Tuesday, July 31, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Power dept fails to collect Rs 1 cr from slum-dwellers
9,335 families drawing power without paying a penny 
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Slum-dwellers are a pampered lot due to the short-sighted and soft policies of the Chandigarh Administration. They collectively owe a whopping Rs 1 crore to the power department as arrears in power bills. And there is almost no chance of any recovery from these law-breaking defaulters, who are not concerned if the supply is disconnected as the option to put up a kundi connection remains open.

With no action forthcoming against the defaulters, a total of 9,335 families continue to draw power despite not paying a penny for it, well placed sources confirm. The only action, which has been taken so far is that the list of defaulters is upgraded periodically and placed before senior officials for their ‘‘ information and knowledge’’.

Without a concrete policy to deal with the situation this is nothing but mere paper work being carried out , says a senior official.

A total of 15,945 connections have been given to slum-dwellers in six colonies which have been electrified over the years in the hope that slum-dwellers will make a honourable shift from stealing power to buying power. ‘‘The shift never occurred ’’, admits an engineer, while adding that the problem has no answer till the controversial rehabliatation scheme is scrapped.

As on this day more than 9,300 families, who have been given connections, are on the defaulting list. Out of this figure, 1,263 families alone owe Rs 40 lakh. All of them are owe arrears in sums in excess of Rs 2,000.

Today the situation is such that the Chandigarh Administration does not know how to deal with the problem. To cut down on its losses the Administration has hiked the monthly minimum charges from Rs 6 to Rs 35 per kilo watt for residents in the city and this has come in from lot of hue and cry from law-abiding city residents. It is more than clear that the burden of paying for power consumed in jhuggis is being borne by city residents, opine sources.

Officials says things are about to complete a full cycle as the whole cycle started with kundis and if matter remains the same it will soon back to kundis. So far not even a single connection of a defaulter has been disconnected in the slum colonies. Actually disconnection means nothing to the defaulters. Power lines are close by, so they will just put a kundi connection to carry out their operations, inform sources, while explaining the situation being faced by the Administration.

Just to set up power lines in Kumhar Colony, Janata Colony, Colony Number 5, Palsora Colony, Nehru Colony and Bapu Dham, the Administration has spent lakhs of rupees of public money.

Sources say before all this slum- dwellers used to draw power through kundis and these can be removed as and when the Administration desires so. The electrification process has been carried out following a scheme of the Administration to make slum- dwellers pay for the power they consume. In some cases a bare minimum charge on a flat rate has been levied.

Political parties have been demanding electrification of slums for the past seven to eight years as they consist of their main vote bank. Back

Impact of the massive arrears

  • Almost no chance of recovery of the Rs 1 crore arrears.
  • The Administration soft peddling the issue as it has done in the past to appease and accommodate illegal slum-dwellers from UP and Bihar.
  • Officials admit if power supply is disconnected to 9,335 defaulting families, even the other 6,610 families will stop paying and the entire system will be on kundis.
  • The Administration drawing up plan to provide bulk supply at one point to a private party which will distribute power and collect money from slum-dwellers.
  • To tide over its losses the Administration has imposed a steep hike in mandatory monthly minimum charges levied on city consumers.
  • Slum-dwellers lack the attitude to pay as they have been used to stealing power in all these years.
  • Several small scale industries are running inside slums as no one seems to pay for the power. 



3 linemen attacked by slum-dwellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A team of three linemen of the Chandigarh Electricity Department were allegedly attacked by slum-dwellers of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh colony in Sector 49-D late last night.

The slum-dwellers were putting up kundis near a transformer in Sector 48-A, when a team from the power department arrived. The slum-dwellers, when confronted by the linemen, hurled stones at them and asked them to leave. Fearing for their lives the line men fled from the spot.

Meanwhile, the slum-dwellers who had cut the power off from the transformer, could not restore supply on their own plunging the entire Sector in darkness for the night. Interestingly, the slum colony also remained under darkness. The power supply to the area was restored at noon today, a good 12 hours since the shutdown.


Political parties back CHB residents’ demands
Another all-party meeting on August 4
Tribune News Service

Leaders of various parties at an all-party meeting.
Leaders of various parties at an all-party meeting in support of the demands of the CHB Residents Federation, in Chandigarh on Monday. 
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, July 30
The CHB Residents Federation got a shot in the arm today when major political parties, at an all-party meeting at the UT state guest here, again decided to support the issues raised by the federation.

A unanimous resolution passed at the meeting “resolved that the issues raised by the federation are totally supported by all political parties. The Chandigarh Administration is called upon to immediately resolve the issues through consultation with the representatives of the federation and the public. Any punitive measures, including issuance of notices and demolition, must be stopped immediately.”

It further said: “The meeting expects the administration to be responsive to the genuine needs of the people. In case the administration continues to adopt a stubborn, anti-people attitude, all parties will together oppose it tooth and nail.” It was also decided to hold another all-party meeting on August 4 to review the situation.

After the meeting the representatives of the federation sent a letter to the Adviser to the UT Administrator with a copy to the CHB Chairman requesting them to start the transfer of ownership to the original allotees/GPA holders by deleting the additions/alterations clause, reducing the transfer of ownership fee and dropping the five-year clause.

They also urged the administration to stop punitive measures like demolition and cancellation by withdrawing the July 31 threat and order the immediate review of the concessions given to the residents to provide the welfare associations an opportunity to present their cases on additions and alterations with the help of experts.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were Mr Pawan Bansal, local MP, Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the Congress, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, president of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former MP, Mr Mata Ram Dhiman, president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mr Dharam Paul Gupta, president of the BJP, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, president of SAD, Mr Devi Dayal Sharma, secretary of the CPI, and Mr Inderjit Singh Grewal, secretary of the CPM,

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the administration, while appealing to the residents to cooperate with the administration, urged the people not to be misguided by vested interests, who were fuelling the agitation.

He said the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob(retd), had assured the delegations of the federation some time ago that their demands for further concessions would be considered sympathetically.

They were specifically told that the encroachments on government land had to be removed. In so far as the other violations are concerned, the administration had earlier decided to refer them to the building byelaws committee on which the representatives of the federation would also be co-opted. Till then, no action would be taken against violations that do not result in encroachment on government land. Any attempt to cause fresh violations of any kind during this period will be put down, the spokesman warned.

The spokesman said the representatives had failed to convey the assurances of the Administrator to the residents, resulting in a needless agitation.


No power supply for 10 days: villagers block traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Impatient blaring of horns by long-distance buses, trucks, cars and scooters filled the air as slogan-shouting residents of Raipur Khurd village, near here, blocked Ambala highway on Monday night to protest against the non-supply of electricity for the past 10 days. The traffic-blockade was continuing till the filing of this report.

Clapping hands and beating chests, over 300 protesters, including women and minors, criticised the Chandigarh Administration and the Electricity Department for failing to solve their problem. Standing behind scores of women sitting in the middle of the road, they even accused an executive engineer of “rude behaviour”. “Last week, we committed the mistake of paying attention to their false promises, this time we are firm,” the protesters shouted. They claimed that all connections were legal, adding that electricity meters had been installed.

Many protesters were seen abusing officials.

All the while, the Chandigarh Police helplessly watched the tension mount. “We can not take action against them as they are cleverly using women as shield against lathi-charge or any such action,” said a senior official of the Chandigarh Police present on the spot. “Most of them are villagers with dwelling outside the lal dora,” he added.

The failure of baton-yielding, 100-odd police personnel, to take control of the situation was, however, evident from the fact that none of the cops were present to guide the commuters against taking the road. Once in the middle of the jam, there was hardly any way out of the maze.

For the irate commuters, minutes rolled by into hours as they came out of their vehicles. Some even tried to cut their way through the kilometer-long jam.

Bumpers touched bumpers as they tried to jump the median in an effort to take a 'u-turn' back towards the city.

“Why should we be made to suffer for the inefficiency of the Chandigarh Administration,” shouted the commuters. “We would have taken alternative route if only we were aware that over an hour would be wasted in the jam”.


Enforce strict norms for imported meat’
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) has urged the government to strictly enforce standards of the Meat Foods Products Order for the imported meat and meat products.

“These standards must be further reinforced and all standards which the European countries insist for Indian meat products must be insisted upon in our country. After all, there cannot be one standard for Europe and another for India”, the NECC pointed out here today.

The NECC said the European countries were not allowing Indian chicken in Europe. They blocked the imports through sanitary and phyto-sanitary conditions and other non-tariff barriers.

They insisted on several tests. India must do the same for meat products imported here from Europe.

According to the NECC, ever since the quantitative restrictions on import of poultry products were removed multinational companies in Europe and the USA have been eyeing the vast potential of the Indian market. The import of frozen chicken from France is a case in point.

The imported French chicken is being offered at Rs 149 per kg. In France, the same chicken is sold at franc 24 to 36 per kg. With the addition of freight, insurance, commission, port expenses and Customs duty, the landed cost in Mumbai can’t be less than Rs 242 or Rs 357. And this does not even take into account the distribution cost and the distributors’ margin.

Under the circumstances, it is really a mystery how the price can be Rs 149 per kg. It is obvious that the product is heavily subsidised by the French authorities — which is most unfair to the poultry farmers of India, who do not enjoy any subsidies or incentives.

“We cannot allow this chicken to be sold at such subsidised prices. The government is also fully aware of the adverse impact it will have on our industry and the livelihood of the farmers”.

The import of meat and meat products from Europe has been prohibited, time and again, by the USA because of the prevalence of “mad cow” and ‘foot and mouth’ disease in Europe. There are also other diseases that are communicable to poultry, which are prevalent in Europe, but not in India.

“If this kind of subsidies being given in Europe are extended to the Indian farmers and processors, we could have flooded the European markets and their industry would be finished.

In fact, even without subsidies we can compete with them because our cost of production is much lower. A chicken sells at Rs 60-70 per kg. in our country. Our price is lower because the operations are fully integrated; our labour costs are low; and the distribution overheads are low. It does not in anyway mean that our quality is inferior”.Back


New tubewells for UT villages on anvil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has drawn out plans to instal new tubewells in all four villages under its jurisdiction, with a view to streamline the water situation in these areas. An estimate of Rs 17.32 lakh each for installing tubewells in these four villages will be put forth before the vital Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) meeting to be held tomorrow.

The agenda lists out these estimates for boring and installing deepbore tubewells in Badheri, Buterla, Attawa and Burail villages. Sources in the Public Health Department disclose that this will not only help overcome the problem of water shortage in the villages, but will also improve water pressure in the sectors adjacent to these villages.

The controversial issue of introducing paid parking in Sector 17 will also be put before the committee members tomorrow. Under the proposal, three parking sites, including the one in bank square and those in front of Empire Stores and Sahib Singh and Sons will be auctioned.

It may be recalled that a decision had been taken to introduce paid parking in Sectors 8 and 17 in 1998, during the tenure of the then Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta. Even though these sites had fetched prices higher than the proposed reserve price, the MCO was unable to implement the same due to strong protests and demonstrations from the general public. However, as per the revised proposal two-wheelers ( cycles and scooters) will not be charged any parking fee and there will be a separate parking lot alloted for these vehicles.

The proposed fee for four-wheelers will be Rs 5. It remains to be seen if the bidders will have the same enthusiasm this time or not as two-wheelers are being excluded.

The agenda also includes an estimate of Rs 2.09 lakh for shifting and providing new road gullies on the recently-widened road from Police Lines to Golf Club in Sector 26; estimate of Rs 5.40 lakh for undertaking renovation and upgradation of toilet blocks in community centres in Sectors 20, 29 and 40. These centres, which had been occupied by the Kashmiri migrants for more than 10 years, have only been vacated in May this year.

The committee is also likely to approve an estimate of Rs 23 lakh for developing green belts between Sectors 41 and 42. The proposal includes an estimated amount of Rs 6.99 lakh for developing belts between Sectors 41-A and B; Rs 8.67 lakh in Sectors 41 C and D and Rs 7.12 lakh between Sector 42 A and B.

The proposal to develop parks at two abandoned toilet blocks in Ram Darbar, Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs 38,300 also figures on the agenda.

Other items on the F and CC agenda include renting out a part of community centre in Badheri to the Directorate of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy on a monthly rent of Rs 4,000, allocation of Rs 1 lakh for providing copper wiring for the computers installed in the MCC and condemnation of vehicle (CH01 G-3107) of the Fire Services Department.


Road near Grain Market cleared of encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
In a joint operation undertaken today, the enforcement staff of the UT Estate Office and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) removed a series of encroachments from the MC land along the road leading from the Sector 26 Grain Market towards Kishangarh village and back of the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake.

In the drive, which lasted over four hours, the encroachments which were removed included six permanent tent-like structures put up by the matador and truck drivers, 12 jhuggis of barbers and other labourers working in the market, structures of a few tea-stall owners, nine abandoned rehris and an almirah containing tools of a mechanic. Besides, the staff asked the owners of an abandoned truck, matador and cars to remove the vehicles and chassis from the area. The malba lying in the area was also removed.

The drive was conducted under the overall supervision of the UT Enforcement Magistrate, Mr Ishwar Singh, and the MC Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar. Two JCBs, 60 police personnel, 30-odd labourers and seven trucks were used in the operation.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation is all set to take charge of this area and make it into a proper parking area, thereby imposing fee also. This will not clear traffic congestion of vehicles around the Grain market, but will also generate revenue for the cash-starved MCC. In fact, soon after the operation was over, the Executive Engineer (Roads), Division No 2, Mr Mukesh Anand, started fencing the area. The issue of making this space on the left side of the market into a proper parking space is likely to be taken up at the Finance and Contract Committee meeting tomorrow.

If the proposal gets the nod, the trucks and matadors which transport goods to the Grain Market can also be parked here but only after paying the fee.

Meanwhile, the staff of the enforcement wing today issued as many as 78 challans to the encroachers in various parts of the city. While 33 challans were issued in Sectors 15,16, 17, 18 and 19; 30 challans were issued in Sectors 20, 21, 31, 32 and 44, and 15 challans in Mani Majra. Besides, 25 rickshaws were impounded for plying without driving licence. Twentythree banners were also removed. 


Govt adjusting officials in
education board despite ban
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 30
A ban on creation of new posts seems to exist on paper only for the Punjab Government while adjusting its ‘surplus’ or ‘undesired’ officials in various boards and corporations.

Wasteful expenditure by board

It is not only the government which is burdening the board by over-staffing itself, wasteful spending by the board itself also continues. Sources in the board said lakhs of rupees were being spend on affixing granite stones on walls around the six lifts — some of which were not in regular operational. There was also shortage of lift operators.

When it comes to the Punjab School Education Board many examples are there. In a fresh case, the government directed the board authorities to adjust an official of the Education Department as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the board.

Sources in the board said since no such regular post existed, a new post had to be created and it involved financial implications to the board.

The official, earlier posted as DPI (Primary), on joining duty after a medical leave, was transferred to the board in May last. Being in a senior scale with a grade of Rs 16,356 to Rs 20,130, the board authorities reportedly told the government that no post in that scale existed. But the board was asked to release her salaries till the post of the OSD was created.

The issue came up at a recent meeting of the board. Sources said the case of creating the regular post had to be approved by the Finance Department and the Secretary, Education. On the condition of anonymity, officials of the board said the nature of work, the OSD was supposed to do was yet to be decided as no such post existed.

The issue of creating a regular post without the approval of the finance department had surfaced when the board had converted a contractual post of OSD to the Chairman into a regular post for Ms Veena Dada, who was serving as OSD to the Chairman on a contractual basis.

The regular post of the OSD to Chairman had been then approved by the board without taking it in the finance committee meeting. An audit objection over the creation of the post was still to be cleared, said the sources.


SAD threatens to break alliance
Feels slighted by BJP Secy
 Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today threatened to break off alliance with the BJP in Chandigarh feeling slighted at not being heard by the BJP national General Secretary, Mr O. P. Kohli, who was asked by the local party and councillors to take a decision in the wake of difference of opinion on whether to seek a fresh mandate or contest Mayor poll still persisting.

“We will contest Mayor election on our own and will ask the top party leadership to break off from the BJP which did not even consult an alliance partner on this issue,’’ the SAD Chandigarh unit, president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, told Chandigarh Tribune today.

Mr Riar said the BJP general secretary did not invite the party at the two meetings held today to consult on the issue of Mayor’s election, which resulted in the two-member party splitting during the last Deputy Mayor election.

The SAD president’s posturing seems an apparent attempt to increase the party’s bargaining power in the Corporation elections due by the end of the year to extract more seats in the alliance and also put up candidate for the post of Mayor to encash fissures in the BJP, whose one group which has been denied ticket for Mayor, is likely to support him apart from others who would like the BJP defeated.

However, Mr Kohli who came to consult the party on the issue of Mayor elections went back without getting a clear opinion of whether to contest Mayor election or seek a fresh mandate articulated by Ms Ranjana Shahi, Mr Gyanchand Gupta and Mr Rajinder Kumar.

A majority of councillors, owing allegiance to former member of Parliament, Mr Satyapal Jain, advocated contesting the poll, pleading the party may benefit by performing well within the next four months.

Sources in the the group claimed that Mr Kohli said that the name of the party nominee for the post would be announced soon, ahead of the notification by the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Bachan Singh councillor had reportedly said in the councillors’ meeting that the earlier defeat of the official, alleged to be due to cross-voting, might have been because of a petition by certain BJP leaders opposing voting right to nominated members.

However, others denied the claim that the national General Secretary had indicated that the decision on the candidate for the Mayor’s post would be taken soon, clarifying that Mr Kohli said this in the context of either seeking a fresh mandate or contesting the election.

The UT BJP unit president Dharampal Gupta-led group favoured seeking a fresh mandate, pleading that a fresh mandate at this time would bring rich dividends to the party, as the Congress had lost a mass leader in Mr Harmohan Dhawan, and is divided as ex-Mayor Rajkumar Goel had to quit amidst allegations of corruption.

One of the party said the party candidate should not be from among women and Scheduled Castes.

Party office-bearers dominated by Dharampal Gupta favoured seeking fresh mandate and certain members of the executive also met Mr Kohli to drive home the point that fresh mandate is the best option.

The issue of deciding the candidate is considered to be ticklish, considering party’s officials candidates having been opposed by one of the factions of the party and this was reflected in the meetings held today.

Mr Kohli is said to have warned against repeat of the past.

The selection of the party candidate for the post of Mayor ahead of corporation polls seems to have got entangled because there is an apprehension that the group which gets Mayor’s post will have a strong say in picking up candidates for the corporation election and that once the Mayor’s post is grabbed the party presidentship may be the next target.Back


Where parking is a major problem
Tribune News Service

An outstanding sector in the northern part of the city, Sector 15, continues to live with the parking problem.

The market of this sector faces major parking problems particularly in the evening when there is a rush of shoppers. The slow carriageaway along Lajpat Rai Bhavan, which is a centre for several competitive examinations, is also choked with vehicles as the Bhavan does not have adequate parking space. The same is true of the marla houses.

However, the record of this sector with regard to civic amenities is better than many southern sectors. The supply of water and electricity is normal. The residents say that water supply has been better this year as compared to the previous years.

Most of the streetlights function normally. The lawns inside the houses are well-maintained, but the upkeep of the open spaces leaves much to be desired. Congress grass grows unrestrained in the open areas, exposing the residents to health hazards.

The residents complain the stray cattle and pigs from the Sector 25 Kumhar and the Janata Colonies often venture on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 15, creating problems for the traffic. Repeated representations to the authorities to control this menace have failed to move things, alleged Mr S.K. Sharma, a resident.

Another problem faced by the residents is the flooding of its low-lying area in the rainy season. Even the slip road in front of Punjab Congress Bhavan is flooded every time it rains.

The gents’ toilet in the market stinks and the one for ladies remains locked most of the time. The rehri market caters to a large number of students, who live in the sector but the unhygienic conditions in small “dhabas” in the rehri market are a cause of concern and it seems that the health authorities have left these places unchecked.

The sector has easy access to other major sectors and tourist spots. While Panjab University is at a stone’s throw, the main shopping centres — Sectors 17 and 22 — are not far off. Tourist spots like the Rose Garden and Shanti Kunj are also close by.

Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Government College, Home Science College, Government College of Art, the PGI, the General Hospital, the UT Secretariat and the ISBT, are all within reasonable distance. That makes this sector a central place.


MC’s way to waste funds
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 30
The SAS Nagar Municipal Council is wasting public funds on laying footpaths along road berms, ignoring the maintenance of essential services.

This lack of planning on part of the civic body has created a lack of space along roads. A private firm that had been engaged to lay optical-fibre cables in the town was finding it difficult to dig trenches along the road berms.

At some places along the main road along Phases II and IV, labourers damaged the kerb channels to dig the trenches. At one site in Phase II, a tree was felled during the digging job.

The earth removed during the job was dumped on the road, reducing the effective width of the road. In rains, these heaps of earth prevented the drainage of rain water.

Residents say that the civic body, in its zeal to overspend on laying of footpaths, has covered all open space between the boundary walls of houses and the road berms. In Phase X, near the PCA stadium, this thing is quite evident.


Punwire employees plan fast
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 30
The Punwire Employees Union will organise fast at the Balongi roundabout on August 1 to demand revival of the company.

Mr Shaeed Ahmed, general secretary of the union, said the employees would urge the government to give another chance for the revival of the company.


The ceilings

Ceiling are a must in every room. In olden days kings spent a lot of money to have decorative ceilings in their palaces. These had genuinely attractive designs. The ceilings enhanced the beauty of the palaces tremendously.

Workers took years to create beautiful ceilings for rooms or halls. Long after there were no more kings, people visited the palaces to see the workmanship of the olden times.

In the interest of Feng Shui, ceilings are best kept simple. Attractive designs are not good Feng Shui. But if you like to have a pattern on your ceilings, keep them circular and basic rather than angular and too elaborate.

Ceilings should not have too many exposed beams. These beams create Chi problems.

The colour of ceilings should have always be white. White brings good Chi into the house.

Try not to have ridged ceilings. These create imbalance. If you do have beams in your home, try to create false ceilings so that the beams disappear.

These structural beams are especially harmful in multi-level-apartment blocks. They create bad luck since they are one on top of the other. — Harshna 

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



Body alleges high-handedness by management
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 30
The Punjab Anand Lamp Employees Union today alleged that the management of the company was indulging in unfair trade practices and violating the Contract Labour Act.

The general secretary of the union, Mr Dharampal, claimed that the management had suspended him and another employee for allegedly affecting production.

He claimed that the issue of settlement between the management and the workers, for which a notice had been served upon the former, was the cause of retaliation by the management. He said on July 20, a blower to VTLU line had started working, thereby raising the temperature. The supervisor, seeing the condition, had got the line stopped. No official of the management was available for comments. 


Jain Sabha leader dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP, has expressed deep shock over the sudden death of Mr Ved Parkash Jain, vice-president of the Jain Sabha, Punjab, and president of the Shree Jaindera Gurukul. Mr Rinwa said Mr Ved Parkash was a torchbearer of the Jain community in Punjab. He was a man of principles who devoted 40 years of his life for the uplift and betterment of his community.


Buddhist body flays anti-Dalit moves
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Buddhist Dhamm Vahan propagating rights of Dalits today entered the city after a procession through Punjab and criticised anti-Dalit actions of the government. The state unit president, Mr Karamvir, lashed out at the anti-Dalit forces. The procession was addressed by the Buddhist Dalit organisation’s chairman, Mr Ram Raj and was welcomed by a former IGP (Jails), Punjab, Mr. V.P. Chaudhary, a retired Session Judge, Dr Avtar Singh, an IAS officer, Mr Lal Singh and Mr R.S. Kajla, among others.


Villager found murdered
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 30
An old man was suspected to have been murdered in Papri village, near here, yesterday.

The body of Hardyal Singh, aged around 70, was brought by the police to the Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination which was conducted today.

The police said that according to the family, Hardyal Singh had left home as usual at around 8 a.m. for the fields. When he did not return till afternoon, his wife, Kako, sent her son, Kesar Singh, to look for him. During the search the body of Hardyal Singh was found in the fields.

Kako told the police that she suspected that her husband had been murdered by her other son, Avtar Singh. It is reported that the deceased was involved in a court case relating to a property dispute with Avtar Singh.

A two-member board, comprising Dr Manjit Singh and Dr Ajay Pal Singh, had been constituted at the Civil Hospital to conduct the post-mortem. It is learnt that no injury marks have been found on the body during the post-mortem examination.

However, the doctors do not rule out the possibility of a heart attack. The viscera of the deceased have been sent to Patiala for a chemical examination.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC against Avtar Singh in this regard.

Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, SP, said Avtar Singh had been rounded up for questioning. Further investigations were on.Back


Residents seek IG’s intervention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Some residents of the city have urged the UT Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, to inquire into the various acts of omission and commission conducted by a resident of Sector 18, who had borrowed Rs 40 lakh from them and now refuses to return it back.

According to the information available, Mr Amar Nath Aggarwal led a delegation of six of his relatives to the UT IG and urged upon him to register a case against Ashwani Kumar, who had duped them of over Rs 40 lakh.

They alleged that the accused had borrowed the money from 10 persons on different occasions on the pretext of expanding his business. However, when they demanded their money back, he refused.

They alleged that on July 23, he called all of them over at his shop in Sector 18 in order to clear his dues, but upon reaching there, they found that he had gone back home. When they reached his residence, he called over the police and said that all of them had come there with the design of assaulting him and his family.

Though the police later found his complaint to be false and DDR was also registered against him, these people have not got their money back.Back


3 cases of theft in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Three cases of theft, including two cases of auto-theft, have been reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

A Yamaha motor cycle (CH-03D-5307) was stolen from the Sector 29-B residence of Mr Somi on the July 28 night. A scooter CH-01C-4368) was stolen from the Sector 38 residence of Mr Naginder Singh. In both the cases, FIRs under section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

In another case, Pala Ram was caught red- handed while picking the pocket of Mr Sarvjinder Singh at Jagat cinema, Sector 17 last evening. He has been booked under sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

One Held: Raj Kumar was arrested on the charges of black- marketting tickets of film Yaadein near Nirman theatre. Two tickets were recovered from him. A case under Section 7-C of the Punjab Cinema Act has been registered.Back


Decline in foundry industry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The number of foundries has nearly halved since liberalisation process had set in nearly a decade ago. The decline has not still been arrested, although it is now not at that pace. India is now the sixth largest producer of casting in the world. Since the labour productivity is low and technology at lower end with a poor capacity utilisation of 40 to 45 per cent from 5,500 odd units, India could only boast of having higher number of casting units only next to China, which is the third largest producer of casting. In spite of the shake out, our total tonnage of casting produced remained almost status quo during the past five years and this had a reason to be jacked up if the Indian industry achieves total ‘competitiveness’.

Citing the reasons there to Prof P. Thareja, Chairman of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen, Chandigarh, exhorted the foundrymen to undergo a “achieve competitiveness” impetus. Talking about global trends of metal casting industries, he explained that not only there has to be accent on a superior set of metal, and metallurgy (like SG Irons, which is replacing steels, and cast irons, and even malleable iron), the foundrymen have to consider them in terms of total austerity in consumption of raw materials through design and material selection.

Addressing a meeting of the institute, Prof Thareja, talked about possible solutions in terms of newer technologies and manufacturing process. He said one should now not think of composite casting, but parts there of. To the extent of molten metal droplets, each particle has to be oriented, for possible positioning with a view to cheap mould or component development. He said each particle has to be accounted for and audited only if such measures are undertaken the cost cutting impetus you could be programmed as a reality.

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