Wednesday, January 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Burglars strike again
This time it is Saidpura
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 7
Close on the heals of a chain of robberies in Ballopur and Malikpur villages near Lalru, burglars struck again at four houses located in Saidpura village along the Dera Bassi-Barwala road and decamped with jewellery and cash worth thousands of rupees late last night.

According to the police, a gang of burglars struck at the houses one after another.

They started from the house of Mr Surinder Pal from where they stole gold and silver jewellery, besides Rs 1,800 in cash.

They took away trunks containing valuables and broke them open in the fields nearby.

They then broke into the house of Mumtaz and took away jewellery and other valuables.

The family had kept gold and silver ornaments and garments in the house for the marriage of their daughter.

The burglars also took away 5 kg of ‘khoya’.

Then was the turn of Mr Dharam Pal’s house from where the gangsters took away gold and silver earrings, rings and Rs 10,000 in cash.

The robbers also struck at the house of a former sarpanch and decamped with trunks, but were ‘disappointed’ when they found only garments and no valuables inside.

The police has registered a case.

It may be recalled that a gang of masked robbers had struck at three houses in Ballopur and Malikpur villages, near here, and decamped with cash and jewellery worth thousands of rupees in the wee hours of January 5.

According to the police, burglars broke into the house of Mr Sahab Singh in Ballopur village and took away jewellery, including a gold chain, bangles and Rs 9000 in cash. The owners noticed the burglary in the morning.

In another incident, thieves broke into the house of Mr Jarnail Singh and took away Rs 5000 and gold and silver jewellery.

The thieves decamped with a gold ring and two pair of earrings from the house of Mr Sita Ram’s in Malikpur village the same night


Now, it is all up to the resident doctors
PGI fails to resume evening OPD facility
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service


* Owing to the uncertainty and confusion over resumption of the evening OPD at PGI from today, at least 15 patients, some from outside, landed up at the New OPD Block at 5 p.m.
* With the PGI authorities themselves not sure till the last minute if the facility would be resumed from today, there was utter confusion. Security guards said that they had not received any communication.” I came all the way from Ludhiana to get treatment for gout, thinking that there would be less rush at the evening OPD,” said a woman, who felt the least the PGI could have done was to inform the public through the media about the change.
* Similarly, Mr Balwant Singh from Nahan area of Himachal, brought his wife for treatment. Two students returned back not just disappointed, but angry at the inconvenience caused to them.

Chandigarh, January 7
Uncertainty, confusion and chaos reigned supreme at the PGI today as patients queued up at the New OPD Block, venue for the evening OPD, only to discover that the authorities had decided not to resume the facility, that too, without any communication to the public.

Failing to meet the January 7 deadline for resumption of the evening OPD, the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, for the first time, today held talks with the Association of Residents Doctors (ARD), in a bid to persuade them to join the facility, which the PGI cannot run without their participation.

Shedding initial reluctance to invite the unrelenting residents doctors for talks, Prof Sharma, along with other heads of department, tried to convince representatives of the resident doctors to join evening OPD duty. The Director, who had yesterday informed the RDA that he would address junior and senior resident doctors in the Lecture Theatre today, had a change of mind as he spoke to only a few of their representatives in his office in the Kairon Block today.

“We are holding talks with the residents doctors to convince them to join the evening OPD and we have given them time to think it over, till we hold the second round of talks tomorrow,” said Prof Sharma.

Regarding resuming of the evening OPD, he said it would most likely start from January 10. Meanwhile, ARD members said though they continued to adhere to their earlier stand of not joining the evening OPD, a final decision would be taken after their governing body meeting.

“ Since the faculty impressed upon the Director that it would be difficult to run the evening OPD without the resident doctors as the turnout of patients is bound to go up, they decided to finally talk to the residents,” said a senior doctor. Eversince the idea of starting the evening OPD was mooted by the Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, and resident doctors adopted an adamant stand, it is for the first time that the Director held talks with them.

Finding it difficult to keep the evening OPD facility running, which lasted only four days before the faculty proceeded on winter leave from December 7, the PGI authorities are now banking on a positive response from the resident doctors.

“All of us tried to convince the resident doctors that as per the wishes of the minister we are compelled to run the evening OPD, apart from the fact that it is in the larger interest of the public,” remarked a doctor, who attended the meeting.

“ In fact, we were surprised to see a pleasant change in the attitude of the authorities as they assured us that they would take care of all our genuine demands and be accommodating,” remarked resident doctors.

It is the stand adopted by the resident doctors which will decide the fate of the evening OPD.


Fervour marks nagar kirtan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
Chanting devotees marched through city streets during a nagar kirtan taken out this afternoon to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. On the occasion, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), was honoured with a ‘siropa’ by the Head Priest of Sector 34 gurdwara.

General Jacob also joined the nagar kirtan at Sector 34 gurdwara, from where the procession started. He listened to the shabad kirtan and participated in ‘special ardaas’. Before culminating at Sector 20 gurdwara, the procession passed through Sector 35 market and Sector 36 before reaching Sector 23 gurdwara. It then passed through the road separating Sectors 22 and 23, before reaching Sector 22 market, Sector 21 and Sector 20 market.

The procession started with the beating of drums and blowing of trumpets followed by Nihangs playing ‘gatka’. Students too followed a flower-bedecked vehicle. Teams of ‘ragis’ also recited hymns even as several bands moved along with the procession playing religious tunes .

Several organisations, along with devotees, had decorated the route with colourful flags and buntings. As the traffic came to a standstill for giving way to the nagar kirtan, devotees with covered heads served ‘prasad’ to the commuters.

The police made elaborate arrangements for the procession.


Cops oppose identification parade
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
Pleading that a “request application moved by the Former UT Home Secretary and senior Haryana bureaucrat for arranging an identification parade may be declined in the Shimla-based rape case”, the UT police today filed a reply before the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr K.K Goel.

The police stated in the reply that there was no fabrication in the girl’s statement and she had made the same without any pressure in court.

Stating that the accused, N.K Jain, had no local locus tandi to move the application for an identification parade, the police further stated that there was no doubt about the identity of (Mr N.K Jain) the accused. The identification parade was held only when the name and identity of the accused could not be established during investigation. But in this case, the identity of the accused (N.K Jain) had been established at the initial stage of investigation and he had been named by the victim in her statement. The police further stated that the accused had no right to direct the course of investigation. Since the investigation was already complete, there was no purpose of holding an identification parade.

Meanwhile, the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate(First Class), Mr K.K. Goel, today adjourned the hearing of a bail plea moved by N.K. Jain for January 10. The applicant had stated that he was falsely implicated in the case. Therefore, he deserved the concession of bail. He said the victim had alleged that she had been raped by the M.K. Jain, but the police was not accepting this.

Moreover, the victim had already presented a complaint in a local court against M.K. Jain. It was a matter to be decided during the trial whether the victim statement or the police version was correct. It may mentioned the UT police had filed a supplementary challan against N.K. Jain. 


Four youths get 10 yrs’ RI for gangrape
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
After five years’ of trial, four city youths were today sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years for raping a 23-year-old girl on March 12, 1997.

The four accused namely Gurmeet Singh, Naveen Jain, Raj Kumar and Sandeep Awasthi were sentenced and fined Rs 5,000 each by the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ms Sneh Prashar. However, the judge acquitted five others in the case.

The father of the victim had lodged a complaint on March 12, 1997, that his daughter was missing. Later the victim returned home at around midnight. She revealed that the accused had lured her, and two of them had taken her to a nearby house in Sector 22-C and raped her. She reported that thereafter others outraged her modesty.

The accused also took her in a matador to different places and raped her at a farmhouse in Punjab. During the identification parade, the victim had identified only five of the accused.

One of the accused, Gurpreet, had allegedly committed suicide during the trial by shooting himself with a revolver.


POWA decides to approach Centre
Tribune News Service

Office-bearers of sub-sector markets of Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Tuesday held an emergency meeting to discuss the recently served eviction notices to 15 traders following the Rent Act Notification. Traders, after discussions, called the notification and the behaviour of landlords as “unfair” and referred the cases to the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.

Chandigarh, January 7
The Property Owners Welfare Association (POWA) here today announced a fight for the removal of the Rs 1500 ceiling for rent notification to be in force, strengthening itself politically by roping in villagers.

POWA general secretary S.P. Malhotra said he would present a memorandum to Union Urban Development Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar in a couple of days to present the case of property owners. He would inform the minister that property owners of Chandigarh were in the vanguard for a national cause to revive economy, unburden courts, reduce crime, generate employment and draw direct foreign investment in the real estate sector.

He said the Central Government support to the property owners of Chandigarh would set the ball rolling for the repeal of the Rent Control Act in the entire country and the adoption of Model Rent Act prepared by the Central Government.

Addressing a gathering of property owners, a former Director General of Police of Haryana, Mr H.R. Swan, said the fight for the repeal of the rent control Acts was one of social justice. Sharing his experience on policing, he said one of the major reasons for crime and corruption was the unjust system of rent control Acts in all states.

Elaborating on the issue, he said property disputes had spawned mafia up to town levels. The mafia had entered the lucrative business of forcibly getting properties vacated. He said the repeal of the Act would result in a drastic improvement in the law and order situation and reduction of corruption.

Speakers attacked politicians for siding with the Beopar Mandal, which was trying to perpetuate the “loot by certain tenants.” Mr Malhotra charged the Congress with supporting traders due to “vested” interest of a senior party functionary who had grabbed property as a tenant.

He warned political parties unless they supported property owners in unambiguous terms, they could not expect votes from this segment of society. Former MLA Karnail Singh Doad urged the gathering to turn their fight into a mass movement for freeing the country of corrupt and criminal shackles.

A nominated councillor and president of the Citizens Welfare Association of Sector 21, Mr P.C. Sanghi, who was a member of the drafting committee of the National Housing Policy, said the repeal of rent control Acts, drastic reduction in stamp duty, change in building bylaws and introduction of user charges were necessary pre-conditions for attracting investment — foreign and domestic — in the highest employment generating real estate sector.

Air Marshal Randhir Singh, Chairman of the Federation of Sectors’ Welfare Associations (FOSWAC), said he had come across a large number of cases of disputes between landlords and tenants after the notification where 70 per cent cases were resolved through mutual understanding between the two parties.


Cold wave toll 30

Chandigarh, January 7
The piercing cold wave and dense fog played truant with rail, road and air traffic for the seventh day today while the death toll in weather-related vagaries crossed the 30 mark in the past 24 hours.

The district administrations, including those of Amritsar and Bathinda, have directed all government and non-government schools to commence teaching work at 10.30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. and close down by 3.30 p.m. in view of the vagaries of the weather.

As the cold wave tightened its noose in the entire northwest region, at least six more persons succumbed to severe cold wave in Amritsar district alone taking the toll to 30 in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. At least eight deaths, including those of three women, have been reported from Punjab’s Amritsar border district alone. UNI


Docs’ advice: avoid using angithi
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, January 7
Do not take out coal angithis for keeping yourself warm in the winters of 2003 — that is a warning issued to city residents by doctors.

It may be recalled that on November 22, 2000, a security guard was burnt alive on the first day of his duty after the wooden cabin he was sitting in behind a Sector 35 hotel went up in flames.

Carbon Monoxide fumes from an angithi had made Vijay Tyagi unconscious before the tragedy occurred, according to the police. After holding preliminary investigations in to the matter, the cops insisted that Tyagi, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, had reportedly wrapped himself up in a blanket before locking himself up in the cabin. He had then covered the window with a piece of cloth or a cardboard after keeping the angithis on a plastic table near him, preventing the fumes from escaping.

The security guard’s death over two years ago was the last tragedy of its kind to have taken place in the city. Doctors, however, do not rule out the possibility of such incidents reoccurring during the winters.

“With the minimum temperature hovering between 6 and 8 degrees, a large number of residents have, unfortunately, taken out angithis,” said a senior doctor. “They do not realise the dangerous consequences of inhaling Carbon Monoxide fumes while sleeping with the angithis burning.”

Giving details, the doctor said, “You can simply die in your sleep because of asphyxia. The gas combines with haemoglobin in blood 300 times faster than oxygen, leading to unconsciousness and other medical complications”.

Such tragedies can be averted, if the residents are not careless, doctors insist. A Sector 16 General Hospital doctor said, “You can go in for electric heaters and blowers for keeping yourself warm during winters. They are a better option, the fact cannot be doubted by anyone”.

This is not all. One should ensure the presence of a water bucket in the room with the heater on. “This not only maintains temperature, but also the humidity,” says Deputy Medical Superintendent of Sector 16 General Hospital, Dr G. Dewan.

Otherwise if you are bent upon using an angithi while going off to sleep, you should make it a point to keep the room windows, and ventilators open for allowing the fumes to escape.


Schools to start at 8.30 am
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Extreme cold conditions prevailing across the region has brought schoolchildren a reason to cheer. Many will be able to snuggle in their warm beds a little longer, courtesy the Chandigarh Administration.

Starting tomorrow, the Education Department has decided to change the timings of all government and aided schools in the city till January 18. A statement issued here today said the timings of single-shift schools to be observed till January 18 will be 8.30 am to 2 pm.

For double-shift schools, the timings for the morning shift will be 8 am to 1.15 pm and that for the afternoon shift from 12 noon to 5 pm. There will be no morning assembly.


Candidates take to ‘nukkad’ meetings
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
With the administration acting tough against candidates displaying banners and posters on government, semi-government and public places, the candidates have once again resorted to door-to-door campaigning and “nukkad” meetings.

In spite of the intense cold, candidates continued with their campaigning. Groups of five to six persons accompanied candidates as they went about house to house asking for votes. Reading out their election manifestos and making promises for better sanitation and civic amenities , the door- to- door campaign by candidates continued well past dusk.

Mr Tara Chand Goyay, an independent from ward no 19 released his election manifesto. He said he had finished the first round of campaigning and had got a good response. He said he was associated with various social and religious organisations that had promised him support.

Mr Goyal promised better streetlighting, proper maintenance of parks and beautification of the nullah running through Sector 12- A. He promised upgradation of the government dispensary in this sector, saying he would intervene for a dentist and eye surgeon to be posted here. He also promised rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

Mrs Sharda Gupta, an independent from ward no 22, also released her election manifesto today. An educationist by profession, Mrs Gupta claimed the support of the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 12, the Kirtan Mandali , Sector 12 and other associations.

She said she would ensure proper water and power supply, better roads, a link road between Sector 4 and 12 and removal of the Congress grass. She promised to realign the singh nullah passing through Sector 12 and open a Community Centre and government dispensary.

Mr S.S. Goel, an independent from ward no 9 said he had finished his first round of campaigning. A prominent social worker of the area who heads various social and traders organisations. Mr Goel said he would give priority to development of parks, opening of a primary health centre, rehabilitation of slim dwellers and opening of a government model school in his ward.

Ms Seema Chaudhary, an INLD supported candidate from ward no 26 visited over 100 houses in Sector 4. She was accompanied by Mr Khet Pal Gupta, Mr Raj Kumar Gupta, Mr Om Prakash Sharma and Mr V. Kamra, prominent residents of the area. She promised maintenance of parks and a green belt along Sector 2 and 4 facing the National Highway, an effective solution for the Congress grass menace and upgradation of the middle school in Majri village.

In ward no 14, a rally was organised in favour of Mr Anil Pangotra, a former President of the Panchkula Youth Congress. He was assured support by the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 15 . He promised better roads, sanitation, clean potable water and a solution to the stray cattle menace. Mr Surinder Chaudhary, another candidate from the same ward, met representatives of various social organisations at the Housing Board Colony, Sector 14, and covered 200 houses during door- to- door canvassing.

Mr Praveen Kumar Garg and Mr Rajiv Kumar, both Independent candidates from ward no 6, said they were visiting each household in Sector 17 and 18, asking for votes. Mr Garg released his manifesto, promising to make his ward a model one and realigning the seasonal nullah passing through his ward. Mr B.B. Kochhar, an Independent from ward no 3, too, continued with door- to- door campaigning.

Mr H.L. Ratta and Lieut-Col Surjit Singh — both contestants from ward no 27 — continued with their campaign. The election manifesto of Mr Ratta was released today wherein he promised repair of damaged roads, and better drainage systems in Sector 2. The manifesto of Ms Lily Bawa, an Independent from ward no 22 was released. She has promised better sanitation, roads, streetlights and a government school for Chotta Haripur. Mr Tarun Bhandari from ward no 25, said he had begun with the third round of personal contact programme and visited at least 100 houses. 


Police remand for Ranjit Bajaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The controversial ward of a senior Punjab bureaucrat couple, Ranjit Bajaj, along with his two accomplice, Naresh, alias Bobby, and Maninder were today remanded to two-day police custody by the Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Sanjay Sandhir.

The police has sought remand to recover items removed from the Maruti car allegedly stolen by the accused. The crime branch has arrested Ranjit along with his two other accomplice in connection with a case of auto theft from Sector 23. The VIP brat had stolen the Maruti car to help out his friend, Maninder, in securing spareparts for his car, claimed the police. The stolen Maruti car remained parked at the sector 16 residence of the bureaucrat couple before being moved to the rented house of his friend, Maninder, who works as a marketing executive with a private firm. The stolen car was found with a fake registration number. 


CM’s visit fails to cheer candidates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
The visit of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala failed to bring cheer to the candidates supported by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

These candidates had been hoping for a major boost in their election campaign if Mr Chautala were to address party workers. The Chief Minister was here to inaugurate the building of the Haryana Police Housing Corporation today. However, Mr Chautala refused to get involved in local politicking and even declined to comment on the dissidents within the local unit.

On the contrary, the party workers and office-bearers contesting against the official candidates received a shot in the arm when Mr Chautala said any individual could file nomination papers and ruled out that these candidates would be pulled up.

In fact, when his attention was drawn by mediapersons that there were reports that the representatives of INLD were contesting elections to the municipal council against each other, Mr Chautala said he was not aware of it. He made clear that as this election was not being contested on the party symbol, any individual could file nomination papers. He said he would appreciate if good candidates received the support of the people.

At least four senior party workers have raised their banner of revolt by either jumping into the fray themselves or fielding their next of kin, after the official list was released by the party election committee headed by former minister and senior party leader Kanti Prakash Bhalla.

Dilbagh Singh Nain, general secretary of the district INLD, is contesting against Randhir Malik in Ward No 13. Similarly, Sunil Talwar is contesting against the official candidate Shyam Sunder Sharma in Ward No 14, Amoljit Kaur, wife of vice-president of zila parishad, Sohan Lal, is opposing the official INLD candidate Raj Bala Sharma in Ward No 17, and, Saroj Rani, wife of Mr Jeevan, a close confidante of Pardeep Chaudhary, is opposing Uma Verma in Ward No 18.

Though Ram Gopal Mehta, district INLD president, had earlier said he had received a complaint against these dissidents and would issue them show cause notices, the latter now maintain that they had finally received the blessings of the party high command. 


Elite were reticent to visit polio booths: doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Notwithstanding the problems faced by the pulse polio teams, including a reluctant elite class and bitter cold, the health authorities managed to cover the targeted 1.30 lakh children, who were immunised under the Pulse Polio Immunisation Campaign, during the past three days.

A total of 406 polio booths and 56 mobile teams were able to administer polio drops to 1.18 lakh children on January 5, the first day of the campaign. “During the last two days we were able to cover 12,000 more children during the door-to-door visits”, said Dr M.P. Minocha, Director Family Welfare. During the last Pulse Polio Campaign the UT Health authorities had covered a total of 1.13 lakh children below the age of five.

Members of the polio teams, part of the door-to-door campaign, said at times they had a tough time convincing people that there would be no side-effects of the oral polio vaccine.

“What we were surprised to find was that it is not the migrant population, but the educated section of society who had reservations in giving polio drops to their children,” said one of the doctors.

A section of the elite class had reservations in taking their children to the booths where children from all sections had come for polio drops. Some of them did give polio drops to their children, but at private clinics.

Dr Minocha said during the next phase, polio drops would be given to children on February 9.


Police holds painting contest for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
As many as 700 students participated in a painting competition held as part of the Traffic Safety Week, being organised by the Chandigarh Police. The judges were Mr DS Kapoor, Mr Swadesh Talwar and Mr Deepak Uniyal.

The winners in the painting competition are as follows: Above 14 years: Simran Kaur of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35 ( first), Sherasi Ashta (Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16( second) and Deepak Uniyal of Government Model High School, Sector 28 (third) and consolation prize — Khush Deep Kaur of Government Model High School, Sector 38 and Richa Chadha of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35.

Below 14 years: Isha of Government Model High School, Sector 25 (first), Chetan Sharma of Government Model High School, Sector 41( second) and Sahil Aggarwal of Government Model High School, Sector 25 (third) and consolation prizes : Rahul Verma of Government Model High School, Sector 28 and Manjeet of Government Model High School, Sector 38.

Besides, a workshop was organised for drivers of the CTU, the Punjab Roadways, Haryana Roadways and the PRTC at the Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector 17 here. The drivers were given lecture on road safety, authorised routes and prescribed speed limits. The traffic police would be selecting 10 women two-wheeler drivers found wearing helmets. The selected motorists would be given gift hampers, which will include a cassette on road safety and a coupon for eatables at Hot Millions. 


SB payment to Army officers delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
A “communication gap” between the Sector 7 branch of the State Bank of India and the bank’s service branch in Sector 17 led to 10 Army officers waiting for a week before their salaries were credited to their respective bank accounts.

While some of the affected officers complained about the laxity on the bank’s part to set the record straight, bank officers said they had been engaged in this task for the past few days. The salaries were credited today afternoon after corrective measures were taken by the bank.

According to bank officials, a freak snag in the Electronic Clearing System was the cause for the problem. While the total amount of the salaries had been received by the bank, the break-up of the amount to be credited into various accounts was held up “somewhere”.

The bank’s Chief Manager, Mr R.K. Bajaj, when contacted, said that after the lapse came to light, they obtained a duplicate list of amounts to be credited from the Reserve Bank of India.

The matter of the missing list was also taken up with the service branch on Saturday, and a special messenger was despatched to the branch today to procure the list by hand.


Socio-economic survey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Chandigarh Administration has started the 59th round of NSS to collect data on land and livestock holding, debt and investment and situation assessment survey of Indian farmers, besides data on household consumer expenditure and employment and un-employment. The field operation of the survey will continue till December 31, 2003.

However, situation assessment survey will cover only the rural sector since the agricultural activity is pre-dominantly a rural phenomenon and the diversity of farming activity as well as farmers situation is more pronounced in rural areas.

Situation assessment survey will be conducted in the central sample. However the UT is also participating in the state sample as no data on the situation assessment survey of Indian farmers to such extent is available.


Jain to come in way of demolitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Former local BJP MP Satyapal Jain today said he had been assured of stopping acquisition of land and demolition of houses in Kishangarh and other villages by officers of Union Home Ministry and Union Rural Development Minister Shanta Kumar.

Addressing villagers, Mr Jain said the Chandigarh Administration had taken a decision not to demolish houses in villages beyond the "red line" in September 1998 when he was member of Parliament.

He said the then Adviser, Mr Jagdish Sagar, had assured him the"red line" would be extended and demolition or acquisition of land would not be resorted to following a meeting with panchayat members.

Mr Jain accused Congress MP Pawan Bansal of failure to get this order implemented during his term.

He said demolition had been stopped during his term when he was arrested while protesting against the demolition and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani had raised the issue in Parliament.

Mr Jain told said he and BJP President Yashpal Mahajan had taken up the issue with the Administrato, Lieut- Gen. (retd) J. F. R Jacob and his officers in this connection.

The BJP leader said he would not allow the Chandigarh Administration to carry out demolitions.

Mr Jain some of the officers of the Chandigarh Administration had been harassing the people intentionally, which would not be tolerated. He said a BJP delegation would meet the Union Home Minister and the Administrator, urging them to stop displacing villagers.

Mr Mahajan, party secretary Ramvir Singh Bhatti, Zila Parishad Chairman Darshan Singh and panchayat member Shingara Singh also spoke.


Seminars on tourism promotion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
With a view to promote tourism in the country, particularly in northern India, the ITFT (Institute of Tourism & Future Management Trends), Chandigarh, has planned a series of 12 seminars in 2003 by well-known national and international personalities associated with the service industry, particularly travel and tourism, hospitality, aviation, human resource development and other management disciplines.

This was stated today by Dr Gulshan Sharma, Director, ITFT, while speaking at the first Seminar on “Integrated tourism development for northern India with focus on Ladakh.”

Dr Sharma said the objective in organising these seminars was to have interfaces with public and private sector officials in northern India to understand emerging trends in the services industry which now plays a significant role in the development of national economies.

He said Prof Allister Morrison from the USA, Prof Jenkins from the UK, Prof Garry Prosser from Ireland, Prof Cooper from Australia and Prof Seth from New Zealand were likely to address the seminars.


Florist wants assailants booked, cops compromise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
A 20-year-old florist of Sector 44 is running from pillar to post to get justice. The victim, Sunny, was seriously injured in the head by three youths on November 24 last. when he had gone to attend the marriage of his friend in Sector 29.

The police has failed to book the suspects under the non-bailable offence, as per the provisions under the Indian Penal Code. According to information, a medical examination of Sunny had revealed three serious head injuries. But the police registered a case after a month and that too under Sections 2323, 147 and 148 of the IPC.

The victim said the police had been trying to make him reach a compromise with the assailants who lived in Sector 29 and had been identified as Anil, Sucha, Bablu and two more.


‘Saat samundar...’

Chandigarh, January 7
After writing on AIDS awareness, blood donation, eye donation and national integration, Madhu Bala, a youth officer working at the NSS Regional Centre here has written five songs on NRIs.

She has been extended complimentary registration for participating in "Pravasi Bharatiya Divas" celebrations to be launched in Delhi by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on January 9. She has tried to articulate the sentiments of NRI and PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) towards Indians and vice-versa and develop the synergies with the persons of all countries.

One of the refrains of the song is "Saat samunder paar sae, aaye Bhaarat kay pravasi..." TNS


Fill backlog of vacancies: SCs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The North Zone SCs and STs Welfare Federation today accused the Punjab Government of depriving SCs and STs of promotional benefits restored by the supreme Court and showing scant concern for clearing the 15 per cent backlog of vacancies.

Its president, Mr Viru Mal, in a statement said the government had made itself liable to be charged with contempt of court and committing atrocities under the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

He said 85th Amendment to the Constitution had restored the earlier benefit of consequential seniority to the SCs government servants on their promotion to the higher grade posts on reservation basis.

Mr Viru Mal urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to fill the backlog of 15 per cent in all services under the Punjab Government, which has occurred due to the non-implementation of the reservation policy.


Police approaches car dealers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
After busting a gang involved in stealing cars with the help of duplicate keys, the Chandigarh Police has decided to take up the matter with vehicle dealers in the city.

According to the information, the police is writing to the car dealers to put responsible staff on the duty of servicing vehicles so that chances of getting imprints of car keys could be reduced.

In the case busted by the CIA, six stolen cars were recovered. The police had found that an employee of Hind Motors had been engaged by the kingpin of the gang to get imprints of Tata Indica cars which came for servicing. The gang then prepared forged registration documents.

A senior official said the car dealers would be asked to keep a watch on the employees engaged in servicing vehicles.

The car dealers would also be asked to keep spare keys of vehicles in safe custody.


First-aid boxes donated for PCR vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Chandigarh Red Cross has provided 26 first-aid boxes to the Chandigarh Police. The police personnel deployed on the PCR vehicles are being imparted a three-day training on the use of the first-aid boxes by Mr Nazar, Chief First Aid Officer. The cops are also being trained on the lifting of injured persons from an accident spot and provide medical attention to them. The training would enable the staff on the PCR vehicles to provide timely medical attention to the victims of road accidents.



SAS Nagar, January 7
The office-bearers of the Adara Tarak are: patron: Mr Puran Singh Kirti; president: Mr Karnail Singh; senior vice-president: Mr Maha Devinder Singh Sodhi; vice presidents: Mr Naurang Singh and Mr Tara Singh; general secretary: Mr Ranjivan Singh; joint secretary: Mr Harjinder Singh Dhillon; press secretary: Mr Navtej Rana; finance secretary: Mr Himmat Singh; and executive: Mr R. Singh; Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Kartar Singh, Mr Ashwani, Mr Dildar Singh, Mr Harinder Singh, Mr Bal Chand and Dr Jaswant Singh. OC



Change of girdwari

Patwaris and tehsildars are fraudulently changing girdwari in many places. Beneficiaries in various categories such as aged men and women, widows, ex-servicemen cannot till the land, and they have to earn their livelihood by giving their land on contract. But this does not mean that girdwari be changed. This mounting corruption should be curbed forthwith.

The state government should order that land girdwari will not be changed under any circumstances except in case of mortgage, division, and donation of the land as also at the owner's will. This action will lead to a reduction of cases in the courts as also appeals in the Revenue Commissioner's court.

Lt-Col P.S. SARANG (retd)

Silt in Sukhna lake

Of all the constituents of the Chandigarh complex, Sukhna lake is the only one which has failed to fulfill its designed objective. It was meant to be a picturesque spot for recreation but has turned out to be a silt trap with sandy islands in its bed. It is foolhardy to think that these can be removed by machines or shramdans. At best such efforts can only treat the symptom and not the disease because nothing will prevent them from reappearing.

The water holding capacity of the lake is depleting at such a fast rate that very soon this pride of Chandigarh may become a monument of sorrow with its capacity no bigger than that of a village pond.

Such a tragedy can be avoided by shifting the alignment of the feeding choe to outside the lake towards the hillside. If necessary, a lined concrete can also be provided in its bed to make it foolproof against silting. Its water should be admitted into the lake by a regulated inlet after de-silting it with the help of vertical filters the like of which have been field-tested by the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, with positive results. The present exit regulator would become redundant.

Over to the government for remodelling the lake on scientific lines by giving due importance to its silt factor and saving whatever is still left of it.

Former Engineer-in-Chief
Irrigation Deptt.(Haryana)

Restrict the ban

For the last one month, the Punjab government has directed the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat to impose ban on construction of houses around the IAF complex. Why only at Zirakpur and not in Chandigarh?

Where were the IAF authorities when buildings were coming up in the last two decades. The IAF authorities could have stopped the construction activities at that time. Over 11,000 acres of land have been fully developed at Zirakpur and thousands of people have settled permanently in Zirakpur. Is it fair to harass them now?

The IAF authorities should reconsider their decision and restrict the ban to 200-300 metres area near their complex.


Poor sanitation

No body seems to be bothered about the sanitation and cleanliness of the Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra. In spite of repeated requests, verbal and written, the situation has remained the same. The area has been declared as a disease-prone zone by the Chandigarh Administration. Only two safai karamcharis have been deployed by the contractor for cleaning up of the entire complex. This is quite insufficient, keeping in view the large area of the complex.

Why is the sanitary inspector/contractor not paying any attention to proper sanitation/cleanliness of this area? Why is the strength of safai karamcharies not being increased?

D.P. WADHWA, President
Resident Welfare Association of Cat IV

PSEB’s ways

On the one hand, the Punjab State Electricity Board is weeping about its losses and, on the other, it denies electric connections to a large number of people who are living in the periphery of Chandigarh. The Government has declared that without the NOC issued by PUDA, no electric connection will be given. The PUDA on one pretext or the other is refusing or delaying NOC to the people of this area. This is amazing because it is believed that it issued NOC recently to some influential people.

People are being forced to adopt unfair means. The government announced NAC status for this area but the case is pending in the High Court. We appeal to the government to give temporary electric connections for the time being.

GURJEET and others


Cop crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
An MHC posted at the Pinjore police station was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle near Chandimandir late last night. The victim, Pradeep Kumar, was going on his motor cycle after his night duty when the accident took place. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

Arrested: The police has arrested two persons — Deepak and Ashwani Kumar — on charges of possessing blue film CDs. Five CDs were recovered from their possession.

In another case the police has arrested Sanjeev Sharma and Hari Singh in two separate cases on charges of drinking at a public place. They have been booked under the Excise Act.

In third case, the police has arrested Prince Gulati from the Sector 10 market on charges of wrongfully parking his vehicle. 


Woollen Expo a draw
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Woollen Expo — 2003, organised by the Himachal Pradesh Cooperative Woollen Collection and Marketing Federation at Circus Ground here in Sector 17, is drawing crowds. The Expo started on January 5 and will continue till January 14.

The organisers claim that 50 cooperatives and other entrepreneurs from eight states are participating in the exhibition. The entry to the exhibition is free. Sponsored by the Central Wool Development Board, Jodhpur, Ministry of Textiles, the exhibition has been organised to promote marketing of wool produce and weevers. The product range includes pashmina shawls, jackets, woollen carpets and other items. The customers are being offered a discount of 20 to 40 per cent on the purchase of these items.

Customers are showing a special interest in the Rajasthani woollen carpets, shawls with zari embroidery, Gujarati shawls and pashmina shawls. Interestingly, the Gujarati items are available at a price of Rs 200 to Rs 1,200, but Kashmiri shawls, suits with embroidery are up to the range of Rs 45,000.

The J and K Handloom Nigam is exhibiting shawls with Mughal designs in the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. General Manager of HP State Cooperative Wool Federation claimed that the cooperative of Kulu, ‘Bhutiko’, had been awarded by the Ministry of Textiles for quality products.


Industry hails Centre’s decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Executive Committee of the B B N Industries Association Industrial Area, Baddi, met today and welcomed the decision of Centre to extend concessions to industries of Himachal on the pattern of J&K and other northern-eastern states.

This decision will give a boost to industrialisation of this industrially backward area and will go a long way in generation of employment opportunities to the local youths and the overall economic development of the state, according to a press note.

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