Wednesday, July 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fake stamps worth crores in ‘circulation’
‘No mechanism to check fake stamps’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The exposure of a multi-crore scam in counterfeit stamps and stamp papers by the Chandigarh police on Sunday, has sent the alarm bells ringing among the Department of Posts, insurance companies and other bulk users of stamps.


  • The Department of Posts to write to banks, insurance companies and other bulk users to verify the identity of vendors or to buy directly from the department.
  • There is no scientific mechanism available with the postal department or other bulk stamp users to check the authenticity of stamps. Only the Security Printing Press at Nasik has the facility to check the genuineness of stamps.
  • Shortage of revenue stamps with the postal department force buyers to purchase from the open market.
  • Stamps up to value of Rs 10,000 are used for personal accident insurance policy

Officials admit that since till date they do not have any mechanism to check the authenticity of stamps, it is quite possible that fake stamps and stamp papers worth crores of rupees are in circulation in the region causing a huge loss of revenue to the government and confusion about the legality of the deals signed with these stamps.

Officials of the Department of Posts, insurance companies and Revenue Department which use stamps and stamp papers in bulk, are shocked over the seizure of counterfeit stamps and stamp paper worth over Rs 2 crore by the Chandigarh police.

Employees of the postal department, who used to check the authenticity of stamps by experience only are shocked over the possibility of fake stamps in use. Mr Vijay Bhushan, Principal Chief Post Master General, Chandigarh and Punjab, who has the additional charge of Himachal Pradesh, says, “Though we do not have any scientific mechanism to check the authenticity of stamps, but there is a very remote chance of entry of fake postal and revenue stamps in the circulation, as our supply directly comes from the Security Printing Press, Nasik, run by the Ministry of Finance.”

Regarding the revenue losses suffered by the department due to prevalence of counterfeit stamps, he says, “The banks, insurance companies and some other departments are bulk users of stamps and stamp papers. Since most of them purchase that stationery from government approved vendors, to save time and commission, we are writing to them to either verify the identification of vendors from the department or to directly purchase from us.”

Mr S.K. Sharma, Manager (Accounts), Oriental Insurance Company, who deals with the stamps, says,‘‘ Till now we used to purchase stamps from government-approved vendors to save time. Since insurance stamps as well as revenue stamps are used in bulk, up to Rs 10,000 in case of personal accident insurance policy, now we would have to be more careful.” Officials of other insurance companies also admitted that they lacked the skill, infrastructure and mechanism to check the authenticity of stamps.”

Mr Vijay Bhushan said that he was writing to his headquarters to provide them with some machines to properly check the genmuineness of postal and revenue stamps.

Mr Bhagat Singh, Finance Commissioner, Department of Revenue and Rehabilitation, Punjab, also claimed that the department was also taking measures to check the possibility of use of counterfeit stamps and stamp papers in the state.


Stamps being sent to M’rashtra for verification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
As part of the nation-wide investigation into the multi-crore counterfeit stamp scam, the Chandigarh police is sending its teams to Maharashtra to jointly investigate the source of the fake stamps.


  • Some of the major clients of the fake stamp operators were New India Insurance,Oriental Insurance, ICICI banks and United India Insurance
  • Police teams to go to Maharashtra to verify the counterfeit stamps and find out the source of printing of the fake stamps.
  • Police suspects that dyes of the discarded machines from the government-run Nasik Security Printing Press were duplicated for printing the counterfeit stationery.
  • Raids being conducted to arrest other members of the gang.

The counterfeit stamps valued at over Rs 2.16 crore which were seized by the Chandigarh police on Sunday are being sent to Maharashtra for verification. An investigating official said the racket had affected all fields where stamps and stamp papers were being used. The kingpin of the gang, Abdul Karim Telgi, used to circulate counterfeit judicial and non-judicial stamps, postal stamps, adhesive stamps, and non-stamp duties concerning registration of all kinds of documents, besides the insurance and banking.

Sources in the police believe that the gang had floated companies which claimed to be franchises of government stamps and stamp papers. It recruited people to canvass stamp vendors and other institutions and supply the counterfeit stationery at a discount.

The police was ascertaining whether any vendor was involved in selling the stamps. It could involve an exhaustive exercise to scrutinise lakhs of registration deals. People in the insurance sector blame the slack supervision of the government machinery for the flourishing trade.

Today, employees of Quick Services, run by the fake stamp operators, were questioned to know the modus operandi of the gang. The records of the company, including ledgers, were checked to trace persons whom the employees used to contact to sell their stamps. Though the police has not recovered any vendor’s licence from the gang members, it is being suspected that fake licences were being used to win over the confidence of their clients.

The SSP, Mr Parag Jain, said all intricacies needed to be investigated to take the case to its logical conclusion. The issuing of cheques against the stamps by the buyers proved the bona fide intention of the latter.


Hefty fines on schools in residential areas
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Thousands of children studying in private schools in the city face an uncertain future. The Chandigarh Administration has served notices on schools functioning from residential buildings to cough up hefty fines, payable on monthly basis, for alleged misuse of premises.

Most school managements are not in a position to pay these fines and have called meetings with parents, who are also panicky at the new development. Several schools which have been served notices have told parents in clear terms that paying up such sums on a monthly basis is not possible without increasing fee. The other option is of shutting down these schools.

The fine has been calculated at a rate of Rs 100 per sq yrd for covered space, while the fine for open spaces has been calculated at Rs 50 per sq yrd. For a school operating in a 1-kanal house, this means anything between Rs 45,000 and Rs 50,000 per month. The fines are higher for bigger premises and lesser for smaller ones. So who pays up? In mid-session other schools may not admit children or ask for fresh admission fee which will be in thousands. In such a scenario, parents will be the sufferers. Several of the schools that have been served notices are preparatory schools with a strength of about 150 children from nearby areas.

Notices have been served for misuse of buildings. The clause invoked is the recently notified ruling that fines will be levied for misuse of buildings. Earlier the Estate Office used to initiate proceedings for resumption of the site which used to cause long term harm to landlords. Now the new rule says the Administration can levy a fine on a monthly basis.

Notices have been issued to about 12 schools in the city and hearing has been fixed in the office of the Assistant Estate Officer for August 1. Till then, the school managements will have to pay the fines, says the notice.

It may be recollected that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered closure of all unrecognised schools running from residential areas. The court had said that a high-powered committee should be formed for considering the operation of recognised schools from residential areas. Consequently, the Administration brought in place a policy and allowed recognised schools to runs till a specified time frame. In the meantime, land was allotted to various schools. Now notices have been served on those schools who have not been allotted land.


Fear of gun still haunts them
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
The fear of unknown can always be seen in their eyes, though they appear calm on the surface. Even a small sound seems to disturb them momentarily. Quite an unusual thing for children. A clinical psychologist examining them says that this is a result of some traumatic experience in their childhood.

Karamjit Singh (10) and Baljit Singh (11)
Karamjit Singh (10) and Baljit Singh (11)

For brothers Baljit Singh (11) and Karamjit Singh (10), the fear of gun -totting Pakistani soldiers, heavy firing between India and Pakistan killing innocent civilians and mine blasts in agricultural lands of their village along the Indo-Pak border seems to loom large. They say that they have frequent nightmares about the Army rushing past their village to take front positions . This in spite of the fact that both brothers have been putting up in Bal Niketan here for the past more than seven years.

The children, who belong to Gajla village in Patti subdivision of Amritsar, along the border, have led their lives in the shadow of gun. They were handed over to Bal Niketan here by their father so that they could lead a peaceful life. But seven years down the line, the duo have not forgotten the strife and struggle in their village.

“The two siblings are unusually quite. While the other children would make a noise, play around and indulge in mischief, Baljit and Karamjit, are quite introvert. Their sole aim seems to be excelling in academics and they are not keen to interact with other children. In fact, they are totally involved in each other,” says Dr Madhu Jain, secretary, Bal Niketan.

She informs that the siblings go back home for a month in their summer vacations each year. “However, they now seem reluctant to stay there for long because of a constant fear looming in the village. This year, with the Army having taken over all agricultural fields in their villages for laying land mines, and the threat of war, they were quite unhappy and seemed to be relieved upon coming back here,” she says.

Baljit Singh, while talking about their summer vacation, says, “We could stay home only for six days. There was a heavy Army build-up on both sides and we could see the Pakistani soldiers and artillery across the border from the terrace of our house.

Though our parents were glad to have us back for a month, they feared for our safety for the six days we were there. Then a villager was killed in a land mine explosion and our parents took us away to our maternal grandmother’s house in Taran Taran or to our two married sisters houses in Manochahal or Moga. We were glad to be back here after the vacation.”

“For months we would be housed in government buildings and we would be unable to go to school. Our father wanted that we have a sound education so that we could settle somewhere far away from the village.

He thought that since our five sisters would automatically get married outside the village, by sending us here, all his children would be safe,” says Karamjit.

When asked about their career aims, both unanimously echo their wish to join the Army and serve the nation.


Action against bank defaulters begin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Public and private banks have started tightening the noose around the neck of defaulters. Bankers are emboldened by the government’s Ordinance — The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest — on June 21 this year.

Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager, North zone, SBI, says,‘‘ We have been awaiting such an Act for the past many years. It has now empowered us to recover our money from wilful defaulters. How can society allow the crooks to misuse public money? ’’

The bank has identified a list of wilful defaulters in Punjab who are reluctant to pay the money despite the fact that their units are running in profits. He claims, “We have prepared a list of 30 defaulters who owe about Rs 100 crore. We are issuing 60 days’ notice to them as per the provisions of the Ordinance to repay the money otherwise their assets will be taken over or sold in the market.”

Mr Jaspal Singh, Director, PNB, says the corporate office is issuing guidelines to its regional office to take appropriate action against the defaulters. The bank is also approaching state governments to help in recovery of loans. The decrease in NPAs will also help banks reduce the rate of interest.’’

Incidentally, says PNB officials, hundreds of SSI units in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and other towns in Punjab have defaulted to repay loans worth more than Rs 200 crore. Some of them had also brought out public issues in early nineties to collect the money but they have not paid any amount to banks. A few of them have rather set up plants in other states later.

Officials of the Oriental Bank of Commerce point out that they have to give up crores of rupees under the one-time settlement scheme and in lok adalats to defaulters, due to lack of statutary powers until now. Now the bank will not hesitate, says a senior official, to auction the property of defaulters or even guarantors to recover its amount. The notices are being issued to the defaulters.

The Federation of Bank Employees Unions has already made public the names of all the defaulters of the banks who owe Rs 1 crore or more. The names of the defaulters, says Mr Naresh Gaur, state general secretary, the Bank Employees Federation, include politicians of the ruling and opposition parties as well as some ministers. He asserts, “Now the time has come to take action against the defaulters who owe about Rs 83,000 crore to the public banks. We hope that Parliament will not dilute the provisions of the Ordinance.”


Decision on octroi collection put off
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 30
The local Municipal Council decided to put off a decision on the privatisation of octroi collection, although Opposition councillors had pressed for clearance of the important item on the agenda.

The council general House, which met at the civic body office in Phase VII, also decided to ‘blacklist’ all sanitation contractors engaged by the council against whom there were serious complaints regarding their work.

The House gave clearance for the purchase of a Rs 7.40 lakh special van for catching stray cattle in the town.

There was a heated discussion on the issue of privatisation of octroi collection. Ruling group councillors said a number of complaints of harassment of residents were received when privatisation was done for eight months earlier. However, Opposition councillor, Mr S.S. Patwari, said government had given directions that the work of octroi collection should be privatised. The step would lead to a rise in the council’s income and a decrease in the number of cases of octroi evasion.

Mr Kulwant Singh, council president, said a number of councillors of the ruling group were also interested in getting the octroi work privatised, but harassment faced by consumers earlier was proving be a hindrance in clearing the proposal. As such the issue could be kept pending till the next meeting and some way out could be worked out till then to sort out the problem.

The council president said all those private contractors, engaged for sanitation work, who were not giving satisfactory performance should be blacklisted and their contract be terminated. He said a number of complaints had been received in this regard and the council had been issuing notices to them from time to time, but even then no improvement in work had been noticed. The contractors employed less number of ‘safai karamcharis’ and as such the work suffered. This was being done because they could not manage to employ adequate number of workers as due to competition they had quoted less rates in their tenders.

Mr Kulwant Singh said the earnest money deposited by defaulting contractors should also be forfeited and it should be ensured that in future no work was given to them.

The House cleared the proposal of buying a hydraulic cattle catching machine to tackle the problem of stray animals.

Earlier the civic body was facing problems of loading and unloading stray animals and during the exercise animals as well as staff members got injured. The proposal of hiring private contractors for catching stray animals was also cleared at the meeting.

The council also cleared the proposal of shifting metal railings and ‘jhoolas’ from parks that have been allotted to schools by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority.


House adjournment leaves Opposition fuming
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Municipal Corporation meeting held here today was adjourned without transacting any business after condoling the death of Vice-President Krishan Kant.

The move initiated by the Congress leadership had attracted muted disapproval from the BJP and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) and a section of Congress councillors.

A BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal group, comprising Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Gian Chand Gupta and Ms Harjinder Kaur, met the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, after the adjournment to demand fixing of an immediate date for the meeting to discuss the issue of ‘laxity’ in the supply of contaminated water that led to spread of cholera in the city.

Mr Gupta told Chandigarh Tribune that the adjournment was aimed at avoiding discussion on the issue.

The Mayor, however, said there was no effort to protect anybody, but to remember the Vice-President who did the city proud by showing Gandhian and ‘Sarvodayi’ paths apart from being the highest political functionary with a connection with the city. Ms Joshi said Mr Kant had participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and had represented the city in the Lok Sabha between 1977 and 1980. “How the city could forget a ‘saintly person’ who could be a role model for the youth of the city?” he said.

The Chandigarh Vikas Manch leader in the House, Mr Jitender Bhatia, said we could have adjourned the House for a few minutes and then taken up the business.

Sources in the Congress said the decision was taken at a meeting before the House meeting and certain members had expressed reservations about the adjournment move today.

The Mayor, however, said, “The House runs on the will of members and none of the members had expressed these feelings in the House when the leader of the Congress, Mr Subhash Chawla, proposed to adjourn the meeting to condole the death of the Vice-President.”

Certain members said when the national mourning had ended there was no need to adjourn the meeting.

The leader of the BJP, Ms Kamla Sharma, a SAD councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, a CVM leader, Mr Jitender Bhatia extolled the virtues of Krishan Kant while condoling his death earlier in the House.

The House was to discuss the cholera outbreak and Mr Gian Chand Gupta’s proposal for a vote on a request to provide documents to another committee on recruitment in the Fire Department. The House was also to get the report of a committee inquiring into alleged theft in the Fire Department.

The SAD-BJP councillors in a press statement issued later said the Mayor should call the meeting immediately and place a fact report regarding cholera outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, tonight decided to call the House meeting on August 2.

The Congress leader in the Municipal Council, Mr. Subhash Chawla, told Chandigarh Tribune on telephone from Delhi that the BJP’s attempt to ‘politicise even the death of a national leader was reprehensible.’

He dared the BJP to have an open discussion on the sincerity of the party in dealing with the crisis before the city.


MC gets Rs 8.5 lakh for parking sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Municipal Corporation here today netted around Rs 8.5 lakh through the auction of parking sites of Sector 8, Batra, KC, Neelam, Piccadilly and Kiran cinema halls.

While the long-pending parking site auction of Sector 8 fetched Rs 3.31 against a reserved price of Rs 3.23 lakh that of Piccadilly went for Rs 2,21,000.

Parking sites of Kiran, Batra, KC and Neelam cinema halls were auctioned for Rs 1,60,000, Rs 76,666, Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 31,111 respectively. There was no bidder for the parking site of Nirman Cinema. The auction of the Sector 8 had been pending since the paid parking was imposed in Sectors 9 and 17.


Jacob lauds Chandigarh police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The UT Administrator, Lieut -Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today appreciated the efforts of a team of police officials who had helped seize counterfeit insurance, postal and revenue stamps worth Rs 2.16 crore during the past two days.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, today introduced the team to the General. Most of the accused had been arrested and the IG informed the Administrator that it was the largest-ever seizure made by the Chandigarh Police as far as counterfeit stamps were concerned.

He said a police control room van, stationed near Makhan Majra village, stopped the vehicle and arresting all members who were trying to escape from Chandigarh to New Delhi closed their operations here.

Mr Bassi said after the arrest of its leaders in Maharashtra, the gang got panicky and tried fleeing to Delhi and it with coordination between various units of the police that they could arrest those causing monetary loss to the exchequer.


Udham Singh ‘inspired’ patriots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, (Retd) today paid tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh on the eve of his martyrdom day anniversary.

In a message, General Jacob described Udham Singh as a dauntless and a courageous patriot who sacrificed his life at the altar of the country’s freedom in a heroic and an unparalleled manner.

He said Udham Singh was a perennial source of inspiration to all patriots and nationalists. His example would inspire countless others to serve the nation and protect its integrity even with their lives.


Sulabh shauchalayas mooted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob(retd), today suggested to senior officials to look into the aspect of providing sulabh shauchalayas in cholera-hit areas till the UT Administration came up with a plan for these areas. In Sector 52, where a cholera outbreak was reported, sewerage and water supply lines run adjacent to each other leading to contamination of drinking water. Even as a two member committee will come up with suggestions of relaying either the sewer or the water supply line, the UT Chief Engineer has been asked to get in touch with the Sulabh International for the toilets.

Meanwhile, the MC today caught 32 pigs from the Sansi Colony of Mauli Jagran, where the Medical Officer (Health), Dr G.C. Bansal, was attacked yesterday. With today’s capture the corporation has caught 150 pigs during the five-day campaign renewed after the cholera outbreak.


SI assaults Head Constable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A Head Constable of the Chandigarh police, Surinder Pal, was assaulted by a Sub-Inspector, Jasminder Singh, over the issue of parking of his private car in the Police Colony, Sector 42, here today. The SI was allegedly in an inebriated state at that time.

The victim, posted at the Sector 36 police station, has lodged a complaint with the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 36 police station. His medical examination has been done and a report in this regard will be forwarded to the senior officials tomorrow.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Surinder Pal said he lived in quarter No. 2821-A while the Sub-Inspector lived in quarter No. 2821 (ground floor). At around 1.45 am today, the SI called a recovery vehicle to tow away the car of the Head Constable. The Head Constable claimed that the car was parked at a proper place. Later, the SI called an ASI, Azad Singh, from the Sector 36 police Station, but nothing was found to be wrong.

The victim alleged that the SI and his father later assaulted him. He received injuries on different parts of the body.


Encroachment in Sector 38-C market
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 30
This is an encroachment of a different kind. Bags and bags of cement, piled on top of each other, in a corridor of the Sector 38-C market have become a cause of concern for other shops in the vicinity.

The encroachment by the owner of a hardware shop, who has kept more than 100 cement bags in the corridor, has also been brought to the notice of the Municipal Corporation and the Estate Officer by owners of other shops, however, no action has been taken so far.

The owner of the shop unloads cement bags in the corridor and keeps these here for several days, said the owner of an adjoining shop.

Other shop owners say this poses a major problem in attracting customers to their shops . Moreover, on a windy day, cement is scattered all over the place which causes health hazards for public as well as schoolchildren, said Mr Karamjit Singh, Principal of Kay Dee School of Maths which is located in the area.

Mr Jagtar Singh, president of the market association, claimed that he had warned the shopkeeper several times.


Tree falls, damages vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A doctor, who escaped unhurt after a tree fall damaged his scooter, car and car shed this morning, had to run after MC and Administration officials for its removal.

When Dr R.M.Singh, a resident of house No 2259, Sector 19-C, was ready to leave his house, a big tree of ‘Bel’ in the varanda of his house was uprooted by the wind damaging his scooter, car, shed and the main entrance of the house. Telephone wires were also snapped.

Dr Singh, who is working at M.L.A. Hostel, Haryana, said he locked the door but suddenly something struck him and he unlocked it and went inside the house to take some important things. Then he heard a big bang and when he came out, he saw that a tree outside the house had fallen on his vehicles. “Had I not gone inside, the tree would have fallen on me.” said Dr Singh.

For the removal, Mr Singh had to visit different offices of the Horticulture Wing of the Municipal Corporation to be told each time that the tree was in the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh Administration.

Finally, it was found to be Chandigarh Administration’s problem and workers of the Horticulture Wing of the Administration came to remove the tree. The telephone, however, remained dead till the filing of the report.


Allow treatment in government hospitals under CGHS

THIS has reference to the letter “Criticism of new CGHS not healthy” (Chandigarh Tribune, June 22). There are genuine difficulties of cardholders which the authorities should remove soon. Before the CGHS was introduced, Central Government employees were enjoying facilities in government hospitals such as PGI, Medical College and Sector 16 Hospital and government dispensaries. Facilities in some of them are so good that some medicines of general use, vitamins and antibiotics are supplied free. Even blood and urine tests are done in their labs. For instance, in the CGHS Dispensary in Sector 45, medicines prescribed by hospitals and dispensaries are procured promptly by Dr Vilku and supplied to card holders.

The present long drill defeats the very purpose of supplying medicines to patients. If one is a cardholder and too old, he cannot avail himself of the facilities provided in Sector 45 dispensary, considering the cost factor involved in travelling to the dispensary from Panchkula, Mohali or far-off sectors of Chandigarh. Despite CGHS rules, we cannot expect doctors to call on old/serious patients at home because of their poor strength.

Cardholders should be allowed treatment at not only government hospitals and dispensaries but also reputed hospitals such as Fortis Heart Institute, Indo-American Eye Hospital, Grewal Eye Institute, Guru Harkrishan Sahib Hospital, Sohana and various other hospitals, nursing homes at Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. Contract rates could be fixed, making cardholders pay the balance, if any.

One ambulance may be procured to enable shifting of serious patients to government or recognised private hospitals. Cardholders who take treatment from nearby ayurvedic or homoeopathic dispensaries be permitted to purchase medicines from market which are not available in government dispensaries; the amount spent be reimbursed on the basis of cash memos.

Two additional dispensaries be opened as soon as feasible. Contract for supplying medicines may be given to reputed chemists. After scrutiny of the prescriptions by Dr Vilku or any other doctor in Sector 45, CGHS Dispensary, two copies of the indent be made (one copy for office record and the other for the cardholder to get the prescribed medicine from the authorised chemist). Consolidated payment can be made to the authorised chemist, weekly or fortnightly, as per the indents issued by the CGHS contract. This procedure will cut down delays as at present and the patient will receive medicines promptly.

Early arrangements should be made for tests such as blood and urine, X-ray, screening, ECG and so on in the existing dispensary and others on the anvil. This way, CGHS cardholders will have full OPD treatment in CGHS dispensaries itself and only such cases should be referred to government hospitals which are beyond their scope. Efforts be made to have some beds earmarked for Central Government employees in every government hospital. If not, the health clinic in Sector 22, which is proposed to be upgraded to a full-fledged hospital, with beds, can be designated as CGHS, OPD though there would be no bar for others.



In his letter “Make CGHS more effective” (Chandigarh Tribune, July 14), Mr H.R.Bansal has made valuable suggestions for solving the problems of serving employees, which should receive urgent attention of the authorities. It is, however, important to mention that the long-awaited CGHS at Chandigarh has come as a great relief for meeting the most essential needs of the ailing retired Central Government (CG) pensioners and other beneficiaries, settled not only in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, but also all others in this north western region comprising Haryana, HP, J&K, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The Co-ordination Committee of CG Pensioners’ Association, Chandigarh, and other associations have been agitating for over a decade for CGHS at Chandigarh, which fully satisfied the criteria laid down by the government for starting the facilities here. However, pensioners continued to suffer, as CGHS could not be started earlier in the absence of the Staff Inspection Unit Report by the Ministry of Finance on the norms of the CGHS dispensary. The new scheme has some teething troubles, and hopefully, the same would be over in due course.

In addition to the suggestions made by Mr Bansal, there is need for recognising some reputed hospitals/ nursing homes/ pathological laboratories and diagnostic centres as has been done in Delhi and other places. The archaic, wasteful and unnerving practice of reimbursement of medical expenses should be immediately discarded, and free treatment should be given to the beneficiaries. Recognised hospitals should directly settle treatment costs with the CGHS authorities.

For lack of adequate publicity, CGHS at Chandigarh is still not known to many pensioners in this region. Vide OM No. 45/57/97-P&PW(C) dated August 24, ‘98, “the pensioners residing in a place where CGHS facilities are available cannot opt for medical allowance of Rs 100 p.m. in lieu of OPD facilities”.

To help CG pensioners, the Central Government Pensioners’ Society has been set up recently. For details, those interested may get in touch with Mr B.S. Dard, Secretary-General, CCCGPA, 1874/2, Phase-X, Sector 64, Mohali, Chandigarh-160062 (Ph: 0172-213849).

G.S. OBEROI President,
Coordination Committee of CG Pensioners’ Assns., Chandigarh

Dog bites on rise

Much has been said in The Tribune about dog bites in Chandigarh. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has also taken suo motu notice of one such incident. Most of the city residents are dog lovers and even otherwise dogs are needed for security. The owners invariably get their pets vaccinated regularly and take proper care. Dog is man’s best friend. This famous quote is relevant: “You pick up a starving dog, feed it well, it will ever remain faithful to you”. This is the basic difference between dogs and human beings.

Consequently, the emphasis should be more on tackling the menace of stray dogs who are main carriers of the deadly rabies disease. Reports that their population is increasing rapidly in the city are cause for concern. The representatives of the Chandigarh Administration, Kennel clubs, NGOs for protection of animals and resident welfare associations should sit together and formulate suitable guidelines for keeping pet dogs and control of stray dogs. We normally fail in the effective implementation of rules, guidelines and even court orders, as the experience has not been satisfactory in the case of the high court’s orders on stray cattle and other matters of public interest. Herds of stray cattle are still posing traffic hazard and other problems. The Chandigarh Administration’s performance in issuing challans of vehicles for traffic violation is outstanding. Similar enthusiasm and drive need to be shown by them for checking the menace of stray dogs and cattle.


Gutka menace

The Maharashtra Government has taken a pragmatic step by imposing a ban on the use of gutka in the state. It would be better if gutka is banned throughout the country. People, especially the youth, should be liberated from this menace. Attitudinal change and general awareness on this menace are also vital.




Rally by PSEB staff against wage cut
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 30
In protest against the Punjab Governments decision on deduction of salaries, members of the local unit of the Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation (AITCU) held a gate rally infront of the office of the Executive Engineer, here today.

The employees raised anti-government slogans and criticised the government for its decision for deducting 10 to 25 per cent of their salaries. They were demanding withdrawal of the decision immediately.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Sunil Kumar Sharma, president of the federation, Zirakpur unit, said that the government had taken a wrong decision. He threatened to intensify the agitation if the government failed to withdraw the decision.

He informed that various unions and federations would organise a rally before the PSEB’s head office in Patiala on August 8 and a strike on August 13 if their demands were not considered.


JE drowned in canal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A 23-year-old Junior Engineer employed in a factory in Industrial Area, Phase I, here, went missing in a canal near Kajauli where he had gone for swimming along with his two friends, Harpreet and Padam Nath Singh, on Sunday. The boy, Manish Rawat, was living with parents in the BBMB colony in Sector 35 here.

The boy reportedly did not knew swimming. On seeing him drowning, his friends tried in vain to save him but failed. A creeper to which the boy was holding gave way and he was swept in water current in the canal. The parents of the boy reported the matter to the Sector 36 Police Station when his friend, Padam Nath, came with the scooter and shoes of the boy.

A police party went to the site to investigate the version of the Manish’s friend. The matter is being investigated by the Khumano police in Fatehgarh Sahib. Efforts by the divers to track the body of the boy did not yield any result.


Ammo blast victim dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 30
Jawala Prasad, one of the victims of the Dappar ammunition depot blast, succumbed to his burn injuries at the GMCH-32, this afternoon. He had received 80 per cent burn injuries. The condition of three other victims is stated to be stable.


BJP to reconstitute mandal units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The UT unit of the BJP here yesterday decided to reconstitute all 20 mandal units and form 160 committees.

This was decided following meetings by the party president, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, with newly appointed mandal presidents here.

An ad hoc committee member of the unit, Mr Purushottam Mahajan, was present during all these meetings. It was also decided to form committees for all 600 polling booths in the city.


Gang of auto-lifters busted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
The police claims to have busted a local gang involved in auto theft and stealing of car stereos. As many as five car stereos have been recovered from their possession.

Four members of this gang, Kamal, Rakesh Kumar, Jagdish and Hardesh, were arrested from the Sector 4 Apni Mandi yesterday. They revealed that they had stolen four car stereos from different cars in Sector 4 during the night intervening July 24 and 25. They also admitted to have stolen two mopeds from Sector 4 and a scooter from Sector 7, which were later deserted in Sector 4.

Liquor seized: The police has seized 49 pouches of illicit liquor from two persons, Raj Kumar and Partap Singh, in two separate incidents. Both have been booked under the Excise Act.

Power theft: The SDO, UHBVN, Barwala, has accused Lal Chand, a resident of Hangoli village, of having stolen power for running a motor for watering his fields. A case under Section 379 of IPC has been registered.


Case of theft: During the last 24 hour, the police has registered at least four cases of theft from different parts of the city.

Mr M.L. Verma of Plot No. 779, Phase II, Industrial Area, reported to the police that copper wire worth Rs 21,000 were stolen from the plot on the night of July 28. On the same night, Hero Honda motorcycle (DL 8 SK 7992) of Mr Jaswant Singh, a resident of Sector 44, was reportedly stolen from a house in Sector 44-C here. Suzuki motorcycle (UP 55A 5689) of Mr Ashok Shrivastva of Raipur Khurd village was also stolen from his residence on the afternoon of July 28. Ms Sunita, a resident of Sector 9, reported with the police that her mobile phone and Rs 100 were stolen from a house in Sector 8 on July 27.

Rickshaw-pullers held: The police has arrested two rickshaw pullers, Munna Shah and Mintu Kumar, allegedly for pulling their rickshaw on wrong side and thus causing danger and obstruction in public way of life. They were arrested under Section 283 of the IPC and were later released on bail.

Two arrested: Manku Paswan, a resident of Nehru Colony, and Sudama, a resident of Mauli Jagran, were arrested by the police under various Sections of the Excise Act for carrying liquor pouches and bottles respectively, here yesterday.

Burglary: Burglars broke into a house in Secto r 20 and decamped with Rs 1000 cash and two tops. The victim, Raj Rani, a resident of house No. 1352, Sector 20, has lodged a complaint with the police.


Three held In a case of “awaragardi”, the police has arrested three youths, including a teenager girl, from a lonely place in Sarseeni village along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway this afternoon.

Police said Lalit, a resident of Ambala city, and his friend Deepak Sehgal of Ludhiana, along with a teenaged girl, a resident of Baldev Nagar near Ambala, were nabbed and a case under Section 109 of the IPC has been registered against them.


Opium seized: The police has arrested three persons on charges of carrying narcotics and indulging in gambling.

According to Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, the police party laid a naka at a T-point near Manak Majra village and during checking recovered 350 grams of opium from Sia Ram, a resident of UP. On questioning Sia Ram admitted that he was buying opium at a low rate from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and selling the drug at a high price to labourers here. The police has registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act in this regard.

The police also arrested two persons — Samjal, a resident of Sector 26, Chandigarh, and Bharat Kumar, a resident of Phase-2, Bapu Dham colony, Chandigarh, for indulging in gambling at public places near Zirakpur and recovered about Rs 10,000 from them. Separate case have been registered against the two.


3 arrested: The police has arrested three persons for carrying 200 pouches of country-made liquor from three different places in Zirakpur area here today.

Sources in the police said Makhan Singh, Jaggi and Satish Kumar, all hailing from Dhuri in Punjab, were arrested for carrying liquor. the police has also seized 150 pouches of liquor from their possession.

Sources said Makhan was arrested on the highway near Singhpura chowk while Jaggi from Ramgarh Bhudda. The third person, Satish, was nabbed near from Nada Sahib Gurdwara on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

Cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them.


Cooperative bank to give Rs 90 cr loans
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
Central Cooperative Bank, Panchkula, will provide Rs 90 crore as crop and medium-term loans for non-agricultural purposes during the current financial year.In the last financial year, Rs 74.50 crore loans were provided.

This was stated by Deputy Commissioner Jyoti Arora, here today. She said that Rs 63 lakh would be provided as crop loans and Rs 27 crore as medium and short-term loans to rural artisans and professional petty shopkeepers.

She said that 10 branches of the bank, situated at Pinjore, Kalka, Morni, Raipur Rani, Mauli, Barwala, Kakkar Majra, Ramgarh and in Sector 11, Panchkula, along with 46 mini banks, had provided loans and fertiliser facilities to farmers and short and medium-term loans to artisans and shopkeepers in the district.

She said that at present the bank was providing maximum credit loans to farmers worth Rs 60,000 per crop. Besides this, the bank was also providing financial assistance worth Rs 10,000 to rural artisans and petty shopkeepers for their business under the non-farm sector.

Ms Arora said that cash credit limit to traders, composite loans to small entrepreneurs and loans for consumable articles to professionals and government employees were also given. She said the bank was also providing revolving cash credit loan to farmers up to Rs 2 lakh for a period of three years.

Ms Arora said the bank had earned a profit of Rs 26 lakh in the year 2000-2001 while accommodating losses worth Rs 64 lakh.

The bank had earned a net profit of Rs 75 lakh during the last year and in the current financial year, it would have to achieve a profit of Rs 1.50 crore.

She said the deposit of the bank was Rs 4183 lakh during 2001, which had increased to Rs 68 crore. The bank was also honoured by NABARD for meritorious services.



Award for local industrialist
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, July 30
The Indian Economic Development and Research Association, New Delhi, has selected a local small-scale industrialist for the ‘Bharatiya Udyog Rattan Award’ from this part of the region.

Mr Harvinder Singh Kohli, a managing partner of Hi-Tech Rolls, located on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road, will be honoured at a function in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The unit set up by Mr Kohli has started meeting the requirements of textile, paper, leather, plywood and printing industries in this part of the region that earlier used to import ‘rubber rollers’ from Germany, Japan and Italy.

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