Wednesday, October 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Goa air mishap claims city pilot
Family of Lt-Cdr Rajesh Saini shattered; younger brother, too, was killed 3 yrs ago
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, October 1
A story never ends. Everyone thought Flying Officer Ajay Saini’s death in a mishap was the last tragedy the Saini family would encounter for years to come. But fact is stranger than fiction. Less than three years after Flying Officer Saini died, his elder brother Lt-Commander Rajesh Saini, too, was killed in naval planes’ collision at Goa this morning.

The news came as a big shock to the Saini family. At seven this morning, Lt-Commander Saini had called up his mother from Goa to say that he was going for flying. At 12 noon, his wife called up to inform her that he had died in the collision.

While Flying Officer Ajay Saini — a MIG-21 pilot — was a bachelor, Lt-Commander Rajesh Saini, was married. His wife, Dr Promila Saini, is a doctor at Goa Medical College. Their seven-year-old son Angad Saini is studying in Class II at Naval Public School in Goa.

Gloom descended on the Sector 35 residence of Sainis as the neighbours and relatives, after hearing the tragic news on television, reached the house one after the other. “We couldn’t believe the news”, sobbing relative Ms Rita Bhardwaj said. “News channels were just flashing Lt-Commander R. Saini. They were not giving the full name. At first we thought it was someone else. But then we finally came to know that the victim could be no one else but our Rajesh”.

In a voice chocked with emotion, the victim’s father Warrant Officer G.S. Saini said, “During his training, he was given commendation certificate of “best in flying” by Chief of the Naval Staff. He had joined the forces after clearing the CDS examination in 1984.

He added that his son had participated in the Kargil war and had served as ADC to Governors of Goa and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “Rajesh had also taken Sukhoi to Russia for repair.”

An inconsolable, Ms Neelam Saini, mother of the pilot, was trying her best to bear the tragedy with great strength. The father of Rajesh almost succeeded in hiding his tears. It seemed that even after the two tragedies, his faith and love for the IAF are as strong as ever.

‘‘I would like to see Rajesh’s seven-year-old son Angad become a pilot too’’, said WO Saini, quickly adding, ‘‘that is if I live till the time he grows up’’. WO Saini is a heart patient and had just undergone a heart surgery at Escorts in New Delhi.

‘‘Rajesh was a brilliant child. He always wanted to be a pilot. Since his childhood he knew a lot about planes’’, said Mr Balbir Saini, maternal uncle of Lt-Commander Saini.

It may be mentioned here that Lt-Commander Saini died when two Russian maritime reconnaissance aircraft (IL-38) of the Indian Navy collided mid-air during an air show near Dabolim naval airbase, 35 km from Panaji. Fifteen persons — 12 crew on board and three others — died in the accident.

Meanwhile Dr. K. Saini, sister of the deceased, has flown to Goa to bring the body of her brother to the city.



Foreign nationals’ goods stolen from city hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Three foreign nationals, who were in the city in connection with a Punjab Government project on food processing, today had a taste of hospitality in Hotel Mountview, a CITCO-run venture in Sector 10 here.

The “guests”, a British national and two Canadian nationals, who were putting up at the hotel, had a shock of their life when they found their expensive electronic gadgets and currencies of different countries, amounting to over Rs 1.80 lakh in Indian currency, stolen. The items were stolen from three different rooms — no. 223, 224 and 320. The total loss is estimated at around Rs 4 lakh.

The burglar(s), suspected to be amongst the hotel staff, apparently gained access to the three rooms with the original keys to the door locks. There were no signs of forced entry, which points towards the possibility of the burglars easily gaining entry into the rooms. Soon after the theft was brought to the notice of the hotel staff, the Chandigarh police descended on the scene at around 2 pm. The entry and exit points of the hotel were secured to plug in any chances of the burglars escaping from the hotel. The bellboys concerned and other staff in the hotel were questioned by the police.

Mr Lueio Sacchetti, who was putting up in room no. 223, told the hotel staff that a black bag containing a charger, Canadian $ 1,700 , US $ 300, 100 Euro and £ 850 were missing. The bag was found open. However, no documents were touched in the room. Mr Douglas E. Cambell, occupying room no. 224, said a leather bag containing a laptop, charger, CD, battery, mobile phone, digital camera, Canadian $ 520, Rs 32,500, 50 Euro and a credit card had been stolen. However, Mr Rupert Barn, who was putting up in room no. 320, lost a laptop and a camera.

After ascertaining the loss of the three foreign nationals, the security officer of the hotel, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, lodged a complaint with the Sector 3 Police Station. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered. The SSP along with the DSP, Mr S.S. Randhawa, and other officials remained in the hotel for more than five hours.



Abandoned’ infant girl dies, other twin
battles for life
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

“Since the condition of my daughter-in-law, Babita was very serious we rushed to Panchkula, without informing anyone here at the PGI,” says Dayawanti. She says no doubt they are very poor, barely able to make both ends meet but that did not mean they wanted to abandon the infants, whom she refers to as “gift of God”. She said both her sons were daily wagers, whose income was insufficient to run the house.

Chandigarh, October 1
Was it abject poverty or the burden of bringing up two girls that prompted Babita and her husband, residents of Jalauli village near Barwala in Panchkula district to abandon their one-day-old female twins, struggling for life at the Emergency of the Advanced Paediatric Centre, PGI?

Unbelievable it may sound, but yet the young couple blessed with female twins left the underweight one-day-olds at the Emergency of the APC, only to be tracked down by the police to take back the newly borns under their care. Unfortunately, one of the twins did not survive, and doctors and nurses are trying their level best to save the other one, as being badly underweight her condition continues to be critical.

Pleading innocence, the poor couple, Mahipal and his wife Babita, residents of Jalauli village however, said they had no intention of abandoning their baby girls. “Is it possible for any mother to leave her newborns, especially when barely 10 days back she had lost her one-year-old daughter,” says the grandmother of the “unwanted” twins, coming in defence of her daughter-in-law.

It was on September 27 at 3 p.m. that the twins were born at the Panchkula Civil Hospital. Since, the mother Babita, was badly malnourished, the twins were underweight, weighing barely a kilogram each, said one of the nurses attending to the newborn, who has now been left alone. “Seeing the condition of the twins, the doctors at Panchkula asked us to take them to the PGI, where we brought them the same evening,” said Dayawanti, who is now taking care of her granddaughter.

According to the hospital staff there was no clue of the grand-parents of the twins after they were admitted on September 27, evening. It was after waiting till the next evening that the PGI authorities finally decided to seek the help of the police. The police got in touch with the Civil Hospital, Panchkula, to trace the parents and grandparents of the infants.

“Since the condition of my daughter-in-law, Babita was very serious we rushed to Panchkula, without informing anyone here at the PGI,” says Dayawanti. She says no doubt they are very poor, barely able to make both ends meet but that did not mean they wanted to abandon the infants, whom she refers to as “gift of God”. She said both her sons were daily wagers, whose income was insufficient to run the house.

“Being the mother of two girls, is it possible that I would want to leave the twins simply for the reason that they are female,” she reasons out, when asked if they had been abandoned because of this reason. She says that their only wish now is that the baby survives.

Dayawanti, says that barely 10 days before the birth of the twins, her one-year-old grand daughter, Rajni had die due to some serious ailment. “Whatever little my sons earned we spent on Rajni’s treatment and now we are under a lot of debt, with practically no source of income.”

The condition of the infant is still critical, as she is being fed with the help of a tube and being given antibiotics to protect against any infection.

Playing the Good Samaritan the hospital staff is not just giving medical help but moral and emotional strength also to the family members who they feel are a victim of circumstances and of course poverty. “Even if they had intended to abandon the twins, you cannot blame them as no mother would want to leave her children, had it not been for their poverty and misery,” remarked a member of the hospital staff.



UGC increments for varsity, college teachers
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The Union Government through the University Grants Commission has granted additional increments to university and college teachers across the country through a letter announcing “ benefit of two additional increments to those who did their PhD during service prior to January 1, 1996”.

These teachers should not have taken any other benefit as per the Career Advancement Scheme(CAS). More than 20,000 teachers are likely to be benefitted. The decision of the government affects teachers of 229 universities and about 11,569 colleges across the country. It affects teachers who did their PhD before 1970 or during service.

Last year the UGC granted two additional increments to those teachers who had done PhD during service after January 1,1996. The two increments were granted from July 27, 1998 onwards and not January 1996 onwards which happened to be the date of pay revision.

The UGC circular also says that those who completed their PhD before December 31,2002, will be exempted from having to qualify in the National Eligibility Test(NET) which is compulsory to qualify for the post of a teacher. However, for the past certain years there have been circular announcing extension of the relaxing the NET condition

Teachers have resented the ‘distortion’ in the agreement reached on September 5, 1998 with Murli Manohar Joshi. It may be remembered that on August 11,1998 lakhs of teachers went on strike throughout the country. After 26 days of agitation an agreement was reached with the government which was signed by the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ organisation. A copy was also circulated to the press.

It was resolved to grant a third promotion to all senior teachers with 19-25 years of teaching experience. The new grade was identified as Rs 16,400 -20,900. It is also pertinent to mention that more than 50,000 senior teachers will cross the upper limit of the grade which is Rs 18,300 in January 2003.

It should be pointed out that the Indian government had agreed for Career Advancement Scheme to be implemented from January, 1996, onwards and not July 27, 1998. The UGC also agreed to give Rs 14,940 to DPEs and college librarians at par with the lecturers. It was also decided that the UGC will give readers designation to PhD holders in colleges as per the 1996 pay scales. However, these issues still remain unresolved, sources added.

Ever since declaration of the UGC pay-scales note of July 1998, the AIFUCTO, an apex body of more than three lakh teachers, organised ‘dharnas’, seminars, convention, demonstration and observed ‘seize work’ to draw the attention of the government regarding non implementation of an earlier agreement. AIFUCTO recently on August 13, 2002 organised a march to Parliament where teachers from schools had also joined. AIFUCTO is organising a conference at Panaji, Goa, from October 25 to October 27.



Protest site may be shifted: Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Blocked roads, protesters marching down to the Matka Chowk and political rallies with slogan-raising leaders may soon be a scene of the past. Appearing before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, counsel for the Chandigarh Administration today stated that effective steps for shifting the protest venue would be taken soon after the conclusion of the farmers’ agitation.

This, counsel added, would be done to avoid damage to ecology in general, besides the Rose Garden and the Shanti Kunj in particular. He further stated that the Adviser to the Administrator had been contacted in this regard and the assurance had come from him.

Counsel further submitted that firewood would be provided to the farmers to ensure against the chopping of green trees. The Administration would also get in touch with authorities in Punjab and Haryana for the provision of mobile toilets. The case will now be taken up by the Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall, on October 4.

The High Court had, on Monday, directed the Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh to take adequate and effective measures against damage to the Rose Garden by the agitating farmers.

The directions were on a petition filed by a city advocate seeking directions for shifting the venue of rallies and dharnas from road dividing Sector 16 and 17 to some alternate site, besides maintaining the cleanliness of the Rose Garden and the Shanti Kunj.

The Bench had also asked the authorities to inform the court about the steps being taken for providing basic amenities to the farmers on one hand and preventing further damage to the gardens on the other. In his petition, the advocate had added that the authorities should be directed to provide amenities like water and mobile toilets to the farmers.



City students’ murals to adorn Delhi Metro station
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, October 1
The prestigious Delhi Metro Rail- link beautification project bagged by the Government College of Arts here finally took shape with the finalisation of two 50 ft X 20 ft murals which will be shipped to Seelampur station for installation.

The mural, which shows the glorious historical monuments of Delhi and reflects Indian philosophy will adorn the ticket counters of the station.

The Government of India, abiding by the provisions of Section 73 of the Building Act which states that 2 per cent of the total building cost of any government building has to be spent on art work, had earlier assigned to the Government College of Art and the Delhi College of Art the responsibility of beautifying the platforms of a few stations for the 192-km railway track running through the country’s capital.

The first phase of the project, which had eight stations on its agenda, had asked the Government College of Art to commission two murals in glass mosaics along with three fibre glass pillars and two stainless still pillar works which has also been finished by the team.

“The deadline for sending the art work was September 30 but because of the other activities and bad weather conditions, we got delayed by a day,” said Prof Brahm Prakash, who is supervising the team’s work.

The team comprises 26 students from different streams and five faculty members. “Besides getting exposure at a national level, the students also learned to work as a team, a spirit which will help them in the long run,” said Prof Prakash. The best part of the project that the students had an opportunity to visit the railway station to get a general impression and will also be sent to visit to watch the final installation.

So much is the bubbling enthusiasm of the students that though officially, only 26 students make the working team, the entire college students are contributing their bit to make the project a success.

“Students were chosen from different streams based on different criteria, like aptitude for colour co-ordination, drawing etc,” said Prof Prakash.

The mural, which starts with the colours of the rainbow, depicts the Indian philosophy through fairies and other human forms gradually merging into the historical background of India with famous monuments like the Red Fort, Jantar Mantar and India Gate dotting the rural village scenes.

“We have consciously avoided an abstract theme to give the commuters a feeling of reality,” said Prof Prakash, adding that: “The rainbow which borders the mural gives it a vibrating quality which goes well with the usual movements of a railway station,” he added.

“We were also asked to beautify the four stairwells with art work, but later, we had to discontinue as the authorities informed us that the beautification of the stairwells would be commissioned in the next phase,” he said, adding that: “We are hopeful to bag two or three more projects during the next phase which will start from June next year.”

The eight stations, which fall under phase I, will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in December this year.



SI arrested for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today caught red-handed a Sub Inspector of Chandigarh Traffic Police while accepting a bribe of Rs 1200 for extending a favour in case of a challan issued by the police. The SI, Janak Raj Sharma, was caught in the Sector 9 market while accepting the bribe.

According to information available, the complainant had got a Maruti Alto car financed from a private financier. The vehicle was delivered but its documents were yet to be delivered to the complainant. After the vehicle was challaned for not possessing the documents, the owner of the vehicle wrote to the Senior Superintendent of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) about his grievance.

The complainant stated that the traffic cops did not bother to determine the status of the documents.

The police officials marked the case of SI Janak Raj Sharma, who went to the house of the complainant and asked them to come at the traffic lines in Sector 29 yesterday.

The CBI sleuths laid a trap and arrested the SI from the Sector 9 market. A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered by the local branch of the CBI.



10 pc reservation for senior citizens in housing schemes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 1
The grand finale of the month-long celebrations of the Senior Citizens’ Day organised by the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association was made sprightly by the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.) by announcing 10 per cent reservation for senior citizens in all future housing schemes of the Chandigarh Housing Board pertaining to lower income group (LIG) and economically weaker section (EWS).

Announcing the decision at a function at Tagore Theatre today, General Jacob said decision in this regard was taken today and a notification would be issued soon.

Honouring 14 senior citizens for their services in various fields, General Jacob said the day should be utilised as an opportunity for interaction between NGOs, senior citizens and various administrative departments so that problems of senior citizens could be redressed at one forum.

The persons who were honoured by General Jacob were Justice Surinder Singh, Mr P.S. Vaishnav, Brig. M.L. Kataria, Mr F.S. Chauhan, Mr Punnu Ram, Ms Sanjukta Khanna, Mr J.F. Kandhari, Mr Onkar Chand, Mr H.L. Dhami, Mr V.S. Sodhi, Mr G.S. Anand, Mr Jamna Dass and Mr Baij Nath Sharma.

A cultural programme by the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was organised on this occasion. The cultural bonanza included invigorating Punjabi folk songs, dance numbers, songs and ghazals.

The month-long celebrations for the Senior Citizens’ Day-2002 by the association had started with medical camps, interface with college and school-going students to bridge the generation gap, seminars and interface with personnel from income tax and police departments, fitness programme for senior citizens and an outing with residents of the old Age Home in Sector 15 and students of Institute for Blinds, Sector 26.

Prominent among those who attended he function today were Maj-Gen J.S. Bhullar, Brig Keshav Chandra, General M.S. Kandal and others from the association. 



Giving gift of love to elders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Gaiety and fervour marked the Elders’ Day celebration at the Old Age Home, Sector 15, here today, where students of the Social Welfare Club of Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, entertained the inmates.

The inmates enjoyed the day by presenting various items including bhajans, songs, poetry and jokes. The children from the home for juvenile delinquents also paid respects to the elders by presenting a skit dedicated to them. Gifts were also distributed.

Earlier, the function was inaugurated by the SDM, Ms Madhvi Kataria. The Principal, Dr (Ms) Satinder Dhillon, suggested that all days must be celebrated as Elders’ Day and that education should inculcate values of brotherhood, love, sympathy and respect for elders.

Meanwhile, a colourful function was held at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, to honour senior citizens. The Principal, Mr H.K. Bhatia, spoke to the students about their duties towards their parents, grandparents. The children also took a pledge to respect the elders.

To mark the Senior Citizens Day and International Blood Donation Day, 200 NSS volunteers and 500 students of the school organised a rally. Holding banners, the students went through Sector 22, Sector 17 and back to Sector 22.

Speeches highlighting the need to create awareness among the students to respect their elders and follow the path shown by elders were made.

At Kendriya Vidyalaya AD, Dappar, grandparents of the members of the school unit of Bharat Scouts and Guides were presented with bouquets and greeting cards.



100 YC activists court arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
More than a 100 youth Congress workers from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh led by the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Chief Randeep Surjewala here today courted arrest to protest the ‘’betrayal of farmers by the Central Government by refusing to increase MSP, giving a Rs 20 bonus per quintal and imposing an additional burden of 7.5 per cent taxes.’’

Youth Congress leaders including the Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress President Devinder Singh Babbu, Haryana Pradesh Youth Congress President Satwinder Singh Sandhu and the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress President Harmohinder Singh Lucky along with hundreds of others led by Mr Surjewala offered to court arrest when they were not permitted to march towards the Punjab and Haryana Raj Bhavans to submit a memorandum.

Mr Surjewala told the Tribune that as many as 500 workers “were arrested by the police while 10,000 wanted to court arrest when stopped from submitting a memorandum for the President of India to the two governors.’’

The police, however, said the number of arrested persons was around 125 and they were taken to the Sector 17 Police Station in five police vans and let off after 15 minutes without the registration of any case.

The programme of marching towards the Raj Bhavans was chalked out suddenly by Mr Surjewala and the three state unit presidents on the dais of the Kisan Akrosh Rally.

Earlier, addressing the Kisan Akrosh Rally called by the Youth Congress units of the three states, Mr Surjewala said youth activists would now gherao each office-bearer, minister and MLA of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana to force them withdraw support from the Atal Behari Vajpayee Government and resign.

He said till the SAD and the INLD cling on to the NDA they would be considered a party to the betrayal of farmers by the NDA Government.

He said the Union Cabinet Minister of the SAD Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa would be forced to resign from the Vajpayee Government for taking an ‘’anti-farmer’’ step.

Mr Surjewala said the Rs 20 bonus announced later would in fact result in the price of paddy going down by Rs 40 because of only four cent tax approved instead of earlier 11.5 per cent. With this measure the farmer would end up paying Rs 40 per quintal from his pocket, he said.

The IYC chief said he would go to 12 districts of Punjab at least in the near future before holding a big rally in Baghpat, the constituency of Union Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh.

He also said the bonus was taken from the Rs 10,000 crore relief which was to be given from the drought relief fund as per the announcement of the Union Agriculture Minister.

The Youth Congress wanted Rs 700 MSP for common variety, Rs 720 for fine variety along with Rs 100 additional for drought relief.

The 11.5 per cent tax along with MSP should again be introduced, the moisture content should be allowed up to 28 to 30 per cent instead of 17 per cent, there should be a price control mechanism for farm inputs and benefit of revised MSP and relief should be given to even those farmers who had already sold their produce, he said.



War with Pak not on agenda: BJP leader
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The BJP national leader, Ms Maya Singh, here today indicated that war with Pakistan was not on party’s agenda. Addressing party workers before burning an effigy of the Pakistan President, Gen Parvez Musharraf, on the Sector 33-34 roundabout, Ms Singh, a former general secretary of the party, said: “The country had been fighting a war with Pakistan for the past 20 years.”

Ms Singh’s conviction on avoiding war, contrary to what the party had said following December 13 terrorist attack on Parliament however, did not seem to go down well with party workers.

The chasm between the BJP leadership and workers came to the fore when a party leader in the rural unit of the BJP, Mr Rambir Bhatti, in his address referred to “Islamic terrorism’’, only a day after Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee termed terrorism as blasphemous.

Ms Singh, who was also the former President of the BJP Mahila wing, expressed the confidence that the country could be assured of effectively fighting terrorism and Pakistan under the leadership of Mr Vajpayee.

To drive home her point, she said the country had as its President the scientist who developed nuclear devices, Prime Minister who refused to kneel before international pressure and Vice-President who allowed to conduct nuclear tests in Rajasthan.

The BJP Rajya Sabha member said the country had been facing terrorism since 1980 when Pakistan sought to disturb Punjab and later Jammu and Kashmir in 1986.

The MP said she came from Bihar leaving the ‘’gaon chalo abhiyan’’ to observe anti-terrorism day in the city on the directions of the leadership. The local unit BJP President, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, condemned the Akshardham Temple attack and Pakistan for sponsoring it.

Party Councillor Rajesh Gupta said he exposed alleged corruption in SCO auction despite the Congress initially rejecting it and later agreeing to vote along the BJP, sensing that the ruling party in the Municipal Corporation would be embarrassed.

Mr Pavittar Singh Namdhari said the country would be able to fight terrorism when the international community showed its sincerity. The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha President, Mr Satinder Singh, urged the party workers to keep a vigil on unwanted elements and join the nation in its war against terrorism.

Senior party leader Purushottam Mahajan alleged that the governments knew where terrorists had been frequenting and they only needed a resolve to fight them.



The new-look Ambassador
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Ambassador, the restaurant of Hotel Sunbeam, Sector 22 (opposite the bus stand), has been spruced up to give it a new, well-lit look. Gone is the dark and dingy place. As oldtimers and regulars will recall, the dull brown shades of the spacious eatery have been metamorphosed into the bright and sunny combination of cream and maroon.

Let’s begin with the base. The soft dark red carpet with square blocks of a print replicated all over has been specially brought in from Chennai. As you step into the joint and feel the plush velvety push beneath your feet, you are escorted to a table by a liveried waiter.

Depending upon the size of your group, you occupy the two-seater table, or four-seater, or have the tables conjoined to accommodate all 10 persons, perhaps along the sofa backing the wall. As you make yourself comfortable, you can’t help but notice the brand new floral upholstery and the polished teak.

While your order is being prepared, the fabric wall panels catch your eye. The staid, ubiquitous paintings are gone. The smart, starched maroon napkins are perched stiffly in the glasses, waiting for you to spread them before the meal is spread before you.

You have choice to pick from the spicy Indian fare that you have opted to savour or drool over the hot Chinese delectables or encounter the bland sauce-dripped Continental varieties or the experiment with the Sunbeam special seafood delicacies.

But no matter what the food, as you dip into the stuff served, the new white Corelle crockery only serves to enhance the flavours of the meal. And the music provided by the live three-piece band, Mod, tickles your senses to a new height during dinner time (Tuesday is their day off) while at other times, you make do with the songs belted by the CD player.

The same is true for the adjoining Ambassador Cocktail Lounge (it’s separated by a low glass panel fringed by shining brass stands and bulbs). The bar has acquired sparkling glassware in which the multi-hued drinks and little umbrellas almost seem to tinkle and invite you for a sip.

There is good news for Bacchus lovers. Mr Dheeraj Punj, Manager Operations, informs that they have slashed the rates of pegs to bring them on a par with club prices. This has been done to attract clients keeping in view the changing weather and the declining popularity of the bubbly cold beer in winters. And, to remain in competition, the hotel, as the other big ones in the city, has added Chivas Regal to its repertoire of the bar stock.

For the teetotalers, there is a range of fruit-based cocktails to quench the thirst at competitive prices.

The TV set telecasting the cricket match in the bar area only makes the ambience more interesting. And the shaded glass break in the row of alternating cream and maroon curtains offsetting the green potted plants stands out. It gives you peak into world outside — the streaming rows of cars, buses, scooters, minus their noise and pollution. Similarly, the 24-hour coffee shop, The Pillars, on the first floor has been dressed up with fabric panels on the pillars.

Their executive veg and non-veg meals at Rs 60 and Rs 80, respectively, are favourites with those on low budget. Comprising green salad, matar panir (or, murg makhani, as the case may be), mixed veggies, dal makhani, rice, curd, roti, papad and seviyan, the meals are for two, with a couple of extra rotis thrown in.



Indian Air Force Mahotsav-2002
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
A week-long Indian Air Force Mahotsav-2002 will be kicked off tomorrow at 3 Base Repair Depot.

The festival will conclude on the Air Force Day on October 8.

Air Cdr S.B. Prashar, Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, will flag off a mini marathon race tomorrow from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31.

The race is open to all ranks, civilians and their family members of different age groups.



BSNL services hit

Chandigarh, October 1
The BSNL in a press note issued here today informed the public that telecom services in Sector 48 had been severely affected due to damage to underground cables. Mr R.C. Vaish, Prinicipal GMT, Chandigarh, said one underground cable of 200 pairs had been damaged by the road division of the Chandigarh Corporation while undertaking the work of road widening in Sectors 48 and 49. As a result, telecom services, especially in the Indian Express Society, had been adversely affected. TNS



Policy on encroachments exists only on paper

THE encroachment policy of the Chandigarh Administration appears to be lopsided. Apparently, it exists only in files. Sometime back, fadiwalas were removed from the Sector 22 market, giving it a clean and better look. Surprisingly, however, the problem has erupted again as these displaced fadiwalas have shifted to the new rehri market in Sector 38 on government land.

Unfortunately, Chandigarh Administration officials ignore the fact that such unplanned mushrooming of rehri markets run counter to the master plan of Chandigarh. Indiscriminate selling by fadiwalas is spoiling the beauty of the City Beautiful. It is time preventive measures were taken before the problem goes out of the control of the administration.

I would also like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned towards the blantant violation of building bylaws, especially those in the lower income houses group. The government land adjoining the road has been used for building additional rooms. These are causing havoc with the hygiene of the residents and making the road a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It is surprising that even though the beautifully laid garden house on government land has been mercilessly demolished by the Estate Office, no action has been taken against the encroachments.

The contributions made by the late Partap Singh Kairon and the late Mohinder Singh Randhawa for building Chandigarh should be remembered and we should not convert the beautiful city into a wasteland.


Cable operators’ ways

This has reference to the report “7-day ultimatum to cable operators” (Chandigarh Tribune, Sept. 25). Every subscriber in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula is dissatisfied with the services of the cable operators. The subscribers have complained of poor services and excessive charges by the cable operators. The administration says that they have no role to play in the cable market.

It is surprising that the operators charge different rates in all the sectors. They charge Rs.150 in Sector 46, Rs 130 in Sector 37, Rs 200 in Sector 19 and other rates in other sectors. The various residents’ associations are fighting their cases separately.

Now the political bosses have given a 7-day ultimatum to the cable operators to stop harassing customers.They have also appealed to the residents to boycott cable operators to teach a lesson to them. They are scheduled to meet the officials of the Chandigarh Administration shortly. They will also go with the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP), a government of agency for the welfare of the public.

The cable operators are harassing the subscribers in many ways. They increase the rates at their will, not to disconnect the cable or connect the wires at subscribers’ request. Many a time, they also behave rudely with them.

What happened to the Cable TV Act? Has the Central Government closed its eyes on this? The Draft Bill on Conditional Access System (CAS) was tabled in the Rajya Sabha, but decision deferred due to less time for discussion. The CAS means pay for what you watch. Now there are 40 to 50 channels in the line and have been grouped like Star Plus package, Zee package, Soni package etc. Some people want to watch only religious channels while others want entertainment channels. Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj is in favour of the CAS, but I don’t know why there is no political will to pursue things to their logical conclusion.

I would request the administration to safeguard the interests of the subscribers in their ongoing battle with the cable operators. Mrs Swaraj should take the initiative and use her good offices in ensuring the smooth enactment of the CAS Act in Parliament so that people can see the channels of their choice.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh

Congress grass

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh should take measures to uproot the congress grass. The best way to eradicate this obnoxious weed is to pull it out by roots.

In our Sector 36 D, we have employed special labour to uproot all such weed plants. Mowing by the MCC tractor-mower does not help because the root remains in the ground, to sprout again. It is very difficult to pull it out with the roots. The Municipal Corporation should consider this menace with the attention it deserves and act accordingly.

Lt-Col K.S. GREWAL (retd) President, Residents’ Association, Sector 36, Chandigarh



76 gm of charas seized
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 1
The police today claimed to have arrested Suresh Kumar, a resident of Sector 20, with 76 gram of charas. He was arrested from Chandigarh Central Club last evening. He has been booked under Section 20, NDPS.

Shop lifting
Mr Dinesh Kataria of Sector 28- based shop of auto spare parts complained with the police that an unidentified person purchased some spare parts from the shop and fled in a Maruti car without making any payment here yesterday. The complainant alleged that when his servant asked for money, he was pushed by the man and the servant received injuries. A case has been registered.

Mobile set stolen
Mr Munish Khana, a resident of Sector 46, has complained that his mobile phone instrument was stolen from Press Club, Sector 27, yesterday. A case has been registered.

8 held
The police continued with its anti-eve teasing drive and to arrested eight persons from different parts of the city today. All of them have been booked under Section 294 of the IPC.

Liquor seized
Sanjay, a resident of Sector 38, was arrested under various Sections of the Excise Act here yesterday. The police recovered 25 pouches of liquor from his possession.


Two held for gambling
A sum of Rs 3,060 were recovered by the police in a special drive against gamblers. While Bharat Singh was arrested from Old Panchkula and a sum of Rs 1,050 was recovered, Jagdish was arrested from Rajiv Colony and Rs 2010 were recovered from him.

Three cases of theft
Three cases of theft, including two cases of vehicle theft, have been reported in different parts of the district. Bir Singh of Indira Colony has reported that his cycle was stolen from outside his house on the night intervening September 25 and 26. A motor cycle (CH-OIP- 7537) was stolen from Swastik Vihar, Mansa Devi Complex .

In another case, Mr. B.P. Gaur has alleged that his wife’s gold chain was stolen from Sector 5 when she had gone to attend a religious discourse there.

Dowry case
The police has arrested Navdeep Kumar of Solan in a case of harrasment for dowry registered against him earlier on the complaints of Ms Rashmi Rahi.

Goods recovered
The police had recovered stolen goods worth Rs 2. 91 lakh in different cases of theft here, during the past week. Besides, several gold chains, household goods, cash and a scooter have been recovered.



‘Withdraw entry tax on paper’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 1
The Mohali Industries Association has urged the Punjab Government to withdraw 4 per cent entry tax imposed on paper in the interest survival of the industry and the economy of the state.

The association general secretary, Mr Gurmeet Singh, said yesterday that the levy of the tax was a retrograde step and the state revenue would come down from the present level. Paper was an essential item which was used in different forms after conversion into various types such as notebooks, registers, computer stationery, packaging boxes, etc.

Mr Gurmeet Singh said there were about 10,000 units engaged in the paper conversion industry in Punjab providing jobs to more than 3 lakh persons directly and indirectly. There were 227 types of paper quality, and paper mills in Punjab produced only five such types while the other types were brought from other states.

He said industry in the state was already passing through a period of serious recession. The imposition of the tax would make the paper and paper conversion industry uncompetitive not only in the national market but also within the state. It would be cheaper to import computer stationery, exercise books, packaging boxes, printed material, etc, than to produce these in Punjab.


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