Wednesday, September 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 Admn to seek early hearing in SC
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — The Chandigarh Administration will be seeking an early hearing in the Supreme Court on the issue of helmets to be worn by women two-wheeler riders, sources said here today.

Meanwhile today also, no official directions to stop challaning were issued by the Administration on the issue. The Chandigarh Police had started to challan women two-wheeler riders for driving without helmets. Several Sikh religious bodies have raised the issue, saying it was against the tenets of the Sikhism to wear a helmet.

The idea to seek an early hearing from the Supreme Court was arrived at after several high-level meetings of Chandigarh Administration officials yesterday. This seems to be the only way out said an official, adding that no directions can be issued on the issue as no stay had been granted by the Supreme Court when the Administration appealed against the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In 1998 a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued directions making helmets compulsory for all men and women two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders. Subsequently, the matter went to the Supreme Court which stayed certain points of the High Court directions. This did not include the aspect of helmets for two-wheeler riders.Back


Make sure your helmet is safe

A lot has been reported on whether a helmet is necessary or not while driving a two-wheeler with people arguing that the State has no business to pass laws on the issue. In the wake of the recent directives from the Punjab and Haryana High Court making it mandatory to use a helmets, the sale of helmets has picked. A helmet is not just a decorative headgear but is meant to be a protect in against injuries in the case of a road mishap. Unfortunately, state governments have not been able to control the quality of helmets sold, thus defeating their purpose.

Helmets must come with a quality certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the only way to ensure that they conform to the laid-down safety standards.

A safe helmet should have a hard outer shell and additional material like protective padding to absorb impact. The shell should have an outer surface with a smooth finish and it should not be specially reinforced at any point. The shape of the helmet should be in the form of a continuous convex curve with no visible discontinuities in its curvature.

One of the most important featured of a good helmet is that it should have a minimum of 10 mm thick layer of protective padding of polystyrene or thermocole to effectively reduce the force of the impact during an accident. The sponge provided in most of the helmets being sold in the market these days cannot take the impact of a fall.

Ventilation too should be provided in a helmet for the comfort of the rider. Materials known to cause skin trouble should not be used for those parts of the helmet in the helmet into contact with the skin.

Retention system is the means by which the helmet is maintained in position on the head. The head band should be wellcushioned by means of not less than 10 mm thick continuous corrugated sponge rubber. The chin strap should be strong and not snap under pressure. According to the BIS specification, it should be at least 19 mm wide and have a fastening devide to adjust and maintain tension. The chin-up should not be fitted on the chin strap.

BIS requires that each helmet should be clearly marked with the following information on the inside of the shell: the manufacturer’s name or trade mark, the size, the mass of helmet to the nearest 20 gm, and the year of manufacture. The helmets with the BIS mark are subjected to stringent tests like shock absorption, strength of the retention system, rigidity and audibility tests (to ensure required level of sound) before they are sent in the market.

Three helmets are tested simultaneously for shock-absorption after subjecting these to different conditions like exposure to sun, extremes of temperatures and rain. Then a rectangular striker weighing 5 kg is dropped from a height of 2 metres. The transmitted force should not exceed 2,000 kg and the shell should remain intact with no cracks.

In addition, there are many more stringent tests conducted on helmets by the manufacturers to ensure that they meet the BIS requirements before they apply for the BIS mark.

Road accidents are on the rise in Chandigarh and there is every possibility that fatalities in these accidents are due to head injuries. There is an urgent need to make it mandatory for the two-wheeler riders to wear BIS marked helmets irrespective of sex or religion. It is strange why two-wheeler riders should wait for the State to impose a law about their own safety. The State also suffers from the consequences of unsafe driving in the form of bearing treatment expenses and paying insurance claims.Back
— Ranuka B.Salwan



Largesse in the name of rehabilitation
Encroachers may get plots for a song
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — Once again the Chandigarh Administration is on a uncalled-for populist spree to dole out largesse. This time crores of rupees are being spent to rehabliatate more than 450 unauthorised marble and furniture shop owners who have encroached upon valuable public land in the city.

Instead of evicting these people from the occupation of prime land, the Administration will be spending tax-payers' money to rehabilitate the shopkeepers who are said to be backed by political parties. Rehabilitation means allotment of plots at throway prices which could be easily termed as almost free going by the markets rates of land in the city.

This softer option is virtually in line with the policies followed so far to rehabilitate all encroachers, be it jhuggi dwellers or rehriwallahs. In both cases plots or booths have been doled out.

Almost 83 acres are being acquired in Palsora village located just south-west of Sector 39 to relocate these shop owners. Marble and granite sellers are running unauthorised shops along the road just south of Sectors 44 and 43 while furniture shops are located on the road just south of Sectors 41 and 42. Just to acquire these 83 acres approximately Rs 13 crore will be spent at the present acquisition rates of almost Rs 15 lakh per acre.

And had this land been sold by the Administration on its control rates the revenue would have crossed Rs 50 crore, going by a simple calculation of Rs 1,500 per square yard. This is the average rate of allotment calculated on the basis of rate slabs prevailing for various segments of allotments for institutions, societies and religious bodies.

Interestingly, the Administration will also be paying several lakhs per acre to acquire the land already encroached upon by these shop owners who cannot be termed as poor and helpless by any yardstick, a source said. This money used for acquiring the present sites will go to the landlords who have been collecting rent from these marble and furniture owners for the past eight to 10 years.

Besides this, most shops in the marble and furniture markets are in direct competition with traders who have paid heavily to buy showrooms in Sectors 34, 7 or 26 for furniture shops, while marble dealers are based all over the city. And when marble dealers of Chandigarh virtually boycotted the auction of bulk market sites in the neighbouring S.A.S. Nagar in August-end it just showed that a rehabilitation scheme was under way for the encroachers. So while PUDA has managed to auction sites behind Phase XI, the Chandigarh Administration is giving some of the most expensive pieces of real estate for a song and that to after spending crores in acquiring it.

So far the rate of allotment of plots have not been fixed but it is going to be easily affordable, sources said. The rate cannot be higher as this is being touted as a rehabilitation scheme and market rates or even rates close to those will not be slapped.Back


Unauthorised structures removed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — In an anti-encroachment drive, the Enforcement Wing of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today removed a number of unauthorised tin sheds, stairs, concrete structures and material dumped on the municipal land.

In addition to this, the road berms were levelled after being cleared of the encroachments. The material was transported from the sites during the drive, which started around 9.30 a.m. and continued for over five hours.

More than 40 personnel carried out the drive with the help of two bulldozers and at least eight trucks and tractor-trailers under the overall supervision of the Assistant Commissioner-II and Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar.

The other officials, who were present, included, Mr S.K. Chadha, Mr Mukesh Anand and Mr Raghbir Singh, all Executive Engineers, Dr S.S. Cheema, Medical Officer of Health, and Mr Kashmira Singh, Inspector (Enforcement).Back


Sunil Jaitley to be Hony. Ambassador
By Binny Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — By acting as a representative in the White House, he worked hard to strengthen Indo-US relations in the past few years. And on September 14, in the presence of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Dr Sunil Jaitley will become the first Indian to be conferred the award of Honorary Ambassador by US President Bill Clinton in Washington DC for his philanthropic work.

Dr Jaitely has already been given awards like the Jewel of India, presented by Mr I.K. Gujral in September, 1997, and the India for World Peace Award, presented by Vice-President Al Gore in September, 1998.

Dr Jaitely was in the city for two days and shared some interesting thoughts with The Tribune.

Settled in the USA for the past 32 years, Dr Jaitley thinks that his biggest achievement is his credibility in the Indian-American community. Therefore, he is the president of both the Indian-American National Committee and the Indian Alliance for the Advancement of Indian Americans. He is also a trustee of the New Jersey State Democratic Party and was a member of the National Steering Committee at the time of the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1996.

He remembers that he started his business with small polyclinics and now he owns nine Medical Health Centres in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Also his interest in the aviation industry paid off and now he owns 14 jets for cargo business plus airports by the name of Dr Jaitley and Associates.

Regarding the increasing craze among Indian youngsters to go to the USA, he says, “I think let every Indian go wherever he wants to in this world. The financial conditions and exposure to new techniques abroad will obviously influence his mind. But a true Indian will never get mental peace as every place in this world lacks rich culture, as in India. And one day a true Indian will like to come back. So we are not losers in any way. Even I tried to visit India at least once a year.”

Mr Arun Jaitley is in politics from his family. He, however, does not show any interest in political life. “Certainly not. I do not want to be part of any political game. I will never accept any public office even if I get a chance. Being a trustee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in America I voted both times for Mr Billl Clinton and I had enough chance to take up public office, but I was never interested,” he says.

He had spent 32 years in the USA but came back to India with some plans. “My soul has always been in India and throughout my life I wanted to do something for my country. I am planning to open educational centres and healthcare centres for everyone, where even the underprivileged can go, just like in the UK or Canada.Back


Traffic lights functioning erratic
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 12 — It was 8 p.m. on last Monday. A speeding car was coming from the Sohana side and on seeing the Phase 9 traffic lights near the PCA stadium to be non-functional, the driver of the vehicle did not stop. He ignored a vehicle coming from another side towards the intersection. Seconds later there was a bang, as the two vehicles collided but fortunately no one was hurt.

On last Friday, the traffic lights at the Frenco intersection in Phase 2 were out of order after a vehicle rammed into it. There was chaos as vehicles from all sides tried to wade through the rush and in the ensuing moment an old man riding a moped was injured after being hit by a scooterist. These are not two isolated incidents.

In fact such road mishaps, including some fatal ones, take place daily on the roads of the town, especially at the traffic lights. A survey of the town revealed that of the 15 traffic lights, at least four lights at the main road intersections, were out of order due to different reasons. Officials of the council blamed the Telecom Department for digging trenches without proper planning. Citing a case, they say the traffic lights near the PCA stadium went out of order after the power supply to the traffic lights was damaged by a contractor engaged by the Telecom Department to lay telephone cables. Another traffic light at the Kumbra intersection also went out order after being hit by a speeding vehicle.

In another case the traffic lights at the intersection of Phase 1 and 2 were out of order after a truck rammed into them. A private company engaged by the SAS Nagar Municipal Council for the maintenance of the lights had to be called each time there was some problem with them. Another traffic light at the intersection of Phase 3 and 5 was out of order after the underground cable to it was burnt. The council officials say that the fault only came to light when the damaged cables came in contact with the rain water.

Enquiries reveal that most of the traffic lights are three to five years old and some of them had poor illumination and the drivers often mistook them for being non-functional. To solve the problem new traffic lights with more powerful illumination were being installed.

Shortage of staff with the traffic wing of the local police also adds to problem of poor traffic management. A cop said the purpose of challaning the drivers who jump the traffic lights wasted when the traffic lights were non-functional. Council officials say that they regularly monitor the traffic lights and in case of some problem the persons concerned are immediately informed. Besides, the council was also planning to install traffic lights at some of the other busy intersections.Back


Book Ranjit Bajaj, orders IGP
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — UT IGP B.S. Bassi has ordered registration of a case of criminal intimidation against Ranjit Bajaj for threatening a senior reporter of a local vernacular daily here this evening. Directions have also been given for moving the court for revoking the bail granted to him in earlier cases.

A case under Section 506 of the IPC has been registered at the North police station. The accused is a son of senior Punjab IAS couple B.R. Bajaj and Rupan Deol Bajaj.

Interestingly, Ranjit is said to have called up the complainant on his mobile phone while the latter was sitting in the press room at UT Police Headquarters and threatened him to be prepared to face the consequences for writing stories against him. Following this, the complainant accompanied by other reporters approached the IG who ordered registration of a case.

In the present episode, Ranjit’s version is that he was standing in the porch of his house when certain persons in a car allegedly honked the horn of their car in front of house late Sunday night. He followed the vehicle in his car and somehow managed to corner them near the Sector 22 and 23 traffic lights.

As one of the occupants fled the spot, he brought the car to his residence and informed the police. However, he claims he did not see two Manipuri girls sitting in the back seat of the car when the police came to retrieve the vehicle.

On the other hand, Sandeep, the complainant in the case, maintains that he fled after certain youths in a car with tinted glasses followed him and shouted abuses at him. He tried to dodge them but they managed to overtake him near the Sector 22 traffic lights. As he came out to enquire about their grouse, they, Ranjit and Booby, beat him up and drove away in his car.

He reported the matter to the cops, but claims that instead of supporting him, the cops allegedly booked him for drunken driving. The accused was yet to be arrested till the time of filing this report.Back


Petroleum demand declines in UT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — Demand for petroleum in the UT has witnessed a decline between thirty to as high as seventy per cent within a short span of three weeks. The dealers say that the demand is expected to decline even further when the national prices go up as has been indicated by the Union Petroleum Minister .While the dealers in the UT are already suffering losses due to a major shift in demand to Panchkula and Mohali where prices are lower, disparity in prices in the region is expected to widen in the coming days, thereby further contributing to the losses.

According to the sources, the revenue decline following the administration’s decision of hike in sales tax, has been nearly fifty per cent. “Revenue has substantially declined. Tax paid by us is much more than that in Mohali and Panchkula. Since the gap in price between the UT and these areas is substantial, consumers prefer to buy petrol from these areas. Now with the recent indication of a further hike, the UT consumer and dealers are expected to be the worse hit “, says Mr Amanpreet Singh , General Secretary, Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association.

And, it is the petrol pumps in the periphery where a major reduction in the demand has been recorded. “Earlier, I used to sell around 11,000 litres a day ,but the sale now does not even cross 7,000 litres each day”, says Mr Amanpreet who is the owner of the Sukhna petrol pump.

While the basic price remains the same, a hike would further widen the disparity in the prices between the UT as compared to Mohali and Panchkula.The consumer in UT is already paying the highest price for petroleum as compared to his brethren in Punjab and Haryana.

Dealers here have to pay additional tax on several accounts. One they have to import petrol from the depots in Ambala and second the Administration has also imposed several additional taxes.

At present, the difference in petrol price in the UT and Panchkula is Rs 1.63 which the dealers apprehend would widen further. Demand for diesel, however, in the area is stable.Back


French week to showcase great scientific researches
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — With a view to promoting the culture of science, Alliance Francaise de Chandigarh is organising a science week from September 18 in collaboration with the French Embassy. The show will host programmes based on popular science and their significant feature is that it has been designed with non-specialists and students in mind, apart from those directly related to science.

The French Embassy is also planning to take a leap forward with the organisation of French Science Action in 14 major cities of the country from October 18 to 28. This programme will feature 24 lectures by eminent guests in these cities. The event will also feature six documentaries produced by famous names in the field of science and further it will invite the public to get a comprehensive view of the French research by way of posters and photographs.

The idea behind organising this event is that the French Embassy aims to share the great research potential of France which produced geniuses like Marie Curie and Louis Pasteur. It may be mentioned here that many French scientists have bagged Nobel prizes, namely De Gennes (Nobel prize for Physics in 1991) and Charpak (Nobel prize for Physics in 1992).

Main events of the science week will be: a lecture in English by Dr Serge Laroche, renowned French scientist, who is coming from France to deliver the lecture and discuss the film Music in Mind. Dr Serge, currently working as Head, Laboratory of Neurobiology of Learning, Memory and Communication. The scientist is working on the study of learning and memory processes and their neuronal substrate.

Another event will be an exhibition on Radioactivity which will be on show during working hours of the gallery. The aim of the exhibition, as informed by the Director, Alliance Francaise, is to spread awareness about elements of scientific and technical culture among the audience. A booklet will also be given to each visitor of this exhibition.

The latter part of the show will be devoted entirely to the screening of relevant movies every evening at 6.30 pm on the gallery premises. And all the below-mentioned films will be shown with English subtitles. The movies to be screened are:

Virus Hunters (September 18): It is about the tracking down of the most virulent of pathogens, the Ebola virus by a team of scientists.

Music in the Mind (September 19): The film will be explained by the attending lecturer Dr Serge Laroche. The film uses a series of original images to show how the mechanism of the brain is effected during a session of violin.

Quasiscrystalor, the forbidden Pentagon (September 20): shows the genesis of the quasicrystal and helps in understanding its industrial application.

Forbidden jungle of India (September 21): is about the life of the aborigins of the jungles in Orissa and about various questions concerning their future.

Infinite Curve (September 22): It is about space and its scientific explanations.

Tropical Forest (September 23): It explains the richness of a tropical evergreen forest.Back


Seminar on fire safety
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — A seminar on fire safety and surveillance was organised by Global Scientific Service Company (Safety Division) here today.

While inaugurating the seminar, Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC), emphasised the use and awareness of preventive measures in the fire safety and surveillance systems. The Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa, informed about the direct and indirect losses caused due to negligence.

Delegates from the companies, which displayed their state-of-the-art fire-fighting and surveillance equipment, gave presentations to over 200 delegates with a view to solving the fire-related problems of the industrial and government organisations.

Mr S.K. Suri, a safety consultant, who conducted the seminar, proposed a vote of thanks.

Meanwhile, the exhibition put up on the occasion evoked a good response from the over 200 delegates. The latest products displayed at the exhibition included insulated wooden fire and smoke check door of 60 minutes fire rating, fully insulated steel fire proof door of 120 minutes fire rating, cable guards, flame-proof canvas, fire retardant anti-bacterial paints, fire-rated glass and fire-rated electric cable ducts.

The fire-rated glass, latest communication fire prevention and safety gadgets, fire-rated ceiling and roofs, fire stop systems such as penetration seal, fire pillows and fire collars and fire-rated ventilation, smoke extraction and kitchen extract ducts were also displayed.Back


More facts on '84 riots sought'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — Mr Inderjit Singh Jaijee, convener of the Movement Against State Repression has urged the Justice Nanavati Commission of inquiry to ask the administrations of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal to furnish correct informations regarding the number of Sikhs killed in these states during the 1984 riots, the amount of compensation paid to the families of those killed and the action taken against the offenders. In a memorandum submitted to the commission on August 30, it also urged the commission to institute an inquiry by the CBI into the killing in Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.Back


Gen Malik gets send-off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12—The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen VP Malik, who was on a two-day farewell visit to Western Command, was given a guard of honour before his departure to New Delhi at the airport this evening. The guard of honour was presented by the 13th battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry. General Malik is a Honorary Colonel of this regiment. The CO of the battalion, Col N. Venugopal, led the contingent presenting the guard of honour. General Malik and his wife, Dr Ranjana Malik, were given a warm send-off by the Western Army Commander, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberai, and Mrs Daulat Oberai and senior Indian Air Force and the Army officers.Back


Jacob invited to IT meeting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), has been invited to participate in a meeting hosted by Mr Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft. More than 14 Chief Ministers and top IT officials are expected to participate in the meeting scheduled to be held in Delhi on September 14.Back


Roopali offered job
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — Reacting to a news report in The Tribune, the President of Chandigarh Club, Mr Chaman Lal Sharma, today offered job to Roopali Suresh Jadav, daughter of a Kargil martyr who was allegedly abandoned by her relatives. Offering her a job in the club library, Mr Sharma said the same would be on the permanent basis.Back



Home gardening tips

*One flower that illuminates the garden in winter at a time when even winter annuals momentarily suspend growth is chrysanthemum. This flower with an astonishing range of types and colours is the fancy of the gardeners.

*If you want quality blooms in chrysanthemum and most importantly at a specific time, make sure the pots are kept at a place where these get the maximum sun.

*In case you intend to participate in a chrysanthemum show, make sure that you observe the following tips that will give you an edge over others.

*See that there is no spot on the leaves as the leaf spot disease causes premature defoliation. There appear yellowish spots on leaves that later become brown to black. Such spots join together and form irregular blotches.

*Spray Dithane M-45 2 gm to a litre of water at 10 to 15 days' interval.

*You feel you are not getting the desirable result, be more particular in spraying the lower leaves more thoroughly than the upper ones. Lower leaves lost in the pot means loss of chances to compete.

*Most of the time you lose marks even when you feel you have the desirable kind of the bloom is due the presence of black aphids infesting the folds of the bloom. Get rid of them.

*Spray rogor or metasystox at 1 mm to a litre of water and repeat after 10 to 15 days. You may also find such insects on the growing terminals of the plant before bloom or appearance of the buds.

*Do not give a support to the plant that touches the growing bud on one side. You will end up getting a bloom that is lop sided. — Satish NarulaBack


60 saplings planted
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Sept 12 — As many as 60 saplings of different species of plants were planted by NSS volunteers of Government High School here today. Besides school students, Mr S.S. Sidhu, SDM, Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, President, Municipal Council, Ms Balbir Kaur, Principal of the school, Mr Bhupinder Singh Saini, Chairman of all the Roteract Clubs of RI District, 3090, and other prominent persons were also present.Back


Pragati puruskar yojna
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept 12 — Mr Sampat Singh, Finance Minister of Haryana, stressed on investing in small scale investments while addressing a function after taking out the 30th draw of the Haryana Pragati Puruskar Yojna here today. Jind district got the first prize of a car (E-435688), Ambala and Karnal districts were declared the second and third winners and got .5 kg of gold (B-576089) and one tractor (B-379341), respectively. Back


Mobile phone use while driving goes unchecked
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — In violation of the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the use of mobile phones while driving, City residents can be seen using swanky mobiles in one hand and steering wheel in the other.

Despite the claims of the Chandigarh Police that 200 motorists, have been fined during the past nine months for the violation of laws in this connection, the menace continues unabated. Cops say they will crack down on the phone users. “The incidents are on the rise in the city and we are trying our best to tackle the menace,” say the officials.

Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, it may be recalled, had ruled that the use of mobile phones while driving would not only make them liable to be challaned, but also amount to committing contempt of court. The directions were passed while Mr Justice Kumar was taking up the traffic regulation and pollution control case.

The orders assume significance as the number of accident cases has gone up not only in the city but all over the world. In a survey carried out in Japan, a couple of years ago, it was concluded that of the total number of 2297 accidents in a particular year, 50 per cent were in one way or the other related to mobile phone users while driving.

In these accidents, 25 persons were killed and more than 300 seriously injured.

The survey further reveals that 27.6 per cent of these accidents took place while drivers were trying to answer the phone. 16.4 per cent of these drivers, met with an accident while trying to answer their calls. They all had smashed their car into the vehicle ahead.

In the city, on any given day, many persons can be seen driving, flamboyantly holding mobile phones. Rohit Sharma, a young advocate with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, like claims to use his phone judiciously. “I never answer my mobile phone while driving.”

The fact is that a mobile phone, as far as India is concerned, is still a new concept of technological advancement. The resultant problems of this have also arisen accordingly. The basic factor is the awareness about safety, which can’t be forced and has to be understood. “People have to realise that mobile phone is an important communication device and not something to show off”, says Rohit Sharma.

Dr Sohinder Jit Singh, an orthodontist, agrees. “I have a mobile and admit that I have attempted driving while holding it in my hand. However, I know it is dangerous for my safety as well as that of others on the road. Using one while driving does divert your attention.”

Amrinder Mann , a lecturer in the DAV College, adds that it is for the individuals to realise what is good for the safety. “I believe in using the hands-free device while driving. Mobiles are a wonderful way of remaining in touch with the world but this can be done judiciously,” he adds.

The handsets have become essential part of lives of businessmen. Businessmen like Parminder Singh belive that a mobile phone has become a necessity. Parminder is dealing in audio video aids and projectors. As a result, he gets about 25 to 30 calls a day. “These are besides the calls that I make from my cell. But for me and my business, cell phone is a necessity I cannot do without. I do take care to pull on the side of the road and then listen to the incoming call but this is more for the sake of my business than anything else. As while driving there is disturbance in the signal and for me clear communication is most essential.”

Harjinder Singh, also a businessman, agrees. “I am not aware of the fact that I could be issued a challan while driving. In any case, I am a businessman and for me it is essential to be in touch with my clients. After all, a call can be worth thousands, even more. Anil Gupta says something quite similar. He uses a mobile while driving. “May be because I have never been issued a challan by the police,” he adds.

Gurpreet Singh, a student of Panjab University, is aware that he could be issued a challan. He parks his car on the side of the road every time he receives a call. “It is for my safety and that of others on the road” Like many, he has tried driving while holding a mobile in hand but realises It is a hazard, which also interferes in concentration.

Jatinder Jeet Singh, a lab technician in the PGI agrees. “I use my mobile only after stopping the car on a side. Besides, I have a handset device which I use while driving. But I must admit that I used to attend calls on my mobile while driving which I have stopped now.”

Hands-free devices are quite useful while driving. Preeti Verma, a Public Relation Officer, with the Spice Telecom, says, “We always advise our customers that they should never use a mobile while driving. It is very dangerous to do so because it diverts the attention of the driver. There is a correct time and place for using the handset and driving a car is certainly not the time nor the place for it. There are various companies using handset devices for use in the cars. Besides our company has also started a voice mail service essentially keeping this very factor in mind, “ she adds.Back


Woman booked for selling charas
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 12 — The local police today arrested a 35-year-old woman for selling charas in Madanpur village here today. According to information available, the woman was running a grocery shop in the village and was using it as a point for selling the contraband.

Acting on a tip-off, a police party led by the SHO, Phase 8 police station, Mr Pritam Singh, raided the shop and seized 10 gm of charas. The woman was getting the supplies from Chandigarh. Involvement of a constable of the Punjab police who has been suspended after being absent from the duty for long, is being probed by the police. The woman has been booked under the NDPS Act. Back


Woman commits suicide
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept 12 — The Mother of a daughter, Ms Pushp Lata, a resident of Sector 12-A, reportedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance on Monday evening. Police sources said that the deceased had been married to Mr Harinder Singh who is working with the Government Press and had a two-and-a-half-year old daughter. The body has been sent to the local Government Hospital for postmortem examinations. A case under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.Back


Traders criticise penalties
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 12 — The recent announcements of the Chandigarh Administration regarding various penalties for building violations has not served any purpose. The basic need that traders, who have been occupying shops in the main Sector 17 shopping centre, should not be evicted, said a press release of the Traders Association, Sector 17, here today.

If traders are evicted then all arrangements like fixation of computation fee for compounding building violations will be useless, the association has alleged.

In the amendments of building byelaws, the interests of tenants have been ignored. The landlords stand to gain as they will not pay the compounding fee but opt for getting their buildings sealed for building violations.Back

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