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Tuesday, August 24, 1999
Chandigarh Tribune
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Local call within 50-km radius
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — The much-needed facility of allowing local calls within a radius of 50 kilometres was activated on all telephones in the city and its neighbouring townships of Panchkula and SAS Nagar today.

This was done following a clarification from the Ministry of Communications. The Telecom Department amended its original scheme of allowing local calls for cities within the 50 km radius on restricted basis.

Local subscribers will now be able to directly dial numbers in Shimla, Ambala, Nahan, Solan, Nalagarh, Nariangarh, Ropar, Sirhind, Rajgarh, Arki, Parwanoo, Baddi, Barotiwala, Kasauli, Chail and Barog by prefixing `9' to the respective existing STD code, followed by the telephone number.

For example, a number in Ambala will be dialled like this: 90171, followed by the number. A number in Shimla will be dialled like this: 90177, followed by the number. The charges will be of a local call.

Those who have STD or ISD facilities on their telephones can dial these stations by prefixing `9', followed by the code and the number, without opening their dynamic (numerical) STD lock. The billing will again be on local call charges, sources in the telecom sector said.

Under the original scheme, the department had planned to allow this facility only on request by the subscriber through a system of restricted STD. An amendment was allowed due to technical reasons in a particular variety of telephone exchanges and a large number of people wanting this facility.

A few days ago, the department had invited applications from subscribers who wanted the restricted STD (RSTD) facility which would enable them to dial any telephone number within a 50 km radius by prefixing '9' to the existing code and telephone number. This facility would have meant that these subscribers could dial only specified stations failing within a 50 km radius and not all STD codes of the country.

Following this, close to a thousand applications were received at commercial offices. This facility was free but the additional workload on the staff meant that it would have taken at least 2 weeks for an application to be processed and get the facility activated. Besides, this additional paperwork meant handling many files and orders. During the technical run, the department also discovered that the cost of operating such a scheme would entail more operational cost than the revenue from calls to these stations.

The RSTD would have meant providing dynamic locking to all its users, detail print-outs of the calls and maintaining accounts. The ministry allowed the department to open a local group by prefixing `9', thus avoiding all paperwork.

On the other hand, the FETEX — 150 exchanges that cater to around 80,000 subscribers connected to to levels, 60, 61, 65, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74 and 22, do not accept the computer command for allowing restricted use of this facility. It did not accept commands for a particular number but a universal command that could allow all subscribers to use the facility was accepted, sources said.

Already, telephone numbers of stations like Morinda, Rajpura, Dera Bassi, Kalka, Pinjore and Kurali can be dialled directly by prefixing '92' to the existing code, followed by the telephone number.Back


CA of Surbhi Forests held, granted bail
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 23 — The local police arrested Prem Garg, chartered accountant of Surbhi Forests India Ltd and legal adviser to the company, from his residence in Sector 9, after midnight following a tip-off given to the police control room yesterday.

A case under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC has been registered against him.

Prem Garg was produced in the court of the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sushil Kumar Garg, here today. He was granted bail on a surety of Rs 50,000, ordered to surrender his car, not to leave the city without prior permission and hand over all documents of the company in his possession to the police. The next hearing is scheduled for November 2.

After a tip-off to the control room received at around 1 a.m., a police party of four led by ASI Ishwar Singh, reached his residence. Garg tried to escape by jumping over to his neighbour's house, but was apprehended. He was taken to the Sector 19 police station, sources in the department added.

The Chairman, Usha Kiran Chaturvedi, and Ashwini Kaushik, Prem Prakash, Jyoti Prabha Kaushik and Prem Prakash — all directors aged between 20 and 30 years — absconded after allegedly duping investors from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana of money to the tune of Rs 90 crore.

A number of complaints had been received by the local police, following which several cases under Sections 406 and 120-B of the IPC were registered against the directors of the agro-forestry company. The company owns property in its name at Pinjore, Nalagarh, Panchkula and other places in the country while its office is located in Industrial Area, Phase I, here.

The photographs and detailed information about the chairman and directors have already been given to Zee TV to be aired for the "India's Most Wanted'' show telecast by the channel. Besides, arrest warrants against the conmen have already been issued by the Judicial Magistrate and airport authorities all over the country alerted to ensure that they do not leave the country.Back


Syndicate meeting likely to be stormy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — The next meeting of the Panjab University Syndicate, scheduled for August 27, is likely to be a stormy one in the wake of certain controversial issues coming up for deliberations. Nevertheless, they are likely to be approved by majority voice.

The most significant item on the agenda pertains to the restoration of the powers of the Vice-Chancellor regarding appointment of selection committees. The Senate had, at its meeting held on March 28, 1999, approved the decision of the Syndicate to resume powers with regard to the appointment of selection committees for Class A teaching posts The Syndicate had earlier, at its meeting held on January 10, decided through majority vote to resume these powers, which were being wielded by the office of the Vice-Chancellor since the past 10 years. The Syndicate had taken the plea that it had never delegated its powers to the Vice-Chancellor with regard to the appointment of selection committees for Class A teaching posts. Certain Senators and Syndics strongly feel that there is no case for the Syndicate to reconsider any decision already taken by the Senate, the highest policy making body of the university.

Sources point out that even Regulation 6.1 contained in Chapter V A of the University calendar reads: `` The Syndicate shall appoint a selection committee consisting of 5-7 members to recommend persons for appointments as Professors or Readers.'' However, unmindful of this regulation there is every likelihood of the Vice-Chancellor getting this item approved with the majority of the Syndics being in his favour now. Three Syndics had during the last meeting crossed floors to extend their support to the Vice-Chancellor. Certain members in the academic circles are attributing motives to this change of loyalties.

Another significant issue, which will draw the attention of the Syndics, is regarding the appointment of teachers against vacant posts in various departments. As per advertisement No: 4/98 , the selection committees were required to appoint people to these posts till July 20. However, the last date for making these appointments was extended by the Vice-Chancellor to August 7, in anticipation of the approval of the Syndicate. While the Syndicate meeting in May was adjourned, no meeting was held in June and due to paucity of time the issue could not be passed in the last meeting on July 30. And now once again the approval for this extension is being sought, even as 15 persons have already been appointed against these vacant posts. Certain Syndics allege irregularities in many of these appointments.

Questions are also being raised with regard to the election of two Syndics from the medical faculty in violation of the regulation.

Since the term of the present Dean, University Instructions (DUI), Prof I.B.S. Passi expires on August 31, the item regarding the appointment of his successor will also be taken up. The issue pertaining to the condonation of shortage of lectures of students of various departments will also come up before the Syndicate. A sub-committee constituted by the Syndicate to examine these cases had rejected most of these cases. But following pressure from students, another informal meeting called by five or six local syndics, besides DUI and Registrar had allowed all these students to appear for the examination at their own ``risk and responsibility'' subject to the approval of the sub-committee/Syndicate. This issue also assumes significance in the light of the fact that the original committee was by-passed. Back


Declamation contest on Kargil
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — Nearly 50 students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19-C, participated in a declamation contest on the Kargil issue organised by the Sector 7 branch of the State Bank of India here today.

In the junior group, Nirupma of Class VI, Kanika of Class VIII and Poonam of Class VIII were declared the first three winners of the State Bank Trophy, while in the Senior group, Amrita of Class XII, Padam of Class XI and Mala of Class XI were declared winners. Mr S.S Ahir, Chief Manager of the bank gave away the prizes to the winners.

Kargil donation: The staff and students of Government Model High School, Sector 28, have contributed a sum of Rs 34,350 to give financial help to Kargil heroes. While the staff have contributed a day's salary and more, students have donated Rs 20 each for the cause.

Poster contest: The State Bank of Patiala, Sector 22, organised a poster contest on 'Save Environment' today at Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21. The Director the school, Mr G.S. Sardana, welcomed Mr J.S. Mann, Assistant General Manager of the bank, who gave away the prizes. Later, Mr Mann planted about 20 saplings in the school premises.

Course conducted: The General Information Course of Bharat Scouts and Guides was conducted at Kendriya Vidayala No. 2, BRD AF, Chandigarh, today. The function was inaugurated by Mrs Puja Thakur, Education Officer of KVs of the Chandigarh region.Back


Seminar on environment
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Aug 23 — A seminar on ‘Protection of Environment’ was organised by the Rotary Club, Kharar, in the grounds of APJ Public School, Mundi Kharar, today.

Speakers dealt with the subject at length and stressed on the necessity of keeping drinking water clean and bacteria-free and on regulating traffic, which was causing an increase in air pollution. It was also stressed that more trees be grown and felling of trees, be banned.

Children of APJ Public School presented a variety programme, including plays on protection of environment. Students of the school and their parents promised to grow at least one tree each. Nearly 1,500 children and their parents were present.

The president of the Kharar Rotary Club, Mr Ashok Sharma, the president of the Panchkula Rotary Club, Mr R.K. Taneja, Mr J.P. Dhiman, Mr Kirpal Singh, Mr Sohan Lal Joshi, and Mr Bali Ram also addressed the gathering. The chief guest, Mr Lakshmi Sagar, exhorted the people to grow more trees to protect the environment and inaugurated the ‘grow more trees’ movement by planting a sapling.

Members of the Rotary Club and staff members of APJ Public School planted 50 saplings in the grounds of the school.

The Rotary Club Kharar plans to continue this movement for one week and saplings will be planted in one school everyday. The schools are Government Middle School, Mundi Kharar, Government Primary School, Dushehra Ground, Arya School, B.S.M. Girls School, Christian High School and Government Primary School, Khanpur. The Innerwheel Club Kharar and APJ Public School extended their co-operation to the success of the seminar and the movement.Back


Bansal for Chandigarh as UT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Congress candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, today reiterated his commitment to work for retaining Chandigarh as a Union Territory and making the leasehold conversion scheme into a hassle free and people-friendly scheme.

Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, Mr Bansal maintained that during his first tenure as an elected MP from Chandigarh in 1991, at no stage was the status of Chandigarh as a Union Territory threatened. "I am for status quo. Let the system work as it is. It should continue to be the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana with a common Punjab and Haryana High Court," he said.

Referring to Mr Harmohan Dhawan's joining the Congress, Mr Bansal said that in the last two Lok Sabha elections he was defeated not by the BJP but by Mr Harmohan Dhawan as the secular vote of the city was getting divided to the great benefit of the BJP. "I have always maintained that the BJP on its own cannot defeat the Congress in Chandigarh," he added.

After the joining of Mr Dhawan, he said, the mood in the party was upbeat and it was confident of winning the seat with a good majority.

Mr Bansal talked about the upkeep and maintenance of city and said that the BJP-SAD alliance in the Municipal Corporation had done nothing except for trying periodically to impose new taxes here. He said that roads, sanitation and other civic amenities were in bad shape.

"My charge against the BJP has been that in the last four Union Budgets the actual allocation to the Union Territory of Chandigarh has fallen. Against an average growth of 10 per cent to 18 per cent during my tenure, it was nil to 4 per cent during the past four years, thus leading to a loss of Rs 30 crore to Rs 35 crore. Had this additional money come, there was no need for the Municipal Corporation even to think of levying any taxes," he added.

Mr Bansal said that the BJP took no pains to ensure proper implementation of the leasehold abolition system as bureaucrats succeeded in creating various obstacles in its implementation. "After my election, I will make sure that the scheme is made hassle free and people friendly.

"The same is the case with the building bylaws. Why people should not be able to build beautiful houses rather than continue to have brick facade. There has to be a pragmatic and realistic approach to amend the building bylaws so as to suit the present-day requirements. Certain need-based changes have to be brought about immediately," he added.

Mr Bansal said that there had been no proper implementation of the decision of treating employees transferred to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation as on deputation. He said he would make sure that this issue was settled in accordance with the demand of the employees. He also advocated greater allocation of funds for educational activities in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Talking about the demand of villagers and labour colonies, Mr Bansal said that he would work for total abolition of 'lal dora'. Those outside villages could be asked to get their building plans sanctioned in a reasonable way. The existing buildings outside 'lal dora' should also be regularised, he added.

Mr Bansal also had a dig at Mr K.L. Sharma for being an "outsider". "I had to face this criticism when I contested from here for the first time in spite of the fact that I had my education, house, practice and even contested a student union election here. I had in between become a member of the Rajya Sabha for six years from Punjab. But in case of Mr K.L. Sharma, he was first elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat and then was successful for two successive terms from Outer Delhi. Here in Chandigarh, it is different. The MP is also an MLA, Councillor, Sarpanch and panch because of his maximum contact with the public. Mr Sharma even does not know the names of all villages and their exact location, " Mr Bansal said.

Also present at the press conference was Ms Selja, Secretary, All-India Congress Committee, who condemned the reported action of certain people in burning the effigy of Mr Bansal after he was given the party ticket and said that some complaints had come to her notice which she would report back to the party high command.

Others present at the press conference included Mr Harmohan Dhawan, Mr Devinder Singh Babla, Mr Sohan Lal Bansal (CPI) and others.

Mr Bansal also made it clear that the statement given by certain individual on the helmet issue was in their individual capacity as neither the Congress nor he had anything to do with it.

On the other hand, we want women to be exempted from wearing helmets and would work for an amendment for exempting all women from wearing helmets, he said.Back


Equating politicians with donkeys
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — Theatre Lab, Chandigarh, has organised a series of the productions of their Hindi play Gaddhon Ki Baraat in the city. A spoof and satire on the present-day politics, it comes in the wake of the Lok Sabha elections.

With the main character, called Kallu Kumhar, commenting on the corrupt politicians, the play equates them on a par with donkeys.

The play, which was staged last year as well, is directed by Umesh Kant. The main actors include Sudesh Sharma, Shalini, Rajiv Mehta, Manpreet Singh, Puneet Sharma, Yogesh Tungal and Yogesh Arora.

This theatre group reacts to various situations in the country by producing street plays, directed at the common man. During the Kargil crisis, Theatre Lab had presented a series of productions of a patriotic play, titled Shaheed Ki Wapsi.

Gaddhon Ki Baraat was today presented at Sector 17 and the Sector 19 market. Earlier, this street play was also presented in front of a huge gathering at Panjab University, Terraced Garden, Sector 33, Grain Market, Sector 26, Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake.Back


Election code to be enforced: DEO
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 23 — The District Electoral Officer, Mr Vivek Joshi, called a meeting of 16 duty magistrates, 25 supervisory officers and 13 police parties at the District Secretariat in view of the election scheduled for September 5, here today.

At the meeting, Mr Joshi said that every effort should be made to adhere to the model code of conduct. All vehicles being used by candidates and political parties must have the permission of the returning officer. Further, rallies and processions will be held at places specified by the administration.

Also, officers have been asked to conduct inquiries against those violating the code of conduct or orders of the administration. A total of 287 polling booths have been established while 16 villages have been identified as sensitive.Back


Raksha Dal starts campaign
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — The Rashtriya Raksha Dal formally launched its election campaign from Sector 22 here this morning. Led by several ex-servicemen, including a Lieutenant-General, an Air Marshal and several other senior retired defence officers and their families, the campaigners moved in a procession from shop to shop and door to door in Sector 22.

Col Harsharan Singh (retd), the Dal candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, said that all talk about stability, continuity and welfare were all nice but without security, the talks become redundant. He further held that all through the Congress had been consistently weakening the armed forces. The party had even scaled down the defence budget from 3 per cent to 1.8 per cent of the GDP. The result was that the defence forces were starved of the requisite hardware, essential to defend the borders of the country.

The BJP in "Bhagwatising" the armed forces totally traumatised the senior hierarchy of the armed forces, leaving them neither useful nor ornamental. He also posed a question as to why Kargil took place.

He urged the voters of Chandigarh to elect him so that he could raise his voice in Delhi against the attempt of the politico-bureaucratic combine's attempt at selling the nation's honour.Back


Lok Shakti hopeful of winning poll
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — Mr Ravi Prakash Kansal, Lok Shakti candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, has predicted the defeat of the Congress and the BJP in the city.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Kansal expressed the hope that the electorate would return him this time as they were disillusioned with the performance of the MPs of both parties.

He alleged that the BJP's "outsider" candidate, Mr Krishan Lal Sharma, had no base in the city and history had shown that an "outsider'' had rarely been elected from the city. The factionalism in the party would make it an uphill task for Mr Sharma to win the poll.

Similarly, the Congress was a house divided and its candidate, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, was fighting without any substantive issue and demanding votes in the name of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. The people of the country would never tolerate that an outsider should become Prime Minister, he added.Back


Dhumal to address rallies today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, will address election rallies in favour of the BJP nominee for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, Mr Krishan Lal Sharma, here tomorrow. Mr Dhumal will address a rally in Sector 40-C besides addressing a meeting of Himachalis in the city.

Mr Rajbir Singh, a former MP from Uttar Pradesh and a senior member of the Uttar Pradesh BJP unit, will also visit the city tomorrow to address meetings of migrant labourers from UP and Bihar.

Meanwhile, the cine star-turned politician, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, will address a public meeting at the Sector 22 Nehru Park in support of Mr Krishan Lal Sharma on August 28.Back


Stress on developing manpower
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — With a view to make the youth in villages more self-reliant, various training programmes have been undertaken in the rural areas of the country to generate self-employment. As many as 442 community polytechnics are presently functioning for the promotion of community polytechnic schemes across the country. These views were expressed by Prof Ashok Chandra, Special Secretary Education, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, in his inaugural address at the two-day national workshop on "Effective Implementation of Community Polytechnic Scheme in India'', at Teachers' Training Institute, Sector 26, today.

He laid emphasis on the development of manpower for the informal sector in India so that the underprivileged sections of society get maximum benefit from the rural development schemes. According to him, the manpower working in informal sector suffers from low productivity and lower value addition as a result of which people employed therein are earning low wages. He also emphasised on the need of integrating and developing partnerships between ITI's and community polytechnics. He stressed on the effective linkages and networking with other agencies working for the cause of training masses in the informal sector.

He called upon the representatives of various polytechnics to involve retired persons in the implementation and monitoring of different rural development schemes. Prof Chandra threw some light on the problems caused by Industrialisation and suggested ways to over come the same.

Mr S K Misra, Additional Apprenticeship Advisor to the HRD Ministry lauded the efforts being made by the four TTTI's, community polytechnics and state directorates of technical education in achieving the objectives of rural development through community polytechnic schemes.

Earlier in his welcome address, Dr S Krishnamurthy, Principal, TTTI Chandigarh, while welcoming the experts and delegates gave a brief account of the achievements of the institute in the areas of staff development and training, instructional material development and consultancy and extension services.

Prof S.K Chopra, Coordinator of the workshop, explained the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the community polytechnic schemes being run under the aegis of the HRD Ministry.

Mr Yashpal Mahajan, Chairman, Board of Governors, emphasised the importance of rural development schemes for the upliftment of masses below the poverty line at the grass-root level.

Various other issues which will be deliberated during the workshop are village adoption for awareness building and social mobilisation, collaboration with other agencies, transfer of technology, strategies for achieving multiplier effect and introduction of appropriate technology in curriculum of engineering education. More than 100 experts and delegates and rural development experts from NGO's and voluntary organisations are attending the workshop. Back



EVM demonstration from today
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Aug 23 — The voters of Banur segment in Patiala constituency will be educated about the functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) at demonstrations to be held at different polling stations from August 24 to 29. Voters will be given full knowledge about the EVM and how to cast votes through it.

For this purpose, the segment has been divided into 10 sectors and each sector has been allotted 10 Supervisory Officers (SOs). Five groups of SOs will hold demonstration in different polling stations. Pamphlets giving details of the EVM will also be distributed among the voters.

According to Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Assistant Election Officer (AEO) for the segment, 795 members of the polling staff, including 159 polling officers, 159 presiding officers and 318 observers, have been deputed to conduct the election process in 159 polling stations in the segment. All polling stations will have pre-tested EVMs.

The Supervisory Officers will be given extra EVMs to meet any emergency such as a breakdown of a machine during polling hours. The SOs will keep a watch on the polling stations in their respective sectors and will remain in touch with the AEO till the polling is over.The election symbols will be fed into the EVMs in the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives on September 1, 2 and 3. Eleven candidates are in the fray for the Patiala parliamentary seat.

Rally for poll boycott
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 23— To garner support on the issue of boycott of the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll, a rally was organised by the Shivalik Vikas Manch at Morni Hills, near here, yesterday.

Most people at the well-attended rally were in support of boycott of poll. It was addressed by Mr Ravi Sharma, General Secretary, and Mr Sadhu Ram Saini, a freedom fighter. They advocated the cause of boycott of elections in their speeches.

The organisation formed subcommittees to educate the residents about their rights which had been denied to them.

Istri Sabha’s concern
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 23 — The Punjab Istri Sabha has expressed concern over the manner in which the police is handling a case of suicide of a woman of Phase IX here. The deceased, Dimple Sidhu, had allegedly committed suicide on last Friday night.

The President of the sabha, Ms Oshima Raikhy, in a representation to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and the Director-General of Police, has stated that the husband of the deceased had failed to inform the police, though it was a case of suicide. An autopsy of the body could have revealed the cause of death.

A team of the sabha, which visited Phase VIII police station, was reportedly told by the Station House Office (SHO), Mr Balwant Singh, that Dimple's father, who was living in Goa, had been informed.

Workshop on AIDS awareness
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 23 — The Director of UT Health Services, Dr Joginder Singh, inaugurated a five-day training workshop on technical capacity-building for STD/AIDS awareness at the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre in Sector 11 here today.

He said the workshop was a highly desirable step in the direction of institutional-building efforts in developing skills at the grassroots level for communication to prevent the STD and HIV infection.

The workshop is being organised by the SAS Nagar branch of the Family Planning Association of India with the help of various other voluntary organisations.

Woman beaten
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 23 — Three persons, Sandeep, Prem Lata and Uma Kalsi, have been booked under Section 498 of the IPC for allegedly beating up a woman for bringing inadequate dowry.

A case has been registered in the Sector 19 police station. While Prem Lata and Uma Kalsi are under the judicial remand, Sandeep has been placed under the police remand.

Badge of sacrifice instituted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 23 — The Chief of the Army Staff has instituted a token symbol in the form of a badge of sacrifice to remember, recognise and honour the families of the gallant soldiers who laid down their lives for the safety and honour of the nation.

The gold plated badges depict a flame symbolising the eternal sacrifice made by these soldiers and has the immortal words "For your tomorrow, he gave his today" on one side in English and its translation in Hindi on the other side.

The badges, along with a certificate, will be presented to next of kin of the martyrs. Back

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