Sunday, June 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



CBI raid on PGI cardiology lab snowballs into a row
Case of mistaken identity made out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The CBI “raid” on the Cardiology Department of the PGI earlier this week leading to the recovery of certain life-saving items worth Rs 1 crore is developing into a big row between the PGI and the CBI.

While the CBI is pressing for an inquiry into the complaint which led to the “raid”, the PGI has questioned the very propriety of the CBI action .

The PGI Cardiology Department said today that CBI’s action in conducting a “surprise check” on the Cath Lab on Wednesday last was “without any substantive reasons. The country’s top investigating agency has confused the issue because of lack of knowledge about the functioning of two different departments of the PGI,” said Additional Professor Anil Grover, Head, Cardiology Department of the Institute, while addressing media persons, here today.

Dr Grover was joined by Assistant Professor Puneet Verma (acting Head of the Department the day the surprise checks were conducted) who categorically claimed that the CBI team had come to the PGI looking for valves used by heart surgeons of the Cardiothoracic Department.

It is learnt the CBI was conducting a preliminary inquiry against a PGI heart surgeon. Cardiology and Cardio- thoracic were two separate departments, headed by two different persons, they said, adding that the surprise check of the Cath Lab had revealed nothing incriminating and the matter was blown out of proportion by the media.

The two doctors said the checks could have had serious implications as these amounted to interference in the performance of their duty by doctors attending to the emergency patients. The CBI team was told in clear terms that it could not seal the stents as these would not only hamper the functioning of the lab but also endanger the lives of the patients requiring these life saving devices urgently, said Dr Verma.

Asked when they planned to take up the matter with the CBI officials, the doctors said, “We have explained our point of view to the Director and the Medical Superintendent.”

They declined to comment any further on the functioning of the Cardio- thoracic Department.

To a pointed question, Dr Grover said that the PGI Cath Lab was directly under the supervision of the Medical Superintendent (MS). Surprisingly, just two days back, the PGI M.S., Dr A.K. Gupta, had told TNS that he had nothing to say about the surprise checks by the CBI team and the Cath Lab was the responsibility of the Head of the Department who in turn was directly accountable to the Director. Dr Grover, however, declined to comment on what Dr Gupta had told TNS.

Dr Grover and Dr Verma also said that the stents claimed to have been recovered during the surprise check were duly accounted for and were available in the Cath Lab “purely for patients’ convenience”. The particulars of the used stents, including bars and code slips, are entered in the patient’s file,” they said.

The two cardiologists stressed that the stents in the Cath Lab were part of a revolving stock maintained by the suppliers from which the interventionists selected, the required size for patients. “Stents are used as a part of an emergency procedure and it is not possible, as in the case of valves, to predict in advance a stent of which size would be needed to decongest a particular artery.”

The PGI Cath Lab does not have an alternative to keeping these stents in the Cath Lab to save the patients’ lives till the Institute introduces a package deal for such patients on the pattern of the AIIMS”, Dr Grover said.

“After a stent is used, the patient is expected to pay for it,” Dr Grover said. If the patients wanted, they could buy the stent from the supplier of their choice.” A list of 10 suppliers of stents, all local, was released to the Press on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Dr Grover added that the PGI Cardiology Department had sent a letter to UT Finance Secretary urging him to bring down the sales tax on this life-saving item (stent) on the pattern of Delhi where there was no sales tax on similar items. This would help reduce the price.

Dr Verma added that stents had not been seized by the CBI team, they were they stacked and locked in an almirah, of which one key was with Dr Grover and the other with the CBI .

The two doctors also stated that the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, and the Chief Vigilance Officer, Ms Meeta Lochan, had informed them that no case was being investigated into against the Cardiology Department.

It may be mentioned here that the CBI team had conducted surprise checks on the PGI Cath Lab and as per the sources had found stents worth more than Rs 1 crore. Many had expressed their doubts over the need for keeping more than a 100 stents in the stock especially when on an average, the department conducted two or three angioplasties and stenting procedures on a day.

While last year the department had performed 235 interventions, in 2000-2001, 561 such procedures were carried out.



Families of murdered kids in grip of fear
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 23
Father of one of the two children murdered in Siau village, near here, said today that after the crime his family and that of his brother were in the grip of fear and apprehended that they might not get justice.

Mr Dhani Ram, father of Vikram Preet (9), who was murdered along with his first cousin Raman Preet (5), told a press conference that all-out attempts would be made to shield the guilty.

He accused a leader of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Kiran Bir Singh Kang, of always backing the Jat family with whom the families of Mr Dhani Ram and his brother, Mr Jarnail Singh, had a dispute over the use of a piece of land in the village.

Mr Mann Singh Manhera, secretary of the Punjab unit of the BSP, who had organised the press conference, said conditions under the Parkash Singh Badal government were worse than those during the rule of Aurangzeb.

Dalits were still being oppressed and the latest example was the brutal murder of the two children.

Mr Manhera feared that the murder case would take an unfavourable turn for the two Dalit families whose children had been done to death. He alleged that there would be political interference and attempts made to ensure that the murderers went scot-free.

Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, a former Punjab minister, in statement issued here condemned the murder of the innocent children. He said the act was inhuman.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that no physical injuries were noticed during the postmortem examination of the children.

However, doctors at the local Civil Hospital said a final verdict could only be given after the receipt of the chemical examination report from Patiala.



Siau incident: man in custody till July 6
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 23
Mrs Harinder Sidhu, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded Meehan Singh who was arrested by the police on the charge of attacking and injuring Mrs Swarn Kaur (grandmother) of the two murdered children of Siau village in judicial custody till July 6.

Mr J.S. Punn, Assistant Public Prosecutor who appeared on behalf of the State, asked for police remand and explained that some close relatives and others had murdered two children in Siau, they were absconding.

He pleaded before the court that the police had not got any information from Meehan Singh about his relatives but the court had remanded him in judicial custody.

The accused, Meehan Singh, and others, had made an attempt to take possession of a plot of land belonging to Mrs Swarn Kaur (grandmother of the murdered children).

The Sohana police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 506, 148 and 149 IPC and the S.C. and S.T. Prevention of Atrocities Act — 1989.


Rain leads to a virtual exodus
Sukhna choe is breached
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, June 23
A heavy downpour early this morning brought misery for over 50 families in Sukhna Colony in Bishanpura village as Sukhna choe overflowed and water entered almost every house.

High water current of the choe broke the banks and entered the colony at about 6 a.m.

More than 25 houses and cowsheds were badly affected and food grains were submerged in houses in about 4 to 5 feet water. About 30 acres of village land was flooded, following which the residents had to take shelter atop their houses and other safer places.

Clothing and other household goods were submerged in the muddy water. Cattle were untied and herded to safer places nearby.

Villagers had a tough time for more than six hours to flush out the water accumulated in their houses, cowsheds and courtyards. Some of the residents had to make holes by breaking walls for water outlets.

On getting information, Mrs Inderjit Kaur Kang, Tehsildar, Mr N.K. Chopra, SDO, Drainage Department of Punjab, and Mr A.L. Bansal, Executive Officer of the Nagar Panchayat, reached the spot and surveyed the flood hit area.

Meanwhile, colony residents alleged that the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities have done nothing to solve their problems despite repeated complaints. The residents had given a representation seeking construction of a pucca road but no action was taken.



Heavy rain continues to lash city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Heavy rain continued to lash the city and its surrounding areas for the second consecutive day following the onset of monsoon.

While intermittent showers continued through the night and early hours, only a trace or rain was recorded during the day. Though the skies remained generally overcast in the morning, the cloud cover broke up around mid-morning, paving way for bright sunshine.

According to the weather office, the city received 110.4 mm rain during the last 24 hours. The mercury further dipped to 31.4° C — eight degrees below normal.

While the heavy downpour brought in the usual woes for some, for others the consequent weather afforded a chance for outdoor revelry. Also being a Saturday, tourist spots, specially the Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden, Leisure Valley and the Terrace Garden were brimming with visitors.

Meanwhile, residents of the Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, complained that because of blocked drains, the rain water had entered the garages, affecting the items stored there. They alleged that sewerage line of the Mariwala Town, having a diameter of two-and-a-half feet had been connected to the sewerage line of the housing complex, which had a diameter of just one-and-a-half feet. As a result, sewerage water from the larger line started emerging from the roadside gutters.

Residents of Sector 33 also complained of water accumulating on the road, apparently as a result of blocked drains.


Rain water floods shops, causes panic
Our Correspondent

Nayagaon, (Kharar), June 23
Panic gripped over 100 shop owners along the main road of the village as the their shops got flooded with rain water in the wee hours today. The shop owners had only drained off the storm water from their shops yesterday afternoon. The plinth level of the shops had lowered after the Building and Road (B&R) branch of the Punjab Public Works Department relaid the road.

For want of any parallel drainage system, the area has become prone to floods during the rains. Since the relaying of the road, these shops had been flooded at least on three occasions. The shop owners and the local residents are demanding immediate construction of drainage system in the area.

Huge damage was reported as rain water flooded the shops here. The vice-president of the Nayagaon Market Welfare Association said, ‘‘We spend hours in flushing out the water from our shops’’. According to him, the shopkeepers started the work in the early morning and it was only by 10 am that they were able to dry their shops.

Rain water caused huge damage in some of the shops. The shop owners were keeping their fingers crossed. One of them said, ‘‘What we saw this morning was only a trailer. The monsoons have set in.”

Shop owners had a tough time this morning to clear water from their shops. In some of the shops, water had accumulated upto a few feet. The shopkeepers used buckets and other household utensils to throw out water from their shops.

Not only the shopkeeper, but the customers and commuters also faced inconvenience because of water-logging along the roadside. The UT road from the Nayagaon barrier to Khuda Alisher village is on a higher level than the village main road. This factor also aggravates the water-logging problem in the area as the water on UT road also flows in the area.

Some of the shopkeepers here had started raising the plinth level of their shops, but the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) sent them notices for raising unauthorised constructions. The level of the road had been raised by about two feet, making over 100 shops on the either side of the road vulnerable to flooding. A parallel drainage system was planned along the road, but the B&R wing abandoned the work midway.

When contacted, a B & R official said a drain system would be built up along the road ‘‘soon’’. Asked about the delay in construction of the drain, the official claimed there was no place to empty the drains.

The president of the Residents and Shopkeepers Joint Action Committee blamed the B&R officials for the mess. He said the drain system should have been constructed side by side. Said a shopkeeper, in whose shop about one foot deep water had got collected, ‘‘Only yesterday afternoon we had drained storm water from our shops and we had to do the same again today’’.


Food industry offers many avenues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
For all those under-graduates and post-graduates who are thinking of a career in hotel and food industry, the city has some good and coveted courses to offer in cooking, house-keeping, front-office management etc.

There are two institutes in the city, Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Nutrition and Catering, Sector 42 (IHM) and the Food Craft Institute (FCI), Sector 42, both recognised by and affiliated to the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering, PUSA, New Delhi. The national council is also the examining body of these institutes and the syllabii of these institutes is managed by the council. This council is the apex body, which under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, looks after all IHMs and FCIs in the country. The Additional Director General, Tourism, is the chief executive of the council.

The two institutes in the city are run by the Chandigarh Administration, constituted by Board of Governors with the Home Secretary, UT Administration, is the chairman of the board of governors.

The Food Craft Institute offers diploma in five courses:

Diploma in Cookery ( 70 seats)

Diploma in bakery and confectionary (30 seats)

Diploma in Front office operation (35 seats)

Diploma in food and beverage services (70 seats)

Diploma in Housekeeping (35 seats)

The diploma is of one and half years’, duration one year out of which is the institutional training followed by six months of hotel industry training. All students of the institute are chosen on the basis of campus interviews by major hotels of the country and trained there. Many students also choose to go to hotels in the city. The campus placements start by December end.

The minimum qualification for applying for these diplomas is class XII in any stream but many graduates also take up these courses. Admission to the FCI is through a written test of English, general knowledge and some questions related to the subject of diploma followed by an interview. The merit list is prepared, based on the marks in Class XII, performance in the written test and interview.

Practical training is done at the institute’s restaurant called Nimantran and their bakery elevenses other than their kitchens through the year. A batch of 35 students from the five diplomas is chosen at the end of the session to be trained in the restaurant for two months. These students are given a separate certificate for this training.

The FCI also holds some short courses for the general public and housewives during summers. There are live demonstrations and refresher courses for hotel industry professionals.

The Institute of Hotel Management offers: Three year diploma course in hotel management, nutrition and catering.

The subjects taught as part of this course include food and beverages, kitchen, bakery, maintenance, housekeeping, computer and accounting. The institute offers 180 seats in this course.

Class XII students of any stream can apply for this diploma. Students’ admissions are based on an entrance test which takes place in mid- April and by first week of July the results are declared based on interviews, the entrance test marks and Class XII marks.

A six-month training is part of the first year in the institute. These students are sent to various hotels in the country and city for a six-month training. Students are chosen on the basis of campus interviews and most of these are later placed in hotels also.

Both institutes have been reportedly recording 100 per cent placement for the past many years.


Missing signal causing mishaps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The abruptly changing signal from red to green at most traffic light points in the city continue to cause confusion and accidents. The poor condition of these lights in most parts of the city, especially the area falling south of Madhya Marg, also adds to the problem.

Accidents and confusion due to the missing amber, when the signal changes from red to green at most of the 24 light points in Chandigarh, is now becoming more frequent. Most of the residents claim that they are still unaware of the new system.

Police officials maintain that each day, as many as three to four minor accidents take place at the various light points where the amber sign is missing. Many a serious accident have also been reported at these junctions because of the confusion of the drivers.

The commuters at the Sector 15-16 light point, 18-17-9-8 light point, lights on the light point on the road dividing Sector 27 and 28 or on the crossing of Sector 29 and 30 are still baffled at the changing signals. It is observed that many commuters stand at the light points zapped at the sudden change from red to green, while others rush down the lane.

Claiming the “new system” to be on an all-India pattern, the SP Traffic said the decision to exclude the amber signal was taken a few months back after a thorough study regarding the functioning of the traffic signals in the city was undertaken.

He claimed, “Commuters were earlier crossing the roads without even waiting for the light to change from amber to green. This was responsible for a substantial minor and major mishaps at the lights. In fact, this decision has reduced the number of accidents at these junctions.”

Meanwhile, he also informed that the traffic police was now considering a proposal to install countdown clocks at traffic light points, which would count down to the time remaining before a change in signal. “This will further reduce the accidents at these light points because of the confusion,” he said.

The residents, on the other hand, assert that they are ill-informed about the change in pattern. They say the problem caused due to this move is worse for drivers coming to the city from outside.

Meanwhile, residents also complain of the run-down condition of the traffic lights in the city. It is alleged that at many of these junctions, the covers of the traffic light points are broken and often not replaced. The covers of these light points are rarely cleaned, which reduces visibility of the signal.

A perfect case in this regard are the two traffic light points adjoining each other on the road dividing Sector 14 and 15, which after going from red to amber, go red again for a few seconds before turning green.

The Superintending Engineer, Electrical Circle, when contacted, denied that the traffic light points were poorly maintained. “ As soon as any problem in the traffic lights is reported to us, immediate action is taken,” he said.



Tension at JCT factory
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 23
Tension prevailed at the JCT factory here today when its senior officials left the premises and also directed the administrative staff to vacate the unit.

Leaders of the employees’ union said this sudden action of the officials had created a scare in the factory that the management wanted to take some step against the interests of the staff. There were apprehensions that employees might lose their jobs.



Kanishka crash: learning to live again
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
A few months before her wedding, Amarjit Bhinder’s would-be husband asked her to repeat “nothing will ever come between us’’ and she added “not even death”. Today, 16 years after her husband, Air India co-pilot Capt S.S.Bhinder, died in the Kanishka plane crash, she believes she has lived up to her commitment.

“Even death could not come between us,” she asserts. “Rather this is the only path which will lead me to him. But before that I have to finish the assignments passed on to me by him. Till then, death please you have to wait....” She is currently in Singapore with her daughter, who was recently blessed with a son.

HAPPY DAYS: Capt S.S Bhinder with his wife Amarjit Bhinder soon after marriage and (right) with family before the crash.

Amarjit Bhinder was quite young, when the Boeing 747, AI flight 182 crashed near the Irish coast on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 persons on board. Since then she has been existing, not living. “When you lose someone you love deeply, you actually stop living,” she says. “You try to exist for the dear ones in your life”.

The tragedy may have shaken her, but hasn’t left her scarred. Her son-in-law and son both are pilots. “I think flying runs in our blood. Somewhere in some corner of my heart, I do get worried, but then I am happy for them”.

She adds: “My daughter Jasleen also wanted to fly, but gave up the idea after the crash. The link, however, is still there as she is now married to a pilot in the Singapore Airlines”.

Going back in time, she recalls, “Those were tough days. Jasleen was only 10, my son Asham Deep was two years younger. If I cried, they would also cry, if I stopped, they would also calm down. Though I tried to give them everything possible within my capacity, I believe the emotional vacuum left by their father’s untimely departure can never be filled”.

But didn’t she think of resettling? “Resettlement was not a simple answer to my situation. First of all, I had two children who needed me to raise them with all the possible facilities — good education and a decent standard of living in this highly competitive society. Secondly, I really loved my husband. Nobody could have taken his place. Today, I am proud to be his widow than being the wife of someone I would not have been able to respect”.

Soon after the incident, Amarjit Bhinder took over as Assistant Manager and joined Air India as Station Head at Chandigarh, designated as resident sales officer in 1986. “The job was necessary. I was too young to sit at home and wait for old age. We had no source of running income other than my husband’s pay,” she asserts. “Four of us had just returned from a foreign trip and our bank balance was zero. I had to work for money to run my home and educate my children. I wanted to be free of any financial obligations and follow the footsteps of my husband who was a self-made man”. I can now say with conviction that I have always tried to lead a life that he would have wanted us to do if he was alive”, she adds.

But how has her work treated her? “My work has given me confidence to face this world and financial support to raise my children with respect in this society”.

Giving details, she says, “Three years back, I took over as manager of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. I am also overseeing other offices in Punjab. Lot of travelling is involved but I am not worried as the kids have grown up”.

Is she happy? “Yes, as happy as a person in my situation can be. But I am hoping that the investigations into the crash following the arrest of two accused in the case will bring out the truth. The authorities should not hush up such matters. They should rather share the findings with the world so that others learn from the mistakes and do not repeat them”.


Dhawan faction sidelined in CTCC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The Harmohan Dhawan faction has been completely sidelined in the reconstituted executive body of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), which was announced here today.

According to the list, which has been approved by the President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Ram Pal Sharma, Mr Dharamvir Manchanda, Ms Shreshta Mehta, Mr Amar Nath Sarhadi, Mr J.N. Shastri and Mr Kulbhushan Gupta will be the vice-presidents.

Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Sunil Parti, Mr Surinder Bhatia, Ms Bhupinder Kaur, Mr Parampal Singh Matharoo and Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma will be the general secretaries while Dr Mohammad Khalid will be the treasurer.

Sources said the party had sent a clear signal to Mr Dhawan, who had floated the Chandigarh Vikas Manch recently, by not including any of his supporters in the new executive. While two of the elected delegates of the faction — Mr Devinder Singh Babla, Mr Dr O.P. Verma — had already been expelled by the Congress, another elected delegate, Mr Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy, had been suspended. Moreover, another two elected delegates of the Dhawan faction — Mr Raj Kumar Rathore and Mr Kuldeep Singh Kajheri — had also failed to find a place in the body.

On the other hand, the party had tried to maintain peace among various factions by accommodating leaders of different factions. While the elected delegates, owing allegiance to the Venod Sharma faction — Mr Mehta, Mr Gupta, Mr Parti and Ms Bhupinder Kaur — had been included in the body, the Manish Tewari faction had also been taken care of by including Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma. The rest of the office-bearers owed allegiance to the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and the CTCC chief, Mr BB Bahl.

Now three district presidents are to be named by the party high command.



Centre to introduce BOT scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The Centre will soon introduce built, operate an transfer (BOT) scheme in the three waterways to improve cargo transportation within the country, the Union Minister of State for Shipping, Mr Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, said here today.

Under the BOT scheme, which will be completed within the next two years, private companies will be invited to construct berths on the ports and use it for loading and unloading of cargo, the minister told reporters here. He said that the centre would allow private as well state government to run ports by jointly constituting a company.

He said that of the three waterways-Haldia-Allahabad, Haldia-Guwahati and Kerala back waters, only Haldia-Guwahatiis was properly functional. “The other two waterways have been partially functional due to huge amount of silt in their operative channels,” he added.

He said that the Centre would also provide night navigating facilities in the three waterways. He said that these waterways could be utilised in the transportation of heavy cargo like cement, heavy machine and petro-products.



320 join ITBP as constables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
As many as 320 recruits, including five women, were absorbed as constables into the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at an impressive passing-out parade and attestation ceremony on the culmination of the 52-week basic training course at the ITBP Basic Training Centre (BTC) at Bhanu, near here, today.

The constables included 113 personnel from the 128th batch, 114 from the 129th batch and 93 from the 130th batch. While 67 constables are from the technical stream, others are from the general cadre.

Former ITBP Director-General R.K. Wadehra reviewed the parade and took the salute. Addressing the recruits he exhorted them to prove themselves worthy of the force and keep up the traditions of the ITBP. He also gave away prizes to recruits for outstanding performance in various disciplines during the training period.

The Additional DIG, BTC, Mr S C Nayar, highlighted the training aspects at the centre. A colourful ribbon PT and judo demonstration were also presented by trainees at the BTC.

Those who were adjudged best in various disciplines in the 128th, 129th and 130th batch respectively are:

Overall best cadet: Dinesh Kumar Thapa, Gaikwad Maduker, Ramesh Kumar.

Firing: Rajeshwar Lal, Fansang Namgyal, Shorry Lal.

Weapon Training: Dinesh Singh, MAnoj Kumar, Lalit Kumar.

PT: Govind Rama, Naresh Sharma, Ramesh Kumar.

Drill: Biju Danyal, Sunil Thakur, Manjinder Singh.


Repair shops under the sky
Our Correspondent

When your two-wheeler suddenly gets a flat tyre you utter a curse for the person who might have thrown the nail on the road and start looking for a repair shop. After dragging your vehicle for few hundred metres, you observe some worn-out tyres of scooters and motorcycles hanging from a tree or just piled on the ground. Close to it is a small kiosk with the signboard “Auto repair: Scooter-motor cycle’, painted in a rough handwriting. A man in dirty clothes and hands smeared with grease takes charge of your vehicle and in 10 minutes you are back on the road.

Like any other Indian city, Chandigarh has a large number of auto mechanics beside its roads, apart from the authorised repair shops. These roadside repairers rarely make more than Rs 100 a day. Their main business is mending punctures and doing minor repairs such as replacing a broken clutch wire or cleaning a spark plug. Hardly anyone goes to them for major repairs.

Suleman came to Chandigarh from Uttar Pradesh three years ago and has since been making a living from his roadside repair shop in Sector 20. He learned the work in his home town and came here to make a “good living”. He says his average daily income is between Rs 50 and Rs 100. There are days when he makes not more than Rs 30. There are three other repair shops on the same road have a similar story to tell.

There are some roadside mechanics who do not mend punctures but carry out other repairs. The customers demand a “pucca” job for which an electricity connection is required. Naresh, who has his kiosk on the road between Sectors 29 and 31, does not mend punctures but he claims that he can correct any fault in a two-wheeler. He says he has some permanent customers.

On June 16, the Chandigarh Administration allotted 431 booths to roadside auto mechanics in Sector 38 and 48. However, the Chandigarh Auto Mechanics Welfare Association alleges that some booths have allotted to persons who have never worked in Chandigarh. But, there still remain hundreds of roadside mechanics who are left with no option but to carry on their business under the sky.

Apart from the auto mechanics, there are also cycle mechanics. Their main customers are school children and rickshaw pullers. Ram Nivas, who belongs to Bihar, puts up his cycle repair shop in the morning and in the evening since he is a government employee. He earns between Rs 20 and Rs 50 in a day. He remembers the days when he used to be in a hurry to run from his office to his shop. “In the 1980s or even in the early 90s, my shop was always crowded with customers but today things have changed. Even small children have scooters”, he says.



Property consultants raise demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
A delegation of the Property Consultants Association, Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula, met the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and apprised him of the problems being faced by general public and the property consultants regarding real estate matters.

In a memorandum, the delegation urged him to take up matter for bringing down the stamp duty from 12.5 per cent to 6 per cent as applicable in Punjab. Simplification of the complicated real estate documentation and easing of traffic in front of the 30 Bay Building were also demanded by the delegation.

The delegation also informed the MP that the general public faced a lot of problems at the tehsil office. It lacked basic facilities like toilet, waiting hall and canteen. The delegation demanded that it should be shifted to a new premises and a digital number flashing waiting line system should be provided with a view to avoid unnecessary chaotic conditions as the documentation involved valuable property.



Ratha yatra away from Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The Utkal Sanskritik Sangh today organised a “ratha yatra” on the pattern of the world-famous car festival of Puri here today.

The chariot carrying Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balbhadra and Goddess Subhadra, started from Sector 31 Lord Jagannatha Temple and passed through different sectors (including Sectors 29,20,44 and 45) before culminating in Sector 31.

The Haryana Minister of Health, Dr ML Ranga, was the chief guest. The yatra was followed by a “langar”.


A chandelier in the house

A chandelier introduces precious young energy that balances the Yin of that particular direction. It also creates elemental harmony. More than anything else, the chandelier causes excellent vibrations.

Everybody knows that chandeliers are very expensive and that these are not easy to invest in without knowing that these will be of benefit to the household.

I am a great advocate of chandeliers. I would strongly recommend that if one can invest, one should go in for a chandelier.

There are many kinds of chandeliers in the market — brass with lights, glass with lights, ceramic with lights and crystal with lights. The crystal chandelier gives the best results. It creates the best vital element. The fire element creates the element earth, which is the intrinsic energy of the south-west and north-east corners.

Crystal chandeliers attract money, success and luck to every member of the family. The best place to place a chandelier is the living room. Here the family sits together and can benefit from its good energies. The centre of the room is the best place for it. 


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



Action hots up in summer
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Chandigarh, June 23
A feast of 28 movies in the coming week in Kiran should be enough to make action-movie freaks happy. Names like Arnold Schwarznegger, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Sean Connery, who are all-time crowd-pullers, are part of this feast.

Action-movie channel AXN has brought this week of Hollywood blockbusters to Chandigarh where this nationwide film festival has commenced. Do not buy tickets for the festival — the entry is on passes. After the opening-day treat of US Marshals, Braveheart, Eraser and X-Men, the movies for Saturday included Independence Day, Mission Impossible-2, Matrix and Charlie’s Angels.

Braveheart is a movie made by Mel Gibson, who has also acted in this all-time entertainer. The Scottis rebellion against the English has been portrayed with rare authenticity in this movie which has bagged several coveted awards, including the Oscar. The movie’s length, which is more than three hours, is rare for a Hollywood production.

Eraser, starring Arnold, keeps one on the edge of the seats all the time. Action movies are not for film critics. Things to appreciate in such movies are the pace and superhuman characters who eventually defeat the evil. Arnold plays a policeman who protects of witnesses who have become police informers. One such informer who gives evidence against an arms company is now targeted by a gang with a wide network in the police department and Arnold has to save this person.

None of the movies are new releases and most of these are often shown on television channels. However, the TV is no match for the sound in a theatre.

The schedule for the morning, afternoon, evening and night shows, respectively, on the remaining days is as follows: Sunday — Gladiator, Mission Imposible, Vertical Limit and Broken Arrow; Monday — Jackal, Rush Hour, Last Man Standing and Shanghai Noon. Tuesday — 6th Day, Peacemaker, Blue Streak and Payback; Wednesday — Clear and Present Danger; Usual Suspects, Bone Collector and Soldier; and Thursday — Negotiator, Seven, Star Wars and Entrapment.

Braveheart, Independence Day, Mission Impossible, Vertical Limit, Gladiator, Broken Arrow, Shanghai Noon and Star Wars have been big hits in the past. 



Bodies found, villagers suspect foul play
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 23
Two married youths, who belonged to Bangala community of Mundi Kharar village, died under mysterious circumstances near Seu Majra village on Thursday. Their bodies were found yesterday near the village pond.

Some relatives of these youths and the other members of the community, who had gathered in large numbers, said the youths, Major Ram (24) and Rattan Ram (26), had left their houses on Thursday for work as usual.

They alleged that the bodies had marks of torture, which indicated that the youths had been murdered. The youths used to sell crockery items on cycle. Major Ram had one child and Rattan Ram had three. The bodies had not been brought to the village till this evening.

Meanwhile, DSP Balwinder Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib, when contacted on telephone, said this did not seem to be a case of murder and the youths might have drowned in the pond. He said a postmortem on the bodies had also been conducted in Rajendra Hospital of Patiala and the police would take action only after receiving the report.



One electrocuted in Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
A youth was electrocuted at a bakery in the Industrial Area, adjoining Colony No. 4 in the wee hours of today morning.

According to the police, Sarfarosh (19) was an employee of Toka Foods. He was killed when he was trying to remove some blockage from a drainage pipe at the terrace of the bakery with a 15-feet pole, the pole got entangled in an electric cable running above.

It is learnt that the heavy downpour last night had led to the rain water collecting on the terrace of bakery. In the early hours of the morning, the rain water began to overflow from the terrace as the drainage pipe was blocked.

The police say that the deceased had cleared the drainage pipe and as he swirled the pole to bring it down, it got entangled in the electric cables and he was electrocuted. The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the Cr. P C.



Hotel owner’s death: jail staff blamed
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 23
Members of the family of a hotel owner here, who died at the Patiala jail on Thursday, have blamed the local police for falsely implicating him in a case relating to immoral trafficking and the jail staff for failing to provide timely medical treatment to him.

The family of Bhupinder Singh (70), owner of Surya Hotel in Phase II here, who had retired from the Haryana Health Department as Mass Media Education Officer, said here today that he had complained of chest pain in the jail on Monday. He had been remanded in judicial custody in connection with a case of immoral trafficking registered against him here and was lodged in the Patiala jail.

The family, which lives in Phase IV here, said that on Tuesday the Sessions Judge had granted permission for Bhupinder Singh’s treatment but he was allegedly denied this.

The deceased’s brother, Mr Surjit Singh Sodhi, said bail documents had been obtained from a Kharar court and were submitted at the jail on Thursday evening. At that time members of the family, who had gone to the jail, were told that the condition of Bhupinder Singh had deteriorated.

He said by the time one of Bhupinder Singh’s sons and others managed to meet him in the jail, he had collapsed.

Mr Jatinder Singh, a son of the deceased, said on the day of the raid by the police on the hotel (June 13), his father had just returned from the bank to the hotel and a room had been booked in his absence in somebody’s name by the manager. He said his father was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case by the police.



One held for stealing power
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Chotte Lal has been arrested on charges of stealing power by using a kundi connection in Bapu Dham Colony.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 379 of the IPC and 39 of the Electricity Act, the power theft came to notice last evening.

Theft cases: A Tata-company car ( CH-03-D-9600) was reportedly stolen from the Sector 22-B residence of Mr Varinder Kumar on the night of June 21.

Another car (CH-03-5071) was reportedly stolen from near a wine shop in Sector 35 last afternoon.

In both cases, the police has registered an FIR under Section 379 of the IPC.

Burglary attempt: Miscreants made a burglary attempt in a room in Block No. 1 of Hostel 4 of Panjab University. The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 511 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Dinesh Kumar Gupta.

2 arrested: Two rehri-wallahs — Santosh Kumar and Manoj Kumar — were arrested on charges of manhandling an inspector of the Municipal Corporation while he was on duty. A case under Sections 353 and 34 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Inspector Kali Ram.

One held: One Jasbir Singh was arrested after his Tata Sierra hit a pedestrian, Babu Lal, near ISBT, Sector 17. The victim received minor injuries. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC had been registered.


Thief held: The police has arrested a thief belonging to Doda district and recovered a sum of Rs 49, 000 from his possession.

Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, said that Babu Ram, the accused was absconding after decamping with Rs 50,000 from his employer’s house in Sector 8 on June 16.

He said the accused was working as a domestic servant in the house of Mr Sanjay Sharma and had stolen the money from his brief.

The police registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC against the accused on June 17 and search operations were carried out at his suspected hideouts. On information the police came to know that the accused was staying with his brother-in-law in Doda district of Jammu.

A police party was sent to Jammu and the accused was arrested.



Knitting her way to success
Parbina Rashid

In an age when women are fast washing their hands of knitting needles as the boys an girls are falling in for brand names , Darsreet Aurora is cashing in on what was once a popular feminine hobby. This young exporter of woollen garments has made sweater knitting a profitable business both for herself and for the women she employs.

“If the home market does not hold much scope for hand-knitted sweaters, abroad these are much sought after by the affluent sections,” says Darsreet. Here the hand-knitted stuff has been confined to the lower and middle classes. Moreover, in India, hand-knitting is seasonal activity while in Europe and America people use cotton sweaters throughout the year, and that keep her in business, she says.

Darsreet, who made a modest beginning 10 years ago by supplying hand-knitted woollen garments to export houses in Delhi, now runs a full-fledged garment knitting business in Sector 34 which she has named — “Creation Unlimited.” “I started this business 10 years ago just to do something without going out of my house. It has grown now that it requires a number of hands to manage the set- up,” she says.

When it comes to having creative talents , Dasreet has none except her managerial skill. “This business does not require any knitting talent on my part. The designs of the sweaters, and the material, are given by the export house with which I am dealing. I have to ensure that the workers follow the pattern, maintain and deliver the stuff in time,” she says.

Darsreet has employed a number of contractors who remain, in contact with the women workers who do the knitting. “Nothing is done by machine here,” she says. The best part of the job is that no woman has to move out of her home for this to work, she adds.

The hot favourites among the foreigners seem to be light crotchet sweaters followed by hand-knitted sweaters. However Darsreet does not involve herself in analysing the fashion trends as all the material and designs are supplied by the exporter. Her work entails getting the order and delivering the goods in time.

Chandigarh, she maintains, does not offer much opportunity to women to grow as entrepreneurs but if one has ideas and is ready to work hard, one can succeed. When a woman wants to start a business, she opts for something convenient such as opening a boutique or a beauty parlour which have already flooded the market,” she adds.


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