C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sops, liquor doled out at Sukhbir’s rally
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 25
It seems that Akali leaders do not practise what they preach. Even as Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said that addiction to liquor and drugs had ruined the youth of Punjab, party workers were seen distributing cartons of liquor at a public rally here today.

The junior Badal was in Mohali to lay the foundation stones of two high-profile projects, dubbed as road to city’s prosperity. He also announced a number of other sops during the rally organised by the chairman of the district planning board NK Sharma.

Seconds after the Deputy CM left the venue, those attending the rally scrambled to get their quota of whisky reportedly promised to them by party workers. Several cartons of a popular brand of whisky had been brought to the venue in a Mahindra jeep. A party workers at the site said every group of participants had been promised a carton each.

Ironically, senior police officials and their subordinates turned a blind eye to the activity. Otherwise, police spares no time in booking persons who carry liquor more than the specified limit. “Is it the way the politicians plan the way to progress,” questioned an official.



Dy CM bats for integrated development
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 25
Claiming to change the face of Mohali with massive upgradation of roads, power and water supply, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today chaired a special meeting with officials of different departments.

At the meeting that continued late till the evening at the Powercom guesthouse at Sector 62 (Phase VIII) here, different departments gave presentations about the issues that were hampering the growth of Mohali and its neighbouring rural areas.

It is learnt that the Deputy CM was keen on the integrated development of the town so that all the issues were declared altogether. Based on the inputs given by NK Sharma, chairman of the district planning board, GMADA officials and municipal councillors, the junior Badal held meeting with the secretary-level officials of different departments.

Tomorrow, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would chair a meeting of officials and elected representatives to take crucial decisions regarding the development of Mohali.

Changing the face of Mohali

  • Nod to re-carpeting of all the roads in Mohali
  • Widening of roads from Balongi to Phase XI, Franco traffic junction to Industrial Area, Phase VIII
  • Widening of the main road passing through Phases 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
  • Development of all the parks by private agencies
  • Laying of all village link roads by GMADA
  • Speeding up the process of widening of Mullanpur-Baddi road
  • Rules for need-based changes in marla houses
  • Early completion of the Kajauli water line
  • Laying of sewerage system for all the villages in Mohali



2 more fall prey to cloned ATM cards
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Two more victims of ATM card cloning approached the Chandigarh Police today, alleging that they had lost around Rs 1 lakh to the hi-tech miscreants.

While Kamlesh, an employee of Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL), alleged that someone had withdrawn Rs 60,000 from his bank account, Rashmi, a resident of Phase 1, Industrial Area, has reportedly lost Rs 40,000 to the hi-tech criminals.

Both the victims are SBI ATM cardholders and their cards were with them at the time of the withdrawal.

Kamlesh, who was advised by the SBI officials to change his pin number today, was shocked to find that he had already lost Rs 60,000 in three different transactions - two on August 20 and one on August 21. Kamlesh has his salary account in the Sector 30 branch of the SBI.

The hi-tech criminals withdrew Rs 40,000 from Rashmi’s account in two transactions of Rs 20,000 each on August 20. The police has registered separate cases.

Criminals target salary accounts

Another two employees of Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory - Narender Pal and Omi Lal - are said to have contacted the SBI alleging that they had also lost money through cloned ATM cards. Narender alleged that someone had withdrawn Rs 5,000 from his account.

According to Ankur, another victim of the fraud, most of the employees of the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory have their salary accounts in the bank. An SBI official said they were scrutinising the accounts of all the employees of the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory.



Police clueless
SBI asks customers to change PIN
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Even as the incidents of people losing their hard-earned money through cloned ATM cards seem unending, the police has failed to nab the hi-tech criminals.

So far, 12 residents have lost their money to hi-tech criminals. “Our cyber cell is investigating the matter. The criminals are well educated and seem to have a good knowledge of information technology,” said a senior police official. Meanwhile, taking precautionary measures, the SBI has decided to depute security personnel at all their ATM counters in the tricity. An official of the bank said the bank had around 80 ATM counters in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

SBI officials have also urged all their ATM cardholders to change their passwords/pin codes immediately besides availing the service of SMS message alert on every transaction. “We are also going to scrutinise the internal security system of our ATMs to check the lapse,” said the bank official.



Rain throws train schedules haywire
Evening Shatabdi delayed by 3 hrs
Anil Jerath/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Passengers had to face a lot of inconvenience this evening at the New Delhi train station after the evening 2005 Shatabdi Express, which was scheduled to reach Chandigarh station at 8:45 pm, left New Delhi at 8:30 pm - its scheduled arrival time at Chandigarh.

According to railway sources, the movement of trains on the Chandigarh-Delhi trunk route was disrupted since morning after the tracks near Narela and Azadpur in Delhi were submerged under two feet of water due to the torrential rain last night. Keeping the safety of passengers in view rail traffic on this section was delayed by three to five hours after the water was drained out of the tracks, the sources added.

Railway officials said a number of ‘up’ and ‘down’ trains on the route were detained at Azadpur or Narela. This in turn led to the 2006 Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi Express to be detained at Azadpur for over three hours with the train finally arriving at New Delhi station at about 1 pm.

Similarly, some express and local trains, including the Chandigarh-Delhi Jan Shatabdi, also arrived four hours late than its scheduled arrival in New Delhi, the sources told The Tribune.

The 4217 Allahabad-Chandigarh Unchahar Express was late by about 12 hours. The train, which was to reach Chandigarh station at 10:15 am, arrived at 10 pm.

The sources further said because of the late arrival of the morning 2006 Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi at its destination, the 2005 New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi, which was to depart from New Delhi station at 5:30 pm for Chandigarh, left three hours behind schedule at 8:30 pm due to “technical maintenance” of the train.

The evening 2005 Shatabdi is likely to reach Chandigarh around midnight, late by over three hours, the sources added. Similarly, the 2232 Chandigarh-Lucknow Sadbhavna Express, which was to depart at 8:50 pm, is likely to leave Chandigarh station at about 12:30 am.

According to the sources, thousands of travellers were stranded due to the trains running late. There was also a heavy rush of passengers at the enquiry counter at Chandigarh station for getting the status of the Shatabdi this evening.

Meenakshi, who boarded the morning Shatabdi, had to undergo a lot of harassment. She called up her parents in Chandigarh after getting down from the train at Azadpur and waded through knee-deep water to find an alternative route to reach her home so that she could report for duty in Delhi. Railway officials in said they were “continuously monitoring the situation” at the New Delhi train station.



Constable Stabbing Case
Cops detain wrong person, torture him for 4 hours
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
In its zeal to nab the suspect who stabbed to death a police constable here yesterday, the police detained an innocent person and allegedly tortured him for about four hours. The hapless victim was released only when the police personnel realised their mistake after the arrest of main accused in the evening.
The accused being produced before a
The accused being produced before a court in Panchkula on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

However, by that time Kuldeep, a resident of Kaithal, had to go through the ordeal of police atrocities. Kuldeep, who was returning to the clinic where he works after visiting his ailing relatives in the Sector 6 General Hospital, was picked by the police in a gypsy on the road leading to the district courts. He was allegedly beaten up mercilessly by the cops. He received injuries on his backbone and eyes during his detention at the Sector 5 police stations.

The police did not listen to his requests when he provided them his identity and the address of the doctor with whom he was working. He even requested the cops to allow him to contact his employer. However, instead of acceding to his request, the police started beating him up. He was released only late in the evening on the intervention of a senior police officer.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary, who returned from Mustafabad after the cremation of the slain cop, said only came to know about the incident through media. He said he would inquire into the matter and action would be taken against the cops if found guilty.

A cop, Suresh, was killed when a police team from Kalka led by SHO Mukesh Kumar intercepted the two motorcycle-borne accused, Monu and Teja, near the Yavanika Park in Sector 5 yesterday.

The police was able to arrest third suspect in the murder case, who has been identified as Shashi Bhushan, from near the railway crossing in Kalka today.



City hospitals gear up to treat H1N1 patients
GMCH asks outstation interns to return
Arun Sharma/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Facing an increased workload due to a fresh outbreak of swine flu, the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, has decided to withdraw permission it had earlier granted to some of its students to do internship at other places.

GMCH officials have directed these students to rejoin internship at the hospital within one week so that patients did not suffer due to the paucity of staff. Nine students were issued ‘no objection certificates’ so that they could do a one-year internship at the place of their choice.

While there was a great rush of patients at the city’s hospitals due to seasonal medical problems including dengue, swine flu and snakebite there are fears the number of dengue and swine flu case will rise, like in other parts of country, in the coming days.

A large number of H1N1 influenza cases have been reported from the southern states, Maharashtra and Delhi. Chandigarh has three confirmed cases while a total of 45 suspected cases have been reported in city hospitals during the past week. A case of dengue fever has also been reported from neighboring Dera Bassi.

In an effort to create awareness among residents on preventive steps to avoid the diseases, Dr GC Bansal, assistant director, malaria NVBDCP-cum-state surveillance officer (swine flu), has advised people to seek medical

opinion if affected with symptoms like fever, cough sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty in breathing.

“Swine flu is transmitted from human to human by infected particles in the air and is not transmitted by pigs. However it’s curable”, said Bansal.

Issuing guidelines about protection from swine flu, Bansal said residents were advised to protect themselves and their families from contracting swine flu by covering the mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing and sneezing. “Washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching one’s nose, eyes and mouth are a must”, Bansal emphasised.

Giving tips against protection from swine flu he said: “One should avoid crowded places. Keep at least one arms distance from people affected with symptoms of influenza like cough, running nose, sneezing and fever. Sleep well, stay physically active and effectively manage stress. Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food”.

Last year a total of 800 suspected swine flu cases were reported by the city’s hospitals, of which 350 were later confirmed. Similarly, 25 cases of dengue were reported from the city last year.

Preventive steps

  • Cover mouth and nose with hanky or tissue while coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching nose, eyes and mouth
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Keep at least an arm’s distance from people affected with symptoms of influenza like cough, running nose, sneezing and fever
  • Sleep well, stay physically active and effectively manage stress
  • Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food



‘Supernatural’ snake faces bleak future
Smugglers eye 37 newborns of sand boa at Chhatbir zoo
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Chhat (Banur), August 25
Superstition has lead to sharp fall in number of sand boa snakes in the region, besides raising its cost in the black market. Sand boas are in great demand for the past few years as it is believed that it brings monetary benefits for its keeper.

Officials of Mahendra Choudhary Zoological Park (Chhatbir zoo), who have been rearing 37 newborn sand boas and their two mothers, said it was for the first time that they have been told to nurture these snakes.

People, especially foreigners, purchase these snakes at a whopping Rs 2 to 3 lakh and sometimes even more. Besides a superstition that the blood of the boas brings fortune to the keeper, people have also been using this snake for medicinal purposes. It is also said that its skin is used to make belts and purses.

But, there is much more to the boa smuggling than the ‘bringing-fortune’ story that is doing the rounds. The increasing demand and exorbitant rates that are being paid for this animal are mainly because of its supposedly supernatural powers.

The Ludhiana police had arrested five persons involved in the smuggling of two sand boas, which is in list of Schedule IV in the reptile category of the Wildlife Protection Act. The police, with help of forest officials, seized two sand boas, which were sent to Chhatbir zoo on court orders.

Zoo officials said that besides deploying two zookeepers round-the-clock, they have also been counting the off springs of the rare specie regularly.

Range Officer at Ludhiana Khushwinder Singh, who helped in seizing sand boas with a police party, said the snakes were non-poisonous

and only eat rats. Sandy soil is their habitat and they come out only in night.

It is said to be a double-headed snake. It is the only snake that does not lay eggs but give birth and perhaps this is the reason that people spend exorbitantly to keep it to become rich. Smugglers are said to be keeping an eye on the siblings of sand boas as cost of 37 newborns run into lakhs.

Zoo director Churchil Kumar, however, said they have taken all measures in this regard. “We will release these snakes from where nobody would be able to trace them. They would be released in the area with sandy soil after a couple of months,” he said. He added that the snakes were not put on display or allowed to be photographed as they were a court property.


MC hikes water tariff
12 per cent increase for residential areas
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Amidst great uproar by the opposition councillors at today's general house meeting, the House approved 12 per cent hike in water tariff for the residential areas of the city.

Consumers who fall in the fourth category and consume above 60 kilolitre of water will have to shell out Rs 122 per month more when the new water tariff rates come into force.

The consumers who fall in the third category and consume 30 kilolitre to 60 kilolitre of water will have to pay Rs 30 per month more and the consumers who fall in the second category and consume water between 15 kilolitre and 30 kilolitre will have to pay Rs 12 per month more after the execution of the revised water-tariff rates.

There is an increase of Rs 7 in the water-tariff rates for the consumers who fall in the first category and consume water upto 15 kilolitre .

Similarly, there is an increase of around 30 per cent in the commercial water-tariff buildings like Rs 4 per kilolitre for industrial units of the city, Rs 3 kilolitre for education institutes and Rs 2 kilolitre for the government and semi-government offices.

When the Mayor tabled the agenda of the water hike in the House, the Opposition councillors jointly opposed it and requested it to be deferred on the ground that till there was an improvement in the water supply it should not be increased.

Showing her helplessness Mayor Anu Chatrath said that the House had to approve this agenda as the MC officials were under pressure from the Union Government to get the funds released for various development projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM).

After the approval of water-tariff hike all the opposition councillors assembled on the floor of the House and began raising slogans against the approval of - hike.

They also demanded that the House do a detailed discussion of the issue before approving it.

BJP councillor Gurcharan Das Kala alleged that a year ago a pipeline was laid at the cost of Rs 6 crore by the corporation in Mani Mjara, which connected it with Kajauli water works, but till date the residents had not got a drop of water through that pipeline.

Objecting to the hike, he said that why should those residents pay more when they were not getting proper supply of water.



Use of Excessive Powers
Resolution passed against MC Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A unanimous resolution was passed against MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria by the councillors at the general house meeting today for exercising excessive powers, which according to the MC Act cannot be used by him.

Alleging that the Commissioner had bypassed the decision of the House, by deferring the agenda relating to the appointment of 22 SDOs in the corporation and sending a letter to the Chandigarh Administration to null and void it. The councillors demanded the withdrawal of this communiqué. Reacting to it the Commissioner stated in the House that he had no power to withdraw the letter, which the corporation authorities had sent to the administration for consideration.

Objecting to it, Congress councillors Pardeep Chabbra and Chander Mukhi Sharma asked the MC Commissioner to acquaint the House under which clause he had sent this letter to the administration and why the consent of the House had not been taken before sending such a proposal to the administration?

Nominated councillor Arshad Khan raised an issue that since 1997 the recruitment in the Fire And Emergency Department was being done by the corporation on the condition that it would be regularised only after the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He said that similar situation would arise in other departments if the appointments were done by the authorities without framing any rules and regulations.

BSP councillor Jatinder Bhatia also objected that in the past 14 years the corporation had failed to frame their own recruitment rules, which affected the promotion of existing employees. He opined that instead of focusing on fresh appointments, the authorities should frame the recruitment rules for the employees.

Tempers run high

During zero hour BJP leader Gurcharan Das Kala alleged on the floor of the House that the Mayor never allowed the opposition leaders to argue or discuss their point of view on any issue. On which Congress Councillor Manjit Singh had a heated argument with Kala and other BJP councillors and asked them to leave the Well of the House. The Congress councillors then persuaded them to cool down.


  • The House also approved the malba by-law regarding disposal of construction material and malba. Now the corporation will charge Rs 500 per day as fine for violating the norms fixed by the authorities.
  • The House and Tax Assessment Committee has been asked by MC Mayor Anu Chatrath to conduct a survey of the religious places in the city which have not been doing any commercial activities so that their property tax could be waived off.
  • The House deferred the issue of acquiring 100 acre of land for new dumping ground near Patila Ki Rao on a plea that that the authorities should first get clearance of land from the Chandigarh Pollution Board, Environment and Forest Department for this project.
  • The MC is taking a tour of councillors on Monday for viewing the proceedings of Parliament so that knowledge of the councillors could be updated regarding parliamentary affairs.



Group housing: LR comes to the rescue of GPA holders
Transfer of flats to resume soon
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The UT legal remembrancer (LR) has come to the rescue of the harassed General Power of Attorney(GPA) holders in the cooperative group housing societies.

With the LR “clarifying” a judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which the UT Administration had earlier “misinterpreted” resulting in ban on the transfer of flats on the GPAs, the purchasers of hundreds of flats now hope to get their apartments transferred in their names.

“The Finance Department would go by the decision of the LR on the issue and send the clarification to the Cooperative Department,” Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said.

Recently, at a meeting presided over by Home-cum-Cooperation Secretary Ram Niwas it was agreed “in principle” to resume transfer of flats to the GPA holders in cooperative group housing societies. Now the Cooperative Department would issue a formal order following a clarification from the Finance Department

Earlier, the Finance Department had directed the Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies (JRCS) that “the administration cannot take any policy decision regarding the transfer of membership in favour of any other person or to extend the area of operation of a society” following a high court order.

The JRCS had directed all societies to suspend or stop the process of transferring the flats following the directive several months ago. Subsequently, the administration had put the March 2, 2009 GPA transfer policy on hold citing the high court’s judgment. The court had stated: “Meanwhile the administrator will not take any policy decision which inter alia includes the transfer of membership in favour of another person or to extend the area of operation of the society.”

It was claimed that the word “administrator” referred to the administrator appointed for the plaintiff - the Indian Express Cooperative Group Housing Society. However, the Finance Department misinterpreted the word as referring to the UT administrator, causing harassment to hundreds of GPA holders.

The LR’s “clarification” should now put the things in proper prospective paving the way for the resumption of transfer of flats to the GPA holders.



Hit and Run Case
Tributes paid to victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Residents of the City Beautiful, Mohali and Kansal village, accompanied by parents of Sukhwinder and Harpreet, who recently lost their lives in a case of the negligent driving near Sukhna Lake, paid homage the departed souls near the lake here this evening.

The procession, led by HC Arora, state president of the RTI Activists Federation (Punjab), and Sushil Gupta, president of the Citizens Forum on Human Rights held a peace march, holding placards and banners against “rash and drunken driving”.

The forum said protests would continue till their demands were accepted by the UT Administration. The forum had sought a high-level investigation into the conduct of SHO, Mahavir Singh, in not getting the accused to surrender in 20 hours after the accident, the FIR be amended by adding Sector 304 of the IPC, and a permanent policy be framed to compensate the families of the victims.

Arora said more than 500 citizens had signed the representation addressed to Shiv Raj Patil, the Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator.



UT to restrict entry of vehicles from outside on busy roads
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
To ease out traffic congestion on city roads, the UT Administration may soon restrict entry of outside vehicles on busy roads of the city. For this, alternative routes may be earmarked. Officials in the UT Administration have been asked to study the feasibility of this restriction on entry of vehicles.

The issue was discussed at the meeting of secretaries of different departments with the Advisor to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra.

Sources claim that in order to popularise the public transport system there were talks of bringing down the number of vehicles per family in the city, the administration officials would conduct a thorough study and may even consider increasing the registration fees for vehicles.

The sources claim that increase in parking fee may also be on the offing in the coming months.

Very soon the bottlenecks of traffic at each roundabout will also become a thing of the past as the advisor has also issued instructions to the Engineering Department to create more space around the roundabouts. With this, underpasses designed specially for pedestrians will also come up in due course of time alongside the busy roads.

It must be mentioned that presently the city is bursting at its seams with about nine lakh vehicles for a population of 11 lakh residents in Chandigarh alone in addition to the count of vehicles and residents of neighbouring Mohali and Panchkula.

To regularise traffic on roads, the UT Administration is already coming up with subways alongside all main roads. The sources in the UT Administration claim that there will be subways alongside Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. As per the proposal, the first subway will come up near the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43.

The proposal was mooted in the light of the upcoming Metro Rail project in the city. The construction of the subway in the city is aimed at improving connectivity for both the existing as well as the upcoming transport system.

Already, the UT Administration’s much-publicised Underpasses project, which had been hanging fire for past three years, is underway. The underpasses are to be constructed at the roundabouts opposite Canara Bank in Sector 34, the government printing press in Sector 18 and the Transport Chowk.



Acquitted twice, cop still faces inquires
Gets respite from CAT
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Inspector Kuldeep Singh has spent 12 years of his life in proving himself innocent of corruption charges levelled against him in 1998.

As Singh still continues to undergo several departmental inquires marked against him despite a local court giving him a clean chit he says that his two daughters and son have taken up law after looking at their father’s plight.

Talking to TNS, Kuldeep Singh said, “The department erroneously promoted me as Inspector in May 20, 2004, though a criminal case was pending against me. As soon as the authorities concerned realised their mistake, the promotion orders were reversed on August 19, 2004 and I was suspended. All this while I have remained quiet but the inquiries against me are still on.”

In a shaky tone on the telephone he said, “My two brothers were killed by the terrorists and I have seen very tough times. But bad days don’t seem to go away.”

Singh finally got some relief as the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) invoked a stay on the third departmental inquiry marked by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in the corruption case against him.

A local court in the corruption case acquitted him after a trial of 10 years.

Singh had filed an application wherein he had sought quashing of the third inquiry marked against him pertaining to the corruption case registered against him in 1998.

The corruption case was registered against him on the complaint of Ishwar Singh Bedi wherein he had alleged that Singh had demanded a bribe of Rs 20,000 for giving Bedi a clean chit in a case. An FIR was registered against Singh in 1998. Singh faced the trial in the District Courts here for 10 years and was acquitted on February 2, 2008.

Though Singh won the legal battle, he was subsequently chargesheeted by the department. The authorities concerned in the UT police department issued chargesheet against him in the same corruption case under the Punjab Police Rules. The counsel for Kuldeep Singh, DR Sharma said, “The police should not have issued the chargesheet as he had already been acquitted by a local court.”

Thereafter, an inquiry was marked against me and DSP Vijay Kumar was asked to conduct the inquiry. Exonerating Singh of all charges, the DSP submitted the report in October 2009.

Meanwhile, the concerned authorities were still not satisfied with the inquiry report. Thus the SSP’s office marked third inquiry against Singh in the same case on which a stay has been invoked.



Autos, taxis to display STA complaint number
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Following complaints of overcharging and misbehaviour by auto-rickshaw drivers in city, the State Transport Authority (STA) has issued directions to all the auto and taxi operators to display the complaint no (0172-2700159) of the STA.

They have also been directed to display the lit of fare on the either side of their vehicles.

The vehicles will not be approved until they display the complaint number and fare list on vehicles. Any auto or taxi without the complaint number and fare list will be challaned, the orders said.



Clubs, discos no to do business till late night
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The District Magistrate, UT, Chandigarh, Brijendra Singh, has prohibited commercial operations in the business of restaurants, discos, clubs and vendors sitting by the road sides and in public places operating till late in the night.

The magistrate ordered that running of such activities on roadsides and public places between 1am and 4.30 am in the Union Territory would be prohibited for a period of 60 days, i.e. from August 26, 2010 to October 24, 2010.

However, the above order would not apply to coffee shops in hotels, hospitals, chemist shops and petrol pumps. The restaurants, discos and clubs have been allowed to be opened up to 2am on Saturdays and Sundays (except sale and service of liquor, which is governed separately by the Excise Law). The cyber cafes will be allowed to be open up to 2 am on all days.



Encroachments on Zirakpur-Patiala Highway
Shopkeepers allege unfair demarcation
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 25
As many as 200 shopkeepers, having their shops on the Zirakpur-Patiala Highway, are confused over the demarcation done by the Zirakpur Municipal Council.

They alleged that the process of demarcation was not carried out properly.

Shopkeepers claimed that they had constructed their shops before 1995. They also claimed having all the documents related to their shops and a few of them had already submitted them to the officials concerned.

More than 20 shopkeepers today met Zirakpur executive officer and the officer asked them to submit their complete records of the shops to the municipal engineer.

Another shopkeeper said when they asked the employees, who were demarcating the shops, they didn’t get a satisfactory reply and said they were conducting demarcations as per instructions given by higher officials.

However, MC official clarified that those shopkeepers who had submitted their documents, their shops would not be demolished. The demarcation had been done according to the rules, he added.

It is learnt that the Zirakpur Municipal Council is likely to remove the illegal encroachments on the Zirakpur-Patiala Highway before August 30.



One suspected dengue case in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 25
One person suspected to be suffering from dengue fever was admitted to Fortis Hospital here yesterday .

Dr PK Sridhar , civil surgeon , said that the patient , Madhurima Ghosh ( 27 ) , was a resident of Sector 69.

She was declared weakly positive for the vector-borne disease. Blood samples would be collected tomorrow for a confirmation test.

Dr jai Singh , district health officer, said that teams would be sent to the area from where the patient was reported. The blood samples of the people living in the area would be collected .

As many as 100 houses falling in the vicinity of the house where Ghosh lived would be covered.



CM’s meeting with municipal councillors
Clueless, officials await intimation
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 25
Seriousness on the part of the government regarding the development work at Mohali can be gauged from the fact that despite reports of a meeting between the Punjab Chief Minister and municipal councillors, no official information has been given to elected representatives.

Certain municipal councillors here are even wondering why only telephonic messages are being told to them stating that the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would be meeting elected representatives to discuss development works of Mohali.

According to sources, Badal will come to Mohali tomorrow to hold a meeting with GMADA officials and municipal councillors, but councillors belonging to the Congress-backed ruling group have not been informed about any such meeting.

According to reports, NK Sharma, chairman of the District Planning Board, had called up certain councillors and civic body officials and asked them to attend the meeting with the Chief Minister to discuss issues related to the development of the town.

However, Rajinder Singh Rana, president of the Municipal Council, has termed the meeting as a “Party meeting”, which had nothing to do with the development of the town.

He said had the government been interested in the development of the town, all councillors would have been called for the meeting and also an agenda would have been prepared.

He said, had he been informed officially, he would have gone to attend the meeting, along with councillors. He had not even received a telephonic message.

Kuljit Singh Bedi said though he was from Congress, he was ready to attend the meeting. But since he had not received any official information, he would not be attending the meeting.



BEd Fee
Ex-deputy speaker seeks CM’s help
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 25
Bir Devinder Singh, former deputy speaker, Punjab, has written to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking an immediate intervention to rationalise the exorbitant fee structure of the self-financed education (BEd) colleges in Punjab.

In a letter to the CM, he stated that there was a need to re-consider the fee structure of the private BEd colleges in the state, as there was a huge gap between the fee structure of the 
government and private BEd colleges.

According to sources, Punjab government’s department of higher education has fixed the annual fee for one year BEd courses at Rs 35,060, payable in two installments, whereas private colleges are charging more than Rs 50,000 in addition to the other charges such as library security, library membership, prospects fee and registration fee that approximately comes to Rs 5,200.

Self-financed education colleges in Punjab has formed a federation and enforced their own fee structure that was unbearable for the poor students of Punjab, he said.

He has suggested to form a committee of all Vice-Chancellors of the universities of Punjab to which these colleges are affiliated, including the dean of the college development councils of these universities and DPI (colleges), Punjab, and principal secretary to Punjab government for higher education to act as convener of this committee in order to rationalise the discrepancy in the fee structure.



Separatists should be dealt with sternly: BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
“Autonomy for Kashmir is like taking the first step to isolate the state from the country,” remarked BJP’s national general secretary Jagat Prakash Nadda here.

While addressing a press conference at Chandigarh, he said it was a wrong statement issued at a wrong time and amounts to fleecing the country, while referring to the statement by the Congress on considering autonomy for Kashmir.

He was here to observe “Kashmir Bachao Divas”.

Terming the issuing of the said statement by the Prime Minister unfortunate, Nadda, said it reflected adversely on the Union government. “At a time when they should be dealing strictly with separatists, the Centre is offering them packages,” he remarked further.

“In fact this is the time when not only the Centre should be acting tough with the separatists, but also the state government should be issued guidelines to take stringent steps to tackle the situation,” he added.

The Centre should understand that the separatist forces have changed their strategy now. “Instead of fighting it out with hi-tech weapons, they are now resorting to mob stone pelting using schoolchildren and college students,” he said.

Describing the situation in Kashmir as “worst-ever”, he said the Prime Minister must take all necessary measures, including deployment of the Army, to safeguard minorities in the Valley.

The BJP general secretary said the Prime Minister should ensure the safety of Sikhs in the Valley and not give the responsibility to the Home Minister.

Referring to reported threats to the Sikh community in Kashmir Valley, the BJP leader said Sikhs must stay back and fight for their rights.

Later, he also addressed the party workers regarding the Kashmir issue and said that party’s stand was always clear and stern on the issue.

Autonomy for Kashmir is like taking the first step to isolate the state from the country

Jagat Prakash Nadda, BJP national general secretary 



ISKCON celebrates Janamashtami
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
As a part of Sri Krishna Janamashtami celebration, a nagar sankirtan procession was taken out by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). A large number of ISKCON devotees participated in the procession.

The procession started from Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36, and passed through various sectors in the city before it culminated at the ISKCON temple. People of all walks of life also joined the procession. Devotees were seen chanting “Hare Krishna”, while dancing to the tunes of kartal and mridanga during the procession. To inculcate the qualities of goodness among schoolchildren drawing and quiz competition will also be held on August 28 followed by a fancy dress competition on August 31 and a stage play on September 1.



Sale of correction fluid banned

Chandigarh, August 25
District Magistrate, Chandigarh, Brijendra Singh has prohibited the sale of correction fluid to the minors for a period of 60 days starting from August 26 to 24.

These orders have been issued as a measure of emergency under Section 144 of the CrPC. The orders have been issued keeping in view that some minors, especially schoolchildren, are committing crimes after using correction fluid (white fluid generally used by typists for making corrections). — TNS



Drug, cheating cases against foreigners on the rise
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The incidence of foreign nationals involved in contraband narcotics seizure and cheating cases filed in the city has been increasing over the years. Tuesday’s arrest of two Australians on charges of masterminding a kidnapping has added a new dimension to the trend. During the past few years foreign nationals were usually booked for possessing prohibited narcotic drugs, cheating or for not possessing a valid visa.

There are presently about 21 foreigners and nonresident Indians against whom criminal cases are pending in city courts or are facing police investigation. Of these three are NRIs who are facing trial. Paramjit Singh and Nirmala Kaur, both Canadian citizens, were booked by the police in December 2005 for trespassing a building. Their trial is still pending. An FIR was registered against another NRI, Harprit Singh Khaira, who resides in Britain, on April 15, 2006, for deterring a public servant from performing duty.

The oldest case that is still pending is that involving a Nigerian woman, Ugoh Chrostina, who was booked under the Excise Act on June 25, 1996. The trial is still on in this 14-year-old case.

Among the high-profile cases against foreign national is the one against Israeli national, Lior Avi Ben Moyal, who was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on February 9, 2005 after 155 kg of ‘charas’ was seized from him. He has been in custody since then.

Nigerians top the list of offenders with almost a dozen of them being booked for possessing contraband drugs, cheating and for violations of the Foreigners Act. Cases against two Afghan nationals, Walid Mohammad Akram and Saida Ataye, were registered in December 2009 and February this year, respectively. Two Kenyans, Duke Menge and Bati, were dragged to the courts as their visas had expired and they had overstayed in the country.

There is only one citizen of Uzbekistan and an Egyptian against whom FIRs have been registered. The Uzbekistani national was booked under the Immoral Trafficking Act while a cheating case was registered against the Egyptian. Recently a Pakistani national, Kashif Ali, was arrested by the police for spying.

In the cases where foreigners are complainants the most talked about has been the one in which a German woman was raped. Except this case wherein the four suspects were held guilty by a local court, no other heinous crime has been reported to have been committed on a foreigner.

Foreign national acquitted

Additional District and Sessions Court of Lalit Batra today acquitted foreign national Stanley Wiseman in a contraband case as the prosecution was not able to establish the crime.

According to prosecution, the police had arrested Stanley Wiseman on June 24, 2005, with 14 gram cocaine. The police stated that a naka was put up near Neelam Theatre when Stanley passed by. The police suspected him and seized the contraband from him. — TNS



PU to organise annual conferences in Dec

Chandigarh, August 25
In a meeting of teaching departments, deans, directors and administrative officials at the Senate Hall in Panjab University campus, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said PU would organise two important events in December, the annual conference of Indian Chemical Society and annual conference of Indian Economic Association.

The VC appealed to the teaching faculty and administrative officials to come forward to make these events a great success, as eminent national and international scholars will participate in these conferences.

Sobti also announced “Financial grants would be liberally given to any department of the university that intends to hold a seminar, workshop and conference of the national or international level in the university.” — TNS



Pay Scale Arrears
Teachers submit memo to education secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A delegation of the DAV College Teachers' Union met the UT education secretary Ram Niwas here demanding the arrears of the new pay scale applicable from January 1, 2006, for teaching staff of aided colleges.

Union president Prof Iqbal Preet Kaur, along with DAV principal BC Josan, submitted a memorandum stating that as per the UT Administration's notification adopting the Punjab pay scales, provision for arrears for the aided colleges was to be included in the revised estimates for 2009-2010.

While the government college teachers have already been granted hundred per cent arrears, their counterparts in aided colleges are still waiting for their due.

Meanhwhile, Ajoy Sharma, director, higher education, has promised to explore the possibility of inclusion of these arrears in the revised estimates of the budget.



PUSU protests against delay in allotment of hostel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) under the leadership of its president Udey Singh Wirring protested against delay in the release of second list of hostel allotment by PU authorities.

According to party members, the first list of hostel allotment was released soon after the first counselling, accompanied by a waiting list.

The candidates in the waiting list were supposed to get left over hostel seats by this month, but authorities have reportedly delayed the process till the end of student elections.



PSU to hold rally tomorrow

Bassi Pathana, August, 25
The Punjab Student's Union in a meeting held here today has decided to boycott classes and to organise a protest rally on August 27 all over the state in support of the demands of students.

Beant Singh, state secretary, PSU, said that the students had been urging the state government to concede to their genuine demands since long but the government had always turned deaf ear. He said that the students faced great difficulty in getting bus passes, identity cards and moreover the fees had been increased in all educational institutions and it had become difficult for common man to seek higher education. He said now they had decided to observe strike and to organise a rally, if the government did not responded positively. — OC



450 saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
MCM, Sector 36 Environment Committee in collaboration with NSS and NCC groups organised a tree plantation drive in which more than 450 saplings of medicinal herbs were planted in the Rishi Vatika of the college. Santosh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forest (IFS), was the Chief Guest at the occasion. Bikram Rana State liaison Officer NSS was the guest of honour at the event. The event was applauded by the likes of Saurabh Kumar, Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests (IFS) as the presiding officer, Vaidya Madan Gulati, Ex deputy director Ayurveda Department of AYUSH, UT, and Gurdeep Singh Bhatti, assistant programme advisor of NSS.



Surprise Visit by DPI
GSSS-38 principal found absent, asked to explain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Following a surprise inspection, DPI (S) PK Sharma, today sought an explanation from Baljinder Singh, principal of Government Senior Secondary School (GSSS), 38 (W), for his reported “unexplained” absence during school hours.

DPI, who was out on his first surprise inspection, was agitated by the principal’s absence.

“When I enquired about the principal, no one gave a valid justification of his whereabouts during the school hours. I have asked him to give an explanation. It’s possible that he may have submitted a leave application, but nothing has been brought to my notice,” said the DPI.

Due to principal’s absence, the decorum of the school was obviously disturbed and even the conduct of the staff members was reported unsatisfactory.

The DPI also inspected the midday meal and its distribution in the school, which was reportedly satisfactory. He also visited GMSSS, Sector 37, and Government School, Maloya, where things were almost fine.

The department has issued a directive to all school principals to pull up their socks or face action.

“Such inspections will now be done on weekly-basis and principals will now have to explain lapses if any,” said the DPI.



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