Saturday, April 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


M. Sc (Environment Science) at PU 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Panjab University has decided to start M. Sc (Environment Science) course from the forthcoming session. It will comprise four semesters.

The course assumes greater significance in the context that Panjab University was the first in the country to introduce the subject at the under-graduate level following a direction by the Supreme Court. The subject was introduced as a compulsory subject and faced a number of problems.

In the proposed postgraduate degree course, graduates from any science or engineering stream from the university or any other recognised university will be eligible for admission. The admission will be based on a written test that will carry a weightage of 50 per cent. The remaining 50 per cent academic weightage will consist of 10 per cent weightage to marks of Class X; 10 per cent weightage to marks of Class XII; and the remaining weightage to marks in B Sc.

The written test will be of one-hour duration and consist of 100 multiple choice questions from different fields of science. An entrance test fee will be charged. The course intends to have a maximum intake of 35 students. Of these, there will be 15 free seats where each student pays Rs 8,250 annually as the tuition fee and 15 paid seats where a candidate will pay Rs 15,000 annually and the remaining five seats in the category of NRI and NRI-sponsored seats will pay Rs 25,000 each annually. In addition students will also pay other university dues.

The course will give more stresses to the practical examination in each paper. At least 50 per cent marks of the aggregate have been earmarked for the practical examination. The syllabus will be as per the NET guidelines. The syllabus recommended by a university committee includes ecosystem, geographical classification, atmosphere, soil, water, geological hazards, pollution, resolution and legislation.

Environment science being an inter-disciplinary course, teaching faculty for the course will be drawn on lecture basis from different faculties like anthropology, biophysics, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, chemical engineering, sociology, zoology and statistics, besides others. The honorarium will be paid as per university rules and norms.


IAF officer dismissed
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
A general court martial (GCM) has dismissed an IAF officer from service for allegedly retaining government money with him and remaining absent from duty without leave, and has sentenced him to one month’s rigorous imprisonment.

The GCM, presided over by Gp Capt A.J.S. Dhillon, had commenced on March 19 on orders of the AOC-in-C, Western Air Command, and concluded at 12 Wing here yesterday. The proceedings have been sent to the Chief of Air Staff for confirmation. Unlike in the Army, all GCM proceedings concerning officers where the sentence is dismissal or imprisonment, the sentence is confirmed by the air chief.

According to sources, the officer, Flt Lt B.S. Bhullar, posted at the Barwala Air Force Station near here, had been tried on four charges, three of them being absent without leave.

As per the charge sheet, the officer has withdrawn money in November, 2000, for paying salaries to his unit staff. Since the banks were closed by the time he finished disbursing salaries, he kept the remaining amount with him. The next morning, however, a shortfall of Rs 40,000 was noticed. In his defence he has stated that the amount was made good by him immediately by withdrawing money from his own resources. In addition, IAF rules permitted that in such circumstances an officer can retain money with him. He had been charged under Section 65 of the Air Force Act for an act prejudicial to good order and military discipline in this regard.

The GCM also found him guilty for remaining absent from duty for a period of one month from August 16, 2001. Court proceedings reveal that the officer had been ordered to proceed on posting to Naliya at a very short notice and was unable to get the requisite clearance certificates and movement order in time. His going on leave was attributed by the defence to “grave provocation and stress”.

The GCM, however, acquitted him of two other charges for remaining absent without leave for two hours and 45 minutes on January 12, 2001, and again for some time within a week from the above mentioned date.


Auction of parking lots proposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) here today proposed the auction of parking lots in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 along with others on April 22, 24 and 26.

The terms and conditions will now be put before the Municipal Committee House for final clearance around the April 15.

The terms and conditions envisage a multi-visit parking ticket at double the price, a network of walkie-talkies for contractors for better management of lots and better service, a uniform and an identification plate.

The conditions include a clause favouring corporation that gives it an authority for ensuring good conduct and parking management of the parking lots.

Though government employees will be allowed free parking for scooters yet government vehicles will have to pay the parking charge.

The new reserve prices fixed will cause the corporation a loss of around Rs 10 lakh despite the parking fee being fixed at Rs 5 instead of earlier slabs of Rs 2 for scooters and Rs 5 in the case of cars. The conditions expect the contractor to bear the responsibility of a vehicle but that its parts will be borne neither by the contractor nor corporation.

The contractor will only be given a booth in each parking lot and will not be allowed to display advertisements on those booths.

The F&CC has made passes produced by one contractor acceptable to all contractors in one sector to encourage competition for a captive clientele. The corporation has also included Jagat Cinema parking in the main parking lots with a condition that responsibility of vehicles will be till 1 am. In other parking lots the responsibility will be between 7 am and 11 pm. One contractor will be allowed to hold contract for single parking lot only. The step has been taken keeping in mind better management of parking lots and to encourage competition.

All contracts will be given through open auction.

The reserve prices for different lots will be: Sahib Singh parking lot—Rs 30.6 lakh, Empire Store—Rs 17.45 lakh, CMC—Rs 10.66 lakh, Thirty Bays—Rs 7.61 lakh, Bank Square Rs 9.4 lakh, Anand Cinema—Rs 5.71 lakh, Gurdev parking lot—Rs 17.55 lakh.

Sector 9 parking lot will be given at a rate of Rs 7.4 lakh and the two zones in Sector 8 have been fixed at Rs 4.9 lakh and Rs 3.23 lakh.

The decision on the District Courts parking could not be taken as the committee could not decide about whether it will be kept as free or pass parking. The committee proposes to set up a three-member committee to identify sites for the sale of watermelon, for which license fee has been reduced to Rs 150 from Rs 250 on V-4 road and Rs 100 from Rs 150 on V-5 road. The fodder for the captured stray cattle will be purchased on monthly basis. The Mayor’s development fund has been fixed at Rs 1 crore with an annual ceiling of Rs 20 lakh. The committee has allowed the Confederation of the Indian Industry to hold a free medical camp in the Palsora Rehabilitation Colony.


MCC reconsiders waste management project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Sanitation Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today decided to seek clarifications from Terrasafe Technologies Limited to reconsider the Rs 150-crore municipal waste management-cum-power project in the city.

The reconsideration has come after Chandigarh Tribune reported yesterday that the company had withdrawn its earlier condition of a Rs 27 crore-equity participation and even offered to transfer the project in 10 years to the Corporation .

The maiden meeting of the committee, chaired by Dr B. R. Verma also evaluated another technology demonstration by the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation Managing Director, Mr C. Basavaiah, to convert the city's waste into compost and vermi-compost.

The Committee recommended enhancement of vehicle allowance to its supervisory staff from Rs 450 per month to Rs 1000 per month, creation of a facility to make sanitation complaints at Public Health Department booths, ensure presence of staff in dispensaries for at least two hours and restore staff to those areas where it was withdrawn.

The Committee also decided that the sanitary supervisors would go once a week to the elected councillors of the area to check the progress made in the sanitation efforts.

It also decided that the area Councillor would nominate a person from the same area to monitor sanitary work.

Mr Basavaiah explained to the audience that the compost-cum-verm-compost project would produce manure at Rs 90 paise per kg and nutrient rich vermi-compost at Rs 2.5 per kg, which was the cheapest in the market.

The project requires a Rs 5-crore investment, 30 acre to 40 acre of land at the dumping ground, six months for setting up the processing unit and training for those who will handle the project.

The compost project promises to return the cost of investment in five years through the sale of manure.

The committee members felt that the land requirement for this project was very high and could not make up their mind on the issue.

The committee was informed that the Director Health Services had agreed to provide space for seating sanitary staff during the day for two hours so that the public could get their work done.

Dr Verma, said the committee would meet again in 15 days.


Should it be Mohali, SAS Nagar or Ajitgarh?
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 5
It has been close to three decades ever since the Punjab government has been promoting its Mohali township on the western rim of Chandigarh as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar in memory of the warrior son of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. But the township continues to be popularly known as Mohali.

The official name of the township, rechristened by a former Punjab Chief Minister, the Late Giani Zail Singh, who later became President, has not found wide use in the Punjab government’s official papers and public notices. Still at public places the original name of the town can be read. Professionals who have seen the town developing and those who have made it their home with the coming of the Information Technology (IT) industry regard the name Sahibzada Ajit Singh as too long.

The PCA cricket stadium has brought goodwill for the town at the international level but people recall the place as Mohali. Says Mr H.S. Billa, a former president of the civic body in the town: “There is nothing in naming the town after the great son of the 10th Guru. But the name should be simple and phonetic”.

On the condition of not being quoted, government officials admit that naming of Mohali after the Guru’s son had not achieved its objective of commemorating his memory. Over the years the government has been writing to its departments to use the official name but the place is either called Mohali or SAS Nagar. To know the mind of the people associated with the place for long, TNS checked up with some of them.

A president of Citizens Welfare Council, Mr BS Tej, who has virtually seen the town rising from nothing, associated  religious sentiments with the official name of the town.

“We are proud of the great son of the soil after whose name the town  had been rechristened in late seventies. It is the best way to pay tribute to the Guru. The state government should popularise the name at the national and international level”, he strongly feels.

On the other hand, a cross-section of people strongly believe that like the Anandgarh town (now shelved), the name of this township should be corrected as Ajitgarh. It fits well with Chandigarh. On the town planners desk the town had been carved out as extension of Chandigarh and it continues to be so. Giving a name like Ranjitgarh or Ajitgarh fitted in to the chemistry of continuity, says Mr Billa. However, a section of the old timers want that the name Mohali should retained as it was natural and had been imprinted in the mind of the people for long.

People corresponding through the postal mail still prefer to write Mohali along with SAS Nagar, says Mr BS Baidwan, president of the Mohali Industries Association. He adds that the government should not only promote sentiments of the people, it should  also choose the name which is  short, crisp and easy to understand by outsiders. Mr Sanjay Tyagi, Director of the Software Technology  Park of India (STPI) here, wants to go with the name ‘Mohali’. He comes across  IT professionals from other countries who can only recall the township as Mohali.

A member of the SGPC and a Tohra loyalist, Mr Hardeep Singh admits that during the last tenure of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a move had been initiated in 1998 to rename the  town as Ajitgarh. But Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra  parted ways  and the proposal remained in files. He suggests the name should be simple and should share the religious sentiments  of the people. He says the government had not been able to popularise Roopnagar, official name of Ropar.

Will the government listen? 


Ready-to-wear designs
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 5
Professional and amateur models walked down the ramp displaying ready- to- wear designs created by the students of the International Polytechnic for Women at Tagore Theatre today. The occasion was the amateur design contest ‘Dunes 2002’ organised on the 18th annual function of the polytechnic.

The first round which was the traditional wear round, gave a glimpse of the rich Indian heritage, blending the modern fashion elements with ethnicity. Models displayed sarees and other traditional wear with innovative motifs. The entire show was divided into five rounds — traditional, formal western, inspiration, Holi and white round.

While the designs for the formal western round had the colour black bringing grace to the slim fitting gowns and short knee length dresses, the white round stood out as the most spectacular round with some elegant designs both in traditional and western classical style.

The other rounds — Holi symbolised colours and the final inspiration round — gave a free reign to the designers to show there creativity. The rounds, choreographed by Jeet Brar, was interspersed with a number of dance items — both western and Punjabi folk.

Ramandeep was adjudged the best designer of the year followed by Shilpa and Mamita in the second and the third position. 


Seminar on tourism development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Tourism Department of the Chandigarh Administration, in tandem with CITCO, today organised an interactive seminar on ‘‘Integrated Tourism Development in Northern India’’. Apart from officials of the Tourism Departments of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, travel agents and tour operators also took part in the seminar.

In their opening remarks the CITCO Chairman, Mr G.K. Marwaha, and Managing Director -cum-Special Secretary, Mr S.P. Singh, praised Chandigarh as a beautiful city offering excellent facilities to tourists. In their speeches they said Chandigarh was a city of gardens and fragrance and had various tourist sposts like musems, Rock Garden, Leisure Valley and Sukhna Lake.

The speakers claimed that seminars and other functions would be held here. This was being done to reduce pressure on New Delhi

Both Mr Marwaha and Mr Singh said Chandigarh was the gateway to Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana. Tourists from all over India would like to visit holy places in Punjab and Haryana. Every tourist who visited this part of the country would like to go to the Golden Temple, Anandpur Sahib, and Fatehgarh Sahib. Those visiting Haryana would like to go to Kurukshetra — the holy place where Mahabharta was held.

At the seminar audio-visual presentations of important places in Chandigarh and Punjab were shown to the audience.

Mrs Navraj Sandhu, Managing Director of the Haryana Tourism Development Corporation, said Haryana was far ahead of other states in highway tourism. She said rural culture and heritage should be promoted through tourism,

Mr Sanjay Kumar, Managing Director of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, said if tourism was to be promoted, geographical boundaries of various states should be abolished. He said there was need to making joint efforts if tourism was to be promoted in northern India.

Mr Praveen Chugh, Chairman of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), put forward nine suggestions for promoting tourism in northern states in general and Chandigarh in particular. The suggestions are declaring tourism a high priority area, have master and area development plans where tourism gets its due weightage, formulation of tourism policies with incentives for private sector’s active participation, constitution of high-powered tourism council as well as a functional tourism promotion group at general managers and directors’ level which should meet once in a month in respective states and once in four months at the northern India-level, developing Chandigarh as a centre for meetings, conventions and exhibition destination. Chandigarh should have a convention hall with a capacity of 1000 plus delegates to generate employment, work out innovative packages, health tourism, permanent sound and light show at Chandigarh, the Chandigarh airport should be declared as an international airport with helicopter services for other places in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, and all tour operators and travel agents should be allowed to book train reservations, train tickets for domestic and international passengers.

Among those spoke on the occasion were Mr V.S.Minocha, General Manager of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department, and Mr Gulshan Sharma, Director of the Institute of Tourism and Fashion Trends (ITFT). 


Civic body fails to register pet dogs
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 5
The civic body in the town seems to be oblivious of the development next door. Officials of the civic body are least bothered to conduct a survey about the number of pet dogs in the township.

They are well aware of the strong notice taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding non-registration of pets in Chandigarh. It is not the question of few days. Ever since the civic body was constituted six years ago, not a single dog has been registered by it.

Also contributing to the irregularity are the residents who, though aware of the registration process, have not taken any serious steps to get their pet dogs registered. The officials concerned in the council have not maintained any record of the pets in the town. They feign ignorance about the strength of the pets in the town.

Representatives of animal rights activists have been asking the officials to register the pet dogs but nothing has happened.

Apart from earning revenue in the form of registration fee, charged annually, the exercise would enable the council to keep a record of the pets in the town. As per the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, a dog found wandering on streets or public place without a collar or other marks distinguishing them as a private property would be detained and eliminated.

Enquires reveal that in Chandigarh, pet dogs were registered. A token number was issued to the dog owners. The registration was renewed annually. The pet owners had to get their animals vaccinated against rabbis.

The population of stray dogs is also on the rise. There have been incidents of dogs bites — though the exact number of the cases could not be ascertained. The local civic body had yet to start any drive to sterilise stray dogs despite having decided to do so in its general house meeting.


New Zealand promises jobs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
An increasing number of Indians are preferring education in New Zealand because of less formalities, speedier procedures , good living conditions and a large number of education and job opportunities being offered by the country, said Mr Alstair Mc Clymont from Auckland-based Monk and Mc Clymont Barristers and Solicitors, while addressing a press conference here yesterday.

He was on a visit to INZ Management Enterprises, an authorised New Zealand education and immigration representative of the company, in Sector 35 here.

The number of visa approvals in the skilled and business categories by the New Zealand government were among the highest for India — 16 per cent (2000-01) .

On immigration to New Zealand, he said the lawyers of New Zealand are best equipped to handle immigration cases as they are well conversant with the laws.

Mr Radhan Bhandari Manager marketing, INZ said that INZ undertakes to refund the application fee (less disbursements) in case an applicant is unsuccessful. He said the company adheres to strict eligibility guidelines for both students and migrants and these guidelines have been established in close co-ordination with New Zealand Immigration Services at New Delhi and Baroque.

INZ is currently promoting study courses, including diploma in technology (agriculture), degree in wine making, 3D animation, law, nursing degree, computer systems etc. These are the courses which are in high demand and have not reached market saturation, said Mr Bhandari.


Delivery boys asked not to cut corners
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, April 5
The restaurant and fast food joint owners are being asked by the Chandigarh Police to ensure that the delivery boys do not violate the traffic rules.

The decision is important as according to sources in the police department, a large number of delivery boys were directly or indirectly involved in several major and minor road accidents occurring due to reckless driving.

Though the exact figures were not readily available with the police, senior officers maintained that daily one or two mishaps were taking place due to the negligence on part of the delivery boys.

“Several fast food joints in the city promise delivery of pizzas and other food stuff within a specific period of time. If they fail to do so, a discount is offered to the customer,’’ says a senior police officer. ‘’In their anxiety to reach the destination on time, they openly flout the rules.’’

Giving details, the officer asserts, ‘’There are scores of fast food joints in the city with dozens of boys for delivering food stuff at the residences of the customers. These boys, constantly on the move, often overspeed. This is not all. They also overtake from the wrong side, turn without giving signal and jump traffic signals. The result: mishaps.’’

But what are the plans of the police for curbing the menace caused due to their reckless driving. ‘’In an attempt to check the number of accidents taking place due to the negligence of the delivery boys, we will be holding meetings with the owners and managers of the fast food joints.”


Talking about Self
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 5
To bridge the gap between the artists and the laymen, a get together of artists, art critics, art historians and art lovers was organised in Sector 8 here today.

Though this was the 42nd meeting between the artists and the art lovers in the city, today’s meeting had a significance as one of the artists had an opportunity to explain his works.

Prominent among those who entertained the art-related question from the art lovers present on this occasion were Prof D C Bhattacharya , former Chairman of the Fine Arts Department of Panjab University, Prof Aditya Prakash, former Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, artists Vinay Vadhera, Viren Talwar and young upcoming artists like Harpreet Singh and Tirthankar Bhattacharya , both teachers at the Government College of Arts, Sector 10.


11 jhuggis gutted
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 5
A fire broke out in a slum area in Bakmiki Colony near the Dara Studio in Phase VI here late this evening. Eleven jhuggis were gutted in the fire by the time the fire tenders from the local fire station reached the spot.

Timely action by the firemen checked the fire from spreading to 84 other jhuggis there. No loss of life has been reported. There were some persons in the jhuggis when the fire broke out at around 8 pm, said the in charge of the local fire Station, Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu. It took around two hours for the three fire tenders to control the blaze. The loss suffered by the jhuggi dwellers could not be ascertained.


Cinema owners deny demand for hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Chandigarh Cinema Exhibitors Association, while reacting to reports in a section of the media, said today that the association had not demanded any increase in price of cinema tickets. If such a step was taken it would lead to decline in occupancy in cinema houses, said a signed press statement by them.

The statement had been signed by a majority of the cinema houses owners. The signatories included owners of Batra Theatre, K.C. Theatre, Neelam Theatre and Nirman theatre. Before increasing rates additional facilities and other attractions should be provided to cine goers so that they enjoyed the time spent in the cinema halls and did not mind paying a higher price.

A letter in this regard has also been sent to the District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramsekhar, who is also the Excise and Taxation Commissioner. 


Dr Chaudhry cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The mortal remains of Dr Iqbal Nath Chaudhry, former Principal, Panjab University Evening college and Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor were consigned to the flames here today.

The pyre was lit by Dr Adarsh Chaudhry, his nephew. Wreaths were placed on behalf of Panjab University by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice Chancellor, Dr Santosh Gupta, Chairperson, Department of Evening Studies and Mr R.P. Joshi, President, Managing Committee, Homoeopathy College, Chandigarh.

Later a condolence meeting of faculty, non-teaching staff and students was held. It was resolved to place on record their heart-felt condolences on the untimely death of Prof Chaudhry.


Girl consumes mosquito repellent mats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
An inmate of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Aditi, was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital in a serious condition after she reportedly consumed some mosquito repellent mats by mistake. A senior police officer said that the girl mistook the mats, lying on a table, for chewing gum. No case has been registered so far.


A resident of Bapu Dham colony, Bhagat Singh was injured after his scooter was knocked down by a jeep near the Transport Chowk. He was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital. The jeep driver escaped from the spot. The police has registered a case.


The police has arrested a resident of Sector 40 Munish after Sector-38 (West) resident Gurjinder Jit Singh reported that the accused quarreled with him at his residence and threatened him. The accused has been booked under Sections 341, 506, 492 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

Ear rings snatched

Sector 23 resident Poonam has reported that two scooter-borne persons snatched her ear rings in the Sector 22 market. The police has registered a case.

Girl abducted

A resident of Burail, has alleged that her minor daughter has been abducted by a resident of the same village. The police has registered a case of kidnapping and illegal confinement against the accused.

Dowry cases registered

Two dowry cases have been registered by the police during the past 24 hours. Sector 38 resident Isha has reported that her husband, to whom she was married in November 2000, and her in-laws, residing in Panchkula, were harassing her to bring more dowry. The accused have been booked under Sections 406 and 498 of the IPC.

In the second case, Sector 20 resident Rekha has accused her Faridabad-based husband, to whom she was married in February 1990, of misappropriating her dowry articles and not returning the same to her. A case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered.

Car stolen

Panchkula resident Vinod Dua has reported that his Maruti car (HR-03-D-1808) has been stolen from Sector 35. The police has registered a case.

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