Wednesday, November 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Understaffed PGI succumbs to Shotgun’s pressure
Tribune News Service


  • To be launched from December 2, the venue of evening OPD shall be the New OPD Block
  • Timing of the evening OPD will be from 5 p.m to 7 p.m with registration open till 6 p.m.
  • While there will be no OPD on Saturdays, Sundays and on gazetted holidays , specialities like cardiology and neurology will not be made available at the evening OPDs.
  • To begin with, the evening OPDs will run for internal medicine, general surgery, paediatrics, ENT, Eye, Obstetrics and gynaecology.
  • Already overburdened junior and senior residents to run the show.

Chandigarh, November 12
With no additional infrastructure or staff to take on the extra responsibility of running the evening OPDs, to be launched at PGI from December 2, it appears to be more of an eyewash simply to please Union Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha.

Though the Director of the PGI, Prof S.K. Sharma, during his recent visit to Delhi had requested Mr Sinha to extend the deadline of December 2, but the minister was keen that the PGI starts the facility at the earliest , said sources. “ We are not averse to the idea of evening OPDs but at the same time we must be adequately equipped to take on the extra responsibility, especially when we are already burdened with patient rush from the entire region,” said a senior doctor.

“Though the minister is learnt to have asked the Director to give the requirement of staff and equipment needed for running the evening OPDs, which will be provided in due course of time, but till then it will it amount to befooling public,” said one of the faculty heads who attended yesterday’s meeting. The faculty heads have been asked to submit their requirement at the earliest. “It is the junior and senior residents at the PGI who will be entrusted with the responsibility of running the evening OPDs but already over stressed with a 15-hour duty, little time is left for doing that extra bit,” quipped a senior resident. The residents are sore that the Director and senior functionaries did not even bother to take their opinion before taking the decision.

Sources said even at the staff council meeting held yesterday, the viewpoint of residents was not presented. Even the Radiology Department expressed its inability to take on the extra responsibility, unless they were provided with new X-ray machines and other equipment. “ If a nurse on duty happens to be on leave , we are not even provided with a substitute as there is acute shortage of paramedical staff. I wonder how they plan to run the show with the existing strength,” a senior doctor remarked.

Sources at the PGI said to begin with it would not be possible to take X-rays, hold investigations and tests as there was no staff to do it. They said it was only the PGI, which was running the normal OPDs, even on national holidays, including August 15, and it would have been far better if they had first tried to improve services on these days rather than starting the new facility of evening OPDs, which would prove to be a stupendous task.

It appears that the PGI is merely fulfilling a formality as evening OPDs in none of the specialities like cardiology and neurology will be available. The facility will be there only for internal medicine, gynaecology, eye, ENT, paediatrics, general surgery and obstetrics. While the venue would be the New OPD Block, the timing would be from 5p.m to 7p.m , with registration open uptill 6p.m,” said PGI authorities.



Landlords drag tenants to court
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, November 12
In less then a week following the amendment to the Rent Act, almost 100 owners and landlords in the city have issued notices to the tenants to vacate their premises as per new rules. According to information, a large number of advocates practising in the District Courts today issued notices to the tenants after finding rights for the landlord in the recent notification.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune about the recent notification, advocates practising in the District Courts said the issuing of such a large number of notices proved that the fear and panic amongst the tenants was not unfounded. They pointed out that instead of a decline in the number of cases, there would be increase in the pendency after the notification.

They informed that the rented premises fetching more than Rs 1500 per month as rent will not be covered under the Rent Act and the suit for ejectment has to be filed after terminating the tendency under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. In such cases, notice will be for 15 days if the tenancy is monthly or for the period as agreed between through the rent agreement. Thereafter, ejectment suit by affixing court fee on the annual rent of the premises has to be affixed.

An advocate, Mr Chettan Mittal, informed that he had issued 10 notices to the tenants occupying — industrial shed, SCOs and also residential areas under the recent notification. Mr Mittal added that in order to implement the notification in a more effective way there was a need to follow the amendment to the Civil Procedure Code. He further added that notification had been issued under Section 3 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act as extended to the Chandigarh Administration of 1974 and the administration was competent to exempt any building from the purview of the Rent Act under Section 3 of the Rent Act.

Giving details, another advocate, Mr H.S Awasthi, said the owner and landlord would also be entitled to claim the market rent from the tenant from the date of expiry of notice terminating the tendency and till he had vacated the premises. The premises falling within the rent limit below Rs 1500 would continue to be governed under Rent Restriction Act and the premises could be vacated on various grounds available with the owner under the Rent Act. No notice before filing of such rent petition would be required under the Transfer of Property Act. Mr Awasthi further added that he had issued more than 15 notices to the tenants as per new amendments so far.

Another advocate, Mr Rajesh Khurana, informed that the recent notification failed to do justice to the landlords whose commercial building had been occupied by the tenant for many years and were paying rent less than Rs 1500. He added that notification issued by the administration sprung a surprise for many advocates as it was very difficult to find out on which parameters the administration had drawn a deadline of Rs 1500. Giving details about the time required to settle the dispute, Mr Khurana said the time required for ejection under the Rent Act and under the Transfer of Property Act would depend upon the court and the counsel. Normally, it is required to have the same period, since the procedure of the civil suit is followed even in the rent case.



Amendment cannot be withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
The fear expressed by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal that there would be large-scale eviction of tenants is unfounded. The fact, the circumstances of each case need to be examined and a legal view needs to be taken. The Administration will consult leading legal experts in the field of rent laws and would publicise the legal opinion so that there is no misinformation among people who should not have ungrounded fears regarding eviction of tenants.

The UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) explained this to a delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal today. The delegation presented a memorandum pertaining to the exemption from the Rent Act notified with respect to premises with a rental value above Rs.1500/ per month. The main issue taken up in the memorandum was that this exemption would cause eviction of commercial tenants and thereby disrupt business activity in the Union Territory, Chandigarh. The Beopar Mandal requested that commercial property should not be covered by the exemption notified by the Chandigarh Administration. Sources, meanwhile said the mandal had been told that the notification could not be withdrawn as this was a step taken by the Government of India and Chandigarh was governed directly by the Centre.

It was clarified that this exemption from the Rent Act is not the first such step in the country. In fact in Delhi such an exemption was granted more than a decade ago. Similarly several other states had also reformed their rent laws.

Late at night a spokesperson for the Administration said in case a landlord files a suit for possession after the expiry of the lease in the civil court of competent jurisdiction it should not be assumed that such a suit would succeed in all cases.

Civil courts would examine the pros and cons of each case, including the circumstance of the lease, the actions taken by the landlord and the tenants, the inconvenience to which the tenant may be put etc. There are many judicial precedents, including decisions of the High Court, pertaining to such disputes which show that the courts have been fair to both landlords and tenants with the objective of ensuring that justice is done in implementing the law.



Kyonki landlord bhi kabhi tenant tha...
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service


  • Before this notification, the landlord could get his property vacated from the tenant only on the plea that he needs it for personal use.
  • On the expiry of the rent lease, the landlord had to file a petition under the Rent Control Act and the property used to get vacated in five to 20 years as the case lingered on in courts.
  • Earlier, landlords seldom got the rent deed registered. It used to be an agreement between two individuals which was not accepted in court.


  • This will no longer be necessary. Now, the landlord can get property vacated on any ground.
  • On the expiry of the lease, the landlord has to serve a 15-day notice on the tenant to get the property vacated. If the tenant refuses to vacate, the landlord can go to local court and a file a civil writ petition under the Property Transfer Act to get it vacated. The cases may be decided in a couple of years.
  • In the Property Transfer Act, one can claim damages from the tenant for unauthorisedly occupying the property. Also, one should pay rent as per the market value or else penalty could be imposed on the tenant.
  • Now, everyone should have the lease deed registered, for which the UT sub-registrar would charge: for five years 1.5 per cent of rent average, for 10 years 3 per cent, for 15 years 6 per cent and for 99 years 12 per cent. Now, all terms and conditions in the rent deed would be accepted in court.

Chandigarh, November 12
“Fools build houses and the wise live in them.” So goes an old saying. This was largely true till the other day because of the conditions which prevailed in the real estate sector in this part of the country due to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949. Framed more than five decades ago when “socialism” was fashionable and “landlord” a hated figure, the act was heavily weighed in favour of the tenants. But with the failure of “socialism” in the very country which gave birth to the philosophy, winds of change were bound to blow away the cobwebs of the moribund Indian landscape as well. With the advent of economic liberalisation and increasing role of the private enterprise in all sectors, it was but a matter of time when the archaic laws governing various sectors, including the real estate, were changed.

This is what the UT Administration did last week by limiting through an official notification the scope of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act to buildings and rented lands whose monthly rent exceeds Rs 1,500. In other words, all buildings and rented lands in the UT which were fetching rent of more than Rs 1,500 will now be governed by the terms of rent Act.

The amendment to the parent act by the UT Administration, even if overdue, was rather sudden. This is what seems to have upset the Beopar Mandal and other bodies representing the tenants and real motives in the reformatory move of the UT Administration, which it says is modelled on a similar notification by the Maharasthra government. The Beopar Mandal and tenants outfits have been talking in terms of launching an agitation to get the amendment repealed. This is countered by bodies of landlords who have made it clear that they would leave no stone unturned to ensure that their interests remained protected.

Coming days will reveal how the situation unfolds itself but the fact remains that despite the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, a free for-all prevailed in the real estate sector. Both landlords and tenants remained engaged in a perpetual game of oneupmanship. While the landlord will not shy away from accepting a “pugree” before giving his property on rent, the tenant would make sure that he, too, gets a hefty sum from the landlord before vacating the rented property. Under the circumstances, both tenant and landlords developed an adversorial relationship and remained in perpetual fear of one another. Little wonder, the local courts are clogged with tenant-landlord disputes .

The amendment made by the UT Administration in the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act by limiting its scope has the potential of changing all that. The fact of the matter is that the “landlord” in Chandigarh as also in most other parts of the country is no longer the “landlord” as understood in the traditional sense of the word. They do not represent the “landed gentry”.

The “landlord” of Chandigarh started out as a tenant in most cases. As things progressed and he rose in life, he acquired property, parts of which he gave out on rent. Therefore, to present him as a “usurious” landlord sucking the blood out of poor tenants will not be fair. On the other hand, to say that all tenants are bad, forever on the lookout for a chance to torment the landlord is equally unfair.

There are any number of cases in which a tenant has become a landlord. Mr Tejbuns Singh Jauhar, who occupies a prime piece of commercial property in Sector 17, became a landlord by buying it from the owner at what can only be termed as a “throwaway price”. The original owner had no hope of ever securing the eviction of his tenants from his building. Now the tenant-turned-landlord feels that he has every right to either evict other tenants in the building or raise rental charges to those prevailing in the open market.

The reaction of the tenant’s bodies and beopar mandal on the one hand and the landlords outfits on the other is rather extreme. Tenants, especially those engaged in commercial activities, claim that they will face ruin if the landlords insist on raising the rent. This may be exaggerated because there are any number of examples in the city where tenants in adjoining shops are paying different rates of rent and yet flourishing. Landlords on the other hand are euphoric over the development. But they have to realise that they will not be able to charge exorbitant rents for their property because these will now be governed by market forces. Many among the landlords feel that the administration should have covered all rented property through the amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, and not restricted itself only to granting exemption to lands and rented property whose monthly rent exceeds Rs 1500 only.



Landlords counter protests
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
Landlords of the city are ready take the tenants head on. A group of about 35 prominent landlords of the city or representatives of the various bodies/ associations of property owners held a meeting in Sector 8 today and announced that a peaceful plan will be launched to counter the irrational and illogical protests of the tenants and traders’ bodies.

Leading the charge is former MLA from Faridkot, Mr Karnail Singh Doad, who suggested that a peaceful rally should be organised to highlight their viewpoint and his proposal was accepted by all those present. The idea is to from a body which will represent the interests of all landlords.

One of the landlords, Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, stressed upon the fact that the traders have needlessly panicked. As per the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, the landlord was allowed to evict his tenant within five years from the date of sewerage connection. Just period of five years have been removed and nothing else has been added. “The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, which is crying foul over this issue, is a body of just 130 traders”, he alleged.

The landlords at their meeting today also allayed fears that prices of property would crash down. “We will move court and the National Human Rights Commission if the notification is withdrawn, modified, or rescinded under pressure. For several decades, the tenants have been exploiting the owners and now this notification provides an even playing field,” they said.

Certain members of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association have hailed and welcomed the notification of the Chandigarh Administration. Meanwhile, the president of the Indian Ex-services League and a councillor, Brig Sant Singh (retd), has written a letter to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) in support of the notification.

Traders’ rally today

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, in a press note issued here today, has announced that traders of the city will hold a rally at Plaza in Sector 17 at 1p.m. tomorrow.

Mr Kamaljit Panchi, vice president of the Chandigarh. Beopar Mandal, said traders of all markets of the city would march from their respective markets and converge into a massive protest rally at Sector 17.



Confusion over new phone numbers
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, November 12
Confusion over the change in telephone numbers by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was rampant in the town even two days after the announcement of new access code, with the old and new numbers functioning simultaneously.

Having created more trouble than putting the subscriber at ease, most of the telephones of the sub-division that should ring after prefixing 28 instead of 43 are still not responding to the change, while in other cases, the earlier numbers are not functional. However, telephones in urban parts of the sub-division are functional with prefix 28.

Confusion over the change in telephone numbers has created confusion among the subscribers as well as STD operators. Residents complain that they hear a message to check the number whenever they dial a number in the sub-division. To add to their troubles, the message about changing of numbers has not been incorporated in the exchange to guide subscribers about the change.

Residents of the area have demanded that their telephone exchange be connected with the mother exchange in Chandigarh, instead of Patiala. The BSNL authorities were not available for comments.



5 of marriage party hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 12
Five members of a marriage party were injured, three of them seriously, when the Tata Sumo they were travelling in was hit by a truck, near Ramgargh village, here today.

According to information available, the accident took place near the TBRL establishment. The Tata Sumo (DL 4C F 8246) was hit head on by the truck (HR 38F 2947) and the injured were taken to the PGI, Chandigarh, by local residents after the police was informed. The driver of the truck reportedly fled the scene leaving behind the truck.

It is learned that the victims are residents of Yamunanagar and were on their way to Bartana to attend a marriage function there. All of them were reportedly in unconscious state till the filing of this report. Their identity, however, could not be established.



From Haryana to USA to Mohali jail
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 12
This could well be straight out of a Hollywood film, only that it has two Punjabis as the leading stars. A story that has two brothers from a small town of Haryana who migrated to the USA in 1981, became the rich and famous night club owners in Houston and went on to get embroiled in one the largest drug trafficking rings in the world. The story ended where it should have. In the jail. With the arrest of Sarabjit Singh, alias Rick, yesterday, in SAS Nagar, the US police with the help of the Punjab police has in its net one of many such links that are operating across the USA and many European countries running the infamous ‘ecstasy’ drug-peddling racket.

According to reports, the two brothers — Amrik Singh ‘Spiro’ and Sarabjit Singh ‘Rick’ jointly owned ‘The Hub’ and ‘The Spy Club’, two hugely-famous downtown clubs in Houston. Other than the brothers, Amarjit Singh and Harmohind Singh Grewal ‘Mickey’ were also allegedly involved in various activities of the two brothers. While Amrik Singh was arrested in September by the US police, Rick was arrested from his rented accommodation in Phase IX here yesterday.

The duo along with Amarjit Singh (40) and Harmohind (29) are among the 24 persons indicted in Houston alone on various counts in September, 2002, when the US police busted the international ring of ‘ecstasy’ peddling. The indictments are the result of the International Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, which began in 1999.

According to a report, the arrests made from Israel, where an organised crime group is said to have masterminded the smuggling, to the production headquarters in the Netherlands, to Spain, where Sarabjit Singh was believed to be expanding the ecstasy ring into that country’s club scene. Sarabjit Singh and Amrik Singh are also charged with opening two clubs to launder drug profits, an estimated $ 7 million, according to one report and more than $ 11 million since January, 1997, according to another report.

Ecstasy, a stimulant and mild hallucinogen, is mostly sold to teenagers and young adults at dance clubs and schools across the USA. The pills, according to the report, not sold at ‘Spy Club’ and ‘The Hub’ but instead snaked through a chain of dealers in Houston and other US cities before being sold to consumers for about $ 20 per tablet.

When his brother was arrested in September in Houston Sarabjit Singh thought to be hiding in Spain from where he reached India last month. He was accompanied by Sonja Irena, a friend with whom he had been living while in India. He had rented a house in SAS Nagar and was looking for a house which he could purchase. According to information available with the local police, Rick was trying to settle permanently in India and had purchased expensive household items. Rick, who is now an American citizen, has an American wife and a daughter in Houston. He, according to the police, visited Chandigarh in April this year also.

Rick had opened a large cash accounts with ICICI bank and Punjab State Cooperative Bank in Chandigarh and purchased a Sonata Gold car from an agent in Chandigarh. The local police also recovered a large number of bank passbooks, including one of Barclays Bank, Malaya. He had also shifted a large cachet of Euros to India from Spain where he had brought $ 5 lakh.

The indictment of Singh brothers in the USA also sought to forfeit the three Houston residences belonging to them and both nightclubs plus more than $ 7 million in the alleged drug proceeds generated by the enterprise. If convicted, they could face a statutory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a $ 2 million fine.



Delicious desert delights
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 12
Like Rajasthani cuisine, visit Shri Ganesham to taste savouries from the desert as well as South India. It is situated in the Sector 8 market of Panchkula.

But, as you dip into the dal baati churma, the chef’s speciality, your attention is diverted from the surroundings and focused on the dish. And, why not? After all, behind the tempting fare is the more than 20 years of experience of the cook, Bhanwari Lal Sharma, who has been brought here specially all the way from Sikar in Rajasthan. Under his guidance, a number of helpers dexterously churn out kachauris, churmas and subzis.

The apparently plain looking kachauri reaches your table only after a painstakingly patient preparation spanning four steps, he explains while pointing at the balls of spicy filling lining the tray. Complemented with the green chutney, this typical Indian snack has many takers.

Mr Sharma is particularly proud of the sweet churmas that come in such flavours as sooji, bajra, mewa, gulab and kesar. They are made in desi ghee, giving the delicacy a tantalizing taste. In fact, priced between Rs 70 and Rs 100, dal baati churma is the costliest item on the menu that reveals a reasonably affordable choice of a variety of meals, thalis, snacks, beverages and ice-creams. The restaurant serves only vegetarian stuff.

The marwadi thali with an assortment of dal, panir dish, subzi, raita, rice, chapatti, salad, pappad and kheer is yours for Rs 45. And the Southie fans have to dish out Rs 40 for a thali of four pooris, rice, two veggies, sambar, rasam, pappad, pickle, sweet and curd . The Ganesham executive thali costs Rs 55 as it also has an additional panir dish and soup.

The other regular items like the delectable dosas, uthapams, idli, vada, upma and rice are in the range of Rs 20 to Rs 40. The mouth-watering rabdi is attractively priced at Rs 25. The restaurant is the brainchild of Dr H. S. Prashar, a PAU graduate. He has been in the business of pest control in Chandigarh after earlier having had a stint with an MNC.



Defending package contract system

THIS has reference to your report “Contract issue stirs up row in PSEB” (The Tribune, October 27). There is a strong case to support the views of the Chief Engineer, Thermal Design, that the cost of the Lehra-Mohabbat Project (Stage II) will increase by more than Rs 200 crore if EPC contract is awarded to BHEL. In this regard, the contention of the board authorities that the “noise”of PSEB engineers is because of powers being taken out of their hands, efficiency of work would increase with the project being completed earlier, no one in the country was awarding package contracts as it meant dealing with multiple contracts and agencies, which presumably causes delays and contractual difficulties etc., cannot stand the test of experience and facts.

To counter the arguments of the board authorities, the following issues will suffice:

First, if BHEL is awarded an EPC contract, it shall further award the multiple contracts to many other parties, sometimes five or six, at a higher cost of 20 to 25 per cent to keep its own margin. Therefore, how can the board claim that multiple contracting will be avoided?

Secondly, BHEL’s record of EPC contracts is not at all encouraging. Thirdly, it is not understood why the board does not want to utilise the services of its own experts when there is overstaffing. This will substantially save the project cost due to inhouse project supervision.

Fourthly, Mr H.S.Sahai’s statement that nobody in the country was awarding package contracts does not hold water. The recent case of the Malana Power Company commissioning an 86-MW hydroelectric project within a period of just under 30 months at a cost of less than Rs 4 crore per MW through multiple package contracting system is a record in itself. This is an eye-opener for all state electricity boards and other organisations.

It is noteworthy that after the success story of Malana, the targeted completion periods of many other ongoing projects like the Koldam HEP of NTPC, Parbati HEP of NHPC, several projects of HPSEB have been reduced by two to three years as per the instructions of the authorities.

And finally, the inputs required for timely completion of power projects are, among other things, correct pre-tender studies, preparation of all working drawings before the start of work, creation of infrastructural facilities in advance, selection of good vendors, effective monitoring, expeditious resolutions of day-to-day technical and administrative problems, team spirit, proper cash flow and adequate quality assurance programme. All these traits are available with PSEB experts, but not with BHEL.

It is an axiomatic truth that the PSEB can save more than 20 per cent of the project cost if it follows the package contract system.



I fail to understand why the PSEB Engineers’ Association has been following double standards on savings. They are opposing the sanction of the Lehra-Mohabbat Project (Stage II) to BHEL on EPC basis on grounds of additional expenditure to the tune of Rs 200 crore. But they have never raised their voice against hundred of crores of rupees which PSEB has paid and continues to pay as generation incentive to Thermal (O&M) officers and employees.

Such huge allowance payments are not being made by HTPC or even SEBs like the Rajasthan Electricity Board. They are also thermal plants with a good track record. The management did try to reduce this expenditure but the Association has been opposing the move tooth and nail and the Board was compelled to stay the orders.

The leaders of the Association, by this way, have been able to keep their “kursis” intact as the thermal engineers represent the major components of the Union and keeping them in good humour has become all the more important these days.

Further, the Association has never opposed the service of some 30-odd Chief Engineers despite financial crunch. Unfortunately, there has been a sharp decline in the overall work profile of the PSEB. The PSEB secretariat is too top-heavy. Amazingly, the PSEB has one GM (Finance) and a good number of Chief Accounts Officers! Even then, Accounts people are not objecting to excess top-heavy staffing; they are rather enjoying the fruits of excess staff!

Assigning project work to one agency will definitely help the Board to reduce its staff on the project. This is what the Association in charge does not want. Actually, they are more interested in their promotions and allowances than the benefit of the Board as has rightly been brought out earlier by the present Principal Secretary (Finance) to the Punjab Government in one of his references to the Board and also highlighted by the Press from time to time. Increasing manpower is their motto but this will be suicidal in the long run.

Somehow the PSEB Engineers’ Association does not seem to be ready to introduce the much-needed reforms. Its whole executive staff must join some management courses to apprise themselves of the latest trends and the reforms needed for effective functional management.

Even small packages of works are entrusted to small contractors who act as sub-contractors to the main contractor of each package. There is, as such, no harm in giving the work to the BHEL as it will save time for tendering etc and the State will get the benefit of additional power which is missing for the last 3-4 years without any addition or fresh recruitments in the PSEB.

S. KAPOOR, Bathinda


Two years back, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had advertised a good numbers of posts for fresh electrical engineers. However, the written test could not be held for reasons best known to the administration. Thereafter, two more batches of electrical engineers have come out.

The Board’s revenue collection centres, i.e distribution sub-divisions, are presently manned by Assistant Engineers/ Assistant Executive Engineers. A good number of distribution sub-divisions are functioning without engineers. This has caused a huge loss of revenue as well as improper power supply to the consumers. This position is going from bad to worse since on an average more than hundred engineers retire every year.

It is learnt that the Punjab Government has adopted delaying tactics in clearing the Board’s proposal for recruitment of fresh electrical graduates.




Animal welfare camp
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur-Garibdas (Kharar), November 12
Hundreds of villagers turned up with their livestock for check-up at an ‘awareness and animal welfare’ camp held at Mullanpur-Garibdas village yesterday. The camp was organised by the Punjab Animal Husbandry Department in collaboration with Puri Development Trust for Mullanpur and Youth Welfare, Sports and Health Club, Mullanpur.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Punjab Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fishery and Dairy Development, said the Punjab Government had imported special injections from Australia to improve the breed of cows and buffaloes. These injections would be available to villagers on subsidy.

As many as 570 livestock were examined at the camp and 25 minor and five major operations were performed.



Round is out, give me hexagon, please
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

ROUND is out. Sharp cuts in. Yes, we are talking of figures. Not just of pretty damsels in zany tank tops over wacky boot-cut trousers sashaying down the narrow ramp of life, also of alluring bangles.

If you still haven’t guessed it right, we are discussing hexagon bangles — the ones with six sides — faithfully like the name implies. Believe it or not, they are indeed a rage amidst dames of the world.

Still having doubts? Well, go to any of the chunk jewellery shops spread throughout the length and breadth of the city. You will find fair chiseled fingers groping cheerful plastic containers, casually kept under high wattage bulbs, for hexagon bangles.

In good old days of Doordarshan when Fashion TV was not setting the trend, wristbands were just round. No doubt about it. You could pick up the design, and the colour, of your choice. The shape was traditional.

“Even in those days — I am talking of late 80s — you had gals from all over the city asking for bangles in different shades,” says fashion designer Zubina Sandhu. Fluttering her Spanish eyes while recalling her own days as a college student, she whispers, “Peach, pink, gold, even green — you had babes picking up all kinds of hues for going along with their attire”.

Agreeing with her, Raman of Jewels, a Sector 11 jewellery and gift shop, asserts, “Gold bangles and silver bracelets were slipped on. Not merely on formal occasions, also on causal functions. The fact cannot be disputed. Glass bangles were also worn. This was not all. Brass wristlets too were asked for. Not just for religious reasons. For fashion also. Still every girl had her own set of metal bangles”.

Adjusting the alluring bangles hanging under the spotlight in her showroom, she reveals, “They were preferred, even over gold and silver. That’s the reason why some would walk down to college campuses with jingling metal bangles”.

As more and more flappers joined the parade and metal bangles attained celebrity status, the designs increased, and shapes changed, till hexagon bangles came into being. “On every other fashion show you had models gliding down the slope in short sequined tops over long-cut skits with six-edged bangles glittering in synthetic daylight,” says Raman. “Little wonder, you had so many maidens here asking for the stuff. That’s why we were forced to import the bangles from across the seven seas till our own manufacturers got in the swim”.

Today, bangles with six corners can be picked up even before the silently ticking wristwatch needles announce the lapse of two minutes. Are not even expensive.

“You can buy the bangles by pulling out just Rs 10 per piece from your handbag,” claims Raman. “The ones shaped out of wire are even cheaper. You can buy one by offering half the amount”. So girls, what are you waiting for?



Venus Speaks
Relax and look gorgeous

RELAX and look gorgeous — that's what ramp-model Jaspreet believes in for looking cool. Rushing from here to there throughout the day, walking in the sun and biting nails in anxiety while waiting for the job to be done can actually play havoc with your complexion, she chirps. "If you wanna look good, you have to learn the art of relaxing while at work," Jaspreet claims. "I have mastered it".

How? "Well, I have included meditation and yoga in my daily routine," she asserts. "Whatever little time I get in between my assignments, I repose on a sofa with my eyes closed. As for yoga — I do it every morning. This is not all. I go in for workout at least thrice a week".

That's exactly how Jaspreet manages to flash one of her charming smiles when everyone else around her is constantly cribbing about today's hectic world. So folks, don't crib, just relax.



Tip top
Don’t turn your back on great tresses

COLD winter weather can dull your lustrous locks. Result: You could end up with strands that feel, and look, like straws. Avoid it. Listen to the advise of hair-care experts. They will teach you the art of keeping tresses silky throughout the long cold winters. First of all, mix a tablespoon of glycerin with same quantity of olive oil, brown vinegar, castor oil, conditioner and shampoo. Apply the mask to pre-shampooed hair and leave on for 10 minutes. “Rinse well,” says beautician Radhika Verma. “See the difference”.

Ditch dryness. Shift to gels, pomades and creams. “Spray-on styling products available over the counter are good, but leave the hair dry specially during the winter season. Go in for gels and creams, even hair-wax. They add to the moisture content of your mane,” she suggests. “Hair will never appear rude again”.

Remember to use a good shampoo, or a mild soap. “A harsh shampoo or soap can cause a great deal of damage to your crowning glory,” claims another beautician Taruna Anand. “A mild shampoo, on the other hand, is a boon for your tresses”.

Afterwards apply a good conditioner. “A leave-in conditioner forms a coating on the hair preventing dirt and pollution from settling down,” Taruna asserts. It is a matter of preference, but short hair is easier to maintain and keep clean. “Go in for a neat trim if you are lazy about washing your hair regularly during the winters. However, if you prefer long hair, pin it up or tie it into a tight pony tail,” Taruna adds. “It looks graceful and hair do not get dirty that often, you can be sure of it”.

This is not all. Fashion designer Raghu is strictly against the business of bleaching or perming hair. “Bleached tresses look good as you walk down the city streets,” he asserts. “But it deprives your hair of moisture. It is a proven fact”.

Another thing. Apply flat beer before washing hair. “Not because you can sip beer as it rolls down your forehead, but because it can help to tone and condition your scalp,” Raghu maintains. “The solution is expensive, but worth the price you pay”.

Though frequent application of henna further dries your hair, occasional application helps in hiding loathsome silvery strands in habit of peeping from behind the dark curtain of tresses every now and then. Last word — Massage oil into the scalp and back of the neck before going off to sleep at night. Wash off in the morning for stronger, healthier hair.



Chillout Zone
Coffee with li’l extra fun

RICH aroma — rising out of freshly grounded coffee beans — allures you into opening the impressive glass door. Once inside the cafe in young Sector 11, you realise steaming cappuccino is not the only hot stuff that makes you sweat even in winters.

As the impressive overhead speakers boom latest bhangra numbers, exhilarated flappers, reposing on comfy chairs, shake wildy their reed-thin figures hardly covered in halter tops over long skirts with twin tantalising slits. Catchy lyrics escape their red luscious lips coated with translucent layer of wont-kiss-off lippers as they sing along with the crooner before stirring sugar in hot coffee possessing name they just cannot pronounce.

In good old days that will never come back, there was hardly any place for youngsters to sit and chat. Fast food joints would surface every now and then before disappearing into the recycle bin of memory.

That was years ago, before the cafe started offering coffee topped with some real nice fun. "The rates are not exactly reasonable," croons under-grad Reena. "But I still come here". The reason is not very hard to see. "Where else,” she asserts, “can you get delicious grilled sandwiches and sumptious iced cafe mocha blended with some real cool music". So folks, add cream to your life by blending fun with aromatic coffee.



Four vehicles stolen in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 12
During the past 24 hours the police has registered four cases of vehicle thefts from different parts of the city.

Mr Rajinder Singh Aulakh, a resident of Sector 21-C, reported that his Maruti car (PB62 1009) was stolen from a parking lot of the Punjab Mini Secretariat, Sector 9, here yesterday. Maruti car (CHK 7050) of Mr K.N. Gupta, a resident of Sector 20, was also stolen from a parking lot of Himachal Bhavan, Sector 28, yesterday. A Sector 32 resident, Mr Sanjiv Kumar, reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (DL3SR 0805) was stolen from his residence yesterday. Mr Surinder Singh of Badheri village reported that his Tata Sumo (PB11T 7435) was stolen on the night November 10 from his residence.

Held for gambling The police has arrested a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, Mohinder Kumar, on charge of gambling at a public place. He was booked under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

4 arrested
The police arrested four persons under the Excise Act from the jurisdiction of the Sector 36 Police Station on Monday. The accused, Satish, Des Raj, Barjinder Kumar and Lyaqat Ali, were allegedly consuming liquor at a public place.


2 arrested
The police has arrested two local residents namely Randhir Singh of Sector 19 and Nitin of Sector 12- A on charges of offering a bribe of Rs 10,000 to the Station House Officer of Sector 19 police station . They had offered him the bribe to secure the release of Naveen, who was arrested in a flesh trade case last evening.

It is learnt that Nitin approached Randhir Singh yesterday to secure his brother’s release. Randhir Singh demanded Rs 10,000 to be paid to the police and Rs 2,000 as his commission for striking the deal with the police.

The duo then went to the police station and offered the money to the SHO, Mr H.P.S. Walia. They have been arrested under different sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Cash and valuables worth thousands of rupees were stolen from the Sector 15 residence of Mr Ashwani Kumar on November 11. The theft was noticed in the morning. Mr Ashwani Kumar was away to Kaithal with his family when the theft took place.

The police has arrested four persons from different parts of the district on charges of speculation and gambling. A total of Rs 1,055 was recovered from them. While Mukesh Kumar and Ashok Kumar were arrested from Barwala, Devinder Kumar was arrested from Raipur Rani and , Subhash from a place near Surajpur.

Liquor seized
Ram Singh was arrested by the Raipur Rani police from the Pyarewala bus stand on Monday and 24 bottles of liquor were seized.



BSNL gears up to strengthen marketing network
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
After successfully launching its cellular services here yesterday, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL) is now gearing up to strengthen its marketing network. It has invited tenders from private parties to market its SIM cards and to provide support services to the customers. The dealers will be appointed by next week in Chandigarh and Punjab, said Mr Sanjay Aggarwal, Deputy General Manager, BSNL, here today.

He said that considering the overwhelming response of the public, the BSNL has decided to limit the number of connections released every day. He said: ‘‘ Against about 1000 connections released yesterday, 600 connections were released in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS.Nagar today. Once significant number of connections are released within one month, emphasis would be on improving customer-care services, through partnership with private parties. Like other private operators, the BSNL pre-paid SIM cards would be sold through dealers.’’

He added that a Call centre is being set up at Gurgaon to redress the complaints of the customers. The BSNL officials claim that unlike other networks, their subscribers would not listen the pre-recorded voice at the complaint centres, which would be manned by employees. These employees are being provided special training to interact with the public. As per the TRAI guidelines, the emphasis would be redressed at the complaints centres within specified time limit. All records in this regard would be closely monitored by senior officials of the department.

Mr R.C. Vaish, Principal, General Manager, BSNL, claims that the department was determined not to repeat its mistake, faced in the landline network. No credit or grace period for payment would be given to any subscriber. All billing accounts of the new service would be separately maintained by the separate branch.

He admitted that though a large number of landline subscribers were expected to shift to the cellular service, their securities would not be adjusted against the new connections. They would have to separately apply for the refund of the security. The department has made special provisions to refund their subscribers at the earliest, he added.


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