Thursday, October 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Builders make Shimla unsafe


CAMP INAUGURATED: The annual training camp for the junior and senior division of the NCC was formally inaugurated by Lieut-Col Mukul Dobhal, Commanding Officer, 11 Punjab NCC Battalion, Amritsar, being held at Sri Guru Angad Dev College, Khadoor Sahib.

AGRICULTURE: The central government should frame a new agriculture policy improve the economic condition of the farmers, stated Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, while taking to media persons here yesterday. The Central government fixed unflexible terms for paddy procurement resulting in piling up of the stock. He said that the Punjab government had issued strict instructions to procurement agencies to purchase paddy, along with 10 per cent damaged stock. The minister criticised the Lopsided due to which a large number of godowns were flooded with grains. While the flood affected and drought-hit people suffered. He blamed the Rao government for filling the balance by making agreements with World Trade Organisation. He said the Markfed would as well as the Food and Supply department and FCI would procure paddy. He also distributed cheques worth Rs 83,000 to seven thrasher victims, who lost their limbs in different accidents.

CAMP CONCLUDES: A 10-day NCC camp organised by the 12 Punjab NCC Battalion here concluded at the local DAV College on Tuesday. Camp Commander Lieut-Col Tejpal Singh said 600 senior and junior cadets from Hoshiarpur participated in the camp.

YOGA CAMP: A 15-day free yoga-cum-meditation camp will be organised at Ludhiana Acupuncture Medical College, Salem Tabri, from October 9 with the help of the Sidh Samadhi Yoga, Hyderabad. Mr Krishan Kant of the Sidh Samadhi Yoga will give a lecture on the camp on October 8 on the college campus. Dr Inderjit Singh Dhingra, Principal of the college, informed that the camp would be held between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. daily. According to Dr Rajinder Singh, Director of the college, many diseases like tension, blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, obesity, gastric could be treated with yoga along with acupuncture. 

RELIEF: As many as 51 widows in the city were given relief in the form of ration and other items of daily use at the 12th widow pension distribution programme held at the Shri Dandi Swami Tapowan Ashram by the Dhanda Charitable Trust. Mr Sohal Lal Dhanda, Chairman of the trust, said people should voluntarily come forward and serve for this noble cause. 

POWER CHARGES: Mr G.L. Pahwa and Mr D.S. Chawla, President and Senior Vice-President of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, have welcomed the Punjab Government's decision to decrease the minimum electricity charges. Mr Pahwa urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board if the rate could be decreased to Rs 90 instead of Rs 100 for small-scale industries to give some more relief to SSI units which had been passing through a crucial time.

PAEDIATRIC QUIZ: Suhasini Gazula and Santosh George Thomas of the Christian Medical College and Hospital have won the north zone paediatric quiz conducted by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics recently. Dr Manorama Verma, Head of the Paediatric Department, in a press release informed that the IAP had been conducting the quiz for the past 13 years to generate interest in paediatric care and treatment among medical students.

PETROL PRICE: The Ludhiana Consumers Protection Forum has strongly reacted to the hike in the prices of kerosene, LPG, petrol and diesel. According to Mr S.S. Jogi, President of the forum, a meeting held on Tuesday urged the government to roll back the increase in prices of petroleum products because it were not only the prices of these products that would shoot up but the prices of all other essential commodities would soar and the consumers would be the sufferers. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has also criticised the increase in prices of petroleum products. The NCP General Secretary, Mr Amar Takkar, and the youth wing General Secretary, Mr Sanjay Sharma, have said in a statement that the price hike would upset the domestic budget of millions of households and would make it difficult for the economically weaker sections to make both ends meet.

BADAL FLAYED: The District Congress Committee (DCC) has alleged that the ruling party, headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, had played foul in the Sunam assembly byelection and the victory of the SAD candidate, Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, had been manipulated through gross misuse of power. The DCC President, Mr Surinder Dawar, said in a statement that the Chief Minister as also his ministerial colleagues had terrorised the voters and the directions of the Election Commission were flayed with impunity. The money power and muscle power had played a vital role in the byelection which the ruling combine wanted to win at all costs, Mr Dawar added in the statement released by the media in charge of the party, Mr Vinay Khurana. 

DENTAL CAMP: A free dental camp was organised by the Hakim Abdul Hamid Memorial Society at the local Islamia Girls Senior Secondary School here on Monday. As many as 800 students were examined by Dr Mohammed Shabbir, CMO at the local Civil Hospital. Mr Gurlavleen Singh Sidhu, SDM, inaugurated the camp.

DIED: Lakha Singh, a labourer, died after falling into a well which was under construction Bhekha village, under the Baghapurana police station, in this district on Tuesday. His body was sent for post-mortem.

DHARNA HELD: The district units of the Paramedical Coordination Committee Health Employees and the Multipurpose Health Employees Union staged a dharna in front of the office of the Civil Surgeon here on Tuesday in support of their demands.

MEDICAL CAMP: The Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Education Trust Dhahan Kaleran, organised a free medical camp at G.N.M. Hospital, Dhahan Kaleran, on Monday. As many as 1,145 patients were examined at the camp.

SEMINAR: The Department of Punjabi of Punjabi University, in collaboration with the Punjabi Akademi, Delhi, will organise a two-day national seminar on ‘The recent trends and new developments in the field of Punjabi literature, language and culture,’ on October 12 and 13. Dr Ashok Vajpayee, Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Delhi, and a renowned scholar, will deliver a keynote address, while Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, will deliver the inaugural address. Over 300 delegates from various academic institutes and universities are expected to participate in the seminar, as stated in a university press note. 

CAMP CONCLUDED: A 12-day combined annual NCC training camp organised by the 8 Punjab NCC Battalion concluded here on Wednesday under the command of Lieut Col R. C. Katoch. About 400 NCC cadets from various schools and colleges of Phagwara, Banga, Phillaur, Garhshankar and Nawanshahr participated.

EXAMINED: Over 400 patients were examined at a medical camp organised here on Wednesday by the Bharat Vikas Parishad, according to Mr B.D. Sharma, a Parishad leader.

VACCINATED: In a hepatitis-B camp organised here on Wednesday by the Phagwara City Junior Chamber 850 persons were given vaccination against hepatitis-B, according to Mukesh Chawla, a chamber activist.

DATE EXTENDED: The local SDM, Mr Pritam Singh, has extended the last date for getting the photo identity cards made till October 31 for the benefit of voters of the Phagwara Assembly Constituency.



DEMANDED: Employees of the electricity wing of the Engineering Department, Chandigarh, held a protest rally before the office of the Assistant Executive Engineer in Industrial Area, Phase-I on Wednesday. The protesters were demanding release of bonus for the year of 1997-98, 99 and 2000, grant of DA installment, filling of vacant posts in various departments of the UT Administration, regularisation of daily wagers and payment of DA, HRA and CCA to daily wagers as per Supreme Court’s judgement, informed Mr Bhag Mal Rana, General Secretary of the Federation 

SEMINAR: The Akhil Bhartiya Bharat Joro Sangathan will organise a one-day seminar on ‘‘Controlled Population - Good Sanitation and Best Environment’’ in collaboration with the North Zone Sanitary Inspectors Association on October 12 at PGIMER. Dr C.P. Thakur, Union Health Minister, Government of India, will be the chief guest. The seminar will be attended by delegates from the five northern states and from Chandigarh, said Mr K.K. Sharma, General Secretary of the Sangathan. 

THREATENED: The members of Chandigarh UT Subordinate Services Federation and Federation of UT Employees and Workers, Chandigarh, have given a notice to the Chandigarh Administration to release their bonus pending for the last three years before Divali, to stop privatisation of the electricity and the transport departments, and CITCO. They also threatened to observe a 4-hour strike on October 18. This was informed by Mr Sant Singh Saini, General Secretary of Chandigarh UT Subordinate Services Federation. 

BURNT: The Chandigarh District Youth Congress (Urban) has decided to burn the effigy of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpaee in protest against the price hike in petroleum products. Members of the Youth Congress also condemned the action of the Petroleum Minister for not consulting with the chief ministers of different states while taking the decision. Mr Gurmeet Sehgal, a former President of the Youth Congress, informed that the effigy would be burnt in the Sector 32 market tomorrow. 

BEST CADET: Mr Mahesh Partap Dhand, a student of BCA III of GGDSD College 32, has won the overall best cadet trophy during the Annual Training Camp-2000 which concluded here on Tuesday. The college also won the trophy for the best drill competition and the trophy for the best tent layout, informed the Principal of the college. 

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Resident Welfare Association (Kothies), Sector 46-D in Chandigarh: — President, Mr A.S. Sachdeva, Senior Vice-President, Mr N.N. Dandona, Vice-President, Mr D.R. Tandon, General Secretary, Mr S.L. Malhotra, Cashier; Mr G.S. Seal and Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Mukesh Kapoor and Mr Ashok Suri as Executive Members. 

AGITATION: The agitation of the old phari market association, Sector 22, Chandigarh entered the 10th day on Wednesday. In a press statement, Mr Pratap Singh President of the Association informed that Mr Deepak Gupta and Mr Dalip Singh who were on a hunger strike till death were taken to the hospital by the police as their deteriorating health started. 

CELEBRATED: The Sanatan Dhrama High School, Sector 24, and the Children’s Alliance for Protection of the Environment, celebrated Wildlife Day on Wednesday, by planting trees in the campus here. The school children led by Principal Mr Vishwa Bandhu planted 75 saplings of Mulseri, Kanak Champa and Sita Ashoka. Mr S.K. Sharma, President, Environment Society of India, told the children that by planting trees they were providing a natural habitat for birds. 

CAMP: The regional Save Grain Campaign Office, of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, organised a special stipendiary training course on modern methods of foodgrain storage, for Scheduled Tribes exclusively at Gurha Saraj village of district Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. As many as 50 farmers participated in the camp. The farmers were trained to take control measures for insects, rodents, birds, micro-organisms, so as to minimise losses. According to Dr S.R. Singla, Assistant Regional Director of the campaign, farmers of the area purchased metal bins which were paid by the department as stipend to the farmers. 

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Panchkula branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) — Patron, Dr Amrit Singhal; President, Dr A.C. Verma; Secretary, Dr Ravi Ghai and Treasurer, Dr Rajiv Kaura. 

COMPUTERISED: Efforts are on to computerise PUDA offices in the SAS Nagar zone. Ten computers have already been installed in the Estate Office and five in the divisional offices. The Estate Officer, Mr G.S. Ghuman, said today that 40 PUDA staff members, including officers, were attending training classes every day at the Centre for Electronics Design and Technology of India here. Each person would undergo 40 hours of training in computers. He said computerisation would be done in stages and hoped that within three months, the zonal offices here would be fully computerised. 



LOK ADALAT: As many as 521 cases were disposed of at a lok adalat held here on Tuesday. It was chaired by the District and Sessions Judge, Mr Pritam Pal. The adalat ordered a compensation of Rs 29.35 lakh to the complainants in 34 cases of road accidents.

SEWING MACHINES: The Deputy Commissioner, Dr Mahavir Singh, distributed 94 sewing machines to girls belonging to the Scheduled Castes at a function organised here on Tuesday as part of the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations. The District Red Cross Society would solemnise the marriage of poor girls on October 29, he said.

“WORLD SIGHT DAY”: “World sight day” is being observed on October 10 to find out the refractive error in school children in the age group of 10 to 14 years. This programme is being organised by the National Programme for Control of Blindness.

WAREHOUSES: The Haryana Warehousing Corporation will spend Rs 32 crore on the construction of new warehouses in the state this year. This information was given by the chairman of the Corporation, Mr Niranjan Lal Bansal, here on Wednesday.

ARRESTED: Hansa Singh of Rori village was arrested here on Wednesday for killing his wife. The complaint was lodged by his son Ram Singh.

PROTEST: The Haryana State Chemists and Druggists Association has decided to join the All-India bandh on Thursday in protest against the non-fulfillment of its demands which include the fixing of the maximum retail price for drugs, inclusive of all taxes.

KILLED: A cyclist was killed when he was hit by a Maruti car near Garh Mirakhpur police post, 15 km from here, on Tuesday. A case has been registered in this connection.

BURGLED: Some thieves reportedly broke into the offices of two companies at Gohana town, 35 km from here, on Tuesday and escaped with the cash amounting to Rs 1 lakh and other documents. No arrests have been made so far.


SENTENCED: The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghumarvin, Mr R.K. Sharma, has sentenced a shopkeeper of Niun-Nalti village to six months’ imprisonment and has imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him for selling adulterated “saboot mash”. He also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the Gram Seva Sehkari Sabha, Samoh, for selling adulterated “Shakkar”and Rs 2,000 for selling it without a licence.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Kangra Central Cooperative Bank Limited Karamchari Sangathan: president — Mr S.K. Goyal; and general secretary — Mr Ashwani Dixit.

SALE OF CRACKERS: The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Kaushal, has asked shopkeepers to obtain licences for the sale of crackers before October 21, he has also advised them to take adequate safety measures.

Regional Potpourri

Builders make Shimla unsafe

Shimla is becoming more and more congested day by day. A large number of people are coming here from the adjoining districts as well as other states in search of work, of which there is no dearth.

The plethora of construction projects, both private as well as government, have a lot of scope for casual labour. Every builder needs workers, both skilled and unskilled. Thus builders and newcomers waste no time in getting to know one another and start working. In the olden days the builders used to provide reasonably good lumber huts for their workforce. Today’s builders, however, provide no housing for labour. The latter have to make ad-hoc arrangements for their stay. They set up slums and shanties and make the town unhygienic.

The crafty newcomers among the labourers soon encroached upon forests for raising temporary “dhara” (shelters) for themselves. In due course they converted these temporary shelters into permanent cement hutments. The authorities concerned with checking such illegal encroachments and haphazard construction appear to be looking the other way. The fouling of this regal town goes on with impunity.

The owners of new plots as well as old builders also appear to be trying to raise more storeys than the geological strength of the site can bear. Some owners of such multistorey structures appear to be even greedier and dig below the old foundations to make new additions like garage for a car or two. Hoteliers along Cart Road are seen resorting to such constructions unchecked (see photo).

About a decade back a newly-built house had collapsed in the Fingask area because its base had been dug up below the foundation level. Some Shimlaites appear to have forgotten the heavy toll of life the collapse of Fingask House had taken. The most unfortunate part is that the people are resorting to this kind of digging at the foundation during the rainy season itself, forgetting that the sub-strata, saturated with water, is far more dangerous.

It is, therefore, desirable that local residents abhor greediness and avoid digging up the ground below the foundation in an attempt to enlarge accommodation.

Taking up the slum kids’ cause

Where several literacy campaigns and non-formal education programmes initiated by the government at various times have proved flops, a non-government organisation in Fatehabad, Sewa Bharati, has been doing yeoman service in educating the children of poor slum dwellers. The NGO has been successfully running three primary schools in slums where children of slum dwellers, rag-pickers and vagabonds have been getting education for the past five years.

This correspondent visited three schools run by Sewa Bharati situated at Bhuna Road, Ashok Nagar and Hans Colony. The schools presented a distinctive look to visitors. Though housed in kutcha buildings, under temporary sheds or under peepul trees, the students in these schools were found to be more disciplined than those in government and public schools. Children from nearby slums dressed in neatly washed uniform are punctual in their attendance. The teachers not only teach them regular subjects but also teach them good manners, personal hygiene and moral science. Students at the Bhuna Road school sang a patriotic song in chorus when this correspondent went to the school with Mr Vishvanath Munjal, a leading force behind these schools. The students, which number over 100, sit in a temporary shed.

At the Ashok Nagar school, students were seen sitting under a ‘peepul’ tree. As many as 155 boys and girls from the poorest of poor families get their primary education here. Most of the students are from Dalit families. At Hans Colony, the Sewa Bharati has managed to construct a building with the cooperation of local people.

Attempt to prevent construction fails

The residents of Madhok Pura locality of Bathinda have been running from pillar to post to get the construction of multistorey building stopped but without success.

The residents are not satisfied with the authorities concerned as nothing has been done so far, even after repeated efforts made by them. The residents had written a joint letter to the Director of Local Bodies, Chandigarh, and the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, about the construction of the building at one of the gates to Madhok Pura.

In the letter they alleged that a local builder had started unauthorised construction of a third floor as only one additional floor had been sanctioned by the concerned authorities. The third floor was being constructed against the instructions of the Chief Town Planner.

The site of the construction was above the main entrance to a residential colony and it would create various problems if the multistorey building was allowed to be built. They demanded that the construction should not be allowed. They urged the authorities to take action against the builder.

The Municipal Council could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.

Contributed by K.L. Noatay, Sushil Manav and Harjeet Singh.Top

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