Tuesday, July 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT plans massive tree plantation drive
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — The failure of the initial bougainvillaea drive along Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg notwithstanding, the Chandigarh Administration has chalked out a massive plantation drive to extend green cover to Phase II and III sectors besides filling the gaps in Phase I sectors.

The drive would be launched from July 15 and would be undertaken jointly by the Engineering Departments of the Chandigarh Administration, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and Forest Department.

The thrust of the drive would be on plantation of trees. Besides, all the gaps on important roads like Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg,, Jan Marg and other important roads would be covered with plantation of bougainvillaea.

The earlier effort to plant bougainvillaea on the central verge or medians of these roads failed because of poor upkeep and after maintenance. The horticulture wing of the Engineering Department has now taken in hand work on installation of mild steel grills along Madhya Marg on the stretch between Grain Market intersection and Transport Area intersection.

The Administration has also decided to go for barbed wire fencing on the remaining portion of Madhya Marg and will undertake fresh plantation of Madhya Marg with colourful bougainvillaea plants. The work on barbed wire has already been started on the central verge of Madhya Marg dividing Sectors 7 and 19 and 8 and 18.

The plantation of bougainvillaea on central verge or medians of other important roads would also be taken up in the coming weeks.

The major focus of the plantation drive this time will be Phase II and Phase III sectors which do not have much of green or tree cover.

The horticulture wing of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has already taken in hand work on central greens in some Phase II Sectors, including Sector 44. These central green areas where work on plantation and grassing has been in progress would provide much needed lungs to these southern sectors.

The Administration is now planning a major drive in Sectors 48, 49 and 50 where most of new cooperative housing activity has taken place. These sectors are being habitated by members of these cooperative house building societies.

The Administration is also proposing to extend green cover to Capitol Complex. With the commissioning of a tubewell in Rajendra Park, all the gaps in the Capitol Complex would be filled during the ensuing drive.

Work on regressing of the Capitol Complex, High Court area and Rajendra Park would also be undertaken during the coming weeks.Back


FIRs, mishap details by post
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — FIR by post! Sounds too good to be true, but in a first of its kind in this region, the Chandigarh Police will start posting copies of the FIR to the complainants by post from next week.

Stressing that it was not an experiment, Mr B S Bassi, the UT IGP, told Chandigarh Tribune, that this would be a regular feature and was being done to put an end to the reported harassment faced by people in getting the document. While copies are to be provided at the spot, some people face difficulties and with this step, no complainant will have to do the rounds of police stations.

Not only this, the department will also provide all the relevant details to accident victims and to the next of kith and kin of those who are killed. It has been noticed that the bereaved family had to run from pillar to post to get the documents needed to file these before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal or similar fora.

To process any accident case, the department has to procure the medico-legal reports on the nature of injuries or cause of death. A unique feature is that they have all the papers with them, but so far are not provided to the victims unless prosecution proceedings are underway.

Elaborating further, Mr Bassi said the records of all the accident cases would be posted to the victims from next week. The documents would include the medical reports, a sketch of the accident site, action initiated, stage of investigation or punishment pronounced.

Along with the documents, which would be delivered by hand, the department would also attach a detailed performa, detailing the nature of claims which could be filed in the MACT or on how to receive compensation from the insurance companies. The fact that an accident had happened was enough to file a claim from insurance companies. This sum was not very substantial, but was helpful for poor and needy persons.

Commenting on the beat system, he said it would be strengthened further and no laxity in this context would be tolerated. Similarly, strict action against corrupt personnel would be initiated and for this the internal vigilance cell would be activated. He earlier addressed a meeting of all Inspectors, SDPOs and DSPs.Back


Six more PG courses at GMCH
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3— The Panjab University Syndicate has approved six more postgraduate courses in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. This is in addition to the five M.S. and M.D. courses which have been approved by the Syndicate early this year.

According to Dr V.K. Kak, Principal Director of the GMCH, the college had asked the Government of India to conduct the Medical Council of India inspection for the approval of the courses. “If everything goes according to the plan and the MCI gives its approval, the courses will start early next year,” he said.

The six departments approved by the Syndicate to start the postgraduate courses include Community Medicine, E.N.T., General Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Orthopaedics and Paediatrics. The M.S. and M.D. courses in Anatomy, General Surgery, Ophthalmology, Pathology and Anesthesia are those approved earlier. Besides, M.Sc course in Anatomy is starting in the GMCH from this academic session.

Dr Kak said the number of  admissions would be one student per recognised postgraduate teacher per year. The teaching staff would have a minimum eight years of experience. Out of these, five years of experience would essentially be as a faculty member.

“In a particularly big department, almost all professors would fulfil this criteria. However, the number of students admitted would vary from one to three per department. Postgraduate studies entail a lot of basic essential facilities, which in turn depend upon the clinical and medicinal workload,” added Dr Kak.

The admission to the postgraduate courses will be as per Supreme Court judgement. A total of 25 per cent seats would be filled up on the basis of postgraduate examination and 75 per cent of the seats will be reserved for the GMCH graduates.

“Starting all these courses will be yet another feather in our cap,” said Dr Kak. “All these years, quite a few of our students have been getting admissions in M.S. and M.D. courses on a regular basis to AIIMS, P.G.I. and elsewhere in the country. This is a fair indication of the quality of the undergraduate teaching facilities offered by us,” he added.

Dr Kak said starting postgraduate courses in the college would also help the hospital improve the quality of the services offered. “There will be continuity in the junior residence. This will eventually result in a marked improvement in the quality of our services.”

The MCI approval will be based on various aspects. “Inspecting team will essentially look for infrastructure and facilities, including area, laboratory facilities, equipment, qualifications and experience of the staff, besides the research work and investigations carried out by us. Besides, each department will be inspected individually too. Patient care facilities and community services offered by the institution will be scanned,” added Dr Kak.Back


Officials in ST evasion racket’
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 3 — The sales tax evasion racket detected by the Minister of State for Excise and Taxation, Punjab, at Lakhnour checkpost last Wednesday has taken a new turn, with a suspect in the case, during his questioning by the police, naming certain senior officials of the Department of Excise and Taxation for being allegedly involved in it.

The suspect, Balwinder Singh, who was driving one of the trucks, was arrested when the Minister of State, in a surprise raid conducted at the Information Collection Centre (IIC) Lakhnour, got impounded three trucks and two cars involved in tax evasion. It had been stated that documents were forged to evade sales tax.

During questioning of the suspect, who had been remanded in one-day police custody, he allegedly named two inspectors in the Enforcement Directorate, an Excise and Taxation officer and some other officials for allowing the vehicles to pass without paying sales tax. A transporter or a company ferrying goods had to pay a certain amount on a monthly basis to the officials and carry on with their business, the suspect confessed before the police.

Sources in the police said the suspect, at the time of being arrested by police, had also named the officials of the Excise and Taxation Department.Back


Microlight aircraft for NCC Air Squadrons
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — Following a decision by the Directorate-General, National Cadet Corps, NCC Air Squadrons are to be equipped with micro-light aircraft for powered flying training.

Process for acquiring a micro-light has already been initiated, with the Chandigarh Air Squadron forwarding personnel and technical requirements the Directorate for inducting the aircraft. A limited number of micro-lights have already been inducted, with air squadrons at Agra, Nagpur and Bangalore operating them.

Induction of micro-lights would enhance the training profile of NCC cadets, while at the same time significantly cut down training costs. Presently, for powered flying training, the NCC depends on several commercial flying clubs, to which payments are made on commercial basis.

While the current authorisation for Air Squadrons to use training facilities of flying clubs is limited to 100 hours annually, this is expected to increase to about 500 hours annually with units possessing their own aircraft. A budget of Rs 4 lakh annually per squadron is expected to be allocated for micro-light training purposes.

This will be in addition to the cost of procuring micro-lights. The estimated cost per aircraft is about Rs 8.5 lakh, with the aircraft costing Rs 6.5 lakh and spares, communication equipment and ground support equipment accounting for the rest.

While the Punjab Directorate has eight Air Squadrons, only two of them, including one in Chandigarh, will be inducting micro-lights in the near future. Other units will be utilising these aircraft for training, till the time they procure their own aircraft in due course of time.

The micro-lights being inducted are powered with a single piston engine, with a maximum take of weight of 400 kg. They will have fixed undercarriage with duplicated flying controls for the instructor as well as the trainee pilot.

It will have a flying endurance of atleast one and a half hours and a life expectancy of 6000 flying hours or 20 years. They will also have NCC Colours painted in prominent places as a distinguishing feature.Back


Living in city with facilities of village
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — Residents of Sector 41-D are living a life which they may not have imagined ever exists in the city of Chandigarh.This is also a classic example of the infamous north — south divide that ails the city and mars the quality of life for a section of people, who have paid several lakhs to own a flat or a house in Chandigarh.

In this case people have paid up to own lower income group houses in Sector 41. These flats are located all along the boundary of Badheri village. Where the village ends, these flats start.

More than 200 families are living a life where power supply breaks down unannounced for hours at a stretch, water pressure is very low, the sewerage system does not work, street lights are non-functional, and whatever little space earmarked for open parks is left, it is encroached upon by villagers to tie their cattle. The designated green belt is used by villagers to dry cakes of cow dung and throw malba.

The quality of life cannot get worse than this in a city like Chandigarh, says Mr R.K. Mann, President of the LIG Residents Welfare Association, Sector 41—D. Almost all residents are employees. We have been writing to various city authorities about the problem, say residents. Last Saturday, after the rains, the condition was so bad that all roads had been blocked and the residents arranged for some drain cleaners to open the sewer. This happens after each rainfall as the cow dung and malba flow down the drains, blocking them.

The street lights do not work in this area. The general advise for relatives and others is to come during the daytime. The area is also plagued by a forest that was part of the afforestation drive. This growth of trees and congress grass now houses snakes, rats and all sorts of small and big insects. All these species of animals stray across the road into the houses, making it difficult for children to play.

A bus queue shelter sanctioned by the government way back in 1995 is yet to be built. Work to build a community centre is half way through and is presently like a shed, open for misuse. Three unoccupied houses that were left out of the allotment in 1987, are another nuisance. These houses are home for birds and insects besides acting as an invitation for anti social elements.

The power supply to these houses is bad, the voltage fluctuates wildly and breakdowns are frequent. During nights, when the peak power is being drawn, trippings are common. Sources say more than 1000 kundis, or illegal connections, have been drawn from the same power supply line, leading to these houses resulting in frequent tripping .

If all this is not enough residents on the first and second floor do not get enough water. They have to wake up at 4 in the morning just to fill drinking water. Overhead tanks do not fill up forcing residents to fetch water from the ground floor for basic needs like flushing a toilet.

Last year the Municipal Corporation built pathways in the designated green belt for residents to walk. The latter part was never to happen as the green belt is a more of a garbage dump

There should have been a wall in between the village and flats, says residents, while adding that they are living in city but enjoy facilities that are worse than those prevailing in villages.Back


Dangerous alterations in CHB flat
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — Major alterations in a ground-floor flat of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in Sector 45-C here have endangered the four-storeyed structure.

In a representation to the Chairperson of the CHB, the residents have alleged that the owner of flat No 2169 has demolished the supporting walls with the result that cracks had appeared in the first-floor flats. The owner has been going ahead with the illegal construction despite requests by the neighbours.

And besides constructing a room on the government land, he has encroached upon a large chunk of government land by putting a grill. Since it is a corner flat, the area has become accident-prone, they complain.

Similarly, the owner has also started tampering with the wall of flat No 2168 which was at a distance of about 12 feet from his flat. In this way the whole structure was being endangered. The representation alleges that the matter has been brought to the notice of the police many a time but nothing has been done.

The representation urges the board to take the necessary action against the flat owner so that the damage to the whole structure could be averted.Back


HUDA dustbins on cricket ground
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 3 — One corner of the Sector 5 cricket ground has become the "official" dumping ground for broken, rusted dustbins belonging to the Haryana Urban Development Authority. Besides, it is an eyesore and has been a permanent fixture for over one year in the absence of any other location to dump the discarded bins.

Officials contend that this situation has arisen owing to delay in auction of the discarded bins, which was held last month after being postponed a couple of times in the past. However, in spite of the completion of all formalities the bidder is yet to pick up all these though some of the discard has already been taken away.

The reason cited for the regular postponement of auctions is the lack of bidders on account of high rates quoted by the department.``At Rs 7 a kg, the rate decided by the XEN concerned, we can hardly find any takers and this time also the party which ultimately took away the junk was not very keen on it since they don’t stand to gain anything from it,’’ an official said.

Moreover, the regular postponements lead to accumulation of the bins which are piled up at the ground since it is sparingly used and does not cause and inconvenience.

In addition to the disposal of dustbins, a problem which has come up time and again is that of placement of new dustbins in the various sectors. Residents’ Welfare Associations have appealed to authorities to place more dustbins in the sector which are needed because on increasing population of the city. Sources added that placement of 100 new dustbins is already pending with the department in spite of the fact that these are much in excess of those positioned in the masterplan of the city.

While these were earlier placed near park corners and in open spaces, these have been shifted to vacant plots in and around the area after the residents complained of insanitary conditions and stench near parks frequented by them in the mornings and evenings.Back


Dusehri variety wins many prizes
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 3 — The results of the mango mela organised by the Haryana Tourism Department and the Horticulture Department were declared last evening. These are as follow:

Amongst the various qualities of mangoes, the dusehri variety bagged the maximum prizes. Jangsher of Yamunanagar, Jitender Singh of Patiala, Vinay Kanwar of Ambala and Rajendrapal Singh of Yamunanagar were awarded the first prize, while Joginder Singh of Patiala, Dalbir Singh, Sharif Ahmed and Abdul Shakoor of Yamunanagar won the second prize.

In category A of the dusehri variety, mangoes from the PCDO, Dhaulakuan, Sirmaur (HP), were declared first, while from the GGN Fatehpur, Panchkula, got the second position. In the category of the langra variety in section 2A, the GGN Fatehpur, Panchkula came first and the GGN, Nabipur, Ambala, second. In section 3A of choussa mangoes the GGN, Fatehpur, stood first, and the GGN, Ratgal, Kurukshetra, second. Section 4A, Bombay green mango, the Director, Horticulture Department was declared first, while the GGN, Fatehpur, stood second.

In the variety of mallika mangoes, in category A, the PCDO, Madan, Mandi (HP), bagged the first position, whereas the GGN, Nabipur, stood second. In the amarpali mangoes section 7A, the GGN, Fatehpur, came first and the GGN, Ratgal, stood second.

In the different kinds of pickles, category, entry from the GGN, Ladwa, stood first and the PCDO Jaral, Mandi (HP), second. In the category of juices, Agricultural University, Dharwad, Karnataka came first, while the GGN, Chikka, Kaithal, second. In the display of the varieties of mangoes, the Haryana Horticulture Department bagged the first position.

In the category 2B of langra mango Rajendra Pal Singh of Yamunanagar and Phool Chand of Naraingarh got the first prize and Shri Jeet, Nabipur, Ambala , won the second prize. In the category of chaussa mango of 3B , Rameshwar of Naraingarh, Ranjore Singh, Dhanora of Ambala came first, while Rajender Pal Singh and Daljit Singh of Yamunanagar stood second.

The Bombay green category 4B won Shri Rajiv of Ambala the first position and Sunil Walia of Ambala the second prize. In the category of mallika mango, section 6B, Pradeep Kumar, Moga, Yamunanagar, came first while Raman Saluja, Yamunanagar came second. In the category 7B of amarpali mango, Madhu, Yamunanagar, stood first while Raman Saluja, Yamunanagar, second. The category 8B of ratol mango won the first position for Laxmi Chand, Yamunanagar and Jitender Singh, Patiala, stood second.

In a competition held to make the various kinds of squash, Kanwarvir Singh, Patiala, Monika, Hisar, stood first, while Kavita Duggal, Phagwara, and Kulwant Singh, Patiala, came second. In the juice competitions, Somnath, Panipat bagged the first position and Monika, Hisar, the second. In the chutney competitions, Tejkaur, Dhaulakuan, Sirmaur (HP), was first and Amridar Kaur, Pinjore, second. In the murabba competitions, Sahnya Devi, Sirmaur, and Kophala Upendre Uppal were declared second. In the mango lader category, Gayatri Devi, Kangra, and Jatinder Arora, Panipat, came second. Monica, Hisar, stood first and Nita Devi, Rampurmajri, stood second in the jam making competition.

In the pickle competition, Gaurav Arora, Panipat, and Anju Malik, Faridabad, were first, while Dinesh Malik, Panipat, and Seema Malik, Panipat, were declared second. 


Citizens' forum
Should Chandigarh have an international airport?
By Surinder K. Jindal

THERE are many commercial, socio-political and administrative angles to the issue of having an international airport at Chandigarh. I may, however, restrict myself to an important medical and educational viewpoint.

Chandigarh has the distinction of having one of the two premier medical institutes of national importance — the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, popularly known as PGI, and the All-India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. It is, thus, the only non-metropolitan city in the country with this prized possession. It is for this very reason that the institute remains the hub of educational activities and hosts a number of national and international conference and seminars.

In medical circles all over the world, the city is known and recognised because of the PGI and its products — the qualified postgraduate medical students as well as the Ph.Ds in allied sciences. The whole country is upbeat now because of an international demand for its professionals in computer sciences and information technology. It is for decades that PGI doctors have attracted attention of American and other western hospitals and universities.

One major disadvantage which the city in general and the PGI in particular faces is lack of adequate facilities for air travel and transport. Whenever we bid to host an international meeting, we fail to succeed largely in view of this deficiency. Medical people from abroad, I know for sure, are interested in holding international meetings here with its eminent institute, but hesitate to advocate our cause for lack of international landing facilities. It is not only a question of spending additional days in transit between Delhi and Chandigarh but also of facing other innumerable hassles. Finally, people opt for Delhi or Mumbai in spite of its crowds and pollution.

Several examples can be counted where Chandigarh has failed to win on this account. The most recent example is loss to Mumbai to host an Asia Pacific conference on diseases of chest in 2001.

Conferences not only bring name and fame to the region but also revenue and long-term profits and association. The faculty members of the PGI are frequently invited for lecturers and are required to participate in many meetings. Direct air links shall save their time and energy.

The region can also profit in offering specialised treatments to patients from abroad — not only from West Asia and South

East, but also from Europe and the USA, who seek relatively economical but creditable options. The PGI, with its distinguished faculty, can easily cater to the needs after some additional inputs are made. In the long run, this alone can offset the costs of running an international airport.Back


Surprise visitor at Estate Office
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — The counters vacated by shifting of the vehicle registration branch and learner licence branch would be utilised for reorganisation of the Estate Office work. The Tehsildar’s office performing public dealing work would be shifted to these counters. Similarly, public dealing work of the SDO, Building Department, would also be shifted to this office and the present office the department will be used for record room purpose.

The Chandigarh Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), was informed about this by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, when the former paid a surprise visit to the new Estate Office building this morning to see the actual process of issuing a smart card.

The Deputy Commissioner informed that public dealing work of all other branches would be shifted to these counters and it would save the people from visiting various branches to get their work done. He added hat the single-window service for getting the building plans cleared would also be operational from the new counters.

Meanwhile, the Administrator, upon reaching the Estate Office, interacted with members of the public standing in queues. He wanted to know that for how long they were waiting in queues. He asked them about the difficulties being faced by them in getting their job done. He then went to different windows to know the jobs done at each counter. The Deputy Commissioner and the SDM, Mr Ashish Kundra, had reached the Estate Office on knowing about the visit of the Administrator.

The Deputy Commissioner informed the Administrator that this branch was issuing over 400 registration certificates and learner licences daily. He said once the system was stabilised the permanent licence branch would also be shifted to this office.

Later accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner, the Administrator went to the National Portraits Gallery in the basement of the Central State Library. General Jacob was impressed by the old paintings and said that measures should be taken to popularise this gallery amongst the younger generation.

He then went to the children section in the library and interacted with children.

The General also visited the Assistant Registrar Office, the 30 Bays Building and the old Estate Office. 


VC winner dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — A Victoria Cross winner of World War II, Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Ganju Lama, passed away at Gangtok on July 1, a statement issued here said.

Popularly known as “VC Sahib”, Sub-Maj Lama was enrolled into the 7th Gorkha Rifles (GR) in 1942 and within two years was in the thick of the battle in Burma against the Japanese.

It was here that on his own initiative, with complete disregard to his personal safety, he crawled forward and engaged Japanese tanks single-handedly. In spite of his broken left wrist and two other wounds, one in his right hand and the other in his leg, he succeeded in bringing his gun into action, knocking out enemy tanks in the process.

It was solely due to his prompt action and gallant conduct that a most critical situation was averted, all positions regained with heavy casualties being inflicted on the enemy. For this act of conspicuous bravery, he was conferred the highest gallantry award, the Victoria Cross.

At the time of Partition, Sub-Maj Lama preferred to serve with the Indian Army rather than with the 7 GR, which was allocated to the British Army. Thereafter he was transferred to the 11 GR, in which he had an equally distinguished career, rising to the highest rank. He was selected to serve as the ADC to the President, and on retirement was appointed as Life ADC to the President.Back


Three held for trespass
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 3 — The police has arrested three persons, including a woman, for trespassing and beating a resident of Ram Darbar.According to police sources, Ms Murti Devi alleged that Arjun, Bobby and Saroj, residents of the same locality, trespassed her house, beat her up and criminally intimidated her. A case under Sections 452, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC, has been registered.

Cash thefts

Mr Raj Kishore Trikha, an employee of the SBI, reported that someone had stolen Rs 41,100 from his car, which was parked near the stairs of the Sukhna Lake. Further investigations are on.

Mr Pawan Kumar, a shopkeeper in Mani Majra, reported that someone had stolen Rs 60,000 from his shop. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Scooters stolen

Mr Shiv Kumar of Maloya reported that someone had stolen his scooter (CHOIQ-2270) from his house. Mr Charan Singh of Sector 28 reported that his scooter (CHOIV-1706) had been stolen. Cases under Section 379 of the IPC, have been registered.

Whisky seized

The police arrested Gopal and Mohinder and seized 170 pouches of whisky from their possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise has been registered.

Liquor seized, four held

DERA BASSI:The local police has arrested three persons for smuggling illicit liquor. The police has also seized 1550 pouches of country-made liquor from their possession.

In a statement, Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, said the two accused, Manoj Kumar and Vinod Kumar, of Deep Nagar and Toph Khana Bazaar of Ambala, have been arrested. The duo were arrested at a naka laid by a police party headed by Station House Officer, Lalru, Mr Jassa Singh. The accused were smuggling 1500 pouches of liquor in a Maruti car (HRU- 4209) to Ambala, said Mr Bhullar.

Meanwhile, Upendra Kumar from Bihar has also been arrested by the police in Lohgarh near Zirakpur. Fifty pouches of liquor have also been seized from him.

JE missing

SAS NAGAR: A Junior Engineer of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development, Mr Bhoop Singh, has been reported missing after leaving his house in Sector 70 last Saturday. The wife of the JE, Ms Meena, has lodged a complaint with the police.Back

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