C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU students end hunger strike
Classes to open after UT withdraws fee hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The ongoing indefinite hunger strike against the fee hike by the UT Administration and the vast fee disparity in the affiliated colleges of Panjab University ended this evening with the Vice-Chancellor offering them juice. Today was the seventh day of the agitation.

Students have been assured by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Member of Parliament, that he will take up the case of withdrawal by UT Administration with the Governor tomorrow. The university has asked all affiliated college to submit the list of fee structure and warned them to charge only the ‘legitimate charges’.

Students on dharna unanimously said no classes will be allowed in the colleges till the UT Administration withdrew the hiked rates and streamlined the fee structure.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said principals of the local colleges were called to his office and the matter was discussed in detail. Colleges have been asked to strictly adhere to the university rules.

The meeting was attended by Principal S.C. Marriya, DAV College, Principal P.S. Sangha, SGGS College, Principal V. Bhargava, Dev Samaj, Sector 45, Principal Harinderjit Kaur, GGS College, Mrs S. Aggarwal (principal’s nominee for MCM DAV) and Dr P.K. Bajaj (principal’s nominee for GGDSD College).

Malwinder Singh Kang, president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council, also attended the meeting. It was “unanimously” decided that a broad-based committee be constituted by the Syndicate to work out the details of the funds being charged by the colleges. The recommendations of the committee will be placed before the Syndicate and the Senate for approval. “The decision of the Senate will be binding on the colleges”, the committee said.

The university decided that a circular be issued immediately to all the affiliated colleges requesting them to follow the structure of fees and funds as already approved by the Syndicate and notified to the colleges.

The university said: “In case any college is found violating the prescribed structure of fees and funds, it is liable to be proceeded against”.

Colleges have been “requested” to send the detailed account of funds being charged in respect of all courses for the session 2003-2004 positively, before December 1, 2003.

Mr Bansal played a significant role in dissolving the issue following detailed discussions with students and the Vice-Chancellor. Mr Ashok Kumar Goyal, a Fellow, also played a very crucial role in solving the issue.

Mr Bansal said he will take up the case regarding demand of fee hike withdrawal by the UT Administration with the Governor tomorrow. Also present at the site were Mr Satya Pal Dang, Prof R.D. Anand and Dr Rabinder Nath Sharma, all Fellows.

Mr Goyal said the university step should not be seen as a step just to mitigate the ongoing crisis. If colleges supplied the necessary information regarding the existing fee structure before the forthcoming Senate meeting, the university will be able to streamline the fee in a number of cases.

Karanbir Singh Kaler, president of Students Council of Government College for Men. Sector 11, and Dalip Singh Virk, president of the DAV College Students Council, said there will be no classes in colleges from tomorrow onwards. “We are cooperating with the university in the wake of assurance given to us that the case will be looked into in details. In case of no positive response came from the administration, in particular, we will launch the agitation once again,” Kaler said.

The Vice-Chancellor was posed a host of questions when he came to offer juice to students. They wanted guarantee from the Vice-Chancellor that the fee hike will be withdrawn. Professor Pathak said he will be able to speak only after any decision of the university Senate. The matter comes up for a heated discussion in the Senate meeting on December 14.


PU lodges FIR against five students
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Following a complaint by Panjab University, the police has booked five students who had sought admission to certain affiliated colleges on basis of fake certificates.

At the same time, the university was planning to lodge an FIR against six more candidates who were not on rolls of any college but had also used fake degrees for securing admissions.

The university had initiated action into the case after a news appeared in the Ludhiana Tribune on use of forged stamps of the Controller of Examination for preparing forged documents. The university had then sent four teams to the Ludhiana region to investigate the issue in the region.

The team under Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, had detected two cases of admission on basis of fake documents, one at SCD Government College and another one at Guru Nanak Girls College. Another team under Mr Ashok Raj Bhandari, Officiating Finance and Development Officer, had detected three cases at Kamla Lohia SD College.

The candidates were given one chance to appear before the university and give their version. None of the candidates turned up at the meeting.


Making a difference to slum children’s lives
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
To the 100-odd children, living in one of the biggest slum colonies here, this day brought a great deal of excitement and cheer in its fold. For a majority of these children, who have been enrolled in an informal school being run by the Piya Sharma Charitable Trust, it was for the first time that they had been gifted new pairs of clothes and shoes.

Overwhelmed by a gesture world apart from their routine lives, which till two years ago revolved around working as domestic helps or assisting their parents/ guardians in eking out a living, these children, are now being imparted education in a school being run by the trust. Most of these children come from broken homes, or have alcoholic parents. The school acts as a catalyst to put these children into the mainstream of education.

Like Montu (9), who was recently admitted to the school, finds attending school a perfect getaway from his life.

He was looked after by his uncle after his alcoholic father deserted him. He had reportedly fallen in bad company and became a wagabond, till his uncle admitted him to this school. “He is now one of the brightest children in the school , and is one among the 12 children who will be admitted to a private regular school in Panchkula during the next academic session,” says his teacher.

This school has also helped in bringing a lot of change in the social structure of Rajiv Colony. A large number of Muslims also stay in the colony, and are generally averse to their daughters getting formal education. Since there are no madrasas available nearby, and the girls are not sent to the government schools outside the colony, they remained illiterate. Now, for the past two years that this school has shifted here from the Sector 6 office of the trust, a number of girls from the community have joined the school. Says Nagma, a young student of the school, “My father was against my seeking education, but since the school is within the colony, I am finally getting education. I have even learnt to speak in English,” she says and demonstrates her acquisition of the language by reciting a poem.

Says the project director of the trust, Ms Pooja S Passi, “We are running a complete rehabilitation programme for these children. The idea is to ensure that these children do not drop out, so incentives like lunch and snacks, uniforms and free books and stationery are given to these children. We are also teaching them hygiene and give them free tooth brushes, soap and nail cutters.”

Besides, regular free medical check-up camps, dental camps, art and theatre workshops are also organised for the children to ensure their all-round development.

The trust has been named after Ms Passi’s younger sister, Piya Sharma, who was killed in a car accident in November 1985. The trust was formed in 1989, but Ms Pooja took over the trust management in 1997 and since then it has been taking up various social causes. Though initially the projects were funded from the corpus fund of the trust, they are now depending on donations and are getting aid from the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Haryana.

The trust began by giving training to young girls in stitching and embroidery and till date about 400 girls have received training. Regular reproductive and child health workshops are also organised in the colony where pregnant women besides children are given immunisation.


Ex-servicemen seek ‘defence bank’
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Ex-servicemen in the region have mooted a proposal to establish a bank to cater exclusively to the needs of the defence establishment and serving as well as retired armed forces’ personnel. The aim of the proposal is to streamline the process of handling military accounts, specially overcoming difficulties faced by retired personnel at various pension disbursing centers, and to serve as a means of post-retirement rehabilitation for qualified personnel.

In a letter to the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, this week, the All-India Defence Brotherhood (AIDB) sought the setting up of an expert committee to go into all facets and allied aspects of the proposal.

The letter stated that vast amounts were handled by the armed forces like pay and allowances, pension, provident fund, regimental funds, training grants, canteen funds, mess funds, group insurance funds, funds for purchase of equipment and allied stores, ex-servicemen’s contributory fund scheme and so on. Transaction of all these funds were done through commercial banks, which reaped hefty profits without providing any benefit to the services.

‘‘Since the government has permitted the establishment of private banks, it is felt very strongly that the services should have a bank of their own,’’ Brig Harwant Singh (retd), president of the AIDB, told The Tribune today.

Ex-servicemen said that a similar proposal was floated by Lieut-Gen S.K. Sinha in 1980s when he was serving as the GOC-in-C, Western Command, but the proposal got buried somewhere in the red tape.

Rather than enriching commercial banks and getting little or no benefits in return, the proposed defence bank could prove to be highly beneficial to the services by providing house building or other loans on concessional rates of interest to defence personnel,’’ Brigadier Harwant said.

‘‘Besides helping in the rehabilitation of defence personnel who retire at a very young age, a portion of the proposed bank’s profits could be spent on troops’ welfare or used to supplement the defence budget,’’ he added.

He said that the bank could even take up the functions of the existing Controller of Defence Accounts, thereby cutting down on the government expenditure as well as streamlining the pension disbursement process and other defence financial accounting activities.

The proposal envisioned that initially the bank’s branches be set up at the level of Army HQs, Command HQs, static formation headquarters, training centers and important military stations and later the network could spread to all formation headquarters. The proposal also suggested that besides handling accounts of military establishments and defence personnel, the bank could attract deposits from industry, business firms and the general public.


Stray cow hits scooter, PU student hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Just after two days when Promila, a Panjab University student, was killed by a stray bull, a 23-year-old student of the Law Department of the university received serious injuries in a road accident involving a stray cow today.

The victim, Padam Kant Dwivedi, was returning after taking coaching classes from Sector 38 when the stray cow appeared from nowhere and hit his scooter.

Padam received deep injuries above the eyebrows and bruises all over the body. His friend, Rohit, and his mother got him admitted to the Trauma Ward of Sector 16 General Hospital.

Family members of Padam said they would sue the municipal corporation. A complaint has been lodged at Sector 39 police station. 


Rain ends dry spell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The city received its first rain of the winter today resulting in a drop in the day temperature. This led to the residents taking out their woollens. Short spells of showers forced them to remain indoors.

The rain ended the dry spell.

An official of the Meteorological Department said 1.4 mm of rainfall was recorded at the observatory in the Air Force Station. The maximum day temperature was 22.6 °C — 5.6 °C less than yesterday. The minimum temperature was 14.4 °C — 2.4 °C more than yesterday’s minimum temperature.


Car thief arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The local police today claimed to have arrested a car thief, Vickey, and recovered six cars and a scooter which had been stolen from various parts of the city in the past.

The thief was nabbed by the Sector 3 police. A total of six cars were recovered, the police said. Three of these cars had been stolen from Sector 22 and one each from Sectors 9, 19 and 34.

The car lifter had been arrested earlier by the Panchkula police when 17 cars were recovered, the police said.


2 Lotteries Dept employees booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
The police has booked two employees of the State Lotteries Department for allegedly committing a fraud of over Rs 80 lakh by misappropriation of records.

A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered against two Class IV employees of the department-Jai Bhagwan and Ramesh Chander— on the complaint of the Assistant Director, Lotteries Department. It is alleged that while Jai Bhagwan has misappropriate Rs 44, 14, 053, Ramesh Chander has committed a fraud of Rs 39,67,657.

It is learnt that the misappropriation took place between June 2, 1993 and June 30, 1997. At that time, Ramesh Chander was reportedly appointed the sales officer in the camp office of the department and was in charge of maintaining accounts and Jai Bhagwan was the peon and had colluded with them.

Senior police officials say that Jai Bhagwan was placed under suspension recently. They said they had begun investigating the case and the accused would be arrested soon.


Children’s Day publicity

Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

What was the hot news on November 14? Right. Children’s Day celebrations. About 50 reporters and photographers from different city newspapers were running for the whole day to cover celebrations of that event.

For schools, especially private ones, perhaps Children’s Day was the much-awaited day to get publicity. Though no one among them bothered about thousands of kids, deprived of school education, yet they made every effort to get coverage in the media. Some of the schools, though, organised “small” functions but issued detailed press notes with photographs to the offices of the newspapers.

Some of them had even hired public relation agencies and also approached the media persons to ensure right space to get desired publicity.

Right to education

Chabbi, a 14-year-old girl residing in Sector 24, is one among 30 students who are working as housemaid, ragpickers and cobblers during the day, and study in the evening at a part time school run by Theatre Age Group, an NGO run by Zulfiquar Khan. When their counterparts in public and government schools participated on Children’s Day, she also came in her best clothes, but looked quite serious. While preparing tasty dishes for the guests, she wondered,” Why cannot we get regular teachers to teach us? I also want to do at least matriculation to become an economically independent person.”

Till now they had been taught by some volunteers. Some of them have already cleared primary examination. But says Mr Zulfiquar Khan, “We need money to arrange regular professional teachers, and cannot depend on just volunteers. For the time being about Rs 10,000 per month would suffice for us to arrange two regular teachers and study material.” If you want to contribute for Chabbi’s and her friends education, you can contact Zulfiquar at 0172- 3132900 or at Govt Senior Secondary School, Sector 24, in the evening.

Jassi Jaisi...

Blame it on television! Employers on the lookout for fresh recruits for their companies now have a new expectation from prospective applicants, especially if they’re girls. Being considered the “suitable girl” for a job now has less to do with an impressive resume loaded with grand degrees, suitable references or tech-savvy experience. It has more to do with bearing a professional image like that of (who else?) Jassi of the Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin fame.

This appears to be the case if one were to go by a job vacancy advertised in a national daily on November 5, 2003. In bold letters, the employer clearly states his requirement from a prospective employee: “Wanted Jassi Jaisi.” Clearly, the dedication, commitment and moral values that Jassi brings to her role of a secretary/assistant in this teleserial has caught the imagination of the public. This innocent yet competent girl has emerged as the new role model of all those corporate bosses who don’t just want a pretty face behind the desk but a thinking head that can take their organisation from strength to strength.

With ads such as these popping up in newspapers, this could become a rather cute and unique instance of real-life imitating reel-life.

Ganesha vandana

It was pleasant to witness convergence of Maharashtrian and Punjabi culture the other day at Punjab Kala Bhavan where the Gadgil sisters had gathered along with some others to confer the Matru and Pitru awards on Dr Rama Rattan and Ms Sukhwinder Amrit. While the purpose of the function, in itself, was constructive, the approach of Gadgil sisters towards the whole affair was even more constructive.

Maharashtrians as they are, they made it a point to commence the function in a way they would have done back home in Maharashtra. Taking hold of the dais first of all was Surekha, who literally charmed the gathering with her honey-coated voice, which she employed to render the Ganesha vandana. For a typically Punjabi crowd, so used to getting straight to the point, it was quite a welcome diversion. In fact, before commencing the award ceremony, Surekha mentioned in as many words, “In Maharashtra we commence all opportune occasions with a tribute to Ganapati. Although the social setting today is different, our sentiments remain the same. So I am beginning to start the function by singing the Ganesha vandana.”

Unaccustomed to this kind of a spiritual beginning to cultural shows, many people among the audience actually did not know how to react when the Ganesha vandana ended. So they did what the heartwarming Punjabis are best at — clapped!


Written on the back of a vehicle, decked up with flowers for the newly-weds: “If God be with us, who will be against us?”

— Sentinel


Withdrawal of agenda on property tax
comes under fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Shirking from fiscal responsibility on the issue of property tax, both the Congress and the BJP, with an eye on the general election, are apparently trying to lure the “small section” of the moneyed community at the risk of the development of the city.

The “political compulsion” has led the political parties to hide facts on the issue of property tax. During Wednesday’s meeting of the general house of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, both the parties were making claims and counter claims for annulment of the agenda on property tax.

Facts, however, speak for themselves. Surveys conducted by the assessment committee on property tax indicate that the community “affected” by the levying of property tax constitutes less than 10 per cent of the total city population. At the rate of 2 per cent, out of the total revenue of around Rs 5 crore, around Rs 1.50 crore would have come from the government buildings in the form of service charges from the government department concerned at the rate of 75 per cent of the tax calculated on a building in the respective zone. At the rate of 5 per cent, the revenue would have been double.

The revenue from property tax would have attracted a matching grant from the government, which means more funds for the cash-starved Municipal Corporation. Sources in the corporation said around 33,000 units had been identified from which tax collection could have been realised.

Withdrawing the recommendation on property tax to protest against the transfer of powers and funds at the cost of the basic amenities affecting the common man was not at all acceptable, said Mrs Amar Kulwant Singh, a nominated councillor. It was a political gimmick, he said.

Criticising the stand of the political parties, a cross-section of the intelligentsia and the residents of the city demand an explanation as to who would benefit from the withdrawal. The Congress MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and a former BJP MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, have stated that the withdrawal was in the jan hit (public interest).

Questioning the definition of ‘jan hit’, Brig Sant Singh (retd), nominated councillor, said the recommendation to do away with the property tax was for the sake of garnering votes. He said earlier the House had agreed in principle to levy the tax — be it 10 per cent during the BJP rule or 2 per cent during the Congress tenure.

The councillor pointed out the contradictions in the statements issued from time to time by politicians. “I want to know who are the people for which both the parties are ready to put everything at stake. The tax is to be levied on owners”. Brig Sant Singh, who is also president of the Property Owners Welfare Association, said, “The owners were ready to pay the tax. Ultimately the revenue is to be used for the development of the city.”

Mrs Amar Kulwant Singh said, “ There was no need to extent relief to the community which can afford to pay . The revenue which should have come to the corporation has been denied to it”. She opined that the councillors should have stressed that till the due share in power and money was transferred to the corporation, it would accept only 2 per cent property tax.

Mr Gur Partap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of the SAD, yesterday condemned the decision of the corporation to annul the agenda to levy the tax. He said the BJP and the Congress were misguiding the city residents. The Centre had mentioned that the aid being given to the corporation would be reduced by 10 per cent per year if the tax reforms were not introduced.

Mr Riar said though the residents were ready to pay nominal property tax, the Congress and the BJP were giving preference to their personal interests above the national interests. He has written a letter to the UT Administrator supporting levying of property tax at the rate of 2 per cent.

Issues the political parties need to address

  • Who are the beneficiaries by the withdrawal of property tax ?
  • In what way is the decision in public interest ?
  • The problem of funds has not been addressed. In protest, the agenda on property tax has been annulled.
  • Why should development of the city suffer till the issue of transferring powers and money to the corporation is settled?
  • The amount of revenue loss or the cut in the budget.
  • Will the functioning of the corporation be crippled?


MC councillors plan to meet CM
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, November 16
Seven municipal councillors of the local civic body have decided to go and meet the Punjab Chief Minister to apprise him of the large-scale corruption going on in the Municipal Council.

They said that the council which had fixed deposits to the tune of 7 crore of rupees some years ago was now almost bankrupt even when no major development work had been carried out in the town in the past three years.

The municipal councillors — Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr Manmohan Singh Langh, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari and Mrs Harbans Kaur — who were talking to mediapersons here today alleged that the council authorities were going in for only those type of works which fetched commission.

They said that the contract for the work of sanitation this year was given for Rs 99 lakh when the work was got done for Rs 41 lakh last year.

Only the sanitation work of two new sectors and one village was added this year.

They complained that the contract of the person looking after sanitation work was extended even when most of the municipal councillors were not satisfied with the quality of work.

They said that a large amount of money was being wasted on constructing footpaths that did not last. Last year Rs 75 lakh had been spent on painting zebra lines and curb channels in the town.

They alleged that the civic body had shown Rs 27,000 as expenses incurred on a function organised by PUDA authorities when a housing minister had visited the town to inaugurate some projects.

They said that the roads in the town were in a had shape. There were big potholes in the roads in certain areas of the town. No action was taken by council authorities against employees who indulged in irregularities.

They alleged that the council authorities had good relations with all senior officials of the Department of Local Government. When discrepancies were brought to their notice by the opposition councillors, no action was taken by high-ups.


Reshuffle in MC enforcement wing on cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A major reshuffle in the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation is on the cards. A senior officer in the corporation said the enforcement staff, especially who have stayed beyond six months, had been asked about their options for transfers.

Already two Inspectors of the enforcement wing had been transferred to other departments. After Mr Rakesh Gupta, the senior officers had transferred Mr Kuldeep Singh. At least five more transfers were expected in the coming days, said sources.

It may be mentioned that at the November 4 meeting of the Enforcement Committee of the Municipal Corporation, the members passed a resolution to make the Inspectors of the enforcement wing accountable for encroachments in their respective areas of operation. The committee had recommended to the senior officers of the corporation to regularly inspect the areas of the Inspectors.

The committee members had said the recent news about the enforcement staff to forcibly collecting money in the name of Divali had brought a bad name to the corporation. The committee had demanded that the transfer policy should be strictly followed in the enforcement wing.


Year-long programme to mark martyrdom 
of Lala Lajpat Rai
Tribune News Service

What all is planned

  • Three lectures on topical subjects.
  • A monthly discussion on socially useful subjects.
  • Monthly talk on lives and philosophy of saints of India.
  • Drug awareness and counselling to create awareness about the menace of drugs.
  • Interactive talks and discussions about HIV/AIDS.
  • A special drive to promote mental health of schoolchildren.
  • Legal counselling for women in distress.

Chandigarh, November 16
An year-long programme has been planned by the Chandigarh branch of the Servants of the People Society (SOPS) to mark the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of noted freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai.

A fortnight-long programme opens at the Lala Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, tomorrow. The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, will inaugurate an exhibition of Lala Lajpat Rai’s memorabilia and display of rare books. He will also participate in a seminar on ‘‘Re-visioning India’’.

During the entire fortnight a seminar on ‘‘Quality of Higher Education in India: The Challenge of Change’’ is also scheduled to be held.

The year-long programme will be covering a broad spectrum of activities close to the late leader’s heart. Mr Onkar chand, Chairman of the SOPs, said ‘‘ Lala ji was one of the first Punjabis to emerge on the national horizon and acquire an all-India stature and world fame,’’ he said.

The Chandigarh branch of the society is one of the 19 branches spread across the country and it runs several facilities at Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15-B and in various slums, colonies and villages.

The year-long programme aims at adding to the facilities being provided by the society.

Speaking about the role of the Chandigarh administration, Mr Onkar Chand said the administration was being requested to assist in organising, through the Public Relations Department, a touring exhibition of photos, paintings and thoughts of Lala Lajpat Rai. Besides this an eight-page folder was to be printed on the life and work of Lala Lajpat Rai for distribution in schools, colleges and libraries.

The administration would organise declamation contests, poetic symposia and painting competitions at inter-college or inter-senior secondary school level to emphasise the continuing relevance of the freedom fighter’s vision.

During the year, three lectures on topical subjects under the Samasti - Krishan Kant Thinkers’ Forum would be organised. Monthly discussions on socially useful subjects under the Janshakti Forum of the society would be held. For promotion of amity among various communities, monthly talks on lives and philosophy of saints of India would be arranged. The drug Awareness and Counselling Centre of the society would arrange counselling, talks and discussions among people to create awareness against the menace of drugs.

During the year, schools, colleges and hostels would be targeted for drug de-addiction awareness work. Interactive talks and discussions would be held for creation of awareness about HIV/AIDS scourge.

A special drive to promote mental health of schoolchildren would be launched through the Mental Health Forum of the society. Efforts would be made to start the organisation of Youth for Excellence and Social Transformation under the Youth Wing of the society during this period.

The health care programme would be further strengthened in the villages of Behlopur, Raipur Khurd and Khuda Ali Sher. Training to girls for socio-economic uplift by imparting skills would be strengthened. Free eye clinics would be held in various areas in the periphery of the city. Efforts would be made on legal counselling for women in distress.


CAs seek extension of last date for exit scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Chandigarh branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has called upon the Centre and the Department of Company Affairs to extend the closing date of simplified exit scheme (SES) by at least three months. The last date for filing applications to wind up companies is December 31, 2003.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Simplified Exit Scheme under the Companies Act, 1956.’ Mr Manoj Kohli, Chairman, Chandigarh branch of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of India, felt that the SES was a short cut route for the winding up of defunct companies.

The company could be defunct either due to not taking off or having not conducted any significant business for a certain time period. The scheme gave an opportunity to them to get their names struck off from the Registrar of Companies office in a simple way.

He said since the scheme was simple and cost effective, the government should extend the closing date from December 31 to at least March 31, 2003. Mr Dewan Chander, Registrar of Companies, said about 1.70 lakh companies of the total 5.80 lakh companies registered with them had become defunct due to one or other reason. They qualified for derecognition as per the Act. The scheme offered an opportunity to their owners to wind up their operations.


Mohali residents to get direct bus service to PGI
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 16
Literally going beyond its call of duty, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) will be diverting its buses plying from the township to Chandigarh to cater to the demand of SAS Nagar residents to get a direct route service to the PGI and the railway station. Notwithstanding that this task should otherwise fall under the purview of Punjab Roadways, the CTU has asked the residents of the town to specify the trains that they would want buses for and will be diverting the buses plying on nearby routes accordingly.

Acting on a demand forwarded by the Mohali Development and Residents Welfare Association, the Assistant Divisional Manager (ADM), CTU, stated that there were already two buses plying directly from Mohali via Phase XI to the PGI. But for the railway station, he added that if the residents were able to give a list of the trains they frequent, some of the buses plying from SAS Nagar to Chandigarh could be diverted straight to the railway station from SAS Nagar.

As of now, residents of Phase XI here have to take a long and circuitous path to the PGI spending almost an hour and a half to reach and for the railway station, there are no buses from SAS Nagar which take a commuter directly there. SAS Nagar residents have to change buses from Sector 17.

However, despite the assurance of the ADM the problem may not be solved at all, points out Mr H.S. Sangha, president of the Mohali Development and Residents Welfare Association. At present, SAS Nagar is dependent on the UT transport for the local bus service. “I agree that there are buses plying from Phase XI here to the PGI but these are not following the shortest possible route. And the buses that are required from SAS Nagar to the railway station should be via Phase XI which will bypass Sector 17 and save time,” he said.


Freedom fighters dies at 101
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Ambala-based freedom fighter Jodh Singh Chowdhury (101) died today following an illness at the Fortis Hospital in SAS Nagar.

He had been living in Ambala for the past 50 years since he moved from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The cremation will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Ram Bagh cremation ground, Ambala city, his son, Mr Krishanjit Singh, said tonight.

During the freedom struggle Jodh Singh was arrested several times and remained behind bars for a period of more than 25 years. It all started when he was an eye witness to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at Amritsar in 1919. His cousin brother was killed in the firing. He then participated in the ‘Guru ka Morcha’ and the ‘Chabion ka morcha.’

In 1938 a question was raised in the Punjab Legislative Assembly. It was asked if the name of Jodh Singh had been entered in the police register at Kahuta. Sir Sikander Hayat-Khan had refused to reveal the names in the register.

In 1972, Jodh Singh was awarded the Tamra Patra. He had five sons and two daughters. One of his sons Flight Lieut Panjrattan Singh was killed in an air crash in 1966. One of his sons Mr Krishanjit Singh is a Superintending Engineer with the Chandigarh Administration. Another son, Tarlochan Singh is an engineer with the Building and Roads wing of Haryana. His other two sons — Manmohan Singh and Manjit Singh — are also senior engineers.


Meeting to make police people-friendly
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, November 16
To get feedback on law and order situation in the subdivision from general public and make changes in police working accordingly, Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, yesterday held a meeting with heads of various officials, including members of the local Municipal Council, the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, social organisations, residents and local media persons.

The DSP sought complaints, especially against cops, and suggestions from the gathering. The issue of an alarming rise in drug addiction among youngsters and immoral trafficking, besides corruption in government offices of the area were discussed at the meeting.

Complaints against police personnel and discontinuing of community policing (thickri pehra) in various villages and lack of communication between public and the police were also taken up at the meeting.

The DSP assured that a hi-tech machine would be installed in the police stations, where complaints would be able to leave their messages. To ensure better community policing, cops in plain clothes would be deployed in various villages. Moreover, they would be given additional jobs favouring the villagers.


Remove encroachments by shopkeepers,
demand residents
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, November 16
Occupants of one-kanal houses located behind the commercial block in Phase X here have demanded the removal of encroachments by shopkeepers in the area.

Mr Mohan Harpal Singh, an occupant of one of the houses, says the problem has been brought to the notice of the PUDA authorities by the affected persons but no permanent solution has been found.

He says shops have been opened at the back of the commercial block in violation of the bylaws. Bicycles are parked haphazardly in the area.

Utensils are washed by certain shopkeepers. Water flows on to the road next to their houses from shops creating unhygienic conditions.

He says if the affected house owners raise objections to the activities of the shopkeepers they face threats.


Chandi Mandir kids get toy train
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A new delight has been added for children in Chandi Mandir with the commissioning of a toy train at Vatika, an eco-friendly park located in the cantonment, today. The train, christened Shivalik Express, was flagged off by Ms Madhu Mehta, president of the Western Command chapter of the Army Wives Welfare Association.

The train track has been installed in the supervision of the command’s Engineer Branch, with the Shan-e-Sappers Regiment and Chief Works Engineer, Chandi Mandir, executing the project.

Besides the new train, the park now caters to the recreation of all age groups, with a musical fountain, bouncy Mickey, walkway, cascade, gazebo and play equipment for children being installed there.


Hundreds participate in rath yatra
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
The Jagannath Rath Yatra was organised in Panchkula here this evening in which hundreds of devotees from all walks of life participated.

The rath yatra began from the NAC Market, Manimajra, and headed towards Sector 7. Devotees of Lord Jagannath received the yatra and refreshments were presented. From here, the yatra headed towards the Sectors 8-17 road and passed through the roads dividing Sectors 9-16, 10-11 and 10-5. On the way, prasad was distributed to the devotees.

The yatra finally reached Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Sector 9. Gopal Krishna Goswami, of ISKCON, Chandigarh, explained the history and origin of Lord Jagannath.


20 women given embroidery course certificates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
As many as 20 women from the economically weaker section were given certificates by the Financial Commissioner, Punjab on their successful completion of stitching and embroidery course on Saturday.

These women had been trained in a school run by the Piya Sharma Charitable Trust. The chief guest urged these women to pursue these income generating activities, learnt during their training. It may be noted that over 350 girls and women had so far received training in stitching and embroidery with the Trust.

Ms Pooja S. Passi, Project Director of the Trust, outlined various activities of the Trust, which included a sewing centre for women and girls, a school for slum and streetchildren and a project for reproductive child health in Indira Colony and Rajiv Colony in Panchkula.


‘Supply chain management can cut production cost’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Manufacturing firms can save a significant proportion of their production costs by properly managing their supply chains of their raw material and final products. For instance, Tata Motors, by outsourcing its procurement through e-procurement has saved up to Rs 100 crore annually, said the speakers at a seminar on “ Supply chain management — challenges and its solutions” organised at Technical Teachers Training Institute here today.

Speaking at the seminar, Prof Satish Kapoor of University Business School, Panjab University, said: “Unlike in the West, the Indian companies do not give due attention to the management of supply of their raw material, inventory and optimal utilisation of transport to distribute their products. Consequently, they end up in escalating their cost of production. However, the studies show they could save substantial amount of costs by utilising IT, outsourcing, and e-procurement.”

For instance, said speakers, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), which was handling projects worth Rs 54,000 crore was being managed by just 570 persons. The need of the hour was, they said, optimal utilisation of transport and other facilities.

In the field of supply chain management, said Prof B.B. Tandon, a former chairman of the University Business School, the weakest link in the strongest chain could spoil the whole show. Some of the huge profit-making organisations had sunk due to failure of their supply chain link only. Successful handling of the operations needed professional expertise.

Mr S.K. Sharma, vice president, (North), Indian Institute of Material Management (IIMM), said the institute was running graduate and post-graduate diploma programmes to promote the culture of supply management among the companies in the region. The companies can improve their competitiveness in the global market if they could maintain the quality of production through management of their resources, he added.

About 100 delegates from different industrial houses including Ranbaxy, Swaraj Mazda, Bell Laboratories, the Samtel group attended the seminar.

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