Monday, August 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police plans to arrest suspects via TV show
City jeweller’s murder case

Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 6 — The Ropar police will flash the photographs and detailed information about the three absconding suspects involved in the brutal murder case of a 39-year-old jeweller of Chandigarh on the popular television show India’s Most Wanted.

The three suspects — Gurvinder Singh, alias Gary, Ranbir, alias Shera, and Lakha, alias Rana — had cleaved the body of the victim, Ashok Kumar, into four pieces before dumping these at secluded places along a nullah in May this year.

Details about the identity of the suspects have been sent to senior police officials to be supplied to the organisers of the television show. The police has been on the trail of the men who have been evading arrest by repeatedly disguising themselves. A case under Sections 201, 302 and 34 of the IPC had been registered against them.

Sources in the police said raids by police parties at different suspected hideouts of the suspects at Delhi and other parts of the country had failed to yield any result though they were suspected to be in India and were reportedly making efforts to escape from the country. The local police has written to the DIG (Crime), Punjab, to pursue the matter with different investigative agencies concerned.

Photographs of the suspects along with identification features have been sent to airport authorities at Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta under the lookout for criminals (LOC) category so as to prevent them from leaving the country. The officials think that the suspects, who were holding Indian passports could make an effort to escape from the country on fake passports. Efforts are also being made to keep a watch on the Indo-Nepal border.

Earlier the police had conducted a search operation at the Phase 3B 1 house of Gurvinder Singh, alias Gary, the main suspect in the case. Though the police was looking for a .22 bore licensed gun of the deceased which had been reportedly been taken away by the assailants, it recovered at least 440 gm of charas, several bottles of foreign liquor and a knife. Separate cases under the NDPS Act and Arms Act have been registered.

The police also recovered 70 tolas of gold ornaments, two video cameras, several video cassettes, 49 expensive watches, two swords and expensive mattresses and other electronic gadgets. A leopard skin, a stuffed black buck and a stuffed head of a sambhar adorned the walls of Gary’s house. The police is yet to confirm whether the animal skins are genuine.

Some address diaries of Gary and some visiting cards of his restaurant at Burail in Chandigarh were also found. Search parties are being sent to different places on the basis of information collected by the police during the search operation.


From honour to hardship
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 6 — Ms Savita Rana, wife of Lt Col Shanti Swarup Rana who died in Kashmir in 1996 fighting militants, says the going has become tough since then and the hollow promises of successive governments have only contributed to their misery.

“The compensation we have got is a pittance in comparison to the relief given to the kin of the Kargil martyrs. In fact resentment has got the better of me and I find myself telling everybody that army officers must wait for another Kargil to lay down their lives. Only something as big as that is bound to secure the future of those left behind,” she says.

In spite of the bitterness left behind by bureaucratic red-tapism and empty words, Ms Rana goes about the daily chores at her rented accommodation in Mansa Devi Complex. “Whatever happens to me is immaterial and even my daughter is capable of fending for herself. I am worried about the future of my mentally retarded son. My appeals for a gas agency have bore no fruit” she complains.

Shocked at the response of an official of Indian Oil, Ms Rana opines that glorification of martyrs ends with the gallantry awards and a handful of certificates. “Speeches from the stage on the courage displayed in the battle-field by the martyrs and the assurances of the family being the responsibility of the whole country are very well. However, the ground reality is that a few months hence the sacrifice is a thing of the past and then begins the misery of the family.”

Ms Rana adds that running from pillar to post has become a way of life for her. Having put her husband’s death behind, she continues to keep up her fighting spirit against all odds. Repeated letters to the President, Prime Minister and Petroleum Ministry have achieved little and yet she continues with the paper work.


Friendship Day: Never on a Sunday!
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — Friendship Day, so eagerly awaited by friends all over the world, is celebrated by Chandigarhians in their own way. The young residents of the city have always shown great interest in celebrating days like Valentines Day, Rose Day, Thanksgiving Day, Forgiveness Day, Friendship Day etc. On Friendship Day they exchange friendship bands, cards and are seen out on the roads in full force.

This year the usual fun and frolic was missing. Being a Sunday the schools and colleges were closed and the gheri route of Sector 10 and 11 was deserted. “I couldn’t greet my girl friend as her parents did not allow her out”, said Avinash of DAV college.

Although Friendship Day parties were organised at some of the city discos, the attendance was very low. Youngsters face problems like those of Neha, Smiti and Gaurav, who innocently said,” Bunking from college is easy as compared to getting permission for outings from parents.” Sanjay a BA(I) student said, “My group would have enjoyed much more if we had our girlfriends with us.” Aashima from RCC says that today being Sunday, her group had already celebrated Friendship Day on Saturday.

A few youngsters even think that there is no need of any specific day for friends to show their gratitude and feelings by sharing gifts. Shivani Pahwa, a student of B.Sc(III) at GCG, being one of them. Vihvapreet from NIFD and Yuvraj from Softspec, however, believe that the day is a golden chance to propose to a girl. Gurjeet Sandhu from Sector 34 thinks that it is the ideal time to go on long drives with friends. Amber Puri, Territory Manager of ICICI also emphasised that such days should be celebrated with flowers and chocolates.

But the spirit of the city youth is not dampened as they are looking forward to the next Friendship Day. Hopefully it won’t be on a Sunday!


Manik, Geetika win Maruti Autocross
By Arvind Katyal

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — The husband-wife combination of Manik Raikhy and Geetika Raikhy of Ludhiana won the Maruti CMSA Autocross in their respective categories at the circus grounds, in Sector 17 here today. More than 25 participants had lined up in different models of Maruti Suzuki, the main sponsors for the meet. The co-sponsors included JK Tyre and Mobil.

Each participant was to cover track distance divided into two sections, — one of 400 m and other of 350 m. In Gypsy, Maruti novice, ladies and Zen category, a total of six laps were to be covered while for Esteem novice and open section there were eight laps.

An interesting part was the entry of six officers, including one female from Modi Xerox Limited who were supported by General Manager Surinder Mahant. Later, he was not allowed to take part since he was driving Baleno model.

Mr Sarabjit Singh, Director- General, Punjab police, inaugurated the meet and had a feel of the track in the car of Manik Raikhy in the yellow Esteem.

Sanjana Bhardwaj of city and an officer with Health Department Punjab, who secured second place, was having better timings in the first round of six pals in the morning by covering it in 3.53 minutes. The gutsy participant hailing from Kumarsain (district Shimla) said she had learnt the car driving only two years age. She had not sponsors to support her.

Manik of Ludhiana, the national champion in 1998 for unmodified cars of group V looked confident from the beginning in his Esteem but was closely followed by Sunny Sidhu the Mullanpur boy while Manik took 8.51 minutes. Sunny took 9.08 minutes.

In the Gypsy category, it was Chandigarh Police team of Nazar Singh and Jaswinder Singh who stole the show with a fine win by taking 7.33 minutes.

Executives from Modi Xerox walked away with three prizes. They included Karun Pujni, Kaushal Sood in Maruti 800 Novice and Harlina Juneja in ladies section. Anil Chauhan, who came from Shimla was declared second in Gypsy category after Nazar Singh.

Mr Shashi Garcha, President of the Chandigarh Motor Sports Association along with Mr H Kishie Singh were seen helping the drivers not to loose the path of the track.

Mr M. Ramsekhar, Deputy Commissioner, gave away the prizes to the participants

Results: Esteem Open— Manik Raikhy (no. 1)-HR-29-F-1051( Ludhiana)1- ( time-8:51 min); Sunny Sidhu (no.2) PB-02 X-5961 (Mullanpur) 2,(Time 9.08 min); Aman Monga (no. 8) HR-15-2301( Chd) 3.Time-9.39 min.

Ladies:Esteem—Geetika Raikhy (no 1) HR-29F-1051 1.

Maruti 800: Harlina Juneja -no.21 (CH-01-Q-1355- Chd) 1, time-7.46 min ; Sanjana Bhardwaj-no.36 (CH-03-7230) 2, time7.56 min;

Maruti 800 Novice: Karun Pujni-no.17 (CH-01-S-2110- Chd) 2; Balwinder Singh-no.13 (PB-24-0098- Pkl) 2; Kaushal Sood-no .23 (CH-01-R-5603) 3.

Esteem Novice: Gautam Mohan- no.8 (HR-15-2301-Chd) 1; Vikas Kuthiala -no.19 (CH-01 S-2320-Chd) 2;Vikram Sethi-no 7 (Ch-02-0355-Panchkula) 3.

Zen: Vikas Kuthiala -no186 (CH-01 V-1387- Chd) 1, Sarpal Singh -no 12( PB-10 A- J 5301-Ludhiana) 2.

Gypsy: Nazar Singh-no 22( Ch-01 _G- 9701-Chd) 1,Time-7.33 min; Anil Chahan -no 16 ( HP-03-9900- Shimla) 2, Chetan Aggarwal-no 15(Ch-01-Z-8903-Chd) 3.


Tearful adieu to IAF pilot
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6—Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the cremation of Flt Lt S.C. Shukla, who died in a MiG crash yesterday in New Delhi, at the Sector 25 cremation ground here this afternoon.

Hundred of moist-eyed relatives and friends, including senior officers of the IAF, bid farewell to the 27-year-old young officer. Hardly anyone present could hold back the tears when the young widow of the officer broke into tears.

A former NDA officer, Flt Lt Shukla was commissioned in December 1994. After initial training at the fighter training wing on Iskra where he stood first in in flying course, he was posted to 21 Squadron of the IAF in 1996. He also took part in the Kargil conflict.

An alumnus of Delhi Public School, New Delhi, he was married to Supriya during one of his visits to city. The couple was blessed with a son on February 7, 2000, named Advait.

A thorough professional, he was the son of Mr Shashank Shukla, a GM with the NTPC, Lucknow. A computer wizard, he had recently learnt to play guitar. 


Lukewarm response to woman helpline
Lack of adequate publicity to blame, admit officials
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — The woman helpline (745100) started by the Chandigarh Police has received a lukewarm response from the public if the number of calls received at the police headquarters is any indication.

The helpline was the brainchild of former U.T. Inspector-General of Police S.K. Singh and was aimed at helping women in distress who were reluctant to talk about their problems to male cops or could not approach the police stations directly. It was felt that women could call up from the privacy of their homes at times convenient to them. .

As per the data available, less than 100 calls have been received ever since the line became functional in January this year. However, due to lack of awareness, the number of calls being received is also declining every month. In March this year, the cell received 22 calls, the number fell to 21 in April,11 in May, seven in June and subsequently four in July.

Officials point out the positive side and claim that the decline in the number of calls received could very well mean that crimes against women are on a decline and that the number of women in distress seeking help is reducing.

But the facts reveal otherwise. The Crime Against Women (CAW) in Sector 17 alone has received more than 300 calls this year till date, while the Chandigarh Police has registered 64 cases of eve-teasing, 14 of rape and molestation and 27 cases of kidnapping this year.

Officers admit that the helpline service has not been much successful due to lack of adequate publicity. The scheme was given good publicity initially. The number was publicised regularly in the police public meetings. The message about the helpline was spread through the principals of colleges and schools and through the regular distribution of pamphlets.

According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, “ Chandigarh is a small and a well connected place. Officers are easily available and non-government organisations are also active. This is the main reason that helpline has not been receiving many calls. Moreover, our emergency telephone ( no. 100) is very effective with five concurrent lines.”

The cell is under the direct supervision of the IG and the DSP PCR. The cell has regular staff of two women constables and two home guards. “ This facility is our responsibility towards the society,” adds Mr Jain.

A cross section of residents feel that a smaller three or a four digit number, more easy to remember, could have evoked better response. Moreover, the number 745100 is a paid service. The department is now trying to get a small four digit number, which it hopes would be easier to remember, and hence may evoke a better response.


Raj Babbar in charge of SP affairs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — Cinestar and Samajwadi Party MP from Agra, Raj Babbar has been appointed in charge of the party affairs for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

A decision to this effect was taken at the national executive meeting of the party held at Agra recently. Till now, the party affairs in these states were being looked after by Mr Ram Gopal Yadav, who is also the national in charge of party affairs.

Mr Shivi Jaiswal, president of the local unit of party, while confirming the appointment, said that the base of the party would become strong with the appointment of Babbar.

Mr Jaiswal said the party would organise a seminar on current political situation and internal security soon. Top party leaders, including the party chief, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, will take part in the seminar.

Mr Jaiswal informed that a “jan andolan” would be launched against the BJP-led Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) for its failure to provide civic amenities to city residents.


It’s apple time, folks!
By Ambika Kumar

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — Apples have arrived in the local markets and it’s time to say goodbye to mangoes.

Apples hit the market about 10 days earlier than usual this year due to a bumper crop. But soon the supply of fruits shall dry up as not even a single truck has come to the city after a cloud burst caused floods in Himachal Pradesh and washed away roads, say fruit commission agents.

The ‘apple-bowl’ of the country, Himachal Pradesh, witnessed a bumper crop this year, and that is the reason why these are in abundance”, asserts Madan Lal, owner of a fruit shop in the Sector 26 market.

The market at present has the ‘royal’ and ‘golden’ varieties of apples. The wholesale price is between Rs 200 and Rs 300 for a box weighing 17 kg to 18 kg. The Kullu and Kashmir apples will take another month to come in.

On the mango front, the chaussa and langra mangoes are going to be available in the market for another 12 to 15 days. So, mango lovers need to be quick in relishing milkshakes and ice-creams before they are out.

Speaking about the expected shortage of apples, a Sector 26 trader said no truck had arrived due to the blockades on roads. Traders reveal that apples are being brought down manually or on the backs of animals. But the speed of such operations is slow as compared to the movement of trucks.

It takes no more than a day for a truck to move from the remote Himachal regions to a market in Chandigarh. Right now, people are moving the boxes across rivers and washed away roads by forming human chains, say local traders, who are also worried about the situation.


Sapling plantation drive launched
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — A sapling plantation programme organised by the Uttarakhand Yuva Manch, Chandigarh, in association with the Children Alliance for Protection of Environment (CAPE) was inaugurated today by Dr S.K. Sharma, President of Environment Society of India, at Government Middle School, Dariya village.

The programme was organised on the occasion of foundation day of the Uttarakhand Yuva Manch.

Mr N.P. Amoli, president of the manch, highlighted the activities of the manch and informed that manch would focus on rural areas in all its future activities.


Lawyers' strike today
From Our Correspondent 

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — The District Bar Association has decided to go on a one-day strike tomorrow.

A press note issued by the president, Mr N.K. Nanda, said the lawyers were going on strike in protest against the killings of Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir. 


Friends most precious gems of life”
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — Friendship Day, the day for meeting old friends and searching for new ones and going around the city with our closest ones. Talking to youngsters revealed that Friendship Day is the day which brings the friends closer and makes them realise how important they are to each other.

Nitika Gupta, who had come with her friends to a restaurant, said “I had planned to meet my friends here four years back and today we met on this significant day. I feel this day is of great importance as it brings back the fond memories of true friendship”.

Vinnie Dhindsa believes that friends are the most precious gems of life and they play an important role at each step. Friendship Day, in her view, is the day when one can recollect about old times.

Anisha Batra, who has been celebrating Friendship Day since childhood, has a strong bond with her friends. “My friends have always stood by me through thick and thin. Today the outlook of people has changed. Friendship between girl and a boy is no longer considered bad. Today, girls and boys share all their secrets and are the closest of friends”, she says.

Kamal, a BBA student, says, “this tradition of friendship between boys and girls goes long back to the time of Lord Krishna. It is a day when one can roam about with one’s girl or boyfriend”.

Mannan Mehta, on the other hand, is of the view that everyday is a Friendship Day. I am of the belief that a boy and girl can never be good friends. Mostly something more than friendship gets added to the relationship between people of the opposite sex. At times youngsters pretend to be friends just to cover their hidden feelings”.

Sachin Verma, a student at IBM, came to know about Friendship Day just two years back when his girl friend gave him a friendship card. “This is the day to make new friends and to just freak out with old ones. Boys and girls can definitely have a good and a clean relationship but it does not happen often. The relationship between two of the opposite sex goes beyond friendship because mostly boys tend to cross their limits”, he says.

Divya Dewan is of the view that Friendship Day is a great day as it gives one the opportunity to spend the whole day with the friends whom you can’t meet the whole year.She, however, feels the word friendship is being misused by the present generation.

Ruchi Chabbra values Friendship Day and waits for it eagerly every year.She says there is no match to friendship. “I contact all my friends on this special day and pray to have a lifelong bond with my close friends. I also believe that it is not really true that girls and boys can have healthy relationship. There are very few exceptions where a girl and boy have remained the best of the friends.


The travails of electricity consumers
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — It happens every other day in Dadu Majra village here. Smoke rises from the refrigerator and the television screen turns black as voltage fluctuation burn holes in the pockets of the residents.

For the past three or four months, it’s been the same story. The villagers sit in front of the television set, involved in their favourite top-ten show, when all of a sudden the spike in current damages the appliance purchased by the sweat of their brow.

“Last week my refrigerator was damaged because of the erratic power supply and the mechanic is demanding a lot of money to repair it,” asserts a resident.

He had bought that refrigerator second-hand for Rs 2500. His neighbour has a similar tale to narrate. Surjeet Kumar’s new television set fell victim to the fluctuation of power supply for the second time in the last two months. “I had to spend Rs 500 to get it repaired”, he informs.

The story of Sanjay, resident of Kachi Colony is quite tragic. “My refrigerator which had come home as a dowry gift was damaged because of a sudden surge in voltage”, he rues. However, he did not have to spend money on it, as the guarantee period had not expired.

This is not all. The villagers are getting low voltage every evening. “As the clock strikes five in the evening the bulbs turn into candles”, complains Shiv Kumar, who owns a shop in the village, and adds, “it had been a long time since our house was illuminated by tube-light”.

Villagers allege that they are forced to sleep in the open, night after night, as the voltage is not sufficient to run fans at maximum speeds.

The villagers complain that the Electricity Department gives a deaf ear to their complaints. “I have given many applications to get my meter changed, but they did not respond”, said Surjeet Kumar. “It is very difficult to lodge a complaint on the telephone as most of the time they keep the receiver off the hook”, complained Babu Ram of Kachi Colony.

Interestingly, the electricity department is aware of the problem. “We know that the area is getting low voltage”, said a senior official of the department. He did not want to be named as according to him “we have been directed not to speak to the press”. He told that the SDO concerned, had already been directed to look into the problem.

The officials maintain that the problem is due to the kundi connections. “Because of the kundies, our metered consumers are getting low voltage”, told another official. While admitting that it was the duty of the electricity department to remove such connections, a Junior Engineer said, “When we go to remove the connections they put forward their womenfolk and at times they even start pelting stones”.

Last month, an electric pole caught fire and the villagers had to call the police. The reason, “We tried many times to call up the department but they probably had the phone off the hook”, said Babu Ram and added, “then we called up the police and it was they, who eventually succeeded in calling up the officials”.

The villagers complain that the bills they receive are also without a proper meter reading. An official of the department, on condition of anonymity, said, “Our department is not making new recruitments”, and this is the reason that at times we send a bill based on the minimum average”.


Dr Grover installed District Governor
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — In an impressive ceremony, Chetna-2000, Dr N.K. Grover was installed as District Governor of the District 321-F of the International Association of Lions Club, here today. Along with him, his 205-member cabinet was also installed by the past International President of the club, Mr Rohit C. Mehta.

Addressing members of 150 clubs falling under the district, Mr Mehta called upon the newly installed team to dedicate themselves to the cause of the poor and the needy. "Provide quality service and uphold the traditions of Lionism,"he said.

The meeting was attended by all past and ruling Governors and the District Governors of 321-F, as well as neigbouring districts.

Mr Mehta while speaking about achievements of the club said that India had the honour of having the second largest number of members, after the USA, in the world. "There are 1.62 lakh members serving the poor through as many as 4,500 clubs in the country."

The club has adopted Sight First, Lions Quest, literacy and eradication of tuberculosis as their major service projects at the international as well at the district levels. Mr Mehta said that the NGO had taken a pledge to control curable blindness in the country by 2020 positively.

Dr Grover highlighted the activities of the club in his district. He said that besides the two projects, Sight First and Lions Quest, the clubs in the district were also running a large number of schools and rehabilitation and vocational centres for handicapped.

The Chairman of the ceremony and the past Governor of the district, Mr K.S. Sandhu, enlisted the activities of the club.

Mr V.K. Sood, Vice- District Governor, also spoke on the occasion.


Intelligent home devices to be reality soon
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6— Vandana is on her way to home. While she reaches her home she would be done with all her household chores. Her washing machine would be through with all the washings, her food processor would have finished all her cooking. It all sounds like a dream. But it is going to be a reality very soon. Thanks to the intelligent home devices (IHDs) that will shortly be introduced to the city.

These devices could be operated from a distance with the help of mobile phones that will help in their digital operations. This procedure will be made possible with the help of optical fibre cables that are already being laid underground by the administration.

Similarly, the doctors from abroad can operate a patient in the city while sitting in the USA. All they will need to do is just sit back at their computer and perform the operation in the city.

All this will be made possible with the help of optical fibres. "The optical fibres have the enormous capacity for carrying information with in and across different countries. These have a life period of 50 years and can carry data, including voice and entertainment. These can be carried on the same optical fibre and the television, telephone and computer will all be carried in a single instrument." says Mr Sandeep Sharma, Director, SAB Infotech Limited.

According to Mr Sharma these cables are already in the process of laying as many multinational companies are working on the idea. He also says that medical transcription and off-shore drafting is already the in thing.

"Earlier the computer was an independent device in itself. It was not connected to other computers and if the connection was there it was through regular means like through VSAT. With the introduction of the Internet the world became smaller and the Net became a common man's tool in no time. Similarly, the use of optical fibres will start benefiting the masses very soon." says Mr Sharma.

Meanwhile, in the city the customers are going in for the latest computers available in the market. Leading companies in available in the market are Pentium-III and Celeron from Intel. At present there are two speeds in Pentium-III 500 and 700 mega hertz. Pentium III is considered the premium product by the experts.

The Celeron is available for Rs 33,000 and Pentium III is for Rs 40,000. The difference in the price tag is due to the cache memory which is 128 kb in the former and 256 to 512 kb in the latter.

"If the computer is to be used as a PC or for normal office use then Celeron is the best thing one can buy. However, if the computer is to be used for AutoCAD or designing then one should go in for Pentium III. Otherwise, there is no point spending an extra buck on a PC." says Mr Rajat Malik, a managing partner of Creative Computers Limited.

The in thing in computer courses are Oracle, Developer, Java, HTML, Java Script and Visual Basics. The students are also going in for RDMBS and Application Developer in Oracle-8. Window-NT and Multimedia have also not lost their sheen among the city software students.


No light in lanes of Sec 44-B
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 44-B, Chandigarh, in a press note issued here today complained that the many streetlights in the area were not functioning.

The note added that the lanes behind Sanjay Public School have been particularly hit for the past about one month. The efforts of the authorities to bring light to the area do not seem to have borne fruit.


Tin-shed liquor vends

A large number of liquor vends have mushroomed in temporary tin sheds all along important roads in the city. Such vends have come up along the road dividing Industrial Area phase II and Sector 31, the crossing of Sectors 46 , 47, 48 and 49, Sector 44, road leading out towards Ludhiana and several other places.

The presence of these vends makes these roads unsafe for travelling at night, especially for women. People frequenting these vends are largely truck drivers or industrial labour, who stop for a quick drink. They not only create a lot of nuisance and noise, their vehicles parked in front of the vends hamper the flow of traffic.

Drunken brawls and boisterous behaviour are often witnessed outside these “thekas”, which are a threat to law and order. Though the municipal corporation had favoured the shifting of these vends from these temporary shacks, the administration was not amenable to the idea and allowed them to function. But one feels that in the interest of safety and public order, these vends should be shifted from here.

Just a fortnight ago a major brawl took place in Sector 44 forcing closure of the market. Brawls are common sights on the road dividing Sectors 46, 47, 48 and 49. The Administration does not seem to realise that roads are also used by women and small children.

Trees and temperature

Tree plantation in and around a particular area helps lower its temperature. A study carried out by the Environment Society of India (ESI) shows the difference. For instance the maximum temperature recorded in Chandigarh was 44.7 degrees in 1978, 45.8 degrees (1980), 45.8 (1984), 45.0 (1993), 45.2 (1994) and 45.6 degrees in 1995. This temperature came down in 42.7 degrees in 1996 and slightly rose to 43.0 (1997) and 44.2 degree (1998). In 1999, it was 43.0 and 42.6 degree in 2000.

Most of the citizens may feel excited to see this data but compared with Ambala (city and cantonment area), just 40 km away, there will be every reason to feel embarrassed. For example the maximum temperature recorded monthwise from March to June, 2000, was 34.6, 40.6, 42.6 and 39.5 degrees in Chandigarh as compared with 34.0, 41.0, 43.0 and 40.0 degrees in Ambala, which does not show any significant difference.

Chandigarh is situated at a height of 330 metres above sea level while Ambala is at 270 metres. Being on a higher altitude, the temperature in Chandigarh should have been 2-3 degrees lower. Secondly, most of the trees planted in Ambala are of native species. In contrast Chandigarh mostly has ornamental trees, concrete structures and tarred roads that lack leafy canopy.

A city where a fantastic plan was carried out is Gandhinagar, the new capital of Gujarat. With highest density of tree cover, its temperature is now three degrees less than the old capital Ahmedabad, just 25 km away. That is why Gandhinagar now finds a distinct place in the Guinness Book of World Records, says ESI President S.K. Sharma.

Nipun Kwatra

Nipun Kwatra, a city lad who topped the CET conducted by Panjab University this year, has won a bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad, held recently at Leicester in the UK. He is among the four students who represented India in the Olympiad and 300 students from 65 different countries.

Only one from Northern Region to be selected by Homi Bhabha Institute of Science Education through a series of tests, to represent the country in Leicester, Nipun will be awarded a scholarship of Rs 3,000 per month by the institute if he pursues physics as his subject in engineering and will be taken as a scientific officer after he completes his degree. But being a computer lover he has opted for computer science and engineering from IIT, Delhi, and dreams to be a software engineer.

Women in Cuba

Ms Nancy Iglesias and Ms Berta Acosta, two delegates from Cuba, were recently in India on the invitation of the National Federation of the Indian Women. They were in Chandigarh last Saturday, where they expressed their views about the status of women in a meeting organised by Punjab Istri Sabha.

Nancy is with the department of foreign office in Cuban Women’s Federation in charge of Asia and Africa while Berta is the general secretary of the province of Camaguey and is also a member of the National Committee of Cuban Women’s Federation.

Although the two women could speak little English, their views about the women the world over, were interesting. They felt that women all over the world had similar problems: “Whether it is India or back home in Cuba, women have to pass through similar phases of struggle”.

They felt that the women had to struggle together for a common cause: basic education”. Cuba has achieved 100 % literacy. There are 48 % women in the technical profession and 60 % of the students in colleges are girls. As many as 32.2 % of those working in managerial capacity are women, they added.

Of course, a high literacy rate also has a flip side. The country has a rather high divorce rate. “ Women in Cuba do not want to suffer unnecessarily. But high literacy rate also means that there are very few rape cases in our country,” they added.

Eye donations

Sri Lankans seem to be more awakened as far as social welfare is concerned than their counterparts in other developing countries. That is the conclusion one draws if the number of eye donations is any indication.

It seems that the people there consider it more or less compulsory to donate their eyes after death. Because of this awakening this island has surplus eye corneas and the eye bank in Colombo has emerged as one of the best in the world.

Realising this, the Lions Club in Bangalore has tied up with the Sri Lankan eye bank to procure eye cornea for transplantation among the blind.

This was disclosed by a leading industrialist from Ahmedabad and past International President of the Lions Club International, Mr Rohit C. Mehta. Mr Mehta, who was in the city in connection with the installation of the district cabinet of the club, happens to be the only Indian to have achieved this position at the international level in the club. 


Misuse of incomplete houses

I would like to state here the condition of the HIG colony in Sector 70, Mohali. PUDA has not completed the houses nor the infrastructure such as roads, sewerage, storm water drainage and streetlights. Space allocated for gardens is not maintained properly, although payments made to PUDA are supposed to be for the entire infrastructure. These points have been repeatedly brought to the notice of PUDA officials, but the neglect continues.

Incomplete HIG houses which have not been occupied by the owners have been taken over by slum dwellers. These illegal occupants spread filth and also harass the bona fide occupants with their loud music and by burning wood or rags for cooking. This pollutes the locality with smoke and smog. They use the roadside or incomplete houses as public toilets. They also illegally tap electricity with ‘kundis’ which hampers the supply to bona fide users. Water taps are also installed illegally without obtaining any meter or permission from the authorities.

This situation has been brought to the notice of PUDA as well as the police officials, but no one has cared to act.

B. S. Kalsi,

Rush at bank

I had to deposit the visa fee in the main branch of State Bank of India, Jalandhar. I joined the queue at 12.45 pm and was eleventh in the row. To receive payments from 11 persons, the clerk took 45 minutes and I could pay my fee only at 1.30 pm. During this period, the clerk left the counter at 1.05 pm and returned only at 1.20 pm. No higher-up cared to find out why the counter was left unattended for 15 minutes and why the public had to wait.

There are always long queues for the payment of various government dues. Why the government cannot let this be done at other nationalised banks also so that the public can pay at any branch of a nationalised bank instead of rushing to just one particular branch of the SBI? Is it not a sheer waste of manpower? Many thousand man-hours are lost only because people have to make payments only in one branch of the SBI. I urge the government to allow the payment of government dues at all nationalised banks. In the meantime, the SBI authorities should ensure that people are not harassed and are able to make their payment within 10 minutes. I have just returned from Canada and Britain and feel disgusted with the situation prevailing in a premier.

H. B. Singh


This is with reference to a report in Chandigarh Tribune (July 27) that Lt Gen J. F. R. Jacob (Retd) has mourned the death of the Deputy Secretary of the Punjab Red Cross, Tejinder Kaur Minocha. A few months ago, an eminent freedom fighter and president of the Freedom Fighters Association of Chandigarh, O. P. Vig, died in the city. He had been associated with several social service organisations. He participated in the freedom movement and underwent imprisonment during the British rule. His death was ignored by the Administrator and officials of the Chandigarh Administration. None of them mourned his passing away or attended his funeral. The country owes a debt of gratitude to the freedom fighters and they deserve to be honoured even after their death.

Narinder Singh,

Erratic power supply

We, the residents of Kali Bari and Bengali Mohalla in Ambala Cantonment, have been suffering on account of the erratic power supply and low voltage which cannot run even domestic appliances. On July 19, the transformer in front of the Kali Bari temple got short-circuited due to rain and the Electricity Department declared that it was not seviceable. The HSEB installed a low-power transformer the next day, but this too got burnt out within 10 minutes. For the past one week, the residents of these mohallas have been put to great inconvenience. HSEB officials have connected the Kali Bari area to another transformer which is already overloaded. This transformer gives a voltage of hardly 110-120, especially during the day. Apart from the residential houses, several small-scale industrial units in the area have also been adversely affected. On July 26, the Executive Engineer, the SDO, and a JE from the HSEB visited the Kali Bari area and informed the residents that they did not have a new transformer and the residents should approach the higher authorities for the replacement of the transformer. We urge the HSEB authorities to immediately replace the out burnt transformer.

Residents of Kali Bari and Bengali Mohalla.
Ambala Cantonment.



3 booked in cheating case
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 6 — The local police registered a case of cheating and forging documents against three persons, including two employees of the local Estate Office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

The case has been registered on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after the police failed to register a first information (FIR).

According to the information available, Ms Balwinder Kaur purchased a 13 marla plot in Sector 71 from Mr Arjan Singh, a resident of Phase 3B2 through a registered sale deed on November 9, 1998. The complainant on the basis of the sale deed documents submitted in the estate office became owner of the plot.

In her complaint she alleged that the original owner of the plot was getting Rs 3,87,370 refunded against the plot which had been transferred in her name by forging her signatures. But despite affidavit in this regard to the PUDA officials concerned allegedly gave the refund to the original allottee. She alleged that a superintendent, Gurdeep Singh and an assistant, Baljinder Kaur in the PUDA office connived to give the refund amount to the original allottee.

A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC has been registered against the three persons.


Rickshaw-puller assaulted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — Ramesh Kumar, a rickshaw-puller of Sector 22-D, reported that he was assaulted by Kaja and Bhathra, both residents of Dhanas village, near Gurbax Dhaba in Sector 22-D.

They sped away after injuring him. A case has been registered.

Cars stolen: Mr Sanjay Sharma, a resident of Sector 32-D, reported that his car (CHK 1786) has been stolen from his residence.

In another incident, Mr Harminder Singh, also reported that his car (CH01-X-7201) has been stolen from his residence.

Cases have been registered.

Arrested: The police has arrested Deepak Sharma, a resident of Sector 27, from near Piccadily Cinema while selling cinema tickets in black market.

A case has been registered.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested Roxi, a resident of Madarasi Colony, in Sector 26, for selling liquor without licence and seized liquor from him.

A case has been registered.


Second hand car prices continue to dip
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — Prices of second hand cars in the local car bazaar continue to fall. With more and newer cars hitting the market, even the price of second hand cars from the ever popular Maruti brand name are falling.

Local dealers cite no buyers as the reason. For this they reel off several reasons, including finance options available for new cars. Even banks are flush with funds and are offering more vehicle loans.

If a buyer is to pay something between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh for an old car, he prefers to pay the same amount as down payment and get the balance financed to pay in installments which are spread over 3 to 4 years. And this also brings in a new car while buyers find it easier to pay in installments, said Mr Harbir Singh, a dealer in Sector 7.

Normally, people buying second hand cars are the ones who are graduating from two-wheelers to cars.

The scenario now is that the number of people graduating from a Maruti 800 to a Zen or a Santro has increased and in the process, sell off their old cars. This is not matched by the number of second hand car buyers, resulting in a glut of second hand cars.

Another reason for the falling price is the number of confiscated cars with private finance companies being put up for sale in the second hand car market. Anyone who defaults on payments, his or her car is taken over by the private companies. These companies are keen to sell the vehicles at the earliest to try and recover their capital investments.

Another angle is that several buyers are also waiting for the import of foreign cars to open up, expecting a windfall. Prices in the second hand car market are also determined on the basis of the condition of the car, its body paint and engine condition.

Bigger cars like Honda, Lancer, Opel Astra or Ceilo are sold for anything between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh less than the prevailing price of the new cars. The drop of price is the most appreciable in this class. Some of the new entrants like the Hyundai Accent or the Ford Ikon are yet to come in the second hand sales.

In any case, second car primarily comprises the small car segment. This segment has been expanding at a very fast pace in the past 18 months bringing in more and more models.


7-day working in PNB branch
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 6 — “It is an era of relationship banking instead of transaction banking. Continuous interaction with the clientele is an important part of today’s banking “, said Mr PN Khurana, Zonal Manager of the Punjab zone of Punjab National Bank, at the inauguration of seven-day working of the bank in Phase I here today.

Suggestions of bank customers were entertained at a customer relation programme organised by the bank authorities on the occasion. Mr Khurana said the Chairman of the bank had passed directives that customer relationship programme should be held in each region concerned once a month.

He said that the bank was coming out with a number of customer-friendly schemes. An insurance scheme and a housing loan scheme were also on the anvil. The bank was also launching its credit card which would have international validity.

Regarding the seven-day working at its 35 branches in Punjab, he said it would facilitate the working class and the businessmen. He said from Rs 12,800 crore business volume in March this year the bank aimed at achieving Rs 16,800 crore business by the end of current financial year. He said under the quality control strategy at least 25 branches in Punjab had already been brought under the fold of ISO-9002 certification. Fifteen more branches were planned to be brought under the ISO certification.

He said the Punjab zone had planned to implement a plan of computerising 137 branches during the current financial year in addition to 66 already computerised branches.

DERA BASSI (FOC): Punjab National Bank has started seven-day working in its 35 branches in Punjab.

This was stated by Mr Chand Singh, Chief Manager, at a customer relation programme organised at Punjab National Bank, Rajpura branch, today.

He said the bank had in its plan innovative service, including 7-day banking, dawn to dusk services, Express Counter, Extended service, Tatkal Suvida Kendra for quick disbursement of loans, May I help you counters, ATMs, telebanking, interest, e-mail facility, inter-connectivity, international banking branches, high-tech agriculture branches and high-value branches.

Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Minister of Local Bodies, Punjab, and Mr Bhupinder Singh, SDM Rajpura, were also present on the occasion. 


Save power industry from collapse’
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Aug 6 — The Council of Junior Engineers of the PSEB today condemned the move of the Union Power Ministry to table the Electricity Bill, 2000, in Parliament which would scrap the Electricity Act of 1948.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, council president, and Mr Davinder Singh, additional general secretary, said in a press note issued here that the Bill would be a serious blow to the structure of the electricity boards. The Central Government, they said was bowing to the dictates of the IMF and the World Bank which would make electricity out of the reach of the common man. They said wherever privatisation had taken place in this sphere, the power tariff had risen manifold.

The council urged the Prime Minister to intervene and save the power industry from collapse.

The two leaders said council members would participate in a big way in the march towards Parliament House in Delhi on August 9 to protest against the proposed introduction of the Electricity Bill.

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