Thursday, May 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bhardwaj’s escape: CBI initiates inquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated an inquiry against the officials of the CBI responsible for the escape of Chandigarh Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Mr S.S. Bhardwaj, allegedly involved in a corruption case.

Disclosing this to the mediapersons here today, Mr PC Sharma, Director, CBI, claimed that all out efforts were being made to nab the “absconding” Judicial Magistrate. Intelligence information about his movements, contacts and possible hideouts was being gathered and soon he would be in the CBI net.

“We are at it. We have not given up our efforts. We have succeeded in other cases by catching the criminals involved in even more heinous crimes,” he said.

“The CBI is not downplaying Mr Bhardwaj’s running away from our custody. We are introspecting why it happened and trying to draw lessons for the future”, Mr Sharma said.

In reply to a question he said that suitable action would be taken against any of the officials from the investigating agency found guilty of lapse in duty that possibly led to the escape of the Judicial Magistrate.

When asked that the absconding judge had alleged on a television news channel after his escape from CBI’s custody that he was being unnecessarily targeted, the CBI Director said that the agency had not targeted him. The case was registered against him after proper verification.

It may be mentioned that the CBI had recently booked Mr Bhardwaj and District and Sessions Judge of Jalandhar, Mr R.M. Gupta, in a corruption case. While Mr Gupta is currently in judicial custody, Mr Bhardwaj was still eluding arrest.

On being asked how many more persons could be involved in the nexus besides the two judicial officers, Mr Sharma said: “The investigation is in its initial stage. The key person is still on the run. We are not in a position to say anything until all the facts and aspects are verified.”

When asked if the present case involving a District and Sessions Judge and a Judicial Magistrate could have a deep-rooted nexus, he said that the CBI was currently concentrating on this specific case in which Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Gupta are involved.

“To say who else could be involved in the nexus is purely guess work. One should not indulge in guesswork unless one has hard evidence”, he added.


Gupta’s bail plea rejected
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 28
The bail application moved by the suspended Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge, R.M. Gupta, was dismissed today by the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, in a corruption case registered against him by the CBI.

While rejecting the bail application moved by R.M. Gupta today evening in his 13-page order, the Judge said “ I found no merit in the bail application filed by the petitioner-accused. If R.M. Gupta is allowed bail at this stage, it may adversely effect the investigation and may make efforts to influence the prosecution witnesses. Moreover, prosecution may be able to bring into light few important clues of this case after the arrest of Surinder Singh Bhardwaj. Resultantly, the bail application filed by the petitioner-accused stands rejected”.

Talking about the complainant, Mr Gurvinder Singh Samra, the judge said in his order that “for sake of arguments if it be presumed that the complainant is not having good reputation in society and is a bad element, even then the bribe money obtained from him by any person even having good reputation in society cannot be held justified. If any wrongful act is done even against a person involved in heinous crime having bad reputation in society, even then investigation agencies are required to take steps against the culprits”.


What to choose — contract or tax?
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The rejection of the new sanitation contract by a nine-member committee of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has left the residents with a question: should they accept the streamlined sanitation contract on account of its promise to ensure good quality of sanitation or prepare themselves to pay a tax to the tune of Rs 7.52 crore to employ 1,009 sweepers on a regular basis.

This question came up before the general house of the corporation yesterday, when Dr K.S. Raju, the convener of the nine-member committee, said if the members were prepared to impose a tax, permanent employees would be able to keep the city clean, as they had been doing.

The committee realised the need for sanitary conditions in the city, but it appeared that it had not gone through the implications of recruiting 1,009 sweepers on a regular or contract basis. Mr B.R. Verma, a local councillor, while discussing the issue in the general house, said it appeared that the committee had not applied its mind before finalising its report.

According to the Mayor, Mr Subash Chawla, “The recruitment of 1,009 sweepers on a regular basis will put an extra burden on the corporation to the tune of Rs 7.52 crore per anum on account of their salaries. Facing shortage of funds for development projects, we cannot take this risk.” The committee had recommended the employment of sweepers on daily wages or on contract, as per requirement.

The Chandigarh Administration banned the recruitment of staff on daily wages in 1992. The decision was renewed in 2002 following complaints of the recruitment of staff in various departments and the civic body on daily wages.

The Commissioner of the corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, had rejected the proposal regarding the recruitment of sweepers on contract. This indicated that the corporation was not in the mood to recruit additional staff either on contract or on a regular basis by forcing an extra burden of sanitation cess on local residents. Mr Pradeep Chhabra, a Congress councillor, said no councillor would be ready for an extra burden on the residents, which might lead to political problems.

A perusal of the report of the committee indicated that it could not present a clear picture of the implications or benefits of its recommendations. For instance, after recommending the employment of sweepers, the committee had advised the corporation that if it found that proper sanitary conditions were not being maintained, it could adopt any other suitable alternative method, without explaining this suitable alternative method.


Sweepers’ kin feel pinch of stir

Chandigarh, May 28
Members of the families of sweepers, whose relay fast entered the 36th day today, were feeling neglected as the agitators had little time for their families, Sweepers’ Union president Shyam Lal Ghavri said here today.

Children were missing their fathers and wives their husbands as the agitation had stretched for too long, he said. He asserted that the contract system should be abolished and more sweepers should be recruited. In spite of a financial crunch, the expenses of the strike were being borne by members of the union. Mr Ghavri said the MC was not providing them with basic medical facilities and the government was not issuing them Scheduled Caste certificates, which were necessary for getting jobs and for the admission of their wards in schools. Mr V.P. Vadhera, legal adviser of the union, said the sweepers were not being provided with social security and were being deprived of provident fund, gratuity and pension. OC


Forthrightness to bravery — Preity has it all
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Preity Zinta is surely working her way up the starry path. And that there is no dearth of popularity at her end became abundantly clear this afternoon, which saw the actress in full command, busy spilling her charms all over the place. No wonder the otherwise-quiet and sophisticated Ultimate Hyundai showroom in Industrial Area Phase I appeared to be a “happening” set, straight out of the Film City.

Fighting confusion and chaos, Preity Zinta barely managed to get on to the stage from where she was supposed to glorify the latest Santro power machine — Santro Xing — which was the real purpose behind her sojourn in the city today. While the actress was talking road safety and underlining merits of the new car, her die-hard fans were busy jostling each other into oblivion. So charged up was the scenario that Zinta’s bodyguard had to actually flex his muscles and guide the “hapless” actress back into her air-conditioned den. It was only after playing her part in the half-an-hour long real-life drama that the actress settled for a candid, but incredibly-hurried interview that ended even before it had actually begun. The only saving grace was that in the short time at hand, the actress was willing to oblige, with all her inherent forthrightness and million dollar smiles. ‘Armaan’, the latest project of Preity came under the scanner first of all.

She talked about the film with passion, explaining the reason behind its so-called failure. “I feel ‘Armaan’ did not pick up because it was too much of a classic project. Personally, I am extremely satisfied with my role which was wonderfully etched out.”

Famous for calling a spade a spade (Preity has in her kitty the coveted Red and White Bravery Award for taking on the dreaded underworld), Preity Zinta is equally brave in handling her professional obligations. Understating her achievements as always, she still walks the road less travelled in Bollywood — accepting new, ever-challenging roles, that help her stand in contrast to the character she portrays.

Right from ‘Kya Kehna’ in which she played the unwedded mother to ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ which exposed her acting talent even further, Preity is still busy trying ingenuity. As she admits, ‘Koi mil gaya with Hrithik is another very interesting project, that will sweep the audience off its feet. It has a powerful storyline. There’s something very refreshing about the whole concept. Such a film has never been made and will never be made again. Its special effects are worth watching. Apart from this, I also have ‘Kal ho na ho’ with Shah Rukh Khan and ‘Lakshya’ with Hrithik coming up. All the films have varied flavours and offer immense scope for my growth as an actress.” Responding to why the success of ‘Kya kehna’ has not been repeated, Preity brought in the issue of piracy. “Piracy is the ultimate challenge for us. It is causing irreparable damages to the industry. That is why we always appeal that people should watch films in theatres. “On the professional front, Preity wants to concentrate on better performance, besides, of course, obliging Pepsi which now has a brand new commercial featuring Preity, Kareena, Saif Ali Khan and Fardeen Khan. Although there are rumours that Preity has some international projects in hand, the actress did not confirm anything. All she said was, “Let’s all wait and watch.” She later visited Charisma Goldwheels, as part of her schedule which included handing over the keys of freshly bought Santro Xing cars to the respective owners.


Nod to total covering of SCFs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Chandigarh Administration has issued a notification allowing shopkeepers to cover first and second floors of their showrooms. Thus the upper floors of shops can be used as a single unit connected to the ground floor for commercial purposes. No change has been allowed in the facade.

  • Total covering of upper floors of showrooms.
  • Shops can have staircase inside.
  • All three floors can be used as single unit.
  • More freedom in internal designing.
  • Likely to result in sharp rise in property prices.

The fee to be charged for covering courtyards and open areas on the first and second floors has not been mentioned, however, it will be chargeable at the rate fixed by the Chandigarh Administration from time to time. The permission will be further subject to conditions and directions regarding light and ventilation, minimum habitable height and overall height and mandatory conditions as per provisions of the Punjab Capital ( development and regulation) Building rules, 1952.

The notification issued by the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, says that the covering of courtyard will be subject to condition whether the owner has obtained permission for converting the SCF into an SCO and paid the required conversion charges.

This is the first step in this direction in the past 50 years. Without this change, the concept of amendments to building by laws was not falling into place, official sources said tonight.

The order will affect all buildings in the city. It now means that the space on the first and second floors of the commercial buildings, which were earmarked as residential portions by LeCorbusier and his team, can be changed and put to commercial use. These shops were designated as Shop-cum-Flats (SCFs). It had been a long-standing demand of shopkeepers to cover the first and second floors. At present, open space and courtyards on the upper floors cover more than 50 per cent of the area resulting in the waste of the prime space.

Now staircases on the ground floors can be built inside the shop while the first and second floors can be used and treated as a single unit. So far, the stairs were built in the rear thus making the use of first and second floors impracticable.

The Administration has observed that it is impracticable for any family to live on the upper floors in a busy shopping area. Sources said the planning had been faulty and had caused discomfort to the owners.


Arun Kumar is new DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs today issued orders to appoint Mr Arun Kumar, a 1989 batch Haryana cadre IAS official, as the new Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh.

The orders were received today and the Chandigarh Administration will issue its orders to the Haryana Government tomorrow. A copy of the orders has been sent to Haryana also.

Mr Arun Kumar will join in a few days. He is presently posted as Director, Primary Education, Haryana, at Chandigarh.

All appointments to Chandigarh are cleared by the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani. The appointments also need a nod from the Prime Minister.

The former UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), had interviewed three IAS officers of the Haryana cadre for the post of Deputy Commissioner in the last week of January. Those in the race included Mr Arun Kumar, 1989 batch; Mr Abhilaksh Likhi , 1991 batch and Mr R.K. Rao, 1991 batch. The secret comments and observations of the Administrator were passed on to the MHA.

The outgoing DC, Mr M. Ramskehar, has been here for four years. His tenure was extended by one year on the request of the Chandigarh Administration. Mr Arun Kumar has already served as Deputy Commissioner for varying periods at Faridabad, Rohtak and Jhajjar. Hailing from Bihar, Mr Arun Kumar is known for his boldness. During his tenure at Rohtak, he had got an FIR lodged against an MLA of the Indian National Lok Dal leading to his transfer.


PUDA demolishes 45 hutments
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 28
In a major anti-encroachment operation, a team of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today demolished over 45 unauthorised hutments in Phase I here. Some of these structures were over 25 years’ old. Occupied by daily wage workers belonging to UP and Bihar, more than 300 persons were rendered homeless due to the operation.

MLA’s ‘assurance’ to residents

Bringing into sharp focus the clash of interests between the township’s politicians and its regulatory bodies, all through the operation the pradhan of the colony kept showing a letter written to the MLA Kharar and Deputy Speaker Vidhan Sabha, Punjab, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, requesting him to assure that the colony would not be demolished. Interestingly, the MLA Kharar had ‘noted’ on the letter to the Estate Officer, PUDA, ‘‘Please speak to me before the colony is dismantled,’’ dated April 14. However, the letter failed to evoke any response from the PUDA team who carried on with their operation.

Despite massive police presence during the operation, the residents of this colony (Guru Nanak Colony Phase I) showed mild protest at the site raising slogans against the police and the PUDA team. The operation, which continued all through the day, attracted a large amount of attention as hundreds of people gathered around the site.

While the residents claimed that they had not been given any notice to vacate their houses, the PUDA team said that this was the third time in the last one month that the operation had been scheduled and so the residents knew that they would have to clear out from the place.

A member of the local social service organisation led the residents protest, stating that political parties first encouraged people to live here, to get their votes and when they were thrown out of their homes, none of these leaders came to help them.

Quoting a recent meeting of residents of eight colonies in the township, the pradhan of this colony, Mr Chote Lal, said that they had been assured by the MLA Kharar, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, that till the government formed and implemented a rehabilitation policy for the migrant labourers, they would not be shifted from their current locations. ‘‘But what became of that promise today? Where is he? When it comes to our 600 votes all leaders come here begging and today when we are homeless with our children thrown out in the burning sun where are those who promised us shelter,’’cried a resident.

In a charged atmosphere the police had to keep a tight reign on the movement of the uprooted residents who tried to stop the work by making their womenfolk come in front of the JCB machine being used by the PUDA team.

The SDO Buildings, Mr J.S. Tiwana, who is also the head of the anti-encroachment team of PUDA, said that according to a survey there were a total of 46 hutments which had been demolished today. ‘‘The rest of these will be demolished tomorrow along with another unauthorised colony.’’ pointed out Mr Sukhpal, Junior Engineer, with the team.


MC wants cost of plot written off
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 28
The municipal council here has appealed to the Punjab Minister for Local Government to either get the cost of the Rs 2-crore plot allotted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to the council for building its office here written off or ask PUDA to charge only the amount at which the land had been originally purchased by it.

Mr Kulwant Singh, council president, in a letter to the minister, said PUDA should in fact give the 1.10 acre plot free of cost at the office building would be for public utility. This could be done under PUDA’s schemes covering public-utility buildings. He said the council had made pleas to PUDA in this connection on several occasions but to no avail.

He said the civic body made the payment of the first instalment of the plot and took over the possession of the land for the office building in Sector 68. The payment of the second instalment of Rs 55,80,739 had also become due. Besides, heavy expenditure would be incurred on the construction of the new office building.

He said as the financial condition of the council was not good it would become very difficult for the civic body to pay the instalments to PUDA and also manage to bear the expenditure on construction.

The president said the only source of income for the civic body was octroi. The town had been exempted from house tax. The council did not have any property from where income could be generated. For the development of the town it was necessary to look for other sources of income.

The president brought to the notice of the minister that in Haryana HUDA was giving 75 per cent of the income collected as building fee and extension fee to the Panchkula Municipal Corporation.

Mr Kulwant Singh appealed to the minister to get some action initiated so that the HUDA pattern could be adopted in the town and PUDA also started giving 75 per cent of the amount collected as building fee and extension fee to the council.


Slum women exposed to AIDS risk
Pushed into trade by fathers, husbands
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
With the threat of AIDS looming large, a burgeoning population of commercial sex workers and intravenous drug users in most of the slum and labour colonies mushrooming in the city, has the health authorities and voluntary organisations worrying.

“The slum women are at high risk. They have been pushed into this murky business by their fathers or husbands,” says Dr S.K. Sodhi, head of an NGO, running various health projects in the city.

Till the intervention project for commercial sex workers was launched in one of the labour colonies almost three years ago, not even 5 per cent of the population was aware of the threat and the mode of transmission of AIDS.

“Majority of the sex workers are in the age group of 18 to 35 years. It is due to exposure to sexual relationships at an early age or as victims of sexual abuse, that they are forced to work as commercial sex workers,” said the project coordinator.

These women who were not willing to talk about sex three years ago are now aware enough to insist on condom use, as they now realise the potential threat of AIDS. “When we cannot improve their deplorable condition by providing them alternatives, our focus is to at least make them aware of the HIV threat so that they can adopt safe methods,” stresses Dr Sodhi.

Under the project funded by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), there are 35 condom depot holders in the colony. Apart from this, field workers distribute condoms among residents. “We were shocked to see that in many cases the women are working as sex workers with the consent of their husband and the whole set-up is being run as a home-based industry,” said one of the field worker.

“Before marriage it was my father who roped me into this business and now I do it at my husband’s behest as this is the only way we can run our house,” says a 30-year-old woman, who has been a commercial sex worker for the past 15 years.

The field workers say that the situation in most of the migrant labour colonies is more or less the same as this is an easy way to earn.

The area of operation of these women is not the colony only as some of them visit places outside the city also. “While a woman operating within the slums earns upto Rs 6,000 per month, the ones who have more affluent clients can pocket up to Rs 15,000,” said one of the field workers.

One of the problems being encountered is the frequent change of address by some women, mostly illiterate and poor, he adds.

The 13-member project team of the NGO, Family Planning Association of India, Mohali branch, has succeeded in motivating people to come for treatment to its dispensary. Efforts have been made to create awareness and provide information about various diseases and risks.

The project director of the UT AIDS Control Society, Dr N.M. Sharma, says that the project has succeeded in creating awareness among people who were almost ignorant of the potential threat of HIV and AIDS.


Child beating case: mother to move court
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 28
Balwinder Kaur, mother of the seven-year-old Gurpavresh, who was allegedly beaten up by the Principal of the Police Public School in the Commando Complex Phase XI last week, today stated that she would be approaching the Kharar courts to get a case registered against the principal of the school under Section 323 of the IPC (harassment). Denying the allegations, the Principal, Mrs Jhujar Kaur on the other hand, claimed that Balwinder Kaur was levelling false allegations against her.

Sources in the CPU, however, said that they had already recorded the statement of the child and the principal and further investigations were continuing in the case. A complete report in the matter would be filed by the CPU.

An employee of the Punjab Police posted with the UT Police, Balwinder Kaur had alleged that the Principal had hit the child when he was drinking water at the school’s water cooler. The child fell on his writing board and got injured.

The school Principal, when contacted, said that the complaint was false as the child was injured while playing with other children. ‘‘I came to know about it much later. Balwinder Kaur is using this to trouble me so that I leave the school and go away. I and she are neighbors and that is the reason she wants me to leave the campus,’’ she said.

Balwinder Kaur said that the CPU here was not dealing with the case fairly since employees of the police themselves were involved in the case. ‘‘The school teachers have gotten together against my children who came back from the school today after the school teachers scared them about the police catching them,’’ she said.


Passport office staff to go on strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Fed up with carrying on a nearly four-year-long productive agitation, popular in Japan, the All-India Passport Employees Association (AIPEA) has threatened to go on an indefinite strike from June 2. Despite the patience of the employees of the passport offices wearing thin, they want to give their way of a unique protest another chance by continuing to work on coming Saturday (May 31) in the hope that finally the government will at last heed their demands. As part of their protest, the employees at the Regional Passport Office here have started wearing black badges and staging protests during lunch hours.

The Zonal Secretary of the All-India Passport Employees Association, R.K. Mittal, said if they were not allowed to work on Saturday, they would sit on dharna in front of the office.

The protests would be at the national level in front of all 28 offices of the passport office network, Mr Mittal said.

The agitation has followed an alleged non-implementation of agreements reached between the association and the Ministry of External Affairs in December, 1998, August, 2001, October, 2001 and April, 2002, against arbitrary transfer orders in violation of the agreements.

The association here claimed that through the productive protests (working on holiday instead of doing the work on a working day), they had been able to increase output by 30 per cent during the year 2001-2002.

Mr Mittal said even the authorities appreciated this positive attitude of the employees and signed an agreement to give them incentives and accepted their demands. The government also agreed to cadre review, departmental promotion committee, formation of a departmental council, postings abroad, dress code for employees and officers, finalisation of office procedures and transparency.


Stamp to commemorate conquest of Everest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
To commemorate the golden jubilee of the conquest of the Mount Everest, the Department of Post will issue a postage stamp tomorrow of the denomination of Rs 15. The stamp will be available at Philatelic Bureau, Chandigarh GPO.

The awesome majesty of the snow-capped summits of the Himalayas has always held a strange allure to the people of India, Nepal and Tibet. It was natural that the eyes of the mountaineers turned to these sky-challenging heights. As the 20th century wore on, many expeditions were launched in the Himalayas and many of its peaks fell to ambitious explorers. But the tallest of them all, Mount Everest, stood undefeated at an incredible height of 8,848 metres. The peak was not only high, but also dangerous, as brought home by the lives that were lost in its pursuit.

It was the expedition of 1953 led by Colonel John Hunt, a British army officer, that finally succeeded in reaching the summit. The two members of the team who would ascended the peak made the whole world proud were Tenzing Norgay, a determined Sherpa mountaineer, who hailed from Tami in Nepal and Edmud Hillary, a tough apiarist-turned-climber from New Zealand.

The route chosen lay up the Khumbu Glacier and then up to long rising valley of the to the face of Lhotse, a formidable peak itself, and up that to the South Col, at roughly 7,925m. Then a steep climb would lead up the South-East Ridge to the South Summit of the mountain, from which they hoped to gain the final summit. Tenzing and Hillary were strong and determined climbers with a cheerful disposition and certain ruthlessness. With their tough mental frame and incredible physical stamina, they progressed along the arduous climb, overcoming the treacherous terrain and fierce gusts of icy winds. Finally, on the May 29, at 11.30 am, they found themselves standing on the highest spot on earth.

The ascent of the Everest created world-wide sensation. Even today, after 50 years of the event, mankind looks back with pride at the momentous achievement. The courage, determination and restless energy of Tenzing and Hillary represents the obsessive curiosity of mankind to look beyond the known and search into the unknown.


A commission on Chandigarh

IT is not easy to forget that Chandigarh was not built on a rugged, arid or unproductive land. Scores of villages were bulldozed for this new city to come up. To this day a good number of displaced villagers of the area are both emotionally and economically unsettled. How far has the capital city, visualised as “symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the tradition of the past”, met the hopes and aspirations of its planners and residents?

Some of our old guards, senior citizens, intellectuals, town planers, and those who have held high positions in government and social life have been expressing serious concern over the downside trends in the city.

Shortcomings in early planning and deplorable half-hearted or inadequate remedial measures later have been the cause of much discomfort and unrest among the people. For instance, the early planners forgot to reserve places for the people who would provide basic services as repair of scooters, bicycles, shoes, and food to the poor at ‘‘dhabas’’,

For about four decades political considerations have not allowed the Chandigarh Administration a clear direction. Some thoughtful people opine that the status of the city be re-examined objectively. Should the status quo continue permanently? If so, should not then the Administration be manned by the Union Territory staff who will owe it undivided loyalty? Can the Union Territory of Chandigarh by itself be a viable unit? Should it not be now transferred to Punjab, and Haryana compensated? Besides these questions about the reorientation of the present administrative set-up and the future status of Chandigarh, are some other questions specifically related to the Union Territory.

The townships put up at Panchkula and Mohali accommodated the people who could not get or afford residential plots in Chandigarh and have thus lessened the population pressure on the city, but at the same time the demands on its educational, medical and transport facilities and environment have increased. In view of this experience, the Union Territory Administration has been opposing the setting up of any new town around the city.

The appointment of a commission on Chandigarh seems to be the need of the time. An objective assessment of the growth and development of the city during the last over 50 years and a thorough understanding of its present problems are imperative. The commission comprising environmentalists, experts in urban development, economists, sociologists and administrators among others will surely suggest some useful guidelines for the future development of the city and the better quality of life in it.

P.S. Chanana

Love messages

This refers to A.S. Prashar’s highly readable human interest article on SMS in Chandigarh Tribune on May 21. The large number of abbreviations are bound to warm the cockles of the heart of youngsters, and seniors who are young at heart! I am adding some to the list carried in the article in the hope that these too will tickle the reader.

UR2 good 2B4 gotten

(You are too good to be forgotten)

This was written to Prince Charles by late Diana during the pink of their courtship together — to get her.

KME or IKUWE : Kiss me or I kill you with eyes!

URS : You are a stone! (add ‘‘hearted’’, if you like)

WSK: With a shower of kisses

SMYA: Strangulate me (in) your arms

URMDT: You are my dream-atic theme.

URVL: You are volcano of love

URLL: You are lava of love!

ISUD : I swoon unto death

I.M. Soni, Chandigarh

Slow march towards silt-free Sukhna

The effort made by The Tribune in arranging a debate in its columns, followed by a face-to-face discussion by the participants at Nepli forest on May 18 is indeed a laudable one. This is also a polite reminder to the citizens of Chandigarh that they should not be silent spectators when their lake is passing through a crisis and that they should make a contribution of their wisdom and experience for funding a solution.

During the discussion at Nepli forest it emerged that after all the soil conservation measure, the silt that reached the doorsteps of the lake was sufficient to choke it and that this can be prevented only by admitting desilted water into the lake. This is the brainchild of a retired engineer and has been so far a one-man show. It lacks that credibility which can make it acceptable to the government bureaucracy for implementation in the field.

In pursuance of your mission referred above, I suggest that you arrange an on-the-spot discussion similar to the one at Nepli forest by eminent engineers to look into this scheme and express their opinion.

Needless to say that this scheme is extremely cheap as compared to the dredging of the lake or raising its capacity by two feet and has no gestation period whatsoever.

S.P. Malhotra, Panchkula

Beautification campaign welcome

It is heartening to note that the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has started a campaign to strengthen and beautify pavements in the markets of Chandigarh.

It is really a blooming gift for the business community and the customers for their convenience. Besides giving a beautiful look to the market place, it helps the customers to park their vehicles at a convenient place. When I talked to many customers coming to shop in Sector 18, they conveyed their compliments to the authorities concerned for implementing such beneficial schemes. Even the market committees are interested in conveying their gratitude and honouring persons like Mr Chawla, Mayor, and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (MP), who are the driving force behind such schemes.

Another right step taken by the Mayor is introduction of waste/garbage disposal on a contract basis. This move will go in a long way in solving sanitation problems and will immensely help in keeping the city clean. It is surely a bold step taken at the appropriate time with active involvement of all concerned, including political leaders. Chandigarh citizens would, however, realise full benefits of this scheme provided it is implemented uniformly in the entire city.

Since the newly appointed Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator in his first meeting with concerned authorities has also laid more stress on sanitation and beautification of Chandigarh, it should not be difficult for them to implement such schemes. Needless to say that every one who loves Chandigarh and lives here will extend full cooperation in making such initiatives successful.

Bant Singh, Chandigarh

Unpleasant experience at British Library

I had an unpleasant experience at the British Library, Chandigarh, on April 9. I visited this library to known about the British Chevning Scholarship to participate in counselling sessions. To my utter surprise, the receptionist its at the entrance expressed complete ignorance about the matter. I was referred to a counsellor who conducts such sessions. I located her desk but she wasn’t present there. After about an hour or so she came in and as I started to talk about scholarships and counselling session, she showed complete annoyance, what to talk about giving any guidance regarding scholarships. She was extremely rude in her behaviour.

I was surprised but, incidentally, the institution where I am working is associated with British Library. So, immediately I showed her my I-card. But with total disgust she wanted me to go away.

I say that Indian libraries are far better where at least someone guides you properly. After-all, hospitality, book-keeping, public dealings and public relations form an integral part of library sciences and which, ideally and practically, every librarian should know.

Radha Saini, Patiala


Get together at Getto....
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Getto... the get-together joint. This is the renovated restaurant of Heritage Hotel in the Sector 35 lane of eateries. The new-look with clouds as the theme of the decor has the features that should attract the Chandigarhians, specially the youngsters, on the lookout for a chic hanging out place south of the Madhya Marg. And why not? After all, Vipul, the 18-year-old son of the hotelier, Mr Ashok Dua, took an active interest in the metamorphosis of the staid restaurant to a swanky set. And he has the pulse right on the youngsters with fat pockets fond of trying out new things. More so, when on happy occasions like birthdays and good exam result days, the parents too indulgently dole out generous amounts for partying.

‘‘I christened the restaurant Getto. And I think the clouds and sky of the place will transport the guests to heaven with our quality of food and service’’, claims the down-to-earth Vipul proudly and confidently. By the way, he is all geared up to join a hotel management course to equip himself with professional knowhow that will help him realise his late grandfather’s dream.

So, while various hues of blue in combination with white dominate the skyline.... I mean the ceiling, as well as the floor, furniture, waiters’ livery and crockery, the multi-coloured tubes of glittering lights bordering the marble’n glass-topped bar counter stand out.

The rear end is the dance floor lit up by the luminescent dancing spotlights. And the music provided by the DJ on the state-of-the-art system along with the acts of jugglery by the bartender only serve to entertain you as you enjoy your drinks and khana. The new General Manager, Mr Vinod Mulgaonkar, who has come from Goa, is all set to give the happening touch in keeping with the Punjabis’ taste. This food and liquor lounge has on offer a multitude of cocktails and mocktails and boasts of a multi-cuisine menu.

For those who prefer it soft, there is a range of refreshing blends of juices and syrups topped with fruits or ice-cream. Blue angel is a mix of blue curacao and Limca with a hint of vanilla ice-cream. If nothing less than the frozen stuff will do for you, go in for the ice-cold monkey’s lunch comprising black currant, fruits and ice-cream or the chocolate shaken with milk. Get the hot breeze with tea or coffee or the soups. And the hard drinkers would probably shoot for the shooters that hit your head before they reach your tummy. Pick from the varieties of vodka, gin, bacardi, scotch or rum or their mix’n matches.

The starters include a range of veg and non-veg snacks like the ever-favourite spring rolls, roasted nuts, French fries, dry manchurian, aloo chaat, kalmi kebab, chicken tikka etc. The health conscious can opt for cold salads from the bar.

The real meal deals and combos come in the shape of Indian and Chinese delicacies, besides the platters of sizzlers.

Try their dal sultani (black) or dal makhni (yellow) garnished with coriander and butter. Add chicken curry or panir kadai to get a feeling of a special meal out. Or, order something like noodles and fried rice if the kids are accompanying you. Complement with raita, pulao or naan.

Getto... also serves breakfast in styles of the Orient (juice, bread toast, cheese slice, eggs, tea/coffee), Punjab (lassi, Amritsari kulchhe chhole, stuffed paratha, curd, pickle, team/coffee) and sehri (cereals, pao bhaji, maska, tea/coffee).

If there is scope left, take a scoop of the dessert before signing off with the saunf.


One phone number to register power complaints
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 28
With a view to end one of the perpetual grievances of the residents of the township, the Punjab State Electricity Board's local office here has decided to launch a single telephone complaint number manned round-the-clock during the coming fortnight.

Giving details about the single telephone number scheme, Mr S.C.Aggarwal, SE, PSEB, Mohali Circle, today stated that a mobile number will be automatically operated and will register every call, give the caller a complaint number and follow up with the complaint. ‘‘The telephone will be operated and manned by members of an independent agency who will be responsible for paging our men to cater to a compliant.’’ said Mr Aggarwal.

Stating that the complaint number will be formally launched in another 15 days, Mr Aggarwal said, ‘‘Information about electricity cuts will be available at the telephone number’’.


“No FIR...”

Kanwar Ashwani Kumar, an advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and counsel for Mr Mann Singh, in a communication to The Tribune has stated: “Apropos of the news report entitled ‘No FIR in NRI assault case yet’ published on May 25, 2003, on page 5 in Chandigarh Tribune, it is stated that the news report is wrong, baseless and devoid of all facts.

“Mr Dhanjal is involved in a dispute over property with Mr S.S. Rana, Mrs Devinder Kaur, Mr Rajiv Rana and Mr Maan Singh for which a separate criminal case is already registered (FIR no 213 dt. 8.5.03) and is being pursued separately.

“Therefore, the publication of the photographs of the above mentioned four persons is nothing more than an attempt to link up the two cases and only to defame them”.

(The error is regretted. Editor)


A ray of hope for physically challenged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 28
After 18 years, polio victim of Nardu village in Patiala district, can finally walk to her school every morning. Reena Rani is now self-dependent because of the crutches and callipers provided to her.

It would not have been possible without the efforts of Rajpura-based Roshni society president Father Thomas K.J. Under his supervision, the society is taking care of her studies. Father Thomas modestly says, the miracle happened due to the magical touch of Dr Ujagar Singh of G.S. Memorial Hospital in Rampuraphul.”

Reena is not only one being taken care of by the society. A large number of crippled children residing in rural Punjab are translating into reality dreams of becoming self-reliant. Some others are, however, waiting for treatment as sponsors are required. These include six polio victims from Jagadhri. They will be going to Rampura Phul on Thursday hoping that some well-wisher would come forward to their rescue. Interested residents can contact Dr Ujagar Singh at 01651-227088 Father Thomas at 01762-227004.


Burglars strike at 2 shops
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, May 28
Burglars struck at two showrooms in Sector 8 market late last night and decamped with goods and cash worth thousands of rupees.

The burglars entered the showrooms after breaking open the windowpanes of a ventilators of their backroom. The burglars also broke the cash boxes and threw them away before fleeing the showrooms. According to Mr Arvind Goel, owner of the hardware showroom, the burglars entered the showroom, ransacked it and threw the cash box inside a bathroom after taking Rs 12,000 from it. After the incident, another grocery was targeted by the burglars. They took Rs 5,000 from the cash box and threw the box outside the showroom its owner Krishan Garg said the burglars had also struck his shop located in Sector 4 a couple of days ago but the police has failed to make any headway. The police has registered cases .

Car stolen

A car (DL-6CH-6529) owned by a Pehowa resident was stolen from near Khadi Ashram in Pinjore on the intervening night of May 26 and 27. A case has been registered with the Pinjore police station on the complaint of Mr Bhusan.

In another case of theft, Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Railly village in Sector 12, alleged that Sonu, a Sector 14 resident, stole cable wire and an amplifier from house number 164 in Sector 12-A on May 26. A case has been registered with the Sector 19 police station.


Mr Harbans Lal, a resident of Sector 14, sustained injuries when a truck (HP-14-8036) rammed into his scooter near Zirakpur barrier on the Panchkula-Zirakpur road on Tuesday. One held

The police has arrested Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Manakya village, for drinking in public place. A case has been registered at the Chandi Mandir police station.

7-yr-old raped

A youth is alleged to have raped his 7-year-old neighbour in Barwala yesterday. An FIR under Section 376 of the IPC has been registered against Hardeep Singh.


Women held for stealing

The police has claimed to have arrest three women ‘red handed’ while they were trying to escape after stealing 50 kg of nut and bolts from an industrial plot in Industrial Area, Phase I, here this morning. The police succeeded in apprehending them with the help of factory workers. The police further claimed that the stolen items were recovered from the possession of the accused, Rekha, Payal and Sunita, all residents of Bapu Dham Colony. Later, they were produced before a magistrate, who remanded them in judicial custody.

Dowry cases

Ms Gurjit Kaur, a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh, reported to the police that she was being maltreated and harassed by her husband to bring more dowry. She was married to Manjit Singh, a resident of Mani Majra Housing Complex here in June, 2002. On her complaint, the police has booked Manjit Singh under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC.

In a similar case, the police has booked Manpreet Singh, a resident of Phase II, SAS Nagar. He was booked on complaint of his wife, Dr Gauri Singh, who had alleged before the police that the former was harassing and maltreating her for bringing more dowry.


Thieves took away silver jewellery, clothes and Rs 2,800 from a jhuggi in Nehru Colony sometime between May 15 and May 27.


A resident of Vijay Complex, Sector 45, Ms Pammi, was injured after the scooter she was riding was hit by a car near the traffic light point in Sector 37. The car driver fled from the spot. Ms Pammi was admitted to General Hospital, Sector 16. A case under Section 279 and 337 of IPC has been registered.


Liquor seized

The police here has arrested one person for smuggling liquor here and recovered 90 cases (1080) bottles of liquor from him. A special naka was put up at the Chandigarh-SAS Nagar border near Sector 48 and stopped a Tata 709 carrying these bottles. The driver, Raj Kumar, a resident of Mandi, HP, was arrested.


Mongias open Sec 17 showroom
Our Correspondents

Chandigarh, May 28
Newly weds Dinesh Mongia and Aarti made their maiden public appearance together at the reopening of the Reebok store in Sector 17 here today. Interaction with guests and mediapersons lasted for about half an hour. They also took a round of the showroom.

Dinesh praised the design of the showroom and the products on display. Attired in a pink Punjabi suit, Aarti said she loved the way Punjabis lived. She found Marwari and Punjabi cultures similar to one another. Asked about her prince charming, she answered with a blushing smile, “He is wonderful.” Talking about her interest in sports, Aarti said though she had been a badminton player, her favourite sports star was Sachin Tendulkar. A media-shy person, she said she would love to accompany her husband on his international cricket tours if he wished so.

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