C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shivali of Shishu Niketan tops Class VIII exam
Sandeep of GSSS-27 gets 91 pc among non-model schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Shivali Jindal of Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, has topped Class VIII examination, conducted by the UT Education Department, by scoring 93.57 per cent, from among the model schools. In the non-model schools category, Sandeep Kumar, a student of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, has topped the examination securing 91 per cent. The son of a driver, employed with a private concern, he is the only student to have scored above 90 per cent from among the non-model schools.

Elated with his success, his Principal, Ms Indu Bala, said she had expected Sandeep to do well in the examination but had never thought he would top the UT list. “I am on top of the world,” she said, reacting to the news.

From among the students of model schools, twenty-three students of government and private schools were placed on the merit list, having secured 630 marks or above out of 700.

While Bhupinder Kaur Batth, a private candidate, shared second place with Tarun Kumar of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, with 93.14 per cent, Anika Mittal came third with 92.85 per cent.

Private schools dominated the merit list of all students securing above 90 per cent, released by the UT Education Department. The best performance came from Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, with eight students making it to the list while four students of Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, were placed between the fifth and 14th rank.

Bal Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, had three students in the 90 and above category. From among the government schools, names of only four students from schools in Sectors 16, 38 and 35 were on the merit list.

In the non-model category, Bhawna Verma with 89.1 per cent and Mandeep Kaur with 89 per cent stood second and third, respectively. Here, too, students of government schools lagged behind though the overall pass percentage in the city went up from 72.79 per cent of last year to 74.96 per cent.

Model schools improved upon last year’s pass percentage, getting 89.19 per cent against 87 per cent of last year while the pass percentage in non-model schools went up from 64.22 per cent to 66 per cent this year. Five government schools got a 100 per cent result along with the Institute of Blind, Sector 26.

Interestingly, the pass percentage in a number of government schools has also shown marked improvement. The DPI (Schools), Mr D. S. Mangat, said this was a result of the warnings and charge sheets issued by the UT Education Department to Principals and teachers of schools who had performed badly last year.

Also, the department organised special training session for its staff and special classes in the mornings for students.

Earlier in the day, chaos prevailed in Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, where the result was to be declared at 11 am. Parents and students awaited the arrival of the gazettes to be released by the UT Education Department. The declaration of result was delayed by over an hour on account of its binding even as hassled parents made frantic calls to the department to find out reasons for the delay and know the results of their wards.

The merit list for model schools is: Shivali Jindal - Shishu Niketan (655); Bhupinder Kaur Batth - Private candidate (652); Tarun Kumar GMSSS-16 (652); Anika Mittal - Private candidate (Model School Stream) (650); Harmanjit Kaur - Shishu Niketan Model - 22(645); Manisha Malik - Manav Mangal High School (645); Monika Sharma -GMHS, 21 (645); Divya Sharma- Manav Mangal High School (644); Tipu Thakur - Shishu Niketan Model (643); Mukeshjit Singh - Shishu Niketan Model (642); Nancy Mann - Bal Niketan (641); Jivanjot Kaur - Private candidate (Model School Stream) (640); Meenal Bansal - Bal Niketan (636); Ekta Singla - Shishu Niketan (636); Harneet Kaur - Shishu Niketan (636); Ankush - GMSSS -35 (635); Manisha Rana - Manav Mangal (633); Swinder Kaur - Moti Ram Arya (633); Kanika Kapoor - Bal Niketan (632); Nikita Goyal - Manav Mangal High School (631); Sumit Syal - GMSSS-16 (631); Sameer Vashisht - Moti Ram Arya (630); Sonal Rattan - Shishu Niketan (630); Neha Khurana - Shishu Niketan (630).



Girls outshine boys in Class VIII
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 31
The girls have again outclassed boys in the district with at least three girls scoring over 90 per cent or above marks in the Class VIII examination of the Board of School Education, Haryana, results of which were declared today.

Sonam, a student of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, has topped the district with 92.5 per cent marks. The second position has been bagged by Nisha, who scored 90 per cent marks, school Principal Sharda Gupta said.

Meenu Sharma, a student of MG High School, Raipur Rani, was placed with third with 90 per cent marks, the DEO, Ms Phool Khatri, said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the district has dubious distinction of having least merit positions (above 80 per cent) with only 31 merit positions. Hisar has topped the state with 719 students getting merit positions.

Also none of the 21 students, who obtained first 10 positions in Haryana, is from the district, sources said.



Spurned lover ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A 19-year-old labourer hanged himself to death in Sector 52, here yesterday. The police had recently questioned him in connection with a theft incident involving his friend, it was reported today.

Jai Prakash, who was engaged in white washing, hanged himself from a hook of the ceiling of his house in Sector 52. He left behind a suicide note in Hindi. It indicated his embarrassment after the questioning by the police as well as his tormented love life.

While asserting that nobody was responsible for his death, the note said “I can not face the ignominy.” It also said that a girl had ruined his life. The girl’s name has not been revealed. Family members said they were not aware of the girl whom Jai Prakash loved.

Jai Prakash had recently been questioned by the police after his friend, Amit, was accused of stealing a camera, his father Suraj Prakash told reporters. Later, Amit returned the camera and a compromise was reached before the police, he said.

The police recovered a note book from the room of Jai Prakash, which has vague sketches of his beloved and love poetry devoted to her.

The sister-in-law of Jai Prakash, Ms Meena, however, said her brother-in-law committed suicide because of being questioned by the police. She said his two brothers and other family members had been consoling him last night till 1 a.m. but he was not ready to listen to them. Jai Prakash had been saying that he had been defamed by the police and that he was not involved in the theft incident.

The police, however, said the boy committed suicide because he had reportedly been ditched by his beloved. The handwritten poetry recorded in the note book also gives an indication of his desire to embrace death because of the girl.

One of the poems in his note book says “Aaj tum hansti hamare hal par, kal khud pachhtaogi yad kar karke hamein.” Another couplet says “Agar tum na mili hamein to ham jee te jee mar jayenge, suna hai maut to bahana hai par ham such kar ke dikhayenge.”

He also notes “Tum se bichhad kar zinda hein, jaan ham bahut sharminda hein.”



Prevent in-laws from leaving country, woman urges police
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 31
Charging her NRI husband and his four relatives with dowry harassment, a resident of Ambala, Ms Ritu, today appealed to the police to prevent the accused from leaving the country.

Meanwhile, following the rejection of the anticipatory bail applications of her in-laws by Mr B.M. Bedi, Additional Sessions Judge, Ambala, the police yesterday raided the house of her in-laws in Sector 17. However, the police failed to make any arrest as all four accused are absconding.

Ritu was married to Naresh Shorey, a software engineer working in Bahrain on September 4,2002. Soon after the marriage, Basant Dass Shorey, Dayawanti, her in-laws, and Parshotam Dass Shorey and Geeta, brother and sister-in-law, respectively, of Naresh, allegedly started harassing her demanding a luxury car.

Talking to reporters here, Ritu and her guardian, Mr D.R. Gaba, informed that after spending a few months with her parents at Jandli (Ambala), she joined her husband in Bahrain on January 30, last year. However, there also she was maltreated. Now Naresh is demanding a house in Panchkula from her parents, Ritu alleged.

Demanding the immediate arrest of the accused, Mr Gaba apprehended that the four accused, who had gone underground, might flee the country since they held valid passports and visas. If they did so, the investigation into the case would be hampered, he alleged.

Meanwhile, Ritu has complained to the President of India through an e-mail. Though the complaint had been forwarded to the Haryana Government, nothing had been done in this regard, Ritu alleged.



Slum women triumph in first test of life
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
It was indeed a red-letter day for 27 slum women from Chandigarh, who cleared the Class V examination, bringing to purpose the labour of five years.

Least hopeful of passing the exams, most of the women who hail from economically weaker sections, were all smiles today as congratulations poured to them from all quarters. UT’s Adult Education Department also revelled in their success, with the coordinators of the adult literacy programme already encouraging the successful to start preparing for Class VIII examination with a fresh resolve.

The results of this year’s adult literacy programme have been most laudable. For the first time since the programme was launched in 1999, about 29 slum women from Palsora and Sector 25 Janata Colony sat for the Classes V and VIII exams, and 27 even cleared the tests.

While all 10 candidates from Palsora were declared successful in the first-ever examination of their lives, 17 out of the 19 women candidates cleared the test from the adult literacy centre of Sector 25. Only two women were declared “not successful”. Another two have even cleared Class VIII exams and are now hoping to prepare for the Class X and Class XII exams under the educational programmes of Indira Gandhi Open School, New Delhi.

A visit to Sector 25 Bal Bhavan creche, where most of the successful women are working in some capacity or the other, was enough to confirm their anxiety and joy. The 50-year-old Amarjit Kaur, the eldest among the successful candidates, was happy to declare that she felt on the top of Mount Everest. “I have never seen the Everest, but everyone says it is the highest mountain. I feel as if I am standing right at its top. My family is also very happy for me. Finally I have convinced everyone that I am worthy of something.”

Bala, a grandmother and also an aanganwari worker, was busy distributing sweets to her colleagues. Accompanied by her grandson, she said, “My grandson was sick when I was taking the exams. I was praying to God to bless me with success and success has come to me. This only means that God wants to uplift me by educating me. I will surely prepare for Class VIII exams now”.

Sumitra (about 37 years), took this year’s exams along with her 15-year-old daughter Rupa. Both of them have cleared the test. Often taught by her own daughter, Sumitra, who works as a domestic help in Sector 25, said, “This is a dream come true for us. We are too poor to afford education. But thanks to this programme of the Administration, I finally have something in the name of education. Now I can write my name in Hindi, Punjabi and even English. I am so happy that I have passed.”

Most of the credit for the women’s success goes to the nodal preraks, who take care of the motivation factor. Mr Damodar, the nodal prerak at Sector 25 centre, said, “We had a hard time motivating these women. But our labour has been rewarded”. Ms Baheshwari, the nodal prerak at Palsora, had similar comments to make. Also present in Sector 25 today to share the success of the women was Ms Tejinder Kaur, block coordinator for the adult literacy programme of UT.



Board employees come to blows, 2 suspended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 31
Two employees of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) here were suspended today following a major scuffle that ensued between two groups of board employees, injuring one person. The board Chairman, Dr Kehar Singh, passed orders of suspension of Amrik Singh and Iqbal Singh today evening following a written complaint.

According to the general secretary of the Punjab School Education Board Non-Teaching Employees Association, Mr B.S. Bedi, the problem between the two groups of employees began at the gate meeting today morning. A member of the opposing group, Mr Karnail Singh Kler, was asked to address the audience on the issues under consideration. ‘‘We were talking about the paper leakage and the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan problems being faced by the board but Mr Kler made certain remarks against the employees association,’’ said Mr Bedi. This was objected to by the association president following which a heated exchange and a minor scuffle between supporters of the two groups ensued. But the situation was brought under control, said Mr Bedi.

However in the afternoon, three employees, Darshan Singh Butter, Amrik Singh and Iqbal Singh met outside the board and had an argument regarding the episode in the morning. A major fight followed in which Amrik Singh along with Iqbal Singh beat up Darshan Singh. The fight was put to an end by some other employees who intervened. Darshan Singh had to be hospitalised. Members of Darshan Singh’s group complained to the board Chairman and a similar complaint has also been lodged with the police.



A doctor with a mission
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, March 31
A doctor with a mission — that is how employees of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), describe him. And they are not wrong. Soon after taking over the charge of Director from Prof S.K. Sharma this evening, Prof K.K. Talwar promised to take steps for ensuring the institute’s growth.

Talking to The Tribune, Prof Talwar added that he planned to make sure that the institute got the kind of attention it rightly deserved. Prof Talwar also hoped to provide the best tertiary hospital care to all. He arrived in the city today itself.

Claiming that he felt great about joining the institute as its Director, Prof Talwar said, “As a student I had never ever imagined that one day I would hold such a prestigious post in the institute”.

He was here for his studies from 1970 after completing his MBBS course from Patiala the previous year. He joined the institute as a Junior Resident and obtained a postgraduate degree in medicine.

Dr Talwar also did his Doctorate of Medicine in Cardiology from the institute which is a super speciality degree. After that he joined as a lecturer in internal medicine at PGIMER and went on to become Assistant Professor in cardiology. Then he left the institute to join the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. He became Professor of Cardiology in 1992. Among other things, Dr Talwar loves to read The Tribune. “I am addicted to the newspaper,” he claims.

He is known to have introduced many new cardiac techniques and procedures in the country, including endomyocardial biopsy for heart muscle diseases.

Meanwhile, PGIMER’s outgoing Director Dr Sharma said he had grown with the institute. “I was associated with it ever since I was a postgraduate student from 1965 to 1967.”

Over the years the institute has grown not only with regard to scientific development, but also in terms of providing benefits to the people, he asserted. “The institute has been responsible for whatever I have attained in life,” he said.

Prof Sharma added that the PGIMER “with a dedicated faculty can become a leading institute not only in the country, but also across the world”.

He had joined masters in surgery course in 1965 before doing his masters in Urology (MCH) in 1971 from AIIMS. He joined as a lecturer in the PGIMER in 1975 before joining as Assistant Professor of Urology in 1983. He became Professor and head of the Urology Department in 1988. He became Director on March 2, 2000.



Warm farewell to PGI Director
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 31
The ninth Director of the PGI, Prof S.K. Sharma, was given a warm send-off by staff of the institute this afternoon. He had taken over as the Director in March 2000. A memento, along with bouquets, was also presented.

The Akhil Bharatiya Bharat Jodo Sansthan also honoured Professor Sharma. They said, “The Gandhian school of thoughts was still alive in the physics of Professor Sharma”.

The head of the Urology Department, Dr A.K. Mandal, said the institute would miss him and the staff would always remember his pleasant personality.

The head of Histopathology Department, Dr Kusum Joshi, the Deputy Director of Administration, Ms Meeta Rajivlochan, the PGI Dean, Dr Sudha Suri, the Financial Adviser, Dr Harmeet Singh, and the Registrar, D.R. Yadav, also spoke on the occasion.


Helping the visually challenged
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Youths, by and large, take pride in being flashy. They are perhaps devoid of any definite ideology. Their belief in pizza and disco culture is growing by the day. Perhaps they have no clue to what can bring bliss to their lives. Their conduct sometimes makes old generation sad.

However, all is not lost. There are youths like Tarun, Rajiv and Amar Singh who are different from the usual crowd. Rajiv and Amar are both collegiates and Tarun has been preparing to appear in various competitive examinations. Besides doing their routine studies, they are engaged in a noble cause, which only a few youths can opt to do.

All the three have virtually become ‘eyes’ of their young visually challenged students. Tarun is a local resident. About five years ago, he had a chance encounter with Thakur Lal Singh, a visually challenged student from Kulu, who was finding his way to the local Government College in Sector 11. Tarun was on his scooter. When he saw that Thakur Lal Singh had some problem in getting to the college gate, he stopped and offered help. And that brief encounter turned into a lasting friendship between the two.

“I have now virtually become a member of Tarun’s family,” says Thakur Lal Singh. Tarun prepares lessons for Lal Singh, who is doing MA in music. He reads newspapers for him. Both jointly prepare for bank examinations. While Tarun reads, Lal Singh listens. Tarun also takes Lal Singh to walk around in the city, especially to Rose Garden etc.

“I feel a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction by helping Thakur Lal Singh,” says Tarun, when asked what motivates him to be with a visually challenged youth when most others of his age prefer to spend time in pizza huts or in dance parties. Turning a bit emotional, Tarun said that “in this world no one has clue to what brings ultimate bliss but I get it by being a helping hand to Thakur Ram Lal Singh.”

Rajiv is another youth following the footsteps of Tarun. He is from Kot Khai in Himachal Pradesh but is a student of second year in local Government College. He supports Kuldip and Vikas, both visually challenged students. Kuldip is from Rohru in HP and Vikas is from Sirsa in Haryana. All the three stay together most of the time.

It is very hard to help a visually challenged student. One has to arrange a tape record, read lessons, and find right persons to write papers in annual examinations for visually challenged students besides taking them for shopping and other daily needs of life.

Amar Singh is another guy, who is engaged in this worthy task. He has made Bishan Singh, a visually challenged boy from Rohru, his friend. Both study together in the final year in Government College. Amar Singh, a shy boy, says that first they used to meet casually. But steadily they became friends. Bishan is a very nice boy. “I enjoy his company than any thing else,” he adds. “I share all sorrows and griefs of Bishan Singh and try to bring happiness to his life. I am aware that I can't bring light to his eyes but I make an attempt that my friend could have the best possible time,” he added.

Obviously, Tarun, Rajiv and Amar Singh are very mature persons. Otherwise, they would not have been doing what they are doing-giving succor to the needy.



Corporation defers debate on Mani Majra housing scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was held here today in which an issue relating to a housing scheme was discussed at length. Later it was deferred on the plea that it was violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The meeting lasted about two and a half hours.

The discussion pertained to the scheme in 5.394 acres in two pockets of Mani Majra which the corporation intends to give to a private builder through an open auction for a multi-storeyed group housing project.

The House was clearly divided midway on the issue. Congress councillors wanted the issue to be cleared by the House, saying that the scheme had been discussed in the House and clearing it was just a formality. All nominated councillors and councillors of the BJP, SAD and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch wanted the issue to be deferred.

Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, at the end of the discussion announced that the “item was deferred”. Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, also clarified that the issue was covered under the code of conduct and it would be wrong to take any decision. It was also pointed out that the issue relating to the plan was still pending in court of the Administration for a final sanction.

Mr Surinder Singh, Congress councillor, took up the issue of the scheme in Pocket 2 and 3 of Manimajra. He lauded the corporation for taking up the project. He, however, pointed out certain issues which needed second thought of the House, including reducing the time limit for builders to two years from the proposed five years.

Mr Rajesh Gupta and Ms Kamla Sharma, both BJP councillors, said the scheme should not be given to private contractors. Mrs Sharma said the corporation had not even announced the control price of the project. Care also needed to be taken for the allocation of houses to war widows, corporation employees, low income groups and certain other categories.

Mr P.C. Sanghi said the corporation could make a special scheme for reserved categories. The scheme should be given to a private contactor because it was the best way to ensure quality. Mr K.S. Raju said since the issue of reservation was being discussed at length, the subject became violative of the code of conduct in case a decision was taken. He was supported by Mr C.K. Sawhney, Mr Gupta, Ms Sharma and Mr Jitender Bhatia of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch.

The House also decided to refer the matter of leasing out the modernised slaughter house to a special consultant who could work out details of the proposal.

Mr Bhatia registered his protest against the elections of chairmen and deputy chairmen of various committees of the corporation. He said the formation of committees were violative of the code of conduct. Mr Bhatia, Ms Sharma, Mr Gupta, Ms Harjinder kaur, SAD councillor, and Mr Vijay Rana of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch also registered their protest.

Mr Raju made a reference to a report published today in Chandigarh Tribune about pathetic condition of sanitary services in several parts of the city, demanding an immediate action. The report quoted details of a visit of the chairman of the sanitation committee to several areas in Mani Majra. Several councillors, including Ms Sharma and Mr Gupta, highlighted several loopholes in the existing sanitary services.



Heavy rush of depositors at city banks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Today being the closing day of the financial year 2003-2004, heavy rush of depositors could be seen outside two leading public sector banks of the city, the State Bank of India and the Punjab National Bank (PNB) . Besides depositing the excise duty and the income tax, employees of government sector had also come to deposit the government dues.

Officially the PNB had fixed a deadline of 7 pm for accepting the deposits, but keeping in view the rush, the bank employees could be seen accepting the revenue receipts till late. One of the PNB branches located in Sector 17 had deposits worth Rs 190 crore in a single day. Experts in the banking sector estimate that banking transactions worth Rs 1,000 crore were conducted in various branches of the nationalised banks in the city on the last date.

Interestingly, even as transactions worth crores were held during the day, no special security arrangements could be seen and only the private security guards were present at the venue.

The authorities concerned said the banks did not make any special request for the same.

Mr A.L Bansal, Chief Manager of the State Bank of India, Treasury Branch in Sector 17, said 450 departments of UT, the Central and Haryana Governments were linked with the branch here and in the absence of computerisation for transaction purposes with the government departments, the employees had to sit overnight to complete the work.

They were not only accepting the deposits of the annual budgets for 2003-04, but also making drafts, including the outstation ones in large numbers.



65 club members to back Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A meeting of 65 Chandigarh Club members, belonging to the banking and financial sector, was held here today. They decided to extend support to Mr Kulbir Singh Bhatia, contesting for the post of the member of the executive of the club.

Mr Bhatia, in a press note promised to undertake steps to improve the ambience and quality of service at the club.

Mr Sandeep Bansal who is also seeking election for the executive, was of the view that young members should also be given a chance to manage the affairs of the club. A lot could be done to improve the atmosphere in the club and promote activities involving the families of the members.

Mr Raj Kumar Mittal, who has already served the club as an executive member from 1997 to 1999, said if elected, he would strive to improve general atmosphere in the club. He would also make provision for first aid on the club premises.



Temple holds rath yatra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 31
Melodious chants of “Hare Krishna” and “Hare Rama” filled the air as a rath yatra was taken by Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in Sector 20-B. It was a part of the temple’s ongoing 34th annual function to mark the birth anniversary of its founder Acharya of All-India Sree Chaitnaya Gaudiya Math Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Maharaj.

Elephants, horses, camels and schoolchildren were a part of the procession. It began from the math and passed through Sectors 21, 22, 17, 18, 29 and Sector 30 before culminating at the math around 7 pm.

According to a press note, Srila B.V. Bharti Maharaj waved off the procession. Devotees from different parts of the country participated in the sankirtan which started at 3.30 pm. Children also participated in the sankirtan.



Book festival from April 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh has emerged as “best place to live in” in a survey conducted by outlook to rank Indian cities. The City Beautiful is known for its planning, architecture, quality of life, high educational level, pollution-free environment, low crime rate and active citizens.

Chandigarh has the unique distinction of being capital of two states. The city also has the distinction of 82 per cent literacy rate as compared to national figure of 62 per cent. It has highly educated manpower.

Residents are having a different lifestyle as compared to any other city in India. Considering their quality lifestyle, their demand for books on lifestyle, The British Library, Chandigarh, in association with Butterfly Books, Mumbai, is organising a book festival on life-style. About 10,000 books will be on display covering subjects like health and fitness, childcare, architecture and design, gardening, crockery, feng shui, humour and children’s collection, says Sushant Banerjee, manager of the library.

The festival will be inaugurated on April 3 by Mr Balbir Singh, Regional Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and will be open to the public from April 3 to 7. The venue of the exhibition is the exhibition hall of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10.



Bid to hush up lift case, say residents
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 31
Panic has gripped residents of the Jal Vayu Vihar Awas Kalyan Samiti, a housing society in Sector 20, after the tragic accident in which Charan Das, an electrician with the society, was critically injured while rescuing four children trapped inside a lift yesterday.

Charan Das was shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh, after his condition started deteriorating at Panchkula General Hospital, Sector 6, here last night. According to medical reports, he has received multiple fractures on his hips, neck, jaws and legs.

Meanwhile, over 12 residents of the Fourth Block of the society building, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune complained that the lift had developed the snag earlier also.

They also alleged that officer-bearers of the society were trying to hush up the case. The office-bearers, were pressurising them to change their previous statements and telling them to say that Charan Das was repairing a snag in the lift.

According to Mr P.M. Jain, a resident of the block, the lift was not insured and even Charan Das was not a qualified lift operator. The society has an employee, Rajesh Kumar, who is an electrician and operates the lifts too. They have hardly seen the qualified engineer which the office-bearers claim is available within the complex round the clock.

Residents of the society have also demanded a compensation for the injured. Wg Cdr. G.K. Malhotra, president of the samiti, expressed regret over the accident.

However, he denied the allegations that the lift was ill-maintained. He also held the residents responsible for the poor maintenance of the lifts, parks and other infrastructure.



Closed bill collection counters leave many in a tizzy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Hundreds of people wanting to deposit electricity bills were left high and dry as the local Electricity Department observed an un-announced closed day citing closure of banks as the reason. This despite the fact that water bills were being accepted at various centres.

This morning when city residents arrived to deposit their bills, they found the counters closed. Yesterday was a holiday on account of Ram Navami and there was a huge rush of people today wanting to clear the bills. Mr Inder Singh, a senior citizen living in Sector 43 told The Tribune that the “department officials told us that time to deposit the bills was over due to annual closing of the financial year. We are not aware of any such provision. This could have also been announced in the newspapers”.

Officials of the department said on the 22nd of each month the bill collection centres opened only 10. 30 am and the cash had to be collected and accounts for each month were tallied. The same process was also carried on March 31 as accounts for the entire year were to be matched and the money deposited.

This morning the bill collection centres opened only from 9 am to 10.30 am. There are two types of billing in Chandigarh. One is a combined bill for power and water tariff. In some case the bills are separate for water and power. Those who have separate bills could have deposited the water bill but will have to wait for the power bill. Those who have combined bills could do nothing but wait.



Sec 40 mishap: girl surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The 15-year-old girl, whose rash driving killed 55-year-old Kanta Devi in Sector 40-A on March 27, today surrendered before the police at the Sector 39 Police Station.

The Sector 40 resident told the police that she had been evading arrest as she had to finish her exams of the Punjab School Education Board. She is a private student. She was later released on bail.

The girl was produced before the police by her father. The police refused to disclose where she along with her entire family had been after the accident. The arrest followed the recovery of the Indica car (CH-03-N 7020) which the girl was driving yesterday from Sector 45. The girl reportedly told the police that her father had bought a new car and she was trying to improve her driving skills when the mishap occurred.

The slow progress of the investigations in the case by the police came to light when the girl revealed that she had come to her examination centre in Sector 35 two days back to appear for her last exam. The entire family had gone to Landra where maternal parents of the girl lived. The father of the girl revealed they did not know that she would immediately be released on bail.



Council fails to get land’s possession
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 31
Lack of coordination between the local Municipal Council and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has put the council in a tight spot. PUDA was supposed to give possession of the land it had sold to the council to be used as a cattle pond. But according to council officials, despite an initial request and three reminders, there has been no move from PUDA’s side to even begin the process of possession.

PUDA had decided to sell two acres to the council at Rs 30 lakh. The council had to deposit 25 per cent of the total cost with PUDA in order to take possession of the land. A sum of Rs 6 lakh was deposited with PUDA over a month ago and three letters were sent following the payment. The only communication we received from PUDA was 15 days ago from the Additional Chief Administrator in which he had deputed the Estate Officer to identify the land and allot it to the council. But there has been no response from the Estate Officer,” remarked a council official.

The council officials also informed that today was the deadline given to them by the Director, Local Government, Punjab, to report to him about the status of the construction of the cattle pond. “Following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court we were supposed to report within six weeks about the status of the cattle pond. But by April 15, when the time ends, we might have nothing to show,” said the officials.

On the other hand, PUDA officials said there should be no problem with the allotment of land. “I am not sure if the land has been allotted or not. But the problem seems to have arisen out of lack of communication between the council and the Estate Office. Now it has been brought to my notice the matter will be sorted out in a day or two,” said Mr Yashvir Mahajan, ACA, PUDA, Mohali.



‘Kashmiri Pandits living like refugees’

Chandigarh, March 31
A meeting of activists of the Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) was held here today as a part of a month-long programme to be organised in connection with the completion of a decade of the organisation. Mr Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of the PKM, said the Kashmiri Pandits should voice their concerns at all available fora. The meeting was attended among others by Mr Upender Koul, Mr Shivdass Raina, Mr Utpal Koul, Dr Ramesh Razdan and Mr Puneet Raina. TNS



Kabir Samaj leader joins BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a press note issued here today claimed that it was receiving messages from different communities with regard to supporting the party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

It has been pointed out that Mr Karan Singh Indora, general secretary of the Kabir Samaj joined the Scheduled Caste cell of the BJP along with a number of party workers at the party office. Mr Sachin Lohtya, president of the SC Morcha, said the members of the Kabir Samaj used to earlier work for the Congress and joined the BJP “fed-up with the Congress anti-poor policies.”

The note said members of the local Kalyan Samiti met Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit, and assured its support. Mr Gurdev Singh, president of the Saini Baradari, today joined the BJP along with his supporters.



ICICI Bank’s faux pas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Mr Amarjit Singh, a resident of Mohali, was issued a renewed credit card 4477 400 9615 3004 by ICICI Bank. The card was delivered at his residence. Mr Amarjit Singh got a shock when he found that the card contained the picture of a woman and wrong signatures.

In a letter written to the manager of the ICICI Bank credit cards division, Vadodara, Mr Amarjit Singh has complained about the attitude of the authorities concerned.

Instead of rectifying the mistake, dealing officials sought the initial charges of Rs 800 for cancelling and re-issuing the card.



UT must step up Mani Majra’s beautification

IT is literally true that the sun rises first in Mani Majra, maybe a few fractions of a second before, casting its rays over the main Chandigarh. it is also a fact that Mani Majra township existed even before the very thought of building the City Beautiful took birth. Mani Majra was a small Dogra kingdom, probably guarding the main approach to the Himalayas — the famous cities of Kasauli and Shimla, as also the heartland of Himachal Pradesh. Mani Majra fort still exists within the old Mani Majra township. The old Ropar-Kasauli road passes through the town. It is learnt that the Maharaja of Faridkot had married the daughter of the king of Mani Majra. Some of the old residents still recollect the days when the Maharaja would camp near the town with his complete paraphernalia for 1-2 months, mainly for shikar.

Like any old township, Mani Majra has expanded. As on date, it is bound by the Chandigarh-Kalka road on the east and Sukhna choe on the west. It has had its share of development from the Chandigarh Administration.

Being on the periphery, it is but natural that the development and beautification of this part of Chandigarh may have gone off their minds. There are over 5,000 residential houses in this area which support a population of over 16,000 persons, not counting the persons living within the town. There are no playgrounds or parks, where one could play or walk, inspite of the fact that there exists sufficient space for these to be developed.

Part of the area is the largest and lies parallel to the Chandigarh-Kalka road. This is approximately 6 to 8 acres and has some eucalyptus plantations along the road, leaving about 50-100 meters from the highway. The remaining area can be developed into a big health and environmental park, which could have 2-3 volleyball\basketball courts in addition to jogger’s and walker’s tracks.

Similarly, a part of the area can be developed into a picnic park for families. It has maximum vegetation. Some birds\animals could be kept for children. A small lake or a water pond would help keep some ducks and maintain healthy environment.

Major benefits of this proposed development will be healthy environment free of dirt, refuse, garbage, stray cattle\ dogs & polythene bags for the inhabitants. The cost of this development can be based on the availability of funds, which may be spread over a period of 3 to 4 years. The cost should not exceed Rs 5-6 lakh for the first year which is well within the Chandigarh Administration’s budget for the year 2004-05.

As on date Mani Majra is sandwiched between two beautiful cities i.e. Chandigarh in the west and Panchkula on the east, without getting any share of beautification.

Brij Joginder Singh (Retd), Rajeev Vihar, Mani Majra.

Verma Sahib, please visit Sector 32

We are known for indiscipline, inefficiency, rude manners and what not. But not carrying out the orders of the Governor for public interest is the limit. But the tragedy of our kind of democracy and governance is that the culprits get away without any punishment for various acts of commission and omission. Disobedience with impunity of the Governor’s order is the height.

I wish the Governor visits Sector 32, which is the hub of educational activities, with the great GGDSD College, St Anne’s School and Institute of English being located there. Besides, there is the Government Medical College and Hospital, again visited by thousands daily. The approach roads to all these are in a shameful neglect and are as such a blot on the face of the City Beautiful, besides being a nuisance to commuters and in particular patients

Chinta Khanna, Panchkula

Allot them Lehra Gaga centre

Punjabi University has revived the Lehra Gaga Centre, but it is meant for selected candidates of two private academies — one functioning at Lehra Gaga, the other at Moonak. The university authorities have not given any chance to the girls, other than of these two academies to apply for this centre. Moreover, the university has created the centre in a building belonging to the private academy, which is against the law. Previously, it used to run in Government Senior Secondary School (Girls). The required fee for the revival of the centre has already been deposited. Then what is the hinderance in allotting the centre to the remaining girls of this city or nearby villages? But they have been allotted Budhlada centre, a for-away place and out of the district, which is great injustice to the women folk, whose day is being celebrated internationally.

The left-out girls opted to appear at Sunam before the revival of this centre. There are two buildings meant for this purpose. So allotting a far-away station is not understandable. The authorities are requested to reconsider the case of these left out girls and allot them Lehra Gaga centre or Sunam.

Sant Kumar, Patiala

Easing traffic congestion in cantonment

The traffic movement on the Ambala-Jagadhri road, Nicholson Road and Babyal Road in Ambala cantonment area has become hazardous. The roundabouts constructed by the Public Works Department in Mahesh Nagar on Ambala-Jagadhari road have become a nuisance for free traffic flow as they are not constructed in accordance with the prescribed engineering standards. Accidents at such roundabouts have become common, the recent being near Gurdwara Chowk Mahesh Nagar.

Similarly, the traffic in Sadar Bazar area in general and Nicholson Road in particular has become too congested as the roads have become unofficial parking zones. These roads are always full with parked vehicles and nobody seems to be bothered about the hardship of the general public. Moreover, it becomes all the more difficult to ply on Babyal Road during peak hours.

To overcome these problems, I have the following suggestions for better traffic movement and management in Ambala cantonment.

One, provide traffic control lights, instead of small roundabouts on Ambala-Jagadhri road right from Geeta-Gopal Chowk to Tangri Bridge. This would help in proper traffic movement with no accidents. Two, create a provision for underground parking in Annaj Mandi area and Sadar Bazaar to ease traffic congestion. Three, regulate one-way traffic (incoming) on Babyal Road and outgoing through a road (to be laid out) on the banks of the Tangri river. That would ease traffic congestion besides beautifying the river banks and providing a precious lung-space to morning walkers. And finally, construct one more bridge on the Tangri river on Ambala-Jagadhri highway.

A.K. Watal, Ambala Cantonment

Put up speed-breakers

The road between the Government General Hospital of Panchkula and the bungalows opposite is one of the busiest roads of the town, is fairly long and straight, Sector 6 being the most posh area. The number of vehicles is also maximum. Since the road is straight, long and the traffic is very fast, it is dangerous, since the driveways of all bangalows open on this road, and the road from hospital also joins here. With the traffic sense and discipline we have and the reckless speed with which people drive, accidents have taken place here. Having exhausted all other avenues, we humbly request the Municipal Council, HUDA, to kindly put up at least 4-5 speed breakers on this deadly stretch.

Dr Harish Khanna and other residents, Panchkula

Stop misuse of parking places

It is really regrettable that some people use parking places for marriages or other functions but after the function they never bother to get the area cleaned. Parking places are littered with broken crockery glasses, peels of fruit, paper plates and glasses. There is one parking lot in Sector 5 opposite HAFED office. I go there and do exercises and it is really bad to look at the place and the surrounding areas. I am writing this latter to convey my concern so that people don’t litter the place, and if they do, they should get it cleaned.

C.P. Trehan, Panchkula

Why copy the West?

Globalisation is a serious threat to our ancient culture and tradition. We are very much fond of copying the obnoxious features of the west in the name of high fashion. What is Valentine’s Day? It does not reflect true love in faithful hearts. It poisons the innocent youths who are lured by lust and passion and indulge in sexuality. The present-day movies are adopted and produced on the pattern of western culture. They are wrecking havoc with our adolescent youths who are going on the path of depravation destruction. Modern films are full of violence, vulgarity, nudity sexuality, kissing and smooching. Our young girls who are a picture of morality, simplicity and humility are exposing their bodies in an indecent and obscene manner. It is not our culture to encourage such vices.

D.R. Sharda, Chandigarh



Bitta meets Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, Chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, along with Mr Rajesh Sharma, president of the local chapter, today met Justice O.P. Verma, Governor of Punjab, and apprised him about the problems relating to the terrorist-hit families.

A press note said he submitted a memorandum on the policy framed by the UT Administration to help the terrorist victims and apprised him of required amendments. He also took up the issue of the dismissal of certain wardens in Burail jail. “Among the dismissed wardens were certain persons who repeatedly informed the jail authorities about the suspicious activities of militants in cells to which the jail authorities did not pay any heed”.

Mr Sharma also informed the Governor about sites on the net which were spreading false propaganda about separatist movements.



Pedestrian killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A Sector 29 resident working at Zirakpur was killed last night when a vehicle hit him between the Poultry Farm roundabout and Hallomajra.

Anup Kumar, son of Shanta Prasad, was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where he was declared brought dead. He was identified today by his family members.

Anup Kumar was walking on the road when the vehicle hit him. A case has been registered.



Stress on improving bank audit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The local branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India organised a seminar on “bank audit and audit under computerised environment” here today.

Mr Amarjit Chopra, member of the Central Council of the Institute emphasised on the need to improve the quality of branch audit particularly in view of the increasing non-performing assets (NPAs). He said the RBI had changed the norms for the categorisation of accounts to sub-standard accounts by reducing the period of 180 days to 90 days. The prudential norms for the classification and provisioning of assets have also been made more stringent.

The RBI with a view to inculcate financial discipline in the banking sector has revised the norms for the classification to ensure regular renewal of the accounts based on financial information supplied by borrowers, said Mr Chopra. He also spoke about various other areas of bank branch audit.

Deliberating on “Audit under computerised environment”, Mr Nishit Seth, FCA, Chartered Accountant, New Delhi, said banks were not following Section 2A inserted by the IT Act 2000 in Bombay Evidence Act, 1891, which requires a person in charge of the branch computer system, to issue certificate to every account holder and its branch on the authenticity and reliability of the system, since the systems were open to frauds.

“With a rapid change in technology in the banking sector and new guidelines coming up every year from the RBI, audit is no way the way,” said Mr Arvind Uberoi, chairman of the Chandigarh branch.

The secretary, Mr Balwinder Singh, said with more and more branches of banks going in for computerisation, the importance of audit under the computerised environment was gaining ground. An auditor has to be more vigilant while conducting audits in respect of these branches, he added.



Hutch plans to storm Punjab, UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Hutchison Essar plans to roll out its services in Punjab and Chandigarh within three months.

This was disclosed in Chandigarh on Wednesday by Mr Arun Kapoor, the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Hutch, Punjab, in a talk with TNS. He said work was progressing apace on setting up infrastructure for the state-of-the art services, including switches, towers and distributors and customer service network and provide innovative value added service.

The Hutch headquarters would be located in a new modern building at Mohali which was coming up fast. At present, the cellular service provider was operating from a rented accommodation.

Mr Kapoor said that Hutch was investing Rs. 300 crore in Punjab. To cater to one of the largest telecom markets in the country, the launch would be on a grand scale.

Punjab had a combined cellular subscriber base of 2.2 million in a population of about 22 million. At present, Hutch had a combined subscriber base of over 4.5 million cellular subscribers.

Mr Kapoor has over 20 years experience in sales, marketing, operations and general management in a wide spectrum of industries like soft drinks, liquor, packaged food products, insecticides, men’s toiletries, writing instruments, telecom, education and BPO Industry.

His first assignment was in the UB Group where he worked all over the country and sold some of India’s biggest liquor brands and Dipy’s food products, before moving as General Manager, Sales, in Gillette.

He was also part of the team that launched Parker Pens in India and changed the way pens are retailed in India.

He also served in Pepsi and Spice cellphone before moving to Daksh, India’s leading BPO company, as Vice President and General Manager.

Now, as the COO of Hutchison Essar South Ltd, in Punjab, he is back into the telecom sector, which he says has always been his favourite sector, building a strong foundation for launching the Hutch brand in Punjab - which is among the top 5 cellular markets in the country.

When asked on what brought him back, he said, “Working in an industry that is growing at almost 100 pc per year gives you a ‘high’ and when you add a company like Hutch and the opportunity to launch in a market like Punjab - it was no hesitation. I just had to be a part of this project.”


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