Monday, January 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Team proposes greener Sec 17
2 cycle parking lots suggested to ease congestion
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


* Deciduous trees like drek in piazza for shade in summer, sunlight in winters.
* Evergreen trees pilkhan and alstonia scholaris in parking for shade throughout year.
* Thin foliage flowering trees like java ki rani, kassod along shop fronts for shade without obstruction to the view of shops fronts.
* Chukrasia not proposed due to excessive plantation in the sector.
* Two cycle parking lots to ease traffic congestion.

Chandigarh, January 12
After undertaking the project involving a detailed study of the level and type of plantation in Sector 17 commercial area, the team of Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) has suggested further enhancement of green cover in the commercial sector. The team, comprising experts and five college students, has proposed the plantation of 325 trees in the sector, which already has a cover of 950 trees. Along with plantation, the experts have recommended the construction of two cycle parking lots to ease traffic congestion in the area.

This special project was assigned to the college by the former Adviser to UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, in September last year. The CCA team was required to document the existing trees in the city centre, their height, type, spread and characteristic; propose new trees in the area; recommend cycle parking lots, if needed.

For the first time in the history of the city, the UT Administration has engaged students for such a significant project. Handling the schedule were five final-year students — Ashima Thakur, Akancsha Sood, Ritesh Mehtas, Shivani and Tanya. Prof Rajnish Wattas, Principal, CCA, was landscape consultant to the project.

Professor Wattas informed Chandigarh Tribune that findings of the team had been nearly approved and the work of plantation and construction of parking lots was to start any time. The same would be undertaken by the Horticulture Department. Interestingly, right at the outset, the team found that many trees in the city centre were choking due to lack of water. The students and experts saved 350 trees that were dying after being choked due to concrete frames around them. Professor Wattas informed: “We were asked to design cutouts to open the trees and allow space for water flow. Along with the UT Horticulture Department, we managed to save 350 trees like that.”

Consequently, all trees in the sector were documented and the sector was divided into 12 piazzas. The study of each piazza was taken up separately and trees were suggested accordingly. The row in front of Neelam formed piazza 1. Since it has a wide pedestrian area, an addition of a grove of trees was suggested to enhance the green cover. Anand and Jagjit complex was earmarked as another piazza. Here more kusum trees were proposed as infills, along with makhan trees along shop fronts. Papri trees were suggested in the parking next to Gurdev, which is devoid of trees. For Kohinoor piazza, marked with an exposed expanse of concrete, the team proposed samunderful and baringtonia trees.

Two cycle parking lots have been proposed — one opposite Capital Book Shop. This lot has been worked out as a depressed parking with foliage all around to make it unobtrusive. Another lot has been proposed opposite Trendsmith.


23 dismissed secys held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
In a surprise move, the Chandigarh Police today swooped on the agitating members of the Association of Dismissed Panchayat Secretaries of Punjab and arrested at least 23 of them from Sector 17.

At the same time, a strong posse of police descended on the Sector 16 General Hospital to enable the hospital authorities to “forcibly” administered intravenous fluid to six fasting members of the association. These members had been got admitted to the hospital by the police after their condition had deteriorated.

To prevent other members of the association from gheraoing the General Hospital, over 100 cops led by the DSP (Central), Mr S.S. Randhawa, the DSP (South), Mr S.C. Sagar, and the station house officers (SHOs) of different police stations remained on the hospital premises for over two hours. All vehicles entering the hospital were checked.

When the police reached the hospital, the admitted panchayat secretaries locked the door of the general ward, located on the fourth floor. Before they were shifted to different wards and put on intravenous fluids, the door of the general ward had to be broken by the police. Sources in the hospital said one of the panchayat secretaries, Sikander Singh Dodla, tried to commit suicide by jumping from the fourth floor.

Earlier, two members of the association were prevented from committing suicide by jumping from the fourth floor of the hospital. It was then that the hospital authorities sought the help of the police in controlling the dismissed panchayat secretaries who were refusing to take food.

The police operation was conducted under the supervision of the Superintendent of Police (City), Mr Baldev Singh.

Sources said the tents pitched by the panchayat secretaries in Sector 17 were uprooted and their belongings were picked by the police. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) had refused to extend the permission to pitch their tents in Sector 17, said an official. All 23 persons were booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.

Till the filing of the report, leaders of the dismissed panchayat secretaries were trying to gather to plan their future strategy.

Over 100 cops remained stationed at the Sector 16 General Hospital for more than two hours to prevent members of the Association of Dismissed Panchayat Secretaries of Punjab from entering the hospital premises. The station house officer of the police stations in the south and central subdivisions, led by their DSPs were called to the hospital thereby affecting policing in their respective areas.


PEC students left in lurch
Different PU, CBSE criteria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Due to differences in eligibility criteria laid down by Panjab University (PU) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for writing the entrance examinations for admission to various engineering colleges the registration of first year students of the Punjab Engineering College and the Chandigarh College of Architecture is still pending.

Till the time students are registered, results of examinations undertaken by them cannot be declared by the university. The first semester examinations were held in these two colleges during December. The matter would be discussed during the PU’s Syndicate meeting.

As per the agenda the Syndicate is to “consider the admission of students made on the basis of entrance test conducted by the CBSE to Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Architecture courses in Punjab Engineering College and the Chandigarh College of Architecture for 2002-03”.

The entrance examinations for the 2002-03 academic year were conducted by the CBSE. In accordance with Central Government directives, admission to all engineering colleges in the country is to be done by the CBSE through the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination. Prior to this, the entrance examination were conducted by Panjab University through the common entrance tests (CET).

As per the eligibility criteria laid down by the PU for the erstwhile CETs, a candidate seeking admission in BE must have passed the qualifying examination with at least 50 per cent marks in aggregate in English, mathematics, physics and chemistry. The CBSE rules, on the other hand, do mention English among the subjects considered for working out the minimum qualifying marks.

As far as architecture is concerned, PU rules mandated a minimum aggregate of 55 per cent marks in the aforementioned four subjects, where as the eligibility put forward by CBSE is at least 50 per cent in aggregate in qualifying examination with mathematics as a compulsory subject.

A proposal to upgrade PEC to a deemed university is still pending. Since the proposal is yet to materialise and the college has not been disaffiliated by the university, the registration forms of students were submitted to Panjab University.


CIA cell set up near Dera Bassi
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, January 12
After a spate of robberies, burglaries and thefts, plus a murder in this border belt of the state, the Punjab Police has set up a CIA Staff Cell in Mubarikpur about 2 km from here.

In addition to this the police has intensified night patrolling and asked the villagers to conduct community policing (thikri pehras) for self defence. The police has also deployed two cops in each village to provide assistance to the villagers while on community policing.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, SSP, Patiala, said that community policing had been withdrawn in some villages in wake of groupism among villagers. Apart from this, some people were raising false claims of being robbed of valuables and cash taking advantage of the situation. The SSP revealed that the miscreants had struck at particular villages and colonies where the residents had withdrawn the thikri pehras and had not deployed any watch guard.

He claimed that street hawkers were acting as informers of these gangs of criminals. These hawkers used to keep a close watch on the houses they targeted.

The SSP said, “A vendor selling ‘papar’ in the area played the role of an informer for the gang of robbers that struck at the house of Mr V. S. Mishra in Hill View Colony in Dhakauli village and hacked his son Deepak to death in wee hours of January.”

The Patiala police authorities were in continuous touch with the police authorities of adjoining states and were keeping a close watch on every suspect. Police parties in khakhi as well as in civil dress had been sent to various hideouts of the suspects, said Mr Umranangal.

He said that over 50 suspects were being rounded up from villages everyday. The police had also rounded up 15 suspects from Bhagwas, Nagla, Saidpura, Sanauli, Rampur Sainian villages and surrounding areas.

The SSP claimed to burst an inter-state gang of robbers involved in a chain of robberies in this area.

Meanwhile, Mr Tajinder Singh, SHO Dera Bassi, held the residents of Devi Nagar village responsible for the chain of robberies last night.

He made it clear that he, along with the Deputy Superintendent of Police and an Inspector of CIA staff were on night patrolling on the same night. They even asked the villagers to conduct a thikri pehra which the villagers had withdrawn because of groupism among the villagers.


Sumo-scooter collision: none booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
In a case of road accident involving a Tata Sumo of the Haryana Government and a scooter in Sector 11 last night, the Chandigarh police has not registered any case. Two youths, Gopal and Ravinder, who were riding the scooter, were seriously injured.

The youths were hit by the Tata Sumo ( HR-03-B-7617) of a Haryana Government Department. Though the police claimed that the vehicle was being driven by the driver of the department, sources said a ward of a senior bureaucrat of Haryana was driving it and he fled from the spot after the mishap.

The two youths, who were discharged from the PGI today, run a shop in Sector 40. An Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer had rushed the two injured youths to the PGI. The bureaucrat lives in Sector 19. The police, however, claims that there was no eyewitness to the accident and it could not be ascertained as to who was driving the Tata Sumo.

Interestingly, it was the vehicle of a senior Chandigarh Traffic Police officer, which took the relatives of the victims to the PGI. The bureaucrat is related to a senior official of the Chandigarh police. The sources said efforts were on to bring a compromise between the two parties.


Sunshine brings cheer

Chandigarh, January 12
The piercing cold wave today continued to prevail in Punjab and Haryana for the 12th consecutive day, with Hisar being the coldest place at the minimum temperature of 2.8°C.

The night temperatures remained two to three degrees below normal in the northwest plains.

Even though the bright sunshine for a few hours this afternoon brought some respite to the people in the city and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana — where the maximum temperature rose to 4.8°C above normal — the day temperatures in the northwest region were still far below normal, the weather office here said.

It was three degrees below normal at Ambala (4.2°C) and Delhi (3.7°C), while two degrees below normal was recorded in Chandigarh (5.4°C), Ludhiana (4.0°C) and Patiala (4.5°C).

The Haryana Government today extended the closure of schools till January 17, while schools in Punjab and Chandigarh have already announced closure due to the prevailing cold-wave conditions.

The foggy conditions prevailed during the night in several parts of Punjab and Haryana.

In Himachal Pradesh, Shimla recorded 3.6°C, two degrees above normal. Sundernagar recorded minus 0.9°C and Bhunter minus 0.5°C.

Srinagar recorded minus 3.0°C, a degree below normal, while it was three degrees below normal in Jammu (4.5°C).

According to the weather forecast, light to moderate rain or snow is likely to occur at isolated places in higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh during the next 24 hours.

The fog would continue to prevail during nights and early mornings for the next 48 hours in Punjab and Haryana, with changes in day temperatures, the weather office said. UNI


Day temperature goes up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Fog continued to affect flights and arrival and departure of trains and buses. Sun brightened during the day, but the effect of cold was intensified due to the lifting of fog and accompanying winds.

The day temperature in the city rose to 12.8°C while the night temperature went up to 5.4 °C.

Ambala recorded a minimum temperature of 4.2°C, Ludhiana 4°C and Patiala 4.5°C.

However, Lohri celebrations remained unaffected with festivities going on in the city since yesterday.


Cold claims life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The chilling weather is suspected to have claimed its third victim in the city with the police recovering the body of an unidentified beggar in Sector 17 here today.

The police said the person was found dead in his sleep with apparent signs of having been shivering in the night. The body has been sent to Sector 16 hospital for post mortem.



As the cold wave intensified and Chandigarh became the coldest city in the region, the issue of closing the schools was taken up at last in the city. Delhi was the first state to shut down schools followed by Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh was the last as on Saturday the Administration announced the closure of all schools till Thursday morning. Parents heaved a sigh of relief as children had been shivering in extreme cold conditions waiting for school buses to pick them up as early as 6:30 a.m.

Right from Friday morning The Tribune was flooded with calls from parents asking when the schools are closing and also asking if colleges have been closed. Well, college-going people are young adults and can take care of themselves, while school-going children can do no such thing, was the reason for closing only the schools.

Bang on target

In the recently concluded National Shooting championship, shooters from all across the country, including India’s medal winning marksmen were surprised when Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) shot a bull’s eye from 50 yards using a .22 gun. At 80 years of age the former Army man startled everyone. The shooters were surprised at the stability and accuracy of the shot despite his age. The General had gone to inaugurate the championship and shooting would hardly be the sport that any dignitary would like to give an inaugural shot for. Not to be deterred the General picked up a gun and shot the first one on bull’s eye. His staff and security personnel were not surprised, but were amazed, as their boss is known to do things differently.

New Adviser

The appointment of Mr Virender Singh as the new Adviser to the UT Administrator generated a lot of interest in the city.

First, was his sudden appointment as Adviser which is like the post of Chief Secretary of a state. Then, in an unprecedented move, he joined his duties from Delhi. There he attended a conference on Information Technology along with the Administrator. He arrived here in Chandigarh on Friday night to take over his new job.

Talking to mediapersons on his arrival, he said: “Give me some time to settle down”. As he arrived, the entire Chandigarh Administration led by the Home Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, was at the UT guest house in Sector 6 to receive the Adviser.

The 1969 batch UT cadre IAS officer replaces Ms Neeru Nanda, a 1971 batch UT cadre officer.

Mr Virender Singh is the first male appointee to the post after two women Advisers. Before Ms Nanda, Ms Vineeta Rai had held the top post. Thus, in the past one month the IG — the top post in the police in Chandigarh — the SSP and the Adviser have been replaced. The Deputy Commissioner will go back to his parent cadre of Haryana in March.


Last week after the publication of an item “Met observatory” in these columns several people made inquiries as to whether such an observatory exists in Chandigarh.

Chandigarh has no observatory. The local meteorological centre of the Government of India, gets this data from the local Air Force station daily.

Realising the importance of this data both in health, agriculture, environment and to create awareness among students about nature, the Technical Teachers Training Institute (TTTI) in collaboration with the Environmental Society of India (ESI) is in the process of developing the observatory.

A 36-foot-high mast, with meteorological instruments at the top, has been installed in between the Nature Park and hostels of the TTTI, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

Sunder Mundriye ho......”

The Federation of Migrant Groups from North-West India, now Pakistan, has been celebrating the Lohri festival for the past several years behind the Karuna Sadan building, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh. The federation commemorates the Sakhi Lutera, Dulla Bhatti of Hafizabad in Gujranwala district (West Punjab), who was very generous to the poor.

According to a legend, Mughal Emperor Akbar during his visit to this area saw a pretty Brahmin girl and wanted to take her to his harem in Fatehpur Sikri. The girl cried and talked to her parents who approached Dulla Bhatti. Greatly upset , Dulla Bhatti arranged the marriage of this girl according to the wishes of the parents on the same Lohri day. The Mughal army tried to catch Dulla Bhatti, but he disappeared.

In appreciation of his noble deed, a poet wrote the verse “Sundar Mundriye ho.......”

Camels’ anniversary

The Indian Air Force’s No.48 Squadron, popularly known as Camels, will be celebrating its 43rd anniversary in February in Chandigarh. To make the celebrations complete, it is also inviting all ex-48 squadron officers, who have retired and settled elsewhere. All former officers keen to join in the celebrations have been requested to intimate their particulars to Wing Commander Uday Singh at 0172-651248.

The squadron, which was raised at Srinagar on February 5, 1960, is at present equipped with the AN-32, the workhorse of the IAF’s transport fleet and remains a key link to forward Army posts in high altitude areas of the northern sector, particularly during the winters when land routes are cut off.

— Sentinel


Hectic campaigning by candidates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 12
Today being the last Sunday before the elections to the municipal council are held on January 19, the candidates decided to leave no stone unturned for campaigning.

A number of candidates released their election manifestoes. Election meetings and door-to-door campaigning was intensified. Ms Saroj, an independent candidate from ward No 5, released her election manifesto and promised to get various parks in the sector developed on the pattern of parks in London and New York — with separate facilities for children and senior citizens — maintenance of roads, pollution-free environment, no new taxes and generating income developing community centres and nurseries.

Mr S.R. Mongia, an independent candidate from ward No 13, had been associated with various social organisations, promised better civic amenities, abolition of fire tax, rationalisation of house tax and setting up of a government dispensary in the ward.

Lala Ram Niwas Mittal, supported by the Haryana Vikas Party in ward No. 16, also released his election manifesto. He has promised better roads, drainage, power supply, rationalisation of taxes and errection of a boundary wall on both sides of the railway line passing through the sector as security.

Ms Kusum Gupta, an independent candidate from ward No. 5, also released her election manifesto. She promised rationalisation of taxes, removing encroachments by ‘jhuggi’ dwellers, finding solution stray cattle and congress grass menace. She said she had completed her door-to-door campaigning twice and was getting a positive response.

Mr B.B. Kochchar, an ex-serviceman and independent candidate from ward No. 3 visited a number of houses in Sector 7, seeking votes. He is also the president of the Market Association of Sector 7. Later, a car rally was organised in his favour by his supporters. He has promised to make his ward a model ward by providing better sanitation, roads, street lighting etc.

Ms Harjit Kaur, a former Principal of Government College, Kalka, and Government College, Barwala, and candidate from ward No. 5, has assured voters of the area to get a community centre constructed there besides promising better roads, foot paths, proper drainage system and development of a dispensary and market.

Brigadier R.S. Sharma (retd), a candidate from ward No. 6, said he had visited a large number of houses in Sector 17 and was getting a positive response from people. He is the president of the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 17, and Federation of Welfare Associations of Panchkula. He has assured residents to get the seasonal rivulet passing through the ward covered, getting a community centre constructed, a police post and government dispensary, proper maintenance of parks and developing the space between Sector 17 and Rajiv Colony as a greenbelt.

Dr Satinder Kumar Chabbra, a candidate from ward No. 3, said he had intensified his door-to-door campaigning. He has been the president of the Residents Welfare Society, Sector 7, for the past 15 years. He has promised uninterrupted supply of water and electricity, proper maintenance and lighting of parks, regulated flow of traffic and more parking facilities in Sector 7 market, besides developing the market as an ideal shopping centre.

Mr Jagjit Soi, an INLD supported candidate from ward No. 25, released his election manifesto and has promised to make his ward the most developed ward by improving sanitation, street lighting, garbage disposal and realigning and beautification of the nullah passing through the ward.

The election manifesto of Dr Satish Chakravarty, a BJP candidate from ward No. 20, promised better roads, sanitation, rationalisation of house tax and abolition of fire tax.


Sun shines on campaigning
Candidates hold meetings, rallies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 12
With the Sun god finally relenting today, car rallies and processions marked the campaigning of most candidates. A large number of rallies were taken out in various wards, which saw a huge voter turnout, showing the interest of the voters in the first ever Municipal Council elections scheduled for January 19.

A large number of people had turned up for the election meeting called by Mr Randhir Malik, INLD president (Urban) and candidate from Ward No 13. More than 200 persons had turned up here to listen to several INLD stalwarts from the region asking for voters’ support in favour of Mr Malik. Mr Malik Chand Gambhir, MLA from Yamunanagar, Mr Diwan Pawan Sahni, MLA from Naraingarh, former minister, Mr Kanti Prakash Bhalla and the district president of INLD, Mr Ram Gopal Mehta, addressed the residents and asked them to make the right choice while electing Councillors.

In Ward No 26, a public meeting was organised to honour Ms Seema Chaudhary. She was honoured by a number of residents. Mr Jagpal Chaudhary, former minister, too, sought votes in her favour.

Similarly, a huge procession was taken out in Ward No 12 (Sectors 10 and 15) by supporters of Mr Naresh Rawal. He was also assured support of EWS Association and traders organisations. In Ward No 4, a car rally was organised in various parts of the sector by supporters of Ms Kiranjeet. Another election meeting was organised in Ward No 9, in favour of Mr. Sanjeev (Shally), an Independent candidate. The meeting was well attended and was addressed among others by Mr Surinder Singh, Senior Deputy Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and Mr Raj Nagpal, a senior Congress leader from Chandigarh.

Mr Anil Pangotra, a former secretary of Block Congress Committee and candidate from Ward No 14, today released his election manifesto in a well attended gathering. A rally was later organised in Sector 15 by his supporters. In Mansa Devi Complex, a rally was organised in Swastik Vihar , MDC Sector 5 and Gandhi Colony by supporters of Ms Renuka Rai Walia, a candidate from Ward No 2. An election meeting was also organised by Mr S.S. Goel, an Independent candidate from Ward No 9 and Lohri was celebrated in the evening by his supporters. A procession was also organised in favour of Mr Pradeep Sharma, an Independent candidate from Ward No 19. An election meeting was also held in Ward No 27 by Lieut Col. Surjit Singh in Old Panchkula.

Mr Pawan Mittal, an Independent candidate from Ward No 27, today held an election rally. More than 100 cars went from Sector 2 to Gurukul. Later, Mr Mittal, along with his supporters, went from door-to-door seeking votes. Mr. Ajay Goel, INLD supported candidate from Ward No 3, also organised a car rally in Sector 7.

The candidates of BJP, too, intensified their campaigning. Mr Davinder Dhawan, from Ward No 21 was today extended support by various religious organisations in the sector. In Ward 9, Ms Rekha Sharma, has been extended support of House Owners Welfare Association of Sector 9. She covered over 200 houses in her ward during her door-to-door campaigning. Another public meeting was held in favour of BJP candidate from Ward No 11, Mr B.B. Singhal.

Nukkad meetings were organised in favour of BJP candidate from Ward 26, Mr Surinder Kaushik, Mr Ramesh Singh from Ward 16, Ms Tara Devi in Ward No 30, and Mr Hari Narayan Jindal from Ward No 13.


Quit drugs now, forget deadlines
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
You do not have to wait for an occasion like New Year Day or your birthday to make a resolution to give up drugs. Rather than waiting for a special date to give up the addiction, it is your will power at any given moment which can help you overcome the problem.

This is precisely what Mohit (name changed), discovered when, failing to give up drugs on his girlfriend’s birthday on December 29, he extended the deadline to New Year Day, and finally he postponed it till his own birthday on January 3, failing every time.” It was finally on January 5, that I decided to take my son to a de-addiction centre as he slipped into depression and I felt he was desperately in need of help,” said Mohit’s father.

Vikas, who runs a helpline (0172-874554), says extending the deadline to kick off drugs does not help at all as during the first week of the year itself, at least four youths who could not stick to their New Year resolution had approached him. “This is not the first time that they decided to give up drugs as every New Year they make the resolution, only to break it within days,” he adds.

“I had made up my mind to give up drugs on my girlfriend’s birthday, as I was confident that the strength of her love would help me overcome it. Even that did not work,” says Mohit. Seeing him still deep into drugs, she left him, but even that did not deter him from taking drugs.

Citing another example, Vikas says the addiction makes the craving for drugs so strong that nothing can stop an addict and all his resolutions are broken, within no time. “A boy who chopped off both his hands under a speeding train out of sheer frustration so that he would stop taking drugs, only discovered that he started begging, making more than enough for his daily quota of drugs,” reveals Vikas.

On the other hand, Dr Anil Malhotra, Additional Professor, Psychiatry, PGI, says even if an addict fails to stick to his resolution, it should be taken as a positive sign as it indicates his willingness to give up the habit. “Being a motivational statement, this is the time when an addict needs an anchor who can guide and assist him in getting rid of the addiction,” he opines.

Dr Malhotra says he has often seen that people who are into drugs keep making promises to themselves, failing to stick to it most of the time. “Setting deadlines is just a means to gain time and continue with the addiction longer. It is at this stage that their family, friends and relatives can help him,” he reasons.

The large number of addicts who come for help to the drug de-addiction centre at the PGI initially find it difficult to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, but with help they progress well, point out doctors. In such cases, psychotherapy works wonders, as a piece of advice from a fellow addict has more effect than doctors assurance. 


Mangatrai was bright, straightforward
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Mr E.N. Mangatrai, who died on Friday at Dehra Dun at the ripe old age of 88, was among a handful of ICS officers who had had the privilege of serving the state as Chief Secretary under the legendary Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Partap Singh Kairon.

Mr Mangatrai was known to be a very bright, straightforward and independent officer. Born on March 30, 1915, at Abbotabad in NWFP now in Pakistan, he had a brilliant academic career and made it to the ICS in the very first attempt. He was inducted into the ICS on September 10, 1938. Incidentally, Mr Mangatrai formed part of the biggest ever batch of ICS officers to join service under the British.

His first posting was as SDM, Murree, now in Pakistan, in which capacity he served for two years, beginning 1940. He was appointed as Director of Food Purchase and Deputy Secretary, Punjab, on March 6, 1942, in which capacity he served for four years till the end of World War II. His work was appreciated by the then British Governor of Punjab, Sir James Glancy.

After India became independent, Mr Mangatrai served the state in different capacities before becoming Chief Secretary (1958-60). He then went to the Centre where he served as Petroleum Secretary. He took premature retirement.

Mr Mangatrai married twice. His first marriage was to Mrs Champa Mangatrai who was a lecturer of English at the Government College for Girls, Sector 11. The couple divorced, but Mrs Champa Mangatrai continued to retain her former husband’s name. She died here a few years ago. He later married Mrs Nayantara Sehgal, youngest daughter of Vijaya-lakshmi Pandit, sister of Jawaharlal Nehru.

The two other ICS officers who served as Chief Secretaries under Mr Kairon were Mr Nakul Sen, father of Mrs Ambika Soni, now a prominent Congress leader, and Mr Gian Singh Kahlon, father-in-law of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who died last month.


Special programme to promote blind panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The National Federation for the Blind organised a special programme here today to promote the multi-Level marketing (MLM) of the organisation to make it more popular among the masses.

A seminar, a medical check-up camp and an awareness campaign were carried out on the occasion. Dr H.S. Gandhi, president of the Social Workers Association connected with the federation, while addressing a press conference said that several changes had been introduced to the awareness campaign to make the move more attractive. Membership assured a medical compensation upto Rs 1 lakh in the case of an accident; there was exemption from income tax under Section 80G, besides free legal service.

Mr R.C. Gupta, chief executive to the special programme, said the thrust areas of the federation were social justice, education and employment to the blind. However, the drive had opened membership to all which wanted to aid the disabled and also make certain gains. The special drive had enrolled more than 20,000 members during the past one year.

Each one is expected to make a minimum contribution of Rs 5500 to become a member. Raising money for self-sustainability and promotion of development activities were the chief reasons for the federation to start money raising programmes. The government was already pulling back its hands at supporting such organisations.

Also present on the occasion were Mr Sunil Tomar, general secretary of the welfare organisation and Mr B.S.Kataria, vice-president of the north zoneunits.


Groundnut, ‘gachak’ prices soar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Thanks to the chill as also the approaching Lohri festival, the vendors of groundnut, “gachak”, revri and other products related to Lohri had a field day. While the prices of all these products touched the maximum outside the grain market, even the sellers inside the grain market were quite satisfied with the sales.

Groundnut was available at Rs 2,250 per quintal to Rs 3,300 per quintal in the wholesale market. The price in the retail market, however, was Rs 28 per kg. Ordinary “revri” was sold at Rs 22.50 to Rs 60 in the wholesale market, while the rate of better quality “revri” in the retail market was Rs 30 to 34 per kg.

“Gachak” prices also shot up as compared to the last few days. “Til gachak” was available for Rs 20 to Rs 44 per kg, while groundnut “gachak” was sold at Rs 28 to Rs 42 per kg. The most expensive in this lot was khasta gachak which was sold at Rs 40 to 48 per kg. Out of all the products used during the festival, the prices of “til bugha” were the maximum all day round. It was sold for Rs 70 to 80 per kg. 


PGI dept adopts Indira Colony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The 20,000 odd residents of Indira Colony can now hope for better civic and medical facilities, with the PGI's Community Medicine Department adopting the area for implementation of a health programme, which can help it in developing future strategies.

The UT Administration, on its part, has granted permission to the PGI for adopting the area for implementation of the health programme. The programme will especially focus on the health of mother and child apart from other common diseases, which afflict a large section of the population residing here.

"Our request to the UT Administration for handing over an area with a population of about 20,000 for a health programme has been accepted and though the programme is yet to be launched formally, our doctors are already on the job in the area," remarked Dr Rajesh Kumar, Head of the Community Medicine Department at the PGI. He informed that the civil dispensary functioning in Indira Colony would now be run by the doctors from the Community Medicine Department.

"Our focus areas during the programme would include treating patients with tuberculosis, leprosy, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria and other vector borne diseases," he informed. Apart from providing training to the resident doctors, this would assist the Community Medicine Department in identifying health problems, which will prove to be handy in developing future strategies, he added.

The adoption of the Indira Colony for implementation of the Health programme would provide an excellent opportunity to the resident doctors for training, research and field work so that they could function as Public Health Specialists, which would be in the larger interest of the community. In fact, the UT Administration had already made mention of the Indira Colony being adopted by Community Medicine Department in its gazette.

Under the programme the Community Medicine Department would link up with the nine Aanganwaris, being run in Indira Colony. One of the core areas would be the health of the mother and child, including ante-natal and pre-natal care. "It has been found that a large section of women in the area, as is the case all over the country, are anaemic," said Dr Rajesh Kumar.

The Child Immunisation Programme, for children below five years of age would also be taken care by the doctors from the Community Medicine Department.

Apart from the health aspect, the PGI doctors had also included environment as a core area. Monitoring stations would be set up at a number of places in Indira Colony so that the level of air pollution could be measured. Providing clean and safe drinking water to the residents of the area would figure as one of the priority areas, for which the doctors would keep in touch with the Municipal Council.

Though the resident doctors from the PGI were already on the job in Indira Colony, the health project was likely to be formally launched from tomorrow.


Move to amend ICFA constitution
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 12
‘‘India still has a long way to go when it comes to achievements in sports.’’ Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Sports, Punjab, said at the concluding day of the All-India, India-China Friendship Association (ICFA) meet held at Paragon Sr. Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, here today.

Mr Kang stated that he was surprised at the miraculous pace with which China as a nation had progressed over the past one dacade. Relating some of his experiences during his visit to the country a month back, Mr Kang said that India could learn a lot from the nation and the way they have changed for the better.

A large number of resolutions regarding the ICFA were passed on the occasion by the members of the executive. These included an amendment to the constitution of the ICFA. It was decided to present the proposed amendment in the next conference of the association.

Earlier, the president of the Punjab chapter of the ICFA, Mr Jivan Tewari, had welcomed the guests and Mr B.S. Shergill, general secretary of the association, proposed a vote of thanks.


Discussion on Indian culture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Recognition and institutional support to many cultural groups, acceptance of internality of each one, their individuality, equality and promotion of cultural tolerance will be able to preserve cultural pluralism in the country.

Prof S. L. Sharma, who retired from the Panjab University, proposed these points for consideration at an open discussion on “Re-visioning Indian cultural pluralism” at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhavan here today.

Dr Sudhir Kumar, K.K. Birla Fellow, Panjab University, asserted the Indian culture was pluralistic and tolerant saying Western materialistic notion of culture and civilisation conflicted with the Indian view of culture as spiritual development.

Prof Ramakant Angirus said the Vedic culture was always heterogenous and plural and even in the Lok Parampara the acceptance of the other was the practice.

Mr Onkar Chand, chairman of the Servants of the People Society, urged the people to understand nuances of communal tension in depth.

Prof P.P. Arya, convener of Janshakti, expressed concern over the communal divide in the country and wanted countrymen’s attention on socio-economic development forgetting caste, communal and regional fissures.

Mr Sarwan Singh, Mr Kasturi Lal Garg, Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd.), Dr M.L. Sharma, Mr J.S. Ahuja and Professor Romesh Pandey also participated in the discussion.


Admn turns blind eye to plight of contract workers
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, January 12
Udit Narain had migrated to Chandigarh from his native place in Uttar Pradesh in search of a better future. And when he was hired as a gardener under the Department of Social Welfare on contract basis, he thought he was on his way to reach his goal. But even after seven years, Udit is no better off — for he is still working for meagre Rs 2,500 and managing a family of six with the income.

Same is the story of Sheela, a cleaner at the Senior Citizen's Home in Sector 43, and many others who are working on contract at various departments of the Chandigarh Administration. “The conditions of the five temporary workers working in the Senior Citizen's Home is just the tip of the iceberg,” said a source from the Social Welfare Department. “There are hundreds of people who have been working for such less money year after year, some of whom have been working for the past 10 to 12 years,” the source added.

So when the Department of Personnel had circulated a letter directing the head of various departments to enhance the salary of those appointed on whole-time contract basis in the Union Territory offices, it had raised the hopes of many but once again the order was quashed after six months of wait.

The letter signed by the Joint Secretary Personnel, Mr Ashok Sangwan, on July 24, 2002 had stated: “For contractual appointments against vacant posts, the consolidated contractual amount may, henceforth, be paid after calculating the minimum of the pay scale plus Dearness Allowance as admissible to the regular employee at the time appointment against the vacant posts”. Around six months have lapsed since the issuance of the letter but no concrete step has been taken by the departments to implement the directives.

“We have been submitting applications with the Director of the Social Welfare Department time and again but nothing has been done so far,” said one of the employees of the home. “If we pressurise them, they just show us the door,” he added. “When I joined in 1997, I was paid Rs 1,500. It was later increased to Rs 1,800 and from 1998 onwards there has been no increase in my salary,” added Udit Narayan.

“This is nothing but exploitation of the poor,” said another source in the department. “The Social Welfare Department should have been the first to do something to uplift the status of its employees,” the source added.

The Director of the Social Welfare Department, Chandigarh Administration, Mr Gurdeep Singh, when contacted denied having any knowledge of any move being made to increase the salary. “I have just joined the department and I have yet to learn about the order and what necessary action has been taken regarding the matter,” he said.

Mr Ashok Sangwan who was the signatory of the order also denied of having any knowledge of the current status of the issue. “We had issued the order but it is up to the head of various departments to implement it,” he told Chandigarh Tribune.


Power supply disconnected
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 12
The Punjab State Electricity Board has disconnected four power connections to the Health and Family Welfare Department due to non-payment of bills amounting to about Rs 2 lakh. Similarly, the connection to Panchayati Raj was also disconnected due to non-payment of bills amounting to Rs 12,000.


Meet-the-Press programme

Dr Satya Narain Jatiya, Union Minister for Social Justice, will address a ''Meet-the-Press'' programme at the Chandigarh Press Club here tomorrow at 10.30 am. Only regular and candidate members of the club can participate in the programme. TNS


2 arrested in assault case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
A case of assault, an attempt to rape and four cases of theft have been reported during the past 24 hours in the city.

Assault: The police has arrested Mahavir, alias Bablu and Rajesh Kumar of Colony No. 5 on the charges of assaulting Rajesh Kumar of the same colony.

The accused stabbed the victim late last night in the colony. The injured was rushed to the GMCH, Sector 32. He is said to be out of danger. A case under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC was registered against the accused in the Sector 34 police station. Immediate reasons for the assault were not yet known.

Attempt to rape: A case under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC on the charge of attempt to rape was registered against Simpy, alias Dara, a resident of a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, in the Sector 26 police station last night on the complaint of a woman resident of Madrasi Colony.

She complained that the accused had attempted to rape her last night when she had gone to the nearby jungle area. The police raided various places and arrested him late last night from near his residence.

Theft cases: A Maruti car (CH-01-T-1744) belonging to Jaswant Singh, a resident of 3614, Sector 44, was stolen from his residence last night. A case of theft has been registered.

One gold ring and a chain, four pairs of shoes and Rs 5,500 were stolen from 45, Sector 10, last night. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC was registered on the complaint of Jaswant Malik.

Ritesh Verma, a resident of 638, Sector 11, has reported that some one has stolen Rs 20,000 from his car by breaking the window glass last night. The car was parked at his residence. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Twentyfour taps were stolen from Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, last night. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Naresh Kumar, peon-cum-watchman of the school.


Pig theft: The police has arrested Som Pal and Dharmveer from Sector 2 on the charge of stealing pigs belonging to Suresh Kumar. Another person, Joginder Singh, has been arrested for stealing a bicycle.

Gambling: The police has arrested Joginder Kumar and Shyam Sunder on the charge of gambling at a public place in separate incidents and seized Rs 924 from them.

Liquor seized: The police arrested Hukum Chand from Gari Kotahan village and seized 18 bottles of illicit liquor from him.

Arrested: Rajindra Singh was arrested on the charge of hunting a wild boar in the forest area near HMT, Pinjore. He has been booked under Section 429 of the IPC.


Culture of wine tasting comes to city
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Chandigarh’s high society couple Anu and Yash Saboo introduced the culture of wine tasting at a select gathering here last evening. Celebrating the opening of Ethos, a watch store in Sector 8-C, the Saboos had Mr Subhash Arora, president of the Delhi Wine Club, extolling the nuances of wine drinking.

As the minutes ticked by in the exclusive collection of Swiss watches adorning the well-lit, the bartender poured the vintage heady liquid into the crystal ware. Complemented with authentic Swiss cheese fondue, the red and white wine flowed in light, medium and strong forms.

Mr Yash Saboo mooted the idea of floating Chandigarh Wine Club for wine lovers to assess and compare the products from the barrels of vineyards in Europe, and South Africa.

The deep red Dourthe AOC Saint-Emilion wine from Bordeaux made a full-bodied attack in the mouth with its fruity and floral flavour.

The Australian Coonawarra, Shiraz featured rich berry fruit character layered with a robust tannin structure. Rupert and Rothschild Classique from the cellars of South Africa won over the gathering of businessmen, bureaucrats, artistes and journalists with its black cherry and cassis fruit sharing the aroma with cedar and dried spice.

Wine myths dispelled

Delhi Wine Club president Subhash Arora dispelled a few myths of wine drinking at the tasting session.

* The older the wine, the better it is. This is a myth, he said. Wine also has self life. It must be drunk within a few months of coming from the cellars. Its flavour deteriorates with time.

* The concept of drinking white wine with white meat only or red with red meat only is obsolete. The criteria for the combination are the sauces used in the meat. Light wine goes with light food and vice versa.

* Stressing on the importance of storing the wine at the right temperature, horizontally, he said air is its biggest enemy, which can oxidise the juice to acetic acid.


Vivah-2003 concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The firstever wedding exhibition held in the region today came to an end on a heartening note. Despite Chandigarh being declared the coldest place of the region, about 10,000 visitors made it to the exhibition which was opened on January 9.

The four-day show generated great revenue, not just for Indigo Events, the organisers, but also for thee exhibitors, most of whom had a taste of Punjabi exuberance for the first time. Although the sales were not high for the simple reason that most of the stalls were being occupied by big designers, who sell on heavy prices, there were many inquires and orders.


SCL celebrates silver jubilee
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 12
‘‘The global IC design market is worth $ 10 million and provides significant business opportunity. Our country's endeavour should be to give leverage to its pool of technical talent to increase its share of the market from the current 0.5 per cent to 15 per cent in the next four years.’’

This was stated by Dr M.J. Zarabi, CMD, Semi Conductors Limited (SCL), here today.

Dr Zarabi was addressing SCL employees at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the company here.

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 |