|C H A N D I G A R H
& V I C I N I T Y
Friday, March 5, 1999
of telecom staff retrenched
5 parking lots to be auctioned
old tantrik rapes woman
Policy to rehabilitate
raised during hearing
Command gets phone exchange
Majra sewerage inaugurated
on for 2 weeks, but no work done
dream of gene technologies
exams, say some. No, argue others
on NDPS Act tomorrow
for changes in Panchayati Act
key to beating tension
CBSE plus 2
exam is under way
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The tension of students finally ended as they came out of the examination halls here today.
The 9,778 students appearing for their plus two CBSE examination, which commenced with the English question paper, were a delighted lot after they found questions easier than what they had expected.
The class X examinations, beginning tomorrow, will be taken by 21,168 students of the city.
The examination is being conducted at 47 centres set up all over the city with an equal number of inspectors. These inspectors have been taken from amongst college principals, directors and assistant commissioners of Kendriya Vidyalayas.
Besides the inspectors, we have one superintendent for every centre. We have taken great care of employing invigilators from different schools and ensuring, at the same time, that their students are not taking the examination at that particular centre, Mr Y.P. Katyal, Joint Director, CBSE, said.
He added that elaborate security arrangements to carry out the examinations had been made. The regional office had sought the help of the local police. Mr Katyal said: We wrote to the Inspector-General of Police who in turn has given instructions to the officials concerned. These officials have been furnished copies of the date sheets of the two examinations to enable co-ordination among them.
The gunmen accompanying a student have been barred from standing in the examination hall or even the corridor of the building. In fact they have been advised to stay outside the building.
To evaluate the answer sheets of students, the board has evolved a feedback system. Four subjects experts are chosen from the respective field and are required to give their comments on the answer sheets under four sub-heads. They check the answer sheets for discrepancies of not confining to the prescribed syllabus, for defective formation of questions, for translation mistakes and to check if the paper is, in some way, beyond the comprehension of the student.
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The Railways will start a direct express train between Kalka and Mumbai from April 11. The train will run on four days of the week from both the destinations.
Sources in the Railways said that the train was being started as a summer special. However, if coaching, berthing and washing facilities were available in Chandigarh by July the train would be a regular feature. Already, a Rs 7 crore project had been sanctioned to build these facilities at the Chandigarh station.
The train was started on an experimental basis in October last year as bi-weekly and after seeing the response it was decided to operate the train on a regular basis. The lack of facilities at Chandigarh is the only stumbling block . The berthing and washing facilities at Kalka station are overstretched and there is no scope for further expansion.
The train will start its downward journey from Kalka at 6: 30 pm , depart from Chandigarh at 7: 35 pm and reach New Delhi at 11: 40 pm. It will reach Mumbai the next day at 10: 35 pm . Besides Chandigarh and New Delhi the train will halt at Ambala, Mathura, Gangapur, Sawai Madhopur, Ratlam, Baroda, Surat, Borivilli and Dadar. On its upwards journey the train shall start from Mumbai at 5: 25 am reach New Delhi the next day at 3: 32 am, arrive at Chandigarh at 9 am and Kalka at 9 : 50 am.
The timings are such that it will provide connections to Shimla from Kalka and vice versa. From Kalka the train (408-D) will run on Monday , Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday . From Mumbai the train (407-D) will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It will have one AC II tier coach besides a sleeper class and general bogies, according to the source.
Meanwhile the local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, in a statement issued tonight said that the Union Railway Ministry had decided to sanction a sum of Rs 7 crore to provide facilities at the Chandigarh railway station. Washing facilities were being provided at platform number 4. Besides this, a shelter was being provided at platform number 2 and 3.
lots to be auctioned
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today recommended the auction of five parking lots in the city.
At a meeting here today, the committee recommended that the parking lots of the the Lake Club, the Terrace Garden, the District Courts, the Shanti Kunj and the Dhillon Cinema should be put under the hammer.
The terms and conditions of the auction would be decided upon after receiving suggestions from councillors. Similarly, the date of the auction would be announced later, sources said.
It may be recalled that the civic body had auctioned the parking lots except the one outside the District Courts in 1997 for a period of 11 months. The contract had expired a few months ago.
Through another important decision, the committee cleared the purchase of three vibratory road rollers costing about Rs 18 lakh.
The meeting also decided the extension of the privatisation of the sanitation contract of the three villages incorporated in the civic body Burail, Badheri, Buterla and Attawa.
Installation of two tubewells in Mani Majra, the recarpeting of the road joining the Railway Station with Daria village and shifting of the sewerage line from the kabari market in the Industrial Area Phase II were other major decisions taken at the meeting.
The imposition of the sewerage cess on the existing connections, which was likely to be discussed at the meeting was, however, not taken up at the meeting. The committee, at its meeting on February 26, had recommended the imposition of charges on new sewerage connections.
tantrik rapes woman
CHANDIGARH, March 4 A 60-year-old tantrik allegedly raped a local woman for two days in her house by promising to cure her of her ailments. When the woman resisted, the tantrik allegedly blackmailed her by saying that he would damage the mental health of her entire family if she did not have consent.
The tantrik, Roshan Lal, hailing from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, has known the family for several years. The 46-year-old woman lives in Burail village with her two married sons and their wives. Her husband, an armyman is posted out, according to police sources.
The woman said she was alone when the tantrik had come to their house on March 2.
Under threat the woman agreed to have sex with him. She took her daughter into confidence, who told her husband about the episode.
As the tantrik lay asleep
in the house of the family, the sons of the woman took
her to the police station. A medical examination of the
woman was carried out and the tantrik nabbed. He has been
booked under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),
according to sources.
telecom staff retrenched
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Following directions from the Union Communication Ministry, hundreds of employees working on contract basis with the local telecom department have been asked to leave.
This will affect the delivery of bills and movement of office dak, including advice notes to install and shift telephones, according to sources in the department.
Employees of various categories were working in the department many as data entry operators in the revenue section that despatches the bills. Some persons had also been employed to take office dak from one section of the department to the other. Various sections are scattered all over the city , Panchkula and SAS Nagar.
Gap in the movement of dak should concern the public as advice notes are despatched through it. Similarly some people were employed as drivers. As per the orders of the ministry, services of all such employees had to be terminated by March 1. The department complied, but the actual effect was felt only yesterday.
The Principal General Manager of the Telecom Department, Mr Prithipal Singh, said it was too early to judge the exact impact this will have on the services.
On the other hand,
recruitments in the department have been banned since
1984. With computerisation of exchanges the volume of
staff required is not the same as before. However, now
the department may require data entry operators to issue
bills and listen to complaints of subscribers , a source
2.93 per litre
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The District Magistrate, Mr R.K. Rao, has revised the wholesale and retail prices of kerosene to be sold in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
contest policy to rehabilitate encroachers like
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The City Beautiful, the countrys first planned city, seems to be grappling with all-pervasive encroachments and ever-increasing migrant labour and the city population problems that this Le Corbusiers town was seemingly not geared up for.
With tempers of the ordinary citizen of Chandigarh rising up after the recent demolition exercise at Kajheri village, Tribune News Service spoke to a cross-section of people on the issue of illegal constructions and measures to control the same. Most people were of the opinion that the Administration needed to treat at par the constructions by the ordinary citizens and the jhuggis of the migrant labourers that get rehabilitated in matter of time.
The issue today is about maintaining the character of the city. Im pained at the growing number of slums. It is not that colonies need not be rehabilitated, but then there needs to be a limit to that. Now one can find jhuggis in a row at Dakshin Marg. Does that mean that they would be given permanent settlement at the Marg itself? said Mr J.S. Kohli, former Chief Engineer and Secretary, Engineering Department, UT, and former Chairman, Housing Board, Chandigarh.
Defending the urban policy scheme wherein every decision is taken with a view to developing the city, Mr Ashish Kundra, Subdivisional Magistrate (South), said: The whole exercise of demolition is carried out so that the urban development standards can be maintained. Any kind of haphazard construction would be a burden on the services like electricity, water supply, sewerage, etc.
Mr Satpal Gupta, Chairman, Chandigarh Panchayat Parishad and former member of the Chandigarh Advisory Board said: I favour the demolition drive of the Administration. And I also think that action should be taken against those colonisers who, in connivance with certain government officials, try to befool the innocent people.
Without being oblivious about the fact that encroachments do need to be tackled with, citizens of Chandigarh voiced their resentment against the pick and choose policy of the Administration. While some structures built by city residents are demolished, migrant labourers are provided with permanent settlement in rehabilitated colonies. This city is no longer ours. It seems that it is meant only for the bhaiyyas. Do you think that illegal constructions would be demolished in colonies where even the police fears violence. It is only educated people like us who cannot agitate that can be trampled upon, moaned Mr Vinod Arora, a businessman whose house at Kajheri was demolished yesterday.
I did receive a letter, not a notice, saying that this is agricultural land and residential houses cannot be constructed on it. And only day before when we met Mr S.P. Jain, the local MP, we were even assured sewerage connections. And the next day our houses were demolished. Had I belonged to the labour class then, maybe, this would have never happened to me, said Mr K. S. Bindra, a retired Air Force officer, whose house at Kajheri was also demolished.
Certain officials of the Administration do agree that there is a lot of encroachment going on in city in the name of gardens or barricades outside various private and government houses and even big hotels. But when illegal houses are being built on land that has to be acquired, then where else would the top priority lie? Also with the kind of manpower it is not possible to check whether in the rehabilitated colonies only the rehabilitated people are residing, or whether they have rented these out to set up more jhuggis elsewhere.
The Chandigarh Administration is violating human rights. Is the Administration taking any action on the unauthorised colonies that have come up in the Mansa Devi complex? There seems to be no welfare state in this city where town planners dont seem to have the middle class in their mind. It is with only vote banks in mind that such colourful exercises are carried out, said Mr S.K. Jain, President of the Gram Vikas Samiti, a social organisation.
The administrative policy is that only those illegal constructions that have been built after January 1, 1997, would be demolished. The Licensing of Tenants and Sites and Services in Chandigarh Schemes, 1979, allows the rehabilitation of labour colonies, added Mr Kundra.
What is the sanctity of this cut-off date? There was a cut-off date 16 years back in order to control the construction of buildings. But does that mean every year the cut-off date would be carried further, queried Mr Kohli.
I am not in favour of encroachments, but the government needs to have a clear-cut policy on the same. The Chandigarh Administrations housing policy is totally wrong. Why does the government allow such illegal structures to come up in the first place? What happens to those officers who allow the registration deeds for the same?, said Mr Dharampal Gupta, President of the local unit of the BJP.
Said a wailing Ms Ratni Devi, whose house at Kajheri village was also demolished yesterday. We built the house with our own hands. We had sold off all our jewellery to buy this piece of land and now we do not have anywhere to go. My young children dont even have a roof on their head.
A resident of this
village, Mrs Jasbir Sandhu, whose house was not
demolished in this operation, as it was built two years
ago, said: The whole operation has been disastrous.
It is a pitiable sight to see so many people dislocated
like this. And though a survey of sorts was carried out,
my sons house, constructed together with this
house, has also been razed to the ground because it
raised during hearing
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Mr Kirpal Singh, a prosecution witness in the Beant Singh assassination case, today broke down in the Burail Jail where the Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Bedi, held court when suspects in the case raised such slogans as Babbar Khalsa International zindabad, Khalistan zindabad and Bhai Dilawar Singh zindabad.
An employee of the Telephone Department, Mr Kirpal Singh was amidst his examination-in-chief when the slogans were raised. They threatened that they would liquidate any person who made a false statement before the court. Mr Kirpal Singh was offered a glass of water before he could feel fit to make the statement.
The CBI, which investigated the case, had claimed that Jagtar Singh Tara, a taxi driver and one of the suspects in the case, had made a confessional statement before Mr Kirpal Singh and Mr P.K. Sinha, another officer of the Telecommunication Department.
Mr Kirpal Singh told the court that he had received a telephonic message from the CBI office on September 18, 1995, for attesting the declaratory statement of Tara. He further revealed to the court that Mr Sinha too was summoned by the CBI. He said on that day, Tara was produced before them.
Mr Kirpal Singh further told the court that Tara had stated that he and Jagtar Singh Hawara had purchased a garhi from Delhi for Rs 30,000. He said Paramjit Singh, Tara, and Balwant Singh came to Patiala on August 24, 1995, and met Hawara. It was that day that they had hatched a conspiracy to kill Mr Beant Singh.
Mr Kirpal Singh said Tara had told him that on August 25, 1995, they left Patiala for Chandigarh. On the way, Hawara asked Tara to divert the vehicle towards Chhingra Kalan village. Hawara went to the village and brought two bags containing explosive. One girl who had accompanied him to the vehicle later went back with her cycle. Hawara had also revealed to Tara that some more explosive was stacked in the village.
Tara, who had cross-examined Mr Kirpal Singh, said that Mr Kirpal was a tutored witness. Similar was the statement of Balwant Singh.
During his cross-examination, Mr Kirpal Singh told the court that he had not sought leave from his office for the purpose of visiting the CBI office. Nor did he and Mr Sinha informed their seniors that they were summoned by the CBI.
classrooms to sit and learn
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Students sitting on jute mats during chilly winter months and scorching summers in ill-maintained classrooms is a common scene in government schools in the periphery of the city.
The is same the situation in government schools in several villages, including Bartana, Mullanpur Garibdas, Ramgarh Puddha, all of which have similar problems lack of appropriate infrastructure, particularly buildings, tops the list.
A teacher in Government Primary School, Mullanpur, said there were only two rooms for 200 children. The rooms were ill-maintained. As a result children of five sections were made to sit in the open. The noise in one class disturbed the teaching work of the other.
The government high and primary schools in Baltana share a common complex. The community centre is also located in the same compound. When marriages take place, the entire teaching work gets derailed.
For nearly 200 students the present strength of just five teachers is inadequate.
Apart from buildings, lack of study material in classrooms is another problem which the teachers in these schools are facing. There is a shortage of blackboards, chalk and furniture.
The schools also do not have any arrangement of drinking water and toilets. Almost all schools visited by a Tribune team were found to be lacking in this respect, so the situation in the school at Ramgarh Puddha came as no surprise. Students often have to rush to their homes to answer the calls of nature and also to drink water, a teacher says.
Most of the schools do not have playgrounds. Facilities in the science laboratories are virtually non-existent making the conduct of practicals almost a farce.
Primary school teachers
feel that the administration has turned a blind eye
towards their grievance. They say primary school teachers
are deputed for any government assignment in the local
areas. We are given the duties during elections, in
preparing voters identity cards and other such jobs. Such
duties affect the normal teaching work.
staff stage dharna
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Members of the All-India Telecom Employees Union Class-III (Namboodri) staged a dharna in front of the office of the Divisional Engineer (Telephones), in Sector 17 here today.
The agitators, who had taken mass leave to participate in the protest, demanded an early acceptance of their long-pending demands. Mr Balbir Singh, President of the union, said their demands included enhancement of honorarium, payment of OTA, besides new recruitment to remove the staff shortage.
The strike was later called off following the intervention of Mr B.D. Garg, DGM (North), who assured the protesters that their demands would be met soon. The protesters say that they will go on an indefinite strike if the authorities went back on their assurances.
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC), Mr S.P. Kansal, was suspended following an order by the Chandigarh Administration here tonight.
Sources said Mr Kansal had
forwarded a proposal to hike sales tax from 4.4 per cent
to 8.8 per cent in the city. This proposal was found to
be motivated, as a close relative of Mr Kansal has the
sole distributorship for several drugs in neighbouring
Panchkula and the excise duty in Panchkula is less than
start B.Sc. classes
SAS NAGAR, March 4 The State Government will look into the demand for starting B.Sc (medical and non-medical) and BBA classes in the local Government College.
Stating this here today at the 15th annual prize distribution function of the institution, Mr G.P.S. Sahi, Principal Secretary (Higher Education) and chief guest, said development was linked with finance and at present the situation in this sphere was under strain. In the state Budget there was a 5 per cent on all departments.
Mr Sahi said the UGC pay scales for teachers would be implemented from December 24, 1998, but the age factor would not be changed.
The Principal, Mr S.S. Gulati, read out the annual report. He said at present the college had 840 students and 58 teachers.
He said two students of the institution Suleiman Bhatt and Manmohan Kaur had been selected to direct plays by the Punjabi World TV channel.
The roll of honour of the college was presented to Aman Kumar, Inderpreet, Gagan Deep Kaur, Gurinder Pal Kaur, Harmeet Kaur and Manju Bali.
The best athlete prize went to Gurinder Pal Kaur (girls) and Sarabjit Singh (boys).
to get temple
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Sector 42, performed the bhoomi pujan for the construction of a temple in the sector, yesterday.
The ceremony was performed by a priest of the Sector 23 Sanatan Dharam Sabha Temple in the presence of a large number of devotees.
Among those present on the occasion were Ms Kamla Sharma, Chairperson of the Social Welfare Advisory Board of Chandigarh, Mr Krishan Gopal Goswami, President of the Punjab unit of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, and Mr Sat Pal, President of the Sector 23 Sanatan Dharam Mandir,
Command gets phone exchange
PANCHKULA, March 4 A civil telephone exchange was inaugurated at the Western Command Headquarters, Chandimandir, by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lt- Gen H.B.Kala, today.
The 265-line exchange set up for the residents of the cantonment area, would provide subscribers with facilities like Internet and e-mail.
General Kala, while
thanking the DoT authorities for extending the facility
to the cantonment area said he was hopeful that
subscribers would avail themselves of the facility to the
optimum. He hoped that similar exchanges would be set up
at other cantonments.
SAS NAGAR, March 4 The 15.61-lakh sewerage was inaugurated by Ms Daljit Kaur, MLA of Kharar, during a function organised by the Residential Welfare Association at Siahi Majra village, near here, today.
The work for laying of sewer lines is expected to be completed in four months, sources in the Punjab Sewerage Board said.
Ms Daljit Kaur also commissioned the water supply project aimed at providing drinking water for about 300 residents of the village.
Manauli phones go dead
SAS NAGAR, March 4 The telephone subscribers are a harassed lot because of a technical flaw in the lines at Manauli village.
The snag has affected the telephones of the 518 and 519 series. The Panchayat of Manauli has complained to the authorities concerned but nothing has been done so far.
employees stage rally
CHANDIGARH, March 4 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.
Employees, including a large number of women, working in the State Government departments located in Sector 22 and Sector 34 here took part in the rally. The agitators raised slogans against the government and condemned the anti- employee stance of the Chief Minister.
Mr Prem Singh Sangwan and Mr N K Sharma, President and General Secretary of the committee, respectively, said there was great disparity between the employees of various directorates vis a vis the secretariat staff in terms of pay and allowances. The directorate staff should be given the special pay the other employees get and the ACP scheme should be improved besides declaring a five-day week for the staff working in the printing press.
They said the pay
anomalies that arose after the recommendations of the
Fifth Pay Commission should be rectified and the HRA
should be given on the Central government pattern.
Similarly, the medical allowance and other benefits to
class four employees should be raised.
Work on for
2 weeks, but no work done
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Traffic jams on the dusty roads of Daria village are a regular feature owing to non-carpeting of the roads. This is despite several reminders to the authorities by the local residents.Owing to its location near the railway stock yard, the village attracts heavy traffic, including trucks and other carrier vehicles.
Mr Sushil Kumar, a local resident, said maintenance of roads did not figure anywhere on the list of development activities of the local bodies. The roads have not been carpeted for the past five years. Only patch work is done. Villagers said the road had been blocked for the past two weeks, but no significant work had been carried out.
dream of gene technologies
S.A.S NAGAR, March 4 The ultimate dream of the gene technologies is to fulfil a dream of immunising infants against an array of diseases prevalent in different parts of the world by developing a single dose oral vaccine, says Prof. V Ramalingaswami, National Research fellow at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
Prof Ramalingaswami, was delivering the keynote address after inaugurating a two-day Indo-US Symposium on Recombinant DNA Technology and its Applications in Drug Discovery, organised by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research here today. He said it was an exciting time for gene science, including the recombinant DNA technology, as scientists faced a stupendous task of finding new approaches to the control of diseases caused by microbes like H- influenzae, H-pylori, M-tuberculosis, V cholera and P. Falciparum and deadly diseases like AIDS.
He said the current trends in genetic approaches to prevention and control of these diseases were strongly linked to the human genome project.
He also elaborated how recombinant DNA technology would help produce DNA and plant-derived vaccines against pathogenic microbes.
Dr C.L. Kaul, Director of the Institute, said that recombinant protein drugs had not only made significant medical advances but had also bridged therapeutic gaps and had demonstrated considerable economic growth.
heaps in front of schools
CHANDIGARH, March 4 The sanctity of two government nursery schools at Sector 22 here is marred by heaps of garbage that lie outside the boundary walls of the schools.
Scattered in all directions, the garbage gives foul smell, while the Municipal Corporation prefers to turn a blind eye to its existence.
At Sector 22-B school, a boundary wall was built recently to keep the garbage out of the premises. It has become convenient for residents of the sector to dump rotten vegetables, plastics and debris near the gate of the school in the absence of a watchman, alleges Ilm Singh, the peon.
The in charge, Ms Prem Kumari, says, Residents of the sector refuse to be educated in spite of repeated requests by the Principal and the members of the Parent-Teacher Association.
One of the teachers informs that sometimes, after the school gets over, children, while waiting for their parents, tend to wander in the direction of the garbage. The kids, perhaps, seek something that may catch their fancy. It just goes to reflect that the residents who send their children to the school care little about their childrens health. Therefore, they are in a position to blame those who come and hurl bags full of garbage at the school wall.
Residents around the school are vociferous about denying the allegations made by the school authorities. One resident says, We have our maids working for us and we have given them instructions to throw the garbage in the dustbin, though we find it hard to oversee whether they carry out the instructions. All residents, though, categorically deny this passing on the blame to neighbours.
The scene in Sector 22-D, situated in one corner of a residential complex, is a shade better. Waste from houses is thrown slightly away from the gate, though it has a larger spread and continues to be an eyesore for students and teachers.
Not only are residents to blame for the deplorable condition of the space in front of the school but all those who come stealthily to leave packets full of kitchen waste. Moreover, vendors find it a convenient dumping ground with nobody to stop them.
One of the Principals, Dr
Gulzar Singh, is frustrated that all his efforts have
come to a naught. He says, I have gone to the
residents time and again, accompanied by the members of
the PTA, and told them about the harm it was causing the
children, besides polluting the area. House-to-house
visits have been undertaken to give the residents a
discourse on cleanliness but our efforts have paid no
Postpone exams, say some. No, argue
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Students of undergraduate classes in Panjab University are largely divided over the issue of demand for postponement of university examinations. Arguments and counter arguments came up during an interaction of The Tribune with a cross-section of students of different colleges of the city here today.
Those supporting the demand for the postponement argue that the syllabi had been barely completed and they did not have enough time for preparation of the examinations. They argued that the teachers strike had resulted in a loss of their classes. Most of the teachers had failed to honour their commitment of holding classes on holidays, including Sundays, to make up for the academic loss.
Those against the postponement argued that after a long time the examinations were likely to be held on time.This brightened the chances of declaration of results on time.The system encourages selective preparation, which can be done individually. Timely declaration of results was very important for students in the final year, for higher admissions outside.
Hardeep Singh, a student of Bachelor of Commerce at GGDSD College, said examinations should be postponed as they did not get sufficient time for preparation. He said teachers had completed the syllabi, but there were few extra classes, as promised by teachers to compensate for the loss during their strike.
Pankhuri Garg, a final-year student in Government College for Girls, disagreed and contended that timely holding of examinations would mean timely declaration of results. There was no need for extra time for preparation. One has to bother about admissions in universities outside Punjab, she added.
Harminder Singh, a BA III student of Government College for Men, Sector 11, said teachers did not take extra classes to make up for the time lost during their agitation and the syllabi had been completed but not seriously. Examinations should be postponed so that students get adequate time for preparation, he added.
Vinod Mandhotra, also from GCM, said students had lost nearly two months, first due to teachers strike and later due to strike by students. He favoured postponement conceded that no matter how long the examinations are postponed, most of the students will prepare at the last moment.
Shivani Solanki, from GCG, said there was less time for preparation but there was no point in postponement of examinations. The university students who wished to seek admission in universities outside the city often had to face difficulty due to late declaration of results. This even derailed the academic session for other classes of PU, she added.
Nitin Jain and Vishal Aggarwal, both from DAV College, said examinations should not be postponed at any cost.
Nitin Jain said it was the best time of the year for preparation, as it was neither hot nor cold. The World Cup was another reason for the examinations to be completed in time, he added.
Rimple Sharma and Vikam Bisht, both from GCM, also supported the postponement of examinations, as they believed that the time for preparation was less.
University authorities, on their part, defended the plan to start the examinations from April 1. Postponing for one week will not be possible as the Khalsa celebrations are from April 8 to April 14. Loss of 14 days will have a bearing on declaration of results. The week of celebrations can be utilised for evaluation of copies.
The threat of teachers
boycotting examinations also looms large in wake of
non-implementation of UGC scales by the state government.
Most of the student organisations have, however, demanded
the postponement of examinations.
on NDPS Act tomorrow
CHANDIGARH, March 4 It will be unusual gathering of top investigators, prosecutors and adjudicators from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh here on March 6 and 7. They will share their concern over the high rate of acquittal in the cases registered under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
They will deliberate on the ways and means to initiate a process of solution to this problem and uphold justice. The Chief Justice of India, Mr Justice (Dr) A.S. Anand, will deliver the inaugural address.
This workshop-cum-training programme is being organised by the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Bar Association of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
While the provisions of the NDPS Act invite severe punishment for its violation, it also restricts the scope for grant of bail. The high rate of acquittal in these cases had been a matter of anxiety as the offences under the Act constitute a major social evil.
The major twin adverse consequences of the high rate of acquittal are:
1. Imperfect and under-utilisation of time, money and energy that is spent by the state on the investigation and management of the accused; and
2. Unproductive use of the time of the court because of serious infirmities in investigation.
Another point requiring attention is whether it is fair to follow the rule of no bail to the accused for considerable periods of time in the face of such a rate of acquittal.
At the Tagore Theatre on March 6, Mr Chief Justice, the Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd) and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar will speak at the inaugural session.
The topics for discussion during the two-day meet are:
a. Does mandatory prescription of minimum sentence, irrespective of the quantum of contraband, call for jurisprudential or legislative replenishment?
b. Pervasive impact of judicial pronouncements on investigation, enquiry and prosecution of the offences under the Act.
c. A fresh look at the administration of justice relating to the offences under the Act.
d. Eminent causes of high rate of acquittal of the offenders under the Act and in view thereof, fairness of applicability of the rule no bail.
e. Role of law and investigation agencies: kingpins and carriers of contraband and its relation to socio-economic problems of society; and
changes in Panchayati Act
CHANDIGARH, March 4 For the first time since the formation of Chandigarh in 1966, the Administration has initiated the process for making certain changes in the Panchayati Raj Act to facilitate the constitution of the Panchayat Samiti and the Zila Parishad from among elected representatives. A reply in this context is awaited from the Home Ministry.
While the panchayats that existed prior to 1966 were allowed to continue till 1973 when the first panchayat elections were held in the new set- up, the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti were constituted on September 1, 1969, under the charge of the then Deputy Commissioner and the District Agriculture Officer, respectively.
Sources in the administration said while no attempts were made to remove the anomaly over the years, the practice of appointing officers in place of elected representatives continued. The present action was necessitated as certain provisions were modified which make it mandatory that all such bodies should be headed by elected representatives only.
Panchayat elections were held regularly, but for a 10 year period between 1983 and 1993, when elections were postponed in view of the deteriorating law and order condition in Punjab. The new panchayats were constituted in January this year.
The sources said no one really put himself on the job for getting the needful done as it was felt that the area and the number of panchayats was too small to have a full fledged Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti. As per the Act, the former shall consist of 10 directly elected members . The latter will consist of 15 members, comprising nine sarpanches and six directly elected members from the villages. The problem to overcome was reducing the number of gram panchayat members needed to second the names of the sarpanches to be elevated to the samiti.
As such, for the election of nine members to the upper body, as many as 18 seconders (sarpanches) had to be there, while the city has only 17 panchayats. One member of the samiti functions as the chairman of the Parishad and the local Member of Parliament is also a member with a right to vote on various matters.
The proposal to reduce the number of Zila Parishad members from 10, reducing the number of seconders, besides certain other changes to streamline the future functioning of both the bodies has been sent to the Home Ministry and a reply is awaited.
At present the authorities face a piquant situation as the fate of 10 elected members of the parishad, who have not been administered the oath of office, hangs in balance.
On the other hand the elected members of the parishad say that they have to be administered the oath of office as per the Act, which says that their term of office starts from the day they take the oath of office. The delay has taken its toll as most of the people have forgotten us. We are suffering for no fault of ours, they added.
A cross section of sarpanches were of the view that the Zila Parishad was an additional burden and would cut into the resources of the villages. In view of the limited number of villages all the funds could be placed at the disposal of the Panchayat Samiti which could disburse them and act as a supervisory body on the lines of the Parishad and that too at no added burden on infrastructure.
In fact, over the years they have been advocating for a two tier system of governance with the gram panchayat and the parishad only. It had also found favour with the authorities but the provisions of the Act became a stumbling block.
According to sources, the parishad disbursed a sum of Rs 8 lakh for various developmental activities while the samiti spent a sum of Rs 55 lakh for health and sanitation works.
The Zila Parishad has a wide range of functions to perform which include promotions of measures to increase agricultural productions, education , rural housing, horticulture, rural roads, promotion of household industries, health and hygiene, besides social reform activities like campaign against superstition, casteism, untouchability, high expenses on marriages and social functions, encouragement of rural sports and giving new form and social content to traditional festivals.
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union Minister of State for Industries, today inaugurated go karts, a formula 3 racing track, on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Zirakpur.
Mr Badal said the track was a good learning place for those who wanted to graduate as professional car rally drivers. Moreover, in place of roads, the youth will get an alternative to give vent to their desire to drive at high speed at the place.
CHANDIGARH, March 4 While kinnows have started disappearing from the market, the off season mango continues to be out of reach of the common man.
A survey revealed that mango is available in most city markets, but only a few come forward to buy the fruit due to its high price. A kg of totapari mango, which comes from Chennai and surrounding areas is available Rs 50 and Rs 60. The safeda costs Rs 60 and the perri between Rs 80 and Rs 85.
The traders explain, "The fact that the fruit comes from Chennai and Maharashtra adds to the transportation charge. The price is expected to come down in the first week of April when arrivals from of Uttar Pradesh start.
On the other hand, the kinnow has started fading out as its season is almost over. Accordingly, its price has also witnessed a hike during the past one week. A dozen of the fruit, which was priced at Rs 30 last week is available for Rs 40.
The price of apple has also started going up as its arrivals have also come down during the past one week. A kg of the fruit, which was priced between Rs 30 and Rs 35 last week, is available today for Rs 40.
On the vegetable front, capsicum witnessed a steep hike in its price during the past 24 hours. A kg of the vegetable, priced between Rs 30 and Rs 32 yesterday, was available today for Rs 40 in the Sector 20 market.
According to traders, the hike was due to less arrival of the vegetable in the market from Howrah on account of holi. " The price of the off-season vegetables, particularly those coming from the Calcutta and Howrah areas largely depend upon their arrival on daily basis," said a trader.
The retail prices of other
vegetables are as following: lemon Rs 35 a kg, cabbage Rs
4, cauliflower Rs 4, gourd Rs 4, peas Rs 10, beans Rs 20,
brinjal Rs 8, radish Rs 3, carrot Rs 6, capsicum Rs 40,
lady finger Rs 45, ginger Rs 30, garlic Rs 30, cucumber
Rs 24, sugarbeet Rs 2, potato Rs 2, onion Rs 8, and
tomato Rs 8.
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Dr P.P. Arya and Dr Satya P Gautam, President and Secretary of the All India Federation of University Teachers Associations, respectively, today began 48-hunger strike demanding quick implementation of the UGC scales at Panjab University.
Dr Gautam said the fast was primarily a caution to the public at large about the likely closure of the doors of higher education in view of steep hikes which the government was going to force in the form of fees.
Dr Arya said loss to students in case teachers abandoned examination duties would be the responsibility of the government. Teachers had taken the decision for the agitation with a heavy heart as the promise made by the HRD Minister more than six months ago still remains to be honoured, Dr Arya added.
Dharna: Students of the Panjab University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences resumed their hunger strike today demanding at least 80 per cent promotional seats in post-graduate courses for the university graduates.
Students are also demanding early declaration of results as they faced hardships while applying for courses in universities outside the city.
Postponed: The interview for selection to the posts of cleaners on contract basis in Panjab University fixed for March 5 has been postponed. The subsequent date for interviews has not been announced, according to an official press note here on Thursday.
Environmental studies: There will be no written examination in paper of environment studies at the undergraduate level in the forthcoming annual examination of Panjab University.
A decision in this regard was taken in a meeting of the Vice Chancellor with the Dean, University Instructions, the Registrar, secretary to VC and the controller of examination.
Students of final year classes appearing in April, 1999, would be considered to have qualified in the subject of environmental education on the basis of having attended seven compulsory lectures .
Those who have already attended seven lectures should produce relevant certificate or document before the commencement of the examination.
Students of second year degree classes will have to take examination in the subject in April, 2000, by when the procedure of consideration of syllabi would have been given by the appropriate academic bodies of the university.
Students of first year may take the examination either in April 2000 or April 2001.The detailed marks certificate of those having qualified in environmental education will find mention of the fact on the document.
Blood donation camp: The Panjab University Non-teaching Employees Federation will organise a blood donation camp on Friday from 9.30 a.m. onwards , a press release said here today.
Last year 275 volunteers had donated blood at the annual feature of the employees federation.
Society revived: The Film Society has been revived in Panjab University after a gap of several years. This decision was taken following a meeting of Jatinder Chadha, convenor of the society and other students with the Dean, Student Welfare and Dean, University Instructions, here on Thursday.
CHANDIGARH, March 4 A five month old girl child was crushed to death in Sector 42 this afternoon. The girl, Sangeeta, a daughter of a construction worker, was sleeping on ground as her parents were working on a nearby construction site.
A tractor deployed for the construction work on the site crushed her to death.
Burnt: Three persons, including two women, have received burn injuries in separate incidents in the city and its surrounding areas.
The clothes of Mr Tara Chand of Maloya village caught fire in his house yesterday. He was admitted to the PGI. Meanwhile, Mrs Vimla of Khudda Jassu received burn injuries following a stove burst at home and Mrs Kulbir Kaur of Mallanpur also received burn injuries in a fire at her home.
In a separate incident, Ms Ruby of Sector 10 consumed some poisonous substance in her home.
Accidents: Three persons, including a woman, have been injured in separate road accidents in the city within the past 24 hours. Laxmi Devi of Sector 48 was injured when an unknown Gypsy hit the rickshaw in which she was travelling. The driver sped off. A pedestrian, Swaran Singh, was injured when a scooter hit him near Khuda Lahora village last night.
An unidentified person was found unconscious near the petrol pump in Kajheri village. According to the police, a vehicle might have hit him.
Meanwhile the person who was found unconscious in Sector 39 two days ago, has been identified as Jarnail Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib.
Cheated: A resident of Sector 23 has been cheated of Rs 2 lakh in the purchase of a house. Mr Dev Raj Garg, has alleged that he gave the amount to Maan Singh, who had promised to sell a plot to him. Maan Singh , a resident of Pinjore, has been booked under Sections 420 and 120B of the IPC.
Dowry: A Sector 44-based woman, Ms Shaily Kukreja, has alleged that her husband and in-laws, based in Uttar Pradesh , were harassing her over dowry. Besides the womans husband, Ajay Kukreja, the family members who were booked were M.L. Kukreja, Santosh Kukreja and Vijay Kukreja. A case under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC has been registered against the accused.
Eve-teasing: A resident of Sector 19, Mr Satish Banga, has been arrested for allegedly indulging in eve-teasing.
Stolen: A car stereo installed in the car ( HR12C0066) owned by Mr U.K. Bhanot , has been stolen from Sector 17.
Arrested: Two youths were arrested tonight for allegedly entering a Sector 28 house. The arrested were identified as Jeewan Jyoti of Rajpura and Aman of Panchkula.
Liquor seized: One person was yesterday arrested for allegedly peddling liquor here. A total of 5500 pouches of country liquor have been seized from the peddler, Bhushan Kumar.
He was allegedly
transporting the liquor in a Tata Sierra when he was
intercepted by the police. His accomplice, Bawa alias
Pinda, however, managed to escape. Bhushan
told police that he was working for Modi, a resident of
Sector 7 and Angraz, a resident of Mani Majra. The liquor
after being purchased from Chandigarh was sold in
Yamunanagar. A case under the Excise Act has been
key to beating tension
CHANDIGARH, March 4 Medical experts today revealed 18 principles for tension-free life, with the key being meditation. It was demonstrated at the four-day Holistic Health Exhibition, inaugurated by Mr Om Parkash Mahajan, Health Minister of Haryana, at the Brahma Kumaris Rajyoga Bhavan here.
The principles include positive thinking, meditation, simple diet and shedding addictions like drugs, alcohol and smoking. Physical and mental disharmony was cited as the cause of problems in the family, an individual and society.
It was advocated that one should forget misdeeds, stop worrying about future and concentrate on the present. Do not compare yourself with others as it develops jealousy in you, says one of the preachings.
Further, a person must learn to take criticism in his stride and help fellowbeings. If you cannot change a particular circumstance, do not keep thinking about it. Everyone in this world is an actor playing ones role. Be happy and share happiness, says a medication edict.
Experts were of the view that positive thinking and the principles led to longevity, cheerfulness and a change in human behaviour.
This disharmony leads to diseases of the circulatory system, the digestive system, hormonal imbalance and the respiratory system.
Parents have an important role in making their ward healthy physically and mentally. More such camps will be held from March 6 to 8 for the public.
Dr Manmohan Kaur, Director
of Health Services of Punjab, Dr K. Gill, Deputy Director
(HE) of Haryana and members of medical wing of the
Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation attended the
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