Monday, June 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU employees chase their own money
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Lost money saved out of wages struggles to find it right hands in Panjab University in case of number of employees who were saving under a special fund in the post office.

Following complaints, the university constituted a special committee under the Registrar, which is yet to give a final decision. The committee also comprises presidents of the teaching and the non-teaching staff, who are pursuing the case from the past about six months.

Employees saved money out of their regular salaries under a special fund, where the university was expected to deposit the decided funds out of each salary into the post office accounts. After retirement, Mr Sanjhi Ram, went to the post office for encashing the amount he saved. He was informed that money had not been deposited regularly in the post office, which made him a defaulter.

The post office indicated several other defaulters. He lodged a complaint following which a committee was constituted. The post office informed him that the scheme had been discontinued in his case because the university had discontinued regular amounts under the scheme. The same happened in case of other affected employees.

Mr Dharam Paul, President of the Non-Teaching Staff Association, said the inquiry seemed more of an eye-wash. Too much time had elapsed. The error was straight and the proofs would be straight enough to have an early answer. The incident also gave a bad name to the university.

Prof P.P. Arya, President of the Panjab University Teachers Association, said the issue was still under deliberation. There were procedural faults which were being checked. On detection of the case earlier, it was pointed out that slips had been misplaced in case of the affected party, confirmed sources said. One of the employees under question had reportedly offered to pay back the amounts under question personally.

The scheme provided for cuts of fixed amounts from the regular salaries which are deposited in the post office. Apart from interest on the payable amount, it saved interest on payment of salaries. In this case, it has been pointed out that deductions were regularly made at source as the salary slips showed. The problem was the displacement into postal accounts as the postal accounts showed no entries.

The issue took a serious turn when affected employees wrote letters to the Finance and Development Officer and the Vice-Chancellor. A special committee was constituted. Dr Paramjit Singh, the Registrar, said the inquiry was still under consideration and nothing could be said before a final decision.Back


MP to take up American Sikhs’ cases
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Bollywood star-turned politician Raj Babbar has decided to act as a bridge between Sikhs of North America and the Government of India to facilitate their visit to India.

Talking to this correspondent over the telephone, Mr Raj Babbar, who represents Agra in the Lok Sabha, said that his recent visit to North America was an “exciting and an eye- opening experience” for him .He was felicitated at various places, including Canada, for his film on Shaheed Udham Singh.

I was even honoured at gurdwaras which are ‘so-called Khalistani strongholds, including the Khalsa Dewan Society in Vancouver. They honoured me for playing the role of Ram Mohammed Singh Azad. Perhaps, I have been the only non-Sikh to be honoured so profusely all over North America that I am overwhelmed by the feelings of the Punjabi community there.

“But unfortunately, a large of my Punjabi brethern in general and Sikhs in particular, have been deprived from visiting their motherland. The reason that in an emotional protest against Operation Bluestar in 1984, they had either participated in anti-India demonstrations or voiced their dissent against Operation Bluestar. Their anguish at that time was understandable.

“But since then things have changed. But because of their protests against Operation Bluestar, they were declared persona non gratia by the Government of India. Now they are denied visas to visit India. “It is indeed intriguing that now when we are talking of globalisation and liberalisation, we are not allowing our own people to visit their own homes, their motherland, their roots.

I was really not only overwhelmed but moved by the sincerity, sense of attachment they have for their roots that I have decided to take upon myself the onerous task of applying balm to the wounded Sikh psyche.

“I have decided to meet the Prime Minister next week and impress upon him to review the cases of all such Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular and allow them conditional or limited visa .To begin with. the government can watch them, watch their activity before finally taking them off its ‘black list’, “ says Mr Raj Babbar.

“None of them is involved in heinous crime or crime against humanity that he should be punished so heavily that he cannot visit his own motherland. They want to come, invest and contribute towards further development of their motherland. Let us involve them in our progress for development,” he says maintaining that he had always opposed terrorism and secessionism. “I have always talked about Punjab and its agony. They applauded my viewpoint and treated me so warmly,” adds Mr Raj Babbar. “I intend to meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Tuesday next and plead their case before him. They have very strong family and religious connections with their homeland.

They remember the Golden Temple so many times a day. I wish to start a movement, a movement to enable these brethern to visit their motherland and contribute their mite for its further development and progress,” the cine star said.


OCF begins making hi-tech cable
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — The Ordnance Cable Factory (OCF) here has started the production of a hi-tech miniature electrical cable for use in radars as well as specific type of sophisticated high frequency communication equipment.

Approval of the Bangalore-based Electronic Components Standardisation Organisation has already been obtained for the manufacture of this cable to requisite military specifications.

Made of copper with a sheathing of a fine copper wire grid, the thickness of this cable is equivalent to that of a human hair, but has immense data-carrying capacity. Presently, it is being produced in two types — ''single-core'' and ''6-core'' — with the capacity of the latter being 10,000 megahertz. This translates to carry one lakh voice signals simultaneously.

While Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which manufactures radars for the armed forces, is the major procurer for this cable, several security establishments, including the Chandigarh police and the Haryana police, have placed orders for it for use in communication network equipment. The Border Security Force is also in the process of procuring this type of cable.

OCF, which manufactures several types of cables for the armed forces, went in for this venture after it was approached by BEL to manufacture miniature cables since it had very limited suppliers in this area. Machines and other tools at the OCF had to be specially modified to take up production of this cable. The manufacture process is also difficult and time consuming. While normal cable manufacture takes about 10 manhours per kilometre, miniature cables take up to 200 manhours.

Miniature cables have an advantage over convectional cables as convectional cables have several strands of intertwined wire, which results in signal interference. Also, the copper wire grid in miniature cables provide up to 96 per cent shielding from signal interference.

OCF has also initiated a venture to manufacture optical fibre cable to meet the Army's requirements in the communication sector. The optical fibre cable is in the process of development and certain trials are being carried out.Back


Dental treatment, ordeal at polyclinic
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service 

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Sponge struggles to break free from the seat of the rigid dental chair with a plank supporting its headrest. At its side, the computerised switches do not function. Not anymore. The control box attached to it does not even have the basic equipment for scaling and root canal treatment. This is not all, the overhead lights, most of them, are out of order since long. Dental treatment is nothing less than an ordeal at the Sector 22 polyclinic.

Tooth extraction is bad enough. It is made worse here as the ACs have not be installed. The doctors trying to do their best in the given circumstances wipe beads of perspiration from the brow as they struggle to pull out the obstinate tooth. Even filling is not easy. The material is not available. Patient is asked to bring it with him. For X-ray, he is asked to go to Sector 16 Hospital or any other private clinic. Reason: the equipment is out order for the past few years.

A visit to the dental unit today morning revealed the apathy of the authorities concerned. Sources revealed that for the past year and a half, they had not received any regular supply of filling material, hand pieces or equipment for scaling. Of the two dental chairs, only one is in semi-working condition. The one which was imported is lying out of order due to the non-availability of spares and the condition of the local one which is being currently used is no better. The control box of the same needs to be changed and but for the hand piece nothing else works. It does not move automatically, but needs a support on the headrest to enable the doctor to work on the patient's teeth.

Records reveal that as many 80-90 patients visit the unit for dental treatment including filling of cavities, root canal, extractions and other problems. But it sure is a testing time for them once they come here.

One of the patients revealed that in the absence of the material required, they were asked to get the material from outside. So one landed up paying for the material as well as the filling charges, he pointed out. Another woman patient said that one came here as the charges are nominal, but buying the material from outside hiked up the cost of a root canal from Rs 100 to Rs 300. Doctors when contacted maintain that "we have no choice but to ask them to get the material required to keep the clinic functioning. However, in case of poor patients we try to adjust them in whatever little material is available with us". Even basic material such as spirit to cleanse the dental tools and tray is not being provided, it is learnt. The patients have to really have to sweat it out for the room temperature is not ideal for the nature of treatment.

One of the assistants revealed that the machine was being manually operated and at least two persons have to assist the doctor in manning the lose switches as he worked. The dental chairs, which are almost 10 years old have also worsened due to being kept in room temperature all these years.

The dental surgeon in charge, Dr Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, said he had already brought these problems to the notice of the Director, Health Services,along with the indent for the material required. The delay was perhaps on account of the lengthy procedural process. However, we did not turn away the patient even if it meant working on his teeth with the material bought by him.

The DHS, Dr Joginder Singh, said that order for new dental chairs and other infrastructure has already been placed and the same would be made available to them shortly. As regards the shortage of filling and other material, he feigned ignorance and said he would look into the matter. 



Closed OPD entrance causes inconvenience
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 18 — Scores of patients who come to the pediatric emergency at the PGI daily are facing inconvenience on account of the closure of the entrance door to the emergency. There is no indication to guide them that the entrance to the emergency is from the main entrance of the Advanced Pediatric Centre building and not from where it was meant to be.

A majority of the patients, who come from far-off places in the region and are in a hurry to reach the emergency well in time face a lot of hardship locating the place. While some of them come straight outside the pediatric emergency only to find the door closed, others, who are illiterate, keep roaming about in the reception area before someone guides them. A woman patient, whose son was seriously injured, pointed out: ''It took me over an hour to find the emergency OPD in the absence of proper indications.'' Another patient said that the opening of the door and the functioning of a separate registration counter for emergency would make things much easier for the patients. At times even on entering the emergency one goes straight to the wards and not the OPD.

A few other parents, whose children are admitted in the wards, highlighted the poor upkeep of the children's park in the APC complex. ''The wild growth of grass, shrubs and bushes makes it difficult for children to play. They may land up getting some infection, said one of the mothers. In fact, hardly any children can be seen here as it does not have much to offer them.

Sources reveal that as per the plan, pediatric emergency was to have a separate entrance as in the case of Nehru Hospital with a separate reception desk and registration counter. But ever since its inauguration four years back, the entrance door to the emergency has been hardly opened and there is no staff manning these counters.

Dr Sunit Singhi, Additional Professor, Pediatrics, who is the in charge of the pediatric emergency, when contacted, said that the door was kept closed to ensure the safety and security of patients and their attendants. He pointed out that in the past whenever the door was opened, visitors started using the same as a corridor to enter all other wards and OPDs. ''This not only increases the incidence of hospital acquired infections but also poses a threat to the safety of the patients and their attendants,'' he added. Due to a shortage of security staff it is not possible to post permanent security personnel at the entry and exit points of the emergency round the clock. The stairs right at the entrance of the emergency have no separate gate and lead you right up to the fifth floor, thereby making it easier for the people to indulge in theft of equipment and medicines. Dr Singhi pointed out the terrible hospital acquired infection they had in the emergency last year during this month when the door had been opened. So much so that a special antibiotic had to be used to control the spread of the infection. Hence, the closure of the door is only in the interest of the patients.

However, he is of the view that a board should be put up at the very turning of the APC, directing the patients to enter the pediatric emergency from the main entrance so that no time is lost. Even inside the emergency wing can be displayed more boldly for the convenience of the patients.

As regards the poor upkeep of the park the Engineering department has to do the needful.


Research in science declines
Tribune News service

CHANDIGARH : Are the universities and institutions in Punjab stagnating ?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

There has been perceptible downward trend in terms of scientific output in all the universities during 1997-98 ,1990-94 and1979-81. The Punjab universities, thus, no longer figure among the top 25 institutions in the country.

The survey is based on the Science Citation Index of research publications of Indian authors and data source included in 5,000 research journals in various disciplines of science and technology.

If Panjab University and the Post - graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, both in Chandigarh, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, figured among the top 25 institutions in India in 1984 survey, none of them finds a mention in January report.

The 1984 report prepared by Rashmi Mehrotra and F.W. Lancaster of the University of Illinios, USA, first appeared in Current Science, July 5, 1984, issue. That was later published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. Thereafter universities and institutes of Punjab made their exit.

“All, however, is not lost”, says Dr H.S. Virk. He is an internationally recognised physicist. At present he is the Director, Earthquake Research Centre, GNDU, Amritsar.

Making these startling revelations in an interview with TNS Dr Virk said at present while the PGIMER occupies "second" place after the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, in “clinical medicine”, PAU's name appears at "ninth" slot in "biological sciences".

In all other disciplines of science and technology Punjab's universities fail to even find passing mention . In fact Benaras Hindu University, Delhi University, Calcutta University and Hyderabad University now occupy the top slots after Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, BARC, Trombay and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

Dr Virk said IITs were leading the universities in the field of applied research. In computer sciences, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, finds a niche among the top 20 institutions. Panjab University again misses the mark.

As a result of poor performance of the universities Punjab today stands bracketed with Bihar and Assam in scientific productivity. It lags behind even Orissa, Rajasthan and Haryana. While science and technology looked up in States like Kerala, Madhaya Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu in 1997-98, in Punjab it touched rock-bottom.

There are 55 laboratories, countrywide, run by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Not even one is in Punjab. There is no national research institute in the State. The role of the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology has remained limited. Besides lack of government interest, poor financial support to universities other extraneous considerations like promotions, rotation of headship etc occupy the mind of the faculty thus affecting science studies and research in Punjab.

Dr Virk listed following eight reasons for downhill slide of scientific research: lack of CSIR/National research institutes; negligible role of the PSCST in promoting scientific research; no chair to promote science and technology; scientists and technologists are never involved at any stage in the planning process by the state; only bureaucrats rule the roost ; since their inception, neither Amritsar nor Patiala have had Vice-Chancellors from science stream; rotation of headship in the universities has done more harm than good; lack of infrastructure and motivation to young scientists and researchers; and shifting trend from basic sciences to professional courses.

Look at Panjab University, Chandigarh, PAU, Ludhiana or any other university. All show signs of fatigue and intrigue. Unionism, nepotism are the bane of these once premier universities. Today mediocrity rules, while merit stands elbowed out by "sifarish".

Economists like Dr Sucha Singh Gill at Punjabi University, Patiala, say that growth rate of Punjab economy is now almost half of Maharashtra and Gujarat . The scientific research in Punjab is completely derailed. If this can be brought back on rails the economy can again get a kick-start.


Lassi — customers maange more

COME summer and lassi, the favourite drink of Punjabi, rules the roost. In Chandigarh, lassi is available with almost all halwai shops. The desi lassi called “chhachh” is available mostly in villages. Here a shopkeeper of Sector 46 has come out with an innovative idea to popularise this drink. 

It is available from early morning till late evening at Rs 5 per litre. Chhachh is devoid of any fat and is good for health. Those who come to relish this drink with salt at the shop, also carry it home to prepare “curry”

In the good old days, chhachh would be distributed among neighbours free. Old timers recall how they relished chhachh with sarson-ka-saag and makki-di-roti.

According to the shopkeeper, for preparing this “desi lassi” or “chatti ki lassi” one has to boil the milk for hours.

Simian siege: Last Tuesday morning turned out to be a virtual nightmare for the Shuklas, residents of Sector 30, who had to live through a gruelling eight-hour-long simian siege. Thanks to the Chandigarh Forest Department!

An early bird, Ms Shukla, who is employed with the Department of Telecommunications, finished her morning chores quickly. As she sat enjoying her morning cuppa, she saw, much to her costernation, a simian family trooping into her house, unscarred and undaunted. They made it straight to the basket of bananas that lay perched on an empty gas cylinder in the corridor. Darting a devastating look at her and her tow grown-up kids — Mr Shukla was out of station — the head of the monkey family walked out with the bunch of bananas, the family in tow. Unperturbed by any human existence around, they shared the booty.

A scared Ms Shukla rang up the local forest department to inform them about the wild intrusion. The voice on the other end promised prompt help to the beleaguered family. In a vain attempt to get rid of the unwanted wild guests, Ms Shukla tried to coerce and coax them by devising different ways and means. She offered them loaves of bread and biscuits, but the beasts won’t budge a wee bit.

However, in anticipation of timely help from the department concerned, Ms Shukla left for her office in Sector 8, advising her kids not to do anything which might provoke the monkey family. After every now and then, the worried mother kept enquiring from them on the phone if the promised help from the department had arrived. She was greeted with a stock reply, “not as yet”, every time she rang up. It turned out to be a virtual “house arrest” for the Shukla family and others in the vicinity, with none around daring to come out to their rescue.

At around 12.30 p.m. the kids informed the mother that the monkeys had left and that she needn’t worry. But it proved to be a brief breather for them as the monkeys again appeared on the scene. Ms Shukla again rang up the department concerned to apprise them of the latest development and to repeat her request for the promised help. It was around 3.30 p.m. “The office vehicle is away. We’ll press it into service as soon as it reaches us”, female voice informed Ms Shukla. Ironically, the vehicle never reached the spot till 4 p.m. However, an official of the department landed up at 4.30 p.m. on his own bike to take stock of the situation. No sooner did he arrive, that the simian guests packed off to an undisclosed destination, thus lifting the eight hour-long siege!

Stray instances of monkey menace in the city have been on the rise. But, who cares?

Secret grouses: In the performance of their duties newsmen have encounters with strange people and queer situations. Sometimes the encounters are so baffling that newsmen do not know what they should write to redress the grievances of those whom they meet.

The Tribune had on last Wednesday such an encounter. Around 7 p.m. one Ranjit Singh (55), a resident of Manimajra in the Union Territory, walked into office. He wanted us to voice his sufferings so that he could get justice. We agreed to do that.

Intriguingly, when he was asked to explain what was his grouse, he retorted: “How can I tell you my sufferings? If I do so, all my secrets would be known to my enemies”.

Again, when he was asked what The Tribune should write about him, he suggested: “You write that I have been ruined by the police by implicating me in a series of false cases in connivance with criminals and proclaimed offenders”.

When asked who were the criminals and who were the cops who ruined him, he said: “How can I tell you? You want to leak my secrets to my enemies?”

Mr Ranjit Singh said he would tell his tale of woes only to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He would like to ask questions from his enemies only through the Chief Justice.

He wanted The Tribune to write that he had written a 251-page complaint to the President of India, copies of which had been sent to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He claimed that he had attached all necessary documents with this complaint.

Direct domain: Rishi Amrit, a student of the local St Stephen’s School, claims to have designed an exclusive website with a direct domain. The site is

Rishi Amrit topped the computer exams of the ICSE with 97 per cent marks.

Animation has been effectively used to make it attractive. The site hosts a search engine and provides links to various other world popular search engines. The site has a tourist section which is useful for those planning to undertake a visit to the city of Le Corbusier. It helps in hotel booking. Another interesting feature is information about all important eating joints of the city and an online picture gallery. The visitors to the web can also download a poster on Chandigarh.

The site contains full information about the past and present of Chandigarh and the history section features Le Corbusier.

Kiran, Yukta: Two eminent women personalities of the country — Miss World Yukta Mookhey, and first woman IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi — were in the city on Saturday last. They were here on different missions. Dr Kiran Bedi, who had a 41-day stint in the city as the Inspector-General of Police, was here to launch a website. On the other hand Miss World was here to participate in a rain dance party. Naturally, both were in the news headlines. Incidentally, both have strong city connections. Dr Kiran Bedi studied here at Panjab University while Yukta Mookhey had her grand parents here.

It may be a mere coincidence that both had their main functions at the same venue, Hotel Mountview, though at different times.

Distinction: Architect Surinder Sawhney has brought honours to the City Beautiful. He was the only architect from the city of Le Corbusier, and one among 16 from India, to be invited to participate in the exhibition organised by the ‘Institut Francais d’ architecture at Paris from April 11 to May 21.

The exhibition, called “Author du monde: jeune architecture Indienne” was first from a series of expositions being held at IFA on the works of young contemporary world architects.

A private practitioner since 1989, Surinder has designed several important and prestigious buildings, including offices, hospitals, hotels and apartments.

Other Indian architects who participated in the Paris exhibition are Gautam Bhatia, Revathi Kamath, Gerard da Cunha, Padma Kumar, Bimal Patel and Ismet Khambatta, Rahul Malhotra, Prem Chandravakar, Inni Chatterji, Shahrukh Mistry, Abhimanyu Dalal, Raka Chakravarty and Akshaya Ain, Rajeev Kathpalia, S.N. Kanade and Neeraj Manchanda.

Clean and green: Last week the Ministry of Environment and Forests began its largest national environment awareness campaign (NEAC) with great splash and ahead of schedule. Last year it launched this campaign in July.

The theme for this year (2000-2001) would be the same that of last year, “keep our environment clean and green”. A new sub theme, “sustainable life-styles,” has been added. A change in lifestyles of the people is followed by change in environmental conditions. In addition attention will be focused on “holiday from plastics”

NGOs and GOs, including army units, can support the ministry’s efforts in many ways — by carrying out awareness-cum-action programmes in the area of their operations. Their concerted and sincere efforts can make India clean and green.

Application forms and other particulars can be had from the Environment Society of India (ESI), Karuna Sadan, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh (Phone 746832).

— Sentinel


Saturday night sweating in Mohali
From Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, June 18 — With the weather insufferably hot, PSEB consumers are going through a miserable time, thanks to the failure of the board to provide a satisfactory supply of power. Complaints have been coming in from various parts of the town in this regard, with agitated consumers demanding an immediate improvement in the supply position.

Mrs Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi, a former municipal councillor living in Phase VII, said today that for the past 10-12 days, residents had been subjected to power breakdowns. Every night when people were about to go to bed, the power failed. Though at times the supply was restored after an hour or so, on other occasions the blackout extended even up to two-and-a-half hours. “My children say power has been diverted to Parkash Singh Badal’s fields, leaving residents of the town perspiring,” she said in a lighter vein.

Mr A.S. Bhatia, a resident of Phase XI, said that on Saturday, the power supply to his area got disrupted at midnight and was restored only around 2.30 a.m. Though there was usually not much problem during daytime, the power supply often failed at night, causing inconvenience in the hot weather. However, he wondered why there had been a power shutdown on Saturdays in the recent past. On Saturdays, the power was switched off around 10 a.m. and restored at about 4 p.m. On making complaints to the PSEB office concerned, consumers were told that maintenance work was being carried out.

Mr Bhatia said that on Saturday evening there was a function at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in connection with the Parkash Utsav of Guru Hargobind Sahib. The function started around 5 p.m. and went on till midnight. During this period the power failed at least seven or eight times. The gurdwara management had installed a generator as it felt the PSEB supply was not dependable. Each time the power went off, the large number of devotees had to literally sweat it out as the generator was not able to take on the entire load. It was used only to keep the light and sound systems running.

Mr Sukhjit Singh Sukhi, a former municipal councillor of Phase III A, said the supply of power to his area was unsatisfactory. On Sunday the power supply got disrupted in the morning and was restored some time later around 10 a.m. About five days ago, the power failed around 11 p.m. and was switched on again only around 8 a.m. It was sheer torture for residents the whole night.

Mrs Dalip Kaur, a resident of Phase V, said when she was about to go to bed on Saturday around midnight the power supply failed. It came back only around 3.45 a.m. She had a sleepless night and as a result was feeling very tired the whole day long. She said she was not aware about the power supply position in her residential area during the day as she had to attend office elsewhere, but during the night short power failures were quite frequent.

Mrs Sukhwinder Kaur, a resident of Phase 2, said that on Saturday the power supply was cut at midnight but was resumed after about 15 minutes. About there days ago, there was a power breakdown at night and the supply was restored only after an hour or so. On June 14, the supply got disrupted at about 6 p.m. and was restored about three hours later.

Mr S.S. Sandhu, President of the Mohali Industries Association, said though unannounced power cuts were witnessed now and then, he had not received any complaint from association members about regular shutdowns. He said many industrial unit owners depended on generators whenever the power supply failed. However, small unit owners suffered as they often lacked generators on their premises and each power breakdown meant a loss in production.

The Senior Executive Engineer of the PSEB here, Mr P.S. Bains, said a cable had got damaged at the 220 kv substation on Saturday night affecting the power supply to Phases IIIB 2 and V. Sometimes local PSEB officials received instructions to swtich off the supply. He admitted that problems did arise in the supply system as it was “peak time” now and there was overloading. He said often consumers did not take the trouble to go to their respective power complaint centres to get redress. He said maintenance work was done only on one Saturday which led a shutdown in the supply to Phase XI.Back

9-hour power cut in Zirakpur
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, June 18 — Electricity supply to Shiv Nagar, Modern Enclave, some parts of Saini Vihar and Bartana village remained suspended for more than nine hours, causing inconvenience to the residents of the area here today.

The residents complained that an unscheduled power cut forced them to face a number of problems throughout the day. Power failure further affected the water supply to the area and they had to fetch water from the nearby colonies and villages.

According to residents of Shiv Nagar, a resident has constructed a house adjacent to the electricity transformer supplying power to the area. The wall of the house is close to the jumper of the transformer and hinders the switching on and off of it.

The authorities of the electricity subdivision Zirakpur said the default would be rectified after a visit to the spot soon.


Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune New Service

PANCHKULA, June 18—Mr T. D. Minglani, father of Mr Rakesh Minglani, an employee of The Tribune, expired here yesterday night. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

His cremation was attended by a large number of relatives and friends.

The uthala ceremony will be held at Sri Ram Mandir, Sector 2, Panchkula on June 20 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Medical facilities in city “excellent”
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 16 — For him it was a visit to get his eyesight restored in the country of his birth, but little did he know that he would be robbed on a train enroute to Delhi at the Sealdah railway station in West Bengal on June 23 of all his money besides his medical report.

Mr Qazi Abdul Majeed, 60, a journalist who has handled assignments across the globe, works with the League of Cambodian Journalists and shuttles between Phonon Penh and Hanoi, Vietnam. He claims to be on friendly terms with the Cambodian President Prince Norodom Sinahouk and says he was invited by the King to work in his country to remove hostilities between Combodia and Vietnam.

Narrating the sequence of events, he says, “I boarded a train for Delhi but was targeted by three revolver-wielding youths’ who snatched $ 20,000, original press card issued by the Ministry of Information, Cambodia, bank documents for the Shanghai Bank, London, and the vital medical test report without which the doctors here are unable to treat him. A report was lodged at the Sealdah railway station following the intervention of a senior police officer “, he added.

“I developed some problem with my eyesight and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for urgent medical attention. A doctor there allegedly administered some wrong medicine, as a result of which the outer corneal covering of both my eyes was damaged. I was diagnosed as having bilateral eye sickness. Following this, I decided to come to India for rehabilitation and further treatment and that was why I came to Chandigarh because it has excellent medical facilities,” he reveals.

Commenting on the situation in the country, he comments that things are limping back to normal. The people, who have been terrorised and forced to flee to the countryside by the Pol Nol regime in the 60’s, are willing to let bygones be bygones for the sake of development.

The remnants of the Khmer Rouge rebels are slowly realising that the people want peace and more and more of them are laying down their arms to join the mainstream. He, however, said rebels are still hiding in the jungles bordering Thailand waiting for the right time to surrender, he pointed out.

The country will have a booming economy in the coming decade and developmental works are going ahead and a heartening indicator is the number of foreign investors who are willing to invest in the country, he added.


Minor raped
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — A three-year-old girl was raped by an unidentified person at Mauli Jagran here this morning.

In a complaint to the police, her father, Ravinder Shah, a labourer, said the couple working at a nearby construction site had gone for some work while the daughter slept outside the jhuggi.

On returning to their home they found the girl missing. When she returned to her house later she was crying. A medical examination was carried out.

The police registered a case.Back



Father alleges girl’s kidnapping
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Mr Jabbar, of Vikas Nagar in Mauli Jagran Colony, in a complaint with the police, alleged that his minor daughter had been abducted by Dhadranj Singh. A case has been registered.

Boy missing: Ram Lakhan, a Class V student and resident of Colony number 5, has been missing since June 16. He reportedly went to take tuitions in Sector 20 and did not return, according to family sources.

Shop burgled: Mr Sobran, a shopkeeper of the Main Market in Kajheri, alleged that someone had stolen five decks, one two-in-one and two radio sets from his shops. The police has registered a case.

Cars stolen: Mr Lalit Bansal, of Sector 10 in Panchkula reported that his car (HR-05B-0004), had been stolen from near the Bata showroom in Sector 17 here. In another case, Mr T R Verma, of Sector 20, Panchkula, complained that his car (CH01-C-4981) had been stolen from near the Punjab National Bank, Sector 22, here. Cases have been registered.

Two arrested: The police arrested two persons — Hardip Singh and Karam Singh — both residents of Kajheri village on the charges of apprehension of breach of peace.


Held with liquor: The police arrested three persons — Jeet Ram, Avtar Singh and Tara Chand — for possessing 146 pouches of illicit country made liquor from different places. Cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act have been registered against them.

Rash driving: The Chandi Mandir police station registered a case of rash driving on the complaint of Mr Deepak Tyagi, of Saharnpur, who alleged that a tractor rammed into his car at Nada Sahib.

Minor fire: A minor fire was reported from an acrylic sheets factory in Phase I of Industrial Area. The fire was brought under control by the owner before the fire brigade reached the spot. The reason for the fire was that a furnace backfired on the premises.

Preventive steps: The Citizens’ Welfare Association demanded on Sunday that police personnel be posted at sensitive points for checking, night-patrolling be taken up in all sectors, and regular checking of migrant labour be undertaken in view of the recent incidents of crime in the city.

In a press note, the President of the association, Mr SK Nayar, suggested that preventive steps to maintain law and order in the city be taken up on priority basis while checking the spread of jhuggis, which housed most of the miscreants involved in these incidents.


Rush for chhabeel causes mishap
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, June 18 — The traffic hazard created by a chhabeel on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Singhpura Bhudda village resulted in an accident, injuring two persons today.

Sources said two trucks collided head on while a car, following one of the trucks, was damaged in the accident. A brick-loaded truck (HR-03-4883), while taking over a long queue of vehicles that had stopped for sweet water on the highway, collided with another truck (PB-11E-3580) loaded with C.R. Slates.

The impact of collision was so forceful that bricks-loaded truck's direction reversed and a car ( PB-10A-5763) following it rammed into from behind. In the accident, Mr Salendar Singh, a truck driver sustained injuries on his chest and a car occupant on his arm.

Traffic also remained disrupted for more than two hours on the highway and the vehicles going towards the Ambala side were diverted to a village link road which rejoined the highway about 2 km from the spot.


Remand for one in paper leakage case
From Our Correspondent 

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Ashwini Gupta, an accused in the paper leakage case, was remanded in judicial custody till July 2 by the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Pushwinder Singh.

Ashwini Gupta is the fifth person under arrest in the case after Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, Panjab University, Anurag Gupta, Sukhwinder Singh and Dhan Singh.

Ashwini, a resident of Barwala, is a former student of the Department of Mathematics.

All of them have been arrested recently by the CBI for their alleged role in the leakage of question papers of the BSc (III)- Honours, Department of Mathematics, Panjab University, in May, 1998.

The public prosecutor argued that the accused had disclosed that he was involved in the mass paper leakage and he used to smuggle the answersheets from the Secrecy Branch of the university for the completion of the remaining answers in hostels and other places in Chandigarh. The public prosecutor argued that the statement of Ashwini had been recorded in the presence of Mr B.R. Sharma, Assistant Registrar (Exams), Panjab University.

After hearing the arguments the judge ordered that the accused be sent to judicial remand till July 2 for facilitating the investigation to recover the photocopies of the question papers from the places where they were kept.


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