C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 more jawans down with diarrhoea
Drinking water source of BSF camp sealed
Tribune News Service

Source of cholera outbreak? This water tank at the BSF camp provides drinking water taken out manually from the smaller tank using a dirty plastic can
Source of cholera outbreak? This water tank at the BSF camp provides drinking water taken out manually from the smaller tank using a dirty plastic can. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, June 6
Even as the Ropar health authorities today sealed the drinking water source of the 250 residents of the BSF camp here following the outbreak of cholera, three more jawans were admitted to the Mohali Civil Hospital with acute diarrhoea today.

As many as 13 jawans from the camp are admitted to the hospital. While the condition of 11 of them is said to have stabilised, three of them are showing distinct signs of suffering from cholera. However, a confirmation is awaited from the PGI.

Lily Das, wife of a jawan posted at the camp, admitted to the PGI yesterday with cholera is said to be in a stable condition. Another jawan from the camp Jagdish, admitted to the PGI, is suffering from gastroenteritis. His cholera test report has been negative.

The Ropar health authorities led by the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rana Harinder, visited the camp site and the hospital today. The team collected samples of the water that the jawans were using for drinking and cooking. Dr Harinder told The Tribune that the main cause of the outbreak of the disease at the camp was the fact that the community cooking of food was being done very close to the open area which the jawans were using as toilets. ‘‘There are no trench toilets here and they were easing themselves in the open. This place is close to the shed where the langar is cooked and drinking and cooking water is stored in tanks,’’she said.

The complete unit of the jawans belonging to 16 Battalion of the BSF was today shifted from the makeshift tents and barracks to a semi-constructed building nearby and the toilets in the building made functional for use.

The Deputy Medical Commissioner, Ropar, Dr A.K. Khullar, said the stool samples of the three jawans who were ill had been sent to the PGI for confirmation of cholera, but the situation was under control. ‘‘There is no cause to panic and neither is the situation alarming. The condition patients at Mohali is stable. It seems that the right prophylactic measures at the camp site will ensure that no more cases arrive with similar symptoms,’’he said. Chemo-prophylaxis had been given at the camp and anyone showing the signs of the disease have been advised to start taking these medicines, he added.

Those at the Civil Hospital here include S.K. Verma, Chubhan Singh, Surjit Lal, Ram Das, Suraj Singh, G.K Rai, Shahidul Islam, Rajesh Singh, Sarvesh Kumar, Jatinder Singh Negi, Sohra singh, Dhirender Singh, Ram Pratap and Gyan Prakash. Three of them have been on intravenous fluids and the rest on oral medication. All 13 have been isolated in a special ward created out of two rooms.

Dr Balbir Singh, in charge of the hospital, said other than these 13 cases that had come from the BSF Camp, the hospital had admitted four patients suffering from gastroenteritis. These include Moti Ram from Shahi Majra, Sandhya from Lal Bahadur Colony UT, Rajiv Kumar from Sector 39 Rajinder Kaur from Maloya village.

Dr Rana Harinder, said that the likelihood of the disease spreading beyond the camp was low as the BSF jawans were using their own source of water supply. Their supply of water was supplemented with water tankers placed at the camp and these had been sealed today. Alternative source of water had been supplied to them, she added.

The open camp located on the Sohana-Landran highway has 250 persons living in tents, barracks and quarters. Lily Das, wife of M.C. Das had come to stay with her husband at the camp from Assam over two days ago and is also suffering from cancer.

Dr N.K. Singla, District Health Officer, said since the camp residents ate at a common place, the chances of infection having spread through the camp was high. He suspected that Lily Das who had just arrived from Assam could have been the carrier of the disease to Punjab.


Vendors given lesson in hygiene
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
In an attempt to keep cholera at bay, vendors selling cutfruits received their first doze of education about sanitation and hygiene at a special camp organised by the Health Department at the Health Centre in Sector 22, here, today.

In the first-ever effort by the Prevention of Food Adulteration wing of the department in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation to focus on the issue of cleanliness, the vendors would be targeted in small groups for the education programme through the summer season.

They would be issued licenses for carrying on with their “business” and badges specifying their area of operation, the food for which the licence by the Health Department has been given and other details.

“We are essentially focusing on the personal hygiene of the vendor, how fruit and food being sold can be kept bacteria-free and requirements laid down in the rules for carriers whether it is a handcart or bicycle or merely a stand on which they display their products.

To make our teaching more effective, we are using audio-visual aids. We came up with this idea after finding that challans for ill-maintained sanitation served hardly any purpose. The vendors learnt nothing from their mistakes and there was nobody to guide them,” says Dr G. Diwan, Deputy Medical Superintendent-cum-Local Health Authority Officer.

While vendors selling cut-fruit and food were given a lesson in hygiene, juice sellers are next on the agenda of the Health authorities, to be followed by ice cream venders, cold drink sellers and so on. The next such class would be held in Mani Majra in the coming week.

“Creating awareness would prove to be a fruitful exercise since it is through these vendors, not particular about cleanliness and the water they use, that cholera strikes. If we can inspire them to be clean all the time, we have won half the battle against cholera,” Dr Diwan said.

Today, the first batch of vendors was issued licences and badges at the education programme attended by over 80 of them. The programme was inaugurated by the Director, Health Services, Dr C.P. Bansal.

The vendors said the training would help them serve the public better and cleaner food. They pointed out that they were facing a problem regarding issuing of two licences, one being from the Estate Office for running a hand cart and the other from the Health Department for sanitation. These licenses are renewed by the departments every year.


TGT teachers get revised pay scales
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
It has been a long fight for trained graduate teachers (TGT) of government schools in the city. After about a year, the Chandigarh Administration has finally revised the pay scales of the teachers as per the provisions of the fifth Central Pay Commission.

The administration passed the orders after the teachers, who had opted for the Central pay scales, had gone to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) last year against the administration for not fully implementing the revised pay scales.

The arrears of pay and allowances, running in thousands of rupees, would be paid to around 80 teachers along with 9 per cent interest per annum, said sources in the Education Department.

The revised pay scales are Rs 5500-9000 (entry grade), Rs 6500-10,500 (senior scale) and Rs 75,00-12,000 (selection grade) with effect from January 1, 1996. The beneficiaries would be teachers working as work experience instructors, drawing teachers, librarians and tabla instructors.

On the condition of anonymity, one of the beneficiaries said the delay in implementing the pay scales was due to the clerical staff in the office of the Director Public Instructions (Schools).

When the Centre had asked the Chandigarh Administration to inform it about the pay scales of the teachers, the clerical staff forwarded a unified pay scale of Rs 5,000-8,000 for the category of teachers who had opted for the Central Pay Scales, said a member of the Work Experience Instructors Association.

In 2003, the Education Department paid arrears on the unified pay scale of Rs 5,000-8,000. Then the department had suffered a financial loss of around Rs 40 lakh in paying the arrears along with 12 per cent interest.

But the teachers filed a contempt case against the administration in CAT. At a recent hearing, the Education Department informed the tribunal that orders on the revised pay scales had been issued on May 21. But the orders were yet to reach the beneficiaries, said members of the association.

The order passed by the office of the Director Public Instructions (Schools), says that a civil writ petition was being filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the judgement of CAT. The payment of arrears would have to be refunded if the decision of the high court was against the petitioners, says the order.


Defence officers resent policy on ACRs
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
A policy initiated by the Ministry of Defence that the professional and demonstrative performance of officers posted to inter-services organisations will not be assessed in their Annual Confidential Report (ACR) is reportedly affecting their prospects of further promotions. Officers in such organisations feel they are at a disadvantage vis-a-vis their colleagues as they are not being assessed properly.

The policy, introduced in 1998, states that only a pen-picture of the officer be written by his superior officers. Since the performance of such officers cannot be numerically graded and hence cannot be compared effectively with the performance of their colleagues in other services, promotion boards have faced difficulties on deciding such officers' future.

Needless to say, a large number of representations against the policy and statutatory complaints on decisions of promotion boards have been forwarded to the Defence Ministry and service headquarters by aggrieved officers. A few of these officers are also based here.

The rational behind the policy was that officers in inter-services organisations from different services and depending upon their respective service's ethos, traditions and working environment, have different methods and yardsticks for judging their juniors.

The order issued by the Military Secretary's Branch, disseminating the policy, listed over 40 establishments where it was applicable. These include the President's Secretariat, Cabinet Secretariat, inter-services training institutions like the National Defence College, the National Defence Academy and the College of Defence Management, Assam Rifles, National Security Guards, Military Attaches and Defence Advisers in missions abroad and National Cadet Corps. Officers for some of these establishments are hand-picked and given the number of establishments involved, there are a sizable number of officers affected.

The section on professional and demonstrative performance section in the ACR lists out a number of qualities, such as professional and administrative competence, foresight and depth of understanding and analysis, motivation, integrity and loyalty, boldness, attitude towards subordinates, etc. Points are awarded for each quality and needless to say, this section forms the core of officers' assessment.

"A mere pen-picture, stating that an officer is good, hardworking and competent has no scientific and technical basis of assessment. There is plenty of scope for ambiguity, vagueness and subjectivity," an officer remarked. "When an 'empty' report is compared with a report where an officer has been awarded eight or nine points, the promotion board's reaction can well be imagined," he added. Given the competition, even decimal points matter a lot during evaluation.

Citing the example of a defence attache who was recently unable to make the grade, ostensibly because of this policy, sources said that the policy had not only resulted in some good officers being sidelined this is also creating lack of faith in people heading such organisations, they added.


Rare celestial event tomorrow
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

How to look:
Don't look at Sun directly however dark x ray sheet can be used to see Venus transit. Dept of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala is doing arrangement for Venus transit with Telescope and its images will be made available at university web site http://universitypunjabi.org/ Transit will begin at 10.45 am and end at 4.50 pm June 8 2004

Mohali, June 6
The Department of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala, is all set to view and photograph the rare celestial event — The Transit of Venus across the Sun on June 8. The department which has a dedicated branch of astronomical studies will monitor the event and put it on the web for making it available online across the world.

Mr Tejbir Singh, observer in the department, told The Tribune that a Transit of Venus across the disk of the Sun is among the rarest of planetary alignments. The last transit occurred 120 years ago in 1882, while the next one takes place on June 8. Figure 1 shows the geocentric path of Venus across the Sun. The scale along the track gives the Universal Time of Venus's position at any instant. The planet moves westward with respect to the Sun and inscribes a chord through the Sun's southern hemisphere. Moving with an angular speed of 3.2 arc-minutes per hour, Venus takes about 6.2 hours to cross the Sun's disk.

The transit begins with contact I when the limb of Venus is externally tangent with the Sun. It takes about 19 minutes for the planet's disk to cross the solar limb where it becomes internally tangent with the Sun at contact II. The period between contacts I and II is known as ingress. At the end of the ingress, the entire disk of Venus is seen silhouetted against the Sun's disk as it begins its slow six-hour passage across our star. Contact III occurs when the Venus reaches and first touches the opposite limb of the Sun. Another 19 minutes elapse as the planet gradually exits the solar disk. Finally, the transit ends with contact IV when Venus's disk completely exits the Sun and the planet vanishes from sight. The period from contact III to IV is referred to as the egress.


Water crisis grips motor market
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Asia’s largest motor market in Mani Majra is in the grip of a water crisis with leaking water pipes supplying muddy, foul-smelling water to over 300 shops of the area. Even as the Public Health Department of the Municipal Corporation is busy rectifying the fault, all shop owners of the area have been issued notices to fill up the underground water tanks that exist at the shop premises.

While the problem is still “under treatment”, the department has identified the existence of underground pumps as responsible for the supply of contaminated water. An official of the department said that whenever water was released to the area, the shopkeepers preferred to fill up their underground tanks, causing temporary shortage.

“Since the area requirements are met through tubewell-based supply wherein water is lifted through motors, the last bit of water usually has sand particles. This is the share of water that is left over for the residents after the shops have closed down and leads to problems. The clean drinking water is actually being wasted through storage in underground tanks, leading to a shortfall. To address this, we have issued notices to shopkeepers to close these tanks permanently. This will ensure that the water supply meant for the area is actually consumed by the residents instead of being wasted by way of storage,” he added.

Also, another cause responsible for the contaminated supply of water is the rusting pipes carrying water. These pipes have rusted over the years due to chlorination and are in need of replacement. The Public Health Department is carrying out a thorough check in the area to identify such points and carry out replacements.

Meanwhile, to tide over the crisis which has been going on for over a week in the market, the department is sending tankers to meet the water demand of the resident families. Two tankers, one in the morning and another in the evening, are catering to the requirement. A nearby temple is also feeding the many dabhawalas who have shops in the market and cannot do without borrowing water. The shopkeepers not residing in the market have chosen to carry drinking water from their homes.

The president of the Market Welfare Association, Mr MS Makol, said that, troubled with the supply of contaminated water, he approached the Mani Majra office of the Public Health department last week. “Much to my relief, they swung into action almost immediately and have even provided water through tankers till the time the fault is rectified. They have been all over the market area and still in the process of addressing the problem,” he said. 


Environmental pollution “a big challenge”
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 6
Environmental pollution has come as a big challenge for everyone around the globe. The root cause of such pollution is a selfish attitude and an unrighteous life style, which needs to be changed to curb the menace.

Expressing these views at a seminar organised by the local branch of the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya on World Environment Day yesterday, Mr Baldev Singh Sidhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Develop-ment, Sangrur, said the cooperation of every individual was a must to bring about an improvement in the situation.

A senior Rajyoga teacher, B.K. Rama, said mental pollution was much more dangerous than enviromental pollution. With the help of Rajyoga meditation one could eliminate vicious and useless thoughts from the mind.

Mr M.S. Jaggi, Additional Director, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, said due to the ever-increasing industrial waste in air and water, use of pesticides on crops and cutting of trees in the name of development, the environment was getting polluted rapidly. He expressed concern that due to pollution of the soil, water, air and food products and noise pollution, a large part of Punjab was actually unfit for living. He felt that if this trend did not stop, the entire state would become an unlivable place.

Children also presented a skit on environmental pollution on the occasion.


City gets DSL Internet facility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
With the launch of the first true broadband Internet service called the digital subscriber line (DSL), City Beautiful has joined a select band of cities in the world to have this state-of-the-art facility for instant access to the Internet.

The DSL has already taken the developed world by storm and has emerged as the leading technology to provide secure and lightning fast Internet access. Its unique capability to surf and talk simultaneously on the same telephone line eliminates the need of an extra telephone line. Therefore, it suitable for a country like India where people may not like to spend more on hiring a new telephone line for the Internet, according to Mr Surendra Lunia, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Connect, which is providing the service.

The DSL makes high speed data transfer possible at the click of a mouse. Applications like streaming video and two-way video-conferencing enrich the Internet experience as never before.

The DSL lets you use an ordinary phone line for high speed Internet access. It is an “always on” broadband service i.e. the customer will not have to dial up to connect to the Internet. One can surf and talk at the same time. A subscriber is billed only for the amount of data transferred and not for the time he is connected to the Internet.

A feature of the DSL is it is a dedicated connection between your computer at your home and the Connect network. The connection can be established with a simple click of the mouse. Unlike a dial-up, where often you get a busy tone and frequent disconnections, while here you get a dedicated and assured connection.

Connect DSL allows every user — whether a residential user or a small/medium size business or a large corporate entity to realise more productivity and save costs while enjoying an unparallelled online experience. “Broadband has been a long awaited service by the business and residential Internet users in Chandigarh and Punjab. The DSL is modern day tool for businesses to improve productivity and residential users for enriching their entertainment and information needs. I am confident that through Connect DSL, we will revolutionise the Internet market and make a modest contribution to the economic growth of Chandigarh and Punjab,” said Mr Jayant Keswani, General Manager, Connect, in a talk with TNS.


Ex-DIG behind cheating case: Matharoo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The Chandigarh police has met a dead end in a cheating case against President of the All-India Crime Prevention Society Avtar Singh Matharoo, who, according to it, has disappeared from his office in Sector 34 after the registration of the case this week.

Apart from the claimed disappearance of Matharoo, the police has also not got any complainants against him. The Sub-Inspector and police post In-charge of the Burail Chowki, Mr Pyare Lal, has sought information from members and the general public in this connection.

The police visited the house-cum-office of Matharoo several times but in vain. It has not got any complaint from any quarter against Matharoo to strengthen its case registered on a complaint of a DIG of the Punjab police. The registration of the case followed a probe by DSP (CID) Devinder Thakur and the DSP (South) S. S. Randhawa.

Matharoo, however, told Chandigarh Tribune on telephone that such cases had been registered against him at the behest of a former DIG of the Punjab police who had been running this society from Delhi along with him. Matharoo said when he found out that the DIG did not have any record, he broke up from him. It was found that the former DIG had no records when the then SSP, Mr B. S. N. Reddy, inquired about the society on a complaint against the former DIG.

He said after investigation against the former DIG, he approached the Chandigarh Administration and got the society registered in 1998. The list of his members was sent to police stations and the Police Department for verifying their antecedents, he said.

He said the police was also asked if members of the society could be of any use to it. Matharoo denied that he was evading arrest claiming that he was available to the police for joining investigation.


Recalling encounter with Maan Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
For the ordinary, a single encounter with the extraordinary can change the outlook towards life. For Mr A. T. Mathew, a retired Railway employee, an encounter with dreaded dacoit Maan Singh is one such incident.

“City folk cannot comprehend the fear of dacoits. With dacoit movies being a thing of the past, most people cannot understand what it is to be near a dacoit, let alone provide him shelter for the night,” is how Mr Mathew begins the conversation. “Even 40 years after my meeting with Maan Singh, I can vividly recall what he looked like and a strange eerie feeling begins to cloud my mind,” he says.

He is in the city on a family visit. As he sits down to chat about the man who influenced the spine-chilling character of Gabbar Singh in “Sholay”, he stares ahead, actually looking back in the past. His facial muscles tighten and he says,“the year was 1956 and I was posted as an irrigation officer in Shahdol district of Vindhya Pradesh (now Madhya Pradesh). As part of my job, I was supposed to go to villages in interiors and oversee the construction of small dams. It was during one such tour to Maanpur village that I unknowingly played host to Maan Singh and his lieutenant.”

Mr Mathew says he does not remember the exact date now. It was in early November that he was camping in the PWD Rest House in Maanpur. “I was the only person in the rest house other than the chowkidar. It was after 11 pm when the last bus from Umaria to Maanpur arrived and I heard the chowkidar arguing with someone at the gate. I went out and saw two men, one over six feet tall, with a thick moustache and dressed in Army fatigues and the other a little shorter but with more or less the same facial features.”

“I asked the chowkidar what they wanted and the taller of the two men, introducing himself as a retired Armyman, asked if they could stay at the rest house for the night. He said he had a few hundred bighas of land in the village and had come here for disposing off his property. I relented and got another room opened for them. Since it was very late and there was no provision for cooking food, I offered them some goodies that I had stored for myself.”

“We talked till late in the night and I noticed that they were carrying pistols and bullets. But I never suspected them as I believed they were Armymen. Also, they had come in a local bus and I never thought that dacoits moved around in public transport. I then retired to my own room and when I got up in the morning, the two men had left. I informed the village mukhiya (head man) of the strange encounter the next day, but he said he knew of no such Armyman having land in the village. I remained restless about the incident. Then after a fortnight the news of Maan Singh's encounter with the police was splashed in newspapers and his photographs were also printed. It was then I realised that I had played host to Maan Singh,” he says.

Mr Mathew says that he later came to know that Maan Singh and his aides were on a recce to the village. “They had come to Maanpur to warn a landlord that they would be looting him. Maan Singh always used to inform his victims before he looted them. It's been 40 years since the incident, but the memory of the night does not fade away,” he says.


Cong men hold rallies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
With the Haryana Assembly elections in sight, the Congress today held public meetings to celebrate the success of Congress candidate Selja Kumari at the hustings, while announcing sops for the poor if voted to power in the Assembly elections next year.

Led by the Kalka MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, Congress workers began their tour in the morning. The MLA was accompanied by Mr Ravinder Rawal, Mr R.K. Kakkar, Ms Santosh Sharma, Ms Daya Chaudhary and Mr Om Prakash.

In the morning, meetings were held in Saketri, Bhainsa Tibba, Devinagar, Abheypur, Fatehpur and Railly villages while meetings were held in Railla, Rajiv Colony, Indira Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Madrasi Colony, Azad Colony and New Azad Colony.

Mr Chander Mohan, while thanking people for their support to the MP from the Ambala constituency, Ms Selja Kumari, exhorted them to rout the Indian National Lok Dal in the forthcoming Assembly elections. He said with Mr Bhajan Lal as the Chief Minister, the state would head towards success.

In all meetings, Mr Chander Mohan assured that once the Congress was elected back to power in the state, the party would work for the amelioration of villagers and residents of labour and slum colonies. He assured that they would work for proper water supply in villages and slum colonies and rehabilitation of residents by allocating two-marla plots each.


Bansal’s election hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The Federation of Sector Welfare associations (FOSWAC) held a meeting of its executive body today to congratulate Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal on his election as the MP.

At the function, members appealed to Mr Bansal to look into their demands for introduction of a Cardiology Department at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, establishment of a dental college in the city, removal of roundabouts in Sectors 21, 22, 34 and 35, allotment of space to FOSWAC for opening its office and sanctioning a flyover at the transport chowk in Sector 26.

Mr Bansal thanked all associations for their support during the elections. He said FOSWAC had provided an interface between the Administration and the public. He appealed to the Associations to have one association in every sector. 


Camps on self-defence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) has been holding free self-defence training camps at parks of Sectors 20 and 36 here from June 1. The camps are held from 6 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. The front will hold more camps in other parts of city.

The aim of the camp is to teach self-defence techniques to the people, especially women and youngsters . Self-defence training enhances confidence, mind power, physical fitness and capacity to handle difficult situations. President of the AIATF Rajesh Sharma said the camp was getting good response from all sections of society and the front was also working on organising a separate training camp for women soon.

‘‘The cases of snatching, robbery and eve-teasing are increasing. A study reveals that most of the criminals involved in these crimes are drug-addicts. These incidents may be averted, if tackled with confidence and tactics. All one needs is confidence and technique,’’ he said.

The expert trainers at the camp include Raj Kumar, Meenu Sharma, Mohit Verma and Monica Thakur with the in charge of the camp Mr Mansa Ram Maurya. These camps will be followed by a state-level tournament, said Mr Rajesh.


Meeting held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 6
A meeting of the executive board of the Pracheen Kala Kendra was held here today.

The budget of the year and a detailed balance sheet was also presented. The meeting was presided over by Mr S.K. Monga, vice-chairman.


Theft in Sector 22 house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 6
Thieves broke into a house of Mr Karan Singh, an Executive Officer with the Haryana Government, in Sector 22, and took away valuables here today.

The thieves struck at the house in absence of the owners. Mr Rajkumar, a gardener, noticed the lock of the house broke open this evening and informed the police.

Station House Officer, Sector 17 Sanjay Jain said the thieves had ransacked the house after breaking open the lock on the main door.

The exact loss in the theft could only be ascertained only after the family returns he claimed.


Burail clash: one held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 6
The police arrested Balwainder Singh alias Thakur for his involvement in the Burail clash case, here today. A case of attempt to murder was also registered against him in addition to the previous cases.

Meanwhile, another suspect in this case, Abhimanyu, kept eluding the police on the second day today. Abhimanyu has been absconding since the clash, on late Friday night. Apart from this, the police also added Section 307 of the IPC in the FIRs registered against members of both the groups.

According to the police record, Jaswinder Singh has criminal background. He was booked in a chain snatching case by the UT police recently.

It may be recalled that the nine persons, including a woman were injured, one of them seriously, in a clash between two groups of youths in Burail village, late last night. The police has booked Balwinder, his grandfather Desh Raj, uncle Abhimanyu, Jaswinder Singh alias Jassi, Hardeep Singh, Manjit Kaur, Surinder Singh, Lakhminder Singh and some others under different provisions of the IPC.


Woman drugged, looted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
A middle-aged woman, Sukhwinder Kaur, was allegedly drugged and looted by a couple travelling with her in a bus.

Police sources said 34-year-old Sukhwinder Kaur and her husband Baljinder were returning to their village from Naina Devi. On the way, Sukhwinder Kaur complained that she was tired. On hearing this, a couple sitting next to them offered them capsules, saying that those would help ease her tiredness.

The woman lost consciousness after talking capsules. All four of them got down near the Mansa Devi Complex. As her husband went to look for help, the other couple took away Sukhwinder Kaur's jewellery.


Chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
A pedestrian snatched a gold chain of Ms Sunita Mahajan near the Rock Garden and gave the police the slip.

Ms Sunita Mahajan, who is in the city from the Pathankot was walking near the Rock Garden when an unidentified youth snatched her chain. She raised the alarm to invite the response of the police and the public. A policeman on the duty ran after the snatcher but he disappeared in the nearby jungle.


Industrial body seeks better infrastructure
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 6
The Industrial Welfare Association of Phase IX here has demanded improvement in the infrastructure provided in the area. Mr Prabhjot Singh Sandhu, president of the association, said the Phase IX industrial area was facing infrastructural problems like narrow roads, undeveloped parks, uncovered outlet of the sewage treatment plant of the Chandigarh administration located in the area and frequent power breakdowns.

He said the area also lacked banking, postal and local transport services. There was also no ESI dispensary and fire station in the area.

The association appreciated the new scheme of the Small Industries Development Bank of India to offer loans to new or existing units at the rate of 9.5 per cent annum. Under the scheme the minimum loan should be of Rs 10 lakh. For units which could not provide collateral security the services of the credit guarantee trust of the Government of India had been made available at a nominal contribution of 2.5 per cent of the loan in the first year and 1 per cent per annum for the remaining period.

The association felt that this guarantee scheme would be helpful to small-scale industrial units in Phase IX. However, the association president said entrepreneurs in Phase IX, though they had their own plots and buildings, could not offer these as security due to a dispute over the enhancement of prices with the PSIEC.

The association also demanded that the lower limit for the grant of loans to small-scale industry should be reduced to Rs 5 lakh and the credit guarantee fee cut by 50 per cent (1.25 per cent).

The association also demanded that the Punjab Government should abolish octroi forthwith and lift ICC barriers which were a big hindrance in the free movement of goods. The state government should also take up with the Centre the issue of grant of certain concessions in taxation which had been made available to neighbouring states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, besides Chandigarh.

Mr Sandhu said there were numerous problems which needed a quick solution in order to help sick industrial units in the town and create conditions for the setting up new units. In this connection he appreciated the setting up of a high-powered committee headed by the Principal Secretary, Industry and commerce, Punjab. The Association hoped that this panel would start its work soon and make recommendations to the government for the development of industrial focal points in Mohali.

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