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


Jacob unveils IT policy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — Earmarking of 1 per cent of Plan Budget of the Administration for information technology applications every year, preference in employment to IT literate persons and awards to departments or public sector undertakings with outstanding work in the IT field are some of the salient features of the information technology policy of the Chandigarh Administration released by its Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), here today.

Talking to newsmen after releasing the policy, General Jacob said that the Administration would consider a proposal to amend building byelaws to permit IT-related avocations, including software units, from residential areas.

General Jacob said that that the use of information technology or computers to make up for shortfall in teaching staff in schools was a welcome suggestion and the Administration would welcome any such suggestions aimed at improving the existing facilities in its various departments.

Introduction of smart cards, computers in schools and colleges, computerisation of the Police Department, starting of IT College are some of the steps already taken by the Administration that have preceded the announcement of the IT Policy today, General Jacob said.

He reiterated that the archaic building byelaws governing the construction of industrial sheds would be reviewed and amended so as to make room for vertical growth of the pollution free, high-tech industry in the Union Territory to generate more employment opportunities.

“We want Chandigarh to remain pollution free, high-tech IT city,” he said, after inaugurating the local area networking linking Additional Deluxe Building and Deluxe Building.

Earlier, Mr Rakesh Singh, Secretary, Information and Technology, talked about some of the salient features of the new IT policy envisaging a scenario wherein every citizen shall be able to access the benefits of the IT by the year 2005.

“The residents of the UT are enlightened enough to realise the significance of the IT revolution and it is expected that they shall wholeheartedly participate in this movement. The ultimate goal is to use IT as a medium for effective interaction between the Administration and the public so that exchange of information and access to government departments is speedy and easy, leading to better quality of life,” Mr Rakesh Singh said.

The new policy aims to provide public service for the residents through e-governance, which is efficient, speedy and cost-effective; to promote industrial development through IT; to reduce unemployment by generating more jobs; to increase exports in the IT field by creating a platform for excellence in software development and to make Chandigarh an ideal IT destination.

He said that Chandigarh would be developed as a wired city by setting up of software development units in large numbers. For use of intelligent network service for dissemination of public information, kiosks (information centres) shall be set up for providing information and facilitating public services.

Promotion of Internet service providers operations, including real time connectivity to international gateways and request to Department of telecommunication to lease the spare capacity of the existing fibre network for data transmission to ISPs and establishment of Internet access through the Cable TV network shall be done throughout the UT so as to provide speedy connectivity to all the residents, Mr Rakesh Singh said.

Besides, construction of IT towers shall be undertaken for the software industry, IT services companies shall be exempted from inspections under the Factories Act, Depreciation norms as per approved norms of Government of India, loaning by financial institutions, investment and venture capital, single window clearance are the other features of the new policy.

Under e-governance, the Administration promises to provide five year IT plan for each department, IT online connectivity in the Excise and Taxation Department, Education Department, Municipal Corporation and Estate Office, Driving Licences and Registration, Treasury and Police.

The Administration also proposes to provide computer laboratories in schools, IT College, IT in schools, a digital library, besides making arrangements for training of government employees.

To look after IT applications in the Union Territory, a 17-member Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of the Adviser to the Administrator has been set up. Besides, a 13-member IT Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Secretary has also been constituted. In each department, there will be a four-member IT Task Force for implementation of the IT Policy.

Also present at the function were the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai; Secretary to Administrator, Mr SC Aggarwal; Home Secretary, Mr M.P. Singh; Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar; SSPs Ajay Kashyap and Parag Jain, and other senior functionaries of the Administration.Back

Salient features:

  • Building byelaws to be amended to permit IT avocations.
  • Admn open to use computers in place of schoolteachers.
  • Software units to be set up
  • e-governance on cards
  • ISPs promotion to help wire city

Police solves skeleton case 2 held; confess killing Usha
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — In a major breakthrough, the police has solved the sensational skeleton case with the arrest of a former employee of the deceased's husband and his accomplice.

The police had been shocked by the recovery of the skeleton of an elderly housewife, Usha Grover, in a locked room of her house in Sector 18 on April 15. Considered a blind murder case, the police had taken it up as a challenge and solved it after 13 days.

A quack, Surinder Kumar Jagdev, and his accomplice, Jagdish Lal, have been arrested and a case under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC has been registered against them. They have been remanded to the police custody till May 6 by a city court. The former used to run a "dental clinic" at Mani Majra where the latter used to help him. Both are, reportedly smack addicts, according to the police sources.

Elaborating on the sequence of events, Mr Parag Jain, SSP, said following the recovery of the skeleton by Mr Dalip Singh who looked after the house, the police swung into action and a team led by the DSP, Mr Vijay Pal Singh and Inspector, Mr A.S. Jaggi, SHO of the Sector 19 police station, was constituted.

The room was sealed and a team of experts of the CFSL examined the site. Proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC were recorded, following which, parts of the skeleton were sent to the Department of Anatomy and Forensic Medicine of the PGI.

Mr Jain said following enquiries, it was found that the house belonged to Mr Daulat Ram Grover, a leading dentist, who had passed away on April 1996, succumbing to injuries from an accident. He was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

It was also established that his son, Rajan, was, reportedly, mentally unsound and was missing since 1994, two years before the death of his father. His daughter, Vandana, was settled in the USA but had not attended the funeral of her father.

A family friend, Justice P.C. Pandit had deputed Dalip Singh to look after the elderly couple. Following the death of her father, Vandana had visited India and had stayed with her mother for three months.

During this period, the old woman suffered a paralytic attack and was hospitalised for some time. Following this, Vandana took her to the USA with her. After staying with her daughter for two months, Usha Grover returned to India.

The SSP said on March 3, 1997, the deceased had received a letter from the Sub Jail Superintendent, Janggir, Bilaspur (Madhya Pradesh), informing her that her son was lodged in the jail in a criminal case. On March 28, she left for Janggir, accompanied by Surinder Kumar Jagdev and his then helper, Raj Kumar alias Raju of Mani Majra. The former had worked for her husband for sometime in the 80s.

After reaching there, they managed to secure the release of Rajan on bail. Following this, Surinder and Raj Kumar returned while the old woman stayed in Janggir. It was during her stay there that she met Ram Lal, a rickshawpuller who used to take her from her temporary lodging, Madher Lodge, to the court. The court decided the case on April 9, following which, she left for Chandigarh with Rajan, accompanied by a constable, Samaru Lal, and Ram Lal.

Rajan was subsequently looked after by his mother and Ram Lal, but, one day, he managed to scale the back wall and escaped. Ram Lal also returned to his native place on April 1997.

Mr Jain said a police party was sent to MP and was successful in tracing the constable and the rickshawpuller. They revealed the names of the person who had accompanied the deceased.

The duo were picked up and following investigations, confessed that they had murdered Usha Grover on the night of May 4, 1997. They had taken some jewellery and documents from the house.

The interim report of the Anatomy Department also established that Usha Grover had been hit on the head and had suffered a fatal fracture.Back


PUDA, UT to set up joint sewage treatment plant
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, April 28 — Bowing to the pressure of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority and the UT Administration have finally agreed to set up a combined sewage treatment plant at a site located near the Kharar- Banur road.

Untreated sewage, both residential and industrial emanating from Chandigarh and SAS Nagar will be treated at the treatment plant. The process to acquire around 120 acres of land, close to Chau Majra village, has already been initiated.

A note of strict action by the state pollution control board to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and PUDA authorities for discharging untreated sewage in seasonal rivulets and causing environmental hazard is reported to have pushed the two authorities to take the decision. In fact, untreated toxic waste by industrial units had contaminated underground water in several villages in the periphery of Chandigarh and SAS Nagar.

Recently a meeting between the officials of the MCC and PUDA was held in this regard. Though the MCC had in principal agreed to the project the formalities to implement the project were yet to be worked out. Sources said the corporation was interested to know to about the share of money it would have to pump in before it preceded further.

Mr G.R. Jakhu, Chief Engineer of PUDA, said an interim report based on a technical study conducted by a private consultant has estimated the cost of the project at Rs 225 crore. The total capacity of the treatment plant, in the first phase, would be 60 MGD-15 MGD of SAS Nagar and 30 MGD of Chandigarh. Its capacity would be extended to 90 MGD, if required.

Presently PUDA had no facility to treat the 10 MGD of sewage, both industrial and residential, emanating from SAS Nagar.

PUDA was also pressing upon the MCC to shift its existing Diggian sewage treatment plant, located in Sector 66 here. Treating 30 MGD of sewage against 45 MGD emanating from Chandigarh, the Diggian treatment plant was not sufficient to meet the demand. Moreover, it was now surrounded by residential and industrial areas posing a health hazard. The PUDA has specifically asked the MCC to shift the treatment plant and the alternative site had already been offered to the latter.

The Chief Administrator of PUDA, Mr KBS Sidhu, when contacted, said the sharing of the cost would be discussed with the MCC. Incentive in terms of low land cost in lieu of shifting the Diggain plant could be offered to the MCC. He said PUDA was going ahead with the construction of sewage treatment plant to meet its own demand of treating 15 MGD of sullage.

The Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), SAS Nagar, had been asked to issue a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act after obtaining the mandatory from the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar. Back


Thieves break into house in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 28 — A theft of items worth Rs 80,000 comprising gold jewellery and watches was reported from a house in Sector 8 last night. However, no clue to the identity of the intruders was available.

An occupant of the house, Mr VK Bhatia, said the family of five left the residence on the evening for barely an hour and returned to find the main door to the house bolted from inside.

He suspects that they were being watched and the intruders entered the house right after they left.

“We went out at around 7:30 pm and came back in an hour to find that the door did not open despite unlocking it. Probably, the miscreants were inside at that time or were on the verge of leaving. We immediately informed the police who forced open the door for us,” he informed.

Inside the house, the locks of cupboards had been broken open and almirahs had been ransacked completely. The intruders had gone through all shelves thoroughly and had managed to lay

their hands on the gold jewellery. However, big boxes and suitcases had not been touched by them.The thieves entered the house by scaling the wall on the backside, removed the grill and broke open the window which led them to the bedroom. Being in the last lane with vacant space behind, they left through the same route.

While a dog squad was summoned from Chandigarh last night, the fingerprint experts visited the house today. The dog squad could not provide any substantial lead since the rain had washed out any possible leads.

Meanwhile, a project to cordon off the area and make it inaccessible to anti-social elements by installing gates at the four openings by people in the vicinity is pending with the Haryana Urban Development Authority, which has to give a formal approval for the same.

Also, in a press note issued, here today, the Panchkula Welfare Federation said that most thefts take place when the occupants are out and no arrangement to safeguard their possessions has been made. Further, the anti-social elements comprise migratory labour.

In view of this, they have demanded that night patrolling be started by the police and verification of labourers be carried out through the police station and that they should be issued identification cards by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.Back


Punjab advised to consult Centre on including land in new city
Anandgarh forest area under threat
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — The Regional Office of the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment has written to the Punjab Government advising it to take the concurrence of the Union Government before including any land covered under Forest Conservation Act in the proposed new city of Anandgarh.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune here this afternoon, the Inspector-General of Forests and Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests , Mr C.P. Oberai, said that till date there has been no official communication from the Punjab Government for inclusion of any area presently covered under the Forest Conservation Act in Anandgarh.

“It would be unfortunate if they do so as Punjab has very little forest area compared to other states. This way forest area would be further reduced,” he said, maintaining that Punjab should try to bring more wasteland and other areas under forestry.

Talking about the national scene, Mr Oberai said that India has about 2 per cent of the total world forest area, 17 per cent of the world population and 18 per cent of the world animal population. Rest of the world is feeling concerned about very low forest area in the country.

“But we are helpless. We do not have enough of financial resources to bring more area under forestry. We have been asking for financial assistance from world organisations. We are getting some but not enough to prop up forestry the way it should be done,” Mr Oberai said maintaining that forestry is the best natural way to conserve water.

“If we are facing shortage of water in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Orissa, it is just because we have lost forest cover in these states heavily. Trees are like sponges which release water as and when required. But by illicit felling, we are changing the land from sponge to stone.

“Though the policy of the government envisages for 33 per cent of the total land to be under forest cover, there is still a long way to go. Of 24 per cent of government land, only 19 per cent is under forest cover with real good forests making up for only 11 to 12 per cent of the total land,” Mr Oberai said, stressing the need for more and more social forestry.

“We have to make laws much more flexible than what they are now. Those who opt for social forestry face a plethora of problems over the movement of timber. In Punjab and Haryana, there is no restriction on the movement of eucalyptus or poplar. We have to liberalise the laws so that timely felling of social forestry areas becomes easy,” he said.

Mr Oberai ridiculed the myth that eucalyptus should not be grown as a part of social forestry for it sucks water. “This is not true. Eucalyptus, like poplar, needs sunlight, some nutrients from soil and water for its growth.

“It is far more useful than many other species used in social forestry,” cautioning the farmers against single-specie cultivation. Social foresters must go for mixed species. I was surprised at Yamunanagar yesterday where a farmer has cut down the harvest period from 12 to 10 to seven and now plans to bring it down to five years. Eucalyptus can be grown from Kashmir to Kanyakumari but poplar does not go down beyond Uttar Pradesh,” Mr Oberai said.

He denied that there was any conflict between development and deforestation. Both are complementary to each other. In a country like India where 60 per cent population still lives in villages and depends upon forests for food, shelter,employment and water.

“We do not have enough money to bring wastelands into productive use by forestry,” he added.

Mr Oberai said that a Centrally sponsored scheme of providing electric crematoriums along the embankments of sacred Ganges in West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh has evoked a mixed response. While it was doing well in Bengal, the scheme has run into heavy weather in Bihar where either power or attendants at electric cremation stations remain elusive.

He agreed that there was a need to educate people on conserving fuelwood by taking to electric cremation of dead bodies.Back


Rise in Siachen casualties
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — As Pakistan continues shelling areas along the Line of Control, it appears to have mounted additional pressure in the Siachen sector. A significant increase in the number of casualties evacuated from Siachen indicates towards this.

Sources reveal that about 15 soldiers who sustained splinter injuries resulting from hostile artillery fire were evacuated here yesterday. All these cases, some of which are serious, are from the Siachen sector and belong to the same unit.

It is learnt that the artillery barrage in which these soldiers had been injured, also claimed the lives of five other troopers. Some of them belonged to this region.

Sources say that this month, the mortal remains of at least five soldiers who died in harness while serving in the northern sector have been received at Chandigarh, to be sent to their native places.

While the average rate of evacuation from Siachen is normally one or two casualties in a week, sources say this has risen to four to six casualties in a week. As per available information, about two dozen casualties have been evacuated here from Siachen this month alone. This is reportedly in addition to cases of high altitude sickness and casualties evacuated from other sectors along the LoC.

Meanwhile, with reports of Pakistan re-deploying its artillery in that sector several Indian tactical locations, hitherto untargeted, have now come within the arc of fire of Pakistani guns. These include some base camps, which could not be targeted earlier due to geographical factors.

While shelling by Pakistan in the glacier and elsewhere is a routine matter, the change in the pattern of fire and a new-found ability to target additional areas, some of which are logistically important to the Indian Army is being considered significant.Back


Having fun, Derek and Manpreet way
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — School goers were never as happy as they were today. With none less than the internationally-acclaimed quizmaster Derek O' Brien and the supermodel Manpreet Brar felicitating them, they were all certainly on top of the world.

"The show was an instant hit," said Derek who has been associated with the multinational Tetra Pak in putting the concept into action. As one talked about the concept to the school kids they all smiled in receptivity. Said Sakshi, a five year old, who was a part of the evening's show at Aroma Premium where Manpreet Brar had children and parents competing with each other, "I have got to know all my generations, thanks to the carnival." Derek further informed that this inter-school carnival was meant to enhance awareness levels of children and parents about each other. Summers were specifically chosen because the school kids are not caught up at work during this time of the year.

Today, about 32 schools from the city responded to the Tetra Pak package by first participating in the morning's sports carnival at St John's and then attending the dinner at Aroma with Derek and Manpreet. The programme, conceptualised by Derek, began with Tetra Pak inviting school goers to trace their family history. "The scheme worked well and today we are here to honour the winners," informed Derek. The dinner today was hosted to honour the parents of those kids who won the Family Tree contest.

There was a huge gathering of parents and children in the Aroma Premium this evening and the whole atmosphere was surcharged with excitement. After the morning's sports carnival at St John's where children played relay races and tennis ball cricket, the evening surely came as a big relief with a lot of excitement wrapped up in the shape of attractive gifts. Manpreet Brar co-ordinated games with parents and children contesting for the prizes. Said Manpreet, "We asked them to fill up balloon; tell us who is the best friend and the class teacher of their ward. The idea is to find out how much the family members know each other."

This fun-filled attempt aimed at providing yet another opportunity to parents and children to strengthen their bonds and trace the family roots, has already been practised in Delhi and Pune. Mr Lars Nygren, managing director, Tetra Pak, informed that the venture would be taken up every two years in India. "It's a business venture of course, but it is to tell the people that we also have a social face which we are proud of."

The team is now going Mumbai where the programme will be held in two parts. Back


Seminar to stress on rights of disabled kids
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — The Sadhna Society, an organisation helping mentally handicapped children, is organising a seminar on “Social and legal rights of mentally handicapped children in India” on Sunday at the Government College, Sector 11.

Ms Shabnam Aggarwal and Ms Radhika Elkazi from Delhi will conduct the seminar. The seminar aims to highlight the rights of the disabled who have mostly just got sympathy from society.

Ms Bhawna Tayal, President of the Society, says that mentally handicapped children have for long been socially and legally disadvantaged citizens.Back


Journalists rally against delay in wage board
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — Journalists and non-journalists from various organisations and unions today held a rally in Sector 17 here in protest against the Manisana Singh Wage Board for delaying and diluting the recommendations and the "negative attitude" of the Indian Newspaper Society.

The unions decided to forge unity and form a coordination committee on the call of the Chandigarh Union of Journalists (CUJ), affiliated to the Indian Journalists Union. The President of the CUJ, Mr Vinod Kohli, said there was need to have a chain action to force the authorities, the wage board and the INS to expedite the recommendations of the wage board.

A resolution, moved by the General Secretary of the CUJ, Mr Charanjit Ahuja, said politicians visiting newspapers and new agencies should first be asked to make their stands clear vis-a-vis the wage board, the INS and the government before their press notes were cleared for publication. Another resolution suggested that each day, the union would send a telegram to the wage board and the Prime Minister for intervention to expedite the wage board recommendations.

Speaking on the occasion, rallyists underlined the need for concerted efforts and taking the issue to the streets to build pressure. They also criticised the Central Government for depriving the employees of their due. It was a matter of concern that the recommendations of the wage board, which was set up almost a decade ago, had not seen the light of the day and newspaper managements were resorting to the contract system to subvert the recommendations.

Prominent among those who spoke were Ms Rajesh Sharma from the UNI, Mr Roshan Lal from the PTI, Mr Mohan Verghese from the Tribune Computer Operators Welfare Association, Mr Manmohan Singh from the NNFA, Dr Chander Trikha from the Small Newspapers Association, Mr S.C. Sinha from the Tribune Officers Welfare Association, Dr Renuka Nayyar from the Tribune Journalists Guild, Mr Deepak Vashisht from the Chandigarh Journalists Association and Mr S.S. Rawat and Mr Balbir Singh from the Indian Express Employees Union.Back


3 held for gambling in public
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — The police has arrested three persons for gambling at a public place.

According to police sources, Madal Lal of Sector 24 was arrested from Sector 17, while Balwinder Kumar and Jagdish Singh of Badheri village were arrested from Sector 41. Cases under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered against them.

Eve-teaser held: The police has arrested Ravinder Singh of Nangal, on a charge of eve teasing near the Sector 35 bus stop. A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered.

Jewellery stolen: Mr Jai Inder Verma of Sector 23 reported that some one has stolen gold jewellery while he was in his office. A case under Section 454 and 380, IPC, has been registered.

Pedestrian injured: Pedestrian Gote Ram of Sector 28 was hit and injured by Baldev Singh, a resident of Fatehgarh Sahib, near Panchayat Bhavan.

The accused has been arrested and a case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Car stolen: Mohali resident Rohit Dhir has reported that his car (PB 02 5757) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17.

A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.


3 held in murder case: The police arrested three persons — Tej Singh, Bheera Singh and Kirpal — in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Onkar Singh who was axed to death in Bhakkarpur village on April 25.

Two persons, Nachattar Singh and Gurmeet had surrendered before the police yesterday and a case had earlier been registered under Sections 148, 149, 302 and 120-B of the IPC.Back


Sector 47 resident assaulted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — A Sector 47 resident, Chander Parkash was injured and admitted to a hospital when three unidentified youths allegedly hit him on the head with an iron rod here tonight.

The three youths and Chander Parkash had an altercation this evening.Back


Award announced for information on killer
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — The police has announced an award of Rs 20,000 for any person who furnishes information about the killer(s) of Kamal, a resident of Jheel village, Narwana, Jind, Haryana.

According to Mr K.I.P. Singh, SHO, Sector 31 police station, the charred body of the deceased, who was in his early 20s, was recovered from a pool of used coal tar in a dumping area between Hallo Majra village and Ram Darbar colony. He had reportedly been strangulated before being set afire.

He said the deceased used to work for a glow sign maker and was last seen in Kurali where he had gone to fix a glow sign. Police parties have come across a person who last saw him at the bus station. Further investigations are on.

The identity of the informer would be kept secret. Back


Students honoured at website launch
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 —Ritu Gupta was awarded the first prize in the MBA course at the launching of a website of the Centre for Management Training and Research here today.

The site was launched by Mr N.S. Rattan, Principal Secretary and Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University. Approved by the AICTE, the centre offers the MBA and the BBA programmes.

Deepika Saily got the prize for securing the second place in the MBA( first year) examination. Gunjan Nagpal and Kulraj Rai were awarded the first and second prizes, respectively, in the BBA course. As many as 18 more students were awarded certificates of merit for achievements.Back


Economical, tougher bamboo roofing on anvil
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 28 — “The Union Government may soon withdraw its decade-old instructions on the use of mild steel door and window frames in place of wooden frames in government buildings, says Mr Arun K. Bansal, Director of the Bangalore-based Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, an autonomous body of Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune here this afternoon, Mr Bansal, an IFS officer, said that there had been tremendous research and growth in the plywood industry. For example, use of eucalyptus wood for door and window frames has been well accepted by the construction industry.

“We have developed boards using pine needles. We also have boards of bamboo,” he said while displaying various new products. Mr Bansal was here in connection with one-day Northern Regional Workshop organised by his institute in collaboration with the Northern India Plywood Manufacturers Association at the ICSSR Complex of Panjab University today.

One of the major attractions of the exhibition was bamboo mat corrugated roofing sheet which is one-fifth of the weight of an asbestos sheet, 20 per cent less costly, tougher, water proof, termite resistant and weather proof.

“This bamboo mat corrugated roofing sheet is yet to be commercialised. We are using it for fabricating 10 dwelling units in Meghalaya in a demonstration unit. We propose to set up manufacturing units in Meghalaya by using bamboo, a local forestry crop in the North East. It will serve more than one purpose. While it provides good roofing material, it will also provide employment and utilise the local produce,” he said maintaining that institute would soon approach the Himachal Pradesh Government for a project on similar lines for making pine needle boards.

The workshop was inaugurated by the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). General Jacob stressed the need for using farm products instead of forest products for meeting the growing demand of the plywood industry.

He regretted that forests were being denuded. This was creating a major environment threat to our planet and collective efforts were needed to save forest reserves.

Emphasising on using local farm products like sarkanda, bagasse and bamboo for making plywood and other wood products, General Jacob said research and development should be directed in making proper use of farm residues.

General Jacob also talked about botanical garden coming up at Chandigarh. He said that the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute could extend help in establishing the garden by sharing its research and development, especially in the areas of development and preservation in the field of timber trees.

Earlier, Mr Arun Bansal, Director, IPIRTI, gave an overview of the activities of the institute. Mr Naresh Kumar of the Northern India Plywood Manufacturers Association, and Mr Surjit Kumar Jayani, Forest Minister of Punjab, also spoke at the workshop. Also present was Mr H.S. Sohal, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh.Back

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