C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S




The Last Blow
AEO shorn of all powers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Close on the heels of divesting the assistant estate officer (AEO)of his quasi judicial powers of the estate office, the Chandigarh administration has stripped him of his administrative and executive powers.

Now, the deputy commissioner-cum-estate officer will have to take all the decisions. Earlier, a number of powers of the estate officer were delegated to the AEO.

After a vigilance probe into a controversy over the restoration of commercial and residential properties by the adviser’s court but not implemented by the estate office, the administration had on June 5 decided that lAS officers with at least five years’ seniority or HCS/PCS officers with at least 10 years of seniority would be invested with the powers of the estate officer.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken a suo motu notice of a news report about the controversy. In its order on June 5, the administration had announced that apart from the deputy commissioner-cum-estate officer, R.K. Rao, other officers who would be empowered to discharge the quasi judicial functions of the estate officer under the Act would be the chief executive officer, Chandigarh Housing Board, Amar Nath, and additional deputy commissioner I.S. Sandhu.

However, the finance department in its June 22 orders had announced that the deputy commissioner would exercise his powers as the estate officer under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulations) Act, 1952. This means that the deputy commissioner would have to hear over 1,400 cases under the Act.

The powers of the chief administrator under Section 15 of the capital Act have not been delegated to any officer so far. The orders by the administration go against its own decision to reduce the backlog of court cases.

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19,000 flawed bombs rejected
CAG for probe into loss of Rs 10 cr
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Adoption of “deviated” drawings and use of “defective” hardware components by ordnance factory led to the rejection of 19,000 bombs procured by the Army, causing a loss of over Rs 10 crore.

MANUFACTURING DEFECTS

Non-opening of parachute
Detachment of the candle
Fast descent

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has now sought an investigation to ascertain the reasons for failure of the design, production and inspection agencies concerned at each stage to fix responsibility.

Under the aegis of the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, the ordnance factory started manufacturing parachute-retarding bombs since June, 1996. The factory manufactured 96 lots of the bomb, with each lot each containing 1,000 bombs, up to March, 2005.

Of these 12 lots valuing at almost Rs 6 crore issued to the Army were found unserviceable due to high rate of parachute failure and dispersion in proof. Defects included non-opening of the parachute, detachment of the candle from the parachute and fast descent causing ground burning.

Another seven lots valuing at over Rs 4 crore, which were rejected by the ARDE due to the same defects, were held by the factory in July, 2006, the CAG, in its latest report has observed.

The Ordnance Factory Board maintained in July, 2006, that 89 out of 96 lots of bombs were manufactured after meeting the acceptance criteria and evaluation by ARDE and the remaining seven lots held in the factory were awaiting clearance for rectification from the ARDE and Controllerate of Quality Assurance.

The ARDE on the other hand maintained that the high rate of para failure and dispersion of the bomb was due to adoption of deviated drawings and use of defective hardware components by the factory during assembly.

In November, 2006, the Ordnance Factory Board stated that the bombs were manufactured in accordance with specific drawings framed by ARDE that were cleared in proof as confirming to relevant specifications and acceptance by ARDE. The ARDE, however, was categorical in stating that the factory had adopted deviated drawings and used defective components with ultimately resulted in the rejection of bombs.

This promoted the CAG to recommend an investigation into the loss of Rs 10.13 crore suffered due to defective manufacture of bombs. The case was referred to the Ministry of Defence, but it is still to respond to the matter.

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2 new trains to chug in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
From July 1, two new trains would be stopping at the Chandigarh railway station. A train between Chandigarh and Allahabad (Uchhar Express) would start at 4.25 pm from Chandigarh and the reverse rain would reach Chandigarh at 9.20 am.

The number of train would change from 4518 to 8218 from July 1. The train would have two coaches of 2 AC tier category and three coaches of 1 AC tier category.

The other train, Amritsar-Hardwar express, would reach here at 12.15 pm. The train from Chandigarh to Amritsar would depart at 4.45 pm.

Sources said the train could not be run on the Chandigarh-Morinda rail section due to the non-electrification of the track. Special arrangements were being made at the Chandigarh railway station to flag off the trains.

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Ryan still in a mess
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Yet again, students currently studying in Class X of Ryan International School, Sector 48, are left in the lurch with the decision of the CBSE to disband it.

Now, these students will have to enroll themselves in other CBSE affiliated schools in order to appear for the Class X examination to be held in the year 2008.

In its latest decision, the board has granted provisional affiliation to the school from the academic year 2007-08. With this decision, the students would will be able to appear in the board examination to be held in the year 2009.

The school had applied for affiliation of the secondary level with the board on the basis of recognition given by the Chandigarh education department.

The school had started Class IX w.e.f. the session 2005-06 and its students were due to appear in the Class X examination in the year 2007. However, they were not allowed to appear.

Later, as per directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the students were enrolled in government schools to enable them to appear for the examination.

In another decision, the board has decided to upgrade Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, to Class XII from the session 2006-07.

The board committee has clarified that the upgradation has been granted from the academic session 2007-08 so as to enable its students to appear for the Class XII examination of the board to be held in the year 2009.

The committee has also mentioned that in case of any violation of rules in future, it can amount to the withdrawal of the school’s affiliation with the board.

The school had started Class XI without getting upgradation from the CBSE. After deliberations, the CBSE committee resolved that in view of violation of affiliation bylaws, its current Class XII batch may be disbanded forthwith and the students may be enrolled in other schools affiliated with the board.

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Auto Loan Fraud
An organised gang at play
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
What seemed like an antic of a small operator has turned out to be a well-organised activity of several Haryana-based gangsters. The racket was unravelled when a Panchkula-based dealer of Mahindra Scorpio, Chandgothia Brothers, lodged an FIR with the Panchkula police against a direct marketing agent (DMA) of the HDFC Bank and two others, alleging that they had taken away two Scorpios from the dealer on the basis of a false delivery order of the bank.

Meanwhile, the DMA, Varun Sahni, also lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh police against Vishal of Panchkula and Kulbir Singh of Chandigarh, alleging that they had duped him into recommending their application for loan on the basis of forged documents.

While the Panchkula police is still sitting over the case, the Chandigarh police swung into action immediately. The special crime cell of the Chandigarh police succeeded in arresting Vishal while he was travelling in a white Tavera. Even this vehicle had been financed on the basis of forged documents.

His interrogation revealed that there is a gang which gets the delivery orders issued from certain private banks on the basis of forged documents. The connivance of certain bank officials has also come to the notice of the police.

The gang used to sell new vehicles, most of them top models, costing around Rs 8 lakh or more, for about Rs 3 lakh immediately after getting delivery. The vehicles used to be sold on the basis of temporary registration numbers.

The gang was primarily after white Scorpios because it gave a “sarkari” look. The target of the gang was not auto-dealers but banks. The auto-dealers used to get their money from the banks, which verified the documents furnished by the gang much after releasing the money to the dealers. By that time the gang members would turn defaulters and the cases would be sent to the recovery departments of the banks. The loan departments of the banks were satisfied that their targets had been achieved.

The investigations have revealed that at least six cases of financing Scorpios were dubious. The cases mainly relate to a particular private bank and its DMA based in Panchkula.

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58-yr-old man found dead in Sec 15 inn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The body of 58-year-old Hans Raj Sharma, a resident of Hamirpur, was found in an inn in Sector 15 here.

The victim had come to the city to enquire about the health of his niece, Pooja, who was admitted to the PGI.

The death of the Hamirpur resident came to light when his nephew came looking for him to the inn.

When he did not respond to the knocking, the door of the room was forced open. His body was found on the bed.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings to ascertain the cause of the death.

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COMMUNITY
 

Empowering women economically
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Self-help groups formed by women of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, are all set to move a step further towards economic empowerment. In a boost to their little ‘movement’, they are going to be trained to prepare nutritious mid-day meals and stitch uniforms for schoolchildren, giving them a chance to finally earn some money.

Initially, the women treated the whole idea simply as a chance to save some money that would otherwise have been spent. “At least our money will be safe in a bank,” smiles Shakuntala.

However, what has given a fillip to the groups is an advertisement issued by the UT education department on June 11 earlier this month asking NGOs and women organisations to come forward to make uniforms.

“We are also asking them to learn how to prepare mid-day meals,” adds DPI (schools) S.K. Sethia, who says that the department is “willing to cooperate fully” in helping underprivileged women make a living.

It all began with city-based NGO Yuvsatta launching ‘Project Uddan’ for the women in the area six months ago. “The aim was economic empowerment. We hoped to encourage them to save, to take loans from among themselves and not from outside and finally use their savings to start their own small income-generating ventures,” explains Pramod Sharma of Yuvsatta.

Volunteers began with motivating women to form groups, choose a name for the group and open a savings bank account. The last six months have seen 70 women coming together in seven self-help groups with self-appointed names like ‘Prayas’ (effort), indicating how determined they are.

However, it has not been easy. For one, stories about nationalised banks refusing to open accounts or impeding the opening of accounts by making undue demands of producing guarantors with accounts in the bank abound amongst them.

However, with Punjab National Bank finally agreeing to open accounts for the seven groups in their Sector 26 branch the process began. At a meeting convened yesterday in the colony, bank’s lead district manager D.V. Sharma reassured the women that a camp would be held in July where banks, under the directives issued by the RBI, would open individual accounts even if there was no money to open them.

The meeting was also attended by S.K. Mehta from the food and nutrition board who explained the training programme to the women and the importance of producing food with the right calorific and nutritious value.

As for Yuvsatta, they are hoping to encourage the women by using a donation of Rs 50,000 they have received from a Canadian NRI, Anita D’Costa, through her student aid association in Canada, ‘Volunteer in Action’, to buy sewing machines to train the women.

In addition, space is also being worked out to start a ‘masala’ centre of hand-ground spices in Kaimbwala. Sharma hopes to set all this into motion by end of July along with taking the tally of self-help groups in the area to 25 in the next three months. As for the training programmes for the existing groups, they begin on July 9 and as Hamcholi, a widow living in the colony and working at a crèche says, “We are ready to fly.”

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Apartment Act opens Pandora’s box
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The decision of the Chandigarh administration to invite public opinion on the implementation of the Apartment Act in Chandigarh seems to have stirred a hornet's nest.

Why no vertical growth

  • Against Le Corbusier's concept of nature providing light and pure air
  • It will put additional pressure on civic amenities
  • Will add to already-increasing vehicular pollution
  • Will distort the frame control and city's skyline

Even as a cross section of residents, including architects and property consultants, root for the Act's implementation in the city in public interest keeping in view city's growing needs and character, residents welfare associations are opposing it tooth and nail.

The latest to join the chorus against its implementation is the Chandigarh Defence Colony Welfare Association which advocates "that the status quo, which has been existing since a temporary change was brought out by the amended policy of 2001, should be maintained".

"The original bylaws and rules for the development of the Capital Project, Chandigarh, should be retained and implemented in totality. The division of property of any size could be done at best among blood relations and that too horizontally without allowing to compound the covered area. The frame control and skyline should remain the same," association president Randhir Singh said here today.

In a representation to the chief administrator, Capital Project, it was pointed out that in the original plan, Le Corbusier created infrastructure in the first phase to meet the need of additional 1.5 lakh people only. Permitting floorwise sale and allowing additional area by compounding, the pressure on infrastructure would not bear the extraordinary additional load.

The roads - internal, intra and external - could only be broadened to a limited extent. The ever-increasing vehicle population, which had already gone beyond the acceptable road safety limits, besides causing pollution, could not be tolerated, the association pleaded.

Other vital services, including power supply, sewerage, solid waste disposal with limited geographical limits of the UT would not be able to bear the uncontrolled ever-multiplying Chandigarh pollution.

Since the UT was not generating its own power, natural resources, including depleting ground water, would make the city a prohibitive town to live. The original concept of Le Corbusier with nature providing light and pure air would be a thing of the past, Randhir Singh contended.

The whole issue demanded cool and impersonal thinking followed by logical answers. 

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Governor inspects rainwater project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Punjab Governor and UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today visited a project for rainwater harvesting and water conservation on Patiala-ki-Rao undertaken by the engineering and forest department to bring a new look to the area with the creation of two water bodies and development of green zones.

He was accompanied by his wife Jean Rodrigues, S.K. Sandhu, finance secretary, V.K. Bhardwaj, chief engineer, and Ishwar Singh, deputy conservator of forests.

General Rodrigues went round the area and took stock of the progress of the work on different components of the project. The work on a water body spread over 15 acres developed by the forest department with focus on regulating rainwater through latest technologies and water-harvesting measures nears completion.

The work relating to cemented pathways, benches, tree plantation and landscaping have been completed and this water body has emerged as a natural spot for attracting birds, wildlife and promotion of aquatic fauna, besides being a means for stabilising the ground water table through recharging. Solar lighting arrangement and boats will be added at the venue.

The chief engineer has been asked to speed up the work on bandhs, check dams and pitched storm walls on this project to ensure the utilisation of rainwater during the monsoon.

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Gurdwara Clash
Plea to release sportspersons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Baba Balwinder Singh, head of Gurdwara Nanak Sagar, Sector 39, has accused the police of registering false cases against sewadars of the gurdwara at the behest of a senior Punjab police officer.

Following a clash that took place yesterday between followers of Baba Virsa Singh and Nihang Baba Ajit Singh Phoola at the gurdwara, the police has arrested 11 persons of both groups.

Addressing a press conference, Baba Balwinder alleged that the police arrested sportspersons who were practising at Baba Sri Chand Sports Club being run by gurdwara caretakers on the premises.

An inter-zonal shotput champion, Kashish Khanna, who is in two-day police remand till June 30, has to give trials to get a sports wing seat.

He alleged that the followers of Nihang Phoola had come to take possession of the gurdwara and the sewadars only acted in self-defence.

Demanding the release of these sportspersons, he said this was an act of oppression. He also said security should be provided at the gurdwara so that such incidents did not recur.

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Modern ‘swayamvar’
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 29
The Aggarwal Vikas Trust Panchkula will organise an interaction between prospective brides and grooms at Aggarwal Bhavan here on Sunday.

Riding on the success of a similar exercise held on March 17, 2002, the samaj had ventured to solemnise mass marriages on the spot in case the prospective couples confirmed their consent.

This is aimed at creating an awareness among the Aggarwal community and combating the rampant evil of dowry, said trust president Satyanarayan Gupta.

“As many as 100 prospective couples from the region, including professionals, had sent in their biodata for registration,” claimed Gupta.

We had made arrangements of Vedi and Pandits to facilitate the marriage ceremony.

Besides, “shehnai vadan” and cultural programme will continue throughout the festivity, said Gupta at a press conference here.

Ram Niwas Bansal, Sun City director, will be the chief guest at the function, to be presided over by R.P. Gupta, an IAS officer.

Municipal commissioners C.B. Goyal, Sharada Gupta, Anita Aggrawal, Jagdmaba Gupta, S.S. Goyal and Pawan Mittal will also attend the ceremony.

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Models enchant audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 29
As many as 70 models, including 30 girls, participated in a fashion show organised by the Mohali-based Ramp World Institute at the Kalagram here today. The models, who came all the way from Delhi, Himachal Pardesh, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh, were mostly amateurs and lacked professional competence. The models appeared on the stage in group of five after the individual introductory round. The female models scored over their male counterparts. The scant audience, however, relished the interlude dances and songs especially by Vikram Sidhu, who enthralled the audience with two Punjabi songs from his latest album 'Gal ban jaave'. Honey Money duo gave a captivating dance performance. Programme director Manoj Sharma, assisted by Bobby, composed the choreographies. Amar anchored the show with competence.

Traditional folk dances by Kala Chetna artistes from Punjab, especially the rarely seen 'Been players', also captured the attention of one and all.

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A road much neglected
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 29
It is a bumpy ride that motorists and commuters will like to forget. A strategic road connecting Chandigarh with Baltana is crying for attention with the Zirakpur nagar panchayat turning a blind eye to its maintenance.

The potholed road, which has assumed importance in the wake of the construction of the Zirakpur flyover as part of the four-laning project of the Zirakpur-Ambala stretch of the national highway 22, has become motorists’ nightmare.

Hundreds of motorists and commuters travelling between Chandigarh and Baltana are a harassed lot.

With traffic jams on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road, particularly near the Ghaggar bridge, a routine affair, a majority of the motorists follow this road.

Though the road is important for motorists, the authorities are yet to recognise its worth.

In the absence of recarpeting and widening of the road, the commuters have been left high and dry.

Even as the bad condition of the road was not enough, its narrowness poses serious threat to the safety of the road users.

“With the monsoon around, the condition of the road is only going to get worse,” alleges B.K. Sharma, a regular traveller on the road.

Balkar Singh, another road-user, alleges that for years together the authorities concerned have given a raw deal to the road and inconvenienced hundreds of motorists. The road was developed as an alternative link between Chandigarh and Panchkula, he adds.

And if the ground situation is any indication, commuters will have to endure the agony of travelling on the potholed road for at least this monsoon season.

Even official sources concede that the recarpeting or widening of the road will not be possible this season.

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Traffic snarls at ISBT
Rickshawpullers flout rules
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In the absence of regular checking and challaning by the Chandigarh traffic police, rickshaws and autorickshaws continue to create bottlenecks in front of the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Termius.

Though pedestrians are exposed to danger because of them, no one seems to be bothered about it.

As one leaves the bus terminus, one finds these vehicles parked along the internal road for buses just in front of the entry and exit points of the bus stand.

Even though these vehicles choke the road and are responsible for accidents every now and then, nothing has been done in this regard.

Angry over the hazard, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking Employees Union president Ranjit Singh said with this illegal parking, these rickshawpullers not only put the lives of their passengers in danger but also cause problems for bus drivers.

“Most rickshawpullers are migrants and are ignorant of traffic rules. Many a time they stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to pick passengers which causes great nuisance to our staff. Not only do accidents take place because of them but traffic jams are also a common occurrence,” said Ranjit Singh.

Demanding a total ban on the entry of rickshaw and three-wheelers on the internal road, he said, “Earlier, no such vehicle was allowed here. Even a board was put up at the entry point of the road.

The ban should be reinstated for free movement of buses.”

SSP (traffic) A.S. Ahlawat said police officials shoo them (the rickshawpullers) away from the site. As they are not allowed to park their vehicles on the road, “we also fine them Rs 100 for parking at a prohibited place”.

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Women exhorted to fight against foeticide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
Vice-president of the Haryana Child Welfare Council Asha Hooda today called upon women to come forward in checking female foeticide.

Addressing the closing ceremony of a 10-day doll-making workshop organised by the Haryana Kala Parishad at Morni, 25 km from here, she said such social evils could only be checked with the active cooperation general public.

Usha Sharma and K.C. Sharma,director and vice-chairman of the parishad, also spoke.

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Follow Kabir’s teachings: Guv
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Punjab Governor and UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), while extending greetings on the occasion of Kabir Jayanti, called upon the people to work together and contribute to strengthen the fabric of social harmony, equality and brotherhood, as preached and practised by the great saint.

In a message on the occasion, General Rodrigues said saint Kabir's philosophy called for truthful living, humanism, unity of mankind and selfless devotion to God.

His philosophy in Guru Granth Sahib kindled the conscious of human beings with special emphasis on purity of mind and exhorted the masses to lead a peaceful and purposeful life.

General Rodrigues appealed to the people to follow the teachings of the great spiritual master and propagate his philosophy for the betterment, progress and prosperity of our society, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.

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Union office inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
Chairman of The Indian Express Employees Union A.D. Nagpal inaugurated the office of the union in the newspaper's new building, here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Nagpal said there had been a sea change in the functioning of trade unions over the years. Strikes and agitations were giving way to finding peaceful solutions, he said.

Indian Express resident editor Vipin Pubby emphasised the need for better safety conditions for journalists.

Jagtar Sidhu, Anil Gupta and Balbir Singh Jandu of The Tribune Employees Union, treasurer of the All-India Employees Federation M.L. Talwar and general secretary of The Indian Express Newspaper Workers Union Sridhar Naidu, were among those present on the occasion.

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CTU-ABS staff clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A clash took place between employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) and the Ambala Bus Syndicate (ABS) at Sector 17 here today.

Earlier in a statement, representatives of the CTU had alleged that the ABS was running inter-state buses without permit. An altercation also took place on the issue yesterday.

General secretary of the CTU Workers Union, Chandigarh, Narayan Singh said, “We held a protest today against the highhandedness of the ABS, which is running buses illegally. When our employees raised voice against them, they came to fight.”

Members of the union raised slogans and asked the authorities concerned to take proper action against employees of the ABS. They pleaded that only those buses should be allowed which were running on permits granted before 1966.

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Tips for safe driving
Use of horn

The horn is to be used only if you need to warn other road users of your presence.

Do not use the horn

  • Aggressively at other drivers
  • Between 11.30 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. in a residential or built up area
  • At pedestrians to clear your way. Let pedestrians pass first, particularly at road crossings.
  • When your vehicle is stationary unless a moving vehicle poses a danger.
  • Courtesy: Safe Driving, compiled by Cdr Swarup J Sarma

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Letters
Monsoon threat

This is in response to a news item published in your paper recently wherein it was mentioned that government was taking adequate measures to control the outbreak of dengue fever.

I am residing in H No. 1602(ff), Sector 18-D, Chandigarh. It is one of the posh areas in the city. Even mild rain causes stagnation of water here as there is no outlet for rain water. The level of road is such that water remains there unless dries up creating filth, bad odour and mosquitoes.

I have lodged a number of complaints with the departments concerned and their representatives have also visited the area, but no action has been taken over the last one year. This matter was also brought to the notice of M.R.S. Beniwal, one of the contenders in the MC elections held last year, who assured timely action, but matter took a backseat after he won the election.

I request the MC and the health department to take action before the monsoon arrives.

Kuldeepak Sharma, Chandigarh

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

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CRIME
 

Rs 2.55 lakh, revolver stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 29
A sum of Rs 2.55 lakh and a revolver were allegedly stolen from a car in Phase VII here today.

According to the police, Kulwant Singh, owner of Guru Nanak Sweets, had withdrawn a sum of Rs 2.65 lakh from an HDFC bank branch in the area.

He had kept Rs 10,000 in his pocket and the remaining amount wrapped in a packet on the back seat. A revolver was also lying there.

Thereafter, Kulwant Singh, who lives in Sector 69, left for home. When he reached the Phase VII trafficlights, he remembered that he had to deposit some amount in a State Bank of Patiala branch.

He turned around to deposit the amount. On returning from the bank, he found the windowpane of his Accent car broken and the cash and the revolver missing.

Senior police officials visited the scene. Investigations are on in this regard.

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Car stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In a complaint to the police, Panchkula resident Jawahar Lal Nanda has alleged that his Maruti car (UP 14 H 3422) was stolen from the rear of the CITCO petrol pump in Sector 9 on June 27.

The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint. It is investigating the matter.

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BUSINESS
 

Stone of tourist complex laid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 29
The foundation stone of a tourist complex, to be constructed by Milkfed in collaboration with Tourism Department, was laid by cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh here today.

The minister said the complex would become one of the main attractions in the town.

On Milkfed, he said highest-ever rate was being paid to milk producers by the organisation for their produce. Milkfed had arranged loans to the tune of Rs 25 crore from different banks and were to be given to small and marginal farmers for purchase of milch cattle under the “cattle induction programme”.

It had also executed a memorandum of understanding with Allahabad Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce for arranging loans for progressive dairy farmers.

The minister said in the current budget, the state government had approved grant-in-aid to the tune of Rs 50 crore for sick milk unions.

Under the scheme, Rs 25 crore would be provided by the state government and the remaining Rs 25 crore would be given by the Government of India.

Milkfed managing director V.K. Singh highlighted the achievements of the organisation.

He said 152 bulk milk coolers had been installed in societies under the clean milk production programme and many more were in the pipeline.

In order to make the functioning of milk producers cooperative societies more transparent, 1,000 automatic milk collection centres and an equal number of electronic milk testers had been provided to the societies.

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Bank opens retail hub
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Bank of India, under its Star Gaurav project, today inaugurated a retail hub at its Sector 17 branch. The retail hub, which is the 15th such hub in the country, will cater to the needs of customers on the doorstep.

According to this arrangement, bank’s representatives will call on prospective customers to give details of loan and collect relevant papers required for the purpose.

“The aim of establishing the retail hub is to reduce the time taken for processing the applications,” said bank officials.

V.K.R. Agarwal, general manager, highlighted the performance of the nank during the past year.

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