Monday, April 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Thanksgiving at Anandgarh site
Nishikant Dwivedi

Jayanti Majari (Ropar), April 1
‘‘If the Punjab Government wants to build Anandgarh, it should built it out of the periphery of Chandigarh’’, said members of the Anandgarh Hatao Sanjhi Sangharsh Committee (AHSSC), which successfully fought against the Punjab Government’s move to build Anandgarh, a township in the north west of Chandigarh, both in the court and streets.

The AHSSC would be soon filing a caveat in the Supreme Court after the reported move of the Punjab Government to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the recent judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court had quashed the notification for the proposed township of Anandgarh. Filing a caveat means that if the government seeks a stay on and review of the HC verdict, the SC would have to hear the committee’s counsel before its decision.

Beating drums and bursting crackers thousands of villagers under the aegis of the AHSSC from the 29 villages which were to be acquired for the Anandgarh project today gathered at the 550-year-old Jyanti Devi Temple here to show their gratitude to the Goddess. The members of the committee believe that it was the blessing of the Goddess, which made them successful in their fight against the setting up of the proposed township.

The villagers marched in procession from the Mullanpur — Garbidas village to the temple. Over 100 tractors, cars and two wheelers were seen in the cavalcade. On way to the temple, they kept raising slogans of ‘‘Jai Mata Di’’.

The villagers were lead by Mr Karnail Singh, president and Mr Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of the committee. The otherwise deserted temple today wore a festive look.

The Committee members claimed that it was for the first time that people had sought the help of God to defeat the designs of a political leader. No body had prayed for the destruction of even those who were responsible for the Blue Star Operation in 1984’’, claimed Mr Mohinder Singh of Bharonjiya village. The Committee had earlier performed sahaj path in the 29 villages.

While speaking to this correspondent Mr Dhaliwal claimed that the government would lose the case even of if it moves the Supreme Court against the judgement. He advised the government not to move the Supreme Court and instead plan Anandgarh near Anandpur Sahib.

According to him the loopholes pointed out by the High Court in the project cannot be removed by the government. On the reports that the government was considering to plug the loopholes pointed out by the HC in the notification instead of moving the SC, Mr Dhaliwal retorted, ‘‘How can the government ignore the Periphery Control Act?’’.

Meanwhile, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Member Parliament and Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, in a joint statement today said the reported move of the government to file a SLP in the SC was unfortunate and not in the interest of Punjab. The announced that if the government moved the SC, the Congress would go with the people.


CBI to probe role of 4 cops
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A case pertaining to a complaint against four Chandigarh police officials — two DSP’s, an inspector and a sub-inspector — has been handed over the country’s premier investigation agency, the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI), following a decision of the Chandigarh Administration.

The Administration asked the CBI to look into the matter after the Central Vigilance Commission advised it to do so. Two days ago, the anti-corruption branch of the CBI asked the Chandigarh police to hand over files, papers and records of all investigations concerning a case lodged in the Industrial Area police station on February 23, 1996. The First Information Report (FIR) number 30 is lodged under Sections 457 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). This relates to stealing and taking away items by force.

According to sources, the Administration, in its communication to the CBI, has asked it to inquire into the role played by DPSs S.C. Sagar and Asa Nand, the then Station House Officer (SHO), Industrial Area, B.S. Negi, and Sub-Inspector Ram Singh, as alleged by Mr Jaswant Rai Jain, the complainant.

According to sources, Mr Jain had lodged a complaint, alleging that machinery from his Industrial Area Phase I unit had been stolen by a few persons. He also alleged that the same set of persons had forcibly taken possession of half of the plot. A few persons were also arrested in and one of arrested persons, Satpal Gandhi, died.

After this, surprisingly, the cops, while putting up the matter in court, sent it as untraced, saying that one of arrested persons had died. Mr Jain contested this and levelled allegations against the then DSP east sub-division , Mr S.C. Sagar. On Mr Jain’s frequent pleadings, the case was transferred to the vigilance cell and the case was again sent as untraced. Mr Jain levelled allegations against DSP Vigilance, Mr Asa Nand. He alleged that the death of the arrested person did not mean anything and the case could not have been sent as untraced.


The Tribune Vigil
Resident recarpets road
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 1
When enforcement agencies turn a blind eye to encroachments, violators make sure they make the “best use” of public land.

After encroaching upon road berms in front of plots — a common practice in the town — a resident of a house in Phase 3B-I here has gone to the extent of the encroaching on a 12 feet-wide road in front of his house. The road has been virtually “relaid” with coloured, engraved tiles.

And the local municipal council has not bothered to check the violation. Enquires reveal that no permission had been granted by the civic body to the resourceful owner of the house (no. 840) to tamper with the road on which a layer of premix had been laid recently. Not only this the level of the section of the road has been raised by at least few inches and the entire width of the road including the portion for road berms has been covered with the tiles.

Heaps of malba and vehicles owned by the house owner can found in front of the house which is located on the main road dividing Phase 3B-1 and Phase 7. On being asked about the violation, the President of the civic body, Mr Kulwant Singh said that he was not aware. However, action would be taken against the violator, he stressed. Sources in the civic body confide that the President and officials of the civic body have been repeatedly been told about the encroachment of little use. Mr Singh hastened to add that notices under the relevant provisions of the Municipal Council Act would be issued to the house owner.

An official of the council admitted that as expenditure incurred by the civic body in laying the road had been wasted action could be taken against the violator. He admitted that there were many instances where residents had uprooted mild steel railing for making thoroughfares.

The Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) in a letter written to the President of the civic body has expressed concern over the encroachments in the town. The President said efforts were underway to remove the encroachments, but added that if the SDM had learnt about any specific encroachment, the civic body would remove it at the earliest.


Three arrested in blind murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The police has solved the blind murder case, where an unidentified man was lying injured in a pathway between the Sector 17 Police Station and the Football Stadium on march 30. The man had died in the PGI hours afterbeing taken there by the police. The police has arrested three persons — Sunil Rai, Ram Lal and Sher Bahadur.

The investigation of the case was taken by Inspector A.S. Jaggi, SHO Police Station, Sector 17 and two other Sub Inspectors under the supervision of DSP S.S. Randhawa. The police was later able to identify the deceased as Dile Ram, resident of village Lahori Chak in Jammu, who used to ply a rickshaw in the city. The police had rounded up several people, mostly rickshaw pullers and casual labourers, in connection with this murder.

The police began to interrogate several suspects and it was revealed that on the evening of March 29, an altercation took place between the deceased and Sunil Rai who suspected that the former had stolen his money and clothes kept in his rickshaw. Sunil Rai, along with Ram Lal and Sher Bahadur, then apprehended the deceased near the Football Stadium and clobbered with stones and bricks. All the three have been arrested by the police and will be produced in the court tomorrow.


Increment issue: lecturers may move court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Chandigarh Administration seems to have put the demand of local government college lecturers for due advance increments in cold storage. After four months of having given a representation to the Director, Public Instructions (DPI), Colleges, these teachers are still waiting.

These lecturers have decided that if they are not given the benefit of advance increments for MPhil/PhD, they will approach the courts for filing a contempt petition against the Chandigarh Administration. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had, while regularising the services of these lecturers, held that “these lecturers are to be treated as having been regularly appointed as lecturers wef from the dates of their initial recruitment, with all consequential benefits.”

Early this year, a section of these lecturers had demanded grant of advance increments for having PhD degree. This had been laid down in the UGC regulations. Now these teachers claim that nothing seems to have been done in pursuance of this demand. While the college lecturers state that the Administration is dilly-dallying, the DPI (Colleges), Ms Madhvi Kataria, says the demand is genuine but complicated, thus taking time.

In a letter to the DPI, (Colleges), UT, dated September 5, 1994, these lecturers had stated that they had PhD degrees when they were selected to their present positions. But this initial demand for advance increments had been turned down by the Administration, the reason being that these teachers were ad hoc college lecturers, thus not entitled to these increments.

Following a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the appointment of these lecturers were regularised from the date of their initial appointment by the Administration in December last. After this decision, these lecturers reiterated their demand for these increments with the Administration in a letter to the DPI (Colleges) dated January 5, 2001, in which these lecturers clarified their position. In a reminder dated February 7, the lecturers repeated their case. The DPI’s office replied that the decision was pending a clarification from the Punjab Government.

These lecturers again made a representation to the DPI’s office on March 2, clarifying the position of the Punjab Government on the matter. The Punjab Government had accepted the terms and conditions prescribed for grant of new UGC pay scales and issued a notification to this effect. “The clarification from the Punjab Government has been received, but since the matter also involves the question of appointment of these lecturers, the whole case has been sent to the Government of India for advice,” says Ms Kataria.

“As far as the question of appointment is concerned, our letter dated February 7, 2001 to DPI also states that we have been appointed by a duly constituted selection committee through an open market, that is, through the various advertisements issued in leading newspapers. The other letter dated March 2, also clarifies the Government of India’s position on the matter. The Administration should not confuse our case with the case of those lecturers who have been regularised in spite of having been selected through an advertisement, impugned later on the basis of an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT). We went to see the DPI Colleges, but were not allowed to see her, says the lecturers. 


Crowds and chaos at Mansa Devi shrine
Tribune Reporters

Panchkua, April 1
An endless sea of devotees has been flowing to Mata Mansa Devi Shrine here to pay obeisance.

The crowds at the Navratra mela, here today, sent the mela managing committee spinning, as their numbers swelled.

Policemen at the police naka 1, stood between them and the goddess, their pleas falling on deaf ears. Though it was not the unprecedented rush, the arrangements seemed inadequate, with the shrine board admitting that it was not expecting such a crowd.

The first casualty, conveyed to devotees by a policeman, was the suspension of VIP passes. Nobody, was allowed to get through the naka.

“We were allowing some people with passes to go in. The crowds were getting unmanageable and there was no way a vehicle could have gone past without causing an accident. Besides, those with passes were directed to the route through Saketri village,’’ the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr SK Goyal, clarified.

The pick-and-choose policy found favour with the policemen on duty. The suggestion of taking the alternative route was reserved for those coming with red lights atop their cars.

Those who parked their vehicles at the parking area near naka 1 jostled and elbowed their way through the crowd. Paying obeisance seemed a distant dream for them as they stood for hours on end in queues. At the shrine, it was the same story of frayed nerves and rising tempers.

“Such scene could easily have been averted at the mela had we been a little selective in doling out passes. While their number far exceeded the manageable limit, the devotees had 50 people entering the venue on one pass. There was no check on that and we have our limits,’’ the Superintendent of Police, Dr CS Rao, said.

The langars by the shrine board were house full and had many awaiting their turn as well. Camaraderie prevailed as people from all walks of life sat for the community lunch.

Meanwhile, kanjaken were observed with traditional fervour by the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board on the premises. An official informed that in the morning, little girls were made to sit together at the temple complex. Their feet were washed with water and bhaint in food and cash was handed over to them.

KALKA: The Mahakali Mandir was flooded with thousands of devotees throughout the Navratas. Though the devotees visited it throughout the year, it assumed more importance during Navratas.

The sacred Pindi of the Devi is located here. The town is famous for this Mahakali Mandir. The name of this town is also derived from the name of the mandir. It was earlier known as Kalika, but later on it became Kalka.

According to a pauranic katha, Devi committed sati and Lord Shiva, took the body, wandering enraged. The body was dismembered by Lord Vishnu and wherever a part of the body fell it became a tirath sthal. The kesh of Sati had fallen where now the mandir was located.

According to the senior vice president of the Mandir Sudhar Committee, about 24 rooms had been constructed on the premises of the mandir for devotees. He said arrangement of police was necessary as beggars virtually gheraoed the devotees forcing them to pay something. Back



Enterprising women of Panchkula have joined hands with a view to providing quality housing. Headed by Ms Archana Sanghi, the all-woman managed cooperative group housing society, formed by the Group Housing Promoters and Builders Federation, has come as a part of the on-going international year of women empowerment.

“The main concern with women of today is housing. This is what prompted us to get together and make a cooperative housing society. We hope the society will fulfil the vision of quality housing,” Ms Sanghi said.

The brainchild of Ms Sanghi, it was essentially aimed at bringing women to the forefront in housing schemes which have long been dominated by men though it is the woman who has the final say in such matters.”This prompted me to discuss it with some of the members now associated with the scheme. It was seconded and finally approved. This will come to be a success story and shatter another male bastion,’’ she adds.

The society has several highly educated women managing the show and claim that there are 50 members who have already enrolled with them. The adviser to the society, Dr Rajni Lamba, is an anthropologist. She is committed to the promotion of small income housing while Ms Anita is an artist and Dr Seema Sood, an entomologist. Binding them together is the one dream of a woman — a house of her own.

Punjab hai bhai

Seen from the angle of cultural richness, last week was very significant for the City Beautiful. There was a galaxy of outstanding Indian artistes who regaled the city audience at Tagore Theatre during the 31st Bhaskar Rao Sangeet and Nritya Sammelan. So the city saw Pandit Ramnarain, Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Saroja Vaidyanathan, Ashok Chakraborty, Radha and Kaushalya Reddy perform on a common stage.

Where the concert was serious in that it featured the best Indian performers playing with ragas and rhythm, it also proceeded quite well on the lighter side. One can particularly recall some interesting remarks made by Pandit Bhatt who performed on March 25. While he was tuning his Mohan Veena, the sound, by default, increased so much that the mike almost conked off. The Pandit asked the people concerned to set the sound right, but when it took a little time, he could not hold himself and he remarked, “Punjab hai bhai.”

When the sound was rearranged and the performance started, the gathering greeted him with such a tremendous applause that he was overwhelmed. He then said, “You have always given me a lot of love. It’s amazing to see how you can encourage.” At this, someone from among the gathering retorted, “Punjab hai bhai.” The melody took off from there and kept flowing till night.

All for Rs 10 lakh

Film actress Sonali Bendre broke many hearts on account of her fly-by visit to Chandigarh on March 29. But there was so much chaos at the Sansui showroom where the actress was supposed to launch the premium sound system and home theatre system that she could not help getting nervous. After the glass door of the showroom was broken down by some crazy fans, the actress was heard remarking: “Bahut ho gaya. Please take me back”

While we were wondering as to why Sonali agreed to come for such a short time, someone from Sansui told us that she had also launched the products in Delhi the previous day. The final and the most vital reason of her arrival was known last of all — the beautiful actress was taking Rs 10 lakh back home for this short trip!

Lecture by cop

What does a police officer who has been banished from the City Beautiful to the wilderness in the jungles of far-East of the country do while in the last leg of his term ? Call a handful of the local community leaders and lecture them on the pretext of creating awareness against crime — in the presence of select mediapersons so as to ensure last-minute publicity before being lost in oblivion.

Recently, a certain police officer who is being sent on a promotion to a far-off eastern state, called a meeting of a fistful of self-styled leaders from the various colonies falling under his jurisdiction. Earlier, his office staff had made sure that the pressmen were informed and reached well in time for the meeting.

Interestingly, the “meetings” turned out to be no more than a lecture on prohibition, against drug abuse, and organised gambling. The audience, including the equally dazed pressmen, were highly amused at being lectured on crime sensitisation. The leaders were asked to play the role of true guides and not to take out their personal vendettas when they played the role of police informers.

What was more amazing was the open approval of the leaders being police informers and being reprimanded in taking out their enmities when it came to informing police of any clandestine happenings in their areas.

Special greetings

There is good news for all those forgetful persons, who often forget to greet their near and dear ones on important occasions. Dewsun, one of the largest gifts and greetings gallery in this part of the country, has come out with an innovative concept to remind its patrons of their “top 10” occasions.

A “Memory Club” having data base of important occasions of the patrons will be set up for the purpose which will remind them of the important days like birthdays of the spouse, marriage anniversaries, children’s birthdays and last but not the least, birthdays and marriage anniversaries of their bosses, informs Mr Diwakar Sahoonja, Dewsun Director.

Greeting cards and, if the patrons desire, bouquets and flowers, will be sent throughout India to greet the “special persons” as per the choice of the patrons. The facility will be extended to other countries soon, he adds.

Cruel deportation

With animal rights groups looking the other way, hapless animals are at the mercy of unscrupulous butchers in the City Beautiful.

Oblivious of any animal rights or humanitarian aspects, the animals are herded together and taken to slaughter houses in the most inhuman manner (see picture taken by Tribune lensman Karam Singh on the Dakshin Marg in Chandigarh ).

Tied mercilessly on a rehri, they can hardly shift their sides to even inches. It seems perhaps the butchers are unaware of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Anyway, what are the animal rights groups doing ? When will the authorities or the animal right groups wake up from their deep slumber?

Missing vendors

Though the ongoing work to widen the road between Sectors 36 and 42 is a welcome exercise, it has temporarily affected various vendors who used to squat on the roadside.

These vendors are mostly bartanwalis, who go from house to house in the neighbouring sectors, collecting old clothes in exchange for steel utensils. They then line up on the pavement of this road to sell these old clothes to the poor labourers living in the vicinity. Many times the children of these women sit here while their mothers go on their gehris.

But with the roadside being dug up, few of these bartanwalis can be spotted on this route these days as they are temporarily without a suitable site to sell the collected clothes.

For Blood Centre

Here is an example of what some young citizens of Chandigarh are doing for the welfare of the people. Having heard about the Rotary Blood Bank Society project of setting up a Blood Resource Centre in Chandigarh, the Rotaract Club went into prompt action. Members under the leadership of President Vivek Sood and Secretary Malini Sarin approached friends, relations and organisations to contribute towards the project. Also in their agenda was selling greeting cards as well as stickers to raise funds.

The club recently presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, as their contribution towards the blood centre.

Their other activities have been medical camps in labour colonies around Chandigarh; fund-collection charity parties; pulse polio campaigns; arranging special programmes for senior citizens; participation in organising Olympics for special children; and taking active part in blood donation camps etc.

Theirs is an example for other youth organisations to follow. They are the future of India — the future of mankind. Let us raise a salute to such humane young people.

— Sentinel


Neighbourhood Watch Scheme launched in
Sector 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Community policing has to take the centrestage in order to curb the growing crime rate in the city. This was stated by the UT Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, while inaugurating the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme which has been launched in association with the Citizens Welfare Association in Sector 19-D today morning.

The scheme in this sector would cover about 392 private houses and a population of around 3,215. Those residing in the Sector 19-D and members of the area’s Citizens Welfare Association would be the members of this scheme. Col T.S. Rohewal, President of the Citizens Welfare Association, would also be the President of the Executive Committee managing the scheme, and Mr R.S. Deol would be the Vice-President.

Mr Bassi said this scheme had proved to be very beneficial in Australia, from where the Delhi Police had adopted the model to suit the local needs. After the scheme was launched by the Delhi Police in the early 1990s, the Chandigarh Police decided to adopt this scheme in January this year. He also said there was need to evolve the “mohalla concept” in the city.

Mr Bassi also said incidents of theft, of vehilces had increased manifold in the past few months and this was taking a lot of efforts and time of the police. He said now after a theft was reported, the city police would inform the National Crime Record Bureau, and try to identify the stolen vehicle in any part of the country, but the case would be sent as untraced, if the vehicle could not be traced in a fortnight.

Earlier, he awarded CC1 Commendation Certificates and a cash prize of Rs 300 each to a beat in charge of the rank of an ASI, a Head Constable and two Constables of the city police for exemplary work in their beats. The police personnel who got these certificates were ASI Ajit Singh, Head Constable Sakkatar Singh, Constable Dalbir Singh and Constable Ranbir Singh. He also released a directory of the sector residents.


Traffic restrictions irk residents
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 1
Restriction on the entry of vehicles by the Mata Mansa Devi Board Pooja Sthal Board and the Panchkula police has become a cause of concern for the resident of Army flats, Swastik Vihar, Rail Vihar, Mansa Devi Complex in Sector 4 and surrounding areas since March 26.

Residents of these areas complain that restriction on the entry of vehicles in this area has put them in a great inconvenience. The police has asked them to park their vehicles in the parking lots of nearby markets.

They have to walk a long distance to reach their destinations now. The resident have criticised the decision of the authorities saying that the residents of these areas should have been given permits for the entry of their vehicles.

Mr Rajiv quatra, a local resident, alleged that they were not given prior information regarding restrictions on the entry of vehicles in this area. He said though a representation was given to the SP, but they were told to face inconvenience till the fair ends.

CHHAT BIR (Patiala): Meanwhile, the rush of devotees from the region’s rural areas visiting Mata Mansa Devi temple during the Navratra fair has added colour to the drab routine life of Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park here.

Hundreds of devotees, while returning to their destinations visit the zoo, and go around the enclosures to see the animals.

Long queues of visitors were witnessed at the ticket counter. Visitors were also seen resting, enjoying and merry making at the zoo.

The zoo has become a good stoppage for devotees from Bathinda, Kaithal, Ludhiana, Patiala, Rajpura and other urban and rural areas.

The visitors start thronging the zoo from early in the morning and the rush continues till late in the evening. The canteen contractors have pitched tents and made extra arrangements for the convenience of the visitors.

The zoo authorities said that adequate staff had been deployed to prevent teasing of animals by the visitors.Back


Water feature started at community centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Residents of Sectors 31, 47 and other adjoining sectors can now look forward to brighter summer evenings by the side of a colourful, aesthetically designed water feature in the lawns of the Sector 47 community centre cum janjghar. Built at a cost of Rs 1.65 lakh, from the Ward Development Fund of Area Councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi, it was formally thrown open to the public yesterday evening by her.

The water feature is unique in character — in terms of design and layout. Water falls from the high flower vase like structure. Tiles of different colours and shapes have been laid in the pool around. When the pool area is lit the water turns colourful. The water feature will be activated each evening from 7 pm to 8 pm.

The idea for this was conceived by Ms Ranjana almost four years back, when she was elected to represent the people of this ward. She said “It is a dream come true for me. The centre will become a hub of activity, for people will come and relax here after a hard day’s work,”

Dr M.N Nayyar, a member of the community centre executive committee, expressed gratitude to the councillor.

The Xen, Roads Division -2 said outside expertise has also been used besides the work done by the departmental staff of Public Health, Electrical and Construction wing. He further adds that the feature has been so designed that consumption of water is minimal for the small quantity of water in the pool will be recirculated. He disclosed that though an amount of Rs 3.40 lakh was sanctioned for the water feature, it has been completed at a cost of Rs 1.65 lakh.

Senior officials of the Corporation, including the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, who today took charge as Chief Engineer, UT; Mr Manmohanjit Singh who took charge as Chief Engineer, MC; SE ( B and R), Mr I.S Sokhey; Xen Mukesh Anand; Xen P.K Kashyap were present at the function.


New Castle gesture for the deaf
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Indian diaspora of New Castle Upon Tyne in the U.K. led by a city couple — Mr Ved P. Venayak and Bimla — have in a novel gesture towards persons with disabilities collected Rs 3.5 lakh for onward transmission to the Roorkee-based Welfare Centre for the Deaf.

The cheque was presented by Mr Ved P. Venayak to Prof S.C. Handa of the Roorkee Centre at a simple but impressive ceremony here today.

Mr Venayak, a hotelier and recipient of a rare award of Member of British Empire which was conferred upon him by the Queen of England for his praiseworthy social work, joined by his wife undertook a fund raising campaign in the United Kingdom to raise Rs 3.5 lakh for the deaf.

The money so collected would be used as a “corpus fund” and the interest generated will be utilised for the care of the deaf admitted to the Roorke Centre.

Prof S.C. Handa, who runs the Roorkee Centre, has been honoured by several institutions. In 1998 he was given the Government of India national award.

Mr Ved P. Venayak said the Welfare Centre for the Deaf shall keep the said charity under the name of the “New Castle Upon Tyne Residents Trust Fund”. The services rendered under the charity will include hearing tests using audiometer, parent counselling and guidance, treatment of ear problems and other hearing and speech problems, hearing aid prescription and distribution, undertaking programmes on prevention of deafness, monitoring of progressive deafness cases, scholarships for deaf children for their studies, psychological evaluation and vocational counselling and undertaking of various self dependency programmes.

Initially, the services will cover Dehradun, Haridwar, Saharanpur and Muzzafarnagar of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh where a door to door survey has already been carried out to identify the disabled population.


I could have done more: Puranjit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The four-year-long tenure of the MC Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, who yesterday proceeded to take over yet another challenging assignment as UT Chief Engineer, has been dotted with hectic activity — mainly developmental and marginally controversial. As the officer gears up to face fresh tasks, Chandigarh Tribune traces his achievements as MC’s first Chief Engineer, and also talks to him about the unaccomplished tasks.

“I would have tried to change the face of the city had the MC more resources to its disposal. But in view of the financial crunch, I could not undertake many developmental works. However, the MC has fared well on various accounts, notwithstanding its maiden term,’’ said the CE.

In a regretful tone he said, “I wish MC had resources to expand tertiary network and ensure complete utilisation of the recycled water for irrigational purpose in the city. In argument of this project, Mr Puranjit Singh said that it could help reduce the high cost otherwise incurred in drawing fresh water from Kajauli waterworks and sending the city’s sewerage water to the sewerage treatment plant at Diggian (SAS Nagar).

He added, “This will not only reduce the pressure on the treatment plant, which is currently recycling 10 MGD (million gallons per day), but also reduce the consumption of drinking water which in many cases is being misused for irrigational purposes.” The proposal, he said, was made and Administrative approval for the same was sought, but it could not be completed.

Mr Puranjit Singh also mentioned that the project of constructing pedestrian pathways on all V-3, V-4 and V-5 roads remains undone. However, these are ongoing projects and would shortly be completed.

Mr Puranjit Singh, who has an 11-year experience as Chief Engineer in the Chandigarh Housing Board and then the MC, added that his priority would be to strengthen and recarpet V-3, V-4 and V-5 roads in the city keeping in view the increased vehicular traffic. But instead, work on most V-6 roads ( 80 per cent) was undertaken because of the persistent demand from councillors. “This is the pressure under which any officer of an elected body works,” he said. Giving further information, he said, “Since work on only 25 per cent of V-3 roads was undertaken, the MC has transferred 10 such roads to the Administration for repair as a one-time measure. We are to transfer 15 others.”

Talking about MC’s plan to augment water supply to increase the water pressure during summers, Mr Puranjit Singh said that besides additional supply from Phase IV of Kajauli water works, 15 additional tubewells had been installed in the city and Mani Majra. “These tubewells will enhance the supply by three to four MGD. The city receives 64 MGD, while the demand in the summer months shoots up to 96 MGD,” he said. To check the misuse of water, the flat rates of water connections in rehabilitated colonies and EWS houses had been enhanced four times and those who do not pay had been asked to go in for metered connections.

About the non-functional streetlights, Mr Puranjit Singh said the problem arose due to staff shortage. “For 15, 500 streetlight points, there are just two overseers. For better management, we are planning an electronic system.”

As regards the problems of rain water drainage in various southern sectors, he said, “Presently, MC has just 70 persons to handle sewerage and rain water complaints. But to cope up with water logging complaints in monsoons, 100 additional employees are recruited on contract.”

Listing his main achievements, he mentioned that he had done a lot in the areas of horticulture, buildings, roads and public health. These include development of Shantikunj, and Fragrance Garden in Sector 16 and 36, respectively. Development of green belts in Sectors 15, 20, 21, 28, 35, 38, 42, 44, 46, besides numerous parks. Six new community centres in Sectors 8, 15, 18, 19, 44, Thakurdwara and janj ghar, Sector 47 had been made functional and seven more in Kajehri, palsora, Maloya, mauli jagran and Sector 41 are ready for inauguration. The proposal of passing over the management of these centres to public for effective functioning had also been passed by the F and CC.

The four-way causeway linking Industrial Area, Phase-I with railway road; box culvert bridge to connect Chandigarh with SAS Nagar and a concrete cycle track running between Sectors 11, 15, 24, 34 and 41 was also completed during his tenure. Water receipts have increased from 8.5 crores in 1996-97 to Rs 22-23 crore in 2000-2001, while revision of water tariff would boost receipts from Rs 14 to Rs 28 crore. Sewerage connection fee has been introduced for the first time.Back


Manmohanjit is Corporation CE
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Municipal Corporation’s Superintending Engineer (Public Health), Manmohanjit Singh yesterday took charge of Chief Engineer, MC, from the outgoing CE, Mr Puranjit Singh who in turn took charge as the UT Chief Engineer.

After taking over Mr Manmohanjit Singh visited the stores of B and R, Public Health in Industrial Area, Phase-I for a routine inspection. He also visited the site where the road is being widened near the causeway in the Industrial Area and directed the officials to shift street light poles and road gullies causing obstruction in the repair work.

While visiting the new cremation ground in the Industrial Area, he asked the officials concerned to provide proper parking space and lighting arrangements in the area.

Meanwhile, he also inspected the ongoing work of modifying road gullies undertaken by the MC staff to ensure proper drainage of water in the rainy seasons.

Meanwhile, Mr Puranjit Singh also assumed charge as the Chief Engineer of the Chandigarh Administration, yesterday. He replaces Mr R.K. Jain, who retired yesterday. He will hold the current duty charge, which means that he will work as Chief Engineer but without official promotion till regular Chief Engineer is appointed at the meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee scheduled to be held on April 16.


Mehta takes over as GOC-in-C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta took over as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command at Shimla today. He takes over from Lt-Gen H.B. Kala who has retired. Prior to this assignment, he was Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Planning and Systems) at Army Headquarters.

According to a statement issued here today, General Mehta was commissioned into 63 Cavalry in December, 1962. He commanded an independent armoured squadron in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, where he was mentioned in despatches for gallantry, and after commanding his own regiment, commanded an armoured division and a corps in the western sector.

Besides instructional appointments at the College of Combat, Mhow, Intelligence School, Pune, the School of Artillery and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, he has also served as Additional Director-General, Military Operations, at Army HQ. He is a member of the taskforce on the reorganisation of defence management and information technology.

The officer also completed the nuclear, biological and chemical defence course at Timoshenko Academy in Moscow and at the United States Army War College in 1990-91.

Meanwhile, Lt-Gen J.B.S Yadava took over as General Officer Commanding of 16 Corps at Nagrota. Prior to this, he was Major General, General Staff, at Headquarters, Western Command, Chandimandir. Commissioned into 11 Gorkha Rifles in August, 1964, he participated in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. He was decorated with the Vir Chakra for displaying outstanding leadership and valour in the Battle of Bogra, where he was wounded. Besides commanding an infantry brigade in Punjab during militancy and a mountain division in Jammu and Kashmir, General Yadava has also served as military attache to Malaysia and Brunei.


IYC flays police lathi charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Mr Anil Bhardwaj, general secretary of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), has condemned the police lathicharge on Congress activists during a demonstration held here on March 28.

Mr Bhardwaj, who is here to meet the IYC chief, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, who received minor injuries in the lathi charge, demanded an independent inquiry into the lathi charge so that guilty could be punished.

Demanding the resignation of the NDA Government in the wake of the expose, Mr Bhardwaj alleged that the NDA allies were trying to misguide the people by terming the expose as a conspiracy hatched by the Congress to tarnish the image of the NDA constituents.


Gaudiya Math rath yatra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Hundreds of devotees took part in a rath yatra organised by the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Sector 20-B, here today.

The rath yatra, which was organised as part of the six-day spiritual assembly being held at the Gaudiya Math, started from the Math in Sector 20. It passed through various Sectors, including 20,19,27 and 30 before culminating at the Math.

The delegates, who have arrived from India and abroad, took part in the procession, which was led by Shrila Bhakti Ballabh Tirth Goswami Maharaj, President of the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math.

The annual religious function of the Math, which will conclude tomorrow, includes sankirtan and discourses on different spiritual topics.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob(Retd), today called upon the people to follow the path of truth and righteousness as shown by Lord Rama.

Felicitating the people on the eve of Ram Navami, the Governor said the ideals of love, brotherhood and sacrifice as propagated and practised by Lord Rama are more relevant in today’s society due to the declining social and moral values.


Sindhis welcome New Year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Until today, one hardly knew that the city housed a significant chunk of Sindhi population. The otherwise dormant community today came alive at house number 1580 in Sector 34.

The occasion was the New Year celebration of the Sindhi community, and the ambience was all spiritual. About 80 people gathered in the house of the president of the Sindhi Welfare Society, Mr M.L. Mulwani.

Unlike the New Year celebrations by other communities, this function was a little different in content and style. In place of cultural extravaganza, the gathered Sindhi families rendered religious songs and bhajans, to mark the auspicious day.

Informed Mr Mulwani, “The New Year actually coincides with the first Navratra which fell this year on March 26. But since most of the Sindhis in Chandigarh are working, we waited for a Sunday to celebrate the day.” The first Navratra is also observed as the birthday of their deity Jhoolelal. There were decorated idols of Lord Jhoolelal all over the venue. Ms Harjit Kaur, sang Sindhi bhajans on the occasion.

The arrangements were made by office-bearers of the association, including secretaries Mr H.D. Bhatia, Mr P.J. Asnani and Mr S.K. Bijlani. The satsang was followed by lunch.


NCC cadets call on Haryana Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A group of 25 NCC cadets and their officer-in-charge of the Jammu and Kashmir NCC Directorate called on the Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, here today.

Addressing the students of Classes VIII and X, the Governor said that they should work honestly for ensuring a bright future for their state. As youth, they should focus on their studies and emerge as ideal citizens.

The office-in-charge, Lieut Col M.N. Khan, informed that the main objective of this visit was to take these cadets to places of historical and tourist importance in the city and in Punjab.

He said that these students had come from the remote areas of Baramula tehsil on a sadhbhawna yatra to promote national integration.

The NCC cadets presented a group song and a Kashmiri song on the occasion. The Deputy Director General of the NCC Directorate, Chandigarh, Brig R.S. Kalha, Mr Sukhdev Singh and Mohammad Yunus Budoo, were also present on the occasion.


Five men in khaki loot villagers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Five persons disguised as policemen went to the residence of a worker in a gas agency in Khuda Lahora and looted the family of Rs 17,000 cash and the new clothes.

The persons wearing Khakhi had their faces masked. They barged into the house of Ram Balli near Preet Gas Agency, Khuda Lahora, at around 2.30 a.m. today. They reportedly told the victims that they had information that about the couple was in the possession of opium.

Ram Balli’s wife, Rajeshwari, objected to their search of the house and said that since they were wearing masks, they could not be policemen. Hearing this, one of the assailants hit the woman on her head with a bat and beat up her husband. They took away the cash and clothes lying packed in a suitcase. The police has registered a case under Section 395 of the IPC.

Boy's death
Irate residents of Dhanas village, where the 10-year-old Rajinder Singh Bablu had drowned in a 15-foot-deep ditch on the bed of Patiali Ki Rao Cho yesterday, held traffic for two hours to protest against his death, here today. Meanwhile, the SDM central, has assured the residents that a detailed investigation into the death will be undertaken on Tuesday.

Brought dead
An unidentified male, aged about 35 years was brought dead to the PGI at around 9.45 pm, following an accident between two scooters near Mullanpur village. Two other persons who were also injured in this accident have also been admitted to the PGI. They are now stated to be out of danger.

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