C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali to have mini Police Lines
Police strength to be increased threefold
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 10
Following the opening of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau office in Mohali, the township will also have a mini Police Lines soon. According to sources, the police strength here is slated to be increased three times, besides the creation of requisite infrastructure to accommodate these men.

According to the DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr Sidhharth Chattopadhyaya, a set of proposals relating to the enhancement of police strength in some areas had been sent but there was no information whether these had been met. ‘‘The enhancement of police strength is one of them and the creation of the Police Lines is another. When the Police Lines is created, added infrastructure in the form of hospital, housing, armoury and reserve police units is required. All this is still at the planning stage, ’’he added.

Sources, however, said while the creation of a mini Police Lines was still under consideration, the police administration had agreed to give 700 policemen to the township. Currently, the strength of the police in Mohali is about 350 men and the posting of 700 men more will help tide over the existing shortage.

The SSP, Ropar, Mr S.P. Singh, confirmed that a major move was on to enhance the police force in Mohali. “We have forwarded some proposals, but we do not have any information when we will be sanctioned the force. Most of the personnel will be moved in from other areas of Punjab,” he said.

With the opening of the office of the Vigilance Bureau, which will also be the Ropar SSP’s camp office here and a separate SP’s office, both of which are housed in residential houses, an acute need for proper offices and other facilities is being felt.


Girls attend road safety rally without helmets
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, January 10
What message can a rally taken out to urge women to wear helmets give, when a large number of women participants did not bother to wear it themselves?

A larger number of participants left it to the organisers to arrange for the helmets.

Only a few of them could be managed. A senior police official was candid enough to admit that to save themselves from embarrassment, the organisers made efforts to arrange for the helmets.

As part of the Road Safety Week by the traffic police, about 250 students from four local colleges for women participated in a rally to stress the need for wearing a helmet. Girls from Sector 11 and 42 Government Colleges for Girls, Sector 42 MCM DAV College for Girls and the Sector 36 Dev Samaj College for Women participated in the rally.

The embarrassed organisers are the ones who could be seen running around to get helmets for girls who participated in the rally with enthusiasm but without helmets. “Don’t follow the fools but obey traffic rules” was the argument the police gave as to why many students were helmet-less in a rally which was organised to send a message to make its use essential.

The SP (Operations), Mr H.G. S. Dhaliwal, who was also present at the rally, admitted that some of the girls were not wearing helmets.

“While wanting to present the true picture we tried to send a signal how dangerous helmet-less driving can be. But we can only send a message and cannot impose it on anyone,” remarked

Mr Dhaliwal. He said it would have been ideal if all girls had worn helmets, which is what the police wants.

The rally which was flagged off from the Children’s Traffic Park, Sector 23, went all around the city through Museum Chowk, Lake Club, Golf ground turn, traffic light point, Sector 26/7 and 27/19 ,Sector 18, 19 markets and finally ended at Neelam police post, Sector 17.

Interestingly, even the onlookers were baffled as to what message would a rally where women were themselves not wearing helmets send to the public.


Cops seek teachers’ aid on road safety awareness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Traffic police yesterday persuaded around 150 teachers from across the city to request parents at parent-teacher meetings not to let their minor children drive vehicles.

The issue was raised by DSP B.D. Bector while giving a presentation on the entire gamut of road safety and its history to the teachers.

The presentation was part of the ongoing Road Safety Week programmes ending on January 11.

The Traffic police gave teachers literature and awareness campaign material, including posters, to display in their schools. The police asked the teachers to become catalysts in spreading awareness about road safety.

In another lecture, DSP D.S. Thakur explained the perils of the use of mobile phones while driving, overspeeding and jumping traffic signals.

In a separate programme later, a workshop-cum-demonstration on first aid was organised for the Chandigarh Traffic police staff. Around 300 personnel from police control room, Traffic police and police staff participated in the workshop. Mr S.K. Nazir from the Red Cross explained the significance of first aid in saving the life of a person, especially in accident cases. He explained how to give artificial respiration, dressing the wound to stop bleeding and care to be taken while handling a person whose limbs had received fractures.

Inspector Chambel Singh also addressed the police staff.


Anti-poverty scheme funds unutilised
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Funds meant for eradication of urban poverty under a Central Government scheme are not being utilised properly by the local authorities. Of the Central Government grant of Rs 4.76 crore under the “Swaran Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojna” received by the UT Administration since 1997, the administration has showed an expenditure of only Rs 68.78 lakh till 2003. The amount also included unspent grant of the Nehru Rozgar Yojna. There was an unspent balance of Rs 4.07 crore on April 1, 2003.

The objectives of the scheme are: providing employment opportunities for unemployed and under-employed urban poor; to organise urban poor into self-help groups; to upgrade skills of the poor; and to allow convergence of anti-poverty initiatives in urban areas. The scheme was meant to be implemented through municipal corporations.

Mr Dildar Khan, a councillor of the local Municipal Corporation, is compiling the details of underutilisation of funds by the corporation. He said the available figures indicated poor implementation of the scheme through available funds.

There is a sizeable amount lying under various heads the money had been sent. These include subsidy, training, infrastructure support, group subsidy, thrift and credit society and community structure.

The Municipal Corporation, in a report, has given the reasons for the poor implementation of the scheme. These include: 56 per cent of the unspent money was for providing subsidies, the release of which depends on sanctioning of loan cases by the banks; approval of the UT Administration for construction of ‘Nagar Palika Seva Kendra’ is still awaited; slow formation of thrift and credit societies due to lack of interest of group activity. Another bottleneck is migratory nature of slum population and lack of ethnic and social affinity to form groups.

Mr Khan said besides the “official” reasons for poor implementation of the scheme, there were certain other loopholes as well. The MC has not scrutinised the target groups which could avail the benefits of the scheme. Enough has not been done to mobilise the target groups for groups activities. Proper training has not been imparted.

The data for volunteers under the Self Employment Programme is also not encouraging. More than 75 per cent of the cases were rejected. The main reasons on the account of rejection are lack of viability, beneficiaries not turning up and lack of place for business.

The Mayor, Mrs Kamlesh, said she had asked for details of the “yojna” from the office.


Testing time for kids, parents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
It is an experience every parent will like to forget in a hurry. With admissions in progress in a number of city schools, it is testing time for tiny tots and their parents.

Leaving nothing to chance, parents are making sure that their little ones secure a seat in one of the prestigious schools at the start of the academic year. Many are brushing up their own knowledge at one or the other preparatory school along with their wards.

“After all, it is the first examination my daughter has to appear for. I am ensuring that she takes time off her games and pranks and learns a few things”, said a software professional, Mr Arjun Sachdeva, who has taken leave for an interview of his daughter , scheduled on Monday at a prestigious convent school.

This year has been no different, said a teacher of a convent school. City-based schools are receiving a large number of applications for admission to the entry-level classes, the session for which begins in March. “We have received around 600 applications for admission to playway and nursery classes against 100 seats”, said Mr Atul Khanna of Strawberry Fields Kindergarten. The interview with parents would be held from January 30 to February 2.

For just over 100 seats in KG classes, St John’s School has already received more than 800 applications. The last date for receiving application forms for KG classes was December 21. The last date to receive the application forms in St Stephen’s School for Class I is January 15. A spokesman for Rai School in Sector 48 said the admission for the playway had been again reopened and it would be over in another 15 days. Similarly, admissions for nursery class have been reopened.

St Anne’s School has fixed January 13 and January 14 for the registration of girls and boys, respectively, and the draw of lots was scheduled to be held on February 13.

In the case of Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, the admission for LKG, which began on January 6, will continue till January 12.

Irritated with the admission schedule, Mr Rashmi Singh, an executive, said, “I have appeared for interviews at four schools and each time I have to take time off from my office work”. To reduce the chances of rejection, a majority of parents have applied in more than one school.

To rationalise the admission schedule, we divide the applicants on the basis of the profession of their parents. Then we hold draw of lots for each profession”, said Mr Atul Khanna. The school aims to find out whether the parents’ goals on education meet with those of the school, he added.

Preparations for interviews and tests are a common thing these days. Parents often take recourse to putting their children in a preparatory school prior to the admission process so as to enable them to get a feel of what is in store during the interview. “Brushing one’s knowledge, presenting the right facet of the child’s personality and to show that there is a right environment in the house”, said an executive.

Selection process

To pick right kind of students, schools have devised a number of ways. A written test, an informal interview of the child and the parents, and draw of lots are the most common methods of selection. The schools claim that the selection process is an informal way to test the child’s preparedness for school. “Pulls and pressure” are an integral part of the selection process.


Fans forget Tintin’s 75th birthday
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
It was on this day 75 years ago that Tintin walked out of the imagination of his Belgian creator Herge into the hearts of his admirers. He was first featured in Le XXme Siecle newspaper in Belgium in January, 1929, and ever since his first outing, the fearless journalist has sold over 200 million stories worldwide.

While fans around the world celebrated Tintin’s birthday with gusto today, with some Belgian newspapers filling up editions with his strips and the European Union issuing a 10-euro coin on Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy, fans in the city somehow forgot to keep a date with Tintin on his day. There was no semblance of celebration in Chandigarh, even though most of the children and bookstore owners contacted by The Tribune confirmed that Tintin remained the best-selling comic series in town. It is another matter that no library manager or bookstore owner seemed to have any clue to the significance of this day, which saw the EU honouring Tintin and placing him in the league of the Pope and Mozart — the only other legends feature on euro currency.

A survey of the bookstores in the city conducted today showed that few were stocking Tintin’s adventurous escapades, despite the rising demand from children. Only two among the many bookstores in Sector 17 are currently stocking a good number of Tintin stories, including “Prisoners of the Sun”, “Mission Moon” and “The Seven Crystal Balls”. Although owners of most stores admitted they had been receiving demands to stock the earlier Tintin adventures, they said the collection had to be enhanced.

One of the bookstore owners in Sector 17 said, “Despite the fact that market is flooded with cartoon characters, Tintin continues to retain his popularity. Children buy his books, despite the heavy cost. The Tintin series is priced between Rs 270 and Rs 400, in comparison to Archies and Superman, which are cheaper.”

Interestingly, even the British Library in Chandigarh currently has only six Tintin titles. Manager Sushant Banerjee told The Tribune, “Our children’s section has been flooded with inquiries about Tintin’s adventures. We have only six stories. We are in the process of acquiring all Tintin stories ever published.”

As for children, most of them read the Tintin series and love to acquire them. Hari Bhanot, a Class IV student of St Stephen’s, admitted his fascination for Tintin but was also honest to say, “We prefer books to comics now. Also since Cartoon Network is a readily available source of all cartoons, one does not read so much.” Manisha Kanwar, another student, however, said there was nothing to beat the thrill of Tintin’s adventures. “He was a great journalist. I have read most of his stories. I want to be him,” she declares.

Tintin’s first-ever adventure saw him handle the Communist regime in the USSR in “Tintin in the Land of the Soviets”. This story is not in the collection of any bookstore in Sector 17 or even the British Library. Subsequent stories saw Tintin battle drug dealers, go on a mission to the moon and discover a lost tribe. Tintin comics have sold over 200 million copies around the world and have been translated into 55 languages. Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has declared his fascination for Tintin and said he planned a trilogy of films based on the reporter’s adventures.



UT Botanical Garden coming up at fast pace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
With the UT Forest Department meeting plantation targets on time, the prestigious Botanical Garden and Conservatory project of the Chandigarh Administration is progressing at a fast pace.

Coming up at a cost of Rs 8.25 crore over 180 acres near Sarangpur village, the garden project has entered the third crucial phase in which the focus of the Forest Department will be on plantation of hill species, ferns, palm varieties and some rich tropical rain forest species. Significantly, the 5-km cycle track, proposed by former UT Administrator JFR Jacob to be built inside the garden, is in its final stages.

With the end of 2003, the Forest Department has achieved the targets it had set when the project was approved. Of the 14 planned sections of the garden, which will be one of its kind with its emphasis on herbal plantation and environmental research, five major sections have nearly been completed. The herbal garden with 65 species, ficus grooves with 15 species and bamboosetum with 16 species of canes was put in place in 2001-2002. Last year, the Forest Department completed the arboretum of trees grown on the Aravali and Shivalik hills, the lower Himalayas and other parts over 35 acres, along with ornamental growth over 15 acres.

The forest authorities have now chalked out a plan for the new year. Not only do they plan to complete the cycle track that will follow a ring road covering the entire area of the garden by March 31, but also plan to complete the beautification project of the two seasonal nullahs that run through the area of the garden.

Mr Ishwar Singh, Deputy Conservator of Forests, UT, said the top priority was to complete the graining work, beautification and channelisation of the two nullahs, which will be shaped as beautiful water bodies to enhance the beauty of the green spaces. “We plan to finish the water body beautification by March 31, along with the cycle track, which will prevent vehicles from entering the garden area,” said Mr Ishwar Singh. The track will have a width of just 1.5 metres.

Along with work on the track, the department has stacked its nurseries with all essential requirements for the four sections to be completed this year, namely pinetum, tropical rain forests section featuring exquisite species from the North East, palm section and fernery.

Mr Ishwar Singh said, “We are actively collecting the species. In the pinetum, we will have 12 species. Other precious trees, those from the North East, will feature beautiful varieties, with immense value for environmental research. We have received stocks just about three days ago. All four sections will be completed by the end of this year, so that the work on the conference room and the research block could then begin”.

As of now, the department has covered the herbal garden area, with about 65 species of medicinal plants. The prominent medicinal plants that have been brought in include kalpvarksh, bel, kachnar, red silk cotton tree, dhak, camphor, lasura, rudraksha, amla, anjir, phalsa, maulsiri, sandal wood, jal, sal, ritha, jamun, harar and arjun. 


Chandigarh Club to pay Rs 1.08 lakh as rent
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Chandigarh Club will soon have to pay Rs 1.08 lakh as monthly rent to the Chandigarh Administration which owns the building of the club. The new rent is part of the rationalisation of lease or rent for the club.

As per an April 1993 order, the lease money of the club had been fixed at Rs 2.08 lakh per month. The club had contested this and was running in arrears since then. The last lease money was fixed at Rs 533 per month.

In November, the Chandigarh Administration had issued notices to the club to seek arrears of the lease money. The original notices were issued in June 2001. A report had been submitted to the Administration which said the club owed Rs 9 crore by way of arrears. The club had contested this saying that the lease money was on the higher side and the club had no means to pay such a sum.

The club at present has about 8,000 members. The property of the club located in Sector 1 is owned by the Administration and it was leased to the club in 1971 on the basis of an annual extension of the lease agreement. The lease money was fixed at Rs 533 per month.

Sources said the office of the Assistant Controller (rents), Chandigarh Administration, had taken out the old records. Now as part of the rationalisation of rent the areas which had been encroached upon by the club had not been included in the rental value. Officials said if this would have been done then it would be like regularising encroachments. The club had already been told that more than 40 per cent of the its newly built kitchen block was unauthorised and had to be demolished. Also the rent had been miscalculated.

The proposal had been forwarded by the Adviser, Mr Lalit Sharma, to the UT Administrator who is yet to give his consent.

Next in the line for rationalisation might be the Golf Club which has also been served with a notice. However, its lease stands extended till 2008.

The Golf Club management had produced a 1988 lease agreement between the management and the Administration. Under this, the lease money was fixed at the rate of Rs 30 per acre for the 130 acre golf course. The Administration also owns this property.


Honoured for acts of bravery
Nishikant Dwivedi

When Mohali-based couple, Mr Balwant Singh and Mrs Jaswant Kaur, pledged to donate their body parts after their death to the PGI, Chandigarh, for teaching and research purpose, they did not know their noble act will fetch them a silver medal at the 12th Red and White Bravery Awards.

The Mohali-based couple celebrate their marriage anniversary and birthdays of their children by donating blood. Each of them has donated blood for as many as 38 times. Their children, Amandeep Singh (22) and Sandeep Kaur have donated blood 17 and eight times, respectively. The couple have set up Baba Sheikh Farid Blood Donors Council.

“Under the banner of the council, we have organised 26 blood donation camps and collected 4,500 units of blood”, informed Mrs Jaswant Kaur, who is employed with the Punjab Animal Husbandry Department. Mr Balwant Singh is working with the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation.

Furthering their cause towards the humanity, they have also persuaded more than 2,000 persons to donate their eyes after death.

Mrs Jaswant Kaur said “January 7, 2004, has become the most important day of our lives”.

Similarly, Panchkula-based journalist of a Hindi daily, Mr Satyanarayan Gupta, brought laurels for the township. On June 18, he risked his life to save a seven-year-old boy, Rahul, from being electrocuted. He was awarded silver medal in the physical bravery category of the Awards.

Describing the incident, Mr Gupta said Rahul had fallen in a water-filled pit adjacent to a power transformer in Sector 8, Panchkula and there was electric current in the water. A number of people, including the boy’s parents, both migrant labourers had gathered around the pit. The parents of the boy were shouting for help.

“All of them were watching the boy die. I just happened to reach there. I snatched a cloth from a migrant labour who was also watching the boy die. Using the cloth I pulled out the boy”, said Mr Gupta. When asked if he was not afraid of getting an electric shock, he said “I had no time to think”.

The courageous act won Mr Gupta not only appreciations from his friends and colleagues but also the silver medal . “Its a great honour for me that I have been selected by the Red and White for the silver medal” said Mr Gupta.


DSOI elections to be held today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Elections for the posts of vice-chairman of the management committee and members of the appointments and steering sub-committee of the Defence Services Offices Institute (DSOI) Sector 36, are scheduled to be held tomorrow. The institute’s annual general body meeting will also be held tomorrow.

The three members in fray for the post of vice-chairman are Brig Satjit Singh (retd), Lieut-Col J.S. Sadhu (retd) and former Capt S.P. Singh. Two members contesting for the appointments sub-committee are Maj S.S. Johl (retd) and former Capt Harbhajan Singh. Earlier, Capt Harbhajan was the sole contender after the nomination of Major Johal was rejected. But later, Major Johl’s papers were found to be in order and he, too, joined in the contest.

Members of the other sub-committees have been elected unopposed after others in the fray withdrew their nomination or were found ineligible. The new members include former Capt B. S. Garcha, Lieut-Col I.S. Khara (retd) and Wg Cdr D.S. Bajwa (retd), for the management sub-committee, Maj R.K. Passi (retd) for sports and entertainment, former Capt B.S. Jaswal for house and area development, former Capt Hoshiar Singh for Finance and former Capt G.S. Sidhu for catering and bar sub-committee.


MC office-bearers felicitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Manimajra Block Committee of the Congress organised a function to felicitate the new office-bearers of the local Municipal Corporation here today. Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, Mr Pradeep Chabbra, Senior Deputy Mayor, and Ms Geeta Rani, Deputy Mayor, were honoured on the occasion.

The Congress honoured other councillors present on the occasion, including Mr Chandermukhi, Ms Shaama Negi, Ms Lalit Joshi, Ms Anu Chatrath, Ms Pushpa Sharma and Mr Balraj.

The special invitees at the function were Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local member of Parliament, and Mr B.B. Behl, president of the local unit of the Congress .

Mr Surinder Singh, area councillor, highlighted various projects undertaken by the corporation during his
tenure. He spoke about the forthcoming ventures which had been cleared by the House, including a playground, a school and a community centre.


Air Defence Artillery Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
A wreath-laying ceremony at the Western Command war memorial, Veer Smriti, marked Air Defence Artillery Day at Headquarters, Western Command, in Chandimandir today.

The head of the Air Defence Branch at the Western Command, Major-Gen S.K. Sinha, paid floral tributes at the memorial on behalf of all ranks of the corps, a statement issued here said. A ceremonial guard reversed arms as a mark of respect to those fallen in battle.

A social get-together was organised for serving as well as retired air defence officers.

Air Defence Artillery is today equipped with sophisticated weapon systems as well as supporting infrastructure in consonance with its motto, “Akashe Shatrun Jahi”, meaning death of the aerial enemy. Rapid advancements of air power have brought the corps to the centre stage for dominating the battlefield.

Units of the Air Defence Artillery have participated with distinction in 1965 and the 1971 Indo-Pak wars as well as during Operation Vijay in 1999 and in various counter-insurgency operations where they have won many laurels.


Science day organised
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
The local Krishi Vigyan Kendra yesterday organised ‘Scicnce day’ in Tabar and Badhona Kalan villages with a view to providing information on progressive farming of the sun flower crop.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Scientist and chairman of the kendra, Dr Kanchan Monga, said if diversification of crops was not brought about, fertile land could become barren .

Encouraging farmers to progress from ‘Green Revolution’ to “Evergreen Revolution”, she said sunflower paid rich dividends at a nominal cost.


Baby found abandoned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
A five-months-old girl was found abandoned at Leisure Valley in Sector 10 here this afternoon. After a medical examination, the baby was handed over to the Missionaries for Charity, Sector 23.

The baby was found wrapped in a blanket by the police at around 1 pm. A milk bottle was also found near the baby.

The baby was taken to the PGI for examination where she was stated to be in good health. A case under Section 317, IPC, has been registered against the parents of the baby.



Safai kendras to be set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
At least eight new projects of the Sehaj Safai Kendras will come up in different parts of the city, sources said here yesterday. These are the common garbage collection centres set up in the city.

The spots identified for the setting up of the centres have been cleared with the help of area councillors. These will come up at different pockets of Dhanas, Khudda Lahora, Dadumajra, Maloya and Sector 40, the sources said. The project had been undertaken under the supervision of the Central Pollution Control Board.


Osho meditation camp today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula ,January 10
The Osho Dhara Commune organised a unique dance to meditation programme here today. The devotional musical extravaganza gave the participants a taste of bhakti rasa

Lohri was also celebrated with enthusiasm.

A one day meditation camp will be organised tomorrow. It will include numerous techniques, including Buddhist, Tibetan and Sufi.


Readers Write
Identify the real trespassers

You must have seen my photograph with my cousins in various city newspapers. We are the talk of the City Beautiful these days. Yes, we are the stray cattle; we sit in the middle of a road and pose danger to the passing vehicles. So, we are the trespassers in your city.

I wish you could see that is the other way around. You never realise that you are the trespassers; your conquering spree has taken away every bit of space from us. You build cosy, luxurious homes for yourself, throwing us out on road. Your car is running on what once were our grazing fields.

Thousands of entertaining bistros are opening everyday but we hardly have anything to eat in your city.

Gone are those day, when our grandparents used to graze on the ‘land beautiful’. They were close to nature. Man and animals were friends, meeting needs of each other. You powerful creatures have overpowered us. So, now we are on the road ! You feel threatened but so do we. Take up ‘City Beautiful’, spare our land. ‘‘Live and let us live’’.

Shayar Majumdar, Kanwal Singh, Chandigarh

Appeal to ‘Spokesman’s’ editor

This is in reference to the news item ‘Spokesman editor not to appear before Takht’ in ‘The Tribune’ on January 5 this year that the editor of ‘Spokesman’ will not appear before Akal Takht on January 7 under the assumption that Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Sikh clergy are blackmailing him.

No doubt, the way Bhai Ranjit Singh was removed as Jathedar of Akal Takht just before the day Barjidner Singh, editor of a Punjabi daily ‘Ajit’, was to appear before Akal Takht, and the way the appearance of Mr Parkash Singh Badal before Akal Takht was dramatised; these acts had done irreparable damage to the Sikh tradition.

Now if Joginder Singh also does not appear before Akal Takht, the damage to the authority of highest Sikh institution will be long lasting.

It is expected by an editor of the stature of ‘Spokesman’ Joginder Singh — a learned person — that he appears before Akal Takht to keep the prestige and authority of the institution and continue his struggle of reforms as envisaged by him. It will be a hard slap on the face of those who have earlier avoided Akal Takht and may do it in future.

Navdeep Kaur, BA Final (IIIrd Year), SGGS College, Sector 26, Chandigarh

Adulteration - cause of concern

Adulteration has become a serious problem now a days. Not just mineral water but even the basic consumer items and other necessities of life are not spared by adulterators.

The mineral and soda water bottles, Kerosene, gas cylinders, feed used for cattle or birds etc. contain visible signs of adulteration at times.

The forging of ISI mark, misuse of ration quotas, contaminated water and food items served in restaurants or dhabas further aggravate the situation for an ordinary person who has no means to approach consumer forums. The government must wake up and take necessary steps to check adulteration and forgery of ISI mark. At the same time it must be ensured that quota of ration meant for the poor and the needy is evenly distributed at ration depots and not unutilised for the benefit of any other class.

Nirmal Kumar, Panchkula

Admn’s ‘indifference’ to Punjabi

The Chandigarh Administration is directly under the control of the Government of India. While the Government of India attaches due importance to the Punjabi language, in its various dealings, and also the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) and various other Central government departments and corporations release publicity materials, brouchers etc in Punjabi language.

The Press Information Bureau of the Government of India, located at Chandigarh, also releases press notes in Punjabi but neither the Administrator, nor the Administration releases publicity material in Punjabi, nor issue press notes in Punjabi, despite the fact that 80 per cent population of Chandigarh speaks and understand Punjabi very well.

The Administrator does not releases any important messages in Punjabi. On January 4, the Administrator released a message on ‘Pulse Polio campaign’ in Hindi only and ignored Punjabi.

All hand bills, posters etc on ‘Pulse Polio campaign’ etc were released in other languages and Punjabi was completely ignored. The Chandigarh Administration should follow the Government of India policy and released brochures, publicity material and message in Punjabi too.

Narinder Singh ‘‘International’’, Chandigarh


NRI booked in another case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
The local police has booked NRI Balbir Chaudhary, accused of cheating several persons on the pretext of sending them abroad, in another case.

The NRI was booked on the complaint of a Haryana Government employee and a resident of Ambala, Mr Harbhajan Singh, who alleged that Chaudhary took Rs 7.5 lakh to send his son Jaspal to the USA. The complainant was reportedly threatened when he demanded his money back.

Police sources said the NRI took several persons for a ride and threatened them when they demanded their money back. Cases had been registered against him at several places in the region.

The sources said several “duped” persons had approached the local SP, Mr Ranbir Sharma, alleging that their money had not been refunded by the NRI. The local police had advised the complainants to approach the police forces of the areas concerned.

On January 6, the CJM, Mr Gulab Singh, remanded Chaudhary in 14-day police remand.

The sources said Chaudhary was booked on the complaint of Mr Amandeep, a resident of Ludhiana, last month. In his complaint, Mr Amandeep had alleged that Chaudhary had taken an amount of Rs 10 lakh from him on the pretext of sending him abroad.

The NRI had alleged that he had been booked as part of a conspiracy hatched by a former president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy. However, Mr Dimpy had later denied the allegations.


Two burglars arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
With the arrest of two persons, the police today claimed to have solved two cases of burglary, which had taken place in two booths in Sector 35 on the night of January 8.

The stolen goods have been recovered from them. The two have been remanded in two-day police custody by a local court.

Ram Niwas and Manish Pal, both residents of Uttar Pradesh, were apprehended at a naka being managed by Sub-Inspector Kuldeep Singh Kahia. Their questioning led to the recovery of the stolen items.

The two had allegedly entered into Booth Nos. 29 and 36 through ventilators and had stolen sunglasses worth Rs 10,000, fax machine, a music system, tape-recorder, and Rs 8,000 in cash.


Bid to set car ablaze
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, January 10
Two unidentified persons allegedly tried to set ablaze a Honda City car parked inside a house in Sector 7 here this evening.

The car (HR-31D-0097), parked in the compound of H.No 427 of Mr Sham Lal, a businessman, was partially damaged. Some passerby noticed the fire and raised the alarm. The family members and others doused the fire with water and sand. The family has lodged a complaint with the police.


HPCL, IFB launch campaign in 11 cities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), in association with IFB, today launched a promotional campaign, ‘‘HP-IFB Ka New Year Hungama’’, in 11 cities of the region, namely Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Patiala, Rajpura, Nabha, Ambala, Shimla, Parwanoo, Shogi and Solan.

The campaign was inaugurated by Mr Rajnish Mehta, Senior Regional Manager, HPCL, Chandigarh, at Sud Traders, Sector 22, Chandigarh. Mr Amit Sahai, Regional Manager, IFB, Chandigarh, was also present on the occasion. Mr Mehta outlined details of the campaign. He said the objective of this campaign was to attract customers to outlets and win customer confidence and loyalty by providing excellent services, good ambience and reward to lucky customers. By participating in the scheme, IFB will be reaching out to at least 60,000 customers visiting these outlets every day.

On every purchase of petrol worth Rs 150 for two or three-wheeler customers, Rs 500 for four-wheeler customers and single purchase of lubricants minimum Rs 100, customer will get a discount coupon of Rs 1,000 for purchase on selected IFB range of products. In addition to the discount coupon customer stands chance to win several lucky prizes.

At the end of the one-month campaign, a lucky draw for Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula will be held on February 12 at 4 pm at Rock Rose Auto Centre, Chandigarh. For Himachal Pradesh, the draw will be on February 13 on 4 pm at Anup Service Station, Shimla and for Patiala, Ambala, Rajpura and Nabha on February 14, on 4 pm at New Service Station, The Mall, Patiala.


Nigerian High Commissioner woos entrepreneurs
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 10
The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) here organised an interactive session with Mr M. Offor, Nigerian High Commissioner in India, on “Industrial Investment Opportunities in Nigeria” today as part of his visit to Chandigarh and Mohali.

Mr Offor, in his address, stated that the trade between India and Nigeria had been increasing over the past few years. Opportunities for investing in Nigeria were ample. Agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, information technology, pharmaceuticals, water management, education, etc were some of the areas which had a lot of potential for trade and investment there.

The Nigerian High Commissioner enumerated various measures and incentives being offered by the Nigerian Government for boosting foreign investment to accelerate industrial activity in that country. He added that the Indian technology suited the Nigerian requirements on its know how basis and cost wise.

Welcoming the guests, Mr Gurmeet Singh, president, MIA, stated that there were some commonalities between India and Nigeria as both had vast agricultural economies. However, Indian entrepreneurs could help Nigeria in industrial sector too on account of supremacy achieved by India in different industrial sectors. There was a vast scope for entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in Nigeria on account of its large agriculture and other untapped natural resources.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, general secretary, MIA, stated that Mohali being a hub of industry in the region could do a lot in areas of auto parts, pharmaceuticals, information technology, electronics, etc. The Mohali Industries Association offered to play a significant role by setting up an industrial park in Nigeria to cater to its needs in different fields.

Mr Gurmeet Singh said since an MIA delegation would be visiting Ethiopia in the second week of February, it would now extend its visit to Nigeria also for interaction with industrial organisations as well as government agencies concerned with industrial activities there for exploring areas of mutual cooperation.

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