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Rape Case
Gaganjit Barnala acquitted
Tribune News Service

Timeline

August 12, 2006: FIR registered
August 12: Barnala arrested
August 13: Sent to one-day police remand
August 14: Sent to judicial remand
September 18: Granted bail
September 18: Police files chargesheet
November 4: Court frames charges
December 22: Victim turns hostile

Chandigarh, February 27
In a major relief to former Dhuri MLA Gaganjit Barnala, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi today acquitted him in a rape case.

He was accused of raping a 55-year-old woman who used to work as a masseuse at his place. The case had hit the headlines after the police registered an FIR against Gaganjit Singh Barnala, son of Tamil Nadu Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala, on August 12, 2006.

The police had arrested Gaganjit on August 12, 2006. The matter came into light after the masseuse was rushed to Government Hospital, Sector 16, as she was bleeding profusely from her private parts.

The case took a U-turn after the victim, while recording her statement before the court on December 15, 2006, retracted her earlier statement and maintained that she suffered from injuries after falling from a bicycle.

The prosecution's case became weak when the victim, during in-camera proceedings, had stated that she had suffered an abdominal injury after falling from her bicycle and thereafter she started bleeding. However, the police had video graphed the statement of the victim. The prosecution had recalled the witness again to re-examine her.

She also did not corroborate her previous statements of being raped, as recorded by the police in the challan and two supplementary statements.

The prosecution had also moved an application seeking permission to place on record the video recorded statements of the victim provided to the mediapersons, where she had alleged that Gaganjit had raped her.

However, the victim, when questioned on video, denied of having any knowledge the CDs exhibited by the police.

The victim testified before the court that her statement before the court was correct. She maintained that she was not in a proper state of mind when she was video-graphed.

Claiming the case to be conspiracy against the politician, Gaganjit’s counsel A.S. Sukhija said: “The case was the product of political rivalry to malign Gaganjit’s image.”

Elaborating on the loopholes in the case, Sukhija said: “If you go through the video, it clearly indicates that words are being put into the mouth of the complainant. In fact, I will call it rarest of the rare case where there is no complainant. The contents of the FIR do not corroborate with statement of the victim to the police.”

He added that there were no injuries on Gaganjit nor do the DNA reports support the same he added. Highlighting on the lacunae in the prosecution’s case, Sukhija added: “The doctor during the cross examination in the court stated that there can be seven causes which can inflict such injury leading to excessive bleeding. Also, the police did not produce constable Bhama Devi before the court in whose presence the statements were recorded.”

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Barnala ‘rape’ case
‘It was my destiny’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Life has not changed much for the 55-year-old alleged victim in the rape case against Gaganjit Barnala and the orders of the acquittal of the former Dhuri MLA does not seem to make any difference to her.

She is living with her sister and was not keen to comment on the orders. After a pause, she said: “What can I say”. She works as a domestic help and leaves for work at 7:00 am on her bicycle. After her work she prefers to go to a temple or gurdwara.

She says, “I will not like to comment on the orders. Whatever God has chosen for us, it is destiny and is bound to happen and whatsoever happens in our life, has to be accepted.”

Replying to the query if the police had forced her to give a statement in order to get an FIR against the politician, she responded, “No there is nothing like that.”

Living in solitude, she stays in a one-room house in Nayagaon and barely communicates with anyone. “I leave for work early morning and reach back home by afternoon. Presently, I am working in three houses and earn about Rs 2,000 in one month.”

Recalling the time when the case was registered, she said: “I used to work as a masseur at the house before the case was registered. I am thankful to god that I am safe.”

“I follow my basic routine and work as a domestic help and visit the temple regularly. Sometimes, I have my meals there only and do the household work.”

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Gurdwara Row
Police nabs Baba Gurdeep Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The police today arrested Baba Gurdeep Singh of Gurdwara Santsar Sahib, Sector 38, who was booked in a forgery case allegedly for preparing fake documents for the passport of an alleged terrorist, Gurbej Singh Sonu. The police has also obtained production warrants for March 9 for Sonu from a local court.

Sources in the police said the Baba was arrested from the district court in Sector 17, where he had come along with his advocate to surrender before the court. A police team got information about it and nabbed the Baba from court premises.

The police will produce him before the court on Saturday seeking a police remand.

The Baba had reportedly shown Sonu as his cousin in his ration card and furnished the same as a proof of residential address for Sonu’s passport.

The police had also obtained production warrants for Sonu for March 9 to produce him in a local court for his remand. Both Sonu and Baba Gurdeep Singh, along with Baba Sarup Singh, were involved in a forgery case.

DSP (CID) Satbir Singh said during the preliminary interrogation, Gurdeep Singh said he had no relationship with Sonu. He said he had prepared a ration card after being told by Baba Sarup Singh and constable Ranbir Singh. The photograph showing Sonu with his family was taken in the gurdwara.

The police said they would quiz the Baba for his links with Sonu and other anti-national elements, who visit the gurdwara and stayed there.

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Undeterred, PGI staff go on strike today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Despite the threat of losing their wages and also the fact that a strike can result in a “break in service” the PGI Employees and Medical Technologist Union today said it would go ahead with its already announced programme of a strike tomorrow.

The Deputy Director, Administration, AK Gupta, quoting the details of a meeting with the Director-General of Health Services at Delhi today, said employees who held a strike would face “break in service” and their salary for February would be stopped.

The PGI has also asked the Union government to evoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to ensure the employees do not strike work. He said the PGI was a central health institute and was directly governed by the Health Ministry.

The PGI Employees Union said it was undeterred by threats and would carry on with its announced programme to strike work on February 28. Routine services are likely to hit the patient care services.

However, the administration has already made additional arrangements to see that patients’ needs are not affected during the strike. “All operating theatres will be functional and scheduled surgeries and procedures will be undertaken. No surgery will be postponed and routine services will look after by the resident doctors and other employees,” said PGI deputy director AK Gupta.

He said, “The PGI is covered under the public utility services and technicians cannot go on strike while the talks to resolve the issue are on. If they still go on with the strike, they will have to bear the consequences”.

AK Gupta said the PGI authorities were gearing themselves to deal with the “illegal” strike and making efforts to ensure that the patients were not put to inconvenience, the demands of Medical Technologists Association, which is spearheading the agitation, is nothing more than old wine in a new bottle.

Incidentally, this is the third time they will strike work in past three years. The association had struck work on two earlier occasions, once by going on a day’s mass casual leave in 2007 and then again for nine days in April last year - in pursuance to their demands, which according to the PGI authorities “most” were met.

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PU tabs on outsiders’ entry
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, February 27
After yesterday’s clash in Panjab University, the authorities finally restricted the entry of outsiders in the campus by opening only the gate number 1 (adjacent to the PGI) for them.

Security personnel would keep a check on the entry of the outsiders on the campus. Any outsider entering the campus will have to deposit some documents of his or her vehicle with the security men at the time-office.

A senior official said the parking lots would be next to the entry gates inside the premises for the simple reason that if in case any outsider has no document to deposit with the time office, he or she should be allowed to park the vehicle there itself.

It is pertinent to mention here that originally the university had decided to install electrically drop gates on the campus to keep a check on the outsiders, which would be operational within a short time.

Welcoming the move, a student leader said, “This is a great way to keep a check on all people entering the university without any purpose. The university should adopt stringent measures to curb the menace.”

The university was in the grip of violence owing to the recent incidents that rocked the campus. A strict security system was the need of the hour, said another student.

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ICICI Bank at it again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked ICICI Bank to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh to a complainant for forcibly acquiring his car who had not given loan installment.

The petitioner, Praveer Goel, stated in the complaint that he had purchased a Maruti car from Joshi Autozone in 2004 by paying Rs 80,000 from his own resources and the remaining amount of Rs 1.5 lakh was financed by ICICI Bank. He said he had been paying the instalments regularly and yet received a notice regarding dishonouring of a cheque of Rs 2,715.

Neither, the cheque number was mentioned in the notice nor the memo of dishonoured cheque was attached with it. However, the complainant paid the amount of Rs 2,715 through another cheque.

He mentioned in the complaint that a recovery agent of the bank visited his house and threatened him if the entire balance amount was not paid, he would have to face dire consequences. According to the complainant, on the same day, he left the city after parking the car in front of his house. When he returned, he found that the car was missing. It was found that the agents had forcibly taken his car into their possession.

The bank replied that several cheques of the complainant were dishonoured on presentation to the bank. The complainant had paid only nine instalments up to December 31 and did not adhere to the schedule of repayment mentioned in the agreement and did not pay the instalments regularly and in time.

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Admn intervention saves Rs 171-cr project for MC
Mayor ‘failed’ to put up agenda in MC House meetings
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Timely intervention by the Chandigarh administration has saved an ambitious Rs 171-crore water supply and sewerage project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Taking a serious note of “inability” of MC Mayor Kamlesh to place the agenda regarding appointment of a consultant for the project during the recent two meetings of the MC House, UT Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Local Government, Ram Niwas took up the matter with the Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development, who is also the chairman of the National Building Construction Company. Acceding to administration's request, the ministry had asked the NBCC to be consultant for the project and prepare the feasibility report for the project, aimed at upgrading the water supply and sewerage system in UT villages and rehabilitation colonies. Earlier, the Finance and Contract Committee of the MC, at its meeting on October 23, 2008, had accorded approval to appoint a consultant to study for assessing the requirement of developing infrastructure, i.e. water supply, sewerage here and to prepare a feasibility report and detailed project report for submission to the ministry under the JNNURM.

Acting on the approval of the F&CC, the civic body shortlisted the National Consultancy for Planning and Engineering, Hyderabad, as the consultant for the project. An agenda item was submitted to the MC Secretary to place it before the meeting of the House on January 27. However, the agenda was not approved by the Mayor for putting up in the House, a note sent by the MC Commissioner to Ram Niwas said. The agenda was also not included in yesterday's meeting of the MC House. A team headed by NBCC general manager A.K. Mittal will visit the city next week in connection with the preparation of the feasibility report. After the feasibility report is submitted, the ministry will release the money for the project, he said.

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Misuse of premises by industrialists alleged
Conversion policy under cloud
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, February 27
The conversion policy of the Chandigarh administration for industrial plots in the Industrial Area has again come under a cloud, with the industrialists, who have got their plots converted after paying crores of rupees, alleging misuse of premises for commercial activities by a section of industrialists.

Terming the policy as anti-industry, members of the Chandigarh Industrial Association alleged that the conversion policy should also be applied on the banks, taverns and liquor shops located in the Industrial Area.

The administration has adopted double standards while making the policy or has forgotten to apply it to other institutions, they further alleged.

A building owner alleged that the estate office had passed the orders not to use any industrial plot for commercial purposes. But, banks and commercial establishments were running their commercial activities illegally, he further alleged.

Gaurav Khanna, a converted industrial plot owner, said he had paid a huge amount of Rs 20,000 per yard for the conversion of his building for commercial purposes. But the administration seems to be least bothered about those who have not paid even a single penny to the administration and are using the land for commercial activities with impunity.

Stressing the need to safeguard the interest of industry, the plot owners requested that the administrator should mark an inquiry in this regard and there should be no discrimination while giving any relaxations or mistakes.

On the other hand, the Chandigarh Industrial and Tenants Association is demanding rehabilitation of industrial tenants in Industrial Area, Phase III, and is protesting in support of their demands.

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Malls to house liquor shops
Bars can be opened till 1 am
Tribune News Service

Excise Policy

l Shopping malls to offer ‘tasting facility’
l Wines allowed in departmental stores
l Bar to remain open till 1 am
l Increase in VAT on liquor from 4 per cent to 12.5 per cent
l Packing size of 150 ml for country liquor withdrawn

Chandigarh, February 27
Chandigarh is waking up to metro culture as far as liquor trade is concerned. In fact, the excise policy 2009-10 announced by the Chandigarh Administration today came up with the new concept of the establishment of modern liquor shops in air-conditioned environment, including in shopping malls, in keeping with the changing social trends, besides extending the bar timings to 1 a.m.

The modern shops will be introduced with a lower licence fee of Rs 20 lakh per annum, subject to the condition that such shops will be air-conditioned and be allowed in the SCO/SCFs or shopping malls only. These modern shops will be allowed to have “tasting sessions” as seen in liquor shops abroad and other metropolitan cities of India.

However, the licence fee for the conventional retail sale liquor shops have been retained at Rs 25 lakh per annum. The liquor vends functioning in the existing temporary structures have been disincentivised as the licence fee for such vends has been raised from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh to phase them out in future.

The administration has increased the minimum retail prices for country liquor and IMFL by Rs 5 to Rs 20 per bottle. Similarly, increase in minimum retail price for beer has been pegged at Rs 5 indicating an increase in the liquor rates--a bad news for the tipplers.

In order to promote low alcoholic drinks, the licence fee on the wholesale licence of wine has been reduced from Rs 5,000 per brand to Rs 2,000 per brand and sale of domestic wines has been allowed from licensed departmental stores.

Similarly, keeping in view the changing social trends with regard to increase in the number of visitors to bars/restaurants, the bar closure timings have been further relaxed to 1 am instead of midnight at present. The private possession limits have been kept unchanged. The private possession limits are 18 bottles of IMFL/imported foreign liquor, 36 bottles of beer, 18 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of country liquor, a press note said. There has been no increase in the rate of excise duty on liquor. However, in order to ensure balance in the regional trade and to curb the outflow of liquor to neighboring states, the rate of VAT on liquor has been increased from 4 per cent to 12.5 per cent, bringing it on a par with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

The licence fee of L-3/L-4/L-5 (bar licences) of 5-star hotels has been reduced from Rs 5 lakh per annum to Rs 2.25 lakh per annum and the licence fee of other bar licences kept unchanged.

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Farmers reject land award for IT Park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The Manimajra Farmers Welfare Association has rejected the recent award of about Rs 18.75 lakh per acre for the third phase of the IT park by the Chandigarh Administration.

Just as farmers were celebrating the passage of twin Bills, i.e. Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2007 and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2007, the administration has mischievously chosen to blatantly violate the intent and importance of these legislations and decided to continue with its forcible land acquisition policy, a press note said.

The anti-farmer, anti-poor and vindictive stance of the administration has been demonstrated again when the compensation award for remaining 168 acres in the IT park was announced at Rs 18.75 lakh per acre. This is despite the fact that the Ministry of Rural Development had directed the UT Administration and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to implement the rehabilitation policy 2007 in the instant case as also similar other cases.

Members of the society held an emergency meeting yesterday and condemned this act of the Chandigarh Administration. Calling the action as highly vindictive and deliberate, taken to damage the interests of the farmers and other weaker sections, members questioned the urgency of announcement of the award when the entire matter is sub judice and under CVC probe. 

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TBRL celebrates National Science Day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 27
TBRL, one of the prestigious laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), celebrated National Science Day at TBRL Range, Ramgarh, near here, today.

Director, TBRL, Dr Satish Kumar, delivered a talk on “Visionaries of the nation”, highlighting the efforts made by three great visionaries Dr DS Kothari, Dr HJ Bhabha and Dr Vikram Sarabhai. They started physics research institutions that blossomed into defence, nuclear and space technology, he said.

He stressed that there is a need of creative leadership today.

Professor K N Pathak, former Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, who was the chief guest at the function, delivered a talk on “Matter at Ultra Low Temperatures”.

AC Sharma, a scientist working in the field of modelling and simulation, received an award 
on the occasion in the form of a medal and commendation certificate from Director, TBRL, on behalf of scientific advisor to Union Minister of Defence.

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Russian, French dancers regale audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 27
The splendour of folk musical cultures of Russia and France were brought alive by their respective ensembles, led by director Ryabova Natalia of Moscow and Marie Laure Vincent from Paris, in a dazzling spell of dances during the International Dance Festival at the Tagore theatre here today.

The event, organised by the UT administration in collaboration with the Punjab Arts Council (PAC) and the NZCC, also featured Punjabi ludie, bhangra and sirmori naati folk dances. Gen SF Rodrigues (Retd) was the chief guest. Along with the chief guest, Jean Rodrigues, Ram Niwas and DS Saroya lighted the traditional lamp.

The programme got off to a majestic start as the Russian dancers presented a glimpse of contemporary European dances in “Kaleidoscope”, which in fact was a blend of four European contemporary dances with the elements of folk background music. The dancers were at their best while performing the traditional Russian “Quadrille”, a dance of suburbs in South Russia, having the essence of their folklore and ingredients of humour as delineated by four couples during the spell.

Both the Russian and French dancers floated across the stage with agile footwork and eloquent dance movements to geometrical precision. Despite the energetic virile dancing movements displayed by young dancers in ludie, bhangra and naati with matching emotional expressions, all failed with the vocal renditions. A recorded music could enhance the performance level.

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Three students among 15 targeted by bees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
At least 15 persons, including three students, were stung in a bee attack on the PGI premises here this afternoon. All of them were discharged from the PGI emergency.

The incident took place around 12 noon near the PGI research block when all were coming from research block to the PGI main gate. A swarm of bees descended there. Those near the PGI research block rushed for a cover but many were trapped. The PGI staff also rushed to help.

Some security guards from the PGI also came forward to save the students and PGI employees, many of whom had been bitten all over their body part. Along with PGI employees, students - Radhika, Nandini and Ravinder- were hospitalised after being attacked by bees but they all were discharged after administering anti-allergic injection.

Helpline

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has started a helpline following recent bee attacks in the city.

The helpline numbers are 9915711425, 9872511297, 9872511261 & 9915711402, Pest Control, office of Medical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

According to the MC spokesman, there are a lot of beehives in the city due to flowering/pollination season.

The spokesman said in case of any complaint, the residents were free to lodge complaints, especially at an early stage of formation of beehives so that appropriate preventive measures for removing the same could be taken.

Do’s and don’ts

l Do not disturb/damage beehives
l Do not allow honeybees to create hives on your premises
l Lodge complaint at an early stage of formation of beehives
l In case of honeybee stings, report to nearest hospital/consult your doctor

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Consumer Forum
College told to pay up Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Apex International College, Sector 38, to pay Rs 25,000 compensation for indulging in unfair trade practices.

The forum also directed the distance education centre of the institute, Periyar Institute of Distance Education (PRIDE) at Salem, to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000.

The petitioner, Devinder Singh Jamwal, said in his complaint that with a view to obtain master’s degree in English, he approached the coordinator of Apex International College in Sector 38. He was supplied a prospectus after receiving Rs 130 and was assured that the study material/notes of MA (English) would be provided to him by the Apex College and Periyar Institute of Distance Education (PRIDE) at Salem.

He then submitted demand drafts of Rs 1,942 in favour of director PRIDE payable at Salem and another bank draft amounting to Rs 748 in favour of coordinator, Apex Education Group/College, payable at Chandigarh. It was alleged that no study material was supplied to him. Even the classes were not conducted, for which he approached them a number of times, but to no avail.

While denying the allegations, the Apex International College said the classes commenced from July 26, 2008, till August 24, 2008, on every weekend. The examination for all courses under the distance education stream were held from 25 August, 2008, till September 14, 2008, but the complainant did not appear in the examinations.

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Sale of cut fruits on despite ban
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, February 27
Despite the ban on sale of cut fruits in the city, sale of this is a common sight here. Shockingly, these fruits are being sold near the district court complex and deputy commissioner’s office.

A visit to the major parts of the city revealed the sellers were freely violating the rule by selling cut fruits like papaya, apple and mix-fruit chat.

According to a senior official of the Municipal Corporation, the medical officers and food inspectors were empowered to check the sale of these fruits and were authorised to get the same destroyed.

According to health experts, uncovered cut fruit can cause diseases like gastric infections, cholera, jaundice and diarrhoea, especially among the children.

Savita, a housewife said her little son was affected with gastric infections by eating cut papaya from the market. “I advise the public to avoid eating these fruits, otherwise, they have to suffer,” she added.

A shopkeeper at Sector 17 plaza said the vendors did their business mainly at noon and in evening, when the employees went back to home.

Under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the sale of cut fruit is banned unless when exposed for sale of them are properly protected by wire gauge and glass against contamination of dust and flies.

UT additional deputy commissioner IS Sandhu said, “The matter comes under the MOH wing of the MC and they have to take appropriate action against the violators.”

Medical officer, health department, MC, Dr Dewan, pretended to be busy on one pretext or other for last four days to give his comments.

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Panchkula, Mohali civic bodies pass budget for 2009-10
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, February 27
Deciding to spend a major portion of its income on repair of roads in the town, the municipal council has passed the 46-crore budget for the next fiscal here today.

The municipal council president, Ravinder Rawal, said the income of the council was to be generated from house tax, stamp duty, electricity duty, its share in extension fee being charged by the HUDA and the interest accrued on the fixed deposit receipts. In addition to it, the opening balance was proposed to be over Rs 6 crore also.

However, the civic body has decided to spend Rs 20 crore on roads, which comes out to be half of its income during next fiscal. In addition to it, Rs 4 crore will be spent for the upkeep of parks in the town, while the streets, electrical installations and other works will be taken up at slums spending Rs 2 crore. Another Rs 2 crore have been kept aside for the new building of the civic body. Rs 2 crore have been left for the closing balance.

The budget, however, has come under strong criticism from BJP leader VK Sood, a councillor from ward no. 4.

Terming the budget as fudging of account, Sood said the council had failed to conceive even a single imaginative project. Moreover, no relief had been extended to the public, despite the fact that the council was being run and controlled by the ruling party in the state, he said.

The council has estimated its income for advertisements to the tune of Rs 3 crore during next fiscal, but there was no mention about the income from same source during previous year, said Sood, apprehending embezzlement in the funds.

Mohali: The Mohali Municipal Council cleared the budget of Rs 3517. 99 lakh for 2009-10 at a special meeting of the civic body held here today even as members of the opposition group made efforts to keep it pending.

The meeting started on a peaceful note. Eight items on the agenda were read out in the House and members gave their views on some issues. Later, Amteshwar Kaur pointed out that details provided in the annexure “C” were incomplete as part of the information had not got printed while preparing copies of the agenda. She said the budget could not be passed as one page had incomplete information.

Soon, members of the opposition joined her and started demanding that the budget proposals should not be passed.

MC president Rajinder Singh Rana, however, said the missing information would be provided to the House, but the councillors kept on demanding that the budget should not be cleared.

The opposition councillors said the majority of elected representatives wanted to keep the budget pending but when their signatures were taken, only 14 of them signed against passing of the budget. As many as 31 councillors attended the meeting.

The civic body has proposed an income of Rs 3,248 lakh while the last year’s balance that has been carried forward is Rs 269.99 lakh. The proposed expenditure for the coming financial year stands at Rs 3,468 lakh.

The civic body plans to spend Rs 2,480 lakh on development works in the town which is about 76 per cent of the proposed income of the council for the coming year. While the amount to be spent on the staff is Rs 856 lakh, a sum of Rs 132 lakh has been proposed for contingency works.

The council plans to spend Rs 200 lakh on installation of new tubewells in different parts of the town, while a sum of Rs 125 lakh has been proposed for maintaining streetlights and purchasing material for works. A major part of the budget - Rs 400 lakh - will be spent on paying power bills, while Rs 230 lakh will be spent on paying electricity bills for streetlights. A sum of Rs 370 lakh has been proposed for strengthening and maintenance of roads while Rs 160 lakh will to be spent on collection and disposal of solid waste. Besides, Rs 180 lakh has been earmarked for the construction of footpaths and Rs 170 lakh on other development works.

The major source of income of the civic body is octroi from VAT and it is expecting to get a sum of Rs 2,380 lakh under this head. The proposed income from octroi from electricity is Rs 325 lakh, excise duty Rs 125 lakh, water supply and sewerage Rs 100 lakh, octroi from diesel and petrol Rs 105 lakh and advertisement tax Rs 100 lakh.

Later, estimates for development works worth Rs 4 crore were cleared at the monthly meeting held soon after the special budget meeting.

Highlights

l Proposed income  Rs 3,248 lakh
l Last year’s balance Rs 269.99 lakh
l Proposed expenditure Rs 3,468 lakh
l Rs 2,480 lakh to be spent on development works
l Rs 200 lakh on installation of new tubewells
l Rs 125 lakh for maintaining streetlights, purchasing material

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Hooda on inauguration spree
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 27
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda laid foundation stone and inaugurated several buildings here today. Hooda who stopped for just two minutes at most of the spots inaugurated dispensaries, government office buildings, community kitchen, sports facilities and even a police station.

He also donated Rs 11 lakh to Jainendra Public School where he inaugurated an auditorium.

Hooda inaugurated a war memorial, the offices of Science and Technology Parishad, the Directorate of Haryana Technical Education, the Haryana Public Service Commission, Patwar School, synthetic track at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, police station, Sector 14, and quarters for Mansa Devi Shrine Board employees.

In addition to it, he laid the foundation stone of Community kitchen at Mansa Devi Temple and extension building of General Hospital, Sector 6.

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Acid Attack
Victim accuses police of inaction
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 27
Mam Chand, a 19-year-old resident of Manauli village, who received serious burn injuries on his face and other parts of the body in an acid-throwing case, has accused the Mohali police of failing to nab the accused, Charanjit Singh.

Though the incident took place over a month back, the police has failed to make a breakthrough in the case. Due to acid attack, the victim lost his eyesight and suffered serious burn injuries on his face and other parts of his body. The police gives a standard reply that the accused was not traceable, whereas he was within their reach, alleged the victim, admitted to GMCH, Sector 32

Due to burn injuries and post complications, the victim has been undergoing treatment at the hospital. The widow mother of the victim said the accused has been threatening them not to pursue the case. She said meeting the expenses of the treatment was becoming difficult for her she had no regular source of income.

Narrating his woes, the victim said about a year back, he had objected to the accused clicking the pictures of his sister. An altercation had taken place between the two following which the accused was asked by the village panchayat to remain out of the village for a year.

Nursing the grudge, the accused returned after a year and allegedly threw acid on the victim’s face. After the acid attack, the marriage of victim’s sister could not materialise.

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Sandhu new Zirakpur EO
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 27
The Executive Officer of the Zirakpur MC has again been changed.

New Executive Officer Sukhjinder Singh Sandhu took charge today, who had come from Banur.

In less than five months, the Zirakpur MC has witnessed four executive officers. According to MC officials, after RK Mittal was transferred from the Zirakpur MC to the Kharar MC in October last year, Girish Verma was appointed as the EO who was suspended within two months.

Then Executive Officer VK Jain, who was appointed for a single day, was replaced by Vijay Gupta on December 10. The tug of war between Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Zirakpur MC president NK Sharma seems to be the reason behind the frequent change in Executive Officers at Zirakpur.

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‘Shut down hookah bar’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 27
Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha, Mohali, has urged the deputy commissioner to close down a ‘Hookah bar’ being run in the Phase IX market here.

The jatha has also urged the DC to remove the roadside vendors selling tobacco products near gurdwaras and temples. JP Singh said the jatha would remove the vendors if the administration would not take an action.

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