C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Spurt in white-collar crime
Four cases of cheating registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The Chandigarh Police today registered four cases of white-collar crime, underlining the growing tendency towards paper fraud for easy money. A resident of Sector 41 has been accused of purchasing a vehicle on the basis of a fake loan certificate, while two others were booked in cases of forging documents and defrauding banks.

Bringing forth the growing police concerns over increased frauds involving paper work and banks, police sources said at least 50 cases of cheating had been registered this year and a large number of these pertain to banking frauds.

The police is increasingly getting complaints from banks where loans have been procured on fake documents and banks have been defrauded by people who opened their accounts on the basis of fake documents.

Tata Safari on fake loan certificate

The police today arrested a resident of Sector 41 for procuring a car loan from a dealer by producing a fake loan certificate. Acting on the complaint given by the manager of Joshi Auto Zone in Industrial Area, the police arrested Surinder Pal, who purchased a Tata Safari by producing a fake loan certificate.

Sartaj Singh, the manager of Joshi Auto Zone, Phase-2, Industrial Area, Chandigarh, reported to the police that Surinder Pal had purchased Safari LX, number CH-18(T)-1817, on April 10 last year and obtained a loan of Rs 6,96,386 from HDFC bank. He gave the dealer a loan certificate while purchasing the car.

Till date, the accused had not got the car registered and was roaming around with a temporary number plate. The loan certificate was issued by owner of Royal Associate Vivek Mahajan, who told the police that he issued the loan approval letter on direction of Sanjay Kumar, manager of the Industrial Area branch of HDFC bank.

The fraud came to light after 10 days when the dealer did not receive the amount from the bank and after checking with the bank, they found that the loan of the accused was rejected. The police was informed and after investigating the matter, it arrested Surinder Pal. The police also said that the role of bank manager Sanjay Kumar and Royal Associates owner Vivek Mahajan was under scanner. A case under Sections 420, 406, 403, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.

Booked for using scanned draft

On a complaint pending for the past more than four years, the police today registered a case of cheating against two persons who withdrew Rs 98,000 from a bank account in Syndicate Bank by preparing a fake bank draft. The complaint was first lodged in November 2007, but a case was formally registered today.

Rana Krishan, assistant manager, Syndicate Bank, Sector 17, alleged that Naresh and Harish, both residents of Sector 15, withdrew Rs 98,000 from a bank in Sector 8. The two deposited the fake draft in the drop box and encashed the amount after they had put on a serial number on the draft with their own hands. The serial number, on inspection later, revealed the fraud. The accused had fled by this time.

Immigration Fraud

The police arrested a city resident who duped a resident of Jind district in of Rs 8.7 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. Acting on a complaint of Satish Kumar, the police arrested Anil Kumar, a resident of Sector 40-D. He took Rs 8,70,270 from the complainant on the false promise of sending him abroad (Australia) in the years 2006 and 2007.

Bank account on fake documents

Bhawan Singh Verma the Manager of State Bank of Patiala, Sector 46, Chandigarh, reported that Shivek Gupta, a Sector 47 resident, had opened his account in his bank by producing fake documents. A case under Section 420 has been registered.



Traffic cops lax on underage driving, speeding
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

major fatal mishaps in city


March 2, 2011: A 19-year-old Panjab University student, Akshay Dogra, was arrested for killing a scooterist after the latter was crushed under his speeding Suzuki Zen car in Sector 41.

Driving by minors

Feb 26, 2011: 4-year-old Anshit Goyal was killed after being hit by a speeding Toyota Innova MUV driven by a minor in Sector 23. The police later arrested a 15-year-old class 9 student of Manav Mangal School as the suspect. The minor boy, who had gone on a joyride, failed to notice the child playing outside his home.

Drunk driving

Jan 29, 2011: Triple riding on a motorcycle in an inebriated state claimed the life of a youth and left three others injured in a head-on collision between the motorbike and a scooter in Maloya village. Ashok Kumar, an undergraduate and an employee of a private bank who was riding the bike, succumbed to his injuries.

Traffic fines issued in Jan-March, 2011

Offence                       ‘Challans’ issued

Driving by minors                   30

Overspeeding                        28

Drunk Driving                       170

Riding two-wheelers
without helmet                   6,656

Triple riding on two-wheelers   289

Jumping red light                6,288

Using cellphone while driving 1,537

Chandigarh, April 17
Although overspeeding, driving under the influence and driving by minors remains a prime cause of most road fatalities, the local traffic police appears to be overlooking these serious these traffic violations going by the meager number of ‘challans’ (fines) imposed in the first three months of this year.

The traffic cops issued just 10 ‘challans’ to underage drivers in January, eight in February and 12 in March, totalling 30 in all - which amounts to just one fine every three days during the three months.

Then again the police issued only 28 challans for overspeeding and 170 for drunk driving.

While the drive against driving under the influence of alcohol picked up in March with traffic police issuing 99 ‘challans’ that month, only 13 were issued in January and 58 in February.

Contrast this with the volume of ‘challans’ issued for other traffic offences.

In all 12,264 fines were issued until March-end - 6,656 for riding motorcycles or scooters without a helmet and 6,288 for jumping red lights.

Going by the relatively far lower number of ‘challans’ issued for these violations, the traffic cops seem to have failed to heed the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s directive that required the police to effectively monitor drunk and underage driving in the city.

On the other hand, deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Vijay Kumar asserted: “We’ll intensify our drive against underage driving and overspeeding in the coming days.

We’re also working out an exhaustive plan to check the menace and the number of 'challans’ will increase drastically following the drive”.




Ind’l Area set to morph into next entertainment hub
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
With shopping malls-cum-multiplexes, hotels, office complexes and other commercial establishments coming up, the Industrial Area is poised to emerge as the city’s new happening place.

Both residents and visitors can look forward to new entertainment options in the area that has been renamed as the Industrial & Business Park.

Coming up

  • City Emporium shopping mall-cum-multiplex
  • Acropolis office mall
  • Designer Hotel Altius
  • Shopping mall-cum-multiplex by L &T
  • Hotel Sheraton

Prime advantages

  • Strategic location along two highways
  • Close proximity to train station, proposed int’l airport
  • Enough parking space, particularly during nighttime
  • State-of-art design of upcoming buildings
  • General decline in industrial output to boost commercial activities

Other side of the coin

  • Infrastructure yet to be upgraded
  • Shopping mall culture yet to pick up in city
  • Other commercial centres may pose serious competition
  • Bureaucratic red tape a threat to smooth development
  • New commercial buildings to put pressure on existing infrastructure

New MNC destination?

Given competitive rentals as compared to those prevailing in the rest of the city as well as state-of-the-art amenities, the Industrial Area could well emerge as the favourite destination for multinational firms and the retail sector. While the city’s existing commercial centres such as Sectors 17, 22, 35 and 26 are bursting at the seams, the Industrial Area provides an attractive alternative.

In fact, the way for turning the area into the city’s new entertainment and commercial hub was paved by the UT administration in 2005 when it came up with its conversion policy.

Under the policy, which officially closed in 2008, about 125 owners of plots including large sized ones in Phase I of the Industrial Area got their industrial establishments converted into commercial units.

Currently at least a dozen buildings are either on the verge of completion or are already functional. While the area got its first shopping mall-cum-multiplex in Centra Mall, another mall — City Emporium — is ready for commissioning. Work on construction of one of the region’s largest shopping 
malls, reportedly being built by Larsen & Toubro, is in progress.

With the city emerging as the next IT destination and retail hub, the influx of professionals from across the country will give a fillip to development.

“Given its high living standards, Chandigarh offers an ideal environment for the growth of the retail sectors which in turn will promote the entertainment sector,” said Piyush Chawla, an official of an multinational firm.

“Given its strategic location on the sides of the Chandigarh-New Delhi and Chandigarh-Simla highways, the Industrial Area will emerge as one of the major entertainment and commercial hubs in north India,” averred MPS Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association.

A senior UT official claimed the administration was committed to provide all requisite facilities to enable business to flourish here.




New de-addiction centre on the horizon
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Drug abuse fuelling crime

Drug addiction has played a major role in the increasing crime graph recorded in the city. While most chain snatchers caught by the police were found to be addicts, many other criminals who committed heinous crimes like murder and rape were also abusing drugs. Last March, a 27-year-old Sector 40 resident, Ram Sharma, who had only just been released from jail after he was arrested in a snatching case, was reportedly killed by another drug addict.

Chandigarh, April 17
A 30 bed drug de-addiction centre located at the Government Press building in Sector 18 here is set to become functional later this month, taking up the total patient capacity to 60 in the city. Till now the de-addiction centre at PGI offered 20 beds with the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 providing treatment for another 10 patients.

The new facility is expected to go a long way in dealing with the growing incidence of drug and alcohol addiction in the city. According to official statistics, the number of addicts (including alcoholics) stand at 60,000.

A survey conducted by the GMCH in Khuda Alisher, Mani Majra (rural), Hallo Majra, Palsaura and Dadu Majra and five slum colonies (labour colony, Palsaura, Gandhi Madrasi and Sansi labour colony, Gawala colony and Janta colony, Sector 25) had established there were at least 10,000 drug addicts in the city while the number of alcoholics among the population was as high as five per cent, which works out to nearly 50,000.

The proposal to set up another de-addiction centre was conceived two years ago in September 2009, and it was decided to hand over the responsibility to run the facility to a non-government organisation with expertise in this field.

The new de-addiction center will be managed by Kripa Foundation, a Mumbai-based NGO that claims to be running such centres in eleven states. The centre will provide private rooms as well as dormitories to patients. “In the near future activities including HIV/AIDS linkages, employee assistance and income generation programmes and vocational training initiatives will also be taken as part of the second phase onf the initiative”, said G Diwan, a spokesman for the UT health department.

A survey conducted by GMCH endorses earlier findings in other parts of country that alcohol and drugs are taking their toll in almost all areas of life including health (85.71%), family (77.31%), marital (70.59%) and occupation (64.28%) of the people affected. According to another study conducted by UNAIDS in 2008, at least 1,170 intravenous drug users have been found in the city.


Staff crunch complaint
Docs don’t want deputation to Chandigarh
Six doctors from Punjab refuse to join GMSH-16
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The posting on deputation from states of Punjab and Haryana to Chandigarh seems to have lost its charm among officials, at least in the health department. According to sources, six doctors in the Punjab health department, selected by a panel of UT health department, have refused to join their duty at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16 (GMSH), here.

Even as officials in the UT health department claim that these doctors couldn’t join the duty in Chandigarh, as the Punjab government didn’t want to relieve them, due to shortage of doctors in government hospitals in the state. The sources said that doctors are of the view that they can’t work at a hospital under constant scanner of the higher authorities as well as media. They have refused to work with a few colleagues taking care of a large number of patients.

Facing acute shortage of doctors at GMSH, the UT health department had sought six doctors from Punjab on deputation.

The names of six doctors were finalised last month, but none of them was ready to join his/her duty at Chandigarh, following which authorities have been asked to send a new panel of doctors.

After the Bulbul case at GMSH, which led to the registration of criminal cases against four employees, including doctors, none of the doctor from other states is willing to come to the GMSH on deputation, said sources. Adding to the woes of authorities, four doctors from the gynaecolgy department have resigned, retired or returned to their parent state, leaving only five doctors in the department. Five years ago the department used to have at least 18 doctors.

Director, health services, Dr Chander Mohan, said the Punjab health department had been asked to send a new panel of doctors. If they failed to send the doctors this time as well, the authorities in Haryana will be asked to send a panel of doctors, he said.

Moreover, to overcome the shortage of doctors in the hospital, a proposal to recruit 20 doctors through the National Rural Health Mission has been sent to authorities concerned.

Interviews would be conducted next week to recruit one gynaecologist on a contract basis, he added.



Jan Aushadhi fails its purpose
Shuts down at 8 pm; patients have to visit to PGI, GMCH to get medicines
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

The Jan Aushadhi medical store at the General Hospital, Sector 6, in Panchkula
The Jan Aushadhi medical store at the General Hospital, Sector 6, in Panchkula. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, April 17
The Jan Aushadhi, launched two years ago with much fanfare to provide round-the-clock generic medicines to the patients at cheaper rates at the General Hospital, Sector 6, has lost its charm, as people can’t get medicines from this store after 8 pm.

Inaugurated by the then Union Health Minister Ram Vilas on February 23, 2009, the Haryana government, collaborating with the Red Cross Society, had started Jan Aushadhi — generic medicine counter — at the General Hospital with a purpose to serve common people. Earlier, the Union government had started the first non-profit medicine shop at Amritsar that sold generic drugs.

Ironically, one can easily purchase a bottle of liquor till midnight, but it is difficult to get the medicines, especially life saving drugs, as chemist shops in the town close by 10 pm. Sometimes patients or their family members have to rush to the PGI or the GMCH, Sector 32, during late night hours to buy medicines.

Earlier, the centre served public 24 hours and remained open throughout the week, but the work hours have been re-scheduled to 8 am to 8 pm, forcing the patients to lurch around at night, looking for chemist shops.

In case of emergency the families of patients admitted in the emergency ward have to purchase medicines from other sources.

According to sources, the medicines prescribed by doctors at the hospital are mostly available at the OPD, therefore, people refrain from visiting the Jan Aushadhi counter. Moreover, the prescribed medicines are generally branded and are not available at the counter, sources added.

Sources said a meeting of the health officials and the representatives of the chemists association was also held recently in this regard, but authorities had failed to take any final decisions. The association has urged the authorities to at least allow one shop to open during the night hours so that people in the town do not face any difficulty in getting vital life saving drugs during odd hours.

When contacted, Civil Surgeon Dr VK Bansal said generic medicines were available to the patients in the OPD as well as in emergency round-the-clock in the hospital and there was no shortage of any kind. Secretary, Red Cross Society, Vijay Lakshmi said as the medicines were available in the hospital we did not feel there was a need to keep the store open at night.

The people living in villages in the periphery are the most sufferers, as they don’t know where to get the medicines in case of emergency. Anil Kumar of Ramgarh village said recently her mother had suffered a mild heart attack and as the medicine prescribed by the doctor was finished he had to rush to the GMCH-32 to get the same.



Light to moderate rainfall expected
Farmers worried over wheat safety
Anil Jerath/TNS

Chandigarh, April 17
Intermittent rain, dusty strong winds and overcast conditions prevailed in the city and in various parts of Punjab and Haryana today. Met officials have predicted light to moderate rainfall and thundershowers during the next 24 hours.

“Our department has predicted partly cloudy sky during the next 24 hours. There is a possibility of light rain and thunderstorms in the city and several places in Punjab and at a few places in Haryana. We are also expecting winds to blow at a speed exceeding 45 km per hour at various isolated places in this region,” said a Met official.

Light to moderate rainfall has also lashed various parts of this region from the past two days. “We had spells of rain at different parts of this region during the last two days. This has led to a rise in mercury in this part of the country,” said the official.

“The western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining areas is the main reason for such conditions in the region. Widespread rain and thundershowers are expected in the region till Tuesday after which the intensity will decrease,” the Met official added.

The city’s maximum temperature dropped to 32.7 degree Celsius, one degree below normal against yesterday’s 35.8 degree Celsius, down by about three degrees, making the temperature pleasant, but the minimum rose marginally to 21.2 degree Celsius from Saturday’s 20.5 degree Celsius.

The Met department has recorded 1.1mm of rainfall till 5.30 pm in the city through out the day today.

Meanwhile, with the arrival of wheat in grain markets, all is not well as the weather still hold the keys. The partly cloudy weather in two major neighbouring wheat-producing states, Punjab and Haryana has got the farmers worried.

GS Buttar, an agriculture expert, said rain was not required at this stage especially when the crop was ready to be harvested.



Inter-state bus terminus in state of despair
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Slime gathers in the absence of regular clean-up; and (right) a commuter drinks water in an unhygienic condition at the ISBT in Sector 5, Panchkula
Slime gathers in the absence of regular clean-up; and (right) a commuter drinks water in an unhygienic condition at the ISBT in Sector 5, Panchkula. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, April 17
Unkempt floor, stinking washrooms and unsafe drinking water speak volume about the state of affairs at the interstate bus terminal in Panchkula. There are two washrooms at the bus terminus and both of these stink.

One of the two washrooms was shut down for repair as its overflowing water seeped into the foundation of the terminus building. However, the repaired washroom has not been opened to the public till now. The milk and soft drink bottles could be seen placed in an unhygienic condition behind the washrooms by the vendors at the bus terminus.

According to sources, the floor of the terminus has not been cleaned for the past about one month and the commuters waiting for their buses have to clean the concrete benches themselves before sitting on them. Officials, on the condition of anonymity, said they had been requesting the sanitation workers to clean the floor at least once in a day, but to no avail.

Water continues to overflow from the public taps and the only water cooler at the bus terminus was out of order and the place around it was also in a mess.

Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Barwala, said he commuted regularly between Panchkula and Barwala as he was serving in a private firm in the town. He said he had brought the matter to the notice of the authorities, but nothing has been done so far.

Anil Kumar, a resident of Kalka, said he had also reported to the authorities about the ill-maintained floor at the bus terminus, but in vain. He said he had personally requested one of the sanitation workers in this regard and the latter, instead of cleaning the floor, started abusing him.

When contacted, BS Ghanghas, general manager of the Haryana Roadways (Chandigarh), said the matter was brought to his notice and he would soon depute two safai karamcharis there as the sanitation work had been outsourced. He said they were in the process of starting the new workshop at Kalka and proper attention would be given to this terminus.

He added that the damaged washroom had been repaired, but would be opened to the general public after carrying out necessary renovation work.



HUDA issues guidelines to instal security gates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 17
Setting at rest the controversy over installation of security gates in residential areas in the town, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) here on Friday issued guidelines for granting permission for erecting safety gates.

Only resident welfare associations of the sectors have been authorised to submit application to the committee consisting Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police and estate officers, HUDA, which would grant approval to the associations after observing the facts.

HUDA administrator Rajender Kataria said the permission could be sought for erection of the gate only on the roads leading to the sector and boundary wall around the sector if required. No permission would be granted for erection of the gate on the internal roads of the sectors, he added.

He said the permission of erecting safety gates would be granted on the condition that all gates would remain open from 5 am to 11 pm in the summers that is from March 1 to October 30 and from 6 am to 10 pm in the winters that is from November 1 to February 28 or 29. At least one gate would remain open for the whole night with a watchman for 24 hours.

He further said the entire expenditure on the construction of these gates/boundary walls and the salary of the watchman would be borne by the residents’ welfare associations. Apart from this, the resident welfare association would nominate two nodal officers, who would have keys of the locks of the gates and whose names would be displayed at the entrance of the sector, so that they could be contacted for unlocking the gates in case of emergency.



Liver transplant at PGI hailed
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Professor KK Talwar could not have asked for more at the end of his seven-year stay as PGI director when a team of doctors from the institute brought laurels to the institute with liver transplant on Friday night.

Dr Talwar is going to retire on April 30.

Though Dr Talwar gave credit to the success of the critical surgery to the team of doctors and staff, it was his initiative in three years ago in 2008 which bore fruits. The PGI has been reckoned among the few hospitals of the country in the public sector equipped with the expertise in liver transplant.

In fact, doctors in the PGI had been emphasising on the need for liver transplant in this region for long, as every week the PGI gets five to six patients suffering from chronic liver diseases or cirrhosis of liver who are prospective cases for liver transplant. While some opt for private hospitals in Delhi, a majority of the patients are left with no option but to live with medicines until a donor comes up.

Still efforts in this direction were started three years ago in 2008 when the PGI authorities started paper work on the issue seeking permission for the procedure, following which the infrastructure, including the construction of special intensive care unit, and special training of doctors including Professor Arunanshu Behera of General Surgery in the field took place.

Even after coming over all the practical problems, the unavailability of donor remained a hurdle in starting the procedure at the PGI and a long wait for doctors ended on Friday when family members of a teenage girl, who met with an accident, got ready to donate her liver for the 44-year-old patient from Saharanpur.



Punjab Regt holds annual get-together
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The Chandigarh chapter of the Punjab Regiment Officers’ Association held their annual get-together here today. About 150 retired officers settled in the region attended the meet.

Lt Gen KJS Oberoi, Commandant of the Infantry School, Mhow and Colonel of the Punjab Regiment was the chief guest. He gave an overview about the ongoing activities and achievements of various battalions on the regiment and discussed various regimental issues with the veterans.

Among those present included Lt Gen RS Dyal (retd), former governor of Andaman and Nicobar, Lt Gen JS Brar and Maj Gen SK Awasthy, both former colonels of the regiment and World War-II veteran Col Grewal.

The Punjab Regiment is one of the oldest in the Army. It traces its origins to 1761 when the first battalion was raised at Trichinopoly and at present has 19 regular battalions. Its awards include 10 Battle Honours, two Padma Bushan, one Padma Shri, 18 Maha Vir Chakra, nine Kirti Chakra, 56 Vir Chakra and 29 Shaurya Chakra.



Tension in Bataud village
Farmers’ union threatens to intensify agitation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 17
The farmers association from Ambala, Mewat and Faridabad has threatened to intensify the stir if the state government failed to resolve the prevailing tension between two warring groups in Bataud village, about 25 km from here.

Addressing the protesters, farmers’ union leader Madan Pal Rana said if the matter was not resolved by Tuesday they would be forced to start the agitation in other parts of the state also. He said there were grave human rights violations in the village, as the majority community was not allowing Dalits to work in the village to earn their bread and butter.

Even though the district administration had formed a five-member committee under the chairmanship of Sub-Divisional Magistrate KK Kalson, the Dalits in the village were dissatisfied over its functioning. Other members of the committee included Deputy Superintendent of Police (HQ), Panchkula, Naib Tehsildar, Barwala, Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), Barwala, and SHO, police station, Chandimandir.

Local MLA DK Bansal, while assuring his full support to the farmers’ cause, said he would take up the matter with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to resolve the issue. He said justice would be provided to the repressed community in the village.

Dalits of Bataur village had been complaining against the majority community of the village for terrorising them. Besides, their usual routes of going in and out of the village have been changed. Their children have been forced to stay indoors during evening hours fearing violence.



Tree Top Protest: Day 3
Nagla’s wife joins protest
Booked for hatching conspiracy; brother arrested for trespass
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 17
Avtar Singh Nagla remained on top of a tree for the third consecutive day, demanding face-to-face dialogue with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the land issue. Nagla could be seen reposing on a bed balanced between the branches of the eucalyptus tree.

Throughout the day, speculation was rife that Nagla would come down from his “tree of perch”. But a determined Nagla showed no sign of going back on his decision. Extending support to Nagla in his protest, his wife also sat on dharna at the base of the tree.

Meanwhile, the Zirakpur police has arrested four persons, including Nagla’s brother, in a case of trespassing and also booked Avtar Singh Nagla under Section 120-B for hatching conspiracy on the complaint of an official of Shipra Company on Sunday.

Talking to mediapersons, Nagla termed it a part of pressure tactics and alleged that the police got frightened over his protest and adopted this method in a bid to end his dharna. The police, however, denied his allegations.

The politician-cum-protestor has been on tree top protest since Friday morning. On Saturday night, he also fixed a bed for a good sleep even five feet higher than his previous location on the tree.

At an approximate height of 40 feet, he has been on diet of roasted grams, burgers, Fruity and water. Nagla said only Chief Minister Badal could bring him down.

A police official stated that in his complaint, a company official, Gurinder Singh, alleged that Nagla’s brother, along with three persons, had trespassed on their premises by using a tractor on the behest of Avtar Nagla. He also alleged that besides trespassing, they also intimidated him and his colleague Harmit of dire consequences.

SHO, Zirakpur, Yogi Raj stated that a case was registered against Avtar Singh Nagla for hatching conspiracy while his brother Nirmal Singh, their close associate Lakshman Singh and two workers Harbans and Jagdish were booked under Sections 447, 511 and 506 of the IPC. He said Nagla would be arrested soon.



Police digs year-old case against Manpreet’s aide
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 17
Almost a year after registering a case of cheating against Kuldeep Singh Virk, secretary of the United Cooperative House Building Society and a close associate of former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, the Mohali police today came looking for him at the society office in Sector 68. The police presence created a high drama in the society. The secretary, however, managed to flee from the spot.

It has been seen that since Manapreet Badal parted ways with the SAD, the Mohali police has been digging old cases against his associates. There have been two similar incidents in which the police had opened cases against Manpreet’s associates who had earlier been evading police action when he was the Finance Minister.

The Phase VIII police had registered a case of cheating against the president and the secretary of the society Bhupinder Kaur and Kuldeep Singh Virk. The case was registered after the police sought legal opinion on a report filed by an inspector of the Registrar Cooperative Societies.

Satinder Singh, a member of the society, had got a stay on fresh allotments from the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2007. Despite ban, the president of the society allegedly allotted nine flats. After conducting an inquiry, the inspector found that the allotments had been made in an illegal manner.

A case under Sections 448, 420 and 120 of the IPC was registered at the Phase VIII police station in August last year.

The members of the society filed a complaint before the registrar, Co-operative Societies, Punjab (Annexure - II). Assistant registrar, co-operative societies, Mohali, referred the matter to the Mohali SSP to lodge an FIR against the president, secretary and those members who have illegally trespassed into the society flats. However, the police had not arrested him despite repeated requests by the complainants.



Open House Response
Issue information booklets at the earliest

We hired a flat in Sector 50 with my friends, as we could not get hostel accommodation at Panjab University. House rents near the university are high. The layout and general environs of the city are appreciable, however, the poor bus service is an unpleasant experience.

The nearest bus stop does not have bus timings. Co-travellers tell us that the board that existed earlier showed wrong timings. Over a period of last seven-eight months, we have learnt to manage our route to the university, however, we feel handicapped in case travelling anywhere else. I feel general information booklets about bus routes and timings should be issued by the administration at the earliest. The so-called resident welfare organisations, particularly in the sectors in the southern belt of the city, should be pressuring the administration to get the information booklet out at the earliest. The administration should also ensure that the buses followed the timings that were printed on the notice boards. We also feel that the bus routes need to be reworked in some cases.

Subodh Sahay

Survey need of the hour

The CTU bus service is not at all public friendly. Need of the hour is that a survey needs to be done for the needs of a common man, particularly regular travellers. In the City Beautiful, every facility is available, but the administration has planned poorly for a common man’s travel. It is rather surprising that the administration has not bothered to avail the services of Punjab Engineering College, where subject experts with the help of students can give project models for a workable transport action plan, which was specific to the requirements of the city.

It is always important to incorporate the public feedback on the requirements of traffic plans. No plan will have any meaning on ground till the route and timing plan incorporated their feedback.

The project plan needs to be properly evaluated before being put into practice on the roads. Adequate arrangements, including volunteers, need to be put into place for spreading the information about the routes maps and timings. Comprehending the size of the project and target audience, the administration needs to ensure greater care in appointment of the persons dealing with the project implementation. The directors and secretaries are temporary posts. Those among the regular employees need to be more involved in the travel planning and greater responsibility too should be fixed. I will like to say that the factor of responsibility should incorporate the elements of rewards but also punishments on those involved.

SK Aggarwal

Regulate bus services, timings

The CTU buses are surely not public friendly. The Tribune investigation into the matter has rightly highlighted the inconvenience faced by commuters in the City Beautiful. The bus timings are rather erratic. While regular users become habitual, first time users were often at bay in managing their ride from a majority of the places in the city, except ISBTs of Sectors 17 and 43.

With the element of non-reliability on the bus timings, frustrated commuters are forced to use auto rickshaws, which charge at will. There are no timetables at “bus stops” and if there are any the buses do not follow them. Most of the stops are without any shelter, as people have to wait by roadsides in sun and rain. The catch of the situation here is that the buses are not stopping at the designated stops, particularly on the Dakshan Marg. There are no covered stands on the roads dividing Sectors 46-47. Greater efforts need to be made on regulating the timings and services which will have a number of car users shifting to the bus service and contributing towards pollution levels in the city. I agree with the suggestion of Chandigarh Tribune that there should be a “booklet informing public about travel routes”.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Rework on professional conduct

Yes, it is true that CTU is not public friendly. The one who travels outstations, too, face a lot of problems. One just needs to travel by buses going to Delhi and different parts of Punjab to realise what I am saying. Last week, while I was travelling from Hoshiarpur, I signalled the bus (CHOIG-7545), which is coming from Jammu to stop at the bypass. I signalled the bus driver to stop, but he did not stop the bus.

If the bus had too many passengers, I could understand why the bus had not been stopped, but it had room for passengers. The professional conduct of the bus service too needs to be taken care off. Many problems are created not by professional requirements but through personal dealings.

Gurinder Singh

Incorporate public feedback

Chandigarh has a small area (a little more than 100 square kilometres). Except for peak traffic hours on the working days, the city roads are well managed. This has been the biggest reason why a majority of the population did not choose to travel by buses.

Taking a personal vehicle saved a lot of time while travelling small distances. Chandigarh is not like Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata where public transport systems were the spine of public movement.

Add to the fact of public preference of taking private vehicles, inadequacies in CTU timings, too, are no great attractions for shifting public on to the public transport system. The grid system needs to be reworked with minor alterations as per the public demands. On my visit to Seattle (USA) recently, I was impressed with the services of the community bus service. The buses carry information booklets and timings too are followed impressively. The dependability factor makes the bus service a trusted part of a common man’s daily routine.

Col (retd) Dilsher Singh, Chandigarh

Maintain bus stops

The CTU authorities do not care for bus stops. A sizable number of these structures are not well managed. Timetable boards have been covered with advertisements. The sitting arrangements with chairs have gone missing from a number of places. These were stolen.

No one has cared for maintenance of these bus stops. It is suggested that notice boards with correct timings be put up at the earliest and the information booklets too should be provided.

ML Garg, Chandigarh



Reporters' diary
Ms Dhoni in love with City Beautiful

Sakshi Dhoni, who accompanied her husband MS Dhoni, during a match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on April 13, was evidently bowled by the cleanliness of the City Beautiful.

Captain Sushil Kapoor, PCA spokesperson, who met her (Sakshi), said Sakshi was all praises for the city. “What a neat and organised city Chandigarh is. I have heard a lot about it. It’s really one of the best cities in Asia,” said Sakshi. Terming Sakshi as a down-to-earth person, Kapoor said Sakshi was impressed by the hospitality of the residents here, whose love for her husband was evident during the match against Kings XI. “I wish to come here more often,” she added.

Entry gate mystery

Designs of entry gates, from monotonous to designer gates, have been the centre of discussion during the past meetings of the Mohali Council. Since January, the Municipal Corporation has been carved out in Mohali and the civic body has seen three commissioners, but the issue of utilisation of the entry gates still remains unresolved.

Without keeping in mind the location and facilities, the civic body has started replacing the old gates with the new ones. Most of the gates are at such places that it appears to be a joke in the name of security.

Sniffing trouble

Sri Om, a Home Guard constable, was picking vegetables from Ram Durbar’s Kisan Mandi on Tuesday evening when he saw an eight-year-old boy smelling a small bottle. “It was a day off from the duty. But I couldn’t ignore his suspicious actions. I walked upto him and asked him what he was doing. He threw the bottle he was sniffing to satisfy his addiction.” Sri Om dropped the boy at his place. “I am more worried about the problem of young kids sniffing the fluids. The practice is rampant, particularly in labour colonies and I am looking out for more kids in the similar trap, consciously. The issue needs a more serious view, involving officials, parents and also volunteers.”

It’s summer time

‘Summer days are here again’ reminds one of a popular soft drink during the 1980s. The catchy phrase has always been used by the beer guzzlers, particularly when they are enjoying their gulp.

Besides the rush at beer bars, beer lovers often cork the bottle in the open and gulp their drink in the markets, near the beer shops before dumping their empty bottles.

The Tribune photographer Nitin Mittal on Friday had a field day clicking pictures of many persons gulping their drink in various parts of the city. It’s also time for police to redraft their daily duty charts for a better look at the drinking also during the morning hours.

Burning dry leaves

Despite of the possibility of a strong punitive action against violators, the burning of dry leaves and grass continues unabated in various parts of the city. In the name of beautification, the practice of burning of leaves is quite common in the city. Every morning, sweepers and even the most disciplined force ITBP personnel on the Ambala-Chandigarh road don’t lag behind and cause air pollution and create health hazard for local residents by burning dry leaves.

For the past several days, dry leaves and waste matter are being burnt almost daily along the road separating sectors 32 and 33, in Sectors 20, 27 and 29 and other parts of the town.

Municipal corporation workers burning leaves in Sector 29 said they were doing so as per the instructions of their seniors.

Despite having enough power manpower and vehicles to ferry grass, dry leaves, etc. to dumping areas, it was surprising that MC officials had issued such instructions. “The UT Administration should take action against the violators.”

Contributions by: Akash Ghai, Rajmeet Singh, Sanjeev Singh Bariana and Anil Jerath.



Sufi Foundation holds seminar

Chandigarh, April 17
A seminar on the teachings of the late Hazrat Imam Rabbani Mujaddidi Alf-i-Sani and their value in the digital era was organised by the Sufi Foundation India, UMANG Trust and the Mujadaddi Educational Society here today.

The speakers said his teachings were as relevant today as had been during the times of the Mughals. Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest. Among those who spoke were : Dr Nashir Naqvi, Punjabi University, Patiala, Mufti Fuzail-Ur-Rehman Hilal Usmani, Director, Jamia Darus Salom, Malerkotla, Maulana-Ata-ur Rahman Qasm Director, Shah Waliullah Institute, Delhi, Maulana Shaukat Ali Bastvi, Ustad-e Haddis Dar-ul-Deoband, and Mufti Mushtaq Tajarvi, Jamia Millia University. The keynote address was delivered by Prof Akhter ul vasey, Islamic Jamia Milia University. — TNS



Staging of play postponed
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 17
The staging of Hindi play “Bhikshu aur Ganika” (the courtesan and the monk) scheduled for tomorrow at the Tagore Theatre has been postponed as per its director, Dr Rani Balbir Kaur.

She disclosed that the play based on a seventh century Sanskrit text “Bhagwat Ajjuke” will be presented as a part of the Festival of World Classics being organised by the Chandigarh administration in May.

The play weaved from mythological orientations with modern sensibility by thespian Nemi Chandra Jain is about a courtesan and a monk whose souls are exchanged accidentally by a yamdoot. However, a few shows of the play are likely to be staged shortly at Ludhiana, Amritsar and other places, adds thespian Rani Balbir.



Emphasis on participation of welfare bodies

Chandigarh, April 17
The annual general body meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) was held under the chairmanship of PC Sanghi here today. The meeting was attended by 170 representatives of 54 different resident welfare associations/societies.

Sanghi welcomed Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and PK Srivastava, IGP, who were chief guest and guest of honour, respectively.

Bansal, while releasing the FOSWAC souvenir, said for good governance, greater participation of resident welfare associations was essential. He expressed his satisfaction that the federation had assumed the role of an interface between the residents and the various wings of the Chandigarh Administration to meet the pending demands of various associations. — TNS



Powermen to go on strike tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Employees of the electricity department here are set to observe two-hour token strike on April 19. The strike is being observed in support of the pending demands of the electricity employees and against the Chandigarh Administration.

According to a press note issued here today, the main demands of the employees included implementation of the financial circular regarding enhancement of grade pay, local outdoor duty allowance, shift duty allowance, electricity concession, increment on promotion, removal of pay anomalies between the pay of senior and junior employees pending since six years, amendments to rules particularly in the cadre of junior engineer, which is pending for the past seven years, offer of appointment to the next kin of deceased employees by scrapping five per cent ceiling and filling up the 550 vacant posts lying vacant in the department.

As a part of the agitation, a rally will be held near the electricity office at Sector 18, Chandigarh, from 10 am to 12 noon, the press note added.



280 conferred degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
As many as 280 students were conferred with degrees at the convocation function of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, here today. Twelve students were awarded the golden certificates of merit and 15 were given certificates of merit for excellence in academics.

College toppers, Mankirat Kaur and Geeta Rani of BA III, and Preeti and Tanika of BCom III were awarded scholarships.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Science and Technology, was the chief guest. Principal, Dr Meera Modi welcomed dignitaries and read out the college annual report highlighting the achievements of the college in both academic and non-academic fields.

Pawan Kumar Bansal emphasised on the significance of education in building a holistic personality and motivated the students to continue their endeavours in reaching the pinnacle of success in their chosen field. Satyawati, chairperson, too, spoke on inculcating ethics in personal life for their impact in professional dealings.



Philanthropist Kanta Saroop honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Kanta Saroop Krishen, a founder member Rotary and Blood Bank Society, was presented HD Shourie Memorial Award for her contribution in the movement of voluntary blood donation.

The award instituted by the Federation of Blood Donor Organisations of India (FBDOI) was presented to the veteran philanthropist by Nalini Singh, daughter of HD Shourie and a noted TV personality, at a solemn and impressive ceremony held at the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Sector 37, here today.

The citation of Kanta Saroop Krishen read, “Her efforts gave the movement a national status under the banner of the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology (ISBTI), which she founded and nurtured as honorary secretary general for 24 years. The landmark Supreme Court judgment, which led to the adoption of the national blood policy and formation of the National Blood Transfusion Council were also initiated by her perseverance. The Federation of Blood Donor Organisations of India salutes her.”

An emotional Kanta Saroop Krishen thanked FBDOI and Nalini Singh for the honour bestowed on her and stated that the real credit went to hundreds of volunteers who made the dream of a strong and organised voluntary blood donation movement a reality. “There are still some areas where commercial blood donation is still on and I hope this will also be flushed out soon,” she said.



Experts dwell on growth of India, China
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 17
A seminar on the “Impact of growth of India and China on world economy” was held at Manohar Singh Majithia Auditorium, Sector 71, here today. The seminar was hosted by Balraj Singh Shergill, president of the Friends of China Association.

Dr Harbans Singh Sidhu, former chairman, Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, in his keynote address said, “With the mutual cooperation of India and China, they can make this world a better place to live for the mankind. With less than 10 per cent of the total cultivable area of the world, these two countries are already feeding nearly 36 per cent of the global population. Both countries are opposed to non-economic issues like human rights and child labour being brought into international platforms.”

Dong Sanjun, deputy general manager, Sinosteel India Private Limited, said the general cargo trade dominated the trade between European Union and China and India, while service trade only accounts for 4 per cent of the total trade in service. It is pointed out that China and India may promote to diversify the foreign exchange reserves, which may lead to the appreciation of the Euro against the US Dollar.

Ravinder Gosain, general manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, said China and India enjoyed their own advantages, sharing economic complementarities, which brought vast prospects to the bilateral cooperation.

Zhang Yue, the Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Peoples’ Republic of China, laid emphasis on the agriculture of both countries, mentioning Punjab to be the central state between India and China.

Chief guest Sucha Singh Langah, Punjab Agricultural Minister, applauded the efforts made by this association, which was initiated in 1952.



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