Thursday, June 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Guards yes, night service no
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — Even though militancy is under control in Punjab, its ghost continues to cast its shadow by way of a lack of long-route buses during late evening and night hours.

Even seven years after Punjab saw the last of militancy, guards carrying automatic and semi-automatic weapons accompany all long-route buses that leave the bus stands in the state and Chandigarh. If this security is not enough anybody visiting Chandigarh for some work and wanting to go to places like Bathinda, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ferozepore, Hoshiarpur or Gurdaspur has to board a bus by 5 pm or stay for the night and take a bus the next morning. And in some cases last buses depart by 4 p.m. Same is true for people wanting to board long-route buses in other cities of Punjab.

It is just like the late eighties when the last buses used to reach their destinations before the sum set in. And the departure timing for last buses from the place of origin used to be 2 p.m. or even by noon.

According to sources, the Punjab police wants to take no risk at this stage. Intelligence dossiers say that some dormant elements of the turbulent period of the state are still at large and the ISI of Pakistan is in touch with them. The ISI is also known to be keen on stoking fires in Punjab to open another front for the already beleaguered Indian armed forces. These dormant elements could have the potential to create trouble and as has been the experience bus passengers are the softest target. Going back to the early days of militancy, bus passengers were among the first to be massacred which led to a countrywide backlash.

Security officials in Punjab say the constables on duty do not carry any hand-held metal detectors to search the bus or the belongings of passengers . But the armed guards are prepared to meet any eventuality in case someone was to hijack the bus and take it to some remote place before killing anyone. However, the guards may not be able to do much in the case of a bomb planted inside the bus, admitted a senior police official.

The armed guards were not withdrawn since some buses were introduced to reach their destinations latest by 10 or 10: 30 p.m in 1997. It is not that the guards have been put due to some heightened threat perception, said a senior functionary in the Punjab police .

Meanwhile sources in the transport sector said demands for restoring some more long-route buses has been pending but it has to be cleared by the states security set-up. At present no more than 40 per cent of the late-evening long-route buses are operational while none of the night routes is running.

On the other hand, private bus operators based in Jalandhar and Amritsar continue to ferry passengers in luxury coaches between these cities and the International Airport in Delhi. Besides running in the morning, these buses also do some night routes.Back


Strike brings school board work to standstill
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 21 — The functioning of the Punjab School Education Board "virtually" came to standstill with members of the Punjab School Education Board (Non-Teaching) Karamchari Union going on a one-day strike at a short notice in support of their demands.

The management of the board, on the other hand, refused to bow to the pressure tactics of the union.

The worst affected were the members of the public who had to return disappointed on finding that the employees were striking work. A number of students could be seen pleading with the board officials and the union leaders to help them in getting their detailed marks sheets or other board-related documents as they had to seek admissions to different professional courses.

It may be pertinent to mention here that it was a crucial time as the results of class X and arts stream of class XII examinations were being prepared and a delay of a day could further delay the announcement of the results. This, in turn, could affect the future of the students who had to seek admission to higher courses.

Earlier in the day the union held a rally in support of its demands and announced to go on strike. Mr Jarnail Singh Brar claimed that the board management had agreed to its demands but the same were not being implemented now. The leader alleged that the management was delaying the results as certain inefficient officials had been given charge of the job.

Mr Brar said the salaries of the persons on contract basis and daily-wagers had not been paid for the past two months. Deserving cases were not being given promotion against vacant posts. He said an Additional Secretary in the board was being given undue favour by the management. The union members claimed that the strike was complete.

The board management taking serious view of the strike termed it as illegal. It said the union was holding the board to ransom by putting hurdles in the time-bound work like preparation of results. The Chairman of the board, Dr Kehar Singh, said "no-work-no-pay" formula would be implemented from tomorrow if the employees resorted to strike. Action against the employees responsible for the strike as per the board rules had been initiated. Some of the employees had already been issued show-cause notices in this regard.

Referring to the demands of the union, Dr Kehar Singh said though the demands were not feasible though a meeting between the management and the union leaders had been called.

Terming the behaviour of the union leaders as uncivilised, he said a demands that certain employees be promoted against vacant posts in the field but be paid salaries at the head office and promotion of class IV employees more than the fixed quota were not feasible.

The management said that the rallies and the language used by the employees were uncalled for.


Jagat cinema contractor faces action
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21  — The UT Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Parag Jain, has ordered the registration of a case against the contractor of Jagat Cinema in Sector 17 for alleged negligence resulting in injuries to a couple and their daughter on Sunday.

According to police sources, the SSP directed Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, SDPO, Central, to register a case. However, a case could not be registered since the complainants were not available at their residence till late at night.

Mr Krishan Arora and his daughter Priya has a miraculous escape when they ran into a nylon rope used to cordon off the parking lot of the cinema. They were going home after watching a movie at 9 p.m. when their motor cycle ran into the rope. Since the area was in darkness, he could not see the obstacle. Both of them received injuries on their necks and fell down.

It was with great difficulty that Mr Arora drove to a chemist in Sector 22, where he was given first aid before being rushed to the Sector 32 GMCH, where they were told that the hospital had received four similar cases in the past.


Nylon ropes at parking lots pose danger
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — The putting up of the nylon rope in the parking lot of Jagat Theatre in Sector 17 where two persons were injured after they ran into it on Sunday night, has come in for severe criticism at the hands of a cross-section of city residents.

Terming the ropes meant for cordoning off the parking lot as "very dangerous", Dr Y.N. Mehra said it could lead to permanent disability and instant death. Besides, the injured persons could lose speech permanantly as the damaged voice box was very difficult to repair since it was a specialised job.

Stressing the need for proper illumination at such spots, including the metal barriers put up by the police, Dr Mehra said it was a "criminal negligence" on the part of the authorities concerned to ignore the safety of the motorists.

Expressing similar sentiments, another ENT specialist, Dr S.C. Pandhi, said since very important veins passed through the neck area, the injured person could bleed to death. With the voice box being damaged, the injured persons could be choked to death, he added.

Proper lighting and signals cautioning the drivers are the only surety that such types of incidents were not repeated, he reasoned.

Calling the incident as "unfortunate", Mr Davinder Singh Dhillon, a contractor, was of the view that ''we should not take the incident as lightly'' since several cases had been reported in the past also. The authorities concerned should make a detailed plan with a view to regulating the traffic at all such spots which were accident-prone.

"It is a high time the authorities wake up from slumber and treat the issue in all seriousness it deserves before a major mishap occurs," he added.

However, a councillor, Mr O.P. Goyal, differed with others, saying that it needed to be seen whether a provision to put up rope existed in the aggrement signed by the contractor with the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. But he stressed that the safety norms should be strictly followed.



Nursery teachers’ school shut
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 —The controversy surrounding the Sector 9 Central Mission School has taken a new turn with its Principal writing to the Director Public Instructions (S), Mr D.S. Saroya, that the school has been closed down and fresh admissions to the Nursery Teachers Training Course have been cancelled.

Sources in the school reveal that the authorities of Central Mission School have written to the DPI that after receiving the second show-cause notice by the DPI, the functioning of the school was paralysed. The board put up by the authorities bearing the name and other information about the institute has been removed. The admissions of the students to the session commencing in July had been already cancelled and they were being refunded their fee and other charges.

It is further learnt that the institute has applied for recognition to the National Council for Teachers Education, Jaipur, as also for a no objection certificate from the local administration.

Meanwhile, the SP(HQ), today summoned the nine students who had filed a complaint with the SSP and inquired about the details of the case.

It may be recalled that the Senior Superintendent of Police had ordered a probe into the functioning of the school following a complaint by students. They had filed the complaint in view of the show-cause notices issued to the institute by the DPI saying that the school and the courses offered by it were not recognised by the competent authority and hence the degrees offered after the year 1995 were invalid.

The SSP had deputed the Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mr Baldev Singh, to look into the matter.

The students in the complaint to SSP had alleged that they were being "cheated by the Principal, staff members and the management" of the school and had further alleged that they had played with the careers of the hundreds of innocent girls.

They had requested the SSP to strictly punish the Principal, staff members and the management for allegedly committing a fraud through false and misleading information. Moreover, even after the show-cause notices, the Principal had kept on giving false assurances. 


Confusion about school prospectus
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — Confusion is prevailing among many students seeking admission to senior secondary classes in various government schools for the past two days as the Education Department has postponed the dates of availability of the prospectus.

Earlier the department had announced the date as June 20 but changed it to June 22. The students, not aware of the changed schedule, made it to various schools to buy the forms to be disappointed later after reading the notice on the notice board.

The clerical staff of the Sector 35 Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS) alone has sent more than 150 students back during these two days. "Yesterday around 100 students came asking for prospectus and even today more than 50 students have already enquired about the same," says a clerk in the office of the school.

An employee of the Sector 16 GMSSS told that many students came asking for the prospectus but when she told them to come on June 22 they protested leading to heated exchanges between the employee and admission seekers.

Another student, who had come all the way from Kalka, said: "I came here to get the forms but I will have to go back disappointed as these will be made available from June 22."

Meanwhile, the prospectus-cum-admission forms will be made available to the students in all government schools. But they will be submitted in the Sector 23 GMSSS. The last date of filling the forms is June 30. Only one form is to be filled by each candidate seeking admission to class XI.

According to the Director, Public Instruction (schools), single admission form submitted by each candidate will be considered for admission in all government schools and for all streams, including science, commerce, humanities and vocational courses.

The admission will be granted by a centralised admission committee on the basis of the position in the common merit list, order of preference of school and stream by the candidate.

A candidate will be admitted in one school and one stream only. There will be no change in school or stream once the seat is allotted by the committee.

The merit list will be displayed on the date of interview at the venue of admission. It will also be displayed in five government schools, including the GMSSS in Sectors 16, 18, 35, 40 and 46, on July 5. The interviews will start on July 6 in the Sector 23 GMSSS.

The expected number of students coming to take admission is 8,000 in a total of 29 government schools.

To avoid the referral cases for admission to classes XI and XII in various government schools, the DPI (s), Mr D.S. Saroya, has made it sure to get his message across the students. ''Admissions shall be made on the basis of merit and merit alone'' reads a line printed in the centre of a page following the cover of the prospectus. "I have been receiving calls from many people referring students for admission to a desired school or a stream. I have been telling them time and again that the admission will strictly be based on the merit and will be granted by the centralised admission committee and no references will be taken into consideration regarding the matter." said Mr Saroya.Back


A giant cucumber
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — It is a cucumber with a difference. At 4 feet 4 inches, it is an object of curiosity not only for the family that grew it but for the neighbours alike.

The proud owner, Col Jagir Singh Dhillon of Sector 35, says, ‘’ I have never put in any extra effort. The size is beyond my imagination. We used to water and put manure in the same quantity as with the other vegetables in the kitchen garden. The seeds were brought from the Kitchen Garden Society, Sector 23, and were planted two months ago. Nobody at that time thought that it will grow this big”.

Ms Dhillon exclaims, “ Many people are coming, to see this stupendous vegetable, which is unbelievable till one sees it with ones eyes. The only different thing we did was that we hung up the growing by a wire and it is grew downward, as if growing by gravity”.

The Dhillons believe that this cucumber will not grow more than two to three inches more. This is a record in itself that a cucumber has grown this big .

The cucumber of such a size is a sight to behold for. The employees at the Sector 23 nursery hardly believe that a cucumber can be so large. They have not heard or seen this size ever before.


Long queues at bill collection centres
Tribune News Service


Time: 10.20 a.m.

Place: Sector 32 water and electricity bill collection centre .

Problem: Long queue of consumers to pay their water and electricity bills on the last day on Wednesday.

Background: The authorities concerned have been continuing with the outdated system of accepting bills at the collection centres. And with a substantial rise in the population, the number of consumers has increased manifold over the years, but the number of collection centres has remained the same.

Several proposals, including the collection of bills from the doorstep of the consumer by postmen and authorising the STD/PCO owners to collect the bills and entrusting the job to private agencies, have been hanging fire for the past several years.

With the collection centres remaining the same over the years, there is always a big rush at the centres, particularly on the last days, for depositing the bills. The problem is more acute at the centres in the southern sectors, where long queues of consumers wait for hours for their turns. The shelters provided for the public often fail to contain the rush, with the result that the consumers were inconvenienced in the inclement weather.

Meanwhile, consumers complained that only a few days were given for the deposit of the bills which virtually "forced" them to deposit the same on the last day.

Official version: Officers conceded that the problem of overcrowding in the Sector 32 centre as it catered to a large population and had only one counter. The additional staff could not be posted since the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) was already short of staff.

In fact, the consumers should also be blamed as they come to deposit the bill only on the last day to avoid payment of fine. If the consumers deposited the bills on all days, the problem could be minimised, they highlighted.

Citizens' viewpoint: Consumers in general demanded that more counters should be set up, particularly on the last two days. "It has been taking almost two hours to deposit the bill for the several months," said Mr Jasdev Singh, a resident of Sector 45, who was standing in the middle of the queue.

There should be only one queue for men and women as is the case in the Sector 17 Railway Reservation Centre, he said, alleging that certain women deposited the bills many times over which meant that the men had to stand in queue for longer times.

Several consumers suggested that the authorities should devise a mechanism under which the bills are collected from home. The consumer will not mind paying a little extra for the purpose as it will save his time and save him the bother of depositing the bills after standing in queues for hours, they reasoned.


Colonel Brar dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — Col Raghubir Singh Brar, a veteran of World War II and one of the oldest officers of Punjab Regiment, died here yesterday. He was 78.

Commisioned in the Indian Army in 1942, he commanded 7 Punjab (8 Mech) with elan. A diehard soldier and a thorough gentleman, he commanded tremendous respect from one and all for his contribution to the Army and the nation.

His only son , a Colonel in the Army, has commanded the same unit. Colonel Brar also leaves behind three daughters, including an IPS officer of the UT cadre presently posted in Delhi. His other two daughters, including a doctor, are based in the USA.

In a condolence mesage, Major-Gen S.K. Awasthy, Colonel of Punjab Regiment, joined all ranks in mourning his death and said: ''In him we have lost a true veteran. We salute this noble soldier and pray to the almighty to rest him in peace and grant the strength to the family to bear this irreparable loss."


Geri route wears a deserted look
By A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — Is geri losing charm?Not a soul is seen these days on the once-crowded geri-route that was seen flooded with bikes and cars all the time a while ago. The road between Government College for Girls and Government College for Men in Sector 11,leading to Sector 10 and popularly called the geri-route, seems deserted these days, with no girls and boys wandering about as they used to.

It is one of the favourite places of college-goers, where they spend hours together, zooming their bikes and cars. As soon as it strikes 12, the girls are free to go out of the college and rush towards the geri-route, even if they have to miss their classes.The day-scholars are generally on their two-wheelers, while the hostelers walk down to the market of sector 10 or 11.The boys do the same driving slowly, enjoying the eye-tonic.

The empty road seems to be waiting for the colleges to reopen so that it again becomes a hubub of activity. The colleges being closed is not the only reason for the youngsters not to be out and about on the geri-route.Heat too is responsible for keeping them away from this place.Still, there are a few persons who are seen here in the evenings regularly.

It is the most convenient rendezvous of girls and boys, where they stand on the roadside and chat among themselves.Even if the meeting is not pre-planned, one is bound to run into each other at this place.It is also called the lovers-road by many.

“It is not as much fun as it used to be earlier,” the youngsters feel.The police has recently become a pain in their neck.The security guards are seen at this place pretty often and check the person who is seen at this place repeatedly.The maximum strictness is observed outside the girls college where no boy is allowed to stand and wait for his girl-friend.

In spite of all this, everyone is so addicted to this place that it is difficult to give up geri all together, since it is the only attraction they have while studying in a college. No matter how much restriction is imposed and how much fuel is wasted, nobody can resist the temptation of geri.There is not much time left for the geri-route to assume its usual charm.As soon as the admissions to the colleges start,it will be as crowded as ever.


Trader booked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — The police has registered a case against a Sector 17 trader Subhash Kataria for misbehaving with and threatening a local BJP councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi, a few days back. The case, according to sources, has been registered on the complaint of the MC secretary.



Pharmacists booked for cheating
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — The police has registered a case against two employees of Sahib Singh and Sons, one of the oldest chemist and vaccination centres of the city in Sector 17, for using another drug in place of the original drug and cheating, here today.

Those booked under Sections 276, 420 and 120-B of the IPC are pharmacists Major Singh and Vikram Duggal. This episode was highlighted in The Tribune in these columns yesterday.

Dr Vineet Suneja Dass, of Sector 11, had taken his teenaged daughter to the chemists for administering a chickenpox vaccine. The vial containing the vaccine was left on the table. The medicine was forgotten and the girl was injected a solvent — distilled water.

While Dr Dass claimed that he noticed the lapse, Mr Duggal, the proprietor of the shop, said it was he who had realised the mistake and brought it to their noitce. Subsequently, a fresh vial was requisitioned and the required dose was administered to the girl, maintained Mr Duggal.

Dr Dass had also pointed out that in case he had not noticed the lapse, he would have gone away satisfied with the fact that his daughter had been vaccinated.

Police sources confirmed that a case has been registered. No arrests have been carried out till late in the night.Back


Case of sodomy registered 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — The police today registered a case of sodomy against a Bapu Dham colony resident.

According to police sources, a 14-year-old mentally challenged man was sent by his father to fetch some sugar from the neighbourhood store.On the way, he came across his neighbour, Mukesh, who reportedly led him to the nearby woods and sodomised him. He was allegedly joined by two of his friends in the unnatural act.

When he did not return for two hours, the parents got worried and set out to search for him. They found him in the woods and upon asking him, came to know about the episode.

The police reportedly tried to hush up the case at the police post last night, but a case was registered under Section 377 of the IPC today following the intervention of senior officers.

Caught red-handed: The police has arrested Aklesh Chauhan, of Pandit Ka Purba (UP) who was caught red-handed snatching the purse of Sector 15 resident Sucha Singh. He was caught at the spot by the public and timely intervention of the PCR staff.

A case under Section 382, IPC, has been registered.

Assaulted on duty: Mr Rapinder Singh, a lineman with the Electricity Department, Division Number 9, Sector 43, has complained that he was assaulted by Sector 42 resident Yash Pal and his wife while on duty. They reportedly objected to the checking of their meter.

A case under Sections 332 and 353, IPC, has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr J.S. Dahiya, a resident of Sector 23, has reported that his car, (DBB 6397) has been stolen from his residence.

A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.


Foreigner held: A Tanzanian national, Iwan Goodness, was arrested by a team of the central police station for allegedly possessing 200 grams of charas near the traffic lights of PCA stadium in Phase 9 here today. The drug peddler, a resident of Panchkula, was coming on a moped from Chandigarh when he was signalled to stop by the police party.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr S.S. Gill, reached the spot and frisked the suspect.

A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

Missing baby case: The local police has registered a case under Section 363-A in connection with the missing of a nine-month child from Phase X here. According to the information available the mother of the child, Amarjeet Kaur after visiting a doctor in Phase XI was going towards a Gurdwara when she was allegedly hit by some vehicle on June 19.

A rickshaw puller who happened to pass by helped the woman sit in a nearby park. But after the rickshaw puller went away, she again became unconscious. On gaining consciousness, she found that her child was missing.

She had come to visit her parents in Phase XI here from Delhi. The police has registered an FIR on the basis of a statement given by the father of the girl, Mr Balbir Singh.



MC employee suspended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 21 — An employee of the Municipal Corporation has been suspended for alleged irregularities. According to sources, Harbhajan Singh, who was posted at the Sector 45 cattle pond, was found to have indulged in certain illegal activities, following a surprise check by Mr Ashok Vashisht, Assistant Commissioner, here today.

Show-cause notice: The municipal authorities served a show cause notice to the contractor of the Sukhna Lake parking for overcharging visitors. It had been alleged by the people that he was charging money beyond the fixed rates, thereby harassing visitors. 


Godrej staff gherao police station
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 21 — Members of the Godrej-GE Employees Union gheraoed the Phase 1 police station here today to protest against the alleged pro-management action being followed by the police in connection with their 232-day-old agitation. The employees laid a siege to the police station for more than three hours.

The union leaders met the Station House Officer, Mr R.S. Sohal, and demanded action against the officials of the management who had bashed up their members. Mr Vikas Sharma, a leader of the union, said when ASI Balbir Singh failed to take any action they met the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr S.S. Gill. The DSP assured the employees of the necessary action. Back



Protest dharna by Punwire staff
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 21 — The agitation by the Punwire Wireless Systems Employees Union intensified when the union held a protest dharna in front of Udhyog Bhavan in Sector 17, Chandigarh, today. Earlier the employees raised slogans in front of the office of the labour commissioner, Punjab.

When the employees tried to enter Udhyog Bhavan the police had to resort to a mild lathi charge. No one was injured in the incident. Later the union leaders gave a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the Chairman of Punwire, Mr R.I. Singh.

Addressing the employees, Mr Sahjeed Ahmed said a massive rally would be held at Chandigarh on June 29.

Alleging that the Punjab Government was planning to sell off Punwire, the leaders said a joint agitation to secure the future of the employees had been launched. The main demand was release of Rs 50 crore for the revival of the company. 



Peas dearest at Rs 40 a kg
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 21 — Priced at Rs 40 a kg, peas was the dearest item among the commonly consumed vegetables in the local markets on Wednesday. A poor quality of the vegetable was selling at Rs 30 a kg.

Lemon was another item selling at Rs 40 a kg.

A survey of the local markets revealed that the prices of the vegetables which had registered an increase about two weeks ago had not registered any further increase. A vendor in the Phase 4 market was selling lady's finger at Rs 12 a kg. A better quality of the vegetable was selling at Rs 14 a kg.

A few weeks ago beans, which were selling at Rs 25 a kg, was today, however, available at Rs 20 a kg in the Phase 3B2 market. A better quality of the vegetable was selling at Rs 23 a kg.

A vendor in the Phase 7 market was selling gourd at between Rs 6 and Rs 8 a kg. Onion was being sold at Rs 6 a kg. Tomato registered an increase. It was being sold by a vendor in Phase 5 at Rs 24 a kg. A few weeks ago it was being sold at Rs 18 a kg.

Brinjal was selling at Rs 16 a kg and bittergourd at Rs 15 a kg.

Cucumber was being sold by a vendor in the Phase 7 market at Rs 12 a kg. Capsicum was selling at between Rs 27 and Rs 30 a kg. Cabbage and cauliflower were available at Rs 10 and Rs 15 a kg, respectively. Potato was being sold in the Phase 5 market at Rs 8 a kg. A better quality was, however, available for Rs 10 a kg. A vendor in the Phase 9 market was selling the item at between Rs 4 and Rs 5 a kg.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |