Sunday, March 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PUDA functioning causing inconvenience to shopkeepers
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 4 — Strange are the ways of functioning of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). What should have been developed as a parking slot in front of showroom-cum-flats (SCFs) was being developed as a green belt.

Mild steel railing was being erected on a land strip separating a row of the showrooms and the main road in Phase 11 market here. The affected shopkeepers, around 20, have been running from pillar to post urging the authorities to change their planning, keeping in view the inconvenience it would cause to them and the people visiting the shops.

Having invested lakhs of rupee to run their business, the shopkeepers feel cheated by PUDA. Mr Balwinder Singh, who runs a cloth shop, said: “The day we decided to open the outlet we have been facing problems due to PUDA. The railing has added to our problems”.

A visit to the area revealed that though the green belt was being developed as part of planning of PUDA, it was posing problems for the persons visiting the shops as they had to park their vehicles on the already congested road which connects Phase 11 with the Sector 48 of Chandigarh. The only parking space available in the area was the bus stop for local bus service.

An official of PUDA said that the provision for parking had been made at the back of the showrooms but it was yet to be developed. Investigations revealed how PUDA was creating problems for the shopkeepers and the residents in the area. A number of shopkeepers had been given the permission for joining their sewer connection to a non-existing main sewer line. The shopkeepers had been forced to make alternative arrangements like septic tanks or going in the open to ease themselves. Some of the shopkeepers were forced to discharge the sewerage towards the LIG houses located at the back of the showrooms. Mr S.S. Barnala, a former municipal councillor, said that the work of laying a storm water line — meant to be done by PUDA — was now being taken up by the local municipal council. A service lane at the back of the showrooms had been left midway.

Another shopkeeper, Mr Gurbachan said: “During rains the approach from the back of our shops becomes impossible and now PUDA is blocking our front passage by erecting the mild steel railing”. The electricity connections to the shops had been given temporarily from two electricity poles in a haphazard manner. Adequate number of electricity poles have yet to be erected.


Traditional enthusiasm marks Shivratri
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 4 — Traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour marked the Shivratri celebrations in the the city today. Fasts, dips in holy tanks and rivers, bhajans and kirtans were all part of the rituals carried out by the devout.

Thousands of devotees , including a large number of women , thronged various temples in the city and offered water, milk and fruits as part of the offerings at shivlingas since early morning amid chanting of religious hymns.

Right since morning the devout made a beeline for temples. People had started queuing up outside the temples. It took more than 3 to 4 hours for each devotee to offer prayers or have darshan. The temples were lit up since yesterday night. A large number of devotees sat through the night listening to discourses.

Meanwhile, the Arya Samajis celebrated the day as Rishi Bodh Gyan Divas. It was on this day that Maharishi Dayanand, founder of the Arya Samaj , had attained enlightenment. Discourse on the life and teachings of the Maharishi and community kitchen were also organised by his devotees at different places.


Constable held for trespass
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4 — A constable of the local police has been arrested for trespass and allegedly attempting to outrage the modesty of a woman in Sector 29 late last night.

According to police sources, Dharamvir, presently posted with the CID and lives in the same locality as Shamima Begum (24), stopped his scooter in front of her house at about 12.30 at night and went inside and reportedly tried to molest her. When she raised the alarm, he ran away leaving behind his scooter.

He returned after an hour to pick up his scooter but was overpowered by the residents and handed over to the police. He was stated to be in an inebriated condition at the time of the incident. He was taken into custody and taken for a medical examination.

A case under Section 448\354, IPC, has been registered at the Industrial Area police station.


An excellent habitat for birds
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 4 — Nearly silted Sukhna Lake has become an excellent habitat for birds as it has more than 6,000 winged creatures belonging to 30-odd species, says Dr H.S. Mehta, Deputy Director, Zoological Survey of India.

Dr Mehta, who is here along with his team of researchers and scientists, to study the diversity of fauna of Sukhna lake and its catchment area, says that though silting may not be in the overall interest of the city or the lake itself, at the same time it was bringing along natural feed for the fauna.

Besides, the silt has created natural islands covered with vegetation at various places in the lake which keep them free from predators, like dogs, Dr Mehta said.

The Department of Environment of the Chandigarh Administration has entrusted a project for the study of diversity of fauna of Sukhna Lake and its catchment area to the Zoological Survey of India, says Mr H.S. Sohal, Chief Wildlife Warden and Deputy Conservator of Forests.

“It will take us about two years to complete the study and compile a book with complete details of the fauna of this area. The study would cover from protozoa — the single cell organism — to mammals. It means that all invertebrate and vertebrates found in the Sukhna Lake and its catchment area would form a part of the project.

Dr Mehta said Zoological Survey of India would involve 26 experts for completing this project. Experts in butterflies, snakes, birds, mammals, invertebrates and other such areas would be invited here to study the fauna.

Recently, Dr Mehta said the Zoological Survey of India organised an exhibition-cum-workshop at Pong Dam Wetland on February 22 and 23 so as to create general awareness.

Since the Sukhna Lake project will take a couple of years to complete, the Zoological Survey of India plans a similar workshop-cum-exhibition in the city sometime in December this year or early next year.

Talking about Sukhna Lake, Dr Mehta said that among the important species of birds here were three types of Pochards, grey-legged and bar-headed geese, Pintails, Mallards, Wigeons and Teels, besides others.

He said at the end of the project, the Zoological Survey of India would come out with a book on ‘Fauna Diversity of Sukhna’ and its catchment area.


Expenditure on police continues to rise

Rise in the crime graph and rise in the expenditure on police go side by side in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The U.T. Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), on February 29, the day on which the Central budget was also presented in Parliament, reviewed the law and order situation in the City Beautiful and expressed his concern at the rising number of thefts and burglaries in the city. Perhaps having sense of his concern, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, provided a higher allocation for police in Chandigarh.

A sum of Rs 58.40 crore has been allotted for police under the non-plan side in Chandigarh as compared to Rs 54.77 crore in the revised estimates for the year 1999-2000. In the budget itself for 1999-2000 the allocation was Rs 52.89 crore.

Chandigarh is capital of two states of Punjab and Haryana, besides a union territory itself and has quite a big administrative machinery. Enjoying such a unique position, Chandigarh Administration has to tackle a large number of agitations also. A corner near the Rose Garden on the roundabout of sectors 9, 10, 16 and 17 has assumed the name of ‘hyde’ park where besides employees of both the Governments even NGO organisations hold demonstrations, dharnas etc in support of their demands. Even in Sector 17, the Government employees do the same.

In order to cope with the situation and to control the agitators, a large police force of the Chandigarh police, along with their vehicles, riot control van and some time fire tenders, are daily deployed at the ‘hyde’ park which is considered to be heavy burden on the finances of the administration.

In the last four years, the budget on police has gone up like this: In 1997-98, it was allotted Rs 36.17 crore but actually the expenditure came to Rs 49.93 crore. Perhaps without realising the higher spending under this head, the Centre unrealistically reduced the allocation for police to Rs 45.94 crore in the Budget for 1998-99 which had to be revised to Rs 52.22 crore. In 1999-2000, it was given Rs 52.89 crore in the Budget but again it was revised to Rs 54.77 crore. Now Rs 58.40 crore have been earmarked for police in 2000-2001.

Of the Rs 533 crore non-plan Budget, the highest allocation is for the energy sector, which is 35.5 per cent. It is Rs 189.32 crore as against Rs 186.83 crore in the revised Budget for 1999-2000. Originally Rs 180.97 crore were given under this head.

The next comes education which has got Rs 129.59 crore under non-plan. However, the expenditure was much more (Rs 143.19 crore) in the revised Budget as compared to Rs 108.86 crore originally proposed.

In both the sectors — energy and education — Chandigarh is placed much better than even the adjoining states. While there is always power shortage in both states, especially Haryana, there is no such shortage in the union territory. As regards education also, the UT has large government and private institutions besides professional colleges. Over and above, it is having university also.

The allocation under non-plan for 2000-2001 for other sectors is like this (figures of revised Budget for 1999-2000 is given in brackets): Secretariat Rs 2.64 crore (Rs 2.44 crore), Housing and urban development Rs 55.52 crore (Rs 49.85 crore), Health Rs 21.80 crore (Rs 19.58 crore), labour Rs 3.54 crore

(Rs 3.18 crore), Transport Rs 57.24 crore (Rs 52.62 crore) and others Rs 15.04 crore (Rs 12.54 crore). The total non-plan allocation was Rs 533 crore against Rs 525 crore in the revised budget for 1999-2000 and original allocation of Rs 488.52 crore.

The plan side presents a queer picture. Although the revised budget under the plan gives the figure of Rs 151.39 crore for 1999-2000, the allocation for 2000-2001 has been pegged at the level of the original plan for 1999-2000 of Rs 143.64 crore. It means that there is no increase in the plan size of the U.T. if it is compared with the original allocation of plan for 1999-2000 and it is leas by Rs 7.79 crore if compared with the revised budget.

Under the plan side, less allocation has been made for transport, housing and urban development and energy as compared to the revised budget. Allocation for various heads (revised estimates in the brackets) is like this: Transport Rs 4.92 crore (Rs 5.40 crore), Education Rs 12.87 crore (Rs 5.44 crore), housing and urban development Rs 62.26 crore (Rs 97.91 crore), energy Rs 11.03 crore (Rs 13.36 crore) and others Rs 52.56 crore (Rs 29.28 crore). — VPP


Award for Prof Harkishan
by Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 4 — Recipient of over half- a-dozen national and international awards, Prof Harkishan Singh has been bestowed the coveted Eminent Pharmacist award by the Indian Pharmaceutical Association for the year 1999.

Prof Harkishan is presently carrying out pioneering work in archives in pharmacy and shows immense collection at his workplace in home.The archival material of around 1000 bound volumes here is more than the number of books available in many college libraries.

He is also known for his contribution to the discovery of a drug, Chandonium Iodide. The drug named after the city is a ‘heterosteroidal neuromuscular’ blocking agent which has been cleared by the Ministry of Health Government for manufacture and clinical use.

Prof Harkishan’s primary area of research has been heterosteroids and natural products. His publications included eight books, five book chapters, 12 other review papers and at least 125 original research papers besides others. The span of teaching saw his contribution in obtaining at least 14 patents on heterosteroids.

Prof Harkishan has an experience of over 40 years in medicine and pharmaceutical chemistry. He has been a recipient of the Schroff Memorial Award, Golden Jubilee Commemoration Award, Ranbaxy Research Award, Prof G.P. Srivas-tava Memorial Award, Acharya PC Ray Memorial Gold medal and the distinguished Alumnus Award of Hindu University.

Prof Harkishan is also a world ranking pharmaceutical historian. He has been elected as the member of the Academie Internationale D’ Histoire de la Pharmacei, probably only the second Indian ever member of the reputed academy founded in Holland .

He retired from his active teaching services in Panjab University. Prior to this he also served in Benaras Hindu University and Saugar University. He spent five years abroad studying at Universities of London and Maryland.

Prof Harkishan, close to his superannuation, got Emeritus Professor status for research in the subject. Correspondence with libraries and personal visits gave data for a decent compilation.

The collection at home is virtually a dictionary on the entire range of subjects. Interestingly, big volumes have been compiled, storing only the scope for data availability in the related books (specified page numbers) can also be seen. A casual perusal shows collection of books and works as old as 1870 and even earlier.

Prof Harkishan got the entire material photostat. The compilation also contains stories and work of several old scientists who worked on the same problem in different countries.

Two of his prominent works include Pharmacoeias and Formulation (on standard of drugs) and Pharmaceutical Education.

The current work centres around developing information availability modes besides the normal subject work. Prof Harkishan has been an Emeritus Fellow of PU, Dean Alumni Relations, besides being on several other prestigious posts. At least two of his books are in the pipeline.


Probe robbery’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 4 — Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former BJP MP of Chandigarh, today demanded a high-level probe into the shooting and robbing of Inderjit Singla at Dera Bassi yesterday.

In a statement issued here, Mr Jain said it was unfortunate that no official of the Punjab Government or the Chandigarh Administration was present at the cremation of Inderjit Singla at the Sector 25 Cremation Ground today.

Yesterday's incident, he said, had sent shockwaves in the region. He said the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration should provide adequate security cover to those employees who visited treasuries or banks for withdrawal of staff salaries.

Since Inderjit Singla died while on duty, it was a duty of the officials of the Education Department to have joined the cremation, he said.


Devotees throng Shiva temples
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, March 4 — Over 3 lakh devotees today visited the ancient Shiva temple at Saketri on Shivratri. Devotees started to pour in at the temple from the wee hours of the morning.

The Governor, Mr Mahavir Prasad, and the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr O.P. Chautala, also visited the temple to pay obeisance.

Chabils could be seen at many places. The approach roads to the temple were decorated with colourful paper designs. Tableaus went through the streets with people jostling to have a glimpse.

Bhandaras were also organised for the visitors. There were reports of celebrations from several other temples in the township also.


The Mahashivratri was celebrated with religious fervour in the town here today. Since morning long queues of devotees could be seen at different temples.

The Shri Radha Krishan Mandir and Dharamshala Sabha celebrated the Mahashivratri by organising a free homoeopathy camp. Doctors from the Homoeopathic Institute of Medical Science and Research conducted the camp.Back


Women’s wing flays government
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 4 — The women’s wing of the National Handicapped Welfare Council has deplored the Punjab Government for not doing the required work for the uplift of the disabled and old women in the rural area of the state.

The issue came up at the meeting of the women’s wing of the National Handicapped Welfare Council held here today. Alleging that the state government was spending lakhs of rupee for just getting publicity instead of doing practical work, the Chairperson of the council, Ms Lalita Mittal said there were over eight lakh disabled women in the state who required the attention of the government.

Criticising the Social Security Minister for his alleged indifferent behaviour towards the disabled members of a high powered committee — constituted to implement the provisions of the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Act, she urged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to hand over the portfolio of Social Security, Women and Child Development to a woman.

The meeting was attended by over 50 members from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.


Sales tax hike on petrol flayed
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, March 4 — The Citizens Welfare Association, Panchkula, has lamented the decision of the Excise and Taxation Department, Haryana, for increasing the sales tax on petrol. The president of the association, Mr SK Nayar, said the decision was shocking for the people.

The variation in petrol prices in the adjoining states would hit petrol stations in the township, he said in a press note. The association urged the department to bring the petrol prices “back to normal.”


Include Aggrasen in curriculum”
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, March 4 — The All-India Aggarwal Sammelan, has urged the state government to include the teachings and life history of Maharaja Aggrasen as part of the course curriculum in various schools. The demand was initiated at a national meeting of the forum held yesterday at the Aggarwal Bhawan in Sector 16.

The forum lamented that its community had no representation in the Union Cabinet. The National Secretary of the youth wing of the body, Mr Vijay Bansal, urged the people to gather in large numbers on March 26, where the Prime Minister would inaugurate the 25th year celebration of the forum.


2 held for gambling
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 4 —The police has arrested Anil and Sehdev from near the Sector 22 health centre on the charge of gambling. A case under 14\3\67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.

Knife recovered:
The police has arrested Khajjan Chand, a resident of Bajwa Kalan, Jalandhar, from Palsora colony, and recovered a kamanidar knife from his possession. A case under Section 25\54\59, Arms Act, has been registered against him.

Two detained:
The police has arrested Dalip Singh and Harjit Singh on the charges of creating nuisance at a public place. They have been booked under Section 107\151, Cr PC.

Motor cycle stolen:
Mr Manav Thakkar, a resident of Sector 29, has reported that his motor cycle , DL-8SF-0174, has been stolen from Sector 17. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered at the Central police station.


Bootlegger held:
Pawan Kumar was arrested by the Sohana police while allegedly transporting 40 pouches of liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Assaulters booked:
At least seven persons have been booked by the local police for rioting and assaulting a truck operator, Mandeep Singh. The suspects were allegedly involved in a dispute between two groups of the truck operators union. A case under Sections 148, 149, 342 and 506 of the IPC has been registered by the police.


‘Accept the Budget as it is’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Mar 4 — “Let us accept the Budget as what it is,” advised Mr P.C. Jain, a chartered accountant while discussing the finer points of the Union Budget at a seminar organised by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India here this evening.

In his opinion comments on how the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, has balanced the various taxes or the sops to certain segments of society should be left to politicians. Professionals should see how the Budget is going to be for the direct taxes, excise simplification or the removal of tax exemptions on export incomes.

It will take time for people to understand the Budget and its ramifications. Mr Jain gave the example of dividend tax that has been raised from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. This will add up to around Rs 105 crore. The bottomline of the companies will not be affected but this sum will aid liquidity in the market.

By disinvesting from the public sector units, the government had realised that minimum interference will make things function better. “Though this realisation has come late, we must appreciate it”. The Budget, he opined, was aimed at removing the barriers or the shackles imposed by the government.

Even the idea of allowing companies to raise capital from aboard was a step in the same direction. The process of disinvesting from banks shows how keen the government was in reducing its role, the veteran chartered accountant remarked.

On growth in the country, Mr Jain said that the information technology sector had grown. This will also stop the brain drain and create brain trusts. The entire world is realising the potential of the IT sector.

After Mr Jain, young advocate, Mr Balbir Singh, spoke on customs and excise duties and the changes in excise duty structure. Earlier, Mr Punit K. Abrol, chairman of institute explained about the seminar.Back


Ministry working on IT policy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 4 — The Ministry of Human Resource Development is working towards creating an IT policy which will provide guiding principles to state boards, private boards and schools for the effective implementation of information technology in schools.

A series of workshops under the topic “Introduction of information and communication technology in schools in India in the 21st century’’ are being organised by the Indian National Commission, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with UNESCo, New Delhi, in various parts of the country to get the proposed recommendations on this policy from different regions. The fifth two-day workshop began today at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41B. The earlier ones were organised at Pune, Goa, Guwahati and Hyderabad. The objective is to get a set of recommendations that can be proposed to the Ministry for the IT policy.

Nearly 100 participants mostly heads of institutions from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir are attending the workshop.

Mr R.K Singh, on behalf of the Ministry of Human Resource, stressed the need of having information and communication technology in schools. He discussed the use of computer as a tool and resource for learning, teaching and administrative work.

Mr Bhatia, Additional Director from CEDT, emphasised that computers should be taught right from nursery class.

Later, Mr Steven Rudolph, Educational Director, JIVA and consultant to the ministry, talked about the education scene in the country with special emphasis on computer education in this era of technology.

A snapshot of what is happening in the schools presently was taken to know what is required. The participants were being mobilised through various exercises to spell out the recommendations. Steve is of the view that there is lot of scope for the growth of information and technology in view of the availability of funds and enterprising people.

Among other issues which were discussed during the day were the IT curriculum, teacher education, school administration and multimedia.Back

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