Saturday, September 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



UT Education Dept flouts UGC recommendation
Payment to guest faculty employed in govt colleges
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Panjab University and the UT Education Department are in for a confrontation over the issue of per lecture payment to the guest faculty employed in the city’s government colleges.

While the PU, following directions from the University Grants Commission (UGC), had instructed its affiliated colleges in March this year that the guest faculty employed in the colleges be paid an amount from Rs 150 to 250 per lecture, the UT Administration’s Education Department has instructed its government colleges that the payment should be from Rs 100 to 125 per lecture.

The minutes of the Board of Finance of the university, which met in November last year, states that the letter from the UGC dated March 24, 2000, has laid down that no part-time teachers be appointed in colleges, instead guest faculty be appointed on per lecture basis at the rate of Rs 150 to 250 per lecture. The maximum amount admissible for guest teachers was fixed at Rs 8000 per month and the expenditure of the guest faculty be met out of the vacant faculty positions.

This decision was approved by both the Senate and the Syndicate and on March 20, 2001, this decision was endorsed by the Deputy Registrar, Colleges, and sent to all affiliated colleges of the university.

The UT Administration’s Education Department, however, in a notice dated June 20, 2001, to all principals of government college states that the guest faculty lecturers for teaching BCA and BBA classes be paid an honorarium at the rate of 150 per lecture for a period of 45 minutes and Rs 200 for a period of 60 minutes subject to the maximum of Rs 1,000 per month and for guest faculty employed to teach other streams, the rate should be Rs 100 per lecture for a period of 45 minutes and Rs 125 for a period of 60 minutes subject to the maximum of Rs 7,500 month.

The notice further said payment to BBA/BCA guest teachers is to be made from the BBA and BCA funds since these are self financing courses and in case of the rest of the guest faculty, the payment is to be made out of the amalgamated fund of the college.

The UT colleges are, thus, not just paying an amount which is lower that the one laid down by the UGC, they are also making these payments from the amalgamated fund of the colleges which, in normal circumstances is to be used for the welfare of the students.

While all the college principals state that they have to abide by the orders of the UT Administration, sources state that in case the university takes a strict stand on the issue the colleges might lose their affiliation with the PU.

“The solution lies in having no guest faculty in colleges and focus on filling these posts by regular lecturers,” says Dr R.P.S. Josh, a PU Senator. 


Protests make Mayor restore Indira Gandhi’s picture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Akali Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, today restored the picture of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in her office after a large number of Congress workers gheraoed her in protest against the removal of the same. The Mayor had put back the pictures of Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel yesterday. These pictures were removed on Wednesday.

The issue, however, is likely to snowball into a controversy as the Akalis have been allegedly holding Indira Gandhi guilty of desecrating the authority of Akal Takht during Operation Bluestar in 1984. A few members of local unit of the SAD, including its President, Mr G.S. Riar, have even demanded that her picture be removed from the Mayor's office before the SAD meeting on September 3, failing which she would have to face strong opposition.

After a series of protests by the delegations of BJP, SAD and BSP workers yesterday whose efforts finally saw the pictures of two national leaders back in the room, it was the turn of the Congress to get Indira Gandhi's picture back in place. Though Sardar Patel's picture was moved to the House to adjust Indira Gandhi's picture, later anticipating the start of another controversy Ms Kaur got the same adjusted in her room only by 4 pm. Hence, by the end of the day the office looked quite akin to a photo studio.

Earlier, during the day, Chandigarh Territorial Mahila Congress workers led by their President Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj and accompanied by other Congress leaders gheraoed the Mayor and raised slogans against her to protest against the removal of the picture. Even as the picture had been put back, the members in the presence of party President, Mr B.B. Bahl, created ruckus and shouted slogans “Harjinder Kaur hai hai” and “Harjinder Kaur murdabad” for about an hour. The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, and Congress councillors, Ms kamlesh and Sunita, criticised her for replacing the picture of a leader of Indira Gandhi's stature with that of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. They even climbed the chairs to shout “Indira Gandhi amar rahe”. Among others present were Mr Sunil Parti, Ms Shareshtha Mehta, Ms Baljit Sodhi, Ms Sudesh Chaudhary and Ms Pushpa Sharma. Following this hue and cry in the Mayor's office, the police had to be called in, but due to shortage of women force, they were not able to do much.

Even few nominated councillors, Mr Harish Bhanot, Major-Gen Rajinder Nath (retd), Mr R.K. Aggarwal and Mr R.S. Kailey, met her to know why the pictures of the national leaders had been removed. However, they were reportedly convinced when she told them that the same had been done temporarily to adjust the picture of Mr Badal.

Ms Kaur described the attack by Congress workers as unfortunate. Since three parties had resorted to similar demonstrations in the Mc office yesterday, the Congress also tried to take political mileage of the same. This was despite an assurance given to a Congress delegation yesterday that the picture of Indira Gandhi would be put back, she added. Ms Kaur described the action of Mr Kala leading the mob uncalled for more so since he had also been the Acting Mayor. She alleged that the mob damaged the office property and created violence. She said that legal action of trespassing and assault should be taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in future.

Ms Kaur said that national leaders could not be divided into parties. However, she would take up the matter with the Administration so that a clear-cut policy was framed for putting these pictures. The attack was also condemned by the SAD members at their executive meeting today. They demanded that an FIR should be lodged against Mr Bahl and Mr Kala for provoking the mob to trespass and assault the mayor and nominated councillor, Mr Harish Bhanot.


Arts council honours Mayor
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Mayor of Chandigarh, Ms Harjinder Kaur, was here yesterday honoured by the Punjab Arts Council. The council had called in Pakistani writer Fakhar Zaman along with poet Surjit Patar to honour her.

Speaking on the occasion, Satinder Singh Noor lauded Ms Harjinder Kaur for her efforts in making Punjabi language recognisable in the region. The thrust of the entire speech was on reminding the Mayor that "Punjabi and Punjabiyat should remain high on her priority list, just as it has remained in the past."

Others to do the honours were Mr Madan Lal of Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, Dr Rama Rattan of Punjab Sahit Akademi, Harnek SIngh Gharuan of Aalmi Punjabi Parivar, theatre veteran Sardar Gursharan SIngh, Deepak Manmohan Singh, Phool Raj Singh of the Punjabi Cultural Society, SAS Nagar, eminent writer Gulzar Singh Sandhu, Ajmer Singh Aulakh and Atmajit.

The lead in the function was taken by Prof Rajpal, secretary-general of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, which was chaired by Ms Harjinder Kaur. On this occasion, two phulkaris were presented to the Mayor. The Punjab Sahit Akademi gifted her with a set of books. The Punjab Arts Council presented a blanket to the Mayor.

Among others present on the occasion were Dolly Guleria, who honoured Harjinder Kaur on behalf of folk singers of Punjab.


Admn move raises questions
Provision of private CT scan facility
Ivninderpal Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The decision of the Chandigarh Administration to introduce the CT scan facility in the city in association with the private sector has raised many questions. Acting on the decision, the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital has already invited tenders from private companies for providing this facility. The tenders were to be opened on August 27, but the move was later postponed.

The hospital received a letter from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in May, in which, the ministry had asked it to seek the World Bank assistance for improving the quality of education and its infrastructure. Though the list of areas identified for improvement included the CT scan facility, the authorities didn’t ask for assistance to install a CT scanner on the hospital premises and preferred to seek help from the private sector.

Such privatisation move within a government undertaking has invited criticism from many persons. They say that many of the terms of the contract for installing the scanner are not in the interest of public; and in many cases, these may cause confusion between the delivering company and the hospital authorities. One of the terms is, “The equipment will be operated by a doctor of the Department of Radiodiagnosis of the GMCH and technicians of the tenderer.” How the parties will coordinate with each other for this purpose and who will be responsible in case of an untoward incident is not clear.

Another clause that is not clearly defined is, “The machine shall be under the charge of the Head of the Department of Radiodiagnosis of the GMCH. However, the responsibility of the supervision for the smooth functioning of the machine and its maintenance shall be of the tenderer.” This two-tier control of the scanner can hamper its smooth functioning.

Moreover, the common man and many government departments are also likely to be at the receiving end. As per the terms, “The firm shall provide poor patients with free service on the recommendations of various department heads of the hospital. The free service is for only 10 per cent of all patients.” However, it is not clear what will happen if the number of poor patients exceeds this limit. Who, then will pay their bills for using the CT scan?

Besides, medical facilities are free of cost for all the UT employees of the government hospitals here. Now, which of the two parties will bear their expenses — the hospital or the employee’s department?

Such problems are also bound to arise in medico-legal cases and in the cases of prisoners who are entitled to receiving free treatment. There is no mention of who will foot the medical bills of unidentified patients, who are treated free of cost, in the terms of contract. Then, will the private party also accept patients who are not admitted to the hospital?

When contacted, the Head of the GMCH Department of Radiology, Dr Suman Kocchar, refused to comment on the issue.


Increasing number of students taking to crime
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
A class X student of the Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 15 , was stabbed by a group of three youths this afternoon. The reason for the feud was a minor altercation between the injured, Ranjit, and the three accused led by Satbir , a couple of days back.

It is alleged that the accused had been waiting for an opportunity to strike at Ranjit. Seeing him alone today, they struck at the Sector 15 market when Ranjit was returning home from school. Ranjit has now been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for treatment. The police has registered a case of rioting and assault against the three accused. The rising crime graph in the city has exposed a new disturbing phenomenon of increasing number of youth taking to crime.

The figures available from the police show that a growing number of youth from well-to-do families are resorting not just to street brawls, robberies, snatchings and break-ins, but also to heinous crimes like murder. What is disturbing is the fact that even school going students are increasingly taking the law into their hands in order to settle scores.

Though the police maintains that this turn is more of an exception rather than a rule, but a series of recent incidents show otherwise. A couple of months back, a student of a school in one of the southern sectors was assaulted by a group of three to four youths at the behest of his friend-turned-foe in school. The injured had sustained a fracture after he was hit by a hockey stick.

The murder of a resident of Sector 44, Mr H.S. Brar, in February, by two teenagers was prompted only by the latter’s desire to loot him and fulfill their fondness for leading a good life.

After the duo — Rohit Makkar and Inderjit Singh — were arrested by the police, they had confessed that they had lost around Rs 30, 000 in bets while playing pool and they now desperately needed money to repay their loan. Interestingly, both the accused, bosom pals for the past three years, came from affluent families.

A large number of cases of theft, robbery and snatching by youth are also inspired by this desire to have a more affluent lifestyle. Take the case of a youth from Sector 15, who was nabbed by the Crime Branch of city police in April 2. Sachin Sharma, a drug addict, had been resorting to a series of snatching incidents in Sectors 22 and 23. It is learnt that the accused had lost his father a couple of years ago and had been resorting to snatching and thefts whenever he was in need of money.

The figures from the police also show that professionals were involved in just 5 per cent of the total burglaries and thefts taking place in the city, during the past three years. “The rest are the handiwork of first timers, including students, unemployed youth and migrant labour,” informed a senior police officer.

In yet another case, the police had arrested two youths on the charge of stealing car tyres and they were later identified as sons of Army officials.


Private school buses will run today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Parents can heave a sigh of relief because most private school buses will run tomorrow and the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has also extended a helping hand.

The deadline for obtaining permits, however, has not been extended and it ended today. “The Independent Schools Association would not be a party to a strike by bus operators,” said the President of the association, Mr D.S. Bedi. He said, “Buses owned by the schools will run as usual.”

As the demand of the Chandigarh School Bus Welfare Association, that the deadline be extended, has not been accepted, with no communication from the Administration, the STA is free to check or penalise any bus operator that brings his vehicle on the road without a valid permit.

So far, the STA has received applications from 100 bus operators, where they have sought permits under a newly introduced system. Some of them have been issued permits. Sources said the 50 odd buses for which the permits have not been issued, are more than 15-year-old.

The Secretary of the STA, Mr Chandersekhar, refused to give a date on which the checking of vehicles would commence. Meanwhile, the CTU is negotiating with schools on the issue of payment as it will offer the schools 30 buses for ferrying schoolchildren.

Tomorrow is Saturday and it is Sunday the day after, so, everything will get streamlined by Monday only.


To beat diarrhoea, help it on its way out, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Hard to believe, but paediatric gastroenterology experts say that diarrhoea is a natural process that washes out those toxins from the body that are produced due to the infection. Do not try to stop it, they say, but give the patient a lot of fluids, so that, the toxins are washed out of the body completely, following which, the problem will be over in three days.

Leading paediatricians and gastroenterologists of India and abroad are here to attend the annual conference on paediatric gastroenterology that began in the PGI today. The conference is mostly about superspecialities. The conference was earlier inaugurated by the Harayana Governor, Babu Pamanand. Visiting experts talked about various gastroenterology problems of infants and children.

“The greatest find of the 20th century,” said Prof K. Venkateshwarlu of the Paediatric Gastroenterology Department of Kurnool Medical College in Andhra Pradesh, “is oral rehydrating system (ORS).”

While it is commonly believed that children and adults, when affected by diarrhoea, should not be given anything to eat, Prof S.K. Mittal, Director of the Paediatrics Department of Maulana Azad Medical Collage of New Delhi, calls it a misconception. “When diarrhoea attacks, the body requires more food than usual and despite the illness, 75 per cent to 90 per cent of the food will still get absorbed,” said Prof Mittal.

“Absorption and secretion go hand in hand,” said Prof Kartar Singh, Head of the PGI Department of Gastroenterology. “It is important that the food intake should not be stopped,” he said.

Diarrhoea, a common gastrointestinal problem among children, is also the second biggest cause of deaths in the age group of zero to five. Doctors say that oral rehydration remains a major problem. “About 40 percent of diarrhoea cases can be treated with the ORS,” said Prof Mittal.

“Diarrhoea occurs when toxins are being washed out by the natural body fluids. These fluids need to be supplemented and to finish the process effectively, the body requires more food as well, but no fruit juice or soft drink,” said Dr S.K. Vachha, a paediatric gastroenterologist of Lukhnow.

Experts say that diarrhoea affects every child under the age of five at least twice a year. “Even developed countries like the USA face similar problems,” says Dr Sudipta Misra of the USA. “Children in developed countries can face the threat in a better way than Indian children of developing countries because of a better medicare, nutrition and hygiene there,” he said.

At the conference, Dr Misra also spoke on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children. “The problem that involves a frequent vomiting out of food, is prevalent in upper sections of the society and it is a result of power struggle between the parent and the child. Like everyone else, a child, too, likes to control his or her environment, so, instead of fighting it out with the child, parents should reason it out with him or her,” he said.

Paedetricians at the conference were told that the GERD was a physiological event that required parental assurance in most cases for its treatment. “It is time to consult the doctor if the child is not gaining weight, suffering from tooth decay, indulging in excessive crying and having recurrent infections,” said Dr Misra.

Prof Venkateswarlu talked about abdominal tuberculosis in children, the incidence of which, according to him, was in 9 per cent of the total cases of the TB. “Symptoms of abdominal TB can be rather non-descriptive. At times, these may lead to wrong diagnosis and delayed treatment. If the diagnosis and treatment is correct, further complications and surgery can be averted,” he said.

Dr A. Koshy of St John’s Medical College of Bangalore talked about Wilson’s disease, a disease of the liver in children due to metabolic problems related to genetic disorders. “The body is unable to remove copper out of the liver cells, resulting in acute disorder of the liver, the brain and the kidneys. If treated early, the a child can lead a normal life, otherwise, they usually die as young adults,” says Dr Koshy.

Today’s deliberations also included a session on acute liver failure in children. According to Dr Yachha, this is also one of the major causes of mortality in children. “Its only available treatment is the liver transplant, which is why, early precautions like immunisation at the time of birth and consumption of clean water are important,” he said.


Old woman thwarts robbery bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
An attempt of robbery was thwarted by an old woman, who using her presence of mind alerted her neighbours, thus forcing the robbers to flee.

According to information available, five persons, including an employee of the victim, tried to commit robbery at a Sector 35-A residence this morning. The police says that the driver of Mr Ajay Sarna, Sanjay Kumar, was hand in glove with the four other robbers.

It is learnt that Babbar and Sudhir Chaudhary first barged into the house of Mr Ajay Sarna at about 6.30 a.m. They took out a knife and threatened their victim as their other accomplices, Bunny, Sandeep Singh and Sanjay Kumar, too came and gheraoed him.

However, the mother of Mr Sarna, Krishna, who was witnessing the scene, somehow managed to escape from the house. Once outside, she raised the alarm and called her neighbours for help.

Fearing that they would be caught, the accused tried to escape. The police was also informed in the meantime. Three of the accused, Sandeep Singh, Sanjay Kumar and Lakhwinder Singh, younger brother of Babbar, were arrested.

The police has now registered an FIR under Sections 455, 397, 342 and 34 of the IPC. It is learnt that the police parties have been despatched to nab the other accused, Babbar, Sudhir Chaudhary and Bunny.


PSEB demands heavy price from cable operators
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service


* An electricity pole can be used by any number of operators depending on the site conditions and strength of the pole.

* A cable operator would have to put a metallic identification mark on the cable at each of the pole.

* Not following the guidelines would attract removal of cables and penal action for unauthorised use.

SAS Nagar, August 31
Cable operators in Punjab got some respite from the Punjab State Electricity Board as it gave permission to use electricity poles to cable operators for laying their cables, but at a “heavy” price. In a state-level decision, the electricity board has allowed the use of its electricity poles for laying cable wires by cable operators.

The cable operators, using up to 1000 poles to carry their network of cable wires could use the electricity poles subject to a rental fee of Rs 375 per annum for a pole during the current financial year. Cable operators have to deposit the fee in advance which is to be calculated on quarterly basis. The rental fee during the consecutive years would be revised by a committee comprising of Member (Finance), Member (Accounts), Member (Transmission) and Secretary of the board.

Though a policy decision in this regard had been taken during the previous financial year, the decision appears to have been restricted to files. Not a single cable operator has so far applied to the board as they are not aware of any such decision.

The issue gains significance as the cable operators had gone on strike in protest against the Chandigarh Electricity Department after the latter removed cable wires from electricity poles. Sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board said notices to the cable operators were likely to be issued asking them to apply under the policy.

An official said the cable operators would have to pay for a minimum of 100 poles and for 25 poles thereafter. If a cable operator was found misusing the poles of the department, an additional charge for a minimum of 25 poles would be imposed during the year of agreement. Each cable operator would have to sign an agreement with the board.


Leakage in water pipeline
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 31
Due to leakage in one of the three pipelines supplying water to the Sector 39 Waterworks in Chandigarh from Kajauli, water supply through the pipe would remain suspended from 9 am to 4 pm tomorrow. The water supply to the Sector 39 Water Works might also be affected on September 2. 


Adulterated fuel causes another conk-out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Dr Vikram Jaswal, a medical practitioner in Sector 10, Panchkula, got a shock when he discovered that the petrol he had purchased for his Maruti car from a "company-owned, company-operated" filling station of the Indian Oil Corporation in Sector 14, yesterday, was "adulterated".

In an interview, Dr Jaswal said for the past three months he had been buying petrol from the outlet believing that a "company-run petrol pump" could never sell an adulterated fuel. Like always, he got the tank of his car filled with petrol from the station. The attendant at the petrol pump issued him a receipt of Rs 577.

He said hardly had he driven his new car up to The Tribune office, than it broke down. He said he summoned some passersby and got his car towed away to a mechanic in Sector 28. The mechanic siphoned out some petrol and found that the petrol was adulterated, hence causing the engine trouble. He then took his car to an approved Maruti service station at Panchkula. The filter of his car was found to have been completely clogged and contaminated by over 100 gm of rusty red oxide material. The car also contained some water.

The mechanic had to take out the entire fuel and clean the tank. However, some quantity of dirty fuel that had already been consumed by the engine caused damage to the piston liner and cylinder, which, according to the dealer, needed complete overhaul of the engine. It would cost him a chilling Rs 20,000.

Mr Jaswal claimed that he took the clogged fuel filter to the dealer of the petrol pump. Instead of tendering an apology, he refused to admit his lapse. Later, he lodged a complaint with the Indian Oil Corporation.

This morning, a Tribune correspondent went to the petrol pump and met Mr Sukhbir Singh, who claimed himself to be a foreman of the Indian Oil Corporation. He argued that there was no question of any king of adulteration in petrol at their filling station. 


Hike in reservation for defence personnel demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Shortage of officers and subordinate staff in the Directorate of Sainik Welfare is adversely affecting the implementation of welfare schemes for ex-servicemen in Punjab. This was projected before the Secretary, Kendriya Sainik Board, Air Cmdr T.S. Chatwal, during his visit to Chandigarh here today.

During a meeting with the Secretary, Defence Services Welfare, Ms Ravneet Kaur, and the Director Sainik Welfare, Brig K.S. Kahlon (retd), it was pointed out that at present there are only seven District Sainik Welfare officers against the 17 authorised posts in the state.

Commodore Chatwal also stressed upon the need for early implementation of decisions taken at the Rajya Sainik Board meeting earlier this month. This includes recovery of the corpus money from Electronic Systems Punjab Limited, which amounts to about Rs 2 crore as well as paying the amount due to the Army from the additional excise duty levied earlier. He also suggested that reservation of seats for wards of defence personnel in educational institutes be increased to 5 per cent.

The need for provincialisation of sainik rest house employees, presently employed on an ad hoc basis, was also highlighted in addition to up-ward revision of various grants being given by the Kendriya Sainik Board.

The visiting dignitary was also told that a one-time grant of Rs 25 lakh was sanctioned by the Chief Minister for the maintenance of the Sainik School, Kapurthala, while provision has also been made in the department’s budget for providing an additional Rs 25 lakh for installation of a solar heater system in the school.

Other department activities highlighted before the secretary include the decision of the cabinet to hand over the Defence Service Officers Institute, Sector 36, to the Western Command and providing jobs to 13 dependents of martyrs hailing from Punjab. So far there have been 235 casualties from Punjab and the state government as disbursed a sum of about Rs 15 crore as relief.


Allow commercial vehicles in city’
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The UT Administration should allow the entry of commercial vehicles into the whole of the city during off days and holidays and during peak hours period of the working days.

This recommendation has been made by a private body, Samadhaan, on the basis of a survey conducted by it on the problem of traffic congestion on the roads of Chandigarh. During the course of the survey, the team spoke to a section of traders in the city centre and other affected parts of the town about the problems being faced by the traders.

The reports notes that with the passage of time, the number of vehicles and hence, the traffic congestion on the roads of the City Beautiful have increased multifold. Sector 17, the commercial hub of the city, has been affected the most. The sector is not only the city center for commercial activities but also housing the main offices of the Governments of UT, Punjab and Haryana. In addition to the tourists and shoppers, the working population of the city converges towards the sector mainly from 9 am to 5 pm during the working days, making the roads leading to the sector most congested as compared to the roads of other parts of the town.

To ease the congestion on the roads of certain busy parts of the city, the Chandigarh administration has banned the entry of the heavy vehicles like trucks, tempos and tractor-trolleys into the roads leading to the centre of the city from 7 am to 9 pm. Till recently, the entry of these commercial vehicles was even banned in Sector 26 and Sector 7 Madhya Marg where the heavy building material market is located. After the representation of a section of the traders, the entry has since been relaxed to this stretch of the road.

The step is otherwise welcome, especially, looking at the rise in the number of accidents on these busy parts of the city. On the other hand, these commercial vehicles have also their own role to play in the commercial activity of the traders situated in these parts of the town. The transportation of goods for their commercial establishments is carried out by these commercial vehicles.

The alternative sources, horse-carts and cycle rickshaws and rehris, are also not so traffic friendly. Their slow movement on the roads and ignorance about the traffic rules make the roads a nightmare for the usual vehicles. Heavy, lengthy and bulky goods are sometimes not manageable to transport on these modes of transport. Moreover, in the absence of other alternate arrangement the operators of these conventional modes charge the public and the shopkeepers at their whims and fancies.

In a nutshell, it is altogether an established fact that it is impossible to do without commercial auto vehicles. This is one of the findings of the survey report conducted by a team of Samadhaan.

A survey for studying the problem and finding the solution was conducted last week by a team of Samadhaan comprising its President, Mr R.P. Malhotra, general secretary, Rajnish Vij and vice-president, Ms Rita Kant, along with its other executives.


Golden Forests investors seek court help
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 31
Hundreds of investors who had deposited money in various schemes floated by Golden Forests, are running from pillar to post in order to get their dues. The investors can be seen converging on the District Courts, Consumer Courts, UT Lok Adalat because even after the date of maturity, they have not been given their money.

Aggrieved depositors complain that they had visited the office of the Golden Forests on several occasions . But after they failed to get their money, they were left with no option but to file complaints in the UT Disputes Redressal Forum, or to approach the Lok Adalat. Even many of the investors have been trying hard to get their dues by way of out-of-court settlements.

Sources informed that during the last two days about 60 cases had been filed in the UT Disputes Redressal Forum against the Managing Director-cum Chairman of the Golden Forests, R.K Syal. The sources added that about 100 cases had been filed before the Consumer Forum.

The investors are also approaching the Lok Adalat to settle their cases through mutual understanding. The sources added that the Lok Adalat had settled cases worth more than Rs 300 crore.

A number of investors from Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Haryana are also visiting the District Courts to meet Syal to settle their disputes.

But there are investors who have approached the court to get their dues.

An advocate, Mr Vishwas Ahuja, who had filed a number of complaints, informed that the complainants are small investors who have invested amounts ranging from Rs 2000 to Rs 1 lakh.

Another depositor, Mr Jagtar Singh, filed a complaint that he had approached the head office of the Golden Forests and requested for payment. However, the company had failed to return the money.

He alleged that the company had violated the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

R.K Syal is presently lodged in Burail jail. The consumer court had already issued a notice to the Managing Director of the company. Syal had also sent a reply to the four notices sent to him by the President of the District Forum.


Directive to zoo chief on plying of buses
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, August 31
Considering a suit filed by Mr Sunil Kumar against the Chhat Bir zoo authorities, Mrs Harpreet Kaur, Judicial Magistrate (first class) of Rajpura has directed Mr R K Luna, Zoo director, not to interfere in plying of buses inside the Lion Safari.

The Magistrate has also directed Mr Luna not to stop plying of buses inside the Lion Safari from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm till September 7.

Earlier, the plaintiff — Mr Sunil Kumar, who has the contract for plying the vehicles — had filed a case against the defendant alleging that Mr Luna was not allowing him to ply his buses as per the terms and conditions of the tender.

Mr Sunil Kumar had added that the zoo authorities had forced him to ply his buses from 9:30 am till 5 pm, however, the actual time for plying the vehicles, as mentioned in the contract, was 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. This act of the authorities was causing him a daily loss of Rs 500, said Mr Sunil. He said the zoo authorities had stopped him in the first week of the July and had caused a loss of over Rs 30,000 till date.

In the suit, Mr Sunil Kumar had also alleged that he had been approaching the zoo headoffice in Sector 8 Chandigarh repeatedly but the clerk there had refused to move the file.

Taking up the complaint the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, arrested Mr Narinder Kumar Bhanot, a superintendent in the Sector 8 located headoffice of the zoo, while receiving a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Mr Sunil Kumar for extending daily time of the safari.


10 misfired bombshells found
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 31 
A total of 10 misfired bombshells were found from the villages surrounding Bhoor Army Firing Range in a special drive launched by the Panchkula police to clear the areas, here today.

The search operation was re-launched by the Panchkula police after informing the Army authorities, in less than 24 hours after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the problem of presence of misfired bombshells in Bhoor, Mandlaya and other nearby villages surrounding the Bhoor Army Firing Range, about 50 km from here.

According to the police, six police teams were constituted under the leadership of Ms Bharti Arora, ASP, and the search operation was carried out. The policemen asked the villagers to handover the explosives which they were hiding for a long time.

Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, said some of the villagers came forward and handed over the shells to the police. He disclosed that the police is tying up with the Army authorities to conduct thorough search of the areas so that the drastic incidents could not be repeated in future.

The search operation will be carried out for over a week or so until the police and Army authorities satisfy, added Mr Yadav.


Hectic activity in the air
Tribune News Service

This week saw the third Mayor take charge of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in the past 12 months. After Mrs Shanta Hitabhilashi and Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, it is now the turn of Mrs Harjinder Kaur to try her hand on the city’s development scene. But before she does that, she has been really worked up about the portraits hanging on the walls of her office. Reports have it that on the very first day, she did away with two portraits: those of Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Mrs Indira Gandhi.

The ruckus that followed, however, forced the Mayor to get the pieces back on the walls. Now that this issue is over, maybe some files will move in the corporation.

CITCO’s dream bus did some good by taking a group of slum children round the city. One could not miss the smiles on the faces of those 20 children, who got a chance to board the smart bus, courtesy CITCO.

The crime scene was a little too disturbing. The news about a woman hacking her entire family to death for a share in the property and then a young boy killing his father were highly shocking. While these cases were still hot, a big clash on the PU campus surfaced. Eight armed boys assaulted and injured three others in a boys’ hostel.

On the art front, the Norwegian film festival received many accolades from some famous theatre personalities.

The festival shows films mainly directed by women. The films are relevant and deal with various questions a woman faces in today’s society. The festival presents a woman’s point of view in a man’s world.

The exhibitions of Shiv Singh and Ajay Sohi drew appreciation for the seriousness of concept and finesse of implementation. Meanwhile, the Alliance Francaise in Sector 36 received many queries for the French Nightingale Contest, 2001 which was successfully held at Tagore Theatre.

Music buffs also enjoyed themselves with Ustad Salim Iqbal enthralling the gathering at Pracheen Kala Kendra. The reputed qawwal sang addictive melodies.

One wondered how a qawwal could adapt so well to the nuances of ghazal singing. Interestingly, Ustad Salim picked up the essentials of ghazal singing by listening mainly to Lahore Radio in general and Mehdi Hassan and Hussain Baksh in particular.

The show was organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations which is ready with yet another big cultural show. A troupe of 50 Kazakh dancers will be in the city any day for a scintillating dance performance.

Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Lajja set the screen of Piccadily cinema on fire. The much-awaited release drew a mixed response, but it was largely lapped up for its loud and “real script.” The director of Ghayal and Damini has lived up to the people’s expectations.


Drive against traffic rule violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The traffic police, in association with the police personnel drawn from various police stations, launched a special drive in the city. As many as 157 commuters were challaned in different parts of the city during the two-hour drive.

According to information available, the police impounded 12 vehicles — six scooters, four motor cycles and two autorickshaws — for violating traffic rules and regulations. It is learnt that the police had laid nakas at 20 points across the city.

Commuters were checked for various offences like driving without helmets, overspeeding, triple riding, black films, wrong entry, wrong turn, jumping the red lights and under-age driving, etc. "Special emphasis was laid on the four-wheeler drivers, " informed a senior traffic police official.

Interestingly, the traffic police also decided to act strict with those violators who tried to dodge the police at the nakas during the drive.

After the registration numbers of these vehicles were noted down, the police has found out the addresses of the owners and the challans will be sent at the addresses.


Power cuts irk residents
Shashi Pal Jain

Power cuts imposed by the Punjab State Electricity Board have made the life of the residents of this town miserable. The board is imposing power cuts for three to four hours every day. The supply of water also remains suspended for the period of the power-cut. The position in the nearby villages is worse. According to Mr Mohinder Singh Hundal, Sarpanch of Tewar village, power supply remains suspended for seven to eight hours every day in his and other neighbouring villages. The villagers are now threatening to gherao PSEB officers if the position does not improve.


The municipal committee has announced that all consumers should install water meters before September 15, or they would be charged double the normal rates. At present, the committee is charging a flat rate. The committee has also asked consumers who have installed taps outside their houses to close these or their water supply would be discontinued. These steps have been taken to prevent the wastage of water in view of the water shortage in the town.


The Kharar Lions Club organised a Hepatitis-B immunisation camp in Sacrulapur village on August 26 where 485 persons were immunised against Hepatitis-B. According to Mr Subhash Aggarwal, Project Chairman of the club, the club has started a campaign in this area against Hepatitis-B.


Mr Jasdev Singh, SHO of Kharar, was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Kharar Rotary Club. The topic of discussion was ‘‘how to maintain better relations between the police and the people’’. Mr Jasdev Singh said that there were many fields in which the police and the social clubs could cooperate.


The demand for setting up an Improvement Trust in Kharar has been voiced by Mr Daljit Singh Saini, president, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal. He says that the population of this town has crossed the 40,000 mark and a number of unplanned colonies are coming up. Therefore, it is necessary to set up an Improvement Trust for the planned growth of this satellite town of Chandigarh.


For coffee and pleasant time
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

The Shailendra Sharma-Vikas Goyal duo earlier this month took up the task of providing cheap coffee and snacks on the Student Centre lawns of Panjab University, paying a monthly rent of Rs 31,500 to the university.

The two newly constructed shops have a modern and hygienic face. The fibre glass awning of the roof and colourful umbrellas giving shade to the seven plastic tables and chairs that can easily be shifted around have become hot favourites of the students. Even faculty members and their families seem to have taken a fancy to the cool place.

While the snack shop is yet to have a name, the big Nescafe hoarding seems to attract one and all. And why not? It’s not everywhere that one can have goodies in the range of Rs 5 to Rs 13.

There is a whole variety of Nestle teas and coffees. And hygiene is assured because the beverages are all prepared in Italian machines, with no manual work required. They are served in eco-friendly disposable paper glasses — all at a price between Rs 5 and Rs 10. Besides the normal hot tea and hot coffee, you could choose from five other hot drinks — Cappuccino with sugar, Nescafe low sugar, Nescafe Black, Mocaccino, Chocolate Hot and Nestea Elaichi.

If it is cold that you prefer, you may pick either iced lemon tea or peach flavoured tea. Nestea is made of lemon/peach pre-mixes whose ingredients are sucrose, tea extract, sequestering and buffering agents, besides the natural lemon/peach flavour. Or, go in for its cousin, the frothy cold coffee. For those who stay away from tea and coffee, are available the ubiquitous soft drinks.

To munch with the drinks, you have an array of bakery items to choose from. As Rohini, a student, says:

“The snacks are filling, and easy on the pocket as well as time.”

Of course, if you have all the time in the world or you have bunked classes, you may linger on the eats even as you discuss your thesis, viva.... or yes, teachers and classmates. To make this activity more pleasant, the two partners have also taken charge of maintaining and beautifying the lawn in front. In winter and in the evening, most of the tables are, understandably, shifted from the concrete area to the grounds.

You could gobble on sandwiches (grilled and otherwise), patties and croissants. They are available stuffed with vegetables, chicken, or mushrooms and served with sauce on paper plates. If you prefer sweet, go in for pastries and cakes.

Mr Sharma says that all the stems are procured in the morning and are freshly baked, with the order having placed an evening in advance to the bakery they have tied up with.

Enterprising students have already celebrated at this place on the campus itself. They have cut cakes to celebrate birthdays with fun and in an open manner. No need to go outside anymore.

Ice-creams are also on the menu. They come in the common flavours of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. The special ones include Amul brand’s cool candies, tempting tubs and milky bars. Raj Bhog ice-cream is a royal treat while kaju, kesar pista and roasted almond comprise the nut-o-mania. The fruit flavours include mango, litchi, anjir and black currant.


Veterinary facilities in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Frozen semen technology for improvement in breed of indigenous cows and buffaloes under the cattle development programme is available in the local veterinary institutions, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Director, Animal Husbandry, said today.

Besides this, maintenance of cattle health, prophylactic vaccination, animal disease diagnosis and x-ray are some of the other facilities being provided in the veterinary institutions in Chandigarh. The livestock population in the UT is only 34,621, besides the 9876 dogs. The poultry population is around 3.04 lakh.

Mr Sinha said that there are four veterinary hospitals in Sector 38, Mani Majra, Hallomajra and Dhanas. There is one veterinary hospital for pet animals in Sector 22 and nine artificial insemination centres in the Sector 38 hospital and eight other veterinary sub-centres and one disease diagnostic laboratory. While giving details, Mr Sinha added that, apart from the above veterinary facilities, an NGO by the name of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was also functioning here.

The Chandigarh Administration provides financial assistance up to Rs 3 lakh to the SPCA every year for its smooth functioning. The department is undertaking all required vaccinations against contagious disease of cattle like foot and mouth disease. One of the main achievements of this department is that it has taken complete control over rinderpest disease of cattle since no case has been noticed for the past 15 years or so and Chandigarh has been declared “rinderpest free” by the Government of India, added Mr Sinha.


Rent-free phones for police gallantry medal winners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to provide rent-free telephones at the residences of all awardees of President’s Police Gallantry Medals.

According to an official announcement here today, neither registration nor installation fee will be charged for fresh installation from the awardees who do not have a telephone at their residence.


Workshop on family concept
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 31
The Chandigarh Social Advisory Board in collaboration with the Ratna Memorial Trust organised a workshop on ''understanding the concept of the family'' at Karsan Colony here today.

About 300 people participated in the workshop. The Chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board and Secretary, Social Welfare, UT, Mr G.K. Marwah, was the chief guest. He said: '' the urban nuclear families are breaking up, whereas the rural joint families continued to be well-knit.''

The Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board, Ms Mridula Sinha said: '' The board has been organising workshops, conferences, exhibitions and symposia on different themes for the women empowerment year.''

The founder of the Ratna Memorial Trust, Ms K.S. Raju, welcomed the guests on the occasion. The chairperson of the board, Ms Kamla Sharma, was also present on the occasion.


Federation’s appeal to CHB residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The CHB Residents Federation has appealed to the residents of the CHB dwelling units to stop all ongoing building activity for making need-based additions and alterations.

According to a press note, certain relaxations in the matter of additions and alterations have already been given by the CHB . And responding to the demand of the federation, the board had referred the issue of further concessions to the committee headed by the Chief Architect of the Chandigarh Administration. 


1 killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 31
A woman was killed and one person was seriously injured in a road accident near Desu Majra village on the Kharar-SAS Nagar road this evening.

According to the Kharar police, the accident occurred when a Punjab Roadways bus hit a scooter by which Gian Singh of Chandigarh was travelling along with his wife.

Nirmal Kaur died on her way to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh.


Aggrieved investors set up forum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Several investors of the city and adjoining areas who had lost their hand-earned money in the US-64 fiasco have joined hands to form the UTI Investors' Forum. Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu has been nominated as the patron of the forum and Mr S.K. Madan and Mr Joginder Kaushal will be the chairman and president, respectively, of the forum. In the first meeting of the forum held yesterday it criticised the government for not safeguarding the interests of 2 crore investors who had invested in UTI's flagship, US-64, thinking it to be a safe investment.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu said senior citizens and retired persons who had invested their life- time savings were the worst sufferers as they have no other source of income. "The sinking of UTI's flagship has almost crippled these trusting investors". The forum members said it was surprising that the issue had not been raised in the Parliament and the government had not initiated any action to recover thousands of crores paid/refunded to big industrialists in March 2001.(For further information contact 740874).


Move to hike power rate criticised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Chandigarh Parents Association today flayed the decision of the Chandigarh Administration hiking the minimum power rate from Rs 6 to Rs 35 per KW of the sanctioned load of power given to residents.

A press note issued by the association also deplored the decision of the Administration not to roll back the hike without even considering the matter.

Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, chairman of the association, said the hike in power would crush the residents who were already reeling under the spiral price rise of essential commodities. The increase in the rates of water, power and cable had added to the miseries of the people.

He said the Administration should remove all kundi connections from various labour colonies, remove all connections taken by security guards of various VIPs and unauthorised use of electricity by various industrial units to make good its loss in supplying power to law-abiding citizens.


Tribune Circulation Manager retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Mr Jagdish Lal Sharma, Circulation Manager of The Tribune group of newspapers, retired today after putting in 42 years of meritorious service.

Mr Sharma joined The Tribune at Ambala in 1959 and worked in various capacities. The staff of The Tribune gave him a warm farewell party. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sharma’s managerial colleagues as also, Mr R.N. Gupta, General Manager, lauded his services to the organisation.


Two cases of theft reported in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Two cases of theft were reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

A Bullet motor cycle ( PB-65A-5963) was stolen last evening when it was parked near the Raymond showroom in Sector 17.

In another incident, the battery of a Kinetic Honda scooter was stolen while it was parked at Fragrance Garden, Sector 36.

In both incidents, the police has registered FIRs under Section 379 of the IPC.

Three arrested: Ajay Kumar was arrested by the Sector 11 police from near the tubewell in Sector 25. Fifty pouches of whisky were seized from him.

Karamveer Singh was arrested from Madhya Marg, Sector 7, while consuming liquor at a public place. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Tilak Raj was arrested on charges of creating nuisance at a public place under the influence of liquor. A case under Sections 34, 5 and 61 of the Police Act has been registered.

Two held: Joga Rawat and Prem Pal were arrested from Mauli Jagran on the charges of apprehension of a breach of the peace.

Body found: The police today found the body of an unidentified man in Sector 26. According to information available, the man appeared to be in his mid-thirties and appeared to be a beggar. The police says that he is suspected to have died of some ailment.

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