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


Flaw in PGI Act: senior doctors may move court
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Loopholes in the PGI Act mean that even when a doctor is selected for a higher post, he could still be junior to his juniors working in other departments.

In fact, as a protest against these strange rules and regulations which says that the post of a professor is an independent job and should be considered as a fresh appointment to the institute, senior faculty members of the PGI, in the near future may even move court.

Under the PGI Act, when an additional professor applies against the vacancy of a professor, it is considered as a fresh appointment for the purpose of seniority in the PGI. This means that the new professor would effectively be junior to all those who became professors before him in other departments but may even have lesser experience in total. However, for pension and other service benefits, previous experience counts.

“This policy of the PGI needs to be challenged as it is against the natural law of justice,” said a senior faculty member on condition of anonymity.” This is causing a lot of resentment, especially at the senior levels. So much so that the post of Dean could not be decided by the last governing body because of this controversy,” he added.

An additional professor comments ‘‘In no other institution in the country, can you become junior to your own students. There are instances when students have overtaken their teachers in the matter of seniority.

One such glaring example has been that of a very senior Additional Professor, who continues to be at the post for more than 17 years now. Ironically, one of his students, has superceded him and has become a professor because he happened to be in a department where the HoD retired. After the post fell vacant, he applied against it and got the job

Prof S.K. Sharma, Director, PGI, says that it may happen but only rarely. “ But where is the problem if he is good professionally. For someone to become a professor he has to be good. Although there has been a demand for it but we do not follow a system like the IAS, where seniority is counted from the day a person joins.

The Director adds, “Ours is a multiple point entry though we usually make selections on the basis of seniority. I personally believe that if a person is good, irrespective of his age, he should get a chance. All over the world, in technical institutions, this system is followed. Even a young man of 35 years could be a professor.”

“We are not against our juniors becoming professors,” comments another professor. “It is not even the question of money. It is the prestige which matters.

The Departmental Promotion Commi-ttee has promoted 20 professors as senior professors and certain individuals gained by this. However, that no one has thought of pointing out this major loophole in the system is one of the causes for the entire problem.

The contention here is not who gets promoted, but whether it pays to stay in the institute,” says an additional professor, “After all taking in consideration the time I have spent in the institute, my seniority has to be maintained.

Doctors say they are repeatedly told that except for the post of the Director and the Dean, their departmental seniority is always maintained. However, with the post of senior professor, it means that seniority matters as only 25 per cent of the professors will eventually get this higher post.


PU Senate meeting put off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — In an interesting development, the Panjab University Senate meeting scheduled for December 17 has been put off.

The postponement also puts off elections to the Panjab University Syndicate scheduled at the meeting of the faculties two days prior to the Senate meeting. The present Syndicate completes its term on December 31. The case pertaining to election to the Senate from graduates’ constituency awaits a formal decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The situation poses an interesting question for award of degrees to pass-outs at the annual convocation later this month. Fellows clear the item of of awarding degrees. Senators also have a formal role in award of DLitt degrees. There is also talk about a honours causa degree.

One more Syndicate meeting before the convocation will include nearly six members of the Syndicate who have not made it to the new Senate. The members bid farewell to the institution at the last meeting yesterday. They will not make it to the Syndicate next time as they have not entered the Senate. These include Prof V.K. Bansal, Dr Raghuvir Singh, Ms Nirmaljit Kaur, Mr Kehar Singh, Prof I.M. Govil and Dr Ram Prakash.

Official sources say the Vice-Chancellor has been requested to look into the matter. A quick court decision on the pending matter is expected, failing which an uncomfortable situation may arise. There is also opinion that the Senate meeting be held as scheduled. The elections to the Syndicate could be postponed. There is no unanimity on this matter. Prof K.N. Pathak, the Vice-Chancellor, said the meeting for December 17 had been called off as the university had to face certain technical problems. A senior Fellow said there was no clarity of programme of action. No notice for elections had been issued and the voters’ list had not been circulated, a Fellow said. Each voter has three votes.

The last date for filling choice of faculties was November 17. This was extended to December 7. Voters were also given the option to change their preferences. The list cannot be opened now till formal clearance is obtained from the VC’s office. The old Syndicate may be asked to continue till the current problem is resolved. There is also a possibility of the university finalising a decision before the convocation. There is another technical question which pertains to the holding of the meeting. A Fellow said a formal communication needed to be forwarded to Fellows at least 15 days before the meeting, which was not done this time.


Upgrade efficiency of workers: Oberai
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — The situation on the labour front is turning explosive in the country. The job market is shrinking and unemployment is on the rise. Employment growth in the government and organised private sector is less than 1 per cent. Public sector undertakings are already in spin as the disinvestment process in their case has begun.

"The employment situation is turning from bad to worse in the country," says Mr A.S.Oberai, Director, International Labour Organisation(ILO), South Asia Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee. He was here in connection with an ILO seminar.

The share of the work force in the organised and government sectors is on the decline. It is increasing in the unorganised sector which means number of casual labourers (without permanent jobs) is going up. According to an estimate, India's work force in all government and private sectors is near 380 million. Earlier, casual labour's share in it was only 30 per cent but in recent past it had gone up to 40 per cent.

There is an addition of 40 million to 50 million in the list of unemployed during the current Five Year Plan. India needs the creation of 10 million jobs every year to meet the employment requirement of its rapidly growing population. But the creation of jobs is far less than required.

Earlier, there was a lot of disguised employment in the agriculture sector. But as this sector is also in doldrums because of increasing input cost, meagre return and shrinking landholdings, the new generation of agriculturalist families prefer to seek employment in urban areas than remaining mired in their age-old profession. "All these developments are major areas of concern for all, including the government and social scientists", said Mr Oberai.

Even the private sector is going for retrenchment as it is facing tough competition from the foreign cheap goods landing in the country. It wants to cut its production cost and enhance productivity which is terribly low compared to the developed countries. Implementation of the World Trade Organisation agenda in India has made the industrialists sit up.

What should be done? Mr Oberai says that there should be drastic economic restructuring. The immediate need is to upgrade the efficiency of the work force to face competition from abroad. Trade unions should realise the dangers ahead and adopt the policy of adjustment and cooperation to protect the interest of the labour force and also of the country. There was need of social dialogue at a high level among labour force, industrialists and the government. As there was a need to move into new areas, the bureaucracy should be told not to create hurdles in the economic restructuring.

Mr Oberai says that he had heard a lot about disinvestment in the PSUs. What the Government had not made clear so far was where the money coming to the government from disinvestment is to be utilised. If it is used to bridge the gap of deficit budget, than it would be most unfortunate. He says that this money should be utilised to promote the efficiency and skills of work force. "Money should be ploughed back to make the job market more secure, " suggests Mr Oberai. Because of bureaucratic hurdles, direct foreign investment in the country had not made much headway. Investors still prefer China where the labour and government sector work in an organised manner with a greater harmony.

There is a lot of scope of employment in the IT sector. But it has social implications for families because of more scope of women in this sector. So it is the right time that the country should develop its response to such social implications. "In the days to come, family life could be affected in a big way because of the nature of employment in this sector," Mr Oberai said.

Specifically talking about the employment problem in the agriculture sector,Mr Oberai said that the government should impart education about entrepreneurship opportunities in the sector. It should provide credit to start small-scale agro-based industries at the village level for value addition. More jobs could be created in this sector by doing so, he said.

Already the work force in banks and electricity boards is on the path of agitation to oppose the privatisation of these sectors.

Mr I.P. Anand, a member of the governing body of the ILO and an industrialist, says that he did not see the emergence of a distinct trend on the labour front following the implementation of the WTO regime in the country. He says that trade unions have two faces. Privately they say one thing, but on stages they say something else. In fact, trade unions are offshoots of political parties and do whatever asked to do by their political bosses.

He said that in a protected economy in the past 50 years, both agriculturists and industrialists had become a pampered lot. "But now, with the onset of liberalisation in the country, there was nervousness in both sectors," he added. Let both now face the competition, he added.

He said that a new sort of landlordism is breeding in the predominantly agricultural states of Haryana and Punjab. Farmers entirely depend on migrant labour and do little themselves in the fields. In all advanced countries, agriculture is a mechanised industry, but in India the application of machinery is very limited in this sector. Complications in this sector are multiplying. Both industry and agriculture should not run away from the competition but adjust accordingly to face the competition.


Hindi aids immigration to Australia
by Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Hindi and Tamil are the only two Indian languages recognised as community language in the context of Australia as a multi-cultural society.

And if you hold a university degree in Hindi or Tamil, you can appear for the test for the position of interpreter/translator in Australia and are entitled to five bonus points at the time of your immigration to Australia.

The first-ever test to judge the language abilities of an immigration applicant to Australia was held here yesterday. The only candidate to take the test was Mr Harpreet Singh.

The test was conducted under the auspices of the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) of Australia, the body that certifies professional translators and interpreters.

If candidates clear the test, they become eligible to five bonus points. They need 110 points to qualify for permanent resident visa in Australia in the independent category. The Department of Multicultural Affairs of Australia has been awarding these “bonus points” to encourage community languages in the country’s multicultural society.

The test, the first of its kind in the region, was organised at the behest of the Australian Migration Agents (AMA), a recognised immigration agency. The NAATI had delegated invigilators to the city-based IDP to conduct the test. The candidates taking the test are allowed to take Hindi-English-Hindi dictionary with them.

The test is basically designed to judge ability of the candidate to effectively translate and interpret from English to his or her native language and vice-versa.

“But other conditions of eligibility for immigration to Australia remain the same,” explains Mr Robert Chelliah, AMA Chief Executive Officer.

“Many eligible candidates from this part of the country can benefit from this formal recognition of Hindi by the Department of Immigration of Australia. Besides, this also encourages better cultural ties and cultural interaction,” says Mr Robert Chelliah.

According to Australian law, to get a position of a paraprofessional translator or interpreter or conference interpreter/translator or translator/interpreter or advanced translator/interpreter, grading has to be obtained from the NAATI before registration. Only certification by NAATI is considered at the time of employment as there is no provision in the law for award of accreditation on the basis of informal assessment of any kind such as work experience, adds Mr Chelliah.


Political connections ‘stall arrest’
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — The city police seems to have no qualms about allowing the law to drift from its course at times. At least that is what appears from the fact that out of eight accused mentioned in the FIR of ‘attempt to murder’ case registered in September this year, one has been allowed to go scot free. While the other seven are behind the bars for the past three months now, (the offence being non-bailable), the police has yet not arrested Nand Lal whose name figures prominently in the charge sheet submitted in the district court about five days ago.

The ground for not arresting the accused, as mentioned in the FIR, is: “Since Nand Lal has political connections, his arrest might lead to law and order problems in the area.” Ironic is the fact that the law enforcing agency should not arrest an accused on apprehension of “law and order problems.” The FIR, which was incidentally registered on the complaint of SI Nirmal Singh of police station 34, also mentions: “Let summons to the accused be issued through the court.”

The case dates back to September 3 this year when, on the complaint of SI Nirmal Singh, the police had booked eight persons of Colony No. 5 for leading a violent mob. The FIR resulted from events of September 2 when the mob had attacked five CRPF men with an intention to kill them. The residents of the colony were disgruntled over the fact that there was no power in the area since morning, nor were there any signs of repair. They had further damaged four vehicles and also caused injuries to occupants of the cars. Then they reached out for the main road and injured passers-by with an intention to kill them.

On the basis of the above-mentioned allegations, the FIR was registered against Daya Ram Yadav, Razak Mian, Dhuni Ram, Raju, Kamlesh, Nand Lal, Vasu Dev and Ram Karan. Right since the day of arrest, all accused except Nand Lal are behind the bars, after their bails were rejected by the court. Dismissing bail pleas of the seven accused on October 10 this year, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr S. K.Goel, had observed, “Bail is rejected keeping in view the seriousness of the offences. Also creating law and order problems in the area is not to be viewed lightly.”

Meanwhile, Nand Lal has yet not filed an anticipatory bail application in the lower court. Interestingly, independent inquiries made by Chandigarh Tribune in Colony No. 5 revealed that the man did not have major political connection. And surely not such sound connections that his arrest should lead to law and order problem in the area.

While the status of the case remains locked insofar as the arrest of Nand Lal is concerned, counsel for the other accused has again filed their bail applications which will come up for order on December 12. Given the circumstances, proceedings against Nand Lal will now take place only after the court issues summons to him. Said a senior lawyer at the district court, “Even if the summons are issued, they still have to be executed by the police. Unless the police arrests him, he will not undergo trial.”

Another face of the whole case is that even if he is now arrested, he stands a fairly good chance of getting bail. Points out another lawyer, “By the time Nand Lal is arrested, it is possible that other accused are also granted bail. He can also get bail on grounds of parity then.”


Sukhna dredging contract cancelled
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — A contract between the Chandigarh Administration and the Dredging Corporation of India to take out silt from the bed of Sukhna Lake has been called off as the Administration has disallowed a move by the corporation to give the work on subcontract to some other persons.

This will hamper the already delayed dredging process and also waste precious time besides bringing to naught the two year long efforts of Administration. A sum of Rs 4 crore had been sanctioned for this financial year to remove silt by way of wet dredging from Sukhna Lake and work on it was scheduled to start after December 20.

The Dredging Corporation of India had been entrusted with the task of removing nine lakh cubic metres of silt from the lake and it was expected to complete the task within the next 15 months. They had promised to employ two wet dredgers that would remove 50,000 cubic metre silt every month. With the removal of nine lakh cubic metres of silt, the depth of Sukhna would increase by an average four feet.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, confirmed that the contract had been called off as the corporation wanted to sub contract the work to someone else and this was not acceptable to the Administration. Due to the calling off the contract the Adviser envisages a delay of about two months in re—starting the entire process which includes fresh tendering and checking of work of the bidding parties.

The Administration, on its part, had even acquired 28 acres of land north of the lake where the dredgers would be dumping silt form of slurry into de-cantation tank. The dredgers would take out 20 per cent of silt with 80 per cent of water. The silt would settle down in the de—cantation tanks while the water would trickle back into the lake, the initial proposal had said.

Besides the 28 acres of private land proposed to be used for dumping of the silt another 70 acres of forest land was acquired and the requisite permission was obtained as the Forest Department was promised that the area would be used for further forestation. Even the Ministry of Environment had been informed about the project. The Forest Department had agreed as silt is a good for small plants and trees to grow.

Before signing the contract Mr Shastri, Chairman Dredging Corporation of India, had participated in a meeting with the UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Ms Vineeta Rai and the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh.

Experts are of the opinion that wet dredging is the only answer to the silt problem in the lake. Though siltation has been reduced considerably in the past few years due to various measures taken by the Administration in the catchment area as well as in the lake. Due to the construction of check dams, spurs and plantation in the catchment area and construction of diversion channel and de-cantation tank, the siltation ratio in the lake has been reduced to 33 per cent. But to increase, the depth of the lake, wet dredging is the only solution.


Is the re-employment scheme applicable?
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — A debate has begun among Panjab University teachers regarding post-retirement reemployment scheme for teachers. While many are under the impression that this scheme has been scrapped, others think that it is still applicable.

The university provides for reemployment of its superannuated teachers. The teachers who retired at the age of 60 were reemployed till the age of 63 years. Confusion arose with the decision of the Senate on March 28, 1999, which created a populist but unclear rule. It resolved that steps be taken to change the conditions of service of teachers by amending regulations of the university and colleges so that the age of retirement becomes 62.

It also stated that in the interregnum and in view of the interim direction granted to similarly placed persons by the High Court, as also in view of the proposal being sent to the Government of India for increase in age of retirement of teachers from 60 to 62 years, persons retiring during this period be permitted to continue at their own risk and responsibility, subject to and in anticipation of the approval of the Government of India or publication in the Government of India gazette. Persons so retired after the age of 62 shall not get the benefit of the reemployment scheme.

The resolution created two problems. The first was that it was not made clear if the benefits of the reemployment scheme were to be withheld for only those who retired in the period between the Senate’s decision and its approval by the Government of India, or for all those who retired at the age of 62. The second was that the teachers who attained the age of 60 had to give an undertaking that they were continuing service at their own risk and responsibility and there was always a possibility of the Central Government’s rejection of the Senate’s decision. Would such teachers have to return their salaries, asked a teacher who has just turned 60.

Some teachers believe that the set of rules which govern reemployment have never been formally amended or deleted and are applicable to those who retire. These rules had not been repealed and the university had not scrapped or made changes, said Prof R.D. Anand, a member of the Syndicate.

Some teachers claim that the reemployment scheme is provided in the UGC notification, which has been adopted in toto by the university. The scheme was to be implemented at the level of the university and did not require the government’s interference, they said.

Some teachers who have retired after turning 62 have given a representation to the Vice-Chancellor, asking for benefits of the scheme. While the Vice-Chancellor has decided to seek legal advice on the matter, teachers seem to be oblivious of the financial implications of their desire to be almost permanently employed.

According to PU Calendar, the reemployment shall be after one day’s break following the date of superannuation. It shall be on half-time basis for three years, subject to availability of funds. During reemployment, the teacher shall be paid fixed monthly emolument of half of the last salary drawn, it says.

According to the UGC notification dated December 24, 1998, teachers will retire at the age of 62. It is open to a university or a college to reemploy a superannuated teacher according to the existing guidelines framed by the UGC up to the age of 65 years, it adds.


Labourer stoned to death
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 10 — Mystery surrounds the murder of a labourer hailing from Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh who was found dead in Sector 1, here today.

According to police sources, Hero, nearly 45 years of age, was stoned to death while he was asleep outside a tea stall near Majri chowk though the provocation or the reason for the attack remains unknown.

He is stated to have spent 20 to 25 years working as a labourer though he had no regular supply of income and was not permanently employed.

At night, he would sleep at the tea stall and was accommodated since it provided the stall owner with a watchman. He was not known to anybody around and nobody came forward to offer any more information in this regard. His body has been sent for post mortem.

The murder came to light in the morning and the stone used to commit the crime was found lying next to his bed. A dog squad was called in but failed to provide any leads or clues. The police has registered a case under Section 302 IPC.


Phone payment dates extended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Keeping in mind the postal strike the local office of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has extended the last date for the payment of telephone bills. Bills having last date of payment as December 11 are now payable till December 26.

STD PCO owners who were required to pay up till December 13 can now deposit the bill amount till December 18. A spokesperson of the department said that bills could also be deposited in banks, central telegraph office and the departmental telegraph office.


MCC should be dissolved

THE functioning of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has been causing eyebrows to be raised since the day of its inception. In the four years of its existence, it has increased water tariff many times, imposed sewerage tax on domestic as well as commercial consumers, heavily increased the charges for the use of janj ghars, Nehru Park, the Parade Ground and also the parks in various sectors. The afternoon water supply was discontinued about two years ago. Street lights, particularly in the southern sectors, hardly function. Roads are full of pits, stray animals roam on the city roads and within the sectors. The wares of roadside vendors are seized several times in a month while encroachments outside shops and in VIP areas are left untouched. Swings and slides installed in parks for children function only for a month or so. Despite facing a cash crunch, the MCC has given a telephone allowance of Rs 1,000 per month to councillors from the day they are elected.

Recently, the quality of tiles used on roads in Sector 11 generated a controversy at an MCC meeting. Although tiles with ISI mark are available in the market, the specifications said that the tiles should be similar to ISI marked tiles to benefit, it is believed, a particular contractor. This contractor’s tiles had earlier failed to meet the specifications. Still he was given the contract. This episode only highlights the nexus between the decision-markers and the contractors.

All this goes to prove that the MCC is least concerned with public service. Grants given by the government are misused by the agencies concerned. Only a small part is spent on public welfare and corrupt officials and councillors grab the rest. Since the MCC has failed on all fronts, it should be dissolved and the departments under it should be reverted back to the Chandigarh Administration.

A. P. Bhardwaj

Chandigarh Pool of filth

The Chandigarh Administration needs to pay some attention to cleanliness in Sector 45-D. Going along the circular road in Burail, you will find on the roadside a big pond full of filth and sullage, emitting a foul smell. Next to this pond is a Government Senior Secondary School. Children of this school are often seen roaming on the side of this pond. There is always the danger of some child falling in this pond which is quite deep and remains full all the year round.

Moreover such is the foul smell from this cesspool that one cannot cross the area without covering one’s nose. Even a councillor who lives near it does not pay any attention to it. The Chandigarh Administration should look into this problem and take steps to fill up this tank.

Narayan Kapoor

Green Chandigarh

The residents of Chandigarh take pride in the fact that they live in a beautiful green city which has wide open spaces and rows of magnificent trees. Without this greenery, Chandigarh would be a horrible mass of concrete. Decorating homes with indoor plants and fresh flowers has become a habit in this city. The Government should lease out the vacant plots to plant nurseries and make it compulsory to have green belts in the shopping areas. It is heartening to note that the Administration has decided not to shift the private nurseries from the city, unlike the Government of Punjab which is selling urban land indiscriminately for commercial use.

The Chandigarh Administration should take the lead in spreading the green culture throughout India. It is encouraging that the courts have always been on the side of the lifesustaining greenery which our future generations will need more than we need them today.

Anita Srivastava



UNDOUBTEDLY, music is a great synthesiser. It has the capacity to bring together on one stage even the most hardcore followers of different paths and ideologies. If you don’t believe, it will be appropriate here to refer to the cultural evening organised the other day by the Punjab Labour Department for delegates, who had come here from various parts of the country and abroad. Besides, officers of the ILO, a number of eminent industrialists, bureaucrats, trade union leaders and others were present to enjoy the evening.

The climax of the evening came when comrades and BJP leaders, danced to the beat of the drum holding hands. Mr M. Mahadevan, Deputy General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), an offshoot of the leftist party, enjoyed the evening most. Mr Keshav Bhai Thakkal, Vice-President of the Bharti Majdoor Sangh, a BJP baby, tried to match steps with Mr Mahadevan but the comrade was more at ease with the beat of the drum.

In fact, the tone to dance to the tune of music was set by Mr I.P. Anand, an eminent industrialist, who is a member of the Governor body of the ILO. Looking young at 85, Mr Anand made Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Punjab Labour Minister, Mr A.S. Oberoi, Director ILO, South Asia Multidisciplinary Advisory Team, and all other trade union leaders to join the bhangra party which made the evening lively with an excellent performance.

Former Secretary of the Labour Department of the Union Government, Mr V.P. Sawhni, was unable to control his itch for singing. As soon as the Bhangra team vacated the dance space Mr Sawhni took control of the sound system and sang a melodious Punjabi number of yesteryears. He was fully conscious of the “sur and tal”. But the most interesting was to see Mr Brent H.Wilton, Senior Adviser, International Organisation of Employees Switzerland, playing the “chimta” alongwith the Bhangra dances. He enjoyed the evening most. Likewise Mr Tayo Fashoyin, Officer in-charge, Infocus Programme of Strengthening Social Dialogue of ILO, also tried his best to learn a step or two of Bhangra.

Bureaucrat poet

It is not often that bureaucrats find time to indulge in literature and literary activities. Their notings on files, as administrators, is totally a different calling than noting their musings on paper for posterity.

Giving expression to one’s sensibilities, sensitivities and relating these to the life, as it revolves and rotates, is a gift bestowed on some. Among them is Kuldeep Kumar Bhatnagar, a Punjab cadre (1970) IAS officer.

Despite being a bureaucrat and the air that goes with this class, Mr Bhatnagar has remained unalloyed. He is known for his unpretentious nature and low-profile. By temperament, he is deeply religious. By habit, a man of few words. While performing his duties and carrying out assignments, he has not allowed the system either to cloud or curb his creativity and instincts.

And today the Hindi literary world is richer by the addition of Mr Bhatnagar’s first book, “Utsav”, an anthology of poems. The book is dedicated to his only son, Manu, who died young at 23. The book was released by Editor, Dainik Tribune, Vijay Sehgal, last week.

Mr Bhatnagar also has to his credit two audio cassettes of devotional songs, “Ram Shiv Mahima-1994” and “Shiv Ki Holi-1999”. The book, Utsav, has 48 poems, songs and ghazals. These cover a wide range of subjects and themes. Romanticism to social and political satire. Patriotism to life’s kaleidoscopic events. Beauty to Nature. The poems of “Kavideep” ( the suffix he uses with his name) reflect his personal pain, pleasure, agony and ecstacy.

His poem, “Girgit”, is a stunning political satire. This reptile, which changes colours, has been used as a metaphor to convey the contemporary political scene.

Death traps

Tall claims by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) notwithstanding, open manholes, endangering the lives of the residents, are a regular feature in the City Beautiful. Two cases in point are the manholes near the Tribune Colony in Sector 29 towards Customs and Central Excise officers flats and in Sector 30-A.

As both the manholes are at the turning of the roads, driving becomes risky particularly during the night time. This coupled with the defective streetlights make them virtually “death traps”.

Will the civic body, whose record in providing basic amenities has been lacklustre during the past over four years, care to cover the open manholes before any untoward incident takes place?

Nostalgic trip

More than the nephew of the distinguished artiste Amrita Shergill, Vivan Sundaram came across as a visual artist of great insight. He was in town on Thursday to deliver a visual presentation which showcased his shift from painting to sculpting to installing art. While the works reflected his artistic prowess, they also reflected the family man that he was. Pitched along with his great installation work on Bengal, titled Structures of Memory, Vivan also talked a lot about his association with Amrita Shergill through his works.

Nostalgia dripped from the slides which focused on the family of the handsome Umrao Singh Shergill, his wife who had shot herself dead and their two daughters Amrita Shergill and Indira Sundaram. The detailing by Vivan was immense enough to even showcase the jacket which Umrao Singh used to wear and the yogic postures in which he used to click his self portraits. Nostalgia, isn’t it?

The NIFT magic

There sure is some spark in those who train on the portals of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. Why else would over half of the gold jewellery designers who made it to the finals of Swarnanjali 2000 organised by the World Gold Council be graduates from NIFT? All the winners were present in the city on the occasion of the award giving for the North India category. They talked of how well the institute groomed them in handling the metal which has become a symbol of faith and power in the world. The two scene stealers on the occasion were Deepa Verma and Sangeeta Diwan, both graduates from NIFT. Both made it to the finals in two categories: casual jewellery and bridal wear. Their designs were bulky and heavy-weight, but amazingly well-crafted. Both of them are currently designing gold jewellery for leading gold manufacturing houses of Delhi. Their designs were also very well-received by the city elite who were seen looking at the exhibition of the winning designs after the glittering function of Swarnanjali 2000 held at Hotel Mountview on Wednesday.

Trash bins without bases

Most trash bins installed by the Municipal Corporation in the southern sectors are serving little purpose. They are not of the appropriate height and hence most of the waste which is thrown into them ends up messing up the adjoining road. Also the base of many of these bins is worn out. So most of the time the filth is being dumped on the ground itself. MC could do well to either replace them or instal new ones.

Phone enquiry service

Despite the latest developments in the communication sector, finding the changed telephone number is quite a job in Chandigarh. The reason: The working of the automatic computerised changed inquiry service(1951) of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) leaves much to be desired.

As one dials 1951 followed by zero and the old number, the oft-repeated taped message, “ Sorry, the computer link is down, please dial after some time or dial 197” greets you. But it is a miracle if you could get 197.

Will the public sector giant learn a lesson or two from the functioning of the private telecom firms before it is too late?

Unique exhibition

On Thursday last an exhibition-cum-painting competition was held in Leisure Valley on the anti-polio drive. Models were prepared from sanitary waste material by Vijay Goel. About 250 students from city schools took part.

Students were given purposeful talks on the drive. Punjab Health Minister Om Parkash Chawla said such thematic models and catchy slogans coined to drive home the point would be used all over Punjab at the next anti-polio drive.

The Director of Health Services of Punjab, also spoke. A local painter Deepa Bajaj who was present on the occasion lauded the organisers for such an endeavour.

— Sentinel


Cops, human rights — ‘two sides of a coin’
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — ‘‘It takes courage to speak in front of senior officers, especially in the police department’’. This was evident at the International Human Rights Day celebration by the Chandigarh police in the auditorium, Traffic Lines, here today. The beat constables, in trembling voices, spoke out their interpretation of ‘Human Rights’.

The junior cops ‘‘succeeded’’ in the efforts initiated by Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, Assistant Superintendent of Police (East). Though their speeches lacked confidence, ‘‘their efforts was worth appreciation’’. The cops also got a chance to speak out their bottled-up feelings. Fifty beat constables and head constables spoke on the occasion. Most of them said police and human rights were ‘‘two sides of the same coin’’. Many of them were of the view that their duty hours should be reduced and they should be exposed to modern approach in policing.

One of the participants said, ‘‘The faults in the police department should be removed so as to help them work more humanely’’. Another cop said it was the long duty hours which frustrated them. Another said they too should also get relaxed duty hours so that they could concentrate more on their duty. All of them pledged to be keep the human dignity and human rights in their mind while performing their duties.

Many of them said at times certain cases of human rights violation did take place at their hands, but it happened accidentally. One of them said at times the police was accused of violating human rights but it occurred because of ‘‘shortage of vehicles etc’’.

The idea behind the workshop, according to the ASP, was to inculcate respect for the human rights in the police officials at the grassroots. “Beat constables come in direct touch with the public”. The ceremony began with keynote address by Mr Alok Kumar, DCP, Delhi, who was also the chief guest. Among others who attended the workshop were Mr H.G.S Dhaliwal, ASP (central) and Mr S.C. Sagar, DSP (south).

The chief guest appreciated the move of the Chandigarh police in organising such a function. He said, ‘‘these type of deliberations in police are rare’’. A senior police official observed: ‘‘We are aware of the human rights and the programme shows that personnel at lower level are well versed with it’’.

The debate was followed by a workshop in which issues related to human rights and the police were discussed. Dr Hooda conducted the workshop and the participants were also briefed about the issues which emerged out of the debate. Expressing satisfaction over the deliberations, the ASP said, ‘‘We had planned to give chance to all the constables, but it was not possible because of shortage of time’’. He assured that such programmes would also be continued in the future. The winners of the debate would be rewarded at another function.

The local unit of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha observed the day as ‘Human Rights Violation Day’, at Sukhna Lake. The morcha displayed jhankis showing the alleged wrong functioning of human rights organisations and violation of human rights on the hands of police.

According to a press release of the morcha, a’on-the-spot’ survey was held regarding the functioning of human rights organisations. Their survey revealed that most of the people were not aware of these human right organisations. The report would be submitted to the authorities concerned in the next 10 days.

The Trained Nurses Association of India, UT, took out a silent candle light procession in the General Hospital Complex, Sector 16, to mark the day. The nurses were of the view that the right of the patients for proper care should be preserved by improving the facilities in the hospitals. They also stressed upon the need of improving the nurse — patient ratio as recommended by the Indian Nursing Council. This was stated in a press release of the association.

Chandigarh cops, from now on, will address the male members of the public as ‘‘Shriman ji’’ and their female counterparts as ‘‘Madam’’. This was resolved at a session of police personnel on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, in the central subdivision of the Chandigarh police, here on Sunday. Cops have been told to strictly comply by the ‘‘resolution’’.

Constables, head constables, ASIs, SIs and Inspectors participated in the session, which was supervised by Mr Hargobinder Singh Dhaliwal, Assistant Superintendent of Police. The problems faced by police personnel while attaining the ideals of Universal Declaration of Human Rights were discussed.


Proper planning in tourism stressed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — "Tourism, if properly planned and managed, can help conserve the environment, and in some places even enhance it, because characteristics and quality of natural, social and cultural environment at a destination are the main attractions for tourists,'' said Mr Pradeep Sankhala, Chairman, Tiger trust while addressing a seminar on global trends in eco-tourism here today. The seminar was organised by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends ( ITFT) .

Mr Sankhala said approach to planning tourism facilities should be one of achieving sustainable development, which meets the needs of visitors and the local communities. Carrying capacity techniques should be incorporated in the planning of tourism development. He advocated the use of non-conventional sources of energy and other material, which did not pollute the local environment and ecology.

Mr Sankhala, who is based at Vancouver in Canada defined exo-tourism as an activity, which does not adversely impact on region's natural, social and cultural characteristics. He lamented that although India is endowed with immense attractions, we have not been able to accord due priority to tourism development. There is a need to accord not only to accord a high priority to tourism development but also create an awareness about the importance of preservation of our national and cultural heritage by involving the local communities.

He disclosed that while 99 per cent nature-based tourism in America is landscaped, only 1 per cent is animal oriented. In India nature based tourism is however, basically wildlife oriented. Development of outdoor activities should be encouraged, said Mr Sankhala.

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Gurbinder Chahal, Principal Secretary, Environment and Forest, Punjab Government said that steps were being taken to add more attractions at the Chhatbir Zoo. She said that Harike Pattan Wetland held immense potential for development of eco-tourism. There are many virgin places in Punjab including the area of Ranjit Sagar dam, which could be developed for the nature and wildlife lovers.

Earlier, Dr Gulshan Sharma welcomed Mr Pradeep Sankhala and others. Mrs Anjana Gosain, Honorary Secretary Tiger Trustand Dr Vinod Sharma, Director, Chhatbir Zoo were also present. Certificates were awarded to the participants.


Music, cuisine cast spell
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 10 — The fragrance of chameli adorning dinner tables mingled with that of spices and herbs which spiced up the nawabi cuisine at the Rampur ki dawat, a treat arranged by the Haryana Tourism Department.

The spotlight was on the qawwals from Rampur, led by Jameel Ahmed. The cooks dished out delicacy after delicacy at Red Bishop in Sector 1 here today.

Connoisseurs of good food said the wait was worth the delicacies. While most of them made themselves comfortable on the sofas, others stood around the room and made a beeline for tables. Many more waited in the lounge.

The people seemed in no hurry to finish and move out. In between, they took time off to request for their favourite songs and qawwalis and Jameel Ahmad happily obliged. “The response has been tremendous. I ended up performing for over four hours instead of the stipulated two,’’ he said.

Dr Shamsher Singh, in town from the USA to meet his relatives, said it was a great idea to popularise the government undertaking. “This goes to show that Rampur is not only celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, but the cultural freedom of our country extends beyond all state boundaries and public acceptance is unmatched. The rates of all dishes are reasonable,’’ he said.

The Guptas had peeked in to check out what was going on. They stayed on for a meal, not wanting to leave the place. “Programmes like these will take us back to our roots and help in survival of our rich culture. I have never seen such a blend of the exotic in Chandigarh,’’ Mr Sunil Gupta said.

The Managing Director of Haryana Tourism, Mr Vijai Vardhan, who was supervising the entire show, making sure that everybody returned home happy and satisfied with the arrangements. Keeping in mind the tremendous response the food festival had elicited, he said an attempt would be made to stretch it to a week the next time such a show was organised. It will continue till December 12.


Water supply to be affected on Dec 12, 13
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Water supply in the city is likely to be affected on December 12 and 13 due to a strike call given by the National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers against privatisation of the power sector. The employees across the county will observe the strike from 8 am on November 12 to 8 am on November 13.

Water is pumped against gravity from Kajauli in Ropar district, which requires power. Since the Municipal Corporation authorities are apprehending a breach in the power supply, they have said water supply in the city may be affected during the morning and evening on December 12 and in the morning of December 13.

The Superintending Engineer, Public Health, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, advised residents to make adequate storage arrangements of water in advance. On their part, the Municipal Corporation is making all possible efforts to maintain water supply and if the need arises, water tankers will be dispatched to areas of low water pressure, said the Maintenance Superintending Engineer booth Sector 15, Chandigarh and Executive Engineer, MC Public Health Division No 1.

In case of an emergency, the public can dial telephone numbers 781156 and 746009.


Community centre thrown open to public
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Eighteen years after the UT Administration planned and constructed a community centre in Sector 47, the building was finally thrown open to members of the public here today. The centre has a provision of 37 rooms and 3 big halls for holding three functions simultaneously.

The three-storeyed structure has peculiar type of architecture and is surrounded by well-maintained lawns. Ms Ranjana Shahi, the area councillor who formally inaugurated it said the commissioning of the community centre for the benefit of the residents was one of the major demands at the time of her election. And she strived hard to make it a hub of major activity in the southern sector. She pointed out that earlier most of the residents of the sector and adjoining areas in the southern part had to go to other sectors to avail these facilities.

The centre has the provision of a library, yoga centre, table tennis and badminton court. And some of these facilities are not there in other community centres, even as they are functional much longer. Ms Shahi said if the MC House approved the provision of a Cyber cafe and a canteen, the same would be added shortly. The same stood approved by the Arts and Culture Committee. The furnishing of the centre had been undertaken out of the ward development fund, she added.

Meanwhile, the janj ghar of the city was thrown open in 1997 following a resolution passed in the MC House, moved by Ranjana Shahi.


A battle of wits for animals, masters
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 10 — It was a battle of wits for the animals and their masters. Both raced against time to log on to the least time at a “rehra-godha race” organised by different local and Chandigarh-based associations of horse and mule driven carts in the Industrial Area here today. A 1.5 km stretch of a road was chosen as the “ race track” by the organisers to test the skills of the participants.

The event, organised for the first time in the town, saw over 70 contestants from the town, Chandigarh, Panchkula and other neighbouring towns participating in three different categories. There was also a horse race of a 1 km stretch.

Since the beginning of the race curious onlookers queued up on both sides of the race track. There were some unexpected scenes when the “participants” could not make it to the finish line and strayed off the track straight in to onlookers. In one of rounds, a child had a miraculous escape when a horse-driven cart dashed against in a street light pole.

There were some pleasant scenes to see the poor animals — otherwise used to cart heavy loads — getting an extra care from their masters. Mr Hardeep Singh, a member of the SGPC and an organiser of the event said the main aim was to encourage the owners of the horse and mule carts taking care of their animals. The animals had to be fed properly prior to the race, he said.

The winners of different categories were — First category : Kaushal Paswan (1.57 minutes). The second and the third positions were bagged by Bhadhur Khan (2.18 minutes) and Pappa (2.2 minutes), respectively. In the second category, Binda won the first prize by logging 2.11 minutes. Gopi came second with 2.16 minutes. The Third place was shared by Prem and Ram Rattan - both took 2.17 minutes.

In the horse race, Billa took 27.12 seconds to secure the first place and Baba Umrao took 28.52 seconds to come second. In the third place was Jai Chand with 28. 68 seconds. The winners were given wall clocks and other household items by Mr Hardeep Singh.


Chrysanthemum show comes to a close
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Hundreds of people thronged the Sector 33 Terraced Garden to enjoy the beauty of colourful chrysanthemums on a bright sunny morning at the concluding day of the annual chrysanthemum show.

The holiday crowd moved around the garden admiring the artistic arrangements of chrysanthemums, while few others just sat around with their families. Romy, one of the visitors from SAS Nagar said, “The show is better than the previous year’s keeping in view the larger number of entries and freshness of flowers this year.’’ According to few other visitors, the musical fountain was also a crowd puller this time.

The pleasant weather also added to the rush today and people were busy getting themselves clicked near the arrangements. Few others were making video films with their little ones in action. While there were no stalls at the venue, the vendors on the roadside did brisk business.

Prizes were distributed to the winners of various categories by the Mayor, Mrs Shanta Hit Abhilashi today evening. Attired in traditional bright costumes, the students of Sector 7 Kailash Bahl DAV Centenary Public School performed a group dance on the number “Suno gaur se duniyan walon” and Bhangra to the delight of the visitors and other dignitaries present at the concluding ceremony. Mrs Abhilashi lauded the efforts of the organisers of the show and motivated them to keep improving it further. She said efforts would be made to further beautify the city by sprucing up the gardens and open spaces. 


Telecom Dept told to pay compensation
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 10 — Directing the Telecommunication Department to pay Rs 10,000 for mental agony and harassment on account of excessive billing, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered the complainant, Mr Krishan Kumar Aggarwal, a resident of Swastik Vihar, to deposit the corrected bill within a month. As costs of proceedings, another Rs 1000 was given to Mr Aggarwal.

In his complaint, he had alleged that he had taken a telephone connection and in January 1997 he received a bill for Rs 44,726 for October 16, 1996, to December 15, 1996. Following this, he made a complaint of excessive billing to the Telecom Department and sent a reminder in February again. Meanwhile, a request for shifting of the telephone was made which was rejected on account of non-feasibility.

However, the telephone was shifted to the new address and he received another bill for the period August 8, 1998 to October 15, 1998, for Rs 2521which also mentioned the outstanding amount.

The department said upon verification it was found that an error had resulted in excessive billing and the corrected bill of Rs 6553 was issued to the party.

Having heard the arguments, the Bench observed that the complaint was not a simple case of deficiency in service but that the Telecom Department had failed to deal with the representation of an exorbitant bill.

“One can, therefore, imagine the standard of services being provided by the opposite party by going through the written statement filed by itself,’’ the order added.


DC redresses 13 complaints
Tribune News Service 

PANCHKULA, Dec 10 — Taking serious note of a complaint on irregularities by gas agencies in the supply of cylinders, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, ordered the constitution of area-wise committees to look into complaints of irregular supply, overcharging and underweight cylinders.

Acting on a complaint made by residents of Sector 16 against a Gas Service, Mr Monga said the Food and Supplies Department would constitute these within one week and these would be entrusted with the task of carrying out checks throughout the district.

Among the 15 complaints on the agenda, the others pertained to irregularity in bus service, encroachments and dirty and irregular water supply in certain pockets. Of these, 13 were dealt with on the spot.

Addressing the complaint against the supply of dirty drinking water in Manakpur and Devilal colony, Mr Monga directed the SDM, Kalka, and the officials of the Health Department to check the quality of water being supplied in the area. To meet the short supply of water in Ramgarh area, Mr Monga said a new tubewell had been sanctioned for the area and work would commence on December 20.

Taking up yet another complaint of irregular bus service by the Haryana Roadways in Karanpur, it was informed that new buses had already begun plying on the route mentioned and that the complaint had already been deal with.

Ordering the Block Development and Panchayat Officer to deal with the encroachment on school and temple land, the Deputy Commissioner said demarcation of the land should be taken up immediately and a report be submitted subsequently. The SDM, Kalka was also asked to look into a complaint of a polluting unit in Kalka causing nuisance in the area.


Army to assist postal authorities from today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — The delivery of mail is likely to improve tomorrow with the postal authorities seeking the help of the Army to tide over the situation created by the all-India indefinite strike by the postal staff, which entered the sixth day today.

Certain post offices remained open today and very essential services such as the sale of the UPSC forms, acceptance of the telephone bills and booking of speed posts were carried out, the Chief Post Master General of the Punjab and Chandigarh Circle, Mr A.S.I.S. Paul said.

From tomorrow, the help of the Army Postal Services will be taken for the exchange of mail bags from Chandigarh to different head offices of the state. The help may also be taken for the exchange of mail bags with Delhi.

Meanwhile, a dharna was organised by the striking employees in front of the GPO in Sector 17 here today. The requisition of the Army by the postal authorities was condemned by various postal leaders. The decision of the Telecom organisations of two-hour walkout strike for two days from December 12 as a solidarity action was hailed by the postal employees.

The demands of the striking staff included the upgradation of the promotional pay scales of Group C and D, postmen and mailguards, MMS drivers, postal accounts and the stenographers as per the pact of December 18,1998, with the Ministry of Communication.


Invest in alternative energy, says expert
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — The building sector has grown over the years to become a significant consumer of energy and contributor to the green house effect and efficiency gains through good design and incorporation of new technologies can bring down the consumption of energy considerably. These technologies can only be effective if a cradle to implementation of the policies takes place, stated Dr Deo Prasad, Director, National Solar Architecture Research Group, Australia (SOLARCH), in a talk at the Chandigarh College of Architecture here today.

Dr Deo Prasad was invited by the Indian Institute of Architects, Chandigarh, Punjab (IIA CHP) Chapter, for this talk. Dr Deo Prasad is a consultant to many international organisations. He touched issues of use of solar energy in buildings and cities, design and construction of sustainable (eco-friendly) buildings and cities, new and emerging technologies in the discipline of architecture and construction and their role in future buildings and latest happenings in these fields all over the world.

Dr Prasad gave examples of the Olympic village, where even the streetlights were solar powered.” The 665 houses which were built in the village were accruing 10 per cent the cost of electricity as compared to other houses in the neighbourhood,” he said. Focusing on daylighting technology, advanced glazing and window technology, efficient HVAC technology, energy rated appliances, solar thermal and heat pump technology and energy management systems could lead to a large amount of energy being saved.

He also added that the alternative energy use might not be as economical as the conventional energy sources, but in the years to come, these would pay for themselves. He added that though most of the nations were only meeting the Kyoto Protocol, soon these nations would realise that to invest in the infrastructure for sustainable technologies would be the more economical thing to do.

Dr Prasad is the President of Australia New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Director of Asia Pacific Office of the International Solar Energy Society, Director of Sustainable Energy Industries Council of Australia and Chairman of EN3/3 — Building Energy Standards, National Energy Forum. He is a member of National Fenestration Rating Council, USA, and has won several awards, including the Australian National Energy Innovation Award in 1991.

This lecture is one of the several to be organised by the IIA CHP Chapter in the coming months. The chapter, says Ar S N Kohli, the Chairman, is committed to promote excellence in architectural education and practice. As an incentive for the students to do well in academics, they were offering free membership of IIA to top 10 students of the final year of architecture, including one life membership to the topper. The chapter had plans to organise exhibitions and seminars for the general public to educate them about construction and maintenance of their buildings.


Sehgal for eco-friendly way to curb forest fire
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Mr Ajay Sehgal, an IFS officer of the 1986 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre, who belongs to Chandigarh, has just returned after attending an international workshop on community-based fire management held at Bangkok from December 6 to 8.

The workshop was initiated by the regional Community Forestry Training Centre and Project Fire Fight South-East Asia, a joint International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) collaboration to address the underlying causes of forest fires.

During his presentation, Mr Ajay Sehgal highlighted the problem of forest fires facing India and suggested an integrated approach which is not only pro-active but also cost-effective and environment-friendly so that we can leave our children a living planet”.

Mr Sehgal was the only forest officer who was identified and selected for participation in the workshop. The organisers provided all facilities to ensure his participation in the workshop.

Inderjeet wins Wagon R rally
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — Dr Inderjeet Kaur won the first prize of Rs 50,000 in the Wagon R ‘Mil-Edge’ Rally, here today.

The 75 kilometres rally, with as many as 70 participants, was flagged off from Sector 7, this morning.

The first runners-up prize of Rs 30,000 was won by Anshul Chaturvedi and Mustafa Ali, while Mrs and Mr Krishna Kant won the second runners-up prize of Rs 20,000.


PRO’s appointment challenged
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — The appointment of Mrs Manju Wadwalker as the Public Relations Officer of the PGI has reportedly been challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Mr Kumar Bharat, another applicant for the post. Mr Bharat belongs to Karnal and was one of the 12 contenders for the post.

According to the sources in the PGI, barring a brief period of 1994, the post of the PRO, ever since inception of the institution, has been lying vacant.


Scooter thief arrested
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 10 — The local police has arrested Kuldip Sonu of Shimla district for allegedly stealing a scooter. Mr Lal Chand of a Sector 20 had reported that the accused stole his scooter, which was parked at Math Mandir in the same sector, yesterday morning.

According to police sources, the accused was caught near PP Darwa along with the stolen scooter. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

House burgled
Mr Ram Babu of Ram Darbar Colony reported to the police that his house was burgled between November 30 and December 9. The thieves broke the lock at the door and took away goods worth Rs 15,000, including Rs 2,500 in cash, a box containing earrings, 50 g of silver, three saris and wrist watches. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Held with whisky
The police arrested Manjit Ram of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, and recovered 25 pouches of whisky from his possession yesterday. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Scooterist injured
Mr Chunni Lal was hit by a motor cycle while he was going on a Kinetic Honda near Sector 44 market yesterday evening. The motorcyclist fled from the site. The victim was admitted to the PGI. His condition was reportedly stable. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered. The police is investigating.

Gamblers nabbed
The police yesterday arrested five persons for gambling. Avdesh, Girish Kumar Jagli and Jeet Kumar were arrested and Rs 100 was recovered from their possession. The police also arrested Ravi Kumar and Rajinder, residents of Madrasi Colony, from Sector 26 for gambling and recovered Rs 90 from their possession.



380 boxes of shaving blades stolen
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Dec 10 — As many as 380 boxes of shaving blades were stolen from the godown of a company situated on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in Bhabhat village here yesterday night.

According to sources, a gang of about 10 to 15 burglars entered the godown at about 2.30 a.m., tied up the guard of the godown and threatened him with dire consequences if he tried to raise an alarm. They then took away boxes of blades and loaded them in a truck parked outside.

The guard’s wife, who was sleeping inside, raised the alarm at about 4 a.m. and informed the police. The company officials said the police officials reached the spot about five hours later.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sohana, along with the chowki in charge visited the spot of the incident. A case has been registered in Zirakpur police post (Sohana).

This is the second similar burglary within a week in the same locality. Earlier, a gang of burglars had stolen 297 tyres from a godown in Bhabhat village.


Abolish octroi on medicines: chemists
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 10 — The Punjab Chemists’ Association (PCA) has sought the abolition of octroi on medicines in Punjab. The demand was made at a meeting of the Punjab Chemists’ Association held here today. As many as 80 delegates from different district chemist associations attended the meeting.

Addressing the participants, Mr R.D. Gupta, president, Punjab Chemists’ Association, stressed the need of abolition of surcharge on sales tax and withdrawal of octroi on medicines. Mr Darshan Singh, general secretary of the chemists’ body, said there were several issues which the state body of the chemist could take up with the state government.

Mr Harish Sethi, president of Ropar Chemist Association, said the association also demanded the persons having experience in retail sale of medicines be brought at par with the persons having pharmacy qualification — a mandatory qualification to have a licence of a chemist. He said in government dispensaries pharmacists were prescribing medicines to patients.

Mr H.S. Bhatia, general secretary of the Ropar Chemists’ Association, highlighted the issue of harassment of chemists by the police on the pretext of sale of certain scheduled drugs by them. The participants also objected to the charging of entry fee (rahdari) by civic bodies. Mr Sethi said the entry fee added in the price charged from the patients.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |