Friday, August 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


School kids to man traffic under NSS project
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — School children wearing orange coloured jackets and manning traffic in various places in the city will be a common feature from today.

This unique project, comprising the National Social Service (NSS), has been started by the Chandigarh police in coordination of the UT Department of Education and aims to bolster the traffic police besides creating awareness among the students and the city residents. The first batch of 40 students were flagged off by UT IGP B. S. Bassi here this morning.

Present on the occasion were Mr Asad Farooqui, SSP, Operations, Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, Mr Parag Jain, SSP, Mr Balbir Singh, SP, Traffic, Mr D. S. Saroya, DPI, Schools, besides a large number of school principals and other dignitaries.

Addressing the students, Mr Bassi stressed the importance of obeying traffic rules and asked the volunteers to serve society with dedication. He said people should not see their interest while driving but put the safety of others first. This way we can ensure that the fatality rate on the roads could be brought down.

Citing figures, he said was unfortunate that 137 precious lives were lost in road accidents while 409 persons were injured last year. Similarly, 78 persons died this year while 269 were injured.

He opined that every citizen should be a traffic volunteer and wished that more people should come forward to do the needful in this context.

Earlier, Mr Jain said 1, 000 NSS volunteers had been educated and their aim was to train 1, 400 more students in the near future. Besides this, they had educated 6, 517 students on road safety, besides 14, 600 city residents. Similarly, the students of 105 schools had been educated at Children's Traffic Park in Sector 23.

Mr Saroya also lauded the scheme and said that their aim was to educate all the students in the schools. The identified schools would provide 20 students each day to be deployed for manning busy intersections, crossings and parking lots. This would instill in them the sense of traffic management and obedience.



Sale of lotteries suspended in UT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — The Chandigarh Administration may suspend the sale of lotteries. The suspension orders would also cover the state lotteries, including Punjab, who are otherwise authorised to sell their tickets here. At present, only a few states are permitted to sell their lottery tickets on payment of sales tax. But the revenue generated by sale of lottery tickets is far less than the actual sales.

According to sources in the Administration, there have been lots of complaints about evasion of sales tax on the sale of both authorised state lottery tickets besides the unauthorised lotteries which have been doing bulk of business here. The unauthorised lotteries include single digit and hourly lotteries.

Though the Administration imposed a blanket ban on the sale of single digit lotteries some years ago, the business in them has continued because of lack of effective enforcement.

Now the Administration plans to make the ban ‘‘effective’’ by directing the police to make sure that no lottery ticket is sold anywhere.

In the absence of any enforcement by the Sales Tax Department, the ‘‘unauthorised’’ business in lotteries has flourished during the past few years. Feeble attempts made from time to time to catch those engaged in tax evasion have shown little or no results.

Sources said that after suspending the sale of lottery tickets for a few months, the administration may come out with a revised policy to check tax evasion and also control the ‘‘underground lottery business’’.

Meanwhile, the empowered committee of the administration today visited Sector 17 shopping centre for an on-the-spot study of parking problem. The committee which has two councillors — Mr Prem Sagar Jain and Ms Ranjana Shahi — as its members, was informed that parking problem was acute.

The committee headed by the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, considered various suggestions to improve parking facilities in the sector. One of the suggestions made was a multi-storeyed parking lot should be constructed just opposite Bank Square.

Since the suggestion pertained to green area, it was probably considered not feasible. Instead it was decided that the area should be used for parking of vehicles without any construction in it. The committee members wanted that more open spaces should be used for parking of vehicles to end congestion at main parking areas which look like ‘‘jungle of vehicles’’.

The Committee has eight parking sites under consideration.Back


151 file nominations on last day
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 10 — As many as 151 candidates today filed their nominations on the last day of filing nominations for the forthcoming elections to the SAS Nagar Municipal Council. In the past three days 64 candidates had filed the nominations taking the total number of candidates to 220.

The final number of candidates who are in the fray would, however, be clear after the expiry of the last date for withdrawal of candidates. Moreover, a number of candidates have filed more than nomination papers, said an official in the office of the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO).

Since morning beating of drums and sloganeering was witnessed in front of the council office in Phase 7 here. The procession of some of the candidates who filed their nomination papers today was led by a convoy of vehicles which at certain places led to traffic jams.

At least 13 candidates filed nomination papers on the party symbol of the Congress. One candidate filed his nomination paper on the BJP symbol and 19 candidates filed their nomination papers on the party symbol of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD). Rest of the candidates have filed their nomination papers as Independent candidates. The dates of scrutiny and withdrawal of the candidates is August 11 and August 12, respectively.

A number of candidates have filed double nomination papers.Back




Checking drive following Srinagar blast
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — The police carried out a special checking drive in the city today in view of the bomb blast in Srinagar. The drive was carried out by the staff of the respective police stations from 6 p.m. onwards.

Cops checked all parking lots and warned people against picking up any abandoned object or belongings. They also asked various market associations to report the movement of any suspicious-looking persons.

Police sources said the drive would be stepped up in the coming days. Security in general has been stepped up in view of the Independence Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, during a search operations last night in the central division, 39 persons were rounded up. They were let off after verification but stranger rolls were prepared.

Thirteen persons were arrested for creating nuisance and blocking the movement of people and booked under Section 34/5/61 of the Police Act. Another 12 persons were arrested for apprehension of breach of peace.



Cyber ‘file tracking’ plan for Estate Office
By Ajay Banerjee 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — In future residents wanting to get property-related work done in the Estate Office will not have to run around babus of the office. The authorities are about to start a scheme under which a ‘’ file tracking’’ system will be put in place through computers while the applicant will be given a date-bound coupon indicating a tentative date for the completion of his work.

The system is set to start by the end of this month, sources said, adding that it is aimed at bringing accountability in the office which deals with real estate valued at crores of rupees. Complaints from members of the public keep pouring in regarding delay in work, harassment and arrogant attitude of the staff thus resulting in a change in the way the Estate Office functions.

Explaining the proposed system, a source said work requested by an applicant will be completed by the date mentioned in the coupon but subject to the fact that all papers are in order. Sufficient time will be given for all jobs. It will be difficult to check papers in advance before accepting the application as it is impossible to scrutinise records on the spot, especially in case of properties where court cases are pending, said a senior official.

Whenever an application is submitted a computer-generated token number will be allotted. The same number will be fixed on the application and will be used to ‘’ track down’’ a file. This will also create a check at the middle level of officialdom to keep a tab on who is delaying a file and why. Besides, the usual checks to curb forgery and mischief will be maintained.

In almost all cases a file needs to go through legal, accounts and allotment cells. Each section will be given a specific time frame to clear the file. People approach the Estate Office in connection with building plans, revised building plans , DPC certificates, no objection certificates, selling of property and matters related to clearance of accounts.

For each work a separate time frame will be fixed. This time frame will be fixed depending upon the levels of which the file needs to be cleared. At present if an applicant applies for even a small thing like a NOC after paying all fees, he does not know whom to approach while work is held up on personal whims and fancies of the clerks and lower level officials.

Same is true for building plans and occupation certificates.


New pest control method developed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — Scientists of Panjab University have found an effective way for controlling the damage caused by pests to stored grains. They have come out with a biological method of control for dhora, a beetle attacking a number of edible pulses and grains. This control method will be helpful for the farmers, godown owners and commoners as it will reduce the losses incurred by them due to the consumption by this pest.

Dr H. R. Pajni, a scientist in the Department of Zoology, has concluded that the eggs of this insect are destroyed by a wasp, that parasites the eggs of dhora beetle by laying its eggs inside these. The wasp egg completes its life cycle in the eggs of dhora and stops the egg to hatch into larva as it hampers its development.

"It was very difficult to control the pests of stored grains because the edible pulses could not be mixed with a toxic chemical as it could always prove to be a health hazard. So we worked to find a biological control. The new method of control is very effective and has shown very good results in the laboratory," says Dr Pajni.

"The indigenous methods used by Indian housewives have proved to be effective as these are harmless for human beings. But the chemicals sold for the control contain mercury as the main constituent and can prove to be fatal for humans. This new method is very cheap and is harmless for humans," adds Dr Pajni.

The wasp used in this method is of 0.5 mm in size and is best suited for controlling these beetles as these lay eggs on the surface of the pulses. The wasp deposits its eggs inside dhora eggs and prevents its developmental activities.

The eggs fails to hatch into other stages and the adults are not formed thereby controlling the population of the beetles.

The wasp can be cultured in the laboratory on dhora eggs by placing the infested seeds in glass dishes. The emerging adults are then released in the vessels containing pulses to control the dhora.

According to Dr Pajni, various companies can come up and culture these wasps and these can be sold to the farmers, godown owners and common people in small tubes to be released where the control is desired. The agriculture department can also distribute vials of these insects at nominal prices to the customers.


Inquiry sought into sewerage project
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 —The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has demanded inquiry by an independent agency into the non-completion of sewerage gas project at the sewerage treatment plant in Sector 66, SAS Nagar, near here.

In a letter to the UT Administrator, the morcha said that the prestigious project for the benefit of the residents was to be started in 1989 and completed in 1995. But it is strange that the project had not been completed even after 11 years of its allotment and involving Rs 1.67 crore of public money.

With the completion of the project, the administration was to get Rs 27 lakh per annum through the supply of kitchen gas to the residents of Sectors 31and 47.

The letter demanded that the project should be completed at the earliest and guilty punished.


Problems galore at ISBT
By Kiran Deep

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — Uncovered electricity wires all around. Algae-coated water taps. Stinking toilets. Dead telephones. For commuters passing through the Sector 17 Inter State Bus Terminus, it is nothing less than a journey through hell.

Nauseating stench fills the nostrils as you pass by the toilets, carefully avoiding the exposed wires. You bend to drink water, but the taps are dry.

Around the corner, a desperate hand bangs the telephone as the dingy yellow machine guzzles the rupee coin but refuses to connect. “Hellow! Hello!” — the commuter screams, but in vain. Most of phones are dead.

“I left my certificates at home while going to Delhi for an interview. As the bus was to leave after about 15 minutes, I picked up the receiver to call up my brother but the phone was dead,” said city resident, Rajesh Kumar. “I rushed for the other coin operated telephones, but all were out of order”.

According to station supervisor Mr Narayan Singh, ensuring the proper functioning of the telephones was not their responsibility. “It is the duty of the telecom department,” he adds.

Drinking water is another problem. The taps are either dry or the water flows continuously, resulting in the deposition of algae. “In summers, it’s real bad. Travellers can not even fill the bottles before getting on the bus,” says Gurcharan Singh, a conductor.

The toilets, too, are dirty .”Ladies toilets in front of the Himachal bus counter no 39 is closed and others are in a pathetic shape,” said Ms Airaud Franch, a French tourist.

Accompanying her, Ms Favicr asserts: “As far as water is concerned, we purchased a bottle, but toilet... there was no alternative. We had to face the ordeal of going into one of them”.

The main power supply is also uncovered, exposing travellers to the danger of getting electrocuted.

“We can only inform the authorities concerned to look into the problems”, says station supervisor, Mr Narayan Singh, and CTU in charge, Mr Balbir Singh. “It is their job to come and replace the faulty taps or rectify other problems”.

The problem, however, does not end even after you leave the bus stand. Rickshaw-pullers with links in guest houses and hotels take people to hotels and guest houses, which pay them commission. In the end, the passenger finds himself paying more for less facilities,” says Naresh, a Himachal resident, in city for engineering coaching.


Believe in ideals like Anne Frank did

Anne Frank got a diary on her 13th birthday. Soon after that, her family had to go in hiding to escape Gestapo. She has recorded the horrors perpetuated on the Jewish race in her diary. Her last entry was made on August 1 and on August 4, she was taken to a concentration camp. Nobody knows what happened to her in the next seven months. She perished in a concentration camp.

An estimated six lakh people perished and hundreds of voices were silenced by Gestapo. In all this mayhem, one voice stands out over the rest and gives testimony about the mental and physical torture of Jewish people at the hands of Hitler: The voice of Anne Frank, a young and innocent girl whose testimony has withstood the passage of time and has crossed all boundaries of race, religion and language.

Anne was a Jew. When Gestapo started arresting Jews, Anne and her friends were hidden by their friends in an attic above an office. The families lived in mortal fear of being found out. Their friends used to get them food and information about the status of Jews. All Jews had to wear a 'yellow star'. They were treated worse than dogs by the Germans. Both the families lived in mortal fear of their hiding place being discovered as it would mean the gas chamber.

During daytime, they could not flush the toilets or make any noise as the people working in the office might become suspicious.

The diary consists of the letters written to her imaginary friend, Kitty. She bared her soul to her and the accounts of her sufferings reach out straight to the reader's heart. She wrote of her life, her pain, her emotions, her attachment to Peter Van Daan (the boy from the other family). "I believe in the good of the man," said Anne. "My mission is to destroy and exterminate!" shouted the leader of Nazi Germany. She wrote about the suffering of the Jews, the barbaric treatment of the Nazis. Everything is recorded. Finally, both the families were arrested and sent to the gas chambers.

Anne died before her 16th birthday. After her arrest, her diary was found in a trash heap on the floor of an abandoned apartment. Her father, who survived, got the diary published.

There is a lesson to be learnt between the pages of this diary, a lesson that will never be forgotten. For the words of Anne Frank are, like her, eternal in spirit. Today's world is a hard one, a wasteland but Anne Frank says, "It is really a wonder that I have not dropped all my ideals. Because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply cannot build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I can feel the suffering of millions and yet if I look up into the heaven, I think it shall come right, that this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again." Mighty lofty words of profound wisdom coming straight form a teenager's heart.

The diary is so human. So touching, that the book was made into a film, which was a success. Her diary teaches us to uphold our ideals, for perhaps the time will come when we will be able to carry out our ideals. A book to be read by one and all the teenagers and all the adults for the sheer courage displayed by a young one. It never fails to inspire the reader. — FOC


Textbook sales depot stone laid
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 10 — The State Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, laid the foundation stone of a textbook sales depot cum-sub office at Giani Zail Singh Nagar in Ropar near here today. Mr Tara Singh Ladal, Minister of State for Education, was also present on the occasion.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Mr Tota Singh called upon the teachers to impart quality education. While stressing on the need to improve the standards of the Punjab School Education Board, the minister said the candidates passing out of the matric and senior secondary level classes from the Board should have acceptability when seeking admission for higher studies in other states and abroad. He criticised the strikes by employee unions on issues which were not in the welfare of the public.

The minister disclosed that development committees comprising of panches, ex servicemen, and PTA members had been formed to construct furnish and renovate government school buildings. He claimed that Rs 3,500 was being spent per child on education.

Dr Kehar Singh, Chairman of the Board, assured prompt service through the district depots of the Board so that the people did not have to come all the way to the Board headquarters at SAS Nagar. He announced that the Board had decided to decentralise its working by creating regional offices comprising of four districts each. The regional offices would accept admission forms, provide details of results and other information. He admitted the delay in declaration of result was due to a pen down strike by the employee union and also due to the computerisation of the results by the board. He assured that the results would not be delayed in the future.

According to Mr J.S. Sidhu, secretary of the Board, the textbook sales depot would cover an area of 5,740 sq yards and would cost Rs 55 lakh. 


Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — Mr Satpal Goyal, father of Mr Sanjeev Goyal, Computer Engineer in the Tribune group of newspapers, died of a heart attack at Sunam on August 1. He is survived by his wife and four sons.

Path and Bhog ceremony will be held from 1 pm to 2 pm on 13th August at Laxmi Palace, Sunam.


Woman abducted, robbed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — A Sector 40 resident reported that she was abducted when she was going to the market in the same sector.

According to police sources, Ms Sandhya lodged a complaint that she was going to the market when a van stopped and two women asked her for directions. They offered to drop her at the market. When she sat in the vehicle, a woman reportedly injected her with some substance and she became unconscious.

When she regained consciousness at night, she found herself in the Sector 39 market. She discovered that her gold earrings had been taken away. A case under Sections 420, 379 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Rape alleged: A Palsora resident said she was part of a cultural troupe which performed at various places. She alleged that the leader of the group, Manoj Kumar, lured her to a hotel and raped her. He also threatened to kill her if she brought it to anybody's notice. She brought this to the notice of her mother, who informed the police. A case under Sections 363, 365, 342, 376 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

Minor abducted: Mr Kanhaya Lal of Colony number 5 reported that Om Parkash and Raj Kumari had abducted his minor daughter. A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered.

Whisky seized: The police arrested Kishen Kumar of Colony number 5 and seized 14 bottles of whisky from his possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Houses burgled: Mr Manish Sharm of Sector 11 reported that someone had stolen Rs 5,000 and some household goods while he was away from his house. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr P.K. Shah of Hallo Majra reported that someone had stolen Rs 6,500 and some household goods while he was out of station. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.


Kidnapping case: The Phase 8 Police station has registered a case of kidnapping and intimidation in connection with the case of outraging the modesty of a 14-year-old girl of a public school of Phase 3B1 here yesterday. A case under Section 354, 363 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against Davinder Singh and Varinder Kumar on the statement of the girl's father, Mr Gurmit Singh.

A police official said the family of the girl had refused to get her medically examined. One of the suspects, Varinder Kumar, who runs a shop in Phase 7, has been arrested.



Hoax bomb call
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 10 — A bomb hoax was reported from the St Stephens’ School in Sector 45 here this afternoon.

According to police sources, someone called up a student of the school at 2 p.m. and informed her that a bomb had been planted which would go off at 3.30 p.m. The girl’s parents informed the police and a dog squad was pressed into service. The school building was searched but nothing was found.Back


Martyr’s family waits for grant 
From Our Correspondent

LALRU, Aug 10 — Sub Balbir Singh, who laid down his life for the nation during the Operation Vijay, seems to have been forgotten by the government as well as by the people of this area.

A thin gathering of people was witnessed on his first death anniversary at Dapper village, 3 km from here today.

The family is still waiting for some of the benefits promised by the government last year.

A grant of Rs 1 lakh each to the parents has not been received by them, complained a family member.

The government has also failed to rename Government High School after the martyr. There has also been no headway in the construction of a stadium after him as was announced by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, on the bhog ceremony of the hero.

About 50 people, including Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, SDM, Dera Bassi, some villagers and the family member of the martyr were present on the occasion. 

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