Sunday, July 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 killed, 30 injured in 2 mishaps
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
A deafening sound, shattering of glasses followed by an eerie silence. This is how the 20 odd victims of a road accident on the Panchkula-Pinjore road, describe the sequence of events.

One person, Harbans Lal, was killed on the spot, while 20 others were injured in a head-on collision between a truck ( HNQ- 1295) and a bus ( HR-37A- 7080) near Saket Hospital in Chandi Mandir area this morning. The deceased, a resident of Nadda village, was the cleaner of the truck.

It is learnt that the accident took place around 7 am today. The ill- fated bus was ferrying passengers from Kalka to Baijnath , while the truck was coming from the opposite direction. The two vehicles hit each other with such an impact that the front portions of both the vehicles were completely destroyed. Police sources informed that the truck was going from Nadda village towards Baddi to carry back boulders from the river bed.

Mr Jai Prakash, conductor of the bus, said as many as 25 persons, including women and children, were on board. “ I had just settled down on my seat after giving tickets to all passengers when the accident took place,” he said. The driver of the bus, Karan Singh, and the truck driver, Ravi Sharma, were also seriously injured.

While three of the injured — Nand Lal, Karan Singh and Devi, were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, from the Sector 6 General Hospital here, the other victims were admitted in the Sector 6 General Hospital and in Kaiser Hospital. The injured persons include — Hari Shankar, Jai Kishan, Satvir, Satto, Sanjay Sharma and his wife Ritu Sharma, Dharam Singh, Manjit Kaur, Jagdish Chand, Sukhdev, Puja, Chajju Ram, Ram Singh, Prem Singh and Dilip.

Meanwhile, in another accident near Barwala, two persons were killed and at least 10 others were injured when a tractor-trailer in which they were travelling in collided with a truck ( HR-39-8627) carrying cold drinks.

Rajpal and Tejpal died on the spot, while the other occupants were injured. Two of the seriously injured persons — Krishan and Attri, were rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh. These persons were reportedly contract labourers hired by a brick-kiln owner near Kurali in Punjab and were going back to Muzzaffarnagar after the contract ended.

The police say that the tractor-trailer was overloaded as beddings and other small furniture was also being carried in the tractor-trailer. After the collision, the body of the tractor-trailer snapped into two parts because of the impact. 


Handcuffs again on ‘Yamaha thief’
Tribune News Service


  • Naresh Kumar Naresh, matriculate, an accountant in the Jagraon depot of Punjab Roadways, had a tiff with the depot head, which landed him in jail. Since then, he has spent most of his life in jails and police stations.
  • Lure of quick money pushed him to stealing motor cycles to sustain his addiction to drugs.
  • Arrested in Chandigarh on Saturday.

Chandigarh, July 20
Naresh Kumar ‘Chipkali’ of Maloya, a 33-year-old former employee of Punjab Roadways, has been arrested on the charge of stealing motor cycles from various parts of the city. Six Yahama motor cycles stolen in the past month-and-a-half, including one stolen from here on July 16, have been recovered from him.

About two years ago, the Crime Branch had caught him for stealing 23 mopeds.

This man, who was in the Patiala jail for eight months, is said to have been involved in various thefts in Amritsar and Jagraon.

Mr S.S. Randhawa, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central), said Naresh had been stealing Yahama motor cycles and selling their aluminium parts. The stolen vehicles used to be abandoned at various places in the city, Ambala and Kalka. The aluminum parts, particularly, the cylinder-head kit, used to be sold at between Rs 200 and Rs 300 each. The police has ruled out the possibility of some scrap dealers having been disposing of the engine parts.

The man was arrested by a team led by the Station House Officer of the Sector 3 police station, Mr Hardev Singh. “With his arrest, the police hopes to solve several cases of vehicle theft in the city,” said Mr Randhawa.

Naresh is said to be a drug addict who takes daily doses of intravenous injections — a habit, to sustain which, he took to stealing. His brother is said to be an MBBS doctor in a private firm of Ludhiana. The police says that he used to open the locks of motor cycles with a master key and drive the mobikes to safe places. There, he used to remove the parts with special tools before abandoning the vehicles.

After serving a one-year term here, he left for Malerkotla, where a contractor named Sukhdev Singh employed him as a welder. However, his addiction to drugs brought him back to Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, has announced a reward for the police team that caught Naresh.


Chautala cautions people against quacks
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 20
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, inaugurated a two-day Continuing Medical Education on surgery and oncology during his visit to the Fortis Heart Institute here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chautala expressed serious concern over the increasing number of those suffering from cancer and stressed the need for making people more conscious about their health. The Haryana Government had decided to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants in a big way and keeping in view the ancient system of health care, which was based on herbs, the treatment for cancer might be found in herbs, he said.

Cautioning people against the menace of quacks, he urged the medical practitioners to focus on people living in rural areas as even after over 50 years of attaining independence, there were villages in our country which were without even safe drinking water. He said the women should also be educated about breast cancer.

He said the medical scientists were yet to find a complete cure for the treatment of cancer and keeping in view the immense dedication, which the Indian doctors and scientists have, no wonder an Indian might be the first to evolve complete cure for cancer. He said during his recent visit to China, he was surprised to observe that it was exporting herbs worth Rs 40,000 crore whereas herbs worth merely Rs 400 crore were being exported from India despite the fact that its ancient system of medicine was based on herbs.

Earlier, the Haryana Health Minister, Mr M.L. Ranga, said the government had provided the services of ambulance and pharmacist on national highways to save the life of accident victims. He said the Pt. B.D.Sharma Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Sciences had been identified by the Central Government as one of the 17 hospitals treating those suffering from cancer.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Fortis Heart Institute, Mr Viney Singal, said the management of the institute had a plan to set up three such institutes in the country to provide modern health care services to the people and one of these institutes might be planned in Haryana. The Medical Director, Mr R.V. Karenjekar, and the Chief Operating Officer, Mr Shivender Singh, also spoke on the occasion. A number of doctors had come from various parts of the country to attend the seminar.

The Chief Minister, who was accompanied by his Principal Secretary, Mr M.K. Miglani, and Financial Commissioner Town and Country Planning, Mr Bhasker Chatterjee, was taken round the institute, especially the cath lab, operation theatre, surgical intensive care unit and emergency. 


Help can save his daughters
Tribune News Service

Lavdi Ram of Bharmour in Chamba, with his daughters
Lavdi Ram of Bharmour in Chamba, with his daughters, who have been diagnosed with tumour, in the PGI, Chandigarh. 
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, July 20
Looking after his wife and four children was already tough for Lavdi Ram of Deoti village in the tribal area of Bharmour in Himachal Pradesh; then, his two daughters were diagnosed with tumour and brain trouble.

He has been staying here with his daughters at a gurdwara for the past eight months and making rounds of the PGI, as he has no money for the daughters’ surgery. While Nimo (16), elder of his daughters, has nasal tumour and needs excision and reconstruction, six-year-old Niti has turned pale and weak with myopathy, a disorder of the skeletal muscles.

Lavdi, who can’t buy his family even a single meal, cannot even imagine how he will save Rs 2 lakh for the treatment. “I will not give up till I have arranged for the treatment of my daughters,” he says.

With food and shelter being provided by the gurdwara for the time being, Lavdi Ram spends the day visiting doctors in the PGI, stealing some time to do odd jobs. Ghato, his wife, a domestic servant in Pathankot, takes care of their sons.

Life for Lavdi Ram was never easy, as this landless family of Bharmour in Chamba district had to leave home for Pathankot to work as labourers. The parents were too poor to send the kids to school. With faith in Almighty, Lavdi still believes that help will come from somewhere.

Doctors have, so far, performed two surgeries on Nimo, but Rs 1 lakh more is required for full treatment. She keeps hiding her tumour-distorted face behind her ‘dupatta’. “Doctors have told me to arrange money for the operation and give a good diet to my daughters, but I can’t buy the girls even two meals a day,” says Lavdi.

Niti has continuous fever and falls unconscious every now and then. She is being treated in the Paediatrics Department of the PGI, while Nimo is under the care of the ENT experts.

Treatment of the girls is possible only if help comes soon. Individual and social-welfare organisations can help. The PGI authorities say that though donations keep pouring in for poor persons who need kidney transplants, there is no fund for the treatment of the girls.


Two held in abduction case
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 20
Two men were arrested today on the charge of kidnapping a teenaged girl from her school in Sector 44 last fortnight. The girl was also recovered today.

According to the police, the duo along with the girl were caught from Zirakpur by a team of policemen based on the information provided by the SHO of the Phase I police station.

The father of the girl, Mr T.S. Aitchon, a resident of Phase I, had complained to the police on July 11, 2002, that her daughter had not come back from school and alleged that she had been abducted and that a boy named Vishal could be behind the abduction.

The police had registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC. The police got a major breakthrough in the case when Vishal, a resident of Phase along with Joginder Kumar, a resident of Palsora village, were caught with the girl today. During interrogations, the accused said they had been to Ambala, Mumbai and Gujarat and when they exhausted their money, they came back to arrange for more and go to Shimla. The girl also alleged that she had been raped during her stay with these men. The police will send the girl for medical examination.

Meanwhile, the special task force arrested two men, Mahavir Singh and Rakesh Kumar, on the charge of gambling and seized Rs 8650 from them near Bassi theatre today.

The police has also registered a case against Kultar Singh, a resident of Kharar, under various Sections of the IPC on the complaint of Balwinder Singh, a resident of Desu Majra village, who alleged that Kultar Singh had beaten him and taken away his building set.

Another case was registered against Kharo and others, residents of Zila Muzaffarpur, on the complaint of Amarjit Singh, a resident of Phase VI, who alleged that Kharo along with his friend and three unidentified men had tried to intimidate him. According to the police, the two parties are involved in a land dispute.


Schools reduced to shops

The rising cost of education in Chandigarh has confused me about the meaning of ‘school’ like most parents are whose children are either in school or are looking forward to get them admitted.

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has two entries for the word ‘school’. The first entry, “institution for educating children”, we all are familiar with and is outdated, the other entry less known though more pertinent in present-day commercialisation of schools. It reads, “large number (of fish) swimming together; shoal”. The schools in Chandigarh, with every passing year, are becoming an expensive aquarium with 60 to 80 children cooped in a single class room, helplessly trying to swim through the stress, tension, and insecurity of uncertain future.

Every new academic session, not only leaves a gaping hole in the pockets of parents but also on their psyche and well-being. Good education for the progeny is cherished dream of every parent, and this desire is blatantly exploited by the private schools by extracting extra pound of flesh. Every year most of the private schools increase fee in the name of various funds besides annual charges.

The parents rightly lament, “When there is no change in teachers’ salaries, no change in the syllabus, not much change in the cost of books, why are the schools hiking their fee ?”. The fee hike defies logic and points towards hunger for pelf.

If this is not true, why it is mandatory to purchase the essentials from the school itself? Why stationery items, books have to be purchased from the school and even uniform from the only shop prescribed by the school? The answer is obvious, to make extra buck by denying choice to the parents.

Harinder Mohan Singh Chandigarh

Accidents and aftermath

“Three die as mini-truck and bus collide”, “7 killed in car accidents”, “5 die as bus falls into pit”... These are the kind of headlines that greet us each morning as we open The Tribune. The increasing number of accidents are causing an irreparable harm to our lives.

Everyone pities the person who dies, talking of how he hadn’t even yet seen the world. His soul is set to peace with all kinds of pious ceremonies. But what about the people he has left behind? What about the extreme trauma they go through?

This one incident comes in the form of a deluge and takes away everything with it. A complete family gets shattered. Though the person who dies goes on living in the hearts of the living ones, a part of those who are living dies with the one who is dead. This particular loss is irretrievable.

I can talk about it as I have been through the exact situation. I was six and my sister was four when our father died. It was like the end of the world. What had we done to deserve this? Though we were very young, this incident left us shattered. This was nothing compared to what my mother went through. After days and days of crying, it seemed as if she would run out of tears, but the grief did not lessen. She lost her wish for living.

I too want my father to be with me. When I see other children with their fathers, I feel an insuppressible urge of nostalgia. But no matter how much I despise it, I have to go on living like this. The same goes for everyone.

Thus, I request every single person to be extremely cautious while driving on the road. Think about the families you have left back at home and also of the families of the other people on the road. One careless mistake, besides ending your life, can destroy the lives of those who love you and care for you.

Shifa Joshi, Chandigarh

Open toilets

If today Le Corbusier comes to Chandigarh and goes around Sector 17, 18, 22 and 34 of Chandigarh, he will simply go back to the Sukhna Lake and cry there to vent out his misery for what he would have never thought while designing this city.

It is a pity that this planned city cannot provide basic needs to its citizens. The people who visit here for daily business in government offices or commercial areas make use of open spaces or the corners of buildings as urinals and the unused land near bushes as toilets. Chandigarh still lacks the basic infrastructure to meet the requirements of the growing population. Will the Chandigarh Administration officials find time to go around Sector 34 commercial area, specially the Regional Passport Office and the end wall of this building on the west? One feels ashamed when we see people easing themselves around this area. The situation is no different in other sectors.

Everyone knows that Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana, apart from being a Union Territory. As people are bound to visit here for various reasons, the authorities should provide civic amenties like urinals, toilets, drinking water etc to the floating population.

The authorities should also take care of the interests of those living in temporary shelters. Can anybody imagine the plight of those, especially rickshaw-pullers, who spend nights in the verandahs of shopping areas? Where do they go to ease themselves in the mornings? Will someone at the top think about it and provide basic facilities to them?

The government does not have enough funds. But it can ask for sponsors to provide this facility on nominal charges. There should be signboards showing the direction of such toilets and drinking water facilities in local language and signs in the commercial areas. Once these facilities are provided, those using open spaces for toilets\urinals should be booked under the law.

S.S. Gill Panchkula

Power cuts by rotation

I was shocked to read the report “Southern sectors to sweat at night” in Chandigarh Tribune. Despite the fixed schedule, shops do not close at 8 pm. If strict action is taken against the defaulters, there will be no need for rotational power cut. I appeal to the authorities concerned to look into the matter and decide in the interest of public.

Dr H.S.Bharti Chandigarh


Training programme on prison management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Fifteen prison officers from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are attending first of the six three-day training programmes being organised here on “Human rights in prison management”.

The courses are being organised jointly by the Institute of Correctional Administration and the Bureau of Police Research and Development of the Ministry of Home Affairs under the national action plan on human rights education.

Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, who inaugurated the course, said the prisons in the region were facing multiple problems, including overcrowding. As many as 70 per cent of the total inmates are undertrials of which only 20 to 25 per cent get convicted. “It is the impression these undertrials carry that has an impact on the society. The idea is that they should not be worse off than they came in,” he said.

Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institute of correctional Administration said, the participants were being equipped with proactive thinking to prepare effective action plan to streamline prison management. The issue of staff rights was equally important, she added.


No power to Sec 15 market for 10 hrs
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 20
The Sector 15 market here yesterday remained without power for about 10 hours. Though no power break down was reported from any parts of the city, the supply did play hide and seek in many parts.

The power supply went off at about 11 am when the shops started opening here last morning. Since the weather was pleasant, the shopkeepers and shoppers were saved from sweat and heat but the business suffered. Shopkeepers dealing in ice creams were the one who were affected the most. Residents of Mauli Jagran faced power cuts in the morning for more than two hours and the supply again went off after 7 pm and had not been restored till the filing of this report.

Residents of Sector 33 complained that they had to remain without power for more than two hours from 2 pm and the supply again went off at around 5.30 pm. It is learnt that for about four hours, there was no electricity supply to parts of Sector 18. There were reports of power cuts in Sector 11. It may be mentioned that these cuts were additional to the scheduled power cuts. Sources in the Electricity Department said that there had been sudden increase in the power consumption as use of air-conditioners besides coolers and fans had increased.

The department was already imposing power cuts on a rotational basis in the southern sectors. 


Sweetshop owner violating bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Sector 7-C rehri market has been exposed to a fire hazard with a sweets shop running from amongst highly inflammable rubber and foam shops.

The danger has been further aggravated with the sweets shop, Shiv Om Sweets, booth number 151, allegedly flouting building bylaws and encroaching the corridors for putting his cylinders.

The danger has been brought to the notice of the Estate Officer, the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, and Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, by the owner of shop number 149, Ms Kishore Traders, dealing in rubber and foam material.

The sweets shop allegedly also opened an extra rolling shutter entrance in front of Ms Kishore Traders into a public verandah.

Gas stoves had allegedly been kept in the verandah for preparing the foodstuff in the open public land, leaving the gap between two shops only 5 feet.

Kishore Traders alleged that the open functioning of stoves in the verandah was creating heat, dangerous for his material.

The sweets shop also allegedly does not have any fire-fighting system.


Chadha takes over as Rotary plaza chief
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 20
Mr Jagdeep Chadha took over as the president of the Rotary Chandigarh Plaza for 2002-2003 at a ceremony held at the Chandigarh Club yesterday.

The spokesman for the club, Mr Amar Manchanda, said Mr Inder Pal Singh was the president elect and Mr Vivek K. Arora secretary. Mr Sameer Kumar took over as the joint secretary and Mr Sohel Bhasin as the vice-president. Mr Adarsh Vir Singh as the secretary finance, Dr Pradeep Tayal as the Director, Club Services, Mr P.K. Verma as the director international, Mr Sanjeev Mahajan as the director Community Services and Col S.K. Anand as the Seargent at Arm and director, Vocational Services.

Mr Chadha, donated Rs 3,100 to the Blood Bank Society. He also honoured five public servants, including a postman, a nurse, a rickshaw-puller, a district court peon and a clerk in the electricity department for their honesty and dedication towards work.


Lashkara on new satellite
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
To provide better reception, the Lashkara channel, which was earlier available on the Thiacom-3 satellite, will now be available on the NSS-703 satellite. According to an official of the channel, the orbital position is 57°E. The downlink frequency is 3891 MHz and the symbol rate is 06113 KSPS. 


Dhingra ‘shaheedi divas’ on Aug 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Shaheedi Diwas of Madan Lal Dhingra will be observed at Rohtak on August 17.

This was decided at a meeting of the shaheed Madan Lal Dhingra Smarak Samiti held here under the chairmanship of Transport Minister Ashok Arora, who heads the the samiti.


BSNL increases lines

In order to improve the quality of the inter-city call service, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Saturday expanded inter-city exchange (TAX) by 2,000 lines in Sector 17 exchange. The service was inaugurated by Mr Prithipal Singh, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, BSNL, at the Sector 17 Telephone Exchange. The capacity has now been increased from 17,000 to 19,000 lines. OC


Man ‘cheats’ shopkeepers of Rs 6 lakh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 20
A large number of shopkeepers of Phase VII here and Chandigarh have alleged that Rajbir Singh, running a call centre — Pace Infotech Systems — in Phase VII, is absconding with the money he owes them for various services and products which collectively amounts to about Rs 6 lakh.

According to sources, Rajbir Singh came to the township on July 3 and opened a call centre in a rented showroom. He allegedly borrowed the services of a taxi from a stand in Phase VII for which he owes Rs 15,000. He also owes large sums to people he bought the furniture from. He also owes payment to a Mohali caterer from whom he bought five mobile phones.

Rajbir Singh has not been seen by anyone for the past few days and one of the shopkeepers from Chandigarh got the lock of the showroom broken today and tried to take away the air conditioner from there. He was dissuaded from doing so by the neighbouring shopkeepers and the matter was taken to the police. The police came and sealed the shop.


6 burglary cases solved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Mani Majra police has solved at least six burglary cases in the Mani Majra Modern Housing Complex here. According to the information available, Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Industrial Area, Phase II, Panchkula, used to steal items stored in garages in housing complex and take away booty on a rickshaw.

During interrogation, the burglar, an addict, confessed that he used to sell the stolen goods to scrap dealers. The police has recovered two stolen LPG cylinders, five folding beds, a drum and iron grills from him. After being arrested on July 17, he was today sent to judicial remand.

THEFT: Mr Reetpal Singh, a resident of Sector 22, reported that his scooter was stolen from Sector 35. In another case, Dilpreet Singh, a resident of the Government College for Boys, Sector 11, complained that Rs 12,000 was stolen from his room on July 19.

CHAIN SNATCHED: Suresh Kumar, a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula, complained that an unidentified person stole the gold chain and gold tops of his daughter near Madhya Marg in the evening of July 18. A case under Section 356 of the IPC has been registered.

INJURED: A scooterist, Vidhlu Bansal of Sector 40, was injured when she was hit by a Maruti car near the rotary of Sectors 4,5, 9 and 10. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |