Thursday, June 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two sites identified for artificial lake
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 26
The hunt for a possible site for constructing an artificial lake here is on. At least two new sites along Ghaggar river have been identified for the purpose.

The project of constructing a lake here on the lines of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh was envisaged by Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala a few months ago. Since then, officials of HUDA and the State Irrigation Department have been conducting a survey along the Ghaggar to identify the appropriate site.

Other than being a major tourist attraction in the district, the lake would also serve the purpose of recharging groundwater for sustaining the already depleting groundwater in the region. It may be noted that the issue of the declining watertable in the district is a cause of major concern. It is believed that at the present rate of fall in watertable and the rate of withdrawal through tubewells, the ground water reserves are not going to last for more than 20 years.

A two-member team comprising Executive Engineer, HUDA division III, and Chief Engineer, Irrigation, have been conducting a survey for the past fortnight along the river for identifying a probable site. While one site — between Nadha choe and Nandana choe near Sector 25 — was identified on June 13, another site along the upstream of Mogi Nand village was identified yesterday.

Sources say that the site between the two choes of around 40 acres would most probably be chosen for the lake. Though the site is expensive, the fact that the 18-hole golf course would also fall along the lake ( if constructed here) , would add to its beauty. Also, other site on the upstream of Mogi Nand village would be at a distance from the township.

This follows the rejection of almost three sites, identified by another four-member committee set up by Chief Engineer, HUDA, last year. This four-member committee had earlier proposed to construct the lake near the guide bundhs on the upstream and downstream side of new Ghaggar bridge. The committee had earlier recommended that the piece of land, approximately 4 to 5 acres and surrounded by guide bundhs on one side and external road on the other side, can be considered for the lake. However, this proposal was ruled out on the pretext that the area was too small.

The second option for this lake was on the river bed itself, between the old and the new Ghaggar bridges. This area, they felt, could be utilised for developing the lake by constructing curtain walls or low-height dams.

The total area of the lake would then be approximately 10 acres and the lake, would have then had a golf course on one side and external road on the other side, connecting the two bridges. Because of the huge cost of construction on this site, this was also ruled out.

Both projects would have helped in recharging groundwater. The third option for developing the lake is on the area comprising Nadha choe and some existing depression thereby in Sector 23, Part II. However, this site has been thought of as the choe is filled with water only during the monsoons. Thus, the water for filling the lake would have to be diverted from the river, which would again have to be a costly affair.


Postgraduate courses likely for art college
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
After years of deliberation upon the issue of introduction of a masters degree in fine arts (MFA) at the local Government College of Art, Sector 10, some hope has been forthcoming this year. With a favourable report submitted by the expert committee, constituted by the All-India Council of Technical Education, Delhi, for the purpose of determining the feasibility of postgraduate courses at Government College of Art (GCA), the day is not be far when MFA will be introduced in the college.

The committee comprising Professor Aiwale, Dean, J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, Prof R.B. Bhaskaran, former principal, Madras School of Art, and Prof Chinmaya Mehta, Head, MFA, Jaipur University, visited Government College of Art campus on June 13 and 14 and observed that the infrastructure of the college was well upto the mark to afford the introduction of a masters in fine arts. The experts, who interacted with the faculty members of the college and also inspected all the studios of the college, further maintained that the postgraduate course should have been introduced at GCA long ago.

The committee members also worked out the strength of postgraduate classes in each of the four disciplines of fine arts. They recommended that PG departments of painting, graphics, applied arts and sculpture should have seven seats each.

Although the issue of introduction of MFA had long been debated at the local level, sources informed that although the effort to elevate the status of the college to a postgraduate institution had been on for quite some time now, some loopholes prevented the upgradation of the institution. On most of the occasions, the form required to be submitted to the All-Indian Council of Technical Education requesting for introduction of a certain course in the educational institution, was not forwarded in time.

This time, however, the authorities of Government College of Art were cautious about completing the formalities well in advance. Talking to The Tribune about the entire procedure, Prof Brahm Prakash, Principal, GCA, said, “We took all the care this time. The proposal for introducing a masters in fine arts degree at GCA was sent in to the Council by January 30 this year, well in time in order to avoid any technical hang ups.” After the submission of the form the council formed an expert committee which later surveyed the college in order to determine the viability of post graduate degree in Fine Arts.


School ordered to refund caution money
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 26
Taking care of students’ grievances, the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has directed St. Peter’s Secondary School, Sector 37-B, through its Principal to refund the caution money amounting to Rs 5000 to its students.

The forum further directed the Principal to pay Rs 500 as compensation for mental and physical harassment suffered by the students and Rs 300 as litigation cost to them.

A resident of SAS Nagar had filed a complaint that his two daughters had been studying in class IV and class VI of the school, respectively, during the session 2000-2001. At the time of their admission, he had deposited Rs 17, 770 with the school authorities.

The complainant stated that he was transferred from Chandigarh to Mohali in March, 2001 as a result of which he had to shift his daughters to some other school at Mohali.

Therefore, he had applied for issuance of school leaving certificates and for refund of caution money on March 16, 2001 on a lined paper. But the application was not accepted by the dealing official of the school on the ground that it was written on a lined paper. The authority concerned insisted that the application should be on a plain paper. The complainant again gave the complaint on a plain paper to the authority concerned on March 24, 2001.

The complainant had prayed before the consumer forum that the school should be directed to pay Rs 5, 000 as caution money, interest at the rate of per annum from the due date till the date of its realisation, compensation to the complainant for unnecessary harassment and cost of the complaint to him.

Opposing the complaint moved by the complainant, the counsel for the school said the complaint was not maintainable. Moreover, the complainant had not alleged imparting of sub-standard education by the school which, according to the counsel, was the only type of deficiency in service which could be committed by them. He also said the complainant was bound to the terms and conditions of the school mentioned in the prospectus, therefore, there was no deficiency in its services.

The forum said in its order that the school had indulged in deficiency in service and also in unfair trade practice by refusing to refund the caution money to the complainant. Therefore, the school be directed to refund the caution money.

The school was also directed to pay interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from March 24, 2001 with Rs 500 as compensation for mental and physical harassment and Rs 300 as cost of litigation.


Balongi, Badmajra may come under MC
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 26
The local Municipal Council is likely to clear a proposal tomorrow to bring Balongi and Badmajra villages within its jurisdiction.

The issue was on the agenda of the council meeting held in November last year but a decision on it was kept pending. However, following directions from the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, the matter has once again been brought on the agenda of the council meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

The meeting is also expected to clear among other things proposals worth about Rs 2 crore for the undertaking of development works in the town.

Also on the agenda is a proposal for the development of YPS and Diplast roundabouts here. Offers had been earlier invited by the council for the maintenance of the roundabouts but only Spice Communications had responded. Earlier, this company had been maintaining the YPS roundabout and the council is likely to permit it to continue its maintenance for another two years. The company will undertake the work free of cost.

Another important issue to be taken up at the meeting relates to a building in Phase VII in which a part of the council office is housed. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the vacation of the building, belonging to a private party, by June 30.

The council will consider at the meeting the question of taking a building on rent in Phase VII to accommodate its offices. The council had earlier decided to call various parties for negotiations, with the final decision on the building being taken by the finance sub-committee. The council had also decided to give preference to the owner of the present building in case he was again interested in giving it on rent at the rates negotiated by the council.

The finance sub-committee had on June 19 called a meeting of the parties concerned and settled a rent of Rs 35,000 per month for two years beginning on July 1 with the owner of the building occupied by the council at present. Under the agreement there will be a 7 per cent yearly increase in the rent. The deal has to be cleared by the house tomorrow.


Living with devouring effect of drug demon
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service


* Total drug abusers/alcoholics: Approx 15000
* 99 pc males
* 60-70 pc alcoholics
* 30-40 pc drug abusers
* 70 pc of drug abuser males are in the age group of 16-28
* 1 out of every 300 drug abusers are doctors
* 1 out of every 100 drug abusers are chemists
* 3 out of every 100 drug abusers are Hospital Class IV employees 
* 2 out of every 100 drug abusers are small shop workers.

Chandigarh, June 26
For Manpreet, a 24-year-old residing in the city, life is as bad as it can possibly get. Into drugs now for eight years, Manpreet is now jobless, divorced, heartbroken and in extreme physical distress.

Desperate for help, Manpreet’s father, a Haryana Government employee is a broken man. ‘‘I have already lost a dear family member to this ill and now I cannot see my son in this condition. Please help him to get over this habit,’’ he pleads.

Now Manpreet too regrets having given in to his friends at school to start ‘experimenting’ with easily available prescription drugs. ‘‘These were available readily in chemist shops just outside our school. Almost the entire strength of boys in 11th and 12th in my school are into some form of drugs. It was just natural to accompany the seniors to these shops and buy things like phensydryl syrup, proxivan capsules and some injectable drugs from these shops,” says Manpreet.

‘‘After we passed out of school, some of my school friends moved on from these light drugs to smack and I also decided to try that. We came to know about a group of foreign nationals who supplied smack. But they were caught by the police and our supply was stopped. But by then we were hooked. I could not imagine even a single day passing without having my doze of drugs. So we looked for another supplier in the same area. It was a woman, who with the help of a young boy supplied drugs from her residence. But she too was caught and then we started going to the Panjab University for smack.’’

‘‘But my job started suffering and soon I was without a job. I shifted from one job to another but could not concentrate on anything. Now it was not a question of drugs giving a high but as medicines for an illness without which it felt as if I will die.’’ Some years back, however, manpreet managed to kick the addiction and after remaining in one of the de-addiction centres in the city, Manpreet was a new person. ‘‘I fell in love and met the person I later married. I even got another job. And everything started to look up. But things between me and my wife somehow did not workout and we separated and will soon be divorced.’’

Manpreet is now back into drugs. ‘‘I met my old friends who are still hooked and I could not resist specially when family circumstances were turning so bad. But now three months later I need help. I want to leave this habit and start a new life. But I am scared that I will die.”

‘‘The withdrawal symptoms are so scary and painful that I take sleeping pills in order to sleep every night. There are times when I writhe painfully in the bed at night but resist taking drugs. Sometimes I feel I will die of the pain.’’he says.

Stating that Manpreet’s case is a typical case of schools students trying light drugs and moving on to become hard core drug abusers, Dr Anil Malhotra, Additional Professor, Drug Deaddiction Centre, PGI, states that the city health authorities need to generate maximum awareness among school students.

Dr Malhotra also stated although that drug abusers were equally divided among all various economic sections of the society, choice of drugs varied among the rich and the poor. “There are more than 15,000 drug abusers in the city which includes Panchkula and Mohali but the health services in the city are catering to not more than 10 per cent of these,’’ said Dr Malhotra. Reiterating this statement Dr B.S. Chavan, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, suggested that in order to be more effective, the health department has to reach out to drug abusers and not simply wait for them to seek medical help.

“We have the largest number of drug abusers living in the city’s periphery and not in the city itself. Landed people sold their property to the Government and they are cash rich. Having little knowledge of where to invest their money, many of their family members get into bad habits which include having these drugs,” informed Dr Chavan.


Getting supply no tough job for addicts
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, June 26
A drug store in one of the Southern Sectors: A teenager stops his Maruti 1000 near the shop and enter the shop. He exchanges pleasantries with the drug store owner and after a minute the latter hands over him a three bottles of a phensydryl.

Today is International Day Against Drug Abuse and several programmes and functions by various government and non-governmental organisations were held to mark the day. But like the rest 364 days of a year, drug addicts had no problem procuring their daily dose.

The sale of Schedule — H drugs without prescription by various drug stores in the city continues unabetted. This correspondent today accompained six regular drug addicts of tranquillising injections and cough syrups. Procuring ampoules of drugs taken by drug addicts to get kicks through injection (without any doctor’s prescription) is not difficult a job. There are certain chemists in the city, who are making a quick buck by selling injections and tablets which offer a “high” feeling to the user.

Wild growth of hemp plant could be spotted on the outskirts of the city and thus its presence in cigarettes is also catching up, and an important thing about hemp is that the drug addict gets its for free, he just has to spend some time in rubbing the leaves of the plant on his palm and the residence (on palm) gives ‘‘kicks’’ when used in cigarettes.

The city periphery, including Naya Gaon, Mullanpur, Zirakpur and Dera Bassi is a haven for the drug addicts as these areas are not vigorously patrolled by the police.

As per police sources, a large number of youths, including girls have become habituated to cough syrups and mind alerting injections and these people frequent drug stores in these areas to get their ‘‘daily dose’’.

Police sources said that when the addicts fail to secure money by ‘‘genuine’’ means, they resort to nefarious practices to extract money from their parents and friends. And once these tactics stop working, they get down to stealing. Police officials express helplessness in checking the indiscriminate sale of Schedule - H drugs as they claim it to be the job of drug inspectors and Health Department.

International Day Against Drug Abuse will be celebrated again next year but it is high time that the authorities concerned did something else to check the indiscriminate sale of these drugs apart from organising seminars, workshops and street plays and other such programmes.


Launch mass movement against drug abuse’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 26
A mass movement should be launched against drug abuse and illicit trafficking to prevent drug abuse, said the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, while addressing a gathering on account of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, organised by the District Council for Child Welfare, Panchkula, at Bal Bhavan here today. She stressed in effective community participation to counter aggressive marketing by drug sellers.

She said: “We can prevent the spread of this menace if we are careful about the activities in our neighbourhood and the selling of drugs is reported. The role of residents welfare associations is important in this regard”.

Dr Anil Malhotra, Head, De-addiction Centre, PGI, Chandigarh, explained about the process of addiction, reasons for drug taking, personality changes, easy availability as a cause of addiction and social reintegration of addicts into society.

The programme also featured a session of sharing of experiences by members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who underwent treatment at the centre. A poster exhibition was also organised, highlighting this year’s theme — ‘Substance abuse — HIV and AIDS’. A film show was also organised and sample of drugs retrieved from addicts coming for treatment at De-addiction Centre, Sector 9, were put on display.

Meanwhile, a presentation on drug de-addiction and general nutrition was also organised by the Care Health Society, with active help of Group Centre, CRPF, Pinjore. This was presided over by Dr V. Jaswal from CMC Clinic, Panchkula. Dr R.P. Chib, Director, Project Care Health Society, also spoke on nutritional needs of the CRPF personnel and other people.


Drug de-addiction camp held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
The Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, organised a drug detoxification camp at the Day Centre, Dadu Majra, to makr the International Day against Drug Abuse today.

The camp was inaugurated by a former drug addict, rickshaw puller, Dal Chand, who also the chief guest at the camp. Many of the drug addicts, who had been cured by the GMCH centre, helped in organising the camp and motivated addicts to give up the habit. Dr B.S. Chavan, Head of the Department, spoke on the occasion.

The servants of People Society organised a youth cycle rally to observe the day. The rally was organised in association with the Youth Welfare Club and the Pind Vikas Manch Club. Its aim was to spread awareness about drug abuse and its ill effects through colourful posters banners and slogans. The rallyists moved from The Tribune chowk to Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, where they were received by the Secretary of the Society, Mr Onkar Chand, honorary administrator, Mr P.S. Soni and staff of the drug awareness and counselling centre. Later, a meeting was held which was addressed by Mr Onkar Chand and Dr Praveen Sharma of the Department of Psychiatry, PGI.

A week-long painting workshop to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse organised by the Society for Social Health (SOFOSH) in collaboration with the Jan Shikshan Sansthan concluded here today. As many as 25 slum dwellers of Colony number 4 of the city participated in the workshop.

Mr D.L. Manwani, General Manager, State bank of India, inaugurated the exhibition of paintings made by these children and gave prizes to them. Mr Manwani also gave a cheque for Rs 64,600 to the society for setting up a paper-cutting and binding unit for the children.

Dr Nareshanand, Driector, SOFOSH, said under the proposed unit slum children, especially school dropouts, would be trained and given work.


R-factor makes Brazil a hot favourite
Arvind Katyal

IF all goes well on the technical front, then it will be a virtual reality experience to watch the Brazil vs Germany World Cup final live on June 30 at Kiran cinema, Sector 22, Chandigarh. A select gathering of about 500 persons, might be able to view the World Cup soccer final for the first time in the city in the theatre. Chandigarh is one of the select cities chosen by TEN Sports channel, having the exclusive rights for telecasting the football matches. Other mega cities in this select telecast will be Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Pune, Goa, and Kochi.

Sources said even auditoriums have also been chosen for this. In Delhi, theatres like Chanakya, Adlabs- Mumbai and Netaji Subhas Stadium in Kolkata.

TEN Sports channel has been in the limelight with this World cup and now they are targeting the twin objectives of this biggest sports extravaganza. One of the cable operators told that they were also on the invitee list alongwith the co-sponsors. According to Samsung regional office personnel in Sector 8, the entire show had been booked by their company. Now they will be issuing passes to their dealers, customers in the city only. Samsung were one of the co-sponsors for the entire country wherever these big screens were going to give a happening experience to the viewers.

Mr Harjinder Singh of the Kiran cinema said the actual technical feasibility regarding the exact screen size would be checked only after a testing of the same to be done either tomorrow or on June 29, “only then we could specify on its exact screen showing size”. The event will be managed by an event marketing company based at Delhi.

He, however, said they had put off both shows from 3 pm to 6 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm on Sunday. He said since the timings of the telecast from 5 pm to 7 pm clash with both shows.

Sources said at some places in India, even both the semi-finals had also been shown on mega screens. The above experiment will have three fold objectices, first to popularise channel, second for product promotion by the co-sponsors and third the sport football would get the desired mileage.

Chandigarh, June 26
Brazil fever is running high in the city. This could be gauged from the fact that on Wednesday, Brazil was the favourite with soccer fans in the city, which comprise schoolchildren and other die-hard soccer fans.

The soccer fans are now looking forward to watch the historic World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.

The city-based leading astrologer Mr P. Khurana has also predicted that Brazil would win the World Cup. He said Brazil is ruled by mercury, considered to be beneficial for sports. He said “this is a high voltage period for those under mercury and from today onwards, a victory for Brazil cannot be ruled out”. He said with conviction that Brazil team, which had made it to the final, will win the title on Sunday by beating Germany in a match which could be a close affair.

Though consistency is synonymous with German team in this World Cup. This was evident when yesterday they braved the Koreans on the latter’s home turf. The Korean team enjoyed a high level of motivation, moral support alongwith worshipped support of lakhs of ardent fans. The superb goal by M.Ballack had a demoralising effect on Koreans had got rather negative publicity all these days due to their controversial matches. It was the end of the road for them after this match. Now this will be 16th occasion, when Germany would feature in World Cup final. They will now have the rare chance of meeting Brazil.

Airing his views on technical front, Mr Purshottam Rana, former chief national football coach, Sports Authority of India, said it would be a very exciting final. He said Brazilian players were a confident lot and the three Brazilian Rs were enough for any country. Today it was Ronaldo and on final day, it may be Rivaldo or Ronaldinho. He said on the contrary, Germans were equally poised, though at present they do not have very prominent names as they had before. But still it was the most consistent side. He said, “look how they were able to understand the weak points of the Koreans, who despite the advantage of playing on their home ground, were no match for the class of football played by Germans.” Mr Rana said, it was true that Koreans had the best of the moral support, and playing in opponent’s home ground, was not an easy task for the visitors. He said it would be a clash of titans on June 30 at Yokohama, when for the first time in the history of the World Cup, Germany will face Brazil.

Meanwhile, today also various hotels, restaurants had put up big-sized screen, with Hotel Classic in Sector 35 witnessing a huge rush and St Stephens’ Football Academy children had an exciting time watching this show. They also wore T-shirts similar to those worn by teams of Brazil and Turkey. The general manager of the hotel, Mr Rajiv Kakkar, disclosed that they had big plans for the final also. Hot Millions, HSBC, PCA, SAS Nagar, were among the other places where large screen was available for viewers to enjoy today’s match.


FDI means bad news for the freedom of the Press’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Foreign direct investment (FDI) may be the mantra for growth in Industrial circles. But the announcement made by the Government of India to open up the newspaper industry for 26 per cent FDI has evoked sharp reaction, or rather, criticism from intellectuals and former senior journalists based in the city.

The lone voice welcoming it is the former local MP, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Mr Satya Pal Jain. Veteran journalist, Mr B.K. Chum, says FDI means bad news for the freedom of the Press as foreigners will influence government policy. Mr Chums adds ‘‘ I fail to understand where is the need to have FDI. The newspaper industry in our country in no way inferior when compared with the newspaper industry in any advanced country.’’ We have no other example to compare the role played by the press during the freedom struggle. ‘‘Newspaper is not just another commodity that the government has allowed FDI in it,’’ argues Mr Chum while stressing upon his point against having FDI in print media. Moreover, what is the guarantee that 26 per cent stake allowed today will not be jacked up in the future.

A former Chairman, Mass Communication Department Panjab University, Prof I.M. Soni says “I am not in favour of letting them in. The way rules and regulations are bent in this country, what is the surety that Indian nationals on the board of editors will not play to the tunes of the foreign investor. Opening a door means willingness whatever be the number of riders”. In the country we have this peculiar, almost fatal fascination for everything foreign, which is wrong. We have the knowledge and experience thus where was the need for FDI. Besides this the country is flushed with money so why foreign money, says the professor, who in his decades of teaching experience has taught several of the modern day journalists.

Another veteran journalist, Mr Tribhuvan Nath opines the Cabinet decision to allow FDI has come as a bolt from the blue. Two years ago the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, had said, “The government had dropped the idea of reviewing the 1955 resolution of Nehru’s Cabinet. The concerns of 1955 are still valid.’’ How come Ms Swaraj forgot about what she said 19 months back, asks Mr Nath. He adds: “In the past Ms Swaraj has also said the Government opinion was not to meddle with the print media. It was not just another sector of trade which can be opened blindly’’. The minister , in November 2000 had admitted that 80 per cent of the representations received with regards to allowing FDI in print media had opposed it, says Mr Nath while alleging “A few influential pro-BJP editors lobbied behind the scenes. It was the same people who were the dissenting voices when saying FDI cannot influence editorial policy. A report of the Parliamentary committee on Information Technology tabled in the Lok Sabha on March 22 had rejected the idea of reviewing the 1955 decision taken by the then Cabinet.

After March 22 it was thought that the matter had been buried for good. ‘‘ The government is playing with public policy. Regardless of the regulatory measures imposed by the Government, the temptation of the FDI entry is not worth acceptance.”

Chairman of PU’s Mass Communication Department , Mr Sanjay Wadwalkar says this was waiting to happen as FDI has been permitted in broadcast media in the past few years and in the advertising world for long. This is manifestation of a decade-long trend in trivialisation of communication dictated by Television and controlled by Advertising. FDI, the PU don says, will not change the course of media publications. The main players in the print media have already chosen their paths and directions besides giving low wages to employees for long hours of work. All this suits the foreign players. Unfortunately, journalism has become market driven and it is very much here to stay, adds Mr Wadwalkar.

Former local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, however welcomed the step saying that everybody was waiting for this to happen. “The government has taken all precautions and we must have faith in journalists”, said Mr Jain and added that there was nothing to worry on account of FDI in print media. “This was inevitable as the world was turning into a global village”.


Man robbed of cash, car
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 26
A local industrial unit owner has been robbed of about Rs 1.83 lakh in cash and his brand new car by men posing as railway officials who had come to strike a business deal with him.

It is reported that the criminals — three in number — met Mr Rajinder Garg at a lodge in Phase IIIB2 here yesterday to strike the deal, but robbed him of his cash and a mobile phone and locked him up in a toilet. They also took away his Ikon car that he had bought recently.

They threatened him and ordered him not to complain to the police. However, he brought the crime to the notice of the police today.

Mr Garg, who lives in Panchkula, is engaged in the manufacture of railway spares in the Phase VIII Industrial Area here. The criminals are reported to have approached him for purchasing fish-plates for the ongoing Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail project. They had earlier met him a few days ago at home in connection with the “proposed deal”.

The DSP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, said that the criminals told Mr Garg that they were SDOs in the Railways. They asked Mr Garg to meet their Chief Engineer yesterday. The meeting venue was first fixed at a restaurant in Phase IIIB2 but later changed to the lodge in the same phase.

They first deprived him of over Rs 1.25 lakh he was carrying and got another Rs 50,000 from his wife at home after forcing him to ring her up to give the amount to two of the imposters. A case has been registered.


Awareness generation project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Citizens Awareness Group in collaboration with the Chandigarh Social Advisory Board organised an awareness generation programme for rural and poor women in Government Model High School, Badheri (U.T.). About 40 women participated in the programme.

Welcoming the guests and participants Mr Surinder Verma Chairman of the Citizens Awareness Group, said that his organisation had already undertaken awareness generation projects in the field of health education, consumer laws and environment by way of seminars and distribution of literature since its inception i.e. December, 1994. This is their second camp sponsored by Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board and its object is to induce rural women to think of their problems to analyse them and to initiate action to tackle them. About 50 women participated in the Programme.

Mrs Renuka B. Salwan, Deputy Director, Bureau of Indian Standards, said that awareness of consumers about their rights was the need of the hour. She discussed in detail about importance of standardisation in day to day life by giving various examples. She also informed about the regular use of standard mark on the products. Misuse of its standard mark without a valid license was a punishable offence under the BIS Act 1986.

Mrs Santosh Singh, secretary, Mahila Dakshita Samiti, said that it was important to identify one’s own strength and develop a skill to earn their livelihood. It was important to have a proper insight of production sequence, marketing probability and skill development. “As per change in the society we need to make our profession a success. Our organisation helps to identify vocations and start venture”, she said.

Dr Ramnik Sharma, Vice-Chairman, Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board, said that she gave information about the various programmes which are being run by the Board for the Welfare of Women and Girls, namely vocational courses like stenography, dress designing, computer etc. Conducted courses for 5th, 8th & 10th Classes non-formal education etc. She also talked about gender kids and held an interactive sessions with the participants.

Mrs Inderjit Kaur, Headmistress of the school assured her full cooperation in this programme.


Residents feel the heat
Erratic power supply, regular fluctuations
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 26
Erratic power supply and drastic voltage fluctuations in the township are causing a lot of hea(r)t burn among the residents. With Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) failing to meet the total demand of 70 MVA here, the problem is likely to increase as the paddy season progresses.

Residents of Sectors 18, 17, 16 and 12 remained without power for hours last night. On Monday night, residents of Sectors 20 and 21 and Old Panchkula had to sweat it out for most part of the night because of power failure for almost three to four hours. Interestingly, officials of UHBVN maintain that there are no power cuts. “ The power supply gets disrupted only because of increased load, “ is the standard reply. As of now, the total availability of power is around 55 MVA, almost 15 MVA less than the requirement.

A number of complaints have also been received regarding voltage fluctuations from most parts of the township. Residents of Sector 17 had to bear with an unusually low voltage through atleast three hours last night. In fact the fluctuations are so drastic that electric appliances, mainly bulbs, tubelights and fans have reportedly been burnt. Mr. Rakesh Aggarwal, convener of the joint action committee, Sector 12, complained that a number of residents in Sector 12 had suffered loss of electric appliances because of these voltage fluctuations.

This erratic power supply has also affected the water supply in the township. During this month itself, water supply to various sectors was adversely affected for almost ten days because of power failure at the boosting stations.

It may be noted that the power to the township is through two main sources — a 132 kv sub station at Pinjore, which gets power supply through the Central Pool from the Ropar thermal power plant; and the 220 kv sub station at Ramgarh- Madanpur, which gets its supply from the 400 kv substation of National Hydro Power Corporation ( NHPC) at Jagadhari through Shahabad.

Meanwhile, officials in UHBVN maintain that they are doing their best to ensure that the power situation remains static. It is learnt that two new substations of 66/11 kv each will be installed in Mansa Devi complex and Kalka. While the substation at Mansa Devi complex will be energised within two months, the one in Kalka will be made functional after the summer season. The substation at Mansa Devi complex is likely to enhance the power supply transmission by 12 MVA.

Presently, there is one 220/66 kv substation at village Madanpur and two 66/11 kv substations in Sector 1 and Industrial Area Phase II for almost 25,000 consumers ( domestic, industrial and commercial). As many as 30,00 new connections have been released during this year, it is learnt. It is now proposed to enhance the capacity of Sector 1 substation from 22 MVA to 28.5 MVA and that of Industrial Area Phase II transformer from 12.5 MVA to 16 MVA. Another transformer of 16 MVA capacity in Sector 3 is likely to be energised by next year.

The UHBVN staff has also bifurcated two transformers — one supplying power to Sector 10 and 15, and the other for Sector 17 and Rajiv Colony — in order to do away with the problem of voltage fluctuation.

Meanwhile, the UHBVN has come up with a proposal to double circuit two main high tension (HT) transmission lines supplying power to the city , in order to have a back- up system and distribute the load evenly on each circuit .

Sources in UHBVN informed TNS that an alternate transmission line supplying power to Panchkula from 220 kv Ramgarh- Madanpur substation will be made soon. A 100 MVA transformer will be added at Ramgarh in order to make the second circuit possible. One 100 MVA transformer is already functional here. The double circuiting of the other transmission line supplying power from the 132 kv substation at Pinjore will be done by the end of year 2003.


Raid on namkeen manufacturing unit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
A team of food inspectors from the UT Health Department conducted a raid at a residence complex in Dadu Majra colony and took samples of a local resident manufacturing and packing namkeen from his residence.

According to sources in the local health department, the owner of the namkeen manufacturing unit Mr Rajiv Kumar was packing the namkeen in packets stating that the product was from Bikaner and Delhi.


Opium seized, one held
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 26
The CIA staff, Ropar, has arrested Devinder Singh, alias Binder, today following the recovery of ½ kg opium from his possession.

According to an FIR lodged with the Kharar police Mr Bhagwant Singh, ASI, CIA staff, Ropar, was on routine checking duty when he spotted the accused near Jhungian village near Kharar and recovered the opium from him.

The accused belongs to Togan village. The police has registered a case under the NDPS Act against the accused.


Two held for assault
The police here yesterday arrested Mintu and Sardool Singh, both residents of Palsora Colony for allegedly threatening, assaulting and causing injuries to Mr Sita Ram of Palsora Colony 3. It has been alleged that the duo attacked Mr Sita Ram with a sword. A case under Sections 323, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Held for gambling
The police has arrested Jaswant Singh, a resident of Sector 24, for allegedly gambling at a public place and claimed to have recovered Rs 630 from his possession on Tuesday. One Jai Bhagwan of Sector 25 was booked under various Sections of the Excise Act as 24 bottles of liquor was allegedly recovered from his possession here on Tuesday.

A scooterist, Ajay, a resident of Sector 3, was injured after being hit by a vehicle in Sector 44 on June 23 here. The driver had fled from the spot and a case was registered against the unidentified driver under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.

Vehicles stolen
Mr Vikram Singh, a resident of Sector 38, reported to the police that his Yamaha motor cycle (CHP 277) was stolen from Sector 17 on June 21 here. Ms Soma Devi, a resident of Sector 8, also reported with the police that her moped (CH-01 S-1408) was stolen from near a parking lot in Sector 34 on June 17. Two cases have been registered.


Two injured
Two-girls — Dukheri and another unknown girl — were injured when they were hit by a vehicle on the Pinjore-Baddi road. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Car stolen
A Maruti car ( HR-03-3021) was stolen from the house of Mr Aadesh Seth in Sector 40. A case under Section 379 of IPC has been registered.

184 vehicles challaned
The traffic police has challaned 184 vehicles for different offences during ‘Operation Blunder’ from June 19 to 25. The various offences included use of red and blue lights, illegal plying of maxi cabs , triple riding and driving without helmets.


80 kg poppy husk seized, 4 held
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 26
The police has busted an inter-state gang of poppy husk smugglers with the arrest of four persons.

According to the police, the arrested persons had been identified as — Som Pal, a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh; Satpal, Ashok Kumar and Major, all residents of Donewal village near Garhshankar. The police recovered 80 kg poppy husk from the arrested persons. The police has also impounded a Maruti van used by the accused for transporting the husk.


Gate rally by bank employees
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 26
In order to show resentment against the Punjab Government and the bank management, members of Punjab State Cooperative Bank Employees Union (PSCBEU) held a gate rally during lunch hour yesterday.

The PSCBEU alleged that the Punjab Government had been pressing hard on the management of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank Limited to decrease the salaries of staff in order to remove parity with the Punjab State government employees. On the other hand, the salaries of the bank employees have been fixed higher, taking in view the salaries of the commercial, private bank employees as they have to do similar business.

The union demanded that stop/ refund of deduction from salary since November 2001, release of due increment, promotion of employees against vacant posts, deputations be sent back, pension for bank employees, regularisation of services of employees working on contract for computers, withdrawing restrictions of qualifications for promotions.


Training programmes launched 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Crescent Systems, a multi-disciplinary training organisation, has launched a host of training programmes under the banner of Global Voice for meeting the needs of different segments. For a long time, there has been a dearth of international-level training programmes in the region and the company intends to plug this gap. Crescent Systems has tied up with Credenz Systems, USA, for offering world class professional training and personal development programmes for individuals and management development programmes for organisations.

The company has been into training for more than a year in Delhi and has trained people in the areas of customer care, tele-marketing, communication skills and soft skills. The individuals trained by the company have been placed with the leading international call centers and multinational companies. It has now set up its office in Sector 34, Chandigarh.

Global Voice call centre training is claimed to be the most advanced programme for those aspiring for careers in international and domestic call centres and service sectors like telecom, insurance, hotels, tourism etc. The company’s Global Customer Contact Programme includes training for both in-bound as well as outbound call centres. The company has introduced for the first time a module on collection process, which is the mainstay of business for some of the largest international call centres operating out of India. The company deploys advanced methodology for training delivery with major emphasis on real life situations and role plays. The trainers have a lot of international experience in the field and have been trained in USA. To educate the people about the careers in call centers, the company is regularly organising free seminars in its office in Sector 34.

Besides this, the company is offering specialised courses in personality development, communication skills, time management, positive attitude, team building etc. According to Ms Archana Nagrath, Director, Crescent, poor communication and lack of positive attitude are two major factors affecting the growth of the companies and training people in these areas can help the individuals perform better, which is turn will lead to better performance at the organisational level. To outperform the competition, the organisation needs to invest in training at all levels and training is an investment rather than a cost element.

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