Friday, March 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 Ambala girls commit suicide in city motel
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — As many as three young girls from Ambala reportedly committed suicide in a motel in Sector 18 late last night.

The 16-year-old girls — Chandni, Deepali and Chetna — reportedly consumed a poisonous substance and were rushed to the PGI where they breathed their last. No suicide note has been recovered from the belongings of the deceased.

While the former were students of plus one at the Dev Samaj College, the latter was studying in the PKR Jain College, Ambala. Chandni was a resident of Goverdhan Nagar, while Deepali and Chetna were immediate neighbours in the Model town and were friends for the past two years. The two localities are close by and the trio used to meet regularly.

According to police sources, the trio left home at 5. 30 p.m. and that was the last anybody saw of them. While Chandni left home after telling her parents that she was to meet some friends, the others reportedly left home to fetch milk from the market.

They boarded a bus for Chandigarh and were taken to a privately managed guest house in Sector 18 by an autorickshaw driver at about 8.30 p.m. They managed to get a room, number 102, booked after telling Surjit Singh, the manager of the guest house, that they were from Panipat and had to spend the night here.

The room was booked under the fictious names of Simran Luthra, Chahat and Muskan. The address given was also fake. They had mentioned the same mohalla they were staying in but had changed the town’s name to Panipat.

Although the police has not found any suicide note, they have recovered a question paper of plus one of Hindi on the back of which the girls have written in Hindi that their real names were Chandni, Chetna and Deepali, besides jotting down their respective telephone numbers, the sources added.

Surjit Singh is said to have told the police that he suspected nothing, and it was at about 11.30 p.m. that a waiter told him that he had heard shrieks and sounds of retching, vomiting besides loud groaning from the room of the girls. When they opened the door they found that the trio were unconscious and the entire room and the wash room were covered with vomit.

They were rushed to the PGI, where Deepali and Chetna were declared brought dead on arrival while Chandni died at about 8. 30 a.m. today. While a postmortem was carried out in the morning, the viscera of the deceased has been sent for an examination, Inquest proceedings under Section 174, Cr P C, have been recorded by the Area Magistrate, the sources added.

Mr Parag Jain, SSP, visited the scene of the incident, along with other officers.

The bodies were handed over to their respective parents and relatives in the afternoon and they were cremated in Ambala this evening.

Rahul Das adds from Ambala: “My daughter was normal throughout the day and she even prepared food for some guests who had come to visit us”, Mr Jai Singh, who is the father of one of the three girls who were found dead in Chandigarh, said.

Mr Singh, who is the father of 18-year-old Chandni, said that he received a call from the PGI, Chandigarh, late last night that his daughter was admitted to the hospital. “I immediately left for Chandigarh where my daughter was lying unconscious. She was being administered glucose drips,” he said.

He said that his daugther Chandni was a friend of the two other girls, Deepali and Chetna, who were found dead. “At about 5 pm yesterday, Chandni said that she was going to meet her friends and her friends had told their family members that they were going to fetch milk,” he said.

“That is the last I saw of my daughter before I received a call late last night saying that my daughter was admitted to the PGI,” he said.

Mr Jai Singh, who is a resident of Goverdhan Nagar, emphasised that his daughter had never told him of any problem and yesterday, too, she was absolutely normal. Chandni is the youngest of four children of Mr Jai Singh.

The mood was sombre at the cremation of Chandni. A large number of people had turned up at the funeral on hearing the news of Chandni’s death.

Mr Harmanjit Singh, who was present at the funeral, said that they had come to ask for my vehicle at about 11.30 last night. “They told me that they had got a call and I gave them my vehicle to go to Chandigarh,” he said.

A neighbour said that the three girls, Chandni, Chetna and Deepali, were good friends and they used to visit each other’s residence. “All of them were studying in Class XI. While Chandni and Deepali were in Dev Samaj, Chetna was a student of PKR Jain school,” he said.Back


4 PU students disqualified
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — At least four students of Panjab University have been disqualified from university examination for using unfair means in examination.

The cases came up for discussion during the last syndicate meeting which upheld the decision of the Unfair Means Committee.

Jaspal Singh , a student of BA III, was caught in a case of impersonation during the annual examination conducted in April 1999. Following scrutiny, he has been disqualified for a period of five years till 2003. Sukhbir Singh, also a BA final student, has been disqualified till 2002. He was caught in April 1998.

The cases came up at the fag end of a session of the committee. The university has planned two separate committees to decide cases of unfair means in the forthcoming session.

There were approximately 300 cases detected under unfair means during examination in the past three years. About 99 per cent students who were caught during examination were punished.

The list includes Balkaran Singh, a students of BA III for an exam held in October 1998. Another convict includes Joginder Singh from Muktsar, convicted for impersonation. Both candidates have been disqualified from October 1998 to April 2003.

Sources maintain that cheating complaints were more in rural colleges. The university has received reports from supervisors about particular centres where cases of copying were abundant.Back


Bungee jumping comes to north
By Donald Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — Mohit Wadhwa, an MBA student of Chandigarh, waves as he climbs into a lift. With a jump master coaxing him and giving him tips, he is taken to a height of 180 ft — the launch tip of the crane. He looks down. That is enough to give him goose pimples all over. The jump master eggs him on to clasp his hands at the back of the neck. Three more minutes pass Traffic on the road near the Parade Ground in Chandigarh slows down to a snail’s pace. They are waiting for the boy to take the plunge.

And, then it happens. Mohit clasps his neck and rolls back from that height. There is silence all around as he comes down with an elastic cord tied to his ankles. After a free fall of 130 ft, he swings on the elastic cord like a pendulum. He is pulled up and again thrust down.

This was Mohit’s first tryst with bungee jumping which was launched on the opening day of Karsun’s Kids Karnival today.

Mohit was eager to have another go at bungee jumping as Gopinder from an orchard in Kulu went up the lift. More and more spectators gathered around the area. A number of passers by could be seen stretching their necks from the boundary tin wall. Gopinder seemed to be an expert. He clasped his neck and came down in that position. The jump master pulled up the cord and thrust it down four times.

Bungee jumping, which had so far been seen on the small screen, is an exhilarating experience for the spectator as well as the participant. This is the first time it has come to North India.

The clouds could not deter the enthusiasts as they queued up to fill forms for a bungee jump.

We talked to Mr Sunil Chadha, the jump master. He learnt bungee jumping in Germany where he jumped from a height of 300 ft. In the last four years he has had a lot of bungee jumping shows. ‘‘It is a safe sport. There are no risks at all’’, he told The Tribune.

As the bungee jumps were going on loud music from the decks of a big Titanic model attracted young dancers. And soon the lower deck was converted into a dance floor. The 30x90 ft Titantic replica has attractions in different cabins.

The Karnival, which will continue in Chandigarh till March 26, has a lot of attractions for children.

At the entry gate itself a giant rabbit cut-out beckons children to have a feel of the thrills inside. However, on the opening day, the thrills took a backseat because of the clouds and the inclement weather. But late in the afternoon, the sun appeared and families could be seen entering the Parade Ground ‘‘karnival’’ spread over four acres.

In the aqua underwater utopia, there are crocodiles, large turtles, octopus, star fish, dolphin, sea-divers. Yes, these under-the-sea attractions are placed in such a fashion that they appear to be floating in water — a virtual underwater sea park.

A little ahead fairy-tale fantasies come alive. Yes, the entrance is castle-like. A large size Pinnochio attracts the children. Then there is the jungle-book character ‘‘Mougli’’. In this enclosure the children’s fairy tales come alive.

The hot air balloon ride: Another major attraction at the Karnival, could not get off till 2 p.m. because of the bad weather. But with the sun shining on Chandigarh later in the day, things could be better in the coming days.

The Karnival is a virtual confluence of masti, music, games adventure and shopping co-sponsored by a host of corporates — Siti Cable, Coca-Cola, Aquafresh, Mattel Toys and Intel.

Stages are there for a lot of competitions for the children — on-the-spot painting and healthy baby contest.

The Karnival will move on to Ludhiana on March 30.Back


MC abandons project on rickshaw-stands
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has abandoned its project of constructing 120-odd rickshaw-stands in various parts of the city after completing only 15 to 20 of these stands so far.

Though no official reason is being given for “abrupt discontinuation of the project”, objections from general public, inconvenient location and the feeble endeavour on the part of the Administration to regulate cycle rickshaws in the city are the probable provocations for “abandoning the project”.

When the project was launched some months ago, the workers of the Engineering Department of the Municipal Corporation not only dug up the proposed rickshaw stand sites but also went ahead in putting stone metal and curb channels to demarcate the “stands” from the adjoining areas.

There were protests even over the design of the proposed rickshaw-stands as they had limited space. Various Residents Welfare Associations also protested over the proposed sites of such stands.

The associations maintained that rickshaw stands should be located closer to shopping centres, commercial areas, institutional areas and not in front of houses.

There were strong protests, especially in Phase II sectors, where the rickshaw stands were just proposed close to residential areas and also near green belts.

The residents maintained that once rickshaw-stands are constructed, the rickshawpullers would not only stay put at these stands but would also be responsible for insanitation. Once a rickshaw-stand comes up, certain other encroachers, including “tea stalls”, “paan bidi sellers” and even “hair dressers” also come up close to such locations.

Gauging the mood of the public, the corporation decided to abandon the project. According to estimates, the money already spent on the project, though not substantial, has virtually gone waste.

The Resident Welfare Associa-tions have now been demanding that all such sites should be cleared of the mounds of earthwork and other material which was stacked for construction purposes. In some areas, these abandoned “rickshaw stands” have become garbage dumping zones because of uneven terrain and mounds of earth encompassing deep pits.Back


Hectic lobbying for chairman’s seat
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 23 — Even though excitement of being elected to the first Zila Parishad of the district is yet to subside in the homes of members chosen from the 10 wards, the game has just begun for the four women elected to the body. Reserved for women, the meetings of the Zila Parishad will be chaired by one of the chosen few.

Educated and young, these women are engaging in hectic lobbying and are in constant touch with other members of the Zila Parishad trying to woo them over to their side and working on a definite gameplan for securing the seat of the chairperson even though two of them are freshers with no previous experience in any of the bodies of the three-tier community development setup.

Aged only 21, Harjit Kaur of Saketri village takes time off from her studies to meet other elected members of the parishad to convince them to vote for her as chairperson.``The seat just fell in my lap and I did not even have to move an inch. I had merely accompanied my father who was to file his nominations from our ward but destiny had something else in store for us. On arriving at the office we were told that the seat of the ward was reserved for women and my father decided to field me instead,’’ he said.

As luck would have it, she was elected unopposed and is hoping that lady luck will continue to smile on her as far as election of the chairperson is concerned. With lots of social work in her village to her credit, she admits of ignorance about the working of the parishad. ``I’ll gradually learn whatever the job entails and cross the bridge when I come to it. As of now, I’m concentrating on winning over members to my side and preparing for my second year graduation examinations which begin next month,’’ she says.

Former sarpanch of her village, Mrs Upinder Kaur, is more confident, and says there are many villages crying for attention which will have priority over all else once the process is complete and she is chosen as chairperson. An M.Sc to her credit, she says: ``I developed interest in politics after marriage and would have continued to be sarpanch for the second term running had this ward in Pinjore not been reserved for women. I have also emerged from the shadow of my husband and my experience as sarpanch will stand me in good stead.’’

About her husband’s interference in her matters, she contends that every decision will be collective and based on exchange of ideas, though her will shall prevail at the stage of implementation.

Elected from the Barwala ward, Mrs Shimla Devi says her husband saw it as a golden opportunity to field her following reservation. However, she is at sea about the working of the Zila Parishad and yet contends that she is very much a part of the race for election of the chairperson. ``My husband is carrying out the public relationing exercise for me since I am not well-versed with the idea. Also, he has many contacts which can be tapped and used to my advantage. Then again, he is the best judge,’’ she adds.

From Raipur Rani, Ms Vijay Lakshmi, a post-graduate in commerce, is contesting for the post of chairmanship of the parishad. Sans political experience, she is relying on family backing for the same. Her uncle, sarpanch of Raipur Rani, Mr Rana, says: ``She was born in a political family and we will manage her affairs for her. She hardly knows a thing but has our experience behind her. We are also establishing links with the rest of the members and securing votes for her.’’ He clearly indicates that all decisions will be taken by them and she will be the official rubber stamp.

The first Zila Parishad, primarily incharge of all development works in the district with four block samities under its preview, will be functional once the notification from the Election Commission is received.

The approval of the formation of the Zila Parishad was received in February, 1999, and elections to the body were held for the first time on March 16 this year.Back


Decisive, fiercely competitive, highly ambitious
By Kulwinder Sandhu

THE furious revving of Kinetic Hondas, the harsh clatter of swinging dumb-bells and the clicking of wellflossed teeth.

A growing breed of female go-getters in Chandigarh is orchestrating the sounds of the new gender revolution which have drowned the demoralising croaks of patriarchal convention. Preeti Sharma, a 22-year-old student of psychology expressed herself with time-saving candour: “I’m too confident to be apprehensive about the future. I know what I want from life and I’m sure that I can make my dreams come true”. Preeti has little for self-deprecating niceties. She describes herself as a good scholar and an efficient organiser of college events like seminars, debates and symposia.

Although Preeti is committed for expanding personal horizons, she is certain that when it comes to professional concerns, everything else — marriage including — will take the back couch. In this respect, the pshyco students’ case sheet is almost similar to that of Deepika Malhotra. This 23-year-old medico, who will complete the MBBS course by next year, has taken the bedlock-after-graduation stereotype and sealed it firmly in a formaldehyde container. “I was very young when I decided I wanted to become a doctor and steth for the rest of my life. And nothing could veer me off course. Now my greatest concern is to be damn good doctor”.

And as if the routine challenges of the profession were not enough, she will have to put up with Chauonist Yahoos as well. “I know so many people who think, in this day and age, that women should stay at home and take care of the family and kids”. Although irritated by such anachronisms, Deeppika is much too focused on her career to be daunted. “My fascination for medicine is so enormous that I cannot be bothered by things like this. At any rate, there is so much to do ... so many dreams to realise, that I hardly have time to mull over anything apart from my professional obsessions”. Deepika’s most abiding fantasy to find a cure for every disease. “I know that is virtually impossible, but no harm in hoping”, she says with a smile that dazzles with a sincerity and earnestness.

Indeed, those are two prominent factors which mark some of the young women who will pass out from Chandigarh colleges and university this academic year. With an intense devotion for success and an ascedtic’s capacity to channelise energies, these career-freaks are demolishing the notion that the university is all about sitting at the Student’s Centre are formal chit-chat with friends holding a cold drink or a cup of coffee in hands. Take the case of Suman Arora, for instance. On the day of Diwali celebrations, while the city partied with cheerful faces all around, this soft spoken student of computer science was revelling in the intricacies of commercial mathematics. “My internal exams were coming up and that there was another test that I had to take at the coaching centre the very next day”.

But Suman is not disappointed and says quietly that the Diwali celebrations were just another day. For this 19-year-old, securing a seat in a good MCA course is the greatest — and the only concern at the moment. “The competition is very-very tough, but I’m confident that I’II achieve the goals that I have set out for myself. No reason why I shouldn’t. I work hard”. Fair enough, but does this stiletto sharp selfassurance sound unreal?

It sure will, to those who have for generations maintained that women should be educated only for social refinement. The argument has been that it won’t hurt at all if the demure ‘bahurani’ who shows stunning mastery in pickle-making, is also able to help the kids with Algebra. Besides, is it not true that so many matrimonial ads ask for ‘working girls-preferably homely’?

Preeti snorts with disgust at this hypocrisy, but manages to smile eventually. “It is absurd to say that women are getting serious about education because it is easier to get married. Anyway, most men get intimidated by overqualified women”.

In short, the demand for a greater share in the open — market pudding is not being made as part of some equal rights campaign. On the contrary, the global village belles are saying nonchalantly. ‘We earned it, mate’. Suman for example, asserts softly that job satisfication without substantial compensation package is bound to be inadequate. And Deepika is eleted by the fact that doctors today can live in style. “Things have never been better in the medical profession. We are finally beginning to get what we deserve”. And Preeti gushes that her knowledge of human facilities and a diploma in industrical relation will enable her to make ”.... lots and lots of money, so that I can live my life the way I want to”.

Yet, interestingly enough, these girls are more than aware of many subtle problems ahead. Sexual harassment at work, rising incidence of divorce and the problem of singleparent children do bother them. “But as far as divorce and question of adjustments are concerned, it all depends on the kind of equation you have with your husband”, argues Deepika.

Decisive, fiercely competitive and highly ambitious, streetsmart and materialistic, the young college-going women of today — in there late teens and early 20s — know what they want and more importantly, how to get it.Back


LPG, kerosene hike flayed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — The decision of the Central Government to hike the prices of the LPG and kerosene has come in for severe criticism from various quarters.

Talking to The Tribune, Ms Veena Sharma, a housewife , was of the opinion that the hike of up to Rs 51 in the LPG price was “unjustified and unwarranted”. If the government wanted to cut subsidies, it should reduce them on the non-essential commodities, she said, adding that the almost doubling of the prices of kerosene would affect the poorer sections of society adversely.

A government employee, Mr Hazara Singh, said the salaried class would be at the receiving end as the hike in the salaries had failed to match prices. Since the LPG was an essential item the massive hike would upset the household budgets, he added.

Describing it as a “cruel joke” and “big fraud” on the downtrodden, the Secretary of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr Raj Nagpal, said already the poor people were finding it hard to make both ends. With the hike, the common people would be pushed toward starvation, he alleged.

While on the one hand the government was giving concessions to the influential sections of society, on the other it was burdening the poor by phasing out subsidies on the essential items.

In a statement, the president of the Consumer Welfare Association, Mr Satpal Gupta, described the hike as “fraud” with the people.

Both the organisations urged the government to withdraw the hike otherwise they would be compelled to launch agitations.Back


Death-traps along highway
From Bipin Bhardwaj

DERA BASSI, March 23 — A large number of electricity poles and transformers along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here have become virtual death-traps, which have all the while been waiting for a major tragedy.

Close to the main road, the high tension cables of the transformers pose a serious threat to the local road users as well as the vehicular traffic.

No barbed wire fence or other protective covers prevent the passersby from touching the high voltage cables.

The possibility of a major disaster always remains in the absence of light reflectors on the transformer. The highway takes a heavy volume of traffic, and long-route buses while crossing this congested stretch are always in the danger of colliding with one of the poles on the roadside, feels a road user.

Mr Ravinder Singh, a local resident, says that in addition to this, naked wires hanging from the poles add to the possibility of a mishap.

‘‘Overloaded trucks and other vehicles pass under these cables with only a few feet to spare. Thus the lives of the road users always remain at a stake,’’ said Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, President of the Municipal Council.

Mr K.S. Bhinder, Senior Executive Officer of the Punjab Public Works Department (Building and Roads), however, said that the department had deposited the required amount for the removal of the poles and two transformers which were hindering the widening and retarring of the highway. The sum was deposited with the Electricity Department about two years ago but no action has been taken in this regard so far, he said.

The sources in the electricity subdivision, however, said that the PWD (B&R) authorities had not deposited the required sum of Rs 2, 33,792. The department would have to remove 22 electricity poles and two transformers from a stretch of 31 metres of the highway.

The removal of the transformers and the poles would the finalised only after the PWD has made the final payment. Back


Widespread condemnation of massacre
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — Widespread condemnation of killing of 35 innocent Sikhs at Anantnag continued on the third day today.

The Kashmiri Sahayak Sabha organised a protest demonstration at the Sector 17 Plaza this afternoon.Earlier, members of the sabha, sporting black badges, took out a procession and raised slogans against Pakistan and Kashmiri militants. A two-minute silence was also observed.

Amongst those who addressed the gathering were Ms Nancy Ganjoo, Mr J.K. Raina,, Sqn Ldr B.L. Sadhu and Mr R.K. Dalal besides others. The local Shiromani Akali Dal leaders — Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, Mr Mohinder Singh and Giani Jasvir Singh — also addressed the rally.

The local unit of the Pannun Kashmir also joined the protest rally.

The Movement Against State Repression and Punjab Human Rights Organisation also condemned the massacre of the Sikhs.Both these organisations wanted the international media accompanying the US President to investigate the background of the massacre of the Sikhs in Kashmir valley.

The All-India Human Rights Watch also condemned the killings and urged the US President to intervene so as to put an end to this madness and cold blooded murders. The Watch also demanded that Pakistan be declared a terrorist State.

Meanwhile, about 500 Sikh families from all over Punjab, claiming themselves to be victims of state violence, gathered here in response to a call given by Bhai Narain Singh of the Akal Federation at Gurdwara Kanthala Sahib to highlight their grievances.

The families maintained that the state government had taken no action against the guilty police officials. Later, the families organised a rally so as to focus the attention of the visiting US President. The rally was addressed among others by Justice Kuldip Singh, Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Mr Inderjit Singh Jaijee, Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala, Mr Gurtej Singh, Mrs Baljit Kaur, Mr R.N. Kumar, Mr Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon and others.

The participants also expressed their concern over the killing of 35 innocent Sikhs at Anantnag on the Holi night and held the State responsible for the massacre.Back


Census work to begin today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — The Punjab Governor-cum-Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), today appealed to the citizens of Chandigarh to cooperate with the census staff by providing them correct information.

In a message, the Administrator said that the house-listing operations of the Census of India-2001, which are starting from April 1 this year, would continue till April 16. It was the legal as well as the moral duty of every citizen to give correct information to the census staff.

The Administrator said the data to be collected through census is used for the formulation of various plans and policies for the progress of our country. It was, therefore, imperative for all of us to cooperate with the census staff.

The Administrator assured that the information so collected would be kept confidential and not given to any department such as the Income Tax Department and citizens need not be apprehensive about this.

Meanwhile, the Director of Census in a press note said that the much-awaited census of India 2001 starts tomorrow in the Union Territory of Chandigarh with the launching of the collection of data on the houses and buildings. The operation will continue till April 16.

The questions relate to material of the roof, floor and wall, type of use of the house i.e. residential, non-residential or mix, condition of the construction of houses, no. of persons living normally, name, caste and sex of the head of the family, ownership status of the house, number of rooms, source of drinking water and lighting, type of toilet facilities, type of waste water disposal, provision of bathroom and kitchen, type of fuel used for cooking, availability of radio, TV, telephone, cycle, scooter, car and whether availing banking facilities or not.Back


Draw of lots for HUDA booths
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 23 — The Haryana Urban Development Authority will organise a draw of lots for the allotment of booths under the rehabilitation scheme for stall-owners near Mansa Devi Temple on March 25 at the venue. In all, 116 booths will be allotted on the occasion.

On March 27, HUDA will organise an auction of 45 commercial sites in Sectors 5, 10, 20 and 21, among others. A draw of lots for giving plots to persons of economically weaker sections will be undertaken on April 7. These plots of one or two marlas are located in Sectors 25, 26 and 27 of the township.Back


Panel on purchase and use of cell phones
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), Mr MP Singh, has constituted a six-member screening committee to facilitate the clearance of specific proposals for the purchase and use of cellular phones and pagers by the officials of the civic body.

The panel, to be headed by the Commissioner himself, will consider the proposals of different wings of the MCC for the purchase of mobile phones and pagers on merit and on the basis of the functional requirements for the urgent communications with regard to economy in expenditure.

To facilitate better functioning and coordination of different wings and to improve the operational efficiency of the officers of the civic body, it was decided to constitute a screening committee which would look into the matter on merit basis.

Besides the Commissioner, the committee will have the Secretary, Mr HK Nagpal, the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, and the Assistant Commissioner, Mr Ashok Vashist, as members. The Chief Accounts Officer, Mr HS Sood, will be its convener.

Besides considering the requests of various wings of the corporation for the purchase of cellular phones and pagers, the panel would weigh the pros and cons of the proposals threadbare keeping in mind the general principles of economy and functional requirements to its satisfaction.

The expenditure involved in the purchase of communication sets would be met from within the sanctioned grants of the department and no separate funds would be required to be earmarked for the purpose of its maintenance in the subsequent years.Back


1,700 appear for cops’ intake
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — The Sector 26 police line was swamped with the relatives and parents of the candidates who had come to the city for appearing for the physical measurement for the posts of constable (female) in the local force.

The drive is being conducted following directions of Lt Gen J F R Jacob (retd), UT Administrator, some time back. The test was conducted under the supervision of Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, Hq. As many as 861 candidates have qualified for the written test.

As many as 1700 candidates appeared for the measurement where the height of the candidates was measured and their testimonials were checked. Those who met with the requirements were issued their call letters on the spot for the written test to be held on April 2.

The entire proceedings were recorded on video to ensure greater transparency. The process began at 7.30 a.m. and was over by 2 p.m. The entire process was completed peacefully and there were no complaints.

The police had a tough time keeping the family members and relatives of the candidates at bay and an adequate number of personnel had been posted for the same at the venue. Back


Sector 34 area to be developed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — As a goodwill gesture to the religious institutions, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has decided to develop an area of 4.5 acres in Sector 34 for holding of religious functions free of cost.

According to a press note here today, the site which, otherwise was a commercial site and was leased on Rs 15,000 per day, was being kept free for holding mega religious functions. The site was appropriate for the purpose as it had a large parking area.

It said that the Nehru Park in Sector 22, and the Math Mandir in Sector 20, which were leased on commercial basis, were also considered to be leased free of charge for the purely religious functions.Back


Dadu Majra resident hangs herself
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — A resident of Dadu Majra colony reportedly committed suicide here this afternoon.

According to police sources, Sonu, 17, was alone at home when she hanged herself by a dupatta from a hook in the ceiling. She was discovered by some family members. Further investigations are on.

Gold, diamonds stolen: Mr Gurinder Singh Brar, a resident of Sector 33, reported that some one had stolen gold and diamond ornaments, besides Rs 10,000 in cash while he was out of station.

A case under Section 457/380, IPC, has been registered.

Held for stealing iron: The police has arrested Devi Bahadur and Kanhaya Lal, residents of Sector 29, on the charge of stealing 90 kgs of iron from the same market. A case under Section 379/411, IPC, has been registered.

Sector 40 man held: The police has arrested Narain Singh, a resident of Sector 40, on the charge of stealing a camera from the nurses’ hostel of the General Hospital. A case under Section 379/411, IPC, has been registered.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested Subhash, a resident of Sector 38, and recovered eight bottles of whisky from his possession. A case under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered.


Eight arrested: At least eight persons were arrested by the local police for gambling in special raids conducted at two different places in the town on Wednesday night. The raiding police parties recovered around Rs 29,000 from the gamblers.

Stating this here on Thursday the Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar, Mr B.S. Randhawa, said most of the arrested persons were property dealers. Back


Fortune card of Telecom Department
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — Pre-paid telephone cards, or the India Telephone Cards (previously known as virtual calling cards) have become a big hit in the city. Today, the Telecom Department sells pre-paid cards worth Rs 10 lakh each month.

The scheme was introduced in April past year with the monthly sales worth only a few thousand rupees. Today, its popularity among students, businessmen, the elderly, small-time traders, those having touring jobs, is so high that the sale of cards has become a decent revenue earner for the department. Telecom officials said they were about to raise the limit of the highest-valued card from Rs 525 to Rs 1,000, allowing its usage over an extended period.

The card has a ten-digit secret code number. This number allows the card holder to make local, STD or ISD calls from any telephone while its bill is automatically deducted from the pre-paid amount. A person only requires to dial a specific telephone number given by the authorities from any telephone. A computer asks for the secret ten-digit number and announces the balance left in the account of the card holder. After this, the user can make a call anywhere.

The card is a big hit among hostellers, especially girls, who do not have to go out of the hostel at night to avail themselves of the discount on STD calls.

Businessmen also prefer to use these cards, said Mr Prithipal Singh, Principal General Manager of the Telecom (PGMT). The cards had made a much stronger impact in the city than anticipated by the department, he added.

The card is also gaining popularity among the people on the move. The investment in buying the card is one-time and it eliminates the need to find STD PCOs at odd hours. The card can be used in several cities of the country. The elderly also prefer it as it saves them from seeking clarifications regarding extended-STD-call bills. The card helps the caller in budgeting the number of calls he or she wants to make.

The card can be purchased at a fixed amount from the offices of the department. The card is presently sold at the CTO in Sector 17 and Telegraph Office in Sector 31, besides the Telecom Centres in Panjab University, Press Club, Phase IV, SAS Nagar, and Sector 7 of Panchkula.

The card can be used in Delhi, Mumbai, Jalandhar, Ambala, Agra, Ahemedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Cuttack, Gurgaon, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Pune, Shillong and Shimla.Back


US patenting of herbs, vegetables opposed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — The All-India Medicos Society (AIMS) has sent a message to the US President, Mr Bill Clinton, urging him to stop the American companies from patenting Indian herbs and vegetables.

Neem, haldi, pepper, mustard, etc., have been already patented and now karela, jamun, brinjal are in the process of getting patended under the USIPR system, Mr D.B. Kapur, chairman of the AIMS, pointed out in his message to the US President.

A press note issued by Dr Kapur in this connection also expressed concern over India’s failure to introduce a bio-diversity Act to safeguard the country’s interest.

He urged the members of the Union Cabinet to prevail upon Mr Clinton to prevent the American companies from exploiting India’s natural wealth. Back


Junk food and slimming centres
By Akanksha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 23 — Its just another walk of life, for life and in life. The lifestyle has changed, people have less time to do household work or exercise at home. Not only this, even the food habits have changed. People normally eat junk food whenever they get time to grab a bite. Contrary to the lifestyle change is the awareness and fitness consciousness that people have got. All this contributes to ever increasing visits to the gyms or health clubs.

In the past, the lifestyle was comparatively slow, distances to be travelled were shorter, the job hours were 9 A M to 5 P M, the household activities were taken care of by the lady of the house. Kids had more time to play outside. The life then was more hectic but less fatigued and now the life is both hectic and fatigued. People did not think of going to health club, may be because they did not feel the need and relied more on morning and evening walks to keep them fit.

There is an ever increasing visits to the health clubs. People snatch out time to visit a health club. Interestingly, the purpose behind joining the health clubs differs though the motive is to look good and perfect. The young girls visit the slimming centre to fit in the idle figure statistics of 36 -24- 36. Men and women want to have flat stomach. These feature specific need to shed weight has increased the number of slimming centres that help one shed inches and kilos. People also have less time and patience, all the more reason to get into a quick way of reducing weight.

The lifestyle has moved in a pattern, that is, people did more household work and morning and evening walks, which stopped because of hectic working life. Then the food habits changed and the trend of keeping maid servants came on the scene, which gave birth to visits to the health clubs to keep oneself fit. The food habits have undergone a sea change along with the working lifestyle, thus making the slimming centres play a major role to help one stay fit. Yes, the health clubs are not charity institutes. They earn while helping you loose your inches or kilos.

The slimming centres do not give emphasis on exercising or going on a diet. Instead chip in more bucks and get a mechanical treatment to reduce inches and lose kilos. The systems used is Fat Disintegration System (FDS) which mobilises fat, body former which tones up the body and reduces inches, and TNS stimulates neuro muscular system and helps in weight loss. This is a method wherein the weight goes down gradually, toning up the body so that the tendency fat deposition is reduced and the diet pattern is normal during the sittings.

The idea and the method behind the mechanical system of weight reduction is increasing calorie output and to increase the body metabolism rate by using machines from Germany, said Ms. Richa Agarwal, Clinic Manager, VLCC. “We have on an average 610 members in a week.”

Mostly people who are about to get married, have to undergo an operation, or do not have time to exercise, visit the slimming centres to reduce weight and gain confidence. To survive in this ever-increasing competitive market, the slimming centres are giving more services to the customers like beauty treatment packages, discounts and consultations.

Dr Khurana, Departments of Dietics, PGI said that the reasons why the people have low metabolism burning rate and hence tendency to gain weight is because of lack of physical exercises, comforts in life and plenty of tempting food. Competitive and lonely life increases tensions, thus making people eat more. She further added that the obesity starts from childhood. Parents pamper their kids with food items. This forms fat cells in the child.

Ms Rupinder, Engineering Tech, USA, has come to India on holidays, she is undergoing slimming treatment at one such slimming centre. According to Ms Rupinder, its very costly to join a slimming centre abroad and “we do not get time.” “Its good here, I have lost 2 kg and the target weight loss is 10 kg. I do not feel drained out. Its comfortable method to lose weight.”

Mr. N Khanna has already lost 15 kg and is satisfied, feels confident and is happy with the professional service that is given at the slimming centre. “I have still to reduce another 15 kg,” he added.

Mrs. Anju Bhula is working at SBI and has lost 20 inches. She wants to reduce further but is first trying to maintain herself.Back

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