Monday, February 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Don't defile city; you may be fined
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Piqued by the unchecked littering of roads, corridors of shopping centres, parks and public places and even defecation at open spaces along important roads in the city, the Chandigarh Administration may invoke the provisions of the Police Act to penalise or fine those defiling the city.

Another major area that the Administration plans to handle on a priority basis is check on the use of polythene bags and recycling of plastic waste.

In fact, initiatives and actions on keeping the city clean had started much before the directions of Supreme Court for the Union Capital came. The issue being debated is how to enforce the plan of preventing the people from defiling the city in general and public places in particular.

Though under the Police Act, a maximum fine permissible for such minor offences is Rs 50, the Administration is considering other options, including creating general awareness among the residents to keep their environs and surroundings neat and clean.

Provision of garbage bins at public places, their regular cleaning and some enforcement to prevent littering of public places and check dumping of debris, rubble and organic and vegetative waste at unspecified places, including parks and open spaces, are some of the preliminary steps being contemplated before invoking of the provisions of the Police Act.

The Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), too, had expressed his unhappiness over uncleanliness of public places. It has been at his behest that the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has decided to launch a "cleanliness drive" from the city centre in Sector 17 where garbage bins would be provided and the use of recycled polythene bags would be checked or minimised.

Though the Chandigarh Administration has already notified the new rules governing the use of recycled plastic and polythene bags for food stuffs, its enforcement is yet to start.

The Administration is also proposing a new garbage disposal scheme where dry garbage packed in special bags would be removed from every household.

Other area of concern has been the encroachments. Though the Administration has set up a round-the-clock Control Room, the problem of encroachments is a little more serious than can be handled by the Control Room alone.

"Whatever we demolish, it comes up again," remarked a top functionary of the Administration. "We do not have the infrastructure or manpower to continue with demolitions all the time," he added.

In Chandigarh, the enforcement wing is directly under the control of the Estate Officer who also happens to the Deputy Commissioner. Besides, the Deputy Commissioner in Chandigarh is also head of more than 20 departments, thus making it difficult for him to dedicate or give full attention to the problem of encroachments.

The Administration can do well by appointing yet another officer, on the lines of Additional Deputy Commissioner in Punjab, exclusively to handle the problem of encroachments and unauthorised buildings.

The problem in Chandigarh is multifold because of lack of clear demarcation between the functions of the Estate Office, Municipal Corporation and the chandigarh Administration over the issue of removal of encroachments. The types of encroachments are too many. From encroaching of road berms to construction of rooms or even full-fledged units on public land and additional rooms in housing board colonies are some of the examples.Back


Rajesh Khanna pulls crowd
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 20 — There was much euphoria on the last day of the campaign in the Congress camp with the visit of Rajesh Khanna, actor-turned-politician, in Sector 11, here today.

Though the public started thronging the venue much before time, Khanna arrived over one and a half hours behind schedule. However, there was much ecstasy as soon as the sound of the chopper carrying Khanna became audible and people, especially children, craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the mehboob neta.

When he actually did arrive at the venue around 12.45 p.m., the enthusiasm of the crowd spilled over as they jostled and pushed their way through the crowd for a view. The police stood helpless in the face of such a response from the crowd even as Congress workers and party men tried to make way for the star attraction of the day.

After much effort, he finally managed to get to the specially erected dais along with Mr Chander Mohan, Congress candidate from the Kalka constituency, amidst slogans of Rajesh Khanna zindabad. Then on, the enthusiasm of the crowd refused to die down and no amount of appeals helped bring back order. Finally, Khanna held the floor and tried to restore order, forcing people on the dais to squat down and the others to calm down.

The crowd-puller leader was overjoyed as garlands were hurled at him and he hurled them back in the direction of the crowd. Finally, after 1 p.m., Mr Khanna began his speech which lasted barely 20 minutes but had the crowd applauding throughout.

Appreciative of the enthusiasm of the crowd he began with, mein dil walon ki basti mein aya hoon and the crowd went berserk as each one tried to inch his way towards the dais.

The serious talk followed next with Rajesh Khanna blaming the successive governments after the Congress at the Centre for bringing instability in the country. Referring to Haryana, he said that there was a kind of ''licenced mafia'' operating in the state and the situation would worsen if the Congress was not voted back to power.

''They are not bothered about the development but are in search of kursi, paisa aur sarkar. They have lots of money stashed away in bank accounts in Switzerland and are seeking election on the basis of false promises with little policy matter and absolutely no development programmes,'' he said.

He was very critical of the failure of the Bansi Lal government in providing 24-hour electricity and asked those present if they had managed to get electricity for even two hours during his regime. The audience gave a resounding ''no'' for an answer to which Khanna replied: ''Yeh jo public hai yeh sab janti hai. You already know the answer and I need not waste time enlightening you on the failures of the Chautala and Bansi Lal governments.''

Holding the hand of Mr Chander Mohan, he appealed to the voters, yeh mera dost nahin hai. Yeh mera bhai bhi nahin hai. Yeh mere jigar ka tukda hai. Tum isko hi vote dena. He promised the voters to return to the venue and thank them if they voted Mr Chander Mohan to power, and ended his speech. Leaving the venue proved to be an equally arduous task for him as the crowd surrounded him from all sides even as desperate Congress workers tried to make way to his car.Back


Advocate harasses, beats Iranian client
By Bipin Bhardwaj

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — After allegedly duping his client of over Rs 3 lakh with a hope to assist him getting justice, an advocate practising at the UT District Courts, reportedly thrashed an Iranian national, Mr Mostafa Mirzaei, when he refused to continue his services.

Another Iranian national had lodged a complaint for cheating at Central Police Station here against Mostafa, Jamshid Mirzaei, Jalal Deriss, Omid Abodi and Minakshi Sood. They came in contact with Mr J.M. Bajaj, the advocate, and approached him for their case in February, 1998.

Working as a translator with the Iranian Government Culture House in Mumbai, Mostafa has got married to a local resident, Minakshi Sood. They live as tenants in Sector 8.

Relating his saga, Mustafa said in spite of paying Rs 11,000 per head for getting anticipatory bail, they were not granted bail by the court. Another Rs 15,000 was paid to the lawyer on his requirement as he became the defence counsel in this case. Another Rs 15,000 was also paid to him as the advocate himself deposited security amount and furnished bail bonds.

“After a couple of months the advocate suggested quashing of FIRs in the High Court. A sum of Rs 50,000 was given to him for this but he never did it,” said Mostafa.

“In November 1999, the advocate further demanded Rs 20,000 for the release of my passport, and the passport of my brother, Jamshid, from the court. Another Rs 20,000 was paid to the advocate for surety amount,” said Mustafa.

“In December, 1999, the advocate, demanded Rs 1 lakh to finish the case, saying the money would be used to grease the palm of a judge. Our doubt about the advocate was confirmed when we went with a gift to the judge’s house but were refused. We realised that the advocate only wanted to extract money from us and we told him to discontinue his services,” said Mr Mustafa.

“The advocate then turned hostile and violent. He began to threaten us and moved applications in the court against us. He cancelled the sureties for which he had taken a huge sum,” he alleged.

“On January 15, J.M. Bajaj threatened that he would kill me if I tried to bail out Jalal. He is in Burail Jail as the advocate has cancelled his surety. Complaints were made to Mr Parag Jain, SSP, in this connection on January 22,” he said.

On January 29, Bajaj and two other advocates broke into Jalal’s house in Sector 22 and beat him. He was taken to Sector 16 General Hospital with injuries on his forehead, abdomen and arms. The doctors referred him to the PGI. He remained there for three days.

During these days, Mr Rajinder Singh, the advocate’s subordinate, assaulted him. A complaint was lodged but no action had been taken by the police, he alleged.

On February 16, he arranged surety for his brother. The next day as he entered the court as he had an appearance in a case, Bajaj and three others attacked him from behind, which caused injuries on his forehead, neck and left ear.

“They hit me with some solid object on my jaw and ear. I have lost my left ear’s hearing power. As I fell on the ground, they kicked me and crushed my hands with their shoes,” Mostafa said.

A policeman restrained them from all this and took him to Central Police Station. A case under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the advocate. Mostafa was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16, for medical treatment.

Minakshi said there was a threat to their children and they could not go to the market to make telephone calls. About their harassment and cheating by the advocate, complaints have been made to Inspector-General of Police, UT Home Secretary, SSP and Iranian Embassy in New Delhi.Back


A "VIP weekend"

CHANDIGARH was overflowing with VIPs this weekend. Among those who were in the city on Saturday were a former Prime Minister, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitely; the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Farooq Abdullah; the Scientific Defence Adviser to the Government, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; the Additional Solicitor-General of India, a group of the eminent surgeons and doctors from all over the country; Rotarians from the five northern States, Indi-Pop star Harbhajan Mann and several others.

Also in the town was Dr Manohar Singh Gill, Chief Election Commissioner of India, in connection with the bhog ceremony of his father, Lieut-Col P.S. Gill, who died here on February 13 after a brief illness.

Mr Arun Jaitely had perhaps the most hectic programme. After inaugurating the District Conference of Rotary International District 3080, he visited the house of former MP from the city, Mr Satya Pal Jain; attended the bhog ceremony of Colonel Gill; spoke at a seminar on Constitutional amendment at the university; presided over a meeting of the officials of his department with regard to the Chandigarh kendra of Doordarshan which is coming up in Sector 37 and addressed an election rally at Panchkula. This was his maiden visit to the city after becoming a member of the Union Cabinet.

Mr Gujral, too, had a hectic schedule in the city. He attended the bhog ceremony of Colonel Gill, spoke at Rotary Conference and attended the colloquium organised by the Bradlaugh International Centre.

Bills: Consumers in Chandigarh and Panchkula face a lot of problem regarding the payment of their electricity and water bills, says Mr Harish Khanna, a reader. There are long queues outside the collection centres and many a time in spite of waiting for the whole day, one does not get the chance to make the payment.

It is pathetic that people have to take leave from office for a day or so for the payment of bills. Why do not the authorities concerned open more collection centres or arrange more staff for the collection of bills?

Normally only one person is seen manning the cash collection counter. It is atrocious to make people wait for so long, especially in hot summer and chilly winter days and even on rainy days for so long. The other option, suggests Mr Khanna, could be collection of bills through various branches of banks in the city.

Vehicle registration: With a view to further streamlining the functioning of the licensing branch, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to provide "Smart cards" to vehicle users in City Beautiful by March-end. These “Smart cards” will provide instant information to the traffic police to ascertain the authenticity of registration certificates, driving licences etc.

It is good on the part of the administration but there is scope for improvement in the registration of vehicles. There is provision for one-time road tax payment and permanent registration of vehicles up to a seating capacity of five passengers whereas other vehicles with capacity above five passengers have to pay road tax every year and get these cleared every year, which is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Such vehicles like Maruti van (Omni), Tata Sumo and Mohindra jeeps are initially registered for two years after which the owner has to get the vehicle declared roadworthy every year. One can understand such a condition being imposed on commercial vehicles but the private vehicles should be exempted from such curbs. The owners of such private vehicles should be allowed to deposit one-time road tax and spared the ordeal of getting these passed every year as in Punjab and Haryana. Even otherwise, Chandigarh follows most of the laws and Acts of Punjab. It is not asking for too much.

Cinema break: The interval time in a film in cinema halls makes many in the audience move towards the snacks sale counters.

A thing that surprises one is that all such outlets in cinema halls of the city (with no possible exception) provide soft drink of only one particular brand that used to be popular many years ago but is nowadays difficult to spot in the market.

The movie-goers have no option but to buy this brand only. The popular soft drinks of today are conspicuous by their absence here. The monopoly of this particular brand makes one think whether there exists some nexus between the cinema halls and the soft drink company in question.Back


Power bill payment cumbersome

People in Chandigarh and Panchkula face a great deal of problem regarding the payment of electricity and water bills.There are long queues outside the money collection centres and many a time, inspite of waiting for the whole day, one does not get the chance to make the payment. It is pathetic that people have to take leave from office for a day or two for the payment of bills.

Why do not the authorities concerned open more collection centres, or arrange more staff for the collection of money ?

Normally, only one person is seen manning these cash-collection counters. It is atrocious to make people wait for so long for the payment of bills. The authorities can also think in terms of collecting money through banks.

Dr Harish Khanna

Pensionary benefits

Apropos of the news-item that appeared under the title “Pensionary benefits on retirement day” in Chandigarh Tribune on February 1. As per the news, all retiring employees of the Chandigarh Police will be handed over their pensionary benefits on the day of retirement. This is a praiseworthy step to be undertaken for the welfare of the employees.

On the other hand, the situation is different in HMT Pinjore where I served for 30 years and thereafter took voluntary retirement in 1997. What to speak about the payment on retirement day, the dues of the already retired employees are not cleared for years together. So far, my dues such as arrears of leave encashment and provident fund for the period 1991-95 have not been paid to me despite repeated requests.

O.P. Walia

Good step

I am a 13-year-old student. I would like to thank you for starting a special column for children, namely Archie, in Chandigarh Tribune. It is wonderful to read. All my friends also like this column very much.

I request you to provide us computer education through your newspaper.



Jacob pays surprise visit to ISBT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — The Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), today paid surprise visit to the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) and Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17.

The visit to the ISBT took everybody by surprise.The Administrator went straight to the public windows and queried passengers regarding the difficulties faced by them.

While he expressed satisfaction about the facilities and hygiene at the restaurant run by CITCO at the ISBT, he expressed unhappiness over the unhygienic conditions in the toilets.

Later, he visited another restaurant on the first floor of the bus stand, which is being run by a contractor. He expressed his unhappiness over the unhygienic conditions in the kitchen of the restaurant. He was surprised to see workers taking bath in the cooking area itself.

Passengers complained to him regarding the exorbitant rates of eatables being charged by small shopkeepers at the ISBT. They said the quality of foodstuffs being offered by these shops was also questionable as packets of different eatables were not of reputed companies but cheap imitation of reputed products.

General Jacob also went to Hotel Shivalikview. He visited various rooms, kitchens and restaurants and saw facilities being offered to the customers by the hotel.

The visits of General Jacob were unscheduled. He was accompanied only by his ADC.Back


Rose Garden lavatories stink
By V.P. Prabhakar

A visit to the City Beautiful is not considered complete if a tourist does not go around two places which have earned world-wide acclaim. These are Zakir Rose Garden and the Rock Garden.

The Rose Garden has well-laid out beds of roses and sprawling well-kept lawns. It provides fascinating moments for young and old, especially newly weds. People visiting the garden generally do not throw litter on the lawns and utilise the services of “use me” boxes placed at different places in the garden.

Old and young people come to the Rose Garden in the morning and evening for walk. A few are seen reading books.

Till about two years ago, the annual festival held here was known as Rose Festival. Its name has now been changed to Festival of Gardens in order to focus attention on various gardens in the city. However, the purpose has not been fulfilled as the centre of attraction remains the Rose Garden. The main events are also concentrated in the Rose Garden.

On this occasion, stalls of eatables and other articles like agriculture and horticulture implements and items of daily use are put up for sale.

There are a few dark spots in the Rose Garden towards which the authorities seem to have not bothered. The number of lavatories in the Rose Garden are inadequate. There are two places having urinals — one near the Punjab Kala Bhavan and the other near the entrance to the garden from the main road. Both urinals stink and there is no sweeper nearby to clean these. Also, there is no light and the taps etc are leaking. It is difficult to reach inside the urinals as people urinate in the pucca way leading to the urinals.

One is supposed to pass this stinking ‘corridor’ to go inside the urinal. Moreover, many a time the urinals are locked. This forces some to urinate along the hedges of the garden. The authorities have spent crores of rupees on the construction and maintenance of Rose Garden but have ignored this important aspect.

At the back of the Punjab Kala Bhavan building, field staff of the Rose Garden huge heaps of cattle dung have been piled up in order to make fertiliser for the garden. A foul smell emanates from here. The place has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. This also creates foul atmosphere for the artistes of Punjab Kala Bhavan who generally do rehearsal nearby. It is not known whether they have even protested against this.

The condition of huts constructed for the field staff is also bad. The place is full of tractors, trollies and water tanks. These are used for maintenance etc. One broken tractor is also lying here. The kitchen of the chowkidar leaks during rains and he takes shelter in the tubewell room situated nearby. The room where some implements or discarded articles are placed has no roof.Back


‘Cultural shock of Partition lives on’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Partition was more a cultural shock than a political shock to the people of India and Pakistan, said Dr Inder Kumar Gujral, a former Prime Minister of India, in his inaugural speech at the conference of the Centre for Geopolitics of Panjab University on Rethinking Boundaries, Geopolitics, Identities and Sustainability on the university campus here today.

The cultural shock lives on till today, he said. Consolidation of the Indian nation was a serious problem at the time of Independence, where the effect of Partition could be seen but issues of the centre seemed to be shared and not concentrated upon, he added.

One important dilemma of the current times was understanding whether the subject of geopolitics helped promote social stability or had an an adverse impact, Dr Gujral said.

He said another question was studying the future of nation-states. Globalisation needed to be understood from different perspectives. Who decides national interests? Has it to be done by the society itself? These were important issue-related questions, he stated.

Highlighting another concept which was pertinent for examination, according to the former Prime Minister, included understanding the actual impact after the breakaway of the USSR. What was the real impact of globalisation was another question, he said.

Dr Gujral said the cold war in current times had opposite impact than what the word suggested. The period saw upgradation of weaponry and cost of war technology went up. The increasing cost of weaponry is understood to have been one of the important reasons for break-up of the USSR, he said.

Another area in which India was coming up was how to deal seriously with the neighbourhood in South Asia, he emphasised.

Prof M.M. Puri, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said biggest threats in modern times were not war holocausts but coming dangers of pestilence, diseases and microbial invasion unless corrective methods were taken. It would be interesting to know the significance of boundaries, he said.

Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, Convener of the conference, underlined the theme of a series of seminars on geopolitics to study present-day concerns. One area included trans-border cooperation and sustainable development, with special reference to environment.

Prof David Newman from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, editor of a leading Israeli journal on geopolitics, said he did not agree with arguements in favour of states without boundaries and territories in the coming future. Territories were not static and boundaries changed but they continue to be part of life, he stated.

He said the political world had always been in territorial flux. Change in technology posed different views on boundaries but the presence of these lines needed to be recognised, he elaborated.

Paper presentations at the conference will continue till February 24. The post-conference plan includes a field trip on February 25 and 26.Back


HUDA turns blind eye to violations
From Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, Feb 20 — The mushrooming of unauthorised retail outlets in industrial areas here has failed to catch the attention of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

From textiles to electrical goods, from printing to tailoring, from sweets and dairy products to photo studios, the list goes on. The bylaws of the HUDA do not permit the retail of products and services in industrial areas as these are meant only for production units.

The policy of the HUDA terms the action as misuse, for which the authorities are empowered to initiate resumption proceedings of the site after issue of notices.

However, the authorities have turned a blind eye to these violations. The result is a declines in the sale of similar products in authorised market complexes in different sectors of the township. Rentals in the market are declining. Shopkeepers in markets have to succumb to pressures of competition.

Mr Rajesh Rajpal, a shopkeeper, says retailers operating from industrial areas have a much larger area. "Owing to a large covered area, they are able to buy and stock large inventories and avail themselves of cash discounts. Retailers operating from markets have smaller areas," he added.

Those in the industrial areas who do not do direct retailing, have sublet sites to others. Consequently, the industrial area is on the verge of becoming a market place. Officials in the HUDA say notices are issued against violators from time to time.

Scores of retail outlets in industrial areas has led to encroachments on public property as well. The enforcement wing of the HUDA has failed to initiate action against these violations. The laxity on part of the authorities has led many to follow suit.

Roads have not been spared and are being used for parking. These roads have never been carpeted and are hardly maintained by the authorities. Water-logging is common after a heavy downpour. Defacement of public property for advertising is another common violation in the area.Back


Ageing gracefully seminar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — It was a day for the young to entertain the old at a seminar on Aging Gracefully, organised this evening by Khayal at DAV College, Sector 10, here.

A seminar and a multi-lingual poetic symposium on the theme of ‘...peeri shabab ho jaye’ was organised at the Khayal symposium. Prof S.L. Sharma, Academic Adviser at the Institute of Correctional Administration, UT, presided over the function and Dr Kesar Singh ‘Kesar’ from the Department of Punjabi, Panjab University, was the guest of honour.

The programme began with a shabad rendition by Surjit, “Guran Ek Deyh Bujhaiyee”, followed by some delightful singing by a young singer Kanwalroop Dhaliwal.

Kanwalroop enchanted the select few with Shiv Kumar Batlavi’s beautiful Punjabi poetry- “Tu Vida Huyon Merey Dil Ton” and Hafiz Jullandhari’s ghazal “Hum Hi Mein Thi Na Koi Baat”. Both these numbers had been composed by Mr N.S. Rathore.

Another young delightful singer of the day was Aakarshan, who sang Bhadur Shah Zafar’s “Baat Karni Mujhey Mushqil Kabhi Aise To Na Thi”, which also happens to be a popular ghazal sung by Mehndi Hasan.

Both singers were later honoured by Khayal and were presented mementos. Back


Club conducts wedding
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Lions Club Chandigarh, Lions Club Daffodil, Mohali, and Lions Club Lotus, Chandigarh, jointly conducted the marriage of Ms Baljinder Kaur, daughter of Pritam Singh, with Mr Balwinder Singh at Gurdwara Sant Baba Bhagwan Dass, Maloya, today.

The girl has no parents and has two unemployed brothers. According to a press note, seven ladies’ suits for the bride and one suit for the bridegroom, two beddings, a trunk and other useful articles were given by the club members.Back


Journalist bereaved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Numberdar Darshan Singh (73), father-in-law of Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu, Chief Sub-Editor, Punjabi Tribune, died yesterday after a prolonged illness.

His cremation at Gunachaur village (near Banga) was largely attended.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter.Back


Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Mehar Chand Maria, father of Mr Raj Kumar Maria of The Tribune, died today. He was 86.

He was former vice-president of the All-India PNBEF.

He is survived by four sons and a daughter.Back


One killed by truck
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — An unidentified person, in his mid-thirties, was killed on the spot when he was hit by a truck (PB-11-D-2892) in the Grain Market, Sector 26, here last night.

The driver of the truck, Surinder Kumar, a resident of Sanaur village of Patiala, has been arrested and the truck has been impounded. A case has been registered.

Burgled: Mr Rajnish Bansal, a wholesaler of medicines, reported that his shop in Sector 41 was burgled and medicines were stolen from it. A case has been registered.

In another incident, Mr OP Gupta, of Sector 11, reported that someone had stolen gold ornaments, camera and some American dollars from his house by breaking open the lock. The police has registered a case.

Arrested: The police has arrested Bhavan Singh, of Bara Ansara village in Jam Nagar district of Gujarat, from ISBT in Sector 17 and seized 45 bottles from his possession. In another incident, the police arrested Sudhir, of Bara Pany Serai village of the same district from the ISBT in Sector 17 and seized 39 bottles from his possession. Two separate cases have been registered under the Excise Act.

Car stolen: Mr Manjit Singh, of Phase 7 in SAS Nagar, complained that his car(CHO1-H-6100) had been stolen from Sector 17. A case has been registered.


Miraculous escape: The driver of a Tata Indica car had a miraculous escape when his car was hit by an Ambassador car near Kumbhra traffic lights here on Sunday.

The driver of the Ambassador car escaped from the scene of accident. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.Back


3 held under cruelty to animals Act
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 20 — The Kurali police arrested three persons after registering a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act yesterday

According to information received here, a complaint about this was lodged with the Kurali police by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Ropar, when a Tata 407 vehicle was spotted loaded with seven animals including five buffaloes, on the Kharar-Ropar road, near Kurali.

According to information, the animals were being taken from Baddi in Himachal Pradesh for sale in the Khanpur mandi, near Kharar. The police has arrested Maan Singh driver, and two others occupants, Baba Singh and Karnail Singh, were arrested and a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was registered. The animals were handed over to the SPCA temporarily.Back


11 Punwire staffers booked for beating colleague
Victim had tried to prevent Executive Director’s manhandling
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 20 — The ongoing crisis in the Punjab Wireless Systems (Punwire) Ltd here took a new turn today with the police registering a first information report (FIR) against certain employees of the company for allegedly beating up one of their woman colleague during the commotion on the factory premises past Friday.

The victim, Ms Updesh Manju, a Personnel Coordinator of Punwire, who had gone to the Marts division of the company in Phase VII here in connection with some old enquiry was beaten up by an unruly mob which had manhandled the Executive Director (ED) of the company, Mr Ved Pal, when the latter had tried to join office after a leave.

Though the victim, who is the wife of a physically challenged person, had named at least 13 persons, including three women who had beaten her up, the police has registered the case against only 11 of these, including the General Secretary of the Punwire Radio Division Employees Union. Cases have been registered against Rakesh Kalia, Ashok Josji, Tarlochan Bajwa, Pardeep, Raj Kumar, Jagmohan, Amrik, Gurjit, Anjali Dutta, Bijli Dutta and Renu Sharma under Sections 148, 149, 342, 382 and 120-B of the IPC.

In her complaint to the police, the victim alleged that she was beaten up by some members of the Punwire Radio Division Employees Union as she tried to intervene when the Executive Director was being manhandled. Later, she was rescued by the police.

The General Secretary of the Punwire Employees Union, Mr Rakesh Kalia, was not available for comments. Mr Hardarsharan Kaur, a former President of the Punwire Marts Division, who was also present on the occasion, alleged that in the commotion, her gold chain and an ear top was snatched by a senior member of the union. She said the salaries of the employees should be paid. She also said there was a serious law and order problem in the company as expensive electronic gadgets like computers, telephone sets and other items were being stolen from the company right under the nose of the management.

She said she had met the Chief Secretary of Punjab to inform him of what was happening in the factory. In reply, The Chief Secretary had told her to meet Mr D.S. Guru, Director of Industries, who had replaced a former Managing Director, Mr Gurpal Singh.

She demanded a CBI enquiry into the assets of the management officials and union leaders of all groups. She said losses to the company were due to certain officials of the management, earlier or present, who were working in connivance with certain union leaders. The employees were being kept in the dark about their future, she said.Back


Speed Post delivers quick rewards
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — The Business Development Group of the Department of Post registered a 61 per cent growth in the current financial year against a target of 40 per cent.

According to Mr B.N. Som, Member (Operations), against 25 per cent growth in the courier market in the country, the growths of the Speed Post, Business Post, Express Post, Satellite Post, Corporate Publicity Post and Retail Post have been substantial. The Speed Post has grown by 40 per cent.

Vast network along with an efficient delivery and marketing of business has resulted in the big growth of the Speed Post. Mr Som was here in connection with the Northern Regional Business Meeting held today.

At the meeting, strategies for increasing the Speed Post business and improving its operational efficiency were discussed and finalised. The focus was on providing excellent customised services with 100 per cent on-time delivery and establishment of marketing structure. Soon, the Speed Post will have more marketing executives servicing customers in a professional manner.

The Business Post which caters to the pre-mailing needs of corporate customers and large-volume users had grown by 94 per cent in the current financial year. The Express Post, another important service for sending parcels, has shown a 574 per cent growth.

The Haryana Postal Circle has topped the business growth with a 291 per cent growth, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Orissa and Delhi. Mr Som also said the department was planning to venture into new areas like the Database Post, electronic transfer of money order and collection of telephone, electricity and other bills soon.

Col Tilak Raj, Chief Post Master General of the Punjab Circle, welcomed the participants, including the Chief Post Master Generals and Post Masters General of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Punjab Circles, besides the Business Development Group officials.Back


A daily rush for work
By Deepender

A vehicle stops at the Labour Chowk, Chandigarh, early morning. It can be seen surrounded by over 50 daily wage workers in need of work.

There are a number of labour markets in the city, the most prominent being in Sectors 21, 44 and 19

Not every worker succeeds in getting work as they are always more in number than job opportunities. "More labourers will trickle in from Bihar and U.P. in summer," says Biltu, a whitewash man, who has just got a contract at the Labour chowk in Sector 21. He comes from Madhubani in Bihar and has been living in Chandigarh for the past l8 years.

The city Administration at one stage tried to remove them from Labour Chowk in Sector 21, but did not succeed because it a very old and established market, he adds.

He says that the contractors do not employ workers on a permanent basis. So they have to go there frequently to find employees. It has become a practice with the labourers in the city to go and stand at these points.

And there is no standard rate of wages. It ranges from Rs 80 to Rs 150 a day. A man desperately in need of work accepts Rs 80 when the others are demanding more. A worker earns around Rs 3,000 in a month if he gets regular work.

Most of the labourers are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They are landless villagers who worked on the farms of landlords. But here they are earning more than what they used to earn at the farms.

One of them says that unemployed youths came on a temporary basis, but in a majority of the cases, they stay on. Most of them live in slums, colonies and the villages of Burail, Dhanas, Ram Darbar, on the periphery of the city.

"But living here is costly", says another worker. No facility is provided to them by the Administration. Even ration cards have not been issued to many of them.

A worker says that they need a local resident for verification but nobody is willing to stand guarantee for them. Their children cannot get admission to schools without a ration card.Back


Petrol dealers' convention
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Petrol dealers from Chandigarh, Patiala, Ropar, Bathinda, Sangrur, Faridkot and Ferozepore attended the dealers' convention organised by the Chandigarh Divisional Office of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at a hotel in Sector 17 here yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Narinder Singh, Executive Director of the Northern Region, stressed the need to be more pro-active. He expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the dealers, which had ensured leadership of the IOC.

Mr H.S. Bedi, Chief Divisional Manager, explained the relevance of the such interactions in the backdrop of the changing scenario.

Mr I.H. Hashmi, General Manager (Sales), Northern Region, briefed the participants on the changing role of the retailer who now had to focus on every effort in satisfy the customer.

The other highlights of the convention were the multi-media presentation by the Manager (Sales), Mr Umesh Kumar, and an open house, which gave the dealers an opportunity to air their problems and give their suggestions.

As many as 18 dealers, top three performers each in fuel sale, sale growth and lubricant sale were felicitated by Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Bedi and Mr J.M. Mehra, Chief Retail Marketing Manager, Northern Region.

Mr Vas Dev, who representated the dealers, expressed the confidence that performance of the IOC and the dealers would further improve in future.Back


Medical systems installed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Dr Meera Sharma, Head of the Department of Microbiology of the PGI, inaugurated AXSYM, world's best immunoassay system, and Dimension AR, a world class biochemistry analyser, at the Sector 22 Medicos Centre today. With the installation of these systems here, cancer markers, drugs and thyroid reports will be available in 30 minutes.

Dr S.K. Sharma, Director designate of the PGI, who was the chief guest, stressed the need for having more such facilities in the private sector as people had little time to queue up in big hospitals. He said, otherwise also, any technology normally came first to the private sector before percolating to big institutions.

Dr Gurvinder Singh of the Medicos Centre said these were the first equipment to be installed in this part of the region. Axsym performs tests which include cancer markers, Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E markers, therapeutic and drug abuse monitoring, Aids test, hormone tests, including the thyroid and fertility hormones, besides congenital-respiratory infections tests in 20 minutes at a speed of 100 tests per hour.

Dimension AR could perform 42 biochemical tests at 500 tests per hour, Dr Poonamjit Kaur of the centre said.

Among those who were present on the occasion were former PGI Directors, Prof I.C. Pathak, Prof B.N.S. Walia and former Professors, Prof B.L. Talwar, Prof J.S. Sodhi, Prof S.K Khanna, Prof J.S. Chopra and Prof K.S. Chugh.Back

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