Saturday, August 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Haryana students clash on PU campus
Indulge in vandalism as police remains mute spectator
Sanjeev Singh Bariana and Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Coffee House situated at the top floor of Student Centre, Panjab University, Chandigarh, which was ransacked when a meeting of the Haryana Students Association turned violent on Friday.
Coffee House situated at the top floor of Student Centre, Panjab University, Chandigarh, which was ransacked when a meeting of the Haryana Students Association turned violent on Friday.

The police has given its nod to elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) and student bodies in the various city colleges.

According to highly placed sources, the Police Department has recommended the elections in the last week of the month or early September. The same has been communicated to the UT Administration. It will be the Administration which will decide the date of the elections.

The Administration is watching the incidents at Panjab University. No final decision has so far been taken, official sources said. 

Chandigarh, August 1
Panjab University was witness to yet another group clash today at a meeting of the Haryana Students Association to decide the office-bearers of the organisation.

There seems no respite in sight to the ongoing student group tussle at Panjab University. While the tussle between the main warring factions, including the Panjab University Students Union and the Students Organisation of Panjab University, continues unabated, the Haryana Students Association grabbed the spotlight today with the group clash.

A new group wanting to portray Pawan Singh as the presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council wanted to show its majority at a meeting planned at the Student’s Centre.

The office-bearers of last year’s HSA, including Satinder Dahiya (president) and Dharmendra Balhara (chairman), countered the programme. The ‘warring’ groups came to blows.

All this happened in view of over a 100 cops at the centre around 2 pm. About 300 activists of the HSA had gathered in the coffee house to elect their leaders.

The activists turned violent and exchanged blows, chairs and bottles. The fierce exchange left one youth bleeding in the coffee house of the Student’s Centre at around 2 pm today. Several received minor injuries.

When the fracas began at the coffee house, situated on the top floor of the centre, the students ran downstairs and there was chaos at the centre. Supporters of the “two groups” of the HSA were hurling abuses on each other and throwing challenges.

An HSA activist, Deepak Singh Ghalawat, who sustained injuries on his head in the fight upstairs, along with his supporters, later walked away from the spot. Interestingly, all this happened minutes after SHOs of Sector 11 and 3, Mr Prem Chauhan and Mr Jagbir Singh, respectively, left the centre.

Pawan Singh, with his shirt torn and minor injuries, tried to hold a rally. All this went on for more than 10 minutes but there was no action on part of the cops. They were content watching the students hurl abuses and throw challenges. The police later rounded up four youths, including Pawan, from the spot.

Pawan Singh, while talking to The Tribune, said the meeting decided that Jasvir Punnia was the chairman and Punnia in turn recommended his name as the presidential candidate this year. “Balhara and Dahiya got agitated and started beating me,” he said. Dahiya and Balhara denied any hand in the scuffle and said no names had been accepted. Chand Singh Madaan, the founder chairman of the HSA, said both the groups today consisted of a majority of outsiders. “This was definitely not the aim with which the student body was originally constituted,” he said.

Turbulent waters continue to flow in the camp of the Panjab University Student Union. Its president Malwinder Singh Kang is recuperating at the PGI along with Vikramjit Singh following a “murderous assault” on Wednesday. Hardeep Singh who was also injured has been discharged.

Munish Bansal who was arrested by the police yesterday was remanded in judicial custody by the local court.

Gurpreet Singh, a PUSU activist, addressing a press conference said when he along with Sukhwinder Singh were going to the PGI canteen last night, SOPU supporters in a Maruti car (PB 03J...) threatened them. “We managed to run away,” he said.

However, soon the car disappeared from the scene. A group of about 50 students went to the residence of Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice Chancellor, after 12 midnight. Students met Prof Nirmal Singh, the DSW. Dr Naval Kishore, warden of Hostel VI, and Dr D.V.Rai, warden of Hostel I, were also present on the scene. Gurpreet Singh said the car carried Ramandeep Pannu, one of the accused in the assault on Kang.

Addressing a press conference, Rohit Sharma, a former presidential candidate of PUSU, said the authorities should respond immediately to the demands of changing the Dean, Student Welfare, bearing the expenses for treatment of Kang and rusticating the students involved in the gruesome incident.

He said when certain PUSU members were involved in a similar assault case on Rajan Brar, a SOPU activist, in 1997, the university then had rusticated two students, including Lakhjinder Singh and Billa. The university should now go by the precedent and rusticate the students involved in the incident.

The university had also banned the entry of the accused. This was done on base of an FIR only and not conviction, he said.

PUSU has demanded a “fair” enquiry into the case and action against the guilty. A candle light procession seeking “justice” was taken out by PUSU supporters in the evening which was delayed due to rains.


Students made to sweat, then drop out
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 1
After sweating it out in the playgrounds for almost a fortnight, 53 first-year students of arts at Government College here, who had opted for physical education, are being “coerced” to change their option.

No particular reason has been given for this decision which has created quite a furore in the student community. Lashing out at the college authorities for “forcing” them to drop physical education, students now want a full refund so that they may apply elsewhere.

From July 1, 113 students were admitted to the physical education course and they have been attending classes regularly since July 14. However, last week, the college authorities decided that not more than 60 students would be allowed to take up the subject and began filtering out students.

While six students have been successfully “coerced” to change the option, the authorities are now said to be contemplating cancelling admissions of 20 students who had been placed in compartment in the class XII results. “Physical education is a subject that fetches good scores. Besides, we have studied the subject in class XII, so we should not be made to change the option now,” a student said.

“They are harassing us by making us do practical work between 1 pm and 4 pm when the sun is harsh. This may lead to sunstroke and dehydration. Generally, hard exercises and games are for morning or evening, but the college authorities have been insisting on holding practical classes in the afternoon to force students to opt out,” alleged another student of the college.

Though physical education is a popular subject, beyond Panchkula, none of the other Government Colleges — at Barwala and Kalka — offer this course. Students from Panchkula, Pinjore, Kalka, Barwala, Morni, Raipur Rani and even Naraingarh in Ambala come here for this course. Even in the past, upto 150 students on an average have been studying the subject each year.

The college authorities say that Kurukshetra University has sanctioned only 60 seats in each of the following courses at the undergraduate level: physical education, philosophy, political science, history, geography, home science, economics and music. “There are only two teachers of physical education, so it has been decided to have less students,” said a senior staff member of the college. He, however, could not tell why the students had been first admitted and later asked to change the option.

Enquiries made at the college showed that in at least three other courses, more than 60 students had been given admission. While 100 students each have been allowed to opt for political science and philosophy, 73 students of BA I have opted for geography. The college Principal, Ms Usha Malik, was not available for comments. 


Rivulets feeding Sukhna Lake in spate
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

One of the radial gates at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh, which was opened on Friday to allow rainwater to escape.
One of the radial gates at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh, which was opened on Friday to allow rainwater to escape. — Photo Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 1
All rivulets feeding the Sukhna Lake are in high spate, thanks to heavy rains in Chandigarh and surrounding areas in the past few days.

The water level in the lake has already risen at El 1161 feet, the maximum permissible flood level in the famous water feature. The water level in the lake has risen by as much as 17 feet. It stood at just 1154 feet a month ago.

According to sources in the Engineering Department of the UT Administration, this is one of the fastest rises in the water level the lake has witnessed in recent years. Last year, the same water level was achieved only at the end of August. Officials are keeping their fingers crossed because there is a full month of monsoon ahead.

A round-the-clock vigil is being maintained by the UT engineers on the water level as well as the supporting structure at the lake in view of widespread apprehension among experts that the recent controversial modifications carried out by the Engineering Department to raise the crest on the radial gates by two feet could endanger the lake itself.

Sources in the UT Engineering Department say although the lake has been equipped to handle a water level of up to El 1163 feet following the modifications, the Administration plans to stick to the El level of 1161 feet in view of directions in this regard by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

One of the radial gates of the lake was partially opened yesterday to allow the rainwater flooding into the lake to escape downstream into the Ghaggar. The radial gates were opened again this morning for several hours following rainwater from another downpour to escape.

The UT has issued a flood warning to Bapu Dham and other labour colonies downstream the lake and also alerted the local police. A flood warning alert has been issued to the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, which lies further downstream of the Ghaggar.

With monsoon in full swing, the Ghaggar is yet to swell to capacity. The maximum discharge in the river this year was recorded on July 30 - 31 at 10,718 cusecs.

A visit to the river embankment near Sector 1 here showed that the water was passing through four spans of the Old Ghaggar bridge. Officials of the Public Works Department say that not much water has flowed down the river this year.

Even last year the maximum discharge was recorded at 17, 862 cusecs on August 14, 2002. On several occasions, the river is known to swell at over 1 lakh cusecs during the monsoons. Though the rains have been good this year, the water level is expected to increase only within the next fortnight.


Special wards created for PAN seekers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Income Tax assessees applying for a new Permanent Account Number (PAN) will not have to look for their wards. The office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, North-West Region, has created special wards in the Chandigarh and Patiala ranges for the assessees who have applied for a new PAN.

The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, North-West Region, has revised the jurisdiction for the new applicants after the job of inviting the applications and preparing the PANs was handed over to the Unit Trust of India (UTI) from July 1, this year. The application forms are being accepted at Income Tax PAN service centres of the UTI — three such centres have been set up in the city.

Inquiries reveal special wards had been created in Chandigarh, Patiala, Gobindgarh, Sirhind, Rajpura, Sangrur, Nabha, Sunam, Barnala, Ropar and Nangal. For Chandigarh, Ropar and Nangal, the special ward were 2(4), 6(2) and 6 (4), respectively, said an official of the Income Tax Department. It was being observed that after the job of making the PAN was transferred to the UTI, the new applicants could be seen making desperate inquiries about their wards as the persons manning the counters of the UTI had no information about the ITO wards. Before July 1, an applicant had to apply to the assessing officer.

As per the new requirement, the applicants were being asked by the UTI personnel to fill in details about their range and ward. Sources in the Income Tax Department said the department was likely to ask the officials concerned of the UTI to display the information about the special wards on a public notice board at the PAN service centres. Explaining the new process, the officer said a new Form 49 could be procured for Rs 5, a fee of Rs 60 was charged for processing the application.

So far around 12,000 application forms had been sold in the city. Of these around 2300 applicants had so far applied.

The Commissioner of Income Tax (Computer Operations), Ms P. Sahi, said the application form for the PAN had been reformatted by the Directorate of System, Income Tax Department, in coordination with the UTI.

Now the applicants had also to provide their proof of residence to ensure that no bogus PAN cards were made. “The IT Department will allot PAN to new assessee after the information (on daily basis) was transferred to computers by the UTI. The process will take few days”, said the Commissioner.

Though the UTI had claimed to make a PAN card within 15 working days, it could not be confirmed whether the new applicants had begun receiving the cards.


Teej celebrations at Haryana Raj Bhavan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
As the rhythmic beats of drums filled the air, enthusiastic youngsters performed Haryanavi, Kashmiri and other folk dances during the Teej celebrations at the Haryana Raj Bhavan this evening.

Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand, his wife Sudesh Kumari and Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, along with Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, attended the festival.

Punjab Governor Justice O.P. Verma, his wife Shobha Verma, Haryana Vidhan Sabha speaker Satbir Singh Kadian, along with members of the Haryana Council of Ministers and Chief Secretary A.N. Mathur also graced the occasion.

As they watched, talented artistes from different states performed dexterously. They crooned patriotic and folk-songs. The programme depicted the very spirit of the festival.

The artistes regaled the audience by presenting Haryanavi and Kajari dance of UP, besides dance of Jammu and Kashmir. Others, clad in their cheerful best, enjoyed themselves at the decorated swings. They also tasted seasonal sweets. Women took keen interest in the stalls of henna, gajara and multi-coloured bangles.

In another function organised at Ram Darbar, the residents enjoyed the swings and savoured the sweets.

The junior wing of Satluj Public School , Sector 2, celebrated Teej with fanfare. Students enjoyed the swings and sang folk songs. About 350 students from Nursery to Class V presented various traditional and modern cultural items.

The school Director, Mr Pritam Singh Serai, addressed the students and told them the history behind this festival. Mr S.D. Jain, president of the Haryana Progressive Schools Conference, and eminent educationist from Faridabad was the chief guest. 


Admn to seek Centre’s opinion over NPA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The Chandigarh Administration will be seeking opinion of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the future of giving non-practising allowance (NPA) to doctors. Going against the orders passed by the Punjab Government, the Administration has asked the MHA to permit a continuation of payment of the NPA to doctors working in Chandigarh.

The Administration was against allowing private practice to doctors as this would set a wrong precedent.

The Administration, which is directly controlled by the MHA, cannot take a decision on its own and has to seek permission from the ministry.

The MHA may or may not give permission to the Administration to carry on giving the NPA to doctors serving in General Hospital, Sector 16, and the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Since the Administration follows the Punjab pattern of pay scales, the MHA usually does not allow any major deviation.


19-year-old student goes missing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
A 19-year-old boy has been missing from the city since last Friday.

An FIR has been lodged in this regard at the Sector 17 police station.

Mr Jagdish Chand, a Sub-Inspector (lab technician) with the Indo-Tibetan Border Security Force, said his son, Vicky, a B.A. II student of Government College, Sector 46, left for college at 7.30 a.m. on July 29, but did not return home.

He said his son had taken a sum of Rs 520 from him in the morning to get a driving licence made and to renew his bus pass after his college timings.

Enquiries revealed that he did not go to the college.

He neither went to the office concerned to complete the formalities for a driving licence nor did he apply for getting his bus pass renewed, said his father.

The boy was wearing a black jeans, light brown shirt with checks and a steel bracelet in his left hand. He has a wheatish complexion and a cut mark on the right side of his face just below the nose.


Draft voters’ list erroneous, says SGPC panel
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 1
Members of the local chapter of the Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee alleged that the district administration had deliberately shown a decline in the population of Sikhs in the township.

At a press conference held here today, Mr Hardeep Singh, member, SGPC, said the draft list of voters for the SGPC board was not only full of printing mistakes, but also showed the number of Sikhs in the township had gone down since last year.

‘‘Last year the number of Sikh voters in the township was above 25,000. This time, following a major campaign by the local committees of the SGPC, the number of forms sent to the SDM’s office was higher. But the final list that has been drafted at the SDM’s office indicates only 20,000 persons voters,” he said, adding ‘‘this means that over 50,000 Sikhs living in the township do not have a mention in these lists.”

Giving an example, Mr Hardeep Singh said the list showed persons residing in Sector 48-C but they did not live there at all.

Similarly, 600 persons were shown to be living in a single house in Sector 70. ‘‘There are endless number of printing mistakes with the wards and villages named wrongly,’’ he said.

‘‘Also serious is the fact that some persons who are not Sikhs have been listed. For example, a person called Gorakh Singh is actually Gorakh Nath, son of Karam Ali.’’

Mr Hardeep Singh demanded that the lists be revised and be prepared phase-wise and not ward wise.


Cow row overshadows club brawl issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The discussion on the death of cows in Himachal came as a godsend to Mayor Subhash Chawla who was sure to come under heavy fire from the Opposition BJP for the Chandigarh Club episode.

A deft handling of the Municipal Corporation general house meeting held yesterday through pitting the cow issue against discussion on his conduct, scrapping inquiry by the corporation and handing it over to the Administration and getting all urgent agendas cleared, he was able to show the backing of the House.

Proposing a vote on what to be discussed first, he achieved objectives of exposing differences among BJP councillors. Moreover, all councillors, except that of the BJP, supported him despite the Chandigarh Club incident.

He used fissures among the BJP councillors to his advantage by placing before the House the two issues proposed by BJP councillors, Gian Chand Gupta and Ms Kamla Sharma, to be taken up first for discussion.

The vote saw Mr Gian Chand Gupta favouring a discussion first on cow deaths and Ms Sharma on the issue of the Mayor’s conduct in the Chandigarh Club on June 18, exposing the division in the BJP.

Except for two BJP councillors, the entire House, including the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, the Congress and nominated councillors, supported taking up the issue of the death of cows, indirectly showing confidence in the Mayor, despite, what he himself called, regrettable incident in the Chandigarh Club.

After a debate on the death of cows, when the BJP councillors pressed for a discussion on the conduct of the Mayor, he rejected their plea on the ground that none else except the BJP was backing the opposition party’s demand.

There were speculations that a section of the Congress councillors opposed to the Mayor would support the demand for a discussion on the issue, but they could not probably muster courage to do so due to a party directive.

The Mayor had the challenge of not allowing the BJP to make cow deaths an issue against the Congress at the national level, protect corporation officials and not to antagonise the Administration and its top functionaries with a view to let him peacefully complete his term for the remaining five months.

He resisted the temptation of blaming the Administration for cow shunting.

He deployed the Congress tactics of new found “soft Hindutva”, and warnings from his councillors to spill beans against BJP leaders in the House and put the ball in the court which could be identified with the BJP and the Central Government.

That is how he got the House to agree on an independent inquiry by the Administration against demand from the BJP for an inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court or the CBI.

Getting Mr Pardeep Chhabra to demand the bringing on record of the independent inquiry, certain directions to officials by the Administrator on the issue of cattle menace management, he involved the Administration into the matter indirectly to blunt the BJP attack at the national level.


Administration asked to probe cow deaths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Mayor Subhash Chawla today informally communicated to Advisor to the Administrator Virendra Singh on the need for an independent inquiry into the death of 22 cows allegedly dumped by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in Himachal.

The Advisor reportedly asked the Mayor to send a formal request for the same. The Mayor also sought the help of the Chandigarh Administration in formulating a policy for stray cattle in the city.

They discussed the possibility of giving land to NGOs for running gaushalas in the city.

The Mayor urged the Advisor to get the design of 100 Sahaj Safai Kendras cleared from the Architecture Department to allow the Municipal Corporation to bring the city under the garbage bin-free scheme.

Mr Chawla suggested to the Advisor to allot plots to those to be rehabilitated instead of providing them constructed houses.


Rainwater enters houses
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 1
Heavy downpour brings misery for residents of some pockets in the town as water enters their houses leading to problems apart from flooding roads.

Roads in different parts of the town got flooded here today and it became difficult for vehicles to pass through the area.

Residents of Phase V complained that rainwater entered their houses and they have been facing this problem for the past many years but the authorities concerned were not bothered about the problem. Water also entered some houses in Phase I.

Mr Baldev Singh, a resident of Phase V, said rainwater entered the houses in their pocket every year and the problem had been repeatedly brought to the notice of the authorities concerned but to no avail. Affected residents themselves had to think of ways how to stop the rainwater from entering into their houses.

He said though the choked storm-water pipes were got cleared before the rains but the work failed to give the desired results.

He said Phase V was at a lower level than Phases I and II excess water from other areas was making life miserable for them as no proper outlet had been provided for the excess water. He said he wanted to sell his house but nobody was ready to buy because of this problem.

Ms Indu Sehgal, a municipal councillor living in Phase I, said rainwater had entered her house and some more houses in the area. She said her son could not take a bath in the morning as the bathroom was full of rainwater. It took almost three hours for the water to drain out. She said she had made complaints to the Department of Public Health but no official came to see the position.

Complaints were also received that rain led to flooding is some pockets as road gullies were not functioning properly because they had not been cleaned.

Ms Amteshwar Kaur, senior vice-president of the municipal council, said she had received complaints that some roads got flooded in Phase X because of the rain. Water did not drain out even till noon though the rain had stopped before 9 a.m. She said she had made a complaint to the Department of Public Health in this regard.

Mr Phulraj Singh, a municipal councillor, said a road near the library in Phase VII also got flooded due to the rain. Though the water drained out slowly but it took a lot of time.


Rain brings misery for Sohana police station
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 1
“Sohana police station is not a building surrounded by water but a swimming pool with a floating structure in it.” This is how the SHO, Sohana police station, Ms Raka Ghira, described the building.

The Sohana police station, situated in one of the oldest house of the area, is in a state of ruin. The police station is a now a mere conglomerate of three shabby rooms with walls stinking of dampness and two out rooms being used as bathrooms.

With the monsoon here, the condition of the police station cannot be worse. One has to go through a big pool of water to enter into the police station. Once inside, there is no place to sit as the only pieces of furniture inside are a handful of broken tables and a single wooden bench. Rest of the space in the room is occupied with files and records. The next room is a makeshift restroom filled with trunks of the floor being used as beds by those on night duty in the police station. And where is the lock up? “There is no lock up, we have a small dingy room where we keep a person in custody with sentry posted outside. As a result, it is jail for both the accused and the sentry who cannot move away from the spot,” said Ms Ghira.

Giving a brief history of the police station, the SHO explained that initially the police station was in Sohana village after which it was shifted to Mubarkapur village and when Mubarakpur was acquired by the Punjab Urban and Planning and Development Authority, the owner of this house left and we shifted the police station here since it was on the main road dividing Sectors 69 and 70.”

The police station has been allotted seven kanals of land in Sector 69 for a new police station but the matter of starting construction is pending at the Punjab Police Headquarter level. “Even if things move fast enough, it will take at least a year before we shift into the new police station,” she pointed out.

And are there any plans to renovate this building? “No there are no such plans since this house is an encroachment as far as PUDA is concerned as we are sitting on their land. There is no way we can improve conditions here,” said a police officer at the station.


Downpour hits traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
A downpour in the early hours in the city and its surrounding areas brought relief to city residents. The city recorded a 40.6 mm of rainfall as compared to 22.6 mm of rainfall yesterday.

The showers forced residents to remain indoors and reduced activity to the minimum. Roads in the city were inundated, affecting the flow of traffic. A number of vehicles could be seen stranded at roundabouts.

The rain which started at 1 am continued till 7.30 am, resulting in a drop in temperatures in Chandigarh and adjoining areas of Ambala and Patiala. The maximum temperature during the day was 31.8°C and the minimum 23.8°C. While, Kalka recorded a rainfall of 45.0 mm, Panchkula and Ambala recorded a rainfall of 15.0 mm and 115.7 mm, respectively. 


Take blood donation movement to villages,
says Governor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, today underlined the need for taking the blood donation movement to remote rural areas of the country.

Releasing a souvenir of the UT Blood Bank Society, Justice Verma said delicate surgical operations such as open cardiac surgery and renal transplant being performed in medical institutions required safe blood. Blood requirement had increased due to tremendous industrialisation and fast means of transport, resulting in various accidents. As there was no substitute for blood, Justice Verma said voluntary blood donation movement in the country must be strengthened to ensure safe blood for every patient.

The Governor said the annual requirement of blood in the country was 80,00,000 units per year. It was a matter of regret that only 2 million units were collected through voluntary blood donations. The percentage of voluntary blood donors in the country was 0.3, whereas in Switzerland and Japan it was 16 and seven respectively.

He said even 55 years after Independence, “We could not motivate people for making blood donation a way of life”.

Justice Verma said in Chandigarh, the blood donation movement was a great success due to the relentless efforts of volunteers of the Blood Bank Society.

Underlining the need for curbing commercial blood donors, Justice Verma said it was imperative for all to become a part of voluntary blood donation movement. 


Resumption notices to house owners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Contrary to the promise made by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr I.D. Swami, the Chandigarh Administration has started issuing resumption notices to houses owners in Sector 23.

Several such notices have been issued for alleged violations under the Capital of Punjab Development and Regulation Act, 1952. These notices delivered on July 18 have been issued by the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO), Mr S.K. Sethia.

The Administration has also formed a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, for a comprehensive re-examination of building bylaws. The purpose of the committee is to suggest need-based alterations and additions.


Vastu all about ‘energising’ structures
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
Vastu Shastra — the art of placement mentioned in the Vedas — was rediscovered about a decade ago. Today, more and more people are using the science to redesign their houses. The trend is fast catching up with the North Indians.

If you have any doubts, just listen to what Mumbai-based Vastu Consultant Khushal Sachdeva has to say. “Earlier, the Hindu Vedic science of Vastu was mainly used for the construction of temples. But now, more and more people are reconstructing their houses according to Vastu Shastra,” he says.

Mr Sachdeva, who was in the city, said the buildings were restructured on two levels — macro and micro. On the macro-level, modifications in the structure are carried out. On the micro level, it is reorienting furniture and deciding the colour schemes.

This is not all. Installing pictures which emit positive vibes are also an essential ingredient. He said Vastu Shastra was all about energising a structure by having a better flow of energy.

Commenting on City Beautiful, he said, “Chandigarh has a positively charged environment. No wonder it is a prosperous city with a lot of influx of people”. He asserted that Vastu Shastra was an independent science.


ISO certification sought for police wing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The National Productivity Council (NPC) has made recommendation to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for giving ISO 9001:2000 certification to the Chandigarh police on the basis of services offered by its woman and child support wing.

The UT police has been trying to improve its image among the public and national and international rights organisations by adopting mild methods of investigation in cases of crime against women and children.

Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, Superintendent of Police (Operations), told the TNS that a team from the Bureau of Indian Standards would visit Chandigarh this month for inspecting the woman and child support wing. “We have completed all formalities and even conducted a six-month training course for the staff in this wing,” he said.

Senior consultants of the NPC, an undertaking of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries, conducted this six-month training course.

Mr Arun Kumar Singh, one of these senior consultants, said this experiment, would help the police improve quality of work, teamwork and results.

The training focused on improving the attitude of police personnel involved in public dealing. “It has helped trainees create an atmosphere of tolerance, healthy competition, self-control, positive thinking, sense of responsibility and best service,” claimed the SP.

Mr Dhaliwal said that the wing was fully computerised with streamlined procedures of investigation and family counselling by qualified women psychologists. “Students from various institutes regularly visit the counselling centre to gain knowledge,” he said.

The SP further said the certification would help the police ensure better transparency and public-police interaction.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration has sought approval from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for notifying the woman and child support wing as a separate police station. 


Trade union asks Admn to clarify on
transfer options
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The local unit of the Indian Union Trade Union Congress (INTUC) today sought clarifications from the Chandigarh Administration on giving options to the Municipal Corporation staff transferred from the Chandigarh Administration.

In a memorandum purported to have been sent to the Administrator, Justice O. P. Verma, the president of the INTUC, Mr Ram Pal Sharma, has sought the cut-off date for giving the options, category wise posts vacant on this date, terms and conditions for those who would opt to stay with the Municipal Corporation and the fate of those who go to the Chandigarh Administration if not adjusted.

He has also asked if those going to the Chandigarh Administration would be adjusted at the same post. The INTUC has sought clarifications on 12 issues.


ITBP trainee electrocuted

Panchkula, August 1
A 20-year-old trainee at ITBP Camp, Bhanu, was electrocuted on the campus this afternoon. The victim, Sunil Kumar Pandey, was reportedly carrying a pole , which touched an overhead electric cable. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Panchkula, where he was declared dead. TNS


Prisoner gives cops the slip
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 1
A prisoner, Jagdip Singh, escaped from the police custody from the PGI here yesterday. Jagdip, was facing a trail under the NDPS Act and was brought here from Ambala Central Jail by two constables of the Haryana police for medical check-up.

A case under Section 224 of Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Pistol seized

The police arrested Gobind Singh of Colony No. 5 here and claimed to have recovered a country-made pistol and four empty cartridges yesterday. The police also said he had fired two shots in air from the pistol near Banwar Dhaba, near the colony yesterday. He has been booked under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of Arms Act.


An unidentified man was injured and admitted to the PGI in an unconscious state after the moped he was riding was hit by a Kinetic Honda scooter near Kiran Cinema, Sector 22, here yesterday. Till the time reports last came in he was still in coma. The scooter rider sped away from the spot. A case has been registered.

Purse snatched

A Sector 40 resident, Mr Shiv Kumar, reported to the police that two persons on a bicycle snatched his purse containing Rs 8, 375 from near traffic light points of Sectors 16 and 17 yesterday. A case has been registered.

Meanwhile, Bias Dev, employed as a peon at the Punjab and Haryana High Court here also reported that a bag containing Rs 335, a watch and his Identity card was stolen from the basket of his bicycle on the night of July 30 from near Government High School, Mani Majra. A case has been registered.


UT petrol dealers make hay
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 1
Even as the strike by petrol stations on the border districts of Punjab was near total in SAS Nagar and other areas in Ropar, petrol stations in Chandigarh witnessed record sales today.

Petrol stations falling in Chandigarh on various roads leading to SAS Nagar benefited the most, both from the hike in rates in Punjab beginning today and the daylong strike by the SAS Nagar petrol stations.

The difference between the petrol rates in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar is now Rs 2.68 per litre. It is Rs 33.34 per litre in SAS Nagar following the notification of a 5 per cent hike in sales tax by the Punjab Government. In Chandigarh, it remains at Rs 30.66 per litre.

Mr Nathi Singh of Karan filling station, the first beyond SAS Nagar on one of the main roads to the city from the township said their sale had gone up by 35 per cent since morning. Similarly, a Sector 42 petrol station worker Pankaj said they had sold at least 1,000 litres more than what they did on normal days.

‘‘We sell about 7,000 litres of petrol each day. Today, we have sold over 8,000 litres already,” he said. Mr Rumel Singh of Tiwana service station in Sector 43 said the sales shot in the morning but by the evening dropped back to normal. “We have already sold over 1,000 litres more than usual,” he said.

Most petrol stations in SAS Nagar opened at 5 pm, but attracted few clients, mostly those on two wheelers,” said a worker at Chawla filling station.

Petrol stations in Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Ropar and Sangrur had called for a day’s strike today in protest against the decision of the government to increase sales tax on petrol.


Gladrags model unveils spa in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The city beautiful is gradually turning into a haven for those who are seeking a pleasure root to mind and body rejuvenation. After the inauguration of the new look VLCC slimming clinic in Sector 9 by actress Raveena Tandon about five days ago, it was the turn of Gladrags megamodel Simran Sachdeva to throw open yet another exciting beauty outlet in Sector 8.

Smartly named, Cleopatra is all about beauty handed out through the natural mode by experts in the field. It’s said to be North India’s first day spa, which means it will cover all beauty treatments in a single day. Simran Sachdeva, the model, who features extensively in music videos of happening stars, pointed out after unveiling Cleopatra this morning, “Whereas all over North India spa clinics offer services over a period of few days, Cleopatra will offer the entire gamut of services within the frame of a day. So you have everything that nurtures your skin and body available in a single place close to our home.”

The day spa services now available in the city will include honey body polish, sea spa salt glow body treatment, European spa and body therapy with a hydro pack. All these services have been designed to nurture, pamper, recharge and refresh the clients.

As for this day, the visiting celebrity Simran Sachdeva talked about her own spa schedules. “It’s difficult to go to the same spa clinic over and over again to get a certain set of services. This clinic will offer all the services in one day. So it will help in saving time. Such a place would be especially suitable for us.”

A successful model and now a successful face for many music videos, Simran Sachdeva herself tried out some treatments at the clinic. Having done a lot of ramp modelling, Simran is now on her way to Bollywood. As she revealed today, “I have a couple of offers waiting to be taken. My professional commitment keeps me from disclosing names of the films, but I have will be seen in films from the next year.”

Not very keen on lead roles, Simran said she would not mind doing supporting roles. “I don’t even mind doing the item songs, which are really picking up. They offer quite a scope of presentation. I am also shortly focusing in one of the music videos of Jazzy Bains, the most successful Punjabi pop star,” informed the beaming Simran, who is extremely active on the ramp even today.

Emphasising the natural aspect of beauty services, she said, “We have all been flooded with a variety of beauty services, but its important that we choose or own treatments. Natural treatments are hard to get. You have natural treatments in the city now.”

Later during the day Simran Sachdeva also attended a function hosted by Cossets, the hypermarket in Sector 26, which celebrated its second anniversary today.

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