|C H A N D I G A R H
& V I C I N I T Y
Saturday, August 29, 1998
swells his pocket
your servant, says police
Woes of cinegoers
Place: Jagat Cinema, Chandigarh.
Time: 2.45 p.m.As the ticket sale window is already closed, about 35 persons are standing in a queue outside another counter selling upper-stall tickets.
UT may prefer captive power generation
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The Chandigarh Administration may prefer its own captive power generation than buy 100 MW of surplus power from east zone to meet of growing demand.
"Jai Hind,'' Manoj style
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 "I'm hopeful that Jai Hind will get tax exemption in Haryana," said Kunal Goswami last night at his friend's house here.
area to be developed
allows relief for consumer
facility a service condition
dwells on farmers' suicides
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 Taking advantage of the advanced photography technology and having tacit understanding" with certain officials, a contractor making driving licences, here, has pocketed a couple of lakhs in the past one year.
Highly placed sources in the Chandigarh Administration informed that the contractor used a technique that was cheaper than what was accepted at the time of the contract. Financial gains thus generated were never passed on either to the government or the members of the public seeking licences.
As per the contract, the contractor was being paid at the rate of Rs 11 per licence as this was the bid tendered by him towards the cost of each licence. This was so as he was using polaroid film.As per this technique every person had to be photographed separately and the cost of the film was high.
However, in the past one year he had been using a technique which involved photographing a person using a video camera and subsequently transferring his image onto the licence format which was complete in all respects.
This way the contractor cut on costs considerably and the licence cost him not more than Rs three, thus saving of Rs eight, for every licence made the sources informed.
He allegedly pocketed the excess sum of Rs eight for every licence made. By simple calculation the contractor made around Rs 2.80 lakh in one year. This is by taking into account that on an average 150 licences are made everyday and the contractor was making Rs 8 per licence , sources said
The new technique was introduced in August 1997 as it was "felt" by a senior functionary that the older process was slower and the rush of licence seekers could not be tackled with the old system. But the fact, the new technique would cut on costs and that the benefit could have either been passed on to the public or benefited the government was "conveniently overlooked".
Interestingly, the contract which expired in August is yet to be retendered and the file for doing so was allegedly moved on the last day of the expiry of the contract. The connivance of staff of the Estate Office, for setting in motion not the retendering process or bringing the matter to the notice of higher authorities could not be ruled out, sources added.
Another point raised was the reason for changing the entire process midway, and even if it was to be changed in the larger public interest, why were fresh quotations not invited for getting the best bargain, both for the members of the public and the administration, sources questioned.
A senior officer, on the
condition of anonymity, said the authorities were seized
of the matter and action in the matter was expected soon.
Formalities had been completed and new tenders would also
be floated soon, the officer added.
Woes of cinegoers
Jagat Cinema, Chandigarh.
As the ticket sale window is already closed, about 35 persons are standing in a queue outside another counter selling upper-stall tickets.
Suddenly, there is a commotion in an open space on one side of the theatre. On enquiry, it is found that two persons have picked up a quarrel over some trivial issue relating to parking of their vehicles. It is learnt that such skirmishes and haphazard parking are routine features as in the absence of the cinema's own parking lot, there is no one to streamline the parking of vehicles.
As The Tribune team proceeds further and joins the queue to buy tickets, a person in his late thirties approaches one of the team members and asks: "The counter for the sale of balcony tickets has been closed. Are you interested in getting balcony tickets?" As he displays a bunch of tickets in his hand, one of the team members asks him how much each ticket costs. "Rupees 50 for one ticket, not a penny less", replies. As the team starts leaving, the man says he is ready to sell the tickets at Rs 35 each against the actual price of Rs 25.
On entering the hall, the team members found that the seats allotted to them have been occupied by a couple.
One of the torch boys present in the hall refuses to lend any help saying, "I will arrange seats for you at some other place" and leaves the place.
A chaotic scene is prevalent all over the hall as people are seen indulging in arguments with each other over the occupation of a seat. The torch boys are mere spectators to the whole drama and are virtually doing nothing.
A melee-like situation continues for half an hour even as the movie is in progress. What is more disturbing is the unrestricted entry of people and repeated opening of entry doors. But there is no one to attend these problems.
The situation in the second half of the movie is not less troublesome. The canteen staff keep searching for cold drink bottles. A small number of unscrupulous elements smoke in the hall.
At the end of the movie the people are seen jostling against one another in a bid to make an exit because only one exit point is kept open by the management, which is in violation of the safety norms fixed by the administration.
contacted, the manager of the cinema, Mr Rabinder, says
one exit point is opened in case there is not much rush
in the hall. On the black marketing of the tickets on the
cinema premises, he says everything is being done to
prevent such an unlawful activity.
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 A teenaged daughter of a Sub Inspector of the Chandigarh Police died under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours here today. She had consumed some medicine to cure a stomach ache and she never recovered from its effect.
The deceased, Pushpa, 18, a daughter of SI, Ranbir Singh complained of stomach ache at her Sector 26 home around 9.30 pm. She consumed some medicine -- the nature of which is yet not known and went to sleep and woke up shouting after an hour. After this she vomitted , police sources said.
She was shifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32 where she died at 4.55 a.m. this morning. When the incident occurred, the girl's parents were not at home and a female relative was with her.
Two held: A resident of Sector 38, Surendra Kumar , was found dead in front of Kisan Bhawan on Friday morning . The 55- year- old Kumar was said to be in the habit of consuming liquor regularly, according to police sources. Meanwhile two persons Amit Khanna and Nand Lal Yadav were arrested for exchanging blows in a drunken state in a public place.
Driver arrested: The driver of a private bus that was involved in a road accident which resulted in the death of a pregnant woman has been arrested by the police. Amrik Singh , the driver, was arrested for allegedly hitting the scooter being driven by Mr Vijay Ahuja of Sector 41 . His pregnant wife, Sashi Ahuja, riding the pillion was seriously injured and she later died at the PGI.
Nine booked: Seven persons, including three girls, were on Friday arrested from two separate hotels in Pinjore, near here, for allegedly indulging in immoral trafficking. The three girls aged 24, 23 and 16 belong to Chandigarh, Shimla and Panchkula, respectively, and hail from middle class families, according to police sources. The youngest girl is a student of Class X in a Panchkula school while the other two were doing private jobs.
girls and their four male companions Sunil,
Gulshan, Sanjay and Shehzad were arrested in the
afternoon and booked under the Suppression of Immoral
Trafficking Act (SITA). The owners of the two hotels
where the girls were found Ashok Kumar and Sanjay
Kumar have also been booked by the police.e
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 Recommendations of the finance and contract committee of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh(MCC), regarding the creation of new posts for the community centres and the publicity wing generated a lot of heat at a meeting of the civic body here today.
Members alleged that the 28 posts for the community centres was a big number and the civic body should find ways to manage the community centres with the help of less staff. After a lot of discussion the item was referred back to the art and culture committee of the MCC, which would again study the issue in detail.
Similarly, the appointment of an Assistant Public Relations Officer (APRO) in the MCC came in for severe criticism. While Maj-Gen Gurdial Singh(Retd), nominated councillor, was against the creation of a publicity wing, Mr Harish Bhanot, also a nominated councillor, wanted that proper procedure should have been followed for the appointment.
To this the Commissioner, Mr S.K. Gathwal, replied that the APRO had been appointed only for a period of three months on contract and had nothing to do with the creation of the new publicity wing. He promised that the record regarding the appointment would be placed before the next meeting of the MCC following which the creation of the publicity wing was okayed.
The House, however, cleared the creation of a new Roads Division in the civic body. The meeting also approved Rs 59.94 lakh for providing concrete pavement in the of the parking area of motor market in Mani Majra subject to the condition that the additional funds for the work would be provided by the Administration.
Earlier, the meeting deferred the constitution of a two-member committee of the councillors for the purpose of hearing objections of the assessment of property tax, the survey of which is underway.
Objecting to the formation of the committee, Mr O.P. Goel(BJP) said the corporation should first frame rules for the property tax. He was supported by Congress members, who alleged that the byelaws framed so far contained many deficiencies.
Earlier during the question hour the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Prem Sagar Jain, expressed concern at the slow pace of work on the projects sanctioned under the MP development quota. He alleged that out of nearly 52 projects sanctioned under the quota work on only 13 had been initiated by the MCC. He was supported by the former Mayor, Mrs Kamla Sharma, who alleged that work on the community centre of Sector 41 and some parks had not been started though the grants for them had been released many months back.
Mr Raghubir Lal Arora(BJP) alleged that certain employees of the MCC were working at residences of certain officials. Mr Goel demanded that the employees and the officials in whose houses they worked should be made public. The Commissioner promised to look into the matter.
The meeting also passed another resolution by which elections to vacancy in any of the committee of the civic body will be held within one month of the election of the Mayor.
Meanwhile, the Congress councillors Mr Raj Kumar Goyal Gurcharan Dass Kala, and Ms Kamlesh have refuted the claims of the MCC authorities that it had done a lot for the development of Mani Majra.
They criticised the
submission of memorandum by the Mayor, Mr Gian Chand
Gupta, to the U. T. Administrator, Lieut-Gen B. K. N.
Chhibber (retd), yesterday listing the works done by the
civic body in Mani Majra. Mr Goyal urged the Mayor to
behave like the Mayor and not a BJP leader.
Know your servant, says police
PANCHKULA: Mr Pravesh Vasudevan, a resident of Sector 6 here who recently suffered poisoning after eating food served by his servant vows that he will never miss out on servant verification.
He feels that the public is unwilling to cooperate with the police in conducting verification drives.
Appeals by the police notwithstanding, most employers don't take this precautionary measure. Instead they rely on their own judgement.
Capt Ramesh Sood, senior vice-president of the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of Sector 6, even issued a stern note in May asking residents to fill within 10 days the proforma distributed by the police for verification of domestic servants, drivers and helpers. The note said "The non-receipt of the proforma would be taken as negligence of civic duty."
The note further informed residents that a photographer arranged by the association would visit each house to take the picture of the servant on payment of Rs 30.
"In spite of this service at their doorstep, residents did not cooperate," he adds.
A police officer says: "Many people don't disclose that they have a servant fearing he might run away. When there is a theft, they are unable to give the servant's description. All they are able to tell the police is that Bahadur was from Nepal."
Mr C.S. Sharma, general secretary of the RWA, Sector 4, corroborates what Captain Sood says.
All an employer needs to do is to fill a form for the domestic servants, driver and helper. The form gives the name and address of the employer, particulars of the employee, including his description, his employment in the past five years, addresses of his local friends and relatives and addresses of two sureties.
Mr Alok Mittal, Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, says: Response to the servant and tenant verification drive has been lukewarm. The least residents can do is to write to the chowki in charge if they don't want to fill the form. They can just send the biodata of their servants and leave the rest to us."
Asked whether some kind of punishment or fine for defying such a drive would act as a deterrent, Mr Mittal says: "If the district administration promulgates 144, Cr PC, for enforcing such drives, it would certainly have the desired effect."
An ASI, who distributed servant verification forms six months ago in Sector 2, tells The Tribune that only one of 20 house owners filled the form.
Most residents feel that verification drives should be made compulsory. They also recommended a labour verification drive as well.
Mr Mittal says: "About 80 per cent of the construction workers earn their daily bread with honest sweat. One cannot tar all of them with the same brush."
Mr S.K. Sachdeva, a government contractor, does not rule out the complicity of migrant labourers in cases of petty burglary and robbery. He says: "It is not possible to verify their antecedents as they are irregular. They come in thousands every year. They never give correct address. We hire them through labour jamadars (heads) who know them."
begin night patrolling
PANCHKULA, Aug 28 The House Owners Welfare Association of Sector 21 here has started voluntary night patrolling in the sector. The step has been taken in the wake of the recent incidents of robbery in the area.
Dr Brij Lal, general secretary of the association, said the sector had been divided into three parts and a duty chart had been prepared for those identified to be fit for duty . The patrolling will continue from late night onwards till early morning .
The president of the
association, said at a recent meeting with the Deputy
Commissioner and the SP that the residents had been
assured of adequate security measures. An assurance about
the removal of parthenium and installation of mercury
lights at entry points to the sector had also been given
to the residents.
UT may prefer captive power
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The Chandigarh Administration may prefer its own captive power generation than buy 100 MW of surplus power from east zone to meet of growing demand.
According to sources in the administration, there have been feelers that an additional 100 MW of power can be made available to the administration for the next six months at global rates. At present, some of the eastern states are surplus in power. The global rate is around Rs 2.50 a unit.
On July 12 when the Union Power Minister, Mr R. Kumaramangalam, visited the city to discuss with senior officials of the administration, the power supply position, he did not make any commitment about captive power generation here. It was decided at that meeting that engineers of the NTPC would conduct a survey and prepare a feasibility report.
When contacted, the Superintending Engineer, Electricity Operations, Mr P.S. Chawla, said that correspondence on the conduct of survey and preparation of a feasibility report had started.
He confirmed that feelers had been received about the availability of surplus power from east zone. "It is costly and we charge much less from our consumers. This is why we are not keen to buy this surplus power on ad hoc basis," he adds.
The administration is also in touch with the Himachal Pradesh government over its share in the future hydel projects of the state. The administration is keen on sharing generation from any of new projects so that the growing demand of power is met.
At present, the cost of generation of power has been phenomenal. According to estimates, the average cost of generation of one MW of power is around Rs 4 crore.
The administration is keeping all its options open. It is, however, keen to go in for two captive power generation units of 50 MW each, one in the periphery of Mani Majra and the other in southern sectors. Both these generation units are based on liquified fuel.
The administration has also been pursuing its demand for status of a partner state in the Bhakra-Beas Management Board, besides insisting that it should not be charged global rate for power supplied by the BBMB.
The minister only promised to consider these demands.
"Jai Hind,'' Manoj style
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 "I'm hopeful that Jai Hind will get tax exemption in Haryana," said Kunal Goswami last night at his friend's house in Sector 9 here.
Who is Kunal and what is Jai Hind, you might ask.
Well, Kunal is the actor-son of Manoj Kumar. His last film Vishkanya opposite Pooja Bedi was made six years ago. Before that he had starred in Ghungroo, Do Gulab and Kalaakar (opposite Sridevi), none of which made much of a mark.
Jai Hind is the relaunch vehicle that Manoj has made for Kunal. Featuring Manisha Koirala, Raveena Tandon, Rishi Kapoor, Shilpa Shirodkar, Pran along with Kunal, its number "Lo macha gali mein shor, padosan pakri gayee.." is already a regular in the top 20 charts on TV channels.
Incidentally, this is the last movie for which Laxmikant-Pyarelal have scored the music as a duo. (Laxmikant passed away on May 25,1998).
Manoj who became popular as 'Mr Bharat' after making Upkaar in the sixties and consolidated his position with Purab Aur Paschim and Kranti, both portraying patriotism with sensitivity, has once again wielded the megaphone for Jai Hind and tried to recreate the magic.
This time, taking the Kashmir problem as the backdrop, he brings forth the futility of divisions based on language or the short-sightedness of those harping on the Hindu-Muslim rift. Through a tale weaving the lives of a girl from Mumbai (Manisha), a Muslim girl (Raveena), a Kashmiri Pandit (Shilpa) and an Army officer (Kunal), the movie depicts suffering amid terrorism, bandhs and closure of educational institutes.
If the film can strike the same cord in the audiences' heart as Roja, Maachis or Bombay, it could yet resurrect the career of Kunal, a lookalike of his father in his younger days.
"The film industry is going through its worst phase. Few are willing to finance producers. And despite being conferred the status of industry, the banks have not opened their coffers to us," lamented the hero, who has also dabbled in restaurant business.
"Perhaps, a definite time-frame for the completion of a movie and the star cast could be the criteria for banks to extend loans. It would end today's calling of the shots by successful actors," he suggested as a way out of the financial mess.
And, of course, piracy which has eaten into the vitals of this once flourishing trade, must end.
While Madhya Pradesh has exempted Jai Hind from taxes, Kunal says it is "on the verge of clearance in Maharashtra and Gujarat". He has applied to the Punjab Government, too, and hopes to get it across the country by October, when the film is slated for release.
Earlier in the day, the movie was screened for the Haryana committee which will give its opinion shortly.
Let's hope the film, shot in the cool, mountainous locales of Kulu-Manali, turns out to be a befitting finale to the hype created out of the 50 years of Independence and pave the way for Kunal's ultimate goal: that of donning the director's mantle one day.
Industrial area to be developed
SAS NAGAR, Aug 28 Development of commercial areas in Industrial Phases VII and IX here will begin soon.
An assurance to this effect was given by Capt Narinder Singh, Managing Director, Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation, during a meeting with members of the Mohali Industries Association here yesterday.
The association president, Mr R.S. Sachdeva, said today that Capt Narinder Singh indicated that auction of plots in the two phases would be held soon so that the daily needs of industries could be met from the shops to be set up there.
He gave the permission for widening of narrow roads in the Industrial Area by the Municipal Council to facilitate the passage of heavy vehicles. Work on the nullah in Industrial Phase IX to Phase IX extension would start soon.
Mr Sachdeva said the association urged the MD to allot land for setting up a club for industrialists.
Forum allows relief for consumer
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (II) has ordered the Haryana State Council for Science and Technology to refund Rs 620 for a defective solar cooker supplied to a local consumer.
The council along with a local solar cooker manufacturing company named in the complaint will also have to pay Rs 200 as the costs.
Mr R.P. Bajaj, president, and Ms Kamlesh Gupta and Mr H.S. Walia, both members, handed down the order on a written complaint filed by Mr J.K. Jain, a resident of Sector 19.
In his complaint Mr Jain said he purchased a solar cooker from the state council in August, 1992. The cooker was defective and had to be replaced by the state council on the intervention of the consumers forum.
However, even the second cooker supplied to Mr Jain had some manufacturing defects.
The forum allowed the complaint and passed an order which has to be complied within one month of the receipt of the copy of the order.
Medical facility a service
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The local Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal today held that the medical facilities as extended to employees and pensioners of the Chandigarh Administration stood extended to them with effect from April 1, 1991.
The decision was handed down by the Bench comprising Mr S.C. Vaish and Mr J.S. Dhaliwal in an O.A. filed by Mr Vinod Kumar Lamba, a former professor at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, who was refused reimbursement of his medical expenses amounting to Rs 1,35,113 incurred for treatment at the local P.G.I. The applicant was treated at the P.G.I. after he suffered a heart attack.
The U.T administration had disallowed the claim on the grounds, inter alia, that medical reimbursement was not a condition of service and that the applicant had submitted the claim after the six month limitation prescribed for submission of the claim.
The Bench while directing the respondents to consider the applicant's claim rejected the pleas raised on behalf of the administration and allowed the O.A.
It was observed through a notification issued in 1992, the conditions of service of Union Territory Employees Rules, 1992, were enforced for governing their conditions of service w.e.f. from April 1, 1991. Though the right to medical treatment was a concession, but once it was extended to set of employees, or pensioners, it could be counted as part of their conditions of service.
Holding that the period of limitation for submission of bills was only meant to refuse very stale and old bills, the Bench condoned the delay.
Seminar dwells on farmers'
PANCHKULA, Aug 28 A farmer friendly policy was the need of the hour to check the increasing trend of suicides among the peasantry in the region.
These views were expressed by agriculture scientists, politicians, farmer leaders and scribes who participated in a seminar on " Increasing loans on farmers and suicides", organised by the Panchkula Press Club at Red Bishop hotel here today.
A farmer leader, Mr Inderjit Singh, who has conducted a study on suicides by farmers in Punjab, cited poverty and increasing debtness as the main reasons. The impression that a Punjabi farmer is progressive was a misnomer. The decreasing land holding and low profitability has spelled doom for the peasantry, he added.
Unions of the government employees dictate their demands to the government but no body had ever taken the cause of the farmers. The pro-urban policies had resulted in a wide disparity between the urbanites and ruralites, especially those related to agriculture, he said.
Dr R.K.Mehla, an agriculture scientist from Karnal , said the issue had cropped up due to absence of a relation between the producer(farmer), processor and the seller.It was high time that a peasant should start getting his share in the profit earned in the market, he said.
He was of the view that money lenders (arthiyas) should be made more accountable and the rate at which they charge interest should be lowered. An uniform land ceiling Act through the country was needed, he added.
He said the crop failures in Haryana, one of the main reasons for the suicides, were due to anti-farmer policies of the respective governments.
Mr Randeep Surjewala, an MLA from Narwana, said the percentage of farmers with less than five acres of land was 75 per cent while those with more than 10 acres was only 8 per cent.
He said 95 per cent of the farmers in the state were under debt. He called for a survey by the agriculture universities to find out the financial standing of the peasants.
Pinky case : panel fails to
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The inquiry committee that was to submit its report on the death of Pinky, a 12-year-old girl student of Government High School, Sector 38, could not submit its report today and is likely to do so tomorrow.
The report is to be submitted to the Education Secretary, Mrs Anuradha Gupta, after she returns from Delhi .
The committee headed by Mr Prithi Chand, Director, Social Welfare, had enquired into all aspects of the case and interviewed around 40 persons, including children, teachers and the parents of the deceased, to know the details. Mr Prithi Chand, when contacted, refused to give details, saying he was duty bound to submit the report to the administration before discussing its details with the media.
Meanwhile, more than 200 teachers led by the Government Teachers Union today protested against the "misreporting" of the "Pinky suicide" case in a section of the media. A spokesperson of the teachers said they wanted a fair inquiry and justice for the teachers.
Notice on suspects' bail
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr G.S. Sandhi, today issued notice to the prosecution for August 31 on two bail applications moved by Baljit Singh and Satnam Singh, two suspects in the Burail Jail blow-up conspiracy case.
Photography convention in city
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The 19th convention of the Federation of Indian Photography will be hosted here in the City Beautiful by the Photography Society of Chandigarh from December 25 to 27. The venue of the convention will be the Government Museum and Art Gallery.
While disclosing this yere today, the convener of the convention, Mr Navneet Saxena, said that the aim of the convention was to project Chandigarh as a tourist paradise.
He said that during the three days of the convention workshops on dark room techniques, digital imaging, table top, portraiture, modelling, montage technique, product photography and photogram would be held. Also, a seminar on various aspects of photography and slide shows would be organised.
He said that about 200 delegates, including top ranking photographers of the country, would participate in the convention. There would also be a photo contest for the delegates. Prominent photographers having photographic honours like EFIAP and most degrees would be honoured by the Federation of Indian Photography.
Sonia mourns Congress
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The president of the All-India Congress Committee, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, has mourned the death of Daulat Ram Sharma, a former president of the local unit of the Congress.
In a message
to the bereaved family, Mrs Gandhi said that Mr Sharma
was instrumental in establishing the party in Chandigarh.
She referred to him as a dedicated worker. Mr Sharma had
died 10 days ago.
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 Dr Sansar Chandra, an eminent literary figure of the city, has been given a cash award of Rs15,000 by the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan for his life- long contribution to the enrichment of Hindi language.
The 81-year-old Dr Chandra, who has authored over 50 books in Hindi, Sanskrit, English and Urdu, will receive the award at a function on Hindi Day on September 14 at Lucknow.
Plea for jail site plan
CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 The Judicial Magistrate, Mr A.K. Bishnoi, today turned down an application moved by D.S. Rajput, a local lawyer, for permitting him to prepare a site plan of the Burail Model Jail.
Rajput was arrested by the police in connection with the Burail Jail blow-up conspiracy case.
He had moved an application earlier on August 18 urging the court to supply him the site plan of the jail. The court had declined this application too.
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