C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Village handpumps sealed
14 hospitalised
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 31
Even as the district health authorities today launched a special drive to tackle the outbreak of diahorrea in a colony in Madanpur here, six more from the colony were hospitalised today.

In all, 14 persons have been admitted to the civil hospital here so far. Eight children were admitted last night. Some of them were running high fever and suffered from dehydration. Three adults with acute diahorrea were admitted today.

It is now confirmed that water from handpumps in the colony are the cause of the outbreak, said Dr HS Sarang, SMO. These had been sealed and the administration had been asked to make alternative arrangements for drinking water.

Teams from the Rural Health Centre, Gharuan, Ranbaxy and the civil hospital camped at the village today and screened residents. “Ten residents showed symptoms of diahorrea, four of them were treated orally. The rest were hospitalised,” said Dr Kanwaljit Sandha. The doctors also visited Balongi from where a residents is admitted to the PGI with cholera. “The residents were screened and over 25 residents were found to be suffering from diahorrea. Residents have been asked to use boiled water and not to use handpumps,” said Dr M.S. Toor, civil surgeon, SAS Nagar.

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GMADA, MC lock horns over Madanpura
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 31
Even as two children died of diarrhoea and 12 more cases were detected here today, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the local municipal council locked horns over the development work in Madanpura village which is plagued by unhygienic conditions.

The village lacks a sewerage system. Sullage flows through open drains in Madanpura and heaps of cow dung could be seen lying at many places in the area. Villagers have been deprived of potable water as they have to depend on shallow handpumps which reportedly discharge contaminated water.

While Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and council president Rajinder Singh Rana blamed GMADA for not providing basic facilities to the residents of Madanpura village, chief administrator, GMADA, Krishan Kumar, said the authority had nothing to do with the development of the village and it was the sole responsibility of the civic body to take care of the area.

The MLA said PUDA (now GMADA) had earned crores of rupees from the land belonging to residents of Madanpura but was not ready to spend on its development. If GMADA was not ready to provide basic facilities to the residents, it could atleast provide necessary funds to the civic body for development of the area. The possession of the vacant village land should be given to the council so that it could have a source of income.

Executive officer of the council J.S.Thind said it was the responsibility of GMADA to carry out original works while the civic body only carried out maintenance activity.

Krishan Kumar, however, said the council was not taking the responsibility for carrying out development in the village. He said GMADA would not be providing any funds in this regard and these could be taken from the government. He said villages are to be developed either by the panchayats or civic bodies. Moreover, the council had been collecting octroi from shop owners of the village, he added.

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Power Play: Now on, now gone
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
City’s faulty power supply lines are leading to unscheduled power cuts during the day.

The problem has assumed alarming proportions following the monsoon showers.

Digging for laying of telephones cables and use of JCB machines has affected underground wires at several places. Senior officials of the electricity department accept disruption in power supply in certain pockets of the city. Complaint centres in the city saw telephones ringing throughout the day.

The worst-hit are Sectors 10, 11, 21, 22, 23, 29, 35, 36, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 48. Residents of Sector 10 complain of “continuous” cuts, though for brief periods. An official at the complaint centre in Sector 35 said:" Residents of Sector 35-A have been complaining of erratic supply for the past couple of weeks.

Besides overloading, wires in the area have been damaged due to digging by agencies."

S.E. Surinder Pal said digging by both government as well as private agencies had damaged the cables."The number of air-conditioners in households has increased

The department is undergoing a major revamp in the supply system, which incudes installing additional transformers."

The engineering department is reportedly revamping the supply lines in Sector 35. It is spending Rs 8 crore on the same. In Sector 10, new cables are being laid.

The southern sectors have seen regular power cuts this summer.

There have been at least two cases of tripping at the sub station in Mohali, which supplies power to this area.

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Rot helps juveniles flee
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

The four boys, who had escaped from the Sector 25 Juvenile Home on Monday, were nabbed from Mani Majra on Tuesday morning. The accused were spotted by PCR officials near a petrol station

Chandigarh, July 31
The security breach at Chandigarh’s brand-new juvenile remand home in Sector 25 was waiting to happen. Structured as a “model home for juveniles and children in need of care”, the home is hardly serving the purpose it is meant to.

Although the UT home secretary today asked the director, social welfare, to step up security at the home, what the home actually needs is a strategy to evolve a congenial atmosphere to engage children.

Four months ago also, four children from the care and support unit of the home had fled, unable to adapt. Even after more than 10 months of operation, the home doesn’t have a functional kitchen, let alone other provisions stipulated under the amended juvenile justice Act. The food comes from outside.

There is no proper mess for the children, who often sit on the floor for meals. Members of the Chandigarh child welfare committee, say the home has potential to act as a model for others. “It is a huge structure, built well. It can house 100 children but to maximise the potential, it’s important to evolve a programme where children can learn new skills, read books and do things to deflect their attention from crimes,” said Madhu Singh, a committee member.

The home needs an in-house doctor and a visiting counsellor. There is need for a van for the eight children in the support unit who go to the Sector 25 government school.

At present, they walk to school, escorted by a securityman. “Who will be responsible if any child runs away? Why can’t we have a vehicle to carry them,” said a child welfare committee member. The home has a van but no driver.

Sources add that monitoring of the home is also poor, with hardly any top official visiting it on a regular basis. The chief judicial magistrate, head of the juvenile justice board, said maintenance of the home was the administration’s job although there was no bar on him visiting the home.

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Sentence not fair on Sanjay, says Kirron
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
She loves to arrive, quietly. That’s how homecomings are meant to be. But when it’s about Kirron Kher’s arrival, the word does travel.

“I came here two days ago to check on my mother. She has not been keeping well,” said Kirron, when The Tribune caught up with her at her Sector 8 residence on a day that was certainly not the best for flowing conversations. It was dull, courtesy quantum of sentence special TADA court today pronounced for actor Sanjay Dutt.

For Kirron, whose association with the Dutt family goes back many decades, the loss caused by the sentence is, in fact, “personal”. “It’s shocking. What do I say? I am deeply saddened and I am not alone in the anguish,” she said, remembering old times when Sunil and Nargis Dutt coaxed her to go to Mumbai for acting. But for them, I would not have been in the film industry, said Kirron, who has seen Sanjay suffer for years.

“ Everyone knows it is illegal to possess arms. But I am convinced Sanjay’s stardom cost him dearly. Had he been a commoner, he would have got away. In any case, what ever happens of politicians who possess arms? Why aren’t they persecuted?” Kirron said, unable to digest “equal justice for all” theory.

To her, Sanjay has long atoned for his acts by not dishonouring his bail and by coming out a responsible person in the past. “He could have run away, but he didn’t. I know how religiously he attended his court hearings,” said Kirron, as her cell phone was flooded with calls from those who shared her feelings.

But for the sadness the day brought, Kirron sounded at peace with life. She has been taking it easy since “Khamosh Paani” - an Indo-Pak film on the Partition - was released. “I just came back from the Osian Cinefan Festival at Siri Fort. It’s a pleasure to watch the kind of films being made across Asia and the Arab world. The filmmakers have suddenly evolved. They are redefining content and making a positive difference,” said Kirron, who has three films in the kitty.

“I am doing “Mummy ji” directed by Pammy Sohal, a journalist. This one is a refreshing break from routine. And I love it because it’s about a woman from Chandigarh. Then there is Farah Khan’s “Om Shanti Om”. There’s one more, which I can’t announce right now,” Kirron said, happy with the progress of Actor Prepares, husband Anupam Kher’s acting academy in Chandigarh.

Kirron plans to deliver a guest lecture at the school, in a day or two. She is still working out the dates.

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On Sanjay Verdict

Sanjay Dutt hugs his sisters before leaving for the TADA court verdict in Mumbai
Sanjay Dutt hugs his sisters before leaving for the TADA court verdict in Mumbai. — Reuters photo

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Controversy still dogs Generals over Kargil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Eight years after Indian troops evicted Pakistani intruders from the inhospitable heights in Kargil, albeit at a heavy cost, controversy continues to dog the role of certain senior commanders and the conduct of operations.

One of the commanders who played a key role in the conflict in the Batalik sector has moved court, alleging fabrication of the after action report by senior commanders and attempts of blame-gaming. The petition came up before a division Bench of the Delhi High Court today and the court had fixed August 20 as the next date of hearing.

In his petition, Brig Devinder Singh, who was then commander, 70 Brigade, in Batalik has alleged then four of his most successful battalions were falsely shown under the command of the then Deputy General Officer of 3 Infantry division.

The officer, at present posted at the Army Training Command, Shimla, has contended that the fabrication of the reports diluted his contribution and eulogised the success on the eastern flank, which were under his command. This directly impacted the demonstrated performance and potential in his annual confidential reports. He has attached documentary evidence, including sworn statements from the battalion commanders concerned, in support of his contentions.

Among the respondents in the case are the then Army Chief Gen V.P. Malik, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt Gen H.M. Khanna (retd) and GCO, 15 Corps, Lt-Gen Krishan Pal (retd), all of whom have filed their respective counter affidavits. The petitioner has alleged that Lt-Gen Krishan Pal had fudged the after action reports and the same was reflected in the reports of the Directorate General of Military Operations at the Army headquarters.

The intrusions across the LoC into the Indian side were detected in May 1999 following which military action, along with diplomatic initiatives, were launched to evict them. Over 530 Indian soldiers, including many young officers were killed in the operation.

The petitioner has also pointed out that large portions of three reports, including the battle performance report, containing adverse comments by Lt-Gen Krishan Pal, were later set aside by the government, but the Army failed to restore his military honour. Though his citation commends his gallantry and leadership in battle, he was awarded a Vishisht Seva Medal.

Brig Devinder Singh has alleged that senior commanders attempted to involve him in a blame game over the Kargil intrusions by fudging records pertaining to his arrival in Batalik in 1999. These incorrect inputs were forwarded to the Kargil Review Committee and were incorporated in its report.

The petitioner had 11 battalions under his command during the conflict and seven out of them were awarded battle honours for their exemplary performance. Batalik saw some of the toughest battle in the conflict and, according to documented excerpts, achieved the earliest and most spectacular victories.

Besides Brig Devinder Singh, four other officers directly associated with the conflict sought legal redress to their grievances. These include Major-Gen Lakhwinder Singh, who had commanded an artillery brigade during the conflict, Brig Surinder Singh, former commander 121 (I) Brigade in Kargil and Col Neeraj Mehra, CO 22 Grenadiers. A Major, who was tried by a general court martial for disobedience during the conflict, has also moved court. Some of the cases were earlier clubbed by the court, but are now being heard separately.

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Bitta creates a scene
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The vehicle carrying Maninderjit Singh Bitta, president of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF), was attacked by activists of Sikh organisations near the main gate of the Burail jail here this afternoon, minutes before the verdict in the Beant Singh assassination case was pronounced. He was whisked away by the police through another gate.

Bitta, who was in an official Gypsy, stopped on the way to the jail and challenged the radicals. Enraged women members of Bhai Dharam Singh Khalsa Trust, Amritsar, and Gur Asra Trust, Mohali, intercepted his vehicle and attacked it before the police could react. They also damaged the vehicle.

Visibly shaken by the attack, Bitta remained seated in the vehicle. A woman came in the way of the Gypsy to prevent Bitta’s escape, however, the driver managed to drive past her.

On being asked about the reason behind the attack, Sandeep Kaur and Baljinder Kaur told mediapersons that Bitta abused them and challenged them saying they could not do anything to him.

Meanwhile, family members of the convicts and members of various Sikh organisations reached there and began raising slogans. The police blocked their way even as agitating people tried to breach the security circle.

The police then whisked away Bitta into the fields by opening another gate. The drama lasted for about seven minutes.

Calling Bitta a “cycle thief”, the agitators also flayed the Chandigarh police for allowing him to come there. “He only come to instigate us as he had no business to be here,” stated Baljit Kaur, Jagtar Singh Hawara’s sister.

After the pronouncement of the sentence, the agitators staged a dharna.

Addressing mediapersons outside the main gate of the jail, the convener of the Khalsa action committee, Bhai Mokham Singh, Kanwarpal Singh of Dal Khalsa, Akal Federation’s Narain Singh, Iman Singh Mann of the Akali Dal, Amritsar, and R.P. Singh of Akhand Kirtani Jatha stated that Beant Singh was responsible for the killing of innocent Sikh youths. They gave a call to the Sikh community to observe a bandh on August 4 and hold congregations at gurdwaras.

Hawara’s sister said they would file an appeal. Jaswant Singh, foster father of Balwant Singh, said they would not file any appeal as they had lost faith in the judiciary. “We are not surprised at the verdict, rather we were expecting it. The government had earlier killed my daughter Amandeep Kaur and son, Harpinder Singh Goldy,” he said.

Later in the afternoon, addressing mediapersons at the Sector 5 residence of Beant Singh’s family, Bitta admitted that he threw a challenge to the radicals. Asked about his escape, he said he did not deem it fit to fight with women. Had men come forward, he would have paid them back in the same coin, he said.

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Single counter taxes assessees
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Even as today was the last date for filing income tax returns (ITRs), scores of tax payers were confused by certain entries in the new forms. Also, there was no space for certain entries.

“It is not clear how the income from house property is to be shown if the property is partly self-occupied and partly rental,” a CA, Manoj Kohli, said. In case the assessee desired to convey something by way of a note, no separate space had been provided.

This coupled with inadequate arrangements at SCOs 73, 74 and 75, Sector 17-D, inconvenienced the assessees. There were no separate counters at the plaza like last year and a stampede-like situation was witnessed at the single counter.

The tardy pace of the staff manning the counter was exasperating, R.K. Chaudhary, president of the income tax bar association, said.

“If filing is done online with digital signatures, no stamped acknowledgement would be available. This would create problems for the assessee in obtaining visa, loan etc. Is there any system to verify online if IT returns of a particular year have been filed?” Kohli asked.

A perusal of the new ITRs showed that no column was provided for agricultural income in the acknowledgement form.

In case of salaries, how details of more than one employer is to be incorporated is anybody’s guess, the assessees said.

A random survey showed that a large number of assessees filed returns at the department counters at C-81, Industrial Area, Phase VI, Mohali, and SCOs 45-46, Sector 17-A. Special counters at Rajasthan Bhawan, Sector 33, was also abuzz with activity and the process went on smoothly.

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Voter Card
One day to go, but no photo team yet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
With just a day left for the door-to-door campaign to click photos of voters, residents across the city are complaining that ever since the exercise started, the teams have not been keeping their dates.

An irritated resident of Sector 27-B, Commander (retd) Hardyal Singh (75), said he had received a notice that the team would come to his house on July 30. “I kept waiting and it never turned up,” he said.

Devinder Babla, councillor from Sector 27, said in the past few days he had received over 200 complaints and had taken up the matter with the election department. The laxity on part of the field staff, government and privately engaged photography teams, is coming to light despite the clear instructions of the additional chief election officer that the teams have to go to each house.

Enquiries reveal that the source of the problem was poor monitoring by principal booth-level officers and booth-level officers, besides inadequate staff engaged by the in charge of the photography teams.

Major Singh, a member of the team for Sector 27, said it was not possible for a single person to cover an entire sector in a day.

The work has been outsourced to private persons by HARTRON, a Haryana government undertaking which has been given the contract to revise electoral rolls.

Bihari, in charge of the centre at Government High School, Sector 26, said they had six photography teams and they were doing their best to help people. “When people approach us, we send the team to their houses,” he claimed.

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Marla house owners seek relaxations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Occupants of marla houses have accused the administration of adopting different yardsticks in building bylaw relaxations. Members of the Chandigarh marla/flats houses resident welfare association have again urged the administration to give them relaxations.

“If the administration can relax the bylaws while allowing conversions in the Industrial Area and giving relaxations to commercial sites, the same yardstick should be applied to marla houses,” Surinder Pal Chauhan, president of the association, said.

It has been pointed out that the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs to give one-time relaxation in building bylaws to marla houses had not been fully implemented by the administration.

The relaxations which have been given are of little use to the occupants.

“The issue concerns houses of original inhabitants of the city. With growing families, the need for space is also increasing. The administration should be realistic in its approach, he said.

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Deputy Editor Dalbir cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
A large number of persons attended the cremation of Dalbir Singh, Punjabi Tribune Deputy Editor, who died of a heart attack on July 28, at the Sector 25 crematorium here today.

Punjab cooperation minister Kanwaljit Singh, adviser to the Punjab CM, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, H.K. Dua and Sanjay Hazari, Editor-in-Chief and GM of The Tribune, respectively, led hundreds of persons in paying tributes to the noted journalist.

G.S. Sidhu Damdami, Editor of Punjabi Tribune, Naresh Kaushal, Editor of Dainik Tribune, Jagtar Singh Sidhu, president of The Tribune Employees Union, and Balwant Takshak, president of the Chandigarh Press Club, were among those present.

The bhog will be held at the Sector 34 gurdwara on August 5.

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Letters

Society lacks sensitivity

Few days the estate office removed back nurseries. A lot of plants were looted by the affluent of Chandigarh.

A lot of students including policeman will jump the red lights if not manned by policeman.

In some places particularly government offices and corporate air conditioners continue to run whole of the day where as colonies don’t get lights to run fans.

On one hand Chandigarh is declared smoke free but on the youth are being poisoned by easy supply of liquor in all sectors. We have become so insensitive that we are confined to our selves and our needs only are not bothered least for others. UT administration is doing lot to cleanse the atmosphere but it the residents who have to share responsibility and become true human being sensitive to the need of society as a whole.

R K Garg

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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Judicial magistrate tricked
Another woman swindled in Sector 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Judicial magistrate (first class), Harpreet Kaur, was today cheated by swindlers in Sector 8 here this afternoon. It was the second such incident in the city as earlier in the morning, a woman was duped in a similar fashion in Sector 22.

The police said the modus operandi indicated that it was the handiwork of a Muradabadi gang active in the past.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station, Ram Gopal, said Harpreet Kaur’s brother had lodged a complaint that he left her in his Innova and went for some work in Sector 8.

When he came back, he found his bag containing Rs 38,000 and some documents missing.

His sister expressed ignorance and said she was told by two persons that money was lying near the vehicle. She told them that it was not her money, but they said it had fallen from the pocket of the man who had come with her.

She then came out of the car and found some currency notes lying on the road. She picked up the money and got back into the vehicle.

The theft came to light when her brother asked her about the bag.

In another incident, swindlers duped an elderly woman of her valuables in Sector 22 this morning by diverting her attention to currency notes lying near her car.

Madhu Gautam of Sector 21-D initially did not reveal the entire incident and told the police that a bag containing Rs 5,000, a gold bracelet and a bangle, besides two mobile phones, were stolen from her car.

She said she was in the car. It was only later when she was quizzed about the incident, that she admitted that the accused diverted her attention to currency notes lying near her car. She got out of the car to pick up the notes but realised that she had been cheated, a police officer said.

The police said Madhu had gone to a bank in Sector 22 along with her husband. From there they took out ornaments and went to another bank in the same sector at around 11 am. Her husband, Dr S.D. Gautam, went inside the bank, leaving Madhu in the car.

A case of cheating has been registered. The police said the modus operandi of the crime showed that it was the handiwork of the same Muradabadi gang.

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Rape: Father, stepmother arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The father of a minor girl and her stepmother have been arrested on the allegations of rape and criminal conspiracy after the girl told the police that she was being sexually exploited by her father for the past over two years.

The victim alleged that her father had been sexually exploiting her in connivance with her stepmother. She was medically examined following which the police registered a case against the accused and took them in custody.

Caught stealing

Gajja Nand of Mani Majra has lodged a complaint with the police that Pooja of Manali and Sharing of Kathmandu were allegedly caught while stealing gold ornaments from his shop this afternoon.

In another incident, Des Raj, a driver with a gas agency, has reported to the police that Mukesh of Khuda Jassu was caught while allegedly stealing a cylinder.

Mobike stolen

Varin Madaan of Sangrur has reported that his motorcycle (PB-44-9504) was stolen from Sector 22 on Sunday night. A case has been registered in this connection.

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