Tuesday, September 11, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Rs 6.69 lakh robbed from milk unit
Employees ‘hand-in-glove’ with robbers
Our Correspondent

Lalru, September 10
Three unidentified masked men robbed Rs 6.69 lakh at gunpoint from the cashier of a milk processing unit of Gholumajra village on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here, early today. However, the factory management claims that the robbers decamped with more than Rs 10 lakh.

According to police, the robbers posed as employees of the unit — Milk Specialities Limited — for entering the place at about 2.15 am. The robbery lasted about 15 minutes and the cashier, Mr Sanjay Pundir, was tied to the chair all this time. The robbers had allegedly put a pistol to his temple. This unnerved the cashier and he gave them whatever cash he had in his possession. When robbers decamped with the money, they left the cashier tied to the chair.

The unit always remains open, but in the early hours, the staff strength is the least. At this time, the cashier has the cash that is to be distributed among milk suppliers.

When Mr Pundir raised an alarm, the other workers of the unit gathered there and called up the Lalru police. A police cordoned off the area and began a hunt for the robbers.

The Senior Superintendent of Police at Patiala, Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, reached the spot with the SP (detective) Mr P.P.S. Virk, and the DSP of Dera Bassi, Mr H.S. Bhullar.

Sources said the police had found a dagger, suspected to be used by the robbers, besides some clothes, at the factory. A dog squad and fingerprint experts were also pressed into service. Factory employees are being questioned because the police suspects that some of them might have helped the robbers.

Sources said the masked men had entered the cashier’s room on the first floor of the factory and asked him at gunpoint to take out the cash from a chest. The robbers had fled by scaling the boundary wall of the factory.

The police has registered a case on the complaint of Mr Jagjit Singh Grewal, Managing Director of the unit.

Mr Jaswant Singh Grewal, factory chief, said “Most of the cash is collected from milk distributors from 12 pm to 2 am. This is the first such incident in the factory.”

Mr Jagjit Singh Grewal, MD of the unit, said, “It seems that robbers were familiar with the factory and some employees of the unit helped them.”


1.50 lakh snatched in broad daylight
Tribune News Service

The ASP, SAS Nagar, Ms Kalpana Nayak, said a meeting of bank officials, jewellers and owners of gas agencies was being called to make them aware of the security measures they need to take to avoid such incidents. She said bank officials would be asked to keep a watch on the people loitering around bank premises under suspicious circumstances.

SAS Nagar, September 10
A youth in his mid-twenties snatched a packet containing Rs 1.50 lakh and a cheque worth Rs 2,529 from an employee of a local gas agency near the Phase V branch of the Punjab and Sind Bank here today. The youth escaped in a white Maruti car bearing a fake registration number in which his two accomplices were waiting. The police believes that the robbers were unarmed.

Chander Mohan, a peon working in the gas agency, was going to the bank along with another woman employee, Inderjeet Kaur, to deposit the money. Soon after the incident the car ( HR-03-0047) was found abandoned by the police at an isolated place behind the ICI paint factory in Industrial Area in Phase VIII. It appeared that the fake number had been freshly painted. On the reverse of the number plate, registration number CH-01-2709 was found. The menu card of a Mani Majra fast food shop was also found in the car.

Though the police launched a massive manhunt soon after the incident, it lost trail at the point where the robbers had abandoning the car and escaped into the tall-standing Sarkanda grass, covering a large area of a choe traversing through the agricultural land of Chapadchidi and Barauli villages. Suspecting that the robbers were still hiding in the Sarkanda grass, the police was carrying search operations in the wild growth till late evening. A dog squad lost scent of the robbers due to the wild growth and water.

The possibility of the three robbers splitting to dodge the police was not ruled out.

The incident took place on a busy road running between two sections of the Phase V market. The owner of the gas agency, Anoop Kumar Jain, along with an employee, Rajni, who usually deposited the money, had gone to attend a meeting of the Indian Oil Corporation. The peon was, therefore, sent along with Inderjeet Kaur to deposit the money.

Inquiries revealed that employees of the gas agency often used a yellow polythene to take the money and it was the same bag which was carrying 1.50 lakh. The robbers were apparently keeping an eye on the bag and struck seeing the right opportunity.

An eyewitness said the robber was wearing a yellow shirt and a cream trouser and had jumped into the Maruti car which was kept standby. Chander Mohan had tried to grab the robber but in vain.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr GPS Bhullar, said the robbery was not the handiwork of any organised gang but some youngsters were behind the crime. Lust for money could be the reason behind the crime, he said, adding that police parties had fanned out in the entire area.

He said it would be difficult to point out the possible involvement of employees of the gas agency in the crime at this point of time.

Meanwhile, a case under Section 356 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr Bhullar said a computer-generated sketch of one of the robbers, seen by eyewitnesses, was being prepared. The faces of his two accomplices could not be seen by anybody.


Night patrolling launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Concerned over the recent spate of thefts and burglaries in the city, the police has decided to launch a special night patrolling in the city, beginning today.

According to information available, as many as 124 policemen have been listed for the night patrolling to be done today.

Besides, Inspectors and Deputy Superintendents of Police will be engaged in the night patrolling in a phased manner.

It is learnt that the police will be focusing on the southern sectors where a large number of cases of theft and burglary have been reported in the recent past.

Senior police officials, when contacted, said that they were also planning on reviewing the entire police deployment in the city. He said that the law and order situation was of prime importance.


Crime wave alarms citizens, law-enforcers
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A spate of thefts, burglaries, robberies and snatchings in and around Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar in recent days has alarmed citizens and law-enforcers alike.

But a careful analysis of the events shows that it is not a sudden phenomenon. It is only a change of strategy on the part of the criminals to evade arrest by the police: Shift the area of operations from one town to another when things become too hot for them in one place. In the present case, it would seem that criminals who, till recently had been operating in Panchkula or in the outskirts of the city in Punjab, have decided to hit Chandigarh.

They have been able to get away with a series of thefts and burglaries in the City Beautiful in recent days by catching the local police force off guard. Don’t be surprised if they cool off as soon as the local police becomes active in the coming days only to strike again after some time.

According to a report prepared by a team of Samadhaan, a pressure group for social justice, the modus operandi of the criminals warrants a joint policing system by all the three police forces of this capital region of Chandigarh, i.e. Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

The report points out that taking benefit of the topographical proximity of the three major cities — Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula — and jurisdictional limitations of the police forces of the respective area, the criminals operate swiftly by shifting venues. The process also helps the criminals to cross over to the “operationally off region” after committing the crime. The report has further suggested several reforms in the present working of the police force to improve the situation. These include:

* Regularisation of the entry of migrant labour. Issue I-cards and enforce regular check for prosecution of the evaders.

* Proper implementation of laws by the respective state governments to check the unplanned and unauthorised growth of colonies around this complex.

* Total removal of huts in the open spaces and parks in all the cities within city limits.

* Effective coordination among the police force. Effective and quick message flashing system and nakabandi in coordination with respective police force.

* Joint police arrangement for total urbam complex, irrespective of the concerned state, should also be worked out. Till such an arrangement is put in place, a periodical and regular joint meetings of all the three police forces to chalk out effective measures should be held.

The police should hold regular seminars in association with the welfare bodies to create awareness among the residents about the modus operandi of the criminals and about the utilisation of the safety gadgets available in the market. An exhibition cum sale of safety gadgets by commercial houses dealing in these products can also be clubbed with such seminars. In addition to the awareness, such seminars shall create a sense of confidence among the public about the police force.

Welfare associations and other NGOs should be involved in the community policing programmes to have on-the-spot and immediate action in case of crime. Welfare associations may be helpful by issuing I-cards to street vendors and other utility labourers like barbers, cobblers, dhobis ( main source of information to the criminals about the absence of their target for considerable period of time), in identifying unscrupulous elements.

Planning of walled sectors/sector blocks along with entry gates to be manned by the security guards in the night may be envisaged by amending existing byelaws to allow the welfare bodies to install entry gates.

Various social and group activities should regularly be encouraged and organised to have strong neighbourly relations to make it easier to identify strangers in the localities.


No ‘dramatic improvement’ in Indo-Pak ties likely
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
“I do not see much hope of any dramatic improvement in Indo-Pak relations,” says Prof Prithvi Nath Dhar, a leading economist and former Adviser as well Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

“While for Pakistan Kashmir is the core issue, in my opinion it is two-nation theory. We have never accepted the two-nation theory and probably cannot ever accept it. We have a large Muslim population. What will be the status of the Muslim population in case we accept the two-nation theory. Will they become aliens?” he asks maintaining that peace in the subcontinent may not be possible till the Kashmir problem is solved.

Eightytwo-year-old Professor Dhar, who was here in connection with the P.N. Haksar lecture series at the CRRID, is at present the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Economic Growth. He was one of the three founder members of the Delhi School of Economics. After working as Adviser to the Prime Minister in 1970-71, Professor Dhar worked as Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1971 to 1977. He was also Assistant Secretary-General of the UNO in 1978.

Talking about the Kashmir problem, he quotes a Persian couplet:

“Khisti awal chun nahad memar kaj,

Ta surrya ne raud divar kaj”

(If the first brick of a structure is at a slant, the slant will continue even if the wall continues to the skies.)

“So I have a very pessimistic view of the whole thing,” says Professor Dhar referring to a piece written by one of the most liberal and brilliant Pakistani columnists in The Dawn who talks of 500 years of atavistic feelings and of India’s size and so on.

“Pakistan is an ideological or a religious state. Unless it becomes a normal national state, I do not see any hope of any dramatic improvement.

“When the Shimla summit was held, it was agreed that trade and other relations be improved first so that the Kashmir issue could be resolved gradually,” he said. He referred to the long-standing problem Germany and France had over a small territory which, after changing hands, became a non-issue at the end of the Second World War as both France and Germany became members of the European Economic Union.

Professor Dhar agrees that the nuclearisation of Pakistan has been an important component of the present status of relationship as this was one of the major factors that made Pakistan go in for the Kargil adventure.

Referring to the coming talks between the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and General Musharraf in New York, Professor Dhar says that “they have to get to know each other better. No negotiations can succeed unless the negotiators take care of each other’s concerns.”

Talking about the economic scenario, he says the economy worldwide is on the downward slide. “It has affected our exports. It is not the external factors which are worrying me as they will be bottomed up in a year or so; but what has been worrying me is our difficulty to put up our second phase of economic reforms.

“Unless we have genuine reform of labour legislation and are able to put through programmes which will reduce the government’s dis-savings arising out of loss-breaking public sector undertakings, the government will not be able to generate investment funds for enlarging our direly needed extension of infrastructure,” Professor Dhar said.


Jealous scientists tried to ‘undermine’ Pokhran II success
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
It was jealousy, according to Dr Raja Ramanna, nuclear scientist and now a Rajya Sabha MP, which had led a section of Indian scientists to undermine the success of the Pokhran II test carried out in 1998. He said though it was well known that some Indian scientists were against the bomb on moral grounds, yet they were unexpectedly willing to twist scientific truths and subvert other Indian scientists on flimsy grounds.

While giving the P.N. Haksar memorial lecture here today, last in the series organised by the CRRID, Dr Ramanna said he could only picture the rage with which Haksar, who believed scientific temper as the most important aspect of a man’s character, would have reacted to all this.

Dr Ramanna recalled that during a lecture tour of the USA shortly after the Pokhran II, he was often asked how some Indian scientists had themselves doubted the magnitude of the explosion. Dr Ramana said his answer to such queries used to be that the scientists concerned were not the members of the project and did not know all details of the measurements, including the radioactive debris data. He even went to the length of pointing out to the suspicious Americans that there were many articles on the Internet trying to prove that the US flight to the moon was fake. But, would they believe that ?

Dr Ramanna, who first came into contact with Haksar in the UK where he was a student and Haksar was posted as the Deputy to Krishna Menon, Indian High Commissioner in the UK, had frequent meetings with Haksar when India carried out its first nuclear test. Haksar was the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, while Dr Ramanna was among the leading scientists involved in making the bomb.

Haksar, according to Dr Ramanna, was an ideal intermediary to approach Indira Gandhi who used to have swing of moods and would flare up on occasions and reverse orders she was committed to. Haksar, who was also capable of shrewd political thinking, wanted to carry out the test shortly before the general elections so that the Congress could use it. However, she stopped all further arguments saying that the tests were necessary for the country and should be carried out without delay.

The nuclear scientist — who titled his speech as ‘Memories of P.N. Haksar’ — with great dexterity summed up Haksar’s contribution in the development of nuclear technology in the country, the key role played by him in other areas as an aide of the Prime Minister and finally his isolation following his differences with Sanjay Gandhi.

When Dr Ramanna saw Haksar the last time before he died, he had asked him how he was keeping himself busy. Haksar, who was going blind, replied “memories and memories”. Dr Ramanna was deeply touched by Haksar’s reply.

The speech, a befitting finale to the lecture series organised by the CRRID in memory of P.N. Haksar, was presided over by the Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Dr R.P. Bambah offered the vote of thanks at the end of the session.


Administration told to notify ban on polythene bags
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Taking a serious view of the menace caused by polythene bags in the city, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Chandigarh Administration to issue appropriate notification or orders banning the manufacture and use of coloured and recycled bags for carrying foodstuff.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, also directed the imposition of ban on polythene bags with thickness less than 20 microns.

The Bench also asked the advocates in different petitions to come out with an implementable proposal for the disposal of degradable and non-degradable wastes.

The judges further asked the advocates to involve citizens in the process and not to give up the efforts. Speaking for the Bench, Mr Justice Singhvi verbally concluded that the work of carrying out the waste products being undertaken by non-government organisations in certain sectors could be extended to other parts of the city.

The Chandigarh Administration, it may be recalled, had formed a committee for creating awareness among the general public about the ill-effects of polythene bags. A notification banning the use of the polythene bags in Sector 17 was subsequently issued. The manufacturing of bags was, however, not banned under the notification. A campaign to discourage the use of polythene bags was also launched by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh as part of the World Environment Day celebrations.

Following the failure of such steps to curb the menace of polythene bags, several public interest litigations were also filed by public-spirited residents. In one such petition, the discharge of industrial waste and other pollutants, including polythene bags, in the nullah running through the Sector 16 Rose Garden and making its way towards SAS Nagar was brought to the notice of the High Court.

In their petition, the SAS Nagar-based Civil Welfare Council had stated that the discharge of the pollutants into the nullah was a matter of grave concern. Giving details, the petitioner had stated that the concentration of affluent was injurious not only to the health of human beings, but also for plants. The organisation had added that mosquitoes and poisonous insects were also breeding in the dirty nullah water.

Seeking directions for checking pollution, the petitioner had also sought action against the government agencies concerned, besides against the residents guilty of disposing of waste in the water. Several photographs were also enclosed with the petition to substantiate the allegations.


Drunk’ driver rams CTU bus into truck, 1 hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The driver of an Army truck was injured when a CTU bus hit the stationary truck on a roadside near Airport Chowk here today.

According to the information available, the truck (99-D-116215-H) halted on the spot abruptly as it had developed some fault, following which, the driver, R. Suman, got down from the truck to repair this fault.

Suman was reportedly under the truck to repair the fault, when the CTU bus (CH-01-J-5572) hit the vehicle.

Eyewitnesses said the impact had shot up the Army vehicle in the air. The vehicle crashed into the ground after hitting a tree. The driver was seriously injured and admitted to Command Hospital.

A few bus passengers, too, received minor injuries, but were discharged after they had received first-aid. They alleged that the driver of the bus had been in an inebriated condition and had almost hit the roundabout near The Tribune and Gilco Chowk before the accident.

After the accident, the bus driver, Gurmukh Singh, ran away from the spot. It has been learnt that the bus belongs to Depot Number 3 and was coming from the PGI at the time of the accident. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the driver.


Don’t dispossess villagers: HC
Our Legal Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
Issuing directions against dispossessing Jasmer Singh of Sohana and other petitioners in the extension of SAS Nagar case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered that other proceedings in the matter would go on but would be subject to the final decision of the writ petition.

In their petition taken up by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, the petitioners had earlier challenged the notices issued under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act.

The counsel for the petitioners had contended that the board, set up under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning Act, 1995, had not been consulted though the same was mandatory. He had added that the extension was also in violation of the Periphery Act. The Anandgarh case had also been cited in an attempt to substantiate the arguments.

The counsel for the state of Punjab and the Punjab Urban Development Authority had stated that orders in the Anandgarh case had been challenged in the Supreme Court and the matter was expected to come up for hearing soon.

The High Court, acting on a petition filed by 61 Sohana village residents, alleging disregard of the stay orders by Punjab Urban Development Authority in SAS Nagar extension case, had earlier directed that “all further proceedings regarding the acquisition of land shall remain stayed”.

The petitioners had alleged that despite court orders on the maintenance of status quo regarding possession on May 16, PUDA’s Chief Administrator had called a press conference the next day, claiming that 96 per cent of land acquired in Sohana and Mauli Baidwan villages was “free from legal encumbrances”.

Accusing the respondent of issuing false information to the press, the petitioners had sought directions for summoning him to the court for explaining “how he could proceed with the acquisition of land when the very foundation of notifications under the Land Acquisition Act had been challenged”.

Claiming the proceedings for acquiring land to be illegal, the petitioners had added that the announcement of awards, distribution of cheques, issuance of notices under Section 9 were being carried out by “the same authority which had assessed the compensation amount”, which they claimed was contrary to the basic principles of acquisition and natural justice. 


Raids on cable operators’ premises
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
The party seems virtually over for the residents glued to their television sets awaiting the latest Bollywood releases aired by the cable networks across the city.

It will not happen for now with the police playing spoilsport and scuttling all such attempts by initiating a series of surprise raids on the “dens” of cable operators which air these movies in violation of the Copyright Act.

Interestingly, the police is planning involve public in its mission of checking such violations. Keeping a tab on the movies being aired not being a one-man job, the police is hoping the residents will come up with information and extend a helping hand.

“We want the public to cooperate with us in bringing erring cable operators to book since we can’t keep watch everywhere all the time. My appeal to them is that they should report at the police station or the police control room (582100) whenever a new release is being aired by their cable operator,” the Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadav, said.

Meanwhile, the police has drawn up a list of all cable operators functioning in the city and their area of operation to be able to follow up a complaint with prompt action. Sources in the department said that till date such information came mostly from cinema hall owners whose business was suffering on account of airing of new releases.

“The cable operators usually get away with showing new releases since the police cannot keep up the pressure. After a few raids in the city, the cable operators suspend airing new releases but only for a while. Later, things are back to square one,” rues Mr Pawan Valecha, a cinema hall owner.

Last week, the police cracked the whip on a cable operator in Mansa Devi for airing the movie Albela, while two other persons were arrested for sale of VCDs of Lajja despite having no copyrights for the same. The three were booked under Sections 51, 63, 68-A of the Copyright Act.

“These persons do not have any copyrights for at least six months after the release of the movie. This implies that any movie being screened by cable networks or sale of CDs is illegal. We are hoping the public will come forward and contribute to the cause,” Mr Yadav added. 


Non-functional barriers costing Admn dear
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

One of the barriers in the Sector 26 Grain Market of Chandigarh which is yet to become functional.
One of the barriers in the Sector 26 Grain Market of Chandigarh which is yet to become functional.
— Photo Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 10
The delay in making barriers functional at the Sector 26 Grain Market is costing the Chandigarh Administration dear. It is allegedly incurring losses amounting to several lakhs of rupees per month on account of the evasion of market committee fee and sales tax by unscrupulous traders.

According to sources, though the barriers have been set up and the contract for manning these have been given to a private party, these have not started functioning, putting the Administration and the Market Committee at the receiving end. Both the Administration and the Market Committee are losing huge amounts as the committee will receive 2 per cent as market fee and the Administration 4 per cent as sales tax on all items being ferried in and out of the market on trucks when the scheme was in place.

Currently, the committee is receiving market fee only from fruit sellers and the commission agents on the sale of paddy and wheat. However, the market fee and sales tax is allegedly being evaded by the wholesale merchants on all major karyana items.

The issue of levying of the market fee has been hanging fire since 1997. The levying of the market fee was blocked by the powerful traders’ lobby, which was reportedly backed by major political parties all these years.

However, after the elections to the Market Committee in November 2000, the Administration asked the fund-starved committee to impose the market fee. The committee, despite its political composition, passed the resolution for the imposition of market fee in February this year, but before the scheme could come into force, the traders in the Grain Market went on strike for a couple of days last month. The traders alleged that the putting up of the barriers would hinder the free flow of traffic.

The sources conceded that the Administration and the committee was losing a substantial amount by way of loss of sales tax and the market fee. On an average, over 200 trucks ferried goods in and out of the market per day and business worth lakhs of rupees was transacted in the Grain Market, the source pointed out.

The committee had netted about Rs 2.5 crore for the financial year ending March 2001 by way of market fee from the fruit dealers and commission agents. A similar amount was expected when the barriers became functional, informed Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, spokesman of the committee. Demanding the immediate implementation of the scheme, Mr Badheri wondered why the wholesale merchants were evading the merchant fee when the fruit dealers and commission agents were paying the same. Despite pressure from various quarters, the Administration was determined to make the barriers functional.


SAD seeks 8 seats for MC poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
While the BJP is still looking up to its party high command for all party-level decisions pertaining to the forthcoming MC elections, its alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), has already started staking its claim with regard to tickets and ward allocation in these elections.

According to reliable sources, the Akali Dal has demanded as many as eight seats, whereas the BJP leadership has agreed to give six seats to it.

The local unit of the Akali Dal had a meeting in the Sector 15 gurdwara under the leadership of the party president, Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar. It was decided that wards from where Akali candidates had won during the last elections will be taken. Besides these, they will also stake their claim towards comprising Sectors 18, 19, 21; Sectors 23 and 24; Sectors 20 and 33 and ward including Sectors 1 to 11. Mr Riar called upon the party workers to step up the activity in the above mentioned sectors and also assess the party position in these sectors.

Earlier, Mr Riar was seeking as many as 10 seats from its alliance partner, but following a meeting between the party presidents yesterday, he has now come to demanding eight seats, even as the BJP leadership is keen not to give them more than six. The Akalis have also made up their mind not to contest for the reserved SC women seats in these elections. 


Bengal tigers conquer summit
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
A Bengali mountaineering group comprising two women climbed the 21,852-foot-high Chamsar Kangri Peak in the Laddakh region.

Two members of the expedition — Suborata Chakraborty and Malabi Das — who reached the highest point of the peak, hoisted the Tricolour there.

This is the first successful venture of the Naihati Mitrapara Youth Mountaineer and Culture Association of the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal in this part of India.

The seven members of this 10-day expedition included a 76-year-old man and two women. Karuna Prasad Mitra was the leader of the expedition.

Besides a couple — Nisith Chakraborty and Shipra Nath — the other members of the expedition included Suborata Chakraborty, an instructor of the Darjeeling Mountaineering Institute, Malabi Das, Ashit Bose (76) and Arindam Sarakar (67).

Suborata Chakraborty, who was on his way back to Kolkata, narrated his experiences of the expedition. The team was in jolly mood at the railway station here on Saturday night.

Suborata said the team had begun its journey from Kolkata on August 14. After halting at Laddakh’s Karzok village (base camp) at 17,000 feet above the sea level, they began the climb with the help of Tashi Tandup, a local guide, on August 23. After two days, the group reached the advance base camp at over 19,000 feet above the sea level.

Due to a lack of oxygen at such high altitude and the other constraints, five members of the group had to halt at a camp that was 20,000 feet above the sea level.

Suborata Chakraborty and Malabi Das were the only climbers who conquered the Chamsar Kangri Peak on August 27 at 2.45 pm.

Suborata had also visited this region on an all-India tour on a mono cycle. He had covered 10,000 km on this cycle past year to get his name registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.


Designing exclusive jewellery
Parbina Rashid

Gone are the days when you had to depend on the goldsmith to make your necklace or a bangle imitating a design borrowed from a neighbour. Now there are people to suggest you a design for your jewellery to suit your age and personality.

Namita Sharma is one such person who spends her time doodling on paper to create designs which are just for you. “Jewellery designing is my passion,” says this young woman who started her career about six years ago after completing a course in Gemmology and Jewellery Designing from Gemmological Institute of America at Bangkok.

Namita started jewellery designing by creating small pieces for her relatives. She has now been offered lucrative jobs by certain companies because of her knowledge of stones and her unique talent for designing, but she is happy to work on her own. “In a company one has to design for mass production which is not as challenging as designing for an individual,” says Namita.

“Designing a piece for a person is a challenging task as it involves aspects such as the attitude of the person, his or her personality, age group as well as the occasion for which the piece is being made,” she adds.

How does she operate?

“It is by the word of mouth that people have come to know about my work,” says this versatile girl who is not only in jewellery designing but also takes up gem tasting assignments on commission basis. Namita deals with the scientific aspects of stone tasting which includes finding the purity and accuracy of the cuts and colours.

What attracted Namita to this unusual profession was her curiosity about stones and her fascination for the colours they emit. “At the back of my mind I always knew that I wanted to be a jewellery designer. So, after completing my plus two, I did not wait to finish my graduation to join a basic course in jewellery designing at Surat and then at SNDT, Mumbai,” she adds. “However, it was the advanced course at GIA, Bangkok, that gave roundedness to my knowledge.”

When she started her career, it was unthinkable for people to wear jewellery other than made from pure gold and diamonds. Now the young generation is warming up to the idea of wearing 18 karat gold jewellery studded with unconventional stones.

Apart from designing, Namita also imparts information about stones, metals and their maintenance through lectures at kitty parties and other gatherings of women.

What are her future plans?

“To get into horology, the art of making jewellery watches.” And to fulfil her aim she has already started savings so that she can join some institute of horology in Switzerland.


Hawking juice in the streets
Our Correspondent

The unauthorised juice sellers are a headache for the regular juice shops in the city markets as they cut into the sales of the regular shops.

Till a few weeks ago, there were scores of roadside juice sellers in the city. One could spot them almost on every road or market. But now their number has come down significantly.

After talking to some of them it became clear that the main reason for the decrease in the number of roadside juice sellers was the rise in the prices of fruits. However, they will re-appear when the fruit prices fall, said a juice shop owner in Sector 15.

A number of unauthorised juice vendors add water or extra ice to the juice to increase the volume. Many of them are found using sub-standard fruits.

These roadside vendors do not even bother to clean the glasses and utensils properly. They say that they have a limited supply of water with them. Most of them carry two small drums of water. First they dip the used glass in one of the drum then they rinse it in the other and the glass is ready for re-use.

A juice seller in a Sector 17 booth said: “People are buying disease from the juice-sellers sitting in the open”.

Flies hover around the cycle rehris of almost every sugarcane juice seller. Rashpal, a sugarcane juice seller said that he had no way to avoid the flies. However, he was sure, that the flies could not affect his business as the “authorised juice sellers do not sell sugarcane juice and that cane juice is the monopoly of roadside juice sellers”.

An interesting aspect of these roadside juice sellers is that their prices are on a par with the authorised juice sellers in the markets. Sudhanshu Kumar, an un-authorised juice seller in Sector 10 rehri-market said: “All of us buy fruits from sabzi mandi at the same price and I see no reason why I should be selling juice at a lower price”.

However, there are certain un-authorised juice sellers in the city, who claim that they do not compromise on quality. They claim that the utensils used by them are clean and they use best quality fruit. On the Panjab University campus, there are three such juice sellers. Two of them have been selling sugarcane juice for the past 10 years and the other deals in orange, mausami and kinnow juice. 


Petrol stations in green belt
Tribune News Service

Meeting the demand of the public for more petrol stations has not gone down well with the residents since the Haryana Urban Development Authority is planning to allot petrol pumps in the green belt.

While the residents of Sector 12 A are very touchy on the subject of HUDA encroaching on “their green area’’ to meet their demand of a petrol pump, the Sector 14 residents have also not taken the idea well. “These are our lungs and, if HUDA itself begins to take away this land, the situation will only worsen in the days to come. Soon, there will be the nuisance of jhuggi-dwellers,’’ a resident said. The demand for petrol pumps to cater to sectors south of Sector 16 had been hanging fire with HUDA unable to pick up sites for the petrol pumps.


Opening schools in residential areas might be a violation of the by-laws of the Haryana Urban Development Authority but getting away with it is a feat the managements have worked out well.

Complaints by the residents, too, serve little purpose. Tired of the inconvenience caused by a school in the vicinity, the residents of house numbers one to 11, have complained that not only has the school added illegal structures within its premises, but the authorities have also cut through the green belt to make place for the parking of vehicles.


The police, after adopting a wait and watch approach for long, has begun a crackdown on cable operators and CD and VCD sellers in the city. “The cable operators showing recently released movies without a copyright on these tend to take things easy when the drive begins but relax once we sit back. Now, we will make surprise raids a common feature to be carried out on a regular basis,’’ Mr Vikas Arora, ASP, said.


Panel against 4th floor construction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The general body meeting of the MIG Residents Welfare Association, Sector 46-C, today resolved not to support the construction of an extra fourth floor in the sector.

The meeting thanked certain members for reacting positively to the appeal by the CHB Residents Federation and appreciated their decision to start demolition of the fourth floors of their houses on their own, particularly house Nos 3314, 3085, 3095 and 3098, according to a press note.

The meeting urged the Chandigarh Housing Board to finalise the concessions being given to the allottees at the earliest so that people could made additional alterations according to approved plans. Meanwhile, the Residential Welfare Association, Sector 45-D, has appealed to the residents not to raise any type of new constructions till amendments in the building bylaws.


Nominations for awards invited
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 10
The Department of Women and Child Development, Haryana, has invited nominations for Stree Shakti Puruskars by September 30.

A spokesman of the department said the Government of India has instituted five Stree Shakti Puruskars to recognise the achievements of individual women in the field of social development.

Awards will carry a prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation. The spokesman said the nominee should have attained the age of 30 years of age on the date of nomination and must be working in the relevant field for at least five years.


15-yr-old girl commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 10
A 15-year-old girl, Praveen, committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her room here in the afternoon.

According to the police, the deceased was a student of Class VIII in Government High School, Sector 19. Her body was found hanging at around 3 pm.

A case has been registered on the complaint by Ms Sita Devi, mother of the deceased, who is working in a factory in Sector 19.

Eunuchs clash: Members of two different eunuch groups entered into a brawl in Sector 8, here today, following an altercation over the issue of their areas of operation.

According to sources, two eunuch — Jarnail and Shishu — were operating in Sector 8 that reportedly fell out of their jurisdiction.

They were confronted by a local eunuch which resulted in a brawl. Later, the matter was resolved.


Boy injured: In a case of hit-and-run accident, an eight-year-old boy Biru, was hit by a car near Saint Kabir School on September 8.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC, the car driver sped away. The child was rushed to the PGI.

Theft cases: A bag containing two gold ear-rings, one nose pin and Rs 600 was stolen on September 8 night from Badheri. The police has registered a case under Section 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Chhote Lal.

A scooter (CH-01M- 2033) was stolen from the Sector 39-D residence of Mr Rakesh Kumar. Another scooter (CH-03E-0178) was stolen from the ITI, Sector 28, on August 29. In the third incident, a car stereo was stolen of Mr Vikram Bajaj on the night of September 8 from his Sector 15 residence.

In all the cases, the police has registered an FIR under Section 379 of the IPC.

Trespass case: The police has registered a case of criminal trespassing, criminal intimidation and rioting against Daya Ram, Subhash, Mandeep, Koka, Pali, Sikka and others on the complaint of Anoop Kumar.

According to information, Daya Ram, who was a tenant in a shop in Sector 17, had further sublet the shop to Anoop Kumar. The latter was running a chemists shop on the premises. The two parties are also involved a litigation. 


Bullet ElectraBIZ CLIPS

Bullet Electra:
Royal Enfield Motors launched its 350cc motor cycle Bullet Electra at Hotel Mountview here today. The bike was launched by Mr Siddhartha Lal, CEO. "The company's target is to sell 2,600 motor cycles per month," said Mr Lal. 


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