C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rickshaws may go off main roads
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Chandigarh, July 17
The Chandigarh administration is considering banning rickshaws on the city’s main roads, including the Madhya Marg and the Dakshin Marg.

What would it mean

* Faster traffic on main roads, particularly during rush hours
Commuters on rickshaws, especially schoolchildren, will be safer
Rickshaws carrying school kids would have to take longer routes 

The issue will be taken up when the new transport policy is placed before the adviser later this week by director of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking P.S. Shergill.

Regulation of rickshaw traffic is top priority of the administration.The CTU plans to introduce mini buses to carry local commuters.The autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws will be allowed in inner sector roads and road crossings from one sector to the other will be marked for them.

There will be no change in bus fares on local routes, at least for now.The CTU had sent a proposal regrading revision of fares on different routes. Under the present system, a passenger is required to pay Rs 5 on any straight route.The administration is learnt to have turned down the hike proposal.

The policy clearly states that all buses more than eight years old will be phased out. Sources said inter-state buses would be routed through the ISBT, Sector 43, and local buses through the ISBT, Sector 17.

The buses will be covered under the Global Positioning System (GPS) to ensure punctuality and strict adherence to routes by the staff.

Another key issue likely to feature at the meeting is the plying of autorickshaws from the neighbouring cities of Punjab and Haryana on city roads.



Two city judokas go missing
The girls were last seen at the railway station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The police is on its toes following the disappearance of two teenaged girl judokas.

The girls reportedly had supper at the residence of their friend, also a judoka, daughter of a woman head constable, at her Sector 17 residence on Sunday. After supper they requested that they be dropped at the railway Station at 9:30 pm. They have been missing since then, say their parents.

The police said Manisha of Sector 33 and Sapna of Sector 35 had left their home on Saturday morning with their friend Shelja, telling their parents they were to attend a coaching camp at Solan. They reportedly went to Patiala instead and stayed there on Saturday night before returning to the city on Sunday afternoon.

The parents of the girls received a call from them, saying they were in Haridwar and had no money to come home. They were crying bitterly.

The parents approached the police when they failed to trace the girls on their own.Two DDRs have been recorded in this connection in Sector 34 and 36 police stations. Manisha is a plus one student of Sector 34 Government Model School. Sapna and Shelja are students of Sector 21 Dev Samaj School.

The police today questioned Shelja who said the three went to Patiala on Saturday on her Honda Activa scooter (CH-04-8354).

They went to the National Institute of Sports.They met one Varinder Singh Veeri, a judoka, and had lunch with him.Thereafter, they went to her relative’s place in Patiala and the following day returned to Chandigarh.

After super at her house, the girls requested that they be dropped at the railway station. She had had no word from them since.

Sources in the police said the police was examining the possible involvement of two residents of Burail and Attawa in the disappearance of the girls.



Zirakpur Woes
Implementing master plan difficult: MC 
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 17
The municipal council here is in fix as to how to implement the Zirakpur Master Plan in the face of haphazard growth of the township over the years.

The council has sought the shifting of the site for the proposed bus terminal from Nabha village to Singhpura village on the Chandigarh-Delhi road in, where common land was available

Seeking amendments to the plan, the council members have, through a resolution passed in the last MC meeting, pointed out that the ground picture had changed markedly since the survey for the plan and it would impossible for the plan to be implemented in totality.

In Baltana, for instance, the council has shown its inability to widen the road, as there was no space available. Seventy per cent of the area, which had been marked for the road in the master plan, is occupied by structures now.

Similarly, the road leading to Bhabat from the Chandigarh-Delhi-Kalka stretch cannot be widened to 60 feet as structures have come up on 65 per cent of the area.

The council has pointed out that land will have to be acquired in many areas, where the master plan had proposed the construction of 150 feet, 100 feet and 60 feet-wide roads. The members proposed that since the council was not in a position to compensate the landowners with money, they should be allowed to increase the floor area of their buildings and other structures.

Some housing projects approved on the Nabha High Ground road are also likely to be affected by the master plan. According to the plan, this road should be 150-feet wide.

The council has sought details of the khasra numbers, which will have to be acquired for the widening of the road, so that the council can verify these.

The plan was forwarded to the council by the SAS Nagar district administration for implementation by the department of town and country planning, Punjab.

President of the council N.K. Sharma said the body had adopted the master plan, but a reply regarding these alterations was being awaited.



UT pondering over higher relief
Rajmeet Singh

Chandigarh, July 17
Stung by criticism, the Chandigarh administration is contemplating higher compensation to those whose land it has acquired. However, it seems to be dragging feet on the issue.

Under the new scheme of things, a uniform policy will be followed to determine the collector rate for acquisition of agricultural land.

It would different from the existing policy wherein the average rate is fixed on the basis of sale deeds entered in the mutation register of revenue records a year prior to the date of notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act.

A senior official said the administration may hike the compensation to Rs 1 crore per acre. 



CCET to have 2 heads

Chandigarh, July 17
The Chandigarh administration has decided to appoint two principals for the Chandigarh College for Engineering and Technology, Sector 26.One of the principals will head the degree college and the other diploma college in the same complex.

Said Vivek Atray, director, technical education:” The All-India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) has made it clear that degree and diploma courses are distinct from each other and cannot be run simultaneously under the same head.”

The administration will conduct interview for the principal of the degree college later this week. At present, R.S.Malik, a senior teacher, holds the charge of principal.



Distributors taking no chances with leaks
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Will Harry Potter die? No one is telling, least of all author J.K.Rowling who has spoken at length about ‘spoilers’ trying to ruin the end of the book for readers. But as the seventh and final volume in the Potter saga, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’, hits the stands on July 21, the truth shall out!

The book’s end, interestingly, has fuelled speculations prompting the publishers to go into overdrive in order to prevent leakages. Right from the manuscript to the printing and distribution, only a handful of people know exactly what is happening. While this may be an amazing feat to pull off, especially since the book is slated for a simultaneous world-wide release, the distributors here, Penguin Group India, are taking no chances.

They are fighting a two-pronged battle, one that deals with security of the book till it falls into the hands of the book-sellers after which they can heave a sigh of relief and the other of piracy.

Penguin India and Bloomsbury have announced stringent measures to prevent the sale and distribution of pirated copies of the ‘Deathly Hallows’. With advance bookings of 240,000 copies for India alone (and the figure is expected to go up right through the week), a legal team has been commissioned to prevent copies of the new book being pirated on publication. Vigilance cells around the country and a 24-hour helpline number are some of the measures planned.

According to Akash Chittranshi, head ACA-law, the legal firm, “The success of this book is a foregone conclusion, which means that ‘pirates’ are waiting to cash in on its success.”

To work in tandem with the legal team, services of an investigating team IP-Boutique have also been retained to keep a watch on known offenders and locations.

Book piracy in India results in publishers losing large sums of money on books, and with Harry Potter having virtually pushed the book industry to the top of the heap, the drive is a move towards eradicating the malaise in India ultimately, says Penguin.

As for the security arrangements, Hemali Sodhi head, marketing and promotions for Penguin, says the security arrangements are “intricate and major”, but they would not disclose details.

However sources within the book industry say that ‘Deathly Hallows’ will be sent to Penguin under boxes that carry pseudonyms, “something vague and unrelated”.

The books will then be sent out to local distributors like India Book House in Chandigarh, under embargo and accompanied by security. This means that even local distributors are not allowed to peek into the copies until the magical hour of midnight GMT (UK Summer Time) when the book is released.

The anti-piracy hotlines at Penguin India are:

Mobile: 09818010044, landline: 011-26499936.



Smoking do’s and don’ts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Chandigarh administration today issued guidelines for the public under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act to create awareness.

An official spokesman said according to the Act, no person should smoke cigarette or bidi or any form of tobacco at a public place. The offence is punishable with a penalty of Rs 200 which can be recovered on the spot or else the case can be sent to the SDM (central) for prosecution.

The officials notified to take action are police officers of the rank of sub-inspectors or above, food and drug inspectors and members of the Chandigarh tobacco control cell.

Any area to which the public has access, whether as a matter of right or not, has been defined as a public place. All enclosed places, including workplaces, offices (including private workplaces), educational institutes, hotels and restaurants are defined as a public place. Similarly, open spaces like parks, stadiums, auditoriums, exhibition grounds, bus stops and markets are also public places.

Smoking has been banned even in public transport, including autorickshaws and taxis. A person can smoke in open areas like the lawn area outside homes and road kerbs away from the market. 



MC chief misusing powers: EO
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 17
The tussle between municipal council president Rajinder Singh Rana and executive officer J.S. Thind intensified today with the latter alleging that Rana had been misusing his powers.

According to sources, Thind made the allegations, while commenting on the reply given by Rana to a show-cause notice issued to him by the department of local government.

Principal secretary of the department D.S. Bains had issued the notice on June 11. It was issued after the EO had sent a report alleging that the civic body chief had transferred three employees without having the powers to do so. He also alleged that Rana kept postponing the opening of sanitation tenders, adversely affecting work. Thind had recommended that action be taken against the MC chief.

Rana was asked to file a reply to the notice in 21 days.



Type 13 house allottees seek rights

Chandigarh, July 17
Members of the UT joint action committee (13 type houses) yesterday reiterated their demand for the transfer of their houses in the names of the occupants.

Terming their demand as genuine, various speakers at a joint front sammelan, spoke about their struggle for getting proprietary rights.

A press note claimed that a majority of the occupants of type 13 houses did not have houses in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. The administration had rehabilitated slum dwellers many times but was dilly-dallying on the allotment of houses to the occupants, they added. — TNS



‘When I got a call from Balaji I couldn’t believe it’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
At 23 years of age, Pallavi Subhash, the protagonist of ‘Karam Apna Apna’, a daily soap on Star Plus, has already become a household name. Better known as Gauri in the serial, the telly girl was in town to promote her show.

A thorough Mumbaikar, Pallavi was first seen on the small screen in ‘Tumhari Disha’. It was then that the lady luck smiled on her and Ekta Kapoor, the creative head of Balaji Telefilms noticed her work and offered her the role.

“When I got a call from Balaji I couldn’t believe it and brushed it off as a joke. It was only when the production house called up several times to convince me that it wasn’t a prank that I came to terms with it.”

With a strong background in Marathi theatre, Pallavi took the challenge. “To be in the lead role of Ekta’s soap is a huge responsibility. In fact I was apprehensive initially looking at the huge star cast of the soap,” averred Pallavi. Today after almost a year, Pallavi is completely at ease with her role and says, “The character has mellowed me down and matured me.”

Brushing off the common belief of being stereotyped on television, Pallavi states, “I don’t bother about being typecast. For me, doing my work honestly, giving my best shot is all that matters.”

A simple girl at heart with the penchant for cooking, Pallavi has her goals already set. “If any good role in films comes I will definitely consider it but till then I want to concentrate only on Karam,” she coos like any other soap star.



Insect in noodles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Sandeep Singh, a Mohali-based real estate dealer, was in for a shock today when he found an insect in his noodles at Shivalikview.

“I had ordered noodles and chicken. I found an insect in the noodles and summoned the manager. Staff members were sorry. I have not lodged any formal complaint,” he added.

Arvind Malhotra, general manager with CITCO, said: “The staff rushed to the spot following the complaint. He did not agree to an offer for a fresh meal. His tone bordered on blackmailing. The noodles could not have had an insect in the form shown to us.”

The customer said: “It does not matter whether the insect was prepared with the dish or not. The fact is that the insect was part of the serving that I was given. It is a baseless allegation that I used harsh words.”



Barber hangs himself

Chandigarh, July 17
Enraged over being thrashed by his employer following a financial dispute, Wasim (24), a barber, hanged himself at his Colony Number house late this afternoon.

The police has arrested his employer, Bunda, and his brother Sadha on the allegation of abetment to suicide.

The police said Wasim borrowed money from his employer by mortgaging his CD player in the past. In an inebriated condition, he went to Bunda’s shop to take it back but he refused, leading to an altercation.

The altercation took a violent turn following which Bunda and Sadha and two others thrashed him. He suffered a head injury and came home bleeding profusely.

A police officer said Wasim hanged himself with a dupatta. Wasim got married in December. He had been working with his employer since he was a child. — TNS



Power department has egg on face
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Chandigarh electricity department got a taste of its own medicine when it was asked recently to refund a substantial amount to a consumer, whom it had earlier charged with having a slow meter at his industrial unit.

The department raided the unit on June 21, 2004, and said the meter was running slow by 32 per cent. The industrialist challenged the department's contention, upon which a check meter was installed parallel to the meter.

The check meter revealed that the original meter was actually running fast by about 6 per cent. Caught on the wrong foot, the department forgot that it had installed the check meter, which should have been removed after a month. The industrialist claimed refund from the department for “excess metering”. The department, however, did not respond to his pleas.

Kirpal Singh moved the permanent lok adalat. It was argued that the department did not deliberately remove the check meter because its comparative reading went against its stand. The meter remained installed for over two years, during which it was found that the original meter of the consumer was running fast by 5.6 per cent.

Chairman of the lok adalat, R.P. Bajaj, observed that the department committed gross deficiency in service in not removing the meter as per rules. He directed that the firm be refunded the amount wrongly charged on the basis of the fast meter.

The department was also directed to install a new meter and pay Rs 1,100 to the complainant. 



Tips for safe driving
Turning off a major road

Pedestrians have right of way on zebra crossings. When approaching a pedestrian crossing slow down and do not overtake other vehicles. Stopping your vehicle on a zebra crossing is prohibited.

‘Show consideration to pedestrians — you are often one too!’
Courtesy: Safe Driving, compiled by Cdr Swarup J Sarma



What is in a name?

Though there is nothing in a name but sometimes it creates confusion as is happening in city beautiful Chandigarh. Originally IT Park had been named Chandigarh Technology Park and sign boards fixed accordingly but before the time of inauguration by PM it was named Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park and hurriedly some boards were made and fixed.

All types of boards still continue to guide the visitors and residents. So at entry of Chandigarh it is CTP and on the way to CTP (or RGTP) sign board leads you to Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park and yet another hoarding at small round about of Kishan Garh village it is again Chandigarh Technology Park and the foundation stone says it is Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park. Chandigarh residents are habitual of lack luster working of administration but every new visitor to city beautiful and IT Park must be feeling confused by this confusion in the above names.

R.K. Garg, 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



Car dealer’s killers not identified yet
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 17
The police is yet to identify the killers of 52-year-old car dealer Inder Pal Sharma, who was shot dead, late last night.

A few interesting leads have come to the fore today, indicating that the victim knew his assailants and the murder was the outcome of a  personal enmity between them

A few interesting leads have come to the fore today, indicating that the victim knew his assailants and the murder was the outcome of a personal enmity between them.

Inderpal, a resident of Harmilap Nagar, lived in a rented accommodation here and was constructing his own house in the area. He was a dealer in second-hand cars and carried out his business from Sector 7, Chandigarh.

According to police sources, Inderpal did not go to his shop or to the construction site yesterday. What he did throughout the day remains a mystery.

The sources added that as Inderpal’s wife had gone to Ambala, he had asked his adopted daughter, who is married in Pinjore, to take care of the house. She was at home the whole day.

Inderpal was murdered just after 9.30 pm last night when he had gone to get his mobile phone, which he had forgotten in the car.

The sounds of shots being fired were heard after 15 minutes, leading the police to believe that the victim had a confrontation with his killers.

According to Zirakpur SHO G.P. Singh, the postmortem report showed that a .12 bore weapon was used in the murder. The police has also retrieved the call details from the victim’s mobile phone.

The police has, however, emphatically shot down the theory that Inderpal was looted and murdered by armed robbers. “The heavy gold chain, the mobile phone and the gold rings which Inderpal was wearing when he was shot at, are intact,” said Dera Bassi DSP Gursharan Singh.



Cop hit by scooterist, injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
A constable of the Chandigarh traffic police was today hurt after being hit by a scooterist on the road diving sectors 24 and 25.

Constable Rakesh Kumar lodged a complaint that Sumit of Kumhar Colony, was driving a scooter which hit him. He was admitted to the Sector 16 Government Hospital. A case has been registered.


Manmohan Lal of Sector 38 has reported that a TV set and Rs 50,000 were stolen from his shop in Panjab University last night. A case has been registered. 



Infant molested; boy sodomised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Two incidents of child abuse were reported here today. In a separate incident, a minor girl was abducted from the city.

In Colony Number 5, a seven-month-old girl was sexually abused while in Daria village, a nine-year-old boy was sodomised. The police has arrested two persons in this connection.

Sources in the Sector 34 police station said a 10-year-old boy was arrested on the allegations of sexually abusing the girl. The incident took place this afternoon when the victim’s mother was washing clothes outside her house. The boy went into the hut and assaulted the child. Hearing the child’s cries, her mother rushed in and nabbed the accused.

The police said a case of causing injury and molestation had been registered in this connection.

In the second incident, Sandeep Johal of Daria alleged that his neighbour Rajinder Singh had sodomised his nephew. He said on Monday afternoon, his nephew returned from school and the accused took him to his house where he sodomised him.

The child said the accused had threatened him not to inform anyone about the incident.

The accused has been arrested.

In another incident, a resident of Sector 7 lodged a complaint with the police that her minor daughter had been abducted from her house on Monday.

A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered. 



Towers atop shops: 40 get notices
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 17
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has issued notices to 40 residents for allowing mobile companies to erect towers on commercial establishments without paying the requisite fee.

An official said resumption notices had been issued following a survey. “During the survey we found that nearly 40 towers had been erected atop commercial establishments. Though a few had applied for permission, they did not fulfill the conditions laid down in our rule book. Also, they had not paid the fee of Rs 1 lakh necessary for erecting a tower. In case permission is sought after a mobile tower comes up, the establishment is required to pay an additional Rs 20,000 as fine for the delay,” he explained.

The authority has received 18 applications for permission but these are yet to conform to HUDA guidelines. One tower has been installed in the residential area.



Constructions banned

Chandigarh, July 17
The district administration has told residents of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, that no fresh construction would be allowed.

An official of the revenue department had been asked to conduct a survey of the area and identify fresh constructions. — TNS



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