Saturday, August 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Mayoral poll postponed following petition
Kala challenges Cong; boycott by BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The election of Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh was postponed today on a joint petition of the BJP and the Congress acting Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, questioning the authority of the presiding officer to reconvene an adjourned meeting for holding the election. The meeting had to be adjourned for lack of quorum.

The quorum was not complete as Congress councillor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, and the official Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate, Mr Mohinder Singh, did not go to the House despite being present on the premises as Mr Singh had sensed defeat with the Congress reportedly ready to support his rival SAD candidate, Ms Harjinder Kaur, and most of the six nominated members present in the House being favourably disposed to the rebel SAD councillor.

There was difference of opinion on the issue of whether quorum of 10 members was required for the election of the Mayor or not. The BJP which was not taking part in the poll, maintained that as per Section 58 of the Act, quorum necessary for transaction of business at a meeting of the MC shall be one-third of the total number of members. The nominated councillors felt that quorum was not required and the Act was silent on the same. The officials on their part said quorum was required for it was a meeting of the House convened by the Deputy Commisioner to transact an agenda pertaining to the election of Mayor. The Administration would look into this aspect.

The second question, which became an issue when the BJP moved a representation, was with regard to convening an adjourned meeting. It was asked whether the meeting was adjourned by the presiding officer the first time or suspended. He had earlier announced that the meeting had been adjourned due to lack of quorum and that the House would meet again at 12 noon. When the issue was raised this time, Mr Bhanot said the meeting had only been suspended for tea break and was to reassemble later so as to enable more members to come and complete the quorum.

When the House assembled at 11 am, six nominated councillors, namely Ms Saudamini Bambah, Maj-Gen Rajinder Nath (retd), Mr R.K. Aggarwal, Mr R.S. Kailey, Ms Prasann Kaur and the presiding officer, Mr Harish Bhanot; two Congress councillors, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal and Ms Kamlesh, and SAD councillor and Mayoral candidate, Ms Harjinder Kaur, were present.

The House meeting for election was adjourned by the presiding officer, Mr Harish Bhanot, at 11.10 am as quorum fell short by one member, with only nine members being present in the House.

Though the presiding officer for today’s election meeting asserted that there was no need of quorum for an election meeting, the House wanted to give latecomers an opportunity till 12 noon to join House proceedings.

Mr Bhanot’s decision was immediately challenged by BJP members, Mr Deshraj Tandon, the leader of the BJP-SAD alliance in the House, a former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, and the spokesperson, Ms Ranjana Shahi, who did not take part in today’s proceedings, before the Municipal Corporation Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar. A copy of the same was forwarded to the Divisional Commissioner.

The move was surprisingly joined by acting Congress Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, who had earlier openly joined BJP members in raising slogans against the local Congress MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Chandigarh unit President, Mr B. B. Bahl, and the party for tacitly supporting a rebel SAD candidate, Ms Harjinder Kaur, which was detrimental to the party’s interest.

Mr Bhanot reconvened the meeting after a break to announce that the reconvening of the meeting had been challenged by certain members before the prescribed authorities and hence they would now decide when to call it again.

He had to do lot of explaining to nine members present in the House, including two of the Congress, who specifically asked who had moved the petition and what were its contents. Ms Saudamini Bambah questioned Mr Bhanot for accepting the representation once the process had started and pointed out that had he allowed voting at the outset, this would not have occured.

Mr Bhanot did not reveal contents and names of those who moved the petition, emphasising that he did not want to leave an iota of doubt regarding the fairness of the election process and that was why he had sent the entire proceedings to the competent authority. He reportedly sought clarifications on whether the quorum was required for the said election and on whether the meeting could be convened by him for the second time or not.

The Congress fell apart today, with the party reportedly directing its members to support Ms Harjinder Kaur, with Mr Kala challenging the party to take such an anti-party stand. The other Congress member, Ms Sunita, did not turn up despite party whip on health ground. The Deputy Mayor and SAD candidate, Mr Singh, stayed away from the House meeting only to ensure that the quorum was not complete.

Three nominated councillors, namely Dr I.C. Pathak, Maj-Gen Gurdial Singh (retd) and Ms Surya Pandit were not in the city. Ms Satinder Dhawan of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch boycotted the election meeting along with 13 BJP members in accordance with their party directive.

The situation took a dramatic turn when certain BJP members along with Mr Kala pointed out in the representation that as per Section 60 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as applicable to Chandigarh, the power to convene a meeting for the election of a Mayor lies with the Divisional Commissioner, who also appoints the presiding officer to conduct these elections. Since the present meeting was adjourned due to lack of quorum, the adjourned meeting could not be called off by the presiding officer. Hence the DC, who is the convening authority, would announce the date for the next meeting.

The nominated councillors, who want the present MC to complete its full five-year term, stayed put in the House despite announcement of the reconvening of the meeting being in the hands of the DC. They were also the first ones to reach the House. While Ms Prasann Kaur urged Mr Bhanot to conduct the elections in accordance with the Act, even if it meant implementing the same after the issue was finally resolved, Mr R.K. Aggarwal expressed his resentment on the presiding officer giving more weigtage to a representation given by a section of the BJP which had boycotted the elections.

Even the candidate, Ms Kaur, in her humble tone, opposed the move to stall democratic procedures through technicalities such as quorum and adjournment. “We are simply setting wrong conventions in the very first term of the civic body, which will only vitiate the political scene in future,” she said.

The postponement of the Mayoral election was hailed by the BJP-SAD alliance, which asked Mr Bansal and Mr Bahl to resign after a split in the party, with the alliance claiming that their demand for dissolution was now vindicated. Mr Riar while talking to the media, pointed out that the party had committed suicide by attending the meeting in an attempt to complete the quorum and the repercussions of the same would be grave in the forthcoming MC elections. Mr Des Raj Tandon described it to be a BJP-SAD victory as all members supported it by following the party High Command’s directive. He also raised questions about the sanctity of bringing a minority Mayor to power during the last four months of tenure. He also expressed his gratitude to Mr Singh for supporting the alliance even as he was in a position to complete the quorum and maybe win.



CTCC faced with Bansal-Sharma rift
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) today seemed to have invited a crisis by deciding to go to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) to complete quorum for the Mayoral election with seeds of suspicion sowed between two top leaders, local MP Mr Pawan Bansal and former Union Minister Venod Sharma, on the issue.

“Mr Sharma was not taken into confidence before the party reportedly decided to support rebel Akali leader Ms Harjinder Kaur and that resulted the party losing two councillors and facing public embarrassment,” a party source told the Chandigarh Tribune today.

He said support — directly or indirectly — extended to an Akali has been at the cost of party members Acting Mayor Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala and Ms Sunita whose opposition has led to the expulsion proceedings being moved against them.

The source said Mr Kala’s provocation to the extent of raising anti-party and anti-leadership slogans has also made a mockery of the party which could have been prevented.

The source, however, said a section of the party seemed more worried to get rid of Mr Kala who vows his loyalty to Mr Sharma but said now expulsion of the Acting Mayor was justified.

He said the recently developed bonhomie between the former Union Minister and Mr Bansal, may now be tested as the unilateral action of a group of the party may create doubts between the top two leaders of the local party unit.

The source said now the two leaders will have to jointly make efforts to salvage the image of the party.

Mr Kala was advised during the day not to openly protest against the party decision even if he was not prepared to go to the House proceedings to stop the quorum from being completed but he rejected the advice.

The source said that Mr Kala was told that he could have been forgiven for not obeying the party but can not now be spared as he had joined hands with the BJP and Akalis in raising anti-party and anti-leadership slogans.

The source also said that a voice regarding the implication of deciding to join house proceedings was brought to the notice of the party leadership but it was not given heed on the ground that the party had opposed dissolution and by not going to the House it would also become a party to the dissolution move.

Other party sources said after the expulsion of former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, the party could only recover the ground by the two leaders seeming to be getting along and not suspecting each other but today’s decision will atleast create divide at workers’ level.

The sources said the fact that the two leaders had not enjoyed a very good relationship earlier too and had come close only on the issue of fighting Mr Dhawan, leaves lot of scope their differences to damage the party’s image.



Bahl: Advani meddling in MC issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee here today accused the Union Home Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, of pressurising the Chandigarh Administration to dissolve the local Municipal Corporation. It further said that today’s Mayoral election meeting was “managed” to achieve this goal.

“Mr Advani is trying to get the House dissolved and today’s meeting was manipulated to achieve this goal,” the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president, Mr B.B. Bahl, said at a press conference here today after the MC meeting for holding Mayoral election was postponed following legal objection by the BJP.

Mr Bahl said the party had issued show-cause notices to the Acting Mayor and party member, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, asking him to explain with the three days why action should not be taken against him for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities and not obeying party directions to be present in the house.

He said another party councillor, Ms Sunita, had also been served a notice to explain within two days her position on being absent from the house proceedings despite party directions.

Action against Mr Kala was taken after he openly raised slogans against a local MP Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mr Bahl and the party for supporting an Akali candidate Ms Harjinder Kaur in the Mayoral election, which he said was detrimental to the party’s interest.

Mr Kala joined the local BJP president, Mr Dharampal Gupta, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, in raising slogans against the party leadership.



CBI inspects 8 medical stores
Seizure of unaccounted material at PGI cath lab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The CBI today conducted inspected eight medical stores in the city in connection with the unearthing of unaccounted equipment worth Rs 1 crore in the PGI Cath Lab.

Well-placed sources in the CBI said the business premises of Pal Medical Hall, Kumar Brothers, Bharat Medical Store, Hi-Tech Instruments and Diagnostics, Hi-Tech Marketing, Cardio-Medical Devices, Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Radical Health Techniques were surveyed, with the assistance of the officials of the Income Tax, Sales Tax departments. All these firms are located in Chandigarh.

CBI officials said as against the provisions of the Sales Tax Act, items like stents, pace-makers and balloons, were stored at the cath lab without proper bills and ledgers from the Sales Tax Department.

The eight firms today, the documents of the firms were checked and it was found that none of these eight firms had maintained the stock register — which otherwise was mandatory.

Informed sources in the CBI said that they found large-scale sales tax evasion in respect of costly imported items like heart valves, stents, balloons and pacemakers — thus causing huge losses to the Union Territory.

Interestingly, a few of these firms inspected by the CBI denied ever having supplied material to the cath lab.

It further came to light that certain doctors of the Cardiology department had obtained affidavits from these firms for justifying the unaccounted material seized by the investigating agency from the cath lab.

The sources said as the survey was continuing the exact details would be known later.

It may be noted that the CBI has been conducting a preliminary inquiry against some surgeons of the PGI for procuring inferior material at exorbitant rates on behalf of patients under their treatment.

The investigating agency had earlier received a number of complaints from the wards of patients that they were instructed by doctors in the PGI to purchase expensive equipment like valves, stents etc. (costing anything between Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 1.5 lakhs) from particular persons. However, no receipt was given to them and the patients had raised their suspicions about the quality and quantity of these equipment.



Rs 1 lakh for victim’s family
Drowning of school student
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 10
The Housing and Urban Development Minister of Punjab, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, today said the officials found guilty for the circumstances leading to the drowning of the 13-year-old student of Paragon school would not be spared, irrespective of their position.

The action of the authority would be based on the enquiry being conducted by the Land Acquisition Collector, GM (Policy), Mr N.S. Sangha.

The minister, who visited the house of the victim in Sector 55 of Chandigarh, said it was an unfortunate incident. She expressed her grief to the family of the victim. She said facts about the swimming pool would be probed and steps would be taken so as to ensure that such an incident did not occur again.

Asked about the possibility of PUDA handing over the swimming pool to some other body, the minister ruled out the possibility. The minister was accompanied by Mr A.K. Dubey, Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator of PUDA.

A token amount of Rs 1 lakh as compensation would be given to the family of the victim, said a PUDA official.



PUDA slashes prices of sites
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 10
To boost commercial activity in the town, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has substantially slashed the reserved price of sites in the bulk material market located on the southern fringes of the town.

At least 40 sites in the first of its kind bulk material market in Punjab are being auctioned to run trades of timber, iron and steel and marble in the last week of this month. Final touches are being given to the basic amenities before the sites are put under the hammer, according to an official of the authority.


* Reserve price of sites in the bulk material market reduced by 20 per cent to 70 per cent.

* PUDA takes up with the Adviser to the UT Administrator the issue of providing alternative sites to traders of marble, timber and iron and steel in Chandigarh at the bulk material market.

Located along the Chandigarh- Ludhiana railway track which is under construction, movement of freight to and from the market will be an easy due to its proximity with the proposed Kambali railway station. A road link between the Tribune rotary and the Industrial Area, Phase 9, SAS Nagar, cleared by the Chandigarh Administration, will also pass in front of the bulk material market. The road will be linked with the Kharar- Banur road, says the Chief Administrator of PUDA.

He says the market will offer specialised infrastructure required to run the trades. It had been planned on the outer fringes of the town to avoid congestion. The freight moving to and from the market will move on the outer roads of the town. In the first phase, over 76 acres of the total area of 121 acres is being developed. The estimated cost of the project is over Rs 8 crore.

In an earlier attempt, the authority has sold a few booth sites owning to high reserved price. Now the authority has got the rates approved from the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar. The Additional Chief Administrator, SAS Nagar, says the reserve price of the sites has been fixed keeping in mind the market trend.

In the first phase of the market, 163 plots measuring 250 sq yard and 500 sq yard will be auctioned for the trades of timber, iron and steel and marble.

A total of 112 shop-cum-offices and booths have also been earmarked in the first phase. Other facilities like weigh bridge, hotel, dispensary, residential accommodation and police post have also been planned.

Development in the second phase, comprising 44 acres of low-lying area adjacent to Jagatpura village, is not being taken up presently. It will be taken up once the seasonal rivulet passing through the area is channelised. A 200-feet-wide corridor adjacent to the bulk material market has been left for the Chandigarh- Ludhiana railway track.

Revised prices of sites in bulk material market

Site  Reserved price
SCO  Rs 50 lakh
SCO (corner)  Rs 55.09 lakh
Booth  Rs 2.39 lakh
Booth (corner)  Rs 2.86 lakh
One kanal  Rs 22. 39 lakh
One kanal (corner) Rs 27.08 lakh
Ten marla  Rs 12.50 lakh
Ten marla (corner) Rs 14.09 lakh



For the sake of dying father’s wish
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
For a terminally ill 90-year-old man in Germany, the First Secretary of the German Embassy, Mr Helmut Holzheuer, today drove 250 km from Delhi to Chandigarh in sultry Indian weather. His mission: to ensure that the old man, before making his final exit, meets his son lodged in a jail at Amritsar.

Wiping beads of perspiration while climbing the stairs leading to the Sector 16 office of Mr Anil and Ranjit Malhotra — advocates for the German Embassy — he says: “Andreas Hoffmann has been sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in a case registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. He has already spent five years behind bars, so we are now trying to persuade the authorities here to remit his sentence on humanitarian grounds”.

Care and concern writ large on his face, he adds: “Even after the remittance already announced for the convicts, Hoffmann will have to serve the sentence for another two to three years. By the time he is released from prison, his father may not be any more in this world, that is our only apprehension”.

All this sounds very strange in a country like India where undertrial prisoners, booked for offences with a maximum of six months imprisonment, remain behind bars for much longer duration, but no one cares.

“It’s not true in our case. We make efforts to ensure that adequate care is taken of German citizens lodged in alien jails and their families living far away. It is a part of our responsibility,” Mr Holzheuer insists before adjusting his crimson necktie.

Making himself comfortable in the air conditioned office, he asserts, “We are not trying to encourage people who are indulging in drug trafficking. We are not even trying to prove Hoffman is innocent.

It is not our job. Without interfering with the legal process, we are just trying to ensure that a father’s wish of meeting his son before his death is fulfilled”.

For accomplishing the mission, the First Secretary, accompanied by Legal Advisor to German Embassy Dr G.S. Sachdeva, will also be leaving for Amritsar to meet Hoffman tomorrow. Today, a meeting was held with Punjab’s Principal Secretary.

“His response was encouraging but we have a long way to go,” he says, while sipping invigorating golden elixir — beer. “Though we did not succeed in getting him acquitted in the case even after going up to the Supreme Court, we are hopeful of getting the sentence remitted”.

Going into the background of the case, Mr Holzheuer says, “Hoffman was arrested in 1996 and was convicted for the first time in 1999. A retrial was ordered by the Apex Court, but he was convicted again in 1999. Now, we are trying to secure his release for his father’s sake. Hope we succeed”.



Spread the message of Gita : Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, who is also Administrator of Chandigarh, today underlined the need for taking the eternal message of Geeta to every nook and corner of the world.

Speaking after viewing a ballet on the events from the life of Lord Krishna organised by the Kayasth Sabha at Tagore Theatre, he said essence of Geeta’s message was to perform one’s duty and leave the fruits of ones action in God’s hands. He said Geeta would continue to guide us through the trials and tribulations of life.

Appreciating the performance of children in the ballet, he said the legend of Sri Krishna in India’s folklore was most beauteous and enduring one.

Earlier, 50 children presented a ballet representing the life of Lord Krishna. Ms Nopoor welcomed the Governor. Vandana Radhika and Rishi duet on Radha Krishna. The Governor inauguratged the function by lighting the traditional lamp.

School functions

Meanwhile, functions were held to mark Janmashtami at Shamrock School, Sector 40 and St Joseph’s School, Sector 44, today.

Children were dressed up in traditional dresses. Boys and girls were dressed up and paired as ‘’Radha Krishna’’ and girl students as ‘’gopis’’ . Tableaus depicting the life of Lord Krishna were presented.

A function was also held at the Holy Child School, Sector 2, Panchkula today to mark Janamashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna.

The students joined the ISKCON members in singing bhajans and prayers. Students were also told about the life and teachings of Lord Krishna and their relevance in present times.

GGDSD College function

Students and members of the teaching and non-teaching staff of GGDSD College, Sector 32, celebrated Shri Krishna Janmashtmi under the aegis of Manav Dharama Kendra, here today.

Dharam Guru, Pt Vasudev Sharma Dinkar of Satyashram, Solan, speaking on the occasion, highlighted the importance of Yoga. He advised the gathering to follow the teachings of Lord Krishna and live a better life.

Earlier, a student of the college, Sai Karan presented a devotional song and Pt. Prakash Sharma spoke on the multi- faceted personality of Lord Krishna who descended on the earth to save humanity from mortal fears.

‘Shobha yatras’ from tomorrow

The city is all set to celebrate “Janamashtami” in a grand manner. The temples are being decorated and preparations are in full swing for taking out “shobha yatras” tomorrow.

Colourful “jhankis” will be inaugurated by the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, on August 12 at the Rajyoga Bhavan in Sector 33 here.

Meanwhile, the festival is being celebrated in the Shri Radha Krishna Sidh Mandir, Sector 14, from August 9 to 12. Besides, “prabhat pheris” daily, a colourful “shobha yatra” will be taken out tomorrow.


Where an accident a day is routine
Tribune News Service

* Six persons were injured in a freak accident between two Haryana Roadways buses and two cars near the Airport Chowk last week.

* A Mohali-based couple was injured at the Airport Chowk when their scooter was hit by a speeding bus a couple of days back.

* A young cyclist who met with an accident at this junction lost his life when he was crushed to death by a tractor trolley here a few months back.

The Airport Chowk has emerged as one of the most accident-prone areas in the city, with heavy vehicles showing a scant regard for the road safety rules and regulations.

The police records show that so far six major accidents have been reported at or near this rotary. While two persons were killed, six persons sustained serious head injuries during these accidents.

Traffic police officials agree that the number of minor accidents taking place at this junction are much more. It is believed that on an average at least one minor accident a day is reported near this chowk.

The chowk is located on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, where drivers tend to pick up speed, and thus most accidents take place. Since the flow of traffic on this road is smooth and hardly any congestion is reported, it is easier to drive here. Senior traffic police officers concede that most often the drivers, when reaching this junction, tend to go beyond the specified speed limit. Traffic police personnel are rarely deployed here to keep a check on the overspeeding vehicles.

With a number of villages in the periphery of the union territory too located on both sides of the road, the slow-moving traffic is susceptible to accidents with the high speed vehicles, be it trucks or cars.

The proximity of the villages at this junction also ensures that stray cattle and other animals come on the road and many a time result in accidents here.



Bairagi Mahamandal units in England, Canada
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Bairagi Mahamandal has established cells in Canada and England under the patronage of Mr Bal Kavi Bairagi, Member of Parliament and patron, All India Bairagi Mahamandal.

The special meeting was attended by Mr K.K. Bawa, President, Punjab Bairagi Mahamandal, Mr Hari Das Ji Bawan, Patron, Mr Kartar Bawa, Mr Mohinder Das Bawa, Vice-President, Dr Rajinder Pal Bairagi, Mr Ravinder Nandi, Prof Jeewan Das Bawa, Mr Naseeb Bawa, advocate, Moga, General, Secretary, Mr Baldev Bawa, president, Banda Bahadur Brigade, and Mr Rajiv Bawa, General Secretary, Banda Bahadur Brigade and Mr Rajinder Bawa, Jayantipur (Amritsar) Secretary, Bairagi Mahamandal, Punjab.

After deliberations, Mr Ashok Kumar Bawa was installed President of the Canada branch and Mr Satish Bawa that of the England branch. Mr K.K. Bawa explained that Bairagis living abroad had been insisting on getting affiliation to the Punjab Bairagi Mahamandal for a ling time.

Mr Ravinder Nandi declared that both Presidents had been authorised to appoint office-bearers of their respective branches. He said delegations from Canada, England and other states of India were expected to participate in the birth anniversary celebrations of Bairagi Banda Bahadur on October 16. Prof Jeewan Das Bawa announced the district-level preparatory programmes for the celebrations. Mr Rajinder Pal Bairagi said the efforts of Mr Bal Kavi Ji had brought fruit and the Central Government was to issue a commemorative stamp in the name of Swami Rama Nand Ji, Founder of the Bairagi sect. He informed that a symposium on the life and philosophy of Banda Bairagi would be organised to disseminate his teachings among the masses.



Civic body to share PSEB’s task
Shashi Pal Jain

The Kharar municipal committee has decided to employ two electricians to improve the working of streetlights in the town. The committee passed a resolution on July 27 that four persons had been deputed by the Punjab State Electricity Board for the upkeep of streetlights in Kharar. Of them, one had not been attending duty for the past one month, one was given the task of switching on and off the lights and of the remaining two, one generally remained on leave and this made smooth working of the streetlights difficult. Hence the committee decided to employ two electricians. The committee also decided to install more street light points on Chandigarh Road, Landran Road, Kurali Road and Badala Road and sanctioned Rs 30,000 for this purpose. This amount will be deposited with the PSEB as security.

The committee also decided to give land to the Punjab Pollution Control Board near Khanpur Wali Nadi for a sewerage treatment plant.

* * *

The Rotary Club of Kharar came into existence on December 26, 1999, and ever since it has been engaged in social work. The club held its 500th meeting on July 27. Mr Kesho Ram Gupta, a former President of Rotary Club, Chandigarh Midtown, and his wife, Mrs Santosh Gupta, were the chief guests. Mr Ashoke Sharma, a former president of the club, gave details of various projects undertaken by the club. Mr Kesho Ram Gupta praised the work done by this club and asked the members to keep up their activities.

* * *

Dashemesh Sports Club, Didar Nagar, Kharar, organised a meeting of the residents of Didar Nagar, Jandpur Road, Swaraj Naga and Green Avenue on July 31. It was presided over by Mr Nirmal singh Rahi. Mr Prem Singh, President of the SAD was invited to the meeting so that the problems faced by the residents of these areas could be brought to the notice of the administration and the Punjab Government.

* * *

The residents demanded that the Kharar-Jandpur Road should be repaired, street lights improved, and water supply and sewerage made available to these areas. They also demanded traffic control measures at the point where Jandpur Road meets the Kharar-Chadigarh road.

* * *

Badala Road in Kharar which is maintained by the PWD has not been repaired for several years. Because of this neglect, the road is in a miserable condition. Deep potholes have made it difficult for vehicles to use this road.

The PWD Minister had assured the residents of Kharar in January last that the road would be repaired immediately. But nothing has happened so far.



Pain and agony refuse to leave her
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
For Veena Kumari, (51), life is fraught with emotions. Her frail appearance tells it all —the mental and physical pain she has been going through for years, her poor financial condition and the associated helplessness (she prefers to spend the night in the open outside the GMCH building rather than spend Rs 50 on fare to her relatives’ house in Daddu Majra). She, however, prefers to blame it all, not on individuals, but her fate, ‘kismet ka khel’, as she calls it.

A mere thought of the pain this frail woman from Nangal must have experienced during the past five years is enough to make one shiver. Veena has been operated upon at least five times during the past five years. But the pain and agony refuse to part ways with her.

Waiting for her turn outside the GMCH surgical OPD, Veena, a lower division clerk with the Electricity Board in Nangal, Punjab, still has only good words for doctors in the hospital who, she says, have gone out of their way to help her. She has been getting treatment in the GMCH since the beginning of this year.

For Veena the struggle for survival started right after marriage about 30 years back. After the problems posed by the over-demanding in-laws were sorted out, her husband expired just three years after their marriage, leaving her to look after two small children. It was with the efforts of her parents that she got a steady job and carried on with her life.

Then in 1996, following internal bleeding, an exploratory laparotomy was conducted by a general surgeon in Nangal. But instead of removing the entire uterus, the surgeon removed just the fibroid.

Four months after the operation her stomach bloated and she had to be rushed to the PGI where she had a sub total hystectomy in 1997. However, following complications due to severe intestine blockage she had to be operated upon yet again in 1998.

Due to some more complications, she had one more surgery in a Ambala hospital and yet another one in the GMCH on May 18 this year when her right side cholestomy was closed .

She had to come back to the hospital yesterday after she once again experienced unbearable pain in the abdomen . Veena has been asked to undergo a colonoscopy and a X-ray following which there is a possibility of having to undergo the agony of yet another surgery.

Having spent more than Rs 2.5 lakh on the treatment in the past five years and the responsibility of marrying a daughter and looking after the family of an unemployed son, her fiinancial condition is clearly not so sound. And the son, for whom she has been running from pillar to post for a job, just left her outside the hospital to fend for herself. “ He has a family to look after ,” she explains wiping off tears from her eyes.

When contacted, GMCH Medical Superintendent, Prof Raj Bahadur said that the hospital, on its own initiative has made her case ‘poor free’. “This is the beauty of our Indian medical system , which takes care of everyone, irrespective of their status or financial condition,”



Regal fare at Empress Room
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

The Empress Room. It is not the name of a suite, but the restaurant-cum-bar of the four-star Hotel Piccadily, Sector 22. As I dine in the pleasantly cool confines amid a chattering group of Japanese women (the hotel has a good number of foreign guests), my attention is drawn to the portraits of regal women adorning the walls. Does the name come from there? Nobody on duty seems to know for sure, but that’s a strong probability.

However, Mr S. Sengupta, Food and Beverages Manager, is not much bothered about this as he says that Piccadily is in for a major renovation of the restaurant. On anvil is also a 24-hour coffee shop with buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As also, a speciality cuisine restaurant (may be, Punjabi khana) is being planned. The Director was not available for confirmation.

The hotel also has a private dining room for a group of 10 to 40 guests for those wanting exclusivity. And, there is a 20 per cent discount for the defence services staff and 25 per cent discount on their wives’ kitty lunches.

The bar is well-equipped with an assortment of wines, spirits, champagne, and beer (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Comparatively, considering four-star rates, the prices are competitive. Beer is for only Rs 65 against the normal elsewhere of Rs 100.

The menu is a study of the native names of dishes. While the Indian dishes need no introduction, the foreign ones, with their tongue-twisting names, are adequately explained in the menu. And, of course, you can seek help from the hotel staff for deciphering them if you still can’t get the dish.

For example, in the Continental and Italian cuisines, they have Potage Hongroise. It’s Hungarian cumin flavoured veg soup. Bet you don’t know what Polo Ebra Fini is. It’s cubes of chicken tossed in veloute and served on a bed of rice. What’s veloute, now you’ll ask. Well, ask the food manager.

The Italian pasta (available in a choice of pennes, spaghetti and macaroni) has a Napolean-sounding veg delicacy — Napolitaine. It’s rich tomato concasse with mushroom flavoured with basil. Crepe florentine is no floral dress material. It is pancakes stuffed with spinach and cheese, topped with wine sauce.

In the Chinese starters category, the commonly known spring rolls are called Cong Baok Yang. A dish from Hong Kong, they are deep fried rolls stuffed with shredded chicken and spring onions. And a thick well-blended soup made from mushroom and chicken is Moo Goo Kay Tong.

In Thai curry, you have a choice of veg/cottage cheese cooked in spicy coconut gravy and served on a bed of rice. The Indian fare has the usual veg, non-veg, tandoori nazrane and handi dishes along with starters like shorba, lassi, pappad, jal jeera, curd and raita. You can have them with rice and biryani or breads like naan, parantha, kulcha or roti.



Expedition to Khardung La
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today flagged off a 85-member motorcycle expedition to Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world.

The expedition, organised by the Chandigarh Adventure Club in association with Nehru Yuva Kendra, has 85 participants, who will reach Khardung La via Manali, Sisu, Koskar, Sarchu and Leh. The expedition will return to Chandigarh on August 19.

Earlier, the Governor was introduced to each member of the expedition. General Jacob wished the members a happy and safe journey while flagging them off.



Employee unions hold rally
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 10
Different trade unions took a rally from the Labour Department office to the SDM office here today to protest against the ‘anti-industry’ policies of the Badal government. Members of employee unions of Punwire, JCT, PCL, SCL, Godrej, Swaraj and ESPL took part in the rally.

Mr Ramji Dass, general secretary of the Trade Union Council, said members of the HMS and the AITUC also took part in the rally. The participants raised slogans against the government.



Jet Airways selects 10 ITFT trainees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Ten students of the airlines management course run by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT), Chandigarh, have been selected by Jet Airways for their airport ground services.

They are at present under training and will join the Delhi-Ludhiana service, which is likely to commence shortly. One student has been selected by the KLM.



NSS meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
A large number of social workers, community leaders and local residents participated in the anti-malaria and anti-viral drive launched by the National Service Scheme (NSS), Panjab University at Janata Colony, Sector 25, here today.

Dr C.L. Narang, Director NSS, PU, addressed the gathering and said residents of the colony were facing unhygienic conditions and the rainy season had worsened the situation.

It was resolved to urge the administration to ban the sale of uncovered sweets etc.



Milkfed MD launches vanmahotsava
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Dr B.M. Mahajan, Managing Director, Punjab Milkfed, today launched vanmahotsava at the milk plant, Chandigarh, by planting a sapling at a simple ceremony.

The management and workers of the plant jointly organised the function in which more than 100 saplings of neem,amla, harhar, arjun, teak pine and siliver oak were planted. Dr Mahajan underlined the need for planting more saplings to keep environment free from pollution. Mr M.M Munjal, General Manager said the plant security staff would also take care of saplings planted in the plant premises.

Dr B.M. Mahajan, Managing Director of Milkfed (centre), plants a sapling at the Milk Plant, Chandigarh, on Friday.



18-hr power disruption in Sector 44-B
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
As many as 60 families living in Sector 44-B faced an 18-hour power cut today. Power supply failed around midnight last night when the underground cable feeding the area reportedly developed a snag.

Engineers struggled to locate the fault and then restored power supply around 1 p.m from an alternate source , however, the voltage was very low forcing the engineers to seek another shut down and carry out further repair work. Full supply could be restored only around 7 p.m.



Rs 80,000 stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
A sum of Rs 80,000 was stolen from a car parked near Punjab and Sind Bank, Sector 22-B yesterday morning. The car belonged to Mr Deepak.

In another incident, a car ( CH-01P- 0460) was stolen from outside his Sector 37- C residence during the night intervening August 8 and 9.

In both the cases, the police has registered FIR’s under Section 379 of the IPC.

Woman injured
A woman scootorist, Prem Kaur, was injured when she was hit by a vehicle (PB-12B- 0422) near the Sector 20-30-32-33 chowk late last night. The car driver fled from the spot, after the accident while the woman was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. A case under sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

One Held
Surinder, alias Chhinda, was arrested by the Crime Branch from near Shahpur Chowk last night and 20 bottles of Whisky were recovered from him. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Three booked
In a crackdown against persons cheating the Estate Office, Chandigarh, by submitting fake affidavits for allotment of booths and plots, the said departments today registered cases of cheating and fraud against three persons.

According to the information available, Jagjit Singh, a resident of Sector 7, has been booked under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC for producing a fake affidavit for the allotment of a booth in Sector 48.

A resident of Sector 46-D, Jasbir Singh, has been booked under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC for producing a fake affidavit for the allotment of a booth in Sector 48.

In the third case, Agya Singh has been booked on charges of fraud under Section 420 of the IPC for giving a fake affidavit, where in he had stated that he did not have any plot in Chandigarh.



2 proclaimed offenders held
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 10
The Panchkula police has arrested two women proclaimed offenders involved in a number of theft and burglary cases.

According to the police, Rupa, alias Popy and Veena had been arrested on a tip off. Rupa was arrested from her house in Bapu Dham Colony while Mauli Jagran resident Veena was arrested from her home.

Rupa was wanted in three cases of thefts and burglary which were registered against her in 1990 while Veena was booked under Sections 457 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code in 1995.



21-year-old commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 10
A 21-year-old youth committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance here yesterday.

Police sources said Shama Kumar, a resident of Old Panchkula was taken to the General Hospital in Sector 6 in a serious condition by his parents. Later, he was referred to the PGI in Chandigarh where he breathed his last today afternoon. The boy is said to be mentally unstable.

The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code.



Representation for traders sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Traders Association, Sector 17-D, has demanded representation for the traders in the building bylaws amendment committee.

According to a press note issued here today the association demanded that internal need-based changes in the commercial buildings should be allowed as the customer expectations had changed rapidly.

The partitions as per requirement should be allowed, it said, adding that the tenants with proper sales tax number, rent deeds, registration under the Shops Act should be regularised.

Demanding commercial use of the basements, it demanded that the people, who had been in business for the past over 20 years, should not be dislodged without a valid reason.


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