punjabi language. 

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Double Murder
Servant’s first wife quizzed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 17
The mortal remains of Maj Gen KC Dhingra and his wife Sangeeta were consigned to flames by family members at Rohtak today after postmortem , which confirmed that the two had died due to head injuries caused by a blunt weapon.

Police sources said it was unsure whether the suspcts- Anand, Rajan and Ajit- involved in the double murder, were in the city or had left. The CIA staff handling the case interrogated acquaintances of the accused but no headway was made in the case.

While combing operations to nab the culprits continued, SP Balbir Singh again spoke to the West Bengal police and sought help in rounding up the accused.”

The police also questioned Chandigarh resident Sandhya, the first wife of Anand, who said she had no clue about him since February this year when he had gone to his village in Jalpaigurui and got married the second time. He had had a court marriage with Anna, a Bengali employed as domestic help in Bangalore.

The police has zeroed in on an acquaintance who received a call from Anand, saying he would leave the town shortly. 

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Property Dispute
Councillor, uncle create a scene
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
It was a day of allegations and counter-allegations, compromises and broken compromises between family members of councillor Davinder Singh Babla and his uncle, Gurbhachan Singh, over a property dispute.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Rajinder Singh, son of Gurbhachan Singh, alleged that Babla, along with other family members, barged into his house No. 77 in Sector 27 in bid to take possession of the house. They were armed with swords and other sharp-edged weapons and shattered windowpanes.

Denying the allegations, Babla said the house was sold by his father to his uncle about three years ago. However, his uncle allowed them to stay in the house. About two months ago he, along with his family, shifted to their newly constructed house in the same Sector, but some of their belongings were still lying in the house. When his son went to take the belongings, his uncle did not allow him in and raised a hue and cry, alleging that he was attacked.

DSP (east) Davinder Thakur said the matter was being verified as the complainant had changed his statement. Earlier, a daily diary report was lodged on his complaint. Thereafter, they reached a compromise and then backtracked from it and lodged a fresh complaint. When the police was called, no broken glass was found there. “We will examine the statements before initiating action in this regard,” the DSP added.

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Traffic Chaos outside schools
  Car pool scheme recommended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
In order to reduce traffic jams outside schools, the Chandigarh traffic police, in a communication to director public instructions (Schools), has recommended the introduction of car pool parking scheme in all UT schools.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, senior superintendent of police (traffic) A.S. Ahlawat said the scheme was first introduced by Kavita Dass, principal of St John’s High School, Sector 26, under which three students were asked to come to school together in one car.

With the implementation of this scheme, the school managed to bring down the number of vehicles coming to the school thereby reducing traffic jams and congestion on the road outside the school.

According to the sources in the traffic police, amused by the results of the scheme, the SSP has recommended the scheme to all UT schools.

He has asked the DPI to request the school authorities to take up the matter in parent-teacher meetings to promote the scheme.

The SSP further said 
the scheme would not only help reducing the pollution outside the schools but would also bring down the number of accidents.

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100 attend patent awareness workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
One-day patent awareness workshop under the sponsorship of patent facilitating centre, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and the department of science and technology was jointly organised by Patent Information Centre, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PIC/PSCST) and National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) in Chandigarh today.

More than 100 participants from local technical institutions and NITTTR, Chandigarh, participated in the workshop. While inaugurating the workshop, Dr S.C. Laroiya, director, NITTTR, emphasised the need for generating awareness about the intellectual property rights and patenting of products and processes.

Dr D.D. Sharma, workshop coordinator, elaborated as to how the individuals and organisations should go about the patenting of products and processes.

Dr Neelima Jerath, joint director and in charge, Patent Information Centre, PSCST, Chandigarh, was of the opinion that in the era of reverse brain drain, globalisation of trade, knowledge society and increasing global competition, the patenting of innovations had become increasingly important. She also highlighted the nitty-gritty of patent search, patent registration, norms and guidelines for obtaining a patent.

The other prominent speakers during the workshop were Deepak Srinivasan, patent attorney, K and S Partners, New Delhi, who delivered a talk on ‘Novelty and non-obviousness in patents’ and Amit Singh, patent examiner, patent office, New Delhi, who spoke on ‘Patenting system in India’.

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Trains to run late
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
At least four Amritsar-bound trains from Ambala will be running behind schedule due to diversion on the Ambala-Amritsar section.

A railway official said due to major repair of a bridge at Rajpura, the trains would be diverted through the Chandigarh-Morinda-Sirhind rail section, resulting in the delay. Only trains moving from Ambala to Amritsar would be affected.

The trains moving in the reverse direction (from Amritsar to Ambala) would, however, not be affected by the diversion.

The trains to be affected are 5209 (Jan Sewa Express), 4673 (Suchkhand Express) and 2715 (Malwa Express) and 2925 (Paschim Express). The diversion will remain effective from 11 am to 6 pm.

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Violation back at parking lot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Four-wheelers are back again in the parking lot opposite the Mehfil restaurant in Sector 17, exclusively demarcated for two-wheelers, as the Chandigarh traffic police has apparently once again turned a blind eye to the violation.

The traffic police in the past did not allow anyone to leave behind their four-wheelers on the busy stretch after inconvenience to motorists was highlighted in these columns.

In December last year, UT senior superintendent of police Gaurav Yadav was himself struck in the traffic jam on the road.

After a news report was published in this connection, the police swung into action and strictly prohibited parking of four-wheelers on the road. 

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CPI flays admn on land allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has condemned the Chandigarh administration for allotting prime land to big builders, multinational companies and financial institutions.

The Chandigarh unit of the party said there was apprehension that no land would be left for construction of houses for the general public.

Devi Dyal Sharma, secretary of the party, said before starting the agitation against the administration, the CPI, under the Right to Information Act, had asked 18 questions regarding the land allotment issue. 

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Man killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 17
One labourer was killed and another one seriously injured in an accident at a factory in Industrial Area, Phase I, here today.

The two labourers, working at Ruhani Enterprises, were removing piled up stocks of material in the factory when one pile gave way and the boxes fell on them. Twenty-year-old Jatinder died on the spot. Gyan Singh, who was seriously injured, was taken to General Hospital, Sector 6, from where he was referred to the PGI. His condition is said to be critical.

 

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Letters
Lesson on morality

Congratulations to your newspaper for bringing forth the vital issue of mushrooming tobacco vendors in the vicinity of various educational institutions, putting students to the risk of getting addicts. This is what a reader expects from a sincere newspaper. In addition to the points highlighted, there is something that needs to be given due attention - the role of teachers in education the students to stay away from tobacco. With extra session at schools and classes at coaching centres, teachers are the ones with whom students spend most of their time. Thus, the onus is on the teachers to instill morality into students. They must make students aware of the things that could affect their lives and help them become better citizens.

Harbinder Singh
Chandigarh

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CRIME

Cops still clueless
Kajheri victims cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Chandigarh police is clueless about the whereabouts of three suspects involved in the sensational Kajheri triple murder case.

Sources in the police said though police teams were continuously carrying out raids at suspected hideouts, yet they had failed to trace the suspects, Rajiv Kumar, Santosh Kumar, alias Soni, and Amit Kumar. The police took Amit’s brother Vicky to conduct raids at some places on the periphery, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, a police team reached the native village of Rajiv and Amit in Bhagalpur district of Bihar yesterday. The team was told that Amit had a criminal record and was wanted in some cases by the Bihar police. Besides, villagers told the visiting police officials that Amit had a rivalry in the village following the murder of his father more than a decade ago, and was afraid to come to the village.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station said the mobile details had not given any leads about the suspects or their links.

Earlier during the day, the bodies of Sucha Singh, his wife Balbir Kaur and their servant Chhotu were consigned to the flames in the Sector 25 cremation ground.

The family of Chhotu, including his wife, two minor children, father and relatives reached the city last evening. Mani Singh, elder son of Sucha Singh, said they had given Rs 40,000 to Chhotu’s wife, Gyanda Devi.

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