Tuesday, April 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Power-hungry city to get more
Admn signs agreement with NTPC
Tribune News Service

In the past one week Chandigarh has been overdrawing power from the Northern Power Grid between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Administration will now have to pay a fine for this to the Northern Region Electricity Board (NREB). After the fines, each unit will cost Rs 3.70 to the Administration. This burden will, however, not be passed on to the consumer. Under the Availability Built Tariff, anyone drawing more power than the units allocated to him has to pay fine, which is calculated on the basis of power available with the grid when the overdrawal takes place.

Chandigarh, April 22
With an aim to reduce the shortfall of power during the summer months, the Chandigarh Administration today signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the National Thermal Power Corporation, here today. Besides this, another 10 Mega Watt of power will be available from May 1, which will be purchased from the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board.

The PPA signed today is for more power from Eastern Power Projects and the 800-Mega Watt Koldam Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh. Though 22.5 MW of power has already started flowing in from the Eastern region since June 2001, the signing of the PPA assumes importance as the commissioning of a 500-MW module at Sasaram will ensure an increased power supply from the eastern sector to 50 MW by October this year.

With the completion of Koldam Hydro Electric Project, expected in 2007-08 (11th Plan), Chandigarh will get 6 MW power. If allowed by the Union Ministry of Power, Chandigarh’s allocation of 6 MW from this project will be further increased to 20 MW. The power from Himachal will be either wheeled in through the newly-built grit connection from Nalagarh or through the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) network.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Chandigarh does not generate power of its own. For meeting its requirement, Chandigarh purchases power from BBMB, NTPC, NHPC and NPC through NREB. At the time of creation of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the peak demand was 15.6 MW.

On account of its development and population growth, the power requirement of Chandigarh rose to the extent that average power requirement for the year 2001-2002 was 29 lakh units per day, whereas the peak demand touched 183 MW against total availability of power to the tune of 173 MW. Since the shortfall is anticipated to increase further, Chandigarh Administration has signed the PPA with NTPC so as to combat the power crisis.

On behalf of the Chandigarh Administration, Secretary Engineering, Mr Karan A. Singh, signed the PPA while NTPC was represented by its Director, Commercial, Mr H.L. Bajaj.Back


Power cuts to stay till tomorrow
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 22
The Superintending Engineer, SAS Nagar Operational Circle of the Punjab State Electricity Board, today said that the scheduled power cuts would continue till April 24 as the existing capacity of the 25 MVA at the 66-KV substation in Phase 7 was being upgraded to 32.5 MVA. To achieve this a new 20 MVA power transformer is being installed at the 66-KV substation in place of the old 12.5 MVA power transformer. 



Afternoon water supply to be reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh will review its afternoon water supply policy on April 30 as the heatwave increases the demand for water.

“As of now, there is enough to continue with the afternoon supply but the policy will be reviewed on April 30,” Public Health Department sources said.

Meanwhile, Government College for Girls, Sector-11; its Chief Warden; YMCA; Architecture Girls Hostel; Sports Stadium, Sector-42; St. Xavier School have been issued notices for flouting ban on water use in the morning, along with 135 other residents and organisations.

The notices of water disconnection have been issued in the wake of the ban imposed in the morning washing of cars, floors, watering of gardens and overflowing of overhead water tanks during the past 3 days.

The ban effective from April 15 notwithstanding, people of the city have started feeling shortage of water.

The Department felt shortage of water on Sunday as consumption delayed supply in the evening by an hour in certain areas.

The Department claimed that no unannounced re-scheduling had been done in the morning and evening supply, but there was at least one foot less water level yesterday in the waterworks due to more consumption.

The Department will also calculate the additional financial burden of water supply in the afternoon as expenditure on electricity for pumping water will certainly increase.


Minister’s car hits scooterist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
A fracas erupted near the entrance to the PGI after a scooter was knocked down by a Contessa car in which the Punjab Revenue Minister, Mr Amarjit Samra, was riding. The incident happened at the Sector 11-12 dividing road this afternoon.

While the scooterist, Raj Kumar, a resident of the PGI campus, sustained injuries on an arm and leg, the minister’s driver, Jasbir Singh, also sustained injuries after he was assaulted by a mob which gathered at the spot. Later several Punjab Police personnel roughed up some of the persons who had gathered there.

According to eye witnesses, the incident occurred when Raj Kumar, who was coming from Sector 11, turned to enter PGI campus near the new OPD Block. The Contessa (PB-12-E-1006), coming from the Sector 11-12-14-15 chowk tried to avoid the scooter, but apparently lost control and hit the scooter (UHO-1415) and then hit a three-wheeler (CH-01-F-2879), parked near the campus entrance. All three vehicles were damaged

The minister, who was returning from Jalandhar, got away from the spot in his escort vehicle.

A crowd which gathered on the spot caught hold of the driver and thrashed him. He sustained injuries on his face, nose and forehead. As the melee was continuing, several armed Punjab Police personnel stopped by and roughed up some of the bystanders. The car driver then made his way to the Sector 11 police station to inform the police. It was more than a hour later that the police reached the spot to take stock of the situation.


Girl child welcome!
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
It is a strange social paradox. While on the one hand, female children are being abandoned by their parents, on the other, an increasing number of infertile couples are marking their preference for a girl child from any of the three adoption centres in the state.

For proof check this out. Of the 30 children surrendered/ deserted since 1996 at the ‘Shishu Greha’, the adoption centre of Bal Niketan here, 24 were girls. At the same time, eight of the nine children adopted from the centre here during the same period were girls.

Officials at the Shishu Greha here say that the main reason for more number of girls being adopted was the availability factor. For every 10 girls that are either surrendered or abandoned at the adoption centres, there is only one boy. However, they maintain that the adoption centres have themselves been promoting adoption of female children. It is precisely for this reason that Bal Niketan was presented the National Award for Child Welfare for the year 2000 in February.

Says Dr Madhu Sharma, Honorary Secretary of Bal Niketan, “The economic strata of the parents surrendering the child is very different from those willing to adopt a girl child.” The trend, say officials at Bal Niketan here, is the same in other adoption centres of the state. The state government has so far notified three institutes in the state as adoption agencies — Shishu Greha at Bal Niketan, Panchkula; Child Welfare Council, Chachrauli near Yamunanagar; and, Bal Gram at Rai near Sonepat.

“The fact that most boys who end up at homes for destitute children or at adoption centres are abandoned and hardly do parents ever surrender boys on account of poverty or ill health. This shows the widespread preference for the male child. On the other hand, a large number of girls are surrendered by the parents for obvious reasons. At least nine girls were handed over at Shishu Greha by their parents for similar reasons,” she says.

She also says that female foeticide is still prevalent, in spite of the best efforts of the administration to nip the evil. The administration now proposes to send decoy patients to numerous ultrasound clinics in the district in order to check if these were clandestinely carrying on sex determination tests.


Marble traders defy Admn, re-open shops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Even as the Chandigarh Administration has cracked the whip on marble traders on the road leading to Phase VII, SAS Nagar, and asked them to close shops, the dealers have moved base. Now several of them have opened shops in and around Raipur Khurd village. The shops are located on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and their existence is still not known to the administration.

Interestingly, the administration has put an advertisement regarding the auction of 58 sites for bulk materials in Sector 39 (west). The auction is scheduled for tomorrow. After the administration issued notices to the traders, it is the residents of Raipur Khurd who are facing the brunt.Back



Citizens’ Forum submits memo to Jacob
Makes suggestions to tackle city problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Citizens Forum for Chandigarh’s Heritage has urged the Administrator of UT to initiate urgent action to tackle various problems facing the City Beautiful.

In a communication addressed to Lt Gen J.F.R.Jacob (retd), who is also the Governor of Punjab, the forum has pointed out that Le Corbusier’s fame put Chandigarh on the world map and the city became the focus of attention more than any other modern capital city. Chandigarh became the pride of the nation and the symbol of resurgent India. It fulfilled the aspirations of the brave Punjabis who lost their homes during the partition of India.

Chandigarh is the only city which is designed in the minutest detail for its orderly growth and with a view to retaining its character while accommodating changes in the socio-economic conditions of society. During the first 30 years, there were far less violations of the building bylaws and governing regulations. With the passage of time and due to lack of general awareness of the basic concepts of the city, Chandigarh’s future hangs in balance. If allowed to grow in this manner there will be very little left of the Chandigarh’s original concept and will soon become like any other Indian city.

To ensure Chandigarh’s preservation and its orderly growth through public awareness some of the most notable citizens from various vocations formed the Citizens’ Forum for Chandigarh Heritage. Through their vast experience at the highest level, the members of the forum could acquaint and help the Administration on most crucial issues.

The Citizen’s Forum is acting in the best interests of the city with no personal gain and would like their views to be given serious consideration at all levels.

The forum has also sent to the governor a detailed memorandum highlighting the problems being faced by the city as follows:

Labour colonies: Problems of authorised and unauthorised labour colonies and daily influx of unskilled immigrants have grown far greater in magnitude than any planned city of the size of Chandigarh and its resources. Further more, it has become an ever-increasing human problem. There is an immediate need of high level experts to go into all the related problems of settlement of the eligible inhabitants of the labour colonies and find ways and means of checking the influx of daily migrants. Also, there is a need for a special task force specifically assigned to ensure that no rehabilitated or new settlers occupy the government land.

Building bylaws and zoning regulations: These laws are carefully drafted to ensure the quality of life and safety of residents. The architectural controls and other regulatory measures are framed to provide harmony and give a distinct character to the city. With the passage of time and changing social-economic conditions, all the governing laws have to be reassessed to meet the genuine needs of the citizens and also augment the essential infrastructure and civic amenities. In its absence, there will be no control over the population and will result in utterly chaotic development, lacking in essential services. The Chandigarh Administration has recently revised the building bylaws and zoning regulations that will meet some genuine demands and accommodate most of the violations.

Garbage collection and its safe disposal: Right from the inception of the city there have been no successful measures adopted for house-to-house collection of garbage on a regular basis and its proper disposal. The urgency of this essential service cannot be over emphasised for health of the citizens and upkeep of the city. We are glad that you have already initiated action in this regard. The municipal Corporation of Chandigarh must generate sufficient funds for efficient collection of daily refuse and its safe disposal. Professional inputs and strict supervision are considered most essential.

Unauthorised signboards: Unauthorised signboards and unsightly painting of walls have defaced the commercial building which have increased many folds in the recent years. This is causing permanent damage to the most prestigious buildings in the commercial centres and along the major highways of the city. Stringent measures are needed to stop this menace.

Unauthorised openings along V3 roads: Due to the lack of enforcement, there is an increasing trend of opening along V3 fast traffic roads which are a great traffic hazard besides being unsightly. This practice is a serious contravention of the zoning regulations and must be curbed forthwith for reasons of safety and retaining the basic character of Chandigarh. There is already a Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling in this regard to help the Administration.

Streamlining of road traffic: There is also an urgent need of resolving the ever-increasing traffic problem of the city and region by a team of high-level experts. The banning of rickshaws will ease the traffic chaos and will avoid accidents to a great degree as have been done in the cities of Mumbai and Kokata. 


BJP threatens stir against demolition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The BJP here today threatened to launch a "bloody agitation" against the Chandigarh Administration if further demolition drives were carried out in Colony No. 5 and accused the Congress of being "hand in glove" with the Administration in uprooting the poor.

"If the Colony No. 5 is again bulldozed, it shall be at the cost of our dead bodies," senior party leader Jairam Joshi told a rally organised here today to oppose the last week’s massive demolition drive.

Condemning the action of the Administration, BJP Ad Hoc Committee convener Yashpal Mahajan said if the Administration continued to uproot the poor, the party would launch an agitation.

Former BJP Mayor Kewal Krishan Adiwal said since the Congress had taken over the Municipal Corporation, the Administration and the MC had been harassing the residents of colonies even without caring for legal procedures like issuing requisite notices.

Mr Adiwal further said that the Congress had bagged votes of the poor but it had not made efforts for their rehabilitation.

Mr Adiwal said the BJP got Colony No. 31, Karsan and Janata Kumhar Colony rehabilitated.

Former BJP MP Satyapal Jain warned if the Administration continued with its drive, he would approach the Administrator and Union Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani.

Taking a dig at local Congress MP Pawan Bansal, Mr Jain said Mr Bansal had reportedly termed the demolition as illegal but he seemed to have forgotten that he won the Lok Sabha election by getting votes of the same people.

Mr Jain claimed that he got the cut-off rehabilitation year of 1991 changed to December, 1996, when he was the MP.


Army law institute proves its mettle

Finding that the children of defence personnel, because of the change of schools after almost every two years, suffered from the disadvantage of getting admission to various professional courses, the Army in the past five years has established a number of professional institutions for them in the country. One of them is the Army Institute of Law (AIL) which was established at its interim location at Patiala in July 1999.

How do these institutions compare with the other such institutions in the civil? To have a clear idea about this, this writer attended the annual function of the AIL at Patiala on April 10. The difference in a nutshell was the same as between an Army and a civil organisation because of the dedicated staff and Army backing. This was the impression of a former judge of the Supreme Court of India, Mr Justice Kuldip Singh, who was the chief guest at the function and many other luminaries from various universities.

What could not be missed by anyone was that over 95 per cent prizes in academics were bagged by the girls, who almost carried the day. No doubt, the legal field in the country can absorb a large number of lawyers. But the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG’s) Department of the Army should encourage girls to join this department.

What impressed one most was the neat turn out and discipline of the students, majority of whom were wards of Army officers. After having passed 10+2 examination, a candidate below 21 years can join this five year BA. LLB course, provide he/she clears the entrance test. The institute will shift to Mohali, where its permanent building is coming up, by the end of this year.

Justice through courts?

If the number of defence personnel going to civil courts is increasing every year, don/t blame them but blame the decision-makers in the Services Headquarters or the babus in the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Of thousands of examples of defence personnel who are suffering due to the goofy attitude of one authority or the other only one is quoted here.

The pay scales recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission were implemented in two phases for the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) i.e. from January 1, 1996 to October 9, 1997 and from October 10 onwards when the enhanced pay scales were introduced. Accordingly, a case was taken up by the Army Headquarters with the MoD that the personnel who were released from service during January 1, 1996 and October 9, 1997, “should be given the benefit of higher pay scales notionally for the purposes of pension”. This case is gathering dust in the MoD for the past three years.

Having got fed up, like many others, Tilak Raj Gupta a retired CPO from the Navy knocked at the door of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for justice which was given to him in January this year. In its judgment of January 8, the High Court has given six months to the Government of India to remove this anomaly. Is this the only course left open in India to seek justice.

Value of life

If war is too serious a matter to be left to the generals, then politics is also too serious a matter to be left to the politicians because they destroy nations to fulfil their political ambitions.

Let us think of our own country where our staple diet that the newspapers provide us every morning is the number of soldiers and civilians killed in J and K, thanks to our selfseeking politicians who have created this ugly situation and are still pursuing it dogmatically.

Now think of the casualties that we have suffered in counterinsurgency operations, which far exceed the casualties suffered in all the wars put together. Also think of thousands of young widows and small children of the soldiers who are left at the mercy of these political pundits. Sadly enough, they play politics with their measly remittances also.

If the countless sacrifices of our soldiers on the altar of terrorism were achieving something for the country, it would have given some satisfaction to the people. But in the gloomy scenario that is engulfing India, we only hear empty rhetoric of our “destiny makers” with no visible results.

The only time our politicians realised the value of human life was when the Parliament House became a target of terrorists’ bullets on December 13 last. Why can’t Indian politicians show the same concern for the loss of life of our soldiers? Are they children of a lesser god? Pritam Bhullar


Under-age drivers: police appeal to parents
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 22
In an attempt to bring down the number of accidents involving minor drivers, the Chandigarh police has asked the parents not to allow their under-age children to drive.

The appeal, according to sources in the Police Department, was being printed in bold letters on traffic barricades to be placed at strategic points all over the city. One such barricade had been placed on the road leading to the Sukhna Lake. “The intention behind the operation was to make the parents aware of their responsibility towards the safety of their children,” sources revealed.

The move to involve the parents to ensure the safety of their children was important as accidents with under-age drivers was on the rise in the city. Every now and then, school students were being admitted to various hospitals in the city with injuries sustained in mishaps.

A senior officer said youngsters wearing caps instead of helmets were often issued challans on ‘geri’ route endangering life of other commuters also. “By asking the parents not to permit their under-age kids to drive, we are ensuring the safety of not only their children but other commuters also”.

Giving details, he added that issuing challans was a deterrent but not a cure to the malady. “That is why precisely we are asking the parents to help us. If they do not allow their children to drive, there will be no accidents involving kids, we are sure of it,” he asserted.

The police, sources claimed, was also asking the school principals to write to the parents asking them against permitting the youngsters from coming to the school on their own vehicles.

The principals were also being requested to identify students coming to the institutes on two-wheelers and cars. They were also being asked to verify their age from the school records before informing the police for enabling it to act against the violators. The idea was to check if some of the students were riding after procuring fake licenses, or original ones after forging age certificates.

The police was also making announcements on the public address systems at the traffic lights all over the city to prevent the offenders from “escaping the eyes of the principals by parking their vehicles in the markets near the school premises”.


Shakti worship manifestation of the Supreme Mother’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
The philosophy behind Shakti worship in the Hindu ethos has always regarded a woman as superior to a man because the Shakti tradition regards womanhood as knowledge and manifestation of the supreme mother. This was stated by Dr M.C. Joshi, former Director-General of the Archeological Survey of India, while delivering the keynote address at the two-day colloquium on ‘‘Worshipping Goddess — Mythology, Form and Ritual’’, organised by the Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shri Board at the Mansa Devi Temple complex here today. Highlighting the forms and concepts of the Mother Goddess in the Indian context through the ages, Dr Joshi pointed out Vedic references to female deities like Aditi, Usha, Saraswati and Ratri. Tracing the development of Shaktism in the light of growth of iconography an associated symbols, he said during the early Christian era, several foreign goddesses were also adopted for Shakti worship.

He said the greatest event pertaining to Shaktism was the composition of Devi Mahatmya (Durga Saptshati) as an exclusive ‘Shakta’ scripture for the first time. It was this text which served as the core of Shakti worship till today.

In his inaugural address, the Chief Secretary, Haryana, Mr L.M. Goyal, said it had been a tradition of our country to go deeper in the academic intellectualism of every aspect of life, including religion. This was the reason that the cult of Goddess worship or Shakti cult had evolved out of the cult of nature worship and fertility worship. This had resulted into a ceaseless worship of Devi in her various manifestations.

Mr Goyal said the association of Goddess with the mountains had a special connotation. In mythology, she was the daughter of the Himalayas; she was Parvati, the wife of Shiva, the Lord of mountains. It was probably because of this that in the region comprising Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh the shrines of the Goddess were in abundance.

Mr Goyal said there were reasons to believe that a shrine of Mansa Devi existed on the spot even before the construction of the present temple. Goddess Mansa, originally associated with the serpent cult in mythology, was not worshiped here in that form but as the desire-fulfilling goddess. Dr Ashvini Agrawal, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ancient History, Panjab University, said in mythology Mansa Devi was the daughter of Kashyapa and sister of serpent king Ananta. She was the protectress of men from the venom of serpents. He said it would not be out of place to mention that the Shivaliks, where the Mansa Devi Temple was located, was known to be a snake-infested area. The chief administrator of the Board and Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, Mrs Jyoti Arora, said the board had decided to set up a museum to house archaeological material pertaining to the Goddess. The museum would also be a centre of research for scholars working on different aspects of the Goddess worship.


Carpenter’s shop gutted in fire
Our Correspondent

Naya Gaon, April 22
Goods worth lakhs of rupees was gutted in a fire in a carpenter’s shop in Naya Gaon village in the wee hours here today. The blaze also damaged windows and doors of the adjoining houses and at least three houses developed cracks due to the heat. A scooter and couple of bi-cycles were among other things which were damaged in the fire. However, no one was injured.

High rising flames, dense smoke and chaos prevailed in the area till 8 am. The fire started at around 2.30 am and the villagers were busy extinguishing the fire with the help of buckets. However, the fire was brought under control only after 10 am and six fire tenders belonging to SAS Nagar and Chandigarh were pressed into action.

The villagers alleged that fire tenders took more than one hour to reach the spot after they were informed. But sources in the SAS Nagar Fire Department refuted the allegations and claimed that they made it in time.

According to the sources, the preliminary inquiries suggested that fire was caused due to short circuit. But the exact cause of fire would be known only after the investigations into the incidents were complete, added the sources.

According to Varinder Kumar, a carpenter who was sleeping in the shop at the time of fire, ‘‘I was watching TV along with Vikas in the shop till 1.30 am and then went to sleep. It was Hari Ram, who was sleeping in open, awoke us and informed us about the fire’’.

Owner of the shop Mr Ved Prakash claimed that wood and other goods costing over Rs 16 lakh were destroyed in the fire and he was ‘‘devastated’’. He had recently purchased the old furniture from Dhillon Cinema, Chandigarh. He claimed that he had bought wood worth Rs 7 lakh just few days before. According to him the shop was spread over one kanal of land and the fire claimed the entire property.

Adjoining houses of Mr Ram Pratap and Mr Bhuwneshwar Prashad developed cracks in their houses. Mr Prashad and his family members were deep in sleep when the fire broke out. He had to use wooden pillars to support one his roof from collapsing.

Meanwhile, property worth lakhs of rupee was gutted in other major incidents of fire which were reported from Chandigarh and its surrounding areas. Fire damaged at least of 25 acres of the forest area near Seeonk village in the wee hours today. In an another incident goods worth Rs 7 lakh were gutted when fire broke out in two shops near Kurali. Till the last reports came in the fire tenders were busy dousing fire which has spread in fields along Fatehgarh—Chuni road.

Panchkula: A small fire broke out in MES Area, near Happy Service Station, Chandimandir and was brought under control by one fire tender in an hour’s time. However, no one received injuries.

Chandigarh: Fire also broke out in a jungle adjoining Dadu Majra here. It took about two to three hours to bring the fire under control. Sources in the Fire Department said that there was no loss of property.


Improve sanitation: DC tells authorities
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 22
The Ropar Deputy Commissioner has asked the local authorities to improve the sanitation of the town.

Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, SDM, said today that Ms Seema Jain had taken a round of the town on Saturday. She visited two parks and found that the sanitation was not up to the mark. He said that she wanted some cleanliness drive to be launched.

The SDM said Ms Jain wanted the roundabouts of the town to be developed on the pattern adopted by Spice Telecom in developing a roundabout near YPS. He said he would be holding a meeting with the council officials to bring about an improvement in the sanitation of the town.

Mr Sandhu said that a bus queue shelter had been constructed by the More Group on one of the main roads of the town. The DC wanted another bus queue shelter to be constructed. If such shelters were found to be suitable, the private company would be asked to construct some more.

During her round of the town, the Deputy Commissioner was accompanied by the SDM, Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, Mr H.B. Garg and PUDA officials.

Mr Garg, however, said that the DC had not asked the civic body to launch any cleanliness drive. During her round of the town, she only saw some debris lying in a park near Mohali village. The council then asked the PUDA authorities to get that removed.

He said that most of the roundabouts in the town were with PUDA and the council would develop them once they were handed over to the civic body. The council would call tenders in this regard. The roundabout near Madanpur village was being developed by WWICS.


Fire Dept’s notices to ‘unsafe’ buildings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Fire Department has issued notices to the Haryana Mini-Secretariat, the Punjab AG office, the Old State Bank of India building, the Sector 16 and 32 government hospitals, Udyog Bhavan, Jangandna Bhavan, Shivalik Hotel and the Punjab Mandi Board for being ''unsafe.''

The notices were issued today after an intensive checking of highrise buildings by the department during the fire week between April 14 and April 20.

The department had identified many more highrise buildings which it considers unsafe and those would be issued notices in the next few days, Chief Fire Officer G.S. Bajwa told Chandigarh Tribune.

The notices have asked the authorities maintaining these buildings to correct the faults mentioned in the notices within three months or face action.

The department had powers to seal those buildings found to be unsafe from fire, Mr Bajwa said.

He said parts of fire fighting equipment in these building were either found to be missing or inoperative and those responsible for maintaining these did not take note of it.


Pledge to save Mother Earth from exploitation
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, April 22
The World Earth Day today brought renewed vigour among the environment lovers, uniting them under separate umbrellas and making them pledge once again to save mother earth from human exploitations.

The concept of celebrating the Earth Day originally was conceived by the Americans to make people aware of the reckless use of the natural resources which subsequently gave rise to environmental menace like water and air pollution and more alarmingly the depletion of the Ozone layer which is popularly termed as "the green house effect".

"As the world population increased at an alarming rate, the need to save the eco system became a global concern and this is how the Earth Day celebration became the World Earth Day," said Mr S.K. Sharma, president of Environmental Society of India. And picking up the threads from the world trend, this Chandigarh-based voluntary association has been celebrating World Earth Day ever since it's inception in 1990, he added.

Keeping in mind the local environmental issues, the Children's Alliance for Protection of Environment, a sister concern of the Environment Society of India today gave a call to the school children to gather at "Sukhna baby wetland" where they were briefed about the ill effects of pesticides, use of plastic bags and other related issues. About 200 students who gathered to celebrate the day also planted saplings.

"After the continuous efforts of the society to generate awareness regarding environment protection for more then a decade now, the people here have become aware of the gravity of the problem but now it is time to get into action as only awareness is not going to help us," said Mr Sharma.

"Though the 'back to nature' ideology is the buzz word these days, keeping in view the trappings of civilisation and population pressure, human beings will always be dependent on mother earth for her renewable and unrenewable resources which brings us to adhere to the principle of sustainable development, said Mr Vikas Kohli of the Indian Council for Environmental Education, Sector 8.

The Council and Hindustan Scouts and guides, Chandigarh, today organised a rally and quiz contest involving school children in the World Earth Day celebrations. The students who gathered at Sukhna Lake after passing through different sectors with colourful placards had interaction with Mr Ishwar singh, IFS, Director, Environment, Chandigarh Administration, who spoke on the need and importance of sustainable development.


Sense of insecurity among residents
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 22
Insecurity has gripped occupants of flats in Sector 66 here after armed persons, suspected to be cops of the Haryana police, raided a flat in the locality on March 29 last to apprehend members of a gang involved in theft of cars. The occupants, staying illegally in one of the allotted flats, had been staying there for some days before the armed men raided the flat.

On the condition of anonymity, some of the residents told Chandigarh Tribune that some youths came to stay in a vacant plot. On the day of Holi, three cars bearing registration number of Haryana came with the armed men who encircled the house. One of the youths was arrested. Next day the armed men again came and fired shots in the air but could not catch other youths staying there. The armed men kept moving in the area for some days before leaving. The residents said they did not inform the local police.


Notices served for dumping ‘malba’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Sanitation Department of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today issued around 30 notices to those who had failed to lift their building material or 'malba' in the city. The exact number of notices served and those who have been served notices would be known only when all sanitary inspectors give the details of the notices to the departmental head, sources told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The corporation had launched a drive in the city recently to remove the building material from all sectors as a one-time measure and had warned that if 'malba' was found, the owner of the house would be penalised under the provisions of the municipal corporation.

The corporation can recover the lifting expenditure of the malba along with a fine from those found to be dumping 'malba'.


Boy drowned
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 22
A 12-year-boy of Phase 3B2 died of drowning in the holy tank of Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Sohana, near here, today.

 The victim, Neeraj, had gone to the gurdwara along with his friends to attend a religious congregation. He drowned while trying to stay afloat.


Exhibition on spirituality
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have been invited to participate in a three-day Scientific Spirituality Expo-2002 being organised here by the Global Gayatri Pariwar, Hardwar.

According to Mr Chander Mohan Sharma, Zonal Convener, the event will include multimedia presentations and seminars on scientific explanation of Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the eco-crisis today and role of NGOs in combating it, vegetarianism, stress management, science of sub-conscious mind, art of living and herbal healing and law of karma. Besides shobha yatras, a kalash yatra, devotional sangeet pravahan on science of Gayatri mantra, dhyan, yogic exercises and seminar on positive thinking will also be organised. The Punjab Minister of State for Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Mr Ashwani Sekhri will inaugurate.Back


Gaudiya Math’s meeting

Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 22
The fifth spiritual public meeting of the annual function of Gaudiya Math was held today. The function was presided over by former Secretary, Medical Education and Director Principal, Government Medical College Hospital, Prof V.K. Kak.

 The chief guest was Mr Justice Nirmal Singh. The 32nd annual function and six- day spiritual public meeting will conclude tomorrow on the occasion of Ekadasi. The subject for the meeting will be ‘how to get rid of the great enemies — lust and anger’. The concluding meeting will be presided over by Major General Rajendra Nath PVSM (retd). 


17-year-old girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
A 17-year old resident of the Dadu Majra colony, Indu Bala, reportedly committed suicide last night. According to the police, her body was discovered hanging from the ceiling fan in her room where she had been sleeping alone.

The police believes that the girl, a student of Class XII, possibly committed suicide as she did not fare well in her examinations. No suicide note, however, has been recovered from the spot.

The deceased is the daughter of a Chandigarh Fire Service employee posted in Sector 38 Fire Station. She was the youngest of the four sisters and had two brothers younger to her.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code.


Fraud case registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The police today registered a case of fraud involving Rs 32 lakh by tampering with bank drafts. The person behind the scam is yet to be identified.

According to the police, a person got four drafts made from the Sector 35 branch of HDFC Bank for amounts varying from Rs 111 to Rs 115. These were payable at Mumbai where the person is said to have opened a bank account for this purpose.

When the drafts were received here by the bank for clearance, they had been allegedly tampered with and the amount payable was changed to Rs 7 lakh to Rs 8 lakh each. The money has been withdrawn from the bank account at Mumbai.

The matter has been taken up by the Economic Offences Wing of the police. They are trying to ascertain the person's identity and scrutinising the draft slips filled by him for any clues. Bank officials are also being questioned about the man's appearance.

Eve-teasers held
Two persons were arrested near the DAV School in Sector 15 for indulging in eve-teasing. The accused have been identified as Chander Mohan and Avtar Singh, both residents of Dhanas. A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered against them.

A resident of Faidan village, Ravinderan, has reported that he was threatened and beaten up by a resident of the same village, Rameshwar. He sustained injuries and was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The police has registered a case after the complainant was medically examined.

A resident of Sector 15, Sarv Mahajan, has reported that his relative's residence on the PGI campus was broken into and some household articles were stolen. The police has registered a case.

Ear-ring snatched
Sector 23 resident Basanti Devi has reported that two unidentified motor cycle-borne youths snatched her ear-ring near the sector's post office. The police has registered a case.


Chain snatcher held
A woman chain snatcher, Tejo, was arrested while snatching a gold chain of a woman, Teerath Kaur, at Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Sohana. The police has registered a case against the chain snatcher.

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