C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

UT to honour its champs
Gold medal & Rs 1 lakh each
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,September 28
The Chandigarh administration has decided to honour cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Asia Cup winners Raj Pal Singh, Baljit Singh and Jaswinder Singh for their accomplishments.

UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues will honour the city-based players with a gold medal and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh each. Yuvraj Singh, cricket team vice-captain, hit a record six sixes an over against England. His powerful knock against Australia helped India reach the finals and subsequently in winning Twenty20 World Cricket.

Raj Pal Singh, Baljit Singh and Jaswinder Singh were members of the victorious Asia Cup squad.

Chandigarh sports department director I.S. Sandhu, who is Additional DC, UT, said: “Honouring international players is a step towards motivating them as well as promoting sports in the city, which has produced several big names in the international arena.”

“The administration is happy with the achievements of its players.To promote sports further, we will provide more facilities conforming to international standards, ” said Sandhu. 



2 officials held for graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Sleuths of the CBI allegedly arrested two officials of the market committee in Sector 26 while accepting a bribe this afternoon.

According to sources, commission agent Aman Sood complained to the investigating agency that Darshan Singh, mandi supervisor, and Gurminder Singh, auction recorder, were demanding Rs 10,000 from him, threatening that if this was not done they would ‘penalise’ him.

The CBI laid a trap and Gurminder was caught in Aman Sood’s shop by the sleuths. He told the officials that Darshan Singh had sent him there. The CBI then arrested Darshan Singh from his office.

On September 15, a show-cause notice was issued to Gurminder Singh by committee officials when SDM Ankur Garg found a loaded truck parked in the market area, even when there was no record of the vehicle in the auction recorder’s entry book.

Darshan Singh and Gurminder Singh both have been suspended by DC R.K. Rao. 



No necklace; it’s colonial
MC house rejects proposal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The issue of necklace of authority for the city Mayor was vehemently opposed by Congress councillors at a meeting of the MC house meeting today and the agenda finally rejected by the house.

Nominated councillor Kuldip Singh Chandpuri had come well-prepared, armed with photographs of necklaces worn by people in different offices across the world. Agitated Congress councillors said it was the Mayor who wanted the necklace, but were checked by a senior member who said the Mayor “ is not here to stay forever.”

The matter ended with MC commissioner stating that when Jawaharlal Nehru conceived the idea of Chandigarh, he wanted the city to be a symbol of a modern democracy. “However, by putting such a proposal, we are going back to the colonial period,” he argued.

The proposal for a badge of honour for councillors was also rejected by the house. It was, however, agreed to have a best councillor award and an honour board. The house also cleared the certain annual events. It was decided to hold Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports in November. 



Bhardwaj gets three months more
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
In an unprecedented move, the UT administrator is learnt to have given his consent for three months extension to outgoing UT chief engineer V K Bhardwaj. He is due to retire in November, 2007.

His extension has been linked with important projects like the underpasses, the IT park and mono rail project which are currently being handled by him. The approval to give the extension was given today and it had been conveyed to the chief engineer, said sources.

Adviser Lalit Sharma said he had sent the proposal to the UT administrator for approval but he had not received it back. He said he had recommended his extension as he had gone to Brussels to study Bhardwaj gets 3 months more

the underpasses and the report had yet not been submitted. Incidentally, the administration had denied a similar extension to former UT chief engineer Puranjit Singh, who had retired in 2003. In the history of the UT engineering department ever since P.L. Verma took over as the chief engineer in July 1951, no technocrat has been given such a relief.

On the other hand, the chief engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), S.K. Jain, who had been handling a number of projects, was relieved a few days back to join on deputation with the Delhi Government.



World Heart Day Tomorrow
Have a heart, walk
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
A 30-minute walk and a balanced diet is all it takes to reduce the risk of heart diseases, emphasises Dr K.K. Talwar, director of PGI and renowned cardiologist.

With World Heart Day falling on September 30, the heart specialist says that life style changes are a must. As opposed to the earlier belief that the rich and affluent alone suffered from heart trouble, particularly in developed countries, it has now been found the disease has spread across all sections. The young too are reaching hospitals with the problem, says Dr Talwar.

A balanced diet, including seasonal fruits and vegetables, with controlled consumption of refined oil and desi ghee and physical activity in routine can help in a big way to keep the heart healthy.

The use of rice bran oil, not more than half a litre in a month, and just 15 gm of desi ghee everyday is sufficient for good health, says Dr Talwar. Milk, curd and butter are also supplements for desi ghee, adds Dr Talwar.

There are an estimated 45 million patients of coronary artery diseases in India and with a roller-coaster lifestyle, the future looks more grim.

By 2020, heart diseases will account for one-third of all deaths.



Hard talk: UT lacks teeth
Projects hit by red tapism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Bidding adieu to the city, outgoing UT adviser Lalit Sharma today said there was insufficient delegation of administrative and financial powers to the union territory.

Doing some hard talk on various issues concerning the city and its development, a modest bureaucrat said expeditious decision had suffered as the Centre took long time in proceeding with the UT’s request.

Most projects, requiring financial approval beyond Rs 10 crore, are delayed for the Centre’s approval. Providing manpower services and addressing employees issues also suffered. He advocated better redistribution of work by the Chandigarh Administration.

Known for his righteous approach, the 1971-batch IAS officer becomes the first officer to retire from the post of UT adviser after putting in 36 years of service. He will hand over the charge to 1975-batch officer Pradip Mehra.

Lalit Sharma is credited for making the excise policy people-oriented, bringing the city on the international cricket circuit, reforming the allotment rules of the Estate Office and pushing the mono rail project.

During his three-year stint, he stood by his team of officers with the exception of a Vigilance inquiry ordered against officials in the Estate Office over not obeying his quasi judicial orders to restore the resumed properties.

In an interaction with mediapersons, the outgoing adviser said when he joined here around three years ago, most of the problems were of the rich. He was modest in admitting that the list of what he could not do was large as compared to what he was able to do for the city. Lot needed to be done, he said.

He felt that the technology had changed everything and the “antiquated” rules need to be revised and the prime concern should be public safety.

The bureaucrat was talking in context of changes in the allotment rules and building bylaws initiated by him. “The 300-page allotment rules have been reduced to 15 pages so that the leg work of the citizens was minimised”, he held.

On being asked about the voices of protest over the disfiguring of the city and tampering with its master plan, Lalit Sharma said the demographic profile of the city was undergoing a change. One should be receptive to orderly change.

Talking about various initiatives taken by the administration, he said a four-pronged approach had been adopted in chalking out the future plans. He claimed that the administration was transparent to itself and the public.

For transfer of powers to the MC, he said civic body should extend its jurisdiction to all villages and sought commitment on the date for including the villages from MC commissioner P.S. Aujla, who was present during the interaction, along with finance secretary S.K. Sandhu and home secretary Krishna Mohan.



Comprehensive district agriculture plan soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
By the end of the next year, all districts in the country would be covered under the comprehensive district agriculture plan.

The plan is a comprehensive approach for the development of agriculture and allied sector, both in physical and financial terms with an objective to achieve continuous and sustained agricultural growth.

Stating this here today, member planning commission, Prof Abhijit Sen added that a comprehensive approach to the development of agriculture is required, which should cover all aspects like technology, resource management and financial planning.

The recent National Development Council meeting, of which all chief ministers are a part, set a precedent by focusing exclusively on agriculture, which showed reorientation of thinking and the move to make agriculture a viable entity, he said.

Laying emphasis on strengthening agricultural planning and development, Planning Commission member B N Yugandhar said that states can have the desired pace of development if planning at the district level is effective.

The district agricultural development plan calls for a sustained and broad-based four per cent growth in agriculture and allied sectors.

Improving farmers’ income, reducing disparities across regions and vast employment generation by simultaneously promoting rural agro based industries are also envisioned under the plan.



Diseases knocking at hospital’s gate
Plenty of stagnant water, congress grass growth in its vicinity
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service
The waterlogged entrance of General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula
The waterlogged entrance of General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula.— Tribune Photo by Malkiat Singh

Panchkula, September 28
The General Hospital in Sector 6 here seems to be providing the conditions for cure as well as sickness to the residents. The entrance of the hospital with the stagnant water is a place that the vectors of dengue and malaria, namely mosquitoes, will find to their liking. The congress grass at the gate also presents its own challenges to public health.

The administration, which has been trying to control the mosquito population through fogging, seems to have forgotten the hospital with potholes marking its entrance.

The recent suspected cases of dengue also have not woken the authorities from their deep slumber.

Doctors say that areas where congress grass grows and water stagnates are the main breeding places for mosquitoes and other insects.

Harsh Kumar, a relative of a patient admitted in the hospital said, “The appalling condition at the entrance of the hospital shows that the administration is just wasting money on hoardings about the prevention of dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

“I want to say that the authorities are just paying lip service to the cause of disease prevention.”

Medical superintendent the hospital V.K. Bansal said, “It (stagnant water and wild growth) is there just because of the rainy season. As soon as the season get over the work will be started to clean the surroundings.”



GMSH-16 a death trap
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
It will sound strange but it is true that the building of Government Multispeciality Hospital, Sector 16, has no fire-fighting instruments and, worst to it, the authorities has put the lives of thousands of patients and visitors by sealing the direct entry door of OPDs. With the sealing of this door, the building is left with only two doors at a distance of at least 400 metres between both.

In case of any mishap like breaking of fire or earthquake, there is no exit to escape and the building can prove virtually a death trap, said a doctor.

The building housing emergency services, OPDs and gynae ward, labour room, MTP operation theatre and a oxygen gas godown is visited by more than 1,500 people every day during morning hours.

In addition to it, hundreds of staff members, including doctors, nurses, ward attendants, clerical staff, security staff, and other paramedics, remain present in the building during this time. And in case of any mishap, the stampede is imminent as it will not be possible to exit from the building safely as one has to cover a fair distance before reaching the exit door, said a ward attendant.

Architects said the building itself is not properly designed. The National Building Code of India 2005 even mentions that a buildings of hospitals covering areas more than 500 square metres should be in compartments, said Surinder Bagga, a practising architect at Chandigarh.

These type of buildings require an exit at least after every 30 metres, said Praveen Vashisth, another architect at New Delhi.

During a recce at the building, it was noticed that no fire extinguisher was installed on the ground floor of the building except four extinguishers installed at one entry point. One of these extinguishers also had no marking of date of refilling.

Similarly, just three fire extinguishers were provided on the entry of the first floor of the building which houses trauma ward.

The adjoining six-story building of the hospital housing the wards, biochemistry section, clinical labs and X-ray rooms tells the same story.

Fire extinguishers are installed in every corridor of this building but the authorities have forgotten to replace a majority of these after 2004 even as these should be refilled after one year.

Medical superintendent Usha Bishnoi said they had ordered for the refilling of fire extinguishers and the door of OPD was closed to avoid any untoward incident as the construction work has been started on that side.



Farmers’ body to move SC against land acquisition
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 28
Members of the Kissan Hit Bacaho Committee have decided to move the Supreme Court against a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding acquisition of land in Sectors 76 to 80.

In a press note issued here today the committee general secretary, B.S. Baidwan, said even though the decision of the high court regarding a civil writ petition was not in favour of the farmers, it had also taken away the authority of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to carry out any development activity in Sectors 76 to 80.

Convener of the committee D.P. Singh Baidwan said while the Punjab Chief Minister had made public announcements that land in Punjab would not be acquired without the consent of the farmers concerned, GMADA was allegedly trying to acquire land of farmers in the Mohali area at rates lower than the market price. He asked when farmers of the Mohali district were ready to give their land to the government under the land pooling scheme why were Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and cooperation minister Capt Kanwlajit Singh delaying the implementation of the scheme to which they had agreed before the Assembly elections. He also asked, “Like other areas of Punjab why is the notification issued for acquisition of land for Sectors 88 to 90 not being cancelled?”

President of the committee Tejinder Singh Jakhar said GMADA was giving wrong statements in the court regarding the development of Sectors 76 to 80 and it would be exposed in this regard. He said according to the Indian Constitution people of the minority group could not be deprived of their rights in the name of development. He said that farmers would fight against the forcible acquisition of land. He demanded a vigilance inquiry into the alleged purchase of plots in Sectors 76 to 80 by certain senior officials of the high court and the Punjab government during April and September this year. 



Day of joy for slum kids

Chandigarh, September 28
For slum children of Janta Colony, Sector 25, Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary brought loads of joy. While some came from celebrations, the rest was brought by representatives of a computer company, which donated generously to mark the occasion.

Dell Computers presented 20 slum children — all shoeshine boys —with gifts, including clothes and shoes, during an event organised at Government High School, Sector 24, where the children attend an evening school being run by a society, Theatre Age. The children regaled the guests with two cultural presentations. — TNS



VIP Nos go on the block
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,September 28
Spice Telecom yesterday launched its online auctioning service for its premium numbers in the state.

Spice Telecom has put several mobile number such as octa digit (98555 55555), penta digit 99145 55555, single digit (99145 0000x), double digit 99145 000xy), VIP number (99145 00786) on the block for bidding by both pre-paid and post paid subscribers.

They have also made select numbers from old series’ available for their subscribers. The bidding is open from September 25 for a period of 30 days.”

"We have decided to allocate our select premium and VIP numbers through bidding process whereby the highest bidder will get the number for which he has made the highest bid," stated Mukul Khanna, Vice President (Marketing), Spice Telecom.

BSNL Internet registration

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to simplify the procedure for registration of its NetOne Internet users from October 1.

According to a press release issued here, with the introduction of “on-the-fly registration” all users will be able to access the NetOne Internet service by logging with their 10-digit user ID.



Function for senior citizens

Chandigarh, September 28
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association will organise a “senior citizens day” function at the Bal Bhavan, Sector 23, on October 1 from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. Jean Rodrigues will be the chief guest, according to a press note issued here today.— TNS



Carelessness towards schools

I wish to draw the attention of the Chandigarh administration towards the city schools.

It is interesting to note that the UT education department had called for an increase of vigil at school gates but to the utter disappointment of the school managements and parents, students of GMSS-20, Chandigarh, are often found scaling the school walls during school hours. Not only this, they also indulge in smoking, go for movies and loiter about the markets, in the absence of proper vigil.

This is an on-going trend in this school for past many years and needs to be checked immediately.

In fact, there must be many other such schools in the city, where, due to lack of proper arrangements, students are being allowed to miss out on their precious school hours.

Hope the administration does the needful as early as possible.

Pooja Chandigarh

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Purse stolen from car in gurdwara

Chandigarh, September 28
Sadhu Singh, a resident of Sector 44-D, filed a complaint at police station, Sector 34, in which he alleged that someone has stolen his wife’s purse after cutting glass of left front window of his Maruti Zen car (CH03V-4742) at Sector 44 gurdwara’s premises this morning.

According to sources, Sadhu Singh went to pay obeisance at the gurdwara around 9.30 am with his wife where he parked his car at parking place in the gurdwara premises. — TNS



Four vehicles stolen in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Harpreet Kaur of Sector 22 reported to the police that her Maruti Zen car (DL 04 CH 1131) was stolen from the Sector 9 market on Wednesday morning. The police has registered a case.

In another incident, Dina Nath of Mani Majra reported to the police that his Hero Honda motor cycle (CH 03 H 5040) was stolen from his residence last evening.

A case of theft under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Also, Surender Sharma of Sector 28 reported to the police that his Hero Honda Splendor motor cycle (CH 03 A 0886) was stolen from the High Court parking on Thursday. A case of theft under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

In yet another incident, Joginder Singh of Sector 52 lodged a complaint of theft of his motor cycle (CH 03 M 0149) from his residence on Monday night.


An unidentified motorcyclist snatched a purse of Meena Sharma of Talwara, Hoshiarpur district, near Government Model Senior School, Sector 16, last evening. She alleged that the purse contained Rs 5,000 in cash and an ATM card. The police has registered a case.

Laptop stolen

Viney Kumar of Panchkula lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his laptop and Rs 22,500 in cash were stolen from his car parked in front of the community centre, Mani Majra on Thursday.

A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Driver booked

A case under Sections 279/427, IPC, has been registered by the police against Bobby, a driver of mixer-tipper, bearing registration number HR 36L 7612, as he damaged two electricity poles in the Phase I of Industrial Area in the wee hours today.



3 kids stealing water meters nabbed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 28
The residents here handed over three young children who were trying to steal water meters from a house in Phase XI. According to the local councillor Amrik Singh Tehsildar the incident took place at about 7 pm when a resident of 725 MIG house here found three children trying to unscrew a water meter from his residence. The children were nabbed before they could take the meter and a stolen meter was recovered from them.

The councillor and other residents handed over the children to the police who are investigating the matter. The councillor said the children seemed to be 10-year-olds and belonged to Jagatpura colony here. 



Three booked for kidnap...
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 28
The local police has registered a case against three unidentified persons for allegedly kidnapping the son of businessman Nishchay Pathak near Sector 9 market on Thursday.

The miscreants had allegedly dropped the victim on the Zirakpur road before fleeing in their auto-rickshaw.

The police said Nishchay, a schoolboy, in his statement to the police claimed that the school bus dropped him near his house at Sector 9 market.

He was on his way home when an auto-rickshaw stopped and three unidentified persons pushed him on to the vehicle. They then used a sedative, which rendered him unconscious.

The police added that the kidnappers dropped the boy on the Zirakpur road on seeing some policemen busy easing the flow of traffic.

One of the policemen noticed Nishchay laying on the road. The mater was reported to the Panchkula police through the Zirakpur police.



2 for harbouring

Zirakpur, September 28
The police here booked two men on charges of harbouring a criminal. The Patiala police yesterday arrested proclaimed offender Gurcharan Singh alias Jenta and during his interrogation it was found that he had been harboured by Ashok Kumar and Sukhbir Singh, both residents of Zirakpur, when he was on the run. The two were living at New Generation Apartments, Dhaokli. Police registered a case under Sections 212 and 216 of the IPC against the two. — TNS



Stamp papers worth Rs 40 lakh stolen

Mohali, September 28
Thieves decamped with Rs 40 lakh worth of stamp papers from the car of a property dealer by smashing the windowpane of the car here yesterday. The incident took place in the afternoon yesterday in the Sector 70 market parking. Gurpreet Singh of Preet Land Developers had parked his car outside his showroom in the market. “The car window was smashed and my briefcase missing from inside the car. 

The briefcase contained only blank stamp papers worth Rs 40 lakh,” said Gurpreet Singh. Gurpreet added that could only be used by someone other than the persons in whose name these had been bought. He added that the stamp papers were bought from Fatehgarh Sahib and were numbered. The police have registered a case. — TNS



Illegal autos have a free run
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
It’s a virtual free run for auto-rickshaws from other states on city roads as a majority of these entering the city from Punjab and Haryana are unauthorised.

Most of the auto-rickshaw drivers do not have a valid permit to commute on the city roads and continue to make hay while the UT administration turns a blind eye to the violations.

Auto-rickshaws, registered with their respective states i.e. Punjab and Haryana, entering the city need a permit against a prescribed fee (Rs 140) to ply in city.

However, these auto-rickshaws continue to ply right under the nose of the UT administration, as scores of these can be seen on the Jan Marg as well as the Madhya Marg.

This is in gross violation of Section 192 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which defines plying without permit as a punishable offence, attracting a fine of up to Rs 3,000.

Scores of auto-rickshaws wait for customers right in front of the ISBT-17 and are challaned rarely. “It’s a matter of greasing the palm of traffic police officials and we get to park the vehicle at our preferred place,” says an auto-rickshaw driver.

“We are in the process of reaching an agreement on the new transport policy with the governments of Punjab and Haryana,” said Vandana Disodia, secretary, state transport authority (STA), UT.

Also, a majority of auto-rickshaws registered in Chandigarh ply in Punjab and Haryana illegally.

The STA has been booking the offenders under the provisions of the Act in the past but has failed to curtail their activity, sources said.

In 2003, auto-rickshaws were barred from entering the city, which resulted in outcry both from auto-rickshaw owners and commuters. Since then, no agreement has ever been reached on paper among the three governments and the violation of Act continues, added the sources.



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