Wednesday, June 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fee hike imminent in PU colleges
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Fee hike is imminent in colleges affiliated with Panjab University located in Punjab from the forthcoming academic session. This is despite the fact that the university has called a special meeting of the Senate on July 6 to discuss the issue threadbare.

The colleges in the UT too are likely to witness an “astronomical” hike in the fee, reliable sources said.

Punjabi University has already accepted the fee hike at its Syndicate meeting on June 21. Following about three meetings in Panjab University, it was decided that the matter be referred to the Senate because of no unanimity could be formed on the issue. The Punjab Government, meanwhile, had sent another communication saying that budget of colleges would be calculated on the basis of the new fee structure.

A cross-section of principals contacted by Chandigarh Tribune said the Senate meeting notwithstanding, colleges were left with no alternative but to charge the admission fee and tuition fee as per the directions of the Punjab Government.

Mr P.S. Sangha, Principal, Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, said the UT Administration was likely to announce the new fee structure within few days, however, it was expected that the hike would be nominal. He said colleges in Punjab were unwise in following the Punjab Government decision without the approval of the Senate because the government could interfere in matters pertaining to the service conditions also.

Mr A.C. Vaid, Principal, GGDSD College, Sector 32, said the principals of colleges in Punjab were ‘timid’ in accepting the enhanced rates. The UT price hike was expected to be very nominal, he added.

Principal Tarsem Bahia said colleges in Punjab were in a fix. The colleges follow the university rules, however, the Punjab Government was the main funding agency and its directions could not be ignored.

Principal Bahia said, “The government had gone beyond its jurisdiction by taking on the subject of the tuition fee. The tuition fee and admission fee would have to be charged according to the government communication. Despite the PU Syndicate decision, the government had sent another reminder which led to the current situation.

Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, said he had big reservations on the issue but he did not have any other choice. In the PU colleges, the government colleges had a different fee structure, the aided colleges had a separate and the unaided colleges had altogether different. Even among these categories there were differences in the total amounts.

It is surprising that then government did not deal with the people from the colleges directly before drafting the new fee structure. “ We will oppose the government move in the Senate,” Principal Gill said. Ms Harmit Kaur, Principal, Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana, said as per the university calendar, the fee and funds were the prerogative of the university to decide. The government should have at least interacted with the principals and the university heads before any new action plan.

She said colleges had to charge the revised rates because in case certain students left the session mid-way, the colleges would have to pay their expenses out of college funds. She added that students were being properly informed about the issue through a circular. In case of any rollback. the students would be refunded. Mr Janmit Singh, Principal, DAV College, Hoshiarpur, said colleges did not have any other option but to charge the government proposed rates at least on account where the money was paid to the government. The colleges would work out the details after the university and government resolved the issue.



Candlelight march by SOPU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Members of the Students Organisation of Panjab University took out a candlelight procession against the university not decreasing the price of the admission forms along with the handbook of information here this evening.

Khushbaz Singh Jattana, president, said that they had given enough time to the university authorities for considering the issue. At a meeting with university officials earlier, the university was asked to consider reducing the price for the students from the background of low- income groups.

The university this year has made it compulsory for the students to buy the book of admission guidelines along with the admission forms. The booklet is priced at Rs 250. As a normal practice students did not buy the booklet of admission guidelines “ because it was expensive”.

The university maintained that the booklet was for the information of students and of help to them. Jattana said the agitation would continue till the university accepted the student demand. A heavy police contingent was present on the occasion outside the VC’s office. Also present were at least four hostel wardens and the DUI.



Traffic challan files gather dust
Addresses of violators fake
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Challaned, get fresh documents made?

Inquiries reveal that motorists, who face a heavy penalty, apply for duplicate or fresh documents without informing the registration authority about their being challaned. The registration authority, too, does not care to seek a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the police department. A senior police official said motorists were challaned on the basis of registration number of vehicles and if the address of the violator was fake or had changed, the police could do little. Source said the traffic police was taking up the issue with the registration authority. The traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police could keep in touch with the transport authorities, through computer network, said the official. 

Chandigarh, June 24
Files pertaining to thousands of traffic challans are gathering dust in the record rooms of the local courts as the particulars of the owners of the vehicles challaned by the police are fake. In most of the cases, addresses of the registered owners of the vehicles do not tally with the record of the registering authority.

As a result, the revenue running in lakhs of rupees which could have been earned by fining the erring motorists is not being realised. By rough estimates, in the past six years, fine in more than one lakh challan cases could not be realised in the court as the summons from the court were returned. The issue came to light recently after the traffic police directed the vehicle owners to intimate the registering authority about their changed addresses.

Sources in the department reveal that this year around 24,000 vehicles were challaned by the traffic police till date and the fine realised was about Rs 15,000. The remaining challans had been sent to the courts. The total fine imposed since January this year was around Rs 30 lakh.

As the vehicle owners failed to intimate the registration authority about their changed addresses, only 44 per cent of the challans sent to court were being realised. The remaining are gathering dust as the summons were returned unserved.

It may be mentioned that hundreds of files pertaining to investigations in cases of road accidents in the city, involving second-hand vehicles, are gathering dust in record rooms of the Chandigarh Police. The particulars of the owners of the vehicles are not available with the police.

A police official said it had been observed that owners of vehicles registered with the Chandigarh Transport Authority changed their addresses without intimating the registering authority. The Section 49 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, requires that the owner of a vehicle had to intimate the registration authority within 30 days of changing his/her address. The Chandigarh Police has already said that it will initiate a drive against such vehicle owners from July 1. The action will be taken under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act. Inquiries reveal that around 50 applications are received daily at the transport registration office. 



Hike in bus fares on cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), which had suffered loses of about Rs 10 crore during 2002-03, is now pinning hopes on the inter-state meeting of transport secretaries of north India to be held soon. The committee of transport secretaries is expected to take a decision on increasing bus fares by 10 per cent in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP.

According to a senior official of the CTU, the public transport was earning about 75 per cent of the Rs 60 crore annual income from long routes alone. The increase in bus fares had become necessary due to 30-35 per cent increase in the cost of inputs like spares, diesel, tyres and tubes and wage bill over the past three years. Further, there was a little scope, he added, to increase local bus fares which were the highest in the region.

He stated that of the 412 buses about 50 per cent of them were running on long routes to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan. It is the income from long routes, he said, that was subsidising the local bus service.

He said the CTU was also suffering losses in Punjab due to lack of written agreement with the state government on the inter-state routes. He claimed that since the CTU and Punjab Roadways were operating buses in each other’s territory on verbal agreement only, the CTU bus drivers were not allowed to take passengers by private operators at a number of bus stands, which include Morinda, Khanna, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana.

Dr Amar Pal Singh, Director, Transport, claimed that an agreement would be signed in the next few days between the transport officials of the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration. He said the CTU was trying to come out of the red by cutting operational costs. Despite increase in the cost of spares it was able to save about Rs 1.5 crore annually. The fuel efficiency of the buses have also been improved through better maintenance. The loses were expected to come down by at least Rs 5 crore this year due to these measures.

Insiders, however, disclosed that despite a staff strength of over 2,300 the CTU was unable to operate all its buses due to shortage of drivers and conductors. It had recently placed an order for 64 new buses, but due to shortage of staff, a number of buses were standing idle at the workshop. In this regard, Dr Amar Pal said, the CTU would recruit 100 drivers and conductors soon. 



Adult Education Dept to target males
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Strengthening male literacy

Chandigarh has an aggregate literacy rate of 81.76 against the national average of 65.38. Male and female literacy rates break-up in Chandigarh is 85.61 and 76.65, respectively. Although the UT has a high male literacy rate, the Department of Adult Education is working hard to sustain it. It recently started courses in refrigeration and scooter repair for the men inmates of Model Jail, Burail. Over 120 inmates are being covered under this scheme. The department has announced full vocational support to any motivated group of men or women under its literacy scheme.

Chandigarh, June 24
The Government of India’s adult literacy programme is finding it very difficult to reach the males segment in Chandigarh. So grim is the state of affairs that out of the total 385 adult literacy centres running in the city under the National Literacy Mission, there are just 15 for males. Although many adult education centres for men were opened from time to time, they could not be sustained due to a low level of motivation among men, who are mostly bothered more about money and less about literacy.

Concerned over the poor male response to adult education, the Department of Adult Education, UT, has announced full support to any uneducated group of men, who wish to seek vocational training under the adult literacy scheme. Not just that, the department will also now invite more applications for men preraks (persons chosen to motivate the community) so that more men can be covered under the programme. The department has also asked heads of villages to survey the problem of unemployment among men and send them the demand so that they can formulate policies accordingly.

Another development is that the preraks who earlier received a meagre amount as honorarium will now get better money. The Government of India has recently enhanced the honorariums to preraks from Rs 300 to Rs 700. Nodal preraks (in charge of 10 centres), who earlier got Rs 700 will now get Rs 1,200 and conveyance allowance. The Deputy Director, Adult Education, UT, Ms Sudesh Kalra, admitted that earlier it was difficult to get men as preraks because of the meagre monetary reimbursement. “With enhanced honorarium, men will be motivated to join. They will motivate larger groups.” Listing reasons behind the poor male response to adult education, Ms Madhavi Kataria, nodal officer for continuing education in UT, said most of the centres earlier had women preraks. “Because of this factor, it was not easy to get men to join functional literacy classes. Also, men find it difficult to spare time during the day. The department has decided to openly invite motivated groups of men, who want to take up vocational courses. Also sessions can be run during the night, if that is convenient.”

Giving further details, Ms Kalra reasoned, “The problem also lies with the objectives of the scheme, which are more attractive for women than men. Apart from functional literacy, the scheme seeks to achieve the targets of income generation by way of vocational training; equivalence by way of imparting literacy to dropouts; improvement of quality of life by way of organising talks on family welfare, AIDS, etc; and individual interest programmes which bring to the fore the hidden talents of people. Women find these aspects attractive. Men have to be motivated manifold.”



Naib Subedar killed in oil tanker blast
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 24
A pall of gloom descended on Devi Nagar near here after the family of Naib Subedar Pal Singh received the news of his death last night. The Naib Subedar was deployed with 19 Rastriya Rifle Regiment unit in Kupwara sector of Srinagar.

Defence authorities in Srinagar informed Subedar Nirmal Singh, at Jagadhri and asked him to pass the news to the family of the deceased. The family went into a shock after Mr Kaka Singh, elder brother of the victim, received the news that his brother had been admitted to the Army Hospital, Srinagar, following serious injuries in an oil tanker blast in Kupwara on Sunday.

Mr Kaka Singh called up the defence authorities in Srinagar and came to know that his brother was no more and his body was being sent to his native village by air.

This morning the grief stricken family again received a phone call from Srinagar informing them that the body had been sent to the Delhi airport and would be taken to Devi Nagar from there.

Relatives, residents of the village and nearby villages started assembling at the Naib Subedar’s house soon after the news spread in the area. Wailing father Dev Singh (70), mother Sardari Devi (68), wife Balbir Kaur and sons Gurpreet Singh (19) and Charanjit Singh (16) were consoled by the relatives.

Mr Kaka Singh, a Punjab police employee, said Pal Singh had left for duty in April after two months leave at home. During this period, he had got his house constructed in the village. He also wanted his elder son to join the Army and used to motivate him.

“Earlier, Pal Singh was posted in Sikkim and Fatehgarh in Uttar Pradesh”, he added.

Ms Salita Saini, president of the village mahila mandal, said while leaving for duty Pal Singh had said “God knows when would I be back now!



De luxe toilet blocks by year-end
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The city is likely to have 40 toilet blocks by the end of the year with the municipal corporation inviting bidders for building these on a build, operate and transfer basis.
The design of the de luxe toilet blocks is similar to the toilets that have come up in Delhi. One such toilet block has been built by the Chandigarh Housing Board in Sector 34.

With the locations and designs now cleared by the authorities concerned, the long-cherished dream of the people to have clean and good toilets at public places will be fulfilled after four months of allotment of the work as per the tender, Chief Engineer of the municipal corporation, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, told The Chandigarh Tribune.

He said bids had been invited and the last date for opening the tender was July 9. The toilets would be built by private parties as per an approved design and would be given to them for operation for five years to recover the expenses made on building them. Apart from getting 217 square feet of advertisement display space on each toilet, the contractor will be allowed to charge Rs 1 for using urinals and Rs 2 for toilets.

The corporation has made a group of four toilets each to be given to one private party.

The toilets on build, operate and transfer basis had run into a legal wrangle over objections on the display of advertisements. The project had been delayed for months because of legal hurdles.

The new toilets comprising separate units for men and women will be spread over an area of 680 square feet.

The complex will have a store room for housing an attendant, drinking water facility outside, three urinals and two water closets each.

Each block will have two wash basins also. There will be separate areas for men and women in each complex.

The revenue for the private party will largely come from the advertisement space being provided to them but the corporation was not in a position to guess as to how much money it is likely to get from building such toilets.

The coming up of these toilets is, however, likely to render the already existing toilets virtually useless.

The corporation had been getting demands from various quarters to build toilets.

Short of funds, the corporation chose to opt for build, operate and transfer route which will now create assets for the corporation as well as solve a major problem of providing toilets to the people.

New deluxe toilets are being built by the municipal corporation at the following locations:

Near SCO 44, Sector 7; near SCO 1-10, Sector 8-C; near grid substation, Sector 8-C; near SCO 62, Sector 26; near CHB office, Sector 9; near SCO 179, Sector 9; parking behind State Library, Sector 17; between filling station and Anand Theatre, Sector 17; Floral Garden, Sector 15; inside GH front gate, Sector 16; inside rear gate of GH, Sector 16; Children’s Traffic Park, Sector 23; in ISBT, Sector 17; near District Court parking; Sector 17 near Mela Ground, Sector 17; near Government Girls School, Sector 18; near rehri market, Sector 19; near K oil pump; Sector 20; in front of semi-industrial SCOs, Sector 28; Indl Area, Phase 1. Near booth number 7 to 12 Kabari Market, in between SCO 2214 and 2480, Sector 22; in between petrol pump and SCO 2946, Sector 22; in front of Poly Clinic, Sector 22; between park and V-4 road, Sector 24; near kerosene pump, Sector 32 Terraced Garden (A & B), Sector 33; Topiary Park, Sector 35; green belt (C&D), Sector 46; (V-4) inside Fragrance Garden, Sector 36; (V-5) inside Fragrance Garden, Sector 36; near SCF No 185, Sector 37; near SCF No 109, Sector 38; Central Green Belt, Sector 39; Public space behind meat shop, Sector 41; near Rehri Market, Sector 42; Garden of Annuals, Sector 44; Ram Darbar, Indl Area, Phase 1. In park near house number 131 to 1229 near High School, Ramdarbar; in the parking near SCO 98; Ram Darbar; near tubewell and booth number 862, Ram Darbar.



If shifted house, change vehicle RC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
A Chandigarh Administration spokesman today said it was mandatory to make changes in the registration card of a vehicle if the owner had changed his/her residential address within one month under Section 49 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

But change of address is not necessary if the shifting is temporary — up to six months. This change of address costs Rs 220, including Rs 200 for the smart card. For applicants from other states who want to retain their old numbers, only Rs 20 would be charged, but no smart card would be issued. If such applicants want Chandigarh numbers, then the process of re-assignment of the number needs to done and smart cards would be issued. The amount for delayed change of address would be charged as per the rule.

The documents required for change of address are photo, insurance, engine-chassis pencil print, proof of residence, confirmation from the Deputy Commissioner’s office for old registration certificates, Form 33.

The check list for the change of address and Form 33 are available in the office of the Registering and Licencing Authority, Sector 17. Counter numbers 2 and 3 in the office are exclusively for women, senior citizens and handicapped. If need be, exclusive counters for change of address would be started. This work would be done on Saturday also, a day which is otherwise kept as reserve for defence personnel/Ex-servicemen/Ex-servicemen/senior citizens/physically handicapped. Persons who have shifted to Panchkula or SAS Nagar would be issued NOCs under the provisions, the spokesperson said.



Panchkula tops ‘Operation Speed Breaker’
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 24
The district police has adjudged the Panchkula police as the topper of the ‘Operation Speed Breaker’, a special campaign launched from April 16 to May the 23 in view of the harvesting season in the state.

A press note issued by Director-General of the Haryana police M.S. Malik said the Panchkula police topped by securing 49 marks while the Ambala district police was at the second spot by obtaining 46 marks.

In the campaign, Jind and Karnal districts secured the third place. They secured 44 marks each, the DGP added.

He said during the operation, directions were issued to all Inspectors General of Police for ensuring smooth flow of traffic on roads, especially link roads and roads leading to grain markets. They were also asked to intensify day and night patrolling to provide security to farmers.

During the special drive, the police initiated action against persons involved in over-speeding, violating traffic regulations, drunken driving, plying private vehicles for commercial use, plying taxies and buses without permits, having fake driving licences, registration and insurance documents.

He said the police challaned 6,758 vehicles for over-speeding, 285 drivers for drunken driving, 3,160 private vehicles for being used as commercial and 2,930 maxi cabs and buses for being plied without a permit.

In addition to this, the police also detected 3,688 bogus driving licenses and registration numbers. As many as 6406 vehicles were found without complete registration numbers. While 108 cases were registered, 55 vehicles involved in smuggling were impounded and 55 proclaimed offenders nabbed, Mr Malik added.



PCR vehicles to go hi-tech
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Top brass of the city police has ambitious plans to make the Police Control Room (PCR) vehicles hi-tech. The officials propose to put a vehicle tracking system on the PCR vehicles to ascertain their movement.

A private company today gave demonstration of its vehicle tracking system at the police headquarters. A senior police official said it was too early to comment about when the system would be adopted by the city police.

Inquiries reveal that ever since the new team of officials joined at the end of last year, several orders have been issued to streamline the functioning of the PCR vehicles. The role of the PCR’s has been redefined. The men and machinery of the PCR were put at the disposal of the Station House Officer (SHO’s). The officials were now planning to cover the entire city with PCR gypsies, said the sources. Once equipped with the vehicle tracking system, the officials at the headquarters would be able to know the location every PCR vehicle.



Cantilever collapse: probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Reacting to news item ‘Living in fear of falling bricks’ published in Chandigarh Tribune today, the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Punjab Government has begun a probe into the incident in which bricks fell down from the front side cantilevers of government houses in Sector 39.

Preliminary investigation by the PWD has revealed that the cantilevers were poorly designed.

Mr Arvinder Singh, Executive Engineer of the PWD, who conducted an on-the-spot survey of the two-storey government houses this morning, said, “I have discussed the issue with Ms Sapna, the architect concerned in the Chief Architect’s office”.

He said Punjab’s Chief Architect would visit the spot tomorrow, along with other architects, to assess the situation. PWD officials feel there is a need to change the pattern of structure,” he added.

He said a formal request would be forwarded to Mr Rajan Kashyap, Chief Secretary of Punjab, to direct the Chief Architecture to allow them change the pattern of the structure to further avoid such incidents in future.

“A comprehensive survey report of the condition of houses will also be forwarded to the Chief Secretary to get a formal approval for replacing the ‘brick daily’ with cement plaster on a priority basis. A detailed estimate of expenditure will be formulated to start the renovation work as soon as possible”, he said.

Giving details of the technical faults, he said, “ ‘Brick daily’ is not applied on beam works at more than 1.5 feet. However, in these houses these were applied at 4.5 feet. Moreover, the ‘brick daily’ work is no more preferred these days.”

It may be mentioned that these houses were designed and constructed by the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) and handed over to the PWD in 1983 for maintenance.

Meanwhile, sources in the UT police revealed that the preliminary investigation report of yesterday’s incident had been forwarded to the PWD for a technical probe by experts. A local resident had lodged a complaint in the Sector-39 police station yesterday, alleging that poor design and maintenance had led to the collapse.



Patient satisfaction is Command Hospital’s motto

YOU ask any ex-serviceman or serving soldier about the quality of medicare at the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, and his answer is: “It has never been so good as it is now”. The reason for this is not far to seek. The new culture adopted on taking over as Commandant of the hospital by Maj-Gen B. Sadananda in May last year has been fully institutionalised. What always remains uppermost in his mind is patient satisfaction. “Don’t call it satisfaction if it is not 100 per cent”, says General Sadananda.

The hospital working has been so streamlined that no outdoor patient has to wait for his turn for more than 10-15 minutes. Having spent a few hours in the hospital the order day, this writer found that 88 patients’ X-ray had been done by 12 a.m. and 189 patients had given their blood for testing by 12.10 p.m. No one was seen waiting at the physiotherapy or the surgical outpatient department. The record of the past few months shows that though on an average more than 1,000 outdoor patients were drawing medicines from the dispensary every day, not more than two patients were seen at each counter at any time. Incidentally, medicines worth over Rs 1 lakh are purchased every day and no patient leaves the hospital without all prescribed medicines.

“I am fully satisfied with the performance of my team of doctors and administrative staff. But I have to do my job of monitoring the patients. This cannot be done by sitting in the office but by being on the move in the hospital during working hours. This is how every problem is sorted out on the spot”, says General Sadananda. He comes to the hospital by 7.15 a.m. daily and never leaves before 2.45 p.m.

Doubts about health scheme: Ex-servicemen harbour many doubts about the newly introduced health scheme called the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). Some of the doubts as stated below have now been cleared by the higher Army authorities.

A question being asked by most ex-servicemen is that whether they would be entitled to treatment at military hospitals (MHs) after they become members of the ECHS. The answer is that they will get initial/outpatient treatment at a polyclinic and not at an MH. They will then be referred to the nearest empanelled hospital for further treatment, if it is considered necessary. An ex-serviceman patient can be referred to an MH by the polyclinic if the MH has the capacity to cater to the extra load and the treatment needed is available there.

It will take four or five months to finalise the list of empanelled hospitals. Incidentally, all service hospitals have automatically become empanelled hospitals with the introduction of this scheme.

An ECHS member is not required to pay for his treatment or for medicines at the polyclinic or at an empanelled hospital/diagnostic centre that he has been referred to by the polyclinic. All bills for treatment/medicines will be cleared directly by the ECHS organisation. Cash reimbursement will be made to an ex-serviceman only when, in an emergency, he gets admitted to a non-empanelled hospital. The conditions to be fulfilled in such cases will be intimated by the military authorities in due course.

NCC recruitment quota: Ever since the states’ recruitment quota for the Army has been fixed on their population-percentage basis, the share of Punjab has gone down.

The Punjab political leadership has been pleading with the Centre from time to time that the state’s quota of recruitment should be restored to what it was earlier. But then if the state wants a larger share of the recruitment quota, it should not shrink its recruitment base by reducing the strength of NCC cadets. The NCC training is a boon for the students who set their sights on joining the Army.

It is sad that the NCC Directorate in Chandigarh is being forced to reduce the strength of Punjab NCC cadets to about 25 per cent because the state is not prepared to pay its share of funds for them. Not only that, 260 NCC cadets from Punjab had almost missed the opportunity of attending the National Integration Camp, which started near Ludhiana on June 17 because a sum of Rs 1.25 lakh sanctioned by the Punjab Government for the camp was not paid until the Chief Minister intervened to get it released.



Red Cross gift to labour colony youth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
By fulfilling its promise of coming to the aid of rudderless youth in the city’s deprived section, the UT Red Cross today proved that all official announcements do not take months to get implemented.

Only about four days back, the Red Cross had announced support to the fresh concept of a youth panchayat formed by young boys and girls of the Sector 30 labour colony to help youth channelise their energy in healthy ways. The promise was — provision of sports infrastructure to the youth of the colony who have been increasingly taking to drugs in the absence of anything constructive to do.

Keeping her promise, Ms Madhavi Kataria, currently in charge of affairs at the Red Cross, reached the labour colony and made available three complete sets of different games to children. The only dampener on the spirit was the absence of the Deputy Commissioner, who was earlier expected to launch the scheme.

Taking control, Ms Kataria not only inaugurated the new scheme, under which the youth will be engaged in constructive activities like games, but also played with children on the new carrom board, which she gifted to them. Young boys were, meanwhile, busy with volleyball and chess, the other two games for which complete infrastructure was made available by the Red Cross.

With three games at hand, the youth of the colony will now try to invest their time constructively. As one of them, who is a drug addict, pointed out, “Earlier we had nothing to do. Naturally, we succumbed to negative influences around us. But now that UT officials are reposing faith in our creativity, we will not let them down. They have also given us a medium to vent out our negative energy. Now I would rather play than sit and take a puff.”

This is precisely the idea behind extending sports facilities to the youth who invariably while away their time in unhealthy ways. No wonder the colony has about 30 young drug addicts. With a step in the right direction having been taken, officials, as well as people behind the youth panchayat, feel that the incidence of addiction, as also suicides in the labour colony, will considerably decline.



Fresh probe into pilferage case
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 24
The Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, has ordered fresh investigation in the pilferage of a property case in which eight cops were booked on Sunday night.
Mr Ranbir Sharma, SP, said that a DSP has been asked to investigate the matter and submit a report within 10 days. He held the registration of cases against the police personnel “a hurried step”.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the SP said that initially the case was registered against all the police personnel who had been deployed at the Sector 19 police station having the drug into its malkhana. He added that all the police personnel deployed with the particular police station since May, 2001, could not be held guilty. He said that DSP (City) Om Vir Singh had also been asked to investigate the matter in depth and include the names of police personnel found guilty in this case.




Besides air, another equally important factor supporting life is water. It is an indispensable resource which is fast decreasing. Masses should be educated to spread awareness about the optimum utilisation of water instead of wasting the same.

The immense utility and the growing scarcity of water should be brought home to everybody. It is high time we begin saving water by every resolute and scientific way like afforestation, using it in an accurate manner by recycling the same, otherwise it would be too late and would result in a problem for mankind.

Careful and economical use of water being the need of the hour, action should be taken against those who indulge in wasting this natural wealth. Society warrants its citizens to realise the concern regarding water at this hour of crisis and understand the necessity of its objective use by a pragmatic approach.

Parul Katyal, Class VII, Bhawan Vidyalaya



Refine your child’s English speaking skills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Continuing with its series of workshops meant to enhance the intellect of masses, the British Library is now coming up with something interesting for children who wish to learn the nuances of the English language.

Designed to help children communicate effectively in English, the new workshop starting July 1, will aim at sampling relevant and meaningful language use, apart from encouraging the future learning of English. Since there are limited seats, the library has already opened registrations for the workshop to be organised on July 1.

The idea behind the workshop, as informed by the manager of the library, Mr Sushant Banerjee, is to entice children’s intellect by way of fun-filled learning.

The workshop is meant for children between 8 and 12 years of age.

The focus will be on refining the child’s communication skills in English and boost his confidence at the same time.

Seats will be given away on the first come-first-serve basis.



Major Sagar’s death anniversary today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 24
Floral tributes would be paid to Major Sandeep Sagar on his second death anniversary at his memorial in Sector 8 here tomorrow. The function, to be organised by his parents, would be followed by a prayer meeting in his memory.

While tributes would be paid at 8.15 a.m., the prayer meeting would be held from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. at the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Sector 7. A Sukhmani Sahib path and kirtan would be organised.

Major Sagar was killed in a landmine blast at Naushera in Rajouri district during Operation Vijay in 1999. 



Sweepers Union ends relay fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The 61-day-old relay fast of the Sweepers Union ended with the Sanitation Committee Chairman of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Balraj Singh, and the Medical Officer, Dr G. C. Bansal, offering the fasting sweepers Sant Ram and Dharamvir juice yesterday.

The fast ended after the Municipal Corporation and the union last night signed an agreement in the presence of Mayor Subhash Chawla.



Power-saving inverters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
The inverter industry has emerged as a big challenge to generator-set manufacturers, as the market is now shifting towards low-cost and noise-less inverters. The companies have come up with inverters that could run every sort of appliances, including printing machines, air-conditioners and refrigerators, said Mr Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam Communication Systems Ltd, here today.

Addressing mediapersons, he claimed that Su-Kam had introduced technically superior and affordable inverters in the market based on sine waves, resulting in saving of electricity by 50 per cent. He said their inverters ranged from the capacity of 5 KVA to 40 KVA, costing Rs 3,000 to Rs 6 lakh.

He said Su-Kam was an indigenous company with an annual turnover of over Rs 70 crore. It had a market share of over 50 per cent in the branded market, though 80 per cent of the inverters were still manufactured by local brands. He said Su-Kam had introduced MOSFET technology to increase efficiency.

He added that the company was also exporting its products to various countries like Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines worth over Rs 2.5 crore.



Tenant-traders form association
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 24
In a move to counter the Rent Act, tenant-traders here yesterday took a decision to form a Commercial Tenant Association. The association will be a ‘ non- political’ body.

Over 50 representatives of the traders, at a meeting held yesterday, chose Mr Arvind Jain as chairman of the association. According to a press note issued by Mr Jain, the association will provide the services of lawyers to the affected traders. The next meeting of the association will be held on June 26 at which an executive committee comprising representatives of various market welfare associations will be formed. Mr Jain has also appealed to the Industries Association of Chandigarh to join hands with them.

Mr Jain, who is also the president of the Vyapar Sadan, said the fundamental right of the tenant-traders under the Rent Control Restriction Act, 1949, had been withdrawn by the UT Administration through the Rent Control Act notification. 


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