C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cricket fans choke ticket counters
Thousands were in queue since morning, but 
sale started at noon
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Uncontrolled crowds, a mild lathi charge, clashes, a stampede and poor arrangements at counters marked the opening of sale of ODI tickets here today.

Bugged by the cricket mania, people started gathering at the branches of the Union Bank of India (Sectors 7 and 35) and the Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank (Sectors 22, 17 and Mani Majra) last evening.

By 11.30 am today, thousands of fans, not only from the city but also far-flung places like Panipat, Faridabad and Ferozepore, gathered at the sale counters. There were long queues in front of the banks. This annoyed the shopkeepers in the vicinity as it affected business.

At the Sector 7 UBI branch, where thousands had lined up since morning, the sale of tickets started at noon. As many as 25 police officials, seven of them women, tried to control the surging crowd.

It was worse for the fairer sex. As men pushed and elbowed their way to the front, girls in the queue were unable to reach the ticket window. Most of them were stuck as finding their way out was almost impossible.The policemen had a tough time controlling the crowd and at one time had to had to use mild force, which also failed to bring order.

“We came at 4 am and occupied the first place but the crowd pushed us out of the queue,” said a bitterly disappointed Nikita and her friend Ishita, college students.

At the Sector 17 Cooperative Bank, where student tickets were on sale, the situation was worse.The long queues blocked the path of employees of nearby offices. Many could not reach their office in time while those inside could not come out.

The scene at Sectors 22 and 35 and Mani Majra was no different.

There were no arrangements for senior citizens and the challenged “How can I get a ticket in such a rush? It is not possible to enter the bank,” said 50-year-old Usha, expressing disappointment at the poor arrangements.

All tickets worth Rs 250 were sold in 30 minutes at the Sectors 7 and 35 counters. Ravneet from Ferozepore not only fell unconscious, but also lost Rs 1,000 in the rush at Sector 35.

“I smell something fishy as it is not possible to sell the tickets in just half an hour when it takes more than five minutes to sell one ticket,” said Navin Kumar of Kurukshetra.

Haryana Cricket Association officials claim they sent one-third of the stock to the banks. “The same number of tickets will be sent tomorrow and on October 6,” said Surinder Singh Baijee, HCA joint secretary.

Both banks got 2,440 tickets each. Each bank got 550 students tickets, 665 general block tickets (Rs 250) and 500 tickets of the VIP block (Rs 3,000).

“We did not get a VIP lounge (Rs 7,500) ticket today,” said a bank official of the Cooperative Bank. The administration claimed that 9,500 tickets had been sold out.

The administration will arrange for the live telecast of the match at the Sectors 17, 18, 22 and 23 markets as well as Dadumajara, Bapu Dham Colony, Industrial Area, Ram Darbar and Mani Majara. 

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Fire at stadium’s media centre 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
With three days left for the ODI between India and Australia, a fire broke out in the press conference hall of the newly built media centre at the Sector 16 cricket stadium this afternoon.

It is believed that a short circuit caused the fire, which was controlled within minutes and caused injury to none. SK Sandhu, finance secretray, said the SE ( electrical) had been directed to submit the findings of the inquiry into the incident by tomorrow evening.

A team of senior officials of the Chandigarh administration have been “camping” at the venue to oversee arrangements for the match.

Officials said a roof-mounted inlet of the airconditioner fell down after catching fire. Four more AC inlets in the hall and two in the adjoining veranda suffered damage. The walls and floor of the hall were blackened with the smoke emanating from the fire.

Two fire tenders, including an advanced fire technology (AFT) vehicle, were rushed to the stadium. The fire was put out by a foam extinguisher.

Eyewitnesses said the tenders reached the spot after 10 minutes even when the fire station is just about a kilometre from the stadium. However, fire officials claimed that the tenders reached within two minutes.

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Vexed at birth of girl, man tries suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Disheartened over the birth of a girl, a 24-year-old cook attempted suicide by hanging himself at his Burail residence in the wee hours here today. The police registered a case of attempted suicide under Section 309 of the IPC against Babu Ram.

At 3.30 am today when Babu Ram’s wife Puja woke up, she was shocked to find her husband hanging from a ceiling fan. She raised an alarm following which neighbours gathered at their house. Babu Ram was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where his condition was stated to be “stable”.

Puja told the police she gave birth to a girlchild a month ago. After that her husband turned rude towards her and he started complaining.

Babu Ram works in a restaurant in Sector 35.

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UT hastens trial of delinquents
Aditi Tandon
TNS

Chandigarh, October 4
Juveniles in conflict with law finally stand a chance of speedy trial. Alarmed by the backlog of cases pending for years under the Juvenile Justice Act, the UT has finally constituted a second juvenile justice board for Chandigarh. The purpose is to handle cases at the earliest as the Juvenile Justice Act directs disposal within four months.

In Chandigarh, as many as 346 cases dating back to 1997, 1998 and 2000 have been lingering due to frequent adjournments and limited court time. Half of these will now be heard by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate appointed as principal magistrate of the new juvenile court which will assist the one held by CJM Y.S. Rathore every Thursday from 2 to 4 pm.

In February this year, the CJM had expressed the need for a new board. “It is not possible to hold more than one sitting a week of the juvenile board due to heavy pendency of cases in my court, which is 4,486,” the CJM had then stated. The District and Sessions Judge referred the letter to the director, social welfare, UT, in May this year and the administration notified a new juvenile home in September.

Forwarding the CJM’s letter, the District and Sessions Judge observed: “Keeping in view the heavy pendency of cases, an additional juvenile justice board headed by Additional CJM J.S. Binder may be constituted.”

The new juvenile board has two social workers as members, as per the practice. On its third hearing today, it disposed of two petty cases, including one of theft which had been pending since 2000.

Till now, children had been facing harassment as they had to be present in court for the cases, whether or not they were on bail.

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BSP: Govt gone wrong with atta-dal scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Criticising the Punjab government for its anti-poor policies and failure to implement the atta-dal scheme, activists of the BSP from across the state today staged a dharna and held a protest march in the city this afternoon.

Members of the Punjab unit of the BSP marched toward Punjab Raj Bhawan in the afternoon. They were stopped by the police, and despite traffic diversions, commuters were put to inconvenience.

The police allowed a delegation of protesters to go to Raj Bhawan to hand over the memorandum.

Avtar Singh Karimpuri, in charge of the Punjab unit of the BSP, said the government had failed to redress grievances of a larger section of society. They condemned the government for encouraging the contract system of employment in public sectors and over the rising prices of commodities of daily use.

They sought withdrawal of hike in power tariff and proper implementation of the atta-dal scheme in the state.

They said with the hike in the fee structure of medical colleges, the government had deprived the poorer section of higher education. They stated that 193 seats for poor students in medical colleges in the state were vacant in this session.

Narinder Kashyap, national general secretary of the BSP, said within seven months of its formation, the government had raised electricity rates by 25 to 30 per cent. 

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Panchkula MC chief visits wards
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
With the next Municipal Council just five months away, the reinstated president Seema Chaudhary has begun her visits to the wards to ascertain the quantum of work to be carried out on priority.
Panchkula MC president Seema Chaudhary visits Sector 9, Panchkula, with area councillor Jalmegha Dahiya
Panchkula MC president Seema Chaudhary visits Sector 9, Panchkula, with area councillor Jalmegha Dahiya on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Malkiat Singh

With a junior engineer in tow, Chaudhary, accompanied by various other officials, has already visited four of the 31 wards since yesterday, after she officially joined following the Haryana government’s notification.

“The idea behind these visits is to carry out inspections of ongoing works and take the opinion of councillors on works they want done on priority. We want to make the most of the few months that are left before the election. Like this, we will at least be able to assess the works that need immediate attention and can be completed well before election time,” she said.

In all four wards, ill-maintained roads with crater-sized potholes are the main cause of concern among councillors. While the roads are broken at most places and need complete recarpeting, patchwork would suffice at other places where the situation is not as bad.

“Besides roads, most councillors are dissatisfied about the lack of development of parks. Though some parks are well kept and well lit, there are others, which are still untouched. The area councillors have asked for installation of lights in these parks and repair of non-functional lights and replacement of broken swings which could injure the children playing on them,” Chaudhary explained.

During her visit to Sector 9 along with area councillor Jalmegha Dahiya, she visited the market area where heaps of garbage greeted her. She was shown the parks needing funds for development and the state of internal roads of the ward.

“We are taking estimates of all works that need to be done during my visits. These are simultaneously being prepared as agenda items for the meeting I will hold shortly. We will know exactly what every councillor wants and can begin work soon after these are approved at the House meeting. We will hold the meeting after I am through with most of the wards,” she stated.

Meanwhile, at a meeting held at the MC office, a team of the Urban Local Bodies asked the officers to complete the population count within the municipal limits by mid-November to enable fresh delimitation of wards so that the Election Commission has three months at its disposal.

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Mohali Mess
Neglect ‘parked’ in marketplaces
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 4
For years, various market associations have been complaining non-stop to the authorities to improve the condition of parking areas in these markets. The solution to the parking problems has not been provided yet.
The parking area of an internal market in Phase X surrounded by a thick growth of wild grass
The parking area of an internal market in Phase X surrounded by a thick growth of wild grass. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Parking areas outside markets in phases VII, IX and X are in a bad shape. Road carpeting is non-existent at many parking places and there are potholes at other places.

The good news is from Phases V, II and I where the markets have brand new parking areas but there too action did not come easy.

The parking was repaired after three years of struggle by the market 
association.

Maintenance of parking places is the responsibility of the Municipal Council but it seems like the council is taking its own sweet time to wake up to the problems being faced by market associations.

Parking places of many internal markets are misused for school buses and nobody has paid any attention to the surroundings either.

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Reservation of seats for wards of Army personnel
Army institute’s plea dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Dismissing a petition filed by Pathankot-based Army Institute of Higher Education challenging the State of Punjab's notification reserving 15 per cent seats for state residents through centralised counselling, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the "institute cannot be allowed to claim that all the seats could be filled exclusively by the wards/dependants of army personnel, ignoring other meritorious students".

The Bench, comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ajai Lamba, further elaborated: "The contention that eligibility could be determined only by the institute by restricting it to a particular class cannot be accepted as the same will be against Article 14 and will also amount to 100 per cent reservation".

The judges added: "We cannot allow a petition for a direction to fill up all the seats out of wards/dependants of army personnel. Admissions to the institution have to be on merits, open to all eligible candidates, to be regulated in accordance with law, including directions contained in the judgement in P.A.Inamdar."

Seeking the quashing of the notification dated April 13, 2006, and May 7, 2007, on the issue B.Ed admissions by a university authorised by the state of Punjab, the petitioner had earlier contended that state residents could not be admitted to the institute as they were running colleges exclusively for the wards/dependants of army personnel. 

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Cave-in: Close shave for two
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Two labourers had a providential escape this afternoon when earth caved in at a construction site in Phase II, Industrial Area.

They had got buried under the earth and were rushed to the GMCH-32 from where they were discharged after first aid.

The police said Guru and Vijay Anand got buried while digging the basement of a showroom. They were 10 feet into the ground when the earth caved in.

The labourers were pulled out after about 30 minutes. One of them suffered head injuries while the other sustained minor injuries.

The police said the matter was being looked into. 

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FCI staff stage dharna

Chandigarh, October 4
Employees of the FCI, Chandigarh, staged a day-long dharna in front of the Sector 40 office of the FCI area manager against “anti-employee” policies of the executive director, north zone, Noida.

They demanded the withdrawal of disciplinary action against employees in a five-year-old case, and no disciplinary action against employees till the finalisation of norms on storage losses or transit losses.

They also protested against suo motu opening of already decided vigilance cases. Their other demands include the payment of overtime allowances to employees for actual work done, no compulsory retirement of employees and fresh recruitment at entry level of class II, III and IV employees.

Bhartiya Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh (BKNKS) district chairman Yogesh Jairath, sangh’s additional senior state secretary Sutantar Kumar and state FCI chairman, class IV employees, Sukhdev Kumar addressed the gathering.

The employees of the Punjab region will hold a dharna in front of the office of general manager (region), FCI, regional office, Punjab, Chandigarh on October 11. — TNS

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Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Sat Parkash Tribune employee Sat Parkash died in the PGI here on Wednesday morning after a brief illness. He was 56.

He joined The Tribune’s fire-cum-security wing in 1995.

He was from Mand Kheri village of Yamunanagar in Haryana.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.

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Officer suspended for fake ration cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The district administration today suspended an assistant food and supplies officer (AFSO), Shiv Shambu Sharma, for issuing rations cards against non-existing addresses.

The director, food and supplies, has also recommended registration of an FIR against him. The suspension orders were issued on the basis of findings of an inquiry conducted by officials of the food and supplies department.

The AFSO had recently been reinstated by the administration on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The case pertained to an FIR registered by the operation cell of the Chandigarh police.

The director, R.K. Rao, said such officials would not be tolerated at any cost.

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Official booked for fraud 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
Saketri resident Balwinder Singh was booked for fraud, arrested and remanded to one-day police custody by the district court, here yesterday. The Haryana Vigilance Bureau had nabbed Balwinder, one of the three accused of committing fraud by taking compensation from HUDA for land acquisition.

Police sources said that Balwinder Singh alias Babli along with his brother Harjinder and his father-in-law Shivram had claimed compensation of Rs 23 lakh from HUDA for Gajjan Singh’s land.

Balwinder, a lambardar, got to know from Gajjan’s relative about his death in Malaysia and planned the fraud in connivance with his brother. They decided to produce Shivram as Gajjan Singh and even submitted affidavits for it after due attestation. They allegedly pulled this off in connivance with tehsil officials and got a sum of Rs 23.12 lakh from the LAO in lieu of land acquisition. This sum was deposited in Balwinder’s account and later half of it was transferred to his brother’s account.

While Balwinder was arrested, the other two accused in the case under Sections 420, 468, 419, 467, 471 are still absconding.

Duped

A native of Bihar, Nagina, was duped of Rs 20,000 by two unidentified men outside a bank in Sector 10 where he had gone to get a draft prepared, here today. Nagina, who lives in a slum in Sector 5, had gone to the Central Bank to get a draft of Rs 20,000 prepared to send to his family at his native place.

In his statement to the police he said he was filling out his form for getting a draft made when two unidentified men approached him. They sought his help for filling up their form and told him that they wanted to send Rs 1 lakh home but a contactor was threatening to take away their money.

After befriending him, they took Nagina away from the bank and asked him to take Rs 1 lakh from them and hand over his Rs 20,000 to them. Nagina agreed and exchanged his earnings for the said amount, which was tied in a handkerchief.

They parted from him in Sector 8 soon afterwards. On opening the handkerchief, he found that under the Rs 1,000 note was a wad of plain paper. He reported the matter to the police. Police officials said that based on Nagina’s description of the accused, they would release sketches of the culprits and keep vigil outside banks.

Theft

Thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh while the occupants of the house in Sector 12-A were away. Sources in the police said the thieves broke open the front door to gain entry into the house owned by Mange Ram Gupta, a businessman, while he and his wife were off on a tour to Punjab. All cupboards were ransacked and the thieves took away all cash and jewellery lying in their house. A case has been registered.

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Mutation of wakf properties sought

Chandigarh,October 4
The Mosque Development and Maintenance Committee today demanded the immediate mutation of wakf properties in the name of the Chandigarh Wakf Board.

In a representation to the joint parliamentary committee currently visiting the city, the committee demanded that the mutation should be done summarily as the revenue Act was cumbersome. Seeking the appointment of a nodal officer by the Chandigarh administration for the redress of the grievances of Muslims, the committee also said the board, which was currently functioning from the Jama Masjid in Sector 20, should be provided with a proper office.

Financial grant to the wakf board, setting up of a library in Jama Masjid, and the construction of a Muslim bhavan were some other demands listed in the memorandum.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary committee, led by its chairman, S.M. Laljan Basha, MP, Rajya Sabha, interacted with a cross-section of people of the city on issues pertaining to wakf boards.

The committee members visited Jama Masjid, Sector 20, the Sector 31 masjid and wakf board properties at Kaimbwala and Naya Gaon.

They would visit Jalandhar tomorrow and Ambala on October 6. — TNS

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