C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rape In Security Zone
Can’t get any worse, say city women
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The shocking rape of a woman inside the official quarters of Haryana Raj Bhavan in the wee hours today and the rising incidents of chain snatching in the city has raised fresh fears in the minds of women regarding their own safety and that of their kin.

A sea change in careers and lifestyle means lakhs of youngsters, a sizeable number of them women, are working till the wee hours. A woman, working in a call centre said what to talk about late night hours, ruffians roamed freely on city roads during day times too, striking targets in their homes.

“On road at any point of time, a woman can become a target of sexual harassment. A leisure walk in the park may turn into a draconian incident of purse or chain snatching,” she said.

The rapidly growing urban multiplexes have been frequently witnessing incidents of road rage, shooting and drunken brawls, besides snatchings and robberies.The police is almost invisible at night and miscreants break rules with impunity at busy intersections during the day as the police looks the other way.

The police control room vehicle was not stationed at the roundabout when the woman and the man accompanying her were dragged into the official quarters of Haryana Raj Bhawan’s security guards.

MC councillor and social activist Amrit Bolaria, greatly alarmed at the rape incident in a “security zone”, says: “It can’t get any worse. Girls working in my NGO have reported incidents of molestation by cab drivers and hooligans. They feel unsafe when returning home at night. Worst still-none is ready to lodge a complaint.”

Reports of gangs on speeding bikes taking to the streets at night has failed to move the police. Besides these stuntmen, others who endanger lives at night are youngsters, mostly inebriated, in their cars who beat up other drivers if denied right of way.

Most hit and run cases remain unsolved. Drunken brawls outside discos, fast food joints, restaurants and ahatas are also on the rise.

The rape took place in the precincts of Raj Bhavan, a high-security area. Can Governors of Punjab and Haryana consider themselves safe in a complex where a poor woman, out to earn a livelihood, was subjected to sexual abuse by men assigned to maintain law and order.

When contacted, the UT SSP said the police was conducting a meeting with the Mohali and Panchkula police. On snatchings, he said a gang from Uttar Pradesh was suspected to be behind the incidents.

Citing shortage of staff as a reason, he admitted that night patrolling had suffered as the force was overworked and had to perform multiple tasks in the day, that too for long hours which reduced efficiency. However, efforts were on to improve policing. 



Sarpanch hurt in clash over land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Tension prevailed in Khudda Ali Sher village this morning when a group of armed men assaulted the village sarpanch, injuring him grievously, following a dispute over a piece of land.

A police contingent along with senior officials reached as both parties pelted stones and each other. Sarpanch Gurdial Singh had a fractured leg, besides sustaining multiple injuries.

One Chandpal of Amritsar reached the village accompanied by over 30 persons this morning and began construction over an eight-marla plot in the village. Gurdial Singh, claiming to be owner of the plot, reached there and demanded that the construction be stopped. At this, the sarpanch attacked Gurdial Singh. On hearing his cries, the villagers began to assemble there.

As tension began to grow, the police was informed. Gurdial Singh was admitted to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital. Amanveer and other persons of the Amritsar party also suffered injuries.

Chandpal from Amritsar claimed that he had the registry of the plot in his mother’s name which she had purchased in 1994. On the other hand, Gurdial Singh claimed he had the general power of attorney of the plot purchased by him three years ago.

The police said a case of rioting, causing injuries and criminal intimidation had been registered in this regard and 20 persons, including Chandpal, arrested 



2 killed in accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
A 24-year-old man died in a road accident after his motorcycle rammed into a berm on the road dividing Sectors 34 and 35 here last night. In another incident, a cyclist was killed after being hit by a truck.

The motorcyclist, a resident of Sector 52, was seriously hurt in the mishap. He was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital, where he died.

Ratti Ram of Colony No. 4 reported that a truck (CH-01-G-2007) hit a cyclist near the poultry farm chowk this morning. The victim was seriously hurt and rushed to the Sector 32 hospital, where he was declared “brought dead.”

Child dead in P’kula P4



Chandigarh Ungoverned
Beggars take over ‘world-class city’
Aditi Tandon and Ramanjit S. Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
In 2000, the then UT inspector-general of police R.P. Singh ordered a major drive against beggars operating from the Sector 22 Aroma light point. When the raiding team reached the spot, they were shocked to find the junction clear. Intimated in advance of the impending drive, the mendicants had vanished, exposing the police-beggar nexus.

Eight years later, the situation remains unchanged. The police has failed to spot any beggar in the city, estimated to number 4,000. This year, not a single case under the Haryana Prevention of Beggary Act (extended to Chandigarh) has been registered (the figure last year was 40). This is enough indication of the “camaraderie” the law enforcers and law breakers share.

And if you thought the beggars operated only from plush locations and tourist spots, here’s an update. Some have homed in on UT police headquarters in Sector 9, where a 50-something beggar has been residing for three years.

Nothing has been done to discourage him, despite the police personnel raising the matter with their superiors, say sources. The word also is that he shares his booty with those in command at the beat.

The practice is common across the city, where children younger than seven are being roped in for the trade controlled by begging syndicates. The law doesn’t recognize children below 7 as juveniles, so they can’t be arrested for begging. Emboldened, they throng light points, educational institutes and markets especially in the commercial sectors — 17, 34, 35, 22, 9, 10 and 11 — creating a nuisance and traffic hazard. The only places beggars find hard to access are posh eateries in Sectors 26 and 35. Their owners reportedly pay off cops to keep beggars at bay.

While the menace grows, the police express helplessness in the matter. The city is yet to have a home for beggars or a scheme to rehabilitate them.

The UT administration has designated a part of children’s home as beggars’ home - something the Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee has been objecting to.

It’s time that policy-makers devised strategies to curb the menace before it harms Chandigarh’s reputation as a city about to enter UNESCO’s world heritage list.

No tourist would like to be chased around by beggars in a city being marketed as an international tourism destination. For the record, crores are spent every year on the promotion of Chandigarh in world travel marts abroad. A part of that money can be easily diverted to ensure beggars spare a “world-class city”.



Fish Death
Algae overgrowth, toxicity responsible: Experts
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The habitat of fish needs to be improved in the Sukhna waters in order check fish mortality, say experts.

The recent death of fish may be due to high density of aquatic fauna or increase in water toxicity, they feel. Pollution, siltation, faulty water management practices, etc., are also responsible for the decline of the aquatic fauna.

Biologist M.S. Johal, principal investigator of an administration-sponsored study, “Aquatic diversity of Sukhna Lake”, from December 2005 to July 2006, believes that the recent death of fish may be due to the overgrowth of algae that depletes dissolved oxygen in shallow water.

The lake is home to 197 aquatic flora and fauna species, including 32 fish species.

Johal says studies should be conducted to know the exact carrying capacity of the lake. This will help biologists know how much aquatic fauna it supports.

If the lake is “overcrowded”, the annual stocking of Indian major carps should be stopped and selective fish harvesting should be adopted.

Selective harvesting will minimise inter-species competition. Harvesting was stopped in the early 80s.

More species of minnows, a small fish, should be introduced to minimise competition for food among species.

G.S. Dhillon, a former chief engineer, irrigation, Punjab, says the lake is gasping for water. Its water level has reached an alarming low.

He says soil conservation and afforestation schemes in the catchment have reduced the inflow into the lake.

B.K. Das, a former professor in the department of geology, Panjab University, says though the administration has imposed a ban on performing rituals near the lake, it has not banned the offering of wheat flour and other foodstuff to the fish. Everyday, people can be seen offering foodstuff to aquatic creatures.

This enables the growth of parasites, especially when the water level is shallow, that are one of the main causes of fish death.

Gajinder Singh, a Ropar-based fish farmer, feels more safety pits should be dug around the lake and the existing ones should be cleared from the silt.

The fish could use these pits when the water level in the lake is low. Such pits, which are deeper than the pond level, are useful in fish farming.

Regular monitoring of the quality of water must also be carried out, Johal adds. Since a large carpet of algae forms on the surface of the water, it obstructs atmospheric oxygen from dissolving into the water.

Shallow water conditions promote algae.



Rose festival results 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
On the eve of the Rose festival, UT administration today declared results of various categories of awards. The results have been categorised under Classes-D (individual awards) and E (organisation awards).

Results: CLASS D: Flowers and plants grown in pots
Harmohan Sethi and his wife in their garden which got the first prize in 2 kanal house garden category, in Sector 21, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Harmohan Sethi and his wife in their garden which got the first prize in 2 kanal house garden category, in Sector 21, Chandigarh, on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Aster: 1 S. Marriya; Antirrhinum: 1 Chandrma Singh, 2 Sanjay Thareja; Verbena: 1 S. Marriya, 2 D.S. Sharma; Salvia: 1 S.Marriya, 2 Guru Gobind Singh; Brachycome: 1 Sanjay Thareja, 2 S. Marriya; Cineraria: 1 S.Marriya, Sanjay Thareja, 2 S.Marriya; Collection of different foliage plant: 1 Hari Ram Mali, 2 Mishu Kohli and Inderpal; Collection of Cacti: 1 Sanjay Thareja, 2 Brig C.S. Bewli and Sushil Kumar 2; Collection of Succulent: 1 Brig C.S. Bewli, 2 Sushil Kumar, Sanjay Thareja and Harsimran Kaur; Bonsai formal upright style: 1 Rupan Deol Bajaj, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj; Bonsai informal upright style: 1 Rupan Deol Bajaj, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj; Bonsai Cascade style: 1 Brig C.S.Bewli, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj; Bonsai Broom style: 1 Rupan Deol Bajaj, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj; Bonsai miniature: 1 Rupan Deol Bajaj, 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj; Bonsai grown as Group planting style: 1 Rupan Deol Bajaj; 2 Rupan Deol Bajaj and Brig C.S. Beweli; Dahlia: 1 Harsimran Kaur, 2 Harsimraj Kaur; Dianthus: 1 Vijay Kumar, 2 Guru Gobind Singh College for Women; Geranium: 1 S.Marriya, 2 Sant Sarup Singh Ji; Kale: 1 Sanjay Thareja, 2 S.Marriya; Marigold: 1 Hari Ram Mali, 2 Kulbir Kaur Gurudwara Sant Sar Sahib and Sant Sarup Singh Ji; Namesia: 1 S.Marriya, 2 S.Marriya; Nasturtium: 1 S.Marriya, 2 S.Marriya and Kulbir Kaur Gurudwara Sant Sar Sahib; Petunia double hybrid: 1 S.marriya; Petunia single hybrid: 1 S.Marriya, 2 S.Marriya; Pansy: 1 Kulbir Kaur Gurudwara Sant Sar Sahib, 2 S.Marriya; Phlox: 1 S.Marriya, 2 Hans Raj; Any other flower: 1 Han Raj Public School, 2 Guru Gobind Singh College for Women 2.

Class E: Flower and plants grown in pots

Aster: 1 CITCO, 2 CITCO; Antirrhinum: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 Chandigarh Housing Board; Verbena: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 Chandigarh Housing Board; Brachycome: 1 Ranbaxy Lab’s Ltd and Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 Ranbaxy Lab’s Ltd 2; Cineraria: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 Chandigarh Housing Board; Carnation: 1 CITCO, 2 Chandigarh Housing Board; Collection of foliage plants: 1 Chief Administrator HUDA, 2 Chief Administrator HUDA; Collection of Cacti: 1 Chief Administrator HUDA, 2 Chief Administrator HUDA; Collection of Succulent: 1 The Gurukul School, 2 Chief Administrator HUDA; Dahlia: 1 Panjab University, 2 CITCO and Ranbaxy Lab’s Ltd; Geanium: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 CITCO; Marigold: 1 C.R.R.I.D, 2 C.R.R.I.D and Chandigarh Housing Board; Namesia: 1 C.R.R.I.D, 2 C.R.R.I.D; Nasturtium: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 C.R.R.I.D and CITCO; Petunia Double hybrid: 1 Regional Institute of Co-operative Management; Petunia Single hybrid: 1 CITCO, 2 Regional Institute of Co-operative Management; Pansy: 1 CITCO, 2 CITCO; Phlox: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board, 2 Chandigarh Housing Board; Salvia: 1 Chandigarh Housing Board; Stock: 1 C.R.R.I.D, 2 CITCO; Kale: 1 CITCO, 2 CITCO and Chandigarh Housing Board; Any other flowers: 1 CITCO, 2 Chandigarh Housing Board.



2.5 lakh visitors expected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
As many as 2.5 lakh visitors are expected to visit the 36th Rose Festival beginning tomorrow. The three-day bonanza will be inaugurated by the UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd).

The festival will include a qawali competition, folk dances, photography competition, rose quiz, street plays, antakshri, painting competition and more.

A major attraction will be the display of vintage cars on the Government Museum and Art Gallery campus, Sector 10.

Food stalls have been set up at Leisure Valley. Camel rides and a performance by Sunidhi Chouhan on the concluding day of the festival will be the other attractions.



Rejig of wards sets stage for MC poll
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 21
With the notification of proposed delimitation of wards by the department of local bodies, the stage has been set for Zirakpur Municipal council elections.

While the number of wards continue to remain the same at 15, five new villages now form a part of the new wards. The new boundary of the Zirakpur MC has been increased to include villages Bishanpura, Peer Muchala, Ghazipur, Nabha and Singhpura.

According to executive officer R.K. Mittal there are substantial changes in the areas falling in each of the wards. An additional seat has been reserved for a scheduled caste candidate. “Objections to the proposed delimitation are being invited. These can be filed within a week of the date of notification -February 18, 2008,” said Mittal.

Ward numbers 1, 4, 7, 10 and 13 continue to be reserved for women candidates. Ward number 2 and 8 are reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates and ward Number 5 is reserved for Backward Caste candidate. Ward number 7 is reserved for SC women.

The area falling in ward number 9 would now be falling in ward number 8, which has been reserved for an SC candidate. Earlier this was a general seat. The councillor of the ward Nachattar Singh said he would be filing an objection to his ward being reserved for an SC candidate. “Artificial SC population has been calculated,” he alleged.

Ashok Marriya of the Congress, who is one of the four opposition members in the council and represents ward number 15, said his area had increased a lot.

The areas with most of the women councillors, including Manisha Malik, Paramjit Kaur Sondhi, Harmesh Kaur, Hardev Kaur Mangat and Suninder Kaur, have remained almost the same.

Ward number 2 held by Sham Lal has remained the same while the area held by Ajaib Singh in ward number 3 has increased substantially. Ward number 5 held by B.B. Chowdhary has also remained the same.

The area in ward number 6 held by the council president N.K. Sharma has increased.

Gurmail Saini, councillor from ward number 12, said only a small pat of the area had changed. “Wadhwa Colony which was with Manisha Malik earlier has been shifted here while some part of the Sewer Colony has been taken away from my area and given to her,” he said.

All set to contest the polls this year too, Saini said votes in municipal elections do not go to political parties but the personality of the candidate.

As of now, the council is led by N.K. Sharma who is in majority with at least 10 councillors supporting him.

The term of the present council comes to an end in the third week of March following which elections would be held here according to the new delimitation of wards.



Road sans zebra crossings
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 21
The road entering Mohali from Chandigarh, from village Kajheri side, that divides Phase 7 and phase 3B1 is in a terrible condition. At many places the metal divide on this road is cut to allow walkers to cross over and zebra crossings are totally missing.

The situation leads to walkers dangerously perched on the divider waiting for the traffic to slow down so that they can cross the road, which increases the risk of accidents. “In fact, zebra crossings are missing from almost all divider passage gates and cuts,” said Dharampal a phase VII resident. 



Power Pangs 
PSEB decision may ruin industry
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 21
Members of Mohali Industries Association have expressed their anguish over Punjab State Electricity Board’s decision to increase the compulsory weekly power cuts to two consecutive days instead of one. The industry was already suffering due to one day compulsory weekly off and this two-day rule has added to the troubles.

The industry is already reeling under the impact of rise in the prices of steel and imposition of four per cent entry tax, which have already affected the production and delivery schedules. The two-day compulsory weekly off from 8 am on Saturday to 8 am on Monday will severely hit the already limping industry in Mohali.

The role of power sector is critical for rapid economic development of the state and PSEB’s step will severely affect the industry. Although, Mohali has been projected by the Punjab Government as a ‘no power cut zone’, ground reality is totally different.

“Members of the Mohali Industries Association appeal to the government and PSEB to reconsider the decision as it is vital for survival of the industry here,” said B.S. Anand, senior vice-president of the Association.



Child run over by tipper
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 21
A two-and-a-half-year-old child was killed when a tipper ran over her in Sector 5 here today. Uma, daughter of a labourer, was palying near a work site at the time of the incident.

In another incident, a car hit and injured a seven-year-old child near Pir Dargah near Mansa Devi Complex.

There was a rush of devotees when Anjali , daughter of Sompal, a labourer, was killed when trying to cross the road for prasad.

The occupants of the car rushed the child to the Civil Hospital, Sector 6, where the doctors referred her to the PGI.



Interviews of PU teachers postponed again
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The endless wait for promotion of the Panjab University faculty stretches on with the university authorities postponing these yet another time. Under the CAS (career advancement scheme), interviews for promotion of teachers are being delayed from the past two years.

For instance, five teachers in the department of English are waiting in vain for the last two years. Similarly, in the department of Botany, five teachers under CAS are waiting for the interview call and another six posts in open category are lying vacant.

Earlier, it was announced that the interviews were likely to be held in June 2007, then in October and were later pushed to November. Finally, the interviews were scheduled for February 10, 2008. But they were called off. Again, all the scheduled interviews that were to be held on February 22 have been cancelled.

According to sources, more than 25 teachers of five departments, including English, French, music, anthropology and Sanskrit were affected due to this. Earlier, Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) had even met the Vice-President of India and the chancellor of the university in this regard. Prof R.K. Kohli of the department of Botany, said, “ The teachers feel so discouraged that many of them have even expressed their desire to leave. Authority claims that the posts are not being filled due to financial crunch”.

When contacted VC R.C. Sobti, he said, “I am doing my best for getting the interviews done soon for the candidates whose cases are clear”.

According to sources, PUTA president and general-secretary have even met VC today and he assured them even if he had to call a special senate for it, it would be done.



82 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
A blood donation camp was organised here today by the Market Association, Sector 15-D, to commemorate the first death anniversary of Rattan Lal Goel, a veteran blood donor. Goel was distinguished blood donor having donated blood 
for 84 times.

As many as 82 persons, including 10 members of Goel's family, donated blood. A.K. Gupta, medical superintendent, PGI, was the guest of honour.



No one defrauded, claims Unicon Securities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Unicon Securities has rebutted the allegations levelled against it by Sonali Gupta, accusing the company of defrauding her by indulging in day trading of her shares.

Anjali Mukhija, head, legal and compliance, Unicon Securities, said Gupta had signed a member-client agreement with the company when she opened a trading account and given her consent for trading. She said the complainant had signed an undertaking asking the company not to send her contract notes in physical form. These were sent to her through emails.

Mukhija said they provided the contract notes to Gupta when she asked for them. “Her shares were not transferred to the company’s pool account but to the margin account on the basis of which she traded in future and cash segments of the exchange,” she added.



Brokers must update investors

This letter refers to a report ‘Brokers dupe first-time investors’ that was in Chandigarh Tribune on February 18. This is quite surprising that a city broker has duped first time investor by selling her shares without her knowledge.

The brokers convince their clients to put in their money or shares in the company pool account. The broker cannot sell the shares without the consent of their client.

At the time of selling and purchasing of shares through the day market, they have to tell the rate of a particular share. Moreover ,you can also ask the rate of any share during the trading time. They also give confirmation of the trading shares in the evening time.

The Unicon Securities should provide every detail of the trading share to there client and satisfy the investors. Otherwise, it will be considered a wrong dealing.

M.L. Garg, 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



From Schools & Colleges
Manav Mangal constructs auditorium
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 21
In order to develop stage confidence among students, Manav Mangal Smart School, Phase X, here has constructed an auditorium having a seating capacity of 900 people.

Director of the school Sanjay Sardana said at a press conference here yesterday that keeping in line with the trend of imparting smart education to students, the in-house facility of the auditorium was provided. He said that hiring an auditorium once or twice a year would not have helped in building stage confidence among students.

He added that in 2008-2009 three new facilities would be provided in the school. There would be a smart assessment system for spot evaluation of students, a quiz laboratory and interactive touch screen boards or projectors having zoom-in and zoom-out facilities.

Farewell: Cass IX students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, bid adieu to Class X students. Harmanjit Singh and Arshdeep Kaur were adjudged as the ‘Golden Boy’ and ‘Golden Girl’, respectively. Jagjot and Krishma were runners up in the boy and girl’s category, respectively. Principal Gurjit Bawa, blessed the students. Director Col C.S. Bawa encouraged the children to excel in their respective fields.

Sports meet: Vivacity-2008, the annual sports day of Classes Nursery to II of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, was celebrated at the school. As many as 400 children participated in all the activities. The events started after Director DS Bedi declared the sports day Open Day. Principal Satwant Kaur Bedi awarded the winners.

Programme: Prominent Punjabi artist, singer and comedian Bhagwant Mann presented a programme in Government College, Mohali. He was accompanied by his troupe and family members. Principal Roop Aulakh welcomed the artists.

Founder’s day: Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes celebrated its founder’s day. Path and Bhog of Shri Sukhmani Sahib was held at Desh Bhagat School of Nursing. Dr Zora Singh inaugurated the newly built building of the girls hostel. A cultural programme was organised on this occasion.

Lecture: A lecture on financial markets was organised by the MBA dept of GGSCMT, Kharar. The lecture was attended by nearly 200 students from MBA and B.tech courses of the college. Prof A.K.Vashist from University Business School, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was invited to deliver a lecture.



Consumer Court
Dry cleaners fined Rs 15,000 for ruining sarees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed DryWay dry cleaners, Sector 10, to pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 for damaging sarees of a Sector 21 resident. The appellant, Amardeep Singh, stated that he had given two sarees for dry cleaning. He alleged that when he went to take the sarees, he was shocked to see the embroidery damaged.

He was assured by the dry cleaners that the sarees would be restored However, they kept delaying the return of the sarees. The forum dismissed the complaint stating it to be devoid of merit. It relegated the complaint to the civil court of competent jurisdiction for granting the damages on account of the sentimental value of the sarees.

The commission headed by Justice K.C. Gupta observed: “We cannot deny the contention of the appellant that the sarees were priceless on account of the sentimental value attached to them. However, the dry cleaner did not have any such material before him, neither is there any record with regard to the sarees being priceless. Thus, the appeal is partly accepted.”



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