Sunday, July 29, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Admn gives in to UPSC decision
Appointment of Asst Prof at PEC
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
After an year of having locked horns over an appointment made by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to the post of Assistant Professor at Punjab Engineering College (PEC), the UT Administration has given in to the wishes of the UPSC despite the Administration’s serious doubts about the selection made by the UPSC.

A selection made by the UPSC in July 2000 to the post of Assistant Professor was challenged by the candidate who was first on the reserve list, in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which directed the UT Administration in February this year to take a decision in the matter within two months.

In spite of the UT Administration having written to the UPSC that in its considered opinion, the point raised by the candidate next in line candidate is correct, the UPSC has replied that the Administration should go ahead with the original appointment.

This decision of the UPSC has also raised questions about the justification of the selecting body, in this case the UPSC, in being the final authority to take a decision regarding selections, in spite of the appointing authority, the UT Administration in this case, objecting to it.

It started with an appointment made by the UPSC in July 2000 to the post of Assistant Professor. The qualifications laid down in the advertisement of the UPSC had clearly stated that all those who apply for the post should have a working experience of five years in the category applied for.

The applicant who was chosen, Dr A.N. Sinha, in his application, had stated that he had served as Assistant Professor for seven months at BIT, Sindri, in the pay scale of Rs 700-1600, followed by service as a lecturer leading to senior lecturership to being an Assistant Professor for a period of four and a half years, at ISM, Dhanbad, in the pay scale of 1200-18300.

Mr Sinha’s appointment was challenged in CAT on the grounds that he did not possess a total of five years of experience in the category of Assistant Professor since his service at Sindri was as lecturer. BIT Sindri, it was pointed out, merely used the nomenclature of Assistant Professor for a category which was in fact in the lecturer’s pay scale. A clarification  from Sindri later for the CAT case stated the same.

The then PEC Principal had brought the complete case to the notice of the UT Administration and the facts were placed before CAT, which in its orders, had asked the Administration to take a decision on the matter keeping in view the letters of the PEC Principal.

While the Administration had clearly stated that “prima facie Dr A.N. Sinha was not fulfilling the required experience of five years as assistant professor and his experience from 6.12.83 to 11.7.84 was not in the pay scale of an assistant professor”, the UPSC had sought a considered opinion from the Administration. The Administration had reiterated the same in its next letter, to which the UPSC had replied that ‘there is no mention of pay scale for the post of assistant professor in the recruitment rules, as such the experience of Dr A.N. Sinha from 6.12.83 to 11.7.84, during which he worked as assistant professor at BIT, Dhanbad, has been treated as part of the component of recruitment rules for appointment as Professor Mechanical, in PEC.”

The candidate next in line had stated that the recruitment rules followed by the UPSC clearly mentioned the pay scale along with the designations for which experience was to be counted. The All India Council of Technical Education, in reply to a clarification sought, reiterated that ‘‘as per the AICTE norms, the experience of assistant professor should only be in the scale of 3700-5700 wef from 1.1.86.”

But nothing seemed to have impressed the UPSC and the UT Administration, as a result, issued a ten-day notice to the candidate next in line before appointing Dr Sinha to the said post.


Police to have breath analyser
Defective radar sent for repair
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, July 28
The Panchkula police is all set to introduce breath analyser to check drunken driving in the town.

The police will also reintroduce a radar to check the speed limit of vehicles. The strength of traffic police personnel has been increased to 46 from 26 to avoid the violation of traffic rules in the district.

Sources in the police say the department has deployed 20 new police personnel in the local traffic wing who have been sent for training. The cops are likely to join duty by July 31, sources add.

The police department has deployed about 12 Home Guard jawans in the town to control the traffic. No challans have been issued by the police as the only radar with the police is lying defective for the past year and a half.

Sources say Ms Kala Ramchandran, a former SP of Panchkula, had given a representation seeking three additional radars to the higher authorities, but the equipment has not been sanctioned so far. The defective one has been sent to Hyderabad for repair.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the SP, Mr Manoj Yadav, has confirmed the introduction of the breath analyser. He said in addition to the repaired radar, the department would also seek permission for one more radar, which could be used in case of emergency. He said the breath analyer would be introduced within a week or so.

Mr Yadav has disclosed that anti-pollution masks would be provided to the police personnel deployed at important traffic light points. The department has also purchased 35 light reflecting-belts for the cops on night duty. The belts will prove helpful for road users during night.

Additional police personnel will be deployed at various wrong entry points to different sectors and the violators will be challaned. The police has identified various accident-prone spots in the city where cops, wearing light reflecting belts, will be deployed round the clock, according to Mr Yadav.

The wrong entry points in the city have also been identified and traffic police personnel will be deployed there permanently. Apart from this, a flying squad has been constituted to challan violators of traffic rules in the rural as well as urban areas of the district.

To educate the public about traffic rules, the Panchkula police will stage a play ‘‘Aadhunika Mahabhatrata’’ at Aggarwal Dharamsala in Sector 16 on Sunday evening. He has appealed to the public to watch the play in large numbers.


One-time registration on cards
Reprieve for 8-seater owners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Chandigarh Administration’s Transport Department may soon give permission for allowing onetime registration of eight-seater vehicles in the city.

It all started after Chandigarh Tribune published a report on how thousands of city residents, who own eight-seater vehicles are facing harassment. Each year they are required to get their vehicles inspected and passed by the Motor Vehicle Inspector for fitness and road worthiness.

Within hours of publication of the report on July 26, the UT Transport Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, asked the Secretary, State Transport Authority, Mr Chandersekhar, to put up the facts of the case. The Transport Department was made a detailed presentation indicating that permission to allow one-time payment of tax and registration should have been given several months ago, sources said.

The Chandigarh Administration will take a lenient view of things and look to solve the problem, a source said, while adding that a notification will be issued once the case is approved by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd)

In Chandigarh a clause applies only in case of eight-seater vehicles like Maruti van, Toyota Qualis, Tata Sumo, Mahindra Voyager, or any of the big jeeps making it mandatory for all owners to get their vehicles passed on an annual basis. All other four-wheelers are exempted from such annual inspections.

Once a notification is issued to allow permission then owners of such vehicles will be allowed to get registration done on the basis of an affidavit which will say that the vehicles are not being out to commercial use or as transport carriages. Once this notification will be done owners of such vehicles will not have to go and stand in queues after every 12 months and get their vehicles inspected for road worthiness. The ordeal also includes that vehicle owners cannot pay one-time road tax like other vehicle owners can. This will be done away with.

The Transport department has been briefed that this road worthiness certification and this running around is required to be done only in Chandigarh. In Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh no annual inspection is required and vehicles can be registered and road tax paid in one go.

Explaining the reason for this annual check-up, an official explained that the authorities go by the thumb rule that any vehicle which had eight-seat capacity is running as commercial vehicle. In today’s concept this is untrue as a majority of eight-seaters are private vehicles, admit officials.


Over 850 teachers transferred in UT
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
More than 850 lecturers, masters, language teachers, JBT and nursery teachers have been transferred in the city government schools by the UT Education Department.

There are about 3,500 teachers in different categories in government schools of the city. As many as 150 lecturers, 250 masters, 120 language teachers, 200 JBT teachers and 80 nursery teachers have been transferred.

Earlier, the transfers could not be carried out during the past two academic sessions. The reason behind the delay in transfers in 1999 was the Lok Sabha Election. Thereafter, a ban was imposed on transfers in 2000-2001 because of census operations. Due to delay in transfers a number of teachers were deployed.

Unlike past practice this time a committee of educationists processed hundreds of applications as per the declared transfer policy of the administration. Teachers are expected to join new places by next week. As a matter of general policy teachers having completed seven years were shifted. However, the department took care to seek the teachers, schools of their choice.

Teachers with more than three years service in a specific school were also given an opportunity to opt for transfer in school of their choice.

Certain transfers were made on administrative grounds keeping in view complaints and poor results during middle standard examination and Central Board of Secondary Examination.

Special attention was given to rural and slum schools while posting the teachers to these schools, as per the policy, mutual transfers were also allowed. In some cases posts had to be shifted from certain schools to other schools after detailed exercise was done earlier to rationalise the staff strength based on actual enrolment.

This year progressive measure by the Education Department was that wherever possible competent teachers were transferred to schools in the same sector or village in which they reside. The department felt that a competent teacher would be more effective and would work much better if posted in same sector where he or she resides.

As per the policy teachers in model schools who felt difficulty in teaching their respective subjects in English were sent to Hindi medium non-model schools. Similarly, teachers having no experience in teaching in English in non-model schools were posted to non-model schools only.

A senior official of the UT Education Department, was candid enough to admit that many teachers were indiscreet enough to exert political kind of pressure for postings. They were posted at such schools where professionally they were not competent or qualified enough to be posted.

The official stated that students’ welfare was the the prime interest and focus of the department.

This was quite essential as the department has resorted to centralised admissions to classes XI and XII for the past couple of years. In GMSSS, Sector 16, the best section of plus one class (medical/nonmedical) consists of students who have secured 92 per cent and above in science and maths. Teachers of science and maths have been transferred in this school considering the merit of the students.


Notice issued to DPI, 8 principals
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
A local court today issued a notice to the UT Director, Public Instructions (Colleges) and eight principals of the UT colleges for August 8 on the Public Interest Litigation(PIL) filed by the Lawyers for Social Reforms (LSR) for restraining them from forfeiting the tuition charges, annual charges, amalgamated funds and other charges from the students.

The organisation had filed a complaint through its general secretary, Arunjeev Singh Walia on behalf of the student community which was allegedly being exploited by the colleges (defendants).

The complainant stated in the complaint that it would affect a large number of members of the student community, therefore the present complaint was being filed in representative capacity.

It was stated in the complaint that it had came to light that during admission a general list of application was prepared for all faculties on the basis of pass percentage in lower examination by every educational institution.

The students are asked to deposit the entire admission fee including the tuition fee and other charges if he or she wants to seek admission in a particular class. Otherwise they have to lose the opportunity of getting the admission in that class.

Thus the students who have applied for more than one faculty like B.A or BBA or B.Com are under pressure to deposit admission fee without waiting for the result of the another interview. When a student gets the college or the faculty of his or her choice and seek refund of the fee deposited earlier for another faculty the institutions forfeit the fee and other charges deposited by him. 


PSHRC sets aside custodial death report
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 28
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has set aside the inquiry report submitted by the Principal Secretary, PSHRC, and directed that a retired Sessions Judge should conduct the inquiry into recent custodial deaths and alleged harassment of inmates in the Ferozepore Central Jail.

“The Joint Registrar is directed to inquire into the availability of Mr N.S. Saini, retired Sessions Judge, or some other Sessions Judge, the list of whom is available with him for conducting this inquiry and submitting this report positively within one month,” the Division Bench comprising the Chairperson Justice V. K. Khanna and the member Justice J.S. Sekhon of the commission said in its order.

The Principal Secretary of the commission in his inquiry report had absolved all those persons who were allegedly involved in recent custodial deaths in the Ferozepore Central Jail. They had also been absolved of allegation of harassing jail inmates.

The Bench observed that the jail authorities might have given inhuman treatment to the inmates and even forcibly cut the hair of one of the inmates, Balbir Singh. The case requires a deep probe as the inquiry report submitted by the Principal Secretary was silent regarding the procuring of a sharp-edged article with which hair could be cut.

The Bench also observed that simply because Superintendent of the Ferozepore Central Jail happens to be a Sikh, it could not be said that the circumstance will completely rule out the possibility of alleged misbehaviour on his part or the other functionaries of the jail administration, as alleged by Balbir Singh. The report was also silent regarding the sources of availability of intoxicants inside the jail. The commission stated in the order that there was no dispute about human rights of prisoners but these were, of course, subject to curtailment of their liberty and communication with the outside world, as prescribed under the law and the jail manual.

The commission felt that an independent, deep and detailed judicial probe should be held in this matter through some retired judicial officer of the rank of Sessions Judge who during the course of their service had gained sufficient expertise for dealing with such like matters.

The ADGP of the commission was also directed to spare the services of one of the inspectors of investigation wing for rendering due help to the inquiry officer. The Inspector-General of Prison and the Inspector-General of Police were also directed to issue directions to officials concerned to render due assistance to the inquiry officer of the commission.


Maps of 105 cities of region being prepared
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Fulfilling a long-standing demand from the defence services as well as government agencies, detailed maps of 105 cities and major towns in this region are being prepared by the Survey of India.

While the existing maps of some of the cities will be updated to meet specified requirements, a large number of cities will be topographically mapped for the first time. “Certain editions of these maps will cater to the requirements of the armed forces, while others can be used for town planning or as general guide maps,” a senior officer at the North-Western Region of the Survey of India remarked.

According to sources, the maps will contain information which can be used during internal security operations as well as while assisting the civil authorities. “For example, the maps will show the demography of a particular area, from which communally sensitive points can be identified and force deployment can be made accordingly,” the officer said.

Maps containing sensitive information of those of areas within a specified proximity to the international border or the Line of Control will be security classified and not available to the public. Sensitive towns to be mapped include Chushul, Kupwara, Pahalgam and Thoise in Jammu and Kashmir, besides major towns and cities in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

Based on information generated from satellite imagery as well as ground level survey and past records, areas in and around cities prone to natural calamities such as floods, will also be marked out on the maps. Such information will be imperative during disaster management planning and execution.

The maps will also contain other details normally found on topographical maps, such as terrain, the exact direction and type of roads, tracks, communication lines rail tracks, etc, buildings and structures, water bodies, vegetation pattern and so on.

The scale of these maps will vary according to the importance of an area and its local features. According to sources, the scale could be 1 : 10,000, 1 : 5,000 and 1: 2000.

While the preparation of all maps will take some time, sources add that priority of towns to be mapped has been fixed. “We have received a directive from the Surveyor-General to take up certain maps on priority,” a source said.

The Survey of India has recently prepared a very large-scale map of Srinagar, giving out minute physical details of the strife-torn city. Besides, a “quarter-inch” unclassified map of Chandigarh and its environs was also published recently, which gives out in detail, the topography of the city as well as man made and natural features.


Dream bus goes off road

The euphoria created by the launch of the open roof hop- on-hop-off coach on July 25 by the Administrator, Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd) did not last long. The bus, which was put on the city roads with much fanfare was mysteriously withdraw the very next day. Residents who were expecting a joy ride on July 26 had to go back disappointed. But that does not mean that the coach has been taken off for good. Officials maintain that tourists and residents will soon have a chance to take a ride on this smart bus.

* * *

Spirited activity, however, did continue because of the Teej festival. Beginning on Sunday when the Chandigarh Press Club threw a big bash for its members and guests, the celebrations have been going on with zest and zeal. During the whole week, young girls were seen enjoying the festivities. Girls hostels wore a festive look. The girls had installed swings to welcome the festival of the rainy season.

* * *

A major dampener came when the local chapter of People For Animals called off its fund raising programme which was to be attended by Nadira Zaheer Babbar from Mumbai. Nadira, who was expected in the city on July 26 along with her troupe which includes the famous actress Sarita Joshi, was to bring two Ekjute productions to the city. One was ‘Begum Jaan’ based on the famous Javed Siddique story. According to press release sent by PFA, Nadira Babbar, Juhi Babbar and Shubhrajyoti Prakash were to act in this play. Another much-awaited event was ‘Saku Bai’, a one-act play to be presented by Sarita Joshi.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, Mohali, staged a beautiful production, ‘Tajposhi’. This play, conceived and directed by Charan Singh Sindhra, was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (He was crowned in 1801). The play was staged at Punjab Kala Bhawan and drew an unusually large audience.

* * *

There were smaller exhibitions in the city this week, expect the traditional Tanjore works, which continue to be exhibited at Art Folio in Sector 9. On the cinema front, the latest Anubhav Sinha release, Tum Bin, has worked wonders. KC Theatre in Sector 17 was flooded like never before. Good for all the newcomers, especially Sandali and her male lead Priyanshu. Both the rising stars were seen in the city this week.

They were here on an invitation from Planet M.

Apart from Sandali and Priyanshu, the city saw many other celebrities, including leading models Fluer Xavier and Aditi Govitrikar. They were here to participate in Fashion Fantasies, the NIFD fashion show. Aditi Govitrikar will soon be seen in a film, ‘Soch’.


Informal nod for security gates
Geetanjali Gayatri

The Haryana Urban Development authority has recognised, even if informally, the existence of iron gates at lane openings installed by residents for purposes of security.

It has agreed not to demolish these gates unless some residents complain against these. HUDA pleads inability to grant permission to raise these gates but officials say that residents can put up such gates without seeking permission.

The Joint Forum of Welfare Bodies has, however, demanded that the by-laws should be amended to enable the residents to raise security gates. Not willing to trust an informal arrangement, it maintains that no welfare association will venture to raise gates that will remain ‘unauthorised’ and ‘illegal’ in the eyes of the law.

The president of the Joint Forum maintains that the initiative taken by the people to install some security gates has shown good results in that no incident of theft or robbery has been reported in areas where these gates exist. Others are also keen to take this step but HUDA has to set their apprehensions at rest by amending its by-laws.

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The khula darbar at Barwala was aimed at redressing the grievances of the people. It did that and a little more when the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, stated that merely collecting applications was not enough.

She instructed the officials to acquaint themselves with the problems the common man was facing while dealing with their departments. This would make the task of solving problems easy for the administration.

As many as 170 complaints were received at the darbar. These related mainly to water supply, repair of village roads, improvement of the drainage system, appointment of teachers against vacancies in government schools and removal of encroachments on panchayat lands.

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When the business community complained about infrastructural problems in the Industrial Area, she was informed by the officials concerned that measures were being taken to redress complaints regarding leaking pipes, bad roads and burnt-out streetlights. But, she spent nearly two hours in the Industrial Area inspecting the work in progress.


Admn apathy irks police colony residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The indifferent attitude of the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and non-constructing of a road in the Police Residential Colony Sector 46 has caused a lot of inconvenience to its residents.

A press note issued by the Police Residential Welfare Association said the Engineering Department of the Administration had given an assurance to the people at the time of giving possession of these houses that they would construct roads shortly. Although more than three years passed since then, the roads in that area have not been constructed.

The press note said the Chief Engineer of the Administration, Mr Puranjit Singh, had suggested that the residents should meet officials of the Municipal Corporation. But on the other hand, the Corporation told the residents that it was the duty of the Engineering Department.

Mr Sarbjit Dhillon, president of the association, said there was no park, no dispensary and stray animals had made their life miserable.


394 challans issued by UT traffic police
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
The local police today issued as many as 394 challans to traffic-rule violators. The challans were issued under a special drive launched by the city police to educate people about road safety norms and challan the violators.

The cops were deployed at 29 points in various parts of the city for the special drive. The cops today challaned one vehicle driver for smoking while driving while two were challaned for talking on mobile phone while driving.

At least 180 two-wheeler drivers were challaned for driving without safety helmets and 59 were challaned for jumping red lights. As many as 54 vehicles with faulty number plates and 11 without the necessary indicators were also challaned.

Five persons, who were found using black films without permission, were also challaned. At least 14 three-wheelers without meters and one tractor found violating traffic rules also came in the net of the police. Over 60 vehicle drivers were also challaned for other miscellaneous traffic violations.



Youthful fun, then and now
Tribune News Service

Tough cop, you think as you enter his office on the top floor of the Police Headquarters and face Superintendent of Police Baldev Singh. His broad shoulders, stout appearance and tanned complexion bear testimony to years of chasing criminal in sun or rain. Will he talk in monosyllables like a typical policeman or will he be a little communicative? The apprehensions disappear as he gets up and gives you a warm handshake before asking you to settle down comfortably. The “sternness” in his appearance vanishes as he directs his assistant to get “good-quality” tea before talking about changes in the city’s social life.

“In the days that are gone, Chandigarh was a different city, a place for the tired and the retired, of white beards and green bushes,” recalls the SP. “This was despite the overwhelming presence of youth in the city”.

Giving details, Mr Baldev Singh adds: “The percentage of youngsters in the city has been high from the very beginning, with all the educational institutions here, for instance, the engineering college and the university, besides colleges for girls with hostels, but the crowd then was more decent”.

“I am not saying that the youth was not having fun. Young men in neat trousers and well-ironed shirts use to hang about in front of shops even in those days. Parties were also held. But the activities were restricted to day time. After 12 midnight when the night show ended, life would come to a standstill. The roads were deserted”.

He goes on: “As far as eve-teasing and hooliganism was concerned, it was not so rampant. Such activities were limited mainly to certain areas of the city, mostly around the colleges. Girls could consider themselves reasonably safe in buses and shopping complexes.”

That was years ago. Conditions have now changed. “The definition of fun has undergone a complete metamorphosis. The day does not end after the clock strikes 12. It continues till late, very late, in the night clubs and discotheques that have mushroomed in the city over the past four or five years”.

Another visible change is in the sense of dress. “Charming girls, gracefully clad in traditional salwar-kameez used to walk down the market corridors, unlike the dames of today in revealing dresses”.

For this change, the SP blames the cable channels. “After the invasion from the skies in 1991, the change started taking place. Boys and girls started imitating the characters on the screen forgetting that West is West and East is East”.Back


Lok Janshakti Party plans agitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
As part of its nationwide agitation, the Lok Janshakti Party will “gherao” the DC Office on August 1.

Announcing this at a press conference here today, the party president, Mr Jaleel Ahmad Kureshi, said the main purpose of the agitation was to press the government to include the right to work as the fundamental right. Free medicare to the children , uplift of the downtrodden, a national policy for the farm labour and farmers will be the other issues to be highlighted by the party.

Speaking about the local issues, Mr Kureshi said the party would contest all 20 seats of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, elections to which are slated to be held later this year. The party would also launch an agitation against the female foeticide.

Demanding the extension of “lal dora”, he informed that the party would launch the “jail bharo” agitation from August 9.


Land with balance of Yin and Yang

When one is buying land for one’s home, there are many important factors which one has to keep in mind. If from the start one is careful about the surroundings of one’s land, it will help one a long way in life.

The first thing one has to see is the Yin and Yang position around the land. “Yin and Yang” means soft and hard; dark and light — the land which is neither too exposed to glaring sunlight nor too shaded by nearby hills is ideal. It should be a combination of high ground and low ground.

When examining a piece of land, consider these guidelines: Trees around your piece of land are very good. The Chi there will be beneficial for the owner. Land with too much sun will be too Yang and land with too much shade will be too Yin.

Living places need a balance of Yin and Yang. Too much of Yin is good for dead people’s museums. Living people cannot stay happy in Yin dwellings.

Yin creates lifeless energy which harms the Chi of the living beings. Hospitals are also supposed to be Yin places.

So to have a house with too much Yin energy is not good. Yang is very important in a living area. Be careful when buying land for your home. — Harsha 

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


Off-Beat Profession
Using stones to heal people
Our Correspondent

Gems are believed to ward off bad luck. But not many have given a thought to how these lifeless things neutralise negative forces. If you find the concept a bit hard to digest, meet Dr Rajiv Verma who has chosen the profession of healing people with the help of stones.

Dr Verma, a homoeopath by qualification and gem therapist by profession, has given new meaning to the concept of wearing precious stones. “Gems are powerful energy fields and are very effective in harmonising the body energy,” says Dr Verma who started his clinic in Panchkula about four years ago.

Dr Verma who detects negative energy radiated by a human body with the process of ‘Dowsing’, says one does not need a professional degree to be a gem therapist. “If one develops a sense of energy fields and practises extra sensory perception (ESP), one can detect negative energy radiation and co-relate it to the energy fields of the gems.”

The process of ‘Dowsing’ is taught in some institutes in London and Canada, but there is no institute in India to teach this process, says Dr Verma. ‘Dowsing’ is defined as the study of the energy field of a person or a thing by someone with electro-magnetic ability. When applied to health, it is called ‘Medical Dowsing’.

Dr Verma, who has treated patients of asthma, migraine, arthritis, spondylitis, lack of concentration, depression and other emotional disorders, says though people generally confuse gem therapy with astrology, there is a vast difference between the two.

“Gem therapy is scientific in its approach. One has to read the patient’s energy level to prescribe suitable gems,” says Dr Verma. An astrologer, he maintains prescribes stones on the basis of the position of stars. As gems can cause strong disturbances in a person’s life, even after prescribing a particular gem, the therapist has to be in constant touch with the patient, he says.

This alternative therapy is yet to gain popularity. “Not too many people are willing to try it as a treatment for any disease. People can always continue other forms of treatment along with gem therapy as gems clear the hurdles in the path of treatment,” he says.


100 saplings planted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
As many as 100 saplings were planted at GMSSS in Sector 33 A here today. The sapling plantation function was organised jointly by the Lions Club Rose and Manimajra Model Town. The function was inaugurated by Multiple Council Chairman, Dr N.K. Grover. Saplings of neem, amla, harar and baherra were planted on the occasion.


Lions Club president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Mr R. R. Aneja has been installed the president of the Lions Club (Host) at an installation ceremony held at the Lions Bhavan in Sector 18, here today.

Mr Rajiv Lochan Mahajan, district governor was the chief guest. Mr K. K. Sawhney, multiple council chairman and Mr K. S. Sandhu, past district governor, were the guests of honour, according to a press note.


Councillor’s house burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
Municipal Corporation Councillor Ranjana Shahi has reported to the local police that her servant decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 50,000 from her Sector 40 residence while she was away here this afternoon.

According to police sources, Ms Shahi, in her complaint said the thief took away Rs 9,000, gold ear-rings, silver jewellery and some artificial jewellery. It is learnt that the theft took place between 11.30 am and 2.30 pm. During this period, Ms Shahi was away and her servant, Daya Ram, was alone in the house.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ms Shahi said 17-year-old Daya Ram was a resident of Pratagarh. Ms Shahi said, ‘‘He was working at my place and had left the job two years ago. He re-joined on July 7 this year’’.

Ms Sahi stays at the house along with her mother. She claimed that the servant decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 50,000. A case under Section 381 of the IPC has been registered.Back


Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
A 50-year-old man reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his Sector 22-C house here. According to the police, the deceased, Naginder Singh, was having a mental problem. No suicide note was found. The body was sent for postmortem, examination.

Constable dies
Punjab Police constable Dharam Singh, who was hit by an unknown vehicle on the road separating of Sectors 22 and 23 yesterday, succumbed to his injuries. The deceased was a resident of Patti, Amritsar.

One held
A city resident Prem Lal was arrested on a complaint of an employee of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) here yesterday. Prem Lal has been accused of picking up a quarrel and assaulting the complainant, Mr Charan Dass, and his two colleagues namely Mr Jaggar Singh and Mr Ram Parvesh. The said quarrel reportedly took place when the complainant and his colleagues were repairing telephones near the accused’s residence in Sector 29 yesterday.

Mr Jaggar Singh sustained injuries and was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16. Prem Singh was booked under Sections 332 and 353 of the Indian Penal Code.

Gold stolen
A Mani Majra resident, Arti, reported that a few ornaments of gold and silver and Rs 1,000 were stolen from her residence on Friday. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Moped stolen
A moped (CH-01-D-9195) of Mr Dhian Singh Nagi, a resident of Sector 24, was reportedly stolen from his residence here on Friday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


MIA to focus on IT: Baidwan
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 28
The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) will focus on making the town a centre of IT excellence.

Stating this at a press conference here today, the newly elected president of the MIA, Mr B.S. Baidwan, said the agenda of initiatives of the MIA would also focus on other interventions, including export development, to enable the industrial segments here to compete and grow in the global and local markets.

He said industry should not expect too much from the government, with which it had to work as a team. The government should provide the basic infrastructure after which industrial units should make their own efforts to develop. The election of the new office-bearers of the MIA were held yesterday.

The new MIA general secretary, Mr Gurmeet Singh, said in the changed scenario the industry was facing hard times. With the coming of the WTO, industry would be in great trouble by 2005. However, there would be more opportunities to grow. In the case of the small-scale sector, the toughest area would be marketing.

He said the MIA initiatives would focus on, among other areas, the creation of an SSI bank of Mohali to meet the credit demand of members; vendor development through workshops on the best management practices; patenting and commercialisation of small innovations; technological upgradation of small and medium enterprises through technology audit; guidance and training for ISO-9000 certification; an expert advisory committee with voluntary contributions from retired and practising professionals; implementation and training in connection with VAT; the SME agenda on WTO negotiations; cleaner production audit and practices; international linkages through exhibitions and delegation visits; the SAARC agenda on SME opportunities; and e-commerce for export development and sub-contracting opportunities.

Those elected at yesterday’s 25th annual general meeting of the MIA included Mr Balbir Singh (vice-president); Mr H.S. Sabharwal (joint secretary); Mr Ravinder Pal Singh (treasurer); and Mr K.K. Pandit, Dr Naresh Kumar, Mr Ashok K. Gupta and Mr B.S. Anand (all executive members).


Open air hair saloons in city
Our Correspondent

Almost every market in the City Beautiful has at least one hair cutting saloon. The rich and the educated are their customers as it is ‘‘against their status’’ to go for a haircut under a tree. The uneducated and poor migrant labourers cannot afford the saloons and for them there are hundreds of roadside barbers. They do the job for one-third the amount charged their counterparts in the markets.

A typical roadside barber sits under a tree with a chair and a table, a mirror fixed on the trunk of the tree. Unlike the regular hair cutting shops in the markets, these barbers do not boast of having regular customers. Vinod (37) who sets up his ‘‘shop’’ every morning in Sector 22 (opposite the bus stand) said: ‘‘My customers are rickshaw-pullers and people engaged in petty jobs. These people get their hair cut by any roadside barber’’.

These barbers claim to have formal training in hair cutting. For a hair-cut they charge anything between Rs 7 and 10 and for a shave Rs 5. The main disadvantage with these roadside entrepreneurs is that they do not get women customers. Raheem, a roadside barber for the last 20 years, explains: ‘‘College girls and women belonging to rich families go to beauty parlours and slum women do not need barbers’’.

An interesting thing about these barbers is that they are aware of ‘‘some diseases’’ that are transmitted through shaving blades. These barbers claim that they religiously use a new blade for every shave. Naushad (17) has been in this business for the past two years. He learned the art of hair cutting at his home village in Uttar Pradesh. He was not told about the diseases and viruses that could spread through the use of shaving blades. But he attended a workshop where he learnt about how diseases like AIDS spread. ‘‘Since that day, I have made it a point to throw old blades and use a new one for every customer who wants a shave’’.

An official of the State AIDS Control Society claimed that the society, in collaboration with some NGOs, organised regular workshops to educate roadside barbers about various communicable diseases.


LPG distributors’ conventions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The executive committee meeting of the All-India LPG Distributors Federation, north-western region, today finalised the schedule for the state-level conventions.

According to a press note, the convention for the Himachal region will be held in Mandi on August 12 and for Punjab in Ludhiana on August 21. While the convention for Haryana will be held at Karnal on August 28, the convention for Chandigarh will be held on September 4. Jammu will host the convention for Jammu and Kashmir on September 11.

It was felt at the meeting that appointment of new distributors in th already-saturated markets would severely affect existing distributor members. It was decided to take up the matter with the oil companies and the Ministry of Petroleum. The Kargil widows would be main sufferers of the wrong policies of appointing new distributors in the saturated markets.

The meeting was attended by Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, officiating president, Lieut-Col R.C.S. Mann, senior vice-president, Mr Naveen Talwar, general secretary, Mr Manoj B. Nangia, joint secretary, Mr Virender Kumar, vice-president (Haryana), Mr Vineet Kumar, vice-president (Himachal Pradesh) and Mr Mukesh Bindlish, vice-president (Chandigarh).

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