C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Garbage a blot on royal city
Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 4
The apathetic attitude of the municipal corporation authorities has turned the royal city into a garbage dump. While one can see garbage strewn everywhere in the city, the MC officials have chosen to sleep over the issue. The city residents said various areas were cleaned up only ahead of political rallies or VIPs’ visits.

“A few days ago, a cleanliness drive was carried out in our colony, as the Punjab CM was supposed to pay a visit to the area,” claimed Atul Kumar, a resident of Moongfali Market.

“Vehicles of the corporation come just once a week,” rued another resident of New Lal Bagh.

Stink emanating from various parts of the city make residents’ lives miserable, he added.

The MC officials claimed that they had been performing duty efficiently.

“As residents throw garbage in open, we cannot help it out,” they added. Municipal Corporation Commissioner MS Narang could not be contacted. 



Foetus recovered
Our Correspondent

Kalka, February 4
The police claimed to have recovered an undeveloped foetus at the edge of the nullah of Suhag Cho of Dashmesh Colony at ward number 5 in Pinjore today. The police team, on a tip off, rushed to the spot and recovered the foetus, which was sent to Civil Hospital, Kalka, for autopsy and action would be taken under Section 317 of the IPC.

Leopard scare in village

Villagers of Damdama village of Pinjore block confirmed that a leopard was seen wandering in the residential area of the village last night. They added that the leopard was endangering the pet animals and inhabitants of the village.

Residents of the village have urged the officials of the department of forest and wildlife to take serious note of the problem.



Sale of deadly magoor goes unchecked
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 4
There has been a brisk sale of the banned Thai magoor fish in the markets of Ambala district despite a Supreme Court order, which had banned the sale and cultivation of this variety of fish. The Thai magoor fish is boneless and is regarded as a delicacy in this part of the region.

Sale of this variety of fish has been going on unchecked as the district health authorities, fisheries department and the civil administration has been turning a blind eye to the sale. The fish is readily available in the fish markets dotting the peripheral colonies of different towns in the district. It is easily available in the Maheshnagar market and other meat shops on the Ambala-Jagadhri road.

It has come to light that this fish, which can also survive in dirty ponds, can also cause cancer, following which the Supreme Court imposed a ban on its sale 
and cultivation.

Fish farms are doing brisk sale. Waste water ponds are being openly used for the cultivation of these fish. A fish farmer disclosed that returns from the cultivation of Thai magoor fish were much more than any other variety of fish due to which it had caught the fancy of fish farmers of the region.

Thai magoor fish farming was also popular in some of the districts of Punjab in the proximity of Ambala. A source disclosed that the seed of this variety of fish usually came from Kolkata in trucks and railways.

Despite repeated attempts, no official of the Fisheries Department could be contacted for comments.

The Thai magoor is available in the fish market at Rs 60 a kg while malhi is selling at Rs 200 per kg. Thai magoor continues to be the poor man’s favourite due to its low price. Its sale continues round-the-year, but the sales pick up during winters when there is a brisk demand of all varieties of fish.

Insiders in the fish market confide that the Thai magoor is purchased in bulk by caterers for marriages and other functions where it is served along with better variety fish.



Railway officials raid 190 houses
Our Correspondent

Kalka, February 4
Under a special campaign, the local railway officials conducted a raid on the residential houses of Railway Colony of Kalka on the directives of higher officials of New Delhi. Official sources of Kalka Senior Section Engineer confirmed that the raid was conducted on the directives issued by the Railway Vigilance Department.

About 190 residential quarters of Railway Colony, near Railway Workshop, were inspected during the campaign, which started yesterday. Railway officials received several complaints that more than 50 per cent of the railway quarters have been given on rent, which has become a good source of income for the railway employees, who dwell within the limit of ten to twenty kilometres of adjoining villages of Kalka.

During the raid, it was discovered that 17 houses were given on rent and unauthorised families were dwelling in the houses. Notably, in the recent time several incidents of theft have taken place in Railway Colony, and the railway police also recovered valuable theft articles worth thousands of rupees from rented houses of Railway Colony, which were being used by the theft accused.

Sources further disclosed that in the next couple of days a team of higher officials of Railways from Baroda House, New Delhi, is expected to visit Kalka in connection with the inspection of railway houses.

Several railway employees who have been transferred from other cities to Kalka and have not got railway accommodations, even after several years, when contacted, told The Tribune that higher railway authorities should not allot quarters to railway employees if they were having their own house within the radius of 20 km in Kalka.



Ambala exceeds wheat sowing target
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 4
Ambala has exceeded the wheat-sowing target set by the state agriculture department. The department had pegged the target at 85,000 hectares and the same was achieved by the middle of December 15. As a result, bumper yield of wheat is likely in the coming days in the district.

Sources said here today that the total area of Ambala was 1,53,730 hectares of which 1,33,414 hectares was agriculture land. Of this agriculture land 24,836 hectares land is cultivated with rainwater only, while 1,08,578 hectares have irrigation facilities.

Sources added that the target of 85,000 hectares wheat sowing was executed on December 10. In the subsequent days after the harvesting of late ripening paddy varieties and harvesting of potato crop more land became available for wheat sowing.

Area coming under wheat sowing after mid December is in excess of the fixed target. Agriculture department officials said the achievement of the target was possible only due to easy availability of pesticides, fertilisers and irrigation water.

Different departments coordinated in ensuring that farmers faced no hardship in wheat sowing. Power was made available as per requirement and this played a major role in achieving the set target.

These officials said, incidentally this time there was no protest by the farmers on counts like power shortage and shortage of farmers inputs. They added that the field staff of the agriculture department had extensively surveyed the area under wheat and the situation would be reviewed periodically till crop was harvested.



PIL against move to equate certificates
Notice to Punjab, Haryana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Taking up a PIL against the move to equate certificates issued by the Indian Institute of Engineers (India), Kolkata, with engineering degrees of the recognised Indian universities, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the Union Human Resource Ministry, the States of Punjab and Haryana, along with Chandigarh.

Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Augustine George Masih also fixed April 1 as the next date of hearing.

In his petition, an unemployed engineering graduate from Punjab Technical University Akshay Kumar challenged the order of January 16, 2006.

Issued by the Union Human Resources Ministry, the order recognises “a passout in the Certificate A and Certificate B Examination of Indian Institute of Engineers (India), Kolkata, as equivalent to engineering degree from a recognised Indian University in the appropriate field of engineering for the purpose of recruitment to superior posts and services under the Central government”.

The petitioner also demanded removal of all those persons who got employment in the respondent states.

He said the action was “nothing but a fraud”. 



High Court
Sale of nicotine-laced products
Centre asked to suggest corrective measures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
The proposed Chandigarh Licensing of Tobacco Trade Rules, 2010, have come under the Punjab and Haryana High Court scanner, with the dealers in tobacco products moving the High Court against of the Chandigarh administration.

A Division Bench has asked the union government to give its suggestion on steps to be taken to check the sale of nicotine-laced products freely available in the open market, as these are not covered under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The directions by Acting Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Augustine George Masih came during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Burning Brain Society. The directions came after the Bench was apprised by Hemant Goswami of the society that nicotine-laced products were freely available in the market and they were not covered under any Act. The Bench also directed the States of Punjab and Haryana to file replies on the next date of hearing as to what action they had taken against the violators.

Meanwhile, in its application, Sector 26-based tobacco product dealer Kohli Brothers and others pleaded that the rules, if implemented, would adversely affect the lawful trade carried by them for the past several years.

Petitioners contended that a complete legal mechanism was in place under the control of the Union of India. Even the restrictions on trade commerce, production supply and distribution of tobacco products was specifically legislated upon by Parliament.

“Any control or regulation of the tobacco industry or trade therein by any authority/person other than Union of India is completely ousted, illegal and unconstitutional,” said the petitioners. After hearing the contentions, the Bench issued notice to the UT administration for February 11 to file its reply on the matter.



Consumer Courts
Transport co told to pay Rs 1.66 lakh for damages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (II) today passed an ex parte order directing a transport company, RP Enterprises, to pay SS Chhoker, a resident of Sector 34, a sum of Rs 1.66 lakh for damaging his household goods during transportation from Chandigarh to Hong Kong.

Besides, the forum asked the company to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 along with the litigation cost of Rs 7,000.

In April, 2010, Chhoker had hired the services of the company to transport a parcel weighing 250 kg to Hong Kong and paid Rs 43,000 for the same. The parcel included household articles, clothes, artificial jewellery, books and grocery items. The company, however, failed to deliver the goods in the stipulated 20 days.

In the complaint, Chhoker claimed that the goods were delivered a week later and not at his residence in Hong Kong but at the Chinese border.

On opening the consignment, he found some articles missing and others in a damaged state. Chhoker subsequently lodged a complaint against the company seeking damages. However, the company refused to pay up.

After hearing the complaint, the forum passed an ex parte order, as no one appeared on behalf of the company.

The forum also directed the company to pay Rs 10,000 in compensation for causing mental agony and harassment to the complainant.



4 booked for murder
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 4
The police has booked four of a family, including two women, for allegedly murdering Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Himmatgarh, Dhakola. A case of murder and common intension under Section 302 and 34 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Kuldeep Singh’s wife Dalbir Kaur, who had alleged that her husband had been murdered.

The accused have been identified as Harbans Singh, a resident of Tribune colony, Baltana, Balwinder Kaur, wife of Harbans Singh and stepmother of Kuldeep Singh, Hardeep Kaur and her husband Harpreet Singh.

The investigating officer, Additional SHO Ravinder Pal, stated that the deceased’s wife Dalbir Kaur alleged that a case regarding property dispute against Kuldeep’s parents was pending in the court from the past three years. She suspected that all of them had conspired to kill her husband, the officer added.

He said the body of the deceased was handed over to the family after conducting the postmortem. The exact cause of the death would be known only after the receipt of viscera report, the officer added.

A case was registered against four persons after recording the statement of Dalbir Kaur. However, no arrest has been made so far.

A mutilated body of Kuldeep Singh (37), a resident of Himmatgarh Dhakola, was found under mysterious circumstances near Sukhna choe, opposite Sohi banquet hall, on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway yesterday. He was working at a medicine factory in a Baddi-based factory.

Dalbir Kaur said to the police that Kuldeep left for his work on February 2, but he neither reached his office nor he returned home.



Youth assaulted, robbed of valuables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
Three unidentified persons attacked Kanwar Akhilesh Pathania, a 25-year-old resident of NAC, Mani Majra, and robbed him of his valuables near a petrol station in Sector 22 last night.

The three were on foot when they attacked the youth. Kanwar had recently returned from the UK, where he is studying.

The valuables robbed in the incident included two gold rings, two silver chains, two ATM cards, two mobile sets and Rs 4,000 in cash.

Kanwar Akhilesh suffered blunt injuries in the incident.

The police said the victim was going towards a restaurant when a youth confronted him and demanded a matchbox from him.

In the meantime, two other youths sneaked up from behind and assaulted him before escaping with his valuables and wallet.

The medical examination of the victim confirmed blunt injuries. He was also found under the influence of alcohol.



One held for selling fake bags
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 4
The police today arrested a Panchkula-based trader for selling duplicate bags of Fasttrack. The accused has been identified as Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Panchkula.

The investigating officer said Gaurav Tiwari, a field officer of the company, had filed a complaint against Rajinder Kumar. A raid was conducted and 40 duplicates bags, using the company’s logo, were recovered.

The investigating officer said a case under Sections 103 and 104 of the Trade Mark Act and the Copyright Act had been registered against him.

Earlier, a Baltana-based shopkeeper was arrested by the police for selling duplicate bags of a Tamil Nadu-based company, Fasttrack on January 19.



Dowry death: Police recovers Payal’s items 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 4
The police has recovered the dowry items, including 11 tolas of gold and various domestic items, from the residence of Vinod Kumar, who had allegedly strangulated his wife, Payal, on November 18.

Jangsher Singh, SHO, Chandimandir police station, said the accused had already sold the car, presented as a ‘gift’ at the time of wedding, the very next day while the documents of a house in Gharauda, which was in the name of the victim, were with Payal’s parents.

He said Vinod Kumar, along with his relative Jaswant Singh, who had surrendered before the police on February 1, would be produced before the local court tomorrow.

A panel of three doctors, headed by Dr Sunil Ghambir, forensic expert at General Hospital, Sector 6, had submitted its final opinion confirming the death of Payal, daughter-in-law of a retired colonel, through strangulation on November 18.

Payal’s body was found dumped in the water tank at the rooftop of her house to give it a look of suicide. The police, on the complaint of Payal’s father Hanuman Parshad, a resident of Faridabad, had booked five persons of the family for killing Payal.



Bid to escape by undertrial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4
An undertrial facing murder charges made an attempt to escape from police custody after he was brought to the city for a medical examination today. He was subsequently booked for the offence.

The incident took place in the afternoon when Anand, a resident of Sector 52, was brought from an Ambala jail to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, following an ailment.

The UT police has registered a case under Sections 224, 332 and 353 of the IPC at the police station-34 on the complaint of constable Krishan Kumar.



YPS to hold cross country races
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 4 
Cross Country races would be organised by Yadavindra Public School tomorrow. Students of classes IV to XII would participate in various events grouped under various categories. 

Stating this in a press release here today, Janajit Ray, principal of the YPS, said every category of cross country runners — boys/girls — would be assigned a particular route to be organised around the roads surrounding the school. The first race would commence at 9 am and the event is likely to conclude around 1 pm. 



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