Friday, May 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Accident case reveals apathy of doctors
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — Apathy on the part of doctors on duty in the Surgical Emergency Ward of GMCH-32 here would well have cost at least four lives last night had it not been for the timely help that came in the form of a passerby who cared to pause and manage a miraculous escape for seven victims of an accident that occurred on the Chandigarh-Ambala road near Lalru last night.

"I have never been as disappointed with the system as I was last night. Here I was trying to manage medical care for the bleeding people at GMCH-32 and there they were... an unbelievably callous lot who were ready to give away nothing except a stupid reference further,'' said Mr A.S. Mann, a local businessman who had managed to bring them with great difficulty to the hospital from the accident site.

Mr Mann revealed that of the seven injured, four were quite serious, while three others — a man, woman and a girl child were in stable condition. He further said that on reaching the hospital, only one trolley was made available to us for transporting these serious patients from the van to the Emergency. "But even that was no deterrent as I sought help from others and managed to pick them up and put them on the floor in the surgical emergency,'' he added.

However, the doctors on duty were more bothered about asking these profusely bleeding patients their names and whereabouts than giving them immediate emergency treatment, alleged Mr Mann. Annoyed by the indifference on the part of the doctors and the subsequent delay, Mr Mann threatened to report the matter to the police and the press. It was then that the doctors swung into some action and put intravenous drips and did some suction to help them breathe. But since they found them to be serious upon examination, they asked them to be taken to the PGI.

When Mr Mann asked the doctors to get them an ambulance to transport them to the PGI emergency without losing any time, the doctors once again did not cooperate. "We do not have any ambulance right now,'' said one of them. The others also did not take time to give any telephone number of the Red Cross or other voluntary agency from where an ambulance could be arranged. So much so, they did not allow them to make any telephone call from there, saying that the exchange was dead, claimed Mr Mann.

It is worth mentioning that the doctors on duty were not involved with any serious patient during this time. As many as five ambulances were parked in the parking area of the Emergency, but were not being made available to the patients. The serious ones might have died had they not reached the PGI in time, said Mr Mann. Going by the attitude of the doctors, he wonders if the patients are themselves required to make arrangements for the ambulance, particularly if they have no attendants.

Mr Mann, who was carrying a mobile eventually called up the police control room number, who managed to send four PCR gypsies. The three serious patients, who had been referred to the PGI were taken to the Emergency PGI where they were taken care of. Mr Mann also disclosed that the GMCH authorities did not even make the effort of making the card in most of these cases.

Meanwhile, of the remaining four, three others who were registered as unidentified patients were discharged, while one other identified as Lakshmi Devi was sent to the PGI as her condition was reported to be serious. Those who have been discharged are Raju, Sheela and Reena.

Persisting efforts of Mr Mann, who was with the accident vicims from 12 midnight till 4.30 in the

morning did not end here. After getting the serious ones admitted in the PGI, he came back to GMCH-32 and tried to get the address of some relative of theirs in the city from one of the injured. Rajeev Sharma, one of the victims told him about his brother-in-law, Mr Leela Dhar, an employee at Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35. He then set out to search for him at Dadu Majra and brought him to PGI and GMCH for the purpose of identification. Leela Dhar identified one of them at the PGI as his relative and the others admitted at GMCH-32. Mr Mann also informed the family back at Sundernagar about the accident and the condition of the victims before he left for home in the morning.

According to the police sources, the condition of the four persons admitted to the PGI as unidentified patients is reported to be serious.

Even in the day, he kept monitoring the condition of the patients at the PGI and calling up Ambala to know if the bodies of the other four who had died on the spot had been handed over the relatives after the post-mortem or not.

The Medical Superintendent, Prof D.P. Mehta, said as the condition of some of the patients who had been brought in at 12.50 am had been critical, the doctors had immediately given them the emergency treatment without even getting their cards made.

However, since they needed super-speciality care, they referred them to the PGI after putting intravenous drip and tubes in the trachea so that they could breathe. In the case of others who were admitted to the GMCH-32, cards of "unidentified patients" were made without charging anything. They were later discharged in the morning after proper treatment. He also said the doctors had told him that the ambulance on duty had left to drop a patient in Sector 47 and they had not been able to talk to anyone at the Red Cross number. However, they had only later on arranged the PCR vans after calling up the police.

Mr Mehta also said in the day, as many as three ambulances and a staff car were on duty, while after 10 pm, only one ambulance and one staff car was on duty. While the staff car was meant to bring consultants from their residences in case of an emergency, the ambulance was used to leave paients who were discharged or needed to be taken out for an emergency test. The other ambulances in the parking lot could not be used as there were no drivers on duty that time, he added.

Dr V.K. Kak, Director Principal of the GMCH-32, said "treatment of the seriously ill patients did take precedence. However, the question of a card not being made of anyone who was admiited here just did not arise. Specialised treatment might not be possible, but, the basic first-aid should be given and it should be recorded before a patient was referred to the PGI. Dr Kak said he would investigate why the cards were not made in the case of three patients who had been referred to the PGI.Back

Few stop to help victims, rues good Samaritan Mann
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — As many as five persons, including one who died in the PGI today, were killed following injuries suffered in a major accident on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Lalru late last night.

According to Mr A. S. Mann, the Samaritan who was instrumental in saving many lives, the 11-strong party, travelling in a jeep from Sundernagar in Himachal Pradesh, was en route to Hardwar to immerse the ashes of their young daughter, who had died recently, when the accident occurred.

One of the survivors told him that the jeep had overturned but was unable to tell him exactly how as he was in a state of shock.

Observing that the milk of human kindness had dried up, he said he was also travelling on the same stretch when he noticed a woman and a young girl frantically waving down passersby and screaming for help. The vehicles in front of him did not stop as he signalled his driver to stop.

He saw the overturned vehicle and the people trapped inside the mangled remains, crying for help and water. The driver of the jeep was trapped behind the steering. He noticed that at least four persons were immobile and probably dead.

"I also tried to flag down passing cars for help, but nobody stopped. After 20 minutes, I parked my car across the road, following which the traffic on the road was held up. It was only then that some people were requested to help but most of them were reluctant.

"Finally, some persons came forward and we set the overturned jeep right, broke open the rear windscreen and managed to retrieve the trapped persons. I sent my driver to fetch for some water.

"Then arose the problem of transporting them — nobody was willing to rush them to the GMCH-32 or the PGI, Finally, a van driver agreed and we put the injured persons and reached Chandigarh," he narrated.Back


Parents protest as kids cry for water
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — Water shortage for children of Government Model High School, Sector 38, generated an uncomfortable situation for the Principal as members of the Parents Teachers Association submitted a letter of complaint to the DPI (School).

The children are forced to quench their thirst by drinking water from metal tanks constructed in the school ground. The tanks are rusty and the water in them becomes hot in the summer sun. The other option for the disadvantaged students is to have water distributed from a clay pot by a staff member.

In a letter to the DPI, the association said a part of the building was being misused. It is allotted to a maali. The school authorities maintain that the work space has been properly allocated. The chowkidar needs place to keep his belongings.

The PTA alleged mismanagement of the school special fund. However, this allegation was refuted by the Principal. The higher authorities are well aware of the water shortage situation of Sector 38.Back


School to refund Rs 48,000 to student who left after 12 days
Consumer forum asks government to frame public-friendly rules in the matter
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 4 — Directing Alpine School at Pinjore to refund Rs 48,000 charged at the time of admission from a student who had "remained in the institution for only 12 days", the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has also asked the Haryana Government to "issue necessary guidelines and frame rules in the light of the order in the interest of general public".

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, the forum headed by President R.C. Taneja also directed the payment of interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum from May, 1997, besides paying Rs 1,000 as cost of proceedings to complainants Jagdish Kapoor and Sumit Kapoor of Patiala.

In its detailed order, the forum observed: "The deduction of only admission fee of Rs 500 was fair enough to compensate the school for any expenses incurred by them for conducting the admission process. We are of the opinion that by not refunding the deposited amount after reasonable deduction by the opposite party (OP), particularly when the OP has not pleaded that they have suffered any loss due to the withdrawal'', the school has indulged in deficient services.

The complaint states that Sumit Kapoor, who sought admission to Class IX in Alpine School, Pinjore, was issued registration cards and formally admitted to the class in April 10, 1997. A sum of Rs 54,250 and Rs 204 was deposited and the student was left in their custody.

However, on April 22, Mr Kapoor received a letter from his son regarding problems being faced by him at the premises and immediately brought him back. Also, on examination, it was found that the child was suffering from anxiety and feeling nervous and that he should be removed from the hostel in the interest of his health. Following this, Mr Kapoor wrote a formal request to withdraw his son from the school and asked for refund, but to no avail. Repeated reminders did not have any effect.

Upon notice, the OP submitted that the charges were deposited at the school cash counter and the prospectus mentions that the parents of a newly admitted child would be allowed to meet him for six weeks after admission to settle him. Also, it mentions that seeking refund for any reason would not be permitted irrespective of the time period they have stayed in school while adding that the tuition fee is "paid voluntarily'' and with the complete knowledge that the amount so paid is non-refundable.

The Bench observed that Sumit Kapoor was admitted to Alpine School, Pinjore, which is a residential one with hostel facilities after payments of Rs 14,250 and Rs 40,000 towards the annual fee and hostel charges. However, after he was withdrawn from school, the charges were not refunded.

They added that counsel for the complainant had "forcefully argued'', seeking the refund since the child was withdrawn for "genuine reasons''. "A student is essentially a consumer of services in an educational institution. Therefore, when there is no service, there is no right with the college to appropriate fees. If it insists to collect fees without imparting education, it will amount to deficiency in service. It amounts to illegal enrichment and cannot be said to be the object of any educational institution,'' the order stated.Back


Cancellation of CHB unit to Puri stayed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — Issuing notice of motion for May 31, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the operation of an order passed by the Chandigarh Housing Board cancelling the allotment of a Mani Majra dwelling unit to Panjab University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Madan Mohan Puri.

Claiming non-filing of a false affidavit, the Vice-Chancellor, in his petition taken by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice Bakshish Kaur, had earlier stated that the fact regarding his being a member of PUSHPAC Society was not concealed.

The petitioner, his counsel had contended on the VC's behalf, had also stated that the residential site, plot or a house had not been acquired by him. At his request, the society had also issued a certificate stating that the petitioner, though entitled, had not been allotted a dwelling unit till date, counsel had added.

Claiming the action to be in violation of principles of natural justice, counsel had added that personal hearing was not given after the show cause notice was issued.

He had added that the action had been taken at the instance of Finance Secretary Rakesh Singh following the non-selection of his wife as a lecturer in the university. The FS, he had added, was settling scores with him.

Giving details, he had added that the selection committee after the interview had not selected the FS's wife. Prior to the interview, the petitioner was repeatedly "canvassed" by the FS and other senior officers, including a joint secretary, but the VC did not interfere in the process, counsel had added.

The Housing Board, it may be recalled, had stated that the registration as well as allotment of a dwelling unit had been cancelled and the entire amount deposited by the VC had been forfeited for "having concealed material facts and for making false statement by way of declaration of affidavit in order to secure the allotment of a flat fraudulently".Back


PUDA grants licences to eight colonisers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), past evening, decided to grant licences to eight colonisers throughout Punjab for the development of 51.32 acres in all.

According to a spokesman of PUDA, it was decided to give two licences to Rajpura-based SIFL for the development of 17.97 acres as an industrial estate. The other locations for which licences have been issued are Dera Bassi (3.49 acres), Zirakpur (7.42 acres and 11.04 acres), Urmar Tanda (6.13 ares), and Phagwara (5.27 acres). Licences at most of these locations are being issued for the first time.

Rigorous conditions like provision of water supply and sewage disposal, parks, open spaces, parking lots and schools have been imposed while sanctioning the layout plan. Promoters have also been made liable to satisfy the pollution norms under the relevant byelaws.

The spokesman further said enquiry, at the comptent level of authority, should be confined to the title of the land, extent and situation of the land, capacity of the promoter to develop the colony, conformity of the development of the colony with the neighbouring areas, plan of development works to be carried out in the colony.

The spokesman also said with a view to simplifying the procedures, applicants would be required to submit documents only at the head office of PUDA. The proposal of every applicant would be circulated to the authorities like the Chief Town Planner, the Punjab State Pollution Control Board, the municipal body (if any) and the Engineering and Town Planning Wing of PUDA for their comments within four weeks. The comments and observations would immediately be forwarded to the promoter and the cases should be discussed in an open meeting which were proposed to be held every month. Thereafter, the decision in on licences would be announced on the spot so that the promoter could accordingly gear up for the development works.

The spokesman also appealed to the general public to refrain from buying any plots from unauthorised colonisers who normally did not provide any services like roads, streetlights, water supply and sewage disposal. He said a separate campaign would be launched to register criminal cases against such defaulters. Any person dealing with unauthorised colonisers would be doing so at his own risk and cost.Back


24 geese disappear from lake
By Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — Nearly 24 of the 30 Indian geese released by the Children's Alliance for Protection of the Environment, a wing of the Environment Society of India (ESI), on June 5,1999, at Sukhna Lake have disappeared mysteriously.

Mr S. K. Sharma, President of the ESI, blames the Administration for not providing protection to the ducks. He says the main objective of the ESI behind releasing the ducks is to improve the ecology of the lake, attract migratory birds and promote tourism in the city. He claims that it is only because of the presence of the ducks that the lake was able to attract a large number of migratory birds last year.

But the question is where have 24 ducks gone? Mr Sharma says most of them were either killed by predators or poached during the first six months. He says even their eggs on the sandy area near the regulator- end were eaten by dogs and wild cats. He blames the wildlife Department for failing to keep a watch on these birds.

During a visit to the lake, five ducks were seen relaxing in wild vegetation growth at a small island at the regulator-end. The sixth one was seen near the boats enjoying chapatis offered by staff members of the lake.

Even officials of CITCO confirmed that only six of the ducks were alive and the rest had disappeared.

However, Wildlife Department officials say that as the ducks were released by the ESI, it was its duty to protect the birds.

Mr Sharma says he has written a letter to Mr Satish Chander, Managing Director, CITCO, urging him to allow the ESI to install a cage near the mini-rail or opposite the ticket window. At present, the cage is installed near the swimming pool which is too far and unsafe for the ducks. He says the ideal place is an island where ducks are protected as it is inaccessible for the dogs and cats. Back


Storm, rain lash city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — A duststorm, followed by heavy rain, lashed the city and surrounding areas tonight, bringing relief from the scorching heat. A cool breeze swept the city, bringing down the temperature further.

Strong winds preceding the rain led to disruption of power supply in various parts of the city. In some areas, telephone connections were also affected. Certain low-lying areas were inundated.

Weather officials maintain that the untimely rainfall will cause considerable damage to the wheat lying piled up at the mandis. Even the sale of certain summer fruits and vegetables will get affected.

Meanwhile, a fire was reported from the Sector 15 rehri market following a short circuit at 11 pm. However, it was controlled in time and no loss was reported.



Hawkers to block supply of newspapers on May 9
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The Chandigarh Hawkers Union today decided to block the distribution of newspapers in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula on May 9 in support of the scribes’ strike call a day earlier against the delay in the implementation of new wages in the newspaper industry.

This was announced by the Patra Vikreta Sangh’s Chandigarh President, Mr Mukhtiar Singh, at a protest rally organised by the Chandigarh Coordination Committee of Newspapers and News Agencies Employees Union.

The committee coordinator, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, announced that the committee had given a call to all newspapers and news agencies employees not to publish newspapers and take out rallies on May 8.

In a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, through Punjab Governor, Mr V.K. Shastri, the committee alleged that the Indian Newspapers Society(INS) had hatched a conspiracy to deny justice to the newspaper industry employees.

The memorandum reminded Mr Vajpayee the will of Parliament and the people of the nation reflected in the Working Journalists and Newspapers Employees Act. It warned that the country would not tolerate conspiracy of the employers against the statute and denial of justice to the employees.

The rally was addressed by Mr Ashok Malik, from the Chandigarh Journalists Association, Mr Raj Kumar Srivastava from the Indian Express Employees Union, Chandigarh, Mr Pradeep Saurabh from the Journalists Association of Chandigarh, Mr Surjit Singh from Punjabi Tribune and Mr Prabhjot Singh from The Tribune and Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, President of the Tribune Employees Union.

Mr L.S. Chaturvedi and Mr Harish Vashishth, General Secretary and Vice-president of the Tribune Employees Union, respectively, were among those who spoke on the occasion.Back


Australian envoy hopes for academic ties with CRRID
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Rob Laurie, and his wife, Diana, visited the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

The Lauries went round the centre and listened to the brief presentations made by Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director, CRRID; Prof Ashish Bose, Prof S.K. Ray and Prof R.K. Grover.

Mr Laurie expressed his appreciation of the practical and policy-oriented research at CRRID and expressed the hope that there would be opportunities for collaboration between Australia and India in the areas of trade, agriculture, food-processing industries, environment as also academic collaboration between CRRID and Australian universities.

Mr Laurie said that Australian National University at Canberra had instituted a Chair for South Asian Studies named after Rajiv Gandhi — the only chair of this kind in the world.

In the area of agricultural development, he agreed with both professor Ray and Professor Grover that problems arising out of over use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, water and other resources had created serious problems in Australia and India, and there were excellent prospects of technical collaboration and increasing trade in specific areas between the two nations.

Commenting on the people-oriented field surveys on population being conducted by CRRID with international collaboration, he expressed the hope that India’s new population policy and the forthcoming agricultural policy will be effectively implemented. This was an area of great concern for both countries. Informal discussions were held with the High Commissioner during the lunch break.Back


Withdraw facilities to board engineers: employees’ front
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The Power Employees Front of the PSEB has urged the state government to remove “burden of engineers” from the board and to withdraw a number of “unrequired” facilities to this cadre if it wants the financial condition of the board to improve.

In a press release issued here today, Mr Harpal Singh Khangura, co-convenor of the front, called upon the Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to order a thorough probe into the reasons behind the actual cause of the financial problems faced by the board.

The detailed press release claimed that it was the “burden of engineers” that was causing financial difficulties to the board. Mr Khangura said the board had 30 Chief Engineers, 150 Superintendenting Engineers, 780 XENs and 1810 ADOs. He said many of these posts were created due to the pressure of the engineers’ lobby but actually these were not required.

He said while the board was already reeling under a financial burden of providing facilities to the engineers, a recently constituted three-member committee by the board to recommend creation or abolition of the posts of assistants, UDCs, LDCs and other clerical posts was giving some key posts to the engineers. The release alleged that the committee which comprises engineers only was ignoring the rightful claim of other cadres.

Urging the Chief Minister to take initiative in stopping “more burden” on the board, Mr Khangura drew his attention to the “wasteful expenditure” being accrued on providing facilities of cars, AC rooms, mobile phones to the Chairman and the Members of the board.Back


New amusement park under Admn consideration
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The Chandigarh Administration was actively considering a proposal to set up an amusement park in the West of Sector 39 at a cost of Rs 8 crore, Mr Satish Chandra, Managing Director, CITCO, said here today.

Addressing a press conference here, he informed that the pre-feasibility report from the Tourism Advisory and Financial Services Corporation of India Limited (TAFSIL) had been received and the final decision on the project, based on Appu Ghar in New Delhi, would be taken soon.

Answering a question on the privatisation move of Hotel Shivalikview, he said the three shortlisted firms would present financial bids on May 18. Only the top management of the hotel would be replaced and the firms would give a minimum guaranteed profit to CITCO, he informed.

Giving statistics, Mr Chandra claimed that the total turnover of the corporation in the 1999-2000 was Rs 168 crore as against Rs 152 crore in the previous year. The profit before depreciation increased from Rs 3.58 crore to Rs 4.37 crore in the current year, showing an increase of Rs 79 lakh, he added.

While the profit of Hotel Mountview increased from Rs 3.07 crore to Rs 3.61 crore, that of Hotel Shivalikview went up from Rs 81 lakh to Rs 99 lakh. The profit of Lake Cafeteria jumped from Rs 21 lakh to Rs 51 lakh.

However, the profit of petrol pump went down from Rs 20 lakh from the previous year to Rs 13 lakh in the current year. This is because the interest component has been included for the first time under the head "petrol pump". Earlier, the interest burdens of all units were shown under one head and not distributed among different units. If this was ignored, the profits would stand at Rs 20 lakh, he reasoned.

Conceding that certain services in the hotels were poor, Mr Chandra said comprehensive training of the staff of different units, including senior executives, had been organised past year.

Detailing projects undertaken by CITCO, he said the new block of Hotel Mountview had been completed at a cost of Rs 10 crore. A Chinese restaurant, Magic Wok, had been added at a cost of Rs 50 lakh.

Besides renovation of various units as recommended by the ITDC, the old block and Rustles Restaurant of Hotel Mountview was being renovated. The children swimming pool will become operational by May 10.

The Central Government had released a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the setting up of a musical fountain in Sector 17, to be completed by September, 2000. A sum of Rs 50 lakh had been earmarked for the beautification and landscaping of Sukhna Lake island and Lake Promenade.

The corporation was also constructing a restaurant and a multi-purpose exhibition hall in Kalagram, near Mani Majra, at a cost of Rs 90 lakh, he added.Back


Hundreds saved as cops arrest cheat
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — Timely detection by the police has saved several persons of this region from being cheated. A case has been registered against a cheat who had been arrested earlier.

Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP, Central, says that he received secret information that the accused had taken a cabin on rent in SCO 2937, Sector 22, under the name of Sports, Cultural and Education (Project), Punjab Jan Kalyan Committee, and was collecting large amounts of money from people by promising them jobs.

He reportedly told people that he was having projects sanctioned by the Human Resources Department and was on the lookout for people. Many people are said to have been cheated by him. A case under Section 420, IPC, has been registered against him at the Central police station. Further investigations are under way, he added.

Police sources said the accused was earlier arrested on the same charges and by using the same modus operandi. The 36-year-old Amritsar resident had opened shop in SCO 99, Sector 40, under the name of Education, Sports, and Cultural Education, Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India.

Most of his hundreds of victims were taken aback by the lavish lifestyle and the calls he used to make to high-ups in the ministry in front of his clients.

After charging large amounts, he used to issue seemingly genuine appointment letters recording the post and place of posting.

He is reported to have cheated people to the tune of crores of rupees. He is at present out on bail. Scores of cases are said to be pending against him in the city and Punjab.

In his earlier run, he is said to have earned so much money that on one occasion, he reportedly gave two Chandigarh police employees a briefcase containing Rs 7.50 lakh when he was detained by them on one of the outer roads of the city during checking. The money was recovered from their residence following his arrest in 1996, the sources added.Back


4 cops caught after convict escapes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The police has arrested four Haryana police employees posted at Ambala after the escape of a convict who was undergoing treatment at the PGI here.

According to sources, the accused, all constables, were arrested after the police was informed that the convict had escaped from their custody. A case under Sections 223 and 224 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft cases: The police has registered two cases of theft in the city. According to the police sources, an SAS Nagar resident, Santokh Singh, has reported that his car (PB-11-5666) has been stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17.

A Ropar resident, Sanjiv Kumar, was caught while stealing petrol from a scooter by Mr B.L. Bains, a security personnel of the PGI. Cases have been registered against them.


Immoral trafficking: Five persons were arrested under Sections 3 and 4 of the Immoral Trafficking Act from a hotel in Raily and were produced in the district courts this morning. While a woman hailing from Ambala was denied bail, the other was let off on bail along with three men, Satnam and Vinod, all locals, and Sanjeev Kumar and Makkhan Lal of Mansa in Punjab.

A police party headed by the SHO of the Sector 19 police station, Mr Rajiv Deswal, raided the hotel, following a tip off, and arrested the accused.Back


Cops rewarded for solving skeleton case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — The police officers who solved the skeleton case, where the bones of a housewife were found after three years, have been awarded by the department.

The UT, IGP, Mr S.K. Singh, announced a reward of Rs 5,000 to Mr A.S. Jaggi, SHO, Sector 19 police station and his team here this evening. Others awarded are SI Bishi Ram (Rs 2,000) and ASIs Satpal and Harjit Singh (Rs 1,000 each) besides constables Satish, Vedpal and Jasbir Singh (Rs 1,000 each).

The police had been stumped with the recovery of a skeleton of elderly housewife Usha Grover, in a locked room of her house in Sector 18 on April 15. Believed to a be blind murder, the police had taken it up as a challenge and after 13 days, solved it.

Self-styled “doctor” Surinder Kumar Jagdev and his accomplice, Jagdish Lal have been arrested and a case under Sections 302 and 201 IPC has been registered against them. They have been remanded to police custody till May 6 by a city court. The former was running a small dental clinic at Manimajra while the latter used to help him. Both are reportedly smack addicts, police sources disclosed.Back


Spices’ prices turn hot
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 4 — Prices of spices varied marginally in the local markets of the town and that of some spices showed a considerable rise. Also, within sectors, there was a difference in prices at booths and shops.

In Sectors 7 and 8, though whole dhania was priced at the last month's price of Rs 5 per 100 gm, the price of 100 gm of whole and powdered zeera was up by Rs 4. It could be bought at Rs 14 per 100 gm in these two markets, besides Sector 4. The price of 100 gm of black pepper, whole and powdered, shot up from last month's price of between Rs 30 and Rs 35 to between Rs 45 and Rs 48, in booths and department stores this month.

Black cardamom was also available at its old price of Rs 35 per 100 gm in most shops of Sectors 4, 7 and 8 while green cardamom was priced at Rs 10 per 100 gm in all three markets. Tamarind continued to be available at Rs 5 per 100 gm in Sector 4, while the seedless variety was priced at Rs 7 per 100 gm.

While clove cost Rs 50 per 100 gm, javitri and dal chini were being sold at Rs 55 and Rs 30, respectively. Ajwain was priced at Rs 10 per 100 gm in Sector 8 against Rs 12 per 100 gm in Sector 4. The price of tejpatta went up from Rs 2 to Rs 5 per 100 gm this month and kalaungi was priced at Rs 10 per 100 gm.

Rs 4 was being charged for every 100 gm of meetha soda and 250 gm of sabudana was available at Rs 8. Anardana was being sold at Rs 20 per 100 gm in Sector 8 and Rs 22 per 100 gm in department stores of Sector 7. Degi mirch was priced at Rs 22 per 100 gm and 250 gm of amchoor was available at Rs 15.

Among the masalas, tea masala was the most expensive at Rs 15 per 20 gm. Meat masala could be bought at Rs 30 per 100 gm and samber masala was the cheapest at Rs 20 per 100 gm. Pav bhaji and jal jeera masala were priced at Rs 27 per 100 gm and Rs 25 per 100 gm, respectively.Back


40 crore arrears paid
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 4 — Chief Minister, S. Parkash Singh Badal, today released Rs 40 crores for disbursement of arrears to sugarcane growers pending clearance by Co-operative sugar mills.

With this payment all outstanding arrears of cooperative mills to sugar cane growers have been cleared, according to a government press release here today.Back


Power cuts, HUDA rules stifle small units
From Rajendra Sharma
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 4 — The highest power tariff in the region and power cuts coupled with stringent rules framed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the District Industry Centre have created teething troubles for nearly 800 small and medium scale industrial units set up in Industrial Area Phases I and II of this border district of Haryana.

The rate of electricity in Haryana for industrial consumers is Rs 4.10 per unit as against Rs 3 in neighbouring Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The high power tariff fetches a major portion of the power board’s earnings.

Mr Udit Jain, who runs a job unit, reveals that industrialists here face round-the-year peakload power cuts. While during summer the peakload power cuts are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., in winter these cuts are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

During summer the situation worsens. There are frequent unannounced power shut downs for long hours. If past experience is any guide, during summer the electricity department resorts to three-day power supply to industries. Last year these were supplied power only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. There was no power supply on the remaining four days, apart from daily night blackouts. “At times we had to do our packing work only in candle light,” adds Mr Jain.

The unannounced power cuts have hit hard processing units. Their owners heat up ovens at a certain degree of temperature. The entire power consumed in heating up the ovens goes waste when there are unscheduled power shutdowns. They have to heat up the ovens again for melting steel rods, iron and adhesives before restarting the manufacturing process. This causes a huge loss.

With a view to making good the massive losses the HSEB suffers because of power cuts, he alleges, it instals meters that run faster than the actual power consumption. This fact was proved when certain industrialists installed their own meters on their factory premises. The difference in each meter ranged from 1000 units to 1500 units per month. But the authorities did not give them any concession. On the contrary, the board insists on billing industrialists only on the basis of the reading shown in meters installed by it.

A majority of the HMT ancillary units here are either face severe financial crisis or closure. Their owners say that the HMT has not released payment. In the absence of payment, they cannot run their units. Some of them have not even paid salary to their workers for several months. They, however, appreciate the difficulties faced by HMT. A large number of dealers in different parts of the country have not paid for tractors supplied to them. The dealers, too, have a genuine difficulty: there is a recession in the market and not many farmers come forward to buy tractors.

Mr Arun Gupta, who runs a railway parts factory, says that there is a dichotomy between the policy of the Central and Haryana governments. While the Centre pays Rs 35,000 to each unemployed educated youth for creating self-employment, the state government discourages them for taking the initiative to set up small units.

He accuses HUDA and the District Industry Centre of not extending cooperation to entrepreneurs. He says that a majority of the new entrepreneurs do not have enough capital to buy industrial plots and machinery. Their efforts to set up small scale units in rented buildings have been frustrated by HUDA, whose rules do not permit plot owners to rent out buildings.

The Electricity Department also discourages new entrepreneurs. It does not release connection to industrial units set up in rented buildings. It permits installation of only one meter in a factory. This creates bad blood among small-scale units functioning from one building. Each accuses the other of using more power.

The refusal of the District Industry Centre to register industrial units functioning from rented buildings has created problems for them. In the absence of registration, they are denied registration by the National Small-Scale Industries Corporation. Without their registration with the National Small-Scale Industries Corporation, they cannot take part in Railway, Health Department and Defence tenders. They are also not permitted to supply their material to any government department.

Neither the sacrifices made by workers in Chicago on May 1, 1886 (Labour Day), nor the enactment of labour laws has in any way ameliorated the lot of industrial workers. They are paid only Rs 1,200 per month as against the minimum wage recommended of Rs 1,800 per month fixed by the government. They are forced to slog for 10 to 12 hours a day.

Some of the industrialists do admit that they are not paying the minimum wages to workers. Seeking anonymity a factory owner says: ‘‘We find it difficult to ‘pay’ officials of the electricity department, police, excise and taxation department and so on and so forth’’. Therefore, they are helpless.

Officials of these department, on the other hand, accuse industrialists of indulging in power pilferage and tax evasion.Back


Petro Card launched
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARHMay 4 — Five of country's top beauties sashayed down the ramp at Hotel Shivalikview to launch Bharat Petroleum's Petro Card, a multipurpose pre-paid card, combined with a rewards programme on a microchip-based state-of-the-art Smart Card technology.This is a reusable pre-paid card which can be loaded and used at most retail outlets of Bharat Petroleum — six in Chandigarh and one in Panchkula.

There are no transaction charges, no service charge, no annual fee — just a one-time fee of Rs 250.Bharat Petroleum, country's second largest oil company with a turnover of Rs 30,000 crore and 21 per cent market share, has over 4,400 petrol stations all over the country.Dances by Delhi-based Planets began the brief, but, impressive programme dominated by five top ramp stars of India — Jayashree, Poonam Nath, Sweena Singh, Anchal Gulati and Rameek.

The models walked the ramp thrice and in the second round, unveiled the new card.The guest of honour was Dr Vajralingam, Director of Food and Supplies of Punjab. However, the star of the evening was Femina Miss India, Gul Panag, who anchored the programme.

Attired in a printed cotton suit, Gul was at her best while speaking both in Punjabi and English.Bharat Petroleum has launched this card in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore, Trivandarum, Mumbai and Pune and hopes to launch it in 14 major cities in India. It expects to have a customer base of over 5,00,000 by end of this year.Back

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