C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Students call for PU bandh today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Irked by the threatening tone of the police and college faculty here today, students have called for a Panjab University (PU) bandh tomorrow while an indefinite fast would be started and a rally held at Matka Chowk in addition to the ongoing relay fasts on college campuses.

Extending the strike from city colleges to the university, student leaders, at a meeting at the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) office here today, decided to voice their protest against the “picking up” of the President of Government College (Sector 11), Council, Karanveer Singh, and the threats of arresting the president of GCG-11, Annpurna Singh.

They also decided that council presidents of girls’ colleges, Madhumeet of Guru Gobind Singh College (GGS)-26, Gayatri Bawa of GCG-42 and Harpreet of Dev Samaj College for Women (DSCW)-45, would join Annpurna Singh in the indefinite fast tomorrow with the GCG-11 as the venue.

“The police and staff are not letting me sit on strike inside the college. It is my college and I can sit anywhere. The police has no business to threaten me and the Administration cannot scuttle a protest by merely pressuring the college authorities. Students from other colleges will join me to show we are a united front,” said Annpurna Singh.

Meanwhile, under pressure from the Administration to get the studies going teachers in all colleges used Panjab University examination forms as bait to get the students back to classes, some even resorting to threats of lecture shortage and marking students absent from today.

“The teachers have been asked to use any ploy to get us back into classes. They are persuading us, urging us and even threatening us. The filling of examination forms is a convenient option. They have been able to take only a couple of students to class before giving in, and finally letting them go,” said Sandeep Verma, council president of SGGS College, Sector 26.

This morning colleges opened to heavy deployment of the police and saw the entire teaching faculty at the gates, forcing the students inside the college. At GC-11, just as the students began to walk to the closses, the police took away the council president, Karanvir Singh, for instigating the students. He was let off in the evening.

Consequently, the chain fast could not take off at the college and a handful of students attended the classes. The students were not allowed to leave the campus once they were inside.

However, in the adjoining girls’ college, the students sat at the entrance of the college with posters condemning the hike in college fee. Though they did not attempt to instigate the students, they appealed to them to go back. Extending cooperation, the students left from the college gate itself. At SGGS-26 and GGS-26, private colleges run by the Sikh Education Society, though the students stayed on the campus, no classes were held for lack of students. The students of GGS-26 were allowed inside the campus after the police threatened to take them away if they observed strike outside the campus.

While the Principal and staff used their authority to get the students to classes at GC-46 even as the protesters sat on a chain fast at GCG-42, council members got the classes vacated and began the chain fast.

At DAV College, Sector 10, the chain fast was postponed untill tomorrow and only some classes were reportedly held. Classes were held at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, with the president of the college council out of station to attend a sports meet. Despite the absence of the council president at DSCW-45, the students went ahead with the chain fast and boycotted classes to be held.


Notice issued to former UT Adviser
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
A former UT Adviser, Mr Virendra Singh, was today issued a notice by a local court in a case filed against him, to set aside his order of allegedly allowing Kumar Brothers Private Ltd, to run a chemists shop at a lower rental rate.

The case came up for hearing in the court of the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr J.S. Klar, who after hearing the arguments issued a notice to the former UT Adviser for December 2. Meanwhile, the Kumar Brothers Private Ltd (Chemists) that has been made party in the case has sought more time to file a reply.

The petitioners, including the Joint Secretary, UT Medical Education and Research (MER), and the Joint Director, GMCH Sector 32, had filed the case, alleging that the order passed by the former Adviser was unsustainable as per law.

Pleading for a review of the order, the petitioners claimed that the former Adviser during his last days of posting had allowed Kumar brothers to continue operating a shop in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, at the rate fixed in 1997.

They stated that the contract between the chemist and the GMCH expired on June 21. A case of arbitration to decide the rental had been pending before the Adviser for the past few months. It was alleged that the matter was decided on September 3 and the Adviser was transferred on September 9. The chemist was granted extension till June 21, 2005

Pleading to set aside the former Adviser’s order, the petitioners levelled allegations of favoritism and mala fide against him.

The petitioners said in 1996, the UT Administration through the Director, Principal GMCH, had invited tenders for running the chemist shop. The shop was leased out to Kumar brothers at the rate of Rs 82, 000 per month. The possession of the shop was handed over on January 22, 1997, for a period of 22 months. The lease deed was extended from time to time.

The petitioners alleged that during the period, a number of complaints were also received by the authorities concerned regarding overcharging.


Assistant lineman charred to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
An assistant lineman of the UT Electricity Department, Balwinder Singh (45) was burnt alive while he was heating up power transformer oil in electricity subdivision in Sector 41 here this afternoon. The victim, a resident of Sohana village, Mohali, is survived by his wife, a son and daughter.

According to information, Balwinder was heating up the oil in a tin can to be used in a transformer installed in Sector 41. A gas formed in the can, which caught fire and engulfed Balwinder Singh. The incident took place at around 1 pm. Firtu Ram and Prakash Chand, both assistant linemen, who were standing outside the sub-station, on hearing the cries of Balwinder rushed for help. They tried to douse the fire by using clothes.

Balwinder was rushed to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead. Sources said a compensation of Rs 3.32 lakh would be given to the family of the deceased after clearance from the UT Labour Department.


MC reinstates 4 suspended employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today reinstated its four officials who had been under suspension following the registration of a corruption case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 2001.

The reinstated officials, Inspector Kashmira Singh and Sub-Inspectors, Sunil Kumar, Avtar Singh and Sunil Dutt, have been posted in the sanitation wing headed by the Medical Officer of Health. The officers were then posted in the enforcement wing.

Sources in the corporation said the four employees had been drawing 75 per cent of the their total salary amount after six months of their suspension. The probe in the case had not been completed by the investigation agency then following which the subsistence allowance had been allowed in their case, said a senior official of the corporation.

“Since the officers were drawing the service benefits, we thought it wise to use their services. There was shortage of staff in the sanitation wing and we have put them at the disposal of the Medical Officer of Health”, said an officer.

The Inspector and three Sub-Inspectors were in news on April 19, 2001, when a team of CBI officials conducted a raid at the Sector 17 office of the corporation following a complaint against at least seven employees of the corporation for extortion from rehriwallahs.


4 PU staffers to be honoured
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
As a noble gesture, Panjab University is honouring four of its employees for showing exemplary dedication to work and proving their worth a little more than was expected, otherwise.

This is being done by the university for the first time out of the Vice-Chancellor’s fund. Prof K.N. Pathak, the Vice-Chancellor, said the amounts involved were not very big, the honour was just a message to staff members telling them that the university respected extra efforts.

Mr Karan Kumar Soni, a senior assistant in the certificate section, will be awarded Rs 1000. His work needs a special mention because he detected 18 cases of tampering of the Detailed Marks Cards, irregularities in preparation of results and financial matters.

Mr Soni said he was associated with detection of many more cases which had not been decided as yet. A number of university employees involved in the “hanky-panky” were “trapped” following unearthing of the ‘scam” in several results. Interestingly, a number of staff members have been punished, including termination of services, of certain employees.

Soni remembers a case when a student was shown to have cleared his BA III exam whereas in reality he had been unable to clear even his first-year examination. He also detected cases of financial irregularities like students given their roll numbers without paying their fees. “ The university should not compromise in matters of rendering sincere service to its students majority of whom are innocently preparing for their long future”, he added.

Mr S.N. Bose, a security officer, is being awarded Rs 250. He has been associated with the university since November, 1975, when he retired from active service in the Army.

The role of Mr Bose has been appreciated for long for his efficiency in handling the ‘difficult’ situations, particularly during student elections.

In April, 2002, Mr Bose saw six youth walking near the Sarojini Girls Hostel in the middle of night. When questioned they replied they were coming from attending some relative at the PGIMER. In the ensuing arguments, the boys tried to run away. Mr Bose confronted them single-handedly. He caught a couple of them and tried to bring then towards the gate. In the process, Mr Bose was stabbed. He still managed to hold on to one of the miscreants who was handed over to the police. Mr Bose had to be rushed to the PGI.

Mr Joginder Singh, a chowkidar, is being given Rs 100. A tall burly man, Mr Joginder Singh can be seen nearly all over the campus on a bicycle, doing duty. His “commendable sincerity” has been appreciated.

The university will honour Sukhdev Sharma, a junior assistant in the colleges branch. He is being honoured for the professionalism he has shown in following up a case where an employee had challenged the university in concern to his service benefits. “Most importantly each worker should be punctual and regular. Every one will get an opportunity to show his excellence at one point or the other. The university move will generate an urge to perform better”, Mr Sharma added.

Besides, the cash award the employees will also be given certificates for their performance. The matter will be tabled before the forthcoming Syndicate for a formal clearance.


Care centre for AIDS patients
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
To serve as a bridge between hospital and home, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) will set up the first community care centre of the region in the city to provide low-cost holistic care and train families of terminally ill AIDS persons in patient care.

Keeping in mind the fear of social ostracism faced by AIDS patients in India, the setting up of the community care centre (CCC) here will solve a number of problems, faced by patients, especially from remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Though a number of states having high AIDS patients have these CCCs but apart from Delhi no state in North India, has the facility so far.

“In a bid to decongest hospitals, promote community response and provide palliative pain relief to AIDS victims, we are setting up the CCC, which will go a long way in improving the quality of life of these people, often stigmatised and discriminated by society,” explained Dr N.M. Sharma, Project Director UT AIDS Control Society.

NACO has already approved Rs 19 lakh for the project, which will be run by an NGO. A nine-member committee, headed by the Director, Health Services, UT, has been constituted to see the proper setting up of the CCC, for which eight NGOs have already applied.

Like any other nursing home the CCC will have an emergency ward, resuscitation ward, male and female wards and a laboratory so that AIDS patients do not have to go anywhere outside. It will have accommodation for family members of the AIDS patients, who avoid putting up with relatives or friends because of the social stigma, attached with the killer disease.

With lack of treatment facilities and at times even denial of medical care to AIDS patients, people from the neighbouring states prefer to come to the PGI for treatment. The CCC will be a transitional care facility, with the patient being referred back to the family or forwarded to hospital, thereby avoiding it from becoming a dumping ground for the infected and stigmatised.

One of the most important objectives would be to prepare the AIDS victims and their families for coping with life after HIV, including proper care, nutrition, tending to relationships in the family and community. “An AIDS patient requires more than a medicine or hospital to cope with physical stress, mental agony, social and psychological problems, so the CCC will help in providing a holistic care to these unfortunate people,” opined a doctor treating AIDS patients.

Doctors point out keeping the patients within the community and family for as long as possible was important as this would make them feel cared and wanted. Keeping them away from opportunistic infections, which worsen their condition was also very essential.


UT to acquire 15 acres for cattle pound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Chandigarh Administration is acquiring 15 acres in Raipur Kalan for the construction of a cattle pound. The process will be completed within a month, counsel for the Administration informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of the stray cattle menace case.

Appearing before the court, counsel further informed that a meeting had been held with the deputy commissioners of the neighbouring cities and there would be no shunting of cattle.

Taking up the case, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice Nirmal Singh, fixed November 27 as the next date of hearing for considering the question of compensation to the victims. The directions were issued in less than a week after a 23-year-old city girl succumbed to her injuries after being hit by a bull.

Earlier during the proceedings, counsel asserted that the Red Cross had taken up the responsibility of treating the injured victims of stray cattle. He added that the administration had also decided to allot five acres, including two in Dhanas and two-and-a-half at Maloya, for the construction of a cattle pound. The land, he asserted, would be handed over to non-government organisations, including Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and People for Animals. He also suggested that the cattle could be branded by the owners so that they could be identified and penalised.

The court had earlier directed the administration and the corporation to “indicate steps taken to prevent the entry of cattle and stray animal in the city during night time”. The court had also perused the suggestions made by Municipal Commissioner M.P. Singh and Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar for checking and eradicating the menace.


MC holds meeting with NGOs on gaushalas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
On the directions of the UT Administrator, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, today convened a meeting of NGOs that are keen to set up gaushalas in Chandigarh.

Representatives of the NGOs were shown a blue print of the memorandum which the corporation would be signing with them. The NGOs have been given until November 25 to go through the terms. Recently the UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma, had told his officers that pro-active measures were required to check the menace of stray cattle. The NGOs offered to construct gaushalas.

Sources said the Administration had identified around 15 acres in Raipur Kalan, 5 acre in Dadu Majra and 2 acre in Maloya for the gaushalas.

The corporation will be writing to the Chandigarh police to ensure that stray cattle from neighbouring states were not pushed into the city. The Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, said the corporation would be writing to civic bodies of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in this regard.

Those who push the cattle into the city would be booked under the Cattle Trespass Act.


Even after 10 days, working of helplines tardy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Ten days after The Tribune highlighted how important telephone helplines in the city are not providing accurate information quickly enough, things have not improved much. On November 11, The Tribune had carried out a survey regarding the working of the helplines. It was highlighted that Chandigarh did not have a centralised number to call for an ambulance and there was no centralised enquiry system at the ISBT. Helplines like 197 (telephone enquiry) besides 131 and 2653131( railway enquiry) are busy more often than not.

197: From 6: 44 pm onwards the number 197 of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was tried repeatedly. Ten days ago the call materialised only after 50 minutes. Today the number was tried without success for more than 90 minutes. In this period, more than 10 calls were made but the number was engaged. Compare this with the enquiry system provided by the private service provider, Connect. They also have 197 (enquiry) which is reached from their own numbers. The phone got connected at the first attempt and a person answered within 10 seconds.

131 & 2653131: ( railway enquiry) Last time from 6 pm to the next two hours, both numbers were engaged. Today the first attempt was made at 6.45 pm and a computerised voice said “please wait, you are in queue”, however, nobody answered for more than 90 seconds and the phone went blank. The same was repeated at 7.06 pm and the call materialised at 8.01 pm when the attendant picked up the phone.

Railway officials said a huge rush of enquires start in the evening. Sources in the railways said there was only one person to man the phone enquiry. This despite the fact that the number of trains departing from Chandigarh has gone up in the past three years.

198: Like last time, the experience on this number was good. It is the computerised fault booking service of the BSNL. It works well and is prompt and effective.

Roadways enquiry: This is the most cumbersome. Despite being pointed out to officials that a centralised enquiry was a demand of the public, there is no plan by the Chandigarh Administration to initiate a move on this. Enquiries regarding buses to places like Jammu will result in inaccurate information. The caller will have to call up all enquires of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to find out the best available options. Thankfully, those manning the enquiry are prompt.

The person manning the enquiry at Haryana Roadways, when asked why information was not available about lesser travelled routes, he said: “Sahib hum kuch nahin bata sakte paar hona to bahut kuch chahiyye.” (Sir, I cannot say anything but a lot needs to be done).

The Tribune has suggested that there must be one number and the attendant should have a computerised data to tell about buses of all roadways.

Ambulance service: Though prompt in response, the service does not evoke popular response from people who do not know whom to contact. Unfortunately, the system cannot be streamlined as officials of the Administration say the matter had been discussed a few weeks ago and it was decided that the present system of having ambulances in hospitals was fine.

At present ambulances are operated by various hospitals and social organisations. All have their own phone numbers. The suggestion to have one phone number was found to be impractical.

100: The police control room is prompt and answers calls with a trademark “Jai hind, control room”. The response was checked thrice in a span of an hour and it was swift.

101: The Fire Department is prompt. But one thing is jarring. Like last time, the attendant responded with a “hello” and did not reveal if the caller had been connected to the Fire Department. The caller had to ask if it was the Fire Department.


Ghaggar water comes to HUDA’s rescue
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
The water scarcity in the township has now propelled the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to draw water from the Ghaggar and supply it to the township.

Official sources inform that they have started drawing 2 cusecs of water from the Ghaggar each day, which is presently being used for watering the plantation in the 18-hole golf course (except the greens and the trees). The authorities hope to increase the drawing of the water from the Ghaggar to 3 cusecs per day by the year end.

Mr S.C. Malik, Superintending Engineer, HUDA, informed that the quantum of water to be drawn would be slowly increased and collected in special collection wells, from where it would be carried to the Sector 1 waterworks, and after being treated at a water filteration plant, would be supplied to the township. The project would be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 15 lakh and a pump of 15 horse power had been installed to draw water.

Other than this, HUDA also proposes to use water from the sewerage treatment plant for irrigating the gardens in Sector 5, Town Park and Vatika, besides supplying water to the Sports Complex, coming up in Sector 3.

The sources inform that the present daily water requirement of Panchkula city, including Panchkula Extension and Mansa Devi Complex, is of the order of 78.27 mgd and the present availability of water is about 28 mgd. Thus there is an additional daily requirement of 50 mgd.

The authorities claim that alternate sources of water need to be tapped. At the present rate of ground water consumption, water is estimated to last only for the next 20 years. It is not possible to augment this shortfall by installing more tubewells — which could further deplete the underground water level, lead to overdraws and lack of charging.

With the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation asking Haryana to deposit the money for laying the pipeline from Sector 39 Waterworks in Chandigarh to Sector 1, Panchkula, for getting Haryana’s 18 cusecs share from the Chandigarh Water Supply Augmentation Bhakra Main Line Kajauli scheme, it is still a long way for Panchkula to go to get its water share.

The authorities maintain that even after Panchkula gets its share of the Bhakra main line, there will be a shortfall of 28 mgd of water. Thus, alternate scheme for the augmentation of water supply, like tapping of Ghaggar water by constructing low-height dams, is being considered. The proposed lake on the Naddha choe will also help in tapping ground water.


Domestic water tariff mooted for religious bodies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee of the corporation today recommended levying of domestic water tariff and sewerage cess on religious institutions. The domestic tariff would be applicable if the premises of the religious institutions are not being used for commercial activity like marriage ceremonies.

The recommendations will be placed at the forthcoming meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee. At present, the religious institutions are paying commercial charges for water and sewerage connections.

The committee recommended that a third tubewell should be sunk in Sector 17 to meet the demand for water supply. The public health wing of the corporation has been asked to present the estimates for sinking the tubewell.

An officer said during the meeting estimates of around Rs 5.30 lakh for constructing road gullies in Sector 40 and a sewer line in Sector 15 were passed. The public health wing has been asked to expedite work on toilet blocks in the Sector 40 market.

Sources in the corporation said ever since the last survey was carried out four years ago, the institutional premises in the city had undergone expansion but the same had not been intimated to the corporation. The consumption of water and number of sewer connections, especially in private schools and other institutions, had increased over the years. “The corporation could be losing lakhs of rupees on unaccounted water and sewer connections”, said a committee member.

The matter of levying of domestic tariff on professionals running consultancy services from residential premises will come up at the meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee.


No improvement in sanitation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
Inspite of the tall claims made by the Municipal Council authorities of taking every precaution while allotting a tender for sanitation works by four-zoning it, the sanitation facilities in the township have not improved.

Piles of garbage can be seen at various places in the township and garbage is also seen lined up near the bins. Residents often complain of the roads not being cleaned regularly and underage safai karamcharis being employed by the sanitation contractors for the job.

Three days ago, the safai karamcharis had also struck down work in protest against their not being paid their full salaries — much to the annoyance of the residents.

It may be noted that the MC authorities had decided to distribute the township into four zones and allot separate tenders for sanitary work. Till last year, the sanitation tender was allotted for Rs 3. 87 lakh, but this year, the MC has allotted four tenders worth Rs 9.80 lakh ( tenders of Rs 2. 55 lakh each for two zones and Rs 2.35 lakh each for the other two zones).

The Congress councillors allege that though the sanitation contract has been allotted for four times the amount than last year, the facilities have not improved. Mr V.K. Kapoor, who heads the Congress councillors says that inspite of repeated complaints to the MC authorities, the latter had failed to ensure that proper number of safai karamcharis are employed in each sector.

Meanwhile, the MC authorities say they have been imposing regular fines on the three contractors who have been allotted sanitation contracts. They also propose to introduce a scheme, where each safai karamchari would have to clean the area around 150 to 175 housing/ commercial units, so that the sanitary work improves.


Sambhar ventures into doctor’s house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
The local police was put on high alert today-thanks to a sleepy Police Control Room officer. A posse of cops landed in Sector 6 this morning, when the Police Control Room on receiving information about a “blue bull calf” venturing into a house, further conveyed to the cops that a leopard had strayed into a residential area. However, the stray animal turned out to be a sambhar.

This female sambhar had reportedly strayed from the Chandi Mandir forest area and landed itself into the house of the Professor Emeritus, PGI, Chandigarh, Dr Inderjeet Dewan. It had probably ventured into a vacant plot between the house numbers 277 and 279 last night. It was around 8. 15 in the morning that the sambhar scaled the nine-feet-high boundary wall (six-feet-high wall with three-feet-high barbed fencing) of Dr Dewan’s house (H. No 277) and entered its back garden.

Dr Dewan, on noticing the sambhar running around in his garden, thought it was a calf of a black bull and immediately informed the Police Control Room. While he waited for the police, the sambhar made numerous attempts to escape from the garden. “It tried to jump over the boundary wall into the next house and in the process broke several of my pots,” informed Dr Dewan.

Meanwhile, the cops in the Police Control Room, somehow thought that they had received a message of a leopard straying into the doctors’ house. Led by the DSP (Headquarters), Mr Deshbandhu, 20 cops from the Sector 6 police post and Sector 5 police station rushed there after informing the Wildlife Department.

The sambhar, probably seeing so many human beings together, got panicky and made desperate attempts to escape. By the time, the Wildlife Department officials, including Wildlife Inspector Sada Ram and Wildlife Guards Rakesh Kumar and Ramesh Kumar, reached there, the sambhar had jumped into the house located on the back of Dr Dewan’s house. As the Wildlife Department officials rushed there, the sambhar again jumped into Dr Dewan’s house and from there into the adjacent house of Dr Ramesh Mahajan.

It was here that they finally managed to catch the sambhar in a net. “The animal was petrified and we had to ease him by patting on its back for a while. Then immediately we rushed him to the Barwala forest and released him there,” said Inspector Sada Ram. He says that the animal was just over an year old.

It may be noted that a male sambhar (believed to be about three-year old) had ventured from the Chandi Mandir forest into an area near Old Surajpur railway station last evening. It got entangled in wild bushes and could not get out. Some passers-by saw the animal and informed the Wildlife Department, which rescued the animal and later released it into the forest. Another sambhar that had strayed from the Morni forest area was crushed to death by a speeding vehicle on November 13.

A leopard created panic in Taprian village on the Pinjore- Naraingarh road after it strayed into the village on Tuesday night. It killed a bull of Joga Singh as the scared villagers stayed inside their homes throughout the night. It was only in the morning that they mustered enough courage to come out and call the Wildlife Department and Pinjore police.

Wildlife Department officials, informed that the onset of winters was a mating season for sambhars and the male members of the species generally fought over the female members and the weaker males were chased out of the forest. Also, with the fodder decreasing in the forests, a lot of these animals could be seen near the forest areas of Bir Shikargah and Morni.


Unaccounted income of 27 lakh detected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Unaccounted income of Rs 27 lakh was detected by sleuths of the Income Tax Department, (North-West Region) Range II, in two separate surveys conducted at a jewellery shop in Sector 16 and at a sanitary shop in Sector 18.

According to information, unaccounted income of Rs 10 lakh was surrendered by Sethi Jewellers in Sector 16 and unaccounted income of Rs 17 lakh was surrendered by the sanitary shop, Verma and Company.

A similar survey was conducted at a unit in Ram Darbar and at a business establishment in Sector 27. However, the details could not be ascertained.


Need for wrestling centres, says Bir Devinder
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker, Mr Bir Devinder Singh inaugurated a wrestling training centre at Phase VI Community Centre here today.

The centre will be used to train young school and college children for national and international wrestling events.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bir Devinder Singh stressed that there was need for such centres both in the cities and villages so that young talent could be tapped.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh also announced a grant of Rs 10,000 per month to the centre for providing desi ghee and milk to the players under training. He also announced the centre be decorated with portraits of internationally and nationally renowned wrestlers. He also announced Rs 20,000 for arranging a gurj at the centre.

Padamshree Kartar Singh, Director, Sports Department, Punjab stated that by allowing a centre to be opened at the PUDA Community Centre, the authority had catered to a long standing demand of residents of Mohali and the surrounding areas.

Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, Mohali, encouraged the players to work hard and make their mark in the world of sports. Mr T.K. Goel, Estate Officer, PUDA, was also present on the occasion.


Readers Write
Need to monitor Punjab Roadways functioning

HOW insecure, unsafe, terrible and on top of all inconvenient is travelling in a Punjab Roadways bus — one can take clue from the bitter experience that I had on November 12, 2003, travelling in a Punjab Roadways (Nawanshahr Depot ) bus No PB 12C 9916 which left Amritsar at 2.30 pm.

The bus reached Jalandhar with jerks and multiple problems at about 5 pm. The conductor informed that the diesel was leaking and it was not possible to go further. He made us board another bus of the same depot ( PB 12C 9830). This bus could hardly reach Nawanshahr due to some problems. We were told that the bus was hired in the morning and it was to be returned or replaced with some other one. We were again loaded into another bus of the same depot ( PB 12C 9808). This bus reached Chandigarh at about 8 p.m. And we heaved a great sigh of relief.

This is not the sole instance. Many government buses can be seen halted on the road in Punjab with some fault or the other. This problem is common with buses of the Punjab Roadways, especially those from Pathankot and Nawanshahr depots. Why the Punjab Roadways buses incur losses, perhaps this is one of the reasons. And this is perhaps the reason why private bus operators have been thriving in the state. Private buses are more efficient, more caring and more punctual. People prefer to travel in these buses.

I appeal to the Transport Minister, Punjab, and the Chief Minister, Punjab, to just travel in a Punjab Roadways bus and see for themselves the difficulties or inconvenience being faced by the passengers. Honourable minister ‘sahib’ please monitor the functioning of the Punjab Roadways otherwise they are going to prove white elephants. Ultimately private operators will take over and exploit the passengers for their own interests.

Ujagar Singh

Deterrent against rape

According to the WHO, 42 women are raped everyday in India, that is one in every 35 minutes and the crime is on the rise. Out of every 100 rape cases, only 10 cases are reported and barely 40 per cent victims get punishment thanks to our tardy criminal justice system. Rape is the most heinous crime on the earth and worse than ever murder. It is most horrifying and depressing to read incidents of rape of minor girls almost daily in newspapers. It is a sad reflection of social degeneration of the Indian society. Even a wild animal would not do this unthinkable act with an immature female.

Indian law with several amendments on this subject has failed to act as an effective deterrent to curb this social menace. Recently the Supreme Court asked the government to legislate severe punishment for the rapists. In view of the severe gravity of the crime, several eminent people have suggested death penalty instead of the present seven or 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment. But the NCW has vehemently opposed the death penalty as it would prompt the culprit to murder the victim so as to destroy the living evidence. This is quite logical.

The rapist must be given such punishment which should not only meet the ends of justice but also serve as a big deterrent against this social menace. It is therefore suggested that in addition to the existing punishment for rape, the culprit be paraded naked with his face blackened and flogged in public. Rapist should be castrated. Further, forehead of the culprit be tattooed “RAPIST”. Fast-track special courts be constituted for rape cases presided over by women judges only.

TV serials and films having scenes of rape, violence and extramarital relations be banned. Moral education be included in curriculum of school children

Wg Cdr Gurmail Singh (retd)

Approach to national gallery

A number of tourists to our City Beautiful had been occasionally asking me for the location of National Gallery of Portraits. I, therefore, thought of visiting the gallery myself as well.

I went to see the gallery situated adjoining Central State Library in Sector 17. The approach to the gallery reminds one of the well-known couplet of Ghalib.

“Koi veerani si veerani hai

Dasht ko dekh kar ghar yaad aya”

The approach to such an important tourist spot is in a deplorable condition. Maybe, no attention has been paid to this. There is a faux pas which appears to have escaped the notice of the authorities concerned. The first war of Independence of 1857 (as we wish to call) has been named, as in old history books, Ghaddar (mutiny) of 1857. Necessary correction needs to be made immediately.

G.R. Kalra


Hero’s farewell to martyr
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
His family decided to give him a hero’s farewell. There were no heart-rending scenes at the Wats house here but they took Major Navneet Wats’ death solemnly- as a tribute to the brave soldier.

Major Neeraj Wats of the Gorkhas, on deputation to Rashtriya Rifles, was killed by militants in Srinagar this morning. The Major and a militant were killed and four soldiers injured today when security forces tried to storm the building at Indira Nagar in the high security cantonment area of Srinagar, where two militants were holed up since Tuesday evening.

When the sharp shooters from the Army tried to enter the area, they came under heavy fire from the militants, in which Major Navneet Wats and four soldiers were wounded. The Major later succumbed to his injuries.

As grieving relatives poured in to express their condolences with the bereaved family in Sector 4 here , his parents - Mr Neeraj Wats and Mrs Vichitra Veena — took the news bravely. The martyr’s wife, Sheeba, and daughter, Inayat, were, however, away to the former’s parents in Sector 11. Major Wats is also survived by his 20-year-old brother.

Major Wats was commissioned in the Army in 1994. He had done his schooling from Chandigarh and after finishing his Class XII from DAV College, Chandigarh, had joined the NDA. Relatives remember him as a very outgoing person , who was full of life. He was here on a holiday recently and had joined back in Srinagar on September 15.

Relatives say that Major Wats had enrolled himself with a course in hotel management, but his mother wanted him to join the Army. He was also a prolific writer.


Workshop on bonded labour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, and the Labour and Employment Department organised a workshop on bonded labour here today.

In his presidential address Justice A.S Anand, Chairman, Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, directed the Deputy Commissioners to monitor the implementation of the Bonded Labour System ( Abolition) Act, 1976, and to attend to the shortcomings /drawbacks which come in the way of freedom to bonded labour under the system.

Justice Anand requested the Ministry of Labour to explore the possibility of creating a corpus, which would be made available to the Deputy Commissioners for immediate rehabilitation of freed bonded labour.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Labour and Employment Minister, Mr Chaman Lal, Special Rapporteur, NHRC, dwelt upon the salient features of the Act and highlighted the landmark judgements of the Supreme Court in this regard.

Among others who spoke were Dr Brajendra Singh, Principal Secretary, Labour and Employment and Director-General ( labour welfare).

Later, Mr Jaspal Singh , Labour Commissioner, made a presentation on the legal provisions of the Act and its implementation in the state.


Shift marriage palaces, demand residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 20
Residents of Phase VI here have urged the SDM to get the marriage palaces in the area shifted elsewhere as they were causing noise pollution.

In a letter addressed to the SDM, the president of the Phase VI Welfare Society said five marriage palaces were functioning around the area. The functions at these palaces went on till about 2 am amidst a lot of noise. Fire crackers were also used late at night. As such old persons and those suffering from heart problems faced inconvenience. The students also could not concentrate on their studies.

He said these palaces had been opened in areas meant for industrial units in violation of the rules.


Protest against move on PSEB privatisation
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Over 70 employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board held a rally and demonstration outside the office here today in protest against the proposed privatisation of the PSEB.

While the employees were protesting outside, sources in the board alleged that the rally was held in contempt of a stay order granted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in favour of the board.

During the rally the leaders of the PSEB Employees Forum condemned the decision to privatise the board in accordance with the Electricity Act, 2003, and also alleged that the set of demands which were agreed to by the board in July this year be fully implemented. The employees also raised slogans against the XEN, Mr K.S. Sidhu for personalising certain employees issues.


Garbage problem solved
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
The nine-day-old problem being faced by the Municipal Council with regard to the garbage dumping ground in the township was solved here today with the villagers allowing the MC officials to use their land for dumping garbage. According to the MC officials the sanitation contractor collected garbage after nine days today and by the evening most of the roads were cleared of the heaps of the filth.


New UT Adviser to join today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The new Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, will join duty tomorrow. He will hold a meeting with officers of the Chandigarh Administration at the UT Secretariat in the afternoon. Mr Sharma will not be able to meet the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, tomorrow as the latter is out of station.


Man held for forgery
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, November 20
Kanchan Dutta, an accountant with Mohali-based Vee and Vee Sanitation was today arrested allegedly for withdrawing Rs 3 lakh from a bank by forging signatures.

According to police sources, Kanchan Dutta (36) had got hold of a checkbook of May Steel Pvt. Ltd, E-84, Phase VIII, Mohali, from a Sector 17 branch of Andhra Bank and withdrew money.

Police sources said Rs 2.40 lakh had been recovered from Kanchan, while he used the remaining Rs 60,000 to pay off his debts.

BOOKED: The police on Thursday booked Ali Hasan of Mauli Jagran and a Mani Majra-based doctor for abetting Anu to commit suicide. Anu, who had allegedly attempted a suicide at her Mauli Jagran residence by setting herself ablaze on November 10 succumbed to the injuries at the PGI. The deceased was the mother of six children and her husband is a doctor.

The two have been booked under Section 306 of the IPC.


Cyclist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
A 22-year-old cyclist was crushed to death by a CTU bus ( CH-01G- 5716) near the Sector 11 and 15 chowk this evening. It is learnt that the victim, Omkar, was a resident of Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh and had come here for work. The victim died on the spot and the bus driver, Kuldeep Singh, fled the scene. In another incident, a labourer, Sri Prakash was killed after he accidentally fell off the second floor terrace of an under construction building in Sector 14 this evening.

Two injured:- A 17-year-old student of Satluj Public School, Swati was injured after her scooter was hit by a speeding car in Sector 4 on Tuesday. Her friend, who was riding the pillion, escaped with minor injuries.

In a separate incident, a scooter-borne youth, Ram Singh received serious injuries on his hand, when his scooter collided with a tanker ( HP-16-7285) in Sector 5. Both the victims have been admitted to General Hospital, Panchkula.

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