Wednesday, December 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Govt supports local colleges’ stand on PG courses
Intends to clear 4 for GCA; 2 for CCA
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
With the Government of India supporting the case of Government College of Art (GCA), Sector 10 and Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), Sector 12, the two reputed institutions of Northern India may well attain a postgraduate status from the academic session 2003-2004.

The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in its letter of intent issued to the Chairman of the GCA, has stated that it finds the proposal of introduction of masters in fine arts (Applied Art), MFA (sculpture), MFA (graphics — print making) and MFA (painting) viable from the coming academic session. In each of the four courses the council has recommended 10 seats, although GCA is more comfortable with seven in each stream. Out of 10 seats the council has recommended six in general category, two in sponsored and another two in SC/ST category.

In a similar letter of intent sent to the Chairman of the CCA, the council has supported the college’s case for introduction of two postgraduate courses — M.Arch (architectural conservation) and M.Arch (urban design) from the coming session.

While clarifying that it is willing to sanction the courses from the coming session, the government has also asked the GCA and the CCA to comply with certain specific conditions by March 31, 2003. After the required compliance the expert committee of the council will visit the respective institutions to verify the same. Thereafter the AICTE will recommend approval of postgraduate courses from the session 2003-2004. These conditions relate with appointment of faculty both at undergraduate and PG level, preparation of course structure, determination of teacher student-ratio, provision of library, computer studio, workshop, laboratory and built-up space for practical work.

The government’s letter of intent comes in the wake of details furnished by the respective colleges with regard to introduction of postgraduate courses. Along with these details, the colleges had also sent the observations of expert committees constituted for reviewing their infrastructural capacity with regard to PG courses.

Talking to the Tribune today, Principal, GCA, Prof Brahm Prakash, who sent the proposal on January 31 last year, said the college authorities would take up the issue of appointment of additional faculty with the UT Administration. Informing that the infrastructure needed for holding PG classes already existed in the college, he said the GCA would hopefully introduce four postgraduate courses from the coming session. He said that as required by the AICTE, the college had already prepared the syllabus and course details.


* Establish course committees for four courses in GCA; two in CCA; prepare syllabus.
* PU to establish boards of studies for each PG course under faculty of design and fine arts (for GCA) and faculty of architecture and planning (for CCA).
* Teacher-student ratio to be 1:5.
* The GCA to have one professor, two assistant professors, one lecturer; the CCA to have one professor and one assistant professor for each course.
* GCA to have 200 PG titles in library; CCA to have 100.
* Both colleges to have computer studio, workshop and laboratory.



Auctions put Rs 14.74 cr in UT’s kitty
Tribune News Service


* Plot location Auction price
* 2 kanal Sector 19 Rs 1.53 crore
* 15 marla Sector 37 Rs 39 lakh
* 10 marla Sector 38-A Rs 34.7 lakh
* 5 marla Sector 32 Rs 24 lakh
* Nursing home Sector 33-C Rs 1.05 crore

Chandigarh, December 17
The Chandigarh Administration netted Rs 14.74 crore by auctioning 33 freehold residential sites and four nursing-home sites. The collection was Rs 1.88 crore over the reserve price of these plots. This is a 14 per cent jump over the reserve price. The average overall price per square yard works out to be Rs 12,672. Last year, this was Rs 12,143. Last year, Rs 13.62 crore was collected by auctioning 41 freehold residential sites.

The Estate Office, auctioning authority, held back several of the plots due to a lack of bids. This included a nursing-home site as well. Nine one-kanal sites could not be auctioned due to a lack of good bids. Six of these sites are in Sector 38, three in Sector 40 and one in Sector 46.

In today’s auction, one of the highest bids (calculated on per square yard basis) was for a 5-marla (125 square yards) plot. A Sector 32-A plot in this segment was auctioned at Rs 24 lakh (Rs 19,200 per square yard). The reserve price of the plot was Rs 14.63 lakh. Last year, a plot in the locality was auctioned at about 23 lakh.

In the 10-marla (250 square yards) segment, the highest bid was for a Sector 38-A plot which was auctioned at Rs 34.7 lakh. Last year, the highest bid in this category was Rs 38.5 lakh. The prices had touched the Rs 40 lakh mark two years ago.

In demand were 15-marla plots and the highest bid in this segment was Rs 39 lakh. Last year, a site of the same size in Sector 37 was sold at Rs 40.1 lakh. The Rs 1 crore barrier was breached when a Rs 1.53 crore bid was made for a Sector 19-A 2-kanal plot. Last year, a Sector 33-B 2-kanal plot was sold at Rs 1.12 crore. The Sector 19 plot is bigger than the usual 2-kanal plot. This was the first ever auction for nursing-home sites. The sites were in Sectors 33, 44 and 46. A site held back is in Sector 40.


Successful auction cheers up HUDA
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
The successful auction of commercial sites in various sectors has brought cheer among the HUDA authorities, which had been bogged down by the successive lukewarm responses to its auction for the past two years. The auction of these commercial sites — booth sites, shop-cum-offices, showrooms, clinics and nursing homes in Sectors 5, 9, 11, 17 and 15 and in Mansa Devi complex yielded Rs 28.49 crore. The icing on the cake for HUDA proved to be the successful auction of a multiplex site in Sector 5 here, which fetched almost 50 per cent more of the reserve price. HUDA had kept the reserve price of the site at Rs 3.70 crore and the site (2925 sq. meter) was auctioned at Rs 5.55 crore).

None of the 19 commercial sites in the city’s proposed commercial centre in Sector 5 had failed to attract the bidders during the last auction of commercial sites. With HUDA, unwilling to bring down the reserve price of sites here, there have been few takers. But with the multiplex site now being auctioned, the authorities once again see a bright future for the commercial sites here.

As many 13 showroom sites in Sector 9 were sold off, with one of the showrooms fetching Rs 1.11 crore as compared to the reserve price of Rs 1.01 crore. Another boost up for the authorities proved to be the four booth sites in Sector 11 which had been placed at reserve price of Rs 9.75 lakh. One of these booth sites was sold at a bid of Rs 22 lakh.

The sites in Sector 11 — two showrooms — fetched a good price, with a marginal increase over the reserve price. Each of these showrooms was sold off for Rs 1.25 crore, with a reserve price of Rs 1.22 crore.

The malice of slum colonies near Sector 17, though largely failed to catch the attention towards the sites offered in Sector 17, but two nursing home sites were finally auctioned here. One clinic site in Sector 15 was also auctioned off.


Slow death for Punwire workers
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Over 3,500 employees of Punwire, once a leading company of Punjab, at SAS Nagar are helplessly watching the slow liquidation of the company. The process has been slow for the past about two-years-and-a-half, but the valuation report is yet to be submitted to the liquidator, Mr B.K. Srivastava. Officials associated with the process say that, at this pace, the sell-off cannot be completed even in the next one year.

The Punwire Employees Trade Union is fighting for justice, but, with no result. Workers say that the state government has failed to keep its promise of reviving the company. Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the MLA from Kharar, had won the election on this promise. Officials of the Department of Industry say that there is no revival proposal and the case is now with the official liquidator, appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The CBI is investigating the role of some officials of the company in the diversion of funds worth Rs 400 crore.

The office of the liquidator says that the valuation committee comprising two professors of the Indian Institute of Information Technology at Allahabad has almost finished its report which is likely to reach Mr Srivastava in the next few days. After the report reaches him, say officials, the liquidator will approach the court to seek permission for calling claims of the secured and unsecured creditors, before calling bids for the sale of the company. They said the DRDO had shown interest in buying the company, provided the sale was closed soon.

Officials say that, since the liquidator’s office doubts the “statement of affairs” of the company submitted by the Punjab State Industries Development Corporation (PSIDC), a valuation team has been appointed. They said Kohli Chartered Accountants and others had submitted a report, estimating reliable value of the company to be Rs 230 crore. It has also found that the company has to pay statuary funds, wages, loans and equity worth over Rs 600 crore. This includes payments to secured creditors like statuary wages and allowances of workers and loans taken from financial institutions, worth Rs 137.38 crore.

Officials said the value of the plant machinery, land and the other assets had been overestimated by the PSIDC team to delay the sale of the company. The insiders in the PSIDC and liquidator’s office said it would be a surprise if the sale of the company fetched even Rs 100 crore in the next one year. The company also has to pay Rs 211 crore to unsecured creditors, bills worth Rs 111 crore to various suppliers, equity worth Rs 11 crore and Rs 127 crore to debenture holders. Mr N.N. Sharma, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, has also submitted claims worth over Rs 15 crore, as statuary payments due to employees.


Implement Factory Act for brick-kilns: CITU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Labour Department, Punjab, has failed to implement the Factory Act in hundreds of brick kilns in the state. Consequently, their owners are neither paying statuary minimum wages to labourers nor depositing provident fund in the account, said Mr Chander Shekhar, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), here today.

He was addressing a state-level dharna of industrial workers, organised before the office of the Punjab Labour Commissioner. He lamented that despite persistent struggle by migrant labourers and trade unions in the state, the department had not implemented the labour laws.

Mr Mangat Ram Pasla, state vice-president of the CITU, alleged the Congress government in Punjab was trying to implement anti-people and anti-employees’ policies at the behest of the World Bank and the IMF.

He said the government had failed to check the rising unemployment and industrial and economic slow down in the state. He lamented that despite announcing the release of dearness allowance, the state government had not paid the amount to employees. An enquiry should be conducted against officials concerned for the delay in payment, he demanded.

Mr Natha Singh, state president of the CITU, alleged that instead taking punitive action against the violation of labour laws by employers, the Labour Department was protecting them. He said the Punjab government seemed to be in a hurry to dispense with various labour laws, even before the anti-worker recommendations of second national labour commission were placed and discussed in the Parliament. He demanded abolition of illegal contract labour system and its strict regulation, in addition to the construction of the Shahpur Kandi dam by the state government.

The speakers said the government should ensure direct payment of wages to ‘paledars’ in grain markets, godowns and regulation of safai workers in municipal committees, implementation of 1996 Act for construction workers, constitution of vigilance committees at the district level to supervise welfare of interstate migrant workers and abolition of bondage system.

Later, a delegation of the CITU met the Labour Commissioner and Director Employment, Mr Sanjay Kumar, submitted a memorandum to be handed over to the Punjab Chief Minister.


Voters seek better civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
Better civic amenities is the demand of voters of Ward No 17 (Industrial Area Phase I and a surrounding village) and Ward No. 18 (Sector 20 and two surrounding villages).

Voters of Ward No. 17, including Abheypur village and Ward No. 18, including Fatehpur and Bundi villages, think that the main issue for these elections will be proper maintenance of roads, removal of garbage and clean water supply.

These wards will see a three-cornered contest between candidates supported by the Indian National Lok Dal, the BJP and independents. Till now, two candidates from Ward No. 18 — Ms Anjala and Ms Asha have filed their nomination papers, while Ms Kusum Garg has announced her decision to contest the poll. Ms Seema Rani of Abheypur village has also jumped in the fray from Ward No. 17 and campaigning has begun in earnest.

A total of 6,388 voters (4,151 and 2,237 in Ward Nos. 17 and 18, respectively) will exercise their franchise to elect their representative to the Municipal Council. Both wards are reserved for women and politicking to field candidates has begun. Residents say that independents in these wards have a definite edge over the candidates supported by various political parties.

Most residents of these wards feel that civic amenities — better streetlighting, cleanliness and roads — are the main issues they would like to be redressed. A resident of Abheypur village, Mrs Sita Rani, (Ward No. 17), said the roads were in a pitiable condition and the condition got worse after each rain. “Another major problem is that of stray cattle and pigs. There is virtually no control over these,” she said.

Residents of Sector 20 (Ward No. 18) say garbage is hardly ever removed from the bins, roads are in a dilapidated condition, and the streetlighting has to be improved.


Citizens council to field Independents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
The Panchkula Citizens Welfare Council has decided to field Independent candidates for the forthcoming MC elections.

A decision to this effect was taken at a general-body meeting of the council held under the presidentship of Mr B.B. Verma. The council has decided to field candidates who can help in developing the township. The list of candidates to be fielded are:- Ms Kusum Lata Joshi ( Ward No. 2), Mr B.B. Kochchar (Ward No. 3), Mr Nem Prakash Chauhan (Ward No. 6), Mr Sunidh Kashyap (Ward No. 11), Mr Ram Niwas Mittal (Ward No. 16), Ms Seema Rani (Ward No. 17), Ms Kusum Garg (Ward No. 18) and Mr S.C. Chaddha (Ward No. 19).

Other candidates who have announced their candidature for the elections are Lt-Col Surjit Singh and Mr H.L. Ratta from Ward No. 27 (parts of Sector 1, 2 and Old Panchkula) and Mr B.B. Singhal from Ward No. 11. The latter is a BJP candidate.

Meanwhile, 12 persons today filed their nomination papers at the office of Returning Officer, Mr Inder Singh. These are Ms Urmil Dheer (Ward No. 4), Ms Sharda (Ward No. 22), Mr Praveen Kumar and Mr Rajesh (Ward No. 21), Mr Ram Niwas and Mr Krishan Kumar (Ward No. 16), Ms Saroj (Ward No. 5 ), Mr Vijay Kumar and Mr Baldev Kumar (Ward No. 6), Ms Anjala and Ms Asha (Ward No. 18) and Ms Geeta Rani (Ward No. 12). 


The district administration has announced the number of polling booths and voters in each ward
Ward  No. of polling stations

* Ward Nos 1, 15, 18, 20, 25, 27 and 31


* Ward Nos 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 13, 16, 22, 24, 26, and 28 

* Ward Nos 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21 and 30  4
* Ward No. 29 5
* Ward No. 7  6



INLD offers poll alliance with BJP
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
The Indian National Lok Dal has offered an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party for contesting the local municipal council elections scheduled for January 19.

The invitation came from Mr. Kanti Prakash Bhalla, former minister and convener of the election committee of the INLD, while speaking at a seminar on municipal council elections organised today. He said that both parties were allies at the Centre and they should ensure that only upright persons were elected to the council.

The BJP, through its spokesman, Mr C.B. Goyal, a candidate from Ward No. 4 (Sector 6), however, neither accepted nor rejected the offer and said that he would put forth the offer before the party high command. He said that the INLD should, however, not restrict this offer to words alone.

While the Haryana Vikas Party, through its district president, Mr K.P. Singh, said that they would support Independent candidates, the Congress maintained its opposition to the elections.

Mr R.S. Chauhan said that the Congress was against the constitution of the municipal council here as Panchkula had not been developed completely by the Haryana Urban Development Authority. He warned party office-bearers against contesting the elections as Independents and said that disciplinary action would be taken against those who contested the poll. He, however, said that the kin of party office-bearers were free to contest the elections.

A large number of residents, members of resident welfare associations and representatives of political parties participated in these deliberations. 


BJP’s list of candidates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
The Bharatiya Janata Party today released the second list of candidates to be fielded for the municipal council elections.

The candidates announced by the party are Ms Nirmal Gupta (Ward 2), Mr Jai Shankar (Ward 8), Mr K.L. Jarla (Ward 9), Mr Hari Narayan Jindal (Ward 13), Mr Daulat Ram Rana (Ward 14), Mr Yogesh Verma (Ward 15), Mr Ramesh Singh Bartwal (Ward 16), Ms Sita Rani (Ward 17), Mr S.C. Chaddha (Ward 19), Dr Satish Chakravarthy (Ward 20), Ms Meera Tandon (Ward 23), Mr Roshan Lal Singla (Ward 25) and Mr Surendra Kaushik (Ward 26).


Army Chief visits WC headquarters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen S. Padmanabhan, has been on a farewell visit to the Western Command headquarters, Chandi Mandir, since last evening. The low-key visit, where the media was kept at bay, did not have any social engagements listed for the General. The General, who retires on December 31 and was accompanied by his wife, returned to Delhi this evening.

He will be visiting the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur and the ARTAC in Shimla in the next few days. Last evening a dinner was hosted for him at the Command mess. In the morning the couple were on their own and today a lunch was hosted by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C), Western Command, Lieut- Gen S.S. Mehta. 


Thinking about past major cause of stress’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, December 17
Stress is a form of pain which comes from inside and tells you that something needs to be changed. This was stated by Sqd Ldr B.K. Ashok Gaba (retd) while addressing officers and jawans of two commando and one CRPF battalions at Sukh Shanti Bhavan of Brahama Kumaris in Phase VII here this evening.

Mr Gaba, who is serving as a manager at the headquarters of Brahama Kumaris in Mount Abu, was talking about stress management in the security forces. He said there were a number of factors that led to stress. Some of them were linked to one’s personal life and others to one’s workplace. Stress left some physical and mental marks on each individual.

A “person under stress often experiences a fast heart beat, stammers experiences headaches and chest pains. He even becomes rude, short-tempered, impatient and lazy,” he said.

He said according to a study conducted by Harvard University, stress in 70 to 75 per cent cases was because one kept thinking about the past. “Past is history and thinking about it would only lead to stress”, he added.

Mr Gaba said life could never be without stress. Some percentage of it had to be there but one should ignore the factors that led to unnecessary tension. He said there were four stress levels under which a person could work. When the stress was less than level one, it did not have any negative effect on the body. In fact, peak efficiency was obtained at this level. Laughter was the best antidote to stress. One should devote some time to onself out of the daily routine, he said.

Mr Gaba also talked about sleep management. He said there was a general opinion that eight to 10 hours of sleep was needed each day. Excessive sleep only led to lethargy. One can never sleep for so long at a stretch, he said.

“We sleep in cycles and the duration of each cycle is 90 to 120 minutes. Three cycles of sleep are enough to make a person feel fresh. The fourth cycle is only necessary for persons who were very tired,” he stated.


71 war victory: Indira, Manekshaw given credit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Ex-Servicemen Cell of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee here has attributed India’s victory in the 1971 war to the “valour of the forces, inspiration, determination and decisive leadership of Indira Gandhi and military leadership of Sam Manekshaw.”

A resolution to this effect was passed yesterday at a special meeting of ex-servicemen from the Union Territory on the occasion of Vijay Divas. It was presided over by the CTCC Ex-Servicemen Cell Chairman Major D. S. Sandhu (retd).

The meeting became a platform for the ex-servicemen to share their experiences about the war in which India had taken 92,000 soldiers of Pakistan as prisoners of war.

They observed a two-minute silence for those who laid down their lives for the country in the war.

The resolution reminded the young generation of the words of Field Marshal Manekshaw “Win or don’t come back.”

The ex-servicemen were informed that medical benefits had been extended to them by the Government Medical College and Hospital after the matter was discussed at the October 8 meeting of the advisory council.

It was also resolved that the pensionary disparities between civil and services’ personnel were condemnable and the cell would continue the fight for their removal.

The ex-servicemen also decided to meet more often to take up their issues in an organised manner. 


Burglary makes shopkeepers insecure
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, December 17
A sense of insecurity prevails among shopkeepers here following a burglary at a prominent department store on Sunday night.

Burglars had struck the well-secured Sital Stores in Phase 3BII and after breaking locks, took away cash and goods worth about Rs 1 lakh.

Shopkeepers in the market block where the department store is located held a meeting today to discuss measures to tighten security at their establishments.

Mr Brij Gaur, president of the Market Association of the block, said the streetlight system in the area was poor. He said on the night of the burglary, only one streetlight behind the store was functional, which was smashed by the burglars. He said complaints had been made several times earlier to the Municipal Council regarding the unsatisfactory system. Repairs were undertaken but soon the system failed again, he said.

Mr Gaur said police patrolling in the market area was inadequate. He suggested intensification of patrolling between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., when the likelihood of burglaries usually increased. He said the association planned to increase the number of chowkidars in the market.

Mr Devinder Singh, manager of Sital Stores, said even though the premises had been made secure, the burglars had been able to break in. “We are now thinking of using electronic security devices,” he said.

Mr Balbir Singh Somal, owner of a silk store in Phase 7, said after the crime in Phase 3BII, there was a scare among a number of shopkeepers. He said a welder had been called to his premises to strengthen possible entry points, particularly at the back of his shop.

Mr Somal said at times shopkeepers checked at night whether the chowkidars employed by them were doing their work.

Mr Kulwant Singh Chaudhry, president of the Phase 5 Traders Association and convener of the Mohali Beopar Mandal, said chowkidars or other guards in markets should be properly trained and armed. The training should be given by the police, he added. The SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, said the burglary was either the job of an insider or a person who had surveyed the area carefully or the gang which had earlier struck in Chandigarh. He said a meeting of shopkeepers would be held tomorrow at the Phase VIII police station to discuss the security of business establishments.

The SP said at earlier meetings, shopkeepers had been advised to employ chowkidars for the security of their establishments. Unfortunately, some shopkeepers were reluctant to give money to pay the salaries of the chowkidars. As such, certain markets did not have chowkidars, he added.


Police launches combing drive
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
Stung by the recent spate of burglaries, the UT police and the SAS Nagar police have decided to launch a combined combing operation and joint patrolling. The police will also be keeping check at various cinema halls during the night shows.

At a meeting held at the office of the SAS Nagar SP, Mr H.S. Bhullar, and attended by the DSP (South), Mr S.C. Sagar, SHOs of the southern police stations, Inspectors of the CIA and SAS Nagar police officials, it was also decided at the meeting that they will share information about criminals.

It has also been decided that the police from SAS Nagar will be allowed to visit crime spots in the city and vice versa. As per a press release issued by the UT police, Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, had taken the initiative for this joint meeting with an aim of prevention and detection of crime in the city and SAS Nagar. 


Phone problem
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Residents of the southern sectors encountered “a great difficulty” in contacting mobile-users late this evening from BSNL landlines. Much to their dismay, the problem which started at about 8 pm continued till about 11.30 pm. Earlier during the day, residents using cash cards for making STD calls also faced problems in getting connected to the access number.

The exact cause, according to sources in the telecom sector, was yet to be ascertained. The residents, meanwhile, complained that they kept on trying to get in touch with the mobile users for “hours together”, but were unsuccessful, forcing at least some of them to borrow mobile sets for making calls. The problem was worse in cases where the mobile-users were in hospitals.


Fire in fast food joint
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were gutted in a fire that broke out in a fast food joint in Sector 9 here last night.

According to information available, the fire broke out in the basement of the Himani fast food joint because of a short-circuit. The fire was noticed by two employees, Sanjay and Ajit, who were sleeping in the verandah. The duo alerted the Fire Brigade and immediately called up the owner of the joint, Mr Vinay Bhatia.

As many as two fire engines were pressed into service and it took over 30 minutes to extinguish the fire. Mr Bhatia said that six furnaces, five refrigerators, furniture, fans, two airconditioners, one computer and several other items were damaged.



Protecting the city’s tree treasure

I would like to share my concern over the way in which the horticulture wing of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation are functioning. Trees are the precious lungs of the City Beautiful, but they need to be pruned regularly so that they do not become serious traffic hazards.

The other day, I was riding my scooter down the dividing road between Sectors 36 and 37. At the inner intersection, when I turned towards the slip road leading to the Sector 36 market, I felt as if I was not on the road but on a corrugated surface that literally threw me off my scooter. The potholes and little pits are seen to be believed.

While trying to balance my two-wheeler, I almost hit a tree standing right in the middle of the road. Why can’t this tree be removed or transplanted elsewhere? In fact there are two of these on this road. The sense of road geometry of the engineering wing/Municipal Corporation seems to be very poor. Or is it a case of simple carelessness that the trees that come in the way of such slip roads are not visible to them? Or are they too lethargic to change the road alignment? These trees need to be uprooted to ensure safe driving.

Besides such careless planning, let me also draw the attention to the brutally mutilated trees on the road dividing Sectors 15 and 16. Why can’t pruning be done in a scientific, symmetrical and sensible manner to give the trees a shape, a beautiful canopy on top, rather than making them look like ghost-like figures or amputated stubs?

As a student, I studied environment. This and the eco-friendly syndrome that has got drilled in my psyche looking at the green Chandigarh, make me feel the pain when a tree is manhandled. Yet, for human safety some sacrifice has to be made of some trees and the same can be made up by planting at least 20 more. The very thought of merciless felling, chopping or trimming of these trees, particularly in the residential areas to make way for sunshine in the winter makes me sad.

I understand Delhi has an Act which forbids tree destruction. Anyone caught damaging a tree or a branch is fined up to Rs 10,000 and even sent to jail. Let the Chandigarh Administration enact a similar Act and protect its tree treasure trove. At the same time, it must also take care of avoiding slip roads or expansions where the removal of trees is difficult.

Many people believing in Vaastu do not plant trees of certain species. Chandigarh is the repository of species of trees that give a green cover to the city all the year around in all seasons. Yet, I feel sad to see hundreds of trees dying of termite. Chandigarh soil, as a whole, seems to be susceptible to termite. It is time to tackle this menace. Otherwise, it will lead to double damage, natural and man-made.

I am convinced that both the UT Horticulture wing and the Municipal Corporation need a lesson or two in “training” trees and giving them good looks.



Speed or slow post?

I would like to bring to the notice of the Chief Post Master General, Chandigarh, that it took a full seven days for a speed post packet to reach Dhenkanal, Orissa, from Chandigarh! Is this speed post or slow post?

I had sent the 80-gram packet (No. SP EE771325066IN) from the speed post counter in Chandigarh’s Sector 17 Post Office (Counter No.1, OP-Code:A) on December 7, 2002, at 10.38 a.m., to my sister, Ms Snehalata Swain, in Dhenkanal (via Bhubaneswar). She received the packet only on December 13, 2002, even though the postal staff at Chandigarh told me that it will take two days for the packet to reach Dhenkanal from Chandigarh.

I would like the Chief Post Master General to enlighten me the very significance and purpose of speed post if letters or packets take as many as seven days to reach their destination. As the packet reached the addressee late, will the authorities refund me the Speed Post money after due deduction of charges (as applicable for ordinary postal items)?



Traffic management

Research and new experiments are continuing in all spheres. And road traffic management is no exception. Full page advertisements highlighting the achievements of the government in various departments are released from time to time. However, the Police Department rarely educates people in the form of Do’s and Don’ts on road safety. The procedure for issuance of driving licences and passing of vehicles is known to all of us. Under the traffic culture prevalent in India, with scant respect for rules, repetition of traffic do’s and don’ts is necessary, but who will pay for this is the question.

The traffic police authorities need to educate Chandigarhians on various issues. Is overtaking from the left permissible in Chandigarh where no lane system is observed? In Delhi, it is allowed as lane discipline is very strictly adhered to. Secondly, why is driving only on parking lights for two-wheelers and above not enforced in Chandigarh, where very expensive flood lights have been installed? The driving on high beam and even low beam blinds the drivers coming from the opposite direction, which definitely invites accidents. In case of any legal hitch, this can be resolved by the legislature.

In Delhi, no vehicle is stopped by the traffic police but there is someone who jots down the particulars of the defaulters and sends notices to their addresses. This process has been working well. Delhi’s drivers are scared and cannot take the risk of violating the traffic rules. Why not adopt the same system in Chandigarh? In case the traffic police is short of staff, alternatives could be worked out. Senior retired and respectable officers of any discipline or of any state or UT, who may offer their services for this noble cause for some honorarium or otherwise could be utilised for this purpose.

For practical reasons, once this system is started by issuing one or two press notes, half of the job would be done within a week. No doubt the judiciary has to extend a helping hand in this process. It is hoped that the violators of traffic rules would pay for the expenses of the civilians engaged and for the police advertisements. These could even be sponsored by leading corporate houses.




Rs 80,000 stolen from scooter’s dickey
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
A resident of Sector 22 reported with the police that Rs 80,000 were stolen yesterday from dickey of his scooter which was parked in Sector 7 here. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.


The police has arrested Vinod Kumar of Sector 26 for eve teasing from Sector 28 here yesterday. He was booked under Section 294 of the IPC.

Cheating cases

A resident of Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, alleged that Satish Raman Nayar of Sector 22 based Sai Enterprises had taken Rs 3.30 lakh from him and two others for sending the three abroad. But Satish neither send them abroad nor returned the money. A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered.

The police has registered another case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC against Vishal Vashishat of Kishangarh village as he allegedly took Rs 70,000 from Mr Ram Dayal for providing job. However, he neither returned the amount nor provided the job to Ram Dayal.


Charas seized

Charas worth several thousands has been seized from a resident of Kundi village, near Zirakpur police picket. Gurdev Singh was arrested by the police late last night and 18 gm of charas was seized from him. A case under various Sections of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Liquor seized

As many as 50 pouches of illicit liquor have been seized from Yashpal of Bataur village near Ber Wala last night. The accused has been booked under various Sections of the Excise Act.

Two POs held

The police has arrested two proclaimed offenders-Narottam, wanted in a case of Arms Act, and Charanjeet alias Channi - wanted in a case of theft.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |