Monday, July 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Govt out to rein in clinics, nursing homes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
With the Government of India proposing to regulate private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, the haphazard growth and improper functioning of these in the region are expected to come to an end.

This was discussed in detail at a high-level meeting of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare in New Delhi recently. Sources say a Bill in this regard is expected to be tabled in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament. The legislation will envisage minimum standards for hospitals, nursing homes and other clinics in the country and check their large-scale proliferation.

Following this, minimum requirement for setting up of a healthcare institution and establishing qualitative standards, which include standards of building space, facility, equipment and manpower to bring in accountability, will be clearly spelt out. No person will be allowed to open a clinical establishment without being registered. Besides this, regular inspections by the authorised persons will be carried out regularly.

Sources say the Union Government is keen to frame norms and standards for ensuring proper healthcare for different categories of institutions in consultation with the state governments.

The functioning of private nursing homes and clinics in the city, is being viewed as virtually unregulated and concern has been shown about the disposal of biomedical waste by these clinics and also their efficiency in treating the patients. It is said that condition of nursing homes in the city is far better that what it is like in rural areas of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, but sources in the UT Health Department add that many of them require to be monitored effectively, especially where their role in sex determination tests and other such practices are concerned. The central legislation, when enacted, will also protect the patients against any substandard services from the clinical establishments.

In a note issued by the Union Health Minister, Dr C.P. Thakur, a few months back, the ministry had said such standards should not only be regarding building and equipment available with the clinical establishments, but also about training of doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff.

Protection of patients from hazards and infection, patient comfort and infrastructure are also on the government’s agenda, which needs to be monitored, says the note.

The main objective of the National Health Policy-2001 is to achieve acceptable good health amongst the general population of the country.

The private sector is the dominant provider of healthcare services with a substantial share of 80 per cent in outpatient treatment and 55 per cent inpatient care.

But due to absence of a regulatory environment, the quality of services have suffered, leading to lack of accountability among the private sector health providers.

This is the reason the NHP 2001 envisages a strong and effective regulatory mechanism for private sector healthcare institutions and diagnostic facilities by enactment of a statute.


BJP eyes Mayor’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The BJP seems to have made up its mind of putting up its candidate for the post of Mayor following the resignation of minority Congress incumbent Raj Kumar Goyal and few of those coveting the post have already started camping in Delhi.

“A party delegation will tomorrow meet the Commissioner Municipal Corporation and the Deputy Commissioner to demand early election for the post, seek certain clarifications and try to find out when the notification for the Mayors election is likely,’’ the leader of the 15-member strong group of the BJP-Akali alliance, Mr Desraj Tandon, told The Tribune here today.

He said after Monday’s study, the party had called a meeting of Councillors on Tuesday to decide the next course of action whether to put up its candidate or not or who would be the party’s candidate for the post.

Mr Tandon said the national general secretary in charge of the party, Mr O. P. Kohli had asked him to give a list of three consensus candidates for the post thus indicating that party was not in favour of an early dissolution of the House.

When asked whether he is also an aspirant, the Leader of the Opposition said, ‘’I have been one of the most active party worker since 1967 and can not campaign for myself but if party wants me to perform a responsibility I can not shirk it.’’

The BJP which lost the last Mayor election to the Congress when its official candidate Ms Ranjana Shahi was defeated by a margin of three votes due to alleged cross-voting of a faction of the party, has had an internecine past with two factions of the party opposing each other.

Despite having a majority of 15 and a number of supporter nominated members in the 30-member Municipal Corporation, the party had lost last time.

Party sources said names of Ms Ranjana Shahi, Air Marshal R. S. Bedi (retd), Mr Prem Sagar Jain, Mr O. P. Goel, Mr Raghunandal Lal Arora, Mr Bachan Singh and Ms Kamala Sharma were already doing rounds for the post.

They said at least four to five of these aspirants had already allegedly gone to Delhi to lobby for their candidature.

Mr Tandon said consensus was likely to be reached this time on one official party candidate and that the party would ensure that the discipline was maintained at all costs ahead of the corporation elections due by the end of the year.

He said, however, the meeting of the Councillors would consider all aspects and strategy of the party in view of the forthcoming elections.

Mr Tandon said the survival of the outgoing Congress Mayor was impossible after the BJP had assured Ms Satinder Dhawan of support if she brought a no-confidence motion against Mr Goyal on his alleged involvement in a soap selling scandal.

He said the party had also indicated to dissident Congress leader and Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, to bring a no-confidence motion on an assurance of support but he was afraid of the party discipline and claimed that Mr Kala had assured to support a no-trust motion to have been brought by the BJP.

The Congress camp had earlier maintained that it was not in favour of the dissolution of the house and wanted an earlier notification of elections but former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan had sought dissolution of the House.


MC meeting to take up Mayor’s resignation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A special meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) is likely to be held later this month to inform the House about the resignation of Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, who resigned from the post of Mayor yesterday.

According to sources, the meeting will be presided over by the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, as according to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to the Union Territory, Chandigarh, “when the office of the Mayor is vacant, the Senior Deputy Mayor and in his absence, the Deputy Mayor shall act as Mayor until a new Mayor is elected.”

In fact, a peculiar situation has emerged with the resignation of Mr Goyal, who resigned without completing his tenure. Mr Goyal is the first Mayor to resign midway and the MCC had never faced such a situation before.

Surprisingly, the Act is also silent about providing information to the MCC House about the resignation of the Mayor. “The Mayor may, by writing under his hand addressed to the corporation and delivered to the Commissioner, resign his office,” this is what the Act says about the procedure for the resignation of the Mayor.

However, sources said a special meeting would be held to inform the House about the development. The agenda for the meeting is still undecided. Normally two types of agendas are put forward for the meeting. One type of agenda is for discussion and other is just for the information and the Mayor’s resignation is likely to fall in the second category.

Meanwhile, the MCC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, who verbally told the Secretary, Local Government of the Chandigarh Administration, about the resignation of the Mayor yesterday, will send a report in writing tomorrow. The administration will then direct the UT Deputy Commissioner, who is prescribed authority for conducting the Mayoral poll, to issue a notification detailing the schedule of election process.

Though technically Mr Kala can officiate as Mayor till August 20, yet schedule of the election process is likely to be issued in a few days, the sources added.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, demanded yesterday that the election to the post of the Mayor should be held within a week.


Concrete track caves in
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 22
Barely two months after a foot-bridge on a choe, passing through the Leisure Valley, was inaugurated by the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, a concrete track leading to the bridge from the side of the YPS School side has caved in, much to inconvenience of morning walkers.

Enquires reveal that the foundation of the track had not been strengthened causing the earth beneath it to cave in during rains. The track links the raised 100-foot-long arched shaped RCC vaulted foot-bridge with the old track. Some of the decorative track lights were also damaged.

A visit to the site reveals that there is a threat to the embankments of the choe along the foot-bridge. The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority had channelised the course of the seasonal rivulet at certain points to check erosion of its embankments.

Possibility of further damage to the concrete walls on both sides of the foundation of the bridge during heavy discharge of water in the choe could not be ruled out. Cracks in the retaining side wall has appeared. It may be pertinent to mention that the Punjab Services Anti-corruption Cell, consisting of retired engineers, had questioned the realignment of the Leisure Valley choe.

The engineers said that the monsoons would revive the natural course of the choe. The engineering practice required construction of a bridge on narrow passages, whereas the foot-bridge had been unnecessarily constructed on a much wide choe bed.


Project to map hazardous areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A project to map hazardous and landslide-prone zones on popular tourist and pilgrim routes in this region has been taken up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in collaboration with the Survey of India.

The maps, besides cautioning travellers by indicating the landslide risk assessment, would also be used to formulate disaster management plans.

According to sources, the project, Landslide Hazard Zonation, would initially cover seven selected routes in Himachal Pradesh and the western parts of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh.

The sources add the routes selected for mapping include Shimla-Sumdo, Shimla-Manali, Dalhousie-Bharmour, Rishikesh-Rudraprayag-Chamoli-Badrinath, Chamoli Okhimath, and Rishikesh-Uttarkashi-Gangotri-Gomukh.

The selection of these routes was based upon their popularity and volume of traffic, vulnerability of the areas, geological weakness and the presence of inhabitations in their vicinity.

The sources say that the project involves preparing special maps of the routes which mark out hazardous and landslide-prone areas along the said routes. While basic topographical maps of the areas concerned would be supplied by the Survey of India, data and satellite imagery would be made available by the IRSO.

Though the Survey of India has already published tourist maps of the region, these do not show hazardous zones. Other topographical maps which indicate such areas are restricted due to their close proximity to the international borders.

The sources say that the satellite data derived from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites would be correlated with conventional data. The satellites would be used to map the snow areas as well as the terrain and its geological composition and characteristics, which would generate the desired information.

Satellite imagery is being used to generate these maps because of their capability to provide comprehensive, synoptic and multi-temporal coverage of large areas.

During the past year, the capabilities of IRS and INSAT satellites were used for flood mapping and monitoring of all major rivers. A report on the Sutlej flash flood in Himachal Pradesh was also prepared using data derived from the IRS satellite.


Two bodies found in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Mystery shrouds the death of a 24-year old rickshaw puller, whose body was found in bushes on the backside of Vijay Gas Agency on Jail Road this morning.

According to information available, Suresh Kumar’s body was found lying in bushes in the morning. Though the police has not ruled out a foul play, the possibility of the deceased having died of an epilepsy attack is being considered.

Police sources say that the truth could be established only after the post-mortem tomorrow. The deceased was a resident of Colony No 5 and was staying with his wife, Babli, and two children. It is learnt that he left home at around 7 p.m. last night for work, but never returned.

In another incident, the police found the body of a Nepali on the Sector 23-24 dividing road. The body was found lying in the bushes near the Sector 22-24 light point around 11 a.m. The deceased was dressed up in a “Khaki” shirt and a Nepali cap.

The man appeared to be in his early thirties and there was no injury mark on the body. The police took the body to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for a post-mortem.


Lot more to be accomplished: Satinder
Tribune News Service

Question your Councillor

The five-year term of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is drawing to a close. It is time for stock-taking. What did the councillors promise at the time of elections? And what has been their performance? Have they been able to deliver? Have they been able to come up to your expectations?

Beginning today, we are publishing a weekly feature: Interactive. It will carry the interview of each Councillor and a comparison of his promises vs performance. You are invited to question your councillor by 8 p.m. on Wednesday either through e-mail: or at Ph: 680345 for one-and-a-half minute of recording on the Tribune’s interactive voice response system (IVRS).


Ms Satinder Dhawan, represents the largest ward, ward number one of the Municipal Corporation having 11 wards apart from other areas, mostly inhabitated by the city elite. Ms, Dhawan who got elected on the Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) symbol four and a half years ago but went on to join the Congress just before the 2000 Parliamentary elections. In an interview with the Chandigarh Tribune, she claimed that she had tried her best and worked sincerely as a councillor to get the maximum done for her ward. She, however, admitted that everything promised could not be accomplished.

The Tribune as part of an exercise to know your councillors' performance and enable the electorate to question them on what they promised and performed has interviewed her, Text of the interview is reproduced here:

Q: What have been your achievements during the term as a Corporator?

Ans: Large number of V-4, V-5 and V-6 roads in almost all sectors in my ward were strengthened and recarpeted. A new link road was constructed in Sector 7-C from the market to the Central Government staff's houses and the work for widening the parking space in front of booths of Sector 7-C market is styill in progress. First time in the city, a tiled footpath was laid on both sides of the V-4 road in the Sector -11 market for pedestrians. I mainly focussed on getting at least two parks developed in each sector ( Sector 1 to Sector 11) with contributions from the Councillors' Ward Development Fund.

The sole community centre in my ward in sector-8, which has been lying non-functional for the past several years was finally renovated and put back to use.

The centre, now perhaps has the maximum number of 250 members, she claimed.

"Besides this, public toilets from Sector 7 to 11 wards were repaired, and I have spent nearly Rs 35 lakh on the development works in my ward. In fact, the total money allocated to me under the fund for five years has already been spent".

Q: What do you think you could not do for the electorate and why?

Ans: There are many things I could not accomplish because of inter and intra party rivalaries involving the Congress and the BJP, which resulted in the work of the MC coming to a halt. The shortage of funds and staff in the Corporation also created hurdles. What I could not do was : recarpeting of certain V-4 and V-5 roads; development and maintenance of all parks and green spaces in my ward; recarpeting of parking spaces in Sector 7-C and 8-C markets along the from Madhya Marg and ensuring sanitation. Further, I was unable to make all street lights functional in my area due to shortage of staff and division of maintenance work between the Corporation and the Administration. .

Q: How did you use the Corporation forum to redress the grievances of the people?

Ans: Whenever I got any complaint from any resident, I took it up with the officials concerned and made it a point to take them along. . Sometimes, I even took the officials to the problematic spot to get it redressed there and then.

Q: What did you promise the voter during your election campaign?

Ans: I promised that I would work for them, make efforts to get roads re-carpeted, parks developed, sanitation improved, the community centre handed over and will be available to redress the grievances of the people.

Q: How responsive has been your party towards your electorate's grievances?

Ans: It is most unfortunate that the Congress to which I belonged played no role in helping councillors concentrate on development work.

Q: How supportive has the bureaucracy been in your role as a councillor?

Ans: Overall, the officers of the Corporation and the Administration have been quite helpful to me in solving the problems of the people and giving a serious thought to my suggestions.

Q: Would you like to recontest the election in view of your performance?

Ans: Certainly, I will go back to the people and if they re-elect me, I will strive to serve them to the best of my capacity and ability.

Q: What will you suggest to your successor, if you do not contest this time? What he/she must do for the electorate overcoming the party and bureaucratic hurdles?

Ans: I will contest and try to come to the expectations and aspirations of the people and will never betray their confidence in me.

Q: Why should the voter vote for you?

Ans: I am confident that since I have stood by the people though thick and thin and had all along tried my best to solve their problems, they will stand by me.

Q: What have you gained personally by being a councillor?

Ans: I never contested the election for any personal gains: God has given me enough. I had all along been a social worker and my entire energy was directed in that direction. I am very happy and contended that I was instrumental in getting people's grievances redressed as a Councillor.

The interview was conducted for the electorate of her ward to scrutinise her performances and ask her why she could not do certain things that electorate expected her to do. The councillor will reply your questions. Please write to The Tribune at postal address, e-mail address or record your complaint in one-and-a-half minute on telephone number.



* To ensure that the residents got uninterrupted water and power supply, clean roads and green surroundings.

* To introduce door-to-door garbage collection system.

* No tax burden on common man.

* No harassment or exploitation of the common man in any way.

* To give the residents a transparent, responsive and accountable Administration totally devoid of `` inspector raj''.

* Stress on providing basic amenities in labour colonies, development of transport system and land for co-operative housing societies.

* To develop Chandigarh as a tourist and business centre.

* Special emphasis on involving senior citizens in the Administration and giving representation to senior citizens in ward committees.

* They would clear the city of mosquitoes and flies.



* Residents in certain areas continued to face water shortage and interrupted power supply, particularly in summer months.

* Though the system of door-to-door garbage collection was already there before MC came into being, but still remains ineffective as in the past.

* Her party councillors could not stop the ruling BJP from imposing water and sewerage cess during this term. But they did oppose the same by boycotting the MC House proceedings.

* She personally stood up against harassment of the common man. But it still remains a dream.

* Nothing happened on this account.

* Her ward does not have labour colonies. Chandigarh is yet to develop as a tourist and business hub.

* Much remains to be done.

* The planned involvement of senior citizens in the Administration and their representation in ward committees is yet to be done.

* Tall claims but mosquitoes and flies abound the city.


Dead man’ returns
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 22
While family members of Shadi Lal were crying over his death, he was having ‘‘nice time’’ in Panipat.

On Friday, there were reports that Shadi Lal had committed suicide by jumping into the Sukhna Lake. Shadi Lal, was said to be suffering from mental problem and his clothes were found on the bank of the lake. The divers had reportedly searched the lake for tracing his body and his family members had presumed him to be dead.

Now, it is learnt that Shadi Lal took a loan of Rs 40,000 from a chit fund company and reached a Manav Kendra in Panipat. The officials of the Kendra informed about him to its Saketri (Panckhula) branch which later informed the member of his family. Meanwhile, Shadi Lal today returned home.


7 elected unopposed
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 22
Two sarpanches and five panches were declared elected unopposed According to information, Mr Arjun Singh was declared sarpanch of Gharuan village and Mr Karnail Singh was declared sarpanch of Thaska, village. Mr Sucha Singh from Majra, Mr Dilbagh Singh from Khairpur, Mr Harbhag Singh from Chandpur, Mr Ajaib Singh from Bahalpur and Mr Darbara Singh from Tarapur were declared panches.



IT seems that the Chandigarh police is totally oblivious of the inconvenience faced by the commuters in case of a protest rally, which undoubtedly means that certain roads will be blocked for hours together and the commuters will be left high and dry.

Recently, members of various Sikh organisations had taken out a rally in protest against the demolition of a gurdwara on an encroached land. With hundreds of protestors marching down Madhya Marg to submit a memorandum to the UT Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), the road was closed for the commuters for hours together.

This despite the fact that the road leads to two of the major medical institutions — the PGI and General Hospital, Sector 16. In fact, such was the apathy on part of the traffic cops that no one was deployed to direct the commuters through the internal roads to reach their destinations.

But this is more of a rule than an exception . Matka Chowk — which is a permanent spot for protestors of all origins and kinds — is often closed to vehicular traffic for days ( as was the case during the recent Kissan rally).

As a senior police official quipped: “These protestors are more important than the VIPs. We have at least two to three VIP route alerts a day, but the normal flow of traffic is never disrupted.”


The Chandigarh Administration has taken another step to make the city people friendly. The issuance of birth and death certificates was computerised last week.

Now it will take a weeks to issue a certificate instead of two months previously. The charges will be Rs 21 for the first copy and Rs 18 for each subsequent copy. In about a month from now, when the computer system stabilises, the certificate will be issued within one day.

The registration of births and deaths is an important aspect of life. Birth certificates are desired by the school authorities at the time of admission and death certificates are needed for all documentary evidence after the death of a person. The real benefit will accrue if the local computers are linked to at least states in North India, say officials .

Waterless school

“Bring a glass of water for the scribe and cameramen” ordered the Principal of Government Middle School, Darua, but the peon hesitated as there had been no water in the school for the past several days.

Due to the careless attitude of the authorities more then 500 children of the school suffered a lot for many days. It is difficult to believe that in City Beautiful where every year the administration sanctions lakhs of rupees for villages and for school improvement, school children have to go without water.

Varied views

There appears to be a split in the Ex-services League, a body representing the interests of ex-servicemen.

While some members expressed solidarity with a regional political party during a convention held in the city recently, another faction has claimed that the league, according to its charter, is an apolitical body and has urged members not to align themselves with political activities.

Uniform prices

A demand by the Petroleum Dealers Association of northern states to have uniform petrol and diesel prices in the region has found favour with the consumers of Panchkula, SAS Nagar and Chandigarh. They believe that uniform price of petrol and diesel will mean less harassment as they will not have to travel to neighbouring states to fill the tanks of their vehicles.

Some consumers, however, feel that free gift schemes run by the petrol stations to boost their sales will be closed once the petrol rates become uniform.

Public service

Business organisations are becoming increasingly aware of their social obligations. Modi Telecommunications is the latest to enter the field. The company has tied up with the Punjab police and provided around 80 pagers free to the police personnel in Patiala. Modi has already covered several thanas in and around the city .

Apart from this, the company has started services in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali , where it is providing free expert guidance for health , legal problems and also fields like Vaastu, astrology, reiki, career guidance, travel , car loans , housing finance etc.

These services which are currently available for its clients will soon be opened to all the residents. Top officials of Modi say they also aim to promote cultural heritage on natural cures and solutions.


It is distinction that the Panchkula district administration is proud of. The Indian Red Cross Society, Haryana state branch, has honoured the District Red Cross and St John Branch for outstanding work done in 1998-99.

Awarded the Haryana Red Cross Membership Challenge shield for the highest membership, the Haryana Red Cross Fund-Raising Challenge for collecting the maximum funds and the St John Membership Challenge shield, the district is placed second as far as blood donation is concerned and has earned the Priya Grover Voluntary Blood donation shield.

However, though the common man has cried hoarse over the movement of cases in government offices, the situation seems no better in the case of office to office communication. Awarded for the works in 1998-99, the intimation has made its way to the right offices only in July, 2001. Good things certainly come to those who wait. Only in this case it over-stretched the limit.

Plainly indifferent

The authorities of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, seem to have become smarter than ever. The total fee of most second year BA students was working out at gross Rs 1,499. Given the fact that the clerks on fee collection duty already knew the amount of fee, they should ideally have been prepared with the change of Re 1. But there was not enough change with the clerks, resulting in quite a messy situation on all days of admission.

Most of the students did not get their money back. All that the clerks had to say was: “You should have come with the exact amount.” But how were the poor students supposed to know the exact amount of fees?

Rain worries

Pouring rains have their own little truths to relate. While the rain lashed the city almost every day, it caught many city residents unawares and unprepared. But what was interesting to watch was the reaction of the city residents to a sudden downpour. Most of them conscious of their officegoing clothes, immediately halted their scooters and took shade under the trees which did not provide adequate protection.

Then there were those on two-wheelers who would try to save themselves from the speeding cars who splash stagnant water from the roadside on to them.

Talking of rain, it’s almost uncanny the way it rains in the city. One moment one is driving through pelting rain and then the next moment one reaches a stretch which is totally rain starved. And most of the people living in these sectors do not believe that it has been raining so heavily in Mohali. There are many who also believe that rain in Mohali is a half-an-hour behind rain in the city. So if it starts to rain in the city at a particular time, 30 minutes later it will be raining in Mohali.

Fatal shortcuts

Nothing seems to deter the traffic violators of the city. Just to save an extra 250 to 400 yards till the next crossing or chowk, a number of commuters, especially two-wheeler drivers, cross the central verges on roads — never mind if it can cause accidents.

The problem is there even on the busy Madhya Marg, where one can see pedestrians and cyclists going down under the barbed wires or through the hedges. But the problem is more acute in the southern sectors. On Dakshin Marg and also on the Chandigarh-Panchkula highway, a number of commuters are seen standing together in droves waiting for the flow of traffic to ease so that they can quickly cross over.

The Chandigarh- Panchkula highway near the Durga nursery has become a major accident spot as a result of this problem. The PCR men deployed at the Railway Light Point complain that two to three minor accidents take place here each day. However, they concede that shortage of staff does not allow for a separate vehicle to be positioned there in order to curb the menace.

An appeal

The Federation of Migrant Groups from North-West India, now Pakistan, has appealed to Prime Minister Vajpayee to impress upon Gen Pervez Musharraf to get some ancient places declared as World Heritage sites under the UNESCO action plan.

Bhakta Prahlad occupies a prominent place in the long tradition of bhaktas in India. His association with Multan is matter of pride for the people of Punjab. There are ancient sites like Prahald Temple and Sun Temple in Multan. Lahore and Kasur are associated with the sons of Lord Rama, says the federation. Luv and Kush governed Madar Desha (Punjab). While Lava founded Lavoor (later Lahore), Kusha founded Kasur.

Sialkot is the birthplace of Pooran Bhakta, the disciple of Guru Gorakh Nath. Rawalpindi was founded by Rawal Jogi. He built a Shiva Temple (now closed) on the bank of Rawal Lake. There are several Hindu shrines such as Hinglaj Temple in Baluchistan, Sri Katasraj Temple in Jehlum district, Sitla Temple (Lahore), Baba Lalu Jasrog Temple (Dipalpore) which are in a dilapidated condition.

The federation has urged the Pakistan government to hand over the maintenance of these shrines to the Sri Durgiana Mandir Committee (SDMC), Amritsar.



Slain tea planter’s kin for fair probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The family of the slain tea planter Mr Harpreet Singh Mand, who was lynched in Sonali in Assam on July 2, has asked the Punjab Government to approach the Assam government for fair investigation into his death.

Twenty days after his death, the family is still groping in the dark about the circumstances that led to the death of the tea planter. They suspect that his death is the result of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched to eliminate him.

They maintain that Harpreet Singh had offended quite a few people in the tea estate by curbing corruption there. The bhog ceremony for the departed soul was held this afternoon.

Ms Tahira Mand, wife of the slain General Manager of the Towkok Tea Estate in Sonali in Sivsagar district of Assam, said now she had been receiving anonymous threatening calls asking her to stop pressurising the police there for investigations. “The unidentified caller keeps on telling me to ask the police to stop the investigations or they would come here to get back at me and my two daughters. But rather than scaring me, these calls only strengthen my resolve to get at the bottom of things and know why my husband was killed so brutally,” she says.

The family suspects that Harpreet’s murder was pre-planned. They insist that a worker was planted outside his residence to cut firewood from a tree outside his house in order to provoke him. “On July 1, we were playing bridge with relatives, who had come there on a vacation, when he noticed a labourer cutting firewood from a tree outside our kitchen. Why would anyone steal firewood from outside the house of the General Manager and then invite punishment?” asks Tahira Mand.

“My husband asked the servants to take the man to the manager, but they took him to the security people, where he was kept for a few hours. However, later when we were driving away to the club for a game of tennis, we found that the man was with the security and my husband asked them to take him to an Assistant Manager,” she says.

There was a gherao of the office by workers next day and the manager asked him to reach there.

The manager was hit by the angry mob and he left the office when my husband reached there. He was carrying a loaded revolver but even while he was taken by the mob and his own colleagues deserted him, he was lynched.” she says as she breaks down.

The family insists that since the Congress has taken over in Assam and they had won with the help of the labour community, “we fear that no action will be taken against the accused.”


Soaring on “Tum Bin” success
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The two most talked-about debutantes in Bollywood, who are starring in the latest Anubhav Sinha’s rage titled Tum Bin, were in city today.

Charming Sandali (the one who kept vanishing sporadically in the Sardool Sikander number O ho) and handsome Priyanshu (who compromised at nothing less than a lead role in the romantic scrip of “Tum Bin”) make a great winning combination on the surface. But with no big-time hits to back them in the fizzling world of Bollywood, both of them believe that a lot will depend on how well they are able to learn from director’s notes.

As for Sandali, she does not mind admitting that her life took a turn for the better after Anubhav Sinha came up with the offer in “Tum Bin”. Sandali has been in the world of glamour for quite sometime and has done various advertisements from Fair and Lovely to the hot-Pepsi ad with Shahrukh Khan, but the ads never gave her the kind of exposure that the artist in her was craving for. Even the two music videos with Sonu Nigam did not bring anything more than attention.

Sandali informed that she had been getting film offers for a while now but she had not been accepting them for dearth of substance in the roles. “I like my role in Tum Bin. It reflects strength and poise. And working with three heroes did not make things even a bit difficult. The script had room for all the three.”

From Tum Bin, there might be no looking back for the glamour girl, who featured in two Sonu Nigam videos Jaan and Deewana. The same is true of Priyanshu, whose first assignment was a humble Digjam ad. The big break, however, came after T-Series picked him up following the release of Janam, the Udit Narayan video featuring Priyanshu.

“Unlike many other aspirants in the field, I did not have to struggle much. Things worked out well for me and success started showing up a bit too early. But I can handle my convictions well,” said the model-turned-actor who was also noticed in the Sony serial titled “Khwahish”.

The better detail about Priyanshu is that he did concentrate on acting before getting into it. “I learnt acting from Kishore Namit Kapoor. I think it’s a weapon you must be armed with,” he said, adding that he was not seeing himself in contest with the sons of established stars. “There are advantages in both cases. While we can start afresh with virgin dreams, they are already being looked upto. So they are always at a risk of handling great expectations. We are new to the field. We will mould the viewers according to our acting skills. We will not be judged by them,” reasoned the star.

Sandali and Priyanshu both seemed to be liking the city ambience. Sandali could not help mentioning, “I am coming here for the first time. I will love to go around.” As for Priyanshu, he has done ramp shows in the city earlier.


Drive to check car thefts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The city police has embarked upon a special campaign to check the ever-increasing incidents of car theft in central police subdivision.

The campaign was started in May. During the first month of the campaign, the incidence of vehicle theft in the subdivision had come down to 50 per cent. During the month of June, only one car was stolen from Sector 23.

This is in contrast from the time before the campaign was launched. Before the entire area was cordoned off two months ago, 20 to 25 vehicles a month were lifted from the Sector 17 area itself. Besides, four to five vehicles were lifted from other parts in this subdivision.

It may be noted that the maximum number of vehicle thefts north of Delhi take place in City Beautiful and its satellite townships of Panchkula and Mohali. According to the city police’s own submission, on an average three to four vehicles are stolen from different parts of the city every day. Of the total number of vehicles stolen, almost 70 per cent are stolen from central subdivision of the city alone.

Police sources point out that as against any organised gang of vehicle thieves operating in the city, vehicle theft is now being managed individually or by a pair. In fact, the police has arrested a large number of youths involved in such cases, who were operating individually.

Police sources say that in a majority of such cases, the vehicles are stolen only with the intention of taking away the spare parts, which find a huge market not just in the city, but also in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

Says Mr S.S. Randhawa, DSP, Central subdivision, “It was unanimously decided at a meeting to set up permanent nakas, which was seen as the last resort to control the lifting of vehicles.” As a result, permanent nakas were set up at 17 points in the subdivision with two to three personnel manning each check-point. Six nakas have been laid only in Sector 17 (at Dr Sahib Singh Parking, Lyons parking, Gurdev Studio parking, CMC parking, parking on backside of Batra building and near Mehfil hotel). Two nakas have been laid in Sector 10 (near Mountview and on geri route), two in Sector 11( near YMCA and towards Sector 12), two in Sector 15 ( near Talwar Dairy and rehri market) and two in Sector 22 (Gurdial Singh petrol pump and near Health Centre).

Besides , a naka each has been set up in Sector 8, Sector 9 and near the Sector 23 temple. Says Mr Randhawa: “Not only will these nakas check anyone trying to escape with a stolen vehicle, the presence of cops here will also scare traffic violators. Ever since the geri route has been plugged with four nakas set up in Sectors 10 and 11, it has ensured adherence to traffic norms by the commuters .” 


Spirit of Hinduism highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Janshakti, in tandem with the Servants of the People Society, organised an open discussion on “The spirit of Hinduism” at Lajpat Rai Bhavan here today.

Mr Dharmendra Goel, a former professor of Department of Philosophy of Panjab University, while presiding over the function said the concept of Hinduism did not generate a soft state but a strong philosophy wherein the spirit of sacrifice was a part of life.

He quoted example of Satyavadi Harish Chandra, Dadhichi, Guru Teg Bahadur and freedom fighter Ram Prashad Bismal, apart from Guru Gobind Singh who sacrificed their lives to uphold its spirit. He said to live a meaningful life has the crux of Hinduism. He also condemned the propagators of untouchability .

Dr Des Raj Bhangi, a freedom fighter and a Gandhian activist, highlighted the spirit of nationalism. He said there was a need to check regionalism. He said that Hinduism is liberal enough to tolerate other religions and those involved in demolishing mosque and churches were not true Hindus. He also believed that we should deal with our enemies strongly and should not show any tender mindedness as we have done in the recent Musharraf Vajpayee summit. Brahmchari Mr Naveet , a spiritualist, was of the opinion that we should stop double talk and should not give the impression of being a weak state. He wanted that Indians should be broad-minded, but they should not ignore what was actually happening. If the need be, we should adopt the path of military solution to safeguard our Independence.

Mr Onkar Chand, secretary of the Servants of the People Society, higlighted sense of human consciousness which according to him was the real virtue of Hinduism. He wanted this consciousness to be reflected through actions as Gandhi Ji did during the freedom struggle. He wanted unity in the Indian society.

Prof P.P.Arya, convener of Janshakti, highlighted the spirit of tolerance of Hinduism and stressed the need to use this quality to promote brotherhood in mankind. He also wanted to shed the individualistic approach and be prepared for working sacrifices for the nation.

Other who participated in the discussion were Mr R.P.Puri, Mr P.S.Chauhan, Prof Dhanraj Sharma, Mr K.L.Vohra, Mr Kartar Singh, Mr B.L. Bansal, Mr P.C.Asdhir, Mr Jai Gopal Kochhar, Mr A.K.Datta, Mr Kasturi Lal and Mr J.K.Ahuja.


Veterinary hospital may be edged out
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 22
An ambitious plan of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to lay a city park in over 18 acres in Sector 68, adjoining Kumbhra village has sounded the death-knell of a 35-year-old civil veterinary hospital there. The hospital falls within the planning area of the proposed park.

Uncertainty looms large about the future of the veterinary hospital as PUDA was going ahead with the work of raising boundary wall of the proposed park. Labourers had started digging the foundation of the boundary wall and only a seven-feet-long thoroughfare had temporarily been left for the hospital. It is learnt that the hospital staff had been asked to look for an alternative accommodation as rooms had been planned at the site where the hospital building stood.

Catering to the needs of several villages in the area, it was upgraded from a dispensary to a hospital about six years ago. As per the records of the Animal Husbandry Department, owners of over 4,000 milch cattle — spread over eight villages — visited the hospital for treatment of their animals. Owners of pets in the town also frequented the hospital.

Enquiries revealed that the dilapidated hospital building stood on about six kanal Panchayat land, which had been given by the Kumbhra Gram Panchayat. However, the panchayat failed to get the land registered in the name of the Animal Husbandry Department despite a letter by the Sub-divisional Magistrate to the panchayat about two years ago. A PUDA official said the land had been acquired and the compensation for the land, which the villagers had not accepted, was lying in the treasury.


Political parties back CHB residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Various political parties extended their support to the genuine demands of the CHB Residents Federation at the 11th campaign meeting in Sector 46-C here today.

Speaking on the occasion, various leaders condemned the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for not providing more relief to the allottees of the board. They also highlighted that the board was losing credibility as was clear from the poor response to the Sector 51-A scheme of the board.

Mr N.K. Bhatia, President of the MIG Residents Welfare Association, urged the Chandigarh Administration to withdraw the threat of demolition of alterations and additions made without encroaching upon public land.

Prof Nirmal Dutt, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, Mr B.S. Chadha, Chairman, President and general secretary, respectively, of the federation, demanded a review of the concessions announced by the CHB. They also demanded a reduction in the transfer fee, dropping of the five-year clause, change in the language of the affidavit and reasonable compounding fee.

Prominent leaders who participated in the meeting were Mr Harmohan Dhawan, a former union minister, Mr Subhash Chawla, a Congress leader, Mr R.S. Sandhu, Ms Gurvinder Kaur, Ms Shyama Negi and Ms Parkash Kaur, all trade union activists, Mr Inderjit Singh Grewal, Dr O.P. Verma and Mr Devinder Singh Babla, both activists of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, and Mr Mata Ram Dhiman, president of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Meanwhile, the relay fast by members of the federation entered its third day. Residents of Modern Housing Complex (Duplex), Mani Majra, also sat on a hunger strike on Sunday.

Those who sat on the strike included Mr L.P. Sood, Mr K.C. Nanda, Mr Jagdish Mitter, Mr A.P. Chopra, Mr Narinder S. Manral, Mr R.S. Dhiman, Mr Ravi Khanna , Mr Vinod Mohindroo and also members of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch.


Siau murders: arrest of Akali leader sought
Tribune News Service

Even as the local police has arrested suspects involved in a month-old case of murder of two kids of Siau village, local leaders of different political parties are leaving no stone unturned to keep the case alive by demanding arrest of a Youth Akali Dal leader, reported to be the “god-father” of one of the suspects. The political parties had stepped up their campaign after the Akali leader surfaced at a recent public function of PUDA after a long illness. The parties have announced to block the SAS Nagar-Kharar road on July 25.

A bridge on Patiala ki Rao recently inaugurated by the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister has provided an alternative linkage to SAS Nagar from Kharar. But the planning of the authorities seems to be myopic.

The end of the bridge which opens on the Chandigarh-Kharar highway at Balongi is likely to become an accident-prone area as it opens at a point where Information Collection Centre (ICC) of the Sales Tax Department was located. Truck drivers halt at the ICC to get their documents checked leading to chaos over there.


DGP for promoting community policing scheme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 22
The need for a joint effort on the part of the Rotary Club and the police to promote the scheme of community policing was expressed by the Director General of police, Mr M.S. Malik, while addressing the members of the club at the installation ceremony held last evening.

He said the increase in the number of police personnel was not keeping pace with the rising population which necessitated such schemes. “The involvement of the club with the police would benefit in the confidence-building exercise,” he added. He was appreciative of the work of the Rotarians in social causes.

Earlier, Mr Mahesh Chandgothia was installed president of the Rotary Club while Ms Asha Vinayak took over as the President of the Innerwheel Club and Mr Pankaj Chandgothia was handed charge of Rotract Club.

The new team committed itself to undertake various community welfare projects like cancer detection camps, training of unemployed women in techniques of food processing and preservation, organising sports meets for the disabled and running a subsidised clinical laboratory at the Rotary House in Sector 12 A.

On the occasion, the district chairman of the Innerwheel Club, Dr (Ms) S.K. Bedi, gave financial aid for the education of a needy girl student.


PAU vets examine ailing animals
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, July 22
A team of doctors from the Veterinary Department at Punjab Agriculture University, (PAU), Ludhiana, today visited Chhat Bir Zoo and examined some of the ailing animals.

Starting with a Royal Bengal tigress, suffering from a nervous disorder, the team also treated a beer suffering from mouth cancer. An ailing elephant was also examined and blood samples of a tiger were collected for laboratory tests.

The doctors also took a round of the zoo and directed the zoo keepers about the upkeep of animals. 


Zoo employee caught reselling tickets
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, July 22
An employee was held for reselling tickets at the main entrance to Chhat Bir Zoo by his colleague here on Saturday evening. Tickets were also recovered from his possession.

Sources in the zoo revealed that Labh Singh, a security guard deployed at the main gate of the zoo, resold some tickets to five visitors for Rs 35 who reached the zoo at around 5.15 p.m. when the ticket-counter was closed.

He was caught by Mr Bala Ram, a gatekeeper of the zoo, who had requested him to look after the entrance. He himself had gone to check some cages inside before locking the main entrance to the zoo.

Narrating the sequence, Mr Bala Ram claimed that he noticed five visitors near a monkey enclosure while going to check some other enclosures inside. When back around 5.45 p.m., he asked Bala Ram if the visitors had entered the zoo after buying tickets or not. But he was told that they had entered the zoo earlier, said Mr Bala Ram. Both employees exchanged arguments and Mr Bala Ram got suspicious.

‘‘Labh Singh abused me which made me sure about the resale of tickets. I asked him to accompany me and the visitors were caught near Chhat village,” said Mr Bala Ram.

The visitors disclosed that they had paid Rs 35 for the tickets to Mr Labh Singh. Later the matter was reported to the zoo authorities.

Mr Gurpal Singh, Deputy Director of the zoo, confirmed the reselling of tickets by Labh Singh.


Organising your garden

These days, because of lack of space, people live in apartments. There are very few persons who have a garden .

In apartments one can place living plants in one’s rooms. The living room is considered the best place for keeping living plants. They emit good energy around them.

Artificial plants (plants made of silk) are also good. But if you keep them inside your home, please replace them after a year. Silk plants fade away after a while and they emit negative energy. One should be careful when using them.

If you are lucky enough to have a small patch of garden, please organise it. No matter how small it is, fill it with lots of plants and flowers. Take interest in your plants because they signify the natural growth that comes from the soil.

Feng Shui is about harnessing luck from the earth. Once a week, walk in your garden to see if all plants and flowers are healthy and green. The dead leaves should be thrown away. Such leaves emit Yin energy and are not good for a healthy garden.


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



Man booked for harassing wife
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A woman has accused her husband of harassing and maltreating her for not getting sufficient dowry at the time of marriage. A case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC has been registered against Virender Pal Singh on the complaint of Ms Sharmila.

Thefts reported
Two cases of vehicle thefts have been reported from Sector 17 during the past 24 hours.

A Maruti car (CH-03A-7718) was stolen from near the Parade Ground, Sector 17, while a Kinetic Honda (CH-01N-7867) was stolen from Sector 17 yesterday .

House burgled
Unknown miscreant(s) are alleged to have stolen Rs 370, one T-shirt, a pair of shoes and 12 kg of rice from the house of Mr Shyam Lal in Darwa. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Seven arrested
Seven persons, Shakti, Karan, Narain, Hukum Chand, Manu, Dinesh Kumar and Joginder Singh, were arrested from different parts of the city for gambling. They have been booked under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

Earring snatched
An unknown scooterist snatched the gold earring of a woman on the road separating Sector 27 and 28 here this evening. Ms Kamlesh Kumari was going towards the Grain Market in a cycle-rickshaw when the incident took place. The accused was wearing a red shirt and was riding a grey scooter.

Three held
Kamal and two others, including a woman, were arrested on charges of stabbing Hukum Chand in Kajheri village. The complainant received injuries on his face and was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16. The police has registered a case.

Van found
A Home Guard volunteer posted in the Police Control Room, Dalbir Singh, found a van, stolen from Sector 35 yesterday, at his native village, Sohara near Sirhind today. He immediately informed the Police Control Room, and a team was despatched to Sohara to recover the van.



Indian Oil dealers given awards
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Indian Oil’s Chandigarh Divisional Office gave Awards for Excellence to its top 10 petrol pump dealers during a dealers’ convention organised here today.

These 10 dealers have been Indian Oil’s top revenue grossers for the State of Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh for the fiscal 2000. The Chandigarh Divisional Office serve the 17 districts of Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh with the help of its 464 petrol stations and 122 kerosene/LDO distributorships. The annual sales turnover of this divisional office is over 2440 thousand metric tonnes.

The petrol stations to win the trophies are M/s Vikas Filling Station, Lalru, M/s Phillaur Filling Station, Phagwara, M/s Laxmi Service Station, Ludhiana, M/s Kisan Filling Station, Khuihera, M/s Engineers Auto Centre, Ludhiana, M/s Gulzar Service Station, Ludhiana, M/s Choudhary Enterprises, Doomwali, M/s Sukhna Auto, Chandigarh, M/s Gurdaspur Service Station, Gurdaspur, M/s Kanshi Ram Sant Ram, Jalandhar and M/s Ladowal Filling Station, Ladowal.

The awards to these high performance were given away by Mr G.C. Daga, manager in-charge of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Daga said IndianOil had increased its market share in petrol retail trade during 2000-01 by 0.6 per cent. This was possible through upgradation of retails outlets by improving visual identity, technological improvements and addition of value added services. The latter, Mr Daga said, included facilities like Convenio, ATM, Cyber Cafe, Citi Bank Co-Branded Credit Cards and Automatic Car Wash, Fast Food and Quick Lube Change. Model retail outlets were being developed in our metros and major state capitals under the banner of Top Gear.

Mr M.L. Toora, Chief Divisional Manager, Chandigarh congratulated the winners and said the role of the dealership network in providing efficient service to the customer whose patronage was vital for growth. He complimented teh group of Top Ten who were being given away awards of excellence for their consistent performance during the fiscal year. They would act as role models for their brethren in service and performance. This spirit of internal competition would be a motivator for the facing the more fierce competition in the market place with other marketing companies, particularly in a deregulated scenario. Mr J.P. Khanna, President, Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association, complimented IndianOil for supporting and motivating its dealers through public recognition.

IndianOil is the largest commercial organisation in India, the only Indian company to feature in the Fortune’s Global 500 listing consecutively for 7 years. It has been in the service of the Nation for over 35 years. It has a turnover of over Rs 1,13,000 crores and as overall market share of around 55 per cent with a total product sale of over 49 million tonnes. Operating 7 of the country’s 17 refineries. IndianOil operates a chain of over 7,400 petrol pumps, 3430 kerosene dealers, 3251 LPG distributors and 92 Aviation Fuel Stations in India.

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