Thursday, February 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City to have sewage treatment plant
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The city will have a five million gallons a day (MGD) sewage treatment plant at Raipur Kalan village. This was cleared by the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh that met here this evening.

A sum of Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for the project that will deal with sewage of Phase I and Phase II sectors of the city, a spokesperson of the Corporation said tonight. The same will be put at the meeting of the general house scheduled for February 24.

The Finance and Contract Committee meeting also cleared a proposal to have a hydraulic boom ladder and a telescopic ladder required by the electricity wing of the MCC to carry out work on street lights.

Meanwhile, the committee also cleared filling of 38 posts in the MCC’s electrical wing. These include two posts of SDO, six of sectional officer/junior engineers, besides junior assistants, clerks, linemen, helpers, peons and chowkidars.

The committee decided that it would go by the resolution of the All-India Mayors’ conference that had sought to file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking more administrative and financial powers. But a decision taken during the same conference that each Mayor would contribute Rs 10,000 into the kitty to fight the legal battle was not accepted by the committee, saying the sum could not be taken out of any fund. Back


Computer calls candidates’ bluff
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 16 — A scandal in which candidates had been cheating the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) authorities over the years by filling more than one application form for the same examination of the board has been unearthed this year — courtesy the use of computers.

As many as 2075 such cases in the middle class examination of the board have been detected so far. The practice involving people in the teaching business and in some cases teachers of government-run schools, had been going on with the board authorities finding it hard to detect the cases due to manual system of compiling the information.

However, this year the candidates were caught on the wrong foot when the board authorities decided to get the information compiled on computers to tally the particulars of the candidates. After the feeding of the information of the middle class examination forms, information about the father’s name, mother’s name and date of birth was sought from the computers. The results were revealing — over 2000 candidates had tried to bluff the board authorities.

The Secretary of the Board, Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu, said in cases where there was doubt, the photographs of the candidates were tallied. In one case, the candidate had used his separate photos clicked in different backgrounds and in different outfits. In another case a candidate, Lakhwinder Singh, had filled three forms for the same examination from Mansa. Another candidate, Jaspal Kaur, had filled the examination forms from Faridkot, Ferozepore and Moga. In another case, the candidate had changed his handwriting.

At least six cases had been detected in which the candidates had filled three forms. A case of a candidate from Ferozepore, who had been debarred from appearing in the examination for one year following an unfair means case (UMC) against him, had again filled the examination form by changing the name of his mother from Ms Jeeta Bibi to Jito Bai.

Though the board authorities were compiling the exact number of regular and private candidates, sources said the maximum cases were from Gurdaspur. In some cases, the candidates were wards of teachers and persons in government jobs.Back


VSNL package lures net users
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The ongoing competition in slashing of Internet tariffs in Chandigarh is hotting up. Public sector giant Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) that operates a server from Ambala is offering Internet connections at prices that are almost 30 to 35 per cent less than those prevailing in Chandigarh.

With phones calls between Ambala and Chandigarh being charged at a local call basis, the VSNL package is all the more attractive. For the past six months, after changes were carried out in the telecom software, all telephone numbers in Ambala can be dialled directly from Chandigarh, Panchkula and S.A.S. Nagar, by prefixing ‘90171’ to the number. This covers one aspect that the cost of telephone calls will be same if a user wants to connect to server either in Chandigarh or Ambala.

Tariffs being offered by the VSNL that has connected the Ambala server directly with its gateway at Delhi are cheaper than those being offered by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the two other private service providers — Glide and Satyam — in Chandigarh.

Sources in the telecom sector said the rates were slashed by the VSNL in January this year. Since then, a number of Chandigarh-based companies, private users, cyber cafe owners, exporters and banks have opted to use net through the Ambala server. A lower operating cost is the main factor, said a banker, whose bank has to use the Internet.

Some people are reportedly giving addressess of friends in Ambala to get the connections. Though the bandwidth of the VSNL server could not be ascertained users say the connection is quick. The VSNL service is cheaper even for the first-time entrants as well as for those seeking a renew. At present, the rates of fresh connections of the VSNL are much cheaper than even the renewal charged by DoT, or Glide or Satyam.

One of the cheapest is the package of 1000-hour usage. This package costs Rs 9600, inclusive of all costs. This is just about Rs 800 to Rs 1100 more than the sum charged by the three providers in Chandigarh to offer 500 or 600-hour packages. All other packages of the VSNL like those for 100, 250, and 500 hours are also much cheaper.

Many Internet buffs in the city are hooking onto the VSNL gateway in a big manner. However, the basic problem is of applying from Ambala. The biggest question in the market is whether the VSNL package can woo users, who have been pampered by private service providers, providing cash discounts, free coupons, additional usage hours or free gifts.

However, when seen in terms of cash one spends, the VSNL is the cheapest, while in other cases the user has to weigh his options. Satyam offers a free watch and a coupon of Rs 2,500 of a scooter manufacturing company, for all renewals of-90 hour and more packages. Besides this additional usage time.

Glide offers a 10 per cent discount on renewal. Another 20 per cent, 15, per cent and 10 per cent discount is given for renewals carried out within three, six and nine months of buying the original package. This for renewal of packages that have more than 50 hours. The DoT slashes a good 10 per cent on renewals.Back


Accused seeks FIR against SI
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — Accusing UT Sub-Inspector D.S. Chandel of fabricating record in the jailbreak case, accused Jaspal Singh Dhillon, in a complaint before a city court, today stated that 24 laddoos, allegedly containing explosives, were displayed during a press conference in June, 1998, while only 11 laddoos were later produced before the trial court.

Seeking directions to the Station House Officer of Sector 17 police station to lodge an FIR on the basis of the complaint, Dhillon stated that the absence of the remaining laddoos showed that the case property had been tampered with.

Claiming to have been implicated, Dhillon also asked for arresting Chandel after dismissing him so that no police personnel, under the garb of investigation, misused his power to misguided the UT Administration in the future, in the interest of justice.

Taking up the complaint under Section 156 (3) of the CrPC, UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Jasbir Singh, fixed March 27 for recording preliminary evidence in the case.

Dhillon also stated in his complaint that Chandel obtained the sanction order for the prosecution of the applicant after misleading the Administration and arranging a press conference on June 11, 1998, without its consent.

He added that false statements of certain prosecution witnesses, including Lakhwinder Singh, Girish Ahluwalia and Labh Singh, were prepared.

He further added that there were material contradictions between statements recorded by the police and the court.

The alleged conspiracy was unearthed after an accused in the case, Satnam Singh, was apprehended by the Chandigarh Police in June, 1998.

According to the prosecution, explosives in shape of laddoos were to be employed for blowing up a portion of Model Jail in Burail village for releasing hardcore terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara and certain other alleged assassins of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh.Back


Teachers abstain from classes, students suffer
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — Nearly 300 part-time diploma students of the local Central Polytechnic are suffering as teachers continue to abstain from classes since February 1.

The most affected are students of the final semester. Nearly all students are workers in government or private sectors. They spare time after duty hours to attend classes in the evening. "We are attending courses after strenuous work," a student said.

Another student said students had been warned by college teachers about the agitation in case their demand for increase in honorarium for lectures was not accepted. The teachers appear firm on their demand for enhanced fee for classes.

Dr K.K. Bhalla, a lecturer, said the college teachers' forum had first sent a letter to the Administration in March, 1999, demanding enhanced honorarium for special classes in the evening. Another letter was dispatched in October, 1999, followed by another representation in January this year, but to no avail.

Teachers are currently being paid Rs 50 per lecture and Rs 25 per practical class. This was a negligible amount, said Dr R.C. Sharma, a teacher. Guest lecturers are being paid Rs 225 per hour, subject to a maximum of Rs 4,500 per month.

Replying to a question that the sum paid to college lecturers in the evening was in addition to their pay, Dr Bhalla said teachers came at 9 am and stayed till 9 pm. "The remuneration for special working hours is below what they deserve," a teacher said.

Students of the college said in a press note that the demands of teachers were justified and the Administration should interfere at the earliest. A student said it was difficult for students to arrange a common platform to voice their concerns.

The case has been forwarded to the office of Director, Technical Education. Teachers have also submitted their demands to the Principal of the college.

The Administration should keep in mind that teachers were spending a lot of time in classes, which they could have spent with their families, another teacher said. Teachers could manage the same amount if they took private tuition classes, the teacher added.

A reference was also made to the non-implementation of the recommendations of the Madan Committee. The committee was formed to ensure promotion of junior teachers to senior lecturers.Back


Conclave consecrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — Conclave Yadavindra No: 448 was consecrated here today by Mr Timothy John Lewis and Mr Christopher Francis Stanes, two senior officers of Grand conclave of England, who had come from London for this ceremony.

Dr Pritam Singh Egan was installed as the founder supreme ruler of this conclave. Senior freemasons, Mr C.K Maarfatia came from Mumbai, Col Bawa Gurbachan Singh and V Nagarajan came from Delhi to assist in the consecration. About 35 brethren from Amritsar, Lucknow and Kanpur graced the meeting.

The members of the newly formed conclave would be meeting at Free Masons Hall, Sector 18 four times a year. Mr Timothy Lewis, grand secretary of various orders said that the idea behind setting the second conclave in the city was to expand the order and get more members in the fold. He said their two weeks’ visit would also help them to meet their brethren in the districts overseas. They also consecrated a conclave in new Delhi yesterday.

The Secretary Dr Narender Vasishta said that conclave is a high degree in freemasonry. It is the brotherhood of David and Jonathan, under the fatherhood of the Supreme Ruler. It is the saga of most intimate and true friendship. It teaches the members to share each other’s joys and sorrows, to protect each other during dangers and difficulties and to assist each other in daily life.

Homoeos’ strike
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 16 — The strike by the students of the local homoeopathic institute in Phase 2 here entered its 28th day today. The agitating students gave a memorandum of demands to the Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM).

The students have threatened to go to court if their grievance was not heard.Back


Three brothers booked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 —- A case under Section 420, read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, has been registered against three brothers on the complaint of their fourth brother at the Sector 17 police station.

The complainant, Mr Madan Lal of Delhi, said house number 1414 in Sector 34-D was jointly owned by four brothers — Kashmiri Lal, Subash Chander, Ramesh and Madan Lal. He alleged that his three brothers sold the house to New India Insurance Company without his consent by forging his signatures. He maintained that all four brothers had equal share in the property. Further investigations are in progress.

Thief held: The police arrested Jeewan Singh, of Khuda Ali Sher, after recovering from his possession a carpet which he had allegedly stolen from the Sector 30 Mahajan Tent House. He was caught red-handed while carrying the stolen carpet on his bicycle. A case under sections 379 and 411 of the Indian penal Code has been registered against him.

Vehicle stolen: Mr Balbir Singh, of Sector 19, lodged a complaint with the police that his Tata Sumo (CH-01-Z-2966) had been stolen from Sector 22. A case under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Held with liquor: The police arrested Bir Singh of Sector 41 and Varinder Kumar of Ram Darbar on Tuesday and recovered 70 bottles and 48 nips of liquor from their possession. Separate cases under Sections 61-1-14 of the Excise Act has been registered against the arrested persons.


Woman hospitalised: Ms Anju Walia (36) was admitted to General Hospital, Sector 6, with 75 per cent burns. She said her burner burst last night while she was cooking at her house in Sector 18. She added that her husband’s hands were burnt as he tried to douse the flames.


Scooterist killed: A scooterist, Kulwant Rai (50), was crushed to death near Surajpur by a truck (HR-39-6675), coming from the opposite direction on the National Highway, while he was coming from Kalka towards Panchkula. The Pinjore Police has registered a case against the driver under Sections 279 and 304 A of the IPC. The driver fled from the scene after the accident.Back


Exchange offers, discounts are here again
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 16 — Even summer is a few months away companies manufacturing different cooling gadgets are giving special exchange offers and discounts to the consumers. Eye-catching ads announcing the gift schemes on refrigerators and airconditioners have started appearing in newspapers.

Adding fuel to the price war between different brand names the maximum retail price (MRP) of some of the items of a multi-national company manufacturing refrigerators have been reduced by around 10 per cent. A survey of markets in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar reveals that a discount varying between Rs 1,000 and Rs 4,000 is being offered on the cooling gadgets like refrigerators, airconditioners, desert coolers and water coolers.

A shopkeeper in the Sector 35 market has offered a zero per cent interest scheme for eight months on refrigerators for the salaried class consumers. A 220-litre refrigerator with a vinyl coating is being sold at a reduced price of Rs 15,900 as compared to its price of Rs 16,990 last season. Another refrigerator of the same company and same capacity but with a leather-like coating has a price tag of Rs 16,900. Its price was Rs 18,000 last year. The selling price was exclusive of the exchange offer.

On air onditioners a zero per cent interest scheme for six months is being offered. The price of a 1.5 tonne airconditioner of a multi-national company has been reduced to Rs 24,500 as compared to its price of Rs 27,000 last year. Similarly, a two-tonne branded airconditioner is selling at Rs 29,200 with a discount of Rs 2,800. The exchange offer was also available for airconditioners.

A shopkeeper in Phase 3B2 here is offering a discount to the tune of Rs 4,000 depending on the make and capacity of refrigerators. A 165-litre refrigerator of a reputed brand is available at Rs 7,500. If a customer wants to opt for the exchange offer the price could further be reduced, subject to the condition of the gadget being returned. A 470-litre gadget of another reputed company is selling at Rs 40,000. Enquiries reveal that the prices of the refrigerators of different capacities ( from 165 litres to 470 litres) and make varied between Rs 7,000 and Rs 55,000.

The prices of the 1.5-tonne airconditioner varied between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000. A split-type airconditioner of the same capacity is available at Rs 35,000. A similar product with a higher capacity is available at Rs 60,000. A seven-tonne branded airconditioner has a price tag of Rs 1.5 lakh.

In desert coolers, the prices of local makes vary from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 at a shop in Phase 7 here. The branded desert coolers are, however, being sold in the range of Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000. For water coolers no exchange offer is available. A water cooler with 40-litre storage capacity and 20-litre cooling capacity is being sold at Rs 17,000. A water cooler with 150-litre storage capacity and 150-litre cooling capacity is available at Rs 60,000. Back

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