Wednesday, May 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 touts of Langah in Vigilance net
Locker of Mohali's wife yields 900 gm of gold
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 21
In the case of having disproportionate assets of his known sources of income registered against former PWD Minister Sucha Singh Langah, the Punjab Vigilance Department today arrested Pradeep Bhatega, Vinod Garg and Nitu — all alleged to be touts of the minister.

They would be produced in the court of the Duty Magistrate, Kharar, tomorrow. Sources in the Vigilance Department said that Nitu from Patiala used to charge an amount varying from Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for departmental promotions, transfers and even for improving departmental ranking of Superintending Engineers, Executive Engineers and Subdivisional Engineers. Said to be among the touts of the former minister, Nitu took money in at least 20 cases.

Vinod Garg was said to be actively involved in channelising the money collected by the minister to "safer" outlets. At least 85 acres of land, purchased by the minister, was in the name of Vinod. Pardeep Bhatega, a businessman of Ludhiana, had invested around Rs 2 crore of the minister in construction of godowns.

Meanwhile, the Vigilance Department recovered around 900 gm of gold from the locker of Mrs Tejinder Kaur, wife of councillor Amrik Singh Mohali who has been arrested in connection with the case of disproportionate assets registered against Mr Sucha Singh Langah. The locker is in the Phase V branch of the Union Bank of India.

The locker was opened after the Vigilance Department sought the permission from the Duty Magistrate, Kharar. The recovered items included a gold chain, a gold coin and some other items. The recovered items have been valued at around Rs 4 lakh.


DAV College prevents collateral damage
Special classes curb tuition menace, arouse student interest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Taking a cue from the success which the DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, has achieved in weaning its students away from tuitions by running special classes, schools run under the DAV banner have expressed a keen desire to experiment with the idea.

While they are unable to run special classes to prepare children for competitive and other examinations, they have urged the college head to part with the study material prepared during these special classes.

The schools will have access to the assignments distributed to students, as well as the mock tests’ material, which will be conducted from time to time. Also, at a meeting with the heads of these institutions, it was agreed in principle, that a special teacher-orientation programme would be conducted by the college.

Under this programme, the teachers would be instructed on how to handle teaching, be well-prepared themselves to be able to answer queries of students related to competitive exams and prepare students for competitive examinations while teaching the regular syllabi in classrooms.

Besides, the college will send a couple of teachers as guest faculty to these schools for instructing school teachers.

The brainchild behind the classes, Mr S.C. Marriya, Principal of the college, is elated at the response it has received from these educational institutions.

“Schools, plagued by lack of interest of students in classrooms, have turned to us for help. We feel privileged that we can be of to them and help minimise the tuition menace,” he says.

The college had taken the step of starting special classes just after the conclusion of the CBSE Board examinations for students interested in taking up the science stream in Class XI. These classes, being run on the college premises in the mornings and evenings, would continue till the results were declared.

Taken by college teachers, these classes were started to engage the students during the post-Boards vacation, since most of them were exploring various tuition centres to complete their syllabi before actual classroom-teaching began.


Ratra’s austerity drive to cut corners in employees’ wages
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 21
Austerity measures taken by the Punjab Government are now cuting into pockets of the employees of the Board and Corporations of Punjab. The Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, had directed heads of all Boards and Corporations to bring their travelling allowance, house rent allowance and medical allowance at par with that given to the Punjab Government employees.

Already, some of the Boards and Corporations, based at Chandigarh and SAS Nagar have withdrawn the ‘extra’ allowances being given to its employees. The decision has already led to protests from employees, as the austerity measures mean a drastic cut in their salaries.

Sources in the government said citing a decision of the sub-committee on fiscal management, the Chief Secretary, Mr Ratra, had shot off letters to all Boards and Corporations to comply with the orders. As the heads of the departments had been asked to send in their compliance by today, it could not be ascertained exactly how many departments had been effected by the orders.

Enquiries reveal that the worst-hit were those officers who had been enjoying entertainment allowance. The entertainment allowance and the petrol allowance being paid to the officers had also been drastically cut, it is learnt.

On the other hand, employees lament that they were not provided various facilities which the government employees were entitled to. While employees of the Punjab Government were allotted government accommodation on concessional rates, employees of the Board and Corporations had to pay the market rent. After withdrawal of the house rent allowance (HRA), the employees were not being given government accommodation.


Child that granny took away
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 21
Playway school and not court should have been a second home for little Simranjit, but it wasn’t so till today when she was restored to her parents after two years.

The three-years-and-a-half-old child wearing a bright polka-dot skirt hugged her mother as soon as she was handed over to her. Simranjit’s parents were fighting her paternal grandmother for the custody of the child. The grandmother, Satya Devi, had allegedly taken the child away about two years ago and refused to give her back. She, too, was in the courtroom today.

Ms Omi, mother of the child, alleged that Satya Devi had snatched the child from her on May 20, 2000, when the baby had been on breast feed. After the incident the mother went into depression and had to be hospitalised. After six days of it, she had lodged a report at the Industrial Area police station. However, the police had not taken the case seriously and failed to get the girl back. Then, she approached the IGP.

The mother said, though she had tried hard to get her daughter back, Satya had not allowed her even to visit her house. Ms Omi and her husband, Mr Harbans Singh, then, moved court and sought the custody of the minor as long as the petition was pending.

Satya Devi, however, denied all allegations in the court. She said the girl’s parents were unable to take care of her because they had no source of income. “I was unable to hand over the girl to her parents because she was, then, recovering in the PGI,” she told the court.

The court had given an order in the favour of the parents on June 15, 2001, granting them the interim custody of the child. The court preferred to give the custody of the minor girl to her mother, her natural guardian, than a close relative.

However, when the girl was still not handed over to her parents, they moved the High Court. On April 30, the High Court ordered that the custody of the child be given to her natural guardian as it was in the child’s interest.


Why is PU bending attendance rules?
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Is Panjab University serious about attendance rules which fix a minimum limit on classroom presence to get the roll numbers for appearing in the final examination?

On the one hand the university says that a student must have attended of at least 66 per cent lectures to qualify for the examination and on the other hand cases of more than 50 lectures short come up for consideration at the university syndicate.

This is not the first time but a routine feature that students who do not fulfil the lecture requirements are condoned by the chairperson of the department and the Vice Chancellor. The matter gains importance in the light that the university is increasing the class attendance requirement to 75 per cent from the forthcoming academic session (2002-2003).

This time again the university syndicate is considering to clear at least 11 cases of shortage of lectures. These pertain to the departments of Political Science, Laws, mathematics, Microbiology and Physics. There are cases which had a shortage as high as 69 and 50, among others.

The list of excuses besides medical reasons includes family problems, participation in student council functions and due to some unfavourable circumstances.

In case of shortage of lectures, besides condonation by the chairman( as high as 30), the Vice Chancellor is authorised to condone 10 lectures each. Students still unable to cross minimum limits get more concession from the university syndicate. It is learnt that from the forthcoming academic session, the Vice Chancellor will not condone any lectures.

Such moves are seen to give conflicting signals to students. “Why have rules which mean nothing in actual practice? Either the education system has collapsed or teachers are not interesting enough to draw students to classes. The course content needs to be updated regularly to encourage student participation”, a senior student said.

Two house examinations in the affiliated colleges from the forthcoming academic session are seen as a positive step towards encouraging classroom attendance. This is important because marks from these examination will be added to the finals to determine the merit. The condition of house examination however does not extend to the university departments.

A section of students feels that the university should not draw any limits for classroom attendance. Each student realises that his academic worth depends on the total in the final examination and then plans accordingly. It should be left at the discretion of the student to plan his academic schedule. There are others, however, who feel that the university should take strict measures to ensure maximum classroom attendance.

A senior professor said that university should have concession for certain number of lectures because there could always be emergency for students where they could be forced to miss their classes. However, there is nothing denying the fact that in many cases the university just gobbled ‘lame excuses’ to issue the roll numbers.


UT refuses to play ‘housekeeper’
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Chandigarh Administration has got a major expense running into crores off its back. Maintenance of government houses allotted to Punjab Chief Minister and to members of his cabinet has been handed over to the Punjab Government. And if Haryana wants to maintain the houses of their own CM or ministers, they are also most welcome to do so, say sources in the Administration.

About 20 houses, each measuring more than six kanal, (3,000 square yard) required sprucing up as per the whims and fancies of the minister concerned. ‘Why should UT spend on an expense of Punjab?’ was the logic used by Chandigarh Administration while handing over maintenance of the houses to Punjab. Chandigarh Administration is the custodian of the property in Chandigarh under the Re-organisation of States Act,1966. In the past, Punjab and Haryana have repeatedly told Chandigarh that it is not the owner and just the custodian of properties.

It all started when the new Congress regime came to power. Certain demands were made and these were to result in very high financial implications for UT. Chandigarh Administration officials resented the same, saying they had only limited resources to cater to maintenance of about 23,000 government houses.

How and why were they managing on behalf of Punjab and Haryana till now is still a mystery. The answer, according to sources is very simple. Most bureaucrats holding important posts come from Punjab and Haryana, thus the need to please their political masters.

Going by sources the average sum Chandigarh Administration says it could now spare was Rs 6,000 for each house, to which Punjab authorities made an offer to UT that 20 of the government houses be handed over to them for maintenance. UT readily agreed and prepared an agreement that Punjab could maintain the houses on its own and the UT was not keen to do so, thus saving probably crores in the process, say sources.

Already the Chandigarh Administration has put its foot down on another expense and refused to carry out any new development in the MLA Hostels in Sectors 3 and 4, respectively, saying Punjab and Haryana Governments had to first clear arrears for their maintenance. Both buildings, having a total of 112 flats for MLAs are owned by the UT Administration. Punjab holds 72 flats, while Haryana has control over the other 40.

In the past one year, the Administration has refused to pay for the power of about 100 newly installed air conditioners in the hostels, saying a new transformer and cables have to be set up for this. ACs draw more power, explained UT officials. The load needs to be enhanced. In the Sector 4 Hostel, another 145 Kilowatt needs to be added to the existing load of 122 KW. In Sector 3 Hostel, 40 KW need to be added to the existing 92 KW load capacity.

All this will cost about Rs 10 lakh to provide. Now the UT Administration has put its foot down saying it will not energise the ACs unless Rs 60 lakh of arrears are paid up. Besides this, the Administration wants the state governments to first shell out Rs 10 lakh for the transformer and other works. Anyone seeking load enhancement has to pay up for the same and by this yardstick the state governments also have to pay for the same, pointed out sources.


18 hours without power
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
How about spending 18 hours without power on a hot day in this searing heat? Such things do not happen in the elite northern sectors. Unfortunate residents of Sector 44, a southern sector, were forced to be without power starting 9.30 p.m last night.

In some areas, power was restored at about 3.30 p.m. today. Another few pockets were lucky, as supply was restored around 4 in the morning. Sources said the fault had occurred in the indoor sub-station at Sector 44-C. Here the bus bar, which routes power from the transformer to homes, developed a snag.

The fault was detected around 3.30 a.m. and power supply was restored in some areas around 11 a.m., sources confirmed.

As if to rub salt into the wounds of the tax-paying middle class residents of Sector 44, power supply in colony number V, the city’s biggest slum located south of Sector 44, was intact, despite the fact that the entire system runs on ‘kundis’ (illegal connections) in the slum. The slum-dwellers were the favoured residents of the Administration, alleged an agitated resident, Mr Manik Chawla.

A housewife complained that vegetables stored in the refrigerator had got spoiled while kids could not go to school as they had not slept the whole night.

An official of a private bank said he was sleepy throughout the day due to lack of adequate sleep at night and preferred to head home in the afternoon and catch up on some sleep. In some areas, there was no water supply, which is based on power supply.


Identification must for petty job-seekers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
To keep a tab on activities of the anti-social elements, who may disguise themselves as petty job-seekers in the city, the District Magistrate has imposed orders under Section 144 of the Cr PC directing all those seeking employment in petty and non-formal trade or services or to provide contract labour, like rickshaw-pullers, rehriwallahs, phariwallahs, washermen or cobblers, to provide their particulars along with their passport size photographs to the police to enable identification or verifications of criminal elements.

Interrogation of criminals by the police revealed that some of them or their accomplices were from among the migrant labourers and those engaged in petty, non-formal trades and services. The orders were passed after it was found that such people do not get their antecedents verified and as a result crime prevention becomes difficult.

The District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramasekhar, has also directed, under Section 144 of the Cr PC, to all residents, owners or tenants of commercial and residential property not to employ anyone without furnishing the particulars to the nearest police station. Those seeking employment as domestic help will have to provide their particulars along with their passport sized photographs to the police to enable their identification or verification.

Any breach of the order will invite action under Section 188 of the IPC.


Bhatti offers ‘sharamdan’ at Sukhna
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, May 21
No one can accuse Jaspal Bhatti of being malicious, but when this ‘poker-faced comedian’ lashes out at someone for something, he sure knows how to hit hard. The target of his wrath this time was the Chandigarh Administration, which over the years, in the name of desiltation work, has been staging gimmicks, like ‘shramdan’ at Sukhna Lake.

So the ‘shramdan’, which Jaspal Bhatti and members of his Nonsense Club carried out today at the regulator end of Sukhna Lake with spoons and bowls, might not be the ultimate creative act, but every action and word oozed sarcasm, and was a real eye-opener for the public.

“The concept of shramdan at Sukhna Lake started sometime in 1986 when a big island emerged out of the water table of the lake,” says Jaspal Bhatti. “Eversince, the process has become a fashion with officials of the Administration, who meet once a year to dig out silt from the lake, resulting in nothing,” he adds.

If the Administration is unable to mobilise modern machinery for desilting the lake, they should stop such gimmicks, says Mr Bhatti. Every year school children are dragged into the scorching sun to remove mud in ‘tokris’ and for government officials, it is a great occasion to please their bosses by taking part in the activity, he adds.

Looking at the actual motive of ‘shramdan’, a corner of the silted area should be allotted for ‘chamchagiri’, and this annual exercise should be renamed ‘sharamdan’ where officials can feel ashamed of their continuous failure, says Mr Bhatti.

Jaspal Bhatti’s association with the Sukhna Lake goes back to 1986 when the Club had organised a cricket match on it’s dry beds to generate awareness about the degrading eco system of the lake among the public and the Administration. Making fun of the administration which was indifferent to the whole issue, Mr Bhatti had suggested that the place be converted into a cricket stadium.

So today, when the Nonsense Club troupe, which comprised glitterati like model Candy Brar, music director Brajesh Ahuja, theatre personality Surinder Vicky and Sumeet Sood along with Savita Bhatti and a few others dressed in trendy clothes carried out the farce of ‘shramdan’ with spoons and steel bowls, Jaspal Bhatti once again, in his inimitable way, urged the Administration to pay attention to the drying Sukhna Lake and mobilise as well as utilise funds properly to save it.


Failed in love, he ended his life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Vineet Saxena, a 26-year-old architect, who ended his life yesterday by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his room here, took this extreme step “under severe mental stress”, according to his relatives and friends.

Vineet had been running a private architecture-consultancy firm here in partnership with his former classmate, Sarika Jhawar, for the past about two years.

Vineet’s maternal uncle, Mr Ajay Jauhar, said Vineet had been keen on marrying Sarika and both families had even approved the match. “However, yesterday, Sarika said she did not want to marry Vineet,” Mr Jauhar said. Neither Sarika nor her family members were available for comments.

On that fateful day, Vineet, the only son of his parents, had dropped his mother, a lecturer, at her college before visiting the Chandigarh railway station. A platform ticket and a parking slip were found on him.

When Vineet’s father, Mr Laxmi Swaran Saxena, an employee of the Survey of India, returned home yesterday, he found his son hanging from the ceiling fan. Vineet was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.

“Vineet’s father has severe arthritis and, at times, needs support to walk,” his relatives said. Vineet’s mother, who is still to overcome the shock that her “sensible” son could commit suicide, was carrying the clippings of newspaper reports of Vineet’s academic and professional achievements.

Vineet had graduated from the Chandigarh College of Architecture in 1999, won the President’s medal and got the third prize in an all-India competition of architectural designs organised by HDFC Bank. Vineet had attempted to commit suicide earlier as well. On May 2, he had consumed some toxic substance in Sarika’s house, at which, her brother had taken him to hospital.


Drought-infested for years
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Shiamtu (Panchkula), May 21
The parched fields stretch as far as your eyes can travel. The starved animals can be seen moving about on the barren land in search of food and water, even as the owner of the herd sits in whatever shade that is provided by a few dried bushes on one side of the field.

“We have been suffering the drought-like conditions for years now. But the supply of electricity to run tubewells for watering the fields, though irregular, had provided succour. However, this year the supply of power has been very erratic and many poor farmers have been forced not to cultivate their fields,” says Bal Krishan, who owns eight acres of land here.

Even those farmers who had got tubewells installed in their fields to tide away the summer season have not been provided with electric connections. They had taken huge loans in order to get tubewells bored in their fields. But with the Power Department failing to give them power connections to operate the tubewells, only the rich farmers can afford to run the tubewells on generators.

A visit to various villages in the Barwala and Morni blocks by Chandigarh Tribune team today revealed that Shiamtu is one of the 18-odd villages in Barwala block that have been drought infested for years. Because of the location of these villages on the foothills of the Shivaliks, the ground water retention capacity here is almost minimal.

Though rainfall has been adequate here, the villages of Rampur Dhodon, Kanwala, Toka, Taprian, Pawala, Tirlokpur, Ganeshpur, Rattewali, Tibbi, and Manekpur, besides Shiamtu, have had a poor crop for the past five years because of low ground water retention. It is learnt that the entire wheat crop as well as fodder grown in the fields has continuously failed because of unavailability of water for irrigation. Subsistence being mainly through agriculture and dairying, water remains their only hope.

A resident of Mattanwala village, Mr Bhag Singh, owns nine and a half acres of agricultural land, which stands barren because of unavailability of water for irrigation. He says that though the ground water level has been depleting in this area, the problem is not so severe in the winter months and they manage to yield a good wheat crop. “But during summers, the government, it seems is more in favour of providing adequate water and power supply to the urban areas. As a result, the ruralites have to suffer,” adds his ageing father, Gulab Singh.

The problem of erratic water supply is also being faced by the residents of Barwala. Ms Lajwanti Goel, a member of Mahila Mandal here, says that though there are three tubewells in the block, almost half of the township is facing water scarcity. “Even drinking water supply in most of the mohallas, especially in Sunaiyaron Ka Mohalla, is very poor. There are a few houses that have installed water boosters in the main pipeline and thus get their water supply. Others have to rely on the water from the tubewells installed on the fields of big landlords here,” she rues.

Inspite of repeated attempts to contact Deputy Commissioner, Jyoti Arora, she was unavailable for comments.


They pledge to fight terrorism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Mayor, Mrs Lalit Joshi, and the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, in separate functions led the officialdom to take the pledge against terrorism on the occasion of Anti-Terrorism Day here today.

The staff of the Municipal Corporation observed Anti-Terrorism Day. The staff took the pledge of non-violence, harmony and promotion of peace. While addressing the staff, Mrs Joshi said that it was necessary that “we should observe peace and tolerance and fight the forces of disruption which are threat to the peace and harmony of the country.”

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh, the Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, the Additional Commissioner, Mr Ashok Vashishtha, and the Chief Engineer Mr V.K. Bhardwaj were also present in the pledge taking ceremony.

In the UT Secretariat, the Adviser to the Administrator Ms Neeru Nanda, administered the pledge to officials. It was affirmed to oppose with strength all forms of terrorism and violence.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Anti-Terrorism Day is observed to generate awareness about the danger of terrorism, violence and its dangerous effect on the people, society and the country as a whole.

The officers who took pledge were the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, the Deputy Inspector-General of Chandigarh Police, Mr Ajay Kashyap, the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjeet Singh, and the Joint Secretary Home, Mr Ashok Sangwan.

In the PGI, Prof O.N. Nagi, Acting Director, Ms Meeta Rajivlochan, Deputy Director (Admn), Prof D. Behera, Acting Medical Superintendent and other officers took a pledge against terrorism in Bhargava Auditorium.

Like every year, Anti-Terrorism Day was observed in the PGI at 12 noon which was attended by the faculty, resident doctors, nursing and paramedical staff, technical and ministerial staff and ward servants. They took the pledge in Hindi and English expressing faith in the country’s tradition of non-violence, and tolerance. They solemnly affirmed to oppose with full strength different forms of terrorism and violence and promote understanding among all human beings and to fight the forces of disruption threatening human lives and values.


Functions were held in the district today to mark Anti-Terrorism Day.

The Haryana unit of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front organised a function in Ambala city. Congress MLA Balbir Pal Shah was the chief guest, while AIATF state president Veeresh Shandilya was the convener of the function.

Rich tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Dr Shandilya said that today terrorism was not only a national issue, it had turned into an international issue. He said that a true tribute to Rajiv Gandhi would be to unite against terrorism.

At a district-level function held here, Deputy Commissioner D.D. Gautam presided over the function.

Mr Gautam said that May 21 was observed as Anti-Terrorism Day since terrorists had killed Rajiv Gandhi. He said that people should be aware of the impact of terrorism and it was the duty of the people to come together to tackle terrorism. He said that people should become specially alert at a time when the neighbouring country was encouraging terrorism.

Additional DC Mahinder Kumar, SDM M.K. Ahuja and other officials were present on the occasion.

The local unit of the All-India Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Social Welfare Society organised a function at Preet Nagar. Floral tributes were paid to Rajiv Gandhi at the function.


Officials of the various departments took the pledge to fight terrorism at the Mini Secretariat to mark Anti-Terrorism Day here today.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, while addressing the gathering, said the country was facing terrorism, and the anti-social elements were trying to break social brotherhood by creating violence time and again. “We should face these elements collectively and fearlessly,” she said.


Rajiv Gandhi remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi will be installed at Congress Bhavan in Sector 35 here on his next birth anniversary. This was announced by Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), today. The local unit of the Congress observed the martyrdom day of Rajiv Gandhi, in Sector 35 where floral tributes were paid to the departed soul.

The function was organised at Congress Bhavan in Sector 35 named after Rajiv Gandhi.

Congressmen also took out sadbhavana rallies which culminated in Sector 17. Mr Bahl observed fast for the day. The leaders reiterated their demands for the dismissal of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. All the prominent leaders, including Mr Pawan Bansal, MP, and Mr Venod Sharma, former union minister were present.

Other prominent leaders and municipal councillors, including Mr Ram Pal Sharma, Mrs Lalit Joshi, Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Parampal Singh Matharool and Ms Rajni Talwar were also present at both places.


Residents complain of poor water supply

WE, the residents of Old Bishan Nagar in Patiala, have been complaining about poor water supply to our area for the last three weeks. However, the authorities concerned do not seem to bother about our plight. We have also reminded them over phone several times, but in vain.

People are opening the outer pipes and using Tulu pumps to collect water in the tanks. The water supply is so poor that water fails to reach kitchens and toilet flush. In the morning, the water pressure is so low that it takes 15-20 minutes for a bucket of 15 litres to fill. A comprehensive complaint was registered by the residents on May 8, but it has failed to yield any concrete results. Will the authorities please hear our genuine grievance?


Neglected sector

Sector 3 of Parwanoo has long been neglected. Despite several complaints to the authorities concerned, nothing is happening. Surprisingly, though our ward member, Mrs Matharu, is now the Chairperson of the Parwanoo Municipal Corporation, no effort has been made to improve the condition of roads, sewerage system and street lights in Sector 3.

Near the highway in our sector, regular dirty water clogging has become a nuisance to the residents. It has now become a health hazard, but the Chairperson has not taken suitable measures to improve the situation.

Meanwhile, Parwanoo is in the grip of acute drinking water shortage. No action has been taken to improve water supply in the town, especially in summer months. All permanent residents have fitted Tulu pumps to the main supply line. As a result, the water pressure in most of the houses, which do not have Tulu pumps, has reduced considerably.

We hope at least now Mrs Matharu will rise to the occasion and fulfil her obligations to the residents of Sector 3 in improving the civic amenities including the water supply.


Beating about the bush

This has reference to Mr M.S.Gill’s letter “Sorry state of affairs at PU Dispensary” (March 31). Mr Gill is beating about the bush. There may be some shortcomings in the hospital, but not to the extent he describes. It appears that he wants to settle scores with someone here.

Admittedly, things are deteriorating everywhere, but the PU Health Centre is far better compared to any other government\semi-government hospitals. What can the fund-starved Panjab University, more so the PUHC or the CMO and the doctors do if there is no money to purchase the essential items?

The alleged medical fee being charged from students is very meagre and only nominal. The PUHC provides them free consultation. With the paltry money collected, it cannot supply medicines to students. The so-called “poor” employees, it may be noted, are fully reimbursed the medical expenses at par with the PGI rates and in accordance with government\university guidelines.

Mr Gill should understand one thing very clearly: nowadays with the mentality of “loot-as-much-as-you-can”, no one is above board. The Chief Justice of India tells us that there is corruption in the judiciary. We see before us constitutional bodies like the Punjab Public Service Commission crumbling down because of unbearable corrupt practices.

There is nothing wrong in asking for some proof for declaring a relation “dependent”. There may be cases where the elder son takes monthly medical allowance for the entire family, whereas the younger son, a university employee, may be claiming full medical reimbursement, for the treatment of same parents.

Every heart patient has a tendency to go in for modern treatment available in 5-star hospitals situated in metropolitan cities because he\she wants comfort. They are consuming the entire budgetary allocations. If someone has told this fact bluntly, it is only the truth. Here again, it is the low cadre employee who suffers on account of delay in getting his medical reimbursement because the budgetary provision has fast depleted.

Mr Gill suggests that the PU Health Centre be converted into an “evening” department and also there should be rotation of the chief. How are these measures going to help, only he knows. The present CMO, if anyone has cared to observe, is always very sympathetic to patients. She is very judicious in managing the affairs with meagre budgetary allocations. She is a socialist to the core. I have heard her talk against the employees’ demand for introduction of lump sum monthly medical allowance because, according to her, it will place the retired and chronically ill patients at a disadvantage by eliminating the component of social justice.


Punishing salaried class

Every year, while presenting the Union Budget, successive Finance Ministers talk of increasing tax revenue. When it comes to brasstacks, the salaried middle class is harassed to the hilt. It is a pity that only two crore people pay tax in the country. There is hardly any effort on the part of the tax authorities to broaden the tax base because the officials are either hand in glove with tax evaders or are unwilling to act for obvious reasons.

The new scheme of one in six has yielded little results and hardly there is any increase in tax revenue. For instance, even though over 70,000 luxury cars costing over Rs 7 lakh a piece are sold every year, only 75,000 taxpayers have shown their income as more than Rs 10 lakh.

Even if the government charges 20 per cent tax at the time of registration, there can be substantial increase in tax accruels. Similar yardsticks can be applied on accumulation of various other assets to broaden the tax base and thus revenue. It is time the government thought of changing the system of taxation. Instead of levying tax on income, tax on living should be levied. This will not only broaden the tax base but also increase the tax revenue.


Veg or non-veg?

According to a Government of India notification, manufacturers have to prominently display through labels whether the packed food products contain animal origin ingredients with a symbol of brown dot in a brown square on items like cakes, biscuits, bread and so on. The labelling of non-vegetarian food products has now became a law under the Prevention of the Food Adulteration Act.

The Union Health Ministry is now examining the scope of the Act, the consequences of its violation and the role of the consumers and the administration. If anyone suspects that animal origin ingredients have been used in a particular food product, he/she should send the complaint to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Cell, Directorate of Health Services, Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi-110001. Also, consumers can demand a written statement pertaining to the substances from the manufacturers.

If reports were to bear scrutiny, there are many items where animal origin ingredients are used. These include, among others, shoes, lipstick and shampoo. Surprisingly, however, these have not been included in the list. I appeal to the Union Health Ministry to classify with coloured dots whether a product is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. This should be incorporated in the Act for effective enforcement.



Water shortage in Kharar areas
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 21
Different parts of Kharar have been facing an acute shortage of water for the past 15 days. The taps of the civic body have gone dry.

A visit to parts of Mundi Kharar and Kharar revealed that the residents are being forced to fetch water from other sources as the alternative supply to the areas through tankers was not adequate. Mr Balbir Singh, a resident of Mundi Kharar, said it took several hours to fetch water from the tankers as the queues were long.

It is learnt that the tubewells feeding the area had failed, leading to the shortage of water supply.

Fire in factory
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 21
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a fire that broke out in a factory making egg-holding cartons on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road this afternoon.

According to Mr Avtar Singh, Fire officer, fire tenders were rushed to the spot that took over three hours to extinguish the flames. The cause of fire and loss of property could not be ascertained.


Goods worth Rs 4 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A businessman based in the Industrial Area, Phase-II, has reported that his premises were broken into and cash and electrical goods have been stolen. The loss has been estimated at about Rs 4 lakhs. The stolen articles included MCBs and ELCBs.

According to the complainant, when he reached his office in the morning, he found both locks of the shutter broken. He informed the police immediately and the shutter was lifted by the police in his presence. Most of the shelves and almirahs inside were found empty. The police has registered a case.

Two injured
Two persons were seriously injured in different accidents in the city. A resident of the Panjab University campus, Rahul Dutta, was admitted to the PGI with serious injuries after his motor cycle was knocked down by a three-wheeler on the university campus.

In another incident, an unknown cyclist was rushed to the PGI in a critical condition after he was knocked down by a truck near the CTU turn in the Industrial Area. The police is yet to register a case in this incident.

Poppy husk seized
The Operations Cell of the Chandigarh police has arrested a resident of Ropar, Mukesh, near the Sector 17 ISBT late last evening and seized 10 kg of poppy husk from his possession.

The accused was stopped by a police party during a routine checking and the husk was found in his luggage. He has been booked under the NDPS Act.

Liquor seized
A resident of Palsora, Rakesh Kumar, has been arrested for selling liquor at his residence. The police has seized 24 pouches of Hero whisky from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Chain snatched
A Sector 21 resident, Harjit Kaur, has reported that her gold chain, weighing about 10 grams, was snatched from her neck by two persons on a Kinetic Honda while she was going on foot. The police has registered a case.

A resident of the Panjab University Complex, Sector 25, D.P. Mahajan, reported that his house was broken into and several pieces of gold and silver jewellery, six wrist watches and Rs 10,000 in cash have been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Vehicles stolen
A Sector 14 resident, Tarun Chugh, has reported that his Maruti van (CH-02-4243-T) has been stolen from the university campus.

A Sector 15 resident Raj Kumar has reported that his Suzuki motor cycle (HR-49-6145) has been stolen from his residence.

A Sector 42 resident, Parminder Singh, has reported that his Yamaha motor cycle (CH-01-5686) has been stolen from his residence. A cases have been registered.

Body found
An unidentified man in his mid forties was found dead on road in Sector 10 in the wee hours here today. The police has ruled out the possibility of any foul play and the body has been sent for postmortem. According to police sources, the initial investigations suggest that the man died of the ensuing heat wave.


Thief held
The police has arrested a thief and claims to have recovered goods worth Rs 10,000 that he allegedly stole from a temple.

According to a press note issued by the police, Rulda Ram, a resident of Khataula village near Raipur Rani, was arrested near from Majri Chowk on Monday evening. A police party found him roaming under suspicious circumstances with a bag in his hand.

After questioning, the police found a stolen stereo from him. He also confessed to have stolen six domes of brass from a temple, the police said.

Earlier, Mr Shamsher Singh, president of Gugamadhi temple in Parwala village, had complained at the Raipur Rani police station that Rulda Ram had stolen six domes and a stereo from the temple.

The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC against the accused. He was produced before a court where he was remanded in police custody for one day.

Held for selling x-rated CDs
Ravinder Singh, a resident of Sarang Mohalla, Kalka, was arrested for selling x-rated compact discs. The police found two CDs from his Gandhi Chowk located shop.

A case under Section 292 of the IPC has been registered against him.

Two held
The policed has arrested two persons — Chiranji Lal of Sector 30, Chandigarh, and Krishan of Azad Colony, Panchkula — for drinking liquor at public place. Cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them at the Sector 5 police station.

A resident of Shiv Colony in Pinjore sustained injuries after an a car (HR-32B-0066) hit his scooter (HP-15-0744) near here on Monday. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC.

Six booked
The police has booked six persons — Sham Lal, Amar Chand, Mahesh, Sant Ram, Madan Lal and Neeta — of Godam village near Kalka for thrashing and threatening Mr Krishan Chand of the same village.

A case under Sections 197, 148, 149, 323, 324 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against them with the Pinjore police station.



Laptops: Micro D Infotech has come out with Jaguar brand laptops. The eight models of laptops that the company has come out with are priced from Rs 50,000 onwards. Mr Subhaskar Reddy, Director, Micro-D Infotech, said here on Sunday that one of the key features of Jaguar laptops was that the CPU as well as the memory was upgradable at a very nominal cost. Blue Beacon Infosys, authorised dealer of Micro -D Infotech will market the Jaguar brand laptops of the company. TNS

Discount on books: Nacromancer Marketing Services is offering a discount between 50 per cent and 70 per cent on Oxford Webstar books. The company is offering dictionaries, thesaurus, story books and other books in various fields by Oxford Webstar. Mr Deepak Kaul, Director of the company said here on Sunday, the company was also into marketing of healthcare products. TNS

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |