Sunday, September 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CHB to remove unjust clauses
It’ll let many own flats, plots in city
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Chandigarh Housing Board is to remove two clauses that make a number of local persons ineligible for owning the Chandigarh Housing Board flats or becoming members of group housing societies. The controversial clauses have been resented for long, but no action has been taken in the past two decades to remove these. Now, the matter will be taken up with the CHB directors for approval.

According to a clause that controls membership of group housing societies, each member has to give an affidavit that he or she has not acquired a dwelling unit either on freehold, lease-hold or hire-purchase basis in Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar or Mani Majra through the NAC of Mani Majra, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh or the CHB in the name of self or any relative. The rule applies to applicants for the CHB flats as well, with a slight variation.

Seeing that Panchkula and SAS Nagar follow no such control, the CHB has decided to do away with this cluase. It will, now, cover only Chandigarh and not the neighbouring towns. Group housing societies were established here in the early 1980s, after which, plots were allotted to some of these in Sectors 42, 43, 44 and 46. The remaining land was allotted for building flats in Sectors 48 and 49.

Now, a large number of such societies are allotting flats. For the past decade or so, the Administration has been delaying the allotment of land to the societies, but receiving deposits from members, nevertheless. Sources said, members, tired of this decade-long wait, might easily have tried to make alternative housing arrangements.

It is clear that sale and purchase of leasehold property, especially in southern sectors, are being made on the basis of power of attorney. There is no record of such transactions in the Estate Office or with the CHB. Members of several societies have bought property this way, in view of the uncertainty over allotment of land to societies. Since such acquisitions have no mention in the terms for membership, the Administration can take no action against such members. That’s why the change was needed, sources said.

For long, citizens here have been saying that Chandigarh is a separate political and administrative entity, having no concern, whatsoever, with Panchkula and SAS Nagar. Whenever, applications for allotment of plots or flats in Panchkula or SAS Nagar are sought, there is only one condition: the applicant should not have a plot or flat in these towns only. There is no clause that includes Chandigarh.

Mr Kamlesh Chander, a man who lives in Sector 45, says: “If cities of Haryana and Punjab are to be included in the membership clauses, why should Shimla, Jaipur, Bhopal, Delhi or any other place be excluded.”

The other clause to be removed by the CHB stipulates a minimum period of residency in Chandigarh. The clause is absurd, as persons in the Central Government Service never stay at one place for more than four years.


Prizes for reporting fake results
Move to forgive approvers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Panjab University will look into cases of “fake results” to find out if any university official is involved in the racket. The PU Syndicate took a decision in this regard at a meeting here today.

The body also decided to improve the paper quality and have holograms on confidential marksheets. This will end the use of fake results for getting admissions in colleges and the university. The Syndicate said the detailed-marks cards should carry full signatures of the officials concerned and the full name of the signing authority.

When the cases using fake certificates first came up, the Syndicate had said that five years of punishment for offending candidates was too harsh a penalty. Rather, the university should have approvers to unearth the fake-results racket and the punishment of such approvers could be waived. A committee will discuss this matter, as differences prevail.

The PU cleared guidelines for awards and incentives (cash prize and citation) to employees for detecting and reporting result tampering. The Syndicate also took up the issue of filing charges against university employees. A proposal that allegations should come with affidavits was, earlier, rejected. A new committee has, now, recommended that allegations should made in writing. Anonymous and unsigned complaints and letters not containing addresses of the complainants will not be entertained.

Meanwhile, the Syndicate has decided to set up an Information Technology Centre for College Education. Besides holding normal classes, the centre will offer two-week courses throughout the year. The PU will monitor teaching standards.

Undergraduates will, now, be allowed to take up vocational studies along with the other college subjects. The colleges will, now, be able to offer certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses. The Syndicate cleared the setting up of a Centre of Public Health on the PU campus under the aegis of the Zoology Department.

The House was told that the university had been awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for overall excellence in sport. MCM DAV College was congratulated for receiving the Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme Award. Prof Meenakshi Malhotra has been appointed the honorary Associate Dean Student Welfare.

The appointment of Dr Kewal Singh as Director Sport has been rejected because “he does not have the required work experience”. The post will, now, be readvertised. The Syndicate also decided to cancel the selections of about 30 candidates for posts advertised mostly in 1999. This follows an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition by four affected employees. Financial crunch was said to be the reason.

A decision was taken to issue a notice to an employee to show cause why he should not be penalised for preparing fake bills. The PU will try to detect more such irregularities. The Syndicate hailed the election of Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as the Vice-President.


Witch’ caught resurrecting child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
In a bizarre incident, the police today arrested a woman, Munni, on charges of practising witchcraft, which she was allegedly using to infuse life into the body of a seven -month- old infant, who had died two days back.

As the word spread about the woman, a domestic servant belonging to Colony Number 5, Sector 45, trying to bring the child back to life, a large number of people from the area assembled in the burial ground behind the colony.

It was at about 7 p.m. that the police arrived and arrested her. A case has been registered against her under Section 297 IPC in the Sector 34 police station.

Guddu and Sita,the parents of the boy Sailesh, in their complaint to the police, alleged that their child died on Thursday after he consumed some eatables given by Munni.

They also said that Munni, had approached them, assuring them that with the help of witchcraft, she could bring the child back to life. However, they alleged that it was on her own that Munni today went to the burial ground and dug open the grave of their son, Sailesh in the wee hours of the morning at 4 a.m. today.

She sat throughout the day in the burial ground with the body of their son placed in her lap. It was only in the evening at about 5 p.m that a person from the colony Mohan Lal noticed her this act and word spread about it in the colony. The police was subsequently informed by the residents of the area.

A big crowd had assembled at the burial ground to watch Munni, who claimed that at midnight she would bring the child back to life.

Meanwhile, the body of the child has been sent to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for post-mortem. Police sources said that it was after the report of the post mortem would be received that the actual cause of the death of the child could be ascertained. The parents of the infant had alleged that the child had died after Munni gave him something to eat on Thursday.


Police lays siege to seized narcotics
Cases solved years ago
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Around 820 quintals of seized samples of different forms of narcotics are lying in the malkhanas of Chandigarh Police. In some cases the suspects had either been acquitted or convicted long ago.


To deal with the issue relating to storing of the confiscated samples of narcotics the Chandigarh Police has constituted a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Disposal Committee. The DIG is the chairman and the Senior Superintendent of Police and Superintendent of Police (City) are members of the committee. An official from the zonal office of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) could also be made member of the committee.

This despite guidelines to dispose off samples of narcotics during the pre-trial stage after following a proper procedure. Because most of the time the samples lying in the police malkhana are either damaged by rodents or are reportedly tampered, with by the police staff to either implicate or acquit a suspect.

Some of the samples are around 17 years’-old —when the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act came in to existence. An inspection of the malkhanas in 11 police stations revealed that around 817 quintals of poppy husk alone was in the custody of the Chandigarh Police.

Form of drug Total cases Quantity
Opium 29 64 kg
Brown sugar 4 4.50 kg
Smack 49 61 Kg
Charas 29 22.52 kg
Poppy Husk 46 817 quintals
Ganja 1 45 grams

Sources in the department said instructions in this regard were recently issued after the Punjab and Haryana High Court, took a serious note of seized contraband lying in the police stations. The Home Secretaries of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana had been asked to file affidavits in this regard. As per the procedure two packets of a seized contraband were to be made — one to be kept in police custody and other to be sent to the Central Science Forensic Laboratory for testing the purity of the drug in the respective case.

Ever since the NDPS Act came in to existence, the Chandigarh Police has registered at least 158 cases. The seized samples also include in which a suspect had either been acquitted or convicted. There were around 16 cases in which a suspect had been acquitted and around seven cases were untraced.


3 held for duping jeweller of Rs 4 lakh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 14
The police has arrested three persons, including a woman, on charges of cheating and fraud. The three accused had duped a jeweller in Pinjore of gold jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh.

According to information available, Paramjit Kaur , a middle-aged housewife from SAS Nagar had come to Bansal Jewellers in Pinjore on September 11 and ordered for 70 tolas of gold. Accompanied by an associate , Rajinder, who she introduced as her brother and a small child, she said she wanted to buy jewellery for a wedding. After placing an order for the jewellery, she said she would come again the next day to pick it up.

When she arrived at the shop on September 12, she was carrying a briefcase, reportedly full of money. Earlier, too, she had sold some jewellery at this shop and was thus known to the jeweller.

After selecting the jewellery worth over Rs 4 lakh, she asked for this to be left in her car, parked outside. The jewellery was safely tucked away in the car in custody of her driver, Ram Singh.

Then, Paramjit Kaur enacted a drama, claiming that her brief case could not be opened as she had the wrong key. She asked for Bhupinder Bansal’s ( jeweller) permission to get the key from the car and on this pretext fled away with other accused. Since she had taken a bill from the jeweller, the latter tried to locate her at the address given in the bill , but found the address fake. He then traced the earlier bill, of the gold he had bought from them in January this year and found their true address.

The police was subsequently informed, but upon reaching their house it found the house locked. It was then that police party led by ASI Mange Ram Sharma raided various places and all accused were arrested last night from near the Housing Board Colony. A case under Sections 420 and 406 of IPC has been registered against them.

They were presented before a local court today and have been sent to police custody till September 16.


Remand for cop in rape case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 14
A Head Constable of Chandigarh Police, Narvir Singh, who was arrested by the UT police in the rape case of Shimla-based girl, was today remanded in police custody till September 17 by a local court. He was produced before the UT Magistrate in the afternoon.

The police personnel, including the UT DSP, Mr S.C Sagar, sought the police remand of the accused on the grounds that the custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary to find out more information about involvement of the accused in the conspiracy.

The police also stated that the other two suspects in the case, Ram Lal and Baldev, had already been remanded in police custody till September 15 by the court therefore the custodial interrogation was required to find out the links of the accused with them.


‘Society has accepted female foeticide’
‘Modify Act to end illegal abortions’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
In spite of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act that bans sex-determination tests, the number of abortions in India is high, with female foeticide virtually becoming accepted in our society. At a seminar on ‘Safe Abortions’ organised here by the Gynaecological Society of Northern India in collaboration with the UT Administration, most speakers said, in spite of the ban on sex-determination tests, these were common at most places.

The MTP Act needed to be modified to prevent abortion in the second trimester because such abortions were leading to large-scale female foeticide, said Dr A.N. Gupta. Even the World Health Organisation has said that the figure of 2.7 abortions per thousand women of reproductive age in India is a gross underestimation and the actual figure is at least 15 to 20 times the reported number. The WHO figure for abortions is 90 in eastern Europe, 68 in Russia, 22 in Australia and 15 in Canada and England.

“With seekers and providers conducting abortions illegally, it is difficult to get the exact figure, but the number of women visiting hospitals with complications due to unsafe procedures shows that the situation is serious,” said a gynaecologist. She said, unlike in the West, where unmarried teenaged girls were having abortions, in India, married women with children made up this group.

Though strict implementation of the Act is must, this being a social problem, social mindset will have to be changed first. “Families, regardless of their social status, educational qualification and economic standard, were all aborting female foetuses because this has gained social acceptance,” said a senior doctor.

Record of the MTPs conducted in the PGI over the past 15 years shows that the figure has steadily decreased, but the figure of abortions in the second trimester (when the sex of the foetus is determined) has remained the same, which, however, does not show the real situation.

“Getting a normal pregnancy aborted in a government hospital is almost always impossible, so, seekers visit private clinics for this. Some such clinics are doing a roaring business on this account,” said a senior doctor. The PGI data shows that 10 per cent of the maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortions.

Doctors said the scale of unsafe abortions in India was huge. Such abortions, chief cause of mortality, were being conducted by unauthorised personnel. Families approach senior doctors only when complication arise due to unsafe abortions. Then, they lie and say that the abortions were a medical need. Contraceptives are not freely available and the awareness regarding these is not much, which leads to abortions of unwanted children.

Dr Kala Vasishta of the PGI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology gave the welcome address at the seminar. The other speakers there included Dr Vanita Jain, Dr Vanita Suri, Dr Jaswinder Kalra and Dr G.R.V. Prasad of the PGI Department of Gynaecology and Dr Amarjit Singh of Community Medicine.


Venkaiah takes up foreign-origin issue again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The BJP today supported the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s salvo of foreign origin of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi with its President M. Venkaiah Naidu asking the Congress “who is foreigner — Sita or the Congress President?’’

“The Congress leaders have said that Sita, Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani and I. K. Gujral are of foreign origin and I would like to ask them who is foreigner — Sita or the Congress President,” Mr Naidu said while addressing a gathering of party workers at the local BJP office here today.

It is for the first time that the BJP President has formally sought to revive the issue of foreign origin of Ms Gandhi after Ms Jayalalitha vowed not to let her become Prime Minister of the country.

The issue of origin — foreigner and native — was also brought forth in speeches of party general secretary Mr Rajnath Singh and secretary Om Prakash Dhankar.

Mr Rajnath Singh indirectly raised the issue of foreign origin saying the BJP was a more nationalistic party than the Congress and the Communists.

The BJP general secretary said that the Congress was founded by a foreigner ( A. O Hume) and the Communist ideology had emanated from abroad.

Mr Rajnath Singh said Ms Sonia Gandhi did not apply for the citizenship of the country for 15 years and Ms Indira Gandhi persuaded her to do so.

He said Indians’ self-respect would be hurt if somebody who was not “born from the womb of an Indian and brought up on the soil of the country” aspired to take the reins of power in the country.

Mr Dhankar, in his firebrand speech, asked the Congress President to apologise before Akal Takht and the people of several communities and castes for opposing the changes in the NCERT text books on deletion of “defamatory references to Guru Teg Bahadur, Jats and Jain community”, which has also been upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, lashed out at the Congress for its “saffron” bashing saying the Congress even saw “saffronisation’’ in construction of 12,100 Saraswati Shishu Kendras (schools) in the state.

In his speech packed with pun, wit and repartee amidst laughter, Mr Naidu told the gathering the National Democratic Alliance had a wide base with the support of 23 parties and even dissidents of the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal were supporting it.

Terming the Congress power hungry without carrying out responsibilities of an Opposition party, he said a scam-tinged Congress was indulging in negative politics by refusing to let Parliament work in an attempt to sling mud to let it stick to a “clean” BJP.

Juxtaposing dynastic tendencies of the Congress and a democratic BJP, he said the Congress could not think of electing a person as its leader beyond the Nehru family while the BJP had chosen a person like him (Mr Naidu).

Mr Naidu said the BJP had achieved the lowest ever inflation rate and the highest ever foreign exchange reserve of $ 60 billion.

He said the party would now move to villages from September 25 when a national programme of “gaon chalo” would be launched.

The BJP President said the workers needed to stress that the Gram Sadak Yojna would connect every village with roads by 2007 and four laning of major roads in North, South, East and West India would be completed by 2004.

Mr Naidu expressed dissatisfaction over representation of women in his party.

He defended the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, saying Mr Modi would again be Chief Minister and showed his displeasure at the Election Commission which has said those who wanted elections now were “mad.” A former BJP MP, Mr Satyapal Jain, and local unit president, Mr Yashpal Mahajan also addressed workers on local issues.


BJP leaders for unity among partymen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The national leadership of the BJP today referred to the infighting in the local unit and advised it to work unitedly to win the next Lok Sabha election.

Addressing party workers here in the Chandigarh office of the party, Mr Naidu said: “Wrong things have happened in the party, which were not good for the party of a disciplined character.’’

The party general secretary, Mr Rajnath Singh, also indicated deep chasms in the party and urged workers to “unite to strengthen the party.’’

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, said there was a need for introspection in the wake of indiscipline.

Mr Dhumal in his short speech said. “I will come whenever Chandigarh calls me.”

Mr Naidu urged party workers to keep in mind the year 2004 parliamentary election. He said the party needed to rope in jhuggiwalas,” rickshaw-pullers, rural people and farmers to broaden its social and political base. Mr Naidu came to the city on route addressing a meeting in Sunder Nagar in the morning and went to the rally by a helicopter.

The BJP President and Mr Rajnath Singh came by Rajdhani Express in the morning and returned in the same train in the evening.

The former Lok Sabha member was the only person other than local Mr Yashpal Mahajan to have found mention in the speech of Mr Naidu. The BJP workers kept on guessing on the reference of national leaders to unite and unsavoury incidents in the local unit.

Certain workers said the reference was made to the official party candidate Ms Ranjana Shahi, losing mayoral election despite majority of the party in the house and subsequent open war of words.

Mr Naidu to his liking saw a change here refusing to be garlanded and asked only few leaders to honour them. The national leaders were presented “angvastra” (a robe) and a sword by the leaders of the local unit.

In the morning, members of the ad-hoc committee and its convener apart from Mr Jain received Mr Naidu and Mr Jain on the railway stations. Office-bearer’s of different units from districts and cells and frontal organisation were introduced to the national president by Mr Mahajan and Mr. Jain.

Two ad-hoc committee members, Mr Neeraj Tayal and former party President Mr Dharampal Gupta, were conspicuous by their absence. Mr Jain and Mr Mahajan, no other leader of the party was on the dais.

Mr Jain and Mr Mahajan in their speeches lashed out at the Congress and the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, for betraying the people by “imposing taxes’’.

The former Lok Sabha member asked Mr Bansal to fight unitedly with the Chandigarh Administration on reducing rates of power and water.


Stress on use of Hindi in offices
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, September 14
Paper reading, typing competition, notings and drafting in Hindi marked Hindi Divas celebrations in various government and non-government organisations here today.

Most of the senior officers of the Income Tax Department, NWR, Chandigarh, were present at the office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Sector 17 here during the celebrations. The officials were told about the official language policies, government orders and steps in the IT Department for progressive use of Hindi. While presiding over the function, Ms Hardeep Kaur, Chief Commissioner, IT, said one should avoid translation and should do original drafting in Hindi.

Later, a prize-giving ceremony was held. Results (first, second, third and consolation prize): Hindi rype competition on computer — Ms Anju Sharma, Ms Sandhya Walia, Ms Nisha Kaushal and Mr Rajesh Kumar; Noting drafting — Mr Vinod Sharma, Mr Vinod Chadha, Ms Anju Sharma and Mr Hardeep Dhillon; Essay competition — Mr Kundan Singh Rawat, Mr Milap Chand, Mr Trilok Singh and Mr Hans Raj; Hindi work competition — Mr Vinod Chadha, Ms Madhu Bala Sanghi, Ms Rekha Rani and Ms Anju Sharma. For doing ‘‘maximum’’ work in Hindi during the year 2001 - 2002, Mr Vinod Chadha, Ms Rekha Rani, Mrs Anju Sharma, Ms Paramjit Kaur, Ms Usha Verma, Mr Darshan Lal, Ms Madhubala Sanghi, Mr Vinod Sharma, Mr Hardeep Dhillon, Mr Jagdish, Ms Sunita Saini, Ms Kiran Mehta, Mr P.K. Sriniwasan, Mr Man Chand, Mr Partap Singh, Mr Rajinder Kumar and Mr Surjeet Singh, were given cash prizes.

The Institute of Education organised a paper-reading contest among 18 students of the ETT Class to mark the day. While presiding over the function, the Director of the Institute, Ms S.Tangri, asked those opting for teaching profession to work with missionary zeal to popularise the languages. Results of the paper-reading contest (first, second, third and fourth): Sanita, Jyoti Sharma, Arvinder and Ritu Gaur.

On the occasion of the Hindi Divas, Prof S.K. Sharma, Director, PGI, appealed to all officers, employees and students to use Hindi in their day-to-day work and activities. A three-day exhibition of Hindi books will start at the Institute’s Library from Monday.

Hindi Divas celebrations were held at the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, here today. The celebrations were aimed at emphasising the importance of the national language and making it a part of everyday life.

The students of B.Ed and M.Ed class participated in various competitions, including poster-making, essay writing, creative writing, declamation and slogan writing highlighting the importance of the national language.

The chief guest on the occasion, Dr D.S. Gupt, said Hindi was not being used appropriately by its native speakers. The Principal, Dr (Ms) Satinder Dhillon, said the national language was above all languages and she urged students to use Hindi.

The Head of Hindi Department, Dr Jyoti Khanna, said Hindi was a language not only of thoughts but an expression of the heart.

The results of the various contests are: Poetry recitation: Rosey (1), Kamaldeep and Loveleen (2), Archana (3); Declamation: Bhawana (1), Meghna (2), Jyoti (3); Essay writing: Meena Kumari (1), Kumari Jyoti (2), Jagjit Kaur (3); Poster-making and slogan writing: Chandana Bajaj (1), Monika Jaswal (2).

PANCHKULA: Employees of the State Bank of India took a pledge to maximise the use of Hindi in the daily affairs of the bank at a function held at the local main branch to mark Hindi Divas today. The Chief General Manager, Mr R.K Sinha, read out the message of the Union Minister for Finance and Company Affairs, for the employees.

Meanwhile, Hindi Divas was also celebrated at the SBI, Staff Training Centre, here and a ‘Shabad Gayn’ competition was held with an ‘‘objective’’ to promote the use of Hindi. As many as 34 trainees participated in the contest. Results: First — Mr B.S Sarpal (Mandi Dabwali branch), second — Mr Sushil Kumar Sharma (Batala Road, Amritsar branch) and third — Mr Partap Chand (McLeodganj branch).

A special function was organised on the Hindi Divas by the regional office of Syndicate Bank, which is celebrating September as Hindi month.

Renowned Hindi writer Prem Vij was the chief guest at the function. According to a press note, bank’s Regional Manager R.C. Budhiraja presided over the function.


Park entrance used as garbage dump
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 14
Imagine stepping over a two feet high and 20 feet wide spread of filth and dirt just to go to a park. Don’t cringe in distaste, this is exactly what people, residing in Phase VII here, do everyday.

The entire entrance to the public park located next to the St. Soldiers Public School, behind the main market in Phase VII, is blocked with a heap of garbage which shopkeepers allege had not been cleared for weeks.

According to the shopkeepers, the heap was growing and since it had not been cleared for some time, a stench had started spreading. And those who visit the park, it is with a handkerchief across their faces.

Some other shopkeepers, however, said the heap was cleared once in two weeks or whenever someone complained to the Municipal Council (MC). “But what is required is a permanent solution to the problem. Since we are located right opposite the heap, the stench is unbearable and we keep all our back doors shut so that our business does not suffer,” said Mr Manjit Singh, owner of a cloth shop in the Phase VII market.

The MC office, however, maintained that the heap had been cleared many times but the shopkeepers and the residents of the area throw garbage at the place which is not a garbage dump.

The council has now decided to keep a tab on those who are misusing the park entrance as a garbage dump. “We can clear garbage as it is our duty. But the residents and those who use the area also need to also recognise their duty. Residents carelessly throw about garbage wherever they see a little heap and then it starts growing. Similarly hotel and restaurant owners are also responsible for creating filth heaps behind such markets. They throw all their wet garbage behind other restaurants and in a few weeks it is a high heap of fly-ridden stinking filth,”said an MC employee.

The shopowners said the garbage heap had also become a feeding ground for stray cattle who crowd the entrance to the park blocking the path completely. “In the late evenings most of the cattle spend the night on the heap where it find plenty to eat,” said a shopkeeper.


Governor releases “a Bouquet of Thoughts”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), today released Mr Robin Gupta’s book “A Bouquet of Thoughts”, a collection of poetry, essays and portrait gallery of outstanding personalities who made an impact on his life.

General Jacob said this book was an “intensely personal one”. The people, places, events and moods that had inspired this collection of poems, articles and pen-portraits spanned over a vast range — princes, Army officers and senior civil servants shared space with humbler folk like constables and barbers.

Appreciating Mr Robin Gupta for a detailed account of small monuments, General Jacob said he particularly appreciated his writing on the little-known monuments of history like the tomb of Jamali-Kamali. “I see something of the ICS officer of the 19th century in Robin”, he commented.

The Governor said Punjab had the oldest heritage and we must make an effort to explore our heritage. We owe a great debt to the British officers of the armed forces and the civil services for the work they did in making us aware of our heritage”. “It was John Princep who translated the Ashoka Pillar for us and it was at Fort Williams our ancient documents in Sanskrit were translated by a Englishman”. He advised the officers to visit Sanghol and see the artefacts excavated from the Harappan and Kushan period.

Mr Robin Gupta said “A Bouquet of Thoughts” was “after my mother, my unmarried sister, who lives in the USA, and I concluded that our terrestrial sojourns, will be extinguished. Therefore, in a sense, the book is a will and a testament”. It is for this reason that there are vignettes and photographs of my family; interspersed amongst poetry, prose and the portrait gallery — the three distinct portions of this book.

Earlier, Mr Manpreet Badal gave an introduction of Mr Robin Gupta, Mr B.R. Bajaj, President IAS Officers Association, thanked the Governor on behalf of the association. Mr Bob Hamlin of Minerva Publication, England, also spoke.


Book on ‘nazms’ by Dr Pannu released
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 14
“Yeh behen bhi hai, beti bhi, biwi bhi aur ma bhi hai

Uljhi hai har rishton mein, par har rishte ki jaan bhi hai.”

When Dr B.K. Pannu Parwaz penned down this Urdu ‘nazm’, she probably had her own image in mind, because the description suits her the best. A retired professor and head of Government Medical College, Patiala, a poetess of repute, a vocalist who is equally adept with instrumental music and an art lover, Dr Pannu symbolises the epitome of womanhood.

Dr Pannu, who released her second Urdu poetry book “Zakhme Tammana” at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, here today, shared her passion for Urdu poetry at a function organised by the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association.

“It was the love for the language that motivated me to do an MA in Urdu from Punjabi University after completing MBBS,” said Dr Pannu. Her poetry, both in Urdu and Punjabi, and short stories have been published in various magazines and dailies.

Hues of human relationships, their joys and sorrows inspire Dr Pannu to write. Her first book “Gubare Dil” was a collection of ghazals that explores various facets of human life. “However, the pain attached with loneliness holds a special attraction as I myself have gone through a long period of separation from my husband during his Army days,” she says.

It was the sense of loneliness that motivated Dr pannu to expand her horizon. Spreading her wings into the world of music, Dr Pannu did a diploma in instrumental music from Prayag Sangeet Academy, Allahabad, and a BA in vocal music.

Her Urdu poetry book “Sukhan Sukhan” is in the final stage and she is also working on another book on Urdu couplets and ghazals.

Releasing the book the Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Mr A. K. Luthra, praised the crispness of her nazms. “Her poems have a unique freshness and at the same time deal with the complexities of human nature and relations with sensitivity,” he said.


‘Viva Italia’, a fest of pastas
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

There’s a whole range of pastas out there. Made by the chef right in front of you, as you like it. With your choice of veggies and herbs and masalas. And, yes. As you see him rustle up the Italian delicacy on the gas in a jiffy, you get a demo of the recipe that you can try to replicate at home for your kids and hubby.

The place to go for a bite of fresh pasta is Hotel Maya Palace, Sector 35. In celebration of its 13th anniversary, the hotel is organising ‘Viva Italia’, a festival of pastas. Following a good response to the fest, they have extended its period by at least a week, says Mr Ajay Khaneja, General Manager.

Their restaurant, Connoisseur, has been brightly done up in orange and yellow hues with colourful posters of the dish and buntings amid sparkling sunflowers. A corner has been converted into an open workstation where the delicacy is cooked. The niche below, with artificial red light and pieces of logwood, gives an illusion of a warm chullah. As the soft music soothes your nerves, the pasta tickles your taste buds.

The generous portions of the veg and non-veg varieties come at two flat rates: Rs 120 and Rs 150, respectively. Mr Vijay Pal Singh, the chef who has been deputed from the hotel’s Jalandhar branch for the fest, explains that pasta is basically a combination of wheat flour, vegetables, herbs and spices and sauces sauteed in butter oil.

Pasta (maida) rolled out in various shapes (spaghetti, macaroni, ragati, farfille, fusilli, spirrali etc), is tossed with parsley, lettuce, capsicum (green, yellow, and red), broccoli and mushroom, along with white (milk), red (tomato), green (spinach) and brown (meat) sauces and parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper to make the colourful dish.

Lasangne verde alforno is veg pasta sheets layered with spinach and tomato sauce and topped with bechamel sauce. Orricieti al maya is veg pasta with Continental veggies, spiced up with garlic and chilli flakes. Orricieti al marinara is non-veg pasta with shrimp sauce.

Of course, you can complement the food with regular menu items like soups, drinks etc. While garlic bread is given complimentary, you get one free glass of Castle beer if you order one glass.


Govt must come to farmers’ rescue

THERE was a time when our country used to beg for food. Farmers, mainly from Punjab, with the help of incentives and support from the government, brought India out of the red. It was because of sincere and honest efforts of the farmers that India could become a food-surplus country.

Ironically, the farmer himself is in the red today. It has become a fashion for everyone to blame the farmers for overexploitation of ground water resources and glut in foodstocks.

The media and experts are crying for diversification. But where is the government planning for the same? It is not an easy job to diversify crop pattern without the help of the government.

Farm infrastructure, including machinery, implements, and skilled labour are according to the requirements of paddy and wheat crops.

The farmers will have to change the infrastructure for diversification and that requires heavy investment.

The farmer is already highly indebted. As a result, he is on the crossroads and needs the sort of help, provided by the government during the Green Revolution.

The sword of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is hanging on the farmers. The next generation of the farming community is running away from agriculture due to non-profitable farming operations.

But if they run away, who will cultivate the land?

I feel farming is, and will continue to remain the backbone of the country.

Other businesses like information technology will not provide food for millions. The so-called huge stocks of foodgrains would be emptied if a single crop fails.

Even these stocks are doubtful. A large portion of these may not be fit for human consumption.

More than a billion mouths and millions of cattle need to be fed on a continuous basis. Consequently, it is the duty of the government at the Centre and in the states to save the farmers to save India. Imported foodgrains are cheap only when we have abundant stock at home. The costs will increase manifold when we are seen starving. It is time the government woke up to the realities and came to the rescue of the farmers.


Bifurcation of districts

Did the creation of new districts solve the problems of general public in Punjab? Moga, Mukatsar, Mansa, Nawanshahar, Fatehgarh Sahib were carved out from their respective parental districts.

New administrators, including DCs, SSPs and others were posted to run the new districts. New buildings were constructed.

Many politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen pocketed from the new districts. The financial burden of the state exchequer increased manifold.

Have we administratively become so feeble, fragile and inefficient that we cannot run a bigger district. No, we have good officers and efficient administrators.

Visit Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra or any big state and assess the geographically boundaries of the districts there.

When Punjab is a developed state with well-connected highways and link roads, efficient communication links, and transport network, it should be easy to control a district by the administrators concerned.

Vote bank politics is making our system costly. Tehsil-level officials should be given more powers and authority so that the aggrieved public do not face hardship.

Decentralisation, instead of new districts, would help the state as well as people.

For a person living in Abohar, Ferozepore is a time-consuming journey. SDMs can be given more powers. Modern communication gadgets, Internet, video conferencing facilities can be introduced for quick dissemination of information at all levels. Authority with accountability will yield good results.


Pollution from gensets

Generators in residential areas are causing noise and air pollution. The sound they produce during power cuts is unbearable. This is having a deleterious effect on the mental and physical health of neighbours who have to pass through the ordeal almost every day.

Power cuts are frequent and prolonged and so is the mental torture and agony of the people. Due to noise and breath-choking fumes emitting from the generator sets, people are unable to sit even in their verandahs to have a whiff of fresh air.

What purpose does the Haryana Pollution Control Board serve if it cannot check this uncalled for noise and air pollution, which is being thrust upon law-abiding citizens.

This is in direct contravention of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The use of generator sets must be immediately banned in residential areas except for special occasions with the permission of the competent authority.




Meeting to discuss progress of work on rail track
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 14
A joint meeting of officers of the Railways, related departments and various panchayats was held here yesterday at Civil Rest House to discuss problems related with the construction of the Chandigarh-Kharar-Morinda rail track.

The meeting was called by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar. The SDM’s and tehsildars of Kharar and SAS Nagar officers of the Drainage Department, the Punjab State Electricity Board and the PWD were also present on the occasion. Two Executive Engineers from Railways also attended the meeting.

Affected farmers and representatives of panchayats presented their problems and many were solved on the spot. The farmers raised issues, including compensation of acquired land, construction of overbridges and proper arrangement of disposal of rainy water. The farmers also discussed problems likely to be faced after the completion of track as their land would be divided into parts.

Many farmers feared that in absence of a proper drainage system, there might be a flood-like situation along the railway track in case of heavy rains.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh asked why the DGM, Railway, did not participate in the meeting despite an invitation in advance. He said he would inquire into the matter and would contact Union Railway Minister regarding the matter.

He said a meeting would be organised after a month to assess the progress and hoped that the departments concerned would take necessary steps to solve the problems.


Ganesha Chaturthi celebrated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 14
Fancy dress competition and dance programmes were held on the concluding day function of the Ganesh Chaturthi. The devotees later participated in the procession for immersion of idols of Lord Ganesha from Sri Radhakrishna Mandir in Sector 47. The function was organised by the Kannada Sangha.

Earlier during the day, Pooja and mangalaarti were held for one hour from 7 am. A lucky draw was also held during the function. According to the temple authorities, the four-day celebrations ended today. During the four-day programme pratishthapana, pooja, mangalaarati, bhajans, devaranama and mangalarti were held.


11 KV wire snaps, falls on houses
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 14
Residents of Randhawa Road here had a providential escape when an 11 KV electricity wire fell on some houses at around 2.15 a.m. today with electricity current spreading in at least four houses. According to a press note issued here today by the residents, it was shocking as nobody answered the phone when they tried to contact the local electricity office. They later met the Fire Brigade officer in SAS Nagar and a fire brigade engine was sent to the spot. Residents were angry as the employees of the Electricity Department reached at around 10 a.m. to remove the wire lying on the road and houses.


Servant verification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The second phase of the servant verification would be carried out by the Chandigarh Police at 11 different places in the city. An official of the Chandigarh Police said the verification would be carried at the following places.

Police Station    Place

Sector 17 Police booth in Shastri Market, Sector 22

Sector 11 Police booth market in Sector 11

Sector 3 Govt Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10

Sector 26 Govt Model School, Sector 28

Sector 19 Police booth in Sector 20 market

Industrial Area Police booth in Sector 29 market

Manimajra Police booth in modern complex

Sector 31 Police booth in Sector 31 market

Sector 34 Govt Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 32

Sector 36 Open space in Sector 42 market

Sector 39 Open ground on back side of Sector 38 (west) market


Body of old man found
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 14
A highly decomposed body of a seventy-year-old resident of Raipu Kalan village was found near a water body in Chandiala Soodan village today by the SAS Nagar police.

According to police, the body could not be identified initially as no one in the village seemed to know the old man. But later, the body was identified of being that of Saroop Singh by his son Shinder Singh.


3 of a family booked for cheating bank
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 14
A case of criminal breach of trust and cheating under various Sections of the IPC has been registered against three members of a family, allegedly for misusing a bank loan.

According to police sources, Satwinder Singh, his brother, Iqbal Singh and sister-in-law, Devinder Kaur, took a loan of Rs 5 lakh from Punjab and Sindh Bank, Sector 17 branch, here on February 20. Satwinder Singh furnished guarantees from his brother and sister-in-law. Mr Manjit Singh Sodhi, Chief Manager of the bank branch, alleged that Satwinder Singh misused the loan and committed breach of trust with the bank. A case was registered on the directions of a local court here.

Death in mishap: An employee at plot No. 14, Industrial Area, Phase I here, Surinder Singh died after the scooter he was riding was hit by a truck in the Industrial Area on Friday afternoon. As per police sources, he was seriously injured in the accident and was rushed to the GMCH, Sector 32, where he succumbed to the injuries. The truck driver an escaped from the accident site. A case under Sections 304A, 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft cases: During the past 24-hours, at least five cases of thefts, including two house breaks, have been registered at various police stations here.

Ms Ritu Rana, a resident of Sector 31 here, reported that her house was burgled and the thieves took away a VCD player, a stereo system, a VCP, two cameras, three walkmans, a diamond ring, gold ornaments and Rs 40,000 sometime between 10.30 am and 12 noon on Friday. Another house breaking was reported from Sector 41. Mr Anil Kumar Oberoi reported that thieves took away gold and silver jewellery besides Rs 10,000, from his house after breaking locks.

Mr Satibir Singh, a resident of Sector 43, reported that his Kinetic Honda scooter was stolen from Sector 34 on Friday Mr Dev Raj of Ropar district reported a the police that his scooter was stolen from a parking lot in Khuda Lahora on September 9. Meanwhile, Ms Sudarshan Kumari, a resident of Panchkula, alleged that her purse containing a watch, a gold chain and ring, identity card and Rs 700, was stolen from her car, which was parked in Sector 26.


Stepfather suspected of killing child, absconding
Our correspondent

Kharar, September 14
A five-year-old child of Mundi Kharar village in Kharar, had been missing ever since August 29, was allegedly murdered by his stepfather who reportedly threw him in a canal.

Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar, while talking to The Tribune said here today that the police had some vital information in this case.

He said after the police received a complaint in this regard, a case was registered against his step father Harvinder Singh. The police had started a search for the accused, the DSP added.

He said that Mrs Om Priti, an employee of the local Municipal Committee, had lodged a report with the police that her son Rahul was missing since August 29.

She told the police that her first husband had died due to heart attack and after she had married Harvinder Singh. She already had two children.

She said that her son Rahul who was admitted to a school in the village was used to be dropped to the school by her husband.

She said that on August 29 Rahul was dropped outside the school by her husband.

She said that her husband told her that when he reached there in the afternoon to pick him up Rahul was not found there.

Mr Rupinder Singh said that the police had been suspicious about Harvinder Singh from the very that day and was working on various theories.

He said that now the police had achieved a major breakthrough by solving this murder.

The accused who was absconding, would be arrested very soon.

Meanwhile, a crying Mrs Om Priti told The Tribune that she was quite shocked to know about her husband’s involvement in this.

She said that she was moving from piller to post in the search of her son.

She pleaded that now at least the body of the child should be given to her.


2 held for selling cars with fake registrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 14
The Operation Cell of the local police arrested two persons for running a business of selling cars with fake registration number and seized one such car here this evening.

The suspects, Major Singh and Bharpur Singh, were caught red-handed while allegedly selling a 1999 model Maruti Esteem car to a Sector 44 resident for Rs 90,000.

The car originally had a registration number of Ropar district, however, the duo had allegedly put a registration plate of West Bengal (WB 20B 5329) on it.

Major Singh is a resident of Ballongi and Bharpur Singh is from Manuali village (SAS Nagar). Police sources said that a Tata Indica car is also expected to be seized from them and raids were being carried out.


AirTel launches home delivery service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
AirTel Magic, pre-paid card from Bharti Mobile Ltd., today announced a home delivery service of magic starter kit and recharge coupons for all its customers in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula. The customers can avail of this free service by dialing a toll-free number 98151 00 200 between 9 am and 6 pm.

Announcing this service, Mr Vinod Sawhny, CEO, Bharti Mobile Ltd., said, “Based on the IN platform, AirTel Magic would provide unique facility of recharging by a mere input of a 16-digit number into one’s cellphone. It would also have various generic benefits like no rental, a pre-activated STD/ISD facility, no security deposits, easy availability and low entry costs.”

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |