Saturday, June 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jacob gets first smart card in India
Chandigarh first city to go hi-tech
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — Chandigarh today became the first city in India to introduce the integrated computerised smart cards for issuing driving licences and vehicle registration. The first ever licence was issued to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, in the new building of the Estate Office, adjacent to the Municipal Corporation building, here today.

Designed by Tata Infotech, this card has a small chip which stores information about an individual which can be decoded by a smart-card reader. The is basically a PVC card with a 1 kb memory chip embedded in it for security. The new system is highly secure with multiple validation checks. Only a few countries have so far introduced the smart card solution for this purpose.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, told the Administrator that the card was a tamperproof integrated storehouse of information about an individual. From June 12 onward, such cards would be issued to all for vehicle registrations in the city.

From the last week of June, driving licences would also be issued on smart cards. Once the system stabilises, new features would be introduced in the smart card. The DC said daily 200 vehicle registrations were issued and renewed in Chandigarh. Besides this, an average 200 driving licenses of various categories were also issued in the city. The highest density of vehicles in the city caused maximum rush two counters for these registrations. In all, 75 per cent of the public dealing at the Estate Office was only on these two counters. Thus, it was essential to introduce a transparent, public friendly, quick and tamperproof system for issuing vehicle registration cards and driving licenses to save the public from frauds and middlemen.

The DC added that the new smart card would be available to all within 10 minutes of completing the formalities. A sufficient number of counters had been opened in the new Estate Office building to reduce the waiting period. Persons would be charged Rs 80 for the smart card and information on the chip would be stored in a main server. This could also be accessed by the police-headquarters computer at any time. This would help the Police Department get information about stolen vehicles.

Earlier, the Administrator inspected the facilities available to public at all counters. Later, he got his photograph clicked and was issued the smart card within ten minutes of it. Among those who were present on the occasion included Ms Vineeta Rai, Advisor to the Administrator; Mr Rakesh Singh, Finance Secretary; Mr M.P. Singh, Home Secretary; Mr Ashish Kundra, SDM and registration and licencing authority.


Murder suspect’s house a treasure trove
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 9 — The local police during a search operation carried out at the Phase 3B-1 house of Gurvinder Singh, alias Gary, a main suspect in the murder case of a Chandigarh-based jeweller, Ashok Kumar, stumbled upon a treasure trove of a wide range of luxury gadgets.

Though the police was looking for a .22 bore licenced gun of the killed jeweller which had been reportedly been taken away by the assailants, it recovered at least 440 gram of charas, several bottles of foreign liquor and a knife. Separate cases under the NDPS Act, Arms Act and the Excise Act have been registered.

Describing the house as a storehouse of a wide array of expensive electronic gadgets, a police official involved in the search operation said a swimming pool had been made in the rear courtyard of the house.

In the 12-hour search operations, the police recovered 70 tolas of gold ornaments, two video cameras, several video cassettes, 49 expensive watches, two swords and expensive mattresses and other electronic gadgets.

A leopard skin, a stuffed black buck and a stuffed head of a sambhar adorned the walls of Gary's house. The police is yet to confirm whether the animal skins were genuine.

Till late this evening, the search operation was going on and the cops were busy preparing a list of the items found at the house in front of some eyewitnesses. The police also recovered an address diary of Gary and some visiting cards of his restaurant at Burail in Chandigarh.

Search parties are being sent to different places on the basis of information collected by the police during the search operation. 


City security cover is awake at night
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — The mud track linking one of the villages on the periphery of the city seems to be a good escape route, but, a word of advice for anti-social elements — Don't use such seemingly isolated paths or you will run right into the law.

This was proved past night when this reporter and some police officials, travelling incognito, were challenged by a gruff voice from a cluster of eucalyptus tress. One could hear the loud croaking of frogs from a nearby pond and the muted whining of horses, but, see nothing. The night was so dark that the glare of a powerful searchlight was blinding.

A crisp salute followed once the official leading the group was identified. "Horses are a great asset in such places, since these make it easy to chase someone fleeing after committing a crime. Mounted policemen are posted in groups of twos or more, depending on the situation," says Mr Baldev Singh, SP of the city. He was taking a couple of reporters around the city who wanted to experience how the city's security cover caught escaping criminals.

The over three-hour-long "inspection" of nakas around the city began at 11 pm. Not only did the tough life of a policeman became apparent, but also the insensitivity and indifference of the migrant population regarding the city's security was revealed.

The SP said the night nakas and thikri pehras (community policing) had been increased after some incidents of robbery in the peripheral towns and villages of the city. He said, "While we have left nothing to chance, incidents may still happen. One has to constantly strive to maintain at a foolproof system."

We stop, alight from the car and talk to some villagers and accompanied by some armed home guards, take a round of Kishangarh village. An elderly villager, Jiwan Singh, says, "We are always ready to assist the police because what they are doing is for our benefit. Moreover, we cannot afford to be lax after robbers have struck in one of the houses on the outskirts,

injuring a family." He has determination on his face, wields a small sword and holds a big wooden staff in his hand. All the others, too, are similarly armed. After this, Mr Nanha Ram, area SHO, takes us to the other nakas and patrolling parties. He leaves us near the brick kilns close to Mauli Jagran village where we run into some villagers doing a thikri pehra. Mr Mohammad Deen, a villager, said nobody was willing to do this duty and is was left to old persons like him to rise to the occasion. "Although the village panchayat imposes a Rs 50 fine on those who do not report for the duty, villagers prefer to pay rather than come," he says. Others in the group want that something should be done against the erring persons.

Mr Baldev Singh, said people were reluctant to join thikri pheras. He said, "We normally want to arrive at a consensus with them, since taking official action (there is a provision in the law for compulsory community policing) creates unnecessary problems. However, the people should realise that it is for their own good if they spare some time to help us."

After this, the Industrial Area SHO, Mr VIjay Kumar, shows us the security arrangements in his area. We are taken to Makhan Majra and Raipur Kalan and shown the nakas and patrolling parties. The first village has a static naka manned by the Punjab police and local policemen. After this, we arrive at Raipur Khurd which has some police nakas. However, villagers here, too, do not participate in thikri pehras.

We visit Hallo Majra next, escorted by the Sector 31 police station SHO, Mr K.I.P. Singh, and run into a 10-men community policing squad armed with lathis and swords. We are surprised to see that here migrants also take an active part in the thikri pheras. It is then revealed that the Sarpanch of the village is himself a migrant.

The group is enthusiastic about the whole thing and reiterate their commitment to do everything for the safety of their homes.

The party is then shown the nakas in the populous Phase II of Industrial Area. As we drive on slushy roads, we spot the PCR motor cycles parked at various places and personnel on full alert.

After this, we are shown the new Faidan barrier, which reportedly, has been used in the past by some criminal elements to flee to the neighbouring SAS Nagar. "With this barrier having come up, we are able to plug a new exit route out of the city," says the SHO. The SP appreciates this and compliments the staff manning the naka.

We are taken to the Palsora Colony and Maloya village by the area SHO, Mr Dhan Raj. At Maloya, he takes us to an outer road towards Teera village in Punjab where three mounted policemen are on duty. As we drive back, we come across a thikri pehra party at the village bus stand.

At Dhanas village, the area SHO, Mr Ram Gopal, shows us the nakas and thikri pehras. We come across some nakas manned by the Punjab police and the Crime Branch, besides the Operations Cell.

It is almost 3 am when the SP asks the SHO to call it a day. As we head back, he says, "Although we are free to relax now, personnel at the nakas will continue to do their duty till 5 am."Back


Senior citizens get a home
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — After a long winter of waiting, senior citizens of the city can now look forward to some springy days. The Administration today opened for them the gates of their home-away-from-home.

Senior Citizens Home in Sector 43-A, the first of its kind in the city was inaugurated by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd). Built on a four kanal plot at the cost of Rs 81 lakh, the home will provide a secure atmosphere to those senior citizens, who have none to take care of them but can pay for the services. It has 24 rooms with attached toilets on three floors, besides a multi-purpose hall, a kitchen, a dining hall room, a doctor’s room and a dispensary on the ground floor.

The task of running the home has been entrusted to the UT Red Cross, which will manage the affairs in collaboration with the Rotary Clubs and other voluntary organisations engaged in the welfare of senior citizens. Though the building was formally inaugurated, it is yet to be equipped with furniture and other infrastructure. Even details about the process of admission and criteria regarding eligibility is yet to be worked out. Officials of the UT Red Cross said that the same would be worked out shortly and admissions to the home will start soon after.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, informed the Administrator that the population of senior citizens ( 65 years and above) in the city is 5.47 per cent of the total population, of which 3.6 per cent (about 1600) are living alone. The home would also run a day club where old people from outside the home can come to the home for entertainment purposes or spend the day in the company of fellow friends, she said.

A few senior citizens present on the occasion welcomed this idea for this shall break the monotony in their lives. Some were apprehensive of the location of rooms on the first and second floors, as in most cases it is difficult for them to climb up. There are only four rooms on the ground floor, though there is a provision of ramp but no lifts, said one of them.

Hailing the Administration for giving the senior citizens a home, Ms Sheila Didi, a senior advocate, suggested that the authorities should subsequently think about giving concession to the parents of martyrs and other genuine categories. Mrs Pritpal Kaur Wasu, General Secretary of All-India Women’s Conference, Punjab branch, is of the view that just as in foreign countries, a van should bring old people to the day club for recreation and then leave them back. Frequent visits of children from schools to the home will also provide the inmates a welcome change.

In its endeavour to take care of the senior citizens, the UT Administration has already issued senior citizens identity cards to over 6800 beneficiaries. A community centre in Sector 18 has been made available to them every day between 10 am to 2 pm. Besides a special OPD counter facility is being provided to them in the Sector 22 polyclinic and Mani Majra every Thursday.

Officials disclosed that senior citizens are charged 50 per cent fare on CTU buses operating on local routes and that there are separate queues for them in all public offices such as the Estate Office, OPDs of General hospital and dispensaries. The Administration is already running an Old Age Home in Sector 15 to cater to the requirements of the needy poor people, who are unable to maintain themselves.Back


Best flying unit presented trophy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — The No.8 Recce and Observation Flight of the Army Aviation Corps' 661 Squadron has been awarded the Flight Safety Trophy for being adjudged the best flying unit of the Western Command for the year 1999 - 2000.

The trophy was received by the Flight Commander, Maj H. P. Patel from the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, on the concluding day of the annual Army Aviation Conference at Headquarters Western Command, Chandi Mandir today.

The squadron's Commanding Officer, Col D. Rathee was also present on the occasion.

The trophy is awarded on the basis of the crew's professional competence, flight safety record, maintenance safety record and overall operational proficiency, for which Army Headquarters carries out an inspection twice a year.

The Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lieut-Gen B. S. Malik, who chaired the two-day conference, congratulated the corps personnel for the excellent job done by them in the command zone last year. He emphasised the need to promote flight safety which was an end product of synergised efforts of the aviators as well as the ground staff.

The conference is held annually to discuss operational aviation related to matters and to iron out problems cropping up in the day-to-day functioning. Among those who attended the function were the Additional Director-General Army Aviation, Maj-Gen S J Sehgal, Brigadier Aviation, Western Command, Brig N. J. S. Sidhu, commanding officers R&O squadrons based in the Western Sector as well as other functionaries from Army Headquarters and the Western Command. 


Hand pump water is health hazard
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — The contaminated water supply from certain hand pumps installed in various colonies of the city continues to pose health hazards for the residents of the area.

The water samples of these hand pumps had failed to meet the standard requirement and the Public Health Wing of the Municipal Corporation had a few weeks ago banned people from using the water from these pumps.

Even though the authorities had identified these pumps and painted them red, labourers residing in slums and colonies continue to use water from these pumps.

Most of the summer diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis are mainly water borne and the incidence of these diseases is more in these areas. In fact, a majority of the cases are initially reported from these areas — both in adults and children.

The residents of Janata colony and Kumhar colony in Sector 25 reveal that it is more economical to install hand pumps to overcome the water shortage in the summer months.

One pump is sufficient to cater to the water requirements of four five nearby houses, says Ram Bilas, a resident of Janata colony. Moreover, one does not have to pay any water bill also.

On the other hand, the authorities maintain that since these pumps are not bored to proper depths, water is dirty. In some of these pumps, water seeps back due to the absence of pucca areas around them.

At times even the adjacent sewerage water gets mixed with this water. The contaminated water that flows out of them is responsible for the outbreak of diseases. It contains bacteria which cannot be killed without chlorination. The impurities cannot be separated without filtration, they add.

With a view to checking the spread of these diseases, two years back also the Municipal Corporation had started a campaign to refrain people from using water from these pumps. Notices had been put up on some of these pumps saying ''water from this hand pump is not fit for drinking.'' But gradually all notices disappeared and people continued to use them.

Once again the public health authorities have swung into action and painted red all those pumps, whose water sample reports were not satisfactory during investigations.

According to the Superintending Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, almost all the colonies have these unauthorised pumps and people have been warned that consumption of water from these pumps is harmful. But since they have no other option available, they resort to taking water from these shallow pumps. Any attempt to uproot these pumps is strongly protested against by the residents. So the department has tried to paint these pumps and warn the people.

He further says that hand pumps installed by the market committees in their respective sectors are also being checked and on the basis of the water samples, they too shall be painted red. But by and large since they are dug deep water that flows out is comparatively of better quality. 


Waterlogging ails PGI colony
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — Some parts of the PGI residential colony are facing the problem of accumulation of rain water. Because of an inadequate drainage system, water accumulates on streets, causing inconvenience to residents. Due to this, manholes also get clogged, leading to the mixing of sewerage and rain waters. Such insanitation can lead to water-borne diseases.

Ms Pawan Kumari, a resident of the colony, said: "We have informed the authorities concerned about the problem, but they haven't taken steps to solve it. Monsoon is about to set in and if nothing is done by then, the problem can aggravate."

Officials said they had not received any complaint about the problem. However, they said the water accumulation could be due to the construction activities in the colony. Some of the streets are unmetalled. In one of the parks, building material has been dumped, leaving children with no space to play. The construction work seems to have posed more problems than it may solve.


Village land encroached upon, says Sarpanch
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, June 9 — Ms Gurmeet Kaur, sarpanch of Kailon village, has alleged that an influential person has been making an attempt to encroach upon on the common land of the village.

In a letter written to the SHO Kharar today, she alleged that the person had encroached upon the common land of the village and was further trying to encroach upon more land. She told mediamen today that the person had put into service some tractors for this purpose.

She demanded that the police should immediately act in this matter and all encroachments on common land should be removed in the village. She wrote in her complaint that when they approached him, he had threatened them.



Reading is still fun, at a price though
Avneet Sidhu

I would not like them, here or there.
I would not like them, anywhere.
I do not like, green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

CHANDIGARH, June 9 —  What are you and your kids doing this summer vacation? Making rounds of summer schools, theatre workshops or computer classes or maybe browsing through books. A used-to-be favourite past-time.

Reading used to be lot of fun, till about a few years back. Now if your four-year-old is not surfing the Net with you, you are simply out of vogue.

“Not true,” says Mr Ajay Arora at the Capital Book Depot in Sector 17,”. Why would then there be three new book stores in the city,” he asks. He says he has quite a few faithful regular customers who select the good books they want their children to read. “They are those parents who have been brought up on regular diet of Enid Blyton.”

Perhaps learning to read is fun with Dr Seuss . On a memory lane of the classic collection with the craziest drawings and silliest rhymes. But they come for a price. For Rs 150 to 200, they are not exactly cheap. “The parents themselves have to initiate kids into reading books,” says Mr Rajiv Choudhary of English Book Shop. Mr Ajay agrees,” “The kids on their own would prefer to spend their money on comics, chocolates and chips. I am not saying that comics are bad. On comics, chocolates and chips. I am not saying that comics are bad. A tintin comic costs about Rs 200 and above. But prices are an important factor. No kid is going to spend this much on a book out of his pocket money.”

Nikhil, a student of Class VI, agrees,” I like reading and collecting comics. But they are too expensive. There are hardly any good fiction for less than Rs 250.” For that matter the English Book Shop is holding a holiday book festival, offering books on discount.

Mr Ajay says teachers also play a major role in defining the reading habits of a child. “Quite a few schools have given a list of the recommended books for the holidays. Some of them are really good. However, to prepare a good list, the teacher has to be aware.”

Awareness is the key word. Harry Potter, a series by J.K. Rowling, is doing particularly well with the kids because adults have also taken a liking to them “Harry Potter is a boy who thinks he is ordinary till he is rescued by a beetle-eyed giant of a man,” explains Mr Ajay. Thereafter he gets enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry and the story unfolds. The stories in the series are full of surprises and the writer has used classic narrative devices to deliver a plot which is quite entertaining for all age groups.

Essentially, the books for children, as a rule, must have good illustrations, big print size and very simple language and narrative. “This is where the ladybird and Enid Blyton series score.” Enid Blyton has an added advantage as most of the parents also know it well. The lady bird series have four levels. The first one is for those who are ready to take their first step in reading. The second is for those who can read short simple sentences. Level three is for the more confident readers who can read simple stories. The fourth level is for the more fluent readers.

Ideally, a kid should just read story books in holidays, but there are quite a few parents who prefer that their children read encyclopedias and general knowledge books. Teenaged girls, as usual, go in for Mills and Boon. “Mostly light-hearted romance,” says Mr Rajiv. The college-goers are fond of Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Robin Cook and Jeffrey Archer.

“The older boys also prefer magazines to fiction like Net and Computer Today,” says Ashu Virmani of Shivalik Book Centre.


Stress laid on water conservation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — Water Resources Day was celebrated at Kendriya Sadan in Sector 9 here today.

While inaugurating the function, Mr PS Chadda, Chief Engineer, North Zone-I of the CPWD, stressed the need of water conservation by adopting innovative engineering techniques and creating awareness about the value of water.

Mr S C Sud, Chief Engineer, Indus Basin Organisation, Central Water Commission (CWC), while elaborating on the them of the day — “Human issues involved in water resources development”— stated that though India possessed 4 per cent of water of the world and ranked 5 per cent in the availability of water, yet there was need to conserve excess flows during the monsoon to meet the ever-increasing demand.

Prominent among those who spoke were Mr DS Khangura, Director, CWC, Dr RK Aggarwal, Principal Scientist and Head Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, and Mr MM Utreja, Chief Engineer, Ranjit Sagar Dam Designs Organisation.

Meanwhile, Silpa and Narinder Kaur, have, respectively, been awarded the first and second prizes in the essay writing contest. Aastha Chhibber was given the third prize.

In the declamation contest, Rupanjali was given the first prize. Anna and Kanika Sen got the second and the third prizes, respectively.

Similarly, in the junior group art competition, Nirpal Singh and Khusboo Mehra walked away with first and second prizes, respectively. Peyuish Sopori won the first prize.

In the senior group, Asit bagged the first prize, while Gagandeep stood second and Shifali was placed third.


Family’s tradition of charity alive
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — Keeping alive the family tradition, Dr Bimla Arora, a niece of Dr P.N Chhuttani, bequeathed all her estate and assets to the TTV Chhuttani Charitable Trust, which runs the CMC, Sector 17. This was disclosed by DR I.C Pathak, Managing Trustee of the trust, while presiding over a condolence meeting to condole her death at the CMC today.

A qualified doctor with super speciality in Pediatrics, Dr Bimla Arora practised as a consultant in England and America before returning to India some years ago. She was known for providing free medical care to the needy and the indigent and was associated with various charitable institutions.



Traffic on highway blocked
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, June 9 — Vehicular traffic on the Kharar-Kurali National Highway, just opposite the gate of Tehsil Complex here, was blocked for 20 to 25 minutes this afternoon by the persons whose documents of sale and purchase of land and property were not got registered at the office of the Sub-Registrar Kharar for the past two to three days.

Mr Ranjit Singh Sacrulapur, Mr Hardial Singh Rasanheri, Mr Harcharan Singh Kurali, Mr Sardara Singh Dhawali, Mr Mohinder Singh Ghrauan and others told mediamen on the spot that they were being harassed for the past three days because either the Sub-Registrar had gone to attend the meeting at Ropar or there was no electricity and the computers were not working.

They said ever since the work of registration of documents through computers had started in Kharar, each person who wanted to get his document registered had to bring at least eight persons, including nambardar and witnesses, as each had to be photographed. Fed up, they blocked vehicular traffic today.

When the mediamen visited the office of the Sub-Registrar today, hundreds of persons were seen standing there and were criticising the administration and the Punjab Government. According to information, the Sub-Registrar was in Ropar yesterday to attend meetings. According to information, the District Administration had not given permission to get the documents registered manually as often there was no electricity and computer did not work.

Mr Malkiet Singh, the tehsildar, said the documents could not be registered today because of poor supply of electricity. He said till the evening only 7 documents were registered.Back


JE killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — A junior engineer of the local Public Health Department was killed, allegedly, due to the negligence of a Matador driver, near the intersection of Sectors 45 and 46 here today. He was posted at the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.

According to the police sources, Amrik Singh was going on his scooter (CH-01-N-8475) when he was hit by another vehicle (PB-12-B-9696). He somehow managed to cling on to the vehicle before being thrown on a road berm some distance away.

Gold stolen: A Mani Majra resident, Jagtar Singh, has reported that some has stolen 18 gm of gold and Rs 2,200 in cash from his shop. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

In another incident, a person named Amrit Pal Singh has reported that someone has stolen his scooter (PB-27-4111) from Sector 22.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested Lal Singh, a resident of Colony Number 5 and has seized 24 bottles of whisky from his possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Computer theft: A Sector 46 resident, Ajay Kohli, has reported a theft of some computer parts and Rs 12,000 in cash from his shop. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.



Cyclist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — A cyclist was crushed to death by a speeding truck late tonight near the Sector 26 Transport Chowk.

According to police sources, the victim, probably a factory worker in mid-twenties died on the spot. He could not be identified as his head had been smashed into pieces following the collision.

The driver of the truck (HR-47 2845) has been arrested. The body of the deceased has been taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital for post mortem.



Cops shifted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9  — The Police Department has ordered the transfer of three Inspectors, besides two Sub-Inspectors, orders for which were issued by UT IGP S. K. Singh here yesterday.

Inspector Vijay Kumar will be the Industrial Area SHO in place of Inspector Kultar Singh Kahlon, who has been transferred to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW). Similarly, Inspector Mahaveer Singh, Additional SHO, Central police station, has been transferred to the Law and Order Cell.

SI Raghbir Singh, who was posted at the Public Grievances Cell, will be the new Daria police post in charge in place of SI Dilsher Singh Chandel who has been transferred to the Operations Cell. 


Forgery cases against 7 Punwire officials
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 9 — Based on the investigations into the financial irregularities committed by officials of the Punjab Wireless Systems Limited (Punwire), the local police registered two cases of forgery and criminal breach of trust today against at least seven officials of the company for an alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds to the tune of over Rs 72 lakh.

The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company, Mr Gurpal Singh, and the Executive Director (in charge), Mr Ved Pal, who were reappointed in the recent annual general meeting of shareholders, have also been named in both FIRs registered by the police.

The other officials named in the FIRs are Mr R.K. Gupta, Manager Accounts, Mr A.P. Singh, DGM (Accounts), Mr Ashok Jerath, AGM (Accounts), Late P.C. Sharma, Cashier, and Mr Harjit Singh, Sales Coordinator.

Sources in the police said in the first case registered on the basis a complaint by Mr Satbinder Singh, Managing Director of Punwire, it has been stated that Rs 66.25 lakh had been embezzled by making fake entries during the transfer of money to Punwire Mobile Communications Limited (PMCL), a subsidiary unit of the company. The case came to light when the newly-appointed GM (finance and accounts), Mr Devinder Singh, and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr N.P. Singh, asked the PMCL whether the amount had actually been transferred or not.

Investigations by the officials revealed that except one noting against which Rs 10.50 lakh was transferred to the PMCL, the eight other were fake notings, prepared by photocopying the upper part of the original notings. By showing the transfer of the money to the subsidiary unit, Rs 66.25 lakh had been embezzled.

The second case has also been registered on the complaint of Mr Satbinder Singh. It has been stated that serious bungling in the accounts of the company had been done by producing fake bills of freight, allegedly issued by the Mohali LCV Transport Union. The instance of at least Rs 6.41 lakh having been drawn against four fake bills has come to light. In both cases, suspects have been booked under Sections 406, 408, 409, 466, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC.

Sources in Punwire said no case had been registered against employees for the theft of computer hardware and software.


To win his heart

A cooking competition by a leading beauty parlour seems a bit out of place, but this is precisely what VLCC did. Women from different strata of society vied with one another to appease the taste buds of Sanjeev of Khyber Restaurant, Monica of Monica’s Puddings & Pies and Amar Singh of North Park. However, the limelight was stolen by Savita Bhatti, the Home Minister of Jaspal Bhatti. “This competition is part of our in-house activities”, said Richa Aggarwal, “Every month, we undertake some sort of activity to break the monotonous routine of our customers. Last month, we held the nail painting contest”.The ladies of Chandigarh and nearby cities are a blend of traditional Indian women, and modern Western women. So while on the one hand, tasty dishes are their priority, on the other, they are quite conscious of their beauty and figure. The role of VLCC is understandable in the field of ‘beauty’, but what are they doing in the field of ‘cooking’? “We believe in the famous maxim The way to his heart is through his stomach. So we are providing that ‘extra service’ to our clients by encouraging them to cook tasty dishes to please their husbands”, chuckles Ginny, Marketing Manager of VLCC.

Good thinking Ginny, but just consider the potbellies the husbands of your ‘lovely customers’ are going to get by eating (or should I say overeating) the tasty dishes prepared by their piari piari patnis. Food, according to Simon & Schuster New Millennium encylopaedia, is anything eaten to satisfy appetite and to meet physiological needs for growth, to maintain all body processes and to supply energy to maintain body temperature and activity. As such, the food should be simple and nourishing.

The learned saints of our country have also been propagating this theory for millions of years. But with the passage of time, we have started giving preference to lot of spicy and deep fried food. This is especially so in Chandigarh and Punjab. The trend is counterproductive to health and should be shunned. “That is why we preach low-calorie food. Good for health and beauty”, says Richa.

But, for the moment, let us forget the sermon. Classified into cakes, puddings, veg. & non-veg. Snacks, the well-garnished dishes at the competition, looked so tempting that one wished to gobble them all. The most colourful dish was Dil Kash pudding, prepared by Anita Garg, a lecturer in a local college.

Well she is an artist and she tried to give a touch of art to her cooking also. For those interested in knowing the recipe, it goes like this. Put fruit cake in thick custard. Set in freezer for 15 minutes. Cut fruit balls with a round spoon. Decorate by placing a heart made of watermelon in the middle of the bowl, and surrounding it with mango balls. Keep in freezer for five minutes. Make fresh jelly and pour on the fruit. Set in fridge for half an hour. And lo! the alluring dish is ready.

And not to forget the dishes of Saas-Bahu team of Pratibha and Vandana. Crossing the borders of our country, they had ventured into Mexico to make ‘Brazil Tango’ and ‘Chicken in Renchro Sauce’. The former, a vegetarian dish, consisted of coffee, milk, cream, shakhar, nuts and gelatine. ‘Chicken in Renchro Sauce’, the chatpata favourite of Vandana, was made with fried tomatoes, a number of herbs and chicken marinated in different sauces.

“The new generation has a craze for such dishes. So, we have switched over to them from our traditional ones”, says Pratibha Sharma.

By the way, only one woman reached the venue in time.

— Thakur Paramjit 


Milkmen protest against dairy board
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9  — Members of the Punjab and Chandigarh units of the Dhodi Sangharsh Committee staged a dharna to press their demands here today.

The main grouse of the union is the setting up of the Punjab Dairy Board which, they feel, is not only an anti-farmer step but will bring many small dairy owners and vendors on the road. The board will ensure that no person can sell milk except to the government dairy alone thereby sounding the death-knell for thousands of milkmen.

Leaders of the union said the milkmen, who acted as a counter-force to big buyers who purchased milk at low rates, would no more be there and the ultimate sufferer would be the consumer who will have no option but to buy milk at prices dictated by the board. Moreover, the milk would only be sold in packets.

The terms of the board also stipulate that a dairy owner and a farmer would have to sell his milk to a particular diary for at least one year with the condition that all loss would be borne by the seller with no liability on the part of the purchaser.

They alleged that Punjab Government, in collusion with certain foreign powers, was labeling the whole exercise as a big leap for the White Revolution and it was necessary to give it a fillip.


Corridors of problem
By Ambika Kumar

PANCHKULA, June 9 — Jostling crowd, staggering down the cramped Sector 7 market corridor, bump into each other as they strive to avoid heaps of plastic buckets here and bone china cups there, unsuccessfully. Walking through the thread-likespace left unoccupied is next to impossible here.

As you carefully move past the table displaying cotton wear, you bump into boxes of shoes. Or the crates of cold drink strewn all over. Or else the mehendi-wallas. It’s okay till you do not break cup of bone china. The shopkeepers ruthlessly ask for the price.

“I agree corridors are meant for the public. But in the absence of legal backing, removal of encroachments is not easy as we face stiff resistance from the shopkeepers’ unions,” says the HUDA Administrator, Mr Sandeep Garg. “To have a deterrent effect, there must be penal provisions or some sort of fine. Even the shoppers must change their attitude and think about the convenience of the public”.

Till effective measures are taken, it’s the general public who suffers. “It is very inconvenient to move around freely. With things spread all over the place and so much chaos, it is difficult to shop properly. The shopkeepers must fit their things in the allotted place”, says Mrs Kusum Gupta, a regular visitor to the market.

Another shopper, Mr Sharma complains, “Expansion of these shops up to the corridors should not be permitted. Clothes are hanging out, shoes, statues, crockery items and other articles are displayed which are all a big hurdle to walk about freely”.

But the shopkeepers do not agree. “The customers demand variety. To display the goods, we require sufficient space. None of our customers have complained about inconvenience in walking along the corridors”, says the owner of a shoe shop.

Another shopkeeper blames high rent rates for the problem. “The rent is so high that we need to do brisk business in order to pay it. If the items are not displayed well, goods do not sell and then the customers move down to Chandigarh for shopping”.

The President of the Shoppers Association, Mr B.B Kochar, highlights the problems faced by the shopkeepers. “We do not want to break any rules. The clause given by the government that the corridors are meant for the public was way back in 1970. But the corridors have been constructed by the owners themselves.

“The Government authorities should either change the rule or allot more space to the shopkeepers. How do we keep up to the requirement of the customer? “ questions Mr Kochar.



Interviews for hotel management course
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 — Interviews for admissions to a three-year course in hotel management will be held between June 5 and 17, an official press release of the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering said here yesterday.

The local Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management is affiliated to the national council. Other institutes in the region are at Shimla, Gurdaspur and Srinagar.

Interviews are being held at New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and Lucknow. Interviews at the Chandigarh centre will be conducted between June 10 and 14. The Hotel Association of India has nominated Col Harsharan Singh Sandhu (retd) as member of the selection committee. 

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