Monday, February 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU, colleges to hike fees
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Panjab University is all set to hike the fees in the teaching departments on the campus and all affiliated colleges from the forthcoming academic session.

The university Syndicate will take up the proposal of a 10 per cent fee hike in the courses offered by the university.

The hike pertains to all fees and funds, including the tuition fee and the examination fee. The campus and affiliated colleges will also witness a hike in charges for certificates, re-evaluation, admission forms and hostel accommodation, besides others. The development and related charges will remain unchanged.

It may be remembered that the Syndicate of July, 1999 had accepted an yearly hike of 10 per cent following debates on higher hike proposals. The university Senate of March, 2002 also accepted an yearly hike of 10 per cent.

With a view to sustain the self-financing law course to be started at the Ludhiana centre from the forthcoming academic session, the university has decided to charge Rs 30,000 annually. Of the amount, Rs 20,000 will be paid in the first session. The course will have 60 students, besides 10 NRI seats.

The university will also take up hike in the charges for NRI and NRI-sponsored candidates in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology. The fee has been hiked from $ 4000 to $ 5000 annually.

A majority of other departments offering seats in the NRI quota have not witnessed any special attention of newcomers. As a result, the university has decided to stick to the old rates. The fee for a seat in University Institute of Engineering and Technology is $ 5,000, at University Institute of Pharmacy it is $ 3,000, University Business School $ 5,000 and Micro Electronics $ 3,000.

The forthcoming academic session is expected to commence from July 1. The university has signed an MoU with Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology and British Columbia University for partnership in research projects. The university will also take up the UGC notification for promotion from Readers as Professors under the Merit Promotion Scheme. A clear line of action is expected to save several bottlenecks in the implementation of the scheme.

The notification provides that only those candidates are allowed to appear for interview whose name have been cleared by the three experts and the rejected candidate’s process can be re-started after one year.



1.15 lakh children given polio drops
Our Correspondents

Chandigarh, February 9
Launching the second round of the pulse polio immunisation campaign in the city today, the health department staff administered pulse polio drops to over 1.15 lakh children, below the age of five. The campaign will continue till February 11.

In Panchkula, over 59,000 children were covered in the second round. At Dera Bassi as many as 29,000 children were immunised. In Patiala, over two lakh children were administered the drops. The response at Ambala was also encouraging.

Giving details of the campaign in the city, Director Family Welfare Dr M.P. Manocha informed that a total of 1,15,354 children were immunised on the first day of the campaign. As many as 51 mobile and 410 centers had been set up in the city.

Out of the total, 38, 390 children were given drops in the northern zone, including slums. In the central zone, over 24, 424 children were administered the drops, while in the southern zone 52, 540 children were covered. He added that 85 per cent of the urban population, including those residing in the slums, had been covered on the first day.

In the first round of the Pulse Polio immunization campaign last month, about 13.1 lakh children, below five years, were immunized against polio. The staff at 410 stationery pulse polio booths, and 52 mobile teams, had tried to cover each and every child below five.

In parts of Panchkula district, as many as 59, 483 children were administered the drops. The health authorities said the drive drew a much better response than the last round when 57,862 children were administered the drops.

Giving details, a spokesman of the Health department said 3552 children in urban areas of Kalka were given drops, and 6728 children in rural areas of Kalka; 2877 in urban Pinjore and 3351 in rural Pinjore, 16240 in Panchkula, 9336 in Old Panchkula, 1872 in Morni, 3801 in Raipur Rani, 3523 in Barwala, 3229 in Hangola and 4974 in Kot , were administered polio drops.

In Dera Bassi, 800 health department officials, along with volunteers, had set up 120 stalls for covering the entire rural and urban population.

At Patiala, the district administration and the NGOs worked hand in hand to administer the drops. A camp at the Civil Surgeon's office was inaugurated by Member Parliament Perneet Kaur.

Civil Surgeon Dr Inderjit Kaur Walia disclosed that 2,18736 children were administered the drops. This was not all. Several social workers, aanganwari workers, government employees and teachers could be seen giving the drops at several places in the city. PRTC employees also took part by setting up a booth at the bus stand. Punjabi-University's Vice Chancellor Dr S.S. Boparai inaugurated the pulse-polio camp at the University Health Centre and administered the drops to several children.

At Ambala cantt, the campaign was inaugurated by MLA Anil Vij, who administered the drops to the children at a function organised by the Rotary Club of Ambala.

At another function, pulse polio campaign was launched by the Haryana Health Minister, Dr M.L. Ranga, by administrating polio drops to children at Apna Hospital in Ambala City. He claimed that there had been a sharp decline in polio cases in the state, but in 2002.

SAS Nagar: As many as 38,224 children were administered polio immunisation drops in SAS Nagar. While over 25,000 children were given these drops in rural areas, 12,718 children were given the drops in the urban areas. The number of children who were given these drops while in transit was 1040.

According to the information provided by Dr B.S. Brar, in charge rural medical services in the township, over 80 per cent of the children in the age group have been immunised today and the rest will be covered during a house-to-house campaign from tomorrow.



12-year-long nightmare
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 9
For Balraj Kaur, the past 12 years of her life have been like a nightmare. Married to Manjit Singh Khokhar in 1990, Balraj Kaur alleges that she has been physically and mentally tortured by her husband and his family all through these years and now with two daughters, her husband has deserted her.

The police here has registered a case against Manjit Singh and his family members residing in Panchkula. Sources, however, stated that the police had brought one of the accused, Buta Singh Khokhar, to the police station yesterday but let him go scot free despite a case against them.

While Balraj’s relatives today alleged that there was political pressure on the police not to arrest the accused, the police here said no arrests were necessary till some concrete evidence was found against the accused. ‘‘The case has been registered and it is true that the father-in-law had been brought to the police station here. But we have recorded their statement and saw no immediate need to arrest them,’’said Mr Pritam Singh Bedi, SHO Phase VIII police station.

In the FIR lodged by the police, Balraj has stated that her in-laws started harassing her for dowry soon after her marriage. ‘‘My father helped my husband go to the USA. But my husband could never make anything of his life. Instead, he constantly beat me up and rebuked me,’’ she says. She also tried to commit suicide by consuming an insecticide. ‘‘I was sent back from the USA on one pretext or another and finally left to fend for myself in 2000. I have been living with my brother and his family with my two daughters, Niharika and Jasmine,’’ she says. In the FIR, Balraj has also alleged that her in-laws managed to sell her Maruti car by forging her signatures.

Mr Pradip, Balraj’s brother, alleges that the police has not done enough to ensure that the culprits were caught. ‘‘Manjit is here in India to attend a wedding but the police could not catch him even for interrogation. The father-in-law was simply brought to the police station and let off,” he says. When contacted, Mr Buta Singh Khokhar stated that no case had been registered against them or their son and the girl’s family was trying to mislead everyone.



Nigerian held with heroin
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
The police arrested a Nigerian, Michael John, near Zirakpur naka this evening and seized 900 gm of heroin worth Rs 90 lakh from his possession.

The accused was going towards Sector 12-A here on his TVS Scooty (No. CH-01L-8466) from Zirakpur when a police party led by the SHO of Sector 19 police station, Mr Jaipal, motioned him to stop. They asked for the documents of John’s vehicle, but he was reportedly evasive. The police asked him to open the tool-box of the scooty and found a packet of the drug hidden here. The accused, however, tried to flee and while the police was trying to arrest him, a scuffle ensued between the accused and SHO Jaipal, ASI Shiromani Chauhan and driver Vijay Kumar. Finally, the police managed to nab him. The police interrogation has revealed that the accused was residing in a rented accommodation in Sector 12-A here and was a student of Kurukshetra University. He has also confessed that he got the drug from Delhi for supply in Panchkula and Chandigarh.

John was also arrested in 2000 with smack.



Real cops end reel action
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
The reel-inspired escapade of a couple to dodge the police proved a costly affair for them. With as many as three police vehicles chasing the couple in a car halfway through the town, Himanshu Gupta, driver of the car, was finally arrested near Sector 15 and 16 roundabout and booked for rash and negligent driving.

According to information available, Himanshu Gupta was coming along with a female friend from Hot Millions at North Park around 10.30 pm last night. He was reportedly spotted over-speeding in his Maruti car with a red light mounted on the top and tinted glasses.

He was signalled to pull over by the policemen deployed at a check post at Majri Chowk. He, however, ignored the police and sped away. The police radioed a message to the next police team at Shankhla chowk. The car again managed to dodge the team. Three police vehicles, including that of an SHO, Sector 5, engaged the car in a pursuit. They finally managed to catch up with the car near the Sector 15 and 16 roundabout.

As the police approached the car, the girl alighted from the car and tried to flee. However, the police nabbed her and took both of them to the police station. The parents of the two were summoned and Himanshu Gupta was booked under Section 297 of the IPC.



Four bookies held in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Chandigarh police arrested four bookies for betting on World Cup cricket matches late this evening. The bookies were operating from a house in Sector 38.

The bookies — Rahul Sofat, Rishi Goyal, Ravi Kumar and Rajiv — allegedly started their operation with the first match between South Africa and West Indies. Though the police had been tracking them for the past few days, the raid was conducted after a decoy customer betted for one of the teams in the match.

According to the information available, two mobile phones were being used to get minute-by-minute details of the match and the information was being relayed through audio speakers. Another six mobile phones were being used for betting. According to the police, so far the clients had betted for Rs 8.50 lakh — Rs 3.25 lakh for South Africa and Rs 5.45 lakh for West Indies. A police official said the bookies were running their business through their contacts in Delhi and Dubai.

Raids were being conducted at separate places in the city and its vicinity. The police has seized a television set, a cassette recorder, six mobile phones and some electronic gadgets being used by the bookies. Rates announced by the bookies varied between Rs 80 and Rs 28 for a bet.



Using science as fingerprint of art
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
One has often heard of a transition from arts to science. But the reverse happens very rarely. In the case of Mr S.P. Singh, an alumni of IIT, Delhi, now posted as Director, Conservation, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the decision of progressing from science to art was not only conscious but well thought out.

With a world of science to back him, Mr S.P. Singh went on to become one of the experts from the Archaeological Survey of India who worked on the project of preservation of the Taj Mahal, which is on the World Heritage Monument list of UNESCO. He was actively involved in the implementation of the special technique evolved to prevent the damage to the surface of the Taj Mahal, exposed to air pollutants. In the city a few days ago for the inaugural function of Nicholas Roerich’s show at Government Museum, Sector 10, Mr S.P. Singh spoke to The Tribune about how science can serve as a fingerprint for art and about how over 50,000 historic monuments in India and countless art works are awaiting immediate conservation efforts.

Currently with the National Museum, Delhi, Mr S.P. Singh is overseeing various art conservation projects. After the project on Taj Mahal’s preservation, where the stress was on promoting clay pack method (no chemical, only clay is applied on the monument’s surface for protection), Mr S.P. Singh planned various other conservation strategies, with focus on prevention, reversibility and aesthetic responsibility.

At present the National Museum is working at three significant projects. Under the first project, the National Museum, Delhi, along with some other museums across India have, loaned 35 rarest of the rare Indian classical musical instruments to the French government which is hosting a grand show of rare classical instruments of the world at the famous Citi Del Musique Museum, in Paris. “The show is meant to preserve heritage and make the world aware of the richness of various forms. India is uniquely famous for its classical musical instruments, but we are sad to note that many among them are vanishing. The show underlines the need for preservation. Many erstwhile kings of India, who have loaned their instruments to France, will attend the show at Paris.”

Apart from that, the National Museum is involved in the preservation of wall paintings in Rajasthan, where a special programme of conservation of wall paintings is under way at Kota. Informed Mr S.P. Singh: “We have invited custodians of wall paintings at Kota and our experts are teaching them how to save the works and transfer the paint layers if need be.” The museum is also planning another project of conservation wherein all works of the legendary painter Raja Ravi Verma will be restored in Kerala. Mr S.P.Singh informed that Rs 34 lakh had been received from the Government of Kerala and the experts would soon begin the work of preservation.

Yet another project to be taken up by the National Museum involves conservation of rock art in India. Rock art traditions are dying due to lack of preventive measures. “These works were created in times before the Harappan civilisation. They were executed in natural environs on sandstones. Earth colours were used to preserve them. We will also conserve them.”



Seminar on convergence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
From multimedia to the Internet, from linear to non-linear technologies, from analogous to digital technologies, from old time single function connectivity (voice or data or image) to multi-functional broad band-based convergent connectivity — “convergence” had made its presence felt in every field. This was a common refrain of speakers at the “Avenues: blending, media, management, technology and law” organised by the Global Institute of Convergence Studies here today.



12 brides married off

Panchkula, February 9
The day could not have brought more happiness for Jai Singh, a resident of village Kishangarh and Geeta of village Abheypur, who were united in holy matrimony amidst the recital of Vedic shlokas.

The couple was amongst 12 who were married off during the Seventh mass marriage which was organised by the Lions Club, Chandigarh Plaza, in association with Arya Samaj, Sector 12, at Aggarwal Bhawan today. The families of 12 couples expressed their gratitude to the club members. Additional Deputy Commissioner Suresh Kumar Goyal was the chief guest. TNS




IT was rare a sight to see the city sky overcrowded with kites recently. The day was being celebrated as Flowers Day at the Students Centre of Panjab University, a day before Basant Panchmi.

Basant is not celebrated much in Chandigarh. But small towns and villages in the region witness mega activities in preparation of the strings which are used to control the kites. Lot of competition follows in the air where each kite is trying to outdo the others.

Sandeep, a student of the law department, said that organising such festivals kept the students near to the culture and also allowed more intermingling in an internal setting.

Presence of a sizeable number of girls in the ground, some even flying kites, was another noticeable sight at PU.

Death trap

The section of Dakshin Marg from Batra roundabout to The Tribune roundabout continues to be a death trap for motorists. This despite the Chandigarh Police imposing restrictions on the long route buses to halt along the marg to drop passengers. A number of accidents involve the long-route buses passing through the crowded corridors of the city. It seems that the boards restricting the stoppage spots for buses have not made the dent. No action is being taken by the traffic police.

Beard diplomacy

During an informal meeting, Mayor Subhash Chawla and Adviser to the Administrator Virendra Singh had a brief talk about the beard and struck an instant rapport.

The Mayor has been breaking protocol while meeting officials so that bureaucratic formalities do not come in the way of development.

It is believed that the talk between the two has been fruitful and the Adviser also gave the Mayor certain tips as to what he could do to get a favourable response from the Chandigarh Administration.

Mr Chawla’s predecessor Lalit Joshi also had an advantage of a commonality.

She struck rapport with the woman Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda.

“Sewa pani”

Habits die hard. The proverb appears to be synonymous with the traffic cops of the Chandigarh Police. Several instances of the traffic cops asking for bribe to let off erring motorists have been highlighted.

But this instance appears to be above all. It is classic example of financial considerations weighing heavily on the professional duty. One day a woman car driver was caught for driving without a seat belt. By the time the cops could fill in details on the challan chit, the driver contacted a senior official on her mobile. She made the cop, a home guard volunteer, talk to the official. The cops bowed his head to obey the orders of his superior and signalled the driver to go. But before she could sit in her car, the cop came calling and still asked for a Rs 100 note for “sewa pani”.

The woman driver was shell shocked and left the spot, determined never to use top-level connections when caught by a traffic cop.

Science and Sanskrit

Human Resource Development, Science and Technology and Ocean Affairs Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, a physics professor from the Allahabad University, here last week asked scientists to learn Sanskrit to understand what scientific treasure Upanishads had.

Dr Joshi said this while interacting with scientists of Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO). Dr Joshi said Sanskrit could be learnt in 15 days and was not at all difficult.

Dr Joshi was assured by the CSIO Director Dr R. P. Bajpai that he would try to arrange teaching of Sanskrit to scientists in the premier organisation of the country.


With increased awareness, several individual families in and around the city have switched over to vermi composting, a novel technique of converting the kitchen waste into valuable manure through red earthworms activity.

Based on NADEP Compost technology, the only aerobic method of compost manure, the Environment Society of India (ESI) has developed vermi compost bins for residential homes by converting the plastic bucket. Small holes are created around and the top cover of the bucket and wire mesh provided at the base.

The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) has carried out trials on this vermi compost bin with good results. These bins exhibited at the training workshops organised by the PSCST and Himachal Pradesh Council for Science and Technology (HPCST) at Chandigarh and Shimla respectively aroused keen interest among the teachers in charge of school eco-clubs, representatives of government and non-government organisations.

The cost of this bin comes to about Rs 100 only. This bin can be used for transportation of worms anywhere.

“Photo patrakarita”

The Haryana Sahitya Akademi has brought out a book on photojournalism for those students who are studying journalism in Hindi. The book entitled, “photo patrakarita” has been written by city-based photographer Subhash Sapru whose works have featured in exhibitions in India as well as abroad.

The 158-page book, priced at Rs 100, has 26 chapters dealing with various aspects of photography and photojournalism. It has 10 colour pictures depicting various camera techniques and angles required for taking attractive pictures.

The book was formally released by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, at a function organised by the Akademi at the Mansa Devi Shrine Complex at Panchkula recently.

Gift of love

People give donations in cash or kind on occasions like arrival of baby, a child’s success, birthdays, anniversaries and so on. Chandigarh can well be proud of one of its citizens, Mr M.L. Sarin, popularly known as MAC, a devoted blood donor who makes it a practice to give generously on the family’s birthdays, the amount corresponding to the age of the member. The Blood Bank Society has so far received Rs 17,000, Rs 24,000, Rs 54,000, Rs 22,000 and Rs 1 lakh (for the daughter’s wedding).

But what is most unusual and specially worth reporting is his gesture of giving Rs 74,000 on his mother-in-laws’ 74th birthday.

Are there other big hearts too?

Dear Kalpana

The outpouring of grief over the death of Kalpana Chawla continues. Reader Yasmin Dutta of Panchkula, who makes it a point to send us home-made cards on various occasions, has sent a similar card in her memory. She expresses her anguish through a poem:

Not just an astronaut...

she was something more

Inspired others a lot...

had the power to soar!

But we never thought...

what fate had in store;

Ship has been caught...

just near the shore!

Used to give best shot...

continued to explore;

Kalpana never forgot...

To open closed door.

— Sentinel



4 held in murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Chandigarh Police today claimed to have solved the five-day-old case of murder of Sohan Singh, a watchman employed at the Sector 34 office of Milkfed. The police had found the body in a pool of blood behind the Milkfed office.

A special team constituted to investigate the blind murder has zeroed on at least seven suspects, who used to sleep in the corridor where the watchman was clubbed to death. While four of the suspects, Rajinder, Amarjit, Gurmeet and Santosh have been arrested, the other three are on the run.



Cigarettes worth 3.5 lakh recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Chandigarh Police today seized cigarettes worth Rs 3.5 lakh which had reportedly been stolen from a godown of a carrying and forwarding agent of ITC company. The stolen cigarettes of various brands had been packed in 40 boxes. The seized cigarettes were part of the total theft valued at Rs 8.54 lakh.

The police has also recovered Rs 4 lakh which the main suspect in the case, Navneet Singh, who works as a godown keeper, had pocketed after selling a part of the stolen stock. After a complaint of the theft was lodged, a special team of the Sector 39 Police Station during the course of investigation found that the theory of the theft of cigarettes by an outsider proved to be doubtful. The agent of the ITC, Mr Manoj Sarin, runs the business from a SCO in Sector 40.



Vyapar Sadan formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
A section of traders today formed the Vyapar Sadan, Chandigarh. The traders claim that the body would be a non-political and non-religious body, and will work only for the benefit of traders. A meeting has been convened at 11 a.m on Sunday in the parking lot of the main market in Sector 22-D.

Mr Arvind Jain, convenor of the Sadan and President, Market Welfare Association, Sector 22, today said that an organisation by the name of Vyapar Mandal exists but they have a political approach. Such bodies cannot be partial to traders.

All laws are being enforced either by the Central Government or the state government to suppress the traders, Mr Jain claimed. He has invited all traders of the city to join the Sadan. He said that the Chandigarh Administration, despite collecting the highest sales tax from traders, did not look into their problems. The land was being used for rehabilitating slum dwellers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, while commercial interests of traders were being sacrificed.

A on the recent amendment to the rent act, Mr Jain said, this was an aim to divide the landlords and tenants. He said people who buy property for the purpose of letting it out should be treated on par with traders. People who purchased commercial property in the sixties have long recovered their costs and profits. When a multi-national company pays’ upto Rs 1 lakh rent for a showroom, local trader chances to compete become dim.

If banks offer double the market rate to hire booths to run their ATM’s the entire market is hit as landlords start expecting similar returns for their own investments.


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