|C H A N D I G A R H
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Sunday, February 7, 1999
|'Store' fire destroys goods worth
PANCHKULA, Feb 6 Goods worth lakhs were destroyed in a fire that broke out in a "store" of the Haryana Public Works Department in Sector 4 here this morning.
Fire service personnel put out a fire that broke out in a PWD godown in Sector 4 of Panchkula on Saturday. A Tribune photograph
has a dig at red-tapism
to review appointment of college staff
celebrates 36th anniversary
depicts a rosy picture
present winter session of Parliament
on cleaning of water resources
'Store' fire destroys goods worth
PANCHKULA, Feb 6 Goods worth lakhs were destroyed in a fire that broke out in a "store" of the Haryana Public Works Department in Sector 4 here this morning.
The Deputy Commissioner and the SP supervised the fire fighting operations.
According to eyewitnesses, the flames were first reportedly seen at about 8. 30 a.m. by neighbours who informed the police control room and the Fire department. Some of the neighbours also helped the caretaker who was living on the first floor to move his belongings outside. As many as 70 labourers engaged in construction activity were also called to help move the goods.
The one kanal house, which was rented by the PWD from Mr Kishen Chand Kaura some eight years ago, was being used as a store to house various things like furnishings and other used items removed during renovations in various government houses.
Residents complained that they had been representing to the department concerned that an accident was awaiting as the furnishings like foam mattresses, synthetic and cotton curtains, wooden furniture and carpets were highly inflammable.
It had also been brought to the notice of the authorities that the use of the house as a store in a residential area was contrary to the norms laid down by the Haryana Urban Development Authority. The house was for some years used as a guest house. It was the residence of a minister before ending up as a store.
It took 10 fire engines more than two hours to bring the blaze under control. Besides two fire engines from Panchkula, two from Ambala, two from Parwanoo, one from HMT and SAS Nagar and three from Chandigarh, including a water bouzer, were pressed into service.
Mr J P Dahiya, DSP, said police also requisitioned a bulldozer to pull down the backwall of the house as the approach to the rear was blocked. Used plastic strung metal folding beds were dumped in the rear courtyard and the fire reportedly started from here and engulfed the goods lying in the rest of the ground floor. Fire men had to break open doors and windows to fight the flames.
No takers for teacher
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 Demands for enhanced amounts for research work notwithstanding, there are no takers for teacher fellowships for doing M.Phil or Ph.D among colleges affiliated to Panjab University.
If the available figures are any indication, only two teachers have applied for the fellowships from among over 100 affiliated colleges of the university. Of the two forms received by the UGC, one has been found incomplete.
The matter came up for a detailed review during a discussion of the Dean College Development Council, Dr Deepak Manmohan, and Ms Kanta Kumari, a joint secretary of the UGC. Following discussion a letter has been re-circulated to colleges.
The letter from Dean 's office says: "I stress upon the principals to forward the eligible cases for this much-sought after UGC scheme immediately to the Deputy Registrar (Colleges) latest by February 19".
Detailed guidelines had been circulated to the principals earlier.
The letter also mentions the poor response from the colleges." Wherever a few cases were received by them (UGC), these were either incomplete or ineligible cases", the letter adds.
One argument forwarded by teachers for the poor response is that in certain cases information about fellowships was not forwarded by principals. Allowing fellowship would mean loss of staff which they would have to arrange.
However, another point of opinion is that teachers should themselves be conscious of the fellowships and there is no way principals could stop them from improving their academic career.
The scheme provides that a teacher fellow can register for M.Phil in a college or in a university with well-developed facilities. Teachers will continue to receive full salary from the parent institution during the award of the fellowship. The teacher concerned should be a permanent employee or a confirmed employee.
The teacher applying for fellowship should not be aged over 45. This is relaxable by five years in case of women teachers and teachers belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. The teacher should have at least three years' of teaching experience.
The tenure of teacher-fellowship for doing M.Phil will be limited to a period of up to 12 months and will not be extendable beyond one year period. The tenure for Ph.D may vary but it should not exceed 24 months. The supervisor must give a report of progress in the mid month of the period for which the fellowship is awarded.
Growing fundamentalism irks envoy
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 Strengthening economic relations has become extremely important for all countries in the changed world order. It is becoming very difficult for a large number of countries to provide their people with minimal facilities and amenities.
These views were expressed by Dr Mohamed Sahbi Basly, Ambassador of Tunisia, while interacting with mediapersons here today.
He later inaugurated the local chapter of the Indo-Tunisia Friendship Society.
"My first job in India is to improve the economic relations. Private companies should come forward for joint ventures. India could also have easy access to European market through Tunisia. There is a big scope for exchange in fields of petro-chemicals, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and handicrafts," Dr Basly claimed.
Talking about his country Dr Basly said women had equal rights as compared to men. Despite being a Muslim country a uniform code had been evolved.Polygamy was banned." It is not correct to discriminate against women. Tunisia realises the importance of women's role and involves them in all developmental activity".
Dr Basly said tourism was a key factor of economy for sustainable development.Tunisia has a population of nine million, yet, it manages to attract more than four and a half million tourists annually. Promotion of tourism remains the greatest challenge before Tunisia and more money is invested in developing infrastructure and other facilities.
The Ambassador said he was fascinated by Indian history and diversity. Even Tunisia has a history more than 3000 years old. India and Tunisia share a common concern on several international issues. He expressed his concern over rising fundamentalism in the world.
Dr Basly is a doctor by profession. He was a lecturer in the faculty of medicine at Tunis; director of the Centre of Health and Safety; Director General of International cooperation and Director General of Political Affairs.
Streetlighting suffers for want of staff
PANCHKULA, Feb 6 With just a 12-member staff to look after 10,000 streetlight points in the town, the maintenance of streetlights by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is suffering.
Adding to the problem is the number of complaints as regards the replacement of fluorescent tubes, have been piling up due to want of tubelights for the past one month.
The most-affected are the entrepreneurs in the Industrial estate here who lament that pot-holed roads in the absence of streetlighting have created a number of problems.
Mr Kewal Krishan, who runs an ancillary unit in Industrial Area, Phase-I, says the road in front of the unit no. 372 has developed potholes. The moment darkness sets in, it becomes very difficult to negotiate the potholes in the absence of streetlighting.
The road from the Industrial Area to the Sector 19 is also without proper lighting. Residents of Sector 19 complain that a sense of insecurity prevails among them when they use the road.
Mr Uggar Sain Sharma, president of the Residents' Welfare Association of Sector 11, says the linemen of HUDA should do a survey of the entire township to identify non-functional tubelight points instead of residents approaching HUDA with their complaints. The areas without proper illumination become a den for anti-social elements to hide themselves before they strike, he feels.
Some of the tubelights in front of the row of house nos 689 to 678 are non-functional. Mr K.D. Sharma, a resident of Sector 8, says the linemen have to be called as they do not come on their own.
Similarly, residents of LIG colony in Sector 15 complain about poor streetlighting in their area. Mr S.N. Gupta, a resident says that the streetlight in front of his house has not been repaired for long.
Except from the market of Sector 7, the streetlighting in other markets of the township are not fully functional.
Sources in HUDA say the requirement of additional staff for the electrical wing has been pending since long. The requirement is for at least 50 men to look after the 10,000 streetlight points 2000 sodium vapour light points and 8000 tubelight points as per the set norms.
They confirm that for the past one and a half month unavailability of tubelights have been pushing ahead the replacement of non functional streetlight points.
Officials say that on an average at least 50 tubelights are broken by vandals, especially in the areas adjoining slum areas. They claim that sodium vapour lights have been installed at the main entry points of different sectors.
The Chief Engineer of
HUDA, Mr K.K. Bhugra, says there is a move to hand over
the maintenance of streetlights to private parties but
the proposal is at an initial stage. Admitting that there
are problems regarding the availability of tubes, but
said he would have to check up with the XEN concerned to
know the details.
Joginder has a dig at red-tapism
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The administrative system should be more people-oriented and information should trickle down from the topmost administrative citadels to a common man in a transparent manner, said Mr Joginder Singh, a former Director of the CBI here today.
He was speaking during an interaction with mediapersons at a leading book shop in the city where he had come in connection with the promotion of his book "Inside CBI"
Transparency is the key word for successful functioning of a democracy, the former Director said. Governance should be done on a day-to-day basis and in a meticulous manner.
Mr Joginder Singh was critical of the red-tapism due to "overcrowded bureaucracy". He said size of the bureaucracy should be cut down considerably. In the present system it suited bureaucracy to delay decisions.
Mr Joginder Singh said whenever someone wanted to take the initiative to make reforms in the functioning of the existing system, a committee was constituted immediately to study the proposal, a step which ensured "dumping" of the initiative.
He said things could improve only if people became more aware of their rights.They had to learn to start questioning the system. A little pull and a little push on part of the people would go miles in improving the system.
Labrador wins crown
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 And now a fashion show for dogs.
After numerous beauty pageants in the city it was the time for seeing the grace and poise of our canine friends at a fashion show organised by the Chandigarh Kennel Club in the Leisure Valley here today.
It was a real treat to watch dogs, specially dressed up according to themes. While the limited number of entries, only six and that too dogs of members of the club, were just a way to judge the response of the audience and the participants to the new fangled idea, lack of numbers were more than made up by the enthusiastic applause from the audience
The crown was won by Yankee lady, a Labrador, which was dressed up for a pleasant afternoon outdoors complete with indigo dress, a wide brimmed hat and sun glasses.
A six-month-old great dane was the first runner-up clothed in a dress with lace frills, ponytails and colourful ribbons. The second runner-up was a Himalayan sheep dog dressed to promote the ethnicity of the state after which it has been named.
Earlier dogs from Kharar made a clean sweep in the race for greyhounds. Kajal, owned by Mr Avtar Singh of Kharar, win the first prize and Rs 1, 500 while Henna and Rustam, owned by Ram Swarup and Prakash Singh respectively, were adjudged second and third. They received Rs 1,200 and Rs 800.
Pain, redness in eyes not to be
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 Uveitis, a disease occurring due to infections or immunological changes in the body, is one of the major causes of permanent blindness. Doctors all around the world are still trying to find out the causes that can trigger the immunological problem, however, the reasons of the infections are known and curable. The problem lies in the handling of the patients who lose eyesight following immunological problems.
This was the opinion of experts from all over the world, who have gathered at the PGI to attend a two-day international symposium on "Uveitis and Intraocular Inflammations". The symposium that commenced today will touch all aspects of the disease. Dr Narsing A. Rao, an expert from the USA, pointed out that 10 per cent of all blindness cases in the USA were due to uveitis and the number of cases in India could be even more.
People having a combination of pain and redness in the eyes, blurred vision, light sensitivity and spots in the field of vision need to see the doctor immediately.
The immune system can be modified to change the response of the body towards uveitis. In case of infections total cure is possible, said Dr Jean Deschenes from Canada.
The prevalence of the disease could vary in ethnic groups, Dr Deschenes said. This view was substantiated by Dr Rao also. He pointed out that uveitis was prevalent more among people who had a particular type of gene.
Immunological infections can occur in people suffering from TB, leprosy and syphilis. It is difficult to understand uveitis fully as its diagnosis and treatment can be complicated, Dr Deschenes opined. Prof Ed Howes from the USA explained that there was breakdown of the body mechanisms. However, it was not known really how different antigens work in the body. "Presently we are trying to establish the pathological reasons behind it", he added.
Prof Amod Gupta of the PGI said in India most cases were due to infections resulting in inflammation of the pigmented structures inside the eye. AIDS patients are at the highest risk. The real test is to differentiate between uveitis caused due to infections and immunological responses. If immuno suppressant drugs are given to patients having uveitis due to an infection it can lead to destruction, he informed.
The Director of the PGI,
Prof B.K. Sharma , while inaugurating the symposium said
that ophthalmologists should beware of the inflammatory
diseases of the eye which pose a major challenge in our
country. He lamented lack of facilities for proper
diagnosis of such ailments for a vast majority of the
Indian population. Since many of these patients suffer
from various serious systematic illness, Prof Sharma
encouraged eye specialists to seek assistance of
physicians for diagnosis and management of these
Complainant's appeal rejected
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has dismissed an appeal of a local complainant who alleged that the payment of a cheque asked by him to be stopped was not made by the State Bank of India.
Mr Azad Singh Ranga, a resident of Sector 23 , in his complaint alleged that he issued a cheque in May, 1992, for Rs 40,000 in favour of Mr Angrez Singh. Though he gave instructions for stopping of the payment, the cheque had been encashed.
The claim was dismissed by the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (II) against which Mr Ranga made an appeal. Mr Ranga himself happened to be a bank employee.
The bank on its part said: "Azad Singh in connivance with one of his colleague and Mr Angrez Singh had tried to cheat the bank". It has been also alleged that Mr Ranga is an old employee and well conversant with the procedure and rules and regulations of the bank. The 'colleague' did not record the stop payment letter on the ledger book nor he informed the officer concerned in charge of the current account.
After going through the
details, the commission noted that "circumstances go
to show that the conclusion arrived at by the district
forum disbelieving the complainant's story does not call
for any interference. The appeal fails".
Panel to review appointment of
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The UT Education department will set up a time-bound committee to review filling posts of the non-teaching staff in private colleges of the city.
The matter came up for a discussion during a meeting of a delegation of principals of private colleges with the Education Secretary, Mrs Anuradha Gupta, sources said here today.
Principals demanded protection of their pay scales in case a principal was posted from outside the city. Principals said that the money paid by colleges on account of ground rent should be exempted.
The principals who attended the meeting included Dr A.C. Vaid, Dr P.S. Sangha, Ms Sneh Mahajan, Ms Satinder Dhillon and Dr R.C. Jeewan.
The Home Secretary assured them to look into their various other demands, which included a pension and gratuity scheme.
Raising Day celebrated
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The 228 Medium Regiment of the Artillery celebrated its 25 Raising Day on February 1.
A special sainik sammelan was organised and was addressed by the Commanding Officer, Colonel Rajiv Verma. Highlighting the glorious traditions of the regiment, he said the unit had served in various states and had helped to maintain internal peace and external security. A large number of retired officers and men were also attended the sammelan.
The highlight of the two-day festivities was a blood donation camp in which more than 100 officers, jawans and their families donated blood. The decision to organise another eye camp in a remote area village was also taken after the success of a previous camp held at Ratkudia village where 150 persons were operated upon.
The regiment was raised at Nasirabad (Rajasthan) on February 1, 1974, under the aegis of the 32 Artillery Brigade by Lieut-Col (later Brigadier) S. Sivaraman who came all the way from the USA to attend the festivities.
counter-insurgency operations, the regiment has captured
a large quantity of arms and ammunition besides
eliminating many militants for which they have received
one Sena Medal and four Chief of the Army Staff
Commendations. Hav Naha Ram got the Army Staff
Commendation for Nunkun Mountaineering Expedition.
Unit celebrates 36th
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The 20 Provost and Security unit of the Air Force celebrated its 36th anniversary with enthusiasm here today.
A special sammelan was organised on the occasion which was attended by officers and Airmen.
Squadron Leader Bharat Bhushan, Commanding Officer (CO) of the unit, asked the personnel to be ever vigilant and security conscious. While extending his greetings to the men and their families on the occasion, he said the provost units were "responsible for enforcing discipline in the Air Force and also carried out investigations into accidents, accidents involving their personnel or property.
He also appealed to the public to inform them about incidents, accidents involving their personnel and vehicles so that proper investigations could be made and assistance rendered.
Book depicts a rosy picture
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 Prof Morrison, in his fourth lecture on "Plateau 2100: Common Defence, Common Development", at the Department of Physics, Panjab University, discussed a book written by him and Kosta Tsipis, titled "Reason to Hope", here today.
Presenting an optimists' point of view, the book says the coming times will see a decline in the population. The resources, too, would match the population and most things would become more affordable. The race for nuclear arms would slow down in the coming times because it would be more feasible to have a Central Force for protection rather than directing large budgets for defence.
He perceived that global warming was not a serious threat for the next 80 years beyond which technology would come up with an answer. Disparity would begin to diminish and out of the three detected economies of fast growing, maturing and under developed economies, the mature economies would be the best placed.
Students present winter session of
PANCHKULA, Feb 6 The winter session of Parliament presented by students of Satluj Public School, Sector 4, outdid all other items of the annual prize distribution function here today. Mr Laloo Prasad, Ms Uma Bharti, Ms Mamata Banerjee, Mr L.K. Advani and many more "attended" this session marked by a lot of mud-slinging at the ruling party by the Opposition.
A total of 12 items were staged on the occasion. These included a Punjabi skit on the importance of education, a Rajasthani dance "Dhola", a Haryanavi dance 'Ghungat Orugi Mahal ke Beech' while 'Chapa Chapa Charka Chale' was a big hit with those present among many other dances and songs. The programme climaxed when the brightly dressed 'giddha' girls followed by the 'bhangra' boys who matched the sprightly performance of the girls came up with their items.
Earlier, the chief guest, Dr Sansar Chand, a renowned writer, inaugurated the exhibition on science, art and craft. A flower arrangement competition which saw 12 participants was also organised.
Dr Sansar Chand, praising the efforts of the students, emphasised that being a good human being was more essential and it was important for education to be a blend of tradition and modernism.
The Principal, Mr Pritam Singh Serai, read out the school report and highlighted the achievements of the students in sports and academics. This was followed by a prize distribution function in which more than 60 students were given prizes for excellence in various fields. Amit Bhanot and Sukhjeet Pannu were adjudged best boy and best girl respectively.
The results of the
exhibition are: Science: Biogas plant Parminder,
Pannyadeep, Raman, Amit and Amar (1); Nuclear Power plant
(Didar Singh and Sushil) 2; volcano (Dinesh) 3. Fine
arts: Poster making Arti 1, Meenakshi 2. Maths:
Quadrilaterals Ritu Bhambra 1. Flower arrangement:
Anita 1, Bhawana 2, Gurpreet and Inderpreet 3.
Workshop on cleaning of water
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The Environment Society of India organised a workshop on "Cleaning of our Water Resources" under the National Environment Awareness campaign here today.
Mr K.K. Garg, joint director, Ministry of Environment and Forests, said water was fast becoming an "essential commodity" and the problem is further compounded by water pollution. He said studies showed that almost 70 per cent of water available in the cities was polluted.
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 A team of the Delhi Police, on a visit to Chandigarh to arrest two brothers wanted in a fraud case in the Capital, was allegedly beaten up by the two accused last night. The Chandigarh Police registered a case against the two brothers Ajay Chaudhary and Vijay Chaudhary.
The Delhi Police team had managed to reach the duo in Sector 22. The brothers insisted that they should be taken to the police post in Sector 22. On their way to the police post Inspector R.C. Garg of the Delhi Police sat in the vehicle the team had brought with them. A Sub-Inspector, Ombir, and a constable accompanied the brothers in their car.
Along the way Ajay and Vijay diverted their car towards Panchkula where they thrashed the SI and constable and dumped them in Panchkula. The Inspector did not realise that the car following his vehicle was missing.
The Chandigarh Police registered a case today under sections 323, 332, 364, 313 and 324 of the IPC.
Body found: The body of a newspaper vendor has been found in the woods near Dhanas village. The deceased, Surjeet Singh, was studying in an evening college. A poisonous substance was found near his body and it is possible that Surjeet had consumed it resulting in his death, opined police officials.
Arrested: A resident of Dadu Majra colony, Des Raj, was arrested for allegedly stealing a sum of Rs 5,000, a bag and some documents from Mr Mohinder Kumar, as the latter was staying in Saini Bhawan in Sector 24.
A case has been registered.
While the anticipated budgetary grant in shape of the grants-in-aid from the Chandigarh Administration is Rs 48 crore for the non-Plan sector, it would be Rs 26.40 crore in the Plan sector. The corporation would begin the next financial year with an opening balance of Rs 11.28 crore, the Mayor said.
Earlier as soon as the meeting started, the BJP-SAD members were on their feet, contending that the meeting was "illegal" as the last meeting of the House held on February 1 was adjourned due to lack of quorum. Till the remaining agenda was of the meeting was taken up, no fresh meeting could be called, they added.
Mr Addiwal ruled that the meeting was not adjourned and it was declared "over". To this alliance members alleged that the officials were "misguiding" the Mayor. Charges and counter-charges between the ruling group and the alliance members followed and the latter walked out, saying that they did not want to be a party to the proceedings of the "illegal meeting".
Participating in the discussion on the Budget, which was seconded by Mrs Kamla Sharma, a former Mayor, Mr Prem Sagar Jain advocated the imposition of sewerage tax with a view to augmenting the resources. He also wanted the administration allow the MCC to levy cess on the sale of liquor in the city.
Expressing concern at the spending of only a fraction of the last year's Budget in the past nine months, Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd) said the Budget was just an account of the receipt and expenditure and in no way reflected future planning.
Mr R.K. Aggarwal, while emphasising the need for setting up a quality control cell, was of the view that the Budget estimates could have been better had specific recommendations of the members of the Finance and Contract Committee were included in this.
The leader of the ruling group, Mr R.L. Arora, while calling the expenditure on various heads a "jugglery of figures", alleged that a major portion of the last year's Budget had not been spent.
To this the Commissioner, Mr S.K. Gathwal, replied that the actual money at the disposal of the body was much less as compared to the estimates in the last year's Budget since the corporation hardly generated any resources. He assured the House that the remaining amount in relation to the actual grant would be spent by the civic body by March 31 this year.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the alliance called on the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Jagdish Sagar, and sought the appointment of an observer to monitor the proceedings of the House.
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the trial court of the Beant Singh assassination case to hold seven to 10 hearings in a month.
Mr Justice M.L. Shingal, who delivered the order, also directed the trial court to expedite the trial and conclude it as early as possible.
Earlier the judge turned down the plea of Nasib Singh, Navjot Singh and Shamsher Singh, all accused in the case, for bail.
The contention of the CBI was that is was not possible to conclude the trial within a specified time-frame, especially because more than 300 prosecution witnesses, apart from the defence witnesses, were to be examined.
The stand of the defence, on the other hand, was that the trial court was holding only two to three hearings in a month. Moreover, more than three years had elapsed since the accused were languishing in jail as undertrials.
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