Sunday, February 18, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City population may touch 10 lakh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — The census operation, which is being undertaken after ten years will be significant, in more than many ways for it will bring out emerging trends about the City Beautiful. The census process, which commenced on February 9, will be completed by February 28, but the results of the same will be out only by March. Population of the city is estimated to have increased by 3 lakh since the last census.

Giving this information here, Mr Sham Lal Goyal, Director, Census Operations, said that the population of the city should be nearly 10 lakh. The city has registered a significant increase in the number of jhuggi colonies. While the officials of the Administration maintain that people of such colonies have been rehabilitated during the past few years, but the figures of the first round of census this year are contrary to the claims, for after the last census, more than 50 new jhuggi colonies have sprung up. During the last census, there were only 12 colonies with populations of 58 to 275. But these figures may register a three-fold increase following this census, in which the figures of jhuggi dwellers are also being enumerated.

The pertinent point is that counting this time is not being done as per sectors, but as per wards. Mr Goyal informed that in 1991, counting was done as per sectors, for at that time there was no Municipal Corporation and the MC came into being in 1996. Sources reveal that so far, enumeration of 20 wards had been done. This would enable authorities to try and ensure almost same distribution of population in these wards, which in turn would help councillors to spend an equal amount on development works.

Further, the population of southern sectors in the city is also likely to witness an increase, because of falling prices in property, people in large numbers have settled in these sectors. However, the population in the spacious northern sectors might not have change much. The population of villages would also show an increase. During the 1991 census, the city had 27 villages with a population of 66,186 persons, but these figures are likely to go up to 1 lakh.

According to Mr Goyal, the thrust this year would be on collecting data about women’s work participation in economic activities, for they feel that a much larger numbers are engaged in this. This is because the figures of the last census data reveals a rather low work participation rate of 10.39 per cent in the city. The possible reason for this could be that either the enumerator did not ask or the respondent did not tell about the work done by the females of the household. Unpaid work done by the family members ( in cultivation or family enterprise) is “economic activity” even if the respondent says otherwise. This will include help given by women in ploughing, sowing, harvesting and collecting farm produce; women working as agricultural labourer for wages in cash and self-employed women or engaged as unpaid family workers in industries that can be on household industry basis.

Mr Goyal has appealed to the women to come forward in disclosing the required details to the enumerators. He disclosed that the information provided by households under different heads would be kept confidential in accordance with Section 15 of the Census Act, 1948, which specifies that “Records of the census are not open to inspection nor admissible in evidence”.

The authorities also claim to have added certain new questions to the schedule for the purpose of collecting specific information. This includes age at marriage to be collected for males also; type of educational institution attended by a person will also include school, college, vocational institute, other institutes and literacy centre; the distance to the place of work and the mode of travel for “other workers”. The number of children, males and females separately, born during the past one year will also be collected.

Mr Goyal has also appealed to the people to help enumerators in collecting the desired information and not turn them away for the database is being made in national interest. If they are not at home when the enumerator visited the house and left a slip, they should make efforts to contact the said person for getting themselves enumerated. Though the person on his own would also do the needful.

He pointed out that under Section 8/9 of the Census Act, it is obligatory to the public to allow the census staff in her/his house; to allow painting on the number of the house and to give correct information to the best of her/his knowledge and belief. The punishment for violation is fine upto Rs 1,000.

Meanwhile, though the figures have to be collected till the midnight of February 28, (00.00 hrs on March1,2001) but to ensure that they are able to incorporate any new addition or deletion during the intervening days , from the date of enumeration till the last date, a revision round will be conducted from March 1 to 5. Till date, about 40 per cent of the work has been finished.

Meanwhile, The Directorate of Census has made complete arrangement for the ongoing census this time. A total of 1,700 persons, including 1,400 enumerators and 234 supervisors are involved in this exercise. However, for counting the military and other paramilitary officers, their staff will be recruited to do the same.

The city has been divided into 1,400 blocks for the purposes of counting. For the 25 odd villages, 140 blocks have been made. In each block, there is one enumerator and for every six enumerators, there is a supervisor. Since the entire work is being done on computers this time, it is being done fast and will also be more accurate. As many as 60 computers will be installed in the office for computing the data collected. 


Registration of new vehicles
Suvidha shulk facility planned for auto-dealers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — To save residents from the hassle of queuing up for registration of new vehicles, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to start a system of collecting suvidha shulk (payment for facility) from automobile dealers to allow them out-of-turn permission to deposit papers and collect registration certificates (RC) for the vehicles they sell.

The automobile dealers will be allowed to deposit forms for the vehicles they sell after office hours at the registration branch. RCs can be collected the next day. There would be no obligation for a visit by the person buying the vehicle, however, anyone wishing to get the work done on his or her own would be welcomed at the Registering branch. A decision on how much the dealers would be paying for this facility is yet to be taken. Similarly, all other powers like who will pass the vehicle — presently it is carried out by motor vehicle inspectors — are need to be sorted out.

With a large numbers of cars and two-wheelers being financed, it suits dealers to also get the registration done as it ensures proper documentation like getting the vehicle hypothecated, a source said. Besides this the scheme will help reduce the rush at the registration branch . About 250 vehicles are registered in the city each day.

Originally, the Administration had planned to allow the dealers to issue RCs. But this idea was dropped as the UT Registering and Licensing Authority now has a contract with Tata Infotech, a private company, to provide plastic “smart cards”, which carry information about the registered vehicle, the owner’s licence and challans, if any.

To set up machines to produce smart cards would have cost each dealer about Rs 5 lakh, thus the scheme had to be dropped. These plastic cards are like credit cards or the size of a regular visiting card , but have a computer chip on them for dealers this sophisticated machinery will add to their costs.

The chip on the card stores all data regarding the vehicle, the owner, previous owner and other data relating to challans. The card is issued instantly.


City to be partner in BBMB power projects?
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — Senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration will be meeting officials of the Union Power Ministry on Monday seeking partnership status for Chandigarh in the power being produced by the projects run by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

Partner status in the massive power projects run by the BBMB has been Chandigarh’s demand for long. In December, the Union Power Ministry decided to provide additional power from unallocated surplus power in various central projects across the country, while keeping quite on the issue of partner status.

Partner status means that Chandigarh can get a share of power at cheaper rates and also profits. A demand for Chandigarh seeking partner status after the re-organisation of states in 1966 has been a tricky one as Chandigarh’s case has always been on the back burner with no political backing.

Interestingly, BBMB has been showing arrears running into crores as it wants 29 paise per unit at the minimum rate for the 3.5 lakh unit and Chandigarh has been insisting that it will pay only 5.63 paise , the rate applicable for other partner states.

There are four partner states of BBMB: Punjab, Haryana,
Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile officials of the Administration today met a team of the Union Urban Affairs Ministry and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) where the BHEL team made a presentation on the viability and feasibility of the proposed electric trolley bus for the city. 


‘Disaster handling plan’ needed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, February 17 — Priority should be accorded to handling of disasters as 60 per cent of the total country was in disaster prone zones. This was the consensus reached on the second and last day of the two-day conference-cum-workshop on preparation of District Disaster Management Plan.

The conference was attended by 45 participants, including District Magistrates of Gurdaspur, Patiala, Sangrur, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Rohtak, Hisar, Sirsa, Kaithal, Panchkula, Shimla, Lahaul & Spiti, Kangra and Kinnaur besides the Chief Secretaries of Punjab (Mr NK Arora) and Haryana (Mr L M Goyal), and some top academicians, including Prof Yogesh Atal, Prof Sudarshan Iyengar, Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Prof B L Abbi, and Mr J.C. Pant, Chairman, high powered committee on disaster management of the Union Government.

The Editor of The Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh, also addressed the conference-cum-workshop.

The participants felt that since the disasters did not affect only the lives and property of the region in which they occurred but had wide ramifications throughout the country.

Professor Yogesh Atal said while it was not possible to halt the arrival of the disasters, but their impact could be minimised with proper preparedness and planning. “Whatever may be the type of the disaster, there are certain predictables and a strategy to handle the predictables should be devised. However, it is important to recognise that a similar disaster occurring in a different cultural setting will not be identical in items of its consequences. Therefore, every disaster situation will have to be handled as a specific event giving due consideration to the cultural context utilising traditional knowledge and cultural coping strategies of the community concerned,”

He maintained that the district disaster management plans could play a significant role by incorporating preventive measures as part of the overall development strategies and formulating contingency plans to mobilise and relocate resources without much delay with a view to meeting the exigencies of the situation.

The conference laid special emphasis on better information management and hinted that some sort of self-discipline was needed on the part of the media, administration and the public at large so as not to cause any panic. There was also need to develop better coordination between government and voluntary organisations.

The participants agreed while voluntary organisations had a significant role to play in such situations, they were no substitute to the state apparatus.

The dialogue that the conference established among senior district officials and the High powered committee prompted the latter to contemplate a similar kind of exercise in other states. Similar conferences are proposed for Uttar Pradesh and Orissa.

Mr J.C. Pant expressed his satisfaction over the quality presentations and discussions made by District Magistrates, and also expressed the hope that they would take steps to further consolidate the plans and continuously update them in the light of the experience. He was also hopeful that his call to have the participation of social scientists will get positive response and the ICSSR Institutes as well as other social scientists would get involved in this nationwide exercise for management of disasters.


Microelectronics seminar concludes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — India is slated to be a strong IT force in the world but trained manpower in the field of very large scale integration (VLSI) design will become a liability unless there is a complete reorientation of our institutions involved in producing this manpower. This was stated by top professionals of the country in the field at Panjab University here today as part of the concluding panel discussion session of the Chandigarh Symposium on Microelectronics.

While the discussion was on “Proliferation of IC design activity in India”, the focus of the panelists remained the availability and demand of professionally trained personnel in the field of VLSI design. Dr D.N. Singh of Semiconductors Limited (SCL), Mohali, initiated the discussion. Mr Amol Atri, CEO, Motorola, emphasised the need of collaborative contribution between research bodies of the industry with academic institutions as a give and take process. Dr H.P. Vyas, Director, Solid State Physics Laboratory, New Delhi, gave a picture of various programmes and the level of success and the problems therein. He also stated that the field of microelectronics was no longer monopoly of the Government of India but now every development in the field was a result of cooperation between academic institutions, the industry and the government.

Mr M.M. Sobti, Director Technical, SCL, announced that SCL would be in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology (MIT), starting the “India Chip” programme shortly open to all academic institutions and industries. Also present was Mr Ram K Reddy, CEO, Netmos, who stated that India should have its own structured engineering curriculum which is industrial research-oriented. He also mentioned that he would be taking up the issue of the curriculum with Panjab University too and announced that his company would welcome students for training.

During the discussion it was felt that that the number of trained manpower for Indian companies was not enough. In fact it was less than 5000 and the projected demand in the world would go up to 80000 VLSI engineers. Moreover most of the institutions did not have the requisite infrastructure to train this manpower professionally. It was also pointed out that 12 institutions in collaboration with MIT will be chosen to build lab and brain material. The need for trained trainers was also discussed.

Prof. A.B. Bhattacharya from Goa University chaired the discussion. In his concluding remarks he brought attention of the participants to the close ended tools teaching which was being done in most of the institutions. He emphasised the need for a strong monitoring culture for these institutions and stated that the focus of the industry-institution liason in training manpower should be on quality and not quantity.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Dr K.N. Pathak was present during the discussion. Dr P.A. Govindacharyulu from GAETEC-HCL, Hydrabad, Dr M.J. Zarabi, SCL, and Dr Chanderashekhar, CEERI, Pilani, also participated. 


Seminar on right parenting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — A seminar on Right Parenting for Upbringing and Growth of Children was organised by Vanita, a monthly magazine for women, here today.

On this occasion, Dr Dwarka Prashad, a clinical psychologist, urged parents to spend more time with their children, as money alone was not enough for upbringing children. Dr G.K. Sethi, a child specialist, stressed the need for immunising children.

The Coordinator Editor of the magazine, Ms Jayanti, said the emergence of nuclear families had made the task of upbringing children tough and the seminar was aimed at discussing ways of making the task easier.

In the question-answer session, Dr Dwarka Prashad said there was no medicine to increase the height of a child and girls grew faster in initial years than boys. He said school should be made “pleasure” for a child and the education system was responsible for children’s poor performance. On a question regarding poor performance of children in examinations, he said parents should make their children take intelligence tests, facilities for which existed in the PGI.

Regarding the use of memory-enhancing drugs for children, doctors said these did not help much in improving the memory of children. “It is not essential that second child should also be caesarian, if the first one is born through this method,” said Dr Sethi.


400 stray animals rounded up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — Nearly 400 stray animals have been rounded up during the special drive launched by the Medical Officer of Health ( MOH), Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, to catch them. Of these, 100 odd animals have already been taken back by their owners from the cattle ponds by paying the required fine. The MC has earned receipts worth Rs 70,000 by way of these fines.

It is for the first time that two hydraulic machines purchased by MC were used. The MOH had last month started a special drive for a week for rounding up these animals, to check the increasing menace and the consequent danger they pose to the road-users. Keeping in view the positive results, the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh has extended the ongoing campaign.

Two teams, led by Dr S.S. Cheema, Medical Officer Health and Dr Kamboj have rounded up these animals by raiding various parts of the city. Of the 367 animals rounded up, the majority are pigs. While a few have been taken back, the remaining have been let out in the jungles of Barwala, Nalagarh and Rajpura.

The authorities have appealed to cattle-owners not to leave their animals for grazing in public places and green belts. They should also ensure that they do not wander on the city roads at night. 


ASP meets residents’ representatives
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — A meeting was held between the presidents and general secretaries of the Market Welfare Associations and Residents Welfare Associations of Sector 18, 19, 20 and 21 and the Police Department, here in Sector 18 today.

Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, Assistant Superintendent of Police (East), representing the Police Department, apprised the associations about the various schemes started by his department.

The associations were told about the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme started recently in the Sector 38 (West). The Resident Welfare Associations were apprised of the schemes and how residents could benefit from it.

According to police sources the ASP advised the residents of the area to keep a tab on drug addicts and give information about them to the police. The police sources claim that the drug addicts are quite often engaged in petty thefts. At the same time various presidents and general secretaries were told about the rights of the arrestee.

While interacting with the associations, Dr Hooda stressed upon checking child abuse. The ASP urged the associations to bring to the notice of police, the incidents of child abuse.

Dr Hooda also informed the associations about the State Legal Service Authority, which was recently announced for the benefits of the poor and illiterate persons. As per the scheme, poor and illiterate persons can avail free legal help and advice.



Red Cross despatches relief material for quake-hit
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — The Red Cross, UT Branch, Chandigarh, under directions of the Chandigarh Administration and generous contributions made by people of Chandigarh has organised to despatch sufficient quantities of relief to victims of Gujarat earthquake. 25,000 blankets, 15, 000 litres of mineral water, 303 tents, 60 semi-permanent shelters, ration, medicines have already been rushed.

Today three truckloads of material, which included 106 tents, 3900 blankets (1500 donated by the Rotary Club Mid-town Chandigarh) in collaboration with Labour Department Government of Punjab), 6480 litres of Mineral water, 140 boxes of medicines and ration items. Out of contributions to the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund-Gujarat an amount of Rs 1 crore has been sent to Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. These trucks carrying relief material were flagged off today by Mr M. Ramshekhar, Deputy Commissioner and Chairman, Red Cross UT Chandigarh.


Abandoned baby finds shelter
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 17 — The police handed over an abandoned baby girl to the local Civil Hospital staff yesterday.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rana Harinder Brar, said the one-day-old baby had been found in bushes and was medically fit. The baby is now being looked after by the hospital staff.

She said several persons had visited the hospital, seeking to adopt the baby.


‘Civic body not good for town’ 
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 17 — The notification of the Haryana Government regarding the formation of the Municipal Council here was criticised at a meeting of the Citizens’ Welfare Association here today.

At the meeting, the local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, said Panchkula was under developed and unable to bear the burden of the council. “The formation of the council will be unjustified as HUDA has not developed the sectors here in accordance with the masterplan, he said.

Sectors 4, 12-A, 12, 21, and 2, there are remnants of villages, and large-scale encroachments by outsiders. HUDA has failed to tackle these problems.”

“At present, there are no local taxes and if the council is established, the local taxes will discourage citizens from settling down in the town,” he said.

He said the past experience showed that this system did not work properly in the state. Those present at the meeting resolved to move court if the government did not withdraw the notification.


BSP to go it alone in next election
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 17 — The Bahujan Samaj Party has decided to contest all 117 seats of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on its own in the next election.

This was disclosed by Mr Maan Singh Manheda, State Secretary of BSP here yesterday.

He said that the party had decided to contest the next elections in the state on the same pattern as it had adopted in Uttar Pradesh. He said that the BSP would give representation to all down-trodden sections of the society belonging to all castes in the next election.

He said that the party had increased its activities in all 13 Lok Sabha and 117 Vidhan Sabha constituencies.


Two houses burgled 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — During the last 24 hours, the local police received two theft complaints here. Both thefts took place while the complainants were out of station.

According to police sources, Mr Nanhe Lal of Hallomajra village reported that his house was burgled and Rs 70,000 and some gold jewellery was stolen yesterday.

A case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code was registered.

Mr Kulwant Rai of Sector 23 reported that 12 tolas of gold jewellery were stolen from his residence yesterday. The thieves reportedly entered the house from a window. A case under Sections 380 and 454 of IPC was registered.

Held for eve-teasing
The local police reportedly arrested Parkash Lal of Dhanas for eve-teasing, from near MCM DAV College, Sector 36, here yesterday. He was booked under Section 294 of IPC.

Defacement of property
The police has registered a case under Section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 1976 against the owner of Aggarwal Electronic, Sector 32. Police sources said that a case was registered because he had pasted poster on the wall of Technical Education Office in Sector 36.

Scooter, moped stolen
The police received two cases of vehicle thefts during the past 24 hours, here. Ms Suman of Maloya Colony reported that her scooter (CH-01-U-1535) was stolen from her residence on Thursday night. Ms Sukhdev Kaur of Sector 24 reported that her moped (CH-01-Q-8560) was stolen from a parking lot on the Panjab University campus yesterday. The police has registered two cases under Section 379 of IPC.



Bid to snatch chain 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — Two scooter-borne youths tried to snatch the gold chain of a Tribune employee’s wife near the Sector 46 C Gurdwara here late in the evening. She reportedly received minor injuries on her head and left arm.

According to information available, the incident took place when Ms Ritu Bali was going to the Gurdwara at around 8 pm. According to Ms Ritu, a boy in his early 20s, who was wearing a saffron patka, came from behind her and pulled her from her hair. He reportedly tried to snatch her gold chain before hitting her on face.

When Ms Bali raised an alarm, the youth pushed her on the ground and sped away on a scooter which was driven by his accomplice. However, Ms Bali could not note down the scooter number.

The matter was immediately brought to the notice of the beat constable who tried to chase the youths. However, the youth managed an escape. Till the filling of this report no case was registered.


Robbers take away car
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — A couple from Ramdarbar here were reportedly robbed by armed men near Babri police station area in Muzafarnagar this morning. The robbers reportedly also took away the car (CH-01-Y 9190) in which the couple was travelling.

According to information available, the culprits have been identified but till the filing of this report no arrests had been made. The couple was reportedly going to Muzafarnagar in a ‘‘friend’s’’ car.

It is learnt that Mr Deepak Kumar accompanied by his wife was going in a Maruti car when the incident took place. They were reportedly stopped by five to six armed men who were in a white Maruti car. The robbers were reportedly carrying fire arms and threatened the couple before decamping with Rs 8000 jewellery and clothes.

Deepak reported the matter to the Muzafarnagar police. Deepak identified one of the robbers from photographs which were shown to him by the Muzafarnagar police.


4-day jewellery festival opens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 — The country’s first diamond boutique was introduced here during the inaugural ceremony of the four-day ‘swarn sambandh’, the jewellery festival, at the CII Exhibition Hall yesterday.

Mr S.P. Singh, Managing Director, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), formally unveiled the collection. Sponsored by the World Gold Council and the G&J magazine, the exhibition is featuring top-notch jewellers from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, New Delhi and the host city.

Dispelling the general impression that diamonds have no resale value, Mr Rajiv Verma, a jeweller, said that his company, which had been exporting hand-made jewellery since 1987, sells jewellery under the “Bond of Faith” guarantee card, not only to ensure the authenticity of the product but also ‘buy-back’ assurance.

The investment made on diamond jewellery is not only safe but it also appreciated with time. It could be exchanged after three years for 103 per cent of its actual value, while after one year, it could be exchanged for 100 per cent value.

Within the first year of purchase, the customer had an opportunity to exchange his or her jewellery for latest products for a nominal deduction in the paid price. The diamonds thus sold are guaranteed and certified, he added.

On display at the exhibition are exquisite and exotic jewellery items besides the gold and silver carvings, including religious items.

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