Monday, September 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Vengaboys boom into city’s heart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Music can be strange at times. Where on the one hand it soothes the seething senses, on the other it unwraps a lot of hidden wildness. It was the latter form of music at work in the Sector 17 Circus Grounds today, where the comparatively-dormant crowd of the city beautiful donned a metro-look and threw all inhibitions to air... just to keep pace with the fast music of the greatest party animals in the world — the Vengaboys.

What remained after a while was the music of this famous pop band from Spain and some of its wildest hits including Brazil, Boom Boom, We’re going to Ibiza and many more. The most striking part of the evening was that the stars in concert namely, Kim, Roy , Denice and Yorick, commanded the mood of the audience. The crowd screamed and danced when they wanted. It was thus a scene of boisterous party music from across the borders sweeping the crowd. Adding to the heat in the air was the amazing dance by the foursome (all of who are trained dancers). With worked-out bodies in which you could see every muscle taking turns, Kim and Denice had the youth going mad emulating their dancing style.

The beginning of the evening was not very well-made, at least not when seen from the angle of the audience, which was desperate to see the Vengaboys. The crowd had to compromise with Sukhdev Sukha’s numbers for a pretty long time. After seven long songs by this Canada-returned Punjabi singer the crowd was shouting: “get lost.” Well, Pepsi could actually have done well to have not used a grand stage and a grand brand name called Vengaboys for promoting a rather fresh name. Thanks to the 300-strong UT police personnel deployed around the area, the gathering did not go berserk even when after one-and-a-half hour of the scheduled time, the international pop stars were nowhere in the sight.

Someone from the organising team, however, explained, “They are gathering energy for the concert.” Strange it did sound, but once the show rolled on with Vengaboys, one knew what kind of an energy that organiser was talking about. It spilled over and over on the stage and from there it went on to inject the thirsting crowd, which danced away to the hit Vengaboys’ numbers like their debut album’s title track Up and Down and then the great hit We like to Party and The Vengabus is coming....

The day was, however, not just about the party spirit. There were some hassles around. One, because the photographers were strictly “ordered” against photographing the pop stars beyond three songs. And when some of them did photograph them after three songs, one of the organisers was literally heard shouting at them. This left a section of the press a little dejected. As the evening drew towards night, the atmosphere kept getting surcharged with enthusiasm, but all this only to be left sharp at 10 pm. The singing and dancing stars actually left the audience at the scheduled time (although they had not hit the stage at the scheduled time). The crowd was visibly disappointed, with one youngster even hurling stones to show his anger. He was immediately rounded up by the police, but was reportedly let off later.

At about 10 pm when the youth attempted to gatecrash into the venue, the police had to resort to mild cane-charge to disperse the crowd. With more number of fans waiting outside the venue than inside, the huge deployment of police force was helpful in avoiding any untoward incident. 


PGI to start cornea retrieval plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
To enhance retrieval of corneas from the deceased, the PGI is all set to implement the Hospital Cornea Retrieval Programme (HCRP) in the institute.

The HCRP is a collective decision by the government and the Eye Bank Association of India. Under this programme the hospital provides information about the deceased and gives access to the body, while the eye bank provides facilities of a trained grief counsellor to record the consent and execute the eye donation.

The programme is already running successfully in Hyderabad.

According to a rough estimate, about 4,500 persons die in city hospitals every year, out of which 2,500 are from the PGI alone. Although a partial programme is being informally run in the PGI, the institute which still does not have several components to implement it completely, is able to retrieve just 224 eyes as against a requirement of about 15,000. Lack of infrastructure and manpower are some of the reasons why despite this requirement, the gap between demand and supply, is not being met successfully.

According to the PGI Associate Professor, Dr Jagjit S. Saini, Ophthalmology Department, with the implementation of this programme in the PGI and a few other major institutes across the country, the required need of 75 lakh corneas in the country, can is be expected to be fulfilled.

According to him, the PGI plans to begin the HRCP as soon as major infrastructural needs, including managerial staff, grief counsellors, communication facilities and their augementation, are complete.

Speaking during the two-day workshop on grief counselling, one of the major components of the HRCP, the Technical Director, Ramayam International Eye Bank, Hyderabad, Dr Usha Gopinath, said plans to establish an apex eye bank in each state to collect and evenly distribute the corneas was also on the anvil.

According to her, although above the age of 60 years, voluntary donations were substantial, it was the age group of two to 60 years which needs to be tapped to successfully run the programme. The effective success of a corneal transplant is about 80 per cent and lies in the fact that the cornea of a two-year-old can enable a 60-year-old person to see and vice versa.

According to the Chairman, Eye bank Association of India, Dr Sunil Kumar Singh, for a grief counsellor to succeed, the hospital should essentially have an area with good ambience where the family of the deceased can be made comfortable and talked to.

To avoid malpractice, any additional incentives are disallowed by the law. The family of the deceased is presented with a certificate. “No religion says no to eye donation. In fact, one can help two cornea blind persons to see this world with a noble deed even after death,” he said.

On the concluding day of the workshop, the participants were given information about requirements for establishing a tie-up between multi-speciality hospital and an eye bank. The details about infrastructure and communication facilities required for this programme were also discussed.

According to the Union Health Ministry Assistant Director-General Ophthalmology, Dr Brij Bhushan, to make the programme a success, the hospital has already established norms to give autonomy to the participating eye banks and provide them with assistance “Coupled with legislation changes to facilitate eye donation, the HRCP can successfully hope to bridge the gap between donations and demand,” he said.


Agenda for PU Senate meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Panjab University senate will take up a voluminous 400 page agenda for discussion in its forthcoming meeting on September 30.

The senate will take up the report of Administrative and Academic Audit Committee on the university working for discussion. According to sources, the annual audit statement for 1999-2000 also features on the list of proposed items.

One of the items pertains to relaxation of five per cent marks to students who have done their Ph D before December 19, 1991, and who wish to appear for the UGC NET to qualify for the posts of lecturer. Presently, the UGC requires that a student should have secured at least 55 per cent marks at the postgraduation level in order to be eligible to appear for the UGC NET.

The house will also discuss the proposals mooted for the mode of discussion during the zero and question hour of the Senate meeting. Another important issue relates to the report of committee on misappropriation of university funds.

The university also proposes to host a special convocation for conferring the Degree of honoris causa on the Nobel laureate Economist Amartya Sen. The degree was announced earlier in 1999.

The Senate will also discuss recommendations of a committee on giving a third chance to candidates unable to clear an examination in two compartment chances. The committee had recommended that grace be accorded to 'special cases only’ and that too with the permission of the Vice-Chancellor.

One of the items pertains to discussion on the UGC circular asking for 75 per cent attendance in order to be eligible for appearing in the annual examination. This had witnessed widespread protests by students of local colleges who insisted that the existing norm of 66 per cent was sufficient.

The university proposes to felicitate Prof B.M. Deb, of the Department of Chemistry and Prof R.C. Sobti, of the Department of Bio-technology. The Senate will also take up the proposal of paying Rs 250 per lecture with a maximum of Rs 5,000 per month to the guest faculty. The Senate proposes a special allowance of Rs 500 per month to the Director, Public Relations, as conveyance allowance.

One of the items relates to appointment of Prof S.P. Gautam as the coordinator of the Centre for Vivekananda Studies. The Senate will also discuss the suspension of Mr M.G. Sharma, Finance and Development Officer.

The house will also take up issues pertaining to appointment and placement of teachers besides affiliation of certain colleges.


Panchkula showroom gutted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
Goods worth Rs 60 lakh were destroyed in a fire which broke out in a showroom in Sector 11, here this morning. Short circuiting is suspected to be the cause of the fire which was brought under control after nearly two hours after it broke out.

While the stench of burnt clothes filled the shop, furniture and decorations were also reduced to ashes in the fire which started around 5 am.

According to sources, the shop being run by Mr Mohan Lal Juneja and his two brothers was taken on rent some time back. Smoke was first noticed by Mr Avtar Singh, residing behind the showrooms, who informed the local Fire Brigade service.

Some time later, three fire tenders, one called from Mani Majra, were rushed to the spot where the police also arrived after a while. The firemen took some time before the operation of dousing the flames could begin as the showroom was locked.

Even as they were attempting to break open the locks, the owner of the shop was also given information of the fire. Mr Juneja, estimating the loss to be around Rs 60 lakh, said the goods burnt by the fire were insured.


VSNL help sought in hacking case
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The first-ever case of cyber crime detected in the city almost a fortnight ago is still hanging fire with Punjab Communications Limited (Puncom) having referred the case to Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL).

According to sources, Puncom has asked the VSNL to submit a fact file of the lease line given to the accused firm, Techno Noble Infoway Limited (TNIL). The local police had earlier sought certain clarifications from Puncom, after a case of hacking (under Section 66(2) of the Information Technology Act and Section 380 of the IPC) had been registered against the TNIL.

The VSNL has been asked to give information as to when the connection for a lease line was given to the accused company and details about the activity by the lessee on the day of hacking. The VSNL authorities in Delhi have also been urged to furnish information on the IP address allotted to the accused company and how much information has been uploaded or downloaded by the TNIL through hacking.

The police had registered a case of cyber crime against Techno Noble Infoway Limited (TNIL), on the charge of hacking into the main server of a US- based concern on September 4. It was alleged that the TNIL had illegally downloaded confidential information from the FTP server in the USA, after making at least 15,000 attempts to log on to the FTP server in America.

It is learnt that IGSP Inc., a US- based company , had given a contract to a local firm, IGSP Technology India Private Limited, for sending jobs for medical transcription. The Managing Director of the latter firm, Mr O.P. Bhardwaj, is the father-in-law of Mr Rakesh Sharma of the IGSP Inc. The US firm had given the sub- contract for medical transcription to the accused company.

According to the FIR registered on the complaint of the MD of IGSP Technology India Private Limited, Mr O.P. Bhardwaj, it is alleged that the contract between the IGSP India and the TNIL was cancelled on August 21. The company also cancelled the access password given to the TNIL.

However, the accused in this case had claimed that the IGSP India had breached the contract and only when confronted for this breach of agreement, they got a case registered against them. The TNIL and the IGSP India had signed an agreement in July, 2000, and they had been assured a business of 10,000 lines for medical transcription daily. It was also agreed upon that in case this stage could not be achieved, the TNIL would get payment of a minimum of 5,000 lines. However, they had claimed that they were given business of not more than 900 lines on an average and had also not been paid for 5,000 lines — as per the terms of the contract.


Need for review of Constitution: ex-CJ
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Justice Rama Jois, a former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said today that there was a need for review of the Constitution. Delivering the key-note address at the Adhivakta Parishad Punjab and Chandigarh State conference this morning, Justice Rama Jois said Article 45, which incorporated a directive to the state to provide free primary education for all citizens till the age of 14, had not been effectively implemented. He said it was necessary to provide education up to the age of 14 or say up to Class VIII free in government and municipal schools.

He said the issue of interpretation of provisions of the Constitution had assumed great importance in the case of the appointment of Ms Jayalalitha as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He said she was disqualified to be chosen as a member of the state legislature in view of Article 191 of the Constitution read with Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, but the Governor still appointed her as Chief Minister under Article 164(1).

This case and several other earlier cases, highlighted the urgency for reviewing some of the provisions of the Constitution and to take steps to avoid such situations, he said.

Justice Rama Jois suggested that the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha before completion of five years should be withdrawn and thereby election-free term should be ensured in the interests of the nation. He suggested that Article 355 should be amended to confer more powers on the Centre to effectively control erring state governments under specific conditions as an alternative to the imposition of President’s Rule.

Article 356 should be amended, taking away the power to dissolve the Assembly and restricting the power only to dismissal of the government, leaving it open to the legislature to elect a new leader other than the removed Chief Minister, he stated.

Justice Rama Jois favoured simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. He said judges of the Supreme Court and high courts should be disqualified for any appointment for at least two years after retirement.

He said the power to select judges for subordinate courts should be entrusted to the high court by amending Article 234. Justice Rama Jois said only “Bharat” should be retained as the name of the country. Justice A.L. Bahri, a former Judge of the high court, presided over the function. Prominent among those who took part in the conference were Mr Justice J.L. Gupta, Mr Justice K.C. Gupta and Mr R.K. Mittal, a leading advocate at the district courts. 


3 girls, 2 pimps arrested
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 16
In a swoop this evening, the local police arrested three girls and two pimps, allegedly running flesh trade, from a house in Phase 3B II here. The girls in their early 20s hail from Silliguri in Assam and Sundernagar in Himachal Pradesh. This is the second time within a week when the police has arrested girls and pimps involved in flesh trade.

According to information available, a police team raided house and arrested Rajiv Dhawan and Arusse Kumar. A case under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 has been registered by the police.

Sources in the police said the girls were arranged for customers at a desired place at a charge of around Rs 5,000. The girls had reportedly reached the town a few days back.



HOW many in the city are aware of Shanti Marg? Perhaps not many. The reason is that this new road, portions of which have dual carriageways and which runs from 3 Base Repair Depot to the Sector 38 and Sector 38-West intersection, is yet to be officially christened.

Work on fresh carpeting, fixing of streetlights on the median, levelling of road berms and even construction of stormwater drainage gulleys is still to be completed. But the residents of the sectors on either side of this busy road are already “resentful” as the increased traffic on this carriageway has made their life miserable.

“It is going to be “Ashanti Marg” for us all”, remarked a senior technocrat. The residents maintain that this is perhaps the only busy road which has been provided dual carriageways between Sectors 33 and 45, 34 and 44, 35 and 43 and 36 and 42. The distance from the road berm to the boundarywall of the houses is so little that the houseowners are now facing a plethora of noise, smoke pollution and dust problems.

One resident, who is allergic to dust and smoke pollution is even contemplating to sell his house in one of the affected sectors and move to a quieter sector. He maintains that before going for the widening of this road and diverting major traffic of phase II sectors, the administration should have taken all these things into consideration. Such busy roads must have a thick green cover to prevent the traffic related pollution, including of noise, smoke and dust, from travelling to the residential area. In the absence of this green buffer zone, life is going to be terrible especially for those houseowners who have their boundarywalls back to this road.

No other busy “Marg” with dual carriageways passes entirely through residential area. The administration needs to intervene to prevent the residents of these southern sectors from becoming unwitting victims of this major pollution assault.

Selection grade

The Haryana Government appears to follow the saying that “you show me the man; I will show you the rule”, if one goes by the manner it has adopted in granting selection grade to the 1988 batch of the IAS.

This batch has 10 IAS officers. They are Mr Tarun Bajaj, Mr R.K. Khullar, Mr Ram Shekhar, Mr Bal Krishan Pangrahi, Mr T.V. S. N. Prasad, Mr Anil Kumar, Mr Des Raj Dhingra, Mr M.K. Midha, Mr H.S. Rana and Mr K.S. Yadav.

While Mr Bajaj and Mr Khullar were given the selection grade several months ago, the remaining officers were denied the selection grade on the plea that they were not posted against cadre posts. Sometime ago, the Haryana Government approved the suitability for the selection scale of pay to other officers, except Mr Anil Kumar, Mr Des Raj Dhingra and Mr K.S. Yadav because some departmental enquiries were pending against them.

What is baffling is that since the Haryana Government had already approved their suitability for the selection grade, there appeared to be hardly any justification to deny them the selection grade. This decision of the Haryana Government has become a subject of discussion among all IAS officers of the state.

A few days ago, the files have been sent back with the comments that “CM did not agree” (for the release of selection grade to them).

No houses

A large number of applicants for Haryana Government houses have been waiting in vain for the past several months. Applications were invited from eligible applicants several months ago. But either the applications have not been processed or the authorities concerned are waiting for some of their “favoured ones” to become eligible before they start processing these applications. And those eligible and senior enough to be guaranteed allotment feel that they have been unnecessarily made to stay in private houses by paying exorbitant rents because of the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned.

Bright spark

At times even minor negligence can lead to massive inconvenience. This was witnessed last week by the Sector 45-A residents when their communication lifeline — telephones — remained out of order for as many as four days.

Incidentally, for a change, the BSNL was not to be blamed for this problem. What happened was that a “bright idea” struck the “overenthusiastic” sweeper of the area, who decided to burn garbage right under the telephone pole. This damaged one of the underwires and left more than 10 residents sans their phones. It was only on the fourth day, after the department had realised where the actual fault was, that the underwire was laid and, to the relief of the residents, the problem rectified!


This is not how leaders are supposed to lead. The so-called leaders of the college students’ strike came to know about the strike exactly one day after the students of a girls college of the city had taken to the streets on their own.

The next morning there were the old students of the colleges and the university guiding and “leading” the girls.

Dumping park

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation seems to strike upon the weirdest of ideas. Now it has chosen a small locality park in Sector 20-C to dump its newly built steel dustbins. A visit to the area reveals how these huge dustbins have been dumped into the ground, thus ruining the green cover and also preventing the children from using the park.

The small number of swings in the park were already good for nothing, but children were still using them for playing. Now the story has taken a very sour turn, with the MC encroaching upon the park land by dumping its material there.

Vengaboys craze

The Pepsi Vengabus moving around the town to distribute free passes actually drove the youngsters crazy. There were scenes of chaos and confusion at every place where the bus halted — right from Sector 17 Piazza to Sector 8 and 9 markets. In order to win over the passes for the much-awaited show by the international pop group, some students were preparing for long. A group of students, stalking the bus, were heard shouting vital details about the group members Kim, Roy, Denice and Robin. They believed that the organisers would throw passes at people who had gathered some ground information about the singers.

One boy went to the extent of fighting with another who was given a pass: “Do you know anything about the group? Pata ata kuch honda nai te Vengaboys nu sunnan jaange. Pellan jao te puchh ke aao ki ae Vengaboys cheez ki ne, kithon aaye ne... After saying this, he actually snatched the pass and ran away!

On strike

The strike of college students in the city had the boys and girls get together at a place where they all dream of being all the time: Panjab University’s Students Centre.

And after the three 3000-strong crowd of youth had reached the centre they had little patience with what their leaders had to say. All of them were busy attacking the food joints and the coffee shop. The shopkeepers made a quick buck, thanks to the strike.

Organic farming

Greatly concerned at the chemicals the citizens ingest along with the food and the adverse impact industrial farming has on the environment, the department of chemical engineering, Panjab University, is now making serious efforts to turn organic.

Prof S.C. Jain, chairman of the department, approached the Environment Society of India (ESI) which set up vermi-biotechnology and Nadep compost units last week at the department. Prof Jain says that the units have been set up not only for research and training purposes but also to help support the staff, faculty members of the university to put up vermi-compost bins in their homes and use the compost in their kitchen gardens.

The department will also advise the horticulture division of the university to set up Nadep compost units to convert the fallen leaves and other wastes into useful manure.

An environment club is being started with the students and the faculty members which will make all-out efforts to develop the campus into a sustainable and eco-friendly place.


A communication sent by the Deputy Director (MC) of the Industries Department to officers says: “I am directed to inform you that a Half-Day Seminar on ‘Impact of New Industrial Policy — A critical Appraisal’ is being organised on September 18 at 5 p.m. at Haryana Nivas at Chandigarh to highlight the achievement of the industrial sector in the post new Industrial Policy era and to critically evaluate its impact on the overall industrial development in the State. The seminar shall be presided over by Mr S.Y. Quraishi, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Haryana.

At 5 p.m. it will already be evening. When will the half-day end is the quiz in the communication.

Life goes on

Even though the mood back home in Chandigarh was somber during the attack on New York and Washington, tipplers continued sipping invigorating golden elixir in a Sector 17 pub. Only this time they were watching live coverage of the events on the giant screen, instead of one of usual action films.

No takers

It was a week when the fate of the Hindi and Urdu languages invited a lot of pessimism from the writers at two separate conferences held by the respective academies. While the aim behind the two meetings was to put heads together and come up with solutions on popularising the languages, little was achieved at the end of the day.

Most writers, instead of focussing on real issues, seemed more bothered about the fact that the public and administrative officials, despite their involvement with the academy and its work, were sending their wards to convent and model schools instead of educating them in government schools. “There are no takers for education being imparted by the government schools and the youngsters are fast losing interest in Hindi and Urdu,’’ they rued. The ultimate solution to their woes, they suggested, was that the government step in to deliver their lot, take steps and give concessions to recreate interest in the languages.


A symposium on “Complications of intra-ocular lens implantation and their management”, was organised at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, past week. As many as 120 delegates from the Army Medical Corps as well as civilian institutions, including those located at Ambala, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Suratgarh, attended the meet.

The symposium, organised by the Panchkula-Chandigarh Ophthalmic Society, was inaugurated by the hospital Commandant, Maj Gen Partap Dayal. The highlight of the seminar was discussions on complications of cataract surgery, which is the most common cause of blindness in the world, and measure to avoid infection so that blindness after surgery can be prevented.

The head of the eye department, PGI, Prof Amol Gupta, gave a talk on post operative infections and their control and management, while Col D P Vats, Senior Advisor, Command Hospital, spoke about the management of complications resulting from stitchless phaco-emulsion surgery. Dislocation of lens in the posterior segment of the eye was delved upon by Dr M R Dogra, additional professor from PGI.

A session was also organised on Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) induced corneal damage, where the exchange of the damaged lens by a safe IOL followed by corneal transplant, was highlighted. A detailed presentation about prevention of reformation of cataract after lens implantation in children was also given by Lt Col (Mrs) S P Prashad, where video films were also screened to explain every procedure.



Haryana telecom subscribers allege discrimination
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Telephone subscribers who want to be linked to Haryana are being discriminated against by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) with their capital not being linked on the local dialing service at cheaper rates.

“Those who want to be telephonically connected from a large part of Haryana to their capital and vice versa, are not getting it despite the local dialing facility at cheaper rates being available in the whole country,” the Chandigarh Telecom Subscribers Association (CTSA) president, Mr Randhir Verma, told The Tribune today.

He said Haryana was the only state in the country which was not linked to its capital.

The CTSA was one of the few consumer organisations recognised by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telecom regulator was considering to raise the matter before TRAI, he said.

The CTSA chief said Chandigarh was the only twin-capital city in the country necessitating its link with both states for providing people a telecom link.

Mr Verma said it did not make business sense for the BSNL as it was losing on the potential revenue through an increased volume due to cheaper rates of local dialing.

He said instead of expanding the facility of local dialing being extended to Haryana, there were reports that Panchkula was being taken out from the Punjab Circle. If Panchkula was excluded from the Punjab Circle, then PCO and STD operators would install two sets across the Shivalik road to take benefit and provide the local dialing facility through their shops, he added.

Mr Verma said if the fixed circle hampered this facility, the agreement between Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited and other telecom circles could have been followed to provide subscribers their due.

This agreement had provided subscribers from Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh connnectivity to other circles.


Woman killed in freak accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
A woman was killed in a freak accident in Sector 11 here when she got strangulated after her dupatta got entangled in a wheel of a rickshaw.

According to information available, Radha Devi was going in a rickshaw to the PGI to meet a relative admitted there. The woman was strangulated as her dupatta got stuck in the wheel. She was rushed to the PGI, where she died.

In another freak accident, a scooterist sustained serious head injuries when he did not see a rope tied on the road for the purpose of construction work and met with an accident.

It is learnt that the accident took place on a street of the Sector 8 market on the Madhya Marg. Construction work was in progress near one of the offices of a newspaper, where a rope had been tied across the road. The victim did not see the rope and fell off his scooter after the scooter ran into the rope. He was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.


‘I would like to re-contest poll’

Tribune News Service

Question your councillor

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

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


Chandigarh, September 16
The city Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, a social activist, founder president of the International Sikh Women’s Forum and president of Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy, won the 1996 MC elections as a Shiromani Akali Dal ( Badal) candidate from ward No. 9, comprising southern Sectors 34, 35 and 44 by a big margin. Excerpts of an interview:

Question: What have been your achievements during the term?

Answer: The development of greenbelts in all three sectors of my ward, the Garden of Annuals on the pattern of Shanti Kunj, sub-sector locality parks, recarpeting of the V-6 and V-4 roads in three sectors, V-5 roads in Sector 44 and beautification of roundabouts. The recarpeting of Sector 44 and 34 markets’ parking areas is underway. Extension of Sector 35-C market has also taken place.

New sodium lights on the entire stretch of V-5 roads and new lighting in the Topiary Park of Sectors 35-A and B and in the model park of Sector 35-C and D has been done.

Development of community centres in Sector 44-B, 35-B, extension of parking lots in Sector 35 and construction of cycle tracks and pathways has also taken place. A new storm water drainage system has been laid in Sectors 34 and 35 and new road gullies have been constructed to solve the problem of water logging. Installation of deep bore tubewell for drinking water and irrigation in Sectors 35 A,B and extension of pipeline from Sector 44-B to 34-C (underway) for irrigating various parks and also a water booster for ensuring proper water pressure in Sector 44-A has been provided.

Promise vs Performance
* Roads  

Internal roads still need attention.

* Greenery  

Promise largely kept.

* Water   Satisfactory.

*Model toilets, concrete pathways, sanitation, shopping centres

  Task unfinished.

New dispensaries in Sector 35-C and 44-B have been constructed.

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

A: I could not ensure the construction of model toilets, shopping centres, concrete pathways on both sides of roads, an improved “model system of sanitation,’’ on the lines of the West. Financial constraints and division of power between the corporation and Administration came in the way of realising these goals.

Q: How did you use the Corporation Forum to redress the grievances of the people?

A: I kept doors open for complaints and pursued problems effectively.

Q: What did you promise the voter during your election campaign?

A: Clean drinking water, better roads, development of greenbelts, proper lighting, better sewerage and storm water drainage system and functional community centres.

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

A: Both high command and local functionaries were sincere and supportive.

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

A: Mostly cooperative and open to suggestions.

Q: Would you like to re-contest election?

A: Yes, because there is much more to be accomplished.

Q: What will you suggest to your successor, in case you do not contest? What must he do for the residents?

A: To pay heed to the problems of the electorate, rise above petty politics and struggle for more power for the MC.

Q: Why should the voter vote for you?

A: For helping my mission to serve them and to allow me to carry on with work which is worship for me.

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

A: Love, concern and care of my people is the `priceless treasure’ with me today. 


Bansal promises Rs 10 lakh for UT villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, today visited Daria, Mauli Jagran and Kishangarh villages and took stock of various works for which recommendations had been made from his MP Local Area Development Scheme (MALADS).

Addressing the villagers, Mr Bansal said a sum of Rs 10 lakh would be spent on each UT village out of his MPLADS, apart from various developmental works in collaboration with the Chandigarh Administration. He also promised to develop a park in Mauli Jagran.

Prominent among those accompanied Mr Bansal were Mr Pawan Sharma, Mr H.S. Lucky, Mr Hari Singh Saini, Sarpanch, Daria village, Mr Kartar Singh Thakur, Sarpanch, Mauli Jagran, Mr Umesh Gupta, Sarpanch, Hallo Majra village, Ms Bhupinder Kaur, Sarpanch, Kishangarh village, Mr Sharda Parsad, Member of the Zila Parishad, and Mr Pritam Singh, a former Chairman of the Market Committee.


Robbery accused surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The fifth accused in the Sector 35 robbery, Ranbir Singh Bunny, has surrendered before the police.

According to the information available, the accused was presented before the police by his father. He had been recuperating in a hospital in Amritsar, after he was bitten by a mongoose.


Provide alternate sites: shopkeepers
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 16
Shopkeepers of the market at Lambian village have urged the Punjab Government to provide them alternate shops before demolishing their shops in the village. They said they were ready to purchase sites at the bulk material market in Sector 65-A here at the reserved price. The period of paying the instalments should be extended, they pleaded.

Mr Manmohan Singh Langh, a councillor of the local civic body, said the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), had decided to allot alternate residential plots to villagers but no agreement could be reached with the shopkeepers of the village.

The shopkeepers said PUDA was providing land to unauthorised rehri markets and was allotting low cost flats to migrant labour and that they should also be offered plots at subsidised rates. Mr Manjeet Sethi, another councillor, said the government had allotted alternate booths to shopkeepers running unauthorised shops in Phase VIII.

Mr Angrez Singh, president of the Pind Bachao Committee, said the price at which the villagers were being offered residential plots was very high.

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