Saturday, September 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

No backtracking, says PU committee
Students to continue stir
Tribune News Service


  • All city colleges join agitation
  • PU committee decides against backtracking on decisions
  • Committee gives hearing to ABVP representatives
  • Members claim it is not in the interest of students to revoke decisions and not under their preview.
  • GCG-11 cancels September tests slated to begin today.
  • Principals to meet on September 15 to decide examination dates
  • Road blocks organised on road dividing Sectors 15 and 16 and Madhya Marg.

Chandigarh, September 13
The committee constituted by Panjab University to look into demands of protesting college students today decided against backtracking on two vital decisions of 75 per cent lectures and September tests in the interest of the student community.

The committee observed that revoking the decisions would amount to lowering the standard of education since the majority and meritorious students would suffer while seeking jobs.

The committee also gave a hearing to the representatives of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Saurabh Joshi and Neeraj Sharma, before taking the final decision.

In the light of the arguments they presented and justifications for the decision by the university, the committee said it was not in a position to alter the decisions since they had been implemented as per a UGC circular and decision of the PU Senate.

It was clarified to the representatives that increasing attendance from 66 per cent to 75 per cent and holding September tests were taken to increase student-teacher interaction, bring students back to the classes and encourage classroom study while checking the trend of falling back on academies.

While the decisions applies to all 110 colleges affiliated to Panjab University, only students from local colleges have expressed their resentment even though these were aimed at curbing the growing influence of academies.

PU Senator and a member of the committee, Prof Charanjit Chawla, urged the Punjab Chief Minister and Vice-Chancellors of various universities to scrap all entrance tests conducted by universities immediately and stop all self-financing courses at the cost of merit.

Though all 13 members were not present for the meeting chaired by the DUI, Prof (Ms) R.J. Hans Gill, it was attended by the Controller of Examinations, the Joint Controller of Examinations, the Deputy Registrar (Colleges), the Dean College Development Council, Principal Usha Gupta, Principal S.C. Marriya, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Prof R.P.S. Josh and Mr Jarnail Singh.

It maybe recalled that the ABVP had submitted a memorandum to the Vice- Chancellor on September 11 demanding the cancellation of September tests and lowering attendance to 66 per cent instead of the approved 75 per cent.

Meanwhile, scores of students from city colleges, accompanied by activists of the ABVP, gathered outside Government College for Girls, Sector 11, from where the agitation took off, here today.

Students of three more colleges joined the protest and boycotted classes, contributing to strengthening of the agitation. With this, the agitation which began with a couple of colleges has taken all city colleges in its fold.

Raising slogans against the university's decision and in favour of students' solidarity, the protesters held up traffic for over an hour on Madhya Marg near Government College, Sector 11, and Government College for Girls, Sector 11. The group comprised students of the two colleges, DAV College, Sector 10, and those from SGGS, Sector 26.

Students of boys' college joined the procession which marched towards GCG-11 where a gate meeting was held by the ABVP to apprise students of the plan of action for the day and the progress in the matter.

While the students of GCG-11 also abstained from attending classes and joined the agitation, the college authorities postponed the first September test, slated to begin today, till September 16. A delegation of protesting students met the Principal of the college, Ms Usha Waie.

Another group of students which blocked traffic at the Sector 15 and 16 dividing road came from MCM DAV College, which had declared a holiday today, as well as Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Government College, Sector 46, and Dev Samaj College, Sector 45.

During the day, representatives of ABVP comprising Deepak Balyan, executive member, Sunil Kumar Sharma, president, PU unit, and Kanwar Shailender Singh, secretary, PU unit, also met principals and members of the Syndicate to present their point of view and convince them to speak in their favour.

The secretary of the ABVP, Saurabh Joshi, said the agitation would continue tomorrow and the students would meet outside the university before marching to the venue of the Syndicate meeting.

All syndics would be given a copy of the memorandum before the meeting. “Ignoring the mass movement could have severe repercussions though we are hopeful of a positive solution,” he said.


Head constable arrested in rape case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
In a late evening development, a head constable of the Chandigarh police was today arrested for his alleged involvement in the “frame-up” case of rape of a girl from Shimla. HC Narbir Singh had gone on deputation to the State Transport Department about five months back.

A team of the Chandigarh police arrested the Narbir Singh from the office of the Transport Department here this evening. A senior official said investigation revealed that the head constable had links with the main suspects, Ram Lal and Surinder Sharma. It is learnt that one of the suspect, Surinder, met Narbir Singh before and after the alleged rape incident.

However, police officials did not confirm the relations of Narbir with a Haryana bureaucrat. Sources said the head constable had played a vital link between Ram Lal and the bureaucrat. The role of more persons in the conspiracy was also being probed by the investigating team.

Later, HC Narbir, along with Ram Lal and Baldev, was brought to the Sector 16 General Hospital for medical examination. An official said Ram Lal and Baldev had to be got medically examined after every 48 hours.

Earlier, the Chandigarh police had arrested the main suspect Ram Lal, along with Baldev. In his interrogation, Ram Lal had named the HC and certain other persons for knowing the controversy. Meanwhile, the girl left for her home in Himachal Pradesh.



‘Encroachers’ chase away forest officials
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 13
A local hotelier resisted a team of Forest Department officials that had come, along with some revenue officials, to demarcate the land belonging to the department allegedly encroached upon by the hotelier for a long time.

The land is located at a prime location on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway adjacent to the range office of the Forest Department.

Sources in the Forest Department said the hotel owner who is also a Congress leader, Amrit Pal Singh, his brother, Satpal Singh, and son, Amrinder Singh, chased a team of the forest and revenue employees up to their office after being asked them to be present during the demarcation process. Armed with sticks, the accused reportedly followed the team abusing it up to the forest range office, sources alleged.

The local Range Officer, Mr Mohinder Singh, said following directions of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Mr Karamjit Singh, the local Tehsildar had fixed today’s date for the demarcation of the land The hotelier had also been informed about it. However, the accused resisted to demarcation and the process had to be abandoned amid tension.

The local civic body president, Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, an octroi contractor, Mr Manjit Singh Bhatia, local municipal councillors and some other prominent persons of the town were also present when the situation took an ugly turn.

Earlier, the DFO had written to the Tehsildar that the owners of Hotel Evergreen had encroached upon 400 sq yrd of forest land.

In a complaint to the police, the range officer has alleged that the hoteliers restrained them from performing their government duty and even used abusive language.

Meanwhile, the hotel owner, Amrit pal Singh, claimed they had won a court case on the issue. He said Mr Manjit Sigh Bhatia and Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, in connivance with forest officials, were playing a game against them, because of some personal rivalry.



CSIO developing sensors to monitor infiltration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) is developing a variety of sensors to monitor infiltration on the border.

“Lot of work has been done to develop monitors for border management and the whole range of them will be available soon,” the head of the Geo-Scientific Instruments Division, Dr M.A. Shamshi, told reporters here today after handing over more than 10 set of equipment with similar application to the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE).

The equipment, developed by the CSIO for the SASE, a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in the city, was formally handed over by the CSIO Director, Dr R.P. Bajpai, to the SASE Director Major-Gen S.S. Sharma at a small function here.

The Dr Shamshi-led team has designed and developed “infra red technology based snow surface temperature measuring probe” which detects energy radiated from the snow surface in the far infrared region from 10 micron to 14 micron wavelength

With this probe, snow surface temperature as low as minus 50°C can be measured with 0.1 degree resolution and on the higher side up to 300°C to forecast avalanches. The probe has compatibility with the existing data collection and analysis system of the SASE.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Bajpai said the two organisations were working out some new research programmes in the area of advanced instrumentation for cold regions.

He said the research work had been initiated by a CSIO team on the development of “microwave and electro-optical sensors” for remote sensing and ground penetrating radar — a rescue operation instrument to detect human bodies buried under deep snow.

These equipments would help defence forces in strategically deploying armed forces at very high altitudes in the Himalyan region, including Siachen, and will provide early avalanche warning for public safety.

The forecast system till now has been lacking collection of snow data from inaccessible avalanche formation zones and the western world has not been providing the technology.

Major-General Sharma said that if these equipments performed well, DRDO would extend the cooperation and money was not a problem in this connection in finding technological solutions to problems related to glaciers and avalanches.



Plans to curb menace of fake results
PU syndicate meeting today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Panjab University plans to improve the paper quality and use a hologram to prepare confidential results in order to curb the menace of fake university results being used for admission to affiliated colleges and the university.

The vital issue, which has repeatedly featured in various university Syndicate meetings in the past few months, will figure in the Syndicate meeting scheduled for tomorrow. The committee has suggested that detail-marks cards should carry full signatures of the officials concerned and name of the signing authority should be written in full.

The university plans to clear guidelines for awards and incentives to employees as commendation for detecting and reporting tempered results. The Syndicate will also take up the issue of filing allegations against university employees. It was recommended earlier that allegations should be made on affidavits but was rejected by the university House. A new committee now has recommended that allegations must be made in form of a complaint in writing. Any anonymous complaint that does not contain the signatures and full address of the complainant will not be entertained.

The Syndicate will consider the proposal to set up a cell called Information Technology Centre for College Education. Besides normal classes, the centre will offer courses of one-two weeks duration throughout the year. The university will keep a tab on quality of classroom standards and teaching as well.

The university proposes to offer vocation courses at the undergraduate level which students can do simultaneously along with their normal graduation classes. The colleges will be able to offer certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses.

The Syndicate will take up a “vision statement” on the university library and means to improve the existing standards. The university proposes to hold a separate convocation for students of the Department of Laws. The university will be presented with report of use of the property at Shimla and Dalhousie. The university proposes to introduce computer science as an additional subject at the graduation level. Certain students have been barred from the university for three years for having submitted fake certificates while securing admissions in affiliated colleges of the university.

The university will consider a representation of the Yuva Sankalpa Sangathan to include Sanskrit as a subject for entrance test to the B.Ed course in colleges affiliated to the university. The Syndicate will also take up the proposal to set up a centre of public health at the university under the governance of the Zoology Department. The Chairman has sent a proposal which will come up for detailed discussion.


Finance Dept irked over move to bring in CBI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
While the Chandigarh police authorities have defended the handing over of the Punjab’s online lottery case to the CBI, the Punjab Finance Department authorities, obviously unhappy over this development, have decided to raise the issue before the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Punjab Finance Department got a case registered with the Chandigarh police on September 1 after it suspected that a private company identified as Venture Business Advisers Private Limited Consortium had attempted to play a fraud on the state government by furnishing bogus, invalid and forged bank guarantees at the time of signing agreement to run the operations of online lottery.

On the other hand, defending the decision of the Chandigarh police to recommend handing over the online lottery case to the CBI, senior official of the Chandigarh police said since the police was the investigating agency, it was well within its rights to recommend investigations of the case to the CBI.

He said the case involved inter-state ramifications. Investigations had to be carried out in different states and would have involved a lot of energy and resources. However, sources in the department said the seeing the amount of the money involved and the sensitivity in the case, the officials had preferred to hand over the case to the central agency. The Chandigarh police apparently did not want to get involved in the case due to reason best known to them.

The UT police said that it had just recommended the handing over the case to the CBI, but it had not handed it over to the central agency yet. It was wrong to say that the case had been handed over to the CBI. Meanwhile, a senior functionary of the Punjab Finance Department said that the Administration should have consulted the state government before handing over the case to the CBI. “ I would definitely talk to the Chief Minister in this connection”, he added. Only after having a talk with the CM, the department would be able to comment on this issue.

Neither the state government nor the Finance Department had anything to hide pertaining to the lottery fraud. It was because of the extra-ordinary alertness shown by the officials handling the lottery affair, the fraud was detected, said the senior functionary. But still it would been courteous on the part of the UT Government to take the state government into confidence before going ahead to hand over the case to the CBI, he added.


Iraq has no N-weapon: envoy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 13
The Ambassador of Iraq to India, Mr Salah al-Mukhtar, today refuted the allegation levelled by US President George W. Bush that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and said Iraq did not possess any nuclear weapon. Mr Mukhtar said the weapon inspectors could visit Iraq anytime to verify this fact. He added that all weapons in Iraq’s possession had been destroyed between 1991 and 1993.

The Iraqi Ambassador accused the USA of applying double standards in terms of nuclear proliferation saying Israel had 400 weapons of mass destruction. He reiterated his country’s support to the cause of Palestinians whose territory was being violated by Israel.

Mr Mukhtar is in the city to deliver a lecture on “Resurgence of Asian Civilisation in the context of struggle of Iraqi people” on September 14 at Punjab Book Centre conference hall.

He also denied allegation that Iraq had been sponsoring terrorism and had nothing to do with attack of September 11 that had destroyed the WTC. He also denied the claim of the USA that some members of the Al-Qaida were residing in Iraq.

Talking about the situation in his country, he said Iraqi people had been suffering from the sanctions imposed on it since 1991. He added that due to the sanctions imposed on the country everyday 300 persons died due to lack of basic resources.

He welcomed the statement of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, that the USA must act through the UN to deal with Iraq. He added that any dispute between the two countries could only be solved through the bilateral dialogue. He said that Iraq had become the victim of US-sponsored terrorism.

Reacting to the Kashmir problem, he said that problem could be solved through dialogue. He said Iraq was against any type of terrorism in Kashmir. He said India had many times earlier supported Iraqi cause that the USA should not attack Iraq.

He claimed that Britain and the USA were discriminating against Iraq and had imposed sanctions on the country. He added that sanctions regarding no-fly zone should be lifted.

He added that no country could afford a war, if it happened it would affect the other countries also and led to enormous increase in the oil price.


Stall power tariff hike: Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, today sent a letter to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), demanding that the hike in power tariff be stalled.

“I understand the helplessness of the Administration in the face of insensitivity of the Union Government which is applying pressure for the hike. Incidentally, this also highlights the point why the Chandigarh Administration has given a go by to the earlier tradition of consulting public representatives before taking such steps,” he has stated in the letter.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former BJP MP, had blamed Mr Bansal of having failed in preventing such a hike. “Mr Bansal has been obliged by the Administration, thus he cannot speak for the people of the city and cannot exert pressure to prevent the hike which will overburden the city residents,” Mr Jain said.

Meanwhile, in his letter Mr Bansal has said the proposed hike should be put on hold till a formula is worked out for an increase and a sound infrastructure is put in place, ruling out blackouts and assuring the people that the wrong doings of the department will not be at their cost.

The move of the Administration to increase the power tariff has come as a shock for all categories of consumers. While no one can deny that the ‘user has to pay’, yet it must not, at the same time, be assumed that the supplier (in this case the Administration) can hike rates at its will ignoring other factors like its own inefficiency and corruption.

Before effecting any such hike, it is essential for the Administration to first convince people about the need of any such hike. There has to be full justification for the same, he has said.

The hike, unfortunately, has come at a time when the Chandigarh Congress, has been reaching out to the people in colonies, urging them to apply for electricity connections so that their compulsion for seeking electricity is not highlighted as theft, while the colossal volume of theft by influential persons goes unnoticed.

When the Administration decided to increase the tariff it should have at least discontinued the levy of minimum charges on domestic consumers. The charges are levied despite the fact that the user may have consumed little or no electricity, he has stated.


Total rainfall nearly normal
Tribune News Service

Dates of withdrawal in September since 1993

Year Date
1993 28
1994 21
1995 20
1996 21
1997 23
1998 28
1999 26
2000 23
2001 18
2002 ?

Chandigarh, September 13
Beginning with a near drought in June and July, the monsoon in the city in September has come to the level with the normal of 784 mm till today, thanks to its re-invigoration in August and September, remaining only 46 mm away from the seasonal normal of 830 mm.

The normal for the whole season ending by the month is likely to be achieved with possibilities of next 24 hours and couple of days being wet, as per the Meteorological Department here. Going by the data available with the Met Office since 1993, except for the last year, when the monsoon withdrew on September 18, its normal withdrawal has been between September 20 in 1995 and September 28 in 1998 and 1993.

Rainfall in September since 1987

Year Rainfall
1987 17 mm.
1988 479 mm.
1989 117 mm.
1990 324 mm.
1991 146 mm.
1992 27 mm.
1993 202 mm.
1994 141 mm.
1995 281 mm.
1996 296 mm.
1997 120 mm.
1998 170 mm.
1999 33 mm.
2000 117 mm.
2001 56 mm.
(till today)
259 mm.

The rainfall in July this season has been lowest in almost a decade at 71 mm and the previous low was 72 mm in July 1991.

The past two days of rain which is likely to continue in the next 24 hours has been caused by development of upper air cyclone over western Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and south-western Uttar Pradesh and adjoining places in Haryana.

The highest rainfall in this season was on August 13 and 14 when the rainfall recorded was 233.2 mm, still lower than the highest ever at 262 mm on July 18, 2000.

The city this time only repeated the Northwest monsoon pattern of downpour in a short span stretching for few hours instead of the rainfall stretching for a day as almost in the case of yesterday.

This situation exposed chinks in the drainage system of the city with the low-lying areas of the city like Mauli Jagran and others getting inundated several times.

June at 99.5 mm and July at 71 mm have been a poor contributors to the total kitty of 784 mm rainfall till today.


Flood danger in Ghaggar put off
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 13
Danger of flood has been put off following a decline in the discharge of water in the Ghaggar here today. The downpour in the Shivaliks had raised the water level making the river to carry a discharge of 8,000 cusecs yesterday while the discharge was reduced to its half today.

According to reports collected from the Punjab Drainage Department, the water level that started rising from 2.5 feet attained a height of 6 feet at Bhankharpur by 6 pm yesterday. The water level showed an increase from 1.5 feet to 2.5 feet at Dhakauli and variation in water level was witnessed at Chhat village where water level fell from 8 feet to 3.5 feet at 6 pm yesterday.

At Dhakauli village water level came down to 1 foot from 2.5 feet this evening. 1 foot decline (from 4 feet to 3 feet) in water level was recorded at Chhat village at 6 pm today The showers added to the worries of the farmers of the periphery regarding their crops on the third day too. Attendance in schools, colleges and even government offices remained low while the fishermen had a field day on the second consecutive day today. A number of fishermen were seen catching fish in the Ghaggar and its tributaries.


People living downstream lake warned
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The people living downstream the Sukhna were today warned with the water level in the lake reaching the danger mark at 1161 feet. The exercise to alert the people was set in motion today afternoon when the level reached the danger mark.

The Chandigarh Administration officials informed the police immediately after the water level reached the danger mark and the police went to Kishangarh, Bhagwanpura and Bapu Dham colony to announce that no body should go to the downstream area as flood gates could be opened anytime.

The police went around with loudspeakers to these localities to make the announcements.

The police has also informed the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala district and authorities in the Rajpura sub-division that gates of Sukhna could be opened any time. The district administration has also forwarded the information to the people.

With the Sukhna filled up to the brim, any more heavy rain in the catchment area would force the authorities to open the gates.

The authorities in the city today remained on toes with the water level increasing since night.

The level had reached 1160.9 in the night which rose to only 10 cm less than the danger mark.

The danger seemed far from over as the weather department had predicted partly cloudy sky with rains at few places and heavy rain in certain areas in the region. The situation remained in control as the city and adjoining areas received only a drizzle. The city only received 3 mm of rainfall till the evening.

The water level had been rising menacingly in the night with it going up 1160.35 feet in the evening to only two inches less than the danger mark around 12 pm.



Dutt charm floods CGA
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, September 13
Chandigarh is our own home and I enjoyed a lot in just a few days, said cine star Sanjay Dutt. He also spoke about his great love for bodybuilding. Clad in a cream-coloured kurta pazama, the hearthrob of millions, Sanjay Dutt was given a warm welcome at the Chandigarh Golf Association Range at a small function held this evening. It was to mark the formal inauguration of a South Indian speciality restaurant ‘Southern Bite’ at the CGA complex. Sanjay Dutt had been camping in the city for the shooting of his new film ‘Sarhad Paar’ which was shot on the outskirts of Chandigarh in Patiala district.

Sanjay Dutt said this was for the first time he had come for any shooting in Punjab, the state for which he had immense love. He said meeting Punjabis and mixing with them was always a great feeling which could not be described in words. Sanjay Dutt was accompanied by his old class mates during his schooling at Lawrence School, Sanawar, Rajiv Bali of Mount Shivalik and Partap Hoon, also an industrialist. He said that though he missed his friends even while at Mumbai or otherwise and meeting them after a long time was excellent. They had all visited their old school at Sanawar (Solan district). Today was his last day in Chandigarh.

On his love for sports, Sanjay Dutt said, yes it was bodybuilding and whenever he went out for months, he took along his mini gym with him. When his attention was drawn on the budding body builders of the city who were inspired by him, he was surprised that no one came to meet him. “May be next time when I will be back in next January for shooting of last phase of ‘Sarhad Paar’, he said. Sanjay Dutt said that he devoted one and half hours daily for the muscle building and other exercises to keep himself fit.

When asked what other sport interest him, he said squash. But said when he got some more time in future, he would try golf also.

On his new films, he said ‘Kaante’ and ‘Pyas’ were among them. But said, in next few days, he would be busy in the shooting of ‘Ek Aur Ek Gyarah’ which will have Govinda along with him and is being directed by David Dhawan. On the female cast in above film, he said, the new heroines were being taken. The film ‘Sarhad Paar’, he said will be released by April next year. On his choice to work in Punjabi films, he said, why not.

When asked, if he wished to follow his father by joining politics, he said no. When asked, whether frequently going to courts for various cases disturbed his shooting schedule, he said not at all and refused to comment further.

Earlier he inaugurated the new South Indian speciality restaurant at the CGA and tasted the cuisines. He complimented the CGA officials for maintaining this magnificent golf range. He also mixed with catering staff and complimented them on their cooking. Later he posed for photographs with them and with few other guests present there. Mr Desh Prem Azad, president of the CGA and Mr CSR Reddy, secretary general, along with other senior office-bearers, offered him honorary membership of the club.


Residents demand more community centres
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 13
With the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) banning the use of public parks for private and public functions, SAS Nagar residents are now demanding better and more community centres to cater to their needs.

For a population which is fast approaching 2.5 lakh, there are just five fully functional community centres in the township. While three are said to be under construction, there are certain Sectors which despite being heavily populated lack the facility.

Residents of Phase 10 recently demanded a community centre in their area along with residents of VII. While a site has been earmarked in Phase 7, the president of the Phase 10 Residents Welfare Association, Mr T.S. Teer, said no place had been earmarked for a community centre in their Phase. Phase 1 and Phase 9 also lacked community centres.

Stating that every area planned by PUDA had a piece of land earmarked for community activities, the Additional Chief Commissioner of PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, however, said that it was not possible to construct community centres on allotted sites till there were enough people residing in that particular area. ‘‘There is no point in spending more than a crore on just getting the edifice in place and maintaining it,” he said.

For residents of Phase 7 it has been a long wait for a community centre. An year back, the then Minister for Urban Development, Dr Upinder Jit Kaur, had laid the foundation stone of the community centre but according to the residents construction was yet to start on the site.

Similarly, residents of Phase 10 complained that ever since PUDA had issued the notice that parks would not be used for public functions, residents had to plan their functions in the Phase 11 community centre. But the population in Phase 10 was increasing so, a community centre was required here as well, they said.

Residents said that since a community centre was used for meetings and get together, these should be centrally located and the construction should be keeping in mind the needs of the community. While majority of the residents here feel that the concept of community centres, as envisaged by PUDA, had been extremely successful, there was a need for a such centres in every Sector of Mohali.

Residents are also demanding better maintenance of the community centres already functional. ‘‘The Phase V community centre is working well, but the Phase 3B1 centre should be better maintained,” said a resident.


City chapter of British scholars launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Sir Rob Young, British High Commissioner in New Delhi, was in Chandigarh yesterday for the inaugural function of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Association of British Scholars, which he formally launched in the Conference Hall of Hotel Mountview.

The chief guest at the ceremony was the Governor of Punjab, General J.F.R. Jacob. A host of other dignitaries attended the function.

Giving details of the organisation, founder-members Anil and Ranjit Malhotra who had both qualified the Masters Degree in Law from the University of London in 1985 and 1993, respectively, who were present at the launch, shared their thoughts about the newly formed association. The Association of British Scholars India which has 12 chapters all over India has a combined membership of approximately 2000 individuals who have had the common experience of studying in the U.K. at any point of time.

The Association of British Scholars is a national forum to facilitate the networking of Indians who have studied together or have been trained in the U.K. The Association aims at bringing together British trained scholars for sharing information, contact making and social interaction as well as strengthening further the Indo-U.K. relationship. Being a non-profit organisation it is supported by the British Council at the British High Commission.

Mr John Nance, First Secretary Education, at the British Council Division of the British High Commission, New Delhi, was also present at the function. The office of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Association of British Scholars which is currently based in the office of the British Library has enrolled about 30 members. Mr Edmond Marsden, Minister Cultural Affairs, U.K., who is the Chairman of the Association of British Scholars India attributes the success of all its branches to the dedication and commitment of its members.


Councillor reiterates allegations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The BJP councillor, Mr Rajesh Gupta, who sought a CBI inquiry into the auction of SCO 178-179 in Sector 9, here today dismissed as rubbish the Municipal Corporation’s reply to his allegations and leaking it to the Press. Mr Gupta, said he was in possession of a letter from an NRI written in January, 2002, complaining about the rejection of his bid in January, 2002. He said with the MC’s assertion that the auction was not recorded and there was no such bid in January, 2002, his contention of a hanky panky was again proved. Mr Gupta alleged that the Congress was trying to hush up the matter at the instance of Mr Pawan Bansal. The councillor reiterated the allegation and demanded a CBI probe into it.


Aide of Le Corbusier passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
An aide of the designer of Chandigarh, Le Corbusier, Mr Jagjit Singh Gill, former Chief Engineer, Punjab PWD (B and R), has died here at the age of 81. He is survived by his widow, a son and a daughter.

After completing his B.Sc. from Foreman Christian College, Lahore, he joined the Macllegal College of Engineering and completed his degree in civil engineering. He joined Punjab PWD (B and R) in 1944 and retired in 1980. During the 36 years, he served in a number of key positions both in the department and on deputation. He was amongst the first batch of construction engineers who started work on the Captol Project, Chandigarh, where he worked with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeaneret.

After retirement, he served as the Technical Adviser to Panjab University, Punjabi University and Punjab School Education Board and was on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Technology at New Delhi and Kanpur.

His antim ardas will be held at 12.30 p.m. on September 14 in the Sector 11 gurdwara.


Jawan dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, September 13
A Home Guard jawan, Gamdoor Singh of Nabha village, was crushed to death by a vehicle on the Chandigarh-Patiala high-way, near here, late last night.

Posted in Sangrur, Gamdoor Singh was on his way to his home when a vehicle hit him, killing him at the spot. After registering a case against the vehicle, the body has been sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a post-mortem examination.


Hindi Diwas celebrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 13
Hindi essay writing competition, besides translation and recitation of poems contest, were held as part of the “Rajbhasha Pakhwara” held on the conclusion of the Hindi Diwas celebrations at HUDCO’s Regional Office today. HUDCO’s Regional Chief R.L. Batta gave away the prizes. 


3 held; cash, vehicles and rifle seized
Tribune News Service

Kharar, September 13
The police claims to have solved a snatching case, involving Rs 2.80 lakh. This amount was snatched by two car-borne persons at Machhali Kalan village, near here, from two cousins on September 9 when they were returning on their scooter to their native Bhagrana village in Fatehgarh Sahib district from Chandigarh.

In a press note today, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ropar, said the Kharar police had solved the case with the arrest of Kulwinder Singh of SAS Nagar, Sukhwinder Singh of Bhagrana village and Gurnam Singh of Dadu Majra village.

Mr Bhullar further stated the police had seized from them an Indica car, an amount of Rs. 1.10 lakh, a rifle, alongwith 14 live and five empty cartridges, a motor cycle, and a police uniform etc.

The SSP also stated that the arrested persons had been planning to commit more crimes in the area. He said further interrogation was on and more recoveries were also expected from them.



Industrialists assail power tariff hike
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 13
The Industrial Welfare Association, Phase IX, has assailed the recent decision of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission of recommending a hike in power tariff for the industrial sector saying it was a one-sided decision.

The office-bearers of the association said today that on the one hand the Punjab Government was encouraging Punjabis settled in other countries to come forward and set up industry in the state and on the other it was trying to cripple the units which had already been set up by Punjabis here with lots of hard labour.

Mr Prabhjot Singh Sandhu, vice-president of the association, said the industry in the state was already going through recession and a hike in the power tariff would be an additional burden on it.

He alleged that the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation was trying to create problems for small industrial unit owners. It was trying to demand huge sums of money as an enhancement price, without any calculation, from the allottees. It also kept issuing various types of notices from time to time creating a scare in the minds of unit owners.

The association demanded that if the Punjab Government wanted to save the industry in the state, it should sympathetically consider the various problems being faced by it at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for September 17. It said the losses being faced by the PSEB could be reduced by checking power theft and power leakage and not by burdening consumers. The association further demanded that the officials of the departments linked with the small scale industry should be issued directions not to unnecessarily harass industrial owners.

The association said the local industry was considered to be the backbone of any state if that was “broken”, the development of a state would become a distant dream.

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