Wednesday, May 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Haryana, UT lock horns over house allotments
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Haryana Government and the Chandigarh Administration have locked horns over the issue of allotting government houses in Sector 28 to officials of Haryana’s Electricity Department.

Taking a strong view of the Chandigarh Administration’s decision to stop allotting government houses to Haryana Electricity Department officials in the Sector 28 power colony, the Haryana Government has written back, pointing out that the Chandigarh Administration was just a ‘‘custodian of Government properties in Chandigarh and not its owner. Thus it can take no such decision, which will affect the interests of the states.’’

Haryana’s Financial Commissioner, Power, Ms Meenaxi Anand Chaudhari, while quoting an April 1967 decision had pointed out to the provision of Re-organisation of States Act , 1966 and the rights enjoyed under the Act by Haryana and Chandigarh, respectively. In the letter, the Haryana official says, a decision on the use of government assets in the power sector in Chandigarh was taken in which the quota of houses were allocated to UT, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and the Haryana State Electricity Board (HSEB).

Haryana officials had been availing of the quota for the past 31 years. Now the Chandigarh Administration took the plea that since the HSEB, which had been bifurcated into different units for purposes of generation and distribution, had shifted its headquarters to neighbouring Panchkula it has no right to the houses in Chandigarh.

Haryana countered this by saying that UT should have no concern as to where the offices of the bifurcated Haryana electricity department were located presently. In any case, Panchkula, Chandigarh and SAS Nagar were to be seen as one cohesive unit for purposes of development and thus could not be de-linked. Sources point out that the assets originally belonged to the PSEB and till a final decision was taken on the status of Chandigarh, the Administration had been appointed custodian of government properties, way back in 1967.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration admit that technically the houses have to be allotted to Haryana officials and the Administration cannot decide the issue on its own. It would need a nod from Punjab, BBMB and Haryana. And with Chandigarh having no right over the property, it was wrong in the first place to do away with Haryana’s quota of houses.


Squall disrupts power supply
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
High-speed winds lashed the city and its surrounding townships of S.A.S. Nagar and Panchkula in the wee hours today, uprooting several trees and disrupting power supply in the area. At around 2.15 a.m. the wind speed touched 111 km per hour. The local Meteorological Department classified it as a squall.

Sources in the electricity Department said power supply was cut off to ward off any major break-down because of the wind. Major problems can arise if two high tension wires come into contact with each other.

There were reports that several trees were uprooted in the area. The wind also caused damaged to glow signs and hoardings in some of the city markets.

According to the local Meteorological Department, the north-west squall. The maximum temperature on Tuesday was 37.8 degree celsius, while the minimum was 23 degrees celsius. The maximum relative humidity was 83 per cent and the minimum 23 per cent.


Goods destroyed in shop fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
All goods were destroyed in a major fire which broke out in a cosmetic shop in Sector 37-C late last night. The fire was, however, controlled within an hour and the exact loss is yet to be ascertained.

According to sources in the Fire Department, the fire was possibly caused by a short-circuit in booth No 132. The chowkidar, who noticed the smoke, informed fire officials at about 3 a.m. and the owner of the shop. A fire engine from Sector 38 was rushed to the spot. Another fire engine was rushed from Sector 17 a little later to control the flames.

The shop owner, Mr Ashok Kumar, alleged that the fire engines reached at least half an hour after they were informed about the fire.

Besides this, due to the windy conditions a series of fires broke out in other parts of the city and its surrounding areas last night and today. Spare-parts in a store were damaged when a fire broke out in Aravalli Hostel in Punjab Engineering College 12 this morning. The loss is yet to be ascertained.

In another incident, an animal which had fallen into a pit was rescued by employees of the Sector 38 fire station.

Overhead cable wires were burnt following short-circuiting in house No 39 in Sector 35, and a fire engine from Sector 17 was rushed to the spot.

Jungle fires were reported from Khuda Lahora, Panjab University, Baba Ka Dera, Phase II, and on the Dhanas road. However, no loss of life and property was reported.



Chander Sekhar is STA Secretary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Chandigarh Administration today ordered a minor reshuffle of its middle-level officials. Mr Chander Sekhar is the new Secretary, STA, and also the Registering and Licensing Authority. He replaces Mr P.S. Gill who has been repatriated to his parent cadre of Punjab. In addition, he will continue to work as Joint Secretary, Medical Education and Research, and also Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies.

Mr Chander Sekhar's work as Joint Secretary, Technical Education, and the work relating to the PEC have been handed over to Mr Vivek Atray, in addition to his existing duties as DPR, Director, IT, and Deputy Secretary, Science and Technology.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunil Bhatia, Administrative Officer, GMCH, has been given the additional work of Additional Director, Sports.


Bike with 970cc Gypsy engine
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, May 8
Financial constraints seems to be no limit for Jeewanjit Singh, a city resident, who has modified a motorbike by fitting an engine of four wheeler.

A lover of bikes, Jeewanjit Singh, completed his diploma in mechanical engineering from Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Polytechnic College, Ajitwal, near Moga recently. He opted for a topic on modification of bikes in his project report which was to be submitted during the last semester of the diploma course. He succeeded in giving the final shape to his idea after one and a half year’s hard work.

On a manually developed frame, he along with his batch mates — Swarn Singh and Gaganpreet Singh — from Ludhiana fitted a Gypsy engine of 970 cc capacity with a gearbox of Yamaha 350 cc. The rear tyre has been replaced with a Tata Safari’s tyre, while that of a front with the rear tyre of a motorcycle to make vehicle stronger.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Jeewanjit Singh said the petrol tank of the six geared bike has a storage capacity of 10 litre and can run at a speed of over 160 km per hour which could be raised upto 200 km. In a long drive the bike gives an average of over 20 km per litre.

“My parents and brother inspired me a lot to achieve the goal. My elder brother, Mr Jatinderpal Singh, gave the idea to modify a motorcycle by fitting an engine of a light vehicle some years ago and I tried my best to prove it”, Jeewanjit Singh added.

After a similar bike with a Ludhiana resident Mr Davinder Singh, he claimed that his bike was second in this region. “I will keep giving shape to my ideas of modifying the bikes but need a job at this time,” he said.


Four-laning of highway near Mohali proposed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 8
To regulate the flow of traffic on a section of Chandigarh—Ludhiana highway, passing through the SAS Nagar, the Town and Country Planning Department, Punjab, has recommended removal of bottlenecks and four-laning of the road section. A feasibility study to widen the road section has already been completed.

At least two proposals prepared by the Town and Country Planning Department, aimed at streamlining the flow of traffic in view of the proposed transit bus stand along the highway, have been sent to the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board. The recommendations will be forwarded to the National Highway division of the State Public Works Department (PWD).

Sources in the Town and Country Planning Department say a 100-feet-wide dual carriageway from Sector 56 ( Chandigarh- SAS Nagar border) to the existing Balongi bridge has been proposed. The existing rotary near the Balongi octroi collection post will be replaced with traffic lights. Widening of an existing road section from the traffic lights of Phase 1 Industrial Area which opens on the highway, has also been proposed.

The traffic lights, which will replace the existing rotary, will be installed at the entry and exit point of the proposed transit bus stand. A second alternative proposed by the department recommends widening of another road passing between Industrial Area, Phase 6 and Industrial Area, Phase 1 — which ultimately joins the highway, replanning of the truck parking area and closing of the road from the traffic lights of Industrial Area, Phase 1 to the Balongi Octroi Collection post.

To integrate the planning of the highway, the Infrastructure Development Board has cleared construction of another bridge on the Patiala Ki Rao choe, adjacent to the existing Balongi bridge. Meanwhile, the Town and Country Planning Department has also proposed alignment of the Kharar bypass from Desumajra to Khanpur. 


High-rise buildings: Fire Dept intensifies
drive on safety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
In less than a week, after the Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the violation of fire safety norms by the high-rise and other buildings in the city, the Fire Services Department of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has stepped up its drive to ensure that it is equipped with the required fire safety equipment. The report has highlighted that at least 80 per cent of the high-rise buildings in Sectors 17 and 34 are without fire fighting equipment in working order.

According to sources, besides the high-rise buildings, other fire-prone areas in rehri markets, colonies, market and factories in Industrial area and Ram Durbar are also being inspected.

To begin with verbal warnings are being issued, but later on notices will be issued to those who are not following the fire-safety norms contained in the Fire Safety Act.

As part of the ongoing drive, notices have been issued to the Parivar Kalyan Bhavan, Sector 34, where the system has been found to be non-functional. The bhavan authorities have been directed to set the same in working order.

Similarly, while issuing notice to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where the system is partly functional, the hospital authorities have asked to make the detection system also functional, which is vital for tackling major fire outbreaks.

Sources in the Fire Department reveal that the department is in the process of issuing a notice to the Haryana Mini-Secretariat, situated right across the fire service headquarters as the system is not working even in this new building.

Panjab University also figures among the list of defaulters but during inspection it has been found that work of installing the fire prevention and fire safety measures is currently underway at the university library, which has a collection of some of the very rare books.

About a dozen high-rise buildings were served notices earlier when the drive was launched in February this year. This included certain private hospitals and government buildings.

The Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S Bajwa, informs that in view of the ongoing fire season, the staff has also been asked to focus on factories, where the possibility of fire outbreaks increases due to haphazard piling up of combustible material in the premises.

During the last two days, the teams have visited 10 to 12 factories in Industrial Area, Phase-I and Ram Durbar and issued verbal warnings to the owners. It has been found that either the equipment installed has not been in working order or the stacking of material in the premises has done rather shabbily due to lack of awareness.

The factory owners have been asked to remove all such combustible material from their premises, which pose danger not only to their employees and property, but also other factories located in the neighbourhood. If they do not comply with the directions in the next few days, written warnings will be issued and this will be followed by the notices. Action will be initiated accordingly.

Meanwhile, an SCO owner ( SCO 54) in Sector 34 has also been issued a verbal warning for haphazardly stocking huge quantities of refined oil in the basement of the building and its other floors. Furthermore, since there is no fire fighting equipment, the explosion can have serious repercussions.


200 donate blood for thalassaemic children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Karan (8), Amit (7), Gaurav (7) and Goldy (10) are like any other normal children of their age. They, however, suffer from a chronic genetic disease — thalassaemia — which requires them to have blood transfusions at frequent intervals to survive.

And for them and others like them treatment is not only tortuous but also painful and very costly. At present, there are about 350 children, registered with the Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association (TCWA), a charitable society formed in 1987, to look after thalassaemics. The body has been doing creditable work by providing them a better quality of life, besides raising funds for their expensive treatment.

To commemorate the International Thalassaemic Day and the Red Cross Day today, the TCWA organised a blood donation camp in the PGI premises which was inaugurated by the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma. More than 200 persons donated blood during the camp, which is first in the series of six others to be organised in future.

According to the general secretary of the association, Mr S.S. Khattar, more than 238 out of the 345 children under the roll of the association are unable to undergo the much-needed Iron Chelation Therapy, which is essential for removing the iron overload from vital organs like heart and liver, resulting from frequent blood transfusions.

In thalassaemics, the red blood corpuscles (RBCs) break up much before the normal 120 days’ period. The iron released from the RBC break-up adds to the element released following frequent blood transplants. In normal persons, a system maintains the level of iron which is non-existent in thalassaemics. Excessive iron, besides being harmful to the organs, also leads to excessive tanning of the skin.

The Iron Chelation Therapy, to take care of the excessive iron, is an expensive proposition, says Mr S.P. Ajmani, president of the association. A child, depending upon the age and body weight, may require as many as 30 to 100 injections in a month, each of which costs Rs 160.

While in 1995, an oral medication was introduced, the cost of which has now been reduced by the manufacturing company to Rs 7, Mr Ajnani says that it is effective in 90 per cent of the patients and the rest may still require the more expensive injection.

Since bone marrow transplant is the only life-long treatment for this disease, Mr Ajnani says that prevention is the only answer. Bone marrow transplant costs Rs 7 lakh in India and the success rate is also not too bright, says Mr Ajnani while advocating blood screening before marriage.

And till the time medical science comes up with a more effective and affordable treatment for thalassaemia, Karan, Amit, Gaurav and Goldy will just have to live with the problem.



BJP chief in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
All-India BJP President, Mr K. Jana Krishnamurty, was given a warm welcome on his arrival here this evening.

The President of the Chandigarh unit of the BJP, Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, a former Mayor, Mr Gain Chand Gupta, BJP spokesperson, Ms Ranjana Shahi, and other senior leaders of the party unit were present.

Mr Krishnamurty will participate in the bhoomi pujan before laying the foundation stone of Punjab BJP Bhavan. He will address mediapersons at Himachal Bhawan in Sector 28 at 10 a.m. tomorrow.


Traffic police to pull up rickshawpullers
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The traffic police is planning action against thousands of rickshawpullers here who violate rules.

Officials of the Police Department said rickshawpullers were involved in a large number of road accidents on the city roads everyday. According to official estimates, 12,000 to 15,000 rickshaws are plying in the city, but not even 15 per cent of the rickshawpullers obey the rules.

The traffic police has regularly undertaken special drives to educate rickshawpullers on traffic rules, but the situation has not improved. So far this year, the police has imparted training to 349 rickshawpullers.

Rickshawpullers ply their vehicles without licences in violation of the Chandigarh Cycle Rickshaw Rules. Sources said not more than 2,000 rickshawpullers had valid licences that were issued by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Hundreds of migrant labourers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar arrive here each day and straightaway become rickshawpullers to begin earning from day one, though they are not aware of traffic rules. While contractors who sublets the rickshaws to these labourers have licences, rickshawpullers don’t have these.

While rules say that no person below the age of 18 can ply a rickshaw, this rule is commonly being flouted. Sometimes more than two passengers are carried on rickshaws and sometimes, rickshawpullers drive under the influence of intoxicants.

The original shape of a rickshaw cannot be altered and rickshawpullers are also supposed to wear a cap as a uniform. Wrong parking of rickshaws also leads to accidents. The mandatory rear view mirror, reflector and bell are hardly seen on rickshaws here.

The drive to penalise offenders will begin in June. “The delay is due to an immediate shortage of manpower in the traffic police,” says an official. “At present, we have about 50 personnel on active duty. Only an ASI or an official senior to him can penalise rickshawpullers, but most of them are on duty at schools in mornings and afternoons. The others are busy, taking care of the movement of the VIP motorcades,” he says.

The traffic police says that the Enforcement Staff of the Estate Office is supposed to penalise rickshawpullers. The traffic police will hold a rally for rickshawpullers on May 26, where leaders of rickshawpullers’ unions will be urged to spread traffic awareness among the other rickshawpullers.

Certain officials say that, “Challaning rickshawpullers who don’t have valid licences will not be feasible as they will have no document to surrender as penalty. Impounding rickshaws will just not be possible.”


Raids sans action fail to deter vendors
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
While frequent raids to keep a tab on the quality of milk and milk products as the mercury soars are being spearheaded by the District Health Department, the lack of immediate action against the guilty, in the absence of a licensing authority, is defeating the entire purpose of the exercise.

Out of the samples of milk collected from vendors and shops last month, two samples failed the test, the results of whom have been made available recently. However, the surprise raids have failed to have the desired impact in checking adulteration with action being slow and time-consuming.

The health authorities contend that the cases of erring vendors are forwarded to the court where the trials go on year after year. An official says that the presence of a licensing authority will at least empower them to suspend licences of those failing to comply with standards set for the summers.

He adds that court cases go on endlessly and the drive to check adulteration goes unnoticed by other defaulters. However, he admits that if convicted, the vendors can be fined and imprisoned.

According to the District Health Officer, Dr Vijay Garg, eight persons have been convicted last year.‘‘However, the inability to act promptly in the absence of a licencing authority is ruled out. This takes the bite out of most of our drives,’’ an official states.



MC staff salaries through Syndicate Bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The salary of employees of the Municipal Corporation will now be disbursed through the Syndicate Bank, where they are required to open their new bank accounts.

The employees, who earlier had their accounts with ICICI Bank, have now been asked to open their accounts in the Sector 17 branch of the Syndicate Bank. Both officials and employees can now draw their salaries from here.

According to information available, MC Assistant Commissioner, vide a letter dated May 4, has informed all the wings about the said change. He has further informed that the bank would offer the employees all facilities such as vehicle or house loans and the salary could even be withdrawn before time.

Sources revealed that the employees were not happy about the change, as for the past two years, their accounts had been shifted to three banks. 


Red Cross founder remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
To commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of the Red Cross Organisation, Sir Henry Duant, the UT Red Cross, in association with the GMCH, Sector 32, today organised a blood donation camp. The camp was inaugurated by the Advisor to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, and on the basis of requirement, 46 units of blood were collected. Also present on the occasion were the Deputy Commissioner and Chairman, UT Red Cross, Mr M. Ramasekhar and the Director-Principal, GMCH, Prof S.B.S. Mann. The Hospital Welfare Section of the UT Red Cross, led by its secretary, Ms Shresta Mehta, collected voluntary donations for the organisation.

A medical camp was also organised in Colony no. 5 dispensary. 


Phariwalas hold dharna
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 8
Members of the Phari Welfare Association sat in dharna in front of the SDM’s office here yesterday in protest against the administration’s move to stop them from selling their goods in apni mandis.

The protesters wore black badges and raised slogans against the Punjab Government. It is learnt that on the directions of the Ropar Deputy Commissioner the local administration is stopping rehri and phari owners to operate from apni mandis which were started to help farmers.


Curbs on truck movement may go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The city’s traffic police is going to issue a notification, relaxing the restrictions on entry of trucks on the Madhya Marg. This notification is likely to be issued during this week itself.

The traffic police had earlier banned the entry of trucks from Dhillon Theatre to the PGI on the Madhya Marg from 7 am to 9 pm. However, the new notification would now allow the entry of trucks till the Transport Light Point on one side and to the PGI on the other side all through the day.


Wheat not being lifted: farmers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
Farmers from different parts of Punjab protested against the non-lifting of wheat from the grain markets by the FCI here yesterday.

The farmers alleged that the FCI had failed to provide the minimum support price of wheat. Farmers alleged that today the FCI employees did not come to purchase wheat till 5 p.m.


Basic corporate Feng Shui

Corporate Feng Shui always starts with protective measures. The basic aim is to protect the corporate buildings or the offices from the killing energies. These energies, or bad chi, can be caused by any pointed or hostile structures aimed at the building.

The killing energy hitting the building can result in a decrease in business and stressed out staff. Protect the entrance doors; block off the hidden poison arrows with a strategically placed cannon. The cannon is a very powerful defensive tool in Feng Shui.

It should not be used lightly. It should only be used wherever necessary. It is very important to remember that it causes extremely bad energies to the things hit by the cannon.

The cannon should directly be pointing at the offending structure. If the offending structure is a part of a building, there is no choice but to use the cannon. Try and buy an old cannon if you can, but if you are unable to find one, a model can also be used. Use it as a decorative object outside your building. Harshna

Address your Feng Shui queries to:
Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



3 cheated of Rs 2.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The police has booked a travel agent on the charge of duping three persons and taking from them over Rs. 2.5 lakh on the pretext of sending them abroad.

Mandeep Singh Mann took Rs. 2.56 lakh from Balram of Mandi Gobindgarh, Prem Singh of Banga Sahib, Ropar and Charanjit Singh, telling them that he would arrange for their immigration to the USA. The three had paid him the money on January 24. They were promised that they would first be taken to Dubai and later to the USA.

However, the accused fled away with the money. A case under section 420 of the IPC has been registered.

BURGLARY: Unknown miscreants forced their entry into the office of the Children’s Welfare Association, APC Building, PGI, and stole Rs. 1500 from there on the night of May 7. A case under sections 457 and 380 (IPC) has been registered.

THEFTS: Mohammad Vasif was caught red handed while he was trying to steal a cooler, a drilling machine, four rows of PVC insulation material and other items from a plot in Ram Darbar (Phase I).

A scooter ( CH-01E-3948) was reportedly stolen from outside a house in Sector 8 last night. A stereo from the car of Mr Navdeep Kumar Jindal was also stolen from the PGI complex yesterday.

CHAIN SNATCHED: Ms Soma Devi has complained that a scooterist snatched her gold chain near Government High School, Sector 37, yesterday. A case under Section 382 has been registered.

LIQUOR SEIZED: Bharat Mehto was arrested by the police and 16 bottles of Every Day whisky were recovered from him.



Cops booked
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 8
A constable, Vijay Kumar, posted at the Phase 1 Police Station, as well as some other cops have been booked for allegedly confining a youth to illegal custody at the police station for 15 days. The case was registered on the statement of the victim, Om Parkash, on the directives of the Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, and on the report of the Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM). 

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