119 years of Trust N E W S

Saturday, May 1, 1999
Chandigarh Tribune
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STD calls to be cheaper
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — STD calls to a large number of cities in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh, falling within a radius of 200 km from the city, will be cheaper while calling within Chandigarh and to places like SAS Nagar and Panchkula is going to be costly from tomorrow as the new telecom tariff of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) comes into force.

Besides, this there will be two slabs of bi-monthly rentals that will be linked with the numbers of calls a subscriber makes. For subscribers in Chandigarh there will be one slab of Rs 360 for those who make up to 400 calls. Another slab of Rs 500 will be for those who make more than 400 calls. In SAS Nagar and Panchkula these slabs will be of Rs 275 and Rs 360, respectively.

The department will face one problem in collecting rentals. At present rentals are collected in advance. In this case if a person makes more than 400 calls bill collection will be a problem. A proposal to charge rental for the same period during which calls are charged has been sent, according to sources.

New charging slabs will be also be enforced for calls made within the city. These charging slabs for urban areas will be like 150 free calls, upto 400 calls, including the free calls, 80 paise per call, from 401 calls to 1000 calls Re 1 per call, and above 1000 calls Rs 1.20 per call.

In rural areas a total of 250 free calls will be allowed. Up to 450 calls, including the free calls, 60 paise will be charged per call. From 450 calls to 500 calls the charge will be 80 paise per call. From 500 calls to 1000 calls the charge will be Re 1 per call. Above 1000 calls Re 1.20 per call will be charged.

Interestingly, the reduction in STD call charges comes as certain calling slabs have been incorporated into one calling slab. Upto 50 km the calling charges will be 180 seconds per call. Thus calling rates to Ambala, Ropar, Sirhind, Nariangarh, Kasauli, Nahan and Parwanoo will be cheaper. However to dial subscribers in these cities one will have to use STD. Earlier three slabs of 180 seconds, 90 seconds and 36 seconds were inforce as distance up to 50 km was divided into three slabs.

A similar clubbing of charging slabs of distances between 51 km and 200 km will result in calling charges of 14 seconds per call. Earlier two slabs of 12 and 8 seconds were in force. Thus calls made to cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Karnal, Dehradun, Chamba, Shimla, Jind, Narwana, among other cities will become cheaper. Back


Jessica murder linked to city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The Tata Safari that was allegedly used to murder Jessica Lal, a model in Delhi last night, has been traced to a sugar mill based based in Assandh near Karnal.

The company is reportedly owned by a Chandigarh-based senior Congress leader and his family members. The Delhi police had called the Chandigarh police this morning and requested them to find out the ownership of a black coloured Tata Safari, according to sources. The local police has passed on the required information and passed it on to the Delhi police.

Senior officers , while confirming investigations about the vehicle, refused to divulge further details, saying that it could hamper further breakthroughs in the case.

According to newspaper reports, The Tata Safari was used by two invitees to a party in a South Delhi hotel last night hosted by socialite Bina Ramani. Jessica, a model and TV actress, was also present.

Around 2 a.m., the two youths, in drunken rage , allegedly shot in the air and one of the bullets hit Jessica Lal, according to reports.

The car is yet to be traced and no arrests have been made from Chandigarh.Back


Major dies in J&K mishap
Tribune News Service

S A S NAGAR, April 30 — A young Major of the town lost his life when the vehicle in which he was travelling collided with a truck on the road between Rajouri and Sujankote last morning.

Born on September 11, 1967, Major J. D. S. Dhaliwal was commissioned in the Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1988. He was commanding a forward field workshop attached to an infantry unit involved in counter-insurgency operations in the Rajouri sector.

He had been selected to attend a course at the prestigious Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and was scheduled to attend it in the first week of June. He was busy preparing for the course and had even packed his things. His two-year tenure in Jammu and Kashmir had drawn to an end.

According to officers accompanying the body, the Major was on his way to the Kalakote area from Jammu when a Poonch-bound truck hit the vehicle at Potha, about 164 km from Rajouri, on the Jammu-Poonch highway. The vehicle was knocked down a 200 ft gorge killing the Major and Capt K. S. Sheeresh and injuring two other personnel travelling with them.The Captain belongs to Secunderabad.

While both officers succumbed to their injuries, the jawans have been admitted to a hospital with serious injuries.

Colonel Gill, one of the relatives of the deceased, said the family was informed around 11 a.m. about the incident and they were plunged in grief. The Major was the only son of Col Hardev Singh, who also belonged to the same corps.

Describing him as a sports lover, the Colonel said he was a national-level sky diver and had taken part in various hot balloon competitions and car rallies and was a highly dedicated and adventurous soldier.

The mother of the Majorand his wife Ramandeep Kaur (26) were weeping inconsolably as Mehak, her two-year old daughter sat in her lap, oblivious of the incident. The couple were married in October 1996.

Relatives had started pouring in from various parts as they heard the news.

The body, which came by road, was accompanied by senior officers of his unit and reached the city around 8 p.m. It was taken to the Command Hospital and will be brought to House Number 41, Phase VII, S A S Nagar, in the morning. The body will be cremated at the Sector 25 crematorium at 11. 15 a.m. Back


Cow kills man
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — In a rare incident of its kind a cow killed an old man in Sector 8 this morning. The old man, Balwant Singh, living in sector 8 was hit in his stomach when a cow that went beserk barged into him. The man aged about 70 years was rushed to the PGI, where he was declared dead upon arrival.

The incident occurred this morning when Mr Balwant Singh was out on a walk. As the cow barged around with its head downwards, the old man could not take timely action to save himself. Later, the cow was caught. The cow was taken to the Manimajra veterinary hospital.

Around three days ago a monkey had created havoc in the same sector.Back


Godown catches fire
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, April 30 — A fire broke out in a godown of tent and other decoration items, here this morning.

According to Mr Subhash Sethi, whose commercial belongings were burnt, the fire broke out in the wee hours of morning on Friday. Mr Sethi said that chairs, wooden tables and other decoration articles were burnt in the fire. It was first noticed by the labourers who live around the godown, at about 6 a.m. No exact estimation of the loss had been made.

Four fire tenders from Dera Bassi, Chandigarh, Rajpura and S.A.S. Nagar were pressed into service. The fire tenders took about two hours to control the fire. A member of the fire fighting staff said that it took more than half an hour to locate the godown. In such places where the lanes are narrow it becomes extremely difficult to carry on fire fighting exercise.

Zirakpur has about 1000 godowns of various business establishments in Chandigarh. A number of godowns have also been hired by different multinational concerns. The area has witnessed haphazard growth of godowns in the past few years.

Meanwhile, the residents of the area alleged that the indifferent attitude of the authorities towards the unregulated construction activities in and around Zirakpur had posed a serious threat as these constructions had been built in violation of safety rules.Back


Regular students get re-appear paper
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — Students of Panjab University taking their fourth semester examination of sociology (industrial sociology) here today got a paper meant for re-appear students. The paper was set according to the old syllabus and was meant for students taking their re-appear examination this year.

The students of the second semester who had opted for the same paper were given a question paper according to the prescribed syllabi for the session which is the same as that of the fourth semester. The availability of two sets of papers added to the confusion.

Students pointed out that when the discrepancy in the question paper was pointed out to the invigilator, he immediately sent for teachers of the department. Responding to the queries both teachers who came to the room advised the students to attempt their paper instead of wasting time though the students were given the choice of attempting the paper they wanted to. “The paper meant for the re-appear students was comparatively easy and so all of us attempted the paper that was initially given to us,’’ one student said.

Another confused student said when the syllabi for the two classes is the same, the paper being optional for students of the fourth semester and compulsory for the second, the classes of the two semesters were held together throughout the session, then the question of two different sets of papers did not arise. Moreover, besides mentioning that the paper was meant for candidates taking the re-appear examination, it was mentioned on the paper that it was set according to the old syllabus of the option.

The Chairperson of the department, Dr Raj Mohini Sharma, said nothing pertaining to examinations was brought to her notice. The students had not come to her and that she could verify the facts about the discrepancy of the paper only on Monday. Back


Radiographer’s post lying vacant
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, April 30 — Patients at the local Civil Hospital are a harassed lot due to the non-availability of any radiographer, in the hospital.

According to sources, the hospital has one post of radiographer only which has been lying vacant for the past about six months.

Patients have to go to private clinics in the subdivision for X-ray. Some even go to various hospitals in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Rajpura, Patiala and Ambala for the purpose. It costs them a great deal to get X-Ray done from private clinics.

Residents said as the local Civil Hospital is situated on a national highway and due to a number of accidents on the road, the hospital is the first choice in such situations.

Residents demanded immediate appointment of a radiographer in the hospital so that patients could avail of the facility.

Mrs Satwant Bhalla, SMO, Dera Bassi, said a request had been made to the Director, Health Services, to fill the post. The post would be filled in the next session of transfers by the Health Department, she added. Back


Women panels 'toothless'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has demanded that the states should establish state women commissions as autonomous bodies and that all public and private sector industries should set up complaint cells to check sexual harassment of women at work. These were some of the issues raised by Mrs Amarjit Kaur, General Secretary, NFIW, at a press conference here today.

The NFIW, whose President is the veteran actress Dina Pathak, today discussed certain oft-heard social and political concerns that affect the women in the country and even abroad.

On the subject of the state and central women commissions, Mrs Amarjit said that these bodies were almost "toothless" since Parliament never took cognisance of their recommendations and also because it had no right to prosecute. Stressing on the need to making these commissions as "movements", she said that the NFIW had recognised the Kerala model as the best and would now set up the same in the rest of the states as well.

The next agenda taken up by the NFIW today was the issue of sexual harassment of women at work. Mrs Amarjit said that it was disappointing that even though the Supreme Court had passed the judgement that complaint cells would be instituted at all work places, hardly any existed in the country. Voicing her concern over informal sectors like the contract labour and the home-based sectors which she said constituted 92 per cent of women force, Mrs Amarjit said that such committees should also be formed at the district levels.

Talking about concrete plans undertaken by the NFIW, she said the census bodies had been approached by them to be sensitive towards gender issues in order to reflect the women work force in a correct manner.

Calling the process of modernisation and globalisation as having had a "negative impact" on the women by providing them with only stereotype jobs, she said that there was need to expand the ambit for social security in the country for both men and women.Back


Housing for poor discussed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — Mr P.C. Khanna, a former Urban Development Adviser to the Planning Commission, has called for a comprehensive housing policy for the poorer sections of society. He was addressing a seminar on "Housing for the poor — problems and prospects", organised by the Chandigarh Regional Chapter of the Institute of Town Planners here today.

Mr Khanna said the single-space units were contrary to human nature. In a tropical climate, three factors—fully-covered space, semi-covered space and open space—were important and these must be kept in mind while constructing houses for these sections of society.

He opposed subsidised plots and the flat system for them since their needs were different from those of the residents of other countries. He advocated giving them sites and built-up platforms. He also released a souvenir of the chapter.

Delivering the presidential address, Mr N.K. Arora, Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, said the problem of housing for the poor would persist till most of them remained poor. The unabated influx of migratory population had changed the demographic pattern of the urban population of Punjab, with the result that 37 per cent of the urban population lived in cities now as compared to 28 per cent in 1991. We were sitting on a volcano and it would have far-reaching implications, he warned.

He alleged that colonisers had done nothing for these sections and and the role of the government had been marginal. He said the solution lay in attempting to work towards an egalitarian society.

Mr P. Raghuvendra Rao, Director of Town and Country Planning, Haryana, advocated the flat system for the poor on the UK pattern. He wanted incentives for those who built houses for them.

He informed that hundreds of acres of HUDA land had been encroached upon by jhuggi-dwellers. He said they could not turn their backs on them and the government had a responsibility under the Constitution to provide them with housing.

Earlier, Mr J.K. Gupta, Chairman of the chapter, rued that though housing for the poor was a key area, it had not been seen as a priority sector.

A technical session was also held, which was attended by architects, engineers and other professionals.Back


Talks on wet dredging soon
Lake shramdan from May 7
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) has been invited by the Chandigarh Administration for negotiations to start wet dredging of Sukhna Lake while the next phase of shramdan , the manual desiltation, will start on May 7 .

Normally, shramdan used to begin in April.

While the administration has been going slow on shramdan following a conviction that there is no way other than wet dredging to save the lake, it decided last year to hand over the work to one of three government undertakings engaged in this type of special tasks. In fact the DCI has been the only one of three government undertakings to make a bid to undertake this gigantic task. The other two undertakings did not respond to the notice inviting tenders of the administration.

Once the negotiations are through, the DCI is expected to start work immediately.

Meanwhile, the administration today decided to start next phase of shramdan from May 7. Like previous years, shramdan will be totally on a voluntary basis. There will be no coercion to involve school children, employees of various departments or undertakings of the administration in the voluntary desiltation of Sukhna Lake at its regulator end.

Until some years ago, schools, colleges and government departments were persuaded to join shramdan. Amidst criticism from participants, the administration took a formal decision that shramdan would be totally on a voluntary basis.

Sources in the administration pointed out that mechanical desiltation of Sukhna Lake will also start simultaneously with the next phase of shramdan. The Bhakra Beas Management Board has already made available five tippers to be used for carrying the silt from the bed of the lake to the disposal site.

The administration has already sent request letters to both Punjab and Haryana to make available their machinery for the mechanical desiltation of the lake from the first week of the coming month.

The administration also gets a porcelain and a dragline each from Irrigation Departments of Punjab and Haryana, respectively. A porcelain of the BBMB is probably under repairs.

For the past couple of years, the administration had been fixing targets for mechanical desiltation. With wet dredging expected to start any time, the mechanical desiltation will only supplement the real effort of restoring lake to its original shape.

The administration had provided Rs 2 crore for environment and ecology, mainly for Sukhna Lake, in its budgetary allocation last year. The money was transferred to the Engineering Department for undertaking work on wet dredging at the earliest. This year again, a similar suitable budgetary provision has been made for the wet dredging of Sukhna. Back


Congress favours different set-up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The President of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), Mr Venod Sharma, today advocated more say for the people in the governance of the Union Territory.

Talking to newsmen here this afternoon, Mr Venod Sharma said that he was committed for retaining Chandigarh as a Union Territory but wanted a different set-up for the city so that the people had a say in the administration of the Union territory..

"The present Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is a total failure," he added.

Asked about the local issues his party would raise in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Mr Sharma said that it was "too early to say anything".

Mr Sharma said that it was the prerogative of the high command of the party to decide about the candidates. He refused to be drawn into any debate about the probable candidate from the city.

Mr Sharma maintained that there might be difference of opinion within the CTCC but there was "no factionalism".

Mr Sharma said that the Executive Committee of the CTCC met this morning and unanimously adopted a resolution to appreciate the stand taken by the party President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, not to compromise national interest by forming a coalition government at the Centre.

"The defeat of the BJP Government in the Lok Sabha on April 17 was the outcome of 13 months of misrule, internal squabblings, lack of cohesion, corruption, criminality and communalism . As such the Congress was not responsible for the fall of the BJP Government at the Centre.

"During these 13 months, the BJP Government made several compromises keeping aside the national interest, moral and ethical values and the said coalition Government indulged in every act of impropriety and abuse of power to keep itself in power.

The BJP Government, which was controlled by communal outfits like the RSS and VHP, was totally paralysed when it came to controlling law and order of the land against criminal forces targeting the minorities.

"The Congress under the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi had never tried to destabilise the Government for any political gains. It is because of the withdrawal of support by its allies that the Government fell. The Congress was never in the race to grab power but only tried to fulfill its Constitutional obligation by exploring the possibility of forming the Government," the resolution said.

Mr Sharma also criticised the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for making Mrs Sonia Gandhi as the sole issue in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. "It appears that Akali Dal has nothing else to take to the people," he added.Back


SSP shifted to Delhi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The local SSP, Mr N.S. Randhawa, has been transferred to Delhi. Meanwhile, Mr M.A.J. Farooqi, a 1979 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) official of the UT cadre has been posted here in the anti-terrorist cell.

Mr Randhawa was recently posted as SSP, city, when Mr C.S.R. Reddy had gone on a foreign tour. Mr Randhawa is a 1985 batch official of the UT cadre and had been posted to Chandigarh around three years ago. He was working as SSP , Headquarters, before working as SSP, city.Back

PU despatches roll numbers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 —Panjab University has despatched roll number cards of BA, B Sc and B Com for all the three years as well as BCA and BBA examinations, scheduled to commence on May 3 ( English compulsory compartment only) and May 4 (all others).

While the roll numbers of regular students have been sent to the respective colleges, those of the private candidates have been sent at their individual addresses and for students of the Department of Correspondence Studies, the department has sent the roll numbers to the students.

Those students who do not receive their roll numbers by May 1, should visit the office of the Joint Controller of Examinations on May 2 between 9am and 5pm along with an attested photograph, a written request and adequate proof of despatch of examination form and deposit of full examination fee for a duplicate card.

No candidate will be allowed to appear in the annual examinations without producing the roll number card at the allotted examination centre.Back


Gram Shree Mela opens
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 30 — The Gram Shree Mela, an exhibition-cum-sale of rural handicrafts and artefacts, began at the Mela Ground, Sector 9, here today.

The mela is being organised by the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), Regional Committee, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the ACIL-Navasarjan Rural Development (ANaRDe) Foundation, Gurgaon.

The mela was inaugurated by Mr Kanwal Singh, Minister of Development and Panchayats, Haryana. He lauded the role of development agencies in uplifting the socio-economic status of the poor in rural areas.

More than 100 rural artisans from all over India are participating in the mela. The major attractions at the mela are terra-cota products, leather items, cane and bamboo items, chikan kurtas, carpets and durries, applique works, jewellery, cotton saris and bottled jams, pickles, squashes and juices.

The artisans and craftsmen are being provided with free accommodation and stalls and daily allowance and TA/DA.

This is the first time that the mela has been organised in Panchkula. Joy rides and swings were being put up for the visitors today.

The mela will be open from 10 am to 10 pm. Cultural programmes will be held every evening from 7pm to 9pm.

The mela has free entry for all. It will be open till May 9.Back



Poll observer for Tamil Nadu
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The President of the Indian Youth Congress, Mr Manish Tewari has appointed Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Palli, a former Vice- President of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee as the observer for Tamil Nadu for the ensuing Lok Sabha poll.

According to a press note here today, Mr Palli will be responsible for overseeing the Youth Congress activities till the end of the elections.

Sector 34 gurdwara relief for victims
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 —The second consignment of four truck-loads of relief goods comprising tarpaulins, food stuff and clothing were despatched from Sector 34 Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara for the victims of earthquake in Chamoli here today.

According to a press note issued by Maj N. S. Rangi, the President of gurdwara, the items will be distributed to the victims with the help of officials.

Two truck-loads of relief goods had already been sent by the gurdwara management, he added.

Guidelines irk VDS claimants
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — Consumers who want to avail themselves of the benefit under the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (VDS), of the UT Electricity Department are at their wits’ end due to certain guidelines which prohibit them from getting the additional load regularised.

Mr Joginder Singh Bhogal, of Sector 21, says that the worst sufferers are those who have connections in the names of others in the family. For example, a person who wants to get additional load regularised after availing himself of the scheme, but whose connection is in the name of his late father, cannot do so, though the property is transferred to the heir after the demise of its owner or, in other cases, in the name of the new buyer.

He says the department is not entertaining such claims. He has appealed to the department to rectify the same without delay, so that the maximum number of persons could benefit from the scheme.

No water on first floors
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 30 — The Panchkula Welfare Association of Sector 8 here has complained that the water pressure was so low that people living on the first floors had not received a single drop of water for the past 10 days.

The power situation was equally bad with unscheduled power cuts even during the night hours, said a spokesman of the association.

Besides an increase in the cases of thefts in the sector has also been highlighted by the association.

Greater role for COPS mooted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — The beat staff of the Chandigarh Police has been directed to keep in touch with members of the Community Oriented Policing Scheme (COPS) residing in their respective beat areas.

This was announced following a meeting between senior police officers and members of COPS here today. The scheme will be re-vitalised and once a month the area Station House Officer (SHO) will meet members of COPS living in that area.

Similarly the DSPs and other senior officials will also hold periodic meetings. A proposal was mooted to empower members of the COPS to take note of cognisable traffic violations like helmetless driving, unauthorised use of red light and use of vehicles without registration, among other offences.

Minor fires in SAS Nagar
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 30 — Three minor fires were reported from different areas of SAS Nagar here today.

In one case, a fire broke out near the cremation ground where a factory contractor had dumped junk.

The second incident was reported from the Government Nursery near the Fire Brigade office, while the third fire was at the Mango Garden in the Phase II Industrial Area.

In all three cases, the fire brigade brought the flames under control, Mr B.S. Sidhu, Additional Divisional Fire Officer, said.

Tribune Deputy Manager retires
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 30 — Mr N.K. Gupta, Deputy Manager, The Tribune, attached to the Editor, retired today after putting in more than 38 years of distinguished service. He joined the paper at Ambala in 1960.

He was given a warm send off-by his colleagues. Mr S.D. Bhambri, General Manager, and Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, lauded his services to the institution.Back

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