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


UT revises irrigation power rate
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — The Chandigarh Administration has decided to revise upwards — 300 per cent for commercial crops and 100 per cent for cereal and other crops — the rate per unit of electricity supplied for irrigation of agricultural land in the Union Territory.

The new rates become effective from today.

Against the previous uniform rate of 25 paise per unit of electricity used for irrigation of agricultural land, the Administration has now decided to divide the electricity used for irrigation purposes in two categories. The first category of agriculturists will be the people who harvest commercial crops, including those running orchards or are engaged in floriculture.

For them the rate chargeable will be Re 1 per unit against 25 paise per unit earlier. The last time the tariff for farm sector revised was in 1991.

Under the revised tariff, the rate chargeable for power supplied for irrigation of cereal and other crops would be 50 paise per unit against 25 paise per unit earlier.

Though Chandigarh does not have much cultivable or irrigatable area, the revision of rates has come as a surprise as in neighbouring Punjab, the farmers with small land holdings and similar agricultural land are exempted from payment of both water and power charges.

In most of other administrative and financial areas, Chandigarh has been following the Punjab pattern, including taxation. Except for electricity, where some parts of the tariff are higher than Punjab, the rates of taxation in Chandigarh are either lower or are at par with Punjab.Back


Notification on driving licences causes resentment
From Bipin Bhardwaj

DERA BASSI, March 1 — Applicants seeking driving licences will now have to travel to Patiala following a notification by the state transport authorities, stating that the rights to collect fee and conduct driving competency tests have been given to the Motor Vehicle Inspectors (MVIs) of the districts concerned.

A large number of residents of the subdivision, who have applied for driving licenses, are facing inconvenience following the notification.

In a notification issued on January 24, the Punjab State Transport Commissioner, Chandigarh, has stated that the applicants would be issued driving licences only after they qualify driving competency tests conducted by the MVI concerned under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. The fixed competency fee would also be collected under Rule 32 and the records would be maintained by the MVIs.

Residents who were earlier issued learners’ licences by the Subdivisional Magistrate will now have to travel over 120 km distance to go to Patiala for driving licences from the Motor Vehicle Inspector. Uncertainty in the presence of the MVI at his destination further adds to their inconvenience.

It is learnt that the MVI of Patiala is having additional charge of Fatehgarh Sahib district, and he will have to go to different places for official purposes, thus causing inconvenience and harassment to licence seekers.

“Earlier, the SDM of Dera Bassi used to issue licences since the formation of the subdivision. Now we have to got to Patiala, and many times the officer concerned is not available. We have to return home disappointed, spending money and wasting our time’’ said Mr Bhupinder Singh, a local resident.

“Those who have got learner’s licences from the SDM are paying repeated visits to the MVI’s office to get these regularised. In the process, many applicants have become defaulters, and now they will have to pay fines due to no fault of their own,” said Mr Sameer Sharma, a resident of Bartana village.

Residents of the area have expressed resentment against the notification and demanded that the MVI should sit in Dera Bassi twice a week so that their problems could be solved.Back


What presence of mind !
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — A 10-year-old girl, Sumedha Sachdeva, saved the life of a four-year-old girl, Inyata Arora, who fell from the second floor of her house in Chandigarh recently.

As Inyata was falling from a height of 25 feet, Sumedha, who was standing below, saw the impending tragedy, and immediately opened her arms to save the child. As luck would have it, Inyata fell on the head of Sumedha and then hit the ground.

Sumedha took the impact of the 25-feet-height fall, was slightly injured but saved the life of Inyata.

The parents of Inyata, Mr Rajiv Arora and Gita, rushed her to the PGI where various tests, including CT scans, were done. She received minor injuries and some bruises on her eyebrow.

The Aroras, in their acknowledgement of the act of bravery by the daughter of the Sachdevas, gave this information to Chandigarh Tribune in a letter.

The Aroras and the Sachdevas are residents of the city.Back


Kiron back after “capturing” Berlin
By Devinder Bir Kaur
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1— Kiron Kher has done it. Yes, this Chandigarh-born girl’s performance in hubby Anupam Kher’s debut film as producer, “Bariwali”, has won plaudits and awards at the film’s world premier during the prestigious Berlin Film Festival.

Last year Shekhar Kapur had brought the country on the international film map with his “Elizabeth”.

On February 19, the Bengali film “Bariwali” (Householder), directed by Rituparno Ghosh, won the NETPAC award given for the most outstanding Asian film at the festival. The film, with subtitles in English and German, also won rave reviews from the press and the public. According to Die Tageszeitunger, the leading German daily, the film was “as hypnotic as a Schubert sonate” and that it flowed so smoothly and seductively that its 150-minute length was no drag at all. The paper also extolled Kiron’s performance, saying it deserved the Golden Bear (the highest award). The critic went on to say: “She sweeps through the film with the grace and tranquillity befitting the corpulent, lonely presence she represents in the film.”

Still basking in all the adulations of the audiences at the festival, Kiron recalls: “Berlin was simply amazing. You are like an ambassador of the film. You come on the stage and bow to the clapping masses and answer their queries.” Kiron was in town at her parents’ house in Sector 8 this morning, having just returned from Berlin.

The whole of this year will be a hectic time for her as the film will be shown at other festivals in Cannes and Venice. Having found entry in the Forum, a difficult section at the Berlin festival, was enough to prove the film’s credentials. Only about 50 films from all over the world managed to do that, Kiron explains. The section also involves interacting with the 2000-strong audience comprising eminent filmmakers, film critics and other intellectuals.

Talking about the film, Kiron explains that it is about a woman in her 40s, the sole surviving member of a family. She lives in a mansion with just two servants. She loses her husband on the wedding day due to a snake bite. She never remarries. A film unit arrives to shoot in her house and emotional bonds are formed between her and the film director played by Chiranjeet, a popular hero of Bengali films. The film brings out human vulnerability and focuses on the woman’s loneliness.

“When I heard Rituparno Ghosh was making a Bengali film based on his script and had Raakhee in mind, I expressed my keenness to do the role. He was apprehensive about my ability to learn Bengali. I convinced him and within a year I had not only learnt the language, even my tutor Amitabh Chakraborty exclaimed ‘chamotkor!’ when he saw my pick-up of even the nuances,” Kiron laughs. And she gives a lively demonstration by rattling off a dialogue from the film in Bengali.

However, the film had its share of hurdles. The original producer, NFDC, was not willing to pay the amount Ghosh was seeking. And Kiron was too eager that the film be made. After all, who would want to miss out on a chance to work under Rituparno Ghosh, known for making National Award-winning films like “Uneesh April,” “Dahan”, and “Aukh”? This is when Anupam Kher stepped in. He offered to produce the film under his banner J. Radical Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Everybody in his company pitched in with their contributions, some with Rs 25,000, some with Rs 15,000 and some with Rs 10,000. Anupam himself sold off his car. And to think Kiron was oblivious of all the turmoils, being busy with the film’s shooting in Calcutta.

Despite all odds the film was completed in just 35 days, by March ‘99. However, the post-direction work, including clearance from the censors, was done by December ‘99.

The result has left the Bengalis floored, gushes Kiron. Although for the Berlin festival “Bariwali”, also titled “Lady of the House,” was subtitled in English and German, Kiron says the producer does not intend to subtitle or dub it in Hindi. “It loses its flavour,” she quotes her husband.

Besides this Bengali film, Kiron had once earlier done a Punjabi film “Aasra Pyar Da” made by J. Om Prakash. She is open to offers from regional films provided the role is strong and challenging. She keeps in touch with talented directors, particularly Gulzar, and is on the look-out for another good role.

Would she accept a role in controversial director Deepa mehta’s film?

“It depends on what the story is about and if the role fulfils the above criterion”, she replies. No inconsequential role for her.

“I won’t do inferior work in films because films are forever,” she asserts. As for as TV serials are concerned one can be less rigid in one’s attitude, says Kiron who can be seen in current serial “Kanyadaan” and in the talk-show “Jagte Raho with Kiron Kher” telecast on DD News daily.

Directing films would probably be the next step, she says about her future plans. However, at the moment “Bariwali” is keeping her busy, not to mention the staging of “Saalgirah” which despite more than a 100 shows still draws large crowds.

A long way to come for Kiron who at one time along with sister Kanwal Thakarsingh had remained the No. 1 women’s doubles player of Punjab for eight years. Her sister, Kanwal, went on to claim the national women’s singles title.Back


HC lawyers call off strike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — Following a letter from the Bar Council of India chairman, Mr S.K. Kaarvendhan, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association today called off nearly a week-long strike against the proposed amendments in the CPC and the Advocates Act.

The decision to call off the strike was taken at a meeting of the Bar association in which the letter of the Bar Council chairman containing the assurance given by the Union Law Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, was read out. Speakers who addressed the meeting supported the withdrawal of the strike but favoured continuation of the agitation for the advocates' demands in a peaceful way.

The letter said: Pursuant to the discussion held on February 25 by the representatives of the Bar Council of India, the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Delhi Bar Council with the Prime Minister and in reply to the letter dated February 29, issued by the chairman of Bar Council of India; the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs has assured the Bar Council of India that no changes in the Advocates Act are in the contemplation of the government and any changes in the Advocates Act as well as the controversial CPC amendments would be fully discussed with the Bar before any amendments are enforced. The Bar Council hereby expresses its gratitude to the Prime Minister and Mr Ram Jethmalani for having conceded to the legitimate demands of the members of the legal fraternity. The Bar Council of India expresses its gratitude to Mr Arun Jaitely, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, and Mr V. Venkaiah Naidu, MP, for their active cooperation during the discussion held on February 25".

The chairman appealed to the lawyers to "suspend the agitation of programmes and to resume work forthwith in the interest of litigants and the noble profession."

The president of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, Mrs Daya Chaudhary, thanked the members of the Bar and the district Bars for their unity and cooperation in the struggle. She also called upon the district and other Bars to resume work from tomorrow (March 2)Back


Ex-Judges favour amending Civil Procedure Code
By Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — Its true. Contrary to the stand adopted by advocates all over the country, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India and two former Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court believe in amending the Civil Procedure Code for “expeditious disposal of cases,” while another High Court Judge is in favour of “filling the vacancies”. Except for the Supreme Court Judge, all are against abolishing second appeal.

Justice Kuldip Singh: Claiming amendments in CPC to be necessary for “curtailing delay”, retired Supreme Court Judge Justice Kuldip Singh insists: “It is necessary to have changes in the Code for early disposal”.

Reposing on a sofa set at his Panchkula residence, he says: “For years together the suit does not progress. The litigants seek adjournment, are granted. Ask for permission to amend the pleadings, go on amending it. Time-bound evidence is not there. Single witness takes days together”.

Recording examination-in-chief through affidavit, Justice Kuldip Singh asserts: “It is beneficial. As long as the other side has the right to cross-examine, it is perfectly alright. The only thing is that the lawyers will have to do their homework better”.

Commenting upon the proposal of having the summons served through fax or electronic mail, Justice Kuldip Singh says: “It is a step towards providing speedy justice. The proposal is significant also because it is almost impossible to serve influential persons”.

Describing second appeal as “waste of time and money”, Justice Kuldip Singh says, “Single appeal is good enough. It is better to have lesser number of appeals than to take two or three decades for providing justice”.

Justice A.S. Bains: “No document is so sacrosanct that it cannot be touched,” says retired High Court Judge Justice A.S. Bains. “It has to be amended with the changing conditions”.

Revealing that over three crore cases are pending before the courts, Justice Bains believes, “amendments in CPC will expedite the dispersion of justice”.

Repeating the “age old saying” —“justice delayed is justice denied — Justice Bains says: “Going by the current speed of disposal, it will take years and years to decide the cases. The litigants, meanwhile, will die contesting. The need of the hour is to amend the CPC for making the system more efficient, to work towards an early disposal of cases”.

Claiming the process of summoning through fax and electronic mail to be “alright”, Justice Bains asserts. “There is nothing wrong with it. The system will only help in cutting down on unnecessary adjournments”.

The right to file a second appeal, he insists, should not be taken away from the aggrieved. “No, the CPC should not be amended as far as this provision is concerned,” he concludes.

Justice K.P.S. Sandhu: Describing the current system as “cumbersome and lengthy”, retired High Court Judge Justice K.P.S. Sandhu stresses: “It takes years and years to dispose of the case. Therefore, it is necessary to streamline the procedure by amending the CPC.”

Blaming the litigants for “misusing the procedure”, Justice Sandhu says: “For delaying the proceedings, adjournments are sought again and again on frivolous grounds. Amendment in the CPC will put an end to this practice once and for all”.

Criticising the move to abolish second appeal, Justice Sandhu argues? “If abolished, it will cause a lot of inconvenience to the litigants. They will be forced to move the Supreme Court which is not going to be easy for them. The process being very expensive, majority of the aggrieved will not be able to afford it. Under the circumstances, the decision of the Single Judge is likely to be the final in most of the cases”.

Justice H.R. Sodhi: “Remedy lies else where,” asserts former High Court judge Justice H.R. Sodhi. “If you want to clear the arrears of cases, fill the vacancies of judicial officers, instead of amending the CPC”.

Claiming that the “proposed amendments would not be much of help”, Justice Sodhi says: “There is nothing seriously wrong with the system. The fault is with the people administrating it. They are responsible for not making the selections”.

Emphasising upon the need to work with determination, Justice Sodhi says: “The judicial officers are hardworking, but they should also have a mind to work. They should not be easy going, should be inclined to finish the work”.

Terming the proposal to do away with the second appeal as “very wrong”, Justice Sodhi asserts: “The possibility of error cannot be ruled out. Under the present system, the single judge’s orders can be tested by two judges of the same court. To put an end to it would mean further burdening the litigants. Moreover, from experience, I can say that Judges do rectify mistakes, if any”. Back


No hike in petrol price, good; hike in cosmetics, bad: women
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 1 — Housewives and computer professionals have termed this year's budget as satisfactory, more so because there was a lot of talk on the expected "harsh budget'' before it was actually tabled. "Anxiety levels were high in the pre-budget days, but the end result has been contrary to expectations of a tough budget and to our liking,'' a housewife contends.

"The decision against hiking petrol prices has come as a big relief since a chunk of the salary is already diverted to 'filling tanks' in my house. The hike in cosmetics, though, was uncalled for because the prices of these are already very high and any increase is bound to bring down their market considerably. The increase in outlay for defence was also needed in the face of threat to the country from all sides. It is a balanced budget as far as the concerns of a housewife go and is favourable to the salaried class,'' explains Mrs Sukhraj Bal, a resident of Sector 9.

A housewife residing in Sector 7, Mrs Kamlesh, says, "Rest assured, the budget will not lead to further inflation in the economy. However, there is nothing 'extraordinary' about the budget. The reduction of subsidy in the coming financial year is a step in the right direction. Also, all income tax payees being disallowed to buy sugar from ration shops is justified because the move will benefit the poor. If the benefits doled out by the Finance Minister do not remain confined to the paper only then will it prove beneficial for the common man.''

A counsellor at a computer training centre, Ms Deepika Ahuja, says slashing in information technology and telecom products, aimed at providing an impetus to knowledge-based and communication industry, was the need of the hour. "It was long overdue, especially since information technology has touched almost everyone's lives. Again, the large number of companies and industries which came up in this field made the move necessary,'' she says.

Mrs Malti Chowdhary, a resident of Sector 14, opines that though the Finance Minister has taken a lenient view in case of the salaried class by not hiking petrol prices and not increasing the exemption limit of the income tax, he has disappointed most women by making cosmetics dearer. "With so much emphasis on beauty and beauty-care products and cosmetics, the prices are sure to burn a hole in the pocket of the common man. Even earlier, prices of most products were high but a further hike is bound to make them beyond our reach,'' she adds. However, she is appreciative of the rebate of Rs 5,000 in income tax given to women and the decision against a hike in household necessities.

Another computer professional, Mr Arvind Syal, also airs the same views. He adds, "As professionals, we are happy that more people will be able to avail themselves of the developments in the field of information and technology. With lower rates of computers, more people will be able to buy them which will fasten the pace of development in the country.'' He lamented the fact that no raise in the income tax exemption limit had come through in the budget.

"It is a soft budget where consumers will be benefited and has been tailor-made for the middle class. There has been no hike in daily-use items and enhancing the tax rebate level to Rs 15,000 is a welcome step,'' says Mrs Sheela Midha, a resident of Sector 15, though she is skeptical of the decision against hiking petrol prices. "This is inevitable and the government will go back on its word later in the year by announcing the hike. Also, the decision to make ration items unavailable to income-tax payees is unreasonable because in the open market these remain unaffordable even to this category,'' she claims.Back


Dharna over police inaction
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, March 1— A large number of local residents, including women, blocked vehicular traffic and observed dharna on the Kharar Landran road for more than two hours this afternoon and raised slogans against the police. They were protesting against the police for not taking action against in-laws of a woman of their ward, who was allegedly beaten up and tortured by her in-laws.

Ms Talwinder Kaur informed Mr G.P. Singh, SHO, Kharar, in the presence of many residents that she was married on January 4, 1990, to Satkar Singh, son of Mr Amrik Singh of Kharar, and a daughter was born to her. She said her husband died after about a year of the marriage and she was married to the younger brother of her husband, Mr Amarjit Singh, on March 15, 1992, and a son was born to her. She added that on both occasions, sufficient dowry was given by her parents.

Mr Amarjit Singh went to Australia and she was not allowed to talk to him on the telephone, she said. He visited India twice or thrice and did not behave well, she complained. She alleged that her in-laws wanted her to divorce her husband and she was beaten up and tortured. She further alleged that her in-laws were misbehaving with her and threatening her.

She could be killed by them, she apprehended. She alleged that her brother-in-law was supporting them. Something was put in her mouth forcibly yesterday but some neighbour saved her, she added.

The people sitting in dharna said although the police was informed yesterday about this, no action was taken. Mr G.P. Singh reached the spot and a case was registered.

He said the case has been registered against Amrik Singh (father-in-law) Charan Kaur (mother-in-law) Amarjit Singh (husband) and Onkar Singh (brother-in-law).

Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar, also reached the spot. He said one head constable who had not performed his duty and had misbehaved with the complainant, had been sent to police lines. He added that two policemen who had allegedly misbehaved with some mediapersons had been sent to police lines.

A large number of prominent citizens assembled on the spot. The dharna was called off when the case was registered.Back


Poor response to CHB scheme
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — The special scheme, floated by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for the war widows, widows of the defence personnel, paramilitary and police personnel killed in the counter-insurgency operations and victims of the terrorists, has evoked a poor response.

According to sources, only 180 applications have been received by the board for the 109 flats in the six categories to be allotted under discretionary quota of the UT Administrator. The number of the eligible applicants is likely to come down after the board scrutinised the applications and weeded out the ineligible applicants.

The CHB had invited applications for 14 EWS dwelling units in Maloya, 24 LIG dwelling units in the west of Sector 38, and 38 MIG flats, including one in Sector 45, 8 in Sector 61 and 29 in west of Sector 38.

Similarly, 11 and 9 flats in the HIG (lower) and HIG (upper) categories, respectively, are available in the west of Sector 38 besides 13 HIG (Independent) flats.

The sources said high initial deposit, coupled with a major portion of the total cost which is to be deposited before the possession of flats, might be the reasons for the poor response to the scheme. Besides this, the dependents of the unmarried martyrs had also been left out of the scheme and this could have contributed to the poor response.

It may be recalled that the EWS and the LIG flats would be allotted on a hire-purchase basis and the allottees would have to pay 40 per cent of the chargeable price before the possession. The MIG allottees are required 60 per cent of the total amount on self-finance basis.

And in case of successful HIG (L) and HIG (U) applicants, 70 per cent of money would have to be deposited under the self-finance basis. In case of the HIG (U) category, the amount to be deposited is 80 per cent.Back


Gill to deliver lecture
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — Dr Manohar Singh Gill, Chief Election Commissioner, will deliver the annual Dr M.S. Randhawa Memorial Lecture at Punjab Kala Bhavan on March 3. The lecture will be orgaised by the Punjab Arts Council. Dr Harcharan Singh, President of the council, will preside over the lecture where Ms Iqbal Kaur Randhawa will be the guest of honour.Back


Protest meeting by villagers
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 1 — Sarpanches and members of over 20 villages around Sohana today held a meeting to protest against the acquisition of land of Sohana, Mauli Baidwan and Lakhnour villages by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for future urbanisation of SAS Nagar.

The villagers demanded that if the government had to acquire the land, the evicted land owners should be paid compensation at the available land rates in the area on the pattern as had been announced by the Anandgarh authorities. Rehabili-tation of the villagers on the pattern as announced by the Anandgarh Vikas Authority should also be done.

Ms Daljeet Kaur, an MLA, who addressed the villagers said that the government in any case would not be allowed to force its decision on them. Justifying the protest by the villagers, she said the farmers deserved to be paid at the prevailing land rates.

Demanding rehabilitation of the villagers to be displaced, Mr Man Singh Sohana said the villagers should be offered alternative residential plots. Mr Jasmer Singh of Kambali village said that the agitation by the villagers should not be ‘hijacked’ by any political party. He urged the residents of the area to unite to fight for their cause.

An action committee comprising Mr Devinder Singh, Mr Bhagat Singh, Mr Buta Singh, Mr Labh Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Man Singh, Mr Joga Singh, Mr Prem Singh, Mr Baldev Singh, Ms Gurmail Kaur, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Samporan Singh, Mr Ajaib Singh, Mr Amarjit Singh, Mr Ravinder Singh, Mr Bhajan Singh and Ms Surinder Kaur, has been constituted to spearhead the agitation. Back


Tribune Chief Proof Reader dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — Mr Jaspal Singh Bhatia, Chief Proof Reader, The Tribune, died here this morning following a massive heart attack. He was 51.

Mr Bhatia had joined The Tribune in 1968 at Ambala. He is survived by his widow and two married daughters. He was cremated in the evening at the Manimajra cremation ground.Back


Boy who bunked school found dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — The police has recovered the body of an 11-year-old child, Satbir Singh, from a ditch adjoining the approach road to Kansal village. The child had been allegedly murdered. The body bore strangulation marks and the deceased had reportedly been sodomised before being murdered.

Satbir Singh, alias Bobby, a resident of Sector 40-C, was a student of Government High School in the same sector, but had been bunking his classes for the past one week. He used to go from his house at 9 a.m. and return at 2 p.m. everyday to give the impression that he was attending school.

According to police sources, the deceased was discovered by some passersby who informed the police this morning. The body had reportedly been dumped there late last night. It was wrapped in a bundle of rags.

Mr Gurbaksh Singh, father of the boy, said Satbir had as usual dressed up and left for school. When he did not come till late in the evening, inquiries about his whereabouts from his friends were made and finally a missing persons report was lodged in the Sector 39 police station. Back


13 arrested for various charges
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — The police has arrested thirteen persons for various offences in the city.

While nine persons were arrested for roaming under suspicious circumstances, two persons were detained for creating nuisance while under the influence of liquor.

Cases under Sections 41 (2), 109, CrPC and Sections 34, 5 and 61 of the Police Act have been registered against them.

Satta players held: Crime Branch personnel have arrested two persons on charges of playing satta. While Balwinder Pal Singh, a resident of Sector 56, was arrested from Sector 41, Gurcharan Singh, a resident of Jhingru Khurd, was arrested from near another shop in the same sector.

Cases under the Gambling Act have been registered.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested Raju, a resident of Janta Colony, Sector 25, and seized 62 quarters of whisky. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Thief arrested: The police has arrested Parmod Singh on charges of stealing some electricity switches and other equipment from the Punjab State Cooperative Bank from Sector 34.

A case under Sections 380 and 411, IPC, has been registered.Back


Gas agency manager booked
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 1 — The manager of a local gas agency has been booked by the police for allegedly selling underweight cooking gas cylinders of Hindustan Petroleum. The manager of the agency, Amar Gas, was arrested after a consumer, Manjit Singh of Phase 7, complained to the authorities concerned.

In a raid conducted by the police in coordination with the Food and Supplies Authorities at least seven underweight cylinders were found in the godown of the agency. Of these two cylinders were of another company which the gas agency was unauthorisedly holding. A device used for refilling the cylinder had also been recovered.

According to the police, the complainant, while getting delivery of a cylinder got suspicious that the gas cylinder had been tampered with. When he pointed out the irregularity to the delivery man, the latter allegedly misbehaved with him. When he approached the manager of the company, he was dealt with in the same fashion. A case under the Essential Commodities Act has been registered against manager, who has been remanded to police custody till March 4. The owner of the gas agency, Ms Amarjit Kaur, is reported to be related to an MLA of Punjab, Mr Ranjit Singh Chajjelwadi.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Distributors Association, while claiming that the police had registered a false case, said it had decided to go on a one-day token strike. Mr Chander Mukhi, President of the association, said that there was no complaint against the distributor. No official of the Food and Supply Department or the oil company was along with the police.

He said that the Punjab Government had constituted an apex body. The Director, Food and Supplies, was the Chairman of the apex body. The office-bearers of the All India Distributors Federation were members of the apex body. Any complaint against any distributor had to be first referred to the apex body after which it had to be mentioned to the district administration concerned for action. In this case there was no complaint from any quarters, claimed the association.Back


Resentment against tax on export earnings
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — The Exporters Association has resented the Union Budget proposal to impose income tax on export earnings in a phased manner.

The Ambala-based organisation, in a statement faxed to The Tribune office here on Wednesday, said the Finance Minister wanted to cut the limbs of exporters in a phased manner. The statement said only those exporters, whose earning were over Rs 5 crore, should be taxed.

The statement pointed out that the exporters were facing tough competition from countries like China, Taiwan and Korea. It urged the Finance Minister to amend the proposal.Back


MCC to privatise bill printing
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — Continuing with its economy drive, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) proposes to privatise the printing of the water bills.

According to sources, a final decision to privatise the printing of the bills is likely to be taken shortly. In lieu of the amount spent by the private parties on the printing of the bills, they would be allowed a strip on the bills for the advertisement purposes.

It may be mentioned here that the MCC spent about Rs 9 lakh on the printing and the distribution of the bill per year. With the privatisation of this process, it hopes to save such an amount.

Meanwhile, the civic body has decided to hand over collection of the amount collected by way of bills from its cash collection centres. This would save the MCC staff from the botheration of collecting the cash which involved security risks. A major public sector bank had agreed in principle to perform the job, the sources added.Back


Consumer mela from March 15
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 1 — World Consumers Day will be celebrated by the Consumers Forum, Chandigarh, on March 15 in tandem with Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation. As in the past, a consumer awareness mela is also being organised from March 15 to 19 in the Sector 22 Nehru park.

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J. F. R. Jacob (retd) will inaugurate the celebrations.

The stalls will focus on the detection of adulteration, weights and measures, oil conservation, Bureau of Indian Standards, traffic police, cooking gas and public distribution system.

Some stalls will sell need-based consumer items of daily use at concessional rates. Besides, outlets will also be provided to social welfare organisations.

A competition in essay writing, slogan writing and painting on consumerism will aslo be organised for the students as part of the celebrations. According to Mr R. K. Kaplash, Vice-Chairman of the forum, the function is aimed at educating the consumer about their rights enshrined in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

A khula manch will also be organised to bring the complainants face to face with the authorities concerned so that they can get an on-the-spot answer to their problems. Representatives of the department of Food and Supplies, Telecommunication, public health, sanitation, environment and cooking gas will be present for the interaction.Back

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