Wednesday, April 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT panels for law & order, health, education, welfare
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — The Chandigarh Administration has decided to constitute five to six sub committees from amongst members of the Administrator’s Advisory Council for an effective discussion and action on selected areas of focus in specialised fields.

The subcommittees are proposed to be set up for law and order, health care, education, rehabilitation and slums development, urban planning and tourism industry. Each of these subcommittees will be headed by a non-official member, while convenors of all such committees would be officials of the Administration.

The purpose of setting up subcommittees is to have focussed and concentrated discussions on major areas as deliberations at the Administrator’s Advisory Council meeting normally get diluted because of multiplicity of issues raised by various members.

The process of convening meetings of these subcommittees is expected to start by end of this month or early next month. A formal nod for the final composition of these subcommittees is expected by this week or early next week.

The subcommittees will try to include specialists and others who have any special interest in any particular area. For example, in the education subcommittee, the areas of focus will not only be education, and education in slum areas, but also night schools and adult literacy units. Among others on this committee will be the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University.

The law and order sub committee, for example, will have issues like community policing, institutional mechanism, interaction between police and general public to be discussed.

There will be some flexibility as far as the status of sitting or ex-MPs vis-a-vis these subcommittees is concerned. Probably they would be free to attend meetings of any subcommittees depending upon the agenda or issues to be discussed.

Meanwhile, efforts are also being made to persuade Congressmen and others to attend the meetings of Council and its subcommittees. Some of the, important issues which are expected to be discussed at the first meeting of the Council may include conversion of leasehold property to free hold, grant of identity cards to roadside workers and the extension of lal dora in villages of the Union Territory.

The Administration is clear that holding of Administrator’s Advisory Council meetings once in a while with managed or manipulated replies to major items of agenda submitted by members does not solve the actual purpose of constituting such committees.

The Chandigarh Administration, in the meantime, has requested the Haryana Government to allow Mr R.K. Jain, Chief Engineer, to continue for a further period of three months after his previous tenure ended on March 31. The reasons given for further extension in the deputation period of Mr Jain is that the process of selecting his successor from amongst UT cadre engineers has already been initiated.

Of the three UT cadre Superintending Engineers, one is under suspension while the other two are in line for as many posts of Chief Engineer available with the Administration now. Except for a minor documentary requirement for some period of service the Chandigarh Housing Board of one of the candidates is believed to have been the reason for delay in selecting a successor to Mr R.K. Jain, a Haryana cadre official.

The Administration has already sent in a written request to the Haryana Government for extending stay of Mr Jain. For two post of Chief Engineer, both Mr Puranjit Singh, presently in Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, as Chief Engineer, and Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, Superintending Engineer, Engineering Department, are the contenders.

The Administration also expects the Union Home Ministry to soon appoint a new Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board. The post has been lying vacant eversince the previous incumbent, Mr Balbir Singh, was recalled by the Home Ministry. At present, the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, is holding the additional charge of the Chairman of the board.Back


Recounting battle of Saragarhi
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — Over a century after the action of 21 Sikh soldiers awed the world by defending their post at Saragarhi in the rugged Hindukush mountains to the last man, the little known but exemplary battle will now be taught in Punjab schools.

Saragarhi — in the North West Frontier Province — bears testimony to an unparallel saga of valour, etched in military history as one of the five greatest battles ever fought on earth.

A top Punjab School Education Board functionary, when contacted, confirmed that the battle story had been included in the school syllabus from the 2000-2001 session. ‘’The text of the battle has been included in history books at the Class IX and X level,’’ the official said.

The decision to include the battle story in the school curriculum was taken last year during a public rally presided over by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Following this, the State Government had issued a notification that the battle story should be included in the school curriculum from this session.

There had been a constant demand from the Sikh Regiment and various ex-servicemen’s associations that the battle be included in the school curriculum. A similar request had also been put forward to Mr Badal during the battle’s state-level centenary celebrations at Ferozepore in 1997.

A subsequent letter sent to the Punjab Government by the Saraghari Memorial and Ethos Promotion Forum had also urged the State Government that the battle has many inspiring lessons for children.

On hearing the acts of valour, the British Parliament had then risen in unison to pay homage to the fallen soldiers. The unique battle is also taught in schools of France and figures as one of the eight collective stories on bravery published by the UNESCO.

All 21 troopers had been awarded the Indian Order of Merit, then the highest gallantry award applicable to Indian soldiers and the equivalent of the Victoria Cross or the Param Vir Chakra.

In August, 1897, the 36th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment (now 4 Sikh) was deployed on the Samanta Range to check infiltration by hostile tribesmen. On September 12 before daybreak, the Saraghari Fort, manned by 20 soldiers under the command of Hav Ishar Singh, was attacked by an estimated 7,000 tribesmen. The fort served as a visual communication link between two other forts, Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan, on the same ridge.

The fort was not capable for a prolonged defence owing to weakness in construction, situation and strength, and the enemy was looking for an easy victory. But it was not to be so.

Over the next six hours, the defenders repulsed repeated attacks, with victory nowhere in sight for the attackers who suffered heavy casualties. The tribal chief, Gul Badshah tried to allure the defenders and after failing, put in another attack.

This time, however, two of the attackers managed to reach the north-west corner, where, shielded from view and fire, they managed to breach the fort wall. The tribals poured into the fort, but were checked with bayonets and pushed back.

The tribals then set fire to bushes and forced them into the breach, filling the fort with smoke. It was noticed from Fort Lockhart by the battalion commander, Lt Col Hargton, who led a relief force of 98 men, but was intercepted by the tribals and forced to fall back.

All this while, the signaller, Sepoy Gurmukh Singh, kept up communication with the other two forts. His last message at 1500 hours was that all his comrades were dead and that he wanted permission to close down the signal centre and use his rifle. Permission having been granted, the sole survivor then shot 20 tribals before finally being burnt alive.

All dependants of the Saragarhi heroes were given two acres of land and a financial assistance of Rs.500. Further, September 12 was declared as a regimental holiday for all Sikh soldiers.Back


Mansa Devi decked up for Navratras
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 4—With the Navratras beginning tomorrow, the Mansa Devi temple and the scores of small shops lining the shrine’s approach road are fully prepared for the annual rush of devotees.

At the temple complex, floors are getting a last-minute scrub and workmen are labouring long into the night to complete pending works before the bi-annual eight-day mela begins. Shrine Board officials are checking and cross-checking their arrangements for darshan, langar, seva and the many devotional programmes to be presented during the week

Haryana Governor Mahabir Prasad will inaugurate the mela tomorrow with a puja archana and will later participate in a havan at the newly constructed yagya shala. Thereafter, he inaugurates a painting exhibition in the complex, which will be on display right through the mela. The works were produced at a workshop in which 16 local artists participated.

Each day’s programme begins with puja at 7 am; havan will be performed from 8:30 am to 10:30 am followed by Saptshati path from 10:30 am to 2 pm. The Devi Bhagwat Katha will be from 4 pm to 6 pm. Besides this, Sharma Bandhus will perform at the Bhajan Sandhya on April 8; April 9 brings two dance recitals — Odissi by Nivedita Mahapatra and Kathak by Sudeshna Malik. The Bhagwati Jagran is on April 10, with Kumar Vinay and party singing the baents. Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala will perform havan and pay his obeisance at the shrine on April 11.

In addition to the three bhandaras held regularly, five more will be held at different locations in the complex and will continue throughout the day .

The police will be deployed in force to ensure no untoward incidents and the temple has also made arrangements for a 24-hour first aid service. Stalls providing the necessary commodities at fair prices have also been set up.Back


CAT sets aside selections
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — The selection of three assistant district attorneys and a law officer made earlier in 1998 by the district administration was today set aside by the Central Administrative Tribunal Bench consisting of judicial member Jasbir S. Dhaliwal and administrative member V.K. Majotra. The Bench took opposition to selection committee’s method of adding the marks obtained by candidates in the various exams taken and then dividing the total by the number of exams taken.

The Bench held: ‘‘This criteria is totally irrational. It has absolutely no nexus with the object to be achieved or even with finding out the most suitable person for the posts requiring legal proficiency.’’

The selection of ADAs Ms Ritu Puri, Ms Pratima Arora and Ms Subhakshi and that of Law Officer Meenakshi Jain was thus set aside on the above stated grounds. While directing the respondents, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, UT Administrator and Home Secretary, to conduct a fresh selection of the candidates by taking into view the marks obtained by them in, LLB, the CAT Bench directed the respondents to prepare a fresh merit list and allow the said candidates to continue on their posts in case they are found to feature on the list. The Bench observed: ‘‘We expect that the respondents would complete the process of preparing a fresh merit list within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of the said order.’’

The order was passed here today on the complaint filed earlier by applicant Manjit Kumar who challenged the appointments of the said ADAs and Law Officer on grounds that the criteria adopted was illegal.

CAT has, meanwhile, not found fault with the other criteria of selection challenged by the applicant. Back


Rs 5 crore for new PGI cath laboratory
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research will soon have a new state-of-the-art digital cardiac catheterisation laboratory, equipped with latest electro-physiological system, radio frequency ablation equipment and intra-vascular ultrasound. This will be in addition to the existing cath lab which is in use since 1986 for various diagnostic and cardiovascular intervention procedures.

According to the PGI Acting Medical Superintendent, Dr D. Behera, the new laboratory will be set up in the already existing facility. The new laboratory will not only be up-to-date technologically but also essential in view of the ever increasing rush of patients.

The PGI Director, Dr S.K. Sharma, constituted a technical committee comprising leading cardiologists of the PGI and New Delhi to work out modalities for setting up the new laboratory with additional facilities. This laboratory can be shifted to the Advanced Cardiac Centre, once it is completed.

The PGI Associate Professor, Dr H.K. Bali, one of the committee members, said with as many as 1,200 cases per year, the laboratory is in constant use. "Coronary angiography, angioplasty, catheters for valvular diseases, congenital heart diseases, pace-maker implant and electro-physiological studies — the laboratory is crucial for all of these," he said.

In their recommendations, members have said that given the rapid rate of technological change all over the world, it is essential to replace the existing analog laboratory with the state-of-the-art digital cath lab. This will help cardiologists perform these procedures more efficiently. Dr Bali said, "Since we do so many procedures in the analog laboratory, we have to store the data on cine-angiography rolls which occupy huge space and the quality of imaging also deteriorates over a period of time. However, in the new digital laboratory, the images will be stored on optical disc and the quality of imaging will not change. The image quality is likely to improve significantly in the new set-up."

The provision of additional facilities will also help perform 50 per cent more procedures in the same time-frame. Efforts are also being made to make these facilities available to patients round-the-clock so that life-saving procedures and emergency angioplasty can be carried out anytime.

The new laboratory will have certain new systems which will be used for the first time in the PGI. Among these are radio frequency ablation to check abnormal rhythmic orders and an intra-vascular ultrasound to see the echo texture of arteries.

The work of setting up this new laboratory will begin soon. Out of the first instalment of Rs 40 crore to be spent this year on major projects, Rs 5 crore will be spent on making the facility available to patients at the earliest.

Regarding the Advanced Cardiac Centre, Dr Bali said the Union Health Ministry had already given the nod for beginning the ground work on it. An advanced ophthalmology centre and the second phase of the Advanced Paediatric Centre would also be built soon. Rs 120 crore had been sanctioned for these projects and these were likely to be completed by 2002.Back


Occupants of flats granted stay
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, April 4 — The occupants of the MIG (Super) flats in Sector 70, who had gone to a Kharar court over the allotment of a school site to the management of a private educational institution in the sector by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) have been granted stay “till the disposal of the main suit”.

Earlier, the management of the Sanjay Public School had got vacated a temporary injunction restraining it from raising construction on the site from the court.

In the order passed by the Additional Civil Judge ( Senior Division), Kharar, Ms Neelam Arora, observed that the residents ( plaintiffs) had spent lakhs of rupees to purchase their flats after PUDA had floated the housing scheme but the brochures of the scheme provided by PUDA did not match with the layout plans.

The residents in their application prayed that they had purchased the flats keeping in view their day to day need for open spaces in the vicinity of their houses. They alleged that construction of the school building was against the original master plan. Citing notification of the Union Ministry of Environment regarding noise and air pollution control norms, the residents said the school building would effect their health and property and the area would become accident prone it being a populated area.

They lamented that the site on which the school building was coming up was just 15 feet away from the flats. The management of the school on being noticed by the court stated that the site had already been earmarked for a primary school and the original allottees of the flats had selected the flats being close to the proposed education facility for their children. PUDA in its reply said that the zoning plan of the school site was approved and possession of the site was given to the applicants on February 3 last. Back


Tough going for the family
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — At five-years-going-on-six Gagandeep should be a bundle of energy ... and he would like to be but his little heart just can’t take it. His problem is damaged valves. Given the miracles of modern surgery, his problem is not insoluble ... but the surgery will cost Rs 1 lakh. Gagandeep’s dad, Manjeet Singh , earns his living (barely) as a labourer and his mom is a domestic servant who does a bit of tailoring too. The combined family income hovers at about Rs 2,500 — they have never seen Rs 10,000 at one time, what to speak of Rs 1 lakh.

It took some time for his parents to realise that something was seriously wrong with Gagandeep. According to mother Kulwinder Kaur, it started out with a cough, evolved into breathing difficulties and moved on to high fever. “We rushed him to the Ambala Civil Hospital where he remained under treatment for 10 days,” she recalls, “that’s when the doctors told us about his heart and referred us to the PGI. We’ve been taking him to the doctors there ever since.” He under treatment from Dr R.S.Dhaliwal, Head of the PGI Department of Heart Surgery,

The cash-strapped family has already spend nearly Rs 25,000 on the child’s treatment. Milk, juices and fruits .He is anaemic too and the doctors insist that he get plenty of milk and fruit — these things don’t come cheap..And then there’s the twice-daily doses of medicine that keep him alive.. “Treating my son leaves us with virtually nothing to live on,” his mother says, confessing, “We have borrowed money from all our relatives and friends ... but how much can anybody help? So far, we have saved Rs10,000 for the operation. We could manage only this much because the house and other liabilities have also to be managed in the small amount we earn.’’ Seva Bharti, a social organisation, is trying to help them out financially

Gagandeep has a twin and, fortunately the other child is in perfect health. The little boy is aware that he has to undergo a major surgery. The miserable mother with tears in her eyes said,’’I am trying my best so that my son gets cured and pray that God blesses him with long life. We are going through a bad phase .. it should end soon.’’

Anyone who would like to help Gagandeep can get in touch with the family through contact Constable Rakesh Rasila at the PGI Police Post (Phone No 744262).Back


Sewerage water on road
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — Residents of Mani Majra are an inconvenienced lot on account of the leakage of the sewerage water onto one of the roads in the township.

Residents alleged that sewerage water which came onto the road from the side of a police station, had made it difficult for the passer-by and children to cross the road. Businessmen of the area complained that since the area used to stink due to the accumulation of the dirty water, customers avoided the area and their businesses was being seriously affected.

Mr Om Parkash, a timber merchant, alleged that the problem was not a new one. Only half-hearted measures had been taken to plug the leak over the years and that, too, after repeated representations.

The present leak which had been there for the past over a fortnight, had not been plugged despite that a compliant had been lodged at the sub-office of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh here.

He demanded a permanent solution to the problem as during the rains it would become virtually impossible to cross the road.Back


2 brothers held in a case of cheating
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — The police has arrested two brothers, both Sector 35 residents, on the charge of defrauding three city youths by preparing fake bank statements and other related documents to facilitate their emigration to Australia.

Those arrested are Ved Parkash and Sanjay Aggarwal, residents of Sector 35. Both are chartered accountants, and while the latter is reportedly working as a Deputy Director with the local office of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the former ran an accountancy firm.

The complainants, Amit Sharma, Surinder Pal Singh and Harmeet said they needed some bank guarantees to complete the formalities and were assured by the duo that for Rs 17, 000 each they would do the needful. Thinking that something was wrong, they informed the police and following an enquiry the duo was arrested. A computer, blank bank statements, besides other allied documents were seized from them. They reportedly sent several youths abroad in the way, sources revealed.

Cyclist injured: A cyclist, Ved Parkash Anand, was hit by a car, HR O5 F 0515, near the Sector 7 petrol pump. While the injured has been admitted to the hospital, the driver of the car fled.

Gambling in public: The police has arrested Kaka and Dehesh, residents of Bapu Dham, on the charges of gambling at a public place. A sum of Rs 550 was recovered from them.

Theft reported: Solan resident Raj Mohammad reported that Varinder Singh stole a sum of Rs 20, 000 from the Verka booth near the gate of the PEC in Sector 12.

Hit and hurt: Scooterist Surinder Kumar Sharma reported that he was hit and injured by a car, PB 65 A 0001. He was admitted to the hospital.

3 hospitalised: Three residents of colony number 5 were electrocuted and have been admitted to the Sector 32 General Hospital in a serious condition.


4 held for assault: Four members of the Godrej-GE Employees Union were arrested by the police after they, accompanied with other members, allegedly assaulted an employee of the factory, Ajay Pal, who was returning from duty in the wee hours of this morning.

The suspects, Amit, Anil, Vikas Sharma and Kirpal have been booked by the police.

Burglars: Burglars broke into a house in Phase 4 last night and decamped with cash and jewellery worth over Rs 16,000. The police has registered a case and is investigating the matter.Back


MoU on exchange programme
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — The Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Panjab University on an industry-institute exchange programme here yesterday.

An official press note by Prof K.N. Pathak, Honorary Director of the IIP cell, said Prof M.M. Puri, Vice-Chancellor, signed on behalf of the university for Industry- Institute Partnership. Mr P.K. Verma, President of the CMA, was the other signatory.

The objective has been underlined as a ‘naturally beneficial strategic alliance’ to evolve and formalise a process of understanding and cooperation between CIIPP and CMA. The area of joint endeavour will include publication of research work, training and management development programmes, consultancy seminars, conferences, group discussions and exchange programmes.

Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Prof K. Pathak, Prof Ashok Sahni Mr Keshav Sachdeva, Mrs Neena Singh and Mr G.S. Deep among others.Back


Educational opportunities Down Under a huge draw
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — The biggest growing industry, Information Technology, offered Indian students, wishing to graduate in special programmes, bright opportunities in Australia, said Mr Henry A.S. Ledlie, country manager of the IDP Education Australia, at an education exhibition and fair here yesterday.

More than 30 educational institutes, offering a wide range of courses, set up counselling booths at the fair, including University of Canberra, Macxquarie University (Sydney), Southern Cross University, University of Technology (Sydney) and University of Western Sydney. Nearly 11,284 applications were finalised during 1999.

The list stretches across Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. The seats are offered under various heads, including agriculture, architecture, arts, dentistry, engineering, hotel management, information systems, medicine, travel and tourism, IT, MBA, multimedia and sports studies. Information about more than 10,000 courses would be available, it was pointed out.

Mr Ledlie said as part of the Information Technology staff requirements, the Federal Government in Australia had made some changes to the immigration rules. Overseas students who had studied at an Australian institute for a minimum of 12 months and obtained the qualifications within 6 months, would be able to apply for jobs immediately, according to a press note.

The venue saw a big rush of students. The packed hall showed the anxiety of students to visit Australia, a counsellor said. The organisers said between 5,000 and 6,000 students got education visa annually. There were cases where persons applied with forged documents, they added.

Ms Shalini Kahlon, local manager of the local chapter of the IDP, said the venue offered opportunities in all leading institutes in Australia, covering all courses. Candidates did not have to spend a penny while consulting local offices of the IDP, which had a network of offices and branches in over 38 countries, she added. It neither offered nor funded any scholarships, she stated.

The IDP Education Australia exhibition at the national level began on April 1. It will continue till April 9, covering Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.Back


Joginder — the inside of CBI
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4 — "Political reform? Where are the long-term plans mooted by the successive governments? Governments function as if there is no tomorrow," a former CBI Director, Joginder Singh, told his fans today. He was the star attraction today at the Book Fest organised by Ebony here.

The former top sleuth said without political will and transparency, no change or reform could come about."

Joginder Singh, now a popular author, still retains his old fire and wants to transform the country, block all loopholes and straighten out everything which is crooked. His books, Inside India, Outside CBI and Inside CBI are based on the same theme. He has three more books in the pipeline — Inside Indian Police, Be the Best and an untitled romantic work. Like every retired policeman, Singh is also planning to write on human rights.

He quoted some British police officers of the Raj who had described the Indian police and the system of criminal justice as "a delight for thieves, crooks and vakils". Joginder Singh also said the "penal laws were loosely enforced". He called these "lotteries in which offenders speculated and remarkably calculated their chances of prosecution and escape".

However, he did see hope in "islands of excellence" which every sincere citizen could create around himself. "This will ultimately build the India of our dreams," he said. "This is how to make our country rich and vibrant. If only the government took interest in real change," he added.

Apart from Singh's best-sellers, a huge range of titles is on display at the book fest which ends on April 6.Back


Industrial Area roads need immediate attention
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 4—Recarpeting work by the Municipal Corporation of the Chandigarh(MCC) in different parts of the city notwithstanding, the roads in the Industrial Area seem to nobody’s baby.

A case in point is the road leading to the MW Area in the Phase I of the Industrial Area. Though heavy traffic passes through the area, its recarpeting seems to be last on the agenda of the authorities concerned. Residents of the area alleged that repeated representations to the authorities for the past many years had no effect with the result that conditions of the roads which connects some of the major companies of the nation is going from bad to worse.

Mr JS Rana, a factory worker, alleged that it became virtually impossible to drive on the road which had potholes at regular intervals. Accidents are common and only a few days back a major accident occurred on the road. And due to flooding in the rainy season, it was become difficult to drive on the road, he alleged.

The worst-affected seem to the goods-laden trucks which sometimes break down due to the dilapidated condition of road. Due to its bad condition, a majority of the motorists avoid the road and take a detour to reach their destinations thus wasting petrol and time. And their problems are compounded as the condition of the other roads is no better.

As the road was used by a considerable number of persons during the night time, it had become a driver’s nightmare in the absence of the streetlights. With the streetlights not working for past several years, the driving during the night time was a risky affair, complained a regular road user, Mr Gurnam Singh.

While demanding the early re-metalling of the road , Mr Mahesh alleged that this particular stretch had been ignored by the authorities for the several years. Back

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