Friday, September 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jacob’s bonanza for Khuda Lahora residents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — The upgradation of existing school to the plus two level, the introduction of second shift to absorb the increasing number of students, adding eight rooms to the existing building, providing underground sewerage to the village in a year, digging a new deep tubewell to solve the drinking water problem, the construction of a circular road around the village besides levelling of the village pond were some of the announcements made by UT Administrator, Lt Gen J. F. R. Jacob, during his visit to Khuda Lahora village here this morning.

Accompanied by the Adviser, Mrs Vineeta Rai, and senior official of the administration, he went around the school enquiring about what was being done for its upgradation. He was informed by Mr M. Ramshekhar, Deputy Commissioner, that eight more rooms were being added to the school to accommodate more students.

The Administrator observed that the new structure should be a double storeyed one since the rooms were being constructed on a portion of the play ground, which was already small. He also observed that the playing field was in a very bad condition and the villagers should contribute their labour voluntarily to raise the level of the field and keep it clean.

The DC informed him that the school was in the low-lying area and faced a lot of problems during monsoon. On observing that the approach road to the toilets was slushy, he directed the officials to get it repaired.

The General later interacted with the villagers at Panchayat Bhavan and listened to their grievances. The villagers of Sarangpur demanded that a cremation ground should be constructed in the village. Some villagers demanded that their streets must be brick-lined on which the DC asked the sarpanch to submit an estimate for the project.

The villagers also demanded that the village pond should be de weeded, on which the DC informed them that Rs 3 lakh had already been earmarked for the purpose.

Later the Administrator urged the villagers to keep the village clean collectively. He said they should report all cases of tuberculosis immediately to the nearest civil hospital as the disease was spreading at an alarming rate. The Senior Medical Officer of the village dispensary informed him that three cases of TB were reported from the village and they were being given treatment.


Naib Tehsildar commits suicide 
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Sept 7 — A 40-year-old Naib Tehsildar, Sukhpal Singh, committed suicide by jumping from the terrace of the three-storey building of the mini-secretariat this afternoon around 3 pm. He was stated to be mentally disturbed.

Officials he met at the office today said he seemed disturbed and distracted today, though there was nothing unusual about his mood. Moreover, his conversation also did not give any indication of such a move or any such plans. “I asked him why he had not come to see me for so long and his instant reply was ‘ab to aise hi dekha karoge’. I was on my way to a meeting and did not ask much, though he seemed distracted,’’ an official said.

On returning from his lunch break, at 3 pm today, the deceased, whose office is on the second floor, went to the terrace, took off his slippers, placed his keys on the wall, struggled to get on, jumped and fell down with a thud. Hearing the sound, the employees rushed to the window. He was rushed to the General Hospital in Sector 6, but he succumbed to his injuries on the way. Later, the police cleared his belongings in the office room.

Sources added that more details would be available and reasons which led to the suicide would become clear once the three-page matter in his diary was studied. Meanwhile, two notes have also been recovered from him. While one is addressed to the Commissioner, Gurgaon, the other is addressed to his paternal aunt.

In his letter to the Commissioner, he has written that he wants to be relieved from his job immediately, since he cannot carry out his job owing to domestic problems. In his letter to his aunt, he has stated that if she does not receive an answer within 24 hours, he should be considered dead. His letter mentions of some dissent between the two, his family circumstances, some property and his state of mind at the time of writing his letter.

At the General Hospital, his father Durga Ram said Sukhpal was on cordial terms with his wife Santro, who was staying at their native village in Mohamadpur in Sirsa with their 10-year-old son. She had been in town for the past few days.

He informed that the deceased was admitted to Government Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh, for deaddiction. He was addicted to phensedryl, a cough syrup, and used to gulp down eight bottles in a day. Sources added that he suffered a fit in office some one month back and had to be taken to hospital.

With absolutely no work at his seat, it is learnt that Sukhpal was transferred from Narnaul about six months back to the district and was unhappy being here. He preferred to stay all by himself and hardly talked to anybody. He shared his office with another employee, who was on leave today and not available for comment. The police has registered a case and investigations are on.


Man held for raping teenager
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — The police has arrested a Sector 46 resident on the charge of raping a teenaged girl of the same sector.

According to police sources, Sarabjit Singh alias Happy, met the 16-year-old girl in the sector’s market while she was going with her younger brother to attend a birthday party at her aunt’s house at Attawa village. Since both knew each other from the time their families were neighbours in Attawa, she accepted his offer of a lift.

They attended the party and returned at about 11 p.m. but found the main door locked. She tried to awake her parents, but could not do so. The accused then offered to take her to his house. Having no other option, she agreed to the proposal. When her brother had gone to sleep, the accused came to her room and threatened to kill her brother if she resisted him. He then raped her.

The following day he took her to Ludhiana and where she was raped again. She was brought back and allowed to go home. The victim was so terrified that she did not tell about it to anybody. The accused again met her and tried to rape her but this time she resisted and narrated the whole incident to her mother who in turn informed the police.

Following this, the accused was arrested and the girl was medically examined.

The accused has been booked under Sections 363, 366, 376, 506 of the IPC.


TTTIs should focus on future
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7— All technical institutions should plan with an eye on international scenario and a clear vision of future, said Prof Ashok Chandra, Special Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources, while speaking on the 33rd annual day of the Technical Teachers’ Training Institute (TTTI), here today.

Professor Chandra stressed that for this all training programmes in the institutions should be revised from time to time, taking into account the past achievements and problems faced.

Expressing happiness on the contribution made by the TTTIs in the area of curriculum development, educational technology and community development during the past several years he lauded the role played by the institution in implementation of World Bank assisted project. He added that the expertise available at TTTI Chandigarh should not only be confined within the country but make a mark internationally.

Professor Chandra, gave away academic awards to the outstanding students. Mr Sunil Kumar Singla from the instrumentation and control branch received Dr S.P. Luthra Memorial Gold Medal. Others who received awards include Mr Shah Sanjay Kumar Manubhai in computer sciences and engineering, Mr Danoji Obelashwar in construction technology and management, Mr Shah Mehulkumar Kantilal in instrumentation and control, Mr Manoj Wasudeorao Thakare in manufacturing technology.

Professor Chandra also presented the best polytechnic shields and citations to the principals of four institutions of the region which were earlier identified as the best polytechnics. These include Government Polytechnic, Jodhpur, Thapar Polytechnic, Patiala, Government Polytechnic, Nilokheri and Government Polytechnic for Women, Lucknow.

Mr Yash Mahajan, Chairman, Board of Governors TTTI, while appreciating the role of the institutions urged for bringing improvements in technical educations in the region. He gave away merit certificates to employees on this occasion.

Dr S. Knrishnamurthy, Principal, Chandigarh TTTI, presented the annual report of the institution. He also gave a brief account of the achievements and activities of the institute during the previous year.

Earlier, the three-day National Seminar on Promoting Community Development Activities concluded at the TTTI. More than 150 delegates from across the country had participated in this seminar in which about 50 papers on various themes were presented.

During the valedictory session of the seminar , Professor Chandra emphasised the need from major emphasis on the informal sector of the economy which contributes to 48 per cent of the GDP and provides employment opportunities to 93 per cent of the manpower working in the formal and the informal sector. However, he added that there was a vast difference in productivity of manpower in formal and informal sector.

He said presently the ratio of productivity of formal versus informal was 1:13. This ratio needs to be brought down to give boost to the GDP growth rate of the country, stressed Professor Chandra.

Professor Chandra was of the opinion that for solving problems of widespread poverty, unemployment and underemployment there was a need to make the community polytechnic services a mass movement in all technical polytechnic institutions, engineering colleges, ITIs and institutes of higher learning and universities

Prof S.K. Chopra, Head, Rural Development Department TTTI, made presentation of major recommendations of the seminar. These included the involvement of women and NGOs in community development activities and collaboration of industry with technical institutions for the enhancement of community development activities.

Other recommendations include promoting community development through science and technology in the areas like agriculture, rural water supply and sanitation. renewable energy, housing, food processing and preservation and packaging and resource sharing and networking for human resource development for community development.


PGI panel to clear projects on animals
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — Keeping in view the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the PGI has formed an ethics committee for all experiments to be carried out on animals in the institution. Besides, there is also a proposal for a ultra modern infrastructure for the genetically-controlled animals.

The committee under the chairmanship of Prof V.K. Bhargava will now scrutinise each project to ascertain the justification of use of animals in a project. This committee will look into whether the project can be carried out without actively involving the animals.

Moreover, the committee will also ensure that the animals are looked after and are handled properly. Other members of the committee include Dr G.C. Varshney from IMTECH, Prof R.M. Joshi from GMCH, Prof J.D. Wig, Dr Meera Sharma, Dr S.Verma and Prof S.Majumdar, who will be the convener member.

The animals from the central animal house in the PGI will be issued to the various project works in the departments only after being cleared by all members of the ethics committee. The committee also includes a nominee of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ms Payal Sodhi, from the People for Animals.

The first meeting of the committee will take place on September 18 which will scrutinise 11 proposals from the various basic research departments of the PGI.

The permission will be granted after confirming aims, objectives and benefits of the projects.

The central animal house in the PGI is breeds animals like rats, mice and rabbits which are issued to different basic research departments. However, the animals are mostly out-bred or in-bred. For any major breakthrough in modern biology and research work to be undertaken in genetic toxicology, special infrastructure is required.

The infrastructure available is not fit for breeding genetically controlled animals. According to the experts, for example, if a scientist wants to develop a breed animals with hypertension since birth, specifically designed modern infrastructure is required.

The sources said for developing infrastructure for genetically controlled or knockout animals, the department needs funds, nearly Rs 35 lakh, which it is trying to get from the PGI budget. However, help is also being sought from the outside agencies like the ICMR, CSIR and the Department of Biotechnology.


Miss Punjab 2000 promises good entertainment
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — Miss Punjab 2000 slated for October 21 locally promises to be a great hit going by the number of participants that organisers assured the media at a press conference here yesterday evening.

The event scheduled at Funcity near Panchkula is being organised by the Global Entertainers, Mrs Neeru Motiani, president of the group said. The event is open to unmarried Punjabi girls between 18-27 age group.

The star-studded night also promises song and dance performances by Bollywood stars, including Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon. The show will be compered by Ruby Bhatia and Zeenat Aman features prominently among the names of judges.

When questioned specifically about the visit of Bollywood guests, it was said that the visitors had confirmed their visits.

Mrs Motiani said: “We are also looking at the inner beauty of the participants. There will be no swimsuit round”. Besides a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh to the winners, the event promises Rs 50,000 each to three participants selected for ‘pursuing and professional vocational courses’.

The last day of filling the entry is September 15. The show register promises more than 2000 participants already and the number is likely to go up.

A fashion show director at the conference venue on a note of anonymity said grabbing nearly 2500 participants for the fashion show was a notable achievement.

Also present were Mr Muneesh Kocchar, event director, Mr Sandeep Marwah, owner of a studio in Noida and Mr Kishore Motiani.

“We are not doing the show for money alone. We want to clap for girls who deserve attention”, the compere said.

Out of the total , only 100 participants will be shortlisted for detailed workshops from October 17 onwards. The earlier selection will be done on the basis of photographs and forms received for the contest. Only 27 walk the ramp for the crown on October 21. Punjabi girls will have the option to answer the questions in the language they prefer.


Rajendra Rishi to get millennium award
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — Yet another feather has been added to the cap of city-based Padmashri awardee and linguist, Mr Weer Rajendra Rishi, who has been selected for the National Millennium Award.

Rishi, who is credited with having authored the first ever Russian-Hindi dictionary, with a foreword by late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, will be honoured for his contribution to the field of Hindi language at the Millennium World Hindi Conference to be held in New Delhi on September 14.

Rishi’s primary interest has always been the Russian language and literature and he has served in the Indian Embassy in Moscow from 1950 to 1952, when Dr S. Radhakrishnan was the Indian Ambassador to Russia. Besides an immense contribution in the above mentioned fields, Rishi has also authored many books on Russia, including India and Russia — Linguistic and Cultural Affinity and a Hindi translation of Pushkin’s legendary poem “Gypsy”. Rishi has also been the first interpreter of Russian and he has also worked with Russian dignitaries.

Apart from a distinguished career devoted to the promotion of linguistics, Weer Rajinder Rishi has lately been promoting Romani studies, in his capacity as the president of the Indian Institute of Romani Studies. He is also the honorary president of the International Romani Union and has produced significant works on the Roma, their language and culture. He has lately established the Nehru Roma House and Museum in the Shivalik Public School Complex, in the city. The Roma House has become a pilgrimage centre for the Roma, apart from a research centre for Romanologues.


Official cars being misused, claims PGI Employees’ Union
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — Confusion continues to prevail over the issue concerning the “alleged misuse of staff cars by senior officials of the PGI. Although the cars provided for the purpose have long been used by the authorities concerned, the issue has somehow always remained controversial with the PGI Employees’ Union raking it up time and again.

While the Union now has gone to the extent of writing a letter to the Secretary, Health, Mr Javed Chaudhary seeking a CBI probe into the matter, the authorities insist that the said use “is well within their right.” The issue is likely to gain momentum during the forthcoming meeting of the standing finance committee.

In the letter, the union has alleged that certain senior officials of PGI are misusing staff cars for their personal use in violation of rules. Interestingly, among the alleged violators are those officials who, as per rules, are not authorised to use cars even for officials purposes. Of the seven staff cars, the union alleges, only the Director is entitled to use a staff car on regular basis. However, five other officers — the Dean, the Deputy Director Administration, the Medical Superintendent, the Superintendent Hospital Engineer (SHE) and the Chief Accountant-cum-Financial Adviser have also been allotted staff cars on permanent basis, it claims.

Denying the allegation, the PGI Director, Dr S.K Sharma, said the staff cars were being used by these officials for the past 25 years. No one till date has raised any objections. “Besides myself, The Dean, the Deputy Director Administration, and the Medical Superintendent are also authorised to use these cars. While in case of the SHE, his nature of job requires him to move about in the field, the Financial Adviser was granted special permission by a former Director. The order is continuing,” he asserted.

The Director said the conveyance allowance was not being drawn by us unlike other faculty members using personal cars. The vehicles, otherwise, were not being used for personal work, he said.

Meanwhile, the union members have alleged that these officials are misusing these cars beyond duty hours till late night and on Sundays and gazetted holidays at the expense of the Institute. They say the cars are being used to drop and pick up children from schools, shopping, picnics, purchasing vegetables. The drivers of these officials getting overtime allowance for such jobs directly or indirectly.

Rules stipulate that the staff cars are “meant only for official use”. It allows officials to be picked up from their residence in the staff car but only when they are required to attend “official meetings” which are either convened at places outside their normal places of work or outside normal working hours.

The letter further says: “Even though the post of the Dean has been lying vacant for more than two years, the same is also being misused. Besides, the staff cars, the SHE office has been allotted one Gypsy, a jeep and a van for XENs. Hence, this leaves only one staff car in the general pool to be used by other officials of the institute and for emergency work of Nehru Hospital. As a result of this, the work of the hospital and patient care does suffer.”

The union has also written that on many occasions the ambulance and the staff car posted in the emergency from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. on all working days and for full days on Sundays and gazetted holidays are also being misused. In the absence of these, the attendants of even serious patients are forced to hire private vehicles in case some CT scan or MRI test is required to be done from outside due to the failure of these machines at the PGI.

They have further alleged that even “the staff car outside the emergency is also being used for carrying X-rays and other files to the residences of the consultants and senior faculty members for advise, many of whom on paper show emergency visits to claim conveyance allowance, which is absolutely illegal and a fraud”. They maintain that the car is being used to take X-rays, CT scan, MRI and patient files to the doctors residences in Sector 24, Mani Majra, private houses and even within the campus during night hours.

It is also alleged that “though some senior faculty members do visit the hospital at odd hours but 90 per cent of them are claiming conveyance allowance with bogus entries and affidavits, besides the transport allowance.” In most cases, the staff car is being used to drop or carry doctors and other officers from their residences in case of an emergency. The car on emergency duty is also used to take doctors and other officials to railway stations during night hours and on holidays. Hence, they allege that “there is no justification for placing a staff car at the emergency once the conveyance allowance is being claimed and paid by the authorities to the doctors.”

They have urged the Secretary, Health, to formulate a policy and issue directions for strict compliance in the forthcoming standing finance committee or the governing body meeting later to stop such misuse and reduce the unnecessary burden on the government exchequer.


Lambian residents stage dharna
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Sept 7 — Residents of Lambian village sat in dharna here today in protest against the demolitions being carried out by the enforcement wing of the Punjab Planning and Urban Development Authority (PUDA) in the area.

Mr Sajjan Singh, a member of the village panchayat, said PUDA was trying to evict them from the area where they were settled in 1980 when the village land was acquired. Instead of making some arrangements for the rehabilitation of the villagers, PUDA was merely planning for their eviction.

Mr Jagmal Singh Todarmajra, former propaganda secretary of the Ropar district of the SAD, said he would not let PUDA authorities demolish houses in the village.

Mr Ishar Singh Langh, a municipal councillor, said the village fell under the municipal limits and its residents exercised their voting rights in the recent civic elections. As such PUDA authorities should not demolish houses and shops which fell within the Lal Dora of the village.

Yesterday, too, residents of the village had blocked traffic and raised slogans against the government in protest against the demolition drive carried out by PUDA.


Nirmala Singh to hold exhibition
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — Mahatma Gandhi Art Gallery, Allahabad, will play host to the works of a Panchkula-based artist on September 9. The occasion is rare in the sense that Nirmal Singh, who has a personal studio in Panchkula, and who has been pursuing painting as a passion, will open her exhibition in the presence of the Uttar Pradesh Governor, Mr Suraj Bhan, and Poetic legend Gulzar.

The artist is already off to Allahabad for arranging the show which, she will later take to Calcutta in October, Bangalore in November and Mumbai in January. This exhibition which opens at Allahabad day after will have an exotic theme, as it will be based on the works of yet another artist who has contributed immensely to the field of literature. Nirmala has created an assortment of works based on Nivedita Joshi’s collection of poems titled Nange Paon.

Apart from the inauguration of the exhibition on September 9, Nivedita Joshi will also recite her poems to the gathering.


Lifeless’ nights of city clubs
By Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — You always thought Chandigarh did not have a night life well think again, it really doesn’t. Visit some of the most happening clubs of the city in the middle of the week and all you find are small groups huddled together and they are there because they are there each day. Things are much better on the weekends when life returns to these clubs.

Some of the clubs in the city are as old as the city itself. The Chandigarh Club is more than 40-year-old and so is the Central Club. These clubs became a major part of the lives of the early settlers of the city. As social interaction platforms, these clubs contributed in easing out the artificiality of settlement the city’s earliest inhabitants went through.

The most-happening club in the city is doubtlessly the Chandigarh Club. The club caters to the elite of the city which include lawyers, IAS officers, businessmen, doctors who throng on weekends with their families to enjoy the large number and variety of activities this club offers. Other than the bar which is the most well visited part of any club, the Chandigarh Club has a family lounge and a TV room. The family lounge is a non-smoking area and caters to people who want some relaxation and entertainment with their families.

The membership fee is rather steep at Rs 35,000 for the club’s life membership but if you don’t want any voting rights you can dole out Rs 15000 and get a life membership. But then it offers facilities like a swimming pool, 18 tennis courts (the maximum in India), a restaurant (another is coming up), two billiards rooms, a squash court and a bridge room. Other than the regular activities like tombola twice a week which is a very popular game among the clubs, the club organises music shows like qawalis, pop shows etc. “We also had a fashion show some months ago but though it was well attended it is not very good for the club’s culture and we have decided for the time being not to hold more of such shows.” says Mr Chaman Sharma, president, Chandigarh Club. What about cards and gambling? “We have cards here but it is not popular and gambling is absolutely not allowed.”

Cards is the main game and biggest attraction of Central Club Sector 9.” Here people have been coming to play rummy and bridge for years and the stakes involved are never more than one paisa a point.” says Mr A S Saluja, secretary of the club. The gentry patronising the club includes a large number of retired military officers, IAS officers and businessmen. This club is also known for its Tuesday and Thursday ladies club. Also popular is the twice a week tombola game of the club.

The Punjab Cricket Association Club, Mohali, is a rather new club as compared to the ones in the city.The membership fee started at Rs 20000 but is now an exorbitant Rs 50,000. There are, other than a restaurant and the bar, billiard and pool tables, tennis courts, swimming pools, tombola twice a week and even accommodation facility offered to the guest of members. This club is rather elitist and not many people in Mohali can afford the club. The residents feel that Mohali could do with a more affordable club.

The Gymkhana Club at Panchkula has almost the same facilities as the clubs in Chandigarh and Mohali complete with the restaurant, tombola, bar, tennis, swimming pool at much affordable rates but like other places here too on weekdays there is not much crowd to talk about. On the weekends, things are slightly better. Residents say that they prefer to go to clubs in Chandigarh and enjoy their weekends.


Dharna by PWD employees
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Sept 7 — The dharna by the Haryana PWD Mechanical Workers Union outside the office premises in Sector 4, entered the fourth day on Thursday, to protest against the non-fulfilment of demands.

In a memorandum submitted to the authorities, the union has listed out demands relating to the immediate repair of offices of the water works, providing seating arrangement at these offices and the payment of medical costs to the employees.

The other demands include the allocation of bonus, updating of pay books and service books, providing essentials related to their work to the sewer staff, the reinstatement of dismissed staff among many more.

While the employees of the district are present everyday at the dharna, employees from branches of Public Health Department and Bridges and Roads Departments of other places are taking turns in supporting the cause. The other employees have come from Yamunanagar, Ambala, Naraingarh, Chhachhrauli, Sadhaura and Jagadhari.The state president, Mr Shiv Kumar Prashar said, that they would be forced to intensify their stir if the officials concerned did not pay heed to their demands. “This is just the beginning and we are hoping the protest will result in positive developments. However, we are prepared for any action if this does not bear fruit,’’ he added.


Voters get last chance for I-cards
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Sept 7 — A last chance has been given to those residents of the town who have yet to get their voter’s identity cards made.

Municipal Council employees have begun a house a house-to-house exercise in this connection and have been giving slips to those persons actually residing in the town and whose names figure in the voter’s list but have not got their I-cards prepared. The slips are to be presented at the council office where these voters will be photographed for making the I-cards.

The SDM, Mr Jaipal Singh, said if the persons given the slips do not get themselves photographed by September 20, their names will be deleted from the voter’s list.


Man arrested with fake driving licence
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 — The police has arrested a resident of Ludhiana on the charge of possessing a fake driving licence.

According to police sources, Sarabjit Singh was arrested when a forged licence was recovered from him. The licence was in the name of his brother, Balwant Singh, but the accused had affixed his photo over the document. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC has been registered.

Money stolen from car
Mr Rajnish Gupta, a resident of Shivalik Vihar, Panchkula, reported that a sum of Rs 1. 25 lakh had been stolen from his car which was parked in Sector 7. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Car stolen
Mr Raj Kumar of Sector 40 reported that his car, CHOIV 3171, was stolen from his residence. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


2-year RI for bus conductor
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 7 - Kashmir Singh of Gurdaspur was today sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment by the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class) for discrepancy in tickets sales.

The complainants a traffic manager, alleged that the accused, a bus conductor with Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation, was responsible for the discrepancy in the ticket sales. The case had been registered against the accused under Sections 405, 467, 468 and 471 of Indian Penal Code on November 15, 1993, in the Economic Offence Wing.

The counsel for the accused argued that the accused had committed the mistake for the first time. He was the only source of income for his family and deserved lenient view. The judge observed that accused had committed serious crime and could not deserve leniency.

Remanded for cheating
Sarbjit Singh of Ludhiana was remanded in police custody by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash, till September 10 in a cheating case. The accused, a truck driver, had been arrested by the police under Sections 420 and 417 of the Indian Penal Code on September 6, with the help of information that the accused was carrying a fake licence of truck number PB-10C-9611. During the interrogation, it was also revealed that the accused was involved in fake licence business.

Petition dismissed
The UT Civil Judge (Junior Division) dismissed the petition against the Director of Central Forensic Science Laboratory of Chandigarh. The Lawyer for Social Reform had challenged the award given to the Director, Mr R S Verma of CFSC in 1999 by the Union Government for his contribution to forensic science research.

The association had alleged that the Director did not deserve the award and the award given to him was null and void. It requested a CBI inquiry in this case. The judge observed that the petition had not been filed on the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court.


Traditional itr losing charm

THE fragrance of fresh roses fills the air as rose water is sprinkled on the guests at a reception. On a summer evening, a swab of jasmine or khus lifts your spirits despite the oppressive heat. Time was when perfume drawn from flowers known as itr was in fashion with the aristocracy, and was in great demand. itr-makers, known as “attar”, took pride in their skill and had special processes of distilling Itr from different flowers for use in different seasons. “kastoori” was for winter and “khus” for summer.

But in the present environment, when a variety of synthetic perfumes and deodorants have hit the market, itr, distilled from flowers, has practically vanished from the market. Today you can find only one itr merchant in Chandigarh and he too complains of dwindling sales. Gurbachan Singh, who runs his establishment in Sector 27, says his business in itr has fallen almost 90 per cent in the past few years and the decline continues. Branded perfumes have pushed the traditional itr out of the reckoning. Price is also a factor. Traditionally distilled itr costs a good deal. The price varies from Rs 150 per 10 grams to Rs 4000-6000. The demand is confined to ceremonial occasions for which rose itr is mostly in demand. Synthetic deodorants, on the other hand, are sold for Rs 40 to Rs 200 per vial. Perfumes, no doubt, cost more. Another disadvantage of the itr is that being oily, it leaves a stain on the clothes. It has to be applied on the skin.

According to Mr Gurbachan Singh, the commonest varieties of itr are rose, jasmine, sandal, musk, heena, nargis and mogra. Distilling itr is a specialised job, the secrets of which are held by traditional “attar” families.

Some medicinal qualities are also attributed to itr. “Itr-e-khaki”, drawn from mud, is believed to be useful for nose-bleeding. Jasmine is used mostly as a cosmetic, but is said to be useful in treating certain skin ailments. Heena itr is used as a body coolant.

Mr Gurbachan Singh also complains of the presence of spurious itr in the market. They spoil the reputation of the real stuff. In their pure form, he maintains, the itr have a soothing effect on the mind and keep the nerves relaxed.

— Poonam Katial

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |