C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Rebel’ Chawla wins MC panel election
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Dissensions in the local unit of the Congress became open today when a candidate for the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation did not withdraw despite the party high command's decision.

To further complicate the matters for the party, the 'rebel', Mr Subhash Chawla, has emerged victorious in the election.

Mrs Lalit Joshi was also elected as a member of the committee. The party high command under Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the party's local unit, had chosen Mrs Joshi and Mr Kuldip Singh.

Mr Chawla said he was not a rebel as no communication from the party about the party candidates ever reached him.

Mr B.B. Bahl, said, "a meeting of senior office-bearers of the Congress had been called tomorrow and a decision will be taken on the issue. It is very clear that Mr Chawla had been asked to withdraw by the party well in advance. I cannot comment on the matter as the committee will be authorised to take the final decision."

A supporter of Mr Chawla said, " there was nothing anti-party in the election of Mr Chawla. The party high command did not convene any meeting where all councillors and leaders were called. The party did not release any official list, at least till yesterday evening which is questionable."

Mr Chawla and Mrs Joshi had the backing of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament. Mr Surinder Singh and Mr Kuldip Singh were the names cleared by the Mr Bahl group initially.

Mr Surinder Singh withdrew his name today during the meeting of the MC "as per the high command directions".

The only non-Congress candidate in the fray was Mr Rajesh Gupta, a BJP Councillor.

In the first round of counting, Mrs Joshi polled 10 votes, Mr Chawla got nine, Mr Kuldip Singh got six and Mr Gupta got only five.

Mr Gupta was eliminated and his votes were distributed among others. Mr Kuldip Singh got two and Mr Chawla got one. In the third round, Mr Kuldip Singh was eliminated.



Mental disorders more prevalent among women,
says expert
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dr Afzal Javed
Dr Afzal Javed

Chandigarh, January 31
In the male-driven society, some diseases and their prescription too are gender-biased. And the severe mental disorder, schizophrenia, is no exception. If the latest research is anything to go by, then the drugs prescribed currently throughout the world to combat the disorder have more side effects on female patients than on the male patients. Adding to the distress is that the rehabilitation too is male centric and psycho-social needs of the female patients are practically ignored in most of the cases.

This despite the fact that the disease is fairly distributed among both sexes, affecting 1 per cent of the total population.

`Gender definitely plays a role in schizophrenia, both in the onset and the treatment and the side-affects of the disease,'' said Dr Afzal Javed, from the Medical Centre, Mamorcount, United Kingdom, who spoke on the differences in the male and female patients of the schizophrenia at the special session in the 57th Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatric Society (ANCIPS), at the PGI here today.

Highlighting the need of putting in research of finding drug combinations which are more suitable to women patients, Dr Afzal said that the latest research had found that the female patients were more sensitive to the drugs which caused shaking of hands and limbs. This was the reason why the women's limb shook more after the drug was administered. The after-effects of the same medicine on the male patients were found to be less severe. Moreover, the women gained more weight after taking the drugs as compared to the male patients.

The onset and the progress of the disease differ in both the sexes. While schizophrenia strikes males in the teenage and early twenties but in females the disease begins to show symptoms only in mid-20s and peak in their 40's.

`Even the skills taught to the patients at the rehabilitation centres are mainly male-oriented. The rehabilitation of the female schizophrenia patients is virtually non-existent,'' added the psychiatrist.

Meanwhile, certain mental disorders like hysteria are more prevalent among women of the sub-continent because of their tendency of keeping their emotions to themselves and unlike males who release their psychological stress through anger, domestic violence and alcohol abuse. ``These are due to the cultural differences as the women are expected to behave in a certain way in the countries like India and Pakistan,'' said Dr Afzal, who is of the Pakistani origin.



CBI nails Labour Ministry officials
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The CBI has exposed corruption of certain Union Labour Ministry officials in human trafficking from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal.

Protector of Immigrants arrests

On June 25: Ranbir Singh arrested for clearing 340 cases of immigrants.

On September 29: P. C Bharadwaj arrested for clearing 106 cases.

On Jan 28: J. K. Sahu arrested clearing four cases in a hotel.

During the past seven months, the agency has arrested three Protectors of Immigrants one after another indicating either the senior officers in the ministry had failed to monitor their officers or there may be certain officials who had been posting corrupt officials to the city as this centre is one of the most prized postings.

The region, Gujarat and Kerala are amongst the most sought after postings as a large number of the people from these places aspire to go abroad.

The only solace for the Union Labour Ministry officials is that during the investigation of the three cases, no name of any senior officer from the ministry has surfaced on record. The sources in the CBI said that no prosecutable evidence had been found against Delhi-based officials.

However, the arrest of one after another heads of the immigration office here indicates that before this prized posting, the appointing authorities had not gone into the reputation of the persons who were posted in the region.

The sources said J. K. Sahu, the third Protector of Immigrants to have been arrested on January 28, allegedly had a "bad reputation" in Delhi but he got the most-sought after posting in the country. The importance of the region for the purpose could be gauged from the fact that the north-western region has the highest number of passport offices in the country. Thousands of persons every year line up in the region to go abroad.

The rot in the Protector of Immigrants office was first detected on June 25 when the CBI arrested Ranbir Singh for clearing 340 cases of those who wanted to go abroad. Ranbir Singh allegedly forged documents to justify the clearance to these people. The CBI said there was allegedly a demand between Rs 5,000 and 10,000 in each case.

Within three months, The CBI arrested the successor of Ranbir Singh, P. C. Bharadwaj, for allegedly clearing 106 cases of immigration to Gulf countries without checking documents. The sources said that the investigating agency had recovered large number of incriminating documents from the computers seized from the office. Five immigration agents were also booked along with Bharadwaj in this case. While these two officers were undergoing suspension, third Protector of Immigrants, J. K. Sahu, was arrested accepting a bribe of Rs 60,000 for clearing cases of four persons. Sahu allegedly stamped the forms of the candidates without even checking documents in a hotel itself as soon as the money changed hands.

The CBI carried out a search at the house of Sahu but could not find anything incriminating. The CBI could not make any disproportionate assets case. The sources said CBI probably kept its focus on their trap cases and if investigation had also encompassed finding out a possible chain of corruption, few names would have surfaced to unearth the human trafficking racket with a suspected role of Union Labour Ministry. 



Kalpana Chawla foundation organises seminar today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Kalpana Chawla Memorial Foundation is organising a seminar tomorrow (2nd death anniversary of Kalpana Chawla) on the topic ‘Need to Review Technical Education in the Light of Liberalisation and Globalisation’. The seminar is being organised in the Auditorium of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, where Kalpana studied for four years (1978-1982) to get her B.E. degree in Aeronautical Engineering. The Governor of Punjab would be the chief guest on the occasion.

Dr V Adimurthy, an eminent scientist from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Thiruvanantha-puram will be the key-note speaker. Dr K P Singh, another eminent scientist, currently Group Director, Aeronautical Development Agency, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, Bangalore, will preside over the technical session.

Certain international professionals who have been associated with Kalpana during her stay in NASA have also sent their papers for the seminar. Prominent among them are Dr N K Gupta, who was mission manager in NASA, when Kalpana joined as a new trainee astronaut. Dr Rakesh Bhargava from Housten has also contributed a paper. He is an expert in the field of turbine technology and happens to be an alumnous of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

The deliberations in the seminar will be in line with the thinking of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to improve quality of technical education in India.

As per its long-term plans the foundation is contemplating setting up an interface institute of higher learning in Chandigarh/Panchkula/Mohali to bridge the gap between the industry, trade and commerce and the technical education institutes. The main aim of the interface institute will be to provide training to teachers, develop projects and coordinate with existing R & D institutes for commercial utilisation of products. The foundation also plans to set up an entrepreneur development institute (EDI) to prepare entrepreneurs to set up their own ventures after graduating from technical institutes.

The foundation has also organised an all India essay competition on the topic ‘Engineering Education of My Dreams’. A collage competition was also organised by the foundation on the theme ‘UDAAN (Flight) of Indian Youth’ and the entries will be displayed at the venue of the seminar.

The foundation has also instituted an award of Rs. 25,000 for the ‘best project’ for the final year of engineering students.

The foundation plans to have its North America chapter in USA and Canada, European chapter with headquarters in UK and Australian-New Zealand chapter in Australia. Currently it has about 500 members, while it plans to enroll 10,000 members from Punjab Engineering College alumni and also from the general public who share the vision of Kalpana Chawla and are in agreement with the aims and objectives of the foundation.



Advisory Council draws up blueprint for city’s growth
Tribune News Service


  • Process to develop international airport starts.
  • Concept paper on Chandigarh's future planning discussed. 
  • Next meeting of the Advisory Council three months later.
  • Periphery control in adjoining states to be taken up.
  • Sukhna lake to be preserved with expert help.

Chandigarh, January 31
The process of developing an international airport at Chandigarh has been initiated and the necessary inputs are being supplied by the Chandigarh Administration to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry.

This was disclosed here today by the U.T. Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), while presiding over the first meeting of the Administrator's Advisory Council.

This international airport will also act as an export hub for fruits and vegetables produced in the northern states including Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh.

To achieve the objectives set out in the concept paper on future planning, the Administrator formed sub-groups drawing upon the experience of the members of Advisory Council.

The groups will touch upon different subjects. These are building by-laws; architectural innovations; clearance of slums; garbage disposal, amendments required in the Municipal Act, periphery control and development of villages.

Eminent experts from different fields of competence have been included in these sub-groups. These sub-groups will select a chairperson and co-opt any person in the sub-group.

Each sub-group has been given two months time to deliberate and they will submit their recommendations to the Advisory Council for consideration in the next meeting to be held after period of three months.

General Rodrigues while presenting the concept paper threw open the debate and invited all members to speak.

Sources attending the meeting said former chief engineer of Chandigarh, Mr J.S. Kohli, raised pertinent points relating to expected shortfalls in water supply and power supply.

Another member Mr Pallav Mukherjee, an architect, pointed out that building plans should be passed on the spot, thus, reducing the need to run after babus.

General Rodrigues said to ensure equitable and comprehensive development, an elaborate blueprint has been prepared.

The plan is to have a self-sustainable economy, world-class IT growth, sufficient housing facilities, a modern transport system, quality power supply, sufficient water supply, people-friendly policing, balanced development of rural and urban areas and the efficient functioning of the Municipal Corporation.

He said the control over periphery in the areas falling outside the jurisdiction of Chandigarh had been tardy and a mechanism to achieve the objectives of the periphery control needed to be devised and implemented, in cooperation with Punjab and Haryana.

He added that Chandigarh had a potential for tourism which needed to be exploited. He further emphasised that the process of preserving and beautifying Sukhna Lake has been started with the help of a professional group.

Assuring transparent and good governance to the people of Chandigarh, General Rodrigues asked the members of the Advisory Council to help in the process with time, energy, competence and expertise.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament, while appreciating the concept paper said it covered varied issues concerning people of all walks of life.

He stressed that social sector needed to be given priority in this concept plan.

He said the beautification of the city was a subject of utmost importance. He made it clear that he was not averse to slum clearance but added that growth of new slums should be strictly checked by the Administration. 



Surgery safe even on a day-old baby, says expert
Tribune News Service

Dr T.S. Mahant
Dr T.S. Mahant

Mohali, January 31
“Contrary to the common belief that congenital heart problems should be only when the patient grows up, it is now possible to take care of these defects even when the patient is less than a year old. With the advent of new technologies in the field of neo-natal cardiac surgery, it is possible to save lives of new born babies with serious congenital cardiac defects,” stated Dr. T S. Mahant, Executive Director, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

Dr Mahant, an MS and M.Ch from the PGIMER, Chandigarh, is credited with over 15, 000 surgeries, a large chunk of them being pediatric surgeries and neo-natal surgeries. Dr Mahant explained that babies born with congenital heart defects were generally called “blue babies” as their skin has a bluish tint. The blue tint develops when the tissues and organs of the body do not receive enough oxygen. Many different heart defects can cause this condition ranging from a simple hole in the heart to more complicated heart defects.

“Earlier, a blue baby with a serious heart defect had very little chance of survival but now treatments and surgeries are available to help blue babies grow up to live normal, healthy lives,” said Dr Mahant, adding that clinical and technical advancements, especially in the past five or six years had helped. “Improved echo-cardiograms before and during surgery have allowed more accurate diagnoses to be made, often even before the baby is born. Sophisticated equipment is available that makes surgery safer even on a day old baby. It is also possible to operate on premature or low weight babies. We have been able to achieve an over 95 per cent success rate in neo-natal heart surgeries,” he said.

Earlier, the general advice given by doctors to parents with blue babies was to let the child grow and then consider a heart surgery but now it is the other way around. "The earlier these children are treated the better chance they have to lead a normal adult life. In fact, we need to educate the masses and the doctors too that it is now possible to save the child’s life with immediate heart surgery,” stated Dr. Mahant.

There are many reasons why a baby is born with a heart problem. “The baby’s heart develops in the first three months it is in the womb. Hence, it is very important that the mother be very careful during this period. Smoking, drug abuse and alcohol should be avoided by the mother.



Couple attacked for inter-caste marriage
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 31
A couple that solemnised an inter-caste marriage invited the wrath of girl's family members when father and brother of the girl with other accomplices allegedly attacked the boy near Piccadilly Chowk, here today.

The couple had come to the Punjab and Haryana High Court today in connection with a hearing on a petition filed by them on January 28. Thereafter, the couple left for Sector 35 to meet their advocate and boarded a rickshaw from Sector 22.

As they approached the Piccadilly Chowk, a blue Maruti car, in which father of the girl, Bhupinder Kumar, her brother Varinder and some others were travelling, intercepted them. The father of the girl had a verbal dual with Gurpreet which further lead to a minor scuffle.

On seeing this some passersby gathered on the spot and called the police. Within few minutes the Police Control Room vehicle arrived at the spot, but by that time the assailants managed to sped away, said the police.

The couple filed a complaint with the police against the assailants and a case under Sections 341, 506 and 382 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station.

According to the police, Gurpreet Singh (23) of Mori gate in Faridkot district and his wife Varsha (22) of the same locality solemanised their marriage on January 16 in a temple Gurpreet Singh runs a school, New Vishkarma High School, in Kaler village of Faridkot district.

Varsha has been teaching in that school and they fell in love and decided to get married against the wishes of their parents.



1 killed, 2 injured in freak mishap
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 31
In a freak accident, a 27-year-old resident of Phase 3B2, here, was killed and his brother and friend injured when they were hit by a carrier flying off a Scorpio that had just collided with a Maruti Zen, late last night.

The Scorpio driver was also injured in the accident while the Zen driver fled leaving his car behind.

The two brothers, Rajesh and Gaurav Kukreja, were returning home on a scooter with their friend Surinder Batta, who was on a motorcycle, when the accident took place on the road separating Phase 3B2 and Sector 71.

According to an eyewitness, Mr Gurinder Singh, the incident occurred when the Scorpio (PB 10AZ 0028) was hit by a Maruti Zen (PB 65A 9796) that was speeding out from an inner road of Sector 71.

Following the impact, the Scorpio car, with the driver inside, somersaulted for over 100 m before coming to a halt and turned turtle on the other side of the road.

When the Scorpio somersaulted, its carrier came off and flew to a side hitting Gaurav, Rajesh and Surinder on their heads who were coming from the Jhotte Kutt colony, the eyewitness added.

The impact was so severe that Rajesh died on the spot while Gaurav (18) and Surinder (27) were injured grievously.

Scorpio driver Narinder, according to the police, was also injured and admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Gaurav was said to be in a stable condition at a private nursing home in Mohali while Surinder's condition was in a critical condition at the PGI.

The police said the Zen driver, who seemed to be at fault, locked his car leaving it on the spot and fled from the accident site. Mr Ravi, a relative of the Kukreja family, said Gaurav and Rajesh belonged to Nangal but were working in Mohali. They along with their brother Anil had been living in a rented accommodation in Phase 3B2 and carried on a small business of electrical equipments.

The three brothers were unmarried and their parents lived in Nangal. The two brothers were returning home after having dinner with their friend in the Phase V market.

Mr Amrit Kukreja, the father of the victims was an ex-serviceman and tending to his younger son at the Cheema Hospital, Phase IV.

Sources said Scorpio driver Narinder was employed with a district transport officer in Punjab while the Maruti Zen driver was a resident of Mohali.



Passing Thru

Sapna Gupta
Sapna Gupta, Chief Consultant, Air Hostess Academy 

Being in the hospitality industry for almost a decade, what changes have you observed during this period?

The aviation and hospitality industry in India has evolved rapidly. There is an increasing demand for well-trained professionals. The travel, tourism and hospitality industry is the booming sector, creating vast job opportunities for young aspirants.

What are the job prospects in this sector?

India seems to be emerging as a major aviation hub in South Asia. The hospitality industry is also growing. There are a lot of opportunities like basic cabin-crew members, ground staffs, customer care executives, guest relations, and front desk officers to service the same. The job scenario is, therefore, bright.

What remuneration should the students look forward to in this sector?

The salary structure varies, but is highly attractive. It can start with around Rs 7,000 and can go up to Rs 40,000 per month. Besides, there are numerous perks associated with the job.

What is your advice for those who want to enter this field?

Youngsters often get attracted to this field because of its glamour and high salary. However, I must remind them that this profession demands a lot of hard work and dedication. Those who want to join this field must be ready for it.

— Swarleen Kaur



Chandigarh Calling

MEETINGS of the advisory council of the Administrator are now promising to be serious affairs than the aimless discussion carried out earlier. The meeting on Monday started on a crisp note. The Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), asked all members to participate in discussions and give suggestions.

Most of the members are expert professionals in their fields.. The Administrator listened to their suggestions with rapt attention. An official commented that the advisory council could play a more positive role and suggested that the media be allowed to cover the proceedings and report on all aspects in a free manner.

Thanda matlab…

The cold wave conditions in North India forced Chandigarh residents to change their plans. Rains made the condition even more chilly. Foggy mornings followed soon after, delaying trains and affecting road traffic. Hundreds of daily passengers coming in from nearby towns of Ambala, Patiala, Solan and Ludhiana faced difficulty in reaching their offices in time. Similarly people from Chandigarh working in nearby towns also could not avoid delays.

Job carnival

While finding suitable jobs attracted a large number of college students to a job carnival recently held at a girls’ college, another reason for the overwhelming response was that the gates of the college were opened to boys as well. All that the boys required to gain entry to the college was their identity card and most of them grabbed the opportunity to do so.

However, inside the college, though they went around all over the campus as company representative held sessions on two floors, they could just grab a bite at the canteen and had a good time after the formality of registering and a short interview was over.

Sugar(coated) poll campaign

It is literally a sugar(coated) election campaign all the way. As the campaigning reaches a feverish pitch in Panchkula, one can see the BJP and the INLD trying to cash in on rise in sugar prices. If the BJP campaign is “... chini jandi hai chalangan mardi, mainu yaad aye Atal sarkar di...”, the INLD campaign goes”... chini hui mehangi, mithai maar gai...”.

City roundabouts

It is that time of the year again. Gardens are blooming with flowers and love is in the air. With the city beautiful living up to its name, roundabouts are glowing with a myriad of colourful flowers. Visitors to the city are full of praise for the Administration’s gardeners who painstakingly tender these roundabouts round the year. “You guys are lucky, you live in a city that could match heaven” stated a Delhi resident visiting the University. A fact, many of us, the residents of this city, tend to forget. — Sentinel



Cong pursuing anti-people policies: BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Activists of the local unit of the BJP organised a dharna in Sector 17 here today in protest against the “anti-people” policies of the Congress.

Addressing the participants, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president, local BJP unit, alleged that the prices of the commonly-used commodities had risen sharply since the UPA Government came to power at the Centre. All sections of society, including traders, farmers, employees and working class, were fed up with the present regime, he added.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former MP, alleged that the Central Government was putting pressure on the Chandigarh Administration to hush-up corruption cases against the former Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, and the Chairman of the Market Committee, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri.

He demanded a CBI inquiry into the charges against the two leaders.

Coming down heavily on the UT Administration for its failure to include the representatives of various sections of society, including political parties, in the Administrator’s Advisory Council, Mr Jain alleged that this had been done to suppress the voice of the common man.

Prominent among those, who spoke were Mr Purshottam Mahajan, vice-president, Mr Davesh Moudgil, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief, and Mr Ravi Parkash Kansal, in- charge of the Traders Cell of the party.



Fauji Beat
Why this display of military might?

INDIA, barring France, is perhaps the only democracy which focuses on its military prowess on a day of national rejoicing. Such a display on January 26 serves only two purposes. One, to make it abundantly clear to our adversaries that militarily we are very strong. Two, to restore confidence in the public about our military strength and capabilities to thwart any mischief by the enemy.

Today, with a major breakthrough in information technology, there is hardly any worthwhile information about the military hardware of a country that remains hidden from others. In any case, military might needs to be exhibited on the battlefield and not on a solemn national occasion.

Now think of the colossal expenditure that we incur on this extravaganza year after year by moving manpower and equipment from all over the country to Delhi and by keeping it down to the national Capital for about two months. We suffered heavy casualties in the Kargil war because of our poor equipment, Rather than wasting crores of rupees on this display, we should spend the same money on equipping ourselves with the latest equipment.

No doubt, Republic Day should continue to be celebrated, but not in this manner. It should be celebrated as a day of rejoicing over our achievements. And by rewarding the deserving for their good work and by honouring our soldiers for their gallant actions.

Empanelled hospitals

One of the objectives of starting the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) was to reduce the rush in military hospitals. But if one goes by the findings of the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, this has not happened. The authorities at the Command Hospital say that the average daily attendance at outpatient departments has risen to more than 1,800 from around 1,200 about a year ago. They attribute this increase to the excellent medicare that the hospital is providing these days. While this is a matter on which only ex-servicemen can comment, what can be said is that this finding is pointer to the ECHS services.

There are some discouraging reports about empanelled private hospitals. Of a few such examples, only one is quoted here. A retired Brigadier was advised open-heart surgery because according to the hospital’s findings, 70 to 90 per cent of his arteries were blocked. But when he went to Escorts Hospital, Delhi, for a second opinion, he was told that only 15 to 20 per cent of his arteries were blocked, which did not warrant open-heart surgery. That commercialism is rampant in most private hospitals cannot be denied.

The opinion of some senior Army Medical Corps officers is that it will be a better option if a 25 per cent increase is made in the resources of military hospitals, rather than having the ECHS. In this case, they say, the government will save a lot of money and ex-servicemen will also be more satisfied. They add that for any treatment not available at military hospitals, the current Medical Benefit Scheme can be broadbased.

Reflex shooting ranges

From the number of casualties suffered by our troops in low-intensity conflict areas, it is clear that the standard of reflex shooting needs a lot of improvement in the Army. Taking notice of this weakness, Army Headquarters has directed all formations to incorporate reflex shooting in their weapontraining programme.

Northern Command which is most affected by this has ordered all its brigades and corps battle schools to construct reflex shooting ranges. The intention is to train all ranks in a realistic combat environment and develop one-round-one-enemy shooting skills.

The brigade at Mamun in Pathankot has already constructed a reflex shooting range. The range provides mechanically controlled prop-up target, moving targets and a concrete underground target control room.

— Pritam Bhullar



Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
After a fortnight of educating the public on saving oil and gas through seminars, distribution of pamphlets, rallies, the Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight (OGCF), 2005, concluded with a function at the Police Auditorium Sector 29, here today.

The chief guest, Mr L. M. Goyal, Vice-Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal, deliberated on the role of people, educational institutions and media in contributing towards the national cause of conserving petroleum products.

"We are dependent upon import to the tune of 70 per cent of our requirement for crude oil at an enormous cost of foreign exchange," he said.

The national and international oil scenario with regard to conservation and optimum utilisation of oil and natural gas was also emphasised by the chief guest.

The Senior Regional Manager, Chandigarh retail region, HPCL, and state-level coordinator, U.T., Mr V.K. Yadav, on behalf of the Oil Industry, briefed the audience on the importance of conservation of oil and gas.

He also mentioned the various activities undertaken prior to and during the OGCF, 2005.

With "Save oil and gas, these are precious" as the theme for the OGCF, painting and quiz contests were also organised to educate school students and stress upon conserving the oil and gas.

The students of Sanjay Public School, in a symbolic cultural program, exhibited the various tips on conservation of petroleum products in the domestic, transport, industrial and agricultural sectors.

The officials of the oil industry, IOC, HPC, BPC, IBP, and GAIL, expressed their deep concern over conservation in all the sectors.

Prior to the commencement of OGCF, 2005, the essay competition on Oil & Gas Conservation was organised at the state-level and national-level covering following topics in English and Hindi "Imagine life without Oil," "Innovative ways of spreading Oil Conservation Messages", "How to motivate your neighbourhood for Oil Conservation"

A student of Class 6, Ekta, and Dr Anjana Kumari, lecturer, both of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, won the first prize in their respective groups and will be awarded at a valedictory function in New Delhi by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

Also, 19 students from the following schools alongwith their principals were awarded at today's valedictory function by the chief guest. These schools included GMSSS-16 (6 winners), GMSSC-46, (4 winners), GMSS-10 (2 winners), GMSS-20 (2 winners), GMSS-Manimajra (2 winners), St. Mary's School (1 winner), St Anne's convent school (1 winner), St John High School (1 winner).



Forget slums; shops, houses are biggest encroachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
If you thought that slum dwellers were the biggest encroachers on public land, think again. The largest grabbers of the public land are residential and commercial structures which occupy 190 acres of lands illegally across the Union Territory. The slum dwellers do occupy 100 acres of prime land in the city and form the second-largest category of land grabbers.

Third in the list of land grabbers are religious structures which have taken over 60 acres of land. Some of these structures are also coming in the way of new roads and have halted the development of phase III sectors.

And these are figures for just 359 acres of land which is free from court cases. This was disclosed at a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Administrator today.

The concept paper on Chandigarh says a total of 662 acres of 3097 acres of acquired land is under encroachment.

Out of this, 303 acres of encroached land is under stay obtained by encroachers from various courts. Quoting a detailed survey conducted last year, it has been found that 19 labour colonies still exist in Chandigarh. Out of these, 17 are on lands which have been acquired. Approximately 21,000 jhuggies with a population of 70,000 exist. 



Man’s ashes stolen, alleges nephew
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 31
A resident of Phase IV has demanded action against persons who allegedly took away the ashes of a relative, thus hurting his sentiments and those related to the deceased.

Mr Surjit Singh, who was talking to mediapersons here today, said that a complaint in this regard had been made to the police but no action has been taken so far.

Now he was brought the matter to the notice of the Ropar SSP demanding action against the guilty.

He said his maternal uncle, Mohan Singh, who was also a resident of Phase IV, died on January 26. He said that he arranged the cremation at the local cremation ground. Those who attended the cremation were told that the ashes would be collected the next day and an akhand path would be organised at the residence of his uncle on January 28.

In the complaint to the SSP, Mr Surjit Singh said he was deprived of performing the last rites of his uncle as Shamsher Singh and Bawa Singh, members of a Trust set up by Mohan Singh, allegedly “stole” the ashes of his uncle much before the time that had been fixed for collecting the ashes, hurting the sentiments of the relatives.

He further alleged that Shamsher Singh and Bawa Singh then broke open the lock put on the house of his uncle to organise an akhand path. The two even allegedly stole some items from the house.

Mr Surjit Singh said that Mohan Singh lost his wife five years after his marriage and had no children. Since then he had been leading a lonely life. As he had a lot of property, he set up a Trust by the name of Pasricha Charitable Trust for imparting education.

He had property worth about Rs 8 crore out of which he had spent Rs 6 crore to set up a school near Morinda.

About 9 acres of land had been purchased for this purpose. He himself headed the 10-member trust but none of the relatives had been made members of that trust.

He said ever since his uncle came to Mohali after winding up his business in Guwahati and thereafter a short stay at Patiala, he was taking care of him and even operating his bank accounts. The members of the trust had no right on his body.



No headway in sadhu murder case
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 31
Even three days after the skeleton of sadhu Sher Nath was found buried in a field in the stone crushers zone at Mubarikpur village, the police has failed to make any headway in the case.

It has also failed to nab the suspects who have been missing since the disappearance of Sher Nath from his dera in the village.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, said reports of post-mortem examinations, conducted at Government Hospital, Patiala, confirmed that Sher Nath was done to death by hitting his face with some weapon.

There were injury marks on the face bones that clearly showed that the criminals had first hit him on his face and after confirming that he was dead, they buried the body in a ditch in a field of the dera land, he added.

He said the Dera Bassi SHO had been assigned the duty to investigate into the crime. The police had been conducting raids at suspected hideouts of the suspects, he said.

He did not rule out the possibility of land grabbing as the motive behind the murder, but said the exact cause could be ascertained only after the investigations.

It may be recalled that the badly decomposed body of Sher Nath (80), who had been missing since Novembers 15 from his dera, was found buried in a ditch in a field in the village on Saturday evening.

The crime came to light when Samat Nath, Uttamvir and Krishi Pal, disciples of the murdered sadhu noticed some dogs digging soil in a field and eating up the remains of a body.

A case was registered under Sections 301, 201 and 34 of the IPC at the Mubarikpur police post on the complaint of mahant Budh Nath, general secretary of the Nath Community, Chandigarh, against unidentified persons.



Siddiqui given warm send-off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The rhythmic notes of bugle filled the air as Punjab’s former DGP A.A. Siddiqui was given a warm send-off by his colleagues in the Punjab Police Headquarters this evening.

After receiving the guard of honour, he was carried in a chair by other senior Punjab Police officers to a car bedecked with flowers. Among them were present incumbent S.S. Virk, along with IGP Sanjiv Gupta and Sumedh Saini.

The car was given a gentle push by the officer after Mr Siddiqui made himself comfortable on the rear seat. Before leaving, he thanked the staff for the cooperation that he received during his tenure.

Soon after his departure, the bugle once again sounded. This time, it was for Mr Virk. He also took the salute from the cops dressed in their ceremonial best before leaving for his new office on the fourth floor of the building.



Ex-servicemen donate for tsunami victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Mohali-based Ex-servicemen's Grievances Cell, has contributed Rs 11,000 towards the tsunami relief fund.

The amount was collected through donations by local ex-servicemen. The cell's president, Lieut-Col S S Sohi (retd), said that this was the first instalment to be sent by the cell to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. He added that more donors were coming forward and additional contributions would be sent to the relief fund.



Admn to start demolition drive in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Chandigarh Administration will carry out a demolition drive at Shastri Nagar, Mani Majra, on February 4.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, said in the first phase the Estate Office would remove all commercial establishments, gas godowns and residential buildings which fall within 100 feet radius from the road leading to Panchkula from St Kabir School.

The Estate Officer said notices had been issued under the Periphery Control Act. He said the demolition orders had been issued as the structures were constructed in contravention of the provisions of the Periphery Control Act.

The exercise is to be conducted in view of the extension of the IT park.



Punjab Chief Architect retires
Tribune News Service

S.S. Sekhon
S.S. Sekhon

Chandigarh, January 31
Mr S.S. Sekhon, Chief Architect of Punjab, retired today on attaining superannuation. He put in 29 years of service in various capacities in the state and Chandigarh. He worked on prestigious projects such as the Ranjit Sagar Dam and also remained on deputation with the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, Chandigarh Administration, Chandigarh Housing Board, Punjab Tourism Development Corporation and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. He was closely associated with the late Dr M.S. Randhawa.

He designed the Museum of Social History of Punjab at the PAU and Kisan Haveli at Anandpur Sahib besides commemorative gates at Fatehgarh Sahib. He was initiator of landscaping of roundabouts in Chandigarh. He is associated with INTACH, Punjab Heritage and Education Foundation and Punjab Environment Society.



Residents’ assn flays MC
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 31
Members of the Residents Welfare Association, CHB Complex, Category II, Sector 51-A, held a meeting and criticised the authorities for ignoring the area in providing basic civic amenities.

Mr Ram Pal Chaudhary, general secretary of the association, said the meeting was chaired by Mr R.S. Chauhan, president of the association. The meeting criticised the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh for not providing good quality of portable water. The issue of security, sanitation and electricity in the locality was also highlighted.



Cable charges up in Sec 7

Chandigarh, January 31
Resentment is brewing among the residents of Sector 7-C over the steep hike in the cable charges. A statement issued here today alleged that the cable operator had increased the charges to Rs 300 per connection recently. — TNS



One caught for stealing manhole covers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 31
A house was burgled while one person was caught while stealing manhole covers in the city, the local police said here today.

Mr Navdeep Shal of the Duplex Complex, Mani Majra, filed a complaint that articles worth Rs 4,000 were stolen from his residence during January 27 to January 30. The complainant said the thieves broke open the locks.

A case of burglary under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.

Sajiv, alias, Bittu, of Sector 25, was caught while stealing manhole covers in Sector 37. Mr Deepak Sharma, the owner of the house handed over the accused to the police. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Rama Sharma of Sector 41 reported to the police that his Hero Honda motorcycle (CH-01(T)-6312) was stolen from his residence yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.


A motorcyclist, Mr Anil Kumar suffered minor injuries when another motorcyclist (PB-27-B-4596) hit him near the Sector 22-23 light point yesterday. A case of negligent driving under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the unidentified motorcyclist at the Sector 17 police station.

In another accident, a scooterist, Mr Om Parkash of Sector 24 received injuries when a motorcycle (MH-31-BM-7843) driven by Sandeep Tiwari of Mansa Devi Complex hit him on the Madhya Marg in Sector 7 on January 27. The victim was admitted to the General Hospital and a case of negligent driving has been registered at the Sector 26 police station.

Liquor seized

Amrjit singh of Faidan village was arrested for illegally carrying eight bottles of Gulab, a country wine, near his village. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.


The local police has arrested three persons Mohamd Saquir of Rajiv Colony, Panchkula, Raj Kumar of Saini Vihar, Baltana, and Rameshwar of Phase II, Ram Darbar, for gambling. They were arrested from the fish market in Mauli Jagran last night. The police recovered Rs 3720 from their possession and registered a case under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act at the Mani Majra police station.



Safai karamchari murdered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 31
Raj Kumar (40),a safai karamchari in the Medical Health Department of the Union Territory, was found seriously injured and unconscious behind the Public Health Centre of Mani Majra yesterday.

He succumbed to his injuries this morning at the PGI.

Raj Kumar, who lived in the same area, was found with injuries on his head and face and a broken bottle of liquor was also recovered from the spot where he was lying unconscious.

The police has handed over the body to family members after conducting the post- mortem examination. The investigating officer, Mr Narinder Singh, told Chandigarh Tribune that the family members of the victim had not yet named any suspect.

He was admitted to the PGI where he was declared unfit to record his statement last night.

A case under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common criminal intention of more than one person) of the IPC had been registered at the Manimajra police station yesterday. But after his death the case has been converted to murder.

The police has started investigation on the basis of who was last seen with Raj Kumar. According to the police, he was a regular visitor to the liquor shop. Father of two children, the victim lived with his parents in Indira Colony.

The police suspects that more than one person were involved in the 



One injured over property dispute
Our Correspondent

Lalru, January 31
In a clash over a property dispute with his brothers, Mr Rattan Singh, a resident of Dharamgarh village, was injured near here, last evening.

According to the police, Mr Rattan Singh, a postman by profession, sustained injuries when he scuffled with his brothers. The injured was later admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

The police has booked nine persons, including his two brothers and two nephews on the complaint of the victim and a case under Sections 323, 341, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered against them at the Lalru police station.

Those who have been booked, include Lajja Singh, Darshan Singh, Raghubir Singh, Harmesh Singh, Beant Singh and Harvinder Singh (sons of Darshan Singh), Goldi, Prakash Singh and Megh Raj. No arrest has been made so far.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Rattan Singh alleged that he was thrashed by the above said persons in the presence of the police and panchayat members.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, was not available for comments.

Meanwhile, a calf was charred to death while its mother sustained burn injuries in a fire that broke out at a cowshed in Ramdasia Mohalla last night.

According to sources, some miscreants set Mr Attar Singh’s cowshed afire last night when a cow and its calf were tethered inside. Mr Hazoora Singh, a truck driver informed Mr Attar Singh about the fire at about 10.45 pm.

The victim said that his neighbours helped him in extinguishing the fire. He also sustained minor burn injuries when putting out the fire.



One held, stolen vehicles recovered
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 31
The local police has arrested a resident of Phase VI and recovered stolen vehicles from him.

According to Mr Rakesh Agrawal, SP, the police has arrested Amandeep Singh and recovered three stolen scooters and one car. He said ASI Kulbir Singh got secret information that Amandeep Singh was in possession of a scooter that had been stolen and he wanted to sell to a junk dealer in Phase X. The ASI then nabbed the suspect from the area and registered a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC against him.

The SP said on questioning the suspect admitted that he had stolen the scooter from Sector 22, Chandigarh. Two more stolen scooters and a car were also recovered from him.



Theft in two shops
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 31
Cash and goods worth Rs 1. 75 lakh were stolen from two shops in the town late last night. The thefts were discovered in the morning.

The police say plastic and tarpaulin sheets worth Rs 1. 50 lakh were stolen from a shop in Old Panchkula. Sahil Ghai, the owner of the shop, claimed that the miscreants had forced their entry from the roof by breaking tiles and decamped with the goods.

In another incident, miscreants broke the locks of a gift shop, Jai Maa Gift Shop in Swastik Vihar and decamped with mobile covers and other gifts worth Rs 25,000.

The owner, Harish Gulati, discovered the theft this morning.

Two injured: Sachin and Puneet were injured when their motor cycle collided head on with a truck near Barwala on Monday. The truck driver ran away and the victims are admitted to General Hospital. 



Mobile phone sets stolen
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 31
Thieves decamped with mobile telephone sets worth Rs 30,000 from a shop in Phase II here today.

According to the owner of the shop Amarjit Singh, the theft took place last night. At midnight, the watchman informed him about the theft.


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