C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Who runs the Administration?
Much said, nothing done
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

A road to Mohali with non-functional streetlights
A road to Mohali with non-functional streetlights.

Even as not more than four storeys are allowed in city, this building in Sarangpur has nine storeys
Even as not more than four storeys are allowed in city, this building in Sarangpur has nine storeys.— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Chandigarh, March 4
It was just a week before Divali and ironically, most streetlights on the main roads in the city were non-functional. Of course, the northern sectors were better off, but almost all roads in the southern sectors were dark. Roads leading to Mohali were the worst affected .

On October 20, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), ordered: "Streetlights on all roads leading to Mohali should be functional within two or three days." The winter passed and motorists drove to Mohali in the dark and through blinding fog. The streetlights never worked. It has been more than four months since the order was issued by the city's chief administrator.

Similarly, the Administrator, in a bid to check unplanned growth of villages, asked for village by laws and said on November 13: "Notify these in 10 days."

Almost four months down the line, there are no village bylaws. This means that while a residential building in the city cannot have more than four storeys, the one in surrounding areas can cross this ceiling. In fact, one of the highest residential buildings in the union territory is coming up in Sarangpur village.

It is a nine-storey structure right next to the proposed botanical garden. Interestingly, the Periphery Control Act, 1952, does not mention any punishment for violations in areas falling within the lal dora.

In order to rectify this anomaly, the villages had to be brought under the ambit of the Punjab Capital Development Act, 1952. Once this is notified, all building bylaws of Chandigarh will apply to its 22 villages also. However, the notification, which was to be issued in 10 days, is still being drafted.

Actually, exploitation of land in villages by developers had been brought to the notice of the Administrator.

On September 1, he called for a plan to save the villages from unplanned growth.

Though the notification has not been issued, work on the plan to have a 400-acre leisure park with a golf course on the land south-west of Sector 39 has made good progress. Unplanned growth in villages does not seem to interest the powers that be.

A lot of drinking water in the city is wasted on watering of lawns. Since water is supplied in the city by pumping it against gravity, it makes economic sense to recycle the water.

On July 24, the Administrator asked his then Adviser, Mr Varindra Singh, to ensure that all sectors where the treated water supply system had been created should be linked to each other. The matter came for review several times since then. Two weeks ago, it was found that major institutions like Panjab University and the PGI had not bothered to lay a system which could carry treated water for lawns on the sprawling campuses.

Similarly, a order of the Administrator, which has been ignored, is the allotment of booths to the physically handicapped for opening STD booths. Another people-friendly direction of the Administrator was to have electronic timers at all traffic light junctions. Two were installed at the Government Press traffic light point more than 10 months ago. The other traffic points still await their turn.




2 students hurt as school wall collapses
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, March 4
Two students of Government Senior Secondary School, Mubarikpur, near Dera Bassi, sustained serious injuries when the school boundary wall collapsed today.
Residents of Mubarikpur village, Harish Kumar (12) and Amit Kumar (11) of Class VI were resting with their backs to the five-feet-high boundary wall during the recess when it collapsed.

Hearing a loud noise, other students playing nearby noticed Harish and Amit trapped under the debris and rushed to the staff room to inform the teachers.

Physical education teachers reached the site and extricated the students from the debris.

Amit sustained injuries on his head, face, hands and knees while Harish received internal injuries. They were taken to a private nursing home, from where Harish was referred to the PGI in Chandigarh.

Harish had developed respiratory problems and was unable to speak. After receiving eight stitches on his head, Amit was discharged by the nursing home.

The parents of Harish and Amit rushed to the school after hearing the news. The injured belong to poor families, with Harish’s father, Pawan Kumar, running a tea stall and Rajiv Kumar, father of Amit, working as a daily wager.

Harish’s mother Pooja, who accompanied her son to the PGI in an ambulance, said schoolteachers had delayed taking Harish to the PGI by over 30 minutes. Mewa Singh, a member of the village panchayat, said the boundary wall was on the verge of collapse for a long time but the school management had turned a blind eye to the matter.

The Principal, Mr Asha Ahluwalia, said she had taken charge of the school in May, 2003, and was not aware that the wall was unsafe. “I came to know about the wall only after the incident occurred today,” she claimed.

Mrs Ahluwalia said three rooms of the school had been declared unsafe and the students had been directed to stay away from these rooms. She also said that a representation had been given to village sarpanch Chand Rana, asking the Punjab Public Works Department to demolish the old rooms and construct new ones.

Meanwhile, resentment prevailed among parents about the security of children in the school. The parents and other villagers have demanded that the government should make elaborated arrangements to avoid similar incidents in other government schools of the state. 



Grandmas, grandchildren take exam together
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Who said age deterred the process of learning? If 26 reasonably old women from a slum colony of Chandigarh can wake up to literacy at a time when they are expected to nurse grandchildren, anyone can be educated at any time in life.

Leaving inhibitions behind, 26 women in the age group 30-55 years today sat for the Class V examination of the Punjab board, the first ever examination of their life. Confused yet confident, some of them came along with their newborn, while others were happy to have buried the shame of taking the exam along with their grandchildren.

Amarjit Kaur(55), the eldest among 40 adult learners enrolled with UT Adult Education Department’s literacy project, says: “I feel no shame in telling the world that I have chosen literacy at this age. Now I can at least write letters. Even my grandchildren are proud of me. My grandson studies in Class IV and I am in Class V. Both of us revise our lessons together. I can even coach him now. It is a great feeling.”

A similar sense of satisfaction is on every woman’s face, be it Bala, 50-year-old helper at Sector 25 creche or 54 year-old Shanti Devi, who looks after kids in the same creche. Shveta Pathak and Seema, also residents of Sector 25 Janata Colony, came to take the exam along with their newborn. Both said it took long to convince family members that enrollment with the adult literacy centre would only help their cause.

Said Seema, “No one understood the urgency in the first place. They said it was shameful to attend classes with kids. But we were determined. We have been attending classes for four years now. And we will complete all the levels”.

Old as most of the women are, they suffer from eye problems. A majority of them have problems with vision. Bala, who has a weak eyesight and has no money to buy spectacles, says, “My eyes kept watering as I read the question paper. I hope I pass this examination. This is the first test of my life and I am very nervous”.

Once the exam was over, the women looked confident of clearing it. Present along with them were their "preraks", who teach them in 10 different groups. Preraks Neelam, Sheela and Balbir Kaur, who have been working hard on their respective batches said they were hopeful that the group would clear the exam. The next exams (those of Punjabi and English), they said, were more challenging.

Even as women yearned to get back home after taking the exam this afternoon, they did not miss the opportunity of thanking Mr Damodar Das, the nodal prerak under whom all adult literacy centres of the Sector 25 slum colony run. He is the one who coordinates the supply of books and stationery to the poor, adult women attending the programme.



Third batch of slum kids takes exams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The third batch of slum children today took the Class V exams at Government High School in Sector 25. Being educated under the aegis of Theatre Age, five children sat for the mathematics examination of Class V.

Theatre Age, a voluntary agency working for the upliftment of slum kids in the city, has already helped 10 slum children clear the primary exams. The kids, who sat for the exam today, were Ravi, Sandeep, Gautam and Vikram, all slum kids who polish shoes to sustain their families. The eldest among them Ravi (17 years), informed The Tribune that they had been preparing for the exam for the past about two years. The only girl who took the exam today was Chhavi.

The slum kids are being taught by volunteers Baljit Singh and Indu Bala Singh. Vikram and Jyoti, who also belong to the Sector 25 slums, teach them at Government High School, Sector 24.



Hooda sees plot behind dowry case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, said today that there was a political conspiracy behind the registration of a dowry case against him by his estranged daughter-in-law, Geeta Grewal. He said he would expose the kingpins of the conspiracy after the Lok Sabha elections.

About his arrest by the Panchkula Police yesterday in connection with the case, Mr Hooda claimed it was a mere formality.

Mr Hooda also read out portions of the order of the Sessions Judge, Ambala, who heard his application for anticipatory bail. While granting bail to Mr Hooda, the Session Judge, Ambala, said the parliamentary elections were round the corner and there was a possibility that the timing of lodging the FIR had been chosen to tarnish the Congress leader’s political image. Subsequently, the High Court, which was approached by Ms Geeta Grewal for the cancellation of bail granted to Mr Hooda, observed that the petitioner wanted to see the respondents 1 to 3 (Mr Hooda, wife and his sister-in-law) in police custody. Ms Grewal’s petition was dismissed by the court.

Asked about Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani’s reported appeal at a public meeting in Palwal yesterday to shun unattached regional parties and vote for either the BJP or Congress-led alliance, Mr Hooda said Mr Advani had spoken his heart out at the meeting.

He said the alliance between the BJP and the INLD in Haryana was not based on any common issue. Mr Advani’s speech had exposed the fact that the BJP had entered into an alliance with the INLD only to grab power at the Centre. Mr Hooda claimed the Congress, unlike the BJP, believed in an issue-based alliance.



It’s a frame-up, says wife of murder accused
Tribune News Service

The police claims the priest had admitted to have strangulated Achhe Lal on February 26 at Maloya. The SHO of the Sector 39 police station, Mr Hardev Singh, said the priest had said he had killed Achee Lal following an altercation with him. 

Chandigarh, March 4
Dronacharya Temple priest Mehant Jaidev Giri was today remanded to police custody till March 7 for allegedly murdering a rickshaw puller who had complained against the “rape” of his daughter, who later married the priest.

However, the girl, now wife of the priest, told the Chandigarh Tribune that “my husband is being framed by police officers at the behest of certain persons who want to gobble his property.”

The police today claimed in the court that the priest had admitted to have murdered the rickshaw puller, Achhe Lal, and his accomplice was to be brought from Haridwar for questioning.

The alleged rape victim, who gave birth to a girl child in September after marrying him on February 15, 2003, claimed that her marriage ceremony was attended by her father Achhe Lal and her mother. She also said that she had produced her school certificate to prove she was not a minor.

The rickshaw puller had complained that the priest had raped his minor daughter. The girl had said she was adult at the time of her marriage.

Achhe Lal in whose murder case the priest has been named, had said the priest had lured his minor daughter and raped her.



Cong lying, says Mahajan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The President of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, today claimed its “Atal sandesh yatra” had been a grand success. He said the Congress was playing “drawingroom politics ” and was lying to mislead the people.”

“The Congress is not able to face people as well as ground realities,” said the BJP leader, adding that the statement of the local Congress President, Mr B.B. Bahl, was devoid of truth.

Mr Mahajan pointed out that the leasehold system was introduced during the regime of the Congress. The BJP had made efforts to get the system abolished. Mr Bansal had done nothing in this regard.

The BJP had opposed the move of the Administration and written to the Union Home Minister as also the UT Administrator, seeking a rollback of the decision.

Mr Mahajan and former MP, Satya Pal Jain welcomed the move of the BJP to launch “Bharat uday yatra”.



Rs 6-cr power system okayed for Mohali
Project to ensure uninterrupted supply
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 4
In a significant decision which may lead to Mohali getting the best power supply system in the North, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has given the green light to a Rs 6 cr project for uninterrupted supply to the town.

The new system will entail the introduction of the latest technology worldwide. All power substations will be interlinked so that the supply can be “interchanged”, even in the case of a major faulth at the main station.

The scheme, which was conceived by Mr K.S. Sidhu, Additional Superintending Engineer, based here, was first approved by the Member (Operations), Mr S.K. Anand, and then cleared at a power board meeting held last week at Patiala.

Under the new scheme, 11kv lines will be carried on specially designed towers unlike the present practice of carrying these on cement poles. The towers, though costly, had been specially designed for creating a fault-free zone. They could withstand any type of air pressure in stormy weather conditions.

As many as 14 switching stations would be set up in different sectors of Mohali which would be connected to double source of supply so that in an event of power failure of one source, the supply could be switched over to the other sources immediately.

The ring main units (RMUs) to be installed in the switching stations are to be from the latest world technology, requiring no maintenance for 20 years. To being with, the RMUs would be operated manually. After a few years, a central control room would be set up in the town and these would be operated through remote control with the help of a satellite.

Double insulators for supporting conductors were being provided under this scheme. The size of the 11 kv conductors was being upgraded from 20/30 mm sq to 90 mm sq. This would held reduce losses and breakdowns. Under the scheme, the load growth for the next seven to 10 years had been taken into account.

Mr Sidhu told Chandigarh Tribune today that the scheme would be implemented within a year through “outsourcing”. Material in this regard would be provided by the power board. The material would be got allocated from the PSEB stores and tenders for the work would be called shortly.

Mr Sidhu said the preventive maintenance of the system would become easy and not cause huge revenue losses. It would also improve voltage regulation and the time to locate and attend a fault would be minimised.



Mohali will not face water crisis this summer
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 4
Mohali residents will get at least one million gallons of more drinking water per day this summer.
Thanks to the six new tubewells that will be made functional for the summer, the Municipal Council (MC) here and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) have assured the residents that they will not face water shortage this time over.

According to Mr S.S. Ghumman, XEN, Public Health, MC, the council has made four new tubewells functional in Phases 1, 2, 4 and 7 this year to meet the growing demand of drinking water in summers in these sectors.

“The new tubewells will discharge at a rate of 8,000 to 10,000 gallons per hour, which is higher than the discharge rate of old tubewells which is on an average 5,000 gallons per hours.

“The number of hours in a day the tubewells will discharge will vary according to the intensity of heat during the summer. Starting with 16 hours a day, it will be increased to 18 hours a day and in peak summer, it is even as high as 22 hours a day,” he said.

Mr Ghumman pointed out that the council is rarely able to meet the total demand of drinking water in the township that leads to rationing of water supply to homes. Out of the total 72 tubewells that have been dug in Mohali by the council, only 42 are 
functional, the rest having dried up.

These tubewells supply 5 million gallons per day of water to the areas where the council supplies water. The MC also supplies water to Industrial areas 6 to 9.

Another 7.5 million gallons per day come from the three lines of Kajauli water works to Chandigarh shared by Punjab at the rate of 2.5 million gallons per day per line. This is still not enough.

“What is urgently required is the much-awaited 2.5 million gallons per day from

the fourth line of the Kajauli water works to Chandigarh”, pointed Mr Sunil Kansal, XEN, Public Health, PUDA.

PUDA supplies drinking water to residents of Sectors 66, 67, 68, 69 and 71. “We have 19 tubewells to supply to sectors 66, 67, 68 and 69. Since the population is thin, we have a surplus of water. So there is no question of any shortage,” he said.

However in Sector 71, the problem of shortage of water is being met by operationalising two new tubewells this season. “We already have five running, but are making another two available,’’ said Mr Amarjit Singh, XEN PUDA, in charge of the supply here.



Panchkula MC passes 11-cr budget
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 4
The Panchkula Municipal Council here today passed Rs 11-crore budget for 2004-2005 against its expected income of Rs 11.11 crore. The budget was passed in a meeting of the MC House under the presidentship of Ms Seema Chaudhary.

Out of Rs 11 crore, the MC would spend Rs 5 crores on different development works like roads, parks and streetlights. A sum of Rs 1.3 crore has been earmarked as the establishment fund. The civic body has also decided to spend Rs 4.4 lakh on sundry and official expenditures.

Ms Chaudhary said the civic body would receive an income of Rs 9 crore on account of house rant, stamp duty, development charges and extension fee. She said the body would also generate funds by imposing taxes like the fire brigade tax (Rs 70 lakh), the vehicle registration fee (Rs 17 lakh), the trade tax (Rs 7 lakh) and the electricity consumption tax (Rs 80 lakh), besides Rs 32 lakh as the sundry income.

Municipal councillors belonging to the Congress and the BJP alleged that the civic body had failed to maintain sanitation in the town. It had also failed to control the cattle menace. Moreover, the authorities had turned a blind eye towards the irregularities by the sanitation contractors, they alleged.

Certain councillors alleged their wards were not being given enough funds. The councillors also demanded mobile phones.



Peace emissaries from Pakistan in city
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Transcending the border that divides the soul of the subcontinent and the heart of its people, peace emissaries from Pakistan came in the form of Old Ravians from Government College (University), Lahore, to rekindle the flame of friendship and love.

In the city on a three-day visit from today, the 11-member delegation of the Old Ravians Union, is on a mission to invite passouts of their college for the 140th raising day celebrations to be held in Lahore on March 20.

Conversing in chaste Punjabi, the delegation of nine men and two women seemed very Indian to everybody they met all through the day. For them, it was like homecoming. They felt more pampered and much in demand.

"The people are the same on both sides of the border, hospitable and amiable. The governments have their own agenda which brings in the yawning gaps. We have to span the chasm, open doors of trust and let the magic work. If the Berlin wall can crumble, a border fence and a few perverted fanatics can hardly keep us apart," Khalid Manzoor Butt, leader of the team, explains.

Vocalist Mazhar Hameed, an old student of the college and now a successful businessman, adds,"Art has no religion, no caste and no nationality. This puts the onus on artistes like us to encourage cultural exchanges, extend invitations and build up pressure on the governments to resolve any dispute between the two countries."

Ms Nabeela Kiani believes the Indo-Pakistan problem has its answer in English literature. "The solution lies in humanism which is synonymous with English literature. At universities and colleges, we need to develop a parallel culture wherein thought patterns different from those of the government can be developed. For me, India brings to mind the great Gautam Buddha, Vivekananda and Jawaharlal Nehru. With such stalwarts and their philosophy to guide us, these regional and topical issues hardly hold any water," she says.

Describing the city as Islamabad in miniature, Indian-born Dr Farhan Ebadat maintains that the opening of communication channels has done a lot of good to the countries on either side of the Line of Control.

"There are no fears or anxieties about visiting India on our part. We are looking for a more open exchange of ideas as well as students and teachers, lesser visa formalities and a fillip in building bonds with people. This is the best way of dealing with disputes," he opines.

Mian Parvez Bhandara, a member of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, quoting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, says, "We can change our friends, not our neighbours. Then, why not let sports, culture and people intermingle to build a bond that binds.''

The others in the delegation included Prof Masood Raza, Mr Abdul Rauf, Dr Qais Aslam, Mr Shamin Ahmed and Dr F. Mehmud.



Old Ravians come calling from Pak
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Flashback to 1864: Government College was established in undivided India at Lahore. As it grew from strength to strength over the years, so did its illustrious alumni. Divided India brought with it the bifurcation of being Pakistani and Indian. The student community, too, suffered the divide.

Picking up pieces of the past and putting these together to complete the picture, an 11-member delegation of the Old Ravians Union, students of Government College, Lahore, has come looking for their mates on this side of the border.

Over 70 years old now, these former students occupied places of eminence in their areas of work. From Nobel Prize winners to politicians, bureaucrats and top academicians to actors, the list of the alumni is endless. The idea is to get them together at Lahore for the annual dinner of the union on March 20.

While their visit centres around this objective, they are also looking at making inroads for exchange programmes of teachers and students. This formed the thrust at the first interaction of the delegation at Panjab University this morning.

While the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, the Dean University, Instructions, Prof S.K. Sharma, a former Vice-Chancellor and Old Ravian himself, Prof R.P. Bambah, shared their experiences of Pakistan visits.

In reply to queries on the status of the college, now an autonomous university offering under-graduate and post-graduate courses, the delegates said the time to forget the language of war and to begin speaking the language of peace had come.

“This will begin with joint research and encouraging student and faculty exchange programmes. However, these would need a nod from the two governments. We are willing to go out of our way to accommodate Indian students as and when such a scheme takes off,” they said. Prof Pathak assured them of pursing the scheme with the Indian Government.

Prof Paramjit Singh, Registrar, Prof Jaya Prakash of the Hindi Department, Prof S.P. Gautam of the Department of Philosophy, and Prof R.C. Sobti, Dean, Foreign Student, were present during the interaction.

After a photography session, the delegation went round the campus, visiting the Botanical Garden, Gandhi Bhavan, Student Centre and the library. Later, an interaction with the faculty of Government College, Sector 11, was held on the college campus. The delegation was received by the Principal, Mr Balwinder Singh.

At the Haryana Raj Bhavan, the Governor, Babu Parmanand, and his wife, Ms Sudesh Kumari, hosted a lunch. A framed write-up, based on the message of peace and friendship between the people of India and Pakistan, was presented to the secretary of the union, Prof Khalid Manzoor Butt.

A former secretary of the Haryana Urdu Academy, Dr K.L. Zakir, recited Urdu couplets reflecting peace and communal amity. A band played popular Hindi song tunes in the background while the delegation interacted with officials of the Punjab, Haryana Governments and the UT Administration. Earlier, the delegation was received by the Secretary to the Haryana Governor, Mr Vijai Vardhan.

The day ended with the delegates shopping to their heart’s fill in Sector 17 and at the khadi exhibition, picking up kurtas, sarees and Punjabi juttis.



Indian diaspora is a growing force abroad, says NRI
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Amitabh SharmaChandigarh, March 4
India's stock is rising throughout the world, slowly but surely, owing in no small measure to the efforts of the Indian Diaspora abroad which is no longer content to sit back and watch the world go by.

"We are getting organised and our voice is beginning to be heard where it matters," says Mr Amitabh Sharma, a Karnal-born NRI who is now running two software companies in Atlanta, USA. Mr Sharma is also the vice-president (regional) of the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), past president of the Indian American Cultural Association (IACA), and secretary, World Association for Vedic Studies (Waves).

"We have been working for the past several years to correct the distortion in Indian history and cultural interpretations in the West and propagation of the Indian culture and Indian heritage abroad," said Mr Sharma in an interview here today.

Mr Sharma, who was in the city briefly on the way back to Karnal from Jammu after his annual pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi shrine, said: "We frequently get on CNN and NBC to answer questions and doubts they may have about events in India and its history and heritage."

Some time ago, a book was brought out by an American professor which was insulting Lord Ganesha. "We raised such a hue and cry that the book had to be withdrawn. Nobody has the right to use the right to free expression to say and write insulting thinks about Indian gods."

Mr Sharma says that the NFIA, the IACA and Waves have the support of several American Congressmen and Senators, besides the 187-member India community.

There is a positive attitudinal transformation in the USA towards India and its culture. It is a manifestation of this change that Divali was celebrated for the first time in history in White House last year.

Now we are trying to persuade the US Administration to bring out a commemorative stamp to mark Divali. "They have commemorative stamps on the different festivals like Christmas for Christians, Kwanza for Latin Americans, Hanukkah for Jews and Id for Muslims. Isn't it a shame that although Indians are now one-billion strong and there is no commemorative stamp to mark their biggest festival. We have already approached the US Government in this regard, but the chairperson of the US Commemorative Stamp Advisory Committee has said that a request for such a stamp must be supported by one million signatures.

"So we have put an online petition inviting people to sign in support. It has been signed by nearly three lakh persons. We are trying to get as many signatures as possible quickly. Anyone who supports the cause should clink on http://www.PetitionOnline.com/diwali03/petition.html to access the on-line petition.

"We are not a watchdog body but I wish to emphasise that the Indian Diaspora is now alive to the issues of protecting the Indian philosophy, culture and history. There are so many efforts to distort it. It is an ongoing process. We have approached the Governor of Georgia to allow us to visit schools and deliver talks to students on the Indian history and culture."

Mr Sharma was born in Karnal in 1953 and did his MBA from Kurukshetra University and LLB from Agra University before going to the USA nine years ago.



Scheme to give fiscal aid to disabled
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 4
Three Haryana districts — Panchkula, Karnal and Rohtak — have been selected by the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry for Supported Guardianship Scheme to provide financial security to the destitute, the disabled, the mentally challenged and those living below the poverty line in urban and rural areas.

This was announced by Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat, Deputy Commissioner, here today. She said 10 persons with disability from each district would be selected to give them legal guardians for their economic and social upliftment.

Under the scheme, the guardians would be approved by a local-level committee constituted under the chairmanship of the District Magistrate of the district concerned.

Under the scheme, Rs 500 would be given to the guardians per month out of which Rs 350 would be utilised for basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. A sum of Rs 150 would be utilised for medical and rehabilitation of the disabled.



Assault victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Uddal, a resident of Colony No. 5, who was injured in an assault by three youths behind the Scooter Market in Sector 52 on Tuesday night, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI today. He was admitted to the PGI in an unconscious state almost 10 hours after he was attacked. His brother-in-law, Ghanshyam, was also injured in the attack.

Ghanshyam told the police that they had gone to a liquor shop and three youths had an altercation with them while they were coming back home. Ghanshyam, however, said he himself was in an inebriated condition at that time.

He told the police that they were beaten up by the youths and they fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness in the morning, he went to his colony, brought a few friends along and took his brother-in-law to hospital.

However, there is another version that the two persons were noticed in the morning by a sweeper, who called the police, which took them to hospital.



Residents slap notice on MC
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 4
Residents of Sectors 66, 67, 68, here have slapped a legal notice on the Municipal Council, Mohali, demanding a payment of Rs 50 lakh as ‘return’ of octroi charges levied on the residents by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Mr Manoj Aggarwal, President of the Resident Welfare Association, Sector 68, today said the PSEB had been charging the residents of these sectors octroi for further payment to the Municipal Council, even though these three sectors did not fall within the municipal limits of the township.

Mr Aggarwal also said that in case the council did not return their money, they would go on a fast starting from March 9.



Residents complain against rehriwallahs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Residents of 11 types Government houses in Sector 19-C near Sadar Bazaar are forced to live under unhygienic conditions. The parking area has been taken over by rehriwallahs and people sitting in the open and selling their wares on folding beds.

The Welfare Association of 11 type government houses says the rehriwalas have encroached up to the walls of the Government houses and the area gives the impression of a slum.

The noise created by hawkers disturbs studying of children. The boundary walls of government houses are used for urinating. This has resulted has in a perpetual stench. The rehriwallahs are also using unauthorised gas stoves.



Phones out of order

Kharar, March 4
Telephones in some areas of the town, including Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, have been out of order for the past 15 days. Some phones in Green Avenue and Didar Nagar areas are also not function. Mr Gurinder Singh, SDO said complaints had been received from Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar as a phone cable had been damaged by workers while laying water supply pipelines. Work on rectifying the problem is on. OC



3 quintals of meat seized
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 4
The Municipal Council confiscated three quintals of meat during raids conducted at different places in the town last night. The meat was being sold without clearance from the veterinary doctor concerned.

It is learnt that raids had been conducted by the Additional Executive Officer along with other officials of the civic body.



Body of girl child found

Kharar, March 4
The body of a newborn girlchild was found at a residential area of the town here this evening. The body of the child was put in a polythene bag and thrown in a vacant plot. The body was noticed by children. The police took away the body, which was sent to the Civil Hospital. A case has been registered. OC



Industrial safety awards presented
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 4
“Industrial safety should be made a part of school and college curricula, besides improving the legislation process.” said Ms Harsimrit, Principal Secretary, Labour and Welfare, Punjab, today.

Ms Harsimrit was the chief guest at a function organised by the Labour and Welfare Department in collaboration with the Punjab Safety Council at NIPER to mark March 4 as the National Safety Day. Labour Commissioner and Director of Factories Mr Jaspal Singh shared the importance of industrial safety on the occasion. He also said the rate of industrial accidents in Punjab was lower than in other states in India.

A large number of industrial units in Punjab were awarded at the function under the Punjab State Safety Awards Scheme for 2003. Three employees of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited,Tonsa, were awarded. Mr A.K. Shukla won the Kirat Shiromani Award and Mr J.P. Chamoli, and Mr Rajesh Kumar, jointly bagged the Kirat Veer Award. Others who bagged these awards included Mr Rakesh Kumar of JCT Limited, Phagwara, Mr Naresh Durga of National India Limited, Moga, who received the Kirat Shiromani Award, and Mr Kirpal Singh of National India Limited and Mr Kamal Dev of National Fertilizers Limited, Bathinda, who bagged the Kirat Veer Award.

In the category of awards for maintaining nil accident rate during the year, Arihant Spinning Mills, Sangrur, National Fertilizers Limited, Naya Nangal, P. Steel Forge Private Limited, Jalandhar, K.W. Engineering Works, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur District Cooperative Milk Producers Union, Amritsar, District Cooperative Milk Producers Union, Deok Fabrics Pvt. Ltd, Ludhiana, and Evlai International, Ludhiana, won the awards.

In the category of keeping rate of accidents low, the first prizes were won by Essma Textiles, Amritsar, Vardman Spinning Mills, Ludhiana, Punjab Alkalies, Naya Nangal, C.R. Auluck and Sons, Ludhiana, Bonn Nutrients, Ludhiana, MBD Autoparts Jalandhar, and Ralson India, Ludhiana.

Dr Naresh Kumar, Vice-President, Ranbaxy, in his address, stated that safety attitude needed to be inculcated for safety in industries. Training and awareness building in employees was very important and for this, a campaigns should be organised in the factories, he said.


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