C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nanda Dist Bar Assn chief
Polling only 50 per cent
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The District Courts was a busy place today but for a different reason- polling for office-bearers of the the District Bar Association (DBA). N.K. Nanda was elected president. Arvind Sandhu was elected vice-president by 98 votes.

Harish Bansal was elected secretary of the association and Namita Kandhari won narrowly as joint secretary with a slender margin of 29 votes. Paramjit Singh Rana was voted treasurer.

The polling was a mere 50 per cent with 999 members out of a total of 2,000 casting their vote. Talking to TNS, advocate Nanda said: “I will take up the issue of shortage of chambers and also upgrading of the canteen. We spend our entire day in courts but basic amenities here are not quite adequate.”

The newly elected treasurer, Paramjit Singh Rana, said, “No money will be withdrawn from the funds without the signatures of the treasurer. There will not be any misuse of funds. We also plan to keep a fridge in the bar room for women.”

As counting came to an end, the victorious candidates and their supporters broke into jubilation.

No posters were pasted on the walls by the contestants in compliance of the anti-defacement law. There was little excitement for the DBA elections.

This was in stark contrast to the excitement seen during the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council elections.

While the lawyers stood by the candidates keeping an eagle’s watch on bogus voting, video cameras kept every voter under surveillance. As per the announcement made by the returning officer, Harish Tandon, screens were installed to make the polling process more transparent. A huge screen was put up for the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council elections a few months ago.

There was a minor altercation when advocate Jyoti Sarup was caught red-handed casting bogus vote in place of Gaurav Jain, but no case was registered on the intervention of advocate Nanda.



City ready for LPG autos
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The city will bid adieu to rickety, smoke-billowing autos. The State Transport Authority (STA) has initiated the process to allow at least 500 LPG-run autos on city roads.

In the coming week, the STA will hold a draw of lot to shortlist applicants who will ultimately be granted permits. Today was the last date for submitting applications. “ Since we have received 1,100 applications against a quota of 500 permits, we have to hold a draw of lot”, said an official.

The STA has written to the director of food and supplies to ensure that there is enough LPG outlets in the city. Regards the fares, sources in the administration indicated the fare for LPG-run autos would be less compared to the those run on diesel.

The administration has decided to refit the 1,800 diesel-run autos with LPG kits within the next six months. To check pollution, the authority has stopped issuing permits to three-wheelers with conventional engines.

The issue of subsidy on LPG kits is being looked into by the department of science and technology. Director of science and technology Manjit Brar said the conversion to LPG gas kit cost around Rs 5,000.

The department has also proposed encouraging battery-operated three- wheelers.

Apart from phasing out 15-year-old autos, the STA has written to the transport department of Punjab and Haryana to ensure these autos are moved out.



Soon, info on pending cases a click away
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Getting information from the District Courts will no no longer be a tedious task. In the pipeline is Judicial Service Centre, that will be built in the District Courts, which will provide information on all pending cases.

The centre will be built on the ground floor. A team of architects, engineers and the judges have got together to design the plan.

Three computers installed in the centre will provide the litigants information on the date for the next hearing and the case status.

The estimate for the building will be made once the design is completed, tentatively by Monday.



13 jhuggis destroyed in Saketri fire
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
Thirteen jhuggis were destroyed in a fire near Saketri, under suspicious circumstances, here today.

Though the occupants of the jhuggis were able to come out safely, the belongings of the poor families turned into ashes before the fire tenders could reach the spot.

It took more than one hour to control the fire as two fire tenders were pressed into service from Panchkula while another reached there from Manimajra.

According to the victims, the fire broke out early in the morning around 5.30 am when most of them were sleeping.

As soon as the fire broke out, the parents rushed outside carrying their children who were still asleep. In the meantime, the fire engulfed all the jhuggis, turning everything into ashes within minutes.

More than 50 members of families belonging to labourers including Ram Avtar, Suresh, Pujari, Nek Ram, Manav and Ram Bharosa lost their shelter in the incident.



Khullar’s name okayed for UT home secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The union ministry of home affairs has cleared the name of R.K. Khullar as home secretary of Chandigarh. The final nod will come from the prime minister’s office after the appointments committee of the cabinet clears the name.

Sources said Khullar’s name had been okayed by the ministry. The present incumbent Krishan Mohan’s tenure ends on March 31. The other two contenders were Jyoti Arora and Roshan Lal.

Khullar, a 1988 batch Haryana-cadre officer is posted as commissioner, municipal corporation, Faridabad.



Another fire incident in PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Within 72 hours, another incident of fire was reported on the second floor of the neurology department of the PGI this morning.

The fire broke out due to short circuit. The fire department got a call at 10.20 am. A fire engine was rushed from Sector 17 that extinguished the flames in minutes.



I play cricket in my style: Bhajji
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Following the controversy, which engulfed him on the tour of Australia, describing the world’s top-ranked team as “arrogant”, the Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh appeared to be more audacious and insistent in his approach.

“Australians may tend to believe otherwise but I am just a fighter and play cricket in my style. Despite so much pressure during the tri-series, I just had to fight my genes to control my temperament and concentrate only on the game”, said Harbhajan. The off spinner was in town to preside over the Sporty Musical Soiree, a function at Strawberry Fields International School, Sector 26, here today.

The spinner, who along with Andrew Symonds figured prominently in the racism saga in Australia, said he would not give up if his integrity was questioned.
Harbhajan was engaged in a racism row after being accused by the Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, calling him a monkey in the second test in Sydney.

Later, he was cleared of racial abuse by the International Cricket Council (ICC), but found guilty of the lesser offence of using abusive language.
Opening batsman Matthew Hayden was later reprimanded by Cricket Australia for calling the India off-spinner an “obnoxious weed”, but Harbhajan returned home to a hero’s welcome after India had beaten world champions Australia 2-0 in the finals of the one-day tri-series.

About India cricket, Bhajji, as he is fondly called, foresee a strong pace battery backup with the discovery of new entrants like Ishaant Sharma and Parveen Kumar. “ Of course, the inclusion of duo especially Ishaant, I see is a great future for Team India. For the last ten years of my cricketing career, I have not seen anyone who could match his talent and consistency. He is really an asset to our team”.

“The emphatic victory in the Australian tour has enthused a vibrant energy in our side and I am happy to be a part of the team”, he said. About the forthcoming test series against South Africa, Harbhajan said, “ It would be quite challenging for us. It would be exciting to watch South African spinners like Robert Peterson and Paul Harris”.

When asked if he would have preferred playing for Mohali in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) instead of Mumbai, he said he would look forward to that perhaps next year. “ I would take pride in representing Mohali team since I am a ‘Punjab da Puttar’ first,” said humble and self-effacing spinner. He endeared himself to all his fans in the audience and posed for photographs with students.

Meanwhile, around 600 children took part in a sporty hour-long extravaganza. The highlight was the Scottish Tattoo which is modeled around the Edinburg annual event where different countries compete for the best tattoo, using torches to make sporting patterns.



For want of Rs 41, CWC loses Rs 19 lakh
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
For want of just Rs 41, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has suffered a loss of Rs 19.22 lakh. Sounds unbelievable, but its true. Caught in red tapism, the Punjab zonal office of CWC failed to deposit the amount for getting a land registry in their name, as the money sanctioned by the corporate office was short by Rs 41. By the time the CWC corporate office sent an additional draft of Rs 41, the stamp duty was enhanced, leading to the huge loss.

It was in 2007 that the CWC took a policy decision to get all its properties registered in its name. It was then decided that the land measuring 32,058 sq yards in Phase IX, Mohali, too, should be registered. The corporate office thus granted an amount of Rs 57,681, 59 for getting the land registered in March 2007. However, the total cost of registration, as calculated by revenue officials was Rs 57, 682,00.

It was after three months that the officials in the regional office here sent a request to the corporate office, asking them to sanction the balance amount of Rs 41. By the time the balance amount was released by the corporate office of CWC, the Punjab government had revised its registration charges. The land was finally registered on January 16 this year after paying an additional amount of Rs 19.22 lakh. Taking up the matter with the Central Vigilance Office of the CWC, the workers union has now demanded that responsibility be fixed for the lapse that led to a loss of Rs 19.22 lakh. 



Canine menace plagues Panchkula
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
The increasing number of stray dogs has created panic among residents here and although the local civil hospital has received around a 100 cases of dog bites in the recent past, authorities seem oblivious about checking the canine menace.

In fact, the panic of stray dogs has gripped residents to such a level that parents drop their wards right inside schools and seldom allow them to play in the streets. However, children from poor backgrounds have no option but to risk the same.

Two children studying at the government school in Sector 17 here narrowly escaped dog bites recently, when a woman driving a car stopped the canine from attacking them. Puja and Sarita, residing in Indira colony, said they were returning home from school when a dog tried to attack them.

A dog also bit a ten-year-old boy from the locality yesterday. Bunty, a labourer’s son, suffered injuries when a dog attacked him while he was playing near his house. Four-year-old Neha was also brutally attacked last month. “We took Neha to a private clinic where she got four injections and we had to spend Rs 1,350 for it,” said Kanta, he mother.

Notably, the city has a population of two lakh people and there are whopping 6,000 stray dogs roaming the streets.

Doctors at the civil hospital also said there was hardly a day when they did not treat a dog-bite victim. “Every day there are three to four persons who have to be treated for dog-bites. Most of them are labourers or their children and who cannot afford the treatment,” said the doctors. A dose of five injections required for treatment of a dog-bite costs Rs 1750, the doctors informed.

Meanwhile, executive officer of the municipal committee O.P. Sihag said the committee was in process of hiring some NGOs or private contractors to deal with the problem.

“We have plan to vaccinate stray dogs in the city and also to spay (remove the ovaries) them. We have invited NGOs and private firms for the job and five proposals have been received for the job,” said Sihag.

However, as the entire process is to be carried out in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960, and the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, it would take time, added Sihag.



Mohali MC budget cleared
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 14
A budget of Rs 3275.06 lakh for the year 2008-09 was unanimously cleared at a special meeting of the municipal council held here today.

The civic body has proposed an income of Rs 3100.70 lakh, while last year’s balance that has been carried forward is Rs 174.36 lakh. The proposed expenditure for the coming financial year stood at Rs 3254.16 lakh. The MC plans to spend Rs 2,365 lakh on development works in the town while the amount to be spent on the staff is Rs 756.66 lakh. A sum of Rs 132.50 lakh has been proposed for contingency works.

The council plans to spend Rs 1,100 lakh on committed development works, which includes maintenance of water supply, installation of new tubewells, maintenance of sewer system and streetlights etc. It will spend a sum of Rs 1,265 lakh on non-committed development works including patchwork on roads, development of parks, strengthening and maintenance of main roads, repayment of bank loan, construction of office building etc.

Bharat Bhushan Maini, MC executive order, pointed out that the proposed budget of Rs 100 lakh for supply of water and sewerage should be hiked further as the civic body could increase its income if all illegal water connections running in the industrial area were plugged. He said two officials would be deputed to check illegal water connections and take action accordingly.

The councillors pointed out that income from ‘tehbazari’ could also be increased if staff on duty worked honestly. They alleged that bribes were being taken and those on duty did not remove illegally parked rehris. Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who attended the meeting as an ex-officio member, said a committee should be formed to look into the matter and take action against those not performing their duty well.

Arguments were also witnessed over the issue of earning income by allowing private companies to put up hoardings in various parts of the town. While Maini said it was against directions of the high court, the MLA said putting up hoardings within municipal limits was allowed.



Agricultural Growth must for healthy economy: CJI
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, today said for reaping the benefits of high industrial growth rate, corresponding escalation in agricultural economy was essential.

Even as the government and the industrialists are talking in terms of attracting foreign investment and talent due of high growth rate through economic reforms, the CJI made it clear the benefits had bypassed 70 per cent of the population in the country.

Addressing a seminar on “Law - Globalisation and Common Man” at Panjab University Law Auditorium, the CJI said: “Even if the economic progress was of 12 per cent, it was of no benefit.”

In a tone that was more candid than candied, he said the need of the hour was to improve the agriculture growth rate. Quoting figures, the CJI said the overall growth rate was nine per cent or may be more, while the growth rate in the agriculture field was just around five per cent.

As a result, 70 per cent of the population, still living in villages, was not benefiting from the high growth rate and the effects of globalisation. In fact, 70 per cent of the resources were being shared by 30 per cent of the population, in spite of globalisation.

The CJI added the facilities were available to people putting up in the cities, while villagers across the country were not even assured of the basic amenities - clothing, shelter, food and water included.

Quoting the example of China, he said the country had made long strides on the economic front not just because of a disciplined communist regime and hardworking population, but also because incentives were given to the villages.

Elaborating, he asserted the Chinese shifted their factories to the villages. But in India, people were still forced to come to the urban areas for availing the benefits of the facilities. He added the problem would continue till the basic amenities were extended to the villages.

The CJI said globalisation had already taken place. The issue now was of ways and means of exploiting the situation. “Whether there should be globalization or not is no more the issue; how a developing country like India can make the best use of it needs to be seen,” he said.



Sec 44 residents can’t take their vehicles out
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

The widening of roads in Sector 44 is forcing residents to either keep their vehicles inside their houses or park them on the roads during the night.
The widening of roads in Sector 44 is forcing residents to either keep their vehicles inside their houses or park them on the roads during the night. — Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 14
The widening of roads in parts of Sector 44 has made the residents stay inside their homes for a couple of days as they do not know from where to enter their houses.

A project of widening the internal roads is under way and has made the lives of the people miserable. And this is not routine re-carpeting; the roads are being widened by three feet.

Adding to the problem, the edge of the road has been dug in a manner that leaves no place for the residents even to take out their vehicles. Since vehicles cannot enter the houses, the residents are left with no option but to park these at the centre of the roads during the night.

Even two-wheelers are being parked outside and those inside the houses have remained there. The residents of the sector are living in messy conditions, which are expected to continue for a week more.

“My car is inside my residence for a couple of days, and this problem will continue at least for 10 more days,” said a resident.

Even the workers repairing the roads don’t know the time it will take to complete the project. “We can’t say when the repairing of the road will be completed”, said a worker, who is working on widening the road.

Zorawar Singh, executive engineer, said, “We have already informed the residents about the widening of the roads. The cars have to be parked outside on the roads till the work is completed”.

According to mayor Pardeep Chhabra, it will be ensured that the work is completed as soon as possible.



Dy jail supdt repatriated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The UT administration yesterday repatriated Shubash Chander, deputy jail superintendent, to his parent cadre Haryana following an inquiry report which held him guilty of extending favours to a drug peddler.

Sources in the police said an inquiry has been entrusted to the DSP operation cell of the Chandigarh Police after a complaint was lodged at the office of home secretary against Shubash Chander alleging that he was providing facilities to Devinder Raja, an accused booked in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances case, by providing him B-class facilities to which the accused was not entitled.

The complaint was referred to the UT SSP for inquiry by the home secretary, which was further handed over to the operations cell.

The operations cell has also deployed a sub-inspector (SI) rank officer in the jail for vigilance after the jail-break case.

The senior official of the Chandigarh police conducted a raid during night time following input by the police officer and noticed the irregularities.

A senior officer in the operation cell said Devinder Raja’s case was not an isolated incident but there were several other cases in which B category facility was given to other inmates.

Confirming the development, the UT inspector general (Prisons) Dinesh Bhatt told The Tribune that Shubash Chander had been repatriated to his department on the basis of an inquiry report which found him guilty of committing irregularities.



Seven file nominations for civic body polls
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 14
Seven candidates, including sitting municipal committee chief Seema Chaudhary, filed nomination papers to contest the MC elections here today. It was the first day of filing the papers for the poll, which will be held on March 30.

Chaudhary filed her papers to contest from Ward No. 24, reserved for women.

Another candidate of INLD Mehar Kaur who filed the papers from Ward No. 1 is a covering candidate for Waraich. The last date of filing nomination papers is fixed as March 18 by the state election commissioner. While Jarnail Singh filed the papers from Ward No. 31, the other candidate of party who filed for Ward No. 16 was Ramesh Barthwal. Kasturi Devi also filed from Ward No. 26.

Meanwhile, the district administration has earmarked specific places to install banners. Candidates would be allowed to use the allotted space against charges of Rs 10 per square foot after obtaining permission form the municipal committee executive officer. However, the pasting of handbills and poster in the walls is not allowed.



MC seeks proposals for vocational training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Municipal Corporation Chandigarh has invited proposals from the interested Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) for undertaking vocational training programmes under the Swaran Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna (SJSRY) scheme of the central government, ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, being implemented by the Municipal Corporation as a nodal agency.

NGOs already associated with MC in any of the vocational courses can also send their proposals, giving details of the project, its cost, infrastructure available, accommodation and the colony where they are interested to take up the vocational training programme. No NGO would be given more than two programmes. The last date for the receipt of the proposals from the NGOs is March 31.



‘Poor facilities’ in Shatabdi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Broken soap dispensers and poor maintenance of bathrooms in the Shatabdi Express, running between Chandigarh and Delhi, have been highlighted by Preet Inder Singh Chawla, a member of Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee, Delhi.

The member raised the issue during a recent meeting at Delhi. He also pointed out that there should be standard fittings in the bathrooms. The toilet paper is often missing. Demanding better facilities at the Chandigarh Railway Station, he said the passenger reservation terminal has no toilets and limited sitting arrangement.



Honeybees are good for environment

AN unnecessary panic is created in the city due to few instances of bee stings and it seems that municipal corporation officials are hell bent on removing all beehives from the city.

Our food supply depends on honeybee pollination. Urbanisation, depleting forests and shrinking agricultural land is posing a threat to the pollination industry, the production of honey and a majority of crops. Studies show that every third bite we take depends on a honeybee's pollination.

If this trend continues people will not find delicious fruits. In Chandigarh, every alternate day a precious life is lost in a road accident. Every year around 150 deaths in the city are due to unprecedented number of vehicles, around 7 lakh and still increasing. Why are we not talking about this man-auto menace?

Parmod Sharma, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at [email protected] or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



PU Notes
Dr Kidwai inaugurates ‘CHASCON-2008’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The second Chandigarh Science Congress got off to a colorful start with Dr A.R. Kidwai, governor, Haryana, inaugurating the two-day ‘CHASCON-2008’ at Panjab University here today.

The congress is being held in association with various organisations in and around Chandigarh, including PGIMER, NIPER, TBRL, CSIO, IMTECH, PEC, GMCH, CFSL, IISER, NITTTR, HSCST and PSCST. The theme of the present congress is “Empowering India by Scientific Integration, Innovation and Invention.” This congress is a historical event as it is a part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the university.

In his inaugural address, Dr Kidwai appreciated the efforts made by the university in providing a common platform for exchange of ideas for city scientists under the leadership of Prof R.C. Sobti, well ahead of the other institutions.

He appealed to the younger generation to avail the opportunities available in India in the form of scientific and technological manpower and make India a power center of knowledge.

Earlier, welcoming the delegates and dignitaries, Prof Sobti envisioned Chandigarh as a scientific city with scientific culture, scientific thought and scientific infrastructure with PU playing a pivotal role in enhancing education in the region and spreading awareness keeping all the institutions with itself.

He emphasised on the need to revive the scientific culture that was a part of the Indian heritage. He informed the house about the constitution of the Chandigarh Academy of Sciences in April 2008.

Prof S.K. Kulkarni, DUI and chairman of the congress briefed about the aims and perspectives of the congress.

An exhibition of scientific books and equipment was also inaugurated highlighting the achievements of various institutes of Chandigarh region and the departments of PU.

Scientific sessions were held in 16 different sections in the respective science departments following the inaugural ceremony.



‘Aakriti’ exhibits 15 fashion themes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Aakriti-2008, a fashion extravagance was organised by the department of clothing and textiles, Government Home Science College, Sector 10, here today.

Bittu Sandhu, a prominent socialite and director, Strides, an event management company, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The show exhibited the creations of MSc students, clothing and textiles, postgraduate diploma in fashion designing and BSc fashion designing.

The models carried collections on 15 fashion themes like Egyptian, Grecian, Byzantine, Roman, Persian, French and Chinese to the ramp. The contemporary designs based on themes like ethereal beauty, elegance, bound glory, resplendent, wild flirtations, kinkhab, blooming vibrance and dreamy demure designed by 60 budding designers. 



Education dept gives lessons in morality
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Chandigarh education department is organising a programme on moral values and civic duties in education.

The home-cum-education secretary Krishna Mohan disclosed that 200 teachers teaching primary classes of government, government-aided and recognised private schools will participate in the programme.

The programme has been scheduled from March 17 to 29 and will be held in the auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10. Various NGOs who are extending their support to the programme include Ipat Guide, Arya Samaj, Sector 7-B, Yuv Satta, Gayati Pragya Kendra, Prabal Pramanik, Hamari Kaksha, Don Bosco Navjeevan Society, Sambhav, Rama Chandra Mission, Rama Krishna Mission and Sri Aurobindo.



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