|Wednesday, March 15, 2000,
not used for 15 years
CHANDIGARH, March 14 A ''critical requirement'' to track and analyse flight parameters of weapon systems fired from combat aircraft remains unavailable to the IAF almost 15 years after it was procured.
An electro-optical tracking and computing equipment had been imported in 1985 at a cost of Rs 2.60 crore for the evaluation of the trajectory of various types of missiles, rockets and unguided ordnance released from aircraft under simulated combat situations. A centre was specially established by Air Headquarters to operate and maintain this equipment.
A recent audit note made available here states that the Ministry of Defence and Air Headquarters ''have failed to make this critical equipment functional even after 14 years of its receipt''.
While the equipment was installed only after seven years of its receipt, persistent snags in it could not be rectified, making the equipment unfit for use. ''As a result the IAF was compelled to use less reliable methods for tracking the trajectory of weapons,'' the note states.
Meanwhile, Air Headquarters continued to maintain the specially created centre at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment with a compliment of three officers and 12 airmen with ''practically no job''. Due to continued unservicibility, no fixed task was allocated to the staff and they were utilised only for preventive maintenance of the equipment.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) expertise was not available to tackle the problems in the tracking control of the equipment and competent assistance was required to make it fully functional.
Official documents revealed that the manufacturers failed to demonstrate the capability of the equipment when it was procured in 1985 and thereafter went into liquidation. The successor firm accepted no liability.
Further, the acceptance trial of the equipment was witnessed and the equipment accepted by an officer who was neither trained on the equipment nor was a member of the acceptance team.
Subsequently, on receipt of the equipment in the country, the equipment did not function as required. Although the MoD had stated as far back as in 1993 that Air Headquarters would fix responsibility for the lapses, no headway has been made in this regard.
As a result of
non-utilisation, it was found that the range of the video
camera in the equipment had reduced, the computers were
unserviceable and the auto tracking function of the
equipment was only partially serviceable, with heavy
tracking errors leading to frequent breaks in tracking
the trajectory of the weapons in flight.
panel on cell phones
CHANDIGARH, March 14 The Union Government has dug up its four-year-old instructions on providing mobile telephones and pagers to senior government officials, necessitating setting-up of screening committee for their purchase and use.
The guidelines, originally issued on July 9,1996, have been circulated afresh recently. Please act promptly was the note made by a senior functionary of the Chandigarh Administration on the communication received from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
As a sequel to this communication, the Administration has set up a five-member screening committee under the chairmanship of the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai. Other members of the Screening Committee to clear specific proposals on demand for cellular phones and pagers are the Home Secretary, the Finance Secretary, the Deputy Commissioner and the Joint Secretary, Home.
Interestingly, the Screening Committee has been set up when a majority of class I and class II functionaries of the Administration have already been using both cellular phones and pagers for the past more than a year.
The guidelines said that there is a need to adopt these modern technological advances in government offices on a selective basis, with due regard to the need for economy in government expenditure.
The guidelines held that the purchase of a cellular phone is a functional requirement and the officer is required to be in direct or constant comunication with his office and others at any point of time. Further, the purpose of maintaining direct and continous link cannot be ensured through conventional methods like telephone, wireless, fax, telex, e-mail, etc., etc.
Cellular phone, the guidelines said, is an essential requirement for improving the operational efficiency of the officer involved.
The guidelines also made it clear that the purchase of a cellular phone should meet the tenets of economy, and the expenditure involved should be met from within the sanctioned grants of the department and that no separate funds would be required to be earmarked for the purpose of maintenance of cellular phones in subsequent years.
In Chandigarh, almost all senior functionaries have been provided with cellular phones much before the constitution of this Screening Committee. Like other land line connections, the use of cellular phones, other than private use, has been limited to inter-personal communication between senior functionaries only. The cellular telephone numbers have never been publicised to extend the benefit of easy accessibility to the general public.
Only yesterday, because of a technical or other snag, the public dial number of Fire Brigade 101 became inaccessible. A senior citizen, who tried to ring up the Fire Brigade, gave up in frustration after failing to get through even after an hours toil.
Interestingly, most of the functionaries of the Administration with cellular phones have all other channels of communication available to them. These include land line
telephones, inter-comm, wireless sets in their official cars and walkie-talkies in offices.
Though pagers have been provided even to the Sectional Officers of the Engineering Department, especially those who deal with public dealing sections, their numbers are not made public and the services are used exclusively for intra-department instructions.
The Engineering Department was recently proposing to introduce complaint facilities on pager service to answer the general complaint of telephones at Complaint Centres either remaining inaccessible or unattended. Now the proposal will require clearance from the Screening Committee.
The Screening Committee,
according to instructions issued by the Administration,
will only screen the fresh demand for both pagers and
cellular phones. The instructions are, however, silent
whether the committee can review the existing cellular
phone or pagers provided to the officials of the
Administration. The guidelines also do not prescribe any
limit on the use of either cellular phones or pagers.
session to begin early
CHANDIGARH, March 14 In a significant step aimed at academic improvement, the forthcoming session (2000-2001) of Panjab University will begin much earlier than normally expected. A snag which persisted over the past few years, leading to loss in teaching days, had been causing the delays.
The first teaching day which has normally been falling in August for the past few years, is scheduled for July 12 this year.
The admissions for the college and university departments are scheduled to be finalised between July 12 and July 18. Late admissions will continue till July 24. Students will have to pay Rs 100 as late fee.
Prof Charanjit Chawla, a senior fellow of the university Senate, agreed that a delay in the academic schedule was usual currently. He said the proposed schedule would go a long way in ensuring 180 teaching days which were a norm. It was nearly impossible to have 180 teaching days according to the existing teaching schedules.
A proposed schedule to make up for the loss in total examination time is another significant step. Existing system often dragged the total examination period to nearly 60 days.
The declaration of results was another area which needed improvement. A quicker declaration of results would help students who sought admission institutions other than the PU, it was said. The delay in the declaration of result also delayed the academic schedule. Candidates with whose results were to be declared later were more affected like those whose cases of evaluation were referred to a third examiner, it was said.
Classes for the enrolled students will commence on July 12, while the new admissions will begin a week later. Late admission in the colleges
and teaching departments of the university with the permission of the Vice-Chancellor can be sought between July 25 and August 31.
The academic session has been divided into three sub-sessions. The total number of academic days will be 246. In all, 65 days have been marked for holidays and house examinations, which leaves 181 days for teaching.
The annual examinations are scheduled to begin on April 2, next year. The time period marked for examinations is 31 days which is far shorter than the one under the current system. The schedule comes up for detailed discussion at the forthcoming meeting of the Syndicate.
The agenda includes all science, arts and commerce courses. A senior student said proposed improvement in the academic schedule was commendable, but, it would be interesting to know how it could be implemented. The university had Saturdays as off days while colleges had six working days. How would both institutions ensure 180 teaching days each?
It was also said the examination system was another area which had been delaying the academic sessions. Teaching days had been lost several times due to the late declaration of the results.
back-up service on anvil
CHANDIGARH, March 14 The local telecom authorities are in the process of setting up a contingency plan by providing a back-up service in case of breakdowns occurring due to faults in the cable, like the one on Sunday, when more than 50,000 phones were cut off from the rest of the telecom network in the city for the second time in six months.
The plan is to provide an alternate link between all exchanges, thus creating a back-up service for linking almost 30 exchanges located in various parts of the Union Territory, adjoining areas of Panchkula and SAS Nagar, Zirkapur and Dera Bassi. The back-up will get activated by itself to take over the linking process between the exchanges, the moment a snag occurs, said Mr Prithipal Singh, Principal General Manager, Telecom (PGMT).
After this process is completed the department says within the next six months telephone users would not even come to know if a snag has occurred as the back-up will take over, preventing disruption. The latest major snag occurred on Sunday resulting in a communication failure, besides an incalculable loss in revenue to the department, the STD/PCO operators, besides missing of important messages.
The planning for the back-up measure was already under way but it has assumed importance after Sundays six-hour failure that cut off all phones working on levels 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 22 and 26 from the rest of the network. The main optical fibre cable that links Sector 34 exchange with the main Sector 17 exchange had reportedly snapped, resulting in the breakdown. All the phones working on level 6 in Chandigarh, all phones in SAS Nagar, Kharar and other adjoining areas are connected on to the Sector 34 exchange. From there onwards a single OFC provides the connection to the Sector 17 exchange.
Now if a snag occurs in this cable, as it happened on Sunday and on another occasion almost six months ago, all phones connected onto the Sector 34 exchange are cut off from the network, explained an engineer.
All STD calls, international calls, and even calls to surrounding areas like Ambala, Rajpura, Dera Bassi, Kalka, Baddi, among other places, are routed through the Sector 17 exchange and the OFC.
OFC is the only link. Call from land lines in the Sector 34 exchange area to mobile phones are routed through Sector 17 and so is the case with the Internet connections and a paging service provider in Sector 8.
As per the contingency plan the department intends to have an OFC linking all exchanges, thus forming a ring of cables between one exchange and the next nearest exchange , besides creating the main link with either of the two main exchanges in Sector 34 or 17. Explaining this the PGMT said, for, example if the link between Sector 34 and Sector 17 snaps the next time, the formation of a ring of optical fibre cables between all exchanges will prevent a breakdown. The calls between Sector 34 and Sector 17 will be routed through the nearest exchange from Sector 34. The subscriber will find no difference at all.
auction cinema parking lots
CHANDIGARH, March 14 The controversy regarding the auctioning of the parking lots around seven city cinema halls, allegedly occupied illegally by the cinema house owners for the past several years, is finally over with the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) deciding to auction them on March 22.
The decision of the civic body follows the vacation of stay on the auctioning of the car parking lots around the cinema halls by a lower court on March 11. The lower court, in turn , had acted on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had earlier directed the authorities concerned to file a compliance report by February 15 this year.
Actually the directions of the court stem from a case between the Chandigarh Administration and the Piccadily Cinema in Sector 34 over the construction of an electricity substation in the parking area allegedly occupied by the cinema. The cinema hall management had moved the High Court and its plea was dismissed.
The High Court had also rapped the authorities concerned, who had failed to invoke the provisions of the law against the cinema managements, who had encroached upon the prime government land without paying a single penny to the government.
On March 9 the civic body swung into action and took control of the parking lots and opened the facility to the general public free of cost. Subsequently, on March 10, through an affidavit submitted to the High Court, the MCC had reportedly told the High Court that the civic body could not auction the parking lots as their auction had been stayed several times by the lower courts.
Acting on the affidavit of the MCC, the High Court reportedly asked the lower court to vacate the stay which was done on March 11 clearing the decks for the auction of the car parking lots by the civic body. Now the civic body plans to auction the parking lots of the seven cinemas Batra, Piccadily, Jagat, Neelam, KC, Nirman and Kiran for a period of one year.
According to sources in the MCC, a committee, headed by the Assistant Commissioner, Mr Ashok Vashisht, had been constituted to conduct the auction to be held in the office of civic body. The SE(B&R), Mr IS Sokhey, the Executive Engineer (Roads), Mr SK Chadha, and the Chief Account Officer, Mr HS Sood, with the other members of the committee, which will have Mr Raghubir Lal Arora, and Mr OP Goyal, both councillors, as the observers.
The sources that once the parking lots were auctioned it will earn a substantial revenue for the corporation, which is struggling to raise resources for various developmental works. And with a view to protecting the interests of the cine-goers, the rate had been fixed at Rs 5 for each car.
corporation had decided to auction the parking lot
adjacent to the district courts in Sector 17, which was
being run by the District Bar Association for the past
many months, on March 21. Chandigarh Tribune had done a
story on the issue on February 10.
shortlisted for designing golf course
PANCHKULA, March 14 Four consultancy firms have pre-qualified for bidding of the 18-hole golf course proposed on international standards in Sector 3 along the Ambala-Shimla National Highway and to be spread over almost 140 acres. The parties were shortlisted earlier and presentations by them were made at a meeting of the officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) held yesterday.
The parties had applied for consultancy for designing, supervision and planning of the golf course in response to an advertisement by HUDA and the four were finalised after a committee of five members comprising the Administrator, the Chief Engineer and other officials visited the golf courses prepared by them in the country.
However, out of the four which presented their action plan at the meeting, sources said that two of these were outrightly rejected. Moreover, the remaining had been prioritised and their financial bids would be opened once the state government endorsed the decisions of the committee. Also, the contract of consultancy would first be given to the party topping the list even if its bid is higher with the option of reducing to the level of the lowest bid. In case that is turned down by the party in question, the contract will automatically go to the party with the lower bid, sources added.
The Chief Administrator, Mr NC Wadhwa, informed that with the process of evaluation and shortlisting over, the final list of the bidders would be sent to the government for approval and work on the ambitious project is likely to begin in April. Our officials identified the genuine and competent parties by making visits to the golf courses prepared by them. They will also submit their report after which work will be initiated, he added.
Meanwhile, the committee which visited the golf courses in the country has submitted its report which said that the initial expenses of designing and execution of the golf course would be around Rs 12 crore. Later, it would have to be handed over to professional golf superintendents for supervision and would require additional maintenance officers which would incur a cost of nearly Rs 6 lakh a month.
It was also added in the report that Rs 2 crore would be required to purchase the machinery which was not available locally in addition spending Rs 2 to 3 lakh on each battery-operated trolley. Nearly 10 to 15 of these trollies would be required on the proposed golf course. It stated that the automatic computerised system of irrigation also would involve huge expenses and recommended the manual system which was much cheaper.
Further, the report informs that resorts and residential areas were an integral part of the golf courses with high standards to make them commercially viable. The sale of residential plots around the course had been linked with the membership of the club.
The team has recommended
that the construction of the golf course should be
undertaken on lease or on a joint venture basis with
private agencies. This has been primarily done keeping in
view the huge expenses involved and in view of HUDA being
a public-welfare department which would not have finances
enough to fund the project if it chooses to go all the
way on its own, sources informed.
The troubles of paying
NOT again! I have changed three accommodations in the last four months, Priya screamed in frustration, unable to accept her landladys ultimatum. Her cosy littler Sector 15 accommodation in Chandigarh was being threatened. Priya is from Gurdaspur in Punjab and studies in Government College for Girls in Sector 11. Getting a place in Chandigarh for girls is tough, keeping for long is even tougher.
Not only did Priyas landlady ask her to vacate the room immediately but also refused to return her security. Reason? Priya played very loud music and entertained too many friends, even boyfriends.
Several college and university students from outside Chandigarh face similar fate. They are called paying guests i.e. PGs. Several Chandigarh residents offer their tiny rooms to them alongwith various facilities of food and bedding. But in return not only do they charge high rents but also dictate unfair terms.
Students from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and other states of North East flock to this intellectual nerve-centre of the North India to realise their dreams. But most of their energies are spent in locating, and then keeping, a place for themselves.
The city has a lot to offer, but when it comes to space for aspiring students from other states, the choice is limited. The landlords here are no better than those in ancient Indian history books they are exploitative, demand astronomical rents and are callous. Take almost 60 per cent of the houses in Sector 15 and Sector 16, the first and the second floors are rented out to students. We have no option but to pay whatever price they ask and agree to all the conditions, which are rather ridiculous not getting friends to your room, not playing music and coming back home by 9 or 10 at night, says Anjali of Law Department, Panjab University. Most of the landlords here are employed and they earn extra from rents.
I pay Rs 1600 for a bed and there are two more girls in my room. We even have to pay Rs 3 for receiving or making phone calls, says Ranjana, a student of commerce. Her landlord has leased three rooms and there are three girls packed like sardiness in each room. All the girls have to share one lavatory. These people just know how to mint money and never think of providing any amenities. The electricity wiring is old and most of the time there is no water. If we complain, they tell us to leave, says Priya.
Several students also become victims of parochial bias. Gin Gangte says: Most of the landlords refuse students from the North-East. According to them, we are fast and immoral. Even if they give us a place, the rent is very high and we have to take it for lack of option.
People here perceive that girls from North-East are accessible. Some male landlords even try to make passes at us, says Dolma Misaso, a student from Manipur. Most assume we are rich and force us to pay more than market rent. My friends pay Rs 1600 for a room with bed and without food, while I pay Rs 2000 without food, she adds.
One common problem is the girl-boy divide. Boys cannot visit their girl friends. When Anita Sharmas landlord spotted her talking to her male friend near the house, he immediately asked her to leave. Sometimes they also comment on our clothes, complains Shilpa, adding, my landlady wouldnt let me wear short skirts because she thought it was immoral and was constantly worried about her neighbours reactions to my clothes.
They always want
to know where we go, who comes to see us and what we do
in our free time. They have no other work that is why
they are so snoopy, says Neha Arora, a student of
Home Science. She says the girls have to suffer more
because the landlords are scared of the boys. According
to some students, landlords of Sector 10 and 11 are
better than those of Sector 15 and 16. Though Sector 10
and 11 are more expensive as compared to other, but the
homes offer more facilities with calm atmosphere for
fiddle with HUDA policies
PANCHKULA, arch 14 The Panchkula Property Consultants Association has demanded that the state government should not fiddle with the policies of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) frequently since it would mess up property matters.
Addressing a press conference, the president of the association, Mr OP Oberoi, stated that a change in the government always led to a change in the policies of HUDA and the present government had contributed to altering these by banning ``friendly transfer of plots. Instead, transfer of plots would be allowed only through registry and the new rule would come into force from March 8, according to the letter issued by the government.
In another notification issued, by the Chief Administrator on March 9, the date of implementation was mentioned as March 7. The notification also stated that all transfers of plots completed by March 7 also came under its purview.
Mr Oberoi added that the government had no justification in taxing those people who had completed the transfer work before March 8 and added that final transfer orders should be issued to all allottees with complete paper work regarding friendly transfers without any delay and accept all applications for friendly transfers put up before HUDA before March 8.
sought into cable licence fee collection
CHANDIGARH, March 14 The Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee today demanded a CBI inquiry against the Mayor and BJP Councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for dithering over the issue of collection of cable licence fee.
Talking to newsmen here this afternoon, the President of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee (CTYCC), Mr Chandermukhi Sharma, said that though the corporation took a decision to levy a monthly licence fee of Rs 1 lakh per month on bigger cable operators, including Siti Cable, it also decided to levy a nominal fee of Rs 1,000 a month on normal cable operators in different parts of the city.At present, there are seven major and 150-odd small cable operators in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.He alleged that none of the big cable operators deposited the tax even after the corporation inserted advertisements in local newspapers.
The reason, he said, was that five of these main cable operators belonged to the BJP camp and they were able to persuade the Councillors and the Mayor not to enforce this tax.The corporation has taken no measures to collect this tax and the arrears due from the defaulting cable operators.Mr Sharma urged the Administrator to order a CBI probe into the episode.
Talking about organisational matters, he said that no one with more than two children can become an office-bearers in the CTYCC.He said that the Chandigarh Administration was ineffective because of lack of coordination between various agencies. As a result, corruption was rampant. The sanitation was in shambles.There was a continuous deterioration in law and order.
The incidents of
snatchings, rapes, abductions and kidnappings, broad
daylight burglaries and thefts have increased
manifold.The CTYCC also expressed concern over taking on
deputation officials, both junior and senior, with
doubtful reputation and demanded that a proper screening
must be done to give the people a transparent and
done to check number of rickshaws
CHANDIGARH, March 14 The Administration has done little to control the ever- increasing number of rickshaws, though the deadline to implement the Chandigarh Rickshaw (Regulation and Control) Byelaws, 1960, subsequently amended in 1997, expired on October 15.
The matter is pending before the administration, which has so far not given its assent to implement the document in letter and spirit and save the city from the growing menace. The laws were framed to regulate the number of rickshaws plying in the city, besides acting as a means for the police to verify the antecedents of the migrants.
This would also help reduce the number of accidents as every rickshaw-puller would have to undergo a test before a licence was issued. In an earlier drive to provide licences for the estimated 20,000 rickshaw-pullers and owners, only 1,432 persons, applied for the licences. The response to a drive to educate the rickshaw-pullers in November was so lukewarm that only a few persons turned up to get the basic training at the Traffic Police Centre in Sector 23.
Sources said there were no plans to implement the by-laws as certain modalities had to be worked out. The challan books have not been prepared and issued to the police. As per rules, an officer of the rank of ASI can challan and impound a rickshaw. As per norms, it is mandatory for rickshaws to display a rate list for the benefit of passengers.
The reccomendation of the police that the rickshaws which have not been registered should be impounded and destroyed, as is being done in Delhi, has yet to be accepted by the administration.In Delhi, the rickshaws which ply in contravention of norms are impounded and broken up by the police, so that these do not end up on the roads again.
The number of rickshaws is fixed keeping in view the need of the capital, police sources say. A police drive to arrest the rickshaw-pullers who did not follow the norms, in which 400 were picked up in a single day, ran into rough weather as certain political parties came to their rescue. This prompted a senior official to comment that if they were so concerned they could take all such persons to their homes. The laws were also an attempt to break the cartel of rickshaw-owners in the city, who between them own more than 90 per cent of the rickshaws in the city. The cartel rents out rickshaws to migrants on nominal sums, providing ready employment to a large number of persons.
However, little care has
been taken to ensure that the person renting the rickshaw
for the day is aware of traffic rules, the sources add.
The laws stipulate that the rickshaw-pullers which do not
comply with the byelaws, will be challaned and their
rickshaws will be impounded. Fine for various violations
vary from Rs 200 to Rs 500. Every rickshaw has to carry
number plate and registration number.The laws also define
areas where the plying of rickshaws will be restricted.
For example, rickshaws will be banned on the major roads
and the roads which divide a sector into four parts.
2 powermen charged with
CHANDIGARH, March 14 Complying with directions issued by a city court, the Chandigarh Police has registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against two employees of the Electricity Department accused of demanding a bribe from an advocate for restoration of electricity.
The investigations into the allegations levelled by advocate D.S. Rajput against P.P. Singh and Lakhwinder Singh have been entrusted to Sub Divisional Police Officer (Central), Dr Sagar Preet Hooda.
Accusing the two employees of cheating and committing criminal breach of trust, Mr Rajput had earlier stated that Rs 10,000 was demanded by the accused for the restoration of electricity.
In a complaint seeking directions to the SHO for lodging a First Information Report against the two under the Prevention of Corruption Act along with Sections 420, 406, 197, 199, 471, 511, 477-A, 109 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, he had alleged that the accused intentionally and wilfully did not install the electricity meter.
He had added that the matter was reported to the police but the FIR was not registered. He had further added that the arrest and interrogation of the accused was essential so that the accused could not destroy the record to save their skin from legal punishment.
Taking up the complaint, the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr S.S. Lamba, had initially directed the Station House Officer of Sector 17 police station to only investigate the matter.
The SHO, after recording the statement of the petitioner, the witnesses and the accused, had stated in his report that the allegations against the two were false.
Mr Rajput had subsequently moved a protest petition stating that after the case was sent to the SHO for investigation, it was incumbent upon him to register the case and only thereafter he could investigate the matter.
Arguing before the court, he had added that a Sub Inspector was not competent to conduct investigations into the allegations levelled against the two officials.
Yesterday, directing the registration of the case, the Additional District and Sessions Judge observed: The matter is referred back to the SHO of PS Central, for registration of case and for investigation from a competent officer as provided under the Act.
memorandum to Adviser
CHANDIGARH, March 14 Members of the local unit of the BJP presented a memorandum to the Adviser to the Administrator regarding the rehabilitation of dairy farmers uprooted from Nizampur-Burail, following the acquisition of their land by the administration.
The delegation was led
by Mr Jai Ram Joshi, a former President of the unit. The
members impressed on the Administrator that the Estate
Office had not adopted due process in acquiring the land.
Moreover, there was panic in the farmers as the officials
had informed them that they would be dispossessed
China have close cultural ties
CHANDIGARH, March 14 Peace between nations during the current times can be established only if they are strong enough to repel aggression, said Brig Chitranjan Sawant, a prominent Sinologue, at a lecture in Panjab University here today.
Brigadier Sawant was speaking at a lecture on China- India- Pakistan relations organised by the India China Friendship Association. The Brigadier screened a film on society and cultural life in Tibet. Infact, strength was the only medium for peace in future Asia.
He traced the relations between India and China during the last 5000 years and opined that they were unbreakable because they were rooted in close cultural ties. The conflict, if existent, was temporary. He emphasised that there is need to strengthen the relations between the two countries for the two cannot afford to be hostile to each other.
Referring to the forthcoming visit of the US President Bill Clinton, he pointed out that it has assumed importance since many people feel that India will be distancing itself from China and getting closer to the USA.
Brigadier Sawant said that China would remain neutral even if there was a war between India and Pakistan.The appearance of Pakistan on the scene had been a continuous irritant but we cannot ignore it.
Earlier, Major Jeewan Tewari lauded the role of Late Tara Chand Gupta in whose memory the function was organised today. Dr R.N. Singal introduced the speaker.
Mr Jiang Weiming, cultural counsellor from the Chinese Embassy, spoke on Chinas steps towards maintaining good relations with India. Dr Ram Prakash, in his Presidential remarks, said that India had been quarelling on minor issues like divisions of territory and waters. It was therefore hard to expect an answer in this direction at a short notice.The triangle was not smooth at the moment.
Friendship does not mean you make temporary arrangements by sweeping dust under the carpet. The relation needed to be discussed in detail and sorted out, he added.
In addition to being an expert on China, Brig Sawant is a leading scholar and he has produced a number of TV documentaries and radio-features.
Traders air grievances
SAS NAGAR, March 14 Local industrialists aired their grievances relating to the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) at a meeting organised by the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) here yesterday. Ms S. K. Sandhu, Managing Director of the PSIEC, and other senior officials of the department were present on the occasion.
Replying to a query, Ms Sandhu said that allotment of plots as per the government policy was likely to be completed by the end of this month in case of 2500 sq yard and 100 sq yard plots and by April end-in case of 500 sq yard plots. A 1.2 acre plot in Industrial Area, Phase IX, had been earmarked for an ESI dispensary. To another query about the reduction of restoration fee, she said that it had been reduced from Rs 100 per sq yard to Rs 40 per sq yard and no further reduction in the fee was possible.
She added that the PSIEC
was planning to undertake construction of 50 sheds in the
next financial year. She said that the corporation could
explore the idea of earmarking some sites for the
candidates graduating from the local fashion
technology institute to set up their own garment
manufacturing units. She said that to expedite the public
related works, computerisation was being done by the
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