Thursday, October 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PCA installs big video replay screen
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Harbhajan Singh obliges autograph hunters.
Harbhajan Singh obliges autograph hunters. 

Chandigarh, October 15
In its quest for the upgradation of its facilities, the PCA has installed a video replay screen at the stadium for the benefit of spectators. Now those watching the match, if they miss out on some important action, will have the benefit of seeing the replay while sitting in the stadium.

“The main regret of those seeing the match in the stadium was that the facility of replay, as it is there on the television set, was not there while seeing the match in the open. It will not be the case for those visiting the PCA Stadium any more,” stated Mr M P Pandove, secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association, this evening.

“There would be a re-run of all major events like the dismissal of a batsman, runs out, fours and sixes. While during the time a bowler returns back to his bowling mark, we would show scores of playing batsmen and the scoreboard,” he added.

About the advertisements during the match, he said it would be possible after this match.

Imported from Taiwan, the giant screen costing Rs 1.55 crore, is expected to be a big attraction with the audience. With the installation of the screen, Punjab will only be the second centre in the country after Chennai to have a video replay screen.

Mumbai also had a screen, but it was not installed at a proper place. Repeatedly being moved from one place to another for commercial purposes, it got worn out in nearly a year.

“The PCA bought it at much cheaper rates. The one bought for the Afro-Asian Games scheduled to start in Hyderabad from October 24 has been bought by the organisers at a cost exceeding Rs 3 crore,” Mr I.S. Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association, revealed here yesterday.

The arrival of the screen had been a matter of grave concern for the PCA due to inordinate delay in its arrival for installation. One portion of the video screen had arrived earlier and was lying in New Delhi, while the rest of it was held up in Hong Kong for want of transportation facilities. Transportation was finally arranged yesterday night and the screen, after a couple of days, finally began its journey to Mohali providing much relief to the PCA bigwigs.

The complete screen finally landed at the stadium yesterday night and the installation works were almost over by the night. Three engineers from the company had been camping at the PCA for the past couple of days awaiting the arrival of the video screen.

A fitness and health centre was also inaugurated at the stadium by skipper Saurav Ganguly today. Ganguly, though indisposed and not playing the Test, arrived to inaugurate the aesthetically done fitness centre along with local hero Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Ganguly evinced keen interest in the equipment, but did not touch any due to indisposition. The centre has virtually every fitness equipment and has been set up at a cost of approximately Rs 90 lakh.


Yuvraj get, set, go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Yuvraj Singh Finally city lad Yuvraj Singh is all set to play Test cricket. Tomorrow, he makes his Test debut and the old-timers who have seen him grow up are delighted.

It is a long way since Yuvraj was born to Yograj Singh and Shabnam Singh. Born in Chandigarh, Yuvraj lived in house No 508, Sector 11. His old neighbours recollect that Yograj had set up night practice facility for Yuvraj in the house where the kid used to play till late into the night.


* Yuvraj Singh will join the select band of father-son duo to play Test cricket.
* Yograj Singh and Yuvraj will only be the seventh such Indian pair.
* October 16 seems to be special day for city cricket. On this date in 1978 Kapil Dev made his debut against Pakistan at Fasailabad. Yuvraj will also earn his Test cap on October 16.
* Yuvraj will be the fifth player from the city after Kapil Dev, Yograj Singh, Ashok Malhotra and Chetan Sharma to play Test cricket (Dinesh Mongia is yet to play Test cricket).
* Yuvraj is the fourth player from DAV College, Sector 10, to play for the country. Except Chetan all others studied in DAV. 

If predictions come true then Yograj Singh should take the cake. Almost 15 years ago Yograj would often say that Yuvraj will play Test cricket. No one, not even, the best of Yograj’s friends believed him. This because roller skating and not cricket was Yuvraj’s love. Yograj had a desire to see his son play for India. The father’s wish prevailed.

Today, when a proud Yograj was reminded about his words and asked about his feelings on his son playing Test cricket, his voice choked. ‘‘The feeling is yet to sink in,” said Yograj Singh, whose booming voice is well-known in the Punjabi film industry. He says he will not go to the stadium to watch his son play. ‘‘I will be at the DAV college ground coaching a new lot of kids.’’ On being whether it will be the duty of DAV College groundsman Ram Ashrey to inform him about Yuvraj’s latest exploits, he just chuckled.

Sukhwinder Bawa, coach of Yuvraj, was elated. “The feeling is top of the world,” he said. Yuvraj, who now practises at the coaching centre in DAV School, Sector 8, has been coming around and giving tips to the next lot of young cricketers from time to time.

The last one to make his debut from the city was Chetan Sharma in October, 1984, versus Pakistan at Lahore. Chetan had then shocked the world as he bowled out Mohsin Khan of the fifth ball he bowled. He had then followed up with the wickets of Mudassar Nazar and the Pakistani legend Javed Miandad. So will Yuvraj have such an impressive debut ? Old family friend and former Union Minister Venod Sharma says, “My best wishes to Yuvraj, I just hope he does well.’’

The Head of the Department, Physical Education, DAV College Sector 10, Mr Satish Gandhi, just could not control his joy. ‘‘It has been more than 20 years that somebody from the college played Test cricket for the country.’’ Before Yograj and Yuvraj the other such cases are of D.K. Gaekwad and Anshuman Gaekwad, H.S. Kanitkar and H.H. Kanitkar, Nawab of Pataudi Senior and M.A.K. Pataudi, Vijay Manjrekar and Sanjay Majrekar, Vinoo Mankad and Ashok Mankad, Lala Amarnath and his sons Surinder and Mohinder Amarnath. 


Ticket no, pass yes
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, October 15
Ticket no, pass yes Pass, pass, pass. This is the mantra, echoing in the city, PCA stadium, SAS Nagar and elsewhere where the cricket fever has gripped cricket enthusiasts. The five-day India- New Zealand cricket match has created a festive atmosphere in and around SAS Nagar.

The city has become a big media centre with nearly eight big newspapers being published from here. Then we have lot of industrialists, other eminent citizens along with a host of VIPs who just want passes. Another interesting fact is that parents spend a few hundred rupees on their wards at eating points or while making other purchases but when it comes to buying tickets for a cricket match few parents agree to spare money for the purpose and prefer passes.

The organisers to have succumb to various pressures for issuing passes.

No doubt the ticket in the general block for students is priced at Rs 25, but the wards of VIPs and other influential people would never prefer to sit there.

A visit to the ICICI banks, the official counters for the tickets, revealed that only tickets priced at Rs 1,500 were available.

Whatever be the case the PCA has created a media hype for tomorrow’s Test match although the crowd was poor for the first Test in Ahmedabad a few days back. 


Parking sites not specified
Tribune News Service

For the Punjab Cricket Association finding a new Tricolour, however, seemed difficult. For most of the day a tattered Tricolour flew a top the stadium till a senior police official pointed out this to the authorities. The flag was taken off, sources said, and will be replaced by a new one tomorrow.

SAS Nagar, October 15
All those going to for the five-day Test match between India and New Zealand, beginning tomorrow at the PCA stadium here, may be in for some parking problems. In what could prove to be a major oversight, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has given the parking contract without specifying the exact locations.

While the car parking just opposite the main gate of the PCA stadium is reserved for VIPs, the contactor has been given a virtual free hand in deciding where he will direct the rest of the vehicles to.

Stating that he has been asked to use the playing ground just behind the stadium, a part of the sports complex and the regular Phase IX and X market parking, the contractor, Mr Jaspal Singh Saini, told The Tribune that although nothing has been fixed, he has been given vague directions in this regard.

However, PUDA officials insisted that the 8,000 sq ft of land, which the contractor is to use for parking, is behind the stadium, adding that the parking contractor cannot use market parking area for the purpose.

‘‘These are free parkings and cannot be used by anyone to earn money,’’ said a PUDA employee.

‘‘But I will be allowing VIP cars also in the parking place that has been allocated to me. So in lieu of that area I will have to use some other nearby places,’’ the contractor explained.

According to the contract the routine ground rent has been charged. The rent in this case is as low as Rs 11.50 per sq ft per month. The contractor has paid Rs 18,500 to PUDA for the next five days.

The contractor will be charging Rs 10 each for a car and Rs 5 each for two-wheelers. Although he says that he is not expecting more than 2,000 vehicles, sources state that he stands to gain lakhs of rupees. ‘‘But I am also paying Rs 50,000 to the security men that I will employee for these five days. No one has to worry. I will be responsible for everything. The vehicles will be safe,’’ Mr Saini assured. 


A cricketer-cop who is popular with Sachin, Saurav
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
He left a cricket bat to wield a baton and a gun but his cricketing past still brings him close to icons of the game despite being saddled with the duty of chasing criminals.

The Chandigarh Police Sub-Inspector Vishal, who represented Jammu and Kashmir in Ranji Trophy for several years, has been with the Indian cricket team whenever it visits the city.

He has been with Indian team as Personal Security Officer (PSO) when it had ties with Australia, Zimbabwe and now New Zealand.

Vishal and another Sub-Inspector Malkiat Singh are favourites with the cricketers whenever they come to the city.

Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly recalled the security officer’s company during the last tie when Vishal was a PSO to Ganguly.

Sub-Inspector Vishal got a familiar smile and a hug from the Indian skipper as soon as he emerged from the airport in the parking lot where the PSO was waiting for the team today.

A former cricket all-rounder, Vishal said the Indian players generally stay inside the hotel and are nice human beings.

He specially remembers the local boy Yuvraj Singh who calls him “paji” to give him the honour he deserves as a cricketer.

The Sub-Inspector stands out amongst players with a wireless set in the hand and carrying a weapon but dressed like players in their casuals.

Having been a player himself, Vishal understands what the security requirement of popular players are, saying mostly players need to be protected against unwarranted intervention in their activities in the absence of any specific threat.

Whether it is carrying players from the airport to Hotel Mountview, or from the hotel to the stadium for practice sessions or for matches, he has to be with them providing them company as well security.

Vishal says what he loves during his duty is to see players during the net practice as it brings out the best of their team spirit and humanity.

“You see seniors helping the newcomers in the team and juniors being very receptive.” he said.

During the practice sessions, players are far from tension and concentrate on correcting their faults, he says.

A player in him forces him to join players in their practice with both ball and bat which he used for years with some success.

He has helped the Indian teams in the past in the nets also.

Vishal joined the Chandigarh Police as an Assistant Sub-Inspector and has now been promoted as a Sub-Inspector.

His first assignment as a security officer with cricketers came when India and Australia had a tie in Mohali. He remembers that only those Indian players move around the city and in the markets who are generally new and seniors prefer to stay inside.

The Sub-Inspector says Indian players Sachin and Saurav are very courteous, asserting he did not feel any difference in the two duties as far as the response of players is concerned. 


Media centre at PCA stadium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
A media telecommunication centre with the latest facilities has been set up near the media box in the PCA stadium at SAS Nagar, near here.

Mr Satish Gupta, a senior BSNL official overseeing the setting up of the centre said it would have virtually every facility needed by the mediapersons during the Test.

“We have an arrangement by which we can provide a telephone connection to any needy mediaperson within 10 minutes," he said.


5 hurt as bus rams into tree
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, October 15
Five passengers, including two foreigners, travelling in a private tourist bus were injured when it rammed into a tree along the Chandigarh-Shimla highway, opposite Command Hospital, in the wee hours here today. The accident took place while the driver tried to save some buffaloes crossing the road.

The bus owned by Swagtam Tours, a Manali-based travelling agency, was on its route from Manali and Nalagarh to Chandigarh with 27 passengers. The bus (HP-01-1778) overturned after hitting the tree, leaving five passengers injured.

Of the five injured, three are from Mandi district and the others from Kulu. The injured have been identified as Praveen (25) of Bhangrotu village, Alok Rathor (31) of Mandi and Hari Dass of Old Mandlu village in Mandi. Inder Dutt, (45) a resident of Bhuntar, and Gheri Sharma (52) of Prohadhai Diyar, belong to Kulu district.

The driver, Girdhari Lal and the conductor, Raju Kashyap, also sustained minor injuries in the accident.

The injured were discharged after first-aid assistance from the General Hospital, Sector 6, this morning.

Since the injured did not want police intervention, no case was registered.

It may be recalled that 16 passengers, including nine foreign nationals, were injured when a bus belonging to the same travelling agency had collided head-on with an oil tanker in Lalru on September 2. 


Sector 37 resident stabbed, dies
Witnesses say three youths involved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Gunwant Singh Walia (47), a Sector 37 resident who was earlier working with the ORG Marg, market survey company, was stabbed to death by three clean-shaven persons near the Sectors 41, 42, 36 and 37 roundabout last night. The three fled on a scooter.

The police suspects that the persons were waiting for Walia as they probably knew that he used to take a walk on that road daily after dinner. His heart and a valve were punctured, as per the post-mortem report.

The police has procured the list of those associated with the company and called many of them for questioning.

This is the sixth murder in the city this month. Walia had gone on a stroll after having dinner with his brother Umant Walia at around 10.30 pm last night and was attacked as soon as he reached the roundabout.

He was taken to the PGI by his family and was declared dead within hours of reaching hospital.

Umant Walia told the police that a night watchman, Mahendra Mahato, of a private telecommunication company came running to their residence to inform that three youths in the age group of 20 and 25 years were beating up Walia.

Mahato had identified Walia as the latter used to run an STD shop from his residence. Mahato came back along with Umant Singh and Ms Neelam, wife of the deceased. The three youths were still standing. On seeing them one of them who was wearing a cap, yellow T-shirt and a black trouser, said they had “finished him” and all ran away.

The family of the deceased have denied any enmity.

Walia is survived by his wife, two teenage sons , Bhanu Partap, Vishwas and two daughters. Nandini, eldest among the siblings, is a class X student at Ajit Karam Singh International Public School.

The family of the deceased reportedly told the police that former-subordinate surveyors of Walia had been demanding payments for quite some time but the latter had told them to collect these from the company.

Walia had been suffering from some serious illness and had to wind up his shop in Morni to take up small assignments in the city since 1998.


Tribune special
Kalam asks ministry to act on PSHRO report
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Within a month of the Punjab State Human Rights Organisation (PSHRO) submitting a report on its investigations into a Rs 25,000-crore scam in the voluntary disclosure of income scheme (VDIS), the Rashtrapati Bhawan has referred the matter to the Ministry of Finance, asking it to initiate action, it is learnt.

According to sources, a letter received by the PSHRO here from New Delhi earlier this week states that the report has been forwarded to the Director-General of Income Tax (MS) in the ministry, with a directive to initiate “appropriate action”.

The VDIS had caused a loss of Rs 7,500 crore in taxes to the state because of non-declaration of assets amounting to Rs 25,000 due to a nexus between the Income Tax Department, evaluators, declarants, banks, proprietors of fake firms and practicing lawyers and chartered accountants, PSHRO’s investigations had revealed.

The report of the investigations, which were concluded last month, was submitted to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, by PSHRO’s Chairman, Justice A.S. Bains, on September 16.

Investigations had revealed that had the scheme, introduced in 1997 been honestly implemented, at least Rs 15,000 crore could have been collected as tax instead of just Rs 7,500 crore. Figures worked out by investigators showed that the total income and assets under the scheme should have been at least Rs 50,000 crore.

The PSHRO’s report also stated that notwithstanding the loss, if suggestions made by the commission were followed to catch the guilty, there was a possibility of recovering Rs 10,000 crore.

The investigations were launched after the human rights organisation received a tip-off by an Amritsar resident, Rishi Grover.

According to the report, big corporate houses, politicians/bureaucrats and the rich took advantage of the loopholes in the scheme and wealth was declared in the form of non-existing, fictitious articles like gold beds, gold sofas, gold statues, and diamond belts. These were declared 10-50 years old and evaluated 100 times lower than their market value, investigations revealed.

Since tax was to be paid on evaluation, tax collection was not even one per cent of their present worth. Therefore, negligible tax was paid by declarants, the report stated.

The report listed 71 bank accounts in new Delhi and Punjab which were used to “facilitate” the fraud. Castigating the banks on their role in the scam, the report stated that banks played a crucial role in the matter by shutting eyes to set norms and allowing accounts to be opened without proper verification.

Investigations revealed that 90 per cent of the declared income was in terms of jewellery, out of which 75 per cent turned out to be non-existing. The purchase of non-existent jewellery was by cheque whereas sale was through cash. PSHRO investigators also found that on a single day approved evaluators issued hundreds of certificates of such expensive articles — in reality they could not have valued the same in a single day.

Further, no written records of the certificates issued had been kept by the evaluators.


BA-fail student passes MA!
PU admits mistake, cancels result
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
A student of Panjab University who failed to clear his graduation in three chances, has passed the first year of a postgraduation degree course.

The student could have continued his education in MA I but he was not eligible to be given his result card till he cleared his graduation. The university , however, issued a marks card to Ravinder Singh.

Ravinder Singh was placed in the compartment category in English paper in BA III in April, 2001. He failed in his chance in September, 2002 and April, 2003. Meanwhile, he got himself enrolled for MA (Punjabi). Under rules his result could not have been declared until he cleared his BA.

The matter was brought to the notice of the university by Mr H.S.Gosal, a Fellow of the university Senate. He sought a special chance for the candidate.

Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examinations, confirmed it and accepted the mistake. The university has cancelled the result of Ravinder Singh, which means he stands failed in both classes.

University sources pointed out that the candidate was asked to submit his marks card for graduation. He failed to do so and the university on its part failed to follow the case and by mistake issued the result card.

In his last chance the student secured merely eight marks.

The examination branch had recently faced flak at the university Senate meeting recently. Sources in the examination branch pointed out that critics should take into account the fact that certain lapses were possible in a place which handled results of over one lakh students.

A fellow said the university should not offer any excuses for the lapses but try to tie the loose ends. Mr Janail Singh, another Fellow, had used expressions like a “crowded railway station” and “a bus stand” for the examination branch. Mr Mukesh Arora and Principal Tarsem Bahia pointed out cases where results had not been declared for over an year.

Prof K.N. Pathak, the Vice Chancellor, told the House that “you tell me what I should do? There is no work culture.” Principal S.C. Marriya said the university should set up a grievance cell to tackle such cases.

Prof Charanjit Chawla said one should always remember that standards of any educational institution were best judged by the level of its examination process. Examination results were the key to the future of hundreds of students. The university needed to be more careful. He also pointed out the fake degree racket which had come to light recently.Back



Petrol, diesel prices slashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
The state-level oil coordinator of the oil companies tonight reduced the prices of petrol and diesel in Chandigarh and surrounding cities of Panchkula and SAS Nagar. The downward trend comes following the revision in countrywide retail selling price.

Petrol prices

Current price

Revised rate


Rs 32.79

Rs 32.07

SAS Nagar

Rs 35.61

Rs 34.86


Rs 32.45

Rs 31.75 

Diesel prices


Rs 20.05

Rs 19.45

SAS Nagar

Rs 19.96

Rs 19.34


Rs 20.17

Rs 19.57



Keep post for physically challenged, CAT tells UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Acting on an application alleging non-declaration of written test results of candidates belonging to the physically challenged category, the Central Administrative Tribunal has directed the Chandigarh Administration and another respondent to keep one post of music master/mistress vacant.

Taking up the application filed by city resident Sarika, Mr Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal of the tribunal also issued notice to the Union of India, the Administration and another respondent. Mr Dhaliwal fixed October 20 as the next date of hearing. In her petition, Ms Sarika had challenged the action of the authorities in not considering her claim for appointment to the post in the visually handicapped category. Directions to the Administration for considering her application were also sought.

The applicant had claimed that an advertisement for filling 94 posts of Masters and Mistresses by direct recruitment was issued on September 20, 2001. A total of five posts in music were advertised, but no reservation was made for the physically challenged. However, a corrigendum was later issued whereby two out of four posts were reserved for the category.

She said the written test was conducted in January last and the result declared on September 27, 2003, but it was “absolutely silent” regarding the physically challenged category. Her counsel answered it was incumbent upon the Administration to declare the result category-wise, but the same was not done deliberately.


Rotaract raises funds for surgery of poor boy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Rotaract members lived up to the motto of their organisation today when they gathered in good numbers to promote a noble cause. Hosting the fifth annual fund raising event at Blues in Sector 34 were a bunch of over 200 youth, who managed to put together the money required to bring smiles back on the face of a small slum boy, suffering from a congenital disease that can be corrected only through surgery.

It was thus not a routine event of dance and rhythm. Organised this afternoon at Blues by young enthusiasts of the Rotaract, Chandigarh, the dance party titled, “Rhythm 2003” was meant only to generate funds required for the operation of this small child of a Bihari labourer from the city.

Suffering from a birth defect called left clip palate, which needs surgery for treatment, the child has been bearing pain for long because his parents don’t have money to get him operated upon. Soon after the Rotaract learnt about the desperate requirement of the poor family, its members took upon themselves the task of collecting money required for the operation.

Talking about the event, Ankit Sood, one of the Rotaract members, said the Rotaract learnt about the child’s ailment from the PGI some days ago.”We enquired into the matter and found that the surgery could only be performed with Rs 5,000 which was a big sum for the poor labourer. So we decided to raise funds by ticketing the dance party today.”

The tickets for the event were sold out to college students by individual Rotaract members. Informed Harpreet Singh, president, Rotaract, “This is our endeavour to serve the society and also to justify our motto ‘make tomorrow brighter’. The charity dance evoked a good response. We will be able to get the child operated now. We have fixed up a meeting with a Panchkula doctor in this connection.”

It needs to be highlighted here that the Rotaract, as part of its social welfare activities, keeps organising events like blood donation camps, health camps, senior citizens picnics, personality development seminars, joint Rotary-Rotaract projects, etc.


EME celebrates diamond jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
A solemn wreath-laying ceremony and a glittering social get-together later marked the diamond jubilee of the Army’s Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) at the Chandimandir military station here today.

Major-Gen S.S. Chahal, EME, Western Command, laid a wreath on behalf of all ranks of the corps at the Veer Smriti war memorial in Chandimandir. He was joined by two senior former officers of the corps, Major-Gen Gurdial Singh and Brig W.S. Choudhary.

The get-together was held at the Shivalik Officers Institute, where a large number of serving and retired officers and their spouses joined the celebrations. The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. S. Mehta and Mrs Madhu Mehta were among those present.

True to its motto, “Work is Supreme Duty”, the corps has been providing dedicated engineering support to combat forces during war and peace, including the wars that India fought after Independence.


Mass marriages in 40-B gurdwara on Oct 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
The Sri Guru Ram Das (free) Gurmat Sangeet Academy will be solemnising the mass marriages of 22 destitute girls on October 19 in the Sector 40-B gurdwara. This was stated by Bhai Balwinder Singh Rangila, founder-chairman of the academy, while addressing mediapersons here today.

He said each of these girls will be getting household articles worth Rs 50,000, including the taxi fare to the place where they have to go after their marriage. The academy has during the last 5-6 years solemnised as many as 57 marriages and would continue to give financial help to the poor and needy, he added.

Listing the activities which the academy plans to undertake in the next few days, Bhai Rangila said the 9th annual Kirtan Darbar on the eve of Agman Parv of Sri Guru Ramdas would be held on October 18 from 2 pm to 7 am on October 19. While the amrit sanchar will be organised on October 17 at 7 am, where all those desirous of being baptised would be given the five symbols of Sikhism or the five Ks (Kara, Kachcha, Kirpan, Kanga and Kes) by the academy free of cost. Those keen on baptism should send in their names to the manager of the academy.

The students of the academy will recite Gurbani Kirtan, based on customary classic ragas as ordained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. World- famous Gurmat sangeet vocalist ( Ragi Jathas) will be participating in the kirtan darbar, which draws an audience of over 1 lakh.

In their endeavour to keep up the spirit of social work, the academy also gives monetary help to help poor students pursue their studies. The academy also proposes to open a primary school from the forthcoming session in 2004. Disclosing this Bhai Rangila said students would be imparted lessons in spiritual education, which is very essential for character-building. 


Women have role in reorienting farming: FAO envoy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Mr Daniel Gustafson, FAO representative in India, today said women could play an important role in reorienting agriculture to the present day needs of the country.

Inaugurating a seminar on “Women in agriculture — workers to entrepreneurs” on the occasion of “World Rural Women’s Day”, he laid emphasis on the need for market-oriented agriculture rather than producing rice and wheat for the FCI. He said farmers needed incentives for changing the rice-wheat crop pattern. Small farms in Punjab and the inheritance laws which led to fragmentation of holdings was posing a big problem in improving the economic conditions of the farmers. The solutions lay in diversification and exploring open markets for the produce. “I am afraid the country cannot afford subsidising the agriculture sector like in Japan and the USA”, said the FAO ambassador.

More than 25 women delegates from all over the region attended the seminar which was organised under the aegis of the Dr Amrik Singh Cheema Foundation Trust. Mr B.R. Bajaj, Principal Secretary, Finance, emphasised on rectifying the sex ratio which was declining in Punjab. There was need to change the thinking and the outlook of the people. He said the leaders should focus their attention on bringing the required social reforms. Social status of the women needed to be upgraded to enable them to play a key role in reforming the home economic and agriculture in the rural areas.

Dr Neena Raina, Regional Adviser, WHO, laid emphasis on health of the women and the child. She answered various questions from participating women in the afternoon technical session. Panel discussion concentrated on the difficulties of the women.

The foundation Chairman, Mr Jagdeep Singh Cheema, highlighting the objectives of the trust said the seminar was a step towards ameliorating the plight of the rural women. Most of the women were working as farm labourers.They needed to be upgraded as entrepreneurs.

Mrs Raji P. Srivastava, Managing Director, Milkfed, Mrs Pooja Sharma Passy of the Piya Sharma Foundation, Dr Rajesh Gill, Reader of Punjab University, and Dr Varinder Kaur Randhawa, Associate Professor, PAU also spoke on the occasion.


International White Cane Safety Day observed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 15
Over 24 visually impaired persons, associated with the Blind’s Association, Chandigarh, today participated in a march from Government College, Sector 11, to Rose Garden, Sector 16, to mark the International White Cane Safety Day.

They urged the UT Administration to implement the 1 per cent reservation for the visually impaired in government jobs and fill the backlog. The members also demanded that the reserved seats on which visually impaired persons could not be appointed should be transferred to places where they could work.

In a press note issued here today, it was stated that B.Ed colleges, affiliated to Panjab University do not mention the 1 per cent quota reserved for visually impaired in their respective prospectus. The members urged the UT Administration to resolve the matter.

They also demanded that all visually impaired students in city colleges, irrespective of their domicile, be given scholarships. The members also demanded that they should be given an additional one hour in examinations conducted by Panjab University and other institutes.

They also demanded sufficient audio cassettes, recorders and Braille books from the Administration for visually impaired students.


Verka employees block traffic
Claim officer implicated in false case
Tribune Reporters

SAS Nagar, October 15
Employees and officials of the Verka milk plant here today blocked traffic in protest against the alleged implication of a deputy manager by officials of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in a false case.

Protesters blocked traffic on two roads near the Balongi chowk for some time. Later, they blocked traffic on the bridge towards the Balongi barrier. Protesters raised slogans against the Vigilance Bureau and demanded the arrest of the complainant. The blockade was lifted when the Ropar SSP, Mr G.S. Bhullar, assured the protesters that he would take action against the guilty.

A Deputy Manager of the Verka milk plant, Mr M.S. Sood, was allegedly caught red-handed by officials of the Vigilance Bureau while accepting a bribe of Rs 2000 from a Secretary of Milk Producers Society, Mr Jasbir Singh, for releasing an automatic milk testing machine, here yesterday.

Mr Puran Chand, general secretary of the Verka Employees Union, said Mr Jasbir Singh should be arrested immediately for making a false complaint failing which the union would involve employees working at other stations in the state to join the protest. He claimed that Mr Sood was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case by hatching a conspiracy. He said Mr Jasbir Singh was already facing a case under Section 420 of the IPC in a Kharar court.

Mr Manjit Singh, vice-president of the union, said he was in the office of Mr Sood when the raid was conducted. He said when Mr Sood told officials of the Vigilance Department that he had not taken any bribe, the complainant told them that the money was lying under the telephone. The union leader said when Mr Sood was made to wash his hands by the raiding party no colour was found.

Mr Jagmaal Singh, president of the Milk Producers Society at Macchli Kalan village, who was witness to the incident, said as Mr Jasbir Singh entered the office of Mr Sood he started thanking the latter for getting his work done. Mr Jagmaal Singh said Jasbir Singh also shook hands, on which he claimed some chemical had been applied, with Mr Sood. Soon after another person entered the office saying that he was from the Vigilance Bureau which had conducted a raid on the office of the Deputy Manager.

Mr Sudesh Kumar Mandhon, Chairman of the Ropar District Cooperative Milk Producers Society, said: “Our offices remained open most of the time during the day and anybody could enter and keep the money and start levelling allegations. Nobody would be safe if such incidents happened.”

Mrs Archana Sood, wife of the Deputy Manager who was present at the site where traffic had been blocked, said a Vigilance official, along with others, had visited her house after rounding up Mr Sood and took away Rs 5300 in cash, keys of the bank locker and some documents relating to fixed deposits. No receipt of the items taken away by him was given to her.

KHARAR: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Wednesday produced the Deputy Manager of the Verka Milk Plant, Mr Manmohan Singh, before the court of the local Judicial Magistrate, Mrs Baljinder Kaur Bhatia. The court remanded him in police custody till October 17.

The Public Prosecutor, Mr Jatinderjeet Singh Punn, and Bureau DSP, Mr Jora Singh Brar, while demanding a police remand of the accused said it was yet to be ascertained about the properties of the accused and the bank accounts maintained by him.


Stress laid on solar passive architecture
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 15
The Indian Council for Environmental Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Non- Conventional Energy Sources, Government of India, New Delhi, organised a training programme on “Solar passive buildings” at UT Guest House in Sector 6 here yesterday.

In his inaugural address, Mr M.P. Singh, Secretary, Science and Technology, UT Administration, highlighted the need for conservation of fossil fuel and radical use of renewable energy source.

Delivering the key-note address, Dr E.V.R. Sastry, Adviser, Ministry of Non- Conventional Energy Sources, GOI, New Delhi, said in the past 100 years or so new architectural styles had replaced older practices which heavily depended on electricity and other energy forms for lighting, cooling and heating. “Adopting the principle of solar passive architecture and constructing building with low energy material is the main solution to this problem,” said Dr Sastry.

About 85 architects, engineers and educationists participated. Others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Siddharth Wig, Architect, Dr S.S. Chandel, Principal Scientific Officer, Shimla, Aditya Parkash architect, Dr Vikas Kohli, general secreatary , India Council for Environmental Education, Chandigarh Chapter, and Mr Ravindra Talwar, Principal, DAV Senior School, Sector 8.


‘Anti-crackers day’ observed

Chandigarh, October 15
More than 100 students and teachers from Government Senior Secondary School, Khuda Ali Sher village, observed an “anti-crackers day” in collaboration with the Environment Society of India, a press note issued here today said. Mr S.K. Sharma, president of the society, flagged off a rally in this connection. TNS


Cop ends life on Karva Chauth
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, October 15
A 33-year-old constable, posted with the Mani Majra police station, ended his life last night while his wife was observing the Karva Chauth fast to pray for his long life. A head constable of Panchkula had also ended his life a few days back. Naresh has not left behind any suicide note.

Naresh Kumar came to his house in Pipliwala Town from duty to join his wife in ending her fast. He, however, went outside and consumed some poisonous substance. The police sent the viscera for chemical examination before handing over the body to the family. It said the body had been taken to Sonepat for cremation.

Naresh reportedly rang up his friends after consuming poison. His colleagues said Naresh was a cheerful person from a landed family in Haryana and suspected he could have been depressed over some minor issue.

Man killed in accident

A CSIO employee, Joga Singh (45), succumbed to injuries at the GMCH, Sector 32, after the scooter he was riding was hit by a truck near the CSIO gate on Dakshin Marg here this evening. The truck driver fled from the spot after abandoning the vehicle.

The driving licence of the victim bears an address in Sector 45 but he had not been staying for quite sometime, police sources said. A case has been registered. A post-mortem examination will be conducted tomorrow.


School boy killed

A 14-year-old boy, Jagtar Singh, who was seriously injured after being hurt in an accident on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road, succumbed to injuries in Command Hospital, Panchkula, today.

Gurmeet Singh, father of the deceased, said Jagtar Singh was coming back from his school on the bicycle when a tipper knocked him down.

A student of Class VIII, Jagtar Singh sustained head injuries and was rushed to Command Hospital.

After a post-mortem examination in General Hospital, Sector 6, here, the body was handed over to the family.

The Zirakpur police said that driver of the tipper had been arrested and a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC registered against him at the Lohgarh police post.


Man hurt

Jal Singh, a resident of Mauli Jagran colony, was admitted to General Hospital, with 25 per cent burn injuries, here today.

Sources said that the victim sustained burn injuries after the stove he was cooking his food on bursted. He sustained injuries on his hands, neck, chest and other parts of the body. No case has been registered in this regard so far.


Shopping with fun in Sector 17
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Are you looking for a place where you can buy the latest readymade garments, kidswear, music cassettes, shoes and jewellery while licking ice-cream and eating popcorn? Come to the Sector 17 market. You will not only get the latest in vogue, but also heavy discounts.

This is not all. You also stand a chance of winning a luxury car, washing machines, refrigerators and gold jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh. Customers from faraway places and the city are thronging the plaza, looking for good bargains and a fun-filled environment. Loud music balring from speakers installed at every corner and vendors selling balloons and other items can make the shopping a memorable experience.

“I have already purchased balloons and greeting cards worth over Rs 500 during the past few days,” says Sukhjinder. In this festival season, the whole market has been decorated like a bride. Heavy shopping worth crores by young couples on the occasion of Karva Chauth has already encouraged traders to devise newer ways of attracting customers.

The shopkeepers are not only banking on lucky draw schemes, but also claiming to offer a unique shopping experience, filled with fun. “Unlike last year, this year all markets, even rehriwalas, are offering prizes. But other markets can never match in the vast variety of clothes, shoes, jewellery, toys and other items available here,” says a shopkeeper. As the festival of lights approaches fast, the shopkeepers are keeping the shutters up till well after 9pm. In fact, other city markets, including Sector 22, are also open till late in the evening.

Earlier you had to rush to the markets before the shops closed at 8.30 pm, even during the festival season,” says Sector 35 resident Binny. “Those were the days when Chandigarh was considered a city inhabited by tired, retired and about to expire. Now things have changed. Residents stay in the office after the working hours and enjoy life late in the evenings”, adds Binny.

Says Jagdish Kumar of Gulati Textiles, “Apart from Divali shopping, people are also coming for marriage purchases. We are offering latest sarees and lehngas that may not be available in the entire region. There is a heavy demand for embroidery work, Benarsi saris, Devdas lehngas available between Rs 5,000 and Rs 50,000. In the coming days, we are expecting more and more customers.” Interestingly, after the announcement of additional DA installment to all Punjab Government employees, the traders are expecting a boost in the sales in the next few days. 


Chandikrit-2003 opens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Mr G.K Marwah, Secretary, Industries, Chandigarh Administration, inaugurated Chandikrit-2003, an exhibition of industrial product manufactures, in Sector 17, today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Marwah said there was a good response from public, and the participants were expecting that the exhibition would help them generate more business. He said in Chandigarh there were approximately 3,000 small industrial units.

Different items being manufactured in the city have been displayed in 72 stalls in the exhibition. Mr Marwah said the Chandigarh Administration had also acquired 300 sqm on rent from the Trade Fair Authority for participating the India International Trade Fair, 2003 which would be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from November 14 to 27.

For this, the Administration had paid a rent of Rs 12 lakh. Approximately 20 stalls would be set up in the Chandigarh pavillion. The India International Trade Fair provides a good opportunity to entrepreneurs for showcasing their products at an international level.

Representatives of the Industrial Association of Chandigarh were present on the occasion. School children presented a colourful cultural programme during the inauguration.

The Department of Industries will also organise an “inter-school & quiz competition” tomorrow and an on-the- spot painting competition on October 17 for schoolchildren.


8.8 pc ST on medicines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Mr Arun Kumar, Excise and Taxation Commissioner here in a press statement issued today informed that the UT Administration had imposed 8.8 per cent sales tax on medicines and pharmaceutical preparations at the first stage.

The tax will be paid by the manufacturing company or the wholesaler who sells them for the first time. On subsequent sales no sales tax could be charged on the sale price. In case of medicines with labels indicating MRP and local tax extra, the customers could be charged sales tax only up the extent to which the retailer or wholesaler have paid tax on their purchase price.

In case of medicines with labels indicating MRP inclusive of local taxes, the customers cannot be charged more price then mentioned as MRP. 


Reliance Infocomm’s Divali offer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15
Close on the heels of Reliance achieving leadership in India’s mobility segment, Reliance Infocomm is set to usher in the Divali festivities for all new customers subscribing to a new Reliance IndiaMobile (RIM) connection between October 16 and November 15, 2003, with an array of exciting prizes worth Rs 10 crore.

RIM celebrations, the month-long mega promotion scheme, offers several prizes to be given on the basis of daily-weekly-bumper lucky draws as well as assures rewards to every new subscriber during this period. Commenting on the RIM celebrations scheme, Mr S.P. Shukla, president, Wireless (products & services), Reliance Infocomm said, “As leaders of the mobility segment in India we wish to light up the lives of lakhs of mobile subscribers and make the Divali festival even more joyful and festive for customers and families alike”.

While the bumper draw offers a Chevrolet Optra car, the latest in automobile luxury, Samsung Plano 34 TVs, Zenith computers and 1.5 ton Videocon AC. Four weekly draws have provisions for Videocon consumer durables including TVs, Automatic Washing Machines, Refrigerators, 1.5 tonnes ACs and a host of RIM accessories.


Traders, advocates jam court room

Chandigarh, October 15
Both traders and advocates were present in full strength during the hearing of bail application of shopkeeper Harish Gulati, who had allegedly misbehaved with an advocate, Mr Sunil Kumar, on October 12. As many as 300 persons, including advocates and traders, were present in the UT District Court today. — OC

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