Wednesday, March 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Verka officials in tizzy over garbage near milk plant
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 20
A major health hazard has “virtually” come knocking at the door of local Verka plant, a major supplier of milk and milk products in the northern region. A sanitary landfill site of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council in Badmajra village adjacent to the milk plant has created severe unhygienic conditions which could lead to contamination of the diary products being manufactured there.

Officials of the milk plant say that though every effort was being made to check contamination of the diary products, operations of the plant were highly-sensitive to dust and unhygienic conditions being created by the landfill site.

Holding the civic body responsible for the hazard, officials of the milk plant have written letters to the Local Government Department, Punjab, to act before anything goes wrong. They lament that they have been “urging” the civic body to shift the landfill site ever since the dumping of garbage began there. Menace of flies, birds and insects was not the only worry, burning of biomedical and non-organic waste by rag-pickers was another health hazard.

Mr S.K. Sharma, managing director of the plant said the plant processed 1,42,000 litres of milk daily and was catering to the needs of consumers in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ponta Sahib, Shimla, Solan and other towns in the periphery. In Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar alone, the daily consumption of milk was over 1 lakh litres. He said the ISO 9002 certification demanded high standards of hygiene and steps like fly proofing were taken. But the nuisance due to the landfill site had created new problem for them. Fire incidents at the landfill site were reported on regular basis and every time the officials of the milk plant had to call the fire-tenders to control the blaze.

Confirming the fire incidents, officials at the local fire station say that a few weeks ago the fire had reached up to the boundary wall of the plant. .Mr Sharma said the issue had been debated in a meeting of the civic body and other departments concerned. The meeting was called by the Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM). The officials had promised to look into the matter as it was a violation of the Environment Protection Act 1986 and flouted the guidelines for monitoring solid waste ( Management and Handling ) Rules 1999 of the Punjab State Pollution Control Board.

The council officials on the other hand express their inability in shifting the site. They say the earlier site near the local cremation ground was shifted as a bridge on the new Balongi bye-pass was being constructed. The council has conveyed its version to the Director of the Local Government Department. 



Colleges circumventing practical exam rules
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The decision taken by the Panjab University Senate regarding the practical examinations conducted by various affiliated colleges states clearly that the teachers teaching a particular course will not be appointed examiners of that course and also that two internal examiners will invigilate during these practical examinations. The rule further states that in the absence of internal examiners an external examiner might be employed for the purpose.

Even though almost all colleges in the city have been following this rule since its implementation in 1997, in the absence of any established rules for teaching science subjects, this rule is being misused and flouted with impunity in several cases.

In one such case, the practical examination held at Government College for Girls, Sector 42, last year the teacher who had been teaching theory to BSc III year also ended up invigilating the class in the practical examinations, possibly working on the logic that the practicals of this class had been taken by some other teacher during the year. Thus following and flouting the said rule at the same time.

But is this possibility of different teachers involved in the teaching of theory and practicals to the same class academically sound? While principals of almost all colleges agree that theory and practicals in science courses should be taught by the same teacher, in many of the city colleges, this is not the case. In some cases, the time table is adjusted to accommodate teachers while in others the number of practical groups being more than that of the theory groups there is no way out but to divide these among different teachers.

And with the practical examinations of various science subjects in the colleges of the city, the issue of almost all students of these practical examinations performing rather well and securing marks much better than their corresponding performance in the December tests has also come to the fore.

Sources say that in the absence of established rules to teach science subjects or regarding the external examiner, college ultimately has a free hand in ensuring that “right” teachers end up as examiners for the “right” classes.

Whatever might be the formal moral stand of these colleges, for the students it remains a foregone conclusion that in the practical examinations the college will make sure that they secure high marks so as to improve the results at the University level lists.



Showers before heat wave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
People in the city and its surrounding areas got a respite from a prolonged dry spell after thunder showers lashed the city and the surrounding townships of Panchkula and SAS Nagar this evening. The showers were preceded by thunder and lightning forcing people on road to rush for cover.

The downpour started at around 3.30 p.m. and continued for over an hour. The roads wore a deserted look as the vehicular traffic was disrupted and people waited in bus-queue shelters or verandas outside shops for the downpour to stop. In SAS Nagar showers began at 4 p.m. and continued till 5 p.m.

The Meteorological Department had indicated a possibility of thundery developments and a significant fall in night temperature. However, not much change in the day temperature was expected. Rain or thunder showers were likely to occur in isolated places in Punjab and Haryana.



Land grab bid, tension in village
Shashi Pal Jain

Kharar, March 20
Tension prevails in Kailon village in Kharar block over the alleged attempt to take possession of panchayat land by an influential person. Some guhare belonging to Dalits in the village were set on fire last night and a fire brigade called in from SAS Nagar brought the fire under control at about 11 p.m.

A delegation of the gram panchayat, led by the sarpanch, Ms Gurmeet Kaur, met the DSP, Kharar, and BDPO, Kharar and apprised them of the situation. The Block Development and Panchayat Officer sent a letter to the SHO Kharar yesterday in this regard. An influential person had put into service four tractors in the land belonging to the gram panchayat. When the panchayat met that person and asked him not to do so, he threatened the gram panchayat. He wrote to the police that the person concerned should be stopped from taking possession of the land. 



HUDA plans FIR against allottees
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 20
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is considering registration of an FIR in addition to initiation of resumption proceedings against allottees for committing fraud following the submission of a report by the Chief Vigilance Officer, Mr Rakesh Kumar.

Sources in HUDA said that owners of SCF 141, Sector 17, Rekha Bhatia and others, according to official records, were issued a resumption notice under Section 17 of HUDA Act for non-payment of dues totalling to over Rs 5 lakh.

In 1992 the allottees owed the amount in question as balance payment to HUDA which was not deposited on time. Consequently, HUDA issued a resumption notice in the beginning of July, 1992, to them as per rules in the HUDA Act, which drew the attention of the allottees to the pending sum.

A few days later one of the allottees brought in a receipt declaring the amount, Rs 5.95 lakh, had been credited to HUDA’s account in Indian Bank. Subsequently, the resumption proceedings initiated against them were suspended.

However, the matter came to light when the Chief Vigilance Officer received a complaint of the fraud. An inquiry was marked to the CVO who looked into the details of the case.

“During checking of files relating to payment by the allottees, it was found that the said amount had been deposited by them on July 23, 1992. However, an inquiry from the bank revealed that the said amount had never been deposited at the bank. We have procured a written statement from them,’’ Mr Kumar said.

Under normal circumstances, the Accounts Department, HUDA, verifies any amount credited to its account after receiving the receipt. Though there is still no explanation on how the case escaped scrutiny at that level, sources at HUDA point out that some employees might also face action for non-performance of duty.

When contacted, the Chief Administrator, HUDA, Mr NC Wadhwa, confirmed that an inquiry had been conducted to verify the allegations which had been found to be true. Suitable action as per rules would be taken against the accused, he added.

However, it is learnt that action against the accused was unlikely since the allottees were not available at the address mentioned in HUDA records. 



Don’t misuse water, MC is watching
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
With a view to check the misuse of water and to ensure adequate water pressure, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has banned the use of morning water supply for irrigation purposes and for washing of cars and driveways with effect from March 25. The drive will be launched to nab the defaulters who use hosepipes to clean their vehicles and water lawns and pots so that water, which has relatively better pressure in the morning hours reaches the overhead tanks.

The Superintending Engineer (Public Health), Mr Manmohanjit Singh, said to begin with notices would be issued to the violators, but subsequently they would be challaned and fine up to Rs 500 can be imposed. He said that if a defaulter fined three times, his meter connection is liable to be disconnected.

The drive would be carried out under the supervision of the XEN ( Public Health) Division No 3, Mr B.M. Verma, with the help of SDOs and field staff concerned.

Highlighting the need to contain the misuse of water, Mr Manmohanjit Singh pointed out that city received 64 MGD (million gallons per days) even as its requirement in the peak summer months shoots up to 96 MGD. In fact complaints of water shortage and low water pressure have already started pouring in, mostly from the top storey residents in various sectors. The drive will help check the misuse of water by the ground floor residents and the same once stored in the water tanks will be put to use by the residents of top floors.

He further disclosed that to meet the shortfall of nearly 30 MGDs, the MC had installed 10 more tubewells in Chandigarh and five in Mani Majra, which would increase the water supply by 4-5 MGD.

He appealed to the residents to keep their taps closed as taps left open at night not only lead to wastage of water but would lead to inflated water bills.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, has sought an inquiry into increasing complaints with regard to water problems being pointed out by the media. He has asked the commissioner to look into a complaint of dirty water supply in Dadu Majra colony leading to spread of diseases and other water scarcity problems in certain sectors.



Few beery evenings this summer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The number of pubs in the city is expected to go down from the present number of 32.

The Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, who is also the Estate Officer, has clarified to city hoteliers and restaurant owners that no pub licences will be issued to persons whose sites do not conform to the new building byelaws approved by the Chandigarh Administration.

This means that this summer, the number of places where beer is served will be fewer. The price will also be hiked by at least Rs 3 per mug for both light and strong beer.

Under the new building byelaws, any restaurant or pub which is operating out of a building originally specified for general trade will have to get the building converted into one for restaurant sites by paying the fixed conversion charges. In each case, the conversion rates work out to be in several lakhs of rupees. The owners have to get their sites converted and the fee has to be deposited to save themselves from resumption or any other action.

However, the need to deposit the hefty fee urgently will not be priority of these site owners. If the tenant is running the site, the owner will not be interested in paying the conversion fee on short notice, point out sources. A pub licence fee is Rs 1.25 lakh per annum. Restaurant owners plead that the pub licences be given and the conversions can be carried out later. This has been disallowed by Mr Ramsekhar.

Several of the 21 exclusive pubs are running from buildings which are not restaurant sites. There are 11 more pubs which operate out of hotels. While the last category will not be affected, several of the exclusive pubs may face a problem in obtaining licences for the next financial year. 


Who will inaugurate community centres?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
A controversy has arisen regarding the inauguration of the community centres in Maloya, Palsora, Butrela and Nehru Colony, even as these await their formal inauguration.

Sources reveal that though these are lying complete for the past four to five months, the delay in inauguration is mainly because the Mayor wants to throw them open to the public, whereas the area councillors of the BJP are opposed to the same. Two of these community centres are in Mr Kanhaya Lal Sharma’s wards, the other two are in Ms Kamala Sharma’s wards.

Both councillors have recently, in letters written to the MC Commissioner, Mr MP Singh, pointed out that since the community centres have been developed from either the MPLAD funds or the respective area councillors funds, these should either be inaugurated by the former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, who has sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for the development of the same, or by the area councillor. The Commisioner has reportedly told them that there is no such provision and mere contribution of funds for any development work do not authorise a person to inaugurate the same. Mr Kanhya Lal said if the Mayor insisted on inaugurating the same, they would not only oppose it, but also get it inaugurated before that.

The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, when contacted, said as per rules, he was authorised to formally inaugurate the same. He further said he had discussed the issue with the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, who too assured him that as per regulations, the Mayor was authorised to inaugurate any project, which was on MC land, no matter from where the funds came.


Beant murder accused operated upon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Balwant Singh, the main accused in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh was operated upon for a spinal problem at the Government Medical College and Hospital here this morning.

The operation was performed by the Medical Superintendent of the hospital and the Head of the Orthopaedics Department, Dr Raj Bahadur. The surgery began around 8.30 am today and lasted for almost two hours. The condition of the patient is stated to be serious yet stable.

According to sources the issue of further stay of Balwant Singh in the hospital here for recovery would be finalised only tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the entire GMCH appeared to be under siege for the second day today, with policemen in uniform as well as plain clothes being stationed on all floors of the hospital. An officer of the rank of a DSP has been stationed in the hospital round the clock and a PCR vehicle has also been stationed here. Most of the policemen posted here have been provided with bullet-proof vests.

The police is taking all necessary precautions and other than two to three paramedics, six staff nurses, three safai karamcharis, and a ward attendant, no one else is allowed in the private ward where the accused is lodged.

Even yesterday, the accused was brought to the hospital under tight security. As many as 10 points of PCR vehicles had been made en route the hospital and he was brought in a convoy of five vehicles. A recovery van was also moving alongwith the convoy to pick up any unparked vehicles on the way.


Employees felicitate Mattewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Mr H.S. Mattewal, Advocate-General of Punjab, was today felicitated by the Employees Welfare Association, Office of Advocate-General, Punjab and Haryana High Court, on his elevation to the rank of Cabinet Minister.

The function, held in the main hall of the Bar Association of the high court, was attended among others by law officers, employees and advocates. In his speech, Mr Jagbir Singh Sabharwal, president of the association, praised the services rendered to the profession by Mr Mattewal and pointed out that there had been a spurt in the number of cases decided in favour of the government after assumption of office by him. A huge amount in sales tax, which had been under litigation for years, had now finally flowed into the state treasuries. A new three-storey building housing the offices of the Advocate-General and equipped with all the modern amenities had also come up. This was no mean achievement.

Mr K.C. Wadhawan, secretary of the association, said 60 per cent of the total cases pending in the high court were being defended by the AG’s office. The figure in the neighbouring Haryana was just 30 per cent.

Both Mr Sabharwal and Mr Wadhawan urged Mr Mattewal to press the government for the creation of more posts to provide relief to the overworked employees in his office.



Talk on West Asia peace process
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Torch-bearers of democracy, India and Israel faced problems of terrorism alike in their areas. They should cooperate in handling international terrorism which was a threat to international peace.

This was stated by Mr David Aphek, Ambassador of Israel, while talking on ‘Peace process in West Asia” at the ICSSR complex at Panjab University here today. Mr Aphek emphasised the long historical ties of Jews people to their sacred land of Israel. Peace in the region depended on recognition of Jewish claims to their homeland and building of mutual trust with Arab people in the region.

He referred to the threats to the existence of Jewish community from its neighbours which made the dialogue towards peace fraught with dilemmas and tensions. He said Israel was willing to accept statehood for Palestine, but not at the cost of Israeli security.

Earlier Prof S.S. Bhayana, honorary director of the ICSSR (North-Western Regional Centre), welcomed the guest. Prof T.R.Sharma, director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies , chaired the session. Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, coordinator of the Centre for the Study of Geopolitics, proposed the vote of thanks.



Two teenagers speed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Two 16-year-old school kids were killed when their Kinetic Honda rammed into a tractor-trolley while they were returning home after appearing in the last examination for Class IX in Stepping Stones School, Sector 38. While one of the children, Rahil, died on the spot, the other, Charandeep, died on way to hospital.

The deceased were not wearing helmets and received head injuries, which led to their death. They reportedly did not have any driving licence and Rahil had brought the scooter from home without the consent or information of his parents.

The accident occurred when the kids, riding the Kinetic Honda (CH-01T-5787), tried to overtake the tractor-trolley (HR-10B-3623) and rammed into it as the trolley turned to the right. Rahil was driving the scooter. The accident occurred on the Sector 38-A and Sector 38-D dividing road near Prajapati Bhawan at about 12 noon.

The duo were good friends for quite some time. “This morning, Rahil’s father, Mr Shiv Kumar, had forbidden him to take the scooter to school. But he took the scooter without the permission of his parents. On way to school, he also stopped by to pick up Charandeep and the duo went together to school. Today was the last examination (science) of the current session and the two friends had been making plans for the forthcoming holidays,” said the paternal uncle of Rahil, Mr Karam Pal..



Barrier construction disrupts traffic
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, March 20
Vehicular traffic on the Ambala-Kalka highway was disrupted today due to construction of a double-lifting barrier at the level crossing in Dhakauli village.

Traffic from Zirakpur and heading towards Panchkula was diverted towards the Bartana link road via Sector 19, Panchkula, and then to the highway near Sector 21.

Vehicles coming from Panchkula were diverted from near from Comfort Banquet Hall towards Dhakauli village to rejoin the highway at K. Area near Zirakpur Yadwindra Bridge.

The authorities said the railways had been constructing a concrete road divider on this site of about 25 yards to ease the traffic congestion following the repeated representation of the building and roads wing of the Punjab Public Works Department. Earlier, this point had become a major bottleneck in the smooth flow of vehicles on this busy road.

The Railways had also constructed a new duty hut for the gatemen after demolishing the old one. However, the road would be opened for the vehicles by the evening, an official claimed.


Punjab pensioners rally for better deal
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 20
On the call of the Punjab State Pensioners Mahasangh, hundreds of Punjab Government and semi government pensioners held a rally at Bridge Market, in Sector 17 here today.

The president of the mahasangh, Mr Prem Singh, said the rally had been held to protest against the non-implementation of the recommendations of the 4th Punjab Pay Commission, by the state government.

The recommendations include the grant of 5 and 10 per cent increase in old age pension to pensioners above the age of 65 and 75 years, grant of additional pension at the rate of 0.5 per cent every six months to the employees who have served for more than 33 years, merger of 97 per cent dearness relief as it stood on July 1993 in the basic pension, allotment of PUDA plots and built-up houses on priority

The rally of the pensioners was presided over by a presidium consisting of the president, Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, Mr Darshan Singh Kheri senior vice-president, Mr Prem Sagar Sharma (Sangrur), finance secretary Mr Jarnail Singh Dhillon, additional general secretary, Mr Shiv Pal Singh.


Power dept staff hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The Electricity Streetlight Employees and Workers Union of MC today held a gate meeting under the presidentship of Mr Prakash Chand in support of their demands. The union president, while addressing the employees said they would be forced to intensify their agitation if their demands were not accepted within the next 15 days. 



Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20Mrs Raj Rani (59), mother of Kamal Kumar, an inkman in The Tribune, died in a road accident today. Her funeral will take place at 12 noon tomorrow at Sector 25 cremation ground.



“Drug seized from accused not opium”
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, March 20
Even as a city resident who has been facing trial for the past three months after being arrested with one kilogram of opium, the sample of the drug recovered from him has been rejected as not being opium by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

Dharam Pal, alias Dharma, was arrested by Sub Inspector Jarnail Singh, posted in the crime branch, from Palsora colony. The arrest took place on December 20, 2000, and the police claimed to have recovered one kilogram of opium from him. Subsequently, an FIR was registered at the Sector 39 police station under different sections of the NDPS Act. This FIR was registered on the statement of DSP Crime, Mr S.C. Abrol.

The accused, whose wife, Krishna, is also allegedly involved in drug trafficking and is facing trial in Sonepat, is an alcoholic. He is learnt to be a history-sheeter and had earlier been arrested in a case in Sector 11 Police Station.

After his arrest in this case, he was first remanded in police custody and then in judicial remand. He has been lodged in the Burail jail since then.

Now, the CFSL has reportedly claimed that the sample submitted to them after being recovered from the accused was not opium. The chemical examination of the same found that the material did not have the prime constituent of opium, strichchni. This report was submitted to the city police recently.

Following the submission of this report, the police has not opposed the bail plea of the accused in the court. Meanwhile, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, while confirming that the drug sample was rejected, said the police had decided not to oppose the bail plea. “Meanwhile, we will be sending another sample of the drug seized from him to the CFSL for chemical examination,” he said.

Mr Jain also said in case the malafides of any police officer were to be established in this case, the accused would not be spared. He said he had also asked the DSP South to look into the matter and report back to him.

Poppy husk found
According to police sources Assistant Sub Inspector Krishan Kumar, posted at the police post of the Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector 17, reported that an unclaimed bag containing 34 kilogram of poppy husk was found near a counter at the terminus yesterday evening. A case under Section 15 of the NDPS Act has been registered

Theft reported
A Sector 39 resident complained against her two domestic helps of stealing Rs 14,000 and gold ornaments worth Rs 90,000. According to police sources, the domestic helps, Harmes Singh and Gurdip Singh, were brothers and were residing in Milkh village of Kharar subdivision. A case under Section 381 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Potatoes stolen
The local police arrested Manoj Kumar of Ariya district in Bihar for stealing potatoes from a farm field of Mr Subhas Chand of Dadu Majra Colony. In his complaint, Mr Subhas alleged that the accused and his three accomplices stole potatoes from his field yesterday night. According to him, he caught Manoj red-handed while the other three managed an escape. A case under Section 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Iron scrap stolen
Mr Viney Gandhi of Phase I, Industrial Area, complained that iron scrap worth Rs 1200 were stolen form his plot on Sunday night. A case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Car stolen
Mr Mastgar of Mani Majra reported that his Maruti car (PB - 30 - 6687) was stolen from his residence yesterday night. A case under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

A clarification
The story titled, “ Missing files case: two police officers likely to be reinstated” erroneously mentioned that an FIR under Sections 467 and 468 of the IPC had been registered against DSP S.C. Sagar. The error is regretted as the said officer has not been implicated in this case.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |