Friday, April 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Administration set to rebut VC’s claim
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — The controversy raised by a reported statement made by the Vice Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof .M. M. Puri, in which he has alleged that UT Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, allegedly tried to use his influence in getting a job of a lecturer for his wife has taken another turn.

While talking to The Tribune here tonight, the VC claimed: “ The office of the Chancellor of the university had assured me that the allegations levelled by Dr (Mrs) Vandana Rakesh Singh, wife of the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, in a letter dated March 25, were incorrect.’’. Sources, meanwhile, pointed out that the Chandigarh Administration is all set to rebut the VC’s claim made in a newspaper that the FS had allegedly tried to use influence to get a job of a lecturer for his wife. The Administration is likely to assert the issue that the candidature of the wife of the FS and the questions raised by the finance department over the manner in which budgetary allocation of PU were used are not co- related, the source added.

In her letter written to the VC, Dr (Mrs) Singh had withdrawn her name after being placed as number 1 on the waiting list. She had alleged that the candidate chosen ahead of her was less qualified than her and does not hold a Ph.D degree like her. The PU authorities had placed her on waiting list despite the fact that the Senate of Panjab University had abolished the system of keeping candidates on the waiting list.

In the letter she further states: ‘’ I have reasons to believe that this was a clever ploy to arm twist my husband , Mr Rakesh Singh, Finance Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, into supporting the totally unjustified and unacceptable demand for enhancing the grant-in-aid available to the university from the Chandigarh Administration from the current level of Rs 24 crore to a whopping Rs 51 crore for the next financial year.’’

The Tribune has managed to get a copy of Mrs Vandana Rakesh Singh’s letter through sources. She has sent copies of the letter to Mr Krishna Kant, Vice President of India , who is also the Chancellor of PU and to Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator.

The VC in a statement published in an English daily had alleged hat the UT Finance Secretary had been lobbying for his wife. It was only after his wife was refused a job and put on the waiting list that did he stopped the grant-in-aid and raised objections against the PU budget. The FS when contacted said ‘‘ I have no comments to offer as the matter is between Mrs Singh and the PU authorities.’’

The VC said: “Show one aspect where procedural formalities were not followed in selection of the candidate and show the objections raised against the budget that was submitted to be passed in the same format as it has been happening in the past 50 years.’’ The Finance Department is just a channel to pass on the budget granted to PU by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. The Finance Department has no discretion in it, Professor Puri, asserted. He added: “Now I cannot recall Mr Rakesh Singh’s exact words but it was like a threat.’’

Professor Puri said :” How do I come into the picture if a pseudonymous compliant is being circulated against the Singhs’’. The VC confirmed the fact that he had written to the Chancellor explaining the facts of the case. What has been the Chancellor’s reaction after publication of statements of the VC, the FS and Dr ( Mrs) Singh is yet to be known officially.Back



 

Two labourers buried while digging a pit for water pipes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — Two labourers were buried alive while digging a pit for installation of water pipes near Shahpur village in Sector 38 here this afternoon.

The police has registered a case under Section 304 - A, IPC, against Panchkula resident C L Nagpal, for causing death by a negligent act. No arrest has been made in this context. The labourers — Mangal Chand and Hardev Chand - were in their mid 30s and belonged to Bihar.

According to eyewitnesses, the deceased were digging a ditch when a big mound of earth came down over them burying them. While six other labourers working nearby managed to save themselves, these two were not so fortunate. An LCV was stated to be working nearby which is stated to have triggered the movement of the mud.

The work, reportedly abandoned by a previous contractor, had been undertaken by the present contractor sometime back. After completion it would have carried a main water pipe for connecting the Sector 39 water works with the Bhakra main line canal at Kajauli, in Punjab.

Mr Baldev Singh, SP, who visited the site said the contractor had not been using adequate safety measures while the labourers were working. However, investigations are afoot and a report was awaited, he added. Meanwhile, inquest proceedings were carried out. Back



 

Major changes in water byelaws
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — The Chandigarh Administration has decided to make major changes in the Chandigarh water supply byelaws by proposing to revise the tariff, fix minimum charges for public stand posts and introduce security system depending upon the size of water supply meter used by consumer, both domestic and commercial.

According to a draft notification issued today, the Administration has proposed a monthly charge of Rs 400 per public stand post in various markets and lavatories.

The Department of Local Government of the Administration has also proposed to introduce security fee depending upon the size of water meter which the consumers will have to procure on their own. They are free to buy these meters from the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The security fee for various sizes of meters are :

Size of the meter                                Security

1/2inch or 15 mm                                  Rs 350

3/4inch or 20 mm                                  Rs 550

1inch or 25 mm                                     Rs 700

2 inch or 50 mm                                    Rs 1400

3 inch or 80 mm                                    Rs 2000

 4 inch or 100 mm                                  Rs 3250

6 inch or 150 mm                                   Rs 5000

8 inch or 200 mm                                   Rs 7500

According to the draft notification, in case of non-payment of water charges or meter rent by the consumer, the authorities may recover the dues from the security deposit. It further says that consumer shall be fully responsible for replacement of defective meter. In case consumer fails to get the defective meter replaced within two months, he will be charged double the rates of the average consumption. It further says that for those consumers who arrange their own water meters, no monthly rent will be charged.

According to the proposed revised tariff, first 15 kilolitre of water will be charged at Rs 1.40 per kl. It will be Rs 2.60 a kl for consumption above 15 kl and upto 30 kl and above 30 kl, it will be Rs 4 per kl.

In case of institutions, the rate of water will be Rs 4.50 per kl.

For water used by government, semi-government offices, industrial, semi-industrial and commercial establishments, it will be Rs 6 per kl.

For unmetered water supply, the Administration proposes to charge Rs 100 per connection per month and water supplied through tankers shall be charged at Rs 200 per tanker.

The Administration has also proposed that water supplied for construction, including government buildings, shall be charged at 0.5 per cent of the total cost of construction. New private construction, residential and non-residential, shall be charged at Rs 3.25 per square feet.

The draft notification has also fixed the tariff for consumers in colonies and villages. It will be Rs 150 per month for houses with three or fewer taps.

Houses in milk colonies with up to five taps will be charged Rs 300 per month and houses in milk colonies with five or more taps will be charged Rs 5 per kl.

Water consumed for irrigation of lawns but separately metered in residential premises at Rs 2.50 per kl and for treated effluent water for irrigation of lawns and parks shall be charged at Rs 50 per kanal per month and Rs 500 per acre per month.

In addition, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation shall levy the following amount from the owners of premises within the municipal limits who install tubewells on their premises after obtaining the necessary sanction from the competent authority, the following charges :

Size of bore                                         Amount

50 mm                                    Rs 9000 per month

65 mm                                    Rs 15,000 per month

80 mm                                    Rs 22,000 per month

100 mm                                  Rs 26,000 per month

120 mm                                  Rs 40,000 per month

150 mm                                  Rs 45,000 per month

Above 150 mm                         Rs 50,000 per month

 

The consumers would be charged double the normal rates for installation of a tubewell without approval of the competent authority for the period from the date of installation of tubewell till the date of approval is obtained.

The Administration has invited objections to these proposals within 10 days after which the draft will become effective.Back


 

A pretty traumatic driving experience
By P P S Gill
Tribune News Service

Who would not like to drive on the Union Territory roads, given their smooth surface, width and length? But there is a problem. The vehicular traffic has increased manifold , safety has side-stepped and safe-driving is a casualty.

As a daily road user, have you ever paused to marvel at the variety of vehicles which drive past? There are two, three and four-wheelers of different shapes, sizes and makes. Add to these road contraptions like the peddle-reris, push-carts, mule-reras and hand-carts. Do not, however, forget the ones who walk the roads criss-crossing the fast moving traffic, jump across the road-dividers or over the fence at leisure and at all places and at all angles.

It is important to remember yet important segment of the road-users. Stray cattle. Coming across herds of cows, calves and bulls squatting in the middle of busy roads or on road-dividers regurgitating leisurely and couldn’t care less about what goes on around them is a common thing now.

One wonders what happened to the Estate Office scheme of rewarding those who caught stray cattle? At present these omnipresent animals vie with the rest of the road-users for a right of way and passage as passionately as do the ones who drive motorised vehicles, literally needling their way through the chaotic traffic with little care or concern for the safety of others. They even forget their own safety.

No wonder the Chandigarh roads are turning out to be more accident-prone with each passing day, killing people and causing injuries to many — often crippling — and, of course, causing irreparable trauma to the family, besides damaged vehicles.

The worst traffic scenes can be seen at any given round about. Impatient drivers, mixed traffic and little regard to traffic rules add to the confusion and chaos. This is a daily occurence.

Of what use is the Children’s Traffic Park in Sector 23? This should be thrown open, compulsorily to the adults, who are more responsible for rash driving than others.Blaming a rickshaw -puller or a reri-wala is one thing. How

about the two-wheeler drivers, who simply weave in and out of the traffic everywhere and all the time risking their and others’ life?

Chandigarh is known for the presence of bureaucrats and burgeoning babus. There are any number of sons and daughters of VIPs. The parents take pride in buying a vehicle for their child either as a gift or, perhaps, as a necessity. But seldom do the parents spare time to educate the youngsters about the traffic rules. Same is true of the ones who opt for new brands of cars only to be handed over to semi-educated drivers, who have little or no knowledge of traffic rules.

The licensing authority in this city of stiff upper lips and egocentrics would do well to conduct a survey and find out how many of the drivers of the so-called rich and influential know which traffic signal means what. The same holds true of the youngsters and their parents who, perhaps, never pay heed or teach them how to drive the newly acquired vehicle or precautions required for entering the main road.

A word about government vehicles and drivers, particularly, the police vehicles — the omnipresent Gypsies, often without number plates. These vehicles drive the rest of the road-users literally off their course given their speed, advantage of a siren and skill at reckless overtaking even on roads where it is prohibited. A special drive against these should become a habit with the Traffic Police. Will it?

No number of rules, road signs and markings or court orders on various issues concerning traffic will help unless all vehicle owners and those who walk themselves acquire a sense of responsibility and make safety a habit.

In Chandigarh the visibility of the police is on two accounts. The ones who man the PCR vehicles at the crossings and the ones on white-painted patrol motorcycles. The second is of course the Traffic Police, which plays hide and seek all the time to check either over-speeding or those who jump traffic light and those who drive at high-beam at night.

But how about those who take short-cuts from the wrong side or drive over the central dividers? Given the system constraints one would still expect the Traffic Police to be more alert in its operations aimed more at educating the citizens, making them aware and conscious of the traffic rules rather than being contented with simply issuing challans alone. Back


 

Jain’s reversion may be expedited
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — Rejection of anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court may expedite the reversion of the Chandigarh Home Secretary, Mr N.K. Jain.

The file pertaining to his reversion to his parent state of Haryana, which has been pending with the Union Home Ministry for some time now, has reportedly been cleared. It will now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office before it is formally cleared and orders conveyed to the Chandigarh Administration.

Once reversion is ordered, the Administration may seek a fresh panel of names from Haryana to select a successor to Mr Jain. Mr Jain, is facing a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, registered by the Special Staff of the Central Bureau of Investigation on April 6. He is the first Home Secretary of the Administration to face such a case while in office.Back


 

My removal illegal, charges baseless, says Venod Sharma
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — In what could only be a ‘filmy’ scene, patients are reported to have been transported in from the local areas on the occasion of a meeting of an inspection committee at Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College and Hospital Sector 46, here today.

Visits by this correspondent to various wards in the institution revealed negligible occupancy rate. Only four boys in the child ward in a conversation with the correspondent could not point out the exact disorder they faced. Stomach problem, “not really serious” was the common problem.

A labourer from a labour colony came in yesterday. Yesterday and the day before yesterday were probably the worst days on health grounds if the occupancy was to be noted. A senior member of the committee today pointed out that ‘the registration papers of the occupants looked spotless and fresh’.

The visiting committee today seemed unsatisfied with the college working. One more visit in June has been announced before giving further extension to courses.

A senior teacher on a note of anonymity confirmed ‘transportation of patients to show occupancy rate’. He said that the college had provisional affiliation for the past nearly 10 years. It, however, could not fulfil the full affiliation conditions.

A member of the visiting committee today pointed out faults in appointments of teachers. Particular reference was made to “unqualified teachers believed to be relatives of members on the college board”.

The faculty member said more than 30 employees on the college staff had been shown the doors within the past three months “on the pretext of lack of funds. However, more than four teaching members have been employed during this period whose salary is much above that of those who have quit”.

It has also been pointed out that the Centre gave a grant of Rs 10 lakh in 1997 for various projects. The college, however, failed to use it according to needs and had to pay Rs 14 lakh.

Lakhs have been spent on the construction of the girls hostel over the past more than five years. There, however, is no completion till date. The postgraduate course started in 1996 had to close down.

One worth noting development has been the removal of the Kedar Nath Sharma from the name of the institution. Mr Venod Sharma, a former Member of Parliament and president of the college committee , said his removal was illegal and he had no notice from the managing committee.

“The allegation against me that I promised Rs 10 lakh was totally baseless. Let the committee show me the papers in this regard. Otherwise I will have to approach the court. Even while removing the name, the complete administrative process of informing the required authorities was not followed, Mr Sharma said.

Mr Sharma was “removed” from the post of president three months ago following which Mr A.K.Gupta was appointed the president. Mr Sharma said the process of appointment was ‘illegal as instead of direct polling the body followed the process of reservation through circulation’.

Mr Sharma said he had no intentions to be on a body “with so much malice. I take all allegations baseless, damaging and with ulterior motives”, he added demanding a through probe.

The visiting committee today asked for a follow-up action on the recommendations of a previous committee. The OPD was found unsatisfactory. One stream has no professor. More than half of the faculty has been found wanting the correct qualification.

According to earlier reports, a senior member said “the name of Pandit Kedarnath Sharma had been removed because Mr Venod Sharma did not pay a sum of Rs 10 lakh promised in 1987. He had political influence all this long”.

The current committee, however, says “it has asked for a investigation into misbehaviour by a teacher and also embezzlement of funds. “There were also reports that the people being shown the doors of the institution were close to Mr Sharma.

A faculty member said there was need to set up a committee to study the whole matter and recommend corrective methods at the earliest to save the collapse of an institution which held promises for many.

The vice-president of the managing committee, Dr Nirmal Bhatia, when contacted said that the constitution of the Dhanwantry Ayurveda College and Hospital did not carry the name of Kedar Nath Memorial Hospital. So the change did not require any paper-work. The present president was only ‘acting’ and regular elections would be conducted at the appropriate time.

Dr Bhatia conceded that the ‘patient show’ for the inspection committee was ‘managed’ but the inspection committee was told about all weaknesses of the institution.

Dr Bhatia said that following decision to remove Mr Venod Sharma from the presidentship, another struggle on account of satisfying the teaching faculty started which ended in mid-March. The college had just started to analyse the problems and steps would definitely be taken for improvement.Back


 
COMMUNITY

Chandigarh youth second to none

Chandigarh youth have found a new look — chic. The buzzword is to look cool and exclusive. You think new fashions are confined to the four metros. Style is substance here. So is experimentation. Be it clothes, footwear or exotic perfumes, the Chandigarh youth are second to none.

This is strikingly evident everywhere. Teenagers in schools, colleges or in the market places dazzle in colour and style. Roads, particularly in Sectors 10, 11 and 15, have virtually become a catwalk with teenaged boys and girls attired in the trendiest of clothes believing in a show-off.

Gone are the days when teenagers trotted out of non-descript tailor shops wearing ill-fitting clothes. Now they pride themselves on getting what they want. Panjab University, Sectors 10, 11 and 15 and 17 markets, to mention a few, are the hot spots. It is “cool” to hang around there, showing off the latest possessions. For that matter, be it a fast food joint, an ice cream parlor or any college campus one can find elegantly clad gals vying with “hep” guys.

At discotheques young men and women arrive in cars and bikes, wearing expensive leather jackets, T-shirts, branded jeans and rugged shoes-girls with plunging necklines and rising hemlines join them to dance late into the night.

What more, fashion is not just a personal statement. It has become one big thriving business as youngsters value brand names. Price is no hindrance to choice. Exclusive outlets of famous brands have come up over the years. The clearance sale of these brands sees a virtual stampede with the stocks getting exhausted in no time. It’s important to be part of the crowd, if you don’t want to be left behind, says Namrita, a student of Panjab University.

Several boutiques run by women have sprung up in almost all sectors. Even local designers have carved a niche for themselves, registering decent profits. “The assured quality always makes the customer come back,” a designer feet.

For those who want to make fashion a career, the city has become the home for fashion institutes, including a brand of the National Institute of Fashion Technology. Local media has further enhanced fashion consciousness, not to mention the numerous fashion shows organised by various clubs.

Long hair is no longer a statement of rebellion, but a symbol of freedom. A crew cut leaving a sizeable map of hair in the front, where the hair has to keep falling over the eyes is fashionable. Quite often stumbles into a pony tailed girl or....guy. Completing the ensemble, are the sun glasses, coming in various lies and shapes.

But still traditional attires find pride of place during family functions with the young trying them out enthusiastically.

— Kulwinder Sandhu.Back



 

Heat wave persists

CHANDIGARH, April 20 (UNI) — The whole of north-west india continued to be in the grip of heat wave conditions for the fourth day today with temperatures staying four to seven degrees above normal and weathermen here held out no hope of a respite during the next 48 hours.

However, duststorms coupled with light drizzles were likely to bring brief breather from the torturous heat wave conditions at isolated places in the region, the weathermen forecast.

Reports available with the weather office here suggested Churu in Rajasthan stayed put as the hottest place in the region as mercury hovered around 45.4C followed by Sri Ganganagar (45C). Bikaner and Jaipur reporting the maximum at 44 and 42C respectively were other hotter places in the desert state.

However, Hisar with the high of 44.4C, stayed as hottest place in Haryana followed by Gurgaon reporting the high at 44C.

In Punjab, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amrtisar were the hotter places reporting the maximum around 41.3C, 41C and 40.7C respectively.Back



 

Jandu panel wins Tribune union poll
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — The Balbir Singh Jandu panel won the Tribune Employees’ Union poll today, winning all posts of office-bearers and executive members.

The following have been elected office-bearers of the union: president — Mr Balbir Singh Jandu; vice-presidents — Mr Haresh Vashishth and Mr Shiv Mohan; general secretary — Mr L.S. Chaturvedi; joint secretaries — Mr Nanak Chand Sharma and Mr Rakesh Kumar; office secretary — Mr Brahm Parkash Sharma; propaganda secretaries — Mr Parshottam Lal and Mr Shiv Dutt; and finance secretary — Mr Raman Sharma.

The executive members are: Mr Gopal Raj Sharma, Dr Renuka Nayyar, Mr Sandeep Sharma, Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Puran Chand Sharma, Mr Arun Sharma (Business Section), Mr Jagir Singh, Mr Ashwani Sharma, Mr Subhash Sharma, Mr Naveen Pun, Mr Rishpal Singh Garcha, Mr Surinder Singh Walia, Mr Tilak Raj, Mr Sudershan Kumar, Mr Som Parkash, Mr Ashok Bhatia, Mr Surinder Nath Dogra, Mr Lokpal, Mr Ghanshyam Pandey, Mr Rajinder Kumar Yadav-II and Mr Raj Kumar-I.

Mr Surinder Singh was the Returning Officer. Mr Ashok Puri and Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma were the assistant Returning Officers.Back



 

8 buffaloes die in mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, April 20 — At least eight buffaloes were killed and 10 others injured when a truck carrying them overturned after one of its front tyres burst near Raipur Kalan village here yesterday. The driver, conductor and another person in the truck were injured in the mishap. The truck was carrying over 20 buffaloes when the mishap took place. The cattle were being transported from the cattle market at Kharar to Dera Bassi.Back



 

An act of honesty
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — In a rare act of honesty, shopkeepers in a Sector 22 outlet today returned a pouch gold jewellery to a couple which they had forgotten at the shop a few days back.

About a fortnight back, the wife of Mr M.K. Aggarwal, Chief Engineer, Haryana PWD (B&R), purchased a purse from churi bhandar in Sector 22. She did not like it and exchanged it for another purse.

A pouch containing gold jewellery went along with the previous purse. He and his wife desparately searched the house but did not find the jewllery.

When they went to the same shop today, the churi bhandar people recognised them. After seeking some clarifications, they returned the pouch containing the jewellery.Back


 

He who helps his wife in household chores is the ultimate man’
By Surbhi Bhalla

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — Traditional roles are being turned on their head. The barriers raised by the “ chauvinist “ males are being battered down by the independent, confident and career conscious women of today.

Whether the Indian male wants it or not, he has to change. More time for the family, more outings, help in household chores and definitely lesser time with the guys on weekends. Given centuries of tradition, today’s male is finding it hard to come to terms with the ground realities, and the tussle between being labelled a “ weak man and a wimp” is proving to be quite taxing..

The city beautiful is no exception and has also not escaped this gender bending by the fair sex. Growth of nuclear families have provided room for experimenting with new gender equations. Men, here, are groping in the dark and progressing ahead by trial and error. On the one hand, man has been socially conditioned to being dominant and powerful, while on the other hand, he struggles to be sensitive and considerate towards his spouse, says Ms Anita, a post graduate in sociology, a housewife with two kids.

The workplace is no longer a man’s domain. Today husbands cook while the wife is out on a chore, in addition to mothering the children. Expectations of women have scaled new heights and concepts have have changed .

The meaning of feminism, too, has undergone a sea change. Now it is no longer confined to looking like a mannequin or priding oneself as the best cook.

While today’s women could be a combination of a tomboy and a dare-devil, the concept of masculinity has also been redefined. The man who helps his wife in cooking or other household chores is the ultimate man. He should be adjusting and considerate towards the feelings of his spouse, besides being adjusting, says Mrs Reenu, whose husband allowed her to open a boutique and regularly shops with her in far off places.

Even the younger generation guys prefer the modern outgoing women. The ‘traditional bahus’ can now be found in offices cracking their minds on quizzing problems along with their male colleagues. Guys prefer working women, with self confidence and intellectual ability as the most desirable quality in their would- be’s. These are the qualities that drew Sunil towards me, opines Anuradha, who is all set to marry her college sweetheart.

Mr Rahul Malhotra, an engineer, wakes his wife with bed-tea and regularly reads fairy tales to his children before tucking them in bed. The reason? His wife is a doctor who often works on night shifts. “ The responsibilities belong to both of us, “ he declares.

The confidence to a large extent has also been heightened by the financial independence enjoyed by women nowadays. She does not want to be the silent partner toiling in the kitchen, but adds to the family income.

Sometimes it is difficult for him to believe that times have changed and his dominant roles exist no more. Today’s man is learning the art of balancing the changed value systems.

Some people like businessman Rajan Abbot are very possessive about their wife’s job. He cooks the morning breakfast, readies his son ready for school and even gets him back. He has transited to Mr Mom instead of Mr Dad. Many believe that a woman’s career must be fully supported so long it does not interfere with the smooth functioning of the home or raising of children. “I have flexible hours but she is an executive who has to travel a lot sometimes,” he adds.

These converging roles are a compulsion for some while a genuine change for others. Today, men and women, husbands and wives, make some adjustments and then try to live within the parameters defined mutually.

Operate Sec 43 bus stand, says Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — Administrative officers should adopt a pro-active approach in redressing grievances of the general public, says the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

Addressing the Senior Officers' Conference in which all heads of departments of the Chandigarh Administration participated, General Jacob said that officers acting as a team should work for a singular goal of providing a transparent and responsive administration in the Union Territory.

He said that bus stand in Sector 43 must be operationalised by the end of this month. All officers must honestly and sincerely work for the welfare of the people. It was bimonthly review meeting of the senior officers but it was for the first time that Administrator addressed such a meeting.

The administrative officers have to be accessible to the people and act as public servants. He appreciated the officers for reducing the financial deficit last year by Rs 20 crore.

The Administrator said that there was an urgent need to revise the byelaws, especially in the domestic, commercial as well as industrial sectors as numerous byelaws were a breeding ground for corruption.

The Education Department must open night schools in every government school to provide education to the underprivileged and look into the ways and means to provide meals to the slum children everyday.Back



 

Controversy over gurdwara poll
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 20 — A controversy has arisen over elections to Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Phase XI here with the two main groups levelling allegations and counter-allegations. The poll is scheduled to be held on April 23.

One group has alleged that the faction headed by the President, Mr Jagmail Singh, had “restricted membership” by insisting that all voters should be life members, who were required to pay Rs 300. This step had been taken to reduce the number of votes.

The ruling group President claimed that he was working in accordance with the constitution of the gurdwara. There are also allegations that police cases had been registered against certain persons of the rival faction in connection with the use of fake receipt books to collect funds.

Members of both groups have met the SDM, O.P. Popli. The SDM directed the tehsildar, Mr Jagdeep Singh Momi, to probe the matter.

Mr Momi visited the gurudwara on April 18. Five members of each group were called again today to the tehsildar’s office.

It is learnt that the tehsildar in his report to the SDM has recommended that the poll should not be held on April 23 as there was apprehension of voilence. He is also reported to have favoured more persons being given an opportunity to become members. It has also been learnt that Mr Momi had suggested that the fee should be reduced.Back



 

Rally by members of disabled body
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — Members of the Physically Handicapped Association, Punjab, held a rally in Sector 17 in protest against the “indifferent attitude” of the state government towards their demands.

Sporting black badges, the protesters from all over the state raised slogans against the government for not providing any benefits either in getting suitable jobs in various departments or providing them with loans to enable them to earn their livelihood without compromising on self respect.

Decrying the attitude of Mr G.S. Kanjla, Minister for Social Security, towards their demands, the protesters said they wanted pension for all handicapped in the state, conveyance allowance, reservation in promotions, 10 per cent reservation in government jobs, free education for their wards, besides loans for commercial ventures. Back



 
CRIME

Son of Punjab IAS officer assaulted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — The son of a senior Punjab IAS officer and his friend were reportedly assaulted with sharp-edged weapons by some assailants in Sector 11 late last night. Both are said to be in a stable condition.

According to police sources, Ranjit Bajaj was travelling in his car along with his friend, Naresh Kumar, when he was stopped by six youths in two cars near the Sector 11 rehri market.

They were pulled out of the car and attacked with sharp-edged weapons. One of the accused allegedly had a pistol tucked in his waistband.

The accused named in the FIR include Jagtinder Singh, alias Bagga, Makhan Singh, Surjit Singh Grewal, besides two unnamed persons.

A case under Section 147 \ 148 \ 149 \ 341 \ 323 \ 324 \ 307, IPC, and Section 25 \ 54 \ 59 of the Arms Act, has been registered.

Case registered: The police has registered a case against Jaswant Singh Gill, chief pharmacist, Kendriya Drugs Store, Punjab, for alleged misappropriation of funds.

Sources said he sold medicines worth Rs 1. 86 lakh but made fake entries in the cash book. He had been doing this for more than two years. An inquiry in to this case was conducted by Mr Darshan Singh, DSP, Vigilance, Punjab, who recomended the registration of a case in this context.

Further investigations will be carried out by Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP, Central. A case under Sections 420 \ 409 \ 467 \ 471, IPC, has been registered at the central police station.

Dowry case: A Sector 20 resident Nisha Rani has alleged that her husband and in-laws used to harass her for bringing inadequate dowry. A case under Sections 406 \ 420 \ 498 - A, IPC, has been registered.

Motor cycle stolen: A Sector 10 resident Umed Singh reported that his motor cycle, CH-OI-Z 9071, had been stolen from the parking lot of DAV college. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

PANCHKULA

Cash, jewellery stolen: A sum of Rs 35,000 and about 35 tolas of gold jewellery were reported stolen from a house in Sector 10 on April 17 while the occupants were away.

On returning, after midnight they found the lock to the front door broken and the door open. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Accident: Sandeep, a resident of Garhi Kothala, reported that a maxi cab driver (HR 15 2967) hit a scooterist (HR 03 7539). In the accident, the conductor of the vehicle, Ishan Singh, was seriously injured and died later. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304 A, IPC, has been registered. Back


 

Goods recovered, six arrested
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 20 — Goods worth around Rs 1.5 lakh have been recovered by the local police from a gang of six persons.

They include TV sets, CD players, gas cylinders, sewing machines, ceiling fans, blowers and video games.

Mr B.S. Randhawa, SP, said that a gang of six persons had been arrested by the Chandigarh police on April 11. After making the recoveries, the Chandigarh police had sent them to jail. The local police got them on remand from the jail as recoveries in connection with thefts committed in the town had to be made from them.

Mr Randhawa said the gang was headed by John Singh, who belonged to UP and was living in Palsora Colony, Sector 55, Chandigarh, before being arrested. The other members of the gang were Varinder Singh (UP), Ranjit Singh (UP), Ram Singh (UP), Narain Dass (Himachal Pradesh) and Raju (Ferozepore district). While Varinder Singh and Narain Dass lived in Palsora Colony, Ranjit Singh and Ram Singh lived in Mataur village, near here, before being nabbed by the police.

The SP said John Singh worked as domestic servant before taking up the job of a caterer. He then became friendly with Narain Dass. Slowly, they took along Varinder Singh and started indulging in theft. Soon, the three joined them and then they struck in different phases of the town. The gang used to break open the doors of houses at night with iron roads and decamp with valuables.

The police took John Singh to UP to make the recovery.

All six are in judicial lock-up and will remain there till April 28.

A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered against them by the local police.Back



 
BUSINESS

Going gets tough for poultry owners
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 20 — Poultry farm owners are on the look out for hens that lay golden eggs with their business in dire straits owing to an unprecedented crash in prices of eggs from the “winter high’’ of Rs 1.74 an egg to a new low of 90 an egg paise with the advent of summer.

The going is tough and business is suffering even as most farm owners are banking on the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) to come to their rescue, reconsider its price for the season and help them tide over the difficult period.

The Vice-Chairman of the body, Mr Mahesh Garg, however, says that there is no likelihood of the same in spite of the protest by farm owners in front of their office in the first week of April. “Ours is a farmers’ body and the price is determined according to the demand and supply. This year, while the production is up, the consumption is low resulting in losses to farmers. The market is down and there is nothing we can do about it,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, anxious farmers are resorting to borrowing from the market, buying inferior feed for the chicks and reducing the livestock till their pockets permit them to bear losses after which shutting shop will be their only option.

Mr Sham Lal says, “Our poultry industry is knee-deep in crisis and there is no way out. The plummeting prices have broken our backs. From Rs 1.27 an egg in 1998 these came down to Rs 1.17 in 1998 and to Rs 1. 24 in 1999. Unless these rise by at least 10 paise each year, the business will touch rock-bottom in coming times and each one of us will have to reduce our livestock considerably.’’

The president of the Poultry Association in Barwala, Mr Jagdish Chander, rues that these are trying times for hatchery owners. “The prices of feed ingredients have gone up and sales are low. We have recommended that maize, the main ingredient in the feed, be imported and supplied at lower rates. Though with change of season the prices do reduce by 20 to 30 paise, these have crashed this season and we were not prepared for this,’’ he says.

Another farm-owner, Mr Bal Krishan, contends, “We have approached the NECC to stabilise prices and not allow further reduction. On our part, we have reduced the production capacity and are not buying any new chicks which usually need replacement every three months. The poultry organisations have also requested its members to buy one flock less.’’

“There is hardly any profit in the business and losses are tremendous. Ironically, we don’t have any loss-bearing capacity and in such situations are forced to borrow from the market to keep the business going. Also, big parties in the game make things difficult for us by holding back stock to manipulate prices. Again, being perishable commodities we have no choice but to sell these at the prices prevailing in the market whatever the losses,’’ Mr Ramesh Nikhanj explains.

Relying on the NECC to come up with an efficacious solution to reduce their losses, the poultry farms associations and farmers continue to bear the brunt of the lean season in the sale of eggs but the poultry industry is gradually inching towards shrinking in size and a considerable reduction of livestock in the region which is one of the largest supplier of eggs. Back



 

Tips on safe driving given
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 20 — A rally of Hero Honda CBZ motor cycles, which had started from Tarn Taran on March 27, reached the town today.

A show was organised in Phase VIII, here, Mr B.M. Lal Munjal, Chairman, Hero Honda Motors Ltd, was among those present.

The rally comprised 12 motor cycles and a mobile service workshop van. After covering various towns of Punjab it reached here, its final destination.

During the entire rally period, people were given tips on safe driving habits. Hero Honda owners were also provided with a free check-up of their vehicles.Back


 

Fruit prices fluctuate
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 20 — The prices of fruit fluctuated in the local markets for the second week running even as the prices of mangoes came down and those of citrus fruit began to go up. These are further likely to fluctuate for the next two weeks, till the time more fruit arrives in the market.

The prices of mangoes have come down considerably from Rs 70 a kg to Rs 40 a kg in Sector 7 and 8 though only one variety is available in markets and with fruit vendors. Also, the other varieties are unlikely to make an appearance till the next fortnight the vendors informed.

Prices of most fruit remained around Rs 40 a kg this week. Among these are grapes which were priced at Rs 40 in Sector 8 and Rs 45 a kg in Sector 7. The prices of oranges also went up to Rs 40 this week and apple, most of which is from the cold storages, was priced at the same rate. Pineapple, though short in the supply, could be bought for Rs 40 a kg.

Pomegranate was the most expensive, priced at Rs 80 a kg in Sector 8 and black grapes were a close second at Rs 70 with fruit vendors in the township but were priced at Rs 60 in Sector 8. Mausami was being sold for Rs 60 a kg in Sectors 7 and 8.

While a kg of melon could be bought for Rs 30 a kg in Sector 8, it was slightly higher at Rs 32 in Sector 7.

A kg of watermelon was available for Rs 10 a kg in both markets and strawberry for Rs 15. Papaya was priced at Rs 18 a kg and guava for Rs 15 and Rs 18 a kg in Sector 7and with vendors respectively. Chiku prices also went upto Rs 25 a kg while baer was static at Rs 20 a kg.Back



 

Punwire employees hold rally
From our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, April 20 — A rally was organised by employees of Punjab Wireless Systems Limited in Industrial Area Phase VI here today.

The rally was addressed by representatives from different organisations. They criticised the Government for not releasing the salaries of workers from the past one year. The Government had cleared the proposal for financial assistance but stressed that no salaries would be paid out of that assistance. This had caused resentment among employees.Back


 

Kitties getting commercialised
By A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, April 20 — Kitty parties are reportedly getting more commercialised. Different locally-made and imported products are promoted in such parties. Most of the rich women have a schedule of 5 kitty parties in a week.

Women who have ample spare time run business in kitty parties. Some become distributors of cosmetic products, bedsheets or items for children. Women are exploited by business-minded women who sell their products at market rates. In some cases, money is not refunded and any local or company product is sold in lieu of the amount collected.

Kitty parties have a positive side too. Non-working women interact with each other and make new friends. Some kitties have religious purpose also.

Ms Khanna says, "This is the best medium of interaction for women who remain stuck up in household chores most of the time."

Ms Neeta says, " My family does not allow me to work and so this is the way how I socialise myself."

Social stigma is still attached by some persons to kitty parties. Ms Ashu says, "There is no need for such programmes. Women can indulge in many other creative things at home."Back



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