Sunday, May 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Squall hits region, causes major power breakdown
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — A squall with wind speeds touching 105 km per hour resulted in total disruption in life as a major power breakdown occurred in large parts of northern India, while vehicular traffic was disrupted on the highways as well as within the city and its surrounding areas here this evening.

Sources said a tripping of ‘’circuits’’ on the northern power grid resulted in the breakdown around 7: 30 p.m. For the next 2 hours parts of southern Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were plunged in darkness while wind speeds prevented the repair men from carrying out any work. The duststorm also reduced visibility to a few metres. The tripping on the grid had occurred near Ropar and the fault travelled down the line to hit power supply in Haryana and Chandigarh.

In case of such high wind speed, Power Department people usually switch off supply lines to prevent trippings. However, in this case the tripping occurred before any corrective measure could be taken. The grid lines are not switched off as they are always well above the tree line. Thus the chances of a mishap are reduced, a source added.

Sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) said at the moment the reason for tripping is not known exactly, but the duststorm that hit Ropar district first before travelling to Chandigarh could be a major cause. Meanwhile, yesterday, overdrawal of power from the grid had resulted in a drop in voltage across northern India.

Power supply to S.A.S. Nagar was restored first when the squall subsided. Supply to Chandigarh and Panchkula was restored later. Supply to entire S.A.S Nagar and large parts of Chandigarh is routed through a 220 kv sub station at S.A.S. Nagar, while eastern side of Chandigarh and Panchkula are fed through a supply line from Pinjore. Within Chandigarh power supply could not be restored completely till well past midnight as links between several feeders snapped in the high speed winds. The worst damage to power lines was in the southern sectors, sources confirmed late tonight.

Meanwhile, the squall uprooted small trees that resulted in blockage of roads as well causing damage to power lines. Scooterists could not find their way while cyclists were the worst placed. Shopkeepers downed their shutters and waited for the squall to pass before venturing back home.

On the Chandigarh — Panchkula road a major accident between a truck and Sumo led to long queues on both sides. Tress uprooted in the storm also blocked traffic. The squall hit the city around 8 p.m. it lasted for more than 45 minutes. The local Meteorological Department said that the pall of dust that enveloped the city since this morning was due to high speeds of south westerly winds that carried the dust in from the deserts of Rajasthan.

The squall which hit the northern region late this evening resulted in minor fires at 15 different places in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula. Most of the fires were reported in open areas covered with wild growth. No major loss of life and property was reported the city and its neighbouring satellite towns.

In Chandigarh as many as 15 fire tenders had been pressed in to service to control minor fires at 10 different places. Of these one case each was reported in Industrial Area, Phase1 and Ram darbar adjoining the Air Force station. Another fire was reported from the land fill site near Dadu Majra village.

In SAS Nagar dry grass in the complex of the 220 KV sub-station caught fire due to sparking. Fire tenders from the Phase 1 fire station were able to control the fire without causing any damage to the equipment at the sub-station. Another fire case was reported from Phase X and Sector 70. Dry grass behind the Mata Mansa Devi complex caught fire. 



The police is prejudiced against our son: Bajajs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — The parents of Ranjit Bajaj, Mr B.R.Bajaj and Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj, today alleged that the police was handling the case of their son with prejudice and bias in their minds. It is an unfair investigation, they have claimed.

Giving an example, Mr Bajaj alleged: ‘’The police is yet to register a case on my complaint against Sunny Garg, who was caught stealing articles from Ranjit’s room. ‘’On the other hand, a case of kidnapping was registered within no time against Ranjit on the complaint of Sunny Garg. Then the police had not even bothered to verify the facts that these two — Ranjit and Sunny — were friends who had broken off after Sunny was caught stealing thus the resulting fights. The police , however, treated Ranjit like some big criminal. The money power and political clout of the Gargs is tilting the minds of the police to not register a case on a compliant lodged by a senior government servant,”.

‘’The SSP has said that my complaint against Sunny Garg will be a part of the same investigation,’’ Mr Bajaj said, while questioning the SSP actions and asserting that Sunny Garg should be arrested for theft and managing fake papers like permission slips for using black films on cars. Ranjit has told the cops that permissions like such are generated by Sunny on his computer, Mr Bajaj alleged, while asking what action the cops have taken against Sunny.

Similarly the police has not taken any action against the two ASI’s who were in civil uniform and made a murderous assault on Ranjit, Mrs Bajaj added. The duo had put a gun on Ranjit’s head and later fired at him in his Maruti Van. The next morning a case was registered against Ranjit for assaulting a public servant on duty. ‘’How could anyone know that the man in civil clothes was a cop ?’’ the Bajaj’s questioned. Moreover, let the police come out in the open and clarify how could a cop fire a shot at someone who was behind him. ‘’The police also needs to clarify as to who these cops were and what are their backgrounds,’’ the parents of Ranjit Bajaj said.

They fired on Ranjit as if he was a terrorist and one of the most wanted criminals in the country. The SSP formed a special task force to nab Ranjit. However, he created no special task force to nab Jagtinder Bagga, who led a murderous assault on Ranjit a few weeks ago, the couple added. Mrs Bajaj said: ‘’Okay our child has not been right totally but the police needs to balance its act. The police launched a head hunt for Ranjit thus making him vulnerable to anyone of K.P.S. Gill’s well-wishers, who would want to take it out on us.’’

Even in the case in which the police say that arms were recovered from Ranjit’s car, the car was not being driven by Ranjit. The pistol recovered from the car was not capable of firing firearm ammunition. Mr Bajaj produced a certificate issued by London-based Manor Firearms that elaborates the nature of the pistol that the police is taking as firearm. The Bajaj’s have sought the help of the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to ensure safety of their child.


Punwire staff fear the firm may be declared sick
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 27 — With the 24th annual general meeting of Punjab Wireless Systems Limited (Punwire) scheduled at PCA stadium, Phase IX here on May 29, the Punwire Employees Union (Radio), Punwire Marts Employees Union and members of the Punwire Executive Association have expressed an apprehension that the company would be declared a sick unit.

Basing their doubts on the item no.12 in the agenda of the annual general meeting which reads: “In view of the losses exceeding share capital and free reserves of the company thereby eroding the net worth of the company, it is hereby noted that the company has become a sick industrial unit under the provisions of the Section 3(1)(o) of the Sick Industries Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985, and the reference made/to be made by the board of directors under Section 15 of the Sick Industries Companies (special provisions) Act, 1985, to the board for industrial and financial reconstruction ( BIFR)”. The employees said that any decision taken against the welfare of the workers would attract strong opposition.

A move by the unions to hold a rally today was postponed after the Chairman of Punwire, Mr R.I. Singh, assured them that all decision to be taken at the AGM would be in the favour of the employees. They say that the company had been a profit making unit and enquiry in to reasons for its failure would point at mismanagement. Rendering the company sick would jeopardise the future of 3000 employees of the company, said the employees.

The other important agenda items to be placed for approval at the AGM are re-appointment of Mr Gurpal Singh as Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company for a period of five years with effect from May 1, 1999, in the meeting of the board held on April 29, 1999, re-appointment of Mr Ved Parkash, Executive Director (Incharge) and appointment of Mr Satbinder Singh as Managing Director of the company for a period of three years with effect from May 2, 2000. Mr Satbinder on deputation from Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited was appointed as Managing Director of the company by board of directors in the board meeting held on last April 27.

The 24th annual report of company mentions that company ran in to severe cash crunch due to no production for the last one year, gradual cancellation of orders in hand and accumulation of huge liabilities. The company resorted to short term borrowings against which it was facing various legal cases for non-payment to creditors, suppliers and depositors.

The report reads that a retired Judge of a High Court was heading the commission which was looking in to the conduct of the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company, Mr Gurpal Singh, who had been placed under suspension with effect from December 13, 1999. The PSIDC, being a promoter of the company had appointed a retired Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to enquire in to affairs of Punwire and its subsidiaries.Back


City-Ambala highway not safe for driving
From Bipin Bhardwaj

ZIRAKPUR, May 27 — Encroachment by shopkeepers and vendors in the local market has resulted in traffic hazards on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here for the past many years.

Long queues of establishments outside their shops not only put the customers to great inconvenience but also result in road congestion. The shopkeepers have even spread their goods to over five feet on the highway, making it accident prone.

Rehris on the roads further add to the road congestion and to the inconvenience of the road users and the customers. Moreover, parking of vehicles on the road further aggravate the problem by reducing useable width of the busy highway here.

Stretches of the Chandigarh-Ambala and the Zirakpur-Patiala highways, within Zirakpur nagar panchayat limits, have virtually turned into death-traps and the accident rate has gone up. A bus lee way, recently created by the Building and Roads wing of the Punjab Public Works Department on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway at Zirakpur for the convenience of the commuters is being used for the parking of autorickshaws.

At some places there is hardly any space for the commuters, customers and cyclists on road sides. The encroachers have occupied even the rain shelter which forces the commuters to wait for the buses in the open during the scorching heat of summer as well as during rains. The commuters have great difficulty to take buses for their respective destinations.

Some of the shopkeepers have even placed LPG cylinders on the road which might be a cause of major destruction if any vehicle rams into them on this busy highway.

Moreover, the shopkeepers and private advertising agencies have raised signboards in violation of Punjab and Haryana High Court directions forbidding installation of hoardings, signboards and banners along the highway.

Sources said that some shopkeepers charge from the vendors on a monthly basis and allow them to sit before their shops to do their business.

The situation of the market is work local farmers sit along the road to sell their produce. A large number of residents gather to buy fresh vegetables and the market gives a fair-like look in the evening. The vehicles of the customers parked in a haphazard manner further add to the road congestion and make it accident prone.

According to Mr Prem Singh, a resident of Lohgarh village, the customers have to step on the road to go from one shop to another as no space has been left for the pedestrians. Moreover, the traffic violator, ply their vehicles, throwing the traffic rules to winds.

Earlier, Mr Surjit Singh, Admi-nistrator of the nagar panchayat, had assured that all the encroachments on the highway as well as on the panchayat land at different places would be removed but no action has been taken so far.

The nagar panchayat authorities were not available for comments.


Thousands of trees face the axe
From Bipin Bhardwaj

DERA BASSI, May 27 — Thousands of eucalyptus and other trees along the busy Kalka-Ambala National Highway - 22 at Bhankharpur railway level crossing are likely to face the axe for the construction of an overbridge which will come up at a cost of over Rs 35.73 crore near here.

Though a Ludhiana-based construction company had started the construction work, it came to a standstill as the Forest Department restrained the Punjab Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads) from continuing the work.

Sources disclosed that the PPWD had failed to make a payment of nearly Rs 1.25 crore to the Forest Department for the massive felling of trees while laying National Highway-1 some years ago. The forest department did not allow the massive felling of trees on the 2 km stretch of forest protected land from Bhankharpur to the local DAV School on the Kalka-Ambala highway.

The forest department has already given a green signal for the felling of trees on the Bhankharpur-Mubarikpur-Dera Bassi road.

According to PPWD officials, the department has sent representations to the Ministry of Surface and Transport (MOST) for seeking the permission of removal of trees which has delayed the construction of the overbridge for more than four months.

For the removal of trees, sources revealed, the department had deposited over Rs 3.52 crore with the Forest Department in 1997. To reduce traffic congestion, the Bhankharpur-Mubarikpur-Dera Bassi link road has already been widened. There is no proposal of widening the Dera Bassi-Issanpur-Bhankharpur link road so that the traffic, coming from Ambala side, could be diverted via Issanpur village to rejoin the highway at Bhankharpur during the construction of the overbridge, sources confirmed.

The construction company, however, has showed its resentment saying that the project has suffered a major setback between the personal fight of the PPWD and the forest department. After conducting piles testes and some other minor works the construction work has come to a halt. The company is suffering huge losses day by day as huge machinery has come to rest without any work for the past four months, say company officials.

Mr H.S. Grewal, Divisional Forest Officer, said that the case has been sent to the Ministry of Surface Transport and Ministry of Environment and Forest New Delhi and approval is awaited within a fortnight or so.


Tributes to Pandit Nehru
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — A special function was organised by the local unit of the Congress to pay homage to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru here today.

Mr Pawan Bansal, Member of Parliament, Mr B.B.Behl, President of the local unit of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress and Mr Harmohan Dhawan, a former Member of Parliament, paid rich tributes to the illustrious leader.


PU alumni clear Civil Services exam
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — A research scholar of the Department of Geography in Panjab University, Umesh Chander Datta, has been ranked 73 in the All-India Civil Services Examination, the results of which were declared by the UPSC yesterday.

A gold-medallist in MA (Geography), Umesh attributed his success the God's grace, blessings of his parents and elders, encouragement of teachers and hard work on his part. An alumnus of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, and the local DAV College, he had geography and history as optional subjects.

Meanwhile, a former chemical engineering student of the university, Satish Sethi, who had geography and psychology as optional subjects, has got 125th rank in the examination.


Former Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — A former Tribune employee, Mr Jagat Ram, died here this afternoon. He had retired as Head Daftari in 1983. He is survived by three daughters and a son. The cremation will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m.


Rash driving case registered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — Mr Anil Sharma, a resident of Mauli Jagran, was injured when the scooter he was riding was hit by a car near traffic lights of SGGS College in Sector 26. Mr Sharma has been admitted to the PGI.

Woman arrested: The police on Friday arrested Veena of Bapu Dham Colony and recovered from her possession 56 quarts of whisky. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against her.

Car stolen: Mr Raj Kumar of Sector 38 lodged a complaint with the police on Friday that his Maruti car has been stolen from the Sector 21 scooter market.

Arrested: Two persons — Rohtas Kumar of Sector 26 and Charanjit Paul of Sector 27-C — have been arrested for drinking at a public place. Separate cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them. The police also arrested Raj Kapoor of Bapu Dham Colony for creating nuisance at a public place.


One dead: One person died and two others were injured when the truck in which they were travelling collided with another truck near Tangori village under the Sohana Police Station.The victim, Satpal was travelling in one of the ill-fated truck.


Labourer dead: Ram Preet, a labourer, died after a wall at a construction site in Manav Mangal School in Sector 11 collapsed killing the labourer. The victim was aged around 22 years.Back


Boy missing
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27  — A Sector 47 resident, Pal Singh, has reported that his son, Manpreet Singh alias Bunty, a Class VIII student of Sant Ishar Singh Model School, Phase VII, SAS Nagar, is missing since May 22.

He said his son had left for school that day, after which, no one had seen him. A report in this context has been registered at the Sector 31 police station. Anybody knowing the child's whereabouts can contact at Pal Singh at the telephone number 660457.



City cop loses legs in Frankfurt
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — For SI Ram Dayal of the Chandigarh police, it was a mission which changed his life and the one which he would like to forget in a hurry.

The 31-year-old officer was part of the Indian contingent of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Kosovo. He was visiting his brother-in-law in Germany when he got involved in a subway accident, due to which, his legs had to be amputated.

According to the police sources, the SI had left the city in December to join the contingent and was on leave when the tragedy struck. It happened in Frankfurt when he was boarding a train. It is said that somehow, he got hit by an approaching train.

His wife and two-year-old child are at his native place. He will be brought here soon.

Sources said all peacekeepers could avail themselves of two days of leave after a week of duty. They said it was a normal practise for personnel to visit neighbouring countries for sight-seeing or meeting relatives while they were on leave during an overseas assignment.


MNCs’ role in Indian market discussed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — Multi-nationals in India are not producing world-class goods for Indian market which gives a great opportunity to Indian companies.

This view was expressed by Mr A.N. Mathur, Financial Commi-ssioner of Haryana, in his inaugural address at a conference on Managing Competition, organised by the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) and the CIIPP of Panjab University.

Mr Mathur explained global competition in the context of multi-nationals.

Mr Vikram Patil, managing director of the VASS, said customer integration involved identification of long-term requirements, expectations and preferences of current and potential customers. A company that wants a lasting competitive edge must be proactive with its customers and anticipate their expectations.

Mr P.K.Verma, an executive director in the Punjab Tractors, said important areas of operation for human resource development should encompass creating a culture of knowledge, sharing, recruitment filters and managing communication flows etc.

Mr Vipin K. Dewan, director of the Care for Management Training and Research, said business did not exist in vacuum. It draws resources from environment and adds value and supplies goods and services to the environment. It not only provides business opportunities but poses threats also.Back


Puncom men end strike
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 27— The 10-day old strike by the Puncom Employees Union over the dismissal of its members by the management of the company ended today after the Chairman of the company, Mr RI Singh, assured a delegation of the union to sort out their issue by Monday.

A delegation of the union members will again meet the Chairman on May 29. The leaders of the union also met the Chief Minister and a former union Minister, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal. The union had been protesting against the dismissal of its leaders over an alleged case of assault on an executive of the company a few days ago.


Exhibition opened
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, May 27 — The Education Department, Chandigarh Administration, here today organised an exhibition-cum-sale of ladies garments, hand-painted, block and screen printed linen, sarees, dupattas and gift items for children at Latpat Rai Bhavan in Sector-15. The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr D.S. Saroya, Director, Public Instruction, Schools, UT, Chandigarh.

The exhibition has contributions from students of seven city-based Government Senior Secondary Schools.

The exhibition will remain open for the public from 10.00 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 28 also.Back

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