Wednesday, March 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Farmers block traffic
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Farmers preparing a community lunch near Matka Chowk in Chandigarh, where they had put up tents to hold an indefinite dharna against ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the state and Central governments.
Farmers preparing a community lunch near Matka Chowk in Chandigarh, where they had put up tents to hold an indefinite dharna against ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the state and Central governments.
After participating in a protest march and dharna, farmers take rest near Matka Chowk on Tuesday.
After participating in a protest march and dharna, farmers take rest near Matka Chowk on Tuesday. — Tribune photos

Chandigarh, March 11
Thousands of city residents and bus passengers coming from Ambala, Patiala and other towns had to face inconvenience here today as farmers blocked traffic near Kisan Bhavan for over three hours to hold a protest dharna. The traffic police had a tough time managing the traffic, which was later diverted to other roads.

On the other hand, the traffic police has put up barricades at Jan Marg to divert traffic, as six farmers’ unions of Punjab, besides the Haryana Forest Department Employees’ Union, are on an indefinite dharna to press the government for their demands.

Though the Municipal Corporation had made arrangements for public utilities for protesters, the latter, especially women, faced a lot of difficulty in the morning to find space to answer the call of nature. The protesters said they had no option but to use the Rose Garden and surrounding buildings for the purpose.

However, with the announcement of the Central Government to withdraw the hike in prices of fertilisers today, the farmer unions were in a jubilant mood. They are now training their guns on the state government to withdraw 4 per cent tax proposed to be imposed on fertilisers under VAT.

The farmers’ unions have also strongly opposed the Punjab State Electricity Board’s plea before the Punjab State Energy Regulatory Commission to increase power tariff across the board. To protest against the board’s move, hundreds of farmers from different parts of the state joined the agitating farmers today and blocked traffic near Kisan Bhavan.

Addressing the farmers, Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, president, Kirti Kisan Union, said: “The regulatory commission should not forget that the board has failed to check its expenses or T&D losses, and is asking for further increase in power tariff. The farmers would not tolerate any further increase in electricity charges, since they are already paying higher charges.”

He asked the board how could it ask for Rs 5,200 per horse power as security from them if they were asked to pay commercial rates. “The board has failed to implemented any of the recommendations of the Regulatory Commission,” he said.

Mr Pishora Singh, state President of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta), said the dharna was being held in protest against the “anti-farmer Union Budget”, and the Punjab government’s decision to impose 4 per cent tax on fertilisers. He said though the government had failed to link the prices of the crops with the price index, the farmers had been burdened with increased electricity rates, irrigation charges and other costs.

Among others, Mr Nazar Singh, Mr Lakhwinder Singh, Mr Maghar Singh and Mr Kulwant Singh, addressed the farmers.



Put off by baratis, bride says no
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
Filmmakers can take a lesson or two from the 19-year-old illiterate girl of what commitment in love and marriage means. The girl refused to marry her beau of two years after his brothers and friends created a ruckus at their wedding on Sunday.

Though her beau Sunil was pleading for forgiveness, she refused to let her heart rule over her head and declined his offer for reconciliation. “Love aside, if he failed to stand by me when my family was being dishonoured by his friends and relatives and chose to stick with them, how can I expect him to stand by me for life,” she asked.

The couple was to be united in holy wedlock on Sunday. They had been very much in love, claimed their families, and used to meet daily, besides talking to one another for hours. However, when the baratis, in an inebriated condition, arrived at the marriage venue and abused her brothers and other relatives, she decided to call the marriage quits.

The girl alleged that some baratis even entered the room where she was sitting with her friends and misbehaved with her friends. “When I objected, they dragged me out of the room and said they would forcibly take me away if my family objected to the marriage. In spite of this humiliation, Sunil kept quiet and sided with his relatives,” she says, while showing her determination against the marriage.

On the other hand, Sunil said he was sorry for the happenings at the wedding. “My father and brothers have also pleaded with them and asked them not to cancel the wedding, but to no avail,” he said, claiming that he was still in love with the girl.

Meanwhile, the police, called in by the girl’s family on Sunday, made the two sides arrive at a compromise and the boy’s family was asked to pay Rs 20,000 to the girl’s family as expenses incurred at the wedding ceremony.



Ram Darbar exchange develops snag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Thousands of cellular and landline subscribers faced problems in getting connected today as the Ram Darbar telephone exchange developed snag in the morning. According to information available, the one of the transmission system, developed snag, causing problem in connectivity.

Mr Sanjay Aggarwal, DGM, (Planning), BSNL, admitted that there was a problem in the exchange during afternoon, but it was rectified within hours. However, some of the subscribers alleged that even during the evening they faced problems. One of the subscribers, working at a PCO booth, said, “I had to return a number of customers in the evening who could not call even on Connect, Spice and Airtel network.” By late evening the network was back to normal, said officials of the BSNL.



3-storeyed building collapses
Tribune News Service

The Additional Chief Administrator, SAS Nagar, (ACA) PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, has ordered an enquiry, stating that strict action would be taken in case it was found that the construction was illegal. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, has declared the area unsafe and ordered the complete barricading of the place. Although a large portion of the building kept hanging overhead precariously all through the day, the area was barricaded only by afternoon. The SDO had to force the neighbouring shops to close down.

The workers of the owner could still be seen carrying baked cakes and other consumer goods from the building to the owner's other shops.

SAS Nagar, March 11
A major tragedy was averted after a three-storey commercial complex (restaurant) being built in the Phase V market collapsed in the wee hours here today. Over 20 workers inside the building had a narrow escape as they had just vacated it.

The restaurant, which was almost complete, was allegedly being constructed in violation of the bylaws laid down by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA)in this regard. The building collapsed after the roof of the second floor caved in as a result of which the facade came crashing down. The workers were either sleeping or working when the first brick fell. Precious lives were saved as the building took over two hours to collapse.

The building was being constructed by joining two separate three-floor showrooms. One of the showrooms was built about 20 years back while the other was built five years back. Sources stated that although the partition wall of the two showrooms had been brought down, reinforcement in the form of pillars had not been constructed.“The reinforcement has been done using iron girders which in themselves are very heavy and not enough to support floors. It is the girder which had broken into two. How can you use a support system meant for a 16-foot span for a 32-foot span?’’said the Mohali Fire Officer, Mr B.S. Sandhu, who also reached the site.

The SDO, PUDA, Buildings, Mr Ranjit Kumar, who along with the PUDA junior engineers of the area reached the site, stated that an enquiry was being conducted on how such a construction was allowed to take place.“The owner cannot build a hotel like this. This is not according to an approved plan,” he said.

Sources have also pointed out that the construction of this kind, which openly flouts the established building bylaws, is not possible without the builder being in connivance with the PUDA supervisor of the area.

Recollecting the incident, one of the workers stated that while eight of them were on the night shift working on the second floor, the rest of them were sleeping on the third floor. “Just after midnight the building started creaking and bricks began to fall from the third floor roof. Everyone rushed down and the owner was called. The building contractor also came and so did the architect. Suddenly the whole thing came down,” said an owner of a nearby shop.

The owner of the building was quick to get most of the rubble removed from the parking area and the road. The owner, Mr Patvinder Singh, runs a popular bakery shop and an icecream joint in the same market. He refused to give an estimate of the loss he had suffered.



DSPs Sagar, Randhawa swapped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Within less than two months of ordering a reshuffle of four DSPs, the Chandigarh Administration today transferred the DSP, Central, Mr SS Randhawa, and the DSP, South, Mr SC Sagar. As per the orders, both the DSPs are to swap places.

It is learnt that Mr Sagar has been transferred in the light of the controversy that followed raids on various pool joints in the city. The SHO Sector 34, Mr Dhan Raj, was transferred to Police Lines yesterday. The raids were led by Inspector Dhan Raj.

In the rating given to three divisions of the city, the Central division is at the top, followed by the South and the East divisions. Sources in the Administration said the decision to swap the two DSPs was taken at a meeting between officials of the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Police. DSP Sagar had joined the South division on October 2000 and DSP Randhawa the Central division in March 2001. Both the officials were yet to complete the period of three years at their respective public dealing posts.

The usual procedure of the IGP sending a proposal to the Home Secretary was not followed in this case.



Cops told to get back in shape
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
In a decision which is sending shivers down the spine of lethargic cops with bulging bellies, the top brass of the Chandigarh police has instructed the rank and file to undergo a special refresher course at the recruitment training centre at the Police Lines here.

The refresher course will be run in phases for the 3,950-strong force. It may take over an year for the entire force to go through the course.

The underlining aspect of the residential refresher course is to push up the physical fitness levels of police personnel. Another aspect ‘troubling’ the cops is that unlike the earlier short duration courses, this time, the candidates will have be present from 6 am to 9 pm.

The first batch of 25 constables, drawn from different police stations, is undergoing a 15-day course. The refresher course is an effort to tone up the investigative skills and physical stamina of city policemen, says a senior police official. The personnel who fail to clear the 15-day course will have to undergo the course again. Norms to clear the course may be relaxed as the candidates are already experienced, says the IGP.

The first batch of the refresher course was inaugurated by the IGP on March 1 at the Police Lines. “We are getting signals of subtle resentment among a section of the force, but everybody will have to participate in the course. A lot of improvement in the physical fitness levels is badly required,” says IGP Rajesh Kumar.

According to the information available, the subjects include Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, local and special laws, Indian Evidence Act, police science, community policing and human rights. Physical training includes yoga, meditation and parade. For the convenience of investigation officers and station house officers, suitable time will be adjusted. Everybody will have to undergo the course, asserts the IGP.



Nation-building: NRIs can play vital role
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Members of Indian diaspora who moved to South East Asia long time back were in real sense the first multinationals. They travelled from Patliputra to nearby virgin and potential lands in search of better opportunities. Their immense cultural impact without any military involvement has been perhaps the only case of its type in human history, says Mr J.C. Sharma, Secretary, Policies, Consular Services and Diaspora in the Union Ministry of External Affairs.

Mr Sharma, who addressed members of the faculty of the CRRID here this afternoon, admits that Indian diaspora has come of an age. Starting with sugarcane, rubber, tea and coffee growers, Indian diaspora has risen not only to top positions in multinational companies but also made a mark in the political set-ups of the countries of its adaptation.

“From snake charmers, now India is acknowledged worldwide as a nation of computer professionals. Time has now come for a meaningful two-way constructive relationship between India and its diaspora,” feels Mr Sharma, who is credited with organising the country’s biggest-ever Pravasi Bharati Divas in the union Capital in January this year. He was accompanied by Mr Arvind Kumar, Regional Passport Officer, Chandigarh.

Those who attended his presentation included Mr Paramjit Singh Sahai, a former diplomat, who was also associated with the organisation of Pravasi Bharati Divas.Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director, CRRID, in his address of welcome talked about the role the NRIs could play in the nation-building.

“The nineties was the time when India virtually arrived on the world scene. This was the period when members of Indian diaspora rose to be the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. They started getting assimilated into the local political systems. Though Dalip Singh Saund was the first Asian to get into the US Congress, no one followed him. It was only in the 90s that men of Indian origin rose to be Heads of States, not only in British Columbia, but also in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Mauritius, besides getting elected to the House of Commons in England and Canada, says Mr Sharma.

Tracing the history of movement of people from India , initially to South East Asia and subsequently to Central America, Africa, Europe and North America, Mr Sharma says that “initially only those who were well versed in sugarcane cultivation were recruited and taken to Central America. The choice was men. It was on a persistent demand from these men that the recruiters, on being bribed, agreed to bring in women who were either widows, “socially condemned” or in distress that left the shores of the country.

In the second phase came people who were recruited for construction and hard jobs, including construction of rail tracks in Africa or in North America or for clearing forests. Then came the second World War during which India, after the Soviet Union, suffered maximum casualties. In Africa, for every mile of rail line constructed, four Punjabis died.

After Independence came a phase when most European and North American nations were facing an acute shortage of skilled and trained manpower. It was followed by the migration of knowledge-based people. Then came the time when both America and Canada changed their citizenship laws. This was the time when young professionals decided to stay back, adds Mr Sharma.

He feels that many countries have used their diaspora effectively in their rebuilding processes, quoting the examples of China and Italy. In the case of China, he says, Chinese diaspora from nearby South Asian countries and not from North America, has made huge investments back home. In the case of Italy, its diaspora worldwide has ploughed back its savings in national development.

“The holding of “Pravasi Bharati Divas” was symbolic of shedding initial inhibitions about engaging Indian diaspora in future building of the country,” says Mr Sharma, holding that Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra and Karnataka have tremendous potential to exploit in this direction.



New wildlife rescue centre in Bir Shikargah
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
The new rescue center for wild animals will be set up in the Bir Shikargah forests near Chandimandir by next month. The centre, earlier, located at Chandimandir , had closed down last year after the Army authorities had claimed back 20 acres of land allocated to it in the cantonment area.

Sources in Wildlife Department, Haryana, told TNS that the site at Bir Shikargah would be converted into the rescue centre for deers and sambars within the next one month, after the department personnel lift the enclosures from the cantonment area and set up the enclosures at the new site.

The army authorities have now set up a nursery on the original rescue centre site within its premises.

The rescue centre had been closed down last year in September after the Army authorities, which had earlier allocated land for the purpose, had demanded the land back. Since then, the Army authorities had set up a nursery in this area. Though no reasons had been cited by the Army authorities for closing down the centre, security concerns among the Army authorities reportedly because of this center being opened in the nearby forests had led to the closure.

It was in 1986 that the Army authorities in Chandimandir had themselves offered about 20 acres of land within the cantonment area for setting up a deer park. After a nod was received from the Union Ministry of Environment, the Wildlife Department, Haryana, had set up Chandimandir Deer Lake Garden.

When the deer park was initially set up , a large number of spotted deer, gorals, sambar , black bucks, barking deer, rabbits and geese were kept here. However, this deer park was converted into a rescue center for animals in 2000.

Sources in the department said that a technical committee of Central Zoo Authority had visited the deer park in 1999. They observed that the park was accessible only to the families of those staying within the Army area. Thus the committee declined to give recognition to this deer park on the condition that it was not open to general public , as is mandatory for any zoo or animal park. It , however, recommended that the park be converted into a rescue center.

Following these directions by Central Zoo Authority, wildlife officials were forced to close the park and release the animals,spotted deer, barking deer, gorals , sambars, black bucks and other animals into the forests. However, most of the geese kept here were handed over to a Chandigarh-based NGO working for the animal welfare.

Senior Wildlife officials informed TNS that once the new rescue center was set up, they would not have to look for other places to treat injured and sick animals, before releasing them in the forests after their recuperation.



Forest Dept staff not paid for 6 months
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Haryana Forest Department Employees’ Union, in a memorandum submitted to Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, here today demanded the release of salaries of department employees, pending for the past six months. It lamented that employees had been forced to take the agitation path to press the government for the acceptance of their demands.

Addressing the workers at Matka Chowk, union leaders lamented that departmental authorities were forcing the employees to approach the court to get their payments released, resulting in the loss of crores to the state exchequer. They said the union was on a warpath for the past many months. The memorandum was later submitted to the OSD of the Chief Minister.

Addressing the rally, Mr Anand Sharma, general secretary, Haryana Forest Employees’ Union, said: “The union had entered into an agreement with officials of the department, including Commissioner-cum- Secretary, Forest Department, Haryana, but without any result. Though the agreements were signed on October 10, 1997, and October 29, 1998, they had not been implemented.”

He said it was unfortunate that the state government had closed down hundreds of nurseries in the state, which were playing a crucial role in the afforestation programme. He said though the department was covered under the Industrial Disputes Act, the Labour Act had not been implemented. He urged the government to regularise the services of employees who had completed more than five years of service, apart from issuing identity cards to employees, maternity leave to women employees, regular payment of salary and provide uniform and other facilities.



F&CC meeting postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A special meeting of Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation slated for tomorrow has been postponed to Friday.

The Mayor, Mr Subash Chawla, said that the issue of raising funds through auction of immovable property by drawing a concrete policy of auctions would now be discussed at the F&CC meeting on Friday.

Apart from this, another issue of changing the pattern of contract system in sanitation works would also come up at the meeting. The present terms and conditions of the system of contract in sanitation works had almost failed and therefore it was need of the hour to restructure the system from the next financial year, added the Mayor.

Both these important issues were to be discussed in two separate meetings of the F&CC but due to negligence in duty by the authorities concerned of the MC, the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting was not prepared and subsequently not circulated among the members.

This evening, when the Mayor asked the officials concerned to send a copy of the agenda to his office, surprisingly, the officials concerned, showed their inability as the file in which the Mayor had ordered to prepare the agenda did not reach the right person. Hence, the Mayor was forced to postpone the meeting, late in the evening.

Meanwhile, the Mayor had asked the officials concerned to be vigilant in future while preparing agendas for all meetings.



Kamla Sharma ‘should quit’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra today demanded the resignation of the Leader of the Opposition, Ms Kamla Sharma, from the Municipal Corporation for having approved the acquisition of populated areas of Darshani Bagh during her mayorship in 1997. Mr Chhabra said Ms Sharma had accused the Mayor, Subhash Chawla, of having written a letter for the acquisition of the land as a smokescreen for her “anti-poor” step.

He reiterated that the Mayor had not written any letter for the acquisition and had even succeeded under the leadership of Mr Pawan Bansal in getting an assurance from the Adviser not to demolish houses at an informal meeting on February 2.

The Congress councillor said Ms Sharma should give her resignation on moral grounds for consistently “misleading” the people.



Mann plays Holi with elderly
Our correspondent

Chandigarh, March 11
The festival of colours came a little early for residents of the Old Age Home, Sector 15, as Punjabi pop singer-turned-producer-actor Babu Mann played Holi with them after releasing the music album of his debut film “Hawayein” at the Home here today.

Mayor Subhash Chawla, councillor Pradeep Chabra and Mr Vineet Oswal, President of Lions Club, Chandigarh Central, along with Babu Mann, distributed sweets and gifts among the inmates after playing with colours, bringing a sense of festivity in the home.

Babu, who has recently ventured into tinsel town with his home production “Hawayein” — a Hindi feature film based on the 1984 riots in Delhi and their aftermath in Punjab — while interacting with mediapersons, said the film would be released on Baisakhi day.

Answering a question on the trend of Punjabi singers being attracted towards the big screen, Babu said it was an opportunity for singers to showcase their acting talent. In this film, Babu is playing the lead role of a terrorist. “Hawayein” is being directed by Amitoj Mann and its music has been given by Babu Mann himself.

The music album, which was released by Mayor Subhash Chawla, contains eight songs sung by Sukhwinder, Jaspinder Narula, Priti Uttam, Sadhna Sargam and Babu himself. The album has seven Hindi songs and one Punjabi song.



Jacob likely to continue till May
Kulwinder Sandhu

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd.), is likely to continue in office till further orders. He is completing his five-years in office as Governor of Punjab on April 19.

Sources in the Raj Bhavan disclosed that the decision of appointing a new Governor for this border state would be delayed for a couple of months. The decision to appoint a new Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh is expected sometime after May, 2003.

It may be mentioned that General Jacob was transferred to Punjab as Governor on November 27, 1999. Earlier, he served as Governor of Goa.

A senior official of the Raj Bhavan claimed that there is no fixed term or tenure of Governor mentioned in the Constitution. It is only as per traditions, the tenure in office is considered for five years, he added.

He further disclosed that this tradition (not essential) came into practice after a debate in the Parliament during the tenure of late Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister, when a question was raised by the Opposition to explain as to how Mr P.C Alexander continued in office as Governor of Maharashtra for over 11 years. After a debate in the Lok Sabha, it was unanimously decided to adopt a convention of five-year term for Governor.

It may be mentioned that four Governors of Punjab had earlier continued in office for more than five years without any specific written orders of the Union Government.

As per the details available, the first Governor of Punjab after independence, G.M Trivedi remained in office for 181 days after the completion of his term of five years without any specific orders from the Union Government.

Similarly, the second Governor C.P.N Singh continued for 186 days in office even after the completion of five years. And the ninth Governor D.C Pavate continued for more than 580 days in office after the completion of five years.

More recently, the 28th Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen B.K.N Chhibber (retd.), continued for 70 days in office after the completion of five years. But, he was asked by the Union Government of India to continue till further orders.

Sources further said the decision to appoint new Governor would be possibly taken by the Union Government after the end of the Budget session of Parliament.



Residents wait for approach road
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Residents of house numbers 426 to 431 of the Dhanas Milk Colony are paying for sticking to by-laws. They have no approach road, despite repeated requests to the authorities.

The residents have to go through a pool of water and slippery mud during the rainy season, a resident said. Heaps of cow dung dot the areas meant for the approach road. The residents had approached the then Mayor and area councillor, Mr K.K. Krishan Adiwal, who had taken up the matter with the then Chief Engineer. Mr Adiwal had assured the residents that the roads would be built from the councillors' fund.



Mourning by stopping work

HATS off to Kalpana Chawla for achieving the rarest of the rare distinctions of becoming the first Indian woman astronaut to have gone into space twice. Her life profile shows that she was a perfectionist by nature who covered her long journey from Karnal to NASA to space by grit, determination and hard work. She gave life for her mission of revealing the mysteries of nature for the benefit of humanity at large. Her example is bound to inspire the generations to come.

No doubt each one of us felt grieved at her tragic death, but was it necessary to close our schools and offices on February 3 to prove it? And prove to whom? Grief is something personal. And even if it was necessary, why should it have been only for students and babus and not the others? Could it not have been done by putting some extra hours of work on this day? Obviously, there is some element of hypocracy somewhere in our method of paying tributes to our heroes. I wonder if similar methods were followed by other countries whose astronauts were also killed along with Kalpana.

Let Kalpana, who was an embodiment of hard work, became a turning point in our obsolete methods of paying tributes. This can be done by ‘neutralising’ the holiday enjoyed on February 3 by converting one of our closed days into a working one. The government is bound to face many hurdles but none of these would be more difficult than those crossed by Kalpana.

S.P. Malhotra, Panchkula

Property prices boom

There is little force in the argument of tenants that the latest amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Extension to Chandigarh) Act will result in undue escalation of rents. The amendment was long overdue as the Act, enforced in the wake of Partition and influx of lakhs of refuges into India, had outlived its utility. The law of demand and supply would apply and the rents would automatically settle down at reasonable levels. Hundreds of landlords are not letting out their premises for fear of unscrupulous tenants who may not normally vacate the houses.

Already there are reports of a large number of NRIs evincing interest in acquiring property at Chandigarh. The skyrocketing of property prices at the recent auctions is largely due to NRIs. In fact the Chandigarh Administration has been a major beneficiary inasmuch as it had netted crores of rupees over and above the reserve prices of plots at the auctions.

PP KAPUR, Panchkula

Bylaw violations

The extent of violation of building bylaws in SAS Nagar (Mohali), the satellite town of the City Beautiful, has crossed all limits. The PUDA authorities are turning a blind eye to the ever-increasing problem of violation of building bylaws. The existing trend to construct balconies by crossing the frame control roof-level as well as beam-level is increasing and is leading to insecurity. It has become a headache for those who abide by the building bylaws and respect the rules and regulations framed by the authorities concerned. Nobody knows how the new building constructors are ‘managing’ all these violations. The authorities are requested to either amend the bylaws or do the needful to remove the problem. PUDA, too, is losing a huge revenue on this account.


‘School World’

Congratulations for starting ‘School World’ supplement in The Tribune. This will increase the popularity of the newspaper among students. The author of the article ‘Get ready for success in exams’ earns our gratitude for giving useful information for students appearing in different examinations. However, a number of typographic errors, especially when the article is meant for students, were not in good taste. It does not reflect well on the editing staff of the paper. I suggest that the supplement should be published more frequently and should include a column of debate on some relevant topics for students.

ANKITA SINGH, Chandigarh

Blood camp

I went through the news item ‘Blood donation camp on International Women’s Day’ in The Tribune dated March 9, 2003. I appreciate the fact that the newspaper is promoting social causes by organising a blood donation camp on the occasion of International Women’s Day. I think this is one of the few newspapers that has been organising blood donation camps on its premises. All blood donors are a source of inspiration for others. I think these types of social programmes should be organised from time to time because they help in empowering society.

Manoj Kumar, Chandigarh

Remedial steps

I attended an anand karaj at Gurdwara Amb Sahib at Mohali during the month of January. It was the peak of winters. We were told by a sevadar at the entrance that socks have to be removed. To add to the ordeal, we had to walk on the cold flooring, and as a mandatory requirement to wade through the cold water. This was not the end. Even the exit was through the same water. Here I would like to point out that in the severe winter frostbites are quite common. To pass through cold water may aggravate the problem. For old people, who are not very sure-footed, the slippery marble floor can lead to a fall. I am sure the gurdwara funds can be utilised for several welfare activities. It is high time the management should look into the inconvenience and take remedial measures.

Few kilometers away at Chandigarh only a few gurdwaras have water troughs, providing small passages on the sides of it. There is no compulsion of removal of socks. Another requirement is to provide some sort of benches in gurdwara halls so that the old and infirm people with a lot of aches and pains can sit down. The gurdwara at Sector 34 is considered to be the most respected, revered and well-managed institution. The management has provided this facility but not in the gurdwara main hall. However, in the Sector 35 gurdwara benches have been provided. It is high time that our management committees should look into these problems without violating the ‘maryada’.

Col T.S. Sidhu (Retd), Chandigarh

A balanced formula

This is with reference to the new Rent Act in Chandigarh for which I wish to make a few suggestions viz-a-viz a balanced formula as under:

(1) The increase in rent should not be exorbitant but it should be rationalised. The increase in fresh rent to be fixed from the date of original tenancy to date at the rate of 25 per cent hike after every three years, i.e. if a tenant took possession of the building in 1970 at the rate of Rs 400 per month, then taking into account the above formula, the rent should have been Rs 500 in 1973, Rs 625 in 1976, Rs 780 in 1979 and so on. As such the present rent in 2003 comes out to be Rs 4657 per month.

(2) There should not be any personal necessity clause in respect of commercial buildings particularly for those landlords who attain the age of superanuation.

(3) The tenant should be given the option of purchasing the occupied building in question and the sales price of the said building should be fixed in proportion to the age of the tenancy between 25 per cent to 50 per cent of the present market value i.e. higher the age of tenancy and lower the price and vice-versa.

(4) If at all none of the above materialises, only then the tenant should be asked to vacate the building and should be accommodated by way of giving suitable amount out of the present market value of the building, again linked with the age of tenancy to enable him to rehabilitate.

(5) Keeping in view the above, if any of the suggestions is accepted to resolve the tenant-landlord tangle, according to my opinion, lots of time and money wasted on litigation can be saved and cordial relations between the two parties maintained. I further suggest to the present litigants that if at all the above formula suits or materialises, then they should come out of the court and settle their issues themselves.

S.K. Tandon, Chandigarh

Give concession

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has shown its concern for Chandigarh-based senior citizens by giving them 50 per cent concession in fares for bus journeys. But this concession is limited to local journeys within the limits of Chandigarh only. The concession is, however, not available for long-route journeys.

The Railways give concession in rail journeys to senior citizens to all destinations in every train. Shatabdi trains are also covered. Indian Airlines offer concession for all the journeys.

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking is requested to extend concession to senior citizens in long-route journeys in its buses as well. This will not affect materially its revenue as the elderly persons do not travel for fun, but travel only when extremely essential.

G.R. Kalra, Chandigarh



Glitz & glamour
No need to stay away from the world of colours on Holi
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

SHE is not scratching her pretty little head with ivory chiseled, manicured, fingers, worrying about a safe hideout for staying away from the ruthless world of colours on Holi. Nay, not anymore.

In fact, for the first time in so many years the under-grad is actually pacing the room, making plans for painting the town, and herself, red, gold and green, fearlessly.

Has readily agreed to attend a Holi bash being organised by that smart hunk in the neighbourhood. Before cutting along the sharp curves of life on way to Kasauli with her chums in an open jeep, that is.

The reason behind her enthusiasm is not hard to see. In 2003, cute little Zaira has learnt the secret of playing with the boys, and colours, without being scared of "permanent repercussions".

Of course, she will be taking all necessary precautionary measures. She has already purchased a nice swimming cap for protecting her silky highlighted tresses.

Has also picked up a bottle of cleansing milk to uncover her real self from under the hues of celebrations after all that colouring.

So folks, if you too have been hiding in that room on the roof, scared of dry skin and rough fluff after the festivities are over, read on for some real nice tips complied by experts just for you.

1. Offer your own colours to the visitors as far as possible. Before that, go in for "good" stuff. Not the one picked up from any roadside vendor.

Just make sure there are no hard particles. Liberally add talcum powder to the colours for reducing the intensity of the shade, and damage.

2. Keep it dry as far as possible. It takes little effort to get rid of dry tones. You can always request your friends not to rub wet blush. Common cold is a good excuse.

3. Do not apply petrol or kerosene for getting rid of the stains, please. Use cleansing milk, instead. That’s a better option. After removing the dyestuff, go in for moisturiser.

4. Apply flat beer before washing hair. It helps in toning and conditioning your scalp, besides removing the colour. The solution is expensive, but worth the price you pay.

5. Remember to use a good shampoo, or a mild soap. A harsh shampoo or soap can cause a great deal of damage to your crowning glory. A mild shampoo, on the other hand, is a boon for your tresses.

6. Afterwards, apply a good conditioner. Go in for a leave-in conditioner forms a coating on the hair, preventing dirt and pollution from settling down in the process.

7. Though frequent application of henna further dries your hair, occasional application helps in adding luster, specially after hard Holi wash.

8. Last thing. Holi or any other occasion, shift to gels, pomades and creams. Spray-on styling products, available over the counter, are good, but they unfortunately leave the hair dry.

Go in for gels and creams, even hair-wax. They add to the moisture content of your mane.

Hair will never appear rude again. So guys and gals, have a nice time on Holi without being scared of colours.



Venus Speaks Scared no more

SHE was scared of celebrating Holi. Afraid of going out with friends for getting the colours of affection rubbed on her tender cheeks.

That was days ago. Till we told her the secrets of staying gorgeous even after playing with the shades of revelry on Holi.

"My past experience with colours has been bad. All the shades used to leave my skin dry, and hair grizzly after Holi," says student Payal, pushing back her black tresses. "That is why I used to avoid going out to celebrate on Holi. Used to stay indoors all the time on one pretext or another. But in 2003, things will be different. I am sure. After being told about the cool tips for protecting tresses, and my complexion, I too plan to have a nice time".

But will she be going out with friends? “No, I will not be driving around the city with my friends, but will not be hiding either, that is for sure. I plan to have a nice time, that is all," she asserts. We also hope you enjoy. — SM



Tip Top
Play with the hues of love, but with caution

DANCE, drink and colours…. The parties can get wild. No doubt about it. Here is a complete survival guide to avoid unnecessary complications.

Girls, avoid going uphill unless you are accompanied by escorts. It's bad. You will encounter guys, high on Holi spirit, dancing to the thumping beats of rhythmic music after parking their cars right in the middle of the meandering road.

Otherwise also, go to parties you are sure of. Don't just drive down to a bash with a friend if you know nothing about the neighbourhood. Also, make sure the hands applying colour are innocent. If the guys try to act indecent by rubbing the blush not just on the visage, glare back before leaving the venue. Report the matter to the cops. Do not be scared. If nothing else, it will teach them a lesson for all times to come.

Guys, do not go overboard. You are there to enjoy the bash, not to make a fool out of yourself. If people force you to drink, do not be rude. Do not get drowned in drinks either, even if you believe in combining dancing with guzzling.

Also, stick to one drink. Avoid beer, if you are likely to feel the urge of having rum-in-coke later, that is. Blending drinks will only give you headache the next morning.

Back to the girls, do not forget to carry a bag. Remember to tuck in just the bare necessities like a mobile and some money. Car keys also remain safe. Another thing, clean your bag of important papers lest they get all soaked up. — SM



Top 10 songs about famous people

Since time immemorial we have been enjoying songs that talk about different facets of life. But this week Radio Buzz zeroes in on a list of all time favourites that have been named after some real famous people. Read on....

  • Calling Elvis Dire Straits
  • Robert De Niro's Waiting Bananarama
  • Ballad Of John And Yoko The Beatles
  • Sir Duke Stevie Wonder
  • Dinner With Gershwin Donna Summer
  • John Wayne Is a Big Leggy Haysi Fantayzee
  • Michael Caine Madness
  • Bette Davis Eyes Kim Carnes
  • Black Superman(Muhammad Ali) Johnny Wakelin
  • I Feel Like Buddy Holly Alvin Stardust



Body found
Our Correspondent

Lalru, March 11
A mutilated body of a middle aged woman was found on the Kalka-Ambala railway line near Lalru here today. The body was sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examination.



Philips introduces Eye-Fi technology for CTVs
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
When the consumer-durable companies are lamenting that despite freebies and discounts during the ongoing Cricket World Cup, their sales have not picked up, Philips India Ltd has decided to promote its Eye-Fi technology-based CTVs. Consequently, the sale has picked up substantially, says Ramandeep Singh Trehan, branch head, Consumer Electronics, Philips India Ltd.

Mr Trehan (30) claims that unlike other companies, Philips is emphasising on providing world-class CTVs to those people who are ready to pay a ‘little extra’ for the quality product. He says the company’s name has become synonymous with quality, good after-sales-service and additional features of the products. Further, the company is launching the same models in all markets, brought out by the Singapore -based R&D centre of the company. At present, Philips’ share in the CTV market is around 6 per cent in the national market, and about 10 per cent in the Chandigarh and Punjab market.

He says with a dealer network of over 500 in the region, the company is dealing in CTVs, audio systems and DVDs. It has introduced Eye-Fi technology, which ensures better quality of picture by amplifying the coming signals. Further, it is adding digital meter, that would enable the viewer to see what percentage of signals are being broadcast by the cable operators. The company is already the market leader in the audio systems market and has also launched the world’s first broadband internet micro system. It could be connected to the PC to play back all the MP3 files in the computer.

Mr Ramandeep did graduation in mechanical engineering from Bathinda and diploma sales from IGNOU. For the past five years, he is looking after the marketing network of the Chandigarh branch, comprising Punjab, Himachal, J&K and Chandigarh. Regarding his hobbies, he says: “I love travelling and to try every new restaurant in the region, along with my wife and daughter. Though the work schedule remains very hectic, but I make it a point to spare quality time with my family”.

Talking about the changing trends in the city market, he says most of the customers in the city look for qualitative product and ask for zero finance schemes. Almost 60 per cent of the total sales is just from Sector 22 and 35 markets. Interestingly, the customers from SAS Nagar would come here to watch the new models and to check the price tag. However, they would bargain with their nearest dealer to save the octroi.

In the Punjab market, he says, due to a large number of NRI population, the customers are well aware about the Philips brand. They would buy it for the marriage of their daughters. Others would ask for finance, but would not give post-dated cheques though they may have to give in additional 2 per cent interest rate.

The company has recently cut down prices, he says, of 29” normal TV to 19,990, 29” flat TV to 29,990 and of 29” TV with in-built DVD to 49,990. Its strategy to install its project TVs in hotels for demonstration purposes has been very successful. After feeling the impact of TV on customers, he says most of them have purchased them.


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