Sunday, February 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Air Force deprived of continuous fuel supply
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 11 — While lackadaisical project management by Air Headquarters, the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has deprived the Air Force of uninterrupted supply of aviation fuel — considered essential from operational and security point of view — it also provides a classic example how projects run into massive cost and time overruns.

The need for a month's uninterrupted supply in place of the existing one week's requirement was felt way back the 1989, but is now expected to be available only in 2001.

A Comptroller and Auditor-General's note states the failure of Air Headquarters and the Engineer-in-Chief to obtain sanction of the MoD in time coupled with the selection of a wrong site as well as the delay in the release of funds as the reasons for this.

The IAF's bulk petroleum storage facilities for aviation fuel at the Air Force installation concerned has a limited capacity, which caters only for a week's requirements for uninterrupted flying operations.

A board of officers (BOO) recommended construction of additional storage facilities in June, 1989. Sanction was granted by the MoD in February, 1991, at an estimated cost of Rs. 2.66 crore and works costing Rs. 2.38 crore were to be executed by the IOC. The project was to be completed by March, 1995.

The IOC, however, did not commence work and instead revised the estimates to Rs 3.43 crore. Air Hq and the Engineer-in-Chief submitted the case in June 1992 — after a delay of 15 months — by which time the validity of the estimates had expired.

Meanwhile, another BOO was convened in January, 1992, which proposed a new site on the grounds that the earlier site proposed was in close proximity to the existing IOC storage.

Even after change of the site, the project management by the IAF and the MoD continued to be tardy, resulting in repeated upward revisions of cost. By December, 1996, the cost was revised to Rs. 6.17 crore.

When the revisions were finally approved by the MoD in August, 1997, the revised estimates stood at Rs 6.72 crore. An installation of Rs.1.88 crore had already been paid to the IOC by then.

The IOC had commenced the work in December, 1995, but stopped a year later, stating that 75 per cent of the advance of finally sanctioned cost had not been paid by the IAF. Air Headquarters released another instalment of Rs 2.65 crore in November, 1997. Work started in April next year. As per the revised estimates, the work is expected to be completed in August, 2001, as against the scheduled date of March, 1995.

An MoD statement mentions repeated upward revisions at short intervals, leading to a revision of sanction which in turn led to the deprivation of uninterrupted fuel supply.Back


The issue of fake notes haunts city
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Due to the problem of fake notes, members of the public are in a quandary to find out how the real notes can be distinguished from the fakes. Even as the crisis persists, fake notes continue to be circulated. Several private institutions, shopkeepers and reportedly some private banks are averse at the idea of accepting Rs 500 notes that are a part of the old set and design.

This has created several unruly scenes at shops and cinema houses. Quite often the police has to be called in. The biggest fear of the shopkeepers is from the Rs 500 note. In the banking sector instructions have been issued to banks that no one can refuse to accept notes on the basis of suspicion. Particular series of notes that are suspected to be fake has been circulated in banks and police stations while police are known to carry the list in their pockets.

All one needs to do is to lodge a complaint and the person refusing to accept the note will be booked, said a banker. Recently, an accountant with one of the wings of the Chandigarh Administration was told by a private bank that he should avoid bringing in Rs 500 notes.

Interestingly, both the possession of fake notes and refusing to accept a note offered by someone on the suspicion that it is fake are offences under the law. It is sword that cuts both ways, pointed out a senior banker. So what does the common man do if he has been unknowingly handed over fake notes? He loses the money when he goes to the bank. And the bank can choose to get an FIR registered. if proven then this can land him in jail for 7 years. At the moment banks are refraining from filing FIRs just to save harassment to the members of the public, said another source.

Be careful and follow a simple set of guidelines, advise bankers, while adding that all checks can be verified by the naked eye.

Sources in the banking sector said that the maximum number of forged or fake notes have been detected from the older design of Rs 500 notes known as the “old Gandhi series”. It is impossible to make a fake of a Rs 500 note that is from the new design and colour. Same is true of Rs 100 notes.

The only security feature is a thread that is visible when the note is held against light. In the new series of Rs 500 notes the banks are using an ultra violet lamp that changes the colour of the security features. The fake one just shows up as a red coloured paper when put under the same lamp.Back

What is real in Rs 500 notes of the new series?

  • When held up against light the blank white space shows an embossed print of Mahatma Gandhi
  • When held up against light, one can see “Bharat ’’ engraved in Hindi and RBI in English.
  • The paper is very fine
  • On the reverse there are 11 people in the collage comprising pictures of leaders.
  • What is fake ?
  • In the collage on the reverse there are pictures of 10 leaders.
  • The paper is very coarse
  • The security thread is not existing with engraved words.

What does the law say?

Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code says whoever has in his possession any forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes, knowing or having a reason to believe the same to be forged or counterfeit and intending to use the same as genuine or that it may be used as genuine , shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years , or with fine or both.Back


Yeh dil maange more
By Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Saint Valentine's day — alluring two young hearts to beat as one on front seats of parked semi-limousines — has parted ways with love, the feeling that once made the world go round with worried expression.

Cupid aimlessly watches with tired eyes the blue micro-tip silently racing across the yellowing sheet as pretty peroxide blonde Simi scrawls telephone numbers of flames that could not kindle for want of emotions.

Picking up the off-white receiver, once computer pro, now a ramp model, she gently presses the keys, giggles excitedly as stranger to her inner designs answers, "Yeah, Rahul! Valentine's here. Where is my set of CDs?"

Operation plunder is on. The vulnerable beauty is convinced of extorting booty she has always desired, but has no inclination to buy, silver necklace with matching earings and Zurex tops included.

"The third century saint's day is not just between lovers," says psychologist Nidhi Khanna. "No more is it a well-timed opportunity to cuddle with contentment love blooming in bouquet of red roses sent by the shy boy next door. It is H-Hour to plan and walk off with spoils of pick-use-and-throw love."

Last year was different. Only two cards were secretly slipped in Panjab University student Natasha Nayyar's hands, one from the guy in the her department she had been feigning indifference to, another from the Class VIII girl for whom she is a role model.

Not in the February of Y2K. Natasha has already received 11 cards for Valentines now, enriching her free e-mail account. Hungry for electronic hearts, she yields to temptation of fragrant tender paper cards too, she is confused, romantically.

On the big day, her friend Chandani intends exposing herself to admiring glances, wearing a long coat over a black mini-skirt and nylon stocking. She plans to hover all over the city on a scooter and not in her dad's car. How will they admire her in a four-wheeler?

Accompanied by another "stunner", the Class XII kiddos wish to round up as many gladiolus, even "despo" hearts, as they can, to cherish till they whither the next day.

"Why not? If the guys feel happy by our accepting their frustration presented through flowers, why the hell should we back out," reasons collegiate Divya. "We are game. But if they think it is anything beyond flowers, that is their problem." Suppressing excited laughter, she chirps, "It gives you some kind of reassurance that you still can have them on their knees."

The intention is honourable, as always. Like Alexander Pope's Belinda, favours to none, to all our Chandani will smiles extend, oft she will reject, but never will offend. Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers will strike, and like the sun they will shine on all alike.

After all, gifts are like hearts, they do not come on their own, they are to be won. So happy heart hunting dames! Back

Valentine fervour at carnival
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — On the third day of the Millennium Basant celebrations today, a two-day 'Y2K Roses and Chocolates Carnival' opened in the local Home Science College.

About 40 stalls have been put up for the carnival, a majority of them by the host college. Students are managing the carnival and the stalls. The Valentine fervour in the carnival was evident, as special games and message stalls have been put up for this. Other stalls have eatables, games and art pieces.

The special attractions include a 'Road safety' stall by Freedom India and the Chandigarh Traffic Police, 'Bahawalpuri Phulkari' stall by the Federation of Migrant Groups, N.W.India, Italian fruit shakes and a beauty stall offering cosmetics and beauty solutions.

Various dance performances including, bharatnatyam, kollatam and kaliyattam, rangoli and flower show by school children, mehndi contest, sketching contest and preliminary rounds of antakshari were held today.

Camel rides, giant wheel and other joy rides have also been arranged for the visitors, specially children.

Tomorrow's function will have a baby show, paint your face contest, Paint your vehicle contest, semi-finals and finals of antakshari, folk dance competition along with mehndi and sketching competitions.Back

More rain, snow forecast

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 (UNI) — The entire North-West continued to shiver under intense cold wave conditions for the third day today with ground temperatures plummeting by two to five degrees celsius below normal as higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and western Uttar Pradesh received fresh spells of snow during the past 24 hours.

The cold wave has claimed at least five lives, two each in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and the fifth in the Union Territory of Chandigarh during the past one week.

Besides snowfall, most of Himachal Pradesh had been experiencing widespread rain with Nagrota Surian and Ghamrur in Kangra district reporting the heaviest rainfall of 32.8 mm and 32.4 mm till 8.30 this morning.

Reports here said that it started snowing in Srinagar around 4 pm, while the high-altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir had fresh spells of snowfall since late last night. The minimum in the entire Ladakh district remained five to seven degrees celsius below freezing point.

The minimum temperature around Srinagar fell slightly to 0.2 celsius, one degree below normal following 0.7 mm snowfall till this morning. Higher reaches in the state too reported widespread snowfall. The minimum temperature in Jammu, the winter capital, dipped to 8.5C, one degree below normal.

The people in Delhi and the capital region shivered as the minimum this morning dipped by two degrees. Safdarjung reported a low of 8C and Palam 8.5C. The maximums hovered around 16C.

Weathermen have forecast light to moderate rain or snow at a few places in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and rain or thundershowers in Punjab and Haryana over the next 24 hours.

The westerly disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir moving eastwards were likely to cause more snow and rain in west Uttar Pradesh.

Life in and around Shimla and the tribal areas reported moderate to heavy snowfall last night, disrupting normal life at some places. The water, electricity and telecommunication services were disrupted while the roads were blocked at some places by snowfall. Water froze in pipes in some localities in Shimla.

Chail and Kasauli and its Barog hill tops in Solan district had the second snowfall during the past one week.

Shimla again today woke up to a white mantle following moderate snowfall overnight, disrupting movement of vehicular traffic around the capital town.

MANALI (FOC): Widespread snowfall disrupted normal life in the entire Manali region as the key tourist resort of Manali and its adjoining areas had the season’s heaviest snowfall. Manali town recorded over three feet of snow.The Kulu-Manali region remained in the grip of severe cold wave conditions following further decline in the temperature.

The sun came out in the town and its surrounding areas this morning after a 36-hour spell of freak weather.Vehicular traffic on the Manali-Kulu (left bank) route between Manali-Nagar, Manali-Palchan road and other link roads in upper Kulu valley was suspended due to heavy snowfall for the second day on Saturday. Vehicular traffic was also hit in the morning due to heavy snowfall between Manali and Patlikulh on NH-21. Men of the PWD have been engaged to clear the roads.The heavy snow has, however, proved a blessing to orchardists and farmers in the Kulu-Manali region and they expect a good apple crop this year.

The heavy snowfall on the 14,000-foot-high Bhrigu slopes, 12,000-foot-high Hampta Pass and 13,050-foot-high Rohtang Pass has also brought cheer to heli-skiers who have come from France, Germany, Australia, USA and Switzerland have been camping here for helicopter skiing. The world famous ski slopes of the Solang valley also recorded over six feet of fresh snow. The higher reaches of the Pir Panjal ranges and the Rohtang Pass also experienced heavy snowfall. In the meanwhile, the 9 km stretch of road between Manali and Palchan village has been reopened to vehicular traffic by the Border Roads Organisation.

NAHAN: The interior areas of Sirmour district remained cut off from the district headquarters for the second day on Saturday following heavy snowfall. According to information available here, the heaviest snowfall of this season was experienced in the Shillai area, Sarhan, Rajgarh, Bogdhar and other higher reaches of the district.Back


Pamphlets confuse villagers
From Vishal Joshi

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Villagers are confused even as Anandgarh Vikas Authority has started distributing pamphlets in villages.

The 10-point notice, printed in Punjabi, promises developing the area falling under the proposed area on modern lines. The pamphlet assures villagers of not touching the already-settled population in villages. It further assures them of providing them with better arrangements for drinking water, electricity and schools.

The amount of compensation against the acquired land will be given with one-time payment. The amount will be paid at the market rate and both cultivable and barren land will be almost equally compensated. The printed paper also assures allotting plots for each married member of the family, living in a joint family.

But the villagers are still in a state of confusion over the notice. They demand that the authorities should directly approach villagers and take them in confidence before taking any step.

Villagers complain that the pamphlets are not given to the persons concerned but to selected ones only. A large number of villagers say they are getting photocopies of the notice. Sources say they are issuing pamphlets to the “prominent” persons in the area to influence villagers.

Commenting upon the provisions regarding the proposed township, villagers condemn the proposals. One of the main cause of worry is the surety of payment. Poor financial condition of the Punjab Government is mentioned by villagers as a doubt in their mind. A farmer of Parol village, says to guarantee payment, the Government should assure through the court.

The sarpanch of Mullanpur Garibdass village, Mr Dewan Singh, has termed the proposals as antifarmer. As no clear-cut policy has been adopted by the authorities, farmers are worried. On prior occasions, the Government has assured of providing employment but nothing much has been done in this direction, he says. The poor financial condition has forced a ban on further recruitment in various government departments, he adds.

The sarpanch alleges that certain influential persons, in connivance with political leaders, are misleading the local population.

He complains that the notice is not clear about the allotment of plots among villagers as promised in it. Authorities should also clearly mention whether allotments will be on subsidy or at the normal rate, he asks.Back


Judicial remand for JE
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 12 — A junior engineer of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), who was arrested on Thursday by a team of the Punjab Vigilance while allegedly accepting bribe from the Managing Director of an educational institution, was yesterday sent to judicial custody by the Judicial Magistrate, Kharar.

A vigilance team, headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police had arrested the junior engineer, Sukhpal, while accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from the Managing Director of the education

institution for giving demarcation of land allotted to the institution in Phase XI here. The Superintendent of Police, Vigilance, Mr Parmod Bhan, said on a tip-off from the Managing Director, Mr S.S. Sood, a trap was laid to arrest the junior engineer and he was caught while accepting the money.Back


Stolen car recovered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Three constables of the local police have helped recover a black Maruti Esteem car (CH-01-V-3247), belonging to Mr K.K. Gupta. It was stolen by unidentified persons from Sector 22 yesterday.

According to the police, on the complaint of Mr Gupta, the constables, who were alerted, tried to stop the car at the Sarangpur barrier, but the culprits sped away. They were chased till the Togan barrier, where the car overturned due to high speed and wet road.

The culprits fled under the cover of darkness. A case has been registered. The policemen are being rewarded for alertness and excellent performance of duty.

Held for duping: A person who tried to take away Rs 120 from Ramesh, a ward boy of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, was nabbed by certain IAF personnel. According to information available, Raju approached Ramesh in Sector 29, where his father, Mr Ram Sahay, runs a dhobi shop, and offered to sell him 10 litres of kerosene. As they went to the Sector 31 IAF quarters on a bicycle, Raju asked Ramesh to wait outside a house and tried to escape from the scene.

This was noticed by Ramesh and certain IAF personnel, who chased him and overpowered him near the Sector 31-47 roundabout. They gave him a beating before handing him over to the police. Meanwhile, the police said a compromise had been reached and Ramesh had got his money back.

Liquor seized: The police chased and stopped a car (CHK-2920) at the Dhillon Barrier and seized 2,400 pouches and two boxes of whisky. The driver of the car, Amarjit Singh of Jandly village near Ambala, was arrested. A case under the Excise Act has been registered. The staff is being rewarded for alertness.

Robbed of car: Mr Jasbir Singh of Nihalsinghwala village in Moga district reported that three unknown persons took away his car (HR-16-B-4975) from Sector 35 at 10:32 pm last night. A case has been registered.Back

2 killed in accident
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 12 — A Raipur Rani resident was killed along with a labourer after a car and a “half-body” truck collided on the Raipur Rani Barwala road near here, leading to the disruption of traffic.

According to sources, the car driver has been identified as Tilak Raj, while the labourer is yet to be identified. Four others were also injured, the sources added.Back


15 Indian firms to take part in Singapore Expo
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Fifteen Indian companies from the machine tool-manufacturing and precision engineering industries will participate in MTA 2000/Manufacturing Asia 2000 as part of Singapore Expo from March 21 to 25 at Singapore.

Addressing a press conference here, Ms Lindy Wee, project Director of the Singapore Exhibition Services, said some of the leading companies participating in the exhibition will be Widis (India) Limited, Usha (India) Limited, Ahuja Felts and Rewdale Precision Tools.

The MTA 2000/Manufacturing Asia 2000 will showcase the latest products of over 1,200 companies from more than 40 countries and is South East Asia’s foremost metal working and precision engineering event. Metal cutting machines, cutting tools, accessories, meteorology instruments, factory automation equipment, industrial safety wares and other items would be exhibited during the show.Back


National Productivity Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The CED for Women Cell of Canara Bank, Chandigarh circle, along with the District Council for Child Welfare, Panchkula, today celebrated National Productivity Day. They organised a special drive for for production/quality enhancement for the women of Indira Colony, Panchkula.

Bank officials impressed upon the women to take up entrepreneurship in groups as by sharing responsibility, they could do quality work and fulfil their dream of improving their standard of living. The women were also informed of various banking schemes, with special emphasis on the self-help group scheme.Back


Free hotplate service week begins
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The ‘free hotplate service week’ of Bharat Gas was inaugurated at Super Gas Service, Sector 35, here, by Mr S.K. Kudalsya, Regional LPG Manager-NR, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

Bharatgas consumers can avail themselves of this facility and get their hotplates repaired free of cost.

Mr M.C. Khurana, Territory Manager (LPG), emphasised that this campaign was being carried out keeping in view the safety aspects for the welfare of the consumers. The public is also being educated about LPG, its use and safety measures related to it.

This facility is also available at K P Gas, Sector 18, and Nirmal Gas, Sector 30, Chandigarh.Back


Exhibition opens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — It was to an enthusiastic crowd that the Women Entrepreneurs' Exhibition opened today at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Sector 11. The two-day exhibition-cum-sale, an annual event being held here for the fifth time, is organised by the YWCA itself.

Various stalls exhibiting products ranging from garments, paintings, books, handicrafts, jams and pickles to designer dresses have been put up for sale here. The exhibition was inaugurated today by Mr Prithi Chand, Director of the UT Social Welfare Department.

According to Ms Kiran Rekha Banerji, General Secretary of the local unit of the YWCA, the exhibition has been organised to provide a platform to budding women entrepreneurs to display their talents and expertise. This is especially for those women who cannot hold independent exhibitions due to high costs.

There was also a handicrafts stall which had been set-up by girls of nearby colonies and semi-urban areas. Its purpose is to give them self-confidence and make them use this as a launch pad towards self-employment.

An attractive aspect of the exhibition is the affordable pricing of the various objects put up for sale. The other items on display include linen, pottery, cosmetics, books, encyclopaedias, home-made chutneys, embroidered tapestries, health equipment and furniture.Back

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