Tuesday, July 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Chaos at PU, students a harried lot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Chaos prevailed at Panjab University as hundreds of students, parents and representatives of various colleges congregated on the top floor of the university’s administrative block to obtain the detailed marks card for BA-III examinations.

While the university authorities had notified that the process for issuing marks cards would start at 9 a.m., the doors of the offices concerned were not opened till 11.30 am. This led to confusion and agitation among those waiting. The university had announced that all private candidates and colleges affiliated to it should collect the detailed marks cards of BA-III, the results of which were declared yesterday, from the university office today.

Although the last date for the submission of forms for admission to postgraduate courses in the university was June 27, the third-year results were declared on June 29.

As students protested against the delay, senior university officials passed the buck to others. Staff at the Controller of Examinations’ (COE) office said the office of the Joint Controller of Examination (JCOE) should have streamlined things, while functionaries at the JCOE’s office said the overall responsibility rested with the COE.

“This shows gaps in the university’s planning and functioning. The result should have been declared before the date for the submission of forms was over,” Mr M.L. Khurana, who was accompanying his daughter, said. “Further, the university should have allowed a few more days to submit forms after the declaration of results, he added.

Students complained that their entry in to the building was restricted. Although they were possessing their identity cards, they were asked to get passes made before being allowed in. They said they had to stand in queues for over an hour to get a pass made. “Its illogical,” remarked Shruti Sharma. “If we have our identity cards then what’s the idea of getting a separate pass made,” she added.

When the office was finally opened there was a mad rush to get in. Initially confusion prevailed inside the office with virtually no work being done. The dealing clerks found it difficult to handle the crowds. Such was the situation that the table-top glass on one of the superintendent’s desk broke. Students also complained that there was no one to guide them. It was only after a couple of hours that the situation became somewhat manageable.


Take re-test or get average marks: PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Even as 20 more answersheets have been reported missing by Panjab University, the students have been given an option to appear for a re-test or get marks awarded on the basis of their average performance. This time the missing answersheets are of BSc III students.

As many as 201 answersheets of BA III functional English paper were reported to have be ‘misplaced’ by university functionaries earlier this week. A one-man inquiry commission, comprising Prof Veer Pal of the Department of Laws, has been appointed to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the police has lodged a DDR following a complaint by the Controller of Examinations. Police sources said since the university authorities had stated that the answersheets had been ‘misplaced’ and not stolen, no cognisable offence could be made out and hence no case had been registered.

The answersheets reportedly went missing after a class IV employee of the university was asked to deliver these at the residence of a teacher in Panchkula for marking. The employee has been placed under suspension.

The results of the students affected have been withheld by the university. Although they can apply for admission to university departments by stating in the admission forms that their result is awaited, it is those seeking admissions to other institutions who will suffer.

Though university rules allow answersheets to be transported to teachers’ residence for marking after obtaining permission from the Vice-Chancellor, the issue has been raised a number of times in the university’s Syndicate and Senate meetings.


Traffic management to go hi-tech
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Traffic management in the city is all set to go hi-tech. The Chandigarh Administration plans to install an automated system at three important traffic signal points in the city. This system will decide on its own about the duration of time to be allowed for traffic moving in one direction at a traffic signal. The decision will be made automatically on the spot and on seeing the volume of traffic moving in a particular direction.

A radar installed at the traffic signal point will tell about the volume of traffic and correspondingly, the system will change the time allowed for the passage of traffic. The radar has inbuilt capability to guide the timing of the traffic signal.

At present, traffic signals operate at fixed timings and cannot be changed depending upon the traffic, thus allowing for no flexibility. This results in a situation during peak hours when the queue on one side starts getting longer while on the other three or two sides, there is virtually no queue.

The new system called the “traffic-activated signal” will be installed at the traffic signal points at the Government Press, The Transport Area and the Housing Board traffic signal points near Panchkula, respectively. Interestingly, all three traffic signal points are on the road which leads to Panchkula, that has the highest volume of traffic in the city. The entire project will cost no more than Rs 7 lakh.

The Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjeet Singh, while explaining the new system, said the volume of traffic coming into Chandigarh was very high at the Transport Area traffic signal points in the morning. He said the system would adapt accordingly and allow smooth passage.

Sources in the Engineering Wing said keeping in view the traffic density, this system would provide many benefits. This will ensure easier adjustment of traffic signal timings as traffic pattern changes.

The system can adapt in real time to traffic changes and it will not have sudden alterations to disrupt the flow of traffic. The system is capable of automatic and unsupervised operation. 


2 water samples fail test
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
It is official. Students of Government Senior Secondary School in Karsan, along with Sector 52 residents, were drinking impure water, exposing them to the danger of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

The fact was confirmed after samples, collected from the two spots by the UT Health Department authorities, proved that the water they were drinking was contaminated.

The residents, putting up in these areas, are now being warned to boil the water before drinking, besides taking other preventive measures, including the installation of water purifiers.

The failure of the authorities to ensure adequate distance between the pipe lines, carrying sewerage and water, could have caused the contamination, sources asserted.

They added that the pipe lines carrying sewerage and water ran alongside in Sector 52 even though they should have been on the opposite sides of the roads. They maintained that Rs 2 crore were required to re-lay the pipe lines. Interestingly, a cholera case was reported from Sector 52 last year. Though the authorities had initially claimed that steps were being taken to ensure the maintenance of hygienic conditions in the sector, little was apparently done. The results have once again proved true the worse fears of the city residents that water gushing out of taps may not be fit for drinking and could lead to cholera and other diseases.

Meanwhile, Health department officials, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the samples were collected last week. Giving details, they asserted that samples from seven different locations in the southern sectors were initially drawn. While five samples, collected from different colonies, proved that the water was “not infected”, two samples “failed”.

The sources added that the possibility of sewage getting mixed with potable water could not be ruled out. It was also possible that the water was getting infected due to leakage in the main ground lines.

When contacted, the Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation Mr V. K. Bhardwaj, said, ‘’Water samples drawn from the pipelines could not have failed. The reason is not hard to see. We have set up mobile vans for collecting samples from different places to check the leakage”.

He added, “If any kind of leakage is found, we rectify the problem there and then”. The problem, he asserted, stemmed from the fact that hand pumps, being installed by the residents, were puncturing the pipe lines.

Regarding the preventive steps being taken by the authorities, another officer said the collection of water samples had been doubled in all colonies. Samples had also been collected from Vikas Nagar of Mauli Jagran from where the first case was reported. He added that the chlorination levels had also been increased and were being regularly monitored.


Garcha, Bir Devinder play claim game
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 30
One day after the panchayat elections in Punjab, a different numbers game is being played within the echelons of the Congress. Both Ms Lakhvinder Kaur Garcha and Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who represent the Kharar-Mohali belt and are known for their serious personal differences, have stated that each has the support of a larger number of victorious sarpanches from the area.

Both are claiming that over 90 per cent of the victorious sarpanches have showed their allegiance to either of them. It is a claim not possible numerically, unless many of the sarpanches have decided to sit on the fence and show allegiance to both at the same time.

While claims from the Garcha camp of victories of their party workers started pouring in last night, Mr Bir Devinder’s camp today issued a list of ‘their’ sarpanchs, many of whom he said, had come to Chandigarh to meet him and show allegiance. Exactly the same words were used by sources in the Garcha camp, who said sarpanches had come to Mrs Garcha’s kothi and showed their support.

In the Kharar block, elections were held in 123 villages, of which three have been countermanded. Twentyfive villages had chosen their panchayats unanimously earlier, taking the figure of the new sarpanches to 145. The numbers game is rather interesting as both have claimed that over 90 sarpanchs who have won the elections are his or her party workers. Both have, however, issued lists with about 40 names each with many names common to both. Clearly, many sarpanches have decided to show allegiance to both and not get involved in the mutual differences of their leaders, who otherwise belong to the same political party.

Among the 25 villages who chose their panchayats unanimously, Mrs Garcha claimed that over 20 belonged to her camp while Mr Bir Devinder Singh today claimed that many from these villages, too, had shown allegiance to him.

Caught between the two are the sarpanches who are being forced to take sides. Stating that the sarpanches had themselves reached the residence of Mrs Garcha, sources in her camp alleged that Mr Bir Devinder Singh had called his supporters on the phone. On the other hand sources in Mr Bir Devinder Singh’s camp stated that the sarpanches had been coming to him in large numbers since last night on their own.

Talking to TNS, Mr Bir Devinder Singh stated that he had called a panchayat sammelan at Kharar on July 15. ‘‘Every village will have a proper ceremony to mark the taking over of the new panchayat and the outgoing panchayat members will honour the newcomers and hand over the pending tasks in the village to them.’’ he said.

In a press note, Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi, President of the Block Congress Committee, stated that the problems of villagers would be taken up immediately at the higher levels.


Newly elected sarpanches
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 30
Following were declared elected Sarpanches in the Kharar and Majri blocks (village name in brackets): Nirmal Singh (Batta); Meva Singh (Graanga); Malkit Singh (Kheri); Amarjit Singh (Ghoga Kheri); Labh Kaur (Mamupur); Ranjit Singh (Sakrolapur); Amarjit Kaur (Bivipur); Mehma Singh (Rora); Naib Singh (Peer Sohana); Swaran Singh Bagga (Simbalmajra); Sohan Singh (Bajheri); Hari Singh (Chhohar Majra); Dharam Singh (Shaidpur); Surmukh Singh (Chajeri); Ravinder Singh (Bhago Majra); Ujagar Singh (Dharampur); Sohan Singh (Dhara Khurd); Tejinder Singh (Dhara Kalan); Amrik Singh (Dode Majra); Hardeep Kaur (Radiala); Sanjiv Rana (Cholta Kalan); Varinder Singh (Cholta Khurd); Lal Singh (Popna); Gulzar Singh (Tripri); Bhag Singh (Nabipur); Jasbir Kaur (Gabbemajra); Rupinder Singh (Ras Naheri); Sarbjit Singh (Dholemajra); Nasib Singh (Maggar); Sanjiv Kumar (Navan Shahar); Amaninmder Singh (Shafipur); Piara Singh (Bakarpur); Bhajan Singh (Chappar Chiri Kalan); Darshan Singh (Chapar Chiri Khurd); Baljit Kaur (Bariali); Amaninder Singh (Shafipur); Raghbir Singh Bhullar (Dharamgarh); Jaswinder Singh (Sheikhan Majra); Somnath (Gadana); Sucha Singh (Chiau); Labh Singh (Durali); Nichattar Kaur (Nanu Majra ); Labh Singh (Rurka); Ajaib Singh (Kambala); Avtar Kaur (Alipur); Kuldeep Singh (Daidi); Mahinder Singh (Nanakpur); Amarjit Kaur (Midhe Majra); Gurmeet Singh (Mote Majra); Hari Singh (Chatu Majra); Amrik Singh (Chunni Khurd); Balbir Singh (Chunni Kalan).


Addresses on RCs: challaning drive today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
With the deadline to get residential address corrected in the records of the registration authority ending today, the traffic police will start a challaning drive from tomorrow. Nakas will be set up at different places to verify the documents of the motorists.

A police official said it had been observed that owners of vehicles registered with the Chandigarh Transport Authority changed their address without intimating the registering authority. 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 addresses.


Global tenders for IT towers soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Two important decisions have been taken with regard to the Information Technology Park in Kishangarh located on the north eastern tip of the Union Territory.

First, a global tender to appoint a developer for building the IT towers will be floated soon. The developer will build about 6 lakh square feet of space. Second, the Chandigarh Administration has appointed an architect for the entrepreneur development centre to be build by the Chandigarh Housing Board to allow smaller companies to set up their units here on rent.

Sources in the IT sector said for the IT towers the developer would invest all the money while the land will be given by the Chandigarh Administration. The space would be offered by the developer to the companies who wish to be there but do not want a major site on the campus. The same pattern has been followed by IT parks in Bangalore and in Hyderabad. The share of the Administration in earnings from the IT towers would decided on the basis of percentage worked out after calculating the cost of land. Jones Lang Lasalle, consultants of the Administration have given this advice on the mode of selling land and attracting more companies to the IT park.

Meanwhile the entrepreneur development centre will be funded by the CHB. A Chennai-based architect Mr C.R. Narain Rao, has been selected by the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) though a nationwide hunt. This will be two acre campus and have 60,000 square feet of built up space. Small companies can have their offices here. The STPI will also have its office here. The STPI will provide connectivity for the various IT companies here.


‘North-South divide’ must go: Verma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The “North-South divide” with respect to civic amenities must go, said the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, while stating that he would be visiting southern sectors in the near future to understand the gravity of problems being faced by their residents.

Justice Verma made these observations during a meeting with senior officers. He stressed the need for laying more emphasis on the improvement of civic amenities in southern sectors of Chandigarh.

He said civic amenities in southern sectors should keep pace with the increasing population of these areas. The Municipal Corporation should be asked to develop and re-carpet V-4, V-5 and V-6 roads of these sectors expeditiously, he said.

The Administrator asked the Adviser to take necessary steps to ensure that the phase IV of the Kajauli water supply scheme got completed on schedule.

He asked the Adviser to coordinate with the Punjab authorities and also to upgrade the system at Sector 39 in consultation with the Public Health Department of the Punjab Government.

Justice Verma asked the Deputy Commissioner to make a plan for optimum utilisation of landfill sites. Regarding the rehabilitation of eligible squatters, he said the allotment of tenements/sites should be made in the joint name of husband/wife and the Deputy Commissioner should ensure that husband and wife should not get separate units.

Justice Verma asked the Municipal Corporation and the Director, Health Services, to take effective steps to ensure that not even a single case of cholera was detected in the city.

The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, was asked to ensure cleanliness in congested areas, especially in slums.

The Commissioner was asked to ensure the increased monitoring of water supply in these areas.

The Director, Health Services, was asked to take all preventive measures and also to ensure that the sale of exposed cut fruit was curbed in the city. The Director was asked to look into the lone cholera case as reported by newspapers.


Mirpur assn hails PM’s statement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Even 56 years after Pakistan forcibly took over Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), hundreds of them settled in Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar and Kalka have not lost hope of going back to their land of birth.

The revival of the waning hope has come after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee reportedly asserted that a dialogue between India and Pakistan could not be completed without a discussion on PoK.

A meeting of the Mirpur Welfare Association praised Mr Vajpayee’s statement saying they did not even get compensation for the property they lost in the areas that were occupied by Pakistan now.

The association president, Mr Krishan Gupta, pinned his hopes on statements from Prime Ministers despite the international community having favoured converting the Line of Control into a permanent border between the two neighbours.

Mr Gupta said those who had to migrate from Mirpur in PoK had to start their lives from scratch as they had not been given compensation for the immovable property they owned in that area.

Other migrants from Pakistan had been compensated for the properties they had to leave in the areas falling under Pakistan.

The association also condemned the killing of 12 Armymen in Sunjawan of Jammu and Kashmir.


Decision on shifting Ranbaxy kept pending
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 30
A proposal seeking the shifting of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd from the residential area of the town has been kept pending by the House at the Municipal Council meeting held here today.

The president of the civic body, Mr Kulwant Singh, said a letter had been received during the meeting from Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd requesting that before any decision was taken by the House in this regard a team of municipal councillors should visit the factory and check the firefighting arrangements.

A five-member team of municipal councillors, comprising Mrs Daljit Kaur, Mr B.B. Mani, Mrs Indu Sehgal, Mr Sham Bansal and Mrs Manmohan Kaur, has been constituted to inspect the factory and give a report before the next meeting. If need be, a special meeting could also be called to discuss the matter at length.

Mr Birdevinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, and MLA, Kharar, who attended the meeting, said according to some statements in a section of the Press the entire credit for fighting the June 11 Ranbaxy fire was given to the Air Force. But the picture presented by the station fire officer of the local Fire Brigade at today’s meeting proved it otherwise. Statements should be given only after full investigations. He said it was a matter of suspicion as to why all patients of the Ranbaxy fire were shifted to Fortis from other hospitals and the entire control was in the hands of Ranbaxy instead of the government.

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 report on the matter. In the report he had stated that on June 11 a major fire broke out after the blasts and damage had been caused to the buildings in the surrounding areas. He said that the factory stored a lot of explosive and inflammable material which could prove dangerous to human life and property in case of accident.

Another proposal relating to the implementation of the revised water and sewerage charges announced by the government was kept pending by the House. A number of councillors said the water and sewerage charges had already been hiked in the town about two years ago and another increase would put an additional financial burden on the residents. Mr Amrik Singh Mohali said essential services should be provided at subsidised rates while Mr Sham Bansal said that rates should be revised only after providing satisfactory services to the residents.

The meeting decided to hike the fee paid by cable TV operators to the civic body from Rs 1500 to Rs 5000 per year. There are 30 cable operators in the town.

A number of councillors made complaints to the president that employees of the octroi contractor were harassing residents of the town now and then and were forcing them to make unnecessary payments. Several examples were brought to the notice of the president.


Car key keeps police at sea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The case of finding of a car key in a burgled house in Sector 7 of Panchkula — which the Panchkula police suspected to have belonged to Ms Kulwant Kaur, a Sector 19 resident of Chandigarh — took a new turn today. The key with same numeric code (18738) also belongs to the owner of the burgled house, Mr H.S. Chhabra, a Superintending Engineer with the Punjab State Electricity Board.

In fact, there are two different sets of keys with the same numeric code. The car manufacturer repeats the numeric code of the keys after every one lakh vehicles. The fact was revealed by officials at Joshi Auto Zone, Industrial Area, Phase II, to the Panchkula police.

The same numeric code had been issued to a Maruti Zan (LX) model in 1999 and again to a Maruti Zen (LX ) model in 2002. The truth came to light after verification of the sale documents of the two vehicles in possession with Joshi Auto Zone — the agency which sold the vehicles. The car owned by Mr Chhabra has already been sold.

After finding a car key during search operations in the burgled house on June 28, the police approached Joshi Auto Zone. The key found in the Panchkula house bore Joshi Auto Zone’s key ring.

Earlier, the police had approached the Sector 19 resident saying that the Maruti car (CH 03 K 6456) owned by the family had been used in the burglary in the Sector 7 house in Panchkula.

The Panchkula police had come to the Sector 19 residence and told Mr Ramandeep Singh, husband of the owner of the vehicle, that a key in the possession of the police had a numeric code that matched with the numeric code of their car keys.

Mr Jai Pal, in charge of the Sector 7 police post, Panchkula, told the TNS that they had gone to the Sector 19 house in Chandigarh only after getting the address of the vehicle owner from Joshi Auto Zone. Officials at Joshi Auto Zone had matched the numeric code on the key with their records and found that the owner was Ms Kulwant Kaur of Sector 19. But they dug out their old record and found out that the keys with the same numeric code had been issued to two cars by the manufacturer.


SAS Nagar-Zirakpur road inundated 
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 30
For commuters on the SAS Nagar-Zirakpur road via Jagatpura and Kandala, rain had brought more than just slush. The road is submerged with over two-foot-deep water at a 200-metre stretch near Kandala village, where rainwater has collected as a boundary wall is barricading the flow of water away from the road. The condition of the road, according to a commuter, is already very bad and with water inundating the surface, the patch had become a traffic hazard. ‘‘We cannot see the potholes. As a result, two or three two-wheeler drivers fall and injure themselves,’’ he said.


Book chemist, demands boy’s father
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 30
High drama was witnessed at a chemist’s shop in Phase VII here this evening after a resident alleged that his son was being supplied corex, a H-scheduled drug, by the chemist. The police was called and an investigation into the matter has started.

The complainant, Rajinder Singh, stated that his son had recently been cured of his addiction to the cough syrup but he could feel from his son’s behaviour that he was still taking the drug. Rajinder Singh started following his son, Sunny, and his friends, Raja and Ravi, last week and today when Raja went to the chemist shop, he caught him buying two bottles of the syrup. Sunny was standing in the market at a distance, waiting for Raja to come back.

Rajinder Singh raised the alarm and cry in the market, following which the police was called to the place. The shopkeeper admitted that he had sold two bottles to the boy but said the latter had told him that his grandfather was very ill and needed the medicine urgently.

The shopkeeper told the police that the boys had come for the medicine yesterday also with the same excuse, and he had sold one bottle to them. He claimed that the boys said today that the bottle they had bought yesterday had broken.

Rajinder Singh has complained to the police and asked it to book the chemist who was selling a scheduled drug without the proper prescription of a doctor.


13-yr-old boy falls off train
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
A 13-year-old boy mysteriously fell off a train in the Chandimandir cantonment area last night. The unconscious boy was picked up by some army personnel and handed over to the police.

He was taken to the General Hospital here, last night. He has received injuries on head, face, legs and arms.

The doctors treating him at the hospital said he was still in a state of shock and was unable to reveal much about his family and home.

The boy has stated his name as Vinay and that he is 13 year old. He has not been able to tell the police whether if he was thrown off the train by someone or if it was an accident.

He revealed that his father’s name was Pappu and mother’s name was Saroj.

He said that he ran away from his home at Nangloi colony in Delhi after a fight with his parents.

He has also told the police that he had boarded the train at Kalka.


HUDA to station staff at roundabout
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
Rehris parked all around the Sector 7/8/17/18 roundabout in the township, disrupting the smooth flow of traffic, will now be a thing of the past. Beginning today, the Enforcement Wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority has deputed five of its employees permanently at the roundabout to ensure that the fruit vendors do not converge here.

It is learnt that the Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat, had asked the Estate Office to take appropriate steps in this regard after the police had washed its hands off by refusing to take responsibility of removing the rehris.

It may be noted that the Enforcement Wing of the Estate Office and the police had locked horns over the issue of removal of rehris. The staff members will be deployed at the roundabout from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.


Reliving historic day of their early 20s

BACK they went to Dehra Dun to relive the historic day of their early 20s when they stepped into the famous Chetwode Hall at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) for the pipping ceremony 50 years ago. They were the officers of the 11th IMA Course who came to their alma mater along with their spouses from all over the country to celebrate the golden jubilee.

Of the 181 officers who passed out from this course on June 20, 1953, six, 25 and 32 had risen to the ranks of Lieut-Gen, Maj-Gen and Brigadier, respectively.

Interestingly, Lieut-Col Raj Kapoor, after taking premature retirement in 1977, strode into Bollywood and produced a few serials, including “Fauji”. His wife Usha Kapoor (Ma Prem Usha) is a well known Tarot-card reader.

Meeting after 50 years, the veterans nostalgically recalled their days of hard training, pack drills and occasional fun. Their wives were no less thrilled to hear the invigorating stories of the youthful days of their husbands. The three day reunion was packed with a hectic schedule including golden jubilee dinner at which, the chief guest, Lieut-Gen T.S. Shergill, Commandant of the IMA, was presented with a trophy by the course officers.

An entertainment programme in which, among other items, Dr (Mrs) B.K. Pannu “Parwaz” presented a golden jubilee song and a poem on Kargil, was highly appreciated. She also presented three of her Urdu poetry books to General T.S. Shergill. Lieut-Col A.S. Berar also presented a book on his Mansarover trip to the Commandant.

Pension adalats

With the aim of settling the outstanding pensionary problems of the retired defence personnel an institution called “Defence Pension Adalat” was started in 1988, under the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). In 15 years of its existence, the CGDA has held only 56 pension adalats all over the country. The last one was held in Chandigarh the other day and was attended by about 100 pensioners from Chandigarh, SAS Nagar, Panchkula and surrounding areas.

Mr P.J. Mathews, Deputy Secretary (Pensions), Ministry of Defence, inaugurated the pension adalat, in which two war widows were given cheques towards the payment of their revised special family pension. Besides, the widow of a Wing Commander was given her Pension Payment Order (PPO). Of the 48 cases brought before the pension adalat, only nine were settled on the spot.

Holding of pension adalats after a gap of a few years in each state, does not serve any useful purpose because many veterans with unsettled cases fade away during the intervening period. Their pensionary problems have to be attended to on priority basis so that they get their dues during their life time.

Moreover, in this age of information technology, we should switch over to the website, which in this case is www.pedapensionsnic.in to get the latest information about our entitlements. The defence pensioners of Chandigarh and surrounding areas should also make full use of the ex-servicemen helpline, which is functioning round-the-clock in Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, to settle their problems expeditiously.

Clarifications on health scheme

A number of doubts have been clarified about the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) in our last column on June 25. Some more questions raised, have been answered here under.

Can a patient exercise his choice to go to any empanelled hospital in the station? Yes. In case, the treatment is not available in the same station, the ECHS member can go to any empanelled hospital in India by travelling at his own expense. Will an ECHS member get re-imbursement for any treatment that he gets while he is in a foreign country? No provision has yet been made for this. Can a heart patient opt for treatment in Escorts Hospital? The option of the patient will be given due consideration by the medical officer at the polyclinic, provided this heart institute is among the empanelled hospitals.

Will an ex-serviceman, who does not become a member of ECHS, be entitled to the same medical facilities that he is getting now? Yes. But a non-member in addition to himself, will be entitled to the treatment of only his spouse and dependent children. The priority for treatment at service hospitals will be in the following order: serving personnel, ECHS members and then the other ESM or non-ECHS members, subject to the bed strength and availability of treatment in the hospital.


NGO volunteers visit Colony No. 4
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
Volunteers of the Society for Education in Health and Allied Training, an NGO, visited Colony Number 4 here and met about 2,000 residents with a view to create awareness about HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted infections.

The target audience was residents in the age group of 15 to 49 years. Two camps were also held for conducting free diagnosis and providing treatment. Condoms were distributed free of cost.


Water our saviour

IT is most distressing to note that after more than half-a-century of Partition of India, we have not been able to provide potable water to quench the thirst of millions. It is further disheartening to note that only 1% of the available water is worth drinking. It is for the state to make provision on priority.

The unfortunate part of the issue which applies to all of us is that we shouldn’t waste a drop of water. Certain measures, if taken strictly, will go a long way to conserve water. Some of the measures which we can take are as follows.

Prevention of wastage: Any public tap found running should be closed immediately on detection. Cars should not be washed everyday and taps should not be left running while washing utensils and brushing our teeth. Not more than a bucket should be used while bathing.

Rain water should be harnessed: Harnessed rain water can be used for irrigation of flower beds and even rinsed water of washed clothes can be reused after it gets settled for some time.

Eucalyptus trees should not be planted: An eucalyptus tree throws out 80 litres of ground water everyday and thus starves us of drinking water.

Jashan Uppal, Class VIII
YPS, Mohali


Servant verification drive launched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
The sector-19 police yesterday carried out a verification drive of servants and tenants in Sector-19 and 12A.

The police asked the employers and landlords to fill the verification rolls and submit the same to the police. 


2 CTU employees arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Chandigarh Police today arrested two employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), on charges of issuing driving licences illegally during their deputation period in the office of the Chandigarh Transport Registration Authority. The suspects, Surat Singh and Ramesh, had allegedly issued at least 48 driving licences in the year 2000.

Inquiries revealed that the suspects were deputed along with the Motor Vehicle Inspector to check the driving ability of the applicants. In connivance with some middlemen, the duo made fake entries in registers to issue licences.

A case under Sections 420, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 police station.

Assault case

Mr Mukesh Kalra, a resident of Sector 23, has reported that Vipin Handa, Dr Vinod Kalra and Rupesh Handa assaulted him and snatched his gold chain and purse containing Rs 3,500 in Sector 23. A case has been registered under Sections 323, 325 , 356 and 34 of the IPC.

One held

Mr Inderjit Singh, a resident of Sector 33, reported that his bicycle was stolen by Mohan Singh from outside his residence on Sunday night. The suspect has been arrested.

In another case, Rajiv Bhat, a resident of Sector 22, reported that someone stolen his bag from his car on Monday night. A case has been registered.


Canadian held for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A Canadian national was arrested by the police while trying to encash ‘lost’ traveller’s cheques worth $ 500 at an authorised money changer in the city.

The accused, John Thomas, an employee of the Cargo Timber company in Canada, was nabbed when officials at Thomas Cook in Sector 9 here discovered that he was trying to encash traveller’s cheques listed as having been lost in the UK.

A resident of Ontario, Thomas had landed in Chennai on May 25 and reached Chandigarh two days ago.

According to the police, the traveller’s cheques belonged to Mr Jagtar Singh, an Indian residing in Canada, who had lost them while he was holidaying in the UK in early May. A report to this effect was lodged with the UK police on June 4 by Mr Jagtar Singh.

The police has registered a case against Thomas under Sections 403, 420 and 511 of the IPC and will produce him in the court tomorrow. The SSP here has also informed the Canadian High Commission, New Delhi, about the arrest of Thomas.


Cash, jewellery stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
Cash, gold ornaments and other valuables were stolen from a Sector 4 house of a taxi operator yesterday. The thieves had reportedly broken into the house from the main door while the family was away to Anandpur Sahib.

The theft came to light around 4 p.m. when Mr Malwinder Singh and his family returned home. They found that the lock on the main door was broken and it was open. Moreover, the locks of all doors in the house had also been broken and the house ransacked.

Their gardener who had also reached there by then, when questioned said he had come to the house on Saturday to work on the front lawn and found everything in order. He said yesterday being a Sunday, he did not come.

The family immediately called the police and a dog squad was pressed into service.


Austech signs pact with Australian society
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
The Australian Computer Society (ACS), a member of the Australian Council of Professions, today entered a tie-up with Austech International Campus (India), to represent and conduct ACS programmes in India.

The ACS is a society for IT practitioners in Australia besides being a professional body authorised by the Australian government to conduct skill assessment for migration purposes.

Making the tie-up public at a press conference at Austech India campus in Sector 35 here, Dr David Lindley, chief examiner, ACS, Australia, said the ACS programmes carried out by Austech here would cater to the needs of a highly sophisticated knowledge-based economy and would provide a strong base to the students planning to pursue higher education abroad in information technology.

“There are a few gaps between the Indian system of education and the Australian system. Now with Austech India conducting ACS programme here, the gap will be bridged,” said Lieut-Col H.I.S. Virk, CEO, Austech India. The collaboration aimed at advancing professional excellence in information and communication technology to a number of leading universities in Australia like RMIT University, Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, Charles Sturt University and the University of South Australia, he said.

Elaborating the differences in IT education in the two countries, Mr Lindley said a typical Indian IT graduate was highly engineering oriented. “Information technology is not just about technology, but is a human discipline and hence needs a humanitarian approach based on ethics and morale,” he said.

Austech India, which has completed three years in the city, conducts eight-month and one-year bridge courses for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in information technology, respectively, before sending students for further studies at various Austech International institutes abroad. “After this tie-up any student enrolled for any of the Austech courses here will have a provisional membership of the Australian Computer Society,” he said.

Mr Lindley also interacted with students. Austech India will also organise an open session for students at Mountview hotel tomorrow in which Mr Lindley and Mr Joseph P. Docherty, chairman of the ACS, will answer students’ queries.


BSNL offers free connection
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
The Punjab circle of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has offered a free Cellone ( mobile phone) connection with every new Cellone registration from July 1.

Under the new Cellular Mobile Post-paid Cellone Promotional Scheme, BSNL will not charge the activation fee of Rs 200 for the free connection. According to a press note issued here today, free talk time of Rs 200 (spread over four months) will also be given on the first Cellone connection. The scheme will be open till July 31.

For getting a new Cellone connection, the existing BSNL landline customers will have to pay Rs 200 and the second connection will be free as security and activation charges have been waived off. In case of non-BSNL landline subscribers, a payment of Rs 1,200 (Rs 1,000 security and Rs 200 activation charges) will have to be made for the first connection (without STD\ISD facility). However, in these cases also the second connection will be free.



New range of cosmetics: Lakme has launched a wide range of ‘new look’ water colour range of cosmetics. The new product range includes fresh water colour liptints, lipsticks, nail colour, liquid blush and twist-up eye pencils in different shades. Renowned cosmetologist Shobha Sehgal, who was in the city to give demonstration of new products, said Lakme was also planning to introduce four new facial service innovations, including intense glow facial, energising facial, toning facial and ageless facial. OC

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