Monday, July 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Who is entitled to PU Health Centre facility?
By Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — A spate of demands has put the Panjab University Health Centre in the eye of a storm. The centre, which came up more than 25 years ago, has some of the best OPD and investigative facilities among the government hospitals in the city and is supposed to cater to all employees of the university, the dependents of the male employees, the retired employees and their dependent family members, the deceased employee's family, the deceased retired employee's family and the students.

The list is supposed to end here, but it does not. Among others who seek routine OPD facilities and even medicines, are the relatives of the employees, the shopkeepers, their families and anyone with an emergency case. The doctors and other staff members are overworked.

The cause of these problems is the Health Centre entitlement cards held by the employees which are more than two decades old. Most of these employees now have children who are grown up and not dependent any more. Daughters who have been married off continue to come to the centre. Also related is the problem caused by transferability of these cards. Since there is no photograph on the cards, they are allegedly transferred to outsiders by the employees who misuse the facilities provided for the university employees.

Then there is the problem of reimbursements. The Punjab Government Rules (which are followed by Panjab University) regarding the reimbursement of medical claims, make it clear that when the husband is drawing a fixed medical allowance under the state government, it is open to the wife to claim open reimbursement only for herself but not for her entitled dependents. (see box).

The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has been demanding the facility of reimbursement to the dependents of women employees of the university also.

But this is an issue which has no bearing to the Health Centre facilities. The PUTA wrote a letter to the VC complaining about "the unethical practice being adopted in the University Health Centre" which was denying medical consultation and reimbursement to the dependents of the women employees. The centre officials say that they were following the rules and they are could not provide reimbursement to the women employees' dependents. As far as medical consultation is concerned, they say, "According to rules, we should not be even entertaining a dependent of any female employee, but we have never refused consultation to anyone. Many female employees even come to our houses and we provide them with medicines and prescriptions. So this allegation is not just unfair, it is very discouraging too."

The letter goes on to state that the cards of many employees are being confiscated by the Chief Medical Officer. But this is a part of a process of making new cards which started in 1996 on the recommendations of a committee appointed by the Vice-Chancellor for advising on the matter of the facilities at the health centre. In 1999 again, this matter came up at another committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor for rationalising the working of the centre. It noted that "for the optimum utilisation of the limited resources for the welfare of the university employees who are entitled to free medical facilities, the non-entitled persons like the economically independent/married children and working spouses need to be eliminated." It was recommended that the process of making new medical entitlement cards be completed by August 31. The new cards were never made. The strongest protest to the making of new cards came from the non-teaching employees who reasoned that it was too expensive to get new cards made.

The facilities at the health centre continue to be misused, burdening the university's already shaky financial position.


Where is the rule?

In a clarification sent by the Resident Audit officer (RAO) of Panjab University to the CMO, Health Centre, dated September 27,1999, regarding the entitlement of children of female employees of Panjab University whose husbands do not get any fixed medical allowance from their respective organisations, the RAO replied, "According to Punjab Medical Attendance Rules, 1940, the children are considered dependent on the father and, therefore, medical reimbursement can only be preferred by the father in respect of his dependent children from their organisations."Interestingly this rule could not be found anywhere in the Panjab Attendance Rule Book. The compiler of the book, Mr Amrit Chopra, said that there is no rule like that at all as far as the Punjab Government is concerned. And in the case described above, the woman employee is entitled to ask for medical reimbursement for her dependents and her husband too if he is not earning more than Rs 250 a month. The then RAO, Mr R.S. Kang said he had no idea of this clarification and needed time to find out.

The rules laid down by the university in accordance with the Panjab Medical Attendance rules regarding reimbursements are:

Reimbursements are to be given in case:

1.The claimant-employee's wife/husband is wholly dependent on him or her, and is residing with him or her at normal place of working and not at the native place.

2.The claimant's-employees' spouse is not in service, public or private. If in service, his or her income is not more than Rs 250 a month, irrespective of the fact whether the organisation where he or she is working is not providing free medical facilities.

3.In the case of parents/sisters/minor brothers/minor children of the employee, they are wholly dependent on the claimant provided only their income from all sources, including pension, is less than Rs 500 per month and they are residing with the claimant-employee.

4.In the case of a deceased university employee or a retired deceased university employee, the term family which is entitled to free medical facilities, includes his widow, minor and unmarried dependent children, subject to furnishing an affidavit showing (i) the name of the applicant, (ii) relationship with the deceased employee (iii) date of death, (iv) particulars of the wholly dependent parents of the deceased employee.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Punjab, has also clearly laid down the following regarding reimbursements in case of both husband/ wife in government service:

1.When both husband/wife are working under the state government, they both are entitled to fixed medical allowance being not dependent on each other with entitlement of free treatment/reimbursement of medical charges as indoor patients.

2. When one of them is serving under the state government and the other is serving under the other state/central government organisation, public undertaking etc., then both are entitled for fixed medical allowance according to the rules\instructions of their respective govt.\undertaking, not being dependent on each other.

3. When husband is drawing fixed medical allowance under the state government it is open to the wife to claim open reimbursement in respect of other entitled dependents because of the fact that the husband is claiming fixed medical allowance.Back


YTTS—A ray of hope for disabled, poor kids
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — Prahlad is nine, though he looks not more than five years old. This malnourished boy was afflicted with polio when he was three. Since then, his legs lost the power to carry his weight. He was shown a ray of hope by an NGO and today, he is able to stand erect with the help of a support. Doctors say that he will be able to walk with the help of calipers in a few days.

A resident of Mauli Jagran Colony, Prahlad was in a miserable condition till he was approached by the Youth Technical Training Society, an NGO working in the city for poor children. He was shown to a doctor in a school for physically disabled run by the YTTS in Mauli Jagran Colony. He was operated upon by the doctors and soon he will be able to walk.

Vidya is hearing and speech impaired. A resident of Mauli Jagran Colony, she can write, but not read out. Her parents cannot take her to a doctor because they are living below the poverty line. She was approached by the YTTS about two weeks ago and now she has a brighter future.

There are around 36 students like Prahlad and Vidya who are studying in the school for the disabled run by the YTTS. Besides imparting them education, the YTTS also shows them to a doctor and other help is also provided to them.

Although the YTTS has been doing a lot for such children, the dropout rate is quite considerable. "We have been going from door to door to convince these children's' parents to send them to our school. Despite a follow-up every day, these children stop coming to school. It is actually not their fault as most of them cannot come on their own as they need somebody to help them. Their parents are usually out to their work and they keep sitting at home for want of some help." says their teacher, Kamlesh.

"Moreover, these children either go for begging and or sit outside a temple seeking prasad. Their number in the school goes down on Saturdays due to the practice of seeking alms in the name of Shani Dev. Some of them even help their parents in selling grocery. The only attraction for them in the school is the eatables provided to them by the YTTS. So, the graph of attendance shoots up during meal time," she adds.

The school for the disabled started three months ago. A team of the YTTS surveyed the colony and found out that there were more than 40 disabled children in Mauli Jagran. "We found that there was no provision for handicapped children living in slums to get education. So, we decided to help them in some way. The problems faced were aplenty. They were not very curious to come to the school as some of them were a helping hand of the bread-earner of their families. We continued and got 36 students on our rolls,'' says Mr Vineet Khanna, Director of the YTTS.

Most of the students don't have clothes to wear, food to eat or money to get themselves treated. The YTTS welcomes voluntary help for these children in terms of money, food and clothes. 


Panel for IT corporation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — The setting up of Information Technology Corporation, allotment of land at Punjab Engineering College to IT units, a strategic tie-up with Bangalore and the need to have an IT college on the lines of the IIIT, Hyderabad, are some important suggestions put forward by a committee of the Chandigarh Administration that went to study IT applications in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

A report by the committee suggests that the IT corporation could be a part of CITCO. Specific responsibilities should be given to officials with regard to tasks concerning the IT institute, wiring of the city, IT towers and PEC incubation centre. To encourage small and medium units in the business, space at PEC should be used.

The committee also informs that it is preparing a list to hold a seminar for NRIs running IT businesses abroad. To bring investors to Chandigarh, the committee has claimed that the Secretary, IT, Karnataka, is willing to cooperate with Chandigarh. The need to participate in IT fairs across the country and abroad has been stressed, with participation in scheduled to held in Bangalore from November 1 to 5 as being necessary.

On the proposed IT towers, the committee suggests that space be sold in a semi-finished state, with the parties doing their own interiors. CITCO can sign a memorandum of understanding with a leading firm which shall execute the project on a turnkey basis with joint ownership of the towers vested with CITCO.

The expansion of the Advisory Committee on IT applications is suggested to include multinational giants like Satyam, Infosys, Wipro and Quark. On the venture capital fund set up by Delhi Financial Corporation (DFC) , the committee says that the fund is applicable to Chandigarh and there was a need to educate small and medium companies to use it.

To lay the optical fibre network, the committee has suggested five points that include listing of about eight firms for setting up a consortium. This consortium should be allowed to lay underground ducts, with the Administration having minimum control.

For the proposed IT college and schools, collaboration with various companies should be given priority. The IIIT, Hyderabad, is a trendsetter in this field. This institute has centres run by major IT firms and admissions through their own entrance tests. 


Panchkula residents oppose MC
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 30 — The residents' welfare associations of various sectors of the city today resolved to oppose the formation of a municipal corporation. The idea has again gained momentum after it was down twice by the previous governments.

At a press conference organised here, the representatives contended that the Haryana Urban Development Authority was still developing the city with most development works yet to get under way or incomplete. "After it has completed the works in accordance to the master plans of each sector, the municipal corporation can become functional. However, as of now, such an idea is preposterous, Mr S.K. Nayar, President of the Citizens' Welfare Association, said.

The President of the Defence Enclave Welfare Association, Sector 2, Lieut-Col Harbans Singh (retd), opined that the formation of a municipal corporation would entail a lot of taxes. "These taxes would be unjustified since our city is still in the process of coming up. The government has already hiked power tariff and with an MC, the situation will only worsen. The common man will be the worst hit and life will become very expensive,'' he added.

The others, including Mr Sunil Jain, General Secretary of the National Citizens Council, Mr Ravinder Rawal of the Punjabi Welfare Sabha and Mr Uggar Sain Sharma from the House Owners Association of Sector 11, expressed concern over the matter and claimed that they would seek legal recourse if the need arose.

Mr R.C. Sahni, President of the Private House Owners Association in Sector 11, explained no member of his society supported the formation of the MC. In fact, they were willing to resort to dharnas if the Haryana Government did not listen to their pleas.

The joint front has urged the government to defer the proposal till all sectors are developed since that would amount to cheating the residents of their rights. The Secretary of the Indian Citizens Forum, Mr A.K. Walia, added that on the one hand the Chief Minister had dissolved 13 MCs recently on account of paucity of funds, on the other hand he was considering the formation of an MC in the city.

Moreover, the formation of the MC would push the already poor commercial activity further away and all business would shift to adjoining areas, leaving the city and state even poorer, the President of LIG Association, Sector 15, Mr Ashok Narang, informed.


New Home Secretary in August

THE Chandigarh Administration is all set to get its new Home Secretary in August. While the obvious choice appears to be Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, a few formalities are still to be gone through before a formal notification is made. After a fortnight-long training abroad, the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, is also expected to join back in the coming week. In fact, June and July were the months when one or more officers were away — either on leave or for training outside.

Now when the Kundras have gone, an IAS officer of the UT cadre, Mr Gyaneshwar Bharti, is expected to join the Administration this week as a Subdivisional Magistrate. Two PCS officers from Punjab and one HCS officer from Haryana have already joined the Administration during the past few weeks.

Though initial reports suggested that the Ministry of Home Affairs had cleared the name of Mr Krishan Mohan as the next Home Secretary, but things have changed since then. The Administration had recommended the name of Mr Raminder Singh Gujral. Now the Prime Minister’s Office has reverted the case to the Home Ministry asking it to recommend the name of Mr Gujral for the position.

The Administration is keen that the new Home Secretary should come and resume his duty as it has been too much of a burden for the Commissioner of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, to discharge double duty.

Similarly, the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, is also looking after the work of the Secretary, Finance and Engineering, during the absence of Mr Rakesh Singh. The previous CITCO MD, Mr Satish Chandra, has already been relieved. Ms Varsha Joshi, who earlier officiated as Deputy Commissioner during the leave period of Mr M. Ramsekhar, is now looking after this additional charge for which the Administration has recommended the name of Mr S.P. Singh, an IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, who had earlier held the charge of Commissioner of Municipal Corporations of both Ludhiana and Amritsar.

Local taxes: The Administration is not very happy over the manner the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has resorted to a go-slow approach on the implementation of its own decisions, especially those pertaining to the levying of taxes.

The decision to auction parking areas, levy property tax and also levy sewerage cess have all been put in cold store after approval from the House and the Administration. The Administ-ration is keen that the corporation must generate matching resources to get financial assistance and grants from both the Administration and the Union Government.

On the other hand, Councillors have been demanding more and more perks. Starting from a monthly honorarium, facilities demanded include telephone allowance, some entertainment allowance, room for Deputy Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor. And now a demand for cellular phones may come up.

The Zila Parishad has also been constituted. It has started functioning following the election of its Chairman and Vice-Chairman. The erstwhile building of the Notified Area Committee of Mani Majra has been renovated and given to the Zila Parishad. The Chairman of the Parishad would also get all the perks, including an office, personal staff, a telephone booth in office and at residence, besides an official car. Some of the facilities may also be provided to the Vice-Chairman.

Another body which is in the offing is the Panchayat Samiti which is also expected to take shape soon. The Home Minister’s Advisory Committee and the Ward Committees too are all set to be set up.

Doctorate at 62: A former Hospital Superintending Engineer of the Nehru Hospital of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research has achieved a rare distinction —completing his doctorate at the age of 62.

Dr J.C. Mehta, who left the PGI in early 80s to go to Dubai, has just returned to his home town after probably becoming the first in the country to do his doctorate in Hospital Engineering and Planning. After retirement he is keen to start Dr P.N. Chhuttani Centre for Research in Medical Architecture which he has offered to fund partially besides roping in some NRIs. This will be the first centre of its type in the entire South-East Asia.

Dimple’s candles: By being in town on the day when her daughter Rinki was celebrating her birthday, Dimple Kapadia proved one thing for sure — that she was quite wedded to her passion of making candles. That is the only reason she came all the way from Mumbai to exhibit her products on the request of the local chapter of People For Animals. This is Dimple’s second exhibition, the proceeds of which will go to charity. The lady said that she was also going to hold exhibitions in Pune soon, following which she will visit other cities of the country.

Dimple, who can easily be called the pioneer of designer candle industry in the country, said that she was trying to make her works unique in every sense possible. ‘‘The industry is well-developed abroad, but I can vouch that there are some designs which only our company, The Faraway Tree, is making.’’ Torsos dominate this category.

After concentrating hard on the perfect formulations to make good durable candles, Dimple is now planning to start exports of her products. She said: ‘‘This is one field where there is immense scope for growth. Sky is the limit here. And I will see to it that I touch the sky.’’

Golf Club: To demand better working facilities, members of the Chandigarh Golf Club Workers Union have been on strike since July 20. The union served an ultimatum on July 17 saying that in case demands were not conceded by July 20, its members would go on a strike. The demands include 15 per cent increase in salaries for all employees; grant of dearness allowance with a minimum of 5 per cent; grant of annual increments and house rent to all workers at par with employees of the Chandigarh Administration.

The union leaders maintain that their demands have been pending with the management for the past more than seven months. During this period, it maintains, several notices have been served on the management but without any success.

The rallies of workers are being addressed by leaders of various trade unions of the city on a regular basis.

Sufiana Hans: Hans Raj Hans was in town recently to talk about the relevance of Sufiana qalaam in the present-day world. When he got into his singing mood after delivering the lecture to the students of the Indian Institute of Tourism and Future Trends on whose behest he was here, the entire ambience got transformed in no time. The youngsters, who seemed to be votaries of modernism, were seen swinging to his tunes, and even the foreigners not knowing the language swayed to his Sufiana music.

Later, during an interface Hans talked about how pious and strong thoughts of Sufiana saints like Bulle Shah were. He also managed to tide over a tricky question raised by a scribe who said that whereas Hans signifies white (since the swan is white), Sufism is black. The singer laughed and said: ‘‘Black only in apparel, white and virgin otherwise!’’

Lived for others: What do you write about a woman, whose only mission in life was to alleviate the sufferings of the uncared? A beatific smile on her lips, her fair face under the shadow of snowhite hair glowed like an angel’s. This 54-year-old energetic woman was like a Mother Teresa for anyone in need, in distress. That is possibly the best introduction for Ms Tejinder Minocha, Deputy Secretary of the Punjab Red Cross. It is still difficult to prefix the word ‘‘late’’ in front of her name. Her melodious voice continues to echo and she seems very much alive.

Her family, her parents, Mr and Mrs Narinder Singh Minocha will miss her. But so will all those who knew her. Then there are hundreds of those whom she helped get medical care and jobs, without any distinction of class or creed. Whether it was an AIDS or a tuberculosis patient, a slum dweller or a high official, buried behind her big pile of files, this diminutive woman treated them all equally. For them it is a loss, truly irreparable. Punjab Red Cross, without her presence, would probably never be the same again.

The news of her death came as a shock. The irony of the situation is that someone who spent her entire life facilitating medical help for others died before she could get any. She was travelling by Shatabdi for a meeting in Delhi. At Ambala, she felt uncomfortable. She breathed her last before the help came.

She used to be in hurry. She was going to Delhi a day earlier than the meeting. She passed through her life too, rather in a hurry. After all it seems that angels up there also needed one of their own amongst them.

— Sentinel


Pilot’s cremation today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — Among the five persons killed in an air crash in Mandi district yesterday was the pilot, Mr Jagjit Singh Ghuman, a war decorated soldier. He was a Group Captain in the IAF.

Captain Ghuman belonged to Chandigarh. His cremation will take place in Sector 25 tomorrow at 11 am. The funeral procession will start from House No. 572, Sector 16, at 10 am, according to family sources.



Programme postponed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — The 'Meet the Press' programme with Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Supplies, scheduled to be held at the Chandigarh Press Club on July 31, has been postponed due to the Parliament session. The new date will be intimated soon, according to a press note.


210 saplings planted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — The Lions Club Rose celebrated vanamahotsava by planting 210 saplings in the Himshikha Housing Board Colony here today.

The club, in association with the Health Department of Haryana, also started a dispensary in the colony for the welfare of the needy persons.

The dispensary was inaugurated by the Chief Medical Officer, Panchkula, Dr H.C. Nagpal. The President of the club, Mrs Renu Mahajan, announced that the dispensary would provide free medicines to the poor patients. Mrs Baljit Modi, zonal chairperson of Lions Club International, said that the club would organise free medical, diabetes and AIDS awareness camps in the colony. 


CTCC workers' camp ends
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — The two-day state-level training camp for workers of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) concluded here today.

Prof S.K. Sharma of Panjab University talked about the role of the Congress in the development of science and technology in the country. He said the Congress was the only political party which adopted a resolution on science and technology at its meetings and conventions.

He said Mr Rajiv Gandhi started technology missions in immunisation, communication, clean drinking water and other areas to bring a sea change in the living conditions of people in the country.

Mr S.D. Sharda, a party worker from Punjab, traced the history of the party. He said in the late 19th century, there were voluntary organisations in the economic, social, political and religious areas involving intellectuals. The Congress was born out of joining of hands of some of these voluntary organisations.

Mrs Usha Kiran Kumar complimented the leadership of the CTCC for organising the country's first training camp for party workers at the instance of the party President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. As many as 272 party workers attended the camp. Mr B.B. Bahl, President, CTCC, gave away certificates to all participants.

States like Punjab that are seeking more powers from the Centre are themselves not ready to delegate powers to their local bodies like panchayats and municipalities, said Mr Pawan Bansal, the local MP, while speaking at the opening day of a two-day training camp of local Congress workers here yesterday.

Criticising the BJP for its handling of the Kashmir issue, Mr Bansal said such demands for autonomy raised by Jammu and Kashmir would lead to dismemberment of the country. Punjab and Tamil Nadu, both ruled by alliance partners of the National Democratic Alliance, had asked for autonomy.

Earlier, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, stressed upon the need to pay proper respect and recognition to the old and trusted workers of the party. Inaugurating the camp, Ms Usha Krishan Kumar, a General Secretary of the All-India Mahila Congress, stressed upon the need to strengthen Panchayati Raj institutions. She expressed concern over the threat being posed to the secular fabric of the country and charged the BJP of saffronising all important institutions of the country. All activists of the RSS were being nominated to constitutional posts.


Idols installed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — The Sri Sanatan Dharm Mandir Sabha, Milk Colony, Dhanas, here organised a week-long religious function in connection with the installation of the idols of Baba Balaknath and Sri Bharthari at the temple. The function began on July 23.

The idols were installed by Pandit Kishori Lal amidst recitation of mantras and shlokas, according a press release issued here today.

The main attractions of the programme were sobha yatra, jal yatra, pujan, discourse and kirtan.


Snakes in Sukhna Lake area

It should come as no surprise that the Sukhna lake area is infested with snakes. I have a few suggestions to make to get rid of the menace on the basis of my experience in the Indian Army where one has often to operate in areas infested with reptiles. In the mid-fifties, we had to deal with the threat posed by ‘scrub typhus’ which was also known as the ‘Japanese fever’. We sprayed gamaxane in the camp area and applied BHC on the clothing of all soldiers going out in the jungle. We found that gamaxane was killing snakes in trenches dug to trap them. I found BHC very effective against leeches. Before we started using gamaxane, we used to keep a solution of phenyl in water (1:10) with us to keep the reptiles away. It is still commonly used in the villages to protect domestic animals from various kinds of infestations. These methods are worth trying in the Sukhna area.

Lt Col Milkha Singh Grewal (Retd),

Stray dogs

I was shocked to read about the death of Simran Uppal (Chandigarh Tribune, July 2) after she was bitten by a stray dog. Your paper has rightly drawn the attention of PGI doctors, nurses and other staff towards providing adequate care to such cases in future. You have, however, not commented on the menace of stray dogs in the city. Some time ago, the Municipal Corporation used to catch and kill stray dogs. But now, thanks to animal lovers, the number of such dogs is on the rise. These animal lovers care more about animals than the lives of human beings. To save precious lives, as should have happened in Simran Uppal’s case, the increase in the number of stray dogs should be checked. Even pets are seen wandering in the streets and creating nuisance and unhygienic conditions in the city. The Municipal Corporation should introduce strict rules about keeping pets and make it mandatory for a person to obtain a licence if he wants to keep a pet.

O. P. Ummat,

Sukhna lights

The Chandigarh Administration is reportedly planning to replace the existing subdued lighting at Sukhna lake designed by Le Corbusier with “better lighting”. Such lights installed at some spots at the lake at public expense stick out like a sore thumb. Besides being unattractive, these brighter lights also affect the tranquil atmosphere of the lake which used to get enhanced by subdued lighting. The lake promenade is not meant for the use of the privileged few. The area has been defined as a zone of tranquility to enable the citizens to be with nature. Such mindless directives as to change the lighting, and also the inability of the Administration to enforce regulations are playing havoc with this meticulously designed city. The media should come forward to help in preserving the serene surroundings of the lake.

M. N. Sharma,

Low-budget tourists

A large number of low-budget tourists, both domestic and foreign, visit the City Beautiful daily. Several years ago, a site was earmarked in Sector 17 for a janata hotel to cater to low-budget tourists. Instead, the posh Shivalikview came up on the site and this hotel is beyond the reach of an average tourist. Similarly, the camping ground near the Sukhna lake was meant for this category of tourists, but it has been taken over by the CRPF. Even the tariff at Yatri Niwas in Sector 24 is too high for a low-budget tourist. The CTU too had handed over a tourist rest house on the first floor of the ISBT in Sector 17 to Chandigarh Tourism for accommodating low-budget tourists, but for the past few years, the Chandigarh Tourist Information Centre has converted it into a dumping room. Will the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lt Gen J. F. R. Jacob (Retd), get a janata hotel set up in the city and take action against the officials concerned for these irregularities?

Narinder Singh,

Pumping ground water

One of the various changes proposed by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in the water supply bye-laws as reported in your paper recently is levying of a monthly charge on 65 mm bores installed in a residential premises after obtaining permission from the competent authority. I should like to ask the corporation whether such charges would also be levied on pumps of smaller bores installed in a person’s premises to draw ground water for domestic use? No such charges are levied, or permission required, almost throughout India on hand pumps meant for domestic use. Even in highly developed countries like the USA, no permission is required to use ground water for domestic purposes. Right to pure drinking water is a fundamental right and its exercise is lawful if the supply is drawn from an aquifer underlying one’s premises. In Chandigarh, small tubewells or hand pumps can also be used as stand-bys to tide over disruptions in water supply. However, drawing of ground water from the multi-aquifer system underlying Chandigarh can be regulated to prevent over pumping of water by individuals.

R. K. Sabherwal, Chief Engineer and Director, Water Resources, Irrigation Department, Punjab (Retd), Chandigarh

Kashmiri migrants

I strongly disagree with the stand taken by Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (Retd) on the issue of Kashmiri migrants living in community centres in Chandigarh. One does not expect an ex-serviceman to be so insensitive to those who have lost all but their lives due to militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The General should have provided more help to these migrants. Kashmiris are a part of the greater Indian community and I am sure the residents of Chandigarh understand that the migrants need the community centres more than they do in the present circumstances. They are trying to reestablish themselves and start a new life. The administration should evict the encroachers from its land instead of planning to evict the 20 odd families living in community centres. I have lived in Chandigarh for 19 years and can understand the need of the city’s residents for these community centres, but when our Kashmiri brethren are facing a crisis, we should set our priorities right.

Anil Chandel,
Washington (USA)


Rickshaw-puller hit by car, dies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — A rickshaw-puller, Ram Niwas, died after he was hit by a Maruti car near the traffic lights of Sectors 27 and 28.

According to the police, Ms Nidhi and her mother, Chanchal Devi, were going on a rickshaw when they were hit by the car (CHK 4506) driven by Arvinder Singh. As a result of the accident, Chanchal Devi, Ram Niwas and the car driver were injured. They were admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, sector 30, where the rickshaw-puller later died.

A case has been registered.

Jewellery stolen: Mr Satbir, a resident of Mauli Jagran, reported that someone had stolen gold and silver jewellery and Rs 1,000 from his residence while he was out of station.

A case has been registered.

Gamblers held: The police has arrested eight persons for gambling at public places.

In the first incident Sushil Kumar (Sector 41), Gulshan Kumar (Kajheri village), Surinder Kumar (Milk Colony, Dhanas) and Prem Kumar (Sector 24) were arrested from the Sector 23 Janj Ghar. A sum of Rs 4,200 was seized from them.

In the second incident, Ashwani Kumar (Sector 30) and Khajan Singh (Bapu Dham Colony) were arrested for playing satta at a public place. A resident of Sector 22, Vijay Kumar, was arrested for gambling from Sector 17. A sum of Rs 710 was also recovered.

Ravi Chander, a resident of Sector 8, was arrested from Sector 17 and Rs 50 recovered from him.

Cases have been registered.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested four persons from different parts and seized 80 pouches and 54 bottles of liquor from them. The four are Gopi Chand, Bharat Singh, Ravi Chauhan and Vijay Kumar.

Separate cases have been registered against them.Back



Fashion design studio inaugurated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 30 — Top models of the country Sheetal Malhar and Nina Manual inaugurated a new Fashion Design Studio of the National Institute of Fashion Design here yesterday.

Sheetal Malhar who is the first winner of the title ‘Femina look of the year 1994’ and winner of the international ‘Elite model of the year 1995’ is among the senior most models on the ramp. She has to her credit over 500 international shows. Nina Manual is a top ramp model and has done over a dozen music videos and 25 commercials. She is currently a VJ on the music channel ‘V’.

The models interacted with the students of the institute. Models narrated their experiences and showed ways of hope for students in this field.

Ms Ritu Kochar and Mr Ashok Kaushik, directors of the NIFD, received the guests.

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