Saturday, November 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tribune special
The charge of bureaucrats
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Bureaucrats are slowly replacing technocrats as heads of certain departments of the Chandigarh Administration.

In the past few years, at least six technocrat heads of departments or top officials have been replaced by the IAS, PCS or HCS officers. This has caused resentment among junior officials as their chances of heading the departments have dried up. Regardless of the nature of the job in a department, a bureaucrat is always made the head of it.

A latest example is of the Secretary for Medical Education and Research. Till October 16, Prof V.K. Kak had the dual charge of the Director Principal of the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital and the Secretary for Medical Education and Research. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs said one person could not hold two posts. Following this, the Chandigarh Administration relieved Prof Kak of the charge of the Secretary for Medical Education and Research.

Now, the charge has been handed over to an IAS officer. The Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, when contacted, said the issue of the Secretray for Medical Education and Research would be discussed with the MHA at a forthcoming meeting. “We have not acted on our own, but have carried out the instructions of the MHA,” the Adviser said. Independent sources said the controversy over Prof Kak might be because of instructions and complaints by other departments and politicians.

When Prof O.N. Nagi was selected to replace Prof Kak, he turned down the offer of the Chandigarh Administration. Like his predecessors, Prof Nagi also wanted to be the Secretary for Medical Education and Research, besides heading the GMCH.

Another example is of the Director Technical Education. The previous incumbent, Prof S.K. Aggarwal, a senior professor of engineering, was replaced by an official of the Haryana Civil Services. This led to a quiet, but strong dissent among teachers of various technical institutes.

The Director Technical Education automatically becomes a member of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). According to a 1987 Act of Parliament, the AICTE makes policy for all technical education in the country. “It will be better to appoint the seniormost principal rather than a bureaucrat on the post,” said a teacher of engineering.

The Secretary Engineering is also not an engineer, contrary to the practice in the past. This post has been held by both bureaucrats and engineers in the past five years. After K.K. Jerath, a former Chief Engineer and Secretary Engineering, was arrested about two years ago, an IAS officer was put on the post of Secretary Engineering. On the condition of anonymity, an engineer said Jerath’s arrest did not mean that all engineers were corrupt and could not hold a top post.

Earlier, the post of Director Public Instructions (Schools) used to be held by senior educationists. Ms Kuldeep Kaur was the last educationist to be DPI (Schools). After her, the post went to a PCS officer about seven years ago. Until about 25 years ago, the DPI (Colleges) used to be an educationist. However, since then, an IAS, PCS or HCS officer has held the charge.

The last person to be Director Sports from the sports cadre was Nirmal Mikha Singh. She was an employee of the Sports Department who was promoted to be the Director. After her retirement about four years ago, an IAS officer became the Director Sports.

The Chairperson of the Chandigarh Housing Board used to be a senior technocrat like Mr J.S. Kohli or Mr S.S. Virdi. The Secretary of the CHB used to be a PCS or HCS officer. Eight years ago, everything changed. Now, the Chairperson of the CHB is an IAS officer appointed by the MHA, while technocrats can rise upto the level of Chief Engineer in the CHB.

Even the post of Secretary Urban Planning has been handed over to various IAS officers in the past five years. It is only now that it has been handed over to the Chief Architect.

 Post Earlier held by  Now held by
Secretary Medical
Education and Research         Doctor                           IAS officer

Secretary Engineering            Engineer                         IAS officer

Housing Board Chairperson      Technocrat                     IAS officer

Director Technical Education   Educationist                    HCS officer

Director Sports                     Seniormost
                                         in sports cadre                IAS officer

DPI Schools                         Educationist                    PCS officer



Ludhiana-UT road to be 4-laned
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Nov 10 — The Punjab Government has drawn up an integrated infrastructure development plan exclusively for the road sector with planned financial outlay of more than Rs 2,200 crore to be deployed during the next two years.

These include four-laning of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway, four-laning of the Ambala-Chandigarh road and construction of 15 railway overbridges and under-bridges. Addressing the Chief Ministers’ conference here, the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, said the state government had made much headway to facilitate private sector participation in infrastructure development.

The requisite legislative framework for this purpose had been laid down and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, which would act as credit enhancer and development financer set up.

Expressing concern over the challenges posed to the industrial sector, he said the state government had set up an expert committee under the Chairmanship of Prof Y.K. Alagh to prepare a status paper on the impact of the WTO.

The state had also notified the IT policy containing an exclusive package of facilities and incentives for IT units. Mohali, a satellite town of Chandigarh, was being developed as a centre of excellence for the IT industry. An earth station had already been commissioned in that area and a number of IT companies had started their operations.


Prasada opposes Mirdha’s move
Delinking of party elections
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Mr Jitendra Prasada, who is challenging Mrs Sonia Gandhi in the All-India Congress Committee presidential election, today strongly objected to the party’s Central Election Authority chairman, Mr Ram Nivas Mirdha’s decision to delink the election of the presidents of the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) from that of the AICC President.

Mr Prasada was talking to newsmen at the local Press Club today. He was accompanied by the former Union Minister of State and former president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr Venod Sharma.

He said the last-minute decision not to hold elections to various posts of the PCCs simultaneously with the AICC presidential poll was against the party’s age-old convention. Refusing to say if there was any ulterior motive behind the delinking of the elections, Mr Prasada said while the motive could be disclosed by Mr Mirdha only, the decision was certainly bound to cause embarrassment to the latter because only a few days ago Mr Mirdha had declared that the two elections would be held simultaneously.

Proving himself to be a great dodger in giving direct replies to questions, the answers to which could be highly critical of Mrs Gandhi, Mr Prasada left nothing unsaid in a round-about manner of what he felt about the party’s future under Sonia.

Though he would not say that the party high command was terrorising Congressmen supporting him, he told newsmen how the chief of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Seva Dal, a front organisation of the party, who came to receive him at Chennai railway station, was removed from his post. He also would not say that Congressmen were afraid to come out openly in his support, but would readily tell how PCC headquarters in many states were locked when he informed them about his intention to visit the party offices.

He said despite what had happened (he would avoid using the word “irregularities”) in the election process so far, he would be satisfied if Mr Mirdha stuck to his assurance of holding elections through secret ballot and counting ballot papers after mixing them to maintain the secrecy of votes.

Mr Prasada said it was decided at Pachmarhi that the organisational elections would be fair and held through secret ballot. This had raised the expectations of the grass roots workers. But the elections were not being held as promised.

He also criticised the decision of various PCCs to leave the issue of election of their office-bearers to Mrs Gandhi. “Such decisions lead to sycophancy.”

Mr Prasada demanded that the Antony Committee report on the debacle of the Congress in the last Lok Sabha elections should be made public so that the workers should know the reality. Even members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) were given only a brief summary of the report.

He said he had gone to the Press about the issues on which he was contesting the party poll because in 17 major states the addresses of PCC delegates were not available. Therefore, he could not write to them. He favoured autonomy for various units of the party.

Earlier, he was given a rousing welcome at the local railway station by Congress workers belonging to the Venod Sharma camp. Hundreds of activists waving party flags greeted him by raising slogans in his favour. Women workers garlanded him besides applying tilak on his forehead. Later he interacted with party workers at the residence of Mr Sharma.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the Haryana Congress, Dr Ram Prakash, said he kept waiting for Mr Prasada at the PCC headquarters with an open letter for the AICC presidential candidate. In the open letter Dr Ram Prakash held Mr Prasada responsible for many of the ills afflicting the party. Dr Ram Prakash said Mr Prasada did not visit the Haryana Congress office.


Mann confident of meeting challenges
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Prof S.B.S. Mann, designate Director-Principal of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, takes over his new assignment next week. The head of the ENT Department at the PGI, Prof Mann, is a specialist in Oto-Rhino-laryngelogy and a pioneer in starting several new techniques, in this field.

Talking to TNS, here today, Prof Mann said that he was looking forward to his new job and was feeling “a little more responsible. At the PGI, I had to look after a single department consisting of about 65 staff members. At the GMCH, the responsibility will multiply manifold,” he added.

Regarding the controversial decision of not being given the charge of Secretary, Medical Education and Research, by the Chandigarh Administration, Prof Mann does not feel that it would mean less administrative and financial powers for him. “ It will not hamper my way of functioning and I am sure that in due course of time, the issue will be sorted out. I intend discharging my duties with dedication and professionalism and at present that is all that matters to me.”

Prof Mann, however, disagreed that the Administration had given him an assurance of giving the additional charge at a later stage. “I have not even discussed the matter for the simple reason that at the time, almost a month back, the post for Director-Principal was advertised and we were asked for our bio-datas, the charge of Secretary, MER, was not part of the portfolio, a fact all of us were aware of very well,” he added.

Talking about immediate plans for the state-of-the-art institution, he said he would like GMCH to achieve the standards of the PGI. “I believe that love is the biggest weapon in life. Therefore, whatever I do, it will be with love and affection. However, if certain situations need tough decisions, I will certainly not hesitate.”

Prof Mann stressed that at present, his single-point agenda would be to gain maximum knowledge about GMCH, its staff and its functioning. “As soon as I get clearance from the Ministry of Health, I intend calling a meeting of the faculty and the administrative staff. I would like to find out matters and projects that have been pending which will also be my top priority.

I intend meeting challenges head on and implement all that I have learned and gained during my 34 years of experience in the PGI,” he added.


Dual charge for GMCH head debated
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Should administrative and financial powers in the technical field be delegated to technocrats or bureaucrats? Taking a recent example when the post of Secretary, Medical Education and Research (MER), was withdrawn from the former Director-Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Prof V.K.Kak, just 15 days prior to his retirement on October 31, a wave of indignation went through the medical fraternity on what they called was a ‘totally unreasonable and unfair move’.

Though the order, saying that duties of Secretary, MER. were being withdrawn from the Director-Principal as he could not hold dual charge, was formally issued by the Union Ministry of Human Resources , it was felt that the move had a significant bureaucratic person and reasons behind it.

Later, on his appointment as the next Director- Principal, Prof O.N.Nagi, seeking clarification on this sudden withdrawal of charge, eventually turned down the prestigious offer of heading the state- of- the- art GMCH.” He did the right thing,” say three former directors of PGI and the founding Director Principal, GMCH, Prof. J.S.Chopra and former Director -Principal Prof V.K.Kak.

“A doctor,” questions Prof B.N.S. Walia, Director of the PGI from 1991-95, “ is never asked to do an economist’s job, then why vice-versa?”

Prof I.C. Pathak, Director, PGI from 1985 to 1990, feels the same. “To act as the Chief Executive, the Director-Principal should have authority and power to run the institute. My personal experience says that a director or a Principal should have complete administrative and financial powers, otherwise for small matters he will have to keep running to the Secretary’s office, which will only delay the functioning of the institution. I would like to ask the Chandigarh Administration if Prof Kak or Prof Chopra were not running the GMCH efficiently, why was the matter not taken up by the authorities earlier. The answer is that GMCH was progressing well during the past decade. Therefore, the charge of Secretary, MER should remain with Director Principal, GMCH, for proper functioning of the institute .”

Prof B.N.S. Walia asserts that autonomy promotes productivity.” The best medical colleges in the country, government or private, have the powers delegated to the director or whoever is in charge. It is a proven fact that whenever power is given to a technocrat to run the institution, it is always a decision in the interest if the institution”.

It is not just the question of a post of Secretary, MER, but if the Chandigarh administration cannot give the Director -Principal this additional charge and designation, then he should be given complete financial and administrative power to run the institution. Surely, the previous two director principals could not have achieved what they did, without those powers.

Prof B.K. Sharma, Director PGI from 1995 to 1999 agrees.” Not for any partisan reasons, but based on pure practical experience as Medical Superintendent, Dean and Director of a premier institution, I feel that unless the decision making powers are with the administrator, matters can remain suspended between him and the Secretariat.

In many medical colleges where the administrative head have little authority, most of the things are referred to the Health Department. At times, even for something as basic as repair of the CT scan or similar equipment , permission is not granted for months. Without sounding anti-bureaucratic, there are examples galore that a bureaucrat holds several portfolios without having deep knowledge of even one.

Moreover, the seven-year old GMCH certainly needs an experienced person, with full power, to establish itself because although the previous director-principals have done an excellent job , a lot remains to be achieved.”

Although Prof J.S.Chopra, founder Director-Principal of the GMCH, was appointed to take charge of the upcoming GMCH in 1991, he joined about one year 28 days later in 1992, only when he was given the dual charge of Secretary, MER. “ Without total financial and administrative powers, it might have become impossible to run the institute smoothly. The Director-Principal , on his own, has hardly any administrative or financial powers without which matters would be as good or bad as any other government hospital in the country”.

Prof V.K. Kak, Director Principal, GMCH from 1995 to 2000, during the end of whose tenure, the post of Secretary, MER was withdrawn, says it is not the question of superiority or personal ego of who holds which post. “ For better functioning , however, professional departments like medical, engineering and urban planning have to be administered by experts in the respective fields.

Besides, there is no logic why a Director-Principal, a senior doctor of international repute has to be at the beck and call of a relatively junior administrative officer, both in age as well as experience?”


Flat allotments precede basic amenities
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Nov 10 — Scores of successful allottees of the MIG and LIG Housing Colony in Sector 66 of this Urban Estate are being harassed by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) by not providing basic amenities in the area. Even after two months of being handing over the possession of the flats the allottees are waiting for electricity connections.

After paying lakhs of rupee, the allottees lament that at the time of giving possession of the flats, the PUDA officials concerned had described them as “ready-for-possession flats”. Mr Sanjay Kumar, who had taken a loan from a financial institution to pay for the cost of his flat, laments: “I cannot move into the flat as there is no power supply and water supply is poor. Due to lack of coordination between PUDA and the Punjab State Electricity Board ( PSEB), the low tension lines and other distribution system in the area have not been handed over to the latter”.

In fact, at least 50 allottees have been running from pillar to post to get a power connection. Some have even deposited security with the Phase 1 office of the board only to be told later that the power lines were yet to be handed over to them. Some allottees have deposited security in Phase 1 and Sohana circle office of the electricity board due to confusion over the area from which the power would be sourced.

Mr K.S. Bindra, a retired defence personnel, said he, due to the delay in providing the basic amenities, was being doubly burdened — he was paying for his rented accommodation and the installments of the flat.

Similar problems are being faced by the allotees of LIG houses.

A section of the allottees point out that the quality of construction was poor, the power switchboard and the window frames were not up to the mark.

Another clause in the allotment letter that the allottee would have to execute the deed of conveyance within three months of taking the possession of the flat has also irked them. “ We have yet to get the basic amenities and paying for the charges of the conveyance deed would put an extra burden on the salaried class,” said Mr Bindra.


20 schools participate in nagar kirtan
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Nov 10 — On the eve of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, special arrangements were made by the Managing Committee of local gurdwaras under the banner of the local Gurdwara Talmel Committee to take out a procession in the town. Students of 20 schools participated in the procession which started from Gurdwara Gobindsar in Mohali village and culminated in Phase 11 after winding its way through different phases.

Throughout the entire route of the procession, devotees could be seen lined up on both sides of roads to pay their obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib placed atop a decorated truck which was preceded by the Panj Piyaras. A glider was engaged by the committee to shower flower petals. Tents had been pitched to distribute sweetened water and parshad among the devotees. Mr Hardeep Singh, a member of the SGPC, said the procession was led by Baba Avtar Singh Dhulkot Wale. An added feature of the celebrations was that the local Municipal Council had erected welcome gates throughout the procession route.

A similar procession was taken out by villagers of SAS Nagar subdivision. The procession, which started from Bhabat, culminated at Gurdwara Akal Ashram, Sohana, after winding its way through Nabha, Nadiali, Bakarpur, Manauli, Raipur and Mauli Baidwan villages. The Jathedar of Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh, was present at the Bhabat gurdwara.


Many IT companies ready to set up facilities in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — A number of multinational and Indian IT companies have expressed interest in setting up their facilities in Chandigarh.

Representatives of these companies met the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, and the Secretary, IT, Mr Rakesh Singh, during their visit to Bangalore for the IT.Com. Fair.

Over 500 companies inquired about the IT developments in Chandigarh and conveyed their desire for establishing IT units in Chandigarh, a spokesperson of the Administration said. A meeting was held between Administration officials and the Jurong Trading Corporation (JTC) of Singapore regarding the IT tower complex which is to be set up in Sector 47, Chandigarh. The JTC had earlier set up an IT park in Bangalore, which is the most modern state-of-the-art IT park in the country.

The response of the IT companies as well as general visitors to the stall of the Department of IT, Chandigarh, was immense as over 10,000 people visited the stall. The Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, besides ministers from various state governments and also from foreign countries, made highly appreciative comments.


Terrorism is self-generating
By Kiran Deep

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Violence and killings in the world are increasing day by day, and it has become necessary to find a solution to the problem of terrorism. Professor Paul Wallace from USA, today presented a paper on” Lessons of political violence and international Terrorism at Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre, Chandigarh.

Professor Paul said that” It was important to understand why political violence occurs and takes an organised form. Once it begins, it tends to develop into a self generating process with violence, revenge and killing of the innocent. There is a large literature which focuses on the causes and details of various problem situation throughout the world. The following is a modest effort on how to reverse the process of political violence. It essentially is the result of examining a large number of movements in an attempt to develop a comparative perspective. There is a need to understand the problem of terrorism and find the ways to solve these.

He said political violence against a state most often results in a damage to democracy. Emergencies then replace the political process, but it is no solution to the problem. Politics is essential to deal with it. We need not to be pessimistic.

Suggestions to deal with terrorism situation

* Negotiation as potent instrument.
* Defining boundaries, fallout and limitations of negotiation.
* Transformation of principles into political weapons of negotiations.
* Intervention should not become justification for escalation of violence.
* Outdated principle should be replaced by superior alternatives.

We now have models with the end of apartheid in the Union of South Africa, the painful but continuing PLO-Israli negotiation, a creative political agreement in Northern Ireland. Renewed democratic Institutions in Punjab, and substantial hope in Bosnia, Peru and Sri Lanka may also fall into this improving category.

In contrast to what seem to be improving situations, there is a long list of areas with a high level of political violence, Algeria topped the list in 1998 and so was the case with Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. Sri Lanka may be Improving, but the level of political violence and terrorism is high.

Professor Wallace also warned about the dangers of violence and said that “Violence can quickly destroy relationships between groups, which took long time to build. The process of overcoming hatreds engendered by violence was very slow. Moreover, the longer one waits, the more deeply imbedded become the fissures which needs to be repaired”.


Mystery of monthly telephone bills solved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Telephone subscribers connected to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) exchanges are confused and surprised as they have received bills for a monthly billing cycle, instead of the usual bimonthly billing cycle.

Thousands of subscribers in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar have received bills of amounts that they pay on average in a bi-monthly billing cycle. The rentals have been halved. The bills are for calls made till September 30 and rentals are also till that date only. Nowhere does the bill explain the reason for this sort of billing cycle. Not only has this led to harassment but also to thousands of queries from subscribers.

Several people were not even expecting their bills. Explaining this, BSNL officials said all bills have been issued till September 30. That was when the Department of Telecom (DoT) was working. So all bills have to be cleared. From October 1, the BSNL came into being and the bills will now be on a bimonthly basis.


Resident accused of posing as SP
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — A city resident was today accused of getting his car repaired after posing as Superintendent of Police. Denying the allegations, the resident, however, claimed he was being implicated by certain shopkeepers of Sector 21 following dispute over money.

At about 5. 15 p.m., the resident was brought to the Sector 19 police station after the cops were reportedly contacted by the owner of a car accessories shop in Sector 21. He and certain other shopkeepers alleged that the person had flaunted a fake identity card.

Taking to media persons present at the police station soon after hearing the news of an “SP” from Punjab being apprehended by the police, the shopkeeper said the person was today recognised while he was getting his car repaired. The person, he added, had “run away” after getting accessories worth Rs 6,000 installed from his shop last year.

Giving details, he added that the person had dropped names of influential bureaucrats during the visit to his shop the previous year. The shopkeeper further added that he informed the owner of the adjoining shop after seeing the person there.

The other shopkeeper alleged that a fake identity card was shown to him two or three days back. The person, he added, had asked them to charge reasonable price for the repairs.

The resident, on the other hand, reportedly told the police that he was being framed due to some dispute over money. Refuting the allegations of possessing fake identity card, the person reportedly said he was getting his car repaired for four or five days but no one had pointed an accusing finger towards him till today. The matter, according to sources in the Police Department, was amicably resolved.


Jacob’s message on Gurpurb eve
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today called upon the people to follow the path of truth, equality and kindness as shown by Guru Nanak Dev.

Felicitating the people on the eve of the birthday of the Guru, the Governor said he was an apostle of peace who epitomised universal brotherhood and love towards humanity. General Jacob said: “This day give us an opportunity to reaffirm our faith in his teachings and rise above caste, religion and regional considerations and fight for the unity and strength of the nation.”


Probe demanded into land dispute
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Nov 10 — Mr Ranbir Singh Kala, President, and six other members of the local Municipal Council, have demanded that the Punjab Government should order a CBI inquiry into the land dispute at Khanpur village, which falls within the municipal limits of Kharar, so that a permanent settlement of the dispute could be found.

According to a press note issued here today, a resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting held here yesterday. The meeting was attended, among others, by Mr Preet Kanwal Singh, Mr Gurdial Singh, Mr Roshan Lal, Mr Om Parkash Aggarwal and Mrs Swarnjit Kaur (all municipal commissioners) and Mr Devinder Gupta and Mr Harpreet Singh Johar (both advocates).


‘Need’ to educate public on legal aid
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Nov 10 — The necessity of creating public awareness about the legal aid and the Legal Services Act, 1987, was emphasised on Legal Services Day observed in the district courts complex in Sector 1 here yesterday.

The member-secretary of the Haryana State Legal Services Authority, Mr R.S. Virk, said that measures like organising seminars and lok adalats, wide publicity of the aims and objectives of the legal aid movement by distributing pamphlets were being undertaken.

Later, interacting with members of the local Bar, Mr Virk sought their cooperation and participation to make the legal aid movement a success.

Earlier, a special lok adalat was organised to mark the occasion. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Ved Pal Gupta, informed that 152 cases were settled by the courts functioning on the premises. Mr Gupta added that the next lok adalat would be held in the complex on November 18.


Jat expedition reaches city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — The cycling leg of the Mahaveer Jat expedition arrived in city yesterday after pedalling their way from Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. The team, led by Lieut S. Sanger, will be flagged off on its next leg to Ambala tomorrow.

This is part of a three-week long multi-disciplinary adventure expedition, including cycling, running and motor cycling, being undertaken by the Jat Regiment to inculcate the spirit of adventure and comradeship amongst its troops, besides testing leadership qualities, skills and stamina. Its members will be drawn from all battalions of the Jat Regiment who will traverse the region on foot, cycles and motor cycles.

While the different legs of the expedition will be flagged off from various places where Jat battalions are based, they will all culminate at the Jat Regimental Centre in Bareilly.

According to information made available here, the cycling leg was flagged off from Jammu on October 27 and involves covering a distance of about 900 km. The route, to be covered in 25 days, includes Jammu, Pathankot, Kangra, Yol, Palampur, Sajanpur, Bilaspur, Chandigarh, Ambala, Karnal, Sonipat, Meerut, Moradabad and Bareilly.


Guru’s disciple shares the limelight
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — A rare and beautiful model of Bhai Lallo’s, a disciple of Guru Nanak, residence and the forest adjoining to his village has been made by a city resident.

Sector 27 resident Amar Singh has prepared a model which took intensive labour by the 76-year-old artist. The model would be displayed in several gurdwaras of England.

Guru Nanak Dev ji, accompanied by Mardana, visited Bhai Lallo’s house in Sadpur (present day Amnabad, Pakistan), and stayed with him for 11-months. The Guru used to meditate in the nearby forest and take meals at his house. Both the sites are now Gurdwaras called Rori Sahib and Bhai Lallo’s Gurdwara.

The project was completed by the artist in three months. He said the model has been made keeping in view the need for telling the new generation about our rich heritage and the deeds of our gurus. I desire that the children should know about their forefathers. This sentiment was also shared by some NRIs. The model would be displayed in London and would be a means to educate the children staying there.

The model portrays the life style of Bhai Lallo, who was a hakim, a blacksmith and a carpenter. Depicted are his workshop and the plate where he used to make agricultural tools and implements. Also shown are his dispensary and the kitchen where Guru Nanak Dev used to take his meals.

What strikes the visitor is the detail and the labour of love that went in the making of the model. Great attention has been given to each detail and the result is worth seeing, especially for those who do not know the background.

The boundary wall of the house has been made using small wooden sticks and to give it a real touch, the sticks are tied with thread. Small bamboo shrivels have been used for the roof of the house.

Mr Amar Singh revealed that he has tried to show each and every place where Guru Nanak Dev put his feet during his 11-month stay at the latter’s place. The well in the house, which still exists, has also been shown. Water from the well is consumed both by Hindus and Muslims, both of whom consider it as nectar.

In one part of the model he has depicted the life style of Bhai Lallo while in the other half he has shown a forest where people used to take shelter whenever any enemy attacked the village and the Guru used to meditate.

A lake in the forest is portrayed very efficiently with its stony banks. Animals and birds in the forest look very natural. Those desirous of seeing the model can contact the artist at 3459, Sector 27 - D.


Dancer, actress, compere all in one
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Grace is inherent. At least that is what one gathers after meeting 26-year-old Odissi dancer, Leesa Mohanty of Chandigarh, who has achieved great fame at a young age. Her reputation is because of her unique style.

Tomorrow, she will perform in Pracheen Kala Kendra. Today, she spoke to Chandigarh Tribune about her days of struggle and her first love — Odissi. She has a number of performances at prestigious places to her credit. Her sister, Leena is also a noted Odissi dancer.

Leesa’s association with Odissi is as old as her age. She says, “I was born with an urge to master the art. I have always remembered myself as dancing ever since I was a little girl.” Leesa received the Best Child Artiste award in 1984 for an Oriya movie Basanta Rasa. She is also a senior auditioned B-category artiste of Cuttack Doordarshan Kendra. She has also received a senior merit national scholarship of the Department of Culture of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

She performed at Sharad Utsav organised by the Uttar Pradesh Government in 1986 and 1988. She also performed for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at Mayapuri (Nadiya). Another memorable performance that she gave was at the India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan in 1987.

She says, “I also performed at the Konark Festival in 1991, Swami Haridas Samaroh at Vrindavan in 1993 and the Natyanjali Festival in 1995 at Chidamvaram. People have also seen my performances in Gaiety Theatre of Shimla and at the Republic Day celebrations of the Himachal Pradesh Government.”

She has also established herself as a successful actress and choreographer. She has choreographed a 30-minute programme, Milan Madhuri, for Bhubaneshwar Doordarshan Kendra.

Being a dancer, acting is not much of a problem for her. “I was keen on assimilating all my talent and learning, so, I picked up whatever came my way,” she says. Leesa has been able to blend her Odissi skills with ability to act. She has acted in many award-winning movies like Janani, Jai Phoola and Hakim Babu. In Basanta Rasa, she has played Mansukha, childhood friend of Lord Krishna. This was the role that got her the Best Child Artiste award. She has been the leading lady of many dramas produced by a cultural group, Bansi Bilas, of Bhubaneshwar.

She is an excellent compere as well. She says, “I have compered the Konark Festival in 1992. I have also compered programmes for the Orissa Government.”


Children’s Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — Children’s Day was celebrated at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, by Worldwide Fund for Nature-India in collaboration with Ganesh International Movies, in which the underprivileged children of the Vatika School for Deaf and Dumb and Ashiana School, Sector 25, participated.

An on-the-spot painting competition, a mono-acting contest and a fancy dress competition were organised on the occasion.


AC, stereo stolen from house
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — In a complaint to the police, a Sector 40 resident today alleged that an airconditioner and a stereo were stolen from his house.

Taking up the complaint lodged by Rakesh Mahajan, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code.

Senior police officials, when contacted, said investigations were on and efforts were being made to nab the culprits.

Theft cases
The theft of a cable signal amplifier was reported to the police by Kewal Kumar of Sector 20. In his complaint before the police, he stated that the amplifier was installed on a pole near the Punjab Roadways workshop.

Acting on his complaint, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC. According to sources, investigations into the matter were on.

In another incident, an SAS Nagar resident has alleged that a stereo was stolen from his car in broad daylight. In his complaint, he added that the car was parked in the Sector 22 market when the theft occurred.

The police, taking up his complaint, has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC and is investigating the matter.


Goods recovered
The police has recovered goods worth Rs 25,000 from two accused involved in theft cases. The police also claims to have solved over 30 cases of burglary in the city.

According to sources, the duo — Ravi and Vijay, residents of Indira Colony — were arrested by the police in their involvement in theft cases last month.

The items which were recovered from them include two pistols, TV sets, gold ornaments and some other valuables.


Women allege harassment
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — In separate complaints before the police, two housewives have alleged that their husbands were demanding dowry. Taking up their complaints, the Chandigarh Police has registered two separate cases.

Accusing her husband Ram Ishwer, along with her in-laws, of harassing and maltreating her, Ms Geeta of Milk Colony in Dhanas alleged that she was being asked to bring more dowry. Giving details, she added that she was married of to Ram Ishwer, a resident of Naya Gaon in Ropar District, on March 10, 1999.

In the other complaint, Ms Jasman Kaur of Phase IX in SAS Nagar alleged that Rs 70,000 was demanded by her husband on October 22, 1999 for setting up an STD booth. She alleged that she was asked to get the money from her parents, but her parents were not in a position to pay.

Going into the background, she added that her marriage with Purandeep Singh, a resident of Ramgaria Mohalla in Pathankot, had taken place on November 27, 1997.

Senior police officials, when contacted, said cases of criminal breach of trust and subjecting a married woman to cruelty, under Section 406 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code, had been registered. They added that both the offences were no bailable.


JTO arrested on graft charge
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Nov 10 — The Punjab Vigilance Department today arrested a Junior Telecommunication Officer (JTO) employed in the local telephone exchange on the charges of taking a bribe.

According to sources, Hari Om Sharma was caught redhanded while taking a bribe from a telephone subscriber of Karkaur village. The subscriber had applied for an STD connection and reportedly had earlier ‘‘pleased’’ him several times for early release of the connection.

The sources revealed that subscriber informed the officials at Patiala and then approached the JTO with “marked” currency notes of Rs 500 denomination. While accepting the amount, the vigilance officials caught him.

He was later taken to Patiala by a team of the department


Shopkeepers protest against drive
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Nov 10 — In protest against the removal of the encroachments outside their shops and beating up of some rehri-wallahs by the enforcement wing of the civic body, irate shopkeepers today observed a half-day bandh, staged a dharna and raised slogans before the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat office here.

Shopkeepers of the market pulled down the shutters of their shops and gathered on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in the morning. Raising slogans, they moved towards the civic body’s office and staged a dharna for over five hours.

The shopkeepers alleged that the sanitary inspector demanded money from them and on their refusal had removed the encroachments. The meat-shop owners also alleged that the Nagar Panchayat employees often demanded money from them and threatened to remove their shacks if not given the required amount.

The agitators were demanding necessary action against the inspector. The shopkeepers had a tiff with the Nagar Panchayat employees while the latter were removing the encroachments on Thursday evening. About three rehriwallas and some vendors also reportedly sustained minor injuries.

Later, on the assurance of Mr A.L. Bansal, the Executive Officer, the agitators opened shops in the afternoon. Mr Bansal, however, said that the anti-encroachment drive would continue. He appealed to the shopkeepers to vacate the encroached areas themselves.


Allahabad Bank holds customers' meet
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Nov 10 — Allahabad Bank organised a customers' meet on the occasion of the seventh opening anniversary of the Panchkula branch of the bank here today.

Mr Deepak Narang, Regional Manager, and Mr H.L. Mehra, Senior Manager, explained to the customers the role of Allahabad Bank in the present-day market scenario and economic development of the region. They also explained the housing, car, customer products and personal loan schemes introduced by the bank.

Mr R.K. Dhall, branch Manager, thanked the customers for giving valuable suggestions to improve the functioning of the bank.


Rehriwalas seek pucca booths
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — A delegation of the New Capital Rehri Workers Association, Bajwara Market, Sector 22, met the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, here today.

In a memorandum to the Rai, the delegation demanded pucca booths for the rehriwalas who had deposited Rs 3,000 with the Chandigarh Housing Board in 1991. The memorandum regretted that even after nine years 2,100 rehriwalas in 22 rehri markets in the city were without pucca booths.

The memorandum threatened that if the construction of the booths was not started immediately the association would launch an agitation, according to a press note.


Market panel members want poll notified
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 10 — The elected members of the UT Market Committee have urged the Administration to notify the elections immediately so that they could work towards redressing the problems being faced by the farmers, commission agents and palledars, besides city residents visiting the grain market.

Some of the members, while interacting with Chandigarh Tribune, lamented that although the results were declared on November 6, the authorities were yet to notify the elections declaring them as directors of the committee. It was only after this that the members would elect a chairman and a vice-chairman from amongst themselves.

As many as nine members were elected from the farmers, commission agents, cooperative societies and the palledars constituency.

Meanwhile, five members, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Mr Kesar Singh, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Om Prakash Chawla, have staked their claim to the post of chairman. They said they were the dominant group and would name the chairman from among themselves.

The members, who owe allegiance to the Congress, the Akali Dal and the BJP, cut across party lines and said they wanted not only to work for the benefit of their electorate but also the people of the city. They claimed that they would resist all pressures being brought upon them by senior party leaders.

They said that allout efforts would be made to improve the revenue of the committee which had dropped drastically during the past years.


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