C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Candlelight study at Panjab varsity
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

  • The president of Panjab University Students Union, Mr Rajwinder Singh Lucky, says, “Ensuring electricity round-the-clock during examination days is the responsibility of the authorities. Why should we run from pillar to post, looking for help? Generators in hostels seem the only answer since inverters cannot be a source of light for study purposes. The university generates enough funds to make this one-time investment.”
  • The university unit president of National Students Union of India, Mr Nitin Goyal, too, met the Secretary to Vice-Chancellor, Mr SK Sharma, to lodge his protest against power failure and the absence of alternative arrangements.

Chandigarh, April 21
Low voltage, frequent power breakdowns and no back-up arrangements in Panjab University’s 11 hostels have given resident students of the campus some anxious moments last week. With power supply playing truant, more often, since the annual examinations got underway on April 12, three power breakdowns were reported last week.

Students were forced to study under candlelight.

With the wiring in some of the hostels nearly 40 years old, a fact confirmed by wardens Dr Suhkbir Kaur, Khalid Mohammad and Dr Manoj Kumar, the voltage is abysmally low in some hostels. “Sometimes it gets so bad that lighting a 60 watt bulb in the room becomes a problem.

It is as good as lighting a zero watt bulb. For lighting tubes, we have to use two chokes. In such a situation you can well imagine our plight,” rues a student of Hostel Number 3 (boys).

The hostel warden, Khalid Mohammad, admits the students are being inconvenienced but says he can do nothing about it. “I have repeatedly complained to the Construction Office to replace the wiring of the hostels, but to no avail. As far as installing inverters and generators is concerned, the matter has to be decided by the university high-ups not wardens.

However, we need to do something soon to address this grievance,” he maintains.

The state of affairs is no better in the girls’ hostels on the campus. “We have a weak cable supplying power to our hostel and low voltage is a chronic problem.

The girls aren’t allowed out beyond 9 pm. The last week has been a terrible experience for them,” explains Dr Suhkvir Kaur, in charge of Hostel Number 2 (Women). In view of the anxiety it has caused the hostellers, she is trying to push forward her proposal of installing inverters in the common room and mess area of the hostel.

While Dr Manoj Kumar, warden of Hostel Number 2 (Boys), claims that installation of generators might prove to be an expensive affair for the university, he holds that the main supply needs to be improved.

Interestingly, while electricity break-downs might be a problem for wardens and be enough to send students, neck-deep in studies, in a tizzy, the university authorities keep harping that the library is installed with inverters.

“These inverters supply power to the reading room whenever there is a power failure. However, they are no substitute for direct power,” says the Librarian, Mr AR Sethi. The students, too, complain that the low voltage power supplied through inverters does not give enough light to study. “It can only ensure there is no darkness in the room,” a students points out. And, the reading room, with a student-capacity of 250, is certainly not enough to accommodate the 3500-odd students who live in the university hostels.

The Dean Student Welfare, Dr Nirmal Singh, scoffs at the idea of having generators in hostels and the library. “It would involve a huge expenditure.

Where will the money come from? We are considering installing inverters in limited areas of the hostel on the lines of what has been done in Hostel Number 5 and 6,”.


Short-circuit incident: 1 kid dead
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
Rajnish, a 12-year-old child, who along with seven other children had sustained severe burns during a short circuit accident, died at the PGI this morning. The accident had occurred on April 16. These children of Ambedkar Colony were severely burnt while playing under high-tension electricity wires.

According to eyewitnesses, the children were trying to disentangle a kite from the wires using a metal rod that led to the short-circuit.

A blast followed and a shower of sparks fell on the children. The children, all boys, between the age of two and 12 years, received severe burns on their faces, arms and feet and were rushed to the PGI. Rajnish was the eldest among the group of children and was flying the kite when the accident occurred.

He sustained the highest percentage of burns. A son of factory worker Madan Lal, Rajnish was a Class VI student of Navjyoti Public School, Balongi.

A pall of gloom descended over the colony after the news broke. His body was handed over to his parents after a post-mortem examination and later cremated.

The Mohali SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, attended the funeral. Meanwhile, the condition of the seven children, who are admitted at the PGI further deteriorated today. According to those attending on them, the condition of all children was now critical.


Zoo violates guidelines in burying rhino
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), April 21
Prince, a male rhino, was first cremated and then buried. In burying the rhino, the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) regarding the disposal of carcasses have been violated.

Prince, belonging to the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park near Chandigarh, had died on April 14. The zoo authorities, following the CZA guidelines, attempted to cremate the carcass on April 15 by using 40 quintals of wood and 30 litres of diesel.

However, despite the huge quantity of combustibles involved, the carcass was far from completely burnt. Prince’s hard body parts, including bones and skin, were largely unaffected despite being in a blazing fire for hours, highly placed sources in the zoo said.

It is learnt that the zoo authorities examined the pyre and decided to collect the remains and bury these in a deep pit dug in the fodder farm of the zoo on April 16. Intriguingly, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Director of the zoo, had claimed on April 15 that the carcass had been burnt completely.

According to zoo staffers, though the soft organs of the animal were reduced to ashes, the hard parts did not decompose completely. Zoo employees guarded the burning pyre throughout the night.

The charred carcass of Prince was dragged into a deep ditch dug near the pyre with the help of an earthmover.

For proper decomposition of the charred carcass, the zoo authorities also put salt and caustic soda in layers on it before burying it.

The zoo authorities, contrary to the CZA guidelines had buried the carcass of a 95-year-old pachyderm, Kaweri, in the same fodder farm after a post-mortem on October 8, last year.

At that time, the zoo director had claimed that cremation of the huge carcass, weighing three tons, could have needed wood 10 times its weight (about three tonnes) and 20 litres of diesel.

In addition, the authorities were not sure if the carcass would be completely reduced to ashes. Kaweri was declared an exceptional case and she was buried.


Fake degree racket unearthed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A fake B.Ed, JBT and computer course degree racket operating from the city has been unearthed.

Students registered with the Sector 22 D-based Innovative Welfare Society have complained to the police that a few of them were given hand written examination papers along with books to solve them. A few other students alleged that they had not been informed about the examinations because of which they missed them.

The students said they were charged between Rs 6500 and 9200 for getting degrees and mark sheets of different courses and an assured placement but when they saw the procedure of the examination they got suspicious.

Ms Harminder Sethi from Yamunanagar, Navneet Verma from Samana, Vandana Rajput from Nawanshehr, Jeevan Sharma from Nangal, Yogita Mohindra from Chandigarh and Jyotsna Chopra from Yamunanagar complained to the Chandigarh Police on June 18, 2003. The police yesterday filed the case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against the self-styled directors of the company — Sunil Gaba, Mrs Nisha Gaba and Kamal Sethi.

The police has registered the case after a thorough investigation but the accused party, meanwhile, has closed down its illegal business and fled.

The complainants alleged that they were asked to take the examination in a building adjoining SCO 3031-32 from where the Innovative Welfare Society was operating.

They alleged that the examinees were made to sit on the floor to take the exam. The question paper was hand-written and the examiners had provided them books from where to copy the answers of the questions asked in the examinations. The students alleged the accused persons gave them counselling when they inquired about the courses offered in an advertisement put out in vernacular press.

They alleged the same persons gave them question papers and were also acting as invigilators. The complainants alleged that the examination was conducted at a place from where an STD shop was working.

The accused reportedly told the students that the institute was being run under the Indian Council of Vocational Training, Chandigarh, UT and that the courses and institute were recognised by the National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE) and the Supreme Court of India. During the preliminary investigation, it came to light that the institute had recognition from none.

The complainants claimed that they had made repeated inquiries from the accused as from whom the recognition of the course was.

Couple of complainants said they had made repeated calls to know when their examinations were going to be held but there was no reply. They claimed that they had not been supplied the datesheet, syllabus, books and not even the personal contact programmes were held.


Hot weather hits wheat yield
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The country is poised to reap yet another bumper harvest of wheat. But the unexpected rise in temperature in March and April has affected the per acre yield of wheat and reduced the market arrivals by 10 to 15 per cent in the region.

In Punjab, which is the mainstay of the Indian agriculture, the state government had originally projected a market surplus of 102 lakh tonnes of wheat to be procured by the FCI and other state agencies. But this has subsequently been scaled down. The FCI was originally allotted 33 per cent of procurement share with corresponding procurement to the extent of 33.66 lakh tonnes and balance 68.34 lakh tonnes was estimated to be procured by the state agencies. The state government opened 1525 mandis. Initially, 457 mandis on exclusive basis and 98 on shared basis were allotted to the FCI for carrying out the procurement operations.

However, this allotment was subsequently revised and the state government allotted only 378 mandis to the FCI the on exclusive and 81 mandis on shared basis. The FCI procurement share was revised downwards to 24 per cent.

A similar scaling down of the estimates of production and procurement has taken place in Haryana too.

However, the flip side of the warm weather is that it has advanced the procurement season by nearly a fortnight with the result that procurement by the FCI and the state agencies has crossed an unprecedented level of over 100 lakh tonnes almost at the very beginning of the harvest season. In contrast, the procurement figure during the corresponding period hovered around 50 lakh tonnes last year.

In Punjab, 72.06 lakh tonnes of wheat arrived in Punjab mandis till yesterday. Of this, the FCI procured 15.07 lakh tonnes, state agencies 55.27 lakh tonnes and traders 1.72 lakh tonnes.

In Haryana, the market arrivals totalled 41.13 lakh tonnes till yesterday of which the FCI procured 6.72 lakh tonnes while the remaining was purchased by the state agencies. Traders bought 33, 986 tonnes. At this rate, a bulk of the wheat procurement operations would be over by the end of this month.

According to the Union Food Secretary, Mr S. K. Tuteja, during the kharif season, 191 lakh tonnes of rice had already been purchased. The notable factor was that in the States which were not known to be traditionally generating marketable surpluses like Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar, the procurement by the FCI achieved a new milestone. The procurement of rice, including levy collections in West Bengal alone, had been nearly 7 lakh tonnes as against less than 1.3 lakh tonnes during the entire season last year.


Cop beaten up by woman, six others
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A Chandigarh police constable was allegedly beaten up by a group of seven persons, led by a woman, at Gobindpura in Mani Majra.

The constable earned the ire of the woman shopkeeper when he went to her shop on the complaint of a person who alleged that his mobile phone had gone missing.

The constable reached the shop and made inquiries. This enraged the woman who collected a few persons and went to the home of the constable. The constable was beaten up by the group led by the woman and sustained injuries.

The constable was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital. However, no case has been registered in this connection as later both parties reached a compromise.


Crorepati Bansal files papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Congress candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, was accompanied by a large number of supporters to the Deputy Commissioner's office here to file his nomination papers today.

Reacting to the show of supporters by Mr Satya Pal Jain, the BJP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, on April 16, Mr Bansal had said that his filing of nomination papers would be a low key affair.

Mr Bansal was accompanied by Mrs Kamlesh, the Mayor, Mr Pradeep Chhabra, the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mrs Geeta Rani, the Deputy Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, a former Mayor, Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local Congress unit, Mrs Anu Chatrath, a councillor and a large number of other office-bearers and supporters of the party.

Mr Bansal filed an affidavit showing a clean police record saying " there is no case pending against me in any court of law".

Mr Bansal did his schooling at Yadvindra Public School, Patiala. He is a science graduate from the local Government College, Sector 11. Mr Bansal did his LLB from Panjab University in 1971.


Jain blames Bansal for MC failures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Congress-led Municipal Corporation has failed on all fronts, Mr Satya Pal Jain, the BJP candidate for the UT Lok Sabha seat, said addressing a rally here today. He held Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Congress nominee for the seat, was responsible for the failure of the Corporation.

Mr Jain said the sanitation of the city had deteriorated.

The roads have not been re-carpeted for the past two years and have developed deep pits.

Mr Jain led a padyatra in village Hallo Majra in the morning. Prominent personalities of the village and 500 party workers participated in the yatra.

Mr Jain addressed the rally of government employees in the afternoon in front of the passport office in Sector 34. He also addressed a corner meeting in the evening in Sector 46. Mr Jain was weighed against coins in the evening by the Market Association of Sector 38-C. A delegation of the Rehri Market of Sector-15 led by its president, Mr Rajesh Mahajan, visited the BJP office (Kamlam), Sector 33-A. It met Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit. The rehri-phari market association, Azad Market, Mauli Jagran complex, pledged their support to Mr Jain in a letter.


Dhawan for decorum and debate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party candidates for the local seat were using derogatory language against each other. Mr Harmohan Dhawan, the INLD candidate for the seat, said this while addressing a press conference here today.

Mr Dhawan said “the city of the literates is known for its debates among prominent candidates. Decency has been the hallmark of such exercises.

The two candidates did not even acknowledge the presence of the other at a discussion organised by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal”.

“Mr Jain raises the ‘Feel Good’ slogan and Mr Bansal does ‘Road shows’. Mr Jain has also established an elaborate election office and issues detailed press notes.

Press notes necessarily do not translate into votes,” he observed.

Mr Dhawan gave a list of 11 members of the Congress from Colony IV who today joined the INLD.

The prominent names included Mr Ram Awadh Yadav, general secretary of the District Congress Committee (Urban), Mr R.P. Shukla, joint secretary of Youth Congress (Urban II)) and Mr Ram Chandran, cashier of the action committee of Colony IV.


Candidates’ assurance to traders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The local Beopar Mandal submitted a charter of demands to the three major candidates for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat late evening.

The Beopar Mandal demands include withdrawal of the Rent Act notification, amendment of building bylaws, abolition of leasehold system and uniform tax structure.

Mr Jagdish Kalra, convener of the interaction programme with the Lok Sabha candidates from the city, said the list of demands had remained the same for the past more than a decade.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, (BJP) and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, (Cong) said they had taken up the issue at different levels and assured action in case voted to power.

Mr Harmohan Dhawan, (INLD) said both the candidates had been blaming eachother’s party for not fulfilling the demands.

Mr Dhawan received a big applause from the traders when he said the party manifestoes of the Congress and the BJP meant little. They have been recycling the same manifestoes year after year.

Mr Jain said he had worked for the rationalisation of sales tax. “The project of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link was my initiation and it will help the traders. We were able to introduce the process of changes in building bye-laws and I will continue to work further in this direction for complete results”, he said.

Mr Jain said the leasehold system should end. As far as the Rent Act was concerned the BJP wants a balanced Act which would safeguard the interests of both tenants and owners He said the power bill should be based on the actual consumption.

Mr Bansal said that he had raised a number of items concerning the general welfare of traders in Parliament.

Mr Bansal also underlined the need for a balance in the rent law and appointing a rent regulatory authority. The building bye-laws needed an amendment particularly in reference to the floor area ratio.


3 candidates declare assets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Mr Mohammad Ibrahim, the Apna Dal for the UT Lok Sabha seat has zero bank balance.

Mr Ibrahim has said this in his affidavit to the Returning Officer. He has jewellery worth Rs 6000 and an ancestral house worth Rs 10000.

The two other candidates who have filed their nominees include Mr Dharam Paul Sharma, president, Panjab University (Non Teaching) Employees Federation and Mr Vinay Kumar (Bharatiya Swarajya Manch). All the three have a clean police record.

Mr Sharma has a cash deposit of Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 in the name of his wife, Madhu. He has an Indica car and his wife has a Kinetic Honda scooter. Mrs Madhu Sharma has jewellery worth Rs 50,000. Mr Sharma has deposits worth Rs 2,31,817 under different heads. Mr Sharma is owner of a house worth Rs 25 lakh in Sector 35.

Mr Sharma is MA (History), M.Ed. and LLB from Panjab University.

Mr Vinay Kumar has a cash deposit of Rs 30,000 and his wife has Rs 10,000 in her name. The duo have investments of Rs 80,000 and Rs 75,000, respectively, in different bank schemes. Mr Vinay Kumar has Rs 200000 in LIC schemes and postal schemes worth Rs 50,000.

Mr Vinay Kumar is joint owner of a eight marla non-agricultural land. He has taken a loan of Rs 1,25,000 from ICICI Bank. He has a Maruti 800 and a motorcycle. The family has a jewellery worth Rs 85,000.


Ex-servicemen cell to support Congress
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
Members of the Ex-servicemen (ESM) Grievances Cell here, led by Col S.S. Sohi (retd.), have decided to support Congress candidates in the coming Lok Sabha elections. According to a press note issued by Colonel Sohi today, this was decided at a special meeting of the cell on April 18.

He said that Lieut-Gen M.M. Lakhera, Chairman, ESM cell, All-India Congress Committee, had read out the Congress manifesto and execution plan on April 16 in Chandigarh at a meeting. All major demands of ex-servicemen had been included in the manifesto, including one-rank-one-pension, improvement in service conditions, proper resettlement, establishment of a separate ESM Welfare Department and proper medical cover.A special ESM committee, national defence advisers, will be formed within 100 days of forming of the government at Centre by the Congress, the manifesto had promised, he said.


Voters’ list: 12,000 apply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
As many as 12,000 persons have submitted their applications to the local Election Department to include their names in the voters’ list. The last date for filing applications was April 20. The Assistant Election Returning Officers will now verify the claims.

Sources said the voters’ list would be finalised on April 23.

The last date of filing nominations in Chandigarh is April 24.


Rules bent for PUDA officials
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 21
The rules seem to be different for senior government officials and the common resident here when it comes to the construction of centre verges on roads in the town.

The Municipal Council, which keeps plugging the gaps made by residents in the centre verges to avoid accidents, has now itself provided an unauthorised gap in the centre verge, by throwing rules to the winds, to please two senior officials of the Punjab Planning and Urban Development Authority (PUDA).

A way has been specially created by the civic body by breaking a centre verge in front of the official houses of the Chief Engineer of PUDA, Mr Tarlochan Singh, and PUDA’s Director, Quality Control, Mr Rajiv Moudgil, in Sector 52 for the convenience of the two officials. Had the gap not been provided in the centre verge, the vehicles of the two officials would merely have to travel a distance of some metres to join traffic on the other side of the verge.

The officials of the civic body said that they could do nothing when a request for providing a way in the centre verge came from senior officials of PUDA.

In fact three municipal councillors, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr Manmohan Singh Langh and Mr Amrik Singh had even met the Executive Officer of the council, Mr Har Bhagwan Garg, in this regard and pointed out that a wrong precedent had been set by breaking the rules.

Mr Sethi told The Tribune today that by providing a gap in the centre verge an accident zone had been created. He said that PUDA authorities took strict action against residents when certain rules were violated but in this case the civic body had been asked to bend rules for the convenience of the two officials.


FCI’s regional office inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The new Punjab regional office building of the Food Corporation of India was inaugurated today in Sector 31-A by the Union Food Secretary, Mr S. K. Tuteja.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 3.34 crore, the building has five bays and six storeys including basement. Since its inception, regional office of the FCI at Chandigarh was housed in a rented accommodation. Initially, in 1965, the office was hired in Sector 9, later on in Sector 17 which was subsequently shifted to Sector 34 in 1985. Though attempts were made in the past to acquire land in the UT for constructing FCI’s own building, no headway could be made as previously there was no policy of FCI management to construct its own building at regional headquarters.

Speaking at a function, Mr Tuteja said the Punjab regional office of the FCI was very important because it was responsible for nearly 60 per cent of the food procurement in the country and also for despatching foodgrains all over the country. In order to ensure proper coordination between all wings of the FCI, it was essential that all wings should be housed in the same building.The new office building would take care of that problem.

Others who spoke at the function included Mr V.K.Malhotra, Managing Director, FCI, and Mr P.K.Verma, Food Secretary, Punjab.


Family rendered homeless
Tribune News Service

Rendered homeless by her landlady, Anju Mehta and her children are seen guarding their belongings around midnight
Rendered homeless by her landlady, Anju Mehta and her children are seen guarding their belongings around midnight. They were thrown out of their Sector 23 rented accommodation on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 21
Using law as the cover, a landlord in Sector 23-D threw out a widow along with four children from the rented accommodation. Unfazed by requests from Ms Anju Mehta and the children, the landlady reportedly used orders of the district court as a reason to get the first floor of house number 3201 in Sector 23 D vacated. This happened despite Anju Mehta managed to procure a stay order against the said eviction from the court. The stay order, however, came after they were evicted from the premises today.

Rendered homeless within hours, a helpless Anju Mehta even sought help of the police authorities late in the night. Leaving the children aged between eight and 18 years to take care of the belongings thrown out on the street by those who had come with the court orders" this afternoon, Anju went to the police post of Sector 22 to seek help. However, when nothing matured, she returned to the children, only to find them crying over the loss of shelter.

Anju, who works as a government contractor in the city, has a son aged eight years. She is also rearing three children of her sister, who died few years ago. Inconsolable, the woman said that she had been facing frequent problems with respect to rent. "The landlady earlier also asked me to vacate the house. The sole reason is to hike the rent. I said I was prepared to do that, but she did not wait even for a day. When I came to the house at 12 noon, I found 15 men getting my house vacated. I requested them to give me respite for a day or two, but to no avail. I later went and got stay orders from the court. However, the landlady was not ready to budge."

Later in the night, two police personnel were deputed at the eviction site to take care of the belongings. Ms Anju said that she would take recourse to law to secure her rights. "I have the stay order and I will make sure that I restore the house possession till the time I make an alternative arrangement."


Complaints of low-water pressure aplenty
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
Though the heat wave is yet to intensify, yet complaints of water shortage have been pouring in from different sectors.

With the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) allegedly turning a blind eye to the problem, the residents have been facing the problem of low-water pressure for the past more than a week now. The residents living on the upper floors seem to be the worst-affected.

The president of the Citizens Welfare Association, Mr S.K. Nayar, alleged that water shortage had become an annual feature as water supply by HUDA had failed to keep pace with the demand of the residents. Not to talk of the upper floors, ground floor residents, too, feel a lot of difficulty in filling the water tanks on the first floors.

He claimed that the association had written to the top Haryana Government functionaries, including the Chief Minister and the HUDA Chief Administrator, several months ago but nothing had been done to resolve the problem of low pressure.

Since the Ghaggar Dam project seemed to have been abandoned by the authorities, HUDA should demand its share of the Bhakra Main Line water from Chandigarh to tide over the crisis.

Sector 15 resident, Mr Ram Narain, feared that the situation would worsen in the coming days on account of the heat wave. Mr Sushil Chopra, a Sector 4 resident,said HUDA should check the wastage of water in washing cars and watering lawns.

Mr Inderjit Setia from Sector 8 complained that low-water pressure at the upper floors put the residents to a lot of inconvenience. Persons wasting water should be dealt with sternly by the authorities, he added.


16 liquor vends closed for one day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu, has ordered the closure of 16 liquor vends in the city for a period of 24 hours as the contractor was selling liquor at reduced rates. The closure period started at 5 pm today.

The vends are located in key locations in Sectors 17, 22, 35 and villages like Khuda Ali Sher and Khuda Lahora, bordering Punjab. The liquor contractor, who is new to the Chandigarh market, had bid for this group of vends in the recent liquor auction. In Chandigarh, vends are auctioned in groups. At present there are four groups.

The contractor had been warned not to sell liquor at rates lower than those prescribed by the Chandigarh Administration. He had earlier been fined Rs 2,000, sources in the Excise Department said. He was also explained the meaning of selling liquor within the prescribed band. It may be mentioned that a few years back the Administration had fixed the price band for each type of liquor.


Kundi load leads to minor fire
Tribune News Service

The pole in Sector 48-C, Mohali, where the sparking took place in the evening, can be seen dotted with kundis
The pole in Sector 48-C, Mohali, where the sparking took place in the evening, can be seen dotted with kundis. — (file photo)

Chandigarh, April 21
A major spark erupted in an electric pole near house number 137 of Sector 48-C, Mohali and took the form of a minor fire at about 10 p.m. Later, the fire spread to about eight houses adjoining house number 137.

Electric wires broke lose from the pole failing to withstand the load due to the kundis.

The situation assumed grave proportions tonight when two bare wires broke lose and hung precariously. Lying on the street, the wires could have become a reason of death for any passer-by had Mr Jaswant Singh, a resident of the area, not cut away the dangling wire.

Mr Singh said that one such spark had been caused early this morning following which a series of sparks occurred during the day. He also said that the colony residents were unfazed by complaints against kundi connections.


MC blamed for poor development
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
The House Owners’ Welfare Association of Sector 9 has blamed the municipal council (MC) for poor development works in the sector.

According to Mr Suresh Chand Kaushal, president of the association, the work on the recarpeting of internal roads has been stopped midway and the potholes on the roads had made the area accident-prone. Similarly, the work on widening of the roads had been hanging fire for several days.

Besides, road-building material had been lying dumped in front of Pracheen Shiv Mandir for several months making it difficult for the people to park their vehicles and making the area accident-prone, alleged Mr RC Kaushal, general secretary of the association. The development of the parks leaves much to be desired, he added.

Demanding a probe into the dealy in the replacement of the water pipes, Mr Kaushal alleged that the pipes had not been replaced for the past over two years.


Mohali Diary
Parshuram Jayanti celebrations today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
Bhagwan Parshuram Jayanti will be celebrated at the Bhagwan Parshu Ram Bhawan here at Kambala village here tomorrow. This was decided at the meeting of the executive committee of Shri Brahman Sabha here held under the Chairmanship of Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma. Mr Tirloki Nath Sharma, general secretary of the sabha, requested and appealed to all management committees of the Shri Sanatan Dharam Mandirs, religious bodies to participate in the celebrations. He added that the general election of the of sabha will be held on May 9, at 11 am at the Bhagwan Parshu Ram Bhavan, Mohali.

ESPL delegation

A deputation of the retrenched employees of the Electronics Systems Punjab Limited (ESPL) here met the Principal Secretary (Industries), Punjab, Mr S.C. Aggarwal this week. The deputation led by Mr Tej Pratap Singh, general secretary, ESPL Union, was assured by Mr Aggarwal that the interests of the employees of ESPL will be taken care of and he was examining the case of the ESPL and its proposed closure. The delegation also submitted a representation in the office of the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.


Mr Bachan Singh Mundra has been elected as the chairman of the Punjab School Education Board Retired Employees Forum here. Mr Ashok Nirdosh will be the vice-chairman while Mr M.S. Amarsidhu will be the general secretary. Mr Dalip Singh Kang will be the joint secretary and Mr Kidar Nath will be the cashier. Mr Baldev Krishan will be the auditor. Mr B.S. Mann, Mr R.L. Arora, Mr Jagmohan Sharda and Mr Surinder Singh Sheena will be the executive members while Mr Tara Singh Hundal will be the patron-in-chief.

Blood donation camp

As many as 360 units of blood were collected at a blood donation camp organised at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, Ropar, on Wednesday. Dr R.R. Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, graced the occasion. The institute Principal, Prof I.K. Kataria, highlighted that the young faculty members of the college were always a source of motivation for the students. The Chairperson, Ms Kulwinder Gurcharan Singh, also donated blood.


Swallowed pin removed without surgery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 21
He has reportedly removed toothbrushes, coins, nails, needles and even nail-cutters, accidentally swallowed by people without surgery. Dr Neeraj Nagpal claims he has so far removed 650-odd such foreign objects. Today, the doctor removed a pin accidentally swallowed by a young girl.

The parents of 11-year-old Divya were horrified when she swallowed a pin. She had put it in her mouth and accidentally gulped it while talking. They took her to a local general practitioner. He referred the patient to a gastrointestinal diagnostic clinic in Sector 21.

Dr Nagpal at the clinic immediately conducted an endoscopy. Within 15 minutes, the pin was removed without any damage to the foodpipe. In a press note, the doctor added that sharp objects, including pins and needles were technically difficult to remove as these could cause injury to the foodpipe in the process. The girl was discharged after half an hour, the press note added.

Dr Nagpal said this was a tricky case. Small swallowable objects and hazardous parts of toys, he further added, should be kept away from children.


Army-Air Force joint exercise next week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A one-day joint Army-Air Force exercise will be held in the northern sector next week. According to sources, the exercise, christened Snow Leopard, will involve para-drop of Army special forces personnel.

The Special Forces personnel will board aircraft from Chandigarh and they will be dropped near Leh. IA will be using AN-32 aircraft for the exercise. Sources added that besides paratroopers, equipment used by the forces would also be dropped. The exercise is a regular feature.


IT Dept office shifted

Chandigarh, April 21
The office of the Director, Information Technology, and other officials of the department have been shifted to the 5th floor, Additional Deluxe Building, Sector 9-D, above the office of DPI School, Education Department.

The telephone number, however, remain unchanged, stated a press note issued today. TNS


Two held with 40 boxes of liquor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Chandigarh police today arrested in Kajheri two persons along with 40 boxes of Indian made foreign liquor which were being smuggled to Punjab hidden below the back seat of a Maruti car.

Bhupinder Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib and Balwinder from Ropar were arrested from Kajheri village when they were allegedly carrying boxes of liquor in their car bearing registration number CH01 P 8968.

There were quarters of bottles in as many as 25 boxes and in the remaining boxes different brands were stuffed.

The police was told that the smuggled liquor was to be sold in villages around Chandigarh and Punjab.

The seizure was made following a tip-off.


Pet owner held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The owner of a pet in Sector 27 was arrested when his chained dog pounced upon a Moti Ram School student in Sector 27-C and injured him.

The owner, Mr Satnam Singh, was reportedly taking his dog along when it attacked a 14-year-old Sumit Jaggi, a Class X student.

Sumit was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital. He sustained injuries on his arms and legs.

Satnam Singh has been booked under Section 289 of the IPC after medical examination confirmed that Sumit was bitten by the dog. Under this Section a pet owner could be sentenced to six months of imprisonment and a Rs 1,000 fine, if found guilty.


Two bank employees held for fraud
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
The police has booked two employees of the Panchkula Urban Cooperative Bank, Sector 10, on charges of defrauding the bak of over Rs 1 lakh. Acting on a complaint of the Chairman of the Bank, the police, today, booked Ram Kumar, senior accountant and Rajni Dhawan, junior accountant, for the alleged fraud. The fraud was committed between March 12, 1998 and April 17, 1998. A case under Sections 120B, 420B, 468 and 471B has been registered.


Airtel ties up with ICICI for bill payment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Airtel, in a joint initiative with ICICI Bank, announced a series of mobile bill payment options for Punjab and Haryana customers. The multiple options includes making payments via phone banking, through ATM’s, through one’s mobile phone, through the Internet or by direct debit to a customer’s ICICI Bank account.

The added convenience would also benefit Airtel customers roaming nationally and internationally. Travelling customers would now be able to pay their Airtel mobile bills from anywhere in the world. An Airtel customer would also have the option of scheduling his mobile bill payment by issuing instructions to his ICICI Bank account both through the Net and the phone banking service. In addition, customers using these options would also be able to track their bill payment history.

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