Sunday, May 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Drug haul sets police after foreigners
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 26
After seizing drugs and cash from a Nigerian in the town yesterday, the police has turned the heat on foreigners who are staying illegally as tenants here.

All foreigners have to report to the police when they shift to the city town, but the rule is seldom followed. It is learnt that most foreigners have turned a blind eye to this rule and are staying here without intimating the police.

Also, the imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC in Chandigarh for making landlords furnish details of their tenants is a deterrent for foreigners who are looking for accommodation there. Now, they have turned toward the town.

Why foreigners are able to stay in town illegally

  • Foreigners don’t report to the police when they arrive here.

  • Landlords, too, are not required to furnish details of tenants.

  • No effort from the administration to issue such orders.

With no such order here, the town is a safe haven for them and gives them freedom to operate without interference from the police. Residents of the town say that since these foreigners prefer to stay away from the locals and in groups, little information on them is available. Their interaction with their landlords, too, is limited to only paying the rent.

The police has also failed to keep track of foreigners who enter and leave the town. Unlike Chandigarh, where it is mandatory for landlords to supply information regarding their tenants after orders by the Administration, there is no such way of keeping a tab on foreigners here.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadava, said, “ The imposition of Section 144 in the town is likely to put residents to some inconvenience. To counter that, we will urge landlords to furnish details of foreigners residing in their houses. We will have to a keep a close watch on their activities as well.’’

The police plan

  • Send foreigners who are staying in the town without registration with the police, packing.
  • An order to make landlords furnish details of foreign tenants only.

Sources said that police squads were carrying out searches to establish the links of the Nigerian who have been caught with drugs yesterday, with other foreigners who lived here and supplied drugs.

The police says that though the drugs brought here by foreigners are not sold in the town, these are forwarded to peddlers in Chandigarh. “Panchkula is the only a hideout for the suppliers as there are fewer checks and more persons here are willing to give their houses on rent without too many questions. This is because suppliers pay their rents on time, shift out soon and create few hassles for landlords,’’ an official said.

Meanwhile, the accused Nigerian, Tazudin Auhozaula, was sent to the police remand till May 28 after he was produced in the district court here. His medical test was also carried out.

It is learnt that the accused was on his way to a house of a fellow foreigner in Sector 12, when he was caught. That man had rented an accommodation in Chandigarh as well and a search was on for him.



New postal tariff from June 1
Tribune News Service

Ambala, May 26
The Central Government has decided to revise the tariff for certain inland postal services with effect from June 1.

The existing tariff of 25 paisa for a single postcard has been revised to 50 paisa. For a printed post card, the existing tariff of Rs 2 has been revised to Rs 3 and for a competition post card, the existing tariff of Rs 4 has been revised to Rs 5.

Regarding letters, for a weight not exceeding 20 grams, the revised tariff is now Rs 4 instead of Rs 3 and for every 20 grams, or fraction thereof, exceeding 20 grams, the revised tariff now stands at Rs 4, a press note issued by the Chief Post Master-General, Haryana circle, Mr T.R. Sharma, said.

For book, pattern and sample packets, for the first 50 grams or fraction thereof, the existing tariff of Rs 2 has been revised to Rs 3 and for every additional 50 grams or fraction thereof, in excess of 50 grams, the existing tariff of Rs 3 has been revised to Rs 4.

In parcels, for a weight not exceeding 500 grams, the existing tariff of Rs 12 has been revised to Rs 16.

While the fee for registration has been increased from Rs 14 to Rs 17, the concessional fee for the registration of value payable book packet containing printed books, the value of which does not exceed Rs 50, existing tariff of Rs 1.25 has been revised to Rs 2.50.

For book packets containing printed books, for the first 100 grams or fraction thereof, the revised tariff is Re 1 instead of the existing of 50 paisa and for every additional 100 grams or fraction thereof, in excess of 100 grams, the revised tariff is now Re 1.

Regarding book packets containing periodicals, for the first 100 grams or fraction thereof, the existing tariff of Re 1 has been revised to Rs 2 and for every additional 100 grams or fraction thereof, in excess of 100 grams, the existing tariff of Rs 2 has been revised to Rs 3. The fee for an acknowledgement has been revised to Rs 3.



Nitish inaugurates rail track
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Union Agriculture and Railways Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, has urged the state electricity boards to review the tariff for the electrification of rail tracks so as to speed up the work on various rail projects.

Inaugurating the electrified rail track on the Sirhind-Nangal Dam-Una sector at Una Railway Station today, he said the tariff was one of the reasons for the slow progress of electrification of rail routes.

Talking about work on various rail projects in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, the Union Minister said the work on the Nangal-Talwara rail link and survey on the Una-Jaijon rail projects would be taken up on priority basis. Provision of additional funds for these projects in Himachal Pradesh was no problem.

He assured Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, that provision of slip coaches in various trains for the convenience of the people of Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur for journey to Haridwar would be made.

He doled out a promise to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on speeding up the work on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana, Goindwal Sahib-Taran Tarn and Abohar-Fazilka rail lines. A team of senior officials from the Railway Ministry would visit Punjab on June 2 to sort out various problems relating to these projects.

Mr Dhumal and Mr Badal also addressed the audience.

Earlier, Mr R.N. Malhotra, member, Railway Board, said that only 15,000 km of rail track had been electrified in the country so far. This comes to only 25 per cent of the total rail track.

Mr Malhotra disclosed that another 2,500 km of rail track was proposed to be electrified this year. At present 60 per cent of freight and 48 per cent of passengers traffic was operated through electrified tracks.

Mr S.P. Mehta, General Manager, Northern Railway, talked about the Una-Sirhind project and said at present 1,613 km of total 9,094 km of broad gauge of the Northern Railway had been electrified.



Indi-rock conquers young hearts
From a Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 26
The Parade Ground, in Sector 17, became a hub of activity as the big names in Indi-Rock gathered there tonight to give the city a memorable performance. Euphoria, Mehnaaz, Strings, Mikka, and of course, Channel VVJs Peeya, Gaurav, Ranvir and Kim were all set to get the crowd rocking. And what a crowd it was! Youngsters had turned out in droves to groove to the beats of “Mairee”, “Duur”, “Boliyan”, etc.

The entrances were all jammed as people tried their chance at getting entry without passes. But, unfortunately, all that was in store for them was the policeman’s lathi. The law-keepers were definitely not in a mood to entertain the gate-crashers. Though it was difficult to see what was going on the stage, the songs and shouts were clearly audible in the streets outside.

The scene inside was much better — less of jostling and more of dancing. In fact there was even a cordoned off-section for ladies and families in which one could get in after screening. Once there, one could see everyone enjoying himself or herself.

Only a Chandigarh crowd can do this. People everywhere could be seen singing, dancing and waving their arms in the air. Mikka had everyone laughing and cheering with his version of “Who let the dogs out” sung to Punjabi beats. And, of course, he did win everyone’s heart by declaring that Chandigarh was the best city around. Backstage, all was confusion as quick changes were made by the dancers, and the stars took a brief respite in their temporarily erected restrooms.

All in all, the scene was one of controlled chaos and pure fun as a quick round of the entire ground revealed. It was definitely an experience the city would remember for a long time.



Holding star nites & mega shows
Parbina Rashid

If you want to hold a star nite or a fashion show to promote your product, and are not sure how to go about it, you need not panic. There are a number of event management firms in the city, always ready to come to your rescue.

With the entertainment industry leaping forward, the city has seen a mushroom growth of event management companies. Event management as a profession made its appearance in Chandigarh only about three years ago, says Mr Munish Sharma who runs an event management company. Before that, events such as star nites and fashion shows were managed by clubs which hardly had any professional expertise in this field.

However, he accepts that the concept of event management is new to the people here and a number of unprofessional persons have entered the market, lured by easy money. This has given a bad name to the entire sector, he adds.

Organising an event requires a number of competent persons to plan, promote and then execute the project. However, most of the event management persons in the city lack the professional touch,” says Dr Gulshan Sharma, Director of the Institute of Tourism and Future Management.

However, not many people share Dr Sharma’s views. Mr Gagan Dhaliwal, who has been working for a city-based event management company, says the success of an event depends on team effort. “Even without any professional training, one can learn from experience,” he says.

Dr Sharma believes that event management has the potential to transform the city into an active tourist spot from its present status of a transit point on the tourism map.

Event management has vast scope in a city like Chandigarh in terms of revenue and employment generation, says Dr Sharma.” Research in this field had indicated that this year India generated a revenue of Rs 300 crore from event management, and this is likely to go up to Rs 500 crore by the end of 2002,” he predicts.

Though event management companies are doing their best to promote local artists, child artists are being neglected by most of them, said Mr Tarun Mehta who has been running an event management company for the last six years. This is one field that has a lot of potential, he added.

Finance is a major problem most of the event management companies face, “Since it is a new concept, people are reluctant to invest in it,” says Mr Anup Kumar. “And small-time event management groups which would work for any kind of money, without giving a thought to quality, are spoiling the work culture,” said Mr Anup Prashar, another event manager.



Two kids kept in illegal custody
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 26
The city police kept two 10-year-old kids, Arshi and Dinesh residents of Bapu Dham Colony, in illegal custody for a day on the pretext that they had stolen Rs 7,000 from Sector 18 yesterday.

A sad walk into captivity: Two boys, 10-year-old Dinesh and Arshi, being escorted to a juvenile home from the District Court Complex in Chandigarh. A magistrate has ordered that they should be kept in the home till May 28.
A sad walk into captivity: Two boys, 10-year-old Dinesh and Arshi, being escorted to a juvenile home from the District Court Complex in Chandigarh. A magistrate has ordered that they should be kept in the home till May 28. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan 
However, in the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Ms Jitender Walia, today the police said these children were not the real culprits. When asked who the real culprit was, a police official said he had absconded. The police had registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC against the children and kept them in the Sector 19 police station for the whole night yesterday and most of this morning. The magistrate took a serious view of the arrest and illegal confinement of the children and sent them children to juvenile home till May 28.

Law experts said that the treatment given to the boys violated their human rights. A Supreme Court judgement in the ‘Sunil Batra Vs Delhi Administration’ case safeguards the rights of prisoners.

The apex court had said that prisoners did not lose their rights in custody. Prisoners should not be subjected to torture, solitary confinement or other excesses. The parents of the children, however, did not try to get their wards out of the lock-up. Both children will be released on a personal bail bond, but the Legal Service Aid Cell failed to provide them with any relief.

The boys said they had gone to Sector 17 to watch the movie ‘Jodi number One’ and had not committed any crime. They said policemen had caught them in Sector 18, before arresting them and beating them up in custody. They said that they had not slept the whole night. They were not given even a glass of water or food.



Will finance officer lose UGC grade?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
A panel recommendation asking for the withdrawal of UGC grade to the Finance and Development Officer (FDO) of Panjab University will come up for discussion at the Senate meeting here tomorrow.

A two-member committee has separated the grade of the FDO, Mr M.G. Sharma, in comparison to the grades of the Registrar and the Controller of Examination. Both these promotions were made from among the teaching cadre under the UGC scales. Sources pointed out that the post of the FDO came under the Punjab Services rules.

The much-debated case of Dr B.B.Goyal of the University Business School, accused of increasing the marks of a student from zero to 42, will also figure in the discussion. Two more cases of the use of unfair means in examination are also likely to be discussed.

The agenda also includes the item of promotion of 41 readers as professors under the Career Promotion Scheme. Technical difficulties have been pointed out in two cases and as many as 14 have been refused promotion.

A resolution of Mr Satya Pal Dang seeking a five-member panel for laying down procedure for budget discussion will also come up for discussion. His another resolution seeks the constitution of a panel of the VCs of the PU, Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to keep an eye on academic developments in various fields.

The Senate also plans to appoint committees on youth welfare, unfair examination practices and publication bureau. About 60 doctorates come up for a formal sanction of degree by the house.

Another proposal is about allocation of special seats in all colleges for wards of Kargil martyrs.

One of the items likely to figure in discussion is the university stand on pension scheme.



Major fire in forest area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
A major fire, which broke out in the Haryana forest area and gradually spread to the area adjoining Nepli village and Kansal forest range, reportedly destroyed flora on 100 hectares of land. However, no loss of life, including that of any animal, was reported in the fire, which continued all through the day. The fire was yet to be controlled till the filing of this report.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Giving details, Mr Ishwar Singh, Deputy Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife warden, UT, said that the fire broke out in the morning in the Haryana forest area behind Nepli forest guest house in UT and gradually spread to the areas all around it due to heavy winds and high temperatures during the day. On being informed about the same, three fire tenders, two from Chandigarh, one each from Sector 17 and Manimajra and one from Panchkula, were pressed into action. However, the same were being used only to check the spread of the fire beyond the road into other areas by wetting the kutcha road across the forest .

Mr Singh further disclosed that the strategy of backfire was used to extinguish the flames during the day due to the intensity of fire. However, towards the evening as many as 70-80 employees of the Forest Department started fighting it out manually with the help of tree branches and clearing off the ground flora in some parts to check the spread by eliminating the fire line. Due to consistent efforts of the staff under his supervision and that of the villagers of Saketri and Mahadev villages, of the total 2600 hectares only 100 hectares were damaged.

According to sources in the Fire Department, while fire on three sides was cleared by 9.30 pm, it is likely to be extinguished completely by midnight as back fire was resorted to from the fourth side also.



IAF, IIT tie-up on the cards
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
A tie-up between the Indian Air Force and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur is on the cards for establishing a research and development centre for the rotary wing aircraft. The IAF will be providing inputs on the practical aspects of rotor wing technology. The centre, the first of its kind in the country, is being set up by the IIT in Kanpur.

A three-member team from IIT’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, including the head of the department, conducted a week-long workshop at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) here. About eight representatives from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and about 25 IAF helicopter pilots and engineers from 3 BRD as well as field units attended the workshop.

The depot has also reportedly expressed interest in procuring computer software developed by the IIT for simulating test flights. A demonstration of the software was conducted during the workshop. Every helicopter overhauled by the BRD is test-flown to check out for any snags before being handed over to operational units. As test flying is a risky business, the IAF plans to first carry out simulated test flights on computers and rectify any snags before undertaking physical test flights.

While the IIT, Kanpur, has a full-fledged, top-of-the-line department of aerospace engineering in the country, it is handicapped to the extent that it has no helicopter available to it for carrying out physical validation of the aeronautical theories and concepts. It has to make do with computer simulation only. “The IIT experts were trying the gauge the end results of research and what-all problems exist in the field,” an IAF officer said.

The IAF is the largest user of helicopters in the country in terms of numbers as well as types, and its officers are already being sponsored to the IIT for post-graduate studies.

While the IIT professors here disseminated theoretical knowledge and bringing the audience up-to-date in the latest developments in this field, IAF personnel gave them a feed-back of their experience of practical application of the technology during interactive sessions. The area of focus was basic design concepts and emerging technologies concerning the rotary wing aircraft and the workshop was not military specific. “It was a forum where operators and the researchers understand one another’s problems,” an officer said.

The idea of setting up an R&D centre for helicopters is said to have been mooted when after some academicians returned from a visit to the USA and found it desirable to set up similar facilities here. This workshop is the first of its kind to be organised towards this aim.

The idea comes in the backdrop of projections that helicopter aviation is poised for an annual growth of 10-15 per cent. While the HAL has recently established the first rotary wing training school for training civilian helicopter pilots, there is no nodal agency or establishment where non-military operators can be exposed to aspects of helicopter design and development.

Though the HAL and several establishments under the Defence Research and Development Organisation have their own facilities for the rotary wing R&D, these are focused on defence applications. The IIT is also expected to liaise with these agencies.


MC: clarify-or-quit stand persists
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Mayor Raj Kumar Goyal has convened yet another meeting of the General House of the Municipal Corporation on Monday despite the continuing deadlock over the issue of his continuance as the Mayor of Chandigarh.

“Clarify or quit” is the constant chant of the BJP opposition which has stalled the previous two meetings of the House. The BJP has been insisting that the Mayor must clarify his position with regard to a number of allegations levelled against him and those levelled by him against the former BJP Mayors. Whether the meeting would finally take place or not is a question which remains to be answered in view of the ongoing deadlock.

Even though the Mayor has called half a dozen meetings of the MC House ever since he took charge five months back, only the proceedings of one of these meetings, in which the budget of the MC for 2001-2002 was passed, has been held so far. All other meetings were adjourned by the Mayor without transacting any business and no business meeting has been held till this day.

The majority of the BJP members in the opposition, who are partly responsible for the deadlock, are yet to work out their strategy. But they seem to be in no mood to resolve the issues. The Congress, which is ruling the Corporation and is primarily responsible for running the House, has also not made any serious effort to ensure its smooth functioning at the forthcoming meeting. The Congress leaders claim that they are holding internal talks with certain BJP leaders for cooperation. But this is not being corroborated by the BJP leaders.

The genesis of the deadlock goes back to certain allegations levelled by some individuals against the Mayor through the media and, later, BJP councillors seeking clarifications on the matter on the floor of the House. In response, the Mayor, in consultation with his party leaders, highlighted the “wrongdoings” in the tenure of his three BJP predecessors in the media.

The stand of the BJP has been that till the Mayor does not clarify the allegations, levelled against him in the House and does not prove the charges levelled by him against three former BJP Mayors, they will not let him conduct the proceedings of the House. The Congress, on its part, is shrugging off its responsibility of conducting the meetings of the House by putting the blame on the BJP, by stating that it has been stalling the proceedings of the House.

The BJP leaders maintain that if the Mayor is not competent to conduct the meetings of the House, he should resign or make efforts to resolve the deadlock with the help of the leader of the Opposition, a representative of the nominated persons and Congress councillors. No solution of the problem is in sight.

In the recent past, it has been seen that whenever the BJP plans any strategy to resolve the deadlock, one of its groups does not abide by it. Sources reveal that ever since the Mayor threatened to announce the names of those BJP councillors who had supported him in the mayoral elections, certain BJP councillors started backing out from the campaign against the Mayor. For instance, they did not favour the moving of a resolution to convene a special meeting to ask the Mayor to explain his position and clarify other points amounting to allegations.

The number of councillors, who turn up at the special meetings called in the party office to deliberate on “the strategy”, is also indicative of their gradual withdrawal from the campaign. In one of the recent meetings, only four councillors — Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Mr Des Raj Tandon, Mr Kanhya Lal and Ms Ranjana Shahi — turned up. Members owing allegiance to a group generally abstain from it.

However, according to reliable sources, the deadlock may break if certain members of the group, in the fear of being exposed in the light of the Mayor’s threat to withdraw from the campaign, decide not to stall the proceedings.

Congress leaders on their part, maintain that the Mayor is not bound to give any explanation or proof. They say that the allegations which are not levelled on the floor of the House have no justification for an explanation there.

The Congress leaders are hopeful of resolving the deadlock. They are talking to both groups. Even as the Administration is keeping a close watch on the MC’s functioning, it is not contemplating any action against it right now.


After 4 yrs, HMT starts repaying NZCC
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Ending a year-long controversy, public sector undertaking Hindustan Machine Tools, Pinjore, has started repaying the Rs 4.5 crore amount it owed to the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC). An installment of Rs 1.20 crore has been received by the NZCC after the Government of India assured in March that payments would be cleared.

HMT had paid Rs 80 lakh earlier and has promised to pay the remaining Rs 2.50 crore within the next six months, sources in the NZCC confirmed. HMT, once a giant of pre-liberalisation era, was in no position to return the cash it owed to the NZCC till the government intervened with bail-out package. The government had to intervene after the NZCC rejected a proposal from HMT to take land in lieu of cash.

The NZCC had invested the money way back in 1994 in bond certificates floated by HMT. HMT was paying interest on the money till 1997, sources confirmed. Officials of the NZCC say if the HMT is not able to pay the remaining amounts, the option of land would be considered, however, as the government has intervened it being calculated that cash will be paid back.

The option of accepting land in lieu of cash was not on the immediate agenda of the NZCC as factors like prevailing market prices and utilisation of land has to be studied. All this may change in six months.

The Board of Directors (BoD) of HMT had offered land to NZCC in its Bangalore unit and Pinjore (near Chandigarh) unit. At both places HMT owns several hundred acres of land.

The question is what will the NZCC do with the land ? A thought among the authorities is to sell the land to real estate developers and get back the money that is part of corpus fund invested in various places. The NZCC is partially funded by interest generated through such investments.

Even accepting land will not be as easy as it seems , sources in the NZCC said whether it can be transferred in the name of the NZCC and further sold are some of the questions that will come up in the governing body meeting. The land of HMT in Bangalore is said to be prime property but the NZCC is not keen on it as it will be difficult to see the location and check other aspects of the land.


Factory workers cane-charged
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 26
More than 10 persons, including women and policemen, were injured, one of them seriously, when the police cane-charged workers of Anand Nishicova Industry when they were unfurling their union’s flag in front of the factory on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here today. To disperse the mob the police also allegedly resorted to firing in the air.

According to the police sources over 250 workers and trade union leaders had assembled outside the factory to hold a protest. A contingent of Lalru police reached there to control the situation. The police said it had resorted to a cane charge only when the workers had started pelting stones on them. The SHO of the Lalru police station denied the allegations that the police had fired at the mob. He said cases had been registered a against 33 persons for rioting.


No paper filed for RS seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
No nomination paper was filed for the second day today for the by-elections to one Rajya Sabha seat each from Punjab and Haryana.

The by-election for the Rajya Sabha seat from Haryana had been caused following the death of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal on April 6. The term of the seat, thus falling vacant, is up to August 1, 2004.

The Rajya Sabha seat from Punjab, with a term up to July 4, 2004, fell vacant following the resignation of SAD member Raj Mohinder Singh after he was elected to the state Assembly from Majitha recently in a by-election.


Plea to extend blood donation movement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
There is an urgent need to extend the blood donation movement to the rural areas and set up mini-blood banks there, said the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), while releasing five pamphlets of the Blood Bank Society here today.

He opined that non-government organisations and voluntary organisations should organise a campaign to educate the public and motivate them to donate blood voluntarily. All this was required for giving a boost to the voluntary blood donation movement and for ensuring safe blood for patients,

Stressing the need for curbing the practice of private professional donors, the Governor said that ensuring adequate supply of blood to the patients at the time of need could only check this. General Jacob said that the land for the building of blood bank society has already been allotted in Chandigarh and the Administration was considering to fund the proposal.

Mrs Swaroop Kishen, honorary secretary, informed the Governor said that four folders and the booklet titled “24 Carat Red Gold” have been written and compiled by some BBS members. While the English versions were released last year, the Hindi translations are being released officially today. She said that the sponsor for the literature is the State AIDS Control Society, UT.


Rally by Vikas Manch activists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Chandigarh Vikas Manch today organised a chetavni scooter rally in protest against the “failure” of the Congress and the BJP-SAD alliance to let the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) function in a proper way.

Led by the manch president, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, hundreds of the activists assembled at the Sector 9 residence of Mr Dhawan. The activists went around various sectors before assembling in Sector 9.

After it started from Sector 9, the protesters went to Sectors 18, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 20, 21, 22, 23, 15 and 16 before culminating in Sector 17.

Addressing the activists in Sector 17, Mr Dhawan said the rally had been organised to wake up the political parties who were responsible for the stalemate in the MCC which had brought developmental activities in the city to a standstill. The infighting among the councillors had led to shortage of water and electricity and poor maintenance of parks, roads and streetlights, he said.


Nanda, Pathak take part in shramdan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the UT Administrator, participated in the shramdan at the Sukhna Lake, which entered the 21st day yesterday. So far, 8,81,614 cubic feet of silt has been removed from the lake bed.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University, along with several teachers also participated in the shramdan. The Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, Ms Indira Dhingra, along with teachers and 300 volunteers from Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, also removed silt from the lake bed.

Mr Rajeev Mahajan of Milkfed distributed 500 packs of sweetened milk among shramdanis. Over 50 volunteers each from Government Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20-D, also participated, in the shramdan.


Old order yields place to new
Tribune News Service

His intense eyes dreamily stare at the ceiling fan throwing back the AC’s rejuvenating air, as Dr M.M. Goel taps the pencil on the thick glass on the table in his Sector 23 clinic. Tossing the pencil, he absent-mindedly pours himself a glass of water before declaring, “Yes, Chandigarhians have changed. They are no more what they used to be in the days that are gone, days that will never come back”.

Pausing to examine a patient with a slight cough and chest congestion, Dr Goel — he was conferred with the “Doctor of the Millennium” honour by the Delhi-based Association of Medical Sciences — asserts: “In 1961, when I came to Chandigarh before joining the Sector 16 General Hospital, it was quite different”.

Picking up the pencil, and rotating it in his fingers, he stops to contemplate, but only for a few seconds. Drawing a circle on the note pad, he recalls, “Everyone had time, at least for each other, in those days”.

Pushing back the chair, Dr Goel reveals in a voice full of emotion, “After a hard day, instead of surfing the channels while reposing on a sofa with a remote control in hand, we used to get together in the evening at a friend’s house. Over cups of coffee, we would discuss almost everything under the sun — right from the latest developments in medicine to the Dev Anand starrer running in a cinema hall. The warm feeling of brotherhood was there. You never got the impression that the other person was trying to score a point over you”.

The warmth remained till the 80s. Before the city began to grow, and decay. “All of a sudden, you started seeing strange faces all over the city, people unaware of the city’s culture, people who did not belong to this place, people who laughed loudly after cracking a vulgar joke and people who passed comments on the passing crowd. And then, things changed”.

Controlling the slight irritation in his voice, he continues, “All of a sudden, personalities became bricks in the wall. People became largely self-centered, even indifferent to one another. Invasion from the skies — the cable television — also played its role. No one had time for anyone. Instead of chatting with friends, they started keeping their appointment with Tara on Zee TV. No wonder, a woman’s body remained locked in her house for months without rousing the neighbours’ suspicion”.

The definition of enjoyment has also changed, believes Dr Goel. “Sitting together in the evening now means a drinking session. Today, wherever you go, you find drinks and non-vegetarian snacks. For a vegetarian and teetotaller like me, it is upsetting”.

But Dr Goel does not expect the residents to change their lifestyle. “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, and God fulfils himself in many ways, lest one good order should corrupt the world,” he quotes Tennyson.


4 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 26
Four members of a family were seriously injured when the car in which they were travelling overturned on the Panchkula-Narayangarh road near Ramgarh here today. According to the police Jagdish Prakash and three members of his family sustained severe injuries when their car (HR-01C-4332) met with the accident.


Decorate your bedroom

Balance is the most important thing in Feng Shui. Bedrooms are a place of Yin. The colours used in the bedrooms should also be Yin but not to the extent that there is an imbalance. For happiness, love and warmth there has to be little use of Yang colours. A few tips will help you understand this better.

In the early years of marriage, couples should decorate their room in red, pink or peach. Red creates passion and is a very pronounced yang colour which brings good fortune to the couple. Blue bedsheets should be avoided.

You should never put live plants and flowers in the bedrooms. Fruits like pomegranate in the form of pictures and in baskets can be kept in the bedroom. Paintings in bedrooms should not ever have flowers in them. Instead paintings of children and ripe fruits can be hung. A small red light can be used as a night lamp.

You can also put paired birds, ducks etc. Paintings should never exhibit a single gender only. A balance has to be maintained. The beds should not be placed along the toilet wall. Paintings of peony flowers should never feature in the bedroom of a married couple.


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



Romantic world of kids
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

“Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai” (KC) is a lively love story of the romantic world of kids minus the excess of emotional overflow and situational complications which are more than typical of any Bollywood “masala” love story.

The movie has all the ingredients of “an original” Bollywood” preparation with Satish Kaushik as the Chef for concocting a mix of love, comedy and tragedy set to “in vogue” family setting. Not a critic’s delight, but the movie has a strong element of pace of the plot.

Randhir Kapoor-Babita’s daughter and Karisma Kapoor’s sister Kareena Kapoor has made a strong visible impact with her screen presence. “Jumping Jack” Jitendra’s son Tusshar Kapoor does have improvised and much-improved dance steps of the original, but will surely have to struggle a little more to make a long-run impact on the crowd.

Tusshar is the least education friendly son of the educated family of Dilip Tahil. He is fond of music and comes pretty often in the firing line of the father. Tusshar has a doctor-sister and an academician brother. Amrish Puri, his uncle, is his support in all pranks.

Tusshar spends most his time in the company of his friends who like him, are far removed from the academic world. Tusshar happens to see Kareena in the street and falls head over heels in love with her. She is a foreign-returned research scholar still studying. He spends all his time searching for her. One day, by chance, she sees Tusshar saving a child and she too starts searching for him to get his autograph. They do meet and the meeting ends in an accident where Tusshar saves her from the brink of death. The rest is predicatable. Only Tusshar cannot verbally communicate his feelings to her. Kareena one day comes to tell him that she has got a scholarship of Harvard University. His friends keep goading him, but he asks everyone not to utter a word about his love to for when the team goes to the airport to see her off.

Amrish Puri in particular has recommendable performance but the gang seems too typical.


Three booked in cheating case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 26
The local police has registered a case against three persons for duping a city resident and another of Patiala district of Rs 10 lakh. According to police sources, Mr Jagir Singh of Patiala district charged Hazora Singh, Jagga, a travel agent, and his wife Balwinder Kaur (all residents of Ludhiana district) of taking Rs 10 lakh from him for sending him to Canada. The trio also took the same amount from a Sector 37 resident, Ms Amar Kaur.

However, the trio neither sent them to Canada nor returned the amount. A case under the Immigration Act and Sections 420 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code was registered after preliminary inquires. The case is being investigated by the economic offence wing of the police.

Woman pickpocket held: The police arrested Asha, a resident of Mani Majra, for allegedly picking pocket of Mr Ramneek, a resident of SAS Nagar, on Friday. According to police sources, the accused was caught red-handed from near a taxi stand in Sector 7. The stolen amount was reportedly recovered from her possession.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC was registered in police station of Sector 26.

Cash stolen: Mr Gian Singh of Milkh village (Kharar) reported to the police that Rs 10,000 was stolen from his pocket, while he was travelling on his scooter towards his village on Friday. In his complaint, he said the theft took place somewhere between Dadu Majra Colony and the barrier near Togan village (Kharar). A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Two thefts reported: Mr Ashish Bhagat, a resident of Married Doctors Hostel, PGI, has reported that Rs 2,000 and gold jewellery was stolen from his room on Friday. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr A.P.S. Gill, a resident of Sector 44, reported to the police that Rs 5,000 and a gold ring were stolen from his car on Friday. The car was parked in the Sector 18 market.

Held with liquor: The police arrested Dharma Dass, a resident of Patiala district, and claimed to have recovered 150 pouches of liquor from his possession on Friday. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.



Rs 1,70,000 stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 26
In a daylight robbery, thieves struck in Sector 17 here this afternoon and stole Rs 1,70,000 from a Santro car (HR-24 F-0012), parked near the 30-Bay building.

The thieves broke the lock of the front left door of the car of Mr Gopal Krishan, a resident of Panchkula and an employee of the Haryana Irrigation Department, before taking away the amount. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Gopal Krishan said that he had withdrawn Rs 1,80,000 from the Bank of Punjab in Sector 35 and had gone to Sector 17 to pay the bill of his mobile phone. Mr Krishan said, ‘‘I parked my car in the parking lot near the 30-Bay building and took out a packet of Rs 100 (Rs 10,0000) and left the remaining amount below the front seat in a polythene bag’’. According to him when he returned after five to 10 minutes, the lock of the front was broken and the money was gone.


Theft in locked house
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 26
Burglars struck in broad daylight here in a house of Sector 4 and decamped with valuables worth Rs 40,000 when the house owners, Dr G.S. Gupta and his wife, were in Delhi recently.

Dr Gupta said he had found the grill of a window broken and the house ransacked when the couple returned. The burglars took away some gold jewellery, silver items and about Rs 1,000 cash.

Neighbours said, they had heard a noise outside, after which, their dogs had started barking, They went outside and noticed a man scaling down the boundary wall of the house. His accomplice was waiting for him outside on a scooter and they lost no time in fleeing from there.

After registering a case, the police has started investigations.



Rape accused arrested
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 26
The police has arrested Harish Kumar, who had reportedly raped a 13-year-old girl of Bir Ghaggar village near Chandi Mandir on May 18.

The man was absconding since the day of the incident and a case was registered against him under Sections 336, 366 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code at the Chand Mandir police station. It may be recalled that he had allegedly lured the girl when she was going to school and taken her to the Bir Ghaggar forest on his bicycle.

He had raped her and taken her nude photographs, it was further alleged.



Bid to set old woman on fire
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 26
A 90-year-old woman of Sector 22, Lajwanti, here today alleged that her son and daughter-in-law tried to set her on fire by throwing kerosene in the wee hours.

According to information available, the police has arrested her son Krishan Lal and his wife Usha Rani. The two were sent to judicial custody for 14 days. The two were booked under Sections 307 and 34 of IPC.


Depressed man kills himself
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 26
Kalender, a 32-year-old resident of Badheri village, is said to have committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling fan in his house here this morning. According to the police, the man was suffering from depression.

It is learnt that Kalender was alone when he hanged himself.

The deceased is survived by two daughters and his wife. His body has been sent to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for a post-mortem examination.


Trading in old books
Our Correspondent

About 32 sellers of second-hand books sit on the roadside in Sector 15 with their stocks of books, waiting for customers. Their day starts at 8 a.m. and ends around 8 p.m.

At the end of the 12-hour grind, they make just enough to keep themselves going. “But we have no option. Any other business will require heavy investment which we cannot afford”, says one of them.

Mr Sandeep Kumar has been in this business for the past eight years. Half his time, he says, goes in packing and unpacking the books. Even a small shower during business hours can be disastrous. The only advantages, he says, is that the Estate Office staff does not challan them.

They mostly stock school and college course books. They buy old books from students at 40 per cent of the printed price and sell them at 60 per cent. But course books are not all that they stock. You can sometimes find some rare books at these roadside stalls. Some of them have large collections of old magazines and novels.

These days when the examinations are over, they are busy buying old books from students. “We start buying in the month of April”, said Mr Javed Ali Khan, president of the Old Books Buyers and Sellers Welfare Association. However, the purchases keep going all through the year.

These roadside bookshops run into losses when the course books are changed. “We hear that most of the course books have been changed this year. If that happens, nobody will buy the books which are not in the prescribed courses”, said Mr Chander Mohan, who started this business about 15 years ago. But they are still buying old books, hoping that the courses may not change.

It is not the change of courses alone that causes them losses. Rain is another problem. It damages the books, besides forcing them to suspend business for days on end. In the past, the association had made several representations to the authorities concerned to allot them permanent booths. “People from the Administration come to us, do some surveys and are not heard of again”, complained Mr Javed.

For these entrepreneurs, August is a welcome month. “Colleges and the University open in this month and students throng our stalls”, said one of them, adding that at that time of the year, the rain god also does not cause much trouble, and the weather is good. It is difficult to do business in the scorching heat of summer.

Most of these roadside book-sellers are educated persons. Not finding any jobs, they have taken to this trade since any other business will demand much more investment.



Chinese goods fail to attract buyers
Divya Kaushik

Chandigarh, May 26
Chinese goods have made a quiet entry into the city during the past few months. However, there is a big question mark over their quality and durability.

Little wonder, their acceptance by the customer has remained rather limited so far.

A survey of some of the shopping centres of the city reveals that contrary to the media hype, even though many of the shops have stocked up quiet a few Chinese goods, they are not exactly overflowing with this merchandise.

While shops in the Sector 17 market have stocked up TVs and VCD players, those in the Sector 18 and 19 shops are selling electronic toys and AA cells.

Melody House in Sector 17 is selling TCL electronic goods. TCL is a Chinese company and its products are being marketed in town by Baron International.

Its 21” colour TV can be bought for as little as Rs 9,000 whereas a similar television is available for Rs 12,000 (BPL), Rs 16,000 (Sony) and Rs 13,500 (Samsung) under familiar brand names. TCL VCD players cost around Rs 5,000 while BPL, Sony and Samsung players cost Rs 6,500, Rs 10,000 and Rs 9,900, respectively. A portable TCL TV can be purchased for Rs 6,700 while one would have to pay Rs 8,400 for Samsung brand.

The company also claims to sell a 34” colour TV for Rs 36,000, while a similar model marketed by Sony sells for a whopping Rs 89,000.

Mr Paramdeep Singh, proprietor of Melody House, who claims to have been selling these products for more than a year, says that the product have aroused mixed feelings among consumers. Although quite a few customers have sampled the taste of Chinese goods, they have not caught their fancy because of their low quality.

As the initial attraction wears off, it boils down to getting value for money. These cheap products have low shelf life and appeal only to the breed of young “use and throw” consumers of today who can afford to buy replacements in 5 to 7 years. However consumers belonging to cautious lower middle class definitely prefers to buy established labels like Sony and Samsung, even if it amounts to spending more money.

Apart from poor quality, there is also the problem of after-sale service. But the shopkeepers are quick to offer assurance.

The companies like TCL, Konka, etc. which have been officially launched in India have offices in town that provide the required after sale service.

It is only the gray market which does not offer any guarantee they claim.

A number of shopkeepers have not jumped on to the bandwagon of Chinese goods though.

When asked, Mr Kuldip Singh of Udham Electroniks complained about the poor quality of these products and said “we do not sell Chinese goods”.

Leaving aside major electronic gadgets, some door to door salesmen are also pushing sets of 10 knives for around Rs 100.

A case similar to the 22-function Swiss knife being sold for Rs 75 in Delhi bazaars these days.

Well, be it a 34 inch colour TV for Rs 36,000 or an AA cell for Rs 2 instead of the average Rs 7, the presence of cheap Chinese products still hasn’t been felt in Chandigarh in quite the explosive fashion as it had been predicted.


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