Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT generates more revenue, gets less Central funds
Tribune News Service


 * Admn explains the need for more funds to visiting MPs.
 * Revenue receipts are higher than the expenses while allocations do not match.
 * More cops are needed as population has increased manifold.
 * CITCO, the Administration’s tourism wing, is making profits as tourism sector has gained visitors’ in traffic.
 * Pranab Mukherjee says report on Chandigarh will be tabled in forthcoming winter session of Parliament.

Chandigarh, September 23
Allocation of funds to Chandigarh at Rs 160 crore for the ongoing financial year were not enough when seen in the light of huge revenue generation of the Union Territory, said Mr Pranab Mukherjee, leader of a Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), who started his two-day visit to Chandigarh this morning.

Mr Mukherjee, a former Union Finance Minister, was addressing a media conference where he made it clear that the terms of reference of his committee was to see the administrative implementation in the city and not to make a positive or negative report card for the Chandigarh Administration. The committee was reviewing the working as well as expenses and mode of expenditure of UTs which did not have a legislature.

He said this when asked if the committee was satisfied with the working. A final in-depth report on findings of the committee would be placed before Parliament during the ongoing winter session. This report would be prepared after discussing matters with the MHA officials in New Delhi.

The revenue generated by Chandigarh was more than the expenses in the last financial year as well as the expected revenue collection for this year. This year the revenue would touch Rs 685 crore while the expenses would be around Rs 600 crore. Besides this another Rs 350 crore would be mopped up by way of income tax that made Chandigarh’s contribution to the Consolidated Fund of India close to Rs 1,000 crore annually.

Mr Mukherjee, while replying to questions from mediapersons, said in the Tenth five-year plan the total money allocation was Rs 1000 crore and at least Rs 200 crore should have been given by simple calculations. Besides this, he explained, that well-performing UTs like Chandigarh were at a loss as they earned very good revenue and did not get back the matching grants from the Central Government as other states got.

When asked if this mixed bag of officials from Punjab Haryana and UT cadres was right to run the administrative set up, Mr Mukherjee said a cadre review was required all over the country and besides this Chandigarh’ s case was peculiar.

The politician in Mr Mukherjee came to the fore when he side stepped the issue on the vesting of the powers of the Administrator to the old system of Chief Commissioner. This was historically linked and Chandigarh was facing several other little issues. He said the business having Chandigarh as temporary capital of both Punjab and Haryana had stretched a far too long since the formula of making the city a UT as well as capital of both the states in 1966.

Earlier in the morning the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, made a presentation detailing the development work and presented an overall picture of Chandigarh. The UT Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, presented the financial position and revenue generation. Here he showed how the revenue had exceeded the expenses thus the fund allocation for Chandigarh must go up, said sources. He highlighted that sales tax had been going up.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Bhim Sain Bassi, told the visiting MPs that more police was required as population had gone up manifold in the past few years. Sources said the Chairman of Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr G.K. Marwah, told the MPs about various housing projects, including those launched for the weaker sections of the society. The Managing Director of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO), Mr S.P. Singh, highlighted the achievements of the tourism sector and told the MPs that the corporation was making profits.


Sort out areas between MC, Admn, councillors tell Pranab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Municipal Corporation here today reminded the Home Ministry to honour its old promise of 100 per cent matching the grant for new resources generated, release of special grants for rehabilitation colonies and rural areas and sought its intervention to restrain the Chandigarh Administration from pushing it for levying more taxes.

This was communicated to the members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs led by former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee by a delegation of councillors led by the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, at a meeting.

The committee is believed to have commented that the term of the Mayor should be for five years, financial support for to maintain a special character of the most modern city was required and the Home Minister’s advisory council should be made functional.

Mr Mukherjee, in a press conference, later confirmed that the issue of term of the Mayor was raised saying changes in the Municipal Corporation Act should be brought about to increase the term to five years.

The committee, however, informed its limitations saying it only had recommendatory powers saying, however, the report would take care of these aspects.

The meeting was attended by the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, Home Secretary R.S. Gujral, Finance Secretary Karan Avtar Singh and Municipal Commissioner M.P. Singh, among others.

The Mayor urged the committee to get its share of funds recommended by the Second Delhi Finance Commission and approved by the Chandigarh Administration be sanctioned and disbursed expeditiously.

The Home Ministry was also reminded that it should honour the promise of a 100 per cent matching grant to the corporation for taking resource mobilisation measures instead of 50 per cent grant recommended by the Second Delhi Finance Commission.

Five councillors nominated from the Congress, one each from the BJP, and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch raised several issues before the committee.

The corporation also said that it was burdened with 7000 employees transferred by the Chandigarh Administration when the corporation was created in 1994 and the Chandigarh Administration should support this entire Rs 108 crore non-plan side expenditure.

It also said that the grant given by the Administration had been static at Rs 50 crore since 1997 despite the non-plan expenditure going up to Rs 108 crore last year. It also wanted advertisement resources to be transferred to the corporation.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh urged the ministry to implement the 74th Constitutional Amendment in toto by transferring all 18 powers to the corporation.

The Leader of the Opposition, Ms Kamla Sharma, sought support for rehriwallas and resisted imposition of tax measures saying Chandigarh was already a revenue-surplus union territory.

The Leader of the Congress in the Municipal Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, asked the Home Ministry to restrain the Administration from pushing the corporation for levying more taxes and demanded Central support for maintaining the unique character of the city.

Mr Chandermukhi Sharma asked the committee to get the confusion sorted out about division of areas between the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation by a fresh delimitation of areas under both bodies and a complete transfer of one department to one government body.

Chandigarh Vikas Manch Leader Jitender Bhatia asked the committee to take a political decision on regularisation of extensions in the Chandigarh Housing Board houses, turning Burail into a modern village and hiking electricity budget of the corporation.

Ms Kamlesh demanded liberal issuance of SC certificates, special grants for rehabilitation colonies and the constitution of the Home Minister’s advisory council.

Ms Amar Kulwant Singh said the term of the Mayor should be for five years instead of one year


Parliamentary panel visit hits Admn work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Owing to the two-day visit by the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to see the working in the city, work in various offices of the Chandigarh Administration has been hit.

All the senior officers — the Adviser to the Administrator, Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, Municipal Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner were busy with the visiting delegation this morning as a detail presentation was being made. Even the Joint Secretary Home, Director Information Technology and several other middle-level officials were required to be present. Many of them had to be present with the delegation in the afternoon also.

The worst hit has been the working of the Estate Office as a large number of its middle-level officials like superintendents or assistants have been made protocol officers with each of the MP’s.


Stinky days for Rose Garden ahead?
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The morning walkers, young couples and even the families of the officials residing here, would find it difficult to find a clean and remote place in the Rose Garden for the next few days, as more than 1,000 of farmers have set- up tents to participate in an indefinite protest, likely to continue for the next few days.

One will not smell roses at the Rose Garden from tomorrow, but a stinking smell of rotten food and garbage left behind by protesting farmers. The Administration has not so far made any arrangements to deal with the emerging situation. Mr Bogh Singh, state finance secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta), says, “We have already told the Administration and Punjab Government to make necessary arrangements of water, public toilets and bathrooms, as we plan to continue our dharna for the next few days. We have not got any response from them so far. Now it would not be our responsibility to take care of cleanliness in the area.”

The union members, who are in a defiant mood, are not ready to care of these things themselves. Another leader warns, “We will wait for a day or two, and then would resort to traffic jam on the nearby road or even at the bus stand. It would not be our responsibility if any untoward incident happens.”

Incidentally, all officials of the Administration were busy today to attend the delegation of Parliament members, which is on a visit to the city. Interestingly, when the farmers in large numbers reached the spot in the afternoon to set up their tents, the young couples sitting in the Rose Garden could be seen speeding away from the garden to avoid their curious looks.

It is not surprising that most of the young farmers, participating in the agitation, are here to make their visit memorable. In the evening, they were busy in playing cards, and preparing dinner on the roadside. Number of vendors had already reached there to do brisk business. But there were no arrangements for dustbins or cleanliness of the surrounding. One of the official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The administration would make arrangements only after the situation deteriorates or the problem is highlighted in the media”.


Bending rules for ‘Beckham’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Serious doubts have been raised about the way in which the Chandigarh Junior Challenge Football Tournament has been conducted. The tournament committee continued with its policy of following two sets of rules. Transparency took a backseat from day one. The draw for the fixtures was taken out without any intimation to the participating teams. The Administration-run Chandigarh Football Academy in Group A played just one match and entered the semi-finals as two outstation teams cried off.

The teams were told to report for a proper medical examination on September 11 at 11 a.m. . A number of players were declared overage by Dr Sharad Indu Sharma of the Sector 16 General Hospital. These included six from Sanjay Public School, three from Chandigarh Football Academy, three from Youth Club, Roorkakalam, two from Blooming Dales School, Hisar, one from St Stephen’s Football Academy. But the most stunning aspect of the medical examination was the absence of proper forms with photographs to identify the player.

All teams obeyed the doctor’s ruling and kept out the “overage” players. The CFA barged into the semi-finals after playing just the opening match. The other finalist, St Stephen’s School overcame New Adarsh High School, Rohtak (qualifiers for the Subroto Cup from Haryana), Sher-e- Punjab Club, Gurdaspur, and Sanjay Public School, Chandigarh.

In the semi-finals CFA tried to field their “overage ruled” players. The opposing team, Youth Club, Roorkakalam, protested. The match was delayed for an hour. How could the CFA field the overage-ruled players when all the other teams had played without their overage-declared players? The CFA finally pulled out the three players. Obviously the rules have to be the same for all the teams, said a football buff, who watched all the matches.

So far some decorum seemed to have been maintained about the overage players. But this decorum was thrown to the winds when the CFA put in their team for the final. The three overage players were part of the team. St Stephen’s School Football Academy protested vociferously. But the protests fell on deaf ears. The Administration was there in full gear, including the Deputy Commissioner. Knowing that all was not hunky dory about the conduct of the tournament, the Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, preferred to stay away from the final prize distribution ceremony. The Deputy Commissioner assured the St Stephen’s team coach that a proper medical examination would be conducted the next day. The Stephanians entered the field to save the game from dying in Chandigarh. The Tribune talked to a number of football buffs. They were one in saying: “If the rules could be bended for the CFA , why were the other teams not allowed to field their overage-ruled players?”

What would happen about the overage players was taken for granted. Obviously they were declared below-14 in the second medical examination. Again in this case also no form or photograph of the players were pasted. The Administration had its way. But at what cost — the game was the biggest sufferer.

A similar situation had arisen in the pre-Subroto Mukherjee Inter-School Football Tournament in which the CFA fielded four overage players. The same team is slated to play in the Subroto Mukherjee Football Tournament. Chandigarh has already suffered the humiliation of its top team, Sanjay Public School, being barred for fielding overage players in the last Subroto Cup. Will the same thing be repeated in this year’s tournament ?

It is time the Administrator, a keen sports lover, intervened to set things right. According to one orthopaedic doctor, the bones of a 16-year-old are so well developed compared to an under-14 that any team fielding an above-14 player has the additional brawn to take on any side. The ball is now in the Administrator’s court. 


ADGP’s son, guards trespass into disputed property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Some armed gunmen, belonging to the Punjab Police, led by a son of a retired ADGP of Punjab, reportedly barged their way into a house involved in a dispute case, in Sector16 and threw out household items of the occupants here today.

According to the information a major part of the house was in possession of a former PGI doctor, Dr S.M Bose and a room was in a possession of Ms Khanna. A person Mani Singh was living, along with his five members of the family, in the portion of the house in possession of Dr Bose.

The first owner of the house, Ms Sudha Sen, hailing from West Bengal, had reportedly transferred the house in name of Dr Bose. Family members of Ms Sen had challenged the transfer. However, Dr Boss was still in possession of the major part of the house.

As per sources, this afternoon, when the cops led by the son of the ADGP and some other persons, were throwing away the house-hold articles, a team of Chandigarh Police reached the spot. A case of wrongful confinement and house trespass under Sections 342 and 453 of the IPC has been registered. No arrest was made till this evening.


Jain vs Jain, case gets murkier
Suspended bureaucrat denies involvement
Tribune News Service

N.K. JainWhat Mr N.K. Jain has to say—
 * My assets are under scrutiny of the CBI.
 * I have never had any financial dealing with M.K. Jain in any of his companies.
 * I was made a scapegoat by M.K. Jain to get anticipatory bail.
 * The Chandigarh police is being mislead in investigations.
 * The press should investigate facts before publishing a story.

M.K. JainWhat Mr M.K. Jain has to say—
Mr M.K. Jain was not available for comments despite repeated attempts throughout the day. His wife said he could not talk for at least two days as he was under medication. It may be mentioned that two different versions of Mr M.K. Jain had appeared in a section of press about the frame-up case, yesterday.

Chandigarh, September 23
Former Home Secretary of Chandigarh and suspended bureaucrat of Haryana N.K. Jain today broke his silence on the infamous rape case involving a girl from Shimla.

At a suddenly called press conference in his Sector 7 residence, the suspended bureaucrat said the alleged suspect in the case, Mr M.K. Jain, had made him a scapegoat to get an anticipatory bail from a local court.

He alleged that the Chandigarh police was being “mislead” in the investigation and claimed to be “not involved” in the frame-up case. “ I am being framed in a frame-up rape case,” said Mr N.K. Jain adding that family members of Mr M.K. Jain had approached him for help after the incident.

“ If I had been behind the plot why would have I agreed to help his family. The wife of M.K. Jain, his brother, and a former Haryana Minister, Mr Om Parkash, approached me and met me in Delhi. But I gave up trying to help them when I was suddenly named by M.K. Jain in his anticipatory bail application before the high court. When I confronted his family members they told me it was due to internal family politics,” said the suspended bureaucrat.

Replying to queries, he claimed to have never had any financial dealing with Mr M.K. Jain, as reported in a section of the press. He said he was related to Mr M.K. Jain from his wife's side.

He said they, however, had strained relationship after Mr M.K. Jain did not come forward to help him when he was arrested by the CBI in a corruption case. The relationship also soured due to some family problem other than financial, asserted the former Home Secretary of Chandigarh.

Challenging the story of his involvement in the case, he said had he been behind the controversy he would have got Mr M.K. Jain arrested at the earliest.

“ I would have picked my confidant If I had to plot the case. My name was an afterthought which cropped up after the arrest of one of the suspects, Surinder Sharma,” he said.

The suspended bureaucrat completely denied that he knew any of the suspects— Ram Lal, Surinder Sharma, Baldev, Narveer or the girl involved in the case.

Pointing missing links in the investigations, he said the police did not accept the affidavit of the girl's family that she was being pressurised to give statement that fitted in the police theory of the case being a frame-up.

He alleged that some common friends had told him that the girl's family had been twice approached by family friends of Mr M.K. Jain , including a private secretary of a minister of Himachal Pradesh , a property dealer in Panchkula and a school owner from Mani Majra, to withdraw the case in lieu of Rs 20 lakh.

He alleged that a close friend of Mr M.K. Jain gave money to get Surinder Sharma arrested. Mr N.K. Jain claimed that Mr M.K. Jain had opposed the transfer of the case to the CBI .“ Let the Chandigarh police come to me with facts. I will confront them,” he said. 


Paswan in city to muster support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan here today drummed up support for his onslaught on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.

The former minister in the Vajpayee government, who quit the government on the issue of communal riots in Gujarat under Chief Minister Narendra Modi, said he would strengthen the party in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Paswan came to the city to mobilise workers for the September 24 rally in Delhi and the October 4 rally in Lucknow to protest against Ms Mayawati's attempt to let Mr Advani off the hook in the Babri masjid demolition case by not issuing a fresh notification.

The former Union minister said Ms Mayawati had ''betrayed'' the minorities by ''compromising'' on the Ayodhya case to get favours from Mr Advani for continuing in power in Uttar Pradesh.

He said Ms Mayawati had won the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh with the minority's support on the promise of not aligning with any party, especially the BJP, to woo minorities which had now been deceived by seeking to protect Mr Advani.

Mr Paswan claimed Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would be unseated by Mr Advani as per the RSS's communal agenda.

He said the NDA partners had become power hungry and had even left the secular credentials by sticking to power despite the ''exposure of the communal face in Gujarat and its Chief Minister.''

Mr Paswan sought resignation of Railway Minister Nitish Kumar for the Rajdhani Express accident.


Pesticide-sprayed cauliflower claims life
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 23
A 17-year-old boy died after eating cauliflower that was sprayed with pesticide in Behra village, located on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road, about 5 km from here early today morning.

According to the police, Sikandar Singh, the deceased, had gone to his fields to collect hay for his animals. He plucked a small cauliflower from an adjacent field and ate it at about 6 p.m. on Sunday. The field of cauliflower crop reportedly was sprayed with a strong pesticide, few hours before Sikandar reached there.

The father of the deceased, Mr Mohinder Singh, told the police that his son complained of dizziness while going back to home. Sikandar disclosed to Mr Paramjit Singh, a neighbour, that he had eaten a cauliflower from a field owned by Mr Asha Ram and was not feeling well since then.

He was taken to a private clinic in Barwala for treatment. As his health deteriorated there, his attendants rushed him to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, but the doctors referred him to the PGI, Chandigarh.

After struggling for life for over eight hours, he died in the PGI at about 2 am. The body has been handed over to the family after postmortem examinations. The police has started inquest proceedings in the case.


Societies criticise delay in land allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Chandigarh Housing Board has been criticised for not handing over the possession of land to the house building societies. Mr D.R. Rana, spokesperson for the Private Teachers Cooperative House Building Society, said in a statement that the society had got the allotment letter but not the possession of the land.

He said when the CHB failed to hand over the possession of the land, representatives of the various societies sought the intervention of the Chandigarh Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). The Administrator visited the site and issued a statement that the societies in Sectors 48 and 49 would be allotted land by August 31 and those in Sectors 50 and 51 by September 30, 2002. After that the Chairman of the CHB convened a meeting of the societies and asked them to give an undertaking that they were ready to take possession of the land without the basic amenities, including water and electricity.

However, another meeting was convened on August 10 at which it was conveyed that after August 31 the land would be made available to the societies without getting any indemnity bonds from them, Mr Rana said.

He added that it was learnt that the Chief Engineer had not issued the development completion certificate without which the possession of the land could not be given.


Verification drive gets lukewarm response
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 23
A drive to verify the antecedents of servants and tenants in the town launched by the police here today got a lukewarm response from the public.

Only about 150 persons provided the required information at the two centres set up in Phases 1 and III B1.

This is for the third time that such a drive has been launched by the police and every time it has failed to attract enough response.

During the first drive, people were asked to submit the required information at the police stations. But people did not cooperate. The second time police personnel went from door-to-door distributing forms which were to be filled and submitted at specified places. Again most of the residents kept sitting on the forms.

The orders to launch the drive again now were issued by the Ropar Deputy Commissioner under Section 188 of the CrPC. Residents have been asked to give the names, addresses and photographs of servants and tenants to the police personnel who have been assigned the job.

Mr H.S. Bhullar, SP, said today that a seven-day programme had been chalked out to cover the town. Two teams, comprising an ASI, a munshi and two constables, had been formed for this purpose.

He said places had been earmarked in every phase where these police personnel would be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the days specified for the convenience of the public. Public cooperation was a must to make the drive a success, he added.

Following are the details of the day, area to be covered and the centre where police personnel will be available to collect the necessary information:



Byelaw amendments fail to enthuse residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A series of amendments to the building byelaws carried out by the Chandigarh Administration have largely failed to enthuse the residents of the union territory.

Not many residents are coming forward to take advantage of the amendments nor have any property conversions taken place from leasehold to freehold. There is also a certain amount of confusion among the officials themselves as regards the exact interpretation of the amendments to the byelaws.

This has forced the Administration to come out with a handbook, Suvidha, containing the “official interpretation” of the amendments to the byelaws. The draft of the booklet has been referred to a more knowledgeable and articulate busy body of the city, Mr Ashok Bansal, who is also general secretary of the Hotel Association of Chandigarh, for his comments and suggestions. He says that although the UT Administration has made a sincere attempt to meet the changing requirements of residents, the amendments for the residential, commercial and industrial buildings are not paying real dividends on account of mismatch in the amendments and ground realities.

Here some of his suggestions which have the backing of a wide cross-section of organisations in the city.

Composition fee: As per the amended byelaw, composition charges for additional coverage on the second floor is to be Rs 40 sq. ft. up to 500 sq. yds. (minimum Rs 10,000) and Rs 60 per sq. ft. for the sites more than 500 sq. yds. Since a large number of plots are of more than 500 sq. yds., particularly in Phase II, the owners of these sites shall have to pay Rs 60 per sq.ft. instead of Rs 40. Composition charges should be on the additional covered area rather than on the basis of land.

Amalgamation: In the case of amalgamation, in most cases adjoining buildings belong to more than one owner and the condition of getting the prior revised plan approved is not practical because of the complicated hyper-technical procedure in getting a plan sanctioned. Amalgamation should be allowed to one or more different owners on all the floors of an SCO or SCF, subject to the condition that the application is accompanied with a sketch plan.

Basement: As per the amendment, the usage of basement in a commercial and industrial building for habitable use is to be charged at Rs 300 per sq.ft. The basements, however, cannot be made habitable in a commercial building and thus, do not qualify for these exorbitant charges.


Asiatic lion cub dies after illness
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, September 23
Asiatic lion cub, that had been suffering from some mysterious disease for the past over seven months died in Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park here last night.

The cub was found dead in the house of Lion Safari this morning. The zoo authorities have sent the carcass to Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, for a post-mortem examination.

The cub is one of the litter of six those were suffering from some mysterious disease. With the death of this 2-year-old cub, the number of the ailing cubs have reduced to three. Two cubs have died so far because of the same disease.

When contacted, Dr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden (Zoos), Punjab, confirmed the death. He said congenital problem or inbreeding could have possibly caused sickness and later death.

He claimed that though best possible healthcare was given to the ailing animals and even reports of various medical tests conducted, besides CT Scan, were negative yet the cubs could not be saved.


Ex-servicemen pin their hopes on Helpline

THE first project of its kind in the Army called “Ex-servicemen Helpline” launched by Headquarters Western Command was inaugurated by Lt. Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd) Governor of Punjab and administrator of Chandigarh, in the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, on September 15. This pilot project conceived by Lt. Gen. S.S. Mehta, GOC-in-C Western Command, is meant to provide help to ex-servicemen and soldiers’ widows by solving their problems concerning pensionary benefits, medicare, welfare etc and by providing them necessary information on the website.

The initial feedback from the ex-servicemen about the assistance provided by the staff of the Helpline headed by a retired Colonel is encouraging. For example, an ex-Naik of over 70 years with eight other members felt very happy when Helpline arranged transport to convey them to his residence at a nominal cost that was almost equivalent to the bus fare. Incidentally, the telephones of Helpline are responding to your requests around the clock.

All such inaugurations should focus on ex-servicemen below officer rank because they are 96 per cent of the officers’ strength. A majority of their representatives were bitter for being neglected this time. The best way to have their representation at such functions is to give this responsibility to the Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards concerned.

For and by ex-servicemen

Most of the veterans get afflicted with one disease or the other and very few of them can travel to military hospitals from distant villages for check up and medicines. What should be done to help them in the evening of their life?

This idea has been troubling the mind of a legendary socio-medical worker, Dr (Brig) M.L. Kataria, who even at the age of 82, has not slowed his pace in providing health-care to the needy. In his survey of the villages around Mohali, he has found thousands of ex-servicemen and widows settled there. Having organised and run 16 polyclinic centres with the help of a dedicated team of about 20 doctors on purely voluntary basis with public donations, he has planned one at Mohali for the ex-servicemen and their widows on the same basis.

This polyclinic is being established in five rooms in Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre Complex, Mohali. Lt. Gen. S.S. Mehta, GOC-in-C Western Command, has not only given permission for sparing this accommodation for the polyclinic but has also assured Brig Kataria of all other help.

The veterans’ polyclinic, the first of its kind in India, will be run by the ex-servicemen (ex-AMC doctors) for the ex-servicemen, their families and widows. It will become fully functional by November, 2002, and will be equipped to provide X-ray, ECG, laboratory, dispensary and dental services, all free of cost.

Brig Kataria’s new venture has received an overwhelming response from some philanthropic organisations and persons in the way of equipment and donations. Brig Kataria can be contacted at House No. 89, Sector 16-A, Chandigarh (Tele: 547748).

MI Room

With the shifting of the MI Room from Sector-8 to the Sainik Rest House and CSD Canteen Complex in Sector 21, Chandigarh, it was planned to reorganise it, so that better medicare could be provided to the ex-servicemen and their families.

On an average, about 50 patients come to the MI Room daily with some ailment. Earlier, a medical officer from Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, used to come to the MI Room to see the patients for about two hours everyday. Since this ad hoc arrangement was not considered satisfactory, a few retired Army Medical Corps (AMC) personnel, that is, a Colonel, a Lt. Colonel (Nursing Officer), a Subedar and a safai karamchari have been re-employed to man this MI Room on more permanent basis. Apart from this, a serving nursing assistant has been provided by the Command Hospital. The ex-servicemen and their families in Chandigarh say that they are getting a much better service at this MI Room now, thanks to Headquarters Western Command for this morale boosting gesture.

To call the doctor in an emergency, a telephone in the MI Room is considered essential. Besides this, MI Room should have an ambulance to evacuate emergency cases to the Command Hospital.

Reservation for ex-servicemen

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said the other day at Jalandhar that 13 per cent seats reserved for the defence personnel in government jobs would be filled now. He also said that an advisory committee constituted for the defence services welfare has made certain recommendations for the benefit of ex-servicemen. Capt Amarinder Singh further said that districts grievance committee would in future have two representatives from ex-servicemen in each district. Besides, a circular, he said, had been sent to all state departments that the ex-servicemen on their visit to the government offices should be given proper respect.

The ex-servicemen are happy that their welfare has come under focus in Punjab now. They are hoping that all the measures being announced by the Chief Minister will be implemented in letter and spirit by the bureaucrats.

Pritam Bhullar


Transport workers on relay fast
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
The Chandigarh Government Transport Workers’ Union sat on a relay fast to press for their demands here today. The strike is expected to continue till September 27 and as per a statement issued by the union, “the strike may be extended”.

The demands of the union include bonus for the past year, formation of recruitment/promotion policy, payment of overtime and travelling allowance for the past year, refund of ‘‘excess’’ money deducted on account of uniform for about 1,300 workers and appointments on compassionate ground to the relatives of the deceased employees.

A rally was also held which was addressed by Mr Pishera Singh, Mr Jagdish Singh, Mr Raj Kumar Sharma, Mr Babu Lal, Mr Hem Singh Rana and Mr Madan Lal.


Bhagvad Mahapuran katha
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
As many as 10,000 devotees are expected to turn up for a week-long Shrimad Bhagvad Mahapuran katha starting on September 24 in a Sector 28 ground.

A shobha yatra will also be taken out from the Sri Sanatan Dharam Triveni Mandir in Sector 7.

Giving details of the katha, samiti spokesperson Satyavati Acharya said, ‘’It is being organised for a week because it is believed that it takes a minimum of seven days to complete the recital as per shastras. That is the reason we refer to the katha period as ‘saptah’. The katha this time will be recited by Shri Gopal Mani Maharaj along with Kumari Sita Devi .”

She further added, ‘’Shrimad Bhagvad Mahapuran katha recited in the Pitre Paksh (a fortnight in the month of Ashvin) is considered to be very pious. It is also believed that it leads the way for moksha of our ancestors. The recital of katha during this period gives peace to the departed souls.”

Samiti president B.S. Rawat informed, ‘’Keeping in view the convenience of the devotees, a free bus service has been arranged by the Sri Ram Katha Samiti — the organiser of the programme. The buses will start from different sectors every day at 2 pm. However, on September 24, the buses will start at 11.30 a.m.’’

The bus service will be provided to the residents of 12 different areas. The bus stops include Baltana (Saini Vihar), Mani Majra Bank Colony, Mauli Jagran; Kalka (bus stand), Kansal (local bus stop), Khuda Lahora (local bus stop), Maloya (local bus stop), Market bus stop in Sector 40-A, local bus stop Behlana and Raipur, local bus stop in Sector 31 A; temple in Sector 43 and local bus stop in SAS Nagar, Phase 11. 


CSIO diamond jubilee function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Top speakers will be making presentations on various diseases, their spread and control as part of the two-day diamond jubilee celebrations of the Central Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation at the Institute of Microbial Technology (Imtech) here, beginning here on Thursday.

On day one, the Director of the PGI, Prof S.K. Sharma, will introduce the speaker of the day, Prof R.C. Mahajan, a noted parasitologist and now Emeritus Professor at the PGI. Prof Mahajan will be speaking on “Global perspective of parasitic diseases”.

On day two, Prof A. Surolia of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, will speak on “Fabulous beginning of a fascinating story for the design of novel antimalarials”. He will be introduced by Dr S.K. Basu, Director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi.


Puncom employees hold rally
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 23
Employees of the Punjab Communications Ltd held a rally against the wrong policies of the Punjab Government and indifferent attitude of the management here this evening.

The president of the union, Mr Kultar Singh, said an agreement had to be signed between the union and the management every three years in accordance with the Industrial Dispute Act. This was due in August this year. The union gave a charter of demands to the management on July 30 for consideration.

But the management adopted an indifferent attitude saying that the agreement would now be executed by the new company that would take over Puncom.

Mr N.S. Bisht, general secretary of the union, said employees had been misguided over the issue of disinvestment. He claimed that the disinvestment committee had assured that during the process of disinvestment the interests of employees would be safeguarded and there would be total transparency in the whole process.

But now the committee was not letting the union members know which companies were interested in taking over Puncom.


Workshop on fruit, vegetable preservation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for Women, Canara Bank, Sector 34, in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Board, Government of India, organised a workshop on fruit and vegetable preservation and nutrition for the women from Army background at the AAWA Vocational Centre, Chandi Mandir. The seven-day workshop concluded today.

The purpose of organising the workshop is the uplift of women by empowering them by way of imparting specialised skills, to enable them to take up a profession and become self-reliant.

During the workshop demonstrations were given on how to cook and preserve fruits and vegetables in different forms like pickles, jams, squashes and juices etc. Forty women participated in the workshop.

The chief guest at the valedictory function was Mrs Amita Sharma, in charge of the Vocational Centre. Speaking on he occasion she urged the women to take practical and concrete steps to materialise a vocation in the field of their interest.

Addressing the women, Mrs Harvinder Kaur, manager in charge of the centre for entrepreneurship development for women, encouraged them to make a beginning at the small scale.

She apprised them of the various loan schemes of the bank and informed that the bank also provided marketing support to women entrepreneurs.


Jassi elected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Mr Jasmer Singh Jassi here today defeated his nearest rival, Mr Hukum Chand, by a margin of 298 votes in the byelection to the post of sarpanch of Khuda Alisher.

The lone woman candidate, Ms Roshni Devi, could secure only 13 votes.


STA impounds two buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The State Transport Authority reportedly impounded two Jammu-bound buses late this evening from Sector 22. According to sources in the STA, the buses were impounded at about 10.30 pm as they were reportedly plying without proper permit and documents.


Man assaults wife for dowry
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
Bruised — physically and mentally — she lies on a hospital bed, trying to gather the broken pieces of her young life. After being almost beaten to death by her husband for dowry and being separated from her two-year-old-son, Sonal is a sad reflection of her old self.

Sonal, who has been admitted to the Sector 6 General Hospital here, was beaten within an inch of life by her husband, Dhanendra Kumar. He had been demanding that she should ask her father to will a shop, owned by the latter in Pinjore, in his name.

The incident took place last night in the couple’s Sector 11 rented house. She was first admitted to a local nursing home, but this being a medico-legal case, she was referred to the General Hospital. Her husband and in-laws have gone underground, along with Sonal’s son.

Mr Manmohan Johar, father of the victim, said his daughter was married to Dhanendra almost three years ago. The latter was running a hardware shop in Sector 21 at that time. However, the business had to be closed down and he became unemployed.

Sonal, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, alleged that she was often assaulted by her in- laws. “Last year in April, they turned me out of the house at 2.30 am. I stayed with my parents for four months. After a compromise was reached, I again went to stay with my in-laws, but harassment continued. This year in June, they again turned me out of the house,” she said.

Mr Johar said they had almost decided to get the marriage annulled, but Dhanendra approached them and agreed to stay separately from his parents. But things did not improve and he again started assaulting Sonal, he alleged.

The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 498-A and 506 of the IPC.


4 booked in fake land deal case
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 23
The police has registered a case against Gurmail Singh of Radiala village, his wife Gurdip Kaur, Avtar Singh ‘Nambardar’ and Gujzar Singh of Dawn village under Section 420 of the IPC for allegedly committing a fraud of Rs 20 lakh in connection with the sale of a piece of land.

An FIR has been registered as per a complaint by Mr Jaswinder Singh of Badinpur village.

According to him, the accused conspired to make him enter into an agreement for the sale of land, measuring 104 kanal and 4 marla, in Bada Phool village for Rs 20 lakh.

He alleged that the accused presented a ‘fake’ owner in place of actual owner, Mr Kesar Singh, got the documents prepared and sold the land to him for Rs 20 lakh. He came to know of the fraud later.

He said that Gurmail Singh was a property dealer and knew the other accused in the case.

The Kharar police has registered the FIR as per instructions of the SSP Ropar.


One held for stealing wallet
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
A resident of Sector 24, Vinod Kumar, was allegedly caught red-handed while stealing a wallet from a house in Sector 22 here yesterday. As per police sources, the accused broke into the house of Mr Vijay Kumar but was caught and was later handed over to the police. A case under Sections 380, 457 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft cases: Ms Vijay Luxmi, a resident of Sector 39, reported to the police that her purse containing a wrist watch, some documents and Rs 1,000, was stolen, which was kept in the dickey of her scooter on September 21. The scooter was said to be parked at a road near Palsora Colony. A case of theft has been registered.

Mr Amarjit Singh of SCO No. 264, Sector 32, reported that some medicines were stolen from his shops after breaking locks of the shop yesterday. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

One booked: On the complaint of Mr Sumer Singh, a resident of Kajheri village, the police has registered a case against the driver of truck (CH 01 W 2255), who allegedly hit a cow with the truck and sped away. The cow later died.

One held: One Rattan Vinay Singh of Ropar district was arrested allegedly for satta gambling at a public place here yesterday. He was booked under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.


Two held on smuggling charge
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 23
The police has arrested two persons for carrying 70 bottles of country-made liquor from two separate places in the Zirakpur area.

The police said that Shrikant, a resident of Mubarikpur village, was nabbed by the police when carrying 140 pouches of the country-made liquor near the railway-level crossing in Bartana village. Shrikant was carrying the liquor in a gunny bag when a police party caught him red-handed at a naka on the village link road near the level crossing.

In a similar case, Girdhari Lal, of Jansua village located on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway near Rajpura, was caught red-handed when carrying 36 bottles of liquor in Singhpura village. The person had been using a plastic container to carry the liquor when he was arrested today morning.

The police said that Girdhari Lal and some more Singhpura village residents had been involved in the smuggling trade for some time. 


New call centre services exchange
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Pugmarks InterWeb Private Limited, has announced the launch of www.RapidContactCenter.com, a call Centre industry exchange to bring together US companies looking for outsourcing call centre services and call centre owners in India.

The service will act as an interface between call centre service providers in India and the call centre service seekers in the US, Europe and other developed countries. The site is an independent reference source for international call centre industry, which has witnessed phenomenal growth in recent times. It will also provide facilities to call centres in India to negotiate with long-distance carriers, local loop providers, equipment suppliers, software suppliers and will also help them set up infrastructure for call routing and data centre facilities in the US. Pugmarks has already made its mark in this held by setting up such facilities in the US.

“Our endeavour is to not only offer representation, sourcing, negotiation services and US infrastructure set up facilities to call centres in India, but also to help them tap business from the USA. A two-way relationship will help us build long-lasting business relations with call centres in India” said Atul Gupta, CEO of Pugmarks.

By 2003, 78 million buyers would be spending $77.6 billion on the Internet. The companies serving these customers would need support solutions offered by call centres, he said

Wills Sport collection: Are you all ready to set the night on fire ? Slip into the hot new ‘crystal collection’ of party wear tops highlighted with Swarovski crystals from Wills Sport.

These are now available at the exclusive Wills Lifestyle outlet at Sector 17-E, Chandigarh. Stretch Club Halter are available in black colour, in five sizes from XS to XL at a price of Rs 595.

Stretch Night is available in grape variety and black colour in five sizes (from XS to XL), at a price of Rs 645. Wills Sport has also introduced a new range of wrinkle free collection wear for men.

Chic furniture: Renaissance Furniture Private Limited, has introduced a range of contemporary furniture and home accessories from some of the well-known international brands under their flagship brand, Renaissance Homes. The collection consists of imported chairs, sofas, tables lights, cabinets and beds, mainly from the United States and Italy. The range consists of unique functional furniture with uncluttered design, rhythm and flow.

The simple yet elegant pieces strike a balance between the aesthetics of modern designing and the functionality that today’s consumer is looking for. Contemporary furnishings by regional and national artists include unique works in steel, wood and glass. 

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