Wednesday, July 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cholera spreads to Dadu Majra, Sector 61
Fresh cases reported; 105 hospitalised, 600 treated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Cholera seems to be spreading to some new areas of the city as fresh cases were reported today from Dadu Majra and Sector 61 areas, as a total of 105 persons were hospitalised and 600 treated by the health team in the worst hit Sector 52 Rehabilitation Colony.

With more persons suffering from diarrhoea pouring in from Sector, 52 Rehabilitation Colony, separate wards have been set up to treat them at the General Hospital. The fact that diarrhoea cases, though small in number, are being reported from new areas is a matter of concern for the authorities.

Though many of the patients admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16 and Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 during the past two days have been discharged, fresh cases were still being reported from Sectors 52 and 61. “With the culture report of nine of the patients testing positive, it has been confirmed that these are cholera cases,” revealed Dr Nitin M. Nagarkar, Deputy Medical Superintendent, GMCH-32.

Barring the death of Dil Bahadur, a resident of Sector 52, at the GMCH-32 last night there has been no other casualty so far.

The Director, Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, said with 65 patients being admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16 today, an exclusive diarrhoea ward had been set up in the new emergency. The team of the health department gave treatment to over 600 persons in Sector 52, while the more serious cases were admitted to GMCH and General Hospital.

Though a majority of the patients suffering from cholera and diarrhoea were from Sector 52, a few persons from Sector 61 had also been hospitalised, said Dr Nagarkar. Only one patient, 15-year-old boy, Abid, had been admitted to the PGI, today.

Patients admitted to the GMCH, this afternoon, said though people were not using the water from the tubewells in Sector 52 for drinking purpose, but it was being used for washing and bathing. The tankers were supplying drinking water to the residents, to avoid any further infection.

The Deputy MS of the General Hospital, Dr D. Deewan, said people were being given ORS and antibiotics , apart from being told to consume boiled water. He said since diarrhoea cases had been reported from the Dadu Majra area, the civil dispensary there had been provided medicines.

In view of the outbreak of cholera in certain parts of the city, the Panchkula health authorities have also decided to undertake a fresh survey of all slum areas. The CMO, Dr B.S. Chaudhary, said apart from taking regular samples of drinking water, chlorine tablets would be distributed.

The health authorities have asked people, especially those residing in the affected areas to take the drug of their choice, which will be either tetracycline (250 mg) every six hours or doxycycline (100 mg) twice a day. Taking the antibiotic for 24 to 48 hours will make a person asymptomatic.


MC knew about cholera cases since Feb 27
Mayor orders probe into ‘lapses’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh had the knowledge of cholera cases in Sector 52 Kajheri Colony since February 27 and claimed to have been conducting water quality tests since then before the final ‘’failure’’ occurred even as the Mayor ordered a thorough inquiry into the ‘’lapses.’’


 * Corporation to remove handpumps, pits, unauthorised toilets.
 * Cleanliness drive in all colonies.
 * MC had the knowledge of cholera since February 27.
 * Water of area was not checked a week before the problem aggravated.
 * Mayor and BJP Councillor demand inquiry into the lapse.
 * Report of Director Health Services found to be off the mark. 

The corporation decided to remove pits to collect water and hand pumps from colonies across the city admitting that water supply has been low in these areas apparently forcing the people to take the dangerous step of collecting water through open taps in pits.

Though the corporation is suspecting pits, handpumps and unauthorised toilets set up by encroaching on the public land over supply lines as another possible cause of contamination, but it remained uncertain about the exact cause of the contamination.

Inquiries from Municipal Corporation high officials revealed that there was no sample testing seven days before the outbreak of cholera was reported even as cases with complaints of diarrhoea had been reported in hospitals from July 17, the day a tubewell was re-activated.

The corporation conducts random sampling of water every day but the colony seemed to have been unlucky in getting an opportunity of its water getting checked for drinking worthiness.

The corporation’s measure of serving notices to 70 odd persons after the disease struck the locality also seems to have come late as had they been removed earlier and encroachment over supply lines been removed then people’s lives could not have been put to danger.

The monitoring agencies seemed to have collectively failed in the cholera outbreak incident.

The corporation today took the matter with all sincerity and the Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, called a meeting of officials to know the cause of the fault.

There was another meeting with the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, who wanted an inquiry into the whole episode and a detailed report.

The officials today took steps to arrest possible sources of contamination — tapless line breach in pits, unauthorised toilets over supply lines and hand pumps — and solve the problem of low water supply by immediate installation of boosters to augment water supply.

The corporation though has continued the supply from tubewells but requested the people not to use it for drinking and instead wash clothes and take bath from these.

The corporation has decided to clean and flush all lines in the area to decontaminate and will provide water through tankers to supplement the drinking water needs of the people.

Chlorination level has been increased and the Medical Officer Health has been asked to distribute chlorine tablet in all colonies, to prevent the disease from spreading to other areas.

Monitoring of water quality has been increased to check it at the user end more frequently.

The Medical Officer, Health Wing, has been asked to take up the cleanliness of all resettlement colonies on a war footing.

The corporation will also remove handpumps drawing water from underground sources as its source at higher depth is generally not thought to be safe for drinking.

The Public Health Executive Engineer, Mr B.M. Verma, has been made the nodal officer to check quality and handle leakage of water supply and sewage or suspected water quality.

Telephone numbers to contact the corporation authorities are 775324 and 781156 (round the clock).

The incident has been flayed by political leaders with the Opposition Councillor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, seeking an inquiry to fix the responsibility for the ‘’failure’’.

He alleged that the corporation had failed to plug the leakage despite possibility of contamination from it and water shortage in the city.

He slammed the Congress for failure to run the corporation effectively resulting the people being put to danger.

Mr Gupta said he would raise the issue in the next house meeting demanding the fixing of responsibility.


Avoid eating out, advise doctors
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, July 23
Say goodbye to junk food — that is the message city doctors, alarmed by the reported outbreak of cholera in Chandigarh, are conveying to vulnerable residents. “As far as possible avoid eating outside”, say doctors. “Under all circumstances stay away from preparations containing khoya and paneer, especially if you have reasons to believe that the ingredients are not fresh”.


 * As far as possible avoid eating outside.
 * Stay away from preparations containing khoya and paneer, especially if you have reasons to believe that the ingredients are not fresh.
 * Go to a fast food joint you are sure of.
 * Over-ripe fruits should be avoided.
 * Filtering water is not enough, boil it.
 * Do not indulge in self-medication.

“Sometimes khoya and paneer are not properly refrigerated,” says a doctor practising at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. “In some cases, the sweet shop owners have a tendency to switch off the refrigerator at night before pulling down the shutters. This can lead to fungal growth and subsequently cause infection”.

In fact, you should say no to junk food — at least during the monsoon season. “You never know that the stuff you are savouring might have been prepared from stale vegetables”, the doctor insists. “There is no way you can say that the pizza you are enjoying has not been topped with smelly cheese or over-ripe tomatoes.”

In case you wish to munch a burger, only go to a fast food joint you are sure of. “No, I am not saying that you should visit expensive fast food joints,” he asserts. “You should at least make sure that the stuff is being prepared under hygienic conditions”.

Agreeing with him, Dr M.M. Goel, pracitising in Sector 23, says, “Over-ripe fruits should be avoided at all costs. It is better to waste precious money by throwing away over-ripe fruits than to spend so much of dough on medicines, in addition to the inconvenience”.

This is not all, Dr Goel asserts that cut fruits should not be stored for long, even in refrigerators. “It is better to consume fruits as soon as you cut them rather than keeping these in the fridge for consumption later on,” he says. “Vegetables too should not be kept for long periods of time. “Some people have the tendency of cooking a lot of vegetables in one go and using these throughout the week,” Dr Goel reveals. “This practice should be discouraged at all costs, specially in this season as it can lead to serious medical and health problems among the consumers”.

Also, filtered water is not enough. It too should be boiled before being gulped, Dr Goel maintains. “Filtering water does not ensure the complete removal of germs,” he says. “Boiling is the only way of ensuring that the water you are drinking is bacteria free. In fact, you should boil the water for not less than five minutes so that all germs are killed”.

Lastly, Dr Goel warns against self-medication. “You should not indulge in self-medication under any circumstances, even if you are suffering from fever. You should immediately consult your family physician”.


Admn to supply water, chlorine tablets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Use water from only approved water sources of the Municipal Corporation and also use chlorine tablets in drinking water, the Chandigarh Administration issued an appeal to city residents today. The chlorine tablets will be supplied by the Administration.

A team of the Administration led by the Secretary Health, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, visited the affected areas. A spokesperson of the Administration said, “The Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 and the General Hospital, Sector 16 have reported cases of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and cholera from Sector 52 and Dadu Majra.” In view of this, residents of the city are advised to use water only from approved municipal sources for water supply. In case of suspected impurity of water, residents are advised to boil the water before consuming it.

The Administration has decided to distribute chlorine tablets in the affected areas and has advised the people to put one tablet in a bucket of water before consuming the water. The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) shall remove any unauthorised handpumps in these areas and water will be supplied to these areas through water tankers of the MCC.

The Administration has increased surveillance in all government hospitals and dispensaries. A mobile team has been constituted for this purpose, which shall visit Sector 52 daily to provide medicines to the patients and also to educate people regarding the preventive measures to be taken.

A control room has been set up for proper co-ordination between the dispensaries and hospitals at General Hospital, Sector 16, (GH-16) under the charge of Dr G. Diwan, Deputy Medical Superintendent, GH-16.

A round-the-clock control room has been set up in General Hospital, Sector 16. Two numbers 781525 and 768103 can be contacted. 


Jacob worried over reports
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Reacting to reports of a cholera outbreak in Chandigarh, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) , who is on a private visit to the United Kingdom, has taken a serious view of the matter and has faxed instructions to the Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, on what needs to be done in the prevailing condition.

The General after reading The Tribune on the Internet sent a detailed fax to the adviser this afternoon.

He asked the Adviser to ensure that sufficient good quality of water is supplied through tankers and mobile medical teams be sent to the affected areas. He also said additional arrangements should be made to identify the patients and hospitals should be put in a state of readiness to deal with the situation.


Ban on AC extended
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 23
The SE of OP Circle, PSEB, in a press note issued here today, informed public that the ban imposed on the use of air-conditioners from July 18 to July 23 had been extended till further orders. The ban is applicable in Punjab.

He said the decision had been taken as per the instructions of the PSEB head office, Patiala, and in view of the delay in rains in the state. All other terms and conditions of the original order would remain unchanged. He urged the consumers of OP Circle, PSEB, SAS Nagar and other areas to ensure strict compliance to avoid penalty and disconnection. It would also help the board to supply additional power to the agricultural sector to save paddy, he added. 


Hike in cable tariff opposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Rajya Sabha may not have felt the need to pass the Cable Television Networks (Regulations), Bill, 1995, after having been passed by the Lok Sabha long ago, but the consumers in the region seem to have decided to take on the cable operators by horns if their protests are any indication.

The Federation of Resident Welfare Associations alleged that the Act would have controlled the discretionary powers of cable operators to increase the subscription rates from time to time, besides ensuring transparency in the figures of viewership and freedom to choose and pay for desired channels.

The associations have alleged that the monthly charges for cable subscription have been increased from Rs 60-75 per month to as high as Rs 250-275 per month by cable operators, without any improvement in service or number of channels.

Mr S.D. Kalia, Vice-Chairman, Cable Consumer Action Committee, Sector 38, claimed that the Federation of Residents Welfare Associations in Chandigarh, besides residents welfare associations of Panchkula and Mohali, are spearheading the agitation against the decision of the cable operators. Meetings of cable consumers were held in sector 38, Sector 15, Govt Colony, Sector 11, Panchkula and in other sectors were held today.

He said, ‘‘We have decided to snap cable connections if the price hike is not taken back by July 27. The letter of surrender of cable connections will be sent individually by cable consumers to the operators.’’ He further disclosed that about 50 consumers had already surrendered their connections in Sector 38 to protest against the hike. Further, the associations have decided to conduct a bench-mark survey of cable connections in the city in order to know the volume of connectivity and under-declaration by operators. The associations have also asked the operators to remove their cable wires from their roof tops/beams and backyards of their houses.

The federation has also urged the Administration to make it mandatory for the cable operators to fix their poles to lay cables at least 6 yards away from the outer walls of the houses of residents. Commandant B.S. Bakshi, secretary-general, Welfare Society, Sector 15, Chandigarh, Mr Prem Sagar, president, Residents Welfare Association, Govt Colony, Sector 11, Panchkula, and Brig R.S. Sharma, president, Federation of Welfare Association Panchkula, also condemned the hike in cable tariff and said that it was unwarranted.

The federation demanded that cable operators should declare the connectivity as shown to pay channels and that they be issued receipts by the operators. The cable connections issued from the rear side of the houses should be given from the front side, and that the workers of the cable operators not trespass into the residences of people.


Protests mark anti-encroachment drive
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
Violent protests, pelting of stones and a mild lathi charge marked the anti encroachment drive launched by the Haryana Urban Development Authority in Madrasi Colony today. Six persons, including two cops, were injured and all four earth movers engaged for the demolition were damaged by angry residents.

Sant Arora, lensman of a Hindi daily, was roughed up by irate residents of the colony while he was taking shots of the demolition drive. A number of policemen stood as mere spectators as he was beaten up and his camera snatched by the residents. They broke the lens and flash of his camera and took away the body of the camera.

It may be noted that the anti-encroachment drive was resumed in the Madrasi Colony after May 29, after the residents withdrew their plea seeking a stay before a Division Bench of Mr Justice V.K. Bali and Mr Justice S.K. Mittal today. As news of this reached the HUDA office here in Sector 6, the authorities decided to launch the drive today.

It was then that the Enforcement Wing of HUDA, led by Estate officer, Ms Geeta Bharti, and Assistant Estate Officer, Mr Vijay Bhardwaj, reached there. While two earth movers of HUDA were rushed to the site, another two, taken on hire, were also rushed to the spot. Sixty cops under the leadership of DSP Jagdish Nagar were deployed on duty. A riot-control vehicle and Fire Brigade staff were also deployed.

Sources inform that even as Mr Nagar was yet to arrive, the HUDA officials began the drive. As members of the Enforcement Wing went down to the colony from the National Highway 73 and began to demolish the Kutcha walls , a child of a colony resident reportedly got hurt when a column of stones fell on him.

This raised the tempers and the residents began pelting stones at all and sundry. Women residents, too, took lathis in their hands and dared the police and HUDA officials to carry on the demolition. Residents first targeted the earth movers and the wind shields of the machines were broken and their tyres deflated. A driver of a machine owned by HUDA, Ram Chander, received injuries.

As the residents continued to rain stones on the police and HUDA employees, Panchkula Tehsildar Ashwani Kumar Sharma, HUDA SDO R.K. Tinduril, JE R.P. Punia and two constables Vikramjit Singh Virk and Surinder , were injured. Soon more police force was rushed and the situation was brought under control.

A number of residents also made an attempt to block the Highway in protest against the demolition. However, a large number of police force deployed was able to remove the blockade within five minutes.

Fearing police action , all male residents of the colony fled, leaving women to take care of their belongings. Since the earth movers were damaged and with the drivers of HUDA machines injured, the Enforcement Wing began to demolish the temporary structures, erected a few days ago after the High Court had given them a stay following the first demolition on May 29.

It may be noted that the earlier demolition in the colony had also turned violent and women had made repeated attempts to block National Highway 73. The residents today said that they had been issued ration cards by the administration on the address of the colony and electricity meters had been installed at their houses and they were billed at the address of the slum colony.” This means that the government had regularised our colony. Then why are we being dislodged now?” rued Uma Rani, a resident of the area.

More than 50 jhuggis that had been freshly erected after the previous demolition were demolished. Almost 200 persons, including women and children, lost roof over their head. Interestingly, 90 per cent of the slum-dwellers here are regular employees of HUDA.

The Administrator (HUDA), Mr Arun Kumar Gupta, who visited the spot asked DSP Nagar to register a case against the accused. Later, two residents were rounded up by the police.


PU may ban private candidature
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
A ban on private candidature, a privilege available exclusively to girl students, is under active consideration at Panjab University from the forthcoming academic session.


 * A resolution of Principal Harmit Kaur sought a ban on private candidates at Panjab University.
 * The resolution faced opposition on the ground that it was a privilege extended to girl students and needed to be continued in the national social scenario.
 * Exploitation of girl students in private academies
alleged. Those opposed say the university has already banned the associated academies.
 * A committee comprising members with both the opinions, those favoured and those opposed, formed.

The question with far-reaching consequences comes up for deliberation before a high-powered committee of the university. A resolution to this regard was moved by Principal Harmit Kaur. However, due to difference of opinion, the matter was not cleared.

The university has now constituted a committee comprising members from both schools of those favoured and those against the motion. The committee members under the Dean, University Instructions, include Principal Harmit Kaur, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Prof R.D.Anand, Principal S.C.Marriya, Mr Rajinder Bhandari, Chairman of the Correspondence Studies, Controller of Examination and the Joint Controller of Examination.

Principal Harmit Kaur in her resolution said “Private candidates should not be allowed to appear in any university examination with effect from the forthcoming academic session (2002-2003) as directed by the University Grants Commission through a letter dated May 17,1996”. It is pertinent that only girl students were allowed to appear as private candidates.

The explanatory note of the proposal said: “Panjab University follows directions of the University Grants Commission in maintaining the academic standards and providing quality in education. Hence the university as per directions of the UGC decided to bar private candidates to appear in the university examination in its letter of 1999”. However, it chose to withdraw its decision in another letter dated July 19,1999.” Reasons were also ascribed for withdrawing the earlier decision.

The school opposed to the resolution says it would be wrong to withdraw a special privilege for girl students prevalent from past three-four decades. Private girls’ colleges were opposed to this facility because they were facing a financial crunch. It is, however, true that not all can afford the high fee in colleges.

The facility was specially relevant to lower middle class, married women and also from the rural sector. The university catered to a vast population from the adjoining areas, including Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, besides others.

Principal Harmit Kaur argued, “PU has all along been concerned about the falling standards of higher education and also trying to counter malpractices like tuition business.” It has been argued that the practice had caused an abnormal rise in ‘teaching shops’ for women. A number of such institutions were mushroomed all over the state “to exploit gullible women.”

In an era of unprecedented advancement in science and technology and knowledge “such large-scale exploitation in the name of the education should be stopped. This had an adverse impact on the affiliated women colleges at a time when they were facing acute financial crunch and needed support from the state and the university”.

It is also argued that girls who could not attend regular classes could avail the facility of the Correspondence Studies department.

There is, however a section of academicians who are opposed to the resolution. It is felt that private candidature was a privilege extended only to girl candidates because socially they had to face many unseen pressures and could not go to regular colleges. It has also been argued that the university has already banned private academies that were associated members of the university and were also used as centers of examination by the university. These centres had reports of a lot of discrepancies.


Transport officials involved in forging documents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Following the arrest of a key member of a gang involved in forging the registration numbers of vehicles, the Chandigarh Police has stumbled upon vital information about a well-organised racket being run in connivance with certain officials of the State Transport Authority, Chandigarh.


 * At least eight fake unfilled tax return forms with stamp of the Income Tax Department found; police to write to the Income Tax Department.
 * Suspect Bhim Sen remanded in police custody till July 25.
 * Certain employees of the State Transport Authority involved in the racket of forging registration documents.
 * A fee varying between Rs 2,000 and 5,000 charged by a clerk of the transport authority to clear a case.

A clerk of the transport authority was today questioned for “facilitating” the registration of vehicles on the basis of forged documents. Sources in the police said a fee, varying between Rs 2000 and Rs 5000 per case, was paid. Involvement of other employees of the transport authority is also not being ruled out by the police.

About one year back, a racket involving issuing of fake driving licences in the State Transport Authority had come to light. The main suspect, Bhim Sen, is learnt to have divulged vital details about the vehicles sold by him on forged registration documents.

In one specific case, the suspect had got a car (CH 01 Y 3402) financed in July 1999. After a year he forged the registration documents and got a new registration No CH01 03 D 7737 at the same address at which the earlier number had been registered. The address (3098, Sector 21) is mentioned in the registration number of both the vehicles was also found to be fake as the suspect never stayed there. In the case, an No-Objection Certificate was issued by the office of the DSP (Traffic).

“It sounds strange that a vehicle having the same chassis number and engine number and also the same residence of the applicant, has two separate registration numbers. But the computerised system at the transport authority fails to detect the flaw”, said a police official. The file of the original registration number is said to be missing in the transport department.

A similar modus operandi was used in another case in which the original number of a car (CH01 Y 0004) was changed to a fake number (CH 01 Y0007). The suspect is reported to have confessed using forged documents in three other cases.

Sources said the suspect used fake Income Tax return forms (SARAL) while getting the vehicles financed from private financial institutions. While forging the registration documents, a false affidavit and other fake proof of residence was attached. Certain employees in the transport authority used to get the cases screened without attracting any attention from the senior officials. 


Nek Chand rides back home on bike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
For two plain reasons one can never thank environmental artist Nek Chand enough. Not only has he structured a marvel in scrap for the world to admire and savour, he has also pushed a rather sleepy Chandigarh to the international tourist map and pushed it so hard that it will occupy the coveted place for many years to come.

And sad as it may sound that the talented artist should have been subjected to discredit on account of some telecom goof-up a few days back. One heartening fact is that Nek Chand is never in dearth of honour. It flows to him from across the world. Only today a German national, especially commissioned by an organisation in his country to hold an interface with the designer of the Rock Garden, proved that Nek Chand’s art had admirers all over, irrespective of colour and nationality. So Peter Wilson, a well-known photographer back home, was not only in the city with a bang this morning, he was also here with a string of honours for the master creator in Nek Chand. For the past five days Peter has been in the city, photographing rare motifs and artifacts in the garden.

The project, which is being financed by a German organisation, involves the publication of a special booklet on the marvellous piece of architecture, the Rock Garden. Peter, who was in Ludhiana some days back, arrived in the city recently and held various meetings with Nek Chand, trying to read the mind of the genius. Not only did he shower the Rock Garden creator with praises unlimited, he also extended a beautiful token of love, on the behalf of his nation. All that was lacking in the Hero cycle which Peter presented to Nek Chand this morning at the Rock Garden was a gift wrap. Otherwise it had everything — from affection to awe.

Overwhelmed Nek Chand admitted, “It is good to see labour getting recognition. I am happy that the reputation of the Rock Garden and along with it that of Chandigarh has travelled far and wide.” The idea behind the cycle being presented was simple. Nek Chand had gone about his wonderful creation on a bicycle, as he did not have any vehicle during the days he involved himself with the novel project of lending beauty to junk.

Peter also voiced the same feeling. In fact, for all days he has been here trying to document the beauty of the Rock Garden, Peter was using the bike to commute locally. But today before leaving for his hometown, he gifted the bicycle to Nek Chand, as a token of love and appreciation.

Interestingly, Nek Chand so respected the gesture of Germany that this evening he actually rode back on his gifted bike.


Auto coordination centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Inspector-General of Chandigarh Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, inaugurated a motor vehicle coordination facility at the police headquarters in Sector 9 here today. The facility will enable the buyers to check particulars of a vehicle before finalising a deal.

The centre has been set up in collaboration with the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Mr Bassi said earlier the Chandigarh police had limited data about the stolen vehicles from Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula. The Additional Director of NCRB, Mr Ved Parkash, DIG, Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, Mr Parag Jain and SP, City, Mr Baldev Singh were also present on the occasion.

The DIG, said the facility would enable the police to trace stolen vehicles as the incidents of vehicle theft in the city were rising.

According to the NCRB officials the year-wise comparative figure of theft of vehicles in Chandigarh and all over India is as follows:

Year  Chandigarh India 

2002 (up to June)




















BSP local unit dissolved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The BSP high command here today dissolved the local unit of the party to replace Mr Mataram Dhiman-led dispensation which had failed to ‘’increase party’s vote share in the last three Lok Sabha elections.’’

This was announced here today by the national in charge of the party and a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Narendra Kumar Kashyap, at a press conference in the presence of Mr Dhiman.

Mr Kashyap said a meeting of the general house had been called on August 5 where views of party workers would be ascertained for a new leadership.

He identified representative of Jatav or another most backward caste for the leadership of the local unit in the new set up.

Mr Dhiman, said he had met the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati, recently and had expressed his willingness to demit office for the revival of the local unit. Mr Kashyap has been sent here for the same purpose.

The BSP has witnessed a slide in the vote share in the last three Lok Sabha elections and failed to win even a single seat in the last Municipal Corporation elections.


Contractors’ threat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
All construction activity being carried out by private contractors for the Western Command will be stopped from July 25, the Working Contractors Grievance Cell, Chandimandir Area, has threatened. The president of the cell, Mr Ramesh Aggarwal, said due to problems within the accounts office, payments were being delayed.

The accounts branch attached with Garrison Engineers for utility and hospital in Chandimandir, had been shifted to the office of the Central Defence Accounts in Sector 9 here. This is about 20 km away from the cantonment and the step had led to delayed payments.


Devotees throng temple to see snake 
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 23
A large number of devotees today thronged Sidh Baba Balak Nath Mandir at Maloya to see a 5-foot-long snake, which was seen last evening in the temple.

“It made its appearance at 8 pm yesterday and interestingly went around idols and photos of Baba Balak Nath inside the temple,” said a pujari of the temple. A number of devotees confirmed his claim. The devotees are associating the arrival of ‘naag dev’ with the first Monday of ‘Saavan’.

As the news spread, devotees lined up at the temple to offer milk and money to ‘naag dev’.

Many devotees present there mentioned that the snake was not harming anybody and was quietly lying in one of the corners.



Rent hike in govt houses a joke

The hike in the rentals of government houses — 5 per cent of the basic pay of employees for all categories of houses built — looks like a joke. Even if the Chandigarh Administration decides 15 per cent of the basic pay, it won’t meet the requirement.

It would be proper if the officials of the Chandigarh Administration go round the city, assess the rental position and then decide what needs to be done in a fair and dispassionate manner. In particular, the Administration officials should determine and verify government-built houses, the prevailing market rent and then fix rental hike.

I would like to point out that many government employees have built houses and given them for hefty rentals. Some are living in their own houses and making money by renting out their government accommodation.

This issue has been hanging fire for quite some time. Even the Supreme Court had written to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to examine the Punjab Rent Act (1949), keeping in view the Dearness Allowance being given to the employees at present. It is time a comprehensive policy was formulated in this regard for the benefit of employees.

Lt-Col P.S.SARANG (retd).

Deplorable road

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiThis has reference to the picture “Stagnant rainwater at Pushpac Colony in Sector 49, Chandigarh” (Chandigarh Tribune, July 9). I would like to bring it to the attention of the senior officials that the pond formed by the stagnant water is in fact a part of the approach road of Pushpac Complex. The pond, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes, will become a health hazard if remedial measures are not taken expeditiously.

Despite a number of appeals to the Chandigarh Administration, the approach road has not been repaired. Through this letter, I appeal to the Administrator and his Adviser to issue instructions to their staff to promptly repair the road which is in a deplorable condition. Senior citizens, children and women are finding it difficult to use this road.


Student victimised

I would like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned and the general public to the injustice done to my daughter, Ekta Goel, by the physical education practical examiner at CAK Fert. Model Senior Secondary School, Naya Nangal.

Ekta, a student of 10+2 (Non-Medical) of Capt Amol Kalia Fert. Model Senior Secondary School, Naya Nangal, secured 83 per cent marks in aggregate in the CBSE examination (March 2002) and stood first in the school. She also secured the highest marks in the school in individual subjects — Physics, Maths and English. She was also awarded the Best Student title for 2001-2002.

However, she was awarded 43 out of 60 marks in the Physical Education practical examination. This is surprising because many of her classmates, otherwise less meritorious than her, were awarded 60 out of 60 in the examination. In a system where meritorious students are rewarded in practical examination, she was singled out for victimisation.

I approached the Principal of the school and the NFL management in the matter but to no avail. I call upon the authorities concerned as also the NFL management to look into the matter and do justice to Ekta.

Nangal Dam

Stop overcharging

The petrol station in Sector 21 has been indulging in overcharging which an ordinary customer will find it difficult to detect. I went to the Bharat Petroleum petrol station on June 23 at about 9 am and asked the attendant to “top up” the diesel tank. He filled the tank and the pump scale register showed Rs 269.46. But he issued me a bill for Rs 270 and the same was to be debited to my Petro Card, thereby overcharging me 54 paise extra. When I objected to this, the attendant said they always round it off to the next higher rupee. This is unfair and not an acceptable practice.

When I brought this to the attention of a senior staffer, he took the operator to task. He then admitted his fault and tried to refund me Re 1. There should be no question of rounding off particularly when the amount is being debited to my Petro Card. This is a very wrong practice being followed by the petrol station. As many customers visit the station everyday, it adds up to a quite big amount.

I made a similar complaint earlier too about overcharging and misbehaviour of the attendant to their Head Office in Sector 19, Chandigarh. I was assured that proper action would be taken and customers won’t be overcharged. But no action seems to have been taken because the officer in charge there and the petrol station manager are apparently working in union and sharing profits by exploiting customers.

I am a regular visitor to CITCO 9, Petrol Pump; I have never faced such problems there. Moreover, the staff is very courteous. Sometime back, the petrol station in Sector 21 had also been checked for dispensing less quantity of petrol by adjusting the meter. Will the authorities concerned take appropriate disciplinary action against the manager and others concerned?


Loudspeaker nuisance

It is a hell for residents of Sector 1, Parwanoo, as they are daily made to go through an ordeal. The people here cannot rest in peace and the credit for this goes to two temples and a gurdwara situated on the hills surrounding Sector 1.

Twice in a day, for two hours each in the morning and evening these places of worship turn on their loudspeakers and amplifiers playing on bhajans and prayers. They try to outdo each other by playing louder and louder. During the festivals, the condition gets worse as their loudspeakers go on for the whole day. The echo of the hills adds to the woes of the people. It is a nightmare for students as they can’t study during the examination days.

These temples are crossing the prescribed limits of sound of loudspeakers, but still they don’t seem to hear that. Neither the repeated requests of the residents, nor the interruption of the police has done any good. Is there no control over such people? Do they have the right to do anything in the name of religion? If they want to play the prayers, they can do it in their compound. Why do they have to make everyone listen? If one wants to worship it should be done with a pure heart, not with the intention of trying to claim oneself supreme.



5 villagers injured in clash
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 23
Five persons, including three members of a family, were injured in a clash over water distribution at Hasanpur village, near here, today.

According to information, two members of a group — Jasram and Gurcharan Singh — and three members of another group — Gurdev Singh and his sons Randhir Singh and Balbir Singh — came to blows and used spades in the clash. They were later admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Villagers said one of the groups was allowing farmers of a nearby village, Lehali, to take water from the village tubewell which was objectionable to the other group. The issue was also reported to the police a long time ago. The problem aggravated this afternoon that resulted in the clash. Though the matter was reported to the police, no police official visited the spot. Body found

The body of a new-born girl was found in the fields in Prem Nagar, near Javindra School, on Tuesday morning. A local resident, Mr Sham Lal Pandit, noticed the body and informed residents of the colony and the police.

The body was sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for post-mortem. The police has registered a case under Section 318 of the IPC.

Minor sexually assaulted

A nine-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by a resident of Kalpi village on Tuesday.

The incident took place when the boy was lured to the fields by the villager. He was sexually assaulted. Later, the victim was taken to the Civil Hospital.


One killed

Ashok Kumar of Maloya was killed and Mohinderpal Singh was seriously injured when their scooter was knocked down by a truck near the local bus stand on Tuesday. The local police has registered a case against the driver of the truck, Jaspal Singh under Sections 279 and 304A, IPC. 


Body found
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 23
The mutilated body of a local resident, Mohal Lal, was found on the Kalka-Ambala railway line, opposite the railway station, here this morning.

According to the police, the driver of 2311 Up train noticed the body and informed the railway authorities.

Mr Satwinder Singh, in charge, Lalru railway police post, along with staff visited the spot and removed the body. 


Verka hikes milk procurement price
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 23
The local Verka milk plant has decided to increase the procurement price of milk to help farmers who are facing drought-like conditions in Ropar district. However, the sale price of the milk remains unchanged much to the relief of customers.

The newly elected Chairman of the milk plant, Mr Gurnek Singh Bhagomajra, told mediapersons here today that earlier milk was being purchased at the rate of Rs 165 per kilo fat but from July 21, the price had been increased to Rs 172 per kilo fat for a period of one month. He hoped that the availability of green folder would improve after about a month.

The Chairman said 827 cooperative societies were attached to the milk plant and almost all of them were earning profits. Automatic milk collection stations had been set up in 17 cooperative societies and soon the facility would be extended to 15 more societies. Bulk milk coolers had been provided to eight societies to improve the quality of milk. He said other societies could also purchase such coolers and payment in this regard could be made through monthly instalments.

The General Manager of the milk plant, Mr L.D. Sharma, said in North India the milk plant was giving the highest rate to farmers while purchasing milk. Multinational company Nestle had also increased the procurement price of milk only after it had been done by Milkfed.

He said the milk plant wanted to eliminate all those people from the market who could not provide quality milk to customers. He said the local plant could handle 1 lakh litres of milk everyday but the availability these days was only about 85,000 litres. He said over and above the price fixed for the purchase of milk, the plant was paying Rs 5 per kilo fat as incentive to the farmers to produce quality milk.


New trends await winter season
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Although winter is still a few months away, manufacturers and stockists of readymade garments of the region have already firmed up production plans, which will determine the new fashion trends for the rest of the year.

Going by the bookings at the three-day Autumn Winter 2002-03 show organised by the members of the Chandigarh Readymade Garment Distributor’s Association (CRGDA), which concluded here on Monday, the turnover is also expected to touch a new high.

According to Mr Darpan Kapoor, president of the CRGDA, in the forthcoming season, the formals will be stronger. A lot of new fabrics are being introduced. A lot of new denim washes are ready with new cuts, fits and flairs. Polydenim is the latest. The formal suits for men are going to be finely shaped. Gone are the days, when only feminine garments had better shapes. The fabrics are light in weight keeping up the warmth. In shirts, new collar styles have taken over the regular collars. Button down shirts, cut-away collars, pin-up collars to mention a few. As two- ply fabrics are always there, some manufacture have even introduced three-ply fabrics. In shirts and bottom wear, Black and Silver product line is dominant. Sports garments too are getting into the fashion category. It is supported by the fact that these days, you will find sporty range in most of the garment stores.

In bottom wear, flairs are back for gents as well as for ladies. Polydenims, two-tone denims with more cuts and styles are a couple of the new entrants. After a long time, men’s trousers are back in ‘L’ shape. They have back pockets and more slimmer look. Acceptance is more for formal trousers. The fabrics used are light terry wool and non-terry wool. High twisted fabrics make these non-crushable and can be comfortably worn for whole day long. In the formal suits section, the three-piece suits are back along with the regular two-piece suits.

In the ladies collection, the bottoms in hipsters, flairs and with long slits at the lower ends are in. The Sarwoskwy work can be seen both on the trousers as well as shorts. The use of studs is in abundance. The strongest comeback in the ladies section is denim. The worn-out look is back.

For the projected cold, jackets and sweaters are the demand of the season. Since past 3 years, jackets have become a very strong requirement. They are very comfortable, straight and not tight from the bottoms, besides not being bulky. This time, sweaters will have lot of changes. Prints on the front with both light and heavy gauges are a few new additions. The sequence work and basics are always there. More range in short, smarter pullover and cables with new introductions are all in there.

Kids collection, as always, is in very bright colours. This segment is growing at a very rapid pace. The range has cartoon characters and personalities. Sports too are a part of it like cars, jeeps, bike, etc. emblazoned on sweaters ‘n sweatshirts. Formal is another category that is doing very well. It includes lehngas, shararas, Indo-Westerns. Definitely, these prints are taken that suit the kids. Denims, stretch category with embroidery, studs etc. are there. Cuts are smarter; and not very loose.

Shopping will be greater fun because of the availability of high-fashion garments in the Northern region, specifically in Chandigarh. The retailers are ready with it. All the prominent brands are on display at either their corporate offices or in leading hotels of the city. Keeping up the flawless working and thorough coordination, it has gained marvelous response during the first day.

Still at a very nascent stage, this association has done remarkably well in the past few seasons. The member strength has gone up to 24. They are representing 126 brands. It initially was set up by a few old leading distributors of the city and since then the number has multiplied, says Mr Kapoor.

This was the third common booking conducted by the CRGDA. This time, the invitations had been sent to 425 dealers in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, of which 385 turned up.

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