Tuesday, July 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Contaminated’ water claims 1 life, 1100 persons seek medical aid
Tribune News Service


  • One death reported, 19 suffering from cholera.
  • 77 hospitalised with complaints of vomiting and loose motions.
  • Over 1100 administered medication on the spot in Sector 52.
  • Health authorities blame Municipal Corporation water supply.
  • Corporation blames pits dug up to collect water during lean supply and the building of toilets over supply line.
  • Water supply stopped for two days, tankers deployed.
  • Police vans and ambulances kept ready in Sector 52.


  • Cholera is an acute form of diarrhoea when a person passes out loose stool with an increased frequency.
  • Patient passes out rice water-like stool with white flakes.
  • Immediate hospitalisation is needed as acute dehydration finally leads to low BP, shock and kidney failure, resulting in the death of the person.
  • It can develop into hepatitis -E infection and can be fatal in 50 per cent of the cases.


  • Patient should be given huge quantities of fluids.
  • Boiled water should be given after cooling.
  • Even filtered water is not 100 per cent safe.
  • Apart from taking oral rehydration solution (ORS) , it is recommended that antibiotics are also given.
  • Fluid can also be prepared at home by adding a handful of sugar, a pinch of salt and lime juice to a litre of boiled water. 

Chandigarh, July 22
One person died and 77 were hospitalised here today with reports of cholera outbreak in the city after six years due to supply of ''contaminated water''. Over 1100 residents were administered medicines in the Sector 52 Rehabilitation Colony.

''Twentyone persons were hospitalised in the GMCH, while 56 were admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital and the PGI. Around 1100 had come to the mobile medical van stationed in the colony till 5 pm for medical help,'' the Director Health Services, UT, Dr Rameshwar Chander, told Chandigarh Tribune.

The death of Mr Dil Bahadur of Sector 52, working as a peon with the Punjab Mandi Board, was confirmed by the Deputy Superintendent of the GMCH, Mr Nitin M. Nagarkar. The medical authorities were expecting more cases to pour in during the night.

Panic gripped the colony with people queuing up for medical help where a team of doctors distributed ORS packets in most cases.

In all cases, the victims complained of vomiting and loose motions, but the authorities were yet to confirm that they had been afflicted by gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. Dr Chander said ''the outbreak is very likely as there were signs of bacterial contamination.''

An unconfirmed report said Darshan (42), a resident of house number 2534 in Sector 52 also died on July 16 with complaints of vomiting and loose motions. His brother Jeet told Chandigarh Tribune that Darshan took liquor and at 2 am complained about his deteriorating condition. He died on way to GMCH 32.

Dr Chander held the Municipal Corporation water supply responsible for the ''outbreak of the epidemic like situation.''

He said ''Chlorination of water was not being done adequately and the bleaching powder meant to be used for industrial purpose was kept open and was totally moist, making its effectiveness negligible.''

Mr Chander said the Rapid Response Team observed this in an official note meant to be sent to the UT Administration.

He said ''On the rear of the tubewell there is a big water collection through which the possibility of seepage of water cannot be ruled out and the main pipe of the tubewell was reported to be leaking.''

He said ''The main water supply was passing beneath or alongside the mobile toilets and is suspected to be causing the problem.''

A Municipal Corporation team led by the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, found the reason of contamination to be dug up pits for collecting water and building of toilets by the residents over the water supply lines.

An engineer explained that when water is not pumped, it collects water used by pigs and animals and it would be sucked into the supply line.

As many as 45 persons were admitted to General Hospital, 21 in the GMCH and one in the PGI. An equal number of them had been discharged after necessary medication, sources in different hospitals said.

The Municipal Corporation has asked the people not to use its water for two days and deployed water tankers for supply.

Four ambulances and two police vehicles were also deployed to help the people.

Though the complaints of vomiting and loose motions had been there in the area for the past 15 days, the situation aggravated on July 17 when a defunct Municipal Corporation tubewell was reactivated.

''A large number of the people started complaining of loose motions and vomiting,'' said a Sector 52 resident, Mr Shiv Charan Shastri, whose three children Rekha, Satya and Prakash, were hospitalised. Two of them are suspected to be suffering from cholera.

By the evening, cases from Sector 61 were also reportedly brought to different hospitals.

The problem seemed to be developing before April 10, 2002 when a delegation of the Social Welfare Society of the sector comprising Dilbagh Tank, B. S. Kumar, Satpal, Dharam Singh and Vir Chand, brought the shortage of water supply to the notice of the Water and Sewage Committee Chairman and area councillor, Mr Kuldeep Singh, and other officials.

Mr Kumar told The Tribune that they had given a written complaint to Mr Kuldeep Singh that sewage water was getting mixed in the drinking supply water line and children were complaining of stomach ache.

He said the condition of sanitation was very poor.

A TNS team saw a panic situation with streams of people walking to the mobile medical van along with their children for medication.

Microphones blared to call the affected persons to get themselves examined at the van.

The Rapid Response Team members took the microphone to educate the people to prepare ORS with a pinch of salt, a handful of sugar, a lemon in one litre of boiled water.

The team members advised people not to take water supply and even if they were to take it, they should first boil it. The Director Health Services, Mr Ramesh Chandar, Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, the Chief Engineer, Mr V. K. Bharadwaj, Superintendent Engineer, Mr Swarn Singh, were among those who went to the spot.



Arts Council looks forward to a new home
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, July 22
After four years of pussyfooting, the Chandigarh Administration finally gears up to provide a place for the office of the Chandigarh Arts Council. Though the present building in Sector 34 was allotted to the council about four years back, it took the administration a long time to take up the task of furnishing it with the basic amenities, which is finally expected to be completed within a months.

The council was given a place to house the offices of the three sister concerns i.e. Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh Sahitya Academy and Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy in Sector 34 but it, remained unfunctional as the floor allotted lacked the basic amenities like electricity and furnishing.

Final touches to make the building habitable are going on and the authority is expected to complete the work within a month. "The place was allotted to the Chandigarh Arts Council about four years back but the academies could not be shifted as some engineering and electrical works were incomplete," says Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs of the UT.

Alleging that the Engineering Department took a long time to give a final shape to the place, Mr Atray said the works had been augmented only last year and looking at the progress it was expected to be functional shortly.

In the meantime, the three academies are sighing relief at the prospect of having their own office rooms. "We have been given a room each for our offices with a big hall to conduct activities," said Mr G.S. Channi, Chairperson, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy, who has been till now operating from the office of the Centre for Education and Voluntary Action at Karuna Sadan.

"It was difficult conducting academy-related works from a home base and the very fact stunted the growth of the academy," said Mr Shiv Singh, Chairperson of Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy. The academy, which conducts a number of workshops and exhibitions has been having a hard time organising events. "The Lalit Kala Academy needs ample space to hold painting and sculpture exhibitions and related workshops. We have been running from pillar to post to arrange some suitable space from different organisations," he added.

Even the prospect of having an office room and a multipurpose hall does not cheer up Mr Shiv Singh. "With only one office room we would not have much space for storage, which is must for activities that fall under the Lalit Kala Academy," says Mr Shiv Singh. A single hall for all three academies is not going to be enough, he added.

The three academies that came into existence about a decade back have been operating from different places since their inceptions. "When they first came into being, the official works were conducted from the UT Secretariat in Sector 9 but were later left on the mercy of their respective chairpersons to take care of their entire activities,” said a member of the Chandigarh Sahitya Academy.

Even the academies have been brought under the umbrella of the Chandigarh Arts Council only a couple of months back. “Though the academies have been working for about a decade, it is only recently they have been given a common platform within the ambit of the Chandigarh Arts Council,” said Mr Vivek Atray. The first meeting of the council took place about three months back with Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, as the Chairperson and Mr Vivek Atray as secretary of the council. 


Panchkula becoming gateway of drug smuggling
Tribune News Service

Check list drugs recovered till date in Panchkula in 2002.

Drug Quantity
Brown Sugar 1 kg
Opium 11 gm
Poppy Husk 35 kg
Charas 1 kg
Smack 10 gm

Panchkula, July 22
The township is fast becoming a gateway for drug trafficking from the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

A large number of drugs — mainly opium, charas , brown sugar and smack — are being brought into the township for its onward distribution in Chandigarh and urban parts of Punjab. The recovery of 1 kg of brown sugar from five foreign nationals residing in a house in Sector 9 here on Saturday has proved that these drugs are being smuggled here from Delhi for its onward distribution in the urban areas of Haryana and Punjab, including Chandigarh.

According to information available from police sources, all the narcotics in the region mainly reach through the township and neighbouring Chandigarh from the above mentioned three states and Madhya Pradesh. It is from here that poppy husk and opium find their way to the city not just for local consumption, but most importantly for consumption in the inner rural reaches of Punjab.

It may be noted that last year in May the police had arrested another foreign national — Tazudin Adesola — on the Zirakpur- Panchkula barrier and recovered 3 kg of smack worth over Rs 3 crore in the international market. He was carrying this haul from Delhi for its onward distribution here.

While opium is brought to the city from the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh, the major supply of poppy husk is from Rajasthan. Sources say that this poppy husk is smuggled in the country from Pakistan in a big way and from Rajasthan, it finds its way into Haryana and ultimately into the city.

Police sources say that the same is true of brown sugar, which is being smuggled into the country from Africa via Afghanistan and Pakistan. Once the consignment reaches Delhi, it is then further distributed for different parts of the country.

Though it is after a gap of almost two years that brown sugar has been recovered in this region, police sources concede that it is merely a matter of chance. “These drugs were always being brought here and sold to consumers- students, working people etc on the roadside and from dhabas . However, it was sheer chance that no recovery was made,” informed a senior police official.

The sources also concede that the fact that the township has highly porous entry and exit points goes to the advantage of the miscreant (s), who can reach Chandigarh on one side and Punjab on the other, within 10 minutes of committing any crime in the township. Other than this, the escape route into Uttaranchal via Kala Amb or to Himachal Pradesh is also an hour’s drive from the township.



Dust haze envelops region

Chandigarh, July 22
The South-West Monsoon failed most of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi for the 24th day today, threatening serious drought conditions, while it was more or less active in Himachal Pradesh and the adjoining areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dust-raising winds from Rajasthan enveloped the plains of the northwestern region, reducing the visibility to less than 2 km and a fall in the day temperatures. Weather Bureau Director S.C. Bhan attributed the continued dry weather conditions in most of the two states and adjoining areas in the north-west region to a weak monsoon current from the Bay of Bengal.

However, an upper air trough, from central Pakistan to the north Arabian Sea, extending in low level, coupled with an upper air cyclonic circulation, extending 2.1 km above the sea level over J and K and the adjoining north Pakistan, is likely to cause fresh spells of light-to-moderate rains at a few places in HP and isolatedly in Haryana and Punjab over the next 48 hours, Mr Bhan said.

Chandigarh and its surrounding areas received 0.4 mm fresh rains and the maximum hovered around 33°, about three degrees below normal today. Ambala, 55 km from here in Haryana reported drizzles.

Many a station in HP reported fresh rain, Sundarnagar and Kasol received 28.1 mm and 20.8 mm precipitation, respectively, in the past 24 hours, Pandoh (16 mm), Shimla (8.5 mm), Sunni (3.00 mm), Nadaun (2.2 mm), Kahu (2.00 mm), Sujanpur Tira (0.5 mm) and Gamrur (0.4 mm). Shimla, Bhunder and surrounding areas reported 3 mm each more rains during the day.

Sundernagar reported 12 mm more rain during the day and a maximum temperature of 31.9°C.

The day temperatures in and around Chandigarh, Ambala and Amritsar were one degree more than the normal at 34°C, 35.7°C and 36°C, respectively. Ludhiana and Patiala were cooler by two and one degree at 34.1°C and 33.9°C, respectively. UNI



Candid and confident, Shruti eyes the crown 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
She only seems to get better with time. Not that she could have done without getting better now that the Miss World pageant is looking her straight in the eye, but Shruti Sharma, India’s entry into the prestigious beauty contest, is doing her bit in style.

Sans pretension, a trait so peculiar to the makers of glamour world, Shruti comes across as a girl who can say things straight from the shoulder. So she has no hangups admitting that she was professionally rather juvenile when she visited the city about three months back. “I am now a changed person, groomed to represent a nation. The change is welcome not just because it has armed me to put my best foot forward in the forthcoming Miss World pageant in Nigeria, but also because it is helping me act as the Ambassador of India. That is more important than anything else..”

The poor show of India at the Miss Universe contest held recently may have marred general goodwill, but that does not seem to bother Shruti at all. “We cannot be getting back the crown every year. In fact many people speculating in this connection even told me that that India’s victory at the Miss Universe pageant could have reduced my chances at the Miss World contest. The general opinion is that two girls from the same country do not take home the titles every year. I must say India has often turned the tables on the world when it comes to beauty. But then, every day cannot be Sunny.”

Prepared to face the world, which will test India better after its defeat at the Miss Universe contest, Shruti is going hard on her training lessons. So wedded to the idea of victory is this promising model that she is already escaping sleep to add strength to her asset list. “Sleep is the only thing I am missing. And it is not healthy, especially in view of the fact that I must look my best as days pass by.” For the contest, scheduled for November 30, Shruti is being trained by the best professionals in the field. Sabira Merchant is taking speech and diction classes, apart from offering Shruti with a check list of possible questions. “Sabira has a list of all the questions ever posed in the Miss World contests. She poses queries and then analysis my reactions. I am still learning, but I am sure to make a mark this time,” says the charming girl, who is in the city for NIFD’s annual fashion show.

The beauty queen, however, concedes: “I am a little nervous and for obvious reasons. The contest is not a cakewalk. I have to handle everything on my own — right from hairdos (being suggested by Vidya in Delhi and Bharat and Dorris in Mumbai ) to costumes, which are being designed by Ritu Kumar and Hemant Trivedi.”

Ace designers are teaming up to design a wardrobe for Shruti, who loves to sport the Indian look. While Ritu Kumar is designing Shruti’s wardrobe for the month that she will stay in Nigeria, Hemant Trivedi will do the grown for the grand finale. Shah Abdurrazi is also likely to chip in on the costume front.

From costumes to personality — everything is being placed well for Shruti, who is aware that there is never a second chance to make the first impression. “ At the Miss World pageant they are looking for candour, integrity and dignity. All these elements will make a perfect woman, who will lay her claim over the coveted crown. We are hopeful of winning at least two titles this year.”

Even as the day of Shruti’s trial heads near, she is busy with her modelling assignments. “I will be participating in the India Fashion Week to be held in Delhi between August 2 and 9. After this show, all my days will be devoted for extensive grooming. I am already feeling special. I wonder what must victory taste like!” quips the prospective winner.



TA has done the country proud

RAISED in 1949, the Territorial Army (TA) has done the country proud. For, it has always proved its mettle when deployed during national emergencies to relieve the regular Army of its static duties for war. Not only that, the TA infantry battalions have acquitted themselves credibly even in low intensity conflict (LIC) in J and K and Sri Lanka.

There are two types of infantry battalions i.e. provincial and urban. Each TA battalion is affiliated to an infantry regiment, which provides the permanent staff of officers, JCOs and other ranks to it. The TA personnel, being part-timers come only during the annual training camp of 60 days in each year in provincial units. The urban units are generally located in cities and their personnel come for training for a few hours every week.

The unit recently in news was the 105 Infantry Battalion (TA) Rajputana Rifles. For, it won the Army Commander’s Banner for 2001-2002 for the tenth time for having been adjudged the best TA unit in the Western Command. The unit, undoubtedly, deserves to be congratulated by the Army and the citizens, for the TA is also called the ‘citizens’ army’. Incidentally, the unit has also won the Chief of the Army Staff’s Silver Trophy four times.

The TA has proved to be a useful part-time Army for the country. No wonder then that the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, said on April 22 that the strength of the TA would be doubled by 2007.

Discrimination against ex-servicemen

Brig Mohinder Singh (retd), president of the Indian Ex-services League (IESL), accompanied by the league’s vice-president, Maj Gen A.S. Chopra (retd), met Lieut Gen A. Natrajan, newly appointed Adjutant General, at the Army Headquarters the other day. They apprised him of the current problems of the ex-servicemen. On realising the seriousness of ex-servicemen’s problems, General Natrajan assured the IESL president that effective steps would be taken at the earliest to remove major anomalies, which discriminate against the ex-soldiers as compared to the other Central Government pensioners.

This meeting with the Adjutant General has revived the hope of the IESL president that the neglected problems of the ex-servicemen will get an early response from the Government of India.

Brig Mohinder Singh also says that the Army Headquarters are actively pursuing the case of defence personnel, especially of the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) for the removal of 33-year service hurdle for earning full pension. “We hope that better sense will prevail and justice will be done to ex-servicemen”, he remarked.

Since the Army personnel are pensioned off at a much younger age as compared to their civilian counterparts, fixing the completion of 33 years service condition for them to earn their full pension, that is, 50 per cent of their pay is very discriminatory.

Tri-services seminar

Long absence of soldiers from home on operational, training and other commitments, makes the task of their spouses difficult for they have to bring up the children, attend to their school problems and several other awkward chores single handed. This puts a lot of stress and strain on soldiers’ wives. Add to this loneliness, which, at times, can create psychological problems.

To discuss and find a solution to these problems, a Tri-Services Wives Welfare Association seminar was held at the Indian Habitat Centre in New Delhi the other day. The seminar was attended by Mrs Roopa Padmanabhan, Mrs Harleen Krishnaswamy and Mrs Kaumudi Kumari, wives of the three Service Chiefs, as also by representatives from the three services wives welfare associations.

A famous psychologist, Dr (Mrs) Vasantha Patri, gave a talk on marital discord. The adolescence-related problems were also discussed at this seminar.

Qualifications for recruitment

Minimum educational qualifications for recruitment to various categories have been revised. The minimum qualification for a soldier general duty (GD) is matriculation with 45 per cent aggregate marks. For soldier (technical) category, the candidate should be 10+2/intermediate with 50 per cent aggregate marks in arts, commerce or science with minimum 40 per cent in each subject. For soldier (trademan) or non-matric (GD) entry, a candidate should have passed class VIII. His certificate and marks sheet must be countersigned by the District Education Officer.

For soldier (clerk/store-keeper technical), a candidate should be 10+2/intermediate in arts, commerce or science with English and a minimum of 50 per cent aggregate and 40 per cent marks in each subject. The candidates, having proficiency in computer and typing, will be given 20 per cent bonus marks in the written test. For soldier (technical aviation) category, a candidate should be 10+2 with English, mathematics and physics as compulsory subjects. He should have 50 per cent aggregate marks or a three-year diploma in mechanical, electronics or automobile engineering or computer science.

For recruitment as nursing assistant, the requisite qualification is 10+2/intermediate in science with physics, chemistry, biology and English and a minimum of 50 per cent aggregate marks.

Pritam Bhullar


Handicap no hurdle in his life
Parbina Rashid

HANDICAP is just a condition of the mind and once one overcomes the stigma attached to this word, there is nothing to stop one to achieve success in life, even if he is physically not wholesome. This is what Sudhir Sikander believes in. Sudhir, who had lost the use of both his legs at an early stage has not succumbed to his fate, but fought it to make his place in the world, and what is more is that he is making it easy for others who suffer some sort of disability to live a respectable life.

A singer himself, Sudhir is promoting physically-handicapped persons to make their mark in the world of music. Sudhir along with his father has opened a music company to promote people with singing talent who cannot come up because of some sort of physical disability. “During the past two years since the company has been launched, we are giving chance to talented persons with physical handicap”.

His effort to fight for the cause for disabled persons do not just stop here. He has opened up a Social Welfare Society specially for this purpose. “When a person suffers from physical disability, the worst fear he suffers is his doubt about other people accepting him in society,” says Sudhir. “Through the welfare society a few of us like minded people try to give moral support to such people besides giving them a chance to try their hand in singing if they have some talent,” he adds. Sudhir also organises free eye camps from time to time.

As a person Sudhir has a religious bent of mind that reflects in his albums he has released so far. Besides recording a few albums like “Mata ki Bhakti”, Sudhir has also given music to a number of Bhakti albums that include “Mata Chandi Ki Mahima.” However, to keep pace with the latest music trend, Sudhir has started singing Punjabi folk and pop too.

“Bhakti sangeet cleanses one’s soul but for financial gain the entertainment side of music can not be overlooked,” says Sudhir. His newfound wisdom has resulted in folk albums like “Ki Kehne Mutiyar De” and pop album “Pariya Husan Diya”. Besides proving himself as a versatile singer what Sudhir wants the most is to prove himself to be strength for others to lean on.

“I as a disabled person, had to struggle a lot to gain acceptance despite the fact that I had a musical background and support of my family,” says Sudhir. “ I would like to help those who have no one to turn to and suffer from both mental and physical handicap,” he adds.


Phone helpline at Chandimandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Armymen posted on the borders as part of Operation Parakaram will now be able to contact their families and friends living in Chandimandir, the Western Command headquarters. An Army Helpline on numbers 0172-868761 and 0172-589921 has been established.

Any person wanting to contact any Army person at Chandimandir can do so by dialling the above numbers, on which an Army helpline attendant will respond. The calling subscriber will have to convey their name and telephone numbers from where they are calling. The caller will also reveal whom they would like to contact with the name, appointment/unit and telephone number, if held, of the person.

The attendant will note down the message and convey it to the person for whom it is meant. However, he would not be in a position to either transfer the call to another telephone number of the Military exchange or give any other information to the caller.

An Army spokesperson said that the direct inward dialling facility for phones of the command hospital at Chandimandir continues to be provided. The dialer needs to prefix 86 to the telephone number of the command hospital exchange. Due to security considerations, direct inward dialling (DID) facility from civil telephone numbers to the subscribers of military exchange, Chandimandir had been discontinued a few months ago. 



Woman jumps into Sukhna, rescued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A 30-year-old woman of Sector 32 jumped into the Sukhna Lake to end her life late this evening but was saved by an alert constable of the Chandigarh Police, Azad Singh. A one-year-old boy of the woman was also saved by the cop posted at the Sukhna Lake police post.

The woman was admitted in the emergency section of the Sector 16 General Hospital and was said to be unfit. According to information available, the woman, Suman Devi, hailing from Roru in Himachal Pradesh was married to Lakwinder, a painter by profession. For the past one-and-a-half year he had deserted her and was allegedly living with another woman. He had also stopped giving her financial aid.

The police is looking for the husband. The Station House Officer of the Sector 3 police station, Mr Hardev Singh, said the woman had another nine year old child from the marriage. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, has announced a cash award and commendation certificate to the constable.



SCL employees allotted houses
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 22
After three years’ wait of owning houses, 140 employees of Semi Conductors Limited here were a happy lot today when they got the allotment of the houses in the specially built colony flats in Sector 70.

The draw of lots was carried out under the supervision of the Director and Chairman, SCL, Mr M.J. Zarabi.

The draw of lots this year was of special significance as some years ago on a similar occasion, the draw of lots had led to heated exchanges between the employees and the builders, with employees alleging foul play in the building of the houses and their allotment.

During the draw of lots it was also announced that Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) had given the completion certificate of two of the blocks of the flats. However, the employees stated that PUDA is yet to clear the land allotted for the construction of Block IV and has also not paid heed to their demand of removal of an electricity pole in the colony.


Slide show on Hiroshima tragedy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A slide show, ‘Hiroshima, it can happen here’, was organised by the Servants of the People Society in collaboration with the Technology Awareness Group here on Saturday. The show was ‘an effort to enlighten the masses on the possibility of a nuclear war and its aftermath, besides being an attempt to join and strengthen the nationwide resistance to the prevalent jingoism and nuclearisation in South Asia.’

The presentation was made by Manmohan Chibber, a research scholar at the Chemistry Department of Panjab University. He delivered a talk on various aspects of the war and the trouble it brought in for lakhs of innocent masses in Hiroshima on August 6,1945.

Mr Onkar Chand, secretary of the Servants of the People Society, said even Einstein, who was a mind behind the creation of the bomb, on his deathbed while answering to a question whether he would like to be a scientist in his next birth said, “I would rather be a plumber”.


Solan police questions cements dealer
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 22
A team of the Solan district police today visited the Sector 45 residence of Manoj Kaushal who was shot dead by an unidentified assailant in Solan on Saturday afternoon. The police also made inquires from a dealer of J.K Cements here. Sketches of the assailant were also made available to the police of Chandigarh and Panchkula. So far, the Solan police had made no breakthrough in the case.

It may be recalled that Manoj was shot by an unidentified youth who was on a stolen scooter. Manoj was Manager in the Chandigarh branch of J.K Cements and is survived with two children and wife.


Plan to build animal rest houses
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 22
The Animal Welfare Board will give grants worth Rs 35 lakh to all districts for constructing animal rest houses at district headquarters or within 10-km radius. A sum of Rs 5 lakh will also be given as maintenance charges.

This was stated by Mr Mohan Singh, legal officer with the board, while talking to mediapersons here today. He said the rest houses were being constructed to house animals rescued by the authorities. He said in case the maintenance was being done by an NGO, the board would give a grant of Rs 10 per day per animal to the NGO.

He said that the Government of India was also giving Rs 3.5 crore for the construction of the animal development centre in various states. These centres would carry out pioneering research work for improving the breed of animals.

He said certain amendments, especially with regards to transportation of cattle, had been made. The number of cattle to be transported in a truck had been specified.



BJP office-bearers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The BJP President, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, here on Friday appointed a former Deputy Mayor, Mr Kanhaya Lal, as President of the District Number II.

Mr Jagdish Rohilla has been appointed general secretary and Mr Krishan Mahajan, Mr Harish Garg, Mr Subhash Katyal and Mr Amrit Lal Mahajan as vice-presidents of the unit.



7 booked in cheating case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 22
The police has booked seven persons, including five government officials on charges of cheating and impersonation. A case has been registered against Ishwar Singh Khasa, Assistant, Health Department, Bimla Devi, posted at Ayurvedic Dispensary , Ramgarh, Balbir Singh and Gunwanti, both teachers, and Krishan Kumar, a bank employee, on the directions of the court.

It is learnt that Ms Sunita Devi had earlier moved the court and sought directions for the local police to register a first information report and investigate the matter. She had pleaded that she was the president of the Shiv Om Institute of Health and Medical Education and that the institute was being run by her in her personal capacity. The institute was imparting basic yearly training to male primary health workers.

She further alleged that the accused Ishwar Singh was aware of the business of the complainant as he was dealing with the correspondence of the institute. He, along with other family members, then floated a separate society — Upper India Nature Care and Health Society — showing Ms Sunita Devi as the secretary of the society and the institute as working under the society. They then got her dismembered from the society by fabricating her signatures.

CARS RECOVERED: The Special Cell of the police has recovered five cars after having busted a gang of car thieves belonging to Bhiwani. While four members of this gang, Pawan Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Subhash and Ram Kumar, were arrested earlier on July 10, two members, Pardeep and Vijendra, were arrested on Monday. This was disclosed by the in charge of Special Cell, ASI Fateh Singh.


GIRL ELECTROCUTED: A four-year-old girl child, Ashpriya died of electrocution at her house in the Mauli Jagran complex here on Monday. The victim was electrocuted when she came in contact with a water cooler in her house. The victim was brought declared dead at the Sector 6 Civil Hospital.

CYLINDERS SEIZED: The Food and Supplies Department on Monday raided New Highway Sweet and Dhaba shop in Sector 32 here and seized four domestic cylinders being used for commercial purpose. According to information available, a team led by AFSO Kant Kailash and Inspector Deep Singh raided the shop recovered the cylinders. A case under the Essential Commodities Act has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

MOTOR CYCLE STOLEN: Rajiv Birla, a resident of Manimajra, complained that his Yahama motor cycle was stolen from Sector 17. In another case, Rakesh Mohan, complained that his bag containing Rs 1180, keys of a bank, one calculator and a wrist watch.

TWO INJURED: Two persons were injured in two separate road accidents in the city in the past 48 hours. Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Sector 19, was injured when the scooter he was driving was hit by another scooter. The victim has been admitted to GMCH, Sector 32. In another case, Manoj Kumar was injured after being hit by a Tata truck near the Sector 17 bus stand.


Man involved in forging registration nos. held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A key member of the gang involved in forging registration numbers of vehicles and selling these off on fake registration numbers was arrested by the Chandigarh police this evening.

The suspect, Bhim Sen, was wanted by the police in a case of cheating and forgery registered at the Sector 11 police station in May, this year.

Sources in the police said the suspect used to get a vehicle financed from a private bank and then forge the hypothecated registration of the vehicle and sell it to an unsuspecting customer. He is reported to have confessed to having forged the registration documents of at least two more vehicles. The angle of involvement of certain officials of the local registration authority is also being probed by the police, said the sources.

According to the information available, the suspect had got a Maruti car (CH-01Y-3402) financed in July, 1999. After few months, the suspect forged the registration documents and got a new registration number (CH01-03D-7737) on the same address. The address (3098, Sector 21) mentioned in registration number of both the vehicles was also found to be fake, as the suspect had never stayed there.

The bank that had financed the vehicles found out the original number of the vehicle on the basis of the chassis and engine number.

An attempt made by the police to arrest him on January 22, this year, in Sector 15 proved futile as he escaped from the scene leaving behind the car. The vehicle was then impounded by the police. Enquires at the office of the registration authority, Chandigarh, revealed that the file of the original number was missing from the official records. A case has already been registered against him under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B of the IPC.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the suspect claimed there were several other persons who worked with him and several vehicles had been sold in this fashion. The police is investigating the name of other persons suspected to be involved in the racket. 


Police verifies records of snatchers
Tribune News Service

Spurt in snatching incidents

* At least 29 incidents of snatching have been in the city between January and June this year.

* Snatchers active in the southern and central sectors of the city.

* Whereabouts of the snatchers in the master-list of the Chandigarh Police being verified.

Chandigarh, July 22
July 20, 2002: Two unidentified turbaned youths snatch purse, containing Rs 2,500 from Arwinder Kaur in Sector 35.

July 17, 2002: Two scooter-borne youths make a futile attempt to snatch a bag containing Rs 1 lakh from two employees of private firm in Sector 22.

July 16, 2002: A purse containing Rs 3,000 cash is snatched from Gurjit Singh, a resident of Sector 35.

July 15, 2002: A purse containing Rs 2,000 cash is snatched from Nirmal Kaur of Sector 40

July 8, 2002: Two incidents of snatching are reported from Sector 15 and 46.

There is striking similarity in all these cases. Two youths ridding on a grey-coloured scooter suddenly appear out of darkness and escape with their booty.

The incidents of snatching are on the rise. During the past six months, at least 29 incidents of snatching have been reported, excluding the incidents of snatching during the current month. Though the police records say that at least six cases have been solved, the maximum number of cases are from the central and southern police subdivisions.

Alarmed at the increasing rate of such incidents, the Chandigarh Police has started verifying the whereabouts of the snatchers existing on the police records. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain says, “We have directed the in charge of the 11 police stations to physically verify the whereabouts of the snatchers from a master-list available with the police”. The exercise is expected to be completed within a few days, he adds.

It would single out the possibility of the involvement of experienced snatchers and corroborate the police theory that the youths involved in the incidents are first-timers. The possibility of the snatchers being addicts is also not ruled out.



Transporter booked for liquor smuggling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A Panchkula-based transporter has been booked by the Chandigarh Police for running a well-organised business of liquor smuggling in the states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The illegal activity came to light when a team of the CIA staff seized a DCM Toyota truck carrying 450 bottles and 3950 pouches of country made liquor at railway light point, Manimajra, last night.

The vehicle in which the liquor was being brought from a liquor vend in Panchkula had a fake registration number, DDL-3640. The local police has written to the registration authority at Delhi to verify the vehicle number. However, the original number of the canter is said to be Punjab.

The haul was made by a team led by ASI Ranjit Singh. According to the information available, while the driver of the truck, Inderjit Singh, has been arrested, the transporter, Resham Singh, is absconding.

The modus operandi of the gang was to purchase liquor manufactured in Haryana from vends in Haryana and sell it in Himachal Pradesh. Similarly the liquor bought from Himachal, specially the pouches, were sold in Haryana. The possibility of liquor mafia of Chandigarh and Panchkula being involved in the smuggling is not being ruled out.

A case under Sections 420, 473, 483 , 120 B and the Excise Act has been registered by the police. 


Housefed to reduce interest rate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Housefed, a premier agency run by elected members from among co-operative housing societies, has said it would bring down interest rates to 10.5 per cent and would also take up the issue of providing loans to people owning properties on the general power of attorney basis.

The Chairman of Housefed, Mr Sunil Parti, said in a press conference that the move to reduce interest rate came as all financial institutions and banks had brought down interest rates and were offering loans at lower rates than what was being offered by Housefed. The next instalment of money received from the principal financier, Life Insurance Corporation of India, would be offered to societies at the new interest rates, Mr Parti said. A meeting would be held with top LIC officials in Mumbai on July 22 where the Housefed would be represented by Mr Parti and the Executive Director, Mr Surjit Chaudhary.

“In Chandigarh, a large number of properties, including plots and flats allotted through group housing societies, have been sold on GPA basis. We will bring up the matter in the next meeting of the board of directors to provide loans to such people. There will be set of additional checks and balances in case of loans to GPA holders to ensure that the money is safe,” said Mr Parti, who was accompanied by the Vice-Chairman of Housefed, Mr Lal Singh, the Executive Director, Mr Surjit Chaudhary, and the Director, Mr Kulwant Singh.

When asked about the dragging of two Housefed directors and an architect into a case by the CBI, Mr Parti said the matter was sub-judice, but added that the architect, Vinod Joshi, was not involved in the loan disbursement process. “He is not an employee of Housefed and was just on an honorary panel. The CBI had booked him and two Housefed Directors for allegedly disbursing loans to the tune of Rs 30 lakh. The money is being returned by the loanees who have given assurances in writing that repayment schedule has been set,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Chaudhary demanded that the Chandigarh Administration should immediately allot land to cooperative housing societies. The societies which were not keen on being part of the scheme, should be refunded their money along with interest. Besides, the power to sell shares in the society must rest with the society. This practice was being followed in Delhi and Mumbai where societies could sell their share by allotting a flat to another member, he said.



Delay in HMT payments hits SSI units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The slump in tractor market in the region has not only hit industry giants, but also ancillary units over the past few months. About 100 such units in Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh are facing closure due to delay in payments by the HMT Tractors, Pinjore. However, the HMT management claims that since its own payments worth Rs 200 crore is pending towards dealers, but it was trying to clear the payments.

Mr Arvind Mehan, secretary, Industries Association of Chandigarh, alleged that the inordinate delay in payments had resulted in blockage of the meagre working capital resources of the SSI units. “We are facing problems due to accumulated interest on credit, denial of further credit by banks and financial institutions,’’ he added.

Mr A. L. Aggarwal, general secretary, Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, said: ‘‘The payment schedule of HMT is so erratic that in some cases it takes up to 12 to 15 months in stark contravention to the settled terms of payments of two months. In fact, under the Delayed Payment Act, 1998, and the Interest of Delayed Payment to Small and Ancillary Industrial Undertakings Act, 1993’ there is a provision of payment of interest on delayed payments beyond stipulated period as per terms agreed upon between the buyers and suppliers.’’

However, HMT officials claimed that they were trying to clear payments as soon as the payments were received from the dealers. The company is trying to improve its financial position by cutting the costs of production and better management. The situation is likely to improve in the next few days.


Foundrymen meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Swaraj Foundry has succeeded in cutting down the rejection rates drastically by taking various steps. This was stated by Mr R. K. Bhatia, Senior Manager, Swaraj Foundry Division, here today.

Presenting a talk on “Control of rejection in shop floor, ’’ Mr Bhatia said that the rejection in the shop floor had been minimised even to the extent of 50 per cent in the melting shop.

The technical meeting was organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen. He illustrated the means adopted in the foundry to reduce rejection in the mould section, sand plant and core shop.

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