Thursday, March 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU to review fiscal affairs
Punjab Government, UT Administration cut grants
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
In wake of the shrinking maintenance grants from the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration, Panjab University is undertaking a review of its budgeting process.

The university has constituted a committee to look into the process of budget preparation. The committee includes Mr R.S. Verma, Prof S.C. Vaidya, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Prof Paramjit Singh (the Registrar) and Prof Ramesh Pandey. A presentation on the review of the university budgeting system has been prepared by Professor Vaidya and Professor Chawla.

The budget for the forthcoming academic session, which will be tabled later this month, has been prepared under existing practices. The proposed revamp envisages changes in economic management, which is pertinent in the changed education scenario.

It has been pointed out that there have been budgetary cuts due to shrinking grants and further cuts are inevitable. It is against this background that fiscal management assumes greater significance. The university has been left with no alternative but to search for additional revenue generation possibilities and to seek more cost effectiveness.

It has been pointed out that non-plan expenditure represents more than 93 per cent of the budget and manpower cost represents more than 76 per cent of the on-plan expenditure. Annual expenditure reveals high university costs in most cases.

The average expenditure per student incurred by science departments has been calculated at Rs 1.04 lakh. The highest expenditure per student — Rs 2.27 lakh — is by the geology department. The department of chemical engineering and technology records the lowest per student expenditure among science departments at Rs 65,000. Languages departments have an average annual expenditure per student of Rs 25,000. Departments of humanities and of social sciences record an average of Rs 41,000.

Planning needs to be proactive and interactive rather than reactive and bureaucratic, it has been pointed out. Past activities need not continue simply because these have been part of the university’s history, but should exist only if there is need for their existence. At the same time, someone has to take the responsibility of justifying their existence. Effective cost management requires critical review of activities as well as of budget heads, it has been pointed out.

The university needs to take care to provide services through its main activities, which are classes and research. Other activities like business printing, healthcare, security, real estate management, hospitality, maintenance, sweeping and cleaning are not its prime areas. The focus needs to be shifted, it has been felt.

Appropriate fiscal management will lead to efficiency and doing the right things, the report says. The budget should present activity-wise expenditure and revenue; objective-wise expenditure and revenue; perspective and strategic planning; statistical data relating to performance; enrolment, dropouts, pupil-teacher ratio; per capita expenditure and income; and new facilities required.

There is also need to educate budget planners about the changed perspective. A change in the perspective needs to be incorporated, it has been pointed out. It has been felt that discussions on budget would be healthier in case the perspective is clear.


Protest march against Gujarat mayhem
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 6
A large number of members associated with various non-governmental organisations of Punjab and Chandigarh, took out a candlelight protest march at Plaza, Sector 17 here this evening to protest the violence in Gujarat.

Over 300 mourners carrying placards and candles, circled the Sector 17 Plaza and observed a two-minute silence to pay respect to those killed in the riots. The mourners demanded from the Central Government to ban organisations like Vishva Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena. The Gujarat Government also drew flak from the protesters for announcing a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victims of the train tragedy and Rs 1 lakh for the victims of riots.

The march was led by Lawyers for human Rights International. Among other organisations which took part in the march were the Sikh Nari Manch, the Indian Council for Social Welfare, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations and Child Welfare Council. 


Wish us luck, bless us God
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Examinations have made them superstitious. No wonder, so many city school students are giving “two hoots” to a broken glass or a black cat crossing their way to the centre. Or else are constantly saying “touch wood”, when not keeping their fingers crossed.

Take the case of Deepa Shergill, a school topper. She takes extra precautions before the commencement of examinations. “I am very particular about whom to meet and whom not to meet before the exams,” she reveals. “Also, I always visit the temple on my way to the examination hall. Otherwise, just before the exams start, I go to Mansa Devi and tie chunni around a holy tree. It gives me immense confidence”.

She is not alone. Class XII student Sapana Ahuja also believes in folklore and other superstitions. “I always write ‘Om’ on the cardboard before penning down even a single word on the answersheet which I hold with ‘Ram, Ram’ on my lips,” she claims. Her friend, Seema Thakral, has been visiting pandits requesting them to interpret the lines on her hands. “A pandit once told me that I will not be able to pass the examinations if I do not feed ‘bajra’ to birds. Ever since then, I have made it a point to offer them the grains before leaving home. I also wear a green ‘panna’ ring for good luck and have a lucky horseshoe hanging on the door of my room”.

She also makes sure that no one sneezes or calls her from behind before her departure. “I am very particular about it. Everyone at home has been told to remain out of my way in the days of examinations if they are suffering from common cold,” she asserts.

This is not all. Seema doesn’t leave her home till her best friend Nidhi calls her up from Kalka to say “best of luck”. “On, she is lucky for me. I am sure I will not be able to perform well without her good wishes,” she says.

But isn’t it strange that in Chandigarh, with a high literacy rate and a modern outlook, students, of all the people, are believers of “useless lies invented by superannuated maids for everyone’s convenience”. “No,” says Ms Rakesh Sachdeva, Principal of Sector 15 DAV School. “Literacy has nothing to do with superstitions as they are mental beliefs. As superstition is related with success and failure, the reasons are not examined even if they are irrational”.

She adds: “Although superstitions are followed by majority before the examinations and condemned by some, they are not unhealthy till they become obsessive. So we should be wary of armful superstitions and ensure that they do not rule our thinking”. 


City waits with open arms for cricket heroes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Even as the one-day tie between India and Zimbabwe is four days away preparations are in full swing in hotels that are putting their best foot forward expecting a good crowd. Fans can hold their breath as they will not be allowed to meet the players inside the hotels, the Chandigarh Police said tonight.

The teams will arrive in the city on March 8 with a security blanket thrown in as usual. The match, a day-night game, is to be played on March 10 at neighbouring S.A.S. Nagar.

On the hospitality front multi-cuisine preparations ranging from the traditional “rumali roti” to the exotic “Thai cuisine” will be on offer to tickle the taste buds of cricketers from Zimbabwe and the Indians. These will be served in true traditions of Punjabi hospitality.

The cricket carnival return to the city after three months. Last time the English cricket team was here in the first week of December to play a test match. And now it will be no different, cricketers, officials, mediapersons, fans and visitors, who will arrive for the match, have a food treat on hands as cuisines on the platter can be from anywhere across the globe.

Mr S.P. Singh Managing Director, Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO), said just like the last time the preparations are top class. Chefs at Hotel Mountview will produce the best of mouth watering dishes, the choicest of “naans”, and typically Indian vegetarian or non-vegetarian curries. Besides these options of the finest of continental, Chinese, Thai and even Mexican dishes will be available.

And to do an encore of their performance three months ago CITCO chefs have been put on special duties to meet each and every demand of their quests, he said. The teams are expected to arrive on board a Jet Airways flight which reaches here around 2: 30 p.m.

By afternoon the teams would have arrived in the hotel. Since this time the teams will leave on March 11 the duration of stay will not match that when the test match was played. Several of CITCO’s rooms in its three hotels – the Mountview, Shivalikview and the Park view have been booked at the moment. The Punjab Cricket Association and the television crews alone require about 150 rooms spread across the three hotels. Both the teams shall, however, stay in Hotel Mountview.

In the hotels the security aspect will be looked after by the police and we will have to go with that , he added. Meanwhile acting, SSP, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, said last time also no one was allowed near the rooms of the players and this would be followed now also.

The number of policemen to be deployed with the teams is expected to be decided by tomorrow morning. No non-cricketing guests will face any problem, Mr S.P. Singh asserted. All restaurants, coffee shop and other facilities at the hotels will be open for guests.


PCA Stadium buzzes with activity
Arvind Katyal

SAS Nagar, March 6
The city is brimming with excitement for the forthcoming India- Zimbabwe day-and-night one-day cricket tie. More than 80 per cent tickets in the general block and about 60 per cent in the VIP block already have been sold out. The fine weather, the magnificent lush green PCA stadium and the glamour to watch cricket under floodlights will be an experience of a different kind for thousands of cricket fans and spectators.

Mr G.S. Walia, treasurer, PCA told this reporter this evening that the excitement of the match was unprecedented and much more than the India- England Test match, which they staged in December last. Mr Walia, who, during match days becomes a much sought-after man since the ticket management and issuing of passes are under his control, said the rush for the same will be more from tomorrow onwards. But he promised that unlike the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds, Delhi, where two months back the one-day match witnessed a lot of chaos and confusion, the PCA had always tried to excel in its better management. He said that Punjab Police personnel will control the PCA while the UT police will take care of security of the team staying in Hotel Mountview, Chandigarh.

Mr Rajinder Singh, Inspector General, of Police (Security), Punjab, will be the chairman of gate management. He said this was decided at the meeting held under the chairmanship of the Governor Punjab, Lt-Gen (retd) JFR Jacob.

He said in this tie those spectators who wish to go out will not be allowed to come back again by showing any return passes, and they could stroll in the stadium with their valid ticket. He said, however the players’ gallery and the pavilion block will see stringent security measures. The PCA liaison officers will move in the stadium with their walkie-talkies. Mr Sushil Kapoor and Mr Vicky Banga will be the liaison officers for the Zimbabwe and Indian teams, respectively.

Walia said the tickets for students were priced at Rs 50 in the general block while the same block ticket for the general public will cost Rs 100. He said they had received many offers from schools such as Yadavindra Public School, SAS Nagar, to watch the match. Despite the ongoing examinations, the day of the match, which is Sunday, has proved to be a plus point for the organisers.

On the question of providing of eatables in the stadium, Mr Walia said these will be reasonably priced and vendors had been asked to display the product list along with the price for each product so that the public was not cheated. He, however, said the vendors would be instructed not to charge different prices in the various blocks other than at their respective stalls. The pavilion block and the Birla plus PCA blocks will have separate eating arrangements for their members.

The teams will arrive on March 8 and the same evening they might go for net practice. The timings of the match will be from 2.30 pm to 6 pm and then 6.40 pm onwards. The gates will be thrown open to public around 1 pm.

The change of guard in Punjab with the Congress government at the helm of affairs might have Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, coming for the inauguration, However, the closing ceremony will be done by Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), Governor, Punjab.


Meet Bhajji” contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Pepsi today unleashed an exciting consumer campaign, winners of which will get to “meet and greet” India’s spinning sensation Harbhajan Singh in Chandigarh on March 9.

As the final countdown begins for the second One-Day International (ODI) match between India and Zimbabwe at Mohali on March 10, the contest has already created a lot of buzz among cricket fans in the city. The contest forms are being published in newspapers and also made available at key Pepsi outlets throughout Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. The consumers are only required to fill up these contest forms and send them to a P.O. Box or drop in the boxes provided at the outlets. As many as 15 consumers will get to meet ‘Bhajji’ who has just won the Man-of-the-Match award in the second Test between India and Zimbabwe at Delhi.

The contest will also determine the winners who will get a lifetime opportunity to accompany the “Drinks Trolley” during the Mohali match. Those who miss out even on this prize, can still manage to witness the match, as the Pepsi contest will also chose the consumers who will be given complementary tickets to the match.

According to Ms Vibha Rishi, Executive Director (Marketing), Pepsi Foods: “The slew of consumer contests are designed to bring the fans in Chandigarh closer to their favourite cricketer.”


Kanwaljit in The Gurukul
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 6
Exhilaration was writ large on the faces of students of The Gurukul, Sector 20, when they met Kanwaljit Singh, the harried father in one of their favourite sitcoms — ‘Family No. 1’.

The children were thrilled to spend time with the actor, who had been invited to inaugurate the Cyber Play Station in the school. The actor, who had captured the hearts of many a couch potato with his wonderful portrayal of Gautam Kapoor in the serial ‘Saans’, is presently in the City Beautiful to shoot for a film, ‘Jee Aayan Nu’.

Kanwaljit was visibly impressed with the state-of-the-art computer laboratory for the kids, fitted with the latest multi-media machines with colour monitors. This lab will be used by the students not only to update the knowledge on computers, but also to view CD roms used as teaching aids in the school.

The actor was taken around the school by the Principal, Mrs A. Birdi, and the Director, Mr Sanjay Thareja. He was welcomed with a dance in classical mould. He also gave away prizes to students, who had recently fared well in the PROCOM quiz.

Later, while talking to mediapersons, the actor, said television had helped him mature as an actor. “On the one hand, I have been doing comedy in ‘Family No. 1’ and on the other, a serious role of a man caught between two wives in ‘Saans’. The variety being offered on this medium is much more than being offered in films. Kanwaljit, who has matured his acting skills from his gauche roles in films like ‘Laila Majnu’ and ‘Satte Pe Saata’, said television had given him a lot of exposure. He said after ‘Buniyaad’, ‘Abhimaan’ and ‘Daraar’ had once again brought him in the reckoning. “But it was the success of ‘Saans’ that brought all bouquets”, he said.

He informed that he was working on a serial for Sony Television, based on the Perry Mason series and also in several films. “But I am looking forward to an Urdu serial, ‘Guastakhi Mauf’, that is going to be on air soon”, he said.


Garbage clearing MC’s ache
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 6
Garbage is piling up in the town with residents of Sector 66 here still sticking to their guns on not allowing the Municipal Council to dump garbage in that area and PUDA failing to allot a permanent site for the purpose.

Garbage is not being disposed of daily by the council fearing law and order problem at the site with the Sector 66 residents continuing their protest. The dumping is done at the temporary site allotted by PUDA near Sector 66 only when the council staff are accompanied by police personnel and a duty magistrate.

The worried council authorities wrote to the Ropar District Magistrate yesterday that though police assistance was ordered by the Ropar Deputy Commissioner on February 20 while dumping of garbage at the temporary site, such assistance had so far been given to the council only on two occasions. The council said it needed police help every day following a dharna by residents in Sector 66.

The council stated in its letter that garbage was piling up in the absence of police help and if disposal was not done daily, there was a danger of outbreak of disease.

The council had earlier taken a site on lease for garbage disposal in Badmajra village near the milk plant. The plant authorities, however, filed a writ petition at the High Court against the dumping of garbage in the area. The court had directed PUDA on February 1 to allot a site to the Municipal Council for dumping garbage within three days. Subsequently, PUDA allotted the site near Sector 66 on a temporary basis.

A subcommittee headed by the ACA was also formed by PUDA to find a permanent site for garbage disposal.

The subcommittee had proposed that land in Bariyali village be acquired or taken on lease for dumping. However, no action has yet been taken on the proposal by the higher authorities.


Ill and penniless couple goes on
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
Many of us would breakdown in a condition like this. But theirs is an example in the “art of living”. Coping bravely with whatever life sends their way, is the couple Harpal Singh and his wife Amarjit who have struggled with renal failure, painful dialysis, post operative medication and are now penniless to continue their treatment and have nowhere also to go but ask for help.

Harpal, a 28-year-old daily wager from Bijnaur, Uttar Pradesh, suffered from renal failure at the age of 25 and after a kidney transplant operation at the PGI, he and his wife went back to their hometown. ‘‘For the operation I sold all that I owned which was not much anyways but then I thought that once I am alright I should be able to regain all that I had lost. But since that day it has been a race against the amount I need for my medicines each month and the amount I can earn. I have just lost the battle.’’

Harpal Singh, who looks much older than his age, requires more than Rs 10,000 a month for his medicines now to be able to contain infections. He has not been able to take his medicines regularly due to lack of money. His condition has as a result weakened and he is back at the PGI trying to get help. Accompanying him is his wife and two daughters.

“I have been in the city for more than a year and have not been able to find a job. I am educated and can do basic calculations also but since my condition has deteriorated so much there is no way I can do daily wager's physical work. I can do a desk job. I am ready to work hard and honestly,’’he says.

Supporting him all through and running the household on a paltry sum of Rs 800 is Harpal's wife Amarjit. She takes care of some children in Mani Majra and says that though she is working as hard, she is not able to earn enough money to pay for her husband's medicines.

Despite the problems the couple is facing, they are hopeful for a better future for their children.

“Both my daughters, Maninder (8) and Harpreet (4) are getting educated and that is a big satisfaction.

The Principal of D.C. Model School, Mani Majra has been kind enough to take them in their school and is not charging any fees also,’’she says.

“We have faith in God and the way He has provided for our daughters education, he will help us tide through this difficulty also,’’they state.

The Department of Nephrology, PGI too has asked for financial help from the PGI for Harpal but is still awaiting a response. The letter the department has issued asking for help states that more than Rs 1.5 lakh will be required for Harpal's proper treatment.


Three-wheeler owners grumble
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 6
Mr Suraj Ram, president of the Sher-e-Punjab Three Wheelers Unions, Dera Bassi, has alleged that illegal plying of buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking on the Chandigarh-Barwala route has been causing huge losses to the three wheeler and tempo owners for the past many years.

Mr Ram alleged that some local drivers, employed with the Chandigarh Transport Under Taking (CTU), were plying the buses on the route without the permission of their department.

With plying of the buses on the said route, the operators, who were earning for their bread, were in a quandary as the transport authorities had hardly done anything to stop this illegal practice, Mr Rajinder Singh, secretary of the union alleged. 


MC to be strict with those violating ban on polythene
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today notified officials to prosecute the people using hazardous polythene in the municipal area.

The officials have been given the right to impose a fine of Rs 500 on the violators in the first incidence and Rs 1,000 in subsequent cases. They could also launch prosecution against the accused for imprisonment up to one year.

Those who can either fine or launch prosecution are the Medical Officer Health, five Health Supervisors, five Chief Sanitary Inspectors, one Vaccinator, the Chief Supervisor of the Slaughter House and Meat Inspectors.


Directions to poultry farmers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 6
Poultry farmers in the Barwala subdivision have been asked to submit the receipts of the medicine being mixed in the feed of poultry farmers to the SDM, Panchkula.

This decision was taken at a meeting of poultry farmers of Barwala and sarpanches of the villages held by the SDM today. He asked the farmers to mix the medicine in the feed regularly to curtail the birth of larvae . He also asked them to ensure that the water flowing out of the poultry farms did not collect at one place. He also said bleaching powder should be sprayed regularly kill insects and flies.

The SDM asked the poultry farmers to maintain their registers regarding the number of birds, medicine mixed in feed. Representatives of poultry farmers said they would initiate a special drive to spray disinfectants in their farms from March 22 to April 30. They also informed that several of the farmers had now installed machines to dispose off dead.


Bid to rob teacher
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 6
A teacher was pushed off her scooter and her purse containing over Rs 29,000 was snatched away by two youths in Sector 44 here today. However, the miscreants were nabbed by residents of Colony No. 5 and beat police.

As per police sources, Ms Promila, a teacher at Government High School, Daun, SAS Nagar, withdrew her salary and that of her two colleagues from State Bank of Patiala, Phase-VII, and kept the cash in her purse. Later, she picked her daughter from St. Joseph School, Sector 44, and was going towards her Sector 39 residence.

The sources said that she was being followed by two turbaned youths on a scooter (CH-01B-3168). At about 12.30 p.m., they pushed Ms Promila’s scooter. She fell down and one of the youths picked the purse containing cash. The two sped away on their scooter.

Hearing Ms Promila scream two passersby on scooter started following the miscreants. The two youths abandoned the scooter and ran towards Colony No. 5. Beat police along with the colony residents overpowered the youths.

The two youths have been identified as Jaspal Singh, alias Bhatti of Kajheri village and Avtar Singh of Nawanshahr, Punjab. The two have police record and were earlier arrested in 1997.


Landlord booked for theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 6
A tenant in a Sector 15 house, Mr Vivek Kumar, has accused his landlord, Inderjit Singh, of theft. In a complaint to the police, Mr Kumar, accused that Rs 20,000, a music system, a colour television, besides other items, were stolen from his house by the landlord on Monday night. The complainant was away when the reported theft took place. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

The local police, on Tuesday, arrested, Dhani Ram, a resident of Dhanas village, for allegedly stealing a cycle of Mr Sukhbir Singh, a Sector 42 resident. The accused was booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. Meanwhile, the police received another complaint of cycle theft. Mr Lila Ram, a Haryana Government employee, reported to the police that his cycle was stolen from Sector 17 on Tuesday. A case of theft was registered.

Rickshaw-puller booked
A rickshaw-puller, Shankar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, was booked by the police for causing danger and obstruction on public way in Sector 22 on Tuesday. He was later released on bail.


The Chandimandir police has arrested Puran Chand, a resident of Naya Gaon and seized 46 pouches of liquor from him. A case under various sections of the Excise Act has been registered.

One arrested
Gobind Bahadur, a resident of Abheypur village was arrested on charges of gambling at a public place and seized Rs 1,067 from him.

Rash driving
The Pinjore police has arrested Salim Khan on charges of rash and negligent driving in the main bazaar, Pinjore and impounded his jeep ( HP- 12- 2076).

Stereo stolen
Capt Mohanan E.P. has alleged that someone stole the stereo of his car ( MP-09- HB-0706) while it was parked at a garage. A case under Section 379 of IPC has been registered. 



Penta number auction: Spice Telecom will auction it's penta numbers in the 98144 series from Wednesday, the money raised from which would go as contribution to the People for Animals, Chandigarh. The existing Spice subscribers can bid for these, stated a company press note. To participate in the auction, subscribers can visit the company website and select the number, send an SMS to 1112 specifying the desired number along with the bid amount. While the reserve price for these Penta numbers has been kept at Rs 5,000, the participants can bid in multiples of Rs 500 more than the highest bid at that time. One can bid for more than one number for as many times. The auction will continue till March 7, 4 p.m. TNS

New showroom: LG Shoppe, a new showwroom with entire range of LG's electronics, home appliances and IT products, was inaugurated on Wednesday at Sector 22 by Mr Pradeep Tognatta, vice-president sales and marketing and budding cricketer Reetinder Sodhi. LG Shoppe is a critical component in our supply chain extension and has been built to meet the challenges of an increasingly mature retail segment in the country", said Mr Tognatta. This will be the fourth brand shop in the region — the other three being at Ludhiana, Jammu and Shimla. LG currently has 40 showrooms across the country. TNS

Launched: Hanung Baby Products launched a range of toys and baby products — soft toys, crazy cushions, children carpets, bean bags, door pillows, baby furnishing, safari stationary and various other rubber and latex products, here on Wednesday. TNS

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