Thursday, March 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Health, power, education major beneficiaries
Rs 148 cr plan outlay for UT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The city will get more money for development purposes in the health sector, housing sector, for power projects, for land acquisition, for capital outlay in sports and arts, besides police projects, as per details of the Rs 148 crore plan outlay for Chandigarh during the financial year beginning April 1.

On the other hand, to balance out the spending a cut has been affected in the capital outlay for housing and urban development and also for roads and bridges. The transport sector also sees a reduction when compared with the Budget estimates for the present year. The same is true for the water supply and sanitation sector.

The Budget estimates are revised after a few months and the revised estimates can be more than the Budget estimates, Finance Department officials explained. During the ongoing financial year the plan outlay was Rs 143.64 crore which was later revised to Rs 149.20 crore.

The Municipal Corporation which has been clamouring for more money for development purposes has been given an increase from Rs 21.60 crore its scheduled to spend this year. The MC will now get Rs 22 crore under plan head, meaning for development work. The Administration has been asking the MC to impose property tax and also generate its own resources. The MC has failed on both counts.

In the health sector a total of Rs 17.25 crore have been earmarked for construction purposes of various pending health projects. This has been hiked from the Rs 13.59 crore fixed under the revised estimates of this year. Actually due to the slow pace of construction of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) the original budget of Rs 16. 94 crore could not be utilised. This has even prompted the Administration to appoint a Director project for the GMCH.

The Budget also provides for a major hike in the land acquisition process. A sum of Rs 37. 56 crore has been earmarked for the next year. The Administration had actually sought more money under land acquisition as several areas are being acquired for various projects requiring payments.

The cut in housing and urban development has been about Rs 3 crore from the revised estimates of this year. This can affect ongoing works seriously. However, the capital plan of the housing sector alone sees a hike in the estimates from Rs 4.30 crore to Rs 4. 75 crore. The hike in housing will also bear the burden of rehabilitation schemes for residents of unauthorised slum colonies.

Among the several positive aspects is the increase in capital outlay for sports, arts and culture. The allocation of Rs 12 crore for power projects under the capital outlay means an investment in power sector in Chandigarh. Interestingly if the Budget of education sector is seen in detail then a reduction has been affected in case of overall spending while the capital outlay that enables spending on projects has been raised thus making it a hike.

The non-plan Budget has already been hiked from Rs 534 crore to Rs 554 crore. This primarily relates to government on salaries and various accounts.

All figures in crores for plan expenditure of Chandigarh.

Head 2001/2002

Budget estimates 2000/2001

Actuals 2000/2001

Budget estimates





Power projects








Housing & Urban Development




Land acquisition




Municipal Corporation development works












Capital roads and bridges




Capital for water supply and sanitation






Appreciation with circumspection
By Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The toughest task of the year has been accomplished rather successfully than was imagined. The Finance Minister has finally managed to make the middle class Indian house-wives happy . Termed generally as a “business friendly” budget, the city residents though happy of the bold decisions of Mr Sinha to introduce several reforms are sore over the reduction in interest rates.

“Though the budget is growth- oriented, the FM has not given anything to the salaried class. Despite the decision of abolition of surcharge, reduction in interest rates on PF and small savings and withdrawal of LTC facility for two years have caused unpleasantness”, said Mr Anurag Verma, a government employee. The residents also feel that certain decision will hit the middle class. “ The budget is also not friendly for retired people . Reduction in the interest earning limit for tax deduction at source (TDS) will have an adverse effect not only on the middle class, but also on the deposits of the banks”, said Ms Anupama Kohar, manager, HURCO Bank, Sector 34.

General opinion is that though the budget might have a mild inflationary impact, but the common man will not have to bear the brunt of increased prices. Though the CNG prices will increase, it will not affect the residents here. “People will also not have to bear the burden of MST charge. The budget will boost infra-structural development and also help IT industry”, said Mr Amanpreet Singh of the Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association.

An impetus to rural growth will be helpful for not only development in the rural areas, but also for sectors like insurance. Private insurance companies , which will shortly start their operations will be helped by the growth of rural sector for which they have major plans”, said Mr B.K. Sharma, chairman of the UGCE Insurance Institute for Education and Training.

The Federation of Small-Scale Industries has also welcomed the Budget. Mr Rajeev Gupta, general secretary of the federation, said, “lowering of the excise duty from 40 per cent to 32 per cent will help in boosting industrial production. Agricultural sector will also benefit due to the concessions announced for the agro- processing industry and for the extension of subsidies to godowns”. With the increase in the customs duty on second-hand cars, the automobile sector is expected to look up. “We expect an explosive increase in the demand for cars with the reduction in excise duty. Manufacturers of c-segment cars who had the fear of decline in demand due to lifting of restrictions are likely to benefit due to increase in customs duty”, said Mr Vikram Mehatani, RM, Maruti Udyog.

Mr A.L. Aggarwal, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Fasteners Association, said the rationalisation of excise duty, proposal of giving loans up to 25 lakh to Small-Scale Industries without collateral will give a fillip to the SSI. “However, the upper limit of excise exemption for the SSI units should have been increased from the existing Rs 3 crore to at least Rs 5 crore”, he feels. Mr Anand Kumar, vice-president and regional head (Retail Banking) of the ICICI, says, “the banking sector will also get a boost and the credit flow in the market would increase” as cost of funding would decline”.

Reforms for power sector, relaxations to IT industry, education loan scheme are other steps which have been appreciated by the residents.

People’s voice

It is a business-class friendly budget. The salaried class will only lose to the decisions of reductions in savings and PF rates. Reduction of the limit of TDS on interest income will also have an adverse impact on the people.

— Anupama Kohar, Manager HURCO , Sector 34.

It is a rational budget with focus on development and is not inflationary.

— Amanpreet Singh, Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association.

Rise in demand for cars is expected with a cut in the excise duty. Automobile industry will get a fillip.

— Vikram Mehtani, Regional Manager, Maruti Udyog .

Rural growth will be stimulated , which will give a boost to sectors like insurance, who will be able to attain their targets through customers in the rural areas.

— B.K. Sharma, Chairman, UGCE- Insurance Institute for Education and Training.

Education loan scheme will help the students attain the best of education. However, the interest rates (based on PLR ) , would rather be too high.

— Aarti Sharma, Commerce student.

It is very good that an NOC will not have be obtained. Corruption and harassment which we used to face will no longer be there.

— Rajiv Khurana, Property Dealer.

Tax exemption on development of Software Technology Parks and Extension of tax holiday to telecom, ISP etc. will give boost to the IT sector .

— Harmeet Singh, Wipro Net.

The FM has ignored the leather industry. A little attention to this industry can rake in huge revenues.

— K.S. Ramsinghaney, CEO, Max Specialities (also engaged in supply of finished material for leather production)

FM needs to be thanked for the good budget . I am happy that the prices will not increase and I will not have to face problems with my budget.

— Renu Saluja, Housewife.


Bhatti reaches out to FM in style
Tribune News Service

Jaspal Bhatti, Mehar Mittal and other comedians offer prayers before Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha’s caricature.
Jaspal Bhatti, Mehar Mittal and other comedians offer prayers before Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha’s caricature in Phase IX, Industrial Area, SAS Nagar, on Wednesday.
— A Tribune photograph

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Certain issues seem to drive the city-based actor, producer, and director Jaspal Bhatti quite hard. And whether or not anybody supports him in his style of expressing to the world how strongly he feels about them, Bhatti manages to live upto his reputation of striking satires where ever required. Carrying the tradition further, Bhatti today targeted the Finance Minister who was the centre of the Nation’s attraction for obvious reasons.

The style of invoking blessings of the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, was as unusual as one could have expected from Jaspal Bhatti. And this time, Bhatti had a full-fledged team of comedians from all over the Punjab to join him in performing prayers in front of the caricature of the Finance Minister. So the venue of the prayer (which is named to suit Bhatti’s comedian reputation), Bhatti’s Joke Factory, in SAS Nagar, was reverberating with sounds of laughter which had been spurred by comedians like Mehar Mittal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Jaswinder Bhalla, Bal Mukund Sharma, and some others singing an aarti in front of Finance Minister’s caricature. The well-drafted aarti read: “Jai Yashwant Sinha, jai jai Yashwant Sinha... tax ghatamai, tilak lagami...

Talking to The Tribune at the venue Bhatti said,” Instead of offering the coconut, I think it was better to do this. Financial health of the country is in the hands of the Finance Minister. We want the budget to favour the entertainment industry. The gesture is only meant to voice our preferences.”

Legendary Punjabi film comedian Mehar Mittal also joined the bandwagon with great enthusiasm. In fact he was singing in the most spirited manner. He was also the one to apply tilak on the forehead of Yashwant Sinha’s forehead. Then there was Savita Bhatti, Jaspal’s better half, who was equally a part of the happening. “This is our style of putting across our ideas,” she said.

After the prayer offering ceremony, it was time to get back to actual business which was scheduled for the day. And that was the launching of Jaspal Bhatti’s tele comedy show Bhand Punjab De which will feature the best comedians of the region. Launched under the banner of Jaspal Bhatti productions, the show will be anchored by Jaspal and Savita Bhatti. Each comedian will first be introduced in the most hilarious style possible. Following the introduction will be a comedy skit performance by each comedian who is to feature on the show.

The shooting for the production will be held at Bhatti’s Joke Factory for three days, beginning from today. Among the comedians who will be a part of the show are — Jaswinder Bhalla, Bal Mukund Sharma, Balwinder Vicky, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Harbhajan Jabbal, Jatinder Kaur, Surinder Farishta, Ashwani Bhardwaj and Bhajna Amali. Support cast will include Sunil Grover, Prem Kakaria, Vinod Sharma and Suman. The show is being produced to cater to the various upcoming Punjabi channels.

The show is dotted with parodies which will be sung by Gurtej Tej and choreographed by Ashok Tony. All musical scores have been done by H.M. Singh. In the director’s seat are Jaspal Bhatti and Rajinder Kashyap.


Revised MC Budget through at last
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The BJP-SAD alliance had its way with the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, who agreed to additional allocation of Rs 520 lakh under the planned expenditure, increasing it to Rs 4,606 lakh in the revised Municipal Corporation Budget for the year 2001-2002, that was passed amid chaos today. Besides this, anticipated receipts worth Rs 1 crore from proposed marriage palaces and imposition of property tax were withdrawn. The revised budget also has provision of only Rs 20 lakh for development works in four villages under the MC.

The Mayor, Mr Goyal, had yesterday adjourned the meeting and had promised to present a revised budget. The revised budget outlay has increased from Rs 14,658 lakh to Rs 15,178 lakh, with Rs 10,572 under the non-plan head and Rs 4,606 lakh under the plan head of expenditure.

The Rs 42l.75 lakh surplus Budget has total anticipated receipts of Rs 15,599.75 lakh. This includes a tentative opening balance of Rs 748.75 lakh as on April 1, besides anticipated budgetary support of Rs 7,650 lakh in the shape of grant-in-aid from the Chandigarh Administration. The Rs 5000 under non-plan head, besides Rs 7,201 anticipated receipts includes Rs 2,700 lakh from water tariff, Rs 300 lakh from sewerage cess, Rs 3,400 lakf from estate receipts and Rs 801 lakh from the other receipts.

However, the total anticipated expenditure has increased to Rs 15,178 lakh, with an additional allocation of Rs 520 lakh under the planned head. However, the allocation under the non plan head continues to be Rs 10,572 lakh.

In the revised budget, the Mayor showed a surplus of Rs 621.75 lakh as against 2,541.75 lakh , following deletion of anticipated receipts worth Rs 1,500 lakh from the property tax as desired by the House. However, following certain amedments proposed by councillors, it was further reduced to Rs 421.75 lakh.

Keeping in view the demand councillors, the Mayor today presented revised figures. The funds allocated for roads and bridges, sub office, at Mani Majra and services to rehabilitation colony had been increased from Rs 750 lakh to Rs 1,000 lakh. However, the amount was later increased to Rs 1,100 lakh. Besides this, an additional amount of Rs 100 lakh has been provided for landscaping and the allocation for the same is Rs 200 lakh. The allocation for electrification purposes is also Rs 100 lakh, up by 50 lakh. Besides, this Rs 20 lakh has been added under a new sub head for providing services to four villages under the jurisdiction of the MC.


City set to cross 9-lakh mark
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The demographic scenario in Chandigarh will witness a sea change as the city is all set to cross the 9-lakh population mark with the single largest exercise in the world, Census of India-2001, drawing to a close today.

According to rough estimates worked out by the Directorate of Census Operations, the population of the city have witnessed a sharp increase since the last census in 1991, mainly on account of tremendous increase in the migratory population, who have been lured by various sops by the Chandigarh Administration like “free” rehabilitation.

The growth rate in the city has been about 3.5% per annum as against the national growth rate of 1.75%, Mr Shamlal Goyal, Director of Census Operations, Chandigarh, stated.

Mr Goyal informed that the rough estimates for the population according to the base work done in April last year was worked out be 9.07 lakh. But the figures might go up as the enumerators were coming up with the figures which were far above the estimated figures. The city had a population of 6.42 lakh in the 1991 census.

Officials said from midnight tonight the enumerators will count the “shelterless” persons. The revisional round, meant for those born after February 9 or the deletion of the names of those, who expire after February 9 but before February 28, will be conducted from March 1 to 5.

A total of 1,700 staff, including 1,400 enumerators and 250 supervisors and 50 officials were put on the job during the census operations in the city.

Meanwhile, over 40,000 enumerators and supervisors were put on the job in Haryana. According to a press note, there has been a good response from women, who were recorded even if they were working in their own fields and looked after their own cattle.

It is important to note that this is the only chance available to people of the country to get themselves counted till the advent of the next decade.


64 arrested after clash
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The Banur police arrested 64 persons today, following a major clash between two groups of Devinagar locality (Abrama). A land dispute between the Sarpanch of Devinagar, Jatinder Singh Romi, and a person named Hakim Singh is said to be the reason for the clash between their supporters. About 20 persons sustained minor injuries in the clash.

Members of the rival camps started hurling stones on each other. Some of the villagers who talked to Chandigarh Tribune said clubs had also been used for attack. Many women were also involved in the fight. The police learnt about the incident at about 7.30 am and reached the spot within half-an-hour, after which, it arrested 64 persons under Sections 160 and 323 of the IPC. Later, they were released on bail by the SDM of Rajpura after they were produced before him.


Focus on malpractices at Leh oil depot
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The dismissal of a junior commissioned officer by a summary general court martial here this week, has brought into focus malpractices and irregularities by several officers and other ranks at the Field Petroleum Depot (FPD), Leh, which allegedly induced a loss of Rs 80 lakhs.

Challans were fraudulently cleared for fuel oil and lubricant (FOL) products received by the depot from the Indian Oil Corporation via bulk petroleum lorries (BPL) and records and accounts were not correctly maintained. A Board of Officers detailed for conducting a special audit had discovered deficiencies amounting to Rs 37.51 lakh, while there were surplus FOL stocks amounting to Rs 17 lakh.

Disciplinary action had been initiated against 14 Army personnel, including three officers and five JCOs, on the recommendations of a court of inquiry convened to probe the circumstances under which a jawan of the Army Service Corps was found travelling in a civilian vehicle with Rs 4.64 lakh at Karu in Jammu and Kashmir in September 1996. All the said personnel were from 406 ASC Company (Petrol).

While the summary of evidence in the disciplinary case of Lt-Col J.S. Dhillon has concluded at Pathankot and he is to be tried by general court martial, two others have already been tried and found guilty. Lt-Col G.S. Cheema has been sentenced to four years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI), while Capt T.K. Singhal has been sentenced to two years’ RI. Colonel Cheema, however, has moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against the GCM verdict, while his bail application is pending with the Supreme Court. Punishments of varying degree have been given to other ranks.

In his directions on the court of inquiry (COI), the GOC, 3 Division, Maj-Gen P.K. Renjen, had commented that there was a total lack of supervision and command and control by officers at the FPD. Besides procedures being disregarded, the stocks were not checked physically during handing over or taking over.

The GOC observed: “It is apparent that large-scale diversions of FOL products have taken place. The COI has identified the diversion of at least 58 BPLs from various depots. It is probable that there may be other BPLs similarly diverted which have not been yet detected.”

“Challans falsely showing FOL having been received in the FPD have been cleared and accepted by IOC without verification of signatures. It is felt that such large-scale diversion could not have gone unnoticed and there may well be other yet unidentified links in this entire episode of fraud,” the GOC further observed. The GOC had directed that strict disciplinary action be taken against the delinquent personnel.

According to the findings of the court of inquiry, Colonel Dhillon, in his capacity as Commanding Officer of the FPD, was held “primarily” responsible for having failed to check mass-scale corruption and causing a loss of Rs 37.51 lakh to the sate. Further, he failed to conduct an auction of unserviceable equipment and scrap amounting to Rs 52.75 lakh.

The COI also blamed him for projecting incorrect figures of outstanding audit objections to HQ 15 Corps, allegedly indulging in malpractices with civilian contractors and petrol tanker drivers, besides furnishing false information to HQ 3 Division regarding his passport.

Holding the second officer, Colonel Cheema, also responsible for causing a loss of Rs 37.51 lakh and failing to auction unserviceable equipment, the COI observed that the officer was involved in collecting an unspecified amount of cash from tanker drivers.

In addition to causing loss and collecting money, the COI blamed the third officer, Capt Singhal, for allegedly forging the signatures of Colonel Dhillon on challans issued by the Indian Oil Corporation. The officer was also blamed for failure to maintain unit accounts properly and misleading the COI. He was also charged with demanding as well as offering bribes to JCOs.

The GOC also recommended that the case regarding a second tenure in the same unit for Colonel Dhillon after a gap of only seven years, and the posting of Colonel Cheema to this unit where there was no vacancy, be investigated by the MS Branch at Army Headquarters.


Carnival time at Rock Garden
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The coming four days will be all about paying tributes to a magnificent creation which has placed the City Beautiful on the world tourism map. On the anvil are a host of celebrations to mark the silver jubilee year of Nek Chand’s Rock Garden which has gained the reputation of being an elergy in its own right. Interestingly, the UT Administration has chalked out an impressive schedule which will bring home the objective of lauding the creator in Nek Chand. And of greater importance to the city should be the fact that a foreign delegation is arriving here tomorrow to be a part of the celebrations and this is perhaps the first time that foreign delegates are arriving especially for the purpose which, in itself, is a gesture of admiration for the Rock Garden’s creator.

The programme opens tomorrow with the reception of the foreign delegates by Nek Chand. Following the formal meetings will be three days laced with the best of cultural performances. There will also be seminars on architectural value of the garden, along with various other issues of concern — like the way in which it has to be preserved in the future.

In the cultural section, some listings need to be made. On the very first day, Rock Garden will rise to the glamour of Yadavindra Singh’s solo candle dance performance (7 pm). On March 2, Nacharas and Sapera Been performances will dominate the cultural scene at the Rock Garden. Most of the time on March 2 will, however, be given away to some serious activity, beginning with the plantation of 25 saplings on garden premises in the morning. The plantation will be executed by the visiting foreigners and about 10 students of the Blind Institute.

Highlights of the day will be a display of awards and citations awarded to Nek Chand, and a seminar to be held in the Rock Garden, which will be presided over by Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune.

Most of the third day has been reserved for amusement. After the formal function marking the celebrations and award giving function to the eminent delegates. The day will also see the inauguration of laughing mirrors by the UT Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda. Special attractions of the day will be camel rides, folk dances, Nacharas, Sapera Been, Baazigars, Bhand Marasi and Behrupias. Folklore Mirza Saheba will also be enacted. The Rock Garden carnival will commence from the Rock Garden at 3 pm.

The carnival will conclude on March 4. The entry for the public is free on March 3 and 4.


Illegal motor market faces the axe
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 28 — The illegal motor market in Old Panchkula existing for over five years will face the axe in the coming days with its demolition being given the go-ahead by the top brass of the Town and Country Planning Department.

However, when the axe will actually fall is a debatable issue since instructions for the same were issued as early as last November, HUDA officials have failed to move even after four months have lapsed.

The matter of taking a final decision had been hanging fire ever since the land was “usurped” by the shopkeepers. Their number continued to grow over the years and there are over 200 people occupying the land “unauthorisedly”.

The green signal came after HUDA officials said that being a commercial organisation entrusted with the task of carrying out development works, it could not let go of land worth crores for social welfare alone, sources said.

Also, they felt that allowing the shopkeepres to stay back would set a wrong precedent, besides causing tremendous financial losses, thereby necessitating the demolition. “The shopkeepers are free to buy plots once these are cut out in the open auction to be held subsequently,” an official contended.

However, ever since orders for the same were conveyed to HUDA, officials are yet to take action. Justifying the delay, an official contends that a number of factors like availability of adequate staff, police personnel and time on hand was essential.

“We have been unable to synchronise the three since something keeps coming up every now and then but we will carry out the demolition very soon,” he added.

Ironically, the Bhajan Lal government, in 1995, had recommended allottment of alternative sites to these shopkeepers under an exhaustive rehabilitation scheme prepared for them at the government level.

While some shopkeepers were to be rehabilitated in Sector 20, the rest were to be accommodated near Suraj theatre in Sector 1 at a nominal fixed rate for the land allotted.

Meanwhile, Mr Bansi Lal came to power and turned down the proposal altogether. Despite this, he took no decision on the removal of enchroachment from HUDA-acquired land and a stalemate over the matter continued.

With the Chautala government coming to power, the shopkeepers claimed that they were hopeful of securing a decision in their favour. Though the shopkeepers were assured that the decision would not go against them, the demolition has come as a bolt from the blue.

“We were assured by the Chief Minister at the two Sarkar Apke Dwar programmes that the matter would be considered sympathetically. All our attempts failed and it also means the CM does not hesitate to bluff the public. We will have to see what is to be done in light of this decision,” Mr OP Katyal, President of the Motor Market, said.


National science day observed

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 —The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) today observed National Science Day by holding an “Open Day”. All laboratories of the CSIO were kept open for the public.

A large number of visitors, including students from schools and colleges went around various facilities of the organisation, where they interacted with scientists and were given an exposure to the technologies and equipment developed by the CSIO.

Later, a lecture on “Agri-electronics for quality production and management” was delivered by Dr Anwar Alam, Deputy Director of the Delhi-based Indian Council of Agriculture Research. He emphasised the need for judicious use of agricultural inputs like seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, fuel and electricity for economy and market competitiveness.

Dr Alam said that there is a need for automation and control in storage and transport systems, Information technology systems as well as distant learning mechanism for the benefit of farmers and entrepreneurs. He discussed at length the agri-electronic instruments and systems being used for crop production and agro-processing.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the CSIO Director, Dr R.P. Bajpai stressed the need of developing scientific instruments which could help farmers not only in producing more quantity but also maintaining the quality, and competitiveness of the produce.

Dr Alam also gave away prizes to winners of the declamation contest, which had been organised on February 26 as a part of the celebrations. Meghna Shyam and Tarun Chhabra received the first and second prizes, respectively.Back


‘Use quake time for Earth study’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Existing seismic condition still make the eaqrthquake-hit Kutch area a high-risk zone. The area adjoining the Narmada belt is also prone to tremors and anything can happen any moment.

This was said by Prof S.B. Bhatia in his address on earthquakes at the National Science Day celebrations in Panjab University here today.

Earth is divided into seven tectonic plates that are in regular motion and cause earthquakes when these collide. “Radon and Helium discharges can be analysed for more information on the matter,” Prof Bhatia said. He said earthquakes could be used for a closer study of the core of the Earth. Seismic tracks could lead to underground oil deposits.

He said faulty construction of buildings resulted in excessive loss of human life during tremors. The damage in Latur and Ahmedabad had been enormous due to faulty construction of houses.

Today’s schedule also included talks by Dr H.M. Dani on Ribsome Membrane Interaction and Carcinogenesis and Dr Sarma Gupta of the IMTECH on Genomix and the New Biology. The Zoology Department organised a film show on Animal Life. Laboratories and museums of Departments of Botany, Geology, Zoology, chemistry, Physics, Biotechnology and Microbiology remained open for public.

The public response was, however, lukewarm. “It seemed to be a wrong day for the exhibition as students have their annual examinations coming up,” a teacher said.


When participants had to save the show
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Anyone these days is busy organising a beauty pageant, and especially so in the City Beautiful. The preliminary round of one such show was held at a very interesting venue in Sector 35 this evening. The name of the event was as interesting as the event itself — Euro-Asia 2001. This one was being organised by a host of outfits, and has about 14 participants, with one Japanese girl left to join the group.

The participants today vied for three sub titles — Ms Talented, Ms Beautiful Eyes and Ms Beautiful Smile. The contest, however, seemed to have taken off under unsettling stars, with many unpleasant aspects marring it every now and then. It would help to list a few of them — the show was being held in a small showroom in Sector 35 which obviously did not have enough space to accommodate guests. About 100 people were standing around the already-packed up showroom thus blocking the view. The judges, as far as one knows of them, were no beauty experts. The sound system was not sound enough. The mike, also, was not effective.

Finally when the event started, the audio system failed the contestants many a time. On many occasions, the tape recorder came to a halt, thus embarrassing foreign performers in an alien land. Most of the media persons invited to cover the event did not get a chance to see the contestants, thanks to the congestion which the organisers had somehow managed. So some among the persons did decide to leave the venue before the result was declared.

The only encouraging aspect of the evening was the fact that the participants appeared to be quite in love with India. They hail from Bulgaria, Fiji Islands, Japan, Kazakhastan, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Vietnam and Bhutan. Many of them presented traditional Indian dance today, and quite well at that.

Coming to the event. It’s no doubt the first time girls of other nationalities are participating in a beauty pageant in the city. But it would have been much better had the organisers bothered a little more. Interestingly, entries for the event were received through the Internet, as the advertisement was also made on-line. Said Anil Aggarwal, one of the organisers, “We got 50 entries, but we have short-listed 15.”

The method by which the shortlisting was done is not clear, but some people informed that the portfolios and biodatas had been taken into consideration. The names of judges who shortlisted entries were, however, not given out.

While the subtitles were given away today, the final contest will be held at Hotel Mountview tomorrow.


Punjab police donates Rs 1 cr for quake-hit
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 —The Punjab Director General of Police, Mr Sarabjit Singh, today presented a cheque of Rs 1 crore to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for the earthquake victims of Gujarat.

A press note issued by the Punjab police said the amount was contributed by all Punjab police personnel. It comprised one-day salary of the police staff.

It added that during the Kargil war also the Punjab police personnel had contributed their one-day salary for providing relief to the victims of the war.Back


Residents body flays HUDA
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 28 — The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 8, criticised the deteriorating maintenance of sectors in the city with the HUDA giving up its claim and the municipal council not stepping in to take charge of its duties.

The president of the association Mr R.P. Malhotra, said that the area earmarked in the sector for the memorial of a martyr was crying for attention. He alleged that it was an insult to the martyr since the officials had failed to keep vendors and rickshaw pullers at bay, utilising the place for resting in the afternoons.

Further, claiming that patchwork on the pot-holed roads was long overdue and repeated visits by members of the association had not yielded any result. The association appealed to the HUDA to complete works like the martyr’s memorial before giving the entire charge to the municipal council.


Seminar on Dalit issues ends
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Projects for modernity need not be thrown away in context of progress of Dalits. This was stated by Dr Kumar Suresh of Hamdard University, Delhi, while speaking on Interrogating or Affirming Modernity in Emancipatory Project. — B.R. Ambedkar in Perspective. He was speaking on the concluding day of a two-day seminar on Social Oppression and emancipatory Projects.

Dr Suresh said the ‘modernity’ concept had ample scope for Dalits, only the perspective was different. Dr Bhagwan Dass, a Supreme Court advocate, chaired the session.

Earlier in the seminar, Prof Ashok Sahni, the DUI, in his inaugural address remarked that “only model proposals were not sufficient for a societal change. Practicality had to be studied seriously’.

Dr Ronki Ram said that oppression was largely based on birth where one is put to ordeal for no fault of his. Structural changes in the society were more important than individual changes to make a strong impact.

Prof P.S. Verma gave a historical perspective of the ‘dalit issue’. Ms Madhvi Kataria, DPI (Colleges), lauded Dr Ambedkar’s role in the freedom of India.

Dr Dass was critical of ‘Ambedkarites’ who, he said used the word merely to maintain a societal image, but were rarely bothered to keep their integrity to the beliefs of the ‘dalit guru’. Dr B.N. Ray said the solution was not a Gandhi or Ambedkar, but Gandhi plus Ambedkar and not Karl Marx or Ambedkar, but Ambedkar and Marx.

Prof H.K. Puri spoke on the value of Gandhian principals for a progressive future. Dr Chander Mohan and Dr Jagpal Singh also spoke on the occasion.


Northern sectors go without water
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Water supply to many sectors of the city remained stalled today following a mechanical disorder in two water pump sets of Kajauli. On account of the technical snag in the pumps, each of which was pumping about 10 million gallons of water daily to the city, the supply remained suspended to the Northern belt upto Sectors 26 and 27, as also to Sectors 1 and 2.

Total water supply from six water pumps of Kajauli water works is about 60 million gallons per day. When about 20 million gallon supply did not come today, the collection was affected, thus disrupting the routine of people. The SE Public Health, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, when contacted, said that the snag had been detected and taken care of. “There is no need to panic as the repairs have been effected,” he said.


Over Rs 1 cr may have been concealed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — An amount of over Rs 1 crore may have been concealed by sanitary dealer Kushi Ram and Sons from the payment of tax while purchasing two industrial plots in the Industrial Area here.

According to sources, the sale agreement has reportedly shown that the sanitary dealer, who had paid cash and did not show up the amount in the income tax returns, had purchased the plots at much lower prices than the market rates. The residence and the shop of the dealer were searched in the raid conducted last evening.

The sources said during the raid cash and jewellery were also recovered and their amounts were being worked with a view to ascertain whether tax had been evaded. The sanitary dealer will be issued a show-cause notice before penal action was taken against him, the sources added.


Massive HUDA rally
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 28—Over 500 members of eight unions of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) organised a rally on the issue of a decision of the fate of employees being transferred to the Municipal Council at the HUDA office in Sector 6 here today.

Led by Mr Wattan Singh Jaiswal, chairman of the 11-member action committee formed for the purpose, the employees presented a demand charter to HUDA officials for details on the work profile of the transferred employees and the benefits accruing through the transfer.

The unions which participated in the protest include the HUDA Workers’ Union,the HUDA Janswasthya Karamchari Union, the HUDA Bagwani Union, the HUDA Electrical Workers Union, and the HUDA Safai Karamchari Union among others. The members of these unions had earlier discussed the matter of transfer at length at the meeting held at the water works in Sector 8.

The protesting employees said that the officials had failed to give satisfactory answers to there queries about transfers, their funds and seniority while adding that there were still no clear instructions for the same. “The only purpose of this rally was to make the officials aware that we are not dumb driven cattle and we only accept transfers after details on our new job profiles are given,” Mr J.P. Sharma, secretary, said.

It maybe recalled that 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.


Houseless in Haryana enumerated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Enumeration of the houseless population in Haryana was done today morning. Mr Sunil Gulati, Director, Census Operation, Haryana, has appealed to all NGOs and Social Welfare Organisations to extend full cooperation to the District Census Officers to complete this task within the stipulated time.

He informed that one enumerator had been deputed to enumerate 25 houseless persons and the information collected during census would be kept completely confidential and would be used for formulating welfare plans for the people.


Samagam at gurdwara
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Baba Sadhu Singh of Nanaksar will recite Gurbani and katha at the Sector 28-B Gurdwara Nanaksar here from today until March 4, it was announced today. In the morning, the recitation will start at 4.30 and in the evening at 6. The samagam will end on March 4.


Murders shake up city police
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — In the wake of the three murders here this month, the Inspector-General of the UT police, Mr B.S. Bassi, called a meeting of the Central Division beat officers today to assess the beat system.

There are 42 beats in the Central Division under police stations of Sectors 17, 11 and 3. All the beat heads and beat constables attended the meeting along with the Subdivisional Police Officer, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain.

The beat heads have been asked to supply a list of all senior citizens in their areas to the SSP, within a week. Following this, a new set of directives will be issued for better policing in each beat.

The beat heads have been asked to meet all the senior citizens in their areas and urge them to take security precautions like installing iron grills, magic eyes on main doors and latches etc. The IG also asked them to distribute lists of do’s and dont’s issued by the UT police.

The beat heads have been asked to contact neighbours of senior citizens and ask them to stay alert. Senior citizens will also be told to get the antecedents of their servants and tenants verified from the police.

Later, while talking to mediapersons, Mr Bassi said the city police had also decided to honour Vijay, the servant in the house of murder victim Pritha Singh. He would receive a commendation certificate and Rs 2,100 in cash for fighting the assailants in the Sector 10 house of Pritha Singh on February 18.Back


Police condemned for ‘inaction’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — Mr Surinder Bhardwaj, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal, today condemned “inaction” of the local police to control the worsening law and order situation in the city.

In a letter to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob(Retd), Mr Bhardwaj blamed the police for increasing incidents of robberies and murders. He demanded a survey to determine the antecedents of the migratory labourers and of those living in labour colonies to regain the confidence of the residents.

A total overhauling of the present police set-up, a single entry system to the sectors by constructing the outer wall, provision of extra police force for day-patrolling and revival of the police advisory committee were the other demands listed in the letter.


Booked for under-measuring
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 28—A case under Section 7, 10 and 55 of the Essential Commodities Act has been registered against the owner of the Sector 14 petrol station which was sealed for under-measuring petrol and diesel. The case has been registered on the complaint of the Food and Supplies Department following a raid by its team.

The petrol station is owned by the Indian Oil. The manager of the petrol station said that the company officials would come and look into the problem with the machine which resulted in short supply by 40 ml to 70 ml for every 5 litres. 


Soni murder case: police clueless
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 28 — The police is still clueless regarding the murder of Prem Lata Soni in Sector 32 on February 26. It is learnt that police is now adopting the theory of elimination after questioning and cross-questioning various friends, relatives and other acquaintances of the deceased, who have been regular visitors to her house.

Meanwhile, a police party has today been dispatched to Punjab in order to nab the third accused in the sensational Pritha Singh murder case. It is learnt that the police had received a tip off regarding the whereabouts of the accused, Barinder alias Beeru, and a police party was sent to Punjab.

A 15-year-old girl allegedly tried to commit suicide by consuming an insecticide at her Sector 37 residence here this afternoon. Ritesh, a school student, was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where she was given preliminary first-aid before being rushed to the PGI.

Two persons were also reportedly injured in different cases of accidents in the past 24 hours. Eighteen-year-old Vijay Kumar was injured when he was hit by a Haryana Roadways bus on the Zirakpur- Panchkula Road at around 10 a.m. this morning. In another accident near Naya Gaon, a scooterist, Bhupinder Singh was injured when his scooter collided with a bicycle. Both the injured have been admitted in the PGI and the General Hospital respectively.

A three-year-old child was seriously injured when he fell off the roof of her house in Maloya village. The child, Gurjit, has been admitted to the PGI.

A labourer, Ved Prakash, was allegedly assaulted and later shut in a classroom of a school after he fell unconscious by his creditor and three others on February 20. The Mani Majra police has already arrested one of the accused, Babloo.

According to an FIR registered at the Mani Majra Police Station under Sections 147,149 and 323 of the IPC, it is learnt that the victim had borrowed some money from one of the accused, Naresh Jain and he was unable to repay the loan. The wife of the victim, Rajkali has alleged that Naresh Jain alongwith his two brothers- Ramesh Jain and Babloo and their father, Laxman, beat up Ved Prakash and later locked him in a school class room in Mauli Jagran. She later found him in an unconscious condition.

Three ceiling fans were reportedly stolen from two hostel rooms of the SGGS College, Sector 26, on the intervening night of February 26 and 27. These fans were later recovered from the possession of two students of the college, Kulwinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh who were arrested and booked under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.

Four solar lamps alongwith their module were stolen from the Department of Science and Technology office by a peon of the office, Ashwani Kumar in collusion with a watchman of the Employment Exchange, Pankaj Kumar. The two accused have been arrested and the stolen property has been recovered from them. A case under Sections 454, 380 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

A mobile phone and a car stereo were also stolen in two separate incidents in the past 24 hours. Mr B.D. Kapoor has alleged that someone has stolen a mobile phone from his car yesterday while it was parked in Sector 22. In a similar case, a car stereo was stolen from the car of Mr V.K. Midha while it was parked at the Rajasthan Bhavan in Sector 33.

Deep Chand was arrested from the Darshani Bagh, Mani Majra late last night and 140 pouches of whisky were recovered from his possession. He has been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

The police has also arrested three persons while they were gambling at a public place in Bapu Dham and a sum of Rs. 450 was recovered from them. According to the information available, it is learnt that the accused Usman Ansari, Arjun and Alam have been arrested under Sections 13, 3 1n 67 of the Gambling Act.

The police has also booked three persons on charges of apprehension of breach of peace and issuing of threat. Davinder Babla, Koka and Bhupa have been booked under Sections 147, 149 and 506 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr. Vijay Pal Dimpy. It is learnt that all three accused as well as the complainant owe allegiance to a national political party.

The police sources inform that the accused had lent some money to the complainant and they went to his house in Sector 38 last night. It is alleged that they were carrying a sword and a pistol. The complainant has alleged that the accused used abusive language an dared him to come out. When he refused to oblige, they left after threatening him.

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