Saturday, May 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



UT’s Plan performance praised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Dr PD Shenoy, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, today reviewed the Plan and non-Plan performance of the Chandigarh Administration during a meeting with the Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, and other senior officers.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shenoy said the performance of the UT during the first four years of the Plan period was commendable, However, it was necessary to maintain momentum and ensure resource mobilisation. He quoted Dr Amartya Sen and said that the three-pronged goal of the Administration should be “suraksha, shiksha and swasthya”. He appreciated the increase in the literacy rate of Chandigarh but was of the view that its national rank should be higher.

Expressing concern at the low literacy rate for a modern city like Chandigarh, he said that the incidence of female foeticide, if any, should be checked firmly and help of the NGOs and medical practitioners should be taken in this regard.

He said the power distribution losses would have be controllled for increasing the efficiency of the power supply system. Though a large percentage of the expenditure of the administration had been on the urban development, yet the urban properties were not generating which could pay for urban taxes. He emphasised that an early view in the implementation of the property tax be taken by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

He said sanitation, drinking water, power and streetlighting and other facilities should also be provided in the slum areas.

Earlier, the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, in his presentation before Dr Shenoy gave a broad overview of the Plan and non-Plan expenditure during the current Plan. He said a surplus of the Rs 82 crore on the non-Plan side had been achieved by the administration during the 2000-2001. He said that an additional Plan allocation of Rs 27 crore was required by the Administration over and above the allocation of Rs 148 crore for the year 2001-2002.

This was primarily for special schemes of the Botanical Garden, power augmentation, desilting of the Sukhna Lake, the completion of the GMCH, Sector 32, augmentation of water supply and construction of fly over at the Transport Chowk. Meanwhile, Dr Shenoy unveiled the foundation stone of the 96 booths for the rehri workers in Sector 24-C. He also visited 132 booths for rehri workers under construction by the Chandigarh Housing Board in Sector 46-C.


Jerath case: notice of motion issued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
On a petition filed by Chandigarh’s former Chief Engineer K.K. Jerath seeking a release on bail in a first information report registered against him, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice of motion for May 29.

The accused had been seeking bail in a case registered by the Vigilance Department under the Prevention of Corruption Act. According to the first information report, the case pertained to the alleged misuse of official position in utilising the services of 15 workers of the Engineering Department at his official residence, besides using two official vehicles for personal work.

Seeking the release on bail, Jerath had earlier stated that he had been arrested by the police soon after being released on bail by the Apex Court in an FIR registered over a year ago.

Jerath’s counsel, it may be recalled, while opposing the prosecution’s plea for police remand, had stated that the Chief Engineer had surrendered to the jurisdiction of the Special Judge in the same case twice but was not taken into custody by the prosecution, which had claimed that his presence was not required.

He had also stated that an attempt was being made to prolong the detention of the accused. The case, he had stated, was registered while the accused had been in judicial custody, as the prosecution was expecting his release on bail in four other cases registered against him. The counsel had added that Jerath, as apprehended, was arrested after being released on bail with a view to harass him.


Varsities can run campuses abroad
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman, Dr Hari Gautam, has announced a national lecturership scheme for recruitment of science teachers in various universities of India. He also declared that Indian universities will now be allowed to run extension campuses within and outside the country. The universities have also been directed to update the curricula of all subjects, failing which they will be deprived of all grants from the UGC.

A plethora of announcements which are likely to determine the shape of higher education in the country in the near future were made by Dr Gautam as part of the lecture on higher education delivered at Panjab University here today.

The Chairman stated that the UGC had decided to rationalise the system of education being imparted by foreign universities in India and locate islands of excellence among Indian universities and nurture these. Five universities in India had been chosen as Universities of Excellence by the UGC and 20 more would be selected. These universities would be given special grants ranging from Rs 5 crore to Rs 50 crore for creating these islands of excellence.

The UGC had also decided to provide provisional status of deemed university to any institution getting into one of the emerging trends in education and give the complete status after five years.

It had also been decided that in the case of the UGC NET examination conducted all over the country there would be examination centres abroad so that students of Indian origin could appear in the examination. Within the next six months, all universities in the country would be networked.

Stating that the UGC observers’ presence during the Career Advancement Scheme selection process in universities had been widely welcomed. The observer was going to be present only as an overseer and would not be interfering in the selection process, Dr Gautam said. However, the final nod would be given by the UGC Chairman. Dr Gautam hinted at UGC observers being present during the open selection process, too.

Accreditation to the NAAC was mandatory for all universities of India by 2001. “In fact there is need for individual departments to be accredited, too, so that students clearly know which is the best institute for what in the country,” he said.

While the universities would be considered for performance-linked financial grants, the amount of the UGC awards had been increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. A new award of Rs 1 lakh had been instituted for teachers in Sanskrit in colleges and universities.

He also stated that all those universities which had started new degree courses at their own level should get these endorsed by the UGC at the earliest and not introduce any new degree courses without the UGC’s involvement.

Stating that all hitches in the inter-university mobility of teachers had been cleared, the UGC chairman said it had been decided to create 15 per cent additional seats in all subjects in all universities for foreign students. In case there were no takers for the seats, these would not be filled by other students.

The UGC had encouraged the establishment of yoga centres and study centres in name of leaders and visionaries of India and simple Sanskrit-speaking centres in colleges and universities. Among the new courses which the UGC had started was one in human rights and duties and another in human consciousness and yogic sciences.

As many as 100 professors would be selected every year from the universities and given the status of Professor of Excellence with a special pay package.

Dr Gautam declared that a National Centre of History of Science would be created which would study the subject in the Indian perspective. The UGC had also decided to create honorary positions of adjunct professor in various universities to bring in experts from industry, laboratories and institutes which were not universities and utilise their services in the university.


Gautam for fresh look at UGC role
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Involvement and sacrifice of self for the good of others is the hallmark of an achiever in any field. This was stated by the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Dr Hari Gautam, at Panjab University here today.

Delivering a lecture on challenges in the field of higher education in India, Dr Gautam stated that the state of education in India needed to be revised and recast in a mould that suited the future. “We at the UGC welcome any course which the university proposes to start in line with the emerging trends of education in the world,” he said.

Encouraging the universities to create their own funds and resources, Dr Gautam pointed out that the resources with the UGC were limited. The UGC would soon be presenting to the universities, models for generating finances in the university system.

“It is unfortunate that the UGC has been seen more of a funding agency than an agency that is to regulate and maintain standards of higher education in the country. We have decided to reverse the process. One will follow the other,” he said.

Lauding the achievement of Panjab University, Dr Gautam said that the university was close to achieving the centre-of-excellence status which has been awarded to the five universities of the country including JNU, Jadhavpur University, Pune University, Madras University and Hyderabad Central University.

A committee in each university would be constituted to determine and shortlist the kind of persons which the university would be sending abroad for international seminars. Dr S. K. Sharma, Director, PGI, presided over the lecture. Prof Ashok Sahni, DUI, proposed a vote of thanks. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak welcomed the guests.

Later talking to mediapersons, Dr Gautam said that the vocational courses had not yielded the expected results inspite of large amounts being spent on these courses. But a revamping of the vocational course system was in the pipeline, he said.

Meanwhile the Panjab University Teachers Association, the All India Federation of University Teachers Association and the Panjab University Librarians Association gave memoranda to the UGC Chairman listing their demands.

New hostel: Dr Gautam, later inaugurated the Savitri Bai Phulle Hall, a girls’ hostel exclusively for SC students, at university here. This will be Hostel Number 11 on the campus easing the pressure on residency quarters, particularly for the girl students.

Professor Pathak and Prof V.K. Bansal, Dean, Students Welfare, accompanied Dr Gautam to a simple function where nearly 50 fellows and members of the faculty, besides principals of various colleges, were present.


Mayor seeks additional grant for MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, today called upon on Dr P.D. Shenoy, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, at the UT Guest House during his visit to the city and sought additional grant in the MC budget for 2001-2002. He also desired that the cut imposed in the grant-in-aid of Rs 9.50 crore be restored by the Administration to enable the fund-starved MC to discharge its liabilities. He later claimed that Mr Shenoy had agreed to give additional grant of Rs 5 crore in the budgetary grant for 2001-2002, which would be sanctioned shortly.

In a memorandum submitted to him, Mr Goyal had pointed out that after the Municipal Corporation came into existence in 1996, some of the development works which were earlier being handled by the UT Administration were transferred to the MC, along with the staff, but with no additional resources. The corporation had been entrusted with the departments of horticulture, electricity, public health, buildings and roads, medical officer of health, fire and management of community centres and janj ghars.

The MC was mostly dependent on the grants-in-aid being given by the Administration, though efforts had been made to generate a part of the revenue from its resources. This was not sufficient for carrying on the development works, of the MC. Their other liabilities included payment of salaries to employees, electricity bills of water works, tubewells, streetlights, contingent payment and civic amenities towards the public.

The Mayor had further pointed out that the Administration was decreasing grant-in-aid. The MC had approved a budget of Rs 151.78 crore, and grant-in-aid of Rs 76.50 crore was demanded, but the Administration had sanctioned only Rs 67 crore.


Grave threat to city’s green cover
Tribune News Service

A tree in the green belt along Shanti Kunj in Sector 16 of Chandigarh stands witness to the alarming concentration of the ‘‘Mango Mealy Bug’’, a pest which is infecting thousands of trees in the city.
A tree in the green belt along Shanti Kunj in Sector 16 of Chandigarh stands witness to the alarming concentration of the ‘‘Mango Mealy Bug’’, a pest which is infecting thousands of trees in the city. 
— Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, May 4
For anyone even a little concerned about environmental health of the city, this one will come as a big shock. Thousands of trees all over the city are currently facing a grave threat on account of the tiny mango mealy bugs, which are infesting them on a mass scale. Though the bug has been spotted feeding on the city’s green cover for about three years now, this time the danger is more than imminent — not just because of the alarmingly-high population of the insect, but also because now it is not only infesting trees along the streets, but also those found in the homes. Experts suggest that if not contained, the rapidly increasing pests will cause irreparable damage to green cover by de-vitalising trees and causing fruit fall.

According to a survey carried out by The Tribune today, the whitish bug is not just infecting mango trees, but also feeding on silver oak, ficus, kachnar and amaltas. The main concentration is on silver oak. The shift of mealy bug to other trees is being attributed to the record increase in its numbers. The concentration of the insect this year is also reported to be more than that ever before.

The main areas of its concentration are the green stretch from Sector 22 to the Secretariat (running through the Shanti Kunj), the stretch opposite Government Museum, a clump of trees in the Rose Garden (opposite Sector 16 General Hospital), and the Janmarg. The pest is also making an increasing appearance in the residential areas of Sectors 16, 18 and 27.

Horticulture experts say the infestation is dangerous and needs to be contained at the earliest. An eminent horticulturist based in the city, Dr Satish Narula, informed that the spray of methyl parathion is most effective. “The mixture should contain one ml of methyl parathion to a litre of water. The powder of methyl parathion is also very effective, if sprinkled around the tree around November when the nymphs of mealy bugs are beginning to appear and crawl up the tree.”

Dr Narula’s prevention measure has been approved by experts of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. The PAU horticulture experts were expected to survey the city tomorrow, but they have now written back to Dr Narula saying that methyl parathion spray should be continued.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation workers are reported to have sprayed the Sector 18 residential area last week. This was on the request of the residents. The Executive Engineer, Horticulture Division No 2, UT, Mr Dilbag Singh, when contacted today, agreed that he had never seen such a large concentration of the pest earlier. “Some weeks back the concentration was even more. We got a call from House no 233 in Sector 16. We had to spray the tree twice to kill the bug,” he informed, adding that the Department would start spraying from tomorrow morning. The drive will start from the green belt running along Shanti Kunj and gradually cover the entire city.

Elaborating on the bug, Dr Narula said it is known to feed on over 60 species of plants. It can infect peach, guava, plum and roses. This is the time when the bugs are descending to lay eggs. That is why they are concentrated towards the base of the bark.

There is only one generation of the mealy bug. If the life cycle is broken they will largely diminish. Suggests Dr Narula, “To break the cycle, methyl parathion dust powder should be sprayed around the trees around November so that the nymphs are killed.” The nymphs should be stopped from crawling up the tree. Experts add that towards November end, a polythene band of one foot width should be tied around the main stem. The slippery band will not allow nymphs to crawl up.” Another way of prevention is mass campaign by people. The members of the Environmental Awareness Welfare Association in Sector 27 have protected trees in their area by spraying them regularly. Informed president Mr Mohinder Singh: “We began spraying in March and are continuing now. The bugs have been largely killed.”

The bug belongs to the bug group of insects. Its mating season falls during mid summers. The male dies after mating and the female goes back to the soil. She dies after laying eggs. The eggs remain in the soil for months together. Nymphs start coming out in December and can keep coming out till March. The egg laying takes place towards the base of the tree so that the nymphs can crawl up the trees. They go to softer portions of the tree and start sap sucking, thus devitalising the tree. The bug also ejects honey dew which invites a fungus called sooty mould. The mould blackens the leaves.


International honour for city lensman
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, May 4
Subhash Sapru, a city-based lensman, has bagged a certificate of excellence for his colour picture entitled ‘Hope’ at the 45th international exhibition of photography organised by the Photographic Society of Sri Lanka. The exhibition was held at the gallery of the Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Centre, Colombo, recently.

With this distinction, Subhash Sapru joins a few lensmen who have got such high commendation for their works. The awarded colour print titled ‘Hope’ reflects emotions of a child, who has been bolted in the house on a winter morning, but tries to look through a windowpane covered with mist. Sapru’s pictures have already got recognition in international exhibitions in the USA and have been awarded prizes in international exhibitions held in India.


Mushrooming of coaching centres

A large number of coaching centres, claiming to provide expert coaching for various competitive examinations, are flourishing in almost all cities throughout the country and Chandigarh is no exception. These centres in Chandigarh charge from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for a one-year course from students who are in plus 2 classes. Each batch has 50 to 80 students or more depending upon the reputation of the centre. A few renowned centres in the city conduct tests and interviews before admitting students. The students so admitted are the toppers or high scorers and a majority of them are likely to get into the desired courses. This practice indirectly helps these centres to make themselves popular, showing past results and publishing the names and photographs of students who got admission in courses after coaching in these centres. The average and needy students find no place in these centres.

The main reason for the mushrooming of coaching centres is the lack of commitment on the part of government teachers. Moreover, the pattern of the competitive examinations is totally different from that of the plus 2 examination. Also, different agencies conducting different examinations have different patterns. Even intelligent students have to opt for coaching classes.

The major fault lies with the syllabus-designing system. The syllabi prepared a decade ago are yet to be modified despite the fast changes in IT, science and technology. The syllabus designing teams should modify the syllabi according to the changing conditions.

Since private coaching is so costly, intelligent and deserving children of the middle and lower classes are deprived of these facilities. Gone are the days when hard-working and intelligent children irrespective of their family status got admission to professional courses. Now hardly a few of the thousands get admission. The government should take steps to rectify the situation.


Tree felling

This refers to ‘Trees felled to widen road’ (Tribune, April 29). It sometimes appears that the Press adopts an irrational attitude while decrying the felling of trees, even when the situation and circumstances warrant it. Given the present awareness about environment, no one would advocate felling of trees, unless it is absolutely necessary. This over-reaction of the Press to every instance of tree felling, without considering the situation is unhealthy. As a result of this, the authorities concerned get overawed and hesitate to use their judgement whether they should get rid of trees falling in the middle of busy roads or leave them there, exposing the road-users to nasty accidents. A large number of such examples are evident at many places in Chandigarh and Panchkula. I wonder how the planners expect four-wheeled vehicles, especially ambulances (which are always in a hurry), to enter or leave the hospital with trees standing in the middle of the entry and the exit. What needs to be done is that when it becomes necessary to chop a tree in public interest then for every tree felled, the authorities concerned must assure that at least five or even more trees are planted and nurtured elsewhere.


Wrong planning

Chandigarh might have been planned as a model city. But because it is not well-connected by rail, people do not find it easy to visit the City Beautiful for a holiday. People come to the city for different reasons as it houses the head offices of several Punjab and Haryana government departments. As soon as they arrive in the city, they start worrying about the return journey. They have to finish their work by 3 p.m. to be able to catch a bus for home.

The planners went wrong when they failed to select a site for the capital along the GT Road which runs through the hearts of Punjab and Haryana. The Government of Punjab seems to be repeating the same mistake in planning a new city.




Fires in city, surrounding areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
A jhuggi was gutted and property worth Rs 30,000 destroyed in a fire which broke out in the Mazdoor colony, in Kajehri village today afternoon. Though the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, yet the belongings of the dweller, Satwinder Thakur, including cash, beddings, clothes and cycles were completely destroyed.

Sources in the fire department disclose that three fire tenders, one each from sectors 38, 32 and the Sector 17 headquarters were rushed to the spot immediately, to check the spread of the fire and control the flames.

In another fire which broke out at 3.42 pm, four more jhuggis were gutted in the Shaheed Bhagat Singh colony on the road dividing Sectors 45 and 46, which further goes towards the Phase-IX cricket stadium. The cause of the fire and loss of property is still being ascertained, though household goods were reportedly destroyed. Four fire tenders from Ram Darbar, Industrial Area, sectors 32 and 17 were sent to extinguish the flames.

Property worth Rs 15,000 was reportedly destroyed, when a temporary structure to store husk caught fire in front of a house at Khuda Lahora in the wee hours of the morning today. The cause of the fire is not known. Two fire tenders from sectors 11 and 38 went out to put out the flames.

Besides these, a fire also broke out in the copse behind CII in Sector 31, but no loss of life and property has been reported. A minor fire was reported in the wheat fields in Saidpura village here today afternoon.

According to sources, the fire broke out over 10 acre of land between a chemical manufacturing industry and a yarn spinning unit here at about 2 p.m. According to sources the flames were noticed by the employees of the industries and fire tenders were called from Dera Bassi which took over four- three hours to put off the blaze. The exact loss caused by the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Meanwhile, wood stock lying in the Sector 10 Leisure Valley also caught fire in the evening. Sources say a fire tender from Sector 11 was able to control the same in about one-and-a-half hours. The cause of the fire is not known and the loss is also to be calculated.


Mixed reaction to voting method
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 4
There was a mixed reaction today from municipal councillors here to the Punjab Government’s announcement yesterday to change the procedure to elect the president and other office-bearers of civic bodies in the state.

While some councillors welcomed the step, others described it as unfair and harmful to the democratic system.

The Local Bodies Minister Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, had stated yesterday that the presidents, senior vice-presidents and the vice-presidents of the municipal committees would henceforth be elected by show of hands and not through secret ballot.

Mr N.K. Marwaha said the new procedure was undemocratic because the essence of democracy was the secret ballot. Horse trading would still continue under the new procedure. A councillor who took illegal gratification to vote in favour of someone, still had the voting right with him under the secret ballot system. Political pressure would now influence certain councillors at the time of voting. In Parliament many decisions were taken by show of hands but the option of secret ballot always existed, which was not the case under the new procedure for the civic bodies.

Mrs Manmohan Kaur rejected the new procedure and insisted the voting must be secret. Though the new system would have some check on councillors who took illegal financial advantage from more than one candidate for casting their vote, but open voting would only increase differences and lead to ill-will among councillors.

Mrs Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi said the government’s step was good as it would lead to a decrease in horse trading. Money was playing a big role and bad elements were coming to the fore. Deserving persons were being ignored. The system as a whole needed to be changed.

Mr Amrik Singh Mohali welcomed the announcement by the minister. He said the new procedure was foolproof and beneficial for democracy. It would do a lot of good to the image of the elected person. Often councillors claimed they backed a certain candidate but voted differently. Now all would know where they stood in terms of supports and no one would be kept in the dark.

Mr Kulwant Singh and Mrs Indu Sehgal, president and senior vice-president, respectively, of the Municipal Council, said the minister’s announcement was a positive step and would curb horse trading among councillors.


Officials act as the slip starts showing!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Never have officials acted so fast. Within minutes of realising that the Chandigarh Tribune was doing a story on the danger posed by the massive crater right in the middle of the slip lane near the Tribune roundabout, drums painted white were placed at the entrance preventing traffic from entering.

Interestingly, the officials had failed to take any action to “fill up the ditch” even though night riders had “fallen prey to it”. Today, an impressive bunch of workers from the Public Health Wing of the Municipal Corporation descended upon the road and started repair work. The entire patch was dug and was in the process of being relaid. It would be completed in the next 2-3 days, following which the road would be strengthened by the Administration.

It is pertinent to mention that the slip road had been recently carved out by the UT Administration on the Ambala highway near the Tribune roundabout and a layer of pre-mix was yet to be laid. According to information available, a slab put by the employees on the road had sunk in due to flow of heavy vehicular traffic on this road, which has poor cushioning and is in the process of being completed. Officials maintain that as soon as they got to know of the crater caused by some pipe leakage, they closed the same to traffic at night only.

The Chandigarh Tribune had, on Thursday, highlighted the perils of driving on the slip road. With the authorities turning a blind eye, cyclists and drivers had been falling prey to this four-feet deep and two-feet wide crater. In the absence of street lights, their vehicles would often slip in. 


Removal of coop’s office-bearers stayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The Secretary, Cooperation, Chandigarh Administration has stayed the removal of the office-bearers of Labour Bureau Employees Cooperative House Building Society Limited.

The Secretary, Cooperation, Mr M.P. Singh, in his stay order said, “After taking into consideration the submissions made by Mr Dharamvir Sharma, counsel for the applicants, and having perused the impugned order and provisions of the Act, I find that the appellants are likely to suffer irreparable loss, it the order of April 26 passed by the Joint Registrar of the Cooperative Societies (JRCS) is not stayed immediately.”

According to the operation of the impugned order, the order was stayed till further orders and the appeal admitted for regular hearing. Notice of appeal as well as the stay application be issued to the respondents for May 24, the order said.

The JRCS had removed four persons from the membership of the society on the charges of dual membership. — Mr S.K. Sharma, Mr O.P. Bhargava, Mr R.K. Chaturvedi and Ms Mohinderjit Kaur.


Police fails to nab Kakkar case accused 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The police party from the Sector 34 Police Station, that had been sent to Amritsar to look for the five remaining accused in the kidnapping of film personality, Mr P. Kakkar, on April 30, returned today empty-handed.

The police party had been sent to Khalshian village in Amritsar district on May 1. In spite of conducting various raids in and around the village, the police were unable to nab any of the accused.

However, police records in Khalshian Police Station revealed that the accused in the abduction, Roopinder Singh Rupi, had already got an FIR registered there against P. Kakkar on charges of duping them of Rs 8 lakh.

It may be recalled that Mr P. Kakkar was abducted by seven persons, including a Punjab Police Sub Inspector, in a dramatic manner from Sector 44. It was alleged that the victim had duped the accused of over Rs 6 lakh on the pretext of sending one of the accused abroad.

However, Mr Kakkar had maintained that he was not involved in the illegal immigration racket and it was his former associate, who had been running this racket.


Bandh by Panchkula chemists today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The chemists in Panchkula district will keep their shutters down tomorrow in response to a bandh call given by the All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists. The call has been endorsed by the Haryana State Chemists and Druggists Association.

Stating this here today, the general secretary of the District Chemists Association, Panchkula, Mr Sanjeev Goyal, said that the call had been given in support of the indefinite strike by the Bihar Chemists and Druggists Association in protest against the imposition of the total turnover tax (TOT) on it by the state government. Mr Goyal said the call had been given also to protest against the police repression of the Bihar chemists. 


Kids bring joy to Old Age Home inmates
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 4
Inmates of the Old Age Home in Sector 15 had an opportunity to enjoy a cultural show and interact with students of Aanchal Preparatory School, Sector 35 here today.

Talking about their experience with the enthusiastic children today, Ms Pushpa, one of the inmates, said the children’s visit today took her down the memory lane when she used to live with her grandchildren.

The children also distributed gifts among the inmates.


Property consultants’ body welcomes regularisation move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The Property Consultants Association, Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar, while welcoming the regularisation of the need-based changes in the Chandigarh Housing Board flats, has urged the authorities to implement them in a proper way.

Mr Tarlochan Singh Bittu, president of the association, said a majority of changes remained on paper at the implementation stage. Giving an instance, Mr Bittu said the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob, had announced amendments regarding completion certificates in the case of the property owned by the defence people a year ago but nothing had been done.

Urging the Chandigarh Administration to honour the assurance by the Administrator, Mr Bittu claimed that Chandigarh was the only city In India which was demanding unjustified amounts from the defence personnel for getting sale deeds affected regarding their property.


Divergent views on Indo-Bangla border episode

The recent clash between the Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles and the death of 16 Indian jawans have raised passions throughout the country. Many people feel that the Vajpayee government’s response to the outrage on the border has been rather feeble. India should have reacted in a much more forthright manner so as to leave no one in doubt that it cannot be slighted.

There are others who feel that the Vajpayee government has done well in its handling of the situation because of the special relationship India has with Bangladesh. Such incidents can at best be described as aberrations. We have approached a former Army General and a political scientist for their views, which are reproduced below.


It was painful to see the photographs of the body of a BSF soldier being carried tied on a pole slung like an animal. The capture, torture and killing of 16 BSF personnel by the BDR and Bangladeshi villagers were shameful.

Maj-Gen Rajendra Nath (retd)
Maj-Gen Rajendra Nath (retd)

Pyrdiwah is among the enclaves near the India-Bangladesh border which has been demarcated but remains to be handed over. The BSF patrol was surrounded by Bangladeshi villagers and BDR personnel, who surrendered without firing a shot.

We have some wrong notions about the attitude and feelings of the Bangladesh army, civil servants and police towards India. Before the 1971 war, the 62 Mountain Brigade was deployed between Karim Ganj and Calcutta. Officers saw a large number of refugees from East Pakistan, who had been thrown out by Bangladesh Razakars and local villagers. During the war, the Bangladeshi civilians cheered our advance.

But as soon as the war was over, their attitude towards us and India changed. I was pained to note the changed attitude of Bangladesh officers of Jessore and other districts, who used to level false charges against our Army personnel. They told me more than once that India should not send back Hindu refugees to Bangladesh.

The ISI still maintains many bases in Bangladesh, from where it supplies arms, ammunition and explosives to the terrorists operating in the North East.

At the same time, it objects to the barbed wire fence which India is erecting to stop Bangladeshis infiltrating into Indian territory.

According to some media reports, the DG of the BSF has stated that the restraint shown by the BSF personnel in this incident has been appreciated by the government. If true, it means that we, as a nation, are insensitive towards our soldiers. The effect it will have on the morale of the BSF personnel is what the authorities should consider. Army officers should be inducted into the BSF to improve its training, combat effectiveness and leadership. The BDR is commanded by Bangladesh army officers.


The gruesome killing of 16 BSF personnel is a gross violation of human ethics and of international covenants. Such condemnable incidents reinforce hostilities and legitimise the assertions for military solution. These also provide greater space to the culture of violence in society.

Dr Paromod Kumar
Dr Paromod Kumar

Tolerance is receding and a pall of gloomy monism hangs over the globe. Efforts to find solutions outside the power paradigm and violent mode are rejected and the desire for other possibilities is tamed.

One is not only opposed to military solutions, but also to the culture of violence, through which the possibility of building up alternatives is thwarted. The politics of hawks both in India and Bangladesh is similar. Their politics is guided by generating feelings of ultranationalism, as evident in the assertions of some political leaders in Bangladesh and the response of ultranationalist political leaders and retired police and Army officers in India to the incident.

The euphoric response of a large section of people of Bangladesh to the killings and the call for revenge killings in India is sickening. When one is down and out in the world of politics, assertions like inhuman violent actions and reactions act as a stimulant and provide a much-needed psychological spin-off.

There is a strong view in India that we should teach Bangladesh a lesson. It may sound soothing to some. It is strange that solace is being sought from counting the dead. The hawks in Bangladesh have quenched their thirst with the blood of BSF soldiers and now the hawks in India are seeking to do the same. The politics of hawks the world over is similar, their assumptions are complimentary and their postures are conflicting.

Unless the political establishments in India and Bangladesh curb dependence on the culture of violence to govern, there will be a constant threat to humanity and peace. The response of the Indian political establishment has been reasonable and sensible. Both countries should address the basic causes of such incidents through dialogue. The individuals responsible for the killings must be punished and hawkish assertions in both countries must be opposed.


Bijli Lok Adalat on May 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The Haryana State Legal Service Authority today decided to hold a Bijli Lok Adalat on May 12 at Panchkula, to settle disputed cases of electricity consumers of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), pending before the Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at Chandigarh.

A spokesman of the Haryana Power Utilities said there were over 900 disputed cases pending before the commission.

Out of these, 564 cases would be taken up on this day for settlement through mutual compromise between affected consumers and the concerned Nigams.


Mahila Congress panel
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur, President of the Punjab Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee, has constituted a committee consisting of Ms Gurdarshan Kaur, Ms Narinder Kaur Kang and Ms Sweety Grewal to activise the party in preparation for the assembly elections.


Use curtains in office

It is very important to keep the balance of Yin and Yang in mind, while looking at an office. Generally speaking, the presence of Yang energy is very important and beneficial in office environment. But, when there is too much Yang energy, the effects can be disastrous. Excessive sunlight is the major cause of excess Yang energy. The afternoon sun, especially in countries like India, can create an excess of fire energy in the office. Such a situation will create disharmony in the office. Such kind of premises will hold a staff with flared tempers and impatience. This could also affect the relations you could have with your clients, which in turn would mean loss of business. Use heavy drape curtains to block out the sun completely. Whichever window you are putting a curtain must have the colour according to the element of that particular corner. Even the pattern of accessories and the drapes can also be decided. This will further help in maintaining the balance and a congenial environment in the office.


Address your Feng Shui queries to:

Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
The report on “Criminal Tribes Bring Police on its Toes” published in the columns of this newspaper on May 4, conveys an incorrect and unfortunate impression about the Saini community due to a misprint. The Saini community is highly respected. The tribe indicated is the Sansi community. The error is regretted.


Burglary in Sec 15
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 4
Within a gap of two days burglars struck another house in Sector 15 and decamped with some valuables in the absence of house owners here today.

Sources said the burglary was noticed in the house of Mr. Kaku who was away to Delhi along with his wife Usha.

The couple was staying here along with their relatives Ms Kanta and her son Vinnu for the last some years. Kanta and Vinnu had also gone to Delhi when the burglary took place.

Police sources said that one of Vinnu’s friends who visited the house to see him noticed the broken windowpane of the front window.

He informed the neighbours and later the police was called. A case has been registered.


8 booked for defacement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
Intensifying the drive against defacers, the Chandigarh police has booked as many as eight advertisers and traders for hanging banners and pasting posters in different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

The thrust of the “special drive”, according to sources in the police department, was against advertisers defacing public property in the southern sectors and against traders hanging banners between electric poles in Sector 51, 45, 29, 32 and even in Sector 22.

It may be noted that the police had earlier decided not to act against shopkeepers hanging banners in front of their establishments. Action would, however, be taken against traders hanging banners between electric poles and other places.

Cases were registered against the owners of Goel Marble and Granite House, Marble Market, Oberoi Banquet, Aggarwal Electronics, AHT Computer Education and Jet Indo Swiss.

It may be recalled that over 50 cases have been registered by the city police in year 2001 under the West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act as extended to Chandigarh. The Chandigarh Police, it may be recalled, had announced that they had no objection if the banners, hanging in front of the shops, were not hiding vital public information.

Action was being taken only against advertisers sticking circulars, notices and handbills on the signboards, road signs, sector guide maps, besides bus stops and other places where public information had been scribbled.

The decision to act against the defacers is significant as the police had received a “large number of complaints” against the concealment of information under the posters and bills.

In their complaints, the residents had alleged that besides the “destruction of the city’s beauty”, the posters had made it impossible for the commuters to read the sector numbers painted on the signboards and the bus shelters.

The violators, according to sources in the Police Department, were liable to be fined Rs 500 to Rs 1000 or sentenced to simple imprisonment for three months in default of payment.


Teenager receives burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 4
A 17-year-old girl received 50 per cent burns when the cooking stove at her Mauli Jagran residence burst, according to a statement given to the police.

According to information available, it is learnt that Santosh was cooking on the stove when it burst. She was immediately rushed to the PGI and is now stated to be in a stable condition.

A miscreant forcibly snatched Rs 3,000 from Mr Tilak Raj Sharma, a resident of Kansal village near the Reserve Bank of India building, Sector 17, on the evening of May 2. The accused fled away. A case under Section 382 of the IPC has been registered.

A motorcycle, belonging to Mr Nitin Garg, was stolen from outside his residence in Sector 45 on May 3. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Manmohan Singh and Davinder Kumar have been booked by the police on charges of eve-teasing near the Railway Colony on the evening of May 3.

A cyclist, Kalyan Singh of 3 BRD, Chandigarh, was hit by a car opposite the Sector 43 Petrol Pump at about 11.30 p.m. The car driver fled from the spot.

As many as 40 pouches of Hero whisky were seized from Krishan Nandan, a labourer, near the traffic light points of Sector 20 and 21 yesterday morning. A case under sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

sketches of accused
The police has taken out computer sketches of the two accused, who had duped a poultry farm owner, Sukhsagar Singh of Rs 27,000 on the pretext of selling him maize at nominal rates.

It may be recalled that one of the accused had impersonated the Chief Security Officer of PGI, Mr P.C. Sharma, and taken the money from the complainant, without supplying him with the maize.

One arrested
One of the accused in the assault on Naveen Sidhu, a Class X student of New Public School, Sector 18, Rohit Gupta, was been arrested by the police on Friday.

It may be recalled that Naveen Sidhu was beaten up with hockey sticks by five persons Thursday following a minor altercation. A former student of the school was also accused of assaulting Sidhu.


Chain snatching
A chain snatcher of Sohana village was caught red handed by the shopkeepers of Sector 70 when he was trying to escape after snatching a gold chain of Ms Inderjeet Kaur, a resident of Sector 70, here this afternoon. The suspect, Vijay Kumar, was handed over to the police.

Case registered
The local police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC against the driver of a car ( HR-11-3300) , Vinay Mittal, on a complaint lodged by driver of another car (PB-65-A-918), Mohit Sharma. According to police sources the two cars had collided head on resulting in injuries to both of the drivers.

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