|Thursday, May 4, 2000,
develop city as nodal centre
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Indian Airlines may develop Chandigarh as a Nodal Communication Centre for its operations in the entire North India.
Against the present set up of all terminals in North India, including Srinagar, Leh, Jammu, Amritsar and Chandigarh, being independently connected to Delhi, the airline now proposes to connect all these stations with Chandigarh besides providing a direct communication link between Chandigarh and the union capital.
This will not only improve coordination and operations but also facilitate better and effective communications within the region.
Talking to The Tribune here this afternoon, Mr Rajinder Kumar, Station Manager, Indian Airlines, said with Chandigarh becoming the Nodal Communication Centre, the service provided by the airline to its customers would improve considerably.
The Nodal Communication Centre will serve as data link between different stations governing all air operations in the region.
Besides setting up this communication centre, the airline also plans to introduce cargo freighters to Chandigarh to exploit the market potential of not only Chandigarh but also of the nearby industrial units of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
The area offers tremendous potential for boosting our cargo operations. We would be soon visiting our prospect clients, calling a meeting of our agents throughout the region and take all effective sales to boost our cargo operations from here. We are initially setting a target of Rs 5.5. lakh a month, Mr Rajinder Kumar said.
Talking about passenger facilities, the Station Manager said the management of the airline will extend the promotional fares in northern region by four months. Now a promotional fare of Rs 900 on the Chandigarh-Delhi sector will remain available to passengers here until August 31 this year.
Originally, the promotional fares were valid until April 30.
The promotional fares are also valid on longer and trunk routes, including Chandigarh-Delhi-Mumbai, Chandigarh-Delhi-Chennai and Chandigarh-Delhi-Bangalore or other important destinations providing much cheaper and economical air travel fares compared to other domestic air carriers.
The airline also hopes to have six major operational hubs throughout the country as ISO 9002 compliant very soon. These six hubs are New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
In the second phase, all
remaining stations from where the airline operates would
also be made ISO 9002 compliant soon. Chandigarh is
expected to figure in the first list of the second phase,
Mr Kumar added.
being tried for assault
CHANDIGARH, May 3 In an unusual disciplinary case, an Army Colonel is being tried by a general court martial (GCM) for allegedly assaulting a superior officer and pointing a weapon at him. The incident is stated to have occurred while proceeding were under way to have the accused officer declared mentally unfit.
The accused officer, Col J.P. Narayanan, has, in his defence maintained that the initiation of the disciplinary action is as an act of retribution by certain elements for having exposed some irregularities and subsequently having punishing the guilty by ordering summary trials. The accused was then posted with a formation under Headquarters 67 Infantry Brigade in the Western Sector.
The GCM began at Chandimandir, near here, some days ago.
As per the prosecutions contention, the accused officer escaped from the custody of three officers and a doctor and commandeered a 1-tonne truck by ordering its driver to drive him to brigade headquarters. There he allegedly forced his way into the office of the brigades deputy commander, Col C.P. Singh, locked the door from inside and trained a revolver at his temple. The revolver, stated to be the accuseds personal weapon, however, was unloaded at the time of the incident.
A subsequent medical examination carried out by an Army psychiatric stated that the accused might be suffering from persecutory delusion at the time of commission of offence but added the the accused was fit to undergo trial.
Following a court of inquiry ordered into the incident by the GOC 10 Corps the accused was charged under Section 40 of the Army Act for assaulting a superior officer. Thereafter, he was attached with an infantry battalion located near Chandigarh.
on duty before interview
CHANDIGARH, May 3 An official university note showing teachers on duty in August 1999 even before they were interviewed for the posts in December 1999 is doing rounds of the PU campus these days.
The controversy was brought on the floor of the Syndicate meeting recently. It has, however, been pointed out that the note was not a picture of reality and it displayed malicious intentions. The note bearers however sought the real position in response to the university document. The case referred to the recruitment of teachers in the Department of Education.
The session began in August 1999. The interviews for the vacant posts were held in December 1999. The duty chart available shows the teachers under question on duty since August. The teachers include Dr Latika, Dr Vandana Mehra, Dr Sukhwant Bajwa and Dr (Mrs) Kirandeep Kaur. All except Dr Latika have turned up for their respective duties.
The department when contacted said the criticism was malicious and defamatory. The office of the department said that it had not received any formal explanation from the main office in this regard.
Officials called the move malicious and said it was too sad to expect such a question from senior syndics who posed questions without proper verifications.
Narrating the real story it was said that the department printed 45-50 copies on the date-chart when the session began. All except 10-12 copies were given away to the authorities concerned. When the information about a new set of teachers joining the department came, their names were printed on the existing charts.
Names of the
existing part-timers were washed with white
ink and names of newcomers were added. The department
only forgot to clear the exact date of their joining the
department. It is surprising that the issue was not
raised for such a long period. The department was
allocated two new rooms whose numbers figure only in the
new list, it was pointed out.
weather patterns bring severe summer early to Chandigarh
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Changing weather patterns have resulted in a sudden and severe onset of summer in the city and the surrounding areas in the past couple of years. The gradual transition period from spring to summer has been reduced drastically as temperatures start rising sharply from the last week of March onwards.
Records of the local meteorological office for the years 1999 and 2000 show that the upward rise of the mercury is sharp from the last week of March, and within the next three weeks temperatures reach the 40°C mark, thus making residents feel the onset of summer much more. This phenomena did not occur in previous years in Chandigarh.
Since last year, the period usually between March 15 and April 20 when only fans would normally suffice has been reduced to just a few days. Now coolers or airconditioners are required just a week or 10 days after the blankets are discarded, observe city residents. Till the summer of 1998 temperatures used to rarely touch the 40°C mark in April. Only in 1993 did April have 9 days with temperatures touching the 40° mark. In the last two years this has occurred on 12 days in total 9 days in 1999 and 3 days this year. The 40 degree mark was never touched during April for 5 years between 1994 and 1998.
And in the past 2 years the 35°C mark has been achieved during the month of March itself. This is rare in itself as this has occurred only once before on March 30, 1991. This year the temperature had reached 35°C on March 30 a rise of 12°C when compared with a recording of 23°C on March 24.
Even rainfall has been lesser than normal in these two years. It rained only 5.8 millimetres in March 1999 and no rain occurred in April last year. This year it rained only 3.4 millimetres in April while March was better at 25.4mm. The normal for March and April is 30.4 mm and 8.3 mm, respectively.
Director of the local Meteorological Office S.C. Bhan says there is no plausible explanation as to why the transition period between spring and summer has lessened in 1999 and 2000. Explaining the lack of rains during the ongoing summer, he said no western disturbances, that result in rain, have occurred over this part of the country.
The average mean temperature of 38.2°C in April, 1999, was the hottest April ever
The average mean temperature of 36.7°C in April, 2000, was the third hottest April ever with an average mean of 37.5°C in April, 1988, being the second hottest
indebted to his voice
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Ye meri kismat ki khata hogi ya waqt ki siyasat, ki apne hunar ke sadke badnam ho chuka hoon mein... Thats all about him.
Sensitivity has often forced him to be held at ransom, but the spirit to persevere has taken him places. And today this boy from a remote Faridkot village who left home in a jittery mood to prove himself in the world of theatre stands before us as the man who has marvellously captured the history of the Khalsa and screened it for the masses.
Meet Mangal Dhillon, the man who is happy about his project The Khalsa , but sad still...Why? Ask him, and he says: I have accomplished the mission because I was the chosen one, but if certain factors were to have their play, I would have wrapped up long back, for I have had to spend a lot of money. There have been elements which kept posing potential threats at every point of time. I am surprised how I have done it.
For Mangal, struggle is not a new phenomena. In fact, it has become a way of life over the years, and today he is ready for more of it as he plans starting work on the ultimate project of his life, From Sikhs to Singhs. Mangal spoke with great passion about the film which, he says, will be a showcase of all the travails the valiant Sikh community had to go through. This movie will involve a great deal of research, especially on the life and times of all the Gurus before Guru Nanak. I have already completed my research to some extent. What is left lies more or less documented.
As far as his obsession with theatre is concerned, he tells us that it is quite ancient in the sense that even as a little boy he knew he wanted to act. From a remote village to the tinsel town, the journey has been long and spotted with snags. But God had destined all this and that is how it all happened. Early in life I met a girl who introduced me to a theatre group in Delhi. I struggled a lot until my voice impressed my director. Satisfaction in the profession, however, came very late in life. Let me tell you that I was twice rejected by the National School of Drama. That was how he landed up in the PUs Theatre Department for professional training!
Mangal laughs: Good I was rejected. It sparked my urge to make it big even more. I did a lot of theatre later in Punjab but finally I camped at Delhi, which was the hub of theatre activity. I worked with Meeta Vashisht and later with many other renowned actors.
The small screen roles came easily especially after Mangals stint at commercial voicing. I am greatly indebted to my voice which made me worthy of what I am today.
Earlier during the day
Mangal addressed a press conference which, he said, he
had especially convened to thank the media and every
other person who helped him in the successful screening
of The Khalsa which completed 125 shows. He also
expressed his remorse on the bureaucratic bottlenecks
which he had to face during his shows in Punjab and hoped
his financial due would be returned.
Has a long-term solution
been finally found to the water problem of the city?
CHANDIGARH, May 3 The ambitious water supply augmentation scheme of bringing water from Ganguwal to the city by gravity, proposed by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) to mitigate the shortage of water, is feasible, the interim report of Punjab Engineering College has said.
Though the final simulation and computer investigation of the 3D model of the pipelines from Ganguwal in respect of the pressure and velocity at various points is to be completed in two months, the interim report has come as a shot in the arm for the MCC, particularly after the scrapping of the revised plan for the fourth phase of the augmentation of Kajauli Water Works by the Central government.
Now the feasibility report assumes more importance since the much talked-about Ghaggar Dam Project seems to have been given a quiet burial for a variety of reasons, including dispute over sharing of the huge cost among Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and the discharge of effluents into the river by the industries.
It may be recalled that while clearing the fourth phase of the Kajauli Water Works, the Central Public Health Engineering and Environmental Organisation (CPHEEO), New Delhi, had desired that a feasibility study of bringing water by gravity by tapping the Bhakra Mainline or any other source at a higher elevation than the Kajauli Water Works be carried out.
Following this, a preliminary study was done by the MCC under the supervision of the Superintending Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, regarding the tapping of the the Sutlej near Ganguwal, about 70 km from here. The survey was done after consulting the Survey of India maps and data of the survey conducted by PUDA for the SAS Nagar Water Supply Scheme.
The cost of pumping 60 million gallons of water (MGDs) to the city against gravity from the Bhakra Main Canal, 27 km from Sector 39, was over Rs 10 crore per year, the experts said, adding that the annual cost of bringing 60 MGDs by gravity would only be Rs 2 crore per year. And this factor may ultimately go in favour of the Ganguwal Project since the cost of power goes up at regular intervals.
Reliable corporation sources pointed out that this was the only long-term solution to the rising water needs of Chandigarh and the satellite towns. Though the initial investment on the project Rs 225 crore was on the higher side, the long-term benefits were many, experts feel.
One, since Sutlej is a perennial source of water as against the seasonal Ghaggar river, there would not be any water shortage in the summer months. Second, the supply of water would be uninterrupted even in case of power failure which was not the case regarding supply from the Kajauli Water Works.
At present, there is a gap of 30 MGDs in the demand and supply, with the supply being only 64 MGDs and the demand touching 94 MGDs. And the fourth phase of the Kajauli Water Works will only add 20 MGDs of water, leaving a deficit of 10 MGDs.
No amenities, only
problems for residents
ZIRAKPUR, May 3 The residents of Akali Kaur Singh Colony are leading a miserable life in the absence of roads, streets, streetlights and various other civic amenities since the formation of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat.
Half of the colony falls in Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area while the other half lies in Bhabhat village. The sword of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) still hangs over the heads of the residents whose houses fall in Bhabhat village.
Residents of the colony alleged that the colonisers sold the residential plots in an unplanned manner, without leaving sufficient space for roads and streets. Moreover, they purchased land from both villages for setting up a colony, without thinking of the future plans. After the formation of the Nagar Panchayat, the problems of the residents whose houses came under the jurisdiction of the civic body, are the same.
In the absence of internal roads, the residents have to use the broken and uneven footpaths in the colony. During rains, they have to wade through slush. Absence of streetlights puts them into inconvenience at night.
There is no provision of drains and the rain water and waste water remain accumulated at various low level places in the colony. Ponds of stinking water at different places in the colony give an open call to water-borne and other diseases. These ponds have become breeding homes for flies and mosquitoes.
The Nagar Panchayat has hardly taken any project of development, except imposing house tax and octroi in the area. A number of representations have been given to the Nagar Panchayat authorities about the poor sanitation condition and other civic amenities for the residents of the colony but no action has been taken in this regard. We are forced to live a tough period of our life, complains Mr Jaswinder Singh.
The Punjab Public Health Department is not supplying water to the residents as it has come up in violation of Periphery Act. But even after the formation of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, there is not any improvement in water supply and the sewage system in the colony. They are getting contaminated water supply from the handpumps.
As the summer is on its full swing, frequent power cuts often put the residents to great inconvenience. During power failure, we have to spend sleepless nights, comments Mr Bachhan Singh.
The sanitation is in a bad shape since the sanitation has been privatised. The Nagar Panchayat has not installed any streetlight in the colony so far. We hope that it will be done in the future, says Mr Jaswant Singh.
The colony has neither
any government dispensary, nor any government school or
community centre sites for parks and undeveloped plots
have been converted into dumping grounds. Telephones
often remain unoperational.
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Tejwanti, mother of B.K. Sharma, a composing supervisor with The Tribune, died here today. She was 86.
non-conventional energy sources
CHANDIGARH, May 3 A range of solar equipment for popularising solar energy was displayed at an exhibition in Panjab University here today.
The exhibition was organised by the university Energy Research Centre in collaboration with the Rotary Club Mid-Town to mark the International Sun Day celebrations.
Prof S.K. Sharma, Director of the Energy Research Centre, said conventional energy sources such as petrol, natural gas and coal are stored forms of solar energy that has accumulated over millions of years. Petrol, natural gas and coal would last for 25, 50 and 100 years, respectively, at the present rate of consumption.
In the present context, it was urgent to harness solar energy, which was the fountainhead of all sources of energy on the earth.
Dr Ashwani Kumar, Director, MNES, stressed the need for quality control in solar equipment and explained Indian standards of solar water heating systems.
Dr K.K. Singh, Advisor in the Ministry of Non-conventional Sources of Energy, in his presidential remarks said a cumulative potential of 50,000 mw of energy existed in the solar, thermal, small hydro, bio and wind energy in the country.
Mrs Dheera Khandelwal, Director of the Women and Child Development Department, Haryana, emphasised the need for non- conventional sources of energy, as the sources of current energy are limited.
Important exhibits included advanced temperature solar distillation system, concentrator cooker and hybrid water heater-cum-cooker. A solar lunch marked the occasion.
namaskar, lectures and exhibition on solar products
marked the celebrations at the Pandit Mohan Lal SD
School, Sector 32, organised by the Children Alliance for
Protection of Environment. The Mayor, Ms Shanta
Abhilashi, was the chief guest.
time at Estate Office
SAS NAGAR, May 3 It is virtually a holiday time at the local estate office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). Ever since the Estate Officer, Mr G.S. Ghuman, went abroad on a two-week holiday, the dealing of files has almost come to a standstill, causing harassment to the public.
The reply given by the staff at the office to the public is that no competent officer is available to clear the files. An Estate Officer of PUDA at Patiala, who had been given temporary charge, had not joined, resulting in multiplicity of problems for the persons visiting the office for their work.
Sources in the estate
office said the process of issuing NOCs, approving maps
and other routine work requiring signatures of the Estate
Officer had come to a standstill. Hundreds of cases were
not being cleared due to non-availability of the officer.
South Asia channel from July 1
CHANDIGARH, May 3 In a significant move, CNN, a global news network, announced the launching of its South Asia channel from July 1 this year. The new service will allow the CNN to reschedule its popular programmes for prime-time television viewing in the region and offer viewers some locally produced South Asia specific programmes.
The new channel will
feature region-specific programming for India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh and other South Asian countries during
prime-time, beginning 8 p.m. everyday. This new schedule
will comprise regional news on the hour and CNNs
World News every half an hour.
to join scribes' protest
CHANDIGARH, May 3 The Chandigarh Coordination Committee of the Newspapers and New Agencies Employees Unions' protest action tomorrow got a shot in the arm with the Samachar Patra Vikreta Union (hawkers' union) deciding to join the protest against delay in the implementation of the Manisana Wage Board.
This was announced here today by the coordination committee after its meeting held to prepare for tomorrow's protest rally and to discuss the plan of action for success of the May 8 all-India strike against delaying tactics of Central Government and employers.
The hawkers' representatives, who attended the meeting of the coordination committee, agreed in principle to support the strike on May 8 and would soon decide in their general body not to distribute newspapers on May 9, a press note said here today. The Tribune and The Indian Express group unions have already decided to join the nationwide strike.
The coordinator of the
committee, Mr Jagtar Sidhu from Punjabi Tribune, and the
co-coordinators, Mr Raj Kumar Srivastava from The Indian
Express and Mr Pradeep Saurabh from The Hindustan Times,
along with Mr Mukhtiar Singh, President of the Hawkers'
Union, had been authorised by the committee to talk to
other newspapers' employees to go on strike on May 8.
employees block traffic
ZIRAKPUR, May 3 A number of employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board here today blocked traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala National highway for more than 20 minutes in protest against the suspension of their colleagues by the Chairman of the Board.
Employees of the Ropar circle earlier gathered in front of the electricity boards subdivisional office and marched towards the traffic light points and staged a dharna and raised slogans against the department authorities.
destroys forest in Command area
PANCHKULA, May 3 A major fire which lasted for over six hours, destroyed many trees in the Western Command area here today.
The fire which started at about 12.15 pm, was brought under control with the help of five fire engines from the township at about 6.30 pm.
It is suspected that a bidi dropped in the forest led to the fire. The fire spread from the command area to Mansa Devi temple.
Most firemen were deputed at the command area side since a track passing through the Soil Conservation Centre near Mansa Devi was not accessible. The fire was also controlled with the help of counter-burning method.
The Chief Conservator of Forest, Mr D.S. Barrak, said the fire had not been reported from the area notified as "forest'', though the officials of the Forest Department were alert and in touch with their men on the spot.
Road mishap victim dies
CHANDIGARH, May 3 A city resident was killed in a road accident in Sector 26 here this afternoon.
According to police sources, Sector 20 resident Amarjit Singh was hit and injured by a Himachal Pradesh Roadways bus (HP 12 1481) near the transport traffic lights.
He was rushed to the PGI where he died. The driver of the bus, Bachan Dass, has been arrested and a case has been registered.
Held for eve-teasing: The police has arrested Lakhwinder Singh of Mandi on a charge of eve teasing. A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered.
Gambler arrested: The Crime Branch has arrested Sarwan Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony for gambling at a public place from the Grain Market.
A case under Section 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.
Caught red-handed: The police has arrested Labour Colony resident Guddu, who illegally entered a house in Sector 44 and was caught red-handed by the owner.
A wrist watch was recovered from his possession. A case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC, has been registered.
Rs 92,000 stolen: Arjun Kumar, a resident of Sector 11, Panchkula, reported that Rs 92, 000 has been stolen from the dicky of his scooter.
A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.
Motor cycle stolen: Mr Sourav Dogra, a resident of Sector 44, reported that his motor cycle (CHOIV 3278) has been stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17.
alleges rape attempt by cop
KHARAR, May 3 An attempt was allegedly made by a Sub Inspector of the Punjab police to rape a married woman of SAS Nagar. The victim recorded her statement in the court of Mr Sanjay Agnihotri, Judicial Magistrate of Kharar , and a case was registered under Section 164 of the Cr PC today. According to an information, the victim made a written complaint to the SSP of Ropar on April 22 that an attempt was made by the Sub Inspector, posted with the Inspector General of Police, to rape her on April 21.
She has written in her
complaint that she was in the kitchen when the SI came
there and started harassing her. In the meantime, her
husband and mother-in-law reached there and the SI ran
away. She filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana
High Court in which the Punjab Government, the SSP of
Ropar and the SHO SAS Nagar police station were made a
party. The court passed an order on April 27 that her
statement should be recorded in the court and if any case
was made out against the SI, the police should register
booked for rioting, assault
CHANDIGARH, May 3 The police has registered a case of rioting, criminal trespass and assault against Palsora Colony President Suresh Rahi and nine others.
Sources said Rahi and his accomplices, armed with swords, iron rods and hockey sticks, entered the house of Mr Kashmira Singh and asked him to vacate the house which had been bought by Amrik Singh, who was accompanying the assailants. An assailant was reportedly brandishing a pistol.
When he resisted, he was brutally beaten up. He is reportedly in a serious condition at the PGI. The female members of the family, who rushed to help him, were also roughed up by the assailants. The wife of the victim has recognised three assailants as Suresh, Munna, Kala besides Amrik Singh.
A case under Sections
147, 148, 149, 307, 452 and 506 of the IPC and Sections
25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered at the
Sector 39 police station. Efforts are afoot to nab the
accused, who are absconding.
PSIEC in the dock for
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Taking up a complaint filed here by a Ludhiana resident against the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held PSIEC deficient in services to the extent that it had not refunded the due amount to the complainant in the given time despite the complainant surrendering the plot to the corporation.
The Commission bench, consisting of its President, Mr Justice J.B. Garg, and members Dr P.K. Vasudeva and Ms Devinderjit Dhatt, held that the corporation, which refunded Rs 11.5 lakh to the complainant, should have refunded the entire amount of Rs 11.7 lakh in view of the complainant having surrendered the possession of the plot well in time to the corporation. The bench directed the corporation to refund the due amount along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent.
Mr Vinod Vashisht stated in his complaint that in response to a scheme floated by PSIEC for allotment of industrial plots in Focal Point, Mandi Gobindgarh, he applied and sent a demand draft for Rs 2.25 lakh. After all formalities, the complainant deposited the required amount of Rs 14.05 lakh against the delivery of the plot. He later decided to give away the possession, considering the dissatisfactory development of the area where he could not install the contemplated oxygen gas manufacturing unit.
The complainant alleged
that the corporation, instead of refunding Rs 11.7 lakh,
gave back Rs 11.5 lakh. He stated that this non-payment
amounted to deficiency on the part of the respondent and
claimed another Rs 5,000 against the costs of litigation
incurred by him. In its reply, the corporation held that
it had refunded the due amount after deducting earnest
money to the tune of 10 per cent.
on 5 items revised
CHANDIGARH, May 3 The Chandigarh Administration has revised sales tax on five items. These items have been brought in the slab of 12 per cent sales tax.
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