Saturday, December 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police gears up for New Year celebrations
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — Apprehending shootouts and bomb explosions in the city during the New Year celebrations, the Chandigarh Police is carrying out anti-sabotage checks at 65 venues of celebrations.

Senior police officials reveal that sniffer dogs will be taken to all spots on the New Year’s eve before the celebrations begin. The checks will be conducted under the supervision of the DSP, Mr Daya Nand.

The officials maintain that the precautions are being taken following intelligence reports regarding possible strikes by the terrorists. Chandigarh, they claim, is an “ideal target”, as, besides being the capital of two states, it has two major Air Force installations, along with a civil airport. Porous escape routes to Punjab and Haryana also make the city vulnerable.

Sources in the Police Department also disclose that an alert has been sounded at the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus. The commuters have been warned against touching suspicious and unclaimed objects, including bags and wallets.

Shopping crowd has also been asked to remain cautious. The police is also requesting the residents to inform them in case they see “people roaming around under suspicious circumstances”.

The police is also deploying over 550 police personnel for checking hooliganism on the roads. If getting drunk and swaying to the rhythmic beat of bhangra music, after parking your car along the roadside, is your way of celebrating the New Year, you are in for trouble.

The cops, including nine DSPs, 21 Inspectors, 450 head constables and constables, along with 110 Sub-Inspectors and Assistant Sub Inspectors, will be patrolling the length and breadth of the city to ensure free flow of traffic, besides preventing incidents of eve-teasing and violence. Mounted police will go boldly where no vehicle has ever gone before.

“Party goers, blocking the way by parking their cars along the road side, will not be spared,” says the SP Mr Baldev Singh. “For the purpose, 17 barriers have been set up at strategic places, including the chicken and meat corner on the road dividing Sector 18 and 19, outside Aroma and Piccadilly Hotels in Sector 22, the besides PGI and Attawa”.

At each barrier, six to eight cops, including traffic policemen, are being deployed. “They will also ensure against drunken driving and other incidents of harassment,” the SP adds.

The men-in-khaki are also being deployed outside 65 hotels, clubs and restaurants, including Hotel Mountview and Shivalikview, the Chandigarh Club and the Golf Club. Mounted police will be covering the barren ground behind the clubs and the area near the Sukhana Lake.

“Eleven control room vehicles will patrol the roads leading to clubs. Same number of vehicles with Additional Station House Officers and six to seven other personnel will cover the internal roads,” reveals the SP. “The force required at each spot was assessed after special meetings were conducted with the hoteliers and managements of the clubs.”

Giving details of the force being deployed, he says: “Three vehicles with 24 cops each have been attached with the three Sub-Divisional Police Officers. Eleven Station House Officers in their Gypsies will be going wherever trouble erupts. Two vehicles with 100 men each have been kept in reserve along with another company”.

Force deployment at a glance

While holidays of cops have not been cancelled this year, staff from the police lines and headquarters is being posted to check hooliganism. Nine DSPs, along with 21 Inspectors, 110 Non-Gazetted Officers and 450 head constables and constables will be on their toes. As many as 17 barricades are also being set.




Admn to implement Punjab school Act
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The UT Administration has finally woken up to a harsh reality that most private schools have become centres of exploitation, where education has become a commodity to be sold for a profit. The Administration now wants to implement the Punjab Privately Managed Recognised Schools Employees (Security and Service) Act , 1979.

The case has been sent to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) through the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The Administration has asked for immediate adoption of the Act. The Administration in its request, has noted that while hefty fees and donations are collected from parents, the salary paid to teachers is so low that it is hardly possible for a single-earning member to keep body and soul of members of the family together.

The act provides for the of constitution of a school tribunal for abjudicating the cases of aggrieved teachers and employees of privately managed and recognised schools.

It once again shows that the local Administration was a nominated head, with babus sitting in the MHA holding the strings of power. A case of the Chandigarh Administration seeking more powers to decide local issues is pending with the Government of India.

The UT Administration has strongly recommended to the Government of India, Ministry of HRD for extension of the Act to UT Schools. The request further states that in a welfare state, it was an obligation to protect teachers from exploitation by oppressive managements .

According to sources in the Eduction Department, teachers are an exploited lot in most of the privately-managed schools.

Ms Sunita Goyal (not her real name) a teacher in a private school, said the ground reality is that private-school education has become just another item to be sold on a profit-basis. Though heavy and donations are collected from the parents still the salary paid to teachers is meagre.

Another teacher of a private school remarked,’’ Teachers work like slaves for a few partly educated persons who own such schools. We are not even allowed to sit the whole day. No chair is provided to teachers in the class. We are not entitled for any kind of free period and we have continuous working hours.’’

Ms Anubha, (not her real name) teaching in a preparatory school said, teachers have to surrender in front of the employer due to their needs. For fear of losing the job, we bear all sorts of unethical practices of the managements. Sometimes we are also humiliated by the school authorities but we can’t raise a voice against the management.


Local bus fare increased
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — Local bus fare has been enhanced by the Chandigarh Administration. It claimed that the decision followed hike in diesel prices by 18 per cent, resulting in an additional burden of Rs 4 crore.

A press note of the Administration said the new fare for CTU busess has been effected to bring the minimum fare of Rs 2 to bring at a par with Punjab and Haryana. There is no change in the existing fares for the stage of 2 to 3 km. The existing fare stages of 3 to 4 km and 4 to 5 km have been merged into a single fare of 3 to 5 km; by keeping the existing fare of Rs 5. For the stage of 5 to 7 km no increase has been effected. A new fare for a distance above 7 km has been introduced, with a fare of Rs 8, an increase of Re 1.

The charges for parking of buses at the ISBT has been increased from Rs 40 and Rs 20 to Rs 50 and Rs 30 per day and night basis, respectively, but the same will have no effect on the fare being charged from the commuters. No increase has been effected for student, employees, general pass holders and Saturday and Sunday passes.

A spokesperson said the diesel price was enhanced from September 30 resulting in an additional burden. In order to meet the additional expenditure, a moderate increase in the fare has been effected. The above mentioned measures are expected to result in generation of additional annual revenue of Rs 2.70 crore, but the gap of Rs 1.30 crore of additional burden will be left uncovered.


Canadian Consulate for city?
From A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The Minister for External Affairs, Mr Jaswant Singh, has held out the possibility of the Government of India allowing Canada to open a Consulate in Chandigarh at a later date to help Punjabis seek visas and other facilities for immigration and visits to that country.

The Minister’s assurance has come in response to a communication from Mr Tarlochan Singh, vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, expressing his disappointment over the Union Government’s refusal a couple of months ago to allow Canada to open a Consulate in Chandigarh. At present, the Canadian High Commission in India has a visa collection centre in Chandigarh.

In his letter to Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Tarlochan Singh pointed out that Mr Harbans Singh (Harb) Dhaliwal, who is a Federal Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Government of Canada, stated in Vancouver some time ago that this action of the Government of India would harm the interests of Punjabi immigrants who were the largest amongst the Indians settled in Canada.

Mr Tarlochan Singh also said that Mr Leod Axaworthy, Canadian Foreign Minister, had also been officially informed by the Indian Government that it “cannot agree to allow this Consulate at this moment and will consider it later on”. The entire expenditure was to be borne by the Government of Canada. An Information Centre of the Government of Canada was already functioning in Chandigarh.

Mr Tarlochan Singh told Mr Jaswant Singh that “perhaps, you are already aware that in the Parliament of Canada, there are five Indians born in Punjab who have been elected from various constituencies. Also, the Premier of British Columbia is Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, who is Punjab born. Incidentally, he is currently on a visit to India. In addition, there are ministers in various provincial governments hailing from Punjab. On the long-standing demand of NRIs and people of Punjab, it was agreed by the Government of Canada to open a Consulate in order to facilitate Punjabis to seek visas and other facilities”.

He requested the Minister to “review the decision because this will create a wrong impression among the people of Punjab”.

In this reply, Mr Jaswant Singh said that “we are aware of the special requirements of the people of the region for visa formalities for Canada. It was on those considerations that the Canadian High Commission was allowed to open a Visa Collection Centre in Chandigarh, a little over two years ago. This arrangement seems to be working well for the present.

“We could, if necessary, take another look after some further experience of this functional arrangement.”


The youth look for a prosperous India in new millennium
By Ruchika Mohindra Khanna
Tribune News Service 

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — Those who believe that the national and social consciousness amongst the youth has been eroded with the passing generations need to think again. Most of the youths in the City Beautiful have shown serious concern for the various national and humane issues and feel that these need to be addressed in the coming millennium.

Interestingly, most young professionals who were contacted by Chandigarh Tribune here today, felt that issues like technological development, inter-nation and intra-nation peace, environmental issues, population control, economic uplift, eradication of child labour and equal opportunities for all should be given top priority in the new millennium.

Most of the youths, while talking to TNS, lamented that over the past couple of decades, individualism had taken over almost each and every echelon of society. They said with most people concerned with the fulfilment of their own personal interests, society saw a lot of moral degradation. They hoped that the coming millennium would prove to be a renaissance for a morally stronger nation of individuals.

Mr Navneet Bogra, a software engineer, felt that the new millennium should see the country move ahead in the field of information technology and become a world power in the field of technology.

Talking about his new year plans, Mr Bogra said he was planning a foreign visit in the first week of January and so he would rather be at home with his family. “However, the excitement of the new millennium and the new year is very much there. I hope that in this new year, our political leaders stop building bridges where there is no river. They, too, should pledge honestly for the development of the country and plan in a way that everyone gets an equal opportunity,” he said.

Ms Shalini Kapoor, going to take up a new job, said she was looking forward to making her mark at her new workplace. She emphasised that personal aspirations had to be replaced by working in the larger interests of society. She hoped that the menace of child labour and child beggars were attended to and the basic needs like food, clothing, shelter and education were provided to one and all.

While most people believe that it was a utopian situation if all these goals could be achieved, they hoped that earnest efforts by one and all would at least ensure some improvement in society.

Chandni Jyoti, a 12-year-old school student, said though she planned to usher in the new year while freaking out with her cousins in Rohtak, she hoped that the new millennium saw a change for the better, with no one being the child of a lesser God. “I also hope that the powers that be take a serious note of the pollution and embark upon a few projects to control it and save natural beauty.”

Many of the youth contacted by Chandigarh Tribune also expressed their concern over the unrest in Kashmir and the various north-eastern states. Mr Vishal Kaushil, a senior executive said the new millennium should bring more political stability and end of the chaos and unrest in the country.” Talking about his new year celebration plans, he said he planned to have a rendezvous with a group of friends at his favourite destination, Shimla.

Chetan Ahuja, a college student, said he hoped that the new year ensured that the stars shone down on him and he was able to secure admission in one of the top engineering colleges in the region. He added that though he planned to usher in the new year with his mother and younger brother at home, he hoped that the coming millennium ensured that the country turned from strength to strength and became a unified and disciplined nation.

Agricultural development, too, remained a major cause of concern for a few youngsters. Mr Harmanjit Singh, an agricultural research scientist, said agriculture being the backbone of the country, should be given top priority. “Ours is mainly an agro -based economy and further development in any sphere is dependent on this. Other than this, environment issues to need to be addressed,” he said. He said he was planning a trip to Dalhousie and Khajjiar with his family friends.


Dhawan resigns from AICC
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — In a surprise move, Mr Harmohan Dhawan resigned from the membership of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) today. Five of his supporters have resigned from the membership of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee. A letter was reportedly sent to the Congress chief, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, today.

Mr Dhawan was elected to the AICC yesterday. The other five — Mr Devinder Singh Babla, Mr O.P. Verma, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy and Mr Raj Kumar Rathore — are members of the CTCC.

The move is seen as a split in the Congress which already has two other factions namely the Pawan Bansal and Venod Sharma factions. Mr Dhawan was reportedly unhappy over lesser representation to his loyalists in the AICC nominations yesterday. When contacted, Mr Dhawan confirmed that a resignation letter has been sent to Mrs Gandhi but refused to divulge the contents of the letter.


Companies that dupe investors

THIS has reference to the report, “Why fewer Punjabis now invest in shares” (Tribune, Dec 18). It is strange that of the 448 listed companies, 238 have not complied with post-listing requirements and 182 have failed to pay the listing fee to the Ludhiana Stock Exchange. The exchange has suspended 54 companies.

Thousands of industrial units in Punjab are in a bad financial state and many of them have closed down.

These companies start functioning after collecting money from investors, banks, financial institutions, and the Government. The managing director is paid in lakhs and given heavy perks such as house rent, unlimited medical expenses, club membership, foreign tours etc. He draws a salary which is higher than that of the President and the Prime Minister of India. After looting the funds, they send the case to the Bureau of Industrial and Financial Reconstructions (BIFR) for being declared a sick unit. Once the company is declared sick, there is no need to return the money.

According to one estimate, 90 per cent of the companies in Punjab are defunct. The Registrar of Company Affairs should publish the names of companies that are not submitting their financial statements. These companies also do not send their annual reports to the share holders. The Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has little power to take action against companies that raise money but do not invested it in the intended projects.

I would request all financial institutions, banks, and the Government to publish a list of such industrial houses. 

M.L. Garg


Upon our visit to Chandigarh we went to the Tourist Information Centre, at the main bus stand. My travel companion and I were disappointed since the people there offered us no assistance. I am a student of architecture and when I mentioned this fact, no information on Le Corbusier was given to us.

At lunch time we met a very helpful man, Mr Narinder Singh, a resident of Sector 11. He showed us all of Chandigarh in just two hours. We want to express our sincere thanks to this man.

Nelson Bay (Australia)
Lucy Burke-Smith & Sean Mahony

City Mayor

The upset win of the Congress in the municipal corporation election should come as a relief to the Chandigarh Congress Committee. Although the Congress had only five councillors, still Mr Raj Kumar Goel managed to become the first Congressman to be the Mayor of the city. I urge the newly elected Mayor, to take care of streetlights, roads, parks and other things of the common man’s interest. I hope he will live up to the expectations of the people of Chandigarh.

Nitin Garg 


Protest against ISI activities
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha today burnt an effigy of Pakistan-based ISI for its involvement in the recent attacks on Indians in Nepal.

A large number of Yuva Morcha activists assembled in Sector 29 to protest against the attacks in Nepal in which the life and property of Indians was put in danger.

Mr Shakti Prakash Devshali, a former general secretary of the morcha, said placards and banners with slogans like ISI hosh mein aao, Hindustan say no takrao, Nafrat failana khoon bahana, ISI kaa hai karnama, Hrithik tao hai bahana.

While addressing activists, Mr Satinder Singh, acting-president of the morcha, said the Yuva Morcha strongly condemned these attacks on Indians.

Patiala: The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front today vented their anger against Pakistan by burning its flag under the guidance of Mr Harpal Singh, vice-president of the front, at Shaheed Major Manwinder Singh Chowk here on Friday.

The Front opposed the government’s decision to announce a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir claiming Pakistani military forces were carrying out subversive activities under the cover of the ceasefire. They strongly opposed the issuance of passports to Hurriyat leaders to enable them to go to Pakistan.


Bansal’s plea for another train
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, today urged the Centre to introduce another train like the Himalayan Queen between Chandigarh and New Delhi.

Participating in the supplementary demands for grants relating to the Railways in the just-concluded session of the Lok Sabha, Mr Bansal said the introduction of another such train was necessary to meet the needs of the common people who could ill-afford the high fare of the Shatabdi Express. Such a train should start from Chandigarh in the morning and return from Delhi in the evening, he suggested.

Mr Bansal also stressed the need to connect Chandigarh to the south. Giving the example of the Paschim Express, he said certain trains coming to Ambala from southern parts of the country could be extended to Chandigarh by attaching and detaching certain coaches for and from Chandigarh and Kalka. He said in this way this important city could be easily linked to far-flung areas for the benefit of the travelling public and to boost tourism.

The MP said it was also important to start a train to Hardwar from Chandigarh. He said after the upgradation of the Chandigarh railway station and provision of washing lines, Chandigarh would have terminal facilities and the old ground of not extending the long distance trains to Chandigarh would no longer be valid and there was no reason why the South-bound trains should not now be started.

Speaking on the demands, Mr Bansal drew the attention of the House to the enormity of the problem relating to the strengthening of safety measures on the Railways. He said there were still more than 24,000 unmanned level crossings in the country, while the provision of manned level crossings was moving at a snail’s pace, he said.

The Front opposed the government’s decision to announce a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir claiming Pakistani military forces were carrying out subversive activities under the cover of the ceasefire. They strongly opposed the issuance of passports to Hurriyat leaders to enable them to go to Pakistan.


Tough year for wildlife dept
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 29 — Redressal of public greivances remained under the spotlight all the year through in the district administration, the Haryana Urban Development Authority, the police and the health departments though the year proved a tumultuous for the wildlife department.

Two developments, remained in the news however, for all the wrong reasons. The Nada Sahib episode where the SGPC task force clashed with the villagers outside the gurdwara kept the police and the administration on their toes as they tried to work out a compromise.

Despite that, the SGPC members went to court for nullification of the memorandum of understanding they had signed and under which they were required to compensate the villagers. Once again, the administration stepped in and worked out a ``suitable’’ settlement to suit both the parties.

The local general hospital was rocked by a “negligence-by-the-doctors” case in which two patients had died allegedly because of administration of wrong medicines. However, the storm blew over without much damage as the doctors in question were given a clean chit by an enquiry committee.

As a part a public relations exercise, a number of darbars, health camps and grievances committee meetings were held by all departments. On-the-spot decisions were taken to the satisfaction of the complainants in some cases. In addition, the Chief Minister also held his ‘Sarkar Aapke Dwar’ programme twice.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority, in a complete turn around, did away with the auction of re-sidential plots and reintroduced the draw system. The concept of single-window billing was introduced and special committees to sanction building plans on the spot were also set up.

Computerisation of various branches of HUDA, digging of new tubewells, recarpeting of roads and dressing up of road berms were also undertaken. However, encroachments continued to grow unabated and the of identification of a new site for garbage disposal, a meeting of urgency for the residents, has remained pending.

Tibetans’ business came under a cloud this year with HUDA deciding to withdraw its sanction for their annual exhibition after some businessmen had complained to the Chief Minister. The court came to their rescue and allowed them to open their shops till a final decision is taken.

The wildlife department had to endure in the death of a black buck, a sambhar a mumber of peacocks and a leopard on the prowl which had killed goats in Chowki village. A number of dead birds were reported from the pheasant breeding farm in Morni. The working of the department also suffered with two officers of the department being at loggerheads. The controversy will spill into the new year.

The police launched a number of drives to regulate traffic, involved school students in the exercise of challaning traffic violators and introduced speed limits in the city. Construction of the much-awaited traffic park is underway in Sector 12.

The electricity department inaugurated the Panchkula-Shahbad link to augment power supply to the city. The process of replacing electromagnetic meters with electronic ones began in the Industrial Area. These meters are supposed to be tamper proof.Back


SAS Nagar heads for dull New Year’s Eve
From Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, Dec 29 — There is hardly any enthusiasm among most hotel and restaurant owners here to make big preparations for the New Year’s Eve bash and it will be like any other day for them.

Many of those in the hotel business feel that the local crowd tends to show little interest in being a part of the celebrations. However, many residents may, as usual, go to Chandigarh or Shimla to ring in the New Year in style.

The owner of Franco Hotel in Phase I, Mr Devinder Singh, said SAS Nagar was not a tourist place and the New Year celebration spirit did not exist among most of the residents. A majority of the local crowd, in his opinion, did not belong to that class that really celebrated on such occasions.

He said those interested in celebrating preferred to go to Chandigarh, where more facilities were available in hotels and clubs. He said he had not made any special arrangements for New Year’s Eve. Sometimes families booked his premises for get-togethers, but so far this had not been done by anyone.

For the Hot Millions restaurant in Phase III B2, December 31 would be like other business day.

Except for some decorations, said the manager, Mr Sanjay Rawat, no special arrangements had been planned. There would be no change in the menu and only private parties were likely to be held at the restaurant.

Mr Rawat said the general trend among residents here was to go to Chandigarh, which was a “more happening place”. He said on New Year’s Eve, all that would happen at his joint was that it would close later than usual.

The owner of City Lodge, a hotel and restaurant in Phase III B2, Mr Gurmeet Singh Sandhu, said this year he would close his premises on December 31 as his son’s wedding reception was scheduled for that day. He said in previous years he had merely decorated his premises on New Year’s Eve, but no special functions were arrnaged. He said one reason for not organising New Year’s Eve celebrations was that often fights broke out among the younger lot after drinking sessions and the police had to be summoned.

However, Hotel The Majestic in Phase IX did not agree that the local crowd lacked the festive spirit. It plans to make it a day of grand celebrations. Mr Mohinder Marwaha, who looks after the entire business, said the hotel had invited Punjabi pop singer Harbhajan Shera to entertain the guests on New Year’s Eve. Besides, it had its own DJ, Vishu. Arrangements were being made to cater to 100 couples. The banquet hall would be decorated.

Mr Kapil Chauhan, Manager (Operations) of this hotel, said the ticket had been priced at Rs 950 per couple, which would include dinner. “We will have prizes also for the best dancer couple and the best dressed couple.”

The Punjab Cricket Club at the PCA Stadium in Phase IX is all set for its “Millennium Meltdown Celebrations” on New Year’s Eve for members and their guests. Members have been allowed to bring up to four guests each. The entry fee for members and their dependants has been fixed at Rs 250.

Mr S.K. Kaushal, administrative officer of the club, sid lucky draws would also be held on the occasion. To welcome the new millennium, an array of international cuisine had been planned, including Arabic, Mexican, Thai, continental, Indian and Italian dishes, for the guests. Besides, there would be dancing to the tune of favourite numbers with a DJ. There would also be fireworks. He said the club had 1,000 members and on New Year’s Eve, nearly 5,000 persons were expected to take part in the celebrations.

The general manager of Hotel Town’s Pride in Phase IX, Mr Harpal Singh, said the management had earlier decided to call Harbhajan Mann for the New Year’s Eve bash. However, the well-known singer could not confirm the date. Therefore, no celebrations had been planned at his hotel as it was difficult to attract guests by calling lesser-known singers for their entertainment. The manager said the premises would, however, be decorated and the hotel would give a rebate of 40 per cent on room tariff and 30 per cent on food till January 31 next year.


Driving blindfolded on the highway!
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Dec 29 — When magician Shankar drove a motorcycle amid heavy traffic on the busy Chandigarh - Ambala highway with his eyes blindfolded here today, the spectators could not but help being awed. For the simple rural folk of this sleepy township and the surrounding areas, it was a spectacular feat.

He was performing at a charitable show being organised by the Rotary Club, Dera Bassi, in collaboration with the local Red Cross Society to raise funds for the construction of Government High School building.

Clustered along the highway, the inner roads and the streets of the town, the residents were impatient to see the magician riding a motorcycle, followed by a large number of local residents.

He started off from a local cinema hall about 2 km from here, soon after he was blindfolded by a local doctor and flagged off by Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, SDM.

After crossing the highway, he passed throughout the local market and rejoined the highway near the Municipal Council’s office and ended his one-and-a-half hour journey at the cinema hall.

Residents of the town climbed atop their houses and children were seen perched on the trees along the route of the magician. Some of the residents also tied threads across the streets to test his magic but he stopped before the threads and was garlanded.


Wheel of bus comes off, hits car
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 29 — How safe are passengers in PRTC buses can be judged from an incident near Landran today when one of the front wheels of a corporation bus bound for Nabha from Chandigarh came off and hit an oncoming car. 

The Maruti car was badly damaged, though the driver escaped unhurt. There were nearly 20 passengers in the bus but no one sustained injuries. The bus driver, Mr Sarwan Singh, said the vehicle had been checked at the PRTC workshop yesterday. Back



Man dies of cold
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The cold reportedly claimed its second victim today. A rickshawpuller was found dead outside a showroom in sector 22 in the morning. The death, senior police officials maintained, was due to natural reasons.

A senior police official when contacted, said Rajinder was suffering from tuberculosis. He added that the victim was also “in the habit of consuming liquor”.

The official also added that relatives of the victim had been informed and further investigation into the matter were on. The body, he stated, had been sent for a post-mortem examination.

It may be recalled that on December 9 the body of an unidentified beggar was found in the Mani Majra Motor Market. Police officials had claimed that the death was due to cold.


Scooterist succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — A city resident, injured after the scooter he was riding skidded in the wee hours, succumbed to his injuries at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. His friend, sitting on the pillion, also sustained injuries.

Sources in the police department maintained that the accident occurred near the Sector 26 Grain Market after the scooter’s handle got locked. They added that 40-year-old Vipin Kumar, residing in the PGI, was wearing a helmet when the mishap took place. He was reportedly running a catering business.

The pillion rider, Mr Satish Kumar, was also admitted to the PGI. According to the doctors on duty, his condition was reported to be stable. Senior police officers, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on.

Nominations invited from mediapersons
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The S. Mehar Singh Rawel Memorial Charitable Society has invited nominations from journalists, editors, correspondents, and writers connected with Punjabi language media for participation in the first competition being held to award the S. Mehar Singh Rawel Memorial Award for the best journalist in Punjabi.

The award consisting of Rs 15,000 and a citation will be given at a public function. The competition will be based on the writings published in any Punjabi language paper/magazine between January 2000 and December 2000.

The nomination entries can be made on the prescribed form availale from the office of the society at House No. 57, Sector 21-A, Chandigarh, which should reach the society’s ofice by March 1.Back


City discos a preferred destination for partying
By Binny Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — If discotheque owners and the police are to be believed, hundreds of youngsters from outside Chandigarh are once again planning their New Year bash at discotheques in the city. This is a change from the earlier preferred destination of Shimla.

One of the reasons behind the choice for the city is its cosmopolitan nature. With several discotheques, hotels and clubs, it is the ideal destination. Last year, claims a disco owner, “The ratio of outsiders was 70:30.” Generally only couple entries are allowed in the discos but at times the disco owners let inside groups of boys only if they seem decent enough.

Mr Tarun Dutt, who stays as paying guest in Sector 15, says, “I start preparing for the New Year’s eve a week ahead, so that I can arrange passes for my friends and also arrange for a car to go on the Geri route.” We can go to discotheques with our friends and can enjoy in our group, but at home I cannot do so”, says Ms Rashmi Mehra, a student MA II, Panjab University.

Youngsters who once used to enjoy going out with their parents to clubs or restaurants also prefer to go with their friends whenever they get a chance. Ms Sarika Sood, a student of BA final year, says, “I always wanted to go with my friends, but my parents take me along with them to clubs. However, this year is different I am permitted to go with my friends with a condition that I have to return back by 2 in the morning.”

On the other hand, some youths do not get permission to go to discotheques at night. The discotheques owner have found a away out that they will remain open the next day, allowing another round of celebrations. Ms Sunidhi Sharma said, “I enjoy more in my friend’s company, but my parents always want me to accompany them to a club. So my friends and I arrange for parties in the afternoons of the first day of the year, as discotheques are also open at that time.”

Discotheque owners have also geared up and are in competition to be the best one in town. In a meeting with the Administration yesterday, they have been permitted to remain open till 1am and liquor will also be served according to the licence procured by the owner.

Most of the discotheques will have three parties for New Year’s eve. The first will be in the afternoon, followed by another in the evening and yet another in the afternoon of January 1.


Long dry spell in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — For the second year in succession there has been no rain during the months of November and December in the city and its surrounding areas. The situation in other parts in Haryana and Punjab is also the same and no rain has been reported. The last time it rained in the city was on September 26, but still average temperatures are well within the normal range.

Under normal circumstances the city should have received 9 mm of rain during November and 22 mm in December, said the local met-eorological office. But as temperatures are well within normal range there is nothing to worry about, said officials.

“No rain does not mean that it can be classified as a warm year. Two full months of winter are still to go”, says, Mr S.C. Bhan, Director of the local meteoroligical office.

Explaining the reason for lack of rain, Mr Bhan said there have been no western disturbances which cause rain. Data office shows that this year the mean maximum and minimum temperatures in November have been 27.3°C and 12.8°C. respectively. This is more than the normal mean of 23.2°C and 9.3°C . But this difference is not unusual. In the past decade, there had been nine years when average mean temperature in November remainded higher than the mean, indicates data.

This also debunks the theory that this year remained warmer than before, said Mr Bhan while adding that residents were feeling warm more due to psychological reasons. Giving out data for December, Mr Bhan added this year the average temperature remained 23.2°C, and 6.7°C minimum. In this case the minimum is below the normal average of 7.2°C, while the maximum is a shade above the normal mean.

Again this is no indicator that this year has been less cold as this is the seventh time in the past decade when the average for the month had been more than the normal mean.Back

A clarification
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — The name of the department of Dr B.B. Goyal, indicted in an examination fraud case has been wrongly published as public administration in a report in these columns on December 27.

The report wrongly mentions that he is from the Department of the Public Administration. Prof B.B. Goel of the Deparment of Public Administration has nothing to do with the episode. His name is similar to that of the man from the University Business School, who is under probe. He is alleged to have given 42 marks to a student in reevaluation who had drawn a blank in the original marking.

Prof B.B. Goyal of the Department of Public Administration was mistakenly reported as a teacher under doubt for increasing the marks in a report published in October.

Prof B.B. Goel, a former adviser to the Government to Mauritius, has suffered due to his name being carried in these columns by mistake.Back


90 rounded up from colonies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 — Following intelligence reports regarding the presence of miscreants in the city, a massive combing operation was carried out by the Chandigarh Police in various colonies today. The operation which started at 4 a.m. lasted for three hours.

According to sources in the Police Department as many as 90 dwellers were rounded up by the police. They were later let off. Sources added that such operations will continue till the New Year.

Booked for cheating
Claiming to have been cheated, a city resident today alleged that Rs 14,000 was taken from her for a job in the Corporation Office at SAS Nagar. She added that neither was she appointed, nor was the money returned.

In her complaint before the police, Ms Gurpreet Kaur of Badheri village said Rajinder Mohan Malik of Phase II in SAS Nagar had initially demanded Rs 14,000 from her for the job of a clerk. She added that Rs 14,000 was given to him on January 29.

Taking up her complaint, the police has registered a case of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Senior police officers said further investigations into the matter were on.

Theft case
A Sector 8 resident was arrested by the police on the allegations of stealing focus light from the golf course in Sector 6. According to sources, a case under Section 379 has been registered against Manoj Kumar on the complaint of security guard Ramesh Kumar.

Eve-teasers held
Two persons were arrested by the local police for allegedly indulging in eve-teasing. According to sources in the police department, Sahid of Bihar and Rupish Chadha of Ludhiana were apprehended from the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus.

Liquor seized
As many as 315 pouches of liquor were recovered by the local police after six persons were arrested. According to sources in the police department, six different cases were registered under the Excise Act.Back


CBI probe sought into land scandal
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Dec 29 — Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Member of the Lok Sabha from Ropar constituency, has urged the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, to order a CBI inquiry into the alleged land scandal of Khanpur village, in which the gau charand of the village was allegedly allotted to some influential persons during the past four decades.

Mr Dhullo informed that he had already met Mr Advani a few days ago and submitted him a memorandum in this regared. He was addressing a gathering organised by the Gau Charand Sangharash Committee today.

He said that he wanted to raise this issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, but could not do so because the proceedings remained adjourned for many days.

Mr Dullo warned the adminstration that it should not work like Jathedars of the Badal government. He said shots were fired on the people of Khanpur and officers of the adminstration remained standing as spectators. He said if the guilty were not brought to book, the Congress Party would hold a state-level rally in Khanpur village and would formulate further course of action. He assured the villagers of Khanpur that he and his party would stand by them in their struggle.

Mr Nanak Singh (ex-sarpanch of Khanpur), Mr Charanjit Singh and Mr Om Parkash Sharma (both former presidents of the Kharar Municipal Committee), Mr Roshan Lal and Mr Natrajan Kaushal (Municipal Commissioners), Mr Mehar Singh (president of the Block Congress, Kharar), Mr Harbhag Singh (ex-chairman, Panchayat Samiti Kharar), Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu (organising secretary, PPCC(I), Mr Prem Singh, and Mr Gurmakh Singh also addressed the gathering.

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