Tuesday, June 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Precious rainwater goes down the drain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Thousands of cusecs of precious rainwater which flooded through the Sukhna, Kansal and Suketri choes into the Sukhna lake on Friday and Saturday escaped through the open radial gates of the spillway regulator of the lake because nobody thought it fit to close them to conserve water.

The rainwater which escaped through the gates eventually flooded Bishanpura village, lying downstream of the choe, uprooting several families. The radial gates of the regulator had been opened for facilitating the removal of the silt from the lake.

According to Dr G.S. Dhillon, a retired Chief Engineer, Irrigation, who is also Adviser, Water Management Cell of the Confederation of the Indian Industry (NR), the radial gates of the regulator should have been kept closed by the authorities to avoid “criminal wastage” of water which had taken place on Friday and Saturday. “It is clear that somebody has not been taking his job seriously. On the one hand, the administration is spending so much on desilting operations so that the lake could store the maximum water, on the other, the authorities concerned allow the water to go waste...”

He said the radial gates at the regulator were installed way back in the late 50s and were of old design. They had to be operated manually. Till some time ago, the gates leaked even when fully closed because of a faulty seal. The need of the hour was to replace them with the latest gates which could be operated electronically. During his visit to Pakistan some time ago, he was given demonstration of a Japanese gates installed at one of the water works which operated electronically.

A Canadian delegation which visited the CII some time ago felt that the desilting operations undertaken annually by the UT administration was a futile exercise. What needed to be done was a comprehensive afforestation exercise in the Shivalik foothills. It also offered to install new gates at the spillway regulator of the lake but evoked no response from the UT administration.

The Sukhna lake, situated at the foothills of Shivalik range, is a man-made lake, which came up during 1958. Its aim was to provide the citizens of Chandigarh with recreational and water sports facilities.

Initially, the Sukhna lake had a “water spread at elevation 1160, the maximum storage level of the lake” of 228.7 hectares. The earthen compacted dam is one mile long and has the maximum height of 42 feet at the deepest point. The maximum the reservoir level at EL 1160 ft.

The rapid rate of silting obtained at the Sukhna lake buried the gates of the intake structure provided for making the water releases from the dam.

The structure stands today as an “observation tower” or “suicide point” in the lake. By 1991, the storage capacity came down from 10.74 million cubic metres in the beginning to 3.5 million cubic meters. The maximum depth of the lake came down from 35 feet to just 11 feet. The water spread at EL 1160 feet has also been reduced from 228.7 hectares to 150 hectares.

When contacted, Mr V.K.Chopra, XEN (roads), who is responsible, among other things, for the maintenance of the Sukhna lake, however, did not agree with the views of Dr Dhillon that rainwater on Friday and Saturday should have been stored and had instead been allowed to go waste. “There is nothing wrong in keeping the gates of the regulator open. It is a fairly common practice during desilting operators. It helps in hydraulic desilting of the lake”.

He pointed out that “shramdan” for the removal of the silt at the lake was still on.

The gates would be closed as soon as the shramdan was over to allow the lake to fill up to its full capacity.



Addicted to prescription drugs
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Aslam Hussain sits shivering in the shade of the tree near his hutment in Colony No. 5, inspite of the scorching June heat. He is accompanied by another man who has both his wrists tightly wrapped in dirty bandages. Anxiety writ large on their faces, the two youths are desperately finding a vein in order to inject themselves. It is only after numerous aims that they are able to inject themselves and finally are at ease.

On the eve of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’, Patvinder Singh came all the way from Allahabad to spread the message of good living and good health. He painted the slogan — Bharat Jodo Nasha Chhodo — and stood for three hours in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Monday.
On the eve of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’, Patvinder Singh came all the way from Allahabad to spread the message of good living and good health. He painted the slogan — Bharat Jodo Nasha Chhodo — and stood for three hours in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Monday. The local police will celebrate the day by organising street plays, painting, cycle rickshaw race and skating competitions. A painting competition for children will also be organised at the Sector 17 plaza. The celebrations will be held in collaboration with the Narcotics Control Bureau. The painting competition will be inaugurated by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd).
— A Tribune photograph

In a totally diverse surroundings, the 73- year- old resident of Sector 15, Mr. Bains, is also addicted to prescription drugs. Ever since he underwent an operation for a prostrate problem, some five years ago, he has been hooked on to narcotic analgesics ( painkillers). These drugs, which he was taking for a couple of months to relieve his pain, are now a habit with him.

Quite near to his residence, a Sector 10 mother of two school -going kids, got obsessed with the idea of losing weight in order to attain a perfect 10 figure. The neighbourhood chemist suggested the “imported and very effective” fat busting drugs. Thus her aim to shed the flab also addicted her to the drug.

The substance that they are injecting into their bodies, which gives them a “24-hour feeling of euphoria” is legal and comes at an affordable price. It could be either Avil, Alprex, diazepam or fortwin/ phenargin — or even a combination of these. These are all prescription drugs- the new fad with those wanting a “high” in a legalised manner.

According to information gathered by TNS, it is learnt that cutting across all social barriers, an increasing number of city residents are getting hooked to prescription drugs. With a strict vigil on drug peddlers and narcotic users in the city, more and more addicts are choosing these prescription drugs as a safe alternate to opium and heroin.

A cross-section of the people dealing with addicts in the city, when contacted by The Tribune, revealed that a majority of the prescription drug addicts are within the age group of 25 to 40 years. However, they expressed their concern over the increasing drug abuse among school and college going students.

Mr Omkar Chand, secretary of the Servants of People’s Society, and renowned social worker, narrated an incident where a group of four to five students of a prestigious school in one of the southern sectors in the city , got addicted to phensydryl.

“The teenagers would leave home for school each day, but would stop by at a dhaba at a considerable distance from the school. Each of them would consume a bottle of the medicine and then sip tea for that added effect.

This continued for a number of months till their poor performance in school led their parents to discover that their children were addicts. It was with much difficulty that their parents manage to get them treated at detoxification centres in the city and in Delhi,” he says.

Ms Suman Gupta, a professional counsellor at one of the drug de-addiction centres in the city, said: “The easy availability of these drugs from the city , specially from chemists in the southern sectors and near the slum and labour colonies , are a major factor for the growing addiction. Also, with the chemists in the satellite townships of Mohali and Panchkula not following the rules of selling drugs only after receiving a doctor’s prescription, these are the new haunts for the addicts of the city.”



Drug de-addiction camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
To mark International Day Against Drug Abuse, a drug de-addiction and general medical check-up camp was organised by the Samaj Sewa Kendriya, Catholic Church, Sector 19-A, in the Nehru Colony, here today.

Nearly 317 persons participated in the camp. Spot check-up helped in identifying 74 drug addicts who were to treated on the spot by Dr Soni Charles, Dr Thukral, Dr Jai Shankar and Ms Puja Kalia councellor, counseller through the system of motivation and counselling. Earlier a door-to-door survey was conducted to identify drug addicts by Ms Puja Kalia. Free medicines were provided to all patients.

Proper follow-up and assistance to drug addicts will be provided by doctors and Ms Puja Kalia (counsellor) of the Samaj Sewa Kendra, Catholic Church to give a drug free life to them said Fr. Dominic Bose.

While inaugurating the camp, Bishop Gerald John Mathias said similar camps would be organised by the personnel of the Samaj Sewa Kendra for helping people residing in slums. Mr B.M. Kalia, District Education Officer, UT; who was guest of honour gave a talk on the ill-effects of drugs and alcohol on health.

Mr Kalia said individuals with addiction problems could seek free help at Nehru colony on every Saturday. They would be treated free of cost. If required patients would be got admitted and their treatment expenditure would be borne by the Samaj Sewa Kendra.



Div HQ staff refute Surinder Singh’s claim
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
While a former Commander of the Kargil-based 121 Infantry Brigade, Brig Surinder Singh, had asserted yesterday that he had obtained prior permission for vacating the Bajrang post, officers at Headquarters, 3 Infantry Division, had denied having ever accorded permission or even receiving reports that the said post had been vacated during the winter of 1998-99.

Documents reveal that in 1998, Headquarters, 3 Division, had issued instructions that no permanent post was to be vacated during the winter of 1998-99 due to the “operational situation prevailing along the LoC”.

Excerpts of the Court of Inquiry (COI) instituted to probe the circumstances leading to the vacation of the post reveal that while the then Brigade Major (BM) of 121 Infantry Brigade, Major R.K. Dwivedi, had stated before the COI that prior permission had been obtained from Division HQ and the Division staff had been informed on the telephone, he could not find any document to substantiate his claim. He also stated that there was no record of the vacation in the brigade’s war diary.

The BM had stated before the COI that Brig Surinder Singh had mentioned on March 1, 1999, that he had spoken to the GOC, 3 Division, and “verbal permission” had been granted.

The BM also stated that the requisite Situation Report (SITREP) following the telephone conversation might have been missed out. The verbal message, he said, was passed on to “someone in the GS Branch at Div HQ”, though he could not recollect the person concerned.

The Bajrang post in the Kaksar sector along the Line of Control had been held by 4 Jat and the post had been vacated on March 2, 1999, after the battalion’s then Commanding officer, Col M.S. Kukshal, had sought and received permission from HQ, 121 Brigade. While the said post is officially known as the South-West Spur of Point 5299, Bajrang was apparently the local name given to it by the battalion.

Colonel Kukshal had stated before the COI that permission to vacate the SW Spur was accorded by HQ, 121 Brigade, vide its signal no. 101/GS (Ops)/Dply, dated February 13, 1999. The vacation of the post had been recommended by the Commanding Officer “more out of climatic and logistic considerations”. The CO had also stated before the COI that he did not visualise that the difficult post would be occupied by the enemy. Even in the brigade war games, the consensus had been that it was a very difficult area and unlikely to be occupied by the enemy as approach passes were through heavily glaciated areas, he had further stated.

Enemy presence at the vacated post was discovered when a patrol sent on recce to the area had been ambushed on May 15, 1999.

According to statements of the brigade staff at the COI, the Bajrang post was classified as a “permanent winter vacated post” and it had been vacated on the authority of a signal sent by 3 Div to Corps HQ listing out posts to be vacated. No formal permission was required to be sought in the case of these posts and the same procedure was being followed since 1997, the statements added.

The statements added that in December, 1997, the GS Branch had informed the brigade staff verbally that authority to vacate posts was delegated to the Brigade HQ concerned. However, the procedure to seek permission prior to vacating the posts continued more as an update rather than a necessity, the officers further claimed. In fact, during the winter of 1997-98, HQ, 121 Brigade, had sought permission for vacating eight permanent and 15 temporary posts.

The then GSO (I) Operations at HQ, 3 Div, Lt-Col Kuldip Mehta, however, deposed before the COI that authority to vacate posts had not been delegated to lower formations and a directive in this regard had been sent to 121 and 102 Brigades.

Colonel Mehta added that the signal (O-2021 dated October 23, 1997) stipulated, among other things, that permission had to be taken from Div HQ before any withdrawal was effected and proper surveillance of the vacated posts and routes of ingress was to be maintained. HQ 1221 Brigade had been specifically instructed to pay special attention to certain posts, including Point 5299, he added.

Stating that as per norms, the occupation and vacation of posts were to be reported in writing, Colonel Mehta maintained that as far as the Bajrang post was concerned, no permission was sought and no intimation was given regarding its vacation, verbally or in writing.

He said 121 Brigade had been asked to examine the possibility of reducing the number of winter vacated posts and instead retain them as winter cut-off posts, i.e. troops stationed there permanently throughout winter. A signal (no. 110/GS (Ops) Winter Vac) dated May 5, 1998, had identified Point 5299 to be retained as a winter isolated post.

As per the statements of the then GOC, 3 Division, Major Gen V.S. Budhwar, specific orders had been issued by him to 121 and 102 Brigades that no permanent post would be vacated in 1998-99, and had he been asked verbally, he would have categorically negated the proposal on any post.

The General had also stated that mention of the vacation of the posts had been made during his visits to forward areas, but it did not exonerate the Brigade Commander of the responsibility of seeking formal sanction from 3 Div or from reporting the vacation to higher formations. Highlighting the issue later, he added, might have been a cover-up for omissions. Stating that he had been surprised when the matter was brought before him, he added that he had directed the Brigade Commander to re-occupy it at the earliest.

On his part, Brig Surinder Singh had testified before the COI that he got permission for vacating the posts from the GOC, General Budhwar, and as per orders, every Brigade Commander was required to speak to the GOC twice a day. He added that he had also briefed the GOC during his meeting with the General at Leh and Kargil in February-March, 1999. He claimed that the first time it was “clear” to the GOC and the division staff that the SW Spur was being vacated on October 29, 1998. Thereafter, the GOC was also briefed on the posts on February 10, 1999, and in March, 1999, when the GOC was visiting forward areas.

The former Brigade Commander also maintained the GOC was more interested in getting a track constructed along the Chhorokhar nullah rather than the re-occupation of the post.



Scooterist falls in pothole
Mohali roads virtual death-traps
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 25
Travelling on certain roads in the town could be a risky proposition, thanks to indifferent approach of the local civic body. A 26-year-old employee of a private firm had to be hospitalised last night after his scooter fell in a two-feet pothole on a road leading to the Industrial Estate in Phase 9 here.

* If a person is injured due to a damaged road, the victim is entitled to file a case of negligence against the authorities concerned under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

*The Human Rights Act gives the residents right to live with dignity and safety and maintenance of basic amenities comes under the statutory duties of the government agency concerned.

The victim, Prithpal from Faridkot was rushed to the Sector 32 hospital with head injury. After a CT scan pointed out blood clotting in the brain, the victim was referred to the Silver Oak Hospital in Phase IX here, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. Mr Mukesh Kamboj, a colleague of the victim, who visited the accident spot, told TNS that he was contemplating to file a case against the civic body.

It was certainly not the first case of the pothole resulting in physical or financial loss to a motorist. Enquires revealed that an unidentified car driver has a miraculous escape when the bumper of his car was damaged after it hit the pothole. A woman pillion-rider on a scooter had died of head injuries in 1999 when the driver of the scooter lost control due to a pothole in Phase 7 here.

How irresponsible could the civic body towards the safety of the road users be could gauged from the fact that the water leakage resulting in the pothole had been there for the past many days. The road junction where the pot hole exists connects a road leading from the PCA Stadium to the another road connecting the Industrial Area Phase 9 with the Chandigarh-Sohana. The president of the civic body, admitted that it was the responsibility of the civic body. He assured of immediate compliance to repair the pothole.

A municipal councillor said potholes often appeared after rains, resulting in accidents to motorists. He said two-wheelers skidded over dry sand on road after the rains.

Quoting the Punjab Municipal Act, sources in the civic body said maintenance of roads from time to time was the responsibility of the civic body.



Faculty house misuse to be probed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 25
Prof. K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, will look into the alleged misuse of the PU’s faculty house. On Saturday night two former students of the university, a girl and a boy, were reportedly caught in a ‘‘compromising position’’ in the faculty house.

About the Bhuppi controversy reported in a section of the Press, Prof Pathak said he would look into the matter. He said in future rooms for the guests of students would be only booked after the recommendation from the respective wardens. He also said the guests would have to fill up a register to avoid any possibility of impersonation.

Meanwhile, the girl who was reportedly caught along with the boy, R. Godara, has been asked to vacate the hostel by the university authorities. Prof V.K. Bansal, DSW, said she was not ready to vacate the hostel on her own. ‘‘She was warned that in case she did not leave the hostel her father in Ludhiana would be informed of the whole incident”. According to him, the girl also came to meet him yesterday afternoon with Godara. Neither the girl nor Godara could be contacted.

Meanwhile, supporters of Bhupinder Singh Bhuppi, outgoing president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council, today expressed their surprise over the manner in which Bhuppi’s name is being dragged into the incident. After repeated tries, however, Bhuppi could not be contacted.

Bhuppi’s supporters claim that Bhuppi was in the faculty house along with his wife and the room was booked in his name. About the legality of the room booked in the name of Bhuppi, a senior PU official said, ‘‘By convention Bhuppi is the president of the PUCSC and there is nothing wrong if a room was booked in his name’’. It is learnt that the room No. 23 in which Bhuppi was staying on the night of the raid was booked in his name and he had signed himself as president of the PUCSC.

Malvinder Singh Kang, president of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), in a press note had questioned the reported statement of the DSW that Bhuppi was not a student of the university. According to him, Bhuppi was still a student of the University and has a room in the hostel. According to him, the DSW had extended his hostel room.

The PUSU has threatened to gherao the DSW tomorrow. The union maintains that Bhuppi was along with his wife and he was entitled to a room in faculty house.

Surat Negi, president, ABVP, PU unit, also claimed that the girl with Bhuppi was ‘‘Bhuppi’s wife’’. According to him the whole episode was to defame Bhuppi. On the question of allotment of room in the name of Bhuppi, he refused to comment.

However, the president of the Students Union of Panjab University, Satinder Singh Nabha, has questioned the booking of room in the name of Bhuppi. He asked, ‘‘When Bhuppi is neither a student nor PUCSC president, then how can a room be booked in his name’’. According to him, such things do not ‘‘suits a president of the council’’. Another SOPU supporter said, ‘‘Tenure of Bhuppi started with a fight and ended in a scandal’’.

It may be mentioned here that during a late night raid on Saturday, R. Godara, a former student of the university, was caught along with a girl, a resident of Laxhmi Bai hostel, in a ‘compromising position’. Godara was arrested and later released on a bail.

The girl’s name had earlier figured in a controversial incident when the glass panes of Tata Sierra of the Hostel Warden were smashed because of “personal differences”.



5 HUDA employees hurt in mob attack
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
Five employees of the engineering wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority were injured when a mob attacked them in Buddanpur here today.

Sources said that the employees had gone to cordon off the area where the enforcement wing had demolished unauthorised structures in the village on June 23.

After almost half-an-hour of the operation, 25 unidentified persons arrived at the scene in a trolley and hurled stones at the employees for “trespassing’’ on their land, injuring the labourers. While four labourers are admitted to the Civil Hospital and are under observation, three others were discharged after being administered first-aid. The injured include Kale Perumal, Paudiamma, Paquam, Ranganathan, Amar Singh, Anheli and Ail.



A haven for budding painters, designers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
No doubt the city is haven for all those who dream to make it big as painters and graphic designers. In the city which sports more than 10 art galleries along with its own art museum, its just right that there is an art college for those who want to take up fine arts after their 10+2 and a Department of History Fine Arts in Panjab University for postgraduates.

The Government College of Art, Sector 10, offers a four year degree course in bachelors of fine arts (BFA). Students who have passed their 10+2 in any subject are eligible to apply for this course which takes 60 students each year. The applicants for the course have to choose between the four different specialised disciplines being offered by the college:


Graphics (Print Making)


Applied Arts

There are 15 seats available in each discipline. Admissions to these seats are held on the basis of an aptitude test for the eligible candidates. Merit list is prepared after giving 40 per cent weightage to the 10+2 marks and 60 per cent to the score in the test. The aptitude test for 85 per cent of the seats of the UT cadre will take place on July 6 and for the rest 15 per cent on July 10.

The course entails one year of foundation course which is common for all the students and three years of discipline specific studies where computers, too, are a part of the curriculum, other than the painting, graphic designs, sculpting etc.

The Panjab University Department of History of Fine Arts offers a masters in history of fine arts and a PhD in any thing related to the subject.

The MA in history of arts is a two-year course and there are 15 seats in the department each year. Graduates with a minimum 45 per cent marks are eligible to apply for this MA. Only graduates in science and commerce are not eligible to apply. Other than the BFAs, students who had fine arts as one of their subjects in BA are also preferred.

For admission, the department conducts a one-hour aptitude test. Four slides relating to architecture, painting, sculpture etc are shown to the candidates and they have to write about them. This is followed by an interview and the merit list is made after adding up the graduation, the aptitude test and the interview marks. To pass the test is mandatory.

PhD in history of arts is also offered by the department. Many students in the department have cleared their UGC-NET in the subject and are working with scholarships from the UGC.


24 honoured for quake relief work
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
Twenty-four officers, engineers and employees of the Haryana Police Housing Board were awarded certificates and cash prizes of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 for helping in post-quake relief operations in Rapar, Gujarat, at a ceremony organised, here today.

The Chief Secretary, Mr L.M. Goyal, handed over certificates to the employees for their commendable work of setting up of 20 community centres in a record time of two months at Rapar.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Goyal said the whole nation joined hands to help Gujarat in the hour of need. The contribution of the Police Housing Board in came in the shape of multipurpose booths for use by the people.

Those honoured on the occasion, included the Chairman of the board, Mr B.R. Lal, Mr P.C. Gupta, Mr V.N. Shah, Mr Sanjay Mahajan, Mr Sandeep Arora, Mr P.K. Goyal, Mr Rajesh Kumar, Mr Gurnam Singh, Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Surendra Kumar, Mr Jagtar Singh, Mr Sohan Lal, Mr Sukhnandan, Mr Dilip Kumar, Mr Naresh Kumar and Mr Rajbir among others.

Mr Lal said that the quake-resistant community centres were prepared by the board officials at a very low cost. He added that the board was involved in many works other than those of police housing. The latest work of renovation by the board had been undertaken in the Haryana Civil Secretariat, he said.

The other works entrusted to the board included the construction of a jail for 2,000 prisoners at Karnal at a cost of Rs 25 crore.

A detailed account of the services rendered by the board in Gujarat was also released by the Chief Secretary at the function where all officials of the district administration were present.



Sector with prize-winning park
Tribune News Service

Sector 8 claims an eminent place in the elite northern part of the city. Yet it has its share of problems.

The sector has among its residents, eminent personalities from all walks of life including a former Chief Justice of India, Justice M.M. Punchhi, wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh and “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh, and can boast of better civic amenities than most other parts of the city.

Most of the roads are in good condition, but there are others that are in bad shape. The road behind the market and the one in front of Sindhi Sweets on Madhya Marg have not been given a coat of tar since long.

According to residents, water supply, was erratic last month, but now it is better. Similarly, the power situation is comfortable with only occasional power cuts. Most of the streetlights remain operational.

However, the market in the sector has its problems. Shops from shop-cum-flats (SCFs) 23 to 42 do not have any parking place worth the name. The result is that the shoppers as well as the shopkeepers face several problems, complains Mr Madan Mohan Arora, president of the Traders Association.

The association has been informed by the area councillor, Ms Satinder Dhawan that estimates for the construction of a parking lot were prepared about four years ago, but nothing was done. The road in front of the shops has become accident-prone since vehicles continue to be parked on the main road. Interestingly, a parking area for cycles has been set apart with iron railings but there are hardly any bicycles parked there.

Similarly, the parking lot in the market has developed potholes. The condition of one of the toilets near the SCFs is also pitiable, alleges Mr Hari Chand Thakur, chairman of the association. The other toilet in the market was renovated at a cost of Rs 2 lakh given by the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, under the MPs’ Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme. Mr Bansal has also given Rs 3.3 lakh for the construction of a hall in the community centre, says Mr H.S. Lukcy, a resident.

Houses in this sector have well-maintained gardens. However, the open spaces, which are to be maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) are not looked after well. Wild growth has spread to the open spaces and congress grass is found everywhere.

Parking chaos can be witnessed outside Gurdwara Dashmi Patshahi whenever there is a function there. Scores of vehicles are parked on the main road.

The sector has good schools, including the DAV Senior Secondary School, a good dispensary and a spacious community centre, besides a club. The market is well stocked to meet the needs of the residents. The market opposite Madhya Marg houses several fitness centres and beauty parlours.

The market has a well-maintained park, which has been winning the best park award at the Festival of Gardens for the past four years.



Parents oppose literacy for children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Parents of young girls of Indira Colony and Manimajra (UT) have strongly critised the idea of giving literacy to their children. Most of them are engaged in business at vegetable and fruit markets of Sector 26, Chandigarh. They want their daughters to stay at home and look after their younger brothers and sisters even though these girls are keen on studies. Most of these parents have migrated from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The Adult Education Department in UT organised a workshop today for these parents of the area to motivate them in collaboration with the Regional Resource Centre of Panjab University, Chandigarh. For this about 70-80 parents were mobilised by Preraks/Nodal Prerak of the department already working in the area.

The Deputy Director and Assistant Director, Adult Education, UT, Chandigarh, apprised them in detail of the problems of illiteracy, especially in females. Mrs Manjit Paintal, Director, RRC, told them that a literate girl could be a good mother and a good wife. As these centres of adult education are also imparting vocational education, it will help them to become self-sufficient and confident, according to officials.

The department is also giving free books, note books and pencils alongwith library books for dropouts in each centre of continuing education. Most of the parents were convinced and agreed to send their daughters to these centres of adult education, according to Deputy Director, Adult Education.


MC turns a deaf ear to residents’ problems
A correspondent

Chandigarh, June 25
The residents of eight houses in Sector 28 are crying for attention of the Municipal Corporation authorities for the past two years, as MC officials are not interested in their problems. The residents have received some letters form the authorities concerned, promising that the area will be beautified.

Storm water often gets accumulated in front of house 1363 to 1370 here. This causes problems not only to the residents, but also to the commuters. The residents complain that it becomes difficult to drive two-wheelers on the water-logged road. There is a heap of garbage lying along the V-4 road in front of the houses. The foul smell from the garbage only adds to the woes of the residents. The residents allege that the drains have been clogged for the last many months.

The monsoons have nearly arrived and the residents fear that if the MC does not respond to their problems, an epidemic may break out. The stagnant water on the road has become breeding ground of mosquitoes. Most of the residents, who are government employees, allege that the sweeper never bothers to clean the roads. Many a time the residents hire private sweepers to clean the dirty road.

The proximity of the houses to the Sector 28 motor market has also become a source of nuisance for the residents. They complain that the mechanics often park the vehicles for repair in front of the houses. They claim that they have written to the Chief Engineer of the Chandigarh Administration, to the Municipal Corporation and to the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, regarding their problem, but to no avail.

An old banyan tree in the area is also causing problems. The branches of the tree tower over the houses and get entangled in the electricity wires in case of a storm. The residents are demanding pruning of the tree.

The area Councillor says he has not received any complaint regarding dumping of garbage in front of the houses in sec 28-B.



Memorial to Kargil martyr opened
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 25
“It is the spirit of a bubbly, vivacious soldier of the Indian Army immortalised in concrete to remind coming generations of the sacrifices the forces have made for the country,’’ is how a sentimental Prof Harbans Lal, father of Kargil martyr, Major Sandeep Sagar, described the memorial inaugurated in Sector 8 here today.

The memorial to Major Sandeep Sagar, a Kargil martyr, which was inaugurated in Sector 8, Panchkula, on Monday. Right: The parents of the martyr, Prof Harbans Lal and his mother, Raksha, offer floral tributes in a ceremony organised to mark his second death anniversary.
The memorial to Major Sandeep Sagar, a Kargil martyr, which was inaugurated in Sector 8, Panchkula, on Monday. Right: The parents of the martyr, Prof Harbans Lal and his mother, Raksha, offer floral tributes in a ceremony organised to mark his second death anniversary. 
— Tribune photo Parvesh Chauhan

A young life lost while fighting insurgency in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, Prof Lal adds, would live on in the minds of the public, teaching them the lesson of selfless service.

His mother, Raksha Devi, though remorseful at losing her son, says,”I swell with pride when I think he laid down his life for the country, for his brethren who had entrusted him the task of keeping the enemy at bay”. However, she is quick to add that he is missed more than ever and no day goes without his mention. The memorial in his name, she says, has brought them some satisfaction, a sense of his sacrifice having been recognised by the country and the state.

While members of the family held a path and kirtan at the Sector Gurdwara in the morning where relatives and friends paid floral tributes to mark his second death anniversary, the evening saw Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand inaugurate the memorial in Sector 8.

Paying glowing tributes to the soldiers who laid down their lives, the Governor said that while the defence forces were going all-out to protect the borders from the enemies, the biggest challenge was that of keeping our independence secure. He added that the unhealthy attempts to disintegrate the country needed to be stopped.

A two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the martyr at the function attended by officials of the district administration. Among those who spoke on the occasion included Mr Subhash Marrya and Mr KS Arya, educationists, and Mr RP Malhotra, president of the Sector 8 Residents Welfare Association.



Bangalas want to meet CM, DGP
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 25
A delegation of the Bangla community of Mundi Kharar village, whose two youths were allegedly murdered near Gandolion village on June 21, have sought a meeting with the Chief Minister and the DGP to complain against the police officers, who failed to register an FIR immediately after the murders, and doctors of Bassi Pathana, who did not perform the post-mortem examinations due to which the bodies remained lying there for 20 hours.

Yesterday members of he community blocked the Kharar-SAS Nagar national highway for more than six hours against the inaction on the part of the Bassi Pathana police to register the case.

Mr Pala Ram, sarpanch of the community, while talking to mediapersons here today said that inspite of the fact that the youths were murdered the police did not register the case and the police acted only after they sat on the dharna. He demanded action against officers concerned.



BSNL blames HFCL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has blamed Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL) for the disruption of telephone services in the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat.

According to a press note issued by the Area Manager (North), over 600 pairs of underground cable feeding telephones of the secretariat had gone faulty because of the damage caused to it due to digging by HFCL some time back.



Boy missing
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 25
Sanjiv Kumar (15) of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road has been missing since June 17.

Mr Suraj Pal, father of the boy, said Sanjiv was working as a servant in a nearby dhaba for the past some years. He went to the dhaba and did not return home.

Mr Pal alleged the police had failed to make any headway in the case though a complaint was lodged with the Dera Bassi police station on the same day.



A healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind

OUR LIVES are full of stress and tension. In modern times, if one does not deal with them early, one would slowly fall into depression. The energies around us and in our homes are often a reflection of our lifestyle and state of mind; stuck energy anywhere is not good.

A healthy daily regime will make us receptive to the powers of Feng Shui. You should take time out each day for yourself. It can be for gardening, an early morning walk, a few minutes sitting quietly and watching the beauty of nature. Those who want to make a serious effort to change should try to mediate for at least 20 minutes everyday. Meditation helps in controlling the inside energies of a human being.

There are many simple exercise programmes which, if done every day, would help us keep the energy channels in the body unblocked.

Taking a healthy balanced diet is another way of ensuring that harmful energies do not upset our bodily balance.

You should eat food which is likely to cause very little or no chemical interference. This kind of eating helps the body in living long and thinking clearly. A healthy life style forms the basis of a complete and happy existence.

— Harshna

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



Computer institute burgled
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 25
Computers and its accessaries worth lakhs of rupees were stolen from a computer institute in the Sector 11 market this morning.

The burglars decamped with seven central processing units (CPUs), a monitor, a printer and a stereo. Before leaving the place, they even broke the glass-top of a table.

Mr Nilesh Bahri, Director of the institute, informed the police about the burgarlary. The burglars entered the institute after breaking open the lock of the main iron-gate and. Mr Bahri said he found the entire institute ransacked.

After decamping with goods worth Rs 4 lakh from a Sector 12-A house belonging to Mr Vinod Puri on the night of June 21, the burglars today targeted a computer institute.

The dog squad was pressed into service. A team of forensic experts lifted finger prints. A case has been registered.



Compucom’s bid for IT courses lowest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 25
Compucom Software Limited, an ISO 9001 certified , Jaipur-based company, emerged as the winner, quoting the lowest rate of Rs 72 per student per month, for optional school-level IT and computer courses for Classes VI to XII, on the opening of technical and commercial bids here today.

The nearest competitor was Electronics Corporation of India Limited, (ECIL), a Government of India concern, which quoted Rs 100 per student per month for the same.

Technical bids of the six firms which had qualified the prequalification bid were opened today by the Tender Evaluation Committee headed by Secretary Education, in the presence of authorised representatives of the participating firms.

Apart from the above optional courses, bids were invited for vocational stream , two-years IT course to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education for Classes XI and XII. About 150 seats exist for the vocational course in three government schools of the city. The computer laboratory and hardware for the vocational stream IT course would be provided by the UT Education Department.

The lowest rate for the vocational stream IT course quoted was Rs 246 per student per month by IEC Software Limited. The nearest competitor was Compucom Software Limited at Rs 288 per student per month.

As per procedure, firms quoting lowest rate are likely to be issued letter of intent for the project within a few days. The project is stipulated to be launched within eight weeks of signing of the agreement with the successful bidders.

Earlier prequalification bids of seven firms were evaluated by the Tender Evaluation Committee and six were found to be qualified for the next round for opening of technical and commercial bids.

M/S Miaect Private Limited did not fulfil the eligibility conditions for making bid for the contract and the Tender Evaluation Committee had found six tenderers to be qualified for the next round for opening of technical bids.


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