Sunday, February 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rose Princes, Princesses give judges a tough time
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — A strong weekend crowd thronged the Zakir Rose Garden and its outer lawns on the second day to witness the jamboree presented by the Chandigarh Administration in the name of the annual Festival of Gardens here today.

The row of almost 300 stalls all along the Jan Marg dividing Sectors 16 and 17 greeted visitors, whose number seemed to be more near the stalls than the inside of the Rose Garden that is in full bloom. The stalls started just a few yards away from the rear gate of the Cricket Stadium and carried on till the gate of the Rose Garden facing Sector 10.

Meanwhile, little children, dressed in their best and accompanied by eager parents and grandparents competed in the Rose Prince and Rose Princess competitions. This particular competition started around 11 am and carried on till about 4 pm. The judges had a tough time in giving their opinion from among a record 760 entries.

Inside the Rose Garden the Antakshri competition attracted a number of enthusiasts, participants and spectators. The rows of potted plants that were a part of the competition were also keenly viewed by spectators. The Chandigarh Administration also organised a seminar on floriculture and landscaping. Four main speakers discussed various aspects. Dr S.P. Vig spoke on tropical orchids. Dr Satish Narula informed the gathering on how home gardening problems can be solved. He also showed the use of pebbles and chips in landscaping.

Dr R.K. Kohli spoke on the tree scape, while Dr K.K. Bhuttani of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), talked about the use of medicinal plants.

However, the big rush was just outside the Rose Garden where stalls had been set up. Interestingly, there were only two shopkeepers selling gardening equipment, seeds or potted plants. Most stalls were of eatables, cloth merchants, cold drink stalls, ice-cream sellers, Internet providers, herbal product sellers, electronic appliances and kitchen appliances — giving it more feel of a routine consumer show that is organised by one or the other agency in the Parade Ground. To entertain the kids the organisers have also set up a giant wheel just outside the RBI building located in Sector 17. As usual, parking was a big problem people had to park as far as Sector 23, Sector 10, Sector 9 and even the parking in Sector 22 opposite the ISBT. The following are the results of the Rose Prince and Rose Princess competitions in the order of merit. The number within brackets is the child’s respective registration number allocated at the time of entry.

Rose Prince: (Category — 6 months to one year): Raghav Sood, S/o Mr Vinod Sood, Khanna, (28); Jashan Bir, S/o Mr Apinder Jit Singh, Chandigarh (117), and Mehul Wangnoo, S/o Mr Dilip Wangnoo, Chandigarh (75).

Rose Prince: ( Category — one year to two years); Daksh Mukhra, S/o Mr Vikas Mukhra, (163); Mandeep Singh S/o Mr Jarnail Singh, S.A.S. Nagar, (50), Parth Kadian S/o Mr Narinder S. Kadian, Chandigarh (21).

Rose Prince : (category — two years to three years): Gursanjan Singh, S/o Mr Ravinder Pal Singh, S.A.S. Nagar (64); Umang, S/o Mr S.P. Dhawan, Manimajra (108); Rahul Sharma, S/o Mr Anil Sharma; Chandigarh(136).

Rose Princess: (Category — 6 months to one year) : Rashi Sehgal, D/o Mr Atul Sehgal, Panchkula (106); Ustat Kharbanda, D/o Mr Gurminder S. Kharbanda, Chandigarh (83) , Anu Sharma, D/o Mr Anup Sharma, Chandigarh (31).

Rose Princess: (category — one year to two years): Mahima Sethi, D/o Mr Vikas Sethi, Panchkula (133); Amrita Singh D/o Mr Baljit Singh, Chandigarh (135); Prachi Bajaj, D/o Mr Pankaj Bajaj, Chandigarh (174).

Rose Princess: (category — two years to three years): Spandana Sachdeva; D/o Mr Parveen Sachdeva, Panchkula (157); Sahej, D/o Mr Sarabjeet Singh, S.A.S. Nagar (91); Apoorva, D/o Mr Binod Pandey, Chandigarh (30).


Toy train derails, kids injured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — A toy train which was part of the entertainment set-up at the ongoing Festival of Gardens derailed during a run at the Sector 16 Rose Garden here at around 7:15 pm, injuring about 25 children.

This toy train was set up near the Giant Wheel and was boarded by several children. The last bogie of this train derailed, leading to acrimonious scenes between parents and the toy-train operator, according to eye-witnesses. Some of the children also received bruises and deep-cut injuries.


UT supports power regulatory panel
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — Chandigarh is willing to participate in power projects which will give the Union Territory an assured firm allocation on a long-term basis. It also supports the concept of an agreed hydel policy which will ensure for a non-producing territory like Chandigarh its due share of cheaper hydel power.

Further, the issues of privatisation of distribution system and the setting up of the Electricity Regulatory Commission are high on the agenda of the Chandigarh Administration. Keeping in view the limited scale of operations pertaining primarily to distribution of power, Chandigarh has decided to have a joint state regulatory commission with the State of Delhi for which action has already been initiated.The amendment to the State Regulatory Commission Act has already been started. The amendment is waited for setting up of the Joint Regulatory Commission.

These were some of the points highlighted by the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), Administrator of Chandigarh, at the power ministers' conference in the Union Capital today.

General Jacob said that the Union territory of Chandigarh, though small but important, purchases and distributes power departmentally, rather than through an autonomous body.

"We appreciate that the Ministry of Power has set up a high-level task force for the privatisation of the distribution system and we are in the process of appointing consultants to guide us in the process of privatisation."

"The Union Territory of Chandigarh has no generation of its own and for its present requirement of power of about 180 MW, which is likely to increase to about 300 MW by the year 2005, Chandigarh depends upon generating sources like BBMB, NTPC, NHPC and NPC. The firm power available is only of the order of 80MW and the remaining requirement is met through ad hoc allocations and overdrawal from the grid. There is, thus, an urgent need for making additional allocations out of the unallocated share of the Central Government projects as well as firm allocations from the ongoing projects of the NHPC that are coming up in the neighbouring State of Himachal Pradesh.

He further said that Chandigarh operations were basically sound from the commercial point of view as the revenue realisation had consistently and substantially exceeded the cost of power purchase for the last four years.

"During this period we have succeeded in raising tariff substantially every year, despite some resistance, primarily on account of low voltages. The Chandigarh Administration has also taken steps to liquidate its arrears of payment with the BBMB, despite the fact that the funds for the purpose under non-plan are allocated to us by the Central Government.

"While we have not faced any serious problem of availability of power, yet in the present context, it becomes necessary to consider measures to secure our future. Despite the clear provisions of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, Chandigarh continues to be denied its due status as a partner in the BBMB. Without any status and with a meagre 3.5% firm allocation from the BBMB, we have been with a huge financial burden, forced to raise our tariff steeply, contrary to what should have normally been desirable."

"Our request to the BBMB to charge us common pool rates instead of global rates for the special assistance of 10 lakh units a day has also not been accepted despite the fact that the Union Territory of Chandigarh is catering to the major requirements of the States of Punjab and Haryana, whose capitals are situated in Chandigarh and who are partner states in the BBMB. There are also various Central Government organisations and public sector undertakings, who have their zonal offices in Chandigarh, thus making it zonal focal point for the whole of North West India," the General said.


Health care must take priority: experts
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — The government must take more responsibility for health care by providing better facilities at the secondary level so that the benefits of the same reach people at various levels. This was emphasised by Dr Soonu Udani from Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, while pointing out the prevalent sad state of affairs in district hospitals.

She further said insurance legislation must be passed in the country to provide free health for all. This would ensure insurance blanket for children born in lower and middle class families. In order to make decent health facilities accessible to a larger section of the population, the authorities needed to focus on decentralisation of health services.

While hospitals associated with critical care were concentrated in a few metros and big towns, areas within 50 to 100 km did not have a single hospital, she added. The government took no responsibility for better sanitation. Lack of political will and poor level of public awareness was also responsible for deterioration of health services, she stated.

Most of the experts participating in the second national conference on Paediatric Intensive Care at the PGI were of the view that doctors should use their judgement in the best interest of the patient and provide the best possible care within the facilities available. They further held that in situations of ethical/legal dilemmas, it was appropriate to have a team decision as well as to discuss and take parents' consent whenever possible. It was also suggested that a team of experts should assist the judiciary in cases involving medical care.

"Ethics are a step higher than legality, since law allows considerable freedom to doctors, provided they are not negligent and deliberate in hurting their patient," said Dr Udani. The issue of ethics was important right from childbirth. She pointed out that newborns and young children with critical problems were every doctor's dilemma. She cited the example of problems faced in case of children suffering from cerebral palsy due to lack of oxygen at the time of birth or those born with complex heart defects. In most of these cases, parents were hesitant to carry on the treatment because of the expenditure involved and lack of support system in case of a handicapped child. Doctors felt the other way.

Dr Sunit Singhi, the incharge of PICU in PGI and organising secretary of the conference, was of the view that doctors should not avoid their responsibility of educating parents about not discontinuing treatment against medical advice. He also talked about the wastage of resources involved in case of brain-dead patients.

Dr Singhi stressed on expansion of facilities in the country to provide best health care. The provision of proper ICU facilities should be a national priority even at the district level, he opined. Professionals should plan new health development projects for providing better facilities. They should also spell out their requirements to the authorities concerned so that adequate provision could be made.

Prof Giuseppe A. Marraro from Italy pointed out that in India it was essential to define the number of units required, determine the kind of patients who had to be treated, regionalise the units and provide good transport for a better outcome. He further said in times to come, invasive methodology would be reduced as new equipment were in the market, which would subsequently provide facilities to treat patients not only in hospital but also at home.

He also explained the new modes of therapy like surfactant for treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in new borns and children. "Controlled clinical trials for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome have demonstrated significant improvement of gas exchange, reduced mortality and lowered incidence of air leaking complications," he said. With the help of these special drugs, we could control the pressure inside lungs in order to reduce trauma on alveolus, he elaborated.

Prof Jean Christophe Mercier from France talked about children whose heart started failing and how certain drugs could be used to manage these children properly. He threw light on health care delivery and trends of ICUs in various countries. "Education of the common man on topics of public health will help improve health care facilities, particularly in developing countries," he said. The physicians an professional organisations should persistently pursue their proposals to get these approved, he suggested. Talking about ethics, he said one should compromise with the best resources one has to offer.

Meanwhile, in the round table discussion for curriculum development for training in paediatric intensive care, it was highlighted that in addition to knowledge and skills, a component of research was essential. Setting up of PICUs in small hospitals within limited budgets was discussed by paediatricians, based on their experiences. This would help check the outbreak of diseases and control population growth in the country, they said.


Notification for panchayat polls
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 26 — The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, Mr S.K. Monga, has issued a notification for elections to the Zila Parishad, panchayat samitis, panchayats, sarpanches and panches, to be held on March 22.

Nomination papers will be filed between February 26 and 28 and candidates are required to submit an "eligibility certificate" before March 1 for contesting the elections.

Mr Monga, said elections would be held for 10 seats of Zila Parishad, 48 of panchayat samitis, 164 of panchayats and 1216 of the panchs in the district. In all, 267 polling stations would be set up for the elections, he said.

Results of the elections of sarpanchs and panchs would be declared the same day, while that of the Zila Parishad and panchayat samiti elections would be declared on March 23, he said.


PU scientists' pioneer role in landmark discovery
by Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — As a mark of definitely a remarkable achievement, scientists of Panjab University were part of the team which announced discovery of a currently non-existent physical particle — the Quark Glucon Plasma.

The discovery concerns creation of a new type of matter , called the quark glucon plasma, in the laboratory. This type of matter existed only a few micro-seconds after the creation of the universe about 12 billion to 15 billion years ago.All present form of matter was formed through a rapid transformation of quark glucon plasma.

The CERN director, Geneva, monitors and records the developments at different centres. Prominent members of the Panjab University team include Prof V. S. Bhatia and Dr M.M.Aggarwal, both from the physics Department.A team member said importance of the study of this new form of matter lies in the fact that it will help mankind understand the origin of matter in the universe.

Prof Bhatia said the local team fabricated a huge photon multiplicity detector for the WA98 experiment.A release announcing the major discovery by the European Laboratory Particle(CERN) said "Experiments provided evidence for the existence of a new state of matter in which quarks , instead of being bound up into particles such as protons and neutrons, are liberated to roam freely.

The PU team supports the prediction that 'this state must have existed for about 10 microseconds after the Big Bang, before the formation of matter as we know it today.It had not been confirmed experimentally.The aim of the CERN's Heavy Ion programme was to collide heavy ions as to create immensely high energy densities. The beam programme started in 1994, after which the CERN programme had been upgraded with collaboration with the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

It has been highlighted that the project was an excellent example of collaboration in physics research. Scientists from institutes in over 20 countries have participated in the experiment.The programme has also allowed a productive partnership to develop between high energy physicists and nuclear physicists.

Major participating countries include Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, UK, China and Romania among others.

The seven large Heavy ion experiments involved in the discovery of the particle include NA44, NA45, NA49, NA52, WA97/NA57 and WA98. Panjab University unit is an active collaborator in the WA98 experiment.

Prof Bhatia and Dr Aggarwal made mentions about the scientific process where accelerators of the particles was ensured.During the collisions, the nuclear material was compressed 20 times its normal density and temperatures went up as high as about 100,000 times as hot as as centre of the sun. Such collisions were therefore affectionately called "little bangs". The data from the collisions provides a completing evidence that a new state of matter, namely the quark glucon plasma was created in these collisions.

The PU team of Prof Bhatia and Dr Aggarwal are a part of the Indian group headed by Dr Bikash Sinha, Director of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Calcutta. The other two groups are from VECC, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneshwar and the Universities of Jammu and Rajasthan.

Giving more details , the PU team said that the quark glucon plasm, which was created in collisions of super energetic heavy ions lived extremely shortly for about 10 seconds.Its presence can only be detected from the nature of particles into which it gets converted.


Website on the entire hijack drama
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — The December 24 hijack drama, which was enacted in Indian skies and ended seven days later on the eve of the new millennium at Kandahar in Afghanistan, continues to haunt some of the passengers aboard the hijacked aircraft.

One of such passengers is Mr Anup Sharma, a Mumbai-based sales manager of a leading pharmaceutical company, who was in city in connection with his official work, in an informal chat with Chandigarh Tribune, says that he has got a website on the entire hijack drama launched last week.

“It has been an instant hit. There have been more than 2,000 hits within the first four days of the launch of this website. And most of the people who visited my website were from Lousiana in the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. I have received more than 600 e-mails within four days of the launch,” says Mr Sharma.

The website, he says, was launched in the second week of this month, almost six weeks after the “hijack drama had ended on a happy note”.

“Though I maintained my cool throughout the eight-day drama, I was a complete mental wreck when I returned home. I would start crying on seeing a glass of water or something to eat. For seven days I had to get psycho-therapy to be normal ,” Mr Sharma, said maintaining that he has already established contact with some of the passengers on board of the ill-fated aircraft.

“Even the Captain of the aircraft, Mr Sharan, has sent me his story of the entire drama, which I would be uploading soon after I return to Mumbai next week. I have decided to give each passenger one page on the web. I already have established contact with more than 20 passengers,” he said.

Mr Anup Sharma said that to keep the morale of the hostages high, he hit upon a novel idea and started pretending that he was an expert in palmistry. “In the next three days, I read more than 60 hands, including that of Burger, a hijacker, whom I told that he would be able to meet his daughter within two months.

“Others were told about their future dispelling all their fears and apprehensions that they would die inside the aircraft, either of starvation or would be killed by the hijackers. Some have got back to me saying that my predictions have come true. Believe me, I do not know even basics of palmistry. But trained in marketing, I thought this was the only way to give hope to passengers, who were otherwise greatly depressed and felt sick,” Mr Sharma said.

Though I did not break down during the entire hijack drama, I was mentally broke after we were released. Perhaps, I had everything bottled inside me,” he said, maintaining that he is now providing a chatline also to enable the web surfers to interact with different hostages and chat with them at their leisure time.

Mr Sharma hopes to dedicate a few hours every Saturday and Sunday to answer e-mails.

“We have decided to form an association of the hostages. We are contemplating to sue both the Nepalese Government and Indian Airlines for the suffering we went through between December 24 and 31. All we got on board was a cup of water and an orange a day and only on a couple of occasions, we got some rice and rajmah but that too, a few spoonfuls for each,” said Mr Sharma as the hijack period fell in “Ramzan days”.

Mr Sharma said that he had decided to provide counselling to those who visited his website. “The counselling is to fight stress and tension as I realised that almost all of us were under tremendous pressure during the time we were hostages,” he added.Back


Protest against reservation
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 26 — Members of the Arakshan Samapti Abhiyan Sanyukta Sanstha Manch here today sat on a 24-hour fast in protest against the reservation in the country.

Employees from various parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh joined the protesters in large numbers and raised slogans against the government for pursuing the policy even after 50 years of Independence. The protesters will be addressed by Mr Mange Ram Sharma, Chairman of the manch, tomorrow.

Leaders of various employee unions said the efforts to negate the judgement of the Supreme Court by amending the Constitution will have adverse results and the entire blame would rest on the Centre.

The demonstrators demanded that reservation, at the employment and promotion stage in government service, should be stopped forthwith. Reservation in the educational institutions should be scrapped and there should be no reservation for SCs and STs for contesting elections at the national or the local level.

The protesters also demanded repeal of the 78th Constitutional amendment, besides doing away with any policy which follows caste-based reservation. The judgement in the Ajit Singh Janjua case should be implemented by the government without any delay, they demanded.


'Remove encroachments'
From A Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 26 — A delegation of the Anti-Encroachment Committee led by its President, Mr N.S. Minhas, met the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA, Mr Dipinder Singh, and urged him to begin the removal of encroachments in front of residential and commercial sites.

Mr Minhas demanded that the "so-called" advisory committee formed by PUDA should be scrapped. He also alleged that members of this committee were themselves involved in encroachments. Mr Singh assured them that he would look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the committee also demanded that any person who wanted to contest the Municipal Corporation elections should obtain a no-objection certificate from the Department of Local Bodies of Punjab, stating that the contestant had not encroached upon the government land.


Three eve-teasers caught
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — The police has arrested three persons from different parts of the city on the charges of eve-teasing.

According to the police sources, Parvinder Singh and Jitender Singh, both residents of Sector 37, were arrested from Sector 41, following a girl's complaint. Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Kajheri, was arrested from the village, following a complaint.

Cases under Section 294 of the IPC have been registered.

Jewellery stolen
Mr Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Hallo Majra village, has said that someone has stolen gold and silver jewellery, Rs 2,200 in cash, besides some important documents, from his residence.

A case under Section 454 and 380 of the IPC have been registered.

Copyright violation
The police has arrested Deepak Tandon and Parminder Singh for an infringement of the Copyright Act. They have prepared a cassette of Hindi movie Hey Ram, the video rights of which have not been sold.

A case under Sections 51 and 63 of the Copyright Act has been registered on the complaint of Mr Surjit Singh, a resident of Jalandhar.


'Delay in payments hitting SSIs'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — The government should initiate measures to implement the Delayed Payments Act in letter and spirit as in its absence, many small-scale industries (SSIs) are facing closure.

This was one of the major points discussed at a meeting of the Advisory board of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries here today. The members were unanimous in condemning the delay in payments by various sectors, especially state-run enterprises, for periods ranging from six months to one year.

Mr A. L. Aggarwal, president of the chamber, said although the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs had through a notification in 1998 stipulated that the buyer will pay interest to the supplier on the amount from the appointed day at one-and-a-half times of the prime lending rate (PLR) of the State Bank of India, nothing had been done towards its implementation.

He said the President had promulgated an ordinance in 1992 for providing interest on delayed payments to SSIs and other ancillary units, yet the act remained on paper only. In fact, their buyers like the HMT, PTL, various state electricity boards besides other government and semi -government organisations did not make payments for months at a stretch, thereby eating into the limited working capital of such units.

The implementation of this point has also been stressed upon by the expert committee on small enterprises chaired by Mr Abid Hussain. In fact, the committee had recommended that the payments, including interest, due towards SSIs should find mention in the yearly balance sheets of the large companies, he added.

The other demands discussed by the members included meetings of the industrial advisory committees at regular intervals, transferring the ownership rights of the CITCO sheds to the lessors, giving the possession of industrial plots to the allottees and simplification of sales tax procedures as was being followed in Haryana and Punjab.

The issue of accepting drafts for the payment of power bills too was discussed. It was stressed that the mode should be cheques as was the norm in neighbouring states. The implementation of the Abid Hussain and Kapur committee reports, opening of specialised SSI banks, disbursement of National Equity Fund by the SIDBI were sought.

Representation in various committees of the administration and modernisation of IDFC also figured prominently in the discussions.Back


Demonstration of IT power
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 26 — Hands-on practical exposure was provided to the delegates attending the three-day national workshop on information technology organised by the Institute for Secretarial Practices and Development at the CII Convention Centre on the second day today. The delegates were given the exposure by Renu Bhasin of the faculty of Trident Infotech.

Through her structured instructions and presentations on MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook Express and Internet Explorer, she showed them ways to control the technology to one's advantage and take maximum advantage of the Internet and e-mail.

Mr J.S. Bhatia, Additional Director of the CEDTI, made an online presentation on multimedia and its potential in effectively focussing and sharpening communication through the Net.

Mr Nimlesh Barua, Joint Commissioner (Systems) of Income Tax, headed the summing-up session where a panel discussion was organised. Mr Barua talked about the advantages of information technology in providing high-response-speed personalised services and interaction, besides its effectiveness in breaking communication barriers.

Mr D.M.S. Bedi, Chairman of INSPIRE, highlighted the role of secretarial network in facilitating quicker and emphatic interaction between government agencies and the public.

Mr S.M. Rana, Workshop Convener, thanked the participants and those who ran the show.


Units to maintain green belts: committee
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 26 — A committee headed by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr Kushi Ram, for overseeing the maintenance of civic amenities in Industrial Area here, has decided to ask big industrial units to maintain green belts in the industrial estate. The green belts, after being developed by the council, will be handed over to the interested industrial units.

Mr S.S. Sandhu, President of the Mohali Industries Association, who was present at meeting of the committee held yesterday, said the industrial area falling under Phase IX had been handed over to the council by the PSIEC. Tenders for connecting sewer lines in the area had been invited and the work was likely to be completed by the end of April. Building a common effluent treatment plant would also be planned by the council.

Officials of the council said tenders had been floated to lay roads in the Industrial Area, Phase IX. On complaints about poor streetlighting, it was disclosed that in the future streetlights would be maintained by the council. To ensure uninterrupted water supply, generation sets would be installed at tubewells. Procuring of sewer cleaning machines was also discussed at the meeting.

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