Thursday, July 19,
  2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Taps dry and power off for past two months
Imagine the horror in Darua village
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 18
About 20,000 residents of Darua village have been living without water and electricity for the past two months.

The situation has led to sleepless nights for villagers and their children have to miss school. They have now become a common sight at the railway station, where they come to fetch water. They have to travel to Mani Majra and Panchkula as well in search of water. Villagers who are working have been forced to obtain long leaves from offices.

Due to the negligent attitude of the officials concerned, tubewells and electricity transformers in the village have become non-functional. One of the transformers has been out of order for the past two months. They have given a number of representations to the UT Administration in this regard, but their problem remains unsolved.

They said, if the problem was not solved soon, they would hold a protest rally and not allow trains to leave the railway station.

Ms Seela Bano, a 65-year-old woman of the village, said, “I get up early everyday to reach the railway station to fetch water. Sometimes, I have to walk a lot before I find water. Due to the negligent attitude of the officials concerned, poor persons are suffering. They cannot afford to spend Rs 200 every day to fetch water from distant places.”

Mr Subhas Aggarwal, Principal of the Darua Government Middle School, said, “The authorities have assured me that the school would have a proper supply of the water for students, but there has been no water in the school for the past many days.”

The Principal of the school said, “Since morning, I have been waiting for the water tanker to arrive, but there is no sign of the tanker or the officials who had promised me that they would send it here. Students are facing a lot of hardships due to this shortage of water. The toilets are in a bad condition because these have not been washed for a long time.”

A member of the Darua Panchayat, Mr Hari Singh Saini, said, “For the past two months, the electricity transformer of the village is not functioning, due to which, thousands of villagers are suffering. The authorities concerned have failed to take note of the situation.”

Another member of the panchayat, Mr Gurpreet Singh, said, for the past one month, villagers had been spending thousands of rupees on bringing water to the village in tankers. He said officials refused to acknowledge the problem and accept the complaints.

A shopkeeper of the village, Mr Dhram Parkash, said, “As the official have failed to take any action, I have no choice, but to buy water at about Rs 200 per day.”

When contacted, the Executive Engineer, Mr S.L. Garg, said the water problem was due to the non-functioning of the transformer. As soon as the Electricity Department replaces the transformer, normal water supply will resume.

He said the water shortage was only in one part of the village and rest of the villagers were receiving normal water supply. Mr Garg said he had received no complaint from anyone.



Parents plead for help
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
“She was forced to leave her bed in the middle of the night and was handed a thick medical manuscript.” Make notes of chapter two till 6 a.m., otherwise....”

“If this was not enough, her friend was mentally tortured for days altogether and was asked to reveal embarrassing questions about her personal life. “Tell us in detail about what you do with your boyfriend,” her seniors asked her. They say ragging is fun, a way to get rid of your inhibitions and knowing your seniors better. But what if the seniors, just for a momentary sadistic pleasure, make the life of a fresher so miserable that she calls up her parents sitting miles away and asks them to take her out of the hostel?

The Tribune yesterday received calls from two such desperate parents whose daughters are enrolled in the B.Sc nursing course in the PGI. “The way she is being abused mentally and physically by her seniors, to stay in the hostel is becoming intolerable for her,” said one of the anguished fathers.

In normal routine, in most of the city hostels in the university and colleges, the freshers are rounded up after the dinner time and are made to dress up in different coloured clothes — salwar-kameez and dupattas.

“We are told to carry files of our seniors and copy their notes. Seniors instruct us to move with dupattas on our heads and carry a torch in the daytime. We are asked to measure the length and breadth of the room with the help of a coin,” reveals a fresher.

Accepting ragging as a universal phenomenon, most of the freshers continue to suffer with a smile. “However, at times it becomes so vicious, that we are forced to go without dinner for days together lest a senior spots us at the dining table and asks us to do something objectionable,” says a newcomer to the PU hostel.

Parents admit that they would not mind if no harm comes to their children and ragging is another way of getting an introduction. “But when we see our girls crying, it is a mental torture for us as well,” they add.

Incidentally, ragging is punishable under the law. In fact, taking a serious note of the menace, the city police had yesterday convened a meeting of various college principals, hostel wardens and the Dean, Student Welfare, Panjab University. The issue of ragging was discussed at length and the city police chief had warned that police cases would be registered against erring students.

When contacted, the acting Principal of PGI College of Nursing expressed her surprise over such incidents taking place in the nursing hostel.” None of the students have either reported about this or has lodged any complaint with us. If any one of the freshers are being harassed, they should immediately inform teachers. We have also put up notices in the hostel saying that ragging is strictly banned. But if any of the parents have any problems they should contact us and not the press . And we will ascertain that no such incident takes place in the future again,” she added.

Sources, however, add that the principal’s office has been getting calls from anxious parents, and yesterday itself the father of one of the newcomers in the hostel had called up to complain against the problems his daughter had been facing.

PGI officials admit this and attribute the “slight problem which could be existing” to the fact that students share accommodation with the hostel meant for PGI nurses.” It has been reported that seniors have asked the freshers to move about with their heads covered or not eat with a spoon. But these incidents are harmless and not something to get unduly worried about,” they say. They further add that after the National Institute of Nursing starts operating, there will be a separate hostel for the students with a regular warden to address such matters.


A telegram that moved at snail’s pace
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 18
At a time when the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is a major telecom service provider, it takes infinite time for the department to deliver a telegram at Ludhiana.

And when the consumer takes up the issue of non delivery of the telegram of greetings with the department, he gets a note after a month that the matter was being investigated. Nothing happened for nine months in case of a consumer, Mr Amrik Singh Bhatti, a resident of Phase 3B 2, who kept on giving reminders to the department. Finally Mr Bhatti got acknowledgement from the department admitting that the telegram had not been delivered in the CTO, Ludhiana, due to a service fault. A refund of Rs 3.50 paise was given to him.

Feeling harassed, Mr Bhatti shot off a letter to the department stating that he had to undergo mental pressure due to non-delivery of the telegram. He said instead of compensating him, he was just given a refund of Rs 3.50 paise and that, too, to be collected from the Sector 17 office in Chandigarh.

He lamented that it was not the department which intimated him about the failure to deliver the telegram after he booked the telegram from the Phase 7 Postal Department. “It took three reminders to the Chandigarh-based Principal General Manager of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to get the things moving. I had to again remind them of non-delivery of the telegram after nine months”.



60 more seats in PU Law Dept
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 18
In a significant decision, Panjab University today created 60 additional seats in the first semester of the Department of Laws to accommodate candidates who had applied after the last date (July 2) for submission of admission forms. On July 6, the last date for submission of admission forms was extended to July 11 after some of the candidates who had failed to submit the admission forms in the department, moved to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The decision to add the seats was taken today at a meeting of the Dean University Instructions and acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ashok Sahni, Dean Students Welfare and Chairman of the Department of Laws, Prof V.K. Bansal, and Dean Law Faculty, Mr G.K. Chatrath, and other PU officials. All the admissions in the department would be subject to the decision on petitions filed before the High Court.

Meanwhile, the combined list of selected candidates for the first semester was displayed today at the department. The outstation candidates were asked to deposit the fee today and others on Thursday and Friday.

The campus unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has welcomed the decision to increase the seats. The unit also thanked Prof Sahni for constituting a committee to review and amend the hostel rules. In a statement Mr Vivek Chauhan, president of the campus unit, said if the new hostels rules are not amended in favour of students, the ABVP would be forced to launch an agitation. 


Sukhna water near danger mark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The water in Sukhna Lake is only 30 cm below the danger mark, which has made the Administration prepare to protect those who have encroached upon the government land near the water body.

The water level was at 1160.7 feet, which is only 30 cm below the danger mark of 1161 feet. Four or five inches more and the three gates of the Sukhna regulator are raised a foot to allow the excess water to flow over.

Sources said when the water level was five inches above the danger mark, the gates were opened. However, the police is asked to evacuate those who have encroached upon the land of Kishanpura village, grain market and Bapudham Colony if the water level rises further.

There is a round-the-clock vigil at the regulator end of the lake to foil any attempt to blast off the gates. The water is already being released to maintain its level below the danger mark.

Sources said the telephone at the regulator end, that helped officials communicate and coordinate with the police in case of an emergency, had been out of order for a while, but had now been repaired. They said the Sukhna had flooded certain areas in 1975, but had been quiet after that. The sources said the flooding of the Sukhna was not possible because the water that overflowed merged into the Ghaggar. However, it did affect watermelon growers who had settled on the river banks.


‘Pakistanis have no business talking about Kashmir’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The collapse of the Agra summit between India and Pakistan may have disappointed many. But it has not surprised anyone. The intractable of issue of Kashmir, which has bedeviled relations between the two neighbours for more than half a century, could not have been resolved at one meeting, even if the summiteers included leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee and General Pervez Musharraf.

R.S. Bedi
R.S. Bedi

Deepinder Singh
Deepinder Singh

M.M. Sharma
M.M. Shar

H.S. Brar
H.S. Brar

The main reason for the failure of the summit was, as pointed out by the Foreign Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, was the uni-focal approach adopted by Pakistan to the Kashmir question, leaving India with no choice but to concentrate on cross-border terrorism, aided, abetted and systematically promoted by Pakistan in Kashmir.

Air Marshall RS Bedi (retd) was critical of the repeated attempts by Pakistan to wrest Kashmir from India by force. He said: “After failing in their attempts, they have started a proxy war by sending religious fundamentalists. Though this does not cost them much, we are paying a heavy price for it. Despite denials by them, we have given them enough proof of their role.”

He added that no headway in the talks was possible till insurgency came to an end. “The Kashmir issue is a part of the problem of cross-border terrorism. How can we accept an intruder in our territory dictating to us on carrying on our business of running a nation? They add that withdrawal of forces from Kashmir is a pre-condition. How can we withdraw when they refuse to stop sending in fundamentalists? This is not acceptable,” he stated.

“It is essentially a problem of misgovernance in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Rampant insurgency is a self-inflicted wound and resolving the problem would mean providing an honest government. Once that is done, the support to militancy from outside will automatically dry up. The answer to the problem of cross-border terrorism lies in providing a responsive administration and an honest government besides ending corruption. Pakistan refuses to see reason and is obsessed with its projection of the Kashmir issue. We must put this behind us and look towards peace,” said Lt-Gen Deepinder Singh (retd).

Commenting on the breakdown of talks, Prof MM Sharma, Department of Political Science, said that both countries had a limited agenda when they sat down for the talks. “Musharraf wanted to legitimise his status as head and Vajpayee wanted direct talks with Pakistan instead of employing a via media in the form of the Hurriyat,” he added.

Former Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, said that the problem of Kashmir was complex, difficult to solve. “The cross-border terrorism is an attack on Kashmir. The growing activities of the insurgents in the state are a part of the larger problem of the Kashmir issue. However, the Pakistanis have no business of talking about Kashmir. The Kashmiris have already stated that they are a part and parcel of India not once but a number of times,” he added.


MCC sends report to Home Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Departmental inquiries by various wings of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh ( MCC) have proved that soap was purchased from the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal’s firm during the past five to six months.

This fact has found place in the confidential report sent by the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, today evening to the UT Home Secretary, who is also the Secretary, Local Bodies. The commissioner filed the report to the Home Secretary, who was directed by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) to inquire into the alleged soap scandal.

Even though, the commissioner refused to divulge any details, it is learnt that he has sent a factual report of the information received from the departments that were purchasing soap from the said firm and what the Act stipulates in this regard. The final decision rests with the Administration.

According to sources, the report of the Medical Officer (Health) states that soap worth Rs 1.5 lakh was purchased during the past five to six months from the authorised HLL dealer ( M/s Bachan Lal and Shiv Kumar) since the same was found to be the available at one lowest prize in the market. It states that prior to this they used to buy soap from government approved Super Bazar and Kendriya Bhandar at Rs 8.25 per soap cake, but when they learnt that the same was available for Rs 7.92 with the authorised dealer, they started procuring the same from there.

However, no contract was signed at any stage and the purchases were being made on the basis of proforma invoice. In fact, it was not even known that the Mayor was one of the managing partners in this firm, said a senior official.

Even the offices of the commissioner, Assistant Commissioner-I and II have reportedly confirmed that they were buying soap from the said firm, since it was available for Rs 75 per dozen of cakes as against Rs 102 per dozen at Super Bazar and other cooperative stores. Proforma invoices were invited from about five places before making purchases from the dealer. “Since the same quality of soap was found to be available at a lesser rate with the dealer, the purchases were made from him,” said the official.

While the public health wing of the Engineering Department has not made any purchases from the firm, the buildings and roads division had been making such purchases. In the month of March, the wing purchased soap worth Rs 36,290 from the firm.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Mr Goyal, continues to stick to his stand that being the sole stockist of Hindustan Lever Limited products for the past 10 years, he was bound to supply the company products to institutions at specified rates. He is hopeful of coming out clean, of the controversy, keeping in view the legal opinion sought by him on the issue. He further specifies that at no point of time had his firm entered into any sort of agreement or contract with the MC, as stipulated in the Act.

The Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, could not be contacted, but reportedly he is yet to take note of the Commissioner’s report. The fate of the Mayor rests on his decision. Information is also being sought from the company officials to ascertain facts, sources add.



Air Chief Tipnis visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal A. Y. Tipnis, today paid a brief visit to the Air Force Station here. According to sources, the purpose of the visit was to discuss the modalities of organising the Air Force fleet Review with local authorities.

The Air Chief left for Delhi around noon after spending about two hours here.

The IAF is scheduled to hold a fleet review on October 8, which will be reviewed by the President, Mr K. R. Narayanan. All types of aircraft in the IAF’s inventory, including fighters, helicopters and transport aircraft, will take part in a grand fly past. Besides a static display of aircraft and equipment, a colour presentation ceremony will also be held as part of the fleet review.


Tough trek didn’t shake their faith
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Unfazed by difficult terrain, harsh weather, scorching heat and everything else that nature can throw at them, traditional Shiva devotees or Kaanwarias carry the holy water of the Ganges to their native places every year. One of their groups reached here from at Hardwar yesterday.

Ask the 1,000 or so worshippers of Shiva what inspires them to face such challenges and the answer would be “Shiva’s affection”.

“When he is around, nothing bad can ever happen to us. We walk for thousands of miles every year at the time of Shivaratri in spring.”

The tradition set here by seven devotees of the Shiv Kaanwar Sangh of the Sector 23-D Shri Muni Mandir is now followed by countless persons. One cannot help but be awestruck by the devotion of these masses who cook their own food throughout the journey. They cook only after having a bath and the ritual is repeated every time they have to eat.

Rajendra Parsad Garg, a devotee, said, “I covered about 250 km on foot from Hardwar to Chandigarh in a week. About 1,000 devotees of Chandigarh and nearly 50 lakh persons of the entire northern region were with me on this journey.”

Gone are the days when only the elderly joined this spiritual procession and youngsters are now following the footsteps of their ancestors. The devotees include students, shopkeepers and persons of various other professions. Sumit Mittal, Amit Mittal, Vikas Luthra, Lalit Kumar, Amit Gupta, Joginder Mohan Garg and many others like them are now part of this tradition. The procession that included them was welcomed at the Tribune Chowk here.

Most devotees appreciated the arrangements that the government had made for Kaanwarias.

“We hardly faced any difficulty during the journey. As per the tradition, we can’t stay for more than 24 hours in one temple,” said one of them. “My son has returned safely from the journey, so, I am happy,” said Ms Anjali Mittal, mother of a devotee.

According to a legend, Rishi Parshurama introduced this practice because of his enmity with Kshatriyas. In ‘shravana’, deovees of Lord Shiva continue this practice.


Passport office errs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh has issued a passport almost 11 years ahead of time, which expires a day before the mentioned date of issuance, thus delaying a family’s pursuit for greener pastures in England.

The passport (No A-9646833) of Mr Girish Jain employed with the Escorts at Patiala, mentions the date of issuance as May 18, 2011, and the date of expiry as May 17, 2011, and has come with ‘’immigration check required’’ despite the fact that the application was made for an ‘’immigration check not required passport.’’

The woes of the family, including Mr Jain, his wife Ms Suman and three children, did not end there as his wife also got an ‘’immigration check required passport.’’

The children of the family got their passports 15 days after their parents and on the same address, but fortunately they got ‘’immigration check not required passports.” But again the norm of children getting the same immigration-check category which their parents get was probably given a go-by.

Mr Jain said, ‘’I had got sponsorship for my visit to England, and was to go along with my grandmother who lives there, but now I will have to wait till the mistake is rectified.”



‘Need to conserve energy’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
About 25 per cent of the energy consumed by the industry can be conserved if corrective measures are taken. The Secretary Industries of Haryana, Mr S.C. Chaudhary, said the bulk of energy consumers were in the unorganised sector and they should be made aware of the need to conserve energy.

He was speaking at the Action Group Meeting on Conservation of Energy in the Industrial Sector, organised by the Petroleum Conservation and Research Association (PCRA), here today.

He told the participants about efforts that were on to conserve energy and the agencies that were making these efforts. The Executive Director of the PCRA, Mr K.K. Dhingra, said the main reason for a high energy consumption was the use of obsolete equipment. He stressed the need for regularly upgrading machinery to conserve energy.

A proposal to make energy audit mandatory for all major industries and set up a cell to monitor the implementation of audit recommendations was also floated. The other suggestions included linking of energy efficiency with incentives like soft loans and subsidies, soft loans for purchase of energy-efficient equipment and energy-audit instruments.

The institution of conservation awards for energy-efficient industries was also proposed. Members of the PCRA and representatives of industrial and petroleum sectors attended the meeting.



Protest against shrine demolition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Several Sikh organisations today protested against the demolition of an illegal structure of Gurdwara Charan Kamal in Sector 49 here by the enforcement staff of the Chandigarh Administration recently.

Hundreds of protesters assembled in a Sector 22 gurdwara and marched towards Punjab Raj Bhavan, raising slogans against the Administration. They were stopped by a strong contingent of the police at a roundabout near Raj Bhavan.

Addressing the gathering, various speakers alleged that by demolishing the religious structure, the Administration had hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs. They also claimed that a court case regarding the structure was pending in the Supreme Court and the next date of hearing was July 26.

Demanding strict action against the "guilty" officials, the speakers demanded that the demolished structure should be rebuilt, otherwise the community would launch an agitation.

Later, a delegation comprising, among others, Mr Bachan Singh Bachan, secretary of the SGPC, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar and Mr Hardeep Singh, both SGPC members, and Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, president of the local unit of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), called upon the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and submitted a memorandum to him.

The Administrator assured the delegation that its demand would be considered sympathetically.

Meanwhile, the virtual "gherao" of Madhya Marg by the protesters for several hours proved to be a bane for hundreds of the commuters using the road. There was hardly any police personnel to regulate the traffic to the alternate routes from the Sector 7 chowk towards Sector 19 and from there to Sectors 18, 17 and 9.



Sikh society institutions remain closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
All educational institutions run by the Sikh Educational Society in the city remained closed today.

The institutions included the Guru Gobind Singh College for Boys, the Guru Gobind Singh College for Girls, and a pharmacy college in Sector 26.

The main gates of these institutions were closed. A contingent of the police was deployed outside these institutions.

When students came to these colleges in the morning, they were greeted by a notice displayed on the main gate, saying “the colleges are closed for today”. However, no reason was given for closing down the institutions. A large number of admission seekers to BA (I) and BSc (I) returned disappointed as they were not entertained either by offices of these institutions or by principals.

Yesterday the society had postponed its general body meeting which was to be held here today. Mr Bharpur Singh, secretary of the society, is reported to have said that the meeting had been postponed due to apprehensions that the rival party, led by former SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, might make an attempt to take possession of the educational institutions.

He was said to have stated that an intimation with regard to the society’s apprehension had also been given to the Chandigarh Administration.

Mr Bharpur Singh is credited with the statement that certain persons opposing the society had held a meeting in Ludhiana yesterday under the command of PWD Minister, Mr Sucha Singh Langah.

He said that the society was willing to refund Rs 20 lakh with interest to the SGPC which was given for buying land for SGGS College.

On May 22, the Sub divisional Magistrate (East) had dismissed a complaint lodged by Bibi Jagir Kaur and certain other persons claiming control over the society. The group led by senior SHSAD leader, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, was asked to exercise control over six colleges run by the Sikh Educational Society in Chandigarh.

The complaint was dismissed ex parte as neither Bibi Jagir Kaur nor her counsel had appeared before the SDM on the date of last hearing. The former SGPC president and certain other persons had filed a complaint against Mr Tohra, Mr Gurcharan Singh Brar and Mr Bharpur Singh for taking over possession of six colleges run by the Sikh Educational Society.

The dispute arose following elections in the society. on May 17, 2000, Mr Tohra was elected president while Mr Gurdev Singh Brar and Mr Bharpur Singh were voted to power to become vice-president and secretary, respectively, of the Sikh Education Society.

The charge of Bibi Jagir Kaur was that Mr Tohra and certain other persons had illegally taken possession of the six colleges run by the society.



Impersonation for booth allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
An NRI living in the USA allegedly tried to get a mechanic booth site allotted to him through an impostor. This came to the notice of the authorities when screening committee during spot verification reportedly found that the applicant, Mr Satnam Singh, who was currently in the USA, had applied for a booth site when he was in India. He had not even appeared before the screening committee for public hearing. According to sources, his father, Mr Jasjeet Singh, a retired gazetted officer of the Punjab Government, not only signed the papers on his behalf, but also submitted a false affidavit. The draw of lots was held sometime back for allotment of booth sites to motor mechanics following which a screening committee was constituted for spot verification.

The impersonation was detected when the signatures of Mr Satnam Singh in the documents did not match.

The authorities, have asked the police to register a case of impersonation and cheating.



CBM reconstitution flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The reconstitution of the executive body of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) by its president, Mr Jagdish Arora, has been termed “imbalanced and unconstitutional” by the Market Welfare Association, Sector 44-D.

In a written statement, the president of the association and a former general secretary of the CBM, Mr Anil Vohra, and Mr Ramesh Duggal, vice-president of the association, alleged that whereas the CBM constitution limited the number of executive members to not more than one-third of the total membership, Mr Arora had already announced 48 members.

“Although he was authorised to nominate four advisers, four vice-presidents, three general secretaries and four secretaries, he had nominated five advisers, six vice-presidents, four general secretaries and six secretaries which was illegal.” Similarly, several markets, including markets in Sectors 10, 20, 23, 24, 28, 29, 32, 35, 37-C, 38, 42, 44 and 46 had been ignored while a majority of the representatives of certain markets find a place in the list of CBM office-bearers and the executive.



Traders defer bandh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 18
A delegation of occupants of booths sealed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on July 16 were assured that a meeting with the Secretary and Commissioner, Town and Country Planning, would be organised to redress their grievances.

This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, at a meeting after she was approached by the Beopar Mandal to mediate between them and the HUDA authorities.

Ms Arora said that the matter would be taken up with the Commissioner as early as possible since policy decisions were made at that level and modification of rules was not under the preview of the Administrator, HUDA, or the district administration.

Meanwhile, the Administrator, HUDA, Mr Arun Gupta, said that the booth owners were willing to buy the booths that were sealed but wanted lowering of the reserve price.

Meanwhile, the president of the Beopar Mandal, Mr Kuldeep Chitkara, said that the call for a complete bandh tomorrow had been deferred till the meeting with the Commissioner and the assurance from the Deputy Commissioner.


Powermen oppose privatisation move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Power employees of the Union Territory, joined by leaders of the Federation of UT Employees and Workers, here today oraganised a demonstration to protest against the “privatisation move” of the Electricity Department.

The demonstrators demanded a halt to privatisation and corporatisation of the department, creation of additional posts and filling of vacant posts, appointment of kin of the deceased employees, proper tools and safety gadgets for the staff, repatriation of engineer Mr A.S. Gulati and XEN Mr Arun Kumar Verma and revocation of suspension orders of JE Mr Amrik Singh.

The protest was addressed by union general secretary Bhagmal Rana, CITU general secretary, Punjab, Mr Chander Shekhar, Mulazam Punjab Committee convener, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari, among others.

They said the privatisation move is under pressure of the IMF and World Bank and is aimed at selling out public assets.



JAC threatens to boycott duties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The Joint Action Committee of Punjab and UT Employees today threatened to boycott duties and extended support to the strike call of the defence services and Central Government employees scheduled for July 23 to 25 to oppose privatisation and introduction of contract labour.

The protestors organised a rally in Sector 17 Plaza where they were addressed by Mr Sajjan Singh, chairman, Mr Sant Singh Saini, general secretary, Mr Raghbir Singh, adviser to the JAC, Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, president, Chandigarh, UT Subordinate Services Federation, Mr Sucha Singh Mattu, general secretary, Punjab Class IV Employees Union, and Mr Rajinder Rana, president, Ministerial Services.

The rallyists also protested against the down-sizing of the government, reducing the rate of interest on GPF and demanded four years’ pending bonus, filling of vacant posts, service to the next of kin of the deceased employees, regularisation of the daily workers, promotional scale and increase in various allowances.



10 sheep die as shed collapses
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 18
Ten sheep were buried alive as the shed in which they were kept collapsed due to heavy rain in Jauli village near here last night.

According to sources, Mr Mam Chand, owner, had kept the sheep in the shed after grazing them throughout the day. Some of the animals also sustained injuries and were given treatment.

He had demanded a compensation from the government as the animals died due to natural calamity.



Senior citizens’ meeting today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
In its effort to establish a more people-oriented approach, the city police will organise a senior citizens’ meet at Tagore Theatre tomorrow evening.

According to an official press release, the objective of the meet is to discuss the problems faced by the senior citizens and see to it that how the police and society can help them in a better way. All senior citizens in the city have been invited to the meeting.



A clarification

Mr George Odima, who is suspected to have died of AIDS at the PGI last month, was a Kenyan national and not a Nigerian as erroneously stated in these columns.



A Special Tip

MOST of the families have a daughter of marriageable age. Every mother wants her daughters to find a good and respectable home. These days it has become common for girls to find their own partners.

But some parents with old ideas feel that it is their responsibility to find partners for their daughters. I think that such parents are right and they rightly get worried about their daughters. Sometimes children overlook things which the parents will not.

Marriage is a sacred thing and one should be sure when getting into an alliance. The partner is a person you are going to stay with for a long, long time. So before a girl gets into matrimony, please make sure if that is the person you are willing to spend your life with! Here is a piece of advice for the parents who want suitable partners for their grown up daughters.

First of all energise your south-west corner. To do this, place pebbles inside a shallow glass or a crystal bowl and fill it with water. You should float some flowers on top. This will attract vital energy to the corner. If you use flowers, please change them everyday. Do not forget to change the water also. Try lighting a candle in the centre of the bowl. Try it! It will work like magic.


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



Man held for duping two youths
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 18
The police has arrested Ram Nath, an accused who had duped two youths of Rs 1.60 lakh after promising them employment within 48 hours of the incident.

An official spokesman said that Feroz Khan of Yamunanagar had reported that a fortnight back, he accompanied with a relative and a friend, was standing at the bus stand when an unidentified person came and engaged them in a conversation, stating that he was employed with Haryana Roadways.

Claiming that his name was Sanjiv, he asked them to come to the city on July 13. He met them on July 14 in Sector 10 and asked them to return with Rs 80,000 if they wanted a job. Following this, the two returned to their villages and came back with the said amount on July 16.

Then Sanjiv gave them question papers of general knowledge to answer. Later in the day he showed them two appointment letters which were yet to be signed and took them out for tea. While the duo were having tea, he came back to his maruti van where the bag containing Rs 1.60 lakh was kept and disappeared with the amount.

A case under Sections 379 and 420 IPC was registered against the accused. The accused was arrested today at the bus stand near Naraingarh along with the cash.



Held for stealing briefcase
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Jaipal was caught red-handed while stealing a briefcase from a car ( CH-01U-2098) on Madhya Marg in Sector 26 yesterday.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC, Mr Khushwinder Singh alleged that he caught the accused red-handed with his brief case.

In another case, Pardeep Kumar was caught while stealing a bicycle from the Sector 36 market. Mr Jatinder Singh has registered a complaint and an FIR under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Burglary Thwarted: Vinod Kumar and Mahesh were caught while stealing a purse containing Rs. 1000 and a voter’s identity card from the residence of Mr. Ram Nagina in Kajheri village. The accused had reportedly broken the lock of the house and made their entry. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Cop Injured: A motor cyclist, constable Palvir Singh of the 82 BN, PAP, and pillion rider, Alam Vijay, were hit by a Haryana Roadways bus of Narnaul depot (HR-47-6979) near the Sector 39-A turn yesterday. They were admitted to the PGI. The bus driver, Shyam Sunder, has been arrested.

Gambling: Raj Kumar and Rajan Kumar, both residents of Bapu Dham Colony, were arrested on charge of gambling yesterday. Rs 310 were recovered from them. A case under sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.


Body found: The body of a youth was found near the booth market of Sector 70 here this morning. The deceased, Ajay Kumar, a resident of Sohana village, was reportedly suffering from some mental ailment. He left home last evening as usual but did not return.



Internet gateway services opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd.), Governor of Punjab, here today inaugurated the international gateway of Glide Internet Services. The gateway is first of its kind in the region in the private sector.

The gateway has been set up in Sector 8 with a total ground station capacity of 34 mbps. International bandwidth requirements of software companies, IT-enabled services, manufacturing companies, educational institutions etc in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh which are being served by the VSNL and the STPI till date, shall be catered by the gateway.

The gateway connects the city with the rest of the world through a combination of satellite and fibre optic technology. In first hop, the data is unlinked/downlinked via Thaicom-3 satellite owned by Shin Satellite Company of Shinvatra Group to their network operation centre (NOC) located at Bangkok. The NOC is connected to 155 mbps high-speed optic fibre connectivity.

Glide plans to distribute and sell international bandwidth from international gateway through this already established network to corporates and retail customers. The company claims to have already contracted many reputed clients.

The gateway can meet bandwidth requirements of its own network as also resell bandwidth to the other ISPs and bulk consumers of bandwidth.

Glide has more than 35 operational links of high-speed data access, which include software companies, medical transcription companies, manufacturing companies, newspapers and educational institutes. Glide International Gateway has been set up in pursuance to the principle approval granted by the Department of Telecommunication (Ministry of Communication). C-DoT has also tested the network and approved this facility.

Besides provisioning international bandwidth, Glide has also launched a data centre where corporates can host their website. Glide offers turnkey solutions of domain registration, website hosting as well as website design with database connectivity.



Capitalising on fitness fad
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

She had not imagined that her hobby would become her profession and make her what she is today. The proud owner of two gymnasiums, Jasbir Kaur, claims that these are the most spacious ones and also offer the best facilities. Her Oceanic Fitness Centres — one in Mohali and the other in Panchkula — have a clientele of more than 500.

A fitness freak herself, she got the idea of opening a gymnasium when she observed that such outfits in other countries were easily accessible to all. It was, however, 16 years after her marriage and visiting about 30 countries all over the world that she decided to put this idea into practice.

She started at Panchkula about two years ago. The name was derived from her husband’s profession who is an officer in the Merchant Navy. Success at Panchkula inspired her to set up a branch in Mohali three months ago.

At Panchkula, she has three floors one of which is meant exclusively for women. The Mohali centre is spread over two floors. She personally takes care of each client, besides her well-trained coaches. Personal touch is a must, she believes.

She never had any doubt about her success. “However, when I started, people said that a gymnasium only for women would not be profitable. But they were proved wrong and the tremendous response from women encouraged me to expand.” Today, more than 40 per cent of her clients are women. “Initially, men did hesitate to join a gymnasium run by a woman but now there is no such hesitation”, she says.

Jasbir is planning further expansion and there will soon be another centre in Chandigarh.

On fitness awareness, she says, this has tremendously increased in the country and she attributes it to the fitness consciousness of film stars of Mumbai who have a great influence on the minds of the people.

About weight loss, Jasbir says a combination of gymnasium, aerobics and proper diet is sure to help if the training is proper.



‘Adopt fuel-efficient equipment’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Mr G.C. Daga, state-level coordinator and General Manager, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., today underlined the need for adopting fuel-efficient equipment and technology so that the services offered by them remained competitive.

Speaking at an action group meet organised by the Indian Oil Corporation in association with the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA, Northern Region), he said 26 per cent of total consumption of the petroleum products was in industrial sector only.

Mr K.K. Dhingra, Executive Director, PCRA, said about 10-15 per cent of energy could be saved by simply following the proper house-keeping energy conservation tips and monitoring the performance on energy intensive units. Quoting the experience of various entrepreneurs, Mr A.P. Bajwa, state coordinator, informed the delegates that the entrepreneur could save on his electricity as well as oil bill to the extent of 30 per cent by the use of efficient burners and heating pumping units.

The representatives from oil companies, state industry departments, industries associations, energy-efficient equipment manufacturing companies, pollution control department and other agencies concerned with this sector participated in the meeting, which was chaired by Mr S.F. Chaudhary, Commissioner and Secretary, Industry, Haryana.

PCRA officials further apprised the members of various technological upgradation projects taken up by the PCRA in association with the R & D Organisation, engineering colleges, IITs etc. throughout the country. The design modification in burner taken up at HP, Dehradun has yielded in fuel saving to the extent of 15 per cent approximately.

The group suggested enactment of a legislation for making energy audit mandatory.


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