Wednesday, February 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Full-fledged herbarium yet to come up
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — If budget estimates for various horticulture and landscape works as approved by the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration are to be believed, there has been a little change in ground realities even as third consecutive financial year is drawing to a close. Since 1997-98, work on development of a herbarium in Rajindra Park, regrassing of Rajindra Park and boring and installation of 12”x8” I/D deep tubewell in the park figure in the budget estimates of the Horticulture Wing of the Engineering Department every year. Except for boring and installation of deep tubewells in Rajindra Park, precisely little has been done to fulfil the promise the Administration had made last year that a full fledged herbarium would be ready for inauguration during the Festival of Gardens in 2000. A visit to the park this afternoon, however, was not very encouraging. The tubewell has been installed but the pipeline is yet to be laid to irrigate the sprawling lawns of the park and the space between the park and Uttar Marg, which is to be developed into a herbarium.

Not even a single tree or sapling has been planted in the park since the beginning of the 1997-98 financial year. What to talk of regrassing, the open spaces of the park have been only ploughed.

Some trucks of sand have been unloaded in the park and these await organic manure before they are mixed and spread before regrassing is taken up.

Inside the office of the Sectional Officer, sit 10-odd workers, including a supervisor, playing cards by sitting around a bonfire.

“We are 40 employees in all who work at Rajindra Park,” they tell Chandigarh Tribune revealing that a portion of the park, where the herbarium is to come up, has been ploughed. Plantation will depend upon the money that is given to this project. Though the tubewell was installed in December last year, it could not be energised because of lack of power supply. It has been tested a couple of days ago,” they add.

In this year Budget estimates, which are approved, funds have been earmarked under different heads, which are improvement of landscaping work in Rajindra Park, Sector 1, and development of a herbal garden in the land area between Rajindra Park and Uttar Marg and providing cement concrete footpaths in the herbarium and Rajindra Park.

The officials of the Engineering Department, when contacted, maintained that work could not be undertaken as drawings have not been received from the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning.
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Firm director robbed at gunpoint
From Bipin Bhardwaj

DERA BASSI, Feb 1 — Four unidentified persons robbed a factory director of Rs 20,000 at gunpoint and took away his Maruti van and a mobile phone on Monday.

Mr Lalit Kumar had withdrawn Rs 2 lakh from a branch of Canara Bank in Chandigarh. Out of this he deposited Rs 1.80 lakh in State Bank of Patiala in Dera Bassi. After depositing the amount, he drove to his factory at Jawaharpur. On the way, about 2 km form here, an NE-118 car (DL-3CA-2093) overtook his van (PB-39A-1688), and collided with it. An argument ensued and the occupants of the the car dragged Mr Lalit Kumar out, made him sit on the back seat and, leaving the car on the road, drove the van towards Raipur Rani via Barwala. After going about 3 km, the robbers took the Rs 20,000 that he had with him, threw him out of the van about 4 km from Raipur Rani and fled with his van.

After registering a case on the complaint of Mr Lalit, the police took him to the Chandigarh Police Headquarters to draw sketches of the robbers. Some kinnow sellers at the spot were also questioned about the identity of the robbers.

A case has been registered under Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code, and according to Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, the police is conducting raids in different places to nab the robbers.

Incidents of robbery, burlgary and theft have increased in the periphery of Chandigarh in the past four months .

Earlier, a gang of six unidentified miscreants broke into the house of a Kashmir migrant family in MS Enclave in Dhakauli village on November 5, beat up four residents and robbed them of cash and other valuables. A similar incident had occurred in Sector-6 of Panchkula on November 3.

On the midnight of January 3, a dozen unidentified miscreants (Kale Kechhe Wale), broke into a house in Anand Vihar Colony of Bartana village and brutally beat up four residents. They also stoned the houses of the neighbours who tried to switch on their lights and raise an alarm.
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62 challaned for violating Motor Vehicles Act
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — The police today challaned 62 vehicles for violating various provisions of the Motor Vehicles’ Act. A team deputed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court went about the city observing the drive and will submit its report to the court on February 11.

As many as 25 vehicles were challaned for sporting red lights, 24 for having tinted glasses and 13 for having curtains without the requisite permission.

Officers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, who are not entitled to sport red lights, sun control films or curtains on their cars, were at the receiving end of the law as their cars were flagged down by personnel of the traffic police and challaned.

According to eyewitnesses, in many cases the officers themselves were not in the vehicle but were being used by their families or had been sent on some work. In a particular instance, an official of the State Welfare Board of Himachal Pradesh not only ignored the signal to stop by a cop but was stopped by personnel further down the road near the Housing Board roundabout.

Sources said the lady in question reportedly not only argued with the personnel for stopping her but also demanded a wireless set to call the IGP. “The law of the city does not run in our state,” she is reported to have said.

Officers said as per the provisions of the law, no vehicle can sport a red light unless the officers have been authorised to do so by the state government through a notification. Similarly, the use of tinted glasses and curtains too is illegal unless permission has been sought from the department.

Even if an official is permitted to do so, the driver has to take off the red light if the officer is himself not travelling in the vehicle. However, even an authorised person has to show a permission if he is sporting a red light on his personal vehicle. Many vehicles challaned today fell in this category.

Sources said the police had undertaken a similar exercise in July and had challaned scores of such vehicles. Following this the state governments of Haryana, Punjab besides the Chandigarh Administration, had notified the officers who could use red lights.

The number of vehicles challaned today shows that scant attention is paid to enforcing such violations of the Act and the directions of the court, sources added.
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Rajiv killer ‘carried’ kg of RDX
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — The ‘human bomb’ that killed Rajiv Gandhi had strapped on her back nearly half a kg of RDX laced with 1 kg of 2 mm steel pellets. Besides, she had one of the two switches on to trigger off the explosives when she walked up to the former Prime Minister. She also carried one 9 volt battery on her person, reveals Prof P. Chandrasekharan, the country's first-ever forensic scientist to be honoured with Padma Bhushan on Republic Day this year.

Prof Chandrasekharan, who investigated the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, maintains that the killer used four detonators. The second switch was activated when she bent to touch the feet of Rajiv. It was the first-ever human bomb in India. Subsequently, three more cases involving human bombs, including that of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, have been reported. The Sri Lankan militant group, the LTTE, appears to have gained expertise in this type of "suicidal crime".

Prof Chandrasekharan, an acknowledged forensic science expert, was here to depose in a court case as an expert in a fireworks case.

Talking to The Tribune, Prof Chandrasekharan, who was conferred Padma Shri in 1991, says forensic sciences should be independent of the police.

"I agree that it was the police department which has for the past 25 years started, developed and looked after forensic science department, provided labs and helped this science grow. But now is the time for the police department to marry off this ‘eligible daughter’ to a suitable department," he says, disclosing that in Tamil Nadu, where he headed the Department of Forensic Science of the Tamil Nadu Government, he resigned the government post in 1993 and started the forensic science course at Anna Engineering University.

It was for the first time that an engineering university introduced the forensic course. Next year, he was made Emeritus Fellow in Forensic Science by the University Grants Commission and attached to the University of Madras to set up the Centre for Advanced Studies in Forensic Sciences.

In Tamil Nadu, the Forensic Sciences department is not with the police but under the direct control of the State Government. "I got the department affiliated to the University of Madras and introduced M.Sc. in forensic science as a single faculty college. There were protests as to how a government department could run a postgraduate course." reveals Prof Chandrasekharan.

He says the development of the Forensic Science department in the country has suffered on account of several factors, including the zero pendancy syndrome, where a handful of scientists working in these departments under the control of the police department are required to examine, conduct scientific tests on thousands of cases and submit their findings . "This was not possible in wake of mammoth workload they have," he said.

Prof Chandrasekharan, who was accompanied by Dr Gopal Mishra, Director, Forensic Science Laboratory-cum-Inspector-General of Police, said there was need for an independent all-India forensic science service.

Besides, he wants that the forensic science should be introduced as a subject for all LL.B. and law courses. The study of forensic sciences is more useful than studying criminology, he says.

Talking about what got him recognition for Padma Bhushan, he said probably it was his expert opinion as a pioneer in forensic archaeology that got back for the country an idol of Lord Shiva which was stolen from south of Thanjavur and sold to an oil group of Canada. It was the use of scientific analysis of termites which are typical of rice fields in Thanjavur, that established the irrefutable evidence that the idol had been stolen from India.

"It was for the first time that Indian law was established and accepted by the Royal Court of London," he added.

He also talked about other areas of forensic sciences developed and established by him. Prof Chandrasekharan is also credited with the development of new technique of indexing antique bronzes.

Both Prof Chandrasekharan and Dr Mishra were honoured with the Life-time Achievement Award by the forensic section at the all-India science congress held in Gujarat recently.
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COMMUNITY

EVMs to be used in Kalka
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 1 — The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, told the political parties that electronic voting machines would be used in the elections to the Kalka Assembly seat scheduled for February 22. He said this at a meeting of political parties convened by him at his office here today. He also said training camps for educating voters about the use of these machines would also be organised till February 15.

He said the use of these machines would make the voting process easier and less expensive. He said the election staff and political parties should be well-versed with the working of these machines. He said the electorates were being informed of its use in the Block Development and Panchayat Offices, besides offices of the Municipal Committees of Kalka and Pinjore. Adequate training was also being provided at the village level, through the staff of patwaris and public relation offices, he said in a press note issued by the official spokesperson.

Mr Monga said special training camps would be organised for providing information to the workers and agents of all political parties on February 10. Such camps would also be held at the community centres in Sectors 7, 10 and 15, Aggarwal Bhavan in Sector 16, office of the Estate Officer in Sector 6, the Sector 4 temple and the State Bank of India in Sector 14.

The Deputy Commissioner said 1,500 employees would be on duty for the election, out of which, 1,366 had already been trained. He said the work of making the photo-identity cards was being conducted at Mini Secretariat in Sector 1 and the office of the Subdivisional Officer (Civil) in Kalka. He urged political parties to encourage voters to get their photo-identity cards made.

He told the party representatives that vehicles and loud speakers should be used only after prior permission of the district administration. He urged them to obtain permission of the owners of private buildings before pasting pamphlets and posters on the walls. He said the parties should put up hoardings, cut-outs and posters at the places earmarked for the purpose, after payment of a fee.


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HVP to focus on Morni, sick units
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 1 — Providing 24-hour electricity, settlement of jhuggi-dwellers and removal of unauthorised constructions will be the main issues of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) in the forthcoming elections for the Kalka assembly seat. "We will also take up the issue of the Periphery Act and get it sorted out once we assume power," the candidate of the HVP, Mr K.P. Singh, said while addressing mediapersons here today.

He added that dhobis were inconvenienced in the absence of a dhobi ghat in the township and that they did not have ration cards. "We will ensure that these persons are issued ration cards," he said.

Land holdings in the Morni area were very small and income generation was at its lowest ebb, he said. "For the development of that area, we plan to have reservation in schools for the children from Morni, besides reservation of jobs. Separate schemes will be floated for development of the hill area which falls in our constituency," he added.

On the issue of sick industrial units, Mr K.P. Singh said he would make efforts to provide subsidies to sick units and help revive these. Strengthening law and order in the township would be another important issue, he stated.

With the district unit of the party having been dissolved after office-bearers decided to join the Congress, he said he would constitute an election committee, following which the unit would be reconstituted. Replying to a question on the dissolution of the unit and the crossing over by office-bearers of the party, he said, "They must have thought it in the fitness of things to leave the party and join the Congress. Such instances are the result of selfish motives and self interest," he said.

He added that the work of the Bansi Lal Government was before the public and that during the time of Mr Bansi Lal, Rs 1.6 crore had been spent on the township by way of various schemes. They were hoping for a majority in the elections and had worked out a strategy for the same, he said.

The only competition was Congress candidate, Mr Chander Mohan, he admitted. "The BJP is no nowhere in the contest, especially since the public realises the level they can stoop to. On the one side, the Kargil battle was on and on the other hand, the BJP was busy withdrawing support to the HVP," he said. He will file his nomination papers at the office of the Returning Officer tomorrow.
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Stress on prison reforms
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — Human rights activists, lawyers and retired prison officials lamented the plight of prisoners in Punjab jails at a one-day conference on ''prison reforms'' organised by Ahsaas, a human rights organisation, at Panjab University here on Sunday.

They opined that the condition of the prisoners could be improved if the Punjab Jail Manual was implemented by the authorities. ''Although we have very good legislation and laws, we have failed to implement these judiciously,'' they added.

Advocate Jindal, who has contributed to the Punjab Jail Manual, the Delhi Jail Manual and the Delhi police rules, said that lawyers were not aware of many Acts about the rights of prisoners. ''If prisoners have committed blunders, why should we do the same?'' he asked.

The Deputy Director of the Institute of Correctional Administration, Dr Upneet Lalli, expressed concern over the problem of overcrowding in jails and long trials of prisoners.

Advocate Arunjeev Singh Walia gave eyewitness accounts of torture during his visits to jails in Punjab and pointed out a finger at the judicial system.

Advocate Navikiran Singh, General Secretary, Lawyers of Human Rights, Chandigarh, suggested surprise visits by the Sessions Judge and demanded that journalists, social workers and NGOs should be allowed to visit jails.

Speakers also highlighted the issues like legal aid to poor undertrial prisoners, medical facilities, clothing and food and problems of women prisoners and concluded with the need to educate the prisoners about their rights.
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Land acquisition opposed
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 1 — The Confederation of Housing Societies has opposed the proposed acquisition of land of housing societies by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Bhainsa Tibba and Saketri villages. The land was acquired by the housing societies over five years back in accordance with a government scheme.

A press note issued by the spokesperson of the confederation said these societies provided cost-effective housing schemes to its members which irked HUDA. Instead of helping these societies it had started creating hurdles in their working, it further said. It added that the organisation would mobilise support against the wrongful acquisition and if the matter was not settled, they would move court to stop discrimination being meted out to them.

The land acquisition by HUDA also came in for criticism from the Hillview Paterkar and Friends Cooperative and The Tribune Employees and Friends Cooperative House Building Societies.

Meanwhile, The Manav Cooperative House Building Society has decided to give a memorandum to the Governor of Haryana, requesting him to intervene and stall the process till the formation of a new government.


Tota Singh listens to grievances
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 1— The State Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, listened to grievances of employees of the department at a meeting with the representatives of different employees unions at the Punjab School Education Board here today. He assured of speedy redressal of the grievances of the employees.

A number of the employee leaders complained about the transfer policy. Suggestions about a proposal of classes up to VIII standard under the Director (Primary Education) was invited by the Minister from the employee unions. The unions were asked to file their suggestions by February 28.
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Col Vohra remembered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — On the second death anniversary of Col D.S. Vohra, founder and Managing Director of Nevedac Prosthetic Centre, a commemorative function was held at the Nevedac Prosthetic Centre, near airport, here yesterday.

Dr V.J.S. Vohra, Managing Director, said the rehabilitation work of the disabled would continue according to Colonel Vohra’s ideals and aspirations. He also announced that a Col D.S. Vohra memorial award would be given to outstanding and dedicated disabled persons. Dr Vohra said though the centre had not received any grant from the government this year, poor patients would be treated free of cost.

Mr Ajit Salani, General Secretary of the National Handicapped Welfare Council and Chairman of the Physically Handicapped Association, Punjab, also paid tributes to Colonel Vohra. Mr Avtar Singh Gharuan, state Secretary of Physically Handicapped Association, Punjab, also spoke on the occasion.
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Power failure hits phone services
From Our Correspondent

MULLANPUR GARIBDASS, Feb 1 — Frequent power interruption in Mullanpur and adjoining villages has affected telecom services in the area. Telephones in more than six villages served by this rural telephone exchange remained dead most of the time on Monday.

The electricity failure also disrupted water supply in the area. Residents had to wait in long queues to collect water from handpumps.

Sources in the electricity department said strong winds had caused the power failure as branches of trees close to power lines had got entangled in the wires.

Sources in the telephone department said the problem had arisen from insufficient power supply to recharge the batteries which were in poor state and needed to be replaced.

Faulty phones became a regular problem and subscribers complained that the telephones generally went dead in the evening. Public call office owners of the area complained of drop in business.
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NRI's gesture towards heroes' parents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — As an expression of solidarity with martyrs of the Kargil conflict, a US-based NRI today extended financial assistance to the parents of the soldiers whose widows had deserted them after receiving the ex-gratia grants from the government.

The parents of four martyrs of the Kargil operation hailing from various districts of Punjab received cheques for Rs 22,000 each sent by Mrs Sukhi Borah from Pennsylvania. These were handed over to the aged parents by her locally based sister, Mrs Harmohan Kaur Bedi, here. The Director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, brig K.S. Kahlon (retd), was also present.

Those who received the assistance included Mr Jaswant Singh, father of L/Nk Gurmail Singh (3 Punjab) from Patiala district, Mrs Charan Kaur, mother of L/Nk Dalwinder Singh (17 Infantry Brigade) from Nawanshahr district, Mrs Kaushalya Devi, mother of L/Nk Ranbir Singh (13 J&K Rifles) from Gurdaspur district, and Mrs Gurmej Kaur, mother of Sowar Sarj Singh (4 Horse) from Ferozepore district.

Brigadier Kahlon said that such families were specially identified after receiving feedback from the district authorities about the status of welfare grants received by the families of battle casualties.
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Rain in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — The city and the surrounding areas had second rainfall of the winter season today.

According to the weather office, 2.4 mm of rainfall, which occurred due to the westerly disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir, was reported from the city alone. There was slight decrease in the highest temperature from that of yesterday.

While highest temperature today dropped to 19C from yesterday’s 21.4C, the lowest temperature, however, registered an increase and it went up to 14.6 from 10.

The weather office has predicted more rainfall in Himachal Pradesh. However, in other parts of the region there would be rainfall at isolated places.

The rain is considered to be good for the winter crops.
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Helping poor kids live with dignity
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — Live with dignity — posters on a Sector 21 nursing home walls, read. Inside, a team of doctors is busy giving a new lease of life to poor children born with defects. This is due to the efforts of the Rotary Club Shivalik under its project “Restorative surgery for birth defects’’.

Doctors dealing with these cases reveal that birth defects affect about 1-2 per cent of the new born babies. And most of these cases pertain to families from poor socio-economic status, who cannot afford to get the surgery done early because of the paucity of funds and at times due to the non-availability of medical facilities. In many cases, by the time money is arranged, it is so late that even surgery does not help much.

Keeping these factors in view, Dr G.S. Kochhar, project chairman and director of the Sector 21 Deep Nursing Home, had urged the Rotary International to approve this project, which will after restorative surgeries ensure a life of dignity for such children born with such congenital defects.

The project was launched in September 1999 with an initial grant of $ 25,000 and 22 surgeries have been performed successfully till date. Of these, nearly 18 pertain to correction of cleft lip, cleft palate and lip revision.

Besides, other congenital defects which are taken up for treatment include Hydrocephalus (big head), club foot, torticollis, hypospadias, congenital dislocation hip (CDH), menigocele and meningomylocele, syndactyly and congenital squint. Under this project, the surgeries are performed free of cost for children in the age group 0-16. Besides, one attendant accompanying the child is given free meals during the child’s stay in the hospital. Even the medicines required to be taken few days after the operation are given free of cost.

A surgery to correct the cleft lip of two-year-old girl, Pooja, was performed today. In this case, the lip is not properly formed and it is in two halves. The mother of the child said that besides giving the face an ugly look, this abnormal defect was making it difficult for Pooja to speak. “I am grateful to the doctors whose efforts will enable my daughter to lead normal life,” she said. The surgery which lasted for two-and-a-half hours was performed by Dr Yogesh Caplash, Dr G.S Kocchar, Dr Avtar Singh and Dr Deepika.

According to Dr Caplash, the safest period to perform these surgeries is from three months onwards. In some cases when the child has a bilateral cleft, with the lip hanging with nose, the surgery may have to be performed one week after the child’s birth.

In another surgery performed recently, Jyoti, another two-year-old girl with menigocele ( a huge lump in the back) was cured of this defect. Anita, her mother said: “I used to always remain upset about my daughter’s problem and wondered as to how she will go in life. Even people in the neighbourhood would feel bad for me, but now I am relieved for we have been able to get rid of the lump, without paying any money.’’

Two other cases of club foot and two of syndactyly ( where two or more fingers are joined together) have also been corrected under this project.

The project chairman, Dr G.S Kochhar has appealed to the needy patients of the northern region to come forward to avail the benefits under this scheme. He is of the view that “a well-to-do patient can afford the surgery anytime because of his resources but the poor people are left with defects to suffer throughout their lives.’’ He has also asked the heads of various institutions, civil hospitals, dispensaries and medical practitioners to refer poor and deserving patients to Dr Kochhar at Deep Surgery, 3026, Sector 21-D. The poor patients can also approach directly alongwith a certificate from the Panchayat substantiating their claim of being poor. The money for the surgery, varying between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 would be given to the needy persons.

Meanwhile, the trustee of the Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation, Mr Tonny Serrano alongwith the past president of the Rotary International, Mr R.K Saboo recently visited the nursing home to have a first hand information of the ongoing project.
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CRIME

Held for using fake note
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — The police has arrested a Sector 44 resident on the charge of attempting to use a counterfeit note.

According to police sources, 27-year-old Mukesh Chopra was arrested and the note recovered from his possession. He was produced in court and remanded to police custody for two days.

Sources said the accused went to a Sector 22 petrol pump and got fuel for Rs 500. He handed over a Rs 500 note to the attendant, who upon examining it told the accused that it was a fake. He offered to get more money from his house and another attendant took him to his residence on a scooter. He got money from a bank in Sector 35 and took back the fake note.

Arrested

The police has registered a case against Gurmit Singh, a resident of Kajheri on the charge of electrocuting two cows.

Sources said the accused had electrified the fencing around his field and when the cows, which were grazing nearby, touched the barbed wire, got electrocuted.

A case under Section 379\429, IPC, and Section 39 of the Electricity Act, 1929, has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Video-man held

The police has arrested Neeraj, alias Happy, of a video library in Sector 20 for allegedly possessing X-rated cassettes.

Eve-teasing

The police has arrested Balwinder and Vikram, both residents of Sector 39, on the charge of eve-teasing in the same sector.

Whisky seized

The police has arrested Bablu, a resident of Daon village, and seized 12 bottles of whisky from his possession.

PANCHKULA

One hurt

One person, Saddique Mohammad, was injured when a speeding car (CH-01-T-8042) hit him near Pinjore.

SAS NAGAR

Cheating case

Mehma Singh of Manakpur Kaler village, near here, has been booked by the Sohana police for being allegedly involved in a case of cheating, fraud and forging revenue documents to transfer a piece of land in the village in his name.

According to information available, the suspect had impersonated as a panch of the village panchayat before a tehsildar here and got the shamlat land of the village transferred in his name in May 1996. The case was registered after the six-member panchayat of the village complained to the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar. A police official said that as the complaint was old the suspect had already expired.
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BUSINESS

Industrialists call on Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — A delegation of the Federation of Small Scale Industries, led by its President, Mr M.R. Mittal, met the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and submitted a memorandum to him highlighting the difficulties faced by the local industry.

According to Mr Rajiv Gupta, general secretary, through memorandum, they have urged General Jacob to direct the Chandigarh Administration to move an application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for an early decision on the possession of industrial plots allotted in 1981. They also demanded the ownership rights to be given to CITCO shed-holders and the holders of industrial plots.

The memorandum demanded the notification regarding submission of applications for the enhancement of power load to be issued immediately. It also demanded abolition of sales tax on certain items such as industrial paints, corrugated boxes, drills and power blades, which were only consumed in the industry.

It further wanted the small scale industry to be associated with all departmental purchases by the Administration, and added the vertical growth of the industry to be permitted.

Demanding the removal of the scrap dealers, who had encroached upon public land worth crores of rupees, the memorandum wanted the patrolling in the Industrial Area to be intensified between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. It also asked for separate parking sites for the trucks and tempos.

Improvement of the water supply system, recarpeting of the roads, augmentation of rain water drainage system, charging of domestic tariff for the water consumed for domestic needs by the industry were the other demands listed in the memorandum.

The Administrator assured the delegation that all issues would be taken up with the concerned departments.
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Postal scheme set to achieve target
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 1 — The Punjab Postal Circle is all set to achieve its target of Rs 21 crore under the Postal Life Insurance Scheme.

Talking to newsmen here this afternoon, the Chief Post Master General of Punjab Circle, Col Tilak Raj, said that though the Postal Life Insurance Scheme was one of the best scheme, it was not getting the response it should have got. By offering the highest bonus of Rs 95 per thousand the PLI, he said, has the lowest premium.

Though the number of policies has increased from 24 in 1884 to 24 lakh in 116 years, the progress has not been satisfactory. Though initially designed for only postal employees, the postal insurance has been gradually extended to all government employees, banks and financial institutions, defence services employees, all public sector undertakings, government aided educational institutions, local bodies, like municipalities; universities established by the government, bodies like Hindustan Machine Tools, CSIR, ISI, ED Agents, industrial work charged employees in the Department of Post and Telecommunications, medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy council of India.

One of the main advantages of the PLI was that premium could be deposited at any of the 54 postal outlets throughout the length and breadth of the country and the policy could be transferred from one branch to another.

Colonel Tilak Raj held that though the privatisation of the insurance sector has been allowed, the Postal Life Insurance would change according to changing needs of the beneficiaries and would give a tough competition to private companies.

Mr Vivek Kaul, Director, Postal Insurance, Punjab Circle, said information from all 22 headquarters comes in computer floppies. Soon, online computerisation would start to facilitate transactions. He said that last year’s target was achieved and the circle hopes to achieve the same target this year again. Till January end more than Rs 19 crore of business has been done. At present, there are nearly 52,000 PLI policy holders in Punjab.

Colonel Tilak Raj said that he would meet the Punjab Chief Minister and impress upon him that more and more state government employees should be asked to opt for the Postal Life Insurance as the circle intends to fix a target of Rs 50 crore for the next financial year.
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