Friday, January 12, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Encroachments removed from Sector 21 market 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — The enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation and UT Estate Office today carried out a major drive to remove encroachments by automechanics from the back of SCF 1 to 45 in Sector 21-C in pursuance of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions.

The drive, which began at 10 am under the supervision of MC secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar, carried on for more than seven hours due to the opposition from the mechanics. One bulldozer (JCB) and few trucks were used in the operation to clear the area, facing the residential area. To begin with, unclaimed vehicles, including two cars, two autos, a moped and other junk lying in the area, were removed in trucks. Subsequently, heaps of malba lying here and there was also removed and garbage bin put to make the area clean.

Nearly 50 persons, including police personnel, were present at the site. Apprehending resistance, the riot control vehicle was also stationed there. When the turn to remove the petis (in which the mechanics store their tools) came, the mechanics gathered in large numbers to resist the drive and raised slogans against the authorities. They demanded that the petis should not be removed till they were rehabilitated in the booths being allotted to them by the Administration.

The officials, who were determined to clear the area in view of the recent directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, were able to persuade them to either move their petis to the front of the market or take it back to their homes. As a result of persuasion, they were able to remove nearly 40 petis and seized only about 4 to 5. The work was stalled for some time, but was resumed when the secretary asked them to either remove it voluntarily or they would have to use force.

Besides this, small pucca enclosures behind 2 to 3 showrooms were also demolished. Mr Kumar, when contacted, said the High Court had issued directions on a writ filed by the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 21 that the area be cleared of encroachments. This could not be done earlier in view of a stay, but with the stay being vacated on December 5 last year, it was mandatory to remove these encroachments in view of the contempt notice served earlier. The case was slated to come up on January 15.

The federation of automechanics had been protesting against the Estate Office for fixing higher prices for the booths to be allotted to them in Sectors 38 and 48. Following the vacation of the stay, the Administration was also directed to rehabilitate them within two months. Taking up their cause, the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, urged the authorities to reduce the price of these booths.

The staff later removed the fencing done on a piece of municipal land in Sector 28. The angle irons were also removed. 


Groundnuts, reoris, gajak dearer
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — With Lohri round the corner, there is an obvious mood breath of celebration in the air. Marking the advent of the festival are loads of winter savouries which are lying stocked at various places in the city. Besides the normal selling from the main grain market, the vendors have made themselves comfortable at various sector markets, as also roadside at many a place.

A significant feature of the festival this year is the hiked price of the winter savouries. While gajak was being sold between Rs 40 and 60 a kg till about yesterday, the price has suddenly shot up by Rs 20. Some vendors claim that they have fetched reoris and gajak from Rohtak.

This stock costs over Rs 100 a kg. Coming to groundnut, these are being sold between Rs 25 to Rs 40 per kg.

While till yesterday there was just one tent selling the savouries, adjacent to Sector 20 temple, today there were three more. Shopkeepers could also be seen stocking their vehicles with these products from the wholesale market in Sector 26.

All this apart, the markets are also flooded with gifts for Lohri. Various clubs have chalked out plans for Lohri celebrations. The Chandigarh Press Club is going to invite Maninder Mahi to sing for the audience and welcome the festival. Apart from that there will be free availability of sarson da saag and makki di roti, besides reoris, gajak and groundnut.

Discotheques are also celebrating the festival in style. Aerizzona in Sector 9 is inviting singer Falguni Pathak to perform, while others are still deciding upon the performers.


SDM (South) empowered to handle property cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 11 — In a controversial and an unprecedented move, the Chandigarh Administration has ordered that all quasi-judicial powers wrested with the Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) be transferred to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South).

This means powers to decide cases of resumption of property, non-payments of dues, misuse of land and all other disputes will be transferred from the purview of the AEO, Mr S.P. Arora, to the SDM (South), Mr H.K. Nagpal. What is unprecedented is such a shifting of major work has taken place for the first time in 34 years since Chandigarh was formed. Secondly a major job of the AEO has been taken away while the Personnel Department, which should naturally know about all matters, does not know about it.

Official circles say that such a major change should have been in the notice of the Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), but reportedly the top man is also unaware. The orders were issued by the outgoing Adviser on January 7 and the process to implement the orders is going on. Lists are being prepared to inform about the status of various cases that are to be handed over to the SDM.

The issue threatens to snowball into a ‘‘Punjab versus Haryana’’ controversy. For long Haryana officers on deputation to the Chandigarh Administration have said in private that they get a raw deal in comparison with Punjab cadre officials. Mr Arora’s case is the latest. The work of the AEO has traditionally been an HCS post, barring an odd exception in the early eighties. Besides this, in the past six months Haryana officers have been replaced by Punjab officers on the following posts: Administrative of Officer Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32; Chief General Manger of the CITCO and Director Transport.

Sources said the AEO was handling about 800 major cases out of which some of them are highly controversial and deal with payments that are pending for years. Another chunk of non-revenue generating cases are dealt by the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) , Mr M.S. Yadav. The issue is threatening to snowball into a Haryana versus Punjab controversy. Mr Arora is an HCS official, while Mr Nagpal is a PCS officer.

The AEO is a major revenue collecting official in the Chandigarh Administration’s set up and is responsible for a major chunk of revenue. This because close to 70 per cent of Chandigarh’s property has been sold on leasehold basis and it entails collection of annual fees like ground rent, pending payments of commercial properties.

Actually, going by orders, now the AEO will propose and the SDM will dispose, thus adding to another band of red tape in the already official heavy Administration. Another theory doing the rounds in Administrative circles is that there were complaints against Mr Arora, however, investigations reveal that there was never an inquiry. One thing is sure this will lead to a major controversy. 


Fire Department seeks caller identity facility from BSNL
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — To check bogus calls, which hamper its functioning, the local fire department has sought the facility from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL) to install Calling Line Identification machines (popularly called the ID callers) on telephones of the fire stations and also on the master number 101.

Chief Fire Officer G.S Bajwa says the department had applied for the facility three months back so that the number of the caller which is flashed on the machine will help them check the veracity of the call. The employees on duty, in case of any doubt, will be able to verify the call before sending the vehicle and the firemen on the spot.

Mr Bajwa further maintains that the equipment is essential because many a time there can be heavy loss of life and property in an authentic fire, if the fire tender and staff are unnecessarily rushed to some other place following a fake call. The department does receive a few such calls every month and there is every possibility of crisis if the genuine call is not attended to properly.

Once these machines are installed at the fire stations in different parts of the city, the callers who have been making fake calls will also be more careful for they will be afraid that their calls will be traced. This will also help improve the efficiency of the Fire Department, which is already faced with the problem of acute staff shortage.

Meanwhile, the telecom authorities maintain that these ID callers can be attached with numbers routed through German made exchange E— 10-B type of exchanges. However, the software in the Fetex-150 make of exchanges does not allow provision of this facility. Several of the Fire Department Phones are E-10-B exchange and hence the facility will be provided shortly. Some other way out will have to be found for the numbers working on Fetex -150 exchanges.


Mercury drops to 1°C 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 11 — This morning was the coldest in the city in the past four years, equaling the record for the second coldest day in the city ever. Local meteorological authorities informed that the morning temperature was 1 degree celsius and warned that the cold wave would intensify in the next 48 hours.

The last time the mercury dropped to 1 degree celsius was on January, 14, 1997. The city had recorded 0 degree celsius in 1973. The morning temperature was 6 degrees celsius below normal average for this time of the year. Yesterday morning was very cold at 2.2 degrees celsius, which was 5 degrees celsius below the normal average.

During the day today, the maximum temperature was 12 degrees celsius, which was 8 degrees below the normal average. Residents of the city and its surrounding areas woke up to a foggy morning, which slowed down vehicular traffic, affected attendance in offices and educational institutions.


Bomb scare in front of hospital 
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 11 — There was a bomb scare in front of the General Hospital in Sector 6 around 5 pm today. Office-goers returning home gathered for a glimpse of the “bomb”.

The briefcase containing the “bomb” was spotted by a constable of the Haryana police posted at the Police Headquarters. Placed behind bushes at a vacant plot adjoining the Police Headquarters and adjacent to the General Hospital, it was enough to send the police scurrying for details.

Almost immediately, the police arrived on the scene and a dog squad was called in from Chandigarh. After it failed to detect any explosive in the briefcase, police personnel opened it to find some papers and clothes in it.

Police sources informed that it was suspected the briefcase belonged to an applicant in town for an interview. Probably stolen, it was left behind after its contents disappointed him.


Woman hospitalised 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — A resident of Burail village was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital with serious burn injuries.

According to sources in the police department, the injured has been identified as Renu. The sources said she was suffering from 95 per cent burn injuries and her condition was reported to be serious.

The sources added Renu had set herself on fire after pouring kerosene. The reason behind her taking the "extreme step" was not immediately known.

A senior police officer, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on. He added that the poxflice was in the process of recording the statement of the witnesses.


Is the beat system suffering due to dearth of cops ?
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — The beat system — revived by the Chandigarh Police for assisting the residents in coping with their day-to-day problems — is reportedly suffering ever since two companies of Punjab Police commandoes were called back by their parent state.

The companies — deployed largely to maintain law and order during the dharnas and rallies or at places where tension was brewing, even at barriers to help in general checking — were reportedly sent back after personnel of the Indian Reserve Battalion, posted in Punjab, were sent for the Maha Kumb Mela.

Sources in the Police Department maintained that the beat constables, in the absence of the commandoes, were now being deployed for maintaining law and order, adversely affecting the system in the process. They added that the presence of beat constables was essential in building personal relationships with the local residents.

They also claimed that an order recently passed by a senior police officer asking the office staff to keep ready an extra set of uniforms for moving out in case of emergency “hadn’t helped much”.

The sources added that in a large number of cases residents going to the beat boxes were often finding them locked. A resident, on the condition of anonymity, said he had to hand over the copy of his ration card for getting a passport issued but failed to find the constables despite repeated trips.

A senior officer, when contacted, said the police was suffering from shortage of staff even before the companies were called back. “Despite clear instructions against disturbing the beat system, we are sometimes forced to send the constables on emergency duties,” he said.

The Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, Mr. B.S. Bassi, when contacted, denied that the day-to-day functioning was suffering. He added that the commandoes formed less than 2 per cent of the force.

The beat system, which over the years had “died a natural death”, was revived after Ms Kiran Bedi joined the Chandigarh Police as Inspector General. The system was “further strengthened” by IGP Bassi.

Claiming the beat constable to be “an important link between the public and the cops”, senior police officers had also held several meetings and seminars for their training.


Chhuttani trust signs MoU with PGI 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 11 — The Trilok Tirath Vidyavati Chhuttani Charitable Trust, Chandigarh, formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the PGI to establish an independent Dr Pran Nath Chhuttani Centre for Study of Tropical and Communicable Diseases here today.

Dr P.N. Chhuttani, a former Director, PGI, and a former Chairman, The Tribune Trust, had donated a large sum of money for setting up a centre at the PGI.

In a meeting of the coordination committee, held in the institute, Prof S. K. Sharma, Director, PGI, and Prof I. C. Pathak, a former Director, PGI, signed the MoU on behalf of the institute and the trust, respectively.

It was for the first time in the history of the PGI that an independent study and research centre has been set up in association with an independent agency.

According to Prof Sharma, the centre, being set up in view of the increasing incidences of the tropical diseases like malaria, kala azar and TB in India, will start functioning as soon as the formalities regarding the staff and other factors were worked out.

As per Prof Pathak, M. D of the trust, it was Prof P.N. Chhuttani’s wish to establish a centre for treatment of tropical diseases at the PGI, for which he had wanted to donate huge amount of money.

Giving the details of the coming up of the centre, Prof Pathak said that during Prof Chhuttani’s lifetime itself, an offer for money to build up such a centre was also made to Panjab University. Prof Chhuttani later, however, thought that it would be better if the centre was located in the PGI, added Prof Pathak.

The trust submitted a proposal for approval before the academic committee in March, 1998, which accepted it. It was later submitted before the Standing Finance Committee in May, 1999. In March 2000, the governing body of the PGI also gave its nod for setting up the centre.

Reportedly, however, the Finance Department of the institute had objected regarding the financial viability of the project. Dispelling all doubts over whether the centre would be a financial burden over the institute, Prof Sharma said that the trust with its deposit of seed money of Rs 50 lakh and annual grant of Rs 60 lakh was capable of looking after all the interests of the centre. Mr Bakshi Ram, Financial adviser of the institute, also asserted that he was fully satisfied with the financial viability of the centre.

The centre will function in two parts. The clinical part of the centre will work with the Department of Medicine while the basic sciences will be with the Departments of Microbiology and Pathology.

As per the MoU, the basic objectives of the centre are to improve the health needs countrywide as related to tropical and communicable diseases through pursuit of excellence in research, postgraduate teaching, advanced training on the area besides providing better patient care.

The centre, when operational, also plans to provide a high level diagnostic and surveillance facilities, besides training programme for medical as well as paramedical staff in the area. The department will comprise of two divisions —basic and clinical sceinces. The office space for the faculty, administrative staff and laboratories for diagnosis, surveillance, research, training facilities and indoor beds will be provided by the institute.

The senior professor of the centre will be the co-ordinator and the posts of faculty, residents and laboratory staff will be created in accordance with the rule 7 (1) of the PGI Rules, 1967.

Which means the staff will be treated as the employees of the institute and their pay scales, educational qualifications, experience and other qualifications will be the same as the recruitment rules of the PGI for similar posts in the institute.

The expenditure on their pay, allowances, leave, salary, pension contribution, travel concessions, expenses and other benefits and privileges, however, as per the present or future policy of the institution will be met by the trust.

For this, the trust, through its Managing Director, Prof I.C. Pathak, has committed to finance the core centre in the form of an annual grant to the extent of Rs 60 lakh as the seed money. The trust would provide funds equal to three months pay and allowances and other miscellaneous expenses in advance

The representatives of the trust also included Prof B.K. Sharma, Prof N.N. Wig, Prof. Y.N. Mehra, Mr Brij Mohan Khanna and Justice A.L. Bahri.

The PGI representatives included Prof A.K. Banerjee, Head, Histopathgology Department, Prof Subhash Varma, Head, Internal Medicine Department, Prof Meera Sharma, Head, Medical Microbiology, Mr Bakshi Ram, Financial Advisor, Mr S.K. Jindal, Senior Accounts Officer and Mr T.S. Bagga, Law Officer.


Closure of super bazars

More than three decades ago, the Chandigarh Administration started the super bazar scheme to provide to consumers quality products at reasonable rates. It got a good response from the public and the super bazar also earned profits. The number of outlets was increased year after year.

Recently the Administration decided to close these outlets because of increasing losses. More than 200 employees will be rendered jobless and they have been protesting against the decision. It is difficult to understand how these outlets, despite having a large consumer base, suffered such losses.

The losses were caused due to mismanagement and wrong decisions taken from time to time. At the same time, the officer heading the department is not made accountable for the losses.

This is not an isolated case. More than 80 per cent of the PSUs in India have been suffering losses because of bureaucratic control and intervention. It is a tragedy that non-technical officers are heading production units equipped with the latest technology and having an investment base of hundreds of crores of rupees. Being non-technical men they are not in a position to take independent decisions and depend on the advice of juniors. Many wrong decisions are thus taken, causing huge financial losses to the organisations, and end-angering the careers of lakh of employees.

The super bazar is no exception in this regard. It is high time the causes of its losses are investigated in depth and the persons responsible dealt with according to the law.

A.P. Bhardwaj

Media and hospitals

This refers to the report ‘Media persons lathi-charged at GMCH-32 (Chandigarh Tribune, Jan 10). It is unfortunate that an incident of this type had happened. There is no denying the fact that the media has the right to information. The media also has the responsibility to inform the people about the facts of a prevailing situation.

Similarly, the patient is of supreme importance for a hospital. The first and foremost duty of a hospital is to safeguard the interests of its patients. Unnecessary crowding or noisy scenes are harmful to the patients. The doctors and the paramedical staff should be allowed to work in peace to alleviate the sufferings of the patients.

Therefore, misunderstandings can arise in such tense situations. In order to avoid such ugly incidents, I suggest that the persons concerned should contact or take the help of the in-charge of the emergency wing or the Medical Superintendent of the hospital. There also is a need for having a public relations department at such places. A protocol can be made so that both the media and the hospital are able to function to the best traditions of their professions.

R. Khullar

Reading habit

I was happy to read ‘Residents throng British Library’ (Chandigarh Tribune, January 3). It shows that even if there is a plethora of TV channels, the educated elite do not find it comfortable to watch the TV all the time and the reading habit still prevails. This also shows that Chandigarh has retained its peculiarity in the matter of reading habits.

I wish to compliment the British Library Organisation which has opened a library in Chandigarh. In fact, every sector of the city should have a library, maybe small in size. I would appeal to the Chandigarh Administration to open small libraries in every sector. To start with, only newspapers may be kept there and as the number of readers increases, books can also be added. Sitting before the TV and watching unhealty programmes is spoiling the minds of our children and also wasting their time. Reading a book provides food for the mind.

Lastly, I wish to congratulate the Chandigarhian for keeping up the habit of reading.

Ujagar Singh

Jacob’s gift

On December 31 last, the Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Lt Gen Mr J.F.R. Jacob (Retd), along with a number of officials including the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh Mr M. Ramshekhar, distributed 600 blankets and a quantity of Gachak and Revries among 600 persons, who are in illegal occupation of government land. The report also mentioned that many of them forcibly snatched the blankets and sweets from the hands of the Deputy Commissioner.

By giving blankets to persons who are illegally occupying government land. The Administrator is encouraging these illegal occupants. The report, however, did not mention who bore the cost of these gifts. Perhaps the Deputy Commissioner who accompanied the Administrator can clarify this point.

Narinder Singh



Privatisation of water, sewer services hangs fire
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Jan 11 — The issue of privatisation of water supply and sewer service here has been hanging fire as the problem of the adjustment of the staff, who would be rendered surplus, is yet to be sorted out.

It is learnt that the issue is likely to be taken up in the Municipal Council meeting scheduled for later this month.

In February last year the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) had written to the Secretary, Local Government, to privatise water supply and sewer service in certain towns, including SAS Nagar. The council in March received a letter from the government authorities concerned to adopt a resolution to this effect and report back within 20 days.

The matter was discussed by council officials with the then Administrator, Mr O.P. Popli, and a reply was sent proposing the privatisation of the two services in Phases VI to IX of the Industrial Area. The council said that to begin with only these areas had been taken as the services in these areas were being provided by the civic body, while in the rest of the town these services were in the hands of the Public Health Department.

However, in its reply to the government regarding the privatisation of these services the council also asked the authorities to give guidelines on what was to be done with the staff rendered surplus after privatisation in the four industrial phases. It is learnt that the Director, Local Government, in turn, wrote back to the council inviting suggestions on the adjustment of the employees.


Healing — holistic style 
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 11 — Big inspirations often lie hidden in small sources. So when Vijoylaxmi Hota, as a child and also as a young mother, suffered from extreme lack of physical resistance resulting in mental stress for years together, she did not know her illness would become the cause for her mission. Today she is a holistic healing expert of international repute and a direct disciple of none other than the great Swami Satyanand Sarawati of the Bihar School of Yoga who is considered an authority in the subject.

After absorbing the essentials of holistic treatment at a branch of the Bihar School of Yoga in Sambalpur, Vijoylaxmi pursued her mission of using yoga and other forms prescribed in the Vedas to treat chronically ill people. She has to her credit workshops in holistic medicine almost all over the country. Not just that she has been invited to foreign countries several times to offer her expert advice on alternative system of medicine. The expert, nowadays in the city to hold another such workshop, spoke to The Tribune about how it serves to “go back to the Vedas.”

Treatment highlights

  • Eliminates toxins from cells
  • Teaches aasans for better functioning of each organ — from liver to heart to pancreas, even hair.
  • Teaches relaxation techniques in the absence of which no treatment will do any good.
  • Heals chronic illnesses and normalises weight
  • Improves health and increases energy levels.
  • Transforms outlook towards life

She talked about how at the Sambalpur ashram, she was made to respect her body vis-a-vis her soul. “We are ever conscious of the needs of our skin, but we pay no heed to what our psyche and our soul needs. At the ashram I got to know how significant were the verses of the Vedas. They contain the genesis of the entire being. And if people knew how to take care of their body and soul together, there would be no cause of suffering whatsoever.”

From the Sambalpur ashram, Vijoylaxmi began her study of the entire literature on alternative medicine system which aims at teaching the lifestyles and adjustments that help reduce chaos in life and contribute to the healing process. The atoms form the basic force in this kind of a treatment. “Each atom is a separate entity and needs to be taken care of as such. During the course of consumption, we accumulate toxins all over our cells. The only way to healthy living is to detoxify the body at sporadic intervals,” said Vijoylaxmi, who is currently holding a workshop in House no 226 in Sector 9. She is in the city on an invitation from Dr Amrit Bolaria.

In her system of treatment, detoxification comes first, along with the chanting of Om. “Om is the source of the universe. When you chant Om you exhale stale air. Its sound soothes each nerve amazingly. The body is in the most receptive mood when you are chanting Om.”

There are two types of detoxification — Gurushankhprakshalan (the major cleansing to be carried out once a year) and the Laghuprakshalan to be carried out once a week. Informed Vijoylaxmi, “Here we make you drink saline water, practise some aasans and then discharge the residue.” This is being taught at the current workshop.

Then follows the meditation technique (Yognidra) designed by her Guru. After this comes the chanting of shlokas and singing kirtan. The sources of this part are the Vedas which lay emphasis on a blend of bhaktiyog, nadyog and mantrayog.

Apart from the above-mentioned a lot of stress is also laid on the kind of diet intake. Vijoylaxmi, who is also an expert in food and nutrition (the Ayurveda way), studies the food intake pattern of people, and advises them accordingly. Elaborating the same, she said: “The Calcium we intake will not get absorbed unless accompanied by Vitamin C which is ample in dates, paan chuna and sardines.”

With her holistic system, Vijoylaxmi has cured several cases of spondilitis, arthritis, asthma and hypertension (that in just three days). She also deals extensively with weight and skin problems. The latest addition of her system is the use of gold for anti-ageing effects. “The purity of the gold used is guaranteed as 24 karat, and the gold to be consumed is in the shape of a thin leaf, must be eaten with aanwla.”

While the cost of the ongoing five-day workshop is Rs 3500, the gold treatment costs an extra Rs 2000. Anyone interested in brief counselling can contact Vijoylaxmi between 6 and 8 pm daily at House no 226, Sector 9 till four days to come. Otherwise she is based at Delhi where she also teaches yog and her alternative medicine system.


Red Cross staff seek secretary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 11 — The Punjab State Red Cross Branch Employees Welfare Union has demanded that the post of secretary of the Punjab Red Cross, lying vacant for more than a year, be filled immediately.

In an official press release, the president and the general secretary of the union said the Punjab Red Cross Society had been functioning without a regular secretary for over a year.

The president, Mr H.S. Rawat, and the general secretary, Mr K.K. Saini, said the society had about 60 employees and over the years have been actively involved in fund-raising campaigns, first-aid training, various activities in schools and colleges, hospital welfare services, relief services and putting up of first-aid posts at various congregations.

They lamented that the welfare activities of the society had suffered a setback after the then secretary of the society, Mr Satnam Singh, retired in 1988. They added that though retired government officers were appointed to the post, statistics show that the Red Cross could not do well.

The union said it was only after Dr K.N. Ahuja, Deputy Director, Health Services, Punjab, was given additional charge of the secretary in 1999 that the society had been able to regain its earlier standing.

The union urged the president of the society, the Governor of Punjab, to make Dr Ahuja’s appointment as secretary regular to improve the state affairs of the society and to ensure the right liasion between the state branch, district branches and national headquarters.


2 hurt in mishaps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — In separate road accidents, two city residents were injured and admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. A 25-year-old Mansa Devi complex resident was also admitted to the PGI after falling from the stairs.

According to sources, Sector 16 resident S.K. Bhasin was admitted to the hospital after the scooter he was riding collided with a car. He was reportedly brought to the Institute by the car driver.

An ‘unknown’ person was referred to the Institute by the doctors-on-duty in the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. Sources in the Police Department said he was injured in an accident in Sector 30. Kamlesh was, meanwhile, admitted to the hospital after falling from the stairs of her house in Mansa Devi Complex.

A senior police official, when contacted, said the condition of the three was stable. He added that the police was looking into the matter and would proceed after recording the statements of the witnesses.


Community centre to be opened by month-end
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — The community centre in Sector 46, will be opened to the public by the end of this month. This was stated by Mayor Raj Kumar Goel after visiting the centre today. He along with senior officials of the Municipal Corporation visited the community centre in Sector 35 and the Janj Ghar in Sector 23 and also issued directions with regard to their maintenance and upkeep.

The inauguration of the centre will fulfil a long-pending demand of the residents of the area. The centre was completed six months back. Yet to be used maintenance costs are being incurred on regular basis.

During his visit to the Sector 35 community centre, the Mayor found the condition of the same was not satisfactory, with the roof leaking at places. He asked the officials concerned to get the rooftop repaired at the earliest and get the building whitewashed. In the Sector 23 Janj Ghar, the upkeep was poor and officials were directed to get it whitewashed kitchen repaired and park developed on the premises.

The Mayor was accompanied by the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, SE (B and R), XENs and SDOs. The Mayor also inspected the pruning drive in Sector 23 and found satisfactory. He said if reports about too much of pruning came to his notice, action would be taken. Otherwise, it would be carried on for the next 15 days and officials were asked to be more careful.

The idea was to cut those branches which obstructed streetlights and posed other problems. The wood being cut every day would be auctioned.

Mr Goel said the work of levelling road berms in Sectors 17 and 22 was likely to be started this week. It would subsequently be undertaken in other sectors.


Children await joy rides 
By Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, Jan 11 — The equipment for children’s recreation provided at the Silvi Garden in Phase X here by the Municipal Council are rotting away as the civic body awaits sanction to give it on contract for a longer period.

The equipment, a merry-go-round, a toy train and paddle boats, are of little use to children as the council has been unable to give it on contract. It had given advertisements twice for the purpose, but the prospective contractors wanted that the contract period should be from three years to five years and not merely for one year as proposed by the council. They argued that a longer period was necessary in order to get adequate returns on the investments they would have to make in running the system. A building for a canteen is also under construction in the garden.

The earlier contract for one year had expired in March last year and since then the equipment and other items have been getting rusted. The equipment had been put up in the park in 1997-98.

It is learnt that a few months ago the Director, Local Government, Mr J.B. Goel, had visited the garden. It is reported that he had been impressed by the maintenance of the garden and sought a written request from the council for one extension of contract period.

Accordingly, the council wrote to the Director’s office, but it learnt that certain objections were raised to the proposal. One of the clarifications sought was why the contract could not be given for a one-year period. A reply to the objections was sent about two months ago by the civic body. Last week the council sent a reminder, but children still wait for their joy rides.


Shastri remembered
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Jan 11 — The local Shastri Model School observed the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri here today.

Mr Ram Lal Sewak, manager of the school, said Shastri put Gandhian principles into practice and the coming generations would speak with gratitude of the “great little man” who illuminated the pages of history.

Teachers and students offered prayers and a havan was performed.

Among those who paid tributes to the former Prime Minister were Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, PPCC general secretary, and Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, a former Punjab minister.


Tohra denounces Anandgarh project
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 11 — Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Member of Parliament and president of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, has alleged that by making a plan to set up new city of Anandgarh by uprooting many villages of Kharar tehsil, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, has betrayed not only the Punjabis, but also the Gurus and the Panth. He said Mr Badal might formulate any plans, but his party would never allow this city to be set up here.


Minor fire in secretariat
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — A minor fire broke out on the ninth floor of the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat today afternoon. The cause of the fire is reported to be short circuit and was controlled before the two fire-engines, one each from Sector 17 and Sector 11, reached the spot. No loss of life and property has been reported.

Another minor fire broke out at 1.50 pm in Rajiv Colony (Mauli Jagran). According to sources in the Fire Department, people were warming themselves when heaps of garbage lying near shop No. 786/2 caught fire. Two fire-engines, one each from Industrial Area and Mani Majra, were rushed to the spot.


Two cases of harassment
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — The local police yesterday registered two cases of harassment of married women after initial inquiries. In both the cases, the women had alleged that they were being maltreated by their respective husbands and in-laws for bringing less dowry.

According to sources in the Police Department, Ms Jyoti who was married on February 19, 2000, to a Hoshiarpur-based man, alleged that her husband and his family members were continuously harassing her for bringing insufficient dowry. She had alleged that her in - laws and her husband often maltreated her and asked her to bring more dowry.

In the second case, Ms Jaspreet Kaur had alleged that she too was maltreated and harassed by her husband and in-laws for not bringing sufficient dowry. She was married to Mr Ravinder Singh of Sector 35 on October 15, 1998. In her complaint she had alleged that she was asked to bring more dowry.

In both complaints, cases under Section 498-A of the IPC have been registered. The sources said the cases were now being investigated by the Crime Against Women Cell of the Chandigarh Police.

Theft case
Mr Gurbax Singh of Sector 34 reported that Rs 55,000, a leather jacket and some utensils were stolen between January 8 and January 10, here. He was reportedly out of station during the above said dates.

A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

Two vehicles stolen
In the past 24 hours the local police received two complaints of vehicle thefts. Mr Rajinder Singh of Sector 34 reported that his Maruti Car (CHK-3370) was stolen from his residence on Wednesday. Mr Harchand Singh of Ropar district reported that his scooter (PB-12-8437 (T)) was stolen from near Neelam Cinema, Sector 17.

Cases under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized
Two persons namely Ram Kumar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, and Jaimal of Janta Colony were arrested on Wednesday for possessing 52 and 90 pouches of liquor, respectively. Both have been booked under Excise Act.

Bus hijacked
A bus was reportedly “hijacked” from outside the Kisan Bhavan in Sector 35 by four musclemen allegedly hired by a local financier in the afternoon today.

According to sources in the Police Department, the bus was taken away while it was parked. The musclemen reportedly slapped the driver before driving away the vehicle.

The sources added that the bus was taken to Nawanshahr. A senior police officer, when contacted, said a team had been sent to Nawanshahr. Further investigations into the matter were on.


3.5 lakh stolen from house
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — In a complaint to the police, a Sector 22 resident today alleged that Rs 3.5 lakh were taken out of a briefcase kept in the house. Mr R.K. Prashar claimed that he stole the money after opening the briefcase with the combination lock.

He alleged that the thief entered the ground floor hall through the window. The money, he added, belonged to a committee of which he was a member. Mr Prashar runs a juice shop near Kiran cinema in the Sector 22 market.

Taking up his complaint, the police has registered a case of theft under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. A senior police officer, when contacted, said the help of Central Forensic Science Laboratory had also been sought.

He added that the police would proceed in accordance with the law after recording the statement of the witnesses and examining the evidence gathered from the spot.

Sources in the police department said the story did not sound credible. They added that thieves in such cases do not take out the money but steal the bag.

They further added that the involvement of some close associate in the theft could not be ruled out as the number of the combination lock was known to the thief.


DIG alleges son’s kidnapping, case registered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — On the complaint of Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mohammad Mustaffa alleging the kidnapping of his son, the Chandigarh police today registered a case.

According to sources in the police department, the DIG alleged that three persons, in sadhus’ attire, kidnapped his son Akhil Khan while he was cycling home at about 6 pm. The incident took place near the Mani Majra Housing Board complex at about 6 p.m. Akhil, however, managed to escape.

Sources reveal that the case has been registered under Section 363 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code. A senior police officer, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on. He added that the police was in the process of recording the statement of the witnesses.


Scuffle at PU hostel 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 11 — A minor scuffle took place at one of the boys’ hostels on the Panjab University campus late yesterday night. One of the boys reportedly sustained injuries on his hand.

According to the information available, three to four boys were drinking liquor in a room of a student leader in Boys’ Hostel 1 when the scuffle took place. Sources in the university said the injured was a former student of the university. However, a police official said he was a resident of the Boys’ Hostel 4.

The hostel warden, on receiving the complaint, reportedly called the police. But the boys reportedly left the place before the police managed to reach the room.

According to the Chief Security Officer of PU, the boys had left when he, along with his staff, reached the room. He added that he saw blood stains in the room.

When contacted, Mr V K Bansal, Dean, Students Welfare, said, ‘‘The report from the hostel warden is awaited. Action will be taken after receiving the report’’. The room meanwhile, has been sealed.

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 |