C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New road to Panchkula in 3 months
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
There is a good news for daily commuters who are fed up with traffic snarls on the Madhya Marg, especially the section connecting the city with Panchkula.

In the next three months, the UT engineering department has decided to open another road (route no.2) between the two cities. The road will take off from the Chandigarh-Ambala road (National Highway No 21) near Hallomajra and join the road dividing Sector 16 and Sector 17, Panckhula via Mauli Jagran village. This will be the third road link between the two cities.

UT chief engineer S.K. Jaitely said, “We plan to open the road to public by June. Traffic lights will be installed at the existing rotary near Hallomajra village on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway”.

Apart from decongesting the Madhya Marg, the route no.2 will have a total length of three kilometres. This road will be very strategic as it will provide another approach to the Chandigarh Railway Station; a shorter link between the Chandigarh Airport and the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, Manimajra, and a shorter route for Panchkula commuters moving towards Mohali..

The upcoming road will also ensure that the trucks carrying freight do notuse the Purav Marg to reach Chandigarh Railway Station and godowns in Daria village.

Sources said the project had been delayed to the forest clearance. While the road between Mauli Jagran and Panchkula was already being used, a one-kilometre section between Makhan Majra and Hallomajra had been held up due to delay in the forest clearance. Work of earth levelling has been completed.

To ensure that traffic movement is not hampered on the route no 2, the UT engineering department has requested the Northern Railways to build a flyover in place of the level crossing at Mauli Jagran. A senior official disclosed that another road had been constructed between Saketri and Kaimbwala village.

Routes to Panchkula

Route No 1: Madhya Marg-Housing Board Chowk

Route No 2: St Kabir School-Mani Majra

Route No 3: Saketri-Kishangarh

Route No 4: Hallo Majra-Mauli Jagran (new road)



Bashing up at Nayagaon
5 more cops suspended
Case takes new turn as three claimed to have thrashed them, not the SHO
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 23
The SAS Nagar SSP today suspended five police officers, who had, along with the SHO Nayagaon Gurjeet Singh, allegedly bashed up three persons, Gurbachan Singh, Amit Kapoor and Deepak Thakur, in Nayagaon on Thursday night.

Recommending a magisterial inquiry into the incident, the SSP R.S. Khatra said he had written to the district magistrate that since policemen were involved in the case, an independent inquiry would be more appropriate.

Meanwhile, three persons of the area today claimed that they had bashed up Gurbachan and his associates on Thursday night and not the SHO as had been alleged. The SHO, they said, was a man “most respectable” and “honest police officer” and had been wrongfully suspended.

Gurjeet Singh was suspended following allegations that he had thrashed Gurbachan and his two associates blue and black when they refused to give him Rs 2 lakh.

Sanjeev Giri, Mahinder Singh and Sham Lal, all Nayagaon residents, said in a press conference that they were the culprits. “We were coming from a satsang and saw Gurbachan and his friends in a semi-drunk and injured state outside his farm house. Gurbachan held me by the collar and tried to hit me. His friends were armed with rods and sluggers. We took these from them and hit them,” said Mahinder Singh.

While the three gave a clean chit to the SHO and claimed to have committed the crime, the police also has neither booked nor arrested them for beating up Gurbachan and his friends. “There are no cognizable wounds on their bodies to prove that they were hit,” said the SP City Varinderpal Singh, adding that the three had already recorded their statements with him during the spot inquiry.

In a letter to the Punjab Governor that they distributed during the press conference, the story is different. “Tulsi, a panchayat member of Nadah village, has four kanals of land near Gurbachan’s farm house. Gurbachan wanted to occupy this land. But a clash occurred and Gurbachan and his men received injuries in the process,” they said, pointing out that when they hit them, they were already injured.

They further claimed that Gurbachan and his gang of over 100 boys were involved in grabbing land in the area and were backed by the Morinda MLA Ujagar Singh Badali, who was related to them. They said Gurbachan and his brothers Kesar Singh, Gurdhian Singh and Bhag Singh were notorious.

They alleged that these brothers were involved in the infamous Nayagaon rape case, and the Pala Nihang murder case. They listed at least 10 FIRs registered against Gurbachan and his associates. They alleged that Gurbachan was also involved in illegal sand mining and also encroaching on dry riverbeds. “They have sold off parts of this riverbed,” said Mahinder Singh.

Sources in the village added that the persons who had claimed to beat up Gurbachan were once his close associates. The group led by Gurbachan and his brothers were allegedly involved in land grabbing. In the garb of dealing in property, the group using its muscle power allegedly partitioned and sold large parts of sham lat land of Nadah and Karoran villages. The buyers of their land included senior bureaucrats and police officers. During the MLA election, the whole group supported Badali. However, later the group broke over sharing of profits and is now bitterly opposed to one another.

The suspended officials include ASI Ram Prakash, munshi Bant Singh, munshi Ramesh Kumar. 



Uniformity eludes building bylaws
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Discrimination seems to be the buzzword in Chandigarh.

While the city has created a niche for itself the worldover for its architectural planning, the enforcement of the "outdated and lopsided" bylaws has been brewing resentment among thousands of marla house owners.

With uniformity eluding the implementation of bylaws, thousands of residents are at their wits' end about the regularisation of the "need-based" changes in the marla houses, Surinder Pal Chauhan, president of the Chandigarh Marlas/Flats Houses Residents Welfare Association, said here today.

While the floor area ratio (FAR) varies from 40 per cent to 50 per cent for marla houses in different parts of the city, the FAR was 50 per cent for the kanal houses. To top it, all ratio ranged from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for cheap houses. And there was not uniformity for FAR in the timber sites which varied from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

In fact, the association alleged that it paid to be encroachers on the public land as was evident from the "denotification" of the acquired land of the about 200 "unauthorised" structures in the Deep Complex in Hallo Majra.

Even as the administration rewards the alleged "encroachers", the marla house owners have been at the receiving end of the demolition notices about the alleged violations of their houses."The need-based changes within the boundary walls, which are not encroachments, are being termed as violations of building bylaws by the authorities which was unjustified," Chauhan claimed.

The association alleged that instead of conducting a comprehensive survey of all marla houses to determine the quantum of the violations, the administration had been adopting a "pick and choose" policy and issuing demolition notices. Despite the fact that the various public representatives, including minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal, had been rooting for a "one-time" relaxation of the building bylaws violations, the administration seems to have adopted an adamant attitude.



His disability fails to move education board officials
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Strange but true. A prisoner is allowed to appear in exams from the jail but a handicapped, who cannot move out of his room due to his disability, is not allowed to take his exams from his home. At least that’s what the rules say.

Ganesh had approached the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) to allow him to appear in class X examination from his residence with extra time of two hours and also submitted a copy of the medical recommendations of senior resident of the Government Medical College and Hospital-32 in this regard. But this failed to move the education board officials.

Ganesh alleged that instead of helping me, board officials, the PA to secretary and his subordinate who came to his home, treated him badly. “They ridiculed that only prisoners are allowed to appear in the exams from jails. And when I requested them to ‘treat’ as a ‘prisoner’ as I too cannot move out of my room, they threatened to cancel my roll No. if I declined to acknowledge the acceptance letter of making Sector 44 school as my exam centre”.

However, the board officials denied his allegations but also failed to give any substantial reply.

Chairman of the board Dalbir Singh Dhillon, though, agreed to provide every help to Ganesh, but showed his inability to make his home the examination centre. “I am ready to provide him with a car to take him to the centre. But, the rules of the board does not permit to make home as his centre”.

Ganesh has been suffering from 100 per cent locomotor disability. He cannot even sit for a long time. According to his doctors, he had developed some infection on the right hip. Till date, his wounds have not healed.

Ganesh never went to school and got education at his home. He was allowed by the Chandigarh Education Department to appear in class VIII from home under the supervision of a teacher. He scored first division.

When Dhillon was apprised of Ganesh’s circumstances, he replied that he would make arrangements of shifting Ganesh’s bed to the examination centre. But this idea seems to be infeasible. “Due to some specific nature of disability, he is not permitted to sit for longer duration and has to lie down for most of the time. He writes while lying down”, said his doctor.

But Ganesh’s experience at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, his examination centre, also remained horrible. The Principal and staff members misbehaved with him and his accompanying parents. So much so, Ganesh also alleged that he was deprived of the extra time granted to him.

A day after The Tribune highlighted Ganesh’s problem, the DEO went to his home to record his statement. After verifying the facts, the DPI (S) has ordered an inquiry by a team headed by a retired IAS officer. 



Hooda to address rally on March 27
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
The election scene for Panchkula MC poll is set to hot up further as the Congress has decided to organise a rally on March 27 to be addressed by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Union minister of state for housing and poverty alleviation Selja and Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan at a public meeting in Panchkula on Sunday.
Union minister of state for housing and poverty alleviation Selja and Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan at a public meeting in Panchkula on Sunday. —A Tribune photograph

In order to brush aside speculation of bickering among party leaders, union minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Selja and Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan attended several public meetings together in the city here today.

Talking to media persons here, Selja claimed that the party had fielded new faces with better images as well as many experienced persons, which would help party in securing majority. The party, expecting a big win, had decided to contest on the symbol on 29 seats, she said. The two seats of ward numbers 6 and 12 were left open as party did not get proper feedback about these seats, she added. “The party is expecting to win at least 27 of the 31 seats in the civic body on March 31,” said Chander Mohan.

Other parties, including the Indian National Lok Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party, have also started campaigning with its prominent leaders.

While prof Sampat Singh, former finance minister of Haryana, addressed public meetings of his party candidates, the BJP also roped in its stalwarts from the state like state vice-president Gian Chand Gupta.

In the coming days, BJP spokesman Ram Bilas Sharma and general secretary Capt Abhimanyu will reach here to fuel the party campaign.



Step-motherly treatment to small units
Industrialists seek govt intervention
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 23
Members of the Mohali Chamber of Industry and Commerce alleged that the Punjab Government was meting out step-motherly treatment to the small-scale industries in Punjab.

Addressing a press conference here recently, president of the chamber Joginder Singh demanded that the government should intervene and solve the problems being faced by the allotees of Industrial Area, Phase IX, here. General secretary Swaran Singh said the area had been completely ignored for the past five years and all efforts to improve the situation had failed.

The members said the industries in Phase IX had not been allowed to construct residences within the premises as was allowed to industries in Phase VIII-B, Mohali. They demanded that the government should have a uniform policy regarding this. Similarly, the industries in Phase VIII-B had been allowed an FAR of 1.25 but a similar benefit had not been given to them.

They added that the roads in the Phase IX industrial area were narrow and electricity poles were set up in a haphazard fashion. There was a severe shortage of water.



Woman found dead in bathroom
Tribune News Service

Panchkla, March 23
The body of a 40-year-old woman was found lying at her home under mysterious circumstances here today. The police was suspecting it to be case of death due to over drinking. The deceased has been identified as Leela Giri, a care taker at house No. 248 of Sector 4.

According to the police, Ram Bahadur and Leela Giri had been living together for the past many years after both had deserted their spouse. Ram Bahadur, who was employed as a driver at Bartana village at Zirakpur, and Leela had drinks on the night of Holi.

Ram Bahadur informed the police that he and Leela had drinks till late night before he slept. However, when he got up to answer the nature’s call around 3 am, Leela was not in the room. When he went to the bathroom, the body of Leela was found lying there, said Ram Bahadur.

The case has been registered and children of the deceased had been informed about the incident, said the police.



Model act for vendors soon: Selja
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
In order to protect the interests of street vendors, a policy has been formed which is expected to be implemented shortly. This was revealed by union minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Selja here today.

Selja, who was on election campaign ahead of the municipal elections to be held on March 30, said the model act, being prepared to “protect” the interests of vendors, would be applicable nationwide.

The vendors would be provided a proper place to carry on their business and would get rid of “inspector raj” as well, she said. On the pattern of Chandigarh, the local bodies could make rehri markets in different pockets, she said.

The centre was also concerned about housing problems being faced by the middle class as prices had increased steeply in the recent years, she said. In order to look into this aspect, a task force under HDFC chairman Deepak Parikh had also been formed by the centre. The force would suggest options to provide affordable housing to middle class and lower income group as the spiraling prices of real estate had made it next to impossible for this section of the society to have a house in urban areas, said the minister.

The task force would consider all aspects of housing, including public private partnership, she added. In fact, the government was committed to rehabilitate the poor living under pathetic conditions. Taking initiative in this direction, it had been made mandatory to construct between 20 and 25 per cent houses for economically weaker sections in all private and public housing projects, said Selja. It would also help in curbing the menace of slum, she added.

P’kula MC Poll

Government machinery was used openly for campaigning for Congress candidates. The public meeting addressed by union minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Selja and Haryana deputy CM Chander Mohan was organised on the land of government dispensary. This was not all. The invite to media persons for the press conference held at the residence of ward No. 29 candidate Upinder Walia were extended by the district public relation office 



Threat of naked wires looms in Sec-44
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Naked electric wires in Sector 44, damaged recently due to negligence of workers who were involved in a road widening project of the municipal corporation, could cause a major tragedy if corrective action is not taken soon. Although the wires have been temporarily mended, yet the threat still looms large.

During the repair work, a short-circuit caused a blast and people here had to remain without electricity for a couple of hours.

At certain places wires are still naked, while some joints are been covered by stones. Ironically, residents have been told to buy the wire if they want a permanent solution.

“There are different sections in the sector where joints have been mended. But a permanent solution should be found to the problem,” said a resident.

According to sources in the electricity department, a similar case was reported to the MC from Sector 40.

“Although, the MC lacks at times yet there are constant efforts to solve such problems,” said an official of the electricity department.aAccording to UT mayor Pradeep Chhabra, in case the electricity department provides the MC with a rough estimate the MC would soon look into the matter.



Scooterist killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A day after when a young boy was killed in a road accident, another person was killed when his scooter collided with a car at the light point of Sector 45 here last night.

The incident occurred when Rajinder Kumar was waiting in his car for the green signal at the light point, suddenly Madan Lal, driving a two wheeler, smashed into the car from behind. Madan Lal, 40-year-old, suffered head injuries, was immediately taken to Government Hospital, Sector 32, where he died. The police on the complaint of Rajinder Kumar, registered a case of negligence driving against Madan Lal. The family members of Madan Lal today protested as the police and the hospital authorities refused to hand over the body of Madan.

According to the sources, his body will be hand over to the family after post-mortem will be done tomorrow.



Chamber of commerce polls postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Elections to the executive body of Chandigarh Chamber of Commerce, which were scheduled to be held tomorrow, have now been postponed by one month.

Confirming the same, president of the chamber Surinder Gupta claimed that this has been done in view of a pending court case filed by a former executive member. However, a section of the members alleged that office-bearers were postponing elections by giving ‘irrelevant reasons’. They also alleged that registrar of cooperative societies had failed to appoint an observer to conduct fair elections despite the fact that a representation was submitted on March 20.



Private banks asked to meet social obligations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Private banks in the city have failed to finance any of the welfare schemes and thus meet their priority sector lending targets. The issue came up for discussion during a state-level committee meeting of banks for Chandigarh.

It was revealed that private banks had failed poorly in financing cases under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) and none of them had financed cases under the Swaran Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY).

Official sources said even a majority of public sector banks in the city have failed to meet their targets under priority sector lending schemes. While the Government of India had allocated a target of sponsoring 150 cases under PMRY, against which the task force committee had sponsored 188 cases to various banks in the city.

However, banks sanctioned just 96 cases and disbursed the amount in only 39 cases. The only banks who have achieved their targets are Punjab National Bank and UCO Bank. Although the state-level committee has now asked the banks to complete their targets by the end of this financial year (within the next week), it seems impossible that the target will be achieved.

It has now been decided that another review meeting of the state-level committee will be held next week to monitor the progress made by private banks.



Joint agreement on water conservation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Coca Cola India and CII Northern Region have joined hands to launch a water conservation and management project called Conserve. The project aims at promoting industry engagement in rainwater harvesting and community water conservation programmes through awareness generation and capacity building.

Other than Chandigarh, the project will be implemented over a period of one year in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. “To meet the growing requirement of water and to be counted as a development-oriented nation, it is imperative to develop new water sources and to conserve, recycle and re-use water wherever possible,” said Deep Kapuria, Chairman CII Northern Region.

“It has been shown that conservation of water through rain water harvesting and artificial ground water recharge can generate about 125 km cube/year of additional water. Similarly recycling industrial and municipal waste water can generate around 177 km cube/year water,” he added.

"At present, the chronic water shortages, dramatic population growth and aging water facilities are increasing the potential for conflict over water resources. A reversal of attitude has to take place to conserve water,” Kapuria said. Elaborating on the project campaign activities, Kapuria said: “Basically, these would be of three types. Firstly, we would undertake a policy campaign as the Indian water laws have remained weak and not kept pace with global practices. We will undertake documentation of the best practices in the world and evolve modalities on how they could be implemented in the Indian context. Secondly, we will create innovative models and demonstrate them to corporates. Thirdly, we will assist in implementation of Central and State Government programmes: This will be primarily to demonstrate what is achievable presently and set up minimum benchmarks in different regions through involvement of corporates, NGOs, so as to ensure a minimum quality of implementation in Government programmes.”



Coaches deny entry to players

I am a resident of Patiala and I play cricket in Dhruv Pandove cricket stadium, which is affiliated to Punjab Cricket Association. The coaches here deny entry to the players.

On January 29, the coaches here said ground would remain closed for 5 days, but almost two months have passed and the ground is yet to open. The coaches do not answer when the ground will reopen. The fee has been taken in advance, but they are not letting us practice.

It seems that the people concerned are on a holiday without any reason. There are cricket trials in the month of April but we are not ready for that due to lack of practice. I request the concerned authorities to do the needful so that we can get back on the ground and practice for the forthcoming trials.

Ram Kumar, Patiala

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Undergraduate students to get 15 min more in exams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
There is some respite for the students appearing in the forthcoming undergraduate examinations. The Panjab University Syndicate in its meeting held, today, gave its nod to grant 15 minutes extra time to the students. The extra time would be helpful for students in filling OMR (optical mark reader sheet).

Also, the DMC (detailed marks certificate) would be given to the candidates on the basis of best pass marks obtained by them during the course, marks of first year, second year and third year, including subsidiary subject, on their surrendering previous original detailed marks cards of BSc (Hons school) first, second and third year.

The Syndicate has also approved that eligibility for entrance test for admission to MEd course be changed from 50 per cent to 55 per cent in BEd as per NCTE norms.

The syndicate agreed to give reservation in the teaching posts to other backward classes in state Universities and its affiliated/constituent colleges as asked by the UGC.

The annual budget of the university with revised estimated deficit at Rs 7,649.28 lakh for 2007-2008, budget estimates for Rs 9,571.54 lakh as also the new and additional demands amounting to Rs. 37.48 lakh for 2008-2009.

The members applauded the student-friendly budget with no hike in any tuition fee in the general category. As per recommendations of the board of finance, the fellowship of the university research scholars/fellows from Rs 3600/4000 per month, respectively, has been fixed to Rs 5000 per month for the first two years and Rs 6000 per month for third year.

The contingency funds too have been raised to Rs 7500 per annum (from Rs 5000 per annum) for social sciences/humanity departments and to Rs 10,000 (from Rs 7500 per annum) for science departments.



PU salutes martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The 77th martyrdom day of Saheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev was observed in a befitting manner by All India DSO, Chandigarh unit, by taking out a ‘torch procession’ from Punjab University market to students’ centre at 6 pm today evening. Many students, teachers and youth participated in the march with patriotic zeal.

Shiv Kumar (Incharge DSO, PU), spoke on the life struggle of these martyrs and stressed students to save themselves from drug addiction and cultural degeneration by taking inspiration from these revolutionaries.

“The un-compromising struggle, of Chander Sekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries, is just like a twinkling star and a symbol of mass movement against injustice and exploitation. Their sacrifice was able to take out the fear away from the masses and proved that the young generation could dare to sacrifice anything for its country,” said Shiv. Later, all took pledge to learn lessons from these great revolutionaries.

Saplings: In response to the call given by Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, a large number of gathering, including Pradeep Chhabra Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, councilors, including Anu Chatrath, Sheela and the university fraternity planted saplings on the campus.

Later, they took out a march to salute the martyrs at the Panjab University campuses in Sectors 14 and 25 here today. The VC, on behalf of the PUCSC, also presented T-shirts to students and other participants. Amongst others who were present included registrar, deans, employees and their families, leaders of various students unions and some senior residents.



Mamta, Gaurav best students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Mamta of Class IV and Gaurav Mittal of Class IX was adjudged as the best student of the session 2007-08 during the Appreciation Day organised at Saint Soldier International School, here today. The programme was presided over by the chairman Sardar Gurdev Singh Hayer.

The students were awarded for their performance in academic, sports and for co-curricular activities. Rahul and Shivani Rawat from junior section and Tundup from IX and Puneet from IX from the senior section were declared as best athletes of the school. The students who bagged I, II and III positions in their respective classes were also awarded cash prizes. Best house award was given to APJ Abdul Kalam House.

Principal Sudesh Choudhary also applauded the students for putting in their sincere efforts.



From Schools & Colleges
Holi celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 23
Dr. I.T. Institute of Management and Technology celebrated ‘Rang De Holi’ with great zeal. Students of the institute sprayed colours along with construction workers and their children who are part of the NGO of the institute Naya Savera. CEO of the institute Deepti Mahajan informed the students about the importance of Holi. Director of the institute prof P.P. Arya and Deepti Mahajan were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the students and participated in the festivities.

CELEBRATED: Students of Anees School here celebrated the festival of colours with fun and frolic. The students played with gulal and wished one another on the occasion. Sweets were also distributed.

PLACEMENT DRIVE: Students of the first batch pursuing their bachelors degree in airlines, tourism and hospitality management (BSc ATHM) from Chandigarh College of Hospitality Management, Landran, have been successfully placed in top airlines and other companies pertaining of the aviation industry. WNS-Global Services, one of the renowned names in third-party services to the global airline industry, conducted campus recruitment for final year students of BSc ATHM.



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