Friday, May 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


90 shops, 76 kiosks razed at Attawa
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
As many as 90 multi-storeyed shops and 76 kiosks were demolished at Attawa village in a day-long joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Chandigarh Administration, Chandigarh Housing Board and Municipal Corporation here today.

The drive will continue tomorrow to remove encroachments from the road leading to inside Sector 42. Encroachments by around 50 more shops was still to be removed, Enforcement Magistrate Ishwar Singh told Chandigarh Tribune on the spot. The drive began at 9.30 am and continued till around 7 pm. The Anti-Encroachment staff did not meet any resistance from the shopkeepers.

With the drive not yet completed at Attawa village, the next demolition drive at Faidan village scheduled for tomorrow may be postponed.

After three bulldozers, 12 loaders, 10 trucks and 80 labourers had removed a large part of encroachments, the Sector 42 and 36 dividing road, which had got congested due to the encroachments, seemed to have become quite wide.

The drive, led by Mr Ishwar Singh was launched without any notice.

The Enforcement staff had visited the area yesterday and told the shopkeepers to remove their belongings before the drive started in the morning.

Only a gurdwara was spared from demolition as the management of the gurdwara promised to remove the encroachment on its own.

In fact, the Shiromani Akali Dal President and head of the Gurdwaras and Sikh Educational institutions, Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, himself started removing the illegal structure. The panj piaras had themselves removed the Nishan Sahib of the gurdwara by evening.

It seemed as if a massive earthquake had hit the area as all shops along the road were demolished.

To prevent any risk to the residents, the Electricity Department had switched off the supply of electricity to the entire village.

As a result of the drive telephone cables along the road dividing Sectors 36 and 42 got snapped.

Hundreds of truck loads of debris could be seen littered along the road and thousands of the people, including the shopkeepers, had gathered to see the operation that was carried out after 23 years.

The police had blocked the entire stretch of the road for the safety of commuters as huge columns of cement and bricks were falling from three or four storeyed buildings.

The entire phari market had been razed to the ground by the machines and labourers involved in the drive.

The drive has followed new UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma’s direction against encroachment on the government land following which the authorities have taken immediate action to remove encroachments.

The area that was cleared today belonged to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. Towards the end of the drive children of a shopkeeper requested the Enforcement Magistrate to halt the drive till tomorrow to prevent a three-storeyed building from collapsing. Mr Ishwar Singh halted the demolition of the shop mid-way after procuring an undertaking that the encroachments on all three floors would be removed by tomorrow.

The family of the shopkeeper pleaded that the pillars of the building could collapse if the demolition work was not handled properly and they themselves would remove it in consultation with an architect.



Admn gives 10 days to remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Chandigarh Administration here today gave a 10-day period to residents to remove encroachments in their house, failing which demolitions will be carried out by the authorities.

The Administration said it had come to their notice that violators of the by-laws had filed a number of applications for the regularisation of the violations. The Administration said it would be convenient for the violators to themselves remove these.



Bhardwaj denied anticipatory bail
Our Correspondent

  • The CBI counsel informed the court that legally and technically CBI had not arrested Bhardwaj and he had been detained in connection with the investigation of the case and later he escaped from the CBI custody at about 12.20 a.m.
  • In the CBI case diary — Mr L.R. Roojam, District and Sessions Judge (Vigilance), Punjab, and Rajinder Bahadur Thapa, office peon in the court of Bhardwaj, stated that Bhardwaj was present in his house at the time of CBI raid and later he escaped from CBI custody”.
  • The CBI sought the custody of Bhardwaj in order to recover mobile phone, certain incriminating documents and to match his voice with audio cassettes recovered by the CBI in this case.

Chandigarh, May 22
Terming the involvement of a judicial officer in the corruption case as an unfortunate incident in the long and glorious history of the judicial system the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, today dismissed the anticipatory bail application moved by suspended UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S.S. Bhardwaj, in a corruption case.

While pronouncing the six-page order in the afternoon, the CBI Special Judge stated that “ in fact it is an unfortunate incident in the long and glorious history of our judicial system. If the allegations are false in that eventuality also the incident is grave and unfortunate. If the allegations of the prosecution are true then this incident is more unfortunate. In such circumstances the civil liberty of a person cannot be given much importance. This case needs deep and meaningful investigation”.

Giving details while rejecting Bhardwaj bail application the judge further stated in his order that “the mobile phone still remains to be recovered. The CBI also wants to make an effort for the recovery of certain other documents pertaining to the case. Keeping in mind the facts and circumstances narrated above, I found no merit in the application for anticipatory bail and the same stands rejected”.

Talking about the recovery of audio cassettes related to the conversation of the suspended judicial officers and the complainant in the case the judge observed in the order that “there are audio cassettes of conversation between Bhardwaj and complainant in connection with the offence and the CBI is ready to play the audio cassette but not in the presence of public. I did not think it proper to hear the conversation in the audio cassette as I cannot recognise the voice of the complainant. Even the application for anticipatory bail can be decided effectively on the other material record on the file”.

Talking about Bhardwaj’s presence during the CBI raid the judge observed in his order that “In the CBI case diary I have gone through the statement of Mr L.R. Roojam District and Sessions Judge (Vigilance), Punjab, and Rajinder Bahadur Thapa, office peon in the court of Bhardwaj, recorded by the CBI. Both the witnesses were present at the house of Bhardwaj at the time of the CBI raid. Both of them had stated that Bhardwaj was at his residence at the time of the raid and escaped from CBI custody after the recovery of the bribe amount”.



Batala judicial officer under cloud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
In the CBI case of corruption against two judicial officers, the role of a Batala-based judicial officer in allegedly providing shelter to the absconding judicial officer, S.S. Bhardwaj, has come to light. The judicial officer was earlier posted in Chandigarh.

Sources in the CBI said the role of the judicial officer in the scam was also being probed. During the course of investigations, the CBI is learnt to have found the involvement of senior judicial officers in the entire nexus of providing relief to litigants after accepting bribe. The sources said as investigations were on, it would be premature to name the judicial officers. A senior official of the CBI declined to comment on the issue.

During raids conducted by the CBI in search of Bhardwaj in the past few days, sleuths searched the house of relatives of the judicial officer at Kalka and Pinjore. 



Rs 2.72 lakh stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
In a daring act, thieves broke a side window pane of a Hyundai Accent car in the parking lot of the Sector 8 market here and took away Rs 2.72 lakh, which were kept in the boot of the car. The occupants of the car had gone to an electrical goods shop and when they returned, in about 10 minutes, they found that the money was missing.

The incident took place around 12.15 pm, when there is maximum activity in the market. Incidentally, no one noticed the suspicious movement of the thieves.

A police official said it appeared that the thieves had chased the car (CH 03 K 8097) from the bank from where the money had been withdrawn. Finding an opportune time, they broke a window pane to reach the boot of the car, where the money had been kept in a bag.

Mr Gurjeet Singh Jawandha, a resident of Sector 11, owner of the car, told Chandigarh Tribune that he, along with his brother-in-law, Gurparkash Singh, an NRI, and son, Gursimrat Singh, had come from Mani Majra after picking up Gurparkash. They withdrew money from HDFC bank in Sector 8 and parked their car in the paid parking lot of the Sector 8 market. After 10 minutes, Gurparkash, noticed that a window pane had been broken.

A police party from the Sector 3 police station reached the spot. Mr Gursimrat Singh, said they had kept the money in the boot as they thought it would be safe there, but still the money had gone. According to the police, the thieves had used some tool to break the window pane without creating much noise. The employee of the parking contractor, Arvind Kumar and Gyan Chand, said they heard no noise.

The occupants of the car blamed the employees of the paid parking lot for not taking notice of the theft. They threatened to sue the contractor. The police said no action could be taken against the contractor as the responsibility of the loss of money could not be passed on to the contractor as it was not mentioned in the terms and conditions of the parking.

The police, however, managed to get fingerprint of the thieves from the car. The Station House Officer of the Sector 3 police station had called a meeting of the contractors of paid parking lots to brief them on various security measures. A case has been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, despite claims by the Chandigarh Police to have recently busted an inter-state gang, specialising in stealing money from cars and glove boxes of two-wheelers, similar incidents continue to take place in the city.



Pradhan justifies underage marriage
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 22
A 17-year-old girl Geeta of a colony, of migrant labourers, was married off to 19-year-old Jatinder on May 15 in Shaheed Udham Singh Colony No. 3, here. Both children of daily wage workers, they have now shifted to Morinda to start a new life.

The marriage of the underaged, which according to colony residents, took place with all ceremonies, was conducted with the full consent of the parents of the two and their own. The colony pradhan, Mr Sohan lal Sharma takes full responsibility of allowing the wedding. ‘‘We have not done anything against the law of God.’’he said.

Pointing out that the girl was growing up in an atmosphere which was not conducive for young women to be unattached, Mr Sharma said the boy and the girl liked each other. ‘‘So what if we all got together and got them married so that they can start a new life together?’’ he questions. The girl’s mother, according to Mr Sharma had run away many years ago with her two other children leaving her husband alone to take care of the daughter. ‘‘The father is a cart puller and stays away from home most of the day. He is most happy that his daughter is well settled.

Mr Sharma, is not altogether wrong. The colony has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Petty crimes, like residential thefts notwithstanding, some of the colony residents have been alleging that some of the other colony residents have “used” their daughters to level charges of rape against them. ‘‘Poverty has its own logic. The colony’s atmosphere is very bad. Here we have to see what is the best that we can do to maintain some order in life. To me and the parents this was the best option available and so we solemnised the marriage.’’ said Mr Sharma.

The father of the boy, who works as a daily wager in the township, is glad about his son’s wedding and says that he never bothered to know the age of the girl. ‘‘They are happy together and that is what matters.’’ he pointed out. 



Self-medication — treading in danger zone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May, 22
Concerned over the pitfalls of self-medication and “a pill for every ill” the medical fraternity has recommended a complete ban on advertisements of various drugs and antibiotics on television and in print media.

To create awareness among schoolchildren on the adverse effects of self-medication the Pharmacology Department at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32 has recommended the inclusion of Community Pharmacology as a module in the curriculum of 100 schools in the city.

“We will probably be the first medical college in the world to launch a project jointly with the Education Department for the introduction of Community Pharmacology as part of the school curriculum,” said Dr C.S. Gautam, Reader at the department. An interactive workshop on “Rational drug use in society” for science teachers from these schools was organised at GMCH today.

Dr N.K. Goel, Head of the Pharmacology Department said telling schoolchildren about community pharmacology would go a long way in making the society more aware of the pitfalls of self-medication.

“Self-medication with anti-bacterial agents in viral diseases like cough, cold and diarrhoea may prove to be disastrous, so over the counter sale of such medicines must be stopped,” emphasised Dr Gautam. He added that the advertisements on television create an artificial demand for the product, as a result of which the doctors is sandwiched between the drug company and the patient.

“Instead of taking a healthy balanced diet and going by doctor’s prescription, the youngsters take pills for everything be it for losing fat, to gain height or for a fair complexion by buying products being sold over the counter,” said Dr Gautam, highlighting the gravity of the problem.

Doctors at the seminar expressed concern over the pizza and noodle culture that has made inroads into India. “Caffeine and cate cholamines, which are found in coke and chocolates, can make a person hypertensive and hyper-active, leading to aggression which could at times lead youngsters to committing suicide,” said Dr Gautam.

He said the misuse or abuse of antibiotics had led to the evolution of drug resistant bacteria, which was damaging for the health of the patient and put extra burden on the pocket of the patient. “The pharmaceutical industry’s motive in coming out with newer drugs is simply profit oriented, without paying heed to the patients’ health,” point out doctors.

Doctors spoke on topics like forensic abuse of drugs, anorexia nervosa, stress management before and after examinations, elderly driving — how safe is it and herb drug interaction.



Apathy leads to unattended birth of 3 cubs
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir (Patiala), May 22
The unattended delivery of a Royal Bengal tigress who gave birth to three cubs in her enclosure today has put a question mark on the functioning of the authorities in taking care of the welfare of animals in Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park.

The pregnant tigress was left unattended and was not put under observation by the staff of the zoo. The tigress finally delivered the cubs in an enclosure that had over a dozen adult big cats. The newborns were lucky to have survived in these conditions. They were hidden by their mother in an artificial cave in the enclosure.

A zoo keeper noticed the cubs today morning and subsequently the news spread. The zoo staffers reached the enclosure and took measures to make scare the big cats move away from the cubs.

It took them over two hours to make the tigers go inside their respective enclosures.

However, the glaring failure of the zoo management to identify the pregnant tigress and segregate it from other animals revealed apathy of the staff. Usually, the zoo authorities segregate the pregnant animals from others and keep them in separate enclosures till the cubs and calves grow older. The animals get special care and fooding this period of over two months.

When the Chandigarh Tribune team visited the spot, the zoo staff had stuffed all tigers inside the enclosures and the new mother was roaming in the artificial cave, where she had hidden her cubs. The tigress had reportedly not fed the cubs.

The entire zoo staff was tight-lipped over the issue. Initially, they even denied that the tigress had given birth to the cubs.

Efforts by the zoo staffers to make the tigress inside were on till filing of the report.

Mr Kuldeep Kumar, the zoo Director, confirmed the delivery of three cubs and said the tigress had been segregated for some time and was released in the enclosure “this morning only since the delivery was not expected today.” “We were aware of the fact that the tigress was pregnant but the exact date of delivery was unknown. We will wait for 24 hours to see whether the tigress goes inside on its own otherwise alternative measures would be taken”, added the zoo Director.



Father of triplets seeks action against centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May, 22
A resident of Sector 38, Banson Massey, whose wife delivered triplets on April 29, even though the ultrasound report showed twins, today made a complaint to Director, Health Services, and Municipal Corporation Mayor, seeking action against the diagnostic centre where the test had been conducted.

In his complaint to Dr C.P. Bansal, Director, Health Services , he has sought action against the diagnostic centre, where the ultrasound, indicating twins had been conducted. “Not only did the birth of the triplets, two female and one male put the life of my wife at risk but I have had to spend more than Rs 1 lakh since the delivery took place at PGI,” said Mr Massey.

Dr Bansal said he had marked the inquiry to the Director, Family Welfare Bureau, Dr M.P. Minocha. “I have received the complaint from Mr Massey and we shall enquire into the allegations levelled by him,” said Dr Minocha.

“With the mercy of God my wife and children are safe, but to ensure that no other couple goes through this mental and physical trauma I have decided to take up the matter with the authorities apart from exercising legal options,” said Mr Massey.

The couple already have twin daughters, who were born in October, 1995. “Had the doctor, who conducted the ultrasound twice told us about the triplets, we could have explored various options in consultation with doctors,” said Mr Massey.

Though the triplets are now doing fine but initially they had to be kept in the neo natal intensive care unit for almost 10 days. The couple is all praise for the PGI doctors, who he says really took care to ensure that they mother as well as the triplets were saved.

Mr Massey’s wife, Ashoo and the triplets are still admitted to PGI. Doctors said since the triplets were too feeble and had weak lungs so they were being fed milk with spoon and through a tube. “I have been told that my wife and children will have to remain admitted at PGI for a few more days and it is due to the sheer negligence of the diagnostic centre that we had to undergo so much of trouble,” said Mr Massey.

The reports of the ultrasound obstetrics conducted on February 26 and April 29, clearly indicate the presence of two viable foetuses. The couple said that the case became so complicated that both private doctors as well as those at General Hospital refused to admit her, referring her to the PGI.



Best eco club to be honoured
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 22
A nature study camp for teachers involved with eco clubs was organised by the Indian Council for Environmental Education (ICEE) in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, here today.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr Virendra Singh, Adviser to the Administrator, emphasised the need for self introspection and time management for making the city clean and green. He suggested that eco clubs and NSS units of each school can jointly do wonders for imparting the message of saving the mother earth.

In his welcome address, Director, Department of Environment, highlighted the role of common man on biodiversity conservation. He also informed that the best eco club and the best green teacher would be honoured by the department.

Mr Ravinder Talwar, president of the ICEE, highlighted the role of eco clubs for effective implementation of environmental projects.

Mr A.K. Vidyarthi from the Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi, explained solid waste processing technologies like composting, bio-methanation while Mr N.K. Gupta from the zonal office of the Central Pollution Control Board, Kanpur, highlighted on waste water management. 



Sweepers meet Administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Sweepers’ Union today claimed that the Administrator Justice O.P. Verma, had assured to meet their demands within five days.
The assurance was reportedly given when Justice Verma met an 11-member delegation of the union in the Raj Bhavan.

Sources in the Raj Bhavan, however, said the Administrator met the agitating sweepers and assured them to look into the matter but did not give any assurance as he (Justice Verma) was not aware of the background of the dispute.

Earlier, the Sweepers’ Union led by its president Shyam Lal Ghavri staged a day-long dharna in front of the Municipal Corporation and burnt the effigies of Mayor Subhash Chawla and MP Pawan Bansal.

The protest comes a day before the nine-member all-party committee of the Municipal Corporation takes a final view on the privatisation of sanitation before placing it in the General House meeting of the corporation scheduled on May 27. The 30-day agitation has divided the Congress with the party President having issued directions to oppose the privatisation and councillors not yet decided on the matter.

Mr Ghavri told Chandigarh Tribune that the protest would continue till their demands of the rollback of the privatisation and creation of 1,009 permanent posts were accepted by the Administration and the Municipal Corporation.



He had Resham-like qualities
Ajit Singh

Resham Singh, who died on Sunday at the age of 82, was a man of substance. He had resham-like qualities of head and heart. Soft-spoken and kind-hearted, he was upright in his approach. A fine model of a good ‘insaan’, I never heard him speak ill of anyone during my long association with him.

Born in 1922 at Jamshedpur, he had his entire education in that part of the country. He was for a while drawn into the vortex of the freedom movement and even went to gaol. Released after a brief spell, he returned to complete his engineering degree with distinction from Banaras Hindu University.

He joined the Punjab State Engineer’s Service and rose to the highest position of Chief Engineer and Secretary to the government in UT. During his long stint in Chandigarh, he played a significant role in the construction and development of this capital project. In between he went to Australia on a course assignment under the Colombo Plan. In his professional circles, he was known for his sheer competence, commitment and integrity.

A keen golfer, he was among the seniormost members of the Chandigarh Golf Club, as his membership number 246, shows. He was also its Honorary Secretary for the year 1985. He is known to have played a pioneering role in the development of this club.

He was a true friend in need. I recall one particular episode. My late wife was undergoing surgery at the PGI. When I came with her on the stretcher to the operation theatre, I was surprised to see him sitting outside on a bench. I learnt he had been there since 7 a.m. I was so touched by his thoughtfulness.

Resham was the head of a large extended family consisting of brothers, sisters and their wards. A venerable figure, they were all drawn to him. He held them all united. He was respected by them. He in turn gave his love to them. In his long 55 years of married life, he was well looked after by his ever so gentle and devoted wife, Daljit Kaur. His three children are well placed: Gurpal in the USA; Harpreet with her spouse, Dr Gurdev, at GND varsity, Amritsar; Tej with her spouse, Brigadier Harmeet, in the Indian Army. Chaste in thought and taste, Resham was a man in whom varied hues were so well blended as to enhance and enrich the joie de vivre. Resham undoubtedly lived upto his name.

— The writer is a management consultant and a close friend of Resham Singh



World Diversity Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 22
For the promotion the of National Green Corps (NGC), a movement of environment-friendly children Environment Society of India (ESI) today celebrated World Diversity Day at Nature Park, Sector 26, here today. More than 350 students and teachers from various schools in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar, Panchkula and Parwanoo attended the function.

Prof S.C. Jain, Chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Panjab University, in his inaugural address said the development of Nature Park, Sector 26, which was an example of biodiversity conservation, should be promoted.

ESI President S.K. Sharma said: “We have to realise the value of biological wealth which was fast disappearing due to rapid urbanisation and other human actions. He also motivated students to help in preserving the flora and fauna of the city. Mr K.K. Gupta, hydrologist, Kandi project, and Dr Rajesh Hoonda of the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology also spoke on this occasion.

The schoolchildren under the supervision of the teachers also performed “shramdan” by removing fallen leaves, stones and other waste material in and around the pond and also helped in planting water lilies in the pond.



Right action at the right place

This is with reference to a report published in Chandigarh Tribune recently regarding a senior police officer calling his security guards and getting a parking lot contractor beaten up at Sector 17, Chandigarh, for misbehaving. I feel that the action of the police officer was fully justified. The behaviour of parking lot contractors and attendants towards motorists is extremely rude. They are uncouth and aggressive. It is high time that the powers that be in the Municipal Corporation take some remedial measures to have decent parking lot attendants who are not out to just make a fast buck but operate in a systemised manner.

The modus operandi of the parking contractors should be to let the vehicle enter the parking lot, allow the driver to park the vehicle and then politely ask for the parking fee. But what happens is just the opposite. The attendants speak in a rude, arrogant and misplaced authoritative tone, with the clear intention of antagonising the driver as if he is some sort of a crook and has entered the area unlawfully. At times they even rebuke those who pay the fee and say in a taunting manner: “How some you people are paying up willingly?”.

The incidents of parking lot attendants smashing windscreens, hitting the bonnets of cars with their ‘dandas’ and suddenly jerking up the parking area rope, thereby damaging the vehicles, are quite common. In this background if a police officer succumbs to such pressure and bullying tactics of parking lot contractors, one can imagine the plight of the common man. Therefore, the police officer and his guards did the right thing in putting the M.C. contractor and his ‘henchmen and cronies in the right place.’

It is now for the MC authorities to have some decent parking contractors who can be polite, well-behaved and friendly, besides helpful in parking and taking out of vehicles from the parking area. A proper procedure needs to be evolved. No one minds paying the parking fee as long as the facilities promised, like safety of the vehicle, are provided, and there is no pilferage from vehicles . What is happening at present is that the parking fee is demanded and, thereafter, the vehicle is left to its own fate. The asking for the entry ticket at the time of exit is definitely not to see whether a car for which the ticket was given is being taken out but to ensure that the parking fee has been duly paid. What, in fact, requires to be done is that the number of the vehicle should be written clearly on the parking ticket and checked at the time of exit from the parking area. This is never done. It is because of these reasons that there are brawls in the parking areas, and the municipal authorities are absolutely unmindful and unconcerned about the problem.


Workload on Judges

This is in reference to a report in Chandigarh Tribune dated May 6, 2003, on workload on Judges. The report deserves further analysis. The increase in pending cases in the courts is not only due to the shortage of Judges but has been aggravated by the following factors.

(a) Increase in awareness of law in the general public through education.

(b) Deterioration of administrative machinery day by day and delay in deciding the cases due to inadequate knowledge at the clerical level, and dependency of bureaucracy on clerks.

(c) Less fear of the administrative departments for causing delays as no severe punishments are awarded for lapses which lead to court cases.

(d) Non-fixing of responsibilities by courts in cases of delays caused by the concerned departments so that others should learn lessons and avoid causing delays in the grant of justice at the appropriate administrative levels.

The above measures, if taken care of by Judges while deciding cases, will reduce the inflow of cases to a great extent and the load on courts will also reduce. On the other hand with the appointment of more Judges the pending cases will go on reducing and in a short period the stage will come when justice will be promptly granted.

R.P. Singla, Chandigarh

Defence sub-sector at Mohali

The local Mohali unit of the defence brotherhood had approached the Chief Minister of Punjab some time back and requested that a “defence sub-sector” be created at Mohali out of the out of the quota reserved for the serving and retired military persons in the newly planned Sectors 76 to 80. This sub-sector was requested to be located close to already existing Army Institute of Law (AIL) and Army Welfare Housing Organisation Colony (for 375 defence persons), which are coming up in Sector 68 of Mohali. This complex (AIL and AWHO Colony) would have facilities like a medical inspection room (military dispensary), Officers’ Mess, JCOs’ Club, CSD canteen (for the serving and retired defence persons) and community center, etc. Fortis Hospital, which is on the panel of the hospitals for the health care of the ex-servicemen, is also close to Sector 68 of Mohali. The reason for making this request was that defence persons could also enjoy the “military culture and environment” and nurture fraternal bonds developed over a lifetime. In addition they would also enjoy the facilities provided in the Army Institute of Law and AWHO Colony like Medical, CSD Canteen, Officers’ Mess and JCOs Club (by becoming Honorary members of the same). It was also suggested that this defence sub-sector be on the lines of Chandigarh defence sectors.

Brig Harwant Singh (retd)

Catastrophe prevented

This is regarding the rather unfortunate incident in which goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a fire that broke out in a dry-cleaner’s shop and a boutique in Sector 7 market, Panchkula, just recently. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the timely help of the Chandigarh fire station, the Panchkula fire station and the local residents prevented a certain catastrophe.

However, every dark cloud has a silver lining. This incident has certainly brought to light the shortcomings of the local fire station, which is not only ill-equipped but also faces staff crunch. Let us also accept the fact that shopkeepers, especially dry-cleaners, also have the responsibility of keeping some help at hand, in case of an emergency.

In this case, none of the shop-owners had a fire-extinguisher to douse the initial sparks from the switch board. Besides, a few months ago, the mini market in this sector had also suffered a massive loss because of a fire incident. So, it is time to concentrate on the safety norms as well.

Yasmin Dutta, Panchkula

‘Deceit’ at apni mandi

Apni mandi works on different days at different places in Panchkula. I would like to share my experience with the public. I found that except potato and onion, no other vegetable was being sold at the rate displayed by the organisers on a board. No person was available from the organiser’s side to listen to the complaints of the consumers. I am sure the organisers are in hand-and-glove with the vendors. The apni mandi has became a place of looting the public in an organised way.

Prof S.P.S. Yadav, Panchkula



Bank employee thrashed by cops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 22
A bank employee, Mr Ajit Pal Singh, has complained to the Senior Superintendent of Police (through public window system) that some cops used abusive language and also thrashed him at Sector 39 police station. On the other hand, a police official has refuted the allegations.

Giving details of the incident, Mr Ajit Pal Singh, (a resident of Sector 41, said a Kinetic Honda scooter parked at Sector 38 was “partially damaged” by his car. However, a compromise was reached between him and the scooter owner after he paid Rs 1,000. Later, the two parties were called at Sector 39 police station to sign the compromise.

‘‘As soon as I parked my car at the police station, about seven to eight cops, pulled me out of the car and mercilessly thrashed me’’, alleged Mr Ajit Pal Singh and added, ‘‘I was not allowed to meet the SHO’’. 



Bomb hoax in court premises
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 22
Just a few hours before the pronouncement of the order on the anticipatory bail application moved by the suspended UT Judicial Magistrate S.S. Bhardwaj in a corruption case, a hoax call that a bomb has been planted in the District Courts premises was received by the police. The hoax call was received by a constable in the Sector 17 police station at about 9.30 am.

Immediately after getting the call, a team of police personnel accompanied by a bomb squad with a sniffer dog inspected the court premises.

The UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S Bhalla, informed that the court proceedings were not disturbed during the search operation and the courts were functioning.

This was second hoax call in the year.



Copyright is right to copy
Jaspal Bhatti

New York-based novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford has filed a case against Sahara TV for telecasting “Karishma: A Miracle of Destiny” featuring Karishma Kapoor because she says that the serial is blatantly lifted from her novel, “Woman of Substance”.

Why blame Sahara TV? After all the Indian interpretation of copyright means the right to copy. Probably the only fault of Sahara TV was that even after admitting to the story-lifting it should not have launched its “chori ka maal” with so much of fanfare.

A piece of advice to all aspiring film and serial writers — in today’s industry it’s more important to master the art of story-lifting than to write an original story. It isn’t as if they aren’t any script writers with original ideas and scripts in Bollywood, but which producer wants to listen to them?

Even the watchman outside the producer’s house if comes to know that the scriptwriter has an original story, he “shoos” him away.

Producers are often heard talking amongst themselves, ”Guru, kya director sign kiya hai mens he’s going to copy the Tamil film shot to shot.” At least the Tamil film is original — you console yourself. Of course, you come to know that the Tamil film is also a shot to shot copy of an English film.

“Kaante” was a copy of “Reservoir Dogs”, “Awara Paagal Deewana” is inspired from “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Raaz” of “Humraaz” was that the story was copied from “perfect Murder”. Even TV serials do not lay behind. “Krishna Arjun” (Star Plus) is a copy of “Remington Stede”, “Khul Ja Sim Sim” (Star Plus) is inspired from “The Price is Right” and “Kehta Hai Dil” (Star Plus) is derived from “Picket Fences”. The list is endless.

When one such Hindi film flopped, the producer was heard cursing the script writer. The writer defending himself said: “Sir, why are you shouting at me? You should be blaming the scriptwriter of that English film whose story I have copied A to Z”!



17,000 pouches of liquor seized
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, May 22
In yet another major haul of liquor, the operation cell of the city police today seized at least 17,000 pouches of liquor being smuggled into Punjab from Chandigarh. Kewal Singh and Gurjeet Singh, who were smuggling the liquor, are employees of Maninder Singh, owner of a liquor vend in Sector 24.

According to the information, the liquor was being taken from the Sector 24 police post to Punjab. The truck was impounded near the Sectors 37 and 38 roundabout. Sources in the police said the seizure was just a tip of the smuggling business being run by a liquor contractor of the city.

The sources said liquor worth lakhs of rupee was being daily smuggled out of the city. Two days ago, the crime branch of the city police had claimed to have succeeded in unearthing a major inter-state liquor smuggling racket operating from the city and recovered 20,000 liquor pouches costing about Rs 2 lakh.

The four persons arrested allegedly used to purchase the pouches from a liquor vend at Palsora here and use to sell it the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The vend is owned by Mr Maninder Singh.

Held: Two alert cops arrested a youth after he snatched a mobile phone from a girl in Sector 11 market on Thursday.

As soon as the suspect, Jagtar Singh, a resident of Dappar in Punjab, snatched the mobile phone and tried to escape, cops Darshan Singh and Shamsher Singh followed him on motor cycle and managed to nab him.

The cops were later issued commendation certificates by the Superintendent of Police, Mr Ranbir Singh Sharma.

Eve-teasers held: The police arrested three persons — Ajay Pal, Karan Pal and Sonu in separate incidents on charges of eve-teasing.

Held for molestation: The police arrested a resident of Shaheed Udham Singh Colony on charges of molestation here today. A case was registered against Kalicharan under Section 354 of the IPC. The accused, according to the police, had tried to outrage the modesty of an 11-year-old girl residing in the colony some days ago.

The girl, according to sources, had allegedly gone to the house of the accused on her own but when colony residents caught them togather, the father of the girl complained to the police and alleged attempt to rape by Kalicharan. The girl two years ago had alleged rape by a 70-year-old resident of the colony which was found to be false after the medical reports of the two. This time the police registered a case against the accused after a medical examination of the girl.

Smack seized: The police has arrested one person under the Drugs Act and seized 20 grams of smack from his possession. The suspect Krishan Lal, alias Bittu, was arrested following a tip-off.



Patwari caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
A patwari of the UT Revenue Department was today caught by the UT Vigilance Department while accepting a bribe of Rs 5000 from a land holder at Khuda Ali Sher village here. The revenue official, Mr Narinder Singh, had accepted the money for the demarcation of a piece of land in Khuda Ali Sher village.

Officials of the Vigilance Department laid the trap after Mr Pawan Kumar Puri, a resident of Mullanpur village, approached senior officials of the department complaining that the patwari was demanding Rs 15,000 bribe for the demarcation of his piece of land and for mutatation of record of the land.

After some meetings, the patwari asked for Rs 10,000. While Rs 5,000 was to be paid for the demarcation and the rest was to be paid for mutation of the land record. The deal was fixed and Mr Puri promised to pay the amount at the patwar khana of Khuda Ali Sher village. This morning when Mr Puri handed over the money to the patwari, officials of the Vigilance Department caught him red handed.

A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered by the Vigilance Department.



Body found in Sukhna Lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The body of a 32-year-old man was found floating in the Sukhna Lake here this morning. The body was noticed at around 9 am when a gardener informed the police post at the lake.

According to the police, the body was noticed near the observation tower of the lake. He was wearing a black-coloured trousers. The identity of the man could not be ascertained till the filing of the report. A wireless message about the deceased had been flashed to the police department of the neighbouring states.



Hyundai launches Santro Xing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Hyundai Motor India today announced the launch of its new car, Santro Xing with added features. The price of the car had been increased by Rs 10,000-12,000 , and would be available between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 3.99 lakh.

Launching the new global car here today, Brig R.K. Sehgal (retd), CEO, Ultimate Automobiles Pvt. Ltd, Hyundai, said, ‘‘the new models would boost the sale of the company, which has the largest selling brands in the B,C, and E segments".

The new Santro Xing, he said, would sport stunning design changes that included a completely transformed exterior with flowing aerodynamic body lines, large integrated bumpers, stylish new head lamps and large sporty tail lamps. The Santro X model would be priced at Rs 3 lakh (ex- showroom price) with metallic colours (without an air conditioner and a heater).

The Santro XE model model with the air conditioner and the heater would be priced at Rs 3.36 lakh in Chandigarh, Santro XP model with power steering would be available at Rs 3.51 lakh ex-showroom price in Chandigarh. The Santro XG model, which would have front power windows, manual control locking system, body coloured bumper, back wipers and cassette box under driver's seat, would be priced at Rs 3.76 lakh in Chandigarh.

The Santro XS with all these features and fog lamps, de-fogger, spoiler and power windows, would be priced at Rs 3.99 lakh ex-showroom price in the city. The Hyundai has introduced these models in new shades, including husky blue, satin grey, mistic lavender and fairy leaf.



BSNL scholarship plan for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The BSNL has introduced scholarship scheme for meritorious students in the field of electronics and communication engineering. The Punjab Telecom Circle has decided to award scholarship of Rs 5,000 each in five engineering colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh. Mr S.C. Chaudhary, Chief General Manager, BSNL, Punjab Telecom Circle awarded one of the prizes to Ms Nitika Garg, a final year student of Electronics and Communication Engineering of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

Gillette razor: Gillette India launched the Mach3 Cool Blue razor in the city on Thursday. Launching the new product, Mr Bhagwant Mann, claimed that the razor would enable men to shave in fewer strokes with less irritation. Priced at Rs 235, with a razor, organiser and a ergonomic handle, it would be available in retail outlets across the country.

LG scholarships: LG Electronics India Private Ltd has announced LG Dream Career scholarship contest for students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate IT courses in partner institutes like NIIT, Aptech, New Horizon and others across India. The contest would span over a period of two weeks from May 25 to June 8, 2003. LG’s website would host this scholarship programme. Mr K.R. Kim, MD of the company, in a press note said, to take part in the scholarships contest, eligible candidates would have to take up an online test, on the website. The scholarship awards would range from cash prizes to free niche courses in one of the IT education centres like NIIT, Aptech and New Horizon.



Tanishq offers gold purity test
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 22
Tanishq, a company dealing in gold, has offered a gold purity test facility at its outlets till June 8.
This was announced here today by the Regional Business Manager (North), Mr Bhuwan Gaurav, at a press conference.

Under this scheme customers can get their jewellery tested at Tanishq outlets. They will get a discount on gold and studded jewellery purchased from Tanishq.

Tanishq will test the purity of the ornament on kartermeter. Under the scheme, the greater the purity of the jewellery tested, the higher the discount offered on Tanishq jewellery. It offers exchange for any jewellery and also has a savings scheme called “Golden Harvest”.


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