Thursday, May 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Jacob okays need-based changes in CHB flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
In a major decision which would benefit about 41,000 owners of flats in the city, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today approved need-based changes in the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) dwelling units, as suggested by a committee constituted by the CHB.

The construction of a store with lightweight material in the rear courtyard, to a maximum height of 7 feet 6 inches, up to 100 square feet or 40 per cent of courtyard area, whichever is less, has been allowed. Independent and duplex houses have been allowed RCC store as per standard plan on the pattern of marla houses. The CHB dwelling units have also been allowed to cover sit-out terraces with lightweight material up to 100 square feet or 40 per cent of terrace area, whichever is less.

Additional covered area of upper floors in independent and duplex houses has been allowed. Projections to provide sunshade up to 1 foot 6 inches deep RCC or 2 feet 6 inches deep lightweight material has been allowed. Residents of CHB houses have been allowed to construct balcony up to 3 feet high, supported on pillar or column, on the front and rear, where no terrace has been provided, provided the construction is done on all the floors simultaneously. The length of the balcony should not exceed two-thirds of the length of the dwelling unit. They have been allowed to cover the balcony with lightweight material.

The meeting also approved a cut-out for terrace up to 9 square feet to maintain the services. One window per room on the end-wall, with maximum size of 2 feet by 6 feet, has been allowed. Opening for air-conditioners, coolers and fans, with maximum size of 2 feet 6 inches by 1 foot 9 inches, has been allowed, except on the end-walls. Plastering of exposed walls, subject to uniformity in the block, has been allowed and security gate in the common parking area has also been allowed. The residents have been allowed external drainpipe instead of spouts from the balcony, provided it is not attached to the sewerage system.

The front gate of any standard size has been allowed and fencing on boundary wall of dwelling units has also been allowed. Residents of CHB houses will be allowed to use scooter or car garage as store and they can also alter or remove any non-load-bearing walls. Underground and surface PVC tanks have been allowed on the ground floor.

The General was given a presentation by the Chief Architect and Secretary, Urban Planning, Mr Sarabjeet Singh Sandhu, who was assisted by Mr G.K Marwah, Chairman of the CHB. Also present were the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, and the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh. Mr Marwah informed that a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive Officer of the CHB, with the Chief Engineer of the CHB, an architect of the CHB and a representative of the Chief Architect, UT, as members, to go into the suggestions and submit the report. The committee invited suggestions from residents welfare associations of various CHB schemes and deliberated upon the suggestions.

General Jacob hoped that these amendments and relaxations would satisfy most of the residents, but structural safety should not be compromised. He asked the Finance Secretary to notify the recommendations within one week. He also gave directions to regularise General Power of Attorney holders who had limited violations within the approved need-based changes, even if uniformity of block had not been maintained.

The Administrator asked the CHB to launch a campaign for cancellation or demolition in case of structurally unsafe violations, particularly with Chandigarh falling in the seismic zone. He gave similar instructions regarding encroachments on government land after giving sufficient time to the residents to remove these encroachments or violations.

The Administrator directed that these recommendations become part of the overall plan of the new housing schemes of the CHB so that residents of future colonies did not face any problems. He also instructed the Chief Architect, UT, to ensure that building plans being submitted by cooperative housing societies adhered to these relaxed guidelines.

Now allowed are

  • Store upto 100 square feet or 40 per cent of courtyard area on ground floor
  • Pucca store in independent and duplex flats
  • Covering of balconies with glazing
  • Sunshades over windows
  • 3-feet balconies on both sides of the flat supported with pillars
  • Windows in corner flats
  • Use of garage as store
  • Removal of non-load-bearing walls



Leisure Valley needs care
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The Leisure Valley of Le Corbusier’s dreams seems to have gone with him. When Corbusier designed the concept of the valley, he had no idea of the massive distortion it was destined to face in the future. In the present state, the valley reflects anything but what it was meant to reflect. While the original plan talks of the valley as a beautiful unending green belt, marked with water features, today it is all about exposed pits and dumped woodstock. Not just that, it stands blatantly encroached at various points and tells the sad tale of distortion from the original concept by the master architect, who had even specified the manner in which the valley was to be landscaped and the kind of plants to be grown there.

In its finality, the valley was to serve one of the four sacred purposes evolved by Corbusier — the care of body and spirit, the other three being living, working and circulation.

A visit to the belt, which runs from the Capitol Complex and beyond Sector 42, confirms that the UT Administration has virtually done nothing to preserve its character. Encroachments can be see at various places — in Sector 23, where many structures mar the continuity of the belt, and most blatant ones in the stretch opposite the College of Art and three Government Museums in Sector 10, where the spirit of the valley is absolutely dead.

The Sector 10 Leisure Valley sports many structures, in violation of the Corbusier plan. The Edict of Chandigarh clearly mentions: “The Leisure Valley, the Rajendera Park and other parks, shall be developed as parks only and no building other than already planned shall be permitted”. As informed by Mr M.N. Sharma, the first Chief Architect of Chandigarh, who worked under Corbusier, “The only planned buildings were the Government College of Art and the three museums. Corbusier wanted the valley to have beautiful contrasting features, like a mix of wild and natural grass. Dams and rivulets were also proposed. But all this was to be later implemented”.

Never mind the Edict, today the valley is dotted with many structures in violation of the plan. Among the very first buildings to come up was the lawn tennis stadium, which was developed after clearing the dense jungle of bamboos existing in the valley. Then came the sculptors symposium organised in the valley some years ago by the NZCC and the Administration. This camp further marred the beauty of the belt. Informs Prof Prem Singh, who just retired as principal, College of Art, “The sculptures were installed without any planning. Most of them do not fit into the valley’s environment”.

Many art connoisseurs feel that the sculptors who participated in the symposium were allowed to install the creations directly. They feel that had the features been temporary, it would be acceptable. But, they were allowed to exist even when they fail to make a pleasing aesthetic statement. The worst part is the continued lack of maintenance of sculptures. Interestingly, the only sculpture approved for the valley by Corbusier was the one by S.L. Prasher (shown in the picture). This sculpture was never preserved. Even the letters inscribed on it are now missing and the pool in which it was raised is full of dirty water.

The biggest blow to valley’s beauty, however, came in the form of Kala Sagar, the so-called marvel in ‘scrap architecture’, developed by V.P. Goyal. Distinguished art lovers feel that the visually jarring structure should be removed forthwith. Says Mr M.N. Sharma, “It is nothing more than a highly unartistic junk yard which should be immediately done away with”. Prof Prem Singh adds, “One only wonders how this person was allowed to use the beautiful space of the valley. There is hardly anything artistic about Kala Sagar”.

Balwinder, another artist, adds, “Open spaces in the city are declining. And with this, the very spirit of the city stands tampered with. Even in terms of the valley, all decisions have been backed by the Administration. The city is suffering due to lack of a proper advisory board on art”.

Interestingly, Corbusier’s original sketch of the valley, housed in the Government City Museum till date, reads: “There were to be bridges crossing the Leisure Valley, with continuous green underpasses for pedestrians”. But all these plans remain to be implemented. UT officials, when contacted, said that the Administration had not yet applied its mind on the issue. They further informed that Mr Goyal had been requesting for a permission to expand Kala Sagar.

Ironically, Kala Sagar was inaugurated in September, 1998, by the then Adviser, Mr Jagdish Sagar. In 1997, the then Home Secretary, Ms Anuradha Gupta, allowed Vikram Dhiman to install another sculpture in the heart of the valley. She also inaugurated it in November 1997. Yet another sculpture, created by a student of College of Art, was allowed to be installed in the valley by the Administration.



Students to get special chance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Hundreds of students of final year under-graduate classes in Panjab University, who missed the compulsory paper in environment studies last week, will get a ‘special chance’.

Prof Paramjit Singh, Registrar, gave this information at a press conference here today. A formal declaration in this regard would be made after working out the formalities.

The examination is likely to be conducted before commencement of the forthcoming academic session. The university also proposed accepting certificates of students who had attended the compulsory lectures, but had failed to submit assignment papers to the university.

The press conference was called following utter chaos and confusion at the examination centres on April 30, when hundreds of students were debarred of a chance to take the examination. There was a communication gap between colleges and the university, but students were the sufferers.

Prof Ashok Sahni, Dean, University Instructions, said details of schedule for the first and the second year students would be chalked out later. Panjab University was the only one in the country offering the course following a Supreme Court ruling making ‘environment awareness’ compulsory. It was facing slight teething problems which would be worked out.

Annual examination in the course was conducted only once, in 1996. However, the passing result was less than 10 per cent because of which the paper was cancelled. Thereafter there was only a condition of attending seven lectures.

The university had made the submitting of certificates by the concerned colleges compulsory from March 31, 2000. The university showed non-receipt of certificates due to which sufficient number of question papers could not be provided, Professor Sahni said.

The university witnessed ‘‘quite a bit of confusion and chaos at the examination centres’’ this year. ‘‘The university wishes to clarify that the reported confusion and chaos was not due to the organisational short-comings on the part of the concerned examination branches’’, a note says.

The Registrar said, ‘‘The confusion arose because the principals did not, for whatever reason, inform the university by the specified date about students who by that time had attended seven lectures. They were now, only few days before the examination, trying to convey that they could not do it earlier due to an oversight.’’

The registrar said, ‘‘the university is keen to resolve the unpleasant situation which arose due to no fault of theirs and surely we will be able to find some amicable solution keeping in view the students’ interests and career.’’

It was also informed by Professor Sahni that nearly 59,000 students appeared for the examination this year. One of the problems pointed out in the examination was that there were students who paid the ‘special examination fee for the paper’, but were not allowed to sit in the examination. One of the reasons pointed out was that the students did not tick the option in the examination forms.

Interestingly, however, this session’s date sheet in a note mentions that examination will be conducted for ‘‘those candidates who had not submitted the requisite attendance certificates signed by the principals of their colleges to the examination branch of the university on or before the prescribed date’’.



Accused in Sec 40 firing case surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The accused in the Sector 40 firing case, Manwinder Singh alias Mani, reportedly a relative of an Akali Member of Parliament, today surrendered before the police. He was produced in the court and later granted bail.

According to the information available, it is learnt that a police party led by Mr Mani Ram Qadian of the Sector 39 Police Station, had gone to Patel Nagar village in Ferozepore yesterday in order to nab him. Relatives of the accused had reportedly assured the police party that they would produce him before the police today.

The accused was arrested under Sections 279, 323, 336 and 188 of the IPC and under sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act when he reached the Police Station today. The .32 bore licensed pistol used in the firing on the night of April 24 and the car that he had been driving was also seized.

The accused is the son of an Excise and Taxation Officer and was a correspondence student of MA English at Panjab University. He was staying here in a rented accomodation in Sector 38, along with another friend.

It may be recalled that on the night of April 24, the accused had a minor altercation with two other youths, Raman Jamwal and Munish Nanda near the Sector 40 rehri market. It is learnt that the accused was driving car (CH-03D-8117) and the two complainants had not let him overtake their car.


Unlicensed arms manufacturing unit
unearthed, 2 held
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 2
A well-known arms manufacturing company — Hesbee — having units in Chandigarh and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh has been found by the Punjab Police to be illegally manufacturing unlicensed arms at its local unit in Industrial Area, Phase 1, here.

The clandestine activity of manufacturing parts of .12 bore guns and air- guns at the unit had been running for the past 11 years.

The company was reportedly getting its supply of parts from a local unit. Several parts of .12 bore guns, machinery used in arms manufacturing and nearly 11 cars, including two Mercedes Benz, were recovered by a raiding party led by the Station House Officer, Mr Rajinder Singh Sohal, and the Executive Magistrate, Mr Bhupinder Singh.

The police suspects the cars to be stolen but were verifying the antecedents of the vehicles. When the raiding team reached the factory two employees, Ram Singh and Karam Chand, were allegedly busy manufacturing a part of .12 bore gun. According to the police, the owners of the factory, Mr Harjeet Singh Bhurjee and Mr Surjeet Singh Bhurjee, are absconding — a fact contradicted by the two arrested employees. The police claimed that the raids were conducted at the Sectors 18 and 36 Chandigarh’s residences of the owners but the premises were found locked.

Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, SSP, said the licence of the company to manufacture airguns at SAS Nagar unit expired in 1989 but it continued to manufacture arms from the unit ( B-11 and B-12) which bore a deserted look from outside.

Another theory of arms being sold to anti-social elements or being sold in the market without paying the tax was being verified by the police. Mr Bhullar did not rule out the possibility of the arms being sold under some other brand name supplied in the region.

Mr Sohal said Mr Harjeev Singh Bhurjee, a son of one of the owners, had also been booked under Section 420 of the IPC and the Arms Act. A visit to the factory revealed that 41 different items used in manufacturing of arms were there. A consignment — with marking of unfinished iron blocks and gutkas — was about to dispatch to the Mandi unit of the company. Wild growth of grass and junked gates of the factory gave an impression that the unit was closed.

Apart from two Mercedes Benz cars, an imported Fiat car (CH 2358), a Tata Sierra, a Cielo car, a Contessa car, an imported Hillman car, an Ambassador car, a Maruti Gypsy were found parked in the shed of the unit. It appeared that repair and painting job of the cars was also being done there.

Talking to this correspondent from the prison at the Phase 1 police station, the two employees, a foreman and a helper, said after the police raided the premises the owner of the unit came there and spoke with the policemen. However, the police denied this. Mr Bhullar said raids were being conduced to arrest the owners of the unit. While Ram Singh said he had come to the factory about an year ago from the Chandigarh unit and the other employees had been working there for a long. Both claimed that they had no knowledge that the owners did not have the licence to manufacture the arms.

The SSP said investigations were on to dig out more details. He said after the incident the Ropar police would check the licence of all arms manufacturing units and those selling the arms in the district. There were about five authorised sales outlets of arms in the district.



Want water? Get up at 5 a.m.
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
With the mercury soaring, residents in various parts of the city, mostly those residing in the southern sectors, continue to complain of water shortage and low water pressure. The problem is more acute for those residing on the second and third floors of these sectors, who are facing great hardship on account of the inadequate supply of water. Complaints of low water pressure are also being reported from colonies adjoining the city, such as Ram Durbar, Bapu Dham and Mauli Jagran.

According to information available, residents of Sectors 3, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 29, 30, 31, 41, 44, 45, 46, and few other sectors have been getting rather low water pressure during the past few days. As a result, people residing on the top floors, who are not getting any water supply, have no option but to carry buckets from the ground floor.

Residents in these areas point out that the morning water supply virtually stops at 7 a.m., after which there is barely a trickle and even the evening supply comes in at about 7 p.m. The water pressure is so low that it does not reach the top floors. One of the residents pointed out, ``For filling drinking water, one has to get up at 4.30 a.m. or 5 a.m., as the pressure is so low that it does not rise to the overhead tanks. The onset of summer means depending on neighbours for water. The Superintending Engineer (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh Kanwal, when contacted, said that problem of low water pressure was likely to continue during the summer. ``We start pumping water as early as 2.30 a.m. so that the overhead tanks get filled and people start getting the supply by 5 a.m. But since people get up late, they complain of inadequate supplies, ‘’ he said.

He further pointed out that since these areas do not have separate supply lines for drinking water and irrigation, people are busy misusing drinking water for irrigation purposes and washing their vehicles and driveways. Mr Singh has appealed to people on the ground floors to cooperate with those residing on the top floors and not to leave their taps open at night. This not only leads to wastage of water but is also liable to bring about inflated bills to the consumers. However, those residing on top floors should get up in the wee hours to fill water and use the same cautiously to overcome the problem of low water pressure.

According to figures available, the demand of the city has already shot up to 100 million gallons per day (MGD), whereas the supply of MC from various water resources still continues to be 64 MGD. Further, a few tubewells in sectors 18, 19, 21, 33 and 34 have been abandoned due to low water discharge and this has also affected the water supply in some of the sectors fed by these tubewells. Meanwhile, notices are being issues to all those found wasting drinking water, which might also help meet the shortfall.



RPO rejects forms downloaded from Net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The Regional Passport Office (RPO) has not updated its website since long causing inconvenience to people down loading application forms from the site. If anyone uses the application, forms available on the net by downloading and applying for a passport the RPO rejects these forms. A Rajpura-based applicant, Mr Praveen Jain , is facing a similar ordeal at the hands of the RPO’s staff.

His ordeal started when Mr Jain wanted to get a police clearance certificate from the Regional Passport Office. He preferred to rely on the website of the RPO (address:, wherein it was mentioned that for getting the said certificate the following documents were required: original passport; an amount of a few 100 rupees, to be paid as draft or cash; application form and a zerox copy of the passport. The website had also given the facility of downloading the application form as per one’s requirements.

Mr Jain says, ‘‘ I completed the application in all respects and came to Chandigarh to deposit it. To my surprise, my application was refused on the following grounds: An additional PP (personal particulars) forms was to be filled up; the fee in draft form was not acceptable; additional three photos were required.’’

“By the time, I could contact senior official, it was 12.45 pm, the time to end public dealing before, he adds. He further alleged that on contacting a senior official (Mrs Kaur, Superintendent), her behaviour was also quite unacceptable, as she showed ( me the gate before I could say anything).

In my view, world over various organisations are using their websites to furnish the most accurate information. The way our passport office is using internet, to misguide the customer is very much disappointing and in my view unpardonable. I request them to abolish their website, so that nobody can be misguided like me. It is really, very painful when the applicant comes from outstation, like me and has to face harassment,” an agitated Mr Jain told The Tribune on phone from Rajpura.

He also added that the RPO did not reply to any enquiry sent to them at their e-mail address. “I have not received any information on the passport application of my daughter, which was sent on February 16, 2001. I have not received any reply of my three e-mails sent to them, in this regard”, he complained.


Contractor rounding up our cattle: villagers
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
To take a bull by its horns and lead it out of the cattle pond is exactly what the Estate Office was required to do following complaints of ‘unjustified’ rounding up of cattle by a contractor, hired by the Estate Office to round up stray cattle. While the problem of stray cattle in the city seems unrelenting, the contractor has taken on ‘soft targets’, cattle belonging to villagers of surrounding area, to prove a point — that of his efficiency in clearing the city of unwanted mess.

Beginning almost a fortnight back, the spree to round up cattle from surrounding villages gained momentum much to the distress of the villagers who had to pay through their nose as their only fault was not taking out their herd from the drinking water pond.

“Each time we stepped out of our village, Haripur, the contractor’s men would chase our cows to the cattle pond. While we ran behind them to secure the release of ‘owned’ cows, they refused to let them go till we paid the fine. This was becoming an everyday story and we didn’t have the kind of cash to sustain payment of fine everyday,” Lakhpat Ram of Haripur rued.

With the number of complainants growing, the villagers, unable to bear this injustice any longer, submitted a representation to the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, who in turn, forwarded it to the Estate Officer, Mr D.P. Singh, for necessary action.

Justifying the rounding up of cattle, the Estate office said the nuisance of stray cattle was so immense that the contractor, assuming the buffaloes were unowned, took them into ‘custody’. The problem also cropped up because people of nearby villages tend to let their cattle graze without anybody accompanying the herd which makes it hard to differentiate between owned and stray cattle.

For an amicable solution, the Estate Office has specified points where the cattle could be taken for drinking water. “On the basis of the proximity to the village, nearly 10 points have been fixed. The contractor has been asked to stay away from cattle found at those points provided they are accompanied by the owner,” the Estate Officer, Mr D.P. Singh, stated.

The points specified for the purpose are as follows: Sector 14, on the road dividing Sectors 3 and 21, behind water works in Sector 1, new bridge in Sector 3, in the Ghaggar riverbed, and on the road dividing Sectors 20 and 21. 



DC meets panches, sarpanches
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, held a meeting of panches and sarpanches of villages in Morni, here today, for equitable distribution of fodder for cattle. She appealed to members of all elected bodies to extend cooperation in the work of supplying fodder to the drought-hit villages.

She said a survey to identify the number of cattle in the drought-hit villages had been carried out and 18 centres had been set up for distribution purposes.

Ms Arora added that the District Revenue Officer had been appointed as nodal officer and a control room had been established in the district secretariat and an officer of the administration would be available at the Block Development and Panchayat Office in Morni.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, she said that drinking water would be provided to drought-hit villages by tankers for which a budget of Rs 3 lakh had been allocated.

Replying to a question on the on-going lawyers’ strike, she said that the strike on the issue of a police raid at a colleagues place was likely to end tomorrow.

“The lawyers had a long discussion with me and I assured them that I would send a report to the government on the matter though the police was not wrong in carrying out the raid. The strike should have been called off since it is only putting the litigants to a lot of inconvenience,” she stated.


Police fails to take action: villagers
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur-Garibdas, May 2
Residents of Tira village have alleged that the police has failed to nab the culprits who attacked a watchman of the village’s paper mill on April 18. The watchman had reportedly suffered major injuries.

About 20 villagers, under the leadership of Mr Man Singh Manhera, a local Bahujan Samaj Party leader, went to the Mullanpur Garibdas police station to lodge their protest today evening

When contacted, Mr Parminder Singh Dhillon, SHO, said that one of the accused Sonu, was brought to the police station today and was later let off as per a court direction. He refuted the allegations that the police was not taking interest in apprehending the culprits.

On the night of April 18, three migrant labourers had reportedly attacked Mohinder Singh, a 60-year-old watchman of Angadh paper mill in Tira village. The mill had not been functional for the past few months. The attackers had reportedly planned to steal motors from the mill, but had to flee from the site as a passer-by had raised an alarm.

One of the accused, Sikander, had been a former employee at the mill and was arrested the next morning of the incident. A case under Sections 307 and 34 of Indian Penal Code was registered. 


Fissures near Nada: CSIO analysing data
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Realising the gravity of cracks developed near the hilly areas surrounding Nada village near Panchkula, a meeting to discuss prospective study and research into the matter was convened by the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) Director, Dr R P Bajpai.

According to a statement issued here, the Head of Fibre Optics Department, Dr A K Aggarwal and the Head of Geoscientific Instruments Division, Dr M A Shamshi, both from the CSIO as well as Prof L N Gupta, Prof Ravinder Kumar, Dr G S Gill and Dr Naval Kishore, all from Panjab University’s Department of Geology attended the meet.

Development of fissures and cracks near Nada village has drawn the attention of earth scientists, geotechnologists, engineers and planners in view of its close proximity to an upcoming urban center of Haryana. Surface expression of this feature has been mapped by a team of earth scientists from Panjab University.

Speaking to TNS, Dr Bajpai said that the CSIO had obtained data about seismic activity in the area and was analysing the data. He added that the research on the fissures would start once resources had been made available.

The fissures at Nada are located close to the Himalayan Frontal Fault, which are considered to be active and have been controlling the morpho-tectonic evolution of the foothills.

There are two different opinions regarding the origin of the Nada fissures. While a section of experts believe that the fissures represent a landslide caused by surface processes like gravity and geohydrology, some experts are of the opinion that the fissures have been triggered by accumulating strains and those accentuated by surfacial process.

Further geotechnical studies are needed in order to establish the nature and origin of these fissures and other cracks. It is also important to monitor the ongoing changes in the affected as well as adjoining areas. Immediate requirements are to carry out geodetic measurements by triangulation methods using sophisticated ground positioning systems.

There is also a need to establish the deeper geological structures and geohydrological features of the area by carrying out geophysical studies such as resistivity and gravity measurements. While the seismicity of the area is already being monitored, there is a need to establish an array of micoseismic stations around Panchkula and Chandigarh. Remote sensing data is also required to establish the tectonic and geohydrological features of this region.


Workshop on energy-efficient building concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
A two-day workshop on modern concepts of planning and design of energy efficient buildings being organised by the Army, concluded here yesterday. Several presentations on design and energy management were made by experts from related fields.

In the morning session, Mr Bipin Malik, professor from the Chandigarh College of Architecture, spoke on ‘Energy conservation and vernacular architecture’, while energy conscious design process and passive design measures were highlighted by Lieut-Col Satish Kumar.

In the subsequent sessions, engineers and architects from the office of the Chief Engineer Chandigarh Zone (CECZ) made several presentations. Mr Rakesh Saini delivered two separate talks on passive space conditioning techniques and concepts of thermal comfort and climactic zoning of India.

Shading devices and sun control measures were highlighted by Mr Jagdev Thakur, while Ms Veenu Vinayak explained about climactically responsive architecture. Both are architects, working with the Military Engineer Service.

Eminent speakers at the seminar included those from engineering and architecture institutes as well as experts from various state development authorities. The workshop was attended by participants from the Engineer-in-Chief’s Branch at the Army Headquarters as well as representatives of various zonal chief engineers based at Delhi, Bathinda, Jalandhar and Chandigarh.


PGI seeks govt intervention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The PGI Administration has sought the intervention of the Union Health Ministry to specify its action pertaining to the dismissal of the PGI Employees Union Leader, Mr Ashwini Munjal. Talking to the TNS today, the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma said the health ministry had asked him to stay the dismissal of Mr Munjal. It had, however, not specified till date the further action to be taken in case of the dismissed union leader, he said

It may be recalled that the PGI Director had dismissed Mr Munjal from services nearly 10 days ago. Mr Munjal had been recently reinstated after a period of suspension from August 12, 1997 to March 12, 2001.

However, the Union Health Ministry, in a fax letter dated April 27, had asked the PGI Director to stay the dismissal order of the union leader. After his dismissal order was issued, a group of PGI employees had approached the health minister seeking a reversal of the PGI Director’s order.

Mr Munjal had been charged with four articles, “for having committed serious acts of misconduct, resorted to coercion and physical duress, acted in manner unbecoming of an employee of the institute and failed to maintain devotion to duty.” He had also been disqualified for future employment under the government as per Rule 11 (ix) of the CCS CCA rules applicable to the employees of the PGI, as per regulation 38 of PGIMER Regulations 1967.

Meanwhile, members of the PGI Employees Union convened an urgent meeting today, to protest against the PGI Administration’s ‘‘unfair labour practice by setting aside directions of the high court and various apex bodies of the institute, those of including a high-powered committee’’ and also for not reinstating Mr Munjal.

According to an office-bearer of the PGI Employees Union, Mr Sunil Dutt, a general meeting would be held on the PGI premises on Friday at 5 p.m. If the PGI administration did not reinstate the dismissed union leader, Mr Dutt asserted , employees would be forced to go on a strike after a 15-day notice.


City losing pace in the literacy race
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
It seems that the city has not been keeping pace with other states and union territories in the literacy race, with the result that it has dropped to the sixth position according to the 2001 census.

Chandigarh was the second-most literate region after Kerala (81.56 per cent) and the most-literate UT, with a literacy rate of 74.81 per cent in 1981. But in the 1991 census, its overall position dropped to fourth and the city was pushed to the second position among the UTs, with Lakshwadweep, whose literacy rate was only 68.42 per cent in 1981, topping the list with 81.78 per cent.

Now the city of the “well-educated” has been pushed to the overall sixth position among states and UTs and third among the UTs. While as usual, Kerala, with a commendable literacy rate of 90.92 per cent was first overall Mizoram was second (88.49 per cent), to be closely followed by Lakshwadweep (87.52 per cent), which became the most-literate UT. Goa was placed fourth with a literacy rate of 82.32 per cent.

Chandigarh, whose literacy figures stood at 81.76 per cent according to the 2001 census, was overtaken by Delhi, which achieved a literacy rate of 81.82 per cent. They were closely followed by other UTs, Pondicherry (81.49 per cent), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (81.18 per cent) and Daman and Diu (81.09 per cent).

Observers felt that large-scale migration from UP and Bihar seemed to be the main factor behind the trend. “Since a majority of the individual and family migrations to the city have been from UP and Bihar, the states which have low literacy rates, traditionally the literacy rate has not kept pace with other states and UT,” Prof K.C. Kaistha, Director of the Population Research Centre, Panjab University, told The Tribune. It may be recalled that the literacy rates of UP and Bihar were 57.36 per cent and 47.53 per cent respectively, according to the 2001 census.

A majority of the migrants had settled in slums and villages on the periphery of Chandigarh where almost one-thirds of the city population lived, he said, adding that a substantial number of them did not send their wards to schools. Since the volume of migration had been tremendous during the period of 1991 to 2001, the increase in the literacy rate could not have been substantial, he added.


Fire near ammo depot
Our Correspondent

Dappar, (Lalru), May 2
Fire broke out near the Dappar ammunition depot here today. It was brought under control within one hour.

It took two fire tenders over one hour to control the blaze, which broke out at about 1 p.m. The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. Preliminary reports said the fire might have been caused by a piece of cigarette thrown by some traveller in a train.

The fire officer of Dera Bassi, said the fire broke out on the right side of the railway track adjacent to the depot. The cobbles at the track restrained the spreading of the fire towards the depot, he said.


Abandoned infant given to issueless couple
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 2
The new-born baby girl which was found abandoned on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in Singhpura Bhudda village near here yesterday was today handed over to a Panchkula-based issueless couple after holding a draw.

The draw was held at the Civil Hospital here in the presence of Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, DSP and Dr Ram Kumar, SMO, this afternoon.

Five families from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Rajpura, Raipur Khurd and Dhakauli had come to adopt the baby. A draw was held later which favoured Mr Bhupinder Singh and his wife Jaswinder Kaur from Panchkula. The couple had no issue even after 20 years of their marriage.

After preparing a birth certificate the baby was handed over to the couple.


Lawyers observe strike
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 2
On a call given by the Panchkula Bar Association, lawyers of the District Courts observed a day’s strike here today. The President of the District Bar Association, said that the association had supported the demand of the Panchkula Bar Association for suspension or transfer of DSP Sultan Singh, for raiding the house of a colleague. The President of the Young Lawyers Association said the lawyers condemned the incident.


Rise in vegetable prices
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
Prices of vegetables went up in the city and the rise is likely to continue in the coming weeks on account of the growing heat, while those of season vegetables showed a downward trend. The prices vary from sector to sector though these differ only marginally in the markets.

A kg of cauliflower was priced at Rs 18 this week in comparison to Rs 10 last week in the Sector 7 market, while the same was dearer at Rs 20 in the market of Sector 8. However, tomatoes continued to be available at last week’s price of Rs 12 a kg in both markets.

Cabbage with vendors was priced at Rs 10 a kg, while a kg of brinjal cost Rs 14 for the big variety, while the small ones cost Rs 12 in Sector 7 and Rs 14 in Sector 8 where only this variety was available. The price of the vegetable was up by Rs 2 a kg.

The price of a kg of lady’s-finger went down by Rs 8, the vegetable available for Rs 22 against Rs 30 a kg last week though capsicum was remained unchanged at Rs 40 a kg in the Sector 7 and 8 market. The price of a kg of bittergourd was halved with the vegetable available for Rs 20 a kg. The price of ginger also came down by Rs 5, costing Rs 30 a kg.

Priced at Rs 8 and Rs 10 a kg respectively, the pahari and the ordinary variety of potatoes were expensive and a kg of onion was sold at Rs 10 a kg. The prices are expected to rise even further. A kg of beans was priced at Rs 24. A kg of gourd was available for Rs 12 and a kg of pumpkin for Rs 10.

Today’s prices  (in Rs per kg)
Tomatoes  12
Cabbage  10
Cauliflower  20
Capsicum  40
Ginger  30
Beans  24
Lady’s-finger  20




A little strange as it may sound, but a brief understanding of this principle may make your room or house a better place to live. It can also be of extreme use when you plan to design or decorate your house. Firstly, the carpet should be is sync with the room’s shape. This will create balance and harmony. Differently or irregularly shaped carpets will only create confusion and chaos in the room. This clearly means that rectangular or square shapes are to be preferred over round or oval shapes. Another important factor to be kept in mind is the design of the carpet. Carpets with busy, abstract patterns and designs should not be put. Where as carpets which have exquisite, intricate and delicate designs can be bought. It is the abstract designs that create masses of uncertainty, which can cause problems. Lastly, carpets should never be put on the walls as they spread negative vibrations in the house.


Address your Feng Shui queries to:
Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



2 theft cases registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Two cases of theft have been registered in the past 24 hours.

The stereo of a car, speaker and the head-rest of the front seat of a car ( CH-01P-7715) were stolen while it was parked at Jagat Theatre between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. In another case, a resident of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, was caught by the police and a spare tyre of a tractor belonging to Mr Roshan Singh was recovered. The accused, Dharam Singh, had reportedly stolen the tyre on April 24.

Five injured
A scooterist, Mayank Vij, was hit by a car (HR-03E-9999) near the Sector 22 and 23 traffic lights last night. The driver fled from the spot and the victim was admitted to the PGI. Subhash Sharma, a resident of Sector 41-A, was injured when his scooter (CH-01S-3931) was hit by another scooter driven by Rajeev near the police headquarters in Sector 9. The accused fled from the spot leaving the scooter. Subhash Sharma is recuperating in the Sector 16 General Hospital.

An unknown car in Daddu Majra hit Aditya Prakash, a pedestrian last night. A scooterist, Rakesh Kumar, was hit by a car near PGI Chowk at about 2 p.m. this afternoon. An unknown cyclist was hit by a car near the Transport traffic light point late last night. All these people have been admitted to the PGI for treatment.


Woman commits suicide
A 22-year-old married woman committed suicide in her parents house in Phase 2 here on Wednesday. The deceased was upset and had been married twice. The body was handed over to her family members after postmortem.

Case registered
The local police has registered a case against Afsal Khan of Burail village for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in Phase X here on Tuesday. The victim was living with her sister at Burail and had come to her house in Phase X when the suspect committed the act. A case under Section 376 of the IPC has been registered.



Police conducts raids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The police is still on the lookout for the Punjab Police Sub Inspector, accused of kidnapping P. Kakkar, a Punjabi film actor and producer. Though raids are being conducted in order to nab the accused, the city police has not achieved any success so far.

The second police party that was sent to Khalshian in Amritsar, too, has not met with much success. Raids are being conducted in various villages in Amritsar district to nab the co-accused along with the Punjab Police.



2 held for assaulting constable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The police today arrested two youths who had smashed the window panes of a truck belonging to the paramilitary forces and had assaulted a constable in the Sector 14 and 15 traffic light point area. The arrested youths are Ravneet Singh and Prabhjot Singh.

The two were travelling in a car (CH-03A-9257). Their car hit the truck from the left side and they chased it to the roundabout dividing Sectors 14, 15, 24 and 25. A case has been registered against them under Sections 147, 149, 323, 332, 356, 186, 506 and 427 of the IPC.


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