C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBSE initiates action against schools flouting norms
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service


  • Schools violating attendance norms
  • Admitting students from other boards
  • Accepting transfer certificates which are not counter-signed
  • Allowing students to attend tuitions during school hours

Chandigarh, January 25
Acting on reports of certain city schools “blatantly” violating various provisions of the affiliation bylaws, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has finally cracked the whip on the erring institutions.

To look into the specific complaints of violations, a high-level team of officers from the CBSE, New Delhi, carried out an inspection in schools over the last weekend.

Though names of all schools inspected could not be ascertained, it is learnt that the team, led by the Joint Secretary (Affiliation), Mr S.P. Sethi, and Joint Secretary (Secret), Mr M.C. Sharma, visited SGGS Collegiate School, Sector 26, Sanjay Public School, Sector 44, and APJ Public School, Kharar.

Sources said the Chairman of the board had marked a through probe into the violations. The high-level team is probing complaints against certain schools allegedly allowing students to attend coaching classes during the school timings, allowing direct admission from other boards without clearance from the board and not following to teaching norms for higher classes.

The outcome of the inspection could not be ascertained as the two senior officers were not available for comments. The Regional Officer, Mr P.I. Sabu, refused to comment stating that the matter was being probed by the board headquarters and he had nothing to say on it.

It is learnt that the team is expected to submit its reply by next month.

It had also been found that certain schools were not adhering to the attendance norms, and were accepting marksheets and transfer certificates which were not countersigned.

A senior officer of the board said the maximum number of complaints were of schools allowing their students to attend coaching classes for competitive exams during the school hours. The practice was against the guidelines of the board on teaching hours. To take credit for the top-rankers, adding to the prestige of a school’s reputation, it was ensured that the attendance of such students did not fall short as per the requirement of the board.

Since the arrangement of letting students attend coaching classes during the school timings suited the school, students and their parents, none of the beneficiaries came forward to complain about the practice.

Another regular practice by certain schools was enrolling students on the basis of the transfer certificate. The schools were not verifying whether the admission seekers were regular students in the qualifying class.

Preliminary inquiry conducted by the board had revealed that certain schools were not even verifying the marksheets and were admitting students on the basis of the photocopy of the marksheet. The practice has already been banned.



Traffic police not to ignore violations by

Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, January 25
Rickshaw-pullers of the city beware! The Chandigarh traffic police has launched a drive to curb violations of traffic rules and the Chandigarh Cycle Rickshaw (Regulation and Control) Bylaws, 1970. Violators of the rules will be fined Rs 500 for each violation.

Violations of 11 rules under Section 29-A of the Chandigarh Cycle Rickshaw (Regulation and Control) Bylaws, 1970, would attract challans. These are: jumping red light, wrong entry, wrong turn, wrong parking, leaving rickshaw unattended, drunken driving, waiting for passengers at unauthorised place, charging more fare, plying rickshaw without driving licence and owner’s licence, without number plate, without fare list.

According to Traffic Police Inspector Shiv Raj Singh Sidhu, who has been assigned the job of checking violations, this is the first time that a serious attempt has been made to implement the bylaws that were enforced 35 years ago.

He said, “The violator has to either pay the fine or his rickshaw will be impounded.” The fine will be collected by the Estate Office and only then the impounded rickshaw will be released, he added.

So far 30 challans have been issued for such violations. He said the idea behind challaning rickshaw-pullers was to raise the level of awareness among them about the traffic rules and regulations.

The police is quite lenient and is trying to spread awareness among the rickshaw-pullers. The police generally challans habitual offenders. Soon the police plans to expand the list of traffic violations, keeping in mind road safety.

The focus of the police has been on checking rickshaw-pullers taking wrong turn, jumping red light, and plying rickshaw negligently, he said.

It is learnt that a large number of rickshaw-pullers are plying rickshaws without owner’s licences or without driving licences. Generally, rickshaws are not owned by the rickshaw-pullers, but they hire these on a daily basis from ‘rickshaw kings’, who own these by the hundreds. The move is bound to hit the rickshaw owners the most who rent these out for about Rs 20 per day.

Mr N.S. Brara, Assistant Estate Officer, said a majority of rickshaws in the city were not registered with the authority concerned. “Since no one checked this in the past, no one felt the need to get their rickshaws registered. But if the traffic police has started checking violations, more people would come for the registration of rickshaws that is done at a nominal cost. The driving licence is issued at a nominal cost too,” he said.

A rickshaw contractor, preferring anonymity, said he charged anything between Rs 12 and 20 per day as rent from a rickshaw puller. In 1975 there was a rule to register one rickshaw with one person; it was in 2001 that the Estate Office changed it and allowed to register as many rickshaws on one’s name as one wanted

Later, in 2002 there was another amendment allowing registration of only two rickshaws in a person’s name. The Estate Office charges a registration fee of Rs 250 per rickshaw, he said.



1,000 security personnel deployed for R-Day function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Nearly 1,000 security personnel, including sharpshooters and anti-explosive squads, have been deployed for the Republic Day function to be held at the Parade Ground here.

The sharpshooters equipped with binoculars have been deployed at high-rise buildings around the Parade Ground. Even the security men have been deployed at the Sector 16 stadium and the bus stand.

The security personnel deployed included eight DSPs, 40 Inspectors and 200 Home Guards.

An exercise was undertaken today to comb the area around the Parade Ground. A large number of hotels, restaurants, dharamshalas, sarais and other vital installations were checked. Sniffer dogs and anti-explosive devices were used to comb the area. DSP Central S.C. Sagar, Inspectors Nanha Ram, Mani Ram Kadian and Bishwa Lal led a joint team for the anti-sabotage exercise.

Meanwhile, the Republic Day function will start at 9.30 am and the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, will take the salute.

Apart from cultural show by hundreds of schoolchildren, a horse riding display will be organised. The Chandigarh Horse Riders Society will present the show jumping display and the police will present tent pegging display.

A daredevilry motor cycle show will be presented by women police personnel.



President’s medal for IG, sub-inspector
Tribune News Service

Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar

Devinder Singh
 Devinder Singh

Chandigarh, January 25
Inspector-General of Police Rajesh Kumar and Sub-Inspector Devinder Singh were today picked for President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.

Mr Rajesh Kumar received President's Police Medal for meritorious service in 1998 and a Special Duty Medal during his posting in Arunachal Pradesh.

Devinder Kumar, at present with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), has received 89 commendation certificates and cash rewards worth around Rs 12,000. He joined as a constable in 1974 and was promoted Sub-Inspector in 1991. He has been very active in the CID.

Mr Rajesh Kumar said the honour had come after more than 20 years of hard and blotless work in the police across the country.

Mr Rajesh Kumar began in career as an SDPO in the Andaman and Nicobar. He has held positions of Assistant Police Commission, Deputy Police Commissioner, SSP and Vigilance Officer in Delhi Vidyut Board. He has also commanded a battalion in the Delhi police.

Mr Rajesh Kumar is known more for his investigation skills and quick disposal of complicated matters, his colleagues told the Chandigarh Tribune.



Police Medals for two IPS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
On the eve of Republic Day, the President of India has awarded the Police Medals for Meritorius Service to two IPS officers, two DSPs, two Inspector, one Sub-Inspector, three ASIs and one Head Constable of Haryana.

Mr K.K. Sindhu, DIG, State Vigilance Bureau, Gurgaon, and Mr K.K. Sharma, DIG, Training, Panchkula, are the IPS officers.

The awardees are Mr Bijender Singh and Mr Ram Kumar, DSP, Jagadhri and Meham, respectively; Inspectors Ved Prakash and Prem Singh, Sub-Inspector Ram Dhari, ASIs Raj Pal, Deepak Kumar and Manohar Lal, and Head Constable Pawan Kumar.

Mr K.K. Sharma is presently posted as DIG, Training, Human Rights & Litigation, at the Haryana Police Headquarters. He is 1986 batch IPS officer, an alumni of Kurukshetra University. He started his career with Indian Forest Service before joining IPS.


2 Army officers from region get PVSM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Two senior officers of this region, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, of the Army Training Command, Shimla, Lieut-Gen K. Nagaraj, and the Chief of the Staff, Western Command, Chandi Mandir, Lieut-Gen P.K. Grover, are among those decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) on the eve of the 56th Republic Day.

The PVSM is awarded for distinguished services of the most exceptional order.

Besides another senior officer in the region, Lieut-Gen O.P. Nandrajog, GOC of the Bathinda-based 10 Corps, has been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM). Former GOC of the Ambala-based 2 Corps, Lieut-Gen G.D. Singh, who has only recently moved to Army Headquarters, has also been decorated with the AVSM.



6 residents to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 25
The administration will give letters of commendation to six residents of the township for their achievements. They are educationists Mr D.S. Bedi, and Mr J.S. Bedi. Mr D.S. Bedi is founder of the Shivalik Public Schools, Mr J.S. Bedi is the founder of Gian Jyoti group of institutes on Republic Day.

Acts of bravery by staff of the State Bank of Patiala, PTL branch, Mohali — Mr Hazara Singh, gunman, Mr Tirlok Singh, clerk and Mr Harjit Singh, a sevadar risked their lives to foil a robbery in the bank on January 1. Mr Pritam Singh, manager of the Directorate of Industrial Societies, Mohali would also be awarded.

NCC cadets

NCC cadets for Government College, Mohali would participate in the parade. Students of various schools and the ITI polytechnic would present cultural show.

Participating schools include the Yadvindra Public School, Shivalik School, Gianjyoti School, Gem Public School, Government Senior Secondary School Manoli, Saint Soldiers School, Kambala High School, Government Schools in Bakarpur, Daulat Singhwala, Gobindgarh and Landran.


R-Day declared dry day

Chandigarh, January 25
The UT Administration has decided that Republic Day tomorrow will be observed as dry day, an official press note said here today.

Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said that liquor shops will remain closed and liquor will not be served in hotels, restaurants and clubs. TNS



PU to give special chance to students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Panjab University has decided to give a special chance, as one-time exception only, to all those BA, BSc, MA and MSc (annual/semester) students, who had passed their respective examinations during April 1980 to April 2001, and who could not improve their performance despite availing or exhausting two available chances under the regulations in the April 2006 examination.

The candidates will be required to attach their original DMCs of previous classes and an affidavit to the effect that they had not earlier availed themselves of the special chance with the admission form. The candidates who have already availed themselves of the special chance for improvement of their performance will not be allowed to take this opportunity. Such candidates can appear as per current/latest syllabus/stream applicable for the April 2006 examination.

In case the corresponding subjects or papers under the April 2006 scheme of examination and syllabi and courses of reading were not available in the scheme of examination under which the candidate has passed the examination, the candidate will have to repeat the entire examination in April 2006 i.e. BA, BSc Part-I, II and III, MA,/MSc — Part I and II, MA/MSc — Semester, I, II, III, IV.

The examination fee will be Rs 3,000 payable separately for BA/BSc — Part I/II/III, MA/MSc Part I and II and MA/MSc Semester-I, II, III & IV. Late fee will be payable additionally, as per the university rules.



Youth hangs himself to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
A youth in his early twenties is suspected to have hanged himself to death near the Kali Mata temple at Dhanas.

Dharampal, an employee of the Forest Department, found the body in the forest this evening. There were strangulation marks only on the neck of the victim. The police suspects that the youth hanged him and kept dangling from the tree for sometime.

The youth was clean-shaven., lean and 5.6 feet tall.



Sardar Anjum — A celebrated poet
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A couplet lives only as long as it perturbs. Beyond that, it just exists. In bridging this gap lies the real worth of a poet. And his challenge lies not simply in translating thoughts into words but in lending those words into actions that serve the larger purpose of art. While the purpose of art is a matter of perception, the celebrated poet-litterateur Dr Sardar Anjum would go as far as possible to prove that all art is anti establishment.

The remark is heavily reminiscent of Habib Tanvir and his fiery pursuits as a man of theatre. Dr Anjum, for his part, may well be termed the Tanvir of poetry. Why else would he whip the establishment and still get rewarded for it?

The Padma Bhushan is just another awards that confirms the genius Anjum, but the episode he narrates reflects his real charm. "I got a call from the President House and they asked me if I was accepting the award. They feared I might reject it. That's Sardar Anjum."

And as the much rewarded poet (a Padma Shri and The Millennium Peace Award recipient) lists the Padma Bhushan as just another occurrence in his eventful life, we are reminded of verse, " "Usi ko yeh tufaan sajda karenge, bhanvar mein jo kashti utare khada hai."

A poet par excellence, a writer of 18 purposeful works, a crusader for many social causes and an alleged "ghost writer", Dr Anjum relishes all labels expect the last. Deflecting it in style, the poet he lashes out at those who defame his merit, "Shauhrat ki is bheed mein Anjum kabhie to duniya puchhegi, Jinke apne pair nahi the woh kaise mushhoor hue…"

Anjum is now redefining the world of literature with his new sensibility that refuses to acknowledge death as the final truth. "There is no such thing an a finality. I am for the eternal flow of life. "Maut se kya use daraoge..jise marna bhi zindahi sa lage….," quips the poet, while repeatedly referring to his spiritual association with Jesus Christ.

A Punjabi Christian, Anjum exudes the essence of Christianity. In fact, his remarks drew a big applause when he went to the USA to receive the Millennium Peace Award. To the query of whether he is a Christian and whether he goes to church, Anjum replied, “I am not a Christian; I am a lover of Christ, of the man who bore the cross so that you and me and the world could smile. It is the burden of this cross that makes my poetry beautiful.”



General asks students to choose armed forces as career
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command Lieut-Gen J J Singh, along with President, Army Wives Welfare Association (WC), Anupama Singh, paid a farewell visit to the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) and the Army Institute of Law (AIL) at Mohali today.

General J J Singh interacted with the paraplegics and their families and presented a cheque for Rs 2 lakh to the Centre for the welfare of the disabled soldiers. The PRC presently has 29 inmates, all of whom are paralysed below the waist due to spinal cord injuries received while on service.

Eight inmates will be proceeding to Coimbatore to participate in the Seventh Senior Athletic Meet, being conducted by the Paralympic Committee of India from February 4-6. This meet will also be a platform to select athletes for the international events being organised at Helsinki and Manchester later this year. Regular training and practice is being undertaken by the inmates here for the competitions.

The Paraplegic soldiers on wheelchairs exhibited their skills at sports while playing a short basketball match and participated in 25m race, discus throw and javelin throw. An air rifle has also been sanction for the centre.

Mrs Anupama Singh presented an ambulance to the PRC on behalf of AWWA. She also distributed gifts amongst the inmates and handed over Rs 1.02 lakh as candle-making charges which was due to them.

Later, while addressing the students and faculty at the Army Institute of Law, Mohali, the Army Commander said that AIL would be made a premier institute of learning for legal education and students and the faculty should ensure that it came up as an institute of excellence. He also encouraged students to choose the Armed Forces as a career.



Passing Thru

Gagan Ajit Singh, hockey player
Gagan Ajit Singh, hockey player

What do you think of the Premier Hockey League?

It is a good way of promoting the sport in the country. It will not only help in roping in big industrial houses and multinational companies as sponsors but also help in popularising hockey at the grassroots level. By watching the league matches on television, I am sure more and more youngsters will be encouraged to take to this sport.

What about participation of Chandigarh and its players in the PHL?

I wish the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium had floodlights. If the stadium gets floodlights, it will be a natural choice for holding the PHL next year. Chandigarh has all facilities which the organisers and sponsors look for in a good venue. Going by the performance of Chandigarh Dynmos, I feel that this team should have been in Tier I and not Tier II. Chandigarh boys are doing very well and keeping their slate clean.

What about your team, Sher-e-Jalandhar?

We were unlucky to lose our first game against the hosts, Hyderabad Sultans. In fact our team had assembled in Hyderabad only a day before our first match. But now we have to make up for this loss as we have set our eyes on winning the inaugural tournament. We have four more matches to go and we are confident of our success.

— Prabhjot Singh



Fog resurfaces in entire north-west
Tribune News Service

A view of foggy morning at Madhya Marg, in Chandigarh
A view of foggy morning at Madhya Marg, in Chandigarh on Tuesday. — Photo by Karam Singh

Chandigarh, January 25
Resurfaced today, fog suddenly enveloping the entire north western region and throwing life out of gear. Almost all regions in the meteorological zone reported nil visibility, including Chandigarh which saw minimum temperature dipping 1.5 degree below normal. Minimum celsiue temperature today was 7.2 degree, while the maximum temperature was 16.8 degree celsius.

The other stations where there was no visibility today were Jammu, Amritsar, Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara, Suratgarh and Bathinda. Hindan reported a low visibility with 600 metre fog, while Palam recorded a low visibility with 1.2 metre mist.

Back home in Chandigarh, the day was all about disrupted schedules — at workplaces, at airport and at the railway station. With Chandigarh reporting soon visibility due to thick fog formation overnight, flights were cancelled and as many as six trains were delayed.

Due to a low visibility and weather conditions (one km at the Chandigarh airport) the Jet Airways flight was cancelled, While Jet announced the cancellation at 1.30 pm, Indian Airlines kept delaying the flight which finally arrived later than 5 pm. Those who had come to the airport to receive guests were put to inconvenience, with the authorities declining to cancel the flight. They announced the delay at least four times- first to 2.30 pm, then 3.30 pm, then 4 and finally 5.30 pm.

At the Railway station too there was with almost all trains arriving late. While morning Shatabdi arrived one and a half hour late, the Himalayan Queen came 50 minutes late. The Jodhpur-Kalka Express was delayed the most, as it arrived three hours and fifteen minutes late. Paschim Express was late by an hour, while Lucknow-Chandigarh Express came in two hours late. Howrah-Kalka Express arrived an hour behind schedule.

Meleorligical office experts have forecast cloudy sky with possibility of light rain and thundershower. There will be fog or mist at night and in the morning. Weather experts said that cold day conditions will continue tomorrow as well, wit the minimum temperature likely to be 8 degree.

Besides Chandigarh, most of the neighbouring stations also reeled from cold wave conditions. Hisar recorded a low minimum temperature of 5.7 celsius degree, Ambala had a low of 4.3 degree, and Ludhiana was cold at a minimum temperature of 5.35.4 degree, while Shimla was the coldest at a minimum temperature of 1.4 degree and a maximum of just 10.3 degree.



Chander Mohan for holiday on Feb 3 in UT, Punjab
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
The Congress candidate, Mr Chander Mohan today urged from the Election Commission team to issue directions to the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab government to declare a holiday on February 3, in order to facilitate the voters of Kalka seat to cast their votes.

In a representation given to the Election Commission at Chandigarh today, the Haryana Congress Secretary, Mr Ravinder Rawal, said a large chunk of voters from this constituency go to Chandigarh and Mohali for work. Since it is not a holiday in either Chandigarh or Punjab, the voter turnout in the constituency would be adversely affected.

Meanwhile, Mr Chander Mohan toured various villages in the Chandimandir area. He also held election meetings in Sectors 4, 7, 11, 12 and 15.

The BJP candidate, Mr Sham Lal Bansal, today launched a tirade against Mr Chander Mohan, saying that he had lost the moral right to ask for votes as he had never done any work for the constituency. He said Mr Chander Mohan had not done any work in the Kalka area, and his being the son of the former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, was his only claim to seek votes.

Adressing election meetings at various places today, he said if elected, he would work for the abolition of the Periphery Act and get the work on the Pinjore-Kalka bypass expedited.

The Indian National Lok Dal candidate, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, was aided by his son, Amandeep and sister-in-law and MC President, Ms Seema Chaudhary, in canvassing. Mr Chaudhary sought votes on the issue of development in Sectors 4, 6, 15, 21 and several villages.

His son, Amandeep, went on a door-to-door campaign in Azad Colony, while Ms Seema Chaudhary went on a door-to-door campaign in Rajiv Colony.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, today appointed 11 working magistrates for poll duty on February 3. They will be assigned police personnel, zonal supervisors and supervisory officials for going to various polling booths and ensuring that law and order is maintained on the day of polling.



Campaigning swings on folk tunes
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
Far away from the Jatland and characteristic Haryanvi obsession with the election process, the electorate of the Kalka Assembly constituency is slowly waking up to the election fever. The campaigning in the urban segment is largely restricted to blaring rustic tunes, set to Bollywood numbers.

Over 2.44 lakh voters of this constituency are being treated to rustic tunes, mostly making a dig at various political personalities and also the Bollywood numbers of yesteryear, carefully woven into the campaign speeches of various political parties. With the voters shunning the traditional Haryanvi obsession with politics by participating in the election meetings, the political parties have now employed traditional methods of getting their message across to the voters.

Autorickshaws and rickshaws blaring the cassettes, specially prepared by the political parties; vehicles with election related material posted on their sides and positioned near the Apni Mandis daily; or the men dressed in bright contrasting costumes beating the dhol and seeking votes for the candidates. One of the more advanced constituencies is seeking the traditional recourse for campaigning and more so in the urban segments.

Both the INLD and the BJP are seeking mandate on the issue of development by their respective governments (the INLD government in Haryana and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre prior to April 2004). The rhetoric of both parties is anti-Congress, with price rise during the Congress rule at the Centre being the main theme.

The famous Hindi song of “Roti, Kapda aur Makaan”, “Mehangai maar gai, mehangai maar gai”, has been used by both the parties to make parodies for their parties. The INLD cassette has gone a step further by taking a dig at the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi. Their parody goes “Italy se aayi lugai maar gai, baki jo bacha Congress I maar gai, mehangai maar gain, mehangai maar gai...”

The Congress seeks votes by playing the song “Saathi haath badhana, saathi re....”, keeping in mind the party’s election symbol of hand. Similarly, the BJP eulogises the former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in its cassette “Har khet ko paani, har haath ko kaam, vikas ka hai vaada; yeh Atal hai irada....”



MC resolves to extend municipal limits
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
The Municipal Council today passed a resolution seeking extension of municipal limits by including Sectors 76 to 80 and other areas. The total proposed area to come under the jurisdiction of the civic body measures about 14.70 sq km.

President of the council, Kulwant Singh, said at the meeting of the general house that including Sectors 76 to 80 in the municipal limits would only add to the income of the civic body. The new sectors were to be developed by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and the council would not have to spend any funds on those areas.

The council had prepared a proposal in 2000 to include Sectors 67 to 69, industrial Sectors 74 and 75 and Kambali and Kumbra villages within its limits. However, Director, Local Government, Punjab, had asked the council to also include Sectors 76 to 80 in its limits.

Mr Surjit Singh Garewal said that parks in the town were not being maintained by PUDA. Gates were broken and stray animals created problems.

Mr N.K. Marwaha said that PUDA and the council were running the town but PUDA behaved like an agency which was under the impression that the civic body was there only to execute its directions. There was a clash of the two departments and he urged Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, to intervene for sorting out the problem.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said that issues brought to his notice from time to time had been taken up with PUDA. But when it was seen that no action was being taken by authorities concerned, I decided to take up the issues in the Assembly and as many as 73 cases had been put up in this regard. But unfortunately the minister concerned and other senior officials of PUDA never even bothered to give a reply to the letters written regarding various problems being faced by the town.

He said now a joint meeting of PUDA and the MC would be held in the presence of the Housing Minister to discuss various issues. He asked the councillors to present the problems of their wards so that a proper agenda could be prepared for the meeting.

A proposal to adopt control of advertisement bylaws was also cleared at the meeting while a proposal relating to the purchase of a battery and some accessories for the sweeping machine attracted arguments. Mr Amrik Singh Mohali said that he had never seen such a machine functioning in the town. However, Mr Surjit Singh Garewal said that machine had cleaned roads in his ward. The expense of Rs 21,500 on the maintenance of the machine was, however, cleared by the House.

The House demanded another probe in connection with a case of octroi evasion committed by a class IV employee who was posted at the octroi post on the stadium road when the offence was committed. The inquriy held by an assistant municipal engineer had stated that the employee was innocent.

Estimates for development works totalling nearly Rs 1.22 crore were cleared at the meeting.

Mr Manmohan Singh Langh pointed out that the road strengthened last month in Phase VII had already got damaged. He alleged that adequate quantity of bitumen had not been used in the work.

Mrs Harbans Kaur and Mr Amrik Singh said that a spot near NIPER had been turned into a garbage dumping site by the sanitation contractor. Garbage from Wards 21 and 22 was being dumped at the site which fell in Ward No 23. Mrs Harbans Kaur said that several complaints in this regard to authorities concerned failed to yield the desired results.



Comet Machholz closest to earth this week
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 25
A cloud of gas bigger than the planet Jupiter, glowing green, is about to sweep the night skies. If you have a telescope or even a good set of binoculars, you can see this once-in-119,000-years event.

The cloud is the comet Machholz atmosphere or, as astronomers call it, its “coma.” With a diametre greater than 4,50,000 km, the coma is at least three times wider than Jupiter. “Yet the comet itself is tiny. Comets are, basically, asteroids made of dusty dirty ice and this one is probably no more than a few kilometres wide, a minute nugget located deep inside its own atmosphere,” related Mr Tejbir Singh, Observer, Astronomy wing, Department of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala.

The department’s team of astronomers has also photographed the comet Machholz and has been watching its approach towards the Earth since amateur comet-hunter Don Machholz discovered it in August 2004. “This week, the comet will be closest to the Earth, only 52 million km (0.35 AU) away,” said Mr Tejbir Singh.

“Still, it is a beautiful site. Look through a small telescope or strong binoculars. The comet has a beautiful green atmosphere, and two tails. One tail is the ion tail. It’s made of electrically charged ions blown away from the coma by the solar wind.

This tail points straight away from the sun, said Dr P.S. Goraya of the department, adding that the other tail was the dust tail.

But why does the comet atmospheres glow green? “The coma contains cyanogen, a poisonous gas, and diatomic carbon. Both of these glow green when illuminated by sunlight. This is called ‘resonant fluorescence’,” explained Dr R.C.Verma, head of the department.

Dr P.S. Goraya, who has been watching the comet for the past one month, said it would be visible now and all through February, March and April. The comet Machholz would remain above the horizon, appearing to neither rise nor set. During the second week of March, it would pass within half a dozen degrees of Polaris, the North Star. “After comet Machholz whirled around the Sun yesterday, when we photographed it, it will head far out into the space. Travelling in an elongated orbit, taking it far beyond the limits of the solar system, it could return to the vicinity of the Earth and the Sun about 119,000 years from now,” he said.



Black box for cars, buses launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 25
Black box which normally is used in planes to monitor movements and store vital information now can be used in all kinds of vehicles including in cars, buses, and taxis. This would help owners to record of information relating to the vehicle.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament, Chandigarh launched the device at a hotel in Sector 10 today

An IT company has introduced the black box vehicle-monitoring system. This system uses GPS (global positioning system) GSM (global system for mobile communication) technology. The company claims to be the first one to launch this device with multiple features in India.

Director of the company, Rajesh Vaidya said, “This device can be installed anywhere in the vehicle in an hour. With this truck owners can know the location of the vehicle wherever it goes. One can get all data and information, including the speed of the vehicle on his computer and even on mobile phone. One can also check if the driver is drunk and the quantity of fuel the vehicle is consuming.

Best thing about it is that if the driver tried to tamper with the box then also it would inform the owner about the timings of disconnection and the timings of reconnection.

Mr S.C. Goal, Deputy Transport Controller Technical, Haryana said there was need for such kind of devices as the department was facing problems in controlling movement of the drivers.



Theatre artistes collect Rs 1 lakh for tsunami-hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
For the first time ever, street theatre actors raise funds for victims of tragedy.

To generat one lakh for the tsunami victims in India, the artistes met their target today, defying routine observation that theatre does not sell. The collection of Rs 1, 00,165 also reflects on the generosity of Chandigarh people, normally derided for lack of understanding of art.

“The funds have been raised by staging 17 shows of Mitti ka Admi” based on a play by Vijay Tendulkar. We are happy to have raised the funds we wanted. We will release the cheque soon after we get an appointment with Punjab Governor S.F. Rodrigues,” said Rajiv Mehta, director of the play and also of Theatre Arts, the group that achieved the feat. Other members of the group who formed a part of this process were Suvinder Paul, who also wrote the script, Rocky Bhardwaj, Bhavna, Jagan Choudhary, Yogesh Tungal, Hatinder Kumar, Yogesh Arora, Ashwani Sawan, Gurjit Kang, Rohin Singh and Harshvir Latta.



Admn staff may get housing loans from bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The State Bank of India and the Chandigarh Administration are about to finalise a deal which will allow employees of the Administration to take housing loans from the SBI at 7.25 per cent.

This means the Chandigarh Administration, once it finalises the deal with the SBI, will not give housing loans to its employees. Rather, the SBI will act as the loan-disbursing agency. The monthly instalment of an employee will be deducted from the salary and passed onto the bank directly.

The UT Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said Punjab had already done it a couple of weeks ago and it should be no problem to carry it out here.

Bankers in the SBI said they were expecting a Rs 100-crore offtake from the employee segment alone, adding that the bank could also provide any other loan, if an employee so desires. Issuing loans to employees of corporations like CITCO or CHB will be dealt with separately, SBI officials said.



Ban orders to check ‘anti-social’ activities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The District Magistrate, Chandigarh, Mr Arun Kumar, in view of public safety, has promulgated an order under Section 144 CrPC putting a check on persons who ply rickshaws, auto-rickshaws or run business activities like rehries, dhobi or cobbler shops in Chandigarh.

The order is aimed at checking the activities of anti-social elements and to stop them from taking up such jobs. All such persons will be required to provide their particulars alongwith passport-size photographs to the local police to make identification and verification easy. This order shall remain in force till March 25, 2005.



Unauthorised rehris removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The anti-encroachment drive in Grain Market, Sector 26, continued for the second day here today.

‘Rehris’ had emerged in the market at unauthorised places earlier during the day. Trucks of the Estate Office came in the evening and put the confiscated rehris in the trucks. The owners pleaded to leave back the vegetables, at least. This demand was agreed to. Sheets of cloth were spread on the ground and the product’s resale restarted.

Encroachments could be seen in a number of markets of the city .

In Sector 17, vendors selling posters and shoe laces were sitting in the corridors all through the day. The ‘chat’ sellers came in the evening.

Similar scenes were visible in the markets of Sectors 19 and 22 besides other places.



Busting of illegal exchange: one more held
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
The police has arrested one more person in connection with the setting up of an illegal exchange in the Phase VII market here. The suspect was produced in a Kharar court today and has been remanded in police custody for two days.

Mr Rakesh Agrawal, SP, said that Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of a village falling under Ludhiana district, was arrested from the bus stand here last night. Ravinder Chawla, another suspect, had been arrested earlier.

The SP said that during questioning Sukhwinder Singh told the police that an attempt had earlier been made to set up an illegal exchange in Ambala. But as they were not able to get the right frequencies there, they shifted the operation to Chandigarh. However, there, too, the exchange did not prove to be a success. Then they shifted to Mohali and hired a cabin in the Phase VII market for setting up the illegal exchange.

Mr Agrawal said that two more suspects, Jagbir and Jasbir, were yet to be arrested.

The police had busted an illegal exchange running in Phase VII on January 13. Police personnel accompanied by DoT vigilance wing officials had raided the premises. The equipment used for running the exchange, including the quantum gateway switch and Reliance wireless telephones, were seized by the police. The DoT had suffered a loss of Rs 50 lakh because of the illegal exchange.



Medicine shop burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 25
A car was reportedly stolen while a medicine shop was burgled in the city as per the information released by the local police, here, today.

Mr Amit Jain of Phase II, Industrial Area, reported to the police that some medicines were stolen from his shop on January 23 night. He said the thieves broke into his shop by breaking the locks. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 31 police station.

Car stolen

Lieut Col. Bhupinder Singh of Phase 10, Mohali, filed a complaint that his car (CH-01-G-8665) was stolen from near Gurdial Petrol Pump in Sector 22, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station.

Water meter stolen

Mr Jamna Dass of Sector 24 reported to the police that two water meters were stolen from his residence during night of January 23. A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.


The local police has arrested Davinder Mohan, a resident of Pipliwala Town and Gurcharan Singh, a resident of NAC in Mani Majra from Motor Market in the same locality while consuming liquor at a public place last evening. The police recovered a bottle of whisky and two glasses from their possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the IPC has been registered at the Mani Majra police station. Both the accused were later released on bail.

The local police has arrested Vinod Mandal of Devi Pur village in Kathiar district in Bihar with two kilograms of ganja from near power house in Kajheri village, last night. A case under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered in the Sector 36 police station.


Mr Ashwani Sharma, a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula, filed a complaint alleging that Sanjay, a resident of Sector 28, and his uncle assaulted him near Sadar Bazar in Sector 19 on January 22. A case under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 19 police station. The police later released the accused on bail.



Scooterist killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
Scooterist Rajkumar was killed and Harnam Singh, who was riding pillion, injured in a road accident on the Pinjore-Baddi road. The scooter was hit by a truck. Raj Kumar died on the spot.

In another accident, a Panchkula police cop was injured when the bus in which he was travelling met with an accident this morning. As many as 40 cops were travelling in the bus. The bus was going to Yamunanagar.

Forensic experts: A team of forensic experts visited three flats in Mansa Devi complex on Tuesday. The flats were burgled yesterday. Cash and goods worth Rs 2.20 lakh were stolen from the flats located in GH-1.



Five booked for trespass
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
Five persons, including a woman, are booked by the police on charges of criminal trespass, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation.

According to the police, Mohammad Usman Khan, Estate Officer of Punjab Wakf Board, Ropar lodged a complaint that five persons hailing from different areas of Punjab had forcibly tried to occupy the Wakf board land in Phase IX here today. They caused damage and issued threats.

The five persons are Balwant Singh from Rajpura, Mohinder Singh from a village in Ferozepur district, Balwinder Singh, Raj Kumar and Baljit Kaur from Patiala.

The police has registered a case under Sections 447, 323, 506, 511 and 427 of the IPC in this regard.



Two held

Chandigarh, January 25
On the eve of Republic Day the local police today arrested two persons for possessing liquor illegally from Sector 56, here. According to the police, the accused were planning to sell the liquor illegally as January 26 had been declared a dry day. OC



VAT ‘not acceptable’ to traders
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
The Mohali Beopar Mandal said here today that the present State VAT, which the government intended to implement from April 1, was not acceptable to traders here.

In a letter sent today to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the president of the mandal, Mr L.D. Jindal, said the proposed VAT was against the spirit of VAT which was borrowed from European countries where they had a National VAT. The State VAT would not bring uniformity and common market in the country which was the basic principle of the VAT regime. The government had simply changed the name of Sales Tax into VAT.

He said that in India the government was advocating State VAT where all state, municipal and cenvat taxes would remain in force and simply sales tax would be named VAT with a multiple taxation system.

The mandal demanded that if the government was so anxious to implement VAT, let there be a National VAT instead of State VAT.


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