Saturday, June 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


BJP seeks Mayor’s resignation
Remember what you do, Chawla retorts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The BJP demanded the resignation of the Mayor today for his quarrel with an advocate at Chandigarh Club on Wednesday night. Mayor Subhash Chawla retorted that those seeking his resignation should remember what they and members of their families did at the club.

The BJP, in a statement, said the Mayor had indulged in a drunken brawl, gambling and a scuffle to bring disrepute to his office.

BJP General Secretaries Bal Krishan Kapoor and Purushottam Mahajan, Leader of the Opposition in the Municipal Corporation Kamla Sharma, councillor Rajesh Gupta and incharge of councillors Raghuvir Lal Arora said the Mayor lost Rs 2,100 in gambling to Mr Satbir Singh.

Mr Chawla hit back at the BJP saying “I will not like to reveal what those who have issued the statement do at Chandigarh Club and what members of their families do.” Mr Chawla said after failing to exploit a small incident between old friends, the BJP was trying to politicise it.

In an apparent bid to warn the BJP leaders, the Mayor asked the signatories if they would reveal who amongst them played cards regularly at different clubs and how the a son of a signatory, who was in an inebriated state, was saved by life guards at the club a few days back.

Urging the BJP not to go personal, the Mayor said political criticism on real issues was welcome.

In an apparent bid to project the Mayor as apathetic to slum-dwellers, the BJP said the Mayor was busy at the club when jhuggis were being demolished at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony.

Samajwadi Party President Shivi Jaiswal came to the rescue of the Mayor, saying politicians should avoid exploiting personal lives of their opponents.

He said legally, the allegations levelled by the two parties did not stand after they reached a compromise.

He said the complaints of the two parties were not taken up for preliminary investigation for converting into an FIR and the BJP chose to make a personal attack on a politician disregarding this fact.

Shiromani Akali Dal President Gurpartap Singh Riar said this was the third time that the Mayor had behaved in an improper manner and he should be asked to resign. He said a recovery should be made from the Mayor for using the official car for personal affairs.

Mr Chawla’s bete noire in the party Chander Mukhi Sharma made an indirect attack, asking the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, to book the management of the club for illegally allowing gambling on its premises.

Sources revealed that the matter had reached the All-India Congress Committee, with party General Secretary Krishna Teerath contacting the Mayor to find out what had happened at the club.

Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee President B. B. Bahl, who returned to the city today, told Chandigarh Tribune that an inquiry would be conducted into the matter and a report would be sent to All-India Congress Committee General Secretary Mohsina Kidwai.

Mr Bahl said if required, a two-member committee would be set up to go into the matter and a report was likely to be sent only after local MP Pawan Bansal came back from Pakistan.

The sources in the party said Mr Bansal had been informed about the incident in Pakistan.


MC threatens to invoke ‘no work, no pay’ rule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has threatened to invoke the “no work, no pay” rule against sweepers going on strike on June 23 in protest against privatisation of sanitation.

Advising sweepers not to go on strike, as announced by them earlier, the corporation, in a statement, said, “In case safai karamcharis go on strike, then besides disciplinary action, the instructions of the Chandigarh Administration of ‘no work, no pay’ will be implemented.”

Calling the strike unjustified, the corporation asked the agitating sweepers to call it off.

In a letter to the Sweepers Union president, Mr Shyam Lal Ghavri, the corporation said sanitation had been privatised in a part of the city in 1996.

It said the present contract had sought to redress sweepers’ grievances, which were brought to the notice of the National Safai Karamchari Commission.

The letter said three major recommendations of the commission had been incorporated in the new sanitation contract.

It said as per the complaint of the sweepers, the number of sweepers under the contract had been increased from 450 to 700.

The corporation said another objection of the union was that the private contractor was not paying its employees minimum wages.

It said the relevant terms and conditions of the Municipal Corporation now made it mandatory for the contractor to give minimum wages in addition to employees provident fund and ESI.

The sweepers have also alleged that during the last contract, the contractor did not keep even the number of sweepers specified in the terms and conditions of the contract and fake names were shown in the roll.

Keeping this in mind, the MCC has made a provision that the payment to employees of the contractor would be made through account payee cheques and the list of the employees would be available with councillors to check their deployment.


Railways proposes budget hotel in city
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
In a bid to promote tourism and provide hospitality to foreign as well as domestic tourists, the Indian Railways has proposed to set up a budget hotel in Chandigarh and five other cities across the country. It has also planned to open 50 food plazas at different railway stations to provide quality food to tourists and passengers.

According to the information available, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary autonomous body of the Indian Railways, has proposed to set up budget hotels in Chandigarh, Bhopal, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Madurai.

The IRCTC, that came into existence two years back, has realised its potential to provide hospitality and catering services to the passengers, particularly tourists, both domestic and foreign.

An official of the IRCTC says the food plazas will start functioning by March 31, 2004.

There are no food plazas being run by the IRCTC or the Railways at any of the railway stations. Private parties are running six food plazas at the railway stations of the four metro cities and two other cities on licence (contract) basis.

Mr M.N. Chopra, Managing Director of IRCTC, says the initiatives of the corporation will help create new avenues of jobs, besides, providing quality services to tourists and other passengers.

He says the IRCTC will ensure the quality of food to be provided at the food plazas and budget hotels. It has also decided to provide the best training to its staff dealing with hospitality and cookery by attaching them with the country’s best hospitality and catering companies and agencies, he adds.

Another official of the IRCTC has revealed that a panel of officials will be constituted to check the quality of food from time to time and look into the complaints of customers. This will ensure improvement in the services as and when required in accordance to the suggestions of customers, he adds.

A parliamentary committee on Railways met at Shimla earlier this week and discussed the proposals of the IRCTC to set up budget hotels and food plazas.

Those who attended the meeting included Maulana Ubedullah Khan Azmi, Ram Dass Athalwe, Tarnikanta Rai, Santosh Chaudhary, Suresh Chandel, Harendra Singh Malik and Gangaram Reddy.


Parking contractors becoming nuisance for MC
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Municipal Corporation seems helpless when it comes to parking contractors, who are exploiting the weakness of the corporation by violating terms and conditions of the contract to make up for the “losses”.

Sources in the corporation concede that complaints of visitors to the parking lots have been mounting but the corporation fears if contractors are dealt with a heavy hand, they will quit the contract to leave the parking lots unmanaged.

Realising the gravity of the complaints, mostly of misbehaviour, the Additional Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Sunil Bhatia, yesterday called a meeting of parking contractors to ask them to follow the terms and conditions in totto and make the parking lots people-friendly.

However, only a day after the corporation’s direction to the contractors, violations were seen today with contractors again issuing parking slips at the entry instead of the exit point. Again a meeting has been called on Monday on the issue.

To top it all, people are facing the wrath of the traffic police, which has started booking visitors. There have been number of instances where visitors have been booked by the traffic police for parking their vehicles at a place where the contractor had asked them to park.

This is happening despite the fact that the parking of two and four wheelers has been segregated. The contractor feels that he has an absolute right over the space provided by the Municipal Corporation and it does not matter if scooters are parked in the area earmarked for car parking.

Mr Narinder Singh, a partner in the firm which has the contract for Sahib Singh parking lot in Sector 17, says the interference of the traffic police was hurting their business and even increasing the losses to the firm.

He said when the corporation awarded the contract, the private party was given the size of the parking lots. On marking space for each vehicle, space for only 318 cars was left. He said the annual monthly instalment should have been around Rs 7 lakh instead of more than Rs 45 lakh now.

The contractors now even differ on the condition that the money should be charged at the exit point. They say that if a vehicle is stolen, a visitor without the parking ticket will not be able to make any claim for the loss to his vehicle.

The underground parking still remains unpopular with the visitors, sources in the corporation say.

They said the corporation had decided a very high contract amount, which contractors were not able to realise, pushing them to a brink to earn through violation of terms and conditions.

Admitting that there had been a number of complaints, Mayor Subhash Chawla said: “I had asked for action from the officers but they explained that if the contractors run out of the agreement, the Municipal Corporation will have to deploy its employees for the purpose at the cost of development works”.


PGI lets down blood donors
Refuses to honour free parking passes
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
There has rarely been dearth of blood donors at the PGI ever willing to save precious lives, but when it comes to reciprocating a kind gesture the authorities can be rather stingy.

Unwilling to continue with its ‘thank you’ gesture of providing free parking pass to all mastercard holders, who have donated blood more than five times, the PGI has withdrawn the facility. Over 1,000 donors, who had these parking passes are obviously hurt and agitated over PGI’s attitude, as this facility had been extended to them 10 years ago.

It was on the request of blood donors that the PGI Blood Bank Society had been authorised by the former PGI Director, Prof B.N.S. Walia, almost a decade ago to extend this courtesy to the donors. “We had extended this facility to the donors as they used to face a lot of difficulty in parking, so we thought this was the least the PGI could do in recognition of their service towards humanity,” he remarked.

The PGI administration, on its part has clearly washed its hand off the issue, saying it had never issued any such parking passes to donors. For the PGI, it seems, none is more important than its own employees, as it is to make space for their vehicles that the facility for the donors has been withdrawn.

On the other hand some of the donors, who were in for a rude shock when suddenly they were told that the facility had been withdrawn, are hurt by PGI’s attitude. “It is not a question of having to pay Rs 5 for parking, but it was a gesture from the PGI’s side and we are definitely feeling hurt and let down,” is how a regular donor echoed his sentiments.

“Due to the acute shortage of parking space and keeping in view the parking problem being faced by PGI employees, we have decided not to accommodate anyone other than our own employees in the staff parking area,” clarified a PGI spokesperson. They, however, added that the provision of providing free parking to regular blood donors would be sorted out in consultation with head of the Blood Bank.

The Honorary Secretary of the PGI Blood Bank Society, Mrs Kanta Saroop Krishen, too is hurt by the changed attitude of the PGI. “It was Dr Walia, who as Director had accepted the genuine demand of the donors to give them a parking pass and now suddenly there is change of stance,” she explains. She too has been receiving calls of donors who are shocked at such attitude of PGI.

She informed that it was the Blood Bank Society, which had been authorised to give these passes. She added that over 1000 master donors enjoyed this facility as they were the ones who had helped in making blood donation a voluntary movement to a great extent in the city. “As per our assessment a maximum of 10 such donors visit the PGI daily, and I do not think Rs 50 can be more precious for the PGI than the blood donated by them in times of crisis,” she opines.

Mrs Krishen, who met the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, yesterday, has however, been assured by him that he would look into the matter.


Ranbaxy fire: interim report submitted
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, June 20
The interim report of the magisterial inquiry into the Ranbaxy fire that shook the town on the night of June 11 has been submitted.

Sources said the report, which runs into around 400 pages, was submitted to the Ropar Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Seema Jain, by the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, yesterday.

Mrs Jain told The Tribune today that she had sent the interim report to the Punjab Chief Secretary last evening.

It is learnt that among those who deposed before the SDM were Mr Bhupinder Singh, Station Fire Officer, Mr Pritam Singh, SHO of the Phase 1 police station, Mr Hardayal Singh, Deputy Director, Factories, Punjab, an Environmental Engineer from the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Dr Ajay Pal Singh from the local Civil Hospital and the Senior Manager (Liaison) from Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited.

The sources said the forensic report of the samples collected from the scene of the fire was yet to be received by the SDM. Officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) have not yet submitted a complete analysis report and the police has also not given the final report.

The Inquiry Officer will be recording the statements of family members of the persons who died in the mishap and also the statements of members of the employees union of the factory.

The sources said the Station Fire Officer of the local fire brigade, in his statement to the SDM, had said that it was suspected that the blasts could have occured due to excessive temperature during the mixing of the chemical/solvent in that unit. He had suggested that the factory should have a sprinkler system at more points and install foam monitors. He said the pump house of the factory should be shifted from its present site towards the gate.

The sources further said that in his statement, the Environmental Engineer from the PPCB had said that after a discussion with experts, it was decided to carry out the ambient air quality monitoring near the accident area and around the industry.

The Deputy Director, Factories, Punjab, has said in his statement that the effect of the accident on the building, plant and machinery is being assessed. The factory management has been prohibited from using module I A and module I B for manufacturing till it obtains permission from the Chief Inspector of Factories, Punjab. In his statement, he said the management had been directed to remove affected parts of the plant and machinery to the designated salvage site so that no accident took place during the clean-up operation.

The sources said Dr Goldy Chhabra, who had conducted a post-mortem examination on the bodies of two Ranbaxy employees — Ranjit Singh and Maninder Singh — on June 12, had said in the post-mortem report that deaths had occurred due to asphyxia, suffocation due to inhalation of smoke and shock. As Dr Chhabra had gone on maternity leave, the post-mortem report was handed over to the SDM by other doctors.

The post-mortem examination on the body of Surinder Kumar had been performed by Dr Ajay Pal Singh on June 15. He told the SDM that the death had taken place due to extensive burn injuries and suffocation, leading to shock and inflammation of vital organs and causing cardiorespiratory arrest. Dr Ashok Saini, who conducted the post-mortem examination on the body of Shri Bhagwan on June 17, told the SDM that the death had occurred due to extensive burn injuries and infection leading to cardiorespiratory arrest.

It is learnt that the SHO had collected water samples, a foam sheet, a plastic pipe, a cement sheet, a piece of sunmica, a burnt power meter, etc from the scene of the fire, which have been sent to the forensic laboratory for examination.

Death toll rises to five
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 20
The death toll in the fire at Ranbaxy Laboratories has gone up to five with the death of Rajinder Singh (33) at Fortis Heart Institute here today. Rajinder, who worked as a technician in the factory, died early in the morning. His body was sent to the local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination. He had sustained more than 75 per cent burns.


PSHRC wants hospitals’ functioning streamlined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Taking a serious view of the malfunctioning of two government hospitals in Patiala, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the Punjab government to immediately take steps to improve the working of these hospitals.

It has also directed the government and the authorities concerned to ensure the availability of services and basic amenities already provided and to make provision for those which were not available in both these hospitals, Rajindra Hospital and Government Dental College and Hospital, Patiala.

In an order passed recently, Justice R.L. Anand, the commission has also directed the state government to consider the viability of repairing costly machines, which have been lying out of order and specify the requirement of funds for bringing in the latest technology for the treatment of patients. The funds can also be allotted for the said purposes, it adds.

The commission has also observed that due care must be given to the maintenance of sanitation, especially proper hygiene in the lavatories, which are used frequently by the patients and their attendants.

Without going into suggesting an exhaustive list of improvements, the commission has asked the local administration and the authorities of the hospital concerned to further improve the working of these hospitals, both on the medical and non-medical side.

The order states that the guidelines given for improvement in these two cases also stand applicable in case of other medical institutions in the state.

The coordination committee of social welfare organisations, Patiala, had in a memorandum submitted to the commission had sought improvement in the working of both these prestigious hospitals in Patiala. Besides, pointing out the lack of basic amenities, it was also alleged that certain life-saving machines were lying out of order.

The commiittee had in one of its reports mentioned that the dialysis machine in Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, was not working and that many X-ray machines in the Radiotherapy Department were also out of order, thereby bringing the working of the department to a halt.

It was also pointed out that the Departments of Cardiology, Paediatric Surgery and Neurology, who have one doctor each were on the verge of closure. Even the condition of the chairs in the dental hospital were far from satisfactory. The menace of doctors doing private practice from the premises of private hospitals was also mentioned.

In fact, lapses at the government level, Principal, Medical Superintendent level, Public Health Department and B and R Department, were mentioned. As regards the poor functioning of the Public Health Department, the committee had pointed out that taps, seats, cisterns, sinks etc in these hospitals were out of order and that nobody cared to replace them. The indifferent attitude of the B and R department, which is located in the building, was also highlighted in terms of poor upkeep of roads, buildings, wooden items like doors, windows etc.

The working of the electricity department was also woefully unsatisfactory since most of the switches, lights, points, plugs were out of order and are not repaired regularly.

The PWD and B and R Department had in their reports cited insufficient funds for the poor manintenance of these buildings in terms of white-washing etc. The committee had pointed out that the cleanliness of the indoor wards was deplorable.

On the basis of the reports received from the concerned departments, the commission has pulled up the state government since “maintenance of health of the patients/citizens is the fundamental duty of every democratic government, whether at the state level or the Central level”.


Two pilgrims die in car-bus collision
Our Correspondent

Banur, June 20
Two pilgrims died while five others were injured, one of them seriously, when their car collided head on with a Punjab Roadways bus on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway near here today.

Hailing from Haryana, the car occupants were on their way back from Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu when the mishap took place at 5 pm.

The deceased have been identified as Yash (12) of Palwal and Ashok (23) of Gadpuri in Faridabad.

According to passersby, the trapped persons were rescued by motorists and policemen from a nearby naka. Another car which was also carrying pilgrims returned to the spot after they found that the car following them was nowhere to be seen.

The injured have been taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here. Ashok, the car driver, and Yash died on their way to hospital.

The bus driver fled the scene. The passengers had to board other buses to reach their destinations. The police has impounded both vehicles.


MCC gets offer for better water supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
An Ahmedabad-based Boston company has made an offer to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) for improving the water supply through computer networking.

Representatives of the company today gave a technical demonstration in front of Mayor Subhash Chawla, Commissioner M.P. Singh, Chief Engineer V. K. Bharadwaj and Water Supply Committee chairman Pardeep Chhabra, among others.

The municipal corporation has asked the company to prepare a project report in 15 days for initially managing 30 tubewells of Mani Majra.

The company said it would take a month to train the staff of the municipal corporation to handle the task as per the requirement of the software developed by Cimcon Software Inc.

The company said it would cost Rs 2.5 lakh per pump and tubewell unit as a one-time measure. The company has already handled the projects of Gas Authority of India Ltd and the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board in India.

The company said the computers would ensure timely and better water supply as all pumping and supplying units would be linked through radio-trunk system to a computer, which would be able to detect leakages, fall in water flow, non-performance or below capacity performance of pumping and supplying units.

The company has promised to install equipment which will prevent burning of motors. 


Road Committee clears 34 agenda items
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Road Committee of the Municipal Corporation today cleared 34 agenda items regarding Rs 2.5 crore of road work in the city.

A total of 25 provisional items were approved by the committee at a meeting, which was chaired by Mr Sohan Lal.

Nine items already scheduled before the committee were also approved.

The committee approved Rs 9.13 lakh for road widening in Ram Darbar, Rs 7.59 lakh for laying a road in Sector 27, Rs 7.59 lakh for a road in the Sector 26 transport area and Rs 7.13 lakh for the road leading to the T-junction to Bapu Dham, among other things.


9 cases settled at defence pension adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
A total of 48 cases were taken up at a defence pension adalat organised by the New Delhi based Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), here yesterday. Nine cases were settled at the spot while others cases were sent for appropriate action. Two widows were also given cheques for enhanced pension.

This was the 56th adalat in the series held all over the country since 1988. About 100 defence pensioners from Chandigarh, S.A.S. Nagar, Panchkula and surrounding areas took part in it. Out of the seven cases registered before starting the adalat, five were settled, including the release of family pension dues to two widows and pension payment order (PPO) to one widow. Of the 41 unregistered cases who reported on the spot today, four were settled and appropriate advice was given in respect of the remaining cases for early settlement.

The adalat was opened by Mr P.J. Mathews, Deputy Secretary (Pension), Ministry of Defence. He also presented a cheque for Rs 1,47,582 towards the revised special family pension dues to Mrs Jagir Kaur, wife of late lance naik Darbara Singh (Ropar) and a PPO to Mrs J.K. Goswami, wife of late Wing Cdr B.N. Goswami (Chandigarh).

Mrs Swaran Kaur, wife of late Hav Harbans Singh (Ropar), a battle casualty of the 1971 war who was not well was also handed over a cheque for Rs 1,47,582 as her revised special family pension dues by Major Gen Man Mohan Singh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rozy Agarwal, Assistant Controller General, CGDA, said the aim of the adalat was to address the grievances and problems faced by the defence pensioners by providing a platform where senior officers from the Ministry of Defence, CGDA, Services HQs, Treasuries and public sector banks were present to settle the outstanding issues.

He further said to the pensioners that the Defence Accounts Department was currently catering to about 2 million defence pensioners through 35,000 bank branches, 534 treasuries, 60 DPDOs and 2 post offices and PAOs.


Sec 26 mandi to get facelift
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The vegetable market in Sector 26 here is all set to present a clean look. The preparation of a comprehensive plan for a facelift of the vegetable market is underway, with the UT Administration constituting a three-member committee under the chairmanship of the ADC, Mr Inderjeet Sandhu, to address the problem. Making the preparation of a blueprint for the facelift an inter-departmental affair, the other two members will be from the Municipal Corporation and the UT Engineering Department.

With an endless tale of woes, from bad roads to stench and unhygienic surroundings, the vegetable market, almost as old as the city, has been an eye-sore for long. As a beginning to “Operation Clean-Up”, the sweepers on contract have been asked to wear uniforms in an effort to identify them.

Sources said vendors at the market had, time and again, complained that these sweepers were not performing their duties and were playing truant during work hours. At a meeting chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, it was also decided to have morning and evening shifts. While the morning shift would begin at 10:30 am, the evening shift would be from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am.

The issues of cleaning of sewers and laying of a new road, for which Rs 8 lakh had been sanctioned, had been taken up with the departments concerned. The DC said another vegetable market coming up in Sector 39 would ease pressure.


Chakrasia replaces tamarind, but at what cost?
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
As about 50-odd near-dead tamarind trees in certain sectors here are being uprooted by the Horticulture Department, local environmentalist groups question the wisdom of policy makers in replacing these with chakrasia saplings, which is not only unsuitable for the city environment but also violates the Chandigarh Green Action Plan of the Administration.

According to the plan, native tree saplings were to be planted in the city. But now in place of the 50 trees along the Sector 20 and 30 separating road and also the main roads in Sectors 7 and 26 chakrasia saplings have been sown.

Sources said the death of the tamarind trees was accelerated by severe winter condition for the past past couple of years. “We foresaw the future of these tamarind trees about three years ago and accordingly planted chakrasia saplings to take place of those which would be eventuality uprooted,” said a highly placed source from the Horticulture Department.

Local environmentalists say, “Chakrasia is just a decorative tree and not bio-friendly in the sense that birds do not build nests on them, says Mr S.K.Sharma, president of Chandigarh Chapter of Environmental Society of India.

According to Mr S.K.Sharma, who feels native trees like neem, peepal, siris would have been more appropriate, the Administration had planted the chakrasia as they are fast growing and do not need much care. “The tamarind trees were infested with termites about five years ago but nothing was done to save them,” he said.

Mr Surinder Singh, former Divisional Forest Officer, Chandigarh Administration and a member of the Environmental Society of Chandigarh says, “Something like neem would have been more useful for the city as these not only help in repelling insects but also provides plenty of shade,” he added.

According to Mr S.K.Sharma, the Green Action Plan clearly states that the Administration will plant native tree saplings all over the city. He added that it was the proper planning in Gandhinagar that has brought the city temperature down by three degree in comparison to Ahmedabad. 


Stress management programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The UT Administrator, Justice O. P. Verma (retd), yesterday asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, to evolve a stress-management programme for the Chandigarh Police.

Addressing a meeting of senior officers, Justice Verma said though the Chandigarh Police was one of the best in the country, we have to take pre-emptive measures to check stress on them. He said it was the only force in the country that has more than 60 per cent graduates. He said the average working hours of police constable were 12 hours compared to 16 hours in Delhi.


Use judiciously

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.

The environment will be lifeless without vegetation if we do not begin proper planning and management of our water resources. India is primarily agrarian. It requires a lot of water for agricultural activities. There is shortage of water because it is being withdrawn at a faster rate than it is being replaced. We should use water judiciously. Communities should be involved in the planning and management of water here.

Special incentives can be given by the government to voluntary organisations working in this area. The media can educate the masses about the ways and means of conservation. Traditional water harvesting techniques should be adopted. Municipal bodies should construct structures for water harvesting.

Sumit Kansal, Class IX, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Ambala Cantt


Woman, son held for duping two
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 20
The police has arrested a mother and son on charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust.

It is alleged that Daljit Kaur and her son Sartaj Singh, both residents of Phase IV here, had cheated two brothers of Rs 15 lakh on the pretext of sending them to Korea. The two brothers, Mr Balkar Singh and Mr Kashmir Singh — belong Dalberi village falling in Kurukshetra district of Haryana.

In a press release issued here today Mr H.S. Bhullar, SP, said that Mr Balkar Singh had lodged a complaint with the police that Rajwinder Singh, alias Raju, his brother Sartaj Singh along with their mother Daljit Kaur had promised a getting them jobs in Matlopia Trading Company in Korea and demanded Rs 15 lakh for doing the work.

In his compalint Mr Balkar Singh said Rs 5 lakh was paid to them at their residence in December 1998. They then got some blank papers signed from the brothers on the pretext of getting their passports made and also for getting visas.

The suspects then started demanding the remaining amount of Rs 10 lakh. Mr Balkar Singh said for paying Rs 10 lakh to the suspects they had to sell off their land and also take money from their father which he had got after retirement. The payment was finally made in September 1999.

Mr Balkar Singh alleged that after collecting the money Rajwinder Singh left for Korea. On July 21, 2000, the other two suspects asked Mr Balkar Singh to leave for Korea as his seat had been got booked and visa clearance obtained. Mr Balkar Singh alleged that he had to come back to India the very next day as he was not allowed entry into Korea because of a fake visa. Similarly his brother Kashmir Singh, who was asked to leave for Korea in December, 2000, had to come back because of a fake visa.

The SP said the police had registered a case.


Gang of auto thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The police has busted a gang of auto thieves who were active in the southern sectors in the past few months. Mr S.S. Randhawa, DSP (South), said acting on specific information, a police team headed by SI Narinder Singh, intercepted two persons, Raja, a resident of Palsora, and Harwinder Singh alias Malik, a resident of Kharar, near a tubewell in Maloya village.

At least two motor cycles, two scooters and 17 bicycles were recovered from the two. One of the accused, Raja was riding a motor cycle (CH-03-D-2256) and the other thief, Harvinder was riding another motor cycle (PB-70-2560). The police party recovered a country-made pistol and two live cartridges from their custody. Two daggers were also recovered from the burglars.


Another theft in city temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Within five days of a theft in a temple in Sector 22, burglars broke into Sanatan Dharam Mandir in Sector 8 here and decamped with Rs 5,000 after breaking a collection box today. The theft was noticed by a woman devotee, who came to the temple in the morning.

According to the police, the burglars broke the locks of a grill at the entrance of the temple. A rod was used to break open the collection box.

The police has registered a case and is investigating the matter. A night watchman was on duty in the temple premises when the incident took place.

Meanwhile, concerned at the repeated incidents of thefts in temples in the city in the past few weeks, the SSP today directed the crime branch to dig out details of the burglars arrested in the past three years for thefts in religious places.

A meeting of the managements of religious places is being called by the area DSP to sensitise them about the preventive steps to be taken.


Good response to Kitchen 2003
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Exhibitors and organisers are delighted with the city’s response to Kitchen 2003, the CII’s annual exhibition on kitchen equipment and accessories.

A wide range of products are on display to suit diverse needs and pockets. Table tops, cake domes, home soda makers, ice crushers, designer candles and vegetable steamers are a few of the products on display.

The fair also showcases food processors, electric chimneys, gas ranges, water purifiers, toasters, microwave ovens, mixers, grinders, dish washers, electric cookers, chopping and cutting aides, kitchen sinks, kitchen towels and tissues and storage containers. There is also a range of jams and pickles, ready-to-use curries, milk flavours, tea and mouth fresheners.



Lunched: Milkfed, Punjab, on Thursday introduced Spiced Bio yogurt drink. Mr Raji P. Shrivastava, Managing Director, Milkfed, Punjab, said the drink would be available in 250 ml pouches at a price of Rs 5 each. “The product is prepared using pasteurised standardised milk and spice extracts like ginger, jeera, chilli and salt. It has a shelf life of four days under refrigeration,” he added. TNS

Campaign: Markfed on Thursday launched a ‘guaranteed prize’ campaign to promote its Sohna Basmati rice. Under the scheme, the customers buying a five kg pack of Sohna Supreme or Sohna Superior Basmati Rice will get a price. The customers will be required to scratch a small square on the pack to know his gift. TNS

Batteries: Amara Raja Batteries Limited has launched the maintenance-free valve-regulated lead acid (MF-VRLA) batteries. These have been designed to take care of critical standby applications for sectors such as telecommunications, railways, power generation and distribution, defence etc. TNS

Fabric quality test: Amartex Industries Limited has begun offering a facility for testing fabric quality at all its company outlets. According to a press note, this “fab-check” can be carried out for all kinds of fabrics like cotton, polyester, terrycot and linen etc. The test will determine the properties of the yarn. The check facility will be available at the request of consumers at a fee of Rs 100. TNS

Office inaugration: Tata BP Solar India Limited, one of the largest solar companies in India, is opening its office in Chandigarh. The office, to be inaugurated on Saturday in Sector 34, will cater to the energy needs of the region. According to a press note, the company is a joint venture of Tata Power Limited and BP Solar of the USA. It has been “carrying out a lot of activities in the region under different government programmes, including supplying power to rural Punjab”. The company has also installed and commissioned a 200 kw integrated power plant at Khar Khar Kalan in Nawanshahr. TNS

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