Sunday, August 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ghaggar changing course due to quarrying
Business thrives under political patronage
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, August 9
Quarrying by an unbridled “politician-contractor mafia” on the bed of the Ghaggar has not only caused erosion of fertile land along its banks but also lead to diversion in the course of the river. This unchecked practice by the alleged mafia, enjoying political patronage, has been causing huge losses to farmers of the district for the past few years.

Deep pits caused by unchecked quarrying in violation of the Punjab Minor Mineral Excavation Rules, 1964 have helped the river divert its course, thus washing away fertile land along its banks.

Turning a blind eye to the consequences of quarrying, the mafia has been lifting sand and soil from the riverbed for the past many years to yield maximum profit.

There are 42 quarrying sites on the riverbed, between Ramgarh village in Haryana and Ootsar village, near Ghanaur in Rajpura, Punjab, as per the Mining Wing of the Industrial Department, Punjab. Of these, only 34 sites have been auctioned by the department this year.

Worst affected is the Mubarikpur-Manauli Surat stretch of the river where the contractors have been lifting sand from the riverbed and banks, discounting the bid deed.

Farmers of the area allege that politicians from Haryana, Punjab and other neighbouring states are involved in the trade.

Mr Netra Pal Singh, a resident of Rampur village, laments that the “mafia” has been quarrying with the help of earthmoving equipment along their fields with standing crop like paddy, maize and bajra.

“The pits dug by earthmovers facilitate the change in course of the river, leading to erosion of acres of fertile land each year. Some farmers have lost half of their land along the riverbank in past 15 years”, said Mr Teja Singh of Ibrahimpra village.

A major chunk of shamlat land, around 20 acres, of Bhaura village that was cultivated by over 15 farmers was swept away last week, according to Mr Gurdev Singh, an elderly farmer of the village.

“Continuous quarrying has deepened the river, which has further helped strong currents damage temporary bundhs along the banks. In the past three years, around 60 acres of village land has been washed away by floods”, lamented the Sarpanch of the village, Mr Mohinder Singh.

A survey of the area by Chandigarh Tribune team found out that huge machinery was being used to lift soil from the riverbed and banks. Temporary shacks had come up along the riverbed to provide tea and snacks for the labour. Trails leading to the riverbed had emerged at many places and scores of trucks (loaded with soil and sand) were stationed at some sites.

The authorities in the Mining Wing admitted involvement of politicians in quarrying business on the Ghaggar riverbed. The authorities further said the department had not received any complaint in this regard so far.



Parents pay for misdeeds of their wards 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Mr Rajesh Kumar, Inspector-General of Police, admitted that parents of the accused were facing inconvenience. The police was not interested in harassing them but only making an effort to locate the place where their wards were hiding. The accused in such a case usually got in touch with their families, at least to inform them that they were fine.

Mr Rajesh Kumar said calling parents and relatives was just a pressure tactic. The police is left with no other option. Sometimes it is expected that children “shamed by inconvenience to their parents” turned themselves in. 

Chandigarh, August 9
Parents and relatives of students involved in recent brawls at the Panjab University campus are paying a “heavy price” for “misdeeds”of their wards. They have been made to wait in police station for hours and even kept under ‘watch’ for no fault of theirs.

Few of them are doing regular rounds of the police station at Sector 11 to see whether their children had come or to see that they are fine in police custody, if they had turned themselves in. Few of the relatives are doings rounds in hospitals and taking care of those recuperating from injuries in the brawls.

Reliable police sources agreed that the families of such students were facing taxing moments. The father of Khushbaz Singh Jattana, President of the Student Organisation of Panjab University, who is the main accused in the attack on Malwinder Singh Kang, the President of the Panjab University Students Union, is reported to have made “umpteen” visits to the police station “often waiting for hours”.

Jattana eluded arrest after the attack on July 30. The father is learnt to have assured the police repeatedly that his son would “ soon be turning himself in”. Jattana along with two supporters, surrendered yesterday.

Another accused ‘Nawab’ belongs to a place near Ropar. His father was kept under “watch” for three-four days. Nawab is still absconding. Sources said a relative of another accused was picked up from Karnal. Similar pressure was exerted on one of the other accused.

Kang is currently lodged at the faculty House of the university. At least two of his relatives could be seen doing rounds of his hostel looking for Kang, a day after the incident. They had rushed to inquire about the health of the leader who lost at least three of his teeth.

A senior professor said parents were facing hard times but it was time for them to introspect. Parents need to be in constant touch with the activities of their wards in their classes.

He said the police questioning the parents and relatives was not a new development. Residents of Punjab who have seen the troubled days of terrorism are familiar with such action after any “incident”.

Mr Chand Singh Madaan, a former chairman of the Haryana Students Association (HSA), said the university should assume the role of parents on the campus. Strictness was required to maintain discipline. It is strange to find that a student arrested on one account was soon released on bail. The same student, in a number of cases, was embroiled in another clash soon after.

He was clearly referring to the recent case involving Satinder Dahiya and Dharmender Balhara, president and chairman of the HSA, who were involved in a brawl at a university shop. After getting bail, they were involved in another brawl at the general house meeting of the HSA where another clash took place.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, a Fellow, said students should be conscious of the fact that parents would be unnecessarily troubled for their pranks.



Faux pas by UT Traffic Police
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 9
On the afternoon of July 26, a youth from Panchkula was challaned for driving a scooter with “tinted glasses” in addition to driving without safety helmet, near Housing Board traffic light points.

Interestingly, Vishal Shahi came to know of this faux pas only when he went to pay for the challan. Before he could reason with the UT Traffic Police, he was forced to pay Rs 1,300 for “driving his scooter on the city roads with tinted glasses and without helmet”. As though the blunder was not enough, the police authorities allegedly refused to see any reason in the issue. They kept insisting that challan must be paid for the offence mentioned in the slip.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Vishal said although he kept pleading that he was only driving without a helmet, the traffic police told him curtly: “Pay for driving with black film on your vehicle.”

No senior police official was available for comments.



Gas turns dumping ground into burning death trap
Tribune News Service

Hints of methane ignored

Simple hints, like stench, about the presence of methane gas have been ignored. Two months ago, a man who had come from outside was sitting in a small Buddhist complex. He lighted a cigarette and the place caught fire. The person was burnt and was admitted to the PGI. But there was no follow-up as to how the place caught fire.

Chandigarh, August 9
A chance discovery of methane gas around the dumping ground of Chandigarh has led to protests from nearby residents. It has startled the Chandigarh Administration into action. This evening, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu, visited the area and got it cordoned off. For security purposes, police personnel have been posted and a fire engine has been posted.

The gas has been emanating for a long time and residents have been even misusing it. Some residents of the nearby Dadu Majra village have even laid pipelines and use it as cooking gas. The situation is so bad that once a man from the village threw a lighted match in an open ground and the grass caught fire.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, confirmed that this was methane and said the ADC along with the Medical Officer visited the spot today. Prof S.C. Jain of Panjab University’s Chemical Engineering Department says that methane is highly combustible. If it is in big quantity, it can result in a blast with an impact on a radius of about 1 km. This means several localities like Sector 39, Sector 38 West and the Dadu Majra are under threat.

How methane reached here is the question bothering the Administration. Professor Jain adds that the gas needs to be taken out from here. Land adjoining Dadu Majra village located in the south western part of the Union Territory has been used for dumping city garbage for the past four decades. In the past when LPG was used on a limited scale coal and wood ashes from hotels and other big users was also dumped here. This residue of coal could be now be resulting in the presence of methane, says Mr R.R. Gill, Member, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, who lives nearby. The administration has not been following the right procedures for dumping. An equal proportion of loose earth should be dumped with garbage.

The mystery of the gas and its danger will be known only when a thorough probe is conducted. The administration today called the representatives of gas agencies to study the situation. They have reportedly said it was not possible to take out the gas by tapping it as it had spread over a large area and did not have the desired depth for tapping.



Tapes main proof in judges’ case

Chandigarh, August 9
The confessional statement made by two key witnesses in the corruption case involving two judicial officers may break new ground in the CBI investigation.
The statements of Paramjit Singh, Superintendent with the Labour Court, and Satinder Singh, alias Babu, clerk, and the report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) on cassettes containing conversation between judicial officer S.S. Bhardwaj and complainant Gurvinder Singh Samra, have become the main evidence for the CBI. The corruption case involves Jalandhar District and Sessions Judge R.M. Gupta and Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S.S. Bhardwaj.

A Junior Scientific Officer with the CFSL Chandigarh, Dr C.P. Singh, who examined the cassettes containing the conversation of Bhardwaj and Samra as also the Aaj Tak cassettes containing the interview of Bhardwaj has submitted his report to the CBI. He has stated that “there is a high probability that the cassettes submitted to the CFSL by the CBI contain the voices of Bhardwaj and Samra.”

Witnesses Paramjit Singh and Satinder Singh, who were earlier alleged to be involved in the case were not mentioned as accused in the case. Paramjit has already been granted anticipatory bail while Satinder was released on regular bail after being arrested by the CBI in the case.

Their statement made before the UT Judicial Magistrate is now part of the charge sheet submitted in the court of the CBI Special Judge by the CBI. The two had made statements supporting the CBI allegation against the two judicial officers. The CBI alleged that both Gupta and Bhardwaj had used Paramjit Singh and Satinder Singh as their respective conduits for the commission of the crime.

Paramjit, in his statement, said he had asked Mr Gupta regarding Samra’s bail on the request made by Babu. He added that during Gupta’s posting as Presiding Officer at the Labour Court, Chandigarh, he had handed over a gift parcel containing amounts ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 to Gupta six or seven times.

Meanwhile, the CBI has been investigating the role of a senior police officer who was is also alleged to have been involved in the case. 



WHO project on resistance of antibiotics to be conducted in PGI
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 9
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has undertaken a project to ascertain the extent of antibiotic resistance in India. The project started in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Health, is to be conducted through eight centres across the country. The PGIMER, Chandigarh, is one of them.

Stating that the problem of antibiotic resistance in India has reached alarming proportions, Prof Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, WHO Coordinator, in an interview with TNS today, said the rampant misuse of antibiotics was leading the country towards a situation where even the strongest antibiotics would no longer be effective.

President of the Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational Use of Drugs, Professor Chaudhury was here for a symposium organised at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.

‘‘The WHO programme will find out which bacteria and virus is becoming resistant to which antibiotic. Once these are documented, an antibiotic policy will be formulated recommending the banning of these antibiotics for sometime so that the next generations of micro-organisms lose that resistance, making the drug effective again,’’explains Professor Chaudhury.

‘‘Antibiotics are not just being prescribed unnecessarily but also administered wrongly. In many cases, strong ones are prescribed when weaker ones could do. All this leads to disease causing bacteria developing a resistance to the antibiotic being administered. This drug-resistant bacteria does not remain specific to the patient, but spreads. We have not discovered a single new antibiotic in the past two decades. Whatever new drugs we have are different varieties of the same drug, whereas the number of drug-resistant bacteria has multiplies across populations.’’

The anti-TB programme in India failed with the spread of a drug-resistant variety of and a second line of treatment was prescribed. ‘‘But despite a pre-established regimen which is to be followed by doctors for TB treatment, in India, we discovered that 77 different types of treatments for TB were being done in a single city,’’ pointed out Professor Chaudhury.

Pointing that India lacks both a drug policy and an antibiotic policy, he suggested that India should move towards health empowerment of its people. ‘‘This is a concept which has never been used in India but can change the state of health of Indians. We have discovered that if women of the family are given some basic knowledge about the prescription and administration of about 50 essential drugs, a revolution in the field of health can be set in.’’

Professor Chaudhury also expressed concern that even as India is producing the most cost effective anti-HIV drug in the world, patients here have to pay through their nose. ‘‘Make it free for AIDS patients. If we don’t take care of these patients today, there will be a chaos tomorrow, ’’he warned.



Labour Ministry to focus on unorganised sector
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
After years of teaching labour laws and ways to improve the productivity to the workers and members of managements in the organised sector, the Centre has decided to shift its focus to the workers in the rural and unorganised sector. An estimated 35 crore workers are employed in these sectors in the country.

A department of the Union Ministry of Labour, the Central Board for Workers Education (CBWE) — which has been in the forefront in the field of educating the workers over the years — has been identified by the Centre to implement the project. A budgetary allocation of Rs 40 crore has been made in the current financial year, said the Vice-Chairman of the Central Board for Workers Education, Mr S.S. Chauhan, here today.

Mr Chauhan, who was on a two-day visit to the regional office of the Central Board for Workers Education (CBWE) here, said educating workers in the unorganised and rural sector was not restricted to imparting the labour laws and ways to generate income. “We have developed syllabi to teach family health, hygiene, and awareness about AIDS and HIV.

The board of directors of the CBWE in its recent meeting have decided to set up a separate Rural Workers Directorate under the flagship of the CBWE. Highly qualified officers were being recruited to spread the message of skill enhancement, family planning, hygiene and other related topics. “Any department can not teach the labour laws and productivity in isolation.

The government has realised that in order to bring revolution at the grass root level, everything has to be taught with some relevance to one’s surroundings and environment”, said Mr A.N. Dogra, a senior member of the board of directors of the CBWE.

Mr Dogra, who was accompanying Mr Chauhan on the tour, said the idea of focusing on the rural work force came when it was realised that in the nation’s march towards the next century, the rural and the unorganised sector was way behind its counterparts in the organised sector. Another factor contributing to the new project was the recession, retrenchment and the stiff competition in the organised sector. Initially the board was adopting some blocks in each state and study the results.

The ministry was also focussing on teaching industrial skills in the context of globalisation. “The concept was that a worker with good skills can survive in today’s competitive world”, said Mr Chauhan, adding that classes of senior members of managements in private sector were also being held. Refresher courses were being run at the Institute of Industrial Workers, Mumbai.

The Vice-Chairman said the board had developed syllabi on total quality management. The interests of the offices in the CBWE were also being watched as their pay scales were being brought on a par with their counterparts in the Central Government departments.



Now Laughing Buddha rakhis
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, August 9
Harry Potter is back, along with Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Mickey Mouse. Even Popeye the sailor man, and his girlfriend, Olive have found their way out of the television screens. They are all being sold in the card and gift shops all over the city in the form of rakhis.

This is not all. For the first time, perhaps, in this part of the region, threads for “bhabis” are also being offered. Popularly known as “loombas”, these colourful threads with tiny ghungroos attached can be had for Rs 75, even less.

Rakhis and “loombas” can be taken to your brother’s house on “traditional thalis” decorated with mirrors or can be packed in minute carry bags specially designed for the occasion. Vermilion on “pan-pattas” are also available. One can also buy vermilion in cheerful boxes.

If you are a believer in the science of Feng Shui, you can take home rakhis with Laughing Buddha, even ones with brass coins secured with red ribbon. These can be kept in the purse after the occasion is over for “ever flowing cash”.

Anyway, more and more youngsters are going in for rakhis in the form of cartoon characters. If the girls are not picking up Garfield and Odie, they are asking for Superman. Batman hanging upside down in the shops is their hot favourite. Friendly neighbour Spiderman, too, is in the race for supremacy. Interestingly, Santa with his flowing beard is also there.

The reason behind the increasing popularity of the characters is not hard to see. Explaining the trend, sociologist Raman Sharma says, “The children have seen them on the television fighting evil with bare hands. Or else, they have enjoyed watching the poor little mouse thrash a cat with a club. Now the little girls want to tie the familiar heroes of their hearts around the wrist of their brothers”.

“The characters have been imported all the way from China,” reveals Ms Raman of a gift and chunk jewellery shop in Sector 11. “They have been made into rakhis here in Gujarat and Kolkata. You can have them for Rs 35 and more”.

Also available for the little ones are rakhis in form of mobile phones. You can open the flip and dial the numbers for listening to some cool songs. Or else, you can buy miniature camera sets with diodes emitting “dazzling light”.

The “ordinary” ones are also not that “simple”. You can buy ones with rudraksha beads “for good luck”. Or else, ones with artificial diamonds. If you have faith in the power of gold, you can pick up threads with gold streaks.

As the rakhi is approaching, more and more residents are rushing to the offices of courier companies. According to a rough estimate, approximately 1,500 packets containing rakhis are being sent through each courier company. Officials of a courier company reveal that otherwise around 2500 packets are sent through the service daily. For delivery to the nearby areas, the companies are charging anywhere between Rs 30 and Rs 60. 



Polling booths reduced to 417
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The Chandigarh Administration today decided to reduce the number of polling booths in the city from 641 to 417.
This has been done following guidelines issued by the Election Commission, according to which there was a need to change the criteria laid down for deciding the setting up of polling booths, since the electronic voting machines had increased the speed of voting. This was stated by the Additional Chief Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar. Earlier, the criteria was to have a polling booth for every 1,000 to 1,200 votes. Now this has been changed to 1,500 votes for every booth.

Physical verification of these new 417 booths has been carried out through survey reports collected from 11 middle-level officers. Major political parties were called in for a meeting today and were asked to file objections, if any, by August 12. 



CAs seek single form for tax payers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Members of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has urged the government to simplify the process of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) by introducing one form for all categories of tax payers. This issue was raised at a seminar on TDS and taxation of educational institutions, organised by the institute.

The main speakers were Mr Arvind Jindal and Mr S.P. Babuta, both former Chairman's of the local branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Mr Manoj Kohli, Chairman of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, said due to change in the Finance Act, 2002, more than five lakh small proprietorships, firms and Hindi Undivided Families (HUFs) had come in the net of the tax deduction at source thus generating more revenue for the Income Tax Department. He said in the case of taxation of educational institutes , the provisions changed in the Act were conflicting with the societies Act.

Mr Arvind Jain talked about the amendment made in the Finance Act , 2002. He spoke in detail about the provisions in Section 194 A, on interest other than the interest on securities; 194 C relating to payment by sub contractors; 194 H relating to commission; 194 I relating to rent and 194 J relating to the payment of fee for professional or technical services. Mr Babuta said there was a need to amend the Section 194 J in such a manner that no tax was deducted where the expenditure was for personal use of an individual.

Under the budgetary provisions for year 2003-2004, all proprietary firms with gross turnover of more than Rs 40 lakh would now come in the category of tax deduction at source. 



Local girl among Uttaranchal judicial services toppers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
Ms Neena Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 7 here , has been selected for judicial services in Uttaranchal. This was the first batch of judicial services in Uttaranchal and Ms Neena has secured second position among the girl candidates . She has been a top ranker throughout her academic carrier.

Distribution of wheat: The officers of the District Food and Supplies Department will ensure that the wheat and flour earmarked for distribution among the people living below the poverty line is lifted in time and its distribution is proper.

This was directed by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, while presiding over the monthly meeting of the District Officers Board. Taking a serious view of the gap in lifting of 220 MT of wheat last month as against the allocated 300 MT, she pointed out that depot owners did not lift sufficient amount of earmarked wheat and flour under the BPL scheme.

She also ordered that proper supply of kerosene be ensured so that customers do not suffer. The health department was asked to motivate people for birth and death registration. The officers of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam ( HVPN) were asked to release the pending tubewell connections.

Interactive session: The teachers of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, had an interactive session with Dr Prabhjot Malhi, who educated them about behavioural problems among students of different age groups.

She stressed that one should give special attention to hyperactivity and dyslexia at the primary level, nutrition problem at the middle level and self identity at the adolescence level. Dr Malhi highlighted that peer tutoring was an important aspect of improving academic performance.

Installation: The joint installation ceremony of four Lioness Clubs — Lioness Club Chandigarh, Lioness Club Panchkula Central , Lioness Club Midtown and Lioness Club Sukhmani — was held at Hotel Sunbeam yesterday. All Presidents were installed by District President Savindra Chopra.

Exhibition: Manav Mangal School today held its annual exhibition showcasing models and projects ranging from science to Indian festivals.

The two-day exhibition was inaugurated by the Superintendent of Police, Mr Ranbir S. Sharma. The exhibition covering a vast range of fields like computer science, social science, art and craft, literature, and almost all aspects of daily life, showed the innovativeness of teachers as well as students.

Students of nursery wing portrayed the idea of congenial environment to put across the message “Live and let live” through animal characters. The glory of Indian festivals was brought alive through live models. Importance of indispensable helpers like policemen, postman, teacher etc. was highlighted through live models by linking examples of experiences from a child’s life.

Social science wing exhibited various regions of earth and their people, characteristics and lifestyles. This included depicting of geographical features like sand dunes, lagoons, plateaus, oasis etc. Art and craft section comprised mural works, glass painting, pot painting etc.

Singing competition: At least 100 students from different schools participated in a solo singing competition held at Gandhi Samarak Bhavan in Sector 16. The competition was held as part of the three-day function to mark Independence Day.

The competitions are being organised by Global Vision Home Charitable Trust in association with the local branch of the Gandhi Samarak Nidhi.

Students from classes III to VII sang songs based on different themes, including universal brotherhood, humanity and compassion. Four entries from each school were invited in this category.

A contribution of Rs 100 per child was taken for participation in the competition. The proceeds of the programme and the sponsorship fee will go to the healthcare and education of four children involved in rag-picking from the Sector 25 slum area. 



Welcome to head of Indian Orthodox Syrian Church
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 9
The supreme head of the Indian Orthodox Syrian Church, Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews-II, was given a warm welcome on his first visit to the city by St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church in Sector 46 today.

A colourful procession was taken out in his honour from Sector 45. It passed through Sector 46-B and C before culminating at St Mary’s Church. Church trustee Varghese N V led the procession which was delayed by an hour due to rains.

Hundreds of the laity joined the procession holding the church flag.Drum beaters , who had come specially from Kerala, lent colour to the procession. They were followed by Sunday school students . A decorated open van with the Catholics and Bishop Job Mar Philexinos was another attraction.

As part of the silver jubilee celebrations of St Mary’s Church, besides episcopal golden jubilee of its supreme head, a public meeting will be organised at the church on August 10. Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator O P Verma will be the chief guest.



Keeping Rent Act issue alive

With the new Administrator of UT Chandigarh, taking charge, the Rent Act issue has surfaced again. Negating the outcomes of the rent notification viz., upward swing, the real estate, boost in construction activity in the region-generating employment, lower rentals and widespread settlements in majority of the disputes resulting in considerable decline in rent litigations, the commercial tenants, in the garb of a newly formed body, are singing the old tune of rolling back the notification. Notably, while talking about the achievements during his tenure, the rent reform notification was on top of the list quoted by General Jacob in one of the interviews.

Paying dual role of pleasing both — tenants as well as owners — the city-based political parties too want to keep the issue alive. Otherwise, with a fraction of city population opposing the notification, where lies the logic for undoing it? More particularly, the duality of city unit of BJP has since been publicly exposed by its warring factions.

Open to world trade, the country has had no option but to provide the investors a much required safe and secure return for their investments by providing a balanced field to the user and the usage-provider. Decontrolling of Rent Act is one among various such progressive policies in the pipeline.

Having little relevancy in the present perspectives, the controversial Act enacted in 1941 by the Britishers by freezing rent rates at 1939 level was further extended to the state of Punjab as East Punjab Rent Restriction Act, 1949, in the wake of large-scale migration of population at the time of partition. The obsolete, lopsided and counterproductive legislation was long overdue to be revoked.

R.P. Malhotra, Panchkula

Insanitary conditions

This is with reference to an old report published in Chandigarh Tribune. The Mohali Municipal Council has adopted Punjab Municipal Sanitation and Public Health Bylaws, 2003. According to it, no person can create unhygienic conditions at any government building or public place. No one can spit, litter or urinate inside or outside at a public place. The offenders would be levied a fine of Rs 1,000 if caught violating the bylaws again and additional fine of Rs 500 would be levied. This is a good decision.

A few years ago, the UT Administration had notified the Municipal Corporation (Sanitation and Public Health) bylaws, 1999, under which defacing or urinating at public places other than the places earmarked for the purpose was banned.

The laws also forbid spitting at any place or in a building, causing insanitation and annoyance to anybody. Deposit of malba, garbage or any other waste material in the public places, collection of waste water, cattle dung, building waste material, spread of oily or greasy material will also be violation of the bylaws.

The Welfare Association, Mohalla Committee, Sector 19 C, has brought in the notice of the police and the Municipal Corporation that male members urinate in the open on the backside of the government houses which fall in Sectors 19 and 27. Officials of the both organisations visited the place but action is still awaited.

I would request the Public Health wing of Municipal Corporation to take strict action against the persons and fine Rs 500 for insanitation conditions as per their decision.

M.L. Garg, Chandigarh

Model for Sukhna’s filter house

The government has decided to make yet another effort at solving the silt problem of Sukhna Lake; this time by installing silt excluders costing Rs 2 crore. There is no foolproof guarantee that these will be able to reduce the silt contents of water entering the lake to zero. At least nobody has made such a claim. Without this the silt problem will continue. The only way to allow zero silt is to fill the lake with filtered water. Know-how for filtering on such a large-scale is not available as it has never been tried in the past.

In the case of Sukhna Lake, there is an ideal opportunity for converting some of its structures to form a part of filter house capable of meeting the total requirement of filtered water for the lake. It will be free even from the routine problem of disposing of the accumulated residual silt. For want of publicity, this innovative scheme costing Rs 40 lakh only has not been commented upon by experts and specialists.

The government has nothing to lose and everthing to gain if it displays a model of the filter house at some place on the lake and invites criticism. The response is likely to be very favourable. Prudency requires that this exercise should be done before any expenditure is incurred on silt excluders.

S.P. Malhotra, Panchkula

Startling home truths

There is a lot of controversy going on with regard to P.U. Evening College, where I once was a student. Since now there is a suggestion of starting it from 4 p.m. onwards also, it seems that unlike the previous practice, it is no more reserved for employees, majority of whom become free only after 5 p.m.

However, here are some startling home truths about the working hours of the college. Though as per UGC’s requirement a teacher has to stay for a “minimum” of five hours in his/her college, the present 5.15 to 10 p.m. norm of the Evening College falls short of it.

A teacher here, after he attends to the college on a Friday evening, has a free Saturday, Sunday and a whole Monday till 5 p.m. at his disposal. Consecutively three free days, every week (a hoard of holidays apart), perhaps are not available to any other employee anywhere in the world!

Balvinder, Chandigarh

Dhaba culture

It seems the Chandigarh Administration is keen to turn the city into a dhaba state by the decision to allow guest houses to function in shop-cup-flats. It is evident that this decision is being taken under pressure or to oblige certain people to destroy the beauty of the City Beautiful by opening guest houses and semi-hotels or rather dhabas in every shop-cup-office building.

The Administration should realise that this step will destroy the beauty and serene atmosphere of the city. Why not open such type of guest houses in government offices which are sprawling throughout the city? This way the Administration will earn crores of rupees.

Offices which are located in SCOs will have to vacate in the face of higher rent demands by the owners. The Administration has already announced that any owner can get his premises vacated under the new rules. There seems to be a sort of conspiracy because the beneficiaries would either be private business men or some unscrupulous bureaucrats. The people who had settled here when the city was founded were under the impression that they would be happiest citizens of free India.

But things are changing so fast here that all the dreams of the founders of the city will fade soon. If the Administration is adamant to destroy its basic structure and ‘‘grease the palms of the corrupt’’, the founders will be turning in their graves.

KMB, Chandigarh



Chandigarh Club programmes cancelled

Chandigarh, August 9
Following the death of Mr Ravinder Chopra, president of the Chandigarh Club, all entertainment programmes in the club have been cancelled till the Uthala ceremony which is take place on Sunday. Yesterday the executive committee of the club had organised an emergency meeting and passed a resolution condoling the death of it's president.

Mr Chopra has died yesterday morning following a heart attack. As per the norms of the Chandigarh Club Mr Sunil Khanna , the vice- president, becomes the acting president till the next annual elections of the club. TNS



SI dies of stroke
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 9
Sub Inspector Kulwant Singh (52) posted in Phase-I police station died of brain haemorrhage this evening here.
According to Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar SP, Mohali, the SI complained of headache in the afternoon and was rushed to the Phase-VI Civil Hospital. He was then shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh where he died after a few hours. His body has been brought to the Civil Hospital, Phase-VI, mortuary. His family in Jalandhar has been informed.



CITCO employee strangled: report
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 9
CITCO employee Budhi Singh was strangled to death on the night of August 6. This was revealed in the post-mortem report of the body. The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.

Budhi Singh, a native of Landwara village, Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh) was found dead in the verandha of the CITCO office in Sector 17. He was employed as a helper in a CITCO canteen.

Man deprived of car: Two unidentified persons drugged a Kaithal-based car driver, Mr Satyawan and later ran away with his car here yesterday. In his complaint, Mr Satyawan told the police that the two hired his Indica car (HR 08D 6150) from Kaithal to SAS Nagar. While they were nearing Chandigarh, the two offered him a juice containing some “intoxicant”. Mr Satyawan was later allegedly thrown out of the car near 3BRD here and the two sped away in the car. A case under Sections 328, 379 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft: Mr Gurcharan Singh Dhaliwal of Sector 33 reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH 01C 6850) was stolen from near Fragrance Garden, Sector 36, on July 7. Mr Dalel Chand, a resident of Sector 44, also reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH01 U 2105) was stolen from near Telephone exchange of Ram Darbar here yesterday. Two cases of thefts have been registered.

Meanwhile, Dr Rashmi Saluja of Sector 8 reported that her brief-case containing surgical items and operation kit was stolen from her car, which was parked at the CGA parking lot on July 6. A case has been registered.

2 held: The local police today arrested two youth, Balwinder Singh and Devinder Singh, on the charges of attempt to murder and forgery.

A car coming from the Majat side was signalled to stop by a naka at Landran village at 1.15 am today. The occupants of the vehicle fired upon the naka and ran away towards Kharar.

The police party also returned the fire and chased the car. As the car neared a Kharar naka the driver tried to crash into the barricade. However, he lost control of the car and rammed into a shop. The police nabbed the two occupants. The third Balwinder Singh of Raul village under Payal police station managed to escape.

The police has recovered one revolver from Devinder Singh and fake registration papers fake licence and a sum of Rs 2500 which they had robbed from a petrol pump in Morinda.

The car bore two registration numbers. The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 427, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC and the Arms Act.



Youth assaulted 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
A 20-year-old youth, Vishal Garg, was reportedly assaulted by seven persons near a fast food joint in Sector 5 , at about 8 pm tonight.
One of the victim’s friends, Sumit, informed TNS that they were standing outside the fast food joint, when seven persons, who came in two cars, charged at the victim without any provocation. They bashed him up, and as several people tried to intervene, they fled away in their cars. The victim, who is an engineering student at Barwala, was taken to the hospital. He suffered bruises on his face and legs. The police has registered an FIR.



Body found

SAS Nagar, August 9
The body of a newborn male child was found abandoned near the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium Phase IX this morning. TNS


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