C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Administration books eight land owners
They had planned dharna in Delhi for May 22
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
In a surprise move, the district administration today booked eight land owners who had carved out and sold plots in Shastri Nagar adjacent to Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), Mani Majra.

Pointing out that this was in violation of the periphery Act, FIRs were registered against eight land owners for selling plots on general power of attorney (GPA) to unsuspecting persons. The GPA-holders, have not been named in the cases.

Sources in the administration say that among those booked were persons who had been vociferous in their opposition to the acquisition of 272 acres for Phase III of the IT park. The protesters were scheduled to stage a dharna against the acquisition in New Delhi on May 22.

Keeping the exercise under wraps, the administration directed the SSP to get FIRs registered against Tarsem Lal, Krishan Sharma, Krishan Ali, Pritam Singh, Raj Kumar, Jagbir Singh, Mohinder Singh and Lalita Prasad. It is learnt that most of the accused were not living in Shastri Nagar.

About two years ago, the administration had got at least 35 cases registered against those who had sold or carved out plots in violation of the periphery Act. Most of the cases pertained to Mani Majra. These are still being heard in the district courts.

The land acquisition collector is hearing objections of the land owners of Shastri Nagar area.The land in being acquired in two phases - 104 acres and 167 acres. The UT Administrator has already turned down the plea of the land owners to exempt their land from acquisition.

The land owners say a major green cover is under threat due to the acquisition.The compensation rates offered to the evacuees and profit made by the administration on selling the land to private players hasalso been questioned.

No action against GPA-holders

The administration does not plan action against GPA-holders. It is thinking of relocating those who have constructed small houses on the land from their meagre income. The land owners demanding higher compensation were opposed to this.

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Farmers to fight it out

Chandigarh, May 18
To fight against land acquisition, farmers of different villages today announced a joint action front.

The decision was taken at a meeting at Hill View Farms this evening. It was attended by sarpanches and residents of Mani Majra, Mauli Jagran, Khuda Ali Sher, Kaimbwala, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur, Dhanas, Makhan Majra, Raipur Kalan, Raipur Khurd, Maloya, Daddu Majra and Dariya.

The front, Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha, would take up issues pertaining to village land and the actions of the administration in contravention of the Panchayati Raj Bill. The members of the front plan to hold a rally at New Delhi. — TNS

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CBI nabs head constable for graft
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The CBI today registered a case against two Chandigarh Police personnel on the charge of accepting a bribe of Rs 12,000 from a Sector 34-based travel agency.

The CBI team, led by DSP Karnail Singh, arrested head constable Iqbal Singh. Sub Inspector Sukhdweep Singh has absconded. Both were posted at the Sector 34 police station.

The officials were conducting an inquiry into the validity of the travel agency belonging to Rajiv Puri. To give report in favour of the agency, the officials demanded Rs 12,000 from Puri. The CBI team laid a trap on the complaint of Puri to catch the officials.

This evening, Iqbal Singh along with Bhupinder Singh, a home guard, went to collect money in the car of SI Sukhdweep. After collecting the money, they went to Sector 48 to get the car seat covers replaced. CBI sleuths, who were trailing them from Sector 34, caught the two and brought them to the Sector 34 police station. As the SI was not there at the time of the incident, the CBI team sent a party to conduct a search at Sukhdweep’s home. As many as 20 bottles of liquor were found. When contacted on the phone, Sukhdweep denied all charges.

At the police station, Bhupinder Singh said that he had got a call from the SI, who directed him to replace the seat covers of his car, parked at the police station at that time.

“As instructed, I asked Iqbal Singh to accompany me, who said that he would join me at the Sector 34 market after a while,” said Bhupinder talking to mediapersons.

The inquiry against the travel agency was given to SI Sarabjit Kaur. The police is investigating how the file came into the possession of Sukhdweep Singh.

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Dera chief’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service

Agitated Sikh youths brandish swords during a protest against the Dera Sacha Sauda head at Sector 17 in Chandigarh
Agitated Sikh youths brandish swords during a protest against the Dera Sacha Sauda head at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Friday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, May 18
Brandishing swords and spears, the Sikh sangat lodged a strong but peaceful protest against Dera Sacha Sauda, the UPA government and the Congress for over an hour at the Sector 17 Plaza here today.

Demanding the immediate arrest of dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh for his alleged “blasphemous act” of emulating Guru Gobind Singh, over 300 Sikhs, led by president of the local unit of the SAD Gurpartap Singh Riar, gathered at Plaza at 1 pm.

“Either arrest him (the chief), or hand him over to us so that he can be punished properly,” demanded Sikh leaders in their speeches.

After raising slogans against the dera chief and the alleged violent behaviour of ‘premis’ at Bathinda recently, the Sikh followers burnt an effigy of the dera chief.

Riar alleged that the ongoing developments were a conspiracy of the Congress and the dera chief to pull down the Akali government in Punjab. “They wanted to impose President’s rule in the state. The UPA government is also hand in glove with them,” the SAD leader added.

Among the other speakers were SAD leader Mohinder Singh, Jaspal Singh, president, Sector 19 Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Harpal Singh, president, Youth Akali Dal, Kesar Singh, president, Sector 46 gurdwara, and Parminder Singh Gill.

In their speeches, the leaders appealed to the sangat to maintain peace and communal harmony.

Meanwhile, over 200 Chandigarh police personnel, along with anti-riot equipment, were deputed to deal with any untoward incident.

“Elaborate arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident,” said S.S. Randhawa, DSP (central), here.

Riar said ‘akhand path’ would be held in all gurdwaras from Monday. “After the bhog of the path on Wednesday, leaders will meet on Thursday. The next action will be planned according to the directions of Akal Takht.”

Meanwhile, Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said the police yesterday organised a meeting with the heads of 21 gurdwaras in the city.

Yadav said the heads assured that the protests in the city would be peaceful and no inconvenience would be caused to the public.

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Vigil up in Mohali

Mohali, May 18
The SAS Nagar district administration today imposed a ban on the assembly of five or more persons and carrying of arms by members of the public.

The ban has been imposed by Deputy Commissioner H.I.S. Garewal under Section 144 of the CrPc keeping in view the clashes that took place in the state due to row between Sikh organisations and Dera Sacha Sauda. The aim was to maintain law and order situation in the district.

The decision was taken in consultation with district police chief R.S. Khatra. The ban will remain in force till July 15. A flag march was also organised by the police in the town and in Kharar as well, which was headed by Khatra.

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After AP blast, security up at shrines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Following the blast at Hyderabad, the Chandigarh Police has been put on high alert. Security has been beefed up at all religious places in the city.

DSP S.S. Randhawa said all station house officerss had been directed to depute personnel at sensitive points and to keep a watch on lumpen elements.

The police also carried out a special check at the bus terminus in Sector 17 and another at Sector 43 as a precautionary measure.

More injured in PGI

Two more persons injured in clashes in Punjab, in the wake to the dera Sacha Sauda row, were admitted to the PGI early today. They were identified as Mukhtiar Singh, a resident of Kamalon village near Sunam, and Devender Singh of Bathinda. While Mukhtiar was sent back after treatment, Devender was kept under observation.

The reporter of an NRI channel, Harnek Singh, who was also injured during clashes at Sunam, was discharged this morning. The condition of Raghubir Singh, a dera follower, is statd to be stable.

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Muslim front condemns blast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The United Progressive Muslim Front has condemned the bomb blast on the premises of Mecca Masjd, Hyderabad, during the Friday prayers today.

Conveying condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their loved ones in this act of terrorism, the front has appealed to all Muslims to close their ranks and put up a united front to eliminate terrorism from the country.

“We urge the union home ministry to closely examine all these intelligence failures and plug loopholes so that such acts do not occur at such alarming frequency. In almost all such cases, there is a complete failure of the intelligence to protect the lives innocent people who die in such acts of violence, causing insecurity among the citizens,” said spokesperson of the front Arshad Khan.

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UT has no money to fight mosquitoes
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Chandigarh administration has no provision for fighting mosquitoes. The only option for the residents is to keep their surrounding free of conditions which lead to the breeding of the insect.

The mosquito found in the city is culex. It breed in stagnant waters and in the last few years, this mosquito has had habitatation aplenty in the city. H C Gera, anti-malaria officer said water leakages in government flats, water pools in labour colonies and villages rainwater accumulated on roofs of even big houses in plush areas provided the best conditions for breeding of the mosquito.

The city does not get any grant from the Centre for controlling the mosquito menace and the local authorities do not have sufficient funds for anti-mosquito spray in the city.

The National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme, earlier known as National Malaria Eradication Programme, sponsored by the Centre does not meet the conditions for allocation of funds.

Funds for spray are allocated for rural areas and slums where the annual parasitic incidence (API) is to the level of two or above, which means where at least two persons against every 1,000 persons carry the vector- borne disease. The villages and slums in the city do not fall in this category.

Last year 449 cases of malaria were reported at city hospitals. In addition, 182 patients suffering from dengue were treated at local hospitals. Against Till date this year, 15 cases of malaria have been reported in comparison to 28 during the corresponding periodlast year.

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Cinema as a bridge between nations
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The conference on “Disunited Nations: Cinema beyond the Nation-State”, which concluded at the University of Birmingham recently, had a strong Asian participation.

Among the few researchers from Asia, West Asia, Australia and the UK, who met to discuss the increasingly international role of cinema, was Indu Bala Singh from Chandigarh. She spoke on Partition cinema and how it was helping change mindsets for the better.

“The purpose was to study globalisation of cinema. Across the world, film makers are looking beyond their nation’s boundaries for themes. Migration and passage are emerging as new areas for cinematic interpretation.

Cinema, in fact, is assuming a larger role by helping demystify difficult periods in history - periods which left nations and people scarred,” said Indu, whose presentation centred on the role of two classic films that changed people’s perceptions about India’s Partition and the havoc it played.

The films in question are “Train to Pakistan” by Pamela Rooks and “Khamosh Paani” by Sabiha Sumar. Though rooted in the same period, the films run parallel and reach out to a diverse audience. While the former, based on Khushwant Singh’s classic fictional account of the period, explores the issue of lost identity from an Indian perspective, the latter does quite the same from a Pakistani perspective. The result is a new body of thought - clear and touching.

“I chose the films because I wanted to explore the element of loss from both nations’ perspectives. Culturally we are linked. We are linked in pain, too, and the feeling of lost moorings is common.

But unless one views both the films and sees how they handle identity crisis, one wouldn’t know what the whole talk about a shared inheritance of loss is all about.

To that extent, cinema’s role is tremendous. The seminar’s theme was about these very issues; my paper generated interest as it was about two estranged nations, born of the same territory,” said Indu, who has earlier researched cultural ideology and gender relations in six films that were adapted from literature. These included - Teesri Kasam, Umrao Jaan, Rudali, Gharye Bhayre, Gaban and Train to Pakistan.

The seminar attracted many other research papers on the process of internationalisation of film productions, with co-financing across national borders becoming a norm.

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UN owes $ 230m to Indian peacekeepers
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The United Nations owes about $ 230 million to India, one of the largest contributor of troops, for deployment of armed forces personnel on peacekeeping operations undertaken by the world body in volatile and strife-ridden areas. “As of March 2007, a sum of approximately $ 228.99 million is due from the UN towards reimbursements in respect of deployment on various missions,” according to information released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) yesterday.

Indian armed forces, including helicopter detachments, are currently deployed in five peace keeping missions in various parts of the world, including Lebanon, Ethiopia, Golan Heights, Congo and Sudan, besides contributing officers to various UN observer groups. The strength of India peacekeepers, according to MoD figures, has more than doubled in the past three years. From 3,579 in 2004, it touched 8,922 in 2006.

In December 2004, the UN owed $ 18 million to Indian peacekeepers, which rose to about $ 180 million in July 2006, according to publicly available figures. Some of this amount relates to peacekeepers who have completed their deployment tenure and returned home.

The payments made to troops deployed on UN missions are quite lucrative. According to sources in Army Headquarters, the reimbursement made by the UN, called mission subsistence allowance, varies from mission to mission. It is $ 2,500 to $ 3,000 per month for officers, about $ 2,000 for JCOs and $ 1,000--1,200 per month for jawans. Troops are not paid directly by the UN, but through the government of the respective country.

The UN owes hundreds of million dollars to countries contributing troops and equipment to peacekeeping and peace-enforcement missions carried out under its mandate. One of the prime reasons for the UN lagging behind in reimbursements for troops is that several member states of the UN have either not paid or have delayed their mandatory financial contributions.

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Realty Bites
Haphazard growth dogs Zirakpur
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 18
One of the major contributors to the state exchequer, the godown area on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur road, is headed for a development disaster in the wake of haphazard development and apathetic attitude of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat.

In fact, the area, housing godowns of major MNCs and big corporate houses, seems to be at the receiving end due to the step-motherly treatment meted to the area over the past six years.

Despite paying crores of rupees through taxes to the panchayat and the state government, basic amenities still elude the area, alleges F.S. Nagra, president of the Commercial Welfare Association (godown area), Bhabhat. The irony of the matter is that the authorities concerned do not even acknowledge our representations, what to talk of remedial action, he complains.

The area does not have an assured water supply. With the absence of drainage system and the monsoon not far off, the situation threats to assume alarming proportions.

In the name of the roads, kutcha tracks welcome the visitors. In fact, bumpy rides await the visitors to the area with re-carpeting of the internal roads leaving much to be desired, allege godown owners.

With no regulated growth the area is emerging as a concrete jungle. As no byelaws have allegedly been implemented, haphazard growth is routine. In some cases, encroachment on the public land is rampant and even roads have not been spared, Nagra asserts.

As the land sells at a premium, every yard of the available space has been utilised for commercial use, putting pressure on the existing space. And if the construction activity in the area is any indication, vacant space would soon be a thing of the past.

In a way, the proximity to Chandigarh is proving to be a bane of the area. The recent spurt in the construction activity with the coming up of the hundreds of multi-storyed apartments in the area threatens to play havoc with the already fragile infrastructure of the township.

Sources said the geographical location of Bhabhat, which formed part of the Kharar assembly segment, also had a bearing on its development. While the area is represented by Congress leader Balbir Sidhu, the nagar panchayat is dominated by the SAD leader owing allegiance to cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh. Zirakpur forms part of the Banur assembly segment, which is represented by Capt Kanwaljit Singh.

And for obvious reasons, the civic body is wary of initiating a major development projects in the area, a local leader said on the condition of anonymity.

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Major snarl-up on Industrial Area road
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Commuters coming from the railway station were stranded for over an hour on the road that cuts through Industrial Area following a major snarl-up that locked the entire stream of traffic here this evening.

The snarl-up was caused when a truck carrying a load of iron rods got stranded on the Industrial Area road, near the CTU workshop. One of the tyres of the truck gave way and the truck was abandoned in the middle of the road. The truck could not be moved due to the heavy load. What added to the congestion on the narrow stretch of road were tents put up by CTU members for their elections tomorrow.

The traffic coming from the railway station chiefly consisted of passengers of the evening Shatabdi that had just chugged into the station. For them, the journey from Delhi to their home ended in a wait for an hour on the road.

The traffic police, along with CTU members, managed to clear the traffic though the truck remained stuck on the road.

To make things worse, the alternative route to the city, the Chandigarh-Panchkula road, was also blocked following a pile-up during the same time. Eyewitnesses said a mini truck braked suddenly and the cars behind it rammed into one another. Although no one was injured, the traffic on the roads had to be stopped till the damaged cars were removed.

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Spam calls continue despite TRAI orders
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
In spite of repeated guidelines issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), there seems to be no end to spam calls on the cellphone. The change, if any, has been that the spam calls have been replaced by spam voice messages.

From cell phone operators to banks, insurance companies to beauty salons, immigration consultants to coaching centres; all seem to scoff the TRAI guidelines with impunity. This, in spite of the fact, that some of the leading mobile operators and banks have been issued fines by TRAI for invading the privacy of cellphone users.

Telemarketing can catch you unawares at any point of time. It could be schemes by your mobile service provider or schemes of a bank. On a holiday, while negotiating your way through traffic, or, even in the wee hours of the morning. Imagine getting one of these calls from a telemarketer when you are in the midst of an important business conference, say in London, Mumbai or Bangkok, and then being billed for answering the call on roaming! Sounds absurd? It happens all the time!

Though most cellphone operators offer “Do Not Disturb” services, where the subscriber can register to block the calls by the service provider, these are of little help as subscribers continue to be bombarded with these unwanted and unsolicited calls.

“Though the spam calls from the cell phone operator have not stopped completely, they have come down by 50 per cent. Of late, I have been getting 8-10 voice messages from my operator about a new friendship-cum-dating service that they have launched. It is very irritating to get such calls, especially in the midst of an important meeting,” Sandeep Duggal, a local businessman, who has opted for the “Do Not Disturb” service, said.

The Chandigarh Telecom Subscribers Association, which has been raging a battle against spam on cellphones, has now asked TRAI to appoint advisors in the body from amongst the consumers. “Since there is little compliance on this front, we have asked the regulatory body to involve consumers as advisors, who will watch the interests of the consumers. Earlier, the Indian Marketing Research Bureau was asked to look into the problem, but this has failed to check the problem as telemarketers devise new ways of marketing their goods and services with the latest technology enabling them to escape getting caught for their act,” said Randhir Verma, president of Chandigarh Telecom Subscribers Association.

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Mobile tower damages wall
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 18
A resident of Phase II here has demanded that the authorities concerned should get a tower, belonging to telecom operator Hutch, removed that had been installed on the roof of a three-storeyed house, as it was causing damage to his building.

Dr Madan Lal Kaushal complained that a huge tower installed along with heavy generator sets on the common wall of the building was creating vibrations that had allegedly caused cracks in the walls of his house.

He said technical experts had declared that the house had become structurally unsafe due to the cracks. Moreover, generator sets caused lot of noise pollution.

He said the tower was installed in April 2004 without taking the consent of immediate neighbours.

PUDA had served a notice to the owner of the house in question in 2004 in which it was stated that the structure be removed within 30 days.

Later, the SDM had also directed PUDA to get the structure removed within 30 days but it had still not been removed.

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Human Trafficking
Check agency’s credentials, says WWICS chief
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 18
World Wide Immigration and Consultancy Services (WWICS) has launched an awareness drive to educate people against illegal human trafficking.

Addressing a press conference here today WWICS CMD Lieut-Col B.S. Sandhu (retd) said firstly it was important to understand one’s qualifications and grounds on which immigration, resettlement, work permit or any such relocation was sought.

He suggested that one needed to ensure that while immigrating or moving out on a work permit it was essential to crosscheck the fact that immigration consultant should be a member of either the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants in case of Canada, the Migration Agents Registration Authority, or the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment in case of New Zealand, which was an independent, non-profit organisation, responsible for regulating the activities of immigration consultants.

While most of the countries had made it mandatory to regulate immigration consultants by subjecting them to stringent qualifying criteria yet the onus lies largely with the customer to take care of his or her larger interest. “It is not simple enough to be a member of these agencies without meeting strictest possible criterion to qualify as a consultant for Canadian immigration. The process involved qualifying three exams by the consultant,” Colonel Sandhu said.

Apart from this, it was advisable to seek reference from successful clients about their experience especially the post-landing services factor which was crucial in ascertaining the exact standing of any consultant, asserted Colonel Sandhu. Tall promises, assurances with scant reference to prospective immigrants qualification were certain indicators of the fraudulent operators who were bringing a bad name to immigration as an industry, he added.

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Patiala ki Rao shot down by apathy
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The lone shooting range of the city, Patiala ki Rao, at Sector 25 is in a virtual shambles. Wild growth, broken target machines, stray animals, pigeon droppings, stinking toilet, etc. welcome the shooters and visitors alike.

The dilapidated condition of the range has forced local shooters to opt for other ranges for their regular practice.

The range, which houses six ranges of different categories, is now being used by Punjab police commandos, NCC cadets, police officers or bank security guards every once in a while.

On an average, just one or two persons come here for practice in a fortnight, found a team of Chandigarh Tribune after it visited the range.

Also, the range, which has hosted two national competitions in the past, has no gate. Instead, a board is being used there to stop visitors for checking.

At the first small bore range for 10 metre for air rifle and air pistol, most of the target pullies are broken.

The condition of other four ranges, including big bore range, 25 metre air rifle and air pistol range is no different.

But the worst is 12 bore trap and skeet range. Overgrowth almost completely covers the range.

“Many a time, wild animals like snakes have been found. It is dangerous to stay here at night,” says Parveen, a home guard, whose duty is to look after the place.

“Unavailability of water also causes a lot of problems. We have to fetch water from nearby. There is just one toilet and that too is unusable because of the stink. To top it all there is no sweeper,” adds Parveen.

Local shooters blame it on the Chandigarh sports department for the existing condition of the range.

“Before it was handed over to the Chandigarh police, it was maintained by the sports department. It was handed over to the police to save expenditure incurred on maintenance,” rues Col J.S. Dhillon, former international shooter, who represented the country thrice in the Asian Games and once in the Commonwealth shooting competition in 1995.

He says the sport is being affected due to the casual approach of the sports department.

“A sum of Rs 32 lakh has been earmarked for organising 15 other disciplines in its sports calendar for this session by the department, but there is no mention of shooting anywhere. This only reflects apathy towards the sport, which is a discipline in the Olympics”, says Colonel Dhillon.

“The range has produced many big names, so it should be maintained properly by the sports department after bringing it back to its fold,” adds Colonel Dhillon, who has been coaching Abhinav Bindra, a world record holder and European shooting champion.

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Plea on Kerala Sampark Kranti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Malayalee Samajam of the region has requested the union railway ministry to run the Kerala Sampark Kranti Express (2653/2654) twice instead of once a week.

In a statement here today, the samajam, an NGO working for the welfare of the Malayalees residing in the region, thanked the union government for introducing the train.

It said the move to connect this part of the country with Kerala and other southern states had been welcomed by thousands of Keralites.

Besides, the train also addressed the travel requirements of defence personnel staying in Leh, Ladakh and other high-altitude areas. In a letter to union minister for railways Lalu Parsad Yadav, the NGO stated that the train should be run at least twice a week It said since the train was a long distance one, therefore the six general compartments should be converted either into sleepers class or AC class. Besides, the NGO demanded that a holiday special train on the same route should be started.

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Infrastructure panel set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Chandigarh administration has constituted the Infrastructure Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of UT home secretary Krishna Mohan for advice on utilisation of funds received under the conversion policy.

The committee will submit its recommendations to the UT administrator for identifying projects to be implemented on priority.

It will also submit the recommendations about various policy changes needed to upgrade and create infrastructure in the Industrial Area, Phase I and II, for efficient functioning of industries and commercial activity.

The members of the committee include finance secretary S.K. Sandhu, the chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, the municipal commissioner, the deputy commissioner-cum-estate officer, chief engineer and the chief architect. The other members are Rumnik Bawa, Pankaj Sehgal, Manmohan Singh Chaddha, Varinder Mahajan and Vikram Joshi.

The Chandigarh administration has framed a scheme to facilitate revival of the Industrial Area for conversion of industrial plots into commercial plots in view of the fact that more than half of the industries in the city had closed down manufacturing activities due to losses and non-viability of operations.

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MC mulls extending limits
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 18
The Municipal Council proposes to extend its jurisdiction by including four residential sectors, two industrial sectors and three villages within its limits.

The proposal will be discussed by the House at its monthly meeting to be held next week.

It is learnt that the civic body has proposed to bring residential sectors 66 to 69, industrial sectors 74 and 75 and Kambali, Kumbra and Lambian villages within its limits.

In 2005, the council had proposed to extend its limits but failed to get the approval from the higher authorities. At that time there was a proposal to include area falling under sectors 76 to 80 as well but these had been excluded this time as the area had still not been developed due to litigation.

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Himalayan Eagles to celebrate raising day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Himalayan Eagles, a squadron of the Indian Air Force that serves as a lifeline to Ladakh and Siachen sector in Jammu and Kashmir, is set to celebrate its 44th raising day tomorrow.

IAF squadron No. 25, responsible for maintaining the vital air corridor to Ladakh, was raised in 1963 at Air Force Station, Chandigarh, and is currently equipped with heavy jet transport aircraft IL-76 and medium turbo-prop aircraft AN-32. It keeps the lifeline to the Ladakh and Siachen sector open throughout the year for soldiers who brave this extremely hostile terrain, known as the world’s highest and coldest battlefield, a defence statement said here today.

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Sarvmeet Singh remembered

Chandigarh, May 18
Tributes were paid to Punjabi short story writer and journalist Sarvmeet Singh on his first death anniversary, at a function held at the Punjab Kala Bhavan, here today. Acclaimed littérateurs from the region spoke high of his attributes and humanistic vision at the largely attended meeting held under the aegis of Kayant Arts and the Punjab Arts Council.

Former editor of Punjabi Tribune Gulzar Singh Sandhu, eminent writer Mohan Bhandari and poet Govardhan Gabbi revered Sarvmeet as a prolific and audacious writer who boldly voiced the concern of the downtrodden. The writer's resolve to fight for the uplifting of the suppressed is reflected in his literary creations like “Kayanat Talomachhi” and “Eh Kahaniyan.”

Poonam Singh, Dr Sahib Singh, Gul Chauhan, Dr Labh Singh Kheeva and Bhushan Dhyanpuri lamented the loss of a young literary genius. His wife Devinder Kaur and son Anhad were also present. — OC

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Kishangarh sarpanch bypoll on June 3

Chandigarh, May 18
The byelection to the post of sarpanch of Kishangarh village will be held on June 3, an official press note said here today. The last date for filing of nomination for the post is May 23.

The post fell vacant on December 19 following the death of the former head of the gram panchayat of the village.

The last date for scrutiny of nomination is May 24 and that for withdrawal of candidatures May 26.

The polling will be held between 8 am to 5 pm. The post is open to candidates of general category. TNS

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City tops Flag Day fund collection

Chandigarh May 18
Chandigarh has topped Armed Forces Flag Day Fund collection for 2006-07 amongst the Union Territories of the country.

The city has also secured the overall first position in the per capita contribution for the Flag Day. This is the first time that Chandigarh has secured top positions in both categories.

An official press note today said the achievements would be recognised at the 27th meeting of the Kendriya Sainik Board at New Delhi on May 19, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would present trophies to the Zila Sainik Welfare Office for the achievements. TNS

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Motorcyclist killed

Chandigarh, May 18
A motorcyclist was killed in a road accident at Jarot village, near here, yesterday.

Ranjit Singh, a resident of Thuha village, received serious injuries when his motor cycle collided head-on with another motor cycle ridden by Vinod Kumar.

Ranjit was taken to a hospital where he died. — TNS

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Letters

Loss of documents

Incidents of purse, chain and handbag snatching have gone up tremendously. Even cases theft of bags from cars are on the rise. More often than not, such handbags contain important documents like credit cards, voter card, ATM card, PAN card and other important papers meant for day-to-day use. Sometimes, even bank cheque books (signed or unsigned) and passbooks are lost in such thefts. Most of the times these incidents are reported in the press and FIR is also lodged. One can dispense with chains, etc. in such incidents, but the loss of documents can be really painful. Getting a duplicate of the missing document is one big ordeal. One has to go through so many hurdles to get one. After relevant paperwork begins the long wait for the arrival of the document. Till then, one has to suffer for the want of the same. The administration and offices should come forward to help those caught up in such cases. They can begin by not charging fee in those cases where an FIR has been lodged.

R.K. Garg
Chandigarh

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Man duped of Rs 8 lakh, 1 booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The local police has booked a Sector 20 resident for duping a man of Rs 8 lakh on the pretext of selling him a house. Sources in the economic offences wing of the Chandigarh police said Sukhwinder Singh of Sector 46 lodged a complaint alleging that Subhash Suri of Sector 20 had taken Rs 8 lakh from him as token money to sell his house.

Later, when Suri did not execute the agreement and also refused to return the money, the matter was reported to the police. A case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered in this regard.

Vehicles stolen

Amandeep Singh Sidhu of Phase X, Mohali, has lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his car (HR-51-A-8821) was stolen from the PGI yesterday.

Vasudev of Sector 56 filed a complaint with the police alleging that his auto-rickshaw (PB-12-G-4762) was stolen from his residence on Wednesday night.

Similarly, Ravinder Kumar of Maloya Colony reported to the police that his auto-rickshaw (CH-03-6108) was stolen from his residence on Wednesday night. Santosh Kumari of Sector 44-A reported to the police alleging that her Maruti Esteem (CH-01-W-0916) was stolen from her residence on May 12.

In another incident, Deepak Rawat of Sector 22-D lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (CH-03-L-1284) was stolen form his residence on Wednesday.

Five separate cases of thefts have been registered in this connection.

Snatching

Sunita of Sector 40 has reported to the police that two unidentified motorcyclists snatched her gold chain from the rear side of a gurdwara in Sector 40 on Wednesday.

A case has been registered. Assaulted Shiv Bedi of Badheri filed a complaint with the police alleging that Raj of Sector 41-D and others assaulted and threatened him in the Sector 41 market on Wednesday.

A case under sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Theft

Mohammad Anwar of Sector 56 has filed a complaint with the police alleging that an air cooler was stolen from his residence on Wednesday night. A case of theft had been registered.

5 arrested

Friday was a day of success for the city police which managed to arrest five persons allegedly involved in thefts and snatchings in the city for the past few months.

ASI Shadi Lal and ASI Amanjot arrested two persons Sukhvinder Singh and Rohit, alias Raju, when the two were riding a motorcycle on the Sectors 40-41 dividing road. Inquires by the police revealed that the two had been involved in several incidents of snatching in the area in the past week. The police said Sukhvinder worked as a car mechanic at the Bajwara market and Rohit was a resident of Maloya.

The police said questioning of the two had led to the solving of a burglary that took place in early February in Sector 38 West. The police said Sukhvinder had earlier been to the jail under the NDPS Act and also for theft.

He admitted that he, along with Sunil, had robbed a house in Sector 38 West on February 8. The thieves had decamped with Rs 1 lakh and jewellery.

Three persons involved in thefts - Pappu, Baljit and Vijay - were arrested by the police. The police claimed to have recovered three three-wheelers and a water cooler from them.

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Man beaten up by landlord
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
At least one person was injured in what seemed to be a fight between a landlord and a tenant here in Sector 8.

According to the SHO of the Sector 3 police station Ram Gopal, the fight took place when the tenant, Jeevandeep Singh, went to the house to collect his security from his landlord Paramjit Singh.

Jeevandeep told the police that he had left the house some time back but the landlord was not returning him the security.

He went to the house and was allegedly beaten up by the landlord, his brother Davinder Singh and his son Simarnjit Singh, said the SHO, adding that a case had been registered against the three under sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC. Jeevandeep was rushed to the PGI.

Though the police denied, it the fight was rumoured to be related to the Sirsa dera and the SGPC stand-off.

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AC fish market still a distant dream
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The UT administration proposal to construct an air-conditioned fish market in Sector 41, which was to come up within a stipulated time span, has been hanging fire. Nothing concrete has been initiated in this regard so far.

The fish market was expected to be completed by June-end. However, sources in the municipal corporation said so far it was still at the proposal level.

It had been decided to set up two refrigerated rooms along with eight air-conditioned shops in the market. Besides, an independent parking lot and washrooms for the new fish market were also planned.

The proposal had been made to check the sale of fish in unhygienic condition. The corporation had even launched a drive to check unauthorised sale of fish in Shastri Nagar and Mani Majra. Several selling fish in these areas had even been challaned by the corporation. The authorities’ intention was to persuade the fish sellers to shift to the meat market in Sector 21.

However, the sources maintained that it would not be feasible to shift the market from Mani Majra to Sector 21. They contended that people would not travel to Chandigarh from Mani Majra just to buy fish.

According to statistics, at present about 50 quintals of fish are consumed in the city everyday during winters and 20 quintals during summers.

It had also been decided that shops would be made available in Mauli Jagran and a shop in Sector 25 for retail sale of fish. Besides, the corporation was to identify a few sites for retail sale of fish in the Indira Colony area.

The Finance and Contract Committee of the corporation that held its meeting recently had placed the proposal of the air-conditioned fish market on its agenda for discussion, but it was not taken up, the sources said.

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