Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CRPF cop goes missing in Sukhna
Tribune News Service


  • Balbir Singh, father of Ravi Ankit, said” We always wanted our son to win medals. His younger brother, Yoginder, is paralysed in one arm and all our dreams rest on Ravi. We were thinking of marrying him”.
  • Subedar Satyapal of the First Para Commando battalion was among the team of the Army which had searched for the body of DIG Anand from the Sukhna Lake in 1983.

Officials of the CRPF listen to Mr Balbir Singh, father of Ravi Ankit
Officials of the CRPF listen to Mr Balbir Singh, father of Ravi Ankit, in Chandigarh on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph 

Chandigarh, September 17
An ace kayak, Ravi Ankit, of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) went missing under mysterious circumstances while practising in the muddy waters of the Sukhna Lake here early this morning. Local divers and Army commandos of the Nahan-based First Para Commando Battalion were unsuccessful in tracing the 19-year-old kayak till the search exercise was called off in the evening due to poor light

The kayak (type of a rowing boat) in which he was practising was found floating upside down and the hoarse (used to push the scull) were missing. Till the whereabouts of Ravi are known, the police is not ruling at any foul play. His father, Mr Balbir Singh, who reached here in the evening from his native Karer village in Sonepat , expressed doubt that his boy had drowned.

Ravi Ankit a constable with the Halomajra-based 28th battalion of the CRPF, had won a gold medal in an All-India championship and was hoping for another medal in a forthcoming national championship. It was a usual day for Ravi as he along with his colleagues and a team of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) went practising in the water channel of the lake.

A few moments before he went missing at about 7.30 am, the kayak was seen about 250m from the regulator end of the lake. Strangely none of those around saw the boy drowning. Commandant VK Sharma of the Hallomajra-based battalion of the CRPF said he was very active and used to leave other kayaks behind in each heat. He expressed surprise about the boy drowning.

Divers of the Sukhna Lake Club, led by coach Gurjinder Singh and divers of the PAP, CRPF and boys of the local Khalsa College in Sector 26 did their best to trace him in the muddy waters.

A claw-shaped equipment was used by divers to search him. The area in which the boy is suspected to have drowned varies between 12 feet to 17 feet. The entire stretch up to 500m from the regulator end was being searched. The CRPF personnel engaged a group of fishermen from the Bapu Dham colony, who used a 30-foot-wide fishing net in the muddy waters.

A team from the Para Commandos, led by Maj A D Shah, had to call off its operation due to poor light and would continue the search tomorrow. The exact location where the boy went missing was not known to the divers.

Deputy Commissioner M. Ramshekhar and Senior Superintendent of Police Parag Jain visited the spot. The police has entered a daily diary report (DDR) at the Sukhna Police post.



Sukhna above danger mark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The water level in the Sukhna Lake today crossed the danger mark at 1161.10 feet, but gates for now are not likely to be opened, an official source said.

Any further rainfall may force the authorities to open the gates for which warnings had already been issued. The city today received 3 mm of rainfall in the morning.

The Meteorological Department said thundery developments were likely to occur within the next 24 hours.

The neighbouring cities of Ambala and Patiala also received showers with the former getting 7 mm of rain and the latter 20 mm.

There were no signs of withdrawal of monsoon in the next couple of days. The temperature of the city, however, today increased to 31.1°C.



PU urges ministry to review decision
Abolition of vacant posts
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Panjab University has urged the Ministry of Human Resource Development to review its decision regarding abolition of all vacant posts in the non-teaching wing of the university administration.

Interestingly, the decision taken by the Consultative Committee also sought the university to keep all vacant teaching posts in abeyance. The PU Registrar, Prof Paramjit Singh, has expressed the problems the university would face in freezing the staff intake in an official letter addressed to the Director of the ministry.

The letter comes up for discussion in the forthcoming Senate meeting. It is worthwhile to mention that the Senate in one of the meetings earlier had not accepted the UGC circular.

The Registrar has written: “The Board of Finance of Panjab University at its meeting on October 12, 2001, had requested the Consultative Committee to review its earlier decision regarding abolition of all vacant posts in the non-teaching wing and keeping its teaching posts in abeyance”.

The committee once again reiterated that “ all the vacant non-teaching posts will be deemed to be abolished as per the decision already taken by the Ministry of Finance. Similarly, teaching posts should be treated as held in abeyance”.

The Senate, however, decided that “ the abolition of non-teaching posts would affect the very fabric of the university system and limit its future growth. It would be appropriate that the university should take-up afresh the issue of abolition of vacant posts with the ministry.”

The university decision added: “Till a final decision, the university should fill the vacant posts on need basis in case of teaching and all categories of non-teaching staff and continue granting them promotions according to university rules and regulations”.

A senior fellow of the Senate pointed out that the workload of the university had grown manifold and was never on the decrease so there was no justification in abolishing the vacant posts. Instead the government should felicitate earliest filling up of the vacant seats in all wings. He said the most important sector which needed immediate interference was the filling up of vacancy in the teaching wing.

Another senior teacher said the university needed to give a serious re-thought to deployment of the non-teaching staff in all departments. A proper streamlining will show that more work could be generated from the existing strength. If still ‘needed’ the university should be allowed to recruit more people.



Cheat’s name figures in FBI records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh connection

A case was registered against Poppat, a technician in a government hospital, for selling fake shares worth Rs 10 lakh of Reliance, ICICI, Punjab Tractors, L and T and other reputed companies to a local broker, Sandeep Grover. The shares were found to be fake when they were sent for certification to the respective company. The shares had been sold to Poppat by the cheat, Gurdip. A case was registered at the Sector 36 police station under Sections 467, 471 and 120 B of the IPC.

Chandigarh, September 17
The Chandigarh Police has stumbled upon startling information about a 42-year-old notorious cheat, Gurdip Singh, arrested by the Operation Cell on Sunday night. The name of the ace cheat finds mention in the records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), premier investigating agency of USA.

During questioning by the police, Gurdip Singh, said he had migrated to USA on a tourist-cum-business visa in year 1988, he established a business of sending money through hawala in Broadways Manhattan, New York. There he managed to get a green card after paying $ 10,000 to a person, Habib Bhai.

He was caught by the FBI when an illegal immigrant, possessing fake green card was arrested on December 23, 1989. The ace cheat along with seven of his accomplices was arrested in Houston in the same year for making fake green cards for illegal immigrants. Later, he was released on January 31, 1990, after he turned state approver in the case.

Investigations by the operation cell revealed that from each illegal immigrant he took $ 10,000. After being released by the FBI, he shifted to Los Angeles and operated his business of migrating people to USA through a Delhi-based travel agent, Parmod Nigam. The route of the illegal immigrants was Nepal-Bangkok and through cities of North America. During questioning it was revealed that Gurdip had taken money from 25 persons and 14 had entered the USA on the basis of forged documents.

He was deported from Korea and Poland for sending illegal immigrants to USA through these countries. In January 1990, he entered into the business of sending money through hawala and transacted around Rs 70 crore in two-and-a-half years through a Delhi-based man, Pardeep Jain.



History created at Chhat Bir
First jumbo calf born in captivity
Donald Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
It was 1.50 a.m. on September 17. Clocks all over the country must have ticked twice for that particular second. Yes, history was being created in the elephant enclosure of Chhat Bir Zoo. Two mahouts, Nippon and Apurva, were witness to the birth of an elephant calf, the first time in captivity. Hema, the mother elephant, acquired from Assam, gave birth to a female calf.

The two mahouts were on their night vigil. They knew any moment the zoo would be creating history — birth of an elephant in captivity. Hema started showing signs of pain around 1.30 a.m. Yes, the moment they had been waiting for had arrived — the labour pains had started.

A telephone call to the Chief Warden, Zoos , Punjab, Dr Vinod Sharma, a virtual foster father to the zoo inmates, saw the veterinarian in his full gear at the enclosure within 20 minutes. The calf had already been delivered. But the first-time mother, Hema, knew nothing about motherhood. Herself an abandoned calf from the Assam forests, she pushed and prodded the child. One of the mahouts, Nippon, got the message. He had to protect the new-born, a one-quintal jumbo. He got pushed around by the mother elephant resulting in blue marks on his right shoulder. Dr Sharma joined in pacifying the mother patting her trunk. The calf was fed on cow's milk initially. But after a four-hour drama that continued into the early hours of the morning, Hema relented. Yes, she had accepted the child.

It was celebration time at the zoo this morning. Packets of rasgullas made the round as word about the "tidings of great joy" spread on the campus. The Tribune team was the first to reach the enclosure. The little one was having mother's milk. It was a cute little thing, weighing over one quintal. The placenta weighing 24 kg was being covered with mud. This was the spot where history was written in the small hours of the day.

The zoo staff and their families could be seen making their way to the enclosure. The way Dr Sharma handled the mother elephant had to be seen to be believed. It was a demonstration of the bonds this veterinarian has with the animals. Patting Hema on the trunk, he made her walk towards the covered area as sharp showers started to fall. Lots of "gur" was needed to give warmth to the mother. The rain clouds and the cool breeze were not the right ingredients for the new mother. Passing instructions to the zoo keeper and the mahouts not to allow the mother and the new-born to leave the covered area, Dr Sharma talked to The Tribune team about the new-born.

Dr Sharma said it was because of the tendency of male elephants turning rogue that the zoos did not keep male elephants. Raj Mangal, the male elephant who sired the new-born, was outside the campus of the elephant enclosure. Raj Mangal had been acquired by the zoo from Rohtak, where it had turned rogue and the services of Dr Vinod Sharma were required to tranquilise the animal. He not only tranquilised the animal, but also tamed it to such an extent that joy rides were done on the back of the male elephant. Many in the zoo did not like the experiment, but Dr Sharma was confident that one day this "rogue elephant" would bring good news for the zoo.

Now that the zoo has an Asiatic elephant calf, it can really dictate terms on getting some exotic breeds. And Dr Sharma agrees that the small jumbo will get them some good exotic animals. The zoo does not have a number of animals. To name a few, giraffe, ostrich, puma, jaguar, etc. Will it be asking for too much ? 



MC panel’s no to sanitation cess
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Sanitation Committee of the Municipal Corporation today rejected an official proposal of levying a cess for the cleaning of the city and collecting garbage house to house for a department which has a net deficit of Rs 2.39 crore.

The Congress-controlled committee rejected proposals completely despite an offer by a section of members to review the rates downward saying the party had been forced to levy other charges by linking the grant-in-aid with tax collection measures and at least for now it would not consider any fresh tax proposals.

A few members of the committee even pleaded that the taxes be tentatively levied for a period of six months for an experiment to improve the condition of sanitation in the city, which has been drawing flak from the people, including the Congress.

The Committee also rejected a proposal of cow dung collection charge of Rs 100 per animal per month in villages. It also deferred terms and conditions of night sweeping in sectors 17, 8 and 9. The sanitation cess agenda was discussed for an hour before being rejected.

The members were told that with this cess the collection was likely to be around Rs 4 crore and the corporation would arrange house-to-house collection of garbage in an environmentally-friendly way.

The cleanliness of the city has been affected due to the absence of a city-wide house-to-house garbage collection mechanism and welfare associations’ efforts to do the same have been scuttled with certain people refusing to pay for sanitation facilities.

The Medical Officer of the Health Department was finding it difficult to carry out its activity due to a Rs 19 crore non-plan bill (including wages), which increases every year.

The corporation had demanded an allocation of Rs 4.39 crore for the cleanliness of the city in the budget but the Chandigarh Administration effected a cut of Rs 2 crore leaving the department to generate its own resources.

The corporation also wanted to man its garbage bins through this collection to stop those who throw garbage outside bins.

The Congress Leader in the corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, said the party would not for now consider any more proposals of tax after being forced to levy property tax and hike water charges. Mr Chawla said the paid parking was forced on it by a decision of the court.

He said the corporation first had to get its due of grants from the Central Government and the Chandigarh Administration and failures of them could not be forced on the people.

A committee member, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, who opposed the proposal, said the corporation on one hand was trying a new experiment of giving money to mohalla sudhar committees for keeping sweepers, and on the other charging the people.

The Congress said the hike in electricity charges had also come as a blow to the people.



Education Dept goes ‘primitive’ to ascertain age
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
The Secondary Education Department has come under cloud for allegedly “using the most primitive parameters” for assessing the age of aspiring sportspersons from different schools in the state.

Even as the district-level games for under-14 category are under way at Charki Dadri, near Bhiwani, a number of aspirants from all over the state have complained that they have been rejected because of showing signs of puberty.

Students have been primarily rejected because of facial hair growth, growth of hair on under arm or pubic hair. Nitish Chopra, a 12-year-old cricket player and student of Little Flower Convent School, Panchkula, was not allowed to play in these games for showing early signs of puberty.

“Though endocrinologists and medical experts confirm that the advent of puberty in children has advanced and this is by no means a parameter for determining the age,” he says. He has also objected to the extreme humiliation that his teammates were subjected to by callous Health Department workers, when they checked pubic hair growth.

“In fact, he was first rejected by the local Education Department on the same grounds. But we had to fight to get his name included in the district team. We produced his birth certificate issued by the Chandigarh Administration and his birth card issued by the PGI, Chandigarh, and they finally relented,” says his father, Mr S.K. Chopra.

Mr Chopra says they pleaded their case with the Education Department officers at Charki Dadri, along with at least 20 other students from different parts of the state, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, senior officials in the Secondary Education Department said they were unaware of any such case. A top official in the department, on condition of anonymity, told Chandigarh Tribune that, they did not misjudge validity of birth certificates or other authentic proof of birth. He, however, assured that an inquiry would be conducted after ascertaining the facts.

DOC SPEAK: Dr R. Murlidharan, a consultant endocrinologist at Fortis and Inscol Hospital, says that onset of puberty is a wrong way to assess age. The occurrence of facial hair is highly variable. It can occur in boys at the age of 15 or even at the age of 20. The right method of assessing the age is through an elbow X-ray, he says. He says puberty has advanced in children over the years. “Improved nutrition and environmental influences are responsible for the early onset of puberty,” he points out.



Banda Singh Bahadur function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Hundreds of delegates from all over Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are expected to participate in a function to be held at Amritsar on October 16 to mark the birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

This was stated by Mr K.K.Bawa, and Prof Jiwan Dass Bawa, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Punjab Bairagi Maha Mandal, while talking to mediapersons here yesterday. Mr Bawa invited all Punjabis, especially farmers to participate in the celebrations.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur distributed land among poor farmers. He fought for the social, economic and religious justice . He was the first person to establish a Sikh kingdom and mint his own currency in the name of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. He handed over the administration of the Khalsa Raj to Baj Singh who was from a backward class.

Professor Dass asked the Punjab Government to rename as “Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Marg” the stretch of the road from Nangal Garhi (Gurdaspur) to Delhi. A suitable memorial should also be raised at the place where he was tortured to death.



Delhi police attaches Sharma’s properties
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A team of the Delhi police today met the District Magistrate-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, for executing suspended IG Ravi Kant Sharma’s property in the district.

The team was led by Inspector Rajinder Bhatia of the crime branch, Delhi. It is learnt that though Ravi Kant Sharma’s house in Sector 6, Panchkula, is his ancestral property and cannot be attached, the police has sought to attach his assets, including a car.

The Delhi police attached property worth Rs 2 crore in Gurgaon, Mussoorie, and at his ancestral Deeg village, near Shahbad yesterday. Ravi Kant’s lockers have been sealed and three of his bank accounts (two of these in Panchkula) frozen. 



Shop auction: FCC asks NRI to bid again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh yesterday asked an NRI, Mr Mangat Verma, who claimed to have made an offer of Rs 1.85 crore for a shop in Sector 9-D to appear tomorrow again to make his offer before the committee.

The committee also kept pending the approval of auction of SCO 176-177 and 178-179 and the advance deposit for enabling Mr Verma to make his offer higher than the reserve price above Rs 1.65 crore.

Mr Verma had lodged a complaint with the Municipal Commissioner and Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), claiming that his offer of Rs 1.85 crore for shop Nos 178-179 in the January 23 auction was not accepted and later on August 28 the same shop was auctioned for Rs 1.34 crore.

The committee also requested BJP Councillor Rajesh Gupta to help the committee by giving whatever information he had in this connection.

Mr Gupta had sought an inquiry into the matter, alleging that the Congress was ‘’shielding the corrupt’’ in the Municipal Corporation.

The committee, at its seven hour-long meeting, discussed 27 agenda items and passed all, barring three.

The committee also decided to give Rs 1,500 per month per sweeper if it was employed by a mohalla sudhar committee.

An F&CC member and Councillor Kamlesh agreed to implement this plan in her ward, Ram Darbar, saying that a committee would be formed in a month.

The committee also approved the purchase of a mini-JCB from the MP’s fund and a mechanical sweeper for the cleaning of the city.

It decided to set up a group of councillors to survey bus parking lots in the wake of MC’s dues towards bus operators.

The committee also approved a weighing bridge on the Daddu Majra dumping ground with a condition to look for its commercial use also.

It decided that those rehriwallahs who put up their stalls on festivals would have to take permission in advance from the Municipal Corporation rather than Corporation employees approaching them to recover removal charges.



Potholes dot Ghaggar bridge
Bipin Bhardwaj

Panchkula, September 17
It’s a classic case of administrative apathy. The bridge over the Ghaggar on the busy Panchkula-Naraingarh highway is crying for care but the building and roads wing of the Haryana Public Works Department (HPWD) has turned a deaf ear to the pleas of people in this regard.

Motorists and commuters have to take great care while crossing the bridge, which is full of potholes.

Built in 1972, the bridge carries a heavy volume of traffic — over 400 four-wheelers pass over the bridge in an hour daily — which has peeled off the upper layer of bitumen on the bridge surface. At some places the potholes are so deep that tyres of two and three-wheelers get stuck in them.

A thick layer of sand and soil has also accumulated on either side of the bridge which puts scooterists and cyclists to inconvenience. Crossing the bridge during peak hours of the day and during rains is a great test of courage for pedestrians.

As per police records, the number of accidents have increased manifold in the past couple of years on and adjacent to the bridge.

Besides the bridge, the highway has also got damaged due to the recent rains and has aggravated the problem of the motorists.

Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Morthikari village, complained that heavy volume of traffic wore off the gravel within three-four days after having been repaired by the authorities on a temporary basis.

“Vehicles suffer damage because of severe rattling caused on the bridge. The administration has become a mute spectator to the problem” said , Mr Sanjay Kumar of Nada village.

When contacted, Mr Sanjit Kumar, Executive Engineer of the HPWD (B and R), clarified that the monsoon had worn off the surface coating of the bridge, which has resulted in potholes. The department had started patch work for the repair of the bridge but the rain hindered the work.

He claimed that the department had chalked out a plan for a permanent solution to the problem.



Chandigarh’s Shimla connections

AT the time of Partition, the Punjab government shifted its capital on a temporary basis to Shimla. It shifted its secretariat to the Ellerslie building, which previously used to be the summer camp office of the joint Punjab government.

Mr Madhav Chander Chaturvedi, ICS, previously the Defence Secretary in the Government of India before Partition, became the first Governor of Punjab with Mr Saroop Krishan, ICS ( now residing in Chandigarh) as his Secretary. Dr Gopi Chand Bhargave was the Chief Minister, while Mr Bhim Sen Sachar, Mr Partap Singh Kairon, Mr Bansi Lal, Mr Lehri Singh and Mr S.B.S. Ujjal Singh were other ministers.

Mr M.C. Sachdeva, ICS, was the first Chief Secretary of Punjab, Mr Nawab Singh, ICS, as the Home Secretary, Mr V P Bhide, ICS ( a good sportsman and a good cricket player of his time) as the Secretary, Transport and Sports, Mr Kartar Singh Malhotra ( an officer of the IA & A.S. Cadre on deputation from the Auditor-General and Controller General of India Accounts Office) as the first Finance Secretary, Mr P.M. Ismail, ICS, as the Legal Remembrancer and Secretary, Law Department, Mr A.L. Fletcher, ICS, as the Secretary, Local Government Department, and Mr P.K. Kaul, ICS, as the Financial Commissioner Revenue, were the other officers.

Near the secretariat building was Kakoo Shah halwai, a sweet meat, milk and lassi seller, who ran a shop which the government servants during the break used to frequent. He was gentle, pious and a humble fellow. After shifting of the secretariat office to Chandigarh, he was allotted a piece of land at the gate of the mini secretariat building, adjoining PGI.

Mr M.C. Chaturvedi was a man of high religious disposition of mind and at times invited renowned raagis like Sant Sujan Singh, Bhai Sahib Bhai Randir Singh, Bhai Samund Singh of Sri Nankana Sahib fame along with Bhai Gopal Singh of Gurdwara Chhota Shimla at his residence Bernes Court, Shimla east, for reciting kirtan.

There was also a civil dispensary manned by Dr Harcharan Singh, MBBS, the assistant surgeon incharge. Besides being efficient in his profession, he was particular about discipline. Even senior officers like Mr P.M. Ismail used to be in a queue waiting for their turn. Dr Harcharan Singh went abroad for study.

There also used to be a gurdwara at Chhota Shimla where Bhai Gopal Singh Ragi and his party recited kirtan both in the mornings and evenings. He later also shifted to Chandigarh and joined the Gurdwara of Sector 22.

Two of the students of the University Law College at Shimla — Kuljit Singh Bhalla and Mr Shiv Saran Dass Bajaj — subsequently appeared in the Punjab Civil Service (judicial) competitive examination and acquired positions. They subsequently joined the PCS judicial service and after several years of service were elevated eventually and were promoted to the rank of the Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh.

Dr Kuldip Chand Bedi, Bar-at-Law eventually become the Secretary, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, at Shimla on the retirement of Dr S.B.S. Abnasha Singh, Bar-at-Law, and continued to be so far several years till retirement on shifting of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Shimla to Chandigarh with Mr Joginder Singh Mann being its Speaker.

Mr Ram Chandra, ICS, become the first Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission at Shimla. S. Kewal Singh Chaudhary, ICS, was the first Indian Deputy Commissioner of Shimla after Partition. A handsome tall sardar, he used to walk on the Mall Road. He spoke Urdu fluently.

Two renowned high schools at Shimla at that time used to be St Edwards High School and Bishop Cotton High School. Sanatan Dharam College and D.A.V. College were the main colleges. Almost every evening renowned Olympic hockey players like Captain Manna Singh of the Army and Mr Achhal Singh and others used to play hockey at St Edwards High School. Harbans Singh Chopra



Sector 16 ground going the slum way
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 17
It doesn’t look like a slum, at least till now, but residents fear that the open ground next to the Sector 16 Arya Samaj temple may soon turn into one if the authorities do not take urgent action in this regard.

Their apprehensions may be far-fetched but a look at the site surely reveals that a “lot of activity is going on in the area around the richshaw stand opposite the temple which is not being liked by the residents”.

They assert that it all started with the coming up of the rickshaw stand in the area. As a large number of rickshaw-pullers started gathering around the spot, a tandoor came up at the place.

Businessman Deepak Rastogi, who visits the sector frequently said. “There is nothing wrong in it, expect the fact that even after having their meals at the tandoor they start loitering around the area”.

A student Raman Sharma said, They often go off to sleep in the massive open space opposite the temple”.

The problem does not end here. A barber, too, has started an “open-air saloon” in the area under a tree. “It is nothing less than nuisance”. Bank manager Dheeraj Sharma said, “Not only do they cause unbearable din which gives you a headache, they even leave behind chopped hair on the ground. It looks so awful.”

But what do the authorities have to say on the issue? A senior official in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh said, “We will look into the matter now that it has been brought to our notice”.

“We will look into the complaints of the residents and act in accordance with the law against them, if necessary”.



Man with amazing memory bank
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 17
He can memorise an 80-digit number in the reverse order even before you can bat your eyelid. He is Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, the strongest memory man of India who has made to the Limca Book of Records for four times.

The author of seven books, including the best seller Dynamic Memory Methods, is in town to conduct a series of demonstrations to popularise the concept of memory learning skills. Demonstrating his skill in front of an audience at Junction 22, a seminar hall in Sector 22, he lets you into his secret.

“The memory unit of the brain is similar for everyone but the trick lies in engaging cent per cent concentration while memorising certain thing and putting 100 per cent concentration is possible only when one exerts one’s imagination,” he said. Citing interesting examples like telling the birthday of participants just by asking their date of birth, Biswaroop (he has memorised the calenders from 16th century to 22nd century) talked at length about the three laws that helps one to acquire the gigantic memory of his size.

“There are three laws — the Law of Association, Law of Visualisation and Law of Ridiculous Thinking when combined effectively and speedily, one can perform miracles”, says Biswaroop. It was his ability to memorise 4200 digit number that got his name in the Limca Book of Records for the first time in 1998 subsequently in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

An engineer by profession, Biswaroop learnt the tricks at a late stage himself. It was only after he had completed his engineering from Punjab Engineering College, here, that he came across the book “Mind of Mnemonist” by famous Russian journalist Soleman Vinomenic Shereshivaski, who is a Guinness Book of World Record holder in the strongest memory category. “I read his book, practiced the tricks for two months and then I made to the Limca Book of Records,” he says.

Biswaroop is in the city to open four centres of his organisation-Dynamic Memory Centres — which has been conducting workshops for all kinds of people. “We have about 30 such centres all over the country and are now in the process of opening four more in Chandigarh,” he says. Biswaroop, originally from Kolkata, shares a close tie with the city. “I have spent 12 years of my life in the city, first doing schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 32, and then engineering from Punjab Engineering College,” he says.

Biswaroop who was an average student in his school and college days feels memory learning process should be introduced in the curriculum. “After attending one such workshop the memorising power of participants has almost doubled and hence would help the students in their academic persuits,” he says. As a prelude to the openings his centres here, Biswaroop is organising a 12-day workshop next week in Sector 22.

“A core team of 35 trained personnel are managing the centres and some will be here to conduct the workshop”, says Biswaroop. Besides personal attention, Biswaroop’s seven books “Seven Days to Power Memory”, “Speed palmistry with memory tips”, “Smart Brain”, “Vocabulary @ 100 words per hour”, “Memorising dictionary made easy”, including his bestseller “Dynamic Memory Methods” will help the participants mastering the skill.

Earlier, Biswaroop gave a demonstration of dynamic memory and talked about the tricks to the students of St. Soldier International School, Sector 28.



Commonwealth computer van to visit villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), launched the Commonwealth Youth Programme mobile computer van for bringing knowledge of IT to the disadvantaged youth in the rural areas and slums, here today.

The van, purchased in the partnership with the UT Administration, is fully equipped with the ultra-modern computer systems, Internet facility, training aids like LCD multimedia projector, screens, audio systems. A trainer would travel from village to village and would give exposure to the rural people.

General Jacob, appreciating the venture of the Commonwealth Youth Programme for taking the IT knowledge to the villages and the slums, said Chandigarh with its human resource was emerging as the IT hub of North India.

“An IT Park is coming up in Kishangarh and we are encouraging IT units to employ the local talent in city itself. Besides, Chandigarh is being planned as first Union Territory with all its rural areas having Internet linkages”, he added.

The Administrator said this institutional area is also coming up in near Sarangpur where institutes of excellence would be allotted land. He said this new venture of the Commonwealth Youth Programme was a step in the right direction to provide computer education to rural areas.

Earlier, Ms Raka Rashid, Director, Commonwealth Youth Programme, gave an overview of the new programme.

The Governor also interacted with children from Sarangpur where the launch of the van was first planned. However, the venue was changed at the last minute due to unfavourable weather conditions.



Tipsy peon takes seniors to task
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
Angry over the alleged callous attitude of his seniors, a drunk peon in the office of District Excise and Taxation Commissioner created ruckus on the top floor of Mini Secretariat today.

The messenger, Gian Chand, abused his seniors in full public view, while being in an inebriated condition. The messenger is said to be nearing his retirement.

The messenger reportedly abused the DETC, Mr K.K. Goswami, even as several persons in the office tried to stop him. A number of persons from adjoining offices, too, gathered at the scene. The DETC, Mr K.K. Goswami, was reportedly not in the office when the incident took place. Officials in the department said he was away to the High Court in connection with a legal case.

It is learned that his service book had been misplaced in the department few years ago. He had also given an affidavit to senior officials regarding this, demanding that a new book be issued to him. However, his requests had fallen on deaf ears.

Since he is about to retire, he is likely to lose all retirement benefits if his service book is not found or a new one not issued. 



Amendments ‘not in litigants’ favour’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 17
The All-India Lawyers Union Chandigarh Unit today organised a seminar to discuss the practical implications of the amendments in the Civil Procedure Code and the Legal Service Authorities Act here today.

Criticising the amendments in the Legal Service Authorities Act, while addressing the gathering the speakers said the amendments were against the natural justice as Lok Adalat can pass decree in some matters of the value of Rs 10 lakh even if it was not settled by conciliation and no appeal would be allowed against it. They added that these amendments create unforseen complications for the litigants in getting justice.

Claiming that the amendments in the CPC had been done in a wrong way and the trial will now take more time then earlier, they said that instead of providing justice to the litigants, the amendments would promote injustice.

Claiming that the amendment were in no way going to help the litigants, they said the advocates had lost the right to cross-examination as in the new procedure the evidence in the case can be filed in the form of affidavits. The speakers who addressed the gathering included the senior advocates of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr M.L Sarin, Mr R.L Batta, Mr R.S. Mittal, Mr Ashwani Chopra.



Save city’s beautiful face

French architect Le Corbusier had planned Chandigarh to be one of the best cities not only in India but to compete well with the best-planned cities worldwide. As per his concept, Chandigarh was supposed to be neat, clean and environmentally safe for its residents. He christened it as City Beautiful.

Unfortunately, however, the concepts and expectations of its planners are not fully honoured by the UT Administration, the Municipal Corporation and the residents of the city. Chandigarh is becoming dirty due to the negligence of the authorities concerned and vested interests.

The city remained quite clean during the first two decades. The general standard of cleanliness and sanitation ensured a healthy and disease-free environment. Now the condition of sanitation, cleanliness and healthy living has deteriorated considerably and is going from bad to worse. Garbage has been accumulating in the streets, on the roads and the pavements. Heaps of garbage are lying in the open parks creating nuisance and problems for the residents living nearby.

Earlier, tractor trailers were sanctioned by the Administration for each sector to pick up garbage from the bins built by the owners in front of their houses. They used to pick up the garbage once a week from the garbage points. Since the Municipal Corporation came to being, these services have become almost non-existent. Now tractor trailers either do not visit or they do so after long monthly intervals. As a result, many residents have dismantled these garbage bins and throw their garbage on the roadsides or in nearby parks.

To substantiate my point, I would like to quote one example: In Sector 18-A, there is a park near house number 43-44. This park is located between Sector 18 and 17 on the main road. There is a pedestrian path near this park which is used by most of the residents for going to Sector 17. Foul smell coming from rotting garbage lying since long in this park makes it extremely difficult for the passers by to use this stretch. Some time back, I brought these difficulties to the Mayor’s notice. She assured me to do the needful but unfortunately nothing happened and the situation remains the same as it was a fortnight ago.

Five decades ago,Chandigarh was planned for a population of five lakh. Now it has grown manifold, but the infrastructural facilities have not been expanded accordingly. Lack of proper facilities for maintaining the required standard of cleanliness and sanitation is posing a serious threat to public health. Outbreak of diseases like cholera is a clear indication of the deteriorating standard of sanitation.

The influx of migrant labourers from adjoining states is yet another reason for the city’s decay. Most of these people being very poor cannot afford proper housing facilities near their places of work. They cook and sleep in the corridors of market places. The market complex of Sector 17 is no exception. Early morning migrant labourer use the green belt in Sector 17 for defecating in the open. These people use hydrants provided as drinking water facility for the visitors as open bathrooms. There is an urgent need to tackle this problem without ignoring humanitarian considerations.

Besides sanitation, Chandigarh is also facing problems related to electricity, water supply, stray cattle and dog menace. Marked deterioration in public services is not a healthy sign for the growth and development of our city.

Sadly, neither the authorities nor the residents are showing any responsibility to keep this city beautiful, clean and environment-friendly. If the authorities and residents do not take appropriate steps now, the day will not be far off when Chandigarh will no longer be called the City Beautiful. Let us all join hands and take a pledge to keep our city clean, green and make it even more beautiful than what it was originally conceived.

BANT SINGH, Chandigarh

Prompt action

The prompt action by the Estate office in removing the giant board put by a telecom company which was in violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Order, proves beyond doubt that the Chandigarh Administration has teeth to set any wrong right. The media has to act as the watchdog to preserve the uniqueness of the City Beautiful.

The massive signboard in Sector 8 was conspicuous by its presence. A great architect like Le Corbusier could only give a master plan, the responsibility to maintain its sanctity and beauty lies squarely on the shoulders of Chandigarh’s residents and the UT Administration.

I would like to draw the attention of the authorities to a few of several eyesores which can be removed easily if they have the will. One, the first impression a visitor travelling by road gets is that it is a city of squatters as in Sectors 34-35-22-21 roundabout. They should be removed immediately and relocated elsewhere. Two, Chandigarh is a city of literates, but our heads bow with shame when we see misspelt sign boards all around. Read the one near Batra theatre: “collage” instead of “college”! And three, Chandigarh is becoming a city of drunkards. New liquor vends have come up at several places in the city which is so particular about adherence to building bylaws.

In the interest of aesthetic and civil requirement of residents, a rethink on location of liquor vends has become necessary.

Harinder Mohan Singh, Chandigarh 

Huge membership fee

Having read the report “Amateur Star Trekkers Association” (Chandigarh Tribune, August 5), I contacted the office of the Association. I was surprised to know that the membership fee is a whopping Rs 1,500! This seems to be a very sophisticated way of earning money, without doing anything. Just you have to form an association and start earning money. This seems to be unfair. If one is interested to make people aware of the stars, galaxies, nebulas, planets etc., he/she should do it voluntarily.

I was shocked to know that these people are not aware that in this region we have a very big observatory at Punjabi University, Patiala. A huge telescope has been installed and the university has M.Sc course in Astronomy & Space Physics. Research work is also being done in these areas. There is qualified staff and they could have been called for giving a lecture or holding a workshop. Moreover, we have a planetarium at Ludhiana. A national-level observatory is also there at Nainital.

I am fully convinced that without proper knowledge of things, one should not form an association. In any case, the membership fee should not exceed Rs 100, that too, for miscellaneous expenditure. These associations should take the help of the Department of Astronomy, Punjabi University, Patiala to make the venture more professional.

The four objectives of the association have nothing to do with the day-to-day life of a person and I see no use of this association with a whopping membership fee. Those who have read the news and are interested in astronomy and seeing stars and planets and so on, may please send me e-mail ( Incidentally, I was a student of Astronomy at Punjabi University, Patiala.

Amarjit Singh Tanda, Chandigarh



Water supply may be hit today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The officials of the Public Health Department in a press note issued here today have informed the public that afternoon water supply to various parts of the city may be affected tomorrow due to repair work to be carried out at the Sector 39 water works to plug a leakage.



MCC website soon

Chandigarh, September 17
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today initiated the process for the creation of its website and development of softwares for various departments to speed up the process of delivery of services. The Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, today inaugurated a computer training programme for the staff. TNS



Poppy husk seized at sales tax barrier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Poppy husk worth Rs 15 lakh was seized at Shambu sales tax import barrier yesterday from a truck carrying bags of “gur’’.

According to sources the goods were in the name of a UP firm located in Shamli. There were 76 bags of ‘’gur’’ in the truck. When the Excise and Taxation Officer, Mr Naresh Dubey, sought to check the documents, the same showed 156 bags of ‘’gur’’.

There was no entry of goods in the information collection centre record.

Getting suspicious of the movement of the driver and conductor, a physical search of the vehicle (HR05-6055) was carried out and 49 bags of poppy husk, each weighing 40 kg, were seized. Both driver and conductor fled abandoning the vehicle.

A police case has been registered and another case under the Sales Tax penalty clause too has been registered.



Woman constable held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
A Haryana Police woman Constable, Neena, posted at state headquarter, Panchkula, was arrested late in the evening, on the charge of cheating and fraud.

She had reportedly taken several lakhs of rupees from a few persons on the pretext of sending them to Italy. She neither returned the money nor were complainants sent abroad.



Three held for speculation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
The police has arrested three persons — Jai Kumar, Ramesh and Raju — on charges of speculation and recovered Rs 220 from them.

Dowry case: The police has booked Vinod Gupta, Gigu Chand Gupta and Bimla Gupta on charges of harassing Sanjana for getting insufficient dowry.



Bank introduces Buyeasy scheme
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) today introduced Buyeasy, a scheme to buy high-value items on the HSBC credit card through equated monthly intalments ( EMIs) at any of the over 200 participating Buyeasy merchant establishments across India.

In a press note issued here today, Ms Malini Thapar, Manager, public affairs, HSBC, said,‘‘ Buyeasy is offered on all credit cards issued by the HSBC, which will allow the purchase amount to be billed in the credit cardholder’s account in 3 to 12 monthly instalments. However, it will be subject to a 2 per cent processing fee, without any additional payment by cash, cheque or other cards.’’

Mr Vivek Kudva, Country Head, personal financial services, HSBC India, said “the Buyeasy purchases will also earn reward points that will be credited once the entire purchase amount has been repaid. Add-on card customers could also avail of this offer. The HSBC has also recently introduced surcharge-free purchase of petrol and enhanced personal accident cover.’’

He said it would have the advantage of instant approvals and disbursals over personal and consumer durable loans. The customers would be able to buy big-ticket items on the credit cards and repay the amount in simple monthly instalments, he added.



Challenges before industry discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
With the opening up of the global market, the labour force in the country will have to join hands with managements in ensuring a very high standards of productivity to help India compete in the global market.

This emerged from a seminar on ‘’Current challenged before industry and trade unions’’ organised by the Central Board of Workers Education (CBWE) as part of its foundation day celebrations yesterday.

More than 100 representatives of workers, managements and social organisations attended the seminar.

The board has 49 branches across the country and is running various programmes free of charge for the welfare of organisations and workers.

The seminar was chaired by Mr Hardial Singh, Additional Labour Commissioner, Punjab, and inaugurated by Ms S. Gakhar from Panjab University.

The chief guest said the board had to play a very important role in the wake of international competition for the quality of goods and services produced in the country and every unit would now have to meet the international standards of productivity for its survival with props of protection now removed.

The Regional Director, Mr D.R. Prashar, the National Secretary of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Mr A.D. Nagpal, the All-India Trade Union Congress general secretary of Punjab, Mr Bant Singh Brar, the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh President, Mr Shrawan Kumar, the Manager, Milkfed Mr K.G. Sharma, and the DCM Engineering Products Human Resource Development Manager, Mr H.S. Bhatia, spoke on the occasion.


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