C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City hit by LPG distributors’ strike
Mohali, Panchkula dealers to back stir
Tribune News Service

Admn may take supply in its own hands

In case the LPG distributors’ strike does not end within the next 48 hours, the Chandigarh Administration is planning to hand over its supply to the Food and Supplies Department, headed by the Deputy Commissioner. The Administration has tied up with oil companies, which have promised to refill cylinders for the Food and Supplies Department. Officials of the Administration today met officials of all government-run oil companies.

Chandigarh, June 10
The LPG crisis intensified today as distributors from Mohali and Panchkula decided to join the indefinite strike by Chandigarh-based LPG distributors from tomorrow. In Chandigarh, the strike was total for the second consecutive day.

Already the strike has affected thousands of city homes, hotels, restaurants and hostels and forced people to cook on electrical heaters and microwaves.

Empty handcarts of cooking gas distributors lie in Chandigarh
Empty handcarts of cooking gas distributors lie in Chandigarh on Thursday as LPG operators went on strike on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Discussions among the Chandigarh Administration, the oil companies and LPG distributors remained inconclusive today.

Meanwhile, the LPG Distributors Federation said today that supplies to the PGI, the General Hospital and other government hospitals would resume tomorrow. The hospitals should contact their respective gas suppliers Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, president of the federation, said tonight. The PGI required some cylinders today which were supplied immediately, Mr Sharma added, assuring regular supply to such places.

The federation, in a statement issued today, stated “we are ready to shift to any place arranged by the Administration as long as it is a viable and permanent solution.” It added that the LPG distributors do not require prime land and godowns could be constructed on any land in the periphery. However, it should be connected with an approach road. Members of the federation also met the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Inderjit Sandhu this afternoon and conveyed their opinion about how the crisis could be sorted out.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, who is on leave, will join tomorrow and hold meetings with officials, the oil companies and LPG distributors.

Meanwhile, residents have started stocking up LPG cylinders. The biggest panic has been created among hoteliers, dhaba owners and those running eateries. Mr Ashok Bansal, a local hotelier, said “we are already looking at option of diesel operated stoves”. The government-run hotels have a back up of four to five days, however, private ones, due to paucity of storage space, do not have a back up on more than two to three days.

Distributors, after reassessing the daily supply in Chandigarh, said about 8,000 cylinders were used daily and not 54,000 as reported earlier. About 2,000 were used in Mohali and Panchkula each. Sources in the Administration admitted if the strike does not end, supplying LPG through the Food and Supplies Department might not be all that easy. It would be a logistical nightmare, admitted an official. The best solution is to sort out the matter and get the distributors back to work, said the source.



Board staff allege misappropriation of govt funds
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
The Punjab School Education Board Employees Association today demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged misappropriation of Central Government funds by the Principal Secretary (Education), Ms Tejinder Kaur. Members of the association alleged that gross irregularities had been committed in the utilisation of crores of rupees released by the Union Government under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan.

At a press conference organised by the general secretary of the association, Mr B.S. Bedi, the employees condemned the Education Department’s move to print its own books for the scheme when printing of textbooks was the prerogative of the board.

Terming the notification issued by the Education Department to print its own books as illegal, Mr Bedi said: ‘‘We have filed a public interest litigation against the department and will take this to its logical conclusion.’’

Mr Bedi added that the Education Department claimed to have taken over the printing work in view of the sub-standard printing of books done by the board earlier. ‘‘But they have deployed the same private publishers to print the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan books that the board deploys to print school textbooks. This is nothing but a way of misappropriating funds through the publisher,’’ said Mr Bedi.

Mr Ranjit Singh Mann, the vice-president of the association, said the employees had held a gate rally this morning and demanded the transfer of Ms Tejinder Kaur and the Director-General (Schools), Mr Anurag Agarwal. ‘‘We want them to be shifted so that an independent inquiry into our allegations can be conducted, ’’ he said.



Bar Association lays siege to police post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Members of the District Bar Association today laid siege to the Sector 17 police post in protest against the booking and detaining of a practicing district courts advocate.

They raised slogans against the police department and demanded stringent action against Mr Rajinder Pal, the SI, who had allegedly detained advocate Rajesh Chaudhary in the Sector 22 police post for more than three-and-a-half hours on Tuesday night. They alleged that the SI falsely implicated Mr Chaudhary in a criminal case and used abusive language and misbehaved with him.

A delegation, led by Mr Sajal Koser, and Mr Amarjit Singh Gujral, president and vice-president, respectively, of the District Bar Association, also submitted a memorandum in this regard to Mr Subhash Chand Sagar, DSP. The delegation later also took up the matter with Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, and submitted a written complaint against the SI.

Mr Chaudhary told Chandigarh Tribune that the problem started when he had gone to his friend Sanjiv ‘s house in Sector 23 following a call by his father, Mr Nand Lal. He claimed that Mr Nand Lal had called him for legal advice over a dispute with his neighbour Mr Prakash Chand. Following exchange of hot words both parties reached Sector 22 police post.

Mr Chaudhary alleged that the SI misbehaved and abused him. The SI also forced Mr Prakash Chand to include his name in a complaint given by him against Sanjiv. Following which a case under Section 354, 506, 507 and 34 of the IPC was registered against them.

“The SI directed the policemen to detain me. Since my friend advocate Satyavert, was accompanying us to the police post, he informed the other advocates, including Mr Munish Jolly, secretary of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association”, added Mr Chaudhary.

After the intervention of Mr Jolly, he was released at about 1.30 am yesterday.

Earlier, Mr Prakash Chand, had complained to the police alleging that Sanjiv and Rajesh teased his daughter.

Meanwhile, the police has resolved the case following the withdrawal of the complaint by the girl this evening. The girl had said she had wrongly identified the lawyer.



Former Naval officer ‘could have been saved’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Former Navy Commander J. K. Singh, whose car fell into a nullah near the Air Force Station on Tuesday, died due to “asphyxiation and drowning” according to the post-mortem report.

According to the report, J.K. Singh did not receive any fatal injury and could have been saved if the rescue operation was scientific and prompt.

He was reportedly breathing when he was fished out of water but was declared brought dead at the GMCH. To take J.K. Singh out of the nullah, the rescue team tied a rope around his chest, increasing the chances of choking him.

A member of the rescue team said even the ropes used to pull out the commander and his car broke thrice during the operation.

The Police Control Room (PCR) vehicles are the first to reach such spots but the staff in this case lacked proper training.



Recruitment of 230 constables by July-end
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Chandigarh police is likely recruit 230 constables, including persons from Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, for the first time after the recent Supreme Court verdict, by the end of July. The recruitment is believed to have been okayed by Inspector-General Rajesh Kumar.

The Chandigarh police is likely to place advertisements in newspapers next week to start the process of selection of candidates. This is the first time after the Supreme Court allowed persons from the reserved category from outside the city to benefit from the facility of quota in jobs in the city.

The recruitment of constables has come after nearly one-and-a-half years’ with the last recruitment being done in December 2002. At that time, the matter of reservation was pending in a court for clearance.

Seventyone of the posts are of backlog. From among the posts of backlog, two are from the SC category and 69 from OBCs. Twentyfour posts are for SCs, 112 for OBCs, 16 for ex-servicemen and 78 for general categories.



Speedy treatment of mishap victims ‘must’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Despite short distances and being an organised city, Chandigarh seems to lag behind in transporting quickly the accident victims lying on roads unattended to hospitals for speedy treatment.

As per the report released by the department of neurosurgery at the PGI today, in which the case of 276 accident victims with head injuries from the city, who were treated in the PGI emergency from April, 2003, to March, 2004, were studied, the doctors pointed out “significant delay in transportation of the victims from the accident site to the hospitals”.

Accident prone areas in city

Madhya Marg, especially near transport roundabout and Vidya Path — the road leading from Mohali to PGI. The report recommends putting up signs of “accident prone area,” adding reflecting mirrors and improving road geometry. In all 58 per cent of total head trauma victims did not wear helmets; as many as 80.6 per cent of women victims were without helmets at the time of accidents. The highest incidents of head injuries are in age group of 21-30 years (25 per cent), teenagers involvement is around 21 per cent. More than 60 per cent victims did not use seat belts; 66.66 per cent of the women victims did not wear belts.

Highlighting the importance of speedy treatment, the report reads, “The first hour after the injury is the golden hour and this should not be allowed to become a therapeutic vacuum. Timely and adequate medical and paramedical management during this hour is vital.”

However, the delay in transportation has made the PGI doctors “disappointed” as despite the good roads and the short city distances, as many as 21 percent of the total victims reached PGI more than three hours after of the injury. Lack of adequate ambulance services in city hospitals and ignorance and reluctance on the part of the passersby are attributed to the delay in transportation of the victim to the hospital. With the police bringing in merely 14 per cent of victims in the hospitals, their role too has come under scanner.

Its speedy communication, quick transportation, pre-hospital care and treatment within the “first golden hour” of the injury that can save a patient’s life after the fatal head injury. “Treatment must start on the spot of the accident itself,” insists Prof V.K. Khosla, head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the PGI. The need for availability of paramedics at the accident spot is also emphasised.

The findings further substantiate the positive correlation between ignoring the safety measures and the increase in the number of causalities. As many as 56.8 per cent of the total victims received by the PGI did not use the required safety measures, including wearing helmets and wearing of seat belts. Specifically in case of two-wheelers, 58 per cent of the victims were not wearing helmets at time of accidents.

However, the report puts the women riders in the dock as 80.6 per cent of the total women victims in PGI were not wearing helmets, while 50 percent of their male counterparts were guilty of ignoring the headgear.

The reports also point out that the safety norms are being grossly overlooked in case of children below the age of 10, as out of 12 children who were admitted to the PGI with head trauma, safety measures were followed in the case of just two children.



Chief Secy visits disputed site at ACC factory
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
The Chief Secretary, Haryana, Mr A.N. Mathur, today asked the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P Kasni, to set up a high-level committee to sort out the dispute over land allotted to ACC factory in Surajpur.

Mr Mathur was visiting the disputed site in Surajpur near here this evening. He asked Ms Kasni to form a committee comprising of officials from Revenue, Forests, Mining and Industries Departments to sort out the issue regarding the 23.269 acre land in Surajpur, which the Forest Department claims as their land. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to get the demarcation of the land done at the earliest.

Mr M.L. Gupta, Managing Director of ACC, was also present, and said that the factory had already given back 799 acre of land leased to it by the government in Mallah village. “The remaining 10 acres of land in this area, where we had a lime plant, will be returned when the court awards the ownership of machinery to ACC,” he said.



Panchkula Diary
MP grants Rs 1 cr to District Bar Association
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
Mr Swaraj Kaushal, MP, Rajya Sabha, has granted a sum of Rs 1 crore to the District Bar Association. The president of the District Bar Association, Mr Deepak Kumar, said he received a letter from Mr Kaushal and met the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, today and expressed the desire to utilise the money for the construction of a shed for litigants and district Bar library. Ms Kasni reportedly asked him to meet HUDA officials and get a new master plan made for the district courts complex.

PNDT committee meeting

The Civil Surgeon and district authority under the Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique (Prevention) Act, Dr Satvir Chaudhary, today asked people to be vigilant against those indulging in sex determination tests. He asked them to inform the authority on telephone number 0172-2573907 in case they know of anybody conducting these tests or indulging in female foeticide. Dr Chaudhary was presiding over the PNDT advisory committee meeting today.

Woman attempts suicide

A 23-year-old labourer, Asha, attempted suicide by consuming an insecticide at her jhuggi in Sector 5 around 8 pm tonight. It is learnt that the woman had an argument with her husband Shripal and in a fit of rage consumed the poisonous substance. She was rushed to the General Hospital and is stated to be out of danger.



HSEB Workers Union dharna ends
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
The two-day dharna by the HSEB Workers Union, held in protest against the alleged autocratic functioning of the Sub Divisional Officer, Sub Urban Sub Division, ended today following the intervention of senior officers of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).

It is learnt that the Assistant Executive Engineer, UHBVN, upon instruction from the Executive Engineer, UHBVN, Panchkula, Mr M.R. Murari, convened a meeting of leaders of the union and the SDO, Mr Chandan Singh. The President of the Union, Mr Bhagirath Singh, reportedly accused the SDO of being autocratic in functioning besides other irregularities. After a long discussion and hearing both sides, the SDO promised to decentralise powers, be more sympathetic towards the employees and give due consideration to the demands of the Union.

As many as 100 employees of the UHBVN, including six junior engineers linemen and other staff, were protesting against the SDO, since yesterday. The protesting employees were on duty in Sectors 1,2,4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 12-A, 14, 20 and Fatehpur Kundi, Chotta Haripur Raily, Railla, Surajpur, Mallah, Khangesara, Kot Billa and Mandana villages in Morni. The cash counter in the UHBVN office, opposite Sector 15 had remained closed yesterday, though it was opened by the employees in the morning to save the public from inconvenience.

They alleged that the officer was harassing his juniors by transferring them frequently, not delegating powers for changing damaged meters to his juniors and release of temporary power connections and not providing them equipment for repair etc. They had also accused him of getting the work of a MES feeder done from the employees, though the work was awarded on contract to a private party. Mr Chandan Singh had earlier refuted the allegations.



Cops find ‘lost’ boy in 1 hour
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
The Mohali police today found a boy within an hour of his mother reporting that he was untraceable. Meera, a resident of Mataur village, near here, reported to the police that her 12-year-old son, Avtar, had been taken away by a motor cyclist on the pretext of giving him a lift to Sector 71.

Meera, who works as a domestic help, was going to Sector 71 this morning with her son. She was offered help by a motor cyclist who said he would drop the boy at the house where she worked. However, when she reached the house, her son was not there. She tried to find him, but to no avail. Then she went to the police. The SHO, Phase VIII, Mr Balbir Singh Tiwana, took her to the place where she had met the motor cyclist. After searching for the boy for about half an hour, he was found in a park in Sector 71.



Panels to protest against shifting of dispensary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Residents of Sector 28 along with the Electricity Colony Welfare Association and the Government Press Colony Welfare Association have decided to protest against the Chandigarh Administration's decision to shift the Government Ayurvedic Dispensary from Sector 28 to Sector 27.

In a press statement issued today, the office-bearers of these associations urged that the proposed centre for state AIDS Control Society should also be shifted to some other place.



Awareness camp at Dhanas

Chandigarh, June10
A one-day health awareness camp for boys was organised by the Indian Council of Social welfare, Chandigarh at Dhanas here today. In all 25 boys from the colony and the nearby areas took part in the camp. Dr Veena Goyal told the boys to maintain personal hygiene and cope with personal problems and career-related issues. TNS



Malaysian minister to visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Malaysian Deputy Youth Minister, Mr Datuk Ong Keat, will pay a two-day visit to the Asia Centre of the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), Sector 12, here beginning from June 11. He will also meet the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator.



Fake cloth issue: case registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Chandigarh Police has registered a case of supply of alleged fake cloth of the JCT Mills, Phagwara, to the Fire Department a month after receiving a complaint.

The case was registered more than a month after JCT Mills, Phagwara, lodged a complaint in Sector 17 Police station.

The Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa, approached the authorised dealer of the company, Gupta Textile Trading Company, in Ambala and selected the Royal King brand of cloth for the uniform of his staff. He brought a sample and handed it over to the National Cooperative and Consumer Federation (NCCF) to procure the cloth for the department.

NCCF instead of buying the cloth from the authorised dealer gave the supply order to Upika Firm of Pardeep Bansal. When the cloth was supplied, Mr Bajwa got suspicious and approached the Ambala-based distributor to confirm if the quality of cloth supplied matched the one which was given as sample.

The Ambala-based distributor expressed his doubts about the quality of the cloth and advised Mr Bajwa to send a sample to the Research and Development Wing of the company in Phagwara.

Mr Bajwa sent a piece of cloth of the Royal King mark to the company’s R and D wing. The R and D wing confirmed that the cloth supplied to the department was not of the JCT company.

After the report came to the department, the matter was reported to the JCT Mills saying that fake cloth had been supplied to the department with a stamp of the company.

The complaint alleged that the NCCF never invited any inquiry for the purchase of the Royal King brand from the principal manufacturer and procured the cloth from the open market.

On receipt and checking the consignment by the Chief Fire Officer, it was found to containing two types. The complaint said even the paper affixed on the product were also fake. The company said the stamp used on the cloth was also not found in the store of the company.

The case has been registered under Sections 420, 511 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 78 and 79 of the Trade Mercantile Act 1958.



Happy days are here again for potters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Potters of the Kumhar Colony in Sector 25 perhaps never had it so good. The order of the Railway Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, on serving tea in “kulhar” at the Railway stations has stirred the colony into activity.

In fact, the colony had been a busy place during the past few days. Even in the absence of the bulk orders, the work has gained momentum in anticipation of the picking up of the demand for the earthen cups.

Colony residents informed that Laloo’s order was expected to revive the pottery profession, which had fallen on bad days in recent years. The normally artisans had brisk business only during Divali festival when there was an upsurge in the demand for “diyas”.

Of the total of over 200 Kumhar families, over 30 are engaged in the profession with only about 4 to 5 families making “kulhars”, Mr Sadhu Ram, a potter, informed.

Another resident, Mr Manoj Kumar, said earlier the demand for the “kulhars” was limited to only catering business. Now with the introduction of earthen cups for serving tea by the Railways they expected a boost in the demand, he added.

This is perhaps the reason that more families are taking to the making of the earthen cups following Laloo’s directive. Even as the potter stock the “kulhars” the bulk orders are still awaited. The price also continued to worry potters. Till now, the selling rate for a “kulhar” ranged between from Re 1 and Rs 2 depending upon the quality.

However, the reported fixing of the price at 80 paise per “kulhar”, it seems, has not gone well with the kumhars. Artisans informed that they had already turned down the supplies at this price.



Market Pulse
New beauty soap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh June 10
VVF Limited has launched a beauty soap, Jo Beauty. The soap is available in three variants, honey, almond and vitamin E. Jo Beauty - honey and Jo Beauty - almond come with pearlised finish, and Jo Beauty vitamin E is a white coloured soap with blue stripes.

“Jo Beauty” is priced at Rs 29 for a pack of three. According to Mr Dinesh Nambiar, Deputy General Manager Marketing, VVF Limited, no other soap with similar quality is available at this price.

Ceiling-suspended AC: Daikin has introduced ceiling suspended cassette models of air-conditioners. These are targeted for areas where ceiling heights are very low. Priced at Rs.1,04,400 onwards, the model is available in 2.2 to 4.1 ton capacity.

Also on offer is a new range of floor and ceiling-type air-conditioners which are slim with rounded contours and can be installed from the ceiling or on the floor. In India, in residential segment of split-unit users, the only option available are wall-mounted units. This model has almost same features as a wall-mounted unit, comes with cordless remote and gives flexibility of installation in sync with the décor of the room. Price at Rs 38,400 onwards, these models will be available in 1.0 and 1.5 ton capacity.

IFB’s dishwashers: IFB has launched its latest brand of dishwashers. The dishwashers’ with the latest technological framework, are soothing to the eyes with there delicate demeanor.

The two models of the dishwashers, christened Neptune and Zephyr, promise to change the view of Indian women towards daily household chores. Neptune and Zephyr are priced at Rs 26,500 and Rs 21,500, respectively. The appliances boast of various attributes like double waterproof system, filter system, folding racks, steam drying and high adjustable upper basket.



Micro thin gloves launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Ansell Cares, has been manufacturing surgical gloves for the past 5 years but has failed to capture market in the government hospitals.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Paul Virgo, Business Programme Development Manager, claimed that the company was the world’s largest manufacturer of surgical gloves, with a turn over of $ 800 million. The company at present controls 12 per cent of the total market share. However, the target was to acquire 15 per cent of the total market by the end of this year.

Mr Virgo said 80 per cent of private hospitals and nursing homes were using these gloves, but government hospitals which deal with HIV AIDS and Hepatitis C cases were yet to take to these high quality gloves in a big way. Sanjay Gandhi, PGI, Lucknow and Nizam Institute, Hyderabad, were using the product besides all leading private hospitals in Delhi and Lucknow.

Mr Paul Brenna, Group Product Manager, said the company which manufactures entire range of surgical gloves had in January this year launched micro thin gloves for ophthalmic surgeons. The cost of these gloves was Rs 20 per pair as compared to Rs 6 to 7 for the ordinary ones. Special gloves had also been designed for orthopaedic surgeons keeping in view their requirement, he added.



Small-scale industry staff to be trained
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
A one-week training programme for analytical staff from small-scale industries will be held at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) from June 21 to 25.

This is the sixth training programme under the capacity-building project of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. More than 50 participants from small-scale industries across the country and resource persons from academia, industry and the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation will be attending the programme.

A spokesperson for NIPER said the Centre had come out with the revised Good Manufacturing Practices (Schedule-M) guidelines, which are required to be adopted even by small-scale manufacturers by the end of this year.

The issues related with the up gradation of analytical and quality control facilities will be thoroughly discussed.


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