Sunday, August 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Son held for Gill’s murder
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 25
The police has achieved a breakthrough in the sensational Satwant Singh Gill case with the arrest of the son of victim on the charge of murdering his own father.

— Case of patricide due to feeling of hatred.

— Complainant himself turns out to be alleged murderer

— Inspiration got from serial “Medical Detectives”

The owner of Gill Estate in Kansal village, under the SAS Nagar police station, was found murdered in his bedroom on the morning of August 17.

Ravinder Singh Gill, the 23-year-old college student and son of the owner of the estate, who was also the complainant, confessed that he had done his father to death because of a feeling of hatred towards him, the Ropar SSP, Mr G.S. Bhullar, said at a press conference here today.

Ravinder Singh Gill

The SSP said the suspect had admitted that he had been planning the murder five or six days before and took inspiration from “Medical Detectives”, a serial on Discovery Channel, and believed that he could commit a perfect crime leaving no clues behind.

The youth bought gloves, a butcher’s knife and a baseball bat. On the fateful night, when he entered his father’s room, he became double-minded whether he should go ahead with his plan, but finally his feeling of hatred overpowered him. He struck his father, who was asleep, on the head with the baseball bat, smashing the skull. He then stabbed the victim with the knife on the vital organs.

Mr Bhullar said Ravinder Singh scattered things about in the room trying to give the impression that a robbery had been committed. He had planned to break a windowpane, too, but for some reason did not do so. He tried to wipe out his footprints with a bedsheet and attempted to walk on the concrete portions in the house. At the time of the crime he wore two sets of clothes so that he could discard one quickly.

The police has recovered the weapons used in the murder and the gloves and blood-stained clothes worn by the suspect.

The SSP said Ravinder Singh told the police that he was always made to feel like an unwanted child by his parents. The suspect said that his mother used to tell him when he was seven or eight years old that he had been found by the family at a mandir, which at that impressionable age had a deep impact on him. Mr Bhullar also felt that frustration also begins to set in when a 23-year-old person does not have an independent source of income.

Ravinder Singh Gill, who was presented before mediapersons, said his father used to threaten members of the family that he would kill them as in the case of the massacre of the Nepal royal family. He said he decided to murder him instead of letting him take such an extreme step. At this stage he felt that he had done something wrong. “I have done something wrong but...,” he said. The behaviour of his father was “very rash” and over the past five or six years he (Ravinder) had been made to feel that he was unwanted.

The SSP said that the suspect had told the police that his father mistreated him and was not of good character and once even tried to molest his own 12-year-old niece. Besides, his father spent money lavishly on himself and his paramours, one of them being a Punjabi singer, and denied even the bare necessities to the family. All these factors, the suspect told the police, led to his developing hatred for his father.

Satwant Singh Gill, according to the police, was in debt to the extent of Rs 60 lakh to Rs 70 lakh which he had allegedly fraudulently taken from residents of Goraya, Khanna, Patiala and other places on various pretexts. He had organised a world tour for which he had taken money from the participants but it was unsuccessful. The police further alleged that the deceased was also involved in fake currency deals. A case had been registered against him and his accomplices on August 21 under Sections 420 and 120-B, IPC.

Earlier, the police had also looked into the theory that the murder could have been committed due to revenge motive by one of the persons whom the deceased had allegedly defrauded. However, it did not rule out the possibility of the crime being committed with the connivance of somebody living in the house. There was no sign of forced entry and even the police dog squad restricted itself only to the premises of the estate.

The police had also probed the possibility that the brothers-in-law of Satwant Singh Gill could have been involved in the murder on the instigation of their sister. The deceased had estranged relations with his wife for about 12 years and property could have tempted them to commit the crime.

The SSP had formed three teams of investigators under the supervision of the SP, Mr Gurmit Singh Chauhan, and the DSP, Mr Amarjit Singh Bajwa.



Nirupa Roy, daughter-in-law reach compromise
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
Controversy over the fate of cine star Nirupa Roy over the alleged demand for dowry came to an end with her daughter-in-law, Una Roy, stating in court that she had no objection if Nirupa Roy and her family was granted anticipatory bail, here today.

While Kiran Roy, son of Nirupa Roy, discusses divorce proceedings with his lawyer, Una Roy, his estranged wife, looks on outside the district courts in Sector 1, Panchkula
While Kiran Roy, son of Nirupa Roy, discusses divorce proceedings with his lawyer, Una Roy, his estranged wife, looks on outside the district courts in Sector 1, Panchkula, on Saturday. 
— Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan

Taken up in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Harinder Singh, in the presence of Kiran Kamal Roy, Nirupa Roy’s son, and Una Roy, his estranged wife, the arguments for the anticipatory bail application have been fixed for August 27. Also, the petition for divorce by mutual consent will be taken up on the same day.

Family sources said a compromise had been worked out between the two parties and Una Roy had agreed to withdraw her objection on granting of anticipatory bail as per the arrangement.

Escorted by their respective lawyers, Kiran Roy and Una Roy took time to talk to one another even as lawyers, Kiran Roy represented by Alka Sareen and Atul Aggarwal, and Una Roy, represented by Mr Randeep Rai, Mr Gautam Dutt and Mr ADS Sukheja, thrashed out the details of the compromise in the court premises.

Later, it was agreed to file for divorce by mutual consent and the two parties appeared in the court of Dr S.K. Kapoor, Additional District and Sessions Judge. Here, they appealed for conversion of the divorce proceedings filed by Una Roy into a petition for divorce by mutual consent which was turned down.

After discussion, the lawyers for Una decided to withdraw the on-going case and filed a fresh plea for divorce by mutual consent. This case will also come up for hearing on August 27.

At the court, the couple was the cynosure of all eyes. The public tried to get a closer look at the two as news of personal appearance by Nirupa Roy’s son spread. They tried to hang on to the discussions between the clients and their respective lawyers as also the two engaged in conversation seemed of much interest to them even as the couple tried to maintain a low profile.

While Una Roy was accompanied by two of her uncles, one a resident of Sector 4, Kiran Roy had also his lawyers for company during the two-hour stay in court.

Unwilling to comment on the proceedings and the compromise, Una Roy directed everybody attempting to talk to her to her lawyers.

It may be recalled that Una Roy, an NRI who worked for Cathy Pacific for 11 years before resigning in 1998, had registered a case of dowry harassment against Nirupa Roy and her family on March 7 in Panchkula under Section 323/498-A and 406 of the IPC.

In her complaint, she had alleged that her husband, Kiran Roy, asked her to get Rs 5 lakhs for a business venture which she declined. For not complying with the demand on the in-laws she gave in to their demands and got the sum. Also, all her jewellery had been taken away by the Roys.

She added that her husband had taken away Rs 15 lakh she got from Cathy Pacific when she resigned from the job of air hostess in 1998. She was turned out of the house after she refused to oblige the family with another Rs 30 lakh. However, all these charges were denied by Nirupa Roy.



Coop societies to get land soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Co-operative house building societies will be allotted lands in Sectors 48 and 49 next month, well placed sources said while adding that the Engineering Department had given a green signal to the provision of basic services in these sectors.


*The cost of land has spiralled out of the reach of an average salaried-class citizen of the city. This is evident from the fact that 1800 persons have opted out of the scheme leaving only 4,200 beneficiaries.

*The persons who opted out have sought refund of their initial deposit from the Chandigarh Housing Board.

*Ten years ago, when the scheme was floated, the cost of land was Rs 750 per square yard and today it is Rs 2,500 per square yard in case of leasehold allotment and Rs 2,850 per square yard in case of freehold allotment.

These basic services include, water supply lines, sewer lines, storm water drainage lines and power lines till outside each of the societies. A total of 60 societies which are to be allotted land will have an option to have lands allotted on leasehold or on freehold basis.

Societies which opt for freehold will have to pay Rs 2,850 per square yard while those opting for leasehold will have to pay Rs 2,500 per square yard. The scheme to allot lands on chunk basis to co-operative societies came into existence in the year 1991 and under this scheme several societies applied for land and deposited sums with the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) by the stipulated date. Though the scheme stands repealed, land has to be allotted to different eligible societies by following the provisions of the scheme. Since the original scheme had the provision only for leasehold allotments the benefit of freehold allotment has been made optional.

A total of 140 acres of land spread across four southern sectors of the city had been identified for allotment to various co-operative housing societies for construction of multi-storey residential flats. A draw of lots of eligible societies was held in December last year.

Now a formal allotment letter will be issued to all societies. The Chandigarh Administration also assured a delegation of the Chandigarh State Federation of Co-operative House Building Societies led by its President Mr Sunil Parti.

Each flat, including land cost, will cost each member approximately Rs 15 lakh, says the president of a society, which is on the list of allotment scheduled next week.

Most societies want land in Sectors 48 and 49 as these two sectors are almost fully developed as societies in the first phase were allotted lands in this area and it is also by and large free from slums. The Administration on its part has already carried out the process to club various societies to bring about a uniformity in size of land.

And to weed out any chance of allegations about allotment of prime land the Administration has come out with the idea to hold a draw of lots. In the first phase of allotments in 1991, land was allotted on the whims and fancies of the babus. Even as the Administration prepares to charge Rs 2,500 per square yard, the bifurcation of money as to which department will get what is yet to be worked out.

Unlike the controversy of the first phase of allotments, this time the role of each department of the Administration will be specified and the money will be bifurcated on the same basis.

It may be recollected that some of the societies in the first phase have moved court to seek relief and demand development claiming that money for the same had been collected at the time of allotment but has not spent.



Attend 75 pc lectures, or else...
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
In a significant move, which will send warning bells ringing among the city’s 20,000-odd college students, Panjab University has directed its affiliated colleges to increase the minimum lectures attendance requirement for students from the present 66 per cent to 75 per cent from the current session.

A letter from Panjab University to principals of affiliated colleges, which include Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh College of Architecture and Government College of Art, states that every college student will be required to attend 75 per cent of the total lectures delivered in the college. Quoting the University Grants Commission on the issue, the letter further states that this rule be followed strictly.

Sources also state that the UGC has made this rule for all the colleges in the country. In fact, PU and its affiliated colleges followed the 75 per cent lecture attendance rule just a decade back in accordance with its own calendar rules.

While the college principals have started the process of implementing the decision by getting circulars and notices posted for the faculty members and students, with college students elections due by the end of next month, none of them is sure whether it is a move which should be welcomed at this stage.

College students are presently required to attend 66 per cent of the lectures to be eligible to appear in the annual examinations. Considering that for many of the students it is difficult to scrape through even the 66 per cent limit, 75 per cent attendance could mean difficult times ahead.

Many of these students, who are borderline cases, resort to the college principals’ powers to condone lecture shortage upto 15 per cent of each student. The college principals have, over the years, getting stricter with the students. The number of students who are not given roll numbers by the colleges to appear in the examinations has been rising steadily. Last year, more than a hundred students were refused roll numbers by the college due to shortage of lectures.

Getting this condonation through hook or crook also becomes a major whisper campaign issue for college students representative parties during college elections, which is also one of the reasons that the principals feel that this decision of PU will open a Pandora’s box during student elections.

This move of Panjab University is following a rigorous campaign of the UGC to get life back into classroom teaching in colleges and universities. Many feel that like the 180 working day regulation of the UGC, which has come to mean only an ideal for colleges to strive for, the 75 per cent attendance will also remain at that.

“The colleges are not able to reach more than 105 to 110 working days in a session. This move of the university will ensure that at least these days are well attended by the students,” says a college principal. “But if one were to calculate 75 per cent lectures from among the total lectures delivered, it will be possible to ensure that this regulation is implemented,” says another college principal.



CBI admits failure to trace man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Mystery continues to shroud the 1987 disappearance of a senior assistant in the tehsildar’s office at SAS Nagar. Even after “sincere efforts”, the Central Bureau of Investigation has failed to trace Jagir Singh of Daulat Singhwala village.

In its final report submitted to Mr Justice M.L. Singhal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the premier investigation agency has stated that it has not been able to make any breakthrough and as such, they may be allowed to close the matter.

A case under Section 344 of the Indian Penal Code was earlier registered by the police after Jagir Singh’s wife informed the cops that her husband had not returned home even after a lapse of two or three days. She had added that Jagir Singh had left the house for attending the office on August 21, 1987. Since then, his whereabouts were not known.

The case was handed over to the CBI after a petition was filed in the High Court by Jagir Singh’s wife Surinder Kaur. Seeking probe by an independent agency, she had expressed dissatisfaction with the inquiry conducted by then Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sukhdev Singh Brar. DSP Brar, in his report submitted after recording the statements of relatives and colleagues, had stated that Jagir Singh might have disappeared on his own due to domestic problems.

In an effort to trace the missing assistant, the CBI had even announced a reward of Rs 50,000. “Wide publicity” of the reward was given through the electronic media and leading newspapers. Posters were also pasted at important locations, including bus stands. His photographs were also shown to bus drivers, ticket checkers and employees of liquor vends. This was not all. Mental asylums were also checked.

Taking up the report, Mr Justice Singhal of the High Court today disposed of the petition as being “without meaning” after observing in the open court that the entire exercise of tracing the victim was “in futility”.



Former RPO’s sentence reduced
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, August 25
Maintaining the conviction of Chandigarh's former Passport Officer Sukhdev Singh Kahlon in a disproportionate assets case, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today reduced his sentence from three years to one year.

Kahlon, booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act, was earlier tried by Chandigarh's Session Judge. He was "found to be in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income to the tune of Rs 8,34,086.22".

Convicting him on March 30, 1996, the Sessions Judge had sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years. A fine of Rs 5,000 was also imposed.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court on his appeal, Mr Justice Garewal observed: “The disproportionate assets have been scaled down to about 4.51 lakh.

The case against the appellant took nearly four years at the stage of investigation and over five years during the trial. Keeping all the factors in view, the conviction of the appellant is maintained, but the sentence is reduced from three years to one year”.

Directing the appellant to surrender forthwith for undergoing the remaining sentence, Mr Justice Garewal, in his detailed order, added: “As he has been suffering from chronic renal failure and is on maintenance haemodiallysis as per the medical reports, his latest medical condition shall be taken into consideration while committing him to custody”.


Special Shatabdi has its maiden run
Tribune News Service

On board special Shatabdi, August 25
There was no fanfare or flag off by a VVIP. But, the Special Shatabdi train made its maiden run between New Delhi and Chandigarh today much to the cheer of frequent travellers on this route.

Although the Delhi-Chandigarh segment had very poor passenger response, the return shuttle, because of its convenient timing, attracted sizeable passengers, despite today being a Saturday.

Many a passengers, especially businessmen, were full of praise for Northern Railway for introducing this Special Shatabdi as it gave them plenty of options with two more Shatabdis already plying on the same New Delhi-Chandigarh-New Delhi route.

However, many passengers felt that the services of the special train needed to be improved to make it much more comfortable and passenger-friendly.

The special features of this train is that it has new design coaches called IRY/IR20, developed by the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, in collaboration with the Research, Design and Standards Organisation, Lucknow, which has improved, aesthetically designed interiors, larger windows (1400x843 mm) for a panoramic view, axle mounted disc brake system, corrugated roof and sidewall for enhanced strength and noise isolation and improved AC duct for comfortable travelling.

“The IRY coach is a quantum jump over the conventional Shatabdi coaches as regards to amenities for passengers and reliability. This coach has a seating capacity of 70 in IInd AC chair car and 48 in executive chair car,” a beaming Niraj Sahay of the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) told The Tribune on way to Chandigarh.

Mr Sahay, who is the traffic supervisor of Shatabdi trains on New Delhi-Chandigarh-New Delhi route is of a firm view that this Special Shatabdi train will become more popular among the passengers, especially those travelling on the Chandigarh-New Delhi segment, as it would provide a convenient connection back to Delhi for business and frequent travellers.

The added features in the train, like separate pantry and toilet areas, facilities like hot case, water bottle cooler, hot water boiler sink, cold drink dispenser, soup warmer and trolley space, better AC duct, seats with more leg room and adjustable lights for improved comfort would make the travelling much more comfortable, Mr Sahay hoped.

“The coach has the speed potential of 160 km per hour with ride index of 2.9 which is much superior to that of the conventional coach. This implies that the coach will have a smoother run as compared to the conventional coaches as there will be reduction of 25 to 30 per cent in jerks as compared to conventional coaches,”he said.

Even as Mr Sahay was optimistic about the popularity of this special Shatabdi, Mr S.P. Singh, a businessman, who frequently travels on this route warned that if the departure time of the train from New Delhi was not advanced to 11 a.m. from 11.30 a.m., there would be much less booking. However, he said the Special Shatabdi’s departure time from Chandigarh (5.30 p.m.) was absolutely convenient for business travellers.

While Mr S.P. Singh appreciated the in-house services provided in the train, Mr K.K. Sharma, Director Bureau of Indian Standards, who was travelling to Chandigarh along with his wife, was highly critical about the service provided in the train, although he was happy about the timing.

“The catering service, cleanliness and other value-added services have to be improved,” Mr Sharma, who was travelling by Executive chair car told The Tribune.

Mr Mohinder Singh, an executive member of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and Whole Cloth Merchants Association, felt that the Railways should reserve a few coaches for purely vegetarian passengers and serving of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals on board be done by separate waiters.

Some other passengers in the train, Manvinder Singh, Iqbal Singh and Col (Retd) S.J.S. Sandhu (retd) were happy about the introduction of the train.

“For persons, who reach Delhi from various parts of the country and want to have an onward connection to Chandigarh, this Special Shatabdi train is the most ideal train,” Iqbal Singh said.

Col Sandhu (retd) was happy about the fact that this train has spacious seats with more leg room, wider windows and a good AC duct for comfortable journey.

The Special Shatabdi, will be on a trial run for two months and depending on the response it would be continued or discarded. If the response was good, the train might be upgraded further with negligible hike in the fare, Railways sources said.

All said and done, Northern Railway officials are optimistic about the trains popularity, for it was introduced due to demands from several frequent travellers and adequate marketing survey.



Pak guests visit their “Sikh chacha”
Prabhjot Singh

Chandigarh, August 25
Memories of August 25 will remain etched for ever on their minds. It was today that Ms Nusrat Jamil and Ms Nasreen Rehman, both daughters of Brig Faiz-ul-Rehman (retd), Pakistan’s former High Commissioner to England, were able to visit Budbar, their ancestral village, as guests of none other than Colonel Kartar Singh Jawanda (retd), their “Sikh chacha”, 54 years after the partition and 21 years after the death of their father.

On August 23, both Nusrat, who managed Frontier Post, one of Pakistan’s leading English dailies, for more than a decade as its Managing Editor, and Nasreen, a famous script writer and playwright of Pakistan, and accompanied by Nadia Jamil, a daughter of the former, crossed into “India for a touching reunion with the family of their ‘Sikh chacha’ “. Besides, they had been longing to see their ancestral village, where their father and their “Sikh chacha” had been living together before the partition separated them.

Nadia Jamil is a celebrity in her own way. After doing her double Bachelor’s in Drama and Creative Writing from Hampshire College in Massachusettes in the USA, she is one of the prominent small -screen and big screen stars in Pakistan. “The moment we took our first step into India on August 23, we knew the man made boundaries were too weak and too fragile against strong human relationships and bonds. More than 50 years of separation could not break these centuries old bonds that had kept our family and ‘Sikh chacha’s family together in Budbar, a unique village of erstwhile Nabha State, which later formed a part of Pepsu State and is now in Punjab. We want to touch, feel and salute the soil that has brought us back to our ‘chacha’,” they said .

Colonel Jawanda and Brigadier Rehman been bosom friends as they went to their village’s mosque for their preliminary schooling. At that time, neither Budbar, though a historic village with a high density of Muslim population, nor any village in its periphery, had any school.

“There was an unprecedented communal harmony and peace in our village. Majority of the people were either Muslim Rajputs or Jat Sikhs, who were either farmers or doing government service. We never heard of any crime being committed in our village simply because it was a teetotallers’ community.

“We got separated in the early 40s when I moved to Uttar Pradesh and subsequently joined the Army and Faz-ul-Rehman Khan joined Nabha’s Akal Infantry. At the time of partition when Faiz-ul-Rehman Khan returned to the village and persuaded other Muslim families to migrate to Pakistan, offering them safe passage, they refused maintaining that Budbar was their village and India their home. At that time , Colonel Jawanda was posted in the East, near Kolkata. “After partition, I started missing my childhood friend. I tried my best, including through intelligence sources, to ascertain his whereabouts but did not succeed. I had to wait until a couple of years ago till I met some friends of my son-in-law, Paramjit Gill, an engineer with British Airways, in Muscat. They had no idea of Brig Faiz-ul-Rehman Khan. However, when I asked them about Brigadier’s younger brother, Mr Akhtar-ul-Rehman Khan, they knew him. They told me that he was the Chairman of an Insurance Company in Pakistan and was living in Rawalpindi. I wrote a letter to him. Mr Akhtar-ul-Rehman acknowledged this letter and told me about the Brigadier, who during his stint as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to England died in London in 1980. He also told me about his sister who was living in Model Town, Lahore.

“Though I was able to establish a contact with my friend’s family, the possibility of a reunion looked remote until Nusrat Rehman, who shuttles between London and Lahore, came to see us at Cardiff , where I live with my daughter and son-in-law, in February this year. It was a very touching reunion. When I hugged her I could feel that Nusrat’s hands were exactly like her father,” recalls Colonel Jawanda, now in his 80s.

“After the February reunion, Nusrat invited us to Lahore for the wedding of Nadia but we could not make it. But a regular exchange of e-mails and letters kept us in touch with each other and paved the way for the “ entire family reunion” now. Both families are so “excited”. Their excitement is understandable. The special visitors from Pakistan were all excited about watching “Dil Chahta Hai” yesterday and “Ghaddar” today after their return from Budbar. They are all praise for Chandigarh saying it is “really beautiful, reminding us of Islamabad. But here the trees are little older and the greenery is also more.”



TA officers contest Army authorities’ order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A controversy has arisen in respect of Army authorities routine of issuing “apprehension rolls” to Territorial Army (TA) officers who are reluctant for embodiment. While apprehension rolls are being issued to ensure adequate officer strength in TA units being mobilised for counter insurgency duties. TA officers maintain that the action of Army authorities is wholly illegal as apprehension rolls are meant to apprehend deserters on active service.

“An officer, who is not embodied, is not on active service and is not under the purview of the Army Act. Hence the question of desertion does not arise,” a TA officer said.

The fact that Army authorities have been taking such a step indicates the level of motivation and willingness of TA officers to volunteer for active duty. The TA often finds itself in a spot while mobilising units and has to resort to other measures including drawing officers from other units to make up the requisite officer strength. Apprehension rolls are known to have been issued to ensure adequate officer presence even for the annual Territorial Army Day parades. It is learnt that a couple of apprehension rolls were issued to officers while an infantry battalion under the Western Command TA Group was mobilised recently for counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

TA officers maintain that apart from the obligatory embodiment for two months in a year, they cannot be forced into embodiment unless there is national emergency.

TA officers are embodied under TA Rule 33, which stipulates that an officer or enrolled person may be called out to support and supplement the regular Army, or to provide essential guard, or in aid to civil authorities, provided the officer or enrolled person can be embodied under a regular headquarters or unit, and if he volunteers with the consent of his employer.

Sources say that the issue of apprehension rolls results in either a TA officer volunteering for embodiment under duress or the officer “sorting out the matter” with the higher authorities.



Getting trolley at PGI is a war of nerves
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
This is a bitter experience of a senior gynaecologist when recently she had to be admitted to the PGI. While she struggled to get down from the ambulance, her ageing husband started searching a trolley for patients, but not without much drama. When he finally managed to locate one, to his surprise, there were other contenders for it as well.

The couple, however, did manage to get a trolley, but their struggle did not end there. “I had to myself push the trolley right up to the gynae ward on the third floor. Not a single staff member or a ward servant came forth to help me,” said the husband.

A journalist also recounted an instance when precious life-saving minutes were wasted as relatives of an accident victim were not getting a patient trolley outside the emergency ward. “When they did find a trolley, it was without a wheel. And to take the patient from the emergency to the Radiology Department for a CT scan is in itself is traumatising experience,” he recounted.

The PGI has about 100 wheelchairs and 246 patient trolleys. Official said of these, 100 trolleys were at the main reception which caters to the new OPD and the wards in Nehru Hospital. The emergency ward has around 150 trolleys. Officials said during emergencies the trolleys at the main reception were also shifted to the emergency ward.

Actually, the onus for this distressing situation lies both on the management and attendants of the patients. It should be candidly admitted that the attendants are equally responsible for this mismanagement, and dilapidated condition of the trolleys.

The officials say, there have been times when they had spotted trolleys and wheelchairs lying at places for away from the main building, near the PGI gurdwara, sarai and the workshop area. “Attendants of the patients take their patients on trolleys for fresh air in the evening on wheelchairs and trolleys. And since their wheels are not meant to be dragged on the rough roads, they suffer unnecessary wear and tear,” they add.

Sources said to overcome that problem, the officials had asked the PGI administration to follow the AIIMS pattern and take some token amount as security before releasing the trolley to the patient. This proposal was, however, struck down by the authorities.

The officials lament that the attendants prefer to take their patients from the new OPD to Nehru Hospital on a wheelchair or a trolley fearing that they might not get one over there.”

Besides, due to heavy rush of patients there was sometimes a temporary scarcity of the trolleys said the PGI Medical Superintendent, Dr A.K. Gupta.

He said efforts were on to procure more trolleys for the hospital and the PGI. He, However, said number of geriatric patients was increasing and more trolleys and wheelchairs were needed for which a special committee had been constituted. But then we also cannot have an excessive number of trolleys and wheelchairs in the hospital as they congest the corridors and make movement of the doctors, patients and others difficult,” said Dr Gupta.

The hospital had also invited requisitions from various wards for additional trolleys and wheelchairs but not even one of them had sent its demand. Obviously the staff concerned does not want to take the responsibility of maintaining the stock of additional trolleys and wheelchairs, said the sources.


The first winter at Antarctica
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
“When we set sail from Antarctica in March, 1985, we had tears in our eyes, with nostalgic feelings that we were not really sailing homewards, but instead leaving our real home Dakshin Gangotri on the continental ice-shelf.”

Stating this while talking to The Tribune about his recently published book, “Breaking the Ice in Antartica”, the team leader of the first Indian winter expedition to Antarctica, Maj-Gen S. S. Sharma (retd), said that it had been a very challenging mission and he wanted to share its unique experiences with generations to come. “A book is a record which can be referred to over and over again,” he added.

“Till the time the expedition was finally launched, the entire exercise was kept under wraps as no one was sure about its success,” General Sharma, who is at present Director of the Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment here, said. “Even the selection process was secretive,” he added.

Referring to some of his most memorable moments on the frozen continent, General Sharma, who was then a lieutenant colonel, recalled the day when an IAF Mi-8 helicopter carrying an underslung load went out of control, hit their ship and crashed into the sea. “There was panic on the ship. Suddenly, a chetak helicopter approached the ship as if godsend and it was quickly equipped for casualty evacuation,” he recalled. The rescue operation was difficult, with three men falling into the icy water after being extracted by the chopper as they could not hold on to the rope due to wet hands. A boat had to be launched to pick up the survivors, who were exposed to exothermia and required immediate medical attention.

The book vividly describes a number of hair-raising incidents which the 12-member team of scientists and soldiers experienced during their 16-month stay on a 400-metre thick floating ice-shelf.

Beginning with a description of the voyage to Antarctica through the “roaring forties”, icebergs, pack ice and fast sea ice, the book recounts the painstaking process of selecting the site for the station, construction and commissioning life support systems. “We had to sail through a lot of pack ice to reach the landing point. Initially we thought that we had to cut through 30 - 40 km of ice to reach the berthing point, but after 2-3 km we found that the ice was thick enough to berth and disembark,” he added. Penguins were there to welcome the team.

Base point was 80 km to 100 km away, which took 15 to 20 hours to reach. Recce by choppers for two days and initial study of maps and aerial photographs while sailing were used to select a suitable site for the station, which could “stand the test of time”..

“There was an instance when the roof of our power house broke and parts of it flew off because of a blizzard. The power house was full of snow, endangering our generators,” General Sharma said.

“The team had to take very rapid action to seal the damaged portion and the situation was retrieved because of sheer teamwork and determination,” he added.

Several instances mentioned in the book include team members getting lost in blizzards or getting stuck in cold chambers. Other highlights include speaking to the then Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, celebrating Independence and Republic Days, the experiences of a polar day and polar night, stretching into months, constructing helipads on ice, and interactions with team members from other countries. “We had to do a lot of improvisation and innovation. Equipment was being tried for the first time in such conditions and it used to pack up at times,” he recalled.

The book also describes the physical beauty of Antarctica, its wildlife as well as scientific and astronomical phenomenons, which few have a chance to see in real life. The teams research activities mentioned in the book have also helped military operations in Siachen.



Is jail security adequate?
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 25
The Model Burail Jail here has 100 employees responsible for internal security 30 of whom are untrained and have been appointed on ad hoc basis.

Though the authorities are confident that the present arrangement of an inner circle of 100 personnel and an outer circle of 126 CRPF men are sufficient to take care of about 430 inmates, the past records belie the claim.

A few years back, one of the security personnel of the jail had been caught red-handed in Punjab while faxing a massage of the one of the undertrials to a person abroad; the material to make country-made liquor had reportedly been recovered from some foreign prisoners in the jail lock-up. Prisoners had once made a jailbreak attempt. There had been incidents of prisoners beating up the security staff.

Sources say there are loopholes in the security and some drugs are being supplied to some hardcrore criminals lodged in the jail. Sources add that the Model Burail Jail, having a capacity of 1000 inmates, presently has about 430 undertrials and convicts.

As per the jail manual, the jail department is responsible for institutional training and treatment of both adult and young offenders. It is the duty of the Inspector-General and the UT District Magistrate to personally visit and inspect the jail and to satisfy himself that the provisions of the Prison Act, 1894, and all rules, regulations, directions and orders are obeyed and enforced. He has satisfy himself that the arrangements for guarding are satisfactory.

The jail mannual also states that the Superintendent of the jail should, as far as practicable, see every prisoner in his charge daily and the Senior Superintendent of a jail should see every prisoner in his charge once every two days.

When contacted, a senior official of the Model Burail Jail agreed that there were some employees who were working on ad hoc basis and they could not be sent for training. He added that they mostly had trained personnel and denied that any malpractice was going in the jail. 


Question your councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
We are reproducing below the questions raised by the residents of Ward 5, together with the response of the ward councillor, Mr K.K. Adiwal.

Question: What is the status of the promised bio-gas plant at the dumping ground in Dadu Majra colony as work has practically stopped there? The condition of the internal roads is rather bad and no tiles have been put in front of the shops. Why? ( Devi Lala Aggarwal, president of Shopping Association, Dadu Majra colony.)

Answer: Though I am in constant touch with the company with whom an agreement was signed for setting up the bio-gas plant, the delay is on account of the difficulty being faced by the company in getting the loan. However, we will give them another 3 to 4 months, following which the tender will be cancelled and either the MC will set up the same or ask the Administration for funds for doing the needful.

Though the money stands sanctioned for the recarpeting of internal roads, the work has not been undertaken in view of massive encroachments by the people. While the V-5 roads will be completed by October, the work on these internal roads will be undertaken during the next term of the civic body. There were no funds to put tiles in front of shops.

Question: When will the sewerage problem in Dhanas get solved as it is causing lot of environment pollution? What have you done in this regard as well as the problems being faced by people due to frequent power cuts? (Mr Sita Ram Sharma, a retired employee).

Answer: The matter is lying pending in the court even as the underground lines have been laid. As regards electricity, I had taken up the matter with the officials concerned in the Administration of giving the residents of Dhanas some connection from a transformer in Sector 15, but they had ruled out the same.

Question: Have you taken any steps regarding the rehabilitation of 300 to 325 shopkeepers operating in Janata and Kumhar colonies? Will we be allowed to make some changes in the plots allotted to us as part of the rehabilitation scheme? (Mr Rajinder Jain, chairman, Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, Sector 25).

Answer: Shops are being made in the place earlier allocated for public toilets in Sector 25. Of the 104 shops here, 6 to 8 shops will be made as super centres and the same will be auctioned. In fact, this is perhaps the only rehabilitated colony to have a shopping centre. I have put forth the demands of the people of the area regarding these internal changes . The MC has no power to allow and only the Administration can take decision on this matter.

Question: The sewerage system in Dadu Majra colony is virtually non-existent and gets choked every now and then. What have you done to solve this problem and when will it be solved? The filth in the area due to the location of dumping ground has led to an increase in the incidence of asthma and other skin diseases. What do you propose to check the increase in criminal activities (Devinder Singh, a resident of Dadu Majra colony).

Answer: Though a big sewerage line of 6’’ by 9’’ has been put on the internal roads in Dhanas and Khuda Lahora, the problem persists due to encroachments made by people. Further, the increase in population of these areas has also worsened the situation. Shortage of staff in the department is also responsible for the present state of affairs.

The bio-gas plant, which has been held up due to delay in sanction of loans, will be completed shortly and this will put an end to most of health related problems.

As regards an increase in the incidence of crime in recent months, the phenomenon is true of the entire city, but I have taken up the issue with the police officials concerned in my ward. They have promised me to beef up the security for the general well-being of the people.

Question: There is problem of drinking water in the slum areas of the colonies. The sanitary conditions are also far from satisfactory. Most of the areas in your ward have no community centre to facilitate the public to hold social and religious functions. What have you done to solve this problem and by when it will be done? ( Mr Balraj Singh, Congress leader).

Answer: No major complaints were received by me or the MC regarding drinking water problem, except for water shortage on the third floors. However, with view to improve water supply in the ward, I had got a tubewell dug in both Dhanas and Khuda Lahora, along with booster arrangements. A booster arrangement has also been made in Sector 25. The problem is due to an increase in numbers. I have tried my level best to get the areas cleaned and free them of flies and mosquitoes, but the lapse is on the part of safai karamcharis.

I was instrumental in getting the Haryana Dharamshala in Dhanas vacated and got the same handed over to Nasha Mukti Anmolan Kendra, being run by GMCH-32. There is no place for another community centre. The grant for setting up a multipurpose complex in Dhanas has also lapsed as lot of area is filled with cowdung and not too feasible. However, I do admit to the need of these centres in my area.



Reckless drivers endanger lives
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, August 25
Mocking the efforts of UT police to make Chandigarh a safer city, reckless drivers are endangering lives by carelessly cutting through the break in the median on the road in front of the Police Headquarters and the Education Department in Sector 9.

The failure of the police to safeguard the lives of residents bang outside their own headquarters is evident from the fact that accidents take place on the road every day. No preventive measures have been taken by the authorities so far. Although a simple step like posting a cop to ensure free flow of traffic can make a big difference.

Although the exact data of the mishaps is not available with the police, sources in the department claim that at least two to three minor accidents take place everyday. Sources add that in majority of the cases the accidents go unreported as “the loss is not back-breaking”.

The rush on the road is heavy as, according to sources, about eight offices are situated in the building adjoining the Police Headquarters. The problem, sources reveal, was not “so bad” till about six months back as the road was closed for general public.

According to sources, in a recent incident a woman working with the Education Department sustained injuries while she was driving back to her residence on the scooter in evening. The mishap took place when a car coming from the opposite direction made a wrong entry. “After the accident, the women got so scared that she has stopped riding to the office,” says a senior officer in the Education Department.

In another incident, a section officer in the Education Department got hurt after a scooter rammed into him while he was crossing the road. “His knee was fractured and he had to remain in bed for two months,” the officer claims, adding that the break in the median should be closed in order to reduce the number of accidents.

A senior police official, Mr Baldev Singh, says, Traffic personnel are posted there to maintain traffic”. He further says, “The break in the median should be widened and the bushes along the divider should be trimmed every now and then. This will help the people coming from the opposite side to clearly see the traffic”.

He adds: “Traffic personnel are missing from the road only when they are deployed on a VIP route or are busy with some agitation”.

The Director Public Instructions, UT, Mr D.S. Saroya, says, “Police is already aware of the problem. The officials have assured that precautionary measures are being taken to prevent accidents in future.”



Zoo officials oblivious of escaped animals
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, August 25
Over two dozen inhabitants of six species in the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park which have escaped from different enclosures over the years are still rambling openly within the zoo premises.

Kept in separate enclosures for public view, the animals escaped and the zoo authorities have hardly made any efforts to capture them and put back in their respective places. Being quick and sensitive, these animals could not be tranquilised and captured even after a gap of a long period.

Apart from a civet-cat, which is an exotic species, sources in the zoo disclosed that sambars, chinkaras, neel gai, pangolins, porcupines and monkeys had escaped from their enclosures in the last years.

According to zoo employees, almost all the escaped animals were spotted within zoo premises till about two years back, but nowadays only sambars and chinkaras “Chitals” could be seen roaming frequently. Moreover, the escaped animals are continuously destroying the sapling planted to beautify the zoo premises.

“About seven years ago, some sambars escaped from their enclosure after a tree fell and broke the wiremesh of their enclosure. Some sambars and two chinkaras also escaped when the flooded Ghaggar river washed away the outerwall of the Deer Safari,” a senior zoo official disclosed on the condition of anonymity.

Sources also revealed that five porcupines and three pangolins had also disappeared from their enclosures and the zoo authorities had failed to locate them till date. Moreover, a “civet cat” an endangered species, was also found missing from its cage a few years ago.

The rambling of animals was confirmed when Karam Singh captured the escaped sambar in his camera while it was crossing a lake within the zoo premises on Tuesday afternoon.

Zoo employees confirmed that escaped animals often gathered near the enclosures of other animals during night. They say the presence of the animals could be confirmed by their pug-marks.

Mr Pradeep Sharma, a visitor, was shocked when he saw an escaped sambar roaming in the zoo openly. He said the callous behaviour of the zoo authorities could also lead to the escaping of lions and tigers from their enclosures which may result in a major tragedy.

“The animals, birds and reptiles should be kept in proper enclosures and cages for the public view in zoos. After all, there is some difference in zoos and sanctuaries. If you have to keep the animals and birds in the open, then call it a sanctuary and not a zoo,” said Mr Amarjit Singh who had come to watch the animals from Delhi.

When contacted, Mr R.K. Luna, Zoo Director, said only 5-7 sambars and some neel gais were in the forest area of the zoo. The animals might have entered the zoo premises by scaling the boundary wall, he added. He however, expressed his ignorance about other escapee rare animals.

Mr Luna said the animals would be caught and sent to an other zoo, if needed. He denied the possibility of putting them back in their respective enclosures as the enclosures were already overcrowded.



Safari contractor to move court
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, August 25
The contractor of buses, in the Lion Safari of the Chhat Bir Zoo, is contemplating to move the court against the zoo authorities for not allowing him to ply the buses as per the terms and conditions of the tender.

Mr Sunil Kumar, the contractor, said the zoo authorities had forced him to run his buses from 9:30 am to 5 pm, however, the actual time for plying the vehicles was mentioned as from 9:30 am to 5:30 p.m. in the contract. The contractor said the zoo Director, Mr R.K. Luna, directed him not to ply the buses beyond 5 pm. This act of the authorities had been causing him a daily loss of Rs 500, said Mr Sunil Kumar. He said zoo authorities had restrained him in the first week of July and thus caused a loss of over Rs 30,000 till date.

However, the zoo Director clarified that the contractor had not submitted the verified documents of the contract deal even though he had been asked to report to the Range Officer. Mr Luna said, ‘‘We have no problem in permitting him to ply his vehicles till 5:30, provided he submits the verified documents of the tender deal’’. The contractor was blackmailing the zoo authorities and had been plying the vehicle illegally, Mr Luna alleged.

On the other hand, Mr Sunil Kumar alleged that he had been approaching the zoo head office in Sector 8 in Chandigarh, repeatedly, but the clerk concerned was not sending the file.

It may be recalled that Narinder Kumar Bhanot, a Superintendent in the head office of the zoo, was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on August 8 while receiving a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Mr Sunil Kumar for extending the time of the safari.

Mr Sunil Kumar has also represented to the Vigilance Bureau complaining that the zoo authorities were harassing him and not permitting him to ply the buses as per the accepted terms and condition of the contract.



Greens at your doorstep
Our Correspondent

All the seasonal vegetables can be bought anywhere in the city. Fruit sellers are found in every sector and most of them sell vegetables on cycle-rehris while a small number have their permanent centres on the roadside. These fruits sellers are there in addition to the regular rehri-markets in various sectors.

Thanks to these roadside vegetable sellers the residents do not have to run to the regular markets every day for their requirements of green vegetables. People prefer these vendors mainly because they bring vegetables to their doorstep at competitive prices.

Ram Singh, a vegetable vendor who does his business on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 25 says he has been in this business for the past 20 years. One can buy most of the vegetables from his roadside shop. Like other vegetable sellers, he goes to the grain market in Sector 26 every morning to purchase his stock of vegetables. These vegetablewalas keep sprinkling water on the vegetables at regular intervals to protect them from hot sun.

In most of the sectors they sell vegetables on cycle-rehris. In every sector they have demarcated areas among themselves and generally no one encroaches upon somebody else’s area.

Another interesting aspect of their trade is that they considerably reduce the prices in the evening. They obviously want to return home with all their stocks sold and the maximum cash in their pockets, says Satish Kumar, who sells vegetables on his rehri in parts of Sectors 15 and 16.

These vegetable sellers were never in competition with the regular markets. As a vegetable seller, Naresh Kumar, puts it: “The demand for vegetables in the city is very large and the housewives prefer us to the markets because we supply vegetables at their doorsteps”. They also have their regular customers.

But the Apani Mandis in various sectors of the city do give them a competition. Vegetables in Apani mandis are comparatively cheap and fresh and people buy stocks that last the entire week.



‘Coach adheres to motor vehicle rules’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO) has in a statement asserted that the Hop on- Hop off tourist coach launched in the city last month adhered to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules and without compromising on safety norms certain better amenities have been incorporated in it for the benefit of tourists and other local passengers.

CITCO in tandem with the Chandigarh Tourism Department introduced this unique double decker with open roof for local sight seeing tour on July 27. The concept of Hop on- Hop off tourist coach has been adopted from similar type of tourist coaches plying in London and other European countries.

A press not issued by CITCO states that M/s Sutlej Motors Ltd, the bus body fabricators, have confirmed that the open air, dual deck coach fabricated at their works adheres to the Central Motor Vehicles rules and the prescribed safety norms. It further adds that M/s Ashoka Leyland have supplied a chassis which was duly approved by the State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, and has a special suspension for additional safety and load carrying capacity. The bus body fabricator has also confirmed that height of the coach is 4.59 m, which falls in the stipulated limit of 4.75 m as per the CMVR Rules clause 4 of the sub section II and the gross vehicle weight also adheres to the rules. The coach even had a system for water disposal during the rainy season.

According to the press note an ordinary coach has a seating capacity of 61 and in this particular case the coach has 34 seats on the lower deck and 22 on the upper deck. The seating capacity on the upper and lower deck is in line with the safety norms. An additional railing has also been put on the upper deck for the safety of the passengers.


Algae — the food of the future
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
With the patent regime coming into operation post 2005 and medicines prices becoming beyond the common man’s reach, nutraceuticals, a natural food derivative, will become a major source of cheap disease preventive diet supplement and replace traditional medicines.

“After 2005 the new patent regime is going to highly increase the price of medicines and algae food richest with proteins, minerals and vitamins and extremely cheap with no burden on the environment, is going to replace yet known medicines,’’ Ms Anshu Gupta, nutritionist of the Rs 3800 crore Murugappa group’s Parry Nutraceutifal’s, told The Tribune in an interview here today.

Extolling the algae food as diet supplement, she said the cheap cost, quicker growing cycle, environment nourishing properties, market potential of $ 91 billion dollar and above all nutritional value would make it popular.

She said one of the algae foods, Spirulina, discovered by ancient African culture and exploited by the Japanese, has already caught the fancy of USA and Europe as diet required to supplement diet changing for worse due to the fast life style and stress.

The nutrition expert said in fact, there was a need to reach out to each household to make algae acceptable and give the poor a nutrition solution and added that Parry Nutracetifal was already moving in this direction and will soon be able to at least access those people who could initially afford this cheap preventive health care solution.

She said if concerted campaigns were launched in tandem with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government by social pressure groups and companies, there was a great potential for algoculture which can bring algae farmers money as well as balanced diet solutions.

Ms Gupta said Spirulina is the richest vegetarian source of protein and compared to 34 per cent in soyabeans, nine per cent in corn and 20 per cent in grain-fed meat, it has 60 per cent protein.

Ms Gupta said with fresh water becoming scarcer resource day by day, algae makes more sense as its protein uses 25 per cent of water required for soyabean, 17 per cent for corn and only 2 per cent for meat and it prefers brackish water, which is available untapped, to valuable fresh drinking water.

She said algae are more energy efficient and will become critical in re-greening our planet very soon.



Khalsa Panchayat holds rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Members of the Khalsa Panchayat today held a rally in Sector 17 Plaza in protest against the reported statement of the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, where he advocated relief to those Punjab Police officials who had been facing trials in courts for alleged excesses during militancy in Punjab.

Condemning the statement of Mr Advani, the speakers at the function alleged that while the cases against the “errant” police officials were pending in the courts, the Home Minister had tried to influence and make mockery of the judiciary.

Projecting their acts as patriotic, Mr Advani had insulted the nation and the humanity, they said, and added that the cases of the guilty police officials should be disposed off immediately and they should be given exemplary punishments.

The convener of the panchayat, Mr Rajinder Singh, expressed concern at the reports of alleged desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib from time to time. He demanded that the law for such heinous crimes should be amended with a provision of imprisonment for atleast 10 years.

Special courts should be constituted for the disposal of such cases within three months. The innocent Sikhs, who have undergone imprisonment for duration exceeding their tenures should be released immediately, he demanded.



Dharna against CHB on Sept 3
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 25
At an all-party meeting held today at the UT Guest House to take stock of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) authorities’ response to the problem of CHB allottees, it was decided to hold a day-long dharna on September 3 to protest against the attitude of the CHB authorities.

In a resolution passed at the meeting, the CHB was condemned for its duplicity in dealing with allottees. The resolution said on the one hand, the CHB had decided to review the issue of addition and alteration in the CHB units through a committee having people’s representatives and on the other hand, it was going ahead with a ‘‘selective, sinister plan of demolition and cancellation’’ in the name of stopping new construction.

The resolution alleged that the CHB was hitting even those parts of a building which were under consideration for regularisation. The reference was to a building in Sector 46, where the second floor was reportedly damaged during a demolition drive of the enforcement staff of the CHB yesterday.

The all-party meeting asked the CHB officials to stop such demolition and cancellation. The resolution said to protest against this behaviour of the authorities, an all- party dharna would be held in Sector 17 from 9 am to 5 pm on September 3. ‘‘All prominent leaders from all political parties will sit in this day-long dharna with supporters from their parties’’, informed Mr Nirmal Dutt, chairman of the CHB Residents Federation, an apex body of 42 Welfare Associations.

A fresh effort would be made to seek a solution to CHB allottees problem by meeting the Adviser, the Administrator and the Union Home Minister, Mr L. K. Advani. The resolution further said even if this effort failed, all leaders would lead a mourning procession. The first such procession would be taken to the house of Chairman of the CHB on September 16.

Among others, the resolution was signed by: Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, Mr Yash Pal Mahjan, Mr Gian Chand Gupta (BJP), Mr Harmohan Dhawan, Mr Davinder Singh Babla (Chandigarh Vikas Manch), Mr Mata Ram Dhiman, Mr Mahinder Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh Garewal (CPI(M)), Mr Devi Dayal, Mr Raghubir Singh Sandhu (CPI), Mr Ram Pal Sharma (INTUC), Mr Subhash Chawal, Mr B.B. Behl (Congress), Mr R.M. Kashyap (Janta Dal (F)), Mr Gurbachan Singh (NCP) and Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar (SAD). The CHB Residents Federation was represented by Mr Nirmal Dutt (chairman), Mr Jatinder Bhatia (president) and Mr B. S. Chadha (general secretary). Today’s was the third all-party meeting regarding the problems faced by CHB allottees. The first meeting was held on July 31 and the second on August 4.



NAC status for Naya Gaon, Kansal sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Residents of Naya Gaon, Kansal Janata Colony, Adarsh Nagar, Dashmesh Nagar, Shivalik Vihar and Gobind Nagar localities held a meeting here today under the aegis of the Ghar Bacchao Committee. It was presided over by Mr Surjit Singh.

Sarpanches of Kansal village and Janata Colony were among the prominent persons present at the meeting.

Residents demanded that a notified area committee be set up for Naya Gaon, Janata Colony, Kansal and Chhoti Krore.

They also sought electricity connection for houses outside “lal dora” in Punjab villages along the Chandigarh border on the pattern of the Haryana and Chandigarh Administration.



Mayor felicitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 25
The city Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, was honoured at two functions held at Sector 37 and Sector 40 gurdwara on her assuming the office of the Mayor. “This is important not only for SAD but also for the Sikh entire community.

In Sector 37, members of the Istri Satsang Sabha and Sikh Nari Manch honoured her. The president of the sabha, Bibi Raminder Kaur, who is also the vice-president of Sikh Nari Manch, equated her with the mother of the panth, Mata Bhag Kaur. She was given a memento and a ‘dushala’.

Earlier, a warm welcome was given to the Mayor at gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev ji, Sector 40. She was later presented with a siropa. President of the gurdwara, Mr Mohinder Singh said that Bibi ji started her career as a missionary of Sikhism and it was due to the blessings of the sangat and her devotion that she had got elected. While thanking the sangat, the Mayor assured them that she would strive to live upto the expectation of the Sikh sangat.



Lions Club ceremony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The installation ceremony of Lions Club, Chandigarh Vishal, was held at Hotel Regency, Sector 35 yesterday. Lion D.K Sood, District Governor 321-F, was the chief guest at the function, while Regional Chairman, Lion S.P Singh, was the guest of honour.

Lion Charanjit Singh, past district Governor, was the installing officer. Lion Sudhir Kumar was installed president, while, Mr Ashok Nanda was installed secretary, Lion Tarun Kapur was installed treasurer and Lion Arvind Kapila was installed PRO of the club.



Repair of leaking pipeline sought
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 25
Mr Harjit Singh, president of the Nagar Sudhar Sabha, Mundi Kharar village has alleged that a pipeline used for supplying drinking water from a tubewell installed in Chaju Majra village had been leaking for over six months but no action had been taken by the Public Health Department, Punjab to stop the wastage of water.

In a press note issued here today he has sought immediate action in this regard.



Exemption from stamp duty sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, a former member of the Local Advisory Council, today called on the Punjab Governor, Lient-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd), and urged him to grant exemption from stamp duty to residents of Chandigarh on the pattern of Punjab.



Musical masala with Bollywood touch
Rajiv Kaplish

Bollywood stopped flirting with them in the sixties. Hollywood is patronising them in 2001 — those musical extravaganzas in which the lead players have their limbs in constant turmoil.

Director Baz Luhrmann’s pot pourri of musical genres “Moulin Rouge” (Kiran) borrows heavily from the Hindi film industry’s “Red Curtain”, a theatricalised cinema in which the audience is aware it is watching a heightened sense of reality.

Cobbling together masala ingredients of a typical potboiler, Baz’s audience- participation cinema pits Ewan McGregor, a penniless writer, against Richard Roxburgh, a moneyed Duke. Both covet the hand of Nicole Kidman, a gorgeous courtesan of Moulin Rouge, the famed night club of Paris at the turn of the century. Love eventually triumphs over evil.

Bollywood influences can be seen on most of the frames. There is a Ganesha idol, the sitar player, the Taj Mahal and, of course, the catchy song-and-dance number ‘‘Chhamma Chhamma’’ from “China Gate”.

In fact, the director held Ganesh Puja in his house before beginning the shooting.

Kidman and McGregor are aware of the fact that there is not much to act. So, they do the next best thing. After every few minutes, they develop a singing disorder. To sustain their pelvic gyrations, Jim Broadbent pitches in, religiously crooning “The show must go on.” Dancing in her scanties, Kidman otherwise livens up the show. Oily-haired devilish Roxburgh is a perfect foil to the love-smitten McGregor.

Given its propensity to create new styles and forms of music, some viewers may call it avant-garde cinema at its best. Mainstream theatre at its cacophonous worst could be the refrain of others.



Pickpocket remanded in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 25
Vijay Kumar, a resident of Diwanigarh, Assam, was sent to judicial custody after he was allegedly caught picking the pocket of a Burail village resident, Mr Ravi Kumar, on Friday. According to police sources, the stolen amount was recovered from the possession of the accused. Vijay Kumar was booked under Sections 323, 380 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code.

Cash stolen
Mr Giarsi Lal, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony here, reported to the local police that Rs 3,000 had been stolen from his residence while he was out of station. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Vehicle thefts
Mr Tejpal Rai, a resident of Sector 45, reported to the local police that his Maruti car (CH -01- Z - 4437) was stolen from his residence. Mr Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 20, reported that his motorcycle (CH - 01- 1312) was stolen from a parking in Sector 22 on August 14. Two cases under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Booked for theft
On the complaint of Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of SCF 41, Sector 26, the local police booked Baldev Singh of Kishangarh village here yesterday. The complainant alleged that the accused had stolen his bicycle from the Sector 7 market. The accused was reportedly caught red-handed and the bicycle was recovered from his possession. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of IPC has been registered.

Two arrested
The local police arrested Hargian, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, and Sucha Singh, a resident of Kaithal, for drinking liquor at a public place here yesterday. Two cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act have been registered.


Car stolen
A car was stolen from in front of a house in Sector 10 today. According to Mr Pradeep Bhalla, owner of the car (CH-03E-1617), he had parked the car in front of his house at about 1 pm. A case has been registered by the police.

Dera Bassi

One remanded
Om Prakash Saini, the main accused in different cases of burglary, theft, rape, robberies in and around Chandigarh, has been remanded to police custody after being picked up by the local police from Chandigarh on Friday.

Residing with his wife in Sector 33 in a government accommodation, the suspect was arrested by a team of Punjab Police cops while he was alone in his house.

According to the police, Saini was arrested after one of his accomplices Harvinder Singh, who was arrested by Lohgarh police in a car theft case, disclosed his name. Harvinder Singh had stolen a car from Solan and had fitted a ‘‘fake number plate’’ on it.

During interrogation the accused said he and Saini had planned to go to Uttar Pradesh and surrounding states to commit burglaries and thefts.

Dera Bassi police said the accused was of a criminal background and still over 10 criminal cases were pending against him with Chandigarh Police.

A case under Sections 379, 411 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the suspect with Dera Bassi police station.

Being on VIP security duty Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, was not available for comments.



CITCO sets up stall at Kolkata fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
With a view to promote tourism, the Department of Tourism and Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO) has jointly set up a stall in the travel and tourism fair being at Netaji Indoor stadium, Kolkata from August 24 to 26.

Tourism literature containing details about infrastructure, places of tourist interest, hotel accommodation both in private and public sectors is being circulated free of cost to the visitors to the fair alongwith other tourism related information.

To coincide with the fair, CITCO conducted a road show today in which a large number of travel agents and tour operators participated. They were apprised about the facilities available in the city and its special features. A film on Chandigarh was also shown.

The move was to create an awareness about the city which acts as a travel hub to the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh apart from J and K. FIT and GIT rates with effect from October 2001 were also circulated.


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