Monday, December 4,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Disability no deterrent for them
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 3 — Disability seemed no deterrent as 70 handicapped children, lived up to the spirit of “their day”, the World Disabled Day, and participated in various contests organised at Saket Hospital, here today.

To make the day memorable for the children, various games were held and ecstatic children expressed their happiness by clapping, cheering their friends and encouraging them to give their best. Interestingly, they took their defeat with equal enthusiasm, laughing it away with the wave of a hand.

The events included carom competitions, crutch race, tricycle race, relay race and tug-of-war. A painting contest and a table tennis match was also held. The children from Raipur Rani presented two cultural items, including a folk dance.

The participants included 50 children from the Saket centre in Panchkula and Chandi Mandir, and 20 others from the Centre for the Deaf and Dumb, Raipur Rani.

The Director of the institute, Mr R Jhalani, said that efforts were underway to make the OPD of the hospital in Sector 1 functional for six days in a week and that the target would be achieved by the beginning of the next year. Further, he stated that the institute would make efforts to organise a state-level meet of the disabled in the next year.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, announced a grant of Rs 1,00,000 and appealed to the people to come forward and cooperate towards enabling the disabled to lead a normal life.

He said the Health Department, in a survey to identify the disabled in the district, had put the figure at 3141 and had held special camps in Raipur Rani, Kalka, Morni, Pinjore and Panchkula to issue identity cards to them.

At Barwala, a blood donation camp was held at the local Government College to mark the occasion. As many as 65 donors came forward to donate blood at the camp which was jointly organised by the District Red Cross Society and the NSS volunteers.

CHANDIGARH: On the occasion of World Disabled Day here today, Prof B.N.S. Walia, former Director, PGI, exhorted the affluent in the city to donate generously for the cause of the mentally and physically challenged. He was speaking at Prayaas Building in Sector 38 here.

The function was organised by the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Branch of Indian Academy of Paediatricians.

Tiny tots participated in painting, poem recitation and sports activities. They could be children of lesser god but today, the youngsters, in full spirit, competed in various activities enthusiastically. Besides the usual prizes for winners, each one of those who participated got a special prize for their efforts. Dr A. Trehan, general secretary of the IAP, said that the idea behind the function was to give children a feel of competing like any normal child.

Presenting prizes to the winners, Prof S.K. Sharma, Director, PGI, congratulated the youngsters.

In the panel discussion, the experts, which included Dr Pratibha Singhi, Dr P. Malhi, Dr Alka and Mrs Bharti Kapoor, discussed various problems related to the mentally and physically challenged with their parents.

The experts, while stressing the need for early detection of disabilities said that 10 to 12 per cent of the school-going children have difficulty in learning. However, teachers in school are unable to understand these problems at an early stage as disability if detected early can be treated.

Do not reject or overprotect, the doctors told the parents, adding that assistance to the mentally and physically challenged is required at early stage, which has to be gradually withdrawn.

Dispelling common myths that mental disorders are communicable, the doctors stressed that the problem was genetically related. It was stressed that marriage should not be considered a therapy for mentally disturbed.

Discussing the sterilisation of mentally retarded, doctors said that it depended upon the degree of retardation. If a person was capable of getting married and looking after onself, there was no requirement for sterilisation.

Doctors said that stammering, a common problem of the mentally disturbed, was fully curable but needed daily repetition and continuous attention from the parents. Moreover, brain tonics are of no use. Brain development needs stimulation in form of skills and training. Therefore, instead of spending money on these tonics, the children should be given stimulation in the form of skills and training.

Speaking about the anti-epileptic therapy, the panelists said that more than one third of the mentally retarded were at the risk of fits. Since recurrence is common, proper compliance of the treatment is important.

Experts told the parents that while some of the mentally retarded could be problematic in feeding, it was more because of lack of coordination between the mouth and throat. This problem could be easily solved by simple training. The problem of obesity in these children should be dealt with effective diet control.


World Disabled Day as protest day
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — The Punjab branch of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) today observed the World Disabled Day as protest day against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Government with regard to its long-pending demands.

Addressing a rally at Sector 34 here, the general secretary of the NFB, Prof Rajesh Mohan, alleged that the Punjab Government had failed to implement its demand of 1 per cent job reservation quota for the visually-impaired persons, which is due since 1982.

He said as far as the implementation of the Disability Act was concerned, the record of the Punjab Government was very poor.

He criticised the Social Security Department for its failure to get recognition for its institution, GIB at Ludhiana, which was established 32 years back. It was a matter of surprise that during this long period the government had failed to get affiliation for the institution, he said.

The president of the federation, Mr Gopal Krishan Kaushal, warned that if the government failed to accept their demands, the federation would observe the Rohtash memorial week as ‘black week’ from December 25.

It may be recalled that Rohtash, an activist of the NFB, was killed in the police manhandling on January 1,1997 when the federation had organised a demonstration in front of the office of the DPI (schools) of the Punjab Government for the implementation of job reservation quota for the visually-impaired persons.

Mr M.S. Rana, vice-president, alleged that the government had deliberately kept away the NFB from all committees constituted to look into the implementation of the Disability Act.


First disabled folk dance troupe performs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 —'Never say quit spirit', a handicapped dance troupe with a difference brought forward the jest to live life at a performance at the Punjab Kala Bhavan here this evening.

The Rising Star Disabled Youth Club featured in another of its distinguished shows on the day celebrating needs and rights of the handicapped. Born in 1992, the group has featured in over 75 performances all over the country. This also includes two shows in New York.

There was a nip in the air but the dhol and dance managed crowd retention. Jhoomar in a little changed style and dhola set the tempo. Bhangra was a lively presentation towards the end of the show. There were also solo song recitals.

The team has a name in the Limca Book of Records as the first disabled folk dance troupe in the country. Interestingly, the troupe consists of serving personnel from a wide range of government services. These include architecture, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, irrigation, police and sports besides others.

Harinder Pal Singh, a founder member, managed the stage. Ramesh Thakur, Venod Singh, Jagdish Singh, Charanjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Arminder Singh, Sunny and Kuldip Singh also featured in the show.


Club donates wheel-chair to handicapped boy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — A function was organised today by the Lions Club, Rose Chandigarh to mark world disable day. the Vice District Governor, Lion D. K Sood, presented a wheel chair to a handicapped boy on the occasion on behalf of the members of the club. Region Chairman, Lion B S Garcha, zone Chairman, Lion Jaspal Singh Deol, and District Chairman Public Relations, Lion Satish Seth, were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion the Chief guest Lion D.K. Sood said more such projects were required to be taken up by various clubs and there was a need to spread the light of lionism among the various sections of society. He said such projects would go a long way in enhancing the motto of ‘ We Serve’.

President of Lion Club Rose said the club would also take steps to ensure that the handicapped boy gets proper education .


3 rail mishap victims die in PGI
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — Three Rajpura rail mishap victims succumbed to their injuries after battling for life for more than 24 hours at the PGI here today.

The three dead are Teja Singh of Bhojpur village in Ara district (Bihar), Rampal of Bela Takai village in Rae Bareli district (UP) and Radhey Lal of Lala Kakru village in Rae Bareli district.

The bodies were handed over to the police. These will be sent to Patiala for identification and other formalities after a post-mortem examination tomorrow.

For the injured, the day after the accident was a happy reunion for some, while others were just thankful to be alive. They waited for their relatives and friends to reach.

Sunita, who was admitted to the institute last evening, had spent a sleepless night agonising over the whereabouts of her husband, Ajay Kumar, her two children and father-in-law who were in the ill-fated train.

Following concerted efforts by the tracing squad of the Punjab Red Cross, her worst fears were laid to rest. "Thank God my husband and children are safe," was all she could manage to murmur somehow with tears in her eyes.

Most of the accident victims admitted to hospitals belong to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. While the next of kin of most of them have been informed, only a few were able to reach the city till late this evening. The injured, with searching eyes, tried to find a familiar face.

Ram Bharose from Pratapgarh district (UP) was worried about his future. Mohinder Pal and Janaki Prasad, the two roadside vendors in Batala, hailing from Sudanpur village in Bareilly district (UP), were also concerned about how their respective families would reach them. Anil Kumar, a 19-year-old student from Patna, who had missed the entrance test for a bank clerical post, asked to be given special concession for having missed the opportunity.

The team of Northern Railway officials said all possible help which included informing the family members to providing an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5,000 on the spot to look after the daily needs, besides refreshments, was being given to next of kin of those admitted to the two city hospitals. The members of the Punjab Red Cross distributed blankets and clothes among the injured.

According to doctors, most of the accident victims were suffering from fractures and trauma injuries.


New camouflage net for armed forces
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — The use of two-tone strips of canvas woven through nets made of jute for camouflage may soon be a thing of the past. The armed forces are set to introduce an indigenously developed camouflage net which offers protection from more than just the visual mode of detection.

According to the sources, the new type of camouflage net, made of synthetic, will have radar scattering capabilities and will offer protection from radar detection and infrared based detection systems, besides visual detection. The new net has reportedly been cleared for introduction into the service. Trials were carried out in the desert as well as in the plains.

With detection systems becoming increasingly hi-tech and effective, the art of camouflage in today's battlefield has assumed new dimensions. On the international scenario, the era of rigging up nets and sticking twigs and leaves in them in an effort to blend into the background has long gone. Field commanders today have to contend with detection systems such as lasers, thermal imagers, radars, infrared and sonar, which are able to penetrate conventional camouflage methods. These systems, which can detect both human presence as well as equipment, can be land, air and space based.

Sources admit that camouflage methods used by the armed forces in India still leave a lot to be desired. The Indian soldier is still vulnerable to detection by thermal imagers conventional camouflage methods are still being employed for equipment, vehicles and buildings.

Besides offering good camouflage capabilities, the new net has several other unique and interesting features, which gives it functional and logistical advantages over conventional camouflage nets.

The net is made of PVC coated garnished twine, with its support poles being of an aluminum alloy. It is reversible, with one side being patterned for desert camouflage and the other for use in plains or jungle. Said to be lightweight yet strong, it weighs about 300 grams per square meter. The material is water repellent as well as flame retardant, besides being micro-organism resistant.

Meanwhile, the DRDO laboratories have also developed computer software to generate unique and non-repetitive camouflage patterns. The software takes into account the size orientation of the object to be camouflaged and can determine the placement of patterns as well as the percentage of colour patches be used. The patterns so generated can be transferred on the surface of equipment.


Illegal plying of taxis goes unchecked
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Dec 3 — A number of vehicles bearing private numbers are being plied as taxis from different unauthorised taxi stands at various places in the district for the past many years. The taxi operators are using government land and other open spaces along roads for parking their taxis with impunity.

According to sources, over 270 illegal taxis are being operated from about 15 unauthorised taxi stands in Panchkula alone.

Cars and jeeps, which are parked in a haphazard manner at various places in the town, have not only become a cause of concern for residents but also centres of nuisance.

Residents of the town complain that operators can often be seen playing cards and drinking liquor inside their vehicles parked at various places in residential areas. Cases of luring girls and brawls have also been reported.

Mr Parveen Kumar, president Market Welfare Association, Sector 16, alleged that the operators charge exorbitantly. A majority of cars and jeeps in the district are being plied without obtaining any permit from the authorities. Many taxi operators compel passengers to pay the penalties charged by the police when challaned for not possessing necessary documents.

The Deputy Commissioner has already held a meeting on the complaints of the residents. A college girl says that the parking of private taxis here should be banned as their operators create a nuisance.

The Haryana Transport Commissioner had earlier warned the operators at a meeting about a chalan of Rs 10,000 if they ply their vehicle without legal documents in the state. The meeting was held at Gurgaon last week.

It may be recalled that the Deputy Commissioner at the meeting of various heads of the department last week had also assured that the illegal taxi operators would be challaned and a proposal to allot separate sites finalised. He also asked the operators to get their vehicles registered by December 15. But on account of lack of any follow-up action, the problem remains the same.


Security plan by Sector 4 residents
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 3 — For maintaining safety and security in view of spate of thefts in the satellite township, residents of Sector 4 here have decided to seal all six entry points to the sector by putting up iron gates. Besides, all vacant plots will also be blocked by putting up barbed wires.

According to Mr Jagjit Soi, chairman, and Mr A.L. Gupta, president , Progressive Society, Sector 4, day and night patrolling will be undertaken by trained security guards who will be appointed by the society itself.

At an emergency meeting held here today, the committee decided to collect a tentative sum of Rs 1,000 from all 400 house-owners in the society. Besides, Rs 100 will also be collected per month from each family, including tenants, to meet the recurring expenditure.


Road relaid with new technique
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — The V3 road dividing Sectors 46 and 47 have been spruced up with the latest technical treatment. With the work having been completed last week, the traffic to SAS Nagar and other areas can now move with ease.

This road had been in a dilapidated condition and the existing crust was full of undulations and uneven surfaces. Since the intensity of traffic is very high on the road, the same needed to be surfaced and strengthened.

Officials sought the opinion of a consultant who could suggest some method of treatment other than the traditional method to repair the stretch of V-3 roads dividing Sectors 31 and 32 and Sectors 46 and 47. Following this, Dr Kewal Singh, former Professor of the Highway department, PEC, suggested two alternatives for treating the weak clay subgrade soil with fine stabilisation. He had in his report pointed out that use of both methods would be best result-oriented if quick disposal of water was made on these roads by providing more road gullies.

While carrying out the repair work of the V-3 road between Sectors 46 and 47 the second method was used as the one used to repair the road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 was found to be quite laborious and time consuming. To begin wit, defects such as depression and potholes on the existing pavements were rectified. After this it was carpeted with a 3-inch thick bituminous macmadam so as to bring the existing road surface to a proper level. At the end 1 inch of semi-dense bitumen concrete was laid to ensure that it could cater to the heavy vehicular traffic.

Officials maintain that the repair work undertaken for the first time by this method has been completed in less than a month. Sensor paver, a fully automatic and electronically controlled machine was used to regulate thickness and slopes on this road it works to great accuracy. In fact, this machine is normally used to undertake repair work on national highways, but since the road is being used as a highway and a lot of traffic to Mohali passes through this, the authorities decided to do quality work.

In the case of the Sectors 31 and 32 road, which had a high level of dampness, the first alternative of treating the weak clayey subgrade soil with lime stabilisation was used. Holes of 9-inch diameter were made into the subgrade soil below the existing pavement up to 60 cm depth, then 12 kg of lime of tested specified purity was poured into the wet soil. After the consolidation of the holes, the road was strengthened with 50mm thick bituminous macadam and over this 25mm semi-dense bitumen concrete was laid.


Panchkula internal roads need attention
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 3 — The condition of internal roads of various sectors in the town is lamentable with potholes of the size of craters dotting these, causing inconvenience to residents.

While residents are happy with the recarpeting of sector-dividing roads and B-roads in sectors which are done up every few months, they contend that the department concerned has not bothered to carry out repairs on internal roads even if recarpeting cannot be done.

“We have informed about the deplorable condition of roads in front of our house a number of times but nothing has been done. These continue to deteriorate year after year, making living conditions miserable,” a resident of Sector-11, Ms Puja Verma, contends.

In Sector 19, there are places where a stretch of road has vanished and has been replaced by a kucha section where traversing is an arduous task during the rainy season. Nothing has been done despite repeated complaints, the residents allege.

A similar problem has arisen in Sector 12 as well, where in spite of carpeting working having been completed, the new layer has failed to go beyond a fortnight. A resident, Mr A Katial, rues, “The roads are hazardous and the bumps have resulted in a back problem for me and my wife. Both of us have become patients.”

The residents contend that they have got used to thick clouds of dust everytime a vehicle passes by, causing asthma in children and resulting in a thick layer of dust in houses.

The residents welfare associations of various sectors have taken up cudgels on behalf of the residents and demanded repair work. However, they admit they have failed to make the department address their woes.

“This is not only true for sectors which are located at the far end of the town but also for sectors considered to be posh and important. The entire concentration seems to be on the maintenance of the main roads,” Mrs Rama Kaushal, a resident of Sector 7, says.

An official of HUDA claims that repair work and recarpeting of internal roads is carried out every five years and is due in some sectors while others will have to wait for their turn. In sectors where it is due, work has been allotted and is likely to begin soon.


Phone subscribers’ complaints
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 3 — Telephone subscribers of Phase X and XI are up in arms against the Telecom Department for its failure to provide efficient services in their area. A number of subscribers complained that the telephone bills were without the meter reading and just contained the rental amount. As a result, they had to run around to go the Phase 4 telephone exchange to get the details.

Faulty telephone connections and dead telephone numbers were also causing a lot of harassment to the subscribers. The problem for the subscribers started when the telephone connections were shifted to the Phase X telephone exchange.

A subscriber said the telephone numbers had been changed two times and each time there was a lot of confusion among the subscribers. Some subscribers complained that the STD facility on some of the connections was not working.


Water problem in Kharar
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Dec 3 — Failure on the part of the Punjab Government to release funds to the local civic body has resulted in shortage of water. The situation in some parts of the town was so acute that the civic body was supplying water through tankers.

The cash-starved Municipal Committee was not in a position to install more tubewells. Only five of the six existing tubewells were operational.

Sources in the civic body said the state government owed about Rs 2 crore on account of octroi on liquor and other funds.

This year no amount had been received by the committee from the District Planning Board. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, had announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh to the committee last year at a public rally at Kurali, but the funds had not been released so far.

The committee had passed a resolution to take a loan of Rs 25 lakh to sink two tubewells, but the matter is still pending.


Painting contest
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 3 — An on-the-spot painting contest, which saw a participation of 200 children on current themes, was organised by the All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society and the Artists Association in Swastik Vihar here today. Divided in three groups based on their age, the children in the 7 to 10 years category were required to draw a picnic scene, a doll house or a festival scene, those in the age group in 10 to 15 years could choose from the topics of protection of wildlife, abolition of child labour and drug abuse. The children in the age group of 15 to 18 years could select a topic from a war scene, AIDS and drawbacks of Chandigarh.


2 booked in assault case
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — The police has registered an FIR against two persons for allegedly outraging modesty of a woman and assaulting her along with her son. However, the father of one of the accused has claimed that his son was innocent and the police has registered the case under the political pressure.

Ms Renu Sabharwal, General Secretary of the All-India Human Rights Watch, Chandigarh, alleged that she was assaulted and her modesty was outraged by Navdeep Sharma and his accomplice at about 9.30 a.m. She further alleged that her son, Mr Mohit Sabharwal, was also assaulted. The police has arrested Navdeep Sharma.

However, Mr Mohan Sharma, father of Navdeep Sharma, gave a different version. He alleged that the police has registered a false case against his son under the political pressure. Mr Sharma said, ‘‘My son never put hand on the clothes of Ms Sabharwal, instead she tore her clothes herself’’. According to him she was trying to implicate his son.

The complainant, a resident of Sector 27, alleged that two persons came in a Maruti car (CH- 01-Z-0284) in front of her house they first abused her son and then started beating him. According to her when she came down to intervene she was assaulted by the duo and her clothes were torn by Navdeep.

Navdeep who claimed to be the landlord of the house in which Sabharwal family was residing, wanted it to be vacated. He allegedly threatened the family with dire consequences if the house was not vacated.

The All-India Human Rights Watch, Chandigarh, in a press release alleged that the police was reluctant to register the complaint but when Mr Sagar Preet Hooda, Assistant Superintendent of Police, intervened the police registered the complaint.

Navdeep reportedly threatened Ms Sabharwal that he had contacts with some senior officials in the Chandigarh police. But a senior police official denied such allegations.

The police has registered an FIR under Sections 323, 452, 354 and 506\34 of the Indian Penal Code. 


Man decamps with 4.75 lakh
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 — Mr Madan Lal Gupta, a resident of Sector 65, has reported that he gave Rs 4.75 lakh to Chander Prakash for purchasing computer parts, but the latter never returned and decamped with the money.

Mr Gupta alleged that the accused approached him with an offer to get computer parts at a concessional rates and he handed him the amount to purchase the same. It was reported that the accused was running his business under the firm name M\s Electro Tech Engineer at Sector 22.

The police has registered a case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

Bid to outrage modesty
Ms Seema Rani, a resident of Maloya village, has alleged that Major Singh and his cousin Nikku, residents of the same village, tried to outrage her modesty near the government toilets of the village, here yesterday.

A case under the Sections 354 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Car stolen
Mr Vinod Banga, a resident of Jalandhar, has reported that his Maruti car ( PB-08-Y-0179) which was parked near the CMC in Sector 17, was stolen, here yesterday.

A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Two arrested
The local police has arrested Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 18, and Sukhdev Singh, a resident of J&K, for allegedly drinking wine at a public place near H.No 1473 in Sector 22, here yesterday.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Held for trespass
Mr Jagdish Lal, a resident of Mani Majra, has reported to the police that Iqbal Mohammad, a resident of Mori Gate, Mani Majra, entered his house with intention of theft on Saturday morning.

A case under Sections 454, 380 and 511 of the IPC has been registered.


Firing in air
The Sohana police has booked five persons for allegedly firing in the air and assaulting a woman at Sohana on November 19. A case under Sections 148, 149, 336 and 452 of the IPC and the Arms Act has been registered on a complaint lodged by an NRI, Mr Baldev Singh.

The NRI complained that he was in India and there was a land dispute with his brother, Jaswant Singh. On November 19 when he was away in Gurdaspur, Jaswant Singh along with Mohinder Singh, Narinder Kaur and two other unidentified persons entered his house and assaulted her.

Traffic held up
Vehicular traffic at the PCA traffic lights was held up for some time when members of the Chandigarh Building Material Transporters Association and the Mohali Half-Body Trucks Union clashed over the latter's operation in the town yesterday. The local transporters objected to the trucks of Chandigarh carrying construction material to the town. The dispute ended after the police intervened.

Truck stolen
A truck (CH-01-F-6858) was stolen from near the truck union office in Phase VI here on the night of November 30, according to the owner, Mr Gurmukh Singh.


4 of family killed in accident
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 3 — Four members of a family belonging to Phase I, SAS Nagar, were killed and three injured when the van in which they were travelling collided with a private bus and a truck on the Kaithal-Hisar road this afternoon.

The family was returning after attending a marriage function in Hisar. The deceased have been identified as Gurdial, Dinesh, Arti and the driver of the ill-fated van.

According to reports, the injured, Jaswanti, Madhu and Parbhat, have been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Kaithal.

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