Tuesday, September 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Computer education begins in city government schools
Our Correspondent

Students of Govt. Model Senior Secondary School sector-16, Chandigarh trying their hand in a computer
Students of Govt. Model Senior Secondary School sector-16, Chandigarh trying their hand in a computer after the launching the computer education programme on Monday. — Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 24
City students studying in government schools today logged on to computer education after the Chandigarh Education Department’s prestigious project in this regard was launched by Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Over 15,000 students are likely to benefit from the scheme.

The introduction of computer education in government schools is significant as a large number of students were being forced to join private computer institutes in the absence of formal training. Students, under the new scheme, will be familiarised with computer fundamentals, Windows 98, Internet services, MS Word and Power Point, besides other courses. Training will be provided by qualified staff.

After clicking the mouse at the Sector 16 Government Model Senior Secondary School, the Administrator said, “In the modern age, no literate person without the knowledge of computer applications can be successful. It is imperative for all of us to have knowledge of computers to face the challenges of future. I am glad that the project has started as it was my dream to give quality computer education to the students of all government schools and colleges.”

He expressed the hope that the new comprehensive syllabus conceived by the Education Department to be followed by the computer company would help the students. The Administrator said the department had worked hard to design the syllabus.

He appreciated the response to the computer education programme as more than 15,000 students have been enrolled for this programme in 53 schools. The Administrator said computers have changed the way civilisation worked. He described the Internet as the “second major revolution” after the advent of printing.

Meanwhile, General Jacob expressed unhappiness over the fact that senior secondary students were not getting enough time to play. He said the present-age was of cut-throat competition, physical activities and sports were must to keep the brain fresh and the thinking focussed.

The Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, Joint Secretary, Finance, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Director Public Instructions (Schools), and Mr D. S. Saroya were also present on the occasion.

Compucom — a Jaipur-based ISO 9001 company which has signed the agreement — has already installed hardware and other peripherals, besides furniture for working on computers, in all high and senior secondary government schools where at least 125 students have opted for optional computer courses.

As per the officials, the company has recruited qualified instructors for imparting computer education to the students. Instructional material and books would also be provided by the company to the students free of cost as per an agreement.

The UT Administration had earlier signed an agreement with the company for conducting school-level computer courses for classes VI to XII in government schools of the city at the rate of Rs 72 per student per month in July this year. Initially, the contract with the administration would be for five years.

The Managing Director of Compucom Software Limited, Mr Surendra Surana, said “We are glad to start computer education programme in city government schools and will try to promote multimedia training. We are already running computer education programme in Jaipur schools”.

It may be recalled that the tenders for the project had to be called thrice. IEC Software Limited was the lowest bidder but could not be finalised as it was not an ISO-certified company. Second time negotiations were carried out with Zee Interactive but the company reportedly backed out of signing the contract on the ground that it was not financially viable.


Jacob inspects Burail jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
It was a day with a difference at the Burail jail here today as the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, (retd), visited the jail to know what facilities, including the food served their, were being offered to the inmates.

Accompanied by the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. M. Ramshekhar, the General reached the factory area of the jail which houses a total of 463 inmates, including 22 woman convicts and undertrials.

General Jacob went to the yoga camp organised in the jail. He also visited the library and expressed the need to improve the library facilities in the jail. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to ensure more newspapers, magazines and books for the inmates. He said that the basic purpose of this jail was to reform and educate the undertrials so that they should turn out to be good citizens on completion of their conviction.

Emphasising the need for improving the hygiene in the jail, General Jacob said the kitchen and dormitaries need improvement. He also checked the quality of lunch being cooked there.

Reacting to the demands of lifers for remission of their sentence, the Administrator said under the Constitution only President was empowered to give remission to them in the cases pertaining to the Union Territories. Regarding special remission, the Governor asked the DC to examine the cases of convicts case by case sympathetically and put up for announcing the remission to the eligible convicts on the eve of Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

The possibility of utilising the vacant land for growing cash crops so that convicts in the jail could be served with vegetable was suggested by the General. After seeing the workshop, General Jacob said we need to give them vocational training in other trades so that they should learn to earn their livelihood after they complete their sentence. He asked the DC to start a literacy campaign in the jail.

General Jacob said total care should be taken of children below six years who were living along with the mothers in the jail.Back



Jacob to give away bravery awards tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, Governor of Punjab and Union Territory Administrator, will present the awards to the winners of the 10th Red & White Bravery Awards at a solemn ceremony to be held here on September 26. The awards honour those unique men and women who emerge stronger under adversity and give of themselves selflessly, thus setting an example for others to follow.

The awards are conferred in two categories — Physical Bravery and Social Acts of Courage. In both these categories, winners are to be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals along with a cash prize and certificates. This year, the panel of judges for the Punjab and Haryana chapters include the following eminent persons — Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, Additional D.G. of Police, Human Rights Commission, Punjab, Air Commodore V.S. Govindrajan, Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Force Station, Chandigarh, Mr Anurag Rastogi, Deputy Commissioner, Hisar and Dr R.K. Chauhan, Vice Chancellor, Guru Jambeshwar University, Hisar.Back


Drive to terminate foetus terminators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
To ensure that the clinics and diagnostic centers here do not misuse their ultrasound facilities for sex determination that promotes female foeticide, the UT Health Department launched a drive here today to check the records of all such centres registered with the Director Family Welfare. The drive has been launched under the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (regulation and prevention of misuse) (PNDT) Act of 1994.

About two months ago, the UT Health Department had asked all diagnostic centers with ultrasound facility to get themselves registered with the DFW by September 15. The clinics that have not registered themselves with the department shall be raided.

Though 39 diagnostic centres of the UT have been registered, officials suspect that there may be many other centres, especially in the peripheral areas, without valid licences for conducting sonography tests.

According to the UT Director Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, a Sector 22 diagnostic centre who raided today and found to be conducting sonography tests without maintaining proper records. The proprietor of the diagnostic centre, Mr Upendra Singh has been issued a warning.

According to the DHS, all diagnostic centres here will be required to send detailed reports of all sonography tests that they conduct. Besides, gynaecologists in the recognised MTP centres will also be required to submit detailed monthly reports of all medical terminations of pregnancies.

“After 12 weeks of gestation, no gynaecologist can independently decide to terminate a pregnancy and it has to authorised by at least two doctors,” said Dr Rameshwar Chander.

In June, after an order of the Supreme Court, health authorities all over the country were asked to register all ultrasound facilities. This has been done after instructions from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to check the misuse of prenatal diagnostic techniques. The Supreme Court had recently asked all authorities concerned to make sure that by September 15, every centre followed the PNDT Act.


Vigilance stepped up in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
With war in Afghanistan seeming imminent, Indian intelligence agencies have stepped up vigilance in all major cities in the country reportedly having Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) bases. As part of this, they are keeping eye on seven of these bases, including Chandigarh.

Intelligence sources here confirmed that they have stepped up surveillance in seven cities of the region — Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Delhi, Jammu and Udhampur. Security has been tightened in all sensitive installations in these cities. With no additional forces being granted to the states or Union Territories for beefing up security arrangements, it is the local police that is keeping a strict vigil on bus stands, railway stations and offices of other countries in Delhi and Chandigarh.

Intelligence officials say that since Taliban has always been aided and abetted by the ISI, the current scenario has forced them to step up their surveillance in the known strongholds of the ISI in the country.

They inform that certain reports received by them suggest that Pakistan could use the current situation to strike here after India pledged its support to the USA and after Taliban had declared Jehad against India in 1999.

It is learnt that intelligence agencies have drawn a list of 28 cities all over the country and in Nepal, where the ISI is believed to have a strong base. While Jodhpur and Kota are believed to the bases in Rajasthan, Gujarat has four reported ISI bases — Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat.

The Indo-Nepal border in Bihar, Kathiar and Madhuban; Calcutta, Siliguri and Dinajpur in West Bengal; Lucknow, Terai belt and Pithorgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Guwahati and Tezpur in Assam are also important ISI bases in the country.

Mumbai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad, besides Kathmandu are also suspected to have ISI sympathisers and agents.

The intelligence agencies have asked the local authorities to keep an eye on “sleepers” (those who were active in terrorist movements earlier) and other terrorist sympathisers.

The local authorities have also been asked to keep an eye on Afghans residing in these cities. 


Money for city may fund MLA hostels’ power bill
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Money meant for development of Chandigarh is likely to be used for paying about a Rs 70 lakh outstanding power bill of MLA hostels occupied by legislators of Punjab and Haryana. The money will be paid from funds which are otherwise meant for the development of the city. The plan of recovering money from these states is still, at best, hazy.

Rightfully these bills should have been cleared by the two states as the buildings, which are owned by the Chandigarh Administration, are used by their legislators. The MLA hostels are located in Sectors 3 and 4, respectively. UT officials are tight lipped about the issue. Sources in the Administration as well as the Punjab Government say that Chandigarh has agreed to pay the pending bills. This was decided at a high level meeting between the two parties here this morning.

This benevolent gesture from the Administration comes at time when several city roads are in need of urgent repair while power transformers need to be set up to stabilise the supply system in the city.

Interestingly, Punjab and Haryana want to seek control of the hostels saying they will maintain it themselves. This has been agreed by the Administration as the ownership, or custodian rights will be with the UT and the states will continue to be tenants. Interestingly the 30 bays building in Sector 17, where a large number of Haryana offices are located, has recently been handed over to Haryana for maintenance.

Just last month Chandigarh Administration had put its foot down and refused to carry out any new development in the MLA hostels, saying Punjab and Haryana Governments would have to first clear arrears of maintenance.

Both buildings having a total of 112 flats for MLAs are owned by the UT Administration. Punjab holds 72 flats while Haryana has control over the other 40.

The Administration has pulled out of a scheme to energise about 100 newly-installed air conditioners in the hostels saying a new transformer and cables have to be set up for this. ACs draw more power, say UT officials. The load needs to enhanced. In the Sector 4 hostel another 145 KW needs to be added to the existing load of 122 KW. In Sector 3 hostel 40 KW needs to be added to the existing 92 KW.

All this will cost about Rs 10 lakh to provide. The UT Administration has put its foot down saying it will not energise the AC s unless arrears of Rs 60 lakh are paid up. With today’s decisions the cost of new paraphernalia will be borne by states.

The issue of maintenance cropped up as UT wanted the states to pay more per flat. At the moment a day's stay in the hostel costs a princely Rs 6. In September last year the Administration wanted it raised to Rs 30 but the same was not implemented. Now in April this year the Administration asked for a rent of Rs 100 per day. The same was not reportedly agreed upon in the Vidhan Sabhas’ of the two states.


Give us money-making depts: F&CC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The members of the Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) at a meeting held today under the chairmanship of the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, suggested that all resource-generating departments of the UT Administration be transferred to it.

The members said that the UT Administration was getting the lease money from different sources, whereas the basic civic amenities were being provided and maintained by the MCC. The councillors, Mr O.P. Goyal, Mr R.K. Aggarwal and Mr R.S. Kailey and the Mayor, sought that the whole amount of lease money be immediately transferred to the MCC.

They further observed that the Administration should also transfer road tax being collected by it to the MCC as maximum percentage of road work was undertaken by them. It was also suggested that Licencing and Registering Authority should also be vested with the civic body and added that the advertisement tax and the municipal cess on liquor be immediately imposed.

The members also resolved that since streetlighting was a major liability of the civic body, the Administration should compensate for the same. Deliberating on the issue of further revision of water tariff as suggested by the UT Administration, the Mayor pointed out that since over the past so many years, the Administration did not rise water tariff, therefore it could not expect sudden rise in water tariff.

Besides the Mayor and the councillors, among the officers present were Assistant Commissioner-I, Mr Ashok Vashishtha, the Municipal Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar, the Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh and the Chief Accounts Officer, Mr H.S Sood.

The suggestions of the F and CC members will be sent to the Chandigarh Administration for putting up in the meeting of the second Delhi Finance Commission (DFC). The DFC, after going through the whole matter, will allocate funds to the MCC for the next year plan. During the meeting, the F and CC members were also informed about the current fiscal position of the civic body and future plans.

Earlier, in the day, the Mayor and the former Member of Parliament, Mr Satya Pal Jain, were honoured by the Sector 8 gurdwara authorities. They also apprised the Mayor of their grievances and were given assurance that the matter would be taken up immediately with the authorities concerned.

The Haryana Housing Board Association, Sector 39, also honoured the Mayor and area councillor, Mr Kanhya Lal. While highlighting the deplorable condition of V-3 roads, non-functional streetlighting system to the Mayor, they urged her to take the matter with the Administration. The Mayor assured them of getting their grievances redressed.


Lovers end their lives
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 24
A couple ended their lives by consuming some poisonous substance in Dera Jagadhri village, near here, on Sunday. According to sources, Saroj Kumari (15) and Balbir Singh (20) are said to be close relatives who were having an affair.

A student of S.S. Jain High School, Dera Bassi, Saroj, consumed poisonous tablets at about 10.30 am and was taken to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. As her health deteriorated there, she was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where the doctors declared her brought dead.

Her parents said she was suffering from a prolonged ailment and died after taking a heavy dose of medicines.

Meanwhile, Balbir Singh reportedly had liquor after consuming some poisonous substance and was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, at about 4.15 pm. Considering a serious case, doctors referred him to the PGI in Chandigarh. After fighting for life for over three hours, Baldev Singh breathed his last at about 7 pm.

Members of both the families were tightlipped over the incident but residents of surrounding villages said both the deceased were in close relation and had fallen in love with each other for some time.

Saroj’s body was cremated without conducting postmortem examination on the permission of the SDM, Dera Bassi, while Baldev’s body is still in PGI mortuary. His parents are also seeking permission from the SDM to perform last rites without conducting any postmortem examination. 


Flesh trade thriving in city, satellite towns
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The murder of a pimp by one of his workers in connivance with her two paramours on Saturday has once again revealed that the City Beautiful and its satellite townships are showing signs of turning into a major nodal point for the world’s oldest profession.

The victim, Ajmer Singh, who belonged to Ladiana village in Jind district, was reportedly running a flesh trade racket in the city and Panchkula. It is learnt that he had taken a room on rent in Sector 8, Panchkula and had kept two to three of the women employed with him there.

It was only when he had trouble with one of his relatives, also a partner in his flesh trade business, Rajbir, that the latter turned one of his employee’s, Babli, against him and he was done to death.

While, the police emphasised that with most of the sex workers from various parts of Punjab and Haryana have chosen the city and its satellite townships for their operations, it is also learnt that a number of women from Orissa, West Bengal and Nepal are in this business. Thus, Chandigarh’s unique character is under serious threat.

Although there is no organised form of prostitution or a red light area in the city, many of the sex workers reportedly operate from Sector 22, Sector 20, Sector 34, Industrial Area, Mani Majra and Sector 44. It is learnt that the city being the ‘‘ land of opportunity ’’ for most of the rural population from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, many of the young women from these parts who come here looking for work, are lured into the trade by easy money.

A senior police official, on condition of anonymity, said that the city had a lot of floating population and it was difficult to curb such crimes. ‘‘The migrants from different parts of the country are staying here without their families and the sex workers are catering to their needs,’’ he said.

Informed sources claim that the most popular pick-up joints in the city are the Bus Stand, Sector 22, Sector 34, Sector 29 and a few places in the Industrial Area. It is alleged that a few of the gangs work in collusion with rickshaw-pullers, who ferry them around the quite parts of the city in hope of finding a customer.

In November last year, the police had arrested three call girls operating in and around the city with the help of their mobile phones. The pimp , a city resident, was also arrested by the police. In January earlier this year, a Mumbai-based model-cum-actress was among the three prostitutes arrested by the Chandigarh police. A 19-year-old Panchkula girl, was reportedly operating here as a member of a gang headed by a Sector 4 Panchkula resident, along with a Narwana resident.

It is the neighbouring township of SAS Nagar that has attained notoriety for having a thriving flesh trade business with the local police there having busted at least three flesh trade rackets so far this year .

The police say that they can only keep a check on people involved in such business, if they have definite information. ‘‘Since everything is done under cover, it is difficult to conduct routine raids,’’ informed a senior police official. 


Delhi-Vancouver flight from Oct 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Canada 3000 Airlines inaugural flight from Delhi to Vancouver, using polar route, will commence on October 9 and to Toronto from October 12. Awareness road shows in Punjab for this were started by the company here today.

‘‘There are currently no scheduled flights between India and Canada. Introduction of our service will revolutionise the air service between the two countries,’’ said Mr Krishan Seth, Chairman and Managing Director of the company.

Mr Nek Chand flagged the road show from the local office of the company here today.

The road show, which will conclude on September 30, will cover the entire state, including Balachaur, Banga, Garhshankar, Phagwara, Nakodar, Moga, Sangrur.

The airbus A340-300 will provide free travel for infants (up to 2 years), and the child fare (up to 15 years) will be 75 per cent. Other facilities will include Punjabi-speaking crew, personal video in economy class on all seats etc.

‘‘Our target will be travellers from Punjab and we expect to capture more than 35 per cent of the traffic going from here,’’ said Mr Seth.

Canada 3000 is covering 108 destinations worldwide and is the second largest airline.

Rebates will be given to passengers who travel on the first nine flights. More than 50 per cent of the booking for seven flights has already been done.Back


Cloning the Indian cheetah
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Extinct for the past three decades, the Indian cheetah has a chance of revival thanks to a futuristic cloning project to be carried out by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) under a noted DNA scientist, Dr Lalji Singh.

At present the magnificent cheetah, which was hunted to extinction more than 30 years ago, exists only in the form of illustrations in textbooks.

Now , in an attempt to turn the clock back, the scientists will base their research on morphology and some earlier reports on the Indian cheetah. Dr Lalji Singh, the eminent Indian genetic expert who heads the CCMB says: “The cheetah found in Iran is closest to the Indian cheetah. At present even in Iran, there are only about a dozen cheetahs left. We have requested the authorities there to allow us to at least take skin biopsies from one of them, which can be grown into tissue culture, and the cells used for cloning a cheetah using the leopard as a surrogate mother.”

Dr Lalji Singh, who was in the city to attend an Indo-German workshop at the PGI on” the Genetic basis of host-pathogen interaction” told TNS that India had written to the authorities in Iran to give one cheetah for the project.

“We have the technology and expertise, but cloning the Indian cheetah will be a challenge in itself,” the scientist admitted. “And once we start the project we will come to know what difficulties will be faced,” he added.

Scientists had not been able to use the technique of cloning on wild animals. Giving an example, Dr Lalji Singh said an attempt was made by US scientists to clone the Indian gaur using the cow as a surrogate mother. Though a live birth was witnessed, the offspring did not survive.

In this regard, Dr Lalji Singh also received an e-mail when he announced his plan to clone a cheetah” I got an interesting e- mail from the USA. The sender had questioned that even if I managed to clone the cheetah, where would I keep it.”

The animal could not survive in the wild. Its natural habitat of bushes had now been converted into agricultural land. And, lastly, the animal did not breed in captivity. All I can say is that we will cross the bridge when we come to it,” he said.

To silence the sceptics on the use of funds for cloning the animal, Dr Lalji Singh said biodiversity needed to be preserved. “One infection and it can wipe out another endangered species Already thousands of species have been lost for ever. Besides, children have the right to see what a cheetah looks like and not just read about it in textbooks,” he added.

For cloning, a Centre for the Conservation of Endangered Species was under construction near the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department and the CCMB. The multi-crore project was being funded by the Department of Biotechnology and the Central Zoo Authority.

The state-of-the-art laboratory would have various facilities, including a sperm, egg and tissue bank. It would also have a facility for invitro fertilisation, artificial insemination and cloning.” The plan is to clone only those species where only a few animals are left and are unable to breed or are on the verge of extinction,” said Dr Lalji Singh.

According to him, the CCMB was already carrying out cloning techniques on mice. The laboratory would also keep a sperm bank on animals which were on the brink of extinction like Asiatic lions.Back


Bans were a boon: US waiver review
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The waiver of the US sanctions imposed after the 1998 Pokhran nuclear blasts does not enthuse scientists at one of the top military research institutions of India — the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL) here.

Scientists here said the bans had turned out to be a boon and they required virtually no outside help in the future for this defence research and development facility that assesses the end impact of armaments.

“The sanctions provided us with an opportunity to look for indigenous options and we succeeded in finding these, so, we need no further help from the US,” sources in the TBRL said here today. They said friendly countries helped the organisation carry on with its research.

The sanctions were a great thing to have happened to the laboratory, as these had made Indian scientists develop self-confidence to give a boost to indigenous research, they said.

The sources said domestic industry had been able to develop the items the country had been importing before the sanctions. The design and technology for developing these items was the contribution of the TBRL, they said.

The blunted impact of the sanctions could be measured from the progress in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project in spite of the sanctions.

The sources refused to reveal the names of “friendly countries”, domestic industries and the item that they had produced. The scientists also said, technologically, India was now only a couple of years behind the US.

The gap was not because of the inferiority of our scientists, but the superior infrastructure created by the US democratic system in its 150 year of existence and a bigger American economy.

Sources in another top Indian scientific institution here — the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) — said, “The sanctions were not meant for the institute in the first place.” Sources in the CSIO said they had been shopping around the world, including in the US, for acquiring instruments during the sanction period.

Sources in both organisations, however, said details of the sanctions that had been waived were yet to be made clear for a fair assessment of the long-term impact and prospects of the US cooperation in India’s technological development.


UT’s slums, Mohali’s headache
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar
The issue of straightening the Jagged boundary between Chandigarh and SAS Nagar has once again brought to the fore the question of jhuggi dwellers squatting on UT land along the border. At a recent meeting between officials of the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Authority and those of the Chandigarh Administration, the latter refused to discuss the issue, describing it as a sensitive matter involving slum dwellers.

An official of Punjab said the item regarding mutual transfer of land was dropped at the behest of the UT officials. Since the UT was yet to fully execute the planning of its third phase sectors, it was not keen to discuss the issue. PUDA officials said these slums in UT had become a headache for the residents of SAS Nagar. They insist that straightening of the serpentine border would ensure integrated development of the UT’s third phase sectors.


A member of the Municipal Council, Mr Amrik Singh, has claimed that the engineering wing headed by a municipal engineer is laying red sandstone slabs in a section of the Phase 7 market because a junior engineer of the council owns a shop in that market. In the rest of the market, PCC tiles were yet to be laid though tenders were passed a few months ago.

He says that the engineering wing is going ahead with the laying of red sand stone despite a ban by the Local Government Department. He points out that red stone has been laid at a few other places in front of shops of some favoured persons.


A shoppers’ paradise
Tribune News Service

One of the oldest sectors of the city, Sector 22, can be described as a shoppers’ paradise. This thickly-populated sector, which has five markets, besides a couple of “rehri markets”, however, continues to be plagued by problems which are common to other sectors.

Unauthorised guest houses in residential houses seem to be the biggest nuisance for the residents. Proximity to the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 has ensured the mushrooming of these guest houses and, according to an estimate, this sector has at least a dozen unauthorised guest houses.

The residents allege that these guest houses have become a nuisance, particularly for women, who find it difficult to venture out of their homes after dark. They also violate the building by-laws, complained Mr Bimal Chandan Bitta, a lawyer living in Sector 22-C, while demanding their closure or shifting to some other sector.

In the absence of a community centre, the residents face difficulties in holding social functions, he alleges. Similarly, there are very few garbage bins in the C section of the sector and that puts the residents to considerable inconvenience.

The pride of the sector, Nehru Park, where Jawaharlal Nehru presided over a function in connection with the building of Chandigarh is in bad shape. The park is spruced up only when there are rallies to be held by political parties, alleges Mr R.L. Shahi, a resident. Garbage remains heaped at one of the entrances to the park and green belts have been eaten up by Shastri Market and Bajwara Market, Mr Shahi points out.

As far as the supply of water and power is concerned, it in fair condition, occasional power cuts notwithstanding. However, the less said about the condition of the back lanes the better. These have not been cleaned for a long time, alleges Mr Bitta.

The condition of the five markets in the A, B and D sections, the Bajwara Market and a couple of rehri markets is no better. Since these are old markets with limited space for parking, the parking of vehicles remains a major problem, says Mr Charanjiv Singh, vice-president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.

Related to the parking problem is the problem of the unauthorised taxi stand in Sector 22-B market which needs to be shifted to some other place, demand the traders.

Encroachments in the verandahs of the markets make it difficult for the shoppers to move in the corridors. Repeated efforts by the Enforcement Wing of the MCC seem to have proved ineffective.

The sector has a polyclinic. However, the opening of the dog clinic next to the polyclinic has been opposed by the residents for fear of the patients catching infection.


Dharna against octroi abolition
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 24
The Municipal Employees Sangharsh Committee of Ropar district organised a dharna in front of the office of the local civic body here today in protest against the government’s decision to abolish octroi.

The protesters also burnt effigies, among others, of the Punjab Chief Minister and the Local Bodies Minister and raised slogans against the SAD-BJP government.

Mr Krishan Lal Saini, convener of the committee, said the abolition of octroi would be a big blow to the financial health of the civic bodies. Moreover, the octroi staff would become surplus and the civic bodies would not be able to pay their salaries.

He said the government had no specific plan to adjust the municipal employees who would be affected by the decision. Besides, even if there was a plan to adjust the surplus staff in other departments, problems relating to seniority, gratuity, etc would arise. He said in order to intensify the stir, efforts were on to form a state-level committee in this regard. Later a deputation of employees met the SDM and gave him a charter of demands. A number of municipal councillors also took part in the dharna.


Congress appoints three district presidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
With a view to strengthening the organisational structure for the forthcoming elections of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and the Panchayat Samiti in December, the Congress has appointed three district presidents.

According to reliable sources, the AICC General Secretary and party in charge for Chandigarh affairs, Ms Mohsina Kidwai, has cleared three names and a formal announcement was likely to be made soon. A senior Congress leader, Mr D.D. Jindal, who has been the general secretary and treasurer of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee(CTCC), has been appointed president of the District Urban Congress(I) and will look after party affairs from Sectors 1 to 30.

Similarly, Mr Pawan Sharma, a former president of the District Rural Congress, will be the new president of the District Urban Congress(II) and will look after the party affairs from Sector 31 onwards. The director of the local market committee, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, will head the District Rural Congress.

The CTCC has tried to give representations to various factions in the party. While Mr Jindal and Mr Sharma are considered close to the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and the CTCC chief, Mr BB Bahl, Mr Badheri is a close associate of former Union Minister, Mr Venod Sharma. Although it is a different matter that both the factions seems to have buried the hatchet after the expulsion of the former Union Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, from the CTCC.

The sources informed that though the party had taken a significant decision to make these appointments ahead of the elections, yet several key posts remain vacant. While the post of the presidents of the National Students Union of India(NSUI) and the Seva Dal have been vacant for a couple of years now, the post of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress(CTYC) chief has been vacant for a couple of months now.

Similarly, the secretaries and joint secretaries and 25 block presidents are yet to be appointed. The party had earlier appointed six vice-presidents, six general secretaries and one treasurer, indicating that it has to tone up its organisational structure for the coming poll.Back


Regularise’ guest houses in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Guest House Social and Welfare Association has urged the Chandigarh Administration to regularise the guest houses in the city for the convenience of the middle and lower middle class tourists and visitors.

Raising this demand at a press conference here Saturday night, Mr Subhash Narang and Mr Ashok Sethi, president and general secretary, respectively, of the association claimed the guest house accommodation was a must as they provided cheaper accommodation ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 650 per day with facilities like telephone, TV and airconditioners.

Since Chandigarh faced an acute shortage of accommodation during international fairs, matches and examinations, it became all the more essential to frame rules for the regularisation of guest houses. When the company guest houses were allowed, why the Administration was meting out step-motherly treatment to the guest houses, asked Mr Ashok Grover, another office-bearer, while welcoming the decision of the Administration to formulate a policy for controlling the conduct of the guest houses.


Promotional drive launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, launched the promotional campaign of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), “HP dhamaal kare maala maal” from the company-owned and company-operated (COCO) retail outlet in Sector 52 here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ramsekhar urged the staff of the petroleum outlets to be courteous, besides ensuring quality and quantity.

Mr T.S. Sawhney, Chief Regional Manager of the HPCL, said that during the campaign, which would be open till November 18 at 57 petrol stations in Panchkula, Ambala, Patiala, Shimla and Solan districts, besides Chandigarh, the customers had a chance to win prizes.

The final draw of lots will be held in Chandigarh on November 21 where the names of the lucky winners will be announced.


WWICS proprietor charged with theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The local police has registered a case against the proprietor of the World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) on the charges of theft and causing damage to a house.

The case has been registered under Sections 380 and 427 of the IPC, where it has been alleged that Col B.S. Sandhu, his wife Baljit Kaur, son Davinder Singh, cousin Gurpreet Sandhu and an employee of the firm, Rajiv Bajaj, took away all electrical, sanitary and iron fittings when they vacated a rented accommodation in Sector 8 here.

The house belonged to a man named Chanderdeep Jain who had rented it out to a woman named Ms Sekhon of an education academy here two years ago.

Following this, the owner and the tenant were engaged in litigation and the woman lost the case in the Supreme Court recently. Mr Jain was granted the possession of the house, but by this time, the woman had sublet the house to Col Sandhu.

On September 14, a bailiff had come to the house to get it vacated, but found it locked. Subsequently, the bailiff was sent to the house again today. The bailiff found that the house had been vacated and all fittings had been removed. The police was summoned and a case was registered. However, no arrests have been made so far.


Thieves decamp with garments
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 24
Thieves broke into a cloth house and a tailor’s shop in Old Panchkula on Sunday and decamped with stitched garments and bales of cloth worth Rs 50,000.

According to the police, the tailor detected the theft when he opened the shop at about 7.30 am the next day. He noticed that a number of garments lay scattered in the backyards of the shops, following which, he informed Mr Roshan Lal, owner of the cloth house.

Shopkeepers of the market assembled at the spot and informed the police. They said the thieves had entered the shops from the rear.Back


Retired head mistress accused of cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
A case was registered today against a retired head mistress, along with a former clerk, earlier posted at Government High School of Behlana near here, for cheating and forgery. The case was registered after investigations by the Economics Offences Wing.

According to sources, the case has been registered under Sections 406, 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint filed by Chandigarh’s Director Public Instructions (Administration). The duo, sources added, had allegedly misappropriated Rs 3.87 lakh. The misappropriation was detected during an auditing of records.


Student’s death: doctors conduct autopsy
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 24
The autopsy on the body of the 27-year-old Ph.D student of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Salesh Girish Shastri, who was found dead in his hostel room in the institute yesterday, was conducted at the local Civil Hospital. His last rites were performed by his father, brother and an uncle, who had come from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, here today.

The victim was in the last year of his four-year course. The victim along with his three friends had gone out to have their dinner as it was the last day of their examination. They then reportedly consumed liquor in their hostel where victim had insisted for more drinks as compared to his friends — a fact which could not be confirmed from the authorities of the institute.

Few days back, the victim had got one of his arms fractured after he fell from a scooter. The victim was found dead in his hostel room at around 11 am. The police said the exact cause of death would be revealed in the post-mortem report.

Autopsy conducted

The autopsy on the body of 27-year-old Mira, who was allegedly beaten to death by her husband, was conducted at the Civil Hospital here today. A police official said if no relative of the victim came forward to take responsibility of her six children, the sub-divisional magistrate would be approached to invite applications for the adoption of these children. Efforts would be made to lodge the aged mother of the suspect in an old age home.


Awareness workshop on ISO 9000: 2000 ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
A five-day workshop aimed at educating people on the provisions and requirements of revised ISO 9000: 1994 QMS system which has now been renamed as ISO 9000: 2000, organised by International Certifications Ltd (ICL) well attended by professionals from manufacturing industries, service sector and even banks, concluded yesterday.

The earlier standard was ‘conformance and procedures based’ whereas the new standard lays emphasis on the ‘performance and sustained growth of an organisation’. Sustained growth of an organisation can be achieved through a continual improvement based on the PDCA (plan; do; check and act). The workshop was in the fifth in line of the 5-day QMS lead auditors programme based on the ISO 9000: 2000.

Mr Vishnu Ratna, Chief Executive Officer (Asia Operations), International Certifications Ltd, who also heads the training division, says, “We have a vision that we should not simply look for money but also train people so that they make the system strong and healthy. If they understand the spirit of ISO standards, they will make organisations more healthy, more productive and more responsive. This will bring them increased market share and prosperity. ICL, therefore, keeps on organising various training programmes to make entrepreneurs, industrialists, manufacturers, health care organisations, educational institutes and other tradesman aware of the international standards, their significance, their benefit and the procedure to be adopted to obtain the certifications.



Mr S Krishnamoorthy, Executive President, Grasim Industries Ltd ( Textiles Division) on Sunday announced the launch of the much-researched polywool suiting “uncrushables”. Addressing a dealers meet, Mr Krishnamoorthy said the new fabric, which represented a breakthrough in the fabric manufacturing technology provided “comfortable and just dressed look hours after one gets dressed up. “Uncrushables brings in a new look to the consumer not just in terms of fabric feel and finish but also offers a high degree of wearbility and immense in-built functional benefits as well”. He declared “ Our company has always been on the forefront in providing quality fabrics”. TNS

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