Thursday, July 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nearly 10 pc units are EPF defaulters
Dept identifying them
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The office of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, here, is in the process of identifying establishments in Punjab and Chandigarh that are defaulting on depositing Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in time. This year has also been designated as ''compliance year'' by the department.

Approximately 15,000 establishments are covered by the regional PF office and the authorities here estimate that between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of these establishments are defaulting on payments into EPF accounts of their employees.

This could lead to financial losses for employees. Some defaulters could be big business houses of the region, suspect scrutiny officials. The latest has been the case of Punwire that defaulted on Rs 4 crore as payment into the EPF accounts of its employees. Yesterday , the department attached property of Punwire to recover the dues.

Last year, the department collected Rs 426 crore by way of EPF deposits. It also lodged 121 FIRs with the police against defaulting establishments under Sections 405 and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Another 238 cases were pursued under the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

In total, about 25 per cent of the covered establishments are "inoperative" and this includes defaulters. Inoperative PF accounts are of those establishments which are not depositing the PF of employees. This could be due to various reasons. One of the chief causes is that businesses close down or shift their premises. This could also be because several organisations are now also managing their own accounts after certain modifications in the rules permitted so, says Mr J.R. Sharma, Regional PF Commissioner (E &R).

On the other hand, the classification of defaulters is those establishments that are deliberately not depositing money deducted from salaries into the EPF accounts of the employees.

Last week, Mr M.R. Meena, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, while addressing a conference of enforcement officers, urged them to work according to the latest instructions issued by the head office to ensure timely detection of faults.

The field staff has also been told to ensure collection of details regarding the change of ownership, details of responsible persons, bank accounts, sundry creditors for realisation of dues.

The department has further advised the EOs to establish cordial relations with the employers in order to encourage voluntary compliance. For this, incentives have been introduced for employers who deposit the money in time, says Mr Sharma.

The department also has powers to impose financial penalties on the defaulting establishments. If payments are not deposited after six months or more, then it can attract penalty at the rate of 37 per cent of the arrears while 12 per cent interest is also levied on the arrears.


Pilot, ITBP officer killed in helicopter crash
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — An Assistant Commandant of the ITBP and a pilot of the IAF died when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in the forward area of Leh-Ladakh of Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.

According to Mr A. S. Chhina, Commandant of the Transport Battalion here, Pawan Chaudhury of the 20th Batallion of the ITBP and an IAF pilot died when they were going on operational duty yesterday.

However, another pilot of the ill-fated helicopter survived the crash and was evacuated by the helicopter to the base and by an AN-32 to the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, near here.

The body of the officer which was brought by an AN-32 aircraft to the Air Force Station here, was received by Mr Chinna and senior officers of the ITBP. After a post-mortem examination, the body will be sent to his native place — Harsar village, in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. He joined the ITBP as an Assistant Commandant in 1997.

Pawan had been working in Leh-Ladakh in counter-insurgency operations since 1998. A qualified skier, Pawan is survived by his wife, Ms Annu Chaudhary.Back


Principals, teachers gear up for admissions
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The teachers of all government schools were seen putting their best for the scheduled interview session coming up in the next ten days. Each principal has been assigned on various duties for the smooth conduct of admissions.

Different committees have been set up to avoid inconvenience during the process of interviews to the parents and the students. The committees are: admission committee, entrance committee, checking committee, working committee, sitting committee, and parking committee. Each committee is headed by a principal and teachers are working in the committee, said Mr Brahmjit Kalia, D.E.O.

Despite holidays the teachers are working round the clock as per instructions by DPI, schools. This is for the first time that the teachers are putting up this much effort for the admissions. They are doing all the chores themselves, be it making of charts, providing information or tying of ropes by the side of the ground to make parking arrangements for the parents.

Each and everything is being done in a proper manner to guide the parents and students for the admissions. The teachers are looking minutely in each and every aspect.

Today was the last date for the submission of forms for plus two admissions in government schools. Lot of rush of parents and students was witnessed in the school for submission of forms and it continued till 3 P. M.

The list for the interviews for next two days was displayed in the school today. The list has been displayed in Sector16 Government Model School, Sector 35 Government Model School, Sector 46, Government Model School, and Sector 23 Government Model School. The procedure for admission is purely on merit . The reserved category will also have its interview as per schedule on merit, informed the D.E.O.

According to the teachers on duty, the date for submission of forms was extended due to the delay of Punjab Board results yet most of the students had not been issued the detail marks certificates till date.

Due to the extension of submission of forms the CBSE students also got benefited.

The students are requested to bring along with them the original detail marks and other certificates for the interview. Interviews will be conducted in the admission hall in Sector 23 Government Model School from tomorrow morning.

Interview Schedule for the XI Admissions in Government Schools being held in Sector 23 Government Model School.


Simran's father refutes PGI version
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — Col Uppal, father of Simran, who died following an accident on June 27, has refuted the version given by the PGI authorities. "Their version is, in fact, a bundle of lies. It is adding insult to our injury," says Colonel Uppal.

The PGI in a press release yesterday had said that the version given by Colonel Uppal regarding the events that led to his daughter's death were totally untrue and contrary to the facts.

According to the acting Medical superintendent of the PGI, Dr D. Bahera, "Ms Uppal was brought to the emergency and was registered at 11.42 a.m. here even if the accident occurred at 9.30 a.m. after being referred from the Government Medical College and Hospital, sector 32, for a CT scan and further management."

The PGI authorities further say that the patient was promptly examined by the Surgery Resident and thereafter by the Neurosurgery Senior Resident on duty at 11.50 a.m. "She was in bad state with a severe brain injury. Her pupils were dilated and fixed and were not responding to light. She suffered this severe injury as she was not wearing the helmet during the accident."

"My daughter was brought to the PGI emergency at about 10.20 a.m. You can check it with the driver of the ambulance who had got us there," says Colonel Uppal. "She was not unconscious. In fact, she was talking and complaining about the pain in the arm."

As per the medical superintendent of the PGI, the doctors on duty had not advised the parents for the CT scan. "In fact, the relatives were carrying a CT scan done from outside when they had registered in the emergency."

The PGI also states that if the CT scan is arranged by the hospital, the machine is kept waiting and after the procedure the patient is brought back immediately while the attendants wait to collect the report. Being a working day, a number of vehicles and ambulances were available outside the emergency."

"I would be a fool, a lunatic to violate instructions. When we got her to the PGI the doctor on duty, after examining her, advised us for a CT scan. We asked him that where should we take her and he said anywhere. Fortunately for us an ambulance from the sector 16 diagnostic centre had just brought a small boy. You can also confirm from the driver that we took our daughter from the PGI to a private diagnostic centre."

"The father of the patient has also claimed that our attitude was inhuman," says the PGI." The senior resident personally went to the chemist in the emergency and requested all the items and medicines required on credit."

"I certainly agree to this," says Colonel Uppal. "For this favour I would like to personally thank them.''

But he has strongly refuted the claim by the PGI that a barber was on duty that day. The hospital has said that "at 11.40 a.m. he was shaving a patient in a private ward. After finishing his work he came back to emergency where a barber from outside was already shaving Ms Uppal."

"All this is again nothing but a pack of lies. we were asked to arrange for a blade from the chemist in the emergency and scissors and a barber from outside," says Colonel Uppal. "I would be a fool to be running around while my child was in such a critical condition, had all this been readily available.''

The statement by the hospital that Simran was taken in for the operation has been collaborated by her father. "Yes, after making her wait for more than two hours, she was taken in for an operation at 12.30 a.m. But as claimed by them that she was in a deep coma is not true. She had vomited in the diagnostic centre. In fact, she also tried to sit up when in the PGI."

The PGI also says that the dead bodies are kept in automated chambers which are set at desired temperatures. "There are no ice slabs in the mortuary because we don't need any."

"We asked for ice to be kept on the eyes. Simran was a very generous child. So his mother and I wanted to donate all her organs. Doctors refused to remove the eyes as it was a medico-legal case. It was only after we ran around from pillar to post, the next morning that her small wish was fulfilled. As far as kidneys and other organs are concerned, I agree that we did not know that the decision had to be made when the patient is still alive. After all I am not a doctor. In any case, we made our wishes clear as soon as we came to know that she had passed away. But I do maintain that her clothes were removed in front of her brother. At least they could have asked him to go away,'' he says.

The PGI has said that it is a hospital practice that the body is segregated by the screen. "It is wrapped in hospital clothes and shifted to the mortuary. It is not clear why the relatives should stand when the clothes were being changed by nurses."

However, a point both sides have agreed to is the fact that the parents thanked the nursing staff before leaving the hospital. "It is not clear why they did not lodge a complaint with the M.S. or the Director but preferred to go to the press."

"Yes, we did thank them for wasting two precious hours, for helping my daughter die due to sheer negligence. I am really very thankful to them," says the bitter father.Back


Car occupant burnt alive in bizarre accident
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, July 5 — An SAS Nagar resident, Ms Rajinder Kaur, was burnt alive while her two co-travellers Surinder Pal Singh and his son Pukhraj sustained injuries and burns in a bizarre accident on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Gulati Petrol pump when their car rammed into a stationary truck around 11.15 pm here yesterday.

According to sources, the car (CH-01Y-6418) rammed into the diesel tank of the truck (PB-12A-4635) and oil spread over the car which resulted in the fire. The car engine caught fire and the flames engulfed the entire body. The car was completely destroyed while the truck has a major destruction in its back portion.

Truckers, travellers and the nearby residents swung into action and extricated Mr Surinder Pal Singh and his son Pukhraj from the car stuck under the truck. As the flames were high, they could not extricate Ms Rajinder Kaur who was siting at the front left seat as the side was badly damaged in the collision.

The injured were rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, of Chandigarh. While the remains of the deceased woman, which were almost reduced to ashes, were sent to GMCH, Sector 32, for a post-mortem examinations.

The car occupants were returning from Delhi after completing visa formalities.

According to eyewitness, after the collision, the truck also caught fire and it went out of control. The police was informed and calls were made for fire engines from Dera Bassi and SAS Nagar. It took more than two hours to control the flames.

Gulzar, a truck cleaner, said that the scene was heart-rending as a massive gathering of onlookers could do nothing to save the woman who was burning alive. "After a two-hour fight with the fire, the skeleton and some flesh pieces could be retrieved," he said.

A case has been registered in this regard with Zirakpur police post.


Staff shortage leads to long queues
Tribune News Service


Time: 12 noon

Place: Electricity bill collection centre at the 66KV sub-station in Industrial Area

Problem: The collection centre located at the premises is functioning sans sufficient staff, resulting in a queue which has become a permanent fixture outside this office. During heavy rush days, it takes a couple of hours before the consumers can actually pay the bill and leave while the normal time in the queue is 45 minutes.

The collection work is carried out manually and from one counter in place of the three which are actually supposed to be functioning from the office with no separate queues for senior citizens and women. This is primarily on account of paucity of staff, with three of the four persons involved in cutting receipts being on leave for one reason or another.

Moreover, a temporary shelter in the form of a tin shed stretches only a short distance from the office which leaves most of the consumers in the sweltering heat and rain.

Official version: The in charge of the sub-station, Mr R.K. Bhardwaj, says, "We open the three counters only on rush days. On routine days, the consumers are quickly disposed of from one window only.'' However, he admits paucity of staff and the lack of any back-up in case they choose to proceed on leave.

As far as senior citizens and women are concerned, they are allowed to jump the queue and pay the bills when only one cash counter is open. For the convenience of the customers, he adds that he has recommended seating arrangement and stretching the shed further to cover the maximum number.

Also, the problem of rush has been tackled by fixing days for various sectors of the city and keeping the cash-collection counter open on Saturdays. "This has considerably addressed the problem of the usual last-day rush witness at most collection centres,'' he says.

Consumers speak: A resident of Sector 15, Ram Singh, says, "I have been standing in the queue for nearly an hour and the work is going on at a snail's pace.

Though there are not many people yet the employee is taking over five minutes with one consumer. Coming here means giving up on half day's work.''

Another payee, Mr Bal Kishore, is irked by the constant intervals after which work gets under way.

"They are not bothered about the people standing in the line for over half-an-hour and willingly oblige senior citizens who come and pay their bills without any inconvenience leaving us where we were,'' he adds.Back


Sukhna Lake steps collapsing
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — Sukhna Lake is one of the most precious assets of City Beautiful. Established in 1958, this human creation has had a lot to offer. Be it sight-seeing, picnic, boating, it offers an opportunity to seek relief from our hectic schedules. No wonder it gives the UT a good reason to be proud of.

The list of events which one can count on while thinking about this recreation spot doesn't just end here. There are several other milestones to its credit. It had deceivingly been chosen as the venue for Asian Games in 1985 and also hosted the National Rowing Championship. Even today, it is one of the best venues for rowing championships in north India.

Unfortunate, but this handsome - contributor to tourism is not being given due attention. Due to constantly rising mercury levels, the water level has gone down. With the monsoon yet to arrive, this is the right time for the authorities concerned to repair the worn out areas of the lake. But this opportunity has not been availed of.

Mr Rajesh Thakur from Rajasthan who had visited this place is disappointed. He said, ''I had heard about the lake many times from my friends here but the present state of the place is not very delightful. It is indeed pitiable that a spot of such beauty and significance is not properly maintained''.

Mr Karan Sidhu seconds the view, ''A single look at this neglected asset makes one feel sorry. The stairs adjoining the water are caved in and it seems as if these would collapse anytime. But no one here seems really bothered''.

The island that stands midway has been there since 1976. Huge expenses had been incurred by the Chandigarh Industry Tourism Development Corporation to erect the hand, the symbol of UT administration. It is indeed pathetic that the overgrowth of the congress grass hampers its vision. All this speaks of the negligence of the authorities.

None of the officials are ready to own any responsibility. Mr Hardev Singh, Superintendent Engineer, PWD Horticulture Department, when contacted said, ''We have nothing to do with its maintenance. Since the time it was constructed, all its tasks have been entrusted to CITCO.''

Mr Satish Chandra, Managing Director, CITCO, said, ''The island and its upkeep are certainly the job of Engineering Department , UT.''

Mr Ravi Sharn, a local resident and old-timer here regards this island as a consequence of the official folly. ''This island has served no purpose other than obstructing the natural beauty of the lake. I feel that the place would be better off without it''.

When the charm of the place is at stake, it is high time that some efforts be initiated for the conservation of the lake. The people of Chandigarh must preserve this asset.


Bassi gets ceremonial welcome
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The UT IGP, Mr B S Bassi, was given an elaborate ceremonial welcome after he took over as the top cop of the city here this morning at the Sector 26 Police Lines.

Escorted by four motor cycle outriders, he was received at the tastefully decorated grounds by the SSP, Mr Parag Jain. Present on the occasion were Mr Asad Farooqui, SSP, Ops, Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, HQ, and other officers of the force.

He took a salute at an elaborate march past by personnel of the force and exhorted them to work for the betterment of society. Expressing his happiness at being part of such a disciplined and well-behaved force, he said it was among the best in the country.

Reiterating his conviction that the force would always do its utmost to keep crime under control and perform their duties to the best of their ability, Mr Bassi said he would also keep the staff’s well-being in mind and would visit each unit separately to listen to their grievances.

He later appreciated the turnout of the parade and asked Mr S S Randhawa, DSP, Lines, to recommend the best personnel for a reward on his behalf.Back


A simian desertion
From Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: Having been thrown in grief by an unexpected, sudden and shocking desertion by her arrogant companion, this poor simian mother is trying her best to come to terms with the tragedy by rearing her lone child with a high sense of devotion.

To say whether time would act as a healer and fill her wounds would be nothing but a needless prediction. But what they say with surety is that “Gogo”, as she is called by Sector 7 kids, remained elated when her companion, “Havaldaar”, a burly monkey, was around her, especially during their long courtship roughly an year ago.

Her blissful moments, her mischief seem to have gone now with “Havaldaar” having either deserted her or having been trapped by the forest department or zoo officials.

Rather she has adopted a serious posture and has stopped wandering since then, whereas the naughty child does so merrily in his bid to appease his mother and to tease small children as well in Sector 7, where they reside on a large “pipal” tree.

“Gogo was very active and agile, climbing trees and walls and had often been spotted with “Havaldaar” all the time. She was all right till last fortnight, but all of a sudden something happened to her. While he is nowhere to be spotted, she has apparently been driven to sorrow and has and started roaming like an aimless person,” observed Geetu, a resident.”

Residents say that her love for her kid was virtually oozing out of her and at times they have seen tears rolling down her face. “She just snubs the little monkey by making some strange but gentle sounds whenever he does anything wrong, which, of course, is one of his passions,” said Manmohan, a roadside vendor. Comparing Gogo with her companion, he said while she was too sober, “Havaldaar” was a ruffian and used to beat up stray and even pet dogs in the area with “laathis” and did not spare eatables in refrigerators. “He moved about like an arrogant Nabaab, but she is definitely missing him.”

It was natural for our photographer, Karam Singh, to “capture” the dejected female simian, particularly when she happened to live next door. The task took him a full week, but he finally managed it one morning, and that too, when the little kid was enjoying his breakfast before making a schedule of his day’s activities.


Citizens' forum
Should Chandigarh have an international airport?
By Tej K.Magazine

A large number of residents from the North Indian States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, are settled abroad, either permanently or temporarily, engaged in various professions and businesses. Besides, Industrial Units with foreign collaborations and exports from these states are also operating. International presence is likely to increase as Mohali and Chandigarh are fast developing as “infotech cities” of international standards. This scenerio envisages the generation of a heavy regular international air passenger traffic from these states.

Punjab takes the captain’s seat in international air passenger traffic in the region. According to conservative estimates, Punjabi residents abroad give the state of Punjab, foreign exchange of over Rs 300 crore in private remittances per annum, plus export earnings.

Looking at the tremendous international traffic potential in these state, especially Punjab, this area deserves an international airport and Chandigarh is the right spot for it

Amritsar has an international airpost in this area. But, this airport is operationally inconvenient, being in one corner of the state.

Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi is the nearest airport, which serves the international passengers of this area. A passenger may take around four hours from the nearest foreign destination of any Gulf airport to reach New Delhi. But, it takes the traveller,anything , between eight and 12 hours to reach the destination in Punjab, Haryana or Himachal Pradesh by taxi from the New Delhi airport, and even more by train or bus. Since passengers from abroad generally come with attractive suitcase loads of foreign made goods, it is alleged that there have been cases of highway robberies on long journeys by road. Further, the personnel managing various types of check posts en route, sometimes unauthorisedly check their luggage, harass them and snatch costly foreign made goods.

IGI Airport in New Delhi is quite congested. The congestion is bound to go up with the continuous increase in traffic. Traffic from this airport needs timely diversion to avoid a chaotic situation in the near future.

Chandigarh,the city beautiful, is not only the political and cultural capital of Punjab and Haryana, but also the commercial capital for these states and Himachal. Besides, several industrial estates in these states surround Chandigarh, within a radius of over 50 km. Chandigarh itself has two industrial estates, having a large number of units with foreign collaborations and vast export performance. Chandigarh is an important centre for technical, medical, scientific, management, education and research. Quite a few international conferences take place in Chandigarh every year. Of late, the CII organised international industrial exhibitions, adding value to the city.

It is a place of great tourist interest and feeder point for Himachal Tourism. Having an international airport at Chandigarh would be advantageous in many ways. It would help decongest IGI airport. It would be a boon to hundreds of international air passengers of the region, who travel, round the year. It would give a boost to tourism. The local hotel industry and passenger transport services would expand, generate employment and revenue to the government.

It would help improve the export potential since it would be easier for the foreign buyers to travel to these parts with speed and save time. Special charter flights could be operated from foreign airports to Chandigarh for Himachal Tourism. With the development of an international airport at Chandigarh, a domestic feeder airline or air taxi service having operational base at Chandigarh, could be developed, especially by encouraging an NRI of the region, to invest.


Voice of the Youth
Why we don't wear helmets
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Parvinder Kaur, a student of B.Sc,G.C.G-Sector 11: "I do not wear a helmet as I feel safer without one besides being more comfortable. I am confident about my driving as I am a careful driver, managing to dodge risks that present themselves on the road."

Rajni Seth, a student of Arts College: "Men have heads and so do we. If they wear helmets to protect themselves, even girls should. A helmet is a precaution and is sure to reduce the injury in case of an accident. It should be made compulsory".

Shweta Kunwar, M.A music student: "Helmets are of course for safety but I find them rather uncomfortable. Since they are so heavy, an accident can occur because of them as its quite difficult to handle them".

Manika Kapil, Govt College, Sector 11: "Every individual has his own view. I personally find a helmet too huge and heavy, making me very uncomfortable. It is hot and sweaty too".

Richa, B.A -II, M.C.M: "Helmet from the safety point is correct but it looks very odd and weird. It is too heavy and I cannot drive wearing it. I prefer to walk rather than wear a helmet and drive".

Ritika Ashta, B-Com-III, PU: “I know that to protect myself a helmet is a must but I take the risk by not wearing one. It looks funny and looking good is more important to me. To keep the ugly tan away, I apply sunscreen and wrap a scarf around my head, but I find wearing a helmet detestable”.

Kavita, BA student: “Wearing a helmet in summers is a big no for me. One feels so suffocated. I believe in destiny. What has to happen will happen and wearing a helmet can do nothing about it. Actually, no one can. So I choose to take life as it comes.”

Jyoti Sharma, BA-I, G.C.G.: “A helmet is very important to protect oneself. It can avert the chances of head injury due to an accident. But helmets should not be made compulsory.”Back


ZP members take oath on July 12
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The first ever Zila Parishad comprising elected members of villages of the Union Territory, will take oath on July 12. And on the same day it would be decided when the Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Zila Parishad would be elected by its 10 members and the local Member of Parliament.

A decision to fix a date for a meeting of the elected Zila Parishad members was taken today. The elections to the Zila Parishad were held more than three years ago past since then no meeting has been convened due to one technical glitch or the other.

At present only the panchayats of the 17 villages function in the Union Territory, there being no. Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti. According to estimates more than one lakh people live in these villages and they stand to benefit immensely once the entire democratic process is in place.

Last month the Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Local Government, Mr Rakesh Singh, had asked the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Director (Panchayats) to hold a meeting of the members to elect their Chairman. The DC, Mr M. Ramsekhar, in turn has directed the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Zila Parishad, Mr Prithi Chand, to go ahead with the meeting and start the process without waiting to clear minor hurdles like providing a sitting area for the Zila Parishad members.

All grants for villages in Chandigarh are presently routed through government-appointed administrators. Once the Zila Parishad is in place it will be responsible for spending the money through the yet-to-be-formed Panchayat Samiti and panchayats. Since the Panchayat Samiti is yet to be formed, therefore, till then the role of the samiti will be played by the government authorities. Already, the villages have elected their own bodies of panches and sarpanches.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration has initiated the process of a new Panchayat Samiti and asked the Rural Development Department to make provisions for 15 wards of the Panchayat Samiti.


UT power engineers oppose privatisation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The Association of UT Power Engineers has opposed the move of privatisation of power distribution and has maintained that the department can provide flawless service in maintaining continuity of supply and collection of revenue far in excess of its budget for the purchase of power to give the administration profit.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Engineer, Mr R.K. Jain, here, the association maintained that the policy decision of the Union Government on globalisation and reforms in the power sector was neither in the interests of the Administration nor the public.

The association maintained that a similar experiment in some other states, including Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, had failed, stalling completely the development of the power sector.

Further, the association said that since Chandigarh had no power generation of its own, its requirement was met through the quota allocated by the Central Government. For transmission, Chandigarh paid wheeling charge and also suffered huge transmission losses. Further, there were numerous kundi connections in various labour colonies which had mushroomed all over the union territory. Then there were unauthorised colonies outside village lal doras. In spite of all these losses and handicaps, the UT Electricity Department had shown excellent commercial results by showing net profit of 9.34 per cent, 7.69 per cent, 21.70 per cent and 7.33 per cent for the years 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 (till June 30), respectively.

The association held that privatisation would mean handing over this profitable organisation to the private sector which would increase its profit further by hiking the power tariff further.

The association suggested that the profit could be increased further by providing adequate staff to maintain uninterrupted power supply, effecting DCO for non-payment, recovery from defaulters, release of new connections at fast pace, removal of kundi connections on regular basis and effecting of MCOs. Against norms of eight to 10,000 connections per subdivision, there are 15,000 to 30,000 connections per subdivision in Chandigarh.

The association also suggested creation of an independent enforcement wing to check power pilferage.


City team to attend convention in New York
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — A 38-member strong delegation from Chandigarh under the leadership of Mr Jaspal Singh Kandhari and Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, President and Secretary, respectively, of the Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter of the International Punjabi Society would leave for New York to attend the 29th anniversary convention of the society.The last anniversary convention of the society was held in Chandigarh last year.

The delegation would make a stopover in London on its way to New York where a mini convention is being held on July 6 and 7 which will be attended among others by Lord Swaraj Paul.

The New York convention will begin on July 8.Mr Charles Schummer, US Senator, will be the chief guest on July 10 delegate session where discussions will be held on Punjabiat.Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the chief guest at gala dinner to be held on July 11, Mr Sethi said.


Toilets in SAS Nagar markets stink of neglect
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 5 — The much-hyped beautification drive launched by the council appears to have missed public toilets in markets. The toilets are in poor condition due to a lackadaisical approach of the local Municipal Council. Some of the toilets are being used to store material by shopkeepers.

In most toilets, sanitary fittings are missing. Dilapidated buildings, stink, dirty commodes and non-availability of water keep users away from these. A visit to different sector markets reveals that cleaning toilets remains the last priority of the sanitation staff of the council.

A deserted toilet block in Phase V market is being used by a vendor to store soft-drink crates and other material. The vendor has locked a part of the toilet, preventing persons from using this public amenity. Another part of the toilet is full of empty bottles of cough syrup and syringes and even the commodes are choked with trash. Doors are missing and there is no provision of illumination.

Another toilet block in the same market can hardly be noticed due to wild growth around it. A shopkeeper, Mr Baljeet Singh, said no one from the council ever visited the block. In the Phase 3B2 market, shopkeepers' association has employed a person to keep the toilet clean. Mr Brij, President of the Phase 3B2 Market Association, said shopkeepers had sought permission from the council for this.

Mr Suresh Verma, a shopkeeper in the Phase VII market, said, "We have employed a safai karamchari to keep the toilet clean, but, the building is in a poor state and the council has not bothered to repair it. Its floors are sinking as well."

At another toilet block in Phase 3B2, all sanitary fittings are missing. There is no provision of light and water and a room in the toilet block is being used by a safai karamchari to store his household goods.Back


Workshop on pollution control
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — "Technologies adopted for pollution control by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) have been cost effective and energy and resource efficient," the Executive Director of the council, Mr N.S. Tiwana, said at an awareness camp organised by the PSCST here today. He also highlighted the self-sufficiency attained by the cell for the past three years.

"The Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) have appreciated our technologies. This is why they have asked the PSCST to replicate them in the other states, too," he said

The awareness workshop on ''industrial pollution control for small-scale industrial sector'' had been organised in collaboration with the SIDBI and was attended by 45 representatives from Haryana, Punjab and the Central Pollution Control Board.

It was also revealed that SIDBI had sanctioned a project to set up 34 demonstration pollution control units in Haryana and Delhi. The bank had sanctioned Rs 42 lakh for the same. In addition, it would also provide 33 per cent subsidy to the industries which would volunteer for the demonstration units.

Mr H.S. Bains, Chairman of the Haryana Pollution Control Board, in his presidential address highlighted the industrial pollution scenario in his state. Appreciating the cost-effective technologies developed by the council, he said: "There is an urgent need to introduce the concept of cleaner production and energy conservation measures in the industrial set-up." Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy General manager of SIDBI, Mr S.R. Nimesh, said that the organisation was highly impressed with the approach of the council and the feedback from those who have benefited from it. "These developed technologies should in fact be replicated at the national level," he said.

Mr T.N. Venugopal, Additional Director of the CPCB, talked about the emerging role of the small-scale industries vis-a-vis the various problems regarding the pollution control. "Small is not always beautiful as far as the industry and pollution are concerned. Therefore, a balance has to be struck in the policy and the programme to achieve desirable results. It is true that the SSIs have a great significance in generation of employment and consumer goods. But the fact that they cause cumulative pollution cannot be ignored. As many as 33,888 million litres of polluted waste water is generated by the SSIs every day."

He said that some basic precautionary principals would help strike a balance. "If you suspect something, initiate an action. The level of pollution is high in the SSIs because of continued usage of outdated technology. There is a requirement for good consultants in the market. moreover, cost-effective technologies and properly designed pollution control are the need of the day."

Engineers of the council gave detailed account of the salient features of pollution control technologies in brick-kilns, cupola furnaces, induction furnaces, rice shellers and metal finishing units. The payback period and the benefits accrued after the installation of the pollution control measures were also highlighted in the workshop.

The models demonstrated included cyclone used in the pollution control in the rice shellers and wet scrubbers for the cupola furnaces. In addition, there was also a model of the pollution containment device for pollution control in induction furnaces and a gravity setting chamber.Back


Rotary blood donation camp
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The Rotary Club, Chandigarh Mid-town, Inner Wheel Club, Chandigarh Mid-town, and Milkfed organised a blood donation camp on the premises of the Verka Milk Plant in the Industrial Area, Phase 1, here today.

As many as 102 units of blood was donated on the occasion. Ms Usha Saboo, a philanthropist, inaugurated the camp. Mr Amrik Singh, MD, Milkfed, Punjab, Dr Harpreet Singh, Dr Prableen Singh and Mr S.K. Sharma were also present on the occasion. 


Plight of khadi artisans highlighted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The indifferent attitude of the Central Government towards the plight of Khadi artisans came in for severe criticism at a seminar at the Gandhi Smarak Bhavan here today.

Mr Balvijay, Convener of the People’s Movement for the Protection of Khadi Artisans, who was the main speaker, informed that out of the 14 lakh full-time and part-time artisans engaged in the Khadi sector, 5 lakh had already been thrown out of employment. If the current policy of the government was continued, most of the artisans will be out of job soon which went against the policy of the government to provide one crore jobs every year.

Besides other programmes of the People’s Movement, beginning June this year, Mr Balvijay said a memorandum would be given to the Prime Minister in Delhi on August 9 by the spinners, weavers, workers and the khadi lovers. And thereafter this non-party and non-violent movement will be intensified, he added.


Grain Market closed today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The Grain Market of Sector 26 will remain closed tomorrow to mourn the death of the a trader, Harish Gupta.

Meanwhile, the cremation of Gupta, who died at the PGI here today, will take place tomorrow at the Mani Majra cremation ground.


Bairagi Mandal honours MPs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab, at a function organised here yesterday honoured members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha belonging to the Bairagi community.

Among those honoured were Mr Lakshmi Parshad (Telgu Desam), Mr Ram Raghuraj Chowdhary, Mr Sarwraj Singh, Dr Ramesh Tomar, Dr Sushil Indora and Mr Bal Kavi Bairagi, according to a press note issued here by Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, President of the Maha Mandal.


Trust members take oath
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, July 5 — Out of four members nominated by the Punjab Government to the Improvement Trust, Patiala, two members, Mr Babu Singh Gurm and Mr Darshan Singh Kashmiri, took oath in the office of the Chairman, Mr Manmohan Singh Bajaj, here yesterday.

The chairman, while speaking on the occasion, said that after the nomination of seven members, the number of members in the Improvement Trust was complete.


Three NGOs adopt park
Tribune News Service

AMBALA, July 5 — To improve the environment, three local NGOs — the Green Circle, the Elders Forum and the Ambala Citizen Welfare Council — have adopted nine parks in Ambala Cantonment. “The parks which have been adopted are Indira Park, Subhash Nagar Park 1, Subhash Nagar Park 2, Lal Kurti Park, Ajit Nagar Park, Arya Nagar Park, Housing Board Colony Park, Shastri Colony Park and Ganesh Vihar Park,” Secretary of the Green Circle, Mr R.P. Gupta, said. He said convenors had been appointed for each park who would form committees comprising 3 to 4 members each. Mr J.S. Nandra, Vice-President of the Elders Forum, said the body had suggested to the Executive Officer of Municipal Council at Ambala Sadar, Mr S.K. Goel, that a squad should be formed for cleaning up of these areas. 


Two ETOs chargesheeted in tax evasion case
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 5 — According to information available, two Excise and Taxation Officers — Naresh Dubey and Saroj Garg — and an inspector, Naresh have been chargesheeted for causing tax evasion to the tune of Rs 32 lakh. The officials were chargesheeted after an enquiry was conducted by a senior official in the department.

This follows the detection of another sales tax evasion racket detected by the Minister of State for Excise and Taxation, Punjab, at Lakhnour check post recently in which a suspect had named certain senior officials of the Department of Excise and Taxation for being allegedly involved.Back


Case against purse snatchers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — The police has registered a case against two unidentified youths who had snatched a purse from a woman in Sector 46 late past night.

According to the police sources, a Sector 47 resident, Ms Gurdeep Kaur, reported that two scooter-borne youths had snatched her purse containing Rs 1,050 in cash, besides two gold earrings. They fled from the spot as she raised the alarm.

A case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC, has been registered.

Cheating incident

The police has registered a case against EN Brothers Motor Pvt Ltd of Industrial Area on a complaint of Sqn Ldr S.P.S. Mann that the company had sold him an old car in place of a new one. A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized

The police has arrested two persons — Sat Guru Lal and Krishan Kumar — and has seized 119 quarters of whisky and 16 bottles of liquor from them. Cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act have been registered.

Thief caught

The police has arrested a Madhya Pradesh resident, Kunti, on the charges of stealing a purse of Ms Arun Sachdeva of Industrial Area. A case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered.

14 arrested

The police has arrested 14 persons for an apprehension of a breach of peace. They have been booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.

Burglary reported

Ms Rajni Sekhri Sibbal, a civil servant and a resident of Sector 19, has reported that someone broke into the high-security complex in the sector and decamped with a TV, VCR and some other household items. The police is investigating the matter.

Old man missing

PANCHKULA: Tarsem Lal Verma, a 60-year-old resident of Sector 15, is missing from his home since June 20. In a report lodged with the police, his son said Tarsem Lal Verma had left his house without telling anyone.

His son, Sanjeev Verma, said Tarsem Lal was fair-complexioned with a round face, five-foot-five-inch tall and wore glasses. He said his father had been wearing chappals when he had left the house.

Woman killed

A 22-year-old resident of Buddanpur, Balwinder Kaur, died due to burns after her sari caught fire from a stove in her kitchen. She was admitted to the PGI in Chandigarh where she died past night. An inquiry under Section 174 of the CrPC has been ordered.

Murder case

SAS NAGAR: In connection with the two-month-old murder case of a Chandigarh-based jeweller, Ashok Kumar, the local police is planning to write to the District and Sessions Court at Ropar to declare the main suspect in the case, Gurvinder alias Gary, a proclaimed offender.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr S.S. Gill, said as the search warrants of the suspect had ended today, the police would write to the court that he should be declared a proclaimed offender. If the suspect is declared a proclaimed offender, his property can be confiscated.


3 booked for cruelty to animals
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, July 5 — The local police has booked three persons under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

They were caught by the Mela Officer yesterday from Khanpur village which falls in the Kharar municipal limits.

Mr Jastinder Singh, Mela Officer of Ropar, told the police that a Pashu Mandi was shifted from this place to Daon Majra village on June 28. He said when he had visited the place on Tuesday, he had found a truck (HR-29-D-0595) loaded with 15 animals.

The driver could not produce medical certificates of the cattle. Hence, a case was registered against the driver of the truck, Manoj Kumar, and two other persons, Shah Niwaj and Shahid.


Police remand in dowry case
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, July 5 — M. S. Walia and his son, Sandeep, residents of Butrela village, were remanded in police custody for two days in a dowry harassment case by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash. They were arrested on July 4 for allegedly harassing the complainant, Kavita Walia, for not bringing sufficient dowry.

The complainant alleged that she was married to Sandeep in September, 1999, but was turned out of the house within one month of the marriage by her in-laws for not bringing enough dowry. She, however, returned after her parents made efforts to resolve the dispute. It is alleged that the in-laws of the complainant continued to harass her and again turned her out of the house in March, 2000, and a case was registered against the accused.

Seeking police remand for the accused, the public prosecutor argued that they had not been cooperating with the police in the investigation. The public prosecutor further argued that some dowry articles were still to be recovered from the accused. Hearing the arguments the judge sent the accused to the police remand for two days.


Bank working criticised
Tribune News Service

PINJORE, July 5 — The owners of ancillary units of HMT have expressed dissatisfaction over the working of the branch of Punjab National Bank catering to transactions of HMT owing to non-availability of local clearing facilities.

With nearly 60 such units, the annual transactions run into crores of rupees and instead of making banking a convenient proposition, the bank officials have turned a deaf ear to the owners’ demand of local clearing facilities at the bank even though the system exists in Kalka, started a couple of months back, and Parwanoo where it started almost a year back.

The Chief Manager of the Pinjore branch, Mr Satish Harjai, contends: “This is primarily a rural branch and cannot be compared to Kalka. However, in spite of this we are considering the demand which has been long pending. In fact, I had asked the ancillary unit owners to make representations for the same and the matter has already been discussed at our internal meetings. Moreover, I have taken up the matter with the zonal and regional branches of my bank and we hope the idea will materialise.”

However, presently the unit owners rue the fact that it takes 15 to 20 days to credit the amount to their accounts since Pinjore is treated as an outstation branch. They add that in spite of having an account in Panchkula they are forced to issue drafts for payments to parties of Chandigarh which puts additional financial burden on them.

Owners further allege that every time they have put up their demands, the officials have assured them that the matter is under consideration when, in reality, they are doing nothing about it. They add that this is primarily because the making of drafts brings in a lot of income, more so because of the involvement of a big name like HMT, and the bank does not want to lose out on that by introducing the local clearing system.Back

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 |