Thursday, August 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Jacob lays stress on health, education
CT scan facilities to be introduced * Night school scheme to be extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Laying stress on health and education sectors in his speech during the 55th Independence Day celebrations, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today said that CT scan facilities in association with the private sector would be introduced in the city. Also five new schools would be opened and seven existing school buildings augmented.

During the current year, two primary schools would be set up and four middle schools would be upgraded, the General said after unfurling the National Flag at the Parade Ground in Sector 17 this morning during a function held amidst tight security.

He said health facilities in the city would be enhanced. The Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 is nearing completion and a TB hospital is proposed to be set up. A school of nursing has also been approved while steps have been taken for the augmentation of health and sanitation services in slums, colonies and rural areas. Dental facilities have been augmented with the addition of a dental van now operating in slums, the General added.

An item on national integration being staged at the Parade Ground in Sector 5, Panchkula, on the Independence Day. — A Tribune photograph 

In the education sector the scheme of night schools for slum children has been extended and 11 night schools were operating at present. Computer education was introduced in some 60 government schools as well as in four government colleges. The Government of India has approved 275 posts of school teachers and Punjab Engineering College has been upgraded to the level of an IIT-like institution. The Central Polytechnic would be upgraded with simultaneous additions of some degree engineering courses, the General said.

While paying homage to the freedom fighters and martyrs, the General asked the residents to remember valiant jawans who sacrificed their lives to defend the country as also those fighting insurgency and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North East.

To cater to housing needs of the weaker sections, 16,000 dwelling units would eventually be built in a phased manner for rehabilitation and 1,000 multipurpose tenements were presently under construction. Land would be allotted to 57 cooperative housing societies to build around 4,000 dwelling units. Auto mechanics and spare part dealers would be rehabilitated.

For the greening of Chandigarh more than 1,20,000 saplings had been planted and 25,000 saplings distributed free of cost. To improve the tourist facilities, Kalagram has been made fully operational. CITCO has added two new restaurants, one each at the Sukhna Lake and Kalagram.

On the technological front, the Administration plans to be in the fore-front of technology. An optical fibre network of 60 km has been laid. IT park was also to be set up in the Kishangarh area.

The city would host tennis, rowing and golf competition in the forthcoming National Games. The football academy which was now one-year-old, was fast becoming one of the premier institutions of its kind in the country, the General said.

At the beginning of the programme, school kids released baloons leading to a riot of colour. The Governor’s car was escorted inside the Parade Ground by horsemen of the Chandigarh Police in traditional attire.


The pricking heat was no dampener on the spirit of the children who had gathered to perform at the venue in Sector 5 on the Independence Day function, here today.

Dressed in white uniforms, the students of a government school presented a drill undeterred by the surrounding slush caused by yesterday’s downpour. They stomped and the squatted on the water-soaked ground unmindful of the marks it left on their uniform.

The girls of Government School, Sector 15, put up an equally enthusiastic Haryanavi dance performance. The whirling and twirling colourful lehngas, the joyous mood reflected in the song and the music were added attractions of the performance.

Action songs by students of C.L. DAV School and Bhavan Vidyalaya and patriotic songs by others were among the other items put up on the occasion. The bhangra item by students of BN School, Sector 12, as well as the performance of students of Jaynendra Public School were also appreciated by those present.

Earlier, the Commissioner, Ambala division, Mr Maha Singh, unfurled the National Flag and took the salute of the parade. Speaking at the function, he said the nation was proud of the martyrs who had laid down their lives to bring freedom to the country.

Adding that the day of celebration was also one of introspection, Mr Singh said there was a need to seriously consider our duties towards the nation and that adoption of technology from abroad was as essential as keeping the legacy of our culture alive.

Mr Maha Singh spoke of the progress the state had made in the last two years, especially in the field of information and technology.

While the district police, home guards, junior and senior cadets of the NSS and students from various schools participated in the march past, Mr Singh announced a cash award of Rs 31,000 for all students who participated in the cultural programme and the march past. He announced a holiday in all schools for tomorrow.

He honoured 17 students and four police personnel for outstanding service in different fields at the function. Those honoured for academics include Rachna (GSSS-6), Rajeev Kumar (Jaynendra Gurukul), Pawan Kumar, Harinder and Pradeep Kumar.

Later, SI Srawan Kumar, ASI Onkar Chand, head constable, Sohan Lal and constable Chander Hans were honoured for meritorious services. While Saurav Kapoor (DC Model), Ankan Gupta, Prateek Mittal and Shruti Mair (Hans Raj Public School), Kanu Priya and Pallavi Aggarwal (Little Flower Convent School) were honoured for participating in the national level badminton competition, Pallavi Vashishtha, Rajni Vashitha, Geetika Anand and Navita Anand, Anuradha and Karan were awarded for winning the national roller hockey.

Rotary Club celebrations: The Rotary Club celebrated the Independence Day with the handicapped inmates of Saket, Chandi Mandir. Tricolour was hoisted by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora. The members distributed electronic wrist watches, dolls, fruits, drawing books and sketch pens to all the inmates and inquired of other requirements from the Director of Saket , Dr Rakesh Jhalani.

On his request, the club agreed to donate four emergency lights for the hostel rooms. Most of the members came dressed in traditional wear. A cultural programme was also presented by the handicapped inmates.

State Bank of India celebrations: The State Bank of India , Staff Training Centre, Sector 14, celebrated Independence Day. Mr HL Khanna, Assistant General Manager of the centre, hoisted Tricolour on the occasion. The trainees, staff members and their families also presented a cultural function on the occasion.

Government College celebration: The Principal of Government College, Sector 1, Mr B.S. Dahiya, hoisted the National Flag on the premises this morning. The students presented the National Anthem and patriotic songs to mark the occasion while the NCC cadets participated in the parade.

A sapling was planted by the NSS unit of the college to mark the occasion.


The Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr Jai Pal Singh, unfurled the National Flag at the subdivisional-level Independence Day function organised at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1, here today. He took salute at an impressive march past by a contingent of the Punjab police and teams of different local schools.

Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the local civic body, municipal councillors and representatives of political parties were also present on the occasion. Students of different schools presented a colourful cultural programme.

The Independence Day was celebrated at local DAV School with Mr Ravinder Talwar, Principal, DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, as the chief guest who unfurled Tricolour followed by singing of National Anthem and drill by students of the school. A caltural programme was also presented on the occasion. Homage was paid to freedom fighters who suffered and sacrificed and laid down their lives in the historic saga of our freedom struggle.

The Independence Day was also celebrated at Guru Nanak Colony, MK High School and by different social organisations. A week-long celebrations of Independence Day concluded at Sanjay Public School, Sector 70, here. Students of different classes took part in cultural function and essay writing competition. Mrs Usha Sethi, Director-Principal of the school, distributed books and chocolates to the outstanding students.


Independence Day was celebrated in different parts of the city today. The district-level function was held at War Heroes Memorial Stadium, Ambala Cantonment where the Haryana minister, Mr Kartar Singh Bhadana, unfurled the National Flag and took the salute at an impressive march past. He honoured 14 persons for their role in different fields.

Students of various schools displayed PT show, tippri, aerobics and other cultural programmes. Shields were given to the HAP contingent for coming first, district police contingent for coming second and Home Guards for standing third in the march past. Shields were also given for cultural programmes with St John School coming first, Dua Model Public School second and GRSD School at third position.

Among others, who were honoured today included Jagmal Singh, Sanjeev, Rakesh, Anuradha, Ankur Bhardwaj, Puja Sachdeva, Pooja Rani, Munish Kumar, Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, Kripal Singh Arora, Sumita Johari, Gurmangeet Kaur and R.K. Kakkar.

Independence Day was also celebrated at S.D. College, Ambala Cantonment. Dr Leela Dhar Viyogi, guest of honour, hoisted the National Flag and inspected guard of honour presented by the NCC cadets.

A musical programme was presented by the students which concluded with a speech by the NSS commander. The college Principal, Dr Desh Bandhu, spoke about the importance of Independence Day.

The Punjab Wakf Board celebrated Independence Day. Rich tributes were paid to martyrs of freedom struggle. Functions was celebrated at all schools, colleges and vocational centres, which are being run by the board in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The main function was held at the board’s head office in Ambala Cantonment where number of officers and staff members of the board, Imams, teachers and school children were present. The students of Iqbal Model School, Ambala Cantonment, sang National Anthem and presented cultural programmes.

Independence Day was celebrated at Air Force Public School. Air Commodore V.R. Iyer, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Ambala Cantonment unfurled the National Flag. The flag hoisting ceremony was followed by a colourful cultural programme presented by the school students in which they paid tributes to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country.

The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party celebrated Independence Day at Vijay Ratan Chowk. The National Flag was unfurled by the Ambala city MLA, Ms Veena Chhibber. Children from Shankar Basti sang songs of patriotism. The mandal president, Mr Shish Pal Bhola, stressed upon the significance of the day.

The Sanskritik and Samaj Kalyan Sabha celebrated Independence Day in Swaran Jayanti Park, Lal Kurti Bazar, Ambala Cantonment. The former minister, Mr Nirmal Singh, unfurled the National Flag. The president of the sabha, Mr Roshan Lal Chopra, spoke about the importance of the day and children presented patriotic songs.


The Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today announced a grant of Rs 16.5 lakh for families of Kargil martyrs while unfurling the National Flag at the Yadvindra Stadium here on the occasion of Independence Day.

The minister also honoured eminent citizens for their contributions towards society including Dr Jai Kishan, Dr J.K.Jaggi, constable Pal Singh, Mr Harinder Singh Kabir, Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr Daler Singh Multani and Mr Diwan K. Nabi. Mr Amar Singh, father of Baldev Singh, was honoured on behalf of his son who lost his own life while saving the life of two children from drowning in the Bhakra canal.

Speaking on the occasion, he said after Independence, the major contribution for eradicating poverty in country had been made by Punjab by making the country self-independent by producing 60 per cent of its foodgrain stock.

He assured the youth that providing them jobs and making basic amenities available to all citizens was the basic aim of the present government and that it would take all initiatives to fulfill the task.

The minister also took salute from contingents of the Punjab police, police commando, ITBP, IRB, Home Guards, NCC boys and girls, scouts, girls guides and the teams of Red Cross St. Johal Ambulance. A colourful cultural show of giddha and bhangra was also presented by the school girls and boys.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP, also accompanied the minister during the ceremony. Others present on the occasion were the OSD to the Chief Minister, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, Chairman Improvement Trust, Mr Manmohan Singh Bajaj, President District Akali Jatha (Rural), Mr Kashmir Singh Mavi, others leaders, district authorities and freedom fighters.

The Independence Day was also celebrated at Diesel Component Works (DCW), Patiala. Mr G.K. Wadhwa, Chief administrator, hoisted the flag followed by a cultural programme by the students of Kendriya Vidhyala and scouts and guides.

The Executive Member of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), Mr Baldev Singh Mann, hosted the flag during the celebrations while the Managing Director of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Mr Harkesh Singh Sandhu, unfurled the flag to mark the occasion. Cultural programmes were presented by school students at their head offices apart from singing patriotic songs.


An impressive cultural programme was organised by different government and public schools to mark Independence Day celebrations here today. Mr Pritam Singh Johal, SDM, Dera Bassi, took salute from march past of the contingents of the Punjab police, Home Guards, Fire Brigade, NCC cadets and school students.

Besides presenting ‘‘jhankies’’, the students also performed skits based and songs on patriotism. Mr Johal, who was the chief guest, hoisted Tricolour and emphasised upon the sacrifices made by Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. He said love for the country should be inculcated among the youth.

Besides honouring the families of Kargil martyrs, 12 tricycles, five hearing machines and 12 sewing machines were also presented to the handicapped and needy persons of the area. Apart from this, 19 freedom fighters of the subdivision were also honoured.

A number of residents from the surrounding villages along with their wards thronged the site to enjoy celebrations. Some people were also seen climbing atop the nearby buildings to have a better view of the function.

Those who were present on the occasion, include Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, president of local municipal council, Mr M.L. Bindal, Deputy Secretary, Punjab Red Cross, Mr Ram Kumar, SMO, Dera Bassi, and other prominent persons of the area.

Students of DAV Public School, Dera Bassi, celebrated Independence Day with a difference, on Tuesday, as they took a pledge to work for the unity and the integrity of the country. Ms Jaya Bhardwaj, former principal of the school, hoisted the National Flag apart from taking salute from an attractive parade presented by the students.


Students of Trimurti Middle School, Modern Enclave, Baltana, celebrated Independence Day with a difference by holding a ‘‘Vijay Rally’’ here today.

Starting from the school, the rally passed through the streets of Sectors 22 and 19 of Panchkula apart from Baltana village and ended in the school. Earlier, the National Flag was hoisted by the president of the school society.


The Subdivisional Magistrate of Rajpura, Mr Bhupinder Singh, unfurled the National Flag at New Grain Market during the subdivisional celebrations at Rajpura, near here today. The consignments of the Punjab Police, Punjab Home Guards and NCC cadets gave salute to the chief guest on the occasion.

An award of Rs 2,500 was given to Suresh Kumar who pulled out a drowned Maruti car and dead bodies from Gandakheri river. Apart from this, various sportspersons, cultural performers and courageous people were honoured during the celebrations.

Various school students who secured first positions were also given prizes. The Red Cross Society gave four sewing machines to the needy women. The schoolchildren also performed a cultural items of giddha and bhangra and sang patriotic songs.

Others present on the occasion were the DSP, Mr R. K. Sharma, Mr Tarlochan Dev Sharma, Mr S. K. Jindal, Tehsildar Mr Kuldip Singh, Naib Tehsildar, Mr Harnek Singh, the Naib Tehsildar, Ghanaur, Mr Hanbans Singh, and the BDPO, Mr Nishan Singh.



Schools to remain closed today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
All schools, including those run by private organisations in the city, will remain closed on Thursday. This was announced by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), during the Independence Day celebrations here today.

Also schools affiliated to the Independent Schools Association of Chandigarh would remain closed tomorrow. This was stated by the president of the association, Mr D.S. Bedi.

Schools in Panchkula would also remained closed on account of a holiday declared by the Commissioner, Ambala division, Mr Maha Singh, here today.



Police plans action against travel agents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The police has sought the help of the Protector of Immigrants for drawing up a list of immigration consultants and travel agents operating in the city, in order to keep a check on their nefarious activities.

Following the detection of two major immigration rackets in the city last month, the police has finally decided upon a crackdown on the hundreds of travel agents operating illegally in the city.

According to the information available, the city has become the new destination for the thousands of youth from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in pursuance of their dreams of greener pastures abroad. There are more than 300 travel agencies operating in the city. Only 19 of these have been issued manpower licences in order to send people abroad for employment purposes. The rest are operating illegally in various parts of the city like Mani Majra, NAC market and Sectors 22, 32, 34, 35 and 36.

The police claims that it was only after the crackdown on the agencies in the Doaba region, following the Malta boat tragedy, that many of them shifted base to the city. Also the fact that ever since the licence fee for these agencies was hiked by the government, a number of these agencies failed to get their licences renewed and are now operating illegally.

The police has now sought the help of the PoI in identifying these agents operating illegally and the possibility of a joint operation by the police and an official of the PoI in order to keep tabs on these agents is being discussed at various levels. According to the figures available from police sources, 10 cases of fraud were registered against travel agents last year. This year the police has seen a manifold increase in such cases of fraud.

Recently, the police had unearthed an immigration racket that was luring people from the region with jobs in Western Europe. The gang was busted when it had just begun its operations. The police claims that the arrest of the accused could have wider ramifications as they were allegedly planning to dupe people in other cities of the country.

The racketeers were fraudulently enticing unsuspecting people to pay lakhs for arranging jobs for them in Spain, Italy, Holland and the United Kingdom. A local company, Continental Services in Sector 42, Attawa, had placed advertisements in a section of the press for jobs in catering, restaurant and resident workers general helpers and cleaners.

A visa for three years and a month’s leave after one year was promised in these advertisements that appeared on June 24. As a result, a number of people from all over Punjab and Haryana had come with their hopes of finding a way to reach the destination of their dreams.

Close on the heels of this was the busting of the racket selling fake passports issued by the World Service Authority on behalf of the World Government that ensures holders a trip anywhere in the world without a visa. Nine such passports were issued and a number of applications for issuing similar passports were recovered.

People, especially from the rural pockets of Punjab, were lured on the pretext that these passports ensured an International Exit Visa. The visas issued by the World Service Authority ensured entry into the chosen country at a much lower cost.



Hospitals having ultrasound warned again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
For all those nursing homes, clinics, hospitals and laboratories having ultrasound machines which have failed to get themselves registered with the Director, UT Family Welfare, the UT Health Department has now issued a second warning.

Following the directions of the Supreme Court, the health authorities all over the country, including Chandigarh, had issued notices in June, asking all those having the facility of ultrasound to get themselves registered. Following this, 30 clinics, hospitals and laboratories in the city had got themselves registered with the Director, Family Welfare.

This had been done following instructions from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and was aimed to check misuse of the prenatal diagnostic techniques in the city. Despite this, under the guise of determining congenital abnormalities and other diseases in a foetus, the sex determination tests were being carried out all over the city.

Recently, there were also reports about certain city doctors carrying out prenatal sex determination tests, for which the UT Director Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, had marked an inquiry. However, social workers, besides the Health Department officials, lamented that when a mother carrying the baby was willing and the doctor was ready to carry out the test, it was difficult to impose any realistic restriction.

The difference between the number of males and females was, however, increasing by the day, which the experts called as alarming. Census 2001 revealed that Chandigarh had probably the lowest male-female ratio of 1000:773. In 1991, the ratio was recorded 1000:790.

The main cause for the lopsided male-female ratio was the sex determination tests, followed by large number of abortions and female foeticide taking place in the city every year. Sources added that the number of registered births was more or less the same as the number of abortions in the city. Unofficial figures revealed that 9 out of 10 clinics in the city were running as abortion centres and more than 16,000 abortions were being carried out in the city every year.

In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court had directed the implementation of the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (regulation and prevention of misuse) Act, 1994, by June 30 this year. The health authorities had asked all those carrying out or interested in carrying out these tests for congenital anomalies, genetic metabolic diseases, haemoglobin abnormalaties, sex-linked diseases and chromosomal abnormalities to get themselves registered. It would also be compulsory for all hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and laboratories to display a dark blue board with the message — Here pre-natal sex determination (boy or girl before birth) is not done; it is a punishable act — written in white at the main entrance of the institution concerned.



MC election date likely today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) are indicated to have been decided and the date is likely to be announced tomorrow even as Acting Congress Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, seems lobbying against his imminent expulsion from the Congress.

The Congress has again deferred its meeting for disciplinary action for an unannounced date.

The Acting Mayor, Mr Kala, today communicated to a top party functionary that his stand was in the interest of the party while another section of the party, which seems determined on his expulsion, has gathered evidence against Mr Kala for his “anti-party activities”.

The crisis in the Akali Dal intensified today with a group against the local President, Mr Gurpartap singh Riar, holding a meeting and warning Mr Riar to either mend his ways or they might resort to raising a parallel party unit.

The group also decided to meet party general secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, to explain their position and they will also try to meet the Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in this regard.

The group has already met certain party functionaries in this regard.

The factionalism in the BJP reached peak with a group of the party meeting the central leadership to raise voice against the local leadership. 


‘Tainted’ JE suspended
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 15
A Junior Engineer with the horticulture wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), who was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 by the flying squad of the Punjab Vigilance Department, has been placed under suspension by the authorities, it is learnt.

The JE, Surinder Singh, who has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act, had demanded bribe from a contractor involved in landscaping the campus of the Academy of Martial Sports, Anandpur Sahib. The JE had been arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a contractor to release the security amount.

The JE is reported to the relative of the MLA from Amloh constituency. Sources in the Vigilance Department said a commission of around 28 per cent was charged on development works undertaken by the horticulture wing of PUDA. The percentage of commission, shared among the officials concerned, went up when a work was delayed, said the sources. The JE was looking after a number of development works in the town.

The Judicial Magistrate today remanded the JE in judicial custody. Earlier, he had been remanded in police custody till August 15.



Celebrating I-Day on frozen continent
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Seventeen years ago on this day, when the national flagged was hoisted atop the Red Fort with the usual aplomb, the notes of the National Anthem simultaneously echoed across the frozen, desolate expanse of Antarctica for the first time as pioneering Indians to spend winters on the frozen continent braved the glacial chill to celebrate Independence Day.

“At 10 am, with the temperature being minus 46 degrees Celsius, I moved forward and pulled the string to hoist the Tricolour and with that we all clapped on this historic occasion when the national flag fluttered on the frozen continent for the first time on Independence Day,” recalled Maj-Gen S.S. Sharma (retd), team leader of the First Indian Wintering Expedition to Antarctica.

All team members, along with some Soviet and German guests from adjoining stations, stood to attention in front of the flag-post at Dakshin Gangotri and sang the national anthem, General Sharma, who is at present posted as Director, Snow and Avalanche Studies, here, said.. The 12-member winter team comprised three scientists, a doctor and eight defence personnel. The leader of the Soviet team, Vladmir Schirschov along with two other Russian and the leader of the East German team, Peter Junghans also attended the functions.

The message of the then prime minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, flashed to the team was also read out, in which she sent special greetings and good wishes to the members. General Sharma, who was then a Lieutenant-Colonel, made a brief speech following which the Soviet leader spoke in Russian and the German leader made a small talk in English. This was followed by a tea party and a photograph session.

“There were icicles inside our noses, on our eyelids and beards, but with face masks removed, chest two inches up with pride, we congratulated and hugged each other, and accepted the greetings of our guests,” General Sharma recalled.

Chess and TT matches were organised between the Indian, Soviet and German Antarctic teams, which saw the Indian TT players emerging victorious. Independence Day lunch followed, with special dishes being prepared, which went on till about 3 pm.

“While others relaxed, the Soviet leader had discussions with me, and in the evening everyone assembled for cocktails,” General Sharma said. “The cocktails and dinner got prolonged with singing and dancing, which continued till 4 am. It was only by 7 am that the guests departed and the team leaders retired to the guest rooms.

Even the eve of Independence Day witnessed a flurry of activity at Dakshin Gangotri. Messages from the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, departmental heads and top functionaries began flowing in. The President’s broadcast was listened too. The Soviet and German teams arrived with a big cake weighing about 2 kg, inscribed with “38th Independence Day of India”, along with a lot of other items like potatoes, cucumbers, eggs and rusks.

At 7 pm, a bottle of champagne was opened and the cake was cut, followed by a feast. “Our guests had come well prepared, in suits and ties, while we were in our winter dresses as we had not carried any formal dresses,” General Sharma recalled. “Anyway, the Russians were more interested in after-dinner drinks, which continued till 2 am along with dancing and singing,” he added.

A lot of preparations had to be made to celebrate Independence Day. The day before, in temperature as low as minus 41 degrees celsius, the station and its surroundings were cleaned. The station’s ante room was decorated and the furniture in the dining room was re-arranged to accommodate more people.

Flag posts were erected outside and a special menu was decided. A dry run for shooting video footage of the ceremony was undertaken. All vehicles were inspected and readied for lining up.



Councillor submits reply to Bahl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Congress councillor, Suneeta today submitted her reply to the party president, Mr B.B. Bahl, citing reasons for her absence from the Mayoral election on August 10. She had been served a show-cause notice by the president on August 11, asking her to explain as to why she was not present at the said meeting despite the party whip in this regard.

Mr Bahl had on August 9 issued a letter to all the councillors directing them to be present in the House for Mayor’s elections.

In her reply, she has cited medical reasons for her absence and attached the medical slips and bills of her treatment in both Sector 16 General Hospital and a private hospital in Sector 12-A, Panchkula. She has stated that she was discharged from the hospital at 6.15 p.m. on August 10 after six bottles of glucose were administered on her. Later, she was advised complete rest for three days.

She has assured the president that she has not done anything against the party deliberately and has complete faith in the leadership of the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Mr Bahl. She has also promised to abide by the directions of the party in future also. Further, my husband has been a sincere worker of the party for the last 25 years. She has asked him to consider her reply sympathetically.



Octogenarian’s 16-year struggle for justice
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 15
Mr Allaha Singh, an octogenarian living in Patiala has been struggling for 16 years to get justice, but it seems that his woes have not ended yet. The case of the murder of his son Inderjit Singh has been shuttling from one investigating agency to another. Now the trial of the case has been shifting from the court of the Chandigarh Chief Judicial Magistrate to that of the Sessions Judge here.

The UT Chief Judicial Magistrate said on August 14 in his order, “The complaint being under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC is committed to the UT District Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, for August 31 under Section 209 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The accused are also directed to appear before the UT District Sessions Judge on the same date”.

The body of Inderjit Singh was found hanging in Sector 34 on July 8, 1985. The deceased had taken one room on rent on the ground floor from Hardev Singh on January 26, 1985. Hardev Singh had lodged a report on July 8, 1985, in the Sector 34 police station. The police and post-mortem reports had termed it a case of suicide. As per the post-mortem report, the deceased had died on account of asphyxia due to hanging.

The father of the deceased, Mr Allaha Singh, had then submitted a petition to the Home Minister of India, following which the Private Secretary of the Home Minister had requested the IG (Crime) to register a case and investigate the matter to find out the actual cause of death.

Mr Sita Ram, SI, in his inquiry report had concluded that it was a case of murder and the suicide story was false. During the course of investigations, the accused were taken into custody and released on bail. Thereafter, Inspector Sita Ram was repatriated to his parent state of Punjab and investigations done by the other police officer could not establish that the death of Inderjit Singh was homicide.

Aggrieved by the findings, the complainant, Mr Allaha Singh had filed a petition before the Supreme Court, praying for ordering of investigations by an independent agency.

As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the investigations were entrusted to, Mr A.K. Sharma, Inspector, CBI, Chandigarh branch. After the completion of the investigation, the Chandigarh branch of the CBI had filed a cancellation report in the court, stating that the death of Inderjit was a case of suicide. The CBI had chargesheeted Inspector Sita Ram for having collecting evidence against the accused in connivance with the complainant. The petitioner had then filed a protest petition, seeking to demolish the conclusion of the CBI. In 1995, the court had directed the CBI to conduct a fresh investigation, to be conducted by a comparatively senior officer of the CBI.

The court had dismissed the CBI report for the cancellation of the case. The court had observed, “On the basis of evidence coming before this court, the only possible conclusion which could be drawn is that it appears that the accused, Hardev Singh and Harpreet Singh, who were instrumental in commiting the crime and then hanging the body of the deceased with a turban, were rightly challaned. The cancellation report submitted by the CBI is not based upon the factual position”.

The case had then been handed over to an SP in the CBI, Mr Kirtti Chandra Kanungo (now DIG, CBI North-East Region, Guwahati). During investigation, he had examined more than 100 witnesses and concluded that death of Inderjit Singh was homicide and not suicide.



LIG flats find no takers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar
Lakhs of rupees spent by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority on the construction of 434 flats in Sector 57, next to the cremation ground here, appear to have been lost. Constructed over two years ago, these flats are still waiting for occupants and are being used by slum dwellers as shelters during the rainy season.

Initially planned for industrial workers, the flats were later converted into Low Income Group (LIG) flats. But the authorities failed to remove encroachments in front of the flats and the allottees are refusing to take physical possession of the dwelling units. The condition of the flats has started deteriorating on account of neglect. The terraces of some first floor flats have been damaged. Water tanks on the roofs of some of the flats have disappeared. A watchman has been posted to check encroachment, yet theft of some of the fitting of the flats has been reported.

A few months ago when the problem of slum dwellers occupying the flats was highlighted, the authorities swung into action and the flats were freed from the squatters. But the situation became the same after some months.

The allotment price of the flats was about Rs 2 lakh and a draw of lots was held a few months back. The allottees, after depositing 10 per cent of the price of the flats, are now refusing to pay the next instalment of 25 per cent of the price. Some have even asked for a refund of their deposit.

The reason for their disinterest is that the slum dwellers are using the flats for defecating. As there are no doors to check the entry of outsiders, the slum dwellers are also using the flats to store their household goods. Lack of street lighting in the area is also said to be responsible for the theft of the fittings from the flats.


Resentment brews among dismissed employees
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 15
Resentment is brewing among the over 200 daily-wage and contractual employees whose services were terminated by the board authorities yesterday. The termination notice of the employees, 160 clerks and 54 helpers, was pasted at the board office at around 9. 30 pm yesterday.

They lamented that in spite of an order of a Division Bench staying termination of the petitioners till September 25, the board authorities had issued the termination notices. The employees would serve a legal notice upon the board authorities tomorrow, seeking compliance of the court order, failing which a case of contempt of court would be filed in the high court, said one of the petitioners.

The employees alleged that the State Education Minister was keen on adjusting his men. An inquiry into the alleged irregularities committed in selecting the candidates of the 1988 type test by the Central Bureau of Investigation was demanded by the employees.

They demanded that the board should regularise the services of the employees who had been serving in the board for the past over eight years. The Punjab School Education Board (non-teaching) employees’ union said it would organise a rally in support of the terminated employees.



Encroachments defy solution
Tribune News Service

Encroachments continue unabated in Panchkula, as successive anti-encroachment drives have failed to give any relief to the residents. Whether these are corridors in the markets or open spaces invaded by migrants or roundabouts dotted with fruit vendors, there seems no permanent solution to the problem.

The authorities too, it seems, have accepted their existence. As open spaces in the city continue to be occupied by jhuggi-dwellers, the Haryana Urban Development Authority has filed an affidavit in court stating that encroachments have been removed from the markets.

However, the reality is that just a day after an anti-encroachment drive in the markets, the encroachers return to occupy their old places with hardly any fear of action.

“Once the drive is over, we know we will not see them again for a couple of months. Encroachment in the corridors is necessitated by the small size of the shops which do not have enough space to keep the stocks and also to leave room for the movement of customers,” says a shopkeeper in Sector 8.

Now, the markets in all sectors can boast of open-air restaurants that provide adequate seating arrangements for the customers.

To the jhuggi-dwellers, the drive against them means just the loss of a tarpaulin sheet. “If at the cost of a sheet we can have weeks and weeks of comfort, it is worth it. We have nowhere to go and cannot afford to pay rents in the city,” says a jhuggi-dweller of Sector 9.



Members of Lions Club installed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The cabinet members of the newly installed District Governor of the Lions Club International Distt 321A/2, Mr M.R. Sharma, were installed during the 9th district cabinet installation function held at Himachal Bhavan, Sector 28.

Mr M.R Sharma had been raised to the august office of District Governor at Indianapolis on June 28, 2001. The members of his cabinet include vice district Governor, Mr Subhash Batra; Deputy district Governor, Mr Kuldip Kuthiala; district cabinent secretary, Mr J.P. Singh; District Cabinet Treasurer, Mr Anil Mittal and District PRO ‘s, Mr Om Dutt Sharma for Haryana and Himachal and Mr Pradip Vijh for Delhi. Besides, district special secretaries, region chairman and zone chairman were also installed.

While Ms Sushiel Agrawala, past International Director, was the installing officer at the ceremony, Mr Ashok Mehta, past International Director, was the chief guest. Nearly 150 members were installed on various posts during the function. Mr Sharma said the appointments were purely based on the capabilities and past performance of the members and that he had not yielded to any pressure or politics

In his presidential address, district Governor, Mr Sharma talked about the activities he planned to undertake during the current year. He emphasised on the collection of more units of blood than the target of 8,000 units. With a view to checking blindness, he set a target of conducting 2000 Intra-Ocular Operations, besides other routine cataract operations. He appealed to all club presidents to make eye-care their special projects.

Mr Sharma listed youth development programmes as the prime projects for the year in his work schedule. He appealed to the clubs to focus on some of the projects in accordance with their needs. He asked them to continue with the ongoing projects of distributing tricycles, wheelchairs and limbs to the physically handicapped, health check-up and child-care camps.

He also emphasised on the need to educating the poor illiterate children. He laid stress on organising health and education programmes in schools. He also announced that punctuality awards would be given to those clubs who started their club installations within 15 minutes of the time printed in the invitation cards and finish the same within 90 minutes.

The first newsletter “Passion” of Lions Clubs International District 321-A2 was also released today.



Lions Club president installed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Dr Pawan K Kamra, Reader, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was installed as president of the Lions Club, Panchkula Central, at a ceremony held at Himachal Bhavan, Sector 28, here yesterday. Past District Governor, Lion Jagjyoti Jain, was the installing officer, while Lion Sushiel Agrawala, Past International Director, was the chief guest on the occasion. A large number of Lion Club members from Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, including Past District Governors and Past District Presidents attended the function. Lioness Uma Sharma was installed as the president of Lioness Club along with the other members Board of Directors.

Expressing gratitude to his fellow members for reposing faith in him, Dr Kamra said that he had already undertaken four service projects before being installed as the president of the club. These include a blood donation camp, where 125 unit were collected; rakhi celebrations with the inmates of Institute of Blind, Sector 26; sapling plantation and distribution of stationery items free of cost, to the needy students of Government Model Secondary School, Mani Majra.

He assured the members that several new projects would be undertaken during his tenure. These would include an eye operation camp, blood donation camp, youth development, mass marriages, medical and dental check-up camps, Celebration of UN, Hindi Divas, Teachers Day, etc.



Tragedy in pool raises alarm

SAS Nagar
It took the death of a 13 year-old boy, Karanbir Singh, to make things move at the Phase 6 swimming pool here. The boy, on his usual swimming session, was drowned on August 2 at a time when the pool was jampacked with swimmers but nobody noticed the drowning boy. The state of affairs at the pool has not been right for the past few years. The water is not changed regularly. The filtration plant also does not function.

There had been no system to restrict the number of persons in the pool. At times the number touches 100 against the pool’s capacity of about 30. Much to the surprise of professionals, the SDO (Buildings) and his staff in the building branch are reportedly not trained either in swimming or in life saving and prevention of drowning. The coach appointed by PUDA was absent on the day the accident took place. No effort was made to post a substitute.

Now PUDA officials say that steps are being taken to prevent such accidents in the future.

* * *

The Ropar traffic police has taken upon itself the task of educating students in rural schools about traffic rules. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (D), Mr Randhir Singh, Inspector (Traffic), Mr V.K. Vaid, and ASI Jasmer Singh visited BSH Arya Senior Secondary School, Sohana, and Government Model School, Mauli Baidwan, and educated over 100 students about traffic rules. The students assured the police officers that they would follow the rules.


Youngsters launch website
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
A new website for the city youth,, has been launched by three local youngsters Deepak Thakur, Harish Goel and Amit Sharma.

“The idea is to bridge communication gap between the city youth via the Internet”, said Deepak Thakur.

The website contains attractive features like CT Bol — an open message board, CT Info which provides information like tourist spots, religious institutions, interactive guide map of the city and CT Chat.

One can also access information relating to education facilities, movies, daily and weekly forecasts.

For fitness freaks, the site contains information relating to health clubs and beauty clinics, whereas there is separate section for music lovers.

One can also participate in various contests including quiz related to health, love, relationships etc.



Three-day bhandara
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Ruhani Satsang Society will organise a three-day barsi bhandara of Param Sant Kirpal Singh ji Maharaj at Nawan Nagar, Manav Kendra, near Baddi, from August 19 to 21. Param Sant Thakur Singh ji Maharaj will give satsang pravachan at 11 am and 7 pm on all three days.



2 cars, scooter stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Three cases of theft of vehicle have been reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

A Maruti car (CH-01J-6615) was stolen from outside the Sector 20 residence of Mr. Pawan Kumar during the intervening night of August 13 and 14.

Another Maruti car (CH-01P- 6351) was stolen from outside a parking in Sector 17 on August 13.

A scooter (DL-35C-5912) was stolen from outside the Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra on August 14. In all these cases, the police has registered FIRs under Section 379, IPC.

Crackdown on liquor smugglers: The local police has arrested three persons, including a woman, from different parts of the city and seized 320 pouches of Hero whisky from them.

While 150 pouches of whisky were seized from Parmeshwari in Sector 29, a similar number of pouches were seized from Om Prakash near Government High School, Sector 25. Twenty pouches of liquor were also seized from Ram Kesh near Indira Awas Rasta.

Krishan Lal was arrested late last night for selling wine at a public place in Daddu Majra Colony. Five bottles and a nip of Officers Choice whisky were seized from him.

In another incident, Narain was arrested for consuming liquor at a public place near Tagore Theatre last evening.

In all the cases, the police has registered cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.



More wait for poor man’s mobile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Local aspirants for the poor man’s mobile, Wireless-in-Local Loop (WLL), planned to be launched in the city today, may have to wait for seven days for mobile connectivity.

“The WLL sets taken to Delhi by Korean technicians will be brought back to Chandigarh tomorrow. These will straightaway be put through call test, the final stage for launch of the WLL phones,” the Principal General Manager Telecom, Chandigarh, Mr R.C. Vaish, told Chandigarh Tribune here today. He added that the promise of launching the WLL on Independence Day was made on the basis of other tests conducted.

Mr Vaish said the promise could not be kept as the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in Chandigarh faced a peculiar problem in the billing process. At other places, LG had supplied Code Division Multiple Access handsets and other equipment.

He said as soon as the fault in the billing process was found out, Korean engineers of the company came to Chandigarh to rectify the problem, but could not do so. They then took it to Delhi and had informed them that the sets would reach the city tomorrow after repair.

He said within a couple of days, the local BSNL office would make an announcement about details of the WLL phones and who could avail himself of the facility. He said the minimum time likely to be taken for launching the service could be two to three days.

The launch of the WLL phones by the BSNL has been hanging fire for months. Talk of its start picked up as soon as private operator HFCL began its Connect service, which launched WLL technology based fixed phones and CDMA handsets.

The announced cheap price of the BSNL WLL phones, to be almost equal to that of the basic phone, had raised hopes of the people to go in for the latest technology. The BSNL had announced that its WLL phone would be at lease Rs 10,000 cheaper than that of Connect as the BSNL had decided to charge only Rs 20 per month towards the insurance of the equipment, costing around Rs 10,000.


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