C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fed up with apathy, they decide to boycott poll
Nishikant Dwivedi

Masoul (Ropar), May 1
It is the first village in this region to announce that it will boycott the forthcoming elections. The reason — villagers are fed up with the apathy of successive governments towards them.

Masoul is situated on the border of Punjab and Haryana and lies in Punjab. It has a population of about 600 and has about 400 votes. A sizeable chunk of its populace has been migrating to Haryana over the last few years owing to lack of facilities here. To reach it, one has to follow the course of a hill nullah. The villagers have been agitating for basic amenities, but to no avail. During the February 2002 Punjab Assembly elections, only eight votes were cast from here.

The apathy of the villagers towards the democratic process and their hopelessness was evident when not a single person a Tribune team interviewed could tell the name of any Lok Sabha candidate contesting from Ropar.

Ask anyone at Masoul who Ms Sonia Gandhi is and the most the villagers will say is that the name rings a bell. Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee is known as the man who makes roads. They have seen Mr Vajpayee on Doordarshan and recall the party’s Golden Quadrilateral advertisements.

Ironically, despite being close to Chandigarh (about 15 km as the crow flies), women often have to walk two-and-a-half km to fetch drinking water. The village has few public water taps, which mostly remain dry, allege villagers. Children have to cross a nullah to go to a distant school. Twentyfour villagers have died in the last one year due to lack of medical facilities.

The villagers used to think that votes would fetch them doctors, roads and regular water and electricity supply. “We voted several times, but nothing happened. This time we are not going to vote,” says Mr Darbar Singh (66).

The villagers agree that a road can solve many of their problems. Seeing Mr Vajpayee’s road projects on television made them immensely happy until someone told them that Mr Vajpayee’s roads would not reach their village. “When someone falls ill, we carry him on a cot all the way to Pinjore,” says Ms Charno, planning to shift to a Haryana village.

The apathy of successive governments towards the village forced the village panchayat in July 2002 to send a message to the Chief Minister of Haryana, urging him to include the village in that state. The reason was that they thought Masoul would be developed like the neighbouring village of Kirtpur on the Pinjore-Nalagarh road, which was in Haryana.

Some villagers fear that the land mafia and politicians want them to leave the place so that it can be developed. “But where will I go with my children's and wife,” asks Mr Masta Singh.

“What is the use of voting when we know that we are not going to get anything from the government,” says Mr Amrik Singh (31), a sarangi player by profession.

Earlier at Masoul, along with misery, perpetual threat of wild animals and mass exodus, was a hope that the government would wake from its slumber one day and do something for the village. Today they have lost even this hope.



8-year limit for doing PhD
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

New PU rules

  • Period of enrolment extended to two years; clause of cancellation of enrolment added
  • Joint supervisor from autonomous national institute allowed
  • Non-submission of two consecutive progress reports to invite cancellation of registration
  • Eight-year term fixed for completion of PhD
  • Extension of period for completion of thesis beyond eight years done away with.

Chandigarh, May 1
In an attempt to rein in research scholars who have endlessly stretched their research projects and secured a PhD degree 18 years after beginning work, the Panjab University Syndicate has given its nod to making PhD a time-bound affair, amending rules to make these more stringent and effective.

Restricting the time of completing PhD at the disposal of the candidates to eight years, the Syndicate has done away with the provision of granting extension to research projects beyond this specified period. If a candidate is unable to complete his thesis within the stipulated time, his enrolment and registration will stand cancelled automatically. At present, a candidate can keep seeking extensions for completion of work.

The Joint Research Board has been authorised to consider cancellation of enrolment if a candidate fails to submit two consecutive progress reports. Under the present set of rules, cancellation of enrolment is not recommended even after the extension period has lapsed.

The Syndicate has allowed the appointment of a joint supervisor from any autonomous national institute of repute along with a guide for research undertaken for PhD. Earlier, the supervisor and the joint supervisor were appointed from within the university.

Though the period of submission of the synopsis of research, including title of thesis, broad area of work and designing of project, has been extended from one-and-a-half years to two years, a clause providing for cancellation of enrolment and registration has been made in the rules, bringing in a system of checks and balances missing till now.

The cut-off date for implementation of new rules has been fixed as December 14, 2003. While candidate who have enrolled with their departments before this date will be governed by existing rules, those who have registered themselves for PhD after the cut-off date will be governed by the new rules approved by the Syndicate.



Paying fee at Mohali, entering Morinda!
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 1
In a shocking discovery, Municipal Council employees at Mohali octroi posts were today found to be issuing transit passes of the Morinda Municipal Council. These passes were being given to those who paid the transit fee for entry into Mohali, but since these carried the Morinda Municipal Council’s stamp, the bearers used it for entry into Morinda too.

The matter came to light when octroi contractors of Morinda raided an octroi post at Mohali this evening and discovered that the employees were using the Morinda transit pass books instead of their own. Some of these books were impounded by the contractors and a check on all octroi posts were carried out. It was found that all 13 octroi posts in the town were issuing transit passes for Morinda.

When contacted, none of the municipal council officials here said that they had no knowledge of this. The Morinda Municipal Council executive officer was given this information by the contractors in the evening following the raids at Mohali octroi posts.

“These passes are being issued for the past many days and we have been incurring a revenue loss on this account,” said Mr Jagtar Singh of Jagtar Singh and Company, octroi collection contractors for Morinda. “We have seven octroi posts and issue transit passes for those who enter our municipal limits. Every day, we find people entering Morinda with transit passes already issued to them. Today we questioned a truck driver about the pass and he told us that this was issued to him at Mohali and he had paid the fee there,” he said.

A raid was planned and carried out by the contractor and his men at the Phase II octroi post here. Although employees at the post refused to part with the books, photostat copies of various transit passes issued were collected.

Sources said the Mohali Municipal Council was facing shortage of transit pass books and 20 books had been borrowed from the Morinda Municipal Council. Every page of these books was supposed to carry a stamp of the Mohali Municipal Council to distinguish it from the Morinda Municipal Council, but were missing.

The sources said according to rules, only Municipal Council executive officers had the power to lend or borrow these books and issue these to octroi post employees after checking the distinguishing stamps on these, following which octroi inspectors countersigned these stamps. In this case, no one seemed to have checked these books, which were transferred at the level of octroi inspectors. Neither Mohali Municipal Council additional executive officer Sarabjit Singh, nor Morinda Municipal Council executive officer Girish Verma had any idea of the borrowing and lending of these books.

“We were kept in the dark and this had led to large revenue losses. We have contacted the police here and will get a complaint registered tomorrow,” said Mr Mahinderpal Singh, a partner of the Morinda octroi contractors.



Prince died of rabies: report
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, May 1
Prince, the rhino, died of rabies. But was it a bat, mongoose or a dog which infected him? Zoo authorities strongly deny that Prince died of rabies caused by a dog bite. But the post-mortem report states the cause of death as rabies.

Bats are frequent flyers in the zoo area. Mongoose are there in plenty, while stray dogs roam around in Chhat Bir. These animals are a regular sight near the enclosures of animals as meal is always there. These animals are the main carriers of the rabies.

Rabies is a highly contagious disease. Veterinary experts from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, who conducted a post-mortem on the carcass of the animal who died on April 14, today confirmed that the rhino died of it.

Sources revealed that after getting the directions from experts, as many as 35 zoo employees has been identified for vaccination. They have already started taking anti-rabies vaccination doses.

While talking to The Tribune, Dr C.K. Singh, a veterinary expert from PAU who conducted post-mortem on the rhino carcass said that spread of rabies virus depended on distance of the infected wound from the brain of the animal.

“An animal can get rabid in about 10 days from the day virus comes in contact with the animal’s blood or saliva. This contagious disease shows symptoms at the final stage and an animal can also take three to four months in getting rabid”, claimed Dr C.K. Singh.

Meanwhile, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, the Zoo Director, admitted that about 15 zoo employees who came in direct contact with Prince are being vaccinated against rabies.



Farmers an exploited lot, says Kidwai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Claiming that the farmers in the country were an exploited lot, Congress leader-cum-Rajya Sabha member A.R. Kidwai today claimed that the agriculture production in the country was constantly declining ever since the BJP-led NDA government came to power at the Centre six years back.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, he said the farmers were being exploited by middlemen and commission agents. In fact, they were getting very little for their produce. Moreover, the loans were advanced to them at very high rates.

Accusing the Central government of adopting wrong policies, he said cooperative sugar mills were in bad shape, cotton farmers were facing a lot of problems and the benefit of subsidies was being taken by undeserving people.

Describing the agriculture sector as the backbone of the economy, he said the country could make not real progress if the sector was not prosperous. When asked about the problems faced by the farmers under the Congress regime in Punjab led Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, he tried to blame the Centre.



Security drill for Sonia’s visit
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 1
The Chandigarh Police today performed a security drill in connection with tomorrow’s visit of the All-India Congress Committee President, Ms Sonia Gandhi. Ms Gandhi is scheduled to address an election rally in support of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal at the grounds opposite the Sector 34 gurdwara.

A team of National Security Guards (NSG) also visited the city and inspected the routes to be taken by Ms Gandhi and the venue of the rally. The police of neighbouring states — Punjab and Haryana — have also pooled in their personnel for the security arrangements.

Ms Gandhi is scheduled to reach the Chandigarh airport at 10.30 a.m. She will fly to Dehra Dun to address a rally there. At around 2.50 p.m., she will again reach the airport and proceed to the rally venue in Sector 34. Her stay in the city will be of about an hour, according to police sources.

The security arrangements have been made in such a way that the general public and the normal flow of traffic remains unaffected.



Restricted holiday tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Chandigarh Administration tonight announced that May 3 will be a restricted holiday in the offices and institutions of the Administration. This has been announced on account of Milad-ul-Nabi. All offices, schools and colleges will remain open.

Punjab has already announced a closed day on May 3. Yesterday, a section of the Muslim community had given a representation to the Administration, seeking a holiday on May 3.



Local SAD unit ditches BJP, joins INLD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
In a major development, the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today announced its tie-up with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) for the elections. The SAD commands a significant vote bank in the city and can make an impact on the result.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of the SAD, announced the breaking of its electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The SAD is an ally of the BJP at the national level. The local SAD unit had supported the BJP in the parliamentary elections in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

The announcement ends a long period of uncertainty in political camps. The SAD had earlier held a press conference in support of the BJP. The BJP, till a few days back, had claimed support of the SAD in its press notes.

The decision follows the visit of Mr Riar to Ludhiana on Thursday, where he held deliberations with Mr Parkash Singh Badal, party President. “We had a long discussion on the party strategy keeping in mind the three leading candidates in the city — Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress), Mr Satya Pal Jain (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Mr Harmohan Dhawan (Indian National Lok Dal). Remembering the role the Congress played in handling Sikh issues during the days of terrorism followed by Operation Bluestar, Mr Bansal was out of consideration. Now the party is giving ticket to people like Mr Jagdish Tytler and others who played a negative role during the Sikh riots,” Mr Riar said.

After a detailed discussion, the party decided that Mr Dhawan best suited the party agenda for the welfare of the city. “We are joining the INLD campaign with a clear understanding that Mr Dhawan will respect the sentiments of the SAD in drafting its action plans, otherwise he will meet the same fate as Mr Jain. We will join the campaign of Mr Dhawan today onwards”, he said. “The decision is not a one-man order, but a consensus reached upon by a seven-membered committee,” he said.

The SAD kept in mind the personality of the candidates, their performance in Parliament and their welfare schemes for city, colonies and UT villages. “We found that Mr Dhawan best fitted the bill under existing conditions. We want the city to have less of a bureaucratic set-up. We want people to be given more compensation for the land that the Administration acquires and we want more jobs for local residents”, he said.

The BJP did make last-minute efforts to bridge the gap with the SAD. Mr Jain is learnt to have met Mr Riar last night. Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local BJP unit, met him today, making an effort to save the drift, minutes before the press conference.

Mr Riar said, “Voting for Mr Dhawan will mean voting for Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and voting for Mr Jain will mean voting for Mr Lal Krishan Advani, as was evident for the claims of the BJP candidate. I am referring to the claims of Mr Om Prakash Chautala, INLD President, of acceptance of Mr Vajpayee as the best-suited Prime Minister. People have to make a choice. Mr Jain and Mr Bansal are fighting one another over money-related issues, where each is alleged to have made personal gains. Mr Dhawan is clean on this account”.

Speaking on the development at a separate press conference, Mr Jain said, “People should not be misled by claims of a group of the SAD. The SAD is a part of the National Democratic Alliance. People should see that Mr Dhawan has little chances of winning, so casting votes there will mean wastage of ballot. The fight is just with the Congress.”

Mr Jain also said Mr Badal, at no platform, had made the announcement of tying up with the INLD for the local ticket. “We have approached the party high command and the scenario can change tomorrow,” he said.



Bansal hid details of assets, claims Jain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Allegations and counter-allegations between Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Congress candidate, and Mr Satya Pal Jain, BJP candidate, took a new turn today following an altercation between supporters of the two parties at the recording session of an interface at Dara Studio in Mohali last night.

The issue of the opening of Delhi Public School, in which Mr Bansal was reportedly a partner, led to hot words yesterday. This allegation had repeatedly been levelled by Mr Jain on different fora. Mr Jain added another allegation to the list, saying Mr Bansal had filed a false affidavit of his personal assets before the Returning Officer.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Jain said Mr Bansal had not given complete details regarding his investment in a branch of Delhi Public School. “We are making a representation to the Returning Officer and the Election Commission to look into the matter. He has himself claimed the partnership in different rallies. The school is in name of Mr Bansal and his two sons, Ms Ambika Soni, a senior Congress leader, and her two family members and certain persons related to the party. This was hiding of facts”, he said.

Mr Bansal dismissed the allegations as a bundle of lies. He said it was the UT Administration, under the control of the BJP at the Centre, which had allotted plots to 22 schools, including Delhi Public School, of which he was one of the local promoters. He challenged Mr Jain to prevail upon Mr Lal Krishan Advani, Home Minister, to hold any form of inquiry against him and into the accusations against Mr Jain.

Mr Bansal levelled allegations against Mr Jain in matters related to grabbing of land of a school at Dera Bassi, taking money from a party worker for vacating his house, lobbying for a senior officer who faced charges of corruption, sacrilege by way of demolishing the ‘havan kund’ at the Delhi Public School site on ‘bhumi pujan’ day and committing trespass. He also levelled many other allegations of personal and party gains against the BJP candidate.



Bansal for participatory democracy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the candidate of the Congress, today assured concessional rates for hospital sites and electricity and lower conversion charges for residences-cum-hospitals.

He said it would be his endeavour to take up the matter with the UT Administration on a priority basis.

He was speaking to a delegation of the Indian Medical Association.

Speaking at a reception hosted in honour of Mr Bansal by the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 21, he said the welfare associations would play a major role in the development of the city in the future. Participatory democracy had to be strengthened at the grassroot level, with ward committees providing necessary interface between the people and the municipal corporation or the Administration, he said.

Speaking at another election meeting, the Congress candidate congratulated the workers on the eve of May Day and said industrial workers were the backbone of modern India. He said the Congress had always stood with the working class. He earlier undertook a ‘padyatra’ in Adarsh Colony.



Dhawan thanks Riar for support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Mr Harmohan Dhawan, the candidate of the Indian National Lok Dal, today welcomed the announcement of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal of supporting in him for the local seat.

Mr Dhawan went in a procession along with his supporters to the house of Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of the SAD, in Sector 19 and brought him to his house in Sector 9.

Addressing a gathering of UT and Haryana government employees in front of the UT Government Press, Sector 18, he said, “If elected MP, I will look into employee grievances like restoration of abolished posts and enhancement of CCA”.

Mr Dhawan addressed a corner meeting in Sector 19-C, which was attended by around 400 residents. The achievements of Mr Dhawan during his tenure in Parliament were highlighted.

Mr Dhawan received a positive response in different markets. He was given Rs 11,000 in the Sector 23 market and a shawl in the Sector 23, rehri market.



Congress has raised no major issue, says Libra
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 1
The SAD candidate for the Ropar Lok Sabha seat, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, said today that the Congress had failed to confront the NDA government at the Centre with any major issue in the elections.

Mr Libra, who was campaigning in the town and nearby villages, said the Congress government in Punjab had done little for the people of the state. Even when in power at the Centre, the Congress had proved to be ineffective. He said all sections of society, including villagers, residents of urban areas, industrial unit owners and employees, were fed up with the policies of the Congress.

Mr Libra met residents of various phases here to seek their votes.

He was welcomed by a gathering in the Phase V market. His supporters weighed him against ladoos in the market.

At another meeting in front of the Phase 1 gurdwara, the SAD leader was given funds by residents and supporters for his electioneering.

Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, senior vice-president of the Ropar unit of the SAD and local municipal councillor, said Mr Libra also visited Sohana, near here, where residents of the village gave vent to their grievances which had not yet been redressed by the government. Funds were also provided by Sohana residents.

Municipal councillors, including Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr Najjar Singh, Mr Manmohan Singh Langh also organised a meeting in support of Mr Libra in Phase XI.

Mr Libra also addressed a gathering near the community centre in Sector 70.



Jain promises city-Lahore bus service
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 1
Mr Satya Pal Jain, BJP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, said today that if he won the election he would get a Chandigarh to Lahore bus service introduced on a priority basis.

Mr Jain, who was speaking at a "sahyog sammelan" organised at the Arya College for Women here, said when he was an MP he had got the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway project cleared which would benefit a large number of people.

He said the area of the Union Territory had not changed over the past 25 years. He would hold discussions with the governments of Punjab and Haryana to find a way to increase the area of Chandigarh.

Mr Jain claimed that his electoral position was strong in Chandigarh even though the Akalis were not supporting him. He appealed to the SAD to back him in the electoral fight. He also urged the residents of Kharar, his hometown, to help him win the election.



Big three skip face-to-face
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
None of the prominent candidates in the fray for the local seat — Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress), Mr Satya Pal Jain (BJP) and Mr Harmohan Dhawan (INLD) — participated in a face-to-face organised by the ICSSR at Panjab University here today.

Mr Dhawan said “I went to the spot and did not find any of the other two prominent candidates at the site, following which I came back. It seems that the unsavoury moments at Dara Studio in Mohali last night had led to this unpleasant situation”. Mr Surinder Chauhan, Mr Arvind Jain and Mr Dharam Paul Sharma, Independent candidates, addressed the gathering.

Mr Chauhan addressed issues related to the university. Mr Jain distributed his pamphlets among the audience and criticised the BJP for following the British legacy.

Mr Sharma highlighted several problems faced by the university staff which had not been taken up by the BJP and the Congress while they were in Parliament.



‘India Shining’ a hoax, claims Ambika Soni
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 1
The ‘India Shining’ campaign launched by the BJP has turned out to be a big hoax and devoid of ground realities in the face of the dismal performance of the Union Government, claimed. All-India Congress Committee General Secretary, Ambika Soni while addressing a rally in Sector 21 here today. She was here for the election campaign of Congress candidate from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal.

She alleged that the Central Government had misused public funds for creating a hype over the ‘feel-good’ factor. She ridiculed the BJP for shielding corrupt elements instead of exposing them. The BJP government had been a government of scams and no concrete action had been taken against persons responsible for various scams, she claimed.

Mr Bansal criticised the performance of the BJP-led Chandigarh Municipal Corporation during 1996-2001. The BJP councilors, under the leadership of Mr Satya Pal Jain, BJP candidate from Chandigarh, had created a history of infighting, which had affected the development of the city adversely, he said.



Soni joins BJP, party upbeat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today claimed in a press note that its election campaign received a boost with Mr Madan Lal Soni, former general secretary of the local unit of the Congress, joining the BJP.

Mr Soni had contested the last election of the municipal corporation as an Indepdent candidate from Ward No 1 and had secured about 1,000 votes. The Dhobi Union of Chandigarh has decided to support the BJP nominee. The union has also decided to campaign in favour of the BJP.

Mr Jain undertook ‘padyatras’ in Sectors 47, 23, 32 and 44 and addressed public meetings in Sector 31, Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, Sector 31 Market, Sectors 36 and 32, Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, Sectors 30 and 46 and Faida village. Ms Shashi Bala Jain, wife of the BJP candidate, addressed public meetings in Sectors 15, 23, 26, 40 and 49.



EVMs to be sealed on May 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Returning Officer of Chandigarh, Mr Arun Kumar, today said the sealing of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) would take place in the presence of the candidates of the political parties or their representatives on May 4.

The Election Observers would also be present during the sealing process.

Meanwhile, the Election Department of Chandigarh today organised a demonstration camp to familiarise the contesting candidates and political parties with the operation of EVMs at Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Sector 12, here, in which the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, and the Election Observer, Mr M.K. Srivastava, were present.

During the camp, the trainers familiarised the representatives of the political parties, the presiding officers, polling parties with mock poll, the use of the EVMs, sealing of ballot units and control units and the procedures of setting the EVMs .

Others present were the nodal officer of the EVMs training programme , Mr Susant Samir , the Master Trainer, Prof S.S.Dhami, and the Principal of the PEC, Prof Baljeet Kapoor.



Only 3 vehicles allowed
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 1
The District Magistrate, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, has directed the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections not to use more than three vehicles for the election campaign.

A press note issued by the District Public Relations Department said the District Magistrate had also directed the candidates belonging to all parties not to use loudspeakers without the permission of the Assistant Electoral Officer for canvassing. Those who have been granted permission could use loudspeakers from 6 am to 10 pm in rural areas and 6 am to 11 pm in urban areas.



Four CRPF companies in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Four companies of the CRPF reached Chandigarh yesterday for the election duty arrangements.

The companies will be split into 36 parties. Eighteen parties each will be put on duty on night and morning duties.

The CRPF will be accompanied by a team of Chandigarh police with a Sub-Inspector as a liaison officer. The CRPF has been given the responsibility of illegal distribution of liquor during election time and handling elements who can be a threat to the peaceful holding of elections.



First Vote
I’ll vote on the basis of performance

IT’s my first election and voting is an altogether new responsibility for me. Like any other responsible voter, I have been keeping track of developments taking place all over the country. I will decide my choice of candidate on the basis of his/her performance.

The fact that all political parties are turning to the youth and fielding youngsters is encouraging and a welcome change, especially since oldies have been the faces associated with our democracy for long.

While I am looking forward to voting for the first time, the electronic voting machine has added to my excitement. I always wanted to be part of the long queues outside polling booths.



Two tin sheds still house liquor vends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The much-publicised Chandigarh Administration's deadline for removal for liquor vends from tin sheds has been complied with partially as the Administration has allowed a particular liquor contractor to carry on operating two of his vends from tin sheds. No fresh timeframe has been given for the closure of these two vends. The deadline for other vends operating from tin sheds expired today.

Permission had been given to the vend opposite the Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector-43, and the one in Sector 55 on the road to Ludhiana. Both vends are less than 150 yards away from residential areas. The Administration had planned to move 13 liquor vends functioning from tin sheds. A list was published in newspapers. The vends were to be closed on March 31.

Liquor contractors had sought some time to find proper shops to open the vends. They were given time till April 30. A total of 11 liquor vends had been shifted, much to the relief of city residents.

Sources said this particular contractor had pleaded with the Administration that he could not find a proper shop. The sources said the vends were basically considered rural vends.

In another development, a defunct liquor vend was reopened in a 'kutcha' building located at the fag end of Sector 47-C. This vend had mud walls and used to function years ago, when the land fell in Faidan villages, south of Sector 47. The vend had been closed following protests about four years ago. Senior officials were looking into the matter as to how the vend had reopened at an unauthorised place. 



Tribune staff remember Chicago martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Tribune Employees Union today paid tributes to the martyrs of Chicago on the occasion of Labour Day. Addressing a rally held on the newspaper's premises, speakers reminded the employees of the sacrifices made by the Chicago martyrs. They criticised the anti-employee policies of the Central Government and cautioned the employees to keep themselves ready for a relentless struggle against such policies.

While expressing his concern over the way the newspaper managements were trying to weaken employees' unions, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, president of the union, described the growing trend as disastrous in the near future.

In his address, the general secretary of the union, Mr Anil Gupta, recalled the sacrifices made by the Chicago martyrs. He also gave a detailed account of the long-drawn struggle led by them. The others who addressed the rally were Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, Mr Haresh Vashishth, Mr Surinder Singh, Dr Renuka Nayyar, Mr Brahm Prakash Sharma, Mr Shiv Dayal Jasoria and Mr Vidya Rattan.



Body found in village
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 1
The body of a 65-year-old beggar was found lying in Fatehpur village near Grain Market in Sector 20 here this morning.

Some villagers noticed the body and informed the police. They also claimed that the old man used to stay in the same locality and was ailing for some time.

The police has sent the body to the General Hospital in Sector 6 for postmortem examination.



Seminar on business opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 1
The Centre for International Trade and Industry (CITI) organised a seminar on global business opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago at the Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology here today.

Mr Pundit Maniedeo Persad, High Commissioner, Trinidad and Tobago, gave a detailed overview of his country and stated that although India and Trinidad and Tobago have a common culture, the vast potential for economic cooperation had not been fully tapped.

“The bonds between India and Trinidad and Tobago need to be revived for the entrepreneurs of the two countries,” he said.

Mr Persad told the audience that May is celebrated as “India Heritage Month” in Trinidad and Tobago to commemorate the arrival of the first boatfull of Indians in the island nation in 1845. “This year for the first time in our history, we are celebrating that event in India too. In the last week of May, fortnight-long celebrations are starting in New Delhi, Varanasi, Lucknow and Patna. “The reason we are starting with these cities is because a majority of Indian origin settlers are from these areas. The aim is to cement the cultural bond with India. It might come as a surprise to you but over 40 per cent of the population of 13 lakh people are Hindus,” he said.

Mr Persad said other than tourism, film and entertainment, which were big industries there, Indian entrepreneurs could look forward to petrochemicals, plastics, industrial maintenance, pharmaceutical, printing and packaging, call centres, electrical and medical device manufacturing there.

Mr Gurmeet Singh Bhatia, president of the Centre for International Trade and the Mohali Industries Association, assured the High Commission of their support in this endeavour. He informed Mr Persad that a delegation of Mohali industrialists would organise a trip to Trinidad and Tobago to give shape to business ventures.

Mr P.J. Singh, general secretary, CITI, gave a brief overview on the role of CITI in globalisation. A large number of industrialists of Mohali and Chandigarh attended the seminar.



Screw manufacturers complain against CITCO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Chandigarh Screw Manufacturers Association is protesting against CITCO for not providing raw materials, mainly wire rod, to local industrial units.

The protesters alleged that the screw industry was being adversely affected due to the shortage of the raw material. They added that for the past one month, the industry had not been able to achieve its production targets.

Members of the association, while pointing at the booking pattern of CITCO, alleged that certain officials were adopting a pick-and-choose policy with regard to the allocation of raw material to the industry.

The CITCO officials, on their part, said they would arrange the raw material at the earliest. They have also asked the new industrial units to get themselves registered with the District Industries Department so that their capacities could be assessed.


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