Tuesday, June 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fire destroys important records in PGI
Burnt files related to financial and vigilance issues
Tribune News Service

A minor fire causing damage to property worth Rs 20,000 took place at the Civil Dispensary, Sector 43, here today. The fire which was caused by a short circuit was brought under control by the prompt action of firefighters from Sector 17 and Sector 32. The fire took place in the store of the construction contractor, Mr 
Rajinder Kumar, who reported the damage. 

Chandigarh, June 3
A large number of important records were destroyed in a fire at the PGI early this morning. Even as the PGI authorities refused to comment, specifically about the contents of the files, employees working in the building said the section ravaged by the fire was where files relating to important financial and vigilance issues were stored.

While the police is working on theories of an electric short-circuit or a semi-burnt cigarette butt having caused the fire, sabotage is also not being ruled out as a possibility.

The fire took place on the third floor of the main Administrative Block, the Kairon Block. Two stacks of files were stored on top of an old steel almirah in one of the narrow corridors at the third floor. The fire, which according to a security guard, was noticed at 3 a.m. in the morning by another guard on duty in a hostel just above these floors. He alerted the PGI security who then doused the fire with water. Although no loss or damage to life was reported, a large number of files have burnt down and in the process of dousing the fire many more documents have been destroyed.

The PGI police was called at the site and photographs were taken. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, sources in the PGI police post said the PGI authorities had not named anyone whom they suspected of having caused the fire.

Although the fire is being termed minor, the cause of the fire is intriguing all those who have seen the spot. “The almirah is the only one across the side of a wall with no electricity sockets nearby. There wasn’t any inflammable material stored nearby either. Moreover, the documents which have been burnt were important finance documents”, said a clerk working in one of the rooms across the corridor.

When asked which documents have burnt, no one seems to have the exact answer. Staff of the Financial Adviser’s office has been trying to save whatever is left of the documents since the morning but most of the files are either burnt or doused beyond legibility. Even those who work in the nearby rooms are not sure of what the files contained. Some of these files could also belong to the Vigilance Department, said a PGI employee working in the building.

The Financial Adviser, PGI, Mr Harmeet Singh, and the PGI Deputy Director (Administration), Ms Meeta Rajivlochan, were unavailable for comments.


Oil crunch; whose slick job ?
Tribune News Service

Prices (in Rs)

old /new
old /new







SAS Nagar



Chandigarh, June 3
It was just like the old days of rationing and queues today, as several petrol-filling stations in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar did not have petrol or diesel.

The Centre announced the hike in fuel prices in the evening and the new rates will be charged from midnight. The shortage had occurred due to the impending hike in prices. Since afternoon, filling-station owners had been turning away customers, saying that fuel was out of stock. Customers alleged that it was a case of hoarding in view of the impending hike.

The shortage of fuel led to ugly scenes outside filling stations and it came to blows at several places. A family returning from vacation in Manali was refused filling by attendants at a Sector 21 station and had to beg for it. A good Samaritan, then, guided it to another filling station where petrol was available.

Meanwhile, sources in the oil sector said the supply situation was not clear and it was possible that the companies had asked their officials to hoard fuel in view of the impending hike. However, the UT Deputy Commissioner and Director Food and Supplies, Mr M. Ramsekhar, said he had not received any complaint regarding hoarding of fuel by anyone.

Mr Vikas Aggarwal, a man who lives in Sector 21, blamed the Centre for announcing the hike 72 hours before it was to be implemented. This announcement triggered panic buying of fuel. Newspapers were abound with stories of the supply crunch.



Did oil companies hoard fuel?

WAS the scarcity of petrol and diesel due to hoarding by oil companies in view of the impending hike? Mr Amanpreet Singh, General Secretary of the Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association, said the companies had not replenished the stocks, in spite of the demand. Filling stations in nearby districts had run out of diesel yesterday.

However, a senior official of the Administration said, since no such instruction had been issued by any company in writing, no action could be taken against anyone. Now, if the filling-station owners had hoarded fuel, the Administration would have evoked the Essential Commodities Act.


Auto-parts trade hit, but MC won’t spare
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Everyone here who ever bought any vehicle accessory from any dealer in Sector 27 or 28 is now finding it difficult to get the spares repaired or replaced, even though the guarantees are still valid. The credit goes to the enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration, who penalise anyone who parks his or her vehicle outside the shops in the sectors for such changeover.

For every customer who parks his or her vehicle here for a change of tyres, the enforcement staff has a standard instruction — “remove the vehicle or receive a challan slip”. For the past one month, the staff has been telling such visitors to go to Sector 48 or the other sites where mechanics have been rehabilitated.

It does not matter to the enforcement staff if the shop from where you bought the spare-parts is still in Sector 27 or 28. These shops have remained here because the dealers concerned were not part of the relocation scheme.

Shopkeepers say that the Administration’s plan was to free the markets of roadside encroachments, whereas, the shops here are not illegal, but owned by persons who pay taxes. The dealers have been here for the past more than 30 years. “If a person buys a battery, tyre or a car stereo, it has to be fitted in; and no one will ever buy an equipment from here if it is to be fitted elsewhere,” said a tyre dealer. “Buy here and get it fitted elsewhere — this is so absurd,” said a Sector 28 spare-part dealer, “The MC should apply some logic. We have to honour guarantees on products and repair the electronics that we have sold.”

It should hardly bother anyone if vehicles are parked in front of shops here to get stereos or the other accessories fitted in. Besides, a large number of customers, who come here from outside, are forced to go back.


Breathe easy; carcass centre coming up
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
It may soon be a lot less stinky here, as the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry is extending a 100 per cent grant to a Carcasses Utilisation Centre that is to be set up in Khuda Lahora.

Dead animals and slaughterhouse waste would be converted into fat, meat and bone powder at the centre. The place would churn out animal skin, sugar, soap and leather products as well, besides reducing pollution and air-traffic hazard here. With the city having an important air base, the Air Force may, as a result of this development, hope to see fewer bird-hits than before.

Such centres were already there in Ghaziabad and Adampur, sources said. The plants were set up at the direction of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on a Supreme Court recommendation.

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh took the initiative on the decision this week and resolved to ask the UT Administration for 1 acre in Khuda Lahora for the purpose. The Administration has already earmarked a land for the purpose. The land is likely to cost the MC Rs 12 lakh and the project will require Rs 4 crore or so.

The MC wanted a site near the slaughterhouse to avoid transportation cost, but the suggestion was rejected as the Khuda Lahora location had already been approved by the Indian Air Force.

The MC had also urged the authorities concerned to transport dead animals in covered vehicles sprayed with disinfectants to control the stink. The House also learnt that, till now, animal waste here used to be disposed of at Daddu Majra, causing a pollution scare.

The project got a final clearance after the slaughterhouse Superintendent, Dr M.S. Kamboj, and the Town Planner, Mr Mehtani, visited such a centre in Ghaziabad. The dead-animal use involves skinning, chopping off the meat, boiler operation to disinfect and converting the matter into a powder of fat, meat and bone through gradation and processing.

The city has been witnessing dead animals in open causing pollution and air-traffic hazards. The proposed plant can even be used for many other purposes.


PU declares CET results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The results of the Panjab University Common Entrance Test was declared by the university here today. While the result gazettes are available at the main enquiry building and auditorium in the Arts Block I of the university from 8 am to 1:30 pm daily, telephonic enquiries can also be made on phone numbers 534818 and 784869 during office hours on all working days. The results are also available at the website http://results.puchd.ac.in from 8 pm today.


Those ugly scars... that ‘mehndi’ left
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The next time you sit open palmed in front of a ‘mehndi’ applier, think twice; you might end up with your hands burnt and scarred for life. Adulterated and strong chemicals mixed with ‘mehndi’ are the reason.

Many women here have complained of rashes and itching on the hands soon after getting the ‘mehndi’ applied. There have been cases where the wounds had to be bandaged for weeks to prevent bleeding, inflammation and infection.

Skin specialists have told women to take utmost precautions while getting their hands decorated from ‘mendiwalas’ because no one knows what they add to ‘mehndi’.

“Every marriage season or Karva Chauth, a number of affected women visit hospitals with such skin infections,” says Dr Swami Das Mehta, skin specialist in the Sector 22 Government Polyclinic.

“Imagine applying ‘mehndi’ in the hope that your hands will look better and ending up with the hands that may never look good again. However, it is the least that can happen. Infection leading to itching and discomfort can become unbearable,” he says.

Nisha, a college student, has had such a harrowing experience. She says, “At my sister’s wedding, a Sector 22 mehndiwala came to our house to decorate everyone’s hands. Since I wanted a dark shade according to the latest fashion, he applied a different ‘mehndi’ on my hands. Soon after this, I felt a burning sensation on the skin and, within hours, there were rashes along the design pattern. I had to keep my hands bandaged for days and write in examinations with the hands in this condition only.” She still has scars on her hands and her doctor is not sure if these will disappear. “Scars can take years to vanish. One can only hope that the skin responds to the treatment and the scars disappear,” says Dr Mehta.

While ‘mehndiwalas’ say that it is women who ask for dark and unnatural shades of ‘mehndi’, skin specialists say that these shades can even be created by using quality material. “The mixing of low-quality or cheap hair dyes with ‘mehndi’ to give it a dark shade is the cause of allergies and reactions. The dye used for creating temporary marks on the skin ends up piercing the skin and reacting with it,” says Dr Mehta.


Summer camps keep kids busy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 3
Tiny tots tried their hand at painting yesterday at a 25-day long summer camp organised at Gandhi Samark Bhavan in Sector 16 by the Blooming Flowers Club.

Organised by an arts teacher, Biasa Devi, and a journalist, the camp is expected to “bring out creativity among the little ones”. Besides painting, the young innocents will learn to mould waste material.

According to an organiser, pot decoration, fabric painting and drawing will also be taught to them. The children will be instructed from 10 am to 12.30 pm everyday.

Meanwhile, a group of art students under the banner of “Creative Triangles” has organised a summer workshop for children from 3 years to 16 years of age in Sector 34.

This 25-day workshop which started yesterday focuses on sketching, painting, mask making, cartooning, clay modelling, puppet making, collage making and wall panels. The lessons are being imparted by three young students of the Government College of Arts-Sandy Setia, Divya Raghuvanshi and Mani Bhuchar.

The workshop is divided into two parts, the first part dealing with the basics of sketching like introduction of shapes and lines while the second part includes various forms of art and craft, says Sandy Setia. “Besides following our own modules we are also going to help our participants with their summer projects,” he adds.

A host of fun-filled activities like skits, dance and games are also being included in the workshop. Besides, an open drawing competition will also be organised in the mid of the workshop and the best works of the participants will be exhibited at the end.

Another summer camp for mentally retarded children will be organised by the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, from June 3 to June 18. The camp will start each day at 8.30 am to 12 pm. Specialists in the respective fields will train the children in art, craft, fun games, yoga, music and dance.

Free transport will be provided to the children selected for the summer camp. The camp is open for the severe to the mildly retarded children upto 20 years from the city, Mohali and Panchkula.

A large variety of fun games, art and crafts like spray painting, pot painting, vegetable painting, tearing and pasting will be taught to the children. Salad making and table manners will also be taught. Practice of yoga asanas will also form a part of the camp.


Carnival concludes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 3
The four-day long kids and youth carnival organised by Innovative Group at Parade Ground in Sector 17 concluded with a host of competitions and fun-filled activities here today.

The healthy baby competition pulled a huge crowd. Besides a fancy dress competition, slogan-making and singing competitions were also organised. The carnival ended with the prize distribution ceremony.

The following are the prize winners of different categories:-

Painting — group 1 (above 10 years): Taranjeet Kaur (1), Shilpa Aswal (2) and Ravijot Kaur (3).

Group II (below 10 years): Aarzoo Ahuja (1), Surbhi Sood (2), Aradhana (3).

T-shirt painting — Sakshi Pawar

Instrumental — Manik Kohli (1) and Sai Anukaran (2).

Rhymes — Taniya Walia (1), Jigyasa Kapoor (2) and Anish Walia (3).


Neglect of police colony shocks Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Dingy ‘Kutcha’ lanes with garbage dumped here and there, open manholes in the middle of road, choked sewerage, policemen living in dilapidated structures, policemen rearing domestic cattle in their homes, all roads and grounds pitted with potholes and congress grass, children playing on roads in the absence any play ground, was the scene of residential blocks of the Police Lines, Sector 26, where hundreds of families of policemen of the Chandigarh Police are residing.

General Jacob, who paid a surprise visit to the residential area of the police Lines was shocked to see the neglect, apathy in maintaining the civic amenities in the areas where the jawans along with their families of the Chandigarh Police are residing. Accompanied by the DIG, Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, General Jacob reached the Police Lines without any notice. He entered the Kutcha lanes. The conditions of the so-called roads got exposed immediately on the arrival of General Jacob as the Superintendent Engineer of the Engineering Department walking just behind the General Jacob got his foot struck in a two feet deep pothole and he had to be pulled out. General Jacob had to negotiate his way through the potholes to the residential area. General Jacob reached what was a playground full of garbage. The garbage insanitary conditions and stink appalled the Governor.

General Jacob told the DIG to take immediate steps to rectify the insanitary conditions of the residential area of the Police Line. He asked the SSP and the Chief Engineer to immediately put up a plan to improve the civic amenities in the area. He also asked the SSP to improve policing of the area to stop the entry of stray cattle in the colony. The Governor was also surprised to see that people were keeping cows in their homes.

He interacted with the residents of the Police Lines. They complained about poor garbage management system, insanitary conditions and lack of maintenance of their houses. They told the Administrator that they had to live in the ill-maintained houses with fear in their mind that some concrete portion may fall upon their children. General Jacob asked the Chief Engineer to put up plans for maintenance of all the houses on uniform basis at the earliest. The Governor also asked the DIG to implement proper garbage management system in the colony.

Immediately after visiting the Police Lines, General Jacob paid a surprise visit to the Civil Hospital at Manimajra. Scores of patients were waiting since two to three hours in the OPD section. Dr M.S. Ahalwat, SMO, informed that this OPD section of Civil Hospital on an average examines 400 patients daily. Explaining about the rush, he said that number of Doctors is comparatively less in this hospital. General Jacob asked the SMO to organise the OPD in a way that no patient has to wait more than 45 minutes after registration.

The Governor visited various sections of the hospital and found that loads of patients in this hospital was quite large. The Governor also went to the Dental section. The Administrator said that he would take up with the Director, Health, so that the dental section could be provided one additional chair and dental x-ray facility to cater to the increasing load of patients.


Public Health lets down MC
Fails to maintain sewerage in SAS Nagar
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 3
The SAS Nagar Municipal Council is finding itself in an awkward situation. Despite paying over Rs 4.5 crore from its pocket to the Public Health Department each year, the council has failed to get the maintenance of sewer lines done in the town.

As a result, overflowing sewage has become a regular feature in various residential and commercial pockets in the town. At some places broken covers of the sewerage manholes have become virtual death traps for road users.

A councillor from Phase 1, Mr Shyam Bansal, has threatened to take legal action against the Public Health Department if the blocked lines were not cleared within a month.

Mr Bansal said, “Residents have been knocking at our doors as we are their elected representatives. But we are helpless as the Public Health Department sleeps on our repeated representations”. He said a sewerage cess of Rs 15 for a residential premises and Rs 30 for a commercial premises was being charged but it was not being spent on its maintenance.

He said the condition of sewerage in HB quarters in Phase 1, Phase 1,7 and 9 markets bear testimony to the inefficiency of the Public Health Department. In a pocket of the phase 1 market ( from SCF no 1 to 18), a sewerage cess of Rs 45, 360 was charged annually from the consumers. But each time the sewer was blocked, private sewer men had to be engaged by the shopkeepers.

He said Public Health had no right to charge sewerage cess. The sewerage lines had never been cleaned since the inception of the town.

The president of the civic body, Mr Kulwant Singh, also criticised the public health wing. “I had told them to clean the storm water gullies and clear the blocked sewer lines by March 31. Reminders to give details of the expenditure have not elicited any response”.

He said privatisation was the only solution to the problem. The civic body hoped to save “wasteful expenditure” of around Rs 1 crore annually by privatisation, he said.

Mr Bansal said he had been after the Public Health men for the past several months to get the blocked road gullies and sewerage cleaned but without any result. “How can we face our voters, if we can’t get their grievances redressed,” said Mr Bansal adding that the Public Health only added to the council’s burden.

Similarly, on the road dividing Housing Board houses of Phase 1 and the Phase 2 market, at least 50 per cent of the storm water gullies required immediate attention. Mr N.K. Marwaha, a councillor from Phase 3-B 2, said 60 per cent of the storm water gullies were blocked. Mr Manmohan Singh Langh and Mr Manjeet Sethi, councillors from Phase 7 and 3-B 1, had a similar complaint.

The president of the civic body said the Public Health had also failed to provide details of expenditure to be incurred in the current financial year.


Put national security above political interest

THERE is an inborn obsession in the minds of our politicians and bureaucrats that a strong Army does not augur well for the country. No wonder then that all proposals to increase the strength of the Army or equip it with better weaponry are watered down by them.

A few years ago, bureaucrats felt that the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) battalions, having the Army manpower, make the Army a bigger force. This led the Fifth Pay Commission to make a recommendation that the RR battalions (36 in all) be disbanded and the internal security which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) should be given to the CRPF. The commission also said the Army should be used for internal security duties “very rarely”.

Thank God, these battalions were not disbanded, otherwise we would have cut a very sorry figure in combating the militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, especially at such times when the Army is committed on the borders. Why our bureaucracy makes such hollow recommendations when it knows fully well that the CRPF cannot handle the internal security duties independently? Take the recent example of Gujarat, where an Army brigade had to be pulled out from its operational commitment to quell rioting.

Mercifully, instead of disbanding the RR battalions, it was decided in April last year that 30 more RR battalions would be raised in the next five years. And to increase their operational effectiveness, this force would be made a regular component of the Army. Admittedly, India would become a much stronger country the day our political pandits stop putting their political interests above country’s national security.

Resettlement of ex-servicemen

Over 55,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen retire every year; majority of them in their thirties, while most of the officers retire in their early fifties. The age expectancy having gone beyond 65 years, a large number of them have to seek a long second career.

Opportunities for the resettlement of ex-servicemen in India are very few and these too are smeared with graft. The Resettlement Directorate of the Ministry of Defence cannot provide suitable jobs to more than one per cent of ex-servicemen who retire every year.

Most of the state governments have reserved a percentage of vacancies for ex-servicemen but only a few of them are filled because the ex-soldiers neither have a political clout nor money to pay for the civil jobs. In several cases these jobs are denied to them on one pretext or another. Take the recent example of Punjab, where the Chief Minister had to give directions that the benefit of reserved vacancies would be given to ex-servicemen for the second and subsequent times even when they had availed of this benefit in one service earlier. This benefit was denied to them despite the Punjab Recruitment of Ex-Servicemen Rules, 1983, allowing this concession to them.

There are many schemes with the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) for self-employment of ex-servicemen for which liberal loans are also available from banks. But these schemes generally do not find favour with ex-servicemen because they are not psychologically prepared during their service to handle such projects.

Army’s reserve manpower

In an all-out modern war, even when it is not a prolonged one, the rate of casualties is likely to be very high, thanks to the hi-tech and sophisticated weaponry and equipment.

The shortfall in manpower due to casualties has to be made up after every intense battle so that the fighting potential of units and sub-units does not suffer. For this, all armies have their reserves. The reserve, as a rule, should be of the same strength as that of an army.

While Pakistan with an army of 5.5 lakh, has a reserve of over 5 lakh, India, with a much larger Army of 1.1 million, has less than 45,000 personnel in reserve. This reserve force is too small to sustain an army in war. What has brought the Indian Army to this unhappy pass?

Until the seventies, a jawan served in the Army for seven years, the period called colour service, after which he was transferred to reserve for eight years. During this period he was liable to be recalled to colour service in case of a national emergency. In the late 70s, the colour service was increased from seven to 17 years. This has adversely affected the reserve force of the Army.

That our planners have accepted the current system which has almost deprived the Army of its reserve force is unimaginable. This manpower imbalance must be removed if the country wants to fight a war.

Pritam Bhullar


Spiritualism helped them give up alcohol
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 3
“I had been drinking continuously, each day of my life, for the past seven years, I never realised that I was an alcoholic until one day, when I had gone to Hardwar and Rishikesh. Since there was no possibility of getting liquor there during our two-day stay, I realised how I could not stay without my daily quota of drinks even for two days. It was then that I decided to cure myself of this disease.”

These were the confessions made by one of the members of Alcoholics Anonymous , during its general body meeting at Little Flower Convent School here yesterday. More than 50 members of Alcoholics Anonymous (those suffering from alcoholism), Al Anon (wives of alcoholics) and Al Teen (children of alcoholics) participated in this meet.

Most of the speakers realised that alcoholism was a disease, which could be cured only through a strong will-power and spiritualism. They insisted that spiritualism had helped them overcome the temptation. It is a daily struggle for the patients as alcoholism is a life-long disease.

Another speaker, while narrating his recovery from alcoholism, said he was a Brahmin, but had started drinking at a young age. “My family and children turned away from me. Later, I realised that I was missing out on life.”

1 dead, 5 injured in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 3
One person died on the spot and five others sustained severe injuries in two separate accidents on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here today.

A head-on collision between a Ambala bound Maruti van (HR-01K-1842) and a truck (HR-026A-0223) approaching from opposite direction resulted in the death of van driver Vikash while three other occupants — Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Joginder Singh and Gopal Singh, residents of Ambala — sustained severe injuries. The accident took place near the Sukhmani institute of Engineering at about 11 am near here.

The van driver tried to over take a cyclist but lost control over the vehicle and collided with the truck. The unidentified cyclist also sustained injuries. All injured have been taken to the PGI in Chandigarh, the police said.

The police has impounded the vehicles and a case under Sections 279, 338 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered at the Dera Bassi police station. The truck driver is said to have fled from the scene.

In another mishap, involving a CTU bus (CH-01G-8804) and a scooter (PB-S91-0331), in Singhpura village on the highway, about 3 km from Zirakpur, scooterist was injured.

Sources said the scooterist was a resident of Stabgarh village and was carrying some foodgrains when he met with the accident. The bus was on its route from Chandigarh to Dera Bassi when it collided with the scooter.

The injured has been admitted to the PGI.


Doctors hold rally
Our Correspondent

Lalru, June 3
In protest against the Punjab Government’s proposal to terminate the services of 850 PCMS doctors who were appointed during the PPSC Chairman Ravi Sidhu’s tenure, the local unit of the PCMS Association organised held a rally near local bus stand here today.

The protesters raised anti-government slogans and demanded that the services of the doctors should only be terminated after proper investigation.

Dr Daler Singh Multani said that the government should think of the doctors who were appointed on merit and not by opting other unlawful means. He said that documents of the doctors should be checked thoroughly and only the guilty ones be considered for the necessary action.


Woman strangled for dowry
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 3
A woman was reportedly strangled to death by her in-laws in Pinjore, allegedly because her parents had failed to give sufficient dowry at the time of marriage.

Ms Mahinder Kaur, a resident of Shimla, has alleged that her daughter, Asha Devi, was married to Sunil in Pinjore. Her in-laws would often torture and assault her for bringing insufficient dowry, she has further alleged.

It was on the night intervening June 1 and 2 that Sunil, along with his mother Violet and brother Joseph strangled her to death. The police has registered a case under Sections 304- B of the IPC. Sunil and Violet have been arrested. They have been sent to judicial remand till June 15. The other accused, Joseph, is absconding.

One dead: Mr Ram Avataar, a resident of Power Colony here, died under mysterious circumstances in Sector 9 market this afternoon. He was cycling his way to Shakti Bhavan, when he fell off his scooter and died.

Theft cases: During the past 24 hours, the police received four complaints of theft from different parts of the city.

Mr Mukesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 19, has reported to the police that his house was burgled and the thieves decamped with two gold rings and Rs 9,500 on Sunday. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

Another house in Sector 52 was reportedly burgled on Saturday night. A case was registered on the complaint of Mr Sita Ram, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony.

Bajaj Chetak scooter (HR - 10 - E - 5841) of Mr Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Ratpur Colony, Pinjore, was reportedly stolen from Sector 21 here on Sunday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Meanwhile, Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar, Phase I, was allegedly caught red-handed while stealing utensils from the house of Mr Ram Pal in Ram Darbar, Phase II, on Sunday. He was booked under Sections 380 and 411 of the IPC.

Hit-and-run case: Mr Mohmed Sarif, a resident of Mani Majra, was injured when he was allegedly hit by a Maruti van driven by a woman on Friday evening. The driver sped away from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Woman held: The police arrested Gogi, a resident of Dhuri (Punjab), under various sections of the Excise Act from ISBT, Sector 17, here on Monday and claimed to recover 400 pouches of liquor from her possession. Police sources said she had bought the pouches from the city and was planning to take these to her native place.

Found dead: The body of a 40-year-old man was found lying near a tea stall in Phase 7 here on Monday. Blood was oozing out of his mouth. The victim had reportedly come to the tea stall and asked for a cup of tea at around 7 a.m. Suspected to be an addict, he lay down on the floor and never woke up. A foil of medicines and a Rs 10 note were found from his pocket. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Sections 174 of the CrPC.



Booked for supplying underweight LPG cylinders
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 3
The police has booked the Manager of Gas Bottling Plant of the Indian Oil Corporation at Kohand, Karnal, under Sections 5 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act and under Section 420 of the IPC. As many as 75 cylinders supplied by the plant to a local gas cylinder agency were found to be underweight.

It may be noted that the SDM, Panchkula and the DFSC were asked by the Deputy Commissioner to undertake a special exercise on May 31 and check if the LPG cylinders being supplied by the various gas agencies were underweight. The order followed protests by residents of Sector 18 earlier that day, when they caught a delivery vehicle of a Sector 16-based gas agency selling underweight cylinders.

While checking the godown of Secular Gas Agency, they found that a number of cylinders were underweight. Employees of the agency alleged that the cylinders supplied by the company were underweight.

A company truck carrying the agency’s supply was standing there. As many as 300 cylinders from the truck were off loaded and weighed the next day and nearly 75 were found to be underweight by 300 gm to 5 kg.


Ice-cream found adulterated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The Director, Health Services, UT Administration, has stated in a press note that icecream, ice candy and kulfi samples collected from the premises of Om Ice cream and Ice Candy factory owned by Mr Shambhu Singh, and Shaktiman Icecream and Ice Candy factory owned by Mr Suman Kumar have been found to be highly adulterated.

The inspection done by Senior Food Inspector S.K. Sharma confirmed that these firms are manufacturing the ice creams and ice candies in an unhygienic conditions and without obtaining the requisite licence for the sale of these articles from the competent authority.

These icecream manufacturers have been prohibited from selling any of these items without the prior approval of the DHS.


Two JEs booked
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 3
The police has registered a case under Section 304-A, IPC, against two junior engineers of the PSEB, Manohar Lal and Jeewan Singh, for causing death by negligence of a pregnant woman yesterday.

A pregnant woman, Ms Kulbeer Kaur, died when a pole fell on her when the work to replace an old broken pole was going on. Her husband, Mr Devinder Singh had a narrow escape. According to the police, the pole fell on the motor cycle on which they were going.



All-round increase in SBOP profits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
On the occasion of the declaration of its annual results for the year ending March 2002, the Managing Director of the State Bank of Patiala, Mr A.K. Purwar, informed that the bank followed a customer-focused approach for high growth and profitability. This approach had resulted in net profit increasing by 44.59 per cent. Return on equity and return on assets improved by 17.31 and 1.12 per cent to 20.40 and 1.34 per cent respectively. The net worth improved from Rs 931 crore to Rs 1142 crore.

On the business front also, the bank had improved largely. As at the end of March, 2002, the bank’s aggregate deposits stood at Rs 13761 crore, showing a growth of 20.58 per cent over March, 2001 against the all-scheduled commercial banks growth of 14.25 per cent during the same period. The credit quality also recorded a good performance. The bank’s gross non-performing assets came down to Rs 628.02 crore as on March 31, 2002, from Rs 694.76 crore as on Match 31, 2001. The bank as a responsible corporate citizen had also laid emphasis on priority sector advances to fulfill social objectives. About 43,357 kisan credit cards for an amount of Rs 161.23 crore had been issued during 2001-2002. Over 107 self-help groups had been financed. Four commercial banks had been established in Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Further, the bank had launched the facility of its ‘anywhere, anytime banking’ by interconnecting 17 branches and six ATMs in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Chandimandir and SAS Nagar.



CAMPAIGN: Around 200 officials of the State Bank of Patiala and members of their families participated in Save Sukhna campaign under the bank’s community banking services, according to a press note. TNS

MEETING: The annual regional meeting of the dealers of Sonalac Paints was held here on Saturday. The company would shortly launch three new products in the market said Mr R.S. Garg, managing director in a press note. TNS

SALES: Hyundai Motors India recorded a sale of 8,078 units during the month of May which was 7.3 per cent more as compared to the previous month’s sales, stated a press note. Mr B.G. Lee, executive director (Marketing and Sales), said the company was also planning to increase thrust on exports. TNS

CHARGE TAKEN: Mr Anaggh Desai has taken over as the new chief executive officer of www. traveljini.com, an ICICI venture company. Mr Desai had worked with Cox and Kings (I) Limited as the vice-president, (corporate planning) and the general manager for the western region, stated a press note. TNS

KIDS STATIONERY: Archies Greetings and Gift Limited launched ‘Kids Stationery’ here on Monday. Through this division, stationery products like crayons, pencils, erasers, etc would be introduced in the market. In the first phase, crayons have been introduced in the market,” said Vijayant Chhabra, executive director of the company. He was addressing mediapersons in a local hotel Mountview here. Seven varieties of crayons, five in wax and two in plastic, with price range from Rs 8 to Rs 65, have been launched. OC

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