C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBI faces lawyers’ heat
Accepts HC order after much ado
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu & Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
In a high-voltage drama, marked by commotion and vociferous protests, advocates held a dharna in front of the CBI office, Sector 30, here tonight.

A large number of lawyers attempted to force into the office by breaking open the gate in protest when no senior officer of the agency turned up to receive the order of the High Court’s Division Bench (DB) partly staying the orders of Justice Uma Nath Singh.

The lawyers were seen abusing CBI officials. Omkar Singh Batalvi, advocate who moved the petition before the bench challenging Justice Uma Nath Singh’s order, Anupam Gupta and G.S. Attariwala were among several lawyers who voiced their protest.

“We are shocked as no senior officer came here to receive the order but we will not leave before taking Tahar Singh along with us,” said a lawyer. After the drama, CBI DIG B.L. Soni arrived at the office to receive the orders formally.

Also, after holding a meeting with the DIG, a lawyer’s representative announced that Tahar Singh would be handed over to R.S. Cheema.

Earlier, following the High Court orders, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team this evening took Tahar Singh into custody and left for Agra to get him admitted to the mental hospital there.

A top CBI official said: “We have complied with the High Court orders, following which a team, with Tahar in custody, has gone to Agra.”

The official said Tahar had been taken into custody only on the HC orders and it had nothing to do with the FIR registered against him by his wife.

The FIR alleging torture had been registered under Sections 498-A and 506, IPC.

Gurinder Singh Attariwala, vice-president of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, blamed the CBI for not allowing them to meet Tahar Singh.

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Dam Conflict
Villagers come to blows
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Banur, July 23
There was tension at Chhatt village here this afternoon when residents of villages on both sides of the Banur canal confronted one another over the construction of a kuccha dam over the Ghaggar river.

While residents of over 80 villages downsream have forced irrigation department officials to stop construction of a protection dam over the river, fearing floods, the standing crop of farmers of another 25 villages on the other side of the river has begin to wilt in the absence of water.

Hundreds of villagers reached the dam site this afternoon where heated arguments and scuffles continued till the SDM of Dera Bassi and the police arrived there.The presence of the police failed to deter the villagers, who continued to shout at one another.

SDM Sohan Lal Bhumbak, SGPC member Jasmer Singh and former minister Ajaib Singh Mailpur eventually convinced the two groups to resolve the issue amicably.

SDM Bhumbak said the sharing of water in the area had remained the bone of contention for several years. An agreement was reached that a weir under NABARD be constructed which would feed the Banur canal and the water flow regulated automatically.

“However, there is shortage of water in summers. The Banur canal fed by the Ghaggar that provides water for irrigation to the villages on the other side dries up,” explained the SDM.

Jaspal Singh, president of the Kisan Bachao Sangharsh Committee of the villages on the river downstream, said the protection dam being constructed was too high and would have led to collection of water. “And  if the dam breaks, it will cause flash floods in our villages. his happened in 2003 and we have learnt from past experience,” he said.

Chatt Bir Zoo, next to the construction site, also faced a similar threat, he added.

On the other hand, Harjit Singh Bhullar representing the villages fed by the Banur canal, said their crops were dying. “If the kuccha dam is constructed, it will make sure that the water flows into the Banur canal and our crops will be saved. It is but a temporary arrangement and once it rains there is no need for the dam.”

Representatives of both groups have been called to the SDM’s office tomorrow to resolve the conflict.

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Toothless MC can’t stop dog bite
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Even as more than 5,000 cases of dogs or other animals biting residents are reported in the city every year, the authorities are doing little to control this menace. The facilities to treat dog-bite victims also remain limited.

Yesterday, 25 city residents were bitten by a stray dog. But the authorities chose to remain inactive about this. Municipal Corporation (MC) officials were sent in search of the dog but their three-hour long search proved futile.

“The dog is suspected to be rabid. Such dogs usually run fast and we suspect it has gone to Nayagaon. Since that is out of our jurisdiction, we did not search there,” stated a senior MC official.

MC officials say they cannot do much about the stray dogs. “My job is to control the stray dog population and not dog bites,” said MC’s medical officer (health), G.C. Bansal. “I am doing my best possible. Every Monday we catch stray dogs and get them sterilised. According to the Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2000, the MC is to only control the stray dog population. We have to sterilise them and leave them at the place where they were found. Neither the UT nor MC has any hospital where they can be kept for post-operative care. So we have to depend on two NGO’s for that,” added Bansal.

Officials say part of the problem was the lack of a dog pound in the city. The Chandigarh Administration has allotted a half-acre plot for the special dog yard in Dhanas village. However, the MC has not been given the possession of the plot, nearly four months after the allocation. When contacted, the concerned superintendent in Finance Department said that the concerned clerk was on leave, so no details of the yard could be provided.

In what can be termed a step in the right direction, last month, the UT Health Department started administering anti-rabies vaccine for free to UT, Punjab and Haryana government employees in the city and their family members. The vaccine was also being administered for free to persons living below the poverty line in the city (yellow card holders).

A subsidised injection for dog bite victims made available by the Administration costs the Rs 220. The number of injections required to be administrated increases with the number of injuries, said Dr. J. P. Singh at the Anti-Rabies Centre, Civil Dispensary, Sector 19. The non-subsidised injection is available for Rs 350 in the market.

A case is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for implementing stricter measures to control the stray dog menace. According to Anupam Gupta, a senior standing counsel, it was argued in the case that the stray dog menace is very serious and needs to be tackled strongly as has been implemented in a few other states. The next date for hearing the case is September.

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Nada school in charge transferred

Panchkula, July 23
The education department of Haryana today ordered the transfer of Bharti Gupta, in charge of Government Middle School, Nada, to a school in Bhawana in Pinjore while the rest of the staff was let off with a warning.

On June 21, the school saw high drama when the teachers ganged up against the school in charge and manhandled her.They maintained that she had used abusive language against them. Bharti Gupta, on the other hand, alleged that the staff would beat her up if she made any query regarding their working.

DEO Kamla Bains said she heard both parties and discussed the matter with a joint director at the head office.

Bains, however, said she had been unable to put across Bharti’s point of view. To a question on why the rest of the staff had not been transferred, she said this was because most had joined only a year back. — TNS

Meanwhile, Bharti alleged that when the DEO came to the school today, she did not give her a hearing and repeatedly snubbed her in the presence of the staff. She later met the joint director in this regard. 

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Army reviews policy to discharge low-med troops
Number of troops to be released cut by half
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Revising its earlier order to discharge troops placed in permanent low medical category (LMC) the Army plans to release over 15,600 personnel over the next 12 months.

The new policy would, besides reducing the number of troops to be discharged, permit LMC personnel to serve for several more years. The Army earlier planned to cut its rank and file by about 27,000 men who had attained minimum pensionable service.

A circular received at Headquarters Western Command this month from the Manpower Planning Directorate at Army Headquarters states that junior commissioned officers and other ranks that have rendered service in excess of 20 years and 15 years, respectively, only they will be discharged from service.

According to the schedule of discharge accompanying the circular, troops would be released in four phases. Between October and December this year, 3,697 troops would be released and the remaining would be released in the first three quarters next year.

The maximum number of soldiers to be discharged is from the Corps of Signals (3,084), followed by the Infantry (2,992). Noticeably, technical arms and services like the Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Corps of Engineers and the Army Medical Corps figure on top of the list.

The Army wanted to discharge troops on the grounds that the manpower of personnel below officer rank (PBOR) was in excess to authorised strength. A review of manpower carried out earlier this year had revealed a significant drop in the annual wastages, primarily due to reduced number of pre-mature retirements.

The Comptroller and Auditor General, in its latest report has observed that despite excess in the strength of PBOR, there was shortfall in recruitment in EME and Signals cadres against notified vacancies in the last six years.

The shortfall in filling vacancies in these two arms was between 10 to 26 per cent.

Army Headquarters attributed the shortfall to stringent norms pertaining to educational qualifications at the intake level and also to the policy linking recruitment to the total recruitable male population of each state. This policy prevented the transfer of shortage in filling vacancies allotted to one state to other states, except with the approval of the Ministry of Defence.

The Army also ended up with 833 “surplus” EME personnel when the proposed

Army Aviation squadrons, to which these men were to be posted for providing technical and maintenance support, could not be raised as per schedule.

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Ambedkar Centre to upgraded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Along with a new facility, which was inaugurated today, the Ambedkar Centre at Panjab University is soon to be upgraded from a regional to a full-fledged centre, which will work extensively in the field of community development.

Vice-Chancellor R C Sobti announced that the Ambedkar Centre, the Adult and Continuing Education department and the Regional Resource Centre would be integrated to form a department to Rural Development, which will work towards uplifting marginalised communities through research and practical projects including encouraging self-help groups.

The centre, which till now had been functioning out of the Department of Sociology was allotted space on the ground floor of Arts Block VII, (behind the Law Auditorium) and was inaugurated this morning by Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, who had allotted Rs 6.70 lakh for a computer laboratory and documentation centre.

Emphasising on the role that the Centre had to play, he said that along with research, it should also provide training to self-help groups along with providing extension services in villages and rural areas.

This was given a fillip by Professor Sobti’s announcement that a Department of Rural Development would soon be initiated and that the university was already in the process “of creating infrastructure” for it.

Professor Sobti also got an additional promise of Rs 5 lakh from Bansal for the construction of an examination hall on campus, which, he stated, would save the university Rs 5 to 6 lakh, spent on hiring halls outside.

Professor Sobti also declared that the university was planning a management institute in Sector 25 in the space that the university had just got back a few days ago.

He also urged Bansal to support the University’s endeavour for Central University status of which he was reassured by the latter.

The function began with Professor Manjit Singh, coordinator of the centre, speaking of the how the centre had first been initiated in 2001. He also spoke of the extensive work that has been carried out on bonded labour, migrant labour, child labour, women trafficking and other underprivileged sections of society in these years. 

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Election Duty
Police fails to act against evasive officials
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 23
The police has failed to produce 19 booth-level officers (BLOs) before the subdivisional magistrate-cum-electoral registration officer (69- Kharar constituency) for evading election-related duties.

Also, they have not been booked under the relevant Section of the Representation of People Act, 1950.

While 16 BLOs were from the Punjab School Education Board, three worked with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

According to sources, SDM-cum-electoral registration officer Jaspal Mittal had sent a notice on July 13 to the employees to present themselves for duty.

A copy of the notice was also sent to the secretary of education board and the estate officer of GMADA to ensure that the employees were asked to report for election-related duty.

As the move failed to get the desired response, the SDM then wrote a letter on July 19 to the SHO of police station, Phase VIII, asking her to produce the 19 BLOs in his office by 4 pm the same day.

In case the BLOs failed to present themselves, they should be booked under Section 32 of the Representation of People Act, 1950.

The offence attracts imprisonment for period not less than three months.

However, SHO Raka Ghirra said a reply to the letter of the SDM was sent the same day to which a letter of the education board official was attached.

In the letter, the board had stated that it was facing staff shortage and as such could not spare employees.

The SDM had been requested to let the police know what action should be taken under such circumstances.

It has been learned that Jagdish Chander and Surya Nath, who worked with GMADA and were BLOs for booth No. 155 and 156, respectively, located in Government Senior Secondary School, Phase III B1, presented themselves before the SDM this afternoon on their own.

The persons from the education board who were to be produced before the SDM by the police were: Paramjit Singh and Ram Saroop (working as clerks in the conduct branch); Joginder Singh (clerk in UMC branch); Satbir Singh, Vipin Kumar, Sucha Singh, Paras Ram, Harinder Singh, Malak Singh, clerks ad Rakesh Kumar (senior assistants); Bhajan Singh, Jarnail Singh, Hardeep Singh, Gurmail Singh, Surjit Singh and Mangal Singh (all assistants).

While two employees of GMADA presented themselves before the SDM today, Rohit Kumar had still not reported on duty.

Staff had been requisitioned for a verification drive for voter’s list under the directions of the election commission of India.

Each BLO had to take care of the area falling under the booth assigned to him.

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Lawyers protest lack of facilities
Our Correspondent

Lawyers stage a dharna at the court complex, Mohali, on Monday
Lawyers stage a dharna at the court complex, Mohali, on Monday. Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 23
Members of the District Bar Association staged a dharna outside the court complex in Phase III B-1 here today to protest the failure of the administration to provide basic amenities.

The protesters said that one year had passed since the court complex was set up but the administration had failed to provide even basic facilities to lawyers.

Vice-president of the association, P.S. Garewal, said that even drinking water was not available for lawyers and their clients. Lawyers then had to arrange for a water cooler so that cold water could become available. There are 150 lawyers functioning but only about 40 lawyers can sit under sheds which they have constructed on their own. He said that if the administration could not provide the facilities, lawyers should be allowed to arrange these at their own level. But nobody was allowed to take any chair, table, typewriter, etc. into the court premises.

Lawyers said that they had been waiting over the past year for the required facilities but as nothing had been done in this regard the association was compelled to protest.

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Camp for govt scheme beneficiaries
Tribune News Service

A camp to help beneficiaries of various government schemes in progress in Zirakpur.
A camp to help beneficiaries of various government schemes in progress in Zirakpur.

Zirakpur, July 23
An assistance camp was organised by the Disabled Persons Welfare Organisation, Punjab, in association with the Zirakpur municipal council at Lohgarh village, here yesterday.

Cases of 69 old age pensions, 13 widow pensions and others were taken up.

The cases were attested by the officials concerned at the camp and would be forwarded to the CDPO at Dera Bassi.

Organisation president Paramdeep Singh Bhabat said the aim of such camps was to help beneficiaries of various schemes of the government to complete their formalities and save them from undergoing inconvenience.

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Jatt body honours toppers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
Jatt Sikh Welfare Association, Chandigarh, organised its annual general body meeting at a resort in Balongi, here yesterday.

The function was attended by Air Marshal R.S. Purnia, Air Marshal Randhir Singh, H.S. Randhawa, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Didar Singh Bhatti and Jasjit Singh Bunny.

Over 800 participants discussed problems being faced by the community. “Jatt Sikh Virsa”, a quarterly magazine was also released.

Toppers belonging to the community in matric and Class XII were honoured with a cash award of Rs 3,100 and a citation, each.

Principal Dr D.S. Har Narinder Singh, Col B.S. Sandhu and Tarlochan Singh Mann also addressed the gathering.

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Discharge polluting Mohali rivulets

Augmentation of the UT’s Diggian sewerage treatment plant has become a source of nuisance for the residents of Mohali.

Due to the expansion of the sewerage treatment plant, untreated sewage from the plant is being dumped in to a seasonal rivulet in Industrial Area, Phase IX, Mohali. “ This is creating foul smell in the area and when the wind direction is towards our houses, it is at time difficult to breathe”, Amardeep Sharma, an entrepreneur in the area, said the sewage after spilling over the artificial irrigation canal had spread in vacant plots in the Industrial Area.

Sources in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation confirmed that due to the augmentation of the plant, the machinery to treat the sullage of Chandigarh was not being fully utilized. As a result, only 15 mgd of the sewage was being treated and the rest was being disposed off as such

A senior MC officials said the corporation had nine months time period for the augmentation plan in light of the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A committee is regularly monitoring the progress.

In the past, the issue of untreated sewage from the plant has resulted in stand off between Punjab and Chandigarh. Few years ago, the Punjab pollution control board had taken up the issue of untreated sullage being discharged by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation into seasonal rivulets, traversing through Mohali.

The UT was discharging over 45 MGD of sewage of which around 30 MGD was being treated at the Diggian sewage treatment plant. Enquires reveal that the over 20-year-old Diggian treatment plant with a capacity to treat 30 MGD of sewage had also become a bone of contention between PUDA and the Chandigarh MC. PUDA had been pressing upon the CMC to shift its existing Diggian sewage treatment plant as it was now surrounded by residential and industrial areas, posing health hazard.

Treated and untreated sewer being discharged by the treatment plant at Papri for irrigation purposes had also become a source of nuisance for the entrepreneurs of the Industrial Focal Point, Phase IX, where the treatment plant was located. — TNS

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Nothing is right with these schools
No lights, no benches, no proper staff
Swati Sharma /TNS

Broken benches lie exposed to the elements on the roof of Government High School, Colony No. 4, Chandigarh.
Broken benches lie exposed to the elements on the roof of Government High School, Colony No. 4, Chandigarh. Tribune photographs by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 23
While the government has come up with plans like Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and Midday Meals to lure children towards education, it still scores low on its ability to run schools for slum children.

The schools lie in a state of sheer neglect.

In a survey of the city’s government-run high schools it was found that students are being taught syllabi of lower classes and the teaching staff was insufficient. Students were also seen sitting on the floor due to shortage of benches.

The sight at Government High School, Colony No. 4, in Industrial Area Phase-I is pitiable. Though the foundation stone here was laid on May 1, 1992, construction work is still on at the school.

The level of education at the school is also ‘low’. The students of Class V were being taught the syllabus of a junior class in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated school.

Some of the classrooms are dark and dingy as the lighting is absent here.

A common problem of these schools is lack of staff. According to sources, there is a shortage of 10 to 12 teachers in Government High School, Karsan, Industrial Area Phase- I, while there is a shortage of nine teachers for primary section in school for Colony No 4. There is no teacher for biology in Class X and teachers of other subjects are teaching this subject.

Just a round of the school in Colony No 4 is enough for one to notice the callous attitude of the authorities. Interestingly, the classroom for students of nursery has two sinks installed in a corner, which should be in the bathroom. More than half of the students were sitting on the floor, as there were no benches for them.

Another interesting sight in this school is the roof that is similar to a dump yard. There are a number of broken benches lying on top of each other here. The principal Ramesh Kumar says about these, "The benches are broken but we don't have funds to repair them. I have brought this to the notice of higher authorities and am waiting for a reply."

Due to insufficient number of classrooms the corridors of the building are being used to hold classes. Classes V and VI were being taught here.

Infrastructure of the school in Karsan is good but the school authorities complain about the short boundary wall because of which outsiders keep jumping into the school's ground to play. To get them to leave the principal of the school, Chander Prabha, has to call the police.

Other than staff shortage for teachers there is a peon who has to be the security guard also. The principals here have no option other than bringing this to the notice of higher authorities.

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Workshop on ‘Gender sensitisation’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
As part of the Chandigarh administration’s endeavour to promote gender studies in college campuses, a five-day workshop on ‘Gender Sensitisation’ began at the Government College, Sector 46, here today.

Raji P. Shrivastava, director higher education, inaugurated the workshop.

About 48 lecturers from various colleges of the city are participating in the workshop, which is aimed at tackling gender concerns of the youth.

Kamla Bhasin and Runu Chakravarty, founders of Delhi-based NGO Jagori, were the resource persons for today.

Expressing her concern on the declining sex ratio, particularly in this region, Kamla said, “The changes should be done at the economic and cultural level. The entire political and economic system needs to be revamped.”

The core members of the project in Chandigarh are college lecturers Jyoti Seth, Santosh Kumar Singh, Vijaya Singh, Iqbal Judge and Rakesh Kumar.

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Fauji Beat
Veterans’ homes a necessity

In 2003, the Army Headquarters had mooted a proposal to construct senior citizens’ homes for serving and retired Army personnel at various stations. To start with these home were to be built at Greater Noida, Pune and Bangalore.

To meet the requirement of veterans, these homes were likely to be self-contained complexes with a mess and medical, recreational, CSD and security facilities. The planning was that each dwelling unit would consist of a two-room set with a bathroom and a kitchenette, with a total plinth area of 600 sq ft.

The estimated cost of each such dwelling unit at that time was expected to be between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 12 lakh. These complexes were to be funded and managed by the inhabitants.

With the joint family system having crumbled, the veterans are finding it difficult to manage their homes today. Most of them, therefore, are in favour of such homes. They feel the Army Headquarters should pursue this proposal vigorously and construct homes on a priority basis.

Placement Cell

Job opportunities having improved over the years, the Headquarters, Western Command placement cell, gets a demand for 50 to 60 JCOs and other ranks every month. The jobs offered by various industrial/corporate units are for security guards for other ranks and security supervisors.

The salary for the security guards is from Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000 and that of the security supervisors varies from Rs 5,000-Rs 8,000.

On an average, there is a demand for five officers every month. The salary for them varies from Rs 15,000-Rs 30,000. Recently, a vacancy carrying an attractive pay packet at Moga had to be surrendered. This was because the officers from the tri-city want jobs only in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. They do not want to go to nearby towns like Rajpura, Dera Bassi and Ropar. The result is even five vacancies in a month cannot be filled.

Military Music

In 1950, at the instance of Field Marshal (then General) K.M. Cariappa, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, a military music wing was established at the Army Education Corps (AEC) Training College and Centre at Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh. This wing trains musicians as bandsmen, bandmasters and music instructors for the Army, paramilitary forces, state police forces and friendly countries. For demonstration of tunes, a Demonstration Band was raised at Pachmarhi in 1978, which consists of 44 personnel.

Military bands have a special significance in a soldier’s life for martial music is known to have inspired soldiers during wartime. In the olden days, battles used to commence at the sounding of the reveille in the morning and come to a halt at the sounding of retreat in the evening.

— Pritam Bhullar

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‘Involve youth in decision making’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
A fervent appeal for the participation of young people in decision making at all levels, including at community, local, provincial and national, was the highlight of the plan of action for youth empowerment (PAYE) - 2006 to 2015 released on the inaugural day of the five-day capacity and leadership development workshop for youth representatives of Commonwealth countries of Asia at the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), Asia centre, here today.

Setting the agenda for the young participants, Raj K. Mishra, regional director, CYP, said the main aim of the workshop would be to ensure the involvement of the young persons in the entire governance structure, making them equal partners in decision making and development.

Rajan Kashyap, chief information commissioner, Punjab, in his inaugural address, underlined the importance of the youth in nation building.

The PAYE underlined affirmative and direct action to establish gender equity for all young people and equality of treatment and outcomes for the youth in special circumstances.

The promotion of a democratic, stable and peaceful environment in which young people’s human rights, as defined in international covenants, can be exercised fully and in which they can fully accept their responsibilities were underlined in the plan.

Representatives from Bangladesh, Dar-e-ssalaam, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India are participating in the workshop.

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Alleys of Sector 7 market in a mess
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The pitiable condition of the alleys of the Sector 7 market on Madhya Marg is not just a pitiable sight, but is also giving daily travellers a harrowing time.

"Parking is a big problem here. A few months ago, someone smashed my car which was parked in the alley,” said Rajeev Sharma, whose office is in the market.

Trucks unloading commodities for the shops are a common sight here. “These trucks are parked haphazardly, causing great inconvenience to everyone," said Ramesh Kapila, a bank employee.

The road is also dug up at several places, giving a bumpy ride to commuters, even on days when it does not rain.

“The parking space in these alleys should be utilised only by those who work here, while the parking area in the front of the market should be left for visitors. A regulated plan for traffic control needs to be worked out,” said another person at the market.

The administration recently said it would increase the parking space of the shopping area and the alleys.

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Question marks over future of Udham Singh Memorial
Lawyer to move high court
Vishal Sharma/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
It seems the freedom fighters don’t mean anything in society steeped neck-deep in crass materialism and self-aggrandisement. For what else can explain the fact that Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial in Sector 44 is still incomplete with no signs that it will be completed in near future.

According to information received under the RTI Act by H.C. Arora, the UT administration is all poised to take back the land allotted to the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Bhawan Society as the society has failed to pay the balance price of the land.

The administration had allotted the land to the society for the construction of the memorial building way back on January 16, 2003, and the building plan of the memorial was sanctioned on October 21, 2003.

Four years have gone by but the memorial building is yet to see the light of the day. The society has come out with its own excuses saying that the land was allotted to it at an exorbitant price of Rs 75 lakh.

Importantly, the society had paid Rs 25 lakh to the estate officer under protest.

As the society had meager funds, it could complete only a part of the building and that too after getting Rs 8 lakh from the MPLAD fund of the local MP and partly from donations.

However, the society could neither repay the balance price of the plot nor could raise more funds to complete the memorial. Importantly, the estate office had initiated proceedings for the resumption of the plot, Arora informed.

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Attack on Amarnath yatris flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The local unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today condemned the repeated terrorist attacks on yatris during the Amarnath yatra.

A press note of the VHP said the state government had failed to provide security to the pilgrims.

“The Congress has withdrawn the armed forces from various parts of the state on the pretext that the state is now a peaceful state whereas the truth is something else. The central government should provide security to the pilgrims,” the note said. 

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Speaking Out
‘More bus shelters, not AC buses needed’

The Chandigarh administration’s proposal to replace CTU buses with air-conditioned coaches is not going too well with local commuters, finds Tribune correspondent Akash Ghai

Surinder Singh“Getting in and out of AC buses in the hot weather may not be good for commuters. It will not be possible to enquire about the bus route from the conductor as the bus windows will be sealed. Ordinary buses are more comfortable. Both AC and ordinary buses can be plied simultaneously.

Surinder Singh, Businessman

Sangeeta Rani,“Spending a huge amount on replacing buses with AC coaches is not right. I daily use CTU buses to reach my workplace, but I have never felt the need for an air-conditioned bus. What we need are more bus shelters.The money should be spent on basic requirements.

Sangeeta Rani, Teacher

R K Sharma“Plying air-conditioned buses on city roads is a good idea but what about basic facilities? A few AC buses may be introduced and that too on long routes. With the new coaches, the fare are bound to go up. he AC buses will also cause health problems to those commuting short distances.

R K Sharma, Senior citizen

Chandan Batish,“There has been no demand for AC coaches from the people. Most people who use public transport are not too well off. They will not be able to pay for travel in these buses, fares of which are likely to go up eventually. This would entail a hole in the pocket of commuters like me.

Chandan Batish, IBM employee

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Streetlights  non-functional

Chandigarh, July 23
For the past one week, the residents of Sector 44-A have been complaining of non-functional streetlights.

Harvinder Kaur, a resident, said despite repeated calls made to the complaint centre, no work had been done. Arun Mehar, another resident, said at night the unlit streets were very unsafe. — TNS

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Appointment with doctors goes online
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Now, patients can get appointments for Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 and Government Medical Hospital in Sector 32 at e-Jan Sampark and Gram Sampark centres beginning August 1.

Once both hospitals are connected online with the data centre at the NIC headquarters, registration of patients would also be started at these centres.

A maximum number of appointments unit-wise would be provided by the departments of the hospitals. Adviser to the UT Administrator Lalit Sharma in his Republic Day speech had proposed to start this facility for the common man.

Acccordingly, the task was assigned to the department of information technology and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to include the module in the e-Jan Sampark portal.

The NIC would have a data bank of the registered patients in both hospitals. The old data would be sent by the hospitals and thereafter updated on a daily basis till the hospitals are linked online under SWAN.

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Attendant hits guard at hospital

Chandigarh, July 23
An attendant of patient at emergency ward of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, hit a security guard, injuring him on the forehead here today. The guard was identified as Anil Kumar.

According to information, the security guard was directing the people to form a queue in front of the fee payment counter when the attendant lost patience and hit him. However, no complaint was lodged with the police as both the parties reached at compromise later on, said the sources. — TNS

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Anti-dengue camp

Chandigarh, July 23
In order to spread the message for prevention and control of dengue, chikunguniya and other vector-borne diseases among the masses, the directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Chandigarh, will organise an anti-dengue camp at the main market of Indira Colony here tomorrow. — TNS

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Sewing centre for needy women
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, July 23
The Nishkam Kirtan Sewa Society opened a sewing centre for the needy and poor women of the area today.

SDM Poonamjit Kaur inaugurated the centre at Gaddi Mohalla.

Trained instructors have been provided at the centre to train women free of cost.

Addressing the gathering, the SDM appreciated the efforts of the society in helping women earn their livelihood by giving them vocational training.

She assured of extending co-operation to the society.

Society patron Amarjit Singh Kohli gave information about the working of the society.

He said after the opening of society head office at Mandi Gobindgarh, branches had been opened in other towns as well.

Kohli said the society was involved in marrying poor and needy couples and so far had solemnised 87 marriages. He called upon people to help the society so that more social projects could be initiated.

Kohli said poor and needy women of the area would be trained free of cost at the centre.

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Letters
Ban public protests

The UT administration should be lauded for its efforts to make Chandigarh a smoke-free city. Now, the administration should try and put an end to other nuisances also, such as public protests, burning of effigies and strewing the streets with trash after festivals. Such activities should be banned by the administration.

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

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Shots fired over land dispute

Mohali, July 23
A longstanding property dispute took a violent turn here last night when three brothers, claiming ownership of a piece of land at Karoran village, allegedly fired shots at another group of persons who were constructing a house on the land.

According to Nayagaon SHO Satnam Singh, the incident took place at 11 pm when complainant Rajbir Singh and his friends were constructing a room on the land measuring five kanal here.

He alleged that Rattan Singh, Gurnaib Singh and Pal Singh, all residents of Nayagaon village, came armed with weapons at the site. Heated arguments led to a scuffle, following which the three started firing and abusing them. Rajbir Singh said earlier the three had tried to stop him from fencing the land and a case had been registered. — TNS

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Man assaulted at liquor vend
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Asking for an empty liquor bottle for fetching petrol fuelled a fight in a Sector-19 liquor vend this morning with the staff allegedly beating a Sector-27 resident. The victim, Ashwani Jindal of Sector 27-D, further alleged that the police was dragging its feet in registering a case against the accused and was pressuring him to reach a compromise.

In his complaint to the police, Jindal claimed that he approached vend to borrow an empty bottle after his moped had run out of petrol. But a man belonging to the liquor vend staff started hurling abuses at him. When he objected to their behaviour the man began hitting him with a beer bottle. Jindal reportedly needed a dozen stitches on his head and back.

Jindal alleged that on seeing him being thrashed by that man, his father rushed in for his help. He was also hit by another employee of the vend. He suffered cuts on his head and back. His father took him to Sector-19 Police Station from where the police took him for a medical examination to Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16.

Manager of the vend, Kamlesh Yadav, said Jindal was drunk and tried to enter forcibly through the side door. He asked for liquor and his employee asked him not to enter the shop but order at the counter. At this, Jindal began hurling abuses and hit his employee with his helmet and a scuffle ensued between them. During the commotion some bottles fell and broke. He said Jindal might have fallen on broken bottles during the scuffle injuring himself. He said, “We were ready to pay for his injuries, only because he suffered, otherwise it was Jindal’s fault.”

The police said the Jindal’s medical examination proved that he smelt of liquor. The police have recorded the statement of both the parties and arrested the vend employee Gyan Chand.

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Theft of diamonds reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
A theft of diamonds worth Rs 21 lakh was reported to the Chandigarh police by a Delhi-based jeweller, here today.

The police said Sudhir Dutta, the jeweller, reported that a commission agent, Barman, had taken diamonds worth Rs 21 lakh from him to sell.

He returned the next day, saying that the diamonds has gone missing from a hotel in Sector 22, Chandigarh, where he had been staying.

The police said Dutta came to the city today to lodge a complaint.

SHO of the Sector 17 police station Kulwant Singh Pannu said the complainant was unclear about where the crime had occurred. “We have told him to report the matter to the Delhi police,” said the SHO.

A daily dairy report has been registered in this regard.

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