Sunday, June 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Lawyers raise slogans against CBI
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, June 14
Infuriated at being labelled as "middlemen" by CBI officials, the advocates present in the jampacked courtroom of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, today raised slogans against the investigating agency during proceeding of the case of suspended Judicial Magistrate S.S Bhardwaj case.

The lawyers created furore and raised slogans like "CBI hai hai, CBI shame shame" when Bhardwaj disclosed in the court that during his interrogation CBI officials termed advocates as "middlemen".

Reacting to Bhardwaj's statement, a senior CBI official immediately pleaded before the CJM that Bhardwaj should be prevented from levelling personal allegations against CBI officials. Bhardwaj, however, continued with his allegations against the CBI.

While making a further statement from the witness box, Bhardwaj alleged that the CBI officials had tortured him during interrogation in violated of the Supreme Court order. Bhardwaj also added that despite the CJM order he was interrogated by the CBI in the absence of his lawyer during the night.

After hearing Bhardwaj's statement, the number of advocates present in the court started raising slogans against the CBI officials, stating that the CBI officials had gone beyond their jurisdiction and tried to tarnish the image of the advocates. Thereafter, a number of advocates started arguing in favour of Bhardwaj and the CBI officials remained quiet over the issue. When the advocates started raising slogans, the CJM objected and asked some of them to argue the case in a proper manner.

Seeing the gravity of the case, the advocates not only from the District Courts but also from the High Court visited the CJM court to hear the proceeding of the case.

Bhardwaj was produced before the CJM at about 3.15 p.m. After hearing the arguments in the case for about an hour, the CJM adjourned the order for 4 p.m. During the half-an-hour stay in the courtroom waiting for orders, Bhardwaj drew support from the advocates, and the CBI officials, who had been outnumbered by the lawyers, were pushed to a corner of the courtroom.



Four-day more CBI remand  for Bhardwaj
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 14
Stating that sustained interrogation of suspended Judicial Magistrate S.S Bhardwaj was necessary in order to unearth the whole conspiracy, the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L Mohal, today further remanded Bhardwaj in CBI custody for four days in a corruption case registered against him. Bhardwaj was produced in the court of CJM-Mohal in the afternoon. The CJM after hearing the arguments from both sides remanded him in CBI custody till June 18.

While passing the order the CJM stated that, “I have considered the arguments advanced by both the parties and have gone through the case diaries carefully. I have also signed the same and am of the view that sustained interrogation of the accused is necessary in order to unearth the whole conspiracy for confronting the accused with accused R.M Gupta as well as the complainant. The locker at Ferozepore of the accused also is yet to be opened. The nexus of the accused with Satvinder Singh, alias Babu, is to investigate and also the mobile sets are to be recovered”.

The CBI has sought 10 days’ custody of the accused in order to conduct sustained interrogation to recover incriminating documents, keys of lockers, mobile phones used by Bhardwaj before and after the commission of crime, apprehend accomplice Satinder Singh and confront the accused with R.M. Gupta and other suspected persons.

Opposing the CBI plea for further custody of Bhardwaj, his counsel contended that no ground for police remand was made out and the locker could be opened in the presence of the advocate of the accused while the mobile phone had already been surrendered by the accused to the CBI. The defence counsel further submitted that if the CBI had information regarding the existence of any mobile phone then the details of the same could be taken from the agency concerned, but no remand was required for recovering mobile phones which had no value without a sim card.

Claiming that Bhardwaj had been implicated in the case, the defence counsel further submitted that the accused did not know any Babu nor he could be confronted with R.M. Gupta who was already in judicial custody, because once a person had been remanded in judicial custody he could not be remanded in police custody and the confrontations was no evidence in the eye of law.

The CJM further ordered that,” so far the contention of the defence counsels that the chips of mobile phones can be recovered and the locker can be opened in the presence of the advocate and the remand cannot be granted on a general statement of the police officials are not accepted at all because the investigation is at a crucial stage for which the accused is likely to be confronted with other suspects as well as other accused Gupta, who is in judicial custody and can be well confronted after obtaining permission from the jail authorities” concerned.

The CJM further added that, “It is accepted that the investigating officer is obtaining the remand on the general statements. It is held that the custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary in this case, therefore the accused is remanded in CBI custody and be produced on June 18 before the duty magistrate”.


Police move to arrest Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
In the case of judicial officer Surinder Singh Bhardwaj escaping from lawful custody of the CBI, the Chandigarh police will be moving an application in the local court to arrest and bail out Bhardwaj after he was sent to judicial custody.

A police official said a case of escaping from lawful custody was registered by the police at the Sector 17 police station.

Before surrendering, the magistrate had escaped from his Sector 22 residence after being caught red-handed by the CBI while accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from a litigant on May 10.

On escaping from his Sector 22 residence, a complaint was lodged by the CBI, SP.

The police official said the non-bailable warrants issued against Bhardwaj till June 14 had been withdrawn after the surrender of the judicial officer.



This time he didn’t survive
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 14
Surinder Kumar (33), one of the four critically injured in the Ranbaxy fire, died at Fortis hospital here today. Survived by his wife Harjeet Kaur (28), and two sons, Manpreet (7) and Pankaj (2), Surinder had been struggling for life for the last two days before succumbing to his over 80 per cent burns today evening.

Lucky enough to have survived a similar mishap in 1996, which had injured him gravely, Surinder’s condition was almost irreparable. Yet hoping against hope, the family waited at the hospital, praying for a miracle to happen. ‘‘After he arrived from the PGI, Surinder was on a ventilator constantly. With each day he was losing the functioning of his vital systems. But still we tried our best,’’said Dr R.V. Karanjekar, Medical Director, Fortis.

In 1996, Surinder’s entire face and arms were burnt. However, this time his condition was the worst among the four battling for life at the critical care unit.

An interview with his wife while she waited for her husband’s recovery at the Fortis hospital was carried by The Tribune on June 13. Weeping uncontrollably outside the hospital, Harjeet was taken away to Surinder’s native village, Basola, in Pinjore. Fighting tears, Surinder’s brothers and family members could barely hide their anger and grudge against the Ranbaxy authorities. “This unit handles highly inflammable gases and liquids all the time and there is no protection or safety for the employees,” said Surinder’s uncle Nichattar Singh working in the PGI, Chandigarh.

Married in 1995, Surinder and his wife were living in a rented accommodation in Phase I here. Their elder son is studying in a school in Phase II here. Surinder’s father, who is an HMT employee at Pinjore, accompanied Surinder’s body to the Civil Hospital here for the post-mortem, after which the body will be taken to Surinder’s native village for cremation.



Ranbaxy fire toll three
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 14
One of the four persons critically injured in the Ranbaxy blast and fire of June 11 died at the Fortis hospital here this evening taking the toll to three. The condition of the other three also remains critical, though according to Dr R.V. Karanjekar, Medical Director of the hospital, their condition has not deteriorated any further.

Thirtythree-year-old Surinder Kumar who died today was in the worst state among those who had over 80 per cent burns and had been on the ventilator ever since he was brought to the hospital on June 12. His condition had continued to deteriorate. Surinder Kumar is survived by his parents, his wife and two sons. He had been working in Ranbaxy for over 10 years and had been injured seriously in another fire accident in Ranbaxy in 1996.

Meanwhile three more persons were discharged from hospital today. The total number of patients related to the Ranbaxy blast in Fortis is now 10. 



City Fire Dept on alert
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 14
After a Ranbaxy plant in SAS Nagar went up in flames following a series of three blasts, the UT Fire Department has decided to take steps for ensuring that similar incidents do not occur in Chandigarh.

Reacting to the Wednesday night’s incident in which three workers lost their lives and several others sustained serious burn injuries, the Fire Department officials have decided to meet the Director of Industries in the first week of July.

They will also be meeting members of the industrial association for creating awareness regarding the adoption of fire safety measures in the units. The department is also planning to issue no objection certificates to units possessing adequate fire safety measures.

The department has also resolved to carry out surveys of the industrial units located in the city before taking appropriate action in the matter. Sources in the Fire Department confirm that such an inferno has so far not taken place in any city-based industrial unit, but the authorities are not taking chances.

Despite the shortage of staff, special teams are being constituted for locating fire hazardous units and buildings not just in the industrial area, but in other parts of the city as well. The exercise is expected to commence from Monday.

The intention, they assert, is to make sure that the fire safety norms and guidelines issued by the department from time to time are not being violated either by the owners or by the occupants of the buildings and the units.

Sources say the entire Sector 17 is “hazardous” from the “fire-fighting point of view” as fire engines will not be able to reach the spot in case of a fire incident due to concrete blocks in front of the showrooms.

They add that 50 per cent of Sector 34 is also “dangerous”. This is not all. Over 50 buildings in the city are unsafe and were served notices about one-and-a-half months back.

In fact, a majority of the buildings constructed before the implementation of the Fire Act in 1991 are “unsafe”.

Confirming the information, UT Chief Fire Officer G.S. Bajwa says notices will be served to the violators followed by strict action in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Giving details, Mr Bajwa asserts, “First of all we will try to educate the masses before getting the fire-fighting equipment installed at the occupants’ costs”.

The equipment, he says, will have to be installed after taking into consideration the risk factor, the height of the building and the occupancy factor.

After a lapse of a few weeks, the equipment will be rechecked.

In case of violation or poor maintenance, a warning will be issued. If appropriate action is not taken within a reasonable period of time, the building will be sealed. “The last time a building was sealed in 1993,” the Chief Fire Officer reveals.

Regarding the precautionary measures, he says, “The generators should be kept in a separate enclosure preferably in the courtyard, or else on the rooftop, depending upon the space available”.



Police seeks permission to destroy seized drugs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Chandigarh Police has begun the exercise of obtaining orders for disposal of drugs seized under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
As per the instructions issued by the top brass of the city police, stress is being laid on obtaining orders for disposal in fresh cases. The cases have been categorised in — decided, under investigation and fresh seizures. Seized samples of different forms of narcotics were lying in the malkhanas of the city police.

Sources in the department said at least case property under the NDPS Act in at least 191 cases were lying in the malkhanas of different police stations. The orders for disposal had already been obtained in 15 cases.

As per the relevant provisions of the NDPS Act, there are guidelines to dispose off samples of narcotics during the pre-trial stage after following the proper procedure. Because most of the time the samples lying in the police malkhanas are either damaged by rodents or are reportedly tampered with by the police staff to either implicate or acquit the suspect.

Sources said some of the samples were around 10-year-old. According to an official, instructions in this regard were issued last year when the Punjab and Haryana High Court took a serious note of seized contraband lying in the police stations. The Home Secretaries of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana had been asked to file affidavits in this regard. As per the procedure, two packets of a seized contraband were made — one to be kept in police custody and other to be sent to the Central Science Forensic Laboratory (CFSL) for testing the purity of the drug in the respective case.

As per the standing orders issued by the Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, the detailed procedure about the disposal of drugs has been explained. The drugs which could be disposed off were opium, morphine, heroin, ganja, hashish codeine, thebaine, cocaine and poppy straw.


3 of family killed in road accident
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Kurali, June 14
Three members of a family were killed and four others injured in an accident that took place on the Chandigarh-Roopnagar national highway at Chanalo village, near here, last evening. An eight-year-old boy had a miraculous escape that otherwise appeared unbelievable.

According to information available from the local police, the accident took place at about 7.30 pm yesterday. Two of the victims, husband and wife, were the residents of Chandigarh.

The family members were going in a Maruti car (DL-2CC-3399) from Chandigarh to Balachaur. Police sources said that they believed that the car while trying to overtake a truck (PB-12A-2633) rammed into another truck (PB-13A-9091) coming from the opposite direction and got pressed between the two trucks.

Devinder Dhiman, his wife Sita Devi and sister-in-law Kanta Devi died on the spot, while eight-year-old Shivam, grandson of Kanta Devi, escaped with minor injuries on his arms. Truck drivers Surjit Singh, a resident of Randhawa village falling under Dasuha police station (Hoshiarpur), and Puran Chand, and Surinder Singh, a conductor of a truck, were injured in the accident.

All the four injured were immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital, Kurali. Doctors said that all the four injured were out of danger.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased were handed over to the family members after post mortem this morning, said the police sources. The couple were later cremated in the afternoon at their native village, Lasarhi, near Nurpur Bedi (Roopnagar), while Kanta Devi was cremated at Balachaur.

The police had registered an FIR against truck driver Surinder Singh and further investigations were in progress.

One of the family friends, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, a local councillor, told Chandigarh Tribune that Dhiman and his wife had been presently living in Sector 45-D for the past many years. Mr Dhiman was working in the Census Department. He was president of the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 45-D.



No review of audit in PU colleges
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Panjab University has failed to have a round-up of the preliminary audit of the colleges that had made significant recommendations for upheaval of college functioning. It had been well over an year when the preliminary report of four zones was submitted to the university Syndicate and there were no reports of any follow-up for assimilation of the data.

Sources said that a round-up had not taken place because “The four zonal heads have not assembled on a common platform after the preliminary reports”. The university had divided the varsity into four zones: Chandigarh (under Prof S.K. Kulkarni), Ferozepore (under Prof Satya P. Gautam), Hoshiarpur (under Prof S.C. Vaidya) and Ludhiana (under Prof P.S. Jaswal). The teams also included college principals and the Fellows of the area where the college was located.

Prof Ramesh Kapoor, Dean of the College Development Council, confirmed that a follow-up of the preliminary report had not been done for well over a year, as intended earlier. However, certain recommendations had already been implemented. He accepted that a round-up meeting should be done to have a stock of the existing conditions and suggest common measures for upgrading the educational facilities in all the affiliated colleges.

The reports had indicated a demand from the colleges for the changes in the existing courses. Professor Kapoor said that the university had revised the syllabi in a number of courses. But teachers of the colleges complained that they were not made active participants in the university affairs where the course contents and a need for revision could be discussed.

The audit also highlighted colleges that performed well and had tried new innovations in education.

The audit suggested need for internal assessment in colleges that should be 20 per cent of the aggregate in the final examination. The university had implemented 10 per cent weightage to internal examination.

There was, however, no data available about the current status of the conduct of practical examination in science classes. The reports had indicated that in a significant number of colleges, the practical classes were not up to the mark. The laboratories lacked apparatus, chemicals and even the conducting of practical classes was neglected. This had been highlighted at different fora in the university and needed attention of the audit committee for a review, it is felt.

The committee pointed out big gaps on the front of appointment of teachers and principals in majority of the colleges. One committee pointed out the need for a forum in colleges to handle cases of ‘sexual harassment’. Reports also indicted that college students demanded that special window be created at the Administrative Block of the university where they could come and their air problems.



IG’s brother held for illegal telephony operations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
An illegal operation of routing international calls to customers in the country through Internet lease lines and land telephone connections was unearthed by the operation cell of the Chandigarh Police here late this evening.

The clandestine business was being operated from the top floor of an SCO in Sector 9 market. A brother of an IG of Punjab has been arrested for the operations.

By rough estimates, at least Rs 23 lakh was routed through the illegal network in the past 10 months. The equipment seized was worth around Rs 60 lakh.

On a tip off by the vigilance wing of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), a police party raided the Sector 9 shop and arrested Rakesh Sharma, who ran the business under the name Ishan Credits. Sophisticated electronic equipment to route long-distance calls and transfer these on local landlines of a private service provider, HFCL, was seized by the police.

Mr Girdher Shankar Sharma, Manager (Vigilance), VSNL, Delhi, told the TNS that they had been keeping a tab on the activities of Rakesh Sharma. The operator was receiving international voice calls and distributing these further through an automatic-switch network.

Explaining the modus operandi, he said pre-paid cards were being sold by the foreign partners of Ishan Credits. After receiving the digital data through the Internet high-speed lease lines from the USA and Canada, in form of packets, the digital data was converted to analog and transferred to the landlines.

Inspector Vijay Kumar, in charge of the operations cell, said multiplexers, IP packetizer, switch, computers, WiLL telephone sets worth Rs 50 lakh were seized from the operators. The profit from the illegal operations was pocketed by the Indian partners, thus causing a loss of around Rs 10 lakh per month to the telecom operators and the government. A case under Sections 20, 21, 21-A and 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Sections 379, 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against Rakesh Sharma.



Cops help lost child return to parents
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 14
The day-long anguish of parents of Golu, a four-year-old girl child, who got lost this afternoon at Khumbra village here, ended on a happy note when she was found safe and sound at phase VIII police station here this evening.

Golu, daughter of Mr Jagdish Singh, a three-wheeler driver from Khumbra, wandered away from her house this afternoon. She was found in Phase IX here walking alone and crying by Mr Om Prakash, a Panchkula resident, who had come to SAS Nagar for some work.

He picked up the girl and brought her to the Phase VIII police station. The girl could not tell the name of her parents, but told the police her name and her brother’s name Rahul. She also told the police that her father drove an autorickshaw. The police then sent a wireless message across the township and its surrounding villages about the girl. It also made arrangements to ensure the safety of the girl.

Meanwhile, Golu’s mother informed the police that she last saw Golu in the morning but could not locate her in the afternoon. “She was playing with her brother outside the house after which I did not see her. We started looking for her when my wife informed me that she was seen around at 4 p.m. We looked for her in the locality area but could not find her. Then we approached the police at about 7 p.m. and found Golu there,” said Jagdish Singh.



Changes in houses: panel to invite suggestions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
A seven-member committee of the BJP, formed to study internal changes made in the houses by allottees of the Chandigarh Housing Board and other houses, held its meeting today at the party office (Kamalan), Sector 33, Chandigarh. It was presided over by Mr Bal Krishan Kapoor, Chairman of the committee.

In a press note issued after the meeting, Mr Kapoor and Mr Chetan Mittal, secretary of the committee, said it had been decided to invite suggestions from public. Any suggestion relating to internal changes or changes in building bylaws from any person or institution like residents welfare associations can be given at the BJP office before June 25.

Mr Kapoor and Mr Mittal said the BJP felt that internal changes like a small room or a toilet constructed by people in the backyard of their houses could not be termed as “encroachment” and the party was in favour of getting these need-based changes regularised.

They said copies of the report would be sent to the Chandigarh Administration, the Chandigarh Housing Board, the Ministry of Urban Development and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Welcoming the setting up of the committee, the BJP leaders said the party would extend full cooperation to the committee. They expressed their gratitude to the UT Administrator, Justice Om Prakash Verma, for giving assurance to the BJP leaders that no action would be taken on the notices issued to thousands of house owners till a report of the committee was received.



Profiling Sikh glory for posterity
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


  • The first world record setter on the highest airfield was Baba Mehar Singh, who landed Decota aircraft on the world’s highest airstrip in Ladakh and flew the aircraft at 24,000 feet against its capacity to fly at 12,000 feet.
  • The third world record setter on the world’s highest battlefield was a Sikh — Tajinder Singh — who landed his helicopter on Siachen 42 times in a single day.
  • The finest motor rally driver in the world in 1965 and 1974 was a Sikh: Joginder Singh.
  • The first Indian athlete to get a Padma Shri was Milkha Singh.
  • The only Indian to have established world record in four different weight categories is a Sikh: Balbir Singh.

Chandigarh, June 14
Had it not been for pure passion of those who spend life times recording achievements of others, the most celebrated of records ever created would have remained the biggest of secrets of the world. Thanks to Pritpal Singh Tully from Amritsar, many startling facts about the Sikhs and their spirit of achievements over the past centuries have been bared for public appreciation.

Beginning from today, the Sector 34 gurdwara will play host to Sikh glory, as embodied by the 150 achievers, who brought laurels to the country on various fronts. Chronicled by Tully, who is humble enough to put his show under the title of an exhibition, the works are not works in literal sense of the word.

They are, in fact, pieces that open a whole new world to the viewer and flood him with information about his own land.

To begin with, there is a world of interesting facts to greet you — that the first young Indian scientist to have spent a winter in Antarctica for research was a Sikh: Dr Paramjit Singh Sehran; that Capt Shamsher Singh was the first Indian civilian to have skydived from 7000 feet; that Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer Shamsher Singh was the first Indian to have climbed the Everest from the China side; that Ajit Singh based in Dehra Dun is one among the only five people in the world who can play the vichitra veena and that Brig Dalip Singh was the firstever Indian to become an Olympian in 1924.

Pritpal Singh’s ensemble goes beyond the realm of routine display and scores heavily as a scientific work based on years of labour. As Pritpal Singh informs, “My source is the print media. I laboured day and night to get information on the Sikhs who have brought a name to the land. I have no qualms about telling you that I often tore away pieces from newspapers and magazines to gratify my passion. My only urge was to preserve these glorious achievements of Sikhs for posterity. Had I not stolen published works, I would not have been able to give the final shape to my collection.”

There are 150 accounts of Sikh glory, each substantiated by a brief statement on the achievement made and a photograph of the achiever.

While each such account deserves a special mention, one series of records is particularly interesting. Not many of us know that all the three world records of landing on the highest battlefields/airfields in the world have been created by Sikhs.

Also hardly anyone would be aware of the fact that a Sikh freedom fighter had once written a letter to the Czar of Russia, seeking his support in ousting the British from India.



No creches for physically challenged
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, June 14
Thirtysix creches are being run by the government in the city, but not even one is equipped to keep physically challenged children.
Though efforts are on to set up a creche for the physically and mentally challenged children at the Prayaas rehabilitation centre in Sector 38, the situation is not likely to improve in the near future as the authorities are in the process of working out the modalities.

Officially they claim that the entire exercise will not take more than a few months but unofficially they say the formalities are yet to be completed. The capital is likely to be provided by the National Creche Fund, that’s all the authorities can say for certain.

The creches were set up in Chandigarh in mid-60’s for enabling the working parents to leave their children, and their worries behind, during the office hours. At that time there were just three creches in the city — one at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Sector 12, the other at Bal Bhawan in Sector 23. The third one is situated in Sector 22.

As more and more women left behind the security of their homes to take up challenging jobs with the opening of new avenues, acute need for building up more creches was felt. The number of creches in Chandigarh, under the Indian Council for Child Welfare (UT branch), was increased to 33.

The government-run creches are preferred by parents for obvious reasons. Admitting your child to a government creche is reasonable. Even today you have to pull out just Rs 40 from your purse every month if your income is less than Rs 1,000.

You have to pay just Rs 275 per month if your monthly income is over Rs 5,000. On the other hand, in creches run by private organisations, you have to pay anything between Rs 500 and Rs 800.

Though the “pockets of the working parents” were kept in mind, the plight of residents having physically or mentally challenged children was “grossly ignored” by the authorities. Not even one creche was dedicated to the children of the lesser gods.

The result is their parents are forced to send their children to the creches without special arrangements for them.

For the little ones, the hours they spend at the creches are “torturous”. They are isolated by other children because of their “peculiar habits”. Sadly, if they tinkle in the middle of the room, the other children make fun of them.

The father of unfortunate Aarzoo, Raj Kumar Sharma, says, “She hates going to the creche because of the treatment meted out to her by the staff, and fellow children. Aarzoo’s confidence in herself and her abilities has been totally shattered. We would have pulled her out of the creche, but then where would we keep her... ?”

The authorities, meanwhile, insist that basic training has been given to the staff. “They are quite capable of taking care of the physically and mentally challenged children,” says Assistant Secretary of the Indian Council for Child Welfare Pooja Khanna. “Otherwise also, we try our best to ensure that the stay is comfortable for everyone”, she adds.



Check deforestation

Earth is considered a unique planet in the solar system as it has conditions favourable for the evolution and survival of various forms of life. This is due to the presence of water. Water is a part and parcel of our life. Human beings need water for all their domestic needs like washing, drinking and cooking etc. Water is also required for all economic activities like cultivation, pastoral and manufacturing industries. Water has also been harnessed for the generation of hydroelectricity. Thus water is an indispensable source of energy. It supports life and hence water conservation should be a priority with us.

Man, the most intelligent being inhabiting the earth, has constantly made new inventions and developed means of comfort and luxury. This technological advancement has disturbed the ecological balance. Man is relentlessly felling trees to provide land to the growing population.

Large-scale deforestation has resulted in floods and soil erosion. It has increased the draughts and decreased the amount of precipitation. It has even delayed the monsoons.

So, we must take some preventive measures. We should plant more and more number of trees. ‘Each one plant one’ should be our motto. Rivers can be linked to divert surplus water from one river to another. More and more number of dams and canals should be constructed to improve the surface storage so that water table gets recharged by seepage. Immediate measures should be taken to conserve water or else human being will have to face the music.

Sheena Jindal, Class X, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School



Centre’s advice to states on press passes
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Union Home Ministry is upset over a serious “ security lapse” with regard to issue of passes to mediapersons during the recent visit of the Prime Minister to Lucknow.

Informed sources said the ministry had flashed a letter to all the Chief Secretaries and police chiefs to take adequate steps to avoid the recurrence of such lapses.

At Lucknow, according to ministry sources, a reporter of a Hindi daily procured three forged press passes to the three separate venues for the coverage of the Prime Minister’s visit.

The ministry has intimated all states concerned that “this could have led to serious security lapse”. It has advised all states that the since the issue of passes during the visits of VVIPs is a very sensitive matter, the officers concerned may be directed to exercise maximum care and caution.



Nagar kirtan in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 14
A large number of devotees took part in a nagar kirtan taken out to observe Sri Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day, which falls on Monday as per Nanakshahi calendar issued by the Shrimoni Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee at Amritsar.

The procession started from Gurdwara Guru Singh Sabha in Sector 7 at about 2.30 pm. It passed through Sectors 7 and 18 before reaching the Sector 19 Gurdwara. It also passed through Sectors 20, 21 and 22 markets. Several devotees joined the procession at the Sector 37 round-about. It culminated at Gurdwara Guru Ka Darbar in Sector 37. Elaborate arrangements had been made to divert traffic during the nagar kirtan. 



Camps for youths
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 14
With an aim to educate the youth about the financial assistance they could get from the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojyna (PMRY), the District Industrial Centre will hold five camps at different places next week.

The first such camp will be held at Ramgarh village on Monday at 11 am. Giving details, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahalawat, informed that youths could get loans from banks of Rs 2 lakh to establish industrial and service units, while Rs 1 lakh for setting up other business. Educated youths in the age bracket of 18 to 35 years with a monthly family income of Rs 40,000 and have been staying in Panchkula district for the past three years are eligible for the loan. She hoped that the age limit in the case of women and members of the Schedules Castes should be raised to 45 years.

As per an official release issued here today, other guidance camps will be held at Maheshpur village (June 17), Rali village (June 18), Chandi Mandir (19) and Ishar Nagar (June 20).



Bravery award for Bhattacharya
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June14
Mr S.C Bhattacharya, an internationally acclaimed cartoonist and social activist of this region has been awarded the 11th Red and White Bravery Award by Godfrey Phillips India Ltd in recognition of an exceptional act of social courage. He has been actively involved with AIDS campaigns carried out by the Citizen’s Awareness Group in the city.



Five booked in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The police has registered a case against Aman Chopra, Gaurav Chopra, Narinder Chopra and Anita Chopra, residents of Amritsar, for harassing Nidhi Chadha, a resident of Sector 44, to bring dowry.

Theft: Laskhar Singh, a resident of Sector 20, reported that his Maruti car was stolen on the night of June 12. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered by the police.

3 youths booked:
The GRP police has registered a case under Section 302 against three youths of Ambala City for their alleged involvement in the murder of Harpreet Singh (11) of Nadi Mohalla, whose body was found near the railway track in Ambala City on June 11. He had been missing from his house for the past two weeks.

The police registered the case on the complaint of Mr Mohinder Singh, father of the deceased, who runs a milk dairy in Nadi Mohalla. The youths, against whom the case is registered, are also the residents of Nadi Mohalla.

It is learnt that the police has rounded up the three youths for interrogations.


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