Wednesday, December 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal additions in govt houses
Large amounts spent on cowsheds, garden huts, garbage
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — If one is to believe the reports of the surveys conducted by the Chandigarh Administration, “substantial additions” have been made in “a large number of government houses” after spending huge sums of money.

The reports, submitted before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, were prepared after a survey of several government houses in Sectors 16 and 7 was conducted as per the earlier directions of the High Court.

The survey, according to sources, was conducted of house numbers 1 to 294, 501 to 699 and 700 to 794 in Sector 7 and of house numbers 130 to 542 and 664 to 799 in Sector 16.

Along with the details of the additional constructions in the individual houses, the cost of construction calculated at current rates has also been mentioned in the reports.

The constructions, as per the report, included car sheds, along with other unauthorised sheds like tandoor sheds, hen, cow and chicken sheds, besides glazed verandahs, garden huts and stores above garages.

After glancing at the reports, Mr. Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr. Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed the allottees of the government houses to file separate affidavits giving details of the area covered, besides the nature of construction.

The Bench also asked them to furnish details of the “agency which had executed the job”, besides the cost incurred, along with “the source from which the money was spent”.

They were also directed by the Judges to “explain as to whether or not permission of the competent authorities had been obtained before making the additions in the houses”.

According to the copy of a report available with The Tribune, Rs 29, 155 was spent upon constructing a car shed, besides glazing the verandah and other such jobs in house number 3 in Sector 7.

In house number 18 in the same sector, Rs 1,12,700 was spent on the construction of stores, glazing of verandahs, car sheds, besides other structures. The road berms too had been encroached with the help of barbed wires, according to the report.

The report also mentioned that in house number 66 in Sector 7, Rs 2, 63,800 was spent on the sentry’s post, a car shed, along with unauthorised sheds and other structures.

In house number 67 in the same sector, Rs 4,83,000 was spent on the construction of unauthorised rooms, car sheds, hen sheds, garden huts with thatched roof, stores and other structures. Some of the money spent was sanctioned, the report mentioned.

The report further indicated that in house number 514 in Sector 16, Rs 1,53,586 was spent on the construction of store and other structures. In house number 516, Rs 2,45,290, was spent on raising toilets, stores, sheds for birds and other structures.

In another house in Sector 16, Rs 2,52,480 was spent on the construction of car shed, a room and a kitchen, a toilet, a plant shed and other structures. These houses, said sources, were just an example of the large number of houses where additional constructions had been made.Back


Battle for Mayor’s chair hots up
Bigwigs file nominations
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — Battle lines have been drawn for a direct contest for the post of Mayor with the ruling BJP-SAD alliance and the Congress filing nominations this evening. While the BJP has fielded Ms Ranjana Shahi, Mr Raj Kumar Goel filed the nomination papers on behalf of the Congress. This move is being seen in political circles as a major setback to the faction headed by former MP Satya Pal Jain.

In fact, there will be direct contests for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor also. While Raghuvir Lal Arora of the BJP will contest against Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala of the Congress for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh of the Akali Dal is pitted against Ms Suneeta for the post of Deputy Mayor.

In a telephonic conversation with the Tribune late in the evening, Mr Ram Das Aggarwal, in charge of the Haryana and Chandigarh unit of the BJP, said that the party leaders along with senior leaders of the RSS had been successful in selecting a unanimous candidate for the post of the Mayor.

Earlier, it was Mrs Kamala Sharma in the first year and Mrs Shanta Hit Abhilashi this year, both reserved for women candidates.

He added that performance of women Mayors had been satisfactory in handling various situations. Taking into account their merit and capability, the party had again decided to field a woman candidate. This is the third time in the five-year term of the MC House that a woman had been nominated for the post of Mayor, he said.

Incidentally, the first year of the next term also happens to be reserved for a woman candidate and this may mean a woman Mayor for the city for three consecutive years.

It is perhaps for the first time in recent years that the ruling BJP-SAD alliance has unanimously resolved to field a single candidate for each of the three important posts of the House. This also happens to be the last elections for these posts, before the MC House goes to the poll next year.

The nominations were filed before the MC Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar, late in the afternoon. The BJP-SAD alliance was the first to reach the MC office at 3.30 pm after the party high command gave a green signal to Ms Ranjana Shahi for the post of Mayor and Mr Raghuvir Lal Arora for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor through a fax message. All the three candidates filed two sets of nomination papers. In the case of Ms Shahi, her name was proposed by Mr K.K Adiwal and seconded by Mr Des Raj Tandon in the first set; and in the second set Mr Kanhya Lal proposed her name, while Mrs Kamala Sharma seconded it.

The Congress councillors filed one set of nomination papers for each of the posts a little after 4 p.m. For the post of Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goel’s name was proposed by Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala and seconded by Mrs Kamlesh.

“I am elated that the party has fielded me on the general seat, without any compulsion of reservation. It only goes to show the pragmatism of the BJP thinking,” said Ms Ranjana Shahi after filing her nomination papers.

Sources add that a decision on the suitable candidate was taken this morning following a meeting of BJP President Bangaru Laxman with senior RSS leaders, Mr Ram Das Aggarwal and the state BJP President, Mr Dharampal Gupta, and the same was conveyed just two hours before the deadline for filing nominations.

Meanwhile, a few BJP councillors have expressed resentment against the nomination of Ms Shahi to the post. They maintain that seniority has been ignored while fielding the party candidate.

With the elections to be held on 23, it remains to be seen what measures the BJP takes to ensure that there is no cross-voting this time. In all probability, both groups are likely to put a united front since their future is at stake in the next elections. The performance of the counillors will also be under a close scrutiny of the people for this being the last year of the term and will have a bearing on their getting the ticket this time.

On the other hand, newly elected Congress President, B.B Behl stated: “the Congress is all set to capture all the three seats this time and deliver the results to the people in the times to come.” While nominated councillors have promised us support, we will try to take the votes of a few disgruntled Jain group councillors”.

At a meeting held with the councillors and senior Congress leaders earlier in the day, Mr Behl issued a directive that the party should work unitedly for the victory of their candidates and that disciplinary action would be taken against those who went against this.

Mr O.P. Goel, the Congress candidate, is also hopeful of victory and getting some votes from even the councillors of the BJP.

BJP councillors, on the other hand, see no contest as they feel that they are contesting the elections only for the sake of it. “It is wishful thinking on their part, for they have not been able to do so during the past four years. The closest they have ever reached is when there was a party split and Mr K.K Adiwal and Mr Rajender Kumar contested the post of Mayor from the same party,’’ said one of the councillors.Back


Krishan Kant to preside over PU convocation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — In a rare appearance, Mr Krishan Kant, Vice-President and Chancellor of Panjab University, has agreed to preside over the university convocation on December 27, official sources said here today. Over the past several years, the Chancellor has been a very rare visitor on the campus convocations.

The Senate meeting on December 26 features confirmation of Prof Kare Narain Pathak as the Vice-Chancellor. There is also mention of Prof Pathak being allowed to continue as a Professor.

Proposal of a Centre of Tropical Medicine and Communicable Diseases at the PGI with the aid of the Trilok Tirath Vidyavati Chhuttani Charitable Trust has been called off. This involved a total of Rs 3 crore, Dr I.C. Pathak, managing trustee of the trust, informed.

The PU Senate decides to felicitate Dr (Mrs) Kamaljit Chopra (pharmacology), Prof S.K. Kulkarni (PU Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences) and Prof S.K. Malik (mathematics) for their academic achievements. There is another item congratulating Prof S.K. Sharma (Chemical Engineering and Technology) and Prof S.K. Kulkarni. The name of Prof S.K. Taneja, Zoology Department, comes up for appointment as a co-ordinator.

Prof Veer Singh is set to be confirmed as a honorary director of the coaching centre of IAS. Dr Ajmer Singh figures for confirmation in the chair of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The name of Mr H.R. Gandhar figures for confirmation as honorary director of the Regional Centre, Muktsar. Mr A.K. Bhandari is being considered for a final approval for exercising financial and administrative powers related to re-evaluation and supplementary examination.

The Senate figures elections of two fellows (non syndics) as members of the Board of Finance. One consideration involves increase in number of seats permissible in the Master of Education courses.

Names of Prof Ashok Sahni as the Dean, University Instructions, Prof V.K. Bansal as the Dean, Students Welfare, Prof Dinesh Kumar Gupta as the Dean, Alumni Relations and Prof S.K. Malik have been drawn up for Senate’s consideration.

Name of a rare achiever, Prof Jagdish N. Bhagwati, has been drawn up for D.Litt degree. The house also considers recognition of allowing semester system in Zoology (honours) in place of the current annual examination system.

The Association of Indian Universities has decided to hold its annual meeting in North India this time. A communication has been forwarded to the PU for consideration of holding the meeting in November or December later this year.Back


Focus to be on promotion of Punjabiat
Controversy, confusion surround Punjabi conference
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — As curtains are about to be lifted on the World Punjabi Conference due to be held in the city between December 22 and 24, controversy shrouding the same also seems to be deepening. Notwithstanding the complaints of the three akademies comprising the Punjab Arts Council, the office-bearers of the council today went on to announce the schedule of the conference which will see a convergence of world-renowned Punjabis in the city. It needs to be mentioned here that the respective presidents of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and the Punjab Sahit Akademi, had locked horns with chairman and secretary-general of the Punjab Arts Council over the issue of proposing establishment of World Punjabi Foundation.

The status quo continues as of date even while Mr Harcharan Singh, chairman of the council went on to announce that 21 Punjabis who have contributed to various fields of activity will be honoured during the conference. Reports have it that the three akademies were not consulted in context with the chosen names. The same was confirmed by Ms Dilip Kaur Tiwana, president, Punjab Sahit Akademi, who said that no member of any Akademi had attended any meeting pertaining to decision on these names.

This apart, the council secretary general, Mr H.S. Bhatty, today informed that the said luminaries will be honoured at a ceremony to be attended by the Punjab Chief Minister on December 23. The award will carry a memento based on heritage coin minted by Baba Banda Bahadur and used by Maharaja Ranjit Singh as currency. It will also carry a cash prize of Rs 1.01 lakh. Among the list of awardees are former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, British Columbia Premiere Ujjal Dosanjh, film producer Ramanand Sagar, Pakistani playwright Fakhar Zaman, Dr A.S. Marwaha and Dr Manmohan Singh.

Another important point disclosed today was the reduction in the amount of delegation fee from Rs 1000 to Rs 500. The registration for the conference will go on till December 22.

As per the detail of programmes released today, the focus will mainly be on promotion of Punjabiat. According to the organisers, many seminars are scheduled to be held on topics of concern to the Punjab. And the centrestage will be held by experts in the field. There will be an equal focus on staging of plays. Among the production to be staged are those by Shiv Kumar Batalvi (Luna), Ajmer Singh Aulakh and Bhag Singh (Heer Ranjha). Another highlight of the conference will be the youth festival to be held on December 22 which is open for participation from all the four Punjab universities.

Last but not the least, proposal for the establishment of World Punjabi Foundation will be put forth on last day of the conference. This issue is still being hotly discussed by the office-bearers of the three akademies who also spoke to media persons about the same today. Said Ms Harjinder Kaur, “They are calling the conference in the name of Punjab Arts Council. Ethically, they cannot raise funds for another foundation from the platform of the council.”

Ms Dalip Kaur Tiwana added that the council had supposedly raised Rs 1 crore for the foundation. She said: “They should have had the decency to put this money into the corpus of the council which is starved of funds. We have no money to pay arrears to our employees.“Prof Rajpal of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi also said that the akademi had not been taken into confidence on any matter of decision making. “Neither are they seeking any cooperation from us,” he added.Back


Karishma, Gaurav win Monte Carlo titles
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19— This sure was an evening straight out of dreamland. If not so for those who watched promising young boys and girls to show what they were worth, at least for the threesome in both men’s and women’s section who walked away with the coveted titles in the Monte Carlo show brought to the city by the Oswal group.

The two-hour long show saw a three-tier sifting of 40 contestants in the fray for Ms and Mr Monte Carlo titles which were eventually bagged by Karishma, Ramdev and Gaurav, respectively.

The contestants were judged by some famous personalities,including film producer N. Chandra, who gave hits like Tezaab and Wajood; TV and film actor Arif Zakaria, Subhash Ghai's brother Ashok Ghai; glamorous hairstylist Sylvie; fashion designer Leena Singh, film producer Deepak Sharma, Gick Grewal, Shashi Saini (Chief of Bureau, Savvy Society of India) and Ruchika Oswal.

The first and second runners-up titles went to Naina Rana and Reet Bhullar, respectively. Mandeep Bevli,former Channel V VJ , who was compering the show, introduced the winners among the girls who won the subtitles which were contested yesterday. While Gagan Chowdhry won the Ms Beautiful Smile and the Photogenic titles, Naina Rana won the Ms Beautiful Hair and the Ms Body Beautiful titles. Ms Monte Carlo Karishma also won the Ms Talented title.

Coming to guys — Manish Suri and Jimmy Sharma, were declared the first and second runners-up, respectively. Among the subtitles — Mr Muscle went to Johnny Oberoi, Mr Talented to Anuj Sharma and Mr Photogenic to Manish Suri.

Seven contestants were shortlisted in each men’s and women’s categories, who made it to the finals, which were made tough by the questions posed to them. Whereas the girls rushed with writing the answers to ‘who were the youth most influenced by?’ (friends, media or parents), the boys had a rather tough time judging as to which problem the Indian professionals had to grapple with the most. The question-answer round, as always, did the final trick.

The famous Dynamite dance group rocked the city beautiful with its vigorous dances. The group of six dancers kept shaking the chill off with their grand performances on earth-shaking numbers — Ricky Martin's Maria, Sukhbir's Ishq tera tadpave and Anamika's Sona disda.

While the dancers did their bit, Mandeep Bevli carried the crowd along with her instant wit. As a perfect hostess she cracked jokes and balanced the intermissions.


SDE arrested on corruption charge
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — A sub-divisional engineer with the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Kuldip Singh, was arrested by the UT Vigilance Department on the allegations of accepting money for regularising a sewerage connection.

According to sources in the Police department, Kuldip Singh was caught red-handed while allegedly accepting the first installment of Rs 3,000 from the owner of an Industrial Area auto repair shop, Mr Tejaswi.

Sources added that the SDE had asked for Rs. 9,000 for the purpose. After the demand of money, Tejaswi had reportedly contacted the officials in the Vigilance Department following which an operation was carried out under the supervision of Inspector Gurdial Singh. The SDE, said sources, was subsequently booked by the Vigilance Department under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.


Paying electricity bills

WITH the increase in the number of subscribers, the Telephone Department took certain steps for the convenience of the public. In the 1980s, some selected post offices were authorised to accept telephone bills. Thereafter, all post offices in the city were authorised for this purpose.

To further ease the situation a system of debiting the bill to the subscribers bank account was introduced. Recently a mobile van has been put into operation to collect telephone bills.

But things in the Electricity Department are the same as they were two decades ago. Though there has been a substantial increase in the number of consumers, there is no increase in the number of bill collection centres. Collection time at these centre is practically three hours in a day. Moreover, there is a single window to receive the payments. The consumers are forced to spend hours to deposit their bills.

At the same time, the Electricity Department suffers from what can be called ‘holiday syndrome’. In addition to holidays on Saturdays and Sundays, there are a number of holidays on account of festivals. In some cases, the holiday is preceded by a half holiday for nagar kirtan.

Mostly, the bills are received by the consumers only five or seven days before the last date for payment. If the bill is not delivered to the consumer, it is the consumer’s responsibility to get a duplicate bill after paying a certain amount. The department does not own any liability if the bill is not delivered to the consumer.

How long this game of public harassment will continue? Is the time of the public not precious? Do they deserve such harassment at the hands of these officials? If not, then why the decision-makers are mute spectators to this harassment of the helpless public?

To save this harassment and the loss of precious manhours, collections should be accepted on all seven days of the week from 9 am to 3 pm. Not only this, every sector should have a collection centre. All post offices and banks should be authorised to accept electricity bills.

A.P. Bhardwaj

Pollution from trucks

Trucks which bring sand from a dry river bed in Tira Jhampur village in Ropar district are creating problems for the villagers and also disturbing the ecological balance.

These trucks have damaged the link road from Dhanas village in the UT to Tira. When people object to the running these trucks on the link road, they take other link roads. Thus all roads leading to Chandigarh have been damaged. There are knee-deep potholes which the Punjab Government should take immediate steps to repair. The only road linking 15 villages to Chandigarh has been rendered unusable.

These trucks also pollute the atmosphere with clouds of smoke and noise.

Sand blown off from these open trucks hurt the eyes of the people and also causes skin ailments.

Naib Singh

Ceasefire and Pak

Responding to the ceasefire declaration by the Prime Minister, a Pakistani minister was seen on the TV saying that the unilateral decision was no solution to the Kashmir problem.

He had no hesitation in saying that Pakistan was created on the basis of the two-nation theory and, therefore, accession of Jammu and Kashmir to that country was natural because of its Muslim majority.

By the same logic, should Pakistan not accept the 13 crore Muslims who are still in India? Why do these Pakistani leaders not think before opening their mouths?

J.K. Mago


Panel to select market body secy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — The Chairman of the Chandigarh Agriculture Marketing Board has constituted a three-member committee to select an officer for the post of the Secretary of the UT Market Committee.

The committee has been formed by Mr M. Ramshekhar, Deputy Commissioner. It includes Mr H.K. Nagpal, SDM (South), Mr H.R. Nagra, Tehsildar, and Mr Goverdhan Dass, Accounts Officer. They have been asked to suggest a suitable candidate from among Mr Ranjit Singh, a superintendent in the board and Mr Ranjit Singh, a head clerk in the market committee.

It is for the first time in the past three decades that an officer would hold this post on a full-time basis. Earlier, officers used to hold this post on ad hoc basis. Both candidates have held the post earlier.

According to sources, the Chairman and directors of the UT Market Committee do not want any of the candidates on this post and have also met the Chairman of the board in this regard. They have recommended Mr H.S. Gill, an Executive Officer in the BDOs’ Office, for this post.

They say that Mr Ranjit Singh cannot be appointed on the post as per rules. Mr Jaspal Singh, who retires in three years, is due for a promotion, but he did not do much to streamline the functioning of the committee during his earlier tenure.

They say that Mr Gill is well versed with the problems of villagers and is thus an ideal candidate for the post.

Sources said the Chairman of the board had assured the directors that he would keep their recommendation in mind while taking a final decision in this regard. The meeting of the selection committee is to be held tomorrow.Back


Central Revenue North Zone Cultural Meet
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — A two-day Central Revenue North Zone Cultural Meet, 2000, organised by the Income Tax Department, begins here tomorrow.

The meet has attracted keen participation of members from the Income Tax Department as well as the Customs and Central Excise Department from various stations like Agra, Kanpur, Delhi, Indore, Bhopal, Haryana and Ludhiana.

Competitions of the meet are to be held in various categories, such as music — light classical and instrumental; solo and group dance; dramatics — one act play (regional language and Hindi), among others performances. The venues are the Government College for Boys, Sector 11, and Government College for Girls, Sector 11. Ms Surinder Pal Kaur, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, North Western Region, will be the chief guest of the opening ceremony of the function to be held tomorrow, a press release issued by Mr Ashwini Luthra, Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh, said today. The closing ceremony will be presided over by Mr Raj Narian, Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Among the highlights of the opening ceremony will be a jugalbandi on ‘ harmonium ’ and ‘sarangi’ by Ustad Mehmood Dholpuri and Fakruddin Dholpuri. Pradeep Dutta of Yamunanagar and Neelam Chauhan of Chandigarh will present a music programme. A gidha will be presented by students of the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35. This will be followed by a presentation of a one-act play by a group of amateur theatre artists of Chandigarh. The closing ceremony would have qawwali presentation made by Irshad Rahmat Qawwal and party from Malerkotla.


Educate people about human rights: Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — Stressing upon the need of awakening society regarding basic human rights, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today said : “We have to awaken the people, especially those living in remote rural areas, regarding the rights enjoyed by them under the constitution”.

Speaking after flagging off Vikas Parav rally on human right at Government High School, Sarangpur, the General said that right to life, liberty, equality and dignity were guaranteed by our Constitution and it was the duty of society to ensure that these rights were enjoyed by every individual irrespective of sex, age and caste.

While appreciating the efforts of the school for their plan to start night schools for slum children next month, the Administrator said that we must ensure education for every child.

Earlier General Jacob went around an exhibition of products made by the children. The Governor also took keen interest in the on-the-spot painting competition. The entire show, including the rally was organised by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board, the Chetana Society and the Rotary Club Chandigarh Midtown.

He also inspected the school band and visited the exhibition of the craft articles prepared at Chetana Industrial centres in Malloya as well as villages in Dera Bassi Block of neighbouring Patiala district. He also paid visits to the pandal where 120 students of the school were busy in drawing posters on various human rights, especially those of women and children. He flagged off a rally, comprising of 200 school children, which had a round of the entire Sarangpur village.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr M.S. Chahal, Member of the Punjab Human Rights Commission, informed that anybody having a grievance against any individual or government agency can approach the commission. Earlier, Dr (Ms) Vanita Gupta, President, Chetana Society and Rotary Club of Chandigarh Midtown, highlighted the activities of both these organisations being carried out for the upliftment of women and children.

Ms Surya Pandit, Secretary General, Chetana Society, gave an account of the growth of the activities of the society since its inception and said that it was attached to imparting vocational skills to adult women and girls.

Ms Kamla Sharma, Chairperson, Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board, said different months of the Calendar 2000 had been devoted to different topics concerning development of women and children and that already programmes under the Vikas Parav had been held by the different NGOs on issues of literacy, education and health.


Kalsia case: EO, clerks ordered to appear
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 19 — The Ropar Assistant Commissioner (complaints) has directed the local Municipal Council Executive Officer (EO) and seven clerks to appear tomorrow before him in connection with the Kalsia case probe.

The case is being probed by Mr J.C. Sabharwal, Assistant Commissioner (complaints).

The case relates to a senior clerk, Mr Avtar Singh Kalsia, who has been charged with illegally taking away an almirah containing office tehbazari records to his house. He has also been charged with failing to take up his new assignment in the octroi wing. The senior clerk was suspended by the then council Administrator and was later reinstead by the EO on the basis of a letter from the Ropar Deputy Commissioner.

The letter from the inquiry officer was received at the council officer today. It directed the EO to produce the relevant records.

It is learnt that Mr Sabharwal had visited the civic body office earlier and recorded the statements of certain officials concerned and saw the relevant records. Apart from that the council had been providing the necessary information to him from time to time.


Persons eligible for free legal aid
By Kiran Deep

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — “Access to justice for all”, this sign is indicative of the existence of an additional forum for the litigants for conciliatory resolution of their disputes even at the pre-litigative stages. The State Legal Services Authority, Sector 9,Chandigarh, has been providing free legal aid and services in the courts of all Judicial Magistrates in Chandigarh, to persons, who feel handicapped in their defence on account of lack of resources. Whatever may be your problem, an authority is their to provide legal services. The authority has been providing free counselling and assistance in cases of divorce, job discrimination and compoundable criminal cases. The authority has also been providing advice on welfare benefits, accidents, medical negligence, rent, repairs, mortgage and eviction cases.

The State Legal Services Authority has 17 members. The authority also has two committees, a High Court Legal Service Committee consisting of 10 members and the District Legal Services Authority consisting of 12 members including social workers.

Member Legal Service Authority and Former Joint Director Welfare Department, Punjab, Mr R.L. Sabharwal, talking to Chandigarh Tribune says that the Legal Services Authority has been providing assistance to persons with disability, member of Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe, beggar, an industrial workman and women or child having annual income of less than Rs 50,000.

Mr Sabharwal,informed that the authority was committed to effective and timely legal assistance to needy persons and said that the authority had provided Advocates at the state expenses and has been providing financial assistance as expenses of the court fee on behalf of eligible persons, expenses for documentation, expenses for summoning of witnesses and other incidental expenses connected with litigation.

Member of the Lok Adalat Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr K.K. Monga, says that if you want to improve your nation, improve the Children. Mr Monga further says that members of the authority has been visiting various villages in the resolution of disputes village along with the Member Secretary, Dr B.B. Parsoon, and other members and has been informing people about the services provided by the authority. The authority has been using different ways of communication with the masses and distributing pamphlets, calenders and posters regarding detailed information and had installed a board of information about the legal aid in the Punjab and Haryana High Court provided by the court.


CHB condemned
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — The Residential Welfare Society, MIG and LIG Housing Complex, Sector 45, has condemned the alleged pick and choose policy of the Chandigarh Housing Board in cancellation of the LIG and MIG dwelling units on the grounds of alterations in the units by allottees in Sector 45-D. The society in a press note claimed that there were alterations in the 95 per cent of the housing board’s units.

Mr D.S. Dhiman, president of the society, said that the allottees have already paid all the installments and some of them have even obtained the no due from the CHB. He urged the CHB to stop the cancellation notices till the proposed amendments in the bye-laws. The president claimed that they had met the chairperson of the CHB with the request but an official of the board came to get the units vacated.

The society also brought the matter to the notice of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local MP who visited the area on Sunday. Mr Dhiman claimed that the MP assured them to take the matter with the authorities and Administration as he felt it was unjust to ask the allottee after 15 years to vacate the units.


‘Religions preach eco-friendliness’
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — The shadows of threats that the world faces today on the environmental front are not out-of-the-blue creations. Man has carelessly allowed problems of the nature to affect the human life despite repeated warnings in ancient religious scriptures.

All religious texts contain strong messages that highlight concern and care needed in the preservation of resources for the safety of the mankind. Soil, water and earth have been glorified in most of these texts that people have been reading, but the message seems to have been forgotten.

Environment in Religious Scriptures has featured in discussions during an ongoing refresher course in Panjab University. Mr K.S. Arya presented the Hindu point of view on the subject, Prof A.S. Ahluwalia the Sikh view, Prof Akhtar Mehmood the Islamic view and Mr Harold Carver the Christian view.

Mr Arya, a former principal of the local DAV College, said that the word ‘eco’ had originated from the study of home. “Ecological awareness is the central theme of Vedas. Rig Veda is a collection of man’s interactions with his surroundings — natural, social and cultural,” he said.

Vasudev Kutumbkam (the whole world is a family) is one of the reference in holy scriptures. Another important aspect of these texts is stress on sustainable and minimal use of resources for preserving most of these for the future,” Mr Arya said.

“Vegetarianism is the natural trait that God had given to man. This is evident if we compare man’s physical traits to the other beings. The stress should be on the use of cowdung for fertilisation, Mr Arya added.

Prof A.S. Ahluwalia of the PU Department of Botany, said, “The Sikh scriptures say that air is God, water is father and Earth is mother.

The Granth says that we should not destroy the nature. It also includes references to rivers, mountains and climate.”

Prof Akhtar Mehmood, of the PU Department of Biochemistry, said Islam taught cleanliness, preservation of forests and water resources and that there was a need to control growth. He said lavish lifestyles were forbidden in Islam. Excessive luxury brought human downfall.

Mr Harold Carver, Principal of St Stephen’s School, said the first line of the Bible said, “In the beginning, God created heaven and Earth.” He said the environmental crisis was deeply related to the moral ecology and unemployment.

Mr Carver said, the moment we rebelled against natural forces, we paved the way for our destruction. The floods in the Noah’s story came as a punishment to the mankind.

Prof R.K. Kohli, coordinator of the workshop, said that science, law and the other disciplines had also featured in the workshop.


22,000 told to file property returns
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — The Chandigarh Administration has asked all its 22,000 employees to file their property returns and all Heads of the Departments (HoD’s) and Secretaries have been asked to ensure compliance. In the letter, the Joint Secretary, Personnel, has said that all property returns for the year 1999-2000 should be filed in by January 2000. The Department of Personnel HoD’s have been asked that requisite information be collected from the employees and records be maintained. The order covers all the group A, B, C and D category of employees and even those working with corporations and boards.

New look for PCR bikes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — The Chandigarh police is planning to give a new look to motor cycles of the Police Control Room zipping down the city roads and streets. The macho 350 cc machines are going to be painted yellow. The intention behind the move, say sources, is to make the city residents feel the presence of the police around them. Keeping in mind this point of view, 10 mobikes recently purchased by the cops were all yellow.Back


Fog in city
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — Chandigarh and the surrounding areas witnessed the first fog of the season today. The residents woke up to find the area engulfed by a thick fog. The visibility was reduced to a few feet and the drivers were seen driving their vehicles with the fog lights on. However, the fog started clearing as the day advanced and by around 10 a.m. the area was clear of the fog. The minimum temperature recorded was 9°C (48.2°F). The Met Department said that foggy weather would persist tomorrow morning as well with the minimum temperature was expected to be around 5°C.


Demonstrators held, freed
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 19 — Ten employees of the Haryana Government were arrested for demonstrating near the Punjab and Haryana High Court parking lot here yesterday. Later they were released on bail.

A case under Sections 147, 149 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against them.

Rs 30,000 stolen
A resident of Panchkula reported that Rs 30,000 was stolen from the dicky of his scooter here yesterday. Mr Mayank Gupta in his complaint said that the theft took place at the parking lot in front of Punjab National Bank, Sector 22. The thief also took away a bank draft. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Held with whisky
Girdhari Lal, a resident of the Mauli complex, Mani Majra, was arrested for allegedly carrying liquor pouches here last evening. According to police sources, 120 pouches of whisky were seized from his possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act was registered against him.

Car stereos stolen
The police has received two complaints of car stereo theft during the past 24 hours. In the first case, Mr Ramnik Mongia of SAS Nagar reported that the stereo was stolen from his car which was parked in Sector 17 on Sunday. In the other incident Mr Bachan Singh of Grain Market, Sector 26, alleged that the stereo of his Maruti car was stolen from his residence on Sunday night. In either cases the police has registered cases under Section 379 of the IPC.

Car theft
Mr Gurdev Singh, a resident of Sector 38, alleged that his Maruti car (CH-01-L-3672) was stolen from the parking lot of the CMC, Sector 17, here yesterday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.Back


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