C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

BSNL on the blink
Snag snaps phone link with Mohali

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The much-touted “Connecting India” slogan of the public sector telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) went for a toss today with the satellite town of Mohali remained cut off from the rest of the world owing to an apparent technical snag.

The subscribers dialling Mohali numbers, especially of 221, 222, 226 and 227 series received a recorded message: “We regret that your call cannot be completed due to congestion on the route”.

Even as the subscribers continued to suffer, BSNL officials were at their wits’ end sorting out the problem, as repeated complaints to fault repair (198) failed to yield any result, alleged Anurag Singh, a Phase 10 resident.

The worst-affected were those dialling numbers from STDs across the country, as they had to listen to the recorded message incessantly.

“Everybody does not have a mobile phone. For me landline connection was the only link with my daughter in Phase 3-B-II,” rued 73-year-old Raj Rani, who wanted to make an urgent call.

BSNL sources said technical snag could be the reason behind the “snapping” of the link with Mohali.

The BSNL was aware of the problem and necessary steps were being taken to restore the link, the sources claimed.

Connecting telephone numbers from outside Chandigarh was virtually impossible as there were repeated disruptions in the link, subscribers complained.

Residents alleged that disruptions in the landline connections in a limited area were a routine affair. “However, cutting off the telecom link of a major part of the township at a time when the BSNL had launched an aggressive advertisement campaign about its services was a slap on the face of the largest public sector undertaking,” alleged Gurcharan Singh, a Phase II resident.



Slum children to get free higher education
UT collaborates with NGO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Slum children will now have access to higher education. Waking up to the long-felt need for bringing the underprivileged children under the fold of literacy, the Chandigarh administration has signed an MoU with an NGO, which will drive the project.

The project will provide easy channels for free college education to poor children, especially girls, living in slums, Raji P. Shrivastava, director, higher education, stated this to The Tribune today.

Don Bosco Navjeevan Centre, Sector 24, will work with the administration on the project.

Terms of the agreement have been worked out and the MoU has been signed between Shrivastava, on behalf of the administration, and Sebastian Jose of the centre.

In this academic session, the administration plans to admit 30 children. The number will be increased gradually.

Though the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan imparts primary and secondary classes to the poor, there is no provision for higher education.

The project will be financially supported by the administration for the academic session 2007-2008.

“The beneficiaries and participants under this project will be identified by the centre. It will keep a record of the faculty and present details to the principal, Government College, Sector 46, along with a performance report after the close of the academic session, for the record,” Shrivastava said.

The principal, Government College, has been made the nodal officer for the project. He will undertake the disbursement of payment and arrange for the fees and other tasks related to the submission of examination forms of these students after attestation.



In Basta
Delay in viscera report blocks probe

Death of rusticated class XI student
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Mystery continues to shroud the death of Lairenmayum Albertsons Singh, a 16-year-old student of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, who was found lying dead on the roadside in Sector 15 on November 20 last year.

He had been expelled from school for his alleged misconduct a few days ago.

Albertsons Singh, who belonged to Manipur, was a student of class XI and was rusticated on November 17 for his alleged misconduct and drinking habit.

The matter came to light early in the morning when some passersby noticed the body lying near a house. A bag containing his clothes and other belongings was also recovered from there.

The police informed his family and his father, L. Nirodosai Singh, reached the city. The police was told by the school authorities that Albertsons was handed over to his Sector 15 guardian and thereafter, they had no information about his whereabouts.

Though there was no visible injury mark on the body, the police did not rule out the possibility of foul play. The police believed that the death might have occurred due to excessive intake of some intoxicant.

The police quizzed eight acquaintances of the deceased, besides a rickshaw-puller on whose rickshaw he had a last ride.

The rickshaw-puller had dropped him at his acquaintance’s place and produced his wallet to the latter to claim his fare on November 20, the day Albertsons was found dead.

Though no foul play emerged during the investigations, the police found that Albertsons’ behaviour was “abnormal” and he was hooked to drugs. He was also denied shelter due to his “wayward” behaviour.

The postmortem could not ascertain the exact cause of death and doctors reserved their opinion. Viscera samples were sent for chemical examination to pinpoint the reason leading to the death.

The SHO of the Sector 11 police station, Ramesh Chander, said the viscera reports were still awaited and the inquiry could not proceed because of it. Police sources said in fast-track cases, reports take around two months to arrive.



Suspended cop assaults woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Manmohan Singh, a constable of the Chandigarh police who had been placed under suspension for misbehaving with a woman in his locality, allegedly assaulted another woman in Sector 41-D today.

The victim, the policeman’s neighbour, sustained severe head injuries. Her two brothers were also injured in the assault.

The accused managed to flee the spot while the police arrested his wife Paramjit Kaur after registering a case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC in this connection.

The woman, Renu, was admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

The police said Renu lives on the ground floor of an apartment complex, whereas Manmohan Singh lives on the first floor.

Today, the two had a heated argument, which took an ugly turn.

Manmohan was earlier booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.

He was accused of tearing the clothes of a woman in his locality and thrashing her, following which he was placed under suspension.

He was currently posted at the Police Lines and had reportedly been absent from duty.

The police was making efforts to trace him.



Sale of group housing society flats
Lock-in period to be cut to 5 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The decision to reduce the mandatory lock-in period for the sale of flats of group housing societies would be implemented soon. A notification in this regard would be issued soon, a senior official confirmed.

Aimed to benefit hundreds of GPA-holders who have no say in the managing committees of cooperative societies, the decision would reduce litigations and give more teeth of occupants of the flats.

No charges would be levied by the administration to allow the transfer.

The official said the case had been sent to the legal department as it was a need-based policy decision. The decision for the transfer of flats after five years from the date of allotment of land to the societies was being taken as per the provisions of Clause 6 (iv) of the Chandigarh Allotment of Land to Cooperative House Building Societies Scheme, 1991.

The issue was discussed at a meeting chaired by the home secretary-cum-secretary cooperation, Krishna Mohan on October 15, 2007.

Increasing the term of the managing committees of the cooperative societies from one year to five years was also on the cards.

Sources said once the notification was issued, the lock-in period would be reduced from 15 years to five years. The five-year period would be from the date of allotment of land to the respective society.

At present, the lock-in period is 15 years from the date of possession of the flat.

“Those who have purchased flats on GPA after 2003 will be the major beneficiaries,” said a member of the managing committee of a house building society.

After the increase in prices, some members sold their flats on GPA. As a result, a number of complaints and problems emerged in the working of the house building societies. The working of the office of the registrar was also affected. The GPA-holders living in flats had little say while the original allottee ran the affairs of the societies.



Missing Kidneys
Shown door by PGI, patient battles for life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Kanta Devi (50), a resident of Shahbad Markanda, is battling for life as the family can neither arrange a kidney for the poor patient nor money required for dialysis. Moreover, the PGI has asked the family to take the patient home.

A doctor of the Ambala City civil hospital had allegedly removed both kidneys of Kanta Devi when she was operated upon there to remove an obstruction from her kidney on October 20.

The incident came to light when the hospital referred the patient to the PGI here after her condition deteriorated on October 23.

The doctors at the PGI found both kidneys missing from the patient’s body.

Nisha Kashyap, daughter-in-law of the patient, said the doctors at the PGI had asked them to get the patient discharged, as they did not have money for her treatment.

“We have spent over Rs 70,000 and the family is finding it hard to meet the expenses. It is not possible to arrange the money anymore,” said Nisha.

“As my husband and his two brothers are daily-wagers it is next to impossible for us to arrange the enormous amount of money required for her treatment,” she added.

The Haryana health department has also failed to fulfil its responsibility of bearing the expenses incurred during the treatment of the patient even as it had agreed to the fact that the patient was suffering due to the negligence of its doctor.

Dr Avinash Sharma, director, health services, Haryana, said during the inquiry into the incident it was found that the doctor was guilty of negligence while conducting surgery on the patient. The case had been sent to government for taking disciplinary action against the doctor.

However, the financial help to the patient could be provided only when they applied for it and the department had not received any request from the family or patient in this regard, Dr Sharma added.



Warring families reach police station
Tribune News Service

Jatin’s parents Surinder Nath Sharma and Veena Sharma talk to mediapersons at their residence in Sector 19 on Sunday.
Jatin’s parents Surinder Nath Sharma and Veena Sharma talk to mediapersons at their residence in Sector 19 on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 11
High drama was witnessed at the Sector 19 police station today when two families squared off following the death of 26-year-old Jatin Sharma and his wife’s refusal to stay with her in-laws.

Jatin, who was critically injured in a road accident on November 1, had succumbed to his injuries in the PGI in the wee hours on Saturday.

Jatin had married 23-year-old Supriya of Sector 48 on February 5. The couple had a love marriage. Supriya is reportedly four months pregnant.

Jatin was working as a marketing executive with ICICI bank, Mohali, and was the only son of his parents.

The family members of Supriya had gone to Jatin’s residence in Sector 19 to take her back.

Jatin’s parents objected to this and both parties entered into a heated argument. People gathered at the scene and tried to pacify the two sides.

When the situation got out of hand, Jatin’s parents called the police, which took both parties to the police station.

The matter was resolved only after four hours, with both parties agreeing to Supriya’s going to her paternal house.

Jatin’s father Surinder Nath Sharma said his son was going to Mani Majra on November 1 when his motor cycle was knocked down by a vehicle.

He suffered serious head injuries and a passer-by took him to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

On the insistence of his in-laws, he was shifted to a private hospital in Mohali just two hours later.

After two days, his condition worsened and was referred to the PGI, where he was kept in the emergency ward. He remained unconscious there and died on Saturday.

Sharma added: “We were under shock when the in-laws of my son served another blow by taking away Supriya and the child. We had barely finished the last rites of Jatin and had requested them to let Supriya stay. But our pleas fell on deaf ears.”

The family alleged that Supriya’s family had manhandled them, following which the police was called.

At the police station, the situation got worse when a member of Jatin’s family was knocked down by a car driven by Supriya’s brother. No case was registered as no injury was reported in the medical examination of the victim.

Supriya’s family initially refused to talk to mediapersons. Later, her brother Sumit alleged that Supriya was harassed by her in-laws.

Supriya told the police that she was not treated properly by her in-laws and said she wanted to live with her parents and would raise her child there.

The SHO said a daily diary report (DDR) had been recorded in this connection.



Brig in dock for misuse of staff
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
A Brigadier and a Colonel are reportedly in the dock for alleged misuse of Army manpower and misappropriation of diesel respectively. A court of inquiry (COI) has held them prima facie blameworthy for their said acts of omission and commission, it is learnt.

Sources said the commanding officer of an artillery regiment located in Punjab has been held blameworthy of misappropriation of 3,500 litres of diesel from his unit.

The COI has also revealed that unit troops, including a bhangra party and a band, were sent from Punjab to Chennai to perform at the marriage of the brigadier’s daughter earlier this year.

A cook from the unit was also attached for a few months to a private residence of an officer in Bangalore, which amounted to misuse of manpower.

The COI, presided by Col A. Mathur, deputy commander of brigade, has recommended action against the colonel for his acts. It also states that there has been misuse of manpower by the Brigadier. Since the presiding officer is junior to the Brigadier, the COI could not recommend any action against him.

Based upon a complaint received by the Headquarters of South Western Command, the Army had last month ordered a court of inquiry into the allegations.

The findings of the COI have been forwarded to the General Officer Commanding 33 Armoured Division for further action.



Vocational training for drug addicts on agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
In order to bring down the relapse rate in treated drug addicts, the department of psychiatry at the GMCH is thinking of making arrangements for providing vocational training to those admitted at drug de-addiction camps held by it.

The department is in consultation with the Chandigarh administration in this regard.

The department will start a 10-day camp and admit 30 children and adolescents from Bapu Dham Colony for treatment at Panchayat Bhawan, with assistance from the office of the deputy commissioner on November 14.

A majority of the treated patients at the drug de-addiction centres usually fall prey to relapse and return to drugs due to lack of rehabilitation schemes and proper follow-up.

More than 40 per cent of patients treated at the camps at various slums and villages took to drugs again in the absence of any rehabilitation programme, said Dr B.S. Chavan, head, department of psychiatry, GMCH.

The number of relapse in the cases of drug addicts treated at the GMCH was as high as 70 per cent within a year, he added.

The department was focussing on the youth between the age group of 12 and 20 years at present. They would be given vocational training as they neither attended school nor had a job, he said.

Because of the social stigma, they also do not find company in the neighbourhood.

However, the situation had improved as the relapse of treated drug addicts was 80 per cent until some years ago.

There was a vast population of drug addicts in the tricity. According to an estimate, there were more than 20,000 hard-core addicts and their rehabilitation was important, he said.

Around 100 addicts visited the GMCH for de- addiction every month, including 30 new patients. At the PGI, the number of new patients was 1,063 last year.



Electoral rolls
Extend deadline for revision: Council
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Chandigarh Social Welfare Council today demanded extension of at least three weeks in the last date of revision of electoral rolls in the city. The last date for checking the draft electoral rolls is November 16.

Council general secretary Satish Sharma said third-phase sectors i.e. from 48 to 61, which had developed over the past few years, had received negligible attention during revision of electoral rolls in the city.

As a result a large number of eligible voters had failed to get enrolled in the lists.

The fresh schedule announced by the commission recently has failed to create awareness in the city. The contents of the advertisement are confusing, leaving prospective voters in a confused state, alleged Sharma.



Tributes paid to martyr
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 11
Tributes were paid to Captain Rohit Kaushal on his 12th martyrdom day at his ancestral village, Jalauli, in Panchkula here on Sunday. Captain Kaushal had sacrificed his life in an encounter with Afghan militants in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on November 11, 1995. He was honoured posthumously with the Sena Medal by the Government of India.

A large number of army officers and civilians gathered at his memorial to pay homage to the martyr. The jawans of the 18 Punjab Battalion presented a guard of honour and Brig N.K. Mishra, station commander, laid wreaths along with officers and jawans of 2 Sikh Regiment. A large number of people from the neighbouring villages came to pay homage. 



Residents rue poor state of bus stand
Tribune News Service

A resident of Hoshiarpur village shows the state of the bus stand outside the village in Mohali.
A resident of Hoshiarpur village shows the state of the bus stand outside the village in Mohali.

Mohali, November 11
Hundreds of residents of Hoshiarpur village, near here, are facing inconvenience as the only bus stop that caters to the village is in dilapidated state. The structure of the bus stand is damaged and provides no protection from the sun and rain. The residents have been complaining to various authorities regarding the construction of the bus stand but nothing has been done so far.

Residents have recently written to Morinda MLA Ujagar Singh Wadali to get this problem solved.



Dera Bassi to have Vishwakarma Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Captain Kanwaljit Singh presents the Vishwakarma Udyograttan Award to P.L. Midda at the Vishwakarma mela in Dera Bassi.
Captain Kanwaljit Singh presents the Vishwakarma Udyograttan Award to P.L. Midda at the Vishwakarma mela in Dera Bassi.

Dera Bassi, November 11
Punjab co-operation minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh today announced that Vishwakarma Bhavan would be set up in Dera Bassi.

The minister was speaking at the Vishwakarma mela organised by the Vishwakarma Shiksha Prachar Committee here. He said land for the bhavan would be made available by the municipal council. He also awarded the Vishwakarma Udyog Rattan Award-2007 to P.L. Midha, managing director, UT Builders Ltd, for his role in social service. A cultural programme was also organised. 



Renovation woes

I reside in a government accommodation in Sector 22-A. The renovation work, which is going on in our locality for the past two months, is causing inconvenience to residents. Floors in bathrooms have been laid in such a way that water remains clogged there. Electricity wires are hanging in the air and the electricity connection to bathroom has been disconnected.

No officer/official of the PWD department has ever visited to check the progress of work. There are three different contractors carrying out sanitary, electricity and repair work. There is no co-ordination between them. Not only this, some unallotted houses of the locality, including HNo. 294, are being used by the contractors for storing material like cement etc.

This is not my individual case. Most of the residents in our locality have such grievances.

J.S. Chahal, Chandigarh

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Cash, jewellery stolen from Sector 52 house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth lakh of rupees after breaking into a house in Sector 52. The police said Avinder Singh had lodged a complaint that he along with his family went to Patiala a day before Diwali and the theft came to light when his neighbours saw the house ransacked and informed them.

The matter was reported to the police. The thieves gained entry by scaling a wall and breaking the locks. They spent a long time inside the house and ransacked it completely.

Avninder told the police that Rs 1.50 lakh, gold ornaments worth lakhs and other articles were missing.

Forensic experts examined the house. A case has been registered.


The police has arrested four persons for gambling at a public place. The police arrested Kanwar Pal, Ram Behal, Sham Lal and Hira Lal of Mani Majra from the Mauli Complex on Saturday.

The police recovered Rs 3,600 from their possession. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

Ashok Kaushik of Sector 8 has reported to the police that his Tata Safari (CH-03-H-1026) was stolen from his house on November 9.

In another case, Balwinder Singh of Mohali alleged that his Honda Activa (PB-65-B-8553) was stolen from Sector 36 on November 1.

In yet another incident, Harbans Singh of Sector 40 lodged a complaint with the police that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-03-L-58380) was stolen from his house last night.

Also, Kuldeep Kumar of Sector 44 reported to the police alleging that his motor cycle (CH 03 M 3074) was stolen from his residence on the intervening night of November 7 and 8.

In another incident, Rakesh Gupta of Phase-II, Industrial Area, Panchkula, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his scooter (CH 0 P 5228) was stolen from Sector 17 on Thursday.

Cases of theft have been registered.


Charanjit Singh of Indira Colony lodged a complaint against Jaswant Singh and Rumy, both residents of Indira Colony, alleging that they had assaulted and threatened him near his residence on Friday night.

A case under Sections 325 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at the police station, Mani Majra.


Seven-year-old Mohammad Firoz of Ram Darbar was injured seriously after being knocked down by a motor cycle (CH 24 T 7180) on Wednesday night.

The victim suffered a fracture on the leg and was admitted to the Government Medical and Hospital, Sector 32.

The police arrested the motorcyclist, Hira Lal Thakur, on charges of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving.



Moped, car collide; one killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Chaman Lal, a resident of Sector 20, was killed after his moped was hit by a car at the Aroma lights point here last night.

According to the police, the accident took place at around 8.30 pm when a Maruti Swift car (PB-10-B-0750), coming from the Sector 17 ISBT chowk, hit the moped.

Chaman Lal was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital.

Chaman Lal told the police in his statement that no accident had taken place and also gave wrong address. Later, he succumbed to his head injuries.

Gurbax Singh of Mani Majra, who informed the police about the accident, was traced and a case registered after his statement.

Chaman Lal had retired last year.

The police has traced the car and arrested its driver, Tarsem Kumar, a Khanna-based commission agent, on the charge of negligent driving.

Tarsem told the police that Chaman Lal had jumped the red light, leading to the mishap.



Motor cycle rams into median, 1 dead
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 11
A youth was killed in a road accident near Daun village last night. Rajinder Singh (27) and his colleague Deen Mohammad were going on a motor cycle when it rammed into a road divider.

Balongi police post in-charge Dalip Singh said while Rajinder died on his way to the hospital, Deen Mohammad received injuries and was admitted to the local civil hospital.

He has sustained fractures on the face, besides head injuries.

Rajinder hailed from Jaipur (Rajasthan), while Deen is a resident of Gurna Khedi village in Banur.

The police has informed the family of the deceased in Jaipur. None of his relatives has so far come to claim the body, police officials added.



Beopar Mandal’s online response to corporate threat
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), representative body of the city traders, has started harnessing information technology for the welfare of traders. As a first step, it has gone online to face the challenge posed by the entry of big corporates in the retail sector.

To be launched shortly, CBM website www.cbmonline.co.in will provide important information to general public on a single platform.

It will provide vital information to traders to face the challenge posed by retail majors, CBM president Charanjiv Singh told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The website is part of recent “pro-trader” initiatives of the mandal. With this, the long-standing demand of local traders to have a website of their own will be met, benefiting them in the long run, the CBM chief said.

Giving details, he said the website, besides highlighting the achievements of the mandal, would provide ready-to-use information to members such as membership forms and rules and regulations.

In addition, it will have important information such as various provisions of the RTI Act and directories of members and office-bearers for public convenience, he said adding that it will be updated from time to time after getting feedback from users.

It may be noted that the mandal has been taking up various issues of the trader welfare with the Chandigarh administration and other government organisations.

With information technology playing a major role in all spheres of life, the website will go a long way in promoting traders’ interests and providing a platform to officials, companies and traders to work out mutually-beneficial strategies, sources added.



CHB to sell commercial properties to generate funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
To offset the expenditure incurred in implementing various projects of the administration, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) will be allowed to sell commercial property.

“Since the CHB would be implementing various projects, including the underpasses and the Nehru centre for performing arts, a lot of funds would be required to fund the projects,” an official said.

Sources said the CHB was expected to earn Rs 1,650 crore in the land deal with Parsvnath Developers for the IT habitat. So far, the developer had paid Rs 369 crore.

The amount received on behalf of the administration is a trust grant and would be utilised for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers and the development of infrastructure services.

Apart from this, the prime land to be vacated by the slum colonies would also be put to commercial use by the CHB.

The commercial sites within the projects being implemented by the CHB would be sold by it to jack up its resources.

A number of commercial properties in Sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51-A are already with the CHB. Skeptical about the success of the CHB in disposing commercial properties, an official said it had not been able to sell over 150 vacant commercial properties which were as old as 15 years.

Over the past 15 years, SCFs and booths were raised on the sites handed over to the CHB by the administration. A number of booths constructed in Sector 61 in the late 90s were lying in disuse, forcing residents of the area to go to distant markets for their basic needs.

In Sectors like 38 (west), 49-B, 51 and 61, the commercial area was also handed over to the CHB for auction.



CII fair attracts enquiries worth Rs 16 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The recently-concluded four-day CII Chandigarh Fair generated business enquiries worth over Rs 16 crore, while over 2 lakh consumer and business visitors thronged the fair.

According to officials at the CII, the visitor profile ranged from industrialists to entrepreneurs, academics and professionals to consumers from all walks of life.

The 185 participating companies represented diverse sectors of the economy, covering the spectrum from MNC majors to fledgling entrepreneurs.

Both visitors and companies found the fair a user-friendly platform for transacting business and generating awareness, they added.



Seminar on banking, finance
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
The Mohali Industries Association will hold a one-day seminar-cum-exhibition on banking, finance and insurance on November 15 at MIA Bhawan here.

Association president T.L. Easwar said the seminar will be held on “Growth through technology up-gradation”.

Easwar said the exhibition would be a first of its kind in the tri-city. “The aim of the exhibition is to offer products and services extended by banks, financial institutions and insurance companies to audience on a single platform.”

MIA senior vice-president B.S. Anand said: “The exhibition is aimed at attracting queries from key companies as also government officials, industry leaders, decision-makers, managers and members of industrial associations of Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula.”



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