Saturday, May 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two days of showers, thunderstorms leave behind trail of destruction
Power and water supply hit, telecom links snapped, roundabouts flooded
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 —Disruption in power and water supplies, snapping of telecom links, choking of stormwater gulleys, tearing of trees and vehicles getting struck in crates in recently repaired roads are all normal fallouts as and when the city is lashed by intermittent showers.

Late last night when a squall lashed the city, it wreaked havoc not only with essential services, like water and power supplies, but also left several “death traps” on recently carpeted roads . Several unsuspecting drivers had miraculous escape as their vehicles, including heavy duty trucks, Marutis and Esteems, crashing into huge land crates left behind by washing away of the soil from below the roads.
Truck stuck.
This truck loaded with steel frames and other material was stuck in a huge crater after a portion of the recently repaired intersection of Sectors 17 and 18 caved in. — Photo by Parvesh Chauhan

“This is a natural phenomenon. We have laid new storm water drainage line all along Himalayan Marg at 10 ft from surface level. As a precautionary measure ,we did the land filling with sand. After the rain, it is expected that some portions of the repaired road would cave in before the earth finally settles down,” remarked a senior functionary of the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

In the morning, a truck laden with steel frames and other exhibition material got stuck after a portion of the road at the Sectors 17 and 18 traffic lights intersection caved in.

Apprehending similar problems at other places along busy Himalayan Marg, the Engineering Department of the Municipal Corporation did press in a big force of its workers to look for vulnerable spots and repair the damaged portions, but could not prevent recurrence of similar mishaps elsewhere.

After the city had another spell of intermittent showers in the evening, another portion of the road gave in. This time at another busy intersection — between Sectors 21 and 22 near Aroma Hotel. The presence of traffic policemen notwithstanding, two Marutis and an Esteem took the beating as all the three vehicles landed in the huge crater left behind by gushing rain water.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Traffic policemen on duty were waiting for luminous diversion signboards to arrive before diverting the traffic to other roads. Since the rain was continuing until late in the evening, the size of the pit too grew considerably.

The major problem faced by residents during the past 36 hours has been long and unprecedented disruptions in power supply. Even the supply to The Tribune remained disrupted for a couple of hours early in the morning as one of the two feeders from Dhulkot broke down. Industrial Area, too, was adversely affected.

The residents of Sector 30-B had the worst experience. After the power supply got disrupted immediately after the squall started, it was not restored until 2.30 p.m.

Engineers said that the Sector 30-B was receiving its power supply from different sources. Unfortunately, both the sources had breakdowns and the engineers were unable to pinpoint the cause of breakdowns. They started a physical verification of distribution system by physically mounting each and every pole to detect the fault. But until time of going to the press, the fault could not be detected and the area was still drowned in darkness.

In the evening, the residents of Sectors 34, 35 and some portions of Sector 45, too, had no power. The reason given was that two huge eucalyptus trees in a Sector 34 School were uprooted by the late evening storm. These uprooted trees fell on a 33kv feeder. As a result, two poles and the entire feeder broke down.

Mr J.N. Sachdeva, Superintending Engineer, who was on the spot to oversee the repair of the damaged lines, said that the supply would be restored to the affected areas by 9.30 p.m.

He said that one of the two feeders from Dhulkot remained out of operation because of a breakdown. In most of other areas, Mr Sachdeva said that power supply was restored after brief suspensions. The suspension in supply to different areas varied between 30 minutes to three hours.

Similar problems were experienced in other Sectors. In Sector 41, a TV antenna fell on a power feeder leading to tripping of power supply in the sector. In Sectors 15 and 38, huge trees collapsed and damaged the power transmission lines leading to temporary suspension of power supply.

The power and water supply apart, the storm water drainage, too, was affected. In some sectors, newly constructed storm water gulleys were choked by dry leaves, earth and other vegetative waste. The roads and open spaces all over the city were strewn with broken twigs, twisted stems and uprooted trees and plants.

The Chief Engineer of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Puranjit Singh, said that a special drive was being launched in southern sectors to clean all storm water gulleys. Thirty to forty workers would work round the clock to clean all such gulleys in Sectors 40,41, 42, 43, 44 and other areas.


Darkness engulfs city at 4.30 p.m.
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — Heavy rain accompanied by wind at a speed nearing 90 km per hour lashed the city and its surrounding areas for the second day today. The Meteorological Department has classified the wind speed as a ‘’squall’’, while rain water clogged the city roads, especially near the roundabouts located in the southern sectors.

Even last night’s events have been classified as a squall, meaning the wind speed in excess of 45 kmph accompanied by rain. Since last night it has rained 27 mm more than what it should normally during the entire month of May. Last night it had rained 32 mm and today 23 mm of rain had been recorded till 8 30 p.m. It is not unusual during the month of May when such heavy rain occurs. The variation in rainfall at a particular time is very high during this month, explained Met officials.

Just like last night, this evening also winds resulted in a dust storm followed by sharp showers. Today the strong winds started around 4: 30 p.m and within 10 minutes dark clouds forced motorists to switch on their headlights. The dust storm made matters worse. Director of the local Met office, Mr S.C. Bhan, said the, winds speed in excess of 45 kmph is classified as squall.

If yesterday night’s rain had cooled down the temperatures considerably by bringing the minimum down to 17C, this evening’s showers, lasting more than 2 hours, forced people to switch off airconditioners and coolers as the mercury dipped sharply. Despite bringing about a welcome relief, the rain resulted in flooding of roads due to which several hundred people returning back after office hours were left stranded and it led to a traffic chaos.

Two-wheelers stopped as rain water entered the engines while local bus service schedules went haywire. Office-goers , who are daily passengers, had to make a trek to the buses that are parked at designated points in pouring rain.

Women employees had tougher time in reaching the buses as a few of them even reportedly slipped in the muddy waters on the road berms. Passengers alighting at the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 17 preferred to stay inside the terminus. Those who moved out to catch a rickshaw or an autorickshaw were fleeced no end due to over charging.

And as usual the water rushed down the city’s natural gradient — towards S.A.S. Nagar. When the sky cleared up several residents thronged the Sukhna lake for a stroll. On the other hand, business boomed for those selling samosas, pakoras and jalebies.

According to Mr Bhan, there is possibility of rain for tomorrow also. He said that rain had occurred due to western disturbances.


Squall, rain in region

CHANDIGARH, May 5 (UNI, PTI) — Squall and widespread rain in Himachal Pradesh, the Union Territory of Chandigarh and adjoining areas of Haryana and Punjab last night and this evening ended the prolonged dry spell, bringing the much-needed relief to the people from the gruelling heat wave conditions persisting since mid-April.

Two women received burn injuries and three buffaloes perished in a lightening and thunders that struck Jalari village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh last night. A house developed cracks, a report from Shimla said.

According to reports received in Shimla, about 40 per cent of crops were damaged by hailstrom in Dharamsala and Kangra areas.

The weathermen attributed sudden change in the weather to appearance of westerly disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir and areas adjoining north-west Pakistan coupled with upper air cyclonic circulation over north-west Rajasthan and adjoining areas during the past 36 hours.

The official residence of the Himachal Assembly Speaker, Mr Gulab Singh Thakur, was also damaged due to lightening.

The squall also destroyed stone fruits, apple and mango crops and other food crops.

However, it came as a relief for forest officers who were worried over recurring forest fires.

Report from Hamirpur said intermittent heavy rain coupled with a squall lashed almost all parts of the district this morning and last night, causing widespread damage to standing as well as harvested wheat crops.

Reports reaching here said that harvested rabi crops lying in fields were rainsoaked or damaged in several places in the region.

According to weather office here, Shimla and surrounding areas received 14.8 mm of rainfall till 8.38 this morning and the minimum temperature dipped to 11.8C to give welcome relief to the locals and the tourists.

Upper areas of Shimla district, including tourist resorts of Wild Flower Hall, Kufri and Naldehra, also reported rains.

A report from Moga said that a duststorm of high velocity with thunderstorm hit the town and other parts of the region this afternoon, providing considerable relief from the scorching heat.

The duststorm was so severe that nothing was visible for half an hour. The duststorm caused considerable loss to dry fodder still lying in the fields. Power and water supply in the town was also disrupted.

Our Correspondent adds from Ludhiana: Heavy drizzle accompanied by thunderstorm hit the city and surrounding areas in the afternoon today disrupting normal life but at the same time bringing some relief from scorching heat wave prevailing for the past few days.

Dark clouds engulfed the entire region forcing the vehicles on their headlights. The lashing winds that preceded the downpour disrupted power supply and almost the entire city remained without power for over three hours. At several places, trees were uprooted and power transmission system was damaged.

At Simplapuri, one shed was brought down by the storm and one person sustained minor injuries.


BBMB engineers happy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — The worry over the falling level of the massive Gobind Sagar reservoir at the Bhakra dam may be lessened as the local met office has reported ‘’very good ‘’ rain in the catchment areas of the dam that meets a major requirement of power and water of the region , including that of the city and its surrounding areas.

Till two days ago senior Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) Engineers were holding meetings to discuss the plan as the inflow into the reservoir had not been much.Back


Administration all set to roll back ST hike on automobiles
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — After being isolated on the issue of imposition of 12 per cent sales tax on the sale of automobiles, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to roll back the hike in ST that had come in force in the city from May 1. Earlier ST was 4.4 in the city.

This comes as the Punjab Government today rescinded its order of having 12 per cent sales tax on automobiles. From tomorrow, Chandigarh will be the only place in North India where a 12 per cent sales tax will be imposed on sale of automobiles. Buyers of small cars in the city will be paying almost Rs 25,000 more than what their counterparts will be paying.

The price difference on scooters and motorcycles also varies between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000. Already Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana had not implemented the uniform floor rates prescribed by the Government of India, thus shifting a large chunk of the automobile sales from Chandigarh and Punjab to neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The Administration has sought suggestions from the Government of India seeking directions about the imposition of new the sales tax regime in the Union Territory. A detailed note with comparative applicable ST rates has been prepared to be put up before the Government of India and a decision in this regard is expected by Monday as the next two days are closed days. A source pointed out that the loss in business may not be much in the next two days as people generally do not buy new automobiles on Saturdays due to superstitious reasons.

Today the Punjab authorities issued a fresh notification . It set alarm bells ringing among automobile dealers in Chandigarh and among the officials of the Chandigarh Administration. Sources said the Government of India had been allegedly “arm twisting’’ the Chandigarh Administration to implement the new ST regime even as it was common knowledge that Haryana, Himachal and Delhi had not followed suit. The roll back in ST rates is on the cards as it is not possible that a small place like Chandigarh is isolated while the bigger states roll back the ST or do not even implement it, say official sources.

Already the trade had shifted out since the beginning of this week. Punjab and Haryana have political set-ups where such matters are decided immediately while the Chandigarh Administration has no power of its own to roll back the sales tax without a green signal from the Central Government, explained a well placed source.

Comparative ST rates applicable on the sale of automobiles in the neighbouring states:

Chandigarh 13.2 per cent (excluding the CST)
Haryana 6 per cent (no CST)
Himachal Pradesh 3 per cent (excluding CST)
Punjab 5. 5 per cent (excluding CST)


Nagrik sabha plea on ST
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — The Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha has asked the Chandigarh Administration to roll back the sales tax levied at the rate of 12 percent on motor vehicles in the city.

Mr Chaman Lal Sharma,Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi and Mr Tejbans Singh Jauhar, President, General Secretary and Secretary of sabha, said Chandigarh is basically a town of salaried people for whom this increased burden will be crippling and will compel influential people to buy their vehicles from neighbouring states, thus causing a huge revenue loss to Chandigarh Administration.


Fate can be cruel, sometimes
By Ambika Kumar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — For Mr Swaroop Chand Sharma, his wife still exists — is alive and breathing. Has survived the accident near Lalru 48 hours ago. The truth is, however, different. His partner in pain and despair for over 30 years is no more. Has made the final exit.

Fate has been cruel to Swaroop. He and his relatives were going from Joginder Nagar in Palampur district of Himachal Pradesh to Haridwar for immersing the ashes of his 25-year-old unmarried daughter who had died of epilepsy fits 10 days ago. But who knew what life had in store for them. On the way, he lost his wife and two others of the family. The fourth person who died was the jeep driver.

Lying flat on his back with head wrapped in bandages and drip injecting life into his veins, Swaroop Sharma, a teacher, with iron rods supporting his fractured leg tries to figure out where others of his family are. “Three were discharged from the Sector 32 hospital. Laxmi, Kulbhushan and Montu — three are here with me. Four others.... where are they?” he questions.

Pulling you away from the stretcher kept in a corner in the emergency ward in the PGI here, his relatives whisper, “Please don’t tell him about the death of others. He will not be able to take the shock”.

They do not know for certain how the mishap occurred. Even Swaroop is unaware. He was sleeping. The jeep probably banged into a tree, he presumes. Another victim believes a speeding truck rammed into the jeep.

Though the relatives are there, his son is away. He took the bodies for cremation. Swaroop’s sister, waiting for the patient to be wheeled back after X-ray, examination, is satisfied with the arrangements. “Initially, it was real bad. That is, till the injured were admitted to the PGI. Here, the doctors are taking complete care”, she said.

The doctor-on-duty says Swaroop Sharma’s condition is stable. “He will be alright. So will be the others. The injuries, though, will take some time to heal”.

There is no wound which time does not heal. But for Swaroop it will be difficult. He will have to recover not once but twice — physically first, then emotionally.


Cops suspended for illegally checking vehicles
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — An ASI posted in the traffic wing and a Head Constable of the police control room (PCR) have been suspended, while two Home Guard volunteers have been dismissed from service.

According to police sources, ASI Subash Chander and Balkar Singh, Home Guard jawan, were found to be illegally checking vehicles near the Sector 46/47 roundabout by a team headed by Mr S. S. Randhawa, DSP, Internal Vigilance. He contacted the duty officer who informed him that none had been directed to carry out checking in this area.

A report was submitted to Mr Balbir Singh, SP, Traffic, who ordered the suspension and recommended that the home guard jawan should be dismissed from service.

In an other incident, two local vernacular journalists were stopped by the PCR staff, Head Constable Dharam Pal and Home Guard jawan Dharam Singh, near the Kisan Bhavan roundabout late last night and were reportedly asked to either pay Rs 100 or get a challan since they did not possess a pollution under control certificate. Their pleas that the brand new car had been certified for the same for a year did not impress the Head Constable and a Home Guard jawan.

Later one of them called up the police control room to lodge a complaint.

The SDPO, South, reached the spot and recommended the suspension of the Head Constable and dismissal of the home guard, the sources added.


Commendable charitable work by city gurdwaras, temples
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — Voluntary services are being provided in almost all gurdwaras and temples in the city. Free medical facilities are being provided by many aided institutions which give relief to the poor.

There are many social agencies which are involved in the task. In Khukrain Bhavan, Sector 35, a charitable dispensary has been underway for the past many years. Dr T.R. Khanna and Dr V.P.Dhall come for the routine check-up of patients. The bhavan management organises voluntary services for the people and also runs a mobile dispensary in Panchkula. Dr Khanna, said: ‘’As many as 70 - 80 patients are provided with homoeopathic medicines free of cost and our monthly budget is Rs 2, 500, which is managed through donations.’’

The management of Gandhi Samarak Bhavan in Sector 16 runs a dispensary between 10. 30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. A nominal amount Rs 10 is charged from people who can afford to pay, but medicines are

provided to the poor free of cost. The manager, Mr Dev Raj Tyagi, said: ‘’Although we have a budget of Rs 1,000, we fall short of funds. The doctors are paid Rs 500 as conveyance allowance and approximately Rs 500 for medicines”. Dr Hem Lata, D.H.M.S examines the patients. She says: “We get 30 - 40 patients everyday and most of them have minor problems. Homoeopathic medicine is provided to everybody, and Dr Malik, an eminent gynaecologist, examines patients on Tuesdays and Thursdays.’’

Free medical camps are also held at Naya Gaon, besides the Sector 23 temple, which runs a charitable dispensary.

In Lajpat Rai Bhavan, clinics for senior citizens are being organised. Physiotherapy is done daily between 9 11 a.m. Free medical check up is done on every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Dr M.L.Kataria comes for the check-up. Lab tests, ECG and X-ray are also available there. Rs 500 is the membership fee and the member gets medical treatment free for the rest of his life.

These clinics are also organised in slums and villages. Prof N.N Vig, who retired from World Health Organisation, comes twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. Besides this, free check-ups are organised by Help Age India where Reiki and relaxation techniques are taught. .

Twice a week, a mental health clinic is conducted where eminent psychologists check the patients. Drug de-addiction awareness and counselling is also carried out on alternate days. Files of members are maintained . Mr Onkar Chand, Secretary, Servants of People Society, said: ‘’We have collected around Rs15 lakh by way of donations in a period of around 8 years. We carry out our activities from this amount and also pay salaries, besides procuring medicines.’’ Free homoeopathic medicine is given to the people of all ages free of cost.

Col J.C.Kapoor moves from door to door for the normal check-up of the aged.

Dr B.N.S. Walia, former Director, PGI, goes to the villages once a week and carries out a complete check up of children. The Radha Krishan Temple in Sector 18-C also runs a charitable dispensary. Mr Onkar Nath Sharma, Secretary of the temple said: ‘’This dispensary helps to serve the common man for a humble cause. A lady doctor comes in the evening from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and a routine check up of the patients is done. Around 20 to 25 patients come up in a day.’’

The famous gurdwara in Sector 34 runs a big dispensary named after the famous Bhai Kanhiya, who used to serve water and treat enemy as well as injured troops of his army without any bias. The treatment of various patients in this dispensary is carried out free of cost. They have an elaborate set-up, and different departments like homeopathic, acupressure, magnetic therapy ayurveda allopathic, dental and other allied departments also exist. Patients from all walks of life and suffering from various ailments are treated here. Specialists from various fields regularly visit the dispensary.

In addition to this, dispensaries are being run at different temples and gurdwaras in Sectors 30, 40, 45, and 20 in the evenings regularly.


Tension at Yoga Sabha Divya Mandir
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 5—Tension at the Yoga Sabha Divya Mandir, Sector 7, is mounting yet again with Mr ML Vairagi, Secretary, Panchkula Yoga Sabha, alleging that one of the inmates of the institution is running a dairy illegally on the premises, while Ms Shashi, the in charge at the temple, says that some ``anti-social elements are trying to spoil the name of the mandir’’ for vested interests.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has issued a show-case notice under the HUDA Act on March 3 to the President of the mandir which states that the they have ``committed breach of sale’’ by keeping cows and constructing illegal sheds in the green spaces. While they were given a period of 30 days to reply, officials concerned informed that a resumption notice had already been issued to them after their reply. However, Ms Shashi denied receiving any such information or document.

Justifying the existence of the dairy, she said that the mandir provided yoga therapy to patients and in a certain exercise they were required to drink milk through the nose which necessitated the keeping of the cows and was not in violation of the terms agreed to with HUDA.

In a complaint to the Chief Minister of Haryana and the Administrator, HUDA, Mr Vairagi has stated that the 1500-yard space allotted by HUDA to the temple for the purpose of conducting yoga classes is being misused. Also, the sheds erected by them for the classes are now being meant to store foodgrain and house the cattle.

"The shed measuring 75 by 30 feet has been divided into three parts. While one part is being used to house workers of the dairy, the second part is being used to store foodgrain. In the third part a room has been constructed and rented out. Further, they sell the leftover milk in the open market," Mr Vairagi alleges.

Rebutting this allegation, Ms Shashi adds that the temple has come a long way since 1991 when the land was allotted and sheds for the purpose of yoga constructed by HUDA.``Instead of the shed we have a palatial hall to run yoga classes. Since these do not serve any purpose now, we are using them to store grain for langars held from time to time and fodder for the cattle,’’ she explains.

She contends that the extra milk is usually sold to the devotees who wish to buy it and help arrange finances for the maintenance of the cows which are also given as donation to the mandir, especially since no fee is charged from the members coming to the temple for yoga.

Last night, she alleges that Mr Vairagi tried to rake up trouble following which police had to be summoned. He was arrested under Section 107 and 151 Cr PC and later let off on bail.

The land in question, plot number 1219-P and 1220-P in Sector 7, was allotted to the Chandigarh Yoga Sabha for imparting yoga education subject to three conditions which included not raising any construction on the green space, let the green space remain as such and that the ownership of the land would remain the property of HUDA.


Ex-CM’s grandson held for drunken driving
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — The police arrested 12 persons, including the grandson of a former Chief Minister of Punjab, from the central police subdivision during a special drive launched late last night.

According to police sources, Harkirat Singh, the grandson of late Beant Singh, a former CM, was arrested along with Varinder Singh, Mohan Lal and Lakhwinder Singh, on the charge of drunken driving. He was stopped near the Sector 16 roundabout and arrested since he was reportedly under the influence of liquor.

He has been booked under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Others arrested include Raj Kumar and Gulshan Kumar, proprietors of Deluxe and Pehalwan dhabas in Sector 22. They were booked under Section 188, IPC, for keeping their establishments open till 1. 30 a.m. The official timings are till 11. 30 p.m.

Manju, Yoginder and Mukesh were arrested under Sections 34/5/61 of the Police Act for obstructing public passage in Sector 22. Amritpal and Anil Kumar, both students of Panjab University, were arrested from near the PGI for roaming under suspicious circumstances.


SDM seeks time
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 5 — Even as the Punjab Government has rescheduled the election of the local municipal council for June 18, the Sub-divisional Magistrate, SAS Nagar, Mr Jaipal Singh, has written to the State Election Commission seeking one week’s extra time before the final voter list of the local municipal council was released. As per the election schedule of the Election Commission, the voter list had to be released today.

Mr Singh, who is also functioning as Administrator of the civic body, said during the process of verifying the votes a number of fake votes were identified. He said so far 3000 fake votes had been identified during the exercise of verifying the claims and objections filed during the stipulated time period. As many as 16,000 claims and objection had been filed.

To be totally sure that no fake votes were left, he said the verification of the voter list was now being looked after by an independent agency. It had been observed that the verification staff was either bribed or confused in order to hide the facts.


Sector 40-D residents allege discrimination
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — Residents of Sector 40-D have accused the enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) with adopting a discriminatory attitude while carrying out demolitions in Sector 40-D yesterday.

A resident, Ms Neha, alleged that while encroachments in front of their houses were removed, those in front of the house of Mr Kanhya Lal, a former Senior Deputy Mayor, were left untouched.

Meanwhile, the president of the Residents’ Welfare Association, Mr B.P. Arora, alleged that no prior information was given regarding the removal of the encroachments. Even the structures, which did not violate the rules , were demolished, he alleged.

Water scarcity: There is an acute scarcity of water in the HIG (U) flats in West of Sector 38 here.

A press note alleged that despite assurances by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) authorities, there was an acute shortage of water in April. The pressure was very low and there were complaints of muddy water.

Water tanks on the roofs remained dry and there was hardly any water in the bathrooms and the kitchens.

Takes charge: Mr Mukesh Anand has joined the civic body a new XEN in the Road Division. He was earlier working with the CHB.


AWWA chief visits Command Hospital
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — The President of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), Dr Ranjana Malik visited the Western Hospital at Chandi Mandir today. She is accompanying her husband, Gen V.P. Malik, who is here to participate in tri-service war game meet, Exercise Brahmastra.

Mrs Malik went around the wards of the hospital and interacted with soldiers recuperating from injuries sustained during Operation Rakshak, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Vijay. She enquired about their welfare and distributed gifts amongst them.

She also brought to the notice of the Hospital Commandant, Maj-Gen Virendra Singh that several organisations were coming forward to contribute to the welfare and rehabilitation of the disabled soldiers.

Dr Ranjana Malik was accompanied by President AWWA (Regional), Mrs Daulat Oberoi.


Power cuts irk residents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — Residents of the MIG Complex of the Chandigarh Housing Board in Sector 61 have complained of frequent power cuts in the sector.

Residents alleged that unscheduled power cuts had caused them a lot of inconvenience in the scorching heat. This is not for the first time that they have complained of unannounced power cuts. They have often been doing this since 1998. Only yesterday, there was an 8-hour-long power cut in the morning.


Photographic society plans website
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — To promote photography, the Photographic Society of Chandigarh (PSC) has decided to launch its own website.

Dr S.S. Bhamra, the newly-elected president of PSC, today said that the website, which will have detailed information on photographs taken by members of the society, will provide an opportunity to the photography lovers to share the activities undertaken by the society.

Mr Bhamra further informed that the photographs clicked by members of the society on the ‘Tercentenary Celebrations of the Khalsa’ will soon be exhibited in London. Exhibitions would also be held at several places in the country as well.

He added that new members would also be enrolled by the society this year.

The annual exhibition of the society would be theme-based, he disclosed.


Body found near road berm
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 5 — The body of a 35-year-old man Mukhtiar, a resident of Buddanpur and hailing from Uttar Pradesh, was found today morning from a road berm in Sector 16. Though initially suspected as an accident case, the post-mortem report suggested that his death had occurred due to suffocation. Reconstructing the sequence of events, police sources said that he was drunk last night and fell down near the berm. Due to the heavy downpour he was suffocated to death as he took in a lot of rain water. Meanwhile, an inquiry Section 174 Cr PC was conducted.

Smack seized
Acting on a tip-off, a specially constituted team of the local police seized 280 gm of smack, valued at Rs 2.8 lakh, from two Nigerians staying in Sector 21. A case under Sections 21, 22, NDPS Act, was registered against Sunday Michale Okeko and Awa Johan who were arrested by the raiding party.


Held for eve-teasing
The police has arrested a resident of Sector 52 on the charge of eve-teasing.

According to police sources, Pritam Singh was arrested from the sector’s market following a complaint and booked under Section 294, IPC.

Five arrested
The police has arrested five persons — Jagdish Kumar, Hem Raj, Sukhraj Singh, Kulwant Singh and Tejinder Singh — on the charge of drinking liquor at a public place near the New Mohali Barrier.


CADA to open branch offices in Panchkula, Parwanoo
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 5 — The Chandigarh Automobile Dealers’ Association (CADA) today took a unanimous decision to open their branch offices in Panchkula (Haryana) or Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh) if the Chandigarh Administration did not accept their request for rolling back the enhanced sales tax.

The Administration had hiked the sales tax from 4.4 per cent to 13.2 per cent from May 1 onwards.

Mr Ashish Gupta, Secretary of the association, said this decision was taken at a meeting CADA members held this morning.

He said the Rajasthan Government had already rolled back the sales tax hike and the Delhi Government has decided not to effect the sales tax increase.

A meeting of the Finance Ministers of all states which was scheduled to be held on May 4 in Delhi had been postponed. No fresh date had been fixed for this meeting, he claimed.

Mr Gupta said Chandigarh dealers who had invested crores of rupees in taking dealership of different manufacturers would suffer huge losses, especially because customers of Chandigarh would buy vehicles either from Haryana or from Himachal Pradesh.

The difference in price of Maruti, Zen, Santro, Matiz or Indica would be about Rs 25,000 between Chandigarh and neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

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