|C H A N D I G A R H
& V I C I N I T Y
Thursday, February 25, 1999
Some of the shortlisted candidates who will represent the region in the forthcoming 'Shimla Queen" contest to be held in Shimla at North Park Resort, Panchkula A Tribune photograph
more tubewells for Chandigarh
man found killed
told not to hike fees
LPG agencies challaned for deficient services
invites 20 cops for selection
shortlisted for Shimla Queen
to boycott supervisory work
in land allotment by CHB criticised
cuts come in way of students exams
1 crore to beautify SAS Nagar
without permanent SDM
students call on SSP
|Musical morning with a difference||Mapping out interest in maps|
posting I always wanted: Kiran Bedi
INDIAS first woman IPS officer and Magsaysay Award winner, Dr Kiran Bedi, will soon take over as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Chandigarh. An order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs here on Tuesday has entrusted the charge of the highest rank in police in the Union Territory of Chandigarh to Mrs Bedi.
Confirming the transfer order of Mrs Bedi, the Commissioner of Police, Mr V.N. Singh, said that the Delhi Government is yet to issue an order. Asked to spell out the reaction of the Delhi police force, Mr Singh said, They have nothing to comment.
Welcoming the transfer orders to City Beautiful as a posting I always wanted, Mrs Kiran Bedi, a 1972 batch officer, said that she plans to take over charge in early April. It will take me closer home to Amritsar where my husband lives. Oh God, I adore that city but I want to honour my commitments to the Police Training School before I take over the new charge, she said.
Asked if she had asked for the order, the Joint Commissioner Police, Police Training School, Jharoda Kalan gave a reflective pause. She added that she shared her aspiration for the aforesaid post at a function organised by Rotarians in Chandigarh in October.
She added that although she learnt of the new posting only on Tuesday, she had not got a copy of the order.
One of the most controversial police officers in recent times who earned the title of Crane Bedi for her revolutionary ideas in traffic management, Mrs Bedi said that she would like to complete this month in Delhi. ``March being the end of the fiscal year, we have to make a few important purchases for the PTS. Also, I have to oversee an 11-day meditation programme for over 1200 constables, sub-inspectors and our own officers at PTS, Jharoda Kalan.
Mrs Bedi told Tribune News Service that she has a favourable impression of the Chandigarh police force. I havent heard anything against it. Maybe, I havent probed. There is much I need to know about the police force.
Asked if she would extend her widely-acclaimed reforms on Prison Administration to Chandigarh jails, she said, That is always there to share.
A rank holder of the Department of Political Science, Panjab University and a tennis champion, Mrs Bedi said that she spent the two best years of her life in Chandigarh. Recalling the days she spent in the Rani Jhansi Hostel on the university campus from 1970 to 72, she said that she carefully invested every minute of her stay on the campus.
Sharing her memories of Chandigarh, Mrs Bedi said that she loved cycling on Chandigarh roads and playing tennis in the Chandigarh Club.
She said that she would love to revive her hobbies. She described Punjabi culture as overflowing with energy and said that her parents would also love to move to Chandigarh.
I was the only student who had a scholarship both in tennis and political science. In fact, I got the first position in M.A (political science) with an aggregate of 76 per cent. I feel so good about this posting. My teacher, Dr M.M. Puri, is now the Vice-Chancellor and other teachers like Professor Pam Rajput, Dr J.C. Anand and even Mrs J.K. Grewal who was our Principal in Government College for Women in Amritsar is now in Chandigarh, she added.
Dr Bedi who had her early education in Sacred Heart, Amritsar, did her honours in English from GCW, Amritsar. She even taught political science for two years in Khalsa College, Amritsar.
A doctorate in social science from IIT, Delhi, Mrs Bedi also holds a degree in law from Delhi University. Her book Its always possible resulted from the Jawaharlal Nehru fellowship awarded by the Nehru Memorial Trust. Her biography, I Dare authored by Parmesh Dangwal has been translated in six regional languages, including Punjabi. The book translated by Kuldeep Singh Chhabra and Dev Bhardwaj is titled Punjab Dee- Daler Tee-Kiran Bedi-Ik Jeevni.
Dr Bedi who was Inspector-General of Tihar Jail before taking over as Special Secretary to the then Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Tejinder Khanna, has visited about 20 jails all over the world to address inmates and officers on issues related to prison and policing. She is presently working on another book on the police.
Asked how she would react on her next posting, Mrs Bedi said, I will take it as life goes on.
tubewells for Chandigarh
CHANDIGARH, February 24 With a view to mitigating the shortage of water in the coming summer, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has decided to install 25 more tubewells in the city.
The tubewells, the work of which has already been allotted, are likely to be made operational by April-May this year before the demand for water shoots up in the summer months, corporation sources told The Tribune today.
While five tubewells for the labour colonies would be sunk at the new sites, 20 other tubewells would be installed at the sites of the old tubewells, whose discharge had become too low and it was not economical to run them.
The five tubewells in the colonies, to be installed at a cost of about Rs 17 lakh each, would be installed at the Palsora Colony, the Sector 31 Labour Colony, opposite Labour Colony No 5 in Sector 44 and 45 and the Nehru Colony.
The total drawal from the deep-bore tubewells, to be sunk at a minimum depth of 1,000 feet, is designed to be in the range of 16,000 to 20,000 gallons per day per tubewell. The total discharge from the tubewells would be around 8 million gallons per day (MGD) of water, the sources informed.
The sources stressed that the need for installing the new tubewells, had been felt as the Punjab Government had taken its share of about two-and-a-half MGDs of water for SAS Nagar from the Kajauli Water Works. This coupled with the rising demand in the summer months and drying up of the old tubewells, the running of which had become uneconomical, had left no option for the civic body except going in for the new tubewells.
In the absence of any augmentation of water supply, the availability of water at the disposal of the corporation had been static at 55-60 MGDs for the past few years, the tubewells had become necessary since many areas of the city faced shortage of water, particularly during the summer months.
Moreover, as the revised fourth phase of the Kajauli water works project, intended to bring in 60 MGDs of water, was still to get the nod of the Central Government, the sinking of tubewells was seen as a short-term measure to tide over the shortage of water.
Sources said two tubewells each would be sunk on the Ambala-Chandigarh road near Hallo Majra village, the Sukhna choe in Makhan Majra village, Dhanas village, Dadu Majra, the Golf Club, Sector 26 (Bapu Dham Colony and Labour Colony), and Sector 25( in the sector and Kumhar Colony).
up to city likely
CHANDIGARH, February 24 A long-standing demand of city residents to have a direct train connection with the southern states of the country is excepted to be met by the middle of this year. The Grand Trunk (GT) Express between Chennai and New Delhi is likely to be extended till Chandigarh.
Though the extension of the train will not be announced during the Railway Budget tomorrow, the initial spadework for the extension has been done, according to highly placed sources.
The Rail tracks between Ambala and Chandigarh will be electrified by the end of March. The washing line and other maintenance facilities at Chandigarh are expected to be in place by the middle of this year.
If the proposal is agreed upon, this will be the second long-distance train that is the pipeline for the city.Already a train between Kalka and Mumbai is planned. Successful train run on that section was held by way of a holiday special in October last year.
To extend the GT Express several facilities like those for maintenance and washing line are to be added at Chandigarh. Some of these facilities are to be partially functional by July or August. The work has already been sanctioned and approved in the present Budget. Already, work to extend the platforms to accommodate the long distance trains is on.
The chances of the train being extended till Kalka are very little. Facilities at Kalka are already saturated, said a source. Long-distance trains have anything between 22 and 24 bogies and thus cannot be accommodated at Kalka due to paucity of space at that station, sources added. Thus passengers wanting to go to Kalka to catch the narrow gauge train to Shimla will have to wait at Chandigarh. The GT Express is likely to run an hour before or after the Himalayan Queen .
The train will also cater
to the demand of defence personnel from southern states
based at the Western Command headquarters at
Chandimandir, the air base at Ambala, the PGI, the
IMTECH, the CSIO, and other leading institutions in the
city and its surrounding areas.
PANCHKULA, February 24 A 45-year-old jhuggi-dweller was murdered before being dumped near a seasonal rivulet in Sector 12-A here. The body of the victim with a battered face, apparently done with a stone, was noticed by members of his family late last evening.
The victims body was noticed by his son who came looking for him after he had failed to return home last Monday. A case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered by the police.
According to information available, the victim was last seen with a contractor in Sector 15 here on Monday. The police suspects the contractor to be behind the murder. No arrests had made till the filing of this report.
agencies challaned for deficient services
CHANDIGARH, February 24 All but six of 26 LPG agencies in Chandigarh have been challaned for providing deficient services to consumers. While 12 agencies have been challaned under provisions of the Package Commodities Act, eight have been booked for supplying underweight LPG refills.
The Weights and Measures Department of the Administration conducted raids on the premises of all the 26 agencies during the past several days. The day before yesterday, the local office of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also made surprise checks on LPG distributors and warned them to desist from providing deficient services to consumers.
A spokesman of the Administration maintained that the major complaint against the LPG distributors was that they had been overcharging new consumers by forcing upon them hotplates at exorbitant rates. There were complaints that a hotplate which is ordinarily available in the market for Rs 500 was being forced upon a consumer getting a new LPG connection for Rs 1500.
One of the reasons given for six LPG distributors getting a clean chit probably was that they were visited by the CBI teams and warned. Another LPG distributors office was raided by the Weights and Measurement Department about a couple of months ago. In rest of the cases, the raiding parties of the Administration found one deficiency or the other in the working of these LPG agencies.
The LPG agencies, where underweight LPG refills were detected are Shivalik Gas Agency (Sector 26), Nirmal Gas Agency (Sector 30), Preet Gas Agency (Sector 24-D), Public Gas Service (Sector 20), Bhatia Gas Service (Sector 22), Sunshine Gas Agency (Sector 44), Premier Gas Service (Sector 27) and Numdeepmala Enterprises (Sector 16).
The LPG distributors, who have been challaned for violations of the Package Commodities Act are Preet Gas Agency (Sector 24-D), Happy Gas Centre (Sector 35), Sukh Gas Service (Sector 45), Super Gas Service (Sector 35), Punia Gas Service (Sector 32-D), Vijay Gas Agency (Sector 35), Chandigarh Gas Company (Sector 17), Kang Gas Service (Sector 11), City Gas Service (Sector 37-C), Parnam Gas Service (Sector 37-D), Jai Gas Service (Sector 40), Sabharwal Gas Company (Sector 47) and Farid Gas Service (Mani Majra).
The spokesman maintained that under the Act, the retailer cannot alter, change or smudge the price marked on the box. In the case of the local LPG agencies, this legal provision has been violated as the checking parties from the Administration took in their possession the packed hotplates, whose boxes have been tampered with or were without the mandatory printed price .
This is perhaps for the
first time that the Chandigarh Administration has
conducted checks at all LPG distributors in the city
after the problem was highlighted by the Chandigarh
Tribune on February 16.
examined in Burail Jail case
CHANDIGARH, February, 24 The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr S.S. Lamba, who held court at the high-security Burail Jail, examined five prosecution witnesses today in connection with the attempt to blow up Burail Jail.
The first witness to be examined was Mr Jaspal Singh, head constable. He told the court that he had gone to Salimpur village and prepared the plan of the site, from where explosives were recovered at the instance of Satnam Singh, one of the suspects. He also revealed that he had prepared the plan of the jail gate from where Satnam Singh was arrested.
The second witness was Mr Mohinder Singh, a handwriting expert. He confirmed the entries in the visitors register at the jail had been made by Satnam Singh and Balvinder Singh.
The judge also recorded the statement of Mr Gurmel Singh, Deputy Secretary, Home. He told the court that the sanction for prosecuting the suspects under the Explosive Substances Act had been given by the Governor. The sanction was, however, signed by the Home Secretary.
He further told the court that the proposal for the sanction had been prepared by Mr Sarwan Singh, a dealing assistant. Then the file was placed before the Superintendent, who further sent it to the Deputy Secretary and finally to the Home Secretary. He said the Home Secretary had sent the file to the Legal Remembrancer. After it had been vetted, the order was signed by the Home Secretary.
The fourth witness was Dr Sanjana Sharma, a scientist at the Forensic Laboratory. He confirmed that the two samples sent by the Chandigarh police contained RDX.
The fifth witness was Mr
Gurmel Singh a malkhana/moharhar. He told the court that
the RDX recovered from the suspects had been given to him
for depositing in the malkhana. Later, it was sent to the
Forensic Laboratory for testing.
20 cops for selection
CHANDIGARH, February 24 Twenty Chandigarh Police personnel 5 inspectors and 15 sub-inspectors, including a woman have been invited by the United Nations for a physical test and interview to select candidates to go to strife-torn Bosnia.
The selected persons will be a part of the United Nations peace-keeping force in Bosnia. The interviews are scheduled for March 8, according to sources. This will be the fourth batch to be selected from among Indian police officials to serve in Bosnia.
The inspectors invited are Mr Vijay Kumar, SHO, Police Station, Sector 11, Mr Ashwani Kumar, CID wing, Mr Roshan Lal, Control Room, Mr Darshan Singh, Airport Security and Mr Inderjeet Singh, Security, Municipal Corporation.
The 15 sub-inspectors are Ms Pravesh Kumari, Mr Har Sahay, Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Hardit Singh, Mr Umrao Singh, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Dilsher Singh Chandel, Mr Sukhwinder Pal Singh, Mr Shri Prakash, Mr Dalbir Singh, Mr Dilbagh Singh, Mr Nasib Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh and Mr Darshan Kumar.
Selections to the UN force are not based on any quotas and all those who qualify will be sent. So far, seven Chandigarh Police personnel have served in Bosnia and another four officials are serving there.
boycott supervisory work
CHANDIGARH, February 24 Teachers and other staff from state aided schools of Punjab will boycott supervisory duties for middle standard examinations starting from the first week of March. This was resolved by them at a rally in front of the office of the DPI (S) here today.
The employees, including a large number of women, from various parts of the state assembled near the bus stand and marched towards the housing board roundabout raising slogans against the government. Many of the protesters were carrying black flags and placards. Later as many as 51 persons courted arrest.
Mr Teja Singh, president of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union, said the government had failed to notify the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission, in the process denying the legitimate rights of more than 12, 000 employees.
A meeting of union representatives arranged with the Chief Minister was today postponed till tomorrow.
He said besides the employees, the pensionery benefits of more than 500 persons had been denied despite an agreement reached with the Punjab Finance Minister, the Education Minister and the representatives of the union in August last year. The bureaucracy in the Finance Department was misguiding the government by misrepresentation of facts, it was alleged.
CHANDIGARH, February 24 With new singers emerging in the market every second day, it hardly comes as a surprise that all forms of music have been experimented with, from disco to rap to bhangra and Sufi. A new entrant in this field is actor-turned-singer Aroon Bakshi.
Aroon Bakshi was in the city today to promote his Punjabi album, Bol Mitti De Bawya, his debut music album, at a press conference in the Chandigarh Press Club.
Though Aroon claimed that he has already sung 98 songs in 11 years of his career in the showbiz, he is known more for the villainous characters that he has portrayed in Hindi films and serials. Bol Mitti...... is the title track of Romesh Sharmas serial Ajnabi, in which Aroon Bakshi plays the villains role.
The songs in this album are of the fakiri kind, because I wanted to do something different from the Punjabi bhangra. Simply because I hate the word conventional and I like to break rules, said Aroon, with a visible passion in his eyes.
Seen in films like Zaalim, Ek Hi Rasta and Hum Hain Bemisal, Aroon is also remembered for his comic role in the comedy serial Jee Sahab. Right now Im concentrating only on my singing career. For many years, I was being ignored when it came to singing, though I did quite a few musicals on the stage as well, he added.
A self-trained singer, Aroon Bakshi calls himself a Kaansen and not a Tansen. Ive been inspired by the likes of Bappi Lahri, R D Burman, S D Burman and Anand Milind. But the greatest influence in my life has been that of my mother. Creative people have always felt the need for mothers.
Aroon, whose training ground has been the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA), has belted many popular songs like Tuna-Tuna Tak-Tak Tuna in the Sanjay Dutt starrer Adharm, Jhule-Jhule Lal in the Akshay Kumar film Jai Kishan and Khoka-Khoka, which he rapped along with Asha Bhonsle. I am not a version singer, and never will be, he declared.
Expounding on his love for the Punjabi culture, this son of Punjab said, I hail from Ludhiana. I may not know my ragas, but I certainly know the difference between the smell of my mitti and that of perfume. I have grown up with Punjabi folk music.
Aroon, who has also provided music for his album Bol Mitti..... has lyrics by Naqsh Lyalpuri and Ajit Singh Deol. Cine actor Dharmendra has provided the commentary for the album.
I have also introduced a new girl, Kavita Rajvansh, a Marathi girl, to sing for this Punjabi album. And I wanted her to sing for me not only because I loved her throaty voice but also because I found out that she has throat cancer, he said.
Talking about the picturisation of his title song, Aroon said, I scouted for new faces for my video for more than two months, and finally found two Russian girls that fitted the bill. Because I thought that with a beast, there should be beauty as well.
Singing the title song
from his album in his theatrically strong and
resounding voice, for the scribes, he said, I am
proud of my Punjabi culture, and my dedication to my
culture has a tinge of fakiri to it.
charter to help tax-payers
CHANDIGARH, February 24 For the benefit of the tax-payers, the Income Tax Department has come out with a citizens charter.
According to the charter, all grievances and complaints of the public would be redressed and all rectification applications under Section 154 of the Income Tax Act disposed of within 30 days.
Similarly, the appellate orders would be given effect within 30 days of the receipt of such orders. The refunds would also be issued within 30 days of the determination.
The department will acknowledge all communications from taxpayers on the spot and in any case within seven days and furnish final replies within 30 days. The tax matters would be settled promptly and correctly.
In the charter the department pledges to be impartial and to objective and collect taxes as per law. It also pledges to provide information regarding procedures and authorities for legal remedies. The tax-payers would be helped by providing information, leaflets and forms at the facilitation counters.
It promises to help people by displaying names, designations, telephone numbers and location of officials dealing directly with the public. It further wants to assist the taxpayers by eudcating them about their rights, duties, entitlements and obligations under the law.
The department promises to be efficient by handling personal and business information and material furnished to the department confidentially and as permitted by law.
The charter expects the public to be prompt, honest and accurate and pay taxes in time. It urged the taxpayers to quote permanent account number (PAN)/GIR number in all returns and correspondence.
land allotment by CHB criticised
CHANDIGARH, February 24 The Action Committee of the Cooperative House Building Societies expressed its anguish over the delay in the allotment of land to those societies which had deposited 10 per cent earnest money in 1992 and 15 percent in February, 1998, along with 18 per cent interest.
According to Mr Rajwant Singh, Secretary of the committee, and Mr Satpal Singh Matharoo, many delegations called on the Finance Secretary and the Chairperson of the Chandigarh Housing Board to stress the need for the allotment of land to societies. These officers had promised to do something but until now nothing has been done.
morning with a difference
CHANDIGARH, February 24 It was a musical morning with a difference on the second day, for the pre-schoolers studying in Strawberry Fields, a kindergarten run by the Durga Das Foundation at the Nehru Bhavan, Sector 24. Children of nursery and lower K.G. sang delightful songs about their environment, relationships and daily experiences to the notes of the piano played by Sheila Bhasin.
The ambience at the foundations library created an intimate bonding between the little performers and their parents.
Children, who were in the age-group of 3-5 years, were confident, happy and articulate as they spoke of the traffic signals, aeroplanes, crocodiles, clowns and other such wonderful facets of life.
Dr Harish Dhillon, who
recently took over as the Principal of YPS School,
Mohali, was a special invitee today. He was the
Headmaster of the Lawrence School, Sanawar, prior to his
present appointment. He lauded the effort of the school
to bring music into the lives of little children.
KHARAR, February 24 Ms Neelam Arora, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), here has restrained the Truck Operators Union, Mohali, its secretary and treasurer from interfering in the plying of trucks owned by the plaintiff, M/s Nandan Cargo Carriers of Panchkula.
According to information received here today, the complainant has stated that it is the owner of some trucks and is holding valid permits for plying them throughout India. It was also supplying trucks with valid permits to other cargo carriers on commission basis after procuring them from open market.
They have written that the defendants have illegally formed a truck union to control the fare being charged, though the union has no recognition under any law. The union threatened the plaintiff company of dire consequences if they plied their trucks in Mohali it was alleged.
The complainant has pleaded for injunction against the defendants.
protest against pay disparity
CHANDIGARH, February 24 To protest against the indifferent attitude of the Government towards their long-pending demands, Haryana employees today staged a rally. The call for the protest had been given by the Haryana Employees Coordination Committee. The employees, including a large number of women, working in the State Government departments located on the Madhya Marg took part in the rally. The agitators raised slogans against the Government and condemned the alleged anti-employee stance of the Chief Minister.
Mr Prem Singh Sangwan, President of the committee, said there was a great disparity between employees of various directorates and secretariat staff in terms of pay and allowances. The directorate staff should be given the special pay as other employees. The ACP scheme should be improved, besides declaring five-day week for the staff working in the printing press, they demanded.
Mr N.K. Sharma, General Secretary of the committee, said the pay anomalies that arose after the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission should be rectified and HRA should be given on the Central Government pattern. Similarly, the medical allowance and other benefits to Class-IV employees should be raised.
come in way of students exams
MULLANPUR GARIBDAS (Ropar), February 24 Residents of this sleepy village are a harassed lot because of frequent power cuts in the area. The electricity supply remains disrupted for five to seven hours a day.
The villagers are at their wits end as repeated complaints to the authorities have failed to have any response. Assurances by elected representatives of the area too have proved hollow. Villagers have organised many protest dharnas but even that has failed to have any impact.
Students in particular have to face difficulties as it is examination time. The Sarpanch of the village, Mr Diwan Singh, says lack of power is one of the main problems of the area. As children are preparing for exams, the power cuts during early mornings and late evenings affect their studies. The power cuts also affect the trade activity of the area, he adds.
Mr Arvind Puri , convener of the Mullanpur Improvement Trust says the problem has been persisting for more than four months. The cuts are imposed without prior notice which causes inconvenience to the villagers, he adds.
The villagers says that complaints to the local electricity staff fall on deaf ears. Moreover, there should be uninterrupted power supply, as the area has been declared urban as per the rules of the PSEB.
Water scarcity is another problem in the village as there has been no water supply for several days. The reason for the irregular supply is the breakdown of the water pump. Since the pump malfunctions regularly, villagers have to get water from distant places, resulting in a lot of hardship.
Mr P K Garg, Executive
Engineer, Mohali, replied that a new circular had been
dispatched today to the officials at the feeder
concerned, as the area has been given an urban status. He
claimed that the area would have uninterrupted power
supply from today itself.
Rs 1 crore
to beautify SAS Nagar
SAS NAGAR, February 24 The local Municipal Council will spend Rs 1 crore on the development and beautification of the town in connection with the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa.
A committee of municipal councillors, comprising Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, Mr Amrik Singh, Ms Inderjit Kaur, Ms Manmohan Kaur, Ms Joginder Kaur, Ms Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi and Mr A.S. Bhatti, will implement the plan.
Addressing a Press conference here this evening, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, speaking on behalf of the committee, said a premix carpet would be laid on A and B roads and sodium lights installed. The level of curb channels would be raised and these would be painted in black and white. Cats-eyes would be provided at T-junctions and road crossings. Guide maps would be installed at entry points to the town.
The panel would get fixed 21 boards at various points on which shabads linked with Guru Gobind Singh would be painted. The areas around places of worship would be cleaned before March 31.
He further said the missing manhole covers at various points would be provided before March 31. Cleaning work in Madanpur and Mohali villages and Jhota Kutt Colony in Sector 71 would be given on contract.
A 10-member team had been formed to tackle the stray animal menace. Footpaths would be repaired and tree guards provided.
Four gates would be set up at entry points to the town near Raja Ram Corn Products, near the Phase II octroi post, the Sohana entry point and on the cricket stadium road.
shortlisted for Shimla Queen
PANCHKULA, February 24 Monica Verma and Jonita, two of the eight participants shortlisted from the region for the Shimla Queen beauty pageant to be held in Shimla next month, were declared Spice Girls at a preliminary round of the contest organised at North Park Resorts, here, today.
Monika, doing her post-graduation in physics, and Jonita, a student of business administration, have gained entry to the semi-final round of the finale which will see 15 participants competing for the title.
The show began with one-line introduction from the participants. The compere, Mr Pallab Bose, had to coax them into elaborating on their likes, dislikes and hobbies to provide the judges an insight into their personalities.
The second round saw the lucky eight groping for a witty answer to the question, What is the basic spice in your life?. While Monicas spice lay in spicing up the life of others around her, Jonita spiced up her life by helping others. Monica was dressed in a coat and a tapering skirt and Jonita was in her jeans with a brown velvet blouse.
The unanimous decision was arrived at by Sean Dexter, Managing Director of Spice Telecom, Mr HS Ghai of Shilon Resorts, choreographer Arpan Banerjee and Mr Bhupesh Kumar of Shilon Resorts.
One preliminary round was conducted in Delhi for the region on February 22 in which 15 girls were selected for the grand finale of the Shimla Queen contest scheduled for March 6 at Shilon Resorts in Shimla. Ten standbys were also chosen from amongst the participants.
Sub-contests for the selection of Miss Beautiful Eyes, Miss Beautiful Hair, Miss Photogenic, Miss Beautiful Smile and Miss Catwalk will be organised on March 5 and 6 at Shimla. Twenty five contestants will walk the ramp in the five-round contest which will wind up with a common question to the five participants who make it to the final round.
The Shimla Queen contest
is being held after 10 years. It was discontinued in 1989
due to political hassles. It was considered on a par with
the Miss India till about 1964. For the first time the
event has been handed over to a private organisation.
interest in maps
CHANDIGARH, February 24 The Survey of India, North Western Circle, Sector 32, started its three-day celebrations of the National Science Day today at its office premises.
It aims to create map awareness among school children and the general public with demonstrations of modern mapping techniques, digitisation and photogrammeteric surveys, scribing and printing. The highlight of the programme is an exhibition on a variety of maps, including satellite imagery, aerial photographs and other geographic and topographic maps.
A video film on various surveying techniques will also be shown to children.
The exhibition will be open till February 26.
According to Brigadier K.S. Khatri, Director, North Western Circle, the programme will culminate in an 10-km cycle race for students of Class IX and Class XI in which the contestants will have to study maps to reach the destination. Attractive prizes will be given to the participants.
without permanent SDM
KHARAR, February 24 The Punjab Government has failed to appoint any permanent officer as Subdivisional Magistrate of Kharar since January 1 this year, resulting in a lot of problems to the people.
Mr Avtar Chand Sharma,
former SDM of Kharar, was transferred as District
Transport Officer, Patiala and left on January 1. The
charge of Kharar was given to Mr M.P. Arora, the them SDM
of SAS Nagar. Mr Arora, meanwhile, was also transferred
from SAS Nagar and he left on January 18. The Government
them appointed Mr O.P. Popli as SDM of SAS Nagar and he
was given charge of Kharar also.
with award-winning writer
CHANDIGARH, February 24 A successful writer need not be a popular one. He should be willing to take challenges and tread untrodden paths, said Hindi author Nirmal Verma at an interaction during the ongoing book fair here today.
Nirmal Verma said writers were disadvantaged compared to painters and other performing artistes who received an instant feedback for their creations.Writers have rare opportunities to interact with their readers.
He said such interactions provided a platform for the writers to indulge in critical introspection which was important for their growth. It was not important that a reader knows the man behind the composition. Creations should be read as a separate entity from the man associated with it.
The renowned writer was born in 1929. He has four novels, eight collections of short stories, one drama and several translations to his credit.He was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985 and the coveted Ram Manohar Lohia award of UP in 1995.
Replying to a question, he conceded that several new writers did not find entry into the world of books easily.The publishers wanted to publish tried names. He compared the situation in the USA and UK where readers shortlisted books for the publishing houses.
Nirmal Verma said television and cinema could never take the place of books .In fact many writers who were writing frivolous poetry using baser expressions found way into cinema.This improved the overall quality of literature, he said.
Commenting on his
inimitable style, the author said he was never conscious
of style while writing a story. I merely chase the
misty form through the sentences.If one became too
conscious of the style, it would appear too gaudy.Writing
has to be spontaneous, he added.
against closing 32 ICDS
CHANDIGARH, February 24 Members of the Coordination Committee of Officers and Employees, Social Security and Women and Child Development Department, staged a rally to protest against the decision of the Punjab Government to close down 32 integrated child development schemes (ICDS) which would render more than 6, 500 women in the state jobless.
Hundreds of employees, including a large number of aaganwadi workers and supervisors, from various parts of the state reached the city and marched in procession towards the housing board roundabout. The placard-carrying members raised slogans against the government. Many of them later courted arrest.
Leaders of the committee said the cost of running the projects was only Rs 7 crore annually but the six services provided by the ICDS benefitted thousands of children and their mothers besides sustaining the livelihood of the employees. They said the retrenchment of workers would not be allowed.
They said the previous government keeping in mind the importance of the schemes, had raised the honorarium of the supervisors and workers. The agitators also demanded regular scales.
The protesters pointed out that on the one hand the government was providing 33 per cent reservation for women and on the other it was depriving more then 6,500 women source of their livelihood.
response to contests
CHANDIGARH, February 24 The Festival of Gardens which will begin on February 26, at the Sector 16 Rose Garden, is drawing a huge response for the various sets of competitions being held.
The flower competition, the highlight of the opening day, recorded almost 200 entries in the flowers and plants grown in pots category , open to amateurs, and about 250 entries in the institutions and private nurseries section. More are expected by the competition committee. The opening day would also feature band and folk dance competition.
The city will certainly miss the photography contest, which is not being organised this year. But the Chandigarh Administration has decided to revive the exhibition-cum-sale of rose plants from this year.
The results of the various competitions that were adjudged today were
Best Garden in the City Garden open to amateur competition Large Garden category Ms Deepa Rakesh Singh (1), Ms M D Ghosh (2); Small Garden category Mr A K Mathur (1), Wg Cdr Ahluwalia and Lt Col Jagmohan Singh Bindra (2);
Best Garden in the City open to government, semi-government bodies, institutions and private nurseries Large garden category Kendriya Sadan (1); Forensic Laboratory and Markfed (2); Small garden category A G Punjab (1); Chandigarh Housing Board (2).
Best Roundabout Chandigarh Housing Board (1); Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation -CITCO (2)
Best School Campus Maintained by Environment Society St Stephens (1); Durga Das Foundation (2)
Best Open Space maintained in the Market Sector 8 Traders Association
students call on SSP
CHANDIGARH, February 24 Students of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, today marched in procession to the Police Headquarters in Sector 9 to meet the SSP, Mr C.S.R. Reddy, and register their protest against the inability of the police to nab the youths who had beaten up two students of the GMCH.
A delegation of the students was allowed to meet the SSP in the morning. Mr Kamal Sharma and Mr Hemant Sharma were allegedly beaten up by students of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) a few days ago.
The main culprits, Vikas Gupta hailing from Hisar and Mr Rajan Jindal from Sangrur, have absconded. Police parties sent to their native places have returned without any success.
told not to hike fees
PANCHKULA, February 24 Private schools in the township have been asked by the administration not to hike fees during the forthcoming academic session. A decision in this regard has been conveyed to the representatives of different schools.
The issue came up for discussion at a meeting called by the Deputy Commissioner which was attended by the Administrator of HUDA, the District Education Officer and representatives of 22 private schools.
Sources in the administration said of the 35 private schools, which had been intimated about the meeting, representatives of only 22 schools attended the meeting. The schools had been asked to follow the existing fee structure. They had also been asked not to hike the capitation fee.
The fees to be charged by the schools during the coming academic session would be monitored by officials of the Education Department. The issue of charging of building funds by certain educational institutions in spite of having completed their buildings was also raised by officials of the department. Another aspect being explored by the administration to rationalise the fee structure was through the implementation of HUDA guidelines governing allotment of land to the institutions in the urban estate.
Sources said HUDA was issuing a letter in this regard to the schools concerned. As per the guidelines for allotment of land, which were amended in 1991, the institutions have to reserve 10 per cent of the seats for students belonging to the weaker sections of society. The fee charged from such students would be the same as charged by government schools.
Another 10 per cent seats have to be reserved for those students for whom the fee would be determined on the basis of merit.
With this in mind HUDA has asked the schools to furnish details about the total number of students, general fee, criterion for selecting students belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS), the fee charged from EWS students, the number of students under the merit-cum-means category and the fee charged from such students, and the names of representatives of HUDA, if any, on the selection committee of the schools.
A HUDA official said
failure on the part of the schools to provide the
information within the stipulated time would be treated
as violation of the allotment letter, and action would be
CHANDIGARH, February 24 While employees of the Punjab civil secretariat here today observed a strike for a few hours following the alleged beating up of some employees by PRTC staff in the PRTC depot here, various PRTC and Punjab Roadways employees union have decided not to send their buses to the civil secretariat to transport employees to their respective destinations.
The Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association said here today that this morning a bus, which transports employees from Zirakpur to the Secretariat, took civil secretariat employees to the PRTC workshop. Some of the employees were mercilessly beaten up in the workshop by PRTC staff led by the General Manager of the depot. The association has alleged that women employees were also shabbily treated and their clothes were torn.
As this report reached the Secretariat, employees there went on a lightning strike and started a dharna in front of the office of the Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Raghbir Singh. Employees who were injured were also presented before the Transport Minister.
Mr Raghbir Singh immediately issued orders directing the Secretary, Transport, to immediately suspend the General Manager of the Depot and the Driver and Conductor concerned and to send a report to him in this connection by special messenger. He also ordered that an enquiry should be held and the report submitted to him within five days. Following this employees in the secretariat lifted their dharna and joined their duties.
On the other hand, Punjab Roadways and PRTC employees unions have alleged that employees of the secretariat forcibly entered the workshop premises and abused the management of the depot. Some of them also manhandled the General Manager of the depot.
Union leaders said that the behaviour of secretariat employees towards the General Manager was very rude. Following this incident, union leaders decided not to send any government-owned bus of both roadways to the secretariat to transport employees to their destinations.
Union leaders said that if any action was taken by the government against PRTC General Manager, driver and conductor at the instance of the secretariat employees, the unions would be compelled to take direct action against the governments illegal decision. The unions have demanded strict action against secretariat employees who allegedly disrupted the smooth working of the PRTC. The PRTC and Punjab Roadways employees also held a rally which was addressed by Mr Narinder Kumar, Mr Ranjit Rana, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Mr Jarnail Singh, Mr Gulab Singh and Mr Dhanjit Singh.
On the other side, the dharna staged by the secretariat employees was addressed by Mr Jaswant Singh Randhawa, Mr Oma Kant Tewari, Mr Tejvir Singh, Mr Karnail Singh Saini and other leaders. Mr Randhawa and others have also submitted a complaint to the Chandigarh police for registering a case against the General Manager, driver and conductor of PRTC.
CHANDIGARH, February 24 At last the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has backtracked from the idea of levying parking fee in Sectors 17 and 8.
According to sources, the imposition of the parking fee now seemed a remote possibility with the MCC ready to refund the earnest money and initial deposit received from the contractors.
The sources said now the civic body was toying with the idea of getting sponsorship from business houses so that the public was not charged any amount.
The Mayor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, when contacted, confirmed that the money would be refunded to the contractors. The final decision, however, rested with the house of the civic body, he added.
Sanitation drive: The civic body today launched a special sanitation drive in Sector 29 here. Sweepers of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) wing of the corporation swept a road near the ESI Dispensary in the sector. Senior officers of the civic body made a round of the road to supervise the drive.
Meanwhile, Ms Kamlesh, councillor, who was invited with a view to involve in the drive, alleged that no formal campaign was launched and corporation officers visited the area only for a few minutes.
CHANDIGARH, February 24 The time has come when anthropology should address issues bothering the common man, said Prof D.K. Bhattacharya, Delhi University, in his keynote address on Indian Anthropology in the next century in a two-day seminar at Panjab University here today.
Professor Bhattacharya said the attempt to link biological investigation with human behaviour should be to vindicate the position of anthropologists. Anthropologists should no longer be satisfied with fundamental research. They would have to move into areas of applied research in a fast changing society.
Another sphere which had scarcely been touched by anthropologists was nutritional anthropology. This had become specially important in study of people living in urban areas. The total energy expenditure and food energy intake was getting hopelessly imbalanced. The effect of this imbalance could create a significantly impaired future for the nation when children were being targetted for this kind of changed lifestyle.
Prof Vinay Kumar Srivastava from Delhi University said applied research and policy statements today dominated anthropological writing. Today less was known about working and dynamics of society. There was more stress on thinking that the future survival of the subject was incumbent upon its immediate market value.
The survival of the subject was actually dependent on sharpening and expanding knowledge of human behaviour, thoughts, aspirations and goals and their material and non material systems, Professor Srivastava added.
Prof V. Gangadhar, SV University Tirupati, said research paradigms of anthropology had failed to adequately reorient and respond to radical changes in sectors of economy and environment. In this context, economic and ecological anthropology had a great significance on focussing on the whole range of resource utilisation systems.
Dr J.R. Gaur, Director of the State Forensic Science Laboratory, Shimla, in his paper brought out various areas in which the subject had helped in prevention and detection of crime.
Papers by Mr R.S. Balgir, Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneshwar, Dr Rajnit, NSNIS, Patiala, Ms Nita Mathur, Mr Alok Chantia, a fellow in Lucknow University, and Dr Manoj Kumar Singh, Delhi University, were also presented.
Prof M.M. Puri, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, in his inaugural address said like other disciplines anthropology was also convulsed with rapid developments which were bound to assume increasing significance in the next century.
Prof B.G. Banerjee, patron of the seminar, welcomed the guests. Prof R.N. Vashisht proposed the vote of thanks.
Strike: The agitation of the Panjab University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences entered its second day here on Wednesday. The students are demanding 80 per cent promotional seats for undergraduate in M. Pharmacy.
They are also demanding quick declaration of results as their results were often declared when admission to post graduate classes in other institutes had closed down.
Workshop: A one day workshop for student leaders was organised by the Department of Adult Education, Continuing Education and Extension here on Wednesday.
Dr Ajaib Singh, director, said students leaders had an important role to play in popularising population education related campaigns.
CHANDIGARH, February 24 A teenaged girl, angered over allegations levelled against her for having an affair with a man, set herself on fire this morning. Arzoo, aged about 17 years, had become the butt of ridicule in her locality, the labour colony in Sector 31, following allegations levelled by a middle-aged woman that she was having an affair with a man in the same locality.
The girl could not bear the insult and set herself on fire inside her jhuggi. She has been admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, and her condition is stated to be serious.
Cheated: A resident of Sector 20 has been cheated to the tune of Rs 7.64 lakh in the sale of a house. Mr Gurparshad Mittal of Sector 20 alleged that he had given the sum to Mr Patras Masih of Sector 43 when the latter had promised the sale of a flat. Mr Masih did not have the proper documents of the flat, according to police sources.
A case under sections 406, 420 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.
Harassment: A case of harassment over dowry has been registered against a United Kingdom based family. Ms Charanjit Kaur of S.A.S. Nagar has alleged that her husband had deserted her after marriage and decamped with the dowry articles and was seeking more.
The woman had lodged a complaint almost an year ago. The crime against women (CAW) wing of the Chandigarh police after completing investigations has booked Jaspal Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Satwant Kaur and Narinder Kumar under sections 406, 498A and 34 of the IPC.
Stolen: A man living as a tenant in a Sector 8 house has allegedly stolen some cash and gold ornaments from the residence of a woman living as a tenant in the same house. The woman, Mrs Surinder Kaur Atwal, has alleged that Bikramjit Singh had stolen the gold and cash. A case under sections 452, 448 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 3 police station.
Arrested: A resident of Uttar Pradesh, Vishawa Mittar Pandey, has been arrested by the police for allegedly stealing some 15 lids of manholes from the premises of Subhash Chand of Ram Darbar. Some lids have also been recovered at his instance.
Eve-teasing: Three persons have been arrested for indulging in eve teasing in the city. Bhupinder Singh and Rajesh Kumar of Sector 10 and Sunil Kumar of Mauli Jagran complex were nabbed by the Sector 11 police for allegedly passing lewd remarks at students coming out of the Government College for Girls (GCG) Sector 11.
In a unique case a local resident has been cheated in the
purchase of two buffaloes. Mr Gulshan Lal of Kumhar
colony, Sector 25, has reported that he had been cheated
by Haryana Ram of Patiala district. Gulshan Lal says he
had handed over the money but the buffaloes were never
sent. A case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC has
CHANDIGARH, February 24 The prices of most of the steel furniture items have witnessed a downward trend in the local market during the past one year.
A survey of the market reveals that the considerable fall in the price is owing to tough competition among the manufacturing units in the city.
According to sources in the market, a good quality bed made of steel pipes, priced at Rs 240 last year, is available at Rs 205 now. The price of an ordinary steel bed, too, has come down from Rs 165 to Rs 140 per piece. Similarly, the price of a folding steel and plywood bed has come down from Rs 375 to Rs 340.
An average quality chair has become cheaper as its price has come down from Rs 160 to Rs 140. A good quality executive chair which was priced at Rs 850 last year, is available at Rs 650 now.
There is, however, no fluctuation in the prices of some furniture items during this period. A good quality steel pipe chair is still available at the old price of Rs 275. A steel almirah made of a 26-gauge steel sheets is still priced at Rs 2,500. The price of an 18-gauge almirah is stable at Rs 3,200.
According to sources in the market, the prices have come down due to a stiff competition among manufacturers. We are forced to sell items at low prices. I am just earning Rs 10 per chair as others have started clearing their items at lower profits, said a manufacturer in the Industrial Area. He said another factor was the fall in the sales in Himachal Pradesh due to the entry of Delhi-based manufacturers in the hill state. Himachal was a major market for local manufacturers till recently.
The situation is
such that the production is exceeding the sales these
days largely due to an overall slump in the market,
said another manufacturer. Partly holding the competition
responsible for the present state of business, he said
the number of manufacturing units had gone up from 25 to
35 during the past one year.
CHANDIGARH, February 24The non-teaching employees of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, held a rally here today to condemn the attack on them and press for the immediate implementation of their demands.
The employees are demanding the change of designation of laboratory staff in accordance with orders from the DPI Colleges, Mr DS Mangat. Their other demands include uniform for class IV employees, deduction of provident fund and employment to family members of employees who have died in service on compassionate grounds.
KHARAR, February 24 The Kurali police has arrested one proclaimed offender, Amarjit Singh Makdona, who has alleged terrorist links.
According to information received from the office of the DSP, Kharar, today some cases under Sections 307, 148 and 149, Arms and Explosives Act, were registered against him in 1991. He probably ran away from this area and went abroad.
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