Monday, February 5, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sant Waryam Singh flags off 16 relief 
trucks for Gujarat

Tribune News Service

RATWARA SAHIB (Kharar), Feb 4 — A team of 80 volunteers of the Vishav Gurmat Roohani Mission Charitable Trust ( Ratwara Sahib Gurdwara) was flagged off in 16 trucks by the head of the mission Sant Waryam Singh here this morning. The trucks — carrying relief material and food items to feed 1 lakh survivors of the Gujarat earthquake daily for the next 30 days — are headed for Rahapur, Rann of Kutch.

The destination of the trucks has been decided by the Gujarat Government which sent a communication to the Punjab Government this morning. This is the third team from Punjab which is to work in areas devastated by the earthquake on January 26.

The target of the mission’s volunteers will be to feed one lakh people daily round the clock for the next 30 days, said Sant Waryam Singh while flagging off the trucks. He was accompanied by Jathedar Ujagar Singh Wadali, a senior member of the Shiromani Akali Dal and other members of the trust. The relief material includes 5,000 blankets besides quilts, durries and woollen clothes. The team is also carrying its own tents, cooking material like rice, flour, pulses, besan, onions, gur, biscuits, bread, pickles, spices, cooking oil, desi ghee and other condiments. The team also has machines to knead the flour besides generator sets and even diesel to run the generators.

Three trucks carrying vegetables will join the convoy of trucks from Delhi and three more trucks of the Uttar Pradesh wing of the mission.

The team will organise langars and supply food to the nearby areas. The team has been authorised to purchase vegetables and other items in Gujarat.

Drinking water will be brought there from Mumbai in tankers. The trust has said that it needs blankets, rice, pulses and sugar. Sant Waryam Singh said “All those who are sending cash should obtain a proper receipt.”

An advance party of six has reached Gujarat to liaison with the government. This party includes Dr Rashpal Malhotra, zonal co-ordinator of the National Crisis Management Group and five volunteers of the mission. 


Relief sent back
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR : AT least 20 trucks of relief material that were sent to Gujarat from Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur and Ludhiana districts, have been sent back by the local Sub-divisional Magistrate and Nodal Officer. A truck full of power generators from Ludhiana has also been sent back. The relief material was to be airlifted from the Chandigarh airport.

The relief material was sent back after the central authorities in Delhi told the Nodal Officer that only tents, blankets and medicines were needed urgently.

An official said six truckload of medicines, tents and blankets had been sent to Gujarat through an IAF aircraft past Friday. The Air Force authorities had told the officials here not to send relief material like clothes. The relief material that has been sent back will now be sent by road.


Pre-fabricated structures, tents to be airlifted today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4—The SDM (East), Mr Ganesh Bharti, will carry 200 tents and 60 pre-fabricated structures to Gujarat. The material will be airlifted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to Bhuj tomorrow.

Mr Ajay Kashyap, DIG, along with his team is already there, and would ensure that the tents and pre-fabricated structures were properly installed at Bachau. Besides, 10 truckloads of relief material will also be flagged off tomorrow for Gujarat.

Meanwhile, people kept responding to the appeal of the Chandigarh Administration with cash and kind donations to the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund-Gujarat. Even on Sunday, a delegation of trustees of the Trilok Tirath Vidya Wati Chhuttani Charitable Trust, consisting of Dr I.C Pathak, Dr B.K. Sharma, Dr N.N. Wig, Dr Y.N. Mehra and Mr Atul Khanna, came to Raj Bhavan and presented a draft for Rs 2 lakh for the quake victims.

Capt Sushil Kapoor and Mr G.S. Khandelia, President and Secretary of the Lions Club Chandigarh Greater, respectively, presented a cheque for Rs 51,000 and 60 blankets. The staff and students of the MRD Model School, Manimajra, contributed Rs 15,111 to the fund. Similarly, the Dr Ambedkar Study Circle, Sector 37-A, donated blankets worth Rs 11,000. Apart from this, the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 17, Panchkula, donated Rs 64,975 and clothes.

People have been advised to make donations through crossed cheques or drafts to the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund—Gujarat and deposit the cheque directly at the Karuna Sadan Building, Sector 11, Chandigarh.


The newly formed cultural club, ‘‘Rooh Punjab Di’’ on Sunday donated a truckload of blankets, shawls, milk powder, soap, roasted gram, rice, clothing, edible items and goods of daily use, besides Rs 5,100 for the Gujarat earthquake victims.

Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, SDM, flagged off the truck for Gujarat.

Mr Rakesh Sharma, Chairman, and Mr Gurpreet Singh, President, of the club informed that a blood donation camp would be held to help the injured in earthquake hit areas. The District Youth Congress sent a truckload of essential commodities to Gujarat .

The truck was flagged off by Mr K.K.Sharma, member, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, President of the District Congress Committee (Urban) and Mr Sanjeev Sharma, President of the District Youth Congress (Urban).

Mr Sanjeev Sharma informed that some congress workers would also be going to the quake hit areas. A two minute silence was observed in memory of those killed in the devastating quake.


The Army authorities stationed were have contributed 15 tonnes of relief material for the quake-hit victims of Gujarat.

The material, which was loaded in 10 trucks, was flagged off by the Army authorities from Patiala cantonment this morning.

Meanwhile, the Patiala district unit of the Unemployed Youth Club Union has sent a truckload of relief material to Gujarat.


Children of the Chunmun Club led by Mr Ashok Sharma held a candlelight march here this evening for the quake victims. The children along with their parents held candles in their hands and started the march from Rai Market in Ambala Sadar and passed through the different markets.

Meanwhile, two truckloads of wheat was despatched by a former MLA of Naggal, Mr Nirmal Singh, to Gujarat.


First quake victim comes to GMCH
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — Manjit Singh is relieved to be in Chandigarh following the earthquake which destroyed his home and transport business in Gandidham, Gujarat.

His wife, Karamjeet Kaur, is the first Gujarat earth quake victim that the GMCH, sector 32, received, here today. Following the calamity the three city hospitals — PGI, GMCH, Sector 32 and General Hospital, Sector 16, had been put on alert.

Speaking to this reporter from his wife’s bedside, Manjit Singh said. “The nightmare started at 8.46 am. Within 35 seconds, it was all over. I have seen people die....” he struggles to finish the sentence.

Karamjeet is the only one in the clan of 25 people to have received serious injuries. “Our house was reduced to a rubble. The doctor couple in the city died in the earthquake. We had no other option but to take her to Jodhpur. My friend’s relatives were there so we took her there on January 26, said Manjit Singh.

After first aid, the family decided to shift Karamjeet to the GMCH Sector 32. Manjit belongs to Dhanuri village in Ropar district.

Prof Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent, GMCH, confirmed that Karamjeet was the first earthquake victim to have been admitted to the hospital.

He said the hospital will take the entire responsibility of her treatment. “The pins in the external fixators show infection which requires further investigation. After countering the infection we will begin treatment. She will possibly have to stay in the hospital for two to three weeks,” said Prof Raj Bahadur.


Dowry death: victim’s kin for punishing guilty
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4— The bhog ceremony of 30- year old Tikapreet Kaur, a city resident who fell prey to dowry greed was held here this morning.

A large number of friends and relatives of the deceased, who had come to attend the bhog of the victim, demanded that the husband, father- in- law and mother-in-law of the deceased, who had led the young woman to this extreme step should be arrested.

Tikapreet committed suicide by consuming poison on the morning of January 29, allegedly she was being repeatedly threatened by her estranged husband with dire consequences if she did not join him. Subsequently, a case under Section 304-B of the IPC was registered against her husband, Bhupinderjit Singh Gill, father-in-law, Karamjit Singh and mother-in-law, Preetam Kaur. It is also learnt that the police conducted raids at the Ludhiana and Moga residences of the suspects.

The father of the victim, Col. Pandher, alleged that his daughter was married to Bhupinderjit Singh in February 2000 and was given sufficient dowry. “However, she was continuously tortured by her husband at the instance of her in-laws. In September she was turned out of the house.”

He informed that ever since then, Tikapreet was staying with him here in Chandigarh. He said though efforts were made to reach a compromise, but nothing came of it. “However, Bhupinderjit continued to give us threatening calls and Tikapreet was pressurised to return to him.”

“ I want that those who have brought such distress to my family and associates be given a suitable punishment,” he said. 


College principals’ recruitment
Admn not following UGC recommendations 
By Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — The recruitment rules followed by the Chandigarh Administration to select principals for its government colleges seem to be grossly out of tune with the norms laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The rule regarding minimum teaching experience required for principals and the one pertaining to their method of recruitment laid down by the Administration differ from those laid down by the UGC.

The Chandigarh Administration notified its set of recruitment rules for arts and science Government Colleges’ principals in March 2000 but failed to incorporate the norms laid down by the UGC which had been notifying its set of rules for recruitment as Principal since 1990s.

The UGC-notified qualifications for principals, who are to be recruited directly, read, “the Principal should have a total experience of 15 years of teaching/research in university/colleges and other institutions of higher education, in case of Professor grade and a total experience of 10 years, in case of Readers grade.” The Chandigarh Administration qualifications, however, state, “12 years of teaching experience of degree classes in a college affiliated to the university or an equivalent institution and three years of administrative experience.” “What kind of administrative experience does the administration expect from a college teacher who has been simply teaching all these years before he/she becomes Principal?” questions a college lecturer.

Regarding the method of recruitment also the administration has added an option according to which in case no one is taken in as Principal through direct recruitment or promotion, the post can be filled through transfer on deputation. Most of the colleges see this as a move of the Administration to incorporate “its own people”.

In Chandigarh, all four principals in the city’s four government colleges, have been recruited through the direct promotion committee (DPC), but these principals also feel that the option of having principals on deputation is not welcome as “there are enough qualified people in Chandigarh itself to be promoted as principals then why ask anyone to come on deputation”, and “there is already a major resistance to those lecturers who are working in these colleges on deputation, how can they allow Principals on deputation” say two of these principals.

Only the administration would have answers to these questions but what is of concern is that can the Chandigarh Administration play around with the UGC recommendations and rules which have not just been notified but have also been regulated and are no longer just recommendatory in nature but also mandatory.


THE sanctity of the National Anthem was sacrificed at the altar of politics by the ruling Congress and opposition BJP-SAD councillors in the special meeting of the Municipal Corporation on January 29. While the BJP-SAD councillors insisted on pressing their demand for dissolving the committees by division of votes , the Mayor adjourned the meeting in the resulting pandemonium and the sudden playing of the National Anthem took everyone by surprise.

The BJP-SAD councillors have alleged that for the first time in the history of the House, the Congress Mayor used the National Anthem as a tool to adjourn the meeting. They said that they had already anticipated such a move and had earlier met the Commissioner in this regard so that the same could be avoided. But their fears came true. They have also complained to the Adviser in this regard.

Mayor Raj Kumar Goyal denied these allegations and said that it was they who had insulted the National Anthem. They continued with their loud discussions even when the National Anthem was playing and stopped only a few minutes before it ended.

The proceedings of the House have been sent to the Administration.

Shockingly, even on the grave issue of the Gujarat earthquake, the councillors owing allegiance to the BJP-SAD on one hand and the ruling Congress on the other hand were trying to gain political mileage by saying that they had moved a resolution in this regard first.

At the very outset, the leader of the opposition, Mr Des Raj Tandon and a Congress councillor, Mrs Kamlesh, moved the resolution seeking two minutes’ silence and the contributions to be made, almost at the same time. But both of them kept saying that since they had moved the resolution they be allowed to speak first on the issue. The Mayor accepted their proposals and said that while the Municipal Corporation will contribute Rs 1 lakh, the councillors will contribute Rs 1,000 each from their monthly share of development fund (Rs 29,000). Interestingly, the discussions on the resolutions continued even after the two-minute silence.


The Gujarat earthquake spurred people to donate liberally. Once The Tribune put out a notice asking its readers to send donations by way of crossed cheques or drafts in the name of Gujarat Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, the money started pouring in. A few of the donors walked into The Tribune office all so casually with six-figure cheques in hand, all eager to send their money in aid of earthquake victims.

A senior IAS officer remarked that if the city residents collected more than Rs 1 crore he would change his opinion about city residents being cold and calculative. Within one week ( by February 3) the city residents responded overwhelmingly to the tragedy and loosened their purse strings. Collections at the Red Cross alone had totalled Rs 1.32 crore. To be fair to the officer, he definitely kept his word and changed his opinion.

Employees of almost all government departments donated one day’s salary. The same was true of employees in the private sector. The local businessmen went all out to respond to the call of UT Administrator J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Besides this various social and religious bodies sent donations directly to Gujarat.

On the other hand, some organisations which should be donating more for such causes did not match the expectations of society.

Admission blues

Admissions of kids kept many officials busy. Parents, desperate to get their wards admitted to “the best” schools wanted to leave no stone unturned to ensure that their dreams turned into reality. Following the strong desire, many approached several “highups”leading to displeasure of many of them. The number of those asking for “recommendations” outreached the number of seats in the preferred schools.

Things were not easy for these parents, who had to prepare harder than probably they had during their own student life. After the trauma of going through preparation for tests and interviews, the results of the same led to many a heart break for the parents who had prepared harder than the kids.

It seemed to be a dooms day for those who could not get their wards admitted in the “best “ schools.

There is no specific criterion for selection, was a common grudge. Selection tests or interviews included testing of the child’s abilities by different methods, followed by an interview of the parents. However, this seemed to be the right time for the “more qualified” ones to prove their skills. Working women were sad, and so were the ones who were merely graduates. Being an NRI or a bureaucrat was definitely an additional qualification . Not only that, your family background and even your personal life did matter . Of the entire episode, however, ignorant of the gravity of situations, the happiest lot were none other than the kids.

Organic farming

Last week the Environment Society of India (ESI) organised a three-day workshop on organic farming supported by Dr Arun Sud, Member Convener of Regional Committee, CAPART, Chandigarh. The organic farming shows the way to say “goodbye to pesticides and chemical fertilisers.

The response to this ensemble was encouraging. For example, the number of participants from Punjab, Haryana, J & K, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh was 90 as against 30 invitees. Mr Haqueekat Singh, an Agricultural Officer in the Punjab and Sind Bank, said that he would turn his village near Kharar into a 100 per cent organic farm practices area.

Egg theft

The theft of 18 eggs lying under three female swans at the Sukhna island spelled gloom for the flock of 27 birds. For about two days the flock refused to take food and cried at every one who entered the islet. The three swans had been incubating the 18 eggs for the last 24 days. The activists of the Children’s Alliance for the Protection of the Environment (CAPE) had decided to hold a welcome function after the eggs hatch into young ones in the next four days. But their plan failed as some people entered the island and snatched the eggs from the female swans.

For the last several years the Sukhna island had been infested with congress grass, other weeds, snakes and rats. The CAPE launched the cleanup operation and converted this islet into a beautiful nature spot. Last year it released 30 swans, 18 geese, three pairs of turkeys, two pairs of guinea pigs, on this islet. The result was that the number of visitors on the lake area increased three times. There is also a warning to the tourists. Don’t tease these birds.

Mania for Wednesday

“How much time is required for the extrication of the underground cable from an area which is less than 200 yards,” ask the residents of Sector 45-C. Interestingly the digging operation began on January 24.

The labourer from the Chandigarh Electricity Department operates at the site only on Wednesday and that too for two or three hours only. Rest of the week nothing moves.

As per the schedule, the next day would be February 7, and, for how long — God knows the better! Perhaps creating a record in the slow digging process.

The Chandigarh Administrator, Lt Gen J.F. R Jacob (retd) needs to extend his area of inspection from the Estate Office and the dispensaries to the electricity department and other departments dealing directly with the public.

Size does matter

Mr Phul Singh, a resident of Saketri village near Manimajra, claims to have set up a record by producing a 52-inch long bottle gourd in his kitchengarden.

Working as a driver with the Haryana State Election Commission, Mr Phul Singh says that he had sown the seed which he got from his foreign relative. Mr Phul Singh says that he had nurtured the vegetable with affection as his own child. “My sweat mingled with the soil to produce this marvel,” said Mr Singh.

The giant vegetable had been a centre of attraction for the residents of the surrounding villages while it was in the field.

Celebrity Bedi

Her mega celebrity status was for all to see. Soon after the convocation ceremony of the College of Nursing, PGI, on Saturday the chief guest, Dr Kiran Bedi, was mobbed by eager young girls of the college. The girls wanting autographs and photographs with the first woman police officer of the country, followed her all the way to the administrative block. Keeping in mind the constraint of time (she had to leave for Delhi the same day), Dr Bedi was somehow taken inside the building. Interestingly, seeing the young girls swarm around her, like they would for any top Bollywood star, Prof S.M. Bose, Head, Surgery Department, commented to her, “till now I always thought that the young girls would only be interested in Hrithik Roshan. I was wrong.”

Surprise visitor

Mr Kuldip Singh Thakur of Sector 47 could not have asked for more. A surprise visitor to his house handed over to him a bearer cheque issued by him for Rs 5,000. The visitor was Mr S.K. Sharma, Manager of the main Bata outlet in Sector 17. Mr Sharma had driven down to Sector 47 after one of his salesman found a bearer cheque during the morning sweeping process.

Mr Sharma got in touch with the Punjab National Bank, got the address of the account holder and himself drove down to give the cheque to Mr Thakur.

Stray cattle

The stray cattle are the city roads drivers’ nightmare. With a large number of stray cattle roaming about freely and the number of vehicles rising with each passing day, the roads have become more accident-prone.

The problem becomes more acute during the night as the motorists fail to notice the cattle since a majority of the streetlights are non-functional. Dense fog makes things all the more difficult for the drivers.

This is despite repeated drives by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) to catch stray cattle. Will the MCC, whose record of providing civic amenities had been lacklustre during the past over four months, do something so that the lives of the residents are not endangered?


Telemedicine is fast becoming an integral part of health care. The online service provides comprehensive doctor-to-doctor consultation facilities, beyond the geographical limits, for medical professionals. Certainly, a technologically superior way for getting specialist’s opinion from anywhere in the world and yet so inexpensive. There are hundreds of medical portals operating in India storing in them a wealth of field experience and exposure for the medical fraternity.

The latest to join the service has been The website recently expanded its operations touching the Western and Northern parts of the country. The service helps general physicians access expert assistance and modern technology from top specialists right from the vicinity of his clinic. Naturally, the patients are ensured of convenient, fast and cost-effective treatment.

— Sentinel



Consumers complain to MC about water meters
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — Some consumers have written to the Municipal Corporation, alleging that irregularities are being committed by some MC employees in the installation of new water meters. The MC has asked all consumers to purchase their own water meters and inform the authorities, so that these can be installed before March 31.

In one such letter to the Mayor, Mr H.R. Bagga of Sector 21-D has written that he had bought a new water meter at Rs 360 on January 20 and deposited Rs 65 for its installation and testing on January 23. The MC employees who came to install it on January 29 replaced its check-nuts with old nuts. When the complainant objected to this, they told him that the nuts would remain with them. The cost of these brass check-nuts is about Rs 30 each.

An official said the new meter should be installed with the new check-nuts only, but if some employees were doing otherwise, consumers should bring it to the notice of the authorities concerned.

Consumers have also complained against heavy water-supply bills of water. The Mayor has asked the MC officials to rectify the bills at the earliest. Mr Harnel Singh, a resident of Mariwala town in Mani Majra has received a water-supply bill for Rs 22,639. Six months ago, he had received a bill for Rs 10,000. Despite repeated visits to the official concerned he could not get it rectified.

Mr Trilochan Singh of Mani Majra has been depositing all his bills in time. He showed the receipts of the bills that he had deposited. Past year, he received an excess six-month bill for Rs 4,000. Now again, he has received a bill for the same amount despite his getting a new meter installed two years ago.

A senior official said there were nearly 1.2 lakh consumers and discrepancies could occur in some cases. 


DC’s appeal to census staff
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 4 — Deputy Commissioner S.K. Monga appealed to the staff involved in the census work for performance of duty with dedication at the concluding day of the training programme for them. He said this was essential for gathering correct information and within the specified framework.



Man stabbed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — A resident of Sector 39 was brutally stabbed by a relation, Chaman and three others near Pulsora Colony late this evening.

It is learnt that the victim was going on his bicycle when he was stalled by the accused. The victim reportedly suffered injuries on his arms and wrist. Later, he was taken to the hospital for treatment. Till the time this report was filed, the police had not registered any case.

According to the information available from police sources, it is learnt that the accused Chaman is the brother- in-law of the victim's brother. 



2 hurt in mishaps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — Two persons were injured in two separate accidents in the city this morning. Sheela Devi, a resident of Sector 22, was hit by a car this morning . She was admitted to the PGI.

In another incident, Taranjit Singh, a resident of Sector 15, was seriously injured when his scooter skidded near a shop in Sector 8.

Two booked
The police has booked two persons for misbehaving with a constable while the latter was on duty in the Sector 10 market. Harsharan Singh, a city resident and Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Sangrur have been booked under Sections 323, 332, 353 and 506 of the IPC.

One arrested
The police has arrested Saleem, a resident of village Dadu Majra on charges of stealing gajak, chips and coins of the total value of Rs 150 during the intervening night of February 2 and 3. The accused was caught and a case under Section 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered against him at Sector 39 police station.

Liquor seized
The police has seized 22 bottles of Winner whisky from Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Ambala cantonment and booked him under various sections of the Excise Act.

Six colour TVs stolen
Six colour television sets were reported to have been stolen from an electronics shop after unknown miscreants broke into the shop of Mr Atam Prakash in Mani Majra. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.


The CIA staff of Panchkula has arrested two local residents — Roshan Lal and Surinder Kumar — for their alleged involvement in some theft cases.

They were produced before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr V.P. Gupta, where Roshan Lal was sentenced to judicial custody while Suresh Kumar was remanded to police custody.

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