C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mend ways, Bar body warned
‘Exercise restraint and shun trade unionism’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Expressing displeasure that the Tahar Singh issue was being discussed at various fora in violation of court orders, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M.M. Kumar and Mr Justice Surya Kant, today said that one last opportunity was being given to the Bar body to mend ways.

Mincing no words, the Bench took the association to task for ignoring its advice to “exercise restraint and shun trade unionism.”

“Last time also, we had expressed our displeasure. Now, we are reading in newspapers that the Tahar Singh issue is being discussed outside.

Bar is the custodian of the law and here, in this case, it is violating the same,” the Bench observed.

“If the Bar doesn’t realise what we are trying to say, it will take a minute for us to dismiss the petition.”

Though the association’s honorary secretary Onkar Singh Batalvi tried to pacify the Bench, the mood remained unchanged.

Batalvi said the Bar body was committed to upholding the court’s order and there was no deliberate violation, whatsover.

Earlier, during the proceedings, Tahar Singh’s wife Sujata Sharma, who was present in the court with her children, placed an affidavit before the Bench. The affidavit stated that she stood by the contents of the complaint filed by her with the Chandigarh Police against her husband.

“One may gather from my statments to the press that I was pulling back in some way. In fact, I panicked after rumours that there was a political conspiracy against my husband,” the affidavit stated.

Pouring out her heart, Sujata said given the trauma she and her children had suffered, she be granted freedom from “this agonising marriage.” She averred that her appeal to the women’s cell was to plead for a lifeline.

“I saw unending cruelty at my husband’s hands all through my marriage. I have nothing but awe and gratitude for the judicial system and the police at the women’s cell for having stepped in to defend a woman’s dignity,” the affidavit stated. Sujata said Tahar Singh had psychiatric problems. These were first detected in 1997-1998 when he was suspected to be suffering from paranoia and manic depression.

“Tahar threatens to fight my divorce applicatoin long and hard. Spare me the indignity of a prolonged public dispute with him. Grant me speedy dissolution of marriage,” the affidavit said. Nevertheless, Sujata didn’t want her husband be sent to a lunatic asylum. All she wanted was that he be asked to donate to women’s rights organisation or an orphanage.

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Jailbreak case
Cops want hearing inside jail
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The death sentence pronounced on Babbar Khalsa International militant Jagtar Singh Hawara for assassinating Beant Singh has put the Chandigarh police in a fix.

In the wake of the conclusion of the trial, the notification issued under Section 268 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), making it mandatory for the holding of court inside the high-security Burail jail, has expired.

Worried over security concerns with regard to moving Hawara outside the jail, the officiating SSP and IG (prisons) has shot off a letter to the UT home secretary to invoke Section 268 of the CrPC for the conduct of the jailbreak case within the jail premises.

Top police sources said the appearance of Hawara at the district courts could pose a security threat as there was no bar on the coverage by the media at the district courts. The arrest of Hawara in 2005 and his appearance in the jailbreak case at the court had drawn a large number of radicals to the court, sending the security agencies in a tizzy.

In view of the threat perception, the CBI had reportedly sought special permission to conduct the trial within the jail premises.

Experts are of the view that the notification under Section 268 has become redundant following the pronouncement of sentence in the Beant Singh case.

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Protest against death penalty

Mohali, August 6
Members of the Shioramni Akali Dal (Amritsar) today organised “Khalsa ros march” to protest against the death sentence to Beant Singh assassins Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh.

The members led by former MP Dhian Singh Mand also demanded the release of SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann.

Over 300 supporters of the party gathered at Amb Sahib Gurdwara here this morning and prayed for those found guilty of killing Beant Singh.

Addressing those present, Mand said the Sikh community had always been oppressed as the Sikhs had always fought against atrocities.

“The Sikhs have fought against atrocities on people of any community or religion but rulers have always tried to silence them,” he said, recalling the days of Operation Bluestar.

He rued that the Akali government in the state had not raised their voice of protest against the death sentence awarded to Hawara and Balwant Singh. He also demanded the release of Mann along with 21 other supporters of the party who were made victims of the state’s crackdown on opposition.

Mann’s son Imaan Singh was among those who led the march out of Mohali to Anandpur Sahib. — TNS

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Three students booked for defacement

Chandigarh, August 6
The Chandigarh police has registered a case against student activists of the Students Organisation of India (SOI), Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) and Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) under the Prevention of Defacement Act for putting up posters and stickers at public places.

The students who have been charged are Harpreet Singh Multani from SOPU, Abhishek Puri from PUSU and an SOI activist, according to the police.

A meeting was called by the vice-chancellor of Panjab University this afternoon to address the issue of violence in the run-up to the student council elections. — TNS

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Custodial death: HC seeks medical record
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
A Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice P.Sathasivam and Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla, today requisitioned all medical and police records relating to the death of Anil Kumar, a Colony No 4 resident who died in police custody on July 11.

The Bench also directed the SSP to inform the respondent, SI Narinder Singh, to appear in person or through counsel before the court on August 8.

Phulwati, mother of Anil Kumar, had moved the High Court on Saturday seeking directions to the UT administration, the Centre and the UT SSP to register a case against SI Narinder Singh for torturing her son to death. She also averred that the case be investigated by the CBI or any other independent agency. She sought the quashing of the FIR registered by Narinder Singh against her son.

Phulwati’s counsel Sanjeeva Gupta averred that a warrant officer be appointed so that evidence against the respondent was not tampered with. The Bench took serious note of the facts of the case and Gupta’s averments and directed that the police records of the Mani Majra police station, where Anil was allegedly beaten to death, and medical records of the General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, and the PGI be produced before the court.

 

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Armed with a charter, ABVP makes timid exit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
In a curious turn of events, Vice-Chancellor R.C. Sobti today ordered the gates of Panjab University be closed in order to catch “miscreants” who had entered the campus.

The drama began rather tamely when a delegation of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) led by Vikram Sharma (secretary) and Amarpreet Mann (city vice-president) came to meet the VC and submit their charter of demands.

According to sources, the VC was not in his room, so they handed the letter to the staff. As they were leaving, the VC arrived and enquired if all were students of the university. At this point, the boys ran and the VC ordered the gates be closed to nab them.

The ABVP demands included checking violence on campus and addressing problems faced by students in the hostels.

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Small savings lose sheen
Collections dip in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Small savings, which once caught the fancy of the common man, have fallen on bad days with a sharp decline reported in the collections last year in the country in general and Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in particular.

Fighting against the attractive schemes floated by various banks and financial institutions and other investment options, the dip in the small savings is giving sleepless nights to the department concerned.

In fact, alarmed at the steep fall, Anil Bhattacharya, director of the National Savings Institute (NSI), recently visited Chandigarh and asked the officials to define their strategies with more focus on the rural areas and women with the aim of enrolling one lakh new account holders this year.

Data revealed that out of Rs 9,147 crore gross savings, only about Rs 1,517 crore was accounted for by the net savings in Punjab till March, 2007. This compared poorly to the gross savings of 9,434 crore and net savings of Rs 2,693 crore in 2006.

The situation in neighbouring Haryana was no different with the state having a gross savings of Rs 5078 crore and net savings of Rs 1291 crore in 2006. For the year 2007, the state accounted for a gross savings of Rs 4841 with the net savings being only Rs 709 crore.

However, the situation in Chandigarh was much dismal as out of Rs 399 crore gross savings a net savings of Rs 59 crore has been reported. In 2006, Chandigarh had a gross savings of Rs 444 crore with net savings pegged at Rs 43 crore, sources said.

Officials highlighted that low rate of interest on various schemes offered by the department was the primary reason for the decline in the small savings. With the exception of the senior citizens savings scheme which offers 9 per cent rate of interest, a majority of the schemes such as public provident fund, Kisan Vikas Patra and monthly income scheme offered only 8 per cent rate of interest. The rate compared unfavourably with the bank rates, which offer over 10 per cent on various term deposits.

Besides, over the years, particularly since 1999, the department had been working on a skeleton staff and state governments’ indifferent attitude towards the small savings movement has further dealt a severe blow to the collections.

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College teachers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Teachers working in non-government colleges of Chandigarh wore black badges and held a two-period strike at their respective colleges in support of their demands.

While a strike was held at SGGS College for Women, Sector 26, and SD College, Sector 32, the teachers of DAV College, Sector 10, and MCM DAV College, Sector 36, wore black badges and held a peaceful protest. “Our demands include encashment of earned leave, deduction of provident fund on gross salary, additional increments for completing PhD in service, relaxation in the conditions of refresher courses till December 2007 and strict adherence to the PU Calendar by all the city colleges,” said professor Rakesh Mehta, president of the Chandigarh District Council, PCCTU.

Mehta added that the DPI (Colleges) had written to the management and principals several times to implement all the provisions of the PU calendar, but nothing concrete has come out as yet.

“The letter of the DPI (colleges), Punjab, regarding additional increments for completing PhD in service is pending with the DPI (Colleges), Chandigarh. Research incentives have always been a part of our profession and so there should not be any delay in granting these,” secretary of the council Rupinder Chatha said.

R.K. Anand, secretary of DAV College Teachers’ Union, also expressed his optimism that the vice-chancellor would ensure that the college authorities follow the provisions of the PU calendar.

This comes in the wake of the VC prevailing upon the management of the DAV College, Sector 10, to hold meetings of various selection committees as per the decision of the Senate. In lieu of this decision, DAV College has postponed interviews that were to be held in Delhi on August 7 and 8. 

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FAUJI BEAT
Check exit or repent

FINDING the service in the armed forces unattractive, some serving officers started leaving the service to seek greener pastures in other sectors in the last decadde. But most of such officers were those who did not make the grade for next promotion. For the past one year or so, exit of officers has not only gained momentum but several promising officers with good carreer prospects have also started opting for pre-mature retirement, thanks to the management courses, which equip them for a package of Rs 8-12 lakh.

The Higher Command Course is a prestigious course and Colonel who is nominated to attend this course, has almost assured the chances of getting next promotion. Instances have come to notice where some Colonels have said no to this course because of the stipulation that after attending this course they cannot leave the Army for five years.

Recently, seven Air Vice-Marshals, five Air Commodores and a Group Captain from the Indian Air Force (IAF) have requested for swithching over to the civil aviation stream. This is because their pay package in the next assignment will be more than double of the current one.

Does India need a good fighting Army? If so, then the government should halt this trend now by offering attractive pay package to the armed forces or it will have to repent later. For, no army can afford to lose its good and experienced officers.

Origin of IMA
Brig L.P. Collins, the first Commandant of the IMA, Dehra Dun.
Brig L.P. Collins, the first Commandant of the IMA, Dehra Dun

The Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun, came into being on October 1, 1932. Its first commandant was Brigadier L.P. Collins. Among its first course cadets were Sam Manekshaw, Smith Dun and Mohd Musa, who later rose to become chiefs of the armies of their countries i.e. India, Burma and Pakistan.

The formal inauguration of the IMA was done by Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode on December 10, 1932. The main building and central hall of the academy are named after him. A passage from his inaugural address became the credo of the academy. The credo: “The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time” has the same meaning today, if not more, than what it had in 1932.

In 1934, Lord Willington, Viceroy of India, presented the Colours to the IMA at a parade, which was commanded by the Academy Under Officer Smith Dun.

Dental clinics’ empanelment

Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members have been experiencing a great difficulty in regard to the Dental treatment. This was because of the inability of the Command Dental Unit, Chandimandir, to take the entire load of the ECHS members and the absence of any dental clinics having been empanelled in this region. Though one dental clinic, Total Oral Rehabilitation Clinic and Hospital in Sector 71, Mohali, was empanelled last year, but it could not meet the requirement.

Six more dental clinics have been empanelled now. These are: (1) Dental Clinic & Orthodontic Centre, Sector 22A, Chandigarh. (2) Dheer Dental Centre, Sector 44, Chandigarh. (3) Indus Super-speciality Dental Clinic, Phase 3BII, Mohali. (4) Vashisht Dental Centre, Sector 16, Panchkula. (5) Sandeep Mahajan Dental Clinic, Sector 11, Panchkula. (6) Panchkula Dental Orthodontic Centre, Sector 8, Panchkula.

Pritam Bhullar

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  Ayurvedic college students end protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Students of Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, Sector 46, here, have called off their boycott of classes after most of their demands were accepted by the management, here today.

However the management did not submit to their demand of revoking the suspension of a teacher.

The students had been boycotting classes for the past one week in protest against the alleged fee hike and suspension of faculty member Dr Sudhir Kumar.

“The management has accepted all our demands. It has been decided that the fee would be charged as per the earlier rules, till the decision of the court is delivered,” said Aman, a third year student.

“Although we have decided to return to classes, we will not relent until Dr Sudhir’s suspension is revoked,” added Aman.

The students have presented a memorandum to the UT administrator and PU vice-chancellor also in this regard.

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Assault case: Scribes meet IGP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
A delegation of mediapersons today met UT (IGP) S.K. Jain in connection with alleged attack on two journalists of an English daily by a group of “inebriated” youths outside a Sector 8 discotheque in the wee hours of Sunday.

The accused also smashed the camera during the melee.

The delegation apprised the IGP of the deteriorating law and order situation during late night hours, especially outside discotheques, and the failure of the police to curb such incidents this despite the fact that the police had conducted special drives in the recent past.

The mediapersons also pointed out to the inspector-general of police about the police inaction against the youths for not only obstructing police personnel from discharging their duties but also breaking a glass of the police vehicle.

They demanded immediate arrested of other accused.

The inspector-general of police assured stern action against those involved in the incident and directed the SSP Bhatt to look into the matter. 

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Cong men meet DC

Chandigarh, August 6
A deputation of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee today met the Deputy Commissioner in connection with the allotment of sites to the remaining victims of the Sector 46 rehri market fire.

The deputation alleged that the screening committee of the administration had rejected the cases of certain “genuine” persons. The DC assured the delegation that their demands would be looked into as per the policy. — TNS

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Community centre, bridge opened

Chandigarh, August 6
Mayor Harjinder Kaur today inaugurated a community centre at Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra. The ground floor of the centre, consisting of main hall, kitchen and toilet blocks was constructed at the cost of Rs 19.36 lakh, out of which, Rs. 9.74 lakh was provided by DC Chandigarh under MPLAD Scheme.

This community centre is spread over an area of 4,038 sq feet. Earlier, the mayor also inaugurated a bridge over the nullah passing through Nagla Basti, Manimajra (WDF). — TNS

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CHB warning to Sector 56 allottees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today reiterated that the allottees of one-room flat in Sector 56 have no right to sell the houses. Cancellation of allotment, including criminal proceedings, will be initiated against the allottees indulging in these activities, a press note said today.

The CHB had allotted flats to slum-dwellers under the Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme, 2006, on a monthly rental of Rs 800. As per the terms and conditions of the scheme, the allottees are not authorised to sell the houses.

The CHB has received information that some of the people are trying to sell the houses in violations of the terms and conditions of the allotment letter.

One such instance of selling house no. 6556-C came to the notice of the CHB.

It also came to its notice that the transaction has been facilitated by Suresh Kumar in connivance with others. On receipt of this information, the complaint was registered with the police.

The CHB is also strengthening its enforcement mechanism to stop such illegal transactions. It has also initiated action to cancel the houses of those allottees who have either sub-let or sold their houses.

CHB chairman Mohanjeet Singh said the ownership of the one-room flats rests with the board and these houses had been allotted purely on a rental basis.

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MLA seeks DC’s ouster
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 6
Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu has called for the removal of the Mohali deputy commissioner following a report in a section of the press alleging close links between the latter and former municipal council president Kulwant Singh, whose election petition was decided by the deputy commissioner.

Speaking at a press conference here today, Sidhu also demanded a probe into the conduct of deputy commissioner Harjit Inder Singh Garewal, who allegedly met with Kulwant Singh in a hotel.

He said such conduct raised suspicion over the fairness of the decision of the deputy commissioner on the election petition of Kulwant Singh.

Kulwant Singh had filed an election petition after he lost the municipal elections from ward No. 15 last year to Gurnam Bindra Singh by a margin of 54 votes.

Kulwant Singh had approached the election tribunal seeking recounting of votes.

The deputy commissioner had summoned the record of the ward and ordered recounting of votes on May 8.

Gurnam Bindra, who had the support of Sidhu, approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which issued stay orders in the case.

Sidhu said had Bindra not been given relief by the court, the situation in the local municipal council would have been entirely different.

He said the alleged attitude of the deputy commissioner in the case compelled him to hold a protest outside his office in Phase I.

The deputy commissioner was not available for comments.

Sidhu alleged that Kulwant Singh also had close links with cooperation minister Kanwaljit Singh and had provided the minister with funds during the Punjab Assembly elections.

Kulwant Singh, however, denied that he had close links with the district chief.

He said as Garewal was heading the district, he used to meet the officer in connection with his works.

He added that the Sidhu group had allegedly indulged in irregularities during the municipal elections and as such was not ready to face defeat.

Sidhu said former Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh had been alleging that development works were being neglected in the Kharar constituency. He said Bir Devinder Singh could not distribute funds under the Punjab Nirman Yojna in the constituency during his term otherwise the Congress would have been able to get more votes and now was issuing baseless statements.

Sidhu said the same funds were now being distributed by SAD leader Jasjit Singh to win over people.

Denying the allegation, Bir Devinder Singh said he had distributed every penny received by him from the government.

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Power cut at hospital spells disaster
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
Snapped power supply played havoc at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here today, as patients had a harrowing time.

Without power supply, patients had to get various tests done from private diagnostic centres.

The hospital authorities said the power failure was due to the burning of the cable which supplied electricity to the hospital complex. The supply could not be resumed as linemen were working on the cable.

While a patient who arrived with severe pain in the abdomen had to be rushed to a private charitable centre nearby, an attendant rued that his patient, hurt on the head in an attack, was bandaged without conducting any tests.

Outdoor patients coming for various investigations had to go back empty-handed as no machine was working. The entire morning saw a heavy rush of patients in the radio diagnosis department. Fresh dates for X-ray examinations were given. In cases where tests could not be delayed, patients were directed towards charitable centres.

In the general wards, the musty smell of sweat was overbearing as patients and attendants had to do without fans. “There has been no power supply since 5 am. Now, its afternoon and there is still no electricity. The afternoon heat is just unbearable. The hospital authorities should have found a way to deal with the situation if the cut was going to be for so long,” another attendant maintained.

Patients with bandages had a particularly bad time as sweat resulted in severe itching. “My son, who was admitted with a head injury, has been 
trying to scratch his wound several times. I have to be strict with him though I understand his discomfort,” rued a mother sitting beside her ailing son.The fault was finally rectified by late 
afternoon. 

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Wants election observer appointed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 6
Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu has asked the government to appoint an observer for the election of the MC’s senior vice-president.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Sidhu said his group of councillors wanted an impartial officer to be made observer for the elections, which were due on August 16, as they did not want the deputy commissioner H.I.S. Garewal to play any role in it.

President of the civic body Rajinder Singh Rana said he had already written a letter to the director of the local government in this regard last week.

At present Rishiv Jain is the senior vice-president of the civic body while Harman Preet Singh is the vice-president. The one-year term of both of them is coming to an end. 

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4 SBoP branches opened
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
Four branches of the State Bank of Patiala were inaugurated by its chief general manager Diwakar Gupta at MDC Sectors 5, 15, 20 and 8, here today.

He said with this, the number of branches in Panchkula district had gone up to 11, with the town alone having six of them.

Stating that they were mulling over introducing multi-city cheques that could be cashed in a branch in any city, he said so far the bank was giving one chequebook of multi-city cheques to its customers on demand.

He also said the bank had tailored its policy guidelines for the current year to provide value-added services to its customers.

Gupta added that with a view to ensuring greater financial inclusion, the bank had launched a “no frills” savings bank accounts scheme to broaden its customer base so that the latter could reap benefits.

Deputy general manager and head of Haryana zone Sudhiranjan Sinha, while welcoming the patrons and customers, said the bank was bound to show better results in the time to come.

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Construction begins at Nada Sahib
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
The construction of a room for the installation of a chapatti-making machine began at the Nada Sahib gurdwara, here.

Various ceremonies were performed on the occasion by Raghujit Singh (Kamal) senior vice-president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar.

Raghujit Singh said a modern automatic plant, which would provide hygienic food for the sangat, would be installed shortly.

According to manager Bhupinder Singh, the machine will be able to cook 5,000 chappatis in one hour. Raghujit also announced that the SGPC would organise ‘Amrit Sanchar’ in Kalka on August 25.

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ISBT-17 or drive-in eatery?
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 6
Accidents have become a routine at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 17.

Young motorcyclists, who ride right into the ISBT premises in complete violation of traffic norms, are causing this situation to arise.

It is normally a free-for-all in the evenings at the ISBT. The youngsters not only drive their motorcycles right into the ISBT premises but also park their vehicles in the alleyways meant for buses, causing not only inconvenience to commuters but also to the bus drivers and conductors.

What is worse is these late evening “invaders” go unchecked. There is a warning board fixed outside the ISBT, prohibiting any private vehicles from going inside. It says violation amounts to an offence and the violator can be challaned. But in reality, the warning board has proved nothing more than a showpiece as no one bothers about it. Even the police personnel deployed at the ISBT ignore the actions of these “evening guests”.

During a survey at the ISBT, it was found that after 10.30 pm a lot of youngsters come there for dinner at a 24-hour dhaba. They enter the ISBT premises from the bus exit gate. Most of these motorcyclists are without helmet. They park their motorcycles or scooters in the middle of the alleyways, which often blocks the exit point.

Compounding the problem further, cars are also parked near the dhaba. The occupants of the cars often consume liquor there. The ISBT seems to have become an illegal tavern for them as the dhaba employees are often seen serving food to them in their cars. The policemen remain mere spectators to all of this.

Drivers of buses time and again complain about this rampant carelessness, which can lead to serious mishaps. A Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus driver said, “The policemen seem to have some kind of illegal settlement with the dhaba owner, so they do not stop these private vehicles from entering the terminal.”

Home secretary pays visit

Home secretary Krishna Mohan today paid a surprise visit to the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17, and gave directions for better upkeep of facilities there. The home secretary made a particular reference to the need for better sanitation at the venue.

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310 traffic violators challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The Chandigarh Traffic Police booked 310 motorists for violating traffic rules and regulations today. The police set up as many as 10 check posts in various parts of the city. The police said a total of Rs 13,100 was collected through on-the-spot fines. Out of the 310 motorists challaned, 81 were booked for over speeding while 43 were booked for riding two-wheelers without wearing helmets.

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Admn building toilets in pitiful state
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Public toilets in buildings of the administration are in deplorable condition.

On visiting the additional deluxe building in Sector 17, one is greeted by missing toiletry fittings and insanitary conditions. This building houses offices of the SDO (building), the excise and taxation department, the social welfare department, the pollution control committee and the state election commission.

“I do not use the toilets as there is no facility for light. It is very difficult to use them in the dark,” said Ram Karan, an employee.

In one of the toilets adjoining the office of the SDO (building), a stray dog was found roaming. The walls are also full of paan stains.

On the first floor, which houses the office of the excise and taxation department, water was collected around a water cooler.

On the second floor of the building, a toilet seat was found broken and water was flowing from taps as fittings had been removed.

The sanitary conditions in the deluxe building are better. This building houses the office of the deputy commissioner. Though tiles in the toilets were recently replaced, the toiletry fittings were found missing.

In the municipal corporation office, the stench from the toilets was overbearing and no effort had been made to clean the floor. It appeared that the toilets were not being cleaned regularly.

“Despite earning crores of rupees, the corporation has failed to provide basic amenities to its employees,” said an employee of the corporation.

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Inflated bills leading to refund hassles at drugstores
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Chemist shop owners at city hospitals are not only helping the people in submitting inflated bills for medical reimbursement; they also give preference to the unaccounted receipt over their cash memo while taking their sold stocks back from the patient.

“We are compelled to issue bills according to the maximum retail price of medicines and other articles when the customers demand, even as they get substantial discounts on medicines,” informed a chemist at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

“We calculate the amount of bill on rough paper and the patients who asks for the cash memo is given that as per his requirement,” said the chemist.

“Obviously the customer takes double advantage using this practice and gets discount from the shops followed by full reimbursement from his employers but we cannot afford to lose the customer. In case we refuse to oblige the customer, he moves on to another shop as the scenario is very competitive,” said the chemist.

However, this practice is resulting in not only a huge loss to the government exchequer but the genuine customers are also being harassed by these chemists when they take back unused medicines sold to them.

“The chemists at the hospital refused to take back the articles and medicines I purchased from the shop for the surgery of my daughter on July 19, on the pretext that I did not have the unaccounted bill issued by him though my bill of Rs 1,474 was there on his computer,” alleged Ashwani Malhtra, a resident of Sector 37.

“As I was not expecting that some of the medicines and other articles purchased would go unused I did not take care of keeping the receipts safely and now the shopkeeper needs the unaccounted receipt rather than original cash memo for the purpose,” rued Malhtra.

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Woman hangs herself to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Puja, a 28-year-old mother of one, is believed to have hanged herself to death at her Indira Colony residence this afternoon. Quoting family sources, the police said Puja was mentally upset and was undergoing treatment. The reason behind this extreme step was yet to be ascertained, said the police.

The SHO of the Manimajra police station, Hari Kumar, said the police received information about the death at 3 pm. The death came to light when Puja’s neighbour found the door of her residence locked from inside and there was no response to their knocks. They informed Puja’s parents about it, who reached there and found her hanging in her room.

Puja is survived by her husband Sham Lal and a one-year-old son. The body was shifted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. Meanwhile, the police have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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Letters
MC’s predicament

The city’s municipal corporation would never have thought that erecting streetlight poles and planting trees on the roadsides would pose a problem one day. But it did when the fully grown trees have circumscribed the streetlights, blocking the light. The MC had only two options to get out of the situation. One, it can uproot the poles and erect them in the middle of the roads, just like the ones at Madhya Marg and few other city roads. The other way out is to prune those branches of the trees that hinder the illumination. Needless to mention, this will help make the city greener.

Harbinder Singh, Chandigarh

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BA-I student held for hitting traffic cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The police today arrested Siddaq, a BA-I student of Sector 10, DAV College, one of the accused who hit a traffic police constable with a vehicle on July 31.

The constable was carried on the bonnet of the vehicle to a distance of over one kilometre.

SHO of the Sector 26 police station inspector Mani Ram Kadiyan said the accused, a minor, was arrested from near Khalsa College in Sector 26. He was produced before a local court, which sent him to a juvenile home. Siddaq is said to be the son of a Ludhiana-based builder.

He reportedly told the police that he was not driving the vehicle. He was only an occupant.

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