Sunday, February 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Arrest of former Registrar stayed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Directing the authorities against arresting former Controller of Examination-cum-Registrar of Panjab University S.P. Dhawan in a criminal intimidation case, Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today clarified that the stay order earlier granted by the court “would not hinder the authorities in conducting an investigation into the matter”.

Dhawan was earlier booked by the Chandigarh Police on the directions of the UT’s former Civil Judge (Junior Division), Mr Jasbir Singh, for allegedly causing hurt and other offences under Sections 186, 189, 352, 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

The directions to register the case and investigate the matter were issued to the Station House Officer of the Sector 11 police station on April 25 last year after a bailiff alleged that attachment of Panjab University’s property ordered by the court could not take place due to resistance by the petitioner.

Claiming to have been implicated in the case, Dhawan, on the other hand, stated that one Satinder Parkash Srivastava, who had obtained decree against the university, had used derogatory language after entering his office along with the bailiff on January 7, 1997.

Seeking the quashing of the first information report registered against him, Dhawan also sought directions for quashing the Civil Judge’s orders directing the registration of the case.

Admitting his petition, Mr Justice Nijjar observed: “Further proceedings in this case have been stayed by order dated August 25, 2000. Counsel for UT states that they should at least be permitted to investigate the matter so that the necessary report can be kept ready to be presented in the court”.

Mr Justice Nijjar added: “It is clarified that the stay order granted would not hinder the authorities in conducting the investigations into the matter for assisting the court during the final hearing. It is also made clear that the petitioner will not be arrested”. The case will now come up for final hearing on April 26.  


Raids on petrol stations, restaurants
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 24 — Six household gas cylinders being used for commercial purposes in restaurants were confiscated while one petrol station was found under-measuring diesel and petrol during a raid by the District Food and Supplies Department, last night.

Sources in the department said the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr U.S. Sohal, along with the District Food and Supplies Officer, Mr D.S. Doon, carried out surprise raids following complaints by consumers.

Of the three petrol stations of sectors 4, 14 and 16 checked last night, the Sector 14 petrol pump was found indulging in malpractice though this was denied by the manager.

The team which visited the pump, a company owned and company operated Indian Oil retail outlet, found that while diesel was less by 40 ml for every five litres, petrol was less by 70 ml for the same quantity.

The manager, Mr K.G. Gautam, however, denied allegations of under-measurement, contending that the pump was a company outlet and that slight discrepancy could have been on account of stocking of petrol going on at the pump which resulted in increased pressure and had a fallout on the supply to consumers.

The other two petrol pumps were found conforming to norms. It may be recalled that in the last raid conducted by the department, the Sector 16 petrol pump, owned by a former MLA, Mr Lehri Singh, had been found under-measuring petrol. However, after a sometime, the District Administration had given him a clean chit and the matter was closed.

In a raid at restaurants, the team found that household LPG cylinders were being used for commercial purposes. While one such cyclinder was found at Anupum Sweets, four others were found at farm fresh and one at Ma Durga Sweets.

The cylinders were taken over by the inspector of Weights and Measures Branch of the Food and Supplies Department and a report of the same was submitted to the District Magistrate.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, said though this raid could have had complaints as the basis, he had issued standing instructions to the department concerned to carry out random checks at these places.


Overpayment to FDO
Govt seeks VC’s clarification
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The Punjab Government has asked the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University to clarify charges of overpayment of salary to the Finance Development Officer, Mr M.G. Sharma, at the earliest.

The development assumes significance in the wake of the controversy over the issue on the campus. The last Senate had deferred the item pertaining to salary to the FDO, the Controller of Examination and the Registrar.

Reliable sources have confirmed the communication from the government seeking correct information on account of salary. There had also been a discussion in the UT Education Department some time back.

It has been communicated to the VC that ‘in order to check the service records of establishment, the university was asked to make available personal files and service books of Mr M.G.Sharma, FDO, PU. After a protracted correspondence the service book has been produced to audit. Personal file (s) have not been submitted to audit’.

The communication gave a detailed chart of his career which started as a clerk. He was stenographer, assistant to the Dean Student Welfare, Assistant Director (Administration) and then the FDO.

Mr M.G. Sharma is supposed to have had two increments which have raised several eyebrows. A final answer is still awaited. There are a few other questions.

The letter has also been dispatched to the Vice-Chancellor’s of Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and BR Ambedkar Technical University, Jalandhar.

The main query pertains to questions over disparities in salaries of non-teachers and teachers in deciding their pay scales as FDO, Registrar and the Controller of Examination.


Qawwals weave web of music
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — It was perhaps the first time ever that the city beautiful was witnessing “qawwali” in its pure form. In evidence today, at the Sector 10 Leisure Valley, was this traditional musical art of conversing with God at its very best. Today’s performers — Chanchal Bharti from Delhi and Sarfraz Chisti from Mumbai — kept the qawwali free of adulteration and presented it in its virgin form, which is marked by a frenzied contest of couplets. Such was the web of music woven all around the venue this evening that unlike yesterday, the audience did not want to leave.

After the Roopkumar-Sonali Rathod fiasco, today’s presentation by the qawwal duo came as a big dose of compensation for the damages done. The sound system was near perfect, the music kept adjusting to the moods of performers and there was shortage of space at the parking lot.

Beginning the performance with the traditional invocation to the God, who is considered the beloved in this vigorous form of music, Sarfraz Chisti handed over the stage to Chanchal Bharti. While Chanchal reflected the power which she acquired under Ustaad Abdul Shakur and Abdul Gaffur Khan, Sarfraz sang in a very informal style, indicating that he could only have learnt qawwali from the maestro, Iqbal Afzal Sabri, himself.

Taking control of the show, Chanchal instantly established a rapport with the gathering by doling out a great couplet by Bashir Badr — Haalat ke kadmon mein kalandar nahi girta, tute jo sitarat to zamin par nahi girta; girte hain samandar mein bade shauk se darya; lekin kisi darya mein samandar nahi girta.

What followed was a performance laced with power, control and melody. The lyrics by Bashir Badr denounced communalism and the venue started reverberating with echoes of unity, especially when Chanchal sang — Hai kanhaiya ki murli ki taanon mein vo, aur hain masjidon ki sari azaanon mein vo; dairo kaabe mein kya dhoondte ho use; hai dhikane hazaron par pata ek hai

This presentation was followed by a superbly-romantic ghazal which Sarfraz presented in his unique style. Later the performance shifted towards the actually qawwali which is characterised by a contest of couplet (shayron ki jehad, as it is called in Urdu).

While this was a little recording on the performance, it needs to be mentioned that Sarfraz Chisti has been singing qawwali and ghazals for over 25 years now. Based earlier at Delhi where he presented innumerable shows with Chanchal Bharti as his co performer, Sarfraz later went and settled in Mumbai. Accompanying him were Zafar Khan on harmonium, Iqbal Khan on banjo, Latan Khan and Ghanshyam on tabla, Anwar Hussain on dholak. Shakeel Sabri supported him with chorus.

Chanchal was accompanied by Taz Ahmad on harmonium, Yasin Khan on banjo, Mohammad Umar Khan on tabla, Munna Khan on naal, Iqbal Ahmad Khan on dholak. The chorus support came from Mukhtaar Sabri.Back


Colour, contests, crowds — the festival has it all
Tribune News Service

Winners of Rose Princess and Rose Prince titles
Winners of Rose Princess and Rose Prince titles (from left): Aditi and Ansh (6 months to 1 year), Gauri and Mihir (1 year to 2 years) and Amrita and Daksh (2 to 3 years). 

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — All city roads seemed to be leading towards the Sector 16 Rose Garden even as the Festival of Gardens entered the second day today amid a riot of colours.

Thousands of people and their tinytots, in their colourful dresses, started thronging the garden since morning as the contest for the Rose Prince and the Rose Princess got underway.

A record 680 entries were received for the contests and they were judged by six teams of judges for different categories. Each team comprised a doctor, an educationist and a housewife.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, who was chief guest, interacted with the judges, parents and the tinytots. Aditi Bhaskar was crowned the Rose Princess and Ansh Arora the Rose Prince in the six months to one year category.

Gauri Madan and Mihir Sukheja were crowned the Rose Princess and the Rose Prince, respectively, in the one year to two year category. In the two years to three years category, Amrita Singh and Daksh Mukhra were chosen the Rose Princess and the Rose Prince.

It was fun and frolic inside and outside the garden, with the weekend crowd enjoying every moment of it. Stalls ranging from eatables to consumer durables to household items did brisk business outside the garden. At the main stage in the afternoon, the antakshri competition was enlivened by the compering of Delhi-based I.P.S. Bawa and Veena Bharati. The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, was chief guest at the event, which was coordinated by Dr S.K. Punia.

The antakshri saw a keen contest, with the Red Rose team of Neelam Ahuja and Prem Lata from Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, bagging the first prize. The Yellow Rose team comprising Nisha and Tamana from Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, stood second and the Pink Rose team of Deepti and Deepika from MCM DAV College, Sector 36, the third prize

Besides the stalls displaying prize-winning entries, an exhibition of photographs, My Rose Garden, put up by Aman Gupta, an electronics engineer, also drew a sizeable crowd. In the photography contest, K.K. Sawal won the first prize in the professional category and Sanjeev Sharma and D.P. Rayat the second prize. In the amateur category, only second prize was given. It went to Choginder Gupta.Back


Thorns in festival bouquet
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Come any big event and while it is time for frolicking for all, the city traffic police has to pull up its socks in order to regulate the traffic flow on the various city roads. Around the venue of the programme or function, the parking becomes a problem.

‘‘The city police should properly advertise much in advance about the traffic restrictions and parking spaces’’, suggested some of the postgraduate students of Punjab University. However, a senior police officer, when contacted, claimed that the public was informed well in time about the traffic restrictions and diversions during the festival.

The Festival of Gardens, now a regular feature of the city, did not turn out to be any exception for city residents. Being Saturday, the flow of the traffic was ‘‘not effected much’’ but the visitors did face parking problems. The residents of the Sector 16 near the Rose Garden also faced problems as the visitors parked their vehicles in front of their entry gates.

Scores of vehicles were seen parked along the boundary wall of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, and in front of the houses along the road leading to the Sectors 16 and 17 traffic light points via the Rose Garden. A large number of vehicles were also parked on either side of the slip road through the Madhya Marg to the small roundabout of the Sector 16, causing problems for the people whose houses were along the road. Some of the house owners, in order to keep off the vehicles of the visitors of the Rose Festival, tied ropes in front of their gates. The visitors too were complaining about lack of parking facilities.

Interestingly, the parking in front of the Shanti Kunj remained empty till around 5 in the evening. Police personnel on duty said actually the space was kept clear for the VIP vehicles but ‘‘when none of them turned up, we opened the parking for the general public after consulting the senior officers’’. The decision to throw open the parking came as a good news for the contractor of the parking, who immediately swung into action and started issuing parking tickets. Mr Tejinder Pal, the contractor, complained, ‘‘For last two days, I was loosing business’’.

Earlier, it was decided to block Madhya Marg from Matka Chowk to the General Hospital roundabout, but later it was thrown open. Only the entire road stretch from the Cricket Stadium roundabout to Matka Chowk was blocked, besides the road from the small roundabout of Sector 16 to the Sector 16 - 17 traffic light points.

Some of the visitors suggested that the police should have converted the road from Cricket Stadium to Sector 16-17 traffic light points to a parking. The visitors coming from the Cricket Stadium side had to walk at least a km to reach the Rose Garden after leaving their vehicles either near Hotel Shivalik View or in front of Sector 22-A market.Back


It really feels nice: Satinder Dhawan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — “It really feels nice when your hardwork is rewarded”, says Ms Satinder Dhawan, whose garden has been declared best in large garden category in the amateur section at the Festival of Gardens.

For Ms Dhawan and Mr Harmohan Dhawan, it was the second consecutive first prize. The Dhawans thought of entering into the contest after their garden was featured in the magazine Inside Outside three years back. Besides the water feature, they continued to add new features to the garden, like bonsai.

Meanwhile, it is for the first time that Ms Manjit Verma, a Sector 8 resident, had won the first prize. Ms Verma, whose garden won the second prize twice in the small garden category, attributed her feat to the number of healthy plants and flowers. She said she made it a point to remove the shortcomings pointed by the judges.Back


The changing face of the Rose festival

The Chandigarhians know it pretty well that what is now being celebrated as the Festival of Gardens was earlier known as the Rose Festival. The Rose Garden of Chandigarh, which is probably the largest rose garden in Asia, has been the centre of attraction right from its inception. Dr M.S. Randhawa, the first Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh, was the moving spirit behind the Rose Festival. So strong was his love for roses that it made the Rose Garden as one of the most important landmarks in the entire region, and slowly and slowly, Chandigarh, the city, came to be identified as the city of roses.

We, the residents of Chandigarh, should take pride in the fact that we are surrounded by the fragrance and aroma of roses, the very rose which is considered to be the queen of flowers and has often been eulogised not only in the love songs of poetry and literature but also in the pages of history. The following lines written by the Greek poetess Sappho beautifully describe the splendour and grandeur of rose as the queen of flowers:

“If Zeus has willed it so

That o’er the flowers should reign a queen,

I know, ah well I know

The rose, the rose, that royal flower had been!

She is of earth the gem,

Of flowers the diadem

And with her flush

The meadows blush”.

We not only find innumerable references to rose but also see many shades of meanings attached to it. Rose has been a symbol of purity, innocence, elegance, perfection, beauty, love, harmony, bravery and even penance. Each colour of rose signifies a different aspect; the red rose is associated with love, the yellow rose is a symbol of peace whereas the white rose connotes purity. If for one, rose signifies immortal love and faith, for the other, it is a flower to be given as a remembrance while parting. The following lines by Fredrick Peterson beautifully portray this thought:

“The sweetest flower that blows,

I give you as we part,

For you it is a rose,

For me it is my heart”.

I am one of those who are lyrically nostalgic about the rose, which has always symbolised the spirit of the Rose Festival, and fondly remember the bygone days.

The Rose Festival has now been rechristened as the Festival of Gardens. In the last few years, Chandigarh has grown in its length and breadth which has provided us more and more opportunities to cover ‘new vistas of development and attractions which are spread across the different sectors of the city. So, in a way, the Festival of Gardens has been positioned as a mega version of the erstwhile Rose Festival.

The idea of the rose festival was conceived with an objective to acquaint people with the history of the rose and in the larger context, to imbibe in them the qualities, the fragrance and the sweetness of the flower. In the last few years, we have seen the emergence of a large number of well planned gardens in the city, which have added the beauty and charm to the city’s landscape. The Festival of Gardens should at least acknowledge their presence which shall also make the festival more meaningful.

Commercialisation of festivals is not an uncommon phenomenon, especially in our country where bankrupt governments are always looking for ways and means to generate additional revenues to meet their unplanned and wasteful expenditure. I strongly feel that such myopic vision brings about dramatic changes in the traditions, which have formed the basic ethos of this City Beautiful. — Archana NagrathBack


Lawns thrown open to public
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The lawns of the New Garden of Annuals, developed by the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, in Sector 44 was today thrown open to the public by the Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT Lieut Gen (retd) JFR Jacob, who inaugurated it by unveiling a plaque there.

The garden, which is spread in 7 acres, comprises 145 trees and 225 shrubs of different varieties. The flower beds have aster, candituft, dalia, marigold, nasturtium, kachnar, chakarassia, mulsari, gulmohar and many other varieties of flowers. Flowering shrubs like raat-ki-rani, cassia, bauhinia, muraya, hamelia, jatropha and hibiscus have also been provided.

The garden has been developed at a cost of Rs 11 lakh and 25 varieties of winter flowers and plants are there. Another 15 will be added in the next winter. Besides this, 25 varieties of flowers have been planted for the forthcoming summer.

Another first to the credit of this garden is the concrete/brick footpath of 1 km length, developed by a landscape architect, Mr Sunit Midha. The health conscious residents of the area can walk on this wide track without damaging the grass.

The other attraction is the single canopy. The garden has been provided with sitting benches and iron railings. The garden has opening on both the internal roads of the sector with provision of proper parking space, besides a ramp at the entrance.

The green belt has been divided into three stretches. With the opening of the second stretch, the development of only one stretch is left. A garden is also proposed for the adjoining Sector 34, which will be completed by next year.

The area councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, said the inauguration of this garden in her ward would mark a beginning of MC’s thrust in developing the southern sectors.

She informed that the development of the green belt was passed during the first budget plan but it was completed after four and a half years due to the constraint of funds.

Earlier, the Administrator, along with the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, and the Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, planted saplings.

He later, along with senior officials of the MC, took a round of the garden and appreciated the development works done by the horticulture wing of the civic body.


Laws alone will not do: Justice Verma
By P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Thirteen-year-old dark and frail Beant Singh was barely visible in his dark blue kurta-pyjama as he held up the candle to light the lamp at the inaugural function on “Safeguarding childhood” at the PGI Auditorium here this morning. The camera flash bulbs made him visible but blinded him momentarily.

The lamp he lit did throw a ray of light on the Indo-British project on “Child rights and child protection”. But little did the elite, who applauded, know that Beant’s childhood is in the dark. He has never had a square meal. His five-member family lives life below the poverty line in Kasambhatti, village, 11 km from Jaitu in Faridkot district.

A student of Class IV at Government Primary School, he had to drop out to lend a helping hand to his father, Darshan Singh, who ekes out a living doing odd jobs. His mother, Bhajan Kaur, is disabled and is a domestic help in the neighbourhood. His two sisters, Satvir (11) and Jaswant (8) want to study but have no money to fill their tummies, what to say of paying the school admission fee or buying books. Satvir has dropped out of school and Jaswant works alongside her mother.

Trying to fix his broken ‘hawaii’ chappal, Beant answered some questions that TNS asked him as he sat bewildered in strange surroundings. He is one of the lucky children to have caught the attention of Akaljot Singh of the same village, where he is part of a project aimed at sensitising and educating people on the rights of children.

Ms Sawinder Kaur, sarpanch of Kasambhatti, who attended the district training programme by the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) and the Punjab Police Academy (PPA), was enthused and moved by the objectives. She drafted her son, Akaljot, into the project, asking him to work for the likes of Beant.

Today, Beant again goes to school. He has books and stationery. But a daily proper meal (what to speak of nutritious food) still eludes him. So does the carefree and secure childhood that was under focus at the function, where National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Justice J. C. Verma presented the key-note address.

The story of Beant is not an aberration of the kind of life people lead in the villages of Punjab, where prosperity is taken for granted. Akaljot revealed that teachers in villages made children run errands at their homes during school hours. In village after village, there was stark poverty. Though some orphan children had been identified, no help was forthcoming.

Beant said his mother, who got disability pension, did not receive the same any more. His father’s earnings were too meagre to keep the fire burning in the hearth. With a deep sigh he said, “I want to study and get a job”.

It was left to the PHRC Chairperson, Justice V. K. Khanna, to echo the need of the hour when he remarked that each one present should come forward and help. Punjab was the first state where such a project had been launched to create awareness, he added.

The next two projects of the PHRC are on ‘female infanticide and foeticide’ and ‘child labour’. While the Centre’s Department for Women and Child Development has sponsored the first study, the one on child labour is sponsored by UNICEF. Both are expected to cost Rs 20 lakh and completed in about a year. Core committees for the studies have been formed, said PHRC Principal Secretary, Mr K. K. Bhatnagar.

Punjab has earned a notoriety in child abuse and also has a dubious distinction in low female literacy.

Justice Verma quoted the relevant Articles of the Constitution that protect and promote child rights. There was no dearth of laws. Only observance of laws was missing. Despite clear provisions in the laws on “safeguarding” childhood, India was “struggling” with the problems of child exploitation and child abuse in the form of child labour, child marriage and domestic help.

The real problem was with the psyche, the mindset of the people, who were hypocrites and sychophants.

More than the laws what was needed was an enabling economic environment essential for institutionalising a mechanism to address to the problems of child exploitation. “We have to fight through cooperation and collaboration”.

He regretted that the Central Government was the last to respond to the Supreme Court directive “We literally threatened it” to amend the service rules so that at least those bound by it did not use children as domestic help. In fact, no state was willing to prohibit child labour.

There should be free and compulsory education. The first three years of every child were important for proper development and growth. These were the formative years. Punjab’s example of creating a constituency by adopting the project on “safeguarding childhood” could, perhaps, be emulated by other states, he suggested.

Lack of education and the number of illiterate disturbed Justice Verma. The number of illiterate today exceeded the total population of the country at the time of partition in 1947. The percentage of those below 14 years was 40. At least 63 million did not have the benefit of education. Time had come for an integrated, comprehensive action plan for the development and growth of children.

The Punjab Advocate-General, Mr H. S. Mattewal, who represented the Chief Minister, did some plain-speaking within the limitations of the office he holds. Among those who spoke was the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Tom Macan, Head, Political Section, Mr Adam Noble and Ms Kamal Singh from the British Council.

Mr A. A. Siddiqui, ADGP, suggested creation of special “women and child cells” in all police stations. 



Manisha shines in patches
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

‘Grahan’ (Piccadilly and Suraj, Panchkula) is an exciting and gripping opener but it loses its hold and beauty in the second half.

The making of the two-hour thriller has taken nearly four years. Even K. Sashilal Nair behind the director’s seat seems to flounder in consistency of characters and speed. Anupama Verma may be a great ramp model but she still has a long way to go before managing a decent position in the world screen.

Manisha Koirala is a girl from the lower strata of society who earns her living by imparting dancing lessons to kids. Anupama Verma’s brother, Prasad Purandhare is a son of the state Chief Minister who is the hand behind Koirala’s rape. Anupama loves Jackie. The situation takes a turn when the Chief Minister passes away not able to bear the shock that his son was a rapist. The brother gets his sister to occupy the central seat. Jackie argues the case of Verma’s brother to save him from the rape case.

Later when Jackie learns the truth, it is very late in life for Manisha. She has gone insane. The guilt within Jackie forces him to pick her from the dustbin in town where she was collecting some eatables, to a hill station for her cure.

Verma and Jackie develop differences. Manisha shoots at Verma’s brother in a public rally. He decides to save her. His best pal Rahguvaran decides to take the opposite side. Manisha Koirala gives excellent performance in parts. Raghuvaran looks wasted. The locales for songs are beautiful but tunes hardly worth a mention except the lead song.

Karthik Raja is the man behind the composition of film tunes. S Kumar is the photographer.

Bhairav (Nirman): is a typical masala movie. Mithun Chakarborty and Puneet Issar have teamed up for the TLV Prasad directorial venture.

Surinder Sodhi has lent hardly mentionable scores for the Liaqat Shiraj production.


‘Evaluate cops on gender sensitivity’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 —A column evaluating “attitude towards women” should be introduced in ACRs ( Annual Confidential Reports) of police officers.

This recommendation was passed at the conclusion of the two-day workshop on “Gender and Law Enforcement” organised by the Centre for Women Studies and Development at Panjab University here today.

More recommendations were made under the heads of attitudinal and institutional covering laws, police, prosecution, judiciary, administration, NGOs and media.

Visitors from the police organisation included Mr Sarabjit Singh, DGP, Punjab, Siddharth Chatopadhya, ADGP, Mr S.V.Singh, Mr Satwant Atwal (Himachal Pradesh), Ms Charu Bali, Ms Neerja (Amritsar) and Mr Harpreet Sidhu (Patiala).

The law front saw participants, including Ms Sneh Parashar and Phalit Sharma besides Mr N.S.Bhinder from the prosecution front in addition to several NGOs.

Recommendations on the laws front include — law enforcement should be made common effort of police, administration and judiciary; changes in Property Act to bring about equality in inheritance; simplification of language of laws; and simplification of laws.

Recommendations on the police front include — more accountability; women police officers in all police stations; intimation to a NGO in case a woman is arrested; attaching at least one NGO with each police station; and awareness through publicity.

Media has been asked to sensitise masses and not sensationalise public opinion; penalty for wrong reporting; and taking up mass awareness programmes.


ICSSR developing info gateway
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) is developing an information gateway to support systematic discovery of high quality information on the Internet and provide a link to resources that are accessible by the Internet. This gateway will be specially helpful to scholars, says Dr K.G. Tyagi, Director, National Social Sciences Documentation Centre (NASSDOC).

Speaking at the valedictory function of a three-day workshop-cum-symposium on “Information Technology for Social Sciences” at the local Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Dr Tyagi said though a lot of information could be assessed through the Internet, yet it could not replace traditional methods.

Mr Sunil Kumar of the National Informatics Centre gave a presentation on “Dataware housing and database mining” to familiarise the participants with major NIC databases in social sciences.

Prof G.C. Bansal, former Chairman, Department of Library Information Sciences, Panjab University, explained various complexities in accessing information sources on the net.

Dr H.K. Kaul, Director, Delnet, in his lecture on “IT for libraries” underlined the importance of resource sharing through networking and the need to grow digital resources, including web sites. He also emphasised on copyright regulations. Delnet by the end of this year would have 2 million books online which could be accessed through the Internet, he said.

Prof H.S. Gurm, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University, while emphasising the positive aspects of information technology in the fields of education, e-commerce, e-governance, business and manufacturing processes asked social scientists to assess the social value of technology. He cautioned against its overuse as it could lead to a new type of colonisation, lack of physical interaction and mental challenges and losing individual independence. The social scientists must address to these issues, he emphasised.

Dr S.K. Mangal stressed on the need for development of human resources and recommended the use of information technology for the same. He further emphasised that the benefits of information technology must be spread to rural areas.


‘Sarasvati river can be revived’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — If the palaeochannels of the ancient river Sarasvati are recharged, this lost river can be revived to its ancient glory. This was stated by Dr S. Kalyanraman, while delivering a lecture on the occasion of “Itihas Divas” at the Gandhi Smarak Bhawan here today.

Organised by the Bhartiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti, Chandigarh, Dr S Kalyanraman was speaking on “Vedic River Sarasvati and its present status”. Dr K.S. Arya, ex-Principal, DAV College, Sector 10, presided over the lecture.

Sarasvati river, adored as ambitame, naditame, devitame, meaning the best of all mothers, best of all rivers and best of all goddesses, originated at Har-ki-Dun. Quoting some of the latest researches done on the origin and flow of this ancient river, Dr Kalyanraman, related the reasons about the river’s desiccation. While the river Yamuna cut a deeper channel and captured the tributary of Sarasvati, Satluj which was a tributary of the Sarasvati, took a 90-degree turn at Ropar due to tectonic disturbances and migrated away from the Sarasvati and joined the Indus. Formation of sand dunes on the Sarasvati river bed, near Jaisalmer, finally choked the river.

But evidence from archaeology established not just the existence but also the continuity of the river. Out of the 2600 Indus Valley civilization sites excavated, almost 1600 are on the river Sarasvati.

Various projects, according to Dr Kalyanraman were on in Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan to try and revive the lost river. In Haryana, a World Bank funded project was on to harvest water from Abh Badri to Pehowa.

In Rajasthan, where the central Sarasvati river basin existed, it was feasible to have one million sustainable tubewells using ground water sanctuaries, and the water of the Satluj through redesigned Rajasthan canal and NW India drainage system. The Nal Sarovar in Gujarat was a relic of the river as it joined the sea in the Gulf of Khambat near Lothal where the delineation of four deltas and recharging the wells was on.

Mr V.K. Sharma, director of the Geological Survey of India, Chandigarh, was the chief guest at the occasion. Prof Anjani Kumar Kakkar, president of the Punjab State Bhartiya Itihas Sankalan, also spoke.


Chandigarh Club poll
Campaigning picks up amid court cases
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — With barely a week left for the Chandigarh Club to go to the polls for the annual election of its president and other office-bearers, the Club is abuzz with hectic activity. The contestants, whose nominations stand approved following scrutiny have launched their election campaigns. Most of them have started door to-door campaigning and have also come out with election pamphlets highlighting their merits and their rivals’ de-merits.

As the polling day approaches, allegations and counter allegations have begun to fly thick and fast and suits are also being filed in the courts to challenge the nomination of certain contestants. While there is a triangular contest for the post of President between Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, Mr R.S. Sachdeva and Mr Ravinder Chopra, there will be a direct contest for the post of vice-president between Mr Sunil Gupta and Mr Sunil Khanna.

However, the nomination papers of three contestants for the posts of executive members of the club were rejected by the Returning Officer following scrutiny. With this, only 15 members are left in the fray for the eight posts of the executive, even as 21 persons had filed their nominations for the same.

According to the Returning Officer, Mr S.C. Nagpal, the candidature of three persons Mr Vijay Kumar, Mr Jaswinder Singh and Dr Sanjeev Goyal has been rejected following endorsement by the club secretary on their application forms that they do not have five years’ standing as a member of the club. Mr Nagpal said the same have been rejected in accordance with Rule 31.3 of Chandigarh Club Limited Memorandum and Articles of Association which clearly says, “provided that no member shall be entitled to contest any election for the club till he has a minimum of five years’ standing as member of the club.”

Sources reveal that one of them, Mr Jaswinder Singh had filed a suit in the court challenging the action of the Returning Officer for rejecting his nomination. Taking up his suit, the court declined his prayer for granting stay.

Besides this, three others who withdrew their papers are Mr Yash Pal Sharma, Mr Suresh Chaudhary and Mr Ashok Goyal.

Among the 15 contestants for the post of executive members, there are three sitting members against whom a suit has been filed in the lower courts. The applicants, Mr Harpreet Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh and Mr Sanjeev Goyal have sought that the candidature of the three sitting members of the Executive be rejected. They have alleged that the Returning Officer, Mr Nagpal accepted the nomination papers of Mr Inderjit Bajaj, Mr Gopal Gupta and Mr C.M Munjal after the deadline for filing nominations was over on February 17. They had also raised objections on February 20, the day of scrutiny of nomination forms. But the same were found valid and included in the final list of contestants. The court has given notices to both the parties for February 26.

Meanwhile, the president of the club, Mr Chaman Lal Sharma has announced that before the club goes to the polls on March 3, the issue of whether the tenure of the Executive members elected this time be increased to two years or remain one year only. The possibility of the tenure being increased to two years is also responsible for more enthusiasm among the candidates contesting for the post of president and vice-president. Sources in the club also reveal that a proposal to have elections every two years is also lying pending.

Mr Sharma categorically said that the use of club premises for electioneering would not be allowed and that the Returning Officer has already imposed a ban on holding of parties in the club. Permission will not be granted to a contestant for any election campaign meeting also.


Show in aid of Gujarat victims
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Erol and Edwin Rodrigues of the Rodrigues group will perform at a pop show being organised by the Kerala Catholic Association at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, tomorrow evening in aid of the Gujarat earthquake victims.

The group will be singing few numbers like Heal the World, Imagine and Another day in Paradise besides other popular numbers for the audience. Father Thomas Anchanikal said the proceeds of the show would go to the CARITAS, Catholic Bishop Conference of India. Mr Justice S.S Nijjar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will preside over the function.

The donor passes will be available with Father Thomas at Sector 19 Catholic Church (Ph 775777) or at the venue. A bharatnatyam will also be staged by artistes of Sujeeta Mithra.


Project aims at accident-free zone
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 24 — Under a pilot project aimed at creating traffic awareness, the SAS Nagar Rotary Club is making a four-kilometre stretch of a main road passing through the town as an accident-free zone.

On both sides of the road, traffic signs, boards and other structures are being erected at a cost of around Rs 4 lakh. Temporary road dividers will be put up.

The Local Government Minister, Punjab, Mr Balram Ji Dass Tandon and an Additional Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr DR Bhatti, will officially launch the project at a brief function of February 26. The funding of the project is being done by the Indus Ind Bank.

In the first phase, drivers of school buses in the town are being tapped. After giving them training on road discipline, the drivers in consultation of the school management concerned, will be designated as honorary driving masters and given specific uniforms.

A sticker will be pasted at the front and back of their vehicles. Next in the line will be truck and tempo drivers.


Jacob visits schools, Sector 16 hospital
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today paid surprise visits to Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, and Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 35-D, and General Hospital, Sector 16.

The moment the inaugural function of ‘Garden of Annuals’ was over, the Administrator asked Adviser to accompany him to surprise visits to some of the schools and hospitals in the city. The Administrator first went to the school in Sector 44. He met the Principal and interacted with the students. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to provide specialised coaches for hockey and football as the school was doing quite well in the field of sports. He said necessary equipment for the games should also be provided to the school at the earliest. The local councillor, Mrs Harjinder Kaur, demanded that the school should be upgraded to 10+2 level. The Governor said the city was facing a shortage of 340 teachers in various schools and the moment Union Government gave approval to fill these vacancies, he would consider upgrading this school to 10+2 level.

Later, the Administrator went to Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 35-D. The Principal and the Vice-Principal were not present in the school. The Administrator went to the classes and found the facilities satisfactory and he interaced with the students. He expressed happiness over excellent academic results of the school and impressed upon the students to play games. He also visited vocational education class and asked the students some questions from their course.

Later, the Administrator went to the General Hospital, Sector 16. The Governor and Adviser straightway went to emergency OPD. After that the Governor went to the Registration Counter and checked how many patients had been registered in the OPD since morning. Dr G. Diwan, Deputy Medical Superintendent, informed the Administrator that over 800 tuberculosis patients were getting treatment in the hospital. General Jacob asked the Adviser to launch a sustained campaign against tuberculosis in the city, especially in the slums. He said doctors should monitor the follow up treatment of each and every patient of tuberculosis. He directed the Deputy Medical Superintendent to give proper treatment to the patients at the earliest.


Former bureaucrat dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Balinder Singh (IAS), former Deputy Commissioner of Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur and former State Transport Commissioner, died here this morning. He was 82.

He leaves behind his wife, a son and a daughter. His funeral, this evening, was largely attended.


2 booked for depositing fake bank drafts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The police has booked two agents of Amway India Enterprise for depositing fake bank drafts worth Rs 84,000 to the firm. The accused, Bhajan Singh, a resident of Indira Colony here and Subhash Chander, a resident of Yamuna Nagar, have been booked under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.

A case in this regard was registered on the complaint of the Area Manager of the firm, Mr Vikas Seth, who alleged that the accused had deposited four fake bank drafts with the firm on October 19, 2000.

Two persons have also been booked by the police in two separate incidents on charges of breach of trust. A resident of Mohali, Mr Balbir Singh has accused Arjun Singh of not returning the former’s van (PB-65-4656) that he had parked at the house of the accused in Sector 20, when he had gone to his native village in December 2000.

In another incident, Mr Amrik Singh Buddhiraja, a resident of New Delhi, has accused his business associate, Harish Joshi, of decamping with his bag containing Rs 1.50 lakh from a restaurant in Chandigarh while the two were on a business trip to the city.

A resident of Colony No 5 has been accused of abducting a minor girl of the same area on February 16. The police has registered a case under Section 363 and 366 of the IPC on the complaint of the mother of the girl, Bagashwari Devi.

A scooter ( CH-01R-6245), belonging to Mr J.S. Randhawa was reportedly stolen last evening while it was parked at his residence in Sector 38. Mr J. P. Sharma’s car (CH-01A-3513) was also stolen from the parking of the District Courts in Sector 17 yesterday. In both the cases, the police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

The police has also registered two cases under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1976. The Shiv Mandir Prabandhak Committee has been booked by the Sector 39 police for putting up its banner on an electric pole in Sector 38. In another incident, the owner of a cyber cafe in Sector 39 has been booked for putting up its banner on an electric pole on the dividing road of Sectors 38 and 39.

Meanwhile, two persons were also reported to have been injured in two separate incidents this morning. Balwinder Singh was seriously injured near the CRPF Camp near Hallo Majra when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle at around 7:30 am today. In another incident in Sector 40, Subhash Sharma was injured when the scooter on which he was travelling was hit by a car. Both the injured have been admitted in the General Hospital, Sector 16, for treatment.

A nine-year-old girl residing in Colony No. 5, sustained serious burn injuries this morning. She has been admitted to the General Hospital for treatment.

One arrested
As many as 400 packets of duplicate mobile oil were recovered by the crime branch during a special checking in Sector 44, here.

It is learnt that the oil of GTX trademark was in the possession of Amandeep . The police has booked the accused under Section 420 of the IPC.


Held for theft
The local police has laid its hands on a gang involved in theft of tractor parts from the Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL) factory here. So far stolen parts used in the steering wheel of the tractors had been recovered from an arrested member of the gang, Makkhan Singh, a resident of Sector 22 in Chandigarh.

According to police sources, raids were being conducted at different places to recover more stolen tractor parts. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered against the suspects.

One booked
The local police has arrested an employee of a liquor vend in Phase 6 for selling liquor after midnight in violation of the orders of the District Magistrate. According to the information available, Sham Lal, a resident of Una in Himachal Pradesh, has been booked under Section 188 of the IPC.

Two injured
Occupants of a Tata Sumo were seriously injured after their vehicle met with an accident with a Punjab Roadways bus near the PCL trafficlights here this morning. The injured, Gurvinder and Munish, have been admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh.


Furniture market union submits memo
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — A delegation of the Nehru Shastri Furniture Market Union, led by president of Sector 17 Traders Association, Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchi, today met the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and gave him a memorandum of their demands.

The chairman of the union, Mr Sewa Singh Rayat, told Mr Bansal that the said shops were allotted to them for furniture trade and that these were registered under small scale industries Act. Since, polishing of furniture required open space and sunshine, the same should be provided them us at the back of their shops. He also put forth the demand for construction of upper storey on their booths so that they could display their items there.

Mr Panchi claimed that Mr Bansal gave a patient hearing to the problems being faced by the traders of Sector 34 due to the indifferent attitude of the encroachment staff. He assured to take up their demands with the officials concerned for an amicable solution. With regard to the construction of the upper storey, he said he would write a note to the Administration also.

The delegation later called on the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, who promised to visit the market after the budget meeting was over on February 27. He said after that necessary instructions would be given to the officials concerned to make the required space available, both in front and back of these shops.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, which had organised a rally in Sector 34 market on February 22 to register their protest against the highhandedness of the enforcement staff, renewed their support to the agitating traders of the market. They also planned to call an emergency meeting of the general body in the first week of March to chalk out the future course of action. The rally had been attended by many senior officers of the mandal. Senior vice-president, Mr Purshotam Mahajan, had warned the Chandigarh Administration of an agitation and Chandigarh bandh if the demands of the furniture market traders were not met at the earliest.


Interactive session with industrialists
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — An open interactive session with the representatives of the industry was the highlight of the Central Excise Day celebrations by the Central Excise Commissionerate, Chandigarh-1, here today.

Welcoming the representatives, Mr Inder Raj Soni, Commissioner, listed the changes made in the last Budget in the simplification of records and procedures.

Mr G.S. Narang, Commissioner (Appeals), while highlighting the cordial relationships between the department and the industry, claimed that the department was totally assessee-friendly now.

Prominent among those, who spoke were Mr R.S. Bagrodia, president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce, Punjab, Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the Federation of Small Industries Association, Mr S.S. Sandhu, president of the Mohali Industries Association, and Jagjit Singh from the CII.

It was informed that the commissionerate had attained a revenue growth rate of 10.24 per cent and had collected Rs 914 crore up to February 15, as against Rs 829 crore collected during the last year.

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