Wednesday, July 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tribune Impact
Panjab varsity MSc (IT) results today
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

What students demand

Students have requested the authorities to declare the process of advertisements and interviews conducted by the UT Education Department null and void and direct the UT to reschedule the interviews after the declaration of results of MSc (IT) students by Panjab University. The authorities may also withhold the results of the interviews already held and hold fresh interviews of candidates earlier declared ineligible. Thereafter, a consolidated list of meritorious candidates should be declared, they said.

Chandigarh, July 15
Responding to the July 13 news report in which the Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted how 150 MSc (Information Technology) students had to suffer due to the failure of Panjab University to declare results, the university has decided to declare the results four days ahead of schedule. Concerned over the future of students who were not accommodated during interviews for the posts of lecturers held in the city on July 12, the university today notified that the results of MSc (IT) examination, earlier scheduled to be declared on July 20, will now be declared tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the students have forwarded representations to the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, and the Education Secretary, UT, demanding immediate intervention lest they lose an employment opportunity.

While the university has decided to declare the results of 150 students at the earliest, the UT Administration’s decision is awaited. The DPI, Colleges, was not available for comment today.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the students said their future would be jeopardised unless the Administration helped them. They said it was ironical that the university’s own students were not being considered for posts of lecturers required in colleges affiliated to it.

In their representation, the students have stated, “Had the DPI, Colleges, or the UT Education Department taken a little more care, they could have cross-checked with the universities running MSc (IT) courses whether the results had been declared. This exercise would have given the UT officials enough reason to advertise the posts and hold interviews a few days later. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Msc (IT) curriculum of PU has drawn the best course curriculum among the universities of the country having this course.” The representation has been signed by Mr Chaman Lal, convener, MSc, IT (PU) Students/ Parents Welfare Association, which has been formed to settle this issue.

The UT Administration, through an advertisement dated July 2, had sought applications to fill 34 vacancies of lecturers in UT colleges, with qualifications including that of MSc (IT). However, about 150 students, who comprise the first batch of the MSc (IT) course recently introduced by PU, were asked to return from the venue of interview on the grounds that the university had not yet declared their results.


PU asks colleges to send copies of fee structure
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Adding a new dimension to the ongoing fee-hike controversy Panjab University has asked all affiliated colleges to send copies of the existing fee structure.

Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said the university had sent a circular to all colleges seeking information about the fee and different funds. The circular follows a decision of the university Senate earlier this month. Professor Pathak said the university had earmarked three months for the whole process to be completed.

While the university wants to study an “ideal fee package” for colleges, majority of the colleges have already implemented the new fee structure recommended by the UT Administration and the Punjab Government.

This is despite stiff opposition from the Senate and no formal decision on the issue of fee hike. Professor Pathak said the Senate had not cleared the hike, yet majority of the colleges had gone ahead with the new rates. This had brought a big question mark on the credibility of the Senate, he said.

In a related development the university will appoint a seven-membered committee within a day or two to resolve the ongoing issue of fee hike.

During deliberations on fee hike Mr Ashok Goyal, a Fellow, had pointed that even under the existing system there were differences in the fee structures of different colleges. Students in government colleges were paying half the existing fee than those in many private colleges. Even among private colleges there were differences in the fee of colleges located in cities and rural areas.

Besides admission, tuition and university fee, colleges were collecting sizeable amounts in the name of building and parking fee and under other sundry heads, it was pointed out. The new fee structure, if implemented, would soar further if the colleges levied these “special charges”, besides the proposed government charges.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, another Fellow of the Senate, said majority of the principals had bypassed the decision of the Senate and started charging according to the new fee structure. The list includes even colleges whose principals had vehemently opposed the hike.

Mr Dilip Kumar, DPI(Colleges), said the new structure for the aided colleges should be counted as implemented. The Administration would comment on the issue when the next share of grant would be released in September.


No dengue case reported, yet Admn on alert
Tribune News Service


* High fever.
* Body aches.
* In severe cases, there could be bleeding from various parts of the body like nose and ear.
* In case of critical dengue patients, the platelet count in the blood falls severely.

Chandigarh, July 15
Even though no dengue case has been reported so far from the city, the spotting of carrier mosquito has put the health authorities on the alert.

Though the dengue carrier, Aedes Egypti mosquito, generally breeds in August, its appearance this month has set the alarm bells ringing. “There is no threat of the dengue outbreak, but as a precautionary measure we are undertaking surveillance and educating the public against the accumulation of water”, said a health official.

The Municipal Corporation has already set up a two-member committee, comprising the Executive Engineer, Mr Shyam Singh, and the Anti-Malaria Officer, Mr H.C. Gera, to carry out a drive.

Health officials said the biggest threat was from the water accumulated in the coolers. “Until the public is made aware to change the cooler water every week, there is little that the Health Department can do to prevent the spread of the disease”, warned the official.

The official pointed out that last year also the situation became serious due to the accumulation of water, especially in tyres, in the motor market of Mani Majra. “As a routine job the department is keeping various parts of the city under surveillance”, he added.

It was in the N-choe, which is passing through various sectors, and the Sukhana Choe where the carrier mosquitoes were spotted.


Bhardwaj case: CBI to use video cassettes as proof
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 15
The CBI has decided to use the video cassettes containing interview of suspended Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S.S.Bhardwaj telecast on TV channel “Aaj Tak” on May 20 as a vital evidence against him in order to prove the conspiracy theory.

The CBI has taken the decision to use the cassettes as evidence after a local court rejected its plea to record the voice of Mr Bhardwaj and Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge R.M.Gupta in the case. Once the cassette is procured the CBI can match the voice of Mr Bhardwaj recorded in the cassettes with the video cassettes telecast on “Aaj Tak”.

Well-placed sources revealed that senior officers with the CBI had communicated in this matter with “Aaj Tak” and had received a copy of the required cassettes from it. Confirming this, channel sources revealed that the CBI had contacted senior personnel at their Delhi office after which the cassette was handed over to it.

During the period he was at large Mr Bhardwaj had given an interview to “Aaj Tak”. In this interview the judicial officer had claimed that he had been falsely implicated in the case and had not absconded but had been seeking legal help.

CBI sources stated that voice matching through the cassette would help in establishing links between Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Gurvinder Singh Samra in a corruption case.

Earlier, the application in which the CBI had sought permission to record the voice of Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Gupta had been dismissed by the court. Both had made statements in the court that since the CBI had not supplied the copy of the cassette allegedly containing their voices and the voice of the complainant it could not force them to get their voices recorded.

The CBI claimed that it had two cassettes related to the case — one contains recorded conversation between Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Samra and the second contains conversation between Mr Gupta and Mr Samra.


Parking blues for physically challenged
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, July 15
Provision of exclusive parking space for the physically challenged appears to be a distant dream at least for the time being, even though the UT Administration is showing interest in taking measures to ensure that there is no misuse of the reserved space meant for these people.

Irked by the attitude of parking contractors and negligence of the administration, the local chapter of the National Handicapped Welfare Association is planning to take the matter with the administration. “We have already started a dialogue on this issue with the Adviser and received favourable response from his side,” said a source from the association.

The association does not stand alone on this issue. It has the support of few social activists. “We have grievances against the parking system of the city in general and are planning to file a public interest litigation on this issue, which will include the problems of the physically challenged too,” said Mr Amar Vivek, an advocate in the High Court.

Eight years have passed since the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1996 came into existence which gave certain facilities to the physically challenged, but the physically and mentally challenged residing in the city are still a harassed lot, especially when it comes to availing themselves of the space for parking of vehicles in public parking lots.

Though the authorities maintain that there are exclusive parking areas marked for the physically challenged, the fact remains that there are only few such areas in the city. Besides, the facility remains only on paper as most of the time the space is occupied by general vehicles, ignoring the signboards.

“The law, among other things, promises us the right of exclusive parking area with separate entrance and ramp facilities. Though the administration demarcated areas for the physically challenged in some parking lots, the demarcation remains confined to signboards, for no contractor checks other cars that are parked in the reserved space, said Mr Ajit Salani, president of the National Handicapped Welfare Association, SAS Nagar.

Some parking lots like in the Sector 17 market area do not provide separate parking space for the physically challenged but offer concession on parking fee. This policy does not hold much ground with the physically challenged for the simple logic that it does not prevent them from bearing the inconvenience of managing a space to park their vehicle. Most of them say money is not the issue, but lack of parking space is.

According to Mr Salani, who is visually challenged, it is not just orthopaedically handicapped people who are facing the problem due to administration’s apathy but the visually challenged too are suffering. 


Paid parking lots to have complaint boxes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Visitors to the paid parking lots in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 will now find complaint boxes and registers for the redressal of their grievances in the parking areas.

This was decided here yesterday by the working group on parking at its meeting held here today after a visit of its members Mayor Subhash Chawla, Commissioner M. P. Singh and Chief Engineer V. K. Bharadwaj, among others, to the Sahib Singh and Neelam Cinema parking lots.

The group also directed the officials to appoint a Junior Engineer to daily visit the parking lots and report to the corporation the alleged violation of terms and conditions of the paid parking contract.

The Junior Engineer has also been asked to report inconveniences, if any, to visitors to the parking lots.

The group decided to again introduce the token system and force the parking staff of the contractor to wear a uniform.

The group, during its visit, noticed that the parking contractor had not kept any complaint boxes and registers in the parking lots; the number of employees inside the parking lots was less than that specified in the term of the contract and parking staff was not in uniform.

The group felt that the parking contractor in the Sahib parking lot had a difficulty on the entry point due to its narrowness.


You can now pay challan fine through cheque
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A decision to accept payment of challan fine for violation of traffic rules through cheques is on the cards. The cheques would be accepted by personnel of the traffic police up to the rank of Head Constable on the spot of challaning, said a senior police personnel.

As per the existing procedure, an Inspector-rank officer is allowed only to accept the challan fine in cash. The new move is expected to get the nod of the top brass of the city police in the coming days. The particulars of the challaned vehicle driver would be noted down for follow-up action in case the cheque bounced. The official said the motorists would not have to go all the way to the Sector 29 Police Lines to pay their fine for a traffic violation.

Inquiries reveal that presently the traffic police was only accepting payment through cheques against sticker challan slips issued to motorists who park their vehicles along a slow carriageway or leave their vehicles, haphazardly at an undesignated parking slot. The traffic police has installed drop boxes at different points in Sector 17.

It may mentioned that the Police has already done way with the practice of jotting down the offence on the challan receipts. Now all that the challaning cops are doing is to mark the offence on all new challan receipts.

In the new challan receipts, brief information about the 94 major and minor offences listed under the Motor Vehicles Act has been given. In the new format, the challaning office has to just mark against the already printed section of the MV Act”, said a traffic official.


Abandoned baby found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A new born child was found lying in a wild growth near the Sector 41 Government Model School here today. The child, wrapped in a white cloth, was noticed by an STD operator, Kulwant Rai. Mr Rai called up the police control room (PCR).

A police official said it appeared that the child was one-day old and had been abandoned this morning. The infant was admitted to paediatrics ward at the Sector 16 General Hospital. The child is expected to be sent to the Missionaries of Charity in Sector 24.

A case of abandoning a child at a public place has been registered at Sector 39 police station.


15-yr wait for repair of roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The monsoon may have brought cheers to all sections of the city except industrialists and transport operators in Industrial Area Phase II. They claim that they have been awaiting for the repair of the roads for the past 15 years but to no avail.

The condition of roads is so bad that it is almost impossible for the workers of owners of the units to reach their factory premises without taking off shoes. Says Mr Sony, an industrialist of unit No 377, “No supplier or buyer wants to come to our factory in the monsoon season due to bad conditions of the roads. I have to pay additional money to transporters as well.”

Says Mr Rajiv Gupta, general secretary, Federation of Small Scale Industries, Chandigarh, ‘‘The administration had transferred that area to the Municipal Corporation, and since the industry does not constitute a strong vote bank, so no one takes interest in the repair of roads or any other developmental activity.” He claimed that administration had sanctioned a one-time grant of about Rs 3 crore to the MC for the development of roads, but it had not undertaken the repair work in time.

Mr A.L. Aggarwal, general secretary, Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, said, ‘‘Although the repair work of inner roads in industrial area Phase I has been undertaken, yet it is unfortunate that inner roads of the Phase II area have been completely left out.” He said from plot No 33 to 53, 54 to 85, 86 to 103, 104 to 119 (ESI Hospital), 120 to 136, 137 to 148, 149 to 160, 167 to 196, the condition of roads was so bad that no transporter was ready to come here despite additional payment of fare.

He said similarly from 29/1 to 29/7, 28/1 to 28/9, 27/1 to 27/9, 26/1 to 26/9, 25/1 to 25/9 and 24/1 to 24/9 roads required immediate repair. He claimed that the MC was simply interested in collecting property tax from the industry and was not doing any thing for the development of area. Mr Gupta demanded that like the transport area, the administration should take back Industrial Area under its control from the MC. 


Demolitions invite Mayawati’s wrath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati, today criticised the demolition of houses in the city and raised the issue of denial of caste certificates to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes here.

Addressing the mahaswabhiman rally at the Parade Ground, Ms Mayawati said the denial of the certificates would deprive these sections of society the benefits that flowed from the provisions of the Constitution.

She said people from these sections of the society would not be able to get reservation in jobs and educational institutions and benefits of special welfare schemes.

The rally was the first by any Chief Minister in the city and especially Ms Mayawati. Dressed in a salwar kameej of cream colour, the Dalit leader reached the rally ground at around 2.30 pm, three hours behind the schedule.

The crowd had been trickling in in the Parade Ground since 11 am and had swelled by the time Ms Mayawati reached there in a convoy of vehicles that included of her security. Ms Mayawati's photos were selling outside the ground for Rs 10 each. The police had a tough time managing the crowd as well as removing those selling Dalit literature and cassettes. The crowd had a feast of Dalit songs sung to eulogies Ms Mayawati and the BSP president, Mr Kanshi Ram.

The number of cutouts of Ms Mayawati and slogans outnumbered those of Mr Kanshi Ram.

A section of the crowd was indicating that Ms Mayawati had become the real power in the party shouting slogans “Desh ka neta kaisa ho, behanji (Mayawati) jaisa ho.” But their slogans from the stage still made reference to Mr Kanshi Ram as the main leader.

Making intension of the rally clear, slogans rent the air shouting “UP to hamari hai ab Punjab ki bari hai.”

Most of the crowd turned up from Punjab from where it had been ferried through vehicles to the city. Political observers felt that Ms Mayawati who had reached the city in time by her state plane deliberately delayed reaching the stage to wait for the crowd and allegations of stopping rallyists in Punjab were also considered in this connection.

The state unit party president Avtar Singh Karimpuri and general secretary Maan Singh Manhera announced that those coming to the rally had been stopped at Batala, Patiala, Ferozpore, Malout, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Ropar and Barnala, among other places.

Ms Mayawati spoke for one hour and fifty minutes. The rally gave rise to speculations that Ms Mayawati had emerged the real leader and would pose a threat to the Congress in Punjab.

Ms Mayawati, a teacher-turned politician, made a number of repetitions to drive home the conspiracy of the Congress and the “master key of political power,” the government, to his constituency.


Maya rally leaves motorists at sea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Chaos prevailed on city roads leading to the venue of the ‘Maha Swabhiman’ rally in Sector 17 today.

Though the police had made arrangements for the parking of supporters’ vehicles in open spaces of Sector 17, hundreds of vehicles were parked along roads, resulting in traffic congestion.

As the rally concluded when government offices closed it led to traffic congestion.


Nagra recalls Pakistani surrender
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Major-Gen G.S. Nagra shows a Pakistani flag
Major-Gen G.S. Nagra shows a Pakistani flag which he captured from Lt-Gen A.A.K. NIazi’s desk during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Pennants of various Pakistani commanders are also seen.

Chandigarh, July 15
“My dear Abdullah, I am here. The game is up. I suggest that you give yourself up to me and I will look after you.”

This note sent to Lt-Gen A.A.K. Niazi, the military commander of erstwhile East Pakistan by Major-Gen G.S. Nagra, the first Indian General to enter Dacca during the 1971 Indo-Pak war set the stage for the Pakistani surrender following which 90,000 Pakistani troops laid down arms — the largest surrender in history.

The immediate response to the note was that there would be no further resistance by Pakistani troops. Recalling events, Major-Gen Nagra, who resides in Chandigarh, said that by December 13 Niazi had probably realised that he had lost the war. Any further delay in surrender would only lead to more casualties.

Major-Gen Nagra said that on the morning of December 16, he was received on the outskirts of Dacca by Major-Gen Jamshed Khan, the Pakistani commander responsible for the defence of Dacca. “Thereafter, accompanied by my two brigade commanders, Brig H.S. Kler and Brig Sant Singh, I drove towards Niazi’s headquarters,” he said.

“When I walked into Abdullah’s office, there was instant recognition,” General Nagra said. He had known Niazi from his tenure as the Indian military adviser in Pakistan during 1961-65 when Niazi had been a brigade commander.

“I asked him how he was, and he broke down,” General Nagra recalled. “‘Pindi mein bethe hue logon ne marwa diya (Those sitting in Rawalpindi are responsible for our state)’ Niazi had burst out”, he added.

“After dispatching by brigade commanders to carry out various tasks, I spent a few hours with Niazi and thereafter General Sagat Singh took him into his charge. I went to make arrangements for receiving the Chief of Staff, Eastern Command, Major-Gen J.F.R. Jacob,” he said. Later, he was flown out to Sagar in Madhya Pradesh. General Nagra said that no other officer spoke to Niazi.

“There was a lot of danger to Niazi’s life,” General Nagra said. There was every possibility that he would have been lynched by mobs in Dacca or be killed by Pakistani officers opposed to the surrender and special security had to be arranged for him.

“It was a difficult situation at the surrender ceremony,” he recalled. “We were surrounded by the locals and I whisked Niazi away in a Jonga, with me behind the wheel and Niazi sandwiched in between another officer,” he added. Though Niazi was not kept in any prisoner-of-war camp, he was detained at his own residence before being flown out.


Nationwide survey on dog-vulture link
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a premiere society involved in research on bird species, has initiated a nationwide survey to assess the link between increase in feral (dog) population, especially in the wake of decline in numbers of vultures in the Indian sub continent, and its subsequent impact on humans.

The survey is being carried out as an extension of the research work to isolate the virus causing death in vultures at the Vulture Care Centre, Pinjore. The main aim is to assess the impact on human health after dogs have turned into scavengers. It is believed that the past decade has seen an alarming rise in dog and pig population because of easy availability of food (carcasses). Scientists believe that dogs feeding on carcasses are now becoming carriers of various diseases, including rabies, tuberculosis and plague in human beings.

Dr Vibhu Prakash, Principal Scientist of the BNHS, informed TNS that the survey was being carried at three levels- assessing dog population in areas where vultures were never present, dog population in areas where vultures have now died and, at places where vultures are still the main scavengers. “The blood, urine, skin and fecal samples of the ferals in the three places will be collected and analyzed so as to give comparative account of dogs acting as carriers of various diseases,” he said.

Scientists say that vultures are the most efficient scavengers. But as their population decreased because of a strange viral infection, it led to the dogs, pigs and crows feeding on carcasses. Dogs being carnivores, multiply rapidly, if there is easy availability of food. With carcasses now left for the dogs, there has been a sudden increase in stray dog population all over the country, adds Dr Prakash.

As of now, samples have been collected from the dog population in carcass dumps at Kannur, Kerala ( where vultures have never been present) and in carcass dumps of Bikaner and Bayana in Rajasthan ( where vultures have died over the past decade). These samples are being analyzed at the Pinjore centre now.

It is learnt that scientists of the society have now asked permission from the administration of Kulu in Himachal Pradesh (where vulture colonies have been sighted on the Kulu-Manali highway) and Panchkula in Haryana, for collecting samples from the dog population feeding on carcasses.


Kidney patient needs financial help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Even at the age of 55, Ram Dulari did not think twice before agreeing to donate a kidney to save the life of her 18-year-old grandson Nitin, who needs to undergo kidney transplant surgery.

Putting up at Janta Serai in the PGI for the past five months, the family from Bihar has already spent almost Rs 1.50 lakh on his dialysis and other medicines. Nitin, a student of B.A I, was forced to drop out of college after he developed kidney problem.

“Initially, I was to donate a kidney for my son, but when doctors detected that my kidneys were not functioning properly, we had to ask my mother-in-law to donate a kidney,” says 40-year-old Meera Devi, who along with her husband, Om Prakash Singh, teaches in a private school and takes tuitions to run the house.

Even though all formalities have been completed and cross matching done with Nitin’s grandmother, but with practically no money left with them, the operation cannot be done. “He suffers from severe pain, swelling and breathlessness and the doctors have said that he needs to undergo the transplant at the earliest,” says Ms Meera Devi.

Anil’s mother and grandmother have been trying to arrange money but help does not seem to be coming from any quarter. A sum of Rs 2 lakh is required for the surgery. Nitin has a younger brother and a sister. Those wanting to help the family can contact them in room number 25 in Janta Serai, PGI, or get in touch with the Public Relations Officer at 747585 (Ext: 6003).


PUDA auction nets Rs 6.87 crore
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, July 15
PUDA earned a revenue of Rs 6,87,90,000 as 20 commercial sites in different parts of the town went under the hammer at an auction held here today. Ten per cent of the bid amount was to be paid at the fall of the hammer.

PUDA was able to dispose of only 20 of the 34 sites put to auction. Seeing the poor response from the public PUDA authorities withdrew a number of sites in the bulk material market from the auction. Some more sites had also been withdrawn as sanction from higher authorities to sell them off had not been received.

Thirtyfour commercial sites in the bulk material market, adjoining sector 65, and other sectors of the town had been offered for auction by PUDA. Eighteen of these were in the bulk market and covered the timber (eight sites), iron (one site) and marble (nine sites) business categories. The other sites (three SCOs, five SCFs and eight booths) were located in Sectors 55, 64, 65and 70.

All eight SCO and SCF sites in Sectors 70 and 65 were disposed of. The maximum price fetched by an SCO site in Sector 70 was Rs 84.50 lakh and the minimum price fetched was Rs 82 lakh. The reserve price in the case of both the sites was Rs 47 lakh.

An SCF site in Sector 65 was sold for Rs 43 lakh while another site in the same sector and having the same dimensions could fetch only Rs 40.90 lakh. The reserve price in this category was Rs 36 lakh.

Only six of the eight booth sites put to auction could be sold. The maximum price that a booth in Sector 55 could fetch was Rs 15.15 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 13,15,285. Another booth site in Sector 64 was sold for Rs 12.05 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 9,82,142.

In the bulk material market PUDA could sell only six of the 18 sites reserved for auction. Out of the eight sites in the timber business category four were disposed of. The maximum amount earned for a site in this category was Rs 26.65 lakh and the minimum Rs 25 lakh. Out of the nine sites reserved for marble business only two could be sold. While one site fetched Rs 23.10 lakh, the other was sold off Rs 22.10 lakh.

In the bulk material market the reserve price per site varied from Rs 13,00,000 (250 sq yd) to Rs 30,00,000 (541.67 sq yd).

In order to be eligible, those taking part in the auction were required to deposit Rs 15,000 in the case of the SCO, SCF, 1 kanal and 10 marla categories and Rs 5,000 in the case of booths.

The successful bidder was required to pay 15 per cent of the amount within 30 days of the auction. The balance 75 per cent of the amount could be paid within 30 days from the date of the auction without interest, or in four equated yearly installments, together with interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum. A special rebate of 5 per cent had been allowed by PUDA on 75 per cent of the balance amount if paid lumpsum.


Nod to chemical sterilisation of stray dogs
Tribune News Service

A four-year-old girl, Megha Dutta, was today bitten by a stray dog in Sector 9. She was playing near her house when a bitch bit her. 

Panchkula, July 15
The Municipal Council has decided to control the stray dog menace in the township by chemically sterilising the dogs. A team of veterinary experts from CCS Hisar Agriculture University, Hisar, will meet the MC authorities here on July 23 to finalise the sterilisation plan for stray dogs.

The fear of stray dogs stalks the residents of this township — especially during early morning hours and late in the night. Residents say it is virtually impossible to drive through internal roads in Sectors 4, 12, 14, 17, 18 and 19 without being chased by group of dogs. With a number of rabid dogs and dog attack cases being reported here, the need for controlling the dog population has been strongly felt.

A four-year-old girl, Megha Dutta, was today bitten by a stray dog in Sector 9. She was playing near her house when a bitch bit her. Residents said during the past one week, three other children — Vaasu, Kanika and Govind — had been bitten by stray dogs. Yesterday, a 32-year-old class IV employee at Housing Board, Ms Vijay Lakshmi, was bitten by a stray dog in Sector 14. Residents of the area pointed out that it was the third case of dog attack in the past one week and 10th in the past two months. A number of dog attack cases have also been reported in Sector 17 and 18, especially in houses located near the slum colonies — Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony.

Earlier there was no policy for either rounding up of stray dogs or their sterilisation. Before the MC came into being, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Wildlife Department had indulged in “blame game” — each department shifting the blame on the other for the menace.

Though the MC authorities are yet to finalise whether the work for sterilisation is to be given on contract or to be done by government veterinarians, it has been decided to go in for a non-surgical, inexpensive and least invasive method for controlling the dog population. The proposal submitted by Dr A K Sharma, Professor and Head, Department of Animal Reproduction, CCS Hisar Agriculture University, before the MC house last month, has thus been finalised.

The dogs, after being captured, will be injected with chlorhexidine gluconate to sterilise them. The overall cost to be incurred on sterilisation of each dog will be Rs 42 per dog.

The Executive Officer of the MC, Mr O.P. Sihag, said the estimated dog population in the township was 900. “The company marketing the chemical for sterilisation, ICPA Health Products, Ankleshwar, has offered to provide 500 doses free of cost,” he said.


Create awareness of environmental
issues: MC chief
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 15
There is a need to create awareness among residents of the town of issues relating to environment. This was stated by Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the Municipal Council, during Environment Day celebrations organised by the Consumer Protection Forum in Phase V here today. Mr Kulwant Singh was the chief guest at the function. A workshop was also organised and saplings were planted on the occasion.

He told representatives of various welfare bodies that instead of holding functions, where the attendance was usually thin, it would be beneficial if such bodies created awareness about different aspects among the people.

He said residents expected too much from the Municipal Council without playing any role themselves to keep the environment clean.

He said the water level in Phases I to VII had become very low and tubewells were failing in the area. He said the civic body was providing 350 litres of water per person per day though the norms laid down in this regard say that 200 litres of water was enough.

But people still felt that there was a shortage of water in the town.

They are not aware that the shortage, if at all, has been created by them by wasting a large quantity of water on washing their cars and courtyards, he said.

Ms Reena Uppal, Project Coordinator, Council for Science and Technology, Punjab, said rainwater should not be allowed to go waste as it could be used to irrigate fields after being harvested.

She stressed the need to adopt wormiculture which helped in producing good quality manure.

Capt T.S. Brar (retd) said the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology had produced a low-cost kit which helped to purify drinking water. 


Sapling plantation campaign begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 15
The Environment Society of India yesterday launched a monsoon saplings plantation campaign, Trivenies, at six schools in the city. Under the campaign saplings of Bodh, pipal and neem will be planted together.

Planting the saplings, Mr S.K. Sharma, president of the society, said plating ‘trivenies’ (a cluster of trees having three different species) was a tradition in ancient India. Gurus used to impart education to disciples sitting under ‘trivenies’. The common belief was that it brought happiness, prosperity and peace, he said.

Saplings were planted at Sector 10 Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sectors 11 and 15 Government Senior Secondary Schools, Sector 12 Government Model High School, Sectors 26 and 36 Government Model High Schools and Sector 26 Government High School.

The society also organised a function to generate awareness about jamun trees. Nearly 150 students of different schools run by the Youth Technical Training Society gathered at Nature Park, Sector 26, and learnt to identify different species of trees, including jamun trees. Mr Sharma explained the medicinal properties of jamun.

Mr P.H. Vaishnav, a former Chief Secretary of Punjab, was the chief guest of the function. He planted a sapling of jamun and distributed saplings among children.


Five community centres inspected
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 15
The process of handing over five community centres in the town by PUDA to the Municipal Council (MC) has started. A joint inspection of the buildings was carried by engineering officials of both organisations.

Five community centres constructed by PUDA in Phases II, III B-I, V, VI and XI will be handed over to the MC in about a fortnight. The inspection was carried out by sub-divisional engineers and junior engineers of PUDA and MC.

In the inspection report submitted to the President and engineer of the civic body and Divisional Engineer, C-II, PUDA, here today it was pointed out that the electric wiring at the community centres had become loose. There was leakage in the rain water outlet pipes and the cistern also needed attention. Weeds had grown in the open spaces at the community centres. It was decided that all problems would be rectified before handing over these.

It is learnt that PUDA officials had given an assurance that all shortcomings would be removed within 10 days after which another joint inspection would be carried out. They said the handing over of the buildings would start on July 28. The community centres constructed in Phase VII and Sector 71 were yet to be inaugurated and that in Sector 70 would remain with PUDA for the time being. Among those who carried out the inspection were Mr Raj Krishan, Mr Amar Singh Randhawa, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Ashok Virdi, Mr H.S. Rana, Mr Mohinder Paul, Mr Naveen Kumar, Mr Karnail Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh.


Four injured in fire incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Four Colony No. 5 residents were rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, after they sustained burn injuries following the bursting of a gas cylinder. According to doctors, their condition was stable. Sources in the Fire Department said three tenders were sent to the colony for controlling the blaze which had spread to adjoining jhuggis. 



Powermen defer strike

Chandigarh, July 15
The UT Powermen Union has decided to defer its proposed strike which was to be scheduled for July 16 for one month. The decision has been taken after a detailed discussion with Chief Engineer of Administration, a press note of the union said. TNS


Two crushed to death by train
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 15
Two youths were crushed to death by a train near Dappar while they were crossing the Kalka-Ambala railway line late last night.

Mr Gurinder Singh, in charge, GRP police post, Lalru, said the victims had been identified as Vikram of Lalru Mandi and Sonu of Dehar village.

Their mutilated bodies were found on the railway line between Lalru and Dappar stations this morning. Some passersby noticed the bodies and the railway authorities were informed. A railway police party from Lalru removed the bodies from the site.

The bodies were later sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a post-mortem examination. The railway police has started inquest proceedings in this regard.


Man caught stealing car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 15
Vishnu Sharma, a resident of Jind district, was caught red-handed while allegedly stealing a car from a place near the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, here yesterday. He was booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC on the complaint of a Sector 22 resident.

Car stolen: Ms Laxmi Patra of Sector 15 reported that her Maruti car (CH01 A 8468) was stolen on Monday. A case has been registered.

One arrested: The police has arrested a resident of Mauli Jagran complex, Ram Singh, on charges of stealing goods from a house at Burail on Monday. The complainant, Mr Daulat Singh, said the accused had stolen an ATM card and Rs 7,500 from his residence. It is learnt that the stolen goods have been recovered from his possession. A case under Sections 380 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Man stabbed: Papla, a resident of Madrasi Colony, Sector 26, has reported to the police that he was allegedly stabbed by Arun, Chhotu and Bonga on Monday. A case has been registered.

Liquor seized: The police arrested five persons, including a woman, under the Excise Act from different parts of the city on Monday on charges of smuggling liquor. Six bottles and 70 pouches of liquor were seized from their possession. The arrested persons have been identified as Ram Niwas, Rajbir Singh, Dharma Pal, Vishwa Nath and Bimla Devi.


Body found: The body of an unidentified man was found near the rear entrance of Vatika park in Sector 5 on Tuesday. According to information available, the victim appeared to be about 65 years of age and was wearing a dhoti- kurta, and had unkempt hair. The police said that the victim had probably died of an overdose of drugs.

Constable Injured: Constable Karan Singh was injured when the PCR- 14 motor cycle he was pillion riding with driver Dhian Singh, was hit by a jeep near Devi Nagar on Tuesday. He escaped with minor injuries, as he fell off the mobike. 

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