Friday, June 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Futile exercise to get admission forms
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — A shortage of prospectus-cum-admission forms on the very first day disappointed many students seeking admission to senior secondary classes. The Education Department had announced the date of availability of the forms as June 22 but the students had to go back without getting the admission forms on the very first day.

In the Sector 23 Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS) as many as 1,500 forms were sold by 11 a.m. and the school was falling short of these. The authorities of the Education Department then had to arrange for another number of forms and the forms were again made available around 12 noon in the Sector 23 school.

Earlier, in the morning the students were all queued up in the Sector 23 school and later after 11 a.m. many students had gathered there waiting for the forms to reach there.

But in many other schools the forms were finished by 11 a.m. and they were not made available afterwards. In the Sector 16 GMSSS there were no forms after 11 a.m. There was a resentment prevailing among the students and parents. Gurbaksh Singh, father of a student, talking to The Tribune at 12.30 p.m. said, "I have been standing here for more than an hour but no forms have been made available to me."

Similarly, in the Sector 35 GMSSS the forms were finished by 11.30 a.m. This correspondent reached this school around 11.30 a.m. and within half an hour around 60 students and parents were sent back by the school officials. Some employees standing at the entrance were turning away anybody approaching them to ask for the forms. They were telling them to come either tomorrow or collect the forms from some other school.

A clerk in the school told that he had collected 400 forms yesterday. "But they were sold in no time. Now everybody is coming to me asking for the forms. They are thinking that I am responsible for this situation now. What can I do about it? Even last year the department had faced such problems. But when have we learnt from our experiences?"

Many students were going around many city schools in search of the forms. Gaurav, a former student of the Sector 16 GMSSS revealed, "We went to the sector 16 school first. They sent me to Sector 23. But now Sector 23 people are asking me why can't I buy the forms from some other school."

Some students informed that the forms were also already sold in the Sector 40, 10 and 18 GMSS schools. Certain schools on the periphery did not bother to collect the forms from the Sector 23 school yesterday. There was a great resentment in students and parents in those areas. Many peons of these schools had gathered in the Sector 23 school to collect the forms at 12.30 p.m.

A principal of a school was ringing up the Sector 23 school to know about the situation as he had sent a peon from his school. The peon arrived at 12.45 p.m. and he told the principal that there were already many peons from other schools to collect the forms.

The District Education Officer, Mr Brahmjit Kalia, when contacted, said, "There is no scarcity of the forms. We got 11,000 forms printed as against less than 9,000 seats in all schools. Even now there are 2,100 forms lying in the reserve of the department. Last year there was a problem as we had charged the initial money from different schools. But this year we gave the prospectus without charging any initial money. We had issued the forms yesterday as per the demand by the school. The fault lies with the managements of the schools."Back


21 bonded labourers rescued
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, June 22 —The district administration rescued 21 bonded labourers from Rajinder Chhabra of Sector 7, a kiln-owner in Natwal village, here today. Those rescued include eight men, five women and eight children. A case has been registered against Chhabra at the Raipur Rani police station.

The official spokesperson added that on June 20, Mansingh, Pramod, Shanti and Bishni had complained to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr SK Monga, that the kiln-owner had kept 20 labourers in captivity for the past six months. He added that Pramod, a bonded labourer, had also accompanied the complainants to the Deputy Commissioner.

He informed that the DC ordered the SDM, Mr NK Singla, Labour Officer, Ambala, Mr Dharampal and Labour Inspector, Mr BL Saluja, to conduct an on-the-spot inquiry into the matter. The officials, along with the Raipur Rani police, conducted a raid at the kiln at 11p.m. to find three sweepers and two munshis who had kept the labourers in captivity. At the time the raid was conducted, the owner was not present at the kiln.

It was added that with the help of the police, the officials rescued 21 bonded labourers by the morning of June 21. Following this, the labourers were taken to Mansa Devi temple, where the District Red Cross arranged for their food. Later, the labourers were sent in two separate trucks to Muzzafarnagar and Saharanpur and handed over to the district magistrate.

Those freed include Paltu (60 years), Vinod (14 years), Pramod (21 years), Eshan (32 years), Omvati (28 years) , Pinki (10years), Indersen (30 years), Saroj Devi (28 years), Johny (10 years), Mona (8 years), Golu (6 years), Pooja (4 years), Neta Ram (36 years), Kamla Devi (26 years), Deepak (3 years), Sachin (5 months), Balbir Singh(22 years), Mohinder (37 years), Balbir (22 years), Balbeera (55 years), Mrs Bala Devi (48 years) and Sachin (8 years).Back



Youths chase, nab snatchers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — After a long pursuit by two youths of Sector 36, two persons who had snatched the handbag of a woman were overpowered by them and the public, before being handed over to the police here this afternoon.

According to police sources, the youths — Chandan and Neeraj — were going on their motorcycle when they were waved down by two women near the ISKCON Temple, who said their purse had been snatched by youths on a Kinetic Honda. They recalled seeing such persons and sped in pursuit.

They spotted them at a distance and on seeing them being pursued, the accused, later identified as Dinesh and Nitin, tried to speed away. Hot in pursuit, Chandan and Neeraj, followed them. Finally, the scooter of the accused slipped while entering a kutcha trackleading to the Haryana Press Colony.

Abandoning their scooter, the accused ran away, followed by the youths. Both of them climbed the stairs of a house, but in the meantime people had also started following them. Finally, the duo was nabbed from the house and the police was informed.

The purse has been recovered from them and further investigations are on. More recoveries are expected by the police. In the past year alone, there were nearly 30 incidents of snatching in the southern sectors, which had resulted in the reshuffle of officers of the department.Back



Administration amends SCO byelaws
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — The Chandigarh Administration has decided to grant a six-month grace period to owners of buildings connected to the public sewer illegally to get their connections regularised. For this, they will have to get their revised building plans sanctioned and apply for completion certificates.

A notification on amendments to Section 4 of the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, issued by the Administration today said, in such cases, the penalty or compounding fee to be imposed on the owners of the buildings having illegal sewer connections should be fixed by the Administration. For technical violations, the revised plans would have to be sanctioned.

In case an owner fails to apply for the completion certificate even after the expiry of the six-month grace period, his sewer connection will be disconnected and criminal proceedings will be initiated against him.

Under the amended byelaws, shop-cum-offices in Sector 17 will be allowed to be used only on the condition that no partition or subdivision in any shop will be built on upper floors.

The supervising architects will be responsible for ensuring proper construction till a completion certificate is issued. Afterwards, it will be the responsibility of the owner to maintain the building as per the sanctioned plans.

The Administration has also decided to allow mezzanine floors inside the petrol pump buildings within the zoning regulation, but, without increasing the building's height. This will be subject to the provisions of the building rules and fire-safety norms. The mezzanine floor should be accessible from only inside the building.

Another significant amendment to the building byelaws is that permission will have to be sought to cover courtyards in commercial buildings along Madhya Marg in Sectors 7 and 26. The amended rules also permit the change of the use of such buildings from residential to commercial, subject to the payment of the conversion charges and the cost of additional area fixed by the Administration.

A 50 per cent coverage of the open central courtyards at the rear of shops will be allowed. For this, the Department of Urban Planning will prepare a fresh architectural control for shops in Sectors 7 and 26 along Madhya Marg, besides the areas specified for an additional coverage. The fee for the additional covered area will be charged at the prevailing market rates. The rate of the additional covered area will be designed in such a manner that construction above it is not possible.

Relaxation for placing the glazing on the first and second floors of Sector 22 showroom-verandahs, both at front and rear, will be given to all the shops in the row along with an option to keep it in the present form.

The brick jaali on the front facade will be retained as such in the architectural control until the owners come up with an alternative suggestion for the whole block or row. The suggestion should be acceptable to the Department of Urban Planning and Architecture.

The amended byelaws will also benefit the printing press industry. Now, printing presses with computerised machinery and equipment will be permitted in commercial buildings only on the ground floor, provided that there are no structure-borne and air-borne noises, no vibration and the operation does not affect the structural safety of the building.

The Administration has also decided that the brick-cut work in plaster instead of the exposed brick work will not be allowed on major elevations. However, for smaller areas and internal surfaces, it will be considered during the compounding.

Now, shops-owners can have their window-ACs fitted in verandahs above the false ceilings. According to an amendment in the building byelaws, false ceilings can be of any material or specification suitable to shopkeepers, subject to a minimum clear height to be fixed by the Department of Urban Planning.

The owners of shops without air-conditioners on one or both sides will have to close the suspended ceilings from the sides. The minimum height of the suspended ceiling as approved by the Department of Urban Planning will depend on the height of the public corridor in each case. The design of the false ceiling will be based on the guidelines issued by the Department of Urban Planning.

Depressions up to three feet in the floor for all such shops where basements have not been provided, will be allowed. Such depressions should not lead to the creation of an additional floor area through the construction of mezzanine floors or otherwise.

Such depressions will be allowed, provided there is no increase in the floor area of a SCO or SCF and public health services and the structural stability of the premises and the adjoining buildings are not affected. If the depression in the floor is three-foot deep, at least a two-foot-wide strip of floor space adjoining the common-party wall on both sides will not be made deeper. However, the depressed-floor level is restricted up to 1.5 ft, there is no need to exclude any such space adjoining the common party wall.

Further, the resultant clear height should not be such that it becomes a mezzanine floor and a minimum two-digit risers' area to be provided for change in the level. A minimum of 4.5-foot-wide floor area of a shop, in front of the entrance door, should not be depressed.

The amended byelaws also provide for treating the restaurant trade as a general trade, subject to the payment of conversion charges. There is a condition that no cooking activity should be carried out in the front portion of the restaurant. Dhabas will, however, be included in special trades.

Restaurants will be allowed on the upper floors of commercial buildings which are designated as office space in architectural control at present. However, the other conditions as stipulated in the building rules and the fire-safety-norms will be provided within the existing framework.

Restaurants will be considered in the general-category sites, irrespective of the floor of the SCO. In future, before the auction of the commercial sites (SCOs), necessary modifications to use any floor for restaurants or shops will be incorporated in the terms and conditions governing the allotment, including zoning. In case of an already-sold property, a suitable composition fee as determined by the Administration will be required to be paid.Back


5 union leaders shifted
Employees hold dharna
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, June 22 — The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) authorities issued orders for the transfer of five union leaders to district depots even as the employees’ pen-down strike entered its second day today.

Protesting employees staged a dharna in front of the office of the board Chairman, Dr Kehar Singh and later in the day organised a rally in support of their demands. Former office-bearers of the board employees’ union were among those who took part in the dharna.

At the dharna, employee leaders accused the board management of failing to call union representatives for talks and instead resorting to the issuance of show-cause notices and a circular on the no-work-no-pay rule. At the rally, slogans were raised against the board Chairman.

Among the union’s demands are a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the board and the filling of various vacant posts.

The union appealed to the Punjab Government to look into the board’s affairs so that the examination results could be declared on time.

Addressing a press conference on the board premises, Dr Kehar Singh said earlier the strike had been declared illegal and show-cause notices issued to employees, but from today the no-work-no-pay rule would be implemented.

He said the union had been demanding that vacant posts at the board’s district depots should be filled. In fulfilment of this demand union leaders Jarnail Singh Brar (General Secretary), M.S. Pathania (Finance Secretary), Bhagwant Singh Bedi (Organising Secretary), M.P. Sharma (Vice-President) and Kiran Bala (executive member) had been transferred to the Faridkot, Pathankot, Muktsar, Sangrur and Ropar depots, respectively.

The board Chairman said that the plus two examination (arts and humanities groups) results would be declared in accordance with the schedule. The results of about 1.5 lakh were being prepared on the computer. Around 50,000 results, which were being prepared manually by the board staff, would now also be processed on the computer.

He promised that the matriculation results would be declared by June-end. If the board employees did not resume normal work, these results would also be processed on the computer.

Dr Kehar Singh claimed that all genuine demands of the union had been met. He said the union General Secretary, Mr Brar, had earlier been suspended as he was a member of a “set” of employees engaged in the preparation of examination results which had illegally increased the marks of a candidate from 16 to 46 and shown him as pass. He had now been reinstated pending an inquiry. After this case the union had been demanding that all such cases, which it describes as “fabricated”, should be withdrawn.


Move to roll back pay hike irks PGI faculty
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — Resentment prevails among the faculty of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) over the Union government's attitude and the decision to roll back the hike in the salaries and the allowances being given to them following the implementation of the Bakshi Committee recommendations.

Addressing mediapersons at a press conference, senior faculty members criticised the central government's decision to pay them salaries in accordance with the Fifth pay commission instead of the higher scales recommended by the Bakshi Committee. As per the orders received recently, the government has asked the Director, PGI, to revise the salaries of doctors as per its original directive of January 21, 1999, with effect from May 1, 2000. The hike in pay scales, which had come into effect in March last year following the implementation of the Bakshi committee recommendations under a court order expired on April 30 this year.

Prof Sudha Suri, Chairperson of the PGI faculty association, pointed out that the implementation of the Fifth pay commission report entailed a financial loss of Rs 12,010 per month in the salary of professors, Rs 8,400 per month in the salary of the Director, Rs 3,460 in case of Additional Professors and Rs 5,064 in the salaries of Assistant professors.

The Fifth pay Commission has recommended a pay scale of Rs 11,625 for Assistant Professor, Rs 14,300 for Associate Professor, Rs 14,400 for Additional Professor and Rs 18,400 for Professor. It was also stated that 25 per cent of the posts of Professor could be in the scale of Rs 22,400 (with the maximum limit of Rs 29,000). A non-practising allowance (NPA) of 25 per cent has also been suggested. For the Director it has recommended Rs 26,000 plus the NPA and special pay. Doctors while comparing these pay scales with those being offered in the Chandigarh medical college and IITs pointed out that if they accepted the revised pay scales, they would be paid far less than the sister institutions, even as the requirements for recruitment to any equivalent post in the PGI are more demanding and required longer experience. Comparison revealed that a person required 12 years of teaching experience, including four years as reader to become a Professor in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and other medical colleges in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, whereas one needed 14 years of teaching experience after MD to become a Professor in the PGI.

Dr Bhushan Kumar, Head, Department of Dermatology, PGI, said: ''We work for longer hours and cover all emergencies 24 hours a day round the year. If the government wishes to equate us with the CGHS doctors, then even our working hours and workload should be reduced.

Dr Harinder K. Bali, a senior cardiologist, pointed out that the implementation of the revised pay scales would cease to attract doctors of great calibre and the high standards set by their predecessors would automatically fall. The cascading effect of this would be on diluting the teaching and training capacity of the PGI doctors and this, in turn, would reflect a fall in the standards of medical colleges across the country.

Dr K.L. Narsimhan, general Secretary of the association, said that they had also decided to move the court and seek the implementation of the modified Bakshi Committee report, which along with the pay scales incorporated promotional avenues for Additional Professors. He said that the Fifth pay commission had offered 50 per cent of the Additional Professors two increments and brighter promotional avenues. But this was yet to be implemented.

The Additional professors have been agitating for removing the stagnation. While two doctors have already retired at this level, several others are likely to retire as Additional Professors even after putting in more than 30 years of service. However, the item regarding promotion of additional Professors to Professors and Professors to senior professors has already been approved by the

governing body of AIMS and the PGI.

Dr Narsimhan maintains that the additional incentive has been offered to additional professors at this stage only to bring a division amongst the faculty because in the past pay scales and promotional avenues have never been linked. Even the pay commission has never mixed the two.

Dr S.M. Bose, a senior surgeon, said that a consultant surgeon working in a corporate hospital got money equivalent to a Professor's monthly salary in the PGI after doing just two operations. This only indicated that if the government did not watch the interests of the doctors more of them would go to the corporate sector or abroad, he added.

The AIIMS faculty has already moved the apex court to plead their case and the matter will come up on July 19. Besides moving the court, the PGI faculty has also decided to resort to some form of democratic protest, without harming the interest of the patients, to make the government implement the modified Bakshi committee recommendations which also take into account the stagnation of additional professors.

The doctors also pointed out that while, on the one hand, the government with a view to promoting scientific environment in the country has set up a committee to identify certain institutes, which need to be given preferential and special treatment, on the other hand, it has decided to roll back the hike in the pay and allowances of doctors working in institutes of national importance like the PGI and the AIIMS on the flimsy ground that it will have a cascading effect on the CGHS and other state medical colleges.


CISF takes over airport security
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took charge of the security at Chandigarh civil airport here today.

The move is part of the strategy to strengthen the security at airports following the hijacking of the 1C-814 Indian Airlines plane in December last year. This is the 18th airport in the country taken over by the CISF.

The charge was taken over by the Inspector-General of Northern Sector of the CISF, Mr Yashwant Malhotra, at a simple ceremony. He unfurled the force flag, inspected the parade and took the salute. He exhorted the jawans to prove themselves up to the job that had been entrusted to them.

Interacting with mediapersons, he said that security of many major and small airports had been taken over by the CISF following a review of the security system of the airports.

The local airport would be guarded by a unit of 106 members comprising a Superintendent of Police, four inspectors, 18 sub-inspectors and 83 other ranks of the force.

Earlier, the local police along with the Punjab police and two sections of the Special Security Bureau (SSB) were in charge of the security at the airport.Back



Holidays — the time to have fun
By Avneet Sidhu

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — All work and no playmakes jack a dull boy. What do the students always crave for? Holidays of course.

That is what they have now, as the schools and colleges have closed for summer vacation. These are the days for which planning starts a long time in advance. The busy routine of classes and tuitions leaves no time for recreation, making them wait eagerly for the classes to end in order to put their plans into action.

“The best thing about holidays is that you do not have to wake up early in the morning and get ready for classes", most of students say. Very young children are so fond of playing that the moment they wake up they are out of their houses to play with their friends.

Jugat and Sanket,both studying in class I in Golden Bells and St Stephen’s, respectively, go to the market almost everyday to play video-games and spend rest of the time playing at home. Still they are not totally free. The holidays homework will not let them spend the days tension free." My school will reopen on August 1, but I have already finished my homework," chirps Jugat.

A little older ones want to utilise their time by joining different courses and hobby classes since they want to make the most of the free time they have at their disposal. Binny, a Class VIII student of Sector 32 Model School has taken up a computer course for two months and spends an hour and a half everyday at the computer centre. Net-surfing is another thing which is keeping the kids busy.

It is the most difficult time for those who have finished their schools and colleges and are trying hard to get admission to the courses of their choice.Those who have appeared for the entrance tests to various streams are waiting for the results.They have ample time after the exams, but the tension of getting through the tests is not letting them enjoy.

It seems that only the school students enjoy the holidays so much. The college-goers have a different tale to tell. Many of them are sick of sitting at home and watching television. Going to the college gives them a reason to freak out, which they cannot otherwise.

Pooja, a student of G.C.G. sector 11,who generally wakes up at 11 in the morning, is waiting eagerly for the college to reopen. In the meantime, she is learning how to skate. Her friend, Guddu, afraid of putting on extra weight sitting at home, has joined dance classes which will keep her fit, apart from adding to her talent.

One thing which is cherished most during the holidays is taking a trip to a place where you have wished to go since a long time but have not had the time to do so. There must be only a few people who spend whole of their summer vacation at home. Some prefer spending a little time at hill stations, away from the heat in the city.Back


Kaifi for teaching of Urdu
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, June 22 — ‘‘As a father, I did not approve of my daughter, Shabana, shaving her head, fundamentalists or no fundamentalists. However, I was happy that she was being sincere to her profession and moulded herself into the role she was assigned. The best thing about her is that she has covered a vast spectrum of roles which is indeed creditable,'' said a pensive Kaifi Azmi .

He is in town to participate in a mushaira being held at the historical Yadavindra Gardens.

Taking the cue, almost instinctively he moved on to add that the ``Water'' controversy was the doing of the government which embroiled the production team in a controversy and brought to halt the efforts of promoting Indian cinema into the international arena. Mocking the role of the Central Board of Film Certification, he said that it was sad the very people who had approved the script initially chose to reject it later.

“Yehi crew jab film bahar banayega, to yeh log `wah, wah' karenge aur yeh log he foreign exchange lene ke liye aage ayenge,” he added. On his daughter, he said,``She sought my permission before entering the profession. While accepting her choice, I told her to remember, 'Main yeh nahin sunna chahta ki Shabana Azmi bhi ek artiste hai par sirf yeh ki Shabana jaisi ek hi artiste hai’ and she has lived up to my expectations.'' Going back to the earlier question again, he says,``Usne baal katwa kar achha nahin kiya.''

In spite of being tired after the long journey from Mumbai, the lyricist spoke passionately about his favourite subject—ghazals.``Things in the music world are at their lowest ebb. They can't get any worse and so I am optimistic they will begin to improve,'' he said.

Critical of the lack of depth in the wording and lack of feeling in the melody, he informed that materialism had gained precedence over everything else which had proved to be the Waterloo of the industry.

``The many `popular' artistes on the screen don't have an iota of knowledge about Urdu and have started penning ghazals. What is more, the audience listening to them and appreciating their melody have no clue about the underlying meaning of the lines, if there exists one,'' he rued. ``Main yeh nahin janta ki purana zamana wapas aayega ke nahin, par main yeh zaroor janta hoon ki yeh samay behtari ke liye badlega,'' the legend contented emphatically.

"If Urdu could rise like a phoenix out of its own ashes after plummeting to an all-time low, the language has and will remain till eternity. Nobody can wipe out the language for as long as there are people appreciative of the sweetness in the language,'' the connoisseur of the language explained.

He is of the firm opinion that the language can stage a comeback in the times to come with a little help from the governments. "They must evolve a policy by which learning the language becomes compulsory for students since there is a need to motivate the younger generation Also, some state governments have taken a welcome step in the form of making Urdu the second language and other states need to follow suit,'' Kaifi Azmi said.


‘Genuine voters left out of poll rolls’
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, June 22 — Residents here complained today that fresh votes for the Municipal Council elections were being made only on the basis of ration cards in certain areas leading to the exclusion of many genuine voters from the poll rolls.

Mr Amrik Singh, a former municipal councillor, said there was no need to verify the existence of every person mentioned in a ration card before making votes. A ration card should only be checked if a person claimed that there were a large number of inmates in his house and wanted all of them included in the voters’ list.

Mr Harvinder Singh Sidhu, Vice-President of the Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress, said in some cases new-comers to the town had not yet got ration cards made. There were also persons who were not interested in getting these cards prepared. He said although the step on using ration cards for verification was good, there was inadequate time to ensure that genuine residents were not left out of the poll rolls.

Residents said in certain areas officials on poll duty merely noted down the names of inmates in houses for making votes without further inquiry.

The SDM, Mr Jaipal Singh, said no directions had been given to the enumeration staff to check only ration cards. There were other documents like the driving licence and the power bill which could also be examined before making a vote. If any genuine resident was left out of the voters’ list, there would be an opportunity for him to file his claim when one week’s time was given later for claims and objections relating to the poll rolls.Back


Citizens home a non-starter
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 —The Senior Citizens Home in Sector 43-A wears a deserted look. The strings of dry marigold flowers hang outside the multipurpose hall and the doors, reminder of the day the Chandigarh Administration had opened the gates of this home with much fanfare, about two weeks ago.

As of today, the main iron gate outside the building is locked. All the doors leading inside the building are properly secured. A walk around the three-storeyed structure reveals that there is no caretaker in the vicinity.

A peep inside the window panes of the multi-purpose hall shows empty plastic bottles, plates and paper napkins littered on the floor. Clearly, no one has bothered to clean the hall after the opening day celebration on June 10.

The home, first of its kind, was supposed to have started functioning, “soon enough”. Fifteen days after it was inaugurated by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob, “The UT Red Cross is still working on the procedure and other formalities.”

The admission criteria and eligibility should have been worked out much before the inauguration. The building, on a four-kanal plot in Sector 43-A, had cost the administration Rs 81 Lakh.

According to the Social Welfare Department, the entire responsibility of running the home was with the UT Red Cross from the day it was inaugurated. “The organisation will manage it with the help of the Rotary Club and other voluntary organisations.”

Even on the day of inauguration, one of the 24 rooms was hurriedly provided with furniture, blankets and bed sheets. It was said that details about the process of admission and criteria regarding eligibility would be worked out.

However, the situation has continued to remain more or less the same. The home is yet to be equipped with furniture and other infrastructure and the modalities worked out.. According to officials at the Red Cross, “We are still working on the procedure. Everything is still very much at the formative stage. We are waiting for grants from the Administration.”

Lot of formalities, including the eligibility, criteria and process of admission, are also to be worked out. “It will be another month before all this is finalised. We are in the process of finding a suitable manager, arranging for catering and other such amenities and facilities.”

The official version of the UT Red Cross is that the home will be under its administrative control. “We are going to run the home independently. However, later if the Rotary Club or any other organisation wants to chip in, they can.” 


Heartthrobs in your room
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — Have you ever come across a person who has never pasted a picture on the walls of his room? There would hardly be any.We all at times use all our creativity to decorate our rooms with wall-hangings and stickers, posters being an important part of decoration. Some like them small while others wish to cover whole of their walls. Some go to the Archies Gallery while others buy them from the poster-sellers who display them on the ground.

“I’ll take Hrithik Roshan!”, “Leonardo for me.”, “Don’t you have Preity Zinta’s?” This is what the poster-sellers in sector 17 hear all the time. Sitting in the pathway in front of the showrooms in the main shopping complex, they have a rich stock of pictures to sell. Be it cartoons, filmstars or landscapes, every kind of poster is available with them and they keep searching the whole day for the poster of their customer’s choice.

“We cannot make much profit”, says Sanjeev who sells posters with his elder brothers. “My father has to bring them from Delhi, at Rs 8 each and we sell them for Rs10”, he adds while arranging them under the stones for the fear of being blown away by the wind. What he has to show is a pile of posters with Hrithik’s picture, prints of oil-paintings and lots of cartoons, all in small size. When asked about the bigger ones, he points towards his brother who sits a little away hiding them for the fear of being caught, since selling anything outside the showrooms is strictly prohibited.

Same was the situation with Poonam, who sits very alert and recognises the officers from the Municipal Committee from a great distance. She remembers being caught once when she had to pay Rs500 as fine. Not afraid of being caught again she sits calmly and smile as she displays a piece with camels in the desert.

On being asked which kind of posters are selling maximum, Sanjeev exclaims, “Out of filmstars everyone prefers Hrithik these days, so we don’t keep any other”, eyeing Aishwarya Rai’s pictures which are at the second place in demand.” Actually it all depends on the movie which becomes a hit. Earlier, posters of the movie Titanic were selling like anything”, he tells.

The posters which are bought maximum are the ones featuring cartoons with anything funny written or the ones with inspiring words. Dennis, the menace is simply loved by the youngsters. The wording may be, “This is my mess and I love it!”, which is generally put up on the doors by those who want to warn the entrant of the mess inside, before entering. Others say “Enter at your own risk” or simply “Do not disturb”. “Normal is boring” and “Never give up” are also quite common.

“Posters with inspiring words or poetry are an instant source of encouragement when you wake up in the morning feeling low and sad and suddenly look up at the front wall which cheers you immediately”, says Tim, who has put up such posters all over in her room, while Naresh, who is a great fan of Kajol has pasted four of her large poster in his PCO.

Posters are a source of cheer and inspiration and add many interesting ideas to our minds. This is what the youngsters feel. Their parents, however do not agree to this and feel that these are simply a means of spoiling the wall paint.



Employees hold dharna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — Members of the Indian Council for Child Welfare Employees Union demonstrated and sat on a dharna outside Bal Bhavan in Sector 23 in support of their demands here today.

The demands included an increase in the dearness allowance from 6 to 38 per cent, regularisation of the part-time workers and regular pay scales for those working as helpers for the past 28 years.

The union is also demanding implementation of the 1970 service rules and the ECP schemes, besides an increase in the medical allowance from Rs 200 to Rs 250 per month.

In a press release issued by the Joint Secretary of the union, Mr Bihari Lal, the union has also supported the demands of the Indian Welfare Council and have urged the Administration to find a conclusive solution.



Decade’s most comfortable summer
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — This year the heat during summer has not been as oppressive as it is usually in the city and its surrounding areas. Actually, if the number of days when the day temperatures soared to 40°C and above are taken into account, temperatures have been quite pleasant.

Starting on April 1, considered to be the onset of summer, this year the 40°C mark or above was touched only on 12 days — two days in April and 10 days in May — and the highest being 42.6 degrees Celsius on May 3 and 28. So far in June the temperature is yet to touch the 40 degrees mark. And, in all probability, it will not do so now as the monsoon is around the corner.

Going by the 40 degrees Celsius benchmark, this year has been the second most ‘’comfortable ‘’ summer in the past decade. In 1996 similar temperatures had prevailed and the 40 degrees celsius mark was touched on 11 days making it the most ‘’comfortable’’ summer in the past ten years. Interestingly in 1993 there had been a total of 40 days from April 1 to June 30 when the temperatures had risen to touch 40 degrees celsius or above, thus making the hottest year.

This year the onset of summer, taking into account the first three weeks of April, had been hot. Then the day temperatures in the city were recorded at 4°C to 5°C above the normal average. The 40 degrees Celsius mark was hit by April 19. Normally in the city the day temperature touches the 35 or 36 degrees Celsius mark in April before rain occurs to provide the cooling effect.

The initial heat during April died down in May, duststorms accompanied with rainfall led to drop in the temperature from May 3 onwards. On 12 days during May the day temperatures have been below the normal average for this time of the year. The Director of the local Meteorological Department, Mr S.C. Bhan, says the number of western disturbances this summer have been much more than before. Mr Bhan, however, did not assign any reason to the increased number of western disturbances.

This year, never has been the 40 degrees celsius mark touched during June. This has occurred for the first time in the past decade. Chances of the mercury touching the 40°C mark are remote in the next week or so.

The cloud cover over the region today was due to western disturbances, Mr Bhan said, adding that the monsoon was not scheduled to hit the region in the next 72 hours.

The Number of days when the day temperatures touched 40°C or above between April 1 and June 30.


Two thieves held, goods recovered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — The police has arrested two burglars operating in the city and have solved three cases of burglaries registered in the Sector 36 police station.

According to police sources, acting on a tip-off, a party was constituted under the supervision of Mr B D Bector, DSP, South, comprising Inspector Tirath Singh and others. They laid a trap and were successful in nabbing Shiv Kumar, and Mool Chand, residents of Basti village in Uttar Pradesh. They were presently residing in Kajheri village.

Upon interrogation, they confessed to three incidents. The goods recovered from them include five decks, one tape recorder, one mini-deck, one TV, one radio and one tullu pump with motor, besides two bags full of clothes. They used to break into houses by prying open the locks on the main doors of the houses with an iron rod. Both were working as part-time carpenters for the past four months. More recoveries are expected from them.

Two arrested: The police arrested two persons for stealing a scooter from Sector 28. According to police sources, the duo stole the scooter (CHOI-S-1288) from the Sukhna petrol pump.

They were apprehended from near Sector 32 GMCH and the scooter was recovered. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized: The police arrested Anil Kumar alias Neelu, a resident of colony number 5, for selling liquor without a licence. One case of whisky was seized. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Cheating alleged: Sector 19 resident Ms Sudesh Kumari lodged a complaint that three persons — Sudesh Kumar, Gian Singh and R.C. Sharma — had connived to cheat her by selling her a showroom in Sector 23 which they did not own. She reported the matter to the police, following which a case under Sections 419, 420, 468 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.

Theft reported: Mr Surinder Pal, a civil servant from Punjab, lodged a complaint that his domestic servant, Hari Jung of Mohali, had decamped with gold and diamond jewellery from his house. A case under Section 381 of the IPC has been registered.



Two cops suspended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — The police has suspended two cops for allegedly flagging down vehicles unauthorisedly.

According to police sources, Mr Balbir Singh, SP, Traffic, was on an inspection when he spotted the duo stopping vehicles. Upon checking, it was found they were on duty at another spot, but were stopping vehicles and taking money from the city vehicle owners to let them pass. They have been suspended and have been asked to report to the police lines.Back


10 injured in truckers’ clash
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, June 22 — At least 10 persons, including a policeman, were injured when two rival groups of the local Truck Union clashed here today.

It is reported that members of one group of the union were sitting in the union office near the petrol station on the Kharar road when they were attacked by rivals. Chairs and lathis were used in the clash and property was damaged.

There was tension in the area, and when the situation went out of control additional police force was called. One police personnel sustained injuries in the clash.

The trouble arose following a dispute over the presidentship of the union.

According to the police, four persons were rounded up in connection with the clash.

The DSP, Mr S.S. Gill, said a case had been registered under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act and Sections 382, 325, 341, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC.



BJYM gheraos police station
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — The members of the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) picketed the industrial area police station to protest against the alleged implication of a couple of their leaders in a false case.

The protesters were demanding the cancellation of the case and were raising slogans against the police. On the other hand, the members of the local unit of the Congress threatened to gherao the police station on June 24 if the case was withdrawn. They said the police should be impartial and should not succumb to political pressures.Back


‘Manufacturing industry in India dying’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — At present, Indian manufacturing units were suffering and any country that ignored the manufacturing industry could not progress, opined Dr Rakesh Sharma, a US-based professional offering information technology driven solutions for the core industry of the country.

Dr Sharma runs the International Group of Solution Providers (IGSP) for manufacturing units and claims to have some well-known companies of the USA as his clients. Talking about Punjab, he said the manufacturing industry was dying.

He also told this to former Minister of State for Industry, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, at a meeting yesterday. Industry in the country would suffer further once the global markets opened up as the manufacturing units were not modernising at a fast pace and everything was being done manually, Dr Sharma opined.

Talking about IGSP, he said, “We will provide solutions after evaluating each case. Keeping the manufacturing industry alive, assures a large job market and better economy for the local people. In several countries, governments allocate large sums of money to facilitate retraining of workers, help buy new technologies and build buildings”.

By itself, Information Technology cannot propel an economy. For manufacturing companies to stay competitive, companies must invest in education of its workers, upgrade technology and integrate the IT department with the manufacturing department. IT plays a key role in making sure that most processes are automated. In order to integrate these processes, IT needs to work with Engineering. Therefore, it is important to have a strong. IT along with strong manufacturing, he added.Back


Jacob for uniform CST of 2 per cent
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — The Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), had suggested a uniform 2 per cent CST, making Form C mandatory for all inter-state trade and commerce, and introduction of VAT throughout the country from April 1. General Jacob was speaking at the Chief Ministers’ and Finance Ministers’ conference in the union capital today.

General Jacob said at the last conference held on November 16 last year, a decision had been taken at the all-India level regarding implementation of uniform floor rates of sales tax by all state governments in respect of 205 commodities from this year. It was also decided that no state or union territory would introduce any new sales tax incentives and existing incentive schemes would be withdrawn by all states and union territories by January 1 this year. It was also decided to introduce VAT throughout the country from April 1,2001.

General Jacob said the Chandigarh Administration had brought almost all the agreed items in conformity with the floor rates in accordance with the November 16 meeting. However, in respect of a few items, like diesel, on which the existing rate was 5 per cent, whereas the proposed floor rate was 12 per cent and soap, over which the existing rate was 8 per cent and floor rate was 12 per cent, and five items under category V, on which the agreed floor rate was 20 per cent, the uniform floor rate was yet to be levied.

General Jacob said 20 per cent sales tax could not be levied in Chandigarh without extension of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act (2nd Amendment), 2000, passed in April this year, to Chandigarh. A reference had been made to the Ministry of Home Affairs for adoption of the amended Act. Secondly, he said, supplies of petrol and diesel in Chandigarh originated from Punjab or Haryana, because of which an additional duty of 4 per cent CST was added to the basic price of petrol and diesel. The Home Ministry had taken up this matter regarding exemption of 4 per cent CST with the Punjab and Haryana governments and a response was awaited.

General Jacob said the Chandigarh Administration had not given any tax-related incentives to the industries. However, in Chandigarh, the rate of CST was 1 per cent, when the goods were manufactured and sold in the course of inter-state trade and commerce against Form C and D only. The rate of CST on sales made to the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was 1 per cent, 2 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, against Form C.

He said for introduction of VAT throughout the country from April 1 next year, a substantial amount of preparatory groundwork was required. He appealed to the Central Government to initiate steps in this regard, especially in the UTs, where expertise in the matter was not available. He also wanted that inter-state trading without C forms be banned as this practice encouraged unscrupulous dealers to evade payment of taxes by either showing inter-state sales in the category of concessional sales or by keeping such transactions out of their regular books of account. General Jacob suggested a uniform floor rate of 2 per cent CST for all states and union territories. Back

Shopkeepers oppose Sunday shopping
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — Shopkeepers of Sector 17 A, B and D have opposed the opening of the market on Sundays. The shopkeepers contend that Saturday is holiday in most offices but the shops are open for the facility of persons working in offices thus the sole purpose advocated for opening of shops is being achieved.

Besides, a move to open markets on Sunday will rob the traders of a common national closed day that is spend with the family and to meet social obligations, a statement signed by a section of traders said today.

Meanwhile, the Traders Association of Sector 17-A and 17-B held a meeting today and rejected the proposed move to open the Sector 17 market on Sunday, saying it was not convenient. The traders from the Bridge Market also joined the meeting and gave consent to oppose the move to open the market.

Meanwhile 61 traders, who do business in Sector 17-E and run some of the well-known shops in the city’s main shopping piazza have also joined to oppose the proposed move of the Chandigarh Administration to open the shops on Sundays.

Spokesperson of the traders, Mr Sanjay Mahajan, said the traders of Sector 17-E did not want to open shops on Sundays. Back


Dasehri — before you eat it, it’s gone
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, June 22 — With the monsoons around the corner, the dasehri variety of mango has flooded the city markets. Most persons are buying the variety as it is available for a short period only. The price of the fruit ranges from Rs 20 per kg to Rs 25 per kg. The leftover stock can be bought at only Rs 10 per kg.

Most persons buy dasehri because in a few days of its arrival, it gets replaced by some other varieties. While the people are enjoying the fruit, orchard contractors have faced major losses this time.

Mahmood, a mango-seller said, "The shortage of the fruit this year is due to less water and no check on residents who pluck mangoes from orchards on Purv Marg. If a barbed wire is put around these orchards, the plucking of mangoes can be controlled to some extent.''

Another mango-seller, Madood, said, ''The produce is less because of worm infestation. Sometimes, after spraying fertilizers, the fruit gets slightly damaged.''

Muhammad Hashim, a contractor, however, gave another reason for less crop. He said the fruit was affected by the untimely hailstorm. "Instead of making a profit, we have run into losses this season," he added.

He also said he had paid Rs 10 lakh for getting the contract of the mango orchard for five years. For the Rajindra Park orchards, he paid Rs 6 lakh more for a two-year contract as there were more varieties of mango there.

He also said even after spending so much money, the results had not been good. "We have to spend money on manure and fertilizers to save the fruit from worms. We also have to pay labourers to take care of the orchards," he added.

Some of the persons who bought the fruit said dasehri was delicious, but, its season was short. ''Children, too, are fond of dasehri because it is easy to eat and small in size in comparison to the other varieties."

Some of the mango sellers said most of the produce was spoiled by prospective customers when they pressed the fruit before buying.

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 |