Tuesday, May 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Celebration and jubilation time for ICSE
Class X toppers

This time boys outshine girls * Laurels for YPS Class XII students * Panchkula’s golden twins
Tribune News Service

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the toppers said it was hard work coupled with the cooperation and efforts of their school teachers that helped them sail through with flying colours. One of the toppers, Sakshi Mathur, said she had put in eight to 10 hours of study each day. She said she had not taken any tuitions, but concentrated on her class room lectures and self study.

Subjectwise Brahmleen of YPS has topped the school in Punjabi with 95 marks out of 100, history and geography with 98 marks, mathematics with 97 marks, science with 95 marks and computer science with 97 marks. Tavpraneet Singh is sharing the top position with Brahmleen in Punjabi and Science while Abhinav Goel has topped the school in Hindi with 90 marks.

Chandigarh, May 19
It was a moment of suspense and exhilaration for a large number of city school students who had appeared in the Class X examination in 2003 conducted by the Council for Indian Certificate for Secondary Education. The results were declared late this evening.

While the complete results were not available as the ICSE website, on which the results were posted, was clogged and could not be accessed, information received till late evening indicated that a student from Mohali, Prabhleen Kaur, and one from Panchkula, Parth Sethi, scored over others, aggregating 95 per cent marks each. As per available information, Rohit Gulati was leading in the city, scoring 94.9 per cent marks.

Over 2000 students from nine schools in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar had appeared in the examination held in March. For a number of students, it was an anxious wait as the results slowly trickled in.

From St Stephens School, Mayank Kaushal scored 93.1 per cent, Nitin Goel got 93.3 per cent, Sidhant Sharma got 93.1 per cent, Dev Ashish Sardana with 92.5 per cent, Udit Narula with 91.1 per cent, Udit Vir Singh Hooda with 91.1 per cent, Ketan Sharma with 91.1 per cent, Rajdeep Singh with 90 per cent and Piyush Jaiswal with 90 per cent.

Akshay Dhawan from St Kabir scored 93.8 per cent, followed by Mehak with 93.6 per cent, Mayank Aggarwal with 93 per cent, Megha Shyam with 92.3 per cent, Manbir Singh with 92 per cent and Akriti with 91.8 per cent.

At St Joseph’s High School the toppers were Neha Gupta and Rajat Sharma, who scored 90 per cent each. Dev Yani Grewal from Tender Heart School topped in his institute, scoring 90 per cent.

School principals, however, declined to confirm results, saying that they could not make any statement till the complete result was available.

In Panchkula, it was twins — Parth Sethi and Vaibhav Sethi — who did Little Flower Convent School proud in the Class X Indian Certificate for Secondary Education ( ICSE) examinations for the year 2002- 2003. While Parth has topped in the district by securing 95 percent marks, his sibling has secured 91 percent marks.

This is the second time in a row that “twin power” has ruled in this district. Last year, twins Shelja and Ankur, also from Little Flower Convent School, had topped the Class X ICSE results.

This year it was boys who outshone girls in the Class X examinations. Of the 10 students from Little Flower Convent who secured above 90 per cent marks, six were boys. Other than Parth and Vaibhav, Chandan Goel (91.5 per cent), Prakrim Joshi (93.3 per cent) , Nitish Goel (93 per cent) and Gifty Batra (92.3 per cent) have made a commendable performance.

Amongst the girls, Sakshi Mathur (93.8 per cent), Vidisha Gupta (92.8 per cent) ,Mohita Chaudhary ( 93.1 per cent) and Preeti Dhanda (93 per cent) have also secured a good result. Other than this, 22 students of the school have secured above 85 per cent marks while the pass percentage is 100 per cent.

For a change it were the boys who outshone girls at the Yadavindra Public School Class X ICSE results. Barring Brahmleen Kaur who topped the school with 95 per cent marks, the next five positions were secured by boys. Tavpraneet Singh has come second in the school with 93.5 per cent marks followed by Abhinav Goel who has secured 91.5 per cent marks. The fourth position in the school has been secured by Arjun Singh Channi with 88.3 per cent marks followed by Kabir Diskshit with 88 per cent marks. Kabir shares his position with Roseleen who has secured the same marks.

Meanwhile, in the ISE Class XII results declared this evening, Simar Grewal of Yadvindra Public School topped the Class XII examination in the commerce stream in the township while Japneet Gharaya of the same school topped in the non medical stream and Amaninder Mann of the school topped in the medical stream.

The highest percentage of marks were secured by Simar in the commerce stream who with 89 per cent also secured the first position in Class XII in the school. Sahira Bhullar is second in the commerce stream in the school with 82.6 per cent marks followed by Manav Kathuria with 80.4 per cent marks.

Navneet Batth with 86.8 per cent marks is second in the non medical stream and Gagandeep Singh is third with 85.2 per cent marks.

Subject wise, Navneet and Maninderjit have topped the school and the township in mathematics with 88 per cent marks while Navneet also has topped in computer science with 92 per cent marks. In physics, Gagandeep Singh has secured 88 per cent marks the highest in the township while Simar has topped in economics, commerce and business mathematics. Manav Kathuria has topped the township in accounts with 86 per cent marks.


Drama in Sec 17 parking lot
Contractor ‘pays for’ asking IG to pay up
Tribune News Service

The contractor, Devinder Singh, who was assaulted by the gunmen of the IG.
The contractor, Devinder Singh, who was assaulted by the gunmen of the IG. 

Chandigarh, May 19
A high drama was enacted in the paid parking area near the Gurdev Studio in Sector 17 here when armed gunmen of an Inspector General of Punjab Police wielded their batons to take revenge from a contractor who dared to ask their boss to pay for parking in the area. The reinforcement was requisitioned by the IG (Intelligence), Mr Shashi Kant, to teach the contractor a lession.

For a few minutes it appeared that the Punjab Police gunmen had taken control of the area as they chased the contractor, Devinder Singh, and his employees. Before the local police intervened, the contractor and his employees had been bashed up by the gunmen of the IG.

The trouble started at around 12.30 pm when the IG drove into the parking area in a white-coloured Maruti Gypsy ( HRU 6629). The IG, who was at the steering wheel and was alone, did not stop his vehicle at the entry point and drove straight to the parking area. The contractor walked up to the vehicle and allegedly used abusive language while asking for the parking fee from the IG — a fact denied by the contractor. Apparently infuriated at the tone, the IG called his gunmen to teach the contractor a lesson.

The contractor, while talking to the TNS, said in spite of not being aware of the identity of the IG, he had asked him to pay for the parking in a polite manner. “The IG called someone by the name of Jagjit on his mobile phone and within minutes as many as eight gunmen were at the spot looking for me. I was bullied by them and they threatened to take me to the Phase 8 police station in SAS Nagar”, said the contractor.

The situation was saved from getting worse as a large number people gathered at the spot. The contractor claimed that his employees prevented the gunmen from escaping in another Gypsy (CH 01 G 0869). Both parties were asked to come to the Sector 17 police station. The IG, Mr Shashi Kant, said he had parked his vehicle in the parking lot little knowing that there was no free parking for government vehicles there as had been the practice in the past.

He said the Gypsy was his official vehicle and he had gone for some official work to Sector 17. “The contractor had used abusive language and it had offended me. Earlier, the government vehicles were exempted from the parking fee”, said Mr Kant adding that he did not want to pursue the case against the contractor.

On the other hand the contractor claimed that as the IG had apologised so he had not filed any complaint with the police. A senior police official said neither any written complaint had been filed by the two parties nor had they tendered a written apology. The police had intervened to make the two parties reach a compromise.

Both parties remained at the police station for over an hour and the DSP, Central, Mr S.C. Sagar, and the SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Mr B.S. Negi, could be seen listening to both the parties. At last the police prevailed upon the contractor who left without filing any written complaint.

The police says it had got a large number of complaints of misbehaviour by employees of the new contractors.

It was not the first time that there had been a clash between the contractor and the visitors to Sector 17 over paid parking. Sources in the police say after the new contractors took over the paid parking lots from April this year, almost every day people were complaining about misbehaviour by the contractor and his men. Yesterday, the SHO of the Sector 17 police station had called a meeting of the contractors over the issue. “If the contractors had any complaint, they should report the matter to the Sector 17 police post and leave it to the police to solve the matter”.



I was never in CBI custody: Bhardwaj
Kiran Deep

  • Hearing of Bhardwaj’s pre-arrest bail application and plea for production of documents relating to his custody has been fixed for May 21.

  • R.M. Gupta the suspended Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge, had been remanded in the judicial custody till May 30 by the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal. He is presently lodged in the Model Burail Jail.

  • Bhardwaj has claimed he has been falsely implicated in the case and was not in the CBI custody on the day of raids.

  • The CBI has claimed that it had recovered Rs 7 lakh from Bhardwaj that had been paid to him as bribe. His ‘hand wash’ was taken which was found positive in the presence of two independent witnesses and Mr L.R. Roojam, Sessions Judge Vigilance, Punjab.

Chandigarh, May 19
Refuting the allegations of being in the custody at the time of raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at his residence, UT’s suspended Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S.S. Bhardwaj today sought directions for the production of evidence to prove his presence there. In an application moved before a local court, he has sought directions to be issued to the CBI to produce all documents allegedly prepared by it during the raid on May 10.

On the other hand, the CBI, while filing a reply in connection with the anticipatory bail application moved by Bhardwaj, said it had recovered Rs 7 lakh that Bhardwaj had accepted as bribe. His hand wash was taken and it was found positive.

According to Bhardwaj, the CBI has been alleging that he had escaped from its custody on the intervening night of May 10 and 11, so it might have prepared certain documents relating to the case and same were required to be produced for the perusal of the court before reaching any conclusion on the bail application.

Bhardwaj said he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case by complainant Gurvinder Singh in connivance with the CBI. He claimed that he was out of station on May 9 and 10 and before going, he had taken station leave.

In its reply the CBI stated that the after completing the pre-trap formalities in the presence of independent witnesses — Dev Raj, and Madan Lal and Mr L.R. Roojam, Sessions Judge (Vigilance), Punjab — a trap was laid and S.S. Bhardwaj was caught red-handed while demanding a bribe of Rs 7 lakh.

Refuting the claim made by Bhardwaj that he was on leave on May 9 and 10, the CBI stated that he was caught red-handed at his official residence, but he managed to escape while the legal formalities were on.

After hearing the pleas for an anticipatory bail and production of documents, the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh adjourned the case for May 21.



Officials shielding Sarpanch: villagers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
There is resentment among a section of Mullanpur-Garibdass villagers, after the Department of Rural Development and Panchyats, Punjab, stayed the suspension of the village Sarpanch, Mr Deewan Singh. At a press conference held here today, the complainants alleged that some officials of the department were shielding the Sarpanch.

At least 10 villagers had filed several complaints against the Sarpanch and the complainants had also met the Punjab Chief Minister. The Deputy Director (LD) had suspended the Sarpanch on March 7 by using powers vested in the Director (Panchyats). However, the suspension order was stayed on March 26 as reports of the DDPO (in the matter) were found ‘contradictory’ and a fresh enquiry was marked to the ADC (Ropar). The ADC was asked to submit his report within a period of one month.

Addressing the press conference, Mr Karnail Singh, a complainant in the Sarpanch case, alleged that the complainants (about 10) were being harassed unnecessarily. Mr Harnek Singh, another complainant said, “We (complainants) have been summoned at least six times at the department’s Patiala office and each time we were given a further date”. Another complainant, Mr Gurmukh Singh, alleged that the Sarpanch was being shielded by certain officials of the department. “We want immediate action against the Sarpanch” demanded Mr Gurmukh Singh and added: “We have come to know that on May 14 another inquiry in the case had been marked to the ADC (Ropar)”.

No official of the Rural Development and Panchyats, Punjab, could be contacted for comments. The Sarpanch was suspended for an alleged embezzlement of Rs 1.19 lakh, issuance of fake no-objection certificate which lead to encroachment on village land and for being imprisoned in a criminal case.



City sizzles at 43°C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Maximum temperature in the city today was 43°C. The temperature was 1° less than last year’s temperature of 44°C recorded on the same date.

Hisar in Haryana recorded a maximum temperature of 45.6°C, the highest temperature in the region, so far. The temperature recorded in this hottest city of North India last year was 48°C.

Shimla recorded a maximum of 28°C which was the same as last year.

Amritsar was the hottest city in Punjab with a maximum temperature of 44°C followed by Patiala at 43.9°C. In Amritsar and Patiala, the maximum temperature was 5°C and 3.9°C, respectively, above the average temperature of these cities. Last year, Amritsar recorded a maximum temperature of 45°C and Patiala 44°C.

The maximum temperatures of other cities in the region recorded were Bhuntar 35.4°C, Ludhiana 43.4°C and Sundernagar 39.3C.

According to reports from the Meteorological Department, the temperature is expected to rise further over the next few days.

The maximum temperature in Chandigarh and other major cities of Haryana and Punjab was 3° to 6° above normal.

According to Meteorological Department Director, Mr S.C. Bhan, the dry spell would continue over the next 48 hours in the region with isolated duststorm haze in the South-West Punjab and Haryana. The areas likely to witness duststorm included Ferozepore, Abohar, Fazilka, Bathinda, Hisar and Sirsa. The monsoon was likely to reach Punjab and Haryana in the last week of June, he said.



Scheme to rehabilitate scavengers fails
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The national scheme for the ‘liberation and rehabilitation of scavengers and their dependents’, implemented by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment since 1992, has failed to achieve its objectives in many States, even after 10 years of implementation involving investments of more than Rs. 600 crore.

“Achievements so far can at best be described as sporadic, uncoordinated and generally poor, without the strength required for catalysing the future course. It is the lack of purpose in aligning the parameters of the scheme and lack of will in implementing it that led to the scheme floundering on its own assumptions”, pointed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its latest report on the performance of the ministry.

The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 was adopted by 16 States by April, 2002; it was, however, not enforced in any State. The States that adopted the Act include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Rajasthan and Delhi are yet to adopt the Act: the matter is currently under the process of legislature in Rajasthan and it is pending cabinet approval in Delhi.

The process of training to scavengers lacked systematic efforts, absence of any special curriculum, shortfall in achievement of targets and absence of interfaces between the institutions, the government departments and the scheme administrators.

As a result, the target of training envisaged for the eighth Plan could not be achieved. According to a report of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, training was imparted to only 1.11 lakh scavengers (32 per cent) during the period 1992-97 as against the identified 3.50 lakh scavengers.

The CAG report has further pointed out that the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment neither made any special efforts to accelerate the pace of training nor revised its target for the succeeding years. It may be mentioned that no training was conducted in the States of Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab and no targets were fixed in Assam, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajathan.

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the implementing agencies in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal did not plan any specific women oriented schemes.

Of the 14,674 women scavengers identified for training in Punjab, 8,212 opted to receive training; of these, only 1,396 women (17 per cent) could be rehabilitated by March, 2002. As against a target of setting up of 4,606 sanitary marts for the rehabilitation of 1,15,150 scavengers in 14 States, the implementing agencies could set up only 636 sanitary marts rehabilitating 4,107 scavengers. In Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Kerala, the scheme was not implemented at all.



Administrator firm on checking encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, Justice O.P. Verma (retd) today asked officials of the local administration to develop "zero tolerance" to encroachments on public land and ensure strict vigil to check these.

The Administrator issued these instructions when the Deputy Commissioner Mr M. Ramshekhar, apprised him of the growing problem of encroachments in the city, at a meeting.

The Deputy Commissioner gave a detailed report to the Administrator on encroachments and the problems of various schemes of rehabilitation launched in Chandigarh from time to time.

Justice Verma asked him to take action against officials found negligent in their duty towards protecting the public land. Such negligence should be recorded in his or her service record, he said.

He said a message had to go to the public that the old rehabilitation scheme would no longer continue. He asked the Adviser to get the old rehabilitation scheme legally rescinded to make it inoperative in future.

Justice Verma asked the Adviser to conduct a survey of vacant land available with the Administration to save it from further encroachments.

He said the officials concerned should identify pieces of such land and photograph them for record, so that the land was encroached upon, action could be taken against erring officials.

He expressed his concern over the fact that the administration paid huge compensation to the parties without taking possession of the acquired land. He said it was surprising that the possession of pieces of land acquired as many as eight years ago had not been yet taken and the Administration had paid the compensation in undue haste.

The Administrator also asked the Adviser to ensure a coordinated action plan against those who have encroached upon public land and also against those who had brought the overhead electricity supply lines closer to residential buildings in a dangerous proximity.

Justice Verma said field officers should regularly visit spots to mark encroachments. He asked the Adviser to come up with a comprehensive plan on such encroachments and its solution by the next week.

The Adviser, Mr Virendra Singh, the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, were also present in the meeting.



Little Magazine has stood test of time
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, May 19
The magazine may be called The Little Magazine, but it seems to be the bold answer against the profit-making media, the creation of the market forces. Started by Antara Dev Sen, daughter of Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen, about three years ago, the magazine has stood the test of time and is on a constant move upwards, creating a niche for itself in the literary world.

“We at The Little Magazine strongly believe in giving power to a writer before putting a pen in his hand,” says Antara, as she shared her experiences as the Editor of the magazine during an interactive session organised by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi in the auditorium of the Chandigarh Arts Council in Sector 34 here today. “I am not against mainstream media, but it is high time one has to change the mindset of people, help them to know their rich heritage rather than the popular life and style images the media has been feeding them with,” she says.

As she interacted with city’s ‘who’s who’ in the literary field, Antara talked about using language as a tool for bridging up the diverse literary and cultural heritage of India and creating awareness among people as a means of empowerment. “Literature is important to know where we stand in a multicultural set up,” she says.

For a country like India that has 22 official languages, Antara emphasised on the need to take up more and more translation work. “Though English serves as the link language and still the language for the upper middle class people in our country, it is not that other regional languages have not produced good works. It is only through translation work that we can show to the world that we do have something to offer in the literary field. So if people think that nothing worthwhile has been done after Tagore, then they should know how wrong they are,” she says.

While refusing to accept the people’s verdict that The Little Magazine is only for the highly intellectual class, Antara says it is a total misnomer. Though the magazine contains highly thought-provoking essays, it also has a sizable number of art and culture-related articles that can be enjoyed by all, she says. “To make it more people-friendly we have now accepted advertisements but only those which fall along the line of its objectivity,” she adds.

Antara, who resigned from her post as a Senior Editor of a national daily to start the venture, says the response from readers has been positive. “Initially, it was a tough job as the editor of a magazine which is running within limited resources but we all worked hard to make it perfect and now we have created our readership, however, minor the group may be,” she says.



Panel fails to take decision
Move for privatisation in sanitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The nine-member all party committee of councillors today failed to take a final decision on whether privatisation should be allowed in sanitation even as eight nominated councillors today supported the privatisation proposed by Mayor Subhash Chawla.

The committee has decided to meet again possibly after the May 22 dharna of agitating sweepers on the municipal corporation.

Nominated councillors expressed their view through a letter to the committee headed by former Mayor Lalit Joshi. The nominated councillor, Dr K. S. Raju, is the convener of the committee.

The meeting also witnessed a change in the views of certain councillors after an assurance was believed to have been given that the authority of councillors to issue satisfaction certificate to private contractors would be restored. The BJP councillor in the committee, Mr Rajesh Gupta, reportedly opposed privatisation in sanitation.

The Chandigarh Vikas Manch councillor, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, had been taken up the issue on behalf of councillors.

The committee this time did not call the Sweepers’ Union as they had already submitted their charter of demands in the last meeting.

Congress councillor Balraj Singh clearly opposed the privatisation move while other party members waited till the next meeting and expressed the view that before taking any decision on the issue, the financial position of the corporation and legality of making recommendation of employing 1009 sweepers on a permanent basis had to be taken into account.

The meeting assumed importance in the wake of cracks being witnessed in the ruling Congress. Municipal Commissioner M. P. Singh also attended the meeting to clarify that as per the Administration’s view permanent jobs and daily wage would not be possible in the near future suggesting that there was no option but to continue privatisation till permanent posts were created for sweepers. 



Visitors pay for parking on HUDA land
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
The two cinema halls in the township are charging money from cinema buffs for parking vehicles outside their premises in spite of the fact that paid parking has so far not been introduced anywhere in the district.

Taking advantage of ignorance of visitors, who are unaware of the distinction between parking within the cinema premises and on land owned by the Haryana Urban Development Authority, the visitors are being forced to pay for parking on the pretext of “ensuring safety of the vehicles.” Though the cinema owners can charge for parking within their premises, no money can be charged for parking outside the cinema premises.

A visit to the two cinema halls — Suraj Theatre in Sector 1 and KC Cinema in Sector 5 — revealed that the cinema owners were operating in violation of the terms of allotment of cinema sites. While gullible visitors at KC Cinema are being forced to pay Rs 5 for a vehicle, be it car, scooter or a bicycle, at Suraj Theatre film enthusiasts are being made to pay Rs 10 for a car and Rs 5 for a two-wheeler .

At Suraj Theatre, the cinema management has encroached upon the land surrounding the cinema hall by putting up a gate, which is manned by at least two people. Even the exit route has a rope to prevent visitors from leaving without paying for the parking. Interestingly, the proprietor of the cinema hall, Mr Vipin Kumar Jain, when contacted, maintained that he had no information about people being charged for parking outside his theatre.

The parking slip being issued to the visitors does not mention the amount to be paid. It just says: “On loss of this parking slip, the vehicle owner will be liable to pay four times the parking fee and will also have to produce two witnesses to reclaim their vehicle”. According to estimates, around 50 persons on an average visit these cinema halls each day, thus benefitting the cinema owners who are facing stiff competition from the more frequented cinemas in Chandigarh.

The management of KC Cinema, when contacted by Chandigarh Tribune, maintained that they had started paid parking only to ensure that the vehicles were not stolen from outside their premises. “It is being done only for the safety of the vehicles of visitors. If somebody has objections to this, we are not forcing them to pay,” said Mr Roop Raj, Manager of the cinema.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, said neither the district administration nor HUDA had allowed any paid parking in the township. She said strict action would be taken against those found charging for parking at any public place.



Bureaucrats ran the show in city

Chitleen K Sethi

CHANDIGARH became a Union Territory on November 1, 1966, with the bifurcation of the larger state of Punjab into the purportedly Hindi-speaking Haryana and the Punjabi-speaking Punjab. This immediately brought it under the direct charge of bureaucrats. The Chief Commissioner, as the head of the Chandigarh bureaucracy, immediately lost his boss, the Chief Minister of Punjab. Now it was to the Governor of Punjab to whom he had to report. The Governor, however, was too busy performing his role as the constitutional head of the state to bother much about the day-to-day functioning of the administration in Chandigarh. The absence of a political boss could have been a dream come true for any bureaucrat. For, by 1966-67, the political class of India had already started its Aya Ram Gaya Ram politics and begun the process, which indicated that they were far more concerned about their own private welfare than the future and welfare of the people or the country.

In such a situation the entire responsibility of the running of Chandigarh fell upon bureaucrats. Hitherto, under the aegis of the colonial government, the norm for administration had been for the superior officer to take a decision and simply instruct his subordinates to implement. That is another matter that many a superior officer in colonial times did take into account the opinions of his subordinates and the whims and fancies of his superiors before finalising a decision. Independence, however, had brought with it a new wave of democracy, a sense of collective responsibility, and a desire to do what was best for the country and the people. Many Indian bureaucrats of those days had become firmly committed to the ideas of liberal democracy and since the 1950s at least, decentralisation had been the important mantra amongst many of them. Admittedly, liberal decentralisation had been designed to create a Panchayati Raj system for local governance a la the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. But that had yet to be implemented. In Chandigarh, though, even without any set of elected representatives, the bureaucrats began to work towards liberal decentralisation.

Under this principle the Chief Engineer of the Capitol Project, the Chief Architect and the Director of the Post-graduate Medical Research Institute were made Secretaries of their respective organisations. Apart from this a number of committees were organised to deal with current problems. Mostly officers of the government were nominated to these committees depending on the charge that they were holding currently. Some faculty members from the university too were co-opted along with one or two members of the public who were closely linked to the important bureaucrats

The important committees included the Capital Advisory Committee, the Capital Control Board, Education Committee, Committee on Health, Industrial Area Development Committee, Hose Allotment Committees, Landscape Committee, Museum Committee, Negotiation Committee for the allotment of Industrial Plots, Sports Committee, Traffic Advisory Committee, Festival Programme Committee etc.

In those days working with such committees was not yet part of the experience of a bureaucrat. So even the basic functioning of the committee had to be told to the members. The Chief Commissioner insisted that all the officers who were part of these committees, irrespective of how junior they were, should come up with suggestions for the better working of their respective charges even when the issue was not part of the agenda of the committee. The recommendations and decisions of these committees, it was presumed, reflected the collective wisdom of the committee members. The proceedings of the meetings were circulated so that the concerned officer could adequately attend to the various points that had been raised. It was felt that this method had ensured speed in decision-making and a good deal of unnecessary red tape had been eliminated. Time schedules were fixed for the performance of all tasks and periodic reviews were held to see that the schedules were adhered to.



Air Marshal Gandhi arrives in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command (WAC), Air Marshal A.R. Gandhi, arrived on a three-day inspection visit to the Chandigarh Air Force Station here today. He is accompanied by his wife, Ms Matilda Gandhi, president Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) (regional).

On arrival here, they were received by the Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cdr Arun Gopinath and Ms Jaya Gopinath, president Air Force Wives Welfare Association (local). The Air Marshal was presented a guard of honour and was introduced to senior officers of the station.

Air Marshal Gandhi went around various units and establishments of the air force station and was also given a briefing on operational and administrative matters pertaining to the station. He also interacted with senior NCOs of the station. He will also address all air force personnel at the station.

Air Marshal Gandhi is also scheduled to meet the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Meanwhile, Ms Gandhi took stock of AFWWA welfare activities at the station. She interacted with the wives of officers and airmen of the station and visited various AFWWA centres here, including Umeed, a special institution for physically and mentally challenged children.



Civil-military talks should resolve pending issues

UNTIL 2001, one civil and military liaison (CML) conference for all the states, which are in the territorial jurisdiction of the Headquarters Western Command, was held annually. But from 2002, a separate conference is held for each state. For Punjab, the first such conference was held in the second week of May at Punjab Bhawan. This was also the first time that it was not held at the Headquarters Western Command, but in Chandigarh.

The CML conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and was addressed by him and the GOC-in-C Western Command, Lieut-Gen S.S. Mehta. Those who attended the conference were senior officers from the Army, Punjab Government and paramilitary forces.

In his address, Capt Amarinder Singh promised to extend his full co-operation on the issue of mutual interest. In his address, General Mehta said that the Army was ensuring that the land acquired for Operation “Parakram” was handed over to the civil administration after it was totally free of mines.

Incidentally, what has been making the Army sore over the years is wearing of Army uniform by the security guards at hotels, restaurants and big shops in almost all cities. Besides raising this point at the CML conference, a former Army Commander had also requested the then Chief Minister, Mr P.S. Badal, in writing for stopping the misuse of Army uniform. But this undesirable practice, amounting to an offence, still continues.

A costly delay

Presiding over the panel discussion on the Iraq war in Panjab University a few days ago, a former Army Chief, General V.P. Malik, brought out the example of integration of allied forces which was a war winning factor. He also highlighted how modernisation becomes a plus point in fighting a war successfully. He further said that we are “slow in modernisation” and “slow in integration”.

There are many lessons that we can learn from the Iraq war. But our political hierarchy’s mindset being what it is, we will remain where we are. For, if we have not learnt any lesson from our own wars, especially from the Chinese debacle in 1962, it is unlikely that we will change our stance now.

If this was not so, then the government would not have been dragging its feet on appointing a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) after taking a final decision on this long pending issue more than two years ago. The decision about restructuring of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) also seems to have been thrown to the winds.

As for the modernisation, we believe in moving at a snail’s pace even after the Kargil conflict in 1999, which brought out vividly the absence of essential modern equipment in our Army. Our armed forces have been waiting for an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT), Light Combat Air Craft (LCA), Aircraft Carrier and Main Battle Tank (MBT), to name only a few, for many years now.

Justice through courts?

The pay scales recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission were implemented in two phases for the personnel below officers ranks (PBORs) i.e. from January 1, 1996 to October 9, 1997 and from October 10 onwards when the enhanced pay scales were introduced. Accordingly, a case was taken up by the Army Headquarters with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) that the personnel who were released from service between January 1, 1996 and October 10, 1997, “should be given the benefit of higher pay scales notionally for the purpose of pension”.

When no decision was taken on this case by the MOD for three years, an affected CPO Tilak Raj Gupta (retd.) from the Navy and two others filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which was decided in their favour on January 8, 2002. The High Court had given six months to the Government of India to implement this order by paying higher pension to the affected personnel.

Since the High Court order has not been implemented, a Division Bench of the High Court has issued a notice to the Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs as well as to the Secretary of Defence on May 9, 2003. It is said that justice can only be obtained through courts, which is a costly affair.



Youth fest organised
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 19
The local Rotract Club organised a youth festival at the Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology (GJIMT) here yesterday. Members of 33 clubs of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Uttaranchal participated in the event.

Mr Ashok Gupta, assistant governor, inaugurated the festival while Mr Manpreet Singh, president, Rotract Club, distributed the prizes. Mr Kushjiv Singh Sethi, chairman, Rotract Club, encouraged the participants to spread the message of love and peace which is this year’s Rotract motto.

The winners of the various competitions, include Kanika, Anita, Aseem, Sandeep, Anubhav, Saurav Abhishek, Anubhav, Vishal, Achal, Bhanu, Jaskaran Singh Parvinder, Hunardeep and Amandeep Kaur. Mr Navdeep Singh was crowned Mr Rotractor and Ruchi was crowned Ms Rotractor. The team from Rotract, Ambala (main), won both the quiz and the mind game competition.



PUDA demolishes illegal shops
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 19
Continuing with its anti-encroachment drive in the township, a team of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) demolished some illegal shops and the office and shed of a local truck union in Phase VI and some stalls near the HIG quarters in Phase I here today.

The nearby shopowners protested against the drive and raised slogans against them. The drive had to be postponed in Shakti Market and Mohali village areas as some of the shops had procured a stay from the court against demolition. Some shopowners of the area also alleged that on May 16 PUDA had demolished some shops against which they would be filing a contempt case.



Driver hangs himself
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, May 19
Vijay Kumar (29), a driver posted with the Centre for Rural Research and Industrial Development, Sector 19, allegedly ended his life by hanging himself from the roof of his one room accommodation in the CRRID office here this morning.

The body was found hanging when the CRRID office was opened at about 9.45 am today. Vijay Kumar, of Himachal Pradesh, had left a suicide note. In the note, he did not hold anybody responsible for the extreme step. The body has been send for postmortem examination.

Theft of vehicles: A Tata Indica car (CH03 F 1486) of Mr Sunil Vohra, a resident of Sector 32, was reportedly stolen from his residence here yesterday. Mr Deepak Kumar of H.No. 2134-B, Sector 42-C, also reported to the police that his black-coloured Yamaha motor cycle (PB65 A 8076) was stolen from his residence. Two cases of theft have been registered.

Injured: Varinder Vashisht (H.No. 4263-B, Sector 46-D) was injured after the scooter he was driving hit by a car on the road dividing Sectors 27 and 28 on May 6. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Held: The police has arrested four persons from different parts of the city allegedly for liquor smuggling and recover 130 pouches of liquor from their possession here on Sunday.

Couple robbed: A Manimajra-based couple was robbed of their belongings after being assaulted by two unidentified youths on a deserted section of the road from Nayagaon to Khuda Alisher. According to information, Mr Bhachittar Singh and his wife, who own a house in Janta Colony, Nayagaon, were strolling on the road after parking their vehicle.

Two youths approached them and started beating them with sticks. Their belongings, two gold chains and a purse containing Rs 2000, were robbed by the youths at around 7.30 p.m. The police has registered a case under Section 392 of the IPC. But after reaching the spot, the local police found that the spot fell in the Punjab area. The case will be transferred to the Punjab Police.


Harassment alleged: A local shopkeeper has accused the Panchkula police of harassing him by asking him to pay for their trips to find his missing daughter.

In his complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, Ulasi said his 12-year-old daughter had been missing for the past three months. He had accused Vinod of kidnapping his daughter and taking her away to a village in Garhwal. Though an FIR in this regard was lodged in February, he has complained that the police team investigating the case has been asking him to pay for their trips to locate his daughter.


Two held: The police has arrested two persons allegedly involved in stealing purses from parked cars in the township. According to information provided by the police here, the two, Gurmukh Singh and Amit Kumar, were arrested today when they were travelling on a scooter allegedly used during the crime.

Giving details, the police said Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Phase XI here, had gone to attend a function at the Phase V Community Centre with his wife on May 17. While he and his wife went inside the centre to attend the function, the couple had left a ladies’ purse inside the car. On coming back they found the car’s window down and the lock broken and the purse missing.

The police lodged a complaint and on investigation found that two persons had come on a scooter and committed the crime.

The scooter was identified by an alert police officer, ASI, Bhagwant Singh today on the road near a roundabout. Those travelling on the scooter were asked to stop but they tried to run away. However, they were caught and arrested.



Armed youths injure two
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Two brothers, who had come to the city for preparing for an entrance test, were injured after they were attacked by armed youths following an altercation in the market of Panjab University here this evening. The injured, Varinder Gill and Vikramjit Singh Gill, have been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16.

The president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council Malwinder Singh Kang, was also attacked but he escaped unhurt. The victims were sympathisers of the Panjab University Students Union. The15 attackers, armed with swords and rods, fled away in a Tata Safari.

The attackers allegedly wanted expulsion of Malwinder Singh Kang from the party.

A case has been registered.



Rape bid alleged
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 19
Family members of an 11-year-old resident of Pashupati Nath Colony, near Industrial Area, here have alleged that one of their neighbours had tried to rape their daughter last night.

According to the information provided by the family members of the minor girl, she had gone to watch TV in a nearby house when one of their neighbours, who lives on the rear and of their hut, pulled her into his hut and tried to rape her. The colony residents however raised an alarm and beat up the person who is a migrant labourer. The man was allegedly in an inebriated condition when the incident took place. The man on being questioned by the police claimed that the girl had herself come to his hut and raised the alarm.



One more held in murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The police today arrested the fifth suspect — belonging to the Sansi community in the murder case of 17-year-old resident of Sector 38, Randeep Singh. The suspect Sanjay Kumar, alias Saddu, was absconding since the murder.

The victim was brutally murdered one-and-a half-month ago while he was coming from the Sector 38 market along with his brother, Harish Kamboj, and a friend, Harjinder.

The suspects who were arrested earlier are, Ajay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, alias Kala, Parveen Kumar, alias Pinni, and Monu, from near the Shahpur chowk. The suspects in their statement to the police said on April 8 last, Parveen, alias Pinni, one of the suspect, was sitting at an STD booth in the Sector 38 market, when Harish along with his brother, Randeep, came there to make a call. At the shop, Babita, wife of Sanjay, was also waiting to make a call. While coming out of the shop, Harish leg touched of the Babita.

One of the assailant, Pinni, who noticed it objected to it. Infuriated, Pinni called other boys of the Sansi colony. Armed with roads and daggers, they chased Harish, Randeep and Harjinder. While Harish and Harjinder escaped with minor injuries, Ramandep, was stabbed with a dagger. The police conducted raids at many places in the city to nab the assailants.



Woman decamps with investors’ money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Several persons of the city and its neighbouring towns have been cheated of lakhs of rupees by a woman. The woman, Savitri Devi, ran her business for six months from SCO No 27, Sector 47, before decamping with the hard earned money of her clients on April 25.

Some of the cheated persons, include policemen of Chandigarh and Punjab. So far the fraud of around Rs 20 lakh has been unearthed by the victims who have filed a complaint with the local police. The complaint was today marked to the SP (Operations).

Inquiries reveal that the woman had given an advertisement in newspapers on November 18 last year and had invited people who wanted to earn Rs 1,000 after investing a sum of Rs 500. The investors could earn more by making more members, she had claimed.

The modus operandi of the woman was to ask her clients to pack grocery items in plastic polybags and return them to her. The clients who made more members were gifted with blankets and other items. One of the complainants said the woman had employed some boys who used to empty the plastic bags and returned the grocery items to the main stock.

About two months back some of the victims had complained to the SP ( City). The woman had in an affidavit, promised to return the money of her clients. However, the woman managed to escape. The husband of the woman works as a sweeper in the local Air Force Station.



BSNL abolishes clause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to abolish the condition of ‘producing receipt of interface-approved caller line indicating instrument’ for availing themselves of the caller line identification facility (CLIP) on fixed line phones, according to a press note of the corporation.

The press note, which was issued today, said all phone plus services, including CLIP, would be offered free of cost to the subscribers of PSTN (wireline) and WLL (fixed) services subject to technical feasibility and availability.

They would be offered these services on the first come first served basis.


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