Wednesday, March 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Boom time for liquor consumers
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28 — It is boom time for liquor consumers. Rates of all popular brands of whisky, gin, and vodka have been reduced by anything from Rs 40 to Rs 60 per bottle in the city, as liquor contractors are trying to finish off their stocks before March 31, the end of the financial year. And this may not be enough another reduction in price may be on the cards for the last two days.

All vends have put up huge banners announcing discounts as their respective lease is set to expire. Rates of liquor in neighbouring Panchkula are even lower. The sales spree started around March 23 and March 24. This was after the auction of vends in Panchkula and Chandigarh.

Interestingly, the rates of beer remain the same. On some high end Scotches bottled in India, the rates have been lowered by almost Rs 200 per bottle. On the other hand, estimates and past such sales held each year during the last week of March show that the sales of liquor will be close to Rs 3 crore in the last four to five days of March. Under normal circumstances the sales would not even be half of this, a source informed. This is the time regular drinkers buy cases of liquor, depending upon their requirement.

Explaining the causes for this sale, another source added that the liquor contractors who could not retain their vend or secure some other vend in the auction held last Friday in the city, have reduced the rates the most as they are the keenest to sell off their stocks. The others , who have even retained their vends in the auction, have to follow suit by reducing the rates for fear of losing out on business.

If contractors do not reduce the rates they will be forced to sell off their stocks to the new contractor, who may have bid for the vend in the present auction. Even after heavy reduction in rates of liquor, the rates are still higher than those a contractor could get from another contractor. A wine seller added: ‘’ It suits the contractors to sell on discounts to consumers than sell their left over stock to the new contractor.’’

The rates of beer have been static as the excise duty on beer has been enhanced for the next financial year. This means that beer purchased by wine traders in this financial year can be sold in the next year also, and that too on higher rates due to the hiked duty structure.

Rates of gin and vodka have also dropped. Good quality of vodka has dropped from Rs 350 to Rs 250 per bottle. Sales of these types of drinks is not much in Chandigarh, said a trader. Consumers have been buying cases of liquor. We even have people coming in from surrounding areas to buy in bulk. Liquor shops in the periphery have gone a step further. Vends located along the busy Chandigarh-Ambala road have not only set up huge banners , they are also playing audio cassettes of Punjabi singers to attract consumers. The same is repeated by vends on the Chandigarh-Patiala road.


Judges await President’s nod
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The displeasure expressed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dr A.S. Anand, in public over the executive apathy in filling vacant posts of judicial officers has some justification.

The file concerning the appointment of five judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been awaiting the nod of the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, for over a month. The file reached Rashtrapati Bhavan after travelling a torturous route for about one year.

The Supreme Court (read the CJI and his two seniormost colleagues) recommended the names of five serving District and Sessions Judges of Punjab and Haryana for elevation to the high court, which is facing a severe shortage of judges.

The recommendees are Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr K.S. Grewal, Mr R.C. Kathuria, Mr K.C. Gupta and Mr K.K. Garg. While Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr Grewal and Mr Garg belong to Punjab, Mr Kathuria and Mr Gupta are members of the Haryana judiciary.

By a coincidence the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice A.B. Saharya, too expressed concern (again in public) over shortage of judges in his high court on the day (March 25). Mr Justice Anand expressed displeasure over the executive apathy towards the appointment of judges. It is very rare that such high judicial dignitaries speak in public about such issues. Circumstances must have forced Mr Justice Anand and Mr Justice Saharya to break their judicial silence.

Against the sanctioned strength of 40, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has 26 Judges. Mr Justice Iqbal Singh is due to retire on March 31 while Mr Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi will retire in May.

The process for the elevation of the five District and Sessions Judges was initiated nearly a year ago when the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana in consultation with his two seniormost colleagues recommended their names to the Governors of the respective states. After obtaining comments of the chief ministers concerned the matter was referred to the Law ministry, where the file remained pending for several months for want of clearance by the Intelligence Bureau.

After the Intelligence Bureau cleared the five names, the Law ministry sent the file to the Supreme Court which recommended their appointment. However, the President is believed to have certain reservations.

The delay in clearing the appointment of the five high court judges is in violation of the law of land, according to which once the Supreme Court recommends someone for appointment as a high court judge, its recommendation is normally binding on the executive.

The law was laid down in the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and anothers versus the Union of India which was further reiterated by a nine-Judge Bench in Special Reference no 1 of 1998 made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 (1) of the Constitution.

The Attorney-General of India had given an undertaking to the court that the union government would treat as binding the opinion of the court on the Presidential reference.

The law says that “in an exceptional case, where the facts justify, a recommendee of the CJI, if considered unsuitable on the basis of positive material available on record and placed before the CJI, may not be appointed... There may be a certain area, relating to suitability of the candidate, such as his antecedents and personal character, which, at times, consultees, other than the CJI, may be in a better position to know. In that area, the opinion of the other consultees is entitled to due weight, and permits non-appointment of the candidate recommended by the CJI.

The delay is causing frustration among members of the judiciary in the two states who feel that the constitutional authorities are ignoring their “legitimate expectation” to be elevated to the high court after putting in long years of service. If the appointments are not cleared expeditiously, some recommendees may retire and fail to make to the high court for no fault of their.

It was only in the recent past that two district and sessions Judges of Haryana, Mr N.K. Jain and Mr M.K. Bansal, who were otherwise eligible, could not become high court judges because the Constitutional authorities did not initiate the process for their elevation before their retirement. The Supreme Court had laid down in the famous S.P. Gupta case that the process for filling a vacancy would start six months before the post fell vacant.


Awards for two city architects
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — Two eminent architects of the city — Mr Manmohan N. Sharma and Mr Shiv Datt Sharma — were felicitated and the Governor of Punjab-cum-Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), exhorted architects from all over the country to suggest economical and functional design for rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and the poor.

Speaking at the annual awards giving function of the Architect of the Year Awards 1998 at Hotel Mountview here this evening, the General took off from his written speech and appealed to all the architects present to suggest something unique for the 16,000 dwelling units Chandigarh Administration was planning to construct to rehabilitate slum-dwellers.

“More than 70 per cent of our people live in villages. Our cities are congested due to the high density of population. The capability of the people in villages and rural areas to invest in the construction is limited. “However, fundamental changes are required in order that the needs of our villages are attended to.Our architects must develop low cost housing utilising locally available materials,” General Jacob said.

The Administrator lauded the architects of Chandigarh for maintaining the city and appreciated that two of the award-winners were from the city. Apart from the town and city planning, the country also needed planning at district level or state level, which was not only restricted to buildings but also for development of industrial centres as also the infrastructure for interconnection of towns and villages by all weather roads, he added. Architect associations could play a vital role in advising the authorities concerned regarding these aspects, he said.The contribution of architects to society, he said, would be judged more by future generations than the present. A case worth quoting was the contribution of Le Corbusier and his team in Chandigarh, he stated.

The Governor-cum-Administrator said since growth was largely concentrated in cities rather than being uniformly distributed in smaller towns and villages, there was a continuous large inflow of people into cities in search of a living. This phenomenon put a greater responsibility on architects to not only concentrate on high-rise buildings in our metros and big towns. This would help in reversing or reducing migration to metros, leading to their decongestion, he added.

Earlier, Mr Y.P. Singhania, Chairman of the Architect of the Year Awards Committee, in his address of welcome, talked about the background of the awards and how they were introduced.

Mr B.V. Doshi, an eminent architect, and a member of the jury, said since inception of these awards in 1990, these had gained in stature and credibility. This time, he said, there were nearly 250 entries for various awards.

Mr Manmohan N. Sharma, an architect credited with designing two capital cities — Chandigarh and Aberjan in Nigeria — was honoured with the Chairman’s Award in recognition of his overall contribution to the architecture profession. Mr Sharma is the first Indian chief architect of Chandigarh

Mr Shiv Datt Sharma, who had designed several important buildings of the city, was honoured with the Indian State Architecture’s Architect of the Year Award for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. He was awarded for designing a multipurpose indoor hall of the Sector 9 Carmel Convent School, which could be used both as indoor stadium and an auditorium.

Mr Prabir Mitra (Calcutta) was honoured with the Architect of the Year Award. In the commendation awards category, Mr Sharukh Mistry of Bangalore was chosen for best design in the private residential building; Mr Sen Kapadia of Mumbai for group housing; Mr Gautam Bhatia and Mr Navin Gupta of New Delhi for public building; and Mr K.S. Ranganath of Chennai for excellence in the concrete. The Young Architect’s award went to Mr Soumitro Ghosh and Ms Nisha Mathew of Bangalore.

In the Focus Countries Architecture Awards, Mr Eynaud Jean-Marc of Mauritius was given the Architect of the Year Award while the commendation award went to Sri Lanka’s Mr Ashley De Vos and the Young Architect Award in this category went to Mr Perrine Louis Jean Bernard of Mauritius.


Zirakpur housing schemes approved
From Bipin Bhardwaj

ZIRAKPUR, March 28 — Six town planning schemes and two house building societies have been approved by the Punjab Government for the planned growth and development of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area. A notification in this regard is expected shortly.

More than 150 acres of unbuilt land in the panchayat area has been shortlisted for implementing the schemes. This area will be developed on modern lines and the project is under consideration of the Chief Town Planner, Local Government, Punjab.

According to sources, the societies that have been shortlisted for this purpose are the Sarav Mangal Housing Building Society and Highland Housing Society. The Nagar Panchayat had sent a panel of six schemes.

The Secretary of the department had sent the plans submitted by these persons for the approval of the government. The authorities are likely to notify four other town planning schemes which are likely to be approved shortly, sources added.

These colonisers have adhered to the guidelines prepared by the Town Planner. The guidelines stipulate that the construction will be carried out in a planned way, leaving 35 per cent of the acquired land for parks, roads, community centres, schools, dispensaries and other public utilities. Internal development of the colonies would be done by the proprietors themselves.

However, external development will be done by the Nagar Panchayat after charging the necessary fee, said Mr Amrit Lal Bansal, Executive Officer. The internal development could also be done by them if the developers were ready to pay the development charges, he said.

“Any construction coming up in violation of the town planning schemes would not be regularised ,” he stressed. .

The authorities are facing problems in implementing town planning schemes in areas which had been sold before the formation of the civic body and where construction had been done. Property dealers and the farmers had sold small plots in a haphazard manner to make easy money, he added.

Haphazard construction by the owners is obstructing the beautification and planning of the township. “Since the dealers are nowhere in the picture, we have to run around in search of the plot owners,” said an official.

The Executive Officer has appealed to the purchasers and the residents to contact the panchayat office before purchasing land in this area.

The proposed site plan of a colony in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area which fulfils the terms and conditions of the town planning department.Back


Soap star Pooja runs to holiday in city
By Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — Pooja Madaan has literally escaped from Saharanpur to Chandigarh. That's the price of stardom this TV actress who was on a visit to her grandma in that small town of UP had to pay.

More popularly known as Santosh didi of top-rated serial Amanat, Pooja recounts with horror and amusement how a mob of thousands of persons rammed down the door of their house, demanding to meet their favourite star. Finally, the police had to be called to control the situation. To avoid the frenzy, Pooja, along with her mother and brother, cut short their stay and arrived in Chandigarh today via Yamunanagar. They are on a holiday, visiting relatives.

Pooja's taayaji and Bari Mummy in Sector 38 are proudly entertaining their bibi bachi who has suddenly come into the limelight. They are deftly keeping unwanted elements away even as the neighbourhood is abuzz with the talk of a star in its vicinity and awe-struck kids are peeping in to have a dekko at the familiar girl.

However, one exception was made. Pooja's "biggest fan", Sonia Sachdeva, was a special invitee at tea. Sonia admits to being a "dewaani" of the actress. She has missed her cousin's wedding but not any episode featuring her craze. She mails her cards regularly, painted a salwar-kameez specially for her and today, baked a cake for the person who has come to mean so much to her. Why, I ask. "Because, in her acting, reflected the goodness of her nature," says the beaming fan. She is overjoyed at meeting the "real" Pooja after watching the "reel" Pooja of Campus, Kurukshetra, Amanat and now, Tejaswini and Hukumat.

This is but an example of the influence that the small screen has on the common man. Middle-aged uncles and aunties stop her on the way to comment on her role of a suffering wife whose husband leaves her on the second day of their wedding. They say, "Beta, you cry and you make us cry!"

Her mother recalls the time when the hosts of a party had to arrange for a telecast of Amanat when the guests threatened to leave at 8 pm.

A trained bharatnatyam dancer and child artiste of a few earlier DD serials and advertising films, Pooja is a commerce graduate. She has never been scared of the stage and is used to the claps and applause. However, films are a no-no for her. The skimpy dresses that heroines are expected to wear go against her upbringing. She likes mostly light-hearted roles, even though she has been typecast in the image of a tragedy queen.

Clad in black jeans and T-shirts, with no make-up, Pooja makes a pretty picture of a young star on holiday. Having already seen the Rock Garden and Rose Garden during her pre-stardom days, she is now, keen on an outing to Sector 17 and Kasauli before leaving for Mumbai on the 30th of the month.

She loves driving and has "not a sweet tooth but all sweet teeth," says the down-to-earth girl while offering tea. She keeps fit by taking a walk regularly. Like any other girl, she is looking for a tall and handsome guy. Fellow actors are out as the profession is an insecure one.

The gorgeous Pooja's beautiful mother Manju, who is a producer and actress, is her idol, nobody else. For her, there is no method in acting. One learns about camera angles, etc. on the job, says this veteran of four years for whom fame just happened. She never chased it.


UT plans awareness drive on tuberculosis
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — Concerned by the increasing incidence of tuberculosis, specially in the slums, villages and other congested areas of the city, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to launch a special awareness drive to educate the public regarding the disease.

Talking to media persons after inaugurating the Sector 45 polyclinic, which has been upgraded from a civil dispensary, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt Gen ( Retd) JFR Jacob said that tuberculosis was fast emerging as one of the most deadly diseases in the world. Statistics also reveal that about one-third of world’s population is infected by TB germs. Worldwide there are about nine million new cases of TB with three million deaths annually.

The figures available with the health authorities, UT also reveal that as many as 2,365 patients of this disease have been registered in the city till February,2000. Since more cases are reported from the congested areas, the Administration would to begin with concentrate on launching awareness campaign-cum-health camps in slums, villages and colonies. This will also ensure early detection of cases and check further spread of this infectious disease.

Earlier, while going around the polyclinic, the Governor emphasised that Sector 45 polyclinic should be provided with proper equipment so that primary diagnostic tests like ESR, TLC, DLC could be conducted on suspected carriers of the disease. He further said that Sector 45 polyclinic, which caters to a large population residing in slums and villages, will also have a tuberculosis clinic in addition to the one already existing in Sector 22 polyclinic. He also called upon various non-government and voluntary organisations to chip in their efforts to make it more broadbased like AIDs.

The administrator said that the city was having medical facilities of very high order for its residents and efforts are on to cater to the rising population in the 2nd and 3rd phase sectors of the city. to cater to the rush of the increasing population, existing dispensaries are being upgraded and new dispensaries are being planned. He also talked about the help the Administration can provide to NGO’s for setting up another institute for mentally retarded children and a hospital for cancer patients, where quality care can be provided to patients who are dying. He pointed out that there are about 10,000 mentally challenged children in the city and another institute like the one run by GMCH-32 can help in providing rehabilitation and curative treatment to these patients.The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M Ramsekhar, informed that Cancer Sahayta Sahyog, one such voluntary agency has already started working in this direction under the aegis of UT Red Cross.

The Governor also inaugurated the Sector 35 civil dispensary which has shifted to its new premises. The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai said that the clinic had been constructed at a cost of Rs 32 lakh by the UT Engineering Department within a span of three years. The residents of the area will be able to get primary health services apart from the specialist services of a gynaecologist - thrice a week. It also houses the residences of two doctors and two assistants on the first floor.

She further informed that the Sector 45 dispensary was established in 1987 to cater to the needs of the adjoining sectors and nearby slums. The ever increasing population of the city and continues influx of migratory population in the colonies and villages made the Administration upgrade the dispensray to the level of a polyclinic. Built at a cost of Rs 36 lakh in one- and a-half year, it has provision for examination rooms, clinical laboratory, X-ray room, minor OT, Gynaecology and dental wings. Hence, the residents will be able to avail the multi-specialist services at their door step apart from availing the basic laboratory and radiological investigations.

The Governor had earlier planted saplings at both the places following the inauguration.

UT Finance-cum-Health secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh said that civil dispensaries and polyclinics play a vital role in implementing various national health programmes. He informed that the Administration has already upgraded the existing infrastructure in Sector-16 general hospital to reduce the patient load in PGI and GMCH-32.

The Emergency of GH-16 has been completely renovated and upgraded to 16 beds thereby providing more space and modernised medical/trauma. A modern labour room has also been provided.

The installation of incinerator is in its final stages and fulfils the notifications made by the Government of India under the solid waste management in hospitals.


Fear, anxiety lead to suicide’
By Akanksha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The attempt to commit suicide has symptoms and causes, said Dr B.S. Chavan, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Chandigarh. Dr Chavan said, “Attempt to commit suicide is a psychosomatic illness, caused by fear and anxiety. Approximately 10 per cent of the persons who are depressed end up attempting suicide.” The causes of suicide are mental illness, in which the person has a feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness and helplessness. The reasons could also be addiction to alcohol and drugs.

These patients generally resort to manipulative techniques like threat and theft. Mostly the initial attempt of suicide is not meant to get killed but is a threat. People also attempt suicide in order to fight for a social cause and act as “gross community saviours”, like in incidents during the Mandal Commission protests. Last but not the least, the cause could be a genetic disorder.

About 60 to 70 per cent of the people who attempted suicide tried again. Dr Chavan added that around 80 to 90 per cent of the people who planned to attempt suicide gave indirect or direct clues like threats, preparation of will and giving away favourite things.

When asked about the common means and modes used to commit suicide, Dr Chavan said most often it was by hanging oneself or by consuming poison Other ways used could be drowning, use of weapons or jumping from high buildings.

It has been found that young people who attempt suicide use mild methods and only to escape stress and tension. Adults use lethal methods and the causes are normally pressures and insecurity. Old people attempt suicide to free themselves from the social isolation that they face or suffer from incurable disease and the method is highly lethal because they do not want to take a chance. Dr Chavan was of the opinion that there should be a child psychologist or a counsellor in every school to help the child cope with stress so that it did not take roots in the child’s heart and mind.

Dr (Ms) Rajesh Gill from the Department of Sociology, Panjab University, said the major reason of suicide was clash of values. There was no clarity about instincts, morals, ethics, religion and all these had little relevance when a child of 12, 13 or 14 years was exposed to actual life, which was far from what one was taught. This caused clash of values. Another reason is absolute communication gap. Children do not share with their parents and more often share with peer group about their tensions, sexuality and personal problem. Solutions given by peer groups are half-baked and tend to be rash decisions.

Attempt to commit suicide is a criminal offence and is punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both, under Section 309 of the IPC. Rarely is the person who attempts suicide punished because the person needs psychological and medical rehabilitation, according to Prof P.S. Jaiswal from Department of Law, Panjab University. He was of the opinion that the main cause was cultural change, where demands had grown and the means and opportunities to meet these were less.

According to Dr Chavan, about 80 per cent of the patients who are depressed and attempt suicide consume excessive dose of drugs prescribed by doctors. The medicines can be divided into benzodiazepine (sedatives and hyponotics) and anti-depressants.

According to Dr Harmeet, Emergency Medical Officer, Government Medical College, pesticides are commonly used to commit suicide. Organophosphorous is the most lethal and is kept in wheat fields for killing rats. Others are Baygon (maximum cases), Celphos (tablets kept in rice and wheat to kill insects), rat poison (zinc sulphide), acid (used in houses to clean toilets) and phenol (used in the household).

‘Right to live excludes right to die’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28 — Perhaps the only offence under the IPC where you are in trouble if you do not succeed is attempt to suicide. The offence, under Section 309 of the IPC, is punishable by simple imprisonment extending up to one year or fine or both.

Elaborating upon the legal aspect of attempt to suicide, Mr Puran Singh Hundal, Secretary of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, says, "The Supreme Court of India, in Gian Kaur versus State of Punjab case, has held that the right to die is not a part of right to live. Therefore, the provision of 309 of the IPC is valid and not unconstitutional or violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

The cases registered under Section 309 of the IPC are, however, not many. According to Mr Hundal, "The person who attempts to commit suicide is either admitted to a nursing home or is treated at home by a family doctor. At government hospitals, the patient claims that the poison has been consumed accidentally. Little wonder, not many medico-legal cases are registered."

Suicide graph on the rise in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The incidence of people resorting to suicide is on the rise in the city.

According to police records, 48 persons committed suicide last year and during the previous two months. Inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code were recorded. On the other hand, 30 persons were booked under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code for attempting to take their lives.

Blaming the crumbling value system, stress and lack of adequate family support systems for the rising suicide graph, Mr Parag Jain, SSP, said competition was so intense that people simply could not face the pressure and took the ultimate step.

In an era of nuclear families and working parents, there was very little time for parents to supervise their children and devote time towards their all-round development. As a result, they were left to deal with the pressures on their own. They often crumbled and attempted suicide, he pointed out.


Goel to be examined by PGI
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — Asking the PGI director to get the “president” of the UT Secretarial Employees Welfare Association K.B. Goel medically examined after he alleged torture, Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court also directed him to submit the report by March 30.

Seeking the registration of case against senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Administration, Goel had earlier stated that he was being harassed continuously by “the CBI, the CIA staff as well as the Vigilance Department on one pretext or another”.

He had also asked for “action against the officers for illegally and forcibly detaining him in illegal confinement despite the grant of anticipatory bail”.

Today, pronouncing the orders in the open court, Justice Chalapathi observed: “The petitioner alleges that he has been tortured by SSP (Vigilance) who has been impleaded as the third respondent. In view of the allegations, I direct the director of PGI to get the petitioner examined medically and submit a report by March 30”.

Justice Chalapathi added: “The petitioner is directed to be taken to the PGI by a responsible officer of this court today itself so as to get him medically examined by a competent doctor nominated by the director of the PGI”.


Water to reach upper floors
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The upper floor residents of certain sectors, who had to face shortage of water in the summer months, can now breath easy. The problem of the low water pressure in the sectors is likely to be a thing of past following the installation of a sophisticated equipment at the Sector 36 Water Works.

According to reliable sources, to mitigate the sufferings of the upper floors residents, two high head pumps are being installed at the water works. The work on the Rs 70-lakh project is likely to be completed by next month.

The pumps would have the capacity to pump water to the height of 200 feet against the current 150 feet.

The sectors to benefit are Sectors 19, 27, 26, 28, the Industrial Area, Phase I, and parts of Sectors 30 and 31.

The pumps would also be installed at other water works in phases, the sources added.


Committee for botanical garden named
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — Prof S.S. Bir, an expert on Himalayan flora and a former Professor and Head of the Department of Botany of Punjabi University at Patiala, has been nominated Chairman of the 11-member committee constituted by the Chandigarh Administration for undertaking initial planning and finalising other modalities for setting up of the Botanical Garden of Chandigarh. Professor Bir is an expert on farms also.

The committee comprises mainly top botanists, foresters, landscape experts and urban planners, besides others. The other members of the committee include Prof S.P. Vij, Professor and Head of the Department of Botany of Panjab University, who is also an expert in orchids.

Dr P. Pushpangdan, Director of the National Botanical Research Institute in Lucknow, who has set up the Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute at Thiruvananthapuram, is also a member of the committee.

Mr J.K. Rawat, an IFS officer of the 1972 batch who belongs to Haryana, has also been nominated on the committee. He has done his doctorate in forest economics from the USA.

Among the urban planners and landscaping experts, the Chief Architect of Chandigarh and Mr Mohd Shahid, Head of the Landscape Architecture in the School of Planning and Architecture, IP State, New Delhi, have been nominated on the committee.

Other members of the committee include Dr Paramveer Singh Ahuja, an expert in tissue culture and Director of the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology at Palampur, and Dr H.S. Gujral, Conservator of Forests (Shivalik Circle), Punjab.

Dr D.K. Singh, an expert in bryophyta and Deputy Director of the Botanical Survey of India at Kaulagarh in Dehradun, has also been nominated on the committee.

The remaining two berths have gone to Dr Satish Narula, horticulturist and an expert in the establishment of plantation who has set up the Himalayan Arboratum at Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Solan, and Mr H.S. Sohal, Deputy Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden of the Chandigarh Administration. Mr Sohal will also be the Member-Secretary of the committee.

The term of the committee will be six months. It has also been authorised to call the persons concerned as special invitees as and when required for suggestions.


Self-employment schemes highlighted
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 28 — The Deputy Chairman of the Haryana Planning Board, Mr RS Chaudhary, has urged the youth to stop hankering after government jobs and concentrate on being self employed.

He was speaking at the annual convocation and prize distribution function of Government College at Barwala.

He informed the students that the government had initiated many new schemes for self-employment, for which finance was available at low interest rates. Under the self-financing scheme, the present government has granted permission for the opening of eight engineering institutions and introduction of 30 new subjects in 17 non-government colleges of the state. Also, two new colleges would be opened at Israna and Ratia.

Referring to the present education policy, Mr Chaudhary stated that the syllabi failed to provide any practical knowledge. There was a need to bring about a change in the education policy and make it more practical to benefit the student later in life.

At the convocation, 46 students were given degrees, out of which seven belonged to the commerce faculty. Students were honoured for excellence in academics, sports and co-curricular activities at a prize distribution function held later. Earlier, the Principal of the college, Ms Harjit Kaur, read out the annual report.


Include tractor in census data’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28 — The Census authorities have forgotten that in states like Punjab and Haryana, a tractor (with or without a trailer) is invariably also used as a car in rural areas. Tractors should have been mentioned in the house numbering and canvassing houselist schedules when data about the households are collected in every village, town and city in India, opined Dr Ashish Bose, author of 1991 Census of India : census methodology and first results.

He was talking to The Tribune here this morning at the Centre for Rural Research and Industrial Development in Sector 19. He pointed out that it is a common sight in villages in these two states to see whole families moving out in tractors. The same is true for Gujarat, Western Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh. The census should certainly collect data on ownership of tractors at the household-level, which will reveal mechanisation of agriculture. In rural areas of states like Punjab and Haryana, a tractor is used not only for agriculture but also for trade, business, social visits and recreation and is certainly more important than a car or a van as visualised by the Census Department.

The 2001 census of India will be the second largest census operation in the world involving collection of detailed data for over 100 crore (1 billion) people. The first major operation of census 2001, the house list schedule contains many new questions which will throw up massive data on the standard of living of the people. For example, each head of the household is asked: “Does the household have radio,transistor, television, telephone, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, moped, car, jeep or a van”, Dr Bose added.

All that the census authorities have to do is to instruct the enumerators to add the tractor to column number 33 of the house list schedule: that already has car,jeep or van.

The house-listing operations will commence in April and will be on till June this year. It is not too late for the Census Commissioner to issue supplementary instructions regarding tractors. This can be done also through newspapers, radio or the television. The Directors of Census in Punjab and Haryana would do well to take up the initiative in this regard and get permission from the Census Commissioner in New Delhi to ask a supplementary question on tractors.

There is no need to print a new questionnaire or new instructions. The enumerators should be asked to put a new code say number ‘1’ for car,jeep or a van, ‘2’ for Nil and ‘3’ for tractor.


Kerosene Rs 6 per litre in UT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The District Magistrate of Chandigarh, Mr M. Ramsekhar, has ordered that the wholesale and retail price of kerosene in Chandigarh shall be Rs 5,404.24 per kilo litre, exclusive of sales tax and other taxes, and Rs 6 per litre, respectively. The retail price shall be inclusive of local taxes.

The new rate will become effective immediately against stocks which have been received on or after March 23.

The District Magistrate said the old stocks of kerosene lying with the dealers, retail distribution pumps, licensees and fair price shop holders will be sold at old rates till the old stocks last.


Jhuggi-dweller kidnapped, beaten up
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 28 — A jhuggi-dweller in a settlement near the Sector 12 market, Umed, was allegedly kidnapped by five persons from his jhuggi on the night of March 25 and let off the next day after being beaten up by the abductors as punishment for the theft of a water motor from a house under construction in the vicinity.

The victim and his family, besides other jhuggi-dwellers in the compact settlement, said that around 10:30 p.m. that night, five persons came looking for a Vinod, a junk dealer, to their settlement. However, they were told that no junk dealer stayed either in the vicinity or was among them but they refused to leave.

Meanwhile, suspecting the five had got the name wrong, one of them told him that while there was no Vinod, there was a man named Umed staying there, adding that he was not a junk dealer or connected with the business in any way. “Turning a deaf ear to this information, the men just swooped down on me, picked me up and pushed me into a Maruti parked outside. While they informed my family that they were taking me to the Sector 19 police station, the driver turned the car towards a house nearby where they pounced on me and beat me” he says.

Umed added that the tussle lasted for half-an-hour before he was told to admit that he was being “punished” for stealing a water pump from the house under construction. “After this, they put me in the car and drove me straight to the Sector 26 police station in Chandigarh where I was detained with the chowkidar of that house,” he says.

Meanwhile, his family members and a few others got together and approached the police station in Sector 19 where they suspected he had been taken by the kidnappers. However, not finding him there, they searched from pillar to post and finally put in an application that he had been abducted by five unknown persons.

Meanwhile, according to Umed, the local police came to his rescue after he was traced to the Sector 26 police station and brought him back. Police sources, however, contend that though an application of alleged kidnapping of Umed had been put before them, the jhuggi-dwellers had come together in the evening to say that they did not want an inquiry into the matter.

At the house under construction where the victim was beaten up, the chowkidar informed that he had no knowledge of the incident and that he had assumed duty only a couple of days back after the previous chowkidar was involved in the stealing of a water pump and added that he was still in jail.

The incident has agitated the jhuggi-dwellers who are anxious about their safety since Umed was picked up from the congested settlement and they could do little to help him. “It seems the men were hired by the chowkidar who was trying to save his skin after stealing the motor and was on the look out for easy prey to shift the blame on him. The incident just goes to show that we are easy targets and can easily be blamed for anybody else’s wrong-doing,” Umed’s neighbour rued.

Also, they have been unable to solve the mystery behind taking the victim to Chandigarh when in the normal course, the process of registration of a case should have been done in the township.


Police yet to register case in kidnapping incident
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The police is yet to register a case in the alleged kidnapping of a class 12 student, a resident of Sector 44, who was reportedly bundled in a car from Sector 36 and dumped in a ditch near a nullah in Sector 42 on the afternoon of March 18.

According to Mr Munshi Lal, the distraught father of the 17-year-old, Ekant, he went to take for his maths examination and was walking to the examination centre when he was stopped by a “Nepali-looking person” and asked for some directions. No sooner did he give a reply than a car screeched near him and he was bundled in the car.

Something was sprayed on his face and he fell unconscious. When he came to his senses, he found himself in a ditch near a nullah in Sector 42. He some how managed to crawl to the main road where a scooterist waved down a rickshaw and he reached home. He still is terrified of recalling the incident.

He was taken to a private hospital where he was hospitalised for two days. Mr Lal alleged that his son was to appear in the IIT JET. He cleared the screening in January, but now he would not be able to appear since the conditions require that the candidate should have cleared all his previous examinations in a single attempt.

The matter was reported to the police and a DDR (number 22) was lodged, but nothing has come out of it even though 10 days have passed.

He alleged that the police reportedly told him that his son was cooking up the whole matter. But why would my son do so when he was a bright student and had been found eligible for the examination, he questions.


Booked for cheating
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The police has registered a case against a Sector 47 resident on the charge of cheating another resident of the same sector.

According to police sources, Harjit Singh, a resident of Sector 47, lodged a complaint that he had been sold a house by the accused, Ravinder Kaur, for which she had accepted a payment of Rs 1 lakh. She had signed an agreement with him and took the balance amount. He later came to know that she had sold the same house to another person.

39 arrested
The police has arrested 39 persons, including three landlords and 36 tenants, for not informing their respective police stations about their stay in the city. A separate case under Section 188, IPC, has been registered.

Theft case
Mr Bawa Tirath Singh, a resident of Sector 10 reported that gold jewellery, a VCR, a CD player, a silver tea set, besides Rs 10,000, had been stolen from his house while he was out of station.

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

Labourers held
The police has arrested three migrant labourers from various parts of the city for not informing the police about their stay in the city. Cases under Section 188, IPC, have been registered.


Rape accused arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 28 — The police this afternoon arrested the accused wanted in connection with a rape case registered at the west Police station from near the district courts.

According to Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP, Central, the complainant, a resident of Ludhiana, had stated that she was a social worker and used to settle matrimonial disputes. On September 30, she had come to the city to consult her lawyer regarding a case.

While going back she noticed a car parked at some distance from the house. When she reached near it, she was stopped by Harish Madan, Vijay and Pardeep and bundled in the car and taken to an unknown place. Here two more persons — Gurnam and Beant — were already waiting. She was continually raped by the accused and dropped at about 5 a.m. near the Sector 11 market, he added.

The investigation was entrusted to Dr Hooda following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High court to the UT SSP. The accused did not join the investigation and proceedings were presently underway to get them declared as proclaimed offenders (POs).

They were caught near the courts following a tip, the ASP added.


Advocate held in abduction case
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, March 28 — The police here has arrested an advocate Mr Gurpal Singh Bains, who is practising in Chandigarh, in connection with a case registered at Kharar on March 22 about the alleged abduction of a local girl aged about 24.

It is worth mentioning that the Kharar police registered a case under Section 363/366/120 B IPC against one Jasbir Singh who is already married for abducting a local girl aged about 24.

According to the FIR, the girl left her house on March 18 for market but did not return. It was alleged that the girl was abducted for the purpose of marriage.

The police has arrested the above mentioned advocate for allegedly helping the accused.

Mrs Neelam Arora, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded him to judicial custody till April 6. The defence counsel pleaded in the court that he had been falsely implicated in the case and his name did not appear in the FIR. He said the advocate only prepared some anticipatory bail papers of the family members of the accused.Back


50 autorickshaw drivers challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28 — In all, 50 autorickshaw-drivers were challaned for not adhering to norms, in a special drive launched by the central division here today. This was done to stop the growing complaints of overcharging, unwillingness on the part of drivers to take passengers to short distances, besides non-functional fare-meters.

Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP (Central), said there had been a lot of complaints from the public and something had to be done in this context. He said 11 autorickshaws had also been impounded since the drivers had no relevant documents. A majority of the vehicles did not have functional fare-meters.

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