Monday, September 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


20,000 carrying hepatitis B in city
Fund crunch increasing spread
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Even though, in Asia, the spread of hepatitis-B is more alarming than that of AIDS, lack of funds and non-inclusion of the hepatitis-B vaccine in child immunisation programmes have doctors worrying. “Hepatitis-B is affecting about 20,000 persons in the city,” said Dr Yogesh Chawla, Head of the PGI Department of Hepatology, at a CME programme of the Chandigarh chapter of the Indian Medical Association.


The transmission route of the 
hepatitis-B virus can be:

  • Perinatal
  • Child to child.
  • Unsafe injections.
  • Transfusions.
  • Unprotected sex.
  • Skin puncture.
  • Mucous membrane contact with the blood or other bodily fluids.


Avoid sharing these things:

  • Razors.
  • Toothbrushes.
  • Towels etc.
  • Most important: screen the blood in blood banks.

The topic of the CME was ‘Management of Hepatitis’. Dr Chawla said, though the HIV-prevention programmes were well-funded, hepatitis-B immunisation was being ignored. The government should take steps to bring down the price of the hepatitis-B vaccine, so that, masses could benefit from it.

Health and paramedical workers had a higher than average risk of acquiring hepatitis-B infection, mainly due to ignorance and a casual approach in following safety precautions. There are over 1 million deaths every year due to hepatitis-B infection. India has 36 million carriers of the disease — nine per cent of the affected world population.

“The WHO has stressed the need for introducing hepatitis-B vaccination in child immunisation programmes,” said Dr J.D. Wig, state president of the IMA. He said the information regarding the vaccine quality, vaccine vial monitors, vaccine preservation technologies and inject systems should be made available to all.

The transmission route of the hepatitis-B virus can be perinatal, child to child, unsafe injections, transfusions and unprotected sex. Usually, transmission involves skin puncture and mucous membrane contact with the blood or other bodily fluids. “One should avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes, towels and the other such instruments, but the most important precaution is screening of the blood in blood banks,” said doctors.

While hepatitis A and E are transmitted through water, hepatitis B, C and D spread through blood. Hepatitis C has 170 million carriers — five times the number of the HIV-infected in the world. “It is a silent and prolonged infection; the symptoms show up 20 to 30 years after infection,” said Dr Ajay Duseja, Assistant Professor of the PGI Department of Hepatology.

He said hepatitis C occurred as a co-infection with the HIV infection and 90 per cent of the HIV-positive persons in Manipur had tested positive for hepatitis C as well. He said the incidence of hepatitis C in thalassaemic children was about 58 per cent. Dr Duseja said hepatitis C caused end-stage liver disease, which required liver transplant. Since there is no vaccine against this virus, its only answer is to follow universal precautions.


Bid to revive militancy; 3 held
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 8
With the arrest of three persons, the Ropar police has foiled a plan to revive militancy in Punjab.

According to a press note issued here today by Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, Senior Superintendent of Police, the three persons were arrested at two checkpoints, one at Kurali and the other at Morinda. The gang was involved in the theft of vehicles and the preparation of fake registration documents — the aim being to collect funds to buy weapons from abroad and revive militancy in the state.

The police arrested one of the gang members, Gurpal Singh ‘Babbi’ of Ropar, at the Kurali checkpoint when he tried to cross it in a car. He tried to run away, but was apprehended. A pistol was seized from him. Later, his interrogation led to the recovery of three stolen cars. Earlier, a case had been registered against him at the Sohana police station near here under the Arms Act.

He was an accomplice of Gurvinder Singh ‘Goldie’ who was facing changes of bank fraud and had absconded. He also had a fake passport.

Two other members of the gang Chetan Singh and Depinder Singh, were arrested from Morinda. Three stolen cars — an Esteem, a Tata Sumo and a Maruti — were recovered from them. The police said another member of the gang, Bawinder Singh ‘Tinka’, lived in the Samrala area.

According to the police, the gang’s plan was to go abroad to buy weapons, get their jailed accomplices released and revive militancy.

Meanwhile, the SAS Nagar police has arrested five persons and recovered five stolen two-wheelers, five bicycles, three gas cylinders and a mobile telephone from them. The police said their names were Jatinder Singh ‘Johnny’, Beant Singh ‘Neeta’, Sunil Kumar ‘Rocky Charles’, Jagtar Singh ‘Jaggi’, and Pardeep Sharma.


Chinks in PU exam armour
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Despite having made a commendable progress in updating the slackened process of examination during the past few years, Panjab University still has to tighten up its working in straightening out certain procedural lapses which put students at the receiving end.

The list of re-evaluation results of BA II, declared on August 29, seems farcical. Of the total 68 results declared, as many as 38 are RLA (results later because of non-receipt of awards), five are RL (results later) and as many as 15 others do not mention any results as the previous results stand.

On records, the university has already announced re-evaluation results of BA II and BA III. A senior fellow of the university said the exercise looked merely an attempt to show success ‘on papers only’. Besides the list under question, there were several other cases in which BA II and BA III results were yet to be declared.

Senior sources in the examination branch said the problem of awards not reaching the office had roots in the earlier stages. “We did not want to delay results of the students whose awards had reached the office. These were declared immediately and a large number of pending cases were being disposed off at the earliest”, he said.

A classic case of ‘harassment’ at the hands of the examination wing officials pertains to Navdeep Singh, a student of MA I (Punjabi) who appeared for the annual examination in April 2001. The result showed that Navdeep, a student of AS College, Khanna, was placed under compartment for securing 26 marks. He applied for re-evaluation, but the result has not been declared till today.

The matter was raised in a special meeting of the Syndicate earlier this month. Principal Tarsem Bahia raised the issue and the house was assured of an action within 24 hours. However, till today no university decision on the case has been communicated to Principal Bahia.

Principal Bahia said according to “inside” sources the actual marks obtained by the students were 60. There was a mistake in counting and entering the correct data. The first re-evaluator gave him 68 marks. Since increase in marks was more than 15 per cent, the university should have referred the case to the third evaluator. However, confusion persisted as it was not an error of evaluation but an error of addition. “Only God knows why the university does not accept its mistake and declare the result? The futile exercise cost Navdeep Singh a chance to appear in the NET. The university has also not declared result of his second year examination,” he added.

Another case pertains to the university office functioning. Gurvinder Singh, a student of Punjabi, was enrolled for PhD in 1999. When he submitted synopsis about five months later, an alternation in the title was suggested. Gurvinder said he submitted his paper in September, 2000. But the university had not announced his registration as yet, he said.

If there was any fault in the submission of synopsis, the university should have at least pointed it out to him, he said.


Bus-truck collision leaves 14 hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
At least 14 persons got injured when a Delhi bound bus of Himachal Roadways collided with a speeding truck at the Transport Chowk traffic lights early today. The injured were rushed to the PGI and the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.

The driver of the bus, Shakti, was still in the PGI till late today, while the other persons had been discharged. The injured included 12 persons, who, in the Shimla-Delhi bus, were going towards the Sector 17 inter-state bus terminus when a truck coming from Tribune Chowk rammed into the left of the bus at about 1 am.

The impact turned the bus turtle. The bus stopped sliding on hitting a streetlight pole, after going over an iron barricade on a Madhya Marg road divider. Window glass and the other parts of the two vehicles lay scattered on the road.

A police official said, since the accident had occurred on a busy road, the vehicles had been removed by 5 am. Two of the injured, driver Shakti and cleaner Sham, were admitted to the PGI and the remaining were sent to the GMCH. The driver of the truck, Ramesh Chand, also got injured. The damaged vehicles were moved to the Bapu Dham police post.

A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the driver of the truck. The investigating official, Sub Inspector Mr Mahavir Singh, said the truck driver would be arrested as soon as the hospital discharged him.

In another incident, a pedestrian, Mahinder Singh of Sector 21, died after being hit by a motor cycle near the Sector 26 petrol pump. The motorcyclist has been admitted to the PGI.


SSI units seek clearance of payment from PSEB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Chamber of Confederation of Chandigarh Industries here has urged the Punjab State Electricity Board ( PSEB ) to clear the payments worth crores pending since March this year.

Mr A.L. Aggarwal, general secretary of the chamber, in a press note issued here today said the management was not only finding it difficult to clear the bills for coal supply but small payments worth a few lakh rupees to each small scale unit, which had supplied small items like nut bolts and transformers, have also been stopped since March, 2002.

Senior officials of the board at Patiala privately admitted that they were unable to clear bills worth about Rs 25 crore to the small scale units of Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar and other towns due to financial constrains. These small time firms, which are dependent on timely payment by the PSEB, supply hardware items such as towers, sub-station structures, transformers, cables and conductors. In fact, even earlier the payment schedule has been so erratic that several units have been forced to cut down their production or close down their shutters.

Mr A.L. Aggarwal, general secretary, Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, says, ‘‘The PSEB has not paid the bills of SSI units since March 1, 2002, resulting in hampering of our production schedule. Although the board’s payment terms specify that the payments shall be made within seven days of the receipt of goods at their stores, yet the payment is not made even after six months.’’

Mr Aggarwal claimed, “The Delayed Payment Act No. 23 of 1998 and Interest of Delayed Payment to Small Scale and Ancillary Industrial Undertakings Act No 32 of 1993 has a provision of payment of interest on delayed payments beyond the period as agreed upon in the agreement entered into between the buyers and suppliers. The PSEB also charges interest from consumers if the payments are delayed. But no one is ready to listen to our problem due to low bargaining power and lack of political lobbying.’’

He added that under the Act, the PSEB was liable to pay interest on delayed payment but it was turning a deaf ear to such requests made by them from time to time. Mr Aggarwal pointed out that delay in payments had resulted in accumulated interest on their credit, denial of further credit by banks. The units are now finding it difficult to clear the instalments of their loans and are forced to delay the filing of sales tax and other returns.

The Chamber of Chandigarh Industries has urged the Chairman of the Board, Mr Sudhir Mittal, to take necessary steps to ensure that the board authorities make payments with interest under the Delayed Payment Act at the earliest.


Improve purchasing power: economist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The agriculture-driven Punjab economy is suffering due to weakening purchasing power in the country, which, unless addressed, will not be sustainable in the future.

This was stated by food economist R. Radhakrishna while giving a presentation during the Haksar series of seminars and discussions at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

Mr Radhakrishna said a vibrant, productive and diversified agriculture, creation of a strong rural non-farm sector; investment in human development, strengthening of panchayati raj, focus on nutritional output, a refocused PDS, clean water, growth of purchasing power of the poor and better management of food grains were immediately required to take care of the crisis.

The session on the ''Food security and the crisis in agriculture'' was chaired by an ardent votary of globalisation and former Indian Ambassador to the USA, Mr Abid Hussain.

A former Navy chief, Mr Vishnu Bhagwat, said “the problem was largely due to big five powers ruining farmers of the country”.

However, in another lecture on ''Unilateral world and challenges'' Mr Hussain rejected the possibilities of a new world order being either unilaterally led by the USA or a bilateral order with forces coming together to check the US influence.

He said with technology and non-state players coming into picture a non-UN cooperative and pluralistic world order was bound to emerge, where countries would have issue based alliances. He said China and India, especially the latter, with its harmonising traits in a culture of great diversity, would be important in this arrangement. The session was chaired by a former Foreign Secretary, Mr Salman Haider.

Mr Radhakrishna said in China, Vietnam and Thailand 30 per cent of their exports were being contributed by the rural non-farm sector, which also gave big employment to the people.

He said despite India having the same skills, this sector did not grow rendering the agriculture sector with almost a nil employment generation rate.

Mr Radhakrishna said 47 per cent of the countrymen, including those in advanced states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, were facing mal-nutrition against only 26 per cent in Kerala and 28 per cent in Punjab.

He said studies had shown that cereal intake did not produce the desired results at those places where safe drinking water could not be provided.

The economist said agriculture and related sectors had been drained off public sector investments for the past two decades.

Mr Radhakrishna said agriculture was facing the present crisis as purchasing power of the people did not catch up with the supply rate despite a link between supply and purchasing power being established.



THE Sanskrit Academy, Delhi, has conferred the Sanskrit Teacher award 2001-2002 on Dr (Mrs) Kamal Anand. Dr Anand has the distinction of being the first and the only woman to have been awarded the degree of D Litt by Panjab University. The award has been announced in recognition of her contribution for promotion and development of Sanskrit language and literature.

Dr Sharma is also a recipient of ‘Shiromani Sanskrit Sahityakara’ award of Punjab government and the Rama Krishna award of Sarasvati Vikas Kendra, Ontario, Canada.

To popularise Sanskrit as an important thread of the texture of Indian culture, she has been directing plays and ballets thereby rediscovering the ‘variegated hues, poesy and prosody’ in originals. Her effort in the genre of ballet reinforce the fact that Sanskrit is not the prerogative of the erudite scholar, instead, it can reach out to the masses. Her published works include ‘Anand Dhama ki Ore’, ‘Kathasaritasagar’ and ‘Sanskrit-Sanskrit Sadhna’.

Dr Anand feels that the importance of Sanskrit dwindled because of frequent invasions and its monopoly by a group of people who used it for self-interest. She views Sanskrit and Punjabi as extreme ends of one and the same chain of unbroken process of linguistic tradition. Popular beliefs, customs, manners expressed through proverb and folk sayings of Punjab can be easily traced back to vedic literature.

Kargil conflict

New Delhi-based United Service Institution of India (USI) made a foray outside the national capital and organised a day long seminar on “Security Challenges of India in Regional Context with special reference to Terrorism – Prognosis and Responses,” at the Command Hospital in Chandimandir.

Former and serving defence personnel debated the issue of terrorism ailing India and what were the challenges. Senior generals asked former Chief of Army Staff, General V.P. Malik, as to why the Line of Control (LoC) was not crossed during the Kargil conflict. The former chief explained how the gains of not crossing the LoC had been achieved. He told the audience how the Prime Minister was requested not to use the statement. “We will not cross the border.” Crossing the border could have been a possibility in case efforts to evict the Pakistanis without crossing the LoC had failed.

The senior fauji refused to be pacified and kept on saying the military point of view of crossing the LoC should have been hammered through. The general pacified the audience saying, let us not get emotional what we wanted to achieve was done. During the seminar a host of points came up for discussion.

Starry tantrums

Ever since the shooting of Sarhad Paar began on the outskirts of the city, a sleepy village some 4 km from Chhatbir, suddenly seems to have woken up to its share of fame and glamour.

One day after the other, the whole Rampur Kalan village is being decked up for shooting one sequence or another, featuring stars of the order of Tabu, Sanjay Dutt, Mahima Chaudhary and Chandrachur Singh. The villagers, who get to see and share some moments with the stars off and on are obviously on cloud 9, so much so that they are now questioning routine fans on various accounts. The other day a group of fans from Chandigarh reached the village and entered its alleys to see the stars shooting a song scene. A group of village boys barged into the area, already heavily cordoned by the cops, and asked in a bold tone, “What are you people doing here? There is no marriage going on. Do you have permission to enter?”

Even as the cops watched, the village boys threw their weight around and walked past! Starry tantrums galore!

No hard feelings

Never mind a host of allegations against Sanjay Dutt, he still happens to be the largest crowd puller on the sets of Raman Kumar’s Sarhad Paar, being shot at Chandigarh and at Chamkaur Sahib. Unlike Tabu, who has drawn her share of flak from fans as also the media for being heavily closed to conversation, Sanju baba took a lot of time off for everyone. With no airs around him, he talked to fans and also members of the press exclusively, thus inviting a lot of praise for being a grounded star.

As far as the controversial issue concerning Sanjay goes, he did not utter a word. Strangely, however, no one seemed to be interested in talking about the underworld thing. Everyone focused on Sanjay’s latest release ‘Kaante’ and on how hi-tech Hollywood type effects are already adding punch to the film which, after much ado, will release on October 11.

Managing traffic

Managing traffic may not be an easy job, but the boys of Government Model School, Sector 33 are doing it very well and professionally. Trained by traffic cops sometime back in the rules and regulations of traffic movement, these students seem to be doing a great job. Only the other day they averted an accident at a diversion outside the school when they did not allow a government vehicle to pass by the road in front of the school.

Maintaining their dignity, they almost gheraoed the persistent driver, who claimed that he was from the Government of Punjab and that no one had the right to stop his vehicle like that. The boys took out some identity cards and showed them to the driver, telling him to wait until the rush of children riding bicycles lessens. One of the boys made a very sensible remark, “We are taught at school that patience is a virtue. Are you taught this anywhere?”

Waiting for garbage

The yellow garbage dumpers of the Municipal Corporation, are the most sought after at the garbage disposal site at Dadu Majra, simply for the reason that they bring along heaps of platsic bottles.

Children from the area eagerly await the arrival of the yellow vehicle, as they know it is from the PGI. A sack-full of plastic bottles fetches them Rs 30, from the “kabaris”, who have their sheds right next to the dumping site. Notwithstanding the needle pricks they get from the syringes, that come along with the medical waste, the children literally fight to get the maximum plastic bottles.

Police drive

The recent drive of the Chandigarh Police to visit the houses of aged persons living alone to remove their security concerns is finding good response from senior citizens. The police has identified 1,000 such houses and plans to install electric alarm bells, which the aged can use in time of emergencies (it must be mentioned here that about a year ago, the UT IGP, while launching Residential Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in Sector 38 West, had mooted the plan to install alarm bells in the houses of the aged).

The police personnel listened to the grievances of the elderly (see photo by Manoj Mahajan) and made enquiries about their neighbours, maids and persons visiting their houses. Police sources maintain that such information is a great help in case some mis-happening takes place.

Blind with vision

The song presented by children from the School for the Blind, Sector 26, at the Eye Donation Awareness programme, organised by the Government Medical College and Hospital, was so touching that it left all those present at the function very emotional.

The manner in which the visually handicapped children conveyed their feelings had much more impact than any amount of publicity and awareness on the issue could have possibly created. Terming the gift of vision as life for them, the children said that to see nature’s beauty and colour they needed eyes, which people must donate after they die. However, rid in religious taboos and superstitions, Indians are still very reluctant to pledge their eyes, fearing that they will be born blind if they are cremated without eyes.

Parking problem

The parking problem is haunting the Panjab University campus too. A parking lot opposite the campus market is currently under construction. Once the parking lot becomes functional, visitors to the campus can use the parking lot instead parking their vehicles on the road opposite the Administration Block. Every other day scores of vehicles remain parked on the road thus impeding normal flow of traffic.

Recently, a spacious parking lot was constructed at the Student Centre on the campus but visitors continue to park their vehicles haphazardly. A parking attendant should be posted here.

Course in jail

Its better to be late then never, taking care of pity of women inmates lodged in Burail Jail the Jan Shikshan Sansthan in collaboration with the UT Administration has started a cutting and tailoring course of six months duration in Burail Jail.The course was recently inaugurated by UT SDM (Central), Mr Prithi Chand. The jail authorities had taken the step following a recommendation of the National Commission for Women which suggested the need of NGOs in jails to help the inmates by imparting education and starting career-oriented programmes.

Cremation ground

The Tribune team had a unique experience while doing story on the poor state of the cremation ground on the Zirakpur highway link road. Before reaching the final destiny the team had to go through many cremation grounds on the way. At the Panchkula crematorium, when the team inquired from the priest about the Zirakpur crematorium, he replied: “Have you booked the time for cremation there otherwise you come here, we have better space for cremation.”


Politicians never miss a chance to tell people what they have done for them. Ms. Kamal Sharma, Municipal Councillor, was an invitee at the launch of ‘Busniness Neighbourhood Watch Scheme’ in the Sector 37 market on Wednesday. While the cops and other persons who addressed the gathering talked about the prevalent crime and methods to check it, Ms Sharma did not forget to list things she had ‘‘done’’ for her ward.




Residents plan cooperative cable network
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 8
Fed up with frequent tariff hikes by cable operators, the Residents Welfare Association, Sector-38 A and B, has decided to set up its own cooperative cable network. The initiative of the association is likely to start chain reaction with other welfare associations following the suit. The LIG Residents Welfare Association, Sector 41-A, is already thinking of starting their own network.

The association claims that 873 cable connections have already been surrendered. According to the association around Rs 6 lakh would be required for setting up a cable network. A sum of around Rs 3 lakh has already been collect and the remaining amount, will be collected in couple of days, association officials say. The office-bearers of the association are hopeful that their network will be functional ‘‘soon’’ and the area residents will no longer be subjected to the whims of the cable operators.

The association has formed an 11-member committee to collect Rs 6 lakh to set up their ‘cooperative cable network’, which will work on no-profit-no-loss basis. The collection method is simple, says Mr R.D. Narang, general secretary of the association and spokesman of the committee, ‘‘We have collected Rs 5,000 each from all 15 office-bearers of the association. Besides, there are four special invitees, who have also contributed to the cable fund’’, says Mr Narang. According to him, there are people who have contributed even Rs 20,000. ‘‘A resident of the area has offered Rs 1 lakh’’, says Mr Narang.

The association plans to rent an office where the machinery and other equipment of the cooperative cable network will be installed. Three persons will be employed to run one network. The association got the idea of setting up its own cable network from New Delhi, where residents welfare organisations run their own networks. The association has demanded that appropriate changes in the conditional access system (CAS) Cable Amendment Bill, 2002, should be made. It is also being demanded that the consumer should have the choice to watch and pay for the channels of his choice.

Meanwhile, the LIG Residents Welfare Association, Sector 41-A has sent a memorandum to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) demanding that government should take over the cable network. The association has claimed that cable tariffs are high and do not fit the pocket of middle class people.


14-year-old boy abused, killed
Colony residents gherao police station, demand body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Policemen at Mani Majra police station had a tough time late this evening when a large number of Indira Colony residents gheraoed the police station, demanding possession of the body of a 14-year-old boy of the colony, Naim Ahmed, who was killed allegedly by a motor mechanic near Rampur Lehar village in Hoshiarpur district on September 2.

The assailant, Rakesh Kumar, who works as motor mechanic in the Mani Majra motor market, had buried the victim's body there after taking him to his native village and sodomising him. The assailant hails from Rampur Lehar village.

A police party, accompanied by the assailant today, went to the village to retrieve the body. The father of the victim, Naseer Ahmed, accompanied by others went to the police station when a relative of the deceased, Salim, who was also accompanying the police party, telephoned from Dasuya (Hoshiarpur) and told that the SDM of the area was reportedly not allowing the body to be retrieved.

However, the Station House Officer of Mani Majra police station, Inspector P.S. Malik, dismissed apprehension of the victim's relatives. He tried to establish contact with his officials who had gone to get the body but could not contact them through his mobile phone. He assured the persons that the SDM, Dasuya, Mr D.S. Dhaliwal, had gone with the party and the process of retrieving the body was on and the body would be brought at the earliest possible after a postmortem examination.

The victim's father lamented that their patience was running out and it was the third visit of the police party to the village. He said his brother, Sakheel, and Salim were accompanying the police party.

A police official said the assailant had called the victim from his house to grease a vehicle on September 2, but the boy did not return.

Fearing some foul play, the family of the boy lodged a complaint with the police. When the police interrogated the assailant at his village, he confessed his crime.

On the same day, 2 km from his village, the assailant sodomised the boy and hit him with a stone on his head. The body was dumped in a ditch in a forest area and covered with stones and earth. A police official said the assailant was married two months ago and was the neighbour of the victim in Indira Colony.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 377 of the IPC.


Jacob launches join-hand campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob, (retd) today launched the join-hand campaign of HelpAge India to involve the larger strata of population in helping the old and destitute.

Speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said with the lengthening life spans demographic scenario in the country has changed with increasing of grey population. There were 77 million elderly persons in India of which some 33 per cent were living below the poverty line and another 33 per cent above the subsistence levels. General Jacob said that it was a matter of concern that the number of the elderly persons in the country were increasing rapidly and it was expected that by 2025, there would be 177 million elderly persons in the country.

Expressing concern over the changing demographic pattern and breaking of joint family system, General Jacob said in India, the elderly used to occupy a place of honour, but now due to industrialisation, westernisation and modernisation, this system has broken up.

Stressing the need for having organised the social security system for increasing greying population, the Governor said the country lacks the basic infrastructure to care for the elderly and there is need for NGOs to come forward to work for them.

HelpAge India had been doing commendable work for the elderly poorer sections for the last two and a half decades by supporting projects like homes, day-care centres, income generation activities and programmes for the rehabilitation. It was also heartening to note that through its countrywide education programmes, it was building the values of love and respect for the elderly among our youth.


People run for eyes with Milkha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Leading hundreds of enthusiastic participants in the run for eye donation awareness campaign, Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, today stressed the need for a legislation in North India, allowing cornea removal without the consent of the family of the deceased, as was the case in Gujarat.

Hundreds of participants of all age groups joined Milkha Singh, in the campaign, organised by the Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahab Eye Hospital, Sohana, at the Sukhna today morning. He regretted that unlike Gujarat, where apart from the legislation, people came forward to pledge their eyes, the people of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal were still believed in religious taboos.

The MCC Mayor, Mrs Lalit Joshi, flagged off the run which ended at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium.The trustees of the Sohana Hospital, Mr Gurmeet Singh and Mr Swaranjit Singh, were present at the function.

A salient feature of the function was the presence of religious preachers, as time and again it has been stressed that they should be involved in the awareness campaign on eye donation, as in India, people still believed that if the eyes of a dead person were donated, he would born blind in his next birth.

Statistics reveal that while only 22,000 eyes are donated every year, 25,000 fresh cases are added to the list of the blind in India. The fact that there is a back log of 20 lakhs corneal blind persons in the country, has not made the people more willing to pledge their eyes.


US woman gets taste of Indian hospitality
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A 50-year-old American woman from Houston reportedly had a harrowing time in Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The woman, who was helped by CITCO Assistant Director Vinod Kalia, will return to Mumbai after cancelling her reservation to Thiruvananthapuram.

The woman along with her two friends were misled by some rickshaw pullers here who took them to a guest house in Burail instead of the government guest house where they were charged Rs 1,500 for a night.

The woman narrated the incident to Mr Kalia, who made the guest house owner return her Rs 1,000 and put them up at the Yatri Nivas. She is likely to leave the city tomorrow.

The woman, who refused to reveal her name, had come to India to meet her friends Darshan Sandhu, a film producer, and his son Harjit.

Earlier,the three had gone to Dharamsala on a sightseeing tour,but on the way Rs 10,000 were found missing from Sandhu’s bag.

They had narrated the incident to the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department in Dharamsala,but in vain.


Abduction complaint false
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 8
A complaint made by Mr Babu Singh of Mundi Kharar on September 6 alleging that his married daughter, who was working as ANM in the Health Department, was abducted by her husband who is in the Punjab police and others, was found to be false when his daughter recorded her statement before the Executive Magistrate that the complaint was false and she had gone on her own will.

Mr Babu Ram had alleged in his complaint that the relations between his daughter and son-in-law were not good and she had been living with him for a long time. She was working as ANM and used to go daily to her workplace and return at about 2 p.m. He had written that on September 6 she did not return and he was informed by a police employee that she had been taken by her husband and others and he even threatened them.

Meanwhile, the complaint was sent to the police for verification.

The girl, on the other hand, recorded her statement before the Executive Magistrate yesterday that she had gone to her residence in the Commando Complex, Mohali, herself and no body had abducted her.

Meanwhile, a compromise was reached between the husband and the wife on some terms and they have decided to live together.


Verification of tenants, servants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The first phase of a one-day exercise to undertake verification of servants in residential and commercial areas was undertaken in the city today.

Special camps were organised in the jurisdiction of each police station where verification of servants and employees would be made. The verification forms and arrangements to click photographs were made available on the spot.

The SSP, Mr Parag Jain, said the exercise had attracted overwhelming response and would be undertaken on the next Sunday. The on-the-spot verification was made at 11 places in the city

The drive was launched under the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.


City gets 69.9 mm of rainfall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
With today’s rainfall of 69.9 mm, the deficiency in the city remains only 74.3 mm against a normal of 791 mm in the whole season.

The heavy downpour of 232 mm on August 14 alone largely contributed make up for the average rainfall in this season. While night received the rainfall of 60.9 mm, there was 9 mm rainfall during the day. Temperature during the day increased from 26.2 C° yesterday to 28.2 C° today, still 5° below normal. The weather is likely to be partly cloudy with a possibility of rainfall.

Ambala also received 29.8 mm of rainfall in the night and 3 mm during the day today.


Panchkula areas waterlogged
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
Rain continued for the second consecutive day today, bringing down the temperature substantially.

According to information available, the total rainfall in the district has been 62 cm. With this, the shortfall in rainfall is only a few centimetres than the projections for this year. The rains which started at around 9.30 am yesterday continued till about 1 pm today.

Most parts of the township remained waterlogged. The low-lying Sectors 12, 12-A, 15, 19 and Industrial Area remained flooded with knee-deep water. The water in the Ghaggar had swelled.

Normal life was disrupted as most people were forced to remain indoors.


PSEB lineman electrocuted
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 8
A lineman of the Punjab State Electricity Board was electrocuted while undertaking repair work near here today.

It is reported that Mr Dhanna Singh had gone along with another PSEB employee to remove the snag which had developed in the Lakhnaur power feeder. The accident allegedly took place when the power was switched on for checking. He was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh. The deceased belonged to Anandpur Sahib but was living in rented accommodation at Sohana.


Protest against assault
Tribune News Service
The victim, Naseer Singh, and residents of Nayagaon protest outside Nayagaon police station on Sunday
The victim, Naseer Singh, and residents of Nayagaon protest outside Nayagaon police station on Sunday.

Chandigarh, September 8
Residents of Nayagaon gheraoed the police station, demanding action against the owner of a catering company having the contract of a Chinese food restaurant at Chandigarh Club for assaulting his employee, Heera Singh.

Interestingly, the Chandigarh police had registered a case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC against Heera for allegedly assaulting his employer, Gagan Choudhary, on Friday last.

“At about 3 pm, three person came to my house on the pretext of taking me to the police station. But I was taken to a store and assaulted by them and the employer. When I tried to escape, I was hit with a stone in my head,” said the victim. The Nayagaon police refused help when the victim went there and instead directed him to go to the PGI. Nayagaon police station was then informed by the PGI police post. A police official said the matter was being investigated.


‘Auction issue motivated’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Samadhaan, a pressure group for social justice, today described as politically motivated the controversy over the alleged irregularities in the auction of an SCO site in Sector 9 here in the open auction on August 28.

Mr Rajnish Vij, general secretary of Samadhaan, said the reserve price of the site, auctioned for Rs 1.34 crore, was fixed at Rs 1.3 crore, 20 per cent lower than the reserve price in the previous auction. Samadhaan had discussed the case at its executive body meeting and found nothing wrong in the process.


Four injured in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 8
Four persons including a rickshaw-puller were injured after a car hit the rickshaw in Sector 19 Police Station area last evening. Three of the injured were discharged after first aid and one was admitted to the PGI. The car driver, Joginder Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, was arrested and later released on bail. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft cases
During the last 24-hours, at least four cases of thefts have been reported to different police stations of the city.

Dr Upinder, a junior resident at the PGI, reported with the police that his purse has been stolen, which contained Rs 2,000, an ATM card and some documents from his office on September 5. Mr Bhupinder Pal, a resident of Sector 70, reported that his motor cycle (PB 03 J 0405) was stolen from near S.D. College, Sector 32, on September 5. LML Vespa scooter (CH 01V 4350) of Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of Sector 32, was reportedly stolen from his residence on the night September 5. Mr M.S. Dhillon of Sector 33 also reported that someone has stolen music system from his car, which was parked outside his house on the night of September 6. Four cases of theft have been registered.

Beaten up
Mr Ram Kumar, a resident of Mauli Jagran, has alleged that he was beaten and threatened by Rohtash, a fellow resident, on September 1. A case has been registered under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC.

SAS Nagar

Woman commits suicide
A married woman allegedly committed suicide in Shahi Majra village here today. The body of Ms Krishna Kumari (27) was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her house. It is reported that her husband was away to work at the time of the incident and found the body on his return.

One person was seriously injured when a car and a scooter collided on the road dividing Phases 3A and 3B1 near the Ramgarhia gurdwara here on Sunday evening.


Two killed in road accidents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
Two persons were killed in separate road accidents in the district during the past 24 hours. A four-year-old girl was injured in another accident yesterday.

A Tata Sumo ran over an old man near the Chandi Mandir bus stop yesterday. It is learnt that Bakhtora Ram was waiting for a bus along with his grandson, Balwinder Singh, when the incident took place. The victim was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he succumbed to his injuries. Bharat Bhushan was killed after he was hit by a vehicle near the bridge in Billa village yesterday. A case has been registered under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

A four-year-old girl, Sonia, was injured after she was hit by a car (CH-01-7873) near Jalauli village yesterday.


Girl sets herself ablaze
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A 15-year-old girl, Asha, received 95 per cent burns after she allegedly set herself ablaze in Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, here today.

She was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital which referred her to the PGI considering the serious burn injuries. The police is, however, not sure whether it was a suicide attempt. The girl was not in a position to give a statement.


New cold chain in the offing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers grown in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh may soon become available in different parts of the country, thanks to a new cold chain being established by a private company in collaboration with two Japanese giants.

India is the second largest global producer of food. However, the wastage in this sector is alarmingly high, primarily due to inadequate infrastructure and lack of transport facilities. For instance, India produces 32 million tonnes of fruit (8 per cent of world output) and 60 million tonnes of vegetables (10 per cent of world output). A paltry 1.3 per cent of the total output is economically processed. This in turn causes a loss of over Rs 20,000 million every year.

The new cold chain facility will go a long way in reducing this unnecessary and avoidable wastage.

XPS Cargo Services, one of the fastest-growing Express Cargo companies in the country, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yanmar Company Limited and Mitsui and Company Limited, Japan, offering specialised cool container services — ‘Cold Chain’.

As per the agreement, they have agreed to work jointly for the demonstration of cool containers in India. In the nationwide display, the containers will be unveiled at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. XPS is the express cargo division of Transport Corporation of India Limited, one of India’s leading logistics enterprises.

According to Mr K. Prabhakar, chief executive officer, XPS Cargo, “Our specialised container service is primarily targeted at the food and pharmaceutical industries. The current market size in value terms for the cold chain logistics trade is around Rs 100 crore and this is expected to grow by at least 30 per cent annually, offering us great potential to grow. We hope to capture at least 40 per cent of this market.”

The technology, labelled ‘Cold Chain’, has some unique features, the likes of which have not been experienced by Indian consumers. This includes mechanisms that lead to high precision temperature control and maintenance of humidity of over 80 per cent within the container; a capacity to run for more than 100 hours without having to be refuelled. This will prove a major boon for all those in the logistics business, especially the transport of perishable commodities.

“XPS plans to bring customised cold chain solutions for all its customers by capitalising on the inherent strengths of the cold chain technology,” he added.

The Rs 550-crore, TCI Group is India’s largest integrated logistics service provider, serving 3,000 destinations. TCI has the country’s widest branch network of over 1,000 company-owned offices and a team of over 4,000 trained employees.


Meet sellers’ plea to Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Meat Sellers’ Welfare Association, which has been on strike since September 2, today sought the intervention of the Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, to resolve the tangle between them and the slaughter house authorities. The president of the association, Mr Balak Ram, said found the Amritsar slaughter house was skinning animals like a bag or pillow cover unlike the Chandigarh slaughter house where skin was being removed by making a cut. The Chandigarh slaughter house had been removing the skin as in Amritsar till the end of the last month, but had adopted the new process with an aim to maintain hygiene by minimising human contact.

In a letter, Mr Balak Ram has assured the Administrator that hygiene would be maintained but had asked permission to go back to the old system of skinning. According to meat sellers, they were losing Rs 100 per piece by following the new procedure. A delegation of meat sellers had visited Amritsar on the advice of the slaughter house superintendent, Dr M. S. Kamboj, the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, and the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M. P. Singh.

Now they had been asked to see the new process being used in Delhi. He said the meat sellers had already spent Rs 7,000 on their visit to Amritsar. He said the meat supply had been stopped to the city and around 1,000 people involved in the business had been affected.

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