C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cameras to monitor major traffic points, busy markets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to install pan tilt zoom (PTZ) and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at all major traffic points in the city. The cameras will also be fitted at various locations in busy markets for round-the-clock monitoring to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

Confirming this, a senior official of the administration said the monitoring and recording of the cameras installed at the different traffic lights would be done at the traffic lines, Sector 29. The monitoring and recording of the cameras located in busy markets would be done at another location, which would be specified later. The administration has sought applications from firms and companies for the project. The company should not have a turnover less than Rs 2 crore annually to apply for the project.

The CCTV is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specified set of monitors. The CCTV is largely used for surveillance in areas which need greater security like banks, casinos, airports and military installations. The police employs the camera technique to monitor the rush points by pulling up the defaulters. Industrial processes, which take place under conditions dangerous for humans, are also supervised by the CCTV.

The CCTV cameras can be employed for extensive traffic-monitoring systems to detect congestion and also point out accidents, if any.

These cameras can be installed independently and can transmit signals to drivers on the GPS systems. In case of traffic violators who run away from the spot, the camera will supply the pictures of the vehicle registration number to the cops which will be mailed at the addresses on which the vehicle was registered.

The locations identified for the installation of the PTZ and fixed cameras include Press Light Point, Sector 18, Transport Chowk, Railway Crossing, Housing Board Chowk (Mani Majra), opposite Neelam Theatre, Sector 17, and market of Sector 35 from Hotel Kapil to the other corner near the South End hotel.

The network video recording of all cameras will have the capability of storing the recording for at least a week. The equipment will be enabled to handle at least 100 cameras. The machine will have the facility to take portraits of the scene of rush or an accident, stopped vehicles under any traffic congestion, red-light jumping alarm, lane discipline and vehicle counting, besides others.

The system will have the facility of making announcements at camera junctions. The system will be equipped with the facility to store data even in case of power failure.



Don’t tell us our duty, HC to Tahar
Orders filing of joint divorce plea within a week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Advocate Tahar Singh’s attempt to apprise the court of its duty attracted the Special Division Bench’s, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Surya Kant, ire today.

Tahar Singh had tried to tell the court that it was its duty to attempt a reconciliation first and not direct him and his wife to file a joint divorce petition

“Don’t tell us what is the duty of the court. We know our duty well and if you come out with this type of arguments, we will dismiss the petition in a minute,” the Bench warned Tahar Singh.

Tahar Singh had tried to tell the court that it was its duty to attempt a reconciliation first and not direct him and his wife to file a joint divorce petition.

The Bench observed that Tahar was wavering between agreeing to divorce by mutual consent and saying that he was “incomplete” without his wife.

After hearing submissions of both parties, the Bench pronounced in the open court that the divorce petition be filed within a week before the district court.

Also, a copy of the decree to be passed by the district judge as well as a copy of the joint petition was directed to be placed on the high court’s record. The next date of hearing is September 24.

Earlier, during the proceedings, the Bench observed that an application had been sent by Tahar Singh to the UT DSP, women cell, wherein he had refuted the allegation levelled against him by his wife Sujata Sharma. He had also stated that he was ready for divorce by mutual consent as and when his wife desired so.

Rita Kohli, counsel for Sujata Sharma (who was present in the court with her daughter), said the proposal made by Tahar Singh was acceptable to her.

In her complaint, Sujata had stated that they had been living separately for a year. Kohli averred that there should thus be no impediment in the grant of divorce as the main condition stipulated by Section 13 (b) of the Hindu Marriage Act (of staying separately for an year before the filing of application) had already been fulfilled.

The Bench also observed that guidance be provided to Tahar Singh so that he did not end up violating the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act.



Tour of villages leaves PWD minister shocked
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 13
Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Punjab minister for PWD (roads), today undertook an arduous journey to several places which lack roads.

The minister spent the entire day today, wading in his car through swollen choes, to reach villages that are otherwise next door to Chandigarh, and the hardest was a three km walk to Masol village.

There are no roads that lead up to this village. A dirt track that is used by vehicles, ends seven km short of the village, after which, begins a tough walk. “If someone in the village is ill, the residents carry him on a bed to the nearest village,” said Ujagar Singh Badali, local MLA, who accompanied Dhindsa.

The SUVs in which the minister’s cavalcade travelled, managed to reach three km short of the village. Full of enthusiasm, the minister decided to meet the residents. As tales of woes broke out in a flood of deluge, the minister was shocked. “I have never seen such pathetic conditions anywhere else in the state”, he later admitted during a public gathering at Ratwara Sahib.

The story did not end here as the minister discovered that his adventures had just begun. He had to literally wade through almost a dozen flowing choes to reach many villages. The rains made it worse. “Our journey began with a visit to Tanda and Tandi villages. You have to cross seven choes to each these villages and there is not a single bridge. The smaller cars had to be left behind,” said Badali.

Karondewala village, two km from the Haryana border on the Jayanti Majri temple road, was the minister’s next destination. Till the border road, the cavalcade went through another five choes, teetering on a 10-foot wide road.

At a brief stop at Ratwara Sahib, where he addressed the public, the minister announced that the construction of road to Masol would cost Rs 5 crore and would be undertaken under the aegis of the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana.

Dhindsa had planned to travel upto Majri Colony, a virtually inaccessible area beyond Tarapur Majri village. The nine km stretch, however, could not be completed with the choes flowing in full spate. The minister was forced to return after completing a stretch of only four km. “We also showed him the kucchha road between Siswan and Baddi which he promised to get metalled,” said Badali.



1 killed, 3 hurt as lightning strikes tree
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
A man was killed and three others were injured when lightning struck a tree at Majri Chowk, Sector 1, today. Eyewitnesses said a number of people were standing under the tree to take shelter from the downpour when the mishap occurred.

Om Prakash, a rickshaw-puller from Kharag Magoli, and his friend, Balbir too were standing under the tree while two others were sitting at some distance. When lightning struck, Om Prakash died on the spot, while Balbir sustained injuries along with two others.

They were rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, by INLD office-bearer Manoj Aggarwal, who has a shop in the vicinity. “We only heard an explosion and rushed to see what had happened. The eye witnesses told us that lightning had struck a tree. Immediately, I took out the car and rushed all four to the hospital,” Aggarwal said.

While two people were discharged after being administered first aid, Om Prakash was declared dead and Balbir has been kept under observation.



Man strangled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A man in his mid-thirties was found murdered near the busy Tribune Chowk here this morning. The victim was apparently strangled to death, as a shirt was found tied tightly around his neck.

The victim has been identified as Nenke, alias Rangeela, a rickshaw-puller. He was homeless and used to sleep under a tree near a rickshaw stand at Tribune Chowk. He hails from Pure Than village in Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to rickshaw-pullers operating from the rickshaw stand, the victim was seen drinking with one Jagdambe, an acquaintance of his. Jagdambe also hails from Gonda and is said to be a petty thief. Jagdambe and Nenke’s rickshaws were missing. Some of them suspected that the murder could be the handiwork of Jagdambe.

The body was lying on ground under the tree and a blanket was spread beside it. The victim was wearing black underwear, a vest and a shirt, which was unbuttoned. Blood was oozing out of his left ear. No other visible injury was found on the body. There was no sign of struggle on the spot.

The death came to light at around 8 a.m., when someone spotted the body and informed the police. Some rickshaw-pullers also reached there and one of them informed the victim’s brother Chabeela of a resident of Hallo Majra village, about the death.

Chabeela told the police that his brother was an alcoholic and never stayed with him. His wife died a few days after the marriage. He came to Chandigarh about three years ago and began plying rickshaw to eke out a living. Expressing ignorance about Nenke’s enmity with any one, Chabeela told media persons that he came to the city on Sunday evening. He had joined as cleaner with a trucker about a month ago and had no idea about Nenke’s activities and his friends.

The police called experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to examine the spot. During examination, no extra injury was found on the body. The experts could not find any trace of killers from victim’s nails, which also indicated that there was no struggle during the murder.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station said prima facie evidence indicated that it was a murder and a case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered in this connection. He said the police had questioned rickshaw-pullers present at the stand and were trying to trace Jagdambe. 



Arbitration Act
Law Ministry working on amendments
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, is likely to witness some amendments keeping in view the radical changes in the domain of arbitration and mediation, internationally as well as nationally.

Law ministry sources revealed that law minister H.R. Bhardwaj had said at a recent meeting of the governing council of the International Centre of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) that law secretary T.K. Viswanathan was re-examining the said Act.

Viswanathan was looking into the necessary amendments to be made in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. Also, a round table conference of experts might be arranged to discuss the proposed amendments, the sources added.

Importantly, the said amendments could also be discussed in the proposed conference on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to be held in Hyderabad in October-November. The law minister’s disclosure came following a proposal by K.K. Venugopal, an eminent lawyer who was also present in the said meeting, that a review of the Act was required in view of conflicting judgments of the apex court.

Agreeing with Venugopal, Milon.K. Banerji, attorney-general of India, too mentioned that the arbitration law should deal separately with domestic and international commercial disputes.

Even as the arbitration Act was discussed, the law minister informed the meeting that a UK-based mediation centre, Centre for Affective Dispute resolution, had evinced interest in training mediators in India through the ICADR.

The ICADR is the country’s nodal arbitration and mediation body located in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. The World Bank too has also recently expressed desire to financially support the body and offered grants and loan at concessional rate of interest.

The sources said the law minister, who is also the chairman of the ICADR, that the UK-based mediation centre was “prepared to train mediators in India with the ICADR playing an instrumental role in the process”.

The minister also informed the council that legal firms in the UK were very keen to work in India on reciprocity basis and the opportunity should be “utilised by us”.

Incidentally, the law minister had visited the UK in June where he interacted with various legal luminaries over the issue of alternative dispute resolution and bolstering of legal cooperation between the two nations

The minister disclosed that Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Lady Philips were likely to visit India in March, 2008.

It was also revealed at the meeting that a tentative booking had been made in a leading New Delhi hotel and two committees formed to coordinate the matters relating to the conference. Importantly, the sources also informed that the Permanent Court of Arbitration was also likely to open up its regional centre in New Delhi and its modalities were being worked out. The proposal came from the Hague-based court three years ago.



Cong flays decision to demolish houses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The decision of the Chandigarh administration to demolish the Type 13 houses and construct multi-stroryed flats in their place has drawn flak from the Congress.

Councillor from ward no 18 Devinder Singh Babla, in a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, criticised the orders passed by the administration to demolish 4,000-5,000 houses.

The administration is all set to defame the Congress, Babla said, urging the Prime Minister to instruct the administration to reconsider the decision.

The decision will lead to law and order problems as over 20,000 persons will be adversely affected.



Admn to honour 20 achievers on Independence Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Harveen Sarao, winner of the gold medal in shooting at the World Universiade at Bangkok recently, is one of the 20 achievers in different fields who will be honoured by the Chandigarh administration at the Independence Day function on August 15.

Bhopinder Banta Singh, a veteran athlete, and Mukesh Lal, an NRI settled in Germany, will be awarded for promotion of sports and culture.

The candidates who will be honoured for meritorious services include A.K. Malhotra, general manager (tourism), CITCO, Manjeet Jauhar, computer coordinator and head of the Computer Department at Vivek High School, constable Ravinder Kumar, Vigilance Cell, Mukesh Kumar, PA to IG (Prisons), R.K. Prashar, superintendent in DC office, cadet Kundan Singh, Second Bn NCC, head constable Hari Om, constable Kushal Singh, Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Sector 42, and Amandeep Kaur, director, Health Services.

Gaurav Gaur, a social activist in the field of HIV/AIDS, Fr Jose Sabastian from Don Bosco Navjeevan Church, Manju Bhalla and Neena Tewari have been selected for the commendation certificate in the category of social service.

Devanshi Mishra, a student of Class IX at Delhi Public School, and Ananya Bandlish, a student of 4th standard, Ryan International School, will be given the commendation certificates for contribution to the field of arts.

Gulshan Girdhar, PA to the home secretary, has been awarded for social service and devotion to duty. 



Asian orthodontic meet to be held in India
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Asian Pacific Orthodontic Society has agreed to the proposal of the Indian Orthodontic Society (IOS) to host the eighth biennial Asian Pacific Orthodontic Conference (APOC) in India. Around 4,000 delegates from many foreign countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, will participate in the conference. The proposed venue for the biennial event to be held in 2012 is India International Expo Centre, Greater Noida.

The IOS was able to won the bid despite a stiff competition and opposition from many countries, including Japan and Malaysia. The subtle and remarkable presentation about the proposal in the meeting by four members of the IOS tilted the decision in favour of India, said Dr Ashok Utreja, chairman, unit of orthodontics, Oral Health Sciences Centre, PGI, who is the president of the IOS. The proposal got the support from Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, said Dr Utreja.

The executive committee meeting of the Asian society that held at Bali in Indonesia took the decision in this regard on Wednesday. However, Chandigarh lost the opportunity to host the conference. The absence of an international airport and lack of facilities to accommodate thousands of delegates participating in the conference were pointed out by the Asian society while rejecting the city as venue for the conference.



Army finds 35,000 sleeping bags defective
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Army has found around 35,600 special sleeping bags procured from a foreign supplier to be defective. The ministry of defence has initiated action against the firm.

The sleeping bags were procured for soldiers deployed in high-altitude areas. A total of 35,580 such bags were rejected by the directorate-general, quality assurance (DGQA), according to the information released by the ministry today.

The Army’s annual requirement of special sleeping bags is 27,351, with an equal number of bags to be stocked at the Headquarters. Besides, the Army requires 25 items of special clothing to be used in high-altitude areas where soldiers do their duties in extreme cold climates.

The quantities of items varies from 13,676 pieces to around 3,83,000 pieces each, with an equal amount of reserves. Admitting that there have been shortages in supplies of special clothing and sleeping bags, the ministry has cited the long procurement cycle in such cases as the reason.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Committee on Defence had rapped the ministry and the DGQA for procurement of around 8,600 defective sleeping bags, meant for troops deployed in Siachen, from a French company at a cost of about Rs 8 crore. 



City looks at solar power option
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A team from MST, an Israel-based company dealing in renewable energy, made a presentation before the Chandigarh administration for setting up a 250 MW solar power plant in Chandigarh today.

The administration has no power generation stations of its own and is entirely depending upon the BBMB and central generating stations like the NTPC, NHPC and NPCIL for meeting the power requirements of the city. In order to make Chandigarh self sufficient to meet its power requirements, the administration plans to set up a power plant of its own.

The team, comprising Dov Raviv, Roy Rosenstrich, Alexender Libin and Andrey Arkhipov, made the presentation before S.K. Sandhu, F.S.-cum-secretary engineering and other senior officers of the administration. The proposal for setting up the solar power plant using concentrated photovoltaic technology was discussed in detail. The team also visited the possible sites, including Patiala-ki-Rao and 
Sukhna Choe. 



Morcha members to observe fast today
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha members and their supporters will observe a fast on the Independence Day eve tomorrow against the “arbitrary” policies of the Chandigarh Administration, especially the forcible land acquisition in the periphery of the city.

“Whether it is policies for industries, schools, housing, transport or civic amenities, the administration has paid scant attention to the persons who are most affected by their course of action. Successive Administrators come, execute plans and depart without any accountability, leaving the city in chaos. The new unplanned developments (IT Park, Amusement Park, Film and Media City, Medi City, resettlement colonies for illegal squatters et al) will see an influx of over 5-7 lakh people in the city in the next few years”, a press note said.



PGI OPDs closed on Aug 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
All OPDs at the PGI shall remain closed on August 15 on account of Independence Day. Emergency services, however, would continue to function, said a press release.



Journalist bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Abhishek Prashar, son of A.S. Prashar, former news coordinator of The Tribune and now working as the bureau chief of the Hind Samachar group of 
newspapers, died due to natural causes here this morning.

Abhishek was the elder of the two sons of Prashar. The cremation took place here this afternoon. The Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana, Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, condoled the death of Abhishek.

Others who mourned his death included information and public relations minister Punjab Bikram Singh Majithia and media adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister Harcharan Bains.



Passengers’ woes

The public transport situation in Haryana is a cause for concern. Passengers particularly daily commutters have been facing a number of problem. Most of the buses running from Chandigarh to Delhi, prefer not to take passengers for Ambala cantt. The situation is worst at The Tribune chowk. The conductors close the doors and do not permit despite there being sufficient space to accommodate passengers. The Tribune chowk is a convenent location for the people residing in Sectors 31, 32, 46, 47 and the industrial area to board buses for Ambala cantt or Delhi. But only a few buses stop here, others keep the doors locked from inside and the conductors do not permit the passengers to enter during peak hours — about 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

I request the Transport Minister, Haryana, Randeep Singh Surjewala, to look into the difficulties of the passengers and depute some official to sort out the problems.

Manjit Singh, Ambala Cantt

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



‘Custodial death’ in Manimajra police station
FIR against SI  made tougher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The UT police today informed the Division Bench, comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Rajive Bhalla, that it had changed the FIR registered against SI Narinder Singh and inserted Section 304 IPC instead of Section 304-A IPC in it.

The Bench has asked the police to place a copy of the FIR before it tomorrow.

The SI had been accused of torturing a Colony no 4 resident, Anil Kumar, in police custody, leading to his death. During the previous hearing, the UT police had informed the court that an FIR under Section 304-A had been lodged against the SI.

Anil Kumar’s mother Phulwati had sought that a case be registered against SI Narinder Singh for allegedly beating his son to death at the Manimajra police station.

She had further pleaded that investigation into the said case be handed over to the CBI or any other independent investigation agency.

The Bench had pulled up the police for the delay in lodging the FIR and later for adding relatively weaker penal sections.

Phulwati’s counsel Sanjeeva Gupta had averred that the police was trying to fool many people.

Earlier, the Bench had also sought medical and case records relating to the 21-yr-old youth’s death.

The police had come out with all sorts of theories ranging from road accident to fall from a tree to suicide by jumping from the 11-feet-high first floor of the police station.

The PGI post-mortem report had ruled out suicide as there were no head or spinal injuries that may result from a fall.

On the other hand, there were injuries on the body, including private parts, of the accused.



Car thieves’ gang busted
Were working as gym instructors
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 13
The Mohali police claimed to have busted a high-profile gang of car thieves who were reportedly working as gym instructors. Panchkula resident Rohit Sharma and Chandigarh resident Alexander were arrested in this regard.

Mohali SSP RS Khatra said the two were arrested along with the stolen cars by a team led by Nayagaon SHO Gurjeet Singh on the Nada road. During interrogation, Rohit reportedly told the police that he was working as a gym instructor in Panchkula and admitted that he had stolen the Accent car that he was driving. The original number of the car is HR 3-0976.

Rohit’s friend Alexander reportedly told the police that he was working as a gym instructor in Chandigarh. He said he would keep a tab on the car keys of those who came to work out in his gym. While the clients were busy exercising, he would drive their cars away. He admitted that he had stolen a Skoda (CH03X7162) in this manner. The two have been booked under various sections of the IPC.



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