Saturday, May 12, 2001,  Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Old woman murdered in SAS Nagar
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 11
A 60-year-old woman was brutally done to death at her house in Phase IV here this afternoon. The body of the victim was found lying in a pool of blood in the kitchen when her eight-year-old grandson, Gurinder, came home from school. The boy rushed to inform a family living in a neighbouring house.

Other members of the family were away when the incident took place. The grandson and a widow daughter-in-law of the victim, Ms Tarlochan Kaur, along with her daughter, Harjot Kaur (Jyoti), a class tenth student, were living in the house. A nephew of the deceased, Rajinder, who works with the PTL, had come at around 12.15 p.m. to give a medicine to the deceased who was a diabetic patient.

A girdle (tawa) had been used to hit the victim on her head and after that she bled to death. The reason behind the murder could not be ascertained as no valuables had been taken away by the assailants.

The victim, Daljit Kaur Mangat, was wife of Mr Sukhdev Singh Mangat, a retired Block Development Officer (BDO), who was a close aide of a late Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh. The husband of the deceased is away to America.

The woman was last seen by people of the locality at around 11 a.m. when she had gone to the Phase IV market to buy sweets for her grandson whose birthday falls tomorrow. The mouth of the victim had been stuffed with her dupatta by the assailants — suspected to be at least two in number by the police. There were telltale signs of struggle as the victim was dragged from the drawing-cum-dining room to the kitchen. Marks of burnt carbon from the base of the girdle could be seen on a refrigerator in the room.

The assailants, after hitting the old woman, had thrown the frying pan and a telephone set in a water bucket. Though the police was yet to ascertain the exact time of the murder, it was being suspected that the incident took place around 1 p.m.

The daughter of the victim, Sukhwinder Kaur and her husband, Paramjit Singh, who reside in Kharar, came after being informed about the incident. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, said the police was working on three different theories. He said it looked as if the victim had been done to death by someone known to her. The assailants had gained entry into the house from a side door from the garage of the house without any opposition and no valuable item had been taken away nor any sign of ransacking of the almirahs or other places to keep valuables was found, said the police officials.

The husband of the victim had called from America and instructed the family not to allow the body to be removed from the house until the SSP visited the spot.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered by the police and the investigations have been handed over to the Superintendent of Police (Detective) and the Station House Officer of the Phase I Police Station.

No arrest has been made but the nephew of the victim was being questioned by the police. The daughter-in-law of the deceased, who works in Punjab Mandi Board and had estranged relation with her, told the TNS the deceased used to entertain sales persons visiting the area.

Ms Pushpinder, a resident of H.No. 416, said the deceased was quite active and was seen sweeping the front corridor of the house in the morning. However, people living in the adjoining houses did not hear any sounds when the murder was being committed. A number of municipal councillors of the local council and political leaders were present there to condole the family.

Meanwhile, when press photographers tried to enter the room where the body was lying, the police prevented them from taking snaps leading to heated exchanges.


20 MW more power for city from eastern grid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Union Ministry of Power has decided to supply 20 MW additional power to Chandigarh from the surplus of the eastern grid. The supply will begin from May 20. Sources said, “Despite this additional allocation, rotational power cuts will continue and the duration of the cuts may be increased if the demand shoots up.”

The supply of power from the eastern grid has been made possible because of a high-capacity switching station that is being tested at Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh. The power, at about Rs 2.12 per unit, will be rather inexpensive. However, the ministry wants a minimum guarantee payment even if all 20 MW is not drawn at peak hours. The Administration will accept it because the rate works out to be cheaper than that of the Bhakra Beas Management Board, which is Rs 2.29 per unit.

The UT Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, said power cuts would have to continue despite the fresh allocation because the city was overdrawing about 30 MW from the northern grid at peak hours. This has to stop because the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has decided to impose a penalty for overdrawing from June 1.

This decision was taken to prevent the grid from collapsing due to overdrawing in summer. The new availability built tariff (ABT) would come into force from June 1, said sources in the power sector. They also said the penalties would be so high that it would not be viable for states to overdraw from the grid. Earlier, the penalty for overdrawing was not more than 70 paise per unit.

The Northern Region Electricity Board (NREB) that regulates power in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh has already informed the states concerned about the penalty tariff.

Meanwhile, the ministry has already released 2 per cent of the non-allocated power quota from the central pool for Chandigarh from May 4. 


Safety under a striking sun
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The maximum temperature in the city yesterday was 43°C. Statistics reveal the phenomenon occurred for the second time in the first half of May during the last decade.

Though the maximum temperature dropped by 3°C today, city hospitals, however, continued to receive cases of heat exhaustion and other related complications . As per the specialists rising temperatures and heat can cause multifarious problems, at times even death. And the incidence of these injuries is expected to go up with a further rise in temperature, they add.

Heat exhaustion is the commonest form of injury says Director, Family Welfare, Dr M.P. Minocha. Either very old or young people or those belonging to the lower socio economic strata are the victims.

While initial symptoms of heat exhaustion include giddiness, tiredness, increase in thirst and mild body aches, it can further complicate into severe dehydration with a dry mouth and skin. A sudden rise in temperatures can lead to a heat stroke or hyper pyrexia which is even more serious. The affected person can end up in a state of altered sensorium where he may not even respond to pain, says Dr Minocha. People with neurological disorders may suffer convulsions and those with heart problems could also suffer an attack.

A skin specialist, Dr S.D. Mehta, says that contrary to popular belief it is not the period of time in the sun which determines the extend of injury to the skin. At times, even a simple activity of collecting dry clothes at the peak of afternoon can do the damage, he adds.

The most common skin problems includes polymorphic light eruptions. Dr Mehta advises everyone to wear a cap while going out in the sun and wear full sleeved cotton clothes. “ Precaution is more important than cure. Chemical sunscreens could provide another alternative but the sun protection factor (SPF) in them should be more than 30,” he adds.

Prickly heat is another common problem related to skin . But Dr Mehta advises against the use of popular brands of widely advertised prickly heat powders . “Instead, they tend to clog up the sweat pores and make the problem even worse. Regular baths and loose cotton clothes and underclothes can help take care of the problem.”

Excessive heat can also lead to sweating and fungal infections in armpits and groin for which, once again, cleanliness is the only answer. “ Sun is a potent antibacterial factor. But too much sun, especially for fair skins, can also be carcinogenic,” cautions Dr Mehta.

According to eye specialists, rising temperatures can also lead to allergic conjunctivitis. Doctors advise people to be more careful in this season and wear dark glasses and wash eyes regularly with cool and clean water to avoid infections.

As a result of dry heat , bleeding from the nose or Epistaxis is also commonly reported, especially in children. The PGI Additional Professor, Dr A.K. Gupta, explains that due to dryness of nose, crust formation takes place. Children tend to scratch these crusts leading to bleeding from the nose.

Dr Gupta advises that mucus membrane of the nose should be kept lubricated . “ In case a child is having non stop bleeding, cold water should be poured over the head. Pressing or pinching anterior part of the nose also helps stop bleeding, “ he adds.


* Avoid direct exposure to heat and sun wear loose, light coloured, flowing cotton clothes with full sleeves to avoid direct exposure.

* Wear a cap or a wide brimmed hat to protect head and face. For the eyes use good quality sun glasses.

* Take a lot of water and other fluids to avoid dehydration. For dehydration cases, Dr S.D. Mehta advises nimboo pani instead of plain water.

* Children should be allowed to play outdoors only after 6 p.m. when the sun has gone down.

* Frequent baths and cleaning up helps bring the body heat down and clean the pores.

* For prickly heat do not use talcum powder. Instead take frequent baths to clean the clogged pores which are the cause of the prickly heat.


Court asks MC to provide meters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Taking up a Public Interest Litigation for quashing a notification asking consumers to purchase their own water meters, a division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today advised the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh to provide meters after getting them tested. After hearing the arguments, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice K.C. Gupta, also advised the respondents to instal the meters after accepting the charges. Meters could be purchased in bulk by them and then installed whenever required, the Bench added.

The Judges also suggested that the corporation should get the faulty meters repaired after taking due charges. Earlier during the proceedings, the respondents undertook that the last date for getting the meters replaced was being extended by another two months — till July 31. It may be recalled that May 31 had earlier been fixed as the cut-off date for getting the meters replaced. The High Court, on the last date of hearing, had directed the MC Commissioner, Chief Engineer and the Secretary to Local Government to be personally present in the court for a discussion on Friday.

In their petition, the Consumer Forum, Chandigarh, had earlier stated that the Corporation, by issuing the notification, had passed on its liability of replacing defective water meters on to the consumers. They had added that out of 96,000 water meters, over 50, 000 were defective.

Counsel for the petitioner had claimed that the action of the respondents in not replacing the meters was illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional. He had further claimed that the respondents were dutybound to provide essential services to the consumers.

Seeking directions to the respondents to replace the meters with funds collected by the way of water meter rent, counsel had further stated that as much as Rs 1, 79, 32,000 had been gathered by the MC. Going into the background, he had stated that the corporation, vide the notification issued on June 5 last year, had asked the consumers to purchase ISI marked meters and get them tested.

Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, talking to the media later, said that he informed the court that as per the notification of June 5, 2000, Rs 350 being charged from the consumers was the security charge for getting the water connection and not the meter cost. The security is refundable only at the time of disconnection of water connection. He further told them as per the byelaws, in the event of non-payment of water charges or meter rent by the consumer, the authority may recover the arrears out of the security deposited by the consumer.

The Commissioner, Mr M.P Singh, said that while undertaking to extend the deadline to July 31, he told the court that meter testing facility has been extended to five collection centres and the consumers would only be required to come here once. They have to simply deposit Rs 65 and collect the receipt of the same. The meter will be tested and fitted within the next five days. The MC has also tied up with four private contractors, who will if need arises provide testing and fitting facilities in different parts of the city.


Examination of Major concluded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The examination of Maj S.S. Bajaj, who was the officiating second-in-command of 2 Rajputana Rifles during the Kargil conflict, concluded before the general court martial trying Maj V.K. Madhan today.

Major Bajaj stated before the court that on June 3, 1999, the accused was not present at the officers’ conference called by the Commanding Officer (CO). He was told by the unit’s Subedar Major that the accused had slipped in the bathroom and injured his knee. He said he informed the CO accordingly, who directed that the Regimental Medical Officer (RMO) examine the accused.

The witness deposed that he later visited the accused and on his asking was told that the injury would take 10-15 days to heal. He said the RMO told him later that the injury was minor, though he wanted a second opinion from the Field Surgical Centre (FRC).

The following day, Major Bajaj said the RMO took the accused to the FSC. On his return was told by the accused that the injury would take 10-15 days to heal. The RMO, however, said that the accused had been advised three days’ rest. The witness said he appraised the CO, who asked him to counsel the accused, which he did later that evening.

Major Bajaj stated before the court that on June 5 he went to the accused again and asked him how best could he be employed in the circumstances. The accused replied that he could serve as the unit’s Adjutant.

He said it was he who had recommended that the accused should escort the body of a regimental officer who was killed during the attack on Tololing to his hometown. He said the accused was in a state of shock. He was unable to carry out certain tasks allotted to him.

The defence counsel objected, saying the witness could not give his opinion while being examined. He could only state facts or describe the situation. It was for the court to draw any inference. The defence counsel also objected to statements of the witness describing events on and after June 14 on the grounds that they had no relevance to the charges levelled against the accused.


Digital wonders in films discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Few know that the much-talked about shot of the film Ghulam, which saw Aamir Khan jump off the railway track just when the train was about to hit him, was all about special effects created on personal computers. And so were the action-packed sequences which had Akshay Kumar work on the seemingly-impossible stunts in Khiladi 420. The magic of digital visual effects was unfolded before the eyes today as Ketan Mehta, Deepa Sahi and computer animator of the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) Biju D talked about the best technology being now used for animation in the audio-visual media.

The discussion put to rest many doubts about how the animation of characters and surroundings is actually achieved. Holding the dais was Biju D, who has done special effects for about 26 films. He is the director of digital special effects studio which forms part of MAAC. After screening some of the highly digital sound sequences from the science fiction television series Captain Vyom, and some other shots from movies, Biju went on to explain how the image, which is actually an illusion, is created.

Earlier, Ketan Mehta introduced MAAC to the gathering in Tagore Theatre which was the venue for the orientation seminar. He talked about various branches of MAAC now involved in creating high-quality products for the Indian market, as also in providing the technical know-how to television and film industry. He also introduced the concept of computer animation. According to a report, multimedia grew from a meagre $ 7 billion industry to an estimated $ 12.5 billion in 1995. With the convergence of technologies the need of multimedia has increased manifold from digital communication to production of interactive CD ROMs, advertising, fashion and textile designing etc.

Deepa Sahi also talked about the need to open centres to train people in this field. MAAC is opening its centres in three cities of Punjab, including Chandigarh.


City cries for water as heat intensifies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
With the increasing heat, the water crisis here has deepened further. Residents of various southern sectors, colonies and villages are facing hardships due to water supply at low pressure. Those who live on upper floors in southern sectors say that they are not getting an adequate supply of water. Residents of upper floors in houses at Burail village have not received water supply for the past few days.

Mr Kalia, a resident of Sector 30-A, said the morning water supply was only till 7 am and in the evenings it began after 8. Water supply is only in trickles. Another resident said, “My family has to fetch water from downstairs everyday.” Shortage of water has been reported from Sectors 30, 32, 37, 45, 46 and 47.

The situation is becoming worse in Mani Majra, particularly in Modern Housing Complex, where due to low water pressure on even ground floors, overhead tanks are not getting filled.

Though boosters have been installed for a proper water supply to those who live on upper floors, the situation has not improved. Water shortage has intensified in Bapu Dham, Ram Darbar Colony, Madrasi Colony, Colony No. 5, Janata Colony, Nehru Colony, Pipliwala and Marhiwala towns. It is only May and the situation can become more serious if the Municipal Corporation does not do anything about it.

However, the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, says that he has not received complaints of water shortage from any part of the city. Even the officials concerned endorse his opinion. They says that it is not possible to supply water at good pressure after 7 am to those who live on top floors because it is consumed by those who live on ground floors.

Sources say that the MC has not been able to control the leakage of water at stand posts and public taps. Officials have also not initiated action against those who have installed motors and pumps on main supply lines for drawing water.


Property consultants panel warns Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Property Consultants Association, Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar today served a one-month ultimatum to the Chandigarh Administration to accept the genuine demands of the general public relating to property matters.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr RP Malhotra and Mr Tarlochan Singh Bittu, chairman and president, respectively, warned that the association with the support of the general public would gherao the Estate Office if the demands were not accepted.

They also demanded representation in committees of the Chandigarh Administration relating to amendments in the building bylaws and other property matters.

Adhocism was order of the day at the Estate Office as a result the common man was at its receiving end, they alleged.

Demanding the payment of stamp duty on the Punjab pattern, they said that the current policy requiring the purchaser to give an affidavit and a indemnity bond regarding the no-objection certificate(NOC) was “not justified”. And violations should not be linked with the issuance of NOC, they added.

Terming 45 days for issuance of NOC as “too long” , Mr Bittu said a reasonable time-frame like one week was sufficient for the NOC. It would help reduce corruption in the Estate Office, he added.

Terming the recent amendments in the building bylaws as “piece meal”, Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, chief patron, said keeping in view the zoning plan and the environmental factors, other alterations should be regularised.

Mr Malhotra rued the fact though the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (Retd), had announced certain concessions to defence property holders about nine months back yet no notification had been issued yet.

Mr Bittu also demanded the recognition of the sub GPA.


Congested approach road causes problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Nayagaon barrier located right behind the Punjab Engineering College (PEC) in Sector 12 towards Khuda Ali Sher village is quite congested. Nayagaon is in Punjab and the only approach is via this road. The road is also used to reach Khuda Ali Sher which is in the Union Territory.

Lined all along this lone approach road are innumerable tin sheds, illegal pucca structures, cow sheds, shops which virtually have their doors on the road and even a series of liquor vends and taverns (ahatas). These structures are illegal and in blatant violation of all norms under the New Capital Development Periphery Control Act, 1952.

This place attracts a large number of liquor consumers from nearby areas also, hence quite a large number of liquor vends.

Adding to the congestion are rehri-wallas and autorickshaw drivers, who park their vehicles or rehris along the roadside. Flouting all rules and regulations, some sweetmeat makers have even erected permanent bhattis to cook their wares cocking a snock at the authorities.

All this reduces vehicles into a crawl as motorists struggle through the chaos, causing several minor accidents resulting in arguments.

Local residents maintain that anti-encroachment drives are launched every now and then. ‘‘ In the absence of strict punishment against encroachers, the structures keep coming up again and again,’’ asserts an official.

Meanwhile it is the poor commuters and residents of Nayagaon, Khuda Ali Sher and other surrounding villages , who have to no option but to use the road and face this harassing situation daily.

In the absence of any strict action by the authorities, there are a few shopkeepers, who have volunteered to clear the encroachments themselves. This is working partially in case of garbage dumping. Tonnes of garbage used to rot in front of a row shops in Nayagaon. The ground where the garbage used to be dumped falls in Chandigarh and little attention was paid to it by the UT.

Another confusion prevails about the boundary of Punjab and Chandigarh . A resident say, “We want Patwaries of both Punjab and UT to come here and measure the area and tell us from where Punjab starts and Chandigarh ends”.

Regarding rehris and three-wheelers, the villagers say that the offenders are, at times challaned by the enforcement wing of Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, if parked in the Chandigarh area.


FM’s promise a gimmick: residents
Our Correspondent

Nayagaon (Kharar), May 11
The reported announcement by the Punjab Finance minister that the government was considering to accord Notified Area Committee (NAC) status to the area has not enthused residents here, who have dismissed it as a mere ‘‘election gimmick’’. Residents are demanding power connections and not a ‘‘promise of NAC’’.

A large number of residents who constructed houses after December 9, 1998 as constructions after this date were not regularised by the Punjab Urban Development Authority, are demanding immediate power connection to their houses. Their argument is, when the FM announced that the area would be declared as NAC, then why the government did not provide power connections to them.’’

However, in the absence of any check by PUDA, a large number of unauthorised houses had come up in the area and fresh construction was on.

The residents were of the view that Captain Kanwaljit Singh had visited the area after four years of assuming office. He could have rather announced NAC status, instead of a mere promise. Mr Manjeet Singh Kamboj, president of the Residential and Shopkeepers Joint Action Committee, dismissed the FM’s announcement as ‘‘election stunt’’ and demanded, power connections to hundreds of residents. He said that the committee had boycotted the visit of the FM.

Another resident said, ‘‘Promises look good on leaders of opposition parties and not on a minister’’. A property dealer in the village asked, ‘‘When Chandigarh Administration can give power connections to houses outside Lal Dora, then why does the Punjab government not allow connections for us people?’’. Interestingly, there are also houses which were constructed well before the cut of date off December 1998, and the PUDA has refused No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to allow power connections to them. According to a senior PUDA official, only those houses constructed after the cut off date were denied connections. However, he admits that there are few cases pending in the court.

Mr Hardeep Singh, who owns a shop on the Gurdwara road in Nayagaon said, ‘‘My shop was constructed before 1998 and I do not have a electricity meter’’. According to him, earlier there was a meter, but it was removed later by the Electricity Department. ‘‘They said the meter was wrongly installed in my shop’’, said Mr Hardeep Singh. He claimed that inspite of repeated applications to the Electricity Department nothing has happened.

Another resident of the village and a government employee said that it had been over an year since he applied for power connection, but till date he has received no response for the department. He is forced to live in his brothers house. Another villager, after being denied power connection, installed a solar plant for electricity supply.

The reported announcement by the FM has also created confusion in the property market. Various property dealers in the area and in Chandigarh said, ‘‘People are approaching us to sell their plots in the area but there are no buyers’’.


12 villages marooned as phone link fails
Nishikant Dwivedi

Mullanpur-Garibdas (Kharar), May 11
Communication links snapped in as many as 12 villages with a population of over 15,000 for nearly 20 hours from the rest of the world, as the telephone exchange located in Mullanpur-Garibdas village in the Kharar subdivision developed a snag.

Villagers allege that for the past several years, the exchange trips every other day. They have threatened an agitation if a permanent solution was not found for the smooth functioning of the exchange.

The telephone exchange here reportedly developed a snag at around 3 p.m. yesterday. However, the villagers impressed upon the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) employees to remove the fault and the exchange became functional again this afternoon.

The villagers reportedly had to go to Chandigarh to make urgent phone calls. They claim that they had great difficulty in lodging the complaint about the exchange in SAS Nagar.

For long, villagers have been demanding that the telephone exchange should be upgraded and shifted to a new building.

The panchayat has already allotted the land and building for the exchange. Several senior officials of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, including the Principal General Manager had visited the new building but till date, nothing had actually happened.

It may be mentioned here that the building housing the telephone exchange was in a dilapidated condition. Villagers fear that the coming monsoons would aggravate the problem. It is pertinent to mention here that the newly set-up electronic exchange at Ratwara village was not fully functional yet and a few villages which were to be connected to it were still connected with the Mullanpur exchange.

Interestingly, the Ratwara exchange was functioning without any separate staff and was still managed by employees of Mullanpur exchange. A BSNL official said that the department would have to manage the exchange with its existing staff, as there was a freeze on new recruitment.

In February, 2000, the Mullanpur panchayat had passed a resolution and allotted the village’s primary school building for the exchange. After one year on February 8, 2001 , a senior BSNL official visited the building allotted by the panchayat. On March 13, 2001, the village panchayat received a letter from the SDO (Phones) Outer Area-I that the ‘site was not according to the measurements’. The department asked the panchayat to send the revised plans, which the panchayat did.

Mr Dewan Singh, the village’s Sarpanch, said that the panchayat had allotted additional land for a store, a generator room and a toilet. He said that the panchayat was ready to invest the money that the department demanded. According to him, the panchayat had also agreed do in writing, to rent the building as per the government norms.

When contacted, a senior BSNL official expressed ignorance about yesterday’s fault in the exchange, but assured that soon, a new 1,000 line E 10 B RLU exchange would come up at the village.

About the reported delay, he said that the work was in the planning stage and the exchange would come after the equipment had been allotted.

He was also of the view that some work was still left to be done on the building.


Snag in high-tension transformer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 11
The city and its surrounding areas, including SAS Nagar and Kharar, were plunged into darkness for more than two hours at 3 this morning as a high tension 220-KV transformer near the Ropar thermal plant developed a snag.

Almost the entire city excepting a handful of sectors on the eastern side faced the breakdown as the streetlights also failed. The breakdown did not affect supply in Panchkula as it is fed from Pinjore and Dhulkot. The breakdown also affected water supply in the city as the pressure dropped due to lack of power. The Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Mr Manmohanjeet Singh, confirmed that the pressure had dropped but a large part of the requirement of power used to run motors was met through generators.

Power engineers in Chandigarh said they could have done nothing to restore supply but wait for rectification of the fault at Ropar. The Chief Engineer, Operations and Maintenance, Ropar thermal plant, Mr V.K. Mohindru, admitted that generation at the plant had to be stopped due to the snag. He claimed that the entire plant was revived by 5.30 a.m. as the transformers fault was rectified.


Shramdan at Sukhna lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Assistant Estate Officer, Mr S.P. Arora, along with employees of the Estate Office, today took part in the “shramdan” at the Sukhna Lake here.

Apart from them, Mr R.K. Jain, a former UT Chief Engineer, also took part in the “shramdan”. The programme officer, Mr Harjinder Singh, along with 42 volunteers of Government College of Education, Sector 20-D, also performed “shramdan”. As many as 30 Chandigarh police personnel also helped in removing silt from the lake bed.

Teachers, along with 25 NSS volunteers of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, also joined. Till date 2,08,737 cubic feet of silt had been removed from the bed of the lake, according to a press note.


Aligarh’s beauty captured in fabric
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The demand for soothing cotton fabric never seems to decline. As the summer intensifies, the city seems to get more and more interested in soft, delightfullyembroidered fabrics.

After a brief gap, another city-based designer, Archana Singhal, has come out with her exclusive summer range, now on display at Hotel Aroma.

The hallmark of the ensemble put by Archana is exquisite blending of the traditional and contemporary styles. Though the designer chooses from the rich heritage of Lucknow and Aligarh, her fabric does not look cliched.

For Archana, working with the typical Lucknow stitches was only natural. Since she belongs to Lucknow, she often fetched exquisitely designed fabrics for friends back home. “When I started getting the stuff in routine, I thought why not start producing at home. I tied up with traditional craftsmen of Aligarh and Lucknow to produce a rather novel range of products.”


F&CC meeting put off again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) meeting, scheduled for today, was once again cancelled. During the past few months the meeting, to be held under the chairmanship of the Mayor, has been cancelled at least four times on one pretext or the other. The next date of the meeting is yet to be decided.

According to sources, the meeting was cancelled this time since the Mayor had to go out of station. The meeting scheduled for May 4 was cancelled at the last minute since the Mayor had to attend to some personal work. Prior to this, the meetings were cancelled due to the busy schedule of officials.

Sources add that the meeting of the committee assumes significance as no business meeting of the House has been conducted during the past four and a half months ever since the Congress Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, took over. The few development works, which are being undertaken in the city, are on the basis of the committee’s recommendations only.


CTCC leaders meet high command
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Several senior leaders of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) today met party leaders in New Delhi and sought strict disciplinary action against former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan for his anti-party activities.

According to sources, the leaders met Ms Mohsina Kidwai, in charge of the Chandigarh affairs, Ms Ambika Soni,AICC General Secretary, and Mr Moti Lal Vora, AICC Treasurer, and showed them documentary proof of the anti-party activities of the faction led by Mr Dhawan.

They also apprised them of the formation of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, the manch’s plea for election to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh on non-party basis and the gherao of the Mayor and the Senior Deputy Mayor and boycott of the Congress rally addressed by Ms Kidwai here on March 15.


Minor fires reported in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Minor fires were reported from various parts of the city yesterday.

A tarpaulin sheet covering a truck (PB-12-2122), parked in Industrial Area, Phase-I caught fire late last night. The cause of the fire is not known but a fire tender was able to control it. Twelve other trucks were parked in the area.

A fire was also reported from Khuda Ali Sher village following a gas leakage in the house of Gajjan, near Bodh Mandir. No loss was reported and a fire tender from Sector 11 controlled the fire. In another incident of gas leakage reported in house number 1756 of Baljit Singh in Mani Majra, few chairs and a bench was burnt.

A few files were burnt in a fire, which broke out on the first floor of State Bank of Patiala, Sector 17-C branch due to short-circuit caused by generator leakage. A fire tender from Sector 17 was rushed to the spot and timely action saved other files from damage, according to fire department sources.

Meanwhile, a minor fire also broke out near the police station in Mani Majra following short-circuit in a transformer. The flames near the transformer were, however, controlled.

Meanwhile, the household goods of Mr Ravi Sharma, a resident of Sector 43-B, were burnt in a fire which broke out this afternoon following a short-circuit.

Sources in the fire department maintain that articles, including tables, chairs and clothes, worth about Rs 3,000 were gutted.

A fire engine which was pressed into action from Sector 38 which controlled the fire.


Poison arrows and negative energy

“POISON arrows” refer to any structure in the neighbourhood hurting your building. Structures that are sharp, pointed or in a straight line are known as “poision arrows”. If these kinds of structures are facing your main door, or are in a straight line, Then it means these structures are sending “poison arrows” to you. These “arrows” are those that are caused by man-made constructions. These range from massive edges of buildings emit a great deal of killing breath. Many houses have triangular roof lines. These kinds of poison arrows are very harmful to the neighbouring houses. These fierce looking roof lines emit huge amounts of bad luck to anyone who is facing them. Bridges and towers are also “poison arrows” to their neighbouring houses. People living in houses which directly face a cemetry, hospital, police station or funeral parlour are also affected by the inauspicious Chi.

It is said that directly facing any of these places means you are countering a lot of negative energy. Negative energy affects the family living in these houses in a way that every member feels listless, demotivated and negative in their nature.


Address your Feng Shui queries to:


Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS

The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.


Reckless driver kills one, hurts 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
One person was killed and five others were injured when a reckless motor cycle driver lost control and hit several vehicles one after another.

Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Phase X of SAS Nagar, was killed on the spot when person named Harpreet Singh banged the motor cycle into his scooter after hitting a woman pedestrian and her child, besides another person, on the road dividing Sectors 49 and 50. Harbhajan’s wife, Surinder Kaur, was also injured. The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC against 19-year-old Harpreet, who has also sustained serious injuries.

He was coming to the city from SAS Nagar when he hit a woman pedestrian who was crossing the road along with her three-year-old child near Hotel Young Dwellers. The woman, Nargis, and her son, Azaar, were injured and Harpreet lost control of the vehicle, after which, he rammed into a moped driven by a person called Gurcharan Singh. This was before he hit Harbhajan’s scooter.


Home guard killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 11
A home guard of the Chandigarh Police, Sukhjinder Singh, was killed when the scooter he was riding was hit by an unidentified vehicle near the SCL here today. The victim was returning from his village, Bharatpur Bhagomajra. A case under Sections 279 and 304 of the IPC has been registered.


‘Need to develop biochip technology’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
While the domestic market for microelectronics and semiconductors is to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore, the domestic production is not upto the mark. The Chairman and Managing Director of the Semiconductor Complex Limited of SAS Nagar, Dr M.J. Zarabi, said this here today.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘Microelectronic Technology and Outlook for India’ at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation Complex here as a part of the third National Technology Day celebrations. The day marks the success of the 1998 nuclear tests.

“Limited and fragmented market, weak infrastructure and a large manpower attrition rate are the major causes of low performance of this sector,” Dr Zarabi said. He also said design activities and manpower development should be encouraged.

About the microelectronics activities in India, he said eight firms were manufacturing microelectronics in the country, while 10 designed Very-Large-Scale Integrated Circuits. Seven more institutions are engaged in research work. He also talked about the world market, process technologies and related issues.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the CSIO Director, Dr R.P. Bajpai stressed the need for working in the field of molecular electronics and developing the biochip technology.

A quiz contest on science and technology was also organised for the staff and students of the CSIO and the Indo-Swiss Training Centre. All laboratories of the CSIO were thrown open to the public today and a large number of visitors, including students, inspected the facilities and interacted with scientists.

Meanwhile, Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, a DRDO set-up, organised an ‘Open House’ at its Ramgarh ranges near Panchkula. Students of Ballistics Vidyalaya of Ramgarh and Army Public School of Chandi Mandir, besides scientists of the Sector 36 Central Forensic Science Laboratory, the Forensic Science Laboratory of Punjab, the Sector 26 Technical Teachers Training Institute, IMTECH, and the Panjab University Department of Chemistry visited the ranges to witness the firing trials.

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