Monday, April 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU set to revamp college syllabi
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Panjab University is undertaking a serious exercise to revamp and upgrade the existing course material in undergraduate classes of more than 100 affiliated colleges.

The exercise is seen as a step in the positive direction and academicians feel it should have been done long back to keep up with the changing times particularly in the wake of the information technology boom. Latest addition to subject matter, even in an ever-changing field like science, fails to find a timely addition in the PU syllabi.

Prof Ramesh Kapoor, Dean of the College Development Council, has flashed a letter to principals of all affiliated colleges seeking their comments on the subject.

Professor Kapoor said: “During the academic and administrative audit of the colleges many teachers expressed their views that feedback should be obtained for the improvement of the syllabi of the courses being taught in the colleges. It was also suggested that some institutional mechanisms need to be created for enabling the college teachers to provide constructive suggestions and inputs to the Boards of Studies for improving the syllabi every year on a regular basis.”

“It has been decided that every individual teacher be advised to send his considered constructive suggestions for improvement of the syllabi through the principal of the college to the Dean, College Development Council. These detailed and specific suggestions should be based upon the experience of the teachers in teaching the course and the feedback obtained from the students,” Professor Kapoor said.

Principals have been asked to commence the exercise immediately so that suggestions from teachers reach the College Development Council office by May 15. Information received from colleges will be passed on to the boards concerned for consideration and necessary action.

Prof Indu Banga of the Department of History said: “Syllabi should be upgraded regularly because knowledge was developing at a fast pace today. There is a lot of research and other additions in the subjects that are not added to the existing syllabi. Changes were necessary for knowing about the new ideas in the subject and new boundaries that the subject was expanding into.”

Prof B.S. Brar of the Department of political science said: “Changes in the subject have to be ensured at the college level first. Besides the established facts in a subject, there should always be room for new additions in the subject. Unless the subject was revised at the college level, the exercise would loose its importance at the university level. Small and rural colleges often pleaded that they were far removed from the developed world so their syllabus should be simpler.”

A senior student pointed out lack of initiative on part of teachers to incorporate new changes. It was also opined that often the textbook publishers in the market dominated the available syllabi because they would not be ready to upgrade textbooks so regularly. If not the whole subject, the university should have a special paper in each subject where only the latest developments were taught.

Prof R.D. Anand of the Department of Chemistry said: “Topic of a subject in science might remain the same but there was always an academic blow-up regularly which needed to be brought to knowledge of the students. In fact the Board of Studies had a very important function in this direction which unfortunately was not happening.”

Dr N.P. Manocha of GGDSD College said: “The university fared very poorly in regular upgradation of subject. Even in languages stream very few new anthologies were added.”



Madhumati inaugurates acting school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Catering to the “starry” ambitions of youth has almost become a fad in current times. Where the city has seen a good number of acting schools open up over the recent past, it has not seen much of concrete results in the form of suitable placements of youngsters who enrol with such schools.

Entertainment Campus, the latest acting school on the block, however, is basing itself on a lot of concrete stuff. With a well-chalked out curriculum, the school promises sensible grounding in the field of acting, leading to comfortable placements. Present for the inaugural show of the school which will operate from 401, Industrial Area, Phase II, was the actress of yesteryears, Madhumati. Currently running Madhumati Academy of Dancing, Acting and Applied Arts, she is all set to offer expertise to the director of Entertainment Campus, Mr Vineet Puri.

Talking about that extra edge, which she feels makes Entertainment Campus stand out among the rest, Madhumati said, “The important thing is that the school is based here. With the faculty base available right next door there is no question of the school not doing well. Further we will also be there to assist them with expertise from Mumbai. Also once the batch is over with, we will select the participants who show some acting talent. They will be trained at my academy. Further placements may also follow.”

As for Vineet Puri, he has roped in some local people to take care of the faculty base. Harish Bhatia, with his rich experience in theatre (he runs a group called Abhinet), will be there for taking classes in acting. He said “I have also tied up with Ms Dolly Tiwari for taking some lessons.” Some discussions have been going on with people in Mumbai. The names would be announced as and when they are confirmed.

After the inauguration of the school by Madhumati today, Mr Vineet Puri talked about the various courses included in the curriculum. Acting, dancing, body movements, speech, physical grooming are some of the aspects to be covered during the six-month session which will start in another 10 days. Meanwhile, Madhumati said if possible, she would send over her assistants to take some classes.



Summer dress code for Sukhna cops ‘melts’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Short-sightedness on the part of police authorities has resulted in the move to introduce a new dress code for the local Tourist Police that was launched with much media-hype and fanfare in February fizzling out barely a month after its introduction.

The six-odd personnel of the Tourist Police are back to the regular police uniform, simply because the authorities concerned have not been able to design and provide them with summer uniforms. The new dress code, launched on February 9 by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), was designed for winters. When the rest of the force switched over to their summer uniforms in mid-march, the tourist police was left with no option but to revert to the regular uniform. The ceremonial baton carried by them is all that is left of the new dress code.

The new dress for the Tourist Police included a tunic coat, a tie and a peak cap along with a new pattern lanyard, shoulder titles and arm patches. A coat and a tie simply cannot be worn in summers. Even the peak cap has been done away with and the regular navy blue beret is back. Sources reveal that with the regular summer dress constables of the Tourist Police could not wear peak cap as only ASIs and above are authorised to wear them.

Police sources say that there has been no official communication about the introduction of a new summer dress code for the tourist police.

Regulars at the Sukhna Lake, where Tourist Police personnel had been deployed, of course miss the new look. “The new uniforms presented a different image about the police altogether,” said Sukhvinderr Singh, a regular jogger at the lake. “Their uniforms gave them an authoritative but gentlemanly look giving an impression of security juxtaposed with friendliness,” he added.

While the new dress code had generally been appreciated by visitors to the lake, fellow policemen and visiting para military forces personnel had been skeptical about the uniform as it was not work-friendly for outdoor police activities spanning long hours.



Summer Woes
Thirsty days ahead for residents
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 14
With only 12.5 million gallons of potable water being available everyday, the Public Health Department is finding it hard to meet the growing need of the residents of this township. The projected demand of the water this summer is 18 million gallons per day (mgd), say officials of the Public Health Department.

Though no restrictions have been announced on the normal supply hours, the officials say that the worse hit areas during this summer will be Phases 1, III-A and IX. Reason: the 5 mgd supply from 41 tubewells and 7.5 mgd from the Kajauli waterworks was not enough to feed the ‘affected-areas’. The four tubewells, which were to be bored by the local civic body in Phases 1, II, IV and XI last year, have yet to get sanction from the Local Government Department.

Sources in the civic body say that an effort by the civic body to do away with the practice of getting tubewells bored from the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board has not found favour with the Local Government Department.

Only two tubewells, one in Phase V, with 75 gallons of supply, and another in Phase IX, with 10,000 gallons of supply, have been handed over to the Public Health Department. Other tubewells, one in Phase 3-A and two in Phase VII, are still being tested before being handed over.

Says an official of the civic body, “We have been trying our best to get the work of getting tubewells bored from private parties to get the desired results. In some cases the tubewells bored did not last long and thus the council ended up paying for wasteful expenditure.”

According to public health officials, PUDA will take up the work of laying two more supply lines from the Kajauli water works.



15 aircraft models displayed
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, April 14
A remote control aero-modelling display was organised by the Ludhiana-based Model Avionics Club in collaboration with the No.1 Chandigarh NCC Air Squadron at the Institute of Civil Aviation here today. This is for the first time that such a display has been organised here.

Besides 13 members of the club who came from Ludhiana, three aero-modelling enthusiasts from Pinjore and four each from Chandigarh and Jalandhar participated in the display. As many as 15 remote control scaled-down models of various aircraft in service around the world were displayed.

Speaking to TNS, the secretary of the club, Mr Manjeev Bhogal, said the purpose of the display was to promote aero-modelling activities. The club was planning another display on a larger scale in the coming months, to which public would also be invited, he added.



No headway in robbery case
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, April 14
The Rajpura police is still clueless in the Nabha village robbery case in which a gang of armed persons struck at a cottage and injured four members of a family living there on Friday night.

The robbers’ footprints have been found in the fields which indicated that they were bare-footed when they ran away. It is suspected to be the handiwork of the Bawaria gang.

A senior police officer in the Banur police station said the same gang had struck at various places in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru and surrounding areas recently.

Police teams have been sent to various suspected hideouts that were earlier identified by the Dera Bassi police in various robbery incidents in the area, said Mr Ajaypal Singh, SHO, Banur.



Dairies, sweetshops raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
A team of food inspectors, under the supervision of Mr M.K. Sharma, Senior Food Inspector, PFA cell, has raided dairies, sweetshops, karyana shops and dhabas in Mani Majra following complaints from residents about these shops selling adulterated food articles.

The team took samples of various food articles from these shops for analysis and examination. The team had received orders from the Director, Health Services, UT, to conduct these raids immediately considering that the complaints from the public were serious in nature.

The DHS has also stated that surprise raids can be conducted at any time even on holidays.




The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) kept the city’s interest in mind and did not bow to political pressure while giving an extension of one year to Mr M. Ramsekhar, Deputy Commissioner while acting on special request of the Chandigarh Administration. The DC had completed his three-year tenure in March and showed keenness to go back to his parent cadre of Haryana. The UT Administration wanted to retain the services of the bureaucrat as he was in the middle of implementing various schemes vital for the city, including a change in building byelaws. He handles this portfolio in his capacity as Estate Officer, UT. His parent cadre had no problem in deploying his services to the Chandigarh Administration.

Activists of the local unit of the BJP had made their dislike for the straight talking DC known and wanted him out. The MHA refused extension to the DC when the administration sent the first request in February. The UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who is known to allow no interference, personally pressed for the extension. Within days the extension in tenure was allowed.

A visionary is no more

Prof Madan Gopal Singh, an eminent scientist and a visionary who was made Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Academique — Academic Knight — for services to French culture through a decree signed by the Prime Minister of France in 1994, died of cancer at Hossegor in France on March 26 this year.

He died at the age of 56 when he was at the height of his intellectual and creative powers. Though he fought his cancer valiantly for more than a year, he had the satisfaction of breathing his last in his own home, which he loved, surrounded by his wife, two sons and his mother.

Prof Madan Gopal Singh, born in Batala in March, 1946, had received his early education in Shimla and Chandigarh. His father, the late Gurbachan Singh, a retired Sessions Judge, was a leading lawyer of Chandigarh, while his brother, Prof Ajit Singh is Professor of Economics, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Queen’s College, Cambridge.

After initial years at Government College in Chandigarh, he moved to Exeter University in England from where he moved to Cambridge to do his PhD where he was subsequently a Fellow of St John’s College from 1974 to 1976.

The few scholars from our part of the world who achieved this distinction before him include Dr Manmohan Singh, Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, Sir R.P. Paranjapaye and Dr R.P. Bambah.

Prof Madan Gopal Singh went to Toulouse in France for his post-doctoral research. This was the beginning of his long association with France, which he regarded his “second home”. He was regarded a unique product of English and French intellectual and scientific cultures.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the premier British institution for engineering sciences; Emeritus Professor, University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology and founder Executive-Chairman of KSS (Knowledge Support Systems) group.

His research over a period of 25 years focused on ways of better control, manage and understand complexity in systems. Initially a control engineer, he became an interdisciplinary scientist working at the intersection of control engineering, systems engineering, applied mathematics, management science and computer science. His contributions were both theoretical and practical. In later years his research modus operandi was to use to complex practical applications to test the theory, develop new approaches as the theory invariably would be found wanting, and in turn, derive new theoretical insight.

Scholarly event

Nearly 3,000 students from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are expected to compete for annual awards and scholarships instituted by the Chandigarh-based Council for Promotion of Young Talent, a non-profit organisation created to promote excellence in pursuit of middle and high school education in the field of science.

The council is also organising competition for best schools in which trophies will be awarded for allround performance, discipline and results. “We have been organising these competitions regularly for the past four years”, says Mr N.P.S. Bindra, Chairman of the J.S.Memorial Educational Trust, Chandigarh. “These have now become eagerly awaited events. Students in their hundreds take part in them. We have instituted separate awards for students of Chandigarh UT and those from Punjab and Haryana”.

The scholarships are given to bright and promising students at the rate of Rs 150 a month while those who put in outstanding performances in their annual examinations are given medals and cash rewards ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 10,000, according to Mr Bindra, who is also Director, B.R.C. Institute of Human Relations. “We also provide them with free coaching and books to pursue their studies in the subjects chosen by them”. The trust was founded in 1988 with an initial corpus of Rs 20 lakh and has been run ever since by a registered educational society, Vidya Parishad. It is being managed by eminent persons from the field of education and the corporate sector who are on its advisory board.

Strangers all

Chandigarh’s snooty culture of not knowing who is your neighbour was amply demonstrated a few days ago. A 70-year-old widow was killed in her flat in Sector 39-B. The police said when she was being hit by the assailant she might have shouted and cried for help but no one probably listened. Or if somebody even listened to the cries, he preferred to ignore it in the true negative spirit of not wanting to meddle in the lives of their neighbours. Actually in social circles people tell with chuckle that they do not even know the name of their next-door neighbour.

In the latest murder the body was lying locked inside the house for two days and no one found anything amiss. The newspapers were lying outside and there were bloodstains on the floor near the entrance to the flat. In the past a Sector 18 woman was murdered and her body buried inside her own house. The murder came to light several months later. In this case also the neighbours found nothing amiss in all these months!.

Probably the city residents need to do re-think on this culture. Can this un-Indian thing of not knowing your neighbours be changed?


Baisakhi has always been a special occasion for Shivalik Public School, SAS Nagar, which celebrates it in a unique manner. According to its Director-Principal, Mr D.S. Bedi, though the SAS Nagar school began functioning in 1970, it was on April 13, 1976, that the main building complex of the school was thrown open on a 10-acre plot in Phase VI. Five students of the school then rode on an elephant and a procession was taken out to mark the start of the new building.

The occasion was celebrated with much fervour this year too. Children themselves cooked food and then distributed it, first among the building construction staff that included masons and labour associated with new administrative complex coming up. After the “kirtan darbar”, schoolchildren also presented a cultural programme along with a talk on B.R. Ambedkar.




Tributes paid to Dr Ambedkar
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 14
Tributes were paid to the Father of Indian Constitution, Baba Sahib Bhim Rao Ambedkar, on his birth anniversary at various functions in the city.

Lectures, cultural programme and a play was held at Ambedkar Bhavan, Sector 37. Among others who were present on the occasion included Ms Lalit Joshi, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

The Dr Ambedkar Bodhi Maha Sabha, Dadu Majra Colony, organised a function to mark the anniversary. Floral tributes were paid to Baba Sahib. Presiding over the function Mr Raja Ram Shyam urged the people to follow the path shown by Dr Ambedkar.

Mr R.R Gill and Mr Gurpreet Shina, members of Dr Ambedkar Foundation, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, organised an open discussion on “Dr Ambedkar’s dreams” and how these have been implemented. The participants recommended to the government that the “Ati-Dalits” should be given 50 per cent reservation in educational, professional and technical institutions. According to them, population of “Ati-Dalits” is 57 per cent, so they should be given due political representation and economic benefits.

Mr Gill lamented that it was tragedy of the Valmiki\Mazbi Sikhs sweeper community that despite 50 per cent reservation for them in government jobs in Punjab there was no reservation for them in educational institutions to enable them to get the said jobs.

Mr Gurpreet Shina alleged that the benefits of reservations given under the Constitution had been “eaten” away by the “creamy layer” among the Scheduled Castes and the “Ati-Dalits” have become poorer.

Those who participated in the discussion included Mr Anup Zutshi, a film actor, Mr R.L. Sabharwal, President Bhariya Ati-Dalit Samaj and permanent member Lok Adalat, Mr Krishan Kumar, Chairman of North Zone Sanitary Inspector’s Association and Mr Sadhu Singh, Senior Vice President of the Rahat Sewa Society.

A two-minute silence was observed by members of the Dr Ambedkar Students’ Association in honour of Dr B.R. Ambedkar at Panjab University here today.

Dr Ram Mehar, patron, exhorted SC and ST students to fulfill the incomplete mission of Dr Ambedkar and work wholeheartedly for the development and upliftment of the downtrodden. Mr Chand Singh Madaan, founder chairman of the ASA, said Dr Ambedkar was a patriot and a great scholar.

Commenting upon the need for education of the poor, SC and ST students as a key to their overall development, Mr Madaan demanded modification in the rules and procedure of awarding scholarships and financial aids to these students.

The local unit of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha organised a meeting on the occasion of new Vikrami Samvat and birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar at Kamlam, Sector 33, here today.

PANCHKULA: The morcha objected to recent remarks by Mrs Sonia Gandhi regarding the Prime Minister and termed these as “derogatory” and sought an apology from her.

The Ambedkar Mahasabha organised a function to mark the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar at Aggarwal Bhavan here today. Mr Vijay Vardan, ADC to the Governor, Haryana, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mr R.R. Jowel, Director of Welfare of SC and BC’s in Haryana and the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Mr Arun Kumar Gupta, Administrator, HUDA were the other prominent guests. 



Animal ban shifts focus to women
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
The ban on certain animal and bird shows in circus, courtesy a Supreme Court order, has had an unlikely fallout. It is now women gymnasts and trapeze artistes who dominate circuses.

For proof, check this. Of the 300 employees in Bharat Circus, currently showing at Sector 5 here, more than half of the performing artistes are women. Of the 47 trapeze artistes in the circus, 32 are women. In fact, most of the items shown in the circus have these women employees performing, be it trapeze, gymnastics, jiving to the latest Michael Jackson numbers or the performance with elephants and other animals.

Interestingly, the girls — all in the age group of 5 to 30 — have been recruited from Nepal . The circus owners say that earlier the artistes were recruited from Kerala, but ever since the Keralites found an easy route to the Gulf countries, they have turned to Nepal for recruiting the labour. It is learnt that it is easy to get girls from Nepal and this is the reason that most of the girls are brought from there.

The authorities say it is a question of their survival and the basic establishment costs have to be met. “We have to woo masses. Whatever sells has to be shown in order to run the business,” justifies Mr Ajay Dutt Sharma, a partner in the circus.

“Earlier, people used to come to see lions, tigers, panthers and bears entertaining them. Now, we have little choice other than these women gymnasts and jokers to pull the crowds. Even this fails to attract people as they are more interested in sitting comfortably at homes and watching television that doles out much more variety and exciting stuff,” he says.

The circus, which has been conducting shows in the city since April 7, has met with a lukewarm response. While the two afternoon shows hardly attract people, the night show, at its best, sees less than half of its capacity of 5000 people. Interestingly, the crowd that comes here mainly comprises youngsters who buy the cheapest tickets available. The premium stalls, however, go empty.

Mr Ahsan Gazi, the other partner in the circus, says circus is no longer profitable business.” He says, if we are able to meet our daily expense of Rs 30,000, our day is made.” He says in spite of the fact that they have almost 70 items (though only 22 are performed in one show) and different items are performed in different shows, the response is lukewarm.

“We have added different items like balancing trapeze in which the artiste balances herself on her head on a swing, Spring net in which the artiste jumps through a ring 20 times continuously and the ring of death in which the artiste walks on a wheel without a balancing rope. We risk our lives and make the audience laugh and applaud. But the government apathy, lack of promoters and the advent of cable television has prompted the decline of circus. The show must, however, go on and we are exploring every possibility to ensure just that ,” he says. 



Girl comes to father’s rescue
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
This is the story of a man who could be any one of us, of selfish brothers and sisters whom many of us have come across in our own lives and of a daughter, all of us will be proud to have.

Mr Amrik Singh, a 45-year-old resident of Sector 38, suffering from complete renal failure and awaiting a transplant operation at the PGI, is one of the very few fathers in the world who will be receiving his daughter’s kidney to be able to survive. Not because there are no others who cannot donate, but because no relative of Amrik’s family has even bothered to enquire about his health or offer financial help which Amrik Singh now needs to be able to pay for his operation.

A tailor by profession, Amrik Singh, had never been well off. Living hand to mouth, he was barely able to maintain his family and provide for his three children’s education. But his life was literally shattered the day he was told that he was suffering from renal failure and would need a kidney transplant operation to be able to survive.

If life was a struggle to be able to educate his three children with his meagre means, now it was a question of survival, his own and along with that of his family. The first to suffer was his job which he could not continue with due to his failing health, next was the education of his younger daughter which was cut short, and the next was his own treatment.

“Since the family is poor and cannot afford regular dialysis, transplant was the preferred option. The PGI ‘s Department of Nephrology started looking for donors among his relatives. Since Amrik’s parents had died long back, his brother who is a ‘‘recluse’’ in Amritsar was contacted but he refused to understand anything. ‘‘My two sisters have not even bothered to help monetarily even though they are comparatively well off, what to ask them for a kidney,’’ says Amrik Singh.

Seeing his father lose all hope, Harpreet, Amrik Singh’s 21-year-old daughter took one of the most brave decisions of her life. She offered to donate her kidney to save her father’s life. ‘‘My parents have made a thousand sacrifices to bring us up. So what if I gave something of what they have given me back to them?’’,she questions. Her mother Satwant Kaur says that it has been a very difficult decision for her specially when Harpreet is to be married but then there is no option, she says fighting tears.

Harpreet, who has just cleared her 10+2 exams says she is not at all afraid of what might happen in the future. ‘‘I have complete faith in God and as long as my father is there and our family is together, we can get our life back to normal,’’ she says. 



Rush continues at Mansa Devi temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
The second day of the ‘Navratra Mela’ at Mansa Devi shrine today saw thousands of devotees paying obeisance. According to officials, more than one lakh devotees from all over the region have visited the temple so far. Today being a Sunday, the rush was more as compared to yesterday.

Devotees donated Rs 2.75 lakh, 11 gold items and 90 silver items on the first ‘navratra’. Over two lakh devotees have visited the shrine till today evening.

According to a press note by the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Administrator of the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, devotees have also donated 95 kilograms of ghee, 18 fans, seven wall clocks and 30 utensils till second day of the mela. Apart from this, sarees and suits have also been offered to the Goddess.

Meanwhile, a number of people visiting the shrine decried the token system introduced at the shrine during this ‘Navratra Mela’. Mr Ajay Sood, who had come here with his family from Patiala, said the people were not standing in the queue towards the main entrance according to their token numbers. As a result, in many cases, token number was called much before the person holding that token reached the main door . “Thus, the system has floundered”, he said.

According to sources, bhajan sandhaya, a bharatnatyam performance and a jagran will be organised here during the ongoing fair. Famous classical dancer, Arthi Sankar, will perform bharatnatyam in Satsang Bhavan on April 17, Ratinka Tiwari will sing at ‘bhajan sandhya’ on April 18 and playback singer, Vandhana Vajpayee, will present bhajans at Bhagwati jagran.



Fire safety measures to be stepped up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The UT Fire Department will ask the Traffic Police to put traffic in parking lots in order to create space for fire tenders, hold meetings with leaders of colonies and rehri markets and check arrangements in high rise buildings for evacuation during the “Fire Safety Week” that began today.

This was informed here today by the Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa, while talking to the Chandigarh Tribune. He said department had also ordered a lift to remove traffic hurdles in the parking lots to reach disaster-hit spot.

The Municipal Corporation sources said the House meeting on April 18 in a bid to tone up the department, would consider creating a fire committee in the House to specifically look into the management of the department and its problems.

Though the idea of a committee had been floated in the wake of reported deviation in norms in the recent recruitment of firemen, yet the committee would turn an adversity into opportunity, sources said.

The department in the corporation now does not get the attention required for a body engaged in disaster management.

The Fire Department is also considering to acquire slab cutters and will contact the Western Command and the Railways to provide their equipment in case of a disaster.

The meeting of colony and rehri market leaders will be on the basis of data of previous years. Meetings will be held in those colonies which have been found data had to be fire prone. In such places the department will request the persons concerned to remove gas cylinder from the locality.

In the highrise buildings, the department will check evacuation routes and safety measures apart from training the building staff about operation of the equipment along with fixing responsibility of each action required for alerting people, detecting fire, evacuation and informing the Department.

Mr Bajwa said on each floor couple of people would be made responsible for each of these measures.

The department will also give for publication do’s and dont’s as well its vehicles will distribute pamphlets in its vehicles. Fourteen fire tenders today went in a caravan through Sectors 18, 19, 22, 28, 20, 23, 15, 16 and 17 distributing these pamphlets and educating the people about fire safety.

The department during the week ending on April 20 will also make an appeal to the people to make contribution to benefit those fire fighters who had been injured or incapacitated during operations previously.

The department today organised a programme which was opened by the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi.



Cong to back MC members in April 18 poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Congress has decided to back its members including Mr Kuldeep Singh, Ms Anu Chathrath and Ms Kamlesh and a nominated councillor, Ms Amar Kulwant Singh, in the April 18 election to the Advisory Council to the Union Home Minister.

The decision to this effect was taken by the party at a meeting attended by local MP Pawan Bansal and Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president B. B. Bahl, among other.

The Congress has blocked the entry of any of the BJP supported members through nominations by giving the opportunity to a Scheduled Caste councillor, Ms Kamlesh. The party had got information that the BJP was pushing for a member in the category from outside the corporation.

The council has two members from the Zila Parishad, four from the Municipal Corporation and one each from woman and SC category.


People’s Front seeks Modi govt’s dismissal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The local unit of the People’s Front comprising Janata Dal (Secular), Samajwadi Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India has appealed to the President, Mr K.R. Naryanan, to dismiss the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat and impose President’s Rule in the state.

Leaders of these parties Mr R.M. Kashyap from the JD-S, Shivi Jaiswal from the Samajwadi Party, Mohmmed Shehnaz from the CPM and Devi Dayal Sharma from the CPI handed over a memorandum to the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to forward it to Mr Narayanan.

The local front leaders also met the CPM Secretary, Mr Harkishan Singh Surjeet, yesterday and briefed him about local unit’s activities against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre and the Gujarat Government.

Front leaders termed the violence in Gujarat as a kind of ‘’state-sponsored terrorism’’ pursued by Israel.

The leaders also said by failing to control the situation and forcing the security forces to come for maintaining law and order, the Modi Government had jeopardised the national security at a time when there was tension with Pakistan.

They also attacked the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, for pushing the hidden agenda of the RSS and Hindutva.



Ultra-modern bus queue shelter
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 14
This township has become the second township in this region after Ludhiana to get an ultra-modern bus queue shelter. First such shelter has been constructed at a site in Phase 5 here, located along the busy road linking the Chandigarh — Kharar road with the local bus stand.

Costing around Rs 1.65 lakh, the shelter consists of steel and pre-fabricated light weight structure. The permission to construct the shelter was granted by the SAS Nagar Municipal Council to a private firm, More Group India, which has already constructed such shelters in Ludhiana.

A proposal in this regard had been sent by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to the civic body in September last year. Since most of the sectors developed by PUDA had been transferred to the SAS Nagar civic body, a strategy to coordinate with the officials of the civic body had been worked out. The civic body has already approved an agenda item at its meeting to allow a private firm to raise modern bus queue shelters.

The site was finalised by the Senior Town Planner of PUDA. Earlier, there was a proposal to construct the shelter in Sector 69, along the Chandigarh — Sohana road.

An official in the civic body said the private firm had been given sovereign rights of advertising at a particular slot for a specific period. Of the three visible sides of the shelter, the local civic body or PUDA would be given space to advertise itself and the space on other two sides being sold to advertisers by the firm. The maintenance of the structures would be the responsibility of the firm.

He said the structures were being allowed at the sites where there was requirement and the volume of traffic was more. During the night hours, glow sign boards of the advertisers and other public information would be an added attraction. While identifying the site for the ultra-modern bus queue shelter, the planners apparently failed to carve out space for halting of buses. As a result the traffic on the narrow road is blocked when a bus halts at the shelter.



FCI Workers Union to launch agitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Food Corporation of India Workers Union (FCIWU) has announced to launch a five-day agitation against the Central Government beginning on April 16 in New Delhi against what they called ''anti-labour'' policies.

This was announced here today by its organising secretary, Mr Vijay Gupta, at a press conference in the presence of the Haryana unit president, Mr Jeet Singh, and his Haryana counterpart, Mr Mahinder Singh.

As part of the agitational programme, FCI workers will march from Jantar Mantar to the headquarters of the Food Corporation of India at Barkhamba Lane in New Delhi.

Mr Gupta alleged that due to wrong policies of the Centre 2.5 lakh tonnes of food stock was rotting in godowns as it had become unfit for human consumption. The issue price of the FCI had been fixed at Rs 650 per quintal despite it being available in the open market at cheaper rates. The countrymen were being forced to pay a higher rate while the export price had been fixed at Rs 415 per quintal, he said. He lambasted the FCI management and the Government of India for preferring contract labour, allowing companies up to 1000 work force to exit without seeking consent of the state governments, not accepting equal work, equal pay norm approved by the Supreme Court and reducing the rate of interest on Provident Fund from 12 per cent to 9.5 per cent.

He said the government had shown an undue hurry in taking these measures even before the recommendations of the Second Labour Commission could be made.



Pensioners raise demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Several demands were raised by members of the Defence Services Civilian Pensioners Welfare Association during the 17th annual general body meeting of the association, held here today.

In addition to medical facilities to Central Government pensioners, they have also demanded health facilities on Central Government pattern at capital cities of newly formed states.

Restoration of commuted portion of pension after 12 years, increase in pension at the age of 70 and 80 years and additional pension for service beyond 33 years of qualifying service have also been demanded.

The Joint Director, Central Government Health Services (CGHS), Chandigarh, Dr R.K. Khullar, who was the chief guest on the occasion, stated that five CGHS dispensaries have been sanctioned, with three being set up in Chandigarh and one each in SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

Six members who have crossed the age of 80 years were also honoured on the occasion.



MC meeting on April 18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Municipal Corporation meeting scheduled to be held on April 16 has been deferred to April 18 due to some political engagement of the Congress. This has been communicated to councillors.

The Congress leaders, including Mayor Lalit Joshi and councillors, will sit on a day’s fast on April 16 at Sector 17 Piaza to demand removal of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The date of the programme has been fixed by the All-India Congress Committee after the Guwahati conclave.

The April 18 meeting is likely to be attended by local MP Pawan Bansal. The terms and conditions for paid parking in Sectors 17, 8 and 9, private mini-sewage treatment plants for the organisations consuming 200 kilolitre of water per day and alleged deviation from norms in recruitment of firemen will be discussed at the meeting.



Police redresses 183 complaints
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The local police claimed to have solved 183 complaints at an ‘alternative complaint resolution’ for redressal of public grievance held today at five nodal points here. Registration of criminal cases in two complaints and preventive action in one complaint was also recommended.

One of the issues included a complaint against a local policeman, who had allegedly trespassed on a Sector 41 house and misbehaved with a woman, who was alone at home.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr S.C. Sagar, Mr Surjit Singh Mr B.D. Bector (EoW and Woman and Child Support Unit) and Mr S.C. Abrol (Crime), all DSPs, were present on the occasion. In additions, inspectors and SHOs concerned, inquiry officers, complainants, witnesses and against whom complaints were given were also present at the nodal points. 



Cinema renovated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
The KC Theatre in Sector 5 is all set to woo the public with the ultra-modern facilities and a facelift from April 19.

It is for the first time in the region, north of Delhi that a Dolby SR Four Way Surround Sound system has been introduced. Even the old screen has been done way with and replaced with a silver screen, specially imported from the USA.

The ticket for the balcony, however, remains at Rs 35, upper stall at Rs 25 and lower stall at Rs 20.



Memorial to city soldiers likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Chandigarh is likely to erect a memorial soon to honour those soldiers of the city who have sacrificed their lives at the altar of India’s unity and integrity.

This assurance was given by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Mr J. F. R. Jacob, to the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, at a meeting. The memorial is likely to be raised in one of the gardens of the city.

Mr Bansal had been pleading for a memorial for the soldiers of the city.



Lab opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Bharat Vikas Parishad opened a clinical laboratory in the Shiv Manas Mandir, Industrial Area, Phase II, on the occasion of Baisakhi.



Two beaten up, case registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Two persons were injured after they were reportedly assaulted by two students of a local college in Sector 15, last night. The injured, Pardeep Kumar, a resident of Sector 15, has been admitted to the PGI, while his companion, Joginder Gill, a resident of the same sector, has been admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has registered a case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code for rioting assault and causing injury.

Two arrested: The local police has arrested two persons for bootlegging. Janta Colony resident Azad Singh was arrested from Sector 35 with 35 pouches of Hero whisky in his possession, while Kumhar Colony resident Kamal Singh was arrested from Sector 38 with 12 bottles of country-made liquor from his possession. They have been booked under the Excise Act.

Gambling case: A resident of Panchkula, Pardeep Kumar, was arrested by the local police from Bapu Dham colony for gambling at a public place and seized Rs 1,850 from his possession. The accused, who runs “Janta Clinic” in the same colony, has been booked under the Gambling Act.

One injured: A resident of Kumhar Colony, Sunil Chander, received minor injuries after he was knocked down by a Santro car on the Sectors 24-25 dividing road. A case has been registered.

SAS Nagar
House burgled:
Burglars broke into a house in Sector 70 here and decamped with electronic goods and clothes worth Rs 40,000 on Saturday night. According to information, Chetan and Rohit, both students of NIIFD, had taken a three-room accommodation on rent in Sector 70.

On Sunday night while tenants were away, burglars broke into the house by breaking open an iron grill and took away goods.

Case registered: A resident of Sohana village, Rampal, was found dead in his house, near here, on Sunday. The victim was unmarried and was living with his brother. A police official said though the cause of death would be revealed after the post-mortem, the victim complained of pain and chest on Saturday night. The police has registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC after the brother of the victim in a statement named some persons for allegedly pressurising his brother to commit suicide.

Opium seized:
The police has arrested Ram Kumar Lohar from near the Ramgarh chowk on Saturday night and seized six grams of opium and 15 grams of poppy husk from him. He has been booked under Sections 18 and 20 of the NDPS Act.

Theft case: A sum of Rs 4,500 and silver ornaments were stolen from Sodhi Farm House in Mattawala village on Friday night. A case under Sections 458, 380 and 342 of the IPC has been registered.

Five injured: Five persons were injured in two accidents during the past 24 hours. Ms Sarla Gupta and her daughter, Ripu, were injured when they were hit by a CTU bus near Swastik Vihar. The bus driver, Devindra Singh, ran away from the spot. In another incident, four members of a family — Ms Poonam, her husband, children — Priyanaka and Nitin — were injured when their scooter was hit by a car (CH-01Y-2104) near the Sandeep Shankhla chowk. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of IPC has been registered.


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