Monday, August 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Whisper campaigns take over on poll eve
PUTA elections today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Hectic campaigning continued on the eve of the elections to the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) on the campus here today. Leaders, spokesmen and candidates of two rival groups had been visiting various departments and residences on the PU campus till late in the evening today.

Whisper campaigns replaced the open campaigning as the day progressed towards its end. These are likely to continue till the votes are cast in the PU Law Auditorium, from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm, tomorrow. Prof Bal Krishan is the returning officer for the elections, who will declare the results at the PUTA general-body meeting tomorrow at 5 pm.

“The elections this time are mostly one-to-one contests on similar issues and the difference lies only in the way these demands are being raised,” says a PU senator.

“There is no dearth of issues for PUTA, but listing these issues will serve no purpose. The commitment to act and a demonstrable ability to be fair and efficient is what counts,” said the team of Mr Ronki Ram and Mr Sudhir Kumar, in a press note issued here today.

The methods followed by PUTA to achieve its ends have also varied over the years. Sometimes, the body goes in for negotiations and, at other times, for dharnas and strikes. This time, the main issues are the second phase of the career advancement scheme, pension for teachers and the notification of the increase in the retirement age.

The issues have been changing with the change of leadership. In the 1960s and 1970s, PUTA got its members medical benefits and the present rules for the PU’s share in the contributory provident fund on the basis of salary and not the basic pay. Rotation postings and reinstatement of arbitrarily fired teachers were the other achievements of the 1970s. New leave rules were approved by the PU Senate in the late 1970s, but implemented in 1986. In the 1980s, new issues like proper and timely implementation of the various phases of the merit promotion scheme, release of interim relief, teachers welfare scheme, revision of pay scales and inclusion of PUTA leaders in the Senate were taken up.

Early 1990s saw the emergence of issues like promotional avenues for readers, amendments in the pension scheme, proper implementation of the career advancement scheme, housing, improved facilities for academic work and proper maintenance of the campus etc.


Doctor, pharmacist booked for negligence
in patient dumping case
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 12
In a two month-old case of a 45-year-old male patient of Badmajra village, Sham Sunder, whose body was found outside the Phase 6 Civil Hospital premises, the local police today registered a case of negligence against a medical officer and a pharmacist of the hospital after seeking the legal opinion.

Sources in the police said initially the medical officer, Dr M.S. Chahal, and pharmacist, Kanwaljeet, had been named in the First Information Report (FIR), but name of other employees of the hospital could be added on the basis of investigations.

An inquiry conducted by the district health authorities last month had indicated that the victim had been dumped by the hospital staff on the instructions of the Medical Officer on duty.

The victim was wheeled away towards the gate of the hospital on a stretcher by a Class IV employee and a chowkidar in the late evening of June 14, said the inquiry report, which had been forwarded to the state health authorities. He was admitted to an indoor patient ward of the hospital by an acquaintance in the late evening on June 10.

The body was noticed by a passerby on a road divider leading to the hospital in the afternoon of June 15. The victim had left the hospital on June 11, a day after being admitted. He had again visited the outdoor patient department of the hospital regarding an eye ailment on June 14, as per a OPD slip recovered by the police from a pocket of a shirt worn by the victim. The fact was corroborated in the inquiry.

Along with the OPD slip, mentioning name of Gentamycin, a diary and Rs 2.50 were also found in the pocket of the deceased. A bag carrying shoes, packet of biscuits, a pyjama and a card of the PGI, often seen carried by the victim, was found lying at a distance from the body.

Sources in the State Health Department said as per the inquiry report, the victim was noticed by a pharmacist while taking bath in an attached bathroom of an indoor ward of the hospital.

Taking him to an alcoholic, the medical officer had directed the staff on duty to leave him outside the hospital premises. When he was dumped along the road divider he was alive, but died after some time. The chowkidar, Ram Din Upadhay, had informed the doctor about the death of the patient.

However, the findings of the inquiry report do not exactly match with the version given by the police officials.

A statement had been given to the police by Mr Sanjeev, brother of a woman patient admitted to the hospital, that he had seen two employees — one stoutly built and the other dark complexioned healthy employee — wheeling the victim in a haste towards the gate of the hospital on a stretcher at around 8. 15 a.m. on June 15. This contradicts the findings of the inquiry, which states that the patient while being alive was dumped on the night of June 14.


IOC depot in city from Aug 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot is likely to start functioning here from August 14 amidst apprehensions of tax evasion in Haryana circles. The IOC will transfer its stocks from its Ambala depot to Chandigarh through oil tankers.

No tax is levied if the goods are transferred by a company from its godowns in a state to its godowns in another state. It is alleged that the IOC’s Chandigarh depot at present does not have any unloading and loading facilities. Sources in the petroleum trade say under the circumstances the depot will be only a “paper depot”. The petroleum products will be loaded in oil tankers from the Ambala depot and brought to the Chandigarh depot where the same tankers will be diverted to various filling stations after issuing of bills and other documents.

The sources say tax evasion is possible only if the petroleum products are brought in tankers belonging to the filling stations of the companies other than the IOC. They say since these tankers will be filled in Ambala and only bills will be issued here, technically it cannot be said that the IOC has transferred its stocks from one state to another. Legally, it means that the IOC has sold its goods to another companies. Since the “sale” will take place in Haryana, the state will be legally justified to impose sales tax on these transactions.

However, sources in the Excise and Taxation Department of Haryana indicate that the state is likely to adopt a policy of wait and watch on the issue. The department will take action if it finds that the IOC is selling its stocks under the garb of stock transfer.Back


Janmashtami celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Religious fervour and gaiety marked the Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, here today.

Thousands of devotees thronged tastefully decorated temples in the city since early in the morning to pay their obeisance. “Jhankies”, showcasing the legends from the life of Lord Krishna, were the highlights at various temples.

The police had made elaborate arrangements for the convenience of the devotees. The entry of vehicles near major temples in Sector 20, 22, 23 and Hare Krishna Dham in Sector 36 was restricted.

A majority of devotees observed fast on the eve. Prayers in the temples continued throughout the day and devotees ended the fast at midnight after swinging cradles of Lord Krishna.

At the Rajyoga Bhavan in Sector 33-A, the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, zonal chief of the Brahamkumaris, B.K. Achal, and Amir Chand inaugurated colourful “jhankies”.

At the ground near the Jama Masjid in Sector 20, the Janmashtami fair was a big draw. Swings and various other games were organised for children, who thronged the fair in large numbers.


Tiny tots celebrate Janmashtami
Tribune News Service

Enthusiasm and fervour marked the Janmashtami celebrations at Shemrock Fort as tiny tots of the school came dressed up as Lord Krishna and Radha, his beloved, to mark the occasion.

School authorities also organised a pooja. Later, the senior classes enacted excerpts from the life of Lord Krishna, right from the time of his birth to the Gita Upadesh on the battlefield.

Various contests like matka decoration, rangoli and cradle-making were organised for the students. Also, the ceremony of breaking a potful of butter was performed, and to the delight of the children, as soon as the pot broke, sweets and not butter fell out from the pot.

* * *

With the war between the cable-operators and residents hotting up, the district administration is adopting a wait and watch stance. Beginning with the residents forming up an association to end “exploitation” the cable-operators who are allegedly charging “exorbitant amounts,” by the cable-operators, too, have forged up a united front and have announced a merger between the Manimajra and Panchkula units.

Later, both parties said they would approach the administration to intervene and resolve the matter. However, while the residents have highlighted their problem by appealing to the Deputy Commissioner in the khula darbar, the cable operators were yet to make such move.

Administrative officials, are also said to be contemplating on what action they could possibly take to avoid further wrangling between the two warring factions.

The Joint Forum of Residents’ Welfare Associations has urged the district administration to constitute an Advisory Council in the city on the pattern of Chandigarh to attend to the common grievances of the public.

Saying that the darbars essentially focussed on the individual problems, the forum has suggested encompassing of the public representatives from all walks of life to discuss and find solutions to problems of the city.


Devotees throng temples
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 12
Religious fervour and gaiety marked the Janmashtami celebrations in the city today as devotees loaded with offerings began pouring in at the temples in the morning. However, crowds began thronging the temples in the evening when meandering queues were witnessed here.

In the Sector 8 temple, devotees gently cradled the little Lord Krishna idols placed in satin spreads, looking resplendent in the golden crown and bright colourful clothes. Similar scenes were a common sight in all the temples.

Flags adorned the road leading to the Shri Sanatan Dharma Radha Vrindavan Chander Temple in Sector 12 where hymns contributed to play since morning even as devotees began trickling in early morning only to swell in number in the afternoon. Here too, children gently pulled the string of the flower bedecked cradle where Lord Krishna sat with his beloved. In the evening, a raas leela was held which saw a participation of over 400 children.


Education Dept goofs up again
Senior scale for five government lecturers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The UT Administration’s Education Department has goofed up again. This time its the case of senior scale given by the department to five government college lecturers in a manner which neither matches any of its own instructions, nor the ones laid by the University Grants Commission and clarified by the Government of India.

Five lecturers serving in government colleges of the city have been granted senior scale by the Education Department after five and a half years of service, a period that is neither mentioned in the January 1, 1986, pay scales/ UGC guidelines, nor in the January 1, 1996, pay scales/UGC guidelines.

According to the 1986 UGC guidelines, all college lecturers with a PhD degree are to be given senior scales after serving for five years as lecturers and according to the 1996 UGC guidelines, PhD lecturers are to be given senior scales after four years of service with the financial benefits accruing from July 27, 1998.

Following these, the Director Public Instruction (Colleges), UT Administration, in a notice dated January 3, 2001, invited applications for the grant of senior/selection grade from Government college lecturers stating ‘‘the officials whose cases fall between January 1, 1996, to July 26, 1998, be sent as per the pay scales of January 1, 1986, and those falling under July 27, 1998, onwards be sent under January 1, 1996, pay scale scheme.”

The case of 16 lecturers whose services had been recently regularised following a decision of Punjab and Haryana High Court from the date of their appointment, was sent to the DPI Colleges in January this year. Five of these PhD lecturers had joined the colleges in January 1993 and their senior scale was to be given to them from January 1998 onwards. Since these dates fell within the period between January 1, 1996, and July 26, 1998, the lecturers were to be governed by the 1986 pay scales. As for the rest of the 11 lecturers, their cases fell after this period and as so they came to be governed by the 1996 pay scales.

Instead of doing what would have been in accordance with the Education Department’s own instructions, these five lecturers were granted senior scale with effect from July 27, 1998, almost six months after the dates from which they were entitled to be in the senior scale.

“We have no idea why we have been granted senior scale after five and a half years of service and not five years. This will also put off the dates of our acquiring selection grades by six months. So it is a recurring loss both financially and time period wise,” says one of these lecturers.

“What is worse is that we have been running from pillar to post to bring this matter before the Education Department officials, but their attitude seems to be one of complacency as far as our case is concerned. The Registrar, Education, Mr Nanda said the Administration had obliged us by regularising our services and so we should be thankful that we had got our senior scale even if was six months later than what we ought to have got,” informs another lecturer.

The Education Department officials have also reportedly told these lecturers that their cases have been sent to the Punjab DPI for clarifications and it will take time. ‘‘Why do they need a clarification from Punjab when all the other similarly placed UT lecturers have been given their senior scale after five years of service. It is just a delaying tactic. Mr Nanda told us that being official work, there is no time limit for such cases,” say these lecturers.


Bid to promote police-public relations
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 12
Policemen of the town are making their presence felt in the city for the very first time. Thanks to a special cell, recently introduced and devoted entirely to the cause of patrolling and keeping vigil under a well-planned beat system which became effective on August 1.

Doing the rounds in the sectors not only during the day but all through the night are nearly a 100 policemen under a head named City Police Staff. Completely detached from the regular errands of the police station, this battalion's sole purpose has been to re-instill faith of the public in the police.

"The presence of police on the roads, especially at night, is a very reassuring feeling for the public tired of thefts and crime. Also, the movement of policemen in sectors is a deterrent to a criminals and helps prevention of crime,'' the Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadav, said.

Admitting that while shortage of staff has been a bottleneck in effectively implementing strategies, the under-utilisation and laxity on the part of the personnel at police stations has also been a cause staggered instances of thefts.

"The SHOs had their limitations in sparing staff for patrolling in the city and they could not be held responsible. With this force out of the ambit of the police posts and police stations, the policemen under this head are controlled by the Police Control Room, leading to greater efficiency and round-the-clock presence,'' Mr Yadav added.

Under this scheme, four policemen, divided in two shifts of morning and night, are always on duty in sectors without police stations and police posts. Covered under this are Sectors 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 12 A, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20 and 21. In all, 12 patrolling parties have been formed to keep vigil.

Among sectors which have police presence to their credit, additional personnel have been attached to the PCRs, 48 men being given charge of law and order.

Today, as a part of the drive to step up efficiency, this team of policemen was given training in use of pagers, a total of 12 pagers, one for each party, having been procured for the purpose.

"We were short of wireless sets and there was a need to establish a communication network with these cops on patrolling duty. With issuing of pagers, we have achieved this, enabling re-deployment of cops at all times and prompt response to crime in their beats,'' Mr Yadav stated.

This is among the many introductions by the Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadav, to promote public-police understanding and banish the prevailing inactivity in the force after he took charge in the district a few months back.


SAD suspends Sahni, Minhas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The crisis in the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal deepened today with its president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, removing two general secretaries for their “anti-party activities and violating party discipline.”

In a written statement, Mr Riar said the membership of Mr N.S. Minhas and Mr H.S. Sahni had been suspended and their cases forwarded to the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee for removing them from the primary membership.

Mr Riar claimed that a few months back they were issued show-cause notices but they did not clarify their positions. Recently, in the Mayoral election, they actively supported the rebel candidate in connivance with the Congress with a view to defeating the official party candidate. By doing so, they had crossed all norms of party discipline and invited action against them, he said, adding that the party high command had been apprised of the matter.

However, Mr Minhas, when contacted, termed the suspension as illegal and against the SAD constitution. Accusing Mr Riar of running the party in a “dictatorial manner”. Mr Minhas said no meeting was called, no show-cause notices and no proper procedure were followed while suspending them.


PU lets off IGP; security men unhappy
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, August 12
Authorities of the Panjab University let off a “drunk” Haryana Inspector General of Police scot free after he had a brawl with a PU security man yesterday evening. The IGP, however, was not available for comments.

“The tipsy IGP hurled abuses at the security man and disrupted traffic at the PU Gate II for a while,” eyewitnesses said here today. The local police also said this sort of an incident had happened last night. Eyewitnesses also said the securityman had assaulted the IGP, following which, the police had to be called there to defuse the tension.

However, the university officials lodged no complaint with the local police against the IGP. An altercation over the opening of the half-closed gate had sparked off the blows.

The security personnel said the IGP had been drunk. A senior professor of the PU Department of Laws, who was at the spot when the clash took place, said the police official had also spilled liquor on the road. The matter was resolved after the intervention of the PU Chief Security Officer. The PU security personnels say that the university’s decision to let off the IGP has lowered their morale.

“What are we supposed to do while on duty. This is not the first such incident; every other person on the road abuses us,” said a security man of the university.

The PU Chief Security Officer, Mr R.K. Singh, said that the matter had now been resolved and both persons involved in the brawl had been responsible for the incident to an extent. He said, “My boys assaulted the IGP, who started bleeding soon after. The IGP had misbehaved with them before this. If the IGP had gone for a medical examination and lodged an FIR, things could had been worse.”

Mr Singh, however, praised his boys for not allowing the campus security to be breached, but urged them not to cross certain limits. However, various student bodies do not subscribe to his views.

Surat Negi, Secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and head of the campus unit of the party, said, “The university authorities should have brought the IGP to book to send a signal to such officials to behave. The PU authorities would not have pardoned students for such misbehaviour.”



Why can’t the athletic stadium in Sector 7 be named after the legendary flying Sikh, Milkha Singh? This is the minimum the authorities can do to honour the legend, who stood fourth in the 400 metres event at the 1960 Rome Olympics, says a concerned and aware city resident Mr Narinder Singh ‘International’.

It would be a great honour for the man who now lives a retired life in Sector 8, just a kilometre away from the stadium. But can such noble proposals materialise in a bureaucrat-laden Chandigarh is anybody’s guess. No one seems to know what happened to a similar noble proposal to name the Sector 16 cricket stadium after another living legend, cricketer Kapil Dev.

Often such proposals end in dusty files of the “sarkar”, but Mr Narinder Singh is hopeful.

Would Milkha Singh not want to first see a modern running track in Sector 7 stadium before the place is named after him? At present the stadium has a cinder track which went out of international level athletics about 50 years ago.

Hectic activity

There were hectic political developments at the local level during the week. Speculations over dissolution of the local Municipal Corporation kept reporters on their toes. In turn, they kept on asking two seniormost officials of the Chandigarh Administration — Adviser Ms Neeru Nanda and Home Secretary Raminder Singh Gujral — about the latest .And being seasoned bureaucrats their answers were on expected lines. The HS, who is also Secretary local bodies, kept on warding off queries saying “the matter is under examination.” The Adviser did not let word out on dissolution or any such thing to do with MC.

Here or there

Acting Congress Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, who revolted against the party dictat of being present in the house meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh for mayoral poll, fuelled speculations that he might join the BJP after likely expulsion from the Congress for defying the party whip.

Certain BJP workers were excited to the extent that they publicly said that the party should take Mr Kala into the party for raising slogans against the Congress, local unit Congress President, Mr B.B. Bahl, and Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Mr Kala, who seemed determined not to let go the opportunity of unfurling the Tricolour on the Independence Day, is said to have defied the party line to achieve this goal apart from settling scores within the party leadership which seemed disinclined on continuation of him.

The official stand of Mr Kala that the party is trying to help Akalis by deciding to be present in the house to complete quorum seemed merely positioning as he himself joined official Akali candidate Mr Mohinder Singh, Akali Dal President, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar and BJP President. Mr Dharampal Gupta while raising slogans.

Mr Kala, however, clarified that he was very much a Congress member and did not want to join the BJP.

Nominated ones

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, which probably has the highest ratio of nominated members in the country — 10 out of a total of 30 — last week came into focus with their strength proving to be crucial for election of new Mayor of the city.

When the majority BJP deciding to boycott the Mayoral election and joined by the lone member of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Ms Satinder Dhawan, and split in the Congress on the issue, even quorum of 10 for the meeting became difficult.

The quorum, but for Shiromani Akali Dal’s official candidate, Mr Mohinder Singh’s reluctance to enter the house to prevent quorum, almost neared completion with nine members present in the house — six of them nominated.

The rebel Akali candidate, Ms Harjinder Kaur, calculated her victory on the support of nominated members who are irked with a section of the BJP determined to get the house dissolved.

The nominated members believe that the house should not be dissolved ahead of time and the move is being initiated to hide failure of the BJP to select a candidate for the post of Mayor.

Always on

Water may be a precious commodity, but the authorities concerned seem to care two hoots for it. A case in point is a water tap at the Regulator End of the Sukhna Lake which never stops, thus wasting hundreds of gallons of water.

It was near this particular spot that “shramdan” was launched by the Chandigarh Administration about a couple of months. But the problem seemed to have escaped the notice of the authorities.

The dripping roof

The Panjab University authorities should do something about the condition of the Faculty Guest House. It was quite an embarrassment to see that the ceiling of the common hall of the guest house, which was used by the visiting SPICMACAY delegates for a meeting on August 9, was leaking, even when there was no rain. In the morning on the same day, the condition was worse on account of persistent showers. In the evening, members of Abhinet theatre group used the hall to stage two Surender Verma productions. The evening would have been better spent had the leaking roof not caused inconvenience to the audience.

Delegates of SPICMACAY from all over the country were recently in the city to conduct their North Zone convention. They were all housed in the Faculty Guest House.

Better rickshaw

There is good news for the city rickshaw-pullers as a new lightweight rickshaw had made its entry in the city.

The new rickshaw seemed to have caught the fancy of tourists, who prefer to visit the tourist spots like the Rock Garden and the Sukhna Lake. It’s not only fast, but takes much less effort on the part of the rickshawpuller than the traditional rickshaw.

A rickshawpuller informed us that it saves a lot of space as it could be folded up when not in use. Besides, it is comfortable for the general public as it is more spacious.

Beenwalas’ magic

It was a pleasure to see a host of Punjabi folk artistes gather in Shantikunj on the occasion of “teean teej diyaan”, the cultural function organised by Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi. The akademi needs to be lauded for the fact that instead of pouring attention on the already famous folk artistes, it cared to hunt for the real rural folk art of Punjab. So we had the traditional trinjan as also the beenwalas, who were the cynosure of all eyes on August 9. Not only had they won over the formal audience, they also struck an instant rapport with the brisk walkers in the Sector 16 Shantikunj. When off the stage, they were all busy playing been for health freaks in the garden.

Pizza-chhola combine

Thanks to the popularity of Pizza Hut, the hot-spot Italian food joint in Sector 26, small-time vendors engaged in selling chholas outside the joint are also managing a roaring business. Interestingly, where earlier about three vendors used to compete for winning over customers outside the restaurant, now there is monopoly of just one vendor.

Visit the Pizza Hut any time after 8 p.m. and you will find this chhola vendor a little too caught up to even talk. Most of his clients are the ones who have to wait in line outside on account of lack of space inside the joint. The greatest days for business are Saturday and Sunday, for these are the days of maximum rush at Pizza Hut. Ask the man how he feels with so much easy money, “Kya sahib, ye to sab is pizza hut ka kamaal hai. Varna hamare paas kaun aata hai.” Interestingly, this vendor has obtained formal permission from Pizza Hut people to park his small makeshift stall outside the joint.

Farewell visit

The Army’s Judge Advocate-General, Major-Gen S.K. Sanan paid a three-day farewell visit to Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir last week. General Sanan, who is the seniormost legal officer in the Army, retires at the end of the month.

Officers of the JAG branch at Chandimandir organised a small gettogether of departmental officers at their office premises, which was also attended by a few retired JAG officers settled in Chandigarh. In the evening, a social function was organised in his honour by the Western Command at the Command Officers’ Mess, which was attended by senior command functionaries as well as other officers.

At present based at the Army HQs, Delhi, General Sanan has served two tenures at Headquarters Western Command. Prior to moving to Delhi after being promoted Major-General about three years ago, he was heading the JAG Branch at Western Command in his capacity as Deputy Judge Advocate-General. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he has also served as the Assistant Judge Advocate-General with Western Command.


The Encyclopaedia, Britannica, respected for its accuracy on all subjects, needs to update its information on Chandigarh. The Chandigarh Administration’s public relations department also has to add its mite.

The CD edition of the encyclopaedia mentions: “The Union Territory is administered by a Chief Commissioner, who is appointed by the President of the Union of India.” This information is part of the five-paragraph info on the city beautiful.To set the record straight the system of Chief Commissioner was phased out about 15 years ago during the peak of militancy.

The charge was then handed over to the Punjab Governor to act as Administrator. Since then successive Governors have held charge as UT Administrator. Probably the Brittanica is yet to hear about our own people’s Governor, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) .

L. H. Verma

The Commissioner of Central Excise, Chandigarh-II, Mr L H Verma retired this week after putting in 32 years of service with the department. Mr V K Sharma, heading commissionerate-I, has taken over additional charge of commissionerate-II till the time a new incumbent is appointed.

A 1969 batch Indian Revenue Service officer, Mr Verma had assumed charge of commissionerate-II about a year ago and was responsible for revenue generation from the state of Jammu and Kashmir besides the districts of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Sangrur and Pathankot in Punjab. His posting prior to heading commissionerate-II was also at Chandigarh, when he served as Commissioner (Appeals) for about two years.

Ads on wheels

Have you wondered why people move around in the city carrying an advertisement on the stepney of their two-wheelers?

A very small number of them actually work for the organisation of which their two wheeler display the ad. However, a majority of them themselves do not know who put a rubber cover with an advertisement painted on it.

Ms Renu Yadav, a Panjab University hostler, has a story to narrate. Last week she had gone to Sector 17 and parked her Kinetic Honda in the parking near Neelam Cinema. When she returned, to her scooter, she was surprised to find an advertisement of a leading women’s magazine on the stepney of her scooter.



More POs, more pangs for police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The rising number of proclaimed offenders (POs) is not only a cause of concern for the police department, but also an indication of the rising crime by migrants.

According to the information available, the city police has 1239 proclaimed offenders in its records presently. Of these, 113 have been added to the list during the first seven months of this year as against 146 persons declared POs during 2000.

More than 40 per cent of those declared POs by the police are migrants. While most of the POs from this floating population are involved in crimes like burglary and theft, a few of them are also accused in murder cases.

The figures available from the police also show that the areas where migrant labour is found in abundance have the maximum number of POs. Those police stations which cover the various villages, labour and slum colonies like police stations of Sector 26, Sector 34, Sector 17, Sector 36 and Sector 39, have the maximum number of POs in their lists.

The main accused in the murder of the Sector 10 housewife, Pritha Singh, in February this year, Barinder alias Beeru, a resident of Bihar, was declared a PO by the police after their failure to nab him. A number of police parties had been dispatched to Bihar, but to no avail.

The two accused in the sensational twin murder case in a liquor vend in Sector 24 last year, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, were declared proclaimed offenders after the police failed to nab them.

Senior police officials complain that most of the migrants accused in cases here, escape to their states. "Lack of cooperation from the other states with the Chandigarh police parties sent there to nab the accused is the reason for the dismal rate of arrest of POs,” says a senior police officials.

He says they have often launched drives to arrest POs, but with the police of the other states unwilling to cooperate, the drives have not yielded much results. He adds even the verification drives of servants, mainly migrants, and other employees have not got the desired end result after the states from where they belong, mainly Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa as well as the neighbouring country of Nepal, fail to testify these forms sent by the city police.

He adds that in view of any of these migrants committing any crime in the city, it is a daunting task for the local police to arrest these persons. Also the fact that theirs is a floating population with no permanent residential address gives the police little success in arresting them.

Only 41 POs have been arrested and 15 have been deleted from the list so far this year, as against 87 arrests and deletion of seven persons from the list in 2000.
Year  POs declared  POs arrested  POs deleted  Total POs











( Till July 31) 



Copter overhaul project grounded
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The Indian Air Force’s ambitious project to overhaul its Mi-25 and Mi-35 assault helicopters indigenously has been grounded following Russia’s refusal to transfer technology for the purpose, it is learnt. The IAF will have to continue shelling out hard cash to send the choppers abroad for overhaul.

For the past about two years, the IAF had been working on the modalities to establish overhaul facilities at No.3 Base Repair Depot (3 BRD), here, which is responsible for the repair and overhaul of Soviet-origin helicopters in the IAF’s inventory. “All activities concerning the setting up of an overhaul line here have been terminated,” an officer revealed.

These choppers are at present being sent to Russia for a major overhaul, which results in considerable foreign exchange expenditure. One theory behind Russia’s refusal to transfer the technology to the IAF is that it would be losing hard cash earnings it so desperately needs. Another reason cited is that the prices being quoted by the Russians are exorbitant.

While the IAF already has the technology and expertise to overhaul the TV-3 turboshaft engines powering the Mi-25/35s as the same engines are also used in the Mi-17 choppers being overhauled here, the airframe, weapon control systems and avionics of the Mi-25/35 choppers are vastly different.

The IAF had, during the 80s, acquired a squadron of the Mi-25 attack helicopters and two squadrons of the more advanced Mi-35 version from the erstwhile Soviet Union. Also referred to as gunships, these choppers are heavily armed and armoured and are meant to provide close support to rapidly advancing mechanised formations during an offensive thrust. Though manned and maintained by the IAF, at least one squadron of these choppers is under the operational control of the Army.

At present the IAF, according to informed sources, is shelling out Rs 2-3 crore in foreign exchange per chopper being sent to Russia for overhaul. Sources add that about half a dozen choppers are sent to Russia in batches annually for overhaul. Choppers due for overhaul are brought to 3 BRD here, where they are crated before being airlifted by the IAF.

While transportation costs are low, a major portion of the money is used in service charges and spares. According to an officer here, manpower costs amount to about $200 per hour, while spares worth at least Rs 60 lakh are used for each chopper for a complete overhaul.

Meanwhile, the project to upgrade the Mi-25/35 fleet by incorporating advanced avionics and night sights procured from Israel is under way. After initial modifications and ground tests by 3 BRD, the choppers have been despatched to the Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan for trials.

While the current status of the trials is not known, it is learnt that the initial trials got bogged down by several problems relating to the integration of the Israeli equipment with the Soviet-origin machine. The missiles, it is learnt were not able to hit their targets as per the specifications. Certification of the sights required that at least three out of four missiles hit the targets.Back


Census report-II may be made public next week
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The provisional census report-II, indicating an urban-rural divide on the basis of the primary population data, is likely to be out next week.

“The report that gives a break-up of urban and rural populations, respective sex ratios and literacy indices has been sent for publishing,” an official of the Regional Census Directorate said here today.

The official said the provisional census report-I had only given the total head count and collective sex ratio, literacy rate and population in the age group of zero to six, while the latest report would give a break-up of these figures in terms of rural and urban data.

The report-II is important for those who want to assess the impact of policies over the decade to know what socio-political indicators are developing in rural and urban areas of India.

The report includes data on whether rural India has been progressing towards literacy; whether people are migrating to cities and, if so, at what rate; rural and urban populations in the age group of zero to six; and respective sex ratios.

“The guidelines for preparing a third census report before the final report have not been finalised so far by the Census Directorate in New Delhi,” the official said.

The proposal for the third report that usually contains data on vital economic indicators is likely to be cleared by the headquarters. The preparation of the report is likely be over soon after the clearance is received as computerisation will speed up the work, for which, the data processing has already begun.

The official said the researchers were awaiting the release of the report-III to know the hitherto unreported contribution of women to the Indian economy.

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is believed to have been underestimated in previous Census reports as the role of women in the economy has not been properly reported in these. The official said the Census reports were released to the public only after the headquarters had tallied the figures released nationally and in the states.

According to the Regional Census Directorate, going by the speed at which the report-I and report-II have been released, the final report, compared to the previous Census reports, will most likely been released much earlier this time.

The directorate has acquired 64 computers for compiling and analysing the data of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh. Earlier, preparation of the final Census report used to take years, but this time, things are likely to change for good.


Delink violation clause, demand CHB allottees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The CHB Residents Federation today again demanded delinking of the violation clause to start the transfer of ownership to the general power of attorney (GPA) holders of the flats of the board.

According to a press note, without delinking no CHB resident can get ownership. The violations were never stopped over the years and thousands of allottees have proof in the form of higher water charges for the period of construction to establish the fact that the authorities probably sanctioned such building activity. The issue of violations be treated separately and the long-denied ownership should be given to the people without further delay.

Urging the UT Administrator to give the federation an audience, it demanded a nominal transfer fee. Similarly, the five-year clause is no punitive measure against the original allottees and it harmed the CHB and the GPA holders. The original allottee sells his house and disappears and the board gets no revenue. During the five-year time, on the next sale of the same house, the original allottee appears again to seek his share of profit from the GPA holder and the board is again denied any revenue. And out of this five-year clause, the board gains nothing and the GPA holder suffers at the hands of the original allottee, it added.

Meanwhile, in view of the one-month ultimatum given by the political parties to the Administration to sort out the issues concerning the CHB residents, the federation has decided to postpone its “mourning processions” programme. Now, the next all-party meeting will be held on August 25.


Jain seeks CBI probe into drowning incident
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 12
A former Member of Parliament, Mr Satya Pal Jain, has written to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, seeking a CBI inquiry into the incident of drowning of a 13-year-old boy Karanbir at the Phase 6 swimming pool here last week.

The was disclosed by the Mr Jain at the antim ardas ceremony for the deceased at Gurdwara Granth Sahib in Sector 55 near here.

Mr Balraj Singh Shergill, Princi-pal of Paragon Senior Secondary School, where the deceased was studying, said he had instituted a trophy in the memory of Karanbir and a cash award of Rs 5000 to the student who topped in Class VIII.

The Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr Dipinder Singh, gave a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to the family of the victim and said he would forward a demand of the Resident Welfare Association for a regular job in PUDA to the higher authorities.

Mr B.R. Rangara, chairman of the CHB Flats Residents Association of Sector 55, said PUDA officials did not bother to visit the pool regularly and the norms were not observed. Demanding strict action against the guilty officials, he said the swimming pool should not be made operational till all remedial measures were taken.

Earlier, the bhog ceremony was organised at the residence of the deceased in Sector 55.Back


Question your councillor

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

Today, we publish fourth interview in the series Interactive in which a councillor has been questioned as regards his promises vs performance. You are invited to question your councillor by 8 p.m. on Wednesday either through e-mail: or at phone number 680345 for one-and-a-half minutes of recording on the Tribune interactive voice response system (IVRS).



‘I never contested elections for personal gains’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Mr Raghuvir Lal Arora, councillor of ward No. 4, has been a vocal councillor and enamoured of his Bharatiya Janata Party’s performance since the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh came into being in 1996. As part of ‘’Question your Councillor’’ series devised for the readers to judge the performance of their councillors ahead of the MC elections, he was interviewed by our correspondent. Excerpts from his interview:

Q: What have been your achievements during the term?

A: Large number of V-6 roads in Sector 23 were recarpeted including those in the Balmiki area of Sector 24-C. Even work on certain V-4 and V-5 roads in Sectors 23-C and 24 was undertaken. I, with the help of certain welfare societies, was also instrumental in getting the Bulbus Garden developed adjacent to the nullah in Sector 23-D at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. Besides giving a green look to this underdeveloped area, value of property has gone up.

Stormwater trunk drains and road gullies were provided in Sector 24 to improve drainage and prevent flooding of houses in low lying areas. This came as a boon not only to the residents of these two sectors, but also connected Sectors 23 and 24. I also made some efforts to check flooding in some shops and houses behind Bal Bhavan in Sector 23-B. Parking places in sectors 23 and 24 were given a facelift.

Nearly 40 to 50 small parks have been developed in both these sectors and few others will be completed in the near future. Invfact, I have spent major portion of the money allocated to me under the ward development fund during the last five years.

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

A: There are many things which I could not accomplish due to lack of coordination between various departments. The shortage of funds for various development works and staff in the MC also posed problems. What I could not do was: sprucing up and maintenance of roundabouts, cleaning of service lanes and crossings, proper development and maintenance of parks and green spaces in my ward. I am not very satisfied about general sanitation in my ward.

In fact, my main regret is that the city could have shaped up much better if various departments involved in its planning would have adopted certain good things of civic development from the West.

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

A: Whenever I got a complaint from any resident, I took it up with the officials concerned there and then so that the same gets redressed at the earliest. I would also go to the spot to assess the problem and would not rest till the work was done.

Q: What promises did you extend during your election campaign?

A: I chipped in my efforts in achieving the party’s promise of beautifying the city and working in the larger interest of the public. Looking back, I feel a lot has been done during the tenure of four former BJP mayors.On the ward front, I was able to get most of the sector roads recarpeted, which had been lying as such for the last 20 years. As promised, parks and green belts were developed for making the city clean and green. Besides this, road gullies were provided to contain the problem of water-logging and I also strived to improve the sanitation.

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

A: Party had at the time of elections promised the electorate overall improvement of southern sectors and has done a lot in this regard. It has set certain good conventions during the first term of the civic body for others to follow. The councillors too by virtue of their conduct raised the image of the party. Besides focussing on the beautification of the city, it also kept its promise of not imposing the burden of taxes on the residents. In fact, the performance of the party’s councillors in these five years has been much better than that of the Administration during the last 20 years.

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

A: Rather good. They did not have an obstructionist approach and paid heed to the problems whenever I brought it to the notice of the officials concerned. Overall, the officers of both MC and the Administration have not only been cooperative but have also considered my suggestions from time to time.

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

A: If one goes by my performance, my ticket is certain. However, recontesting in the forthcoming elections depends largely on the party’s decision in this regard. I am hopeful of getting one for people by and large have no complaints against me nor have I ever had any differences with the party’s office-bearers.

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

A: In my view, he shall keep a good liaison with the officials of the MC, since all works which have been undertaken in this term will again have to be repeated. This will also help him in getting other maintenance works done. He should also have a good equation with the party leaders and must observe the party discipline in his functioning.

Q: Why should the voter vote for you?

A: I have tried to work selflessly as a social worker to redress the grievances of my people. So I leave it to the people to decide whether they want to vote for me in view of my performance or not. If a work had to be done, I made sure it was done irrespective of who approached me and never made a show-off of them.

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

A: I think I gained status. People now recognise me in the city and respect me for the development work I have done during my tenure. In fact, I never contested the election for any personal gains and I am grateful to God for whatever He has given me.


  • To beautify the city and provide clean and green surroundings in the area.
  • To improve the condition of roads and clear encroachments.
  • To improve the drainage system so as to solve the problem of flooding of low lying areas.
  • No tax burden on common man.
  • To give the residents a transparent, responsive and accountable administration.


  • Some headway was made in this direction and large number of parks and green belts were developed. But a lot still remains to be done.
  • Large number of V-6 roads, besides few V-4 and V-5 roads were strengthened and recarpeted. Encroachments were also removed before road construction.
  • Storm water drain in Sector 24 and road gullies were provided to divert the excess flow of water from these areas.
  • We lived upto the expectations of the people by not imposing the same even as the proposal to impose property tax stands passed in the House.
  • It is a far cry.



Punjab Lok Morcha convention
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 12
A convention of Ropar and Chandigarh district units of the Punjab Lok Morcha was organised in Phase 6 here today. The morcha, comprising the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI), the SAD (Democratic), the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Samajwadi Janta Party (SJP), the Republican Party of India (RPI) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), called upon the democratic and secular forces to fight against the anti-people policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Stress was also laid on building a people’s movement to provide an alternative to the Badal-led government in Punjab. Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, general secretary of the MCPI, said the policy of globalisation and privatisation led by the Centre had opened doors for dictates of the World Trade Organisation. Removal of quantitative restrictions for import of 1429 agricultural and industrial items produced in the country had posed a serious threat to the Punjab economy. He criticised the ruling regime in the state for its double speak on the issue.

Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, president of SAD (Democratic), said the long-standing problems of the state had not been solved. He said the morcha would ensure that the Congress did not take benefit of the anger of the people against the SAD (Badal) during the coming elections. Prof Teja Singh Tiwana of the Samajwadi Party said the Akali government had failed to provide a clean and efficient administration. He sought downsizing the ministry and reduction of unnecessary expenditure on security arrangements.

Mr Prem Singh Bhangu, a central committee member of the MCPI, said a secular front of the CPI(M), the CPI and the Congress would prove detrimental to the interests of Punjab. The convention strongly opposed the amendment in the labour laws and demanded implementation of labour laws.

The speakers drew attention of the participants towards the custodial deaths, rapes and extortions in the state. A CBI probe into the murder of two children of Siau village, near here, was sought. The speakers said all the closed units like Punwire should be started immediately. Mr Saheed Ahmed, general secretary of the Punwire Employees Union, also spoke on the occasion.


5 mechanics removed from federation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
A meeting of the executive body of the Auto Mechanics Federation held here today under the presidentship of Mr Mohinder Singh decided to remove five mechanics from the federation for their alleged anti-mechanic activities. The removed members are Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Jeet Singh and Mr Ranjeet Singh.

It was also decided to appoint Mr Vinod Sharma chairman of the Auto Mechanic Federation with immediate effect.


Panthic Morcha executive list on August 15
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 12
A former member of Parliament and general secretary of the AISAD, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, said here today that the names of the members of the executive committee of the Panthic Morcha would be announced at Isru in Ludhiana district on August 15. Earlier the announcement was to be made on August 16.

Prof Chandumajra said on August 16 the members of the morcha would pay their obeisance at the Golden Temple before gathering at the house of Jathedar Ranjit Singh. The policies and of the party would be announced there. 


Heavy rain in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Heavy rain lashed the city late tonight, sending the large number of devotees of Lord Krishna scurrying for cover. The rain was accompanied by high speed winds. The temperature came down by several degrees.

According to met department officials, the rain started around 10.15 pm. In many areas, water-logging was reported and vehicles could be seen stranded on city roads. Hundreds of devotees, who had thronged various temples in the city on occasion of Janmashtami, could be seen running for cover. This also proved the belief of rain on Janmashtami to be true.



Bhog ceremony
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 12
A bhog ceremony on the first death anniversary of Isher Singh Langh, a former municipal councillor who had died in a road accident on September 15, 2000, was held at Gurdwara Sahib Bibi Bhani, Phase 7, here today. 


Cyclist crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 12
An 18-year-old cyclist was crushed to death by a truck on the Panchkula-Zirakpur road here today. Sources said the victim, Munna, a resident of Indira Colony, was crushed near Sector 21. The driver reportedly fled from the scene after leaving behind the truck (PBC-5075).

Scooterist killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
A scooterist was killed and the man riding pillion was injured when their scooter was hit by a half-bodied truck at the Transport Light Point today.


Illegal liquor case: one held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The Crime Branch has achieved a breakthrough in the illegal liquor manufacturing factory case, with the arrest of Surjit Singh from Makhan Majra today.

He was arrested while trying to take away a truck of the factory, used for ferrying the liquor to different places, to a secret location. Another driver, accompanying Surjit Singh, however, managed to escape.

According to sources in the Crime Branch, two tankers used for taking ethyl alcohol and another truck were also later recovered. Several plastic rollers (more than 100) used for making pouches of liquor were also seized.

It is learnt that Surjit Singh was also a supervisor in the factory. After the arrest, he revealed that the business used to get active during the nights. No one was allowed inside and the tankers of ethyl alcohol were also unloaded after the factory gates were closed. He said the pouch-filling machines were bought from a distillery in Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, sources said raids were underway to arrest the main accused, Harinder Pal Singla.

It may be recalled that the city police had uncovered the factory by chance when a fire broke out there during the intervening night of August 24 and 25. The police seized around 3,500 litres of illicit liquor in the form of pouches, while thousands of litres of rectified spirit (ethyl alcohol used for making liquor), artificial flavours and labels of famous brands were also seized. The factory has now been sealed by the police.

The unit was functioning in the name of S.K. Chemicals. The accused, Harinder Pal Singla, had taken the premises on rent in April this year.


Girl abducted, raped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
A 15-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by her neighbour and raped for over a fortnight. However, police sources maintain that this is a case of elopement.

According to the FIR registered under Sections 363, 366, 376 and 506 of the IPC, it is alleged that the victim was abducted on July 21 by Karan Singh on the pretext of taking her to her brother who had met with an accident.

It is further alleged that the accused gave some sedative to the girl and took her to an undisclosed destination. There she was raped by the accused and was let off on August 9.

Robbery case: The police has registered a case of robbery under Sections 394, 397 and 34 of the IPC against two unknown Sikh youths. The accused had checked in a guest house in Sector 36-C yesterday. After causing grevious injuries to Mr Mahavir, they fled after taking away American traveller’s cheques and dollars from him. The latter is admitted to the PGI for treatment.

Thefts: Three cases of theft, including two of vehicle theft, have been reported in different parts of the city.

A Yamaha motor cycle (CH-01W-6379) was stolen from the Sector 47 residence of Mr Vijay Kumar on August 10 night.

In another case, a Hero Honda motor cycle ( CH-01Q-9464) was stolen from Kisan Mandi, Sector 45.

A mobile phone was stolen from the car of Mr Sanjay Malhotra on August 10, while it was parked in front of a house in Sector 35-D.

In all these cases, FIRs under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Six booked: Baldev Kumar, Rakesh Bali, Sukhdev, alias Kalu, Charanjit Singh, Vinod and Titu have been booked on the charges of assaulting and threatening constable Jaswinder Singh in Daddu Majra Colony last evening. A case under Sections 147, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.



ISO 9002 certification: R.H. Mechatronics Pvt Ltd, a company engaged in the manufacture of high precision sheet metal components for telecommunication and information technology industries, has been given the prestigious ISO 9002 certification. This certification by JHAS-ANZ of New Zealand and by International Certifications Limited is recognition of the standards of the company and its customer-oriented business philosophy, according to a press release here. TNS

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