Thursday, December 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No court order needed for return of belongings 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Belongings, seized at the time of arrest, will now be returned to the accused by the police upon his release. He “will not have to wait for court orders to get back his things”.

In an order issued by the Chandigarh police, Station House Officers (SHOs) of all 11 police stations in the city were today asked to hand over the belongings to the owners against “proper receipts”.

The decision to return the articles without insisting upon court orders, according to sources in the Police Department, was significant as the owners, ignorant about the legal system, had to go through the complicated procedure of filing applications before the court with the help of lawyers. This resulted in “unwarranted delay” in most of the cases.

Returning personal belongings, sources asserted, would not only save the accused the inconvenience, it would also help cops in disposing off the case properties thereby reducing ever the increasing pressure on the malkhanas.

Giving details, the sources added that in a number of cases the accused, after being released, were not even contacting the police authorities for getting back their belongings.

The articles in majority of cases, said the sources, included wrist watches, wallets, cash and “other such items”. “These articles were not included in the category of case properties,” said a senior official of the police when contacted.

He asserted that the law was silent as far as the personal belongings were concerned. The officials added that only the procedure for the release of case properties had been laid down.

The Inspector General of police, Mr B.S. Bassi, it may be recalled, had recommended the return of such articles against receipts at the monthly crime review meeting.

The IGP had also directed all SHOs to hand over the vehicles, involved in accidents, to their owners on supardari without waiting for court orders. He had also asked the SHOs to release on bail, without fail, persons arrested for bailable offences. If surety was not available, the cops were asked to inform, without delay, the nearest relatives of the arrested person. 


Panjab University environment studies examination in March 
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Panjab University is giving clear signals to over 100 affiliated colleges to gear up for conduct of a written annual examination in environment studies in March, 2001.

A committee has studied a set of sample papers to be forwarded to the colleges. Clear indications help candidates study the subject for annual examination in addition to the existing papers. The paper was introduced three years ago. Not more than 10 per cent of the students passed the test. As a result, the examination was scrapped.

The university gave an option of attending seven lectures to get certificates to allow them to qualify for the examination. The university told college principals in October this year that a written examination would be conducted. The 50-marks question paper consists of objective-type questions and the marks are equally divided among ten units, with the eleventh unit comprising a practical examination. Students will be given the option to attempt papers in English, Hindi or Punjabi medium. The university is in the process of forwarding model papers to colleges.

A member of the committee handling the subject said contrary to fears that a delay could lead to cancellation of the paper again, there was sufficient time to handle the issue. A senior official of the examination branch confirmed that work was on to ensure that the written examination was conducted.

A section of students who had to run around for attending classes mandatory to secure certificates were private candidates. They were the most troubled lot as there were cases of certain colleges refusing them entry. They had to make arrangements for regular classes in colleges. Students often had to pay hefty amounts for certificates, a teacher stated.

A court observation has made the subject compulsory in all universities. Barring Panjab University, no university in the region as gone ahead with implementation of the orders. After the failure in Panjab University, it was felt that the paper should be scrapped, but Justice Kuldip Singh, who headed a committee, spelt clearly his decision of continuing with the subject.


Monte Carlo beauty prelims 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13— The Ms Monte Carlo and Mr Monte Carlo contest rolled on to an enthusiastic start here today, with the organisers of the show announcing the names of 40 finalists who will vie for the coveted title in the final scheduled to be held on December 18. The pageant will be the first of its kind, with the Oswal house taking the initiative to scratch raw talent from the land of five rivers.

The response to the contest was good. There were 300 contestants out of which the panel of judges had to select out 40 (20 each in the male and female sections). The panel consisted of actor Arif Zakaria, film producer Ashok Ghai, fashion photographer Akil Bakshi, fashion designer Leena Singh, hair stylist Sylvie, noted film producer Dipuk Sharma, Ruchika Oswal, vice-president, Oswal Woollen Mills and theatre personality Gick Grewal among others.

Ms Oswal informed that search for the talent began on December 3 and would culminate in the grand finale on December 18. Besides the Mr and Ms Monte Carlo titles, contestants will vie for the Ms Photogenic, Ms Beautiful Smile, Ms Beautiful Hair, Mr Muscleman, Mr Talented and Mr Photogenic titles.

Reflecting the idea behind organising the talent hurt, Ms Oswal said the contest was of special significance to the company. “We promise to continue with our efforts to open new avenues for young people of Punjab in the world of fashion”, she added.

The final contest will be compared by Mandeep Belvi, anchor of the popular TV show Public Demand. The two-hours glitterreti, apart from the fashion show, will also showcase ethnic wear by Ashima and Leena Singh. Priyanka Singhosla will be the choreographer for the show, while Eddy Singh will be the creative designer.


Community centre issue: councillors speak out
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — The controversy over Sector 47 Community Centre took a new turn today with few Councillors, including those from the Congress, alleging that the library in the premises of the centre was functioning without permission of the MC authorities. The library is being run by the Adarsh Educational Trust.

On the political front also, the councillors have also come out in the open to oppose the issue of commissioning of the centre.

The founder member of the library, Mr Jagdish Kaushal, said permission for starting the library from the centre was sought sometime back from the MC Commissioner and Chief Engineer. Though the acceptance of the proposal was conveyed to us recently, but no formal orders have been issued to this effect, he added.

The library which for the past 10 years has been functioning from a temple was only three days back shifted to the new premises, which has been renovated by the MC officials following the clearance of the proposal.

Mr Kaushal said they had moved in here on the request on the area councillor who was keen to make the centre functional. “The issues are only being raked up in view of the forthcoming Mayor’s elections, as both groups of BJP councillors are eyeing the post, ‘’he maintains.

A senior official of the engineering wing, admitted that while no formal decision has been taken in this regard so far, but the acceptance of the proposal had been conveyed to them. The authorities had welcomed the idea of a trust donating books to their library and running it for them.

However, few councillors, including those from the Congress, have sought a clarification whether a library can function without the permission of the House or even the finance and contract committee. One of the councillors, Mrs Kamlesh today reportedly went to the Sector 47 centre to ascertain facts about the holding of the function as well the functioning of the library. She has further alleged that the function was held in the premises without a proper booking.

Earlier, the chairman of the arts, culture and sports committee, Mr R.L Arora, also looked into the records to check about the booking. Sources reveal that no such booking was done for holding the function on Sunday. The cross-checking of booking aspect by the BJP councillor on the one hand and the Congress councillor on the other was only indicative of a likely nexus between the two in the forthcoming elections of the Mayor, sources add.

An official however maintains that booking was not essential in this case, as the arts and culture committee at its recent meeting had decided to allow the residents welfare societies of the area to hold one meeting or function free of cost. The cost of organising the function was however borne by the residents and no permission is required in such cases.

Meanwhile, the residents of Sector 47 have in a letter given to the MC Commissioner Mr M.P. Singh highlighted the stepmotherly treatment being given to them. Dr M.S Chauhan, a member of the advisory committee of the community centre, has pointed out that with the commissioning of the centre a long pending demand of the area has been met.

“When most other sectors have been given a community centre, then why a hue and cry is being raised if we have got one commissioned through the councillors ward development fund?’’ he questions.

They have further objected to a councillor from the other area visiting the centre and making all sort of inquiries. The summoning of the chowkidar for information and further asking him to go and call the owner of the library was uncalled for. The letter further mentions that by the time the members reached the centre, the councillor had gone away. They have claimed that the Commissioner on his part assured them that he would look into the issue and that it will not happen in future.

Senior residents wonder if councillors have the authority to check the records, which is normally done by the officials. 


Power supply restored
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Power supply was restored and life limped back to normal in the Union Territory and its surrounding areas this morning following the end of a 24-hour token strike by UT powermen.

Right since last night local power authorities had been struggling to restore the supply of power and in some sectors, the supply could be restored only around 11 in the morning, which was three hours after the employees of the department returned to work in the morning.

People were much relieved as large parts of the city were without power since yesterday. Banks, commercial establishments, shops, cyber cafes, and news paper industry offices were the worst-hit by the strike. The strike in Chandigarh was near total.

The offices were naturally flooded with calls from residents who had spent the night without power. In the morning geysers and immersion rods, used to heat water for bathing purposes, could not be switched on. Last night large parts of the city were even without street light instilling a sense of fear among residents.

The northern and eastern parts of the city were plunged into darkness last night. The UT Chief Engineer, Mr R.K. Jain, said no employee had been identified so far for his involvement in creating mischief or sabotage. He, however, repeated his yesterday’s statement saying that the power supply within Chandigarh had been sabotaged. He said at some places during the restoration work the staff had found barbed wires thrown on transmission lines and also iron chains. This type of equipment led to tripping, he added.

The striking employees submitted a memorandum urging the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, not to give his assent to the proposed Power Bill-2000, which they described “anti-people, anti-national draconian bill”.

The memoranda alleged that the Bill only favoured multi-national companies. Besides privatisation of power, the Bill, if made law would make power out of reach of the common people because the tariff would become very high, it added.

Meanwhile residents in the city have appreciated the efforts of the Municipal Corporation authorities in ensuring proper water supply during the 24 hour period of the strike by powermen. Residents of various sectors said the morning supply was normal and infact the pressure was better.

The MC Superintending Engineer, (Public Health), Mr Manmohanjit Singh said water pressure was higher today on account of less demand and judicious use of water by the residents. Firstly, they had stored enough water yesterday, secondly the usage was much less in those areas where there was no light. As a result pressure in the lines was much better, he added. The morning supply time was not extended as need for the same was not felt.

He said power supply to about 14 tubewells of the total 22 was restored late last night and the remaining eight got it today after the strike was over. The sabotage of power supply to Sector 26 Water Works and 22 MC tubewells in the adjoining areas did not have an adverse affect on water supply as no complaints were received from the residents of the area.


ILO paints dismal picture of working conditions in Asia
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Working conditions for the huge labour force in the increasingly industrialised developing world particularly in Asia are getting worse with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) apprehending six lakh work-related fatalities in the continent by the end of the first year of the new millennium.

The international agency for monitoring labour conditions across the globe estimates that Asia alone accounts for 50 per cent of deaths attributed to work in the world. India counts for 2 per cent of work-related deaths in Asia.

‘‘With rapidly increasing industrialisation, the accidents relating to work are increasing, particularly in the developing countries. In these countries, people are migrating to cities, more industries are being set up, workers without previous work experience in the industrial work are working in a mechanised, changed environment which has led to a sharp increase in the industrial accidents’’, says Ms. Katherine Hagens, Director, ILO, Geneva.

She said increased mechanisation and a higher use of chemicals and synthetic materials were playing a key role in influencing the rates and numbers of injuries and diseases.

Increasing health hazards in work place and diseases related to work form an alarming chunk of the work related fatalities across the globe.

The agency is also concerned over a majority of countries, including India, not having ratified important safety conventions of the ILO. India has ratified only three of the 20 key ILO occupational safety and health conventions.

Rapidly increasing urbanisation and industrialisation in the developing countries resulted in shooting up of communicable diseases at the work place like malaria, viral and bacteria infections. This is apart from the non- communicable diseases related to the work place like cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous system disorders.

The figures available with the ILO of an industrially advanced country like the USA where the occupational safety and heath standards are high, are startling. The agency estimates there are 60,300 job related deaths caused by diseases in the USA.

The figure for the entire world for fatal work related diseases stood at 9.92 lakh. Of the 57 lakh deaths due to cancer in the world, 8 per cent (4.56 lakh) deaths were attributed to occupation. Similarly, 7.5 per cent of all cardio-vascular deaths in the world, 10 per cent of all respiratory disease deaths and 2 per cent of deaths related to nervous system disorders are attributed to occupation.

In the developed industrialised world, while the rate of traditional accidents is going down, afflictions such as stress and mental problems, asthmatic and allergic reactions and problems caused by hazardous materials like asbestos are increasing .

The agency estimates that economic costs of work related injuries and diseases is rapidly increasing in the developed countries. Studies estimates 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) of these developing countries evaporates in paying for medical treatment, disability, and survivor benefits.

In the developing countries the coverage of the occupational safety and heath policies and laws was not found satisfactory, the agency notes. While in developed countries, the occupational safety and health law enforcement covered practically 100 per cent, the figure for developing countries was less than 10 per cent. This leaves major hazardous sectors uncovered including agriculture, small scale enterprises and informal sector. Often, even the most hazardous sectors like fishing, forestry and construction are not covered on the developing countries.

The agency notes that those countries which have ratified most of the ILO conventions tended to have the highest legal coverage and the lowest number of injuries .


Slum development committee meeting postponed again
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — The Slum Development Committee, which was schedule to meet here today, to take stock of the work done in slums, did not meet.

The meeting was not held since the quorum was not complete. Of the total seven members, only two namely the Chairman, Mr Rajender Kumar and a councillor, Mrs Suneeta, were present, besides the officials. The others who could not make it are Mr K.K Adiwal, Mr Bachan Singh, Mr Kanhya Lal, Mrs Kamala Sharma and Mr Raj Kumar Goyal.

Mr Kumar said the committee was constituted five months late. Three odd meetings could not take place as the quorum was not complete. For the next three months no meeting was called since the chairman, Mr Rajender Kumar, met with an accident.


Postmaster’s appeal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — The Chief Postmaster General of Punjab and Chandigarh Circle, Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, today appealed to the authorities concerned to extend the last dates of the receipt of applications, forms, tenders and holding of interviews and examinations.

A press note, issued here, regretted the inconvenience faced by the general public and various institutions and organisations because of the indefinite strike of postal employees. The mail of the individuals, institutions besides the applications and admission forms has been held in transit despite efforts by the Department of Posts.

Meanwhile, on the ninth day of the strike a rally was organised by the employees near the GPO, Sector 17. The requisition of the Army and Home Guards was condemned by speakers.


Scope for renewable energy immense
By Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec13 — Dr Deo Prasad, Director of National Solar Architecture Research Group (SOLARCH), Australia, internationally acknowledged as a promoter of sustainable architectural design and consultant or adviser to many international organisations, believes that the future is possible only if the world moves towards use of renewable forms of energy. In town for a day, some excerpts from a conversation with him.

Q: How is the world situation as far as the rate of renewable energy depletion is concerned?

A: Conventional forms like coal and oil are finite and world records in terms of exploration show that good quality economic coal will run out by the end of this century. And as reserves start drying, the cost increases and the renewable sources which are now expensive, will become affordable and we think that the cross-over point is not very far away. Moreover, problems of global warming and pollution are real and what we are looking at is a second revolution of a major switch over to more renewable forms of energy.

Q: Solar energy is being utilised as a renewable source of energy but why is the focus only on solar energy?

A: Solar energy is the source of almost 99.97 p.c. of the world’s energy. It’s one of the largest parts in terms of electricity generation. But then there are other sources which have immense potential. For example, Orissa has huge wind potential and in many countries where 20 p.c. or so energy comes from winds. Then there are wave technologies emerging. Bio-gas like methane from dump sites is another. If the amount of waste lying in a city like Delhi, is dealt with, then the potential of generating energy could be immense. These are positive ways of dealing with waste areas and at the moment the wind and methane-type technologies are the most competitive.

Q: Does Chandigarh have energy-saving possibilities in its current design?

A: The scope of solar availability is high as the actual hours of sunshine across the year is high and a technology like that can have a big impact here but with it, one has to reduce the demand for electricity by at least 50 p.c. in each household. By doing that you will need a much smaller photo-voltaic (PV) panels and if you use the right appliances, power consumption can be cut. Moreover, the city has a grid system that aligns itself naturally to the photo-voltaic technology. So we really do not need to change the aesthetic look of the city. In buildings a correct balance of windows to mass and using newer energy-efficient materials can save a lot on electricity without actually shifting to a totally new design paradigm.

Q: You have a project in Himachal. What is it all about?

A: The project is a trans-Himachal one under Australian aid where we are developing the capacity within Himachal to deal with passive solar design of mass housing. We are adopting a three-pronged approach where we train professionals who coach design professionals and having done that we talk to the people so that it could be implemented. Lastly, at the grassroots we train master-trainers who in turn train artisans.

Q: What are the governments doing in the situation?

A: Most of the countries are basically being driven by the Kyoto Protocol. Since most countries have their share in emissions, there are limits which have been laid down. Hence there are targets to achieve for each nation. For example, if it was business as usual, then the level of emission would be about 140 per cent while the target is 108 p.c. by 2010, which means that steps have to be taken to reduce the difference. Some governments are regulating this. There is a specific quota of renewable energy laid down which has to be produced and used. In Australia it is 2 p.c. while in many others it is 10 p.c. This experiment is working rather well and more and more people are now realising the negative impact the old system had.



Steps to revamp Remount and Veterinary Corps 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Several measures have been worked out to revamp Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) to provide more effective support to Army formations employing animals to carry out certain tasks.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune on the eve of the RVC Corps Day, Director RVC, Western Command, Col A.K. Sinha, said various inputs from the formations concerned were received at a seminar on Role and deployment of Army dogs in the present security scenario. The seminar was organised a few days ago at the RVC Centre and School, Meerut.

Colonel Sinha said since dogs had proved their effectiveness in counter-insurgency as well as search and rescue operations, the strength of dogs attached to Army units was being re-worked. The number of dogs to be attached with Rashtriya Rifles battalions would be different to that being assigned to infantry units.

For the same purpose, the breeding of dogs had already been raised from 50 dogs per year to 200 dogs per year. Besides explosive and mine detection, they are used for tracking, guarding installations, infantry patrol and more recently in the avalanche rescue operations.

Dogs were first used by the Indian Army in 1959 for tracking subversives and enemy agents. Subsequently, the Dog Training School was established at RVC Centre in 1960. Training of dogs starts when they are about six months old. Basic obedience training takes about 8 weeks, while specialised training for detection, tracking, and avalanche rescue takes another 24 weeks. A specially designed training curriculum has been laid out.

Commenting on the effectiveness of trained dogs to detect hidden explosives and concealed objects, Colonel Sinha said while the success rate of physical search by men was about 32 per cent and that by electronic or mechanical equipment was about 48 per cent, the success rate of sniffer dogs was about 81 per cent.

Giving details of the performance of Army dogs, Colonel Sinha said that till October 31, they had detected 1370 rounds of ammunition, 820 explosive devices and grenades, 251 weapons and currency worth Rs 94 lakh, including Rs 22,000 of Pakistani currency. In addition, dogs carried out searches on over one lakh vehicles and 50,000 objects, besides helping clear about 200 minefields.

As a recognition of their contribution, two Army Dog Units (ADU) had been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Unit Citation, while another two were awarded the Governor’s Silver Salver for counter-insurgency operations undertaken by them. Besides a Shaurya Chakra and a Mention-in-Despatches personnel of ADUs had also been decorated with four Sena Medal (including 3 posthumous), 31 Army Chief’s Commendation Cards, 60 Army Commander’s Commendation Cards and 64 Director General’s Commendations.

In addition Army dogs themselves had been decorated with five Army Chief’s Commendation Cards and 29 Army Commander’s Commendation Cards.


Grow trees to survive: Bahuguna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 13 — “Devotion, dedication and determination, are the three things required for any human to stick to his ideals and that is what I have learnt all my life”, stated Mr Sunder Lal Bahuguna, eminent environmentalist, while addressing a group of teachers attending the refresher course organised by the Department of Biotechnology at Panjab University here yesterday.

Mr Bahuguna talked about tree farming as the only solution for mankind if it had to survive as now the focus was not to merely protect the environment but of the survival of man. He also stated that till the definition of development was changed to mean achievement of permanent peace, happiness and contentment, much would not be achieved. He also suggested that every human being at his or her level should have the aim of living with austerity and simplicity.

The participants at the fresher course lauded the address of Mr Bahuguna and demanded that he speak to them again tomorrow. Also present were Prof R.C. Sobti of the Department of Biotechnology and Prof Gopal Krishan, Director, Academic Staff College, Panjab University.


Poorly visible stop line results in mishap
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Anxiety to bring the vehicle to a halt well before the “poorly visible” stop line resulted in an accident on the road separating Sector 27 and 28 today. As a result, a housewife was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital with injuries.

Eyewitnesses maintain that the accident occurred at about 5.30 p.m. when the scooter, on which the victim was riding pillion, rammed into a three-wheeler after it suddenly stopped at the traffic lights.

They added that the scooter driver tried to apply the brakes but the pillion rider’s foot got entangled with the three-wheeler resulting in her fall. 


4 accident cases in city hospitals
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — In four separate road accidents, at least four city residents, including a 17-year-old girl, were admitted to the PGI and Sector 16 General Hospital with injuries. Their condition was reported to be stable.

Kulwant Kaur of Sector 40 was hit by a scooter outside a dispensary in the same sector. The accident, according to sources in the Police department, occurred at about 1 p.m. when the 17-year-old was returning home.

Janki of Dadu Majra too sustained injuries after being hit by a scooter in the colony. Sources added that Janki was rushed to the hospital where she was immediately admitted.

Vibhuti, a resident of Sector 52, was injured after the cycle he was riding was hit by a truck near Transport Chowk. Gursimran Singh of Sector 44 was admitted to the hospital after being hit by an unknown vehicle.


Seminar on panchayati raj institutions
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 13 — A two-day seminar on the Empowerment of panchayati raj institutions in Panchkula district organised by the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) concluded at the Haryana Agricultural Marketing Board, Sector 6, here today.

Attended by seven zila parishad members and 19 panchayat samiti members, training was imparted on nine components of the module developed by the Population Foundation of India. These comprised the Panchayati raj Act, duties and responsibilities of these institutions, drinking water, health, literacy gender concern among others.

The President of the FPAI, Ms Pushpa Khanna, informed the participants of the objectives of the programme and apprised the members that the branch had conducted 51 cluster level programmes for 1272 gram panchayat members of the four blocks of the district.

An interaction session was conducted with the members for their views, comments and suggestions regarding powers, duties, responsibilities of the members. The queries of the members were answered by a panel of experts.

The seminar was inaugurated by the Deputy commissioner, Mr SK Monga. He stated that the gram panchayat had most of the powers and responsibilities in comparison to the zila parishad. He asked the District Development and panchayat officer to issue identity cards to all zila parishad, panchayat samiti and gram panchayat members by December 31.


Excise centres or traffic jam centres
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Dec 13 — The information collection centres set up by the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in Singhpura village about 2 km from Zirakpur and in Jharmari village near Lalru have become major bottlenecks for the smooth flow of traffic for the past over five months.

The truckers park their vehicles haphazardly in front of the information collection centres (ICC). This leaves limited road space for other vehicles. Thus making the spots accident prone.

Traffic jams for hours take place during office hours, putting thousands of commuters to great inconvenience. The most affected are students and the passengers who have to catch trains from Ambala. Ambulances carrying emergency patient also get stranded in jams for hours.

Truckers complain that due to lack of parking space they have to park their vehicles on the road berms. But at some places the road level is over one feet higher than the berms. They avoid parking loaded vehicles on the kuchha sides of the road. The level difference has resulted in tilting of heavily-loaded vehicles many times, complains Mr Roshan Lal, a truck driver.

Truckers allege that whenever the VIP crosses the spots during traffic jams security guards wield batons which causes injuries to people and damage to trucks.

“Though there is an unutilised bus leeway on the highway in Singhpura near Zirakpur which is about 250 yards ahead from the ICC, yet the authorities of the Excise and Taxation department has set up the centre on such a place where only three to four vehicles can be parked’’, said Mr Krishan Sharma, local resident.

Residents of the area allege that truckers use the alternative routes with a view to evade taxes and to reach their respective destinations in time instead of staying at the centres.

The Excise and Taxation authorities said that they have given a representation to the Punjab Public Works Department (PPWD) for widening and making additional metalled strips along the road sides so that the vehicles did not hinder the flow of traffic.


32 take part in Mega Model-2000
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — A glamour show that began after a prolonged delay went on to get a fairly good response from the audience which had gathered in Tagore Theatre here today. The occasion was the selection of a mega model in both male and female category by a panel of three judges.

The Mega Model 2000 contest organised by the Western Star Group in collaboration with the Citi Entertainment Network, was keenly contested, with the figure of finalists standing at 32 (10 in the girls’ category and a big 22 in the boys’ category). The selection was done on the basis of walk, gesture, confidence and of course the costume.

The first round of the evening was the traditional wear round which saw the participants draped in ethnic costumes. The other four rounds comprised casual wear, shorts, winter wear and last but not the least, the personality round. Navjit Singh Brar, chairman, All-India Crime Prevention Society was the chief guest. The panel of judges comprised music director Santosh Kataria, Mr North West 99, Mittar Bains, and Dr Deepti Rishi. The show was choreographed by Anil Khurana.


Lawyers stay away from District Courts
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — Lawyers of the District Courts today abstained from the court as a mark of respect to a local lawyer D.D. Verma. Mr Verma, who was a member of District Bar Association, died of a heart attack on December 12. 


Girl hurt near her house 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — A teenage girl was injured when her car parked near a house in Sector 8 was hit by another car, here yesterday. Mr Sanjay Kumar, a Sector 10 resident reported that his car was hit by a Matiz and Ms Geetanjali Kapoor who was in the car received minor injuries. The Matiz driver sped away after the accident.

A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Purse snatched

Two scooter-borne persons reportedly snatched away the purse of a Sector 33 woman and fled here yesterday. Ms Amarjit Kaur in her complaint said that the duo who were on a white scooter, snatched away her purse which contained a sum of Rs 5000. The incident allegedly happened near the Sector 22 market.

A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

In another incident, Mr Ranjit Singh, Sector 40 resident has reported that a sum of Rs 1300 was allegedly stolen from his wife’s purse during a marriage function, here yesterday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Luna stolen

Ms Raj Kumari of Badheri village reported that her Luna (CH-01-T-6863) was stolen from the parking lot of the Income Tax complex, Sector 34, here yesterday. A case under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Held for stealing clothes

The city police has arrested an Uttar Pradesh resident for allegedly stealing clothes from the residence of an Air Force personnel here yesterday. Teja Rajan Sabrot of 3BRD Air Force Station has reported that Manohar allegedly stole some clothes from his house.

The accused was arrested under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code.


3 arrested, two scooters recovered
 From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — The Chandigarh police today claimed a major breakthrough in cases of scooter thefts by busting a gang of three. The police also claimed the recovery of two scooters after arresting the suspects.

According to sources in the police department, two accomplices of the suspects were still at large. The operation to nab the thieves was carried out by the staff of Sector 19 police station.

It was learnt that the trio besides scooter thefts were also involved in stealing money in Patiala, SAS Nagar and Chandigarh. According to the police sources they allegedly used to steal cash from STD booths, liquor shops and guest houses. They were allegedly involved in more than 15 cases of theft. Police sources said that many case of theft against them were pending before Patiala courts.

According to sources, the police, acting on a tip-off, laid a trap and arrested Harpal Singh, alias Bobby alias Ghanti. After interrogations, the police succeeded in recovering two stolen scooters from him.

Sources in the police pointed that Harpal allegedly committed crimes with Amandeep Bota, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Patiala and Pamma, who are yet to be arrested.

The two scooters which were recovered were allegedly stolen by Harpal and Amandeep Bota from Chandigarh and Patiala. The two had stolen a Bajaj Chetak scooter (CHI-9390) from near the Sector 20 market. While the other bearing a Punjab registration number (PB-11J-4367) was stolen from Patiala.

Senior police officials said Harpal was a drug addict and is given to consuming a bottle of a particular cough syrup daily along with some other intoxicants.

The suspect was produced before a court and was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.


45 villagers booked for assault
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Dec 13 — As per the orders passed by Ms Neelam Arora, Judicial Magistrate Kharar, the local police has registered two cases against 45 residents of Khanpur village in connection with the clash at the village on November 6 in connection with possession of some land. At least 25 persons were injured and vehicular traffic remained suspended for about 23 hours after the incident occurred.

The police has registered a case against 35 persons as per a complaint filed by Mr Bhajan Singh. He had written that he purchased land in Khanpur village and mutation was sanctioned and the court ordered that police help should be given to him. He added that on November 6, when the tehsildar want there for demarcation of the land, about 200 to 250 persons attacked them with rods and swords and their two trucks were set on fire. He alleged that the Kharar police did not help them. The court ordered that the SHO Kharar should register the case immediately, investigate and report the court by January, 2001. The police also registered a case about the case against 10 residents of Khanpur as per the orders of the court. The court passed the order of registration of case on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Raj Kumar Singh about the same incident. 


Boom time for courier companies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 13 — With the all-India postal strike entering the ninth day today, it’s a boom time for the local courier companies.

According to random survey here today, the business of the courier firms had witnessed a sharp increase. And with the strike showing no signs of ending, the business was likely to increase further, according to representatives of courier companies.

Mr Rajesh Rawat, a representative of a courier company having office at Sector 17, informed that the business had increased by 100 per cent since December 5, when over six lakh postal employees went on indefinite strike demanding, among other things, higher wages and upgradation of certain posts.

Prior to the strike, there were about 200 bookings which now stood at over 400 per day. And the business had almost doubled. There had been a substantial increase in the number of cash clients apart from the regular clients, he said that the business from institutions such as the banks, which send cheques to different locations, has increased several folds.

Mr Paul Walter of another firm said the number of bookings had shot up to 150 from 50 per day. The number of bookings in respect of examination forms, valuable goods and gifts items had witnessed manifold increase.

The representatives of the courier firms were of the view that although the Department of the Posts was maintaining the speed post yet the trend among the speed post users was to shift to the courier service due to uncertainty created by the strike, claimed an employee of the another courier company.

Since the courier services assured timely delivery at a slightly higher price than the speed post, the residents preferred the courier services, added another employee.

Refusing to divulge the increase in the business, he was of the view that apart from the revenue loss to the department, the confidence of the general public in the Department of Posts had been shaken by the strike. It would not be an easy for the department to win back the lost clients, he added.

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