Thursday, July 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU decision stumps students
Admission seekers return disappointed
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — Students along with a large number of parents seeking admission to undergraduate classes in local colleges remained a harried and a confused lot today with an eleventh hour university order to postpone the admissions indefinitely.

Government colleges totally refused admissions following the university order regarding indefinite postponement. However, MCM DAV College and the local DAV College carried on with the admission process. Students, along with their parents, thronged the colleges since early morning only to end up as a confused lot on hearing that some colleges were admitting students while the government colleges were not.

Ms Sneh Mahajan, Principal of MCM DAV College, said the college did not receive any formal order postponing admissions till early morning. Parents and students from all over the region, including Ferozepore, Dehra Dun, other parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were camping in the area in hope for admissions today.

“I do not have any relative at this place and I have been staying in a dharamshala,” a parent from Ferozepore camping in the city with his ward for the past three days complained. Mr R.C. Jeewan, Principal of DAV College, Sector 10, said the students from BA I and B SC I were allowed admissions.

The colleges did not have any formal information regarding postponement and there were hundreds crowded on the college premises. It was assessed that even if the current admissions were allowed the colleges would be able to adjust students of the Punjab School Education Board only later as they still await their results

Mrs Mahajan said the university seemed totally irresponsible regarding a timely decision on an important affair. “The university sits peacefully while students and parents swarm our campus. The advertisement also makes us legally responsible to carry out admissions as per the scheduled dates. We have made provisional admissions till the time we received a formal order from the university,” she said.

Mr Jeewan also pointed out a failure on part of the university for a timely decision in this regard which has led to a “confusing situation. He said that the merit of the commerce streams would also change under the list of new university instructions. Instead of a hurried decision, the university needed to sit and ponder over the issue seriously.

A senior university official said that admissions in DAV and MCM DAV Colleges were done hurriedly. A senior level meeting on this issue is scheduled for Friday.

Students returned empty handed from the government colleges, including those in Sectors 11, Sector 42 and Sector 46. Even in DAV College, the commerce, BBA and BCA stream students returned without getting admitted.

Maj D.P. Singh, Principal of Government College, Sector 46, said the change in schedule, if any, should have been notified at least two to three days earlier. Nobody seemed to have contacted the Punjab School Education Board whose declaration of plus two results was bound to effect admissions in the colleges.

Another senior university official said that admissions carried out in certain colleges today were invalid under the university rules. However, what about colleges which have not received university order till today evening? Some colleges are in remote areas.

Ms Vijayalakshmi, Principal of GCG, Sector 11, spent several hours shuffling between university offices to know the status of admission notice. She expressed concern over delay in information because the total number of admissions was over 4,000 which received much more longer list of applicants.

Till late evening students sought correct information about the exact state of affairs on the admission issue. University officials maintained that a final decision in this regard was likely this week.

The Government College for Men, Sector 11, also witnessed a big rush with visitors full of tales of woes. The college authorities tried best to deal with a situation not its creation but a follow-up of the university's decision, a teacher said.

Students also complained against a common admission date for different colleges. Another issue is that while the UT Administration has issued notice regarding 85 per cent seats for local students and 15 per cent for outsiders, private colleges were not following this pattern.

A senior fellow remarked it would be interesting to know the standing of candidates already admitted and who had paid the fees, in case the university announced a reversal in the policy.Back


PU panel proposes 25 pc fee hike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12— A special committee of Panjab University has proposed a 25 per cent hike in all items pertaining to fee in all its affiliated colleges.

These include the tuition and admission fee among others.

The hike decision was passed by four members of the committee, including Dr R.D. Anand, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Mr H.R. Gandhar and Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, all Fellows. The fifth member, Mr H.S. Deol, DPI (Colleges), Punjab, expressed his dissent on the issue.

The issue was concerning raising the fee structure of the university on the pattern of Guru Nanak Dev University as proposed by the Punjab Government. The issue fell flat in an earlier Syndicate meeting following which the special committee was constituted.

Today’s meeting had the DPI proposing the hike on the pattern of the GND varsity. One member said the committee was constituted with clear instructions that hike would not be on the pattern of the GND varsity. Mr Deol said the hike was necessary to meet the growing deficit in budgets. Mr Chatrath said that government decisions should not be binding on Panjab University.

Prof Chawla said the earlier hike was unjustified. Particularly affected colleges would be those in backward areas, including kandi. Dr Anand said the hike was unjustified based on last years decisions in the Syndicate.

The normal fee for BA, BSc and B Com courses in Panjab University is Rs 42 while the proposed rate was Rs 160 a month. Admission fee for Panjab-University was Rs 50. The new proposed rate was Rs 250 a month. ME (Chemical) course was for Rs 75 a month in the university. The same course cost Rs 25,000 in the GND varsity.

One course which now costs Rs 150 a month would cost Rs 1000 a month under the proposed hike. The M.Pharmacy course which costs Rs 150 a month in the university is Rs 25,000 a year under the proposed hike.


20 lions, 10 tigers to be given to other zoos
Move to tide over financial crunch facing Chhat Bir
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — Twenty lions and 10 tigers will be given away to different zoos in the country in exchange for other animals. The lions may be given away even as gifts to tide over the financial crunch.

These were the words of Mrs Gurbinder Chahal, Financial Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Forests and Wildlife, Punjab, when a zoo tiger was being tranquillised for its destination to Kanpur at the Chhat Bir zoo today.

The expenditure on feed and maintenance of each lion and tiger works out to around Rs 80,000. The exchange of 30 big cats will result in a saving of Rs 25 lakh a year. The zoo has a population of almost 75 lions. The exchange programmes and gifting away of lions will continue till the zoo is left with 25 lions and 15 tigers.

Tranquillisation of Guddu, the five-year-old tiger, was done in the glare of TV cameras. Supervising the entire operation was the Director of the zoo, Dr Vinod Sharma. The big striped cat was tranquillised after four tranquilliser darts pierced him.

TV crew and mediapersons as also regular visitors to the zoo surrounded the area. The visitors had to be shooed away to avert overcrowding. This will be the first tiger to be shifted after the death of 12 tigers at Bhubaneswar which sent shock waves in the forest and zoo circles.

The tiger is being sent to Kanpur in exchange for a pair hyena, a pair of common langur and three pairs of Chinese silver pheasant. The arrival of the hyena pair will be a welcome sign for the two male hyenas which occupy the hyena enclosure at the zoo.

Soon the zoo will begin the exchange programme on a war footing. Mrs Chahal evinced keen interest in meeting the financial crunch being faced by the zoo. Once the zoo lion and tiger population is brought down to 25 and 15, respectively, the fear of any disease striking the big cats will also diminish.Back


Steep water, tariff hike on anvil in Mohali
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 12 — At least 40 per cent increase in the water tariff and the sewerage cess in the town is on the anvil with the SAS Nagar Municipal Council passing a resolution in this regard. The revised tariff would come in to effect after a green signal by the Local Government Department, Punjab.

The existing rates were revised seven years back. While in case of the commercial and industrial connections the council has proposed a hike of over 50 per cent the domestic consumers would be relatively less effected by the revised tariff.

Sources in the council said that though the Local Government Department had been pressing upon the civic body since last year to revise the water tariff and sewerage cess as per a notification issued by it, an agenda item of revising the rates was repeatedly kept pending by the elected body during its last three meeting held in November and December last. The term of the council ended in January before the Punjab Government appointed an Administrator.

Justifying the proposed hike an official of council said the power tariff had increased and the maintenance of water supply lines and the machinery had become costlier. In fact the Public Health Department entrusted with the job of supplying potable water in the town has been strongly demanding revision of the rates.

The Executive Engineer (Public Health), Mr SS Ghuman, said the annual cost of supplying water, maintenance of the water supply lines, sewerage and the establishment expenditure has increased from Rs 2.50 crore to Rs 3.50 crore. There were around 22, 500 consumers - domestic, commercial and industrial in the town. Back


CITCO’s novel plan to woo customers
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — It takes grey matter to earn a discount. And to prove this, the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has installed computers in the lobbies of its two premier hotels.

Under a novel scheme started by CITCO to attract customers to its two premier hotels — Shivalikview and Mountview — the guests could earn some discount and that too at the click of a button.

All one has to do is to answer 25 simple questions on City Beautiful on the computer and avail discount up to 25 per cent in the restaurants of the hotels with the amount of discount being commensurate with number of questions answered correctly. The whole exercise, which commenced on July 9 on a trial basis, last about five minutes.

The participants had been divided into two categories. While kids up to the age of 15 years are given simpler questions, the category above 15 years are posed slightly difficult questions. The software of the two computers purchased at a cost of about Rs 80,000, has been designed by the National Informatic Centre (NIC), sources informed The Tribune today.

The CITCO Managing Director, Mr Satish Chandra, when contacted, informed that it was the idea of the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), who wanted that the residents, particularly the hotel guests should have more information about the city.

The quiz has been divided into three sections to test the knowledge of the patrons. The first section dealt with the history of Chandigarh, its architectural planning and layout. The second part comprised, among other things, the general information and specific information about important institutions like the PGI, the CII, the CSIO and the UT Secretariat. The last part consists of the visuals of the important monuments of the city.Back


New machines lying unused in PGI
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — Machines worth lakhs of rupees are not being put to any use in the Department of Physiotherapy, PGI. While, some of them are out of order, a few other which are brand new, are yet to be used.

The department, which has been recently shifted to the new OPD block, has a daily OPD attendance of 100-150 patients. It offers patients at least five different forms of therapy. This includes electro therapy, exercise therapy, heat therapy, hydro therapy and manual therapy. But the non-functioning machines are causing problems not only for the patients but for the doctors as well, who are forced to recommend an alternate therapy in the absence of the required therapy.

Sources reveal that a bio-dec machine worth Rs 25 lakh was purchased by the institute in 1997. But till today it is lying locked up in the department. Even a short wave diathermy machine, which is used for heat therapy, is out of order most of the time. Similarly, another machine for heat therapy, which is an essential equipment used to reduce the muscle spasm and various kinds of body pains, is not being put to its optimum use as half of its screen is damaged. One of the regular patients, who comes here for exercises, said earlier this machine was being used to give heat treatment to facilitate exercises, but this is not being done now.

Ironically the department is equipped with the latest technology, but it is not being made available to the patients on a regular basis.

A hi-tech laser, which can cure patients of many ailments much faster, is lying locked in the office of the Acting Head of the Department, Dr Prattima Rattan. Even trans cotenias electrical nervous stimulation system, which has been imported from Holland and can be instrumental in giving relief to patients suffering from acute joint pains, is lying unused in the office of the Head of the Department.

A patient Ashok Kumar lamented that all machines were in working order in the physiotherapy unit of the main Nehru Hospital where VIP patients come for treatment, but this was not the case in departments where general patients are treated. “I have been coming here for the last six months but there is not much relief as I am not being administered proper treatment,” added another regular patient. Few other patients also maintained that in the absence of a regular head, patients were not being attended to properly.

Sources allege that lack of technical know-how is the reason behind why most of these machines are either lying out of order or not being put to use for the required treatment. The present batch of students, who are doing their four and a half year graduation in the subject, reveal that they are being taught by therapists who have either done their year-and-a-half diplomas or three-and-a-half-years degree in the subject. Some of them allege that most of these diploma holders are facing problem in teaching them as they have no knowledge of certain topics in the syllabus.

Dr Rattan, who is officiating as the Head of the Department refused to comment on the prevailing situation and the non-functioning machines. No other senior official was available to explain why this was happening in such an important department of the institute.Back



The future: e-filing of IT returns
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — The new Information Technology Act has come. Certain amendments will have to be made to the Income Tax Act to facilitate e-filing of income tax returns. It may take a couple of years before e-filing becomes a reality, says Mr A. Balasubramanian, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes.

Talking to The Tribune at the Sector 39 Institute of Microbial Technology after felicitating the highest income tax-payers of North Western and Panchkula regions, Mr Balasubramanian said that computerisation in the Income Tax Department had been progressing very well. It was at different levels in different regions.

“But before we allow electronic filing of income tax returns, we will have to amend certain sections of the Income Tax Act. The Information Technology Act has already made provisions for e-filing. For example, the Income Tax Act will have to grant sanctity to e-signatures for accepting electronic filing of IT returns. There are certain other legal aspects which may necessitate some further amendments to the Income Tax Act. But it is not very far off that e-filing of IT returns will become a reality in India,” he said.

Mr Balasubramanian said that as on March 31 this year, the total number of income tax assesses in the country was 23 million, showing an increase of 50 lakh tax- payers.

“We have set a target to take the number of tax-payers to 50 million within next the few years. Revenue generation by the Income Tax Department has been showing over the past few years a 20 to 25 per cent annual increase which is unprecedented. This is in spite of the fact that certain areas related to information technology and exports are exempt from the payment of income tax,” the Chairman said.

Talking about e-commerce and double taxation, he said that the issue was being debated at various fora internationally. Recently, India also attended an OECD seminar on the subject in Paris.

“It is not the problem of India alone. Other countries, too , are facing it. No country has come out

with any solution to this complex problem of taxing the profits earned through transactions taking place electronically.

“The problem is twofold: one of the transactions taking place within the country. That we can handle. But then there are transactions which spread to more than one nation. This is where the problem lies. It is being discussed in various international seminars. We will soon find a way out,” he said maintaining that all nations were interested in the proper distribution of taxes without involving any legal procedures.

The Chairman said that though there were some delays in issuing Permanent Account Numbers to more than two crore applicants, the department did it. Now the online facility for PAN would be available very shortly.

“Initially, we had made the quoting of PAN mandatory on valuable transactions, but now we may consider the quoting of PAN on more items so as to broaden the tax-payers’ base besides detecting those who evade tax.”

The major grievance of tax-payers, he said, was the delay in transactions. “I know in case of salaried employees, the refund and delay in transaction causes a lot of hardships and resentment. We are trying to solve this problem by sending refunds to the accounts of the assesses in various public sector banks.”

“Very soon, all computerised branches of public sector banks will accept tax payments. The Department has been keen to simplify not only procedures but also the law,” he said maintaining that the latter issue was more complicated as various exemptions under the Income Tax Act would gradually go.

When asked about the farm sector, Mr Balasubramanian said that taxing the farm sector was constitutionally a State subject. He, however, went on to add that the decision to bring farmhouses within the purview of the Income Tax Act was primarily because these were used for purposes other than agriculture.


1000-line phone exchange for Panchkula sectors
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 12 — Residents in the Panchkula extension in Sectors 25, 26 and 27 are finally going to be connected to the outside world through telephones with the Telecom Department having initiated a proposal of setting up a 1000-line exchange to fulfill their long-pending demand.

While meetings with the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) are still in progress, the Principal General Manger, Telecom, Mr Pritpal Singh, confirmed the proposal and said that the work of setting up the exchange would be completed in about three months time.

Meanwhile, the HUDA office, entrusted with the task of providing land for setting up the exchange, is working overtime on the selection of a site viable for the exchange. The Administrator, Mr Sandeep Garg, says: “We had allotted a piece of land to the department over a year back for setting up a store. However, later another request was received for a piece of land for setting up the exchange which is being taken up on a priority basis.’’

The Telecom Department, in the discussions with officials, had stated that the site allotted to them did not meet the specifications required to set up an exchange since spreading lines all across the extension was not possible from the piece of land in Sector 25. On the basis of the specified requirements a site near the Nandna choe in Sector 26 has been chosen by HUDA officials.

Spread in an area of 2000 sq yards, the exchange will begin operations with 1000 lines for residents of Sector 25, 26 and 27. Later, as population in the area goes up more lines will be provided for the convenience of the residents. This Remote Lying Unit (RLU) will be connected to the main telephone exchange in Sector 5 through optical fibres.

The residents across the Ghaggar have time and again raised the demand for telephone connections in the area ever since the sectors came up in 1994. Last year the demand for telephone connections was put up at the open darbar organised by HUDA to address the grievances of the public, and numerous representations by the residents’ welfare associations of the sectors have also been made to officials of the administration and the Telecom Department alike which have finally borne fruit.

Besides, the residents have been continuously demanding a police post in the sectors, the nearest being that in Ramgarh. After inspection, a few changes were suggested in the post constructed in Sector 25 by HUDA. The Superintendent of Police, Ms Kala Ramchandran, says: “As soon as the building is handed over to us we will post our police personnel in the sector.’’

The provision of the telephone lines and opening of the police post will bring to an end the persistent demand of the residents who contended that they were living in isolation beyond the Ghaggar and were cut off from the rest of the city, especially at night since no information could be passed on in the absence of telephone connections, and security was at its lowest ebb with no police post to cater to them in case of any incident.Back


Dharna against removal of liquor vend continues
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — "Shifting of this sub-vend to a nearby place is not acceptable to us. We want it to removed from here," was the unanimous view of a large number of villagers, mostly women, sitting in dharna in front of a IMFL sub-vend, less than 100 metres from the regulator-end of the Sukhna Lake today.

Yesterday a deputation of the women led by Councillor Satinder Dhawan had met the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, who had promised to get it shifted within a week.

This morning, the women, accompanied by some men folk and children of Bhagwanpura village, reached the site of the sub-vend and sat in dharna. They held that shifting of the sub-vend by 20-30 metres would serve no useful purpose as both men and boys of the village keep on sitting at the vend the whole day.

The women demonstrators also held that because of presence of large number of men at the vend, they could not go their farms at late hours. In the evening, they ended the dharna after Ms Gurbachan Kaur, Sarpanch of Kishengarh, served an ultimatum on the vendor to shift the vend within a week failing which villagers would restart an agitation.

There have been some protests from evening strollers at Sukhna lake against the presence of initially two and now one liquor sub-vend just at the edge of the regulator-end of the lake.

Officials of the Excise Department maintain that they were forced to open this sub-vend after Haryana Excise Department allowed its contractor to open sub-vend at the same place.

Now when the Haryana sub-vend, which was just 10 metres away, has been closed, the villagers are agitating to get the Chandigarh sub vend closed also.

The officials maintain that location of these sub-vends does not violate the Periphery Control Act.

Under the Act permission is granted for farm houses for carrying out farm related activity. They agree that running a liquor vend does not come under farm related activity but at the same time constructing a temporary structure does not come under the purview of the Act. Only permanent structures are violative of the Act.

In this case, both the vends, the officials said, were tin structures and as such does not attract the provisions of the periphery Control Act.

Whatever be the position, more and more women organisations are jumping into fray to get the sub-vend closed and not shifted away from public view.

Mrs Billa Brar, a daughter of Col Partap Singh Gill (retd), a former Lieutenant-Governor of Haryana, also visited the site of the vend and assured the agitators that she and her organisation would continue to all her support to the agitation to get the vend shifted from there.

Mrs Satinder Dhawan says that the Nyaya Morcha would also join the agitation till the sub-vend is finally closed and shifted elsewhere.Back


Raipur Khurd roads in bad shape
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — Broken roads, water shortage, unscheduled power cuts, stinking water are some of the problems which are being faced by residents of Raipur Khurd village due to the sheer neglect of UT Administration authorities for the past couple of months.

Residents of the village complain that the situation has been worsened since laying of sewerage system. The department dug the streets and roads for trenches and did not refilled them properly after laying sewer lines. Moreover, the drains carrying storm water, for which the sewer lines were laid, have not been connected with the main line so far.

“Though the authorities have refilled the trenches after laying but the loose soil caved in at many places due to heavy rain. These deep potholes have become death traps for the road users and the pedestrians. Absence of streetlights at some places further aggravates the problem”, said Mr Bir Bhan, a resident.

After digging the surface of roads and streets, the authorities concerned have not recarpeted them even after over six months. The low levelled places have converted into cesspools and has become a health hazards, complains Mr Varinder Singh.

The residents are facing water shortage as there is no sufficient water supply to the village. They complain that sometime back the department has conducted a survey to dig a new tubewell to meet water shortage but for no yield.Back




Population Day
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 12 — The Rotaract Club of Panchkula observed the World Population Day by conducting a unique population awareness programme here yesterday.

According to the President of the club, Mr Pankaj Chandgothia, the club collected over 180 affidavits from city teenagers in which they rowed that they would restrict their family to a maximum of two children and that they would not marry before the age of 21.

Mr Chandgothia said the population control had been taken up as a district-level project by the Rotaract organisation, the youth wing of the Rotary International.Back


A home away from home
By Ritika Mehta

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — Blame it on the necessity to make one’s both ends meet, the urge to become independent or simply on the ‘status-conscious trend’, the fact stays that both husband and wife have to work. There has been a break-up in the joint family system resulting in nuclear families, a reason why more and more toddlers are being sent to creches.

Of late, the tendency with the parents to send their kids to these places has been on the rise. This is evident from the fact that the number of creches at Bal Bhavan in sector-23 has increased over the years. It was 35 in 1980 and today the number has gone up to 50.One of the officials of Bal Bhavan admitted that “this rise can be attributed to the single family system. In the absence of any other family member to look after the children and especially today when it has become more or less essential for both the parents to work, the only way out for them to manage their kids is to send them here with us”.

The officials here agree that living away from their parents in these second homes do have a psychological impact upon their minds. According to one attendant here, “At a later stage in life some of them do resent being away from their homes and regard it as unfair but there are also cases as ones in which people who once themselves had been cared for in the creches, now send their offsprings here. Although a feeling of insecurity comes in a few cases, it would be fair to say that such negative mental traces about the whole affair are only but marginal”.

Talking about the positive side of the picture, the kids who stay in these alternative homes certainly differ from the ones enjoying the comforts of their homes. “Away from the cocooned atmosphere of their houses the young souls here turn out to be much more independent in their approach towards life” says another official here. They are much more confident, less pampered and are able to adjust to the changes around them more easily and efficiently. Their exposure to good quality interaction here adds to their personality and help them do away with their shyness. Mentally they are far better equipped to go to school since they learn a lot here.

The place kind of turns a second home for them. They get a chance to celebrate their birthdays here, participate in different functions which not only cheers their spirits but also grooms their talents. Several competitions are also organised for the purpose. Kids here are much more disciplined, and the lifestyle here certainly contributes to a healthy habit formation”. There have been cases when the children facing language formation have been referred to here for the good” says Mrs Puja Khanna, an official with Bal Bhavan.

For working parents this is the only and the best option. Says a parent: “Children pick up very fast. I prefer to send my child to creche. I fear at home she might pick up some bad words from the maid servant”. Children from joint families with working parents also come here. Mrs Priya from joint family feels: “By sending kids here one can save him from any strain and impact of any family tussles.”

Be it for any reason, a single parent child or a nuclear family, recently our own social compulsions have forced us to resort to these alternative homes for our children. No doubt this idea from the West has come to our rescue but care should be taken to avoid any drawbacks of the system. In no case should we go away from the basic values of life. Only then can we give these tiny tots children a promising future.


‘9 out of 10 clinics in city are abortion centres’
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — If the figures are to be believed then the male and female ratio in this educated city is probably one of the lowest in the country. For every 1000 males in the city there are only 740 females. The difference is growing larger day by day The very fact that the male and female ratio was recorded 1000:790 in 1991 stands testimony to the fact.

Another startling, though related fact is that number of abortions have been more or less same as the number of registered births in the city. According to some unofficial reports, more than 16,000 abortions were carried out in the city, last year.

As far as the huge difference in the numbers is concerned, the experts say that this peculiarity in an educated city like Chandigarh could be attributed to two possible factors.

One is that ever since the inception of the city in late 1950’s there has been a continuous movement of population from outside. People have been coming to seek employment and later settle here. As it happens always, majority to come in the initial stage are always males. Of course, the females follow, but much later. Therefore in any survey, the headcount would reveal more males than females.

However, another reason which attributes hugely to this lopsided view of the male and female ratio, which should ideally stand at 1000:950, is the alarming increase in the number of abortions every year.

Doctors say that they accept the ratio of 1000:950 because that is how nature also probably wants it to be as women live longer than men. Moreover, there are better chances of a man remaining a bachelor than a woman being unmarried for life. That is the way our social structure is. But any figures other than these cannot be acceptable. They can certainly lead to major social problems.

According to Mrs Amrita Kohli, president of the Mahila Dakshita Sammiti, neither the state or voluntary organisations working in the area have been able to control this. “I would call it a murder. However, except for a talk here and a poster there, nothing much has been done to check the female foeticide.”

Naturally, if the situation continues, it is not going to be a very happy future for all of us. According to last census in 1991, there were 3,58,614 males to 2,83,401 females in the city. The difference is increasing continuously.

A doctor on condition of anonymity says,” nine out of 10, so called nursing homes in the city are actually abortion centres.There are as many as 150 such centres operating in Chandigarh and adjoining areas. What is adding to our woes further is now predetermination of sex.”

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act was legalised in 1971. There are five conditions identified in the Act. These include medical, eugenic, humanitarian, socio-economic and failure of contraceptive. Now failure of contraceptive is a unique feature of this law and virtually allows abortion on request in view of difficulty of proving that pregnancy was not caused by failure of contraceptive. Therefore, it is the failure of a contraceptive which makes too big a loophole in the law.

After all there is no way one can prove whether the pregnancy is because of failure of contraceptive or any other reason. None of the contraception methods are 100 per cent foolproof.

Mrs Manjit Sodhi, president of the Savera, a non-government organisation, says that an unwanted pregnancy, as in rape has every reason to be terminated. “We get so many cases where the girls have got pregnant after a rape. Moreover, teenage pregnancies too have increased considerably. These are of course the fallouts of urbanisation.”



Chain snatcher held
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — The police has arrested a chain snatcher and recovered the stolen item.

According to police sources, Gaganpreet alias Deepu, a resident of Sector 40, had snatched a gold chain from Sector 37 resident Hardev Singh while he was going near Harkishen Public School in Sector 40.

A case under Sections 356 and 379, IPC, has been registered against him.

One held: The police has arrested Sector 27 resident Mahesh Pandey on the charges of picking up a quarrel in a fast food joint in Sector 17 besides attempting to outrage the modesty of a girl along with his friends.

Sources said Mahesh attempted to outrage the modesty of an Ambala resident who was having her meal in the joint with some other friends. The accused also snatched her gold chain. Mahesh was arrested from the spot while his accomplices managed to run away.

A case under Sections 354, 323, 356 and 379, IPC, has been registered

Liquor seized: The police has arrested three persons and recovered 15 bottles and 21 quarters of whisky from their possession.

While Mahabir was arrested from Colony Number 5, Santro and her husband, Sanjeev Kumar, were arrested from Bapu Dham Colony.

A case has been registered against them.

Car stolen: Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of SAS Nagar, reported that someone has stolen his car, CHOIQ 1788, from the Sector 17 parking lot. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.



Two traffic cops honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 12 — The UT IGP, Mr B S Bassi, awarded Class 1 certificates to two traffic cops for the alertness and courage shown in nabbing two notorious burglars.

It may be recalled that the cops — Head Constable Satbir Singh and constable Tejvir Singh — were on naka duty at the Sector 34 \ 35 small roundabout on July 6 when they signalled a scooterist to stop. On this the accused, thinking that they were being stopped, jumped from the rickshaw they were travelling in and tried to flee. The cops, in addition to some passersby, went in pursuit and managed to nab them after a short chase.

Asif Ali and Kasif Ali are residents of Bijnore, Uttar Pradesh and had burgled a house in Sector 46. Stolen goods — one VCR, two pairs of gold earrings and bangles besides Rs 5,000 in cash — were recovered from their possession. 


Webcom Tech centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 12 — The Higher Education Minister, Punjab, Mr Mohan Lal, today said that if a person was not computer literate he was as good as an illiterate. He was talking at the inaugurated centre of Webcom Technologies in Phase 7 here today.

The Webcom Technologies, a USA based company, with an aim to spread e-commerce has collaborated with IICE Technologies has opened centres in different cities of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh

Mr C.N. Dhar, Executive Director of the HMT, Pinjore, and Mr Sudhanshu Malhotra, President Operations of Webcom, also spoke on the occasion.Back


Samman Patras for 22 taxpayers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July12 — “Taxpayers are clients to be served,” announced Mrs Surinder Paul Kaur, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, North Western Region in her welcome address a function organised to honour 22 highest taxpayers of the region in Chandigarh today.

The Samman Patras were given away by Mr A. Balasubramanian, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, who in his presidential address also issued a warning to the tax evaders saying that those who had been evading taxes would not be able to stay out of the department’s network for long. He emphasised that the department was trying to bring a change, wherein it will not be seen as “the taxing department” but as “providers of tax service to the tax payer”.

He informed the audience that awarding Samman Patras were part of the three pronged Saral, Samman and Samadhan policy adopted by the department to make the tax collection procedure more tax-payer friendly.

Twenty two persons — 10 from Ludhiana, five from Panipat, three from Chandigarh, two from Yamunanagar, and one each from Bathinda and Pathankot — received the awards in two categories. The Rashtriya Samman was given to 19 taxpayers of the region who had been payers of substantial amount of Income tax consistently for the past 4-5 years.

The awardees include: Mr Shiv Prasad Aggarwal, Managing Director, Aarti Group of Industries,

in Ludhiana, Mr D.P. Aggarwal, another businessman, Mr Arun Beri , owner of a hosiery unit, also in Ludhiana. Mr Suraj Dada of DADA Motors, having dealerships of Telco and Bajaj is another awardee from Ludhiana. Mr Ajay Singhania, proprietor, Singhania Chemicals, from Ludhiana, Mr. Inder Pal Singh, heading Pal Trading Company in Ludhiana also received the award. Mr S. P. Oswal of Vardhman Spinning and Weaving Mills Ludhiana, also received the award. The Jindal couple, heading two units of Jindal Electric Machinery in Ludhiana and Faridabad, also received the award. Mr Romesh Kumar of Inde Industries Ludhiana also received the award but could not be present at the occasion.

Mr Ashok Rajnath, who heads Deepak Woolen Industries was one of the five awardees from Panipat. Mr Sanjay Kumar Garg of Gupta Sprintex and his three brothers, Rajiv, Siyaram and Sushil were the other four awardees from Panipat.

Out of the three awardees from Chandigarh, two were present on the occasion to receive the award. Mr V. K. Passi who heads Pasco and Mr Hira Lal Sibbal, who had been Advocate General, Punjab and Haryana High Court, President of Punjab and Haryana Bar association, President Indo-Soviet Cultural Society also received the award. The third awardee from Chandigarh, Aarti Sandhu was not present on the occasion.

Mr P.C. Taneja, heading Taneja Brothers in Pathankot is also among the awardees. There were two awardees from Yamunanagar, both from the family of Mr Ranjit Puri.

Mr Brij Mohan Lal Munjal of Hero Industries received the award for being the highest taxpayer of the region in the salary category, while K.G. Singhania, an advocate received the award in the professional category and Mr A. K. Malhotra received the award in the business category for the fiscal year 1997-98.

Mr S.P. Oswal and Mr Munjal spoke on the occasion and appreciated the department’s efforts to simplify the tax collection procedures and emphasised every citizen’s duty to contribute to the nation’s growth.

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