C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rape Bid
Accused rich brats with criminal background
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Medical check-up of suspects

A medical board of the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital examined the four suspects. The examination revealed marks of “abrasion” and “contusion”. Photographs of the teeth of the suspects were also taken. The victim’s medical examination had revealed bite marks on her body.

Chandigarh, October 2
Contrary to the earlier perception that the suspects involved in alleged kidnapping and molestation of a 20-year-old German tourist were simpletons, hailing from small farming families, it has turned out to be the same old story of spoiled brats of rich and politically well-connected parents, who cock a snook at the law of the land.

That is how the investigators are describing the prime accused of the case, Manveer Singh Jolly and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi.

While both hail from influential families of landlords, Jolly, an undergraduate, is a product of Doon School. And both have criminal background.

Giving details about Jolly’s background, the alleged mastermind, police officials said he spoke fluent English and was the one who was communicating with the victim.

His father, Ravinderjit Singh Randhawa, alias Daisy, is associated with Haryana’s regional political party and was earlier holding a senior state-level position. He is now active at the district level.

Sources said Jolly had become wayward during his school days and kept bad company even in his village.

A lavish spender, he would move around with his cronies and used to carry huge amounts of cash.

He is said to be involved in several criminal cases, including of drug peddling. A case of robbery has been registered against him at the Mullana police station in Haryana.

He lived in Sector 71 in Mohali as paying guest and was said to be involved in cases of snatching. Investigating officials are procuring his records from the Mohali police.

Jolly and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi are reportedly drug addicts. Sukhi belongs to a mediocre farming family and owns an open modified Mahindra Jeep.

He also has a long list of criminal records behind him, including rioting, narcotics peddling and robbery.

He has also been booked for allegedly looting a liquor vend. Sukhi has a political background and is reportedly notorious in the area for his anti-social activities.

About Sompal, a police officer, said Sompal was a servant of Sukhi and used to
carry out orders.



Clash in Dadu Majra; shops vandalised
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, October 2
Tension gripped Dadu Majra Colony this evening following a clash between two groups that pelted stones and later set a motorcycle on fire.

This is the second such incident in less than a week. Four residents of Ram Darbar were hospitalised following a group clash earlier.

The incident is indicative of the deteriorating law and order situation in the city. Eyewitnesses alleged that the police remained a mute spectator even as it was a free-for-all for over half hour.

The hooligans smashed windowpanes of shops and also forced shopkeepers to
close their shops.

Eyewitnesses said it all started at 6 pm when two youths belonging to a group were going on a motorcycle and the other group, carrying swords, chased them near the Ramlila ground in the locality.

The youths lost control and fell. However, they managed to flee, leaving behind the motorcycle. The other group gave vent to its ire by setting the motorcycle on fire.

The youths have been identified as Manish and Goldy. The other group was reportedly led by Monu, Tinda, Kunji, Salman, Ramesh and Rachu. People associated with Manish’s group alleged police inaction and vandalised shops.

Ashok Kumar, Manish’s father, alleged that 10 days ago they were assaulted by the same group, which was forcing his son to sell smack.

The police, including the SHO of the Sector 39 police station, remained unaware of the incident for a long time.

Rajesh Kalia, president of the resident welfare association, said: “There is no law and order in our colony. Some people are selling drugs and the police is not taking action against them and today’s incident is a part of it.”

“This is not the first time that our shops have been looted. We can’t do anything against them because police is protecting them,” said Naresh Gupta, a shopkeeper.

Ashok Kumar said: “We have already complained to the police but it was not taking us seriously. That’s why this incident took place today.”

The SHO said they had received a written complaint and at the moment, nothing could be said.


Bans go up in smoke
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Though Chandigarh is already a non-smoking city, the countrywide ban on smoking that came into force from today passed off as a non-event as people paid least regard to the new restrictions.

People were seen puffing smoke fearlessly at the Sector-17 plaza. Among the violators were foreign nationals who were unaware of the ban.

“I apologise for smoking as I did not have a clue about the ban,” said Alice, a tourist from the Czech Republic, who was caught smoking in the plaza.

They complained about lack of signages to generate awareness about the ban. “There are no posters or boards to make people aware about the ban,” she said.

However, there was a general sense of empowerment among people against those who smoked in their presence or in public.

A bar-cum-restaurant manager in Sector-17 said: “We have not yet planned how to go about it. But customers can definitely object to smoking. As it is, nobody has a problem smoking in the bar. We are yet to demarcate separate section for smoking.”

“It is not that I will be challaned if I smoke here. But if someone objects, I will definitely have to move away,” he added.

The malls, meanwhile, are trying to implement the ban by persuasion and cajoling.

“We have been asked to ensure that those found smoking in the mall should be politely asked to stub it out,” said a security guard at Fun Republic.

There were very few takers for the ban on polythene carry bags today with marketplaces showing little sign of curb on its usage.

The much-awaited ban, which came into force here from today, proved wanting as many people were seen ferrying their purchases in polythene bags as usual.

Though polythene bags are not as ubiquitous as before, some shopkeepers are still finding ways not to follow the orders.

Taking advantage of the poor enforcement of the law, shopkeepers, especially of sweets and confectionaries, are still using polythene bags to give away their items.

“The shopkeeper gave us the items in a polythene bag, though we told him that it is banned. It is for him to think of an alternative when he knows that polythene can no longer be used,” said a customer.

During a visit to vegetable markets and corner shops of various localities, the use of such bags was still evident.

Some shopkeepers, using polythene bags, did not even bother to hide it away from the public glare, putting up an open challenge to the authorities.

The ban has also invited the ire of residents, who say the regulation should have been brought in only after shopkeepers had made adequate arrangements for providing paper bags.

“How can I get paper bags on such a large scale in just two days. It will take some time as the demand for these bags has suddenly gone up,” said a grocery shop owner in Sector 34.

“Though the government has taken a good initiative by prohibiting the use of polythene, it will only prove effective if the society at large cooperates.”

Under the ban, violators, both shopkeepers and customers, are punishable with both imprisonment and fine.

While the jail term may extend up to five years, the fine can go up to Rs 1 lakh. If contravention continues, an additional fine Rs 5,000 per day shall be imposed.



MC to pay admn Rs 1 cr to reclaim own land
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Believe it or not, the Chandigarh municipal corporation will have to pay a hefty amount to get its own land vacated from the Chandigarh administration.

The land had been encroached upon by the administration a long time ago.

The corporation is planning to construct a multi-level parking on the piece of land located in Sector 17.

The administration had installed a transformer on the land without the knowledge of the corporation.

The corporation had asked the administration to clear the site by shifting the power cables of 33 KV, 11 KV and LT cables, which were passing over this land, so that it could be handed over to the agency to whom the work had been allotted.

According to the agreement with the company, the corporation has to clear the site for the company so that it could start work on the parking.

The administration’s engineering department had sent a letter to the corporation
asking it to deposit over Rs 1 crore with the administration for shifting cables
from the site.

Besides, the administration will charge 24 per cent of department fee from the corporation for the work.

The administration had sent a bill of around Rs 17.37 lakh in April for the same work. Now, it has sent a final bill of over Rs 1.04 cr to the engineering department.

A official of the corporation said it was an irony that the authorities rather than objecting to the encroachment on the land by the administration had agreed to pay the amount to the administration to clear its own site.

“Why should the corporation pay to the administration when they are not the actual holders of the land,” he said.

The agenda about this payment was tabled at a recent house meeting for approval, to which a number of councillors raised objection and union minister of state for finance and parliamentary affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal also asked to review the bill sent by the administration.



Remembering Mahatma
‘Gandhigiri’ pervades city
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, is no more a mere representation of mass spinning sessions.

The man has come out of his ideological teachings and is being practised as “Gandhigiri” by people to solve their real life problems.

The apostle of peace and non-violence is blending into youngsters’ style statements as they can be spotted wearing T-shirts emblazoned with Gandhiji’s outline.

The 139th birth anniversary of the Mahatma was celebrated with new-found fervour of “Gandhigiri”, as popularised by Bollywood blockbuster “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”.

The concept is gaining popularity, especially among youngsters, as they are
realising the practicality of the ideas given by Mahatma Gandhi by implementing
them in their lives.

The “Gandhigiri” fervour also gripped the online community with most social groups actively exchanged messages about Bapu and his achievements.

“We all have heard and read about Mahatma Gandhi. But only a few would have actually tried his teachings in their practical life.

‘Gandhigiri’ is a complete different way of perceiving the problem and making the guilty realise his mistake,” said a members of an online community.

Though over five years have elapsed since the release of the movie, “Gandhigiri” still rules the hearts of thousands of youth in the city.

Religion prayers meetings and cleanliness campaigns marked his 139th birth anniversary in city. Functions were held to recall the contribution of the Mahatma.

People and institutions following Gandhi’s line of thought also organised commemorative meetings calling upon people to rededicate themselves to the ideals of non-violence, self-reliance and brotherhood for which the Mahatma worked and laid down his life.

Besides special prayer meetings and cleanliness drives, day-long spinning sessions were organised. Khadi units announced discounts on cotton and silk wear.

Haryana Governor A.R. Kidwai paid homage to the Mahatma and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at a function at Raj Bhawan here.



Fervour marks Id celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Id-ul-Fitr was celebrated with religious fervour and enthusiasm as people gave out message for peace and brotherhood here today.

Donning new clothes and caps, the Muslims exchanged greetings and sweets after completion of 30-day-long fasting, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Prayers were held at mosques all over the city. Haryana Governor A.R. Kidwai
offered prayers at the Sector-20 mosque in Chandigarh and prayed for peace
and communal harmony.



Rape Bid
Raids in UP to nab fifth accused
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Sompal, the fifth accused in the case of kidnapping and attempt to rape a German tourist, is hiding in western UP, the police has said.

With the help of the Ambala police, raids being conducted on Muzaffarnagar,
Moradabad and Meerut to nab him, police sources said.

“According to information, he must be hiding in one of these cities,” the police said.

Sompal, a resident of Bitta village, near Naraingarh, belongs to a humble family. His parents are labourers.

Terming him a habitual criminal, a police officer confirmed that Sompal was involved in an attempt to murder case.

According to sources, immediately after the crime, Jolly and Sukhi went to Delhi while Pankaj and Dali went underground.

“Sompal headed alone to UP. He also switched off his mobile immediately. But we
have information about his hideouts and he is likely to be arrested soon,” the police
officer said.

Pankaj and Dali were arrested from Ambala while Sukhi and Jolly surrendered before a local court yesterday.

“We are collecting evidences and identifying witnesses in the case,” ASP Madhur
Verma said.

The police remand of the accused, Pankaj, Sukhi, Jolly and Dali, would finish tomorrow, after which they would be produced in court.



‘She loved Indian values’
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
“She was impressed with Indian culture, its values, costumes and the warmth of people. But Saturday night changed it all for her, not only physically, but also mentally. She’s now bitter and repents the day she decided to come here,” says a close relative of Hardeep Singh, whose marriage had brought the 20-year-old German woman, who was allegedly kidnapped and molested, to the city.

While Hardeep, his German wife and their family have refused to talk to the media, a close relative of theirs spoke to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity today.

“When she didn’t return till Sunday morning, we were scared and thought she might not even return,” the person said, adding that the entire family was petrified.

“We didn’t sleep that night and even the following one. The entire atmosphere of celebrations turned sombre and we are still not out of shock,” the relative said.

Describing the victim as an extremely warm person, the relative said: “Like anyone her age, she was vivacious, friendly and trusted people. She had fallen in love with this country and had even joked that she would settle here. She loved the Indian culture and everything linked with it.”

Claiming they had advised her to avoid communicating with strangers as culture was different, the relative said she was innocent and greeted every passerby.

Her father was taken aback after hearing about the incident and took the next available flight and reached here.

They were happy that now she’s with him. The victim is reportedly the only child.

While the relative wasn’t sure where she was, even a spokesman for the German embassy, Michael Hasper, refused to reveal her whereabouts.

“I cannot comment much as the matter is sub-judice. We are in touch with the Indian government and are following the case closely. We are satisfied with the investigation,” was all that he said.

Meanwhile stating that the victim was in Delhi, IG, UT police, S.K. Jain, said the victim and her father had assured them of full cooperation and had promised to join investigations whenever required.



Gurugaddi: Marathon to spread brotherhood
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 2
To celebrate the tri-centenary of the installation of the Gurugaddi, the Shatabdi Purab Committee, Mohali, today organised a march and a marathon race to spread the message of humanity and brotherhood given by the gurus.

Representatives of various religions and faiths participated in the event. Capt Kawaljit Singh, cooperation minister, and Hardeep Singh, convenor of the Shatabdi Purab Committee and a SGPC member, flagged off the march and marathon.

Chanting religious hymns, the participants stared from Gurdwara Amb Sahib and culminated their march at Gurdwara Sacha Dhan, Phase 3B1, where Balbir Singh Sidhu, local MLA and the management of the gurudwara welcomed the participants.

Prominent among those who participated were pastor Joseph, pastor Bishamber Das, Brahma Kumari Prema, representatives of sanatan dharma and Muslim community.

The Shatabdi Committee would be holding a seminar on “Eka Baani Ik Guru Iko Shabad Vichar” at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, on October 4, apart from the programme of shabad recital at various gurdwaras from October 10 to October 19.



Traders’ body advisory to shopkeepers
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In the backdrop of serial blasts at marketplaces in New Delhi, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) has issued an advisory to city traders to ensure safe festival season.

“Several market associations such as the Greater Kailash-I in New Delhi have succeeded in minimising human losses by being vigilant in the aftermath of serial blasts. We have asked markets to take precautionary measures and prepare themselves for any eventuality,” CBM president Charanjiv Singh said here today, adding that the CBM would work in close cooperation with the police and the administration in ensuring a safe festival season.

In fact, the advisory has asked the market associations to keep a vigil on any unattended packet, tiffin, bag, two-wheeler or four-wheeler in or around the market and inform the police immediately.

The market associations have been asked to report movement of any suspicious person or stranger in the market to the police. Taking a lesson from the Delhi blasts, they have been told to keep vigil on dustbins in markets.

The moment any suspicious object is found in the market, shopkeepers have been advised to guide customers and staff to nearby safe open space. In case of any eventuality, they should help the injured to nearby hospitals.

The shopkeepers should get police verification of new employees and tenants in the markets. Besides, the associations should endeavour to provide mobile phone to all private guards.

The CBM president said the traders’ body had already urged authorities concerned to instal CCTV and public address system for safety of shoppers and shopkeepers.

The CBM, the representative body of around 125 trader associations, brought these issues to notice of the police and asked for more deployment of force and strict vigil on the markets, particularly busy Sector 17 and 22, to instil confidence in shoppers.

Meanwhile, the issue of markets’ security also came up for discussion when a CBM delegation met home secretary Ram Niwas here yesterday.

While sharing the concern of the traders about security, Ram Niwas reportedly promised to hold a meeting in this regard next week.



IAF aircraft put on display
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
As part of the ongoing Air Force Day celebrations, a static display of IAF aircraft and equipment was organised for serving defence personnel and their families at the local Air Force Station today.

Cockpits and cargo holds of combat aircraft like MiG-27 and MiG-29, transporters, including giant IL-76, and tactical AN-32 were thrown open for visitors.

The M-26, the world’s largest helicopter, variants of the Mi-8 choppers and a microlite used by the NCC were also displayed.

Other items at the show included the SA-3 Pechors anti-aircraft missiles, firefighters and other technical vehicles employed by the IAF in its day-to-day operations. Armament of MiG 27, which included bombs and rockets, was a particular attraction.

The show was put up on the dispersal area of 12 Wing. Operational aircraft parked in the backdrop coupled by routine flight operations by the IAF as well as scheduled airlines added to the thrill and excitement of youngsters milling around the aircraft.

Though restricted for military personnel, the show attracted a large number of visitors, many of whom had a host of queries for the IAF personnel about the technical and other specifications of the aircraft.

The country’s largest helicopter maintenance establishment, No.3 Base Repair Depot, also put up a modified Mi-8 multi-utility helicopter, which has an assault role.

The Air Force Station here is one of the most important transport bases, having the responsibility of air maintenance of Army positions in the sensitive northern sector.



Ramlilas take high-tech avatar
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Dingy sets, fumbling dialogues and shaky curtains are a passe for Ramlilas now. The dramatisation of epic tales from the life of Lord Rama is no longer a specialised job, which used to be done by expertise of the field.

The presentation of the event has changed down the years. The Ramlila fever has stuck the city with a blend of technology and modernisation. Audiovisual clippings, recorded dialogues, quality sound system and special effects have become part of Ramlilas here.

“The change has been brought to make the traditional event interesting among people, especially youngsters. It may help restore the lost glory,” B.P. Gaur, general secretary, Chandigarh Kendriya Ramlila Maha Sabha.

Spurred by glut of mythological serials on television, organisers are using technology to keep pace with times and make the epic narration an audiovisual delight.

“Residents, particularly the younger generation, want high quality presentation in minimum time and our effort is to cater to their needs without compromising on the cultural heritage,” he said.

Without the need to cram lengthy dialogues, artistes only lip-sync with the voice of accompanists speaking from the backstage.

“We have to move with time as the interest of people in the traditional style of staging the epic has been on the wane,” said a member of the Navyug Ramlila Committee, Sector 7.

Almost all Ramlilas in the city are slowly switching from the traditional to the
contemporary mode.

“The change is inevitable. We will like to shift to a high-tech style provided we have enough resources.”

Also, the new trend of showing Ramanand Sagar’s “Ramayan” on huge LCD screens seems to be a hit with viewers.

“It is technically perfect, viewer-friendly and conveys Ramayana’s message without other distractions,” claims an organiser in Phase II of Ram Darbar.



Panels, PU’s answer to all problems
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
For every problem there is only one solution in the Panjab University here and that is to form a committee.

The committee members then linger on the decisions and after a series of meetings the result of the enquiries, in most of the cases, comes out to be nil.

Perhaps what the authorities do not realise is the amount of money and manpower that gets engaged in each committee and its subsequent meetings.

After that, even if the committee recommends certain things, it takes even longer time for those recommendations to actually get implemented.

In many cases, the recommendations are not accepted or further sub-committees are formed and thus the vicious circle continues.

If the figures are any indicators then PU had constituted about 225 committees in the last two and a half years to look into various allegations starting from the time of former vice-chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak but the outcome in terms of taking action has been negligible so far.

For instance, the decision in case of Manoj Kumar Sharma of University Business School (UBS) is also pending in which he was alleged of submitting wrong data to get superior rankings in a survey of management institutes conducted by Outlook magazine in 2005.

There is no outcome of cases involving N.K. Sehgal of the department of evening studies for giving outside coaching, a fraud worth lakhs of rupees in the department of chemical engineering and technology, alleged frauds of sports department, sexual exploitation case in geology department and in chemistry department are pending.

Also, even after two years of marking an inquiry against J.S. Dhanki, former chairperson of the department of History for tampering with the marks of student, the university is yet to decide its fate.

Though the PU authorities blame it sometimes on the governing bodies for not accepting committee remarks and thus delaying the decisions further, on the other hand, the members of the governing bodies claim that its the inability of the university to not implement decisions despite clearance from senate and syndicate.



Peace delegates irked over mismanagement
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
While the participants of the 3rd peace festival were all set to bid an adieu to the city with sweet memories, Punjab transport authorities, played a spoilsport and left most of them in a bad taste.

Withstanding the advance reservation of volvo to take peace delegates to Delhi today, authorities cancelled the scheduled trip, at the last minute keeping in mind the safety risk due to the Congress rally in Panipat today.

Pramod Sharma, coordinator Yuvsatta said, “We made all the reservations in
advance and the bus was supposed to fetch us at 7:30 but officials informed
us around 8 that the bus was cancelled as their was a security risk due to the
Congress rally.”

After the cancellation, organisers tried to arrange for another bus of Haryana transport authorities, but even they refused to ply on the same grounds.

“Though we arranged for private taxis but it was wastage of time and energy. The episode left a bad impression on our guests coming from different nationalities like Pakistan. We were embarrassed for this mismanagement,” Pramod added.

Most of the students seemed perturbed by this as according to them they had to suffer for authority’s malfunction. Meanwhile, even after repeated efforts, the authorities were unavailable for any comment.



Khushaal Murder Case
Main accused still at large
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
Even as the police claimed to have arrested four youths involved in murder of Khushaal, a student of Government College, Sector 1, the main accused in the case was still at large after five days of the incident.

The police has registered a case of murder against Muneesh, Tinku, Pawan, Rinku and Mukesh, along with many others. The arrested have been identified as Mukesh, Muneesh, Rinku and Gaurav.

Sources said during the interrogation it has come to light that three youth, Mukesh, Muneesh and Pushpinder, were the main accused who were allegedly involved seen fighting with the deceased at the time of incident.

However, the police has not been able to nab Pushpinder till now. While Mukesh, a resident of Dhandalru village, is the president of student union, other students of the same college belong to Badona village near Raipur Rani.

As per the statement recorded by Arun, who was injured in the incident, more than two-dozen youth attacked them when they were standing near the college in the afternoon. The police could not identify other youths who were involved in brawl.

SP Sandip Khirwar said the police parties have been on the trail of Pushpinder and raids have been conducted at his house and the places of his relatives. However, he could not be arrested till now, he added.

Khushaal was killed while two others injured when a group of boys from the same college attacked them near the college at Majri Chowk on Saturday.



Conveyance Deed
Allottees restless, GMADA unfazed
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, October 2
Allottees of plots and housing units in Mohali who have not yet got these registered in their names are a worried lot with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) fixing a deadline for conveyance deeds even as the municipal council has opposed the move.

Although allottees who have paid all their dues are trickling in at the GMADA office here to get their conveyance deeds executed, a large number of them were saying that it was difficult to pay huge sums of money needed to get the property registered in their names at the prevalent collector rates. They demanded that plots and houses should be registered at the allotment prices.

Municipal councillors, too, had unanimously opposed GMADA at the meeting held on Monday for asking residents to get plots and houses registered within three months at the prevalent rates. It was decided to write a letter to GMADA asking the authority to find a solution for residents.

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said this move of GMADA would put too much of financial burden on residents, especially the salaried and middle class people.

He said he had raised a question in this regard in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, but his question was disallowed.

GMADA officials, however, argued that the residents had violated the terms of allotment by not getting plots and houses registered in their names after the full and final payments were made by them.

If they were now opposing conveyance deeds at the prevalent collector rates they could have done it when these rates were low in the past.

Moreover, if collector rates had gone up value of plots and houses allotted to them at lower rates had also increased manifold. As such they did not lose in any way.

GMADA had given three months time to allottees to execute conveyance deeds, failing which resumption of sites and houses would be initiated for violation of the terms and conditions of the allotment. Public notices in this regard were given in various newspapers in the last week of August.



City to get warehousing complex
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In the backdrop of Chandigarh emerging as economic hub of the region, it is all set to get a state-of-the-art warehousing complex in Industrial Area, Phase III, here.

To be developed under public-private partnership over an area of 45 acres, the warehousing complex will meet the ever-increasing storage requirements for a variety of goods, including building material, iron and steel, cement, paint, consumer goods, electric and electronics goods, food and furniture items.

In fact, a note detailing the blueprint for the prestigious project has been sent to the UT administrator by finance secretary Sanjay Kumar.

The expression of interest will be invited following a formal nod from the administrator, sources said here yesterday.

Currently, besides CITCO and SAIL godowns, there are around 1,100 unauthorised godowns in and around Daria village adjoining the railway station. These coupled with 115 unauthorised godowns in Industrial Area cover an area of about 80 acres.

Besides tackling the mushrooming of unauthorised structures, the planned warehousing area will put an end to possible evasion of CST and VAT by unscrupulous elements, the sources claimed.

It is argued that with GDP of Chandigarh growing at the rate of 19 per cent, the highest in the country, the importance of having a modern warehousing complex cannot be over-emphasised.

As the railways is contemplating a major commercial terminal here, the setting up of the complex can boost commercial activity here.

A senior official said the tertiary sector was growing fast and consisted of almost 80 per cent of the gross state domestic product.

If this growth was to be maintained, facilities like warehousing complex were the need of the hour, he added.

Is is learned that the administrator had already approved around 45 acres of land for the project. The location has been approved keeping in view its proximity to the railway station.

It is argued that vehicular traffic generating from Punjab and Haryana will not enter the city as it will be taken care of by the route No. 2 coming up in the area.



Snake holds up traffic
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, October 2
A snake held up traffic on the Sectors 31-32 roundabout for sometime after it captured the curiosity of motorists and passersby here today.

A crowd gathered after some passersby noticed the reptile on the footpath near the roundabout around 9 pm.

A police team reached the scene along with a fire official to remove the snake
from the scene.

Harveer, a local resident, said: “The snake was found on the footpath and was
apparently venomous.”

A police officer said: “People got scared on seeing the reptile. We called a fire official to remove the it.”



Internet protocol TV by month-end, says BSNL chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The city not only has the highest year-on-year growth in broadband connections in the region but also has the highest concentration of WiFi connections, said telecom general manager (Chandigarh) Naresh Sharma, while interacting with mediapersons here yesterday.

He said in the past two years, broadband connections had increased from 8,000 to 24,500. Of the total connections, at least half were WiFi,” he said. He said they were set to launch Internet protocol television in the city by the month-end.

“Trials for the same are on and we will launch this service soon. We have already installed multiplay equipment for 30,000 lines, which will help us provide IPTV and video-on-demand facilities on a single cable, along with telephone and broadband,” he said. Once launched, BSNL IPTV will be available for Rs 100 (75 channels) and Rs 150 (150 channels).

The public-sector telecom major has also decided to give set top boxes on a rental basis, with monthly rent of Rs 70 and Rs 140 (depending on configuration). The boxes can also be bought at Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000.

Sharma added that they were working to provide seamless connectivity for its mobile users and 75 new towers were being installed in the city and its periphery.



MC to seek police help to tackle chaos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In view of frequent traffic jams, chaos and unlawful activities at the venue of weekly apni mandis in different sectors of the city, the Chandigarh municipal corporation will send a proposal to the city police to deploy its force to manage the rush and check suspicious activities there.

The mandis are currently being held at seven places across the city.

Officials in the corporation said residents living in the vicinity had time and again been complaining to the authorities of nuisance caused by the mandis.

They added that residents had to to use alternative routes to reach their residences due to traffic jams and chaos in their sector.

Traffic is particularly heavy in evening as offices close. People, besides residents of nearby sectors, park their vehicles haphazardly on the road, resulting in snarl-ups.

Officials admitted that visitors parked their vehicles haphazardly as there were no parking arrangements at the venues of the mandis.

This was the primary reason cited by most representations made by residents seeking shifting of venues to some other place.

They alleged that visitors blocked entry to their houses by parking vehicles there.

MC additional commissioner P.K. Sharma said in view of the problems being faced by residents of the areas affected by apni mandis, the MC authorities would send a proposal to the police to deploy force on stipulated days when mandis were held.

He added that strict monitoring would be initiated at the venues to fine those who put up stalls illegally in mandis posing as farmers.

He added that the department would ensure cleanliness of the venues. Under the agreement, the area allocated to mandis has to be cleaned up by the employees of the contractor concerned.



Broken streetlights add to residents’ woes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Tall claims of the Chandigarh municipal corporation notwithstanding, streetlights in most sectors in the city are non-functional.

Residents rue that roads in various sectors are not safe during night in the
absence of streetlights.

While most of the dividing roads are plunged into darkness after sunset, the internal roads are no better.

In Sector 44, the road leading to the residential area and to the market is without any streetlight. In Sector 51, too, the streetlights are non-functional.

While residents fret and fume over the situation, little has been done by the municipal corporation to make the faulty streetlights work. All efforts of the councillors and residents have fallen on deaf ears.

Secretary general of the Journalist Group Housing Society Jai Dev Sharma rues that streetlights in their area have been non-functional for the past many months. The residents are also facing sanitation problems and stray dog menace, he said.

The unlit roads also create a law and order problem. Incidents involving anti-social elements are on the rise in these areas.



Advani to visit city on Nov 16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Close on the heels of the visit of Rahul Gandhi, scion of Gandhi-Nehru family and Amethi MP to the city, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani will hold a rally here on November 16 to bolster party’s image ahead of the general election.

The “Vijay Sankalp Rally” will expose Congress-led UPA government’s failures and project BJP-led NDA as an effective alternative at the Centre for mitigating the sufferings of millions, party secretary and Chandigarh BJPs co-in charge Kiran Ghai said here today.

Terming price rise the number one issue in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, Ghai said the Congress, which claimed itself as the party of the “aam aadmi”, had virtually left the downtrodden in the lurch.

The recent serial blasts all over the country had reaffirmed the general perception that the UPA regime had failed to tackle terrorism menace and was going “soft” on terrorists and anti-social elements, severely compromising country’s unity and integrity, the BJP leader alleged.

On the candidate from the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, she said no name had yet be finalised by the party high command.

There were reports that H.L. Mahajan, a brother of former BJP president Yashpal Mahajan, had staked claim to the seat.

Though senior leader Satya Pal Jain has a strong hold over the local leadership, a section of the local BJP is of the opinion that the party should nominate a “fresh face” from here in the backdrop of Jain losing to minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal in the past two Lok Sabha elections.

In fact, Advani’s rally should be seen as a tool to rejuvenate party cadre ahead of the elections. In fact, the local leadership will try to put up a united face in the run-up to elections.

However, like all democratic parties, the BJP also has its share of dissensions within the party and various pressure groups usually get active in the runup to the polls.



59th National Day of China
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 2
The 59th National Day of China was celebrated with enthusiasm by the Friends of China Association (FCA), Punjab, at Paragon School Sector-71, here today.

Captain Kanwaljit Singh, cooperation minister, Punjab, who was the chief guest, said there was need to strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

It was pointed out that 2008 was an extraordinary year for China, as it hosted the Olympic Games.



‘Life Line’ for needy patients at GMCH-32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Life Line, an organisation dedicated to the service of unattended patients at the PGI, yesterday extended their services to similar patients at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Prof Raj Bahadur, director principal, GMCH, presided over the function and expressed pleasure at organisation’s initiative to provide attendant service to needy patients.

He highlighted the work done by the organisation at the PGI in Sector 12 here.

Initially, the organisation started its attendant service at the PGIMER emergency wing and later started providing shelter to patients and their attendants.

They also began management of sarais, ambulance and mortuary van service. Organisation president Ravinder Gupta gave an outline of their activities.

Prof Raj Bahadur, Ravinder Gupta and Prof Sudhir Garg inducted three lifeline attendants by pinning badges on them.

An unknown patient was also handed over to Life Line attendants for further care.



200 units of blood donated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Two hundred units of blood were donated at a blood donation camp organised by the Tarlok Chand and Kamla Gautam Memorial Welfare Committee in association with the PGI blood bank at Sector 27 here today.

Yesterday, the department of transfusion medicine, PGI, and the UT Red Cross Society had jointly organised a blood donation camp to mark Voluntary Blood Donation Day. Over 100 persons had donated blood. The donors were honoured by PGI director Prof K.K. Talwar.

Women blood donors who regularly contributed to the cause were honoured. They were: Harkiran Kaur (71 donations), Jaswant Kaur (58), Manjit Benipal (52), Manju Yadav (46), Dr Sushmita Chakraborty (43), Dr Kamla Rani Gupta (42), Usha Gupta (37), Mamta Garg (36), Amar Kulwant Kaur (33), Adarsh Bala (31), Bhavneet Bharti (25) and Gurmeet Anand (25).

The function was presided over by SDM east-cum-secretary of the UT Red Cross Society Niharika Rai. Other dignitaries present were Prof J.G. Jolly, PGI’s deputy director (administration) A.K. Gupta and Red Cross Society’s managing body member D.P. Khandelia.

Meanwhile, the “Centurion Blood Donor Award” was conferred on local resident Bhupinder Nagpal (46) in Delhi today.

He was among 21 donors honoured for donating blood over 100 times by the India Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology (ISBTI).

He has donated blood 113 times in past 28 years and is the youngest amongst those given the award. ISBTI secretary general Dr R.N. Makroo, president Dr V.P. Gupta and NACO chairman Dr M Farooq were present at the function.



Seminar on Mahatma Gandhi’s influence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
To mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the department of Gandhian Studies, Panjab University, organised a special lecture on, ‘The key to Mahatma Gandhi’s influence’ by renowned historian professor, Devender Swarup, at Gandhi Bhawan here today.

“There was something special in Mahatma Gandhi that eminent persons of varied ideologies like, Jawahar lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Subhash Chander Bose and Maulana Azad were his camp followers. He did not impose his ideas and gave them freedom to express their views,” said prof Devender.

Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, PU, in his presidential address stressed on the
need to reach to the downtrodden, as Mahatma Gandhi wanted to wipe out tears
from every eye.

Professor J.N. Sharma, chairman, department of Gandhian Studies, in his address, appealed to the audience to follow the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

“It is the magnitude of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence method that from this year onward the United Nations has started to celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as International Day of non-violence,” elaborated Prof Sharma.

Earlier, a patriotic song, poetry and a fancy dress competition was organised in the morning, in which tiny tots of various schools of the city participated.

The winners of fancy dress competition were, (1) Shubham of Govenment Model High School, Sector 25; (2) Guransh Singh Gadhoke of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41; (3) Charu of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40.



Software Freedom Day at SVIET
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, October 2
Software Freedom Day was celebrated at Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET), Banur, in collaboration with the SUN Microsystems on the college campus.

On the occasion, a seminar on “Open Source and Open Solaris” was also organised. Ajay Kumar, campus ambassador co-ordinator and Souvik Das Gupta, SUN campus ambassador, who were key speakers, gave background on micro systems. Students of B.Tech and faculty members participated in the seminar.

Peace function

The British School, Mohali, organised a function to explain the concept of peace and unity behind the conduct of Olympic games. The tiny-tots of the school were explained the concept through nursery rhymes.

The school principal, Parvinder Kaur, while explaining the functioning of the school, said, students were encouraged in studies and in sports activities. The closing ceremony witnessed a colourful function.

Cultural programme

Students, staff and management of Aryans group of institutes (AGOI) organised Rhythm- a cultural extravaganza.

Dr Gopal Munjal, CEO, Ind Swift group inaugurated the function. Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group of Institutes, presided over the function.

As many as 300 students of Aryans Business School (ABS), Aryans School of Management (ASM) and Aryans Institute of Management and Technology (AIMT) participated in the function.

On the occasion, Saraswati Vandana, Kavita, Himanshu and Sapna presented a group dance. Mohammed Iqbal sang a solo song while Virendra Singh presented a solo dance. The comedy skit "Atamhatya" had audience in splits.

Also, a hilarious act "Bewafa Sanam" was presented by Karan, Swati, Hemant, Amit Soni, Inderpal, Vineet, Raman, Roopika, Siddharth and Gagan. Dr Parveen Kataria, principal, gave away prizes to the winners.

Elders’ Day

Students of Manav Mangal SMART SCHOOL, Phase X, greeted senior citizens at the Lake Club in Chandigarh on World Elders Day yesterday.

Help age, India, had organised a day out for senior citizens of the old age home in Sector 15, Chandigarh.

The students sang a bhajan, told stories on Lord Buddha and also presented a medley of old Hindi film songs and a medley of patriotic songs for the elderly.

The elderly enjoyed performances and joined the children in singing and dancing. The children had an amazing experience listening to stories of the senior citizens.

Later, they were taken for a boat ride. The children then presented them small tokens of love - colourful paper bags, which they had prepared for them, with photo frames and wall hangings to make them feel important.

A couple of inmates had tears of happiness in their eyes. The inmates of the old age home blessed the students and wished them good luck.

Scholarship awarded

Aditya, a student of class IX of Shivalik Public School, Mohali, has become the proud recipient of NTSE Scholarship, instituted by N.C.E.R.T New Delhi.

Every year as many as 1000 meritorious students from all over the country are awarded the scholarship. Aditya is the only student to make it from Mohali district.

He has also secured first position both at the state level in computer Olympiad, 2007, and in an inter-school mathematics Olympiad, 2007.



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