Friday, March 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC cuts down water, sewerage rates
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 15
The Municipal Council has finally decided to cut down the water and sewerage rates after months of controversy over the hike. The rates had been hiked during the tenure of the Administrator of the council last year and the increase had been implemented just before the newly elected body took over the charge of the council.

The decision to reduce the rates was taken at a meeting of the council held here today. Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the council, said that the domestic sewerage cess had been reduced from Rs 25 to 15 per seat and in the case of commercial premises the reduction had been done from Rs 40 to 30. The water rates for the domestic consumer had been reduced from Rs 2 to 1.80 per unit. However, the rates for the commercial sector remain unchanged. The flat rate being charged for kuchha houses has been reduced from Rs 40 to 30 and in the case of pucca houses from Rs 50 to Rs 45. The security deposit for the weaker sections had been raised from Rs 180 to Rs 1500. But it had been decided that hike would be reduced by 50 per cent.

The reduced rates will come into effect from April 1, 2001.

However, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi and Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari wanted that the water and sewerage hike be withdrawn altogether and loss incurred here could be compensated by checking octroi evasion and stopping wasteful expenditure being incurred by the civic body on constructing footpaths and putting mild steel railing all over the town.

The President said that it was not possible to roll back the entire hike as the expenses on providing the services was increasing and the council was already going in for losses on this front. He said during the year ending March 31, 2001, the council was expecting an income of Rs 3.08 crore while the expenditure being incurred was Rs 5.85 crore thus facing a loss of Rs 1.60 crore. Apart from this loss the council had to pay an additional Rs 1.74 crore as power bills for running the tubewells.

Mr Kulwant Singh said the council was trying hard to take over the work of the supply of water and maintenance of sewerage from the Public Health Department and go in for privatisation as the step would help the civic body in bringing down the expenditure incurred on providing the services.

The councillors also cleared the proposal to go in for privatisation of sanitation work in the residential areas of the town. The staff of the sanitation wing of the council would, however, he looking after the industrial area. An annual expenditure of over Rs 76 lakh had been earmarked by the civic body for the privatisation of sanitation work.

Sanitation work in some parts of industrial area, certain residential phases and Shahi Majra and Mohali villages had already been privatised and the contract ends on March 31 this year.

The council also decided to raise the donation amount from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for the Gujarat earthquake victims.

Among the other items cleared by the council at the meeting were the purchase of a smoke extractor fan for the local fire station at a cost of Rs 90,000 and 5 per cent additional house rent allowance to the employees of the Fire Department as they had not been allotted any house by the council.


Death in PGI: probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The UT Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, ordered an inquiry today into the case of the death of Mohinder Kaur. It was alleged that the woman had died due to the negligence of some of the PGI doctors. The ASP (Central), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, has been asked to look into the matter.

Mr H.S.Tuli, husband of Mohinder Kaur, in a representation to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, had alleged that his wife had died as a result of an ego clash between Prof P. Chari, an anaesthesia expert, and Prof V.K. Khosla of the Department of Neurosurgery. He said, though his wife had a leaking aneurysm in the brain, instead of performing the surgery immediately, the two doctors did not conduct the operation due to their personal differences.

Meanwhile, sources said the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, had asked Prof J.S. Chopra, a former Director-Principal of the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital and a senior neurologist, to conduct the inquiry into this case. Reportedly, Prof Chopra has agreed to head the inquiry.

Meanwhile, the family has donated the kidneys and the eyes of the deceased to two persons. “Doctors of the Nephrology Department of the PGI worked overnight to help save the two lives by transplanting the kidneys in time,” Prof Navdeep Singh Khaira, Head of the Department of Nephrology of Dayanand Medical College of Ludhiana and son-in-law of Mohinder Kaur, said.

“If only the Departments of Neurosurgery and Anaesthesia had also behaved responsibly, perhaps my mother- in-law would have been alive today,” he said, with tears in his eyes.


PGI admits use of inferior tiles
Case likely to be referred to BIS
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Accepting the fact that some of the samples of the mosaic tiles used in the construction of the PGI Nursing Institute building could have been of inferior quality, the PGI’s Engineering Department officials, on the basis of the communication received from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), are pursuing the matter with the hospital administration for referring the issue to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and initiate action against the manufacturers.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, here today, the PGI Superintending Hospital Engineer, Mr G.S. Rosha, said the CVC has also sent test reports of samples of the wooden shutters, which have been used in the windows and doors “The reports suggest that there is problem in the quality of material and we have also decided to write to all those firms which had supplied these materials,” he said. Incidentally, both products were ISI marked.

Mr Rosha stressed that since the tiles were from a reputed company, they had no reason to suspect that the tiles being supplied to them could be of an inferior quality. In fact, the PGI has got the tests conducted from the government approved IDMA laboratories Limited and Technical Training Institute , both of whom had passed the samples.

The test report by the IDMA Laboratories Ltd. on September 16, 1999, had cleared the tiles as confirming to the BIS specification No. 1S 1237 -1980 with respect to the tests conducted on the parameters of dimensions, flatness, perpendicularity, straightness of edges, water absorption, wet transverse strength and resistance to wear.

The tests conducted by the CVC on resistance to wear, however, clearly states that sample consisting of nine specimens as Mosaic tiles bearing code no. 4397 WT and marked GICO, has failed to meet the requirements for cement concrete flooring tiles (general purpose).

The IDMA Laboratories Vice-President, Mr Ankush Aggarwal, when contacted said that particular samples he had received indeed confirm to the BIS specifications but whether it was a true representative of the actual material used at site is not sure. “Contractor must have given us very good samples. But one sample, and that too one and a half years ago, is not the true representative of the entire lot used in the building. Our records show that such samples received from various departments normally do not meet the required standards. In fact, samples randomly drawn by the Municipal Council, SAS Nagar, failed the tests,” he said.

Mr Rosha adds that the Engineering Department is in the process of writing to the Director Enforcement of the BIS. “After a formal complaint, the BIS will test again to confirm the report and take action against the manufacturers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Rosha has asserted that the allegations by the IDMA Laboratories that cement concrete channels and cement concrete kerbs have failed the specification tests as baseless.‘‘ The material was not for used in the Nursing Institute building but parking in the new OPD. The material was subsequently rejected and the contractor was asked to get a fresh lot which passed specific tests by another laboratory. Also the refence drawn by the laboratory of IS 14201 -1994 is wrong as it pertains to channels for roofs and floors. The relavent ISI for kerb channels is 5758-1984, he added.

He also said it was factually wrong that the samples were failing in compressive strength as the prescribed test criteria was transverse strength criteria as laid down in IS 57758-1994.


Jhankar 2001 off to a colourful start
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The four-day All India Inter-university Youth Festival, Jhankar 2001 took off to a colourful start at Panjab University here today. Inaugurated by Mr Satyapal Saini, Minister of Information Technology, Punjab, the festival is being organised by Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC).

A cultural procession of students and participants started in the morning from the Student Centre to the main venue at the university auditorium to mark the beginning of the show. The students had already taken out a “jago” on the eve of the cultural show.

The Dean, Students Welfare, Mr V.K. Bansal welcomed the chief guest. Mr Saini, in his speech, told the audience that the function reminded him of his own days in the college.

A colourful programme of dances and songs was presented by the Panjab University’s Music Department. Saraswati Vandana followed by tappey and Punjabi songs including a song in Hindi Kar Khudi ko buland. A group dance on a Punjabi pop number was followed by a dance on a Punjabi folk song.

Competitions in classical dance and choreography were the highlight of the first day, while a non-competitive interaction among students was held later in the day. 


Cricket makes a comeback as India down Aussies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
It was jubilation all around the city and its surrounding townships, with people distributing sweets and bursting crackers as India created history to win the second test match against the mighty Australians in Kolkata around 4.20 this evening.

Minutes before McGrath was out to Harbhajan, which signalled the end of Aussie batting, fans could be seen muttering a silent prayer, hoping for victory.

The scene in the markets was interesting as sales took a backseat with Harbhajan — who bagged six wickets — along with Tendulkar in his ‘‘avtaar’’ as a leg break bowler proving to be the hottest customers. Shopkeepers were seen informing their customers about the magnificent performance by Indians.

Just after tea break in Kolkata, every Indian fan was asking the question, “if Indians could bay a morale-boosting win”.

As seven wickets fell in the final session, India romped home to victory. Outside The Tribune office, traffic stopped on the busy Dakshin Marg with people eager to read the spot news being changed to announce an Indian victory.

Cricket coach, Sukhwinder Bawa, says he could not see the match on TV, but kept himself informed. The team had rewritten cricketing history, while Laxman and Harbahjan have etched the finest moment for test cricket in Indians’ memory.

Surinder Singh ‘Baijee’, secretary of the Chandigarh Cricket Association and an ardent cricket lover, was very excited. When the final result was still to come, with Australia down by nine wickets, ‘Baijee’ while watching the match in his showroom in Sector 22, arranged for ‘ladoos’ to be distributed among his staff and customers.

Manager of Punjab Ranji Trophy, Capt Sushil Kapoor, said in the past 40 years this was the best performance by an Indian side. The Aussies were arrogant and lost the match despite having put India to follow on. This fabulous win would revive the charm of Test cricket in the country.

Rajpal Sharma, another keen cricket lover and a native of Jalandhar was all praise for young Harbhajan, who had changed the complexion of Australian batting. He argued that even though critics could even use the term ‘match fixing’ for this superb win, but it was a hard-earned win for India. He said the past few days were quite good for Indian sports, as first it was Gopichand who won All England title and now cricket had made us proud.

Simranjeet Singh Bathlana, a class VII student of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36 and who played for UT schools in cricket in the National School Games told, said what was vital for India was the fine batting by Laxman and Dravid after the follow on. He said the gigantic score had put Aussies in pressure, which was cashed in by Harbhajan and Sachin. He said India fielded well also.

The mood was upbeat since morning when fans assembled in front of TV screens to watch their hero V.V.S. Laxman complete a triple century. But Laxman disappointed to some extent when he fell 19 runs short.

The surprise came when the famed Aussies crumbled. Again it was Harbhajan’s day who took six wickets. 


Lending an ear to phone subscribers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 15
Senior officials of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) had to face an embarrassing situation when enquiry telephone number 197 ‘did not log on after repeated attempts during a Khula Manch held at the Consumer Mela at Nehru Park, Sector 22 to redress grievances of the subscribers of the BSNL here today.

When asked why telephones go down so often in the city, (interestingly over 4000 telephones line went out of order today), Mr Rakesh Kapoor, General Manager, Planning admitted to the lapse and said, “The telephone network has grown in last three to four years in the city, but the requisite operational requirements have not yet been taken care of”.

Another query raised at the Manch was for how long a subscriber should maintain the receipts of the old telephone bills. Mr Kapoor did not give any specific answer but suggested a solution, “The subscribers should ask their respective TRA about pending bills and if the official say that no bill is pending, just ask him to give the same in writing and I am sure he will do it. Then preserve the receipt”.

The attendance at the manch was not impressive and just a handful of complainants turned up. Mr H.S. Ahluwalia of Sector 27 complained that his phone was disconnected because of outstanding dues of Rs 500, but after enquires he claimed that there was no due which the officials rectified but “only after five days”. He wanted to know why he should not demand a compensation for harassment by the BSNL.

Air Marshall (retd.) Mr Randhir Singh when asked about the date of implementation of 100 per cent concession in the monthly rental to the decorated soldiers of the Indian forces, was informed that soon the same would be implemented.

A resident of Baltana (Patiala) complained that it had been almost three years since his name was in the waiting list despite the government’s claim of clearing the waiting list in “two months”.

The officials refuted the allegations that the department deliberately disconnected phones for which bills had not been paid. One of them claimed, “The department never disconnects phones on Fridays”. The officials also had to face tough time while replying to allegations of lack of coordination between the post offices and banks and the telephone department. The officials also informed that the subscribers will not have to pay restoration charges of Rs 105 at the time of reconnection of telephone as it will be added in the next bill.

Earlier, the five-day Consumer Awareness Mela was inagurated by Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration. Mr Jaidev Singh, Chairman of the Consumer Forum Chandigarh gave a brief reference about the activities of the Forum. Mr R.K. Kaplash, Chairman of the mela celebrations, listed the schedule of the mela. An on-the-spot painting competition was also held at the occasion.

Tomorrow a lecture on G I C, L I C and banking for the awareness for the public will be held. A poster-making competition on consumerism and a khula manch on cooking gas (LPG) will also be held. Back


Snag in phone exchange 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Normal functioning of various offices was affected since morning after a major fault occurred in the Fetex telephone exchange in Sector 17 here.

About 25,000 phones were affected due to the snag in the exchange which caters to subscribers in commercial sectors, including 17 and 22.

Senior officials of the Telecom Department were not accessible as calls to their numbers from the selectively working telephones had a pre-recorded message saying “lines are busy, dial after some time.”

Sources said efforts to trace the faults did not yield any results till about 5 p.m.


Cities ‘evolve with time’
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
“The planners have to provide for a change as the cities evolve with the passage of time and with the changing requirements of residents,” says Mr Ronald G. Allen, a noted city planner, architectural designer and site planning expert from the USA.

Mr Ronald G. Allen, who had been associated for three decades in the city planning, formulation and designing of Santa Rosa in California, is currently on a visit to the city. At present, he is a Consultant Planner and Architectural Designer.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Allen says that he has always advocated the need to “accommodate change”.

He, however, advocates for strong architectural and administrative controls to preserve the character of a town maintaining that mistakes from the previous experiences should be avoided.

“The planning has to be adoptive,” says Mr Allen holding that planning of a city would need lot of democratisation. Besides infrastructure development, the planning has to look closely at flexibility. “That is where economics comes in. Instead of allowing market forces to play havoc with the planning, the focus has to be on compatibility.

“The end product has to show lot of spontaneity as the basic architecture and structure has to be thematic. Issues like high risers versus low risers and political aspects are the other important issues to be kept in mind,” says Mr Ronald G. Allen.

Talking about the universalisation of designs of both residential and commercial buildings, he says it is unfortunate that planning does not reflect the local culture, heritage and ethos of a town.

“The change has been so rapid that planning a city three to four decades ago would have been a much different and simpler than what it is now. Social and economic factors are very important,” he said.

Mr Ronald G. Allen, also visited the headquarters of the Vishav Gurmat Ruhani Mission at Ratwara Sahib, near here, where a business school, of international standard is coming up. He is impressed by Sant Waryam Singh, the founder of the Mission.

“His profound simplicity has impressed me most,” says Mr Allen he has agreed to be associated in an honorary way in the planning and architectural design of the proposed School of Business.

Talking about Chandigarh, he said that it was too early for him to talk about the City which he had “seen only from the window of my car”. 


CTCC demands PM’s resignation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Activists of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee(CTCC) organised a protest rally in Sector 17 Piazza demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, following the exposures by a website alleging large-scale corruption in a defence deal.

Raising slogans against Mr Vajpayee, Mr George Fernandes and Mr Bangaru Laxman, the protesters alleged that it was laxity on part of the government which led to the entry of Pakistan forces into the Indian territory prior to the Kargil war.

Mr Rajesh Sharma, general secretary of the CTCC, urged the people to throw out the current government.

The president of the Nationalist Congress party, Mr Gurbachan Singh, has demanded the resignation of the Atal Behari Vajpayee Government in view of the exposures by a website alleging large-scale corruption in a defence deal.

He also demanded an inquiry into the assets of the councillors before their elections in 1996 and now. A white paper on the alleged corruption by the councillors was also demanded.

Over 500 party workers will participate in the kisan rally to be organised by the NCP in New Delhi on March 18, he added.


Farmers’ dharna at Matka Chowk
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 15
Hundreds of farmers from various districts of Punjab here today started an indefinite dharna at Matka Chowk on the call of five different farmers’ unions.

The farmers are demaning that profitable rates of wheat and other Kharif crops should be announced forthwith and the government should assure them about the purchase of agricultural crops by the FCI and other government agencies. debts of kisans should be written off and loans be given to kisans at 4 per cent interest.

The farmers are demanding that the paddy purchase of Rs 350 crore should be immediately distributed amongst the paddy growers, agricultural machinery centre be opened in villages to give machinery to the farmers, irrigation water and electricity be supplied to all, and electricity connections for all motors pending for long be released.

Leaders of various Unions, Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), Kirti Kishan Union, Punjab Kishan Sabha, Punjab Kishan Sabha (CPI) and Bharti Kishan Union condemned the “anti-kisan policies of the government. They demanded that all scams in the purchase of paddy should be got probed from an independent agency, such as the CBI

Leaders of five different unions — Mr Pashora Singh Sidhupur, Mr Rachpal Singh, Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, Mr Bhupinder Sambar — declared that the dharna will continue till their demands are met.


‘Tax policy killed Punjabi film industry’
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, March 15
“The compound tax policy adopted by the Punjab Government a couple of years ago was a major reason for the decline of Punjabi film industry,” said Vijay Tandon, a National-Award-winning actor, director and script writer. “Under this policy, one had to pay a fixed amount of rent along with a weekly tax for all films, including the big-budget Hindi films. As most Punjabi films had a limited audience, the policy proved harmful for the industry here,” he said.

There were more than 100 unfinished Punjabi films that might never see the light of the day as no producer would want to go ahead with these ventures, said Tandon. In view of the risk involved in producing films, TV serials were the safest to produce these days, he added.

Vijay Tandon, who gave Punjabi film world the National-Award-winning film ‘Kachehari’ in 1994, has now shifted his focus towards Punjabi TV serials. “This is the only option left for artistes of this region,” he said. Most directors who could not make it big in Bollywood, had now returned to Punjab to direct serials. Punjabi channels, who were ready to grab anything, were also responsible for the deteriorating quality of serials, he said.

He said, however, he was happy to be working in serials like ‘Man Jeete Jagjeet’, ‘Sarhad’, ‘Apni Mitti’, ‘Navin Musibat Aayee’, ‘Jwar Bhata’, ‘Sanvarte Bikharte’, ‘Do Akal Garh’, ‘Tootan Wala Khooh’ and ‘Kissa Puran Bhagat’, all of which were on air.

Vijay Tandon, who has written some good scripts like ‘Kachehari’, ‘Ishq Nachave Gali Gali’, ‘Gayak’ and ‘Sarhad Par’, believes that the storyline of ‘Sarhad Par’ is another award-winning material. The film is directed by Raman Kumar and stars Sanjay Dutt in the lead role. He has also written scripts for Punjabi serials like ‘Saude Dilan De’, ‘Udeekan’, ‘Apna Punjab’, ‘Virsa’ and ‘Pavittar Papi’.

When asked why he had not produced another Punjabi film after ‘Kachehari’, he said to finish the film, he had to sell his house. “After that, I had nothing left to sell,” he said. After declaring ‘Kachehari’ the best Punjabi feature film, the Punjab Government had promised to give him Rs 2 lakh, which he never received.


Photographers to strike work tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
To protest against the imposition of 5 per cent service tax on the photography services by the Central Government, the photographers of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula will strike work on March 17.

Announcing this at a press conference here today, Mr K.K. Mehta, and Mr Anand Prakash, president and senior vice-president of the Chandigarh Photographers Association respectively, said that over 95 per cent of the photographers were small entrepreneurs and self-employed. The imposition of the tax would throw the self-employed at the mercy of the excise officials, who would be forced to bear harassment in the name of the law, added Mr K. Raj, chairman.

The spokesman, Mr Tejbans Singh Jauhar, stated that the tax would block the entry of new persons to this profession, which was already passing through a difficult time.

Employment opportunities in the government and private sectors were shrinking day-by-day on account of the computerisation. But instead of promoting self-employment, the government seems to be hell-bent on forcing the self-employed persons to join the ranks of unemployed, he alleged.

Claiming that out of over 700 professional photographers, hardly 5 per cent were firms or companies, Mr Mehta alleged that the proposed tax on turnover would put a question mark on the future of over 10,000 persons. Similarly, in Punjab out of 8,000 professional photographers and the tax would jeopardise the livelihood of over 30,000 families, Mr Mehta said.

Urging the government to have a second thought on the imposition of the tax from July 1, Mr Mehta said that the association had sent representations to all MPs to take up the matter with the government.

A meeting of the Punjab Photographers Association will be held at Jalandhar tomorrow to chalk out the future course of action, Mr Mehta added.


PDS sugar for poor only
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The levy sugar will now be supplied under the public distribution system (PDS) only to the families below poverty line. The directions to this effect have been received by the Chandigarh Administration from the Union Ministry of Consumers, Food and Public Distribution System. Prior to this sugar was being supplied to the non-income tax assessees.

Figures reveal that as per the criteria laid down for identifying families below poverty line, there are only about 1,500 such families in the city.

According to information available, the ministry considers those persons below poverty line (BPL) who do not have their own house, two-wheeler, television and a refrigerator. The Administration had in April 1997 got a survey done of the BPL families on the basis of this yardstick in the city, villages and colonies , where the number of such families was found to be 1,077. Though a fresh survey is yet to be conducted, but it seems unlikely that as per the four things listed in the yardstick, a family does not even possess one of the them.

The PDS in the city was already deteriorating. And the new directions will further worsen it, for kerosene was already not being made available to the gas users. Secondly, no body prefers to buy ` atta’ from these ration shops because the price is more than that available in the open market. While 10 kg of atta is available in the market for about Rs 90, the price of the same in the ration depots in Rs 104.

The government has instead of the public distribution system, announced `Antodaya’ and `Annapurna’’ schemes and once they are implemented, the Food and Civil Supplies Department will not have much to do, since the role of the department in the implementation of these schemes is minimal. 


Rs 5 lakh for quake relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The Chandigarh Golf Club has contributed Rs 5 lakh towards the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund for Gujarat.

The President of the club, Mr G.S. Sandhu, along with its office-bearers, visited Punjab Raj Bhavan today and handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to the Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

General Jacob appreciated the gesture of the club and said the money would be used in long-term rehabilitation planning for those hit by the earthquake.

Meanwhile, Unnati, an organisation for the development of education in Ahmedabad, has thanked the Chandigarh Housing Board for its contribution in developing shelters in the earthquake-affected areas of Bhachau.

Mr Binoy Acharya, Director of the organisation, praised the efforts of the board’s rehabilitation team, including Mr Nirmal Kumar and Mr Abnesh Dadwal.

He also said the shelters provided by the board were instrumental in facilitating Unnati’s role in rebuilding the earthquake-affected areas, according to a press note issued here today.


Former Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Mr Bal Kishan, a former Advertisement Foreman of The Tribune, died here today after a brief illness. He was 75.

He is survived by four daughters and three sons.

His funeral later in the day was largely attended by Tribune employees, friends and relatives.


Honouring Nek Chand 

During the silver jubilee celebrations of the Rock Garden, a delegation of the London-based Nek Chand foundation came to India and honoured the creator of the Rock Garden. It is a pity that no attempt was made by India’s Ministry of Tourism and the Chandigarh Administration to honour this son of the Soil who has made Indians proud by putting the Rock Garden on the world map of tourism. The celebration was a low-key affair and missed the opportunity to promote tourism in Chandigarh.

The Rock Garden is the result of one man’s crusade to transform waste material into pieces of art. Nek Chand’s magic has converted broken cups and saucers, burnt out bulbs and tubes broken and sanitaryware into artistic creations. The stamp of Nek Chand’s vision, labour of love and his touch vibrate in every nook and corner of the Rock Garden.

It is indeed a gift of a master craftsman to posterity, which will continue to inspire the future generations. Visitors to the Rock Garden should avoid etching their names on its walls.

Harinder Mohan Singh

Then and now

Gone are the days when Ambala City did not have electricity. The Municipality had then fitted kerosene lamps in the streets. The streets were swept daily and the surface drains were cleaned properly. Municipal sweepers used to collect garbage twice a day and it was dumped at a distant place. The president of the municipality used to pull up the city fathers for any lapse in sanitation of the city. All of the them took a keen interest in the welfare of the town.

Now, they have become ‘councillors’. But their duties do not seem to include sanitation. The streets and lanes are deplorably dirty.

The sweepers perform their duties half-heartedly. They sweep the streets once a week, the drains are cleaned so lightly that the silt and garbage increases. When reminded of his duties the municipal sweeper says: ‘Go and report’. Report to whom? Burnt-out tubes and bulbs are not replaced for months. I am told that I should report, but to whom ? Blaring loud speakers in places of worship disturb you in the early hours of the morning. I should report against noise and disturbance, but to whom ? No one takes any action against any defaulter.

Brij Mohan Sharma
Ambala City

Earthquake relief

It has been reported that the students, staff and managements of St. Xavier’s schools in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula have contributed Rs 2 lakh to the Gujarat Earthquake Relief Fund and the pay order was handed over to the Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (Retd).

Daily we read reports of students and staff of different schools handing over to the Administrator, their contributions to the Gujarat Earthquake Relief Fund. But no report has appeared in any newspaper about the Administrator or his army of A.D.Cs and the security and other supporting staff making a similar donation.

“Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh has adopted a son of a Kargil martyr. This example is also worth emulating by the high-ups.

Narinder Singh


Sector 17 traders protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
A former chief minister of Punjab has been accused of unsuccessfully trying to get a shop in Sector 17 vacated by his tenant with force. The Sector 17 Traders Association yesterday demonstrated in favour of the tenant and demanded that the police take action against the accused.

The Traders Association closed down business for almost an hour in support of the tenant, Mr J.S. Sodhi. It is alleged that henchmen of the said politician made two attempts to take charge of the shop on March 11 and 12, ever since the tenant closed down business after his contract with the company he was selling products and he decided to renovate the shop.

It is also learnt that a case for getting the possession of the shop was being fought in the court. In fact, the tenant had also been depositing the rent of the property in the court for the past three years.

Students booked

Police has booked five students of the Punjab Engineering College for pasting posters of their college festival on the wall of the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, on Tuesday. Sanjiv Kumar, Harish Kumar, Abhilash, Tarsem Kumar and Varun Goel have been booked under section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act.

Smack seized

Suresh , a resident of Kumhar Colony was arrested by the police from near SD High School and 3.04 gm of smack was recovered from him. He has been booked by the police under Section 21 of the NDPS Act.

Liquor seized

Forty-eight pouches of Hero whisky were seized from a resident of Janta Colony, Kala, last evening. He has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Mobile phone stolen

Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Bela Tejawal village in Nawanshahr has been accused of stealing a mobile phone from the Shop-cum-office of Kulip Raj in Sector 17- E on Tuesday. He has been booked under Section 380 of the IPC.


‘Building byelaws cause harassment’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The matter of building byelaws was discussed in detail with senior leaders of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, in a meeting held today at Sector 17, Chandigarh.

All participants opined that these byelaws were a source of harassment for traders of the city and too impractical to be implemented in the present form.

It was necessary that the Administration did not interfere with the internal requirements of the respective trade in question. If there is any danger from any structure, instead of throwing out the occupant of the premises or creating the circumstances which may ruin his business and in turn effect the revenue of Chandigarh Administration, the Administration should guide the occupant to take preventive and corrective measures to strengthen the structure. The Administration should take measures to enhance the business in Chandigarh and ensure that there was no encroachment on public land, a statement issued by the Traders Association Sector 17-D said tonight.

In the past also the association had been critical on the issue saying that the basic problem was that the premises were occupied by tenants. Out of one unit, consisting either of two or three bay shops, smaller portions were created by landlords, which were/are not allowed as per the byelaws. The tenants, in these smaller portions, neither knew nor were responsible for this discrepancy for the past 25-35 years. 

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