Thursday, April 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Environment Studies paper causes trouble yet again
Tribune News Service

Panjab University sources said that the university had agreed to give a second chance to all students who could not take the exam on Wednesday despite payment of fee at a meeting held in the evening. It was also decided that in case a student had neither filled in the form for the paper in question nor paid the fee for the same, he too could appear in the paper applying afresh to the university.

Chandigarh, April 24
The jinxed Environment Studies paper for undergraduate classes caused confusion among the student community, had the college managements in a fix and left the Panjab University authorities short of excuses yet again for the third consecutive year, here today.

Almost all city colleges were unable to ‘accomodate’ students, who had turned up to take the examination, on account of paucity of question papers and answersheets, turned to Panjab University looking for answers. And, they had none.

Non-committal about the fate of these students, an official of the Examination branch said that the final decision in the matter would be taken by the Vice-Chancellor or the Panjab University Syndicate.

He justified, ‘‘This problem crops up every year since students don’t fill in their options for this paper in the examination forms. Everything being computerised, we have only the number of students who have filled in this option and answersheets and question papers are sent to each centre accordingly.’’

Back in the colleges, the principals faced a tough time pacifying agitated students, irked by the absence of their names in the cut-out list sent by the university.

In SD College for Women, Moga, a handful of students were allowed to take their paper after the Principal sought the university’s permission to take them in despite their names not being on the list of examinees.

The situation was more grave in colleges of Ferozpore and Ludhiana, where the number of students being greater, they had to return without taking the exam. Sources said that 70 per cent students had not received their roll numbers in colleges of Ludhiana and were told they could appear in the supplementary examination in September.

Meanwhile, in Chandigarh, in Government College, Sector 46, there were over a 100 students who could not take their examination though in the afternoon some students could be accommodated in the extra papers the college had received.

Students of the final year rued, ‘‘We are unable to understand whether the college or the university is taking its responsibility lightly. Our names have been going for the past three years and, somehow, they do not figure on the university list everytime. Now, we will be forced to waste a year if the university does not hold a second examination for us soon. Those at fault must be taken to task,’’ they said.

In Government College for Girls, Sector 11, around 40 students had to be turned away while in the adjoining Government College the authorities had sufficient papers to meet the ‘requirement’ of the extra students. Similar complaints were received from MCM DAV College, SGGS College, DAV College and colleges all over Punjab affiliated to Panjab University as well.

While the university expressed its helplessness in the matter, college authorities also could not do much since xeroxing of question papers, as suggested by certain principals to tide over the difficult situation, is not allowed under university rules.



Few takers for research projects of ICSSR
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The north-western region features abysmally low among takers of research projects sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), a premier national funding agency for research and fellowships.

Panjab University is one of the six centres of the ICSSR in the country. The council caters to colleges and universities in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and the city.

The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that the local centre averages less than five per cent of the research projects undertaken till date since its inception more than 25 years ago. Out of about 90 research projects in a year, the local centre has taken up three projects each year till date.

In another related aspect, the centre has received only 164 applicants for study grants till date. Out of these only 109 actually availed themselves of it. The grant is provided as study money for visit by researchers to the university for five-six weeks to collect data regarding their work. Apart from research grants, these study grants provide for a daily allowance of Rs 150, besides the cost of travel to and from the destination.

The centre also has a provision for fellowships about which few people seemed to be aware. The amounts paid as fellowships had been enhanced recently nearly on pattern of the UGC.

Prof Sahib Singh Bhayana, director of the regional chapter of the council, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune admitted that the number of research project takers was low. He, however, listed a number of activities where researchers could benefit from the existing facilities.

The southern part of the country tops the list of research project takers. It is felt that there was little awareness about facilities at the centre, which was the main reason for low number of research project takers, he said.

Professor Bhayana said the centre had been actively engaged in preparation of comprehensive documentation lists that contained indexes of articles appearing in various social science journals received by the library since 1978. “The ICSSR library makes sure to buy journals that were not available in the university library to avoid duplication. The number of research journals has fallen from 151 in 1986-1987 to 66 last year. However, the cost has increased nearly three times,” he said.

According to him an index covering four leading English newspapers is prepared quarterly. Bibliographies are being prepared on current topics for ready reference under different heads including: economic liberalisation and structural adjustment programme; women and development; environment and sustainable development; caste system and family structure in India; human rights; education; and ethnic relations, besides many others.

The centre also provides for photocopying of articles published in social science journal. Researchers and scholars can avail the facility at the centre. The centre is undertaking: indexing to social science articles in Punjabi; indexing of seminar papers; and survey of social science research, besides others.


MCC nets Rs 52 lakh in auction of parking lots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Auction of four parking lots in Sectors 17 and 9 here today fetched Rs 52 lakh to Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) against a reserve price of 49.46 lakh. Five more parking lots will be auctioned on April 26.

The corporation has been asked to start paid parking system through private parties from May 1. The Working Group on Paid Parking has decided on the design and and other details of the free passes which will be of blue colour. Parking slips will also be of different colours.

The highest bid of Rs 19.66 lakh came for the parking lot in front of Empire Store, measuring 9959 sq yd, against a reserve price of Rs 17.45 lakh.

The lowest bid of Rs 7.07 lakh, against a reserve price of Rs 7.06 lakh, came for the parking lot in front of the 30 Bays Building, Mehfil restaurant, Juneja Building, Baskin and Robbins ice-cream parlour and behind the State Library. The parking lot measures around 13,653 sq yd.

The parking lot near Gurdev Photo Studio was auctioned for Rs 18.03 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 17.55 lakh.

The parking lot in Sector 9 was auctioned for Rs 7.41 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 7.4 lakh.

The Municipal Corporation House meeting this month had decided to frame bylaws for parking. The commissioner might be given the right to challan vehicles on the pattern of traffic police for wrong parking or parking in ‘no parking areas’.


44 sand and gravel quarries auctioned
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
The Mines and Geology Department of the state government held an auction of 44 sand and gravel quarries on the Ghaggar river-bed, falling in Panchkula district today. However, the department has not finalised the contract, following a Punjab and Haryana High Court order against the finalisation of auction.

Sources in the department informed that the highest bid received for the auction was Rs 7,80,01,000, almost nine lakh more than the reserve price of Rs 7.71 crore. This is for the first time in the district that the auction of all 44 quarries was carried out as a single unit, in order to make the proposition more economically viable.

Official sources inform that this new formula of clubbing all quarries had earlier been successfully tested in Karnal, Yamunanagar, Sonepat and Panipat. They say the arrangement had not only yielded better price for the government, it also helped in checking illegal mining from river-beds.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that of the 44 quarries in Panchkula district, 10 were on contract till March 31, 2002 and five quarries are on contract till March 31, 2003. The mining contract of 10 of these quarries was cancelled midway by the department because of non-payment of monthly installments. The contract for these 10 quarries was till March 31, 2002. The remaining 19 quarries had been lying vacant because there were no takers.

This time, the department had doubled the reserve price of the 10 quarries whose contract expired on March 31, 2002, fixed the same reserve price for those quarries whose contract had been cancelled midstream, and decreased the reserve price by 20 per cent for the 19 quarries that had been lying vacant. A sum of Rs 1.99 crore was fixed for the quarries that would be available from April 1, 2003, after their contract expires on March 31 next year. It may be noted that a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had earlier stayed the finalisation of the auction of mining contract of sand and gravel quarries in Panchkula district. 


Jacob inaugurates Childline
Says service will make UT child- friendly city
Tribune News Service

Today’s inauguration was a classic example of all talk and no knowledge of ground reality. With everyone claiming that Childline was a collaborative effort again and again, not a word was mentioned about how the Childline workers had a big problem at their hands of providing shelter to these children, when they were found. The Childline coordinator, had on one occasion contacted virtually every possible social service organisation in the city for help, but none came forward. These children were now being taken care of at the Bhagat Puran Singh Pingalwara in Palsora. The coordinator had also contacted the Director Social Welfare, Ms Madhvi Kataria, for provision of temporary shelter for children brought to Childline. But it seemed that the city despite its intensive NGO presence and a Social Welfare Department was helpless in taking care of destitute children. 

Chandigarh, April 24
Childline Chandigarh, a 24-hour free emergency phone service for children in need and protection, which has been running in the city for more than three months now, was formally inaugurated by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), at a function held at the Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, here today.

Childline, which can be reached by dialing the toll-free number 1098, is a collaborative effort of the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) and the PGI. It is a project of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Government of India and works in partnership with Unicef, the corporate sector and Childline India foundation (CIF), Mumbai.

General Jacob, while inaugurating the Childline, said that this was a step forward in the direction of making the city a child-friendly city. The effort was an integral part of a plan of action for children prepared by the Department of Social Welfare, Chandigarh. This plan was directed towards development and welfare of children. The slums and unauthorised colonies were most deprived of infrastructure whereas the upper and middle classes were in need of maintenance and upgradation of the existing facilities.

He added that the children living in slums and on the streets, drug addicts, physically abused had been targeted in this plan. They had been provided with various services that could prevent them from finding themselves in vulnerable situations. Appreciating the initiative taken by the PGI and the IDC and various support organisations, General Jacob hoped that this service would fulfill the requirement of children in distress.

Prof S.K. Sharma, PGI, Director, in his presidential remarks highlighted that children in difficult situation had to be immediately provided a conducive environment to grow.

Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, IDC, which is the nodal organisation for the Childline, said it would be better if the focus was not just on providing relief to the abused children but also to improve provision of a healthy life.

Prof Anil Narang, Head, Advanced Paediatric Centre, PGI, said Childline was looking after every child who was in a difficult situation.

Ms Michelle D'Cruz from CIF, Mumbai, informed that Childline was currently operational in 38 cities in India and it operated through the network of NGOs in the city which not only responded to the needs of the child but played a major role in intervention, long-term care and rehabilitation.

Prof Asha Sethi, Project Coordinator, IDC, informed that the effort shall systematically reach out to the marginalised groups of children and an awareness campaign shall be launched. Prof J.N. Joshi, Chairman, IDC, highlighted the need to make this movement broad based. It should be incorporated with the Chandigarh plan of action which was holistic in nature. Back


Solid’ opposition by marble traders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Chandigarh Sector 51-52 Marble Traders Association today flayed the Union Territory Administration for uprooting marble traders without making any arrangements for their rehabilitation.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Naratamal and Mr H.S. Paul, President and General Secretary of the association respectively said the Administration had discriminated against them. In the case of iron market and fruit market, the Administration had made all arrangements for their rehabilitation before uprooting them.

They also criticised the auction conducted yesterday by the Administration. They claimed that the Administration did not notify the terms and conditions and position of the site before auctioning of plots. They alleged that the Administration issued the public auction notice with a view to harassing them.

Mr Naratamal and Mr Paul alleged the authorities also did not make arrangements for amenities needed for marble traders. The officials failed to answer their queries and admitted their shortcomings. They claimed that there was basic requirement of electricity load of 50 KVA for each plot holder, the provision for disposal of slurry and basic infrastructure like road, right and back opening. The map, which was shown to them at the time of auction, showed 16-feet wide roads. These roads were insufficient for the movement of trucks and heavy vehicles.

They supplied copies of the notice published in various newspapers for the rehabilitation of marble dealers, kabaris and furniture shops operating in a sector of the city adjoining Mohali. They demanded that the Administration should allot them plots on concessional rates for their rehabilitation. “We have been functioning from the Sector 51-52 market for the past 15 years. We had taken land on rent from agriculturists.”

They claimed that theirs was the biggest marble market in the northern part of the country, next only to Delhi, and catering to the needs of people of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, apart from Chandigarh. They regretted that senior officials of the Administration were neither granting them time to sort out their problems nor were they rehabilitating them.

Both Mr Naratamal and Mr Paul threatened that marble traders would hold dharnas, gherao officers and stage demonstrations if the Administration made any attempt to uproot them.

They said that some of them had already filed writ petitions for rehabilitation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court has asked the Administration to file its reply on April 26.


Village building bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) today asked the Chandigarh Administration to frame building bylaws for villages. He was reacting to a report in Chandigarh Tribune on how a nine-storeyed building was being constructed while finding loopholes in the law.


‘Lax attitude of PSEB officials led to robbery’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 24
Punjab State Electricity Board officials have been adopting a lax attitude towards the security arrangements while transporting cash in the town.

A sum of about Rs 10 lakh in cash besides cheques were taken away by armed men from two women employees of the PSEB when they had gone to deposit the amount in a bank in Phase VII here yesterday. At the time of the robbery there was no armed escort with the Jeep carrying the cash to Punjab National Bank.

Board employees today blamed the higher authorities for “serious lapses” in the security arrangements while certain officials said the police had failed to post personnel at power bill collection centres despite several requests in this regard.

Sources said large amount of cash, running into lakhs of rupees, from collection centres in Phases I and IX were taken on a daily basis to the divisional office in the Industrial Area here. From there the amount is sent to the bank the next day.

It is learnt that on most days cashiers from Phases I and IX collection centres carry the amount on their personal scooters because no official vehicle is provided to them. According to the board rules, if the amount exceeds Rs 50,000 it should be transported in an official vehicle. Even no armed guards are provided at the collection centres or while transporting cash from one place to another.

The general secretary of the PSEB Employees Federation, Mr Brij Mohan Sharma, said the federation had been demanding security for cashiers and provision of official vehicles for transporting cash. But officials had never taken their demand seriously. The vehicles were provided only when they were available but not on a permanent basis. Security is provided only for a few days when some incident takes place.

Mr Kuldip Singh, finance secretary of the state unit of the Ministerial Services Union (PSEB), said their organisation would not let the authorities take any action against the women employees as the incident of robbery had taken place due to the lax attitude of the authorities.

Mr J.S. Sekhon, Superintending Engineer, however, claimed that on most days official vehicles were provided for transporting cash. Problems sometimes arose as there was a shortage of vehicles. “We will have to review the situation and also seek police help”. The Ropar SSP had given an assurance yesterday that armed policemen would escort the board vehicles carrying cash, he added. There was also a plan to transport the cash collected in parts to the bank.

Police reviews security at banks
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 24
The police held a meeting with the local bank managers to discuss the security arrangements here today.

The meeting followed the incident when two women employees of the PSEB were robbed of over Rs 10 lakh in cash at gunpoint in broad daylight in front of Punjab National Bank in Phase VII here yesterday. The security guard of the bank was reportedly on leave.

It is reported that the DSP, Mr H.S. Bhullar, told the managers to furnish details of their security guards.

He emphasised that persons on security duty should be provided with proper weapons. In case the staff deputed on security duty was not able to use the weapons, the police could give them training in this regard.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the police has rounded up some persons in connection with yesterday’s robbery.Back


Govt to encourage aviation industry: minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Dr Gulshan Sharma, director of the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT), today presented a blueprint with recommendations on promotion of aviation and tourism in Punjab and Chandigarh, to Mr Avtar Henry, Civil Aviation Minister, Punjab.

Highlighting the importance of aviation industry in the economy, Dr Sharma suggested that the industrial policy of Punjab and UT should include special incentives and concessions for the private sector so as to encourage investment. Citing the example of Kerala, he said, “NRIs can also be encouraged to invest in civil aviation projects as Kerala did for the Cochin International Airport.”

He said there should be an integrated aviation policy for northern states for achieving better results. Emphasising on private sector participation, he said, joint venture projects with public and private sector partnerships would go a long way in promoting the industry.

Talking about the prospects of the industry, Dr Sharma said as per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) estimates, cargo would increase from 64,000 tonnes to 1,80,000 tonnes by 2018.

“Projections for the coming years show that while the domestic passenger traffic for 2002-03 will be around 206.80 lakh, international passenger traffic will be around 158.89 lakh. According to estimates, this number will be around 341.46 lakh during 2009-2010 for domestic passengers and around 233.33 lakh for international passengers,” he said.

Mr Avtar Henry said the government would encourage aviation industry in the state and would look forward to public and private sectors’ participation in the industry.

Mr R.C. Nayyar, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Punjab, said the airline industry could benefit the economy substantially.


Anti-smoking ban goes up in smoke
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 24
The ban imposed by the Chandigarh Administration on smoking at public places went up in smoke today. Even after a lapse of about 24 hours, officials failed to take action against the violators.

Around you smokers were merrily puffing away. If men in kurta pajamas were not smoking ‘bidis’ at the Sector 17 Inter State Bus Terminus, young boys in well-ironed shirts over neat denims were savouring “milds” in front of college campuses spread all over the city, or else on the Panjab University campus.

Even government offices were not free from smoke. In the absence of enforcement staff hunting for violators, the ‘smoking’ population of Chandigarh happily enjoyed their favourite passtime. The situation was not very different in cinema halls and public libraries. Outside Sector 16 General Hospital and other health centres in the city, smokers continued to “blow their lungs out”.

The Administration, in compliance with the orders pronounced by the Supreme Court of India earlier this year, had ordered a ban on smoking in auditoriums, hospital buildings, health institutes, educational centers, libraries and even in court building, besides public offices, trains and buses.

“Enforcing a ban on smoking even at public places is essential, though not an easy task,” says a senior officer in the Chandigarh Administration. “Earlier also, orders prohibiting smoking in government offices were passed, but could not be effectively enforced.”

He adds, “Such orders cannot be put into force without the active co-operation of the public at large. Residents should realise that the orders were passed by the Apex Court keeping in mind the interest of the masses. They should also realise that the ban would not only help them in their effort to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke, but would also be in the interest of the non-smoking population of the city. Besides this, we believe that a large number of students, smoking cigarettes for style, would not pick up the habit”.

The official also admits that the problem was “real bad” not only at the bus terminus, but also at the shopping complexes in the city. “We are also exploring the feasibility of marking non-smoking zones in the city,” he asserted.


2,000 water connections for Naya Gaon, Nada
Our Correspondent

Naya Gaon (Kharar), April 24
The Punjab Public Health Department would soon release 2,000 private water connections in Naya Gaon and Nada villages. This was stated by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Punjab Minister for Animal Husbandry, while inaugurating a new water supply scheme here today.

The Minister also said that a water and electricity bill collection centre would also be opened at in the village. Presently, residents of the area have to go to SAS Nagar to deposit the bills. Asked whether new electricity connections would also be released, the minister answered he was in touch with officials concerned. It may be noted that the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) has not issued no objection certificates to those who constructed houses in the area after December 1998. ‘‘Naya Gaon would soon become a model village’’, announced Mr Kang.

The water supply works (fourth in the area) built at the cost of Rs 132.16 lakh would be supplying water to Nada, Karoran and Naya Gaon. At present the population of the area is about 43,000 and there are only 229 public water posts and 1,350 private connections in the area. An official in the Public Health informed that the connections would be released within a fortnight to those whose names figure in the waiting list.

Mr Manjeet Singh Kamboj and Jolly of the Joint Action Committee, Naya Gaon, expressed their happiness on the inauguration of the waterworks. Mr H.S Bajwa, village sarpanch said that the new water works would help solve the water problems of the area.

Mr Jasjeet Singh Randhawa, the Punjab Minister for Public Works, Public Health Department was also present on the occasion. Among others who were present on the occasion included Mr S.B. Sehgal and Mr S.R. Aggarwal, Superintending Engineer and Executive Engineer, Public Health, respectively.


Low conviction rate, cause for concern’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
“Procedures as laid down in the law must be religiously followed to secure higher rate of conviction in drugs law enforcement.” This view was expressed by experts at the concluding session of the three-day course on “Drugs law enforcement” for police officers of Northern states organised by the Central Institute of Correctional Administration here.

Among the experts present at the panel discussion were Dr H.C. Modi, a retired District and Sessions Judge, Mr Parag Jain, SSP, Chandigarh, Mr Vikram Choudhary, a criminal lawyer specialising in drugs cases, Mr Rakesh Goyal of the Narcotics Bureau and Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director of the Institute of Correctional Administration.

While initiating the discussion, Dr Lalli said while the world was facing an increasing problem of drug trafficking, low conviction rate was causing concern every where. Only in few states and for a specific period, 100 per cent convictions were secured in Manipur in late 90s, she said. In many states, including Punjab and Haryana, the conviction rate was hardly into double figures, she added.

Dr H.C. Modi, who was asked in 1998 by the then Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to find out reasons for low conviction rate under the NPDS Act in Punjab, said procedural technicalities have to be followed to ensure higher rate of conviction.

“Before the present NPDS Act came, there was only the Opium Act. But this Act came in 1985 where everything is specific and clearly laid down,” remarked Dr Modi maintaining that in most of the cases studied by him on directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it was found that many a times the investigators did not follow the mandatory conditions relating to seizure and maintenance of samples that led to failure of cases in the courts. “Independent witness,” the panelists felt, “was another major problem”.

Mr Parag Jain said a careful scrutiny of the cases that failed in the court revealed that provisions under sections 42 and 50 were not followed seriously by the investigators. “Any lacunae left in the seizure of samples, their storage, handling and getting them examined by the forensic laboratories were enough to let the accused go,” he said maintaining that in Chandigarh, the conviction rate in drugs cases was fairly good as compared to other states and union territories.

Mr Jain said the Chandigarh police even organised a workshop for its officers to apprise them of the common causes of drugs cases failing in the courts.

Mr Vikram Choudhary said investigators also need to be educated not only about the NPDS Act but also the related Acts, including the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Act dealing with the licensing of chemists and druggists.

“Procedural lapses and lack of awareness were the main reasons which the defence lawyers exploit to get acquitals,” he said. Talking about Section 50, he said as per the latest ruling, it was presumed to be covering only personal search of the accused and excluding premises or vehicles while the Section 42 covered all the three.

Mr Rakesh Goel , who modulated the panel discussion, talked about various provisions, including recording of statements, evidence, personal search of the accused, especially in case of females, and conducting of personal search in the presence of a gazetted officer or a magistrate.

Other issues which generated interest was whether the complainant can be an investigating officer in the NPDS Act or not. References were also made to the amendments made to the Act in October last year.


Creative affairs of lens and life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
With every passing year, the annual photo show organised by Friends of Photography seems to become a more delightful affair. This year, the third foto show pictures life in varied hues. All about musings, moods and moments, the exhibition qualifies more than a routine ensemble. It makes emotional, social and spiritual statements; voices individual and global concerns and marches forward with a message of peace through sober prints.

And since art is all about conversation and its sole purpose is to offer pleasure, this show also does its bit in being able to feature a multi-faceted collection. Prints vary in tones, themes and meanings. Life portraits make a comfortable place in the scheme of things. And there are a large number of delightful frames which soothe the senses. Some works capture life, laced with fury or smiling with peace. Among the prominent works are those by Benu Sen, C.R. Sathyanarayana, Japanese photo artist Sunao Masuda, K.G. Maheshwari and Surendra Patel.

From the cycle of time, as captured from the lens by Sushant Banerjee, to Surendra Patel’s striking frame in ‘Peep’, the exhibition traverses various planes of thought and reality. The magic of black and white comes alive in the innovative works by Sushant Banerjee; Benu Sen’s ‘transplantation’ and another work titles on the stage of life bares the difficult implications of life; C.R. Sathyanarayana’s ‘Sankranti’ work is especially inspiring; Sunao Masuda’s, atelier is full of creative waves.

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob, inaugurating the exhibition, dwelled upon the origin of photography and his own tryst with the art. Out of 66 prints, special invitees have contributed 31. Among the local artists who have displayed their collection are V.S. Kundu, Subhash Sapru, Adit Agarwala and O.P. Gupta.

Subhash Sapru’s awarded work, which captures the virility of a farmer participating in rural olympics, also features in this collection. ‘Shivani’ by K.G. Maheshwari, ‘Homeward’ by B.S. Sodhi, The catch by V.S. Kundu and invitation by Adit Agarwala are also about experimenting with images on the one side and capturing the reality of moments on the other.

During the inaugural function, Gen Jacob talked about the amalgamation of photography with the computer as very handy. “This combination has made things affordable even for a layman,” he said. Earlier V.S. Kundu, vice-president of FOP gave an introduction of the exhibition. Subhash Sapru read the report and Adit Agarwala proposed a vote of thanks.


City lawyer on rail users’ panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Mr Mansur Ali, Chandigarh-based advocate has been nominated a member of the Railway Users Consultative Committee, Ferozepore Division.

The committee’s functions relate to the provision of amenities and giving proposals regarding opening new stations. The committee looks into the arrangement for time-tables and helps improve the services and facilities provided by the Railways. Any other subject of general public importance also comes under its purview. The tenure of the committee is two years.

Ferozepore Division is one of the largest divisions of the Northern Railway. 


IAS officer roughs up auto dealer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Mr Ramesh Goel, proprietor of Goel Auto Lines, today alleged that he was roughed up by an IAS officer, Mr R.R. Jowel, Director of Haryana Social Welfare Department, when he went to his office in Sector 17 for demanding the payment for the accessories he got fitted in his two cars.

Mr Goel alleged when he asked Mr Jowel to release his payment, the latter told him that he would compensate Goel when he was placed in a good position. Mr Goel requested Mr Jowel to release at least a part of about Rs 55,000 payment that he owed to him. Mr Goel said Mr Jowel, already infurated, summoned his peon, who pushed him out of his office. Later, Mr Jowel came out and started bashing him up. Mr Goel further alleged that he complained to the Sector 17 SHO, Mr Vijay Kumar.

Mr Jowel, on the other hand, denied the allegations. He said accompanied by a friend, Mr Goel had entered his office without permission. Mr Goel misbehaved with his PA and tried to create a furore in his office.

Mr Jowel further said that his staff had sent a complaint against Mr Goel to the Sector 17 SHO. Mr Jowel, however, did not deny that he owed Rs 55,000 to Mr Goel.


Rain brings down temperature
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Rains and strong winds brought down temperature in the city and surrounding areas today and next couple of days are likely to be free of heat wave.

Yesterday the wind broke the three- day heat wave prevailing this month.

Ambala saw the lowest maximum temperature in the neighbouring areas of the city recording 33.5°C temperature.

The city of Haryana witnessed temperature going down 4°C from yesterday.

Chandigarh at 33.8 saw a fall of 1° C, Patiala saw a fall at 2°C at 34.8°C, from yesterday.


Scientific information in Hindi now
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Agriculture scientists from across the country here today took a pledge to make efforts to provide scientific information in Hindi.

The vow was taken at the national conference on agro-electronic instruments at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) where the two-day conference ended today with 40 papers being presented by experts.

Today’s technical sessions saw 20 papers being presented in two technical sessions on water management, fertilisers, pesticides and land development techniques. The two sessions were chaired by the chief of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), Dr B.R. Yadav, and its former Director D.S. Pathania. The CSIO Director, Mr R.P. Bajpai, urged the scientists to shed the inhibition of using Hindi language in dissemination of information.


Creche for cops’ wards
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 24
A creche for the wards of the UT police personnel was inaugurated by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi in Police Colony, Sector 20, here today. With this, the number of creche for wards of policemen has gone up to three and another creche will also come up in the police quarters in Sector 20.

There are 108 police quarters for constables and head constables and 12 wards have been enrolled in this creche. The Chandigarh Police Family Welfare Society will look after the creche. Mr Bassi called upon the police officials to perform their duties honestly.

Among others who were present on the occasion were Mr Parag Jain, SSP, Mr Baldev Singh, SP (City), and Deputy Superintendents of Police. Later, wards of the policemen studying in Government Model High School, Sector 26, presented a cultural programme.


Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Chanchal Rani, mother of Mr Ashok Kumar Sharma, Bromide Paster with The Tribune group, passed away at Tribune Model Gram, Bartana, near here today. She was 65.

Her mortal remains were consigned to flames in the evening. Her funeral was largely attended. She is survived by her husband, three sons and three daughters.

Navratra offerings cross Rs 34.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
Devotees have offered Rs. 34.64 lakh, 45 gold ornaments and 962 silver ornaments during the nine-day Navratra Mela at the Mansa Devi temple. An official press release said that the offerings in this mela were the highest since 1999 when the government took over the management of the temple. As many as 78 fans, 374 kg of desi ghee, 428 utencils, 50 suits and sarees , 21 wall clocks, 11 bells, five tube sets and eatables were offered to the deity.

TheCity-Magistrate-cum-Secretary of the board, Mr Rajesh Jogpal, said that this was the first time that the token system had been introduced.Back


Dowry claims another life
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 24
A married girl of nearby Chadiala Sudan village became victim of dowry demand and died in Bhajauli village on Sunday.

Mr Nachattar Singh, father of the deceased Kulwinder Kaur, has lodged an FIR with the Kharar police that his daughter was married to Sarabjit Singh of Bhajauli village (Kharar) in 1996. She was a mother of two children. He alleged that her husband Sarabjit Singh, father-in-law Sher Singh and mother-in-law Surjit Kaur used to harass her and beat her up because they were demanding from her to bring more dowry.

He informed the police that on April 20 he got a phone call from his daughter that she was being beaten up and she requested her father to take her back to his village. He informed the police that when he reached the village on Sunday next day he was informed that his daughter had died. The police has registered a case under Section 304 B against the husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law.



4 women held on theft charge
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 24
The police arrested four women of Bapu Dham colony yesterday for allegedly stealing motors and pumps of desert coolers in Ram Darbar here. According to the police sources, the women were caught red-handed and the stolen property was recovered from their possession.

The accused, Bimla, Nirmla, Jamuna and Kalo, were booked under Sections 454, 380 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr Shim Bahadur, a resident of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, was injured after he was hit by a scooter in Sector 22 yesterday afternoon. The scooterists reportedly ran away from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC was registered.

A Vespa scooter (CH-03-F- 8882) of Mr Parminder Singh, a resident of Dadumajra village, was stolen from garage of S.C.O No. 143, Sector 24, on Monday night. Mr Ajay Sharma of S.C.O No. 83-84, Sector 34, reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH-01-J-8000) was stolen from near the S.C.O on April 20. Two cases of theft were registered.

Gambler held
Suraj Mal, a resident of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, was arrested by the police under various Sections of the Gambling Act for gambling at a public place last night. The police claimed to recover Rs 1,025 from his possession.

5 held for gambling
The local police arrested five persons, including a resident of Panchkula, from Hotel Park Inn in Sector 35 here allegedly for gambling and seized Rs 64,850 from their possession on Wednesday. A police party headed by Inspector Satibir Singh of CIA raided room no. 102 and made the arrests. Those arrested are — Guru Dutt Suri and Sudhir of Sector 30, Tarin Kumar of Sector 39, Rajinder Pal of Sector 35 and Anil Kumar, a resident of Sector 12, Panchkula. Police sources said that the accused were later released on bail.

An unidentified man in his early sixties died in Sector 26 Grain Market while he was riding a bi-cycle here this evening. The exact cause of his death could not be known. The body has been sent to General Hospital, Sector 16 for postmortem, said police sources.


A resident of Upper Mohalla, Kalka, Mr Baldev Singh, has accused a resident of his locality , Deepak Kumar, of having abducted his 13-year-old daughter on April 20. A case under Sections 363 and 366, IPC, has been registered.

Three booked
The police has booked three persons on charges of having violated the Periphery Control Act. Harjit Singh , Ved Prakash and Kashmiri Lal have been booked on a complaint submitted by the District Town and Country Planning Department.

One held
The police has arrested Krishan Pal from Bator village and seized 30 pouches of liquor from his possession.

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