Tuesday, April 17, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT denied power from Central pool
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The Union Territory of Chandigarh has been denied its promised share of power from the Central power pool. About 26 mega watts of power was scheduled to flow in from April 15 to meet the requirement of the summer.

In a meeting with the Union Power Ministry, last week, Chandigarh’s claims on unallocated power from the Central pool was turned down, a source said while adding that political pressure from other states may have played a role in this.

This will result in a power shortage in the city in the coming few weeks, senior engineers in the UT Administration confirmed. Already the demand has shot up to 27 lakh units on a day, while the UT, at present does not have more than 26 lakh units at its disposal to distribute in the city.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has said that 25 MW of power — meaning about 6.25 lakh units of power — from the eastern sector will be allocated for Chandigarh. However, this will not be possible immediately as it is not possible to evacuate power from the eastern grid. An under construction switching station near Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh will help in this.

This will be ready in the middle of May. The Northern states have been allocated a total of 300 mega watt out of which 25 MW is Chandigarh's share.

Without the additional power Chandigarh just cannot meet its demands. Originally the Central Government had agreed to allocate 5 per cent of power from its unallocated quota of about 900 mega watt. Two per cent of this started flowing in from February 1 while the other 3 per cent was to start from April 1. This was deferred till April 15.

In between several states also raised their demands and they have better political clout than a bureaucrat- administered Chandigarh, sources said.

Usually the UT drew more from the northern grid. This will be difficult now following guidelines from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission imposing a heavy penalty for overdrawal.


Music that stirred the soul
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Attired in virgin white this evening, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan symbolised the purity of raga, something which he has religiously done all his life. He was on no mission when he entered Tagore Theatre here, where the Pracheen Kala Kendra authorities felicitated him on being honoured with the Padma Vibhushan. But by the end of the show, the living legend had already accomplished a mission — that of spanning the distance between the discerning listeners in the hall on the one hand and the commoners on the other by speaking in the language of music.

He spoke with conviction of how the seven notes had firmly held the world, and also about music as the food for soul. As always, his stage presence was extremely imposing, and so was that of his sons and disciples Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash, who represent the seventh generation in the unbroken chain of musicians of the Senia Bangash gharana, which traces its root to Mian Tansen.

Music naturally runs in their souls, for they have not just learnt this music. They have literally been born into music. The grandsons of Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan and the sons of legendary Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan and Ayaan reflected the family trait and made their father feel proud of his teachings.

Commencing the recital with an evening raga — raag bihaag, the duo went on to impart a rare aesthetic experience to the audience, by exhibiting a creative imagination, consummate artistry and absolute control in handling the instrument, which has been modified by their ancestors. The sarod is the modern day modification of the Rabab, the Afghani folk instrument. Dressed in a stark magenta and red, respectively, Ayaan and Amaan looked stunning. In fact, their faces radiated as much divinity, as their fingers did.

Accompanying the artistes, who have recently been awarded the best budding artistes award by the Indian Prime Minister, were renowned accompanists, Akram Khan and Mithilesh Kumar, on the tabla. The city’s very own, Subhash Ghosh, who takes pride in being Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s disciple accompanied on the tanpura.

The versatile presentation by Amaan and Ayaan had the audience clapping throughout the show. And with each melody that the duo played, they lessened the distance between the listeners and themselves. This was truly on account of the divine spell that the music of sound creates. As Ustad Amjad Ali Khan had earlier admitted, “Hamara saaz to bezubaan hai. Par isme kashish gazab ki hai.”

The show thus turned out to be one of the best musical extravaganzas in the city over the past few years. Adding beauty to the recital was the tastefully decorated stage, which was adorned with replicas of the sarod and the tabla. The grand peacock made of flowers looked delightful.

Earlier, Mr Kamaleshwar Sinha, honorary vice president of the Kendra, in his introductory speech, spoke of his long association with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. And also about the richness of his celestial musical rendition. He noted the absence of the Municipal Corporation and UT Administration officials, in a function which had been organised on behalf of the city to felicitate one of the greatest masters of Indian classical music in our times. 

The man, the mood, the melodies
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Certain moments just fall into the lap, unexpectedly. A face to face with the living legend Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was one such moment, which not only stirred the mind, but also the soul....and this, even when the maestro was not in the company of his sarod. This divine experience was, however, followed by quite an effort to manage a communication with one of the greatest exponents of Indian classical music. The Ustad was first delayed by the Shatabadi and then by numerous fans, who flocked the Mansa Devi Complex residence of Subhash Ghosh, Amjad ji’s disciple from the city. The first thing that the Ustad did after arriving in Chandigarh was a sojourn at his disciple’s place.

The meeting happened only after the maestro settled at Hotel Mountview. It was there that communication flowed, with the Ustad speaking to The Tribune about his spiritual journey with the sarod, his endeavours to preserve the rich Indian classical music tradition by building Sarod Ghar (a museum out of his ancestral house) at Gwalior, his emphasis on the guru shishya parampara...and finally about the pillars in his life — his wife Subhalakshmi, who sacrificed her roaring career in Bharatanatyam for the family, and his two sons, Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash, who are his best soldiers in the battle to preserve Hindustaniat.

The conversation commenced from the term music itself, with the Ustad admitting that he still felt embarrassed to call music his profession. “Swara is Ishwar, and music, to me, is a form of devotion — something which cannot be bound by technique or restricted to text. You cannot evaluate music nor understand it. It is so ephemeral that you can do nothing but feel it. You need not know what raag I am playing to breathe the freshness of a composition,” emphasised the Ustad.

The statement only reflected his enviable music lineage. Ustad Amjad Ali hails from the distinguished family of musicians (Ustad Nanne Khan and Ustad Murad Ali Khan) who invented the Sarod, the modern-day modification of the old Afghan folk instrument, the Rabab. Her represents the sixth generation of the Senia Bangash gharana which traces its roots to Mian Tansen.

The creative genius of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan lies in that he has added new dimensions to the repertoire of sarod. Not only has he invented styles and techniques to breathe freshness into sarod, he has also given birth to enchanting melodies like Priyadarshini and Kamalashree. He created Hafiz Kaus in tribute to his guru Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan, Bapu Kaus in memory of Mahatma Gandhi and Amiri todi in memory of Ustad Amir Khan Sahib.

The humility of the man, coupled with his imposing stage presence and his subtle yet powerful rhythms, have always generated a rare aesthetic experience for his audiences. No wonder then that Prince Charles was caught benumbed when he played at the St. James Palace. He is also the first North Indian musician to have played at the samadhi of Thyagaraja. It is Ustad’s unique style of playing which endears him to audiences all over the world. Among the glittering venues where he has performed are Royal Albert Hall, The Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Centre and the House of Commons. The list of awards and titles conferred upon him is actually endless. He is a UNESCO awardee of 1970, the honorary citizen of Nashville, Tenesse, and Houston, the Padma Vibhushan, the Kala Ratna...and what not.Back


Waste dumps health hazards
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
With the dumping of hazardous industrial waste going on unabated in certain parts of the city, residents are facing a serious threat to their lives.

According to information gathered by The Tribune, industrial toxic waste is being dumped into an authorised "malba" dumping site on Dakshin Marg in Sector 29, posing serious threat to human lives. Preliminary tests at Panjab University confirmed that the industrial waste contained chromium besides having traces of mercury and arsenic—all toxic materials.

It is learnt that industrial waste from a leading industry in the Industrial Area here was "illegally" dumped into the dumping site by a Bapu Dham contractor. The industry had reportedly given the contract for removing the industrial waste from its premises to the contractor, who, in turn, was dumping it at the site.

It may be mentioned here that the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has earmarked authorised dumping sites in the city so that the sanitation could be maintained in the city. While "malba" was yet to be dumped at several of the sites, at the Sector 29 dumping site hazardous industrial waste was being dumped impunity.

Doctors said exposure to toxic waste could lead to several health-related problems like respiratory and neurological complications and skin infections. Besides, they could seep into the ground water, creating long-term health problems.

Meanwhile, Mr P J S Dadwal, Chandigarh Pollution Control Member Secretary, said that action as per rules would be taken against the those dumping the waste if it was proved that the toxic limit exceeded the prescribed limit.

The MCC Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, when contacted, said that no industrial waste or garbage could be dumped at the site. The civic body would take steps so that the dumping sites were not used for dumping industrial waste and garbage, he added.


IAS couple’s son named in rioting case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A son of a senior IAS couple from Punjab is allegedly involved in a case of rioting in the city. The incident occurred about 10 days ago and the Chandigarh Police arrested two of his accomplices today.

Those arrested have reportedly confessed to their crime and the involvement of the IAS couple’s son during their interrogation. Sunil Malik, alias Shalu, and Randeep Brar were arrested by a police party from the Sector 26 police station this morning for rioting at the residence of a Youth Congress leader in Sector 27 on the intervening night of April 6 and 7.

The duo, along with the son of the IAS officers and another person, reportedly went to the residence of Mr Ravinder Singh Pali and broke all panes of the house and held out threats to the leader. Subsequently, a case under Sections 427 and 506 of the IPC was registered. It may be noted that a minor altercation had also taken place between Shalu and the complainant a few days prior to the incident.

Confirming the confession of the arrested persons, a senior police officer said that they would be presenting the two alleged accused — Sunil Malik and Randeep Brar — in a court tomorrow.


SAARC delegates discuss eco issues
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 16
Various environment related problems which have plagued the SAARC countries came to the forefront during the inaugural session of the sub-regional workshop on “Incorporating Environmental Issues in Science Education” here today.

The five-day workshop aims at helping the science educators and curriculum developers from Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to imbibe an eco- friendly attitude in the students and generate awareness regarding the local environmental issues through classroom education at the upper primary and lower secondary school level.

Inaugurating the workshop, Lt. Gen (retd.) J.F.R. Jacob, Governor of Punjab, said with the growing awareness regarding environmental problems, consideration should be given to the types of educational programmes that can meet the requirements of the developing countries. "As the countries in the SAARC region not only share a common culture and history but also face common developmental and environmental problems, hence, they can learn from each other’s experiences and find common solutions,” he said.

In a message from Paris, Mr Orlando Hall Rose, Chief, section for Science and Technology Education, UNESCO, emphasised that a new educational approach must be directed to produce not only scientists, technologists and environmentalists but also generations of responsible citizens who match scientific, technological, social and ethical awareness.

Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Science, Technology and Environment, Government of Punjab, stressed upon improving sustainable development education in the region. He also emphasised a special training of decision makers to ensure adequate funding for capacity building programmes through education.

Welcoming the delegates, Executive Director, PSCST, Mr N.S. Tiwana said while science and technology education forms the basis of all developmental activities, environment education needs to be incorporated as its essential component to promote a sustainable society.

Presenting Bangladesh country report on “ Incorporation of Environmental issues in Science Education,” Dr Mohammad Ibrahim, Executive Director of Centre for Mass Education in Science(CMES) and Chairman of Physics Department, Dhaka University, said a poor country like Bangladesh needs to emphasise on bio-diversity projects. The rise in the sea level due to global warming has been a major threat for the entire nation, he said.

Mr Nandu Giri from the National Institute of Education, Bhutan, in his country report on “ Science Education with special reference to environmental issues” stressed the need of social forestry programme to maintain the rich forest cover of the nation.

A detailed report on Nepal’s “Existing issues and methodologies in science education in Nepal: some major environmental concerns” by Ms Sharada D. Mahajan, Associate Professor, Environment Education, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, emphasised the need of popularising the indigenous technologies to check the environmental hazards.

Ms Shivani Jain, Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, presented the key note address on “ Existing issues and methodologies in Science Education, with special reference to major environmental concerns and socio- cultural inputs: country report for India.”

The workshop which will be concluded on April 20 has been organised by Punjab State Council for Science and Technology in collaboration with UNESCO, Paris.Back


NAAC report by May
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will be submitting its gradation report regarding accreditation to Panjab University by the end of May this year. This was stated by the Chairman, NAAC, Dr A. Gnanam at a press conference held at PU here today.

Talking about the first impression which the team had of the University the Chairman said that the University seemed well laid out and impressive externally as far as the buildings were concerned. “Our aim at NAAC is to help institutions become better than what they are. Its a third party certification of what the institution claims itself to be.”

“The aim is not to brand them but to inform what state they are in. Or in other words to announce that these universities have reached a certain level where they can or cannot provide quality education. India has a comparative low percentage of students opting for higher education. In fact the universities and the colleges who have been graded less than the top five star gradation, have been asked to improve things in the next two years when another assessment could be done and the grades improved. There is no question of closing down existing institutions,” informed Dr Gnanam.

And what is the NAAC charging the University? “The fee is Rs 25000 for a single faculty college and and Rs 5000 per department in addition to this amount for the University. All the amount that the university spends on the visit of the NAAC team and the charges of accreditation will be reimbursed by the UGC as pat of its development grant.”

Will a good or high grade lead to additional grants for the University? “There is no provision as such but the Government of India did ask us to evolve a method which will neither pamper a good institution nor condemn a bad one. The NAAC has recommended to the Government, a non linear link between the finances which will be made available to the university and its gradation. According to this scheme the top grading institutions are to be financed well if there is availability of resources but the major chunk of resources should be directed towards the average ranking institutions so that they can improve their position. As far as the 2 star institutions are concerned, these will be funded from case to case basis while the single star institutions will watch and not allowed to diversify.”

What about the colleges? “The NAAC has already visited more than 170 colleges of the country. But we are not satisfied with the response of colleges to come forward for accreditation specially from this region of the country. What needs to be highlighted is the fact that 80 percent of all higher education is done in colleges and 56 percent of all post graduate students too are enrolled in colleges. Then 16 percent of active research is being done in colleges. It is thus of utmost significance that these colleges be assessed.”

How is the peer team which is visiting the University constituted? The team which is ultimately chosen to be at an institution keeping in mind its self study report. The members who have come here with us are seven of the 120 member panel of senior academician as assessors which NAAC has from various institutions of the country.”

Is there a general trend of surplus teachers in the universities the NAAC has accredited? “No in fact the condition seems to be fine as far as the vacant posts being full is concerned, in most of the universities in fact there is a problem of shortage of staff. What is important is the teacher student ratio and if that is favourable, the number of staff members does not matter.”

PU hopeful of accreditation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The eight-member team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) started its three-day visit to the Panjab University to consider its accreditation here today. The team includes Dr A. Gnanam, Chairman, NAAC, Prof K. Aludiapillai, Chairman of the team, Dr Latha Pillai, Prof P.S. Zacharias, Dr S.P. Singh, Dr Buddhadeb Chaudhuri, Prof D.L. Barnes and Prof Harish C. Narang.

After a presentation about the university and its achievements by the PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, the team got divided into two groups and started visiting the university departments. The team visited 14 departments today.

Besides visiting the departments, the team in its three-day stay at the university, will be interacting with students, ex-students, faculty members, alumni and the non-teaching staff. Tomorrow the team will be visiting the rest of the 32 departments of the university.

The team will be assessing the administrative, academic and financial attributes of the university on parameters which include curriculum; teaching-learning process; research, extension and consultancy; infrastructure and learning resources; organisation and management; financial resources and healthy practices. The team will also be verifying the various documents provided by the university in this regard.

The university has submitted its self- studied report to NAAC a month back and after having gone through it the team is here on its peer visit to assess the claims made in the report. The team will submit a draft report to the university when it leaves on Thursday, but the grade will be communicated later.

Panjab University is the 31st university in the country to have been visited by the NAAC team. All these universities have acquired NAAC’s accreditation in various grades. Ten of these have been able to score five stars which is the top grading NAAC can offer.

Meanwhile, the university has issued a press note stating that the NAAC team would be fully satisfied with the facilities and achievements of the university. “Panjab University is a premier institution of the country and is more than a hundred-year-old. It has four centres of advanced studies, besides about 40 departments and 106 affiliated colleges. The university has the rare distinction of having a super computer and a central instrumentation laboratory. It has 10 faculties under which several examinations are conducted and more than 5000 students can be accommodated in the university hostels.”

The press note further states that it is the only university in the country which has produced two nobel laureate, Dr Hargobind Khurana and Dr Abdus Salam, besides producing freedom fighters like Lala Lajpat Rai and Shaheed Bhagat Singh, two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of India, a Field Marshal and an Air Chief Marshal.Back



Who will open community centres?
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A tug of war between the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP in Municipal Corporation Chandigarh over the inauguration of six community centres, built out of the local MP fund has held up its formal inauguration for the past five to six months. The controversy over the inauguration has further deepened with the legal opinion on the issue coming in.

Sources reveal that the legal opinion clearly states that only the House has the power to alter the decision taken earlier in the Arts and Culture Committee of MC and not the Mayor. The centres, which still await inauguration are those in Sectors 41, 46, Maloya, Palsora, Mauli jagran and Indira colony.

It may be recalled that the issue has been simmering since the last one year, when the said Committee had at its meeting held on February 10, 2000 decided that the six community centres, which have been completed out of the local MP fund will be inaugurated by the MP. These centres were completed during the tenure of former mayor, Mrs Shanta Hit Abhilashi, and the money for their development was contributed by the then MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, out of his fund. And when the issue of inauguration by the Mayor came up, it was opposed on the ground that as per the decision the Mayor is not authorised to inaugurate the same.

However, when the Congress Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, assumed charge and the issue of the same being inaugurated by him came up, two BJP councillors, Mr Kahnya lal and Mrs Kamala Sharma once again opposed the same by writing to the Commissioner, Mr Singh that the same should be inaugurated by the local MP and not the Mayor. Even the erstwhile chairman, Mr R.L Arora in a letter asked the Commissioner as to how the same can be inaugurated by the Mayor in violation of the decision of the committee and on what basis an attempt is being made to alter the said decision.

Following these letters and with a view to resolve the issue, the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P Singh had sought a legal opinion so that the same could be thrown open to public for their activities. Now that the legal opinion states that only the House can change the decision taken earlier, it is by and large clear that if the matter is not brought before the House as an agenda item for discussion, no alteration can be made and the same will be inaugurated by the MP.

Sources reveal that even though they are lying complete in all respects since the past six to seven months, the delay in inauguration is mainly because the Mayor wants to throw them open to public, whereas the area councillors of BJP are opposed to the same and want the same to be inaugurated by former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain. While, two of these community centres are in area councillor, Mr Kanhaya lal Sharma's wards, the other two are in Mrs Kamala Sharma's wards.

Both the councillors have in their letters written to the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P Singh pointed out that since the community centres have been developed from either the MPLAD funds or the respective area councillors funds, they should either be inaugurated by the former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain who had sanctioned Rs 10 lakhs for the development of the same or by the Area councillor themselves.

BJP councillor, Mr Kanhya Lal when contacted said that they have been seeking a date from the Commissioner regarding the inauguration of these centres in public interest. He is of the firm view that in accordance with the decision taken by the erstwhile Arts and Culture committee under the chairmanship of Mr R.L Arora, the same should be inaugurated by the MP, who has contributed the sum from his own fund or the area councillor, who was instrumental in getting the money and even spending some amount from his own fund. The committee had also decided that the expenditure on the said inauguration should not exceed Rs 5000. Mr Kanhya Lal further said that if the MC authorities decide to get the same inaugurated by the Mayor, they will not only oppose the same but also get it inaugurated before that by the concerned MP. However, the Mayor is most welcome to grace the occasion.

Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, when contacted said that as per information made available to him, the mayor is authorised to formally inaugurate the same irrespective of from where the contributions for the same came. He further said that he has already discussed the issue with the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal who too has assured him that as per the regulations, the Mayor is authorised to inaugurate any project, which is on MC land and the work undertaken by the MC employees. On being asked if he plans to take up the said issue on the House, he said he had no such plans and will do so only in consultation with the Commissioner.Back


CO had suggested knee replacement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Giving a new twist to the trial of Major Maneesh Bhatnagar, the defence counsel today alleged that the Judge Advocate, Major Vipin Chakraborty, was acting under the influence of Brig A.V. Tashkar, Deputy Judge Advocate General, Northern Command. He added that the Brigadier was his reporting officer and also happened to belong to the same regiment as the former Commander, 102 Infantry Brigade, Brig P.C. Katoch, who, the defence contended, was actively involved in hatching a conspiracy against the accused.

The prosecution contended that while the levelling of allegations against the prosecution, the Judge Advocate or the court for not being impartial or fair was common practice, the court should consider the facts and circumstances put before it rather than imaginary and conjectural submissions.

Stating that the conduct of the Judge Advocate was apparent from the records, the defence contended that it was not a conjectural submission but based on transactions of the court, whereby the court had directed a witness to restrict himself to the question asked by the prosecution. Before the defence could finish its reply, a heated argument ensued between the defence counsel, Capt Rajneesh Bansal, and the Judge Advocate on whether the reply should be recorded or not. The defence contended that the Judge Advocate was unwilling to bring his answer on record as it would expose his conduct. The defence, thereafter, on the direction of the court, agreed to submit the remaining part of its reply in writing.

Meanwhile, in the other ongoing GCM of Major V.K. Madhan, the Commanding Officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles, Col M.B. Ravindranath, stated before the court that he had visited the military hospital at Leh while the accused was admitted there and had suggested to the accused that he should go in for a knee replacement.

Colonel Ravindranath, whose cross-examination began today, stated that he had met other hospital officers, including the Commandant, in the officers’ mess over lunch, but denied that he had pressurised them to discharge the accused from the hospital. He said he had visited Leh to discuss operational plans with Headquarters, 3 Infantry Division.

He stated that he did not recall having met any other doctor at the hospital, though he subsequently met Lt-Col S.C. Sharma, the battalion’s former medical officer. While stating that he did not recall Colonel Sharma accompanying him to meet the accused, the witness denied using his services to exert pressure on the hospital authorities.

The witness also admitted that there were some problems during the recording of his statement at the summary of evidence (SOE) and when questions were put to him by the accused. He said that he had made some notes for reference while deposing during the SOE, to which the accused had objected. He denied that the statements made by him during the SOE were from a prepared text.

The witness maintained that he did not remember if he had walked out while the SOE was being recorded and having said that he had not given any orders to the accused and thus could not depose on the issue of disobedience of lawful command. He added that he did not remember if this fact was recorded in the SOE and deleted later.

Colonel Ravindranath stated that on the asking of the officer recording the SOE, he had only mentioned abridged versions of the incidents while giving his statement. He added that during the court of inquiry (COI) he had been given a term of reference, which concerned alleged malingering by the accused at Sonamarg.

The witness maintained that he was not aware of the charges against the accused when he made his statements at the SOE and nor did he try to find out what the charges were.


Move to repatriate absentee cops
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 16
Large-scale absenteeism in a contingent of additional police force requisitioned from the border range for ensuring better policing in SAS Nagar and its surrounding areas has forced the Punjab police authorities to think about sending them back. Cops from the border range, including non-gazetted officers, were transferred to the town in phases during the past one year, but they seemed ‘reluctant’ to take up their new assignment.

At least 70 per cent of the cops from Amritsar, Majitha and Batala districts were ‘missing’ from duty. A disgruntled policeman from the border range said, ‘‘We were made to believe that we were being sent on temporary basis to SAS Nagar for some duty. We came to know the reality only when we reached here.’’ At least six non-gazetted officers, nine head constables and 57 constables were absent from duty as per the police records.

Though the additional force was to come from Tarn Taran, Batala, Majitha and Gurdaspur districts, force only from Amritsar, Majitha and Batala had been sent so far. Investigations revealed that the cops housed at the Phase 1 police station and the central police station in Phase 8 here were facing accommodation problem. They lamented that they had to go to Amritsar to draw their salaries, but were being refused leave.

Following the problem of absenteeism, the DIG ( Border Range) had asked the Ropar police authorities to provide a list of those ‘absent from duty’. The Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar, has requested the SSPs of the border districts concerned through the SSP, Ropar, to intimate them about the departmental action being taken against the erring policemen.

Now the state police authorities have reportedly decided to send these cops back to their respective border districts. To tide over the problem, around 40 commandos from the third and the fourth platoons have been sent to the town.

Anti-encroachment drive in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The anti-enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation today removed series of encroachments in various southern sectors of the city. As many as 113 challans were issued to shopkeepers in Sectors 22, 23, 32, 35, 37, 38, 39, 46 and 47 for encroaching upon public corridoors and the MC land.

According to information available, the staff came down heavily on the rehri, phari vendors, who were found selling their stuff outside the Sector 46 Apni mandi. Their goods were seized. In all other sectors, ice cream and sugarcane juice vendors, cigarette sellers and others were also challaned. The stands of florists and all other material lying in the verandahs was confiscated.

Three trucks, 20 odd labourers and few MC police personnel were used during the drive led by Inspector Enforcement, Mr Kashmira Singh.Back


Auction scrapped without notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A number of scrap buyers who had reached Chandimandir were in for a rude shock when the auction of scrap, gunny bags and other items was called off without any prior notice.

Speaking to TNS, several of the scrap buyers, who were from various parts of Punjab, said when they reached the ASC Supply Depot in the cantonment, they saw an unsigned notice at the depot gate stating that the auction had been cancelled.

A scrap buyer, Dharam Pal Chadha, said they had to pay an entrance fee of Rs 25 per head to enter the depot and on demanding an explanation regarding the cancellation they were told that the auction had been cancelled as one of the officers was not well.

Stating that the value of the scrap and other material to be auctioned was about Rs 15-20 lakh, they alleged that similar auctions in several other stations had also been cancelled at the last minute and without prior notice. They alleged that though auction notices are issued, auction is not carried out and the scrap is disposed off through other means.Back


Need to make environment people’s movement: minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Environment Management Systems should have an indigenous orientation to suit local needs and conditions . Environment needs to become a people's movement so that the measures taken in this regard can be effective, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh Finance Minister Punjab while delivering the inaugural address at a two-day workshop on International Environment Management Systems, here today.

The seminar focused on creating awareness among the industrialists regarding environment so that industrial pollution can be controlled. Pulp and paper, automotive and textile sectors will be specifically addressed to in the seminar.

Mr I S Paul, Chairman CII Chandigarh Council said ,‘‘as many as 10,000 companies in 72 countries are having ISO -14001 certification( for environment management systems) of which 320 are in India. This number is the highest in Japan followed by Germany and UK’’.

Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Punjab, emphasised on proper adherence to laws . "We take delight in framing laws but do not hesitate breaking them ", he said. The country needs to fight on a unified front in this regard, he added.

Mr A.K Mahajan, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board,said,‘‘ Industry and environment are not incompatible. There is a need to initiate programmes to sensitise all categories of industry, small medium , large as well as the unorganised sector’’. He said the industries need to conserve resources and develop self- monitoring systems.

Mr Ram Berry, Programme Manager USAID, said his agency, a bilateral agency of the US government was working with all sectors of industry as well as public and private organisations and NGOs in the field of environmental protection and energy efficiency .

Mr K.P Nyati, head of the CII Environment Management Division, said it was imperative to make environment systems mandatory though not ISO 14001 per se.

Mr Paul urged the state government to set up a centre of excellence in Biotechnology.Back


Weather a cause of concern for farmers
Our correspondent

Chandigarh, April 16
Continuous showers and winds are threatening farmers of peripheral areas. The crop has been flattened and water has accumulated in local grain markets.

Fearing damage, farmers in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru, Sohana, Banur, Landran, Mullanpur Garibdas, Seonk, Morni hills, Barwala and Raipur Rani have opted for manual harvesting. The crop has absorbed moisture, discolouring the grain.

The rains have delayed further harvesting by a week. Agriculture experts say if these weather conditions persist for over one week, it will damage the crops, resulting in less procurement.Back


NDA govt’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 16
The local unit of the Congress burnt an effigy of the NDA Government and organised a dharna outside the mini-secretariat in Sector 1 to demand the dismissal of the Vajpayee-led NDA Government, here today.

They submitted a memorandum to the Administration, for the President of India, pressing for dismissal of the Central and the state governments, the former for shielding officials involved in the Tehelka expose and the latter for supporting the Central government.

The memorandum was handed over to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr SK Goyal. Over 150 Congress workers accompanied the local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, to the secretariat and participated in the dharna, which lasted for nearly an hour.

The speakers, addressing the gathering, said the Central Government had let down the people of the country by accepting bribe and was shielding those involved to make matters worse. 

Cong wranglings to the fore again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The internal wranglings in the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) again came to the fore today, with six senior leaders of the Harmohan Dhawan group flaying Mr B.B. Bahl, CTCC chief, and Mr Pawan Bansal, MP, for their alleged statements regarding Mr Dhawan.

In a written statement, Mr Devinder Singh Babla, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy, Dr O.P. Verma and Mr Raj Kumar Rathore, all elected delegates of the CTCC, and Mr Sandeep Singh, a former CTCC secretary, alleged that the Dhawan group, which was instrumental in the victory of Mr Bansal, was being sidelined. The persons who always worked for the defeat of the Congress candidates were now in the forefront, they alleged. The Congress workers owing allegiance to the Pawan Bansal faction and the Venod Sharma faction had always been at loggerheads, they said, adding that they were now presenting a joint front for their personal gains.Back


Mystery shrouds death of man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A 40-year-old man died under mysterious circumstances while on way to the General Hospital, Sector 16 this morning. He had fainted at his residence early in the morning.

The police has, however, registered a case of inquest under Section 174 of the CrPC after a post-mortem was conducted at the General Hospital. Though the post-mortem report does not mention the cause of death, the doctors have sent the viscera of the body to Patiala for chemical examination. A few scratches and bruises were also found on the body of the deceased.

According to the information available, Anoop Singh was working as a Junior Assistant in the office of Rural Development, Punjab, and was staying with his wife and two sons in Sector 24. It is alleged that he was engaged in a dispute with his brothers and had gone to Pinjore yesterday in this regard.

According to reports he returned home late last evening and became unconscious in the morning after getting up.


Act not applicable to city’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal has termed amendments in the Delhi Rent Act regarding inheritance and protection from eviction for commercial tenants insufficient and inadequate.

According to a press note issued here today, since the position of commercial area in the city was entirely different from Delhi, having clearly demarcated limited commercial area, the Act could not be made applicable to the city in its present form. The press note appealed to the local MP and the UT Administrator to help formulate a balanced Act for the city.


Meeting postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) meeting of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh scheduled for April 18 has now been postponed to April 20. The order to this effect was passed by the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, in view of the visit of the Minister of Urban Development and Poverty Alievation, Mr Jagmohan, to the city on April 18.Back


Quake relief
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 16
Students, staff and management of five Khalsa schools of Ropar district, being run by the Ambala Board of Education, Chandigarh, has donated Rs 46,734 for the earthquake victims. Mr Ravi Inder Singh, MLA, Morinda, is the Chairman of the board which looks after the schools at Kharar, Kurali, Ropar and Chamkaur Sahib. A meeting of the heads of these schools was held at Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Kharar, and the demand drafts were handed over to Mr Harbans Singh Kandhola, general manager of the board. 

Showers continue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Light to moderate showers continued to lash the city and surrounding areas, resulting in a drop in daytime temperature as overcast conditions prevailed. Traffic came to a standstill late in the evening today at Panchkula as heavy downpour forced the residents to remain indoors. Commuters, caught unawares, could be seen rushing for shelter under the dense green trees and bus stops. The storm started at about 7.30 pm followed by heavy lashes of rainfall which continued for over an hour.

Meanwhile, the city recorded 1 mm of rain between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. The city has received 3 mm of rain since yesterday morning. The local meteorological office said the rain had occurred due to upper air cyclonic circulation over Haryana and adjoining north-eastern Rajasthan, adding that the sky would remain partly cloudy tomorrow.Back


Dainik Tribune Editor bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Mrs Kamal Kanta Bedi (66), mother-in-law of Mr Vijay Saihgal, Editor, Dainik Tribune, Chandigarh, died in Delhi early today. She leaves one son and three daughters, all married. Mr Saihgal is her eldest son-in-law. Mrs Bedi was cremated this afternoon. Her funeral was attended among others by relatives, friends and journalists.


Youth nabbed for duping residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A youth was today caught red-handed while duping the residents of Sector 37 on the pretext of collecting money for the UT Red Cross on fake tickets.

Pratap Singh, a resident of Sector 45, had allegedly duped several residents of the area by selling them fake tickets for a cataract camp being organised by the UT Red Cross Society. The case came to light when a resident of the area, Mr J.P. Yadav, saw a receipt of the donation made by his neighbour, Ms Suman Bhakhri and on sensing some fraud, called up the Red Cross office to confirm if they were collecting money for an eye camp.

The Red Cross authorities, however, refused that they were collecting donations. It was then that the residents under the guidance of Mr Yadav, began to look out for the accused and spotted him in a house a few yards away. They caught him and called the police. He was taken to the Sector 39 Police Station.

Goods worth thousands of rupees were stolen from the house of Mr Sanjay Dikoo in Sector 22-C, yesterday. Cash, gold jewellery, an audio video system and clothes were stolen by unknown miscreants who broke into the house between 10 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. A case under Sections 454, 380 of the IPC has been registered.

One injured
Mr Pradeep Sharma was hit by a car (PB-02X-5969) being driven by Kamaljit Singh near Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 38, yesterday. The car driver sped away from the spot after the accident. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.

Cash stolen
Cash worth Rs 6,000 was reportedly stolen from the Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Sector 40 yesterday afternoon. It is learnt that the theft took place when the temple had been closed during the afternoon.


3 held for theft
The local police has arrested a gang of thieves involved in several cases of theft of cars, scooters and bicycles. Three members of the gang were arrested by the police team led by the Station House Officer, SI Sukhwinder Singh and ASI Lakhwinder Singh near Chawla Chowk in Phase 7 here last evening.

At least two scooters, two cars and four bicycles have been recovered from them. Giving details, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, said the three Narian Dass, Varinder Singh and Balwant Singh were triple riding on a scooter when they were signalled to stop by the police party. The driver of the scooter failed to prove his ownership of the scooter which had actually been stolen from the town on Saturday.Back


Man duped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A Senior Superintendent in the office of the Lok Pal, Punjab, was duped abd deprived of Rs 30,000 by a few youths in Sector 17 this morning. At about 11:30 am the victim left his office to deposit the money in the State Bank of India branch in Sector 17. Some one threw liquid on his back. Startled Mr Singla kept the polythene bag containing the money on the carrier of a bicycle parked nearby. In the meantime, a youth, 20 to 22 years of age, accosted him and offered to clean his shirt. When the youth finished cleaning the shirt Mr Singla realised that the polythene bag containing the money had been stolen.


Session on acquring language skills at CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
A session on leveraging IT for acquiring language skills was organised at CII-IT Centre of Excellence here today. The session was attended by experts in the field from the USA and CII representatives.

‘‘India enjoys an advantage over China and other developing nations of the Asian region, as far as the large pool of English speaking workforce is concerned. However, the real time communication process between this workforce and their global customers is difficult and not very smooth’’, said Mr Ian Adam, CEO of DynEd international.

He explained the techniques of learning the language developed by the company. ‘‘Nearly 1 billion persons worldwide are learning English and English teaching is a $1 billion industry in the USA’’, he said.

Dr Jared Bernstein, Professor of linguistics at the Stanford University, spoke about the use of telephone- based tests for spoken English, which are emerging as a benchmark being used globally for entrance, placement as well as assessment tests by companies. 

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