C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Go-by to Rules
School expels 14 drivers
Conductors take the wheel
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The safety of students of Ryan International School, Sector 49, was today “compromised” when the authorities handed over the school buses to conductors having no experience of driving.

It all began this afternoon when the school authorities expelled 14 drivers following an internal disagreement.

If these drivers are to be believed, it is the security of children which has been put to risk by allowing “unskilled” persons to drive the buses.

“Conductors who do not possess valid driving licenses drove the buses today,” alleged Varinder Singh, one of the expelled drivers.

Though the transport in charge of the school, Naveen Kiran, denied these allegations, he could not produce the day’s duty chart of the bus drivers. “Today’s duty chart has not been prepared yet, but we can show it later,” was his reply.

The authorities claimed that they had dismissed only two drivers -- Rajinder Singh and Jasbir Singh -- as they were “negligent” in performing their duties. “The others declined to perform their duties this morning to express their solidarity with the two,” said Gurdeep Singh Walia, transport contractor.

The expelled drivers alleged that they were demanding their salary deduction slips from the transport contractor, which he did not agree to. “The school authorities pay Rs 7,000 per driver, but the contractor, after deducting the provident fund and ESI, pays us Rs 3,690. However, no deduction slip was ever given to us. When we asked for it, our services were terminated without giving us prior notice,” they said.

The contractor maintained that they did not approach him for this and said he would clear their doubts “as soon as they come to me”.

The contractor said the security of the children was their prime concern, but when at 6.15 am these drivers declined to perform their duties, they had to make “some temporary arrangement”.

Naveen Kiran, transport in charge of the school, himself drove a 42-seater bus. When intercepted, he produced a photocopy of his light commercial vehicle license whose validity was to expire tomorrow.



Securitymen issue nettles police forces
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The city police and the Punjab police are at loggerhead over the withdrawal of security personnel working under the jurisdiction of one another.

While the Chandigarh police wants to withdraw around 20 securitymen attached with the security setup of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Punjab police has retaliated by claiming that it will be forced to withdraw the security reserves it has attached and kept at the disposal of the Chandigarh police for managing protests and those providing security to subjects of Chandigarh police.

It all started a few days ago when the Chandigarh police wanted back a group of securitymen of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at the Sector-9 private residence of the Badal family and some others of the Chandigarh police also attached with the family.

The ITBP men were originally attached with the Chandigarh police for security duty but were sent to the security setup of the Punjab chief minister.

A handful of policemen of the Chandigarh police had been with the Badal family for years even when the family was out of power.

Sources in Punjab said the Chandigarh police had been reminded that jawans of the 82nd PAP Battalion stationed at Chandigarh had been deputed at protests that were specifically the law and order problem of the city police.

However, officials in Chandigarh said the Badal family was under the Z-plus cover and had the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and also commandos of the national security guards (NSG) attached with them.

The ITBP men and the Chandigarh Police could easily be relieved, they said.



Cine stars on ICL roster
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 26
Actors and singers, including Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor and Himesh Reshamiya would add glamour during the ICL Twenty20 tournament starting from Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium from November 30 here.

A senior official of the ICL group said all formalities had been completed to bring the stars during the 17-day-long tournament.

“The group has tied up with these stars and has got confirmation of their participation. But the film personalities have yet to confirm the dates of their arrival to cheer up the teams,” added the official, preferring anonymity.

As there would be a spectacular ceremony before the inaugural match of the league, most probably some of them would arrive and perform there to entertain the public, he said.

Several TV stars will also turn up. “As many celebrities would come regularly, a special star gallery is being set up here,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the names of skippers of six teams of the league have been announced by the organisers. New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns will captain the local Chandigarh Lions while Marvan Atapattu (Sri Lanka) will lead Delhi Jets.

Chennai Superstars’s captain will be Australia’s Styart Law and Inzamam-ul Haq of Pakistan would be the skipper of Hyderabad Heroes.

The skippers of Kolkata Tigers and Mumbai Champs teams will be Craig McMillan (New Zealand) and Brian Lara (West Indies), respectively.



Man arrested for cremating wife in haste
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The police will send the mortal remains of Seema, who was cremated in a haste by her husband and in-laws after her mysterious death at Maloya yesterday, for a chemical examination.

Sources in the police said the chemical examination would help investigating officials in establishing whether the victim was subjected to slow poisoning.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested Seema’s husband Prabhdyal, his mother Bhajan Kaur and father Ram Saran on the charges of dowry death and disappearance of evidence, besides criminal conspiracy.

The case was registered on a complaint lodged by Seema’s mother Nirmala Devi, a Karnal resident.

Prabhdyal sells vegetables and has two minor children. The accused were today produced before a local court which remanded Prabhdyal in one-day police custody while his parents were remanded in judicial custody.

The police said Nirmala had alleged that Prabhdyal and his parents were harassing her daughter for more dowry. She said her family had received compensation after her husband’s death and the money was divided among his dependents. Prabhdyal would reportedly beat up Seema, asking her to bring the money.

Nirmala alleged that on Saturday her son came to visit Seema and gave Rs 2,000 to Prabhdyal. He stayed at their house and Prabhdyal had a dispute with him and also roughed up Seema. The next day her son came back and the same evening they got news about Seema’s death. Her body was cremated before they could reach there.

The SHO of the Sector 39 police station, inspector Rajesh Shukla, told The Tribune that it looked like a case of suicide. However, in order to rule out any doubt, the officials would get all samples chemically examined.

He said the victim’s neighbours had not expressed any suspicion. The statements of doctors had also been recorded.



Budget estimates
Admn achieves year’s targets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The budgetary spending is above the set targets, while revenue collection has increased for the Chandigarh administration for this financial year.

A review of the first seven months i.e. up to October 31 shows that the administration has achieved all targets set for the current year in budget estimates.

In the utilisation of plan head of the budget, 60 per cent of the allocation has been utilised till October 31 against the utilisation of 52 per cent during the corresponding period of last year.

Out of total allocation of Rs 267 crore, a sum of Rs 161 crore have been utilised.

Spending of budget is a critical component as it gives a clear indication on the spending patterns that have to be uniform through the year.

Similarly, under the non-plan head, the overall expenditure is Rs 770 crore against the allocation of Rs 1,150 cr.

This makes it 67 per cent utilisation against the utilisation of 58 per cent during the corresponding period of last year.

The collection of revenue stands at Rs 849 crore against the target of Rs 1,278 crore, which comes to 66 per cent as compared to 57 per cent achieved during the corresponding period of the year. Of this, tax revenue is Rs 500.18 crore, around 61 per cent of the target of Rs 820.1 crore.

The realisation under sales tax is Rs 378.84 crore against the target of Rs 570 crore, showing 66 per cent collection. This increase is attributed to better monitoring and supervision by the sales tax department and increased tax compliance by the tax payers.

The realisation of revenue under “taxes on vehicles” is Rs 14.94 crore, against the target of Rs 22 crore, which amounts 68 per cent of the target.

The realisation of revenue under non-tax is Rs 349.73 crore, against the target of Rs 458.52 crore achieving 76 per cent of the target. Till this time last year, only 61 per cent had been realised during the corresponding period.

The revenue from “sale of power” is Rs 207.82 crore, 61 per cent of the target of Rs 338 crore.

Similarly, the transport department has realised the revenue of Rs 47.68 crore during this period against the realisation of Rs 43.51 crore during the corresponding period of last year.



Expert's blueprint for slum rehabilitation
Feels relocation not a solution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
At the receiving end of the criticism on its much-touted rehabilitation policy, the Chandigarh administration can learn a lesson or two from Himanshu Parikh.

Acclaimed planner-engineer, credited with providing a decent standard of living to over 10 lakh slum dwellers in Gujarat, yesterday came out with a blueprint for better living conditions for slum dwellers.

However, Parikh has fundamental differences with the administration over the modus operandi of the slum rehabilitation, as he does not prefer relocation of slums to other parts of the city.

Provision of basic amenities, including water, electricity and sewerage, and not the relocation of slums was the way out to improve the plight of slum dwellers, contends Parikh, who was here to attend a seminar on housing for the poor.

“Slums are not parasites on the city. Any mechanism that does not involve slum dwellers as the capital partners is bound to fail,” Parikh told Chandigarh Tribune.

Instead of constructing new dwelling units, the authorities could provide upgraded infrastructure at about one-tenth the cost, he asserted underlining community participation in the upgrade of the civic amenities.

It may be mentioned that the administration was constructing over 20,000 dwelling units in different parts of the city for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers, who had encroached upon prime land in different pockets of the city.

Commenting on the UT rehabilitation policy, Parikh said it was “flawed”, as it did not involve slum dwellers as stake holders in the project.

“In fact, authorities had no business undertaking the construction of the new housing projects. This job should best be left to private builders or community so that they feel part and parcel of the development project in their areas,” he added.



3 villages get e-sampark centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Continuing with its drive to take “e-governance” to the doorstep of the rural folk, the Chandigarh administration opened three more “gram sampark” centres today, taking the number to seven.

Adviser to UT administrator Pradip Mehra inaugurated a “gram sampark” centre at Behlana village near the airport. Also, two centres became operational at Makhan Majra and Raipur Kalan from today.

Dhanas, Khuda Jassu, Kaimbwala and Raipur Khurd already have such centres.

Other villages like Dadu Majra, Hallo Majra, Khuda Ali Sher, Palsora, Darua and Mauli Jagran will also get these centres by December-end.

The centres have been constructed by renovating old buildings. A new building will be built at Maloya as it does not have an old structure to house the centre.

The adviser said the centre would not only provide public utility services but act as a rural knowledge centre equipped with an IT support structure.



Tenant credentials must for landlords: magistrate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The Chandigarh administration, as an emergency measure, has ordered landlords, owners or managers of commercial establishments not to rent out any accommodation to anyone without furnishing the particulars of the tenant to the SHO concerned.

All those who intend to offer accommodation on rent will have to inform to the SHO about the tenant in writing. District magistrate R.K. Rao issued orders under Section 144 of the CrPC as there was an apprehension that anti-social elements might make their hideouts clandestinely in the city.



Traders meet Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), led by its president Charanjiv Singh, today called on minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal in connection with the balanced rent act.

The delegation submitted a memorandum for seeking his support in safeguarding the interest of commercial tenants from the fallout of forwarding of controversial rent act notification for approval by Parliament. He said he would ensure that the notification was not approved.



Pathologists must pool knowledge: Expert
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, November 26
More study and frequent exchange of knowledge among pathologists in the field of skin cancer is needed for accurate diagnosis of the disease, said Dr Manoj K. Singh, department of pathology, AIIMS, New Delhi, here today.

Dr Singh, who is here at the annual meeting of the International Academy of Pathologist (Indian division) being held at the PGI, said as the diseases was not so common in the country and hospitals got just a few cases, many pathologists found it difficult to diagnose it due lack of substantial exposure to it.

Though big hospitals, where numerous pathologists worked together, were able to overcome the situation as they could consult their colleague, small hospitals having one or two pathologists found it hard to handle such cases, he said.

In fact the disease was found in people with white skin, which explained its common prevalence in countries like Australia and some states of the USA, said Dr Singh.

Exposure to ultraviolet rays and sun induced cancer, said Dr Singh.

Earlier, Prof Jaime Prat, chairman, department of pathology, Barcelona, Spain, delivered a lecture on cancer of uterus and how the molecular genetics could help in predicting its outcome.

Prof Ann Marie Nelson from Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, USA, who is an expert on the emerging infections and AIDS, spoke on the pathology of AIDS and showed how it changed as the treatment progressed.

Prof Kusum Joshi, head, pathology, PGI, while speaking on interstitial lung diseases said CT scan had become a prominent tool for the diagnosis of the disease.

Speakers from PGI faculty and Dr R. Kulshrestha (Delhi) delivered lectures on various aspects of common interstitial lung diseases.



Youth’s death to be probed
Suicide note recovered
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, November 26
The police will begin a probe into the death of 19-year-old Akbar who was found dead here in mysterious circumstances on Saturday.

According to the police, the victim was found dead by his family members who buried him the next day.

However, today members of Akbar’s family alleged that they had discovered a suicide note from his clothes in his room that blamed some city residents for his death.

Members of family alleged that their son was driven to kill himself by these persons. They handed over the suicide note to the police and demanded justice.

The police added that in the suicide note the victim referred to an incident where he was facing allegations of having misbehaved with a girl.

He wrote that he was innocent and had not done anything like that adding that he was receiving threats from certain residents of the town.

He further wrote that he was killing himself to prove his innocence.



State facing power crisis: BJP leader
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 26
The Bhupinder Singh Hooda government had failed on every front, alleged R.K. Gautam, leader of the BJP legislative party and MLA from Narnaund.

Talking to reporters here today, Gautam alleged that the state was facing an acute water and power crisis. The law and order situation was worsening with each passing day and the government seem to have forgotten its pre-poll promises, the BJP leader said.

Predicting mid-term poll, Gautam claimed that the BJP would win all 10 Lok Sabha seats from the state. The BJP leader also came down on former CM Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldip Bisnoi for misleading the people of Haryana.



Allotment of Plots
Long wait ahead for LoI holders
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 26
There seems to be a long wait ahead for majority of the letter of intent holders of Sectors 76 to 80 here.

While the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority has already allotted plots to over 1,540 LoI holders, for the rest, the wait for plots could extend for another six months.

Out of the 3,931 LoI holders, GMADA had allotted plots to 1,542 last month and it was expected that GMADA would allot another 1,000 plots in December.

Sources in the GMADA, however, said the first phase of draw of lots had been completed and the office was still busy in issuing letters to the successful allotees.

The second phase of allotment would begin only after the authority gets a feasibility study done of the area left with the GMADA. Moreover, sources pointed out that a lot of development work was yet to be finished before plots could be allotted.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) issued letters of intent to 3,931 persons when the residential scheme was floated in 2001. However, during the acquisition of land, some landowners, opposing the move, had approached the courts. Out of the total area of about 1,400 acre that falls in these sectors around 102 acre are currently under litigation and courts have stayed all activity on these patches of land.

The partial draw of lots was made possible after the GMADA recommended to the government that the areas, which were free of litigation, could be developed and feasible plots be handed over to the allotees.

As many as 2,577 plots in Sectors 77, 78, 79 and 80 were found to be feasible by the authority. However, since development works were complete only in Sectors 79 and 80, the first phase of draw of lots included only 1,542 sites.



Maintain news sense, minister tells media
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 26
“Media has played a very responsible role in India since Independence. But there is a need for the media to maintain its sense of news without ignoring the human element in every situation,” said Manoranjan Kalia, Punjab minister for local bodies and industries today.

Kalia was addressing media persons at the inauguration of the head office of the District Press Club, SAS Nagar, Phase V, here.

The minister recalled the remarkable role played by the Indian media during emergency. “It was difficult to muffle the media even then as men of courage would raise their voice against censorship of their columns but now it is simply impossible. The sheer proliferation of channels and newspapers ensures that wherever there is something happening, it is reported,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, director, public relations, Punjab, Tejveer Singh said the press was the fourth estate and its importance could not be undermined. He said all efforts would be made to bridge the gap between district media centres and the department.



1/4 GR sesquicentennial celebrations begin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The sesquicentennial celebrations of the First Battalion of The Fourth Gorkha Rifles (1/4 GR) began today with the flagging-in of the 4th Gorkha Rifles Car Rally in Chandi Mandir Military Station by Lieut-Gen Y.M. Bammi (retd), a former Commanding Officer of the unit.

Covering around 900 km, the rally passed through two states and reached Pithoragarh on November 24, before returning here today.

The rally aimed at fostering the spirit of adventure, developing soldiering and team building among participants, encouraging the nation’s youth to join the armed forces and renewing relations with retired soldiers and their families.

The flagging-in of the car rally was followed by a Mandir Parade (prayer meet) at the regimental temple.

Commanding officer Col S.K. Sharma along with officers, men as well as veterans offered prayers to the deities.

Among those present were Brig Y.P. Sethi (retd), who had commanded the battalion from January, 1963 to June, 1965, honorary Capt Khadka Bahadur Rana, who joined the battalion in 1942, and rifleman Mangal Singh, who had joined the unit in 1942.

This was followed by a pagal gymkhana, where a number of sports activities and entertainment programs like “jalebi” race for kids, musical chair for women and camel riding and lucky draw were organised.

Later in the evening, a get-together was organised at Shivalik Officers institute, Chandi Mandir, for officers and guests.



Fauji Beat
They exemplify officer-man relationship

Gillian, widow of the late Maj-Gen Derek Horsford, seated first from the left, among the 1GR officers and their wives at the reunion of their regiment.
Gillian, widow of the late Maj-Gen Derek Horsford, seated first from the left, among the 1GR officers and their wives at the reunion of their regiment.

They left the Indian soil more than 60 years ago. But their heart and minds are still rooted in their regiments. No wonder then that British officers and their wives in their 80s and 90s still come all the way to attend the reunions of their regiments in India. Many of them who have passed away are often represented by their sons at these reunions.

When the late Maj-Gen Derek Horsford, a former Commanding Officer of 4/1 Gorkha Rifles (GR), received the invitation for the reunion of 1GR at the 14 Gorkha Training Centre (GTC) in Sabathu, he was ailing and knew that he would not be able to attend it. He, therefore, urged his wife Gillian to attend the reunion on November 15, and then tell him all about it on her return. Though he passed away about a month before the reunion, his wife fulfilled his wishes and laid the same wreath at the war memorial, which was laid at her husband’s funeral service by the British officers.

Lieut-Gen Sir Reginald Savory of the Sikh Regiment, recorded in India on February 8, 1969: “My main memory of my life in the Indian Army is one of a relationship between officers and man, which has seldom, if ever, been achieved in the history of any army”.

Mohali needs KV

The necessity of having a Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) School at Mohali has been felt since long. When All-India Defence Brotherhood (AIDB) members approached the former KV Regional Director last year, he had agreed to initiate a case for establishing a school at Mohali, if the Punjab government provided land for it.

Accordingly, the AIDB requested the then Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for the allotment of five acres of land at a concessional rate for setting up a KV School. As a result, the CM’s office wrote to the chief administrator (CA), PUDA, Mohali, on August 25, 2006 thus: “Hon’ble Chief Minister has desired that the request for allotment of land be considered and action taken report be sent to this office for his information at an early date”.

When no action was taken by the CA, PUDA, on the CM’s office letter, a delegation of the AIDB met the ACA, PUDA, who said: “We don’t bother about such letter”. The president, AIDB, conveyed this officer’s remarks to the CM in writing on November 4, 2006. Yet nothing happened.

Dental treatment

Maj-Gen Hardyal Singh (retd), who lives in Chandigarh, informed this writer a few days ago that both empanelled dental clinics had refused to treat him. “Why have these clinics (one each in Sectors 22 and 44, Chandigarh) been empanelled if they are not to give treatment to the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members”, he further said. A number of other ECHS members have also come up with this complaint.

This problem stems from the fact that the rates for dental treatment approved by the Central ECHS authorities are not acceptable to the dental clinics because they are not inclusive of lab charges for the preparation of dentures. In the absence of any dental treatment facilities, the ECHS members are being put to great difficulty. This problem needs to be sorted out by the authorities concerned on top priority basis.

— Pritam Bhullar



Make people aware of rules

On November 19, I went to the Chandigarh RLA office for getting a learner’s licence made. I carried original as well as self-attested photocopies of the required documents. I also carried a copy of the UT administration’s notification issued on June 14 regarding discontinuation of attested (by gazette officers) certificates and affidavits etc. While waiting for my turn, I found that most of the people there were carrying attested copies (by gazetted officer) and affidavits. When I showed them the notification, almost everybody showed ignorance about it.

Mere issuance of a notification by the administration is not sufficient. Residents of Chandigarh need to be made aware of this through newspapers in English, Hindi and Punjabi languages. Some NGOs should come forward to make people aware of the rules and regulations.

Keshav, Chandigarh

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



3 killed in accidents
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 26
Sukhdeep Singh, a resident of Sector 68, died in an accident that took place outside the PUDA building last night.

The victim was on his motorcycle when he was hit by a jeep coming from the opposite side. Sukhdeep Singh belonged to Hoshiapur and was staying as a tenant here. He was returning home when the jeep, being driven by Karambir Singh, a resident of Muktsar, hit him. Sukhdeep was rushed to Fortis hospital where he died today. Karambir Singh is also admitted to the hospital.

Meamwhile, in Lalru, a 25-year-old resident of Udgani village was killed in an accident last night. The accident took place when the victim, Kamal Kumar, along with his friend Darshan, was going on his motorcycle on the Banur-Lehli road. The two were hit by a truck coming from the opposite direction. Kamal, who was driving the motorcycle, died on the spot while his friend was admitted to the hospital. The truck driver left the truck at the spot and fled. The police has registered a case.

In another accident, Kuldip Singh, a Haryana Government employee, was run over by a Haryana Roadways bus in front of Government College, Sector 1, Panchkula, today. The accident occurred when the deceased disembarked from the front door of the bus. While disembarking, Kuldip reportedly lost balance and was crushed under the rear wheels of the bus. A postmortem was conducted at the local general hospital.



2 youths snatch gold chain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Two unidentified motorcyclists snatched a gold chain of a woman in Sector 27 this afternoon.

Shushil Gupta of Sector 27 reported to the police that two unidentified youngsters riding a motor cycle snatched her gold chain near her residence at 3 pm.

She was going to her neighbour’s house when the incident occurred.

The youngsters were wearing helmets. A case has been registered.

House burgled

Sawinder Singh of Sector 46 filed a complaint with the police alleging that a video camera, a silver set, four gold bangles, a pair of earrings and Rs 45,000 were stolen from his residence. The incident took place between November 23 and 26 after thieves broke open the door. A case has been registered.


Anil Sharma of modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Rs 2,500 were stolen from his shop in Mariwala town in Mani Majra, last night. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

Harnek Singh of Kharar reported to the police alleging that his motor cycle (PB 27 B 8663) was stolen from the Rose Garden parking in Sector 16 on Sunday.

In another incident, Jatinderbir of Sector 38-A lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH 01 F 0959) was stolen from his residence on November 6. Two cases of theft have been registered.

Battery stolen

Anil Dhamija, SDO electricity sub-division No. VII, Sector 35, reported to the police that a battery was stolen from a government vehicle (CH 01 G 1 0407) parked at the sub-division on Saturday night.

A case has been registered.


Jagir Singh, a Mullanpur resident, and his two minor sons suffered injuries after a Skoda car (CH 03 Q-5560) hit the moped they were riding on near the Mullanpur bridge this morning.

The injured were taken to the PGI. The children have been identified as Manpreet and Muna. A case of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving has been registered against the driver on a complaint lodged by constable Balwant Singh.



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