Friday, April 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



112 vehicles carrying school kids challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Keeping in view the safety of school students, the traffic police today launched a special drive against school buses and other vehicles carrying schoolchildren, giving scant regard to the safety norms as specified by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The traffic police today issued 112 challans to vehicles carrying schoolchildren to and from the various schools in the city.

The traffic police personnel were stationed outside at least eight schools in the city, mostly in the southern and the eastern sectors in the morning as well as the afternoon.

While 85 school buses were issued challans for non-adherence to the court directions, 12 autorickshaw drivers, two Maruti vans and 13 other vehicles were also challaned.

These vehicles were challaned for either not having a proper road permit, poor condition of vehicles, drivers with HTV licences, driver and attendant in uniform, pollution-free vehicles and buses displaying signs of the school they are serving etc.

The police also issued challans for the vehicles carrying children beyond their seating capacity.

It may be noted that the buses cannot carry children more than their seating capacity, an autorickshaw cannot carry more than six children and a cycle rickshaw not more than four.

However, it is observed that all these vehicles are filled to more than double their capacity. The DSP Traffic, Mr V.P. Singh, when contacted said that parents of schoolchildren should also help in ensuring safety their children by not sending their children to schools in overcrowded vehicles.

He said that this drive was launched following observations that the school buses and other vehicles were not observing the directions of the High Court and the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

He said that this drive was an ongoing process and all such violators would be brought to book.

In fact the traffic police had distributed copies of the High Court order regarding the safety norms to be observed in the vehicles carrying schoolchildren to the principals of various city schools and heads of other educational institutions 10 days ago and requested them to ensure that these are followed.Back


2 youngsters killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Two youngsters today fell prey to the “killer buses” in different parts of the city. While a college girl was killed by a Punjab Roadways bus this morning, 22-year-old Home Guard volunteer was crushed by a private bus at Labour Chowk late last night.

Twentyone-year-old Kanika Gupta, a final-year student of bachelors of computer applications in S.D. College, Sector 32, was crushed to death by a Punjab Roadways bus ( PB-02S-9934) on the road dividing Sectors 42 and 43 at Mataur Chowk at around 11 a.m.

The deceased was riding pillion a Kinetic Honda (CH-O1K-9702), while her friend, Shelley Shah, was driving the scooter. The deceased was not wearing a helmet. The duo were reportedly going for a summer job when the accident took place. The bus collided with the Kinetic Honda at the roundabout and Kanika was killed on the spot. Shelley sustained minor cuts and abrasions and has been admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. Shelley is a resident of Hyderabad and is staying as a paying guest in Sector 37.

The police soon reached the spot and the bus driver, Didar Singh, was arrested under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC. The bus has been impounded.

Meanwhile, the Sector 43 residence of the deceased was the scene of grieving as friends and relatives began converging on the house. The deceased was the elder of the two daughters of Mr S.P. Gupta, a manager in Punjab National Bank. The mother of the deceased was too shocked to speak, but Mr Gupta told mediapersons that she was a bright student and had been selected for a degree in master in computer sciences at Symbiosis in Pune and was to join there next month.

In the other accident, a Home Guard volunteer, Bhupinder Singh, was crushed by a bus (CHW-7609) around 11 last night. It is learnt that the deceased was on duty at a PCR Gypsy at Labour Chowk and had left the Gypsy in order to have water. It was while he was crossing the road from the Sector 34 side towards the PCR Gypsy that he was hit by the bus.

The victim was immediately rushed to the PGI where he was declared brought dead. The police has arrested the driver of the bus, Tek Chand, and the bus has been impounded.

Lords of the road
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Two youngsters have died in road accidents in different parts of the city during less than 12 hours.

In both accidents, the vehicle involved in the mishap was a bus. This raises certain important questions. Why are more and more buses getting involved in fatal accidents? Is it because of the increasing traffic density on the roads of Chandigarh? Is it that the drivers are not properly trained? Or is it because the bus drivers are used to having their way on the roads of the city? And, if someone gets killed in the process, is it just too bad?

In the popular perception, the bus drivers act, wittingly or unwittingly, like lords of the road. They like to park in the middle of the road. They stop at will. They start at will. Frequently, they turn without giving an indicator. They prefer to halt at unauthorised stops on long routes where the wayside dhabawala serves them a free meal. If the passengers don’t like it, they can lump it.

Interestingly, when a bus violates a traffic rule, the policeman on duty generally turns a blind eye. Jano do is the unofficial password because the policeman will get nothing by way of gratification by threatening to challan a bus driver.

It is this kind of attitude which seems to be making a significant contribution to the rising death toll on the roads. When will we change our sab chalta hai attitude and start learning from our mistakes?Back


Student loses academic year due to PU callousness
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Blame it on inordinate delay or total administrative callousness, Panjab University’s failure to timely declare the re-evaluation result of a BA (I) girl student has cost her one complete academic year.

Trishna appeared for the BA (I) annual examination in 2000. The result showed her to have failed in two subjects. Due to the failure of the university to give the final re-evaluation results of the candidate before the commencement of the final examination this year, Trishna is once again appearing in all the subjects of the first year.

Results of the last years examination showed the candidate to have failed in two subjects — history and English. Re-evaluation results showed the girl to have passed in history. The result in English hung in balance.

Trishna remained hopeful for appearing in the supplementary examination in English. The result was awaited till forms for the current sessions were out. Indefinite about fate of the previous result, Trishna was forced to fill forms for the first year once again.

While the examinations for the current session are almost at the end, Trishna on April 19 received information that she got a compartment in English, where she could re-appear. However, the supplementary examination was scheduled for April 3.

Venod Singh, father of the girl, said:” Trishna spent endless hours in anxiety doing rounds of the university asking for her results. No response forced her to pick her old books once again.”

The delay has cost one complete academic session to Trishna, she also has paid double the financial amount as fee.

A senior fellow said the university examination branch had assured improvement in the result compilation this year. However, faults like the case in question were unjustified. The candidate’s sentiments are carelessly overlooked and work not streamlined to suit candidates in such cases.

“It is interesting to note that the original result shows the candidate to have failed in two subjects. The re-evaluation shows her to be clear pass in one. In the other she has a compartment, which changes the total nature of her result. Is the candidate at fault at any stage,” asks a senior research scholar.


Power cuts imposed on industry
Residential areas will also face cuts soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In what may be an indication of things to come in the power sector, the Chandigarh Administration today said that power supply will be switched off for 24 hours at a stretch in earmarked sections of the two Industrial Areas on a daily basis thus staggering the weekly offs for the industry. The cuts begin on May 1.

This has been done to prevent overdrawal from the Northern Power Grid. Sources said rotational power cuts — averaging 30 to 45 minutes in a block of six to seven sectors — will be imposed in residential areas also from the moment the drawal of power is more than allotted for Chandigarh from the grid.

The step to impose cuts on industry was decided today after Chandigarh, on Wednesday, withdrew 27.78 lakh units of power as against its allocation of 26.01 lakh units. Besides staggering of weekly off days of industrial feeders in the Industrial Area, Phase-I and II from May 1, the Electricity Department will strictly enforce implementation of evening peak load hours restrictions in respect of all industrial units in Industrial Area from 7 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. This means no industry will function between this period.

Commercial establishments and hotels have been asked to switch off ornamental lights, including neon signboard, to give due relief to the power system between the period 6 pm to 8.30 pm. Unwanted load and air conditioners or coolers may be switched off in the government and other offices during lunch hours and on closure of the offices, all lights be switched off promptly. Economy in central air conditioning plants may also be ensured, a spokesperson of the engineering wing said today.

Since the onset of summer, there has been a steep hike in the demand of electricity in Chandigarh, resulting in a overdrawl from the northern grid and also drawing of additional power from central generating stations. In order to maintain grid discipline, it has become necessary to curtail power consumption and show utmost restraint during the coming months, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, heavy penalties will be imposed on those industrial units found contravening peak load hours restrictions would be levied penalty as per schedule. If industrial consumer is found contravening the peak load hour restrictions, he may be given the option to pay the penalties, if he wants to avoid the disconnection of his premises.

In case the user wants to avoid penalties, he can get the connection disconnected for seven days on first default; for 15 days on second default; For one month on the third and subsequent default. Variable penalties for violations have been imposed. For medium-supply consumers, having sanctioned load of 50 kilo watt and above, if found running their units during peak load hours shall be charged at the rate of Rs 100 per kw of their sanctioned connected load.

In case of large supply (LS) consumers: Ist default is Rs 100/- per kw of actual load running at the time of violation; IInd default Rs 200/- per kw of actual load running at the time of violation; IIIrd and subsequent violation Rs 400/- per kw of actual load running at the time of violation.

The timing of evening peak load restrictions hours have been fixed permanently in order to help the industry to plan its working hours. The timings of evening peak load restriction hours shall be during January, November and December 6 p.m. to 9 p.m; February, March, September and October 6.30 p.m to 9.30 p.m. April to August 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

No power supply to Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
There has been no power supply in a section of the Industrial Area Phase II for the past 3 days. Production work has come to a standstill in about 20 small-scale units where coolers are fabricated and steel fabrication and iron work is carried out.

Though supply was restored this afternoon, people who run industrial units disclosed that a problem with power supply had been persisting in the past one month. On one occasion underground cables got ruptured, resulting in disruption in power supply while in another incident the transformer developed a snag.

Power supply has been erratic affecting production schedules. An erratic power supply means the schedules go haywire. Each time a complaint is lodged, the linemen come to repair the fault, but no concrete steps are taken to remove the fault permanently. There is no overdrawal of power by any of the units, claimed the affected persons, when asked if overdrawal was causing problems.Back

Schedule for power cuts
Day of the week   Name of 11 kv feeder Sub-station 
Monday Milk Plant 66 kv Phase I
Devindra 33 kv Phase I


66 kv BBMB


Indian Express

66 kv Phase I


66 kv Phase II


Fire Brigade

66 kv Phase I


66 kv Phase II


66 kv BBMB



33 kv Phase I


66 kv Phase II



66 kv Phase II


66 kv Phase II



66 kv Phase II

Kashmir Cold Store

66 kv BBMB


33 kv Phase I



66 kv Phase I


66 kv Phase II



Allotment of chambers flayed
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, April 26
The allotment of chambers and 50 slots in the district courts by the UT administration has come under criticism from various sections of lawyers. Seventyone advocates of the district courts had filed complaint challenging the UT administration for allotment of the chambers and slots, scheduled to be held on April 30 at the Estate Office.

However, many advocates felt that the UT Administration had allotted 108 chambers in 1986 but with the passage of time the number of legal practitioners enrolled with the District Bar Association had increased manifold while chambers had remained same. And expansion of the lawyers’ complex to solve the problem of accommodation was not possible as the foundation of the building could not take any further load.

Therefore, only new court complex building, in Sector 43, the proposal for which was accepted by the UT Advisor in 1999 would help solve the chambers problem and other existing problems of the lawyers.

The 70 lawyers had moved the complaint on the ground that the list prepared by the UT Deputy Commissioner did not have their name. They alleged that the list contain even had the name of dead person and advocates who were practising in the Panchkula and Kharar courts.

Another advocate had moved complaint on the ground that the co-allottee be of the choice of the main allottee and UT Deputy Commissioner could not direct him to include co-allottee of the list prepared by him. Meanwhile, a local court had issued a notice to the UT Administration for April 28 to file reply.

The president of the District Bar Association, Mr H.S. Hunadal, when contacted said that the UT Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, had informed the Bar Association that the problems of the chambers would be solved soon as the UT Administration is planning to build new building of court complex at Sector 43 soon. The new court complex will include court building, residential areas for judges, consumer courts and labour courts.

The Secretary of the Young Lawyers Association, Mr L.S. Lamba, said “the present accommodation available in the said court complex can hardly be sufficient to accommodate the present strength of advocates, so it is a constitutional obligation on part of the state to provide building and other facilities to the advocates”.

The UT Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr Prithi Chand, said that they had prepared a list on the basis of the consent received from the main allottee, and after the draw of lots on April 30, the allotment committee consisting of the District Sessions Judge, Officers of the Estate Office, and members of the bar association would check the list of the candidates who would be allotted chambers or slot.

Lawyers willing to pay for chambers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In an undertaking before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, counsel for 30 advocates with make-shift chambers in the Sector 17 District Courts complex today stated they were willing to pay the cost for constructing the chambers.

Arguing before Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice N.K. Sud, the counsel added that the respondents, by way of advance, were willing to deposit Rs 5 lakh within 15 days. After hearing counsel for the respondents, the judges directed: “Let the deposit be made on or before May 14”. The judges also fixed May 16 as the next date of hearing in the case.

In his petition before the High Court, advocate Jagdish Chander Sharma had earlier sought directions to the UT Estate Office for removing the plywood chambers in the lawyer’s chamber complex.

He had stated that the chambers, set up by the new members, were preventing sun light from penetrating, as a result of which there was complete darkness near the staircase. Back


A simulator that will increase ATGMs’ fire power
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
A local industrialist seems to have found a low cost, indigenous answer to help improve the low kill probability of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) in the Army’s inventory.

Mohinder Singh, a city based instrument technology professional, has designed and developed an electronic simulator to train Army personnel in targeting and firing ATGMs, without requiring expensive, live missiles to be launched. The simulator indicates how precisely a missile is targeted and guided by the firer.

While he has already conducted a demonstration at the parachute brigade in Agra, he has now been invited to the Infantry School, Mhow, as well as an Infantry Brigade in Dehradun for holding similar demonstrations.

The simulator is designed for the Soviet-era Faggot missile. Though the Army is tight-lipped about this, it is learnt that the kill probability of these ATGMs, at times, has been as low as 20 per cent. These missiles are wire guided and require that the firer keeps his sights locked manually on the target till the time of impact. Since the targets are generally moving at varying speeds and the time of the flight of the missile is extremely short, it requires a high degree of training and expertise to keep the sights focussed on the target. Instances have been observed during training when the missile has veered off-target just before impact because the soldier guiding it erred.

The simulator, which is attached with a missile launcher, indicates the total time of flight of the missile, the time which the missile remained locked on the target and impact with the target if any.

The simulator consists of a control panel, a target end, a laser designator, firing mechanism and other paraphernalia like a VCR, visual monitor and speakers. As many as 16 combinations of speed and range of the target can be set. A laser designator is mounted on the head of a missile and small knob in the target end simulates a target moving cross-country.

The firer is required to keep the laser bead locked on the knob, which is placed at a distance of a few meters. The time of flight and the duration during which the firer managed to keep the beam locked on the target are indicated in terms of seconds by the control panel. Complete sound effects simulating battlefield conditions launch of missiles and explosion on impact have been incorporated.

Mohinder Singh has claimed variation of just two millimeters in the distance travelled by the target in the designated time and a variation of 0.02 seconds in time recording. Apart from the missile launcher, the total system, weighs about 10 kgs and requires a normal 220 volts AC outlet. Developed at a cost of about Rs 70,000, it took a year to design and fabricate.


Body of youth found hanging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The highly decomposed body of a 35- year-old-youth was found hanging from a tree in the jungle on the backside of Gwala Colony near the railway light point, this morning.

The body was found as a matter of chance by Mr Dilbagh Singh, a resident of Sector 29, who works as a mason in Mani Majra. It was around 10 am while he was on his way to work that he decided to relieve himself. After parking his bicycle on the road side, he went to the wilderness near the railway light point.

Once he reached there, he saw a maggot infested body hanging from a tree. He saw that the deceased was wearing a yellow T-shirt and grey trousers. A pair of shoes was also found lying on one side of the tree. Dilbagh Singh immediately rushed back to the main road and informed the police personnel on duty .

Later, the police arrived on the scene and after retrieving the body sent it to the General Hospital, Sector 16. The police is now trying to ascertain the identity of the deceased, even as they have registered a case of inquest under section 174 of the Cr. P. C.

It is learnt that the police is now trying to find out about any missing person in the various slums and other colonies around this wilderness in order to ascertain the identity of the deceased.Back


When facades belie tough interiors
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The existence of rocks only means that there are some streams flowing near by...

And truly so, at least when seen in context with the lives of the two Neerja Bhanot award winners for the year 2000 — the 35-year-old Ashamma, who hails from a remote Andhra Pradesh village, where to be a woman is to be full of sorrow, and Alice Garg, the fiercely brave woman, from Jaipur, who quit a life of comfort to gather some smiles for the so-called scavengers, dotting the many slum areas of Rajasthan.

Both women are unsurpassable in their own rights. While Ashamma, the poor, illiterate woman from Karni in Andhra Pradesh fought against the custom of joginis, after knowing herself what it meant to be one, Alice resigned from her job as a government teacher, only to one day bring to public notice infamous cases of atrocities against women — the Roop Kanwar sati case, the Bhanwari Devi gang rape case, the case of a teenaged girl being gang-raped in the J.C. Bose boys hostel of Rajasthan University, and the case of a Jain muni raping a minor — to mention a few.

Today all these cases, and many more, are pending before courts of law, and so is the battle which Alice is fighting on behalf of Bhanwari, Roop and many other sexually subjected women. But the faith of this 61-year-old woman remains undettered. This perhaps has something to do with the grooming which Alice, as a Parsi, got. “I grew up in charity. But what I am now doing is a moral responsibility,” she said.

“I have to go on, at least till the time these women secure justice, and till the time other women feel safe in a man’s world. And this means I must go on forever, because a woman can never feel safe in a man’s world,” confided Alice, while speaking to The Tribune on her arrival in the city today. Award or no award did not seem to matter much to her. The only thing which surfaced during the 25-minute conversation was the mettle of Alice, who in return for her services only got a slapping of nine criminal cases against her by the Rajasthan police and this, in a span of just 14 days.

Recalling the black days, Alice said; “I remember how wounded I was for Pragati Vyas, who was gang-raped by those eight boys, all having political connections. We were still coping up with this stress, that a minor was raped in Upasara by a Jain Muni, who later on died mysteriously after consuming acid. Thereafter, some nuisance mongers threw acid on the face of a school-going girl, Shivani. During those days we saw official apathy at its worst. We took out Mashaal jaloos, staged dharnas for 29 days on the Badi chopad square in Jaipur, demanded the arrest of politically-connected culprits, but without any use.”

The irony of the situation, however is that not even one of the cases mentioned above has yet been solved. “That’s how it is, but that does not keep us from acting,” says Alice, who owns a society called Balrashmi, which works for the betterment of children. With the motto of save children to save generation, Alice is pursuing many tasks single-handedly. She runs hostels for slum children, she initiates women into income generation, makes provisions of drinking water, health services and shelter for the poor, and a lot more. The man behind her is her husband, a physicist, who stood by her when she faced criminal charges as a brunt of her women rights activities.

That takes us from the fiercely independent woman Alice to an apparently shy one, Ashamma, who has difficulty understanding the language. Her interpreter, Nandini, helps us with the conversation. Ashamma’s story is truly heart rending. A victim of the jogini ritual, under which the girl child is married off to a village deity and can then be used by men of the village for sexual favours, Ashamma is now an ardent fighter against the same.

She cannot still forget the fateful day which saw her initiation into the jogini system. With swollen eyes, she recalls, “I was just seven and I cannot count how many times i died after that day. I was used and re-used by men from all strata. I was made to dance before the dead, and even during religious fairs. They said they will give me money, but I never wanted that money,” said the woman. Ashamma was after dignity and she finally secured it the day she ran away from a rotten system with her daughter, whom she wanted to save.

Later Ashamma became a member of Sangham, an outfit of Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha Society. Ashamma joined sangham, and went on to lead the outfit in 1997. The biggest accomplishment for her was that she could save another girl from being made a jogini. “For this we staged dharnas. The police was also against us, but finally the ritual was discontinued on account of mass opposition,” said Ashamma.

Alice and Ashamma will be honoured with the Neerja Bhanot awards comprising Rs 1.5 lakh, a trophy and a citation each. Their names were unanimously cleared by the jury comprising Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune, Mr Mac Sareen, Advocate-General, Haryana, and Mr Harold Carver, principal, St Stephen’s School, which met at Hotel Mountview on March 23.


Enforcement duties for new MC team
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Following the alleged exposure of corruption in the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Commissioner M.P. Singh has designated the enforcement duties to a newly constituted team of 12 other officials of the corporation, who will have challaning powers.

According to orders passed by the Commissioner, the enforcement team will now have three inspectors and nine sub-inspectors. The earlier team had one inspector and eight sub-inspectors but keeping in view the workload, the number has been increased. Those who have been designated as inspectors are Junior Engineer Mastan Singh (Public Health) and M JE Kali Ram ( Roads wing) and Senior Assistant, Mr Kuldip Singh.

The nine sub-inspectors are Mr Yog Pal, Mr Lalit Mohan, Mr Sham Bahadur, Mr Ranjit Singh, Mr Mangal Singh, Mr Jag Mohan, Mr Haransh Singh, Mr Balkar Singh and Mr Madan Lal. They were earlier working as supervisors of community centres, clerks and junior assistants in the corporation and will assume charge of their new duties with effect from tomorrow. This has been done to ensure that enforcement drives are carried out in routine and not held up due to staff shortage.

Meanwhile, the MC had declined to transfer the challaning powers to the Estate Office and the same will remain with the newly constituted team of officials. 


Roads motorists prefer to avoid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The substantial revenue contributions by the local industry to the exchequer notwithstanding roads in Phase I of Industrial Area continue to be in a bad shape.

Several of the roads, according to industrialists and other road users, have not been recarpeted for years together with the result that they have become accident-prone. The state of certain roads is so bad that they would have to be relaid to make them useful for the traffic.

Mr Satpaul Singh Matharu, an industrialist, complained that all internal roads in the MW area besides the roads in the “Kabari Market” are in a state of neglect. Besides, the road in front of Pasco Motors, the road connecting Campa Cola Factory to Pfizer India Limited, the road in front of Bhushan Industries and the one in front of police station have potholes at regular intervals exposing motorists to serious risk.

He said five years ago he used to take a particular area to reach his work place in the MW area. The second road he subsequently used also met the same fate, Mr Matharu said, wondering what would happen in the years to come.

Terming the roads as drivers’ nightmare, he alleged that in the absence of the streetlights several accidents have occurred as the drivers have not been able to negotiate the potholes. And a major accident was waiting to take place. Since a number of industrial workers use the roads at night, their problems were further compounded.

Apart from the roads, the open overflowing manholes were the other problems faced by the entrepreneurs. Mr Mohan, a factory worker, said the overflowing manhole near Factory No 656 flooded the whole area in the rainy season and the stench became unbearable.

The industrialists rued the fact that though Chandigarh was not an industrial city yet the authorities should mete out step-motherly treatment to Industrial Area. 


Endangered animals die in Chhat Bir
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, April 26
An endangered Manipuri deer found only in India, a rare panther, a Bhutanese peacock, and a tiger who was pronounced “brought dead,” have died in the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park here during the past five days because of various reasons.

Sources in the Wildlife Department said that three healthy tigers were gifted to the Delhi zoo in March this year. An official in the Chattbir Zoo said that on the night of April 22, officials of the Delhi zoo brought Guddu, a three-and-a-half year old male tiger, when he was “already dead.”

An official of the zoo claims that the Chhattbir Park could not be held responsible for the tiger’s death. He said that Guddu was taken to Ludhiana the next day for post-mortem. According to him the report said that Guddu had died because of pneumonia.

Sources have it that a grown-up female Manipuri deer (endangered) died on April 21 following a fight she had with other deer a few days back in which it was fatally injured.

It is learnt that a male panther, aged four, also died on April 23 following an ulcer it had developed after a gastroenteritis attack a few days back, a postmortem report from Ludhiana confirmed. The population of panthers has been reduced to 10.

Yet another rare female Bhutanese peacock succumbed to a head injury it had sustained by a possible attack by a rodent or some other animal. According to an employee of the park, the peacock had laid eggs before the attack. The care of the eggs it laid has already been taken by another female peacock, he added.


Peeth to plant 1 crore trees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In a bid to save environment, the Shree Manav Shanti Peeth, Faridabad, will plant 1 crore trees in the country, the Peeth Acharya, Swami Ved Swaroopananda Ji Saraswati, said here today.

Talking to reporters here in connection with the holding of “108 kaundiya shree mahamritunjay yagya” at the Prachin Shiv Mandir in Sector 21-C on April 29, Swamiji said the mantra had divine power to save the humanity from all kinds of disasters.

The “Isht Dev” of the mantra was Lord Shiva, the redeemer of man from all physical and mental torments, he added. Meanwhile, a specially-sculputed “shivling” will be installed by the Swami Ji at the “pooja sthal” on April 28. 


Passport pain gets worse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The inclusion of an additional clause in the long list of documents required for a passport is resulting in the harassment of passport-seekers in the city and elsewhere.

To avoid a police enquiry or to get a passport under the Tatkal Scheme, the Passport Office wants a verification letter. The letter may be issued by any of the government officers mentioned in the application form. Until recently, the officers used to issue a letter on their letterheads saying that they knew that the applicant had a good moral character and that he was not involved in a police case.

Now a new clause asks the officer issuing the letter to provide a photocopy of his or her identity card. Giving a photocopy of the I-card can create problems if it lands in unscrupulous hands.Back


Clash over location of liquor vend
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Bad blood over the relocation of a liquor vend in Sector 17 led to a clash between employees of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the “musclemen” of the liquor contractor, leaving four persons injured.

The liquor vend was auctioned to a woman contractor by the Administration last month. This was located in the Sector 17 market, but the contractor requested the Municipal Corporation to operate the vend from a tin shed in front of the RBI as a temporary arrangement.

Following this, the contractor began construction of the tin shed, but shopkeepers in the area objected to this and the construction work was stopped five days ago. Meanwhile, the MC Assistant Commissioner also turned down the request for relocation yesterday.

It was in the morning that the MC officials were told that the vend employees had been putting their goods in the tin shed. The MC officials led by Section Officer Ravinder Sharma visited the spot and a scuffle took place between the MC employees, labourers and the “musclemen” of the contractor. It is alleged that the SO was manhandled and issued threats by the vend employees.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the MC workers owing allegiance to the Road Workers Union will observe strike tomorrow.

Remove 2 Governors: Mahasabha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The president of the Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Mahasabha, Mr Mange Ram Sharma, has demanded the removal of the Governors of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for their alleged partisan attitude.

Criticising the two Governors for allegedly speaking in favour of a particular community, Mr Sharma, who was speaking at a function organised to celebrate the Parshuram Jayanti at Panchkula yesterday, said this was wrong on the part of the Governors because a Governor belonged to all communities and should treat these alike.

Mr Sharma, who used to be an adviser to a former Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Bhajan Lal, accused the Governors of “spreading the poison of casteism”, for which action should be taken against them. He said if the Governors did not resign on their own, they should be removed from office. He also demanded representation to Brahmins in the Haryana Cabinet.

He opposed the reservation in the electoral system of the country. Back


SAD workers to be honoured
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 26
The president of the Ropar district unit of the SAD, Mr Pritam Singh Sallomajra, said here that a series of party conferences would be held in Punjab where party workers who had undergone imprisonment would be honoured.

Mr Pritam Singh, who was addressing a press conference here, said the Ropar party conference would be held at Gurdwara Bhatha Sahib on May 29, which would be attended by the Chief Minister and party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the general secretary, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhundar, the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, the Union Cabinet Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, and others. “Parman patras” would be given to party workers who had gone to jail for the party cause.

Mr Pritam Singh said a meeting of the SAS Nagar circle unit had been called at Gurdwara Amb Sahib here on April 29 to make preparations for the Ropar conference.

He said that the current year was being observed as a “development year” for the SAD-BJP government. All pending development works such as those relating to roads, upgradation of schools, setting up of village dharamshalas and dispensaries and developing of focal points would be completed.

He said a lot of development work had already taken place in Ropar district, including the construction of five river bridges. The Anandpur Sahib area had also made great progress under schemes implemented under the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa.

Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, president of the local unit of the SAD, said he was a party representative under the Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojna for Ropar and had got loans under the scheme cleared in over 1400 cases during the past four years. The loan amount was earlier Rs 1 lakh per person but from last year it was increased to Rs 2 lakh.


Opening of DD relay centre
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 26
The local Doordarshan relay centre, which will be inaugurated on April 28, will have a host of colourful cultural activities, including a performance by the Wadali brothers and Dolly Guleria.

The centre with programme generating facility will be inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj, according to sources. The cultural programme will take place at PGI auditorium.

The cultural programme will also include a Kathak performance of Jaipur gharana by Kanchan, Shelja and Nisha.


ISO certification for CSIO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) has been awarded the ISO-9002 certification by the STQC Directorate, Ministry of Information Technology.

According to a press note, the three major areas of the CSIO — Indo-Swiss Training Centre, Standard Calibration and Central Mechanical Workshop — are covered under this certification. The CSIO is planning to have the ISO-9002 certification for the R&D and other divisions soon.

This certification will help the CSIO to enter global competition for newer areas in research, design and development of instruments and manpower at the international level, the press note added.


Killings condemned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Activists of the Chandigarh Nationalist Youth Congress today organised a rally near the Sectors 34, 35, 21 and 22 roundabout in protest against the killing of 15 BSF personnel by the Bangladesh Rifles. They raised slogans against the Central Government and the Bangladesh Government.

Tribune employee bereaved

Chandigarh, April 26
Mr Harjit Singh Walia, father of Mr Amar Walia, operator in Punjabi Tribune, died here today after a brief illness. He was 66. Mr Harjit Singh was also a former employee of The Tribune Trust. He retired as senior bromide paster in Punjabi Tribune in 1995. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. The funeral procession will start from their house no. 2199-A, Sector 66, Mohali at 11 am tomorrow to the Sector 25 crematorium.


Chain snatcher escapes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
A youth who tried to snatch a chain from a woman in the Modern Housing Complex today and was apprehended by local residents, later fled. However, the police has booked him under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC.

According to the information available, Savita Sharma was returning home when she was stalked by a youth in the building. The accused tried to snatch her chain, but with the woman showing resistance, he was unable to do so. He then tried to run away with her bag.

Meanwhile, the woman had raised the alarm and a few people followed the boy on a scooter and nabbed him. He promised to return the bag and begged that he be let off. However, he later managed to escape on his own.

Three burglaries: Gold ornaments worth thousands of rupees were stolen from the Sector 41 residence of Ms Meena Kapoor yesterday.

In another incident, cash and important documents were stolen from the Jeewan Jyoti Church, PGI, after the miscreants broke the window and entered the church.

In the third case, an attempt was made to commit a burglary in the SD Mandir, Sector 11, on the night of April 24.

Woman arrested: Shanti, a resident of Sector 22, was arrested by the police and 50 pouches of whisky were recovered from her. She has been booked under various Sections of the Excise Act.


Kidnapping: A 16-year-old girl of Samlakha village was allegedly kidnapped by a youth of the same village, Rajiv Kumar. The police has registered a case under Section 363 and 366 of the IPC on the complaint filed by the father of the girl, Mr Manmohan Singh.

Theft: Agya Singh, a resident of Bharatpur village, complained that barbed wire fencing around his field was stolen by Sukhwant Singh, Jagjit Singh and six other persons.Back


2 arrested in transfer racket
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
The local police today arrested two persons involved in the fake transfer racket which rocked Haryana recently.

According to sources, the police conducted raids at several places to nab the main accused, Dharam Pal Sharma. Those arrested today were Prem Singh and Kabij Singh. They had reportedly sought fake transfers from Mr Dharam Pal Sharma.

Meanwhile, Mr Ravi Sharma, counsel for Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, has reportedly resented the raid on of his residence by the police. He has reportedly written to the local Bar Council and the Punjab and Haryana Bar Association.

The local Bar Association has decided to suspend work against the police raid on Mr Ravi Sharma’s residence.

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