Monday, August 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Employees’ proposed strike unjustified: Administration
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The Chandigarh Administration has called the scheduled strike by UT employees on August 29 as unjustified, saying most of the demands of the employees have been forwarded to the Government of India for approval while the demands which could have been met at local level have been fulfilled.

Taking each demand of the employees on a point-to-point basis, the Administration’s spokesperson said a meeting at the level of the Adviser to the Administrator and the Home Secretary was held on August 24 in which employees were informed of the latest position with respect to their demands and requested not to proceed on strike. A coordination committee comprising senior officers had been formed last year.

Demands which could be decided at the level of the Administration have been fulfilled. These relate to the release of DA, payment of arrears for uniforms to Class III employees and benefits under the assured progression scheme. There stand fully implemented by all concerned wings of the Administration, including the Municipal Corporation.

The expenditure on meeting the demand for arrears in respect of the uniform allowance alone is approximately Rs 65 lakh, the spokesperson said tonight.

The demand regarding the treating of MC employees on deputation has been taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and has been agreed to. The Administration has sent the proposed amendment in the form of a draft bill to be considered by Parliament. The MHA has been requested to expedite the process.

The Chandigarh Administration has been switching between the central and Punjab pattern with respect to the pay and allowances of the employees in order to ensure the best possible service benefits for them. The demand regarding the release of bonus for the years 1997-98 and 1998-99 has been taken up with the Government of India as a special case, although the Punjab Government has not released the bonus to its employees.

With regard to the release of HRA, CCA, and DA to the daily wage workers, the matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the Administration can do nothing about it. The issue of relaxation of 5 per cent ceiling in respect of compassionate appointments was taken up with the Central Government. However, the Central Government has only agreed to the clubbing of vacancies in respect of Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ in a calendar year.

As far as the demand for creation of new posts, the coordination committee has been informed that the powers for creation of new posts of all categories in respect of UT Chandigarh vests only with the Government of India. However, 46 new posts have been created in the Municipal Corporation, the Administration said while making appeals to the general public to bear with the inconvenience caused by this action of the striking employees. The Administration has also appealed to its employees to ignore the call for the strike in the larger interests of the general public.


Abhinav leaves for Sydney today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The youngest member of the Indian Olympics squad, Abhinav Bindra of Chandigarh, leaves the city tomorrow for Sydney. He will take part in the .177-calibre 10-metre air rifle event of the games. His recent performances have made him a medal prospect. This 17-year-old will be the youngest shooter in this Olympics. He will also be the youngest-ever sportsperson to represent India in any Olympiad.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the National Rifle Association of India will make the three shooters selected for the Sydney Olympics — Anwar Sultan (trap), Anjali Ved Pathak (air rifle) and Abhinav — train for three days in the Tughlaqabad ranges in Delhi on electronic target systems. They will leave for Sydney with the first group of Indian participants on September 1. At Tughlaqabad, the shooters will train under the supervision of Hungarian coach Lazello Szuvask who has contributed significantly in Abhinav’s progress. The second coach of the Indian Olympic shooting team will be Marcello Dradi.

Lazello will also train Abhinav from September 2 to 15 in the Sydney shooting range. Abhinav’s event is scheduled to be held on September 18. He hopes to be prepared for the competition by that time. In the Olympic competition, there will a qualification round followed by the semi-finals. The final will be between eight shooters. Abhinav is already familiar with the Sydney shooting ranges, having taken part in the Pre-Olympic World Cup in March. This should stand him in good stead in the run-up to the competition.

The young Chandigarh shooter, who has just joined college, has had a very successful year in a sport where motivation has to be high day after day. Abhinav is not only the junior and the senior national champion in his event, but has also equalled the world junior record, besides creating a new Asian record.

Abhinav has trained hard for the Olympics. However, even after doing so well on the international circuit, he could qualify for Sydney only after a wildcard was given to him by the International Olympic Council. Such is the level of competition at the top.

This year, he has won a bronze medal in the Asian Shooting Championships at Langkawi in Malaysia, a silver medal in the Warsaw Days Cup in Poland and another silver medal in the Junior World Hopes at Plzen in the Czech Republic. At Plzen, Abhinav had a score of 694, two short of the world record (596/600) which he set earlier in the World Cup at Munich.

Abhinav has prepared hard for this day. When he did not attend the National Rifle Association of India, he used to practice in his fully-equipped private range in his Sector 32 house. He knows that the nation is looking up to him.


Computer or error machine?
By Kiran Deep

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — Confusion is rife in the licensing branch of the Chandigarh Administration these days where a number of heavy vehicle registration certificates are being processed. A number of RCs and licences are being rejected for minor discrepancies which can be taken care of easily. Despite the fact that all procedures are computerised, many mistakes are recorded on the final licence or the RC which a person gets after waiting for much over the stipulated time of 10 days.

Even after a long wait, a person may have to wait more if the man on the counter says, "Your photograph is not clear. Get another shot and come later." The practice is routine and many consumers are suffering on account of the apathy of government servants.

Says one harassed applicant, Tej Pal, who has come to the branch for the fifth consecutive day. His RC has not been traced for six days. Rues Tej Pal, "I have been coming here regularly for the past six days for my heavy vehicle registration certificate, but have not got it yet. The employees could find it within no time if they wanted to. Even though now everything is online, yet they are hardly cooperative. There is no proper enquiry counter to help applicants."

Many others, who visit the licensing branch have some such complaint. The computerised motor vehicle driving licence and registration system which was inaugurated by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, on June 9 has been of no help to the residents who continue to suffer due to the indifference of the government employees. It has rather led to problems because employees who handle the computers are not computer savvy. So the processing time, instead of getting reduced, has actually increased.

All the persons contacted by The Tribune outside the branch have a similar story to tell. Work gets delayed for one reason or the other. Sometimes the signature is not legible, sometimes the picture is not proper and so on.

"Even after completing all formalities, I secured my licence only after coming here for four consecutive days. And to tell you the truth, I had to wait all along due to an employee's mistake," said Gian Chand. Another person said that his signature was missing from the driving licence because of an error in the computer. He had already wasted four days waiting for the rectification.

Says another complainant, "I applied for the LMV-MCW licence, but the licence which I received, has only MCW printed on it. It is a matter of regret that even after a computerised system, we are subjected to such inconvenience. Further, when I requested the authorities for rectification of the error, they asked me to make a repayment for the new card."

When the office in charge, Mr Jai Ram, was contacted, he said that wrong photographs, signature erasure, etc were technical problems and a technician had been summoned to rectify them.



Cop chops meat-shop employee's ear
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Aug 27 — A constable of the Punjab police chopped off an ear of a meat-shop employee in Zirakpur yesterday.

According to sources, Jan Pal, a driver of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, visited the shop when Mr Jagtar Singh, its owner, was not there. He told Ram Bhadur, a servant, that he wanted to buy some meat. Ram Bhadur asked Jan Pal to wait as he was cleaning the shop. The policeman who was apparently drunk, did not wait and attacked the servant. Jan Pal picked up a dagger from the counter and chopped off an ear of Ram Bhadur.

Shopkeepers of the market gathered on the spot and Mr Jagtar Singh, owner of the shop, was informed about the episode. The victim was taken to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh.

Shopkeepers of the area said they were feeling insecure after the incident. They said custodians of law were violating it without fear. They have demanded immediate suspension of the policeman.

Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP of Dera Bassi, was not available for his comments.


Saplings planted in empty tree guards
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 27 — Empty tree guards which stood mute witness to the poor maintenance of the horticulture wing in the town have now saplings planted in them during the past two days, thanks to the recent scandal of inflated bills and excessive expenditure in the horticulture wing of PUDA at Patiala.

Sources in the department said a number of saplings were planted in the upcoming sectors of the town in the last two days. A visit to the new sectors revealed that new saplings — which had reportedly been acquired from private nurseries in the area — had been freshly watered. It may be pertinent to mention that the Punjab Government has already ordered a thorough probe in all horticulture works carried out in all urban estates of the authority in the state.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Dr Upinderjit Kaur had passed orders for probe by the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) based at PUDA’s headquarters here assisted by technical persons. In case of SAS Nagar, the ACA (Finance), Ms Namita Sekhon, would head the investigating team. The entire issue of inflated estimates and excessive expenditure in Patiala urban estate had been brought to light following a probe by the ACA, Patiala, Mr Arunjit Miglani.


Candidates for MC poll announced
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 27 — As many as 25 candidates are in the fray for the four reserved wards of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council, elections to which are scheduled for August 29. The campaigning for the four wards, 1, 14, 17 and 20 ended today.

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO), Mr Jaipal Singh, said for conducting elections, 10 polling stations had been set up. Candidates in the fray wardwise are as follows: Ward No. 1 — Ms Naseema, Ms Usha Rani, Ms Harbans Kaur, Ms Jaswinder Kaur, Ms Anita, Ms Daljeet Kaur, Ms Bant Kaur and Ms Paramjit Kaur; Ward No. 14 — Mr Sham Singh, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Girmohan Ram and Mr Gurbachan Singh. Ward No. 17 — Mr Isher Singh and Mr Kulwant Singh Sabharwal and Ward No. 20 — Ms Sham Kaur, Ms Simlesh Kumari, Mr Dhiraj Kumar, Mr Basoo Ram, Mr Gurvinder Singh, Mr Gurnam Bindra Singh Sewak, Mr Nathu Ram, Mr Bhajan Singh, Mr Amar Singh, Mr Sunita Rani and Mr Tarlochan Singh.


Give women their due, says SSP
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — "No matter how scientifically advanced a country is, it cannot progress without giving women their rightful due," said Parag Jain, SSP, Chandigarh police, while speaking at an awareness camp on the role of women in national integration here today.

The function, which was organised by the Ratna Memorial Charitable Trust, in association with the Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board, was attended by a large number of women activists.

Mr Jain said that the Indian society deteriorated eversince man declared woman as taran ki adhikari (fit to be corrected with punishment). "It is a fact that nature has bestowed upon women a power which does not exist in men. They have sensitivity, besides patience, which helps bind the family which is the basic unit of any country's integration," he added. The SSP asserted that educating the girlchild would ensure the education of the entire society.

Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshall R.S. Bedi (retd) called upon the women to educate their children against ethnocentrism, casteism and communalism.

''Women have a lot of tolerance. They can help their children become better human beings and useful members of society by teaching them values and national integration," he added. Citing the example of Indonesia, where Hinduism is respected in spite of the domination of Islam, he said in direct contrast in our country religion had created more divisions than integration." It is the duty of the mothers to change the mindset of the children," he added.

Mrs Kamala Sharma, Chairperson, Chandigarh Social Advisory Board, gave details of 12 such programmes to be held during Vikas Parv-2000.

Prof Bhajan Kaur, Professor, Law Faculty, while expressing her views on the role of women in integration, said that women also had to stress upon economic justice. "Justice, equality and liberty will lead to fraternity and brotherhood, which will lead to integration."

Mrs Sushil Kaur Raju , Secretary of the Ratna Memorial Charitable Trust, stressed on the need for women to inculcate good values in their children to make India a great nation.

Social activists, Mrs Lalit Joshi and Mrs Amrita Kohli, urged the men to help women in building the nation.

The other prominent speakers included Dr K.S. Raju, Chairman, Ratna Memorial Charitable Trust, and Dr Shyama Negi.

Dr Raju gave an insight into the social work carried out by the trust. This included treatment of 53 handicapped persons in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 . Besides, the trust had also helped 297 persons get old age and widow pensions from the Department of Social Welfare.


KBC obsession all pervasive
By Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The great Indian middle class... conventional, careful, cynical and the cable television with its fictional weepy soaps. The two went on well, till KBC happened. Now the two are one entity and if between 9 and 10 in the night you don’t find many on the roads, cinema halls or public places you know where every body is. Hooked to Star TV, millions across the nation watch with bated breath who is going to be the next lucky one. Kaun Banega Crorepati is a show which has caught the imagination of the man in the street, a show which has ended up in diluting the ethereal distance between the audience and the performer.

Of course, there have been other game shows and quizzes, but this is the largest as far as the prize money is concerned. If the businessman from Calcutta can win 50 lakh and another one from Delhi can win a neat 25 lakh, why can’t I, is the first thought.

Then starts the endless tries at homes and STD booths to get through to KBC. It is said that a whopping 2 lakh calls are received each day at KBC. “It is virtually impossible to get through, we try for hours every time the lines open but haven’t been able to get through. You must have noticed that most of the people who make it to the show are from the cities where one has to call,” says Mrs Chetna Handa of Sector 35. But this hasn’t deterred people from trying to get to the show. At some places it has also been reported that a class of agents has come up who are fleecing the public by taking money and promising that they will get them into the show.

The KBC mania seems to have caught on everywhere. It has almost become a part of popular culture. Jokes, parties, advertisements, help books, street talk, school children — all one hears is KBC. The phrases used by Amitabh Bachchan, are being used in every possible context. Lock kar diya jaye? Sure? Confident? Advertisements of Amul, Smyle, Gas Point, Krackjack, Satyam etc. are cashing on the popularity of the show.

“The show is also being looked upon as a major social statement on Indians. Who can say that India is a country which shuns materialism. What we are seeing is a rush of people wanting to make easy money. And why not?”, says Mr Kamal Nayan Shrama, a historian. “If one looks at some of the questions being asked one feels that a large number of people out there lead rather ignorant kind of life. For example, there was this woman who was not sure how many teeth a human being has. She had to ask the audience about it.” This contention seems true as some very easy questions are met with blanks. One person did not know what the C in LIC stood for, another used two lifelines to answer the question on the boiling point of water.

The questions are from all possible spheres of life. Many are from Indian history, others from Indian mythology and some from medicine and cricket. “Now some questions are also being asked on logic. For example, that question about the batsman who will remain not out if the first 10 balls of the game claim a wicket. I have already bought one of those KBC help books which has an exhaustive list of the kind of questions likely to be asked on the show,” says Anjuman Midha, a resident of Sector 45, who has got through once to KBC and is waiting for the lines to open next to see if she is chosen in the lucky 100 who will be called.

Then of course, other than the money is the star attraction Amitabh Bachchan. And he seems to be doing a good job. “He helps people so much. Every time he asks you if you want to use a lifeline, means that the answer is most probably wrong. For him as a person the money being doled out to the participant is not big but he does come out of that mental make-up and makes each person feel special and great,” says Dr Geetika Grover. “I would feel like a crorepati if I sit with the Amitabh Bachchan for 10 minutes even if I don’t win any money,” says Meeta, a die-hard fan of the big B.

“Call it gambling or testing your fate, the truth is not a single one of us would mind being in the chair opposite Amitabh Bachchan and being asked some very simple questions, each one earning hard cash for you,” concludes Nikky Kochar of Sector 71.


Choose alternative road to national highway’
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The MIG Residents Welfare Association, Sector 46, has opined that the road passing through Sectors 31, 32, 46 and 47 was not feasible for the national highway.

Mr A.S. Oberoi, General Secretary of the association, has said due to residential houses on both sides of the road, it is not possible to widen and convert it into a national highway. The authorities should chose some other alternative road for this purpose, he said.


Overcharging by cable operator alleged
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 27 — Residents of Sector 9 have submitted a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner alleging over-charging by the cable operator in the area.

They contended that while they were paying Rs 75 per month in 1999, the rates were increased to Rs 100 at the beginning of the year which have been further hiked to Rs 150 per month since August.

The residents also stated that the charges by the operator varied in the same locality from Rs 50 to Rs 150 and that the hike must be made in consultation with the residents after stating reasons for the same.

The residents also demanded that employees of cable operators be issued identity cards since they visit homes frequently to attend to complaints.

While an employee of the cable operator refuted allegations of variation in charges, the owner was not available for comments.


Villagers block traffic
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — Residents of Sarangpur village today blocked traffic on the Chandigarh-Sarangpur road against the alleged encroachment by a property dealer who had purchased land near the cremation ground of the village.

Scores of villagers, including women, blocked the traffic for over two hours in the evening against what they called, the police's partisan role in the whole issue. It may be recalled that the property dealer, Mr R.K. Aggarwal, had purchased the land several years ago.


Comprehensive website on Punjab
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — Mr Harman Singh Sidhu had dreams of making it big in Canada until a major accident shattered his dreams and left him paralysed from neck downwards four years back. But fighting against all odds, Mr Sidhu is all set to launch a comprehensive website on Punjab.

Dubbed the complete comprehensive website on Punjab involving youth, women, elders and professionals, the portal — — has been developed by Mr Sidhu with the help of his friend, Mr Suveen Kant Gupta, in a period of six months.

"It is not going to be just another website on Punjab like the ones being launched every other week. We are not in the rat race to just get an incomplete portal inaugurated by some VIP. Our focus is to create and then launch a portal where a visitor comes and gets complete information, the site where getting information is easy. The visitor to our site would be a satisfied person with no need to surf anywhere for information on Punjab," said Mr Sidhu and Mr Gupta today.

In fact, the story of Mr Sidhu (26) is that of grit and courage against all odds. Even as he was ready to fly to Canada for greener pastures in 1996, a major accident confined him to the bed for over two years. It was only a miracle that he survived but accident left him confined to a wheelchair for rest of the life.

But Mr Sidhu, who hardly had any background in computers, started learning computers through self-study books with the result that he mastered the computers and started designing portals over a year ago. He along with Mr Gupta has designed over a dozen portals with the portal on Punjab being the most-comprehensive and informative.

A demonstration of the website at his house in Sector 21 showed exhaustive information on yellow pages, greetings, jobs, matrimonials, online car sale purchases, property trends, trains and timings, besides the interactive features such as e-mail, discussion forums and opinion poll.

The focus has been kept on providing e-commerce where there will be a good platform for the NRIs to send gifts to their relatives and friends in Punjab. It will be a complete information centre on Punjab where information on government policies on investment, culture and history had been provided along with illustrations.

Besides this, the website had tied-up with Mr Madan Gupta Spatu, a noted astrologer, who will reply to the queries of the users at their e-mail addresses, in addition to the weekly forecast. The website includes his innovative contributions in the field of astrology. "Astrological study of Sikhs" is the one topic which illustrates the horoscopes of Sikhs Gurus, Amritsar, birth chart of the Khalsa (April 13,1699) and forecasts on them.

And keeping in mind the convenience of the NRIs, they had tied up with leading lawyers and chartered accountants for legal and investment advice. Free immigration counselling by a leading consultancy firm of Chandigarh is another feature.


ABVP to hold rally
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has decided to organise a rally on September 16 to protest against the state of internal insecurity prevailing in the country. The ABVP stated this at a press conference in Panjab University.

The general secretary of the ABVP, Ms Vandana Misra, said that unemployment, corruption and reform in higher education were issues which needed to be highlighted. She said that students were being compelled in schools and colleges to pay more and more fee without being given any additional facilities or any new courses. She also stated that unemployment was on the rise and higher education had become virtually irrelevant.

Surat Singh Negi, the president of the ABVP in the university, said that the masses needed to be enlightened about the internal insecurity problems the nation was facing.


Who will succeed Bhagwan?

THE impending retirement of the Haryana Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Verma, on August 31 and subsequent changes in the bureaucracy kept I.A.S. officers in the Secretariat guessing last week.

The bureaucrats admit that the elevation of Mr Vishnu Bhagwan, now Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, to the post of Chief Secretary is almost a foregone conclusion for various reasons.

First, Mr Vishnu Bhagwan is one of the seniormost Financial Commissioners. Second, he enjoys the confidence of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, as he has been working as his Principal Secretary ever since he took over the reins of the state. Third, there is no controversy about his style of functioning. Last, he maintains a low profile and had an ability to get work from his IAS colleagues.

The search for a new Chief Secretary, however, will again begin after four months, as Mr Vishnu Bhagwan will also retire on December 31 this year. Thus he will have a term of only four months as Chief Secretary.

The real anxiety among the bureaucrats is to know who will succeed Mr Vishnu Bhagwan to the coveted post of Principal Secretary.

As an astute politician, Mr Chautala is known for keeping his cards close to his chest. He has not let it be known to anyone, including those who work in his Secretariat, whom he would pick up for the post of his Principal Secretary.

Heart trouble
Chandigarh boy, Dr Sumeet Chugh, now a principal investigator in a USA based heart analysis institute, has found that many people die suddenly with no definite cause and detectable symptoms for the cardiologist.

Dr Chugh, who studied in Chandigarh and did his MBBS from Government College, Patiala, is now working as Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine. He says one third of all sudden cardiac death patients had either normal hearts or nonspecific abnormalities that would not indicate a problem. The new study has been published in the journal of American Heart Association.

The analysis has been arrived at by researchers at the Oregon Health Sciences University and the Edwards Registry. They carried out a cadaveric study of people, whose hearts suddenly stopped. This was also to find a better way to diagnose patients early to determine if they may have a heart problem and then get them treatment right away. A total of 270 heart patients, who had died suddenly were examined by the team comprising Dr Chugh.

They also collected data on the circumstances of the patient’s death and reviewed their medical records . In 95 per cent of cases, the heart showed some structural abnormality such as coronary artery disease, aortic valve malformations. Two-thirds of these cases could have been treated by surgery or medication. In another 30 per cent of the cases the cause of death may or may not have been related to the abnormalities.

It was also found that in 5 per cent of cases, the patients’ hearts were structurally normal and half of these people had never reported a symptom of heart problem. These people may have had a genetic condition that , when combined with another trigger, such as obesity, drug use or epilepsy caused their death. For cases like these , we need to be able to find genetic markers to identify patients with these susceptibilities.

Dr Chugh is now working with colleagues to design a study using live patients to identify unknown heart problems. With information from the human genome project now publicly available, they intend to use a technology to identify these genetic markers. The idea is now to develop a model for studying the causes of sudden cardiac death.

Fully Loaded
A young man working as an executive in a local telecom company loves his scooter so much that he has put thousands of rupees worth of accessories on his machine. The black scooter can be spotted easily at night due to various fog lights that adorn it.

Nor can you miss a musical horn which has cost him a couple of thousand. He also has a stereo in it with the speakers installed in the glove compartment. Mr Arun Saini, owner of the scooter, says he has spent almost Rs 6,000 on the scooter. He works in Chandigarh but commutes daily from Kalka on his scooter. It is a sight to see him go back at night on the busy Chandigarh — Kalka road with flashing fog lights, and a blaring stereo. Temporarily, due to the monsoon, he has taken off his stereo but the rest of the gadgetry is in place.

Green temples
Under the religious places plantation programme, the Children’s Alliance for Protection of the Environment (CAPE) has set up a fruit plants garden at the Sri Kailashpati Mahadev temple on Mata Mansa Devi Saketri Road.

About 120 saplings of 10 fruit species were planted last week around the temple complex. Members of the “Art of Living” actively joined in this campaign.

Swami Rameshwara Dayal Giri who led the campaigners, said that planting of fruit saplings around the religious places is in conformity with our ancient cultural traditions. It is a pity that most of the temple trusts are converting spaces around the temples into concrete structures. Each temple trust must create green areas and plant sacred and fruit trees on the campus, the Swami said.

Some things never change. The dawn of the day, the sequence of the seasons and perhaps the Indian Coffee House. Even after more than four decades, the favourite haunt of journalists, lawyers and intellectuals continues to look and feel just the same as it did when the first coffee house had come up in the Sector 22 market.

Later, of course, it shifted to Sector 17. The aroma, the ambience and the furniture present a truly nostalgic picture. Incidentally, the old timers say that even the photographs on the wall have remained the same. Mahatma Gandhi, a cup of fresh brewing coffee and a photograph of an old time actress from down South, Ragini, continue to adorn the walls. The youth may have shifted their loyalties to the fast food joints but the diehard loyalists still refuse to hear a word against their alltime favourite joint.

Interestingly, an English newspaper which recently started publication from the city, holds its morning meetings in the Sector 17 coffee house.

Truckers are known to write witty slogans at the back of their vehicles. Sample this one: “Ram bachaye teen cheezon se; doctor, vakil aur insaanon se”. (May god save from three things; doctors, lawyers and humans).

— Sentinel


320 pouches of whisky seized
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The police has arrested three persons under the Excise Act from different parts of the city.

In the first incident, Pritam Singh, a resident of Sector 52, was arrested from the bus stop of Sector 61 and 50 pouches of whisky seized from him. Similarly, Jagdish Chand of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, was arrested and 25 pouches of whisky were seized from him.

And Jatinder, a resident of Bhankarpur village in Patiala district, was arrested from the Sectors 29 and 30 dividing road and 245 pouches of whisky were seized from him.

Cases have been registered against them.

Sumo stolen
Mr Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Sector 33, reported that someone had stolen his Tata Sumo (CH01-R-9143) from his residence. A case has been registered.

Ms Sandhya, a resident of Sector 15, reported that someone stole five tyres of her car (CH01-03-6678) and tools. A case has been registered.

Case registered
Mr Mandip Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar, alleged that he hired a rickshaw and loaded two vacuum cleaners from a shop in Sector 17. The rickshaw-puller neither reached his house nor came back to the shop.

A case has been registered.


Rally by Punwire employees
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 27 — Members of the Punwire Employees Coordination Committee today took out procession in different phases of the town here today. Starting from Singh Sabha gurdwara of Phase 1, the rally culminated in Phase XI. Mr Hans Raj Verma, Convener of the Punwire Employees Coordination Committee, Mr SS Cheema, Mr Rakesh Kalia, Mr KP Singh, Mr Gurdip Singh also addressed a rally organised on the occasion.


Revision of pension demanded
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — The Punjab National Bank Retired Officers Welfare Association has criticised the Indian Banks Association and the Union Ministry of Finance for not revising pension along with the wages of bank employees.

At a meeting held in the Sector 22 Lead Bank Office of the bank, members of the association decided to ask the IBA and the ministry to remove the anomalies in pension. They also decided to move court in case the authorities concerned did not accept the demand soon.Back


Petrol dealers to go on strike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 27 — Petroleum dealers in Chandigarh will go on an indefinite strike on August 29 to protest against the hike in the prices of petrol which has resulted in higher priced petrol in Chandigarh as compared to Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

The dealers said that uniform sales tax was implemented in Chandigarh without doing an in-depth study of the petroleum trade in Chandigarh which because of a large floating population will suffer. The taxes on petrol in Chandigarh have gone up from 15 paise per litre in July last year to Rs 5.15 now, dealers claim. Trade is suffering, while business is shifting to neighbouring towns.

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