C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


After Tao, Armed attack at Voodoo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Armed assailants stuck at Voodoo Lounge and Bar at Sector 26 here in the wee hours today and allegedly fired gunshots in air in a bid to attack a bouncer working with another lounge.

The glass door at the entrance to Voodoo was broken and the staff at the discotheque were left terrified after the attack, that lasted 10 minutes.

The incident occurred barely few metres away from Tao discotheque, where 15 assailants created a ruckus on September 24, smashing property. They had come armed with swords.

The police was clueless about the identity of the accused till the time of filing of this report. The Endeavour car used in the incident did not carry a number plate.

The police has registered a case of criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt and under sections of the Arms Act at the Sector-26 police station.

Though the staff and eyewitnesses told the police that the assailants fired at them, the police was yet to confirm whether gunshots were fired. The CFSL report was still awaited.

The incident occurred at 2:30 am when Sahil, a bouncer working with a lounge at Sector 9, came to Voodoo on his motorcycle to pick his friend Kamal Sharma, a bouncer with Voodoo.

Eyewitnesses said Kamal was waiting outside Voodoo when Sahil stopped his motorcycle there. Five unidentified assailants in a white Endeavour car, who were following Sahil from Sector 9, launched an attack.

The youths started to beat them up. When they retaliated, one of the assailants pulled out a gun and allegedly fired at him. Sahil and Kamal ran for their life when the attackers damaged the glass door.

The staff at Voodoo rushed outside when they heard the gunshots and the sound of glass getting broken. The assailants fled and two of them returned after a few minutes with masked faces. They again fired some gunshots and fled.

The police said it could be an incident of road rage or a case of prior enmity of the bouncers with the youths that led to the attack.



Of lawless owners and toothless cops
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Despite the tall claims of the Chandigarh Police in regulating late-night dance bars, these are functioning well beyond the permitted time limit of 2 am on weekends and 1 am on weekdays.

The armed attack outside Voodoo, more than half an hour beyond the permitted hours, lay bare the tall claims of the police in stepping up security outside discotheques in the city.

More importantly, the estate office had sealed the basement of the dance bar recently. Currently, a part of the dining area was being used as the dance floor.

After the clash at Tao on September 24, senior police officials had issued instructions to depute a

PCR outside all discotheques in the city and to regulate timings of discotheques found open after 2 am on weekends.

Yet, the police seemed to have learnt no lesson as no PCR vehicle was in sight when the attack took place outside Voodoo. This was the third incident of ruckus at a discotheque at late-night hours on a Saturday within a month.

While a UT inspector was suspended for creating a ruckus at Scores in Sector 8 on September 17, a son of an industrialist was among four injured when assailants stuck at Tao discotheque in Sector 26 on September 24.

With such incidents becoming increasingly common, the police seemed to be in deep slumber about the safety of the youth outside discotheques.

Moreover, discotheque owners were flouting norms and were not closing down at the prescribed timings. As per orders of the magistrate, these were supposed to be shut at 2 am on weekends, but were open well past the time limit, under the nose of the police.

This time, too, Voodoo was yet to down shutters when the incident took place. Deputy Superintendent of Police (PCR) Roshan Lal said there were 11 discotheques in the city and a PCR vehicle each was deputed outside all these.

“The PCR was stationed at Sector 26 and was near the President Hotel when the incident occurred. They reached the spot on time,” he said.



Three MC employees get one-year jail term
Had abused their colleague-cum-neighbour and vandalised his house in 2000
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 9
A senior clerk and two drivers with the Mohali municipal corporation (MC) have been sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by Chief Judicial Magistrate Ajaib Singh after being held guilty in a 10-year-old case of criminal intimidation and trespass. A fine of Rs 15,000 each has also been imposed on them.

The complainant, who was a senior assistant with the MC, and the accused were then living at the Municipal Corporation Housing Complex in Phase 5 here.

The case dated back to June 29, 2000, when the police registered a case under Sections 427, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Amrit Lal.

He had reported that Dilwar and Nirmal Singh, both drivers, placed a drum of wheat in front of the staircase leading to his house.

He had added that when he objected to it, they started abusing him and Avtar Singh Kalsia, a senior clerk, who lived in the colony, joined them and said he wanted to take revenge.

The matter was reported to the police, but to no avail. On July 1, 2000, the three accused, along with four unidentified persons, trespassed on the house of the complainant, and started breaking household items.

Residents of the locality came to the rescue of the complainant and his wife, forcing them to leave the spot. When the police did not register a case, the complainant approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

An inquiry was conducted by the then Superintendent of Police (Detective), Ropar, Jagdish Singh Kahlon. On the basis of the inquiry report, a case had been registered at the Phase-I police station and the accused arrested.



Floor-wise buy finds few takers
HUDA scheme lacks clarity on terms and conditions
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 9
The ambitious scheme of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to allow floor-wise ownership of property has evoked a lukewarm response in the wake of the lack of clarity on the terms and conditions. In fact, only four persons have availed themselves of the scheme in the past over two years.

The scheme was launched with much fanfare and it was expected that a large section of the middle-income group would benefit from it. The Haryana government had allowed floor-wise ownership keeping in view the steep rise in land prices over the years, which had made it difficult for the common man to own an independent house.

Observers in the real estate business said technical issues like top floors having less covered area than those below and insufficient parking space had prevented people from opting for floor-wise registration.

HUDA never made any effort to popularise the scheme. Haryana State Property Dealers Association president Suresh Agarwal said had HUDA taken care of various deficiencies, the scheme could have been a success.

He argued the floor area ratio in Panchkula should be allowed at a par with Chandigarh. “End users are not interested in purchasing third floors because there is no parking space for them,” he stated.

HUDA estate officer Ashwini Sharma claimed that there was technical hitch in the software for floor-wise registration, but that was taken care of. He added that HUDA would hold a meeting with the association to sort out the issue.

How to go about it

According to information available, owners having their premises according to building plans and having clearance from the competent authorities will be eligible for floor-wise ownership.Those who have paid the full price for their plots to HUDA and have no dues will be able to apply for separate registration. Each independent floor will be entitled to separate utility connections such as water supply and electricity. An increase in maximum permissible floor area ratio will not be allowed.



Dragon eating into Kinnaur apple pie
Uncle Sam following suit
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Apple from Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh is facing stiff competition from its counterpart being imported from China.

With the festive season on, red apple from China is fast eating into the market share of its Indian counterpart due to the same retail price.

Also making a mark at the Sector-26 market, second in size in the region after the Azadpur mandi in Delhi, are apples being imported from the USA, Chile and New Zealand.

As a result, consumers preferring the red Kinnauri apple have switched to imported varieties, that are being sold for between Rs 120 and Rs 150 per kg.

“At least 50 cases of imported apple are being sold by retailers at Sector 26 everyday,” says Kanwal Mahajan, a wholesale dealer.

The demand for imported apple is expected to rise further after the season of the Indian variety is over in the next couple of weeks.

Apples coming from the USA and China have captured an 84 per cent share of the total apple being imported, with the rest coming from Chile and New Zealand.

“The main reason behind the popularity of imported apple is the narrow price gap between good-quality local apple and the imported variety,” says Dinesh, a retailer at the Sector-26 fruit market.

“Apple from Kinnaur is being sold for at least Rs 120 per kg and that from China is available at the same price. Apple from the USA, is priced a little higher at Rs 150 a kg,” he adds.

While the red delicious variety from the USA is in high demand, other varieties like golden delicious, and the green Granny Smith are also in demand, he further says.

India is considered an important and growing market for apple, says Rachna Sharma of the SCS group, a representative of the Washington Apple Commission in India.

India imported 98,895 metric tonnes of apple in 2009-10, valued at $91.82 million, in 2009-10. This shows an increase of 27.82 per cent in terms of value, from $72.08 million in 2008-09, and of 38.89 per cent in terms of volume, from 71,203 metric tonnes, she adds.

Apple used to be a winter fruit for most Indians till the 1990s, but had now become a fruit for all seasons. Due to health benefits, Indians are buying and consuming apple throughout the year, she further says.


Splurging this festive season
As city residents are dabbling with their pockets for festive-season expenditure this October, Chandigarh Tribune correspondents Rajinder Nagarkoti and Amit Sharma took a round of different areas in the city to understand the household economy of different segments of the city population.
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
There were days, when much before the festive season, people started whitewashing their houses. Doing away with many old festival-related activities, even till date celebrations begin about a month before the festival season reaches its crescendo on Divali night. Women dig out their best bedsheets and curtains from cupboards and also light houses with coloured candles shopped from the neighbourhood stores. A rare burst of a loud cracker can be heard resounding in the city airs late in the evenings.

As the month of October has a series of festivals lined up, this year, a majority of the local residents interviewed by the Chandigarh Tribune team for their festival season plans said they were drawing a detailed schedule keeping in mind their monthly expenditure. A few gave their expenditure figures and those, too, “hesitantly”.

A number of festivals, this year, has led to a situation, where an average family is spending not less than four times the normal monthly expenditure. Neelam Matharu, a resident of Sector 22, said, “A middle class family, averagely, would spent between Rs 5,000 and 10,000 on Karwa Chauth, which included expenditure on mehandi, saree and suits, food items and jewellery. A family would, averagely spend between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 on Dhanteras in purchasing jewellery, utensils and related items.”

Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Sector 38(West) said, “On an average, a middle class family spends a little over Rs 30,000 on crackers, clothes, sweets and gifts and purchasing household goods. This group in no way includes the high-end group, where expenditure may run into lakhs. The colours of their cash are visible on the roads and even in sound of special crackers they used during the festivals. A package of crackers could cost more than Rs 10,000. ”

Navratras and Dasehra have concluded, however, the list of festivals would continue with-Karwa Chauth, Dhanteras, Divali and Bhai Duj. Navdeep Singh, a Sector-43 resident, said, “Not just because of the festive season, even the general purchase power of the public has increased over the years. In a changed market scenario, public does not keep its purse too tight. People now like to spend. An increase in avenues for public spending, too, has led to more cash flow in the markets.”

Shiv Singh, area manager in a nationalised bank, said his salary, including perks, was around Rs 80,000. Still, in order to manage my expenses, I started planning at least five months in advance. I am aware that there will be lots of shopping in the festive season for kids, wife and relatives. Therefore, I started saving in advance. I know my budget is not going to be less than Rs 1 lakh this month.” Shiv Singh added.

Echoing a similar view an industrialist, Rakesh Dhiman, said during festive season, there is a culture of giving gifts to relatives and clients which eats a large chuck of one’s savings.

Regarding other expenses, he said mehandi on Karwa Chauth, purchasing of jewellery and utensils on Dhanteras, crackers on Divali are a few other expenses, which nobody could avoid.

There are families, who purchase jewellery, clothes and other household items, only in October for the marriage of their near and dears ones. Sandeep Sharma, a banker, said he purchased each and every item for his daughter’s marriage during Navratras.

He added that to purchase wedding items, Navratras are considered to be auspicious, therefore, he purchased all wedding items in October.



Traders make hay as business booms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Festive season not only brings smile on the faces of people, but also traders dealing in various items such as jewellery and gifts make hay. The sale of products as compared to other months is high during these days due to Navratras, Karwa Chauth, Dhanteras and Divali falling together.

The traders believe the same and always look-up to the festive season to make huge business. Going by the business details, on ground, this year is no exception.

Vinod Verma, who has master franchisee of Zaira Diamonds in Sector 17, said, “October is an auspicious month, with too many festivals, that are considered best for shopping. Naturally, it takes our business high. “I have observed that people wait for these days, specifically, to shop. As compared to other months, we witness 30 per cent to 40 per cent rise in business during Navratras and Divali,” he said.

The same trend of sales has been observed in the automobile industry. According to Pardeep Sheoran, manager, sales, Auto Pace, said, “The sale of cars shoots up during festive season. “On an average, we sell five to seven cars everyday, however, on Dhanteras we are expected to deliver around 75 cars in a single day. The sales were equally high during Navratras when we sold around 160 cars in eight days,” Sheoran stock of cars expecting huge sales.

The sales of gift items also go up during the festive season and huge rush is witnessed at gift shops as compared to other months.

BS Gulati, owner of Archies gift shop, Sector 17, said, “It’s the best time for traders selling gift items. “The business of special gift items starts rising after Sharads and near Divali its at peak. After Valentines, it’s Divali when we record maximum sale of gift items. The business almost doubles during these days,” Gulati added.

A manager at a leading chains of sweet and dairy product based in Chandigarh on condition of anonymity said the sale of sweets and gift packs on each day was more then what they usually sold in 15 days. “During festive season, there is huge business of sweets and packed gifts with all festivals falling together,” he added without giving any specific figures.



MC Ward Woes
Poor water supply, bad roads and the stink

Waterlogged and potholed roads of Dadu Majra village reflect the absence of civic amenities in ward No. 6 of the Chandigarh municipal corporation
Waterlogged and potholed roads of Dadu Majra village reflect the absence of civic amenities in ward No. 6 of the Chandigarh municipal corporation. Tribune photos:
Pradeep Tewari

Ward No. 6, which comprises Dadu Majra, Dadu Majra colony and Shahpur was proposed to be developed as the “model village” of the city but it has ended up becoming a “model garbage dump”. Unpleasant odour emanating from the dumping ground, poor water supply, bad condition of roads and blocked sewerage are only a few “gifts” given by the authorities to the residents of the ward during the past five years.

Civil dispensary

The civil dispensary at Dadu Majra has been running headless for the past eight months, as the MC has failed to appoint regular staff there. After protests by residents, the MC appointed a doctor on optional day duty. However, regular staff is yet to be deployed by the authorities. Even though the ward has a dispensary, the residents have to go to the adjoining sectors for healthcare. Quacks have also mushroomed in the area.

Dumping ground

In the past eight years, the authorities have failed to come up with a fool-proof solution to the dumping ground problem. In fact, the tall claims of MC officials in containing the foul smell emanating from the dumping ground and garbage plant, located in the centre of the ward, fell flat this year after a committee was constituted to look into the cause of the smell. The residents have been getting false assurances from the authorities about finding an end to the problem.


The ward that takes care of Chandigarh’s garbage to make it one of the cleanest cities is itself crying for proper sanitation. As the sweeper and door-to-door garbage collection services are not regular in the area, the disposal of garbage of the area is not proper.

Internal parks

Though internal parks have been beautified by laying paver blocks and joggers’ path, there is nobody to look after these. The parks are dotted with bushes and shrubs. There is no one to mow the grass or remove the weeds in the 64 internal parks of the ward. As a result, stray dogs have taken over these facilities.

Streetlights and roads

The top layer of the roads, re-carpeted last year, has been washed away during the rainy season. A majority of roads that were re-carpeted are in bad shape as they are riddled with potholes. Most of the road gullies are either broken or choked with garbage. Even the condition of streetlights in the area is not good. Streetlights in some lanes have not worked for years.

Water supply

With the municipal corporation failing to meet even the basic requirements of residents of Dadu Majra village, they have been left with no option but to make do with the meager water supply in their area on a day-to-day basis. Even though water pipelines have been laid to supply fresh water from the Kajauli waterworks, the pressure is often low. Complaints have been made to the authorities in this regard but to no avail.

Blocked sewers

It was a major relief for the residents of Dadu Majra when they got an underground sewer system in their area. But to their dismay, the sewer system remains blocked most of the times. The MC officials have failed to take note of the problem.



Mc elections
Political scene hots up, already!
Aspirants resort to lobbying, show of strength for ticket
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The political scene for the elections to the Chandigarh municipal corporation, slated for December, has hotted up already. Though the Election Commission for Delhi and the UT are yet to hold the draw of lots for the reservation of wards for women candidates, lobbying by prospective candidates has already begun.

Sources said certain sitting councillors and prospective candidates were already resorting to shows of strength by mobilising crowds on such occasions as recently-concluded Dasehra festival celebrations. In fact, certain ticket-seekers are already in touch with the party top brass with a view to influencing them in the selection of the tickets.

However, the party leadership will have a tough time accommodating all ticket aspirants in the wake of the fact that the elections are being held without any delimitation of the 26 wards.

What may prove to be a Herculean task for the political parties, particularly the Opposition BJP, is the “rehabilitation” of the five sitting councillors, whose wards have been reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates.

Recently, the UT administration reserved ward No. 12, 13, 19, 20 and 24 for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates.

Congress councillor Kuldip Singh represents ward No. 12, comprising Sectors 43 and 61, LIG and EWS Colonies in Sector 52 and Kajheri village.

The BJP councillors who will have to shift to other wards include Sarita Devi (ward No. 19, comprising Sector 26 and Bapu Dham), Raj Kumari Mishra (ward No. 20, comprising Sector 29, Industrial Area, Phase I, Sanjay Colony and Colony No. 4) and Anil Dubey (ward No. 24, which includes areas of Mauli Jagran Complex, Bhagat Singh Colony, Vikas Nagar, Ambedkar Colony and Shivalik Enclave).

The only BSP councillor, Ram Sumer Morya’s, ward (No 13, comprising Sectors 49, 50, 51, Colony No. 5, Nizampur Kumbra and Sector 63) has also been reserved for the SC candidate.

While these councillors will have to look for “safer” wards to contest the elections, the reservation of the wards for women, which is yet to be decided, will pose another challenge for the political parties.

While the spectre of anti-incumbency stares in the face of the ruling Congress, the party is banking on the development carried out during its regime in the city.

Herculean task

With the UT administration reserving ward Nos. 12, 13, 19, 20 and 24 for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates, the “rehabilitation” of five sitting councillors, whose wards have been reserved, may prove to be a Herculean task for the political parties, particularly the BJP.



Rocking end to CCA celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh College of Architecture concluded today with a panel discussion on ‘Relevance of Vernacular Architecture in today's era’ followed by a presentation by a Spanish architect and a rock band performance.

The day started with a panel discussion on "Relevance of Vernacular Architecture in today's era". Panelists, including architects like Prof Neelkanth Chhaya, Dean, faculty of architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, French-Canadian architect Dominic Dube and Manu Bhatnagar. The evening saw a mesmerising performance by the famous band-Indian Ocean on the college campus.




Talk on J&K

The integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India is full and final, but Indians are paying the price of the fallout of Jawaharlal Nehru’s Himalayan blunder of keeping it out of India’s jurisdiction. This was stated by Anil Kumar Sharma, former senior executive, Punjab Tractors, in a talk organised at the Government College of Art by the First Friday Forum on Saturday. Demanding the abrogation of the divisive Article 370 of the Constitution, he claimed that Kashmir found mention in the Puranas and was an integral part of India. Independence brought to the forefront Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, who had British patronage and Nehru’s support, which ultimately became the base for the cancerous Kashmir problem, he stated.

Conference ends

SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh circle, on Sunday presided over the concluding session of a three-day conference organised by SSCMUN11. He appreciated the role being played by the group in creating and developing the ability to locate, discuss and negotiate serious political and existential issues being faced by the world and in inculcating the habit of a healthy debate among high school students. With the participation of 124 delegates from nine cities, SSCMUN11 was St Stephen’s School’s first-ever venture in hosting a model United Nations conference, with the aim to bring to the fore issues endangering the peaceful existence of the world. It aimed at educating the youth and students about the United Nations. About 60,000 high schools and colleges took part in the programme.

Research paper

Dr Monika Aggarwal, assistant professor in commerce with the Government Postgraduate College at Sector 1 in Panchkula, presented a research paper at the World Business, Economics and Finance Conference in Bangkok recently. She presented a paper on “Growth and performance of Indian nanking sector Pre- and post-WTO period”. Eightythree delegates from 25 countries participated in it.

Students’ trip

s a part of industry-institute interaction, the Aryans College of Engineering organised an industrial visit to the RMC plant of ACC Limited. Students visited various department of the company, including manufacturing, IT, marketing, human resources, research and development and finance. Around 100 civil and mechanical engineering students participated in the visit. Hardeep Singh Gill, plant manager, Nardeep Guleria, assistant marketing manager, Ajay Kumar Yadav, senior tech officer, and Shaibanhish Hussain, assistant sales and marketing manager, interacted with the students.

PU youth fest

Panjab University will organise the Panjab University Chandigarh Zone-A Youth and Heritage Festival 2011 from October 20 to 23 on the campus. The festival will have diverse competitions like dance, debate, elocution and dramatics and see participation from around 15 colleges in the city.

Senior Citizens’ Day observed

Senior Citizens’ Day was observed enthusiastically by the Mohali Senior Citizens Association in collaboration with the Mohali district social security department at the auditorium of Shivalik Public School in Phase VI here. The function started with a cultural programme. The main attraction was ‘Dandiya’ by a troupe from the Gujarat Mandal. Swami Ramtirth Cultural Centre presented a group song on national integration. Awards were given to DS Bedi, Kirpal Singh Chugh, Swaran Singh, Jatinder Singh, Jaswant Singh Bedi, Mohinder Kaur and Bhupinder Singh. Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, director, social security, women and child development, Punjab, was the chief guest.

‘Gatka’ course

The Gatka Federation of India will conduct a three-day national refresher course-cum workshop from October 14 at Mohali to train officials for upcoming competitions. Sixty men and women from more than 12 states will participate in it. Federation president Harcharan Singh Bhullar said they intended to organise amateur competitions from the village level to the international level. Federation general secretary Harjeet Singh Grewal said experts would deliver lectures through video presentations.

Founder’s Day

Vivek High School celebrated its fifth Founder’s Day on Sunday. Students of all four sections of class III gave a presentation on stage. Every child was given a chance to showcase skill. They gyrated to exhilarating Arab tunes in all their finery.

Candle march

esidents of Sectors 25 to 28 took out a candle march from the community centre at Sector 25 to the one at Sector 26 on Sunday. They were protesting against the imposition of enhancement fee for plots allotted to them by HUDA. The protesters raised slogans against the HUDA management and the state government.

Tribune Reporters



Good news for PU woman staff

Chandigarh, October 9
There’s something to cheer for both teaching and non-teaching female staff of Panjab University (PU) as the Syndicate in its meeting on Sunday approved the long-pending demand of medical reimbursement to wards of female employees at par with their male counterparts.

The Syndicate also approved the demand of the employees to increase earned leaves from 240 to 300. Earlier, the PU authorities had decreased the number of earned leaves from 300 to 240, however, their decision invited flak from the teacher fraternity.

The Syndicate constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Dean, University Instructions (DUI), BS Brar regarding the pending promotions of PU teachers under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) of the University Grants Commission (UGC). “There are certain ambiguities regarding CAS like the calculation of academic performance indicators (API) following which the committee was formed and it would submit its report on Monday,” said a Syndic.

While the meeting was held in the morning, the committee held its meeting in the evening. — TNS



Price hike making dent in common man’s pocket

It is true that the share market is rapidly crashing, but the prices of all commodities are going through the roof in India. The common man is not concerned about the rise or fall of the Sensex. It is only speculators or gamblers who are the worst affected.

The aam aadmi is surely affected with the rise in prices of articles of daily use. The middle class does it still well, but poor people find it really hard to pull on their daily lives with prices of all essential commodities rising beyond their reach. The salaried class is not affected much on account of the high prices as they get two DA instalments every year due to the rising price index. Moreover, salaries of government and even public sector employees have risen to a handsome amount on account of the recent revised pay scales.

The rapidly increasing prices of essential commodities can be attributed to the increase in the petrol and diesel prices due to which the transportation charges have gone up.

The government must keep a check on the petrol and diesel prices so that items of daily use do not become dearer with each passing day.

R K Kapoor, Sector 46-C, Chandigarh

‘Public distribution system needs a revamp’

I think India's grit to reign in the inflation has gone off with the household expenditure going as high as to enervate the family making feel that there is no government worth the name to rescue people with meagre income, especially the salaried class.

The pelf collected by virtue of corruption has spread its tentacles all around and the corrupt have begun to invest in the same gold which remained under control for years together since the nineties of last century when economic liberation set in motion. There is no dearth of food grains but people are dying of hunger, malnutrition and undernourishment. There is no dearth of teachers and doctors but schools and hospital are empty of the experts. There is no dearth of legislations, but due to non-implementation, there is mockery of laws and legislations and rule of jungle prevails.

The shine and glamour of modern gadgets have lured the ordinary men to go to loans the repayment of which makes living difficult. The government should cut expenditure, downsize size, stop unnecessary foreign jaunts, revamp the public distribution system to plug loopholes of leakages, and strongly tighten control over various welfare schemes so that the money is not squandered by the dishonest and greedy people.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali

Govt should hike salary

I find myself in a very piquant situation in handling my household affairs in my salary which has seen a considerable rise over the past few years. Even with a cash of Rs 35,000 shown as my payment out of the total monthly salary, each month after deductions, I am finding it very difficult to manage despite having a decent rank at a private bank.

Chandigarh is a an expensive city particularly for those who don't have their own houses. I am paying instalments for my car, my fridge, my air-conditioner and even on my mobile set. After the monthly deductions, I am left with less than half the amount of my salary to manage my kitchen and also my house rent. There are hundreds of families in my category undergoing the same turmoil everyday.

Rising cost of vegetable and other kitchen products and family expenses has made it impossible to make any savings. Government employees, including teachers, have seen a considerable rise in their salary slips. The government needs to ensure a mechanism to ensure a similar change in salary slips of those employed with private organisations.

Shraddha Anand, Sector 16, Chandigarh

Public should think of alternatives

Instead of asking the government to intervene and find a magical solution to the rising prices, the public should think of certain alternatives to meet the current crises. With the fuel prices shooting through the roof, one should make use of public transport for going to offices and markets.

Making use of the public transport is a very practical proposition in a city like Chandigarh. The distances are small and roads are excellent. Coupled with the rising number of vehicles on the city roads and burgeoning parking all over the city, adopting public transport system has many benefits worth consideration.

The issue of rising vegetable prices is a complex issue. The government has to ensure proper pricing for markets. They are planting lesser than required vegetables and depending on the market conditions. The Centre seems to be caught up more in saving its face after being trapped in a quagmire of recent incidents of corruption than thinking about any public grievance at the moment.

Rohit Aggrawal, Sector 19, Chandigarh

Increase in number of vehicles adds to woes

The petrol prices have doubled. The monthly instalment for the flat that I purchased has increased on the loan repayment schedule. Pulses, spices and vegetables are so expensive. I feel very bad when at times I am not able to buy fruits. Things are no different for hundreds of middle wrung officials in my scale.

I am sure my children, too, want to go for shopping and buy fancy stuff for themselves, but they never complain about it. They know their father cannot afford it.

At the same time it is worthwhile to mention that despite a scenario of a tight pocket, markets tell a totally different story. I am sure that a majority of the city population belongs to my category of slightly upper middle class. Despite soaring fuel prices, the number of cars is ever increasing. People fancy for "vanity numbers" shows that they have huge sums to spare for show-off. The malls, particularly the venues of entertainment there, are doing a good business. I think the availability of credit amounts for different purchases by banks have altered the entire economics of an Indian household, particularly in cities.

Sanjiv Ranjan, Sector 2, Panchkula

Rollback in fuel prices needed

New-liberal polices are responsible for the miserable plight of people. Sensex first compiled in 1986, was calculated on a "Market Capitalisation-Weighted" methodology of 30 component stocks representing large, well-established and financially sound companies across key sectors. The base year of Sensex was taken as 1978-79. Today it is widely reported in both domestic and international markets through print as well as electronic media. One can identify the booms and busts of the Indian equity market through Sensex.

Recently, the world stock exchange went into a tailspin. Reflecting this, major banks world over saw biggest declines in their stocks. Our own stock exchanges BSE and Nifty which is considered as barometer for the Indian economy saw declines during these days. These developments have virtually generated panic with the investor’s governments and policy framers. Recently, the Sensex in India lost about Rs 4 lakh crore. This has created an alarming situation in the country.

In view of this scenario and ever since the presentation of budget for the year 2010-11, there has been a spurt in the prices of essential commodities like pulses, edible oils, flour and sugar which has started hitting the commoners badly. Gold, which is the key factor for the economy, has been hovering around Rs 27,000 per 10 gm. It is virtually beyond the capacity of the common man to buy. The fall in the rupee versus the dollar has caused prices to remain high. GDP estimates are facing ups and down.

Apart from universalising the public distribution system and releasing the excess stock of foodgrains held by the Union government, these two specific measures of a ban on speculative trading and the rollback of hikes in the prices of petroleum products are absolutely essential to contain this run-away price rise and provide relief to the people. This would certainly protect the aam admi from being battered by greater economic burdens.

SK Khosla, Sector 40-C, Chandigarh



Phase I revisited — Situation still the same
Authorities did nothing to repair potholed roads and remove heaps of garbage
Kulwinder Sangha

A potholed road at Phase I in Mohali. Despite highlighting the issue in these columns, nothing has been done so far; and (right) Garbage dumped along a road. One can see litter strewn everywhere in the area
A potholed road at Phase I in Mohali. Despite highlighting the issue in these columns, nothing has been done so far; and (right) Garbage dumped along a road. One can see litter strewn everywhere in the area. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan
Stray cattle bask under the sun at a park
Stray cattle bask under the sun at a park
Apart from drying clothes in parks, residents park vehicles
Apart from drying clothes in parks, residents park vehicles 
in green belts as there are no parking lots

Mohali, October 9
Potholed roads, unkempt parks, heaps of garbage and stray animals still greet visitors to Phase I of Mohali. Nothing much has changed after the state of basic amenities was highlighted in these columns in August.

Garbage was today seen lying in market areas and unhygienic conditions prevailed along the main road near the office of Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd.

Parks are not only in a state of neglect, but are also being misused by residents. People are using green areas to dry their clothes and park their cars. Some roads have deep potholes which can lead to accidents.

Residents face a lot of traffic congestion on the road connecting Franco hotel and district administrative complex. Cars are parked on the roadside due to shortage of parking space.

Manjeet Kaur, former municipal councillor, said a minor change was noticed when the problems of residents were highlighted. The officials concerned became active for a few days.

She said sanitation was in a state of neglect. Garbage was not lifted from near the power corporation’s office. She had to request contractor or safai sewaks to clean up certain localities. The sewerage system was also not functioning properly. She had got some sewer lines cleaned up after requesting the authorities concerned, but many other areas also needed to be cleaned up.

Vijay Kumar Gupta, executive officer of the Mohali municipal corporation, said safai sewaks, who collected garbage from houses, had been on a strike for the past four days and were obstructing sanitation work in the town. He said the problem of stray cattle could only be solved after constructing a gaushala. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had agreed in principle to give land for a gaushala.



Consumer Forum
Housing finance firm fined Rs 5,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Dewan Housing Corporation Limited (DHFL) to pay Rs 5,000 in compensation, including the costs of litigation, to a Sector-33 resident for its failure to disburse a loan for the purchase of a plot.

The complainant, Ashwani Kumar, averred that he had approached the opposite party to avail of a loan of Rs 6 lakh with a view to purchasing a 10-marla plot at Kurali and paid Rs 2,758 towards the processing fee.

After verification, he was informed that he would have to take a policy of ICICI Prudential Insurance equivalent to the amount of the loan if he wished to get the loan sanctioned. A sum of Rs 51,126 was calculated as the premium for the policy. The complainant agreed as he was in dire need of finances. Subsequently, the loan amount was increased to Rs 6,51,126.

He received a letter of offer-cum-acceptance on January 17, 2011 stating that the opposite party had sanctioned the loan of Rs 6,51,126 and that he had to deposit the balance processing fee along with a signed copy of the offer-cum-acceptance letter.

The next day he approached the opposite party for the payment of the balance-processing fee and the disbursal of the loan amount but was informed that his loan couldn’t be disbursed. In spite of his repeated efforts, the opposite party failed to disburse the loan or accord explanation for the same. The counsel for the opposite party asserted that after the sanctioning of the loan, the complainant was supposed to hand over the detailed property documents to the opposite party, but he failed to do so. In the absence of which, the question of disbursement of the loan amount to the complainant could not arise.

It was asserted that on receipt of a legal notice, the complainant was informed to submit the property papers but he never approached the opposite party. He instead filed a complaint before the forum. The forum while directing the opposite party to refund the processing fee of Rs 2,758, observed that the disbursement of loan was within the discretion of the bank. So, the court could not interfere in the disbursement of the loan, as it was the prerogative of the financial institution.



CTU conductor’s death
Widow cries foul
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 9
Harpal Kaur, wife of Roshan Ali, a former conductor in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), whose body was found floating in a pond in Tripadi, Kharar, has complained to the Punjab Human Rights Commission that the police was hand in glove with the suspects who had poisoned her husband to death.

She pointed out that after the death of her husband, the police termed the incident as a routine death, whereas the viscera report pointed out that the death had occurred due to the presence of chloro compound in the liquor consumed by him. She said her husband was made to drink liquor laced with poison. She alleged that the police was trying to hush up the matter.

“The victim, who was close to certain a senior Congress leader was done to death to hush up some facts,” she claimed. It has been over a year since the SSP wrote to the Civil Surgeon regarding the cause of death of her husband, but nothing has come out. The case is listed for tomorrow before the commission.



Day 5 of safai workers’ strike
No respite as garbage piles swell
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 9
With the strike by safai workers entering its fifth day today, heaps of garbage remained piled up all around the town, making the living conditions for residents from bad to worse.

Unable to bear the filth and stench, the residents have urged the local administration to make alternative arrangements to resolve the crisis.

Heaps of garbage continued to pile up at Baltana village, near sewerage board office, near police station, main market and internal roads besides vacant plots in the residential areas.

Sumita Sharma, a resident of Dhakoli, said the uncollected garbage was posing a grave threat to the lives of residents as it had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies.

An MC official said the council had asked the local administration to take the issue seriously and resolve it on a priority basis.

Meanwhile, members of the safai karamchari union have alleged that the state government is not taking their strike seriously. They are demanding the cancellation of the allotment of the solid waste treatment plant to a private company, besides safai workers’ regularisation.



Recovered Porsche brought to P’kula
Tribune News Service

The stolen Porsche that was recovered from Uttar Pradesh
The stolen Porsche that was recovered from Uttar Pradesh. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, October 9
Two days after recovering the stolen Porsche car from Faizabad, the Panchkula police today brought the car back to the town. The police has kept the car at the police station-5 and will release it to its owner on Monday.

The Faizabad police had found the car lying abandoned for over two days there. Thereafter, they had informed the Panchkula police about the car.

The owner of the car, Chander Verma, said it was hard to believe that the perpetrators drove the car all the way to Faizabad without changing its registration number and dumped the vehicle there.

The thieves had struck at the house of the Panchkula businessman in Sector 7 on the intervening night of September 21 and 22, and taken away a Porsche car, worth around Rs 80 lakh, and a Mercedes car, before dumping the latter.



Panjab varsity to start course in corporate security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
In the backdrop of the security scenario in the country witnessing a sea change and commercial establishments becoming more security conscious, Panjab University is launching a new course on corporate security.

The first batch is expected to commence later this month. It will be conducted by the Department of Defence and National Security Studies of the Panjab University in collaboration with the university’s Centre for Industrial-Institute Partnership Programme.

The six-week course will have 30 students and is being targeted for serving retired armed forces and paramilitary personnel as well as civilian graduates.

The aim behind instituting the course is to give more vocational value to the skills and capability of uniformed personnel that will help them in post-retirement rehabilitation.

The course will also expose them to the existing trends in the corporate world and give them an insight into the specifics and peculiarities of the structure and functioning of commercial and industrial establishments.

The course will have three papers covering concepts and ingredients of corporate security, industrial security and relevance of safety in the existing environment. It will also cover aspects like fire safety and security management.

The department will also be hiring faculty and inviting experts to cover some of the topics.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |