Friday, September 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Admn, MC sweat it out to clear trail of destruction
Tribune News Service

City’s date with downpour

  • Uprooted trees block several roads.
  • Power supply failed in several areas as falling trees snapped lines.
  • Sewerage in Sector 47-B swept away.
  • At night, the power supply was switched off for more than an hour to save the system from crashing. 

Chandigarh, September 5
Torrential rain accompanied by high speed winds late at night left a trail of destruction in the city. Several trees were uprooted and roads were full of slush and the morning witnessed a fickle power supply. In a single most destructive act about 10 meters of newly laid sewerage line in Sector 47-B was swept away.

This morning teams of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation set about setting things right after yesterday’s storm. Fallen trees had to be removed, movement of traffic was to be restored and road surfaces had to be cleaned. It is another matter that several of the roads of the southern sectors were left as it is. By the afternoon it had become difficult for two-wheeler drivers to drive and apply brakes as it caused skidding.

The heavy downpour exposed the inadequacies of the city’s storm water drainage system for the umpteenth time. Southern sectors like Sectors 35, 34, 44, 43, 46, 45, 31 and 32 were flooded as the water came down the natural slope of the city towards these sectors.

Late at night power engineers switched off supply due to the high speed winds. Rain which was recorded at 4.2 centimeters within a short span of about 90 minutes had left most of the city roads flooded. City residents who were headed towards the railway station or to the ISBT to board trains or buses were left stranded. Same was the case with people returning from other cities.

Even those returning from the late night movie shows preferred to stay within the movie halls as rain lashed out in great fury. Youngsters returning from late night shifts or parties could be seen dancing on the roads enjoying the rain.

By 11 p.m last night the news of India ‘s victory over arch rivals Pakistan in hockey in the Champions Trophy had added to the heady feeling. The rain also started at the same time coinciding with the country’s win. In several low lying areas like Mauli Jagran operation to flush out water was on Mauli Jagran is a low lying area and is also on the natural slope of water.

In several areas branches of trees fell on high tension power lines and caused faults. Though supply was restored in areas, total restoration was possible only by the afternoon. In some sectors the electricity wing had carried out tree pruning in the last month and this saved several of the high tension feeders.

Dera Bassi

High velocity winds disrupted traffic on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway for over three hours as uprooted trees blocked the road at many places late last night.



Storm uproots 100 trees in zoo
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), September 5
High velocity winds accompanied by a heavy downpour left a trail of destruction in its wake uprooting scores of old trees, damaging electricity cables and inundating low-lying areas within the premises of Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park besides endangering the lives of zoo inmates, late last night.

The uprooted trees further posed threat to the animals as they fell on cages and boundary walls of enclosures keeping the zoo staff on their toes the whole night.

The winds that blew at a velocity of 52 km per hour in the South-East direction at 12.30 am uprooted hundreds of trees leading to the blockage of the Chat Bir link road, connecting the zoo with the Chandigarh-Patiala highway, and the zoo internal roads.

Huge trees including sheesham, eucalyptus, gulmohar, casaurina, kanak champa, amaltash, neem and kikar came crashing down obstructing entry to the zoo premises as well as to the internal roads linking one enclosure with another.

The zoo authorities had to press four elephants to lift the tree trunks and foliage.

It was a narrow escape for a herd of hog deer when some eucalyptus and sheesham trees crashed on their enclosure damaging the fence at three to four places.

Power supply to the zoo was also disrupted after over 15 trees adjacent to the zoo rest house fell on the electricity poles damaging the high voltage power cables.

A zookeeper of the tiger enclosure had a tough time during the heavy rain guarding a Royal Bengal tiger, that was roaming in the open. He kept a night-long vigil making sure that the big cat did not escape with the help of a tree that had fallen on the boundary wall of its enclosure.

Talking to The Tribune Dr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden (Zoos), Punjab, said over 100 full grown trees were destroyed.

He said the trees blocking the main road leading to the zoo and internal roads were cut and removed with the help of elephants and tractors. The trees lying on the boundary walls of certain enclosures and the cages besides the boundary wall of the Lion Safari were removed on a priority basis.

Trees lying on the outerwalls of the enclosures housing deer, black buck and sambhar were removed immediately to avoid attacks by wild animals since wild animals have killed over two dozen animals in these enclosures in one year, said Dr Sharma.

‘‘We have cleared the roads for vehicular traffic and removed the trees that have fallen on the boundary. All the broken and uprooted trees will be removed by tomorrow,’’ assured Dr. Sharma.

He said saplings of animal and bird-friendly species like berry and peepal would be planted within the zoo premises soon. This would help in fulfilling the fodder requirement for animals as well in attracting birds.



Cops to patrol Sukhna on bicycles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
For the evening walkers at the Sukhna Lake, seeing cops of Chandigarh Police patrolling on bicycles came as a surprise. Used to police patrol on foot on the path along the lake’s water body, regular strollers treated the sight with delight.

On a trial basis, the Chandigarh Police today “armed” the 12-odd cops posted at the Sukhna police post with yellow-coloured bicycles, equipped with a lathi and a hooter. The cops have been given distinct headgear to differentiate them from the other force.

After flagging off the bicycles, the Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, said that the area around the lake had been divided in to six beats — two bicycles in each beat. Two cops would patrol the 2.5 km-long pedestrian path along the lake. While two cops would patrol the road behind the road between the lake and the Golf Course, the remaining would be on duty on the road leading to the lake from the High Court and Sector 7.

“If the project proved successful, beat constables would be given the bicycles. It would optimise manpower of the force as patrolling on bicycles had an advantage as compared to the gypsies and motorcycles which could not reach the inaccessible areas”, said the IGP, adding that the existing force at the lake was a semi-static in nature.

Addressing a gathering before the flag-off ceremony, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, said each cycle had cost around Rs 1200 and would prove effective in covering a large area as compared to foot patrolling. It had been observed that cops patrolling on bicycles were more observant than those on motor cycles and gypsies. Besides, the summer uniform of the tourist force was also being redesigned, said the IGP.

The Chandigarh Police today gave “sponsored” umbrellas to its traffic police. An official said it had been seen that the traffic cops were most exposed to fury of the rain gods. Special yellow-coloured raincoats were also being provided to the force, said a police official.



Wild animals may lose rescue centre
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 5
The Rescue Centre for Wildlife at Chandi Mandir near here, faces the threat of imminent closure. The Army authorities, who had earlier allocated land for the purpose, are now demanding the land back.

Sources in Wildlife Department, Haryana, have stated that Army authorities have asked the department to close this centre at the earliest and hand over 20 acres of land within the Chandi Mandir cantonment area back.

Though no reasons have been cited for the move, sources say security concerns among Army authorities, because of the opening of the centre in the nearby forests, has led to this demand. The Commanding Officer of the Western Command has reportedly put forth the demand before the department last month, asking that the centre be closed within 15 days. The request is still pending with state government, which is mulling the idea of shifting this centre elsewhere.

In 1986, the Army authorities in Chandi Mandir had offered around 20 acres of land within the cantonment area for setting up a deer park. After a nod was received from the Union Ministry of Environment, Wildlife Department, Haryana, had set up Chandi Mandir Deer Lake Garden.

When the deer park was initially set up, a large number of spotted deer, gorals, sambar, black bucks, barking deer, rabbits and geese were kept here. However, the park was converted into a Rescue Centre for Animals last year.

Sources in the department inform that a technical committee of the Central Zoo Authority had visited the deer park in 1999. They had observed that the park was accessible only to the families of those staying within the Army area. Thus, the committee declined to give recognition to the park stating that it was not open to the general public, as is mandatory for any zoo or animal park. It, however, recommended that the park be converted into a rescue centre.

Following the directions by the Central Zoo Authority, Wildlife officials were forced to close the park and release animals in the forest. However, most of the geese kept here were handed over to a Chandigarh-based NGO working in the field of animal welfare.

Senior Wildlife officials informed Chandigarh Tribune that once the state government takes a decision on closing the rescue centre here, they will look for an alternate site to treat injured and sick animals, before releasing them in the forest.



Child’s battle for survival
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, September 5
For two-year-old Sanjeev and his family it has become an every-day battle for survival after he accidentally consumed an insecticide about 10 months ago.

His father, Vikram (25), who earns his living ironing clothes in Sector-70 here, and mother, Meena Kumari, are fighting against odds to keep the little one alive. The child can breathe only with the help of a tracheostomy tube fitted in he throat through an operation at the PGI, Chandigarh.

The PGI has provided the family with a suction pump for removing mucus from the respiratory system as blockage can lead to suffocation. The equipment has to be used seven or eight times a day, but when the child has fever the frequency increases to 15 to 20 minutes.

According to a senior child specialist, it appears that the child has suffered from the after-effects of poisoning. It is possible that the upper part of the trachea — the glotis — had shrunk and as a result the air passage had reduced and lungs got over inflated. To decrease airway resistance due to narrowing, an artificial opening in the trachea had been done and a tracheostomy tube inserted to facilitate normal respiration.

Doctors at the PGI have told Vikram that the child will have to undergo another operation. Vikram, who is from Gonda in UP, says: “I’ve already spent more than Rs 30,000 on my son’s medical treatment and now have no money left. He remained admitted to the PGI for more than three months and I was compelled to stop working. Every day, we have to give the prescribed medicine to Sanjeev. The bottle lasts only about a week and costs Rs 106. The second operation I was told would cost about Rs 10,000 apart from expenses on medicines and follow-up treatment.”

The accident happened last year before Divali, he says, when he was ironing clothes at a house under construction in Phase 3B2. His wife brought food for everyone. After having his meal he went to ease himself. In the meantime Sanjeev managed to crawl up a few stairs to a spot where some insecticide was lying in a broken bottle.

Meena Kumari says they had seen the child drinking something from a bottle but did not know that it was an insecticide.

Vikram says when he returned, he found the child was frothing. He cleaned Sanjeev’s mouth after which the child went off to sleep. However, after about an hour the child awoke. He had loose motions and his body appeared to be almost lifeless.

The parents rushed Sanjeev to the local Civil Hospital, where doctors referred the case to the PGI.



Teachers showered with flowers, gifts & praise
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, September 5
Cultural programmes marked the teachers’ Day celebrations in various educational institutes of the city today. Students took charge in schools and colleges, staged entertaining items and pampered their teachers with flowers and gifts.

KB DAV Centenary Public School: It was a perfect blend of jubilation and creativity at KB DAV Centenary Public School, Sector 7, where, departing from tradition, teachers clad in colourful attires participated in the cultural programme. The teachers were divided into four houses namely Jasmine, Lotus, Rose and Tulip for participation as team.

The best teacher award went to Ms Renu Katoch, Ms Neeraj Hardy, Ms Anupam Joshi and Ms Jyoti Malhotra. A ballet, “Tamso Maa Jotirgamaya”, Rajasthani group dance and fancy dress contest which saw teachers disguised as prominent figures was a thorough entertainer. The winners of the fancy dress contest winners are Ms Anuradha Jairath, Ms Rita Nanda and Ms Renu Katoch

Manav Mangal High School: Packed with fun and enjoyment, the entire day at Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, saw the faculty at their enthusiastic best as they participated in games and contests.

Beginning with an ‘antakshari’ item which saw teachers trying their hand at singing, they went on to participate in a musical game as well as “Tol Mol Ke Bol” which saw them taking back a number of prizes.

Later, a slogan-writing contest saw the teachers at their innovative best as they doled out slogans in praise of teachers and their role in society. These slogans were then displayed on the bulletin board.

The day ended with the Principal, Mr Sanjay Sardana, giving away prizes to winners of various contests.

Mount Carmel School: Students of all classes participated in various competitions and cultural programmes. The school choir presented “Happy Teachers’ Day”. Tiny tots vied for the titles of “Tiny Tots Best Male and Female Model”, ‘Little Miss Mount Carmel’, ‘Miss and Mr Universe’ among others.

The seniors participated in a debate contest on topics which included: ‘Are examinations a must?’, ‘Can computers replace teachers’ and ‘Does the traditional Guru Shishya relationship still exist.’ Other competitive items were paint the face, salad decoration, talent hunt and best dressed teacher. A prize distribution ceremony followed the competitions, the programme ending with a bhangra item.

Shivalik Public School: On behalf of the school and students, all teachers were sent bouquets at their residences to mark the day. An entertaining cultural programme was put up by students followed by tea for the staff.

Bal Niketan School: The birth anniversary of Dr S. Radhakrishnan was celebrated with great enthusiasm. The teachers were greeted with flowers and delivered speeches. It concluded with the speech of Principal Rita Kapoor.

Government College of Education: The principal, Mr S Saini, welcomed the teachers by presenting flowers. A brief history of the life of Dr Radhakrishnan was presented followed by an ‘antakshri’ contest. A talent-search contest witnessed 15 entries and items ranged from poems, skits to dances.

State Institute of Education: At the State Institute of Education in Sector 32, a programme was organised by students of Elementary Teachers Training Class. In her address, the Principal, Ms S. Tangri, emphasised the contribution of teachers towards national development

Government College for Girls, Sector 42: A tree plantation drive led by Principal Vijay Lakshmi at GCG-42 marked the day. The campaign was organised by the Department of Botany. Trees of neem, amla, jamun and gulmohar were planted among others.

Dev Samaj College of Education: A panel discussion on “Role of teacher and youth for eradication of illiteracy” marked the celebrations at the college in Sector 36. Students and faculty members participated in the discussion. The chief guest, Dr C.L. Narang, Coordinator, NSS, spoke on the role of teachers in shaping the destiny of the country.

Food Craft Institute: To commemorate the birth anniversary of the late President, students took command of the regular work while teachers enjoyed themselves playing games and being entertained by students. A community lunch was also served.

GGDSD College: On the theme of teacher-student relations, a cultural programme was organised in the college in Sector 32. The Principal, Dr A.C. Vaid, stressed the importance of the day and remembered Dr Radhakrishnan.

Government College, Sector 46: A tree plantation exercise was undertaken in the college in collaboration with the State Bank of India. Principal SC Nijhawan launched the drive by planting a neem sapling. An aero-modelling show by the NCC Air Wing was also organised.

Government College, Sector 11: A paper-reading contest was held in which 12 students participated. Prof Bhupinder Singh, a member of Panjab University Academic Council, gave away prizes. He said teachers should update their knowledge and be well-informed if they wanted to command respect from their students.


Teachers’ Day was observed in different schools and colleges of the town on Thursday.

MDSD Girls College: In MDSD Girls College, the day was celebrated by the Youth Club to highlight the role of teachers in nation building. A cultural show was presented to pay homage to Dr S. Radhakrishnan and honour the teaching community.

The college Principal, Dr Kiran Angra, asked the students to maintain the sense of devotion and discipline towards their teachers.

SD Girls High School: The State Bank of India celebrated the day at S.D. Girls High School, Topkhana Bazaar, Ambala Cantonment. The Defence Estate Officer, Ms Shobha Kapoor, was the chief guest while Mr Suresh Gupta was the guest of honour.

Ms Kapoor presented the SBI awards to teachers, including Ms Sunita Ghai, Ms Urmil Suman, Principal, Mr Lov Kumar Bansal and Mr Arjun Sashtri. Mr P.S. Randhawa, Branch Manager, SBI, stressed that the teachers should play a vital role in the formation of literate Indian society.

DAV Public School: In DAV Public School, Ambala City, the day was marked with enthusiasm. School Principal Meenakshi Dogra impressed upon the students the importance of Teachers’ Day and said students should follow the ancient Indian culture and give due regard to the teachers.

In slogan-writing competition on ‘Teachers’, the winners were Rashmi, Sumit, Vaibhav and Sandhya. Among others, the Regional Director, Dr R.K. Chauhan, and the Chairman, Dr D.R. Gupta, were present on the occasion.


Col V.R. Mohan DAV Public School, Dera Bassi, celebrated Teachers’ Day. Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Punjab, who was the chief guest, was welcomed by Ms Jyoti Agnihotri, school Principal. The chief guest started off the function by lighting a lamp and exhorted the students to follow the path shown by Dr S. Radhakrishnan. Skits, gidha and a colourful cultural programme presented by tiny-tots marked the occasion. Later, the Principal highlighted the school’s achievements and gave vote of thanks.

Students of Samta Pablic School, Lalru, Deep Mala Public School Dera Bassi, Government Senior Secondary School Lalru, Government High School, Dera Bassi, Government Senior Secondary School, Mubarkpur, and some other schools organised small cultural functions to mark the day.


Saint Soldier Divine Public School: Students held a special prayer for their teachers at the start of the celebrations. Later, they organised a cultural programme in which solo and group dance competitions were held. Concluding the function, students of Class XII presented mementoes to all teachers of the school. The Principal appreciated the efforts of the students in making the function a big success.

Bhavan Vidyalaya: Bouquets of flowers, cards and best wishes for teachers marked the beginning of the day. The teachers were treated with a scintillating cultural show organised by students. Besides presenting beautiful rhythmic dances , students recited poems. The programme concluded with a meeting and a party given to the staff by members of the managing committee. A token of appreciation was also given to the teachers by the management.

Satluj Public School: The birth anniversary of Dr S. Radhakrishnan was celebrated with great enthusiasm here. The day started with assembly by teachers, where they themselves did physical training, organised the prayer and read the news, instead of the students. Students spoke on the life of Dr Radhakrishnan, gave titles to teachers and also organised a cultural programme. The school Principal, Mr Krit Serai, spoke on the role of teachers in shaping the destiny of children. Teachers were also given a token of appreciation by the Principal.

Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School: The day was celebrated here with a difference. Members of the Sparrow Eco Club and NSS volunteers assembled in the school ground for a tree plantation drive. As many as 150 saplings were planted and students took oath to nurture these plants. The Principal, Mr V.P. Paul, stressed upon the importance of such activities. Mr Rampal Majra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Haryana, was the chief guest.

Blue Bird High School: An inter-class poetry writing competition was organised. Best poems, written by Ankita Soni, Karnika Jain, Geetika, Amrita, Mukesh and Pallavi were selected. On this occasion, all classes presented a cultural programme, comprising of dances, skits and speeches. Students of Class X were the teachers for the day and taught lessons in all classes. The Old Students Association with its president, Mr Michael, presented a set of books for the school library.

Amravati Public School: The school management organised a picnic for teachers to Shivgotri temple in Pinjore. In the school, students of different classes presented a cultural programme, comprising songs, skits and quwalis. The school Principal, Ms Poonam Gupta, highlighted the achievements of the school.

DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur: Classes were tastefully decorated on this day. Students greeted teachers in the traditional way by putting ‘tilak’ on their foreheads, touching their feet and seeking blessings. The celebrations began with a havan being performed in the school, followed by a lively performance by tiny tots. Sweets and candies were also distributed.


Government College: The local Government College celebrated vanamahautsava and Teachers’ Day by planting saplings on the campus.

Mr Bhagat Singh, Financial Commissioner, Revenue, planted the first sapling. In all about 400 saplings were planted by staff members and students. Ms Nisha Sarad, DPI, Colleges, Punjab, was the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, the Principal, Mr J.P. Garg, said a teacher was a builder of the nation. Society had placed some responsibilities on a teacher. There was a need for self-introspection to find out whether those responsibilities were being fulfilled.

DAV Public School: It was an unusual state of affairs at DAV Public School. Teachers of the school presented various cultural items and also took part in fun games. Students were thrilled to see their teachers in different roles. While Ranju and Sunita sang a Punjabi song, Ira, Geetu and Tejinder gave individual dance performances. Some of the teachers even exhibited their aerobic skills.

The Principal of the school, Ms Jaya Bharadwaj, spoke on various aspects of the life of a teacher.

Shastri Model School: In Shastri Model School the day was celebrated by honouring teachers.

The chief guest on the occasion was Dr Ujjagar Singh Sehgal, Chairperson, Correspondence Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Dr Sehgal said education should not be commercialised. He laid stress on improving the primary education in schools.

Ms Narinder Kaur, Controller of Examinations, Punjab School Education Board, was a special guest. She said teachers were a role model and a guide for students.

St Soldier International Convent School: Teachers and students celebrated the occasion by holding a function held in the school. Later on, all of them had a great time at a lunch party in Sector 35, Chandigarh.

Yadavindra Public School: Saplings were planted on the school premises by the Principal, the Vice-Principal, the founder teacher and the youngest teacher as a part of the celebrations of the day. Students also accompanied the teachers for the same. Half day holiday was declared after which the teachers went out for a picnic.

Golden Bells Public School: Students presented a cultural bonanza for the teachers to celebrate the occasion. The HDFC Bank of Sohana also presented a token of honour to staff. Teachers were also honoured by the managing society of the school. 



Conditions conducive for talks on J&K: Verghese
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
India needs to initiate dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, regional forces in the valley and Pakistan on the issue of autonomy.

Eminent journalist and author of the Kargil Committee report, Mr B.G. Verghese, said this on the second day of the seven-day P.N. Haksar series of seminar and discussion at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

Mr Verghese said conditions were favourable for a dialogue with all parties but the priority had to be an internal dialogue with an intention to accommodate the perceptions of the “people of Kashmir (including those of northern areas and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir).”

While talking to TNS, Mr Verghese, however, did not express full faith in the dialogues initiated by Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr Ram Jethmalani. He wished the two dialogue efforts luck.

The session on “Confrontation to Confederation: A Framework for Resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Question” was chaired by The Editor of The Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh, who praised Mr Verghese’ paper as a “wonderful document” and expressed the need to look at the Kashmir problem with an “open mind” in the wake of changing and emerging realities.

Mr Jaisingh lamented that the people of the country were not informed on vital issues and “ad-hocism” was becoming a bane of decision-making in matters like Kashmir, resulting in a series of blunders by the leadership.

Mr Verghese, who was termed by Mr Jaisingh as his “guru”, revealed a pre-Kargil effort by the Union Government to open channels of communication between the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan to make it a porous and soft border was made.

He said the proposal of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, regarding a confederation was also indicative of the new realities emerging in the country for taking up the issue of autonomy.

Making out a strong case for the autonomy of Kashmir, Mr Verghese said the Kashmiris would stay with the country due to financial support. He said autonomy to other states under various Articles of the Constitution did not separate them from India.

Mr Verghese, delving into history, threw a deep insight into the Kashmir problem and its solution.



Abandoned infant shifted to orphanage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The fate of the newborn baby, who was found abandoned near the General Hospital yesterday, could be better than that of other orphans simply for one reason that being a male, there would be far more childless couples keen to adopt the infant, who was left on the roadside.

After spending the third day of his life in the cosy comfort of the Nursery Ward at the General Hospital, the abandoned infant was packed off to the caring and protected confines of a charitable home in Sector 23. “The child, who according to doctors is about two days old, looks much older as he is very healthy,” said the police officials, who escorted the child to the charity home.

The child, was found lying outside the General Hospital, Sector 16,early yesterday morning. The baby boy, who was in perfect health, was immediately shifted to the Nursery Ward, at the hospital. As is the legal procedure, the baby would spend the next three months at the charity home, before he is lucky enough to get a home, where he can lead a normal life, like any other child.

Apart from the fact that people can be so insensitive so as to abandon their newborn baby, another disheartening fact that comes to light is that while there is no dearth of couples, who throng the charity homes and orphanages to get a male child, there are no takers for handicapped or mentally retarded children and few opt to adopt a baby girl.

Majority of the NGO’s and social organisations were unanimous in their opinion that even today, a lot of gender bias exists, as the most educated and aware people also want a male child. As compared to foreigners, who are more than willing to adopt handicapped or mentally challenged children, the Indians are reluctant even to adopt a girl child as they still suffer from the mental block.

Interestingly, some of the social organisations, that are running homes for the orphans said they were reluctant to give children for adoption to couples that had gender bias.”Whenever a couple comes and demands only a male child, we refuse flatly as we feel that any child is a gift from God and we must not have this discriminatory attitude,” said one of the social workers on condition of anonymity.

Even the fact that it is the handicapped and mentally challenged children, who need all the more care, love and affection has not brought about a discernible change in the attitude of the Indians, but the fact that there are a few organisations that happily take care of these special children is a welcome sign.



Promote informal sector: Chandra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
A city like Chandigarh, where 70 per cent of the new jobs are being created in the informal sector, can be an example for the country leaders and policy makers to generate employment.

The over-emphasis on the formal organised sector over the past years, has created an imbalance in the economy and insignificant increase in jobs. The country will have to ensure the development of informal sector through upgradation of technology, training of manpower, orientation of financial and supportive institutions, to create jobs in this sector, said Prof Ashoka Chandra, former Special Secretary, Ministry of HRD, here today.

He was speaking at a three-day national seminar on ‘ Employment and Productivity in Informal Sector,’ organised by Technical Teachers’ Training Institute (TTTI). He observed that since the formal sector, which comprised organised sectors in the private and public sector, constituted only seven per cent of the total economy and was losing its potential to provide jobs due to world-wide competition.

He said, ‘‘It is unfortunate that the productivity of the informal sector is just one-sixth of the formal sector. Even if we are able to bridge the gap by increasing productivity of the later sector to 1/4, the economy would grow at 12 per cent, which was unthinkable in the present set- up. We would have to ensure best technology, training and finance to this sector.’’

Participating in the deliberations, Ms P. Mehta, Director, Planning Commission, said, ‘‘There are about 26 million unemployed people in the country today and the figure is likely to reach 50 million during the next five years. The government’s plan even if implemented, would be able to create only 20 million jobs during the 10th plan.’’

Earlier, in his theme address, Mr S.K. Chopra, Principal, TTTI, said the informal sector, which included agriculture, unorganised units in the rural and urban areas, should not be under-valued.

Among others, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, Chairman, TTTI, Mr I P Anand, former chairman, TTTI, Prof Vijay P. Puri, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, Director, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Punjab and Dr J.S. Saini also participated in the seminar. As many as 70 delegates from all over the country are taking part in the seminar.



Jacob for tapping tourism potential
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
There is a dire need to upgrade the Chandigarh Airport to the level of an international airport and also to develop the city as a convention centre, stressed the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F. R. Jacob (retd), while speaking at the Tourism Minister’s conference in Delhi today.

The airport would enable Chandigarh to become a viable tourist destination, particularly for NRIs visiting the region. By promoting the city as a convention centre the pressure now being exerted on New Delhi for holding national and international conventions could be reduced to a great extent.

The modern business and socio-cultural environment, high literacy rate of the people, its modern architecture and pollution free environment makes Chandigarh ideally suitable to be developed as a Convention City.

In the vast changing economic scenario, there is still a need to augment the tourism infrastructure and adopt an integrated approach for promotion of Chandigarh as a tourist destination that will ensure the best possible utilisation of resources on a long-term perspective.

Chandigarh, is a full-grown city, modern and well planned; multi-cultural; a financial hub of northern India; it has a thriving business community (corporate sector); joint Capital of Punjab and Haryana — India’s two prosperous and progressive states. It has excellent government and educational establishments with good rail, road and air links. Above all, it has a responsive Administration with a progressive outlook, said General Jacob while putting out his case.

A visit to Chandigarh is favoured by the tourists not only because of its unique modern architecture, but also due to its strategic location as a gateway to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Chandigarh offers a rich fare of places of tourist interest, within short distance.

The Museum and Art Gallery which itself is a work of art, houses a vast range of paintings and sculptures – historical as well as contemporary. The museum is a reminder of past civilisations culture and heritage.

Chandigarh also figures prominently on the tourism and travel circuits of North Western region.

Tourism has become one of the fastest growing industry in the world and is recognised as a major contributor to a country’s gross domestic product and is also a potential export earner. Tourism acts as a catalyst for many industries besides having a high multiplier effect on the economy.

It is the endeavour of the Chandigarh Administration to develop tourism as a major industry in Chandigarh by providing strategic directions for improving the quality of tourism products, developing places of tourists interest, providing necessary facilities for all categories of tourists and marketing Chandigarh Tourism products internationally and domestically so as to generate employment, economic, social and cultural benefits to the people of this region.

Chandigarh can boast of two forests reserve spots — Nepli and Kansal, which are quite an attraction for the residents of Chandigarh. However, being a reserve areas, there is a constraint of developing these as full-fledged sanctuaries or nature resorts. The Administration has envisaged a tourism scheme under ‘Development of Chandigarh as a Tourist Destination’, which includes tourism proposal of setting up of a nature reserves and eco-tourism park in about 80 acres of land being developed as a botanical Garden and to be combined with a natural forest of 200 acres area.

There is also a need to enhance the availability of cheap accommodation by setting up a Yatri Niwas. Land has already been allocated for the purpose. Several other tourism proposals have been recommended for the release of Central Financial Assistance such as sound and light show, eco-tourism wild park etc. In this regard, these tourism proposals become an overall part of the tourism project-development of Chandigarh as a tourist destination and therefore, funds are being sought from the ministry.



Couple booked in cheating case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
A couple of Sector 44 has been booked by the police for cheating a resident of Pathankot of Rs 3 lakh on the pretext of arranging admission of his son in an MBBS course in a medical college in Karnataka. According to the reports, the couple, N.K. Singh and Sunita Singh, both residents of Sector 44, had taken the amount in October 2000 but they neither arranged the admission nor returned the amount. The two were booked under Sections 420, 406 and 120B of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested a Ropar district based couple, Kala Singh and Rekha, for allegedly trespassing into the house of Mr Jagit Singh, a resident of Sector 52 here yesterday. Mr Jagit Singh was allegedly also beaten up by the couple. The two were later sent to judicial remand.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Kakrwal village, Sangrur district, reported that his scooter (PB 13D 3280) was stolen from Sector 22. Mr Shyam Lal, a resident of Sector 21, reported with the police that a bag containing Rs. 2,000 and some documents were stolen from his residence on September 2. A case has been registered. Two cases of theft have been registered.

On the complaint of Ms Lokesh Rani, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, here, a case of criminal breach of trust and subjecting her to cruelty under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC has been registered against her husband Raj Kumar. In her complaint she had alleged that she was harassed and maltreated by her husband. She was married to Raj Kumar, a resident of Model Town, Ambala in 1989.

Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Sector 47, was injured after his cycle was hit by car in Sector 47. Sanjay was admitted to GMCH, Sector 32. Kamaljit Singh, the car driver and a resident of Panchkula has been arrested under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC. He was later released on bail.


Case registered
On the complaint of Ambala Central Jail authorities the police has registered a case against a prisoner who did not come back even after the expiry of his parole period. According to the police Prakash, a resident of Mujaffar Nagar, had gone on parole in March 1999 for six weeks but he had not returned till date. The case was registered on the complaints of Superintendent of Central Jail.

Pistol seized
The police has seized a country made pistol and two cartridges from a person near Hotel Neelkanth at Ambala Cantt. The staff of Ambala police who conducted the raid registered a case under the Arms Act against Prakash. Earlier, two days ago too the police had recovered another country made pistol from the possession of a person at Ambala Cantonment bus stand. The police believe that the country made pistols are being smuggled from Uttar Pradesh to different parts of Haryana and Punjab.

In another case the CIA staff of Ambala police also recovered a country made pistol and a cartridge from a resident of Jhajjar. According to police report on the basis of suspicion when the police conducted a search of a person identified as Sumesh near bus stand at Ambala Cantt, the pistol was recovered from his possession. The police has registered a case against him under the Arms Act.


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