Monday, August 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Watery grave for pilgrim brothers
Brave rescue bid lands one in hospital
Nishikant Dwivedi


Amit (22)
 * He was a ward-boy in Inscol.
 * Jumped in the water to save his brother Sumit.

Sumit (20)
 * A graduate who had joined a computer course only two days ago.


Vinod (21)
 * First one to jump into the water to save the brothers, when the others panicked.
 * Was part of the group that visited Jayanti Devi Temple on bicycles.
u In hospital, but out of danger


Jayanti Dam, August 11
The unguarded Jayanti earth-fill gravity dam claimed the lives of two brothers of Chandigarh and nearly killed another youth, who had to be rushed to a hospital, today. A boy named Bhura, an eyewitness to the mishap, has lost his voice due to the shock. Mr R.P.S. Yadhuvanshi, Chief Engineer (Kandi Area Development), still, says that the regulator ends are guarded.

The incident took place at about 1.15 pm. The brothers who drowned in the muddy dam waters were Amit (22) and Sumit (20) of the Sector 25 Kumhar Colony in Chandigarh. Vinod (21), who jumped into the water to save the drowning brothers, has been admitted to the Sector 34 Inscol hospital in Chandigarh, where he is said to be out of danger.

The youths had gone to the dam with their friends to take pictures after a visit to the centuries-old Jayanti Devi Temple. They were part of a group of 11 youths of Kumhar Colony who had travelled to the temple on bicycles.

While they were taking pictures, Sumit’s cap fell into the water and he bent over to catch it, during which, he slipped and fell into the water. His elder brother, Amit, saw this and jumped after him. The water at the shore was more than shoulder-deep and the brothers soon disappeared into it.

While the rest of the group panicked, Vinod, attempted a rescue and nearly lost his life. He remained under water for sometime, before the others pulled him out. The friends tried their best to rescue the siblings and villagers, soon, gathered at the dam on hearing their cries for help. A group of eight men of Seonk village entered the water holding on to ropes and sticks and started looking for the brothers.

It took more than 10 minutes to fish out Sumit from the waters and his friends, then, gave him first-aid. On call, a policeman riding pillion on someone’s scooter reached the spot and it took a long time to persuade the scooterist to take Sumit to the PGI. However, he could not be saved.

Another 30 minutes passed before Amit was brought out and rushed to a Chandigarh hospital after he had received first-aid. He, too, could not be saved. Amit was a ward-boy in Inscol. Sumit, a graduate, had joined a computer course only two days ago. In the meantime, a huge crowd gathered at the house of the brothers. Their parents, Mr Subhash Kumar and Ms Om Vati, have no other child.

Jurisdiction before life

When the ambulance services in Chandigarh were alerted on telephone number 102, the persons taking the call said that no ambulance could be sent there, as the area was in Punjab and, thus, out of their jurisdiction. The spot is not more than 4 km from the PGI, the nearest hospital. Had the ambulance arrived in time, at least one of the brothers could have been saved.

The dam is under the jurisdiction of Mullanpur-Garibdas police station. The personnel there were alerted, too, but they, too, did not bother to bring any ambulance.

Unguarded dams pose a bigger threat

There are three earth-fill dams — at Perch, Jayanti Majri and Siswana — near Chandigarh, receiving a number of visitors everyday. However, all these dams are unguarded, at least after 5 pm on working days and anytime on holidays. Sources in Kandi Area Development (KAD) Punjab said, because of staff shortage, it was not possible to deploy guards at the dams.

Valves control the outflow of water. In the absence of guards, any person can open these valves. If it happens, the huge amount of water stored in the dam reservoirs will flood several villages. Mr R.P.S. Yadhuvanshi, Chief Engineer, KAD, when contacted, said there was no need to guard the dams, as there were men already at the regulator ends.


Woman killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

A woman riding pillion on this scooter died when a speeding truck hit the vehicle near the traffic lights of Sector 28 and the Industrial Area, in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A woman riding pillion on this scooter died when a speeding truck hit the vehicle near the traffic lights of Sector 28 and the Industrial Area, in Chandigarh on Sunday.
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, August 11
A 50-year-old woman pillion rider died and her husband, who was driving the scooter, received injuries when their vehicle was hit by a speeding truck near Sector 28 and Industrial Area traffic lights here this morning. While the woman, Malti Devi, was declared brought dead at the PGI, her husband Deep Narayan has been admitted to the hospital.

A four-year-old child of Sanju Devi, daughter of the deceased, however, escaped unhurt. According to the information available, the couple living in 1454/22, Sector 29 were going to Mata Mansa Devi temple to pay their obeisance. Near the traffic light point, an unidentified truck hit them from the rear. The driver escaped along with the vehicle from the scene of the mishap. An eyewitness could only recall the digits (2480) of the registration number of the truck.

The deceased is survived by her husband, five daughters, one married, and a son. As the four-year-old son of Sanju Devi escaped unhurt as he was standing in front of the glove compartment of the ill-fated scooter. Enquires with the neighbours reveal that the family was planning to marry of one of the girls, Lalita.

Meanwhile, a brick-kiln worker, Sakir, a resident of Mauli Jagroan, was crushed to death by a speeding truck (HR 37 A 1977), near Mauli Jagran, last evening. The victim was run down while the truck was being reversed. The trucker, Ramesh, fled the scene leaving behind the truck. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304 A of the IPC has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.


Rain revives monsoon hopes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The city witnessed a heavy downpour throughout the last night. The rainfall was the highest (69 mm) in the city since monsoon set in here on July 6.

The neighbouring areas of Ambala (10.2 mm), Ludhiana (50 mm), Nangal (5 mm) and Patiala (1.3 mm) saw the weakened monsoon bounce back to some extent raising hopes reactivation of the monsoon.

The Meteorological Department, however, did not record any rain during the day today despite sporadic drizzles in many parts of the city.

The city came to its bloom with overhanging clouds eclipsing the sun and vegetation of the city reaching its peak green.

Conditions became perfect for the Teej festival. Revelers came out to enjoy breeze and drizzle.

Sector 33, however, had to go without power throughout night and almost more than half-a-day.

The Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration claimed that they had passed the test in the first ‘heavy rain’ with no reports of waterlogging on roads and residential areas.

The Meteorological Department said the rain today crossed the ‘heavy rain’ mark of 65 mm. The department has predicted light rain in the next 24 hours in the city.


Jailed students not as hungry: report
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 11
The Model Burail jail authorities today presented a report to the UT Administration on the indefinite hunger strike being observed by four Panjab University student leaders who are currently lodged in the jail for violating the prohibitory order under Section 144, CrPC.


 * Indefinite hunger strike by four PU students out of the six currently lodged in the Burail jail entered its fifth day today, according to student leaders.

 * Jail authorities today informed the UT Administration about the students agitation.

 * Student leaders threaten to continue their strike if the demands are not accepted by the PU authorities.

Sources stated that reports presented by the jail authorities are contrary to the facts claimed by student leaders about the agitation. According to the report, the students had begun the strike on August 10.

Two pharmacists working in the jail were monitoring the health of the students and informing the jail authorities about the condition of the students.

When contacted, the Jail Superintendent, Mr D.S Rana, said the jail authorities today informed the UT Administration about the strike by the students. Mr Rana added that the authorities were monitoring the health of the students and maintaining their records.

On other hand, PU student leaders claimed that the condition of the students had deteriorated due to callous attitude of the administration. They also claimed that the strike had entered its fifth day today, contrary to what the jail authorities had stated in the report. They said the students were agitating against the decision of the PU to charge Rs 2,500 as extra fee from the students, to seek a chance for the students of BSc (honours school) to sit in improvement examination and a chance for the students in the business school to reappear in September.

The student leaders said the PU authorities were not serious about their demands. They threatened that if the demands were not acceded by the PU authorities they would continue the hunger strike even after getting bail from the court. They also alleged that the UT Administration had imposed Section 144, CrPC, on them to stop the agitation.

The UT police had earlier arrested 34 PU students on August 7 from the university campus for violating the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC. The students were agitating in support of their demands in front of the office of the Vice-Chancellor. A case under Section 188 of the IPC was registered against the students at the Sector 11 police station. Twenty eight students out the 34 were released on bail by the court and six were detained in the jail.


PU faculty cold-shoulders college teachers
No takers for interaction programme between the two
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The faculty of Panjab University is seemingly not interested in any academic interaction with its affiliated colleges for upgradation of teaching skills there.

This is evident from the luke warm response evoked by a university circular asking for “workshops, panel discussions and symposia at Ferozepore, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana besides the city to enhance interaction between university faculty members and teachers from the affiliated colleges “.

More than a fortnight has passed since the circular was issued, but there has been hardly any response. The Chairperson of the Sociology Department, Prof K.C. Kaistha, has written that ‘ no faculty member is volunteering for the task. However, he himself was willing to offer his services’. Two teachers of the Political Science department have also offered their services. One of them, Dr Ashutosh Kumar has volunteered for classes in Ludhiana district preferably and Dr Ronki Ram has offered his services preferably in Hoshiarpur district.

Dr Ramesh Kapoor, Dean College Development Council, said only a couple of more teachers had agreed in words to offer their services for colleges in the city. It is indeed an appalling state of affairs keeping in mind that the circular was sent to the departments of English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Physics, Chemistry, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology and University Business School, besides others.

The university circular adds, “The thrust of these academic programmes would be to strengthen the teaching of different subjects at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The programmes are proposed to be organised on Saturdays and Sundays”.

It was pointed out that the university was offering only travel and stay facilities to participants. It may be the reason for the hesitation of teachers in coming forward.

It has been pointed out that in the absence of a clear academic agenda, university teachers were not sure of the exact purpose of their visits. The university first needs to spell out the programme clearly. However, university feels that when teachers visit the colleges they will be able to identify the curricula themselves.

The whole exercise will be worthwhile if a record is maintained of individual visits which can be perused for changes in the curricula if needed to evaluate the standard and teaching of courses offered by colleges. College teachers will also get an opportunity to update their knowledge for the benefit of students.

Dr Kapoor said colleges teacher normally complained that they had no interaction with university teachers which was of vital academic importance.

The university proposes to organise these programmes on Saturdays which are working days in colleges but not in the university. It is, however, felt that the university needed to define the programme a little clearly.



We still have a long way to go before we understand the meaning of award functions. The other day a local association had arranged a function to honour three people from the city, including the world famous artiste Nek Chand and architect S.S. Bhatti. Ideally since it was a special function organised in the honour of special people, it should have started at the scheduled time. Also, the chief guest, who was supposed to give away the awards should have made it a point to reach the venue before time. Nothing, however, happened the way it should have. The function, like any other routine show, began half an hour late, when the honourable Minister, PWD, (B and R), Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, arrived on the scene.

Then, one had also expected that someone as professionally respectable as the awardees themselves would conduct the show and introduce them. But one was disappointed to see a local model compering the function, as if it were some glamour show, which required a glamorous handling. The need is to first understand the spirit behind the functions and then organise them with grace. Models should be reserved for ramps and not for functions where artistes of the order of Nek Chand and Dr Bhatti are being honoured!

Candid Meghna

Watching Meghna Gulzar conduct herself was quite a pleasure. The unassuming young filmmaker, who boasts of a rich legacy, had no airs around her. In fact, many among those who had gathered all around the small Sector 9-D market to catch a glimpse of her kept wondering over her simplicity. She had missed the morning flight from Delhi. But so committed to her word of inaugurating a store in Chandigarh she was that she hired a cab and drove down to the city.

Most of the people expected a ravishing looking Meghna Gulzar, dressed in a style as hip as possible. But here she was wearing a soft peach suit, walking in grace much like her mother Rakhee. And the best part of the show was Meghna’s instant charm and her candour. Unlike many other celebrities who love to be hounded and pampered by press photographers, this one actually gave them some piece of her mind. They had all entered the store after removing the customary ribbon. When Meghna reached the entrance of the store and found the ribbon missing, she said to the lensmen: “You have already inaugurated the store! I am wondering what I should do now!”

Next moment everyone, including Meghna burst into laughter. The ambience was filled with light moments and one knew why: “It was Meghna Gulzar, a writer’s daughter commanding the scene.”

Celebration at Sukhna

The heavy shower in the city on Saturday night was quite a reason for people to rejoice. Even at 10.30 pm, Sukhna Lake wore a beautiful look. As the lightening struck the other corner of the lake, creating beautiful reflections in its waters, many people standing along the sides of the Lake watched in amazement. There was a kind of celebration all around. And many people had actually brought their dinner along with them at the Lake. After parking themselves all around, they were busy eating under the beautiful night sky. Never mind the fact that they had to all run away the moment rain gods became extra-generous.


It is time to rejoice for the non-teaching staff on Panjab University campus because the university has decided to give them representation on the university senate. A decision in this regard was taken by the syndicate recently on a resolution moved by Mr Satya Pal Jain, a fellow and a former Member of the Parliament.

It was felt that Senate being the highest forum for university affairs the non-teaching staff had every right to be on the panel. Representation for hundreds of non-teaching employees would give an opportunity to hear their side of the story, particularly on administrative matters.

A research fellow said it was time the university considered the long-pending demand of the students to give them representation on the Senate as well. They were the heartbeat of any educational campus and deserved a representation to be heard at the highest levels.

Two policies

Panjab University on one hand talks of maintaining high academic standards and on the other hand succumbs to student pressure constantly.

Students of the honours school who could not clear their B.Sc (honours) were told they will not be promoted in case they did not secure a minimum fixed credits. Subsequently, students staged a “dharna” and the university had to finally succumb to the student pressure saying it was the last time.

This year again, a similar situation arose and students staged a “dharna” for 17 days following which the university finally “succumbed”. This was followed by arrest of 34 students following imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC. This time the university said that in order to maintain high academic standards, the university had to take the harsh step. It would, however, be difficult for the university to defend its decision of allowing a “questionable” academic concession on one side and having another 34 students arrested on the other.


Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister of Punjab, had recently called a meeting of the Punjab Roadways Employees Union to discuss their demands, as the workers had threatened to go on strike on August 2. After a prolonged discussion, the minister was able to convince them that most of their demands like addition of new buses or the issue of privatisation would be decided by the Cabinet sub-committee.

However, he agreed to accept the individual demands of the union leaders, like transfer of their followers or to revoke the suspension of some conductors in corruption cases, and they also agreed to postpone the strike, in a friendly gesture.

Lakshman rekha

The Government College of Art in Sector 10 has finally done something to check its parking problems. For a long time now, the rush of vehicles on the beautiful campus of the college had been increasing. Very often the faculty members would not have enough space for their vehicles because the students’ cars would be all over the parking area, leaving virtually no space.

Proper fencing has now been done right at the entrance to the college in order to ensure safe parking. The vehicles of students are stopped right outside the fenced area and only the faculty members are allowed to pass the Lakshman rekha, which is doing a lot of good to the College of Art.

Burning problem

Authorities do not easily act and when they do it is not always in the right direction. If you do not believe it, just step out of your house into stagnant rainwater. Yes, the water is there, not because the authorities failed to get the gullies cleaned, but due to a ban on the burning of leaves and other garbage.

Now you will ask what is the connection between leaves and conversion of streets into streams. Well, there is a direct correlation. The powers that be, in their enthusiasm for healthy environment, prohibited the burning of leaves, but forget to direct the staff to remove the leaves. Result: First downpour in the city, and the drains were blocked because of the leaves.

Business washed

Well, everyone is not happy with the rain gods. There is a fragment of society “not feeling the heat anymore”. Yes, we are talking about roadside entrepreneurs selling hay pads for the coolers.

The business was good in 2002 compared to the previous years and just as their trade was getting better, it rained. What can we say except that their loss is gain for so many others.

Shocking delays

Once is not enough. If you think the electricity department officials will come and rectify the fault created in the power lines soon after the sudden downpour, you are mistaken. At least, this is what a Sector 18 resident realised the hard way. Satisfied after making a call to the fault-repair wing of the electricity department, he pulled up a chair in the porch and started flipping through the pages of a magazine, sure that the officials would reach his house any minute.

Well, minutes rolled into hours. Exhausted after a long session of tense tranquility, he finally zipped down to the electricity office, only to find that his complaint had not even been lodged. Anyway, he screamed and shouted before leaving for his house. Once again, he tried to make himself comfortable on the chair in the veranda. This time he was forced to wait for long. The officials arrived, but without a stepladder. Worn out and bushed at their attitude, the resident confronted them, only to be told that the “wire had been burnt”. Finally, it took a “real good sifarish” from a friend to get the connection fixed in a jiffy “without getting the cable changed”. That is the way it is.

Marble menace

Marble, once a symbol of love and beauty, has now become a traffic hazard for the local residents in the form of encroachment.

A number of accidents occur daily on the main road connecting Chandigarh and Mohali (via Phase 7) due to encroachment by the marble shops on the road side.

The marble market on one side of the road has already been shifted by the administration because of the traffic hazards. But the market on the other side remains there.

The marble encroachment not only increased the traffic hazards but also reduced the width of the road. To add to the problems this road does not have any divider which makes it more dangerous and accident prone. The trucks loading and unloading the marbles make it difficult for vehicles to pass.

Traffic rush continues on the road till late at night. The problem does not end here. The street lights are non functional leaving the area dark and dangerous.

White-collar crime

Open registration of cases by the Chandigarh Police is in no way checking the increasing cases of white collar crime in the city. Despite a separate economic offence wing, the pendency rate of such cases is high. Enquiries reveal that lack of proper investigations was resulting in the delay of natural justice to a complainant. Police records reveal that the white collar crime has increased manifold. A recent case of people buying vehicles under sale purchase schemes and owing Rs 20 crore as defaulting amount to financial institutions was an eyeopener.

Another trend of cheats forging vehicle registration documents in connivance with vehicle registration authorities has even more serious implications. — Sentinel


Govt to continue benefits to martyrs’ kin
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 11
The Punjab Government will continue all benefits that were being extended by the Akali government to the families of martyrs. The government has also created a cell in the Chief Minister’s office to take up the problems of ex-servicemen.

This was stated by Capt R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the Punjab State Planning Board, while speaking on the bhog ceremony of Subedar Major Sucha Singh at his residence in Behra village near here today.

The martyr laid down his life while on duty at the East Ashwani post in Machhal sector of Kupwara district on August 1.

He also announced that Government Middle School in the village would be upgraded soon and named after the martyr. In addition to this, a room would be constructed by Ms Preneet Kaur, wife of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, in the memory of SM Sucha Singh.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, general Secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal and local MLA, said the martyr had brought name to the village and the state.

Mr Jaswant Singh Brar, ADC, Major Vinay Kala, 11 Sikh Light Infantry, Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr Krishan Pal Sharma and Ms Sheelam Sohi, members of the PPCC, Mr Amrik Singh Malikpur of the Sarav Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, and Mr Bhupinder Singh, Chairman, Rotary Clubs, Dera Bassi, attended the bhog.


Cop’s involvement in assault alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
In the case of beating up of two youths at Mani majra yesterday, the involvement of a constable of the Chandigarh police has been alleged.

The two youths, Harjeet and Sukhwinder, both resident of SAS Nagar, were allegedly beaten up by some persons in Motor Market, Mani Majra. One of them, Harjeet, had received serious injuries and was referred to the Sector 16 General Hospital from the Mani Majra Civil Hospital.

According to information, a group of five to six persons had attacked Harjeet and Sukhwinder, who had gone to Salim painter in Mani Majra. Assaulters claimed that the two had run away with four car tyres from a Sector 27 shop without making payment, on August 9 and a complaint against unidentified persons was lodged at the Sector 26 police station.

Mr Amrik Singh, father of Harjeet, and Mr Gian Singh, father of Sukhwinder, in a complaint to the SHO of the Sector 26 police station, said the police had registered no case against the persons who attacked their wards. They said no action had been taken against the constable posted at the Sector 26 police station who was allegedly involved in the attack. They said the police informed them about the whereabouts of their wards around 8 pm last night only.

Sources in the police said Harjeet was brought back from the Sector 16 hospital to the Sector 26 police station in an injured condition and was arrested on charge of theft of car tyres. The victim’s father said it was the duty of the Main Majra police to ascertain the veracity of the complaint instead of the complainants directly assaulting them.

Meanwhile, the SHO of the Sector 26 police station has referred the complaint of the parents of the two youths to the Mani Majra police.


How to deal with disasters
PPS Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Disaster, natural or man-made, takes a heavy toll. A disaster has many forms. At least five have been broadly categorised by the high-power committee on disaster management, which submitted its report to the NDA Government in October, 2001. Though it contains a time-frame for implementation of its recommendations, tangible work is yet to start, say sources.

The committee has identified 30-odd disasters under five broad categories: 1) Water and climate-related disasters (floods and droughts, cyclones, tornadoes and hurricanes, hailstorms and cloudburst, heat and cold waves, snow avalanches etc); 2) geologically related disasters (landslides and mudflows, earthquakes, dam failures and mine fires); 3) chemical, industrial and nuclears-related disasters; 4) accident-related disasters (forest to festival fires, air, road, rail accidents and boat tragedies, building collapses to serial bombings and oil spills); and 5) biological-related disasters (pest attacks, cattle epidemics, food poisoning or germ warfare).

Taking a holistic view of the disasters that have occurred and can occur in the country from the Himalayan region to the riverine and coastal regions, the committee has come out with a national roadmap to deal with the tragedies in an integrated manner, right from making a constitutional and legal framework to setting up a separate ministry of national disaster management, a national centre of calamity and a Cabinet committee on disaster, down to the state and district plans.

It took the committee two years to compile its report beginning from August, 1999. The committee recommendations provide the necessary guidelines and a framework for developing a new ‘’culture’’ to effectively deal with disasters. The culture is based on ‘’preparedness, quick response, strategic thinking and prevention’’. The strategy is to aim at “adapting’’ ourselves to the natural forces rather than ‘’countering’’ these, says the report a copy of which has been made available to TNS.

The new ‘’culture’’ approach encompasses the setting up of a knowledge-based institutional interlinks for collecting and co-relating data, developing warning systems, involving communities and educating them, setting up national centres of excellence on disaster management, reframing the National and State Calamity Relief Funds, involving all political parties for a national committee on disaster management as also panchayati raj institutions and municipalities in the states, setting up medical first responder centres, medical assistance teams, mobile hospitals, hospital preparedness for mass casualties, response teams for epidemic prevention, trauma-counselling centres and a ‘’trigger’’ mechanism to set in motion a national process whenever a disaster occurs.

Before Independence, 98 per cent of the deaths and injuries in the country occurred due to earthquakes, floods and cyclones. Droughts and famines also stalked the countryside. Much has changed now though the country remains ‘’vulnerable’’ to landslides, droughts, floods, cyclones and snow avalanches. Each disaster disrupts normalcy within society. The committee says that tragedies like the Gujarat earthquake or plague are simply ‘’unacceptable.’’ Hence, the need for corrective steps now.

In the disaster management report and the national disaster response plan document, the committee has given a figurative and analytical ‘’overview’’ of the disaster scenario, admitting that the human population pressure (1 billion plus) and livestock population (445 million) have put a strain on ecology, environment and habitation from the hills down to the plains and coastal areas, resulting in man-made ‘’hazard zones’’.

The committee, therefore, has recommended the drawing up of maps (it has even prescribed the scale) to identify ‘’hazard-specific zones’’, for a fair idea of the nature of disasters that may or can occur. Thus, in its plan of action, the committee has even drafted a national calamity management Act.

Another key recommendation is to involve the SAARC countries for networking and also to dovetail countrywide ‘’development plans and disaster plans’’ for effective action through public awareness, education and involvement. The committee has taken cognizance of not only the prevention of hazards that may occur due to natural and man-made disasters but also ‘’ imagines’’ the ones that are possible.


PCL employees criticise disinvestment policy
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 11
The Punjab Communications Employees Union today opposed the policy being adopted by the state government on disinvestment, as the assurances given earlier to the staff in this regard were not being taken into consideration.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Kultar Singh, president of the union, said the government had so far not spelt out a clear policy on disinvestment. He said only those companies with a net worth exceeding that of the PCL should be given the right to participate in the disinvestment process.

The president said the government had also not clarified whether the company that came forward as a buyer would only be from the telecom sector.

He apprehended that if the PCL came into private hands, there was no guarantee that the jobs of the employees would be safe.

Around 90 per cent of the private companies at SAS Nagar had been closed down or were in the process of closure.

The union president said the PCL was showing profits and disinvestment should not be undertaken.

If the profits were coming down, the government should order a probe.

He cautioned the government that if the company’s employees were not involved in the process of disinvestment and their genuine demands were ignored, they would be forced to adopt the path of agitation.


Body decries govt attitude towards disabled
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 11
The Physically Handicapped Association, Punjab, today accused the state government of adopting an indifferent attitude towards the problems and demands of the disabled.

At a meeting of the association held here, Mr Ajit Salani, chairman, said a survey of physically challenged persons should be carried out in Punjab. They should be divided into three categories — those with less than 40 per cent disability, those with disability between 40 per cent and 60 per cent and those with disability exceeding 60 per cent.

He said ministers often issued statements regarding schemes for the welfare of the disabled but these were rarely brought into practice.

They demanded, among other things, the appointment of an additional commissioner for the physically challenged, free education for physically challenged students on the pattern of the scheme for the 1984 riot victims, free travel in buses, and strict implementation of 3 per cent reservation of seats in professional colleges.


Aid for slain truck drivers’ kin sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal( SAD), Mr Iqbal Singh Tiwana, has urged the Union Government, and also the Government of Bihar to extend financial help to the families of the Punjabi truck drivers who were murdered in Bihar.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Tiwana claimed that nine drivers were killed when they were passing through Fateh village of Bachwara police station of Bihar . He said that goods loaded in the trucks were also looted.

He said that Governments concerned should provide proper security cover to truck drivers when they passed through lawless areas in Bihar and other states.


Youth contact programme by police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh Police has initiated a youth contact programme as part of the community policing. Stating this, the Superintendent of Police, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, said the programme was aimed at channeling the energy of the youth in a constructive manner.

During the programme the youth would be taught to help people afflicted with social evils. The functioning of the programme would be supervised by the SP (Operations) and the DSP (Operations).

The staff for coordinating the programmes would be deployed from the traffic and different police stations.

The monthly calendar for the events was being issued by the SP (Operations).

The various programmes include awareness of legal rights, drug de-addiction and drug awareness, personality development, career counselling, involvement of school and college children in traffic laws, voluntary services at tourist police unit, visit of schoolchildren to police stations, celebrations on international days on human rights and drug trafficking.


Routes sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
All routes leading to Parade Ground in Sector 17, the venue of the Independence Day celebrations, have been sealed by the Chandigarh Police. The step is part of providing foolproof security at the venue, said a senior official of the police. The road leading to the bus stand from the Sector 16 cricket ground will, however, remain open to traffic till August 14.

A close watch on outsiders was also being kept. From 1 am to 6 pm on August 15, no booking in hotels and rehanbasara in Sector 17 would be allowed as a precautionary measure.


Exhibition of ‘rakhis’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
An exhibition of handmade designer ‘rakhis’ would be organised at Aroma hotel in Sector 22 here tomorrow, said Ms Alpana of Devotion India.

Ms Alpana, who has been in ‘rakhi making for the past seven years with the help of her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, said traditional as well as ‘off-beat” rakhis’ would be displayed at the exhibition.

A wide variety of Kolkota-style ‘rakhis’ would be exhibited. These were traditional ‘rakhis’ with ‘mauli’ as the base and studded with ‘dabka‘, ‘nug’, ‘nali dori’ and ‘gota’ work. For children, there would be ‘rakhis’ in the shape of kites and Disney characters, she said.

The organisers have specially made rakhis using cardamoms and almonds this year, besides pure silver rakhis. They have also designed special ‘rakhi’ sets in the form of photo frames and buckets,” she said.

Ms Alpana says gift packs with roli, rice and mauli have also been designed.


Unauthorised naka by 4 policemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
At least four policemen of Chandigarh Traffic Police were today reportedly found putting up an unauthorised naka near Durga Nursery, Mani Majra, by the Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Mr Balbir Singh.

According to the information available, the policemen, Head Constables Sukhwinder and Balbir and constables Mohinder and Satpal, were found putting up the naka that could otherwise be done under the control of an Inspector-rank official. The policemen have been sent to the Police Lines. There have been complaints in the past when policemen of constable rank have challaned motorists for violating the traffic rules.


Yoga camps conclude
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A 15-day yoga camp, which started on July 28, concluded at Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, Sector 21-C, here today.

The camp was held under the guidance of Mr Jatinder Singh Pajni, a known yoga teacher. About 40 persons attended the camp. The gurdwara management presented a “siropa” to Mr Pajni.

A yoga camp, which was organised at MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, concluded yesterday. The theme of the yoga classes was “Yoga Ek Sahaj Prayas”. The classes were conducted by Mr Prem Bhatia, founder director, Vishwa Bharti Yoga, New Delhi.

Mr Bhatia, in his lecture, said, “Anybody who wants to maintain good health, should practise yoga.” The students were told the way to start, the pre requisites and the precautions that go along with yoga exercises. 


130 saplings planted
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 11
About 130 saplings were planted by the NSS unit of Government Degree College on the premises to mark the Tree Plantation Day, here today.

Ms Sudrashan Aggarwal, Principal, said Mr Ishwar Singh, Assistant Director, NSS, was the chief guest who appealed the students and members of different social organisations to plant more trees to maintain ecological balance.

Earlier, art exhibition and mehndi applying competition were also organised.


Sector 15 house burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 11
The house of Mr Ravinder Singh, a resident of Sector 15, was burgled here yesterday. The thieves reportedly took away a gold chain, a gold ‘kara’, earrings, a wrist-watch, a camera and an LPG gas cylinder. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Vehicle thefts

Hero Honda motor cycle (CH-01-T-5672) of a Panjab University hostler was reportedly stolen from Hostel No. 5 on the PU campus here on Saturday. In his complaint, Narinder Sura of Hostel No. 3, told the police that the theft took place around 5.30 pm. A case has been registered.

Mr Jaiwant Singh, a resident of Sector 43, has reported that his Bolero jeep (HR-03-D-0651) was stolen from his residence on August 9. A case has been registered.


Mr Jalaludin, a resident of Phase III, BDC, Sector 26, was seriously injured following an attack with stone by an unidentified person here on Saturday. He was admitted to the PGI. A case under Section 308 of the IPC has been registered.

Tyres stolen

A tyre dealer of Sector 22 in a complaint lodged with the Sector 17 police station has alleged that two of his employees had stolen 15 car tyres of different make from the shop, New Punjab Tyres. The two employees, Sonu Paswan and Manoj, both residents of Colony No. 5, had reportedly sold the tyres to a another car tyre dealer.

Sources in the police said raids were being conducted to arrest the suspects in the case. The stolen tyres are valued at over Rs 25,000.

Shopkeeper booked

The police has booked Praveen Kumar, proprietor of a known sweetshop located in Sector 11, and two of his workers in a case of criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt and rioting.

According to the police, Praveen Kumar and his men had publically thrashed a Sector 15 resident after he complained of poor services by the shop management.

The victim, along with his family, had approached Praveen Kumar on Saturday complaining of poor services. Instead of hearing him, the proprietor misbehaved with him. He started beating him up publically and was also joined by his staff members.

Shopkeepers and customer in the market assembled on the spot and rescued the victim. A case under Sections 148, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

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