Friday, August 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tonnes of filth dots Mohali roads
PUDA, MC least concerned; Waste-treatment plant mooted for Panchkula
Chitleen K. Sethi and Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 1
Even as Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) and the Municipal Council (MC) continue to remain at loggerheads over minor issues regarding garbage collection, seven tonnes of the filth and dirt, waiting to be lifted, dot this township’s roadsides, footpaths, open spaces and vacant plots each morning.



  • Over 7 tonnes of garbage is collected in Mohali everyday.
  • The MC has just 45 garbage containers against the required 100.
  • Contractors employing less manpower than required for cleaning.
  • MC and PUDA undecided over construction of short cement walls around garbage heaps.
  • MC and PUDA undecided over earmarking of garbage-collection points.
  • Residents refuse to have garbage containers near their houses.

By the evening some is collected some is not, some is dumped, some is not. The result is that open heaps of garbage, overflowing containers and wheel barrows are a usual site here with dogs and stray cattle doing their bit to litter the collected garbage.

Starting from the stage when garbage is collected to its lifting and dumping at the site at Mohali’s outskirts, the complete process is wrought with inefficiency, cheating, lack of resources and inter-office differences of opinion.

According to MC officials, PUDA has not earmarked any specific point in the sector plans where the garbage collected each morning from houses by scavengers and sweepers employed by the contractors can be temporarily stored before it is lifted to be taken to the dumping site. The PUDA officials, however, state that the plans have made provision for locations where garbage containers can be placed and it is the residents who do not agree for a container to be placed near their house.

In any case, the MC concedes, they do not have enough containers in the first place. While there is an immediate requirement of atleast 4 containers per sector the MC has a total of about 45 containers in working condition placed at various sectors while an equal number are lying in the cremation ground land in a battered down condition.

The work of collection of garbage from every sector has been contracted out by the MC and for want of specifically laid down points where garbage is to be collected, the contractors have, with the permission of the council, established their own collection points convenient to them which dot the sectors as open heaps of garbage. At places where containers are available, the garbage is collected in them.

The MC has also been for some time now asking for permission from the PUDA to build cement walls around these heaps to establish them as permanent collection points, and hoping that stray cattle and dogs littering the garbage over large distances will stop. But PUDA officials have clearly stated that they will not be party to any such makeshift solution or construction.

The work of the lifting of garbage from the points it is collected at, is divided by the Council between itself and the contractors. While from some sectors the garbage is collected by the MC, in some others the contractors do it. The MC, has three dumper placers and a refuse collector to do the job. The dumper placers are used to lift the containers and empty them.

But containers lie overflowing with garbage at many places here. Residents living near these say that they are emptied after weeks sometimes and sources state that dumper placers are generally needing repairs. Similarly, cases of the contractor employing less staff than promised for cleaning and lifting of garbage are routine and invariably garbage collection points end up becoming permanent solidified heaps which continue to grow and overflowing containers breeding grounds for dogs and cattle.

Transporting of the lifted garbage to the dumping site is also done by the MC and the contractors together. PUDA has allotted a piece of low-lying land near Patiala Ki Rao Choe for the purpose.


The township might soon be rid of the tonnes of garbage generated each day. A new garbage dump has been identified and it is also proposed to set up a solid waste management treatment plant here.

Well placed sources in HUDA here informed that the site, measuring approximately 12 acres , has been identified along the National Highway 73, a few hundred yards from the road that leads to Morni from this Highway. This land , located on the outskirts of the township , belongs to Forest Department. Sources inform that the case for acquiring this land is being taken up by the HUDA authorities with the Forest Department.

It is learnt that the land identified for the waste disposal has a number of depressions, which make it suitable for dumping garbage. However, the waste management treatment plant, will be set up here at a later stage.

The authorities had been on the lookout for a suitable site for waste disposal and for setting up this plant. Till date , there is no systematic disposal or treatment of solid waste in the township. This is simply dumped in vacant plots on the periphery or reportedly in the Singh Nullah, passing through various sectors in the township.

According to a survey conducted by the Municipal Council, 400 grams of solid waste is generated by a single person in a day. With a population of around 2.5 lakh, as much as 100 tonnes of solid waste is generated in the township per day.

Most of the Residents Welfare Associations in the township complain that the sanitation system here is anything but good. In almost all the sectors, Residents Welfare Associations have given private contract for collecting garbage from each household, at rates varying from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 per household. Garbage collected from a particular area is then disposed off in the garbage bins put up by HUDA.

It is learnt that more than 150 garbage bins have been put up by the authorities at various places here. The garbage, after being collected from these bins is finally disposed off on the outskirts, especially near partially developed sectors 20, 23 and 25. However, residents of these areas have given numerous representations to the authorities against dumping of garbage here. With a number of people now residing here, the foul smell emanating from these “unauthorised garbage dumps” has become a major problem for them.

Mr S.K. Nayar, a resident of Sector 15, says, “The garbage bins are placed in an unplanned manner and are lying open. Stray animals litter this garbage around the bins and this keeps on lying here for days till the bins are cleared by HUDA authorities.”

However, the authorities have now recently bought new garbage bins with lids to solve this problem. More than 150 garbage bins with lids have been placed in different sectors of the township.


Octroi staff beat up councillor
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 1
In a case of high-handedness, a group of octroi men beat up a local municipal councillor after chasing his vehicle up to his house here late last night.

The municipal councillor, Mr Sardari Lal, while driving back home from his factory at Mubarikpur Focal Point, was signalled to stop by the octroi staff on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway adjacent to the railway overbridge at about 9.30 p.m.

Sources said being a local commuter, Mr Lal did not stop and left the spot. Following which 10 to 15 persons headed by Rajdeep Singh Sandhu, Guriqbal Singh and Nakshatra Singh reached his house and started abusing him, he alleged. On showing resistance they thrashed him and threatened him of dire consequences. The octroi men reportedly fled from the spot after giving Mr Lal a sound beating.

Later, neighbours of the victim assembled and reported the case to the police. He was then admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, at about 12.30 a.m.

The police instead of registering a first information report against the octroi men, lodged a DDR on the complaint of Mr Lal.

Taking a serious view of the incident, members of the Dera Bassi Municipal Council held an emergency meeting today under the presidentship of Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, president of the municipal council. The councillors condemned the incident.

Complaining against the octroi contractor of the Dera Bassi Municipal Council, Mr H.S. Kohli, president of the Dera Bassi Small Scale Industries Association, also said some industrialists had also suffered at the hands of the octroi men.

He said octroi men had been harassing industrialists since long while the authorities had been a mute spectator.


Facts distorted to secure govt job
Ivninderpal Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
A case of getting a job on the basis of a factually incorrect experience certificate has come to light in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

The hospital had advertised a post of telephone operator, for which one-year experience of having worked on a 20x200-line exchange in a reputed firm or government organisation was required.

The selected candidate, Mamta Sharma, has the required minimum experience as per the documents submitted by her, but her name is not present on the duty roster of the organisation where she has claimed to have worked.

Her experience certificate, issued by Sanchi Security Company Pvt. Ltd, says, “She has been working as EPABX operator (24x240-line exchange) in this company from December 16, 1999, till date on a contract basis and she is deputed for work in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.” But her name appears on the duty roster of the hospital only in May, 2002.

Sources revealed that though she was working for this company for the GMCH-32 earlier also, she was deputed at the Prayaas building of the hospital in Sector 38 where there is only a 3x16-line exchange.

When contacted, one of the officials of the company said, “We don’t go into the technicalities. Normally, we issue certificates to our employees very liberally. However, we do keep a record of their joining dates.”

Moreover, a close relative of the selected candidate, Mr Arun Sharma, was member of both the scrutiny committee and the interview board which is clear flouting of the selection procedure, sources pointed out.

Two brothers, whose father works as Store Officer (Grade-I) in the GMCH-32, also applied for this post. Though they are still regular students of B.Sc (IT) at Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, one of them is ranked first on the merit list. Sources allege that they have submitted a fake experience of Haryana Provisions Store, Sector 26, Chandigarh, which does not have a exchange of 20x200 lines.

When contacted, Mr H.S. Kandhola, Joint Director (Administration), GMCH-32, said, “Every care is taken while selecting candidates. However, we will look into the matter if there is any irregularity on the part of the authorities.” The Director-Principal was not available for comments.


Teej without rain is a washout
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, August 1
As the weather gods continue to play whimsical, the monsoon misery has hit the city’s cultural life too, spoiling the Teej mood. As Teej is an important festival of the rains, to keep the tradition alive, some organisations will have Teej celebrations without the main ingredient — rain. The celebrations will be more symbolic than anything else.

“This no-rain situation in ‘sawan’ has arisen after decades,” says Ms Sabita Kumar, secretary of the Innerwheel Club, who, along with her fellow club members, had recently organised a cultural show to celebrate Teej. “The celebration was more of a prayer to invoke the rain god,” she said.

Another organisation, the Ghoomer Academy of Art and Culture, is going to have the Teej celebration soon. “If it does not rain in a couple of days, we will have a symbolic celebration because Teej is also about social bonding. About 200 artistes of various states will pray together for rain at a cultural show,” said Ms Sunita Dhaliwal, secretary of the academy.

Noted kathak dancer Shobha Koser, for whom rains is a busy season, with students wanting to learn dances of Teej from her, has been approached this year by only an eight-year-old girl. “Earlier, every independent society of Punjab and Haryana used to organise functions to welcome ‘sawan’, but, this year looks as dry as the weather,” she said.

Teej is an age-old festival of north India. The festivities begin on the third day of ‘sawan’ in the Indian calendar, between mid-July and mid-August. It is time for married women to visit their mothers and enjoy a few days of fun with friends. With rain to add to the festive mood, Teej becomes a celebration of life, combined with music, dance and exotic dishes, to thank Mother Nature for her generosity.

“Teej has changed a lot over the years, especially in cities, where the erstwhile community activities have given way to a few cultural evenings,” said Dr Naresh, professor of modern literature in Panjab University, who is also a poet and author of 56 books. “However, change is inevitable. These days, a girl does not need an occasion to go out for a dance; and anyone in her right mind would not like to sweat out in this heat,” he said.


Residents sweat as power evades them
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 1
Residents of various colonies within the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat jurisdiction and surrounding areas have been facing frequent power cuts during odd hours over a month. This has forced them to burn kerosene oil, candles and use generators in their houses and business concerns.

Residents of the area complain that erratic power supply has affected their routine schedule. Most affected are the kids and students as the unscheduled power cuts have hindered their studies.

Power supply from the transformers feeding the urban areas remains suspended for over six to eight hours a day to different villages, colonies and industrial units in the area. The power supply from the rural feeder to villages in the surrounding areas remains suspended for almost whole night, complains Mr Jaswant Singh of Bartana village.

Moreover, low voltage has hindered the drawing of water from the ground. The residents have been forced to go for natural water resources and handpumps to get water for their day-to-day requirements. Power failure has forced people to pass sleepless nights and bear mosquitoes.

Power cuts have not only paralysed normal life but also shattered the farmers, as their paddy crop has started withering in the absence of adequate water since monsoon has failed to set in.

Residents of Bartana have voluntarily demanded permanent power cuts from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. so that they do not face inconvenience during the day.

Mr Sunehari Lal of Zirakpur has alleged that power situation has worsened for the past five days. Despite repeated complaints to the PSEB authorities, there is hardly any improvement in the power supply. The authorities do not release prior information regarding power cuts, which has put the consumers in great inconvenience, complains Mr Balwinder Singh, a resident of Lohgarh village.


MC bays for funds, powers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, starved of funds in spite of the recent tax-collection measures, may get a breather, as the Chandigarh Administration is planning to relieve it of the burden of Rs 15 crore pension and post-retirement fund.

An indication in this regard was given at a meeting between an Administration team led by Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the UT Administrator, and some municipal councillors led by Ms Lalit Joshi, Mayor. Sources in the MC, however, said nothing much had come out of the meeting, but there indeed had been some positive signals regarding transfer of registration of births and deaths, rickshaws and property. The councillors were assured that the recommendations of the Second Delhi Finance Commission on sharing of resources would be accepted.

Some of the councillors said the Administration had indicated that it would consider matching increased tax collection with grants, a promise that had never been kept in the past. Councillors were told that the final decision on these matters would be taken by Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Administrator of the UT, after the recommendations of the Second Delhi Finance Commission were received.

The meeting was held after both parties had given representations to the commission. It has taken them several years to do so. The Mayor gave a memorandum to the Adviser, demanding that the Rs 13 crore cut in grant-in-aid should be rolled back and powers should be transferred to the MC under the 74th Amendment. The Mayor sought this grant-in-aid to be increased to Rs 116 crore from Rs 45 crore at present.

The Secretary Local Government and Home, Mr R.S. Gujaral, however, said the Administration could not increase grants on its own. The leader of the Congress in the House is reported to have said that the party was ready to face any consequences for resisting more tax till the MC was not given its due.

According to the official notes, Ms Nanda had assured the councillors that she would consider sympathetically the proposal to increase constituency allowance. The Mayor, however, denied having made any such demand at the meeting. According to an MC press note issued here today, the Mayor has asked the Administration to check the entry of migrants into the city. However, the Mayor denies this as well.

Ms Nanda hinted at the meeting that the electricity-pole-advertisement revenue could be transferred to the MC when she told the corporation to strengthen its court case in this regard. A demand for replacing old tubewells was also raised. The Adviser said a committee of technocrats and bureaucrats would soon be set up to look into water supply at low pressure, water-supply tariff and sewerage cess.


Cholera danger lurks, MCC ignorant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Leakage of water lines wreaked havoc in Sector 52 but it does not seem to do so in front of the filth-filled plot No 182/64 in the Industrial Area, Phase I, where the people have been using free water for the past one and a half years.

It is not that the Municipal Corporation does not know of the leakage but those supposed to check the water wastage and protect the people from getting contaminated water did not understand the gravity of the situation projected by the corporation during the cholera spread.

Mr Ajay Gupta said the matter had been reported to the authorities several times and teams of the corporation too visited the spot but went back without repairing the line saying it was too deep.

Workers in the factories, truckers and labourers, however, have been drinking this water, washing clothes and taking bath. Truckers even wash their vehicles.

People in the area say there was a small leakage in the beginning but when it was not repaired, water started gushing from the line making the people to tap the resource. The people dug up a pit, put a shed and covered it with a bush and created an outlet for draining water out from there.


Police backs cop caught taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
The Chandigarh Police, unhappy with the arrest of the in charge of Sector 24 police post, Gurmukh Singh, for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe, seems to have waged a war against the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

As per sources, Sub Inspector Gurmukh Singh, had alleged demanded Rs 2,000 from Ashok Kumar, a resident of Sector 24, to broker a compromise between Ashok’s cousin Arvinder and Amarnath, both residents of Sector 24. Few days ago, a complaint had been lodged at the Sector 24 police post over some minor scuffle between Arvinder and Amarnath.

According to sources, the SI yesterday allegedly demanded Rs 2,000 to broker a compromise between the two persons. Since Ashok Kumar was not carrying Rs 2,000 at that time, he assured the SI to deliver the money today. However, Gurmukh Singh allegedly took Rs 500 from him and promised to help him on getting the rest of the sum.

In the meantime, Ashok Kumar approached the CBI and a trap was laid. Today, Ashok Kumar called up Gurmukh Singh on the telephone to cancel the appointment. At that point the SI offered to come to his house and collect the sum. Thereafter Gurmukh Singh was allegedly caught red-handed accepting Rs 1,500 as bribe by a team of the CBI. Gurmukh Singh is scheduled to be produced in court tomorrow.

The police, probably not happy with the CBI action, today evening circulated a list of criminal cases registered against the complainant to stress that the complainant was in fact a history sheeter and had acted on vengeance to trap the policeman.

Sources in the local police claimed that Ashok Kumar wanted to avenge the closure of his gambling business by the SI. Police sources said Gurmukh Singh was planning to open personal files of Ashok Kumar, as it was a general practice to do so if a person had been implicated more than once.

The police stated that Ashok Kumar was a history sheeter and seven cases were registered against him and was implicated five times. Ashok Kumar had also been accused of assaulting a policeman posted at the Sector 39 police station.


Making gel candles her passion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
What began as a hobby for Panchkula-based Parul Bir has now almost attained the flavour of a passion. For over three months now, this young girl has been actively involved in giving shape to her dream trade. Structuring delightful candles, which have their base in gel and laced with outstanding features to add to their face value, has now become a full-fledged trade for Parul, who is all set to make it big in business.

Mastering the art of making gel candles was not easy in the initial stages, as Parul herself admits: “The passion struck me one day when while strolling the aisles of a supermarket I glanced at something out of the world. Raised in gel, the candles beckoned me with their beauty and form. That was the day I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

Married to a software engineer, who happened to get a foreign posting, Parul began picking up the nuances of this art through the books her better half Arvind Bir was sending to her. In just about two months of intensive reading, understanding and experimentation, Parul managed to achieve most of what she thought would have been very difficult to achieve. Now, being the only one in the city in the business, Parul is already supplying her candles to major stores in town.

She has recently been approached by CITCO to make some delightful pieces for Shivalik View and Mount View. Raised in different forms and shapes, the candles are amazing. Where beer mugs, strawberry shake and champagne glasses form one line of Parul’s creations, there is yet another highly-creative line comprising candles formatted as aquariums and so on.

Says the young entrepreneur: “Every candle has to be structured keeping in mind the tone and tenor of the place where it is to be displayed. If it is a bar, there is no better bet than a beer mug shaped candle.”

As of now, Parul’s candles cost anything between Rs 75 and 250. But the pieces are worth the cost simply because not only are they perfumed and serve as room freshness whenever burnt, they are also made especially to compliment the theme of a certain place. One such candle can burn for 24 hours.

Interestingly, the work of theme-based candles is not happening much in the region. So Parul has the natural advantage of being among the very firsts. For her work, she is not using local gel. In fact, there is not much available in India. “I import gel from Malaysia. Everything has to be of the best possible quality. The process of making a candle is very critical and requires immense attention. Formation of bubbles has to be contained, also layers have to be laid with perfection,” said Parul.


Another ammo blast victim dies
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
The last Saturday's blast at the Dappar ammunition depot today claimed its second victim when Vir Singh, a civilian helper employed with the depot, succumbed to his injuries at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Jawala Prashad, who was admitted to the GMCH with 80 per cent burns died on July 30.

According to sources, Vir Singh (55), a resident of Dappar, died around 1 pm and his body was lying in the mortuary of the GMCH.

Meanwhile, the condition of the other two fire victims, Mr Molak Ram (50) of Ber Majra and Ram Chandra Saini (45) of Dehar village, is said to be stable.


Visit to Khardung La on Kinetic Challenger
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Mr Kaleem, an environmentalist, is driving from Hyderabad to Khardung La — the highest motorable road in the world, on a Kinetic Challenger. He was in the city today, and visited CMPL Motors. He claimed that his aim was to study the impact of tourism on environment on the way to Himalayas.

He had commenced his journey from Hyderabad on July 17, 2002, and has covered Nagpur, Jhansi, Agra, Delhi, and would cover Shimla, Lahul Spiti, Rohtang Pass, Leh, Kargil and Srinagar in the next few days. He said though as an enthusiastic nature lover, he had made similar trips by car, however, this time he had chosen Kinetic challenger because of its tough body and better mileage.

Mr Kaleem claimed that the 6,500 km journey would be covered within 15 days and would involve about 100 litre petrol, 1 litre engine oil and one tyre tube set.


Workshop on fruit preservation ends
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
A free two-week workshop for women on fruit and vegetable preservation and nutrition at Anganwari in Sector 41 concluded today. It was organised by the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for Women of Canara Bank, Sector 34, in collaboration with the Government of India’s Food Preservation and Nutrition Board.

The workshop was held to promote entreprenuership among women by equipping them with specialised skills. About 40 women participated actively in the workshop. The valedictory function was presided over by Ms Madhvi Kataria, Director, Social Welfare. Superintendent of the Nari Niketan Anu Sharma was also present.

During the workshop, the women were taught the art of making and preserve different types of jams, pickles, and murabbas. Information regarding nutritional value of various food products was also given.

Certificates were awarded to the participants. A competition of making the items was held and prizes were given to the winner.


Cyclist killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
An unidentified cyclist died after he was hit by a truck near Railway light point last evening here. According to police sources, the accident resulted into serious injuries to the cyclist, who was rushed to the PGI, where he died.

The truck driver fled from the spot. A case under Sections 337 and 304A of the IPC has been registered.

Theft cases
The city police continued receiving theft cases from different parts of the city and at least four such cases were registered during the last 24 hours.

Mr Jatinder Singh, a resident of Sector 40, reported to the police that thieves broke into his house yesterday and decamped with three diamond rings, a gold chain and Rs 900.

Ms Usha Mehra, a resident of Sector 22, reported to the police that six gold rings, two pair of ear-rings and Titan watch were stolen from her house yesterday while she was out.

A Honda City car (CH 03 J 1774) of Mr Hemant Baksh, a resident of Sector 43, was reportedly stolen from in front of his residence on the night of July 30. Similarly a Maruti car (CHO1 B 0145) of Mr Amar Singh was allegedly stolen from his residence on July 29.

A resident of Colony No 4, Ms Shanti, was allegedly beaten up by Kanchan, a fellow resident, resulting into injury of the former. A case under Section 325 of the IPC has been registered.

1 booked
The police arrested Ganpati, a resident of Madrasi Colony, Sector 26, allegedly for consuming liquor at a public place. He was booked under various Sections of the Excise Act.


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