C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Vacant stands because of us: HCA chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
HCA president Ranbir Singh Mahendra, at a press conference today, admitted there had been flaws in the sale of tickets and distribution of complimentary passes which had resulted in a thin crowd at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium for the ODI between India and Australia.

“I have seen matches in all parts of the world. But yesterday’s match at Chandigarh was like none other. We, perhaps, failed to read the pulse of Chandigarhians,” said Mahendra. Due to wrong slotting of ticket rates, most stands remained vacant and genuine fans were bereft of the opportunity to watch the match live in stadium.

Mahendra said 5000 complimentary passes had been distributed among various sections and the tickets sale was less than expected. “We have learnt from this experience. There is always scope for improvement. All arrangements were made within a short span of time and therefore the flaws.”he said. Mahendra said by the time they realised that ticket pricing was not right, it was too late for any amend.

“We thought that revenue could be generated by selling tickets with higher denominations alone, but we were wrong. People who were given complimentary passes, too, did not turn up.”

On Haryana sports and tourism minister Kiran Chawdhary’s criticism for holding the match at Chandigarh other than Faridabad, he said: “ Perhaps the minister is not aware of the fact that Chandigarh is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab. Hence, there was nothing wrong in holding the match here.”

“We have had matches in Faridabad earlier but as far as other venues (Gurgaon and Lahli in Rohtak) are concerned, the infrastructure there needs to be revamped for international ties,” he said.

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Custodial Death
Pay Rs 9.95 lakh to Anil’s family: High Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Less than three months of Anil Kumar’s death after he was allegedly taken away by the Mani Majra police in connection with a case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed payment of Rs 9.95 lakh to the kin of the deceased. This is, perhaps, the first time the state has been asked to pay such a huge amount of compensation for helping the victim’s family.

The orders were passed on a petition filed by Anil Kumar’s mother Phoolwati. Pronouncing the orders in an open court on her petition, the Bench, comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Rajive Bhalla, however, did not order a probe by the CBI into the matter.

In her petition against the administration, the SSP, the SHO of the Mani Majra police station and others, Phoolwati had contended that on July 11, her son was taken away by the police in connection with a case. The following day the family was informed of his death in an accident.

The family learnt during the course of investigation that Anil Kumar was brutally beaten by police personnel. The victim was attacked on his private parts, the petitioner had alleged. Claiming that SI Narender Singh was responsible for his death, the petitioner had stated that a concocted story was later told about Anil Kumar falling from a building in the Modern Complex area.

The court, during the hearing, had expressed dissatisfaction over the approach of the Chandigarh Police in dealing with the matter and raised questions over the conclusions and observations made in the CFSL report.

The court, raising questions over the CFSL report, had questioned the scientist concerned on the grounds on which he had based his conclusions. Over his observation on the possibility of an `attempt to fall', the court asked him to explain as to how it found mention in the CFSL report as normally such observation was made on specific query from the investigating agency.

The Bench had also asked the UT to explain why there was a delay in registering the case against SI Narender Singh. 

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Auction: 15-year ban on resale of property
Rajmeet Singh
TNS

Chandigarh, October 9
In future, successful bidders of leasehold commercial or residential property will not be able to dispose of the property before 15 years from the date of allotment.

Taken to check speculation in the real estate, the 15-year-lock-in period is going to affect the future auctions.

Prospective investors feel that to attract investors, the Administration should put freehold property under the auction as was in case of Punjab and Haryana.

The guidelines form part of the new rules called “Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007”, which were made public by the Administration today. The rules have been formed after combining the Chandigarh (Sale of Sites and Building) Rules, 1960, and the Chandigarh Leasehold of Sites and Building Rules, 1973.

The condition has also been made applicable to the site or building allotted on concessional rates.

In the case of transfer after the expiry of 15 years by the original allottee/lessee, one-third of the unearned increase in the value will be charged.

It has now been decided that the allotment of commercial and residential properties will be done by way of auction. Another rule that an interested bidder will have to deposit an earnest money of Rs 2 lakh in order to be eligible for participating in the auction will also affect the auction, feel the serious bidders.

In another significant decision, the Administration has announced to levy a heavy misuse penalty at a rate of Rs 500 per sq ft of the area under misuse by the occupier/owner, as the case may be. The charges can be recovered as arrears of land revenue in case of non-payment.

The rates of ground rent remains the same i.e. 2.5 per cent of the premium for the first 33 years, 3.75 per cent of the premium for the next 33 years and 5 per cent of the premium for the remaining 33 years period of the lease.

A spokesman of the Administration said the revised rules would ensure easy compliance and reduce litigation as these were simpler, more precise and citizen friendly.

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Maid’s body found hanging

Chandigarh, October 9
A team of forensic experts today examined the bathroom in the backyard of a Sector 4 house, where the body of Sonia (26) was found hanging tonight.

Inspector Ram Gopal, however, said it was a case of suicide. The police said they were waiting for Sonia’s parents to arrive from Unao to record their statement.

Sonia was married six years ago and was living with here husband Bhagwati, a cycle mechanic in the servant quarter of the house owned by an elderly couple. — TNS

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Molestation Case
PU teacher acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
A local court today acquitted Narinder Sehgal, a professor in Panjab University, in a molestation case.

The professor and his daughter, Poornima, who teaches in DAV College, Sector 10, gave tuitions to a Class XI student of DAV School, Sector 15. The girl had alleged that when she visited Sehgal’s house in Sector 15 after her exam on September 4, 2006, she was molested by him.

A case was registered against Sehgal under Section 354 of the IPC, on the complaint of the girl, a resident of Sector 41.

The victim could not get her statement recorded during evidence. Lawyer Harish Bhardwaj said: “When the statement was to be recorded one year after the incident, the girl was 16 years. “The incident was too shameful and she could not narrate it all over again.”

The girl is a skating champion and a good student. 

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The Science of Art
American earth scientist on an artistic mission
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
It sometimes takes a guest to remind you of the beauty of your own house. So, when a renowned US-based earth scientist travels all the way to India and reminds its people the forgotten Himalayan splendours, one can only say - “Thank God for small mercies”.

For Payson R. Stevens, involved with global warming research across the planet - Alaska to Antarctica, the upper Banjar Valley in Kullu has become a sort of reference point for the energy flows within nature.

But a few years ago, when he made Kullu his home, he had no idea these flows would inspire a striking show of artworks, wherein the Indian concept of Shakti will find easy expression and meaning.

On the face of it, Payson’s ‘energy flows’, that went up for display at the Government Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh, today might seem like a routine exercise in art. But, in fact, it is a reflection of a scientist’s preoccupation with energy flows going back over 30 years.

“I have two lives- one as a scientist observing the earth in satellite images and researching the melting glaciers, the other as an artist smitten by nature and the vividness of its energy forms. This exhibition is a result of my Indian experience ,” Payson told TNS.

No surprise that his works celebrate the magnificence of the Himalayas and inspire people to love their surroundings. It begins with what Payson calls the ‘stream suite’ featuring the Himalayan wealth of streams that lend the area its unique edge. Unfortunately, the state’s fragile ecology is now battling for survival with its water resources facing overexploitation to meet India’s energy needs. This is just one of the challenges Payson helps the locals meet.

Second in line is the ‘bardo’ series featuring paintings inspired by Tibetan Buddhism. “These works were catalysed by the death of my close relative in 2007. As I watched his body go up in smoke, I was deeply affected by the fact that within the larger drama of nature, each one of us has our own round of death and rebirth,” says Payson, who seals the show with ‘moksha’ series.

Works in the final segment visualise energy flows from a spiritual perspective. They remind us of our earthly passage, says Payson, whose inspiration for the exhibition came from the 1,200-km trek in the Great Himalayan Park, where he visited all the four river sources.

Back in the USA, he has won the Presidential Design Award for Excellence from Bill Clinton for the CD-ROM science-journal prototype, Arctic Data InterActive. He was also lead author of ‘Embracing earth: New views of our changing planet’ and contributing author to the award winning college textbooks. In art, he trained from the School of Visual Arts, New York City.

But with his many laurels, Payson remains an observer at heart, trying to see reason in nature’s wondrous patterns that baffle scientists and artists alike.

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GMADA holds draw for plots
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 9
The draw of lots for plots allotted in Sectors 76, 77, 78, 79 and 80 was held by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) at PUDA Bhawan here today. At present, GMADA has decided to hold the draw for 1542 plots.
A woman participates in the draw for plots held at PUDA office in Mohali
A woman participates in the draw for plots held at PUDA office in Mohali on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

The draw for 273 plots measuring 5 marlas each was held on the first day and the activity will go on till October 12. Krishan Kumar, chief administrator, GMADA, said there were a total of 3931 plots to be allotted, out of which 2577 plots were feasible as these were free from legal wranglings.

However, at present GMADA was holding the draw for 1542 plots as development activity had been carried out only in these areas so far, he said.

Allotment letters for the remaining 1035 plots would be issued only after the developmental work in these areas has been completed, he added.

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End contract system, demand trade unions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Demanding abolition of the contract system, various trade unions of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Markfed, Pun Grain, warehouse and grain markets from across Punjab held a rally at the Sector 25 rally venue here today.

Terming the contract system “a tool to exploit the employee and workers”, representatives of various trade unions of food agencies, including Lal Jhandha FCI Workers and Paledar Union, All Food Allied Loading and Unloading Mazdoor Union and FCI and Food Agencies Paledar Union (Azad), not only demanded the abolition of the system but also sought direct payment of wages to workers.

The leaders insisted that the job of sewing and loading should be taken back from commission agents, public sector should be strengthened, recommendations made by the labour advisory board committee should be implemented, reappointment of workers retrenched from 14 depots, the government should stop direct procurement by private agencies, registration of contractors, issuance of ESI cards to workers, basic amenities for workers in markets besides enforcing the Labour Act of 1970.

Addressing the gathering, Raghunath Singh, general secretary of CITU, Punjab, demanded that the nefarious nexus between bureaucracy and contractors should be ended immediately in the larger interest of the workers. He also demanded that the properties of the FCI officials, contractors should be verified.

Bant Singh Brar, general secretary of AITU, Punjab, stated that the state government had virtually given a go-ahead to the exploitation of workers by allowing contracts to commission agents. He threatened that in case the state government did not revert its anti-worker policies, they would be forced to wage a struggle against it.

Former MP Asim Bala stated that a delegation would meet the union labour minister and minister for food to apprise them of the demands of these workers. Bala stated that a nationwide agitation would be launched against the contract system.

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Indiscipline mars friendship seminar
Youngsters talk and giggle, creating commotion
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
One often wonders why people attend functions if they neither have interest in the theme, nor the patience to develop that interest.

The auditorium of Government Museum, Sector 10, today, was full of such people, hell bent on destroying the spirit of a good show by exhibiting casual indifference to the visiting and local experts.

Seated on the stage were eminent architects, who, through their presentations, showed ways of strengthening Indo-Swiss friendship in the realm of Corbusean architecture. For them, a seminar on “An Architectural Vision: Celebrating Indo-Swiss Friendship” under the banner of the First Friday Forum, was important, as it would enable them to celebrate the shared legacy of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeannerret and learn from it.

Both Corbusier and Jeannerret, the Swiss-born architects, have left indelible impressions on the heart of Chandigarh, and both are special for Switzerland, where their architectural genius still inspires generations, as shown by Prof Arthur Ruegg, head of the visiting Swiss delegation, in his presentation.

But even the most striking of facts about Corbusier’s and Jeannerret’s professional life seemed of little significance to the restive youngsters, who brazenly moved in and out of the hall, least bothered about those who wanted to listen. If the commotion created by them was less, refreshments served in the middle of the intellectual discussion did the rest.

The guests from Switzerland watched in helpless silence, as the seminar continued to be held ransom to casual students, who muttered and giggled and paced up and down the hall as if it were some place for excursion. The organisers did little to maintain decorum in the hall.

This apart, the seminar was interesting, especially the presentation by Prof Ruegg.

Earlier, S.S. Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, spoke about how Corbusier and Jeannerret influenced a whole vocabulary of art and architecture.

The richness of the duo’s thought was brilliantly showcased by architect Surinder Bagga in his presentation of landmark buildings which they designed.

Bruno Krucker, Ruegg’s chief assistant, also gave a significant presentation.

On the occasion, the following were awarded for their contribution to different fields - Swiss architects Arthur Ruegg and Bruno Krucker, architect Namita Singh, writer-teacher Prof Rana Nayar and Dr Paramjt Singh. 

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Youth Forum
Yi launches Chandigarh chapter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Young Indians (Yi), in association with CII, Chandigarh Council, launched its first Union Territory chapter - Yi Chandigarh chapter - in City Beautiful today.

Yi is a forum of young professionals and entrepreneurs from different walks of life that provides an opportunity to the young generation for providing leadership to the process of national development in their own terms.

While making the keynote presentation at the launch ceremony of Young Indians, Chandigarh chapter, Jayadev Galla, Yi national vice-chairman and managing director Amara Raja Batteries Ltd, said Yi believes that the responsibility of developing India lies in the hands of the youth by engaging them in building ‘Brand India’.

Yi is a forum that focuses on the issues of national importance and motivates a generational change in the economic and social agenda of India. It’s vision is “to become the voice of Young Indians.” Yi has a stirring, action-oriented motto - “We Can, We Will”, he added.

Galla further mentioned that Yi envisions creating a movement encompassing diverse sections of young society, reaching out to community stakeholders and tomorrow’s leaders.

The objectives of Yi are to involve young Indians in shaping India and to provide them a platform for realising the dream of a developed India. Yi has launched a number of initiatives in the areas of education, economy, environment, employability, healthcare and youth affairs.

The Chandigarh chapter would be spearheaded by Anupama Arya, director, Mobera Systems Pvt Ltd. The forum plans to open 11 more chapters in India as well as two international ones. It currently has 782 members and 14 chapters in India - Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kochi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pondicherry.

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IAF’s VIP squadron to get four new choppers
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The IAF’s Communications Squadron, which provides air transport to VVIPs, will be getting four new Mi-17 helicopters to replace its ageing Mi-8 helicopter fleet.

The helicopters are currently undergoing modifications at No 3 Base Repair Depot here to meet the requirements of ferrying VVIPs, Air Force sources said. The project is nearing completion.

The helicopters being modified are the recently acquired Mi-17 1V series, which are more powerful and advanced than the earlier versions of the Mi-17 in IAF fleet. The Mi-17s are basically similar to the Mi-8 which are currently operated by the Communications Squadron, but have a more powerful engine.

The modifications being undertaken on the Mi-17 for VVIP role include a special seating configuration, redesigned interiors and state-of-the-art communication and navigation equipment. They will also have a different colour scheme from the regular grey drab.

The IAF had earlier modified a few Mi-8 helicopters for VIP transport, but these are now nearing the end of their service life. The IAF is also replacing other Mi-8s in its fleet with the Mi-17. In the past few years, several Mi-8s have been decommissioned on expiry of their service life.

The Communications Squadron, which is celebrating its platinum jubilee next month, is at present equipped with several types of aircraft, including Boeing 737, Embraer Legacy business jets, Avro and Mi-8 helicopters. Given its role and inventory, it is stated to have the largest compliment of officers and airmen among all other IAF squadrons.

According to reports, the IAF is also considering to acquire 12 helicopters specially fitted for VVIP transport. The helicopters would be equipped with self-protection suites and electronic counter-measures to combat threats and hostile activity as well as night flying capability. Contenders in the fray for this include Agusta Westland's EH-101, Sikorsky's H-92, Eurocopter's Cougar and Russian Mi-17.

Based at Palam in New Delhi, the squadron significantly boosted its capability by acquiring five Embraer executive jets from Brazil last year. The squadron is also looking to induct long-range Boeing 737 business jets to replace the ageing Boeings in its fleet.

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TA observes Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The Territorial Army (TA) celebrated its 58th Raising Day here today. Brig J.S. Thind, Commander Western Command TA Group congratulated the officers and men for their dedication to duty.

He also appreciated the job that the ecological battalions of the TA were carrying out in difficult terrains to rejuvenate the eco-balance. A barakhana for troops was organised at the TA Group Headquarters.

Later in the evening, a social get-together was organised for retired and serving officers associated with the TA, which was attended by a large number of officers and their wives.  

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Letters
Check underage drivers

Recently I had been to Chaman Lal DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 11, Panchkula, for depositing the fee of my son.

I reached the school half-an-hour prior to the school timings and it was heartening to see that principal of the school Anjali Marryia was herself standing outside the school main gate and checking the students who were on two-wheelers. She was asking them to produce their driving licences and scolding them for not wearing helmets. I think if all school authorities take such steps and become strict with the under-aged children driving vehicles, then a lot of accidents can be avoided.

These efforts should be supported and supplemented by the traffic police. Random checking and imposing of fines by the traffic police at the entrance and exit points of the schools will also curb the menace of driving by under-aged children. Principal of the said school has proved that schools are not only for teaching maths, science, etc. but also for shaping a disciplined citizen.

I appeal to all school authorities to follow suit for the noble cause.

D. Reghu, Panchkula

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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Sweeper held for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The UT Vigilance Department today arrested a sweeper in the UT engineering department for allegedly attempting to cheat a bank by raising a loan against forged documents.

Investigating officer Sher Singh told TNS that the accused Ashok Kumar, a resident of Sector 24 and sweeper in capital project, division number 3, was arrested today after a case under Section 420 and 511 of the IPC had been registered against him. He was produced before a local court which sent him to judicial custody.

He said Ashok Kumar had forged the signatures of executive engineer and other officials to make a certificate claiming himself to be a peon and also prepared a salary slip. He submitted the documents in HSBC Bank in Sector 9 to raise a loan of Rs 35,000. The fraud was detected when the bank verified the documents. The case was registered after conducting an inquiry into the matter.

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Rs 45,000 stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 9
A briefcase, containing Rs 45,000 and other documents, was stolen from a car in Sector 20, here yesterday.

Alok Jain of Sector 35-D reported to the police alleging that his briefcase, containing was stolen from his car (CH-03-Z-0397), which was parked at Azad Market in Sector 20. A case of theft has been registered.

Car stolen

Harpreet Singh of Sector 34-D reported to the police alleging that his Fiat Palio car (CH-03-P-9728) stolen from Sector 23 yesterday. A case of theft has been registered.

Snatching

Suresh Sagwan of Sector 16 lodged a complaint alleging that two unidentified boys snatched her purse containing a mobile phone, cash and some documents from Sector 36 on Monday. A case has been registered.

Theft

R.S. Bedi of Sector 51 has reported to the police alleging that his mobile phone, a pair of gold earrings and Rs 19,500 were stolen from his car, which was parked in Sector 44, here. A case of theft has been registered.

In another incident, Sunil Kumar Saini of Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, reported to the police that headlight of his motorcycle, which was parked at his residence, was stolen on Sunday night.

A case had been registered in this regard.

Injured

Mukesh Kumar of Phase-1, Industrial Area, Panchkula, suffered injuries after being hit by a truck (PB-12-A-7469) near Fun Republic on Monday. He was admitted to the PGI.

The police arrested the truck driver Gurmit Singh of Manimajra on the allegation of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving.

In a hit-and-run case, a pedestrian was seriously hurt after being knocked down by a speeding motorcycle (HR-03-E-6610) on the road dividing Sectors 22 and 35 this afternoon.

The victim was admitted to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital.

The police registered a case of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving against the driver on a complaint lodged by Raj Mahajan of Mansa Devi complex.

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