Saturday, February 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rotational power cuts withdrawn
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — Rotational power cuts imposed by the Chandigarh Administration last month due to a spurt in demand for power during peak of winter have been withdrawn, sources in the Administration confirmed tonight. Engineers have been asked to do away with the cuts and an exercise of supplying power to city without a major cut has been carried out in the past two days.

An official letter will be issued once load bearing capacity of the power supply system is checked. This has been done after the end of cold wave like conditions and drop in demand for power as no heaters and blowers are being used. The decision of the Union Power Ministry to allocate additional power supply for Chandigarh out of its quota has also helped matters. The allocation has been made from February onwards.

On January 19, in an attempt to prevent overdrawal from northern grid, the Chandigarh Administration’s engineering wing started imposing rotational power cuts in residential and as well commercial areas. Time of cuts varied between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

This was done as the demand of power had jumped manifold as the city and its surrounding areas reeled under a cold wave. The UT had been drawing power much more than its allocated load. The Northern Region Load Despatch Centre had objected to UT’s power drawal system.

The UT’s share of power from the northern grid is about 110 mega watts (MW). The city had been drawing about 135 to 140 MW. This had raised a furore in power circle, especially after the grid collapsed on January 2. After the imposition of cuts, the use was brought down within the set limits. 


Construction of flats delayed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The fate of thousands of persons allotted flats under a scheme for cooperative group housing societies in Sectors 48 and 49 hangs in the balance. Construction of flats has been delayed due to various decisions of the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). The Administration is now holding back an order to extend the last date for completion of the flats.

The last date to complete the buildings was December 31, 2000. The chairman of the Chandigarh State Federation of Cooperative House Building Societies, Mr Surjit Chaudhary, asked the Chandigarh Administration to extend the date by one year to give a push to growth of cooperatives in the city.

The Housefed also pointed out that the delay in completion was due to delay caused by the Administration. The Administration set a limit of three years for the societies to complete the buildings whereas the Administration itself did not develop the area. Without infrastructure like roads, electricity and water, no construction could have started.

Giving proof of all the delay, Housefed quoted a reply filed by the Chandigarh Administration in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in which the Administration had admitted that water supply in Sector 48 was available on demand only on June 25, 1998. The surface dressing of V-4 and V-5 roads was completed in October 1998 and June 1998 , respectively.

The request from Housefed further said the period of three years of construction of housing projects under the existing byelaws appeared to be relevant in the case of individual construction and not in the case of collective construction . In the latter case societies faced a number of problems like flow of finances from various individuals and opinion of the members while finalising and completion of housing projects. As a result, a lot of time was wasted.


Daylight burglary in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — In a daylight burglary, two youths are suspected to have forced their entry into the house of Mr Ashwani Kumar in a congested colony in Manimajra by removing the bricks of the outer wall of the house this morning. They decamped with gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 1 lakh. All the family members were away to work at the time of the incident.

According to the information available, the accused decamped with around 18 tolas of gold ornaments, Rs 6000 in cash and a few other valuable items from the house in Dera Sahib mohalla. The burglars reportedly set to work around 10 am and a few people in the neighbourhood claimed to have heard the accused breaking the wall. No one reportedly checked up the source of the noise.

The miscreants reportedly made a hole, three feet in diameter, in the outer wall of the house that was adjoining an incomplete construction on the side. A large area on the back of this partly constructed house was lying vacant and the burglars were suspected to have made their entry from here after breaking open the lock of the door of building facing the vacant plot.

After forcing their entry into the house, the accused opened the steel almirah lying in the room and took out all the valuables. They also ransacked the rooms on the first floor of the house. The hole was made with the help of a chisel and a hammer, a fact revealed after the family members found these lying in the adjacent building. A pair of slippers belonging to one of the accused and a few valuables like a synthesizer that they were unable to carry were also left behind in the building.

Talking to TNS, Mr Ashwani Kumar, an employee of the Haryana Government Press, said they usually carried the keys of the almirah that contained most of their valuables with them, but today his wife left the keys in the house by mistake. He said he suspected the involvement of someone known to them as the accused knew about the timings when no one would be home.

The burglary came to light only when a neighbour, Sanjay, saw two youth fleeing from the house and informed Ms Usha Arora at the Vedic Girls Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, where she was working as a teacher, after inspecting the hole in the wall from where the miscreants had reportedly forced their way in. Ms Arora rushed home and found the entire house ransacked. She then informed her husband and the police was informed later.

The residents of the area told TNS that this was the sixth incident of daylight burglary in the past five months. They expressed concern over the increase in such incidents and said the floating labour population in the area was proving a serious threat.

Sources in the police informed that a sniffer dog to track the culprits has died. The only other sniffer dog in the dog squad here was trained for tracking explosives. In spite of the culprits in the case having left behind vital clues like the instruments and their slippers, the dog squad was not called.


Rathods sing with out-of-tune sound system
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The very first cultural show of the much-hyped Festival of Gardens proved to be quite a disappointment, courtesy lack of arrangements on part of the organising department. Had it not been for the humility of Roopkumar and Sonali Rathod, the Mumbai-based singer couple, which had to wait for over one hour to hit the stage this evening, the show would have been a total fiasco. The dampener of the evening came in the shape of rotten-to-the-core music and sound system which could not be adjusted throughout the show at the Sector 10 leisure Valley.

The time for the show was scheduled at 7 pm sharp, but it had not started even by 8.30 pm. When the Tribune team reached the venue at 7.10 pm, the gathering was too meagre to throw the show open. But even after about 20 minutes when the crowd swelled, there were no signs of performance. There were about four persons on the stage and one was heard repeating, “mike testing” for a good about half an hour. Meanwhile, the technicians of Rhythmic company (that’s all one could hear of the music arrangers) were busy struggling with the system.

While the people kept fuming, The Tribune team went backstage to find out what was happening. The singers looked quite disgusted with the entire affair. Roopkumar said he had been desperately waiting to start.

“They say they have a very high quality system, but what is the point when they can’t operate it,” he said. Dr S.K. Punia, compere for the evening, was also seen roaming about the venue in a confused state, so were UT Administration officials Mr R.S. Gujral and Mr K.A.P. Sinha.

Finally at about 8.30 pm Roopkumar told the organisers that he could wait no longer and would sing with whatever adjustment had been acheived.

The only saving grace of the evening was the positive handling of the situation by the singers who had a tough time throughout the performance. Sonali, who began with a Ghalib ghazal, occasionally kept saying, “Bahut door se aayen hain bhai, thodi si aawaaz milegi?” (Can we have some sound on the mike please. We have come from very far off.) . She, however kept singing, but when she began with the classic high pitch Lekin song — Yaara sili sili, the mike totally gave way. It took Roopkumar to offer his own mike to Sonali so that she could complete the song. After this, Roopkumar took over the stage and presented a delightful Qateel Shefai ghazal : Jiski jhankaar mein dil ka aaraam tha, vo tera naam tha.” On sporadic intervals, he also kept requesting the audience to bear with him.

Where today, the singers saved the show, the CITCO should gear up to tackle the sound system tomorrow. Every performer may not be that patient!

Colourful start to Festival of Gardens

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The three-day Festival of Gardens got off to a colourful start at the Rose Garden in Sector 16 here with the formal inauguration by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), today

The Administrator was earlier received by senior functionaries of the administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) at the garden. They included the Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, the Home Secretary, Mr RS Gujral, the IGP, Mr BS Bassi, the DC, Mr M. Ramsekhar, the MCC Commissioner, Mr MP Singh, the CITCO MD, Mr SP Singh.

Accompanied by the functionaries, the Administrator took a round of the flower show and showed keen interest in the flower arrangements. He also enjoyed the tunes played by the brass and pipe bands from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, besides Chandigarh.

At the main stage, the function took off by Ganesh vandana by students of GCG, Sector 11, followed by garbha by students of a Sector 23 school. Haryanvi dance by students of the GCG, Sector 42, cultural functions and folk dance competitions are the other highlights.

It was a typical “mela type” atmosphere on the warn sunny day with thousands of the visitors thronging the garden to enjoy full-bloomed roses of different varieties. Food and other commercial stalls, merry-go-rounds and tambola also attracted sizeable crowds.

Meanwhile, Arushi Nehra won six individual first prizes in various contests, results of which were declared today. Rama Shankar Yadav won the five first prizes and Ravneet Kaur and Ankita Kaushal won two first prizes each. Maravta, Pooja Bhasin, Alka Singla, Bharati, Navjot Kaur, Ankita Kaushal and Shiv Parsad Maurya won one first prize each.

Mahesh Parshad, Ram Baran Yadav, Arunanshu Behera, Aditya Deswal, Didar Singh, Rajni Thareja, Dharmender Singh, Tej Parkash, Ajit Kumar Barick, Malkit Singh, Ram Sunder, Ashhar Singh Thakur and Gurpreet Singh also bagged one first prize each.

In the competitions, which were open to the government, semi-government and privates institutions, the PGI bagged the five first prizes followed by four by the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Sector 17, which won four first prizes today. They were closely followed by Ranbaxy(3) and CITCO(2). The Continental Devices India Limited, HUDA, the CHB, and the Deputy Director of Horticulture, CPWD, Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9, won one first each.Back


Ninth time in a row!
Tribune News Service

The garden of the AG Punjab
The garden of the AG Punjab (A&E) (left) and that of the Deputy Director of Horticulture, CPWD, Kendriya Sadan, which have been declared best in their respective categories in connection with the Festival of Gardens in Chandigarh. 
— Tribune photographs

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The garden of the Office of the Accountant-General-Punjab (A&E) has set a record of the sorts by being the best small garden, contest for which is held during the Festival of Gardens, for the ninth time in a row.

It was the year-round hardwork of the malis that had made this feat possible, informed Mr Navneet Gupta, Deputy AG (Administration), and Mr Sewa Ram, under whose supervision the “simple garden” had developed into a “splendid one”, with a water feature and fountain.

This would not have been possible without the active support of the Principal AG Punjab (A&E), Ms Mahua Chatterjee, they said, while giving credit to the Office of the Deputy Director of Horticulture (CPWD), Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9, which had helped them in developing the garden.

The garden of the Deputy Director bagged the first prize in the large category. Well-planning, timely care and hardwork clinched the best prize for the garden, informed Dr Satyavir Singh, Deputy Director. Limited resources had not come in the way of the development of the garden, which was a feast to the eyes having over 40 varieties of flowers.Back


IT camp 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The Income Tax Department, Chandigarh, is organising a camp at Festival of Gardens from February 23 to 25 for the convenience of the citizens of the city who are covered by the 1\6 scheme of the Income Tax Act and are required to file their returns in form No 2-C.

The camp timings are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Necessary assistance and guidance is being provided by the officials of the department and return forms are being accepted on the spot.


PGI Dean’s post vacant for 3 yrs
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The premier medical research and education institute of the North— PGI, has been functioning without a Dean for almost three years now. Taking in consideration the sequence of events in the past it seems that even during the forthcoming governing body meeting scheduled to be held next month, the issue may remain unresolved yet. Incidentally, Prof Amrit Tiwari was the last Dean the institute had.

However, Prof S.K. Sharma, Director, PGI, when contacted said that the case of appointment of the Dean will be taken up in the next governing body meeting of the institute and the issue will be hopefully resolved.

According to observers, not having a Dean is having a telling effect on the academic development of the institute, which in turn has seriously hampered the research activities and training besides the overall welfare of the students.

A Dean’s function, adds a senior professor, is to look after academics while the Director is the overall in charge of the institute. ‘‘A Dean supervises various committees and sub-committees. In absence of an effective head of academics, entire burden is on the Director. Though he is carrying on in a responsible manner but the fact remains that at present research and academics are getting secondary importance.

“Whether this has something to do with the ongoing tussle between the professors regarding seniority or something else it is high time that an institute of national importance ceases to be ignored by the health planners and gets an effective Dean,’’ he adds.

As per the recruitment rules, the senior most professor of the institute, provided no inquiry is pending against him or her and on the recommendation of the Director, is selected for the post. According to the sources , some of the contenders for the posts, whose names have been figuring in discussions include Prof R.J. Dash, Prof R.N. Kataria, Prof A.K. Banarjee, Prof Subhash Kumari Gupta, Prof Sarla Gopalan, Prof S.M. Bose and Prof Sudha Suri.

Since the tenure of a Dean is for three years many senior professors feel that persons having lesser number of years left in service may not be considered for the post. However, there have been instances in the past when the post had been held by person for a few months only.

According to the sources a recently circulated list has changed the seniority of couple of contenders for the post. Actually the issue of seniority has always been a sore point with many senior professors which the insiders feel is one of the reasons why the post of Dean has remained vacant for the past three years. ‘‘In itself, the issue is very debatable and has been a source of heartburn at the senior levels,’’ says a senior professor.

Actually, as per the rules and regulations of the PGI Act, the seniority of a doctor in the institute begins afresh once he is selected for the post of a Professor. Which means that a doctor, due to non-availability of the post of Professor in his department, could end up becoming junior to his own junior, who has been fortunate to have a vacancy opportunity earlier .

Interestingly, even at this point of time, there are some doctors of Additional Professor rank, who had they become Professors at the right time, could have joined the list of contenders for the post of Dean. A professor affected by this rule adds that almost every year one to two faculty members of the PGI suffer setback in their career due to this. This is one of the reasons behind the existing tussle regarding the appointment to this administrative post, he adds.

Incidentally, there is an important judgement by the Supreme Court regarding the seniority of doctors. In the civil appeal (number 3131-32 of 1989 of the state of Andhra Pradesh vs Dr N. Ramachandra Rao and others) it is that a junior with relatively less important speciality may be fortunate enough to get promotion than his senior with a different speciality.

The orders further state that any advantage gained by juniors in such fortuitous circumstances of having some speciality and promotion should not impair the rights of their seniors for promotions to posts where speciality or teaching experience is not called for. The seniority determined in order of speciality should not therefore be the basis for promotions to administrative posts, the judgement adds.

But the Dean and Director of the PGI are selected on the basis of the date of appointment as a professor which some feel adds to the confusion and heartburn.


‘Broadbase disaster management plan’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — There is need to broadbase the disaster management strategy and to develop a holistic approach for coping with disasters. This will not only improve administrative handling of disasters but also ensure the involvement and participation of society and the local community in decision making both for preventive and relief measures.

This was one of the several recommendations made at a three-day conference on the District Disaster Management Plan organised here by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) which was sponsored by the High- Powered Committee on Disaster Management Plans of the Union Ministry of Agriculture. As many as 45 participants , including 15 Deputy Commissioners from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, took part in the deliberations. Besides, the Chief Secretaries of both Punjab (Mr N.K. Arora) and Haryana (Mr L.M. Goyal) and the Editor of The Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh, had addressed the participants.

Releasing the recommendations of the conference today, the Director of the CRRID, Mr Rashpal Malhotra, said the participants felt that the plans should not be seen in isolation but should be integrated with the development plan of the district so that development itself does not become an aggravating factor in a disaster situation. The development protocol should address the question of disaster prevention.

The plans must also focus on meeting the exigencies of unanticipated visitation of disaster. Strategies should be formulated to mobilise and reallocate locally available resources as well as out-of-district resources, particularly from the neighbouring districts.

At the state level it would be desirable to have contingency plans to immediately put in place in the event of an unanticipated calamity.

Most of the districts of the region have a history of disasters ranging from recurrent disasters like cloudburst, flood, fire, road and rail accidents to some cataclysmic disasters like earthquakes. In this region only a few areas are prone to cataclysmic disasters (Kangra, Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur) while other areas face the wrath of floods.

The Chairman of the HPC hinted that it was proposed to designate district collectors as district relief officers as part of the new administrative arrangement being envisaged under the proposed national calamity management Act.

The participants had discussed at length the cyclone in Orissa and the quake in Gujarat.

During the deliberations seven issues were mainly highlighted. These were failure to comprehend the magnitude of damage and complexities in providing relief or organising rehabilitation.

Tendency to be clinical and partial in approach rather than being holistic. Disaster affects not only the part where it occurs but also has ramified influences in the rest of society. Ignoring these ramifications may lead to serious imbalances.

Different disasters require different types of response. Even two similar disasters at different places would require a different response system. Due attention should be paid to traditional technologies and cultural coping mechanisms.

Invariably there is a failure to understand disaster in the broader context of development. Development may cause a natural disaster but can certainly aggravate the impact if it is not environmentally sustainable.

Among the recommendations made were the holding of more workshops in different parts of the country. Participants also suggested that a series of booklets should be prepared on disaster-specific themes for circulation among district-level officials.

Under the local -level disaster management strategies, the involvement of panchayati raj institutions and Local Self-Government was essential to provide continuity and ensure local participation. Training of the representatives of these bodies in disaster management would have to be organised via different nodal points.


Help team returns from Bhuj
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 22 — A team led by Inspector Om Prakash today returned from Bhuj after constructing atleast 50 makeshift houses for the families of police officers in the quake-hit city.

The team of officers that had gone there ten days ago with construction material for 50 houses also included a Sub Inspector, a Head Constable, two Junior Engineers and 16 labourers. It is learnt that this team was provided with 20 local police recruits of Bhuj by the local DIG, Mr. A.K. Singh, to help them in their work. These houses have been constructed after the houses in the Police Lines there collapsed after the quake.

Inspector Om Prakash said that the team was able to complete the construction work within 10 days and that they would erect seven to eight houses on an average each day. They had to first clear 200 metres of area from all vegetation at a safe place before erecting the houses there.


Seminar on challenges before media
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — Asking journalists to adopt a professional approach, senior journalist Mr Ved Partap Vedic today said the newspapers should give importance to analytical stories.

Addressing a seminar on “Challenges before the media in the new millennium” at the Chandigarh Press Club in Sector 27, he asserted that instead of routine stories, the journalists should do in depth reporting highlighting causes and concerns in news items.

He said that the scenario had changed in favour of the vernacular press during the past few years. There were at least 10 to 12 such papers with circulation of over five lakh, he said. The readers, he added, had more trust in these and as such the journalists of these newspapers should work with more responsibility.

Claiming that pop culture has become a part of journalism, the editor of Punjabi Tribune, Mr Harbhajan Singh Halwarvi, described it as a negative trend.

Describing readers as the biggest challenge, head of the Journalism Department, Punjab Agriculture University, Dr S.S. Dosanj, said even though the readers were loyal to newspapers, but their preferences did change.

The demands of readers, he added, have increased and the papers would now have to work accordingly. He also claimed that earlier personalities made news, now issues were more important.

He added that the focus had also changed from regional to global. The other speakers included Mr Ramesh Vinayak of India Today and Mr Navjeet Johal, head of the Journalism Department, Punjabi University.


Transit sites’ rent to be deposited in bank
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The monthly instalments of the rent for the transit sites in Mauli Jagran can now be deposited by the allottees directly in the bank. This has become possible with the MC opening an account in the Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank, Mauli Jagran branch. The said account opened in the name of Commissioner, MC, besides simplifying the procedure will make things more convenient for the allottees, who will not have to stand in long queues to pay the same.

The rent of the said transit sites was earlier being collected by the MC staff on monthly basis and the allottees, mostly labourers, had to invariably lose a day’s wages on that day. But now they can pay the rent through the bank and of the three pay-in-slips, issued by the bank, one will be with the allottee, the other with the bank and the third will be sent to the MC for record purposes. This will not only streamline the process of rent collection but also make things easier for the MC.


Workshop on gender and law enforcement
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — Violence against women and gender discrimination is a disturbing factor at the workplace. More disturbing is the scenario in educational institutions.

This was stated by Dr Suraj Bhan, Governor of Himachal Pradesh, in his inaugural address at the regional workshop on gender and law enforcement being organised by National Commission for Women, the Centre for Women Studies, PU, and the Communication and Advocacy Network, here today. He said parents of wronged girls tended to be quiet thinking that the future of their girls was more secure if it was unblemished. The problem was largely of mental attitude, he stated.

Citing examples of a case at Allahabad University when he was the state Governor, Dr Bhan said a group of half a dozen girls along with teachers visited him one day. He was informed about alleged physical assaults by a professor. “I suspended him, but the executive did not ratify, pointing that he belonged to a particular community, which was in majority,” he said.

Dr Bhan’s strict orders led to ratification of the order. The teacher went to the High Court, which asked the Chancellor to intervene first. “I dismissed him and the teacher went ahead with another litigation. I respected the role of the court which asked the Chancellor to interfere first,” he added. He also cited an example of alleged physical violence against a girl student in Lucknow University when he was the Chancellor.

Prof Mool Chand Sharma, adviser of the National Human Rights Commission, in his keynote address, said women remained exploited in all societies. Male superiority portrayal had been eternalised and seemed normal he added. The professor said unlearning real life practices was difficult.

Ms Reva Nayyar, member secretary of the National Commission for Women, said the Constitution guaranteed equality. It was the mindset which needed a change for protection of women rights, she stated. Dr Ram Rajput, from the centre for Women Studies said the meeting did not intend mere criticism, but there was an effort to introspect and reflect on existing wrongs and possible ways out.Back


Scrapping of licence system for milk vendors refused
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The Chandigarh Administration has turned down a request from the Chandigarh Periphery Milk Vendors Union demanding the scraping of licence system for sale of milk besides a change in prescribed standards of milk.

A spokesperson of the Administration said as per requirements of the PFA Act 1954 a licence to sell milk was required and sale of milk without it, amounted to a violation of rule 50 of the PFA Rules 1955.

The standards prescribed under the PFA Act 1954 for various classes of milk have been prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Central Committee for Food Standards which applies to the entire country and only the Central Government can amend the said standards. The union leaders of the milkmen have been assured that their demands will be forwarded to the Central Government for necessary action.

The Administration advised union leaders of milk vendors not to pay any bribe to anyone. The milk vendors had been advised to cooperate with the raiding team for conducting sampling, so that good quality of milk was supplied to the residents of city.


HUDA unions form 11-member panel
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 23 — Members of eight unions of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) formed an 11-member action committee, to decide the fate of employees being transferred to the Municipal Council, at a meeting held at the water works in Sector 8, here yesterday.

Under the presidentship of Mr Wattan Singh Jaiswal, the committee will present a charter of demands to the Chief Administrator, Mr N.C. Wadhwa. The secretary, Mr J.P. Sharma, said the HUDA Workers Union, the HUDA Janswasthya Karamchari Union, the HUDA Bagwani Union, the HUDA Electrical Worker Union, the HUDA Safai Karamchari Union, among others, discussed the matter of transfer of employees at the meeting.

“It was decided that since the HUDA authorities have no answers to our queries, we will have to force them to explain the details the transfers will entail. At our level, we have constantly been making enquiries, but nobody seems to know of our status in the new set up,” he added.

Wary of such transfers being implemented without any prior information, Mr Jaiswal said HUDA transferred some of its employees to Faridabad, where the local body was formed. Claiming that most of them had not received any pending dues from HUDA, the employees being transferred to the council in the city also feared the same in their case.

“We suspect a list of employees to be transferred will be declared without going into the essential issues of seniority and payment. For the purpose, we will hold a rally on February 28, the day Mr Wadhwa comes to the city. Following this, we will hold talks with HUDA officials. If nothing comes of these, we will intensify our agitation and make it a state-level protest,” Mr Sharma informed.

The Haryana Government had issued orders for constitution of a municipal council in the city. For the purpose, a number of employees of HUDA would be transferred to the local body along with the departments.


Efforts to improve sanitation
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 23 — Special emphasis is being laid to improve sanitation in the town and to achieve the desired results more funds have been sanctioned by the council.

This was stated by Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the Municipal Council, while talking to mediapersons here today. He said the town was expanding, but the number of safai sewaks remained the same for the past many years. There were only 150 safai sewaks against the needed 350.

He said the council had asked for 100 more safai sewaks from the government. He said in the next meeting he would put before the house the proposal of privatising sanitation work in residential and commercial areas.

When asked about the need for a sewage treatment plant for the town, Mr Kulwant Singh said the issue had been discussed with PUDA. Chandigarh and PUDA had to come up with the project jointly and it would cost about Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore. The council would purchase a machine for clearing deep sewer pipes at a cost of about Rs 12 lakh. The machine would be handed over to the Public Health Department to carry out work.

He said that the civic body would soon be taking a decision to reduce the hike in water and sewerage charges. But, he said, consumers, too, could cut down their water bills by stopping wastage of water.

He said PUDA was in the process of handing over many parks in the town to the council and as such the civic body had kept extra funds for the upkeep of these parks.


Effective communication must, says Jacob
From Our Correspondent 

PANCHKULA, Feb 23 — Lt. Gen. (Retd.) JFR Jacob, Governor of Punjab, while addressing the jawans on the valedictory function of the New Millennium All-India Police Wireless Meet 2001 today said , ‘‘wireless and communication systems are the heart and soul of any organisation with out which survival is impossible. An effective communication system of any force keeps the country vigilant and strong’’.

The meet was held at the Basic Training Centre of Indo -Tibetan Police Force (ITBPF) in Bhanu.

Besides a number of defence personnel, some senior officials of Chandigarh and Haryana police were also present at the function. The Uttar Pradesh Police Wireless won the award of Wireless Team Event and bagged cash award worth Rs 25,000 which was followed by ITBP in the second with Rs 15,000. The third position went to Rajasthan Police which was awarded a cash award of Rs 10,000.

In Cryptography team events, ITBP bagged the first position and won a cash award of Rs 12,000. This was followed by Assam Police and HP Police which got the second and the third prizes. and cash awards of Rs 9,000 and 6,000, respectively. The ITBP bagged the first position while the Andhra Police and CRPF were adjudged second and third respectively.Back


Census methodology questioned
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The president of the local unit of the National Christian United Front has complained of certain flaws in the enumeration methodology in the scheduled proforma for census India 2001.

Mr S.M. Bhatti, the president in a press note alleged that the operation was discriminatory against Christians, Muslims and Jains so far as the column against question numbers 7 and 8 were concerned.

He said question number 7 — six religions — Hindu, Muslims, Christians, Sikh, Buddhist and Jains have been accepted and allotted code No But against the Q No. 8 — only Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist have columns regarding caste status.



Time to save Chandigarh

Addressing members of the corporation after her election as the Mayor, Mrs Kamla Sharma, laid stress on making Chandigarh a City Beautiful in the real sense of the word.

Nehru had blessed this city by saying: ‘‘Let this be a new town symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past and expression of the nation’s faith in the future’’. Le Corbusier promised, among many other things, more sun, space and verdure.

Today, the city’s ecology, environment, frangrance and flavour have yielded place to insanitation, stinking heaps of garbage, water shortage, pollution, water-borne diseases and muddy water in taps. Shortage of safe drinking water, pressure of the burgeoning population on the educational institutions, hospitals and the public transport system have created a near-chaotic situation in the city.

In 1966, there was one hospital for a population of 1,40,000. Now the population has grown five times and an increased number of hospitals and nursing homes in the city are not able to meet the growing needs of the people. Long queues in the hospitals is a common sight.

Twenty per cent of the city’s population lives in slums and jhuggis. These children of a lesser God defecate in the open, thus polluting the environment further.

The Municipal Corporation is trapped in the Punjab Municipal Act, a British designed tamasha. Let our municipal members go through Articles 243P to 243Z of the Constitution, inserted by the Constitution (Seventy-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1992, which, in pursuance of Article 40 give power, stature and money to the municipalities.

S.S. Jain

Car financiers

In addition to bank and financial institutions, some private finance companies are also authorised to finance vehicles. The rate of interest, processing charges and EMI vary from company to company. Regarding repayment of loans, these financiers enter into agreements with the buyers and take advance cheques for the total number of EMIs and present these cheques on due dates. In some cases, the cheques have bounced. Recovering a debt through the legal process is time-consuming. Even the Consumer Forums take two or three years to decide a case.

To overcome this problem, the private financiers have started hiring musclemen to recover the money. These musclemen manhandle, beat up or terrorise the persons concerned or forcibly snatch the vehicle from the owner. Some have even resorted kidnapping the men and releasing them only after the money has been paid by the families.

All this is against the law. No one is allowed to take the law in his hands. It is high time the activities of these financiers were checked otherwise they may let loose a crime wave on the city.

A.P. Bhardwaj

Stray cattle

Panchkula, the so-called Paris of Haryana, had been plagued by what was known as the cattle menace.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Panchkula, has painstakingly ensured riddance from the nuisance of stray cattle, which used to be in abundance in the area. HUDA, Panchkula, is perhaps, the only set-up which has taken the trouble to do so, by engaging a private agency for the purpose.

I wish the civic authorities in Haryana, if not in the entire country, could follow this example.

G.S. Anand


Another accused held in Pritha murder case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — The police has arrested another accused in the murder case of Pritha Singh of Sector 10.

According to an official press release, the accused, Mohammad Sallauddin, was apprehended after a continuous watch for over 48 hours at the Bhagalpur railway station in Bihar and at the places of friends and relatives of the accused. Mohammad Sallauddin, alias Pathla, is a resident of Jehangir Bassi village, falling under Gopalpur police station in Bhagalpur. He is a skilled marble fitter and grinder. He had been working in the house of the deceased for quite some time before he planned the robbery with the other two accused, Ramzan and Barinder, alias Beeru. He fled after the murder on February 18.

He was presented before a local court and transit remand was obtained. The ASP Central, Mr HGS Dhaliwal, said the team was likely to reach Chandigarh with Sallauddin by tomorrow evening or by Sunday morning.

In another major development, the main accused Ramzan, who was arrested on February 21, today refused the test identification parade which was supposed to have been held in Burail Jail in the presence of the SDM. He was later presented in the court of the Area Magistrate and given police remand till February 28.


Man duped of Rs 1.7 lakh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — A man has allegedly been duped of Rs 1.70 lakh by an education consultant on the pretext of helping the former procure recruitment for his son in the Merchant Navy.

According to an FIR registered under Section 420 of the IPC, Mr Vijay Katoch has alleged that the accused, Vijay Sharma, who is running a business under the name of Sailors Academy and promising recruitment in Merchant Navy, had duped the former by promising recruitment for his son, Ashish. The boy was allegedly not recruited in the Merchant Navy nor was the money returned to the complainant.

In another incident, a resident of Sector 37 has accused one Paramdeep Grewal of trespassing in her house, eve-teasing and threatening her. A case under Sections 294, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the accused and he has been arrested.

Three incidents of theft have also been reported from various localities in the past 24 hours. A Maruti car (DDD- 3118) was allegedly stolen yesterday afternoon from outside the Inscol Hospital parking.

A Sector 38 resident, Mr Mukesh Kumar, has accused Teg Bahadur of stealing a utencil and a manhole cover from the former’s residence yesterday morning. The accused was caught red handed and he has been booked under Sections 380 and 411 of the IPC.

A pair of gold earrings and two wrist watches were reportedly stolen from the residence of Mr Ashish Punjabi on the intervening night of February 20- 21. The thief had allegedly broke open the lock when the owner was out of station.


Traders threaten stir
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 — In a stormy meeting held yesterday the Traders’ Associations of various sectors threatened to call a Chandigarh bandh if the cases registered by the police against four shopkeepers of Sector 34 furniture market for assaulting MC Inspector ( enforcement) were not withdrawn.

The meeting, which was held at the Sector 34 market, was attended by representatives of traders from Sectors 34, 17, 7, 19, 20 and 44, They warned the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation of dire consequences if they failed to find a permanent solution to the problem of Sector 34 furniture market traders at the earliest.

Though as a rule they do not favour encroachments, but the authorities should provide some room on the basis of need, said Mr Kalra.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mr Kamaljit Panchi, Mr Subhash Katari, Mr Jagdish Pal Kalra, Mr Jagdish Arora, Mr Sewa Singh and Mr Hazara Singh. SAD councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, in whose ward the area falls, promised full support to the traders. The Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh, was also present there. Members also criticised the ineffective functioning of the Vyapar Mandal, Chandigarh, which they alleged was totally indifferent to the interest of the traders.

The chairman of furniture market, Sector 34, Mr Sewa Singh, has said the market should be given “semi-industry” status.

Criticising the authorities for their indifferent attitude, Mr Panchi, president of the Sector 17 Traders Association, demanded that Secretary, MC, should be transferred as the MC authorities had been unnecessarily harassing the shopkeepers in Sector 34 for the past few days. A delegation later met the Commissioner, Mr M P Singh, to put forth their demands. They also plan to meet the UT Administrator, Lt Gen (retd) J F R Jacob, in this regard and give him a memorandum.

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