Friday, August 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fresh cholera cases revive scare
4 kids from Palsora admitted to PGI
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service


* With cholera resurfacing within a month of having claimed two lives, the question as to why it has made an appearance again is being raised:
* Majority of the people in the Palsora slum area are drawing water from shallow hand pumps.
* Tanker supply of drinking water to the area was continued for only two days after the previous outbreak.
* People in slums have no access to high officials to air their grievances in this connection.
* The MC at the meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee, held yesterday has sanctioned five boosters for Palsora, Sector 52 and Ram Darbar.

Chandigarh, August 22
Belying tall claims of the Municipal Corporation and Health authorities, cholera has once again struck in the city as four confirmed cases from the Palsora slum colony, located in the south-western part of the union territory, have been admitted to the PGI.

Barely, within a month of cholera claiming two lives and several persons from the Sector 52 Rehabilitation Colony and Dadu Majra were hospitalised, fear of the outbreak of the disease in Palsora looms large as four children, all below the age of 10, are under treatment.

“It was on Tuesday night that I had to rush my eight-year-old daughter, Kavita, to the PGI as her condition deteriorated, after she had been vomiting and passing out irregular bowels, during the day,” said Pradeep, a daily wager, residing in the Palsora slum area. Kavita, who had been discharged after a day had to be readmitted as her condition did not stabilise.

Chandan, hailing from Bhagalpur area of Bihar has both his children admitted to the hospital, the condition of his three-year-old son, Sukh Ram, is serious as according to doctors his potassium level has gone very low. His five-year-old daughter, Puja, has also been put on a drip due to dehydration, as she is also a confirmed cholera case.

In fact Chandan, a labourer, was the first one to rush his children to the PGI, as their condition continued to worsen.” Only four children have been admitted to PGI but a large number of children in the Palsora are complaining of vomiting and loose motions, with fever,” said Ram Piari, who is attending to the sick children.

They said they had been drawing water from the hand pumps for drinking purposes, like all other residents of the area. At the time of outbreak of cholera, the MC after conducting a survey had said water of majority of the 400 hand pumps was contaminated and the public should avoid consuming it.” It was only for a few days that water was supplied through tankers in the area, and as such we have now been left with no option but to draw water from the hand pumps,” rues Rajesh, a resident of Palsora.

Manju from Sector 53, Sarita from Zirakpur and Kiran from Palsora have also been admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital and General Hospital, Sector 16, with complaints of loose motions and vomiting, hospital sources told Chandigarh Tribune.

Manju and Sarita were discharged in the evening from the GMCH.

The Director Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, said he was intimated about cholera cases being admitted to the PGI, today evening at 6 p.m. “We have already rushed our mobile teams to Palsora to ascertain the affected area and the cause, while the rapid action team, would be sent as early as possible,” he disclosed.

Health department officials say that seeing the unhygienic conditions in Palsora, the fear of outbreak of cholera had always been there. The fact that barely within a month after cholera panic gripped the city, there has been fresh outbreak only reflects the complacency of the authorities, who swung into action only temporarily.

The health authorities say that while making an appeal to the residents of Palsora, to consume only boiled water, they will distribute medicines and create awareness to prevent the spreading of the epidemic.

A visit to the Palsora area, revealed that unhygienic conditions prevailed in the area, in the absence of proper sanitation, as heaps of garbage and filth are strewn all around. The authorities said since the situation in Sector 52 and Dadu Majra area had become so bad, they always feared that after the monsoon showers, there could be an outbreak of cholera.

The fear of cholera outbreak tonight took all senior officials of the Engineering Wing to Palsora from where four fresh cases of cholera have been reported with the PGI.

The Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bharadwaj, led a team of officers which checked all supply points of the corporation and found out the water to be safe after taking 26 samples at the spot.

Mr Bharadwaj told the Chandigarh Tribune from the spot that he was now checking hand pumps but results of samples from these would be available only by tomorrow.

The Chief Engineer conceded that the pressure in the area had been low but residents did not complain of the supply of contaminated water from the area.

Mr Bharadwaj said he would also go to jhuggis in the area to check the water. He said water tankers had been kept ready for the people to take safe water supply from the area.


It took 72 hrs to pass on information
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In this age of super fast communication it has taken close to 72 hours for information on cholera to be passed on in the various hospitals in the city.

Nothing shocking as the government moves like this: As fast as a snail. Information regarding the four cases of cholera has been officially passed on from the Medical Superintendent, PGI, to the Director, Health Services, Chandigarh Administration, in three days. The two places are located within a distance of just 2 km.

Even when the first cholera outbreak occurred about a month ago, the movement of files on information regarding cholera moved between offices without anyone taking action before the media highlighted the issue. All that was required was a phone call. Doctors at the PGI’s Paediatrics Department have used their official channel. At the PGI, doctors usually inform the Medical Superintendent verbally before writing a report.

The MS sends the information ahead to the area where cases are coming from. In the past the PGI has informed Punjab and Haryana on several serious cases and has even sent teams in the field.

In the case of cholera information needed to be sent to the DHS for further information to the public health authorities. Sources said the PGI should be asked to give information to various bodies, including the MC and the Administration, directly.

However, the PGI can only follow procedures laid down by the Chandigarh Administration. 


26 illegal structures demolished
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 22
Following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the district administration today carried out a major demolition and erased 26 structures on the old Panchkula-Barwala stretch of the Panchkula-Naraingarh national highway 73.

The structures, maximum of them include dhabas, had come up in violation of the Punjab Scheduled Road and Controlled Area Act, 1963, along the highway for the last some years. The court had directed the district administration to file a compilation by August 27, 2002, over the removal of these structures.

During a 5-hour-long operation by a team of the enforcement wing of the administration, headed by Mr M.S. Yadav, the Sub Divisional Magistrate, the structures were removed amid a little resistance by the owners and residents at Morni Chowk and Bataur near Barwala.

An owner of an unauthorised structure disrupted the operation at Morni Chowk after he protested by laying before an earthmover machine. A dhaba owner and villagers blocked the highway for over half an hour in protest against the drive. They were demanding that the limits fixed by the Building and Roads wing of the Haryana Public Works Department (HPPWD) should be extended from the existing ones.

While talking to The Tribune, Ms Geeta Prakash, District Town Planner, said the owners were served prior notices and even a police team headed by Mr Jasbir Singh, DSP, was also pressed to inform the owners to wind up their belongings yesterday.

Mr R.S. Saran, Executive Officer of the HPPWD (B and R), also accompanies the enforcement staff during the drive.

Of the 26 dhabas only six were found running the business today. Their structures were removed with the help of two earthmovers and over 50 labourers.

Two police companies and a riot control vehicle were also arranged to avoid any untoward incident during the operation.


Drive to check school buses
Tribune News Service


* Your child could be travelling to school in a bus which is not registered in Chandigarh and is driven by an untrained driver.
* Close to 25 per cent buses are not registered as school buses and drivers do not have the experience.
* Without this no insurance company will pay compensation.
* Chandigarh Admn doing nothing to check this practice.
* Last year the STA wrote to principals saying students should not commute in buses which are unregistered.

Chandigarh, August 22
The Chandigarh Administration cracked the whip on operation of school buses ferrying children. A special drive to check all buses starts tomorrow in a joint effort by the police and the State Transport Authority (STA).

Taking a serious note of the matter in which eight school children were injured while travelling in a speeding bus yesterday morning, the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd) today asked the Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, to strictly implement the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in respect of safety standards in school buses.

General Jacob said the police should initiate a campaign to implement the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court to avoid re-occurrence of such accidents. By the afternoon the Transport Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, had issued instructions to start the drive to challan buses which are not in line. It is a mandatory requirement to have buses registered as school buses. At present there are about 360 buses plying on school routes. Close to 20 per cent are unregistered.

Last week a Parent-Teacher Association lodged a complaint with the traffic police regarding overcrowding. Nothing happened, said a helpless parent. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, said the schools were being asked to implement the Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court guidelines regarding transport. A meeting of the principals of the schools were being called on the issue.

Among the major guidelines of the court are experience of the driver, speed limit, numbers of seats and overcrowding. Besides this, the issue of roadworthiness and age of the bus has been discussed separately in the guidelines.


School van mishap victim operated upon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Students of Sacred Heart School prayed for little Yushita Dalal, as doctors at the PGI operated upon her for the removal of a clot in her brain here this evening.

Eight-year-old Yushita, a student of Class II, was critically injured in a van accident yesterday, while she was on her way to school, along with seven other school mates. Three other children received injuries when the van overturned after being hit by a truck. Doctors at the PGI said the condition of Yushita, who was in the ICU, was stable. Even as the worried parents and relatives of Yushita, waited outside Operation Theatre, they did not hesitate in giving vent to their anger.


195 teaching days’ target distant dream
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Does the routine academic functioning of Panjab University these days tally with the five-star status accorded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Committee for overall excellence, or has it become merely an ‘akhara’ of politics?

The question gains importance in wake of a spate of ‘dharnas’ that have ruled the centrestage ever since the commencement of the current academic session. While the compliance of 180 teaching days in an academic session as stipulated by the UGC remains a distant dream, the university’s noble plan of having 196 teaching days this year is an impossible and an impractical task.

Within hardly a month that has gone into the new academic session, there have been only a couple of occasions when serenity suiting the academic environment prevailed on the campus. It started with an agitation of the honours school of the science students and the university at the moment is grappling with ‘dharnas’ following cancellation of admission of the Panjab University Student Union president whose admission is yet to be regularised despite recommendation by a special committee.

Of the total teaching days, the campus witnessed the first string of agitation for as many as 17 days pertaining to the demands of the honours school (science) students seeking a promotion to MSc despite not having the required credits at the B Sc level. It was credit time for the Students Organisation of Panjab University as the demands were accepted partially. The university decided to give a special chance to students .

The agitation witnessed imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC. banning agitation in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office and the administrative block. The university syndicate also banned any rallies or ‘dharnas’ in the residential quarters of the teaching and the non-teaching staff. This was preceded by an agitation seeking removal of a hostel warden of the girl students during vacations. This had also led to students storming the residence of the Vice-Chancellor late in the night.

Imposition of the Section 144 led to arrest of 34 students, including Malwinder Singh Kang, Panjab University Student Union president. After being bailed out, he came and sat at the Student Centre presenting another charter of demands that “ had not been considered by the university”.

The university once again succumbed to pressure and the Vice-Chancellor went to the students personally to agree to certain demands. The university acceded a number of demands.

A cross-section of senior faculty members and fellows said it was wrong to blame the university for the present state of affairs. The Vice-Chancellor was concerned enough that he walked himself to the students to listen to their grievances and address the possible ones. Students on the other hand complain that university conceded demands only after the agitation. Should it not give a patient hearing at the first instance?

It is also felt that university while conceding to student pressure in the BSc (honours school) last session had given a one-time chance and no compromise should have been made this year.

Teaching work in departments, a sizeable number if not all, has been affected. Law department is witness to ‘dharnas’ by both the major parties, including PUSU and the SOPU these days. Both have camped in front of the entrance gate of the department and the teaching work has been affected. While one party says Kang had submitted a fake certificate, Kang on the other hand maintains that a high-leveled committee that had gone into all the related details of the case had exonerated him.

Kang has named a senior fellow as the main hand behind the whole episode that has been vehemently denied. To further compound the matter, the university is still undecided on the whole episode.

In a strong step the university has asked the students to end the hunger strike or it will approach the UT Administration.


Witnesses allege harassment
Tribune News Service


* Role of some well-connected persons of Chandigarh, including some police officials, has come under scanner for their old-connections with the persons being named in the entire episode.
* There seem to be two groups in the Chandigarh Police, one favouring the suspect in the rape case and the other favouring the persons alleged to be involved in the incident.
* The two eyewitnesses admit being victims of a deep-rooted conspiracy.
* Police working on the theory of the case being a frame-up
* The eyewitness in the case, Surinder Sharma, wanted by a finance company for defaulting on car loan amount.

Chandigarh, August 22
Two witnesses in the infamous case of alleged drugging and rape of a girl in her 20s today admitted that they were victims of some deep-rooted conspiracy, involving two influential persons of the city. They, however, refused to name the persons.

Talking to mediapersons in the District Courts here, the witnesses, Surinder Sharma and Baldev Kumar, said they had never seen the suspect in the case, M.K. Jain and had informed the Police Control Room (PCR) vehicle on seeing the girl being thrown on the roadside in Sector 33. Claiming of not to have gone underground, Surinder said officials of the Chandigarh Police were settling some old scores with him and pressuring him to name a former Home Secretary of Chandigarh, Mr NK Jain, for his involvement in the case.

However, certain serious contradictions have emerged in the statements given by the witnesses and the victim. Surinder, a supplier of construction material, said he saw the girl being dropped from the rear door (on the driver side) and the car speeding away from the spot. He said he could not see the number of persons in the car and had just been able to read its registration number after chasing it for a short distance.

The second eyewitness, Baldev, said while Surinder was chasing the car, he kept waiting at a short distance from the place where the girl was lying. However, they could not substantiate why they did not see a visiting card of the suspect in the hand of the victim. He said the registration number of the car he had chased was CH 03 F 0125- contrary to the number of the car mentioned by the victim.

He said the name of his friend, Ram Lal, a transporter of the city, was unnecessarily being dragged in the case. “ He had just helped me when I called by the CIA staff for questioning. The in charge of the CBO cell in Sector 26 was interested in buying the Zen car of my friend, Mr Surinder Maggu and was thus harassing me”, he alleged.

Eye witnesses move High Court
The two eyewitnesses today filed a petition in the High Court against Senior Superintendent of Police, in charge of the CBO cell, Sector 26, in charge of the CIA, Sector 11, alleging that they were being harassed by the Chandigarh Police and efforts were being made to implicate them in false cases. They alleged that the police officials were pressuring them to name a senior bureaucrat of Haryana.

The two stated that there was threat to their life as the Chandigarh Police wanted to divert the investigations of the rape case. They sought that they should be questioned in the presence of their counsels. Stating his version of the events, Surinder Sharma said the police had not recorded their statement. He stated that on August 19, he was called to the CIA staff in Sector 11 and was threatened and asked to write down the entire incident. He said his close friend, Mr Ram Lal took him from the CIA staff on the assurance that he would be produced in the CBO cell, Sector 26, the next morning.


Unique way to celebrate Rakhi
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 22
Raksha Bandhan was celebrated with much fun and gaiety throughout the length and breadth of the city. The atmosphere was charged with feelings and fun as sisters tied colourful threads on their brothers’ hands following rituals.

Rakhi symbolises the bond between a brother and a sister. On this day, a sister ties a colourful thread on the hand of her brother with all the traditional trappings, to rejuvenate the special bond they share. A rakhi is also a reminder of the sense of protection a girl derives from her brother throughout her lifespan.

The festival grew from personal bonding to a level of human bonding as tiny tots of Aanchal Preparatory School tied self-made rakhis to students of the Institute for Blind in Sector 26. After the ceremony, there was a bonanza of songs and ghazals presented by students of the preparatory school and the institute. The children also had an opportunity to know about the techniques of Braille.

Returning the love and hospitality extended to them, 150 students of the institute, at a separate function, offered prayers for the long and prosperous life of their well-wishers. The prayer session was organised by the National Society for the Child Artistes.

The Chairman of the society, Mr Ajit Salani, appealed to people to help rehabilitate the children. Gen Rajinder Nath, president of the society was also present on the occasion.

Even Raj Bhavan was gripped by the euphoria of Raksha Bandhan as Brahmakumaris from Prajapita Brahma Kumari Ishwariya Vishvavidyalaya tied rakhis on Punjab Governor J.F.R. Jacob’s hand. They also tied rakhis to the Editor, The Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh; Editor, Dainik Tribune, Mr Vijay Sehgal; the Director PGI, Prof S.K. Sharma, and the Vice-Challcelor, Panjab University, Prof K.N. Pathak.

At another function, Mayor Lalit Joshi along with other women councillors tied rakhis to the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal. Sarpanches and women workers of the party also tied rakhis to former MP Satya Pal Jain.

Many commercial establishments announced special offers to make the day a memorable one. Ebony, a department store in Sector 9, brought out exclusive rakhi hampers that included a 24-carat gold coin rakhi with a small silver basket and a variety of hand-made trays containing rakhis and roli and other components.

Raksha Bandhan was also celebrated at Haryana Raj Bhavan here on Thursday. A number of students and Brahmakumaris tied rakhis on the hands of Governor Babu Parmanand and his wife, Ms Sudesh Kumari. The couple wished happy and healthy life to all those who called on them.

SAS NAGAR: Raksha Bandhan was celebrated with enthusiasm by the local circle of Prajapita Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishvavidyalaya.

B.K. Prem, in charge of the local Rajyoga centre, said various programmes had been organised from August 18 to 22 to celebrate the festival. She appealed to all members of society to tie themselves in the thread of love, unity and harmony to create a better world.

Brahmakumaris went to Paraplegic Home in Phase VI and Police Lines, Ropar, and tied rakhis on the hands of inmates and staff members. They also tied rakhis to several administrative, police and judicial officials of Punjab and members of the local Lions Club.


Bansal denies bungling in land allotment case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, dismissed allegations of ‘’irregularities’’ in land allotment to Heritage Society as ‘’ravings of a frustrated man (former BJP MP Satyapal Jain) and welcomed the matter going to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

‘’I would like to clarify my stand before the court instead of Mr Jain,’’ Mr Bansal told reporters here today when asked about the former BJP MP’s question as to why Mr Bansal was keeping mum on the reported allegations in the allotment of land.

The local MP was asked the question while he was briefing reporters on a meeting with councillors today. Mr Bansal also said he would be in the meeting of the Municipal Corporation tomorrow to defend the hike in the rates of water charges.

Mr Bansal dared Mr Jain to get allotment of land cancelled through the Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, who has control over the Chandigarh Administration.


Pension scheme for journalists on cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In future, journalists will be covered under a pension scheme and also an insurance policy, said the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj.

She was in Chandigarh today to present a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to Mrs Sulakhshana Sharma, widow of Rajendra Sharma, former Principal Correspondent, The Tribune. The money has been given from the National Journalists Welfare Fund. Such grants are given in case of accidental deaths, Mrs Swaraj said. The fund has a corpus of Rs 5 crore and this brings in about Rs 45 lakh as interest annually which is used for giving grants to families of deceased journalists. The money provides financial assistance for the family in tiding over immediate expenses.

The minister, who was accompanied by former local BJP MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, spent about 15 minutes with Mrs Sharma condoling her and her children, Ms Kala Sharma and Mr Nitish Sharma. Rajendra Sharma had died in an accident on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway on July 12. Mrs Sharma was seriously injured and is still bed-ridden. The Editor of The Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh, who was present on the occasion, praised the gesture of the minister.

Talking about the pension scheme she said it would be on the lines of the pattern followed by the Indian defence forces. This is by far the most successful pattern of pensions, the minister said. The scheme for having an insurance cover had reached an advanced stage at one stage. However, this was delayed due to certain reasons. Now the Life Insurance Company (LIC) and the Union I&B Ministry would be drawing up plans to bring out an insurance scheme.


Sushma presents cheque to Rajendra Sharma’s wife
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In future, journalists will be covered under a pension scheme and also a insurance policy, said the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj.

She was in Chandigarh today to present a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to Ms Sulakhshana Sharma, widow of Rajendra Sharma, former Principal Correspondent, The Tribune. The money has been given from the National Journalists Welfare Fund. Such grants are given in case of accidental deaths, Ms Swaraj said. The fund has a corpus of Rs 5 crore and this brings in about Rs 45 lakh as interest annually which is used for giving grants to families of deceased journalists. The money provides financial assistance to the family in tiding over immediate expenses.

The minister, who was accompanied by the former BJP local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, spent about 15 minutes with Ms Sharma condoling her and her children. Rajendra Sharma had died in an accident on the Chandigarh- Delhi highway on July 12. Ms Sharma too was seriously injured and is still bed-ridden. The Editor of the Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh, who was present on the occasion, praised the gesture of minister.

Talking about the pension scheme she said it would be on the lines of the pattern followed by the Indian defence forces. This is by far the most successful pattern of pensions, the minister said. The scheme for having an insurance cover had reached an advanced stage at one time, however, this was delayed due to certain reasons. Now the Life Insurance Company (LIC) and the Union I& B Ministry will be drawing up plans to bring out an insurance scheme. The modalities will be worked out and the Ministry may even pay a part of the premium required to insure the lives of the journalists.


MC meeting likely to be stormy
Proposed hike in water charges 
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Congress and the BJP are headed to engage in a war of words tomorrow at the meeting of the Municipal Corporation on the proposed hike of water charges with the BJP terming it a “betrayal” with the residents and the Congress preparing to project the BJP as a party “befooling” the people.

This emerged after the meetings of councillors of both parties.

The House meeting is likely to be derailed tomorrow with fresh reports of four cholera cases coming from Palsora Colony today.

The Congress group meeting was joined by the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, who quoted former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha’s Budget 2002-2003 speech asserting “user has to pay” at the meeting.

The BJP group meeting decided to put the Congress on the mat for reportedly promising a “no tax regime” and burdening the people one after another through imposition of paid parking, property tax and now hike in water charges.

The meeting of the BJP was attended, amongst others, by three councillors namely Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Gian Chand Gupta and Mr Rajesh Gupta. The BJP will attack the Congress for failing to stop conditions leading to the spread of disease again in the Congress regime.

The Congress today collected documents to project the BJP indulging in a double speak. The Congress will say that the deficit accumulated today was of the period of the BJP. The Congress would say that the BJP-ruled Central Government had effected a cut in the grant to the corporation and had been pressurising the corporation to hike the user charges as per the theory of Mr Sinha.

The Congress is also likely to quote minutes of councillors’ meeting with the Second Delhi Finance Commission where BJP leaders had supported measures to shore up finances of the corporation when the commission asked the councillors to generate their own resources.

The BJP would like to project the inefficiency of the Congress with the report on the cholera outbreak not being tabled before the House and no measures being taken to remove causes of recurrence of such diseases. The BJP is also likely to seek the tabling of the report of the inquiry committee in theft in the Fire Department. It would also seek a vote on the requisition sought by its member namely Mr Gian Chand Gupta to table documents related to recruitment of firemen forcing the Congress either to go along the BJP or being seen as siding with officers.

The inquiry committee into the firemen recruitment today had a sitting where a deadlock emerged with officials bringing documents in the committee but refused to hand them over to individual members.


MC move to help police thwarted
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 22
The plan of the Municipal Council to help the police in checking the wrong parking of vehicles has suffered a setback.

The Director, Local Government, Punjab, has stopped the implementation of two proposals relating to purchases by the Municipal Council which were cleared at a General House meeting held on June 27.

The Director, in a letter to the Executive Officer of the civic body, said it was not in the interest of the council to buy a recovery van for the police or two connect phones for the octroi staff. He, therefore, stopped the council from incurring expenditure in this regard.

It is learnt that the proposal to buy a recovery van was not on the agenda of the meeting but had been cleared as a table item.

Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the Municipal Council, said a few days before the General House meeting the Ropar Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, had held a meeting at the civic body office. The local SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, was present at the meeting. He had brought it to the notice of Ms Jain that a large number of vehicles were parked wrongly in the town. These proved to be traffic hazards at certain points. But the police could do nothing about the problem as it did not have a recovery van. The Deputy Commissioner then directed the civic body to purchase a recovery van for the police. The proposal was later cleared at the General House meeting.

It is learnt that the council has apprised the SP about the directions issued by the Director.

The letter from the Directorate also stated that though administrative approval was being given to development works cleared by the House, the former be supplied with more details and clarifications about the works.

The council had cleared the proposal to provide two local mobile phones to the supervisory staff of the octroi wing as they faced problems of contacting the office or senior officials at the time of emergency.

It is learnt that in a letter to the Director today the council has requested him to give administrative approval for making purchases which had been stopped. It was argued that octroi income would increased by providing mobile phones to supervisory staff and the purchase of the recovery van had been directed by the Deputy Commissioner.


Sharing lessons learnt from WTC collapse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Mr Amar S. Malla, a New York-based Indo-American architect who has been associated with the team that prepared the “Building Performance Study of World Trade Centre” report, post-September 11, 2001, has listed five major lessons from the disaster that shook the world.

Making an audio-visual presentation at the Chandigarh College of Architecture on: “World Trade Centre — Building Performance Study’’ here on Wednesday, he said the major lessons learnt from the collapse of the World Trade Centre were: (i) better fire proofing of high -rise buildings in future, (ii) More fire exits, (iii) Less emphasises on Central Core plans, (iv) Fire exits should be located on corners, (v) Better infrastructural and communication facilities provided.

A former student of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Mr Amar S. Malla, graduated in the year 1967. Since 1995, he has been Project Manager, Cultural Institutions, Department of Design and Construction, New York. He been associated with a number of prestigious projects of New York City. Amongst the significant ones are, to name a few, Bronx Museum of Arts, Stalen Island, Zoo; and Snug Harbor Cultural Centre.

Mr Malla in his presentation explained the details of WTC — through slides and drawings of the towers — the sequence of events that led to the disaster and the structural failure of the towers. He emphatically made the point that no structural and architectural design could have withstood the devestating impact of the planes that hit WTC Towers. It was the massive fire caused by the fuel in the airplanes that melted the steel frame of the structure of the towers; that eventually led to their bending and eventual collapse.

However, he further explained that causalities could have been minimised if their had been more fire exits located at the corners of the towers — instead of being in the central core. Also, another lesson learnt from the Building Performance Study was that superior fire resistant materials were needed to be used in such buildings. Another failure was the total collapse of the communications system which led to higher number of causalities.

Mr Malla was also part of the team that was involved in the cleaning up of the ‘‘Ground Zero’’ of the WTC soon after the collapse. New York City Government is now engaged in an exercise to modify the building bylaws in the future high rise buildings. An active exercise is currently going on rebuilding WTC Towers with the active participation of the residents and after greater debate among architects, engineers and builders.

Before the lecture presentation, the Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Prof Rajnish Wattas, welcomed Mr Malla and highlighted the significance of learning lessons from the collapse of the WTC Towers for architects — not only in the USA but also in India — as now there were many high-rise buildings in big cities of the country. He also announced that the college in future would invite a number of such eminent exports lectures such as architects, planners and engineers etc for extension lectures. There was lively interaction between Mr Malla and the audience comprising students and faculty members of the college and some city architects. Prof Harkirat R. Singh offered a vote of thanks.


Garbage heap surrounds mosque
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
A makeshift mosque in Ram Darbar is surrounded by a heap of garbage with its stink testing the devotion of visitors.

“Devotees have been coming to the mosque with their faces covered to avoid the stink,’’ the imam of the mosque Ismail Khan told Chandigarh Tribune.

A resident of the area, Dr Anees Ahmed, said recently somebody had thrown pieces of flesh of some animal on the garbage site, making it difficult for the devotees to visit the mosque.

He said the garbage had not been lifted from the place for at least a week and polythene bags were flying into the mosque and houses near the “weekly” vegetable market.

The garbage bin near the vegetable market also had a similar look. Garbage was scattered 20 feet around the bin, which seemed empty.

Residents said the situation had aggravated after a private contractor left the area and the Municipal Corporation took over the cleaning of the area.

Dr Anees Ahmed said he had been writing to the authorities for almost a year but the situation had not improved.

The imam when asked whether the mosque was authorised said money had been deposited for a site nearby but the allotment had not been made.


City roads to have cycle tracks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Cycle tracks will be completed along the entire stretch of Jan Marg till the point where it meets Sectors 43 and 42. Madhya Marg will also have cycle tracks to facilitate the movement of slow moving traffic. This was decided at a high-level meeting here today. The engineering department has been asked to finish the job by the end of December.

Besides this, there is a proposal to have special buses having low floors on Madhya Marg between Chandigarh and Panchkula. 


‘End disparity in bus pass rates’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 22
Eight municipal councillors have urged the Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh to end the disparity in concessional bus pass of the CTU for students of SAS Nagar and Chandigarh.

In a representation to the Governor, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), yesterday they said in the case of YPS and Palsora bus stops two sets of fares were charged. Students who were the residents of Chandigarh area in the vicinity of the two bus stops paid only Rs 50, whereas students who were residents of SAS Nagar in the vicinity of these bus stops and attended the same institutions in Chandigarh were being charged Rs 250.

The councillors — Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr S.S. Patwari, Mr Manmohan Singh Langh, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, Ms Harbans Kaur and Ms Manmohan Kaur — said even if the transport entry tax (TET) of Rs 2 per ticket was levied, the fare came to only Rs 4 or 100 for 25 days.

The councillors said the fare being charged from the students was unjustified and urged the Governor to end the discrimination.


His answer to power-related problems
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, August 22
When the entire nation is being plagued by problems like shortage of electricity, power thefts, etc, Kanwal Jeet Seth, an Ambala-based scientist, might have the answer to save the nation from plunging into a dark hole. Mr Seth, who has already proved his mettle as a scientist first with his much-talked-about automatic headlight dipping switch for automobiles and then a battery-operated burglar alarm system, has now come out with an energy saving device called E-Kard, which he plans to bring to the market soon.

“Only during the last Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister, in his speech, had pointed out that electricity worth Rs 25,000 crore gets stolen every year. To check this loss, I have come up with a device that can put a stop to this ongoing practice,” says the scientist, who has been working on this latest project for the past 9 years.

“The device is in its final stage of completion and is awaiting tests from the authority concerned,” he informs. In a nutshell, E-Kard is something like a debit card by means of which one can buy a certain amount of electricity by inserting it in the meter. Thus the buyer can enjoy his purchased amount of electricity without pause. According to Mr Seth, this device will help both the government, by giving it ready cash beforehand, and the buyers, by relieving them of the tension of unwanted bills.

However, Mr Seth is reluctant to demonstrate or even talk about technical knowhow of his latest invention till he gets assurance from the Central Government. “After I had invented the automatic headlight dipping switch, a law was passed to install it in each car to avoid accidents at night. But till now, barring few cars, no car has installed it ,” he says. The project that took about 6 years (1970-76) to mature got him a letter of praise from Kiran Bedi.

Mr Seth, currently working as a Consulting Engineer in a Delhi-based electrical company, is also involved in another experiment i.e to produce electricity based on the principle of gravitational force. He is ready with the prototype of the system that can produce 1 KW of electricity by circulating 400 gallons of storage water. The best part of the system is one does not need to use any fuel or energy to take the water to a height of 10 to 12 feet.

“The things I have invented are not all together unique but they have been designed to suit the pocket of common people,” says Mr Seth. For his power generator, if produced in mass, would cost much less than a conventional generator and would occupy much less space.

A product of Ambala Polytechnic during the early sixties, Mr Seth has been making splashes in various newspapers with inventions from time to time. Another of his major inventions was a battery-operated security system that not only sends silent signals but also electric shocks to stun an intruder. Besides visiting international trade expositions at different places, Mr Seth has been honoured by scientist community in India and abroad.


Condolence meeting at Press Club

Chandigarh, August 22
The Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh, will hold a meeting to condole the death of Abhinav Nayyar on Friday at 10.30 a.m. Nayyar died on Monday. TNS


Child, man die in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 22
Two persons, including a 5-year-old boy, were killed in two road accidents in the city during the past 24 hours. In both the incidents, the victims were hit by unidentified Maruti cars. Besides this, in another incident, an employee of Delhi Transport Corporation, died after he fell from the third floor of a house in Kaimbwala village.

As per police sources, the boy, Dharmvir was hit by a white colour Maruti car while he was trying to cross the road near the Poultry Farm chowk at around 10.30 pm yesterday.

The child received serious injuries and was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where doctors declared him brought dead.

Mr Babu Lal, father of the victim, is a rickshaw-puller and lives in Hallomajra village. The sources added the car was moving at a very high speed when the accident occurred. The car driver managed to escape from the spot. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the car driver.

In the second incident, an unidentified man met the same fate as that of Dharmvir in the late hours yesterday. He too was hit by an unidentified car near the CTU workshop turn in Industrial Area.

According to the sources, the victim was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where doctors declared him brought dead.

A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the car driver. The body is lying in the mortuary of the hospital.

Meanwhile, Om Prakash (30), a driver with the DTC, who had come to visit his friend in Kamibwala village, died after he fell from the third floor of the friend’s house in the late last night.

The victim, who was hailing from Kilan Jaffargarh village in Jind district, was sleeping on the terrace and he fell while he ran for covers after it started raining. The police has ruled out any foul play and has started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.


Body found hanging from ceiling fan
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 22
The body of Mukesh Kumar (25), was found hanging from the ceiling fan of a room of his house in Sector 7 under mysterious circumstances here this morning.

The family members got suspicious when Mukesh did not respond to the call made by his mother and sister-in-law this morning. His brother, Bhupinder Singh, found his body hanging and hands tied with a nylon string after he broke open the door of the room.

According to family members, Mukesh was running an auto spare parts shop in Mani Majra and had gone to attend a party with Bhupinder Singh last night. Both brothers returned late last night and went to their respective rooms.

Mukesh’s wife was away to her maternal house in Ludhiana on the eve of Raksha Bandhan. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The body was cremated after post-mortem examination today evening.


Booked: On the complaint of Ms Parminder Kaur, a resident of Sector 22, the police has registered a case against her husband Sukhbir Singh, a resident of the same sector, as he was already married and he had concealed the information.

In her complaint, she alleged that she was harassed and maltreated by her husband and in-laws to bring more dowry. She was married to Sukhbir Singh in 1998. The case has been registered under Sections 406, 495, 495 and 498-A of the IPC and the investigations are being done by the Woman and Child Support Unit.

Case registered: A case of criminal breach of trust has been registered against Sagar, a resident of Barwala in Ambala district, as he allegedly took away the truck of which he was a cleaner without permission from here on Wednesday. The case has been registered under Section 406 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Jaspal Singh, a resident of Sangrali village, Ambala district.

Purse snatched: Ms Nidhi Taneja, a resident of Sector 11, reported to the police that scooterists snatched her purse containing some documents and cash near the traffic light points of Sectors 22 and 23 on Wednesday. A case has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr Ashok Bhalla, a resident of Sector 23, reported that his Maruti Zen (CH 03H 6743) was stolen from his residence on the night of August 20. A case has been registered.


Negligent driving: The police has registered three case of negligent driving in different parts of the district.

Mr Steefan Johan, a resident of Panwala bus stop, near Kalka, has complained that a tractor-trailer (HR-38A-9034) rammed into his jeep (HP-15-3734) near Pinjore garden leaving Neeraj and him injured.

In another case, the police has booked a scooterist for hitting Mr Jagdish Kumar, a resident of Devi Nagar in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Jagdish Kumar said an unidentified person riding the scooter (CH-01M-4316) had hit him near Surajpur.

Mrs Darshna Devi, a resident of Paploha near Kalka, has complained that the driver of a private bus (HP-15-4745) rammed the vehicle into her Kinetic Honda scooter (HR-49-4299) near Paploha yesterday. She sustained injuries in the accident.

The police has registered cases under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427, IPC.

Burglary: In a complaint, a Lieutenant-Colonel has alleged that thieves broke into his house in Sector 12-A and took away Rs 8,500 in cash, silver jewellery and a service medal while the family was away.

The complainant, Lieut-Col Sushil Kaushal, has complained that the thieves committed the theft in his house between August 15 and 18. A case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC, has been registered.

1 held: The police has arrested Shri Ram, a resident of Haripur village in Sector 4, for gambling at public place. The person was arrested red-handed and a sum of Rs 930 was recovered from his possession.

A case under a provision of the Gambling Act has been registered against him.


Havell’s out on safety campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Havell’s, a pioneer in the field of electrical products specialising in switchgear, started a consumer safety awareness campaign here today. Products were displayed on a van with the slogan “Make your home Havell’s safe”.

Mr Vishwajit Singh, sales manager, said the aim of the campaign was to create awareness among retail dealers and consumers about safe and quality products. Mr Amrit Pal Singh, sales manager, said the campaign would continue for two weeks.

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