Wednesday, January 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security up in UT, neighbourhood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Following an attack on the US Consulate in Kolkata this morning, the Chandigarh Police has further intensified security measures in the city. Surveillance outside highly sensitive establishments, including the Canadian Consulate in Sector 17, has been stepped up.

Police sources maintain that they cannot afford to take any chances in the light of intelligence reports flowing in. It is learnt that the UT SSP, Mr Parag Jain, held a meeting with several officers of the rank of SSP, SP from the Punjab Police today to share intelligence inputs and discuss the prevailing threat perceptions. All known hideouts of militants and anti-social elements have been put under surveillance, a senior police officer said.

Police presence, including personnel in plain clothes, has been increased near the Canadian Consulate, sources said. While the entry of visitors into the consulate building is controlled by the Consulate’s own security set-up, the local police is responsible for the situation outside. Consulate authorities have also reportedly increased caution on their part.

Other sensitive establishments in the city include the British Library in Sector 9 and the Alliance Francise in Sector 36. These establishments are also under police protection. Armed motorcycle patrols have been deployed permanently near these establishments for sometime now. In fact, the parking area immediately in front of the British Library has been cordoned-off.

Meanwhile, the Operations Cell of the UT police has also stepped up search activities. Commandos have been deployed at the ISBT in Sector 17 as also on various entry points to keep a tab on fresh visitors. Special emphasis is being laid on searching vehicles coming from other states.

In view of the heightened security threats, the UT police has called a meeting of owners of hotels, sarais and bhavans for sensitising them about the need of proper verification of people availing board and lodging facilities at their respective establishments.

A statement note issued by the Chandigarh police states that a similar meeting had also held with cyber cafe owners to keep check on identity on customers availing Internet services at their joints.

To maintain required vigil to thwart anti-social activities, the department has decided to convene such meeting with the PCO owners, educational institutions and some other institutions, also.

A check list of various points to be observed while letting out the facility to ensure adequate records and verify the particulars furnished by the customers has been prepared. The department has also sought suggestions and observations of the owners of these establishments for greater effectiveness and long-term perspective in view of the past incidents and future security implications.


In the wake of the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan and the forthcoming Assembly elections in Punjab, the security around vital installations in the town has been strengthened. According to information available, at least two cops of the Punjab Police have been posted at each of the vital installations. The main places are — Microwave Tower in Phase 3A, Telephone Exchange in Phase 4 and the 220 KV sub-station.


PU all set to hike fee, sets up panel
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Panjab University is likely to witness a fee hike on the campus and all affiliated colleges from the forthcoming academic session.

The Vice-Chancellor has constituted a committee “to make an increase in the existing fee structure” and affiliated colleges. Besides the hike in the tuition fee, the university proposes to increase fee on “every item whatsoever” most likely by 10 per cent.

The courses under study for the fee hike include those of the undergraduate and postgraduate classes in arts, science and commerce. Also on the list are classes of Correspondence Studies and various hostel fees.

The list accompanying the university papers for consideration include the fee structure for the session 2001-2002. The different accounts for the fee include tuition, enrolment, continuation, amalgamated funds, development, house examination, identity card, library, dilapidation and migration fee.

The committee will also consider a letter of the university Fellow Principal Jaswant Singh who has underlined the need for separate sets of fee and funds to be charged by the departments on the campus and the affiliated colleges. The letter says: “Facilities and infrastructure available in the university and affiliated colleges is vastly different. Therefore, the fee structure should be different” as is the case in certain other universities.

Highly placed sources said “the university had no option but to hike the fees for revenue generation. The governments financing the university, both Punjab and UT Administration, were not in a position to help the university meet the rising costs.

A Senior Fellow said increasing fee every year was no solution to the financial crises faced by the university. The fee as such constituted a very small portion of the total amount needed for the university’s smooth sailing. “The government should be impressed to increase its expenditure on education and not just in PU but the entire education system,” he argued.

A senior student leader said the university had made fee hike a regular feature since the past few years. The NRI quota and industry-sponsored seats had been created in certain departments. These did generate resources, but students who burnt the midnight oil felt cheated when another student got admission only because he had more money. The university also needed to identify a limit beyond which there should be no fee hike.

Fee hike in certain departments came up for ratification at the last Senate meeting of the university.

Students in BSc (Honours) of Bio-Technology would pay 2000 dollars under the NRI and NRI-sponsored quota.

The fee for the NRI and NRI-sponsored candidates in the diploma in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System has been fixed at 2500 dollars where a general category student pays Rs 1000 per month. In addition, students will pay for project reports and semester fees.

At the Senate also featured the recommendations of the Board of Control of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which has approved a fee of 3000 dollars in the case of NRI, NRI-sponsored and industry-sponsored students. Students are supposed to pay Rs 25,000 each semester and a registration fee as per the university norms.


Students to comment on varsity standard
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Reports of the students will be taken into account for the academic and administrative audit of the colleges affiliated to Panjab University. Students will be given a proforma to fill in information related to aspects concerning infrastructure, teaching standards and level of satisfaction. Final report will be then submitted to the UGC.

A decision in this regard was taken at a committee meeting here today. The university is divided into four zones — Ferozepore, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Chandigarh. Today’s meeting referred to 21 colleges situated in the Chandigarh zone.

Reliable sources said the audit for the Chandigarh zone colleges will be carried out in February.


Admn ‘powers’ industrial houses
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Chandigarh Administration today notified a policy granting permission to industrial enterprises located within Chandigarh for setting up captive power plants and purchase of surplus power by them.

This policy called the ‘Chandigarh Captive Power Generation Policy,2002’ shall come into force immediately. Captive plant (CPP) means an electricity-generating device powered by fossil fuel, solar energy or any other source which is independent of the Electricity Department’s energy grid or any other agency’s energy grid.

The policy permits installation of generating sets as captive plants after a licence will be granted by the Chandigarh Administration. They will pay an initial deposit and an annual licence fee as notified from time to time by the Chandigarh Administration, based on the rated capacity of the captive plant and other relevant factors.

The minimum rated capacity shall be 100 KVA. The payment of deposit and fee shall be mandatory, even in case an enterprise does not apply for or obtain an electric connection from the Electricity Department.

An enterprise having generating capacity of above 2 MW will be given the option to run their generating sets in synchronisation with the Electricity Department.

Any power generators, which are in synchronisation with the Electricity Department system, will be allowed to run their load, on the UT power system in the event of failure of their generating unit and they will have to pay the monthly minimum charges depending upon the load or energy consumption charges, whichever is higher.

Special energy meters shall be used for recording power drawal or power inflow into the system. The inflow will occur when a independent power generator generates more than he can use thus putting the same back on the system of the department.

Power generated privately shall not be allowed to be sold to any other party by the independent generator. However, the generator will be free to use power in its own units located in different premises, subject to some conditions.

Permission will be required from the Chandigarh Administration for laying the overhead underground transmission system on payment of applicable restoration charges to the agencies concerned like the MC or the Chandigarh Administration.

A total of 5 per cent of the cost shall be paid to the Electricity Department as supervision charges. Maintenance of the overhead line underground cable network will be the responsibility of the owner.

The enterprise will obtain requisite clearance from the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee and all other required environmental clearances before starting work on CPP.

Rated Capacity Initial Deposit Annual Licence Fee
From 100KVA to 499KVA Rs.50,000 Rs.25,000
From 500KVA to 999KVA Rs.1,00,000 Rs.50,000
From 1000KVA and above Rs.100 per KVA Rs.50 per KVA



EC code breached with impunity
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 22
The Election Commission’s model code of conduct for the forthcoming Assembly elections “certainly” did not have any relevance for the candidates of the prominent political parties who filed their nomination papers in the office of the Returning Officer (RO’s) for the Kharar and Morinda Assembly seats.

THE election observers were reportedly told by the Returning Officer for the Kharar Assembly seat about the violation of the code of conduct by the Congress and the Panthic Morcha candidates in bringing more than three vehicles in their convoy, using loudspeakers and carrying banners.

In a virtual show of strength, the candidates of the Congress, Panthic Morcha and the ruling Akali Dal “paraded” their supporters who trailed the candidates in a convoy of cars, jeeps, trucks and two-wheelers. As per the guidelines of the Election Commission, there can not be more than three vehicles in a convoy of a candidate.

There was complete chaos on the roads as the Congress candidate, Mr Bir Devinder Singh and the Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, led their processions through the city roads on way to the office of the Returning Officer, SAS Nagar. The traffic police was caught unawares as it had not been informed in advance by the candidates about the time and route to be taken by their “procession”. At the last minute, the traffic on the road in front of the office of the Returning Officer at SAS Nagar had to be diverted. The procession of the candidates of the Panthic Morcha and the Congress was two hours behind the schedule.

First to reach the office of the Returning Officer was the Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Ranjbir Singh Padiala, who filed his nomination papers at around 2 pm. The sitting MLA from Kharar, Ms Daljeet Kaur, who is mother of Mr Padiala filed her papers as the covering candidate. Mr Padiala filed four sets of nomination papers — two on the election symbol of the SAD (A) and two as an Independent candidate. For the Congress candidate, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the nomination papers of the covering candidates were filed by Mr H.S. Billa, a former president of the SAS Nagar civic body. A former MLA from Kharar, Mr Jagat Singh Ghauruan was also accompanying Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

At Kharar, office of the Returning Officer for the Morinda seat, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, the Congress candidate, was led by a large number of supporters. The number of vehicles exceeded the number specified by the Election Commission. The candidate of the ruling Akali Dal from the Morinda seat, Mr Ujjagar Singh Wadali also filed his nomination papers today.


Ten-year RI for 2 in blast case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 22
Two accused involved in the Sector 34 bomb blast case were today sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment by a local court. The duo — Sher Singh and Gurbax Singh — were sentenced by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr J.S. Klar. The two were also fined Rs 2500. The three accused — Sher Singh and Gurbax Singh and Rattan deep Singh — were allegedly responsible for a bomb blast in front of Milkfed, Punjab, Sector 34, on June 30, 1999. Rattan Deep Singh had been declared proclaimed offender.


New projects last on MC priority list
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
New developmental projects in the city are unlikely to see the light of the day during this fiscal year if finances of the Municipal Corporation are any indication.

The corporation is estimated to incur a huge deficit of Rs 15 crore by the end of the fiscal year as per an estimate put before the officials of the corporation today. Officials of departments have been asked to give their estimate for the remaining more than two months of the year, which has seen budget projections go haywire.

The fresh estimates will be brought before the corporation on January 29, sources said. The main development body of the corporation, the engineering branch, indicated that as per the money available, new projects would be the last priority.

The first priority would be works directed by courts, second those approved under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development fund and then the Prime Minister Gramin Vikas Yojna, the sources said. The corporation with the remaining funds would be able to allocate funds first for unavoidable liabilities like salaries and power bills and then for upkeep and development.

A major setback to the corporation budget projections has been less than 50 per cent realisation from the estate account. This fiscal budget projections on the account mainly went awry as the last House had set an unrealistic target of Rs 34 crore.

The corporation by now has only been able to net Rs 13 crore from the account. The corporation sources indicated that there could be a couple of major property sale drives beginning from tomorrow to keep the local body going in the remaining part of the fiscal year.

An unrealistic property sale target was set, despite a slowdown in the economy, resulting in fetching low value for assets by the last House to avoid a Rs 15 crore from property and house taxes. The present financial crisis caused by unforeseen reasons like having to pay Rs 3.5 crore as DA arrears, Rs 1 crore to give ITI scales, Rs 2.05 crore on enhanced land compensation account and Rs 65 lakh as ex gratia, is bound to create pressure for new taxes.

An official argument in favour of property tax, which alone can cover, the deficit, is being forwarded after the Administration offer for free-hold property. The rationale forwarded is that even if a part of the lease fee is collected through property tax, the corporation would be a comfortable position. The corporation got a small boost in its revenue account by implementing paid parking, which is likely to fetch Rs 1.25 crore annually.

As the budget exercise for the next fiscal year gets under way after the meeting on January 29, the challenges before the Congress-dominated House are Herculean, especially after its promise of putting minimum tax burden on people.

The Congress has sent encouraging signals on paid parking, refusing to budge on pressure from a section of traders and employees.


Corpn to auction booths, shops today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is going to auction more than 200 booths, shops and SCOs tomorrow with an expectation to net between Rs 4 to 5 crores.

The big sale of the MC property, pending since October, is being seen with great interest as it might temporarily bail out the cash-strapped MCC. On auction are eight SCOs in prime commercial Sector-8, 2 utility service booths in Sector-22, seven booths in Sector-36 D, eight booths in Sector-38, 33 built-up booths in Sector-39, 70 booths with basement and without basement in Mauli Jagran, 8 built-up shops in Janta Kumhar Colony, Sector-25 and 17 SCOs and 56 booths in Mani Majra.

The sale of these properties was initially planned in November or December but could not be taken up as officials had been engaged in house-to-house enumeration of voters and Municipal Corporation elections.

The corporation had launched a massive campaign to advertise the auction giving up the traditional practice of advertising in top-selling newspapers.

This time the corporation had advertised in every possible newspaper of the city of Hindi, English and Punjabi.

The corporation had also sent around 20,000 pamphlets in newspapers to draw attention of buyers to its properties-on-sale.


Sangi files papers for F&CC membership
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
A nominated Councillor, Mr P.C. Sangi today filed his nomination for the January 28 election to five vacancies of the Finance and Contract Committee, the most powerful committee of the MC.

Mr Sangi, a former Chief Engineer, presented his nomination papers before the Assistant Commissioner and Municipal Corporation Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar.

Mr Sangi’s name was proposed by a nominated member Dr B.R. Verma and seconded by another nominated member Dildar Khan.

A nominated member’s nomination with a backing from the group has sent a signal to political parties aspiring to contest election to the committee that elders’ group could only be won over through a quid pro quo.

Sources in political parties said another nominated member Dr K.S. Raju was also exploring the possibility of getting into the committee.

The Congress, having 14 votes in the 30-member House, has authorised its MP Pawan Bansal to decide candidates for the committee.

The party sources had earlier indicated that they could accommodate one member from among the BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal and Chandigarh Vikas Manch members and one or even two from the group of nominated members.

The CVM, which has called a meeting tomorrow to decide its strategy on the election, is unlikely to contest the election and has not made up its mind to support any BJP-SAD candidate.

Mr Jitender Bhatia of the CVM is reportedly interested in contesting the election but his party colleagues may choose to prop up Vijay Singh Rana, whom they want to make leader of the party in the House also.

The former Mayor Ms Harjinder Kaur, today indicated her intention to join the fray by saying that her experience and cooperation in the Mayoral elections make her the most eligible candidate from the alliance.

The BJP has not yet formally met on candidature and is likely to meet tomorrow or day after to decide its candidate. Ms Kamla Sharma in likely to be its candidate.

The party ad-hoc committee convener, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, said the party would certainly contest the election but did not give any comment on the Congress offer of negotiation for accommodation in the committee.

However, the BJP is learnt to be engaged in hectic exercise to strike a deal with the CVM and SAD to put up its candidate.

Members of the F&CC are elected through preferential voting where a member of the Corporation could vote for five members in order of preference.

The last date of nomination is January 24 and it could be withdrawn at the eleventh hour before the election on January 28.


Vulture population to be monitored
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Parwanoo, January 22
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) will involve non-government organisations and the Indian Bird Conservation Network to monitor the population of Gyps species of vultures (long billed and white backed) in 17 protected areas from April, 2002.

This survey, will also be carried out in specific places all over the country, where colonies of the most-endangered species of the raptor — white backed and long billed — have recently been sighted. Seven carcass dumps in Ambala have also been identified for this monitoring.

Avian experts, who have converged here for a five-day workshop on Vulture Monitoring Techniques being organised by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said that the monitoring will be carried out specifically in those protected areas (sanctuaries) where the above mentioned species of vultures have not been afflicted by the infectious disease that is leading to a catastrophic decline in their numbers.

Dr Vibhu Prakash, Principal Project Investigator, BNHS, said road transacts being one of the best ways of monitoring bird population would be used here. “ Since raptors do not occur in high density, their absolute count can be had only on long transacts. The route, as was followed during monitoring in the year 2000, and the same road transacts would be used. The monitoring would be carried out in these 17 protected areas at the same time from April to June 2002, “ he said.

Interestingly, the white-backed vulture has been sighted by experts in the states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana during the past two years. However, experts are still sceptical, considering the fact that the vulture population has shown a decline of 95 per cent during the past decade.

“It is now the eaglets, dogs and crows that have become the main scavengers. Even in states like Rajasthan, where the vulture population in Jodhpur and Bikaner has been stable, the situation in other parts has been dismal,” says Mr. Manoj Kulshreshtha, State Coordinator, Rajasthan, Indian Bird Conservation Network.

It may be noted that Mr. Anil Chhangani, an avian expert from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, has observed that during the past three to four years, there has been successful breeding in western and southern Rajasthan and the foothills of Aravallis.

“The only problem being faced by vultures here is the one relating to nesting because of absence of high trees. With the absence of nesting sites, predating becomes a problem, “ he said.

Mr Arvind Mishra, State Coordinator of Bihar and Jharkhand, while talking to TNS disclosed that in the past 10 years the vulture population in erstwhile state of Bihar had shown a rapid decline. “So much so, that no vulture was sighted in any part of the state during the past five years. Then suddenly, last year, a colony of 10 vultures was sighted on one occasion and later as many as 60 vultures were seen in Bhagalpur. In November again, 30 vultures were sighted. Interestingly, none of these raptors showed any signs of disease,” he said.

It is also learnt that the Punjab chapter of the Indian Bird Conservation Network will monitor the vulture population in Ferozepore and in Khalra block near the Indo- Pak border. It is learnt that a few vultures were sighted here in the year 2000. Mr. Gurmit Singh, Principal Chief Forest Conservator, informed that the vulture population in Punjab had fallen from 1000 in the year 2000 to a population of 40, located in Ferozepore, Jandwala and Beas.


Experts discuss ways to monitor bird population
Tribune News service

Parwanoo, January 22
Various techniques for monitoring bird population were discussed by experts from all over the Indian subcontinent and from the U K on the second day of a workshop on ‘Vulture Monitoring and Bird Survey Techniques.’

The morning session began with Dr Paul F. Donald from the Royal Society For Protection of Birds explaining about the random sampling techniques of monitoring bird population. He highlighted the need for bird surveys and monitoring and said that this was an effective way of tracking changes in bird population and their distribution, thus identifying conservation priorities.

Dr Richard D. Gregory, also from the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, gave details of various methods of surveying and making estimates of the population of the birds. He said that different birds were found in different habitats and different species had different habits. Therefore, the technique used to survey birds, depended on the type of bird under consideration, time, money and the availability of the skill.

Later, he presented different methods of carrying out breeding bird survey. This survey was important to know the health of bird population under consideration. The training in bird survey was being imparted to members of different NGOs, Forest Department employees and wildlife enthusiasts in order to equip them with various techniques so that they could monitor the dwindling population of vultures.


Carrot for housing societies
Alltoment letters tomorrow, possession to take time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Chandigarh, has despatched letters informing 53 co-operative housing societies that they will be allotted land for eligible members on January 24.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda will hand over the letters to the presidents or secretaries of respective societies at 10: 30 a.m in the boardroom of the Chandigarh Housing Board’s Sector 9 office. The allotment letter comes 14 months after the draw of lots in December 2000. This allotment letter does not mean that physical possession will be handed over. This will take some more time, according to sources.

Several controversies relating to allotment have plagued the scheme. On Thursday, about 3,500 members of the 53 societies stand to gain. These members belong largely to the middle-class or the upper-middle-class segment of society and have put in their savings to own a flat in Chandigarh. The scheme was floated in 1991. A few of the societies were given land while who had then protested the decision of the Administration went to court. The matter dragged on for years before the High Court gave its verdict.

Even after that, the CHB delayed matters. The cost of land was hiked and members were asked to pay interest. Even after allotting land, several societies will be left out.

The lucky ones are Punjab Engineering Employees (co-operative housing society); Defence Scientists; M& I staff; NFL employees; PGI employees; Sargodha; Central Ground Water Employees; Oriental Insurance Employees; Tribune Friends; Customs and Central Excise Employees; Chandigarh Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sectretariat Employees; ESIC Employees; Amandeep; State Bank Staff; Chandigarh Brook Bond Employees; Central Government Employees; Swati; Milkfed Employees; PCU Employees; Industrialist; Rose Petal; Chandigarh Railway Employees; Private Teachers; District Court Lawyers; Chandigarh Vaya Bharti; New Bank of India; PSIEC Employees; Super; Pink Rose; SBI Supervising Staff; Bank of Baroda; SBI Officers Ideal; Chandigarh Sector 22; Blood Donors; Bank of India Employees; Chandigarh PEPSU; Customs and Central Excise Executive Officers; Chandigarh Sector 7; Roadways and Directorate Punjab Employees; Chandigarh Chief Auditor Punjab Employees; PUSHPAC; Chandigarh Tenants; Sector 10; Sector 16; Amrita Shergill; Burail Janta; Popular; Singh; Dayal Bagh; Sector 21 Universal; Progressive; Ajanta and New Light. These 53 have been clubbed together in formations of two or more to achieve the optimum number of 70 flats in one group. A total of 28 chunks of land will be allotted in Sectors 48, 49 and 51.

The chairman of Housefed, Mr Sunil Parti, has welcomed the move, adding that it has worked in co-ordination with the Chandigarh Administration to get the land allotted for the societies. Efforts are on to get land for the societies left out of the present allotment.


Cable war: residents gather more support
Tribune News service

Panchkula, January 22
The cable war continued with a dharna being organised by the Panchkula Joint Welfare Association Forum entering ninth day today. As many as 32 representatives of various organisations and the Residents Welfare and Environment Protection Society, Sector 2, extended their support and participated in this dharna being staged by Mr Hemant Kinger in front of the DC’s office.

The protesters lambasted the cable operators for increasing the tariff at their own whim and fancy. They said that these hikes in rates were uncalled for.

It was decided that representatives of welfare associations of Sector 4 would organise a protest march, which would converge at the dharna site tomorrow, along with representatives of other associations.

Meanwhile, the City Youth Congress too, continued with its dharna. Yesterday it had organised a protest march led by Mr Parvesh Patika, city president, from the Sector 7/ 18 chowk to the DC’s office. It was protesting against the hike in cable tariff, water charges by HUDA and imposition of house tax. The march concluded in front of the DC office, where the Congress workers were staging a dharna.

A deputation of various welfare associations also met Ms Jyoti Arora and appraised her of the misuse of TV channels by the operators of getting across to subscribers for increasing the tariff.


Qawaalis mark Sarv Dharam Sammelan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 22
Melodious qawaalis filled the air at a ‘Sarv Dharam Sammelan’ organised on the 19th death anniversary of Ammi Hazoor of Ram Darbar at Mohyal Bhawan in Sector 24 today. The function was organised under the patronage of Pappu Shahzada from the USA by the Ammi Hazoor (Sufimat) Memorial Bhawan Committee.

A cultural programme was also presented on the occasion. The qawaali session continued throughout the night. The qawaals had come to attend the function all way from Delhi, UP and Punjab.

The Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Ms Lalit Joshi, was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, she enlightened the audience about life and teachings of Ammi Hazoor. ‘’We should follow the path of universal brotherhood, peace and harmony and should stand united to strengthen the country and to root out terrorism.’’

The president of the Ammi Hazoor Memorial Bhavan Committee, Mr Amar Nath Sarhadi, meanwhile, urged the Chandigarh Administration to allot a 10 marla plot for the construction of a bhavan in memory of Ammi Hazoor.

Going into the background of Ammi Hazoor, the general secretary of the organisation, Mr Hemant Walia said, ‘’Ammi Hazoor believed in all religions and preached humanity. Her full name was Mata Ram Bai (Ami Hazoor). She started her “ibaddat” in 1957 at Industrial Area in Ram Darbar and spent 10 to 12 years at Sector 24. The Ram Darbar Colony was named after her. She installed Pappu Shahzada at her seat who is presently preaching sufimat in the USA.’’

Others present on the occasion were Deputy Mayor Balraj Singh, besides nominated councillor Dr K. S. Raju, along with councillors Subhash Chawla, Anu Chatrath, Kamlesh, Geeta Chaudhary, Pushpa Sharma and Shyama Negi. The Regional Director of the Sports Authority of India, Dr P. C. Kashyap, inaugurated the function.


Juggling career with household duties
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, January 22
Manpreet Brar is basking in marital bliss and it reflects on her face as she talks about her married life. Manpreet is back in town to inaugurate the New Look cosmetic laser clinic in Sector 20 here.

“Only four days back we completed the first year of our marriage and it has been a great year,” says Manpreet. Her husband Arjun Walia, a businessman from Delhi shares her passion for travelling and zeal for hard work. “Whenever we get some time we escape to the cool climes of Kasauli,” she adds with a blissful look.

A self-made man himself, Arjun respects her needs to work as a model, nevertheless it has not been easy for her to carry out the dual responsibility as a model and a household manager. “Hats off to women who can carry both responsibilities efficiently and with ease,” says Manpreet.

Manpreet has been appearing in a lot of live shows and commercials and ramp have taken a back seat in her life. “ I have been too busy with anchoring for the live shows and that has left me little time for anything else,” she says. However, she will be featuring in some international ramp shows in Spain and Portugal by the end of this month.

“I am excited about the shows at which only three models from India will be participating,” she says. Other than that Manpreet is already involved with two TV shows — one health and fitness show for Zee TV and another golf show for a sports channel.

“I like to do something that leaves an impact on the audience,” says Manpreet referring to the fitness show. “Other shows like countdown show have momentary effect on the audience while a fitness show teaches the audience something useful,” she adds. And when it comes to keeping herself trim and fit, Manpreet would rely on a healthy, low calorie diet rather than vigorous exercise.

If you are looking forward to see this former Miss India and Miss Universe II of the year 1996 on silver screen, then you are definitely in for a disappointment. “Since the past five years I have been asked this question about entering the stardom in Bollywood and once again I would like to confirm that I have no plan to work in films,” she says.

About the New Look Cosmetic Laser Clinic which she inaugurated here today, she said the clinic would provide an choice for the people here to beautify themselves with proper scientific back-up. “I can understand the trauma and pain, an adolescent goes through due to acne and unwanted hair,” she says, adding that the clinic will be able to provide some permanent solution to such problems.

The New Look chain of laser clinics which are already existing in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore and Vadodara, has brought the revolutionary laser surgery treatment to the city that include laser hair removal, laser acne treatments, treatment for Psoriasis and Vitiligo.


No rental hike, please

THE reduction of STD rates by BSNL is most welcome. However, if reports were to bear scrutiny, the monthly rental charges of telephones will go up soon. This would be unfair. In fact, there is a strong case for reducing the monthly rentals further. When the BSNL had introduced the local call facility for a call within 200 km, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had increased the monthly rental of telephones. As a result, the subscribers had to pay Rs 140 more for two months. Add to this Rs 7 towards service charges. It would have been better if the rental charges were slashed from Rs 500 to Rs 400 for two months. Now this benefit will go only to a few people.

The STD customers throughout the country fear that the rental charges will go up following the slashing of STD rates. TRAI should see reason and should not increase the rental charges arbitrarily. The subscribers should also mobilise strong public opinion against any such move being contemplated by TRAI.


Paid parking

The resentment among shopkeepers and others against the newly introduced parking fee in Chandigarh should be examined objectively. Paid parking has its own merits and demerits. In a way, it would help ensure the safe custody of the vehicles so parked at the designated place. In fact, during a visit to Chandigarh recently, I saw that while paid parking facility was available at Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake, no such arrangement was there at Rose Garden and the Sector 17 Market.

Looking from the other angle, parking fee seems unjustified. Chandigarh is one of the best cities in the world. The Chandigarh Administration, which has been looking after such a beautiful and reputed city, can easily bear the nominal cost of those employed for the purpose of guarding the parked vehicles. Why burden the general public for this?


Cheating cinegoers

This has reference to your report ‘Dearer tickets sans logic’ (Dec 16). One has to see for himself the hardship of cinegoers in Patiala. When the Hindi film ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum’ was released at Tagore Theatre here, the ticket cost Rs 60, i.e. Rs 35 more than the normal cost of Rs 25 — a hefty rise of 140 per cent!

The cinema proprietors are not only fleecing the cinegoers but also indulging in all kinds of malpractices. The distributors are also cheated in the process as the film is simultaneously shown in the Mini Tagore Theatre with a time difference of about one-and-a-half hours. And who will check blackmarket in the sale of tickets? Your report seems to have highlighted more the problems of the cine owners than the difficulties of the cinegoers.




E-mail your problems to CTSA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Chandigarh Telecom Subscribers Association (CTSA) has asked the subscribers to direct their problems regarding billing, if any, to the association at their e-mail address within a week.

This information is required by the CTSA for assessing the quality of service of operators which is to be discussed at the forthcoming “Quality of Service” seminar to be held at Bangalore.

Apart from the officials of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), 14 sister organisations registered with the TRAI and representatives of the Canadian International Development Agency also participate in the seminar.


Seminar on adolescents’ problems
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 22
The Lions Club Kharar and Kharar Top organised a seminar on day-to-day problems of adolescents at a public school here today.

Children aged between 14 and 17 years were taught basic life skills to face the challenges ahead. The seminar was organised under the quest programme of Lions Club.

Persuading the students to develop the quality of being responsible, Dr Surjeet Patheja advised the students to give positive direction to their thoughts. She laid stress on the importance of nurturing the heart and mind of every adolescent.

The region co-ordinator, Ms Renu Bali, laid stress on the role of various agencies including the school, the community and the media, to join hands for giving right direction to the youngsters.

The president of the club, Mr Kanwal Preet Singh, said, “Educative programmes must be organised in schools. Seminars like this help in solving problems of youngsters.” The prizes were given to the winners of a quiz by members of the club, Mr B.S. Garcha and Mr S.P. Singh.


Awareness programme
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 22
The Indian Council of Social Welfare (ICSW),Punjab, organised an awareness programme on women empowerment at Lambian village here today. Mrs Satinder Dhawan, vice-president of the Punjab unit of the ICSW, was present there.

Mrs JK Grewal, honorary secretary of the ICSW, stressed on need to check the dwindling ratio of the female child in the state. Mrs Prabhjot Kaur, a local municipal councillor, Mrs Shreshta Mehta, honorary secretary of the ICSW, Chandigarh and Mr Poornima Chauhan of HelpAge India, also participated.


Workshop on art of make-up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
About 200 persons attended a make-up workshop today at the Museum and Arts Auditorium, Sector 10, by Nutan Rastogi.

Among the types of make-up she covered today were make-ups for interviews, day and evening make-up, party make-up, bridal water-proof make-up, gloss, matt and fantasy make-up. The special attraction was Nutan’s tips on bridegroom’s make-up. She exhibited her skills on model Aparna Kumar. The event was managed by Ajay Kwatra of Limelight.


Workshop on manufacturing practices
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 22
A two-day workshop on ‘Recent trends in good manufacturing practices’ is being organised at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) from January 24. A spokesman of the institute said the workshop was being sponsored by the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertiliser.


Accused arrested in gangrape case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The police has arrested one of the accused who gangraped a 35-year old widow near the railway station on Sunday night. The accused has been identified as Sanjay, a resident of Rajeev Colony in Panchkula. He was arrested from the forest area adjoining the railway station this afternoon after the police received “secret” information about his whereabouts.

Police sources say that they have also ascertained the identity of three others involved in the crime. They had robbed the widow and her father of Rs 12,500 at knifepoint while they were proceeding to the railway station from their village near old Panchkula. Later, two of them held down her father, while the other two raped her. The victim lives in Delhi and had come here about 10 days back to visit her father. she was to catch a train for Delhi.

Criminal intimidation: Two persons have been arrested by the police for allegedly trespassing into the factory premises of Industrial Area resident Naresh Kumar and threatening him and demanding money from him. The accused have been identified as Devi Dyal, a resident of Panchkula and Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Sector 45. The police has registered a case for trespass and criminal intimidation.

Trespass care: The police has arrested a resident of Janta Colony, Rishi Pal, for allegedly trespassing into a Sector 22 house last night. He was caught by the house owner, Surinder Kumar, who handed him over to the police. A case has been registered.

Caught red-handed: A sector 24 resident, Amit alias Ashu, was caught red-handed while he was stealing the battery of a Kinetic Honda scooter belonging to Sector 40 resident Jaswinder Singh from Sector 17. He was handed over to the police, who have arrested him and registered a case against him.

Hurt in accident: A resident of Mohali, Bhajan Singh, and his wife were injured after his scooter was knocked down by a tractor-trolley near the Faidan barrier. The injured have been admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital. The police has arrested the tractor- driver, Kulwant Singh, a resident of Nadiala village near Ropar, and registered a case against him. Sector 27 resident Sanjiv Thakur has reported that his Suzuki motorcycle (CH-01-Y-7652) has been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Stereo stolen: Sector 35 resident B S Pathania has reported that the stereo of his car, parked at his residence, has been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Petrol stolen: A resident of Sector 38-west, O P Bhardwaj has reported that petrol of his car has been stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.


Injured: Three persons were injured in two separate cases of road accident during the past 24 hours. In both the cases, the accused driver fled away from the spot.

Ms Amarjeet Kaur was seriously injured when she was hit by a car (PB-28B- 2533) near HMT gate in Pinjore yesterday. In another incident, an unknown vehicle hit a motorcycle (HR-03A-9136) near village Ferozepore and injured two persons.

PO arrested: The local police has arrested Ved Prakash, a proclaimd offender, in a case of road accident. He was reportedly declared a PO by the court in July, 1995.

Two arrested: The police has arrested Hans Raj and Prem Bahadur on charges of playing satta at a public place. A sum of Rs 280 has been recovered from them.

Offerings in temple stolen: A sum of Rs 2820, which was part of the offerings in Thakur Dwara Temple in Baagwali village was stolen during the intervening night of January 20 and 21.

One arrested: The police has arrested Ganpat on charges of stealing Rs 350 from the mazar of Pir Baba in Raipur Rani .

Seventeen booked: The police has booked 17 persons of Hangoli village on charges of assaulting another villager, Faqir Chand. It is learnt that the reason for the assault was a long-standing dispute over a piece of land in the village.

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