Tuesday, March 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cheers! Beery times ahead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The Chandigarh Administration today declared its excise policy for the year 2002- 2003 while making a few significant changes over the present year. The new policy comes in force from April 1.

An important change will be the permission for restaurants and pubs to sell hard liquor, meaning there will be increase in number of bars this year.

The restaurants and pubs need to have a turnover of Rs 50 lakh. About 20 eating joints in the city easily meet this criteria. Only sale of liquor that has a landed cost of Rs 1,000 per case will be permitted. The licence fee will be Rs 1.25 lakh. This means city residents can now enjoy good quality food while savouring their favourite drink.

The maximum price of bottled beer has been fixed at Rs 45 per bottle for light beer and Rs 50 for strong beer. This is Rs 5 each more than the maximum price fixed for bottled beer in Punjab in the policy announced last week. The maximum price limit for beer will not apply in case of imported beer, the UT Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, clarified tonight.

The minimum price for sale of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) remains the same as before. The duty on bottled beer will be Rs 2 and Rs 4 for light and strong beer, respectively.

Vends selling IMFL will be clubbed with those selling country liquor and auctioned in groups as has been the practice in the past few years. There will be no independent auction of IMFL vends. The total number of vends has been increased from 76 to 78 and this will include five independent IMFL shops. Vends to be given by way of public auction on March 27 at the Tagore Theatre, in Sector 18 at 10 a.m.

The minimum sale price of IMFL will be : Economy brand (Rs 100,Rs 52 and Rs 28, for bottle, half and quarter, respectively). Medium brand (Rs 120, Rs 62 and Rs 33). Premium brand (Rs 170, Rs.90 and Rs.50 ). Deluxe brand (Rs.250, Rs.130 and Rs.75).

Similarly the minimum price of draught beer ( light )will be Rs 15 per mug of 325 ml and Rs 25 per mug of 325 ml for strong beer. Private possession of IMFL in case of an individual will be: IMFL — 12 bottles of 750 ml, including brandy and imported liquor. Beer — 24 bottles of 650 ml and wine 12 bottles of 750 ml. For holding parties serving liquor to the guests in banquet halls or unlicensed hotels will be allowed for Rs 1000 per function and the fee has been done away with in case of places where licensed bars exist. Ahatas have been allowed in the premises adjoining to all vends at a fee of Rs 50,000. There will no maximum limit of pub bar licenses. Only draught beer and wine shall be allowed to be sold by the pubs. The annual license fee of a pub beer bar has been kept at Rs 1.25 lakh per annum.

A registration-cum-brand fee on labels shall be levied at Rs 50,000 per brand of whisky/scotch/rum/gin or beer per annum. A sum of Rs 1,000/- per brand of wine/champagne/liqueur or brandy.

Three types of cess like the Local Bodies Development Cess, Excise and Taxation Development Cess and Community Development Cess have been discontinued for the coming financial year.

And like each year January 26, August 15 and October 2 have been designated as dry days.

Three years back, small/peg bottles of the capacity of 60 ml of IMFL were introduced. The same will continue.

In case of foreign liquor sale through the same retail vends will be allowed. Additional license fee @ Rs 60 per bulk liter has been abolished. And so has been the special duty: Reputed provision stores can have a license for sale of imported liquor. In case of country liquor sale in pouches of 90 ml, 180 ml and 375 ml will continue.

When the auction takes place the procedure and security amount will be the same as last year. For the ensuing excise year 5 per cent of the license fee will have to be deposited at the fall of hammer, 5 per cent by March 31 and the remaining 2.5 per cent by April 7, 2002.

The Ex-distillery issued price will be announced before the auctions. The possession limit in case of country liquor has been kept the same at 2 bottles of 750 ml each per person. Sale of beer has been allowed from country liquor vends this year too.


  • Getting a license to serve liquor at a party to cost Rs 1000 ( down from Rs 1,500).
  • No payment if party is held in licensed premises where a bar licence exists.
    (down from Rs 1000)
  • For the first time maximum price of bottled beer fixed at Rs 45 for light and Rs 50 for strong beer. Thus beer will be cheaper in the coming summer months.
  • Number of vends hiked from 76 to 78.
  • Restaurants and pubs having turnover in excess of Rs 50 lakh per annum allowed to sell hard liquor.
  • Minimum price light draught beer Rs 15 and Rs 25 for strong beer.
  • No change in minimum price of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor.



Encroachers enjoy Admn’s amnesia
Nurseries thrive on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Eight acres of prime commercial land located on the Chandigarh – Panchkula highway and valued at almost Rs 20 crore in the market is being used by people in spite of having been acquired almost 12 years ago and even after the payment of compensation was made from public money.

The land was acquired in 1990, however, the occupiers continue to use it for running nurseries selling flowers and potted plants all the while paying no revenue either to the MC or the Administration.

Actually, the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation are still in the process of deciding how to use of the land and till then it is free for all. In an interesting development important documents pertaining to the acquisition of eight acres of commercial land are missing from the office of the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO). In a recent communication the LAO has asked the MC about the whereabouts of the entire record of the land. The said land had been transferred to the MC after the formation of municipal council.

A top source said it was a unique case as once the payment of compensation is made the Administration usually evicts the users. Why this has not been done in this case is not known. The MC has been wanting the land as it wants to auction it and bring in some revenue.

The history of the misuse of the land is in itself peculiar. In November 2000, the Administration violated all norms to allow the owners of the nurseries to use the land despite its acquisition and the subsequent handing over to the MC. The Administration suggested that the land should be exempted from acquisition. The Administration’s decision was also against a report of its former Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) Ashish Kundra. The LAO feared that such exemptions from acquisitions would create a wrong precedent. However, the Administration in its orders said it would not be so and each case would be decided on merit.

Further making a mockery of the rules the Administration had also said objections raised by the LAO are not serious and can be ignored. In October 1999, the then UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd), had ordered that nurseries should be relocated in pocket number 5.

The Administration had promised the MC (the ultimate beneficiary) that it would compensate the MC for any financial loss.

The MC has also been asked to take a final decision on the issue, keeping in view the orders of the previous Administrator.

The MC was to get this land in Mani Majra for further auction or sale. According to rough estimates based on the average land price of Rs 5,000 per square yard, the cost of eight acre works out to be about Rs 20 crore. “Officials should try to find out who owns the land and where are the nurseries,” sources said.

The tables turned on the Administration when the agenda was formally placed before the MC in February 2001. The house rejected the Administration’s idea of exemption from acquisition.

Another source said the case had been in the court for several years now. Owners of the nurseries had requested twice that they should be allotted land elsewhere if they were to be evicted. The Administration in the meantime has said it will deal with only landlords and not tenants incase any allotment of land had to be made for nurseries.



Minimum wages revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The Labour Department, Chandigarh Administration, has revised the minimum rates of wages in respect of workers employed on all scheduled employments under its jurisdiction with effect from October 1, 2001.

The new schedule will apply for people working in cinema industry, saw mills and timber trade, contractor’s establishment of Forest Department, soft drinks and aerated water, ferrous metal rolling and re-rolling mills, electroplating by using a salt of chromium nickle or any other compound and connected buffing and polishing industry, rubber industry, private presses, employment in private coaching classes school, including nursery school and technical institution, where minimum rates of wages are applicable, rice mills, flour mills and dal mills, oil mills, workers employed in scheduled employments of tent dealers establishments, crockery trade establishments and household goods establishments, shops and commercial establishments, grocer, kiryana merchants and grain dealers, general merchants; cloth merchants, commission agents and bankers, furniture dealers or manufacturers; foundries with or without attached machine shops, hardware and building material shops; plastic and PVC goods industry, paper board and packing material manufacturing establishments, textile industry, public motor transport industry, soap manufacturing industry, automobile repair shops and service station, chemical and distillery industry, bakeries and confectionery establishments, agricultural implements, machine tools and general engineering, including cycle parts and electrical goods industry, meat-selling establishments; book-selling establishments; chemist and druggist shops, electronics goods manufacturing and selling establishments, vegetable and fruit shops, hair cutting saloons and Beauty parlours, ice factories and cold storage, private hospitals, including nursing homes, dispensaries or a medical practitioner in any establishment or a chemical or pathological laboratory; petrol, diesel and kerosene pumps, dairy and dairy products, employment in grass cutting; tailoring stitching and embroidery establishments, asbestos, cement and concrete products, construction or maintenance of roads or building operation, stone breaking or stone crushing, tanneries/leather manufacturing units.

Categories of Employees  Rates of Minimum wages (in Rs)
  Monthly  Daily
















Highly  skilled



Class III(Staff)



Class II(Staff)



Class I(Staff) 3270.00 125.40



Parking contractor on his way out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The parking contract between the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and the parking contractor is headed for “termination” with the contractor failing to pay the “default” amount to the corporation on the last date today.

The Engineering Department today held a meeting to take over the parking space in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 and expressed confidence that it would be able to run it till a fresh auction of the parking lot was made, sources told Chandigarh Tribune.

“The corporation does not have any option but to terminate the contract,” the sources said, adding that it would terminate the contract in a day or two.

Instead of depositing the default amount by 3 pm today, the contractor sent a letter asking the corporation to let him continue till April 7 while expressing his inability to continue.

The Assistant Commissioner-I, Mr Ashok Vashisht, had initially issued a notice to the contractor to deposit the due amount by March 14.

But the contractor sought more time for taking a decision on depositing the amount as his cheque had been “dishonoured” following a direction of stop payment. The time was granted.

On March 14, the contractor had also accused the Municipal Corporation of taking arbitrary decisions that, he claimed, caused losses to him.

The contractor had also appeared before the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation and asserted his allegations.

The F&CC had decided to form a committee to go into the entire gamut of the parking problems unless the contractor deposited the amount due on him.

The formation of the committee has now come as a cropper with the contractor giving in writing not to continue with the contract.

The contractor had already deposited the initial 25 per cent amount and honoured the first of 12 monthly installments through postdated cheques.

The sources said the next installment was due in couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Congress Councillor, Mr Chandermukhi Sharma, today urged the corporation to immediately stop the contractor from collecting parking money so that the MCC did not incur losses.

The corporation had already initiated a process against the contractor under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act for dishonouring of cheque. The contractor had already threatened to stop payment through a legal notice in protest against “arbitrary” decisions.



Nagi removed as PGI Dean
Fill post afresh, orders Supreme Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Quashing the appointment of Prof O.N. Nagi as the Dean, PGI, the Supreme Court today ordered the PGI's governing body to make a fresh appointment to the post in accordance with rules and regulations laid down for the purpose.

A three-member Bench comprising Mr Justice B.N.Kirpal, Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice B.N.Singh dismissed the appeal filed by the Centre challenging the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Upholding the high court orders, the Bench ruled that ‘‘without going into the merits as to which is the appointing authority, the governing body is to make a fresh selection in accordance with the existing rules and regulations.’’

Appearing for Prof Sudha Suri, Head, Department of Radio Diagnosis and Imaging, PGI, on whose petition the high court had given the verdict, counsel Gopal Subramaniam and Suresh Tripathy contended that the governing body ignored the qualifications and experience of four senior professors and selected Professor Nagi for the post arbitrarily.

The counsel argued that the governing body even ignored the antecedents of Professor Nagi who once faced a CBI inquiry. After hearing Additional Solicitor-General Mukul Rohtagi, who appeared for the institute, the Bench said it was in agreement with the findings of the high court.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on November 22 quashed the appointment of Professor Nagi on the grounds that the PGI's governing body had appointed Professor Nagi to the post of Dean ignoring the principles laid down for the purpose. Delivering the verdict, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Amar Bir Singh Gill and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, had observed that there was an "element of arbitrariness" in the action of the appointing authority. It was added that the criteria for consideration of all eligible candidates had not been brought to the notice of the court.

On December 12, the Supreme Court had issued notice on a special leave petition filed by the Union of India and the PGI granting interim stay on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court vide which the appointment of Professor Nagi as Dean had been set aside.

Meanwhile, the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, has said that although he has not received any written orders from the centre to start the process of fresh selection for the post of Dean, the PGI's governing body is likely to meet in the second week of April.



Kansal suspended
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 18
UT Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner S.P. Kansal was today suspended by the UT Administration following his arrest by the CBI in a corruption case.

Meanwhile, a local court today remanded him in 14-day judicial custody. He was produced in the court of Mr C.L. Mohal, Chief Judicial Magistrate, this afternoon.

He also moved a bail application in the court.

The CBI has alleged that the accused had acquired various properties, both in his own name as well as on another names. It further alleged that the accused had been detaining lottery tickets and other goods worth several crores of rupees, besides intentionally not recovering sales tax and penalty from a number of firms and causing huge loses to the government exchequer.



Panchkula family in grief

Panchkula, March 18
Gloom descended on the residence of Major Arvinder Pal in Sector 12 soon after the news of the accident in which he and four other members of his family, including a 6-day-old baby boy, died after the car in which they were travelling plunged into a canal near Dehlon in Ludhiana district late last evening.

Colonel Devinder Singh Kang (retd), father of the deceased, rushed to Dehlon at about 12 a.m. after getting the news. His daughter Ms Lovleen was taken to Ludhiana today afternoon.

Bodies of the accident victims are expected to arrive here by late this evening or tomorrow.



Asian toil built Kenya Railways
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
From 1896 to 1901, labourers were brought on contract from Punjab (both East and West) and Pakistan, and from Gujarat by the British to build railway line from Mombasa to Kisumu, then called Uganda Railway (now Kenya Railways).

For six years, these labourers laid 582 miles (931 km) of rail line through difficult terrain. They built Salisbury Bridge, over 1,200 feet long, joining Mombasa Island to the mainland, 35 viaducts in the Rift Valley, and 1,280 smaller bridges and culverts. All this was done by hand as no machines were available then for these massive and operations.

A total of 31, 983 workers came from India during these years on contract. Of them, 2,493 died during construction. That is, four workers died for each mile of line laid; more than 38 dying every month during the six-year period. As many as 6, 454 workers became invalid.

In May 1898, the railhead reached Nyrobi, then only a plain of tents. Over the next 30 years Asian-African masons, stone dressers, carpenters, artisans and construction workers built the town of Nairobi. They also built railway stations at Nakuru and Kisumu, as well as 43 railway stations on the line, such as Mackinnon Road, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kijabe, Njoro and Lumbwa.

The railway was manned by Asian-African drivers, foremen, station masters, linesmen, telegraphists, mechanics, gangers, repairmen, upholsterers, carpenters and other workers. As material was being gathered for an exhibition, a record of the survey of the building of the Nairobi-Mombasa road was also found. These are the drawings and notes of Mohamed Sadiq Cockar. As a young assistant, he was not only worked on the rail line but also marvelled at, and later drew pictures of the wonders and beauty of the land. Sikh, Punjabi and Gujarati Lohars wheelwrights kept wagons moving long before motor vehicles emerged.

In addition to the work that kept the arteries of transport flowing, Asian-African workers served in the civil service as clerks, accountants, book-keepers, health workers and, teachers.

It was, therefore, no accident that one of the founders of the trade union movements in Kenya was Makhan Singh. In 1935, he formed the Labour Trade Union of Kenya, and in 1949, he and Fred Kubai formed the East African Trade Union Congress, the first umbrella organisation of trade unions in Kenya.

Hundreds of photographs of Asian-African families over the past century, many of them never seen in public before, have also been brought out. These reflect not the official records of the railway or government administrations but the community’s view of itself. These are private views of the community in clothes, jewellery, prayers, festivals, weddings, betrothals and settings that the community had itself chosen. These are records of pride, rejecting humiliation and dominations. They portray lives of dignity and resilience under adverse conditions.

One defence of such conditions was the tenacity of the community in holding on to its cultural practices. Another was the establishment of voluntary organisations that served the basic needs that discrimination and governmental neglect would not provide either adequately or at all. Voluntary welfare organisations such as schools, clinics, hospitals and first aid units made provision for indigents. In time, these created an extensive and countrywide civil society sector in Kenya long before the recent growth of non-governmental organisations. Nor were these social services dependent on funding from outside the community. Three institutions were funded by the community itself when on the bank of closure. Voluntary professional services were given over long periods of doctors, teachers and others.

Many of these services became public, and there are today many such public foundations and programmes supporting scholarships, grants to schools and public health.

In the area of sports, the community over many years has been active in the Kenya Olympic Hockey team, the Kenya National Shooting squad, the Kenyan national cricket team, and in other sports.

The Asian-African community has also been involved in dissent and political activity against oppression as long as it has been involved in commerce and finance. A.M. Jeevanjee and M. A. Desai continuously and successfully challenged and controlled settler ambitions for self-rule in Kenya on the apartheid model of Southern Rhodesia and South Africa. Makhan Singh and Pio Gama Pinto spent years in detention struggling for Kenya’s freedom. Joseph Murumbi was the voice in exile of a silenced Kenya during the emergency, and later Foreign Minister and second Vice-President of Kenya. Amir Kamal is one of the founding fathers of the Tanzanian nation. Fitz De Souza was Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 1964-1969, while Chanan Singh was Parliamentary Secretary to President Kenyatta (1963-64). But as important was the unheralded support that the community gave to the struggle for independence.




Has Army lost its pristine glory?
Pritam Bhullar

TIME was when soldiering was considered as one of the best professions in India. Today, it has become the last choice of our youth, thanks to the bug of materialism which has bitten the entire Indian nation. No wonder then that in our poor and overpopulated country, the Army, despite all the remedial measures, continues to remain short of officers as well as in rank and file.

Besides, over the years, the Army has gone down in status and has also lost its pristine glory. Ironically, a service chief is 12th in the Warrant of Precedence today, whereas before Partition, the Commander-in-Chief was next to the Viceroy.

What makes total mockery of soldiering in India is that a jawan gets less pay and pension than a “chaprasi”. Yet, the general feeling in the country is that “a soldier is paid for being killed in battle.” No doubt, like in all other professions, he is also paid in his profession, but he certainly is not a mercenary. A soldier fights for his unit, the Army and the country because of his training and motivation.

Be it war, counter-insurgency, internal security duties or natural calamities, a soldier is considered to be an answer to all the problems of the country. Is there any doubt that he is the last resort to uphold the integrity of the country when all others fail?

Border states’ scourge

There is little, if any, realisation in the country that the real brunt of war is borne by the border states. That this has happened in all the wars that India has fought since 1947, cannot be denied.

Take the example of the current biggest — ever troop build-up on the border which has caused colossal damage to the standing crops in the border belt of Punjab, J and K, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Add to this, the cost of shifting the population and cattle from the border villages as well as the cost of running relief camps for the displaced people. Besides, this time the landmines’ explosions have caused several casualties.

Punjab, having suffered the maximum loss, has already made a claim of Rs 176 crore from the Government of India. The Ministry of Defence has given instructions to the Army to get the damage assessed in the border states. The past experience shows that compensation for the damage is not only delayed but is also not commensurate with the loss.

Even during peace time, the border states having large concentration of the Army, suffer a lot due to training exercises which cause damage to crops. The maximum number of field firing ranges are also in the border states, which are in use throughout the year, resulting in shifting of the people from the affected villages for safety reasons. Punjab, again, is the biggest sufferer in this regard because of having the maximum number of ranges.

Is Army apolitical?

The Army was apolitical a few decades ago but it is no more so, thanks to bureaucrats and politicians who have been meddling in the Generals’ promotions. The net result of this is that the senior officers in the armed forces have started growing up with the impression that bureaucrats and politicians can break all rules to help them in their careers.

In today’s murky atmosphere, Air Marshal M.S. Sekhon’s letter, requesting the then Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in October 2001, for helping him in his career-promotion by speaking with the Prime Minister, should surprise no one.

Of the many such examples, only two are quoted here. A Maj-General who was rejected twice by the Selection Board in the nineties, was promoted to the rank of Lt-General by the then Defence Minister by throwing all rules to the winds. In another case, a Maj-General jumped the gun in promotion because the two-year seniority that he had lost as a Major was restored to him to promote him to the rank Lt-General over a sizeable number of his seniors. Recently, a Lt-General came up with a request from the backdoor that though he was not the senior-most Army Commander but from his caste no one had become Army Chief so far. He should, therefore, be favoured with this appointment.

Incidentally, the decks have been cleared for the CDS’ appointment and General S. Padmanabhan will soon be the first CDS. Who will replace him as Army Chief? We hope according to the well-established practice, the seniormost Army Commander will become the chief.



N-tests, a political tool: Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Unknown facets of the Indian Army were highlighted by Lieut Gen Surjit Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, at a function organised by the Rotary Club of Chandigarh here today.

He said the nuclear tests carried out by India in 1998 were more of a political tool for deterrence. He said Pakistan had gone in for a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir to provoke India into using nuclear weapons, but India managed to win the war by conventional means.

Regarding the Tehelka expose, General Surjit Singh said the Army was very prompt in initiating action against the persons concerned and it has its own in house mechanisms to deal with such situations. He said the Army has its own ethos of discipline.

Touching upon the use of the Army in internal security duties, the he said any deployment beyond its defined tasks has a detrimental effect on its ethos. He also discussed the shortcomings in the modernisation process due to lack of resources. He also delved upon various welfare measures being undertaken by the Army for its personnel as well as ex-servicemen and widows.



Shift scooter mechanics, demands citizens’ panel
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 18
The Citizens' Association has demanded that the scooter mechanics of Sector 21 who have been allotted booths should be asked to immediately shift except those mechanics whose allocations fall near the St. Kabir School, Sector 26. The association has threatened an agitation if the Administration fails to make the auto mechanics shift to their allotted booths within 15 days.

The association has alleged that the Administration has failed to address the woes of the Sector 21 residents who continue to live surrounded by pollution and chaos due to the scooter repair market.

It alleged that the mechanics use ‘filthy’ language while talking to each other and their carbon emitting machines were a nuisance for the residents of the area. Mr R. P Sharma, a resident of the area said, ‘‘I had dreamt of a happy life after my retirement but my peaceful life is under threat due to the scooter market’’. Another resident of the area, Mr D.P Aggarwal, alleged that the pollution being emitted from the scooter market was proving to be a health hazard for the residents.

It may be mentioned here that allotment of 60 booths for the mechanics near the St. Kabir School could not be taken up due to a legal dispute. As a result the entire shifting process could not be carried out. A large number of other vendors like helmet sellers have also mushroomed along the road opposite the scooter repair market and thus causing traffic problems.

Mr P.C. Sanghi, president of the association, claimed that as per his knowledge most of the mechanics in Sector 21 have their own booths in other parts of the city but they are not shifting there. ‘‘I am sure there is not a single mechanic in the market whose allocation of booth falls at the disputed site’’, alleged Mr Sanghi. According to him, the mechanics were not shifting to their allotted booths due to a fear of loosing their customers. As per his opinion if the all mechanics moved to their allotted booths, they would not loose customers.

The association also demanded from the Administration to shift the meat market from the Sector 21 market to some other suitable place. The local residents alleged that the whole area remained engulfed in foul smell because of the meat selling.

Meanwhile, the Auto Mechanics Federation has condemned Mr Sanghi’s statement that the auto mechanics were not shifting to their new shops. According to the federation, the process of rehabilitation of auto mechanics was near completion. Some of the mechanics were yet to get booths and some of them were awaiting allotment letters from the Administration. Mr Mohinder Singh of the federation, at a meeting held today, threatened to gherao Mr Sanghi’s residence if he continued to make ‘mischievious and misleading’ statements regarding auto mechanics.



Is your kid spending more than required?
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, March 18
Do not let them bite more than they can chew — is the latest warning being issued by teachers to parents of not-so-innocent students studying in city schools.

The teachers are actually asking the parents to make sure that their wards do not carry more money with them than they can possibly need for their day-to-day needs. And believe it or not, drug menace has nothing to do with it.

In a letter issued recently to the parents, instructors from private schools have asked them to make sure that the little ones are not carrying more than Rs 20 with them. The letter has also asked them to ensure to keep a check on change lying around the house. The tutors have also requested the parents to count the money in their purses and wallets before going to sleep, even before leaving for office in the mornings.

The reason for their concern is not very difficult to analyse. “In more than one case, we realised that children were stealing money at home. What made the matters worse was the fact that the parents were not realising it,” says Anushka, a private school teacher.

“The money stolen by children,” she claims, “was being spent on coffee and pizzas, which they savoured at fast food joints after missing classes. In some cases, they even changed the uniforms in public toilets, or concealed it by wearing jackets”.

According to another teacher, Shruti Kapoor, not only were the students of Classes IX and X involved in such activity, even children in the age group of 11 to 13 years were getting temptated to it. They even bought things on credit with a promise to return the money after the next steal. The students also visited discotheques and beauty parlours, particularly before dance parties”.

Explaining the trend, young socio- psychologist Dinesh Sharma says, “Everywhere you look, there are temptations in the form of chicken onion cheese pizza or vegetable croissant. While the elders have the ability to resist the lure in most of the cases, the little easily fall prey”.

A simple solution, he asserts, lies not in scolding the young ones but in making them understand the true facts of life, making them realise that such eatables were good once in a while, but unaffordable on daily basis.



Keep tabs on bodies getting foreign funds’
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 18
The Punjab Police has been asked by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to keep a tab on voluntary organisations in the state which are getting financial aid from foreign countries. The police authorities have been asked to look for organisations which are diverting foreign funds to terrorist organisations.

There are around 70 such voluntary organisations in Punjab which are receiving foreign aid under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. The organisations were running schools or undertaking other social causes. Sources in the Punjab Police said during year 1999-2001, around Rs 35 crore was received by such organisations in the state.

The number of such organisations receiving foreign funds have registered an increase in the past few years, says a communique of the Ministry to the intelligence wing of the state police. The state government has been asked to ensure that the voluntary organisations getting foreign aid are registered under the Foreign Contribution ( Regulation) Act, 1976.



Panchayat Samiti meeting today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 18
The first Panchayat Samiti of the UT will meet tomorrow to take decisions on self-aggrandisement, getting a phone for the chairman’s residence, Rs 2 lakh for furnishing offices of the chairman and the vice-chairman and buying a vehicle apart from the budget.

At the meeting, the members will consider and approve the revised estimate for 2001-02 and budget estimates for the next financial year and delegation of financial powers to the Executive officer and vice-chairman of the samiti. The members will also discuss a proposal to purchase a vehicle from the samiti’s fund and get telephone facility for the chairman.

Mr Didar Singh, member of the samiti, in a press note issued here today, alleged that the chairman, Mr Bupinder Singh Badheri, called the meeting without inviting any agenda item from the members for the development of the rural areas.

He also urged the UT Administration to quash the “anti-development” agenda and requested all members to defeat it.



8 lions to be sterilised
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, March 18
To keep a check on the population of “royal” inhabitants of the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, the zoo authorities have decided to conduct vasectomy operations on adult lions in two phases.

Sources in zoo disclosed that eight adult lions would be operated upon and with that the number of operated lions would become 17. The authorities had segregated 11 lions for the purpose and eight will be operated upon.

Dr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden Zoos, Punjab, confirmed that the lions would be operated upon on March 19 and 25. He said a team of expert surgeons from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, would perform the operations.

Earlier, nine “lions” were operated upon by a team of veterinary doctors headed by Prof S.S. Singh, from PAU, Ludhiana, in October last year. The animals were operated in two phases in a makeshift operation theatre in the Lion Safari.

The animals have been “stuffed” in enclosures in the Lion Safari for about a year. Due to rise in the population of lions over the past 10 years, the safari and other enclosures have become cramped.

Currently the zoo houses over 74 lions of which 22 are adult lions. Of the 22, the zoo authorities have already operated upon 13 lions, including four in 1995.



Passport applicants stage protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Passport applicants here today protested against alleged corruption in the office.

They alleged that the department had closed its windows at 12.15 pm even though they had been queuing up since 7 am in the morning.

The queue could not move any further as agents had been allegedly taking their cases to the window.

The protesters alleged that the passport office did not value the time of the citizens as no proper arrangements had been made to accept applications.

They alleged that there was a deliberate attempt not to improve the situation in order to allow corrupt practices flourish.



You Can Win’ makes mark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Shiv Khera , the renowned international educator and business consultant, has now earned the distinction of being the only author to have sold 5,00,000 copies of the book “You Can Win” in two languages, Hindi and English.

“Encouraged by the popular response to the English and Hindi editions of “You Can Win”, Macmillan India Ltd now plans to publish it in various regional languages so as to reach out the benefits to every Indian,” said Mr Rajiv Beri, MD, Macmillan India.

“Macmillan India Ltd, publishers of the English language edition of “You Can Win” in India , is ready for the release of “You Can Win” in Marathi, Bengali , and Gujarati. To start with ‘Oongalal Vella Mudiyum’ (“You Can Win” — Tamil ) was launched in Chennai on March 5, 2002 and Jeet Twaddi (“You Can Win” — Punjabi) in Amritsar on March 9, 2002,” informed Mr Beri.

In the next phase Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya editions will be launched added Mr Beri.



Jacob’s directive on access roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The UT Administrator, Mr J.F.R. Jacob, directed officials here today to construct access roads to garbage dump site at Daddu Majra to prevent dumping near habitation.

The direction was issued at a meeting held to discuss the issue of Daddu Majra landfill site. Mr Jacob said in the absence of proper access to the landfill, garbage was being dumped adjacent to the habitation area. The Administrator asked the officials concerned to prepare estimates for access roads.



Additional police force for Kharar
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 18
The strength of the police force in Kharar police station personnel would be deployed here soon.

This decision was taken here today in a meeting presided over by Mr G.S. Bhullar, SSP Ropar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh Parmar, SP (D) and Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar, were among those who attended the meeting.

The issue of controlling crime in the Kharar area more effectively was discussed in the meeting. The meeting also decided to sanction an additional jeep and motorcycle and to increase the number of wireless sets.



Osho’s enlightenment day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Osho Naman Dhyan Kendra, 3596, Sector 37-D, Chandigarh, will celebrate Osho’s enlightenment day at Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24-B, on March 21. this will be followed by a three-day meditation camp.

Born at Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, Osho was enlightened on March 21, 1953 at the age of 21. What happened on that day is described by him in his book “The Discipline of Transcedence.”



Bid to loot house
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 18
Seven unidentified robbers made an attempt to loot cash and jewellery from the residence of Mr Baljeet Singh situated on Randhawa Road, Kharar, in wee hours today. However, no major loss was reported as the robbers fled after hearing siren of a police party patrolling on the Randhawa Road.

Mr Baljeet Singh, an employee of the Haryana Government, while talking to mediapersons at his residence said seven robbers armed with rods and batons jumped over the wall at about 2.45 am today. They then broke open the door and entered his house.

The robbers, who were all young and looked like migrant labourers asked the seven members of the family to go into a room while one of them stood guard. The others started searching the almirahs for cash and jewellery. As they were looking for things a police party on routine night patrolling crossed the Randhawa Road. One of their accomplices who was standing outside warned them on hearing the sound of the police siren and they fled leaving all things.

Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar, reached the spot immediately along with other policemen after getting the information and a search for the robbers was launched.

The police has puts forensic experts and dog squad into service. Mr Rupinder Singh said the robbers would be nabbed soon.



Man held for mother’s murder
Tribune Reporters

SAS Nagar, March 18
A 30-year-old married man of Manakpur Kalar village here allegedly involved in the murder of his 60-year-old mother was today arrested by the Sohana police from Saneta village. The suspect, Attar Singh had attacked his mother in a fit of rage over ancestral property.

The Station House Officer, Sohana, Mr G.P Singh, said the suspect had been demanding his share of land from the family property to which his parents objected. Enraged over this he attacked his mother, Charan Kaur, with a sharp-edged weapon. She was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, with serious head injuries.

Earlier, the police had registered a case under Section 323 and 325 of the IPC but after the woman succumbed to her injuries, Section 302 of the IPC has been added. The SHO said the suspect was medically examined at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital after being arrested.

The last rites of the deceased were performed today at her village after the autopsy was done at the PGI.


Couple injured:
A couple was injured in a road accident on Sunday evening. The police said a bus knocked down Guljar Singh and his wife Ranjeet Kaur when they were crossing a road near Mission Hospital on their scooter. A case has been registered against the bus driver in this regard.

Cash snatched:
Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched Rs 18,000 and a chequebook from an employee of a wholesale cloth merchant of Ambala City on Sunday. The incident occurred when the employee, Mr Yashinder Kumar, was going to the cloth merchant after closing the shop. While he was passing through Urban Estate, two youths snatched his briefcase containing Rs 18,000 and a chequebook. The police has registered a case. In another incident, a scooterist snatched the purse of a woman in Model Town, Ambala City, on Sunday. According to a complaint lodged by the woman, the purse contained Rs 4,000.

Remand extended:
The Judicial Magistrate, Ambala, Mr Najar Singh, extended the judicial remand of Joginder Pal, Neena Gupta and Ram Avatar allegedly involved in refund vouchers scam of the local Excise and Taxation Department. The accused were produced in the court on Monday. They were remanded in custody for another 14 days.

1 killed:
Amarchand, a resident of Chandigarh, was killed when the rickshaw he and his wife had hired, was hit by a vehicle near the Jandli bridge on Sunday night. They were going towards Ambala Cantonment.


Two held:
The local police has arrested two persons for allegedly assaulting and injuring a resident of the same sector. The accused have been identified as Gulshan Kumar and Raj Kumar. About two days ago, Naveen Kumar, who sells forms in Sector 17, reported that the duo had broken his nose following a fight over the place where he used to sell forms. After receiving the medical report, the police arrested the accused today.

One injured:
A resident of Yamunanagar, Sanjiv Kumar, was injured after his scooter (HR-58-2358) was hit down by a truck near the railway crossing. He has been admitted to the PGI. The police has arrested truck driver Naresh Kumar, a resident of Madriti village near Yamunangar, and registered a case against him.

A resident of Sector 22, Hira Lal, was arrested for allegedly defacing public property by pasting an advertisement poster on an electric pole near Dhillon cinema. He has been booked under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act.

Liquor seized:
A resident of Mauli Jagran, Bhola Mahanto, was arrested by the police near the railway station and 14 bottles of “Commando Rum” were recovered from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Sector 22 resident Darshan SIngh has reported that his house was broken into and Rs 200 and with two wrist watches stolen. The police has registered a case.

Car stolen:
Sector-38 resident Gursharan Singh has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-T-3222) has been stolen from his residence. A case has been registered.

Mobike stolen:
A resident on the PGI campus, Gaurav Gupta, has reported that his Kawasaki Motorcycle (MH-12-H-7123) has been stolen from the campus. A case has been registered.

Car stereo stolen:
Gaurav a resident of Kalka, has reported that the stereo of his car, parked in Sector 20, has been stolen. The police has registered a case.



Impersonators caught at examination centre
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 18
Three youths were caught while impersonating in an examination at SS Jain Senior Secondary School here today. Sources said the three were nabbed by the invigilators while they were given attendance sheets for the examination. The staff got suspicious when their signatures did not match the originals ones. The three were caught in the examination hall.

They were appearing for social studies paper being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board at Centre No. 2 of SS Jain Senior Secondary School. The impersonators are said to be residents of Barwala, Kheri and Mauli villages.

Taking action the Superintendent of the examination centre has brought the matter to the notice of the board authorities for further action.



Puncom DGM, others booked
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 18
The local police has registered an FIR against the Puncom Deputy General Manager, Col S.S. Sandhu (retd), and a former Manager, Col S.S. Mann (retd), and the Chief Executive Officer of Punjab Digital Industrial System Limited, a subsidiary of Puncom, for cheating.

The case was registered on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Ropar SSP. The directions were issued after a writ petition was preferred in December, 2000, by Mr Pardeep Joshi, who worked in the company as Deputy Manager (P and A).



Cautious planning averted losses in PTL: MD
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 18
The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the PTL, Mr Yash Mahajan, said here today that the factory had not suffered losses in tractor manufacture in the wake of proper planning and cautious approach.

Mr Mahajan, who was reappointed to the posts for two years on March 16, while addressing employees said the company lost money only once in respect of 14 tractors, but the money was recovered from the dealers concerned. On the other hand, he said companies like Escorts, Mahindra and Eicher had lost Rs 26 crore, Rs 27 crore and Rs 9 crore, respectively. Only a sum of Rs 99 lakh had not been recovered by the PTL so far and that too in the case of shelters supplied to the Army on behalf of Punwire.

Mr Mahajan, referring to the campaign of mudslinging against him, said such activities were initiated by various elements as the PTL had a bright future and that was a matter of concern for other companies.

Mr Mahajan said the PTL had sole around 1.5 lakh tractors in the past four years and since the factory’s inception 4.78 lakh tractors had been manufactured.

While congratulating Mr Mahajan, office-bearers of the PTL Employees Union, led by Mr Malkeet Singh and Mr Deep Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, assured full cooperation to the management.



Air-conditioners launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Voltas Limited, India’s air-conditioning and refrigeration company with a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore, is adopting an aggressive stance in the growing retail air-conditioner market in the country. As a first step in its bid to regain leadership position in the segment, the company, which is part of the Rs 41,000 crore Tata group, has launched an international range of air-conditioners — Vertis.

Vertis, a part of international range of state-of-the-art air-conditioners, is the product of a manufacturing-only joint venture with Fedders International Inc., USA. The new range has been unveiled to dealers by Mr Ashok Soni, Managing Director, Voltas Limited, in the presence of Mr S.N. Tripathi, Executive Director and COO (Unitary Products Business Group), and Mr K.J. Jawa, Regional Vice-President (North and East), Cooling Appliances Business Division.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Soni said: “With the launch of Vertis range, Voltas plans to strengthen its image and trust with the retail and household customer.”

Gourmet foods

A new brand of premium gourmet foods, launched by ITC Limited in August, 2001, will now be available in Chandigarh. The company’s launch into gourmet processed foods brings together the combined skills of the F&B Department of ITC Hotels and ITC’s Packaging Division to create a range of exceptional products that have been conveniently packaged for the home.

The first product to be launched was ‘Dal Bukhara’, through outlets in eight major cities. Following the overwhelming response to it, ITC Foods has launched its second offering ‘Chicken Chettinad’.

‘Chicken Chettinad’ is a speciality from Tamil Nadu and one of the most popular dishes on the menu of Dakshin — ITC-Welcomgroup’s famous restaurant chain that offers four cuisines of southern states of India. It consists of chicken cooked with coconut and strongly seasoned with pepper and other spices.

New flavours

Kraft Foods, the world’s second largest food company, on Monday launched two new flavours for its leading powdered soft drink brand, Tang, in Chandigarh and Punjab. The orange flavour had been launched here in June, 2001. Tang will now be available in three refreshing flavours — orange, mango and lemon.

While the mango and lemon flavours are available in two sizes — a 25 gm sachet and a 100 gm pouch — Tang orange will be available in a 500 gm refill pack and a 500 gm jar. All flavours are manufactured at the company’s state-of-the-art 6,000 tonnes per year plant located near Hyderabad.

Speaking at the launch function, Mr Ajit Sahgal, Director, KJS India Private Limited, said: “Customers are looking for an international quality refreshing drink that also meets their nutritional needs. Tang is positioned as a premium quality fruit-flavoured beverage that delivers the great taste and goodness of fruit and provides a full day supply of vitamin C.”

ATM inaugurated

Mr Rajendra Kakkar, Chief General Manager, SBI, Chandigarh, inaugurated the 25th ATM of the circle at the Personal Banking branch in Sector 17 here on Monday. With this addition, the bank has nine ATMs in Chandigarh and Panchkula.

Besides cash withdrawal, the ATM will also provide value-added non-cash services like statement of accounts up to last five transactions etc and will be networked with 411 ATMs located at 25 centres all over the country.

Mr Kakkar said in the Chandigarh circle, the bank had already computerised 238 branches, thus achieving a business coverage of 77 per cent. Besides, the bank had identified 32 branches for tele-banking facility in the circle of which five branches were already offering basic services wherein customers could log in from anywhere.



Trial run of easy-to-board buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Children, the aged and women will find boarding CTU buses easier after three months if the trial run of a new semi-low floor fabricated bus, given by the Tatas free for the period and launched today, passes tests.

One such bus was flagged off by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking Director, Dr Amarpal, on routes number 35B and 2C here today.

The new 38-seater semi-deluxe bus will cost the CTU Rs 13 lakh against the current price of Rs 8.50 for the buses being used at present.

The bus also has the capacity for 40 standing passengers.

With the driver having control of doors the bus has the engine in the rear reducing noise, vibration and heat in it.


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