Saturday, June 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Date for admission forms over
Panjab University yet to declare BA (III) results
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Students seeking admissions to various departments of Panjab University, particularly the streams of arts and languages, are going to face moments of anxiety before their interviews early next month.

The reason is that today was the last date for submitting their admission forms. The university has not declared the result of BA III till date. This means that admission forms are incomplete which in turn means that the university cannot work out the merit list of the students until they get the results. Students will have to wait for the declaration of the result and later for their detailed marks cards. Sources said the university had sought legal opinion on extending the last date for submission of forms but had been suggested against the move.

The university has issued a circular, saying that the result of BA III will be available to students on June 29. “To help students collect their detailed marks cards, Principals of the colleges are requested to send a messenger with an authority letter to collect their DMCs from the office of the Joint Controller of Examination on June 30.”

Similarly, Chairpersons of teaching departments are “requested to send their messengers along with an authority letter”. Earlier, the results were dispatched directly to the colleges.

Students, who appeared as private candidates, have been asked to approach the Joint Controller’s office personally on June 30 with their admit cards or their absence with any other proof with an attested photograph.

There is no denying the fact that this is giving students the moments of anxiety, who would first wait for the result and then rush to their colleges for DMCs. The copies of the cards will have to be submitted to the teaching departments concerned on the campus within time.

A senior faculty member said the university had done a commendable job in speeding up the pace of results. However, this meant nothing till the schedule was matched with the subsequent schedule of admissions. In case the university felt a need to reschedule result dates, a corresponding announcement should be made about the change in the admission schedule.

Teaching departments remained opened till late evening today. However, this hardly meant anything without the detailed marks list of BA III. Dharmender Balhara, president of the Haryana Students Association, said a memorandum in this regard had been submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and if the university failed to extend the date, an agitation would be launched.

The section of students, going to be affected by the delay in the marks sheets, is the one categorised as ‘Result Awaited’. Without their credits in examination, they stand no chance of admissions to higher classes. 



Proposal to re-employ awardee UT cops
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Taking a clue from the decision of the Haryana Government to grant two years extension in service to the recipients of President’s Police Medal, the Chandigarh Police is contemplating re-employ its personnel.

After receiving a communication from the Director General of Police, Haryana, regarding the decision to extend the service for two years of its officials decorated with gallantry and distinguished award and one-year extension to the recipients of police medal for gallantry and meritorious service, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chandigarh, Mr Rajesh Kumar, is taking up the matter with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) through the Chandigarh Administration.

The DGP, Haryana, in a comminque to the IGP, Chandigarh, has also stated that the non-gazetted police personnel, beyond the age of superannuation, would also be given this extension provided their physical fitness is up to the mark.

Talking to the Chandigarh, Tribune, Mr Rajesh Kumar said he was taking up the matter with the UT Administration so that it could pursue the matter with the MHA. Any recommendation of the UT Administration regarding the re-employment of its employee has to be cleared by the Union government, said a senior police official.

A senior official said till the Union Government did not grant sanction for additional force, providing re-employment could solve the problem to a limited extent. He said a request for additional men and material was already pending with the Union Government.

On hearing about this development, a ray of hope has emerged among the police personnel. They demand that since the UT police is governed by the Punjab Police Rules, the government could grant special permission to extend the services of the police personnel.

“If a national awardee teacher of the UT Education Department can get extension in service, why the police personnel should not enjoy the same benefit “, said a senior police official.

The proposal to grant re-employment would to benefit some of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSPs) and among other ranks in the city police. The Superintendent of Police, (City), Mr Baldev Singh, the DSP, (Security), Mr Surjeet Singh, DSP, (CID), Mr Jagat Mohan and the DSP, (Communi-cation), Mr Umed Yadav are retiring this year.

At least five Deputy Superintendent of Police have been awarded President’s Police Medal for distinguished services

The SP, (City), Mr Baldev Singh, DSP, SC Abrol, DSP Devinder Thakhur, DSP, SC Sagar and DSP, S.S. Randhawa, have been awarded the President’s Police Medals for distinguished services. Those awarded with the President’s Police Medal for meritorious services are many.



Rates to change SCO floors up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The Chandigarh Administration today enforced a steep hike in the rates fixed for allowing the use of upper floors in the shopping areas for commercial use. The hike varies on the basis of categories and is between 33 per cent and 125 per cent. The hike, sources said, is aimed at bringing about parity for conversions where the upper floors of buildings are used by guest houses.

Sources said the move is aimed at mopping up more revenue for conversion of shop-cum-offices into commercial areas. The hike is expected to bring in an additional Rs 1.5 crore for the Administration. The upper floors of the SCOs could be earlier used only for offices. Last year, the Administration allowed the conversion of upper floors into shopping areas. The conversion fee is calculated on a per square foot basis and the market rentals had driven the hike.

The hotel lobby in the city had been asking the Chandigarh Administration to hike the conversion fee as guest houses which had been closed down in residential areas had moved to commercial areas. This meant that the hotel and restaurant owners who had bid for sites in auctions had paid more while the guest house owners who moved into commercial areas after the change in building byelaws got a better deal.

The upper floors of SCOs (including SCFs converted to SCOs under the rules) meant for office use are allowed, on payment of charges, to be used for a more intensive purpose of shopping (display and sale of goods), restaurants (sale and serving of prepared foods and beverages, including banquet facilities) and lodging houses, provided that such use is allowed under the building rules, byelaws and zoning plans. Where applicable, permission for conversion of trade will have to be obtained separately where necessary.

The entire covered area proposed to be converted on the floor concerned, including stairway, landing etc., is charged. In case the entire floor is not to be converted, the proportionate area of stairway, landing etc. shall be charged.

A total of 20 per cent of the charge is required to be submitted along with the application to the Estate Officer. The balance is payable within 30 days of the issue of permission by the Estate Officer or in four annual equated installments with interest at 10 per cent per annum, compounded annually.

In case the occupier is not the owner, procedures pertaining to the conversion of trade shall be evoked. Under these rules, if the occupant is not the owner, he or she can apply for conversion of trade. The Estate Officer, in this case, will issue a notice to the landlord concerned to tell whether he or she permits conversion of trade or not; or else, the application will have to come with a consent letter (affidavit) of the landlord.

All such applications will continue to come with certified copies of lease deeds, rent notes or agreements showing that the intended use of the premises is with the consent of the landlord concerned.



18 years later, father still longs for son
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

File photo of Randeep with his 10-day-old son
File photo of Randeep with his 10-day-old son.

Panchkula, June 27
Dear son

I want to reach for you

and tell you the reason

for your fatherless childhood...

The angst of a terminally ill father for his 18 -year- old son, who he met only once when the child was born, is reflected in the numerous poems he has written for his son. Hanging between desperation and guilt, 47-year-old Randeep Wadhera’s longing for his son, has only grown with each passing day.

Randeep was forced to let go of his son when his wife walked out on him after he was detected with a crippling disease called ankylosing spondylitis. As he remained bed- ridden for almost 14 years, he was unable to contest either for the custody of his child or get visiting rights. Now, when he is showing signs of improvement (he can stand for about 30 minutes at a stretch and can move about with a walker, though he cannot sit), he wants to reach out to his son.

“I had named him Nishant. I can still smell his sweet body odour when I first held him in my arms. For me it was the most ecstatic feeling and a very proud moment . Eighteen years down the line, I wonder what he looks like and how his baby face would have matured into a man’s face. I get up each morning dreaming of him. They say that when you wake up dreaming of something, your wish is fulfilled. I hope that this comes true for me, “ he says, amidst sobs.

Barely seven months before the birth of his son, he was found to be suffering from excessive calcification of his hip joints and spine. At that time, he was posted in the hill town of Munnar in Kerala as Probationary Officer with State Bank of Travancore. Calcium deposits on his joints restricted his movements and he sought a transfer to a warmer place. Subsequently, he was transferred to Mumbai, but his condition deteriorated.

In the meantime, his wife went back to her parents for her delivery and on February 4, 1985, he was blessed with a son. “ That was the only time I saw him. As my condition worsened, I was admitted to Ayurvedic Hospital, Patiala, and spent a gruelling 16 months there. My wife came to meet me in the hospital only once before we headed for divorce by mutual consent,” he says.

Randeep says that from 1985 to 1998 he was completely bed ridden and thus could not contest for his child’s custody or demand visiting rights. He was also dismissed from service , when he failed to join duty because of his illness. “The guilt for having let go of my son will remain till the day I die. But I want to meet him once, tell him how much I love him. I do not want him to forgive me or be with me, I want him to know that I am alive and wish the very best for him.”

Randeep says that for the past five years he has been looking for his son, but to no avail. Some friends common to the Wadheras’ and his wife’s family had earlier told him that his wife had remarried, but his son was with his maternal grandparents. “I can never make up for the 18 years that I have lost with my son. But he should know that I exist and now that he has turned into an adult, he should make up his own opinion about me” he says.



First monsoon showers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The city wears a green look after a 10 to 12 days’ heat wave with the monsoon arriving in time, in fact three days ahead of the expected date.
The Meteorological Department Regional Director, Mr S.C. Bhan, said the rain today could be considered as that of monsoon.

The timely arrival of the monsoon in the city and Himachal Pradesh has heightened the hopes of a normal rainfall in the city during the monsoon. Last year, the monsoon had been weak in July but compensated for the initial loss in August.

The city recorded 62.2 mm of rainfall till 8 am, which was the highest in the surrounding areas.

The monsoon this year has arrived at least nine days earlier as compared to the last year when it came on July 6. The city had received the earliest monsoon in 1998. It had arrived on June 15. Later than this, it had come to the city on June 22 in 1966.

The monsoon arrived Dehra Dun, Chandigarh and entire Himachal today. The region is likely to receive showers in the next 48 hours.

While Patiala did not receive any rainfall till 8 am, Ambala received 3.1 mm, Amritsar 32.6 mm, Ludhiana 1.2 mm, Panchkula 35.4 mm, Solan 9.6 mm and Kasauli 34.4 mm of rainfall.

The maximum temperature in the city and the surrounding areas has come down to 32.4°C, only a bit higher than on June 23 when the city received the first pre-monsoon rain.

The onset of the monsoon has sent cheers among the officers of the Municipal Corporation, who expect the demand of water to fall drastically in the coming days.

But the corporation is keeping a check on waterlogging in the city. The corporation had got the road gullies and drainages cleaned only a month ago. The corporation said it had not received any report of major waterlogging in the city.

The showers also brought down the SPM level reducing pollution.

The maximum temperature in the city had been below 40°C since June 20 which even came down to 31°C when the city received the first pre-monsoon rains.



Woman held for cheating
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
A woman of SAS Nagar, Saru Singh who runs a beauty parlour at Hotel Shivalik View, Sector 17 here, was arrested by the police from the hotel on charges of cheating a city resident this evening. Her accomplice and business partner, Ravinder Pal has also been arrested from the hotel.

The woman allegedly tried to sell off a disputed property (house no. 603, Phase II, SAS Nagar) to Mr Rahul Khanna of Sector 23 and the latter had paid her Rs 6 lakh as token money.

A team of the SAS Nagar police today raided her beauty parlour and arrested her along with Ravinder Pal Singh.

“In February 2003, I received a letter from PUDA intimating that the house for which no objection certificate (NOC) was applied by Saru is under vigilance enquiry,” informed Mr Khanna, who is into a software business and added, ‘‘when she could not obtain NOC, I asked her to refund my Rs 6 lakh’’.

She allegedly kept dilly-dallying the payment for quite sometime. Mr Khanna was issued a cheque for Rs 6 lakh, dated April 4, 2003 by Ravinder Pal Singh. However, the cheque was dishonoured by the bank concerned for want of funds. A case was registered on a complaint by Mr Khanna in police station, Phase I under Sections 465, 467, 468, 420 and 120B of the IPC.

Saru Singh and Ravinder Pal Singh are business partners in SAS Nagar situated industrial unit. Later, Ravinder Pal again issued a cheque for Rs 6 lakh to Mr Khanna but it was dishonoured.

It is learnt that the house was originally owned by Saru’s husband, Mr Shingara Singh, who had settled in Britain since 1993. He had given a general power of attorney for this house to his elder brother, Mr Piyara Singh.

She had allegedly forged documents of the house and got the house registered in her name in 1999.



Traders’ turn to shed clothes!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The newly formed Commercial Tenants Association today held a unique demonstration against the rent Act by wearing neckties over shorts and vests and standing silently holding placards on Jan Marg dividing sectors 16 and 17. As many as 250 traders, arrived in cars and parked their vehicles in a row. They stood along the road while not becoming a hindrance in the traffic movement.

The association asked the Administration under what constitutional authority it had amended the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, on November 7 last year. Chandigarh, being a Union Territory is under the Central Government and all amendments to acts are in the jurisdiction of Parliament.

A minor altercation also took place between the traders and a senior police official. The traders sent a fax to the UT Administrator seeking the transfer of the DSP, Mr Subhash Sagar, alleging that they had been treated as goondas, terrorists or law breakers by him.

Meanwhile a meeting of the association was held today at Gulati Bhavan, Sector 33, attended by 272 traders from different markets. The executive committee was formed with representations from all sector-level markets.

The executive decided that any member who missed three consecutive meetings would be replaced by other members. The following have been elected as members of the executive committee: Mr Bhushan Kumar, Mr Virender Kapoor, Mr Anil Diwan, Mr Iqbal Rai Gulati, Mr Sanjay Abbot, Mr Ruchit Mahajan, Mr Hans Raj, Mr B.L. Bajaj, Mr Deepak Mittal, Mr Arvinder Pal Singh, Mr Baljit Singh, Dr R.P. Sabharwal, Mr Prithvi Raj, Mr Hans Raj Aggarwal, Mr Prem Kishore, Mr P.S. Kalsi, Mr Prem, Mr Anup Gupta, Mr Daljit Arora, Mr Luxmi Narayan Bansal, Mr Sachdeva and Mr Amarjit Singh.

The association asked how the Acts passed by Parliament could be changed at the level of the Chandigarh Administration.



Avoid infighting, Cong councillors told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Concerned about the party’s declining public image due to the conduct of Congress councillors, particularly after the much-hyped Chandigarh Club episode involving Mr Subash Chawla, Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the Congress high command has asked its party councillors to concentrate on work and avoid infighting.

After going through the details of the Chandigarh Club episode, the party high command has directed the party workers and councillors, in particular, to concentrate on work and pay heed to the aspirations of the local people. The development works in the city have been hampered during the past couple of months due to the issue of privatisation of sanitation and the controversy involving the Mayor.

The UT Administration’s recent drive against encroachments with the help of the municipal corporation staff was another issue taken up by the party. The administration took the help of the municipal corporation staff without seeking permission from the elected body.

The confrontation on the issue led to organisation of a massive rally by the Congress against the UT Administration, early this month. Political observers say the exercise was meant to show the party’s mass base in the city

To regain the party’s image, the Mayor has chalked out an elaborate touring plan of along with his team of councillors to review the ongoing development works in the city and look into the problems of the city residents. He will start his touring campaign from Sector 40 and 39 on Saturday morning. The local councillor, Deputy Mayor, Ms Geeta Chaudhary, the Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj and senior officials of different departments of the municipal corporation will accompany him to look into the problems of the local residents.

Meanwhile, the Mayor has instructed all officials of the municipal corporation to speed up the pending development works. A meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) has been scheduled for Monday after a gap of more than two months. Usually, the meeting of the committee is organised twice a month.

The Mayor, who is also the Chairman of the committee, has prepared one of the biggest-ever agendas of the F&CC taken up in the past few years with a total of 26 items to be discussed.

The main agenda to be taken up at the meeting includes permission to hold yoga and martial arts classes at different community centres, recarpeting of roads in various sectors, preparation of estimates for strengthening the solid waste disposal system by tapping the rain water from the catchment area of railway land at Charan Singh Colony and Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran (Phases-I, II and III), provision of a storage room at the cremation ground, purchase of summer uniform articles for the employees, privatisation of slaughter house, replacement of trunk radio sets with mobile phones for the field staff of the municipal corporation, etc.



‘Name councillors involved in brawl’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Mayor Subhash Chawla’s bete noire in the party Chander Mukhi Sharma yesterday fired a salvo at Mr Chawla asking him to name the councillors who accompanied him to the Card Room of the Chandigarh Club on the day when an alleged brawl took place.

In a letter to the Mayor, Mr Sharma said it would be appropriate for him to name the two councillors who accompanied him on the day to avoid bringing other councillors of the Congress, the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, the BJP and the nominated ones under the needle of suspicion.

The letter of Mr Sharma, also a general secretary of the party who was amongst the signatories to demand a meeting to the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee to discuss the alleged brawl of the Mayor with a lawyer, Mr Satbir Singh Goripuria, has apparently tried to nail down the Mayor who asked the same question to the BJP councillors when Ms Kamla Sharma alleged that a few councillors had benami contracts of paid parking.

Mr Chawla had objected to the allegations on the ground that if the councillor or councillors were not named, others councillors would be under suspicion.

Mr Sharma’s letter says Mr Goripuria had alleged in his complaint that he was bashed up by two councillors accompanying the Mayor at a the press conference on June 21.

Mr Sharma quoted the Mayor having told journalists at the press conference that he would reveal the names of the councillors at an appropriate time. Mr Sharma said it was an appropriate time to reveal the names to save the prestige of the House.

Mr Sharma is apparently preparing the ground for the Mayor to be uncomfortable in the next House meeting if the same question is asked by the BJP.

Mr Chawla, however, seemed a little relieved after his mentor and local MP Pawan Bansal reached the city from Pakistan.

The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president B.B. Bahl, who had announced to ascertain the facts, said the party had not yet decided as to when the meeting demanded by the Territorial Congress Committee members would be held.

Mr Bahl also indicated that no inquiry into the matter had yet been held as promised after the reported incident involving the Mayor.

When asked, Mr Bansal said he was yet to ascertain the facts and the issue of calling the meeting was to be decided by the party president.

Sources, however, revealed that Mr Bansal did not seem convinced about the allegations against the Mayor but would take some time to decide.



MC to discuss shifting of Ranbaxy
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 27
A proposal to consider the demand of Mohali village residents to shift Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd from the residential area of the town is on the agenda of a municipal council meeting scheduled to be held on June 30. After the fire and blast incident at Ranbaxy on June 11, Mrs Daljit Kaur, municipal councillor of Mohali village, adjoining the factory, had given a written representation to the president of the civic body emphasising that the council should think about the safety of the residents of the town who were exposed to danger because of the unit being run in the residential area. The complaint was sent to the station fire officer of the local fire brigade to give a report on the matter.

Another item on the agenda relates to the implementation of the revised water and sewerage charges announced by the government. The meeting is also likely to take a decision on hiking the fee paid to the civic body by the cable TV operators. This fee is currently Rs 1,500 per year per cable operator. There are 30 cable operators in the township and according to the municipal council chief, the fee should be increased following a hike in the customer charges by these operators.

Installation of new sewerage lines in Matour village will also be taken up during the meeting in accordance with a decision taken during a joint meeting with the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) under the chairmanship of Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, and deputy speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha. It was decided that the municipal council should take immediate steps to install new sewerage lines in the village. The municipal council will also be discussing clearance of routine maintenance works worth Rs 15 lakh to be undertaken by the Public Health and Welfare Board of the township.



He saved colleague’s life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
It was sheer bravery and presence of mind on the part of Mr S.P. Singh, production officer at the pharma plant of Ranbaxy Laboratories, that saved his life as also that of his colleague on the fateful day when the plant was rocked by a powerful explosion followed by a devastating fire.

Five persons died in the accident. According to Mr S.P.Singh, the toll could have been higher, but for the training they constantly undergo at the plant to handle such situations. He recalls that he was on night duty and had taken a short break to have a glass of water when the explosion took place. “I immediately dived to the ground and started rolling to one side. I began shouting warnings about the fire. Suddenly I heard a voice from a room. It was my colleague, Vijay Dutt, who was trapped in a room whose door would not open because it was jammed due to the explosion.

“After some struggle, I succeeded in opening the door and rescuing Vijay Dutt. We climbed to the roof of the room from where Vijay Dutt managed to reach safety. However, I fell about 12 feet while trying to flee in a cable tray and suffered a fracture in the right leg.”

He is now convalescing in Fortis Hospital and is expected to be discharged next week.



Slum-dwellers’ flats for over Rs 1.60 lakh
Tribune News Service

Saturday,  Sunday open

A counter of the Colony Branch, Estate Office, will remain open on June 28 and 29 (Saturday and Sunday) to facilitate the rehabilitation of the displaced slum dwellers of Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Colony, Peer Colony and Palsora Colony.

Chandigarh, June 27
The Chandigarh Administration today said the cost of a dwelling unit for slum dwellers under the rehabilitation scheme will be between Rs 1.60 lakh and Rs 1.80 lakh. The allottee will be given the one-room tenement through a draw of lots. Twenty per cent of the cost of dwelling unit will be required to be paid before taking possession. The remaining will be paid in installments spread over 15 years.

This is the first time that the Administration seems to have admitted that there is a premium for one-room flats which are not bigger that 350 to 400 square feet in size. Earlier, the allotments used to be for free or at negligible costs. The new lot of tenements have been constructed in Sector 56.

The allottees will have to deposit the money with the Chandigarh Housing Board before taking possession of the tenement, the Estate Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, said.

The eligible slum dwellers have to collect the proforma of Form ‘A’ and resubmit in the form of an affidavit giving details of their names, present address, permanent address, date of residing in the labour colony along with proof of ration card or voter identity card number, certificate of not owning any freehold or leasehold residential site or accommodation etc. They will have to submit a duly attested affidavit by a first class magistrate to the Estate Office which will process their claim and pass it on to the Chandigarh Housing Board so as to provide them one-room units.

Sources, meanwhile, pointed out that the Administration was in the process of finalising modalities as to who will finance the flats for slum dwellers.



Adulterated diesel leads to snags
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Parts of the engines of a Ford Ikon and a Tata 407 developed snags after water was allegedly pumped in their fuel tanks along with diesel at the lone IBP-owned and run filling station in Sector 33 here today.

The complaints of the customers, Mr Pawan Saini driving a month-old Ford Ikon bearing registration number CH 29 T 429 and Mr Shashikant Sharma, owner of the Tata 407 bearing registration number HR 39 2983, resulted in the supply to the filling station being suspended for the entire day.

The IBP Deputy Manager, Marketing, Mr Rakesh Sharma, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the fuel pump of the mini truck had developed some problem due to the entry of water and the company was ready to get it repaired.

Mr Sharma said the service engineers of the company were called to get the entire unit examined and determine as to how water may have entered the supply tank. The Ford Ikon remained stranded for the entire day a couple of hundred metres away from the filling station as by the time the local unit of the IBP got authorisation for repairs from its DGM in Delhi, the workshop of the company had closed.

The Manager of the filling station, Mr Jagmohan Singh, himself went to the local office of the company to get in touch with the DGM.

Mr Rakesh Sharma said though the company’s service engineers had reached the filling station for an investigation, it could not be done because of a protest by Mr Saini. Both customers were demanding a compensation for the loss, including their inability to attend to their scheduled work.

Mr Saini and Mr Shashikant Sharma alleged that their vehicles had developed problems after they got the tanks of their vehicles filled with diesel.

Mr Shashikant Sharma said when his vehicle developed a problem, his driver got another five litres of diesel from the outlet and its colour was not matching that of the usual colour of the fuel. Mr Rakesh Sharma said the outlet stopped supplying diesel to the customers after selling 1443.2 litres of diesel and only two of the customers had reported problems. Still, the company was prepared to get the vehicles of the customers repaired.

He, however, said only particles of water could come out of the filling machine.

The Deputy Manager said water was kept in the storage tank to make sure that pumps did not suck silt which was likely to gather at the bottom of the tank.



‘Media can help solve problems of disabled’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 27
The problems being faced by handicapped persons will come to an end if the media started giving enough attention to this section of society, said Mr Nek Chand, creator of the Rock Garden, while addressing a gathering organised in connection with a national seminar on the Role of Media for the Rehabilitation of Disabled here today.

Mr Nek Chand said the media could play an important role in removing the obstacles that came in the way of the disabled because it could bring the problems being faced by them to the notice of society as well as the government.

The seminar was organised by the National Handicapped Welfare Council in association with Sant Nirmal Dera, Hansali, in connection with the 124th anniversary of Lady Helen Keller.

Mr Ajit Salani, national secretary of the council, demanded that Doordarshan and Akashwani should run separate channels for the handicapped section of society so that they could get the latest information related to them. The artistes among them could get more opportunities to develop the hidden talent in them.

Dr Dharam Pal Rawal, a Professor in Government College, was given the Lady Helen Keller Award-2002, Namita Sharma, a visually impaired musician, was given the Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Honour - 2002 and Mrs Suvarsha Kalra, involved in the study of deaf and dumb children, was given the Miss Salivan Award.



Disabled women’s conference held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
A state-level unemployed disabled women’s conference was organised today by the National Handicapped Welfare Council (NHWC), Haryana, on the occasion of Helen Keller’s 124th birth anniversary. A number of unemployed disabled women from different parts of the state participated in the conference.

The conference was inaugurated by Mr Pawan Diwan Sahni, MLA from Naraingarh. He assured the gathering that the government was sympathetic to the needs of the handicapped, adding that he would plead their case with the government. He said already there was 3 per cent reservation in government jobs for the physically disabled and the state government had increased the scholarship to the disabled children from Rs 100 to Rs 500.

Mrs Bimla Sangwan, Chairperson of the Haryana Women Development Corporation, urged the disabled women to take up vocational and technical training for becoming self-dependent. She assured them of help from her corporation and urged the social organisations and NGOs to come forward for their help.

The senior vice-president of the NHWC, Mr K.C. Wadhawan, presented the disabled women’s demands to Mr Sahni. He also said that a vocational training centre for the physically challenged persons was being set up in Sector 12 here. He said the government should frame a new policy for the handicapped so as to make them self-dependent.



Functions mark anti-drugs day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
A series of functions marked the International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking in the city. The functions were organised jointly by the Chandigarh Police, the Narcotics Control Bureau, World Wide Fund for Mature India, Servants of Peoples Society, Lions Club and Lifeline Society, Chandigarh.

The day began with 150 children, aged between 4 -10 years, participated in a skating competition at the Sukhna lake. The SSP (Headquarters), Mr Virender Singh, flagged off the skating competition and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Rajesh Kumar, gave away the prizes to the winners. The IGP said the city police was aware of the social evil of drug abuse and was taking all the possible measures against it. The SSP (Headquarters) advised the children to involve themselves in sports rather than drugs.

The results of various competitions were as follows: Group I (4-6 years) — boys: Ayush Seth 1, Mudit Dhami 2, Rajnish Rawat 3 and Sahil 4; girls: Apoorva Mittal 1, Dharamvinder 2, Richa Tayal 3 and Karuna 4; Group II (6-8 years) boys: Ayush Goyal 1, Divakar Kapil 2, Gurnoor Singh and Aman 4, girls: Isha Goyal 1, Snkita Lal 2, Gursimar Kaur 3; and Group III (8-10 years) boys : Karan Lamba 1, Rahul Mittal 2, Shiva Thakur 3; girls: Naveen Midha 1, Manveen Kaur 2 and Shefali 3.

In the painting competition organised at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, as many as 350 students from various schools in the city participated. The UT Administrator inaugurated the competition and the Home Secretary gave away the prizes. The results are: Group I (class I to class V) — Simran 1, Shefali Saini 2 and Sahil Juneja 3; and Group II (class VI to class VIII) — Anju Negi 1, Somya Gauri 2 and Simran Kaur 3; and Group III (class IX to class XII) — Ritu Negi 1, Manju Negi 2 and Anshul Sharma 3.

PANCHKULA: A free medical camp was organised by the de-addiction centre at the local Truck Union at Majri Chowk to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The camp targeted the transport workers who are a major risk factor and 38 patients were registered in this camp. They were administered medicines and motivated to continue the treatment on a regular basis. The SDM, Mr Inder Singh, was the chief guest and he asked the transport workers to refrain from driving under the influence of liquor. 



Rallies by cooperative bank staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The employees of the State Cooperative Agricultural Developmental Bank and the Punjab State Cooperative Bank held gate rallies and demonstrations against the anti-employee policies of the state government in front of their bank here today.

The employees demanded withdrawal of a circular of pay parity for the employees of cooperative banks issued on April 17. With the circular coming into force, the employees alleged that their salaries would be reduced by 10 to 20 per cent.

Mr Bua Singh, general secretary of the Punjab State Cooperative Banks Employees Federation (PSCBEF), said that the decision of the state government to bring down the pay structure of the employees of the cooperative banks at par with the government employees was unjustified.

He said that the decision of the government was meant to be applicable to the employees in the public sector undertakings (PSUs). Even the board of directors of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank did not agree with the decision of the government.

Meanwhile, Mr Baljit Singh Kumbra, general secretary of the employees union of Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Developmental Bank, said that they had postponed the call of a complete bandh of June 30 called jointly by the unions of both the cooperative banks following the request of the board of directors.

However, the same has been converted into a pen-down strike for two hours in all the branches of both the banks in Punjab and Chandigarh.

The other demands of the employees include roll back of recommendations of the Vaishnav Committee and clean chit for the cooperative sector from the recommendations of the Disinvestment Commission.



3 killed in road accidents
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Garibdass, June 27
At least three persons were killed in two road accidents in the periphery during the past 24 hours. A 27-year-old labourer, Mullazim Mia, was killed after he was run over by a vehicle. Two other persons were killed when the tractor they were travelling in overturned at 1. 30 am today.

According to information available, Mullazim Mia, was returning home on a bicycle with another labourer, Santosh, when their bicycle was hit by a Tata 407 vehicle near the Chandigarh-Mullanpur barrier. The vehicle also hit a bystander, Deen Bandhu, before it raced ahead. While Mullazim Mia was killed on the spot, the other two received minor injuries.

Meanwhile, the police deployed at the barrier chased the vehicle and arrested the driver, Gurmeet Singh.

In another incident, near Malakpur Tappria village, Manjit Singh and Kuldip Singh were killed when the tractor they were riding turned turtle. The police says that the duo were driving the tractor recklessly, allegedly under the influence of liquor.




The issue of availability of water, its use and management is of immediate importance to India. Most of the urban areas are facing problem of water shortage. Because of global warming climate is becoming warmer resulting in more evaporation and greater use of water. Reckless harvesting of ground water, depletion of forest cover, improper irrigation methods and industrial discharge, which are polluting water resources, are the main reasons for shortage of water in our country. Even at our own homes, we misuse water for it does not cost us much.

To save the nation from grave water crisis we have to act today.

We should stop running taps and in stead first store water in buckets for daily use. We can also contribute in the process by planting more trees in our surroundings. What we need at this stage is generating awareness about water conservation and media has to play an important role in this direction.

Noor Paul, Class VII, St. Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32



PSEB consumer centre planned
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 27
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) proposes to set up a consumer call centre here to bring about efficiency in providing services to residents.

Mr K.S.Sidhu, Additional Superintending Engineer, Operations Division, SAS Nagar , said in press note today that the Chief Engineer, Operations (South), PSEB, Patiala, Mr N.K.Dharmani, had discussed the matter with representatives of various employees’ unions in Ropar yesterday to dispel any misgivings regarding the call centre.



Noon water restores today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The afternoon water supply will be restored from tomorrow after having been officially suspended for five days due to major repair work in Kajauli Waterworks.

Water would be supplied from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. from tomorrow, the Superintending Engineer, Public Health, Municipal Corporation, Mr Swarn Singh Kanwal, said here today.



Held for killing brother 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
The Raipur Rani police has arrested 27-year-old resident of Tabar village Sukhbir Singh on charges of hacking his younger brother to death. Though the incident took place on June 23, it was reported yesterday by the maternal uncle of the victim, Satbir Singh.

It is learnt that Sukhbir Singh suspected his brother Satbir of having illicit relations with his wife. The two brothers had had several fist fights over the issue earlier. On June 23, the accused had a heated argument with his brother and in a fit of rage, Sukhbir picked up an axe lying nearby and attacked Satbir. Satbir then bled to death. A case was registered yesterday.

Suicide bid: Adarsh Prashar (32) reportedly consumed a poisonous substance and attempted suicide this afternoon. She was rushed to the Sector 6 General Hospital, from where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. She is stated to be in a serious condition.

Accident: With rains lashing the region this morning and reducing the visibility, a Maruti car ran into a truck (HR-08-7856) near Saket Hospital in the Chandi Mandir area this morning. Driver Praveen Kumar and his co-passenger Sandeep were seriously injured. A case has been registered.

TIMBER SMUGGLING: The Parwanoo police has registered a case of timber smuggling under the Forest Act.

According to sources, the police laid a trap near Bhoj Nagar in Solan and impounded a truck (HP-7089) which was allegedly carrying smuggled timber. Sources said the police has also raided a timber depot at Kumarhatti and allegedly found irregularities about the dispatch of timber from the depot to the various places. 



2 employees of fire dept beaten up
Tribune News Service

Driver Jagjit Singh, posted at the Dera Bassi fire station
Driver Jagjit Singh, posted at the Dera Bassi fire station, show his injury marks. — Photo Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, June 27
Two employees of the fire services were injured when a group of unidentified persons attacked them with iron rods and sticks at the fire station of Dera Bassi late last night.

The police registered an FIR under Sections 353, 506, 186 and 323 of the IPC today. However, no arrests have been made so far. The employees, leading fireman Shiv Kumar and driver Jagjit Singh, complained that at least 12 persons in a drunken state and armed with iron rods, sticks and sharp-edged weapons had come to the fire station at about 11 pm and alleged that some person, whom they were chasing, had taken shelter in the fire station.

“Although we clarified that we had not given shelter to anybody in the fire station, they forcibly entered the building and searched every nook and corner. After finding no one in the building, they started beating us up with rods and sticks,” they said.

Both employees suffered multiple injuries. They were given medical aid at the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital. 



Contest for customers’ kids
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
As part of its Global Customer Week celebrations, Standard Chartered Bank, the newly opened Chandigarh branch, organised three special events for its customers during the week.
The celebrations that started on June 22, is an effort of the bank to bridge the gap between its staff and customers.

For the children of its customers, the bank today organised “the magic of banking”, a fun-filled and informative session that had lots of activities, games and attractive prizes. In this session the participants learnt to perform simple banking activities like using the ATM, credit cards, saving accounts, etc. They were also be taught basic banking functions.


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