Saturday, June 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MCC approves privatisation of sanitation
Councillors to issue satisfaction certificates to contractors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today approved the privatisation of sanitation after months of differences in the ruling Congress, virtual collapse of cleaning in parts of the city and continuing protests for 52 days from members of the Sweepers Union.

The MCC House, in its adjourned meeting held today, approved the agenda for privatisation proposed by a Congress councillor, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, in the presence of the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and the party councillors who opposed it asking for extending it to their respective areas.

The lone BJP councillor, Mr Rajesh Gupta, present in the House, flayed the Congress for creating confusion by approving several schemes on sanitation and taking a wavering political stand on the issue.

Mr Gupta, who had opposed privatisation as the member of the nine-member all-party committee, however, directly avoided opposing privatisation.

The Sweepers Union president, Mr Shyam Lal Ghavri, condemned the decision as a measure to harm the Valmiki community and indicated to contest the next Lok Sabha election against Mr Pawan Bansal to ensure the defeat of the Congress. He said the next course of action would be decided during the June 23 strike.

Mayor Subhash Chawla, who was virtually left alone by his party members on his stand on the privatisation of sanitation earlier finally won over the party members, after conceding them authority to issue satisfactory work certificate to private contractors. This measure was cited as one of the reasons for the failure of contract system earlier. The Mayor brought the terms and conditions of the contract for the consideration of the House which gave its final approval with certain changes in the terms and conditions.

Now, the work satisfaction certificate would be issued by a three-member committee to be headed by the local area councillor. The other two members would be MCC officers. The House also decided to create four zones instead of two zones proposed in the earlier terms and conditions. Now, councillors would have to give the certificates before the eighth day of every month otherwise work of the contractor would be considered satisfactory.

Interestingly, the councillors rejected the Mayor’s suggestion to include residents welfare associations in the certification process.

It was also decided to include Sectors 48 and 49 under the privatised sanitation and Mr Surinder Singh and Mr Balraj Singh urged that Ward Numbers 19 and 20 should also be included in the privatised sanitation arrangements. Mr Balraj Singh, however, opposed privatisation.

Dr K.S. Raju urged the House to send a revised request to the Chandigarh Administration for the creation of 1009 post of sweepers saying the financial burden of the posts would be met by the MCC from its resources likely be raised from taxes imposed recently.

Dr B.R. Verma, the former chairman of the Sanitation Committee, asked the House to consider various proposals of private parties and set up a processing unit. He was informed that a committee for this purpose was meeting on June 16 to decide which, amongst the three proposals of setting up a garbage processing units, would suit the city.

Mr Chandermukhi Sharma said the terms and conditions should include a list of employees of private contractors with councillors, along with their photographs, father’s names and addresses and the same should also be sent to the provident fund authorities.

Mr Sohan Lal, Mr Balraj Singh and Mr Pardeep Chhabra wanted clarification if the sanction of posts for a new electricity division would be allowed by the Chandigarh Administration and if so why sweepers’ post were not to be allowed.

Mayor Subhash Chawla gave councillors another week’s time to send suggestions for the improvement of the terms and conditions of the sanitation contract to the Medical Officer Health office. Nominated councillor P.C. Sanghi urged the political parties to condemn the dumping of the garbage in front of his house by agitating sweepers and sought action against them. Brig (retd) Sant Singh, Ms Lalit Joshi and Kamlesh also participated in the debate.


Private parties to maintain road berms, parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Untidy road berms, verges, traffic islands, parks and green belts along V-3 in the city could be a thing of the past with the Municipal Corporation today deciding to hand over their maintenance to private parties in lieu of a permission to display their advertisements in these areas.

Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal urged the House to include green belts and parks in the original proposal and suggestions from councillors to the Chief Architect for improving the scheme being offered by the Chandigarh Administration also.

On the maintenance of water supply for greenery, Commissioner M.P. Singh informed the House that the Central Government had extended a grant of Rs 4.4 crore to the MC for creating a network of pipelines along major roads for distributing 10 million gallon of tertiary water available with the city. He said the work would be done in six months time. It would reduce pressure on the drinking water supply as green areas could be fed by the water.

The House also decided that around 222 dwelling and commercial units in pocket number six of Mani Majra would be allotted through a draw of lots. The House also suggested a 5 per cent quota of local oustees and 3 per cent for physically challenged people.

Mr Bansal, however, suggested to frame a housing policy for lower income groups in other pockets of Mani Majra with a design that does not allow any encroachment. He said the buildings should have a stilt and three floors for such houses.

Showing an urgency to create garbage processing unit, the House also gave nod to making the city a demonstration unit of the Central Pollution Control Board along with Kolkata in the country for ideal sanitation in the country.

The Municipal Corporation also approved the revised terms and conditions for the auction of commercial property with an amendment that a committee of one finance and contract committee member and two members of the House would be observers for each auction and their observations would have a bearing on the decision of the presiding officer if a bid was to be accepted or rejected.

Mr Rajesh Gupta’s proposal of auctioning only those plots that did not have trees was accepted. Mr Surinder Singh said it should be kept in mind that high-tension wires did not pass through a plot to be auctioned.

The pending issue of a scientific disposal of tree leaves again came up before the House, which referred it to a committee.

The House disapproved P.C. Sanghi’s agenda for licencing garbage collection vehicles and protection to residents welfare associations for house-to-house collection of garbage in their areas.

The stone pitching in the nullah along the motor market in Mani Majra was approved.

The corporation allowed four posts of lineman, eight of assistant lineman, three of electrician and four of electrical helper on contract basis for two years.


Bhardwaj’s lockers yield lakhs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The CBI is reported to have recovered currency notes worth lakhs and some property documents from two lockers of suspended Judicial Magistrate Surinder Singh Bhardwaj.

The CBI found a locker each in two banks at Amritsar and Ferozepore. Though the exact amount recovered from the two lockers could not be ascertained, sources said the amount was in lakhs. About Rs 50 lakh had reportedly been found one locker.

The police remand of the judicial officer ends tomorrow. The CBI is likely to seek an extension in his police remand on the basis of investigations and evidence gathered by it.

The sources said the CBI had found details of the benami properties of the judicial officer. The investigating agency was in the process of gathering documentary evidence of two plots in Chandigarh, two apartments at a resort in Barog, share in a petrol station in Chandigarh, a plot in Sunam and some other properties. Some of the properties were in the name of close relatives and two judicial employees.

It is learnt that the SHO (Kartarpur), two judicial officers posted in Punjab, and another police official posted in the Jalandhar police range have been called by the CBI as part of its investigations in the corruption case.

Before surrendering, the judicial officer evaded arrest for one month. The CBI is probing a vital link in establishing a nexus between judicial officer (s) and police officials in the case of corruption registered against two judicial officers by the CBI.



Cell phone use on PU campus can cost you dear
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Young lads and lasses need to be more disciplined in the use of mobile phones while on the Panjab University campus or vigilant eyes of a university official could haul them up. It could end up in a fine of Rs 100 or confiscation of the mobile set.

A notification in this regard, which is to be circulated to the teaching departments, is ready and waits for the signature of the Dean Student Welfare, who is currently away, sources say.

A recommendation in this regard has been made by a committee that was formed following a communication from Mr A.R. Sethi, Librarian, who pointed out the misuse of mobile phones in the library, causing nuisance for other students. The committee members included Prof R.D. Anand, Prof P.P. Arya, Prof Nirmal Singh, Dean Student Welfare, and Mr C. Haridasan, Assistant in the Dean Office.

The ban on “blatant” the use of mobile phones will also be applicable to teaching departments and library, as per the recommendation. The committee has also recommended to paste messages on behalf of the university regarding “misuse” of mobile phones at prominent places saying “Please switch off the mobile while in the library or the class”.

The students’ I-cards, both of the university and library, would be punched if a student is found misusing the facility. In case of repeated offence, the university will confiscate the I-cards and the mobile phones.

A research scholar carrying a mobile phone said there was nothing wrong in the university notification banning the use of mobile phones in the classrooms. Even by standards of decency, a student should switch off the mobile phone when in the classroom or library.

At the local Goswami Ganesh Dutt Sanatan Dharam College anyone found using the mobile phone on the college campus is fined Rs 2,000. Principal A.C.Vaid said there was no point in any student carrying a mobile phone on the campus. In case of any emergency, the college had enough telephones for the students. A number of students have already been fined for this offence.

Principal P.S. Sangha from SGGS Khalsa College said students had been warned against the misuse of mobile phones on the campus. In case of repeated offence, a student will be summoned to the office of the Principal and could then be asked to bring along his parents.

Sushil Kumar, a hosteller, said the mobile phone was very beneficial for him since he could keep in touch with his parents and friends and the university should not ban the use of the service. He said small fines and warnings were not bad in the direction of maintaining discipline in classes and library.


Ranbaxy fire: admn failed public
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Trained men didn’t help

  • There are at least 150 men in SAS Nagar who have been trained by the Civil Defence to render help, none of these got down to work on June 11
  • Ranbaxy is listed as one of the 33 vulnerable points in the Civil Defence paper plan of SAS Nagar.
  • The Civil Defence Training Institute for Punjab building in the vicinity of Ranbaxy was also damaged that night injuring seven Home Guards.
  • The Civil Defence office here is housed in a two-room block in a primary school in Phase 3B1. It has no telephone and no equipment required for monitoring and coordinating the wardens.

SAS Nagar, June 13
The poor handling of the general public following the June 11 blasts and fire at Ranbaxy, has laid bare the inefficiency and unpreparedness of the Civil Defence System, SAS Nagar. Interestingly, listed as one of the few Civil Defence Category-1 towns of Punjab, SAS Nagar has also been chosen by the Central Government to have the Civil Defence control room for this area.

While residents spilled on the roads and thousands rushed first towards the Ranbaxy factory, then fled the town and many looked for ‘‘safer’’ places to spend the night, no one from the Civil Defence team of 150 wardens got down to work for which they had been specifically trained.

Utter chaos ruled the roads that night. Within minutes of the first blast, hundreds of people were out of their houses wondering what happened. With the news spreading that the Ranbaxy factory was on fire, curious onlookers, on their scooters and cars, rushed towards various factory gates. After the police cordoned off the area and announced that people should not leave their homes, panic spread and everyone was rushed back. Minor accidents took place due to panic and confusion and the police also resorted to a lathi charge to control the situation.

But worse was a feeling of insecurity among the residents who did not have any idea that the smoke which was spreading in the sky was toxic or not. The fumes were nauseating and smelled of chemicals. But there was no one around to tell them anything. Rumours spread which just made the situation worse.

Stating that the Ranbaxy incident did not call for a Civil Defence (CD) activation, Mr Sadhu Singh Kalra, Store Superintendent, Mohali, who also heads the CD unit here, pointed out that CD was supposed to come into force only in conditions of an air raid.

On the other hand Section 2 a of Chapter one of the Civil Defence Act 1968 clearly states that ‘‘Civil Defence includes any measures not amounting to actual combat, for affording protection to any person, property, place or thing in India or any territory thereof against any hostile attack....for depriving any such attack of the whole or part of its effects.’’ Clarifying further Section 2C of the Act states, ‘‘Hostile attack means any attack by any person...whether during an war, external aggression, internal disturbance or otherwise which endangers the security of any life, property, place ...’’

Some SAS Nagar village residents, closest to the factory which was raging with flames, came out of their houses and were on the roads looking for safer places to spend the night.

According to the last update of the Civil Defence paper plan, four buildings in the township have been listed for use during emergencies. None of these buildings were given to the public to be used for shelter that night.

The administration, too, failed to activate the Civil Defence system and allow the protocol laid down for such case. ‘‘We were not ordered by the SDM to activate the wardens on that night,’’ said Mr Kalra. Busy inside the factory premises, the local and district administration personnel seemed to have little idea of what was happening in the rest of the town.


Chemical accidents: Contingency plan approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The state crisis group at a meeting here today approved a contingency plan to meet chemical accidents.

A committee was formed in 2000 under the chairmanship of the Director of Labour and Factories, but it remained a non-starter. The need for reviving the committee was stressed at today’s meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Secretary Rajan Kashyap. The meeting reviewed the state of preparedness of government agencies as well as industry to face crises similar to the one at Ranbaxy Laboratories in SAS Nagar two days ago.

A senior official said it was suggested that the services of the Disaster Management Institute, Bhopal, should be taken to get the contingency plan ready at the earliest. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has been directed to make available Rs 9 lakh for the plan, which will subsequently be reimbursed by the state government.

The need for on-site and off-site disaster management plans was also highlighted. While the onsite plans are to be upgraded, the offsite ones are yet to be put in order by the Director, Department of Labour and Industries.

As many as 52 industries have been identified as hazardous as far as chemical accidents are concerned. The said plans, one for each industry, should carry all details of meeting such a chemical accident. Various departments have been asked to submit a model plan by June 17 when another meeting on crisis management would take place.

The Chief Secretary reportedly directed that these plans should be completed within three months.


Ranbaxy fire: 4 still critical
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 13
Five persons injured during the Ranbaxy blast and fire here on June 11 have been discharged from Fortis Hospital. While two of them were discharged today three were sent home last evening. Meanwhile the state of four critically injured patients continued to be the same.

According to a Press release issued by Ranbaxy today, the general public has been assured that the fire has not resulted in creating any environmental hazard. “The company is investigating into the cause of the unfortunate accident, despite the state of preparedness and will take all possible action to avert this in future”. The company also clarified that there were no casualties in a similar blast and fire incident that took place in Ranbaxy in 1995.

Two persons had died and at least 30 persons were injured, four of them seriously, in a series of three blasts which took place in Ranbaxy’s plant in Industrial Area, Phase I, on June 11 night. Thousands of Mohali residents had fled the township fearing a Bhopal gas tragedy like catastrophe as a cloud of thick smoke engulfed the areas surrounding the plant and nearby residential areas. As many as 150 persons were inside the factory when the blast took place.


Ranbaxy forms panel to assess damage
to adjoining buildings

SAS Nagar, June 13
Ranbaxy today announced the constitution of a five- member committee to assess the damage caused to the adjoining public and private buildings in the June 11 fire incident. According to a representative of the Mohali Industries Association, Ranbaxy had assured that adequate compensation for the damages would be given to them.

The committee, which would have two members from Ranbaxy, two from the Mohali Industries Association and the Mohali Tehsildar, would submit its report by tomorrow evening.

The series of blasts at the Ranbaxy plant had adversely affected nearby residential quarters and factories. A number of industrial units around the Ranbaxy plant claimed that they had suffered a loss worth over Rs 1 crore during the incident. Some units had reported that it would take a number of days before they could start their production.

Mr Gurinder Brar, Director, Malke Radiators Ltd, claimed that almost all windowpanes and doors of their factory had been smashed. “If the Government cannot shift the chemical factory from SAS Nagar then it should shift us,” complained Mr A.S. Bhatia, whose stationary production workshop is located in front of the Ranbaxy plant. He also added that they had suffered losses because of the tragedy and demanded compensation for losses from Ranbaxy.

Mr H. S Saluja, who’s Saluja Automobile was also affected by the blast, said, “Ranbaxy should pay third party insurance for our damage”. Mohali people also claimed that their house walls have developed cracks.

Mr Gurmeet Singh, president of the association, said, “There is no adverse affect to other industries of Mohali Instead of putting burden upon Ranbaxy we should support it as it provided employment to a large number of people”.

Meanwhile, the association decided to form a crisis management task force for pooling safety resources of various industrial units in SAS Nagar. The association would also be honouring those, who played a major role in the rescue operation after the blasts. Expressing deep shock at the unfortunate incident of fire at the Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, Mr Gurmeet Singh said, “Ranbaxy is a world renowned company and complies with US, FDA regulation on safety and is approved by the UK, MCA. It uses non-toxic chemicals and is fully equipped with fire fighting system. The company has a well-planned onsite emergency apparatus.’’ The buildings of Mohali Police Station and the Fire Station were also affected by the blast. While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Davinder Singh Dogra, Sub Fire Officer, Mohali, informed that fire man Daljinder Singh was injured due to splinter hits that night. Mr K.C. Sood and Mr Labh Singh, both Sub Fire Officers, showed broken windows. With the Chief minister announcing yesterday that no help would be provided by the government, the two damaged offices here might just have to wait for a long time before its buildings were repaired. OC


PSHRC directs Home Secy on Ranbaxy fire
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
Acting on a complaint moved by an NGO demanding judicial enquiry of the Ranbaxy fire tragedy and registration of a criminal case against the management, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) today directed the Principal Secretary (Home) and State of the Punjab through its Secretary to file the report and reply in the case by June 23.

The Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) has prayed in the complaint that judicial enquiry may be ordered to be conducted by a sitting or a retired judge of the high court and the investigations into the case may be transferred to an independent agency like the CBI.

The NGO has filed the complaint on behalf of residents of SAS Nagar claiming that their lives have been under threat of a major tragedy due to negligence of the state of Punjab, Ranbaxy and two others. The LHRI has prayed for the registration of an FIR against the General Manager of Ranbaxy for causing death due to negligence and under some other sections of the IPC and various sections of the Environment Protection Act.

The LHRI complained that the Chief Minister of Punjab had also visited the site of the blast and ostensibly gave a clean chit to the factory management, which has decided to pay a compensation to the tune of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and offer a job to the dependent members of their families. He, however, refused to order the registration of a criminal case against the owner or management of the company nor any action under the Environment Act by the Secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Patiala.

Meanwhile, the LHRI also sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister, demanding a legal action against Ranbaxy laboratories, SAS Nagar.


Pre-marital counselling centre at PU soon
CSWB for an equitable social welfare set-up
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
In the 50th year of its inception, the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) is ready to break new grounds in promoting social welfare activities and implementing social welfare programmes for women across the country. Apart from offering condensed courses and vocational training to women living in remote villages as well as women jails across India, the board is spending an additional Rs 8 crore to ensure good health of Indian women.

Besides, the board has decided to set up pre-marital counselling centres in 30 universities across the country, including one in Panjab University, Chandigarh. Two such centres have been sanctioned for Lucknow and Mumbai. In the city to participate in a seminar, the chairperson of the CSWB, Ms Mridula Sinha talked to The Tribune about various innovative schemes being launched by the board in pursuance of its long-term objective of spreading awareness among women.

The most ambitious among them is the social welfare plan for the Kashmir valley. “We will visit Kashmir in July to monitor the programmes in a better way. I am impressing upon the government to allow us to conduct special nursing courses for women. Under this scheme, we will train women to offer welfare services in ravaged regions,” she said.

Meanwhile, the board is trying to spread anti-dowry awareness by citing the example of three women who challenged the practice. Besides honouring these women from Noida and Hisar, the Board is also profiling them.

The CSWB is also developing a strategy to solve state-specific problems. Ms Sinha said: “The problems of Punjab are different from that of Bihar. We realised that instead of implementing general social welfare schemes across the country, it would be wiser to research on an area-specific basis and design strategies to mitigate the problems persisting in respective states. Where in Benaras, Allahabad and Mumbai we need to focus on the rehabilitation of children of sex workers, in Punjab we need to contain the rising female foeticide rate.” She added that in Punjab, the board was also working for young widows by helping them with self-employment. Self help groups are working in Ropar, Kapurthala and Amritsar.

The CSWB will publish a directory of voluntary organisations engaged in social welfare. Gradually funds will be disbursed to ensure equitable social welfare across the country. Under another scheme, the board will set up Central and state-level shopping complexes to market the products made by poor women.



Administration’s ultimatum to slum-dwellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
A team of the Chandigarh Administration led by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, today went to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony (south of Sector 49) and asked the ineligible and illegal slum-dwellers to vacate and remove their belongings within the next three days, failing which the Administration would be left with no option but to remove them physically.

An enforcement team of the Administration had been kept ready at the police station in Sector 34. A spokesperson of the Administration said it was noticed that some slum-dwellers were willing to remove their belongings and vacate the encroachment, provided they were given some time.

It also came to the notice that some of the existing slum-dwellers were eligible for rehabilitation under the policy of the Chandigarh Administration. In view of the above, the Deputy Commissioner directed that the existing slum-dwellers who were eligible could still approach him between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on any working day. The other jhuggi-dwellers of SBS Colony could approach him on June 20 and 23.

It may be recollected that on June 10 slum-dwellers had attacked a team of the Administration injuring about 40 people, including police officials, Additional Deputy Commissioner Inderjit Singh Sandhu. DSP S.S. Randhawa and President of the local unit of the BJP Yash Pal Mahajan.



Educated also practise female foeticide: expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh June, 13
“We need to provide protection to the female child not just when she grows up but in the mother’s womb itself, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh,” said Mrs Mridula Sinha, Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board, while expressing concern over the declining sex ratio.

Mrs Sinha was the chief guest at a seminar jointly organised by the State Social Advisory Boards of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on the topic “Healthy woman, happy family”, here today.

She felt the government and the laws alone could not check the declining sex ratio, it was a change in the mindset of the society alone which could check this imbalance. Commenting on the enormity of the crime of female foeticide, she felt the solution to the problem did not lie in stringent laws but in tackling it as a larger social issue

“The practice of female foeticide, which has led to disturbing imbalance in the sex ration in the northern states can be dealt better not by enforcing the law, but by involving religious bodies and voluntary organisations in the campaign against this social evil,” she asserted.

Members of more than 75 NGO’s from the states of Punjab, Haryana and the UT, attended the seminar. Majority of them felt that it was a misconception that evils like female foeticide as well as dowry related deaths were confined to weaker sections of society having low literacy rates.

Mrs Sinha said awareness campaigns had been launched all over the country to take this message to every village that there was need to take better care of the health and nutrition of women. “It is unfortunate that sitting at the Planning Commission office of the and Shastri Bhawan in Delhi, we chalk out programmes and schemes, without looking into the practical aspects and the local specific needs, which vary from area to area in the country,” she regretted.

“Surveys have indicated that on the contrary female foeticide has become an accepted norm among the elite and highly educated people, especially in Punjab,” remarked Dr Rajinder Kaur, state organiser of the Association for Social Help for Punjab. She felt till there was a strict implementation of the laws banning diagnostic centres undertaking sex determination tests, the situation would continue to go from bad to worse.

Ms Gurcharan Kaur, Rajya Sabha member, said that there was need to take better care of the health of the woman, as it was only a healthy woman who could take good care of her family. She added that by empowering a woman, the entire society would benefit.

The UT Health Director, Dr C.P. Bansal, also addressed the gathering, assuring cooperation and assistance in providing the best health facilities to women.


Garbage, carcasses being dumped into Sukhna choe
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Kalka, June 13
Sukhna, one of the main tributaries of the Ghaggar river, is facing the brunt of modernisation and over-population as it flows through this town. Unauthorised human settlements on the riverbed and dumping tonnes of garbage in this river tributary by the municipal committee (MC) is choking it.

Several tonnes of garbage collected from the main bazaar and Khateek Mohalla is dumped into the tributary every morning by MC safai karamcharis. Other than solid waste, dead animals (stray pigs and dogs) are also unscrupulously thrown into the river. Bones and other waste generated by butchers in the nearby meat market is also being thrown into this river. As a result, the riverbed is now the abode of dogs, pigs and crows that feed on this waste.

A visit along the course of this tributary in the Kalka area today showed that slush thrown in the river, near Khateek Mohalla, had piled over 3- foot high. Shanti Devi, a resident of the area, said the safai karamcharis of the MC brought the garbage collected from the nearby areas in barrows at about 8.30 am daily. "The slush and garbage continue to pile up throughout the year. It is only during the monsoons, when the water gushes down from the hills with pressure, that the garbage gets washed away,” she adds.

One of the main sewers of the town also flows into this river, carrying with it several hundred litres of dirty water. With the MC having failed to provide a public toilet for the residents of Khateek Mohalla (this colony is located on both sides of this river tributary), the riverbed has become a convenient haunt for squatters in the morning. All this has resulted in foul smell emanating from Sukhna, making it difficult for people to pass by this tributary. The residents of Khateek Mohalla say that when dead animals are thrown into the river, the foul smell makes it difficult for them to even breathe.

Old residents of Kalka say the situation has worsened only during the past two decades. Mr Naresh Kumar, another resident of Khateek Mohalla who has been here for the past four decades, recalls that clear water flowed down the river and they even used this water for drinking purposes. “It was considered a good omen to bathe in the river, when water came gushing down the hills, ” he recalls.

Rapid industrialisation in Parwanoo, too, has played havoc with this tributary.

This tributary originates in the Shivaliks near Masoolkhana, where it is still a radiant stream. But as Sukhna reaches the industrial town of Parwanoo, industrial waste from industries located in Sector 4, Parwanoo, and the local HPMC unit is released into the river, thus beginning its course of pollution.

However, this is not all that plagues the tributary. Illegal human settlements have now come up in the riverbed in Kalka. Over 50 jhuggis have come up on the riverbed during the past five years.

Though these hutments get washed away during the monsoon, when the water flows down, it has failed to dither people from encroaching on the riverbed. Residents also complain that massive deforestation in the nearby hills has caused landslides, resulting in slight change in the course of this tributary.

The local administration and the MC have failed to realise the damage being caused to the tributary and come up with effective ways and means to check further pollution in it. 


Villagers block national highway
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 13
Irate residents of four villages in Raipur Rani today blocked National Highway No. 73 (Panchkula-Naraingarh highway) for over one hour in protest against erratic power supply to the villages.

Around 200 residents of Bagwali, Bhudd, Rehna, Gobindpur and Masumpur villages gathered at the highway and disrupted the flow of traffic in order to register their protest. The villagers alleged that electricity poles damaged during a windstorm June 10 had not been repaired, causing disruption of power supply.

They alleged that with the disruption, they were being unable to operate their tubewells, which had affected water supply as well. It may be noted that the windstorm had resulted in major damages to the Kakkar Majra-Bagwali feeder. The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) had suffered huge losses as several electricity poles and high-tension lines had snapped. Officials in the UHBVN said since the damage was massive, it was taking time to repair the damaged cables and poles.

The DSP Headquarters, Mr Desh Bandhu, station house officers of Chandi Mandir and Raipur Rani police stations and SDO, UHBVN, Mr J.C. Sharma, and Naib Tehsildar, Raipur Rani, Mr Narinder Rana, today reached the spot and tried to pacify the villagers. It was only after assurances to the villagers that the power supply would be restored by the evening that the blockade was lifted.


JD (U) workers burn Verma's effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Taking an aggressive posture against the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), local workers of the Janata Dal (United) today burnt his effigy to mark their protest against the recent anti-encroachment drive of the Administration carried out at the behest of the Administrator.

The workers of the Janata Dal (U) gathered at plaza, Sector 17, this afternoon and raised slogans against the Administrator and ''satirically'' named him "Bulldozer Verma". This was for the first time that an effigy of the Administrator has been burnt in the city following the controversy that arose after the demolition drive launched in colonies, houses and even places of worship.

Mr Surinder Bhardwaj, president of the local unit of the JD (U), while addressing the gathering said that a protest by Congress leaders and a hue and cry by the BJP were only a political gimmick. He demanded an inquiry into the role of the Congress and BJP leaders in the aftermath of the demolitions.

"It is only the leaders who are playing with the sentiments of these poor people to strengthen their vote bank. They are not serious about rehabilitation of slum-dwellers," he alleged.

The other leaders of the local unit of the party who addressed the gathering included N.K. Mattoo, Minni Sidhu, Vijay Kapoor, Shmim Ahmed, Paes Ahmed, Mahesh Sood and M.P.S. Reen.


Water pressure to be low today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The water pressure will be low in Chandigarh tomorrow and in SAS Nagar tomorrow and the day after due to urgent repair work of the pipeline of Kajauli waterworks (Phase-III) at RD No. 25000.

The repair work of the pipeline, made up of pre-stressed concrete (PSC) pipe, is being carried out between the Kajauli waterworks and the Sector-39 waterworks, Chandigarh.

The repair work has been initiated after a news item, “Villagers feast on city’s water,” was published in Chandigarh Tribune on June 5 highlighting leakages in pipelines of the Kajauli waterworks that cater to the city residents.

According to the executive engineers of the MC, Public Health Division No. 1, Chandigarh, and second Public Health Division, SAS Nagar, there will be a ‘restricted and low-pressure water supply’.

A senior official of the MC said the PSC pipeline on which the repair work had been initiated was 46 inches in diameter. This pipeline was laid down in 1982. The pipeline had a total capacity of supplying 20 million gallons of water daily.”

When this correspondent visited the site last week, water was gushing out in the form of a fountain, about 20 feet high, from the pipeline. Many children of the adjoining Maloya village were seen bathing at the leakage point.

About 100 metres away from the main leakage point, to the side of a kutcha road joining the Maloya main road and the grain market of Sector 39, a water pool had emerged, with regular supply of water into it from the leakages in the main pipelines of the Kajauli waterworks.

The accumulated water had also blocked the kutcha road a few weeks ago. However, to keep the passage safe, local residents laid down a pipe for the underground passage of water.

Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, had ordered an inquiry into the leakage following the publication of the news item in the Chandigarh Tribune on June 5. An on-the-spot survey was also conducted by senior officials of the MC, including the Commissioner. Thereafter, a report was prepared and accordingly repair work is being initiated.



Platform: Save water
Collective effort must

When a science teacher asks her students: “Children, why is earth called a blue planet?” You will find more than half of the students in the class raise their hands!! And if she ask them: Why is it so? They will surely answer, “Ma’am because nearly 71 per cent of earth’s surface is covered with water.”

But most of the water is salty and less than 1 per cent is useful for humans. Water can be conserved only if we make collective effort and according to me the only way to preserve water is to make people aware of the ways of using water properly instead of wasting it. We can use a mug of water to brush our teeth instead of keeping the tap open.
WE invite school students to send in original and innovative ideas on how to conserve water for publication in Chandigarh Tribune. The write-up should not exceed 300 words and should be accompanied by a passport size colour photograph.

A mop with a bucket of water can be used to wash a car or clean the floor. The water used to wash vegetables or dishes can be used for watering of plants.

We should make arrangements to collect rainwater in ponds and drums. All natural sources of water should be protected, cleaned and taken care of.

Ishani Pawar, Class IX, YPS, SAS Nagar


400 take part in shramdaan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
As many as 400 persons participated in Shramdaan-2003 at the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake here today. They included 120 doctors and officials of the PGI, 100 officials of CITCO, 100 students and staff of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector-46, 30 persons from nearby villages and more than 50 regular shramdaanis. They took out silt from the bed of the lake.

The Director, PGI, Dr S.K. Sharma, the Deputy Director, PGI, Ms Meeta Rajivlochan, the Chairman, CITCO, Mr G.K. Marwah, the CGM, CITCO, Mr N.S. Brar and the Vice-Principal of GSSS-46, Ms Urmila, were also present. About 24 lakh cubic feet of silt has been removed by mechanical and manual means so far. Gobind Sweets served sweets and milk to the shramdaanis.


Poverty made her abandon child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The UT Police today came across a strange case where mother refused take her abandoned child back following a family dispute. A five-year- old boy had been abandoned near the Sector 23 Missionaries of Charity by her mother, Navpreet Kaur. Later the Missionaries informed about the incident to the police following which the police enquired about the whereabouts of the child.

The police then took the child to his house but his mother refused to take him back claiming that she could not bear the burden of raising her child due to financial problems. According to the information, the woman, on being arrested by the police, expressed her inability to provide shelter and food to the boy. 


Booked for demanding dowry
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, June 13
The Chandigarh police has booked a resident of Ropar for harassing his wife to bring dowry. According to the information, Jagdish Kaur, a resident of Sector 30, complained that she was married to Nirmal Singh on December 15, 1995 and was being harassed to bring dowry. The police has begun investigations after registering a case at the Women and Child Support unit.

Poppy husk seized

Gurcharan Singh, a resident of Ambala, was arrested with 2 kg of poppy husk near the Palsora petrol station here. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

Liquor seized

The local police arrested eight persons in different cases and seized 246 pouches of liquor from them. Separate case under the Excise Act have been registered.

Scooter stolen

Mohammed Ashad, a resident of Mori Gate, Mani Majra, reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter was stolen from outside his residence on the night of June 11. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


The police has booked Prem Kumar on the charge of making fake allotment papers for a plot in Sector 12 here. The case came to light when the accused tried to sell off the plot ( No. 406) to a person and the latter approached the HUDA authorities. A case under section 420, IPC, has been registered against Prem Kumar and others .

One booked

The police has booked Ritu Kaushal, a resident of Dharampur, on the charges of criminal trespassing, assault and criminal intimidation. It is alleged that he barged into the house of Mrs Durga Bhandari and threatened her.

Car stolen

A car (HR-41-0007) was stolen from outside a house in Sector 11 yesterday. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered on the complaint of Akul Khullar.



Car used in snatching incident was stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
In the yesterday’s snatching incident investigations by the police today revealed that the Maruti Alto car, used by two youths to snatch a bag containing Rs 75,000 from a motorcyclist in Sector 8 on the Madhya Marg here, had been stolen from Rohini, Delhi, on March 3 last.

The police suspected that the snatchers had been using the car to commit more crime incidents since then. The car is registered in the name of Baljeet Singh.

The police had also found a registration plate bearing a Haryana number. The police was trying to ascertain whether any crime had been committed by using the fake registration number of Haryana.

Yesterday the snatchers managed to take away get Rs 10,000 of the total Rs 75,000 lying in a glove box of the motorcycle after the victim, Harbax Singh, tried to pull back his bag.


Say it with solitaires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Research has shown that diamond ownership and diamond acquisition is the highest in India. With a clear view to create a brand for targeting this segment of society, Tanishq today launched Solo, the small solitaire diamond collection at its Sector 17 outlet. Interestingly, the all-India launch of Solo happened in Chandigarh, which Tanishq treats as a prime and a potential market for jewellery.

Dispelling the notion that solitaires are expensive and unaffordable, Solo will offer elegant individual pieces and sets, at attractive prices. Talking about the collection today, Mr Bhuvan Gaurav, Regional Business Manager, North, Tanishq, said, “We, at Tanishq, believe in providing the best to our customers in terms of prices and designs. It’s a common notion that solitaries are a preserve of the upper middle class. But now we are here with an exclusive brand of solitaire diamonds targeted at the trendy, contemporary Indian women. We are confident that Solo will reflect a new trend in the diamond jewellery market.”

The collection will not only be available in individual pieces but also in sets of pendants, ear studs and finger rings. This is unlike traditional solitaires in the market, which customers frequently find difficult to match with other jewellery.


Personality development programmes launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Global Voice, a leading multi-faceted training and development organisation, has launched personality development programmes for individuals and corporates.

According to Ms Archana Nagrath, Director, Global Voice, personality development is a highly scientific process and involves development of one’s social, mental, psychological, emotional, aesthetic and moral faculties. “The personality development programme introduced by Global Voice is a highly structured and well-researched programme that aims at the overall development of one’s personality and is being offered in association with Credenz Systems, USA.”

Talking to TNS, Ms Nagrath observed that in today's fast changing environment, it was not just technical skills but personality traits of a person like communication skills, confidence, positive attitude and inter-personal skills that helped him to be successful in life. It was only for this reason that a large number of individuals had started focusing on improving their communication skills, of which spoken English, body language and non-verbal attributes were important parts.

Highlighting the need for these programmes, she said there were a large number of instances where well-qualified professionals like engineers and MBAs were not able to get jobs mainly because they were not able to effectively put across their ideas, which lead to loss of self-confidence. Even parents had become conscious of this and they made it a point to send their children for such personality development workshops.

Citing a recent example where the company conducted a communication skills and personality development workshop for the teachers of a leading public school, Ms Nagrath remarked that due to intense competition, educational institutions had started paying attention to this aspect.

Promoted by senior industry professionals, Global Voice was offering a host of programmes in the areas of call centre training, customer care, telemarketing, collections management and personality development, she said.


Fruit juices fortified with calcium, vitamins

TROPICANA has two offerings in the Indian market, “Premium Gold” juice in orange, apple and grape, and “Season’s Best” juice fortified with calcium and multi-vitamins in sweet orange, pineapple and mixed fruit.

Consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of nutrition on their well-being and recognise that fruit juices are an invaluable source of many vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Tropicana juices are the perfect blend of taste and nutrition and contain a full day’s supply of vitamin C.

One 250-ml glass of orange juice contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin C needed for healthy skin, gums, bones and blood vessels. It is also an antioxidant and boosts iron absorption from non-meat foods such as cereals. Tropicana fruit juices are high on potassium and a good source of folic acid which helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Contrary to the popular perception that packaged juice costs more than the juice extracted from fruits bought from the market, a Tropicana one-litre orange juice costs Rs 72. Similarly, a one-litre apple juice (Rs 72) costs much less than an equal quantity of apple juice obtained from 1.2 kg of apples.

RINGFIT PVC PIPES: Finolex Industries has introduced RINGFIT PVC pipes for irrigation and water systems in the markets of Haryana and Punjab. RINGFIT is manufactured out of proprietary compound specially developed by Finolex. They are ideally suited for buried pipelines for drinking water and irrigation as well as for waste water systems.


Kinetic launches Zing-Rockin
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
Kinetic Motors today launched here its Kinetic Zing-Rockin. Describing the features of the product, Mr Navneet Mehra, regional manager, Greater Punjab, said, “Zing-Rockin is a feature-loaded machine boosting of unique features like mobile phone charger, coke can holder and an FM radio.”

Kinetic Zing-Rockin features a 65 cc peppy engine with a mileage expectation of over 55 kmpl.


Jewellery on display
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
If you wish to see inexpensive Devdas jewellery, along with other attractive bangles, alluring sets, besides necklaces and chains, visit the ongoing exhibition at Hotel Aroma in Sector 22.

Gold “patra” jewellery from Mumbai on display in the exhibition is coated with a thick layer of 24-carat gold. No wonder, it appears to be real and is not expensive either.

Ethnic stuff with different stones, including kundan, emeralds and rubies, is available to go along any apparel. The organiser, Ms Rani Chauhan, says, ‘’Unlike simple gold-plated stuff, ‘gold patra’ remains new forever. It does not go off as the jewellery is covered with solid gold”.

The exhibition will continue till Sunday.


Cremica’s expansion plans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Cremica, which offers a wide range of biscuits, breads, buns and ice-creams, yesterday announced its expansion plans to further strengthen its leadership position at a press conference jointly addressed by Mr Akshay Bector, Managing Director, Mrs Bector's Food Specialities Ltd, and Mr Anoop Bector, Managing Director, Cremica Agro Foods Ltd, here.

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