Monday, March 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PM halts at city airport
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, had a ten-minute halt at the Chandigarh technical airport en route his visit to Shimla. He will return to New Delhi tomorrow after a night’s retreat at Shimla.

The PM had the Union Minister for Food Supply and Consumer Affairs, Mr Shanta Kumar with him. His arrival here was delayed by half an hour due to a rough weather over Shimla.

Mr Vajpayee left his aircraft here and took a helicopter to Shimla. The Bharatiya Janata Party government is celebrating the completion of four years of its rule in Himachal Pradesh.

During the PM’s brief stopover here, a former BJP MP, Mr Satyapal Jain, spent about three minutes with him. Mr Jain said he had discussed national politics and certain matters related to the city with the PM.

At the airport, the Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and the Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, received the PM.

The others who received the PM at the airport included the Punjab Minister for Dairy Development, Fisheries, Sport and Youth Welfare, Mr Jagmohan Kang, and the Haryana Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh. They were there on behalf of the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana, respectively.

The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, the Haryana Chief Secretary, Mr L.M. Goyal, the Punjab Director General of Police, Mr M.S. Bhuller, and the Haryana DGP, Mr M.S. Malik, were also there.

The Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, the UT Home Secretary, Mr H.S. Gujral, the Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, were also at the airport along with the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, the city Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, and the convener of the ad hoc committee of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Yashpal Mahajan.


PM’s photosession: say knees

Due to his knee trouble, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, had to use a specially designed hydraulic van — Ambu Lift — to alight from his aircraft.

Though the Chandigarh Administration had given news photographers security clearance, the airport securitymen did not allow them to approach the PM to take pictures of him in the van, but the lensmen got these anyhow.

The securitymen said they could allow a photo opportunity only after the PM had alighted from the lift that had been put there in place of the normal ladder. The airport Security Officer, Mr R.K. Chopra, was reportedly acting on instructions from the PM’s security team.

The lensmen had to approach a former BJP MP, Mr Satyapal Jain, and the Punjab Governor, Mr J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to get the matter sorted out.

The van with Ambu Lift has never been seen at any previous visit of the Prime Minister.


Pinjore, Kalka MCs get Urban Estate funds
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
The District Local Area Development Board has decided to divert funds allocated for development of Urban Estate, Panchkula, to the Municipal Committee, Kalka, and the Municipal Committee, Pinjore.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the board held under the chairmanship of Mr Sampat Singh, Finance Minister, here today. The meeting had been called today in order to finalise the development works along with financial allocation under the Decentralised Planning Scheme for the ongoing financial year.

Well-placed sources informed Chandigarh Tribune that this decision was taken in view of the poor economic condition of the municipal committees of Pinjore and Kalka. These two areas have about 50 per cent of the total population of the district.

It is learnt that a total of Rs 2.49 lakh has been diverted from Panchkula to the Kalka MC. Similarly, Rs 1.30 lakh has been diverted to the the Pinjore MC.

The state government had allocated Rs 24 lakh under the Decentralised Planning Scheme for this financial year. While a total of Rs 12 lakh had been released earlier, the second installment of Rs 15 lakh was released by the State Finance Department yesterday. Work proposals in Pinjore, Barwala, Morn and Raipur Rani amounting to over Rs 26 lakh were approved at the meeting today.

While a sum of Rs 18 lakh has been allotted to the rural sector, Rs 6 lakh has been allotted to the urban sector.

It was informed that 47 work proposals in the district: construction of streets, school rooms, boundary walls of school and old age home, nullahs and upgrading the Bal Bhavan, Sector 15, and six works in Barwala, Morni and Pinjore have already been completed. In addition to this, the administration has balance fund to the tune of Rs 2.29, 336 as unutilised balance fund. It has been proposed that these refunds be sanctioned to the executing agencies in Barwala, Morni, Raipur Rani and Pinjore, for carrying out development works here.


Spare students, says PU Senate
Fee hike flayed; another probe panel on FDO issue
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Students should not be 'butchered' by increasing fees to compensate for the shrinking government grants towards Panjab University and affiliated colleges.

This was the opinion expressed by a majority of the Senate members a meeting to clear the university budget held here today. Fees has been increased more than six times in the past three years but the Punjab Government has reduced its contribution to the university budget.

Members were nearly unanimous in their criticism of the shrinking grants by the government. The government was not honouring its commitment of 40 per cent share in the university budget, they said.

The university budget estimate for the year 2002-2003 was accepted at Rs 89.62 crore. The Senate also approved the Rs 86.24 crore budget for the year 2001-2002.

In another decision, the Senate decided to seek legal opinion and constitute another committee to look into the case of financial irregularities allegedly committed by Mr M.G. Sharma, suspended Finance and Development Officer.

Mr Dhirender Tayal said already 60 per cent of the additional demands of departments were being ignored. As much as 78 per cent of the budget was spent on the salaries alone. The university needed to appoint a committee to look into alternate means to generate resources. Prof Bhuvan Chandel expressed concern about 'faults in the existing financial system'. Principal Tarsem Bahia questioned as to why students must be made to pay for the lacking finances. The university needed to look towards the non-students sectors to be fair.

Dr R.P. Bajpai said money could come if the faculty was given independent charge. Prof Charanjit Chawla said Punjab was reducing its share in the university budget. Besides looking for alternative sources, the university needed to pursue the case with the government. Making students pay more each year was no solution in this direction.

Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath and Mr Satya Pal Dang also spoke against regular fee hike by the university as a means to tide over the financial crunch.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said: "I do not want to burden the students with more fees but the university has no alternative". The budget was cleared by the House. Few members, including Mr Dang, Prof Rabinder Nath Sharma, Prof P.P. Arya, Professor Chawla and Dr Keshav Malhotra, recorded their dissent against contractual appointments to fill teaching posts

The House was divided in a big way over the inquiry reports of the suspended FDO, Mr Sharma. Professor Chawla initiated the discussion, saying that the university should not rush through the issue of revoking the suspension of the FDO based on two contradictory reports. Mr Chatrath said that records had shown that money withdrawn from the account in question (Fund for Higher Education and Research) had been spent on the university. Grants had not come to the university and the expenditure was made to tide over the problem.

Professor Arya pointed out flaws in the inquiry report on certain accounts which were not taken up in the final report. Mr Ashok Goyal said the Vaishnav report showed chinks which needed to be probed. Both the reports were not given to the members. Professor Chandel said the money from the fund should not have been 'squandered' and the act was 'vandalism of financial resources’.

Mr Tarsem Bahia said that the suspension of Mr Sharma should be revoked but the university should look into the details of the case before a final decision. His view was supported by Dr Deepak Manmohan. Prof R.D. Anand said the matter needed to be re-studied. Mr Dang also pointed out grey areas in the report findings.

Not satisfied with the final decision, a number of members led by Mr Chatrath said they would boycott tomorrow's meeting.

The other issue which generated a lot of discussion was the Jyotir Vigyan course. The Vice-Chancellor assured the member that the course would not be passed without clearance by the House.Back



Man drugged, robbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A middle-aged man was found lying unconscious at the local bus stand today. He had allegedly been robbed of his belongings after being drugged. He was rushed to a hospital in Sector 6 by the police. He has been identified as Gopal Sharma.

It is learnt that the deceased was coming from Delhi in a Haryana Roadways bus when the incident took place.

According to the police, he was coming to Chandigarh in order to meet his wife and daughter, who are participating in the Craft Mela at Kala Gram. His briefcase and some valuables were missing. He is still in an unconscious state.

In another incident, two girls were found in an unconscious state by the police near the Labour chowk in Sector 20 this evening. They have been identified as Rajni and Baljit, both aged about 22 years and residents of the same sector.

According to the police, the girls were rushed to the Sector 32 GMCH. The girls were sedated and doctors suspect it to be a case of alcoholic intoxication. However, no injury marks have been found on the their bodies.

After their identity was established, their parents were informed.


Holi cards for everyone
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, March 24
Your friend is miles away — the one on whose face you used to rub colours on Holi. He has left the city, but you still want to show him your true colours. Worry not — you can send him a holi special greeting card. You may find it hard to believe, but the card shops scattered all over the city are full of such greeting cards. This is not all. You can buy customised greeting cards for almost everyone — right from mummy, daddy, brother, sister or, well, even your beloved.

“Each card has been specially designed, keeping in mind the age and the nature of the receiver,” says Arun Malhotra, working with a card and gift shop in Sector 35

Giving details, he asserts: “For the loved ones, there are romantic greeting cards with a lot of emotions mingled with the spirit of the occasion. As far as the friends are concerned, there are humorous cards with a lot of jokes. Cards that will not only make them smile, but actually laugh”.

“For the not so young, we have serious cards. Ones that merely convey good wishes. Some cards even have sachets of colours pinned to the sheet. The reason is evident. Along with best wishes you can also send colours to the receiver,” he adds.

A new trend that has emerged this year, another card shop salesman Dhruv Khanna explains, is the presence of a large number of cards in Hindi.

Explaining the trend, Dhruv asserts: “Until a few years ago, you had cards for Christmas, New Year, Divali and for success in examinations, or else for apologising. Then came cards for Saint Valentines’ Day. Soon the printers realised that youngsters were an important segment, the core customers. Immediately, the publishing houses launched cards for Teachers’ Day and for Parents’ Day”.



The deciding one dayer between India and Zimbabwe at Guwahati on Tuesday was virtually a Chandigarh versus Zimbabwe game as local lads Dinesh Mongia and Yuvraj Singh hit the Zims out of contention with their blistering batting. It could be also called DAV College (Sector 10) versus the Zims contest as both left-handers are former students of the famous college which has a glorious history of nurturing sportsmen in the last four decades.

As the two did the city proud, the DAV college management looked even brighter and proud. Actually both also have a link with DAV School (Sector 8). Mongia studied in the school while Yuvraj uses the top class practice facilities at the school to hone his skills.

Even as cricket pundits hailed the arrival of Mongia and re-emergence of Yuvraj, followers of the game in Chandigarh were proud the lads had showed that they are made of stern stuff. And when the two came back home for a day or two they were toast of the city with newspapers carrying their pictures meeting family members on page one.

This is not to miss the contribution of Jallandhar lad Harbhajan Singh who took four wickets in the decider at Guwahati and also Faridabad wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra, who did a good job behind the stumps to earn respect of former players. Thus all players from the northern region did well.

Papered over

While ordinary mortals are fined for defacing public property, the workers of the ruling party continue to flout the rules with impunity.

A case in point is the Yuva Sammelan of the INDL, held at Panipat on March 13. To mobilise workers, hundreds of posters were pasted on various hoarding and signboards giving general directions to the commuters. As a result valuable information could not be read by the people. The Tribune lensman Manoj Mahajan clicked a picture at Sector 7,8,17 and 18 roundabout in Panchkula.

Signboards put up by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at various roundabouts and other hoarding of the district administration have been similarly defaced by activists of the ruling party in the city.

It is also a pointer to the might of the party workers vis-a-vis the common citizen. Who can bell the cat?

Back to roots

Long serving Power Engineer and now Under Secretary (Engineering), Mr Ajit Singh Gulati, leaves the Chandigarh Administration after putting in 28 years of service. He goes as Director, Ranjit Sagar Dam organisation, and will be posted in the Chandigarh office.

Mr Gulati, an engineer from the PSEB, had earned a name for himself with a no-nonsense attitude in his present posting where he formulated several policies on tariffs and pricing. One hopes his professional instincts grow in Punjab and are not hampered where power supply is a political issue rather than a professional job.

That his advice was very valuable for the Administration was evident from the fact that senior UT officials impressed upon him to stay back but he preferred to go back to his parent cadre of Punjab where he had been promoted as Superintending Engineer. It was Mr Gulati’s efforts that computerised billing started in Chandigarh almost 16 years ago. He was also awarded by the Administration in 1985.

Computers and babus

Computers can never replace babus. This was found out the bitter way by a Sector 43 resident, Mr K. Kapoor. He went to the Registering and Licencing Authority in Sector 17, to pay the annual road tax of Rs 156 for his car (CH-01-D-2284).

In the past 10 years, he says he never faced a problem. This time the babu at the counter said bring old receipts. Well, Mr Kapoor had the receipts of the previous few years but not all. He argued logically that the clerk see only the previous receipt and accept that tax had been paid as has been the practice in the past.

His ordeal did not end here, his car is of the era when the registration certificates were not fed in the computer. He was told to go to the Estate office, also in Sector 17, and get it written from the clerk sitting on computerised counter that the car does not exist in the computerised records.

After that, he was told to go to the record section and arrange to bring the original file deposited almost a decade back. Everybody, who has gone to the record room of the registration and licencing authority knows how difficult it is to locate the files in the dusty room. And in this case the employees are not to blame. The record room has been shifted four times in the past decade and has also seen a major fire. In several cases the files have had to be reconstructed, as the records have been lost for good. The UT has so many empty buildings. The record can be sorted out once for all by deploying staff from other departments and the files which are lost can be put on the computers thus reducing the hassle for residents.

Phoren itch

An official foreign study tour is too tempting to resist. It does not matter if it burdens a fund-starved Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

The corporators were exploring an opportunity for a trip to Japan to understand a solid waste management-cum power project when a private company gave its technology demonstration in the corporation recently.

A Rs 140-crore investment was required for setting up a 15 MW power-cum-solid waste management project.

Though the corporation had to say no to the project when it was asked to take 20 per cent equity participation in the project at the initial stage itself due to paucity of funds, yet corporators wanted a foreign-returned tag at the cost of tax payers.

Seminar season

Come March and a season of seminars and conferences ushers on to the Panjab University campus as a part of yearly routine.

One major reason ascribed to the sudden rise in the seminar graph is the nearing of the presentation of the budget for the forthcoming academic session. This leads to a collapse of funds under several heads of the last academic session which ends by March end.

Departments should plan their academic schedule well in advance to have a continuous flow of seminars throughout the academic session rather than a rush during the end.

However, an organiser of one such seminar said March was the best season in this part of the country for a seminar. It was neither too cold nor too hot.

A student leader, however, differed on the issue: "This is the part of the academic calendar when most of the classrooms have finished their classes. A large number of them have already gone home. A seminar without students loses half of its academic value".

Happy blend

Many pople have the resources and many others a humanitarian attitude but a combination of both is rare. Such happy blend is present in Mr Manmohan Sarin, a leading lawyer of Chandigarh, according to Mrs Saroop Krishan, Secretary, Blood Bank Society, PGI.

She informs us that last Monday, which was his son Nitin’s 17th birthday, Mr Sarin’s first act was to donate blood which was not unusual for him. This pattern of giving blood on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, successes etc. has been his forte since 1971 with his total donations touching the 78 mark.

But that was not all. Being Nitin’s 17th birthday the Blood Bank Society was presented with a cheque for Rs 17,000. Earlier birthdays of his children have brought similar contributions related to the age. The most significant gift was Rs 1 lakh on the occasion of his daughter Malini — Vivek’s wedding.

Would anyone like to follow the example?

Sterilisation drive

It was a great humiliation for two lions that were given two shots of tranquilising drug each to conduct vasectomy operation upon them by the Chhat Bir Zoo authorities on March 19. As the animals fell unconscious and two zoo staffers started dressing them for the operation table, they noticed that the lions had already been operated upon.

These two lions were among those that were caged by the zoo authorities in August last year and were ‘‘stuffed’’ in houses without exposing them to sun till today.

Due to rise in the lion population over the past 10 years, the lion safari and other enclosures had become cramped. The zoo authorities had left with vasectomy operations as the only alternative to curb the over population of the big cats. The vasectomised animals were released in the Lion Safari without putting any identification mark on them some years ago.

Under sterilisation drive 13 adult and semi adult lions have been vasectomised in the Chhat Bir Zoo so far.

D.S. Saroya

Mr D.S.Saroya, a PCS officer who brought about sweeping changes in the Education Department as D.P.I. (Schools) for streamlining its functioning, is reportedly going back to his parent state, Punjab, in the next couple of days.

Before coming to the Administration on deputation, he worked as O.S.D. to the then Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh, and effectively handled various departments placed under him till his assassination. He was later on picked up by the Union Food and Supplies Minister in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government and worked there till the parliamentary elections were held.

He is the first DPI in Chandigarh who introduced strictly merit-based admissions to senior secondary classes both in government and private schools. No wonder a noticeboard put up outside his office saying: “Those students who have got admission to school of their choice need not thank anybody, and those who failed to enter the schools sought by them need not blame anybody.”

It is, however, not known whether Mr Saroya himself plans to go back to Punjab or his services are requisitioned.

— Sentinel


Mayor visits parking sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, and three members of the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation visited parking sites in the city here today. The committee is scheduled to meet on March 26 for discussing the parking issue.

Mr Subhash Chawla, Brigadier Sant Singh and Mr P.C. Sanghi, F&CC members, asked officials to draw maps mentioning free parking zones. They studied the matter to decide terms and conditions for a fresh contract.

The Municipal House, scheduled to meet on March 27, will discuss the issue of taking over of the PGI and Panjab University campuses for maintenance, NOCs to property sale in four villages and Mani Majra and BOT toilets and bus shelters, among other things.


Model by chance

THIS young lad from the city will soon be brushing shoulders with Shah Rukh Khan and Karisma Kapoor. Come August and Anurag Chopra will be shooting for Airtel advertisements with the two cine stars. The young enthusiast was recently selected during auditions for the ad which were held in Delhi.

Ask Anurag what clicks most for him and he replies back, “As is said, nothing is sweeter than success.” Well, modelling just happened a couple of months back and Anurag is already going strong. He is one of the finalists in the Manhunt North to be held at Tagore Theatre on March 29. He also clinched the runners-up trophy at the recently-held teen handsome contest in Delhi.

But that is just a part of the game. Anurag’s real love is cricket and he has gone places, thanks to his game, still his first love. Anurag, currently pursuing BCom II in DAV College, began training in cricket under Yograj Singh when he was 14-year-old. From there on he went on to represent Chandigarh in the National School Games in the under-19 category. 


Truck hits scooter, 1 injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A resident of the PGI campus, Jarnail Singh was injured after his scooter was knocked down by a truck near the Kasturba Hostel on the Panjab University campus. He was admitted to the PGI. The police has arrested the truck driver, Harpinder Pal Singh, a resident of Kurali and impounded the truck (CH-03-A-4067). A case has been registered.

2 held for assault

The police has arrested two persons for allegedly assaulting a woman in Janata Colony, Sector 25. The accused have been identified as Romi and Gorkha, both residents of the same colony. The complainant, Ruina, had reported that she was assaulted by several persons residing in the same colony near her residence as a result of which her nose was fractured. A case has been registered.

Caught red-handed

An employee of a Sector 22 medical store, Vikrant alias Vicky, was caught red-handed while trying to steal medicines from the shop. The shop owner, Umesh Bhasin, reported that the accused had asked to be relieved from the duty early in the evening and on suspicion, he searched the accused. Medicines worth about Rs 1,500 were recovered from his possession. He was handed over to the police, and a case has been registered against him.

Constable booked

The police has booked a constable of the Punjab police for cheating and forgery after the Commandant of the 13th Battalion of the Punjab Armed Police deployed at the Civil Secretariat lodged a complaint that the accused had submitted fake birth certificates in the department. A case under Sections 420, 467 and 471 of the IPC has been registered.


A Sector 11 resident, Gautam Rai, has reported that his house was broken into and Rs 15,000 in cash was stolen. A resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Prem Singh Verma, has reported that eight drums of paint and some hardware items were stolen from his plot in Industrial Area, Phase I. The police has registered case.


Chain snatched

Two scooter-borne youth are reported to have snatched a gold chain from a girl in Sector 17 here yesterday. The youth were on a motor cycle (PB-03C-9789). they snatched the chain and fled away. A case under Section 356, IPC, has benn registered.

One arrested

Ashok Kumar was arrested by the police on charges of disrupting peace and has been booked under Sections 107, 151 of the Cr. P.C.


Woman dies

A woman pillion rider, who was injured in a road accident at Dairi village yesterday, succumbed to her injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh. The woman, Gurcharan Kaur, was coming along with her husband, Kulwant Singh, on a motor cycle when there vehicle was hit by an unidentified car. The husband of the deceased is still in a hospital with serious injuries.

The Sohana police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 304 A of the IPC.


A father and son were assaulted by four sons of Swaran Singh in Sohana village. According to the information available, the four persons, Goldy, Happy, Nand Singh and Dharminder, assaulted Janak Singh and his son, Tajinder. A case under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the suspects.

Lovers commit suicide

A lover couple allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at Nada village yesterday. The deceased, Raghbir Singh ( 30) and an 18-year-old girl, a class X student in Government School, Nada, were reportedly in love. The man called the girl to her house and both consumed some poisonous substance. Both were rushed to the PGI where they died after few hours. Smelling no foul play, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

The family of the boy had fixed his marriage somewhere else and the marriage was scheduled for April 17. The families of both the victims have not lodged any complaint with the police as they reached a compromise.

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