Sunday, January 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India 


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shocking signal by cable guys
Hike charges further by Rs 35 per month
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
Following a hike in the subscription charges of various pay channels, cable TV operators in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula have decided to hike the per-viewer tariff by Rs 35.

This was announced at a press conference called here today by cable TV operators of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula. They said the charges could further be hiked in March, with Zee TV and Sony planning to hike their subscription fee. The tariff is expected to be hiked from the next month by about Rs 25.

The per-connection tariff had been hiked from Rs 150 to Rs 165 in October 2001, following the hike in connection charges by pay channels. Viewers of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and the town have been protesting against the hike.

Now, barely two months after the last hike, operators have decided to hike the tariff by another Rs 35 to charge Rs 200 for each connection. This tariff is expected to become Rs 225 in February.

In 2001, Star Plus became the first to turn into a pay channel, charging a subscription fee of Rs 15 per connection. Later, Star TV introduced a package at Rs 30 per connection for all its channels. This was followed by Zee TV and Sony TV. Now, there are seven packages of different broadcasters that charge subscription fees.

Col Chahal, Chief Patron of the Punjab Cable TV Network Association, said at the press conference that operators were not responsible for the frequent hike in cable TV tariff. He said the hike was because of the unwarranted frequent hike in monthly per-viewer subscription charges by different pay channels.

“Presently, 52 channels are being offered by the operators in the region. Of these, 34 channels are, now, pay channels. The broadcasting companies are charging anything between Rs 6 to Rs 40 per connection per month from operators,” he said.

Mr Lovely of C.CON Network, who was representing cable operators of Chandigarh, said the monthly tariff was worked out on the basis of what each viewer had to pay broadcasting companies. This was added to the charges for incidental services. “If the capital investment on the infrastructure laid down by operator and its depreciation are taken into consideration, the monthly tariff will increase manifold,” he said.

The operators demanded that the government should appoint a regulatory authority to monitor tariffs of broadcasting companies. They said that they had recently met the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Ms Sushma Swaraj, and given her a memorandum in which the demand for setting up such a body had been raised.

Meanwhile, cable operators also refuted charges of giving subscription charges for less connections than they had. “Pay-channel broadcasting companies release their signals only after long negotiations regarding the volume of connectivity, so, operators cannot cheat them,” they said.


The Cable Consumer Action Committee of SAS Nagar has urged the government, political parties and the judiciary to put a stop to “exploitation of consumers” by “monopolist” cable TV operators. The committee also urged the Union Government to appoint a regulatory authority to supervise and regularise the functioning of cable TV operators.

Mr Amrik Singh, local municipal councillor, said copies of the resolution had been sent to the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting and the other MPs.


A novel project hits City Beautiful
Strong backing from UNESCO, DU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
No matter how indispensable science is to human existence and its explanation, its detailed principles always hamper its charm. The phenomenon is constant, irrespective of regions, so much so that enrollment in science subjects at senior secondary and higher levels has been on a decline.

The trend has been somewhat arrested ever since UNESCO and the International Council of Association for Science Educators (ICASE) took upon itself the outstanding task of spreading scientific and technical literacy for all, under its project titled Project 2000+. After long last, the novel project has hit the City Beautiful, with infrastructural support coming from UNESCO, Delhi University, and Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA). The three-day workshop which commenced at Cafe Noir in Alliance Francaise, Sector 36, yesterday aims at making scientific principles as friendly as they ought to be made. Among the participants are teachers of government model schools, private schools, parents and others who could find themselves in teaching and leaning processes with children at any point in time.

Coordinating the workshop at the local level are executive director of CEVA, Ms Harleen Kohli, and Karen Haydock, who has a rich experience in science for people’s movement which aims at making science more meaningful. The idea, as was visible today, is to start with a social problem — like disposal of waste or even the probability of being cheated in the marketplace — and then going into its mechanics with the help of teaching materials like scripts. Talking about the workshop (which has earlier been held at national level in Delhi in May 1999 and January 2000 and at regional level in Jammu in December 1999), Karen Haydock said: “We work to help participants evolve their own teaching materials, which are meant to be put to use in the classroom situation or even at home. The whole idea is to take the teachers away from the system of imposing scientific principles on children without really decoding them in simple tones.”

The brainstorming session at the workshop venue is also being attended by two people from Delhi University — Prof P.K. Srivastava and Prof P. Kasturi Rangan. There are four teachers from Vivek High School and four from government schools, all working to evolve a sequence of scientific scripts which can later be published in the form of a manual. Interestingly, the Jammu workshop concluded with the publication of one such manual, which has several scientific situations interpreted for the students by teachers who had participated in the workshop.

At Chandigarh, as informed by Harleen Kohli, parents are being involved for the first time. “We feel that parents can help a lot in inculcating scientific attitudes among children, “said Ms Kohli. After attending the session today, the belief in the sensibility of scientific and technical literacy project came easy. The whole effort is being directed to make the child understand a certain scientific concept in his own environment. Science should not sound alien to him. It should be passed on to him just as naturally as it actually exists in our system.

As admitted by Kamini Butalia, Nidhi Gill and Renu Sikka, teachers of Vivek High School, who are participating in the workshop: “The workshop is all about helping children experiment with the elements of science. The subject’s charm can be kept alive by helping kids learn less and practise more.”

The workshop will conclude tomorrow with formation of groups which will keep working on scripts that can be used to make scientific concepts easy. Said Harleen Kohli, “These will be tried in the learning situations and will finally be published.”



Bomb hoax in bank
Tribune, News Service

Panchkula, January 5
Work in the Sector 11 market here came to a standstill for more than two hours today, following a bomb hoax in a branch of the Bank of Punjab.

According to the information available, call from an anonymous person was received by the MHC in the Sector 5 police station at about 2.40 pm. The caller was a man, who told the policeman that a bomb had been planted in the branch and it would blow up in an hour.

Then, wireless messages were sent to all police officials in the town and they were asked to rush to the spot. However, a garble message led several of them to the Sector 10 branch of Central Bank. They had been told that the bomb had been planted in the Sector 11 branch of Central Punjab Bank. Since Central Bank has a branch in Sector 10, several policemen first went there before they were directed to Sector 11.

The police led by Inspector Mange Ram of the CIA and Inspector Rajiv Deswal, SHO of the Sector 5 police station, got the bank branch and about 10 shops in the block cleared by 3 pm. The anti-sabotage team from the house of the Haryana Chief Minister was called over and a riot-control vehicle and about 100 policemen were also deployed here.

The anti-sabotage team led by ASI Ishwar Singh arrived at the spot only at about 4 pm and conducted a search using metal detectors and explosive detectors.

A dog squad of the local police and of the CM’s residence was also called. The Branch Manager, Mr Lalit Gupta, and the bank Vice-President, Mr H.S. Atma, accompanied the policemen on the premises, including the strong room at the basement and the ATM, were thoroughly searched. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadav, also visited the spot.


Achievers miss date with Tony Blair
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 5
The town, projected as the IT destination of the North, missed a date with the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, when the five “young achievers” selected by the CII from the region could not get time to interact with him through the video-conference facility on the Infosys Technologies campus here linked with its centre in Bangalore.


* Due to a poor communication link between the Infosys centre at Bangalore and SAS Nagar, the video-conference facility did not work properly. The viewers here could only hear Mr Blair. A 2 mbps lease line linked the Infosys centre here to the Bangalore centre.

* An official of the CII said that the “young achievers”, irrespective of their age, had been selected for their excellence in various fields on the basis a poll.

Mr Blair was in Bangalore for the inaugural session of the CII’s six-day Partnership Summit. The Medical Superintendent of the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh, Dr Raj Bhadhur, young cricketer, Yuvraj Singh, the SP (Operations) of the Chandigarh police, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, and Mr P.J. Singh and Mr Krishan Goyal — industrialists, were among the 15 young achievers selected from across the country to interact with Mr Blair in a video conference connecting Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Mysore, and Hyderabad with the Bangalore centre.

The video-conference session that began at 3.40 pm was wrapped up in about 20 minutes due to a tight schedule of the British Prime Minister. Not disappointed with the turn of events, Mr Dhaliwal and Yuvraj still read their message: “Double standards of the developed world in fighting terrorism cannot be accepted”. Dr Raj Bhadhur wanted to ask Mr Blair for technical and financial assistance for the GMCH and the Spinal Injuries Centre from similar centres in the UK. Mr P.J. Singh and Mr Goyal said they wanted the world market to be opened for Indian products.

Officials of the CII said the young achievers who had been able to interact with Mr Blair were film star Amir Khan, Mr Manoj Ladwa of the UK, Ms Pallavi Jha, Ms Sharmila Saha and Surupa Sen of Bangalore, cricketer Anil Kumble, Ms J.M. Pande of Bhubaneshwar and Mr Satish Reddy of Hyderabad.


15 villages without power since Jan 1
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 5
Residents of about 15 villages of the Kharar area have been living without power since January 1 when some electric wires were reportedly stolen from Malikpur Feeder and Deh Kalan. Villagers said that although this was reported to the officials concerned, no action had been taken so far.

A delegation of villagers, including Mr Kuldeep Singh Bassian (Sarpanch Bassian), Mr Gian Singh (ex-Sarpanch Dhadak), Mr Shamsher Singh (Sarpanch Malikpur) and others met officials of the PSEB and SHO Kharar today and threatened that if the power supply was not restored within two days, the villagers would sit on a dharna.

Talking to mediamen here today they said that villages that had been affected are Malikpur, Deh Kalan, Mehmoodpur, Pannuan, Ghoga, Dhadak Kalan, Dhadak Khurd, Niamian etc.

They said the villagers were not getting the supply of drinking water also, what to talk of water for irrigation purposes. They said the wires were stolen earlier also many times and no permanent solution to the problem had been found.


PU scientists invited to Science Congress
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, January 5
With his latest discovery on lichens that has created a record in the biodiversity of India, Dr M.P. Sharma, a professor in Department of Botany, Panjab University, Chandigarh is one of the two scientists to represent Chandigarh in the 89th session of the Indian Science Congress underway at Lucknow University here.

Accompanying him is another scientist Dr S.P. Khullar from the same department who too has brought honour to the city in scientific circles. He was invited by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) to deliver a special lecture on Ecology of Pteridophytes in India.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Dr Sharma said he had discovered a ‘rare bird’s nest fungus’ from Chandigarh, which had an economic and taxonomic importance for the city. He presented a paper on the newly discovered fungus which had not been reported from India as yet.

“The discovery is going to add a lot of information to the taxonomy of Chandigarh, most of which lies undiscovered and unexplored,” he said.

Stating that the fungus is of a great economic importance, Dr Sharma said it was being used in the manufacture of various gums, perfumes, raisins, alcohol and even medicines. The fungus was known to be one of the essential organisms helpful in soil formation.

Dr Sharma discovered the fungus from a tree trunk in Chandigarh.

Dr Khullar, the other scientist and a special invitee from the PU presented his research on the ecology of Pteridophytes. He showed slides of beautiful pictures of huge trees captured from him eridophytes of Sirmaur, HP. He chose this region for his research as “the region is thickly forested and unexplored by floristics,” he says.


Sanjay, Nandita shine
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

‘PITAAH’ (Neelam and KC Panchkula) is a strong story with many weak links in the end product before public eyes. Sanjay Dutt, Nandita Das and Om Puri stand out in their performances among a long chain of weaker connections in the supporting cast where lesser attention has been paid by the director Mahesh Manjrekar.

It is wrong to draw a much publicized comparison of ‘Pitaah’ with the Indian Classic ‘Mother India’ because settings might be the similar but the portrayal of the human tragedy is not as gripping.

Settings of a typical ‘zamindari’ system in the Uttar Pradesh belt has lent the authentic rustic colours to the tale of oppression. Om Puri is the ‘zamindar’ who is supported by his sons cast in the similar roles. Dutt is a daily worker who keeps to the background working silently. His wife Nandita Das manages the home along with her three children. Portrayal of subdued anger of Nandita is a role that stands out.

Tormenting of the masses continues till Dutt’s daughter is raped by Puri’s sons. The crumbled administrative system including the police (Jackie Schroff) and the doctor (Anjan Shrivastav), comes to the fore.

Goaded by his wife, Sanju decides to avenge the disgrace of his daughter. He does kill the guilty but then he is faced with orders of termination of life of his family by the zamindar.

Jackie’s role shows a mix of black and white human traits in a typical social setting. However, there seem several lacunae in the portrayal of the role as he shifts from good to bad (which might be in-built in the role) and same way he shifts back from bad to good. The characterisation of the second shift in character has however not been suitably explored.

Role of Puri’s sons and wife (Mita Vashisth) has several holes to leave a lasting impression. The ‘truth’ of the script however is “ too disturbing” and does make a lasting impression.

The supporting cast also includes Sachin Khedekar, Anupama Verma and Salil Ankola.



Nothing new, yet appealing
Rajiv Kaplish

She was in love with love. He was in love with lust. She pursued the path of affection. He followed the principles of seduction. Bordering-on-50 and a playboy, he was not the kind of guy one would like to come calling on one’s daughter. Vivacious and radiating joi de vivre, she was a 21-year-old free spirit aspiring to be liked and loved by the man old enough to be her father.

When their worlds collided, passion gave way to pathos, lust melted into enduring love. A love that had no future. Life soon slipped out of her hands like sand. Cherished memories of an amorphous past was all he was left with.

Resonant at times, full of melancholy at others, “Autumn in New York” (Kiran) is a love story of unequals, who, nevertheless, want to snatch even a few months of happiness and togetherness from the inevitable. Exploring love — the ultimate human emotion — in all its exciting and devastating forms, it pits Richard Gere, an aging restaurateur who is commitment -fobic, against the irridiscent charm of young Winona Ryder, who teaches him what it is like to fall in love and though having a terminal affliction is ready to drink the cup of life to the full in the face of insurmountable odds.

The story is as old as the hills. There is nothing in it that has not been seen or experimented before. It can even move you to tears. Sequences like Ryder briefly breaking up with Gere over his womanising ways; Gere frantically hopping from one doctor to another in a bid to find a cure for his ailing beloved; and the anxious wait of the family members of the two outside the operation theatre with tears welled up in their eyes are sure to make part of the audience to reach for their handkerchiefs.

But the overtones of pathos are not allowed to dwarf the process of sublimation that sets in the characterisation, with the result that the audience gradually becomes part of the show, and even the weakness of the hero for women begins to be viewed essentially as human frailty.


Governor visits zoo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Accompanied by his relatives, the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, who is also the Administrator of Chandigarh, went to Chhat Bir Zoo this morning on a private visit to have some time for relaxation from his daily busy schedule.

Flanked by Jona, a U.S. citizen, who is a cousin of the Governor, and his son, David, General Jacob was surprised to find a battery of newsmen and photographs at the zoo. “I had not given any inkling of my visit to the zoo to any one. And yet I find so many journalists here.” the Governor remarked.

On arrival, the Governor inaugurated an exhibition of paintings by Mr R.S. Kwatra, a professional photographer, whose photographs of Rajasthan wildlife and Chhat Bir Zoo, were put up at the exhibition.

The Governor later went to the enclosures of lions, panthers, tigers and elephants apart from visiting the aviary housing birds. The Governor, however, expressed his unhappiness at the prevailing zoo affairs. He took stock of the on-going battle between the Chief Warden Zoos, Punjab, Dr Vinod Sharma and Mr R.K. Luna, Director of the zoo. In the visitors’ diary the Governor wrote: “This zoo has a great potential and we should try to increase the number of species to facilitate the movement of visitors.”

The Governor had a closed door meeting with Dr Vinod Sharma, Mr Luna and Mr M.P. Rai, Chief Wildlife Warden.


Optimistic Anu, experienced Gupta

Mr Gian Chand Gupta, who became Councillor for the second time on the BJP ticket, has a chequered political career. He joined active politics in 1980 at the age of 32 in 1980. He became secretary of the local unit of the party in 1987 and vice-president in 1989. He was nominated as president of the party in 1991 and was unanimously elected party chief in 1993 and 1995 for two terms.

Mr Gian Chand Gupta
Mr Gian Chand Gupta

Ms Anu Chatrath
Ms Anu Chatrath

He is credited with making the BJP popular in labour colonies and villages. During his tenure as president of the party, he constituted party units in villages and labour colonies. The BJP won the first parliamentary election in 1996 because of its base in rural areas and labour colonies. The party also swept the first corporation election when Mr Gupta was president of the party.

Hailing from RSS background (he regularly attended shakhas from 1962 onwards), Mr Gupta has been jailed several times for taking part in agitations and rallies organised by the party. As president he led a delegation to Ayodhya and was jailed for several days at Agra.

Mr Gupta (53) is associated with several social, religious and sports organisations. He is also president of the Chandigarh Badminton Association and president of the Chandigarh Floor Mill Owners Association, apart from being secretary of the Chandigarh Aggarwal Sabha.

Mr Gupta is blessed with two sons and one daughter. His elder son is a computer engineer and is settled in the USA, and his second son is running a plywood factory at Panchkula. His daughter is doing MCA at the Thapar Engineering College at Patiala.

Daughter of a former Punjab MLA, Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, politics is in the blood of Ms Anu Chatrath, who is an elected Councillor on the Congress ticket from ward No 2 consisting of Sectors 14 and 15.

She had contested the corporation election for the first time and won it by a thumping majority. She was a hot candidate for the office of Mayor. Because the office was reserved for a woman Councillor and Ms Lalit Joshi was senior to her in age and politics, she had to withdraw in her favour.

Like her father, Ms Anu is an advocate practising at the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Her husband, Dr Deepak Kapur, is also highly qualified. He is Ph.D in business Management. Ms Anu is M.Sc LL.B. She was blessed with a son some time before the election of the corporation.

She says that she was motivated and trained by her father in social work. She says that she has a desire to serve the poor people in the city and redress their civic problems. Soft-spoken and a good advocate, she fights the cases of poor people.

Her father has been in active politics for the past 30 years. She says that since her father has been very popular with residents of Sectors 14 and 15, she feels that she did not face any difficulty in winning the corporation election. “I would come up to the expectations of the people of my ward with the active guidance of my father,” Ms Anu adds.


Councillors’ allegation against police
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 5
At least three councillors of the opposition group in the SAS Nagar Municipal Council yesterday alleged that local police officials were hand-in-glove with the ruling group in producing the challan in a one-year-old case of the alleged tearing of ballot papers.

The incident of tearing of ballot papers took place during a meeting of the civic body held on November 27, 2001, to elect the president of the civic body. The councillors, Mr SS Patwari, Mr Manjeet Singh and Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, said the police, acting in haste, gave them little time to apply for bail after producing the challan in the court. They claimed that the police officials were acting at the behest of a Youth Akali leader.

Mr Patwari said the police was yet to produce the challan in a case of beating and tearing of ballot papers, registered against Mr Karanbir Singh Kang and his accomplice on August 21, 2001 — the day of polling for the civic body. The High Court had directed the police to complete investigation in the case by December 31 but nothing had been done by the police, said Mr Manjeet Singh, adding that in their case the police acted in a haste. The councillors of the ruling group said the challan against the three councillors had been produced on the directives of the High Court.


28 societies to get allotment letters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A total of 28 cooperative housing societies will be issued a formal allotment letter allotting land to these in Sectors 48 and 49 within one week. Physical possession will, however, be handed over later.

Sources said physical possession would be handed over after the development of the area was complete. A member of a society while talking to Chandigarh Tribune said physical possession should be given at the earliest.

Eight big societies have been left out of the allotment process as the Chandigarh Administration is yet to evict encroachers from Sector 50. These societies have about 900 members.

About three months ago everything was finalised to issue allotment letters to societies, the Administration then realised that a large part of the earmarked area in Sector 50 was low-lying and under occupation. Some of the societies were accommodated in Sectors 48 and 49. It may take few months for societies in Sector 50 to get physical possession of land.

About 900 middle-class families of the city are members of these societies. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is scheduled to allot land to 57 cooperative societies for construction of multi-storey flats. The price of the land is Rs 2,850 per sq yard and 136 acres of land in Sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51 will be allotted to these societies.


Residents form joint welfare panel
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, January 5
Several residents welfare associations and welfare organsiations of Panchkula have joined hands to form the Panchkula Joint Welfare Association Forum, and at a meeting held today in Sector 2, termed the House Tax imposed on the residents as arbitrary.

Mr Hemant Kisnger, convener of the forum, urged the District Administration that vacant and constructed area of house should not be included in the cost assessment. The forum also demanded that self-occupied house should be exempted from House Tax.

The forum water tariff at the rate of Rs 2 per kilolitre should be charged once the meter reading crosses the 100 kilolitre mark. Those present at the meeting included, Mr P.C Suman, a retired judge, Dr. B.L Tandon, Mr S.D Daid, president of the Residents Welfare Association (RAW), Sector 4, Mr M.L Gupta, general secretary, HOWA, Sector 10, Mr Shiv Kumar Gupta and Mr Suresh Kaushal, president, RWA, Sector 9.


DC directs HUDA to start sanitation campaign
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, has directed the HUDA administration and the municipal council yesterday to start a sanitation campaign in the city in order to make it a model city.

The HUDA officials have been advised to prepare beats for launching these sanitation campaigns and every garbage bin in the beats be given numbers after being placed at earmarked places. A group of 10 sanitary workers will be set up, including five workers from the Horticulture Wing of HUDA and these groups be operational in their respective beats. Ms Arora said a meeting of all sector welfare associations will be called to seek their cooperation in this cleanliness drive and that awareness for the drive be created by organising rallies.

The Administrator of HUDA, Mr Arun Kumar Gupta, informed that they are planning to purchase 150 bins and that 150 workers were working in a planned manner.


‘We should grow with city’

“IT was my dream to give the city a place for people with varying food habits,” says Gurmala Singh, an entrepreneur. She said she had pondered over the idea for several years. “Finally, in March 2001, I opened a small food outlet in Sector 37 and named it ‘Zaika’, a name liked by all. It became known for being pocket-friendly, giving a taste to remember and offering quality with quantity.”

Gurmala says in the past few years, there has been a tremendous change in the food habits of people. Keeping that in mind, she stresses on hygiene. She says that residents of the city are outgoing and the hunt for places where the food is of the best quality.

Gurmala, a diploma holder in public relations, says it was her decision to shift to Chandigarh from New Delhi. “Now the city is developing fast, so we should also grow with it. One should have a positive approach and the will to face the challenges from any quarter. Then, success cannot be far,” she says. OC


Hot block-prints of Rajasthan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 5
When it comes to Rajasthani block and bandhini work, Seetu Sewani is an authority, who presents the city once again with a wide collection of designer suits in innovative designs and cuts. Her three-day exhibition opened yesterday in a Sector 22 hotel here.

Seetu, a Jaipur based fashion designer, has experimented with fusion technique, creating an exquisite collection of batik, bandhini and block-printed suits and ‘dupattas’. Her bright, yet harmonious, colour scheme has further enhanced the beauty of her creations.

After obtaining a diploma in textile and fashion designing from the National Institute of Fashion Designing in New Delhi, Seetu has done extensive research work in Rajasthani traditional art forms that includes tie-and-dye, block print, Bandhini and Gotta Pati.

She began her career as a fashion designer for a few export houses in Jaipur and, later, opened her own unit called ‘Pioneer Collection’.

She has put up her exhibition in Chandigarh for the second time and is happy with the response. “Exhibitions put me in direct contact with customers and helps me know their tastes,” says Seetu. Her recent exhibition ‘Chunar Chunar’ was a huge success in New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Ludhiana and Chandigarh.

Her collection includes block printed khadi ‘kurtas’ and formal wear comprising gotta patti, sequin and laharia works.

The collection also includes a wide range of sarees and suits. Seetu was awarded by the Delhi Press in 2001.



Incorrect views

THIS has reference to the report “Need to tighten PGI administration: Chandel” (Chandigarh Tribune, December 28, 2001). I was pained to read the report as the views expressed by Mr Suresh Chandel, MP, are factually incorrect and one-sided.

On the issue of the age of superannuation of the teaching faculty, including the PGI Director, under amended Regulation 37A notified on February 24, 1999, the retirement age is 62 years. Apparently, neither the Member of Parliament nor The Tribune News Service checked up the correct position under the regulations.

According to Rule 37A, “the age of superannuation of the employees of the PGI other than teaching faculty shall be 60 years: Provided that the medical and scientific specialists may be granted extension in service, on a case to case basis, up to the age of 62 years in cases of persons who are exceptionally talented for reasons to be recorded in writing and subject to physical fitness and continued efficiency of the person concerned. This provision shall not apply in the case of a person who is on extension in service”.

The rule also states that the age of superannuation of the members of the teaching faculty of the institute shall be 62 years. It mentions that the provisions of this sub-regulation shall not apply in the case of a person who is on extension in service.

The report seems to project negative viewpoints. It is disheartening to note that the good features of a public hospital like PGI have been overlooked in the report. As a responsible senior citizen who has been consistently availing himself of the healthcare facilities of this premier institute for the past three decades, I vouch for the quality of medical treatment, healthcare and prompt attention given to all patients at all times.


Police verification

Apropos of Ruchika M.Khanna’s report ‘Police verification drive fails to take off’ (Dec 10), the local police undertakes verification of tenants and workers to update their records now and then. There has been resistance from residents for obvious reasons. The police officials do not seem to take into account that one reason for the reluctance on the part of the household workers to furnish information, including photographs, is because of their apprehension that they would be harassed by the police unnecessarily in the event of any theft, robbery, murder etc.

Moreover, workers threaten to leave work if asked to furnish personal details for police records for this purpose even if the employer tells them that the photographs will be paid for by the latter. What, will someone tell me, is the hapless landlord or employer supposed to do in such circumstances? If he or she doesn’t provide the information, then he breaks the law and runs the risk of being prosecuted. If he or she insists on it, the worker threatens to quit work. Either way, it is the landlord or employer who stands to lose.


City Beautiful

The Indian Institute of Architects (Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter) has rightly stressed the need for changing the placement, design and material of the dustbins used in Sector 17. Admittedly, dustbins are placed much far away from the garbage-generating spots and consequently, garbage is lying everywhere except in the dustbins. Corrective measures should be taken on priority so that Sector 17 continues to be Chandigarh’s pride. Active participation of the residents and the involvement of the shopkeepers of Sector 17 would go a long way in keeping this area of the city clean and beautiful.

In this context, all of us need to emulate the example of Mr M.L.Garg, a resident of Sector 19, whom I met in Sector 17 recently. He was eating peanuts and surprisingly putting all the peals in his pocket. On my asking him about this, he replied, ”Chandigarh is City Beautiful. If each one of us throw the peals on the ground, Sector 17 would be cluttered with peanut peals”. Such a concern for environment and cleanliness is worthy of emulation.

Chandigarh residents are fortunate to be living in one of the most planned and beautiful cities in the world. However, to protect the image of the city, we have to co-operate with each other and fight lethargy whose other name is personal convenience. The right place for garbage is dustbins and not the common habit of throwing garbage in polythene bags from the flats on the roadside.



Film on Sikh history
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 5
After the recent controversy over the deletion of certain portion from the NCERT text books relating to Sikh history, a non-government organisation, Sunehri Virsa, is producing a feature film, “Dharam di chadar” on the historical facts about the Guru Gobind Singh.

The script of the film, to be based on writings of a cross-section of known historians, would be an attempt to project a true picture about the Guru, said Mr Hardeep Singh, director of the film. Mr Singh is being assisted by Mr Charan Singh and Dr Sahib Singh on the project, estimated to cost around Rs 40 lakh.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Hardeep Singh, who earlier produced Amar Khalsa, a film on Sikh history, said the historical facts presented about the Guru were one-sided. Every effort would be made to project the true facts, avoiding contradictions, he said adding that the shooting of the film would begin from next month at different venues in Punjab and Delhi.The film would be produced on 35 mm screen. The sub-titles of the Punjabi feature film would be in English.

He clarified that the presence of the Guru would be shown indirectly in a theatrical manner. Some known Punjabi faces from bollywood were being roped in for roles in the film.


Govt plans to establish 60 new dairies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
The government plans to establish 60 new dairies in Pinjore, Raipur Rani, Morni and Barwala blocks for promoting White Revolution in the district.

This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, while presiding over a meeting of officers of the Dairy Development Corporation and District Rural Development Agency. She directed the Additional Deputy Commissioner to prepare a plan of providing loan for purchasing good live stock so that more avenues of employment can be created.


SBI’s customer relation programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
State Bank of India, Chandigarh main branch, organised a customer relation programme for its corporate clients to elicit customers’ opinions and called for suggestions in bringing improvement in services, according to a press note.

Customers were appreciative of the prompt, efficient and cost-effective services rendered by the branch, specially in Forex business. Customer suggestions were well received.

The Deputy General Manager of the branch, Mr H.O. Sharma, told the participants that his bank’s rates were the most competitive. The branch was equipped with the latest gadgets for taking care of receipts, payments and remittances promptly and the branch was online with the dealing room for latest rates in Forex.


Minors arrested for stealing car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Two minors have been arrested for allegedly stealing a Maruti car. The accused, identified as Maninder Singh and Rajehwar Singh, had reportedly stolen the car from Sector 20 about two days ago. They are also involved in case of misusing a credit card. Both are residents of Sector 19 and are 15-year-old. They were caught at a naka.

Liquor seized

Police arrested a resident of Maloya, Amrik Singh, from near a local bus stop and seized 14 pouches of Hero whisky from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Cyclists injured

Two cyclists were injured after they were hit by a car near the married doctor’s hostel in the PGI. The cyclists, Krishan Kumar, a resident of Binana village near Rohtak, and Suresh Kumar, a resident of Naya Goan, received minor injuries, in the accident. The car driver managed to escape. A case has been registered.

Beaten up

A worker of a brick kiln in Burail, Bhopal Singh, has reported that he was beaten up by some persons who also worked at the kilan. He was admitted to the Government Hospital, Sector 32. The police has registered a case.

Vehicle thefts

Sector 20 resident V. K. Sharma has reported that his Maruti car (HR-03-A-6972) has been stolen from Sector 35. A case has been registered.

Sector 39 resident John has reported that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-04-0912-T) has been stolen from Sector 17. A case has been registered.

One arrested

The local police has arrested a resident of Maloya, Dilbagh alias Kala, who was wanted in the case in which a resident of the same colony, Jaipal, in Sector 25, was murdered on January 1. The accused was nabbed at a naka.

Police had received information that the accused was seen in that area. On interrogation the accused revealed that enmity resulting from illicit relations with a woman had led to the murder.

Another accused, Vicky, was arrested on the same day. The duo had slit Jaipal’s neck with a knife.


Gamblers booked: The police arrested two persons, Raju and Surinder Kumar, on the charge of gambling in the open on Friday night and seized Rs 800 from them. They have been booked under various sections of the Gambling Act.


Suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A Sector 23 resident, Narender Pal, allegedly attempted to commit suicide here today by swallowing a poisonous substance after a dispute with his wife, Sangeeta. He was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital, from where he was taken to INSKOL Hospital in Sector 34. He is reported to be in coma.

His wife has been admitted to the Sector 16 hospital with a head injury. Family members say that she suffered the injury after slipping in the bathroom.

Narender’s nephew, Subhash, a computer student here, said Narender was quite tense during the last few weeks and was on leave for the past few days. Subhash said that today morning he received a call to rush to Narender’s residence, where he found a crowd gathered around the house and Sangeeta sitting on the stairs with her head bleeding. Narender, who is employed as a Patwari, was nowhere to be found at that time.


City registers increase in revenue, software exports
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The annual statistical abstract for the year ending March 31, 2001, was released yesterday showing rise in revenue and increasing exports of computer software, besides positioning Chandigarh as the place with highest per capita income of Rs 43, 311 for the period between 1993-94 and 1998-99. Notably over the last year, the consumption of power dropped and so did consumption of petrol.

The publication is brought out annually by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics (Statistical Cell) of the Chandigarh Administration. The Abstract-2001 is quite extensive and touches almost all socio-economic aspects. It presents statistics pertaining to various aspects of the economy of Chandigarh.

The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) yesterday released the publication, Statistical Abstract-2001. The figures will be of immense help for planners, administrators. It also gives information about agriculture, forest, health, livestock, industry, energy, roads, water supply, trade and finance, education, labour, employment, transport, communication, food and civil supplies, social welfare and Scheduled Castes’ welfare, local bodies, tourism, entertainment, newspapers, intoxicants, state domestic product, electoral statistics, employees and the Ninth Five Year Plan, among others.

The scope and coverage of the publication have been further enlarged by introducing new tables and improving upon the old ones. Chandigarh in Figures-2001 section of the publication contains data on important sectors of economy in a concise form. Detailed data pertaining to population, villages small-scale industries, water supply, government employees, budget and expenditure, police, health and family welfare, climate, rainfall and land have also been incorporated in the publication.

Similarly, the 13th edition of Census of Government Employees Chandigarh Administration-2001 contains data on government employees, work charged, sanctioned and filled-up posts, basic pay etc. It also contains information about employment of SCs, STs, OBCs, ex-servicemen, handicapped persons and deputationists from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, besides information about total recruitment made on ad hoc and regular basis and number of employees who retired on superannuation, died, resigned or whose services were terminated.

Likewise, the second edition of Census of Public Sector Undertaking and Local Bodies Employees-2001 has classified data on employees of public sector undertakings and local bodies. The data for all the four publications has been collected, complied and collated by Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Chandigarh Administration.

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