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Corruption
Former judge convicted
Quantum of sentence today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The CBI Special Court today convicted Surinder Singh Bhardwaj, former Judicial Magistrate (First Class) in a corruption case that had shook the judiciary.

The court, however, acquitted the then Jalandhar District and Sessions Judge RM Gupta in the case due to lack of evidence. The quantum of the sentence will be pronounced tomorrow. The court also gave directions to prosecute the complainant, Gurwinder Singh Samra, under Section 193 of the IPC for fabricating false evidence against RM Gupta.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of an emotional Gupta after the orders were pronounced. Talking to mediapersons, he said: “My father had fallen sick on hearing that I have been framed in a corruption case and his health has deteriorated to the extent that he has become bedridden. I want to thank God. I had faith in the judiciary.”

His counsel said: “The entire evidence was fabricated. The voice recording had also been tampered with.”

The CBI had caught Bhardwaj while accepting Rs 7 lakh as bribe, allegedly on behalf of Gupta, at his house in Sector 22 in 2003. The CBI had also raided the Sector 8 residence of Gupta and taken him into custody.

The CBI had acted following a complaint by Samra, a Kartarpur-based medical practitioner. He had complained that the local police had registered a number of fake cases against him and Bhardwaj had assured him help, along with Gupta, if Samra paid Rs 11 lakh.

Samra complained to the regional office of the CBI at Chandigarh, which verified his complaint, and a laid trap after obtaining permission from the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Samra, along with CBI officials and a team of independent witnesses, landed at Bhardwaj’s residence with Rs 7 lakh. Bhardwaj accepted the boxes and was counting the currency notes when the CBI caught him.

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Sant Prakash is UT legal remembrancer
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The stalemate between the UT administration and the Punjab and Haryana High Court over the appointment of legal remembrancer (LR) today ended with the name of Haryana judicial officer Sant Prakash being cleared for the post.

The necessary approval came during the full court meeting of the High Court. Among others, Justice Nirmal Yadav, who has not been holding the court ever since her name surfaced in the cash at judge’s doorstep scam, attended the meeting.

Initially, the name of Haryana judicial officer MM Dhonchak was cleared for the post, but the UT administration had objected to his appointment, after which the court made it clear that no other officer could be spared for the post.

The decision not to spare another officer was also taken during a full court meeting held previously. The judges were of the opinion that no other name for the time being would be forwarded to the administration for appointment to the post.

Sources in the administration said the top brass of the administration was not finding it suitable to have Dhonchak as the LR. The post is considered to be highly sensitive as the incumbent is in a position to examine and comment on the legality of matters requiring legal opinion.

Sant Prakash’s appointment is nothing less than homecoming for the judicial officer who spent considerable time here. He was posted as the Chief Judicial Magistrate in the late 90s and had heard sensitive matters, including the Katia and the World Sikh Council cases. He remained in Chandigarh as member secretary of the UT State Legal Services Authority. At present, he is posted as Additional District and Sessions Judge in Haryana.

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Fraud: Tough going for Bindra Sr
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
More trouble seems to be brewing for Dr AS Bindra, father of Olympic gold winner Abhinav Bindra. The arrest of Bindra senior by the economic wing of the Delhi police appears to have opened a Pandora’s box, with more and more people coming out with complaints against him.

A few days ago, charges were framed against Dr Bindra, who is also the managing director of Punjab Meats Limited, Dera Bassi, in a cheque bounce case at the district courts here.

Yesterday, luck ran out for the industrialist when a team of the Delhi police came knocking at his farm in Zirakpur. The cases under investigations by the Delhi police date back to 1996 when he was extended loan of Rs 5 crore by a branch of Indusind Bank, New Delhi, for setting up an export packaging credit facility at his meat plant. Since the credit limit was less, he mortgaged the land of Indo Italian Agro Field Ltd, Dera Bassi, in favour of the bank.

In an FIR registered on February 9, 2007, the Chief Manager of the bank, said Bindra started defaulting in payment and stopped the routing of exports through the bank. Besides, the mortgaged land was also sold through forged papers.

Along with Bindra, Kanwljeet Kaur, director of the PML, and some unknown persons, were also booked under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC.

The case was transferred to the economic offences wing of the Delhi police in March 2008.

Not only this, Bindra was booked for criminal breach of trust, forgery of valuable documents, forgery for the purpose of cheating in connection with a bridge loan of Rs 3 crore taken from Apple Finance Ltd to launch the public issue of the PML. The loan was taken in January 1995. When he defaulted in payment, Ashwani Aggarwal of the finance company, in his complain stated, that cheques worth Rs 4.50 crore (including the interest) was given to the company.

The cheques did not tally with the account numbers and the cheques issued in the name of the PML and Bindra Agro India bounced.

Meanwhile, Bindra farms wore a deserted look on Friday. Mediapersons and well-wishers of the family returned disappointed after finding the premises locked.

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Umpteen cheque bounce cases
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
While Abhinav Bindra remained in news for bringing Olympic gold medal for the country, his father, Dr AS Bindra, has several cases to his credit at the district courts here.

Brig HS Nanda (retd) had fought a case till the Supreme Court in order to get justice. Sharing his views on Bindra’s arrest, he said: “The only thing that disappoints me about his arrest is that it will be difficult for me to recover money to the tune of Rs 4-5 lakh from him.”

Nanda has known AS Bindra since he was 13 years old as he served under Bindra’s father in the Army. “I had given my house on lease to Bindra in 1993. It is a two kanal house in Sector 34 and the lease ended in 1998, but he did not vacate the house. I had to fight a legal battle for five years up to the Supreme Court. It was a tough time and I finally got the possession of my house in December 2003. He had even built a shooting range in the house,” he said.

Another Army officer, on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that he had filed a cheque bounce case against Bindra, who had to return him Rs 3 lakh.

A company, Frick India, has also filed a cheque bounce case against Bindra’s company, which issued a cheque for Rs 2 lakh, but it was dishonoured.

A local court had recently framed charges against him in this case.

In another case pending against Bindra, Faradays Cable Corporation is yet to recover an amount of Rs 2,36,085 from him. The company had supplied goods worth Rs 5,64,423, for which payment of only Rs 4,01,186 was made. The material was supplied from August 1994 to January 1995. The recovery suit was filed in January 12, 1998, however, a stay was put on the proceedings of the case.

When Bindra’s counsel was contacted, he said: “A compromise has been reached in all cases and there is barely any case pending.”

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Mall Owner’s Murder
Case transferred to special cell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The police has transferred the investigation of the murder of the owner of Sham Fashion Mall, Amarjit Singh, to the special crime investigation cell (SCIC).

Police sources said investigating officials believed that the family members could provide vital clues which could help shed light on the motive behind the killing. Once the motive was clear, it would not be difficult to track down the killers.

Talking to The Tribune, the UT IGP said the probe had been entrusted to the SCIC. He, however, said no headway had been achieved in the case so far, adding that the investigators were working on several angles to get some clues.

The police sources said Amarjit’s family members had met the Home Secretary Ram Niwas recently and demanded that some senior police officer should be deputed to talk to the family. They said as several police officials were questioning them about various points relating to the murder, they expressed apprehension about some miscreants visiting the family under the garb of policemen.

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Sample tests negative for swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The UT health authorities today heaved a sigh of relief after the samples of a 30-year-old pregnant woman, suspected to be suffering from swine flu, were found negative. “We have received the test result of the samples and it is negative,” HC Gera, nodal officer of the UT, said this evening.

The samples were put through a rapid test for influenza A virus for which these tested negative. “Further tests for H1N1 flu were not required as only the influenza A virus could lead to swine flu,” experts said.

Yesterday, the woman had approached the ENT department of the GMCH-32 with a complaint of sore throat, cough, abdominal pain and intermittent fever. Though the symptoms were like any other case of influenza, the patient’s disclosure that her husband had recently arrived from Kazakhstan and had also suffered from fever rang the alarm bells. The integrated disease surveillance department was alerted immediately.

They sent a special team of PGI doctors, who collected her throat and nose swabs and sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases for test. The doctors advised her “home quarantine” as she insisted on going home.

The health authorities confirmed there were no cases of influenza A (H1N1), commonly known as swine flu, in the city. “There is nothing to be panicky about it. We have the system in place to deal with any situation,” Gera added.

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Those who couldn’t vote

If you, too, have been denied your democratic right to cast your vote in spite of having a valid voters’ ID or due to any discrepancy in the voters’ list please let us know. We will publish a list of all those who have not been able to cast their vote in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

Please send us in writing to City Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. You can also email your name and house address to us at cityeditor@tribunemail.com

Editor-in-Chief

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Those who could not vote

Name Address

Surinder Mohan Sharma H.No 148, Sec 28-A, Chd

Parvesh Sharma ,,

Rajnish Sharma ,,

Nandita Sharma ,,

Munish Sharma ,,

Anil Arora 844, Sec 40-A

Vasudha ,,

Rishi 3073/1, Sec 41-D

Ashutosh Vermani 1033, Sec 15-B

Vinod Vermani ,,

Barinder Kaur 213, Sec 11-A

Satyendra Kumar 35, Sec 8

Sneh Kumar ,,

Sumedha ,,

Aastha ,,

Ravibir Singh 1217, Sec 8-C

Gagandeep Kaur ,,

Chanchal Bhalla 3710, Sec 46-C

Kirty Bhalla ,,

Manuja Bhalla ,,

Suchetan Bhalla ,,

Rekha Bhalla ,,

KC Bhardwaj 356/1, Sec 45-A

Madhu Bhardwaj ,,

Kamaleshwar Dutt 2365, Sec 38-C

Budhishwar Pal 252, Sec-16

Ayush Pal ,,

Shakuntla Devi 2365, Sec 38-C

Parminder Singh Bhamrah 937-B, Sec43-A

Gurpreet Singh Chadha 691, Sec 48-A

Baneet Kaur Chadha ,,

Lt Col GS Ghuman 300, Sec 21-A

Kanwaljit Ghuman ,,

Anand Parkash 317, Sec 40-A

Suraj Kanta ,,

Ashwani ,,

Arjun Deo 1600, Sec 7-C

Sujata Deo ,,

Anoop Arora ,,

Sushma Arora ,,

Preeti ,,

Deepinder Singh 542, Sec 44-A

Saninder Kaur ,,

Harbir K Singh ,,

Dr JS Gujral 68, Sec 27

Savita Rani 268 FF, Sec 10-A

Kuldeep Kaur 69, Sec 21-A

Subash Chander Mehta 3262, Sec 23- D

Om Parkash Popl 2564, Sec 19-C

Bimla Popli ,,

Renu Puri 2111, Sec 15-C

Col Sanjiv Puri ,,

Sham lal Singla 337, Sec 37-A

Sheel Singla ,,

Shruti ,,

Hemant Bhardwaj 51, Sec 44-A

Suneeti Bhardwaj ,,

Ravinder Singh 103, Sec 44-A

Harjeet Kaur ,,

Taran Jyot Kaur ,,

Vinod Mahajan 245, Sec 19-A

Sanjay Mahajan ,,

Sheetal Mahajan ,,

Ramsaran Das 64, Sec 19-A

Sunil Dhawan 627, Sec 36-B

Dolly Dhawan ,,

Col SK Anand 1581, Sec 34-D

Kamal Anand ,,

Vishal Anand ,,

Shivani Anand ,,

Manjit Kaur 857, Sec 56

KR Dhiman 1402/A, Sec 37-B

Usha Dhiman ,,

Kapil Dhiman ,,

Monica Dhiman ,,

Randhir Singh 52A, Sec 44-A

Daljeet Kaur ,,

Gauri Narula 1317, Sec 44-B

Gian Parkash Arora 3076, Sec 41-D

Ambika Arora ,,

Sarjit Kaur 124, Sec 40-A

Mahesh Inderpal Singh ,,

Maninder Kaur 3060, Sec 21-D

Harneet Singh ,,

Pritpal Singh ,,

Inderjit Kaur ,,

Jasdeep Singh 2200, Sec 22-C

Saroj Sharma 2273/3, Sec 45-C

Atul Sharma ,,

Manju Sen ,,

Sanjeev Khurana 1073, Sec 43-B

Sangeeta Khurana ,,

Suresh Kapoor 1101, Sec 20-B

Amrit Rani 2571, Sec 37-C

Manmohan 4107, Sec 46-D

Chiter Rekha ,,

Prof AK Saihjpal F-4, Sec 14, PU

Kavita ,,

Jagdish Sharma 3066, Sec 41-D

Sur Sharma ,,

Kanwardeep Singh 3259, Sec 46-C

Charanjiv Singh Bachhar 1502, Sec 34-D

Amardeep 352, Sec 38-A

Shivani ,,

Monica ,,

Vikrama Devi 335/1, Sec 45-A

Ashish ,,

Ravinder Singh Virk 2118, Sec 35-C

Meghna Virk ,,

Tarsem Rana 2501, Sec 37-C

Mala Bedi 1062/2, Sec 39-B

Jyoti Subramanian Dale Farms, PO Dariya

Jujhar Singh ,,

Varsha Chugh 454-A, Sec 33-A

KL Chugh ,,

Vaibhav Chugh ,,

Jagmohan Singh 1251, Sec 8-C

Sunita Kunwar ,,

Vidyut Mohan Singh ,,

Chander Mohan Singh ,,

Virender Jangra ,,

Ranesh Dhariwal ,,

Sunita Dhariwal ,,

Suresh Jangra ,,

Dr. Paresh ,,

Kaushlya ,,

IS Saini ,,

Ashok Kumar Sharma 131, Sec 46-A

Kiran Sharma ,,

Sanjeev Bhasin 527, Sec 16-D

SD Kalia 1021, Sec 46-B

Rajiv Kalia ,,

Renu Kalia ,,

Varinder Verma 913, Sec 41-A

Rajiv Verma ,,

Shanti Devi ,,

Vikas Sharma 3090, Sec 20-D

Sarbjit Kohli 2978, Sec 42-C

Dr Sudhir Kumar 239, Sec 32-A

Jagir Singh 422, Sec 15-A

Kulwant Kaur ,,

Simpal Sharma 1/A, Civil Hospi tal Campus, Mani Majra

Om Parkash 25/2, Street No.3, Shanti Nagar

Sanjay Kumar ,,

Raj Kumar ,,

Raghbar Dayal Gupta 5420/2, Modern Housing Complex

Pushpa Gupta ,,

Col Birbal Sharma 1731, Sec 33-D, Chd

Nirmal Sharma ,,

Gitanjali Sharma ,,

Manohar Singh 4, Kishangarh, PO Mani Majra

Sanjiv Garg 212, Sec 8, Panchkula

(To be continued)

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Panchkula remains soft target
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula May 15
It was a field day for the miscreants at Panchkula who, in addition to looting a bank, took a bag from a car parked in the same market of Sector 20. The windowpane of another car, apparently in an attempt to steal the bags lying inside the car, was found smashed. Fortunately, the bags lying in the cars contained nothing except some documents.

The town in fact had remained a soft target for the robbers for the past many years. Even the change of guards at the top level as well as at police stations failed to improve the security scenario in the town, which had already witnessed more than half a dozen robberies or attempt of robberies this year.

The arrest of many notorious gangsters by the police seemed to have no effect on the morale of dacoits who, finding the inappropriate deployment of police force in the town, find no deterrent for their misdeeds.

The district with two national highways passing through and sharing long borders with two states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and union territory of Chandigarh has a little over 700 police personnel.

Moreover, the banks that assured the police time and again to take appropriate security measures failed to fulfil their promises.

It has been more than one year that the police was convening meetings with the bank officials to deploy security guards, but the authorities failed to move in the name of status of branch.

After the robbers took away Rs 9.57 lakh from State Bank of Patiala branch in Sector 15 on February 12, the bank officials said it was a branch with a limit of Rs 5 lakh. Ironically, the amount involved in the heist was around double to the limit of what the bank was supposed to have in the said branch. The case was no different today when the cash in the bank was more than Rs 32 lakh while the officials claimed the security guard was not deputed at the branch because it had the limit of Rs 5 lakh only.

Dacoity Trail

  • January 18, 2008 - Three unidentified men robbed the cashier and driver of Berkeley Automobiles in the Industrial Area of Rs 5.16 lakh at a gunpoint near Amartex.
  • March 7, 2008 - Rs 45,000 were snatched from the two employees of Vishal Mega Mart by four unidentified turbaned youths in a white Zen.
  • July 27, 2008 - Near Sector 4 petrol pump, car borne robbers looted Rs 7 lakh from two people.
  • January 3 - Two snatchers attempted to snatch a bag full of cash from a businessman outside his house in Sector 14. His son was injured by a gunshot fired by the snatchers.
  • January 4 - Robbery attempt in Sector 8 post office. Chowkidaar was found murdered on next day.
  • January 22 - Two worker of Amritsar-based jeweller drugged and robbed jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh.
  • January 27 - Five robbers took away jewellery worth Rs 2 crore from PC Jewellers in Sector 14.
  • February 12 - Two robbers looted Rs 9.57 lakh from State Bank of Patiala in Sector 15.
  • March 28 - Three robbers attempted to loot a vendor of Vita booth in Sector 18, injuring shopkeeper Vinod Jain seriously.
  • April 25 - Robbers attempted to loot the family of Panchkula BJP chief Sham Lal Sachdev.

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COMMUNITY

Cong pins hopes on past trends
Bansal eyes hat-trick; BJP too elated over high voting
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Will Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal score a hat-trick tomorrow? Even as political pundits forecast a close contest on the Chandigarh seat on the eve of counting of votes, electoral history favours the Congress, which had romped home most of the times following high voter turnout.

Surprisingly, the Congress had recorded huge victories whenever there had been a high voter turnout. Keeping in view the high voting percentage of over 65 per cent this time, the Congress camp is pinning hopes on the past trends to see Bansal in Parliament for the fourth time.

Incidentally, the BJP is also hoping to cash in on the higher voting percentage, which the party claimed was a result of anti-incumbency against the UPA government and Bansal. The saffron party sources asserted that it was going to be a double whammy for Bansal as he had been the MP for the past about 10 years.

However, Bansal loyalists are upbeat claiming that there was no anti-incumbency due to unprecedented development works in the city over the past 10 years and the Manmohan Singh card of the Congress. “BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain would have to eat a humble pie again and nobody can stop Bansal’s march to Parliament given his excellent record on the development front," Pardeep Chhabra, media coordinator for Bansal, claimed.

Sources said Congress' Jagan Nath Kaushal had emerged victorious by polling over 66 per cent of the total votes polled against Harmohan Dhawan in 1984 when there was a record turnout of about 69 per cent. In the 1980 Lok Sabha elections too, Kaushal had won by polling around 50 per cent votes at the time of another high voter turnout of around 64 per cent.

However, there have been two instances when non-Congress candidates emerged victorious when the voting percentage was high - Krishna Kant of the Bharatiya Lok Dal in 1977 and Harmohan Dhawan of the Janata Dal in 1989. While Kant rode the anti-Emergency wave by registering a massive win polling 66 per cent votes, Dhawan won by a thin margin of about 2 per cent votes.

In the 2004 elections, Bansal had routed Jain by a margin of over 45,000 votes with Dhawan finishing a poor third. However, with the emergence of the BSP and the RJD in the local politics, the contest is expected to a close one with both the camps already claiming victory.

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All eyes on counting centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
All is set for the counting of votes for the Chandigarh parliamentary seat tomorrow.

According to officials sources, the election material, including EVMs, was brought back to the respective counting centres on the evening of May 13 after the polling.

The EVMs have been stored in the strong room under double-lock system at the four counting centres.

While 92 EVMs have been kept at counting centre No. 1 (Government College for Boys, Sector 11), counting centre No. 2 (Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26) has 113 EVMs.

Another 98 EVMs have been kept at counting centre No. 3 (Government College for Boys, Sector 46), while counting centre No. 4 (Government College for Girls, Sector 42) will have 120 EVMs.

A total of 423 EVMs were used during the poll. The counting of votes will take place in seven to nine rounds at the counting centres, each having 14 counting tables.

According to the instructions of the election commission, one static observer at each counting table has been deputed, besides regular staff, including a counting supervisor and one counting assistant.

One additional table will be made available on the stage, where the observer appointed by the election commission will randomly check two control units of each round.

The counting of the postal ballots will take place at the office of returning officer at 8 am and all postal ballot papers received in the office will be taken into account.

The counting of the postal ballot papers will start first. Subsequently, counting of EVMs will take place at the respective counting centres.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the centres, which include the deployment of central paramilitary forces and three-tier security.

Officers on the counting duty, only candidates and their election agents will be allowed inside the centres, apart from their polling agents who will remain seated by the table allotted to them.

No mobile, wireless or any communication apparatus will be allowed inside the centres.

Regular videography of the process will be ensured at 
the centres and the returning officer’s office.

The result will be declared by the returning officer from his designated office in the estate office building, Sector 17.

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Low pressure aggravates water woes
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
With temperatures soaring, complaints of low-pressure water supply have started pouring in. Already, some parts of the city have either been getting very little or no supply at all in the morning hours.

The situation is particularly bad in newly established Sectors i.e. 48 and 49, which house various societies.

“There was no water supply in the morning. As a result, we had to face a lot of problem doing household chores. Even those who had to reach office or schools had to face a tough time,” said a resident of Guru Nanak Vihar Society, Sector 48 C, staying on the fourth floor.

In the same society, certain residents complained of no water supply even on the first floor.

Residents of some of the older sectors have also been facing similar problems for the past few days. These include Sectors 29, 30, 38, 44, 47 and few other southern sectors.

However, those living in the new sectors and residing on top floors are the worst hit.

While those living on the ground floor get the usual supply during morning hours, it is erratic for people living on the upper floors. To compound the problem, the water is unable to reach overhead water tanks.

Some residents have also complained of muddy water supply for the past two days in Sector 29.

On the other hand, the municipal corporation authorities maintain that this is a temporary problem that has arisen due to a technical snag at the Kajauli waterworks, near Morinda, three days ago.

RS Bedi, executive engineer, said the problem had occurred in the mainline at the waterworks.

Consequently, four water pipelines to the city were affected, resulting in the shortage of water.

The water supply, however, would be stabilised in a day, he said.

The city needs 87 MGD (million gallons) water per day. However, the prospective demand of the city was around 100 MGD given the new areas that are being developed in the city, including IT park, expansion in the industrial sector, etc.

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Getting kerosene an ordeal for residents
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Long queues at almost all kerosene pumps in various sectors of the city

have belied the tall claims of the Chandigarh administration of having sufficient supplies at the pumps.

A random survey of pumps in different sectors revealed that people had to wait for hours in serpentine queues to get their quota of kerosene.

According to an official report, the eight pumps located in the city have a supply of around 60,000 ltr, which is adequate to meet the needs of the consumers.

A woman from Dadu Majra, Rajeshwari, said she visited the pump yesterday but even after waiting till late in the evening she could not get the kerosene. She came back today to try her luck again.

She lamented that there was earlier a pump in Sector 40, which was closer to her home, but she had to come all the way to Sector 15 to get the kerosene now.

Another woman from Dhanas, Bramkumari, in Sector 38 alleged that over 40 per cent people who came to get kerosene sold it on the black market and the authorities did not keep a check on it.

Director, food and supplies and consumer affairs, RK Rao said there was sufficient supply of kerosene at all pumps in the city.

He said the city earlier had 11 kerosene pumps, out of which eight were currently operational.

He said last week the licence of the pump in Sector 22 was cancelled due to a dispute between the partners and the licence of two other pumps was also cancelled following a cheating case.

A shopkeeper of the Sector-15 market alleged that long queues at the pump often blocked parking at the market.

Petty fights took place every day between vehicle owners and those standing in the queue, he alleged.

He said it had also affected their business, as people could not park their vehicles during the two days when the kerosene was dispensed.

He suggested that the number of people getting the kerosene be fixed to avoid long queues.

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Tough time ahead for commuters
PWD yet to repair Mattanwal bridge
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 15
Commuters will have to face a tough time ahead at Panchkula-Barwala road as the state PWD has failed to start the repair on the Mattanwal bridge during the past more than six months.

Now, the diversion through choe is going to convert into a bottleneck once the nullaha starts overflowing during the rains.

The bridge was closed for the traffic during winters last year when it developed major cracks on its surface. Initially, the light vehicles were allowed to go through the bridge and for the heavy traffic a diversion was provided through the choe passing under the bridge by raising its level.

The commuters on the road, however, apprehend that during the rainy season it would lead to a closure of the road as the choe would start flowing and it would not be possible for the vehicles to pass through it.

Vikram Katyal, general secretary of the Barwala Industrialist Association, said two months ago a deputation of the association met the then Deputy Commissioner Rajender Kataria and apprised him of the problem. Kataria after a visit, promised to take initiative but no action was taken, rued Katyal.

There were about 400 industries at HSIIDC Area, Barwala, and industrialists from Chandigarh and Panchkula, along with other commuters were going to face the problem, he added.

According to sources, deck of the bridge was to be replaced for which a tender worth Rs 1.25 crore had been allocated.

Confirming that the public will have to face inconvenience, as it will take at least six months to repair the bridge, sources said the work on the bridge would be commenced within a week.

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Kalka Encroachments
HC sets May-22 deadline
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Kalka is all set to be encroachment free by May 22. Taking up a petition, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today gave the shopkeepers time till May 17 to remove all the encroachments after which the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will step in.

As the case came up for hearing before Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Uma Nath Singh, NHAI project director Anil Kumar Dahiya said there were still some encroachments to be removed.

Taking on record his assertion, the Bench ruled: “In the first instance, we consider it just and appropriate to allow the petitioners two days further time to remove remaining encroachments. In case there is any encroachment still remaining after May 17, the NHAI shall further make arrangements to remove the same”. The Bench made it clear that the entire process will have to be completed by May 22.

Fixing May 30 as the next date of hearing, the Bench added in furtherance of an order passed by the High Court on January 31, which was challenged by the petitioners in the Supreme Court, “The order reveals the petitioners have already removed all encroachments. This is, however, a subject matter of dispute at the hands of the NHAI.”

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Abandoned briefcase triggers panic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The recovery of a briefcase, which was found abandoned in Sector 23, triggered panic in the area as the police equipped with bomb disposal and dog squads reached the scene.

Much to the relief of the area residents, it was later found out that the briefcase had been stolen from Sector 34 before being dumped there.

According to the police, they received information that an unclaimed briefcase was lying in Sector 23.

The police reached the scene and after examining the briefcase found nothing suspicious in it.

Meanwhile, the police learned from the police station-34 that a complaint had been lodged there concerning the theft of a briefcase from a car.

Police station-34 SHO Sudarshan Thakur said Harish Gupta of Sector 8, Panchkula, lodged a complaint alleging that his briefcase containing cash and some important documents was stolen from his car, parked in front of the passport office. The theft came to light around 1 pm.

A case of theft has been registered.

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Six shops gutted in Sector 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Six shops were gutted in a fire that broke out at Sector-22 Bajwara Market here in the wee hours of today. According to fire department officials, they received information at about 5:40 am. Six fire tenders were pressed into service and the fire was brought under control after toiling hard for 17 minutes.

Though the officials said no loss of money could be ascertained, the shop owners said goods worth Rs two lakh had been gutted in the fire.

According to firemen, the fire broke out due to a short circuit in a shop that further engulfed five other shops.

Police sources said it could be an act of mischief and the exact reason was yet to be ascertained.

Chief fire officer ML Sharma said: “ These shop owners have been allotted booths in Sector 41, but they have not vacated the shops here. The market is congested and is prone to fire.”

The owners alleged that they had not been provided with required facilities by the administration. “Our pleas have not been heard by the administration despite bringing it to its notice a number of times,” a shopowner rued.

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Allotment letters

Chandigarh, May 15
The Progressive Cooperative Group Housing Society, Sector 50, today handed over allotment letters to 186 general power of attorney (GPA) holders.

The GPA holders had got their flats transferred in their names as per the recent policy formed by the UT administration for the regularisation of the GPAs.

The society had levied only a token fee of Rs 500 per member. — TNS

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Traffic diverted

Chandigarh, May 15
Due to ongoing recarpeting/strengthening work of roads, the vehicular traffic on roads of Sector 7 and 8, intersection of Sector 23-24, road from Sector 39 to Maloya village, Chandigarh-Kalka road (road between Kala Gram traffic lights to Housing Board traffic lights), V-3 road between Sector 38 and 38 (West), V-3 road between the timber market and transport area will be closed/diverted from May 16 to 18. — TNS

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Run in city tomorrow

Chandigarh, May 15
An NGO, Running and Living, in association with Elemention CGA, a health club, will organise the 1st run in the city on May 17.

The 5-km and 10-km run will start and finish at the Sector 6 CGA golf course range. Those interested should contact Elemention CGA at the CGA golf course range at 6 am on Saturday. For more details contact: 9878588300, Gaurav Sanotra, manger of Elemention CGA. — TNS

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EDUCATION
 

Provisional Admission
CBSE to act against violators
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, will soon take stringent action against those private schools of Chandigarh, which are flouting the admission by-laws by giving provisional admission to students in Class XI. The authorities are planning to conduct surprise visits to various schools to check the authenticity of the reports that whether they are conducting classes of Class XI.

Sources revealed that if any school was found violating the admission norms action would be taken against it. As per the CBSE guidelines of admission, no school could give provisional admission to any class before the result of the previous class was out.

However, almost all the private schools of the city are conducting classes of Class XI on provisional basis from May 1. Students are asked to submit the provisional fee to schools to attend classes, which is not refundable.

When contacted, the Chandigarh Independent School Association’s chairman, HS Mamik, revealed that there was utter confusion among the managements of private schools on the provisional admissions. He said the schools had been verbally instructed by the education department of the Chandigarh administration that they could not carry out provisional admission, but no written directions have been given in this regard.

Mamik said the association wrote a letter in February to the chairman of the CBSE, New Delhi, to clarify the norms of the provisional admissions, but till date no communiqué had been received from them. He said due to this all schools had started provisional admissions.

Meanwhile, CBSE, regional, joint secretary DR Yadav denied of having received any letter from the association on this issue.

He said when there were clear norms of admission of the CBSE, then what was the need of clarifying them to the school authorities.

He said soon the CBSE would initiate action against those schools that were doing provisional admission on their own.

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From Schools
‘Umang’ concludes at Delhi Public School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Umang, a three-day cultural festival, concluded at Delhi Public School, Chandigarh, today. The event, which began on May 12, saw more than 500 students of the primary wing participating in several stage shows, including folk dance, western dance, patriotic song and advertisement jingles. Experts gave away prizes to the winners.

Principal Reema Dewan emphasised on the importance of a well-rounded personality and the significant role such events play in building confidence.

Technology fest

Keeping in pace with technology, The Banyan Tree School, Sector 48-B Chandigarh, organised FLASH’09 - a technology fest on “Incredible India” today.

Teams from several schools were invited to participate in the fest to share their knowledge and experience on skills related to computers and information technology.

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Hope floats for PU dropouts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Dropouts of Panjab University may soon get a chance to complete degrees and courses that they had left midway, as this proposal is likely to be taken up in the upcoming Syndicate meeting.

The proposal says that those who have dropped out 20 years back even, can resume their courses or degrees from where they have left.

However, the candidates will be studying as per the current curriculum, and if required, will go to laboratories for practicals as per the schedule provided by the university.

“The plan is a golden opportunity for many. If somebody dropped out after completing his first year, he will be allowed to appear in second year examinations. However, the integrities are yet to be worked out,” an official said.

The programme covers all courses and will function on the broad framework of distance-learning programmes.

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Hotel mgmt students selected
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 15
Five students of Chandigarh College of Hotel Management, Landran, have been selected by Ranbaxy as trainers in their restaurant.

Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president of Chandigarh Group of Colleges, said the drive proved that hotel management graduates were in demand and there was no dearth of opportunities for them. Selected students would be joining their respective organisations as they complete their courses in July. — OC

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