C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Kidnap’ mystery deepens
Realtor sold property, cars worth crores before going 'missing'
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
The mystery behind the alleged kidnapping of Panchkula-based realtor Vikram Dhiman has turned murkier with the police learning that he disposed of his property and cars a few days before he went "missing".

The realtor was recently in the news after he moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court accusing UT Sub-Inspector Harinder Singh Sekhon and his wife of making threat calls to him and of running a moneylending racket. The Chandigarh Police is probing the complaint on the directions of the High Court.

The Panchkula team probing Vikram's "kidnapping" case found that apart from his palatial house in Sector 2, the financier had sold off a Mercedes and a Range Rover. The police also found that he "vacated" his rented workplace in Sector 16 by charging Rs 16 lakh from the owner.

Though all deals to sell movable and immovable assets were struck during the past one month, he went missing within a few days of getting the sale proceeds.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Krishan Hooda said they were working on several theories to trace Vikram.

Sources said while the deal for his Sector 2 house was stuck for around Rs 1.75 crore, he sold his cars for around Rs 1.25 crore. They said the police was suspecting that the house was sold to more than one person.

While the realtor went missing a few days after selling his property, he shifted his family to a rented accommodation in the same sector. "After receiving these payments, Vikram went missing and has not been traced since then.

The SIM being used by Vikram went off air 15 km away from the Delhi airport, said a policeman probing the case.

Vikram's mother said, "He told us that he had suffered a loss in his business and for that we have to sell our house and all cars. We were not aware that he has to return the money of so many people. Even before Diwali, he was in depression," she said.

The sources said the realtor owed crores of rupees to businessmen and policemen, but was unable to repay it.

The money had been lent to him on interest. The police has also traced the number of a woman friend of Vikram, residing in Sector 20, Panchkula.

Investor cops trying hard to locate him

Hoping to get back their money, several Panchkula and Chandigarh policemen, including senior officials who had reportedly invested huge money in his "money laundering business", are working hard to locate him as soon as possible.

From service station attendant to multi-millionaire

Fifteen years ago, Vikram Dhiman was employed as an attendant at a scooter service station in Sector 16, Panchkula, and from there he entered the world of finance and became a multi-millionaire. He came in contact with businessmen and police officials, and started doing business. He reportedly invested money of influential persons on a higher rate of interest, but his business went down due to a slump in the market



F1 lights up PECFest on Day 1
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Students of the PEC University of Technology had a real feel of Formula1 (F1) on the first day of the three-day PECFest today.

During the event, a contest, "F1 Pit Stop Challenge", is being organised wherein the participating teams from various colleges have to change four tyres with the best stop pit time.

Students present a dance item on the PEC campus as part of PECFest on Friday; and (below) an F1 car on display. Tribune photos: S Chandan

What's more exciting is that the teams get a chance to use their skills on an F1 racing car parked on the campus for the competitive event.

The Pit Stop Challenge saw various teams, comprising nine students each, participate in the contest.

The four "tyre changers", one at each corner of the car, had the sole responsibility of removing the car's single locking lug nut from each tyre and then reinstalling it on the new tyre.

Ankush, one of the participants, said it was great fun participating in the event that gave him a chance to work on the F1 car. The teams participating in the event were also given a chance to wear special suits worn by the Pit Stop crew.

Sarishti Katyal, a PEC student and member of the organising team, said the top three teams winning the competition would get Sahara Force India merchandise. “The Pit Stop Challenge is conducted across the country and the team that tops among all winning teams will be declared the ultimate Pit Stop Challenge champion, which will get a chance to view the F1 race in 2014,” Sarishti said.



High Court raps UT Administration
Says it is displaying a complete lack of will to do anything
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has virtually rapped the Chandigarh Administration on its knuckles for apparently displaying a complete lack of will “to do anything”.

The strictures of sorts came during the hearing of a petition filed by the Sector 22 Welfare Society against the Administration and other respondents. The reprimand followed failure of the Administration to respond to a plea of the municipal corporation for enhancement of fine to check violations.

“We find it exasperating that even four weeks’ time is not enough for the Administration to examine the communication of the municipal corporation requesting and proposing an increase in the fine, as prescribed in the third Schedule of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, to make it an effective tool for preventing violations. It, prima facie, appears to convey a complete lack of will on the part of the UT Administration to do anything”.

The Bench also ordered personal appearance of the Adviser, but kept the orders in abeyance following assurance by the counsel for the Administration. “We, thus, consider it appropriate to direct the personal presence of the Adviser on the next date of hearing. At this stage, Sanjay Kaushal, senior standing counsel for the UT, requests for one last opportunity of two weeks to sort out the issue. At his request, we keep in abeyance the order for the personal presence of the Adviser,” the Bench asserted.

The assertion is significant as the corporation has recommended an enhancement in the fine from Rs 500. A proposal to this effect has already been submitted to the local government. A register of violators, too, is being maintained.

In an affidavit submitted to the HC, the Additional Commissioner, on the previous date of hearing, claimed that the corporation had two posts of inspector and 20 of sub-inspector, of which 17 were for field duties. It also had 79 workers or labourers to assist the sub-inspectors in removing encroachments.

Taking up the issue of encroachments in Sector 22, the HC had earlier asked the municipal corporation inspectors to maintain a register of violations.

The HC had made its intentions clear of not only directing the removal of obstructions, but also disciplinary action against officials charged with the duty of removing the intrusions.

The Bench has observed that they were prima facie of the view that there were a large number of encroachments/obstructions in the corridors meant for shoppers visiting Sector 22-C and 22-D. As the encroachments had remained unnoticeable to the authorities concerned, they proposed to issue effective directions.

The judges have asked the corporation to tell whether the Commissioner and the Additional Commissioner had ever conducted a spot inspection of the markets in the sectors to take stock of the conditions prevailing there.

Admn failed to respond to MC plea on fine

The reprimand came during the hearing of a petition filed by the Sector 22 Welfare Society against the Administration and other respondents. It follows failure of the Administration to respond to a plea of the municipal corporation for enhancement of fine to check violations


RLA to auction remaining 183 vanity numbers today 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) is going ahead with tomorrow’s auction of 183 vanity registration of vehicle numbers.

Officials in the RLA said the auction was being held for the left over numbers in series CH01-AR, CH01-AS, CH01-AT, CH01-AU and CH01-AV. Most of the numbers, including 0001 from the CH01-AV series are being put under the hammer.

Regarding the question being raised during the hearing of a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court over the imposition of ‘high additional’ registration fees by the authorities, the officials said the case pertains to Punjab and Haryana over charging additional fee while auctioning vanity numbers. There were no instructions regarding the holding of tomorrow’s auction.

It may be mentioned that the RLA has initiated a move to keep out the non-serious bidders. Various options being considered by the RLA was reducing the time from the existing one month to deposit the bid money, or barring the bidders from four subsequent auctions were being considered.



GMADA begins land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 8
To begin development works in the IT City and Medicity, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started taking possession of its acquired land in the area.

Notably, about 80 per cent of the land in question was being used by the farmers of nearby villages on which they sown crops.

“We have asked them to vacate our land after harvesting the crop. To stop them from further sowing of crop on the land, the GMADA today sent an earthmoving machine and other equipments to dig the land,” said a senior official of GMADA.

The GMADA has constituted one main committee and six sub-committees, consisting four officials each, which would check any such encroachment in future.

Notably, the GMADA has acquired about 1,600 acres of the land to develop the projects.



KV-47 challenges MC’s records 

Chandigarh, November 8
After three private schools, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47, have challenged Municipal Corporation’s (MC) property tax record.

Amita Sharma, principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47, said they had cleared their dues and no amount of property tax was pending.

She submitted that their school had received two recovery notices from MC on September 23 and September 24 regarding the payment of property tax amounting to Rs 7, 82,270 and Rs 5,73,163, respectively. They deposited the total amount of property tax of Rs 13,55,433 on September 25 through cheque in the bank. The MC should update their record, she said.

But, the list of property tax defaulters which was submitted by the officials of property tax branch to the MC Joint Commissioner, Rajiv Gupta, shows school’s name in the defaulter’s list.

Gupta said sometime data is received late from the banks due to which schools, which have cleared their dues, still remain in the defaulter’s list. He has now directed the bank to provide a complete statement of all the schools on weekly basis.

He said they would update their record and would soon send fresh notices to the defaulter schools. — TNS



Another train between city & Amritsar soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
After over a six month-long successful run of the daily Superfast Express train between Chandigarh and Amritsar via New Morinda and Sanehwal, the Railways is anticipating to commence another train between the two cities.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepur Division, Northern Railway, Naresh Chander Goel, said the exact date of the launch of the train was not certain as official communication in this regard was still awaited. He added that any comment over its schedule, timing and commencement date could only be made after he received the written orders from the office. He said it was expected to land within a couple of days. The Ferozepur Division has its jurisdiction spread across parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

At present, the Amritsar-Chandigarh Superfast Express train departs from Amritsar in the morning and makes the return journey in the evening. However, there has been a demand to run a parallel train starting from Chandigarh in the morning and returning the same day from Amritsar in the evening.



Rheumatic disease on the rise among women, children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Rheumatic disease has emerged as a major concern affecting women and children in the past couple of years, while the awareness on the disease is relatively very poor both in patients as well as most medical practitioners. According to the PGI experts, at least 100 new cases are reported for screening at PGIMER at every clinic.“Every year, the numbers are going up if we look at our figures. There is a separate unit of rheumatology at the Advanced Pediatric Centre for handling the disease in children,” said Professor Surjit Singh from Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER.

The experts also said that the incidence of this disease is higher among women and children, yet being ignored at least in our country. For women suffering rheumatic diseases, it becomes necessary to ensure disease stabilisation before pregnancy.

“It is very important for women to stop the medication for rheumatic disease at least six months before conception and also ensure that the disease has stabilise,” added Prof Singh.



Now, humble potato goes out of common man’s reach
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
After onion and tomato, the cost of potatoes is also burning a hole in the common man’s pocket. Rising from Rs 20 per kg two days ago, the cost of some varieties of potatoes has touched Rs 60 per kg. No variety of potatoes is costing less then Rs 40 per kg in the market.

In fact, the cost of onions and tomatoes has also increased by Rs 10 per kg since yesterday. While the cost of onion is Rs 80 per kg, the cost of tomato has gone up to Rs 90 per kg. In some markets of Panchkula, tomato is being sold at Rs 100 per kg.

The rise in cost of all the basic vegetables has made the lives of residents very difficult. “The entire budget of the househ olds has been altered. Amid the exorbitant costs of all the vegetables, it was only the cost of potatoes that had kept the courage of the common people alive, now, that too has gone up”, said Geetanjali Singh, a resident of Sector 46.



Civic body proposes to amend norms
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The municipal corporation has proposed to amend the norms linked to the operation of Sahib Singh and Empire Store automatic parking lots in Sector 17. The MC is all set to auction these parking lots on a trial basis.

A senior official of the municipal corporation said that under the revised rules the contractors would not be allowed to charge parking fees in case any snag occurred in the automation system. The parking becomes free as soon the system develops any fault, he added.

The issue will be placed before the next Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting of the municipal corporation. The MC had earlier planned to auction the two parking lots, but later added the clause in the contract.

In the two parking lots, a fully automatic parking system will be set up and the parking fee will be charged on hourly basis. The MC had proposed that for four-wheelers, Rs 5 would be paid for the first two hours and Rs 10 for every subsequent hour. For multiple entries in one day, Rs 50 would be charged. For two-wheelers, Rs 2 would be charged for the first two hours and Rs 4 for every hour subsequently.

In this case, for multiple entries in a day, Rs 20 would be charged.

The MC is yet to finalise the parking rates. The fully automated parking lot will ensure that parking of vehicles is done as per the slots available.

No additional vehicles can be parked as is being done at present.

The aim behind introducing hourly parking is to avoid congestion in the parking lots.

The project was planned after the Punjab and Haryana High Court stressed the need to solve the parking problem in Sector 17 and develop no parking zones there, so that the place is less congested.



No consensus on chief guest’s name

Chandigarh, November 8
A day after the chairperson of the Art, Culture and Sports Committee of the municipal corporation proposed local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name as the chief guest for the Children’s Day function on November 14, a committee member today said that he would boycott the function if Bansal was made the chief guest.

Committee member Saurabh Joshi said that in the meeting committee, the chairperson did not propose Bansal’s name as the chief guest for the Children’s Day function, but in the minutes it was mentioned that the chairperson proposed Bansal’s name. Minutes of the meeting were tampered with only to give political benefit to Bansal, he added. He said that he would boycott the function if Bansal was made the chief guest. According to the minutes of the meeting, Joshi had proposed that the UT Adviser or the MC Commissioner should be made chief guest. Whereas committee chairperson Gurbax Rawat and another member Sat Parkash Aggarwal proposed Bansal’s name, minutes reads.Rawat denied that the minutes of the meeting were tempered with. She added that Aggarwal had proposed Bansal’s name and she had seconded it. The Mayor would take the final decision on the issue, she added. 

Bansal to be the chief guest: Aggarwal

Even though the MC has not officially declared the chief guest’s name for the Children’s Day function, yet committee member and councillor Sat Parkash Aggarwal said it was confirmed that Bansal would be the chief guest for the function. The Mayor will inaugurate the function, which will be held on November 14 at Palm Park in Daddu Majra. 



New PCA panel formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 8
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is likely to get more teeth with the UT Administration appointing its new chairman and members today.

Former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra who retired in 2011 from the UT Administration has been appointed as the chairman of the PCA and, PK Srivastava, former UT Inspector Director General of Police (DGP), who retired last year, has been appointed as its member. The third member is a social activist Zoya Sharma.

The three-year term of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), Chandigarh, ender in September last week and there has been no hearing of the PCA ever since. There are over 60 complaints pending with the PCA.

Constituted in 2010, the PCA decided over 100 cases in the three-year tenure. On several occasions, the PCA passed strictures against the UT police and also recommended the senior police officials to take action against several SHOs and other police officers for not taking action.

However, several recommendations were not abided by the police as they conducted their own inquiry following PCA orders. On October 16 last, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the administration to amend its notification that had reduced the PCA to only a "recommendatory" body. Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, the High Court had ordered that the PCA's directions would be binding in nature. Aggrieved, the Chandigarh Administration had recently filed an appeal against the High Court order.

The beginning of the PCA will begin next week.



Four new dengue cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Four new cases of dengue were reported today from different parts of the city, bringing the total number of cases to 77 this year, so far.

The malaria wing of the Health Department claims to have geared up field activities and is keeping a close watch on the vectors prevalent in the city.



PECFest begins with a bang
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
With an active participation of more than 5,000 college students, PECFest - 2013 at the PEC University of Technology commenced with a bang today. The Day 1 began with FBB Green Marathon encouraging youngsters to protect environment. Apart from this, the day saw scores of people from different colleges of the region coming and taking part in various competitions.

Competitions such as ‘wordict’, ‘logo quiz’ and ‘guess who?’, along with literary events like ‘cross-swords - conventional debate’, JAM and colourful and vibrant events like face painting, graffiti and mug painting took place.

The highlight of the day came in the evening when the main stage was lit up by the stars of the ‘Walk of Fame’. Organised in association with Femina Miss India, the contestants mesmerised the audience with their glamour and show.

The evening also brought to stage students showcasing their talent in PEC’s famous fashion and dance show, “Groovz and Glitterati”. The night ended in a spirited note with Bhangratheque bringing a more Punjabi musical vibe to the day and guest appearances by Gippy Grewal and Gurpreet Ghuggi.

PECFest is the annual cultural fest that will have performances by the rock band, Parikrama, in the coming days.



Now, forms available online for free

Chandigarh, November 8
This time, there is no need for parents to make a beeline in front of schools for buying admission forms. In its fresh directions regarding the common admission schedule released today, the UT Education Department has made it mandatory for schools to make the admission forms available free of cost on their websites.

As per the common admission schedule, the admission process in the entry-level classes for the next academic session will begin from coming November 29 in both government as well as private schools in the city.

The parents making beeline for getting admission forms of some of the reputed schools was a common scene every year in Chandigarh. But as per the latest directions, parents can now easily download forms of all schools from their respective websites. Besides, the forms will also be available at school counters, too.

Moreover, the forms will be available free of cost. As per the guidelines, the parents need to submit Rs 50 as part of registration fee at the time of the submission of admission forms. DPI (s) Kamlesh Kumar said the changes in the common admission schedule had been made to reduce the overall hassle of parents. Every year, buying admission forms of most of the private schools was a big problem. — TNS

November 29, 2013: Display of information relating to admission by each school on the notice board, website of the school)

December 1 to 20, 2013: Issuance of registration forms

December 20, 2013: Last date for submission of forms

January 10-20, 2014: Draw of lots, display of select list and waiting list

January 21-25, 2014: Deposit of fees of selected children

January 29-31, 2014: Display and deposit of fee from waiting list students



Radiography Day celebrated

Chandigarh, November 8
Students of B.Sc. Medical Technology, department of radiodiagnosis at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, today celebrated World Radiography Day. World Radiography Day is celebrated across the world on November 8 every year in the honour of Nobel Laureate sir WC Roentgen, who had discovered X-rays on November 8, 1895.

The discovery of X-rays by Roentgen has given new direction in the field of medicine to diagnose the diseases and their treatment. The field of radiology has taken many steps forward from analog X-ray machine to direct digital radiography since the invention of the X-rays. — TNS



City-based college teachers clear PCS exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Two teachers of the city colleges have cleared the Punjab Civil Services (PCS) examination, the results of which were declared recently. Kimmi Vaneet Kaur Sethi, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at MCM College, clinched 59th rank in the first attempt. Kimmi owes her success to God, her parents and well-wishers. She is proficient in foreign languages, including French and Chinese. Kimmi started teaching languages at a tender age of 17. Parminder Kaur, assistant professor at the Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, cleared the PCS examination. She scored 58th rank. She has been working at the college for the past three-and-a-half years. Principal Dr Charanjeet Kaur Sohi and the staff members congratulated her on this achievement.

Doc gets 148th rank

Damandeep Kaur, a resident of Zirakpur, also cleared the Punjab Civil Services (Executive) examination. A qualified dentist, she got 148th rank and made it to the PCS (Executive) in her first attempt. Presently doing her masters in community education from Panjab University, her optional subjects were geography and sociology.



An insight into ‘Midnight’s Children’Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
It was an exchange of handwritten notes between celebrated author Salman Rushdie and noted filmmaker Deepa Mehta that set the tone for recently talked about film “Midnight’s Children”, based on the epic novel by Salman Rushdie.

Deepa Mehta and Assem Chhabra during a session at the Chandigarh Literature Festival; and (below) Piyush Mishra performs at Sector 17, Chandigarh. Tribune photos

The first day of the Chandigarh Literature Fest at Hotel Taj had noted filmmaker Deepa Mehta engaging the audience in an enthralling, absorbing and insightful session on her movie “Midnight’s Children”, for which Rushdie himself penned the screenplay.

Opening the discussion, she said making the movie on an epic novel was a challenging job. Salman initially did not want write its screenplay, but later he agreed.

“However, before starting working on the movie, we decided that we go back to our respective cities, start broadly writing its screenplay and then meet each other after one month to find out whether we have same vision for the movie. We met exactly after a month, exchanged notes and interestingly, we had the similar vision. This is how the movie took off,” she said, adding, “I still have those handwritten notes”.

She said for her, the movie was about the journey of an individual to search for his identity, which interestingly juxtaposed with the search of a country for its own identity.

According to her, the movie definitely has wider relevance and more universal in approach.

The session also had film critic Mayank Shekhar and Assem Chhabra. Following the session, there was musical performance by Piyush Mishra. The highlight of the first half was the session “This Side That Side: Restoring Partition” that brought back the bitter memories of Partition. The author of the book, Vshwajyoti Ghosh, said this book was an attempt to look at stories from points of views of future generations, who had negotiated with Partition, and the generations that had encountered many coincidences.

Words came easy as author Kiran Nagarkar and critic Jerry Pinto came on stage for an enthralling session on Nagarkar’s celebrated and epic novel “Cuckold”.

Day 2 schedule

10 am-11.30 am: Mirror of Beauty: Author Shamsur Rahman in conversation with critic Ashok Vajpai

11.45 am to 1.15 pm: Shanti Parav: Author Desraj Kali in conversation with critic Nirupama Dutt

4 pm-7 pm: Raja Sen and Aseem Chhabra in conversation with filmmaker RK Gupta



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 |