Friday, May 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Massive ‘greening’ of city on anvil
Tribune News Service

  • Separate targets for greening of southern sectors.
  • 20,000 saplings to be distributed free.
  • Steps being taken to check attack by pests on trees.
  • Dead and decaying trees will be replaced.
  • Various departments like MC, Forests and Horticulture to be involved in massive drive.

Chandigarh, May 30
Under the ‘‘Greening Chandigarh’’ action plan 2002-2003, a total of 1.5 lakh saplings are to be planted with a major stress on planting of hardy, shade-giving, pollution-abating species in the pollution-prone spaces. During the ensuing year, the Environment Department will distribute 20,500 saplings free of cost so that they could be planted on priority.

A report of the plan was released by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today after he had laid the foundation stone of the Chandigarh Botanical Garden and Nature Park at village Sarangpur near here.

During this campaign, ground water acquifier will also be charged by minimising surface run-off in case of rain water. Composting and vermi-composting of leave will be initiated to stop burning of leaves. The action plan will also give priority to environmental and ornamental considerations while selecting species for parks, gardens and green belts. These species will be planted under the electric and telephone lines. Emphasis will be laid on planting of indigenous trees like Neem and Peepal. The biodiversity of nature spots like Leisure Valley, Reserve Forests, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary and Sukhna Lake will be replenished and conserved.

The plan emphasises the need of organising a massive plantation drive in schools, colleges, hospitals, residential colonies, and on other public and private land as part of the vanmahotsav celebrations during this year.

The saplings will be planted by various departments in places like roadsides, wildlife sanctuary, green belts, government offices, reserve forests, parks and residential colonies. It also emphasises the need of post plant care by proper protection and regular watering.

The plan will also take initiatives to beautify roundabouts and all entry and exit points of the city. It will also take steps to remove hazardous species like lantana, parthenium weeds and cuscuta (amarbel) from the city and the forests areas. Tiles and concrete around tree stems and encroachments from the green belts and parks will be removed.



Fake law graduates to be booked for forgery
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 30
Acting further on the scam of fake degrees which came to light some days ago, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana today found that 25 of the fake law graduates had passed out of Bundelkhand University alone. Taking a serious view of the fact, the council today sought inquiry into the matter by senior police officials, either of the SP or DSP rank. Members of the Bar Council further decided to submit a list of all fake law graduates to the Senior Superintendent of the Police (SSP) within a day or two.

In an interview with Chandigarh Tribune, the Secretary of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr C.M Munjal, informed that the council would register a case of forgery against the students who had procured fake degrees of Bundelkhand University within a day or two. Mr Munjal said the scam came to fore after the council conducted verification of the applications moved by law graduates for the council’s licence.

The Bundelkhand University authorities informed that the said students had not obtained roll numbers of the university and had submitted fake attendance cards. The authorities confirmed that the students had procured fake degrees.

Mr Munjal added that the council will seek registration of a case of cheating and forgery against a law graduate belonging to Muktsar, who had procured a fake degree. He said the council will also submit a list of more than 20 fake law graduates to the SSP.

Giving details of the fake degree scandal case, Mr Munjal said the council will also prepare a list of students who have procured fake law degrees from Mahatma Gandhi Kanshi University, Magadh University, Bihar. The case against them would also be registered within a month.

About a fortnight ago, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana had prepared a list of students who had applied for the council licence by submitting fake degrees of Bundelkhand University. Sources informed that the council had inquired into the applications moved by about 100 law graduates to obtain licence. Investigations conducted by members of the council revealed that many of the students had procured fake law degrees of Bundelkhand Jhansi University, Mahatma Gandhi Kanshi University and Magadh University, Bihar, through unfair means.



Water connections need to be checked regularly
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Fed up with criticism for low water supply pressure during summers, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is considering to issue instructions on water bills to individual consumers to get their individual lines serviced periodically.

The corporation thought of taking this measure after a host of complaints from residents in this regard.

Following complaints, Public Health Department officials conducted various water pressure checking exercises and claimed that their lines had requisite pressure.

The issue had been raised in the Water and Sewerage Committee of the corporation where the Chief Engineer, Mr V. K. Bharadwaj, had asserted it was the problem in individual lines.

He asserted last week that the corporation had carried out these surveys in almost every corporation line.

Mr Bharadwaj said: “‘The people had been considering the corporation culprit for the low supply but in 70 per cent cases individual connections were found to have problems.’’

He added though it became the responsibility of the individual consumers to periodically check their connections from the Public Health Department, the Corporation would try to offer advice to the consumer.

“The corporation is ready to offer whatever technical advice for the maintenance and servicing of the individual lines and will try to write it on the water bill”, Mr Bharadwaj added.

Problem of blockages in the pipelines due to a fall in the pressure is common during these days, but it subsides during the high pressure period of winters. However, low accumulation of blockages remains in lines later to develop into a major problem.

During the complaints of low pressure, the corporation had to show it to the management of a temple about the phenomenon of the problem in the individual lines.

The corporation first showed the management water pressure till the Public Health lines, which was satisfactory, and then inside the temple through a test conducted inside to prove the corporation’s claim.

The corporation told the management that it was not the duty of the corporation to check the water pressure inside and the consumer should get it checked.

But later an idea occurred that the people who do not have technical knowledge should at least be given advice to regularly get their lines checked through private plumbers.



Tobacco claims more lives than HIV
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The fatal power of tobacco is no more a myth. It has been proved by the surveys conducted by the World Health Organisation that cigarettes kill one out of every two of its dedicated consumers. Not just that, WHO has clearly stated that if not contained right away, tobacco could be the leading cause of death in the world; it could even claim more lives than HIV and tuberculosis by 2030.

The gravity of the problem notwithstanding, not many milestones have been achieved in the control of tobacco consumption in this region, vis-a-vis India. According to medical experts contacted by TNS today, it became known that the regions of UT, Punjab and Haryana had lesser number of tobacco consumers than the other parts of India, especially Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. However, the number of smokers was steadily increasing.

Strangely, the incidence of chronic bronchitis (caused by smoking and pollution) is on the rise in this region. Ludhiana, with 12.5 per cent cases, has the highest incidence of chronic bronchitis in Punjab. Data collected by TNS shows that rural Punjab has 0.84 per cent cases of chronic bronchitis in males and 0.61 per cent cases among females. On the whole, a high incidence of chronic bronchitis has been reported among females smokers in India. The same varies between 33 and 55 percent. According to WHO estimates, both cigarette and bidi smoking is associated with chronic bronchitis. Surveys further suggest that smoking causes a five-fold increase in deaths from disease of the heart and coronary arteries. It also increases the risk of heart strokes by 50 per cent. Experts add that mothers who smoke more frequently give birth to premature or underweight babies.

Even the kids of smoking parents suffer from more respiratory illness than the children of non-smokers. Talking to TNS about the ill-effects of tobacco, a local medical expert stated that tobacco contained 3800 constituents, 108 out of which were carcinogenic. He added, "Over 80 per cent of lung cancer is caused due to smoking only. Cigarette smokers are 8 to 20 times more prone to cancer that those who do not smoke." Even more is the incidence of cancer among asbestos workers and uranium miners. Risk of cancer is 15 times among these workers and is five times in workers of other occupations.



Run on World No- Tobacco Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, an autonomous body of the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in collaboration with the Sports Department, Chandigarh Administration, will organise a youth run for tobacco-free sports at the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, tomorrow.

The run starting at 7 a.m. will pass through important locations of Sectors 16 and 17.

The objective of this run is to disseminate awareness against tobacco consumption and to encourage youth to voluntarily participate in tobacco cessation activities.



To our young readers

The Tribune extends its greetings and best wishes to the classes X and XII (CBSE, ICSE and other boards) toppers and other successful students. We share their joys and continue to have stakes in their career growth. Our heart goes out to those who have not been able to make it. They have just to remember that life demands hard work, commitment, sincerity and dedication. Life's guiding principle is: "Never say die".

We believe that in today's competitive world, the best of the talent in various walks of life should shine on merit. The country's future rests on the shoulders of our young achievers. Tomorrow's India depends on how our youngsters, teachers, parents and educational institutions conduct themselves in this competitive environment.

We once again congratulate our young toppers, successful students, their parents and teachers and also the educational institutions on their enviable achievement.

The Editor
The Tribune



Woman decides to donate kidney to brother
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Just a month ago, there was a daughter donating her kidney to her father when the man’s relatives refused to come forward. Setting yet another example of true love for her brother, a young married sister will be donating her kidney to save the life of her ailing brother at the PGI. The conditions are the same in this case. All three brothers of the patient refused to take the risk.

Jagtar Singh is a 40-year-old resident of Harad Kalan village in Amritsar district. A daily wager in the village, Jagtar Singh has been ill for more than a year. After getting little relief from doctors in his village, Jagtar came to the PGI last month.

It was found that Jagtar Singh will be needing a kidney transplant operation. After starting the initial medication, he contacted his brothers in Amritsar for donation. All three refused, saying that their wives are stopping them from undergoing surgery and risk their lives.

Even after constant assurances that there is very little likelihood of any risk to the donor, none of Jagtar’s brothers offered help. Disappointed, he contacted his younger sister, Ranjit Kaur, married in a nearby village for help. She agreed but her husband did not. Mother of three small children, Ranjit Kaur’s husband was obviously apprehensive. But Ranjit put her foot down and he agreed. ‘‘It took days and days of convincing him that this could save the life of my brother and that would amount to saving the life of his whole family, which needed him,’’said Ranjit.

Once the decision was taken, there was no looking back. Supporting her wife fully, in the sacrifice, Ranjit’s husband sent her with Jagtar to the PGI for her tests. ‘‘He is now taking care of the children alone,’’she says smiling.

Jagtar on the other hand is highly grateful to his sister and her husband who have ‘‘stood by me in the hour of need. I have another sister who also offered to donate her kidney but she is asthmatic, so she was rejected. But my sisters have proved to be my real strength,’’said Jagtar.

However, lack of money for the operation is another problem that Jagtar is facing. The operation and post-operative medication will require more than Rs 1.50 lakh. Jagtar has sold off his small house in the village for Rs 50,000, and that is all he has to spend. This money, too, is being used each day for his dialysis etc. None of his brothers or sisters are in a position to help him monetarily, all working as daily wagers in the village.

Now residing in the PGI Gurdwara, Jagtar with his wife and three sons and sister await donations to help fund his operation. Those who want to donate for the operation can send cheques in the name of the Director, PGI, addressed to the MS Office, PGI, or contact the PGI, PRO at phone number 747585, extension 567.



Stone laid for 25-cr botanical garden
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
One of the largest botanical gardens and nature parks in the country will be built in Chandigarh. The foundation stone of the 175-acre project costing Rs 25 crore, was laid by UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) today.

The project land and an adjacent 280-acre forest area will be linked with a causeway. The botanical garden will have research facilities, hot houses and laboratories for plant propagation and development. These will be run in collaboration with various pharmaceutical firms desirous of research and development of drugs from plant extracts.

The botanical garden will have medicinal plant section having 65 varieties of plants, 25 species of bamboo and another 12 varieties of pines. In addition, there will be hundreds of varieties of palm.

A “sacred grove”, which will have various kinds of sacred trees with facilities of meditation for religious-minded people, is also part of the plan. The garden will also have a rare plant section with collection of endangered species. Besides, the garden will have special section comprising trees grown on Aravali hills, Shivalik hills, lower Himalayas and other parts of the country. Separate sections will come up for ornamental plants, tropical rain forests, cactus and succulent section and fernery. There will be a bulbous garden and aquatic plants section.

Speaking on the occasion, the General said that the project was being planned for the future generation. The first phase of 50 acres on medicinal plant section is being developed in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute Dehradun and the Central Medicinal Plant Board. In this, 50 varieties of medicinal trees, 28 varieties of medicinal herbs and varieties of other species will be planted. The boundary wall along 50 acres of land has already been completed and the rest along the remaining 130 acres will be completed within this financial year.

Among the 65 species of medicinal plants will be Harar, Bahera, Amla, Neem, Arjun, Maulsari, Bail, Kathal, Kachnar, Camphor, Lasura, Gular, Rudraksha, Jamun, Sita Ashok, Khirhi, Putrinjeeva.

The Governor said that in order to cater to tourists’ interest, a small lake would be constructed as also as cafeteria, tree-top watch towers, pathways, cycle tracks, information centre, and a bamboo hut. No vehicle would be allowed inside the botanical garden. Cycling on cycle tracks without causing pollution and disturbance will be permitted.

A sapling of ‘‘Sita Ashok’’ was planted on the occasion. Besides villagers of surrounding areas, those present on the occasion included senior officials of the Administration.

Farmers whose lands were acquired for the purpose of the project will be given free life passes to visit the garden to keep them associated with this project.



Sweepers Union lays siege to MOH’s office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The Sweepers Union of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh here today laid a three-hour siege to the office of the Medical Officer Health (MOH), who was given protection by the police.

Agitated members of the union alleged that the MOH, Dr G. C. Bansal, had manhandled one of the ‘safai karamcharis’, Mr Govardhan Lal, in Sector 38 here early in the morning.

The union members kept on shouting slogans against Dr Bansal, who had during the past 15 days brought to light 70 to 80 cases of late-coming sweepers, after the Municipal Corporation House had instructed officials to tighten the noose around the erring employees.

An official spokesman, however, refuted the charge, saying there was no physical assault from Dr Bansal as well as the union members, who gained unauthorised entry into the office of the MOH and allegedly gave him verbal threats.

The union president, Mr Sham Lal Ghavri, and the union’s advisor, Mr V.B. Wadhera, alleged that Dr Bansal had slapped Mr Lal, and the siege was lifted after the MOH apologised for his “mistake”.

Dr Bansal told Chandigarh Tribune that he had expressed his anger against Mr Lal for his failure to fill columns in the attendance register till 8.15 a.m. despite a recent instruction to do so by 6.30 a.m. and had snatched Mr Lal’s register when he attempted to fill those columns.

He said the matter was resolved when Mr Lal admitted his mistake and extended a conciliatory gesture towards the staff.

Dr Bansal told his staff, ‘’Anger in certain matters between the members of the family was natural but it does not bring family members at each other’s throat.’’

However, the union claimed that Dr Bansal had said, ‘’He will not again engage in such a shameful act.’’

Tension between the officials and the sweeping staff had recently been brewing, with the house complaining of lack of sanitation in the city and even setting up its own monitoring mechanism to check erring staff.

The sanitation committee had even decided recently for the sweeping staff to report to area councillors much to the chagrin of sweepers who had opposed such monitoring, saying the Punjab Municipal Act did not provide for such a monitoring.



Hawara taken to clinic under heavy security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
As many as 200 personnel from the Chandigarh police were deployed to provide a security cordon to Jagtar Singh Hawara, prime accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, who had to undergo an MRI scan at a Sector 22 clinic here today.

Officials and policemen drawn from the Operations Cell, Police Lines and police stations of Sector 17, 34 and 39 were put on duty for the purpose.

Hawara, who had complained of backache, was moved from Burail Jail, where he is lodged, to the Sector 22 private clinic at around 6.30 am and was brought back about two hours later.



Workers’ body holds rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
A massive rally was organised by the GBA Workers Union here today. The rally, a part of the ongoing 51-day-old strike by the union, pertains to the issue of charge-sheeting of a some workers by the management.

Mr Nawal Kishore, union president, while addressing workers said had the Managing Director of the company negotiated with the workers, the existing situation would not have occurred. He alleged that Mr M.S. Dhaliwal, General Manager, was responsible for the worsening of situation.

Attributing the progress of the company to the workers’ efforts , Mr Shyam Bhandari, general secretary, said despite recession the company was performing well and was the result of the hard work by the workers.

The relay hunger strike today entered its 24th day and those who sat on the strike today were: Mr Rishi, Mr Ravinder Pal, Mr Vinay, Mr Mahesh and Mr Iqbal Singh.



Seven vehicles lifted in a day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Vehicle lifters seemed to have a field day today, with as many as seven thefts being reported from the city in a single day. Vehicles stolen included two Maruti Zen cars, a Maruti 800, a Matador, a jeep and two two-wheelers. The police has also booked a Sector 17 parking contractor in this regard.

Sector 21 resident Devinder Singh reported that his jeep (CH-03-E-5422) was stolen from his residence, while Sector 18 resident, Lieut Col R.S. Bhagat, reported that his Maruti 800 (CH-01-L-0762) was lifted from Sector 37.

Mohali resident Saurabh Joshi and Sector 22 resident Sarabjit Singh reported that their Maruti Zen cars were stolen from Sector 17 and Sector 22, respectively. Kumhar Colony resident Raj Kumar has reported that his Matador (CH-01-N-0934) was stolen from the same colony. Dadu Majra resident Dharmender Kumar has reported that his LML Vespa was stolen from the parking lot near the PGI OPD, while Sector 32 resident Nand Lal has reported that his Luna was stolen from Sector 17.

Found dead: The body of a daily wager (45) was recovered from the Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation canteen in Industrial Area on Thursday. The deceased has been identified as Jeet. He had been working at the canteen for the past 3-4 months. Police sources say that the deceased was suffering from some illness for some time. The body has been sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital for a post-mortem.

Held for bootlegging
In different incidents, two persons have been arrested by the police for bootlegging. Ram Darbar resident Surinder Kumar was arrested from Industrial Area with 14 bottles of Binny whisky, while Gurdip Singh, a resident of Sector 66, was arrested from the Sector 45-46 dividing road with 25 botttles of Hero whisky.


1 killed, 3 hurt
A person was killed and three others were injured in an accident on the National Highway 22 near Madumati Marg yesterday. The accident took place when a jeep hit another jeep (HP-14-8304). Three occupants of the jeep were injured while Devendra Sharma was killed on the spot. The accused driver fled from the spot. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304- A of the IPC has been registered.

Dowry case
A resident of Toda village in Chandimandir, Maina, has accused her father-in-law, Gurbhag Singh and mother-in-law of assaulting and mentally harassing her for bringing less dowry. A case under Sections 498-A, 406, 323 of the IPC has been registered. 


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