C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No funds for the aged
Admin withholds grant-in-aid to home
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The UT administration has left the inmates and management of the old-age home, Sector 15, in the lurch. For six months, it has not released to the home its committed share of grant-in-aid, which is over Rs 2.25 lakh. Faced with fund shortage, the home management doesn’t quite know what to do.

“We are being harassed deliberately so that we leave the home and go. That’s what we will have to do if the director, social welfare, persists with her indifference to the home’s cause. We have been raising funds from private donations but those funds are bound to exhaust. Withholding official finances is a violation of clause 3 of the agreement the Lions Club, Chandigarh Central, signed with the UT administration in 1999 at the time of taking over the home management,” said Dr B.S. Aggarwal, club chairman.

The administration’s move is rooted in unsavoury recent developments that threaten to cloud the future of 30 inmates, who have been suffering for no fault of theirs. On November 30 last, the director, social welfare (DSW), issued a “strange” notice to the management, stating, “It has been decided at the level of the UT administrator to take over the management of the home. You are given a three-month notice to hand over the same to this department.”

No reasons were cited for the takeover. After eight years, the Lions Club was simply asked to pack up - a move that made them take legal recourse. It’s significant that the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on hearing the club’s petition seeking to quash the administration’s notice on February 26, ordered a stay on operation of the notice.

On the consecutive dates of adjournment - April 23 and May 28 - the administration failed to file a reply. Much to its embarrassment, the court, on May 28, adjourned the case to August 20, ordering the UT administration to file a reply “upon payment of Rs 2,000 as costs”.

The reply has not come yet. What has come instead is withdrawal of grant to the home. A harassed management has now filed a civil miscellaneous application in the high court, stating that although the DSW office had got the grant money of two months released from the treasury, it has not released the same to the old-age home.

DSW Amandeep Kaur was not available for comment. Her official mobile was switched off. Sources say that her official stand is that the grant has been withheld because the case is sub judice. Never mind the fact that grant is essential for the advancement of interests of the aged, who need regular money for regular care. The case will now come up in the high court on August 20. 



Illegal construction by the rich
UT in a fix over land acquisition for IT park
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Palatial houses, swimming pools, stone crushers and other illegal constructions dot the city farmhouses in the vicinity of Mani Majra and Kishangarh village even as the Chandigarh police has initiated a drive against the “land mafia” violating the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952.

Land acquisition is not an easy job for the administration as the area has certain high-profile people with vested interests

Land acquisition officer Hargunjit Kaur had lodged complaints with SSP Gaurav Yadav against 32 farmhouse owners of the area to proceed against them under section 12 of the Act.

Sources in the police said the administration had conducted a survey of violations through kanungo Sunil Kumar and patwari Balraj Singh and asked the police to book the violators in this regard. It is pertinent to mention here that the owners of the farmhouses and villagers of the area had waged a struggle against the administration for acquiring their land for IT park.

The land acquisition in the area is not an easy job for the administration as the area has vested interests of certain high profile people, who have tried all possible avenues, including public protests, to avoid the takeover.

As per section 5 of the Act, no person can raise any construction or change the land use without prior permission of the competent authority. The sources said according to the rules a hutment for a gardener was allowed in an area of one acre. The construction was allowed in 165 sq ft where a room for tubewell or cattle shed were permissible. However, a visit to the area revealed gross violations, as palatial houses with swimming pools and stone crushers had cropped up under the name of farmhouses.

Those against whom complaints had been lodged are: Brig Kuldeep Singh Kahlon (retd), who was recently elected president of the Joint Action Committee, Chandigarh, former UT chief engineer Hardial Singh Johal and his architect son Ajay Johal, Col S.S. Sandhu (retd), Jaspal Singh, Kultar Singh Nutt, Hari Singh, Jasjit Singh, Gurjit Singh, Dharam Singh, Upinder Kaur, Mohit Pratap Singh, Ritu Phulka, Rajinder Singh Bal, Jang Sher Singh, Harkishan Lal Vig, Vikram Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Paramjit Kaur, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Vijay Garg, Iqbal Singh Gill, Ajay Sethi, Sant Partap Singh, Baljit Singh, Bhupinder Kaur Thandi (an NRI), Krishna, Balwinder Singh, Subash Mahajan, C.S. Anand and Parminder Singh.

Sources added there were still more farmhouses in the area which were not mentioned in the present list. DSP (East) Davinder Singh Thakur said during inspection some of the farmhouse owners claimed that they had taken permission from the administration prior to the construction.

On the other hand, the farmers claimed that they had stay order from court. They further told the police that they only resorted to the construction when the administration failed to give any reply, when they sought permission for construction. They claimed as per the rules if the administration dose not raise objections within three months of the construction, then it automatically becomes the right of the owner to construct a farmhouse.

They further asserted that the houses were constructed as far as 25 years ago. The administration had given electricity and water connections. They even had their voter identity card made on these addresses.



Job Quota 
Admin has no hard & fast rules
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Chandigarh administration seems to be showing complete inconsistency in employing persons on contract in its various departments with regard to following the reservation policy.

Various advertisements issued by the administration in the past few months for employment of persons on contract have a contradictory take on reserving posts for SCs and OBCs. While some departments are reserving posts for these categories, in other cases there is no reservation.

On February 17, the Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyan Society, UT, advertised 56 posts of JBT. The employment was to be for one year on a contract basis. The advertisement gave details of the posts reserved for OBCs, SCs, the handicapped and ex-servicemen. Similarly, the society had on June 22 last year advertised to fill 260 posts on contract. The reservation policy was followed in filling the posts in accordance with (what the advertisement states) is the UT policy in this regard.

Similarly, the administration’s own college, the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, issued an advertisement on March 15 inviting applications for faculty on contract to teach diploma-level classes. The advertisement stated that the reservation policy in selection of faculty would be followed.

However, the administration seems to have a different policy for employment in its arts and science colleges. In an advertisement issued by the administration on May 24, applications were invited for over a hundred posts of lecturer in various government colleges in the city. These lecturers are to be kept on contract for the forthcoming academic session.

However, nowhere does the advertisement state that posts have been reserved for OBCs/SCs and STs.

The interested candidates are, as a result, confused. “I belong to the OBC and want to apply, but I have no idea about reservation. I tried calling the education department for clarification but no one seems to know anything. I was told that there is no hard and fast rule regarding following the reservation policy in case of contractual employment,” said a city-based job aspirant.

Officials of the Chandigarh administration were repeatedly contacted for their comments on this anomalous situation. However, home secretary Krishan Mohan, who is the secretary, education, Chandigarh administration, did not respond.

Another advertisement issued yesterday on behalf of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, for employing junior residents for six months points out that the reservation policy will be followed.



MPLAD Fund Issue
Cong, BJP draw swords
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The controversy over the construction of a protection wall at the Chamunda Devi temple in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh out of the MPLAD fund of minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal today set off another round of the war of words between the Congress and the BJP.


Deputy commissioner R.K. Rao said there could be no administrative follow-up to the controversy of spending of fund as the minister was authorised to do so. “Project details and expenditure needed to be assessed by the DC concerned, who sent me an official communication. I only approved the funds,” he added.

While president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) B.B. Bahl rallied around the minister, terming the controversy a mischief by vested interests, Bansal’s bete noire and former BJP MP Satya Pal Jain alleged that the diversion of Rs 8 lakh to development work in the state was a “grave injustice” to city residents.

Addressing a press conference, Jain, who was accompanied by municipal corporation mayor Harjinder Kaur, alleged that while some major projects in the city were suffering for the want of funds, the local MP was diverting funds outside of his constituency.

Three nominated councillors of the MC - A.P. Sanwaria, M.P.S. Chawla and Neelam Malik - were present at the meeting, underlining the BJP-SAD alliance’s strategy for the next mayoral elections.

However, Bahl failed to specify whether the “mischief” was by the opposition or from within the party. The Congress was behind the minister and there was no reason to doubt his integrity, Bahl quipped.

Coming down heavily on the opposition parties, particularly the BJP, the Congress chief alleged that the party leadership was ignorant of the rules governing the MPLAD and the grant had been sanctioned under the rules and regulations.

Putting the faction fighting in the CTCC on the back burner, Bahl threw in his lot with Bansal, who is reported to be on an official tour to Jammu and Kashmir.

On the reported move of the Chandigarh administration to hold a inquiry into the issue, Bahl said the administration had no locus standi in the case.



Drive against pest saves many trees
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
For the first time in eight years, Chandigarh’s tree cover has given the deadly mealy bugs a slip. First noticed in 2001, the bugs had assumed epidemic proportions by 2003, sucking into saps and devitalising hundreds of trees. Officially, 3,000 trees of 70 species were under attack - a finding that warranted an eight-year-long campaign against the bugs which began by infesting trees along roadsides and gardens. Soon, they had made home in the ornamental and fruit trees in residential areas.

Much to the relief of campaigners, no complaint of bug attack has been received this year and surveys show that the control drive is succeeding. For the green cover of Chandigarh, this is a welcome news, considering that the bugs had spread from the identified 3,000 trees to thousands of others.

Confirming this yesterday, UT deputy conservator of forests UT Iswar Singh and horticulture expert Satish Narula said pest control was adopted for aggressive pursuit by the Chandigarh Green Task Force. “The bug had spread to large areas and jeopardised huge stretches lined up with trees. It was attacking every tree, including the Ficus species. But with an indigenous technology developed by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, we have broken the life cycle of the bug,” Narula said.

The campaign, launched jointly by the UT forest department and the PAU, consisted of preventing the bugs from climbing up the trees. Instinctively inclined to climb upwards, the bugs reach for growing tips. They attack both flowering pinnacle and the vegetative growth. This causes premature fall of flowers and fruit. The bug, which is less than a millimetre in size when it ascends, is over 1 cm when it comes down.

Once on the tree, the female bug copulates with the male and the latter dies. The gravid female then descends and dies after laying eggs 6 inches deep in the soil. The young ones then start the cycle again by climbing up the tree. The task force halted this climb.

To check the same, slippery alkathene bands of about 1,000 gauge thickness were wrapped around the trees. This arrested the nymphs’ upward climb. For eight years, the municipal corporation and UT workers completed the process of wrapping these bands around the trees by December 15 as this is the time when the bugs start their climb.

In their attempt to go up, the nymphs would keep falling after repeated slipping caused by the polythene, Narula said. For once, the polythene worked.



India will be hotter by 6 degrees, warn experts
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Former prime minister of Sweden, Ola Olsten, chairman, Chicago Climate Exchange, Richard Sander, founder and chairman, INSEAD, France, Dr Giscard D Esataing, and Dr Jennifer Clapp from the University of Waterloo, Canada, will be in Palampur from tomorrow to participate in the first international convention on corporate response to climate changes.

The highlight of the three-day convention will be environment and carbon bazar, showcasing low-carbon technologies, wind, solar, hydro and bio-fuel power.

Temperatures in India could rise by 6 degrees celsius by the end of the century, causing flooding of its entire coast line, besides creating severe drought conditions in the rest of the country, says Madhav Mehra, chairman, World Council for Corporate Governance.

Palampur has been chosen because of its vicinity to the mighty Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas where the snowline is reducing unremittingly due to global warming. The focus of the convention will be on healthy planet for healthy people. Environment - an exhibition of technologies to reduce carbon footprint, bio-fuel bazaar and carbon trading as well as wellness exhibition on holistic solution for rejuvenation therapies for body, mind and soul will run concurrently with the convention.

At a recent international poll conducted by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs and World Public Opinion Org, India showed the lowest level of support for measures to address global warming, with only 49 per cent of the population supporting immediate action and 24 per cent opposing it.

Action to combat climate change has to go beyond rhetoric and piecemeal approaches. Nothing less than 180 degrees shift in lifestyles is needed. In fact climate change offers the greatest business opportunity of our times. Companies that are nimble and innovative can turn this catastrophe into an opportunity for profiting while cleaning up the planet. 



Programme on strengthening fiscal domain of local bodies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A two-day training programme on municipal resource mobilisation for strengthening the fiscal domain of urban local bodies (ULBs) began at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRIID) here today.

The workshop was attended by commissioners of municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Patiala along with executives and senior officers of their MCs.

Inaugurating the workshop, Dr Rashpal Malhotra, director-general, CRRID, emphasised the need of essential civic services for a better quality life of the citizens.

J.P.Gupta, former chairman, Punjab Finance Commission, gave an overview of the training programme and stated that the ULBs in Punjab are poised to play a pivotal role in the economic growth of the state. Giving a detail of the various schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, he stated that it was for the ULBs to make maximum use of the various schemes and grants.

“The JNNURM envisages a total investment of about Rs 1,20,000 crore in seven years, out of which Rs 50,000 crore is grant. It offers several opportunities but places onus on ULBs to broadbase their existing revenues and resort to efficient funding options.”

He further informed that long term debt is important for providing needed services in urban areas. “Among the various funding options, municipal bonds are the most effective as the tenure of these bonds is long. However, the usefulness of municipal bonds as a funding source is yet to be realised by ULBs in Punjab.”

D.S.Bains, principal secretary, local self government, Punjab, however, felt that despite funding the conditions of the villages had yet to improve. “People have very high expectations now. It is pertinent that we provide 24-hour drinking water to all houses of Punjab. We should ensure we target it and we make it top of our agenda apart from rutted roads and better sewerage system.” 



Sikh, Punjabi studies chair at US varsity
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
California State University East Bay and the East Bay Sikh Community have pooled resources to set up a new centre for study and research on Sikh and Punjabi studies.

The announcement about the centre, named Dr Ranjit Singh Sabharwal Chair in Sikh and Punjabi studies, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the university on June 1. It was the new president, Dr Mohammad H. Qayoumi, who after his installation, announced the institution of the chair.

The inaugural event was attended among others by the presidents and the chancellor of the 23 campuses of the California State University System - the largest university system in the world - besides presidents of other universities and political leaders. In an extensive inaugural speech regarding his ideas and plans for the university going forward, Dr Qayoumi said one of his efforts is to globalise the learning experience.

Familiar with Guru Nanak’s philosophy, he said: “Baba Nanak Hinduon Ka Guru Aur Musalmano Ka Peer” was a great spiritual leader whose message was for the welfare of the entire humanity.

According to US-based Dr Harbans Lal, Professor-Emeritus, work on the recruitment of new faculty for the Sikh and Punjabi Studies Chair will start soon.

Meanwhile, Dr Nikky-Gurinder Kaur, a Patiala-born Sikh Scholar, and Professor of Religious Studies at Colby College in the US, was honoured with the Kaur Foundation Leadership Award in recognition of her scholarship on Sikhism. The award was presented to her in Bethesda, Maryland. It was hosted by the Sikh community. Nikky-Gurinder Kaur in her keynote address on “Identity and the dialectic between inclusion and exclusion” traced the history of the word Kaur, saying it was given on Baisakhi of 1699.

“In the new global world that we inhabit, we must actively engage with diversity. Recognise the singular caste of humanity, said Guru Gobind Singh. We need to put his message into practice,” she said.

“The spirit of freedom, equality, and justice kindled by the Sikh gurus must be kept on,” she added.



Youth commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Varun Sharma, 23-year-old son of a superintendent with the law department at Panjab University, was found hanging from the ceiling fan hook at his residence in the university here this morning.

Though no suicide note was recovered from the room, the police termed it a case of suicide as the family ruled out the possibility of any foul play.

Quoting the family, the police said Varun was under depression of late. He was working with Hutch in Mohali, but had quit the job about 20 days ago. He had passed class XII and had done a diploma in aviation from a Sector 34-based private institute. SHO of the Sector 11 police station Puran Chand said the death came to light at around 8 am when Varun’s father Dharampal Sharma went to the first-floor room of Varun to check why he had not come downstairs till late in the morning.

The door was locked from inside and when his repeated knocks went unanswered, he peeped through a window, only to find his son hanging from the ceiling fan. He went to the Sector 11 police station and informed the police.

The police broke open the door. The room cooler and the TV in the room were switched on. The police believed that Varun hanged himself at around midnight.

The body was shifted to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH). 



Capt Kanwaljit meets civic, board officials
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 7
Plans should be chalked out to recharge underground water table, as subsidies are being provided on a big scale by the central government for such projects.

This was stated by cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh while talking to SDM, municipal councillors, civic body officials and officials of the sewerage and electricity boards at a meeting held at Kharar today.

He asked council officials to formulate rules for taking over new colonies coming up within the municipal limits.

He said Kharar faced shortage of water but the problem could be tackled if water was made available from Kajauli waterworks.

The problem could not be solved by merely running tubewells and as such the council should make efforts to get water from Kajauli, he opined.

Officials of the power board were told to carry out a survey of the town to detect drawbacks in the system so that uninterrupted power supply could be provided.



Give more staff to fire stations: Sangathan
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 7
The Punjab Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangathan has demanded adequate staff for fire brigade stations in the state so that incidents of fire can be tackled with minimum loss.

Kulwant Singh Saini, general secretary of the sangathan, said here today that political leaders should not limit their interests only to votes but should rise above this and work for the welfare of the state.

He said political parties spent most of the time on announcing incentives, which were mostly stunts for seeking votes.

Talking about the Mohali fire incident, Saini said it was unfortunate that a devastating fire broke out in the Janata rehri market leading to huge losses to shopkeepers.

He said when municipal employees made efforts to remove illegal markets or illegal jhuggi colonies they faced political interference as certain political leaders were more worried about their vote bank. But when such incidents took place, officials of the civic bodies were held responsible.

He said staff to the fire brigade stations should be provided according to the number of vehicles needed by each fire station . The staff that had been working on contract since 1993 should be regularised.

He said the staff working on contract was paid a salary of Rs 3,000 per month which was inadequate. He said if a municipal employee retired, the post was kept vacant and if an official retired, the post was filled immediately. 



Ban on Smoking
Authorities yet to clean up their Act
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The ban on smoking at public places is going up in smoke in the city. Due to lack of enforcement, smokers have been flouting the Supreme Court ban on smoking with impunity.

Chandigarh, which is set to become the first smoke-free city in the country, is in fact a “smokers paradise”.

Violators and enforcement agencies are least bothered about the provisions of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and distribution) Act, 2003.

It is far too common to find smokers puffing away at public places like bus stand, railway station, offices, shopping arcades, etc.

At the Inter-State Bus Terminal, (ISBT), Sector 17, the authorities seem to have literally completed a formality by putting up “No Smoking” signs on columns, counters and walls, as smokers can still be found lighting their cigarette at every nook and cranny, making a mockery of the rules.

“Instead of keeping a check on the law violation, the authorities have facilitated smoking by allotting three cigarette shops on the premises.

If one cannot smoke here or in the buses, what is the logic behind allotting shops at the bus stand?” asks Paras Nath, a smoker, at the bus stand.

Adding insult to injury, cigarette vendors sell tobacco products to customers under the age of 18 - an offence under the Act.

“I always purchase cigarettes from the bus stand before catching a bus for home,” says 16-year-old Rajat, who was also puffing there.

Interestingly, the Chandigarh administration is going to declare the city a “smoke-free city” shortly.



Woman creates scene at police HQ
Alleges police inaction over her matrimonial dispute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A woman created a scene at the police headquarters in Sector 9, here, alleging police inaction over her matrimonial d

The security staff at the police headquarters informed the police station concerned about the incident and within minuets a team of police personnel from the Sector 3 police station reached there.

It all started at around 12.15 pm when the woman, identified as Rajwinder Kaur of Railway Colony, barged into the police headquarters with her mother and sister. She went straight to the office of the inspector-general of police (IGP). Although the IGP was not present, she tried to forcibly enter his office. At this, the security guards tried to stop her. Rajwinder, who was crying, fell on the floor during the commotion. She then went to the office of the senior superintendent of police, who was also not present.

Rajwinder alleged that her husband, a constable in the Government Railway Police, was living with another woman and had beaten her up today. When she went to the Sector 17 police station to report the matter, the police officer there did not pay heed to her pleas and turned her away. Fed up with the attitude of the police, she came to the police headquarters to apprise the senior officers about her plight.

The security staff at the police headquarters informed the police station concerned about the incident and within minuets a team of police personnel from the Sector 3 police station reached there. They took Rajwinder and her mother to the police station, from where she was sent to the Woman and Child Support Unit (WACSU).

Sources in the WACSU said Rajwinder remained there till late in the evening. She did not lodge any formal complaint and said she would come again on Friday. The police said they would be able to take action only after Rajwinder registered a formal complaint. They added that they would follow the normal course of investigation and would also call the couple for counselling.



Community centres to become clubs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Chandigarh municipal corporation has decided to convert community centres in Sectors 8, 35 and 47 into community clubs. The community centres of other sectors will be considered later.

City mayor Harjinder Kaur took a round of these community centres along with area councillor Jatinder Bhatia and a team of officers from the engineering wing of the MC.

The spokesman of the MC said the councillor living in that particular area would automatically be a member of the governing body of the community club. It has also been decided that a community club’s building can not be used for marriages or any other social functions. Only the lawn can be used for such purposes, the rent for which has been fixed at Rs 2,500. Life membership of the club has been fixed at Rs 3,000 and ordinary membership at Rs 1,500. Senior citizens will, though, get a discount of 50 per cent. The monthly subscription fee has been fixed at Rs 200. 



Summer camp ends

Mohali, June 7
A summer camp at Shivalik Public School concluded here today. The camp had commenced on May 22 and drew good response from the participants.

The winners of various competitions included Pranika, Shivani, Sahibjot, Dashmeet, Sahibjot, S. Kalyan, Bhavna, Isha, Sachi, Amandeep, Soumya, Amandeep, Harvinder, Simran, Sonal, Renuka, Anayat Nalwa, Kiran, Sundra, Isha and Renuka. — TNS



Bhutan team visits election office
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
In view of the 2008 elections in Bhutan, a team of officials from the public election fund division and election commission of Bhutan today visited the election office of the district. They evinced keen interest in the election procedure in India.

SDM Varinder Singh Dahiya said the team studied the election procedure, right from the announcement of election to the declaration of results.

They were interested to know the procedure of nomination and withdrawal of papers by candidates.

Dahiya said the team had earlier visited chief election commissioner of Haryana Sajjan Singh and understood the way elections were organised and carried out.

They also interacted with officials to know the working of voting machines and the procedure of preparation of photo identity cards.



Sector 17 losing sheen

The Sector 17 market is losing its glamour with the increasing influx of vendors. Some of the vendors spread their merchandise on the floor, while others create makeshift stands, making the shopping complex look like a fair. One can see showrooms with global brands on one side and locally made merchandise on the other.

Huge crowds are also seen moving aimlessly all around the complex. On weekends, it's a jumbo affair with camel rides and fun games for kids, not to forget the cultural programme at the weekend plaza.

To add to all this, rowdy youth from neighbouring towns add to the commotion.

The MC officials, who keep making news with their anti-encroachment drives, seem not to bother about all the commotion here. The growing commercialisation of this complex is not in the interest of the peace-loving residents of the city.

Harbinder Singh

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



2 HR men held for graft

Panchkula, June 7
The Vigilance Bureau caught two personnel of Haryana Roadways while accepting bribe in Swastik Vihar here today.

Duty inspector Rameshwar Das and duty clerk Om Prakash were arrested for accepting bribe to allot duties to conductors.

A conductor in Haryana Roadway, Chandraveer Singh, had complained to the bureau that the inspector charged Rs 500 and the clerk took Rs 200 to give long route duties to conductors. Laying a trap, the Vigilance team headed by DSP Karnail Singh caught the two officials red-handed. — TNS




36 cylinders seized from eateries

Panchkula, June 7
As many as 36 domestic cylinders were seized during a raid conducted on various eateries in the city by the district food and civil supplies department here today.

In the raids that went on till late in the evening, the department targeted Haripur village and Sectors 9, 14, 7, 8 and 11 where the eateries were using domestic cylinders in commercial establishments in violation of the rules.

The raids were conducted by two teams. Eleven cylinders were seized from dhabas in Sector 9. Cylinders were also seized for a number of hotels in Sector 10 dhabas in the rehri market.

The cylinders recovered during the drive were handed over to gas companies. 

Encroachments removed

Panchkula, June 7
The enforcement staff of the Estate Office, Haryana Urban Development Authority, today removed encroachments on pavement in the Sector 9 market while warning the shopkeepers to vacate the corridors.

The staff took away the belongings of a dhaba operating in the open and also items of a few others on the pavement. However, the shopkeepers, who had encroached the corridors, were spared with a mere warning. They were asked to clear the area and remove their stuffs from the corridors failing which the team would return and impound the same.

Interestingly, the drive failed to make any impact and the Sector 7 market, where encroachments abound, was spared yet again with officials not interested in tackling the growing menace in this oldest market of the city. — TNS



One held for robbing man of mobile phone 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A Mani Majra resident was nabbed soon after he along with his accomplice allegedly robbed a man of his mobile phone near the Housing Board chowk this morning.

The police said Madan Lal of Sector 19, Panchkula, lodged a complaint that two unidentified youth robbed him of his mobile phone near the chowk at around 10 am. He raised an alarm and people gathered there and managed to get hold of one of the miscreants. However, the other one managed to give the slip. The accused, Mewa Singh of Pipliwala Town in Mani Majra, was handed over to the police.

Purse snatched

Veena of Sector 45-C lodged a complaint that a scooterist snatched her purse while she was going in a rickshaw with her sister in Sector 19 this afternoon. She raised an alarm and one Harjit Singh of the same sector chased the miscreant who then threw the purse and sped away. Meanwhile, someone noted down the registration number of the scooter which was found out to be a fake.


A motorcyclist, Harbans Singh of Mani Majra, suffered injuries after being hit by a Tata 407 truck (HR-37-B-9408) near the Housing Board light point yesterday. He was admitted to the Sector 16 GMSH. The police has arrested truck driver Hardev Singh.

Vehicles stolen

Vikramjit Singh of Sector 39 reported that his Maruti car (PB-02-E-7340) was stolen from near KC Cinema, Sector 22, yesterday. Sanjay Bajaj of Sector 15-B lodged a complaint that his Scorpio SUV (CH-03-Z-3394) was stolen from his residence on Tuesday night. In another incident, Raj Malhotra of Sector 21 reported that his Maruti car (CH-03-K-9291) was stolen from near football ground, Sector 17, yesterday.

Caught stealing

Mangat Ram of old NAC, Mani Majra reported to the police that Mam Raj, alias Sonu, of Pipliwala Town, Mani Majra, was caught breaking the locks of his house this afternoon. The accused was handed over to the police.



Technical snag hits working at SBI branches
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A technical snag in the main server of the State Bank of India (SBI) led to inconvenience to a number of persons who had to deposit service tax. Though there was no problem in other transactions of the bank, the computers were not accepting service tax.

Businessmen and traders in the tri-city complained that the snag affected computers in at least three branches of the bank. A local businessman complained that he first went to the Sector 7 branch of the bank from where he was referred to the Sector 17 treasury branch.

“Even there the computer did not accept the tax and I was referred to the Sector 22 branch of the bank, which, too, was plagued by the bug,” he said.

It may be noted that new assesses under service tax (for the first year) have to deposit the tax by the 5th of every month. But due to the snag, these new assesses will now have to deposit the tax along with penal interest at the rate of 13 per cent per annum. 



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