Sunday, April 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Skeleton found in locked room
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — The level of interaction with a neighbour in the city can be gauged from the fact that a person remains untraced for more than three years and is finally found in the form of a skeleton from the house she lived in.

A 61-year-old woman, Usha Grover, reportedly, went missing in 1996 and her skeleton was found from a locked house in Sector 18 late past night. The police is still investigating the mystery surrounding the episode.

Commenting on the issue, The SSP, Mr Parag Jain, said the police was keeping its options open and even murder was not ruled out. Inquest proceedings had been carried out and further input was awaited from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) team, besides a team of doctors of the PGI. Further course of action would be decided after this, he added.

According to the police sources, the incident is quite baffling. The husband of the deceased, Dr D.R. Grover, died in 1996, two years before his son, Rajan Grover, went missing. Vandana, a daughter of the Grovers had married and had immigrated to the USA.

It was her call to one of the family friends, Dalip Singh, a couple of days ago to get the house ready, which led to the discovery of her mother in one of the bedrooms. The house had, reportedly, been locked since May 4, 1997. That was the last time some of the shopkeepers from whom she used to buy her groceries saw her.

Police sources said following the instructions from Vandana, Dalip Singh went to the house yesterday evening and opened the house, only to stumble on the skeleton in one of the rooms. He informed the police, following which, the entire area was sealed.

Sources said although a tenant lived for 11 months after the incident in the adjoining room, he neither smelt nor found anything suspicious. He, reportedly, submitted the rent to Dalip Singh, before vacating the premises. Intriguingly, the tuition classes he ran were held next door to where the skeleton was found.

Dalip Singh is stated to have told the police that he, too, suspected nothing suspicious. He said he thought that the old lady might have gone abroad to meet her daughter in the USA. He could, however, give no reason why he did not open the house earlier when he had the keys.

Shopkeepers in the area recalled seeing a missing advertisement about the mother and the son in one of the newspapers. Police sources said the door to the room was locked from outside and the entire room was covered in cobwebs.

Senior officers, including the SSP, Mr Parag Jain, visited the site and held consultations with the investigating officials. Further investigations were on.

Meanwhile, the property is sated to be worth lakhs of rupees and the sudden decision of the daughter to come back to India after three years has raised a lot of questions, police sources added.Back


Guide maps to show way
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — In future, road users in the city will not face any trouble in finding house numbers, office locations, public places, schools, colleges and other important points. The Municipal Corporation, in collaboration with a Calcutta-based private company, is setting up illuminated guide maps in each sector.

One side of board will have a coloured map of the sector with exact indication about the location of all houses, schools, religious places and the other important public places. The other side of the board will have space for advertisers. The map is an enlarged version of the sectorwise maps in the colourful Chandigarh Atlas and Guide which is published and sold by the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO).

The open spaces in each sector are marked in green. Dispensaries and medical facilities have the traditional red cross mark. The shopping centres are also marked. All institutions, including religious and social ones, are mentioned. Each house number is shown on the board. All one needs to do is to stop at the board and find out the location of the place.

It will also help those visiting the city, who usually are puzzled while trying to find house numbers in Chandigarh. The guide maps will also show the V-6 roads which are located immediately outside residential areas. The map will also mention the location of clubs, police stations, important power substations, besides water-supply offices, among several other things.

The first such map was installed in Sector 27 a couple of days ago. The Chief Engineer of the corporation, Mr Puranjit Singh, says that road users will need just one glance at it to know the location of their destinations. "Moreover, this will not cost the corporation anything as a private company has designed and set up the maps in lieu of advertising space on the other side of the board," the Chief Engineer added.

An official of the company said maps would be set up at all entry and exit points of the sectors.

The coloured guide maps are way ahead in technology, compared to the yellow boards showing a broad outline of the sector which once existed in the city. The maps will also be set up on all main roads like Dakshin Marg and Madhya Marg to provide road indications to important places like the railway station, the bus stand or the airport and other places of tourist interest.Back


A tough battle for a noble cause
From Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, April 15 — Naveendisha, a Red Cross de-addiction centre here, is fighting a tough battle against drug addiction with the menace taking on almost epidemic proportions.

The centre attracts patients from distant areas of Punjab and neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. About 7 per cent of the cases come from outside Ropar district and Chandigarh. Management of cases is carried out through a multidisciplinary approach comprising motivation, medicines, counselling, psychotherapy, spiritual discourses and yoga.

The centre has a 15-bedded hospital providing facilities for outdoor and indoor patients. Most of them are usually referred to by patients who had been cured at the centre. A total of 7,020 cases have been registered for treatment at the centre since its inception in 1991.

The drug-wise categorisation of these cases has been: opium and poppy husk 60 pre cent; alcohol 25 per cent; intravenous narcotic injectables 12 per cent; oral narcotic drugs like codeine, phensedyl and proxyvon 6 per cent; smack 8 per cent; and canabis 3 per cent.

Dr J.S. Lamba, Project Director, said in most of the cases addiction started in adolescence and it became very difficult for the patients to rehabilitate themselves.

Parveen Kumar (not his real name), a 22-year-old patient and resident of Phase I here, told this correspondent that he had started taking liquor when he was 16. It all started in the company of friends as part of fun. He started off by taking small quantities but soon he found that he had got addicted and had to slowly increase the intake. He reached a stage when he needed a bottle and a half of liquor every day.

He said in the beginning his parents were not aware of his activities. When he felt that his addiction was getting out of his control he got himself admitted to the de-addiction centre at the PGI, Chandigarh. “When I was at the PGI, I used to crave for liquor. Once of the inmates there suggested that I should start taking intravenous narcotic injections to stop the craving. I then took to injections and even learnt how to inject them myself. The tablets that were given to me as part of the treatment also became a craving for me”. Now again he was trying to get rid of his addiction with the help of the local centre.

Gurpreet Singh (not his real name) of Kadon village, near Ludhiana, said he had been taking intravenous injections of drugs for the past three or four years. He was in Class VIII when it all started in the company of friends. He was unable to clear his Class X examinations. He is now 18. As his cousin had got cured at the local centre, he decided to come here for treatment.

Twentytwo-year-old Sukhpal Singh (not his real name) of Sector 47, Chandigarh, said he started taking proxyvon tablets when he had just passed his Class X examination and was 17. He started with four tablets a day but the figure went up to 40 a day. He also consumed two bottles of Corex every day.

Jasjot Singh (not his real name), now 22 years old, said he started taking norphene and Avil injections. It started only about a year ago after the death of his father in a road accident. His friends had suggested the use of drugs to overcome the shock. But now he has got addicted. His father was in police and after his death Jasjot was given a job on compassionate grounds. He is from Tarn Taran and is now posted at Jalandhar.

With a view to determining the extent of the problem of addiction Dr Lamba said he carried out a comprehensive random survey with the help of Dr Rajinder Singh, a psychiatrist, counsellors and social scientists covering 12,300 adult males in 12 villages of Ropar district. Addicts who had recovered after treatment at the local centre accompanied the survey team since it was difficult to obtain the correct information for fear of legal implications, social stigma and denials associated with addiction. Additional data was obtained from liquor shops in selected villages regarding alcoholics.

The survey revealed that 65 per cent of those covered consumed alcohol occasionally or daily as a social or recreational activity. Seven per cent of them had become chronic alcoholics. Seventythree per cent were addicted to tobacco, smoking a cigarettes and bidis or chewing zarda or pan masala, etc.

Dr Lamba said bhang or charas was not as common here as in other states of India where this constituted the commonest addiction. Eight per cent of the persons surveyed in Ropar district were abusing narcotic drugs.

He said a considerable number of cases who had been using a large number of narcotics for a long time and those suffering from psychopathic problems usually did not return to normality posing difficult in their rehabilitation.

He said it was imperative that the availability of drugs be curbed by diligent compliance with the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, by the law-enforcement agencies and strict supervision by the state drug controller. However, the most important measure to control the spread of drug abuse was to curb the demand for drugs by widespread awareness among the public about the hazards associated with drugs abuse, including harm to family welfare and the possibility of self-destruction. Back


IA introduces LTC facility
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — The management of Indian Airlines has decided to introduce leave travel concession (LTC) facility for employees of the central and State Government, public sector undertakings and recognised educational institutions who are not entitled to full reimbursement of air fare from their respective organisations while availing themselves of the LTC facility.

According to Mr Rajinder Kumar, Station Manager, Indian Airlines, all types of journey in economy class on domestic sector will be covered under the new scheme. The facility will be available between April 15 and September 30. Under the scheme, the fare chargeable will be 70 per cent of the normal fare. Levies and taxes, including IATT and PSF, are extra.

In another category, 70 per cent of PTP fare will be charged along with IATT and PSF as published against the specified PTP fares itinerary.

In case of LTC, children and infant fares are not permitted. On the itinerary prepared for LTC, stopovers are permissible and normal procedures will be followed for the cancellation and refund of ticket amount. There are no discounts available against the scheme.

Those interested in availing themselves of this facility for the coming summer vacations or otherwise should submit an application on the prescribed format. Applications will be verified by Indian Airlines Duty Manager at the time of ticketing.Back


Hrithik has youngsters swooning
By Surbhi Bhalla

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — People are finding it hard to refuse seeing Kaho Na Pyar Hai (KNPH) for the umpteenth time and even middle-aged women have a misty eyed look on their faces when his name is mentioned.

The green-eyed six-foot hero of the film is every young girl's dream. Young guys imitate his cool dance steps and gals swoon at his Adonis looks or go crazy chanting his name in darkened cinema halls across the country.

Yes, Hrithik Roshan has arrived and taken the country by storm. His posters adorn the walls of eateries and fashionable uptown stores. This guy is all over the place and people are loving it.

Chandigarh is no different. The movie is playing to packed houses and people are wanting to see him yet another time even if it means standing in a queue.

At the cinema hall here, young and not-so young girls were heard screaming as he appeared on screen. Then it is, "Oohh, he is so cuuteee," "Ohhh, heeess so handsome " and so on. The movie is in its 10th week and still going strong.

Is it the face value of Hrithik or his talent ? A group of girls — Vandana, Ritu, Manisha, Monica — who have come to see the movie. One excitedly claims, "This is my fourth trip and yet I cannot get enough of him. He is so cool, his eyes are so beautiful and his dancing, vow."

Her friends break in: "He is the best thing to have happened to girls" with a lot of knowing nudges, mischievously twinkling eyes and a naughty smile on their lips.

Married women are not so forthcoming, but they too give full credit to Hrithik in the looks and dance categories. "He is very cute and has the potential to be the next number one," exclaimed Madhvi, who was out to watch the movie with friends. A couple of them have seen the movie with their families.

The most profound critic also has not been able to find a fault with Hrithik or his movie.Back


An ice-cream full of germs
By A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — Mushrooming of a large number of small ice-cream units in colonies of the city and the open sale of cut fruit are a major health hazard for the people of the city.

The ice-creams sold at such places are prepared in unhygienic conditions, using substandard and potentially dangerous substances. Attempts to get such businesses closed by regular factory owners have been in vain in the past many years. Similarly, these vendors also sell fruits and other eatables in violation of norms at various places in the city.

A manufacturer in Sector 20 who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was not bothered about the quality, but, if anyone fell ill after consuming contaminated stuff, the authorities would be after them.

"Besides this, our reputation would also suffer a setback. This being a highly competitive and seasonal field, profits have reduced and we are always try to give customers the best. We also have not received any complaint from any quarter," he added.

In the manufacturing process, he said the major ingredients were milk, milk powder, butter, permitted flavours, preserver and stabilising agents.

While, authorities keep on checking the premises of ice-cream units regularly, there is no check on the sale of ripe fruit and illegally-manufactured ice-cream.Back


Plaza Carnival
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — It was Sahir Ludhianvi's night at Plaza Carnival. Popular singers like Pradeep Datta, Neelam Chauhan, Ravi were a hit with holiday revellers.

At the artist's corner, Balwinder Singh demonstrated his art of painting. Sketching by students of the local Government College of Art was a popular draw.Back


Scooterist succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — A scooterist succumbed to his injuries after he was hit by another scooterist near a school in Sector 45.

According to the police sources, Bishamber Nath was hit by a scooterist S.D. Burman, a resident of Sector 16, Panchkula. The injured Bishamber was rushed to the PGI where he succumbed to his injuries.

A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

Body found: The body of a rickshawpuller was found by the police early in the morning. The police has sent the body for a postmortem, while further investigations are on.

Woman hit: Ms Prithpal Kaur, a resident of Sector 17, was hit by an unidentified scooterist near the dividing road of Sectors 22 and 17. A case under Sections 279 and 338 of the IPC has been registered.Back


New record in city small savings
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — Women play a vital role in the economic development of a family as well as the country, said Mrs Shanta Abhilashi, Mayor, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation while addressing a state-level function for celebration of Women Savings Day here today.

The function was held at the Sector 22 Polyclinic and was organised by the National Savings Organisation of Punjab and Chandigarh and the Directorate of Small Savings of the Chandigarh Administration.

Mr M. Prasad, Deputy Regional Director, National Savings, who presided over the function, highlighted the significance of the celebrations and maintained that more than 6,000 Mahila Pradhan Agents in Punjab and Chandigarh are regularly mobilising household savings of more than Rs 125 crore every year. In Chandigarh, the small savings have achieved the target of Rs 70 crore for 1999-2000 by aggregating Rs 71.01 crore to set a new record.

A baby show was also organised and five prizes were given by draw of lots from amongst all participating babies of six years of age or less and having at least one Post Office Recurring Deposit account of Rs 100 or more, opened between March 15 and April 15 this year.

Sonia, Sania, Prerna, Pulkit and Sidhartha were the winners of the five prizes.

Among the mahila agents, Mrs Puja Khullar and Mrs Rajshree Drabu got the first and second prize, respectively.

A colourful cultural programme was presented by the Song and Drama Division.Back


ACs turn heat on chiks
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — City residents are not taking to chiks this summer, lament vendors at the Sector 22 market.

The roadside market, which has been in existence for the past two decades, is one of the major places of its kind and more than 90 per cent of the demand is met from this place. To keep the sunshine out from verandas, these vendors sell chiks, which are made to order. The pads are made of wood wool and bamboo slits.

But the sale this time has been quite disappointing. Aman, a vendor who is also studying in B.Com, says that he has sold few khus pads (three pads are needed for a cooler) since summer is yet to set in fully.

With an increasing number of people opting for ACs which are now available with easy finance options, the market for pads has been falling steadily. Although they have opened their shops since the past week, customer response has been lukewarm.

Sanjay, another vendor, says there were more than 47 shops but today, the number has fallen to 22 at present. Business is not that lucrative nowadays. Earlier, almost everyone used to earn about Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000. Today, it has dwindled to less than Rs 1,500 presently.

The rates too have fallen. Ordinary pads now sell for Rs 40 as against Rs 45 earlier, mixed for Rs 60 as against Rs 45 and khus for Rs 135 as against Rs 100. The customers are even not willing to pay even this much, a vendor lamented. Back


Punwire staff may get salaries
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, April 15 — The Joint Action Committee of the Punjab and UT Employees today said the Punjab Government had agreed to disburse the 10-month salaries of employees of the Punjab Wireless Systems Limited (Punwire), besides resuming the work in the ailing unit.

The announcement was made at a rally organised by the committee in front of Punwire here. Mr Sajjan Singh, Chairman of the committee, while addressing the employees, said the government had arranged for Rs 50 crore to resume the operations of the company.

Mr Sahid Ahmed, Ms Joginder Kaur Nagra and Ms H.S. Mann, all members of the Joint Action Subcommittee of Punwire, said the favourable development was due to the relentless effort of the employees. The leaders said the protest rallies would continue till the employees were not paid their full salaries and the operations of the unit resumed.Back


'Change poll mode of chemists' body'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 15 — Resentment prevails among a section of local chemists over the mode of election being followed by the Chandigarh Chemist Association for electing the President.

They today alleged that for the past 20 years, the president is normally elected during the biennial meeting of the body on the basis of majority indicated by show of hands. Even though the elections are not on the agenda of the meeting, generally they are held there and then by proposing and seconding names.

However, the chemists have in a meeting held recently demanded that elections should be held democratically through secret ballot, where even others keen on contesting get a fair chance to compete. They should also be given at least 15 days' time after the elections are announced to prepare for the same. They have also sought a copy of the constitution and bye-laws to ensure that the elections are held in accordance with the guidelines contained therein.

The President of the Association, Mr Prem Sagar Jain, when contacted said that as per the constitution, "Elections can be held by show of hand or secret ballot.'' For the past 20 years, though some names are proposed, ultimately a candidate is elected unanimously by a majority. However, this time if there is more than one contestant, they shall have the secret ballot system. The controversy over certain amendments in the constitution during the last few years has also to be resolved before the elections this time, he added.

The 10th biennial meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow will take up the challenges to the "Chemist trade in the New Millennium.''Back

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