Saturday, July 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Defaulting schools: PUDA hits back
Serves show-cause notices on 11; closures likely
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 5
Several schools that collectively owe Rs 5.52 crore to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) will soon face action, even closure. PUDA has served show-cause notices on 11 defaulting school managements for resumption of plots on account of non-payment of instalments.

The school sites were given away in 1999 and 2000 under a scheme for allotting land to educational societies. Most of these societies have offices in residential areas of the town and even Chandigarh.

PUDA had given away 27 such sites. While 11 sites were allotted in 1999, 3 sites were allotted in 2000, followed by allotments of 3 sites in 2001 and 9 sites in 2002. One allotment was pending, as the case file was being processed. Some societies that got lands much later have already paid full payments.

The Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, says: “We are following a procedure, under which, a show-cause notice is served on defaulters and they are given a personal hearing. The defaulters have to give a satisfactory reply to PUDA’s question on delayed payment and can be given another chance, if the Estate Officer sees it fit.”

There will be no shift from the standard procedure of penalising such defaulters, under which, allottees can even be evicted and their land resumed. “It does not matter if the schools have been opened on the sites or not,” Mr Mahajan said.

The matter has also been brought up for discussion in the Punjab Assembly, following a question raised in this regard by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, legislator from Kharar. Besides raising the issue of heavy dues, Mr Singh had also alleged that some fake societies had also got this land.


Educational society

Amount due (in Rs)

The International Education Foundation 71,20,470

Trenty Education and Welfare Society


National Education Society


Gem Education Society


Sher Wood Convent Education Society


Star Education Society


Paragon Academic and Cultural Society


Sir Mcauliff High School


Sanjay Gandhi Educational Society


Shere Punjab Educational Society


DAV Public School, SAS Nagar




Flesh trade under discotheque lights
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

The operators of flesh trade in the city have devised a unique way of running the business. Investigations reveal that pimps enter into a sort of “lease agreement” with the girls and offer to pay a fixed amount to them. The extra money earned from the girls goes into the pocket of the pimp.

Chandigarh, July 5
Flesh trade is evolving itself into the city culture. Amidst throbbing music and hip hopping, call girls are increasingly opting discotheques in the city to attract “customers”. The new trend is a cause of concern for the Chandigarh police which had so far only kept a vigil on the late night drunken brawls at the discotheques.

An increasing number of high-society girls, aged between 20-30 years, are choosing one or other discotheque to woo “customers”. The deals are directly struck amidst a vibrant atmosphere of pounding music and flashy spot lights, arousing little suspicion among the smelling cops.

Sources in the police say that the new trend is catching up fast the fancy of the flesh trade operators as the discotheques are considered safe haven to run the business smoothly. Taking advantage of the restriction on entry of single men to the discotheques, the call girls offer to accompany them for dance. Interestingly, the deals are struck directly without any help from the pimps.

Moreover, the modus operandi was a complete withdrawal of operating the flesh trade from guest houses or rented accommodations, say the police sources.

Officials of the Chandigarh police stumbled upon the startling information when two high society call girls were arrested from Sector 37 last evening. The girls dress up in a very hap manner and carry themselves in a sophisticated way. Investigations reveal some organised gangs using the modus operandi in the city and its peripheral places to run the illegal trade. Deals, ranging anything between Rs 8,000 and Rs 20,000 are struck depending upon the “purchasing power” of the customer.

The sources said a number of girls from Himachal Pradesh and Delhi were into the business of the flesh trade. 



More vocational paramedical courses 
for govt schools
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, July 5
Looking at the growth of health-related facilities here in the city, The Education Department of the Chandigarh Administration is planning to add a few more vocational courses of the paramedical nature in Government Senior Secondary schools at plus two level. According to information available the courses which are suggested for this purpose are physiotherapy, dental hygienist, dental chair-side assistant and trauma assistant.

‘‘A talk regarding this has been on with the CBSE which is the regulatory authority of the vocational courses at the school-level and the former two courses have got approval from the CBSE,’’ said Ms Preetpal Kaur, Assistant Director, Vocational Education. Sources said that the authorities were in the stage of formulating the syllabi for the courses.

As for the other two courses — dental chair-side assistant and trauma assistant, a formal procedure is yet to be started as the proposal itself is in the infancy stage. ‘‘We are still toying with the idea of introducing these paramedical courses as there is an ample of scope for the students to get absorbed after doing their two years in senior secondary level and one more year as internship at an authorised hospital,’’ said Ms Kaur.

However, the final implementation of this proposal is likely to take some time as even after the approval by the CBSE, the medical authorities concerned have to recognise the courses. ‘‘Earlier the CBSE had proposed introducing a course on dental mechanics in the vocational stream but after reaching the final stages the plan had to be aborted as the Dental Council vetoed it on the grounds that the city does not have a full-fledged dental college,’’ said Ms Kaur.

Among 21 vocational courses offered in Government Senior Secondary under the vocational stream, four of them are in the paramedical field. These include X-ray technician, ophthalmic techniques, medical laboratory technology and auxiliary nursing and midwifery. Besides giving the students two-year courses in their chosen field, the students are also given a chance to do their internship in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 and General Hospital in Sector 16.

‘‘While the students are getting on-job training for one year in one of the very best hospitals in the city, they are simultaneously earning Rs 1,050 per month as stipend’’, said Ms Kaur. ‘‘The main objective of the vocational courses is to make the students focus on their career and having the chance to do on-job training gives them an insight about the profession they are going to choose in the near future,’’ she added.



Poor response to vocational courses
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 5
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35 and the GMSSS Sector 16 continued to be the hot favourites among the commerce and arts students seeking admission in Class XI in various government schools in the city, The GMSSS-23, the venue for the centralised admissions, was once again abuzzed with activity as the candidates vied with each other to get admission in the most sought-after schools in their selected streams during the third day of the admissions.

Besides having a good reputation in the academic field, both Sector 16 and Sector 35 schools enjoy central location which has made them most coveted among the admission seekers, said B. Kanwar Singh, who came for admission in the commerce stream. Same was the feeling of Harleen Kaur, Ritu and others who hoped to get admitted in the commerce stream in either of the schools.

Little wonder that the GMSSS-35 which was already closed for science stream today, also exhausted it’s quota in commerce with cut off percentage as high as 72.2. The other schools which were closed down for further admission in science stream today were the GMSSS-19 and the GMSSS-33 with cut off percentage going upto 72.6 and 73.2, respectively.

Today the percentage in various streams dwelled between 72 to 77 per cent. A total of 1,978 seats were filled during this three days of admission with 1545 in science, 279 in commerce and 154 in humanities.

However, there has been a poor response for the vocational courses offered at class XI with only 62 students opting for different courses. Among a total number of 21 vocational courses most of the students opted for fashion designing and cloth construction, stenography, and electronics and information technology.

Meanwhile, outside the venue, various book houses of the city did brisk business of attracting customers by offering many discount schemes. Colourful pamphlets giving the total account of their collections and discount rates floated around, making it impossible to ignore the book house agents.



Malaysia scouting for Indian doctors
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
With more and more doctors shying away from serving in the remote and rural areas, as is the case in India, a Malaysian delegation is in the city here, to explore the possibility of hiring the services of Indian doctors , who are rated very high, in their country.

“With the rapid expansion of medical facilities in our country, the Malaysian Government is in need of almost 1200 foreign doctors ,” disclosed Mr Tunku Abdul Aziz, who is part of the delegation, headed by Mr Rick Goh. Apart from shortage of doctors in the smaller towns and rural areas, vacancies for specialists for cardiology, neurology and cancer treatment are there, he added.

“The fact that Indian medical education is rated very high in Malayasia and that Indian doctors being conversant in English, are ideally suited for working in our country,” remarked Mr Aziz. As per the recent statistics there is a shortage of almost 1200 doctors, which could be met by utilising the services of medical experts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and Iraq, said Mr S. Sothinathan, Parliamentary Secretary of the Malaysian Health Ministry.

Mr Aziz , heads a NGO, working in the sphere of fighting corruption in international business transactions. He also met the Director of the PGI, Dr S.K.Sharma. It is the Human Resource Division of the Malaysian Health Ministry, which monitors and regulates the recruitment of contract medical officers , specialists and dental doctors. Already a large number of doctors from India are serving in Malaysia, while some have returned home after completing their three-year contract.

It is the greener pastures of the USA, UK and Middle East, with their better working conditions and good money which have attracted the majority of Indian doctors. “There is still no dearth of doctors, who join the profession with the sole objective of serving humanity and are willing to work anywhere,” feels Mr Aziz.

Though it is mandatory for doctors in Malayasia to put in at least two years of service in the Army Medical corps, before they can register themselves with the Malaysian Medical Council, to be able to practice, but a large chunk of them prefer the private sector, for obvious reasons.

Malayasia, itself has five universities offering courses in medicine, but with the rapid expansion of medical facilities, more and more doctors are required for smaller hospitals as well as for the super speciality centres. Mr Aziz, further added that apart from the large number of general practitioners who were required to man the government hospitals, specialists from every branch of medicine were needed in the major referral hospitals.



ITDC hotel project goes to Taj Group
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The unfinished hotel project of the Indian Tourism Development Corporation in Sector 17 was in the list of properties the ITDC disinvested today.

The Chandigarh Administration will be signing a fresh lease with the new party, Taj Group of hotels.

The formula of payment will be that the Taj Group, which has bid for the property, will be paying the entire money for the property to the ITDC. Out of this the cost of construction carried out by the ITDC will remain with it. The remaining will be the cost of land and will be passed on to the Chandigarh Administration.

The cost of construction will be calculated on the basis of a set formula in civil engineering. Originally the ITDC was allotted the site for about Rs 1.25 crore but following the disinvestment package the return to the Administration could be even double or triple of this.

This will be known when the exact amount is calculated to determine as to what rate was given for the property.



Construction giant under siege
Owes Rs 3.5 cr to contractors; ‘Rs 5.76 cr’ to Punjab
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) here has not paid at least Rs 3.5 crore of dues to several contractors for the past more than two years. The reason, it says, is the failure of the Punjab Government to make the payments.

The NBCC Deputy General Manager Accounts, Mr R.K. Trihan, said the corporation could not make the payments as long as it did not receive these from the Punjab Technical Education Department for raising polytechnics in Ferozpore and Gurdaspur.

Sources in the Punjab Government, however, denied this and said a technical committee had been set up that rather had to recover Rs 5.76 crore from the NBCC, given to it under the World Bank projects for creating technical-education infrastructure in Punjab.

Mr Trihan said the recovery demand had been rejected by the government itself and a fresh committee had been set up to probe the payments and quality issues. Frustrated by the dispute, the NBCC Contractors Association laid siege to the NBCC office here and locked it from inside.

The contractors said they had to resort to doing this after the NBCC General Manager, Mr L.R. Batham, had given his refusal today to clear the dues. They said their contracts with the NBCC did not mention that the payments were linked to grants from the Punjab Government. Mr Trihan, however, said the interpretation of the contracts showed that unless these World Bank projects were cleared, they would not be able to get the payments.

The protesters said, according to the contracts, payments were to be made within 3 months of the completion of the projects. They said certain amount was to be withheld until quality was checked; even that period had passed.

The contractors said let the NBCC had ruined their careers, as they, now, owed huge sums to suppliers. Contractors, most of whom are engineers, said, due to funds-crunch and failure to register volumes, they were not being given work by any other agency. They said the NBCC, a giant, should be able to make these small payments easily, regardless of its tiff with the Punjab Government.

The contractors want the NBCC to give them at least certificates of dues, as no contractor had been served notice for a bad quality of work.



A feast for mango lovers
Tribune News Service


Gulab khaas, gulab jamun, raspunia, jarda aaloo, patha, malda, laila ki aungali, Amrapali — confused? Well these are a few of the names given to the exotic varieties of the king of fruits. Ask the mango growers about the strange names given to them and the reply is: these are the love names given by farmers. 

Pinjore, July 5
The 11th Mango mela, one of the biggest annual tourist attractions that began here today, surprisingly, failed to attract farmers of the region.

The maximum number of entries in mango varieties and its processed forms were received from the Haryana State Horticulture Department and the Himachal Pradesh Marketing Corporation (HPMC). Though a number of entries from the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal were received, there were few mango growers from Haryana and Punjab.

It is learnt that with another Mango mela being organised in Delhi, simultaneously, a number of farmers had chosen to display their produce there. A large number of farmers from Saharanpur, Muzzafarnagar, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Lucknow, Rampur and Malihabad (the biggest producer of Dassehri variety of mangoes) had converged here. However, indigenously developed hybrid varieties by farmers were conspicuous by their absence.

Mohan Bhog, a late sown variety of the fruit, known for its sweetness, was displayed here after a gap of two years. This hybrid varieties, in various sizes (weighing from 200 gm each to almost 1.300 kg.) were put on display. Said Mr Sanjay Jain of the Marwa Horticulture and Farm Nursery, Behat village, Saharanpur, “For the past few years, the temperature was not suitable for this variety to grow. Only a handful of this variety of fruit was available last year.”

Another variety that attracted a lot of attention was “Laila Ki Aungali” — so named because of its delicate shape and small size. This variety by Shams Nursery, Muzzafarnagar, won the grower Hind Amar Kesri title at the mela last year.

Meanwhile, the venue at Yadvindra Gardens, in a small clearing among mango trees, was beautifully decked up. A large number of kites hung from the trees. Buntings of brightly coloured cloth in bandini designs also hung all over, adding colour and gaeity to the venue.

The mela attracted a number of people from the region, besides local residents. A large number of people began arriving here in the morning. Mr Mohammad Rafiq, an Iranian resident, who had stopped enroute to Simla along with his family, said, “I have never seen so many varieties mangoes at one place. For the past four years that I have been in India, I had seen the footage of such melas on television. I am totally awed by this.”

It is learnt that as many as 3,870 entries had been received from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. The main varieties received were dussehri, langra, chausa, alphonso, Bombay green, tota pari etc. Apart from this, 357 entries of home-made and processed mangoes products like pickles, chutni, jam and squashes. As many as 174 varieties of mango fruit were on display.

In the evening, Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, inaugurated the festival. He showed keen interest in the different varieties of fruit on display.



Bitta opposes FDI in print media
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front chief, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, today opposed the Centre’s recent proposal to allow 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian newspapers and periodicals, saying that it would help foreign agencies in exposing security cover at different levels in the country.

This step of the government would have an adverse effect on the country as it would weaken its fabric, he told a press conference here.

He said his front would stage demonstrations across the country to oppose the decision of the government and added that he would meet all MPs in Delhi to impress upon them the need for opposing the move in Parliament.

He said the poll in Jammu and Kashmir should be held under the security cover of the military. He also advocated an all-out war against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism and said the NDA government should act rather than just issue press statements.



Widespread rain in HP, Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh, July 5
The south-west monsoon, covering Himachal Pradesh, most of Jammu and Kashmir, parts of Punjab and Haryana caused widespread rains at many places in the north-west region during the past 24 hours.

The day temperatures remained slightly above normal as people continued to sweat under torrid humid conditions in the plains.

Chandigarh residents today again braved sultry and torrid humid conditions as relative humidity in the maximum and minimum hovered around 93 and 53 per cent, respectively. The maximum temperature in and around the city hovered around 33 °C following 8.8 mm fresh rains in the wee hours today.

Ambala in Haryana was deluged following 94.9 mm rains. Many a low-lying area and road were flooded under ankle to knee-deep waters, reports said.

The people in Hisar, bordering Rajasthan, heaved a sigh of relief following 1.9 mm rain till today.

Patiala and Ludhiana in Punjab and Jammu were virtually deluged by 53 mm, 32 mm and 43.4 mm rains in the past 24 hours ending at 8.30 am. However, Srinagar received only traces of rains.

As widespread rains occurred in HP, specially in the catchment areas of the Sutlej and Beas, RL-1700 recorded the highest of 42.5 mm, followed by Dhundi (35mm), Guler (27.5 mm), Sunni(24.2 mm), Nahan (23.6 mm) and Una (20.4 mm). Nagrota Surian (16 mm), Bhang Manali (15.2 mm), Nangal Dam (10.6 mm), Solan Nullah (10.5 mm), Sujanpur Tira (10.2 mm), Kasol (10 mm), Solan (8.4 mm), Gamrur(7 mm) and Nadaun (5 mm) were among other stations reporting renewed rains.

The weather bureau here has forecast moderate to rather heavy rains at many places in HP, light to moderate rains at a few places in the rest of the region over the next 48 hours. UNI 



2 PCL men die in freak accident
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 5
If life is unfair then so is death. In less than two months, Mrs Subhash Bhalla, Resident of Phase IV, SAS Nagar, has lost her husband and her only son. Body of her son Sandip Bhalla, a 28-year-old employee of Punjab Communications Limited, (PCL) was brought from Calcutta this afternoon. Sandip, along with Shiv Puri, another PCL employee, died on July 3 in a freak accident at Kolkata, while working on railway tracks. Shiv Puri is a resident of Nangal. His in-laws live in Panchkula.

Sandip and Shiv had been working on one of the PCL projects of railway signals and touring for the past many months. Sandip’s father had died just two months back after a long illness after which Sandip had even asked for a posting involving less touring. “Sandip was like son to me’’ says Vinod Bhalla, Sandip’s paternal uncle. Sandip had got married to Anu. They have a one-year-old son Raghav.

Relating the way Sandeep and Shiv met with the accident, Mr Bhalla said that they were working on a track which was in a middle of two railway tracks when the accident happened. “Two trains were crossing each other on the two tracks adjacent to this track and when one of the trains whistled, they both panicked thinking that a train was behind them and they both jumped on to their sides hitting the moving trains. Both had head injuries only and no other wound on their bodies,” added Mr Bhalla.



Vestibule bus on city roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) today acquired a new bus known as the vestibule bus — two buses are connected in between like railway coaches — to run on city roads.

The bus has been supplied on trial basis by Ashok Leyland for one month. The red-coloured bus was plied on route No 149 between the PGI and Mansa Devi via the ISBT, Sector 17.

The Director, Transport, UT, Dr Amarpal Singh, flagged off the bus at 10 a.m. The vehicle’s speciality is that it has 62 seats and one driver and two conductors. Besides this, there is space to have about 30 standing passengers, said officials of the company.



Three vehicles stolen 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Three vehicles were stolen in separate incidents in the city during the past 48 hours. According to information available, a Maruti car (CH01-R-6876) was stolen from outside a house in Sector 27. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint lodged by the owner of the car, Mr Harjinder Singh.

In another case, Rajnish Gupta, a resident of Ludhiana, in a complaint lodged with the police said his Mahindra Bolero jeep was stolen from Sector 22.

In the third case, a Bajaj Chetak scooter was stolen from the Sector 9 market.

Dowry case: Ms Usha Madkan, a resident of Sector 40, in a complaint to the police said that her husband, Rupinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 16, Panchkula, was harassing her to bring more dowry. The women and child support unit is investigating the case.

Abduction case: The Sector 29 police station has registered a case against Sanjiv, a resident of the sector, for allegedly abducting an 18-year-old girl on July 4.

Booked: The police has registered a case under Section 283 of the IPC against Pawan, a resident of Ropar, for pulling his rickshaw on the wrong side near the Parade Ground, Sector 17.

A 15-year-old boy has been missing from his residence in Sector 11 here since Thursday evening. More than 24 hours after he went missing, the police as well as the family, is clueless about his whereabouts. Mitesh Ahuja, a student of class X , had gone with his friends to buy some stationery. However, he did not return home. His father, Mr Prem Chand, an employee of HMT, Pinjore, searched for him , but to no avail. The police has, meanwhile, not ruled out kidnapping.

One arrested: The police has arrested Bharat Bhushan from Budhanpur chowk, near here, on charges of having abducted a minor girl. The girl was also recovered by the police.

Purse stolen: Mr. Rulda Ram’s purse was stolen while he was travelling in a bus from Zirakpur to Panchkula. A sum of Rs 4700 was in the purse and a case under Section 379 of the IPC had been registered.



3 held under various Acts
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 5
Police parties arrested three persons from whom smack, alcohol and gambling money was seized. Harvir Singh, son of late Balbir Singh, a resident of HM-326, Phase 9, SAS Nagar, was caught with 30 gm of smack. He has been booked under various Sections of the NDPS Act.

Ali Mohanmmad, a Nigerian, son of Osmana Hal, a resident of 70, Mataur, was carrying 12 bottles of liquor and has been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

Anil Kumar, son of Sham Singh, a resident of 1409/19, Phase 11, was caught gambling and Rs 720 was recovered. He has been booked under various sections of the Gambling Act.



Dharna by Steel Strips staff
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 5
In protest against the indifferent attitude of the management, employees of Steel Strips Wheels Limited staged a dharna near the factory premises in Lahli village here today.

The agitators complained that the factory management had issued show-cause notices to six employees for not obeying their orders to increase production of the factory.

Issuing show-cause notices to factory workers — Inderjit Singh, Surjit Singh, Ram Karan, Amar Singh, Gulwant Singh and Bachhna Ram — the management has also asked them to submit their reply within a week, they added.

In addition to this, the management has also implicated four employees — Ram Pal, Ram Karan, Bachhna Ram and Gurcharan Singh — in a criminal case and an FIR has been registered against them with the Lalru police.

The management got the complaint registered against them through a pro-management employee, Mr Ramesh Pal, alleged Mr Balkar Singh, president of the Street Strips Wheel Employees Welfare Union.

He said that the management was unnecessarily harassing the employees and forcing them to increase the production which was not feasible.

Meanwhile, Mr Manmohan Singh, Personnel Manager of the factory, said that some employees had been charge-sheeted as they failed to fulfil the agreement deed. As per the agreement they had to increase 5 per cent of production after every six months which they could not, he added.

Moreover, some employees were issued notices because of their frequent absenteeism, claimed Mr Singh.


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