C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S




ICL Action From Today
6 teams and this glittering trophy
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The resplendent ICL trophy which was to be unveiled at Hotel Mount View at 10 am today, was finally uncovered at the Taj in the afternoon.

As 10 am, photojournalists were asked to re-assemble at the Taj, if at all they were to capture the “prized” moment. It was exact 1.30 pm when most guests at the Taj were savouring lunch that the organisers unveiled the 24- inch tall trophy in silver and golden with intricate "meenakari".

The trophy symbolises vibrancy, freshness and innovation- hallmarks of the the new 20-20 game. It is designed by world-famous trophy maker Amit Pabuwal and his wife Kiran Pabuwal.

Ashish Kaul, executive vice-president, Essel Group, said: "The trophy is a brilliant piece of work. It is in tandem with our endeavour to provide the best in the game of cricket."

Elaborating on the design, Amit Pabuwal said : "The trophy is a masterpiece, a great piece of workmanship. The three cones represent three key aspects of cricket i.e. batting, bowling and fielding, three results of the game;win, lose and tie; and three kinds of players- batsman, bowler and fielder."

Pabuwal has earlier designed trophies for Friendship Cup, ICC Twenty20 World Cup, Future Cup ( India vs Australia) both one-day and 20-20 trophies, Future Cup (India vs South Africa), Indian Oil Cup-India vs Pak, ODI and Indian Oil cup, and India vs Pak Test series.

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Star Pull: 85 pc tickets gone
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

All six team captains (from left) Inzamam-ul-Haq (Hyderabad Heroes), Brian Lara (Mumbai Champs), Chris Cairns (Chandigarh Lions), Marvan Atapattu (Delhi Jets), Stuart Law (Chennai Super Stars) and Craig Mcmillan (Kolkata Tigers), with their ICL teams, at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
All six team captains (from left) Inzamam-ul-Haq (Hyderabad Heroes), Brian Lara (Mumbai Champs), Chris Cairns (Chandigarh Lions), Marvan Atapattu (Delhi Jets), Stuart Law (Chennai Super Stars) and Craig Mcmillan (Kolkata Tigers), with their ICL teams, at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Panchkula, November 29
Star power or the popularity of cricket in the country, the ICL has sold 85 per cent tickets so far, claim organisers.

“Yes, we have sold 85 per cent of the tickets for tomorrow’s match,” said an official. It will be a packed house as we expect last-minute spectators,” he said.

After the publication of news of Kareena performing during the inauguration, the sales just went up.

“We know Bollywood stars are the biggest crowd-pullers. That’s why we ropes them in,” said an official.

“I and my friends are going to see my favourite actress Kareena Kapoor. The Twenty20 match between Chandigarh and Delhi teams will be the icing on the cake,” said Sanjeev of Panchkula.

Tickets will be available at the counters being set up at the stadium.

Inauguration

Gates will be opened at 4 pm and the inauguration ceremony takes place at 5 pm. The opening match between Chandigarh Lions and Delhi Jets kicks off at 6 pm.

Pitch

South Africa curator Phil Russel has prepared bouncy tracks with a tinge of green to produce bounce and speed.

Toss

Toss will play a vital role during the evening match due to dew. The team which bats second, is likely to have the edge.

VIP guests

Bollywood heartthrob Kareena Kapoor and item girl Yana Gupta will perform at the inauguration ceremony.

Cheerleaders

As many as 15 international cheerleaders will entertain the public as well as cheer the teams.

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PEC teacher caught faking TA/DA bills
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
An assistant professor at Punjab Engineering College goes to attend a conference in Delhi. He claims travelling allowance and dearness allowance worth thousands of rupees, certifying that he went to Delhi in his car and stayed there for two days. PEC pays for his trip, but it doesn’t end there.

The professor did not know that he was being trailed on the day he claimed to have left for Delhi. He was found to have parked his car at the Chandigarh railway station, to board a train (in all likelihood). He returned a day later and drove home in his car to the PEC campus.

The sleuth on his trail took pictures of the car parked at the station parking. He managed a copy of the parking slip retained by the attendants bearing the professor’s car number.

He also contacted the National Highway Authority of India’s toll plaza on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway which certified that no car bearing the number had crossed the highway barrier that day.

It emerged that the professor not only claimed the petrol charges for his car but also claimed DA for his stay in Delhi for two days (12.3.2007 to 14.3.2007) when he actually came back the following day. Records of the PEC entry gate showing the time of his car entering the campus have also been obtained.

When an anonymous complaint along with proof reached the then PEC head some months ago, the latter marked an inquiry. A retired IAS officer on the inquiry panel was assigned the task. The assistant professor chose to keep away from the proceedings, claiming that he was unwell and admitted to the PGI.

During his state of “grave” ill-health, he sent a legal notice to the college, alleging victimisation. The notice accused the PEC head of bias and dwelt at length on irregularities in his functioning, and in a brief closing explanation denied the false TA/DA allegations. No effort was made by the teacher to submit proof that he had indeed travelled by his car to Delhi that day.

He was subsequently charge-sheeted. He made frantic calls to the home secretary and representations, alleging victimisation. The home secretary asked the college to explain the move to charge sheet the professor.

In a communication to the inquiry officer, the assistant professor also mentioned that he had already contacted the Home Secretary demanding a stay on the inquiry proceedings.

Early this month, the college sent its comments to the home secretary along with proof collected against him-parking slip, photographs of his parked car, photograph of the eyewitness, his name and telephone number and the vehicle entry record at PEC.

Home secretary Krishan Mohan could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. The charge-sheeted assistant professor denied that he was facing an inquiry. He also denied having made a representation to the Home Secretary.

When told that a copy of charge sheet against him was available with the Tribune, he snapped back: “It must all have been forged.”

The assistant professor who is from the department of civil engineering has been charge sheeted earlier also on some other account following which he was advised to be careful in the future.

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COMMUNITY
 

Security dry run prior to Ansari visit
Tribune News Service

A cavalcade moves as part of a security drill on the eve of Vice-President Mohammad Ansari’s two-day visit to Chandigarh, on Thursday.
A cavalcade moves as part of a security drill on the eve of Vice-President Mohammad Ansari’s two-day visit to Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, November 29
The Chandigarh police today carried out a security drill to fine-tune the arrangements for a two-day visit of Vice-President Mohammad Ansari to the city. He is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow afternoon.

A senior police official told the TNS that elaborate security arrangements had been made for the visit.

A cavalcade was moved from the airport along the Vice-President’s proposed route as a dress rehearsal.

One-way traffic will be allowed along the VIP route and arrangements have been made in such a way that minimum inconvenience is caused to general public.

The police said the Vice-President will proceed to the Punjab Raj Bhawan from the airport and thereafter go to the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Sector 19, to deliver a lecture.

Thereafter, the Vice-President will return to the Raj Bhawan.

On Saturday, he will go to Panjab University to lay the foundation stone of the proposed Rs 3-crore college and ‘Yuva Bhawan’.

After the function, Ansari will go to Haryana Raj Bhawan for a lunch before leaving for Delhi.

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Venue changed

Chandigarh, November 29
Owing to security reasons, the venue for the laying of foundation stone of Rajiv Gandhi College Bhawan by chancellor Mohammad Ansari has been changed.

The ceremony, which was earlier scheduled to be held outdoors, will now take place at the Panjab University auditorium on December 1.

Addressing mediapersons, vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti here today said the new college bhawan had been an outstanding demand of the university, which went back to around 50 years.

“It will begin a new chapter in the history of the university. It will facilitate interaction between college teachers and university authorities.”

He said the university would set up an institute of paramedical sciences and vocational studies at Kaoni village, Mukstar (Punjab), at the cost of Rs 5 crore.

An approval would be sought from the senate and syndicate.

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Centre okays 20 pc hike in budget
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The union government today okayed a hike of 20 per cent in this year’s budgetary allocation for Chandigarh. A sum of Rs 50 crore was sanctioned over and above the existing Rs 267-crore plan allocation as the revised budget estimates were approved by the Lok Sabha today.

The money will be used to initiate projects for construction of schools, houses for government employees, widening of roads, augmentation of mid-day meals schemes and sewage disposal system of the municipal corporation.

Though Rs 50 crore may seem meagre for these schemes, officials explain that this is just for the four months of this financial year or the period ending March 31, 2008.

The money will be more than sufficient to start the projects and then carry these forwards to the next financial year.

Being a Union Territory, the city is governed directly by the union ministry of home affairs and the budget is passed in Parliament. The Chandigarh administration had got a setback in the past when the union finance ministry refused a 20 per cent hike saying it was too high.

Meetings with local MP and union minister of state Pawan Bansal resulted in a breakthrough.

Local municipal councillor and former senior deputy mayor of the city Pardeep Chhabra said Bansal had got a sum of Rs 86 crore for the corporation under the Jawarharlal Nehru national urban renewal mission and another Rs 100 crore for the PGI for the purchase of specialised equipment.

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Govt buildings to get CFL lamps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The Chandigarh administration will go on a power-saving drive. All tubelights and bulbs in offices of the administration will be replaced by CFL lamps, that are known to consume less power.

This is part of a comprehensive action plan framed for promoting the use of renewable energy by the administration, a spokesperson said today.

The action plan includes installation of solar water heating system, solar photovoltaic energy programme, solar photovoltaic power plant and procuring battery-operated vehicles in the city.

All government buildings, including Raj Bhawan, UT guest house, government houses, will be provided with solar water heating system.

Streetlights powered by solar power will also be provided at all government buildings and villages.

A solar photovoltaic power plant will be installed at UT secretariat and 10 battery operated vehicles will be procured by the CTU.

Conventional three-wheelers will be replaced by promoting battery operated three-wheelers.

Buildings in forest areas will also be provided with devices that generate renewable energy to help promote the use of alternative sources of energy and educating people about it.

The administration is also in the process of finalising the plans for super-deluxe building in Sector 9, which will house offices of the UT.

This will be designed to be environmentally friendly, energy-efficient using renewable energy and efficient in water management.

This will also improve public and occupant health due to improved air quality inside the building.

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Burail Jail
IG directed to fill vacant posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The police may have taken stern steps to beef up security arrangements after the infamous jailbreak in 2004 at the Modern Jail, Burail, the jail is still short on staff.

The central administrative tribunal (CAT) has directed the IG to fill the vacant posts of assistant superintendent of jail within four months.

The vacant post will be filled in accordance with the rules by considering eligible persons who fall within the zone of consideration for promotion.

The applicant, Hari Singh, who is head warder in the jail, stated that there were three posts of assistant superintendent of jail, but only one had been filled.

He alleged that the IG and superintendent traffic had illegally given own rank and pay (ORP) rank of assistant superintendent jails to Deep Kumar on November 20, 2004.

Hari Singh further pointed out that Deep Kumar was promoted without considering others.

In spite of being the senior-most officer under the rules, Hari Singh was not taken into consideration for the post.

The applicant’s lawyer argued that there was a shortage of staff in jail. He said: “Gupta committee was formed after the jailbreak incident perpetrated by Jagtar Singh Hawara and others. The committee found that while there should have been seven posts of assistant superintendent jail, only one person was recruited against the post.”

He added that the suggestions of the committee had never been implemented.

The defence lawyer claimed that the recommendations of the committee had been forwarded to the Government of India for approval.

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List of holidays
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The CGEWCC, Chandigarh, today issued the list of closed (gazetted holidays) and restricted holidays for 2008 for central government employees residing in tricity.

They are: Makara Sankranti (January 14), Muharram (January 19), Republic Day (January 26), Milad-un-Nabi (March 21), Good Friday (March 21), Ram Navmi (April 14), Mahavir Jayanti (April 18), Buddha Purnima (May 20), Independence Day (August 15), Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti (Oct 2), Id-ul-Fitr (Oct 2), Dussehra-Maha Saptami (Oct 6), Dussehra-Vijay Dashmi (Oct 9), Diwali (Oct 28), Guru Nanak’s Birthday (Nov 13), Id-ul-Zuha (Dec 9) and Christmas (Dec 25).

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Kashmiri Pandits demand homeland
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
In the backdrop of ethnic cleansing and exodus of Kashmiri Hindus following terrorism in Kashmir, the Pannu Kashmir Movement (PKM) today demanded a homeland for Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir.

This demand raised by PKM president Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who is leading a ‘sankalp yatra’, which reached the city yesterday. The yatra would bring the issues about the ethnic cleansing and exodus of the community in a forceful and practical manner by conducting a journey of 7,000 km at the national level, Chrungoo said.

The yatra, which started from Shetalnath, a historically important place for the Kashmiri Hindu community, on November 11, would cover nine states and two union territories before culminating at Jammu on December 28, he added. Expressing concern over the human rights of the minorities in Jammu and Kashmir, the PKM leader said the yatra would endeavour to involve the youth in the political struggle of the community by making them a part of the two-month long yatra.

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Raids on Jain stores continue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Amid unconfirmed reports that undisclosed income of Rs 2.5 crore had been found during raids at garment retails stores of the Jains, IT raids continued for the second day today.

The raids at retail garment outlets at 11 places were conducted yesterday by the investigation wing of the IT department, official sources said. A few bank lockers of the owners have been sealed.

During preliminary investigation, the department reportedly found that these stores were suppressing actual sales in a bid to evade tax.

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Blood Money
Hospital begins probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, has started an inquiry into the sale of blood from its blood bank illegally.

The local police had raided the blood bank and arrested a hospital staffer for allegedly selling blood illegally yesterday.

Medical superintendent Dr Usha Bishnoi said additional director (malaria) Dr Rajinder Sharma had been asked to conduct the inquiry into the incident.

No specific guidelines had been issued for conducting the inquiry and the ADM would look into all aspects of the incident, said Dr Bishnoi.

Dr Sharma said he had initiated the inquiry and asked the hospital authorities to provide him with pertinent record.

However, no period could be earmarked for completing the inquiry at present, he added.

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Mayoral elections on January 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Elections for the city mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor will be held on January 1, 2008. Deputy Commissioner R.K. Rao issued a notice to this effect here today.

Nominated councillor Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri will conduct the meeting for the same.

The nominations are scheduled for December 26 between 11 am and 5 pm. This is likely to see opposition as the current mayor will have to demit office 11 days before the end of tenure, if the oath-taking ceremony takes place the following day.

This year the elections were held on January 11.

Chandermukhi Sharma said the elections should be held on January 11 and the mayor be allowed to complete term.

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Letters
City not safe

ONLY a day after the police decided to be present at the public places to put a check on crime, two youths snatched a woman’s chain in broad daylight in the presence of at least 10 persons and fled away.

Perhaps, the police is busy in carnivals and issuing challans than controlling crime. This incident, like many others, will also be brushed off and the police will continue to speak loudly about putting a check on crime in the city.

Manjula Kiran, 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

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CRIME
 

Enforcement staff face traders’ wrath
3 officials hurt, 2 trucks damaged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
An inspector of the municipal corporation’s enforcement wing along with two other employees sustained injuries when an unruly mob of shopkeepers, opposing the anti-encroachment drive, restored to stone pelting at the rehri market, Sector 19, here this afternoon.

The injured have been identified as inspector K.D. Sharma and enforcement wing employees Vinod Kumar and Anil Kumar.

The police arrested five shopkeepers — Manoj Kumar, Om Prakash, Shushil Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Suresh Kumar — after registering a case of rioting, causing injuries, obstructing a government servant from discharging his duties and damaging property under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

The incident happened around 2 pm when a team of the municipal corporation came to the market in two trucks to remove unauthorised vendors.

The staff picked up the goods of shopkeepers and loaded them on to the trucks.

The shopkeepers opposed the move and tried to prevent the enforcement staff from taking away their goods. Some shopkeepers climbed on to the trucks to take back their belongings.

At the same time, a crowd assembled there and pelted the staff with stones, leaving three members injured. Window panes of the trucks were also smashed.

SHO of police station-19 Sukhdev Singh Bhullar told the TNS that the case was registered on a complaint lodged by sub-inspector Lalit Sharma of the enforcement wing.

Sharma alleged that they had gone to the market to remove encroachments when the shopkeepers assaulted them.

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Man killed in hit-&-run case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
An unidentified man in his mid-30s was killed in a hit-and-run case late last night. The victim sustained serious head injuries in the accident and was taken to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries later.

The police said Murari Lal of Sector 20 informed the police that an unidentified vehicle sped away after hitting a pedestrian near Labour Chowk on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

The mishap took place around 11 pm and the victim sustained severe head injuries and fell unconscious.

The police said no document was found on the victim. Efforts were on to establish his identity. The body was shifted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, for a post-mortem examination.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against unidentified driver in this connection.

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Body found near CII office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The body of an unidentified man in his 50s was found near the CII office in Sector 31 here last night. The police said the man apparently died due to cold as no visible injury mark was found on the body.

According to the police, a passer-by spotted the body and informed the police.

A Rs 10 note was found clutched in the deceased’s hand. No other document or article leading to the identification of the man was found on the body. The body was shifted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

The police said roadside vendors in Sector 31 told investigating officials that the man had been seen wandering around and begging in the area.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this connection.

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BUSINESS
 

Auction of 151 sites in city after 4 yrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
After a gap of almost four years, the Chandigarh administration will hold an auction for 99 residential and 52 commercial sites on December 17 and December 18. The auction has raised much interest as the city is riding high on a real estate boom.

It is to be held as per the new “Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007” notified recently by the administration. In departure from the earlier practice, the bidder would now have to deposit Rs 2 lakh as advance payment and not a mere fee of Rs 500. The entire bid money would have to be deposited within 90 days from the date of auction.

Sources said the 90-day condition would discourage speculators and encourage genuine buyers. Earlier, the payment had to be made in four years.

Officials are hopeful that the auction would serve as a bench mark for the rates of property in the city. At the last auction in February 2004, the average auction price was calculated at Rs 1.17 lakh per sq yard.

Estate officer R.K. Rao said the allotment letter would be issued on payment of full premium. The allottee who failed to complete the building within the stipulated time period would be given another opportunity to do so in the next five years on payment of penalty at a 10 per cent, 15 per cent, 20 per cent, 25 per cent , 30 per cent for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth year, respectively.

The commercial sites (booths, bay shops, SCOs) to go under the hammer are in Sectors 7, 20, 24, 29, 31, 33, 34 sub-city centre, 36-D, 39, 40, 43, 44 and 47.

Barring a one-kanal house in Sector 11, a majority of the residential plots were in the southern sectors.

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