C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


High drama during Senate poll counting
*Counting staff protest, suspend work
*Bungling in counting of votes alleged
Tribune News Service

Returning Officer awaits the return of the protesting staff at Gymnasium Hall, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Returning Officer awaits the return of the protesting staff at Gymnasium Hall, Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 22
Counting of votes for the graduate constituency of the Panjab University Senate ran into trouble and remained suspended for over five hours today, when a candidate's agent alleged that one of the members of the counting staff had bungled in the distribution of first preference votes. In a counter-attack, the non-teaching staff, alleged that the agent had used abusive language for them and the Returning Officer.

Later, the row assumed the form of a tug-of-war between the candidate, Mr Ashok Goyal, and the non-teaching staff resulting in the calling off of the counting process. The non-teaching staff alleged that Mr Ashok Goyal's agent and brother, Mr Sanjeev Goyal, who had caught the staff member bungling votes, red-handed, to favour Ms Anu Chatrath, had abused the Registrar, the head of the non-teaching staff and also the Returning Officer.

They demanded an apology from Mr Goyal's bother if counting was to be resumed. Mr Goyal refused, to apologise after which the non-teaching staff staged a walkout.

The drama began around 4pm when the employees were asked to sort out the first preference votes of every candidate, putting one vote at a time in the trays of the respective candidates. The trays of Ms Anu Chatrath and Mr Ashok Goyal, No. 3 and 4 candidates, respectively, on the ballot paper, were lying side by side.

Mr Sanjeev Goyal claimed that one of the members of the counting staff put a bundle of votes belonging to Mr Ashok Goyal in the tray of Ms Anu Chatrath.

"I found this fishy and asked for that particular bundle only to find that the employee had indeed bungled in the distribution. I approached the Returning Officer and sought action against the employee who had been caught cheating. Suspecting trouble for the employee caught bungling, the entire non-teaching staff got together and opened a front against me," he said.

He added that one of the leaders of the non-teaching staff snatched the mike from the Registrar and the election hall became a union rally where I was charged with use of abusive language. "The Registrar who should have stepped in and sorted out the matter, remained a mute spectator all through," Dr Goyal said.

However, the president of the non-teaching staff, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, alleged that not only did Dr Goyal accuse the entire staff of "playing favourites" to a particular candidate, but also used unparliamentary language for the Registrar. Dr Goyal, however, denied this.

Refuting the claim that Mr Goyal's votes had been wrongly assigned to Ms Anu Chatrath's tray, Mr Sharma said, "Had it been so, the votes would have gone to the right tray in the next two rounds of checking and cross-checking. There was no need to raise such a hue and cry. If our staff was good enough to count votes for the other constituencies, it was good enough for this as well."

Outside the gymnasium hall, the candidates urged the staff to resume counting. They, however, demanded that Dr Goyal apologised first. The stalemate over the apology continued for over five hours.

Mr G.K. Chatrath, a Senator, said former office-bearers of the Panjab University Teachers' Association (PUTA), close to the Vice-Chancellor, also reached on the spot and urged the non-teaching staff to send a delegation to the Vice-Chancellor. "This was turned down by the staff. I appealed to them with folded hands to get back to work," he said.

Finally, after repeated appeals and a signed statement from the other candidates that discipline would be maintained during counting, the non-teaching staff agreed to resume counting at 10 am tomorrow.

"They also objected to the use of abusive language for the Registrar. We told them that we were very tired since we had been counting since yesterday morning. The Registrar sent a written note of the entire incident to the Vice-Chancellor and the matter was resolved," he said.

While the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, claimed he had no information about the goings-on at the Gymnasium Hall, the Registrar, Prof Paramjit Singh, was not available for comment despite repeated attempts.

Mr Ashok Goyal, a candidate of the graduate constituency, said last night, when counting began, he told the Returning Officer to follow the PU calendar strictly for the counting process. "I apprehended bungling during counting of votes. However, despite my request, he violated the regulations. He had no clue about the total number of votes. These were counted after I pointed out the irregularity. the regulation also says that the quota is to be fixed after all first preference votes are distributed. this, too, was violated."

Late in the evening, the non-teaching staff decided to get back to counting tomorrow after they were assured by senators and candidates that the incident would not be repeated and discipline maintained by the candidates and their agents.



SOPU-SDCU alliance leader assaulted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The alliance presidential candidate of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and SD College Union(SDCU), Harpreet Singh Sandhu, was allegedly assaulted by a group of students outside the GGDSD College, Sector 32, here this evening. The student was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, with injuries on face and other body parts. The leaders of the alliance alleged that the assailants were from the PUSU-SD Hostellers Union (SDHU) alliance.

A medical examination of the victim was conducted at the GMCH. Sarandeep Singh, a leader of the PUSU-SDCU alliance, alleged that he was the target of the assailants but he escaped, while Harpreet was caught unawares.

Denying the allegation of the SOPU-SDCU, the presidential candidate of the PUSU-SDHU alliance, Gurtej Singh, said it was a baseless statement. “ We are being blamed, as the rival group has a weak base in the college and sees threat from us”, he added, stating that the presidential candidate of the rival group had been assaulted by some unidentified persons. He also denied that the presidential candidate of the rival group, Sarandeep Brar, was forcibly prevented from filing his nomination papers yesterday. Bleak chances of the wing were forcing the PUSU-SDCU alliance to level baseless allegations against us, he added.

The Principal of the GGDSD College, Dr A.C.Vaid, told TNS that a minor scuffle had taken place between two groups of students and there was no need to make a big issue out of it. The students were resorting to cheap tactics to gain publicity, he added.

Meanwhile, the Student Council of the Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, was elected unopposed. The Principal of the SGGS for Women, Dr Harinder Kaur, said that Ms Navjot, Helsy Mittal, Surpriya Gupta and Sikly Sharma had been elected unopposed as president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary, respectively of the Student Council.

Meanwhile, the police has received a complaint from the victim but the registration of the case is awaited. The police said it seemed that the victim had abrasions and no serious injury was visible. The police was awaiting the medical report till the filing of the report.



Assault on ABVP candidate shrouded in mystery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The reported assault on the ABVP presidential candidate on Monday is shrouded in mystery.

The incident, which has acquired a political overtone ahead of the university students council elections scheduled to be held on September 24, still remains a mystery despite an eye witness, Dinesh, today recording his statement in the Sector 11 police station. Dinesh was driving the car carrying Gurparvez Singh Shellay when a group of eight or nine persons allegedly attacked them about 15 feet away from Government College, Sector 11, in the evening.

However, the police is still seeking answers to questions. Shellay has claimed he had sustained injuries from sharp-edged weapons. Possibilities of his drawing mileage are not confirmed as he had neither levelled any allegations against anybody nor gained anything from the incident.

Dinesh today recorded his statement 72 hours after the incident. He reportedly told the police that they were returning to the university after receiving a call on their mobile. Shellay had told the police he was going to the university to change his dress. Dinesh, who is not a university student, could neither identify the alleged assaulters nor remember the registration numbers of the two vehicles which the assaulters were driving.

The police hopes that the statement of Dinesh would provide clues about the identity of those who attacked Shellay. With the statement failing to throw much light on the incident, the Chandigarh police has sent the damaged car to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to clear the mystery behind the incident.

The police is yet to ascertain whether the incident took place at the reported spot or not. It was looking for blood stains at the spot as Shellay had sustained injuries from sharp-edged weapons. Dinesh was driving the car when Shellay was attacked. Dinesh does not have any injury mark despite the fact that the windscreen of the car had got badly damaged. Shellay received injuries on his right side though he had come out from the other side of the car. This indicates that the left part of the body should have come out of the car first. But he did not receive serious injuries on his left side, police sources said.

A few pieces of broken windscreen were found near the spot. The watchman of Government College in his statement had said that he neither saw anyone clashing nor heard any noise. The police has not been able to ascertain why Shellay was roaming alone when an important rally was going on in the university.

The police is yet to find answer as to why an injured Shellay was taken to the university despite the fact that General Hospital was just across the road. It has also not found any witness who could confirm that Shellay was taken to the university after the incident.

Shellay had sustained injury marks on his body, including one with a sharp-edged weapon, according to the medical report. Two injury marks were caused by blunt weapons. One of the injuries is not visible on his body, the medical report states.



PUSU candidate’s nomination rejected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) received a setback today when the candidature of their Joint Secretary, Abhishek Puri, was rejected, here today on the ground that he had joined the university as a regular student on the day the notification of the students’ council election was announced.

He was replaced by Naushad Ali, a student of the Computer Science Department, who was the covering candidate for Puri. There were no other changes in the final list of candidates released by the office of the DSW.

The final panel is as follows: PUSU: President: Rajwinder Singh Lucky, Vice President: Ankita Thakur, General Secretary: Gautam Lal, Joint Secretary: Naushad Ali.

SOPU-HSA-NSUI: President: Ranjeet Singh Raju, Vice President: Kanika Chauhan, General secretary: Vikas Rathee, Joint Secretary: Gurmukh Singh.

ABVP-HSA: President: Gurparvez Singh Sandhu ‘Shellay’, Vice President: Abha Gupta, General secretary: Pervesh Kumar, Joint Secretary: Vikram.

All three students’ organisation confined themselves to meeting the voters personally.

Day was spent hopping from one department to another by the candidates and their supporters as they tried to reach out to the maximum numbers. The student centre was the hub of most activity as activists of PUSU, ABVP and SOPU distributed pamphlets.

Colourful banners the SOPU-NSUI-HSA alliance were put up all over the campus while cars and jeeps moved all around with stickers pasted on their vehicles.



PU poll: open house today
Tribune News Service

Rajwinder Singh Lucky, presidential candidate of PUSU, talks to voters
Rajwinder Singh Lucky, presidential candidate of PUSU, talks to voters on Wednesday.

ABVP vice-presidential candidate addresses students
ABVP vice-presidential candidate addresses students on Wednesday.
— Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 22
The presidential candidates of the three students’ organisations of Panjab University will come face to face with the voters at the open house tomorrow.

For the first time since its introduction in 1997, the open house will be interactive rather than a monologue by the candidates of Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), Students’ Union of Panjab University (SOPU) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

This time, the candidates will put before the students their resolves, their perception of students’ problems and how they plan to deal with them.

Later, the students, too, will get ample time to question the candidates on various issues that are troubling them instead of being mute spectators while the candidates dole out promises.

Departing from the convention of holding the open house at the Student Centre, this year it will be held in the ground in front of the University Business School.

The candidates will address the students from a dais which will be barricaded to separate them from the audience.

The students will be made to sit on rugs instead of being seated on chairs. It has been decided against providing chairs to seat the voters since these can be hurled by activists of the three organisations at each other in case there is violence at the venue.

These changes were recommended by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, last year. It was observed that chaos prevailed throughout the debate and it needed to be checked to create a more conducive environment for discussion.

The idea was to bring about order in the holding of the open house since supporters, year after year, tried to disrupt proceedings of other candidates.

SOPU candidate Ranjit Singh Raju and PUSU candidate Rajwinder Singh Lucky are prepared for questions and counter-questions at the open house and are raring to go. ABVP candidate, Gurparvez Singh Sandhu ‘Shellay’ is recuperating in hospital after Monday night’s attack.

Hurt on his head and right arm, he has not been discharged since he was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16, after the incident.

He is unlikely to be allowed to go out by the hospital tomorrow. The party has still not decided who will stand in for him at the open house.



Food and water main issues
Student council elections
Tribune News Service

    Manreet               Ramandeep               Gulshan

Chandigarh, September 22
Issues like quality food in the mess, proper drinking water facility and less stringent attendance norms have taken centrestage in the direct elections to the students council in city colleges.

Students of different colleges in the city were asked about issues and their expectations from representatives. Many said the representatives should act as a vital link between them and the college authorities.

For students of GGDSD College, Sector 32, the issue of huge fines imposed by the college authorities was a major issue. Said Gulshan Kumar, a student of BA-II at the college, “There was need for more water coolers and the parking contractor and the gatekeeper should be asked not to be rude with the students”.

For Ramandeep, another student of the college, organising outstation trips and the annual college fest- Virasat were the main demands. Both expected their representative to voice their grievances.

At the Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Sumeet Bajwa wanted the 75 per cent attendance norm to be relaxed. There was a need to improve sanitary conditions in toilets, she said.

Kiran of the same college wanted a proper management to handle grievances of students. She wanted more water coolers and an end to leaking of roofs of classrooms.

At Government College, Sector 11, Manreet Nagra said the gymnasium needed improvement. He said the gymnasium and the swimming pool should be accessible to NCC cadets.



Common man hit as banking services become dearer
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The common man's savings are being further eroded. Banking services are now costing more following last week’s circular of the Indian Banking Association (IBA) to levy 10.2 per cent service tax on various services provided by the banks.

This tax has been levied on the fee payable for bank drafts, pay orders, banks lockers, collection of outstation cheques and even processing fee payable on all types of loans.

Since last week, the fee, which one pays for getting all these services has been jacked up by 10. 2 per cent. Out of this, 10 per cent is the service tax. Another 2 per cent education cess has been levied on the service tax thus effectively working out to be 10.2 per cent.

The order is for government as well as privately promoted banks. The fee charged by government banks is available, however, it varies for private banks. The customers of private banks will have to pay 10.2 per cent service tax on whatever fee they paid earlier.

Sources in the banking industry said the charges were hiked last week following the IBA circular which had been issued after the passing of the Finance Bill 2004 in both Houses of Parliament.

Banks in this region have already started charging more from their customers in the past one week.

The service tax also means more fee for businessmen. The letter of credit issued for trade with other companies in India and abroad will also cost more.

Earlier, if a letter of credit of Rs 10 lakh had a fee of Rs 2500 the same will be Rs 2750. Service tax will be levied on interest accruing on overdraft.

In North India the hardest hit will be people who have bank lockers. The demand for lockers is so high that banks often advertise that lockers are available for customers.

People prefer to keep their jewellery, cash important financial documents in lockers rather than their own homes. The same is true for Non Resident Indians, said a banker while explaining that.

The IBA, sources said, has also written to the Union Finance Ministry suggesting a new procedure for collection of service tax.

Under the present procedure adopted for collection of service tax it entails that already overburdened cashiers to keep separate accounts for services provided to government transactions and others. Also the cashiers have to maintain accounts of these and deposit the money by filling in a challan form prescribed by the ministry.



Increase in number of facial injuries, says Army study
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
An Army study has found significant increase in the number of cases of facial injuries among troops deployed in counter insurgency operations. Comprising less than 2 per cent of the total injuries suffered by the Army in 1971, maxillofacial injuries currently account for about 20 per cent of the battle casualties suffered by the Army over the past few years.

The study has also recommended introduction of better protective gear for soldiers to reduce the risk of facial injuries.

The injuries were sustained in counter-proxy war and counter insurgency operations, firing and artillery shelling across the Line of Control, improvised explosive devices (IED), military campaigns and road accidents.

According to the study, available at the Command Military Dental Centre, Chandimandir, the number of maxillofacial injury cases in 1965 and 1971, the years when India had fought wars with Pakistan, were 3.8 and 1.34 per cent, respectively.

By 1999, the figure shot up to 12.42 per cent and the next year rose up to 17.7 per cent.

After touching an all time high of around 20 per cent in 2002 and 2003, it dipped to 15 per cent in 2003.

The findings of the study, conducted at the Army Dental Centre (Research and Referral), were also presented at the World Military Dental Congress held at New Delhi earlier this month.

Data tabulated by a maxillofacial treatment centre covering a period of 48 months showed IED blasts to be the most common mode of injury (32.5 per cent), followed by gunshot wounds (22.4 per cent). Grenades and artillery shelling accounted for 15-16 per cent.

“Increasing trend of injuries in the maxillofacial region has been noticed over the years which can be attributed to increase of lethality and injuring capability of modern weapons,” the study said.

The mean age of soldiers injured was 32.6 years. Majority of them were from the Army (74 per cent), followed by the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border Security Force. Jawans accounted for about 60 per cent of the casualties, with officers and JCOs accounting for 7 and 8 per cent, respectively.

“In the scenario of no war no peace, the role of the maxillofacial surgeon as part of the Combat Medical Support (CMS) system has significantly increased,” the study pointed out.

In mountainous terrain, maxillofacial injuries from blasts, gunshots and shelling are treated as part of the Advanced Trauma Life Support System under the CMS.

“A significant observation was the uniqueness of the Indian Army personnel being exposed to injuries due to such varied aetiology in a single theatre of activity,” the study noted. “Improving upon the protective clothing, specially for forces engaged in counter proxy war posture may involve initial expenses, but will be a small price to pay,” it added.

The study also recommended that improving the structural design of the combat headgear for safety and comfort will go a long way in preventing majority of maxillofacial injuries.



Adnan Sami — on a song forever
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
As a man of music, Adnan Sami knows just when and how to strike harmonies. Had it not been for this craft, he could not have laughed his heart out at queries as dissonant as “Have you always been this fat Mr Sami?”

Point noted, the internationally accomplished concert pianist-composer-singer bends over in elegance and faces the jarring note with incredible humility. The response is humble enough to blunt the query, “Everything bountiful about me is courtesy my mother, a Punjabi. She kept feeding me with “parathas” while imploring that I lost weight.

I just could not help her Punjabi hospitality. Jokes apart, would you believe if I were to tell you that I was UAE’s national squash champ in 1992?”

Having said that, Adnan returns to his songs which, he says, draw inspiration from anything and everything in the world.

“It could be a face, a vision, a stream, a nightingale, anything,” hums the fastest keyboard player in the world who also happens to be the first person to play Indian classical music on the electric piano.

Also the recipient of the Special Award of UNICEF and a United Nationals Peace Medal for a song he wrote and performed for the famine struck Africa in the 1980s, Adnan is straddling many worlds at the same time. A composer par excellence, a concert pianist with an excellent edge and a vocalist on a mission, Adnan, however, boasts of no mastery.

“I am still a learner,” submits the musician, who is in the city as a judge for Channel V’s Super Singer hunt beginning tomorrow. Few more minutes into the conversation and we discover that Adnan composed his first song as a nine-year-old.

As a 16-year-old he came under the tutelage of santoor maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma who trained him in the nuances of Indian classical music.

On the choice of the instrument, Adnan Sami says, “I wanted to play the Indian classical music on the piano and I was researching on the instrument which would aid my pursuit.

Santoor, I discovered, belonged to the same musical family as the piano. So I left London to study santoor. I must admit that knowledge of Indian classical music lent me a sure edge.”

Sami used the knowledge almost everywhere — on the stage, in the recording room, also during the process of musical creation.

A master of almost all instruments, Sami, however, had his share of struggle as he recalls, “Asha Bhosle insisted that I left London and settled in India. I came here and tried selling my first album “Kabhi to nazar milao” for a year. No one was ready to invest in me. It took long before I became a star.

Today all my adversaries are my friends thanks to music,” says Sami who is also singing for many Bollywood films.

As an Indipop sensation, Sami realises that his responsibilities are tremendous. “I would be available for creating harmonies wherever I am required, but I would not like to be torn between the divide of India and Pakistan,” says the singer.

Adnan Sami is most inspired by the biography of Louis Armstrong, the legendary trumpet player who rose from the depths of slavery to master his art.

Mahatma Gandhi is another source of inspiration for the man who could well have been a journalist or a lawyer had he wanted enough. He has post graduate degrees in both the streams.



Cops ‘embezzle’ maalkhana goods worth Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
Two cops posted as custodians of the maalkhana at Panchkula district court have allegedly misappropriated goods worth Rs two lakh. The police had received a complaint in this regard from the court officials today and have begun investigations against the cops in charge of the maalkhana.

EHC Balbir Singh and head constable Sukhwinder were being questioned by the police till late in the night though no FIR had been registered yet.

The police say that the goods, including a gold kara of senior Himachal Congress leader, Amarjit Bawa, were found to be missing from the maalkhana. The police say that the goods were allegedly taken away by EHC Balbir, but since Sukhwinder was the in charge of the maalkhana, he too, was being questioned.



Rotational power cuts withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
With the increase in the availability of power, the power supply position has improved during day hours in Chandigarh. In view of the changed scenario of power, which had fallen severely short of demand, the UT Administration has decided to withdraw the one-hour rotational power cuts for residential and commercial consumers.

While making this announcement today, the Engineering Department of the UT Administration expressed its gratitude for the cooperation extended by consumers, enabling the department in maintaining grid discipline during the period of restrictions on power supply.



Power board makes mockery of waterworks ‘hotline’ facility
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 22
Despite the Municipal Council having doled out lakhs of rupees to secure a power “hotline” to the main waterworks for better supply of water, residents continue to suffer as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has made a mockery of the exclusive facility by imposing power cuts on the independent feeder and also by providing electricity to neighbouring areas from it.

Repeated disruptions in the power supply to the waterworks in Phase VI have been seriously hitting the supply of water to most parts of the town. Requests made by the Public Health officials concerned to the PSEB authorities not to impose power cut on the “hotline” and also to free the independent power feeder (hotline) from other consumers have fallen on deaf ears.

According to sources, the council had approached the PSEB authorities concerned to provide an independent power feeder to the Phase VI waterworks so that the system could be run without disruptions, ensuring better water supply. The permission for an independent power feeder was granted by the Chief Engineer, Operations, Patiala, vide memo number 8237, WS 50, on April 24, 1998. An estimate of Rs 11, 11, 243 for the installation of a independent feeder was prepared. The amount was then deposited with the power board through a chaque on October 8, 1998.

Sources said that the Public Health officials had written a letter to the PSEB authorities on September 20, stating the purpose of getting the hotline facility got defeated as power cuts were imposed even on the independent feeder. This adversely affected the supply of water to the town and the department also earned a bad name in this regard. A request had been made to free the hotline from power cuts and also to remove the additional load on it as connections from the feeder had been given to nearby areas.

Sources said that a letter from the SDO concerned of the Public Health to the Executive Engineer of water supply and sanitation division revealed that on September 15, the power supply to the waterworks was disrupted four times during three hours from 3.40 a.m. till 6.45 a.m.

A letter from the Public Health official concerned to the PSEB official was earlier written on September 10, requesting the latter to free the hotline from power cuts and also to remove the power connections given to residents of Phase VI from the independent feeder.

Mr Manmohan Singh Langh and Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, municipal councillors, condemned the “misuse” of the hotline by the power board officials concerned. They said they would be meeting the Chairman of the PSEB in this regard and demanding action against the guilty officials as residents had been made to suffer even when the civic body had made efforts to ensure better water supply by availing the hotline facility.

Mr V.K. Mahajan, Additional Superintending Engineer, PSEB, said he would check whether the hotline facility had been given to the waterworks and when was the required amount in this regard deposited with the power board. He said according to his records, an independent feeder had not been provided to the waterworks. He said he had asked the Public Health officials to show the relevant record and if they were able to prove their claim, the additional load from the hotline would be shifted. Any further action in this regard would be taken after that.



Singla favours privatisation of power
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Taking very clear and firm stand, the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, said today that he was all for the unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board and for the entry of private players in the power sector in the state.

He said that he was not bothered how many his “effigies” were being burnt by employees of the Board,who are opposed to its unbundling. “I would be happy if employees enhance their frequency to burn my effigies as it would help to awaken the people regarding the issue and thus help in expediting the process of gradual privatisation of power sector”, said Mr Singla.

When asked whether he is expressing the view point of the Punjab Government on this issue, Mr Singla said that he was a very much part of the state government . Addressing a press conference, he said that the unbundling of the power boards in all states was a legal necessity under the new Central Electricity Act-2003, and all states would have to implement the same. He was of the view that there was no need to pass any Act by the Punjab Assembly in the light of Central Electricity Act, which is applicable in the country.

When his attention was drawn to the UPA Government’s Common Minimum Programme (CMP) that calls for the review of the Electricity Act, Mr Singla said that it was because the Left parties wanted it. However, the Congress, which voted for the passing of it in the Parliament, had not changed its policy regarding the Act.

Asked another question that even in the new Act, there is a provision to keep the transmission of power in the government sector, Mr Singla said he was sure that there was no such provision and the Act stood for the entry of private sector even in the transmission and distribution of power. In fact there was long debate in the press conference on this issue. While Mr Singla stood his ground, so did journalists, who asked this question.

Mr Singla said that the “inefficiency of the PSEB should not be loaded on people of the state, who had been paying power bills through their nose. Transmission and distribution losses in Punjab were in the range of 24 per cent, whereas in developed countries, these were in the range of 7 per cent. He said that by curtailing T and D losses only, about 600 MW power, to generate which investment of Rs 3000 crore was required, could be saved. He said that the PSEB was suffering annual loss of Rs 5000 crore because of the high rate of T and D losses.

He said that he had been elected by people to protect the interest of 2.5 crore people of the state and not to advocate the cause of 80,000 employees of the PSEB. “I am convinced that with entry of the private parties in power sector, there would be fair competition between the PSEB and private sector and its benefit ultimately would be to people of the state. “People of the state should have option to chose between private sector and the PSEB”, he added.



3 buildings praised for energy conservation
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The Union Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources has commended three city buildings, including the Baptist Church in Sector 44, for their innovative design aimed at energy conservation.

With a view to acknowledge their contribution to energy saving, the ministry has included their names and salient features of the design in a book “Energy-saving buildings in India”.The ministry had commissioned the Tata Energy Research Institute(TERI), New Delhi, for the study.

Besides the church, the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) complex in Sector 33 and the residence of Mr Anirudh Khullar and Dr Madhu in Panchkula are the other buildings featured in the book. The book has been published to popularise energy-efficient architecture as buildings consume over 40 per cent resources of energy through construction,use and maintenance.

About the church, the book says,”This religious building has been designed in response to climate. Several solar passive measures have been used to reduce its energy demand.”

Designed by Mr Surinder Bahga and Mr Yashinder Bahga of the Saakaar Foundation, the church building used minimum glass and natural light was provided to all spaces, with the result that no artificial lighting was required during daytime.

The strategically located trees provided shading to modify the climate and the light-coloured finish of walls and roof reflected heat. The use of energy efficient lighting equipment made the building a perfect example of sustainable architecture.

The design of the PEDA complex, designed by Arvind Krishan and Kunal Jain, was “thermally responsive to its climatic context and good daylight distribution is achieved to minimise the consumption of electricity’’.

The structure was designed to achieve climatic responsive building with a series of overlapping floors at different levels with interpenetrating large vertical cutouts, it said.

On the other hand, the book commended the Panchkula building for using “simple and cost-effective interventions for achieving energy efficiency.””These interventions aim to inspire other residences to innovate and adopt such techniques at the design stage itself so as to save on electricity bills in future,”it went on to add.

The house, designed by Anant Mann and Siddhartha Wig, took care of proper shading and daylighting and was oriented to catch the winter sun and keep away the summer sun.

Solar chimney for ventilation, provision of solar hot water and solar photovoltaic system made the house ideal for using “simple economically viable solutions to respond to climatic needs.”



Housing societies’ body submits demands to Joint Registrar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Members of the Chandigarh Cooperative House Building Societies Coordination Committee today met the Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies and submitted a memorandum of demands and problems of the group housing societies.

They demanded that the limit for the transfer of the flats should be reduced from 15 years from the date of completion to five years from the date of allotment as stipulated in the original scheme formulated by the Chandigarh Administration in their notification regarding scheme for the allotment of land to the Cooperative House Building Societies 1991.

The management of the society should be given a fair policy for the surrendered houses as per the Chandigarh Housing Board Policy. Therefore, the management should be given a free hand to fix the allotment price of the surrendered houses keeping in view the market price.

The transfer fee to be charged under the scheme by the Administration should be shared in the ratio of 50:50 with regard to the societies under the leasehold system and 100 per cent transfer fee be given to societies under the freehold system. The societies need the money as it was their primary responsibility to provide basic infrastructure such as sewerage, roads, water gullies, electricity supply, streetlights, water lines, parks and lawns etc.

In case of death of a member of the society, the transfer within the family (son/wife/daughter) should be allowed for free. However, in case of will favouring any other person than close blood relative, transfer fee should be charged as per the transfer policy.

Members of the committee also said that no defaulting member should be allowed any right to appeal against the management until he clears his actual amount of construction amount, society dues and up-to-date land premium before the start of proceedings before the RCS.

The same policy is followed by the Rent Control Act, where the tenant has a right to defend where he deposits the amounts in arrears or produces the evidence of having paid the amount called for.



Bus passes from e-governance centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Bus passes for travel by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses will also be issued from the three “e-governance” centres at Sector 43, Sector 18 and Manimajra from tomorrow.

The “e-governance” centres are located in the existing electricity and water bill collection centres. These “e-governance” centres have been started by the Chandigarh Administration as a part of its programme under the IT Policy.

Other services which are presently available are senior citizens identity card, disability identity card, tenant registration and servant registration. Certain “e- governance” services are also available on the Website: http://chandigarh.nic.in , the Director, Information Technology, U.T. Chandigarh, Mr Vivek Atray said.



Mother comes to take possession of Madhuri’s plot
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
Even as cine star Madhuri Dixit Nene got the possession letter for a plot in Mansa Devi Complex today, her fans, employees of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), were dismayed that the actress had not come here personally to take the letter.

Mr Shankar Dixit, and Ms Sneh Lata Dixit, parents of Madhuri Dixit accompanied by their family friend and General Manager, Irrigation, Haryana, Mr Parveen Kumar, came to the HUDA office in Sector 6 here, to take the possession of the one kanal plot allotted to the actress in 1996. The plot, located in the Shivalik foothills in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, was allotted to the cine star under discretionary quota by the then Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, when she was in Pinjore for the shooting of a film.

In spite of the lunch hour, employees in the HUDA Complex had gathered in good numbers to catch a glimpse of the actress. Since the paper work for handing over the possession letter was being given final touches for the past two days, the employees were hoping that the actress would come here personally, as the allotee’s signatures are required on the possession letter.

Speaking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ms Sneh Lata Dixit, said she had the Special Power of Attorney, signed by her for taking the possession letter on her daughter’s behalf. “Madhuri is in Denver, USA, with her husband and the son. So, she could not come here. Only when she comes to Mumbai, she will visit Panchkula to see the plot,” she said. Beaming with pride, when asked about Madhuri’s second pregnancy, Ms Dixit said she was happy to become granny for the second time.

Ms Dixit, later signed the papers, and was handed over the possession letter. The Dixits were then taken to Mansa Devi Complex where they inspected the plot allotted to their daughter.

Madhuri had applied for a plot in Mansa Devi Complex on March 19, 1996, and was given the allotment letter on April 4, 1996, after she had paid Rs 63, 630 as advance. The plot was allotted to her for a mere Rs 2, 77, 746. However, the actress never paid the remaining installments though several reminders were issued by HUDA in years 2002 and 2003.

An installment of Rs 60,717 was deposited with HUDA on October 21, 2002 and the second installment of Rs 1,91,101, was deposited on February 19 this year. Officials in HUDA say that the actor has cleared all installments till date, and the balance has to be paid in three installments (of Rs 50, 341, Rs 45,133, and Rs 40,000) before January 4, 2007.



In service of underprivileged children

Three years ago their seven-year-old daughter, Mahak, was killed in a mishap. Tears roll down the eyes of Dr Daleep Pandita while he recalls her daughter’s memories. “She was a bright student and used to eagerly participate in extra-curricular activities.

It is this spirit to keep her memories alive which is the driving force behind the Mahak Foundation, an NGO. Pandita couple belongs to the stock of persons whose only aim is to serve the children of the lesser god. Mr Pandita is an executive in an insurance company while his wife Ms Nimmi Pandita is a teacher in Kendriya Vidalaya. They along with the help of World Vision of India and Missionaries of Charity and the Red Cross Society provide economic help to the needy children.

A unique feature of the Mahak Foundation is that it does not accept any donation. Funds are raised through contributions from its Trustees and out of income generated from its initial investments. Biggest contribution, they feel, is when someone spends time with these underprivileged children.

The foundation provides economic help to slum children of Aasha, a school located in Sector 25. The aid is provided in the form of books, stationery and other items of utility. The foundation has been regularly holding painting, other extra-curricular activities for children. Blood donation and free health camps are other areas of concern of the organisation. OC



Book offers insight into Pramanik’s paper cutting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Master paper cutting artiste Ustad Prabal Pramanik today released the second revised edition of his famous book, “Looking at my World of Paper.” The book released function was held at Punjab Kala Bhavan in Sector 16. The book features the art of paper cutting which is traditionally known as “Devasthanakala Sanjhi”.

Born into the tradition, Pramaik has achieved international repute by holding about 140 shows of the art in various countries across the globe. He has created complete sets of paper cutting presentations of the epic of Mahabharata, Jayadeva’s Geet Govinda and the life of Gautam Buddha. These are the only sets of this sort in the world and are unique and grand examples of the heights Indian paper cutting art can reach through an innovative medium. At present he runs a museum at Bhamlada in the Himalayan foothills in Punjab.

The book, which was released today, offers an insight into the world of Pramanik who has also experimented successfully with animation film making, using the paper cutting designs. This is a direct example of incorporating traditional art in the sphere of modern technology. The best sample of Pramanik’s art can be seen in the 40 sq feet paper cutting mural at Maison de l’lnde, at Paris University.

Among the animation films which Pramanik has created using his art are “The Magic Scissors”, “The Cockroach and the Lizard”, “St George and the Dragon”, “The Enchanted Palace”, “The Animal Concert”, “The Bull Fight”, “Some Poems from Tagore”, “Radha Krishna Leela” and “Mahishasurmardini Durga”.



Senior citizens’ brisk walk tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 22
The Chandigarh Police will organise a brisk walk along Sukhna Lake on September 24. Mr O.P. Verma, Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT, will flag off the walk.

The event will be followed by an interaction with the Inspector-General of Police and the senior citizens. There will be three groups each for men (65-70, 70-75, and above 75) and women (60-65, 65-70 and above 70) with distance varying from 1 Km. to 3 Km. All participants will be required to produce proof of age like driving licence, Pass Port, voter identity card or senior citizen card. Those who have participated in a track event at state level or above, including as a veteran will participate in a special category.

Col. Karam Singh, Organising Secretary, Chandigarh Senior Citizen Association said that the senior citizens desirous of participating should register themselves at the lake by 6:30 am.

The police has also made transportation arrangements for the participants. P.H Vaishnav, president of the association said that this is not a conventional competition.



Radhashtami celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The local chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated Radhashtami — the appearance day of Lord Krishna’s consort Radha — with enthusiasm and religious fervour at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here today.

A large number of devotees thronged the temple on the occasion. After performing “mangla aarti”, the devotees danced and chanted Hare Krishna mahamantra and took out a nagar sankirtan procession.



Two cars, one scooter stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 22
Two cars and one scooter were reported stolen in the city in the 24 hours, according to the information released by the Chandigarh police, today.

Subhash Mahajan from Sector 22 reported to the police that his Scorpio Jeep (CH-03-P-7777) was stolen from his residence during the intervening night of September 20-21. A case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in Sector 17, police station.

Rajwant Kaur, a resident of Sector 43, filed a complaint that his Indica car (CH-03-C-6570) was stolen from his residence on Tuesday. A case of theft has been registered in Sector 36, police station.

Bhupinder Singh from Machiwal village in Ropar district reported to the police that his scooter (CH-03-H-2925) was stolen from Sector 37, market yesterday. A case of theft has been registered in Sector 39, police station.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Kaka, a resident of Ram Darbar while carrying 25 quarters of Hero whisky illegally from Apni Mandi, Phase II, Ram Darbar, yesterday. A case under Section 61, 1 and 14 of Excise Act has been registered against him in Sector 31, police station.

In another incident, Mukesh Kumar of Shahpur village in Ludhiana district was arrested from Government Tubewell Sector 43, while carrying 25 quarters Rocket whisky illegally. A case has been registered in the Sector 36, police station against the accused.


The youth who was yesterday run over by the Sadhbhawna Express near the Haryana CID Line has been identified as 18-year-old Hemant of Sector 11, Panchkula. The police suspected that he might not have committed suicide. According to the police, the father of Hemant had disappeared 11 years ato. It seems he was alone in the family as his body was received by his mother and a maternal-uncle after a postmortem in the Kalka hospital. He was unmarried.

Smack seized

The police arrested two persons Ashok Kumar, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, with six gm of smack from the same locality and another person Vijay Kumar of Sector 41-A from a shop in Sector 38 West with two gm of smack, today. The police has registered cases against them under Section 15 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in Sector 39 police station.

Family feud

The police has arrested two persons for allegedly attacking their brother in a domestic feud on September 3. According to the police, Pushaplata, a resident of Sector 28 filed a complaint against her brother-in-laws Maya Nath and Karam Nath, who allegedly assaulted her in her house. When her husband intervened to save her he got injured in the attack and got a fracture on his nose.

A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC in Sector 26 police station.


The city police arrested four person Shaukat Ali, Khur Khan, Partap and Babblu for gambling at Grain Market, Sector 26. The police recovered Rs 250 from their possession and registered cases under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of Gambling Act in Sector 26 police station.



Youth shot at by neighbour
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
A youth was allegedly shot at by his co-worker, and neighbour at a poultry farm, near Mauli village past midnight. The victim, Shambhu Bahadur, was hit on his thigh and is admitted in the PGI, Chandigarh.

The incident took place at Sagar Poultry Farms, when Raj Kumar; forced entry into the quarters of Shambhu Bahadur, and shot at him with a country made pistol. As the other employees in the poultry farm rushed to Shambhu’s rescue, Raj Kumar fled from the spot.

The police say that the victim had an argument with Raj Kumar, earlier in the day. The duo were drunk, and while in an inebriated state, Shambhu had hurled abuses at Raj Kumar. “Eye witnesses, family members of Shambhu, have said that Raj Kumar barged into the house and said that he had come to teach Shambhu a lesson for abusing him,” says a police officer.

Another worker at the farm, Shyam Bahadur, then informed the poultry farm owner, Mr Rakesh Kumar, who in turn informed the police. The victim was rushed to General Hospital, Panchkula, at around 1. 30 am, from where he was referred to PGI, Chandigarh. He is now stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered a case of attempt to murder against Raj Kumar and are trying to locate him.



14-yr-old boy crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
A 14-year-old boy was crushed to death under the rear wheels of a truck, while he was getting off the vehicle past midnight, near Kandi Bhavan here. The victim, Sunil Kumar, along with his parents, was returning to his home in Railla village near Sector 12, when the accident took place. The family had gone to Pinjore to attend a satsang. The police says that the truck moved backwards, while the victim was getting off, and he was crushed under the wheels.



One injured in group clash
Our Correspondent

Lalru, September 22
One person was injured in a clash between two groups of Chandiala village residents near here, late last evening. Villagers clashed over entry of paddy harvesting machine to the fields by one group. The police has booked 12 members of both the groups on various charges.

Narinder Singh alias Dalli, Tunkey, Binder Singh and Bala have been booked on the complaint of Mr Gurjant Singh, the injured.

On the other hand, Jasbir Singh, Kulbeer Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lakhbir Singh, Dalbir Singh, Karam Singh, Jagmel Singh and Gurtej Singh have been booked on the complaint of Mr Jaswinder Singh. A case has been registered against them at Lalru police station.



PNB disburses loans to farmers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Punjab National Bank (PNB) today disbursed Rs 22 crore as loan to small and marginal farmers for meeting their various agricultural requirements at the farmers’ meet/kisan sammelan organised by the PNB at sports stadium in Maloya, Chandigarh. Over 2000 farmers from various parts of Haryana and Chandigarh attended the meet.

The thrust of the meet was to save these farmers from the clutches of money lenders , to understand the problems being faced by them and to generate awareness about various lending schemes of the bank relating to agriculture and allied agricultural activities.


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