Friday, July 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Entrance test for enrolment in PhD
Teachers, too, will have to take exam
Tribune News Service

  • Students who have not cleared NET will have to appear for an entrance test to enrol in PhD.

  • Admission depends on availability of a guide and not merely on clearing the examination.
  • Non-PhD teachers will also have to appear for the test in case they volunteer for research.
  • Validity of the test will be for one year from the date of declaration of the result.

Chandigarh, July 4
Teachers who have not cleared their National Eligibility Test(NET) before their appointment and are keen to do a PhD now will have to appear for a written test at par with other students. The decision has led to resentment among the teaching fraternity.

All candidates who have qualified for JRF in NET conducted by the University Grants Commission will be exempted. All NET qualified teachers and NET qualified M Phil scholars will also be exempted from a written test.

Prof Dinesh Talwar, a fellow of the university senate, in a communication to the Vice-Chancellor, said, “There are innumerable cases in which lecturers were keen to pursue research for increasing their knowledge and career advancement. These teachers are approved by the university to teach undergraduate as well as postgraduate classes. It would be highly demeaning if we now ask them to take another examination to pursue research”.

Another postgraduate of the university, who is interested in research and is now a teacher at a college in Himachal Pradesh, said, “A special examination now would mean that the university did not accept the marks allotted in its own examination to the extent that a candidate was being made to appear for a special examination instead of evaluating merit on the existing marks”.

Prof Talwar said the university should not include the serving teachers in the list of candidates. The university needed to give more credibility to its own examination and selection. The university had even promoted some of the teachers wanting to do a doctorate, he said.

There are, however, certain quarters which are in favour of a written test for admission in PhD. This will help in screening a large number of non-serious students who just get enrolled in PhD but never complete their research, they claim.

A committee of the university has worked out the conditions for admission in PhD. It has been pointed out that NET qualified candidates need not appear for the entrance test. However, all other candidates having qualified another examination will have to appear in the entrance test for becoming eligible for enrolment in PhD.

It has been clarified that qualifying in the examination does not automatically entitle a candidate to be enrolled for PhD at Panjab University. Enrolment is subject to availability of seats and supervisors for guidance in the concerned area of research. The university on pattern of other common entrance tests will conduct the test. The academic committees of departments concerned will prepare guidelines and syllabi.

Foreign students holding valid research visas for doing PhD will have to qualify the test. Cases of sponsored foreign students under the ICSSR and other academic exchange programme fellowships will not be required to appear for the entrance test.

Importantly, the validity of the test will be only for one year from the declaration of the test.



3 arrested in Pala murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
At least three of the suspects in the murder case of Pal Singh, a former sarpanch of Khuda Alisher village, were arrested by the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police near the Zirakpur traffic junction today .

The suspects, Kartar Singh, Mohinder Singh and Kesar Singh, were trying to flee to Patiala on a Mahindra jeep (WB-02-E-9455) when they were apprehended by a team of the Crime Branch led by Inspector Satbir Singh.

However, the police is yet to recover the weapons, including a .12-bore gun, used by the suspects in gunning down the former sarpanch. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central), Mr S.S. Randhawa, said the exact details of the sequence of events leading to the murder would be known on the interrogation of the suspects. Police parties are conducting raids at different places to arrest the other nine suspects, including the three others who are named in the first information report (FIR).

Two of the suspects, Kartar Singh and Mohinder Singh, said they had killed Pal Singh for taking revenge of the death of Kaka Singh who was killed on February 2 last at Nayagaon during the last assembly elections in Punjab.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mohinder Singh said: "We were on the look out of Pal Singh and had decided to end his life on the same date. He came out of jail only a month back in some case and he deserved it".

The DSP said the suspects had also a bad track record in the police files and were residents the neighbouring Nayagaon and Nadha villages falling in Punjab.

The police believes that apart of the .12-bore gun, the suspects carried at least six swords. A total of seven rounds were fired by the suspects. All three claimed that they had fired from the ''licensed'' gun.

The deceased was facing two murder charges, including one election-related murder in Nayagaon on February 2 this year. One of his sons, Onkar Singh, is also accused of killing a woman on October 18, 1996, in Nayagaon and is presently in jail.

On July 2, at least 12 assailants had opened indiscriminate firing and chased the deceased for at least 15 metres before pumping three bullets into his body at Khuda Alisher village. He succumbed to the bullet injuries on the way to the PGI. A couple of months ago he was released on bail.



Amusement but at what cost?
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

The Government of India has not laid down any regulations for adequate safety measures in amusement parks of the country. The only set of guidelines that are available are the ones laid down by the Amusement Parks Association of India. These guidelines, too, are based on whatever information joy-ride manufacturers provide about the safety precautions of their rides.

SAS Nagar, July 4
A six-year-old lost his life. And an amusement park was closed. But many questions remained to be asked and many lessons needed to be learnt.

Do we follow safety instructions at such places where there is a scope for potential danger and following simple instructions can actually mean the difference life between death? Does the management of such spots follow any safety precautions during and after the installation of hi-tech joy rides in their parks? The answer to both is a simple no.

Management officials and security guards working in the amusement parks in the city have stated that majority of those who come to the amusement parks to have a good time normally refuse or fail to follow simple instructions given to them about basic safety. At times they are rowdy and misbehave.

Lost in the din of the high strung emotions of the family of Rishab Kapoor, is the version of the security guards that Rishab’s mother was careless from the moment she entered the park and ‘lost’ the child more than once during their entire stay at the park. ‘‘She first fought over the price of the ticket, then she insisted that money for Rishab’s ticket be not charged’’, informs a ticket collector, who was on duty that day. ‘‘These things do not matter, many people fight over the price which is Rs 150 per head for all rides and one is used to it. But what about things that matter? There is a notice board near the wave pool which clearly says that children below 10 are not allowed here, so why insist on taking your children with you?’’, questions a security guard. ‘‘We are two security guards per ride sometimes even more security guards are there and our duty is to tell people to enjoy these rides but safely. But how many people listen to us? ’’

Agreeing to this is Mr Kamaljit Singh of Fun City, who says that despite the most stringent security arrangements, people in their extreme happy mood are oblivious to the fact that they have certain responsibilities also. ‘‘We have had cases where a child has got lost in the park and remains in the security room for hours before we find the parents and they still do not know that their child is missing’’, he says.

Stating that water parks are slightly more dangerous than the other rides, Mr Kamaljit, however, says that most of the rides are safe and only the dangerous ones have instructions which are to be followed strictly.

Meanwhile, a resident of Kaithal, Mr Varinder Singh, reported that he and his son on June 16 had a narrow escape while on the water slide, similar to the one reported by Mr Anil Jain, a resident of Panchkula. ‘‘We, along with another family who had a similar ghastly experience on the water slide, reported this to the security room. The staff there said that they would look into the matter but it seems nothing was done,’’ he said.



Court order implemented
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 4
The order of a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding closing of all operations at the Thunder Zone Water Park were implemented last evening when the park was shut down.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Kharar, in whose area the park is situated in Swara village, said that he acted immediately after receiving the directions and steps were taken to close the park.

Meanwhile, a five-member committee constituted by the Deputy Commissioner of Ropar and headed by the SDM, Kharar, yesterday visited the park to study the position.



Paid parking in more sectors mooted
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Close on the heals of introduction of paid parking in Sectors 17, 8 and 9, the municipal corporation is now preparing for the same in Sectors 22, 34 and 35. “The corporation is going to introduce paid parking in Sectors 22, 34 and 35 to de-congest traffic,” sources told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), visited these sectors personally and same haphazard parking. Mr Jacob is believed to have agreed to transfer funds of paid parking in Sector 34 to the municipal corporation.

The matter was today placed before the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, for inclusion in the agenda in tomorrow’s meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee. The Mayor, however, rejected the official agenda for now.

The proposal also seems to find favour with the ruling Congress which has not “principally” opposed the paid parking in these sectors. The leader of the Congress in the municipal corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, when asked to comment on this issue said, “We are not opposed to the introduction of paid parking in these sectors.”

Mr Chawla said it was promised in an official meeting to spend Rs 50 lakh on roads and electricity of Sector 17 from the funds collected from the paid parking in the sector but the whole amount had not been spent in the area. Of the Rs 50 lakh, Rs 15 lakh were to be spent on the streetlights of the area and remaining money on roads in Sector 17.

He said Rs 1 crore income collected from the auction of parking sites in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 had not been budgeted and had been set aside for development of the area from where income was generated. The corporation’s decision to impose paid parking in new areas has come after the Fire Department had several times pointed out that the traffic arrangements in the area might be disastrous at the time of crisis.



Sweaty days ahead for city residents
Tribune News Service

Since July 1, the Power Trading Corporation (PTC), which had signed an agreement with the Administration for the supply of 25 MW of power, has snapped supply to the city. This as the Western power grid from where the PTC was sourcing power, is facing problems. The Administration on Thursday consulted its memorandum of understanding with the PTC to see what are the clauses to be evoked in case power supply is stopped.

Chandigarh, July 4
Despite having enough power at its disposal, the Chandigarh electricity wing does not have a reliable distribution system which can ensure an un-interrupted supply.

At certain points the wires are undersized or the public itself is to blame as the sanctioned load is much lower than the actual power consumption. The demand for power has grown manifold. The heat and humidity coupled with breakdowns at regular intervals have made the situation worse in the past few days, especially in the southern sectors.

Yesterday, the city consumed a whopping 206 MW of power, the highest consumption ever. This occurred between 1 pm and 2 pm. The consumption of power has been 195 MW and 191 MW on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Today consumption touched 184 MW. The actual demand could have been higher had massive power cuts not been imposed.

Today, the problem of overdrawal straining the system was aggravated due to constraints of distribution on 33 kv sub-station located in Sector 34. Hence, the forced imposition of half-an-hour rotational power cut in various sectors. These cuts will remain in place for one week till July 11. Engineers said the load would be shifted onto other feeders and the situation would ease out within a week.

Sources said overloading was the cause of problems. People are not declaring their loads to avoid paying the monthly minimum charges. The monthly minimum charges are pegged at Rs 35 per kilo watt. A normal 3-bedroom flat should have a sanctioned load of about 10 kw. Today even middle class people had ACs in their houses, said sources while highlighting the problem of overloading.

In the commercial areas the problem of overloading is even more. Sources in the power sector said about 9,000 air conditioners had been sold in the city this summer, however, not a single application had been received for enhancement of load.

Rotational power cuts will be imposed from July 4 to July 11 in the following areas:
Time period  Area
1.00 to 1.30 pm  Sector 33-A&B
1.30 pm to 2 pm  City Centre Sector 34-A&B
2.00 pm to 2.30 pm  Sector 45-A, 44-B & Burail
2.30 pm to 3.00 pm  Sector 23-A, C&D
3.00 to 3.30 pm  Sector 20-A, 20-C
3.30 to 4.00 pm  Sector 21-A & 21-C
4 to 4.30 pm  Sector 34-C
4.30 to 5.00 pm  Sector 35A & B
* The cuts have been imposed as the distribution system is ill-equipped and cannot handle the peak load demand in these areas.



Displaying art becomes costlier
Punjab Arts Council doubles hiring charges
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

In the past, the Punjab Arts Council had been charging Rs 500 as rent, apart from Rs 25 service tax and Rs 100 as cleanliness charges. This rent applied to hiring of the art gallery, the inside hall and the open air theatre. But as per the latest decision of Punjab Cultural Affairs Department, the rent of art gallery will be Rs 1000, apart from 5 per cent service tax and Rs 100 cleanliness charges. This works out to be Rs 1150. The open air theatre and the inside hall will, however, be available for Rs 850.

Chandigarh, July 4
Display of art creations at the gallery of the Punjab Arts Council in Sector 16 will now entail a heavy cost. Whereas in the past the art gallery in the basement of Punjab Kala Bhavan was favoured by upcoming artists for its promotional nature, this goodwill may now diminish. Reason being the decision of the Punjab Government, whereby any artist hiring the gallery will have to pay double the cost of what he was paying earlier.

Earlier, the Punjab Arts Council was charging Rs 625 per day for the gallery, but as per the latest decision the artists will now have to pay Rs 1,150 per day. As any exhibition normally runs for five days, an artist will end up paying around Rs 5,750. The issue of sponsorship by the three akademies of the council also does not arise because the arts council has not been reconstituted since its term expired on March 22 this year.

While the reconstitution of the council hangs fire, the decision to increase the booking cost of the art gallery is being viewed with apprehension by artists, who feel the increase is rather too steep.

Reacting to the enhancement, Viren Tanwar, secretary, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, said, ‘‘This increase is on a higher side, especially when viewed in context with Chandigarh where there is no clientele for art. People here are not even interested in viewing art works, let alone buying them. Any exhibition is visited by a limited set of people. Under these circumstances, it is not right to expect that an artist can pay Rs 1,150 per day. This move is not positive in my view."

Similar views were voiced by the a former secretary of Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, who informed that earlier the cost of an exhibition at Punjab Kala Bhavan was minimal. ‘‘Normally the show was sponsored by one of the three akademies. The council has its own frames into which the artist can fit his drawings and graphic works, saving on his expenses. The situation will now be different. The move stands in direct contrast with the nature of Punjab Arts Council which is meant to promote art.”

Sources in the council informed that the decision was taken about 10 days ago. Ironically, since March 22 when the term of the Council expired, the art gallery has not been hired at all. Artists fear that the gallery may largely remain empty.

While they have one opinion which sounds fair enough, the government also has a logic behind the enhancement. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu, Director, Cultural Affairs, Punjab, said, ‘‘The condition of the Punjab Kala Bhavan compound is pitiable. We need funds to maintain it. The cost of water and electricity is going up. The council has no funds and the government also has its financial limitations. The idea behind increase in cost is to make the council financially self-sufficient. As for bookings, Bank of Punjab has paid Rs 25,000 for hiring the gallery for its annual show.’’

Although the present move is aimed at building a fund for the council, it may boomerang, given the fact that the city has no buyers for art. Senior artists informed that the best art galleries in New Delhi also do not charge that much. Per day booking rate in Jehangir Gallery,New Delhi, is Rs 1000, while Ravindra Bhavan charges Rs 5000 for seven-day booking. Informed a senior artist, ‘‘One does not mind paying in such galleries because they offer great sales. But in Chandigarh where not even one piece sells, how can an artist pay so much?’’

Meanwhile, many city galleries are allowing sponsored exhibitions and also letting out their space free of charge. While Art Folio in Sector 9 charges Rs 2,300 per day for an exhibition by a settled artist, it has not charged upcoming artists on many an occasion. IndusInd bank gallery in Sector 8 also does not charge any rent. The rent at Government Museum Art Gallery is also reportedly very nominal.



Jacob keen on making UT investment-friendly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Governor of Punjab and Administrator of UT, Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) said today that the Administration was keen on making the Union Territory a preferred destination for investment in knowledge-based industry for business and tourism. “We are receptive to new proposals and invite private investment with a promise to provide quality infrastructure and a conducive work environment. It is for the entrepreneurs to make most of these advantages, he said while addressing the the 47th meeting of the Small Scale Industries Board at New Delhi today.

Chandigarh was not envisaged as an industrial city but it was acknowledged by the planners that industry would provide an essential link in the development of the city. As a matter of policy, Chandigarh had been giving priority to the promotion of non-polluting industries. The Union Territory of Chandigarh had an industrial area spread over 1,475 acres. There were 15 large and medium and about 3,076 small-scale units, employing about 25,134 persons and giving output of about Rs 600 crore. Most of the units were ancillaries producing industrial fasteners, pharmaceuticals, electrical/electronic items, sanitary fittings, plastic goods, knitting needless etc. About 20 major exporting unit export goods worth about Rs 60 crore per annum.

“The SSI sector has traditionally produced a wide array of consumption and industrial goods, including machine tools, printing machinery, electrical apparatus and equipment. Special incentives are provided to the small-scale units, such as reservation of items exclusively for the manufacture of SSIs such as supply of raw materials through SSIDCs (CITCO in UT) provision of finance on confessional terms to micro and tiny units, fiscal relief in terms of excise duty, assistance in marketing their products and provisions of price preference etc. Import of a number of new items of raw materials, components/machinery and equipments has been brought under OGL. Favourable policy decisions have been taken by the government regarding customs, taxes etc.

“As a matter of policy, the Administration has been giving adequate priority to promotion of non-polluting industries with special preference to hi-tech industries in IT sector. This region can attract IT industry provided we establish good connectivity and make available trained personnel on a scale to match some of the southern states. In Chandigarh, the Administration’s wired city plan is nearing completion, with the laying of 50 km of OFC ducts in the city by spectra Net Limited and approximately 60 km OFC ducts by the HFCL, at their own cost. Permission has been given to various other companies desirous of laying OFC in the city by the Administration in accordance with the national policy. Every point in the city shall be within 1 km of the OFC Network, thereby enabling the companies to provide Internet services to consumers through the high speed broadband network. Chandigarh has already become the first city in the country to have optic fiber connectivity with Delhi, through Powergrid India Limited.

Chandigarh, because of its finite area, can not be put in the same category as other states. Chandigarh offers conditions for a good quality of life. Its physical and social infrastructure is unmatched. It is fast moving away from being an administrative city to a services and trading center. It is emerging as an economic hub for the entire region with the development of townships and industries in the neighbouring States of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.



Stamp duty reduction enthuses residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Justice may have been delayed but it has not been denied. This was the comment offered here today by Samadhan, a pressure group for social justice, on the reduction of stamp in the UT.

In a statement issued here, Mr R.P. Malhotra, president, said that by conceding to the 20-year-long “overdue and justified demand” of the city residents for reverting to the Punjab rate of stamp duty, the UT Administration had sent the right message that justice had been done at last.

The abolition of IT form 37-I would go a long way in checking the generation of black money through underhand sale of properties.

He was of the view that the benefit of this reformative step could only reach the general public and the low income group of society if all existing hassles and conditions on the transfer of property, especially the low-budget properties, were lifted forthwith. Freehold and easily transferable dwelling units had to be freed from the shackles of outdated stipulations barring the easy sale or transfer. Otherwise underhand sales on the GPA documents shall continue to remain as the only way out for the intending purchasers.



Monsoon arrives in city

Chandigarh, July 4
The south-west monsoon today advanced into parts of Punjab and Haryana including Chandigarh as rains continued to lash Himachal since yesterday, the Meteorological Office said here.

The city received its first monsoon showers early today, a Weather official said and added Ambala was also lashed by monsoon showers.

The maximum temperatures dropped by a few degrees at many places in Punjab. Amritsar recorded a high of 37.6 °C while the high at Ludhiana settled at 36.9° celsius. Patiala was close at 38.3 degrees celsius.

The city had a high of 38.0 degrees celsius and the high at Ambala settled at 37.1 degrees celsius. Hisar, however, continued to reel under oppressive heat conditions recording a high of 42.2 degrees celsius.

Fresh spell of rain lashed Shimla at 20.9 mm as the monsoon advanced into the remaining parts of the state. The high in the hill capital was recorded at 24.4 degrees celsius.

Sundernagar was deluged after being pounded by 44.9 mm of rain. Bhang in Manali received five mm of rain, Dhundi was lashed by 15.0 mm while Kasol had a rainfall of 41.4 mm.

Bhuntar (0.2 mm), Kahu (28.4 mm), Guler (28.0 mm), Pandoh (37.0 mm), Sujanpur Tira (26.0 mm), Sunni (12.6 mm) and Nadon (25.0 mm) were some other places in the state that received rains.



City gets first monsoon showers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Monsoon has arrived in the city catching revelers unawares as it deprived them of the joy of bathing in the first showers because the rain god came in the night. The rainfall recorded in the city was 5.8mm. ‘’The rainfall in the night was the first of the monsoon,’’ the Meteorological Department announced here today.

But the rainfall did not bring any relief from the heat with temperature in the city even going up by 1.8° C at 38° C. Humidity at a maximum of 91 per cent left the people sweating it out.

People may have a grudge against the rain god for delay by five days but the meterological department finds the arrival normal.

But the relief in the night was obvious with temperature nearly falling 5° C at 24.2° C in the city. The next 24 hours are likely to see cloudy development in the city.



Prevent leaves from entering drains: MC
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, July 4
Expressing concern over the blockage of drains due to leaves and other garbage strewn all over the city roads and streets, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has asked residents to cooperate.

According to sources, the authorities are asking the residents to ensure that the leaves falling from the trees in, and in front of, their residences do not enter the drains.

The authorities are also asking residents to make sure that they, or their servants, do not throw garbage in front of their homes, or in the streets. “Dry leaves of trees standing on either side of the boundary wall fall on the road. Garbage littered all over the place mingles with these leaves to form heaps. These heaps then move with the rainwater and eventually block the drains. Moreover, openings of the drains get covered with garbage and the rainwater fails to go down the gutter resulting in accumulation of water on the roads,” says an MCC official.

“The accumulated water seeps into the engines of vehicles forcing these to stop right in the middle of the road. It also damages the roads”, he adds.

“Keeping all this in view, our staff is requesting the residents to ensure the removal of leaves and other garbage from the opening of the drains,’’ says the official. When the rain stops, they, or their servants, can go and remove the rubbish with the help of a stick or any other thing.’’

“It will take just a few minutes to complete the task, but will save commuters from a lot of inconvenience”, he adds.

Another Corporation official says, “The residents are being requested, through sector welfare associations to cooperate with us.

Giving details, the official asserts, ‘’Most of the associations have their own directories or news letters which are regularly distributed among their members. We are planning to insert request in these pamphlets. The method has successfully been adopted by the Chandigarh police to deliver messages to the residents. We are also considering the financial feasibility of issuing requests through advertisements in local newspapers.’’



Living peacefully in the abode of Shiva
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Swami Bikash Giri, who survived the minus 45°C temperature at the Mansarovar Lake for two years
Swami Bikash Giri, who survived the minus 45°C temperature at the Mansarovar Lake for two years (right) and the title of the book authored by him. — Tribune photographs

Chandigarh, July 4
He may appear to be just another sadhu with flowing tresses and saffron clothes, synonymous to India, but the frail and short-statured body of 32-year-old Swami Bikash Giri is an embodiment of unusual determination and devotion for Lord Shiva, which saw him surviving even in minus 45 degrees in the winter months in Mansarovar.

Since 1990, the Swami had been spending six months every year at Mansarovar, but the last two years he stayed there permanently, overcoming the hard terrain and braving the challenges of inclement weather. Living in the caves, without much warm clothing and treading the frozen Mansarovar Lake with bare feet, he was the only person living there." There were times when I thought that I was going to breathe my last, especially when the Tibetan monk in one of the caves died, but I told myself that instead of fearing death I must try and understand it and focus on "karma", he says, relating his unique experience.

Having left his native village, Janakpur in Nepal at the tender age of 11, he went in search of "Ishwar darshan". This took him to Benaras, Haridwar, Puri, Kedarnath and other dhams in the country." It was at Mansarovar that I felt contended and completely at peace with myself, very close to nature, which I felt was just a manifestation of the Almighty," he remarks. He even authored a book," Sumeru Parvat — 12 years of Kailash Mansarovar Pilgrimage and Transformation", with amazing photographs of the picturesque Mansarovar Lake and Kailash Parbat.

“I myself could not believe that I could survive the harsh winters of Mansarovar, at a height of 15,000 feet but being the abode of Lord Shiva, I felt that life and death were in the hands of God. The leftover food stocks, brought by the pilgrims, saw me through the winters as I took parikrama of the lake during the day time to divert my attention," he says. Had it not been for the pollution and filth created by the thousands of pilgrims coming to Mansarovar, I would have loved to stay there, he adds. He points out that the constant checking by the police and Army personnel at the border between China and India, creates hurdles in free movement to various other locations around Mansarovar.

During his journey across the Kailash parbat he had some unique experiences with foreigners, police and even thieves." Instead of helping out the pilgrims the police was forever out to harass people and extract money as I was their victim myself, while on the contrary, the thieves were always benovelent, giving me food as well as money”.

He will be leaving for Mansarovar once again in August this year for a period of three months after which his wish is to travel across the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan." Being happy and at peace with oneself is just the state of mind of a person and as such I can find happiness anywhere," he said. Swami Giri believes that there is nothing supernatural as there is always a reason behind every incident or event and after being exposed it does not remain supernatural.

Swami Giri, who does not wish to remain confined to one place for too long, says that death has no significance for him as one only moves from one world to another." Death approaches a man only when all his "sansakaras" abandon him, with death paving the way for immortality," he says. He is presently staying with a local businessman, Mr R.P. Garg, at his place in Sector 34.

Not wanting to ever go back to his parents and family, whom he met almost a decade back, he says that seeing them cry he feels helpless as he cannot return back to lead a normal life like them. As far as the question of marriage goes, he feels it is the biggest curse that one could give him, so he would not ever want to get into it.

Swami Giri, who visited Kailash Parbat, Mansarovar Lake, Chui Gompa near Ganga Chu river and Rakash Taal, feels that the place being the abode of Lord Shiva, was deeply blessed, where one could feel completely calm and at peace.



A brush with danger
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 4
A Panchkula resident, cruising down a road cutting through Sector 18, had a narrow escape when the branches of a fallen tree shattered the front windshield of the car she was driving late on Wednesday evening. The tree, lying almost in the middle of the road, was not removed till late this morning.

According to residents putting up in the neighbourhood, it was four days back that the weather-beaten tree, standing not-so-strong inside the government school premises, failed to face the onslaught of the stormy winds and was uprooted.

The branches, jutting out from over the broken boundary wall, were clearly posing a threat to the commuters, but nothing was done to remove these even though, the residents claim, a number of frantic phone calls were made to the authorities concerned.

So there was no way Dr (Ms) Sudesh Dhir could know what was in store for her yesterday evening. She was slowly driving down the street in front of the temple when the high beam thrown by a vehicle zooming from the opposite direction momentarily blinded her.

Before Dr Dhir could realise what was going on, the branches, after shattering the windshield, were resting dangerously close to her. It took her several minutes to realise the gravity of the situation. Shocked, but in full control of the situation, she reversed the car and reached her residence. For a long time Dr Dhir kept on wondering how could someone be so negligent.



Frenchman on peace mission
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 4
He looks like a groom, dressed in an immaculate red kurta and pyjama. He even wears a garland and a “pagri”. But French national Sylvain Ovenel Aka Syrun is not here to get married. He is out on a peace mission.

A broad smile compliments his dreamy eyes as he gives details of his journey so far. “It was on June 30, 2000, that I started the journey,” he claims. “I have already visited 27 countries, including France, Italy, Spain, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal and Japan.”

He landed in India on April 12. His mission is to propagate equality, harmony and peace.



Four injured in road mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 4
Four persons were injured in a road accident here today. The accident which took place near Bassi theatre in Phase II involved a car, a motorcycle and a rickshaw. According to sources, the car hit the motorcyclist who in turn lost control and ran over three persons who were sitting on a rickshaw standing nearby. The three persons on the rickshaw and the motorcyclist have been injured.



2 women arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Chandigarh police arrested two women, including a pimp, involved in flesh trade near Batra cinema in Sector 37 here today. According to information available, Shruti (28) and Ravinder Kaur, alias Sapna (25), have been booked under the relevant sections of the Immoral Traffic Act.

Dead: A 75-year-old pedestrian of Rohtak, Munsi Ram, died when he was hit by a Maruti van ( CH02 0494) near the traffic lights of Sectors 17 and 18 here today. The driver of the van fled from the scene of mishap.

In another incident, an official car of Haryana Roadway (HR-13-A-0064) rammed into a streetlight pole on the road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 when the driver of the vehicle lost control of the vehicle. A police official on the spot said the driver complained of drowsiness which led to the accident.

Thefts: A Maruti car and four water meters were stolen in separate incidents in the city during the past 48 hours. Mr R.K. Sehgal, a resident of Sector 21, in a complaint said his Maruti car (CH-01K-0909) was stolen from outside his residence on the night of July 2. In another case, Kewal Krishan, a resident of Sector 47, said from water meters were stolen from different houses.

Injured: A scooterist of Sector 15 was injured after being hit by a Maruti van near Gurdev Parking in Sector 17. He was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16. The driver of the car fled from the scene of accident.



Death turns out to be case of murder
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 4
A case of inquest, where a young man from Ambala had died under mysterious circumstances in 2000, has finally turned out to be a case of murder.

Surinder Rana, hailing from Ambala, had died under mysterious circumstances while he was at the house of his mistress. Though the police had proceeded under Section 174, CrPC, in this regard, the family of the deceased had cried foul. After a chemical examination of the viscera at Madhuban, the police registered a case of homicide against his mistress, Ms Kamal Chopra, and her distant relative today.

It is learnt that Surinder Rana was employed in a private concern. He was married and had settled in Ambala. However, later he reportedly developed illicit relations with Ms Kamal Chopra, a nurse in General Hospital, Sector 6, here. It is alleged that Rana would tell his family that he was in a job that required a lot of touring, and thus have his escapade with Ms Chopra. Thus, his family was unaware of his illicit relations.

It was almost one and a half years ago that the victim was at the residence of Ms Chopra in Rail Vihar, Mansa Devi complex. He had taken a few drinks. Suddenly he started vomiting and complained of stomachache.

He was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, at about 11 pm where he later died. It was then that his family was called by the police from Ambala. The parents and other relatives of the deceased demanded that a thorough inquiry be conducted and the viscera of the deceased be sent for a chemical examination.

The police then sent the viscera for examination to the forensic science laboratories at Rohtak and Madhuban. The chemical examination report received from Madhuban confirmed the presence of poison in the body. The medical opinion was sought and the police decided to register a case under Section 302, IPC.

However, no arrest has been made so far. The police claims that it is going to examine the case further and see if anybody else is involved.



Ebony turnover touches Rs 68 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The annual turnover of the Ebony Retail Holding Ltd. has reached Rs 68 crore during the 2001-02 with a net profit of over Rs 1 crore. Within a span of eight years, the company has opened seven stores across six cities and plans to open two other stores at Amritsar and Faridabad in the next few days. It is also launching a Monsoon Madness at the stores from July 6 to July 28 to offer big discounts to customers through scratch and win card offer.

This was stated by Mr Birinder Singh Narula, Managing Director, Ebony Retail Holding Ltd., here today. He said as a leader in the retail industry, the company has pioneered several industry trends, including Ebony Retail Academy, to train manpower, in-house brand — Ebony ETC and a special books and music venture called Wordsworth. With over two lakh square feet of retail outlet space, Ebony is today among the largest retail players in India.

Mr Narula disclosed that company had departmental stores in Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Chennai and Noida. Asked about the performance of the company, he said: “The Jalandhar store is making more profits than the Delhi stores, as we have been able to bargain the rent due to strong brand name, on profit sharing basis. The emphasis is now on developing the clusters in Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh and in south to cut down the supply and transport costs.”

Apart from a wide range of products, Ebony has, he said, innovative marketing tie-ups with Life Spring, Planet M, Barista, Satyam and others. The apparel constituted 55 per cent of the total business and the rest was in household items, cosmetics, jewellery, fashion accessories, books and other items.

Mr Narula asserted that the opening of new stores was not a big problem due to strong financial position of the promoter DS Group Company worth $ 400 million. However, the company wanted to strengthen the present network. The DS group has been already awarded a contract worth Rs 2000 crore to build an express highway from Delhi to Gurgaon and to Agra.

Talking about the Chandigarh store, he said it had touched the one million figure of walk-ins during the past three years. The company was fully geared up to explore the vast potential of retail marketing in metros and mini-metros, he added.


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