Saturday, August 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mirage in the soil; disaster ahead
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service


  • Groundwater down.
  • Trough of water a few feet below the ground in southern sectors affecting plantation.
  • High salinity in soil.

Chandigarh, August 2
It is an illusion that southern sectors are rich in underground water. A layer of soil (impervious layer) in these sectors that does not allow water to seep in creates a water trough a few feet below the ground, killing newly planted saplings.


  •  Holes to let water seep in deeper.
  • Tiles around trees and on pavements be removed.

An ecological disaster is impending in Sectors 42, 47 and 48, where dying trees were a mystery till experts linked the problem to water troughs created by impervious layer. It is, now, on record that plantation is failing in certain parts of the city due to excess groundwater that is robbing saplings of air, says Mr Ishwar Singh, Director Environment and Deputy Conservator Forests. The high saline content in the soil is also adding to the problem.

The Administration plans to try certain varieties of trees that require more water and can grow under these circumstances. The water table had gone down by 25 feet at various places in Haryana and, in Punjab, the table was going down at by 3 feet every year, says Mr Ishwar Singh.

The solution is to drill holes in the impervious layer to allow the water in the trough to seep down and join the actual groundwater there. This experiment has been successful in Najafgarh and Nangloi areas of New Delhi, says Mr Singh. With increasing construction, groundwater here does not get recharged.

Whatever rain is received here, goes down the storm-water drains. The Environment Department has got tiles removed from around the base of the trees, allowing the roots to get some water. Stone-pitching along the base of a rivulet that runs through the city is to be removed. Certain stretches of the rivulet need to be stripped of all artificial makeover, if groundwater has to be increased.

Another solution is to have ‘kutcha’ road berms and do away with tiles.



MC lacks funds to check diseases: CE
Tribune News Service

Passing the buck

  • MC holds people guilty for cholera spread, political parties say reasons of spread were not removed in time.
  • Assurances by the Mayor and the Commissioner that no one found guilty will be spared.
  • Corporation officials do not rule out recurrence of epidemic.
  • The BJP blames the Mayor for having failed to act in time, the Congress says the BJP did not remove causes of cholera in the past five years.
  •   MC delegation will meet the Home Minister and the Finance Minister for Rs 5 crore grant for fighting diseases.

Chandigarh, August 2
The danger spread of cholera still looms large in the city but the municipal corporation was unable to handle the situation due to lack of funds, said the Chief Engineer of the municipal corporation, Mr V. K. Bhardwaj, and the Medical Officer (Health), Dr G.C. Bansal, at a meeting of the corporation held here today.

A seven-hour meeting saw the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP engaged in accusing each other of being responsible for failing to check the spread of cholera.

The Chief Engineer while presenting a house-to-house survey report said the municipal corporation could not take responsibility for 100 illegal water connections provided by the Chandigarh Administration.

Officials were praised for their success in controlling the disease within four days, but the Congress and the BJP locked horns over the “failure” of the corporation to ensure proper water supply that led to the spread of cholera as people used water drawn from unauthorised hand pumps. Toilets over water lines were also not checked. The House did not transact any business except to discuss the cholera spread in the city for almost the entire seven hours.

While presenting his report before the House, the Chief Engineer also said the main cause of the problem was low water pressure in colonies and unless around Rs 3.18 crore were not sanctioned immediately, water pressure in colonies could not be improved and causes of illegal activities causing contamination re-emerging could not be ruled out.

The Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, in an unprecedented manner called the two officers to sit in the well of the House to report measures taken to fight the situation.

On suggestions from the Chandigarh Vikas Manch Leader, Mr Jitender Bhatia, the virtual stop-gap leader of the Congress, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, urged the Mayor to immediately take a delegation to the Home Minister and the Finance Minister to demand Rs five crore to help the corporation’s efforts to fight diseases in the city.

All parties agreed that the matter needed to be inquired into and those responsible for any lapse should be punished. The BJP councillor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, scored a political score over the Congress seeking withdrawal of FIR against Ram Ajar in Dadu Majra and notices against 70 others for creating conditions conducive for spreading cholera with an argument that till the inquiry report in the incident was not made public, it would amount to passing on failures of the corporation on the people.

Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Rajesh Gupta and Ms Harjinder Kaur, councillors of the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal, staged a walk out after the Mayor had asked councillors not to speak after the report had been given by the Chief Engineer at the fag end of the meeting.

The meeting witnessed unsavoury incidents when the leader of the BJP and SAD group, Ms Kamla Sharma, intervened while a nominated member Dr K.S. Raju initiated debate on cholera outbreak inviting nominated councillors group to shout down the BJP councillors.

The House proceedings virtually came to a halt right in the beginning with the BJP councillors, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Ms Kamla Sharma, and the SAD councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, pulled up the Mayor for reportedly demanding raise in the councillor’s allowance and checking migratory population, which the Mayor denied.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, came to the rescue of the Mayor saying the confusion was created by an unauthorised issuance of a press release and an action against Assistant Public Relation Officer will be taken. The Opposition, however, said the APRO could not be punished for what the Mayor had said and later withdrawn.

The Opposition also pulled up the Mayor for failing to take the non-Congress parties in confidence before taking up common issues with the Adviser and the Second Delhi Finance Commission.



PU Syndicate to take up copying issue today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
With a view to tightening its hold around those indulging in mass copying and other unfair means in examination, the Panjab University Syndicate will take-up recommendations compiled by a committee.

The Syndicate meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, takes up the recommendations of the committee which was constituted after the problem of mass copying was highlighted by Dr P.P. Arya. At a Senate meeting, he reported cases he had detected during his visit as an invigilator in one of the affiliated colleges. The scene had become quite dramatic when Dr Arya had taken a bunch of chits out of his pocket and littered them on the floor of the Senate.

He had faced criticism for carrying the chits out of the examination hall, but these had not been attached to any answer-book.

The recommendations clearly underline the fact that the current examination set-up required an overhaul. The current system promoted selective preparation of the university examination and instead of this, a continuous evaluation was a better solution. The committee said that a severe punishment to the guilty would serve as a deterrent to others.

The committee has recommended that maximum teachers should be utilised for supervisor duty. There was also a recommendation to simplify the forms to be filed by the invigilators for such cases.

The university is all set to open up a regional centre at Ludhiana and the matter would be placed before the Syndicate. Ludhiana was amongst the busiest centres of the university. The university had an extension library there and the centre would cater to a number of the strength of.

Besides this, the university employees face a slash in the interest rate on the provident fund. From the existing rate of 12 per cent, the proposed rate is 10.75 per cent. The UT Administration and the Punjab Government have also sent a communication that the university should suspend the facility of the leave travel concession.

The Syndicate would also take-up the appointment of about 12 teachers in the newly inaugurated University Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The university also plans to appoint at least five part-time doctors at the health centre.



Sunil Dutt puts ‘tape’ on mouth
Inaugurates Punjab film institute
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 2
In carefully evading questions on the Sanjay-Shakeel tapes, Sunil Dutt, perhaps, gave one of his finest performances here today. Not even a single negative emotion registered on his face — he was all smiles and courtesy at the inauguration of the Punjab Government film training institute, PESCO FTI, at the Industrial Area here — nothing that would give him away.

After the inauguration, he said the opening of the institute would help not only the Punjabi film industry, but also Bollywood. “Punjab has produced some big stars, who started off by having their share of struggle like any other newcomer to the dream factory. None had a place to stay during this period of struggle. It is here that such an institute can help,” he said.

Sunil Dutt said a film star could help the country immensely. “Our actors have played a big role in strengthening the nation. They have entertained for causes and collected huge donations for those in distress. Film stars have adopted 1,000 children of riot-affected Gujarat and will sponsor their education for a year. Overseas shows fetch millions of rupees that are, then, given to various hospitals in India,” he said.

He said technology expanded horizons and didn’t reduce these. “However, technology should not be adopted at the cost of tradition and Indianness.” When asked whether he was satisfied with the Centre’s efforts to control the underworld, he said this was a question for the Union Government.

The film institute is a joint venture of the Punjab Ex-servicemen Corporation (PESCO) and DAC Acting Lab. Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary Defence Welfare Punjab and Chairman of the PFTI; Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council; Mr N.K. Marwaha, vice-president of the MC; and Mr Deepak Malhotra, Principal of the institute, also spoke on the occasion.



PU students’ agitation ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The week-long students’ agitation at Panjab University ended today with the authorities accepting their demand of a special chance to students of B.Sc (honours school) for promotion to M.Sc (honours school).

The university, however, has spelt out certain conditions to maintain academic standards.

Only those students, who acquire the minimum credits fixed by the university in a special chance, would be promoted.

A university circular says, “A student will be admitted to the higher class in B.Sc (honours school) only when he has attained the requisite number of credits for promotion to the higher class, as per rules”.

“Students who have to reappear and do not qualify for promotion, will be granted admission after the declaration of the results of the supplementary examination to be held in August later this month, provided they attain the requisite number of credits”, the official note says.

The note adds, “The admission to M.Sc I (honours school) will be allowed only on attaining the minimum credits of 100 out of 120 in B.Sc (honours school) and 116 out of 136 in B.Sc (honours in Bio sciences) as the case maybe after the reappear examination to be held later this month. However, such students will be admitted to M.Sc II (honours school) only if they clear B.Sc (honours school) in that subject”. The students with credits lower than 120 and 136, as provided, will have to give an affidavit before their admission that they will not claim to continue in M.Sc I in case they do not clear their B.Sc.

The supplementary examination will commence from August 21.

Harveer Singh, president of the Students organisation of Panjab University, said it appreciated the “belated” university action However, it would give an opportunity to deserving students to proceed with their education.

PUSU president, Malwinder Singh Kang has welcomed the university decision. The ABVP has also appreciated the decision.



Time for reformed reforms: Manmohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
“Reforms in indirect taxation have not yielded the desired results due to administrative laxity and a lack of political will,” said Dr Manmohan Singh, a former Union Finance Minister, at a seminar in Panjab University here today.

Taxation is a big economy healer and reforms promise big gains, but a “no-move” towards the value-added taxation leaves the revival of economy still far. The seminar on ‘Development of Indian Economy: The Post Reforms Scenario’ is being organised by the Department of Economics, where Dr Manmohan Singh has taught.

“Unless we resume fiscal corrections, we will have neither growth nor stability. Indian economy was going through a bad phase in the beginning of the 1990s, but, by the middle of the decade, it improved. It is, once again, facing a slump. The fiscal situation will go from bad to worse under these circumstances,” said Dr Manmohan Singh.

The focus should be on improving tax administration and returns from public-sector investments, he said. The reforms came at a time of economic crises, when foreign reserves were falling, inflation was rising, growth was down and foreign investors were leaving. Crises always mean an opportunity to do corrections.

Taxation reforms put the economy back on track, but did not do much thereafter because the administration ignored suggestions for streamlining the system. The agriculture sector has not developed much since the Independence. In 1947, 75 per cent of the population depended on agriculture and the figure has come down to 62 per cent, now. Agriculture accounted for half the national production in 1947; it has fallen to about 25 per cent, now.

Reforms should not be seen as an end, but means to gain self-respect and self-reliance. A growth plan is needed, where employment and environment can be secured. Prof G.K. Chadha, Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, said it was time for constructive self-assessment. He said teachers, researchers, policy makers and policy carriers needed to clearly identify the aims.

Prof Chadha said the recent growth was not free of problems. India was, now, part of global economy, so, dimensions of trade had changed. Prof M.R. Khurana, Chairman of the Economics Department welcomed the guests and Prof M.R. Aggarwal introduced the topic. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of the PU, gave Rs 2 lakh to the department for buying computers and the other equipment. Prof A.C. Jhulka proposed the vote of thanks.

At a press conference, later, Dr Manmohan Singh said banks could lower the interest rates, but the government was being unjust in slashing the rate of interest on provident fund. In India, there was no social-security fund, unemployment fund or old-age pension, so, the cut was unjustified.

He said, in face of a poor rainfall this year, the country should gear up for distress among farmers and the problems of consumer durables.



Villagers discuss water problem, corruption
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 2
Corruption in different government offices and inadequate water supply to various villages and colonies were the main points of discussion at a meeting chaired by Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the Punjab State Planning Board, here today.

Residents alleged that they had to pass through “different levels of corruption” to get jobs done in government offices.

They also complained about the water supply to their villages.

Some elderly persons, who had came from far-flung areas, complained about the suspension of the pension scheme by the Congress Government and said that they were not being given pension since long.

Mr Bhardwaj directed the officials to maintain transparency and give a clean governance to public. He said the government’s aim was to provide good governance which was possible only if heads of different government offices worked honestly.

He asked the officers to maintain a ‘‘complaint register’’ and take up problems of public on a priority basis.

Mr Tejvir Singh, Deputy Commissioner, who was also present of the occasion, asked officials to maintain transparency and discipline.

Mr Krishan Pal Sharma, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, complained about the closing down of an electricity bill collection centre in Mubarikpur.

The DC directed the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities to reopen the centre with immediate effect. Mr Amarjit Singh Dhindsa, SDM, also attended the meeting.



Proposal for lift irrigation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 2
With a view to implementing lift irrigation system in the Shivalik area of the district, the administration has sent a proposal costing Rs 10.55 crore to the Central Government under the Swaran Jayanti Swarozgar Yojana.

Stating this here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, said that the problem relating to non-availability of irrigation water resources was faced in the area. The area was dominated by boulders, so digging of tubewell requires high cost with very low yield which was not economical.

She said that similarly there was no canal system due to undulated topography of the area.

The DC said that small check dams or storage dams proposed to be constructed under the scheme would improve agriculture productivity. More than 80 per cent of the population below the poverty line would be benefited from these check dams.

The check dams would be constructed in Magniwala, Damdama, Kona, Lehraunda, Shahpur, Mandlia, Masoompur, Tarlokpur, Labrot, Bar Godam, Pipal Ghati and Majri Mehtab villages.



MCC wakes up to plug water leakage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today plugged the one-and-a-half-year-old leakage in the Industrial Area reported in Chandigarh Tribune.

The leakage could be checked only after 12 hours of operation in the presence of senior officers, while the MCC House was discussing the Tribune story.

A six-foot-deep pit was dug up to reach the leakage point.

Messages on wireless from top officials kept on coming to officers on the spot when councillors discussed the matter.

Mr Ajay Gupta and Mr H.S. Johal, who informed the newspaper yesterday, said the corporation should clear the plot of debris and garbage and fence it to stop misuse of the plot.

Copies of the newspaper was today waved several times by councillors Amar Kulwant Singh, Gian Chand Gupta and P. C. Sanghi asking the Municipal Corporation to check the water leakage in the wake of danger to the people.



For Bhullar, policing is a learning process
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 2
If it is true that people get the police they deserve, then residents of this township should consider themselves lucky. To have the Punjab DGP’s son as the Superintendent of Police of Mohali is one thing but a single look beyond the familial policing tradition reveals a young man with a vision who loves his job and wants to do something for his country.

Meet Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, Mohali, who, even his critics agree, has in his short tenure of four months in the township made remarkable achievements. Mr Bhullar had joined service in 1993 and after having served as DSP in some of the major subdivisions of the state, he was promoted as SP, Mohali.

Stating that his father and his family are his source of encouragement, Mr Bhullar adds that policing is a learning process. “If one is guided by one’s seniors, one also learns a lot from juniors. Investigation is all about skill and this skill can be picked up from all those who involved in the field”, he says.

But there are people Mr Bhullar is eternally thankful to have taught him all that he knows as a policeman. “Mr H.S. Sidhu, who is SSP, Ludhiana, has always inspired me to be positive and serve conscientiously people in the areas under us and build their trust. He taught us that policemen should speak softly with the public, have patience and listen to their grievances. And that is how I started here in April,” he says.

Mr Bhullar says that is easier to deal with an urban educated population as one can create awareness but residents of Mohali have, according to him, not been cooperative when it comes to constant requests for verification of home helps, tenants and shop helpers. “I have held meetings with senior citizens, representatives of residents welfare organisations, industrialists’ association, market associations and have listed in detail their problems and grievances and tried to solve these as soon as possible. But we need their cooperation and in many cases help. The industrialists’ association has been asked to arrange for motor cycles so that the security of the industrial area can be tightened.”

Mr Bhullar has been instrumental in starting the beat system in the township and thikri pehra system in the villages here.



85 life members on Saini forum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Northern India Saini Cultural Society here today announced the constitution of the Executive Committee of the society consisting of 85 life members, Mr Jaswant Singh, Zirakpur, president of the society, in a press note said fair representations had been given to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh as well as Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, and UP. Fourteen posts of vice-president include Mr Jagdish Singh Pehalwan, Amritsar, Lt-Col Jarnail Singh, Nawanshahr, Mr Kuldip Singh, Chandigarh, Mr Bhag Singh, Desumajra, Dr Pritam Saini, Sangrur, Bachittar Singh, Ropar, Mr Nasib Singh Magar, Mr Gurmeet Singh Jaja, Hoshiarpur, Mr Lal Singh Pandwala, Mr Gurmeet Singh Jatana, Mr Rattan Singh, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Shiv Lal Dehar, Mr Gurpal Singh, Gurdaspur.

Twelve secretaries — Mr Sampuran Singh, Chandigarh, Mr Sohan Singh, Jalandhar, Mr Hari Singh, Bhankarpur, Mr Avtar Singh, Hoshiarpur, Mr Ram Singh Saini, Burail, Mr Harbax Singh, Hoshiarpur, Mr Parshotam Singh, Nawanshahr, Mr R.P. Singh Saini, Mohali and others.

Two joint secretaries are — Mr Gurmeet Singh Saini, Bhabat and Mr Karnail Singh Chando and six additional secretaries — Mr Jaspal Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib), Mr Charanjit Singh, Ludhiana, Mr Kabul Singh, Nawanshahr, Mr Surjit Singh, Naraingarh Ghugianma, Mr Balwant Singh Badwal, Mr Gurmit Singh, Patiala.

Three joint finance secretaries are — Mr Jaswant Singh, Chandigarh, Prof Pritam Singh, Mr Satbir Singh. Besides this, 44 executive committee members are nominated.

Mr Jaswant Singh said that all MPs, MLAs and former ministers of north India are special invitees of the society — Mr Nek Chand Saini of the Rock Garden fame, Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, MP, Mrs Kalisho Saini, MP, Kurukshetra, Mr Parkash Singh Saini, MLA, Sukhpal Singh, MLA, Sat Pal Saini, former minister, Hari Narain Singh, former Minister, MP Rattan Singh, Paonta Sahib, Mr Gurdial Singh, former MP, Haryana, Mr B.S. Bola, DCP (Delhi), Mr Jai Kishan Saini, former minister, Dr Malkiat Singh, Dr Kulwant Kaur, Mr Zora Singh, Chief Engineer and Mr Kamal Chaudhary, former MP.



Feeding on Priya's memories, Gullu lives on...
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Solace seldom works in the realm of death. It might dilute the pain of loss for a moment, but it can never really rub off the scar that death leaves behind. The pinch is meant to stay, just as it still stays in the heart of Gullu Singh, the fond younger brother of actress Priya Rajvansh, who was done to death by Chetan Anand's sons and their aides on March 27, 2000.

With the landmark judgment of the Mumbai Sessions Court in his hand, Gullu may afford some measure of peace as of today, but in the depth of his heart Priya's memories still pinch. No wonder he suddenly wakes up to the rising sun in his ancestral house in Sector 5, hoping to see Priya's full-of-life smile. ‘‘She was adored by everybody, right from peons to the top bosses. There is no way her memory can go away. Her elegance, her grace and her dignity will always last . ’’

Still unable to digest Priya's death, Gullu reminds himself of the life imprisonment awarded to her murderers . And although he is happy that justice has been done and fast enough, he has still not learnt to fill empty days with hope. ‘‘I am happy but still sad. I stand at a strange crossroad of life from where I cannot fathom what to do and where to go. I hear Priya calling out from her grave. I see her image in every motif that adorns our ancestral house. As children, we would wake up early in the morning, decorate our house, share stories, write scripts and what not...’’

Travelling down the memory lane, Gullu does not fail to mention one fact with remorse. "Chetan Anand was the man who made Priya and also the man who marred her. In fact, he was the biggest tragedy that could ever happen to her. Chetan would never allow Priya to be directed by anyone else. The result was fatal for her career. She was cast in ‘‘Haqeqat’’ when she was just 22 and then in ‘‘Heer Ranjha’’ when she was five years older. Time was passing Priya by but she could never hear its footsteps. My sister's only problem was her sense of over commitment to Chetan. She lived with him and his inclinations for over 30 years.’’

Recalling the moments he shared with Priya in Shimla, Gullu said, ‘‘She was the honour of Auckland House, a school captain, a promising actress, a great writer. My fondest memories of Shimla are those of the ice skating rink, a host of Priya's plays at the Gaiety Theatre and her sudden date with fame. She was beautiful and men used to trip for her.’’ But Priya's dignity was unmatched. She would stir past all adoration with great modesty.

As for passion, it was all reserved for acting. As Gullu admits, ‘‘Priya always wanted to act. She bagged the best actress award at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Right after her stint at the academics of acting, she began her small journey to stardom. Her much-talked-about picture, which was taken by a lensman in London, somehow reached the Hindi film industry and Chetan Anand spotted it. He called her, cast her in his paramount venture — ‘‘Haqeqat’’. That was the beginning of an end for Priya.’’

Although Priya never regretted her relationship with Chetan Anand, Gullu always regretted it. ‘‘She was loyal to him. Nothing more nothing less. Even after Chetan's death in 1996, Priya continued to eat with his sons. But she would often tell me that she was feeling threatened.’’

Like a nowhere ending road, this story will continue forever. But the bottom line is that Priya met a tragic end in her real life just as in her films. ‘‘The pain is irreversible, but there is still some solace at hand. I still remember the day Chetan's sons, their maid Mala and his aide Ashokan were sentenced to life imprisonment for killing my sister. You would not believe how a very close relation of the conspirators turned hostile towards them. The case reversed when the boy who had blown off the fuse on the day of murder deposed for Priya. He stood up for a woman he never knew. Actually, it was Priya claiming justice from her grave.’’

No wonder the tables turned in favour of Gullu and his family which pursued the case while staying in London. After years today, Gullu is filled with a sense of wonderful relief. And he can sip into his beer mug, while listening to Jagjit Singh music playing in the background: ‘‘Raat and heri bhor sunehri yehi zamana hai....har chadar mein sukh ka taana, dukh ka baana hai; aati saans ko paana jaati saans ko khona hai....Jeewan kya hai chalta firta ek khilona hai...’’



Rotarians urged to educate illiterates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Mr Kashmiri Lal, a renowned poet, recipient of the National Ghalib Award and author of over 100 books, gave a talk on literacy at a meeting of Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik last right.

He said the three sisters — poverty, illiteracy and ill-health — had kept the nation from progressing. Giving the example of Tanzania he said the President there was a primary school teacher who recognised this relationship of the three sisters. He had a concept of Ujama under which he gave a piece of land to say 100 persons who could till that land for themselves. He provided doctors, provided they could build some place for a hospital.

The only condition was that they have a place for education, where a teacher arranged by the government, could teach those 100 people.

Mr Kashmiri Lal said: "It is something like this, we need to adopt from Tanzania especially when we have only 66 per cent literate people in India."

Bringing the focus to Chandigarh, he said, at one time the City Beautiful held the number one rank, but had slipped to number six position. It had now about one lakh illiterate people and it was in this field, an organisation like Rotary in general and Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik could make a major contribution.



Powerless Mohali sulks
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 2
While clouds continued to play hide and seek, the town had a 10-hour power cut here today. Electricity board employees said, since the cut orders had come from Patiala on telephone, there was no way townsfolk could have been informed.

The town is probably the worst hit in the state as far as the power situation is concerned. Businesses have been affected by these long power cuts and homes are as devoid of electricity as offices. Most persons are out by the evening to beat the heat while the power is out.



Fire in factory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
A major fire broke out in an industrial unit manufacturing plastic components in the Industrial Area, Phase II, here late this evening. According to information available, three fire engines were rushed to the spot and it took over an hour to control the flames.

A fire official said plastic components worth around Rs 90,000 had been damaged in the fire. The cause of the fire could not be ascertained. No casualties were reported in the incident.



Protest against rise in cable fee
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2
A rally was organised today by the Cable Consumers’ Action Committee in Sector 38 to protest against “unreasonable, arbitrary and unjustified rise in cable charges.”

Residents from Sector 38 participated in the rally. The committee urged the residents not to make payment on the enhanced rates and said that at least 973 residents of the sector had sent letters to cable operators to disconnect their connections.



Sec 22 bank burglary: one more held
Tribune News Service


  • The Chandigarh police is learnt to have found involvement of the duo in many other cases of burglary on commercial premises in the city.
  • After the arrest of Satpal, the Rajpura police raided the house of Balinder in Dadu Majra, but did not find him. Later, a trap was laid by the Sector 39 police leading to his arrest.
  • An amount of around Rs 5 lakh has been recovered by the Rajpura police from Satpal. 

Chandigarh, August 2
In connection with Rs 6.80-lakh  burglary at the Sector 22 branch of Haryana State Cooperative Agriculture and Dairy Development Bank, the Chandigarh police today arrested Balinder Singh (25) from Dadu Majra village here. The suspect was arrested while alighting from a bus.

According to the police, two persons had committed the burglary. The main suspect in the case, Satpal, had been arrested by the Rajpura police. According to the original plan, three persons, Satpal, Balinder and Rasheed Ahmed, were to commit burglary, but according to a changed plan, Satpal and Balinder struck at the bank.

The Sector 39 police has recovered Rs 10,000 out of the total stolen amount from Balinder, who runs a tea stall in front of the bank. He helped Satpal, his brother-in-law, in conducting a recce of the bank premises as Balinder had an easy access to the bank premises. The robbery had been planned over one month in advance and several ‘dry runs’ were conducted.

On that night, Satpal entered the bank after breaking an iron grill covering a ventilator. Later, Satpal told Balinder that only Rs 35,000 were found and accordingly the latter was given his share of Rs 10,000. The third suspect, Rasheed Ahmed was also given Rs 10,000 to keep his mouth shut. After committing the theft, Satpal, a resident of Ram Darbar, reportedly left for Rajpura.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, said the police suspected that the duo was also involved in several other cases of thefts in the city. He said a police party had been sent to Rajpura to ascertain details about the arrest of Satpal and recoveries made from him. He said Rajpura police had recovered a major part of the stolen amount. Satpal used to sell bangles on a ‘rehri’ in the city.

Sources in the Punjab police said Satpal was arrested following a tip-off that he had purchased expensive electronic gadgets and the investment was beyond his known sources of income. Interrogation revealed the burglary.



History-sheeter arrested
Tribune News Service

Piara Singh was arrested by the operation cell
Piara Singh was arrested by the operation cell of the Chandigarh police on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, August 2
For 55-year-old Piara Singh, a history-sheeter, committing burglaries has been an avocation for the past 22 years and he has no regret.

Today was no exception when he was arrested by the operation cell of the Chandigarh police.

After being released from the Ambala jail, six months ago, he committed at least 15 thefts — one in Chandigarh and 15 in SAS Nagar.

Stolen items worth Rs 1.5 lakh, including TVs, cameras, CDs, a gas cylinder and two brief cases were seized from him.

A resident of the Bhagat Singh colony, adjoining Phase XI of SAS Nagar, he mostly targeted Sectors 70 and 71 and Phases 7, 9, 10 and 11.

He was arrested by a team led by Inspector Nanha Ram while he was trying to sell the stolen items, said SP (Operations), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal.

A police official said the accused could recall the names of many police officials of Chandigarh and Panchkula, as he had been committing thefts for the past 22 years and had been arrested several times in the process.

He was arrested by the CIA staff of Chandigarh police in 1984 and since then the police has found his involvement in at least 60 burglary cases.

His modus operandi was to first survey houses and then target the locked ones. He targeted houses in SAS Nagar as the area was new to him and Punjab police was not yet aware about his credentials.



Five injured in clash
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 2
Five persons were injured in a clash between residents of Phase II and some persons belonging to a jhuggi colony in Chandigarh territory nearby here last evening.

It is reported that a large number of people gathered near Bassi theatre and started pelting stones. The police had to reach the scene to stop any untoward incident to take place.

Trouble started when Mr Harjit Singh Dhillon, an APRO in the Punjab Public Relation Department and resident of an HL house in Phase II, who was with his friend, Mr Harpal Singh, objected to the nuisance being created by jhuggi-dwellers on the footpath near Bassi theatre. Soon a large number of slum-dwellers gathered and started pelting stones, injuring Mr Dhillon and his friend.

However, three residents of the jhuggi colony also got injured during the clash. They alleged that a few boys living in HL houses attacked some residents of the jhuggi colony.

Mr Dhillon said that slum-dwellers had been creating problems for nearby residents for the past many years. During most part of the day these people sat on the footpath making it difficult for others to pass that way. Children of these people also kept crossing the road every now and then leading to accidents. Opening of a liquor shop in the area had made matters worse.

Mr Dhillon said that last evening he told the people sitting on the footpath not to do so. But instead of cooperating they attacked him and his friend. He went to the local Civil Hospital for medical examination and first aid.

The police has registered a case in this regard.



Four injured in attack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
At least four persons, Jaspal Singh, Gurnam Singh, Gurpal Singh and Sanjeev, were seriously injured when they were attacked by eight persons with swords and rods near Darua last night.

One of the victim, Jaspal Singh, received multiple fractures and all the victims have been admitted at the GMCH, Sector 32. According to the information available, Vinay, Sajjan, Ajit, Rajinder, Hardeep, Resham Nittu and Chhinda attacked the victim over some dispute relating to a transport company.

One of the victim, Jaspal Singh had lodged a complaint at the Darua police post fearing attack by the assailants. A case under Section 232, 341, 147, 149 and 506 of the IPC.

STOLEN: Four vehicles were stolen from different parts of the city in the last 48 hours. Madanjit Kaur, a resident of Sector 37, complained that her Maruti car was stolen from parking of Sector 35 market. In another case, Navjit Singh, a resident of Mani Majra, complained that his Maruti car was stolen from in front of GK International Hotel.

Mr Vivek Kumar Kaushik, a resident of Sector 38, complained that his Maruti van was stolen from out side his residence. In yet another case, Raman Saini, a resident of Sector 28, complained that his Yamaha motor cycle from in front of Pizza Hut in Sector 26.

DEAD: A 26-year-old woman, Ridhi, who had consumed poison a few days ago, died in the PGI this evening. It is learnt that she was a resident of Sector 23 and allegedly had some differences with her husband.

LIQUOR SEIZED: The police arrested a scooterist from near Mauli village and seized 12 bottles of liquor from him.

PURSE SNATCHED: Ms Suman Bala, a resident of Sector 11, has alleged that her purse containing Rs 300 and two gold nosepins was snatched by an unknown scooterist from Sector 11 market last evening. A case under Section 356 of IPC has been registered in this regard.



Protest against assault on MC
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 2
In protest against the high-handness of octroi staff, members of the Dera Bassi Industrialists Association, Focal Point Industrialists Association, Dera Bassi Small Scale Industrialists Association, local traders and residents today wore black badges and criticised the beating up of a municipal councillor by the octroi staff.

The protesters assembled at PWD Rest House and a delegation of the local industrialists took the matter with Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the Punjab State Planng Board, who was here to attend a meeting of the heads of various government offices.

Mr Bhardwaj assured the protesters that no such incidents would be repeated in future and in case some unscrupulous persons harassed innocent commuters, action would be taken against them. He directed the authorities to take up such complaints seriously. 


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