Monday, May 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



PU set to reorganise academic priorities
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The beleaguered education system, burdened with financial and administrative constraints, is scheduled to come up for discussion at the forthcoming Panjab University Senate meeting.

Apart from routine issues, the agenda this time carries suggestions from various quarters, expressing concern over the gradual degeneration in the quality of education and possible improvements to keep up the reputation of the institution.

Significant is a letter of a fellow, Mr B. G. Verghese, which has been forwarded to all fellows and heads of teaching departments.

“Panjab University is facing a crisis as are all our universities and other institutions to varying degrees. All are riddled with systemic problems, sometimes made worse by ad hoc solutions. I suggest the appointment of a small committee of eminent educationists from the university and outside to formulate a holistic 10-15 year academic perspective plan for Panjab University”, the letter reads.

One interesting comment reads, “PU is an affiliating university but should it remain so in the light of tasks ahead? Far-flung affiliating colleges can sometimes dilute the character of the apex institution. One answer would be to seek to make truly autonomous colleges, which could raise their own funds partly, innovate and become centres of excellence”.

One relevant suggestion made by a fellow, Mr Hari Jaisingh, proposing a ‘Centre for Strategic Studies also figures in the communication. In this light, it has been suggested that the university ensure “Collaboration with the armed forces and paramilitary forces through the Ministries of Defence and Home Affairs. Emphasis should be on terrorism (including cyber terrorism), information welfare, low-intensity conflict and national security.”

The meeting also figures a resolution of Mr Satya Pal Dang, seeking streamlining of finances, one of the biggest holes in the university boat. He has suggested a five-member committee to recommend the procedure for discussion of budget.

Keeping in tune with the changed times, another resolution by Mr Dang proposes initiation of a process of forming a co-ordination committee, comprising vice-chancellors of Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi University and Panjab University.

Mr Verghese also makes mention of the university spending 84 per cent on establishment costs alone. This leaves little for educational development and improvement. Students and parents would have to pay for quality education leaving students from less affluent families high and dry. He also makes mention of need for job-oriented courses in the Department of Evening Studies.

The communique also cites Dr R.D. Anand, a senior fellow, who had, in the last meeting, suggested integration of departments into schools and centres to make them interdisciplinary as against the independent branches today. For example, the Social Sciences Centre would allow integration of study resources from different streams including political science, public administration, psychology and sociology besides others to have a composite idea on any concept related to them.


Problems galore for research scholars
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Hundreds of Panjab University researchers enrolled in PhD are waiting to be registered as research scholars.

These scholars have not been registered as PhD students despite their having been enrolled in PhD for more than one year. Awaiting the meeting of the degree research boards to consider their topics and pass them, these students can neither access library facilities nor can they apply for any scholarships.

Sailing in the same boat are many senior college professors and some college principals who, following the UGC requirement of a PhD degree have enrolled for the same in PU. ‘‘The college principals who are posted as ‘‘acting principals’’ in many colleges without a PhD degree are the worst hit as they have been given only four years by the senate to acquire a PhD.

The students had to submit and present their synopsis within one year of having enrolled in PhD. This period can be extended for a period of six months. Having presented their synopsis in their respective departments within this period, these students are now a waiting clearance of their topics by the degree research board, constituted for various subjects in the university.

Sources state that the research degree boards have yet to be constituted by the university pending the formation of the syndicate which will then choose deans of faculties who convene and chair these meetings. In the absence of the election of deans, these meeting are not being held.

But many students and teachers believe that if various boards of studies can be constituted to discuss matters relating to new course and upgradation of syllabi, then even degree research boards can be constituted by the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that the students do not suffer in the bargain.

Although in some cases students have been given extension of two months even after one-and-a-half years of being enrolled, no further extension is possible. These students, once they have presented their synopsis cannot get on with their work as their access to the university library is co-terminus with their enrollment period. Moreover, most of these students have no idea what fate their topics will meet at the degree research board meeting and in case some changes are proposed how and at what stage will they be able to incorporate these. Also these students without a registration from the university in a research programme cannot apply for any research scholarships in India and abroad.

Sources state that it was decided that heads of the departments can convene these meetings.


Still waiting for inquiry report
Payment to a PGI nurse not on rolls
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Even eight months after the PGI Vigilance Department started an inquiry into the salary payment amounting to several lakhs to an employee, who resigned from the hospital in 1994, the institute has failed to fix the responsibility of delinquent staff.

For five years, the Accounts Department kept depositing salary into the account of a nurse, Ms Aniemma Kurian, sister grade II, who was not even on the rolls of the institution. Realising their mistake, officials committed another blunder and withdrew the entire money from her account without her consent.

Sources said that the Vigilance Department had found role of about a dozen officials in this lapse. The PGI administration has, however, till date, not awarded penalty to any of the concerned officials.

In fact, sources reveal that the PGI Administration had asked the PGI Financial Advisor, Mr Bakshi Ram, to explain the cause of this lapse. But despite this, no concrete action has yet been taken against the indicted officials

When contacted, the PGI administration officials agreed that no punishment has been awarded to the guilty in this case. They, however, pointed out that process has been initiated and responsibility fixed. “Legal procedures do take some time to reach a conclusion,” they added.

Ms Kurien had resigned from her job in April 1994 and subsequently went abroad. Interestingly, she had even paid one month salary to the PGI for not having completed her notice period. The Accounts Department and the Medical Superintendent office did not notice that an employee who was not even on their rolls had been receiving salary for the past five years.

And though the salary was revised on January 1, 1996, after the Fifth Pay Commission report, the PGI Accounts Department failed to notice the lapse on its part and kept sending the salary to her State Bank of India (SBI) account.

When the matter finally came to the notice of the department officials, they multiplied the blunder by committing yet another mistake and withdrew the whole amount deposited by the PGI into Ms Kurian’s account in the PGI branch of the SBI without her consent, and transferred it to the PGI’s main account.


R. N. Chakravarty is dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 20
The first head of the PGI Experimental Medicine Department, Prof R. N. Chakravarty, died in Bangalore yesterday. He was 76.

Prof Chakravarty established the multi-disciplinary Experimental Medicine Department in the PGI in 1962. He published many papers and won many national and international awards, mainly in the field of athero sclerois, thickening of the blood vessel wall which leads to coronary artery disease and cerebral and vascular haemorrhage. He was the first person in the world to establish that monkeys too have hypertension like humans.

Prof Chakravarty is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. 


Police clueless on jeweller’s murderers 
Tribune News Service

The three suspects
The three suspects — Gurvinder alias Gary, Ranbir alias Shera and Lakhbir alias Rana — involved in the murder of Ashok Kumar, a 39-year-old jeweller of Chandigarh, a year ago.

SAS Nagar, May 20
It will be exactly one year tomorrow when a 39-year-old jeweller of Chandigarh was murdered at his Phase VII residence here. The victim’s family anxiously waits for news about the arrest of the suspects with the Ropar Police, which is still unable to trace the whereabouts of the assailants.

Police officials say that all the three suspects had been declared proclaimed offenders (POs), but no further progress had been made. The suspects had cleaved the body of the victim, Ashok Kumar, into four pieces before dumping each of them at different secluded places along a nullah along the periphery of the town.

The three suspects Gurvinder alias Gary, Ranbir alias Shera and Lakha alias Rana, who had been identified on the day of the murder on the basis of information given by Kulwinder Singh, an eyewitness to the incident , have been successful in evading the police, despite the police claiming that it was on the verge of arresting them on several occasions. The police had recovered the car in which the severed body parts of the victim had been carried.

A police official said a police party, which had gone to arrest them from a flat at Delhi, missed them by a couple of minutes raising doubts that the suspects knew in advance about the plan of the police. A theory that the suspects had been making efforts to escape from the country had also been explored, without any success.

An earlier move by the Ropar police to flash the photographs and detailed information about the absconding suspects on the popular television show, India’s Most Wanted, drew a blank. Details about the identity of the murderers had been sent to senior police officials for forwarding to the organisers of the television show were lost among files.

The local police had written to the DIG (Crime), Punjab, to pursue the matter with different investigative agencies concerned but that too did not yield any result. Photographs of the suspects, along with identification features, had been sent to airport authorities at Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta under the Lookout for Criminals category, so as to prevent the suspects from leaving the country . In June last, the police, during search operations conducted at the Phase IIIB 1 house of Gary, the prime suspect, had recovered at least 440 gram of charas, several bottles of foreign liquor and a knife. 


Safe city for children: not anymore
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Sita (not her real name), a 13-year-old girl, was allegedly abducted and raped by a 22-year-old resident of her village, Bir Ghaggar, on May 18. She was abducted while she was on her way to the school and taken to a nearby forest. There, the man took her nude photographs and raped her. The girl returned home yesterday and narrated the incident to her mother. The police has registered a case, but the accused has absconded.

Aasia, a 10-year-old girl, was raped and murdered on the night of May 4, allegedly by a drunken neighbour and his two accomplices at a poultry farm of Barwala village. They left the body in a discarded sewerage pipeline in a nearby field. The neighbour, Rakesh (25), had “guests” on that night and he requested the girl’s family to send her over to cook food for them.

The increasing cases of child sex-abuse in the city and its satellite towns prove that claims regarding the region being safe for children are false.

According to the police, about 20 cases of sexual abuse of children have been registered in the city, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. At least 13 of these have been registered in the city.

The police says that the number of the reported cases is far below the number of such incidents. “The registered cases comprise not even 30 per cent of such incidents. The fear of social stigma and offenders often being close relatives of victims are reasons why such incidents go unreported,” says a senior police official.

There has also been an increase in the cases of sodomy. On March 15 this year, a five-year-old child was allegedly sodomised by a 17-year-old school student, Hanif Ansari, his neighbour. The accused lured the boy to his hut on the pretext of showing him a programme on television.

Only one or two such incidents used to be reported in a year earlier. Compared to this, five such incidents were reported from different parts of the city in 2000 and four in 1999.

The police says that these crimes are cause for social concern. Ms Rajesh Gill, a Reader in the Panjab University Department of Sociology, says, “Child sex-abuse is common, but it has been kept under the wraps for long.

It is a positive sign if people are now openly targeting offenders. However, due to the absence of a support group or organisation here, the rehabilitation of such children is a problem. Victims and their families should be educated to cooperate in helping the victims return to normal life,” she says.

She says most of the offenders are in the age group of 16 to 25 because they have minimal moral education and a highly active sexual desire. Overexposure to sex through the media also encourages such incidents.


Mi-8 copters being modified
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
In a novel experiment stemming from the operational requirements of off-shore flying, the Indian Air Force is modifying some of its Mi-8 medium-lift helicopters to enable these to touch down on or take off from water.

The project is being undertaken by 3 Base Repair Depot here. It is learnt that a team of engineers from Russia and Ukraine are at present stationed at the depot to help the IAF carry out these modifications. At present work is being carried out on two Mi-8s.

IAF sources say that helicopters from units based at Jamnagar and Car Nicobar, which are tasked with off-shore flying, will be modified. While the sources say that floatation gear is being incorporated to meet any emergency during off-shore flying, the possibility of such helicopters being tasked for maritime operations cannot be ruled out.

The stations where these choppers are based lie in operationally sensitive zones. The Rann of Kutch, with its numerous shallow water channels and marshy grounds, is a hotbed of hostile activity. It was in this sector that an intruding Pakistani Atlantique surveillance aircraft was shot down by the IAF and later an IAF Mi-8 carrying a high-level BSF party was brought down, reportedly as it descended to check out some fishing boats.

The Car Nicobar sector, on the other hand, is known to be the operating ground for drug and gun-runners based in Myammar and some South-East Asian countries. Also, China has increased its naval presence and electronic surveillance activities in this sector.

The sources say that this is for the first time that a chopper of the size of the Mi-8 is being modified for floatation, even though helicopters of this size or heavier ones have been designed to float on water. The Mi-14, which is similar to the Mi-8, has a boat-like hull. So do several Sikorsky series in service with the US Air Force and Navy.

The Mi-8 has a tricycle type, non-retractable wheeled undercarriage and adding floatation gear will involve certain modifications to the lower part of the airframe.

The IAF had earlier equipped the lighter Chetak helicopter with floatation gear. These were generally those sent of the ONGC for carrying out logistic sorties to off-shore oil platforms.

Inducted into the IAF over a period (from 1971 to 1985), the Mi-8 equips seven helicopter units and is used for communication, paradropping, casualty evacuation and special heli-borne operations, besides forming a part of a specially modified detachment attached to Air Headquarters for ferrying the President and the Prime Minister.

An exhaustive study carried out on the oldest Mi-8s by 3 BRD last year concluded that the stipulated lifespan of these aircraft can be easily extended by five years or more. The first batch of Mi-8s is nearing the end of the manufacturer’s stipulated “calendar” lifespan of 30 years, while just half of their stipulated “fatigue” lifespan of 12,000 flying years has been exhausted.



The one-hour power cut imposed by the Chandigarh Administration in different Sectors at different times has affected the functioning of various offices and commercial establishments.

The aim of this power cut was to conserve power and supply uninterrupted electricity during the remaining hours. People had willingly reconciled to this cut and decided to cooperate with the administration without any hue and cry. However, their wish to get power supply during the remaining day has not been fulfilled, much to the chagrin of the masses.

Mr S. P. Kansal, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner of Chandigarh, says there is no fixed time for cuts in UT offices even in Sector 17. At times the power cut continues for two to three hours.

Living in Sector 30 he points out that recently they did not get power supply for more than three hours. There was not even enough water supply either. What is shocking is that four-inch hosepipes continued to water a newly carved out park adjoining their house.

The position of power supply was no better in other sectors as well. Residents complain of unscheduled power cuts and scarcity of water.

Good Samaritan

He is the Good Samaritan in the Chandigarh police. Sub Inspector Balbir Singh Chahal and his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, have together donated blood at least 67 times in the past 12 years. They are a couple who have made saving people’s life by donating blood, their life’s ambition.

Balbir Singh says that he started donating blood in 1988 when he had gone to visit a distant relative in the hospital. She was dying as the matching blood group was not available and in spite of initial inhibitions, he decided to donate his own blood.

“The girl’s life was thus saved. I was so moved at being able to help save another human being, that this became a passion with me,” he says. And not only here, Mr Chahal, whenever, he finds an advertisement regarding any patient needing blood anywhere in the country, willingly volunteers.

His wife, Jaswinder Kaur, could not keep herself detached from her husband’s passion and a couple of years back, she too took to this humanitarian task of offering to donate blood whenever needed.

New Web site

Nakul Goyal, a BCA Final Year student at the Regional Institute of Management and Administration (PTU), and Manish Gupta have developed a Web site,, which will be introduced as a freeware resource over the Internet.

The website, apart from offering free e-mail service will offer other free resources like online discussion forums where queries relating to computers can be posted which will be answered by professionals from all over the world. One can log on to the website for queries relating to computers and Internet, graphics and multimedia, MS DOS problems, MCSE Resource information etc.

For each of the forums, individual topicwise chat rooms are also available. The site has also been equipped with the facility to search usenet newsgroups without actually subscribing to them. Other important searches available are Shareware, Computers, Education, Employment and The Web. Users can also get a free webpage and can even upload their photograph to be made visible on the site.

Chennai, is it?

Can a letter intended to be sent to Chennai be delivered at Chandigarh? The answer may be no but the Department of Posts has performed this feat.

The letter in question was received by Dr RP Bansal, a resident of 117, Sector 33-A in Chandigarh. He received the letter addressed to the Nippon Tools Company, 117, Kamraj Avenue, Second Street, Adyar, Chennai-600020, by the Goetze (India) Limited, Patiala. The only common factor in both the addresses is 117.

It is surprising that the department even overlooked the pin code number. Will the department be more careful in future so that such mistake could be avoided and public was not inconvenienced?

Clean-up act

Efficient hands vigorously brooming streets in SAS Nagar gave an impression of a VIP visit. The residents were surprised to see the cleaning of streets continuing the next day, only to realise that sanitation of the town had been privatised.

Happy to see men sweeping streets which had not seen any safai karamchari for a long period, a resident said maintenance of all essential services ought to be privatised.

PAN online

There is good news for income tax payers as the elusive Permanent Account Number (PAN) will soon be available online. Besides, various forms of the income tax department will also be available on website.

This information was given by Mr J.S Ahluwalia, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (North Western Region), while addressing a press conference the other day. Processing of returns on computers and better management of record will be the other highlights of the restructured department.

Shuffling game

The State Bank of Patiala has shuffled as many as — hold your breath —five managers of its Chandigarh Industrial Area branch during the past one year.

Mr C.B. Khurana, who manned the branch till March last year, was sent to Jalandhar. He was succeeded by Mr S.C. Hora. After a brief stint of three months he was sent to the Punjab and haryana High Court branch. Mr S.C. Palta, who took over in September, 2000, was replaced by Mr Manmohan Singh.

Earlier this month, Mr A.K. Anand became the new manager of the bank. Customers are keeping their fingers crossed to see how long he will last.

If managers are shifted so frequently, how can they improve the functioning of the bank, officials ask.

Thefts in temples

Controversy surrounds the theft in a temple in Sector 18- C with the resident and the temple authorities claiming that the ornaments stolen from the temple were original and not fake as earlier claimed by the police. Interestingly, the police backtracked from its earlier claim and said that the stolen ornaments could be real.

A theft in the temple had taken place on May 8 night when a kirtan had been organised in the temple. The police had then said that after the kirtan was over, the devotees had left without closing the doors of the temple. Unknown miscreants had later decamped with the ornaments adorning the idols.

Subsequently, an FIR had been registered in the Sector 19 police station. Now the police authorities are maintaining that the ornaments were real and only the investigations would lead to the truth. They also maintain that it was a case of burglary and not theft as was earlier claimed.

During the past month itself, several cases of burglary have been reported in temples, gurudwaras and churches. On the April 24 night, two cases of burglary took place at the S.D. Temple in Sector 11 and the Jeewan Jyoti Church at the PGI. A couple of days ago, a burglary in the Pracheen Hanuman Mandir in Sector 32 was also reported.

SJOBA gesture

Blood donation camps in Chandigarh have become a regular feature. But this one is always different. Members of the St. John’s Old Boys Association (SJOBA) organise a camp at the advent of summer to meet the shortage of blood faced from May to July. Each donor of the previous years’ camp is phoned individually and requested to bring along a new donor. The total exceeds 200 every time.

These caring people have been demonstrating their concern not only for the sick and wounded over several years but for the motivational organisation, the Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh.

All expenses for refreshments served to donors are borne entirely by the SJOBA which helps to conserve the society’s resources.

Every donor is given a gift packet of greeting cards bought by the SJOBA from the Blood Bank Society (to generate funds and spread the message of safe blood).

To top it all, a generous donation of Rs 5000 to the Blood Bank Society shows their caring attitude.

Bang on target

When 78-year-old Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob, Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, picked up a 9-mm pistol last week during a visit to the shooting range and shot a bulls eye it surprised everyone. And it was embarrassing for inservice commandos and cops who were practising at the range as they could not match the shots of the straight talking General, who is a battle hardened armyman and is seen in Chandigarh as a peoplefriendly Governor.

The IG of Chandigarh, Mr B.S. Bassi, who had accompanied the General was also surprised. Not satisfied with his bulls eye achievement, the General asked for an AK 47 assault rifle which he had never handled while wearing the olive green uniform. His aides got fidgety probably fearing in their minds that the recoil of the gun may be too much for the General. The Governor, however, went ahead and missed bulls eye by a proverbial whisker.

Before departing he said he would come again leaving cops in awe of the Guv.

Monkey menace

The PGI authorities are facing a peculiar problem. A bunch of naughty monkeys, who inhabit the rooftops of various buildings of the institute, besides creating other problems, also do not let the lids of overhead tanks remain in their place. As a result, many of these tanks, from where the water fills up coolers for drinking purpose, toilets and operation theatres either have broken or there are no lids at all. And the simians coolly dive in and out of these tanks and use the water for bathing and generally having a good time in this hot weather.

Admittedly, water is filtered before it reaches the coolers, but toilets and other places do not have the facility. Insiders say that the engineering department had suggested to the administrative branch to employ services of a langoor, with his trainer of course, to take care of the problem and shoo the monkeys away. The proposal is lying with the administrative branch. Any takers?

Sharp-eyed cops

Talk of overzealousness and the Punjab Police presents a classic case. A couple of days back, a 75-year-old car driver was stopped shortly after the SAS Nagar barrier. When asked the reason, the constable sheepishly informed him that he just wanted to check that it was not some underage driver behind the steering wheel. Must say, it is some dedication to duty. 

— Sentinal


The road which isn’t
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Poorly laid down tarmac, dotted with potholes of the size of craters, cracks and depressions, this is how one can describe the V-3 road dividing sectors 44 and 45 in the City Beautiful. The condition of the said road deteriorates further between sectors 44-C and 45-D, so much so, that a stretch of the road has almost vanished at the T-junction before it meets the outer Dakshin marg. Driving on these roads has become a driver’s nightmare, especially during the night, when the drivers fail to notice the depressions, which has resulted in several accidents.

The 44-ft-wide V-3 road has a heavy flow of vehicular traffic for buses and trucks going to various cities of Punjab and SAS Nagar passing through it, before turning to the outer Dakshin marg. Furthermore, since the number of schools in Sector 44 have grown manifold in the last few years, the road is being put to massive use and also poses a danger to the lives of school children. Residents of the area, who are rather sore about its proper upkeep and maintenance point out that water leakages due to inadequate storm water drainage have further led to the weakening of this road.

Seema, a resident of Sector 44, claims, “As a result of driving amidst these potholes and cracks day in and out, I had to change the tyres of my scooter in less than one year.” The journey on the road is never jolt-free, complain the residents, whether they go in their own vehicles or by rickshaws on these roads. For a few other old people residing in these sectors, it is a testing time to travel on these roads as they can put their “springs” and spine to test. The problem aggravates in monsoons when rain water accumulates in these potholes. The V-3 road is also without proper footpaths for pedestrians.

While the residents blame the MC authorities for their apathy, the MC officials are unable to repair the same due to financial constraint. The said road, now with the MC, was earlier with the Administration and the sorry state of affairs only points out that the Administration had also made no effort to strengthen the same and it has been lying as such for over 15 years now. An official of the Roads wing of MC pointed out that due to heavy flow of traffic and absence of regular maintenance, the surface has weakened to such an extent that even the patchwork does not stay here. He admitted that the MC has not done any major repair of this road during the past four years due to lack of funds and the same was in poor condition at the time of transfer also.

Sources further reveal that every bituminous road needs recarpeting after a span of five years, keeping in view the increase in traffic intensity. Since the MC at present has no funds to undertake the same, it figures among the list of those V-3 roads which are to be sent to the UT Administration for widening, strengthening and recarpeting as a one-time measure, subject to the approval of MC House. The same will, however, be handed back to the MC after the work is executed. The work on the V-3 road between sectors 33 and 45 is already being carried out by the Administration and the condition of the same is improving.


Councillors’ houses gheraoed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Activists of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch gheraoed the houses of a BJP and a Congress councillor today for their alleged role in stalling the proceedings of the House of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

The activists, led by the manch president, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, first assembled in the Colony No 4 and gheraoed the house of Mr Rajinder Kumar, a BJP councillor. Then they marched to the house of Ms Kamlesh, a Congress councillor.

Addressing the activists, Mr Dhawan said this was done to remind the representatives of the people about their responsibilities towards the people and was not against any political party. The manch would not hesitate to gherao the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, if it was thought that he was not taking up the issues of public importance, he added.

The CTCC chief, Mr B.B. Bahl, and Mr Bansal, were also present at the house of Ms Kamlesh during the “gherao”.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajinder Kumar has termed the “gherao” as a “political stunt”. In a written statement, he said manch had nothing to do with the development of the city and its activities were being carried out for the vested interests of its leaders. Later a rally was organised in Colony No 4 where development works carried out in the last four-and-a-half years were listed.


Rain brings down temperatures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Rain in the past 48 hours in the city and vicinity has brought down temperatures considerably, much to the relief of the common man.

According to the met office, temperature in the city came down from yesterday’s 35.8ºC to 29.4°C today. While the city recorded 10.4 mm rainfall last evening, 4mm rain fall was recorded today. The office has predicted isolated rainfall in the next couple of days. 


YPS student dies in accident
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 20
Grief took over the Housefed Complex in Phase X here when news about the death of a 10-year-old Gurmehal Singh, who was living with his grandfather in the complex, broke. The deceased, a student of the YPS, and his sister were staying with their grandfather for their studies.

The accident took place today when Gurmehal along with his uncle, Tegh Singh Brar, and his 25-year-old son, Shamsher, was on way to their village, Khandung in Muktsar. The Esteem car in which they were travelling, rammed into a truck resulting in death of all the occupants in the car. The student was going to the village to meet his father, Udham Singh, sarpanch of the village. 


Rs 1.25 lakh worth tickets still missing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 20
Bus tickets worth Rs 1.25 lakh of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, which were found missing from the Government Press, Sector 18, about three months ago, are still untraceable. The UT Printing and Stationery Department had reportedly issued a circular regarding the missing tickets.

According to sources in the Government Press, lapses on the part of both of the Printing and Stationery Department and the CTU could not be ruled out. It is also learnt that the Printing and Stationery Department had also issued a circular about the ‘misplaced’ tickets.

It could not be ascertained how the tickets actually disappeared from the Press. Sources in the Press said that both the CTU and UT Printing and Stationery Departments officials had been blaming each other for the missing tickets. The Controller of the Printing and Stationery Department could not be contacted.

It is learnt that about a fortnight ago, a CTU conductor on the Chandigarh - Amritsar route was apprehended by the officials of CTU. He was said to be selling a Rs 2 ticket for Rs 32 to the commuters after putting a fake stamp of Rs 30 on the ticket. Mr Amar Pal, Director (Transport), who caught the conductor during a raid said, ‘‘A conductor (No. 373) was affixing a fake stamp of Rs 30 on tickets’’. The conductor has been suspended and a chargesheet has been file against him.

It may be mentioned here that on March 15, Mr Vinod Kumar, found a pack of CTU bus tickets near a Sector 22 petrol pump. However, the CTU’s General Manger on Friday, lodged a complaint with the local police that the tickets which were returned to the CTU, were found fake after investigations.

A case under the sections 420, 467 and 478 of Indian Penal Code was registered after the General Manager lodged a complaint.


New facilities in Leisure Valley to be inaugurated on May 22
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 20
There is a good news for morning walkers as the Leisure Valley in Sector 62 here, spread over an area of 50 acres, has been spruced up for May 22 when the Housing and Urban Development Minister, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, will inaugurate new facilities there.

The facilities, two RCC vaulted foot bridges — a 200-foot-long and a 100 foot long on a seasonal rivulet meandering its way through the leisure valley — have been given a unique architectural design. Three horizontal GI pipes with rails on both sides and arched GI pipes frame at intervals overhead form cover over the bridge. The foot bridges, one opening from the Punjab School Education Board headquarters sides and the other opening from the YPS school side, will enable the morning walkers to cover a 6 km-long concrete track.

The foot bridges and the sprinkling system had been provided at a cost of around Rs 40 lakh, said Mr Paramjit Singh, an Executive Engineer of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). The authorities are channelising the course of the seasonal rivulet at certain points to check erosion of its embankments.

The minister will also lay the foundation stone of an 18-acre multi-utility park in Sector 68 near the proposed Mahindra Knowledge Park. The project, expected to give a boost to cultural activity in the town, will have an open air theatre and an amphitheatre.

A unique feature of the park will be a feature embodying the spirit of valour of Sahibzada Ajit Singh after whom the town has been rechristened. The existing land features at the site, like uneven terrain, will be retained to give it an impact of a small valley acting as a natural water body. Impetus is being given to provide barrier-free features for the physically handicapped, especially those on wheel-chair. The entry to the park will be built in from a three dimensional P-shaped structure.

On the pattern of the popular Town Park and the Nijhar Vatika garden in Panchkula, the PUDA authorities have also earmarked place for kiosks selling eatables. An arched gateway will lead the visitor to a 100-foot-tall foundation in a water body. Facilities like toilets, control room, electrician room and other paraphernalia will be housed under the water fall so that it does not act as an eye sore.

Tiers in red sandstone have been proposed near the entrance for visitors to have a panaromic view of the fountains with water fall at one end, open air theatre and amphitheater on the other two sides.

The two projects form part of the itinerary of the minister who will inaugurate the foot bridges and a community centre each in Sector 65 ( Phase XI) and Sector 59 ( Phase V) and lay the foundation stone of community centres in Sectors 61, 70 and 71. The community centre in Sector 61 will also have a national-level swimming pool.



Directives to check fly menace
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 20
The District Administration has directed the Poultry Farmers Association to undertake spray in Barwala and Raipur Rani areas on May 25 and 26 in order to check the menace of flies.

Mrs Jyoti Arora, the Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula, issued these directions while presiding over a meeting jointly organised by the representative of the Poultry Farmers Association, various panchayat representatives and district officers here. She said that these directions should not be violated and the defaulters would be dealt with firmly.

She said two committees — one each at the district-level and the block level — had been constituted for the purpose. The district-level committee would comprised of SDM, DSP (Hqr), DHO and the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, while the block-level committee would involve respective BDPOs, SMO, SHOs of the area concerned and representatives of area panchayat .

The committees would monitor the spray work conducted by the association. The medical officer would take samples of poultry feed and send these for examination in the laboratory, regularly.

The DC further directed the association to make available spray medicine to the Health Department which would be given to panchayats for spray at their own. The Health Department would provide aid to the panchayats for this purpose.

To avoid any health hazard, she urged the association and the representatives of panchayats to check the problem of flies by mutual cooperation. 


Probe grant of yellow ration cards: JD (U)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The Janata Dal (U) has demanded an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the grant of “yellow ration cards” to the persons of economically weaker sections of society.

In a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, the president of the party, Mr Surinder Bhardwaj, demanded a fresh survey of the villages and colonies to know the exact number of the persons, who really deserved these ration cards.

Mr Bhardwaj alleged that there was a nexus between touts and officials of the Food and Supplies Department and because of this non-deserving persons were getting the ration cards by paying a “price”. This has created a lot of resentment among the deserving persons, he added.


‘Ground’ reality: it isn’t there
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, May 20
‘Why doesn’t Jacob uncle come here?” says 12-year-old Rubal Soni, referring to the absence of a playground or park in Modern Housing Complex at Mani Majra. He says that he has read newspapers reports of the initiatives taken by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to improve civic conditions in Chandigarh. There are thousands of children in this urban slum who want to see things improve.

Even after eight years of the establishment of this complex, there is still no developed park here, though many officers of the Administration, police and the Army live here. Though the Chandigarh Housing Board has handed over this complex to the Municipal Corporation, the civic body, too, has ignored it.

Brothers, Dhananjay and Abhimanyu Sharma, students of the Sector 27 Bhavan Vidyalya, were playing football near a garbage bin in an open space here.

They said they had to play in streets in front of their houses, which interrupted traffic. Rubal’s brother, Sidhharth, a student of St John’s High School, said there was no ground near his house where children could play.

Harleen, a Class II student of the Sector 9 Carmel Convent School, and her mother have the same complaint. Harleen’s father, an advocate, said officials concerned were not interested in developing parks here.

Vikhyat, a Class II student of Panchkula’s Hansraj Public School, said, he had to play cricket on road here, for which, he was often scolded by his mother. Lakshay Nagpal of Vivek High School, Uttakarsh of St John’s High School and Hitkarsh of Panchkula’s Shemrock School have faced similar situations.

Mr A.N. Chawla, a resident of the complex, said swings for children had only been installed in Category I houses here and, that too, in filthy surroundings.

Mr Vivek Kamal, another resident of the area, said the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, was the area councillor, but he had never bothered to visit the complex.

When contacted, Mr Manmohan Jit Singh, Chief Engineer of the MCC, said, in the open space here near the shopping complex was a reserved site. The Administration should only develop a green belt or a park on this site.


Drawing contest marks end of celebrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 20
The week-long anniversary celebrations of the British Library concluded with a drawing contest followed by a cultural extravaganza at the Lajpat Bhavan here today. The guest of honour, Mr K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, said,’’ Just in a period of one year the British Library has revolutionised the reading habits of the city. The library has made a special place in the heart of book lovers of the city.’’

Prize distribution was also held on the occasion. The Deputy Director, British Council, Sri Lanka, Ms Gill Morgan, and First Secretary, Resources Management, British Council, India, Ms Grace Conacher, were also present on the occasion.

The main highlight of the programme was a play, ‘’The Boor’’ by Anton Chekov played by students of Vivek High School, Sector 38. It was a romantic comedy directed by Sonia Dhillon.

The results of the prize winners of various competitions held in series are as under:

Inter-college quiz (held on May 9): Architecture - Mr Vir Pratap Singh and Mr Atul Sarda, Chandigarh College of Architecture, 1st; Mr Prateek and Mr Nimish, Punjab Engineering College, IInd; and Ms Priyanka Pooja and Ms Puneet Sandha, Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, IIIrd.

Poem writing (held on May 11): Mr Yashu Swami and Mr Sardara Singh Cheema 1st; Wing Cdr D.P. Sabharwal IInd and Ms Rajni Manchanda, IIIrd. Fiction writing (held on May 12): Mr Harinder Mohan Singh, 1st; Dr Sushmita Chakrabarti, IInd and Mr Maheshinder Singh Sidhu, IIIrd. Essay writing (held on May 15): Mr Harinder Mohan Singh, 1st; Dr Rashi Gupta, IInd and Mr Rakesh Verma, IIIrd. Extempore (held on May 17): Mr Deep Singh, 1st; Mr Ramesh Sharma, IInd and Mr Sahil, IIIrd. Collage making (held on May 18): Dr Geetika Singh, 1st; Dr Veena Wig, IInd and Mr Ankush Goel, IIIrd. Written quiz (held between May 2 and May 19): Mr Sudeep Rawat, 1st; Ms Prerna Megha, IInd and Ms Shalini Sehgal, IIIrd. Sit and draw contest (held on May 20): Shreya Gupta, 1st; Monami Bhattacharya, IInd and Kriti Sharma, IIIrd. 


UT employees plan movement against govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
A meeting of the Chandigarh UT Subordinate Services Federation, the Federation of the UT Employees and Workers and the Federation of Punjab Employees was held here today.

The meeting resolved to build a big movement against the anti-employee policies of the Union Government, the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration.

The main demands of the employees included grant of bonus for the past four years, an end to the policy of privatisation of the public sector undertaking, abolition of contract system, filling of vacant posts, grant of promotions after four, nine and 14 years of service on increase in the CCA and medical allowance and treating the employees of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh on deputation.

The meeting criticised the reduction in the interest rate on the GPF. The decision of the Administration to change the office timings was also criticised.

The meeting decided to hold a rally at Matka Chowk on June 13 in support of the employees’ demands.

Fire Dept to target unsafe buildings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 20
In view of two major fire incidents in the city recently, the Fire Department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will issue notices under the Fire Act, 1996, to owners of 40 high-rise buildings in Sector 17next week. A survey showed that these 40 buildings were found to be ill-equipped to fight a fire disaster as these did not have fire-fighting and fire-detection systems.

Lake shramdan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Inclement weather was no hindrance to the people as the shramdan at the Sukhna Lake entered the 16th day today.

Shramdan picked up momentum with 60 volunteers of the ICICI Bank led by its Regional Chief doing shramdan. Programme Officers, Mr Mohan Lal, Mr Rajesh and Mr Yogesh along with 85 volunteers also removed silt from the lake bed.

Theatre of Joy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA) will organise Theatre of Joy, a community theatre workshop by G.S. Chani and Harleen Kohli. between May 24 and June 9.The workshop will culminate into a play production. Theatre games, physical and psycho-physical exercises will be used Those interested can contact Karuna Sadan or call at 745169 and 770635.

Tributes paid to Colonel Mahal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Rich tributes were paid to Col Harpal Singh Mahal ( retd) at his bhog ceremony held at Kathgarh village, near Ropar, today. Col Harpal Singh passed away last week. He was the father-in-law of Mr Gurbachan Jagat, Director-General of the Border Security Force (BSF) and former head of the Jammu and Kashmir police. 


Different vibes of colours

Colour therapy in Feng Shui is directly related to the general idea of the five elements — wood, fire, metal, earth and water. Each colour on its own is neither good nor bad. Combinations of colours cause good and bad luck and this is based on the above-mentioned elements.

The destructive and productive cycles of the elements decide the colour to be good or bad. Every colour carries a different vibration and so the way we use colours can subtly or dramatically change our lives.

Colours form an integral part of our environment and it is the use of colours in Feng Shui that cures because colours influence Chi in the surrounding atmosphere.

This is easier to understand if you think about how a room that is predominantly yellow or orange always feels warmer and more welcoming than one that is decorated in white, grey or blue. The entire range of colours is thought of as representing certain qualities and is associated with one of the five elements.

For example, black is associated with the water element and is good to use in career, ancestral and wealth areas. It also symbolises money and wealth but use it sparingly. So, taking colours into consideration is very important when one is applying a cure, in different areas of the house. Harshna

Address your Feng Shui queries to:

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



Youth attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
A-24-year-old youth attempted suicide at his Sector 24 residence by consuming an insecticide. According to the police, the victim was in a state of depression.

According to information available from the police, Rajpath consumed an insecticide. He has also left behind a suicide note. He was rushed to the PGI where he is stated to be serious condition.

The father of Rajpath, Ram Sunder, is a gardener in the house of a senior doctor in the PGI and was staying in the servant quarter in the latter's residence.

Theft cases: Three cases of theft, including two of auto-theft, were reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

A Maruti Esteem car (CH-01R-7091) was stolen from outside the residence of Mr O.P. Malik in Sector 28 on the night of May 18. In another incident, a Kinetic Honda scooter (PB-31A- 0615) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 22.

The police has registered cases under section 379 of the IPC.

Purse stolen: Purse containing Rs 200 was stolen by Amrik Singh from Gobinda last evening. The accused was caught redhanded and a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized: Mahadev was arrested from near the Darua cremation ground and 14 bottles of whisky were seized from him.

Four injured: Neeraj Sharda and Phatak were injured when they were hit by a car (CH-01M-1800) near the Sector 18-19 crossing. The car driver fled.

A cyclist, Amin Chand, was hit by a three-wheeler (CHV- 8517) near the Transport light point last night. The accused driver, Lal Chand, was arrested and a case under sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

In another case, Sonu, a resident of Ram Darbar (Phase III) was injured when he fell from the terrace of his house this morning.

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