Sunday, May 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hail wins against city’s ‘power’
Tribune News Service

The local met office predicted that the monsoon over these parts of the country will be slightly above normal. Today rain was not part of the monsoon or pre-monsoon.

Chandigarh, May 25
Widespread rain accompanied by a hailstorm in the city and its surrounding areas brought in welcome relief from the ongoing heat wave. But with it came a major power breakdown, water-logged roads and loss in business activity.

Wind speed touching 105 km per hour had preceded the rain around 6 pm making the sky dark and reducing visibility. The Met Office classified it as squall. There had been a prediction about rain in the region in the past 24 hours. The Director of the local Met Office, Mr S.C. Bhan, said the present conditions were likely to continue tomorrow also. By 8.30 pm today it had rained 1.7 cm.

Sources in the power sector said a fault in the main supply line from the Northern Power Grid station at Ganguwal in Ropar caused a snag in power supply to SAS Nagar from where one source of power is for Chandigarh. This caused a breakdown in southern and central parts of the city. The other source of power for the city is from Dhulkote in Haryana and it had also developed a fault.

As a precautionary step engineers had switched off power lines when winds speeds were very high.

This is normally done to prevent the system from collapsing. In case trees or its branches fall on to live lines, it can trip and have a cascading affect on the supply system.

When the storm stopped at around 8 pm, various teams of the engineering wing were on their way to restore supply. Another spell of rain hampered repair work as the staff had not been provided with equipment to deal with such emergencies.

Residents of the eastern parts of the city were lucky as supply from Dhulkote — supplying power to eastern pats of the city and Mani Majra — was restored after about 90 minutes. But residents of the Modern Housing Complex were still without power till the filing of this report, according to sources.

Till about 9 pm about 50 per cent of the city was under darkness and hopes of revival were low. Trees had fallen on high tension supply lines in several sectors. Due to this large parts of Sectors 8, 9, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 33, 31, 47, 48, 46, 49, 40, 41 and 26 , among others remained without power.

When rain started around 6.30 pm several residents, out on their weekend shopping, were held up due to the high-speed winds. A dust storm before the rain forced shopkeepers to close doors of their shops. On the roads visibility was almost zero. On the Chandigarh --Ambala highway drivers of several long route buses preferred to park their vehicles In several parts of the city it started with hail and later petered off with high intensity rain.

Meanwhile, at least four persons were injured when the walls of their houses collapsed due to high-speed winds that hit the city this evening. While two persons reported at the PGI with a fracture and a minor head injury, a couple residing in Sector 16 reported at the General Hospital, Sector 16 emergency with injuries. All these patients have been admitted but are now stated to be out of danger.

Those reaching the PGI were injured when the roof of their hut fell on them after the winds started blowing. Both belong to Padal village near Mullanpur. According to sources, the couple which was admitted to the GH-16 had stated that a sidewall of their house in Sector 16 fell injuring them.


Power supply to most of the sectors was suspended, following a technical snag in the Industrial Area Sub Station, after the squall that hit the region this afternoon.

Power supply to Sectors 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, 12-A, 14, 2, 4 and in Old Panchkula remained suspended for over four hours. The power supply had been shut off as a precautionary measure when the squall hit the region.

Sources in the UHBVN informed TNS that the insulation discs on the electric poles burst and power could not be restored after the squall. Transmission lines in few sectors had also been damaged at a few places. The officials immediately got to work and the power supply was restored around 9 pm.

A number of people returning to the township from Chandigarh in the evening, after attending office, were also seen stranded on the Chandigarh- Panchkula road because of heavy showers.


Most parts of the town remained without power supply till late this evening after some transmission lines were damaged due to uprooting of trees after a squall hit the region. Officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board said that power supply from the two 66 KV sub-stations, which feed the township, was turned off as a precautionary measure. According to information available a transmission line at Balongi village was also damaged, resulting in disruption of power supply.

Residents of Phases II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and Sectors 70 and 71 complained that there was no power for more than four hours. Though some residents said that the power supply was restored for a brief period, sources in Electricity Department said that supply from Ropar Grid was normal. Till the filing of this report, powermen were trying to restore the damaged power cables at some parts in the township. 


What will be the future of Class XII failures?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Success stories of students in the class XII CBSE examination continue to pour in while a significant number of failures go unnoticed year after year at the time of declaration of results in each school.

The failure statistics are horrifying though they are rarely highlighted: Over 100 failures in a school in Sector 44, 65 failures in a government school in Sector 27, 30 failures in a private school in Sector 30 read the school records. The list is endless and the victims many.

Ironically, most schools, too, don't want them back since they are considered a “burden” to manage. More often than not, parents point out, schools take a lumpsum from the parents of these “victims” and allow them to sit in the examination at the end of the session

The Principal of Sanjay Public School clarifies?” This time we have had a bad result. However, we will not turn away students who have failed. They will be required to seek admission to class XII and attend classes. Probably, we will need an additional section which will be created to meet the requirement of accommodating these children.”

In government senior secondary schools, some of which have over 30 students failing, the authorities are confident of being able to adjust them. They claim that failure rate is high in only those schools which are not in demand.

Students who take admissions in these schools have a poor academic record and are few in number, making it easier for the school to “adjust” its failures without complications.

In Guru Nanak Khalsa School, Sector 30, the Principal admits the showing has been poor every year. “We are getting children who are least interested in studies and not bothered about percentages.

My teachers are working hard on them and I am satisfied with the result despite the number of failures. The failures are also adjusted and made to work till they clear the examination. We don’t give up unlike other schools,” she said.

Besides, there are a number of students who do not rejoin school and, instead, appear privately at the end of the session. “This saves us the embarrassment of sending our wards to school. Besides, they, too, are not interested in attending classes,” claims a parent. 


Fake stamp paper racket unearthed
Arrested gang members spill beans
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 25
A gang involved in making fake stamp papers, which had been busted in Bahadurgarh earlier this month, had reportedly spread its business also in Panchkula.

According to local document writers and stamp vendors, the gang had spread its tentacles here also. The Crime Investigation Department (CID) had already begun its investigation in this regard. It was alleged that fake judicial and non-judicial stamp papers worth lakhs of rupees had been sold here between August 1998 to March 2002.

However, with Crime Branch of the Haryana Police having busted a part of this inter-state gang in Bahadurgarh earlier this month, the other gang members operating in Panchkula, Gurgaon and several parts of Punjab, were now busy covering their tracks. A senior official in the Crime Department, on a condition of anonymity, said that investigations against remaining members of this gang had already begun.

The Crime Department had busted a gang in Bahadurgarh , almost a fortnight ago and seized a computer, printer, scanner and other equipment being used for printing fake stamp papers from them. The gang had been busted after another gang involved in circulating fake currency had spilled the beans and led the police to them.

The Haryana Police had arrested a stamp vendor in Gurgaon, who also had links with another gang involved in circulating fake currency, and was selling fake stamp papers of Rs 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 denomination, prepared after duplicating stamp papers of Re 1 and Rs 2 denomination.

The CID officer also informed that certain document writers, stamp vendors, employees of tehsil office and treasury office , along with those of a nationalised bank here, were alleged to be in collusion with the gang involved in preparing and selling these fake stamp papers.

A majority of these fake stamp papers had also been used to make mortgage deeds, which had been pledged with certain banks and other non-banking financial institutions. The CID planned to check a few of these mortgage deeds to ascertain if the stamp papers were fake.

Sources said that they had received information regarding 22 fake stamp papers used for exchange of earnest money in land sale deeds . It was alleged that the local kingpin of this gang did not have a licence from the Deputy Commissioner’s office, but was always in possession of blank stamp papers worth thousands of rupees. It was also alleged that these fake stamp papers were being used for mortgage deeds, land sale deeds, registered wills etc.

Certain licenced stamp vendors had been buying stamp papers of Re 1 and Rs 2 denomination from the Treasury office and then selling these to the local kingpin at almost a 100 per cent profit. These were then sent to the bosses in Bahadurgarh, who would duplicate these to make stamp papers of Rs 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 denomination. 


Charges against HoD; PGI begins probe
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The PGI administration has initiated an inquiry into allegations by the husband of a patient with a kidney problem that a certain doctor had told him to buy an expensive surgical item from a particular shop and troubled him on not complying.

The doctor, who has already appeared before a committee set up by the PGI, denies the charge and says that he refused to sign the bills produced by the patient because these were fake and should not be verified for reimbursement.

The complainant, Mr Raj Kumar, who lives in Sector 27, is a driver employed by the Punjab Government. His wife, Santosh, has been receiving treatment in the PGI Department of Nephrology since early this year. She is on regular dialysis and Mr Raj is satisfied with the treatment.

Mr Raj says that the trouble began when his wife was referred to the Department of Transplant Surgery for a heamodialysis graft operation. According to him, the Head of the Department of Transplant Surgery, Dr Mukut Minz, asked him to procure the graft (which costs more than Rs 30,000) from a particular shop in Sector 11. He says that when he bought the item from a different shop at a discount, Dr Minz and a senior resident refused to sign his bills for reimbursement.

However, at a function in the PGI here today, Dr Mukut Minz said he had not told Mr Raj Kumar to get the graft from any particular shop. ‘‘He brought an unsealed graft from some place and I refused to implant it, since open surgical items like this can cause infection and death,’’ he says.

Mr Raj says: ‘‘I was given a list of medicines and some surgical items that included the graft. Since the graft was to cost the most, I decided to contact one of my relatives in Delhi who deals in surgical items. They sent me an unsealed graft, but Dr Minz rejected it, after which, I bought a sealed one from a shop in Sector 16 because I got a discount of Rs 4,000 there. This was not the shop recommended by Dr Minz.’’

He also says that the operation of his wife was postponed once due to “technical reasons”, even when her condition was serious.

Dr Minz says that he has already given his side of the story to a member of the PGI administration and a senior professor today and, now, they will decide who is right. 


Eight injured in bus-truck collision
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 25
As many as eight persons were injured, one of them seriously, when the Himachal Roadways bus they were travelling in, collided head-on with a truck near Majri chowk at around 5 am today.

It is learnt that the bus ( HP-18- 3606) was coming from Kiratpur and was headed for Dehradun in Uttaranchal. As the bus was moving down the road dividing Sectors 1 and 2 , a truck ( HP-11-7751) coming from Pinjore and headed towards Zirakpur, collided with the bus.

While Amrik Singh, a 28-year-old bus passenger, received serious multiple injuries on his arms, legs and back, Kundan Singh, Shyam Sunder, Dilbag Singh, Rajneesh, Yadvinder Singh and one more person received minor injuries. A woman passenger, Tara Devi , was also injured.

Learning about the accident, the Police Control Room staff, as well as the personnel from the Police Station Sector 5 rushed to the spot. The injured were lifted and rushed to the General Hospital in Sector 6.

While Amrik Singh was referred to the PGI , the other accident victims were discharged after being administered first aid.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of IPC against the truck driver.


Soon, we’ll have malls here
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Road to mall

*No rigid building controls for new buildings.
*Four sites identified.
*Auction planned for the end of the year.

Chandigarh, May 25
Taking cue from international shopping malls, the Chandigarh Administration is likely to allow similar centres, spread across 2 to 3 acres each, to come up here, which will change for ever the skyline of the city and the way its citizens shop.

Four sites in Sectors 46 and 47 along the outer Dakshin Marg have been identified for the purpose and these are to be auctioned at the end of the year, according to sources. The sources also said the sites are part of the original plan to create an institutions belt facing the group-housing societies in Sectors 48 and 49.

These huge malls will have shops, offices, big stores, restaurants, basement parking lots and even top-floor penthouse-style apartments. There will be no shortage of power for the project as a substation in Sector 48 has also been planned.

These new sites will be outside the purview of the rigid building bylaws for commercial areas in the city. These will be covered under the new rules, as amended on May 14, that allow a builder maximum freedom.

Anyone can bid for the sites, construct on it and sell portions, as the Apartment Act will facilitate this. The Administration will release countrywide advertisements to invite bids.

The buildings need not be the dull grey like the other buildings in Chandigarh. The owner will be free to choose any design or colour. The Administration will only fix the area and the height of the building.

The norms for circulation, light ventilation will have to be met, meaning that entrances can be big and shops, showrooms and food courts can be of any size.

The internal design of such buildings will follow no architectural control sheets. These controls will be replaced by zoning plan, specifying the maximum height and the maximum footprint area.

These changes in design have been permitted by the Punjab Capital (Development and Regulation) Building (Amendment) Rules, 2002.


Sidhu’s bail plea rejected
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 25
A bail plea moved by a former Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, in a case under the Arms Act registered against him in the Sector 39 police Station was today dismissed by a local court. This was second time when the Magistrate had dismissed the bail plea moved Sidhu under the Arms Act registered him.

The UT Police had registered two different cases against Sidhu under the Arms Act and the Excise Act in the Sector 39 police station. The cases against the accused were registered after the recovery of 14 bottles of foreign-made liquor, 250 rounds of cartridges of .12-bore gun and 225 rounds of cartridges Springfield rifle from his house in Sector 39. The accused was arrested by the Vigilance Department, Punjab, on March 26 while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh.


Inquiry indicts SI for torture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A sub-inspector of the Chandigarh police has reportedly been indicted by a departmental inquiry for allegedly torturing a Sector 19 resident in a theft case. Three others, including a former SHO of the Sector 19 police station and two constables have, however, been acquitted by the inquiry.

According to sources, a resident of Sector 19, Jagmohan Singh, had been picked up by the police in July, 1999, and allegedly tortured in police custody after a case of theft under Sections 380 and 411 was registered against him.

According to the inquiry report, Jagmohan had been “brutally tortured” in custody. The victim’s medical examination report, conducted by a panel of four doctors at the Sector 16 General Hospital, has also confirmed that the accused was tortured. The medical report revealed that the victim had severe injuries which indicated third degree torture. The matter had also been taken up by the National Human Rights Commission and a team had come from New Delhi to record the victim’s statements. Following the victim forwarding a complaint to the police regarding his torture in custody, the IG had ordered an inquiry into the matter. The victim had alleged that a case of theft had been registered against him in the Sector 19 police station on July 22, 1999. He had been picked up by the police from his residence on July 27.

The victim alleged that the police had demanded Rs 50,000 from him to let him go. He was beaten up with rods and leather belts and electric shocks were also applied to sensitive parts of his body, he added.


Security beefed up at Burail jail
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 25
Taking into consideration the sensitivity of certain criminal cases being heard at Model Burail Jail, the UT Administration has finally spruced up security all around the jail campus. An on-the-spot surveillance of the area by Chandigarh Tribune today revealed that 16 hi-tech cameras at the cost of about Rs 23 lakh had been installed in the jail to monitor the activities of inmates and increase security on the premises during day and night. The authorities are also planning to buy a number of wireless sets.

As many as 70 Special Service Bureau (SSB) personnel have been posted on the jail campus from today itself. These personnel replace the CRPF men who were taking care of the outer security earlier.

Jail sources say that the administration is installing cameras at about eight watch towers, inner gate, main gate, outside the special court in the Burail jail and the interview room. The decision had been taken to keep a close watch on the nine accused allegedly involved in the assassination of the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, five accused allegedly involved in the murder of former Kharar MLA and many other accused involved in heinous crimes and presently lodged in the jail.

The steps have been taken after several incidents of jailbreak came into light. Vigilance over the inmates thus needs to be increased. Sources said a few days ago, the jail authorities caught some persons who were allegedly supplying drugs in the jail; few years ago a security personnel of the jail had been caught red-handed while faxing message of an undertrial to a person abroad; material to make country- made liquor was reportedly recovered from some foreign prisoners in the jail lock-up, and an attempt to break the jail was also made.

At present an inner circle of 100 security personnel and an outer circle of 70 of SSB(Special Service Bureau) have been taking care of about 450 inmates lodged in the jail. The SSB personnel are responsible for the security of the outer circle of the jail and other 100 security personnel who have been recruited by the jail authorities are responsible for the inner security of the jail.

The Superintendent of the jail, Mr D.S Rana, said a number of accused charged with serious criminal offences were lodged in the jail, so the need to install cameras at several sensitive points in the jail premises was felt. Mr Rana said the monitors were installed in the jail office where he could keep watch on every activity of the jail inmates. Talking about the wireless sets, he said soon the jail authorities would meet other officials regarding the purchase of sets.

Mr Rana said earlier the CRPF had been taking care of the internal security but from today onwards, the SSB would take care of the outer security. He said the SSB had joined the security circle in the evening. 


Police clueless in Sec 15 murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The police is still clueless about the whereabouts of Som Bahadur, who allegedly murdered a 78-year-old woman in Sector 15 earlier this week. The body of the deceased, Prakash Kaur was found yesterday.

Police teams sent to Ambala and Delhi yesterday have reportedly returned empty handed. The police has also alerted agencies concerned at the Indo-Nepal border. Since no photograph of the accused is available, the police is circulating his description and particulars. Sources add that no employer had bothered to get the accused’s particulars verified before employing him as is required.

The sources say that on May 23, the accused had told his employers at a Sector 19 restaurant that he would not be coming back for work. Pieces of paper recovered from the crime site indicate that the accused had been using different names. While one slip mentions his name as Som Bahadur, another mentions it as Som Parshad.


Litterbugs to be fined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
With a view to initiate punitive legal action against residents creating unhygienic conditions in the city by throwing waste material indiscriminately on public roads, Inspectors of the office of the Medical Officer of Health issued 143 challans during this week.

The office also issued 96 notices to the owners to various nursing homes, hospitals, pathological and clinical laboratories in Chandigarh to ensure the disposal of bio-medical waste through incineration as per guidelines provided in Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules 1998.

Group talks are also being organised to advise residents to desist the practice of spilling garbage and other waste materials near the bins and public roads to avoid legal action.


Citizens’ Bible: Love thy neighbour not
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, May 25
*A 78-year-old lonely widow is murdered in her house and the neigbours get suspicious only after finding newspapers lying outside her house on May 24.

*A 70-year-old woman, Vanisha Dass, was murdered in her house in April earlier this year. The death became known only after two days.

*H.S Brar, a resident of Sector 44, was stabbed by two ‘salesmen’ teenagers in February last year. As he rushed out of his house to seek his neighbours’ help, they ignored his calls and closed their doors on him.

*Last year, an executive engineer was electrocuted in front of his neighbours, but nobody came forward to save him.

The reserve of people’s concern towards their neighbours is really depleting. Why else would the police and mediapersons come to know about their brutal murders before the next door neighbours do? Or more often than not, they come to know of the tragedy only from the morning’s newspapers.

Going by the manner in which indifference has spread in the city, one might rechristen City Beautiful as City Callous. Alarmed over this trend, the Chandigarh Police launched a ‘Neighbourhood Watch Scheme’ last year in Sector-38 West and later extended the scheme to several other sectors. Though police officials claim that the scheme has proved significant in preventing crime, but actually, the police has not ceased receiving complaints of house breaks, vehicle thefts from houses and of course murders of occupants who are alone in their houses. Not only murders, even natural deaths of lonely occupants of a house go unnoticed for several days. Recently, a decomposed body of a UT employee was found from his house after four to five days in a southern sector.

Ms Rajesh Gill, a social scientist, when contacted, was of the view that indifference has become an value. ‘‘Indifference has become a attitude and people are indifferent not only towards their neighbours but towards everybody else,” said Ms Gill and added, ‘‘Nowadays we teach our children to keep off if they see someone lying on the road or in any problem.’’

According to Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, Chairman of All-India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, which has formed an ‘Ex-Servicemen Brotherhood Group’, one of the reasons for the increase in the rate of crime in the city is that there is a lack of social brotherhood touch, good neighbourly relations and bonds of friendship with one another. He is of the opinion that residents of the city and adjoining areas should form ‘Social Brotherhood Groups’ on the sub-sector level to encourage neighbourly relations.

Another city resident also held grown-up children responsible for incidents of murder of lonely occupants. ‘‘It would be better if the elderly are sent to old age homes rather than leaving them alone. At least there they would be taken care of,” he suggested.


Peace is all about clarity of thought’
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Spiritual elements for one reason or the other, remain so heavily shrouded by the numerous routine cares we harbour, that it becomes impossible to feel them, let alone use them for attainment of mental peace. In this context arises the importance of a spiritual guide, who has the wisdom to connect bitter facts of existence with beautiful forces of the spirit.

This is precisely what Swami Mitranand of the Chinmaya Mission has been engaged in for the past over 15 years, which made him devote his physical and mental energy towards the enrichment of the Mission. Now, as president of the All-India Youth Wing of this Mission, he has larger targets to meet. And as you hear his distilled thoughts about life and the purpose of living, you are surely smitten for a long time. It is during this spell of time that you are forced to begin a journey that may someday lead you to the discovery of self.

Swamiji was in town today to address the members of Chandigarh wing of Chinmaya Mission. During a conversation with him, the principles of the Mission, which refers to scriptures for solution of anxieties, became crystal clear. The entire focus is on clarity of thought through the various study groups held at the 250 centres of the Mission in the country. And the interesting part is that the text is not over emphasized for attainment of goals. All routes of communication are experimented with, right from theatre to discourse. The Mission, under the guidance of Swamiji, has been staging plays based on themes like the life of Subramanyam Bharati and many others.

However, scriptures are a must in the scheme of studies in the Chinmaya Mission. As Swamiji said, “The Bhagwad Gita may not offer a direct solution to any problem. But it will help you to avoid problems in the first place.” The idea is to expand the horizons through the knowledge of scriptures that fall in the Vedanta system — right from the Upanishads and the Vedas to the Ramcharitmanas and the Gita.

He emphasised the importance of conditioning. Taking the example of a child, he said, “You have to condition a child. Only once that happens will the process of de-conditioning follow. Unlearning is very critical to development. But unfortunately, our society does not offer a great scope for unlearning. Once a child is conditioned to the operative forces around him, he will be in a position to put the unwanted ones behind him at a later stage we call maturity.”

The issue of positive cultural values also surfaced here, as Swami Mitranand said, “It is better to condition the child yourself, lest other forces should condition him. Also it is important to help your child with meditative techniques at an early stage, so that he can sift the right from wrong, while knowing that there is nothing called sin. There is only the right and the wrong.”

Answering to this question, Swamiji said, “Peace is all about clarity of thought. We should have the courage to apprehend things as they are and not misapprehend them to suit ourselves. The day we are able to dispel our misapprehensions which stem from the lack of clarity, we will be able to understand ourselves. After that, we will have the will to do what we want to.”

He ended the conversation with a beautiful piece of poetry:

“Where there is a will, there is a way

But where is the way to the will?

Within thyself.


Mango-laden truck overturns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A mango-laden truck overturned near the electricity substation on the Chandigarh - Panchkula road in the early hours of today, affecting rush hour in the traffic morning.

According to one of the occupants of the truck, Jodha Singh, a police Gypsy overtook the truck diagonally at about 5 am and signalled the driver to stop. The truck, enroute from Nagpur, was proceeding from the railway light point towards the Grain Market.

Jodha Singh said that while preventing the truck from ramming into the Gypsy, the driver, Kashmir Singh swerved hard and braked to a halt. This resulted the truck in clambering over the median and losing balance. He added that on seeing the truck overturn, the Gypsy sped away. The truck driver sustained injuries on his right arm.


Half the world’s workforce is oppressed’
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 25
“Today’s society is facing a crisis and there was need for social reconstruction by removing social evils”, said Dr Pranav Panadya, Head of the Global Gayatri Parivar, while delivering a lecture on, ‘Today’s problems and their solutions’ organised at Gian Jyoti Institute in Phase II here today.

Dr Panadya said there was a lot of suffering despite that the fact that society had made advances in different fields. People were moving away from social values. The main problem was due to non-utilisation of half of the world’s workforce due to oppressive conditions.

The lecture was organised in collaboration with the Mohali Industries Association. Dr Panadya, who is the Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti Vishv Vidyalaya, Shantikunj, Hardwar, also spoke on spirituality as a refined attitude towards life. Mr Chander Mohan, Zonal Convener of the Global Gayatri Parivar and Mr Ashok Gupta, Managing Director of Diplast Plastic, were the guests of honour.


Street play on AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Volunteers of Yuvsatta, in association with the State AIDS Control Society, today organised a street play titled ‘Suraksha Mai Ki Raksha’ at Labour Chowk, Colony Number 5. The aim of the play was to spread awareness about the prevention of AIDS.

The play highlighted the link between drugs, alcoholism and AIDS. It highlighted how most of the intravenous drug users fell into the high risk group due to common exchange of infected needles for injecting drugs.

The play also talked about the alcoholics, who, under the influence of alcohol, lost sense of safe sex practices and contacted the deadly disease. 


Exhibition ends
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 25
A two day exhibition-cum-sale of garments, bed sheets, handbags and cards designed by students of vocational courses being run in eight government senior secondary schools of the city concluded at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, here today. The exhibition was organised by the Education Department of the Chandigarh Administration.

The dress materials and other items displayed at the exhibition have been prepared by the students as part of their on-the-job training. The exhibition provides a wide range of products including frocks, suits (hand and block painted and embroidered), night wear, bed sheets, pillow covers, dupattas besides soft toys, hand bags and other gift items. According to an organiser, the main objective behind the exhibition-cum-sale is to develop entrepreneurship skills among the students.


Artists perform shramdan at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
About 20 city-based artists today got together to voice their concern over the falling water content in Sukhna Lake. Reacting with sensitivity to the grave problem of environmental degradation, these artists, under the aegis of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, also performed shramdan at the Lake between 6 am to 7 am.

In the Government Art College campus in Sector 10, they created over 20 posters and illustrations, which the akademi now plans to present to the UT Administration. Among the participating artists were Shiv Singh, Satwant Singh, Viren Tanwar, Madan Lal, Nirmal Prakash and Sadhna.


Rakesh Maurya honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand felicitated Rakesh Maurya, a slum dweller student, with a cash award of Rs 20,000 on his topping the non-medical stream of the plus two examination conducted by the CBSE. Rakesh Maurya, son of a gardener working with the Haryana State Cooperative Apex Bank, Chandigarh, was presented the award at a function in Raj Bhavan, here yesterday.

Kalka MLA Chander Mohan also presented a cash award of Rs 5,100 to the student.


End exploitation of teachers

The state of affairs in Chandigarh’s privately managed schools speaks volumes about the exploitation of parents of the students as well as the teachers. Even after the enforcement of the Punjab School Employees Act, 1979, in February 2001 by the Chandigarh Administration, the condition of private school teachers remains the same.

None of the private schools in the city pay proper salary and perks to the teachers as per the scales notified by the Chandigarh Administration. As reported there is considerable difference in the amount actually paid and the one shown in the records. The teachers are asked to sign blank vouchers which are later filled by the owners.

In majority of the schools, the salary paid to teachers (particularly language teachers i.e. Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit) is much less than the minimum wages prescribed for the unskilled labour by the Chandigarh Administration. Teachers are asked to take extra classes after the school hours without any extra remuneration, though charged from the students. Each class with 50 to 60 students with no recess period, put a lot of mental strain on these teachers. At the same time, school managements treat them as bonded labour.

Consequently, the enactment of the Act in UT Chandigarh is a mere eye wash and of no help to the teaching class. These schools are no more temples of education but money-minting shops. Needy, poor and deserving students do not find place in these schools. As such they are not serving the social cause for which they claim various concessions and benefits from the Chandigarh Administration.

Fearing retrenchment by the unscrupulous school managements, these teachers dare not complaint to authorities concerned against their exploitation. Surprisingly, officials in the Education Department are totally ignorant of the condition of teachers and students in these schools. It appears that Education Department is hand in glove with these schools. On complaint, the Education Department may take action (though very rare) against the erring schools but it does not provide job security for the teaching fraternity. Lack of opportunities in government schools has forced these teachers to bear with their fortune in these schools.

It is time the UT Education Department authorities ensured that private school teachers were not exploited anymore.

A.P. Bhardwaj

Lake Club affairs

On May 15, the membership of Chandigarh’s Lake Club has been opened. Accordingly, a two-page membership form is being made available for Rs 300. Even though this form categorises different types of membership, surprisingly, it does not indicate the subscription fee for various categories. And no official of the club seems to be aware of this vital piece of information.

During a visit to the Lake club office recently, some officials of the Club told me that the issue of membership fee for various categories was still under consideration and that a decision would be taken after some time. One wonders if the management of the Lake Club was not clear about the terms and conditions of the various categories of membership being offered, where was the hurry to sell the membership forms, that too, at Rs 300 a form?

I was told that Col Berry, Chairman of the club, was too busy and that he was not available to answer any queries regarding the membership of the Club!



Scooter knocks down cyclist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
An unidentified person was seriously injured after his bicycle was hit by a scooter with a Punjab registration number near the marble market here. He has been admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where he is still unconscious. The police has registered a case.

Held for theft: Harinder Singh, a man of Patiala, was arrested for stealing a mobile telephone from a Sector 35 SCO. The stolen set was recovered from him. Based on a complaint lodged by a man called Mr R.K. Thakur, the police has registered a case.

Liquor seized: The police arrested a man of Dadu Majra Colony, Pralahd, near Dhanas and seized five bottles and 17 pouches of country wine from him. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Car stolen: A man of Sector 37, Mr Vinod Jain, has reported that his Maruti van (CH-01-N-5734) has been stolen from his house. A case has been registered.

Mobike stolen: A man of Panchkula, Mr Amit Goel has reported that his Bullet motor cycle (CH-03-F-8082) has been stolen from Sector 36. The police has registered a case.

Scooter theft: Mr M.K. Chawla, who lives in Sector 38 West, has reported that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-03-E-9308) has been stolen from Sector 20. The police has registered a case.


Minors booked for assaulting, looting rickshaw-puller
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Four minors were arrested for reportedly assaulting and looting a rickshaw-puller near the Piccadily Chowk in the wee hours of the morning today. Following a complaint by the rickshaw-puller, a police control room Gypsy went after them and apprehended them near the Batra Cinema in Sector 37.

The accused, residents of Kumhar Colony, had waylaid the rickshaw-puller, Ram Pher Kumar, while he was proceeding from the Sector 17 ISBT to Sector 37 at about 3.30 a.m. They beat him up and walked away after snatching Rs 80 from him. Police has registered a case under Sections 392 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code against them.

One of the accused has been granted bail by a local court today, while the other three have been remanded in the Juvenile Home in Sector 15.


30 booked for ransacking shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The local police today booked about 30 persons for rioting, assault and criminal conspiracy after a number of persons attacked and ransacked a shop in the Sector-26, Grain Market. An employee of the shop, Mohammad Akhtar, sustained injuries and had to be admitted to the Sector-16 General Hospital.

According to police sources, monetary dispute between two persons running their business in the Grain Market is allegedly the cause of the fracas. Police has registered a case against Vasudev Sahni, Dimpi, Rimpi, Happy, Bobby and 25 others reported to be involved in the incident.

Sources said that Roshan Lal, proprietor of Shiv Aloo Company claimed to have lent around Rs 15 lakh to a businessman in the same sector. When he demanded his money back, an argument ensued between the two, which led to a heated exchange between them.

Later, Roshan Lal’s shop was ransacked by a number of persons armed with rods and hockey sticks and some property was damaged. Roshan Lal’s employee, Mohammad who was present in the shop, sustained injuries in the melee. 


Kids learn about optimum uses of PCs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
City kids were invited to a PC party hosted by Intel, a computer-processing chip manufacturing company, where they were given tips on how to best use the computer.

The best online experience depends first on selecting the right PC for your needs. High-performance desktop computers allow you to take advantage of new technologies as they become available.

Think about the tasks you’ll use your PC for and give yourself room to grow and enjoy the applications of both today and tomorrow, stated the company spokesperson while informing the kids about the use of PCs.

Intel says its PC buyer’s guide would help determine the perfect PC. Just select the application most important to you, digital video, entertainment, digital music, interactive learning or communication.

For a digital video director’s Chair, one needs a PC that is packed with movie-studio power to quickly add music, titles and special effects, transfer your old home-movies from videotape or film and experience high-quality full-screen viewing.

PCs have taken entertainment to completely new heights. Gameplay that comes alive with advanced 3-D graphics and sound, higher frame rates and improved flating points enhance realism, says Intel.

Create, edit and mix your own music on your PC. Convert and transfer your favourite audio tracks to an MP3 player for music on the road, or mix and edit music to create your own CDs. Transform your PC into a virtual classroom. Today’s websites and software offer enhanced multimedia capabilities and interactivity to make learning more true-to-life and easier to comprehend. Join online tutorials for faster learning, or share information with students and colleagues over the web.

Communicate quickly and easily with friends and family while running multiple applications, experience high-quality 3-D visualisation for richer Internet browsing, or make chat-rooms come alive with enhanced video and speech.

The more RAM your PC has, similar would be the range of functions it would be able to compute, without waiting for images or screens to load.

Large applications and files require a large amount of storage space, so you need a fast and large hard drive. This allows your system to grow with your needs. A high-performance processor with a powerful CD-Rom/DVD drive will provide smoother playback of full screen, high definition video and music.

A graphics accelerator card with a dedicated graphics processing engine enables clearer on-screen definition. Minimum 32-MB provides 32-bit textures or true colour. allowing for captivating effects and lifelike imagery.


SBP associated with main branch
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 25
The local branch of the State bank of Patiala was today associated with the Bank’s main branch in Chandigarh as a member.

According to a press note issued by Mr I.G. Gupta, the Branch Manager, this would benefit the local industrialists, traders and other consumers as they could make transactions at Chandigarh, Panchkula, Chandi Mandir and SAS Nagar-based banks.

He also disclosed that the Bank would also start ATM Service in the city. A ‘Coin mela’, in which coins amounting to Rs 1.27 lakh were also exchanged at a special counter at the local branch, was held. He said similar melas would also be organised to meet the shortage of coins in the market.



Recession, Indian Business and Materials Management, an executive development programme for purchase personnel, was organised by the Indian Institute of Materials Management here on Saturday. The programme was attended by 35 purchase managers from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. Mr T.K. Magazine and Mr Vikram Patil, management consultants, Mr K.B. Sharma, Senior Working Manager and Mr A.K. Sahajpal, Professor, Panjab University, discussed various topics, including the buyer seller relationship, vendor analysis, negotiation skills , public buying and purchase strategies. TNS

SEMINAR: A seminar for MCA aspirants was organised by IMS Learning Resources at Government Museum Auditorium here on Saturday. The details of the entrance examination, patterns of various universities, MCA as a career option and opportunities after MCA were explained to participants. TNS

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been nominated as office-bearers of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Executives Association, Punjab circle office: president — Mr Yash Bir Walia; secretary — Mr R.P. Gupta, secretary; treasurer — Mr A.K. Aggarwal and organising secretaries — Mr Anup Prasad and Mr G.S. Bhullar. TNS

ATM INAUGURATED: Padmashree Nek Chand inaugurated an ATM of the ICICI Bank in Sector 31, here on Saturday. The bank now has 70 ATMs in the Chandigarh region of which 30 are situated in and around the city. All ATMs of the bank are Visa and Master Card enabled. The bank now has 17 banking offices in the Chandigarh region. TNS

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