Friday, August 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pak thrice threatened N-attack: Subrahamanyam
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — Pakistan’s nuclear capability was ahead of India’s during the eighties and the early nineties and on three different occasions it issued a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons against India.

Expressing this while delivering a talk on India’s recently evolved and much debated upon nuclear doctrine at Chandimandir Cantonment today, the noted defence analyst and member of the National Security Council’s National Security Advisory Board, Dr K. Subrahamanyam, said that the Kargil Review Committee has evidence of two such threats.

In 1987 when Exercise Brasstacks was being conducted in the deserts of Rajasthan, Dr. Subrahmanyam said that the then Indian Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr S.K. Singh, had been summoned at midnight by the Pakistani authorities, who hinted that Bombay would be nuked in case of an Indian attack.

The other threat issued by Pakistan related to the upsurge of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990, when then Pakistani Foreign Minister, Yakub Khan visited New Delhi and had, according to Dr Subrahmanyam, stated before the then Prime Minister, Mr V.P. Singh, that if Indian activities in Kashmir were not scaled down, there the skies would breathe fire and rivers of blood would flow.

Another threat by Pakistan to use nukes against India was issued in 1984, when it apprehended Indian strikes against its nuclear installations at Kahuta during the term of Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister.

In 1978, Dr Subrahmanyam said, the then Prime minister, Mr Morarji Desai, renounced the Indian nuclear programme, while Pakistan went ahead. Pakistan received active Chinese support and, given the US interest in the region following Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, received tacit approval from the superpower.

Pakistan’s developments in the nuclear field were all along known to the Indian establishment. These developments, however were not shared with the public in India as the government, according to the defence analyst, feared massive public pressure to go nuclear. The Indian nuclear programme was quietly revived by Mrs Indira Gandhi and pursued discreetly by successive governments.

On the issue that the nuclear programme is prohibitively expensive, Dr Subrahmanyam said that to give a single figure was meaningless. He said that what had to be taken into account was the annual expenditure over a period of time and in this context the cost is acceptable. Even the cost of deployment, he added, was within acceptable limits as the delivery arsenal need not consist of expensive nuclear propelled submarines or acquiring strategic bombers.

Dr Subrahmanyam also pointed out that it was a myth that the military had been kept isolated from the nuclear development in the country. He said that the military, particularly the Air Force, was selectively involved. A lot of military thinking went into it, but the organised military establishment was kept out, he added.

He revealed that in 1990, then Prime Minister V.P. Singh had appointed a committee to formulate a nuclear doctrine as by then the country possessed a nuclear bomb, although it was untested.

The defence analyst also delved upon the salient points of the nuclear doctrine, which was yet to be formally accepted by the government and also as to why it was necessary to draft the doctrine.

He said that the Indian nuclear doctrine evolved around deterrence and not offence. It followed the principle of ‘’no first use’’ but called for massive retaliation in case of a nuclear strike by an adversary. The doctrine envisioned a flexible, effective, survivable and responsive set-up with a tightly controlled command and control system under which the release of nuclear weapons would rest with the highest political level. This power would not be delegated to field commanders.

The fundamental purpose of the doctrine, he said, was to deter the use and threat of nuclear weapons against India and any nuclear strike against India shall result in punitive retaliation with nuclear weapons to inflict damage unacceptable to the enemy. At the same time, it was necessary to maintain highly effective conventional forces as such forces raise the threshold of a nuclear showdown.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi, said that nuclear weapons were meant only for deterrence and not for fighting. He said that since military training cultivated soldiers to use every available weapon to fight, this theory was a little difficult for them to understand. He said that if this was understood that nukes were only for deterrence, the soldiers would realise the true value of nuclear weapons. He added that nukes were political and not military weapons not meant for fighting and should be looked upon from the point of deterrence at all times.

The Army Commander deterrence was assured only if weaponisation was done and was visible. For this, he added, military interface was imperative and should come about at the earlier, otherwise the principles of deterrence would not apply.


Senate poll: HC stays VC’s order
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — Staying the operation of the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor's order rejecting the nomination paper for the Senate elections of the Director of Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension, Dr Ajaib Singh, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the respondents for September 6.

Seeking the quashing of the order, Dr Ajaib Singh, in his petition taken up by Mr Justice Amarbir Singh Gill and Mr Justice J.S. Narang, had also asked for directions to the university to permit him to contest the elections after accepting his nomination papers.

Claiming to have been rendered disqualified to contest the elections as a result of the order, the counsel for the petitioner had contended on his behalf that the same was passed on August 17 even though the Syndicate had already declared him eligible for the elections scheduled for September 17.

The order, he had added, was liable to be set aside as the VC had decided the question regarding the petitioner's entitlement to contest the elections even though it was beyond the power conferred upon him under the regulations.

Going into the background, he had added that the VC had set aside the Returning Officer's decision and had rejected the petitioner's nomination papers on the ground of his candidature being "hit by disqualification imposed by Section16 of the Panjab University Act".

Respondent Dr B.N. Singh and others, the counsel had added, had earlier raised objections against the filing of the papers by the petitioner on the grounds that the petitioner was whole-time paid servant of the university and not on the teaching side and as such was disqualified for contesting the elections under Section 16 of the PU Act.



3 highest tax payers honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — The Income Tax Department honoured three highest tax payers of the Chandigarh at a function here today.

The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (North Western Region), presented samman patras to Mr M.L. Sarin and Mr M.M. Khanna. Ms Promilla, a sister of Mr Dewan Ramesh Chand, received the samman patra on behalf of his brother.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashwani Luthra, Commissioner of Income Tax, claimed that total revenue contribution by the Chandigarh charge, one of the smallest in the region, was about 20 per cent of the total collection by the north western region. The charge has shown increase in the total collection by 43 per cent within two years.

The total tax collection for the financial year ending March 2000 was Rs 358 crore, he said, adding that timely refunds of Rs 113 crore were issued in the last financial year and refunds of Rs 16 crore issued in the current year.

Appreciating the efforts of the citizens of Chandigarh for voluntary tax compliance, he said the principals of the colleges had been requested to educate the students about their responsibilities as tax payers. A detailed presentation of the performance of the Chandigarh charge, highlighting the vision for the next five years, was made on the occasion.

It was informed that Chandigarh has the highest tax-paying ratio in the nation. The city has the ratio of over 20 per cent while the national average is around 3 per cent.


Getting peanuts for hard work
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — Are the private school teachers being discriminated against as they are paid meagre salaries, while their counterparts working in the government-run schools are being paid handsome salaries?

A survey of the teachers conducted by The Tribune revealed that in spite of being highly educated, the teachers had no option but to work in private schools. Thanks to the dearth of job opportunities. The irony is that the teachers are being paid salaries less than that of a peon working in government offices. The need of a job forces a highly educated lot to accept everything in toto, as per the wishes of school authorities. The number of teachers is so high that for every vacant seat, hundreds of candidates are found in the prospective list.

The scenario of joblessness prevailing in the country is taking its toll on deserving candidates and they end up taking jobs much below their capability. The teachers working for hours together take a meagre salary home. The teachers fear discussing this fact on record as they do not find themselves in a position to lose their jobs. Most of the teachers contacted by this correspondent declined to comment on the situation. Some of them came forward and revealed on the condition of anonymity that they were being paid salaries much below Rs 3,000 and were made to sign on a receipt of Rs 3,500 or more.

A teacher said she applied for the post of teacher against an advertisement in which it was mentioned that the teacher would be paid Rs 3,500 per month.”I joined the school, only to be told later that I would be paid only Rs 2,000. I had no choice but to continue. Otherwise I would have lost that opportunity also,” she said.

Many teachers revealed that they were not given appointment letters by the schools. “This means that one can be terminated anytime without any prior notice and the person will not be able to go to the labour court as there is no proof of employment,” said a teacher.

Another teacher said,”We are made to work hard throughout the day. We have to show results to the authorities. These private school authorities are so particular about the quality of education that they do not compromise. I sometimes feel that why are we not paid the salaries due to us.”

Principals of many private schools said they had to work within the financial position of the school and they had to keep everything in mind, including the fee structure, building expenditure and other facilities. Mr D.S. Bedi, Principal of Shivalik School and President of the Private Schools Association, said the association had been laying certain norms for the salary structure of the teachers, but these norms could not be properly enforced due to practical bottlenecks.

“I have been raising this issue time and again, but going by the difficulties faced by the private schools, this is a delicate issue. With government-run schools, the story is different. There is a government budget backing the whole process.The private schools have to generate their own resources, spend on the education and pay water, electricity and other bills, which are always hefty amounts. They have to think twice whether every rupee spent by them is worth it,” said Mr Bedi.

“The teachers coming to work in these schools do not come here out of choice. I have seen that they are so desperate for the job that they are ready to work for free. The unemployment pulls even a brilliant student so much that he, fearing sitting idle at home, is ready to work for the sake of working,” he added.



Print of slippers led to their arrest
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — The lure of Mammon and the dream of making it rich overnight have landed two of the five accused in the liquor vend double murder case in the police net. The murderers had decamped with Rs 64 lakh in cash.

Investigating officials reveal that the entire episode started one night on the eve of Holi when one of the accused, Laxman, who worked as a driver with the liquor vend owners, put forth a proposal to his friend Mewa Singh, which would make them rich overnight. The plan was that they would rob the vend he worked in and use the money to buy a brick kiln and a fleet of trucks.

Mewa Singh is a notorious criminal of Amethi and has cases of robbery and assault registered against him. He and Laxman are presently absconding and efforts are afoot to nab them.

Following this, Laxman kept a track of the movement of money and came to know that huge amounts of money were kept in the vend for being deposited with the Excise Department every month. The money — more than Rs 50 to 60 lakh — in the absence of vaults, was usually kept in a couple of ordinary steel almirahs in one of the rooms of the premises.

On the night of August 17, Laxman departed for Patiala for getting his licence renewed. He told the men at the vend that he would be back the same night and they should open the back door for him since he knew that the owners had forbidden letting any one in after closing time.

Laxman, accompanied by Mewa Singh, Jhia Lal, Sobh Nath and another yet unknown accomplice, knocked door at about 2 a.m. The door was opened by one of the men, who was reportedly overpowered by them and hacked to death. They later went in and hacked the other employee sleeping in the front of the shop.

Following this, they searched the keys of the almirahs but were unable to find them. Laxman then went outside, took out the jack rod from a vehicle and broke open the almirahs. They then separated the currency notes and put them into a big briefcase and a bag. They also took away two bottle of white rum from one of the shelves of the vend.

Later they took a bus for Ambala from near The Tribune roundabout.

Meanwhile the cops, on the basis of clues collected from the spot, revealed that one of the persons wore a particular kind of slippers, the print of which was found near one of the deceased. The complainant, who is an employee of the vend, claimed that he was with Laxman when he had bought the slippers.

This was the breakthrough the police needed. Teams were despatched to his residence in Amethi and at other places. The police also came to know that one of the accused, a friend of Laxman, was missing since the day of the incident. A team kept watch and was successful in nabbing him when he reached his house. A sum of Rs 6 lakh was recovered from him.

His interrogation led the police to Sector 37 resident Jhia Lal, another accused, from whose house a suitcase containing Rs 48 lakh was recovered.

Laxman and Mewa Singh are said to be hiding some where in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the two employees who were hacked to death could have saved their lives had they used a revolver or a gun lying in one the locked almirahs. The police has also recovered the murder weapon, known as a farsa (a sickle-like implement).

To prevent such incidents in future, the police has urged the liquor contractors to keep armed guards or ensure that such large amounts of money were stored in vaults. Mr Parag Jain, SSP, said, a meeting of all contractors had been called at his office at 4 p.m. tomorrow and the need to have security would be discussed.

He said he would also take up the matter of issuing arms licences with the District Magistrate, besides discussing the aspect of accepting payments through cheques. Presently, the Excise Department accepts the installments only in cash. 


Strike threat by staff: MC seeks Army’s help
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — In the wake of the one-day strike call given by the employees of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) on August 29, the Chandigarh Administration has sought the help of the Army for maintaining the civic amenities.

According to sources, the Deputy Commissioner has written to the Army to help maintain the civic amenities, particularly water supply in the city. The employees have given a strike call against the failure of the administration to implement the agreement of November 13,1999.

Meanwhile, MCC Superintending Engineer Manmohanjit Singh, when contacted, said the civic body was fully geared up to ensure the regular water supply. He, however, appealed to the residents to store water on August 28 in case of any emergency. 


Strict quality control for lead acid batteries
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — Lead acid batteries used in automobiles, invertors, uninterrupted power supply systems, among other things, will now be produced under stricter regulations imposed by a notification of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.The rules propose that manufacturers will have to buy back the batteries sold by them as preventive measure.

The notification is aimed at ensuring that no further damage to the environment occurs. Manufacturers, importers and those assembling or reconditioning the lead acid batteries, will now have to follow the guidelines issued by the Government of India. The Central Government, as its first step, proposes to make the draft for battery management and handling with the powers conferred by sections 6, 8 and 25 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Following which, it would also be made compulsory for all manufacturers to repurchase the lead acid batteries sold by them.

Presently, there are thousands of lead acid battery manufacturing and recycling units which are flouting all safety rules and regulations. This is perhaps the first time, the central government has issued certain guidelines requesting state governments to follow.

The enforced rules will make it a responsibility of each manufacturer, importer, including those assembling and reconditioning the old batteries, to ensure that an equal number of batteries are collected back against the new sold. For this, they will also have to set up collection centers at various places for the used batteries.

Moreover, it will be their responsibility to file a quarterly return of their sales and buy-back schemes of old batteries. Responsibility will be fixed to have used batteries sent only to the authorised recyclers, thus ensuring that no damage to the environment occurs during transportation and reprocessing of used batteries

The draft rules also have guidelines for the dealers, recyclers, consumers besides conditions for reprocessing. This makes the dealer liable to give appropriate discount in lieu of receipt of used batteries to the consumer and also ensure that equal number of batteries are collected against new ones sold during each year.

The recycler will now have to apply to the ministry and get registered for reprocessing of used batteries. Besides using safe methods of storing and reprocessing, they will have to dispose of the waste without causing damage to the environment. It will be necessary for them to mark ‘recycled’ on lead recovered by reprocessing and issue advertisements warning people of the hazards of lead poisoning from time to time.


In old age homes, but not by choice
By Binny Sharma

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — His tired eyes recollect the days of the Independence struggle and his contribution as a journalist. He is spending the evening of his life in an old age home in Sector 15-D. Dani Ram Chaudhary (78) is one of the 21 inmates at the old age home who eagerly wait someone to call on them, and are overwhelmed with joy when a relative or a friend comes.

A triple MA, Mr Chaudhary worked as a special correspondent of a national English daily in Delhi from 1935 to 1958 and also contributed to an Urdu daily of Lahore from 1943 to 1947. He recites Urdu poetry with aplomb although he complains of failing memory. He was left in the home by his son 12 years ago and for the past one year nobody has reportedly visited him except his daughter who lives nearby.

All inmates of various old age homes in the city have similar stories of being discarded by their children and relatives with whom they spent the best part of their lives at the time when they need love and care most. Many inmates have lost their spouses or did not get married at all.

At present, there are three old age homes in Chandigarh. One is managed by the Lions Club in Sector 15-D, another in Sector 30 is run by the Sri Satya Sai Trust. However the one which was recently inaugurated by Lt-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd) on July 9 is yet to start.

The accommodation with basic necessities is provided free of cost at the Old Age Home in Sector 15 and the inmates also get some amount as pocket money. Regular medical check-ups by doctors and medicines are provided free of cost frequently.

Amarnath and Rangella, who are in their late 70s, remarked that they can survive without food but not without medicines and were really happy that they are getting medical care.

Jeet Rani, Sai Devi, Kamla Rani and Raj Rani who came to the old age home in similar circumstances remarked that life is more comfortable here, compared to their homes. They feel there is more time for prayers and rest. It seems as if they are trying to console themselves because tears were quite visible in their eyes whenever asked about their kith and kin.

A similar situation is portrayed at the Sri Satya Sai Old Age Home. Ram Rakha, who is 80, is waiting for his brother and has been on bed for the past few months. He had stopped taking food and medicines. He was taken to hospital and now attandents are looking after him.

Mrs Sen Gupta of the same Home, who is 81, believes in living life to the fullest charm, as she said, “I believe in living well, giving well and taking well.” Her son is staying in Mumbai so she decided to stay in such a place where she could be in touch with persons of same age group.

Mrs Bimla Gupta started crying, remembering her sons and daughter who recently left her alone here. At present, 11 persons are staying here. The charges for dormitory are Rs 750 and for room Rs 1200, which might be a reason for less strength of inmates.

According to Mr A.K. Ummat, “The facilities which we provide here obviously demand few charges, as it is a private organisation.”


Raid conducted to check power load
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA Aug 24 —The Electricity Department carried out raids in residential areas of the city here today to check unauthorised load which is stated to be the cause of frequent breakdowns.

This is a part of the ongoing exercise by the department whereby a team of officials headed by the junior engineers of the respective areas has been formed to identify erring consumers who are using load in excess of the sanctioned load. The department, on its part, has made rough estimates of the load on the basis of requirements of electronic gadgets according to which checks are being conducted.

A spokesman of the department informed that all residents who had been found guilty of “misuse” will be fined though no legal action was contemplated against them. Besides, new meters were being installed at their residence to ensure correct billing.

He added that the raids had augmented the finances of the department by over Rs 2 crores from all over the state and power theft had been reduced.


Telecom employees observe strike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — City residents, who wanted to get their phones shifted apply for new phones, pay their bills or get some paper work done, were a harassed lot today as employees of the local telecom department joined in a nation-wide strike of telecom employees to protest against a decision of the government to have a corporation in place of the department.

Work came to a stand still as employees stopped subscribers from even entering into the buildings. About 70 per cent of the employees were on strike. Only group ‘c’ and group ‘d’ employees participated in the strike while the officers stayed away from it. In a Sector 8 office of the department , an aged person was seen arguing with an employee “manning” the gate.

The old person wanted to submit a form and said he knew an employee inside the building, who was scheduled to meet him. Despite several pleas entry was denied to him by a rude talking employee at the gate. Several such instances where advice notes were to be issued were delayed. Late in the evening the employee units issued a press note claiming that the strike was a complete success.Employees held demonstrations in Sector 17, Sector 34, Sector 8, Panchkula and SAS Nagar offices.

The employees said that the department had the highest growth rate of more than 20 per cent and a net profit of more than Rs 10,000 crore.

PANCHKULA: The 150-odd members of the telephone exchange observed a tools down strike to protest against the move to privatise the telecom sector in front of the Telephone Exchange in Sector 5 here today.

The branch secretary of the All-India Telecom Employees Union (Class III), Mr BD Dhyani, said the strike was total and that employees would abstain from work tomorrow also following a two-day call by the union.

He said that the were primarily opposed to privatisation because while the job security was bound to be done away with, no mention of absorbing the already employed personnel had been made. Moreover, the facilities offered to the employees would go while there had been no decision on settlement of service pension and other service-related matters.

Meanwhile, at the exchange which receives as many as 300 complaints a day, no work was carried out. Outdoor and indoor complaints went unattended and enquiry work suffered following the strike. Applications of consumers who came to apply for new connections were turned away since the clerical staff remained absent from duty.


Operating against all odds
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — A congested and dilapidated room on the first floor of a commercial establishment is all which makes the accommodation of the Naya Gaon Police Station. The one-room police station sans telephone and has just two tables, a few chairs and a cot. A motorcycle is the only source of transportation for the personnel at the police station.

A flight of stairs through a narrow lane leads you to the police station. Against all security norms, the record room and the fire-arms are stored in the same room earlier being used as bathroom. The police station has only a staff of eight. The staff consists of a Station House Officer a Sub Inspector, a Head Constable, four constables and an SPO. In case of making an arrest, the cops use their personal vehicles. The wireless room is in the same room.

The building in which the police station is housed is owned by a property dealer. “He has served us with a notice to vacate the building”, told one of the police personnel. The barrack is also in the same room.” The police station is open 24 hours a day and it is embarrassing for us when some complainant enters while a cop is taking rest,” said a cop. Naya Gaon, Kumau, Janta Colony, Adarsh Nagar, Shivalik Vihar, Dashmesh Nagar, Kansal and Nada village fall under the jurisdiction of the police station.

Sources in the department said many VIPs had bought land in the area and this might be the reasons the station had been set up here. Mr Gurmeet Singh, SHO of the police station, said, “We are doing our level best to serve society. I am sure we are succesful in performing our duty”.

The crime rate is low, claims the SHO. “Most of the complaints we receive are of cheating and of a few cases of fighting”, says the SHO. He adds that they find difficulty in challaning vehicles as the road belongs to the UT. “If we challan a vehicle in the interior roads, the people say it is our street” he adds.


Seminar on statute’s review from Aug 27
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — A two-day seminar on “Indian constitution: a review” will be organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) on August 27 and 28.

More than 100 participants from judiciary, legal profession, academicians, publicmen, administrators and activists from all over the country have been invited. Recommendations of the seminar are going to be forwarded to the Constitution Review Committee set up under the chairmanship of Justice Ventachallia.

The seminar is being co-ordinated by author and political scientist, Prof R.N. Pal of Punjabi University, Patiala. Those who have confirmed their participation are Justice Rajindra Sachar, Mr Justice M.C. Kochar, Mr Justice Jaspal Sidhu, Justice M.R. Agnihotri, Mr T.K.A. Nair, former Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune, Mr Prakash Nanda, National Fellow ICHR, Prof Hoshiar Singh, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Kurukshetra University, Prof M.P. Sngh, Prof M.R. Garg, Prof Balram Gupta, Prof Daljit Singh and advocates Mr Devindra Nath Pal , Mr Janak Raj Jai and Mr Inder Mohan Bhardwaj.


Admn urged to recognise houses outside lal dora
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 —The Sri Anandgarh Complex Welfare Society, Kajheri, has again urged the Chandigarh Administration to regularise the houses outside the lal dora.

A press note, issued by the society, demanded that houses and plots in the extended abadi areas of the UT villages should be exempted from the acquisition for the development of the Phase III sectors. At certain places the authorities had already exempted the extended abadi area from acquisition.

It said the migrants from other states, who encroached upon the prime government land, were rewarded by the administration with free "pucca" tenements. On the other hand, the houses of the needy and educated lower middle class residents, who buy small plots with their life-long savings, were either demolished or deprived off the basic necessities of the life, including water and electricity.

Alleging that there has been no follow-up action on the provision of amenities by the administration to them, Mr B.S. Dhillon and Mr S..P Bansal, president and the general secretary of the society, said there had been no action against farmhouse owners around the city, who had constructed illegal structures.

They said that residents of the over 20,000 houses outside lal dora were forced to use power and water by unfair means in the absence of civic amenities.


Work on phone exchange begins
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — The process to start installing a 5,000 line telephone exchange has been started at Swastik Vihar, Mansa Devi. This will serve areas of Mansa Devi and other neighbouring societies. The exchange is likely to be commissioned in October this year.

Besides this, work on the cable network to connect Sector 25 and Sector 26 of Panchkula extension has started. This was a long pending demand for providing telephone connections in these sectors, the Principal General Manager Telecom, Mr Prithipal Singh, said today. 


Move on public toilets okayed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today okayed the proposal pertaining to the transfer of operation and maintenance of public toilet blocks and mobile toilets to the Sulabh International, an internationally-renowned NGO.

The committee at its meeting here okayed the proposal with a view to minimise expenditure incurred by the civic body and provide better toilet facilities to residents, initially for a period of three years.

Once approved by the House, the NGO would incur all expenditure for the operation and maintenance of public toilets and mobile toilets comprising of water flush lavatories and urinals in the city. Besides, the attendant-cum-sweeper to be deployed by the NGO would collect Re 1 from the persons using the toilet for defecation purposes. However, no charges would be collected for using urinals.

The committee also recommended booking rates for three newly-constructed community centres in the Colony No 5, Maloya and Palsora. Keeping in view the small size of the hall and and economic condition of the residents, an amount of Rs 1,000 was fixed as booking amount for each community centre.

Honoured: Mr Sham Lal, SDE in the Public Health, has been awarded"best Citizens of India Award", by New-Delhi based International Publishing House. The award has been given for his "exceptional calibre and outstanding performance" in his chosen area, a representation said.



Cops’ recruitment results on Sept 1
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA Aug 24 — The results of the physical tests of over 300 applicants held for recruitment of 20 constables will be declared on September 1 following which they will be required to appear for an interview.

Stating this, the Superintendent of Police, Ms Kala Ramachandran, said while the list of successful candidates would be put up on the notice board outside the SP office, the candidates can contact the office for the date of the interview.


Indian Bank staff form ‘human chain’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 24 — Employees of the Indian Bank here today held a dharna and formed a “human chain” near their regional office in protest against the bank management’s decision to close 11 zonal offices, 75 branches and retrench 4,000 employees.

Mr Vijay Sharma, senior vice-president of the Indian Bank Employees Union (North Zone), and Mr R.K. Gulati, president of the Federation of Bank Employees Union, said in a statement that the down-sizing of the bank was not acceptable to the employees.

He said “human chains” were formed at all 33 regional offices of the bank in the country today.

The branches stated to be closed in this region included the NRI branch in Jalandhar, the Srinagar branch and the Focal Point branch in Ludhiana.


ISKCON celebrates Vyas puja
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24— The 104th appearance day, known as Vyas puja, of H.D. A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Sril Prabhupada, the founder archarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON), was celebrated all over the world today. Thousands of his followers participated in it, according to Bhakti Vinod Dasa Prabhu, president, local body of ISKCON.

Srila Prabhupada was a great Sanskrit scholar of his time and wrote a running commentary on Bhagwadgita and Srimad Bhagavatam. A book of offerings and praise was offered by his followers which discribes his devotion in propagating Sanatan Dharma.

On this occasion a nagar kirtan was taken out by the devotees of ISKCON followed by guru puja and recitation of vashnava geet at 11 a.m. 108 delicious items (bhog) were offered to Sril Prabhupada at 1 p.m. and prasadam was distributed among those present at 2 p.m.


Stolen goods worth 4 lakh recovered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 24 — In a major breakthrough, the police has arrested two persons and recovered stolen property worth Rs 4 lakh from their possession.

Those nabbed are Palsora residents Vicky and Bhanu.

According to police sources, a tip-off was received by Inspector Nanha Ram, SHO, Mani Majra police station, that a person was travelling on a stolen vehicle. Nakas were set up and Vicky was nabbed while driving a car, PB 10 L 2474, which was stolen from Naina Devi. On further interrogations he led the cops to Bhanu and another car, DL 8 CB 5476, was recovered from him.

Besides this, one motorcycle, one scooter, four car stereos, cheque books and other stolen articles were recovered from them.

With their arrest, eight cases of theft relating to the Mani Majra police station and the central police station have been solved.

Both the accused had earlier been convicted on cases of car thefts and were released from Burail jail some time back. They had become friends inside the prison and had resolved to work together.

Student arrested

The police has arrested a SAS Nagar resident and his two accomplices, who were involved in more than 20 cases of chain snatching in the city.

According to police sources, Randhir Singh, a student of BBA, and two of his friends used to come on a scooter and snatch the chains of women in the southern sectors.

Further investigations are on and more recoveries are expected.

Offender held

Head constable Gurmail Singh has arrested Tarlok Singh, a resident of Baldev Nagar, Ambala City.

Tarlok Singh was involved in dacoity and cases under Sections 399, 401 and 402 of the IPC registered against him in 1979. The accused was declared a proclaimed offender by a city court in 1983.

The accused was produced before the court and has been sent to judicial custody till September 6.



Sarpanch assaulted
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR Aug 24 — As many as three unidentified persons broke into the house of Mr Dharam Singh, sarpanch of Bhabhat village, and assaulted him brutally resulting in serious injuries to his head.

Sources said the miscreants scaled the main gate of the house at 2 a.m and crept up-stairs to the terrace where Mr Dharam Singh and his wife, Vidya Vati, were sleeping. The masked assailants, armed with sticks and iron rods, started beating him on the head inflicting serious injuries. They muffled him so that he could not raise the alarm. They then, proceeded to pound him with wooden staffs. Making an effort he managed to break free and raised the alarm, whereby the miscreants fled under the cover of darkness.

Upon hearing the noise, Mrs Vidya Vati, woke up and called out to other family members. Mr Dharam Singh was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 in Chandigarh.

While narrating the events, Mr Singh said he had received a threatening letter on August 19 which said ‘‘you are not doing justice with the public. You are illegally giving possession of land to wrong persons. You are directed to improve your attitude otherwise we will improve you’’.


150 delegates to attend multimedia seminar
Tribune News Service

MOHALI, Aug 24 — A two-day seminar on “Multimedia for the Masses” will be organised at the Centre for Electronics Design and Technology in India (CEDTI) beginning tomorrow.

The idea of the seminar is to spread awareness about applications and use of multi-media technologies for the development of society and offers large employment opportunities.

During the seminar, speakers from Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Pune, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and Ministry of Information Technology will speak on various aspects of multimedia technologies.

Six topics, including multimedia-based training and education, multimedia applications in industry, culture and heritage, its application in agriculture and health care, approach to low-cost multimedia and multimedia and entrepreneur will be covered.

While Dr Ranjit Makkuni from Paolo Alto Research Centre, California, will deliver the key note address, Mr N Gopalaswami, Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, will inaugurate the seminar. Over 150 delegate from all over the country are expected to participate in the seminar.


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