|C H A N D I G A R H
& V I C I N I T Y
Wednesday, September 2, 1998
Where fire safety norms are a
As the world celebrates nutrition week, this deprived child clutches at his 'sukhee roti' on a footpath in Chandigarh's Sector 44 on Tuesday Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan
power bill set aside
teachers' case put off to Sept 9
full claim for reimbursement
for mela reviewed
term for attempt to murder
unauthorised shops demolished
to loose-oil sellers
Where fire safety norms are a
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 A number of city petrol pumps flout fire safety norms specified under the Indian Petroleum Act in not having proper fire-fighting equipment. Some of the petrol pumps, especially those allotted during the past three years, do not have proper buildings and public facilities.
During a TNS survey it was found that more than six pumps, mostly in the southern part of the city, were either running without fire safety equipment or did not have enough of these.
According to the safety norms, a petrol pump must have two fire extinguishers (foam type), and at least four dry sand-filled buckets on a stand covered with a canopy. But it was observed that many of the 26 petrol pumps did not have dry sand in buckets as there was no cover to protect these from rain. In some cases, the buckets were empty.
An employee at a Sector 27 petrol pump replied when questioned about empty sand buckets that the pump did not have any fire extinguishers. Sand in the buckets at a pump on Dakshin Marg was found to be wet. The petrol pump owner said he was not aware of the safety norms.
Another norm which is flouted with impunity, is the display of a no-smoking board. Barring a few, other petrol pumps had not displayed this board.
According to explosive experts, these norms, if followed scrupulously, can help reduce the damage in the case of a fire at a pump, especially at the initial stage.
As many as six of the 26 petrol pumps were found functioning without buildings, thus offering little respite from rain and sun. These pumps had been running in makeshift tents for the past three years or so due to alleged delay on the part of the Architect Department of the UT Administration.
According to officials of the Indian Oil Corporation, which owns four of these six pumps, the delay in completion of pumps' buildings were caused as the design prepared by the oil company architects was not approved by the UT Administration even though the plan was submitted in the first half of 1997.
A source said the UT Administration had objected to the IOC design which had an added provision for a canopy over the separate dispenser petrol unit for two wheelers as the administration wanted the design to comply with its design for petrol pumps which had no provision for a canopy. He informed that the building plan for a petrol outlet in Sector 49 had been cleared in August. He assured that the buildings of the remaining outlets would be completed before March next year.
A senior officer at the office of the Controller of Explosives admitted that certain pumps, being run by influential persons, were violating fire safety norms. He maintained that they had been writing to the oil companies about these violations. Advice notes regarding fire safety violations had so far been sent to seven or eight outlets. They could not enforce the norms properly due to a shortage of staff in the office which caters to the entire northern region....
Sector 17 traders oppose paid
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The system of paid parking, which was to be introduced in certain parts of the city from today, could not take off in the face of stiff opposition from traders of Sector 17.
The contractors, who had set up counters at the entrances to these parking lots in front of Empire Stores and the Bata Shop, had to suspend their operations in view of the slogan-shouting by traders. A contractor said he had been charging a token fee since 8 a.m. but had to give up after the shopkeepers arrived on the scene.
The contractors first visited the Municipal Corporation office and asked the officials concerned to intervene in the matter but were told that they should take up the matter with the police. Following a complaint, the police arrived on the scene but were unable to make any headway as the traders stuck to their stand.
When a Tribune team visited the parking lots in the morning and the evening, traders were standing in large numbers at the entry points to both parking lots while the contractors were standing at some distance. As no agreement could be arrived at even after more than three hours, the contractors left.
Traders took out a rally in the afternoon and put up the shutters before lunch to protest against the imposition of a parking fee. Mr Subash Kataria and Mr Jagdishpal Singh Kalra, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Traders Association, Sector 17, said they would not allow the levy of a parking fee as it would be a burden on residents and against the spirit of the manifesto of the BJP.
Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Mayor, said since a decision to levy the parking fee was taken in the house of the corporation, everything possible would be done to ensure that the decision is implemented. While attempts to contact the contractors in the afternoon proved futile, the parking fee would be levied from 8 a.m. tomorrow onwards.
UT power bill set aside
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has set aside a bill of more than Rs 8.76 lakh issued by the Electricity Department to a local consumer.
Mr J.B. Garg (president) and Mrs P. Ojha and Mr Sada Nand (both members) handed down the order on a written complaint filed by D.K. Industries through its partner, Mr Raj Kumar Khattar, a resident of Panchkula.
The Electricity Department has been ordered to refund the 'ad interim amount' deposited by Mr Khattar. The department will also have to pay Rs 3,000 as the costs.
In his complaint , Mr Khattar said that the plot in the UT Industrial Area in which he was a partner was let out to another company in 1993. In February, 1996, he received an electricity bill amounting to Rs 8,76,852 as 'sundry charges'. He alleged there was no justification for the sundry charges as all earlier bills had been paid regularly.
During cross-examination of the Executive Engineer concerned the commission noticed that he did not possess the record relating to complaints made by the consumer in 1989.
The commission noticed that there was no complaint on record from any meter reader or any officer of the department regarding the meter being defective. In fact, there was no complaint regarding pilferage or damage to the seal of any meter from 1987 till date.
"The non-availability and non-production of the relevant ledger goes against the Electricity Department and the method of computing the consumption is 'unnatural and unjustified'", the commission said.
Referring to a relief order against the PSEB, the commission remarked: "Monopoly by the state could not mean absolute arbitrariness. It was not open to the officers to act arbitrarily and raise demands for substantial amounts of money without even affording an opportunity of hearing or representation to the citizen".
Varsity teachers' case put off to
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today adjourned to September 9 the case regarding the demands of the agitating college and university teachers.
Mr Justice J.L. Gupta and Mr Justice N.C. Khichi, who had taken suo motu notice of reports about the teachers' demands carried in the columns of The Tribune, granted the adjournment on a request made by Mr S.P. Gautam, president of the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA).
Mr Gautam told the court that for filing brief to the case, he would have to go to the general body of PUTA.
The Bench ordered that the University Grants Commission and the Union Government, through the Secretary, Human Resources Development, be impleaded as parties to the case. They were issued notice also for September 9.
Speaking for the Bench, Mr Justice Gupta observed that strike by teachers was a matter of concern for the whole society. "Society looks for light and not strike from the teachers. It does not behove the teaching community to sit outside classrooms on daris. The interest of students should not be allowed to suffer."
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 Members of the Panjab University Students Union, the National Students Union of India and the Haryana Students Association today took out a rally demanding an inquiry into the shootout on the campus on August 21. Mr Kuljit Sing Nagra, a fellow of the university and a former president of PUSU, was arrested. Mr Nagra had, however, resigned from the student organisation a few months ago.
Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, president of the local unit of the NSUI, and Mr Binder Singh, president of PUSU, said an independent inquiry either by a member of the judiciary, administration or university officials should be held into the incident.
In a press conference these student organisations had alleged that the FIR in the case was "motivated". Sunder Pal of the HSA said only an honest inquiry could bring out the truth.
Students also held a demonstration in front of the office of the Vice-Chancellor and submitted a memorandum to the Dean, University Instructions, and the SHO of the Sector 11 police station.
Mr Arun Sood, vice-president of the Punjab ABVP, also demanded a probe into the issue. Mr Sood said it was high time the university authorities took steps to prevent such incidents in future.
Teachers to court arrest: A rally of university and college teachers today reiterated its resolve to join the mass court arrest programme on September 4 in support of their demand for better pay scales .
In a press note Mr Rabinder Nath Sharma, president of the local unit of the PCCTU, said the rally resolved to join the "satyagraha" announced by the All-India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation in Delhi on September 4 and observe September 5 as a "protest day".
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, long infamous for making "false promises", is at it again. This time it has delayed the publication of the "citizen's charter" and the opening of 10 complaint centres in the city for the redressal of public grievances .
The publication of the charter and the opening of the complaint centres, which were to be done on August 15 as part of the 50 years of the country's Independence, have been delayed as the MC authorities were yet of finalise the charter and create infrastructure for the complaint centres.
Though the officials put up a brave front and claimed that after the publication of the charter the complaint centres would be opened "soon", independent inquiries revealed that it might take quite some time for the centres to become functional as the required infrastructure and staff were not yet available. To top it all certain departments of the MC like the roads wing and the electricity wing are woefully short of staff.
Official sources, while admitting that the publication of the charter has been delayed, said this was due to the fact the corporation authorities were busy in various functions to be organised by the civic body. Hence it could not be released on August 15.
The charter, which is still at the "discussion level", will come up for deliberations before a committee comprising members of the finance and contract committee and the chairpersons of a few other committees of the civic body tomorrow. It is only after unanimity at the meeting that the charter would be approved. After the charter is approved and printed the complaint centres would start working.
In fact, the MC would set up on only seven new complaint centres as three complaint centres are already working in Sectors 4, 15 and 32.
It may be recalled that the MC had planned to open 10 complaint centres to attend to various problems of the residents regarding civic amenities. As the existing complaint centres were not adequate, the MC proposed that the residents of 20 wards in the city would not have to go too far for the registration of their complaints.
Another reason for setting up these complaint centres was that in the absence of a proper platform for the registration of complaints, the residents used to approach officials even for the redressal of small complaints. In fact, a large number of residents visit the office of Mayor Gian Chand Gupta with minor complaints the majority of which were to be redressed by officials up to the rank of SDO.
The charter would give the details such as officials responsible for the redressal of particular complaints, the time to be taken for the redressal of grievances, address and telephone no. of the officer concerned and specific location of the complaint centre.
The allocation of area to
various complaint centres is also posing problems to the
MC authorities. While certain complaint centres like the
one covering Sector 32, 45, 46, 47, Burail village and
Colony No. 5, would be "overburdened," certain
complaint centres would have smaller areas under their
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 Two youths have been injured in separate incidents in the city since last night.
Mr Rajinder Singh of Sector 23 was allegedly attacked with swords by three persons in a market last night. The suspects have been identified as, Raman, Yogesh and Nanda of Sector 40. Old enmity is stated to be reason behind the assault.
A case under Sections 307, 324, 323 and 34 IPC, has been registered against them. No arrests have been made so far. The injured has been admitted to the PGI.
In another incident, Mr Pankaj Raj of Panchkula was allegedly stabbed by Mitta and Praveen Kumar of Mani Majra. A case under Sections 324 and 34 IPC, has been registered.
Girl missing: A girl studying in class X has been missing from her Sector 38 house after she had gone for tuition on Monday.
The girl's father, Ram Sanjeewan, an employee of the PWD has lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a resident of Dhanas village had abducted her.
The girl did not even reach the house of her tutor in Sector 37.
A case under Sections 363 and 366, IPC, has been registered.
Injured: Two scooterists were injured in separate accidents on Monday. Mr Ramesh Kumar was injured when his scooter was hit by a mini-truck near the Government Press traffic lights. While Arun Kumar of Panchkula was injured when he was hit by an Ambassador car.
Both have been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16.
Arrested: Ramesh Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony has been arrested for possessing liquor illegally.
Meanwhile, Ranbir Singh and Sukhbir Singh, both hailing from Amritsar, have been arrested from Sector 17 on a charge of eve teasing.
Bomb hoax: Principals
of Dev Samaj School, Sector 21, and Government Senior
Secondary School received calls that a bomb had been
planted on the school premises. The police reached the
spot but found nothing.
Obnoxious callers, beware!
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 Obnoxious callers beware. The local Telecom Department has started a system under which the receiver of the call can know the number of the caller.
The new service known as Caller Line Identification will be available on a monthly charge of Rs 50, the Principal General Manager, Telecom, Mr Prithipal Singh said today.
A provision has been made in exchanges and the facility can be activated once the subscriber asks for it. The applications for the same have to be sent to the respective commercial officers of the area.
Explaining how the system will work, he said the subscribers would need to have telephones that display numbers on the screen. Once a call comes in, the calling party's number will be displayed on the screen, thus giving an option to the subscribers to receive the call or not.
How houses are chosen for
PANCHKULA, Sept 1 A fistful of grains spread on a floor decides whether members of the notorious "Bawaria" gang will target a particular house for burglary or not.If a grain is left after the leader of the gang has made pairs from the rest of the pile, the house in question is burgled.
This is how the house in Sector 21 here was picked for burglary on August 23. This practice has been passed on generation from generation by the leaders of the gang.
This and many more interesting aspects came to light during the interrogation of two members of the Bawaria gang, which the police claims were part of a six-member gang involved in the robbery.
Committing thefts and robberies is reportedly an age-old profession of the Bawarias who operate on the basis of good and bad omen. At least four deities Isht Dev, Dera Nahar Singh, Gosain and Kala Dosh are worshipped by different groups of Bawarias, who hail from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.
One of the robbers arrested by the police, Ganeshan, who hails from Kachi Bast in Bharatpur (Rajasthan), disclosed that after the success of their mission, they eat and dine, proceeds of which as per their ritual has to be 10 per cent goes from the booty.
Three other groups of 'Bawarias' 'Ashoki', and two 'Ganeshis' are still active in the region, said the SP, Mr Alok Mittal.
Om Parkash, another member of the gang in custody of the police, disclosed that only men aged between 20 and 35 were allowed to be part of their mission. During the day, the women folk studied the area where the gang planned to strike.
Another modus operandi of
the gang is that they do not stay in an area for more
than two days and move out immediately to their
sanctuaries, located in the neighbouring states, after
committing a robbery. Crowbar and sticks are the standard
weapons used by them, said a police official.
Consider full claim for
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The question whether the government should reimburse the actual expense incurred on treatment or only the amount fixed as a package, came up for hearing before the local Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal.
Mr Sham Lal Alagh, Senior Audit Accounts Officer, Ordance Cable Factory, Chandigarh, who had undergone a bypass surgery at Escorts Heart Institute (New Delhi) submitted a claim of Rs 1,66,999 but he was paid only Rs 72,500 by the government which rejected his claim for the remaining amount. He approached the tribunal for the payment of the remaining amount. The respondent referred to the latest instructions governing the reimbursement of the medical expenses and relied upon a recent judgement of the Supreme Court in the Ram Lubhaya Bagga case wherein the apex court held that the government could restrict the reimbursement up to a reasonable amount.
The judicial member of the tribunal Mr J.S. Dhaliwal, observed that when the government formed policy based on its resources, the court would not disregard the policy decision. No state had unlimited resources. It may be noted that the courts had earlier allowed the entire expense to be reimbursed.
Mr Dhaliwal, however, observed that in some cases, the post-operation treatment and medical check-up might be necessitated or after some time the patient might develop complications and incur further expenditure. The package stretched from the time of admission to the date of discharge in the O.M.
It was held that even though the applicant was not found entitled to the claim made by him, which had to be confined to the amount permissible, he would, however, be entitled to the reimbursement of the expenditure incurred after discharge from the hospital. The respondent were directed to consider his claim on this account, if any.
Order on compulsory retirement upheld
The local Bench of the tribunal comprising Vice-Chairman Justice R.K. Nehru and Mr S.C. Vaish, upheld the order of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, compulsarily retiring Dr A.V. Pusalkar, Assistant Professor in German at the institute.
The applicant was appointed as Assistant Professor in 1969. From 1983-84, the teaching of German was discontinued and the service of the applicant was utilised in other fields. He was compulsorily retired in September, 1990. The applicant had alleged that the order of his compulsory retirement was arbitrary, and against public interest.
The respondents claimed that after a review committee meeting that the decision to retire the applicant was taken in public interest.
The Bench observed that it
is unable to accept the plea that the then Director of
NDRI had acted in a mala fide manner. The facts as
brought only showed that the applicant was retired in
public interest and a decision was taken by a high
powered impartial committee. The plea of the applicant
was, thus, rejected.
Arrangements for mela reviewed
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board is all set to receive about five lakh pilgrims likely to come from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh during the Navaratra Mela to be held from September 21 to 30.
This was stated by Mr M. K. Miglani Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Local Government, after presiding over a meeting of the board at the Mata Mansa Devi complex near here last evening. The meeting was called to review the arrangements being made for the ensuing Navaratra Mela.
Mr. Miglani said that elaborate security arrangement had been made to maintain law and order during the mela. Special police force and home guards would be put on duty.
He said three Executive Magistrates would be appointed, who would be on duty round the clock on shift basis. A milk booth would be set up by the Dairy Development Corporation for the supply of fresh milk to the pilgrims. The Hospitality Department would provide cold drinks, hot tea and packed lunch at reasonable rates to the devotees.
Mr Miglani said that for the supply of essential commodities to the pilgrims a Confed shop would be opened. Special instructions had been issued to the Food and Supplies Department and the Health Department to check the quality of edible oil and ghee used for making sweets.
To provide better medicare facilities to the pilgrims, two medical officers would be posted round the clock. Emergency services would be available.
He said that to provide transportation facilities to the pilgrims, special buses of Haryana Roadways would be plied from Panchkula, Ramgarh, Pinjore, Ambala, Kalka, Naraingarh. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking would also ply special buses from the stand to the mela area.
The Public Relations Department would set up a reception room-cum-information centre and an exhibition depicting the developmental activities of the Haryana Government.
Earlier Dr. Kamla Verma,
Local Government Minister, Haryana held a meeting with
the senior officers and reviewed the arrangements made by
the board. The Chief Administrator of the Board and the
Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, Mrs. Saroj Siwach,
apprised the Minister about the arrangements being made
for the Navaratra Mela.
Director to visit city
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 CSIR Director R.A. Mashelkar will deliver the second Prof B.K. Bachhawat memorial lecture on September 4 at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) in Sector 39 on the "Launching of Indian innovation movement".
As the CSIR Director Dr
Mashelkar has been propagating a culture of innovation
and creativity with a strong intellectual property regime
in the country. For this he has started programme called
"CSIR-2001: vision and strategy" an agenda with
a vision and philosophy which will guide the CSIR in the
years to come.
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The UT Health Department has said that those found selling loose mustard oil will be liable for punishment under Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The concept a nutrition week should not be restricted only to a particular week of the year, said Prof V.K. Kak, Director Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.
He said this while delivering the inaugural address during the opening day of the nutrition week, organised at Palsora Village.
make yoga popular
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 Yogacharya Prof. M. Lal, who today took over as the Pradhan Yogacharya of all yoga institutions, has cautioned the people against the use of adulterated food and pollution, saying that yoga has the potential to provide protection to the human body against adulteration in food and pollution.
Prof. Lal was speaking at a function organised at Yog Divya Mandir at Panchkula, near here, today soon after assuming the office of Pradhan yogacharya.
He said that yoga had been a part of our traditional culture since ages and our saints and yogis had described the art of good living as yoga. He said that yoga had the potential to control soul and mind.
He said that it was very disappointing that not many people were taking interest in yoga whereas it was becoming popular in the West. A campaign should be launched to make yoga popular in the country.
He urged the representatives of various yoga associations of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh to rededicate themselves for the cause of yoga as by making it popular they would be serving humanity in a better way.
unauthorised shops demolished
PANCHKULA, Sept 1 Staff of the local Estate Office of HUDA demolished at least six unauthorised shops located along the road leading to the Mata Mansa Devi complex here today.
SAS NAGAR, Sept 1
The Punjab School Education Board has released the date
sheet for its matriculation supplementary examination in
respect to compartment, reappear and additional subjects
only, which will commence from September 22.
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 Mrs Kaushalaya Devi (80), mother of Dr Chander Trikha, a local journalist, died at Abohar last night, according to information received here today.
term for attempt to murder
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr G.S. Sandhu today convicted Devinder Mohan, a resident of Sector 15, on a charge of attempt to murder.
The Judge sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for four years and to pay a fine of of Rs 20,000.
According to the prosecution, the convict had on July 7, 1996, stabbed Mr L. Tombi, a resident of Manipur, in the stomach with a knife.
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