Thursday, October 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal sale of crackers goes unchecked
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Oct 18 —With Divali round the corner, crackers certainly can't be far behind. And this year the sale of crackers has caught the District Administration on the wrong foot with illegal sale in most markets going unchecked.

Sources informed that the Administration was still in the process of finalising guidelines to be issued and sites to be allotted for the setting up of the stalls for crackers. Also, it is learnt that licenses for setting up stalls would also be issued tomorrow.

However, shopkeepers, irked at the delay in granting of licenses, continue to sell crackers on the sly and most of these are housed in the shops in Sector 7."We are selling these crackers without the knowledge of the Administration. Even though it is illegal, we cannot lose out on business because one man's loss is another man's gain. Besides, such business dealings are being done only with regular customers,'' explains a shopkeeper.

Another shopkeeper, who has some of his crackers on display among many gift items in attractive packages, says," I have leftovers from last year and have put these up for sale because I want to get rid of these. I have no new stock and have not even applied for a license.''

Operating from his shop in Sector 9, a businessman contends that he does not have enough money to buy a variety of crackers or set up a stall in the places earmarked by the Administration. He adds that he is content selling a handful of crackers everyday, earning a few hundreds.

A wholesale dealer in Sector 16 says that stalls usually mushroom in the week before the festival only. He adds that his stock includes everything from rockets to bombs of all kinds. "The Administration had not informed us about what is objectionable. For this reason, we have gone ahead with stocking the `explosives' without discrimination. Moreover, such ban is usually imposed in rural areas ,'' he claims.

The sources informed that the guidelines of crackers to be allowed for sale and the sites for setting up stalls had already been formulated and a duty chart of magistrates for checking illegal sale was being chalked out. These would, in all likelihood, be intimated tomorrow.

Also, refuting claims that no ban is imposed in the city on the types of crackers, the Administration has decided to ban all crackers fitting into the category of "dangerous crackers'' under the Explosives Act, sources add. While rockets certainly fall in the category, it also includes crackers which explode at a distance of five meters and beyond when ignited.

A comprehensive list of duty magistrates has also been drawn up to ensure that no stalls indulge in illegal sale of crackers in marketplaces or stock crackers banned by the Administration. Also, the three tentative sites, like the last year, include the place earmarked for the apni mandi in Sector 4, the labour crossing in Sector 16 and the crossing of Sectors 11 and 15.


Dev Samaj Society misusing land
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — A violation of the terms of allotment of land by an allottee has come to light. The premises of the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, is not being used exclusively for the education purposes. Contrary to the conditions of the allotment, the head office of the Dev Samaj Society is being run from the premises.

The college, which was allotted an area of 6693.66 sq yards, has no playground or an assembly ground for the students. Two-third of its premises is being used by the society. The office, which has a big prayer hall, restricts entry to anybody except the members and workers of the society. When this correspondent visited the premises, a sevadar said there was a temple and it was not a thoroughfare.

Sources said that the students faced difficulty as they had to go to other colleges to play. They said although there was no shortage of land with the college.

The District Magistrate-cum-Estate Officer of UT had issued a memorandum (no 28721, dated 29.8.97) to the secretary of the society stating that the society was not complying with the conditions of the allotment. The memorandum had stated that “head office of the society was being run from the premises” and it was in gross violation of the terms of allotment.

Although the land was allotted to the society for educational purposes and it was clearly mentioned in the allotment letter that the land should not be used for any other purpose. No shrine or temple was allowed to be constructed on the land.

The letter stated that if the allottee failed to observe any of the conditions mentioned in the letter, then the land would be subject to the resumption without any compensation.

The secretary of the society, Mr Vikas Dev, when contacted on the phone at Faridabad, did not either deny or admit the allegations. He said, “The prayer hall in the office premises was opened for the students for cultural activities. How can you say that the land is not being used for educational purposes.”

He also said, “You speak to the principal about it. You will get a true picture whether the premises are being misused or not.” The principal declined to say anything on the subject.


Microsoft, UT sign MoU
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — The stage is set for the city emerging as the IT hub of the north India with the Chandigarh Administration and the software giant Microsoft signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here today.

The memorandum was signed by the UT IT Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, and Mr Rajiv Nair, president, Microsoft India. The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, the Adviser, Ms Vineeta Rai, the Regional Director of South India, Mr Christophe Aulnette, were present.

The pact is the result of the appreciation which Microsoft has expressed for the IT initiatives taken by the Administration in the recent past. The signing of the MoU coincides with the implementation of the IT Act throughout India.

The agreement provides for a partnership between the administration and Microsoft for the computerisation of various organisations in the UT and the development of expertise in the software technology.

Microsoft has also agreed to set up a centre of excellence at Punjab Engineering College. An array of Microsoft products and solutions shall be demonstrated at the centre. A Microsoft education centre in the city for the development of skills on Microsoft technology will also be functional soon.

Microsoft shall also provide counselling services to the Administration with a view to assisting the administration in the realisation of the IT vision in the UT. This shall help in the upgradation of technical skills of the officials of various departments for the implementation of e-governance and other IT applications.

The development of vision scope document for the administration will clearly outline the specifications of two pilot applications for which Microsoft has agreed to assist the administration. These applications shall go a long way in spreading the benefits of the e- governance plans which have been outlined in the IT policy of the administration.

It has been decided to form a core team of five professionals headed by a senior executive from the administration to oversee the implementation of the applications using the Microsoft technologies. A pool of 15 Microsoft certified professionals shall also be created by the administration with the assistance of Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Microsoft today agreed to associate in the setting up of smart schools and digital in Haryana besides assuring to start an advanced academic training programme in one of the engineering colleges of the state.

This assurance was given by Mr Aulnette at a meeting with senior officers of the state headed by Mr LM Goyal, Financial Commissioner, and Secretary, Revenue. Microsoft has already done such works in the southern region and the northern region would now be the focus for the promotion of the IT, Mr Aulnette said.

Mr Goyal said a world-standard IT institute would be set up at Gurgaon. Besides, the government would like Microsoft to develop such a software so that the data of land records could be updated, Mr Goyal said. The government would start computer education in 2,500 schools from November 1, informed Mr Prem Prashant, Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Education.

Mr A.N. Mathur, Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Finance, asked Microsoft for the computerisation of the Finance Department.


Housewife commits suicide
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Anju Garg, a housewife, reportedly hanged herself to death at her house in Sector 38 while her husband was away to his clinic in Maloya and children were in the school. The reason behind her taking the “extreme step” was not yet known as no “suicide note” was recovered.

According to SDP B.D. Bector, “The parents of the 40 year-old-women were called from Meerut and further action would be taken on the basis of their statement.”

Sources said around 9.45 a.m. Anju Garg called up her husband Dr. Vipin Garg at his clinic to say she was going to commit suicide.

Dr Garg, who had left house at 8.30 a.m. rushed back only to find the door bolted from inside. He informed Anju’s relatives living near by before forcing open the door, the sources said.

Upon opening the door, Anju was found hanging. Her body was pulled down but efforts to revive her failed and the police was informed.

The sources said there was no apparent reason behind her committing suicide. 


Tough contest likely in DAV College
By Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Sajjan Singh of BA III, Government College for Men, Sector 11, Banita Sharma of BCom III, Government College for Girls, Sector 42, and Ismeet Kaur, Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, have been unanimously elected presidents of their respective colleges. The final lists from the colleges were ready by the afternoon today.

The other members of the student body of Government College for Men, Sector 11, who have been elected unanimously are Karamjit Singh as vice-president, Ravi Singh Sidhu as general secretary and Anil Kumar Sura as joint secretary. Roopam Arora has been elected vice-president of GGS College for Women,while Yuvraj Kaur will be the general secretary and Simran Kaur will be the joint secretary. While N.K. Premika has been unanimously elected vice-president of Government College for Girls, Sector 42 and Komal Sudhan as general secretary, there will be elections for the post of joint secretary in the college between Komal Tyagi and Bhavneet Kaur.

The hottest competition for these posts seems to be in DAV College, Sector 10, where the three parties DAV Students’ Union, DAV Students Party and DAV Students’ Association have an almost equal number of supporters in the college. The DSU is being supported by the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University, the DSA by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and DSP by the Haryana Students Association-Panjab University Students Union combine.

The DSU has a big list of demands and issues which they want the college authorities to look into. Starting from the upgradation of the college library to career counselling in the college, the student leaders are demanding more postgraduate courses in the college, their own buses for transportation of students in the city, a swimming pool, the gymnasium for all students, another table tennis table, time of gate entry to be increased and a healthy environment in the college for studies. The DSP on the other hand says that the students are fed up of the DSA and the DSU and the environment they have created in the college-specially during the time of elections when invariably there are instances of violence. They also want the reading room of the college to be open 24 hours a day and want water coolers in the hostel.

The demands in the girls’ colleges are not very different though the student activity, which is typical during elections days is missing. MCM DAV College girls are going to have a keen competition between Prachi Yadav and Aarushi Barowalia for the post of president while there are three candidates in the fray for the post of vice-resident, five girls contesting for the post of general secretary and eight for the post of joint secretary, the largest among all colleges of the city. “What we need is more outings”, says Sukham Sidhu contesting for the post of vice-president, “in batches for at least visiting the cultural activities in the city and the book fairs.”

The college authorities have in the meanwhile made preparations for the peaceful conduct of elections and allowed candidates to address the students tomorrow on the college premises after which no campaigning will be allowed. “Ballot boxes have been taken out and the ballot papers will be ready by tomorrow. The students have pitched their tents outside the colleges and security is present there so that no instances of violence occur.” says D.P. Singh, Principal, Government College, Sector 46.


Commuter left high & dry 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — It was a day of rallies, dharnas and protests with thousands of agitators from various departments assembling in various parts of the city and raising slogans against the authorities.

The worst-affected were commuters who were left high and dry after the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) employees too joined the strike call. People in certain residential and commercial centres too were at the receiving end due to power failure in wake of the strike call. However, normalcy was restored after the four-hour-long strike was called off peacefully.

The protesters were demanding disbursement of their three years’ pending bonus and in protest against the government’s proposed privatisation policy of the public sector.

In the morning, there was a slight altercation among the drivers and conductors of the CTU and the police after the former were stopped from parking their buses inside the ISBT. The cops were reportedly under pressure from officers of the department to park their vehicles on the roadsides.

However, this was sorted out when senior police officers reached the venue and directed that public would not be inconvenienced and no road should be allowed to be blocked. Subsequently, all buses were parked on the road berms thereby facilitating the movement of the public and vehicles.

Members of the unions of the CTU, Power Department, Government Press, CITCO, the General Hospital, Maintenance, Roads and other allied departments took part in a big way. UT employees observed “ pen and tool down strike” during the first half of the day.

After holding protest in front of their respective departments the agitators marched to the housing board roundabout when leaders of various outfits outlined their future strategy and enlightened the protesters on the anti-employee being pursued by the authorities.

Those who addressed the gathering included Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, Mr Sant Singh Saini, Mr R.S. Sandhu, Mr Sat Pal Sharma, Mr Vijay Kumar, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr B.M. Rana, Mr Chander Shekhar, Mr U.S. Mohi and Mr R.S. Sandhu.

The main demands of the protesters include scraping the privatisation policy, filing of vacant posts on compassionate grounds, regularisation of daily-wage earners and grant of DA, HRA, CCA, conveyance allowance to all field staff, treating the employees transferred to the MC as being on deputation, 41 per cent DA to all categories, PCA to general hospital staff, free treatment in the PGI besides observing holidays on the Punjab pattern.

The issue of giving bonus to all employees, surcharge of 15 per cent on income tax besides time-bound promotions after four, nine and 15 years was also discussed at length.

On the CTU front the leaders demanded the withdrawal of the decision to privatise the CTU and said more buses should be added to the existing fleet for the benefit of commuters of Panchkula, Mohali and other nearby areas.

They later burnt an effigy of the Administration and said a major rally would be organised if their demands were not met before Divali.


Register case, police told
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Oct 18 — In connection with a two-year old case of an employee of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council whose left leg was badly injured in a road accident involving a truck, the Punjab Human Rights Commission has directed the local police to register on FIR against the truck driver. The victim, Mr Suresh Kumar, was riding on a scooter when he was hit by a truck.

The accident had resulted in a prolonged hospitalisation of the victim at the PGI Chandigarh. Even after having undergone a surgery to make his leg functional he limps. 


Gurkhas celebrate diamond jubilee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — A battalion of the Fifth Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) celebrated its diamond jubilee somewhere in the Western Sector, having completed 60 years after re-raising in October 1940.

According to a statement issued here today, the battalion was earlier raised at Ferozepore on November 28, 1916 and saw active service in Afghanistan and Mesopotamia during World War I.

A galaxy of serving and retired officers of the unit, including Lt Gen S.K. Sinha, Governor of Assam and Major Gen Richard Khare, Colonel of Fifth Gurkha Rifles, attended the celebrations. Besides a solemn wreath laying ceremony to honour the unknown soldier, a diamond jubilee dinner was also organised in the Officers’ Mess where senior officers of the Army as well as the civil administration were present. An equipment display which included the latest equipment held by the unit was also held. Fireworks, drama and kal ratri also formed a part of the colourful celebrations.

The battalion was dispersed as part of the general demobilisation in 1921 and subsequently re-raised in 1940. During World War II, the battalion served in Burma as part of 23 Infantry Division and was awarded three Battle Honours for outstanding action on the Tiddim Road in Burma. The battalion also took part in post war operations in Indonesia.

After Independence, the battalion took part in the Hyderabad police action and was thereafter inducted in the counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland, where it won three Kirti Chakra.

During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the battalion penetrated deep into the Pakistani territory and played a major role in the capture of Chicken’s Neck area in the Sialkot sector. November 1984 saw the battalion being deployed in internal security duties in Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The battalion also made its presence felt in the Sumdo Rong Chu Valley, when deployed in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation during the Chinese intrusions in 1986.

Presently commanded by Col R M S Rawat, the battalion also took part in Operation Rakshak I & II in the Kashmir Valley where it was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Unit Citation, Silver Salver by the J&K Governor and the General-Officer Commanding-in-Chief’s Unit Appreciation.


CMP celebrates 61st anniversary
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — The Corps of Military Police (CMP) celebrated its 61st anniversary at Chandimandir Cantonment, near here, today. A special sainik sammelan was held to mark the occasion, where Lieut-Col A.K. Gulaty, officiating Commanding Officer of the Western Command Provost Unit, greeted all ranks and their families. He lauded the hard work and dedication put in by the corps personnel.

A barakhana was organised for all ranks in the evening where old officers, JCOs and other ranks who had served in the unit earlier were invited. A pagal gymkhana was also formed part of the celebrations.

In his message, the Deputy Provost Marshal Western Command, Col H.S. Chahal, while felicitating all ranks, exhorted them to continue to work with dedication and maintain good order and discipline in the rank and file of the Army.

The Corps of Military Police traces its origin to the tense months preceding the World War II and the first ever Indian Provost Section was raised from elements of 7 and 11 Indian Cavalry Regiments on October 18, 1939.

It was in the World War II that the CMP won its spurs. The “White Belts” took part in all operations undertaken by the British Indian Army and contributed to the ultimate victory.

After Independence, it has taken part in all military operations, besides serving with UN forces in Korea, Congo, Gaza, Cambodia, Somalia, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda and Lebanon.


Radio anchors earn 5,000 per show
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — The medium of sound is no more fading. It is in fact coming back with a bang. With about 12 new private FM channels due to be launched in Delhi and about two in the pipeline for Chandigarh, there will now be avenues galore for those interested in the business of communicating through the so-called uni-sense medium.

The news is good, at least for those in the city who are looking forward to a world where creativity will be valued. Another reason why one should attend the workshop due to begin at hotel Aroma from October 25 is that after taking the essential training, a radio anchor can command about Rs 5,000 per show! The Delhi-based audio-visual production house which has engineered the project is already in the city with its staff of four to hold this workshop on radio anchoring and TV news reading. The course will focus not just on grooming the enrolled member into a much-wanted radio jockey (RJ) but also on tapping his entire communication skill by offering small time courses with specialised sections like voice training and music appreciation.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune here yesterday, Mr Nalin Ranjan Singh, Director Media, IAAN Creations, the firm which is bringing top professionals of the world of media for the 15-day workshop, “FM is very different from the conventional radio. It is something just in tune with the changing times. We, as a research organisation, are concerned about training youngsters to become successful radio jockeys who will not be into the drab kind of anchoring. Here we will train them to be in real touch with the listeners, conduct live wire shows, travel shows on radio, and also hold live telephonic conversation shows.”

The interesting part of the project is that there is no qualification required to register as a trainer for the workshop. “One just has to have a creative bent of mind and the rest will follow suit,” said another director of the company Mr Amartya Banerjee. He added that the company had experimented with such training courses successfully. “The various workshops which we conducted at Delhi have focused on varied media aspects ranging from TV journalism, radio and communication, We have covered topics like pre and post production techniques, camera, lighting, editing and various techniques of interviewing.”

Another highlight of the October 25 workshop will be an opportunity to every trainer to get his/her voice recorded in the studio. Informed Nalin, “It is a misconception that to be a successful radio professional you must have an emphatic voice. The voice effects can be controlled as it has to go through 16 track mixers with amazing special effect buttons that can actually change the voice impact.”

At the end of the course, the members will also be provided with written material along with a demo tape with their voices recorded from the studio. As far as the placement is concerned, the firm does not promise 100 per cent placement. “But we do promise 100 per cent placement assistance,” said Banerjee.


War widows to be honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — A total of 29 war widows and next of kin of officers who made the supreme sacrifice in various operations since Independence and prior to the Kargil conflict will be honoured at a function to be held at Manekshaw Auditorium in Chandi Mandir on October 20.

A statement issued here yesterday said the kin of martyrs to be honoured belong to Chandigarh, Panchkula and Roopnagar. They would be presented with Badges of Sacrifice and Certificates of Honour by the Station Commander, Brig Ram Partap. The fallen heroes include officers who died in Jammu and Kashmir operations in 1948, 1962 Sino-Indian war, 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars, and operations Goa, Maghdoot, Pawan, Rakshak and Rhino.


A visual treat from the sightless
By Binny Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Children who themselves cannot see the light of this world are going to show light to others. Students of the Institute for the Blind in Sector 26, are making wax candles for Divali. Visual impairment does not restrict these children in their work and everyday they produce about 50 kg of candles. Months before the festival of lights, these visually impaired children start making beautifully designed candles.

“From Class VII onwards we start teaching our students how to make wax candles. They are quick learners and turn out a good number of candles which are sold out much before Divali, said Mr K.R. Sood, Principal of the school. “These candles are sold on no-profit no loss basis and we take care of quality. So there is a demand for our candles. No sale promotion effort is made and people themselves come here to buy,” he added.

The process of candle making start with the heating of the wax. This is the only step where the assistance of attendants is required. After this everything is done by the blind children themselves. The moulds are wrapped with threads which is actually the main thread of the candle. Molten Wax is poured in the moulds and left to cool for half an hour. The moulded candles are then taken out and given a finish by remaining the extra wax.

So far 20 quintals of wax has been used by these visually impaired children. The candles they produce are cheaper than the other varieties in the market.

The Institute for the Visually Handicapped takes care of more than 100 blind children from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

These children are active not only in co-curricular activities but also in their studies. The school consistently scores 100 per cent success in the examination conducted by the CBSE. A team of 20 qualified teachers is there for them, of whom six are blind.

Vocational training programmes such as typewriting in Hindi, English and Punjabi, stenography, instrumental and vocal music, cane-work, stitching, knitting, and culinary skills are part of their daily schedule. The institute plans to introduce a computer course by the end of this year. The children have their band, an orchestra, and a dramatic club. These are often seen at various functions.

When the residents of the city light their candles on Divali, many may not know that these were made by those who cannot enjoy this visual delight, because they cannot see.


SBI donates hearing aids to needy kids
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — The State Bank of India, Chandigarh circle yesterday donated 14 hearing-aids to needy children under the “Prayaas” a project of the Indian Council of Child Welfare, Chandigarh branch. Mr D.L. Manwani, General Manager(D&PB) of the Chandigarh circle distributed the hearing-aids in a simple ceremony held at Sector 38.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Manwani said that it was a great opportunity for the Bank to come to the help of the needy and it would be providing all possible support to such projects in the future too. The State Bank of India’s Chandigarh Circle under the auspices of the Community Banking Services has been involved in other projects and recently donated a Maruti van for the ‘Meals on Wheels’ project of an old age home. Earlier they had extended help for setting up of a library at Khuda Ali Sher.

Mr Manwani also informed that the SBI had raised a corpus fund named “SBI children’s welfare fund” by motivating donations from the bank’s staff members and a matching contribution by the bank.

Mrs Usha Suri, honorary secretary of the welfare organisation, Dr Singhi, honorary consultant and Mr T. C. Chopra, honorary administrative officer thanked Mr Manwani, and Mr A. K. Jain, Assistant General Manager of the bank for extending such help and requested them to continue their association with Prayaas. Mr Negi and Mr Sood of the Community Services Banking were also present on the occasion.


SDM inspects cracker shops
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Oct 18 — In order to have compliance with various prohibitory orders passed by the District Magistrate, Ropar, the SDM, Kharar, Mr Devinder Singh and the DSP, Kharar, Mr Rupinder Singh, yesterday visited Kurali and inspected various shops of wholesale traders dealing in crackers.

Mr Devinder Singh said today that he called a meeting of wholesale traders of this subdivision on October 19 in his office at 11 a.m. in order to discuss various directions issued by the District Magistrate.


2.8 lakh relief in accident case
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — The UT Permanent Lok Adalat today granted a compensation of Rs 2.8 lakh to Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Sector 40, in an accident case.

It was alleged that the accused Satish Kumar’s car had hit the van of victim Bhupinder Singh on January 6, 1999. Bhupinder Singh sustained multiple injuries in the accident.


Rally at Matka Chowk by MC employees
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Public Health Employees of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation shall participate in a mass rally near Matka Chowk, Sector 16 tomorrow, on a call given by the co-ordination committee of Government and MC Employees and Workers. They will protest against the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation for not implementing the just and genuine demand of the workers.

Mr Rajinder Katoch, general secretary as in a note pointed out that the main demands are that all the transferred employees from Chandigarh Administration to the Corporation be treated on deputation with MC, bonus for 1997-98, 1999-2000 be released prior to Divali, technician scale be granted to all categories, operation/ maintenance to tube wells should not be given to contractors, release of uniforms to Class III and IV workers, DA be released prior to the Diwali festival and regularisation of work charged/ daily wage workers.


Apni mandis to be relocated
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Oct18 — The Deputy Comm-issioner, Mr S.K. Monga, has constituted a special committee comprising the Administrator, HUDA, as chairman and SDM and a representative of the HSAMB as its members to give a final decision on the location of apni mandis.

The decision to shift out apni mandis from the sectors to the Grain Market in Sector 20 was taken as a stop-gap arrangements, following alleged insanitary conditions prevailing in the mandis till modalities of their location were worked out with various related agencies.

The committee has been entrusted with the task of hearing out parties in favour of mandis in sectors while keeping in view the problem which necessitated the shifting of mandis in the first place. The report for the same will be submitted within one month to the Deputy Commissioner.


Underweight LPG cylinders

THE gas cylinders supplied by an LPG dealer in Sector 17 in Panchkula are invariably found to be underweight and their seals are broken. On a consumer’s refusals to accept such cylinders, the dealers’ employees become rude and obnoxious and threaten to leave without delivering the cylinder. Many times the hapless consumer has to give in to such blackmailing tactics.

Their modus operandi is to supply gas cylinders to commercial users for a few days at a price and then pass these on to domestic consumers after replacing the seals. I urge the authorities concerned to conduct surprise checks in the field and make enquiries from consumers to put an end to this corrupt and unlawful activity.

Vimal Manohar Lal

Neglected IT sector

This refers to the report "IT sector top priority, says Kanwaljit" (Chandigarh Tribune, Oct 6). For the past several years, it is being reported in newspapers, magazines and on the Television that Punjab is all set to usher in a new era in the IT sector, but hardly any work has been done to achieve this objective. The Punjab Government's initiatives in this direction have remained just on paper. It appears all this hype is meant to lure the IT industry to set up units in the state without adequate back-up from the government.

Some years ago, the Punjab Government had issued advertisements that it was going to set up a software park at Mohali. This so-called park is located in a semi-government establishment at Mohali. Instead of indulging in hyperbole, the government should take practical steps to promote this sector in the state.

Ujagar Singh

Depleting ground water

This refers to the report "Remedy for depleting ground water" (The Tribune, Oct 2). It goes to the credit of Mr S. P. Malhotra that he has invented a technique to recharge ground water by injecting surplus rain water for which he has devised vertical filters for desilting. Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has tested these filters in its laboratory with encouraging results and has now started field tests near Ludhiana.

The problem of depleting ground water has been plaguing Punjab and Haryana for a long time. There was no way to inject the surplus rain water into the ground and it was allowed to go waste. Unless the Punjab Government has a better solution for controlling the water table, it should not hesitate to accept Mr Malhotra's proposal which on the face of it is not only convincing but also practical.

Jit Kumar

Theft of vehicles

This refers to the report "Car Stolen" (Chandigarh Tribune, Oct 12). It was reported that a car belonging to a resident of Ludhiana was stolen from Yatri Niwas in Sector 24. That the menace of theft of vehicles is increasing alarmingly in the city is borne out by such reports which appear almost daily in newspapers.

The city has a large police force consisting of an IGP, several SSPs, SPs and DSPs. What Chandigarh needs is a strong police officer of a high caliber in the mould of Ms Kiran Bedi to head the police force to bring down the crime rate and reduce theft of vehicles.

Narinder Singh



Special drive to check crime
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Oct 18 — To maintain law and order during the forthcoming Divali festival, the police has started a special drive to nab anti-social elements and has arrested a number of smugglers besides some shopkeepers selling banned crackers in the subdivision over the past one week.

Mr H.S. Bhullar, informed that 10 persons had been booked under Sections 338, 339, 343, 346, 347,348, 188 and 250 of the Indian Penal Code for possessing dangerous crackers while four persons had been arrested under Section 61-1-14 of the Excise Act, for allegedly smuggling country liquor from different places.

He disclosed that besides recovering in a large quantity of crackers over 300 bottles of country liquor had been seized from them. The accused used to smuggle liquor from Chandigarh and sell in different parts in Haryana at higher rates. A car (MGM-7976) and a scooter (HR-03A-4054) used for smuggling the liquor had been impounded by the police.


Gold chain snatched
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — In yet incident of snatching, a Haryana Finance Corporation employee today alleged that her gold chain was snatched in Sector 22 while she was returning home.

Claiming the chain to be of two tolas, Ms Shoba Bhatia of Sector 22 alleged that the necklace was pulled by an unidentified miscreant at about 5.15 p.m. on October 17 while she was returning from her office in Sector 17. Ms Bhatia added that she was feeling giddy when the incident occurred.

Taking up her complaint, the city police has registered a case and is investigating the matter. Senior police officials, when contacted, claimed that efforts to nab the snatcher were on.


3 stereos stolen 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — In Separate complaints to the police, theft of three car stereos on Tuesday night were reported. Taking up the complaints, the police has registered cases of theft.

Mr Ashwani Kumar of Sector 45 claimed that the stereo was stolen fro his car parked outside his house. Mr Davinder Kumar Arora also alleged that the stereo was pulled out of his car while it was parked outside his residence in Sector 35. The third complaint was lodged by Mr Deepak Kumar Gupta.

The police, when contacted, said investigations into the matter were on and arrest’s were likely to be made soon. 


Himachal resident's body found
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — The body of a resident of Lahaul-Spiti was reportedly found by the Chandigarh police in a house in Sector 32. According to sources, Munshi Ram had come to the city to get himself treated for jaundice. The police is investigating the case.

Two hurt
A scooterist and pillion rider were admitted to Government Medical College, Sector 32, after being hit by a car at about 11.30 a.m. yesterday. According to sources, the rider has been identified as Ms Surinder Kaur of Phase X in SAS Nagar. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Cables stolen
In a complaint before the police, the SDO with sub division Number one in Sector 23, Mr Deepak Bansal, alleged that electricity cable worth Rs 25,000 was stolen from Dhanas. Acting on his complaint, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC.

Two arrested
Two Mani Majra residents, Guriqbal Singh and Ramandeep Singh, were arrested by the local police on a complaint lodged by another Mani Majra resident. In his complaint, Mr Pritpal Singh alleged that he, along with his uncle, sustained injuries after being beaten up and threatened by the duo along with two others namely Avtarjot Singh and Jaspreet Singh.

Held for gambling
A Ram Darbar resident was arrested by the local police for gambling. According to the sources, Rs 240 were recovered from Shiv Charan’s possession. A case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.

Liquor seized
The police on Wednesday seized 226 pouches of liquor from different parts of the city after arresting two persons under the Excise Act. According to the sources, 96 pouches were seized from Ram Lotey of Sector 25, while 130 pouches were taken into possession from Naranjaan Singh of Kishangarh.


Man's finger bitten off
An employee of a fast food joint in Phase 9 bit off the middle finger of the right hand of an employee of the Punjab School Education Board in a fight over payment of a bill on Tuesday.

According to information, three employees of the board, including the victim, Mr S. Aneja, after having food at the joint got involved in a fight with its owner. The victim has been admitted to the Phase 6 Civil Hospital here. A police official said a case would be registered after the medical report of the victim was received.


Route promotional fares extended
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Alliance Air has extended the validity of the route promotional fares for travel from-and-to Chandigarh and 10 domestic cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Mr Rajender Kumar, Station Manager of Indian Airlines, told that the promotional fares would continue be valid for travel in the economy class only and allow travel to several sectors, such as Chandigarh-Delhi-Chandigarh, Bangalore-Delhi-Chandigarh, Hyderabad-Delhi-Chandigarh and return direction among others. These fares will now be applicable till December 31.

He specified that travel on the entire route should be completed on or before December 31. The scheme would also allow the passenger to stop at the intermediate point, which in the case of travel between Chennai-Delhi-Chandigarh would be Delhi.

Under the scheme, travel between Chandigarh to Delhi would continue to cost Rs 900 and return within seven days would cost Rs 1700. Officials claim that the charges are not only reasonable but also comparable with surface transport.

Travel by the executive class of the Shatabdi Express is also more expensive than this as it is Rs 870 one way. However, normal AC chair car costs Rs 435 which is preferred by most commuters to Delhi and back. The flight goes twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It leaves Chandigarh at 3.10 p.m. and reaches Delhi at 5 p.m. after a brief halt of 30 minutes at Amritsar. The departure from Delhi is at 2 p.m. and it reaches here at 2.40 p.m.

Mr Kumar stated that "after the crash of an Alliance Air being 737-200 at Patna, things have not been so good, with a fall in load factor as well as rise in costs of aviation turbine fuel since April 2000.'' But now things have stabilised and lower fares coupled with better on-time is expected to draw some of the traffic back, he said.

The other fares on the busy Mumbai, Delhi routes will be Rs 5410 from Chandigarh to Mumbai; Chandigarh to Chennai will cot Rs 8025; Chandigarh to Bangalore will cost Rs 7,960. The airline is hoping that the promotional fares will help IA achieve loads similar to what are being witnessed on the Mumbai-Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar flight.


Computer snag hits LIC functioning
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Policy holders wanting to deposit the instalments of the premium were put to a lot of inconvenience as a snag in the computer concerned hit the working of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), branch II Office, in Sector 17 here this afternoon.

Several holders and their representatives had to stand in queue for over 90 minutes as the computer did not start at the cash counter. Indifferent attitude of staff and the absence of any alternative back-up support system compounded the problem.

Condemning the indifferent attitude of the LIC authorities, Mr C.M. Khullar, a resident of Panchkula, demanded there must be an alternative system for the issuance of receipts, like the manual issuance of receipts in such emergency situations. Why the customers were made to suffer because of the computer snag, he said, adding that the behaviour of the staff at the counter left much to be desired.

Another policy holder, while pointing out at the slogan of the North Zone Insurance Employees Association— Customer satisfaction our goal — at the counter, wondered how much the employees cared for the customer satisfaction.

It was around 3 p.m. that the computer started functioning and the instalments could be accepted.


Market committee poll on Nov 6
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 18 — Elections to the local market committee will be held on November 6, the Chandigarh Administration decided yesterday. The date for filling nominations has been fixed as October 30 while the scrutiny will be held on October 31 and withdrawals will be allowed till November 2, Election Officer cum SDM (Central), Mr Prithi Chand.

Elections to the market committee had been pending since long while the Administration had appointed an Administrator. 

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