C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


5-month-old diagnosed with cholera
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 21
A five-month-old infant of the Balmiki Colony here has been found suffering from cholera. This is the first reported case of cholera in the township this year. Admitted to the Cheema Medical Complex, Phase IV, yesterday, the patient, Rekha, was today diagnosed with cholera.

Dr V.J.S. Virdi, who is attending on the patient, said she was admitted with severe dehydration, but was now recovering in the children ward. “Cholera is a communicable disease and it’s detection even before the rainy season signified the lack of safe drinking water in colonies. Consuming drinking water from hand-pumps at such places can be disastrous. Cholera can be cause of swear morbidity and even death among children,” he said.

When contacted, the Civil Surgeon, Ropar, Dr Rana Harinder, said although the report of confirmation was yet to be received, steps had been initiated to curb the spread of the disease.

“Our team of doctors and paramedics have visited the house of the patient. The other members of the family have been examined, but no signs of the spread of the disease have been found. Colony residents have been told about the disease and chlorine tablets distributed for water cleansing,” she said, adding that the cause of the disease was not perhaps drinking water but an infected milk bottle in this case.

Interestingly, the Health Department, Ropar, had in March this year collected as many as 94 drinking water samples from various slum colonies here. Out of the 43 reports that were received last week, 15 samples failed the test, pointing to the fact that drinking water was unfit for consumption in these colonies. The drinking water samples that failed the test included those from Guru Nanak Colony, Shahid Udham Singh Nagar, B.R. Ambedkar Colony, Jhotte Kutt Colony and Guru Nanak Amar Colony.

Stating that appropriate action had been recommended after the reports were received, Dr Rana Harinder pointed out that her department had written to the Municipal Council to ensure that hand-pumps were sealed in these colonies and alternative arrangements for drinking water made.

Mr Kulwant Singh, Council President, however said since these colonies were illegal, these did not come under the jurisdiction of the council. Thus it was impossible to supply them with drinking water. “In case the DC orders for the same, we will do it. But we also want to bring on record that whenever a cholera patient comes, the Health Department tries to shift the blame on the council, which is not fair. After all they are responsible for it, not us,” he said.

Dr Virdi added that safe drinking water and hygienic food habits could go a long way in preventing cholera outbreaks. “Drinking water should be boiled for at least 10 to 15 minutes to render it safe. The other way is chlorination of water. Defecating in the open or near the sources of drinking water or any leakage in sewerage around drinking water pipes could lead to the spread of the disease,” he said.



7 booked for abetting woman’s suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A 26-year-old woman, Meera, who allegedly consumed some poisonous substance on May 17, died at the PGI here today.

The police has booked Meera’s husband Jai Shakti along with six other family members for allegedly creating conditions for her to commit suicide ( Section 306 of the IPC) and demanding dowry (Section 498 of the IPC).

Meera, who worked with Amartex, had allegedly consumed some poisonous substance at her house. Mr Jai Shakti told reporters that he had gone to his office, the Government Press, and his mother had gone to a hospital to give food to his hospitalised sister when the incident occurred.

Jai Shakti claimed that an empty bottle of some pesticide was found in the dust bin at their house. He said Meera complained of stomach ache in her office to come back home and allegedly committed suicide.

He was informed by her neighbours that his wife was complaining of stomach ache. She was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital, from where she was referred to the PGI.

However, the relatives of the woman, a mother of an eight year-old son, said she was being harassed by the family since she was married in 1995. The family of Jai Shakti was also allegedly demanding dowry.

They said that there was a case pending in a court of Moradabad against Jai Shakti and his family. The woman had earlier left her home but was brought home after persuasion by the family of Jai Shakti.

The family of the woman claimed that the dispute arose on a fixed deposit of Rs 50,000.

The body of the woman was handed over to her father and was taken to Moradabad after post-mortem examination.



Moon has a date with Venus
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 21
If love is not in the air, it is definitely smiling down from the star-laden night sky. Stargazers were in for a celestial delight this evening when they got to view what is known as the “lunar occultation of Venus.” The new Moon rose with a star beaming next to its convex side. Astrologically considered to be the perpetuator of intense positive emotions among those who had Venus in their zodiac sign this month, astronomically, it was a phenomenon during which the Moon obscured Venus for about 40 minutes.

This phenomenon follows the total lunar eclipse earlier this month and precedes the transit of Venus across the sun on June 8. Mr Tejbir Singh, Observer, Department of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala, said the Moon in the course of its orbit around the Earth passed each of the planets in turn. “This astronomical event that lasts for a few minutes to a few hours, is known as lunar occultation. Such events are relatively rare and at times there is no occultation at all,” explained Mr Tejbir Singh, adding that Venus is the only planet that is visible during the day.

Today the lunar occultation started just after 7 pm and within a few minutes Venus disappeared behind the Moon. It re-emerged after half an hour. The Tribune office was flooded with telephone calls during this time, giving information about the event. “The Moon seems to be on fire,” said a woman caller from Sector 15. “This is a rare phenomenon and is happening after 32 years,” said another.

The astrological implications of the phenomenon are far more interesting. “This implies a period of intense emotionality for those who have Venus in their zodiac sign this month. Venus generally remains for a month in every sign of the zodiac. But those ruled by the Moon will be positively affected by the phenomenon. However, those who have a weak Moon are in for a lot of negative emotions and bouts of sentimentality,” according to Mr Ravi Sharma, a Panchkula-based astrologer. He added Venus also represented consumer luxuries, it is a good time to buy luxury items.

Another eagerly awaited astronomical event is scheduled to occur on June 8, when the silhouette of Venus will cross the disc of the Sun. An extraordinary eclipse, the last time it happened was in December 1882. This much-anticipated transit will be best seen from Europe, Africa and Asia, but will be visible in its final stages from the eastern US and Canada. “On June 8, Venus will transit across the face of the Sun, an event more accurately described as an occultation of Venus. It is similar to an eclipse of the Sun, when the Moon passes in front of the sun as seen from the Earth,” said Mr Tejbir Singh.

Astrologically, this rarity also has certain implications. “The life-giving Sun represents consciousness, while Venus symbolises the feminine, the power of love, relating and consensus, the principles of diplomacy and protocol, artistic endeavours and money or value. With Venus tightly aligned with the Sun, these ideas are likely to be prominent,” said a Mohali-based astrologer.



Man tries to kill self in High Court
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
A resident of Sangrur attempted to commit suicide in the court of Mr Justice Rajiv Bhalla at the Punjab and Haryana High Court here today.

However, timely intervention of the police prevented Dharam Pal, a resident of Bagrrian village, Malerkotla tehsil, Sangrur, from consuming celphos tablets in order to end his life. After the incident, Mr Justice Bhalla directed that the matter be put up before some other Bench.

Dharam Pal had come to the court along with some relatives for hearing into a habeas corpus petition filed by him to release Sumanjit Kaur, whom he claims to have married. He claimed that she was in illegal custody of her parents.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the SHO of the Dhuri police station to produce the detinue in the court.

Today, Dharam Pal claimed that under pressure of her parents, his wife was refusing to acknowledge their relation.



City to have summary revision of voters’ list
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
People whose names did not figure in the voters’ list, but have been listed as voters earlier or have voter identity cards, will have to follow a set of instructions to be issued by their respective returning officers.

The Tribune’s effort to bring out the names of such persons received an overwhelming response. The Tribune’s publication of names of people who did not figure in the voters’ list has been concluded.

In Chandigarh, the authorities have taken serious note of The Tribune’s effort to highlight the problem. Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, who is also the Returning Officer, said all those people whose names were missing would have to wait till December.

They would not be able to apply for inclusion of their name immediately. The administration would hold a summary revision of the electoral rolls. Voters whose names were not on the list would have to apply afresh. Those who had applied earlier, but had been left out of the list, would also have to apply again.

The required forms would be available at the Election Office located next to the Estate Office in Sector 17.

The Deputy Commissioner said, “We will give wide publicity so that everybody comes to know about the summary revision,” adding that he hoped people would apply in time.

MOHALI, ROPAR: The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain said a survey based on the list published by The Tribune would be conducted. “During the survey, people whose claims were found to be correct, would be given a form to fill for inclusion of their names on the spot. The needful would be done,” Ms Jain said.

PANCHKULA: There is no immediate relief for the voters in the Kalka assembly segment of the Ambala parliamentary constituency whose names were missing from the voters’ list, as no decision has yet been taken to include their names.

The decision would be taken only after directions from the Haryana Election Department, according to official sources.



Academy for judges may be set up
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh Administration, are jointly working out the modalities for setting up a judicial academy for judges belonging to the superior judicial services. The academy is likely to come up in Chandigarh or Mohali.

According to sources in the Punjab Home Department, a meeting of Chief Secretaries and other senior officers belonging to the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, along with Chandigarh, was held on Tuesday in this regard.

The academy, soon after coming into existence, was expected to hold refresher courses for judicial officers belonging to the subordinate judiciary, besides familiarising them with the day-to-day functioning of the courts, the sources insisted.

The development to establish the academy is significant as the Supreme Court of India had recently recommended the setting up of such academies in the country where refresher courses could be held for in-service judicial officers. This, the sources added, was in the interest of justice.

The sources asserted that the states were only involved in the process of setting up the academy for training purposes. It would be run by the High Court authorities under their direct supervision, the sources asserted.

They added that Joint Registrar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Dr Neelima Shangla — in charge of Enquiry and Computers — was the nodal officer of the project. Dr Shangla was not available for comments.

The sources disclosed that the officers during the meeting discussed the probable location of the academy, besides the cost of construction, along with “certain other vital aspects of the institution”.

They claimed that senior government officers were in favour of setting the academy in Chandigarh or Mohali because of the “ideal location”.

They added that currently the officials were involved in the process of identifying the land where the academy could be established.

The sources further claimed that the state of Jammu and Kashmir was also interested in training its judicial officers in the academy. As such, the state was keen on having its share in the academy and its officers were also attending the meeting.



Sappers’ goodwill cruise to Pak
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
In the wake of Indo-Pak bilateral relations streaming towards warmer climes, the Army’s Corps of Engineers has planned a goodwill sailing expedition to the port city of Karachi, it is learnt. The sappers would be sailing onboard Trishna, the corps’ famous yacht which has already circumnavigated the globe and undertaken several international expeditions.

The proposal, which would also require the concurrence of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, has reportedly been forwarded by the Army Adventure Cell to the Defence Ministry for approval.

According to sources, the expedition is expected to be undertaken during the coming winter months, when the tide conditions are favourable. The yatch will sail from Mumbai and is expected to cover the distance to Karachi in 10 days. On the return leg, which is expected to take 12 days, the boat will make a halt at an Indian port before berthing at Mumbai.

Trishna would also be carrying a message of goodwill from the people of India for the people of the neighbouring country proposed to be visited. Some social functions, including the crew’s interaction with various dignitaries in Pakistan would form a part of the expedition.

It would have a crew of six, out of which four would be permanent and two rotated during the expedition. Sources said that three sappers were in Mumbai to take care of modalities for selecting and training the crew.

Trishna, a single mast sail boat which was bought by the Army from the United Kingdom, is presently on loan to the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) for training an EME sailing crew. The EME, sources said, is planning its own around-the-would sailing expedition, which is expected to be undertaken some time next year.



Handover 4 accused to USA, judge tells Pak
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington D.C has asked the Pakistan government to handover to the US government the remaining four accused in the Pan Am aircraft hijack case for trial.

Judge Sullivan on May 13 had convicted Zaid Hassan Abd Latif Safarini, alias Mustaf Boomer for his role in the killing of 21 persons at Karachi airport on September 5, 1986.

Among those killed was Neerja Bhanot, a Chandigarh-born girl, a Senior Flight Purser with Pan Am flight 73. Neerja was killed by the accused while she was helping the passengers escape.

Safarini, a Jordanian, had been caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during an attempt to flee to Syria after being released from a Pakistani jail. The remaining four are still in a Pakistani jail.

US officials say that despite their prison term being over, the four are unwilling to get out as they fear being caught by the FBI.

In October 2001, the four accused had also moved the Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court, seeking directions to the Pakistan government not to hand them over to the FBI for being tried for the “same crime for which they were serving time in a Pakistan jail”. They had claimed that an FBI team had taken their photographs and fingerprints in the jail.

US officials say that the four, along with Safarini, had been given life sentence by a Pakistani court, after which they were lodged in a local prison. But, while Safarini got out after serving his sentence and was whisked away to the USA, the other four managed to stall their release from jail.



Heat claims life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A person aged between 55 to 60 died near the Maloya bus stop here today due to heat wave.

The police said inquiries revealed that the person did not have any known disease but was very frail and living mostly near the bus stop.

An official said it was being suspected that there could not have been any other immediate reason for his death but heat.



Residents breathe easy as dust haze lifts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
City residents heaved a sigh of relief as the checking thick blanket of dust weathered away by afternoon. The Meteorological Office attributed the change to a new weather pattern which pushed the dust haze upwards into the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, it was a harrowing time for asthma patients as the haze precipitated asthma attacks. There was a rise in the respiratory related infections in the past over 36 hours before the dust haze gave way to clear skies.

The clear skies did bring respite to the residents, but the day temperature rose to 43.8°C from yesterday’s 42°C. The minimum temperature was 31°C compared to yesterday’s 25.8°C.

The humidity was 48.14 per cent. The visibility improved, allowing the flights of Jet Airways and Indian Airlines to take off and land at the airport. After the dust haze cleared, the visibility at airport was a comfortable 1500 m.

Weathermen at the local Met office have ruled out any respite from the intense heat wave conditions for the next few days. The daytime temperatures are expected to rise further as the possibility of rain has been ruled out.

In the past two days, the dust-laden conditions have paralysed normal life. The continuing heat wave conditions is forcing residents to remain indoors. In the commercial centres, the business activity only picks up late in the evening.

There is a word of caution for those suffering from respiratory disorders. Professor and Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Dr S.K.Jindal, said the intake of dust increased due to dry air, which precipitated asthma attacks. He advised the patients to remain indoors, especially during the afternoon. Drinking liquids and eatables to keep the respiratory tract moist and dry was helpful, said Dr Jindal.



Without power for 15 hours!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Residents of Sector 33 D had a harrowing time when they had to spend around 15 hours without power. Beginning at 2 am, residents could do little but wait helplessly, as workmen of the Electricity Department replaced damaged cables in the area.

The power supply to the area was restored at 5 pm today. Sources said power cables in the area were under immense stress due to overloading. During this period, invertors also fizzled out. Elderly people were the worst hit as they had to bear with the heat.

Elsewhere in the city, 5 to 10-min disruptions were a common occurrence. These faults, sources said, were transit faults occurring in overhead power supply system. It did not denote a breakdown or major fault, they added.

Meanwhile, the Secretary Finance, Mr Karan A. Singh, today circulated a note among engineers asking them to come up with suggestions to improve the internal power distribution network of the city. The meeting, which will be held on Monday, will touch upon priority areas. Also, engineers have been asked to tell where the bottlenecks are and what needs to be done. The cost of improving the system will also come up for discussion at the meeting.

Also, during the day SDO-level officials prepared lists of houses where air-conditioners had been installed. Teams will randomly raid houses where they suspect overdrawing of power.



Girls find Stop ’n’ Stare staff indecent
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Not all seems well with the management of CITCO's Stop 'n' Stare café whose employees are facing allegations of misbehaviour with some girl students of Government Art College, Sector 10. For the past few days, tension has been brewing between caretakers of the café and students, who have alleged that the staff often behaves "inappropriately" with them.

Girl students of the college today told The Tribune of various instances of misbehaviour by the café staff. They alleged male staff members were often drunk on duty and talked rudely. Many times they used abusive language and behaved in an insulting way, the girls added.

The students were particularly perturbed because they had contributed to making the café's ambience aesthetic. Besides helping in carving out wood tables, they had displayed art works on the walls of the café, located in the picturesque Leisure Valley. One of the 18 girls who have signed the representation submitted to The Tribune, says, "The use of foul language is very common among staff members of the café. Also, their conduct is indecent, especially when it comes to girls. We have approached the management of the café on this account, but to no avail. They are very rude."

Mr N.S. Sandhu, manager of the cafe, says, "We are concerned about the prestige of this venture, simply because we have started this for students. We are even fighting a court case on this issue. Moreover, this café is not a commercial venue. The purpose of the café was providing students of Art College better ambience. There have been some reports of altercations between staff members and male students. But we have not yet heard of our staff misbehaving with girls. Also, I don't think they can be drunk on duty. We will, however, look into the matter."

A few days ago there was a scuffle between staff and some boys, who refused to pay for cold drinks they had ordered. According to the management, the boys had broken bottles and damaged property of the café.

Mr Sandhu said, "I don't say the staff at the café behaves well all the time. There can be temperamental problems. But sometimes it becomes difficult to handle the youth. We have, however, instructed our staff to be patient and avoid unsavoury situations."

Meanwhile, Mr Sandhu denied allegations of the café stocking food items after their expiration date. He said, "There have been some problems with Verka milk, but these were not at our end."

As girl students await disciplinary action against the staff, CITCO MD S.P. Singh could not be contacted. He is out on a tour till May 23.



Buses impounded, drivers spared
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Drivers of state road transport corporations have been driving buses without licences and registration certificates (RCs) resulting in the traffic police impounding these vehicles instead of booking the drivers.

The impounding of the vehicles is causing financial loss to the corporations as the vehicles remain at the police lines for several days.

The situation has hampered the intensification of the local police’s crackdown on the state road transport companies to enforce the notified route to decongest the city’s busiest roads, sources in the traffic police told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The local police started the campaign around two months back. Initially, it tried to educate drivers of the buses to encourage them take the notified route. But after informing the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh road transport companies about the route, the police started challaning the drivers for overspeeding and entering no entry zones.

However, the rate of the challaning has been low with an average 10 or 12 buses being impounded per day. There could have been a higher number of challans but for the lack of licences and registration certificates, it is difficult to do so. In a few cases, drivers have licences but most of them do not carry the registration certificates. This forces the police either to impound the vehicle or let it go with a warning. However, the police feels constrained in impounding the vehicles as the Traffic Police Line cannot accommodate more than 10 or 12 vehicles. This daily number of vehicles being impounding had been reached after one of the multi-axle vehicles was allegedly stolen by its driver from outside the Traffic Police Line.

The enforcement of the route plan notified in 2002 has produced results with the figures showing that the number of people killed by buses till date this year has come down to two persons against 17 last year.

The sources said apart from it, the direct benefit of the route plan was the less wear and tear of Dakshin Marg, less congestion on the busy road and less pollution on the road. However, the buses coming from the Sector 17 ISBT and going towards Delhi would still take Dakshin Marg. The number of buses plying on Dakshin Marg were likely to come down to half and the congestion on the Kisan Bhavan roundabout and Piccadilly round about would be reduced.

The sources in the traffic police said, however, the crackdown on the government buses had resulted in checking speeding on the city roads effectively. The enforcement of the route plan is going to result in the development of southern sectors as most of the Punjab-bound buses will now have to pass through the Sector 42 ISBT.



Shopkeepers, officials clash, three hurt
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 21
Three persons, including the president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and the president of Zirakpur Shopkeepers Association, sustained injuries when a group of irate shopkeepers entered into a scuffle with revenue officials, who had come to demarcate the government land allegedly encroached upon by shopkeepers along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, here today.

Following the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, the team of revenue officials, comprising tehsildar, naib tehsildar, president of the local civic body, sub-divisional officer of the Punjab Public Works Department (PPWD) besides other officials had begun the process of demarcation of government land this morning when the trouble started.

Protesting against the demarcation, certain shopkeepers, whose shops were marked as encroachments, entered into argument with members of the team, which later turned into a clash. In the clash, the protesters also abused members of the team and prevented them from implementing the court directions.

Interestingly, only three policemen, who were provided as security cover to the officials, gave them a slip when the groups came to blows.

In the clash, Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, Mr Harbansh Singh, president of the Zirakpur Shopkeepers Association, and Mr Sunehari Lal, a shopkeeper, sustained injuries.

Mr Sanjeev Kumar Garg, tehsildar, said the shopkeepers turned violent when their shops were marked “encroachments” on the government land.

Mr Narinder Sharma also complained to the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP, Patiala, against the shopkeepers who restrained the government officials from implementing the High Court directions.

Taking a serious note of encroachments by shopkeepers, haphazard parking of vehicles on the busy highway and gross violation of traffic rules, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the National Highway Authorities of India and the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities to free the Zirakpur market of encroachments on May 12.

The court had also asked the authorities concerned to file a reply regarding the action taken by May 26. The PPWD authorities had also made a public announcement (muniyadi) and then removed scores of unauthorised structures from the market.

The police has not registered a case in this regard so far.



Need to study foreign judicial systems, says Verma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Expressing concern over the slow judicial process in the country, the UT Administrator, Justice O. P. Verma (retd), today said India must learn from the judicial systems of developed countries and take concrete steps to expedite the justice delivery system in India.

Interacting with Mr Harpreet Sandhu, member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and Additional Advocate-General, Punjab, Justice Verma said the IBA could suggest measures for expediting the system. He said endless adjournments, overlapping jurisdictions and prolonged hair-splitting arguments delayed the judicial process, putting ordinary people under duress.

He said use of information technology for concepts like electronic litigation filing could also partly improve the situation. Trials could also be conducted through video conferencing. The IBA and the Supreme Court of Singapore could help by suggesting measures to streamline our judicial system and also guide us on e-governance, WTO and marine laws.



Verma’s call to adopt path of non-violence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today asked the people to follow the country’s tradition of non-violence and tolerance and oppose all forms of terrorism and violence.

At a function organised to mark “Anti-Terrorism Day” on martyrdom day of Rajiv Gandhi, Justice Verma administered oath of non-violence to people, including employees of the UT Secretariat.

PANCHKULA: A function to mark the 13th death anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was held at Gumthala village, near here, on Friday. Speaking on the occasion, the Kalka MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, termed Rajiv Gandhi as the builder of India of 21st century.

Prominent among those present at the function were District Congress chief, Mr R.S. Chauhan, former Minister K.L. Sharma, Mr Om Prakash, District Mahila Congress chief, Ms Santosh Sharma, Mr V.K. Kapoor, Mr Dalbir Singh and Mr S.S. Goel, all councillors.

Meanwhile, a havan was organised at the Luxmi Narayan Temple, Sector 6. Later, the secretary of the HPCC, Mr Rajesh Duhan, and senior vice-president of the District Congress Committee, Mr Shashi Sharma, visited the Bal Niketan in Sector 2, and distributed clothes and fruits among the inmates.



Training programme on stress management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A two-day training programme on stress management was today inaugurated by the Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development, Mr Sarabjit Singh, at Central Detective Training School (CDTS), Sector 36 here today.

Inaugurating the programme, the Director-General said police personnel because of their strenuous working conditions remained under stress and emphasised the need to minimise the stress by organising such training programmes.

The course on “stress management’ is being conducted by a team headed by Mr K.S. Bains and other members from AMITY Institute of Training and Development.

Trainees would also be participating in meditation sessions, said Mr B.N.S. Negi, Principal of the CDTS.



BJP leaders decry poor water supply

Chandigarh, May 21
Local BJP leaders today criticised the alleged failure by the Congress-ruled Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to ensure adequate water supply to the residents of the city.

In a joint statement issued to the press today, Mrs Kamla Sharma, ex-Mayor and BJP Councillor, Mr Rajesh Gupta, Councillor and Mr Raghuvir Lal Arora, prabhari of BJP Councillors in the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh said people living even on the ground floor had not been able to get normal supply of water whereas the Congress Mayor as well as the CMC had promised to ensure round-the-clock water supply. TNS



Tributes paid to Rajiv
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) today observed the 13th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Speaking on the occasion B.B. Bahl, Congress leader paid glowing tributes to the late Rajiv Gandhi and highlighted his achievements during his tenure as the Prime Minister.

Others who spoke included Mr Ram Pal Sharma, Mr Pawan Sharma , Mr Sham Lal Gupta, Mr Anu Chatrath, Mr Balraj Singh, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid and Mr Kuldip Singh.

The function concluded with Ram Dhun. Later, a group led by Mr Bahl went to the School for Blind and Kusht Ashram where fresh milk and fruits were distributed among the inmates.

The All-India Anti Terrorist Front also observed Anti-Terrorism Day and remembered former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi at a function held at Stepping Stones School, Sector 38. AIATF activists and schoolchildren took a pledge against terrorism and pledged to strive for the development of the nation.

Mrs Amarjot Gill and Mr Rajesh Sharma were among those spoke.



Pink Rose housing society poll today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Election to the office-bearers of the Pink Rose Group Housing Cooperative Society is to be held tomorrow. The Registrar, Cooperative Societies (RCS), Mr Arun Kumar, has ordered that election be held as per the list of members on May 7, 2003.

This list has the original allottee members and the list has been approved by the Chandigarh Housing Board and the RCS. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered that the election be held as per the list of May, 7, 2003, said Mr Arun Kumar. The Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies , Ms Madhvai Kataria, has been told to ensure a free and fair poll and appoint an observer. Anybody coming for voting will have to bring in a proof of his or her identity like a PAN card, passport, driving licence, or any such official document.

On June 3 last year, The Tribune had revealed how the names of seven city residents, who had paid a few lakhs each to own flats in Chandigarh, was deleted from the list of original allottees by the society.

They were replaced by IAS officers, who had made a back-door entry. An enquiry was conducted by Director IT, Mr Vivek Atray, and it was found that the Joint Secretary, Finance, Chandigarh Administration, Mr Dalip Kumar, DC, Gurdaspur, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Municipal Commissioner, Bhatinda, Mr D.K. Tewari, and other IAS officers Mr Hussan Lal and Mr Alok Sekhar, became members of the society and replaced people who had already paid lakhs.



Abducted girl returns home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The 16-year-old girl from Amritsar, Ms Taranjit Kaur, who was allegedly abducted by a disabled person Pargat Singh from near the ISBT Sector 17 has returned home. However, there is no trace of the alleged kidnapper.

She is likely to reach Chandigarh tomorrow and contact the police.

The information was given to the Chandigarh Police by her brother Nirmaljit Singh and his friend Jaspal Singh who stayed put in the city after the incident.

The police, however, raided a village near Shahpur in Haryana but the person who was identified turned out to be someone else. The alleged kidnapper had disability due to polio, but the person identified near Shahpur had lost his legs in an accident.



Sikh scholar honoured
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
Dr Kirpal Singh, a prominent scholar of Punjab history and Sikh history, was honoured by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee at Guru Gobind Singh Bhavan, Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in New Delhi.

Dr Kirpal Singh is a former president of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh.

A press note issued here said Dr Kirpal Singh wrote ‘Life of Maharaja Ala Singh of Patiala and His Times’ and edited Janamsakhi of Guru Nanak by Meharban. He also compiled ‘Punjab’s Pioneer Freedom Fighters’.



Limited water supply in city, Mohali today

Chandigarh, May 21
There will be a limited supply of water to the city and parts of Mohali on Saturday and Sunday. The Executive Engineer, Public Health, said a leakage in the water supply lines carrying water from Kajauli to Mohali and Chandigarh needed repairs. Causing low pressure. There will be no noon water supply on these two days. In Mohali, there will be low pressure in Phases IX, X, XI and Sector 70 tomorrow, the XEN of Public Health, said. TNS



Anti-Terrorism Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, observed the Anti-Terrorism Day in the school premises here today. The function began with a rally flagged off by Ms Saroj Gupta, Principal of the school.

As many as 100 NSS volunteers participated in the rally. In the evening, Prof V.C. Nanda, convener of Azadi Bachao Andolan, gave a lecture on the cause of terrorism.



7 trapped in lift

Chandigarh, May 21
Seven persons were today trapped in the elevator of the District Courts. They were rescued by fire fighters by forcing open the door of the elevator.

The elevator was on the ground floor when the incident occurred.

The alarm in the elevator kept on ringing for five minutes, till the fire brigade personnel reached the spot and opened the door.

The elevator has now been closed for major repair. TNS



4 held for assaulting travel agent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Four persons from Himachal Pradesh have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a travel agent Anil Yadav in Sector 34.

Navneet, Rajiv Thakur, Amit Bansal and Ramesh Dass have been arrested. Ajay Bharati and Abhey Rana are still absconding.

In another assault case, a Sector 7 resident Menak Pajni was allegedly assaulted by Satbuland Singh, Jodh Singh and Pammi from Punjab who trespassed into his house and assaulted and threatened him.

The accused are at large.



Power cuts increase sale of inverters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Frequent power cuts have brought cheer to those selling inverters in the city. Even as sales of other electronic goods have gone up due to the availability of zero finance schemes promising easy instalments, sales of inverters have gone up simply in view of the necessity of the consumers. And this is despite their having to make cash down payment as there is no such scheme available for pushing up the sale of inverters.

The retailers selling inverters claim that their sales have witnessed a 100 per cent growth as compared to last year.

Mr Manjit Singh of Chhabra trading company in Sector 18 said “most of the urban consumers prefer branded inverters, those living in the nearby villages go in for assembled ones.” Among the branded ones Sukam, Luminous and Birla Power are much sought after, which along with standard Furukawa battery of Exide or Prestolite battery were available for anything between Rs 8,500 - Rs 17,000.

The locally assembled inverters with batteries were available for Rs 7,000- Rs 7,500. The sales of 600 VA and 800 VA models among branded inverters has gone up.

Talking to TNS, few consumers who had come to purchase inverters expressed the hardships faced by them in making one time cash down payment in buying an inverter. They are of the view that finance companies should also make available easy finance schemes for the same.

One of the dealers, Mr Daljit Singh explained that the market of branded inverters has really not grown much with only a few companies having a monopoly of the same. Hence, easy availability of finance is not there as of now.


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