Monday, June 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two killed as truck hits Tata Sumo
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 1
Two unidentified middle-aged men were killed and one injured seriously when the Tata Sumo they were travelling in was hit by a speeding truck near the Phase I police station here last night. The Tata Sumo was coming from Ludhiana and was being used as a pool-in taxi by eight passengers.

The driver of the Tata Sumo — Sukhvinder Singh — is lying unconcious at the PGI in Chandigarh. The two persons killed have yet to be identified. Others in the Tata Sumo have been discharged from hospitals. The truck driver — Sham Lal of Ghaziabad — is in police custody.

According to one of the passengers of the Tata Sumo, they left Ludhiana around 9:30 pm and reached SAS Nagar around 11:15 pm. One of the passengers was dropped at a petrol pump, where his scooter was parked. “We do not really know what happened. We just felt a jolt, after which we realised that the passengers in the front had been badly hurt,” he said.

Eyewitnesses said the truck (HR-13-GA-0378) was speeding from a side road in the Industrial Area and hit the Tata Sumo (CH-01-R-4525) from the left. The truck spun with the impact and overturned. While the driver of the truck escaped unhurt, the Tata Sumo was smashed on the left side.

Four of the injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital here, from where three persons were referred to the PGI. The fourth, Amarjit Singh of Paonta Sahib, who had suffered a fracture, was admitted to the Civil Hospital. He requested the hospital staff to discharge him this morning.

While one of the three persons rushed to the PGI was declared brought dead, another died within minutes of reaching the hospital. The third, the driver of the Tata Sumo, is still critical.

Two of the other four persons — Harpreet Singh and Sachin Gupta — work for a telecom company in Ludhiana. While one is a resident of Phase V here, the other is a resident of Sector 49 in Chandigarh. According to the police, a case of negligent driving has been registered against the driver of the truck.


Goods worth 7.5 lakh stolen from Ebony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were stolen from Ebony, a multi-storey shopping arcade in Sector 9, here in the wee hours today. The thieves broke into the premises after breaking the window pane of a ventilator on the roof.

An employee at the shop, Mr Arvinder Singh, said the loss was around Rs 7.5 lakh. The exact loss would be ascertained after checking the stock, he added. After breaking the ventilator pane, the thieves, believed to be at least five in number, broke the false ceiling of the top floor of the shopping mall. A security guard was on duty when the incident took place.

A police official said the thieves were familiar with the design of the building and had planned their action accordingly. To reach the roof of the building they climbed the stairs of an adjoining showroom, the door to which was normally not locked.

An official at the shopping arcade said there used to be three security guards in the morning and a security guard for the night.

Meanwhile,the police said the thieves took advantage of the fact that there was no iron grill on the pane.


A day of robberies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Thieves broke into the house of an SDO in Sector 19 here today and took away Rs 15,000, gold jewellery, silver coins and some other valuables. The occupant of the house, Mr V.K. Sharma, an SDO in the Haryana PWD, has gone on an official tour to Hisar.

According to information, the thieves entered house No. 2490 after breaking its front door. A brother of Mr V.K.Sharma, Mr Sanjay Sharma, who had come to see his brother, found the door open and house ransacked.

He said a TV, CD player and some other valuables were also found missing. A case has been registered under Section 454 of the IPC.

In another case, some computer parts were found stolen from a cabin in Sector 20 here today. According to information, a case has been registered under Section 380 and 454 of the IPC on a complaint lodged by the owner of the cabin, Mr D.S.Brar.

Besides, two more cases of theft were reported from the city. Mr Rakesh Gupta, a resident of Sector 22, reported that a mangalsutra, a watch and Rs 1000, which were kept in a bag, were stolen from his house.

In another case, Mr Haritej Singh, a resident of Sector 23, reported that Sanjay, a resident of Kumhar Colony in Sector 25, was caught red-handed while stealing his bicycle from Neelam cinema.


CBSE officer shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Regional Officer of the Central Board of Secondary Education Mr Y.R. Sachdeva, has been transferred to Ajmer, it is learnt. Sources told TNS today that the sudden transfer was the fallout of the answer-sheet tampering scam, which had rocked the city over the past few weeks.

The transfer orders, reportedly issued by the CBSE headquarters in New Delhi on Friday, were received here yesterday. The Deputy Secretary at “CBSE headquarters, Mr P.I. Sabu, has been appointed Regional Officer here and he is expected to join duty tomorrow.

The Chandigarh police had unearthed a racket in May, where employees of a private contractor employed by the CBSE authorities to encode answer-sheets of the Class-X examination used to take money from students to smuggle out the sheets from the secrecy branch. The students would then fill in correct answers and these would be smuggled back into the branch before being encoded and despatched for marking.

The Chandigarh police had arrested seven persons and seized a number of answer-sheets, which were sent for forensic examination.


Confusion over pulse polio campaign
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, June 1
Confusion prevailed in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and surrounding areas over the date regarding the pulse polio campaign as a large number of people reached dispensaries in their areas to get their children immunised against polio.

“The campaign is being carried out only in states where fresh cases have been detected. Since the last case in the union territory was reported in October, 2002, we were not a part of this immunisation drive,” said Dr M.P. Minocha, Director, Family Welfare Bureau.

Dr Minocha said polio drops would be administered to children less than five years of age either in December-January or in January-February. “The vaccine is given on all weekdays at the General Hospital, the PGI, the GMCH and the Sector 22 polyclinic and at the dispensaries in various sectors every Wednesday and Saturday.

SAS Nagar: A large number of parents came with their children aged less than five years to the Civil Hospital here on Sunday, believing that the pulse polio campaign was going on. They returned when they were told that the campaign was not going on here. They said they had seen advertisements about the pulse polio campaign in newspapers.

Ambala: Confusion prevailed among guardians of children and officials of the Health Department here till noon on Sunday on whether to administer polio drops to children or not.

In view of the solar eclipse on May 31 the Haryana Health Department had advanced the date for administering polio drops to May 18 instead of June 1 in Kurukshetra, Ambala and Yamunanagar districts. Most of the children were given the drops on May 18 in the three districts. Perhaps this was the reason that no arrangements had been made in the districts today.

An advertisement by the Union Family Welfare Department published in newspapers today created confusion stating that a special polio campaign would be conducted in several selected districts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Rajasthan on June 1. The names of the districts were not mentioned.

Meanwhile, hundreds of parents along with their children visited the Civil Hospital at Ambala City and Ambala Cantonment today but were told by the hospital staff that the pulse polio campaign had already been conducted in Ambala on May 18, but none was ready to hear them.

A senior official of the Haryana Health Department reached the hospital at Ambala City to inspect the arrangements in this regard. When he was told that there was no campaign today, he asked the Civil Surgeon to make arrangements in this regard. A temporary arrangement was made in this regard.


1 lakh kids get polio drops

Panchkula, June 1
More than 1 lakh children below the age of five years were administered polio drops during the pulse polio campaign in Haryana today. The Haryana Chief Minister kicked off the campaign by administering vaccine to children at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here and at Mansa Devi Temple.

According to Dr B.S.Dahiya, Director-General, Health Services, Haryana, 11,500 booths were set up for the purpose throughout the state. OC



WITH PGI doctors proceeding on a month-long summer vacation, it is the patients who are in for a lot of inconvenience. Even though the doctors proceed on the month-long holiday in two batches, the reduced staff strength definitely affects the services in the premier medical institute of the region.

Even though emergency cases are taken care of, the schedule of planned surgeries goes haywire. With half the doctors remaining on leave from May 15 to June 14 and the other from June 15 to July 14, the surgery dates are further postponed.

As it is, the waiting time for surgery at some of the departments at the PGI is not in days but months. The summer vacation further piles up the pending operation burden, adding to the woes of patients.

Family dilemma

Former Mayor Lalit Joshi and her medico-administrator husband have different views on dealing with the same problem — privatisation or no privatisation of sanitation.

Both of them are faced with two different agitations of sweepers.

Ms Joshi’s husband, Dr Raj Bahadur, the Medical Superintendent of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), is going ahead with the privatisation of sanitation to invite the ire of sweepers in the hospital.

The former Mayor, however, had a different view as the Chairperson of a nine-member all-party committee of councillors when she recommended not to go ahead with privatisation of sanitation in the city.

This has been a major demand of the Chandigarh Sweepers Union which has been continuing its relay hunger strike for more than a month.

While Dr Bahadur is refusing to accommodate the demands of the reinstatement of sweepers by private contractor, Ms Joshi is standing by the permanent sweepers employed by the Municipal Corporation.

Democracy seems to be taking roots at the family level!

Chaotic affair

Preity Zinta’s visit to a showroom in Industrial Area, Phase I, was marked with a lot of confusion. Although some chaos was expected, the situation that day almost went beyond control. So much so, the actress could hardly talk what she was meant to and the audience could hardly listen to what she was trying to say. For about 15 minutes the actress kept requesting the visitors to keep silence so that the function could proceed. But when nothing served, she virtually shouted out to people to be quiet and not panic.

After high drama, she proceeded to another cabin where the organisers were supposed to arrange the actress’s interview with scribes. Within minutes, there was again confusion all around, with the guards posted at the door of the cabin taking up cudgels against the journalists. Apparently one of them even jostled a scribe, thus inviting the wrath of all others. Following this, almost all the scribes present at the venue threatened to leave the venue. It was only after a lot of cajoling from the organisers that the interview went on, though not in the real sense of an interview. The conference was vague, with the journalists barely managing to talk to the actress for not more than seven minutes!

Naturally their writing skills were put to a real test that day!

Marriages on the Net

Marriages through the internet might become a bit easier in the region with launching a new office in the city. The portal promises a well-integrated platform for seekers of matrimonial alliances and a host of wedding related services. Incidentally, the portal boasts of five lakh prospective brides and grooms along with the claim that it offers broader scope of choices for the eligible singles. It adds that there are about 10,000 successful couples on its list and the number is on the increase.

Not just into match making through the Internet, Bharatmatrimony is also into utility publications like Matchmaker in India, Desi Matchmaker in the USA and Vaazkhai Thunai (meaning life partner). With a tieup with all major Indian portals, this matrimonial portal is on its way to revolutionise the wedding industry.

Against all odds

Mr Vinod C. Gupta was recently honoured with “the Col D.S. Vohra Memorial Physically Challenged Achiever’s Award for 2002-03” for his outstanding achievements in his personal as well as professional disciplines. Working as the Establishment Officer of the Punjab Mandi Board, Chandigarh, Mr Gupta has been able to excel himself in all fields of life.

The award has been instituted by the Jyot Charitable Trust, Chandigarh, founded by Dr V.J.S. Vohra of the Nevedec Prosthetic Centre in memory of his father. Mr Gupta says the award “takes me back to 1974, when Colonel Vohra had modified a car as per my requirements and also taught me to drive it, which made me independently mobile and added a lot towards my zeal.”

Mr Gupta says despite test driving the car for 40 km, the driving licence was denied to him. Frustrated, he one day barged into the house of the then Chandigarh Police chief, who promised that he would get his driving licence the next day. The officer lived up to his promise. Born 10 days before the country got its independence, Mr Gupta says, being a Leo, he believes in working like a lion in spite of being physically challenged.

He worked with two UN experts who had come to study the knitwear industry of Ludhiana. They were so impressed with Mr Gupta’s work that they wrote to him to say that final document produced by him was comparable to any such document produced internationally. He was awarded the Pitman fellowship by the Institute of Pitman, U.K. He is a life member of the Institute for the Blind, Chandigarh, the Punjab Red Cross and the Divine Life Society.

Birds of lakes

To mark the World Environment Week (June 1-6) the Environment Society of India (ESI) has brought out a field identification chart “Birds of ponds and lakes”. This is the first time that such an illustrated chart is compiled by any organisation. The purpose of this guide is to increase interest in knowledge, respect and appreciation for the natural world. These include ducks, geese, waders, herons, jacanas, rails, coots, cornorants, flamingoees, pelicans, storks, grebes, and Ibises.

There are 65 pictures of such birds on both sides of the card sheet of the size 11”x8.5”. The chart has been specially prepared for the teachers and members of the National Green Corps (NGC), a scheme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and being distributed amongst 1900 eco clubs in Haryana, 1200 in Himachal Pradesh, 1700 in Punjab, and 100 in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, and a renowned bird watcher appreciated the efforts of the ESI while releasing the poster. He said the chart would be very useful for school teachers and students in the spot identification of the water birds at the village ponds, marshes, lagoons, lakes, waterways and river barrages. He further stated that this field identification chart should be given to all the schools in the country which will create love for nature among the schoolchildren, the future citizens of the country.

Secure IDs

Transmedia Times, a Chandigarh-based NGO working as a cyber news network, is offering its services for making digitally secured identity cards having biometric security features for labourers and foot-path workers.

These cards will serve multiple purposes like identification, linkages to self-help groups — a scheme floated by NABARD to promote micro-banking, group insurance schemes, and later, an online data bank for poor people under Antodaya Yojna and other government welfare schemes as well as food and public distribution.

A data bank of workers is being mobilised, which will consist of an individual’s photograph, voice sample, thumb impression, signature, blood group, visible identification marks, other bio-facts and personal details. Cooperation of the UT Education Department is also being sought for data collection. — Sentinel


Excise Dept to target service sector to enhance revenue collections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Customs and Central Excise Department has decided to tighten its grip over the service sector to enhance revenue collections. Since Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh had also announced to raise service tax from 5 per cent to 8 per cent during the current Budget, apart from including 10 new items under the service tax net, the department has decided to conduct a survey of the number of traders and self-employed people falling under the service tax net.

A senior official of the department said the enhanced tax would be effective from May 14. The persons falling under the tax net should get themselves registered with the department and pay tax on time otherwise they could be prosecuted as per the law.

He said the total service tax collection from the Chandigarh zone, comprising Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh, had reached about Rs 130 crore during 2002-03 from Rs 80 crore collected during the previous year. There is, however, no service tax in J&K. The department was hopeful, he said, with the cooperation of tax payers, the government would be able to generate adequate revenue from this sector.

Mr Manoj Kohli, a chartered accountant, said, ‘‘Under Section 69, every person liable to pay service tax should get himself registered within 30 days of the notification. However, the fact remains that most of the eligible persons, agencies and companies have not even bothered to get themselves registered.’’

Officials of the department said the Central Government had so far imposed service tax on 51 services including telecom, insurance, fashion designing, dry cleaning, beauty parlours, real estate, advertising agencies, architects, event management, cable operators and health clubs. He said the Finance Minister has enhanced the service tax rate from 5 per cent to 8 per cent, besides extending the tax net to 10 new services including commercial coaching institutes, Internet cafes, technical and inspection agencies, authorised automobile service stations, foreign exchange brokers and maintenance services.

He said that 90 per cent of the service tax was so far collected from the telecom services alone. The insurance companies, which were also major contributor to the service tax, he said, were depositing at the headquarter. He agreed that due to inadequate manpower, scattered base of assesses and lack of cooperation from them, total tax collection was almost negligible from most of the services.

He said though the share of the service sector in Punjab and Chandigarh economy was very high, yet it was the manufacturing sector, that was contributing a high share in the Central taxes. For instance, he said, the Central Excise Tax collections from the Chandigarh zone had increased to Rs 2,847 crore by February 15, 2003, registering a 10.5 per cent growth as compared to Rs 2,570 crore collected during the corresponding period of the previous year.


Violation of building bylaws at Zirakpur
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, June 1
Scores of houses constructed by residents of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat are not in accordance with the actual construction plans approved by the civic body, thus bringing architect-MC staff nexus to the fore.

A number of residents have constructed houses in violation of the building bylaws after getting the building plans approved by the authorities. The constructions have been done by going beyond the set norms.

Sources reveal that in some cases residents have constructed multi-storey buildings against the approved building plans for single-storey buildings. There have been cases of illegal construction of basements and additional rooms in some buildings too.

In many cases the resident have not followed the specifications laid down by the Town Planning wing of the civic body. They have constructed houses without leaving much space for berms of the internal roads in various colonies and villages falling within the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits.

Sources also add that residents in connivance with the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat architects and Municipal Council staff have been indulging in construction of structures in violations of the norms.

Coming down heavily on residents constructing houses in violation of the building bylaws, Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, said violators would be penalised for the act.

He said the structures that had already been constructed would be inspected and penalties would be slapped on violators. Those who were violating the building bylaws would be brought to the book.

To curb the menace of unauthorised construction, the authorities would constitute a team of enforcement wing comprising the Town Planner and architect to inspect the sites and file a report in the context, said Mr Sharma.

“If the architects are found guilty, their plan would be cancelled and in case of MC staffers a written complaint would be sent to the Secretary of the Department of Local Government, Punjab, for necessary action,” warned Mr Sharma.


Up in arms against demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Residents Welfare Associations of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and political parties today joined hands to oppose the anti-encroachment drive launched by the Chandigarh Administration.

The rally was held here today at the Sector 46 and 47 roundabout.

Speakers accused officers of the CHB of indulging in corruption and violating the July 29, 2001 agreement between the residents' body and the CHB saying they would have supported the drive had it been started from Sector 1 and the houses of the high and mighty.

The speakers at the rally asserted that the alleged violations came up after the Chandigarh Housing Board failed to provide them approved maps for making need-based alterations which had become necessary in the wake of changing needs of the residents.

The rally was supported by Shri Gur Singh Sabha, Shri Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Istri Satsang Sabha and Mahila Sankirtan Sabha. Presidents and general secretaries of different residents' welfare associations and members of these bodies attended the rally

The speakers sought to paint the government as an encroacher saying it had not removed the tile factory functioning from the green belt of Sector 47 and also a liquor shop functioning from the roundabout of Sector 46 and 47.

The rally was addressed by councillors Jatinder Bhatia, Surinder Singh, Balraj Singh and Vijay Rana and former Mayors Ms Kamla Sharma, Ms Lalit Joshi and Ms Harjinder Kaur. Mr Bhatia is also president of the federation. The federation general secretary B.S. Chadha along with other speakers said the CHB had become a den of corruption as no-dues certificates were allegedly issued only after palms of the employees of the department were allegedly greased.

Mr Bhatia said it was the CHB and not the residents who were responsible for the alleged violations in the houses. He claimed that it was mutually agreed between the CHB and residents that for any alteration made after July 29, 2001, the board would provide latest approved maps to the allottees but the board did not honour the commitment made in the agreement.


Staff of passport office to observe strike today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Work in the Regional Passport Offices both at Chandigarh and Jalandhar, may come to a standstill from tomorrow in view of the indefinite strike call given by the All-India Passport Employees Association (AIPEA).

The strike is likely to affect hundreds of people, who visit these offices daily, for availing themselves of various services relating to getting a passport issued or renewed. According to information available, the rush of visitors is maximum on Monday, since Saturday and Sunday are holidays.

Sources in the Regional Passport Office, here, disclosed that all services, including enquiries regarding new passports, would not be entertained tomorrow in view of the strike.

The employees have been protesting against the 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 employees, however, as part of their unique way of protest worked on last Saturday (May 31) in the hope that the government may heed to their demands.


IFS officer gets Akademi Award
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
O.P. SharmaWeaving his themes around nature, science, environment and forestry, Mr O.P. Sharma, has perhaps become the first Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer to win the Sahitya Akademi Award for his book in Dogri “Trip Trip Chete”, a collection of travelogues and memoirs.

Belonging to the 1987 batch of the IFS, Mr Sharma, a postgraduate in Botany, has several books to his credit. The award winning book, which has 11 travelogues touching scientific, environmental and forestry issues, is literally considered a masterpiece.

Greatly influenced by the literary works of Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore, Munshi Prem Chand and Prof Madan Mohan Verma, Mr Sharma, who writes under the pen name of Om Vidyarathi, took the first plunge in the literary world with a collection of his poems — “Chanani di Kanso” - in 1984. Since then he has never looked back.

Talking to The Tribune here on his way back to Jammu after attending a four-day camp workshop on conservation, assessment and management of medicinal plants as a resource person in Shimla, Mr Sharma said recognition of his work by the Akademi had proved many of his critics wrong.

Selected to the Provincial Civil Service (Kashmir Administrative Service- KAS) in 1984, he served as Tehsildar. His first attempt in the All-India Civil Service got him into the Indian Accounts and Audit Service in 1985 which he did not like. His subsequent effort got him into the Indian Forest Service where for four years he served as Vigilance Officer and recently completed the mammoth state bio-diversity strategy action plan. He took six months to compile this 500-page policy document.

Mr Sharma says his first collection of short stories, “Jaramroj”, dealt mainly with forestry while “Chirra di dalli” deals with vital issues like natural co-existence, environment and forestry. Another book on similar subject is “Jangal Hasiya”. His latest addition to his long list of books on nature, environment and forestry is “Chir to Chinar”.

He takes credit for coining new names and words in Dogri, including “Chaupasam”, now popularly used Dogri word for environment. This word has been included in the Jammu and Kashmir Dictionary of Dogri-Hindi also. “I can claim credit for coining about 500 Dogri words,” he says quoting “trakkal” as the popular Dogri word for pollution.

His another major contribution has been the compilation of complete information about the “Wild and cultivated plants of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”. “This again, he says,” has been a mammoth task which no one ever attempted before”.

He has also compiled books on plants of parks and gardens and also on medicinal plants of plains and hills.


Motivating young minds to shun drugs
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, June 1
For Vikas, a youth from Sector 30, the painting competition organised by the youth panchayat of the Theatre Age, a voluntary organisation, at Sector 30 park came as a turning point in his life. When he was urged by young volunteers of the Youth Panchayat to have a look at the posters made by the participants on drug abuse and suicide, little did he know that the evils highlighted by young children would motivate him to give up his own addiction to drugs.

“I had been abusing drugs for sometimes now but after reading the messages given by the participants about their ill effects, I promised myself to give up drugs,” says Vikas. This reformed youngster says abusing drugs was a habit he picked up from his friends but after today’s visit not only would he stop taking it but also carry on the message “Say no to drugs”.

The Theatre Age, a voluntary organisation known for its association with slum children, started a youth panchayat wing in the colony of Sector 30 B as the area recorded the highest number of drug addicts and children undergoing depression. The panchayat consists of around 10 adults from the area who go door to door and counsel the children suffering from such vices or depression.

“The alarming rate of suicide cases forced us to re-examine our social system and when we found that majority of the children and adolescents suffered from mental depression for various reasons, we thought of forming counselling groups by the name of youth panchayat. These groups comprise members from those localities in which there are maximum number of children either suffering from manic depression or drug abuse,” says Mr Zulfiquar Khan, the man behind the Theatre Age.

It has been a month since the youth panchayat of Sector 30 B colony came into existence. Soniya Kanwar, convener of the group, along with 10 other members has been counselling around 100 children in the area. “The children here have a lot of energy and potential but lack proper guidance. It is our endeavour to channel their energy into the right direction,” she says.

The body is not just providing counselling to the needy but also fighting the administration to provide them with proper infrastructure like sports and other facilities to turn the young minds away from negative thinking. “At present we are requesting the administration to provide us with a volleyball court in our locality so that children can play and pass their time in something constructive,” says Soniya.

In the poster-making competition around 100 children between the age of three and nine years took part in the contest. The event was adjudged by Dr Avnish Jolly, Mr Ishwar Dayal and Mr Tarun Attrey.


A treat for bird lovers, ornithologists
Tribune News Service

Berwala (Morni), June 1
A bird safari was inaugurated by the Secretary, Forests, Mr D.S. Dhesi, here today. Located at a distance of about 7 km from Panchkula, this safari will be a boon for bird lovers and ornithologists.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dhesi said though adventure sports had caught the imagination of people over bird watching, the creation of such bird safaries would go a long way in creating awareness about the nature conservation, besides bringing people close to nature watching.

He said there was need to promote ornithology in an institutional framework by setting up ornithological societies , which would help promote the science of bird watching. He praised the efforts of the forest and Wildlife Department officials in setting up safari.

This safari has been set up in 250 hectares and a trail of about 3 km leads to the safari from the Berwala-Morni road. Over 400 species of birds, including the rare species like Indian pitta, barbets, hornbills etc are the special attractions of the safari. Other than a machaan and a small hut, no other structure has been erected.

The Wildlife Department had earlier proposed to set up a lion safari in these forests. However, an avid bird lover, Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh (retd), met with wildlife officials and proposed that considering the biodiversity of the flora and fauna here, a bird safari should be set up instead. Thus, the bird safari was proposed and a team of bird watchers — Mr Vibhu Prakash from the Bombay Natural History Society and Mr S.D. Sharma, including Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh found this site and the safari has been set up.

Among others present on the occasion were Mr J.P.L. Srivastava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana, Mr R.D. Jakati, Chief Wildlife Warden, and many bird lovers from different parts of the state and Delhi.


New GOC-in-C takes over
Tribune News Service

Lieut-Gen Hari PrasadChandigarh, June 1
Lieut-Gen Hari Prasad today took over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command.

General Prasad was Director, Infantry, at Army Headquarter prior to this posting.

For his outstanding performance and distinguished service of an exceptional order, he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal and the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation (COAS) Card.

In his long service career spanning over 38 years, the General has held varied command, staff and instructional appointments.

He commanded 18 Maratha Light Infantry, an infantry brigade and an infantry division responsible for the security of the Line of Control and combating insurgency in Kashmir.


Waiting for tragedy to happen
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 1
A bridge on a road connecting Chandigarh and the Phase IX Industrial Area here is badly damaged and residents fear that a serious accident can occur at any time. Heavy traffic plies on the bridge as it connects Industrial Areas in the Union Territory and SAS Nagar. Buses of CTU also go on the route. Not only is the bridge in bad shape, it is also narrower than the road and only one truck or bus can cross it at one time.

Almost half of the metal railing on one side of the bridge has fallen. The railing on the other side is also damaged. Besides, at one point on the bridge the concrete has come out exposing the metal used in the construction. Water can be seen flowing under the bridge through the hole.

Mr Amrik Singh, Municipal Councillor and resident of Phase XI here, said that the stretch of road on which the bridge falls also connected Chandigarh’s Sector 47 to Phase XI. It measured a little less than 1 km and was to be maintained by PUDA. However, the PUDA authorities failed to ensure its proper maintenance. He wondered whether the PUDA authorities were waiting for a major tragedy to happen. Mr Amrik Singh said he along with three other municipal councillors, had met the Chief Administrator and the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA and demanded the immediate repair of the road.


Urdu poet K.B. Noor’s death mourned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 1
The former Haryana Urdu Sahitya Akademi Chairman Kashmiri Lal Zakir and a few followers of Urdu poetry mourned the death of prominent Urdu poet Krishan Behari Noor who passed away in Lucknow on Friday. A condolence meeting was organised by Jan Shikshan Sansthan at Sector 44 here yesterday.

Mr Zakir, said the death of Noor had created a vacuum in the literary field as the poet was the last representative of the old Lucknow school of thought. Noor's unique style of writing ghazals had made him one of the most sought after poets in the country, he said.


Computers burnt
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 1
A large number of computers were burnt in a fire showroom in Phase 3B2 when one of the computer UPS caught fire today. A fire engine was rushed to the spot and the fire brought under control.

According to the information provided by the police, the Bata shoes showroom had computers stacked in its basement and when someone saw smoke emanating from the basement, fire engines were called. The extent of damage could not be ascertained.


An all-surface marker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
You name the surface and Name Pen writes on it. Except on water, it can write on any surface be it cloth, wood, metal, glass, plastic, card, paper, rubber etc. No other marker writes on such a diverse range of surfaces. Zebra has launched this pen amongst its range of markers. Made in oil base, the specially formulated ink in this marker pen creates a solid permanent mark when applied on any surface. The pen comes in black colour and is non-toxic. Featured with fine point and sleek finger grip, it ought to be desirable for people in any field, be it the student, the professional or the housewife. Moreover, with an affordable price of Rs 42 it is truly an essential stationery requirement.

Canam Plaza: Canada-based Mr Mangat Verma’s dream project Canam Plaza was inaugurated by Dr Harbakhash Singh, MD, HSIDC, in Sector 11, Panchkula.

For a complete shopping experience, Canam Plaza is spread over an area of about 10,000 sq ft and it promises to be a shoppers’ delight. There are 32 shop-cum-offices on the ground floor and basement. The first floor has 19 office cabins and there is a multi-purpose open hall on the second floor. Some shop-cum-offices on ground floor have two levels which offer more space for stocks. Come June, a host of services/products etc will be available under one roof to cater to almost every need.

Summer camp: As part of its customer care campaign, the Maruti Udyog Limited is organising summer camps for its customers. One of such camps was today organised at Hira Automobiles Limited in Patiala. About 900 Maruti car owners participated in the carnival. A lucky draw was also held at the occasion at the interval of three hours and bumper prizes were sponsored by Shell. Mr K.S. Bhattal, owner of the outlet, said earlier also, Hira Automobiles were conferred with best balanced dealership award.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |