Wednesday, August 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC workers’ strike fails to affect residents
Army ensures smooth supply of water, power
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Even as hundreds of employees of the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration remained on strike today, the management of vital installations by the Army and other wings of the Administration ensured that the supply of water and power to pumping stations, besides the city, remained normal.

In fact city residents were surprised today that the water pressure was much more than the normal supply . Daily the water supply shuts down at 9 in the morning but today water remained in the taps for a good 30 minutes more. Even the overhead tanks filled up to higher levels than usual, according to residents.

Four Xens and 12 SDOs of the Public Health Wing, assisted by officials of the corporation under the supervision of the Superintending Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, were on the job since last night to ensure regular supply of water. They were assisted by technical personnel of Corps of Engineers of the Army. Besides the Army, the Chandigarh Police personnel provided security to vital installations like electrical substations, tubewells and boosters.

Similarly, the power supply was normal as the Superintending Engineers, Xens and SDOs concerned had been instructed to keep a close watch on the lines, specially on tubewells and waterworks.

Meanwhile, the members of the coordination committee of government and MC employees and workers held a rally near the Matka chowk in support of their demands. Various speakers condemned the Administration for not implementing the accord which was made in a bipartite meeting held on November 13 last year under the supervision of the Adviser, Ms Vineeta Rai.

The main demands of the employees include treating all transferred employees of the Administration to the Municipal Corporation on deputation, release of bonus for the year 1997-98 and 1998-99, regularisation of services of work-charged and daily-wage workers, abolition of contract system, abolition of ceiling for appointment on compassionate grounds, repatriation of deputationists and filling of vacant posts and fixation of pay under the assured progression scheme.Back


Petrol dealers call off strike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Owners of all 33 private-sector petrol stations in the city, today, called off their indefinite strike after the Chandigarh Administration assured them that it would review its order on taxes. It will be business as usual at petrol stations from Wednesday.

The strike had begun past midnight in protest against an “abnormal” hike in the price of petrol caused by the imposition of the uniform sales tax, besides some other taxes. This had made petrol in the city cost Rs 1.63 and 98 paise more per litre than in Haryana and Punjab, respectively.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh Petrol Pump Dealers Association said, following an assurance from the Administration, it had been decided to defer the strike and reopen the outlets from tomorrow morning. Today, long queues could be seen at six filling stations run by oil companies in the city, besides at petrol stations in Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

Following the imposition of various taxes and a 10 per cent surcharge on the sales tax in the city, the sale of petrol had dipped by 40 per cent here. The association has demanded the withdrawal of all unequal taxes to bring the price of petrol at par with the prices in Haryana and Punjab.

Meanwhile, the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, said a letter of allotment of land for an oil depot had been given to the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) today. He said land will also be given to another public-sector giant, Indian Oil, shortly. He said the 10 per cent surcharge on the sales tax could not be rolled back selectively in case of petrol.

“The opening of depots will help roll back the central sales tax (CST) that is presently 4 per cent. Already, a case for the removal of motor spirit tax (MST) has been put up before the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),” he said.

The dealers, meanwhile, said they were satisfied after talks with the Administration.


Municipal Council election over
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 29 — Barring stray incidents of heated exchanges among supporters of different candidates over complaints of bogus voting, the polling in four reserved wards of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council went off peacefully amidst stringent police arrangements here today. The polling to 23 other wards of the council which were held on August 20 were marred by misuse of power and complaints of bogus voting.

In ward no 20, a supporter of the BJP was seriously injured in the head last night following a tussle between the supporters of the BJP and supporters of an independent candidate. The victim had to be hospitalised and a case was registered by the police. In ward no 14 and ward no 20, the cops on duty initially prevented photo journalists from doing their job but later relented, following intervention of senior police officials.

Perhaps learning from the past, the police authorities had declared all five polling stations as either very sensitive or sensitive. At least five Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) had been made in charge of the polling. Unlike the last polls, the guideline of the candidates pitching their tents at a distance of 100 metres from the polling stations was being followed. Though cases of certain supporters of candidates and police officials carrying mobiles could be seen.

In violation of the guidelines of the Deputy Commissioner, a liquor vend falling in the area of ward no 1 was open. Local schools, including a school in Phase 8, remained open.

In ward no1 in Shahi Majra village 40 per cent votes had been cast by 1 p.m. Mr Surdenshan Berma,a voter from ward no 1, complained that his vote had already been cast. Unconfirmed reports said the Presiding Officer in ward no 1 had written to the police regarding registration of a first information report (FIR) regarding a case of bogus voting.

It took over an hour for the counting in the four wards to complete after the polling ended at 4 p.m. In ward no 1, Ms Inderjit Kaur, a former municipal councillor, defeated her nearest rival by a margin of 244 votes. Mr Gurmohan Singh defeated Sham Singh by a margin of 116 votes from ward 14. In ward no 17, Mr Isher Singh Langh, a SAD candidate, defeated Mr Kulwant Singh Sabharwal by a margin of 716 votes. From ward no 20, a BJP candidate, Mr Tarlochan Singh, defeated Nathu Ram by a margin of 87 votes.

Meanwhile, the race for wresting the control of the presidentship of the civic body has gained momentum. With at least 13 former municipal councillors again victorious in the elections, it would be interesting to see with which major political party they show their alliance or act as an independent group.

While the Tohra group claims that it would have a major say in the selection of president of the civic body, the leaders of the SAD say that they would win over the candidates. The role of the candidates with Congress support cannot be ignored. Persons close to some of the winning candidates say some internal arrangement would be worked out. The final picture would emerge in the coming days.

The following are the winning candidates and their ward numbers:

1 Daljit Kaur
2 Mr Rajinder Parsad
3 Mr Shama Ghanshyam
4 Indu Sehgal
5 Bharat Bhushan Maini
6 Amrik Singh Mohali
7 Manmohan Kaur
8 NK Marhawa
9 Manjit Singh
10 Inderjit Kaur
11 Manjit Singh
12 Surjit Kaur
13 Deep Kaur
14 Gurmohan Ram
15 SS Patwari
16 Prabhjot Singh
17 Isher Singh Langh
18 Phool Raj Singh
19 Raj Rani
20 Tarlochan Singh
21 Kulwant Singh
22 Amrik Singh
23 Harbans Kaur
24 Amrik Singh Tehsildar
25 Paramjit Kaur
26 Najar Singh
27 SS Barnala



Touch screen project fails to take off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — The Touch Screen Technology Machine Project of Panjab University seems to have got stuck even before it took off. With the original party which was supposed to sell these machines to the university untraceable, the whole process of installation of two such machines in the university has stopped.

A brainchild of the erstwhile Vice-Chancellor, Dr M.M. Puri, who had put in a proposal to install two such machines in the university to facilitate the students to access information relating to the university, results, etc. He invited a Delhi-based company to make a presentation at a meeting on April 24. The meeting ended in a debate and it was decided that the project was viable only if the university did not have to bear the cost of the machines but instead got a sponsor for the same.

Another meeting was called on April 26 and it was decided that a go-ahead be given for the purchase of three such machines — two for the use of the general public who wanted information from the university and one for the Computer Science Department for teaching and training purposes. The cost of the machine for the Computer Science Department was to be borne by the university, while for the other two a sponsor was to be found.

The Dean, Alumni Relations, was as a result asked to find a sponsor while the Computer Science Department was asked to go ahead with the purchase of the machine. By the first week of June a sponsor had been found and a letter to this effect was sent to the vice-chancellor stating that the sponsor had agreed to give the money for the purchase of the machines subject to the condition that the company be given exclusive locational and screen advertisements rights on the machines. Since the advertisements of the university were taken care of by the Establishment branch of the university, a copy of the letter was also sent to the Deputy Registrar, Establishment.

The Computer Science Department, meanwhile wrote to the company which had made the original presentation giving orders for purchase of the machine. But no response was received from them. This was almost two months back and the situation stands at that since.

The authorities concerned are not sure what to do next. The Dean, Alumni Relations, Dr Dinesh Gupta, says that he has done what he was asked to, the sponsor has been found and that company was still interested in the offer.

The Deputy Registrar, Establishment, says that they had sent the letter they received from the Dean to the Computer Science Department as they were the ones who were to purchase the machine first and the question of advertisements came much later. Mr R.K. Singla of the Computer Science Department says that they have waited for the stipulated period of one month after sending letter to the company but have no response from them.

Now, one is not even sure in whose court the ball is. The project awaits a decision to be taken by the university authorities which will, to a large extent, change how information is disseminated from the university to the public.


Parlours do the trick!
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, goes the saying. But now it is also supposed to lie in the innumerable beauty parlours mushrooming all over the city and its outskirts. Beauty concept material is available in attractive packages in the market and users swear by their effectiveness its finds easy prey in the compliment-hungry woman of today. In fact, woman’s obsession with looking beautiful is as old as civilisation. The earliest finds about the settled man include a large number of jewellery and toiletries. And things haven’t changed since.

Says Chitra Sahi, a regular at Shehnaz’s parlour, “Beauty parlours run not because women want to look pretty but because men want to see them look pretty. It is all for grabbing male attention.” But many do not agree to this rather candid statement. For Gopika Ahuja of Mohali, “Looking good is a confidence-building exercise and I come to this parlour to look nice for myself, not for any man.” Then to some, visiting the parlour is ” just a form of relaxation and one feels good indulging oneself by taking care of the face and the skin, which, as we all know is going to lose its shine, sag and look old with time,” says Jalpriya Gupta of Mohali.

“To attract attention, and to look attractive, women go for many types of beauty packages, without knowing that the use of anti-wrinkle creams, facials etc, cannot actually stop the process of ageing, but can only delay it ,” remarked Neeru Sidhu, Director Attitude Parlour, Chandigarh

“Age is inevitable, but to look young, a regular beauty routine, facial and keeping internally fit, is equally important. Beauty is skin deep. Good health, sleep and your attitude help you to look younger. Many new techniques like waxfacials, fruit-juices therapy, juice induction, face lifting, galvanic facials, thermo-herb facials and many other processes like this only help to keep the skin firm,” adds Neeru Sidhu.

“Women spend large amounts, buying all types of beauty creams without knowing their effects on the skin. The mushrooming parlours in the city are minting money and do not give fruitful advice to customers. It is how you look at it. To use whatever is handy, leads to harmful consequences. Facial helps to make the skin bright and glowing. Different packs and creams should be used according to your skin type,” says of Rashid Khan from Olega,Chandigarh.

If you thought that only women are the ones flocking parlours to look beautiful, here is a surprise. Navneet Singh, a regular customer at Olega said, “In today’s fast life, full of stress and pollution, these beauty therapies help to hide fatigue. This is how one can overcome the dull look on the face.”

Another customer, Aarti Arora, at Shehnaz parlour in Panchkula said, “If by spending Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 per month, one can get a fresh outlook then it is worth it. Each and every body is conscious nowadays to keep themselves fit and their is no harm in doing so.”

“Diet plays an important role and gives a reflection of the innerself on the face of the individual. Compared to men, women are more prone to spending money to make them look appealing. To have a different outlook and to hide how they originally look, women are ready to pay Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000,” says Ashok Deol from Curly Top.


VIP car rams into shop
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Some persons on a morning stroll had a providential escape when Haryana government car, (HR 51 C 0077), being allegedly rashly driven jumped a road kerb and banged into the shutter of a shop in Sector 7 here this morning.

According to police sources and eyewitnesses, the car, belonging to the Hartron Managing Director, was being allegedly driven at a very high speed at about 7 a.m., when it suddenly swerved, jumped the kerb and banged into the closed shutter of the shop. The impact damaged the front portion of the car.

Shopkeepers said the police was informed about the incident, but instead of booking the person driving the car, they allowed him to go. Some persons alleged that the MD himself was driving the vehicle, and when his identity was revealed the cops summoned a rickshaw and allowed him to go. They even returned the mobile which had fallen outside the car, to him.

A lot of pressure was put on the shopkeepers to avoid registering a case, sources revealed. Police officials, while confirming the incident, said no case has been registered so far.

Dhillon rebuts charges
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Offering a rebuttal to the various allegations levelled against him by the DPR, Punjab, Mangal Dhillon said it was unfortunate that officials of the department had chosen to misguide the public by spreading wrong and baseless information about him.

He said that by levelling charges against him, the department had tried to malign the reputation of a creative person. And that the same was clearly reflected in the way the department had chosen to go public over the issue which he had tried to resolve with them on a personal level. He added, “The problem is that my name is being unnecessarily dragged into the controversy pertaining to financial irregularities”. Dhillon added that he had all the documentary proof to counter allegations which were being levelled against him and that he was ready to produce all the documents before a court of law, if need be.

He also said that the film, contrary to the allegations, had been completed well within time and had been screened on April 13 and 14, 1999, in the main pandal of Sri Anandpur Sahib, as per the agreement. “I have in possession written as well as videotaped reactions of the audience about the film, which was shown about 125 times. He also said if the DPR could prove that the film Khalsa had cost me less than Rs 30 lakh, which had been sanctioned initially by the department, I would reimburse the entire amount of Rs 24 lakh paid to me till date for the same.


Pollution prevention week
From Our Correspondent

PARWANOO, Aug 29 — A two-day awareness-cum-vehicular monitoring camp to celebrate the Vehicle Safety and Pollution Prevention Week was organised by the HP State Pollution Control Board, Parwanoo, in collaboration with the local police. The camp concluded today. Children from the local Eicher School also participated in the camp.

Sanjay Sharma, Assistant Commissioner of Parwanoo, inaugurated the camp. The children were explained about the various types of emission generated from petrol and diesel-driven vehicles, their harmful effects and measures to be adopted to minimise the pollution level.

Scientists from the pollution control board exposed the children to the monitoring equipment being used for the measurement of CO level from petrol-driven vehicles and smoke level from diesel-driven vehicles.

They were given hands-on training and later, children themselves monitored the petrol and diesel-driven vehicles by operating CO-HC analyser and smoke meter and also explained to the owners about the emission levels of their vehicles. The vehicles meeting the norm were issued pollution level reports by the Assistant Commissioner, Parwanoo.

A regular vehicle monitoring drive was also conducted and about 225 vehicles were checked. 


Visa facilitation centre for city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — To facilitate the immigration process of applicants as well as students from North India to Australia, a visa facilitation centre is proposed to be opened at Chandigarh. Ms Irene Darby, First Secretary of State, (Immigration) Australia informed the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, (retd) about this at Raj Bhavan here today.

She said she was studying the problems being faced by prospective visa applicants to Australia during her visit to Chandigarh. The Governor, while appreciating the efforts of Australia in opening the visa facilitation centre here, said that Australia should also explore the possibility of setting up hi-tech industry in the city.

Ms Darby remained with Governor for 30 minutes.Back


Burail jail inmates frisked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Inmates and staff of Model Jail in Burail village were frisked late in the evening today by senior officials of the jail, according to sources.

The Superintendent of Model Jail, Mr R.D. Sharma, was not available for comments, but a senior jail official said frisking of the staff and inmates was a “routine affair”.

Sources, however, said this might be a fallout of yesterday’s arrest of jail warden Om Vir. He was caught while he was allegedly trying to fax some documents on behalf of Balwant Singh, an alleged assassin of former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, to a place in Britain.

The Ropar police had, reportedly, caught him at a public call office in Morinda. Highly placed sources said the fax message was in the praise of alleged human bomb Dilawar Singh for his role in the assassination of Beant Singh.


Home gardening tips

*A garden with adornments like logs, seats, benches, ornamental lamp-posts or even old lanterns, fountains, pergolas, statuettes and decorated pots gets edge over others.

*Artistically made statuettes placed at strategic positions add serenity and an element of surprise to a garden.

*Some gardeners put deities while others use artefacts depicting ancient art. Some gardeners even place animals like horse or an elephant amidst low-headed plant pots or near shrubberies. This gives the corner a jungle-in-miniature look.

*In a Japanese garden, a Japanese lantern, a meditating saint's statuette or a Japanese tower are some of the essential elements.

*When you use wooden posts, pillars, benches, logs or wooden slices for steps, make sure that you keep on treating the area around to keep the white ants at bay.

*Application of chlorpyriphos at 1 mm to a litre of water around the place of treatment will keep the white ants under control. — Satish Narula



Bid to outrage modesty of girl, 1 arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — The police has arrested a Sector 15 resident on the charge of attempting to outrage the modesty of his neighbour.

According to police sources, Mr K D Sehgal reported that his tenant, Robert Gill, tried to outrage the modesty of his daughter when she came out of the bathroom in the morning. The accused has been arrested and booked under Section 354 of the IPC.

On the other hand the family of the accused got a case registered against the family of the complainant, alleging that members of the family were locked out of the house and were not allowed to enter despite repeated pleas. They were also threatened with dire consequences by the accused.

The police was called and K.D. Sehgal and his son were booked under Sections 341, 323, 506 of the IPC.

Theft reported
Sector 27 resident Sanjiv Gupta reported that household articles had been stolen from his residence while he was away. A case under Sections 454, 380 of the IPC has been registered.

The police has arrested Ajay of Maloya colony who had allegedly stolen a bicycle belonging to Jitender of the same colony. A case under Sections 379, 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Bail denied
The UT Additional District and Sessions Judge today rejected the anticipatory bail of a city resident, Maneet Choujer, in the liquor smuggling case. The police had arrested Ram Baba along with Azad Singh, Jugar Singh and Barinder Kumar on August 3 when they were allegedly removing country-made liquor from a truck from Plot No. 10, Industrial Area, Phase-II. During the investigation, it was revealed that the place where the consignment of liquor was going to was rented by the accused.

Counsel argued that the accused’s name was not registered in the FIR and he was not involved in liquor smuggling.


Gold chain stolen
Nachhattar Singh, a resident of Phase 3-B-1, complained to the police that Kuljeet Singh, Pinky, Pintu and two other unidentified persons stole a gold chain and a mobile phone yesterday. The police has registered a case under Sections 341 and 382 of the IPC against the suspects.

Action delayed
Capt Sital Singh (retd), a resident of Phase XI, has complained that the police had failed to take any action against the suspects involved in a case of theft at his house. He said he had named the suspects in the FIR but the police had failed to arrest them.


Assault alleged
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Aug 29 — The local police today registered a case under Sections 353, 186 and 506 of the IPC against a private contractor for collection of octroi for the Municipal Committee, Kharar, on a complaint filed by the Municipal Employees Union, alleging assault and use of criminal force to deter an employee of the committee from discharging his duties.

Giving information, Mr G.P. Singh, SHO, Kharar, said that the union had complained that the octroi contractor allegedly threatened Mr Inderjit Singh at the octroi post on the Landran road on August 27. 


Dishnet launches services in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 29 — Dishnet, a private Internet service provider, launched its services as part of its plans to start in all parts of the country.

Ms Vineeta Rai, Adviser to the UT Administrator, who was the chief guest, pointed out that the process of setting up of an IT tower complex and an IT college in the city had already been started. With this infrastructure, she observed, Chandigarh could grow into an IT city of excellence. 

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