C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Trains back on track
Shatabdi leaves, others to run today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Ambala, August 9
Train services on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka section of the Northern Railway, suspended following heavy downpour on August 3, were resumed this evening. According to sources, the evening Shatabdi between Kalka and New Delhi left the Chandigarh Railway Station at its scheduled time and it passed safely over Bridge 246, which had been repaired. Senior Railway officials, including Northern Railway General Manager, R.R. Jarujar and Principal Chief Engineer J.P. Shukla, were present at the bridge at the time of the passing of the train.

Additional Divisional Railway Manager Dayal Dogra said the train passed over the bridge without any hitch. The Shatabdi passed over the bridge, situated between Dhulkot and Lalru, at a snail’s pace. Earlier, a trial run was carried out by running a goods train over the bridge.

The Kalka Shatabdi had to be halted at Lalru two days back when it was realised that the abetment at the bridge was not safe. A deadline of August 7 had been set for the reopening of the section and later the deadline was revised for this evening. After the technical fault to came to light, railway engineers tackled the problem by putting in a service span.

Five bridges on the Ambala-Chandigarh section had been damaged including a 24-foot two span bridge between Dhulkot and Lalru, which had been washed off. The sources said all trains from Chandigarh, except the Paschim Express, running between Mumbai and Kalka, the and Kalka-Jodhpur Express, would be resumed from tomorrow.

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Rail disruption cost industry 100 cr
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The week-long disruption of rail traffic on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka section of the Northern Railway has cost the industry dear, with losses worth about Rs 100 crore reported from Chandigarh and adjoining areas.

The disruption has come as a bolt from blue for the industry, which is reeling under severe recession following a steep hike in steel prices.

The shortage of raw material, particularly steel, had dealt a death blow to certain industries, putting them on the verge of closure.

On an average, the per day consumption of steel in Chandigarh and the adjoining areas of Panchkula, Mohali, Dera Bassi, Parwanoo, Baddi and Barotiwala is pegged at 1,000 tonnes. As only the Chandigarh railway station has the unloading facility for this raw material, the steel was then taken to various destinations from here.

Chandigarh gets its steel from steel plants in Bokaro, Rourkela, Bhilai and Visakhapatnam and most of the steel is routed to the industry through the regional office of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and its authorised corporations.

With no raw material supplies coming here since August 3 after heavy downpour, which disrupted railway traffic, the industry is at its wits’ end.” The industry is losing revenue worth over Rs 10 per day due to disruption in rail link and it will take several days before the production comes to normal level,” alleged Mr Yash Pal Mahajan and Mr Rajiv Gupta, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Federation of Small Scale Industry (FSSI).

Mr Inderjit Bajaj, president of the Dera Bassi Industries Association, alleged that the steel shortage was wreaking havoc on the industry, causing a loss of crores.

The worst affected, Mr Gupta alleged, were the firms manufacturing screws, tractor parts and furniture and ancillary units.

The Railways should always have alternative arrangements for such an emergency for the smooth flow of raw material, Mr Gupta demanded.

In fact, the woes of the entrepreneurs seem to be unending after a steep hike in steel prices. The hike was followed by floods in Bihar, which disrupted steel supplies from the state.

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Kalka-Ambala traffic held up for 4 hours
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 9
Traffic on the Kalka-Ambala highway was disrupted for more than four hours this morning following an accident last night involving a Maruti van and a tractor-trailer on the Ghaggar river bridge in Bhankharpur village.

Four passengers, including the van driver, travelling in the van, sustained injuries in the accident. Hailing from the Gnagoh area in Uttar Pradesh, the passengers were on their way to Chandigarh to see an ailing relative when the accident took place.

According to the police, the van rammed into the tractor-trailer from behind when the trailer got detached from the tractor on the bridge at about 11 pm. The driver of the tractor allegedly sped away with the tractor after the accident.

Vehicles were lined along either sides of the bridge on the highway.

Long-route buses and the vehicles heading towards Chandigarh and Shimla were diverted from Dera Bassi to take the Mubarikpur-Ramgarh-Panchkula road. Vehicles heading towards Ambala and New Delhi were diverted from the Zirakpur traffic light point to the Zirakpur-Rajpura-Ambala road.

Passengers and commuters who had to catch trains from the Ambala railway station were delayed for hours. Students and office goers were also failed to reach their destinations in time. The locals had to take alternative routes and link roads to reach their destinations. Vehicular traffic was restored this afternoon.

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Floods drown HUDA’s plot plans
Tribune News Service

DSOI dispute

HUDA had allotted 4.3 acres of land for the construction of Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI) in Sector 2 in 1993. After the floods, this land, which falls just along a seasonal rivulet, was measured by HUDA officials along with Army officers from the Chandimandir cantonment area. The demarcation of the land revealed that the land is approximately 80 metres less than the original size. Officials say that this land could have been washed away by the rivulet over the years, though the possibility of smaller size of plot being allotted was also there. HUDA officials are now investigating the matter. 

Panchkula, August 9
The flash floods in Panchkula on August 3 have dashed to ground the plan of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to develop 20 acres of land as residential plots.

The flooding of the Singh nullah choe, passing through Sectors 2, 4, 12 and 12-A, caused extensive damage to land along the embankments, which was reserved for residential plots of varying size. The land on which 40 plots were allotted in Sectors 12 and 12-A six months ago was extensively damaged. Though HUDA has not yet given the possession of these plots to the allotees, officials say they might have to re-plan the plots along the seasonal rivulets in these sectors and along the nullah in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5.

HUDA had earlier surveyed embankments of seasonal rivulets and found that about 30,000 square metres could be retrieved along the Singh nullah, though only 30 to 40 per cent of this could be utilised for carving residential plots.

The officials said because of the heavy discharge of water in the nullah, the channel flow had been meandering towards the area reserved for plots. They, therefore, decided to channelise the nullah, they said.

“The proposal for the beautification of the three seasonal rivulets passing through the township will be taken up after their channelisation, if there is enough space for creating slopes along the banks. A sum of Rs 20 lakh has been sought for clearing the nullahs,” the officials said.

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Infant dies of diarrhoea
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
In what could be the first sign of an epidemic breakout as a result of the post-flood deluge, Ankit, a six-month-old child, died of diarrhoea today. Son of a daily-wage worker, Sanjay, a resident of Rajiv Colony here, Ankit died in the colony in the evening today following acute diarrhoea. Four other children of Rajiv Colony and the neighbouring Indira Colony here were rushed to the General Hospital with similar symptoms.

The children — Ankit’s two-year-old brother Sahil, seven-month-old Sumit, two-year-old Kajal and three-year-old Talvi — were admitted to the hospital. All of them were suffering from loose motions and vomiting. After the two slum colonies, with a population of about 10,000, had remained submerged in water following the flash floods last week, it seemed that an epidemic had broken out in the area. The Civil Surgeon was not available for comments.

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Flood causes damage in Sector 4

Panchkula, August 9
The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 4, has said that the flash flood last week caused extensive damage in the sector and several houses located in the vicinity of a nullah were flooded because the nullah takes a U-turn near the Ram Sharnam Mandir here. The residents have alleged that while HUDA officials were channelising the nullah at various points, they had left out the area of the nullah near the mandir. TNS

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This year weather changed too fast to predict: Met Office
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The monsoon has been hugely unpredictable this year. No wonder it kept the weather forecasters on tenterhooks.

Unable to read the trends correctly, local experts have faltered at times in making predictions about weather conditions and the monsoon’s mood. The local Met Office’s August 7 prediction, “No rains for the next 24 hours,” proved to be inaccurate as rain marked a surprise attendance the very next morning. Ever since, the amount of rainfall recorded in the region has been significant.

Although the rainfall recorded today till 2.30 pm was just about 7.5 mm, yesterday’s level was rather high. Met officials place the rainfall level recorded till 8.30 am today (since yesterday morning) at 51.2 mm, next only to Ludhiana in this region. Ludhiana recorded 71. 5 mm of rainfall yesterday.

Explaining the weather trends today, Mr Surinder Paul, Director, Met Office, Chandigarh, said the inaccuracy in some predictions pertaining to rains could be attributed to the extremely rapid and unexpected weather alterations that could not be accounted for at times. He added that most of the predictions applied to possible weather developments across the entire Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh region.

Admitting that the monsoon was changing tack very fast this time, he added the region would not experience much of “organised rain” over the next few days. “We, however, don’t rule out the possibility of light showers in Chandigarh as well as other areas of Punjab and Haryana. Moreover, we had earlier issue a warning with regard to heavy rainfall in Ludhiana. So the predictions have been rather correct, expect when we have been faced with racing weather trends that are hard to catch,” he added.

Interestingly, weather officials seem to be quite sure about the fact that Punjab will have more rain than Haryana and Chandigarh. Ludhiana has already recorded a rainfall of 71.5 mm yesterday, while in Haryana Rohtak recorded 29.2 mm, much less than Ludhiana. Ambala recorded a meager 0.7 mm yesterday.

Thankfully, yesterday’s unexpected rains did not wreak as much havoc as they did during the past week. Today also, the extent of rainfall was the highest towards early morning hours, causing traffic blocks and water logging around the rotaries all over the city, especially the southern sectors. The pattern was fragmented, as has been during most part of the season.

As far as the temperature drop following the recent rains is concerned, it has not been very significant. Said a Met official, “The variation in temperature has not been noteworthy. Humidity level has been high, and naturally so.”

Meanwhile, the possibility of flash floods due to breach of waters of Perchu rivers in Tibet has caused its share of apprehension among local residents, although experts assure there is no cause for alarm.

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Sukhna full to the brim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Experts who love to spend hours pondering about the Sukhna Lake can take a breather and relax. The Sukhna Lake now has problem of plenty. The lake is full to the brim and no more water can be stored in it. Now each rain means the authorities have to release water.

Normally, the lake gets full to the brim only by the middle of September. This year due to the sudden rain on August 3, the lake filled up to the brim.

As of now, the Chandigarh Administration has asked the Engineering Wing to maintain a level of 1162 elevation feet and let rest water pass through the gates at the regulator end.

Sources in the Engineering Wing said no more water can be stored than the present level as it can cause a breach which can risk the city located downstream.

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New method to desilt Sukhna proposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
A seemingly workable and cost-effective technique for removing silt from the Sukhna Lake has been suggested by the Ship Building and Design Corporation of India, which says that the only lasting solution was to float a small platform in the lake with a crane mounted on top.

The crane will be specially designed to lift silt out of water and deposit it on boats or trucks to be carted away. The crane will have a system by which it will drain the excess water before depositing the silt onto boats or trucks. The machine will hold up the silt for a while allowing water to drain out and then deposit it on a boat. The platform on which the crane will be mounted will be on pontoons. The platform can be moved anywhere in the lake depending on the requirement.

A team of the corporation, which works under the Union Ministry of Shipping, visited the lake and suggested this technique. The Chandigarh Administration has asked the corporation to submit a project report.

Besides this, normal removal of silt carried out during the dry months will go on at the Regulator End. The Administration has also been told that this is a long drawn out process and will take upto five years to remove the three million cubic feet of silt which has accumulated over the years.

The silt removed will add to the capacity of the lake in a big way.

Experts of the corporation have ruled out the method of wet dredging, as it requires a lot of water to be wasted in the process of lifting silt. The ratio of water and silt in the lake was not found to be adequate for wet dredging. Also wet dredging is more suitable for ports and dams where the ratio of water is more than sand.

The advantage of the now suggested technique is that no adjoining forest will be affected as was the case to be for the wet dredging.

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Zirakpur to have Urban Estate
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 9
The Punjab Government today issued a notification for the setting up of a modern residential Urban Estate at Zirakpur. The Housing and Urban Development Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri stated that the notification had been issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

Mr Puri, who is also Chairman, Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), stated that 543.18 acres of land were sought to be acquired as per the notification. This land was equivalent to two sectors. The area being acquired fell within the revenue estates of Nangla (116.47 acres), Ramgarh Bhuda (65.06 acres) and Singhpura (361.65). The proposed Urban Estate would have independent access both from the Ambala highway and the Patiala Highway.

The Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, said that an advance survey conducted by PUDA had elicited an encouraging response. PUDA had received 3,793 applications for plots and 718 applications for built-up houses in the area. The land acquisition proceedings would be completed expeditiously and land owners would be paid compensation at market rates as recommended by the district-level price fixation committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner.

In addition, the land owners would be entitled to 30 per cent solatium and interest at approved rates; modern facilities and spacious parks would also be provided in this Urban Estate.

The PUDA Chief Administrator, Mr A.S. Chhatwal, said this project would not only facilitate the planned urban development of Zirakpur town, which is situated on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway, but also relieve the pressure on Chandigarh and Mohali. Facilities like schools, community centre, dispensary and commercial facilities were also being planned as an integral part of the project. PUDA would shortly launch a scheme to invite applications for plots in this scheme, he added.

According to a press note issued by PUDA, the minister has stated that any person interested could file objections with the Land Acquisition Collector, PUDA, Mohali, within 30 days of the publication of this notification.

The notification would also be published in two leading newspapers and a proclamation would also be effected in the locality.

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Councillor, slum-dwellers attack hospital staff
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
The General Hospital here turned into a battleground when fisticuffs were exchanged and lathis used between hospital security staff and over 50 residents of two slum colonies late tonight.

The incident took place at 10 pm when the councillor from Rajiv Colony, Mr Dalbir Singh, went to the hospital to check the condition of some children admitted there from the colony. He was standing outside the ward when reportedly a security personnel, Sahil, posted there asked him to leave, stating that visiting hours were over. This led to an argument between the two and Sahil tried to push Mr Dalbir Singh.

In a rage, Mr Dalbir Singh called over 100 residents from the slum colonies. The slum dwellers reached there and Mr Dalbir Singh along with his supporters went inside the hospital and brought Sahil out. Sahil was then beaten up by these men. In the meantime, the entire security staff of the hospital reached the spot to save Sahil.

After this, it was a free-for-all between the security staff and the residents of Rajiv and Indira Colonies. The doctors at the hospital informed the police. As many as 25 cops led by the SHO from the Sector 5 police station converged at the hospital and controlled the two groups.

Several other councillors along with some Congress leaders too reached the hospital and raised slogans against the government and hospital authorities. Many of them also stood outside the emergency room, hurling abuses at the hospital staff, unmindful of the patients inside.

Meanwhile, Sumer Chand, a resident of Sector 15, who was seriously injured in an accident near Power Colony, was rushed to the General Hospital. He had sustained multiple fractures and a head injury and was referred to the PGI by the doctors.

However, for over 45 minutes while the hospital staff was engaged in the fight with the slum residents, Sumer Chand had to wait outside the hospital for an ambulance driver. He was later shifted to the PGI in a private ambulance.

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Threat of floods in HP exaggerated, says Army
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
While the Army today maintained that the threat of floods in Himachal Pradesh on account of an artificial lake being formed in Tibet has been exaggerated, it has nevertheless moved in men and equipment to deal with any emergency.

"Information being made available to us through various means, including satellite imagery, suggests that the situation is not so grim as projected earlier," a senior officer at Headquarters Western Command said. "The threat of millions of cubic metres surging into Himachal if the wall of the lake gives way has been exaggerated," he added.

An in-house conference to assess the situation and review relief plans was reportedly held in Chandimandir today.

Heavy rains over the past few days in Tibet, adjoining Himachal Pradesh, resulted in a massive landslide, blocking the natural flow of Pare Chhu River. This resulted in a huge lake being formed on the Tibet side of the international border.

According to information relayed by China, the lake is 6,000 metres long and about 1,500 metres wide. Data generated by the National Remote Sensing Institute, Hyderabad, however, stated the lake to be about 1,900 metres long and 900 metres wide.

Reports suggested that the water would overflow the lake walls or they may collapse, sending water gushing into the Indian territory. The areas adjoining the Sutlej in Kinnaur, along which National Highway 22 lies, would be among the worst-hit.

While declining to state the exact size of the lake worked out by the authorities on the basis of latest information, the officer said, "Our figures do not match with those provided by China. The size of the lake is definitely smaller."

Sources said that Army units to deal with flood situation had already been mobilised. "We have our contingency plans and Army units concerned were moved to their respective places of deployment immediately after reports of impending floods came in," the officer said. Some Army units located in low lying areas adjacent to the Sutlej had been moved to higher reaches.

Officers said that all necessary steps required had been taken and the Army was prepared for all eventualities. Puh-based Headquarters Sugar Sector, responsible for the defence of Himachal Pradesh, has been tasked to oversee the Army operations.

Pare Chhu has its origin in India and meanders its way into Tibet near Chumar in Southern Ladakh. It enters India again near Kaurik, an abandoned village where National Highway 22 ends, and thereafter merges with the Spiti. Spiti, in turn, merges with the Sutlej near Namgia.

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Chandigarh Calling

THE campus of Government Art College, Sector 10, has never looked better. The mural installed on the wall facing the college pond (see picture) has not only added beauty to the compound, but has enhanced visitation to the college, which looks more than attractive at its entrance.

Put together by about 20 students, earlier assigned the task of designing for the Delhi Metro rail project, the mural looks striking with its colour combination and theme. The students have used all leftover material to give shape to the mural, basically made out of glass mosaic tiles.

Most of the mural was prepared during vacations as it was too huge a task to be completed along with the academic schedule. For students, the vacations were well spent.

Hostage colony

The fact that Haryana is a Hindi-speaking state and promotes Hindi as the official language is well known. But ignorance about the Queen’s language is certainly not bliss for the Public Relations Department. A recent press note issued by the department proved this, when it mentioned hostage instead of oustees. Probably the phonetic similarity between the two words led to the use of hostage colony instead of oustees’ colony.

Trivial issue

Students politics on the Panjab University campus is becoming more and more trivial. While elections in the past few years have hardly been issue-based, this year promises an even lower standard in terms of issues.

Beginning admission time, most student organisations attempt to make an impression on freshers by putting up tents for guiding and helping them. Like the past few years, this year, too, began on the same note.

Now, with the session underway, these organisations have begun to draw attention by focusing on oft-repeated demands, which are forgotten once the council assumes office. Last week, the president of a students’ organisation called up newspaper offices to say a hostel warden was playing spoilsport by not allowing hostel inmates to go for a movie.

He stated that while tickets had been bought and everything organised for the show to make the freshers feel at home and comfortable in the new setting, the warden was not allowing a night out to the freshers. This is the latest price being paid for a vote.

Waste disposal

The nursing staff at the PGI has been instructed not to throw surgical disposables and empty plastic bottles in the sewers, especially in Block B of the hospital. This was done after a number of such equipment was fished out from the drainage system during routine cleaning. While patients have been complaining of the foul smell at the emergency OPD and Block B, officials have said the smell comes from the sewerage of Block B of Nehru Hospital, which needs regular cleaning.

‘Shift ahata’

Shopkeepers of the Notified Area Committee market in Mani Majra are up in arms against the opening of a liquor shop and ahata in the market, which they allege, has been opened against rules and regulations. The location of the ahata puts shoppers, particularly women and children, to inconvenience, alleged Mr Amrit Lal Sachdev and Mr Prem Chand Aggarwal, president and vice-president, respectively, of the Cloth Merchants Association, Mani Majra.

Persons in an inebriated state made the movement of the general public a nightmare and rowdy scenes were the order of the day, they alleged. The ahata should be shifted outside the market as per the policy of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh, they demanded.

Not prepared

It seems that the civil administration is not prepared for any calamity like floods. A chaotic situation was visible last Tuesday when incessant rain led to flooding of roads. No official of the police, the municipal corporation or the district administration could be seen on the roads when vehicles were trapped and residents were frantically looking for help.

No plans to divert water from flooded areas was put into action. The result was that motorists remained trapped in traffic jams for hours together before the water receded. No help came from the authorities for removing the vehicles trapped and there were no road signs to alert motorists about the threat ahead.

Left unattended

Negligence on the part of the municipal corporation is reflected in northern sectors, especially in Sector 7-A, where loose soil and weeds piled by workers along the road berms have been washed away by the rain into manholes. Labourers pressed into service for weed eradication, piled silt and thickets along the internal roads in these sectors two days before the rain and left it unattended.

The heavy rain washed it away and manholes were blocked, which resulted in the accumulation of knee-deep water on the roads. Neither the municipal councilor of the area, nor officials concerned of the corporation inspected the work done so far.

Fashion designers

If you have talent, but not resources, you need not worry, because you can sell garments of your creation by organising exhibitions. Gone are the days when designers had to take premises on rent and pay water and electricity bills for selling their stuff. Now designers go for the exhibitions every three months or so.

A lot of young fashion designers are coming up in the city. Most of them do not have formal training, but use their innovative skills to create something new. They keep experimenting with fabrics, styles and colours and try to create something different. Many of them are talented and bring out their imaginative skills. Most of them are running their businesses along with their jobs.

— Sentinel


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DC seeks residents’ help to keep town clean
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, today appealed to the various Residents Welfare Associations in the town to provide help in making the township clean and beautiful.

She was speaking at a khula darbar organised at Janjh Ghar, Sector 10, this morning. She said lack of coordination and foresight were sometimes responsible for the flaws in civic conditions, but the government was providing all possible assistance for the beautification of the town.

Sudha, wife of Mr Agya Pratap, who had been washed away in last week's flash floods on August 3, appealed to the Deputy Commissioner that she be provided some assistance as she was jobless and had three children to look after. The Deputy Commissioner asked the district Red Cross Society to give her financial aid of Rs 5,000 and the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board officials to give her utensils and other household items.

Representatives of various Residents Welfare Associations outlined the specific problems in their areas. One of the most common problems was the pot holes that had developed on the roads. The Deputy Commissioner directed the officials to ensure that the recarpeting of all damaged roads was completed within 15 days. Problems about post offices in different sectors, local bus routes, clean water supply, etc were also taken up.

As many as 30 complaints were received, mainly relating to civic amenities. Residents from villages in the township and Ramgarh also participated in the darbar. 
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Fauji Beat
Need for better Army-media understanding

AFTER a few discussions with a former Army Chief, the late General B.C. Joshi, on the necessity of better Army-media understanding, he was convinced about it. This was clear from his interview with this writer (published in The Tribune on July 1, 1993). He said: “Media must be used by the Services as a force multiplier. The innate goodness and efficiency of the Services makes such a relationship feasible. Otherwise, the media will inevitably act as a force degrader”.

General Joshi got instructions issued by the Army Headquarters to all command headquarters in the second half of 1993 that the Army should be made more open to the media. After the issue of these instructions, a number of seminars on Army-media interaction were held at various corps headquarters, resulting in the Army and media coming closer and developing a healthier relationship.

CSD stores’ pilferage

The news that refuses to become stale is that canteen stores continue to find their way into civil markets. Things seem to have come to such a pass that Army General N.C. Vij had to get a directive issued from the Army Headquarters to all command headquarters for taking strict remedial measures.

General Vij asked commanders at all levels to ensure that this practice was stopped. General Vij also directed that strict disciplinary action be taken against defaulters.

The Headquarters, Western Command, has been trying to curb this practice for over two years now. So much so that about a year ago seals of liquor bottles were broken before issue. This practice had to be suspended because it came under severe criticism, besides being unworkable.

What needs to be done is to keep an eye on those customers who draw their full liquor quota every month.

Apart from this, no CSD canteen should be located in the heart of a city. The canteen in Sector 21, Chandigarh, with most hotels and restaurants around it, is a source of temptation to those not entitled. Moreover, the grocery section of this canteen, located in the basement, gets awkwardly overcrowded. The canteen needs to be shifted out of the city.

Anniversary of Kohima battle

The 60th anniversary of the battle of Kohima was celebrated the other day. In 1944, personnel and storekeepers of 221-Advanced Ordnance Depot repeatedly foiled attacks by Japanese forces during World War II. The Kangla-Tongbi memorial is located along the Imphal-Dimapur road.

Mr Christopher D Johnson of the 20th Reinforcement Camp, who took part in the battle with RAOC personnel, visited the memorial on this historic occasion and paid tributes to the martyrs.

— Pritam Bhullar
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Search Within
Investments for harvest in old age

HAVE you heard of those old age heroes? JRD Tata, whose 100th anniversary we celebrated in July this year, has undertaken a commemorative flight in an old fashioned aircraft at the age of 78 from Karachi to Mumbai on October 15,1982.

Former NASA astronaut, John Glenn, was 77 when he undertook a nine-day space mission on October 29, 1998.

Think you are too old to try something new? Then it will be worthwhile running through the biographies of some of those who accomplished great things in their latter days. Golda Meir was 71 when she became prime minister of Israel.

At 96, playwright George Bernard Shaw broke his leg when he fell out of a tree he was trimming in his backyard. Michelangelo was 71 when he painted the Sistine chapel. Albert Schweitzer was still performing operations in his African hospital at 89. Painter Grandma Moses did n’t start painting until she was 80. After that she completed more than 1,500 paintings. Twenty five per cent of those were produced when she was past 100. And Webster wrote his monumental dictionary when he was 70.

You may not be impressed. They are all extraordinary. Right now, you are worried by the steep fall in interest rates that must reduce the real value of all your investments. Even though wealth is no security against old age, lack of enough provisions for the future could be a source of anxiety. But the quality of old age depends not only on financial investments but on other ‘investments’ made in one’s earlier years.

Cicero, a Greek philosopher, who lived in the pre-Christian era, spoke some of the solid truths about old age which still holds good. According to him, men who have no resource in themselves for securing a good and happy life find every age burdensome. Such as those who look for all their happiness from within can never be shaken by those changes brought about by Nature-of which old age is one.

“The arms best adapted to old age are culture and the active exercise of virtues. For if they have been well maintained at every period, the harvest they produce (in old age) will be wonderful,” advices Cicero.

If the absence of active employment for want of physical strength nags you, Cicero will remind us that the great affairs of life are not performed by physical strength of activity or nimbleness of the mind but by deliberation, character, expression or opinion.

Yes, old age restrains one from having sensual pleasures. But we ought to be grateful to old age for depriving us of all inclinations for that which is wrong to indulge in. There is no more deadly curse than sensual pleasures that rouse the youth’s appetites beyond all prudence and restraint causing them to fall. Pleasure hinders thought, is a foe to reason and blinds the eye of the mind, according to Cicero. Persons under sensual excitation will be unable to use to any purpose, either intellect, reason or thought.

There is the saying that age mellows some people, others, it make rotten. Yes, there are old people known to be fretful, fidgety, ill tempered and disagreeable. But these are flaws of character and not of the time of life. Such characteristics take hold of one lacking in true education and culture.

The philosopher stresses on two factors with regard to those who want to age gracefully. A satisfactory old age depends on adequacy of physical exercise and moderation of eating and drinking in the years before. An ill-spent youth wasted in sensual indulgences should dread the coming of old age like fire upon a thatched hut. Another important investment for old age is in friendships. This again is a matter of allowing your love to embrace people in need.

One can remain alive long past the usual age of disintegration if one has cultivated a taste for some sort of art and culture, has an insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in the larger causes of life and serving fellow beings in some small way. Having earned enough friends during one’s green years is an essential preparation for necessary fellowship in old age.

Sara Paddison, in her book, The Hidden Power of the Heart, affirms the same truth. “You only hurt yourself when you’re not expanding and growing. Many people can’t stand the thought of aging, but it’s the crystallised thought patterns and inflexible mind-sets that age people before their time. You can break through and challenge your crystallised patterns and mind-sets. That’s what evolution and the expansion of love are really about.”

She says that when you surrender your head to your heart, you allow your heart to give you a wider, higher intelligence perspective. Remember the phrase, “The real teacher is within you.” Very simply, that teacher is to be found in the common sense of your own heart. We say amen.

— MPK Kutty

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Merge DA, pay, demand civic staff
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 9
The local Municipal Karamchari Union has demanded that 50 per cent of the dearness allowance (DA) should be merged with the basic pay of the employees.

In a letter to the Director, Local Government, Punjab, Mr Avtar Singh Kalsia, the president of the union stated that according to a Punjab Government notification 50 per cent of the DA was to be merged with the basic pay from April 1, but this was not being done in the case of employees working in municipal councils. As such, there was resentment among employees.

He requested the authorities to implement the notification in all municipal councils, nagar panchayats and nagar sudhar trusts.

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Journalists demand action against SDM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
A deputation of journalists based at Chandigarh and covering the states of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh called on the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, and demanded action against Subdivisional Magistrate, Inderjit Singh Sandhu and certain police officials for their high handedness against a fellow journalist Dinesh Goyal.

A similar memorandum was also submitted to the UT Administrator, Justice OP Verma.

The journalists in a memorandum submitted to Mr Arun Kumar elaborated the blatant violations of human rights by the Chandigarh police against Chandigarh-based journalist Dinesh Goyal.

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SUCI founder remembered
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 9
A state-level memorial meeting on the 28th death anniversary of Shibdas Ghosh, founder of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), was held here yesterday. Mr Pratap Samal, president of the All-India DSO and state secretary, of SUCI, Delhi, paid tributes to Shibdas Ghosh.

Mr Avtar Singh, in charge, SUCI, Punjab, stressed on the need for uplifting the character and ethical values among Communists, who misunderstood Marxism and Leninism as political and economical ideology only. Mr D.P. Singh, convener, Kisan Hit Bachao Committee, Prof S. Dhaliwal, Master Gurjent Singh from Mansa, Mr Thana Singh from Patiala, Mr Manu Kaushal from Ropar and Mr J. Seeta from Chandigarh also spoke.

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Lake Club facilities poor, say members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
In a memorandum submitted to the Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, a large number of Lake Club members have alleged that the facilities provided by the club are on the decline.

The memorandum was signed by at least 37 members.

They claimed that the bar facilities had been withdrawn in spite of the fact that the club had already paid the excise duty for 2004-05.

This was causing major revenue loss to the club as well as the members as they had paid huge membership fee.

They alleged that the General Manager (GM) had on his own hiked the membership fee as well as the monthly subscription without prior approval from any authority. 

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One held for fraud
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
The Pinjore police has arrested Vikas, alias Vicky, in a case of defrauding a youth of Rs 2.10 lakh on the pretext of sending him to New Zealand.

The accused, along with Malkhan Singh and Gurbhajan Singh, had taken the money from Dalbir Singh on the pretext of sending him to New Zealand. They, however, sent him to Malaysia, where he was arrested by the Malaysian police and after spending time in jail there, was deported.

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One killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 9
Amitoj Singh, a resident of Phase VII, here was killed in an accident near Kurali today. Amitoj was killed when his car was hit by a speeding truck. Amitoj had gone to drop his wife at a college in Ropar where she is employed as a teacher.

One hurt in clash

Manjit Singh, a 19-year-old carpenter of Sanetta village here was hurt in a group clash that took place at the village last night. He was allegedly beaten up by two other youths known to him. Manjit is admitted to the Civil Hospital, Phase VI.

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17-year-old girl abducted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 9
Family of a 17-year-old girl, who hails from Bhanri village in Patiala district, has alleged that she was abducted while she was visiting her sister’s home in Chandigarh.

According to Lakhwinder Kaur, she and her minor sister were waiting for a bus at the Labour Chowk to board a bus for Zirakpur. The alleged abductors came on two motorcycles and had a brief talk with her sister. After that they forcibly took her with them. She tried to resist but they pushed her back and fled, alleged Lakhwinder Kaur.

In the FIR she has named Gurmail Singh and Darshan Singh Sarpanch, both of Bhanri village, with a third unknown accomplice.

The police has registered a case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement, under Section 363, 366, 342 and 34 of the IPC at Sector 19 police station.

Assault cases

Two separate incidents of assault and trespassing were reported in the city-today. Sham Babu of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, alleged that Noni Painter assaulted and threatened him at his residence on August 7. The police has registered a case of rioting, unlawful assembly, and criminal intimidation under Sections 147, 149 and 506 of the IPC at Mani Majra police station.

In another incident, Gopi of Sector 8 reported that Sukhjit Singh and his wife Jaspal Kaur of Sector 8 forcibly entered his house and assaulted him on August 8. The police has registered a case of house trespass, causing hurt and punishment. A case under Sections 448, 323, 511 and 34 of IPC has been registered at Sector 3 police station.

Scooters stolen

Two scooters were reportedly stolen from different parts of the city, the police said today.

Satish Chander of Sector 23-B, filed a complaint at Sector 19 police station that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-01-T-7702), parked out side Shiv Mandir, Sector 19, has been stolen. The police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC.

In another incident, Parmod Kumar of Sector 41 reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH01-H-413) has been stolen from his residence on August 8. The police has registered a case at Sector 39, police station.

Liquor seized

The police has arrested three persons and seized 189 quarters and eight bottles of different brands of whisky from their possession.

Shankar of Nehru Colony, Sector 53, was arrested with 30 nips of Hero whisky and eight nips of Rocket whisky, while Motu of the same locality was arrested with 100 nips of Hero whisky from Kajheri.

The police has arrested Shankar of Sector 53 with six bottles and 45 nips of Officer’s Choice whisky. The police has registered three cases against the accused under Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act at Sector 36, police station.

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Market panel directors elected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Four people were elected as directors to the Market Committee. Earlier, five members were elected unopposed. The committee has nine directors. The committee collects market fee from farmers coming into the city and also carries out development works like the one to upgrade infrastructure. Among those elected today were Karam Singh, Des Raj Gupta, Subhash Chander and Sita Ram.

Five people from the villages who were elected unanimously are: Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Anand Singh, Bhajan Singh, Ramvir Bhatti and Harbhajan Singh.

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BSNL launches new scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is starting a new post-paid scheme, Plan-140, for the mobile users from tomorrow.

Mr G.S. Bhatia, Chief General Manager (Telecom), Punjab Circle, said here today that under the CellOne connection, the rental has been fixed Rs 140 per month and the pulse rate would be 60 seconds.

While the local charges will be Rs 1.50 per minute, the STD charges for mobile phone to mobile phone are Rs 1.80 per minute.

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