Thursday, October 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mystery shrouds city businessman’s death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 16
Mystery shrouds the death of a 47-year-old Chandigarh-based businessman whose body was found near the CID building, Panchkula, in Baltana this afternoon.

Though relatives of the victim, R.S. Rathi, allege that he was murdered, the Railway Police claims that it is a case of suicide. A case under Section 174 of the Cr PC has been registered.

According to information available, Mr Rathi had left home at about 8.30 a.m. on his scooter for his steel industry in Ram Darbar, Chandigarh. He was currently involved in setting up another unit in SAS Nagar. The relatives say that he had first gone to a nearby temple as was his daily routine.

It was around 11.30 a.m. that his wife — Mrs Ved Rathi — received a call from the Railway Police informing her of the unfortunate incident. When family members reached there, they were shown a mutilated body of Rathi. His stomach had reportedly been cut open and the intestines had come out. The relatives say that there were no another major injury marks on the body.

The relatives of the victim said that he (R.S. Rathi) had been stabbed in the stomach. The fact that his stomach had been split open, suggests that he had been stabbed. Claiming he had no enmity with anyone, a relative said he had gone to the temple in the morning and it was from there that Rathi was whisked away by someone in a car, murdered and his body thrown away near the railway line so as to give the impression of suicide.

However, the Railway Police says it is a case of suicide. It says the man had jumped before a train and there was nothing suspicious about the injury marks on his stomach.

The body was taken for post-mortem examination at Kalka and cremated later in the day. R.S. Rathi is survived by his wife and four children — two sons and two daughters.


PU seeks 100 cr from UGC under 10th Plan
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Panjab University is seeking a grant of Rs 100 crore from the University Grants Commission under the Tenth Plan requirements.

According to sources, a plan in this regard will be presented to a visiting UGC team. Compared to the figure of only Rs 3.55 crore that the university received during the Ninth Plan, the demand this time seems “astronomical”. The original university plan during that time was approximately Rs 75 crore, sources added.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said no alterations had been made to the original demands by each individual department. However, he would highlight the priorities in case the visiting team sought his opinion. It was pointed out that several aspects of the academic activity needed a big boost due to which the amount might look “high”. In fact, the academic, administrative, financial and managerial aspects needed individual attention. The university is also learnt to have utilised at least 95 per cent of the earlier sanctioned grant and is likely to get a two-year extension to make use of the rest of the amount.

The visiting team members include Prof V. G. Bhide, Prof P. K. Bhargava, Prof (Ms) Kuljit Shellie, Prof V. S. R. Dass, Prof Shanmuga Sundaram, Prof Amitabh Das Gupto, Prof S.C. Aggarwal, Prof Jyeshtharaj Bhalchandra Joshi, Dr N. K. Jain and Mr Subash Chander.

The plan for Rs 100 crore has earmarked Rs 20 crore for buildings, Rs 20 crore for equipment, Rs 6 crore for books and journals and Rs 35 crore for campus development, besides other expenditure. The construction activity has highlighted the need for an arts block for humanities and social sciences, extension of library, hostels and theatre labs. The campus development plan identifies new laboratories for the engineering institute, upgradation of Internet band-width, museums and improvement of transport for students and staff, besides others .

The vision 2010 statement of the university says, “The university with its proven academic and research strengths proposes to marshal its intellectual resources by adopting a schools-of-learning approach in teaching and research in order to embark upon new challenges of future”. The statement also says that with rapid developments in science and technology as well their impact on society, it is imperative that higher education has to aim at preparing out graduates not just as accumulator of knowledge but also with skills and attitudes of life-long learning.

The report highlights the university steps at promoting academic, financial and administrative discipline. The university has completed administrative and academic audit of the university as well as affiliated colleges. Teachers’ performance will be evaluated through annual self-appraisal reports, the report says.

Highlighting the recent varsity achievements, the reports says : the university had received five-star status of NAAC, was selected by the UGC under the scheme of “universities with potential for excellence” setup a national centre for human genome studies; started the University Institute of Engineering and Technology; and hosted the All-India Vice-Chancellor’s conference, besides others.



Panel for Divali stalls in Sec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today recommended to the House the putting up of stalls in front of shops in Sector 17 for the three-day Divali festival in a reversal of the 1999 decision of the House.

The committee also decided to again reduce the reserve price for the Circus Ground in Sector 17 from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 3 lakh in an attempt to have a Divali fair at the ground. This is the third time the reserve price of the ground has been reduced unsuccessfully.

The committee chaired by Mayor Lalit Joshi also decided to inaugurate the Shantikunj Cafetaria on October 23 with the contractor depositing the required amount today. The Mayor will inaugurate the cafeteria. While refusing to grant a permission for putting up a glow sign, the committee forwarded the request to the Chief Architect of the UT Administration.

The matter of stalls will now be discussed in the House this month. The meeting of the House is likely to be held early this month.

Keeping in mind the ban imposed on stalls, the committee procured an unwritten undertaking from traders who were demanding the putting up of stalls that they would form a committee to ensure that encroachments were not there and disputes between shopkeepers were settled at the level of this committee of traders. The proposal was passed despite reservations from the officials who said the Enforcement Department did not have the manpower to check encroachments during the period.

The committee also decided that stalls would not be set up in verandahs and to maintain a symmetry the size of each stall would be confined to 15 by 15 feet. Shops in Sector 17 are either of 17 feet width or 15.5 feet. The municipal corporation is going to delineate contours of each shop through yellow lines.

The corporation is expecting around 200 stalls to be set up during the three day festival beginning from November 2. Each stall will be charged Rs 5,000.

The corporation also stipulated that the shopkeepers of Sector 17 could not sub-let the space and outsiders would be banned to take stalls here.


More dengue cases reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 16
The figure seems alarming even though the health authorities are insisting that there is no reason for the residents to panic. Today, 22 patients were admitted to the Mani Majra Civil Hospital, while two were rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

Till date, the total number of patients suffering from dengue have touched 32 in the Civil Hospital and 26 in the General Hospital. The Health Department officials reveal that about 175 patients were earlier examined in the Civil Hospital’s OPD.

Meanwhile, the health authorities have asked the residents to take preventive measures. After a meeting of Director Health Services C.P. Bansal, local NGOs and Senior Deputy Mayor Surinder Singh, the residents were requested to keep their coolers clean and dry.

They have also been asked to dispense with useless tins, pots and discarded tyres which were potent sources of mosquito breeding. The authorities, in a press release, claimed that efforts to curb the menace of dengue fever in the city were on.

In “high-risk” Indra Colony, about 1,569 houses were visited by 15 health teams. As many as 1,103 houses were sprayed with insecticides.

The NCC cadets also participated in the campaign along with the Health Department officials in an attempt to educate the residents about preventive measures required to be taken at their places for avoiding the breeding of mosquitoes in their vicinity.

A mobile dispensary was also set up in Indra Colony for providing prompt health care.



Bid ‘to kill’ landlady
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 16
Arvind, a tenant of 1767, Ram Darbar, who allegedly tried to strangulate his landlady early today, has been arrested on the charge of attempt to murder, under Section 307 of the IPC. The landlady, Phoolwati has been admitted to the Sector 32 GMCH.

As per the police sources, Arvind, a native of Bihar, stays in a room of the house owned by Phoolwati. A couple of days ago, there had been an altercation between her husband and Arvind, when he had asked Arvind for rent.

“Today, when Phoolwati was washing clothes in her house, Arvind slyly came behind her and allegedly started strangulating her; and soon, she collapsed”, said the police sources. In the meantime, some of the neighbours raised an alarm and Arvind was caught.

The Police Control Room Gypsy rushed Phoolwati to the GMCH. At the time of the incident, her husband was at his workplace and her children were in school. 


2 traffic cops suspended
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 16
The UT Superintendent of Police (Traffic) has suspended two cops posted on traffic duty who were allegedly found harassing a driver of a taxi bearing an outstation registration number.

Police sources said Bhopal Singh and constable Pawan Kumar were suspended and sent to the Police Lines, Sector 26. The two were reportedly caught while checking papers of an outstation taxi on the traffic light points of Sectors 17 and 18 on October 14 allegedly with a motive of minting “money” from the driver. Departmental enquiry against the two would be initiated, added the sources.


BJP to submit memo to Shanta Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The local unit of the BJP will submit a memorandum to Union Rural Development Minister Shanta Kumar during his visit here in the last week of the month.

The memorandum will seek solution to the problems of 22 villages of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

This was announced here today by local BJP President Yashpal Mahajan while addressing meetings in Dhanas, Dadumajra and Maloya as part of the “Gaon Chalo Abhiyan” of the party.

Mr Mahajan said the Union minister was likely to visit the city on a request from the local unit. He said the minister was likely to address a public meeting in one of the villages of the Union Territory.

The minister was likely to have an intense interaction with rural party workers, panches and sarpanches to find a solution to their problems.

Addressing the meeting, BJP National Executive Committee member Satyapal Jain said all villages were targeted to be linked by roads by the end of the year under the “Prime Minister’s Gramin Sadak Yojna.”

Mr Jain said crop insurance scheme, Kisan Credit Card and the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna had been launched to improve the lot of villages ignored by the predecessors of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Villagers presented a memorandum to the visiting BJP leaders highlighting their problems. The BJP leaders assured them that they would take up these issues with the Chandigarh administration and the Central Government.

Local BJP general secretary Purushottam Mahajan, secretary Ram Vir Bhatti, Kisan Morcha president Harbhajan Singh, its general secretary Gurdeep Singh and Panchayati Raj Cell president Shingara Singh were present on the occasion.



Chautala for Army cantt in southern district
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, urged upon the need to set up an Army cantonment in any of the southern districts of Haryana and to constitute a special brigade to act swiftly in emergency situations like natural calamities.

Mr Chautala was here to inaugurate the civil military liaison conference at the Western Command Headquarters here. He said despite there being no cantonment, southern Haryana was sending large number of its youths to the Armed forces. The setting up of a cantonment, he said, would not only satisfy the people but also change the entire social and economic scenario of the area, besides inspiring more youths to join the forces. The Chief Minister pointed out that northern parts of Haryana had three cantonments, including the one located here. The others were located in Ambala and Hisar.

Mr Chautala stressed upon the setting up of a Defence Park at the tri-junction of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the idea of which was mooted by the Defence Minister. The Chief Minister assured the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in C), Lieut Gen S.S. Mehta that shortfall of vacancies for ex-servicemen in Haryana Police would be filled on priority basis. He said a pilot project to harness rain water would be taken up soon in Chandimandir.

The Chief Minister sounded a note of caution against encroachment of Army camps. He said these camps were located at 51 locations. To frustrate encroachers, the Army should take larger chunks of land in lieu of these small pieces and put these to more viable use.

Stressing at setting up special brigade, Mr Chautala said the nation had faced many emergent situations because of natural calamities like earthquake in Gujarat, cyclone in Orissa and drought in Rajasthan. The special brigade, he said, should be trained and fully equipped to act swiftly in launching rescue and relief operations.

Meanwhile the Western Army Commander General S.S. Mehta, today declared that jawans camping at the international borders (with Pakistan) were fully alert, strong and prepared to meet any eventually. ‘‘Indian Army will give a befitting reply to the enemy,’’ said Lieut-Gen Mehta. He refuted press reports, that the morale of jawans camping at the international borders was now low.

‘‘The defence forces have patience and are efficient to act in any situation. The problems if any are resolved promptly by the authorities and the state administration to boost their morale,’’ he added. He criticised Pakistan for escalating terrorist activities in India through ISI. He said the scenario of security had changed considerably in the entire world after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre. Terrorists attack later on Indian Parliament, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Amarnath pilgrims, Godara and Akshardham Temple in Gujarat and most recently at Bali in Indonesia indicated that Pakistan was encouraging terrorist activities, he said.

General Mehta emphatically said nothwithstanding attempts by terrorist, the security forces had controlled the situation for holding peaceful elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was all praise for the number of facilities and incentives provided by Haryana to ex-servicemen. Haryana, he said, deserved all appreciation for its help to ex-servicemen and families of jawans and officers before and after the Kargil conflict. He said the constitutional provision to the effect that court cases of Army

personnel would be taken up during their vacations, should be implemented in letter and spirit. This was necessary so that their cases were not prolonged for long and they got justice in time.


Eunuchs may get land for cremation ground
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Eunuchs of the city have been pleading for decades for a separate cremation ground due to their distinct identity and differences in customs as recognised by a large number of cities. But their demand has not been fulfilled.

The matter has now reached the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh which discussed the matter initially in the Art and Culture Committee.

The matter now seems to have reached a deciding stage with the Acting Chief Architect, Ms Renu Saigal, today agreeing to give them one kanal in the Industrial Area cremation ground.

Ms Sehgal is believed to have agreed in principle to the proposal of the Municipal Corporation after a visit to the spot along with the Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bharadwaj, councillors Subhash Chawla, Sohan Lal Vaid and Vijay Rana.

The officials and councillors showed the place earmarked for a separate cremation ground for eunuchs to the Acting Chief Architect.

A leader of the eunuchs, Shyma Bai, told Chandigarh Tribune: “We had been facing the problem for a long time due to differences in customs between normal people and us.”

Bai said people from their community were earlier buried and their samadhis used to be constructed on the pattern of those of saints, but now customs had changed to some extent. Bai said if one of them demanded to be cremated, the person was cremated. Now generally samadhis of only our gurus were made, Bai said.

Another difference in the customs was that their last rites were performed only at night. Bai said other cities had separate cremation grounds for them.


Labour Chowk occupants to be shifted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 16
From tomorrow, casual labour will not be there at the usual place — Labour Chowk — the roundabout of Sectors 20, 21, 33 and 34. The police is all set to direct casual labourers assembling at the roundabout to a new place south of the roundabout at the Sectors 44 and 45 roundabout near Colony No. 5.

This is a part of a police drive to make the Dakshin Marg — from the Tribune Chowk to Sectors 38-25 — encroachment-free. The road has become one of the busiest ones of the city.

Certain points on Dakshin Marg have been identified and encroachment will be removed from there in a special drive that begins tomorrow. Dakshin Marg is also the main passage for vehicles coming from or going towards Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. The rise in population in the southern sectors, the coming up of city sub-center in Sector 34 and the SAS Nagar traffic have made the road one of the “heavily used ones”. Traffic jams at peak hours have become a regular feature on some of the roundabouts, including that of Sectors 34, 35, 22 and 21 on the road. 



Gurpurb procession
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Central Coordination Committee of all gurdwaras and Sikh institutions will organise a nagar kirtan procession on November 16 before Guru Nanak’s birthday. The procession will begin from the Sector 19 gurdwara at 12 noon and pass through markets of Sectors 27 and 28, ITI, market of Sectors 29, 30, 20, 21, 22, near the Sector 23 gurdwara and Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sector 37. It will end at Gurdwara Shahpur, Sector 38, at 8 p.m.



Water supply to be hit today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Water supply to the city is likely to be hit tomorrow due to a leakage in a major pipeline near Morinda.

Raw water supplied to the Sector 39 waterworks would be less due major repair work going on under the supervision of the Punjab Public Works Department, an official release said here today.

It said the pressure would be low in the city tomorrow.


4 cases of theft reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 16
During the past 24 hours, the police has registered at least four cases of theft from different parts of the city.

A water meter was stolen from the Sector 29 residence of Mr Kashmiri Lal in the early hours yesterday. Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of Sector 35-D reported to the police that his scooter (CH01V 3604) was reportedly stolen from Sector 29 yesterday. Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH01V 2951) of Mr Nain Singh, a Sector 32C resident was also allegedly stolen from his residence on the night intervening October 14 and 15. During the same time, a car stereo along with amplifier was stolen from Maruti car of Mr Gaurav Sharma, a Sector 15 resident. The car was parked at his residence when the alleged theft took place.

Rash driving case

A case of rash driving and causing hurt by an act of endangering life under various Sections of the IPC has been registered against the driver who was driving a Fiat car (PB10E 9422), which hit Ms Parveen Kumari at around 10 am on October 13. Ms Kumari, a resident of Sector 46D reportedly received injuries in the accident and was taken to the GMCH, Sector 32. 


Gateway to the City Beautiful

Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service


  • Chaotic parking.
  • Large number of rickshaws.
  • Taxi operation including those with private numbers.
  • Community toilet mismanagement.
  • Fewer road gullies in the back lane resulting in water gathering during the rainy season.
  • Maintenance of sub-way and encroachment in them.
  • The lighting and security arrangements in the sub-way.
  • Broken tiles of the market to the extent that from certain areas tiles have disappeared.
  • Unreliable street lighting.
  • Shopkeepers consider barricades as a loss to the market despite traffic on the road getting reduced after the shifting of a part of operations of bus stand in Sector 42.

The market gateway to the city, dependent on visitors, sees a drastic drop in the number of customers because of the installation of iron barricades on the road divider in front of the Sector 17 bus terminus.

The putting up of barricades, the shifting of a part of bus operations to Sector 42 Inter-State Bus Terminus and the closure of guest houses from residential areas have led to the number of customers going down, a shopkeeper said.

The market stretching from shop number 1001 to 1059 is one amongst those places where night life activity could be seen in the city due to the presence of hotels Sunbeam and Jalandhar and six to seven dhabas, a popular parantha wallah and vendors selling cigarette and paan through out the night. The City Heart pub and couple of more of them are also adding to the night activity of the market.

Shops in the market seem to perfectly cater to the needs of visitors of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal.

The market starting off from shops of provisions and dhabas in early seventies has now become a big wholesale market of cloth, watches, photo processing and development and paan and bidi largely feeding Himachal.

A night view of the market in Sector 22-B
A night view of the market in Sector 22-B(Opp. bus stand). — Photo Manoj Mahajan

But with certain buses of Himachal now going from the Sector 42 bus stand, it is feeling the pinch. It has about 30 shops each of cloth and photo, 15 to 20 of watches and two to three whole sellers of paan and bidi. Most of the three storeyed shops here are functioning as shops alone with very few offices on the first floor upwards.

The market has several rarities having a sub-way market and a small booth market known as Palika Bazaar. The Palika Market is considered to be providing the cheapest mobile and basic phone sets and small electronic items.

The sub-way market has largely become a cluster of fashion cloth shops. The sub-way created to check the people crossing the road hazarding their lives on one of the busiest roads seems to be ignored by visitors.

Booths in the sub-way, which is very big with around ten shops, seem to be small and the shopkeepers have conveniently encroached six to seven feet on the pathway to visitors. This has left little room for visitors.

Very few of tube lights fitted in the sub-way are functioning leaving the market unsafe for visitors.

A few of the shopkeepers complain that the sub-way has not been able to instill confidence in visitors despite the presence of booths in them.

The market has become virtually synonymous with colour photo labs. The market realises its eminence of being the gateway to the city and once even thought of solving its major problem of parking mismanagement on its own.

The market association President Lal Singh of Amrit Dhaba, the first of the vegetarian dhabas of the city, said the association had hired security staff for three months but the effort failed because a police help was required to enforce parking regulations in the lot.

He said the association was spending Rs 10,000 per month on parking management but after some time collection from shopkeepers could not be maintained resulting in the system collapsing.

The market, being just opposite to the bus stand, has a large number of rickshaw pullers ranging between 500 to 1000 on different days. The number of rickshaws is also possibly high due to the manufacturing of them going on along the school wall in Sector 22-A. A walk through the market would reveal that the parking is chaotic though new parking space has been created and probably the number of hoardings on shops could be higher than any other market.

The market was developed in early seventies, Mr Lal Singh remembers. Mr Singh himself came to the market in 1982.

Mr Singh said the putting up of barricades had also led to a higher usage of vehicles by the residents of Sector 22, who earlier used to walk to their offices in Sector 17 but with the coming up of the barricades and unpopularity of the sub-way , they had to take a detour forcing them to use vehicles. The market is now attracting around 3000 visitors against the earlier number when it even got as many as 20,000 visitors on certain days, Mr Singh said.

It is house to names like Capital Digit Photos, Anmol Watches, Chawla Brothers' Watches, Arora Collections of cloths, J. B. Textiles, Puja Textiles wholeselling Raymond items, City Heart Pub, Amrit Dhaba, Sunbeam, Naresh Departmental Store and Palika Market.

The market was initially a centre of tailoring and even Peshawari shop initially started from here.

Office-bearers: Lal Singh (president), Arjun Lal of Naresh Departmental Store (senior vice president), Suresh Chawla of Chawla Brothers' Watches (vice-president), Bhushan Jain (general secretary) and Krishan Kumar of City Heart One (treasurer).



SCL to develop advanced imaging devices for ISRO
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 16
Semiconductor Complex Limited (SCL) here has been assigned two highly complex projects by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) involving the development of advanced imaging devices.

The devices — the 14K time delay integration imager (TDI) and the frame transfer imager (FTI) — are used for imaging applications in satellites.

According to Mr S.K. Ambardar, Deputy General Manager (Strategic Planning and Coordination), these projects come close on the heels of the successful development of the charged coupled device (CCD) 4K linear imager by the SCL for ISRO. This achievement is seen as a milestone in the indigenous development of technologies in view of the strategic nature of the CCD technology.

The TDI devices are an advanced form of linear imagers with capability of operating with high sensitivity and high resolution while FTI devices are suitable for astronomical imaging and are useful particularly under low dark signal operations and anti-blooming. The successful development of these devices is expected to play a significant role in future developments in the field of imaging at ISRO.

The SCL was recently selected as the foundry for the development of micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) in the country under the National Programme on Smart Materials (NPSM) approved and funded by the Central Government. The MEMS technology is seen as a key enabling technology of the future with widespread applications across sectors such as automobile, telecom, medicine, defence and aerospace. Commonly used MEMS include miniature mechanical components such as sensors, actuators, microstructures, etc.

Having identified MEMS as a thrust business area, the SCL is in discussion with an overseas company for a technology and business tie-up which is likely to lead to an alliance shortly. The MEMS centre which is being established at SCL is expected to be operational by the end of financial year 2002-2003.

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