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Monday, July 20, 1998
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International flights from UT sought
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — After preliminary success of the "hub and spoke" services introduced by Air-India from Raja Sansi international airport in Amritsar, the demand for an extension of a similar facility to Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, has gained momentum...
HP progress at all costs, says Dhumal
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, announced today that the ruling BJP-HVP combine would leave no stone unturned to ensure uniform...
Believes in persuasion
(Himachal section)
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New theory on matter gains ground
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — A local physicist, Dr Rati Ram Sharma, today claimed that his new theory regarding the basic structure of matter...

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Projecting people's urge by silence
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — To highlight the people's urge for no war between India and Pakistan, Jan Shakti, a social organisation, organised a people's initiative by observing "Maun" today from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15...
'Subsidise' Dalit students' fees
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — A former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, has advocated 20 per cent reservation in private schools for Dalit students...
Jethmalani calls on CMs in UT


campus beat .........................Crime File

International flights from UT sought
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — After preliminary success of the "hub and spoke" services introduced by Air-India from Raja Sansi international airport in Amritsar, the demand for an extension of a similar facility to Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, has gained momentum.
The city-based IATA and non-IATA agencies have been impressing upon the management of both Air-India and Indian Airlines to bring Chandigarh on international air map to facilitate passengers from Himachal Pradesh, parts of Haryana and Punjab besides Chandigarh.
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Haryana and even Himachal have been writing to the Civil Aviation Minister and other authorities concerned for the past several years the need to upgrade Chandigarh airport and introduce international flights from the union territory.
The argument advanced by all three chief ministers has been that in order to lure foreign investors, airlink is a must. Once the city is linked with international destinations, the investment graph would improve, believe the three state governments. For them the absence of a convenient airlink was one of the reasons that kept the foreign investors away.
Although the air passengers and frequent travellers from Punjab have responded well to the "hub and spoke" service introduced by Air-India from May 10 this year, the benefit of this service has still not been availed of by air passengers from Chandigarh, Ropar, Patiala, Sangrur, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ambala, Solan, Shimla, Karnal and Panchkula districts. For them going to Delhi is still more convenient than going to Amritsar.
"The ideal thing will be to extend the "hub and spoke" service to Chandigarh," says Mr Kamaljit Singh Cheema of a local travel agency.
"The flight that takes off from Amritsar to Delhi should be diverted through Chandigarh. As the Chandigarh Commissionerate had once provided Customs facilities in Chandigarh air terminal for the special charter flight to Lahore on the eve of the World Cup cricket final a couple of years ago, the same facilities on a permanent basis could be provided. The Chandigarh police could also be asked to provide immigration check counters.
"And if the flight from Amritsar lands here at 2.15 a.m. and those flying to various destinations in Europe, North America, Middle East, South East Asia and other destinations can take their flights from Indira Gandhi International Airport. One thing that supports this programme is the alliance Air-India has with various international carriers, including Air France and Air Canada." adds Mr Cheema.
His viewpoint is corroborated by Mr H.S. Bajaj, one of oldest travel agents of the city. Mr R.P. Singh, another travel agent, feels that by connecting Chandigarh to international destinations, the travel trade in general and aviation industry in particular would get a boost.
Mrs Kawal Bedi, another travel agent, says Chandigarh needs to be on international air map as it has a big potential market support.
At present the air travel industry in Punjab alone is about Rs 200 crore per annum. On an average, it records between 8 per cent to 10 per cent growth annually.
Besides Air-India, a direct flight from Amritsar to Sharjah introduced by Indian Airlines has been picking up.
The travel industry has also been pressing the management to Air-India to introduce more connecting flights from Delhi to Amritsar.

  HP progress at all costs, says Dhumal
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, announced today that the ruling BJP-HVP combine would leave no stone unturned to ensure uniform and speedy development of the hill state.
Speaking at a cultural function organised by the Himachal Vikas Manch at the Sector 18 Tagore Theatre here, the Chief Minister alleged that the Congress was responsible for uneven development of the state, as during its rule all developmental works were undertaken on a political basis and were aimed at creating vote banks. Citing an example, he said that though hundreds of schools and dispensaries were opened by the previous regime, but these were concentrated in certain pockets, with the result that students in some areas had to walk upto 15 km to get primary education.
Mr Dhumal said his government while allocating developmental works would give priorty to the areas, which actually were in need of these facilities even if they were Congress strongholds.
While asserting that his government was open to healthy criticism, the Chief Minister said for the uplift of the people of the hill state, money was no problem. He pointed out that his government was the first state government which could corner a generous Central aid amounting to Rs 300 crore.
Mr Dhumal expressed his gratitude to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for his cooperation in solving long-pending inter-state issues such as compensation to Thein Dam oustees and construction of Shahnehar.
He announced that keeping in view the problems faced by the fruit growers of the state, a kisan bhavan would be constructed in Delhi for which the state government would spend Rs 1 crore. Similarly, there was a provision of Rs 70 lakh for the construction of Himachal Bhavan in Chandigarh.
The local MP Mr Satya Pal Jain; a former MLAs from Una, Mr Rattan Singh, also spoke.
Earlier, a colourful cultural programme consisting of Himachali Folk songs and dances, including famous 'Jhamakra' dance of the Kangra valley, was presented.
  New theory on matter gains ground
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — A local physicist, Dr Rati Ram Sharma, today claimed that his new theory regarding the basic structure of matter had received seven experimental supports from scientists abroad.
Evidence of neutrine having mass recently announced by Super-Kamiokande team of 12 US-Japan scientists had stunned the scientific world for whom neutrine had no mass. But in his book — "Neo-classical Unified Physical Theory of Everything'' — Dr Sharma had propounded that neutrine had non-zero mass way back in 1990.
A retired head of the Department of Biophysics, PGI, Dr Sharma explained that basic structure of the matter comprised the "elements'', which composed other particles but were themselves non-composite and hence incompressible and inassembable.
Elements of modern physics were the members of two families — Loptons (electron and neutrine) and quarks. But their compositness predicted by Dr Sharma in 1988-90 got experimental support first in 1991 by quarks' observed compressibility and again twice by the inferred "creation'' or assemblage of some quarks and loptons studied at Formi Lab in the USA by two teams — D. Zero in 1995 and CDF in 1996. The teams comprised 400 globally-chosen scientists.
  Campus Beat
Chaos marks Syndicate meeting
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — Pandemonium prevailed for over an hour during the Syndicate meeting of Panjab University yesterday with certain Syndics seeking a secret ballot for cancelling the appointment of Director, Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension.
One of the Syndics threatened to stage a dharna. The meeting was adjourned for more than 15 minutes following which the Vice-Chancellor ruled in favour of a secret ballot.
While sources said the voting was clearly divided on party lines between two dominant groups, few Syndics said chances of "cross-voting could not be ruled out". Interestingly, the candidate in question, who is a Syndic, also participated in the voting.
Mr Rajinder Deepa said there were better candidates in comparison to Dr Ajaib Singh who was selected. A member of the selection committee, Dr Dharam Vir Arya, had recorded his dissent on the selection.
The Syndicate also turned down the appointment of two lecturers in the Department of Physical Education, chosen on a temporary basis. It was pointed out that these selections had already been rejected by the senate as the candidates were not found suitable. The term of Dr D.S. Dhillon as Director of the Regional Centre, Muktsar, was reduced to a maximum of six months or earlier if a suitable candidate was found for the post, sources said.

  Jethmalani calls on CMs in UT
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — The Union Urban Housing Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, was on a personal visit to the city today.
During his brief sojourn Mr Jethmalani, besides attending a marriage function at Kisan Bhawan in Sector 35 also called on the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers. What transpired at the meetings could not be ascertained.
Mr Jethmalani remained inaccessible to the press.

Crime File
Property dealer booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 19 — Three persons, including a property dealer, have been booked by the police for their alleged involvement in selling a plot to a resident of Rally village fraudulently.
In a complaint, Mr Devi Dutt alleged that he had purchased a plot from Tirlok Singh of Ropar through a property dealer, R.C. Sharda. But later he found out that the plot was already mortgaged with a bank, and that the sale of the plot was executed on the basis of a "fake" no-objection certificate procured by Tirlok Singh.
A case has been registered under Section 420 of the IPC against the accused.
Cash stolen: Ms Sushma Devi of Barwala village in a complaint to the police has accused Ramla, a resident of the same village, of stealing Rs 2,000 from her house.
The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC against him.
Dead: Mohammed Rustam Ali of Buddanpur village (Sector 19) here was seriously injured when his cycle was hit by a motor cycle at Majri Chowk on Sunday. He succumbed to his injuries at the PGI.

Body found: The body of an unidentified man around 60 years, was found by the police from the PWD depot in the Industrial Area here on Sunday.

  Projecting people's urge by silence
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 19 — To highlight the people's urge for no war between India and Pakistan, Jan Shakti, a social organisation, organised a people's initiative by observing "Maun" today from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15.
A press note said here today that the people's initiative in the two countries for no war was the need of the hour. It urged the people of India and Pakistan to shed their passivity and make the two governments agree to signing a no war pact.
It urged the Prime Ministers of both countries, who are to meet this month-end, to agree to a no-war pact, and non-use of nuclear weapons to settle any bilateral issues.
  'Subsidise' Dalit students' fees
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 19 — A former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, has advocated 20 per cent reservation in private schools for Dalit students.
Delivering the keynote address at a seminar on "Development of the Scheduled Castes in the last 50 years" here today, Justice Iyer urged the Central Government to bring legislation in this regard and subsidise high fees.
Calling for the distribution of land among Dalits and the poor, he said this was the only way to ensure economic regeneration of the country.
Flaying the notion that Dalits had no merit, he said they needed an opportunity to rise. Various epics, including vedas and Ramayana, were written by Dalits, he argued.
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who inaugurated the seminar, said the Centre and the state governments must take steps to uplift Dalits.
He said Punjab would launch a rural unemployment eradication programme for Dalits and poor from November 1.
Taking a dig at the organisers of the seminar, he urged them to do something practical like adopting a village for its all-round development. He, however, hastened to add that he was not opposed to seminars provided something concrete emerged from them.
A number of scholars from the region presented papers on the status of Dalits in the country, particularly in Punjab and Haryana.
WITH the demitting of office by two members of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bench last week, the strength of the High Court Judges has depleted to a little over 50 per cent of the sanctioned strength.
Those who demitted office last week were Dr (Mrs) S. Saksena (on July 12) and Mr Justice Sat Pal (on July 14).
According to official sources, the sanctioned strength of Judges is 40, apart from the Chief Justice. With the retirement of Mrs Justice Saksena and Mr Justice Sat Pal, the High Court is left with barely 24 Judges. This strength will go down further in September next when Mr Justice Amarjit Chaudhary will bow out.
The strength of Judges was increased to 40 with a view to coping with the increased workload and clearing, if possible, long-pending cases.
During the past two years some Judges retired, while others were shifted to other High Courts. For example, Mr Justice Ashok Bhan was transferred to Karnataka, while Mr Justice N.C. Jain was sent to Assam. Again, Mr Justice M.S. Liberahan was transferred to the Madras High Court as Chief Justice. The Centre, however, took little pains to fill the resultant vacancies.
With the decreased strength of Judges, the High Court finds it difficult to cope with the work. Such urgent matters as bail applications where liberty of individuals is at stake are adjourned day after day, much to the disappointment of the petitioners.
Most of the courtrooms remain packed with lawyers and litigants. The latter crane their necks with anxiety to ascertain whether their cases would come up for hearing. At the end of the day, they leave the High Court with disappointment when they find that their cases have been adjourned.

Recruitment blues
Candidates who appeared in the recruitment test for the posts of System Analysts and Computer Programmers in the Punjab State Cooperative Bank are unhappy over the decision of the bank to allow them to compete only for one of the two posts advertised. Many of the candidates had received call letters for written tests for both the tests but at the time of the test, their option was sought.
The candidates, in a letter to Sentinel, highlighted their grievance demanding that once they have been issued two separate call letters, they should not be denied an opportunity to compete for both the positions.
Further, they want that separate lists of successful candidates should be prepared. And those who have cleared the written test should be considered for both the positions.
Under the Punjab Government recruitment rules, there is reservation for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and OBCs. The bank has decided not to allow any reservation quota. According to the rules, one post of Computer Programmer and seven posts of Assistant System Analyst should be reserved as per rules.
The candidates also want that there should be a merit list for candidates belonging to the reserve category.
The best way, they say, is to readvertise the posts by specifying the reservation quota and all other conditions. The fresh applicants and old applicants should be treated at par and given a fair and equal chance to qualify for these positions, they added.

In police custody
A resident of Sector 21 who forgot to lock his scooter while shopping in Sector 18 the other day found the scooter missing. On enquiring from the people around he found that the scooter had not been taken away by a thief but by a policeman of the Sector 19 police station.
The scooter owner immediately went to the police station where he was told to come the next day so that the order for release of the scooter could be obtained from the SHO concerned. The owner made at least half a dozen trips to the police station only to be told every time a different story and that he should come the next day.
Only after three weeks, the staff at the police station agreed to hand over the scooter following a request to a senior officer of the Chandigarh police.
Was the police station staff ensuring a foolproof handover of the scooter to the rightful owner or expecting some palm-greasing?

Always in queue
Even before the increase in the number of counter at the railway booking centre at the general bus stand in Sector 17, the railway officials claimed that the computerised booking system enabled the passengers in the queue to get tickets in less than half an hour. They claimed to be disposing of passengers in two to three minutes each. Now that the number of counters has increased, the time spent by a prospective passenger in the queue should even be less. On Tuesday (July 14), a person seeking reservation in the Shatabdi Express spent nearly three hours (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to secure just one ticket. When he found that he had been issued a ticket not for the desired date, he came back from his office and again spent more than three hours in the queue from 4 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. to secure another ticket for the right date by losing Rs 30 on the ticket value.
Will the authorities concerned take some concrete steps to ensure that people who sought reservation in the fast train to escape hassle at the railway station have to spend less time in queues at the Sector 17 booking centre?

In the dark
A lot of confusion prevails among the general public regarding the recent order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to remove black films from car windows.
City residents are not clear when will the law be implemented — or when will the challaning start. This needs immediate clarification from the police as several people from neighbouring states also come to Chandigarh on a daily basis for one work or the other. One sore point is that the films have to be removed completely. In Delhi a light coloured film is allowed .
The Delhi cops have allowed filming that permits 50 per cent visibility from outside, on the side windows and 70 per cent visibility from outside on the rear window . However , the Chandigarh authorities have asked for total removal of the films and power to allow it in special cases rests with the bureaucracy — yet another typical example of red tape.
Members of the public opine that cars with some light filming be allowed on the Delhi pattern . There is more security threat in the national capital than anywhere else. Thus the security angle of the Chandigarh Administration does not cut ice. Besides this, cars with filming have cooler seating cabins and the airconditioners are more effective.

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