C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Quark office under cloud
No permission from Environment Ministry
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 20
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Patiala, through a public notice issued today, has warned all those undertaking various construction ventures in the state to obtain the requisite approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. Failing which action under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, would be initiated against them.

Interestingly, Quark City in Mohali does not have the requisite clearance, yet it is going ahead with the inauguration of the Dell office tomorrow.

The notice mentioned that an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) clearance is to be taken from the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests, in compliance with a July 2004 notification of the Government of India. The said notification issued on July 7, 2004, has to be complied with by all construction projects in the country with an investment of Rs 50 crore and above or which would employ over 1,000 persons or which would discharge 50,000 litres of sewage every day.

Early this month, the board had denied a no objection certificate (NOC) to Quark on the grounds that the company does not have the requisite clearance. The Mohali’s fire department has also denied Quark City an NOC. The then fire station officer Mr B.S. Sandhu had objected to the issuing of an NOC on the grounds that since Quark is not just an industrial unit but intends to have clubs, cinema halls and residential units, its proximity to factories like Godrej and ICI paints was not safe. Mr Sandhu was promptly transferred. The Chief fire officer Mr Lakhvinder Singh also raised an objection to issuing the NOC and he was suspended.



HUDA ‘allows’ encroachment to thrive in Sector 11
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 20
More than 100 residents of Chotta Haripur village have encroached upon over three kanal of prime land in Sector 11 here. This land had been allotted as residential plots in 2000.The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has, however, failed to offer possession to the allottees because of the encroachment by villagers.

It is alleged that certain HUDA officials are hand-in-glove with encroachers, and thus no effort is being made to remove these encroachments. An inquiry against three officials of the Estate Office, HUDA, in this regard was also instituted in 2003 and these officials were later suspended and booked by the police.

The Supreme Court had earlier issued directions to HUDA for removing the encroachment and allotting alternate sites to the 11 original residents of Chotta Haripur village in August 1998, the authority has, however, failed to take any action in this regard. The apex court had then issued directions that HUDA may offer plots, measuring two marlas each, under the oustees’ quota to the original allottees.

HUDA had acquired the land in this village in 1987 and had allotted 18 residential plots, measuring 10 and eight marla, in Sector 11 in 2000. As of now, the village of Chotta Haripur does not exist in the revenue plan of Sector 11. At the time of land acquisition, the area of this village was restricted to 10 kanal and 15 marla and as many as 11 persons owned this land. However, over the years HUDA failed to get the land vacated from the encroachers and now the area of the village has expanded to over 13 kanals.

Though HUDA officials say that their hands are tied because of a case filed by the village residents in a local court, no stay order has been granted against the removal of encroachments. As a result, HUDA is not only losing out on the money it would receive as payment from the allotees, but the encroachments by the villagers have also become a major problem for house owners in the area.

A visit to the site revealed how a nursing home site had been converted into a cowshed, and the vacant spaces were being used by squatters as an open toilet. Multi-storeyed houses have come up in the area, where migrant labourers are being kept as tenants. The villagers have also opened a meat shop where animals are slaughtered openly. Mr Mahesh Goyal, president of the New Plot Holders and House Owners Association, Sector 11, says that though they have made numerous representations to HUDA authorities, yet the authority has not taken any action in this regard on the pretext that the matter was pending in court.



Cable operators seek uniform policy
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The municipal corporation has practically no by-laws or guidelines governing cable networking in the city. It is officially established that majority of the 90 odd cable operators in the city are not paying any ground rent.

The municipal corporation in 1999 decided to levy a tax of Rs 1,000 per sector a month on each cable operator. Less than 30 operators were ready to make their payments.

Official sources say that nearly 70 per cent of the operators feature in the list of defaulters. The corporation is planning to constitute a working group on the issue of ground rent. “Majority of the cable operators are willing to pay the rent. They have given the agreement in writing. They want certain changes,” a senior official said.

The corporation is contemplating a strict action against the defaulters. The officer said the corporation would constitute a committee. It would also include cable operators to give them a fair hearing in their case.

Mr Rajesh Sharma, proprietor of a cable network, Sector 38, said: “We have no problems in making payments to the corporation. However, there are certain loopholes regarding payment pertaining to the area of operation.”

The Chandigarh Cable Operators Association in a letter to the commissioner earlier had pointed out that “specifications of the sector area are not clear in the policy. For example Khuda Lahora Colony which falls in MC limits has only 150 houses. Mani Majra has 4,000 houses. How can the tax be uniform?”

The association has pointed out certain lacuna. “Certain sectors have very little population while a number of cable operators are not using the municipal land at all,” the note said.

Mr Sharma said: “There is no by-law in the MC on the licensing of operators. There are also neither any agreements or lease deeds. The MC has not specified the land for use nor for fixation of poles. There is also no mention of the design of poles.”

The Joint Action Committee of the Chandigarh Cable Operators in a communication to the Commissioner had demanded a clear-cut policy for cable operators.

Mr Sharma said by involving cable operators, the MC needs to draft a clear-cut policy and by-laws.



PU Senate approves 10 pc fee hike
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The Panjab University Senate approved 10 per cent fee hike in all the university departments from the session 2005-06 at its meeting held here today.

While students seeking admission in the general category would be required to pay an additional 10 per cent tuition and admission fee in the forthcoming session, a 5 per cent fee hike has been approved for students seeking admission in the NRI-sponsored category in the University Business School (UBS) alone.

The meeting lasted more than 12 hours. It was decided to hike all other funds charged from the students by 10 per cent.

Three senators — Mr Ashok Goyal, Mr Satpal Jain and Mr Ajay Pal Gill — recorded their dissent over the decision and Senator Prabhjit Singh said the university should think about not raising the fee in the next three years.

Members also approved the revised estimated deficit of Rs 53.83 crore for 2004-05 and an estimated deficit of Rs 57.23 crore for the 2005-06, as recommended by the Board of Finance.

The members unanimously appreciated Vice-Chancellor Prof K.N. Pathak for increasing the annual income by a few crores, but criticised the Punjab Government for not releasing its share for meeting the 40 per cent university deficit.

Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, said the university should think as to what could be done so that it became not only the best university in the country, but among the best in the world.

“Panjab University has a rich history and talent to become the best in the country. It may not happen in the next two-three years, but can be achieved in 10-15 years. The university should develop a global vision and come up with institutes for future technologies, which can attract the best teaching talent and students.

“If the university develops a vision, then the money needed to achieve this goal can be tapped from the Punjab Government, The Central Government, NRIs and from other world resources.’’

He recommended that the Vice-Chancellor should constitute a committee comprising senior professors to generate ideas that could make it among the best campuses.

Members unanimously agreed with the statement made by Mr Dua and said the university needed to think beyond the routine items to achieve high standards.

Appreciating the vital point raised by Mr Dua, Senator Mr S.C. Marriya said effective campus placement and advanced planning was required to achieve such goals. Mr G.C. Dhuriwala said a committee of “influential Senators” should be constituted to ask for money from contributing governments.

The House saw heated arguments over the issue of appointments of faculty members in the Department of Hindi. The House remained divided over the issue and Senators G.K. Chatrath proposed that secret voting should be conducted to resolve the matter.

Senator S.S. Hundal and Mr Ashok Goyal seconded the proposal, which was, however, rejected by the VC and the appointments were approved. The promotions of Lecturers to Readers in cases which were rejected earlier by selection committees were referred to the UGC.

The proceedings of the House were hampered after a section of members, agitated at the remarks made by Mr Chatrath, asked him to withdraw his statement.

The recommendations of the Academic Council were approved but concern was expressed over the appointment of ad hoc staff in affiliated colleges and shortage of regular faculty which performed exam duty.

The VC agreed to look into the matter of granting affiliation to only those colleges which did not have more than 20 per cent ad hoc faculty.



‘Withdraw fee hike’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 20
Activists of the ABVP protested against fee hike, in front of administration Hall, Panjab University (PU) where Senate meeting was held today. They wore black ribbons and showed black flags to the PU authorities for the proposed fee hike. Yajvender Yadav, president ABVP, PU, has urged the administration that the decision of fee hike should be withdrawn.



Gurdial Singh a writer of memorable fiction
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

It was the day of the Punjabi novelist, our very own Gurdial Singh, in city on Saturday evening as he sat in the British Library in Sector 8, signing copies of 'The Survivors', a translation of his original Punjabi novel 'Unhoye'.

'Meet the author and get a copy of the book signed' was part of the book-launch functions organised by Katha, a publishing society based in New Delhi. While this kind of fanfare is quite the done thing if the author is a Khushwant Singh or Shobha De, it had a novelty because the author comes from a simple family of artisans in the cotton belt of the Malwa region of Punjab. His writings are equally devoid of glamour as he has always told rather sorrowing tales of the underprivileged rural folk.

What then is the importance of being Gurdial Singh? This is the question that has been doing the rounds in the Punjabi literary circles for quite some time as he is perhaps the only Punjabi writer after Amrita Pritam to have received many awards and honours, including half a Jnanpith shared with Hindi fiction writer Nirmal Verma in 1999.

This has caused envy among his contemporaries. More recently a debate of sorts erupted like a storm in a teacup with the publication of a book called 'Lok Kehan Daversh' (People Call Him A Saint) by his younger brother Gurcharan Singh. An article in a Punjabi literary bi-monthly describes it as a biographical novel in which the attempt is to get even with Big Brother who with a veiled identity is the protagonist of this debut attempt.

It is also said that Gurdial Singh made an allout effort to stop its publication. When asked this question, the veteran writer said, "I have not yet read the novel. But for a few Punjabi writers who are fanning the controversy, others are ignoring the book." Interestingly, a seminar was organised at Mohali on Sunday on 'Lok Kehan Darvesh'.

Coming back to the question of 'importance', historian J.S. Grewal, at a function organised at Panjab University to release 'The Survivors' at mid-day, said: "Gurdial Singh's greatness lies in the fact that his novels mirror the social reality of our times and touch the heart deeply." Gurdial Singh, who made a debut as a novelist with the all-time classic 'Marhi da Diva' himself said literature was literature only if it can stir human emotions, address human bonding and offer a transformation of experience. Well said, and there lies the importance of this writer whose characters, be it Jagsir of 'Marhi da Diva' or Bishna of 'Unhoye', have the power to step out of the pages and into the life of the readers. Therein lies the importance of Gurdial Singh, the writer of memorable fiction, of whose work literary critic Sant Singh Sekhon had said, "Undoubtedly, these characters will live in the collective memory of our people…with the same intensity and fervour with which Hamlet still lives on…"

Thus it is a moment of joy that Katha has published the book so beautifully with an attractive cover featuring a Manjit Bawa painting. The book has been translated by Rana Nayar, who ealier translated the writer's novel, 'Parsa', and a book of short stories called 'Earthy Tones'. Nayar also read out an extract from the novel at the function.

Stories of the soil are reaching out to the world at last.



Co-author finds translation of novel a taxing experience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
A lot of Punjabis around the world, more so the younger generation, are cut of from their roots and are keen to understand their culture They are, however, at a loss because of lack of relevant literature or reading matter in English.

It was with this thought in mind that an Army colonel hailing from Goa and a daughter of a known Punjabi writer, got together to translate a Punjabi novel into English. Colonel Clifton Ivan Marques and Mrs Komal Saini Pathak have just published Riding Piggyback, an English translation of Kanhedi Chade Vareh by noted writer Rajinder Kaur. The book will be released here on March 27 by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal.

"It was a very taxing and demanding work," Komal, who is Rajinder Kaur's daughter, said. "The challenge of translation was to maintain the essence of Punjabi and capture the nuances of the language without compromising on its spirit," she added.

The idea to translate the book struck suddenly when on a winter afternoon the author was reading out passages from her book and Komal was explaining them to Clifton. Since the contents of the book delved on childhood experiences in a rustic environment in Punjab and were universal in appeal, it was felt that it should have a wider readership.

Komal, who has been teaching for the past 18 years and is currently posted at the Government Model High School, Sector 28, said all proceeds from the book would be given to an NGO near Ropar which took care of underprivileged children. Incidently, her husband and Clifton are in the same regiment. For Colonel Clifton, who has a doctorate in Central Asian Studies, the project has added a new dimension to his life. "The book acquaints readers with the physical, emotional and environmental conditions in undivided India. It tells everyday truth and myths accompanied by snippets and incidents that make the childhood whole," he added.

Riding Piggyback is his second book, the earlier being a collection of poems tittled 100 Grams of Stars.



Gurcharan’s novel kicks up a storm
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 20
The first novel by Gurcharan Singh, an engineer-turned writer, has kicked up a storm. The novel titled “Lok Kahen Darvesh” seems to be an effort to expose a noted Punjabi writer.

Gurcharan Singh refused to comment that the protagonist of his book called Gurnek Singh was inspired by the life of a famous writer, he pointed out that all he had to say had been written in the novel. “Now it is in public domain and it is for the critics and readers to evaluate its worth,” he said.

At a discussion on the book organised by the Sahit Sabha Mohali today, critics however sent a clear message. “Take the book on its face value. As a literary endeavour the novel is remarkable, it should not be seen as a commentary on the life of any one. Nowhere in the novel has Gurcharan Singh used the name of the famous author. So why should anyone think that is based on his life?” said Mr Santokh Singh Dhir noted Punjabi author.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the other critics including Mr Gurpal Singh Sandhu who was the main discussant in today’s session. Appreciating the maiden effort of Gurcharan Singh Mr Sandhu stated that the Gurcharan Singh should have started writing long back and not after he retired. Dr Atma Ram of the Panjab University added that the work should be seen in the light of the not the protagonist’s individuality but as a mirror of the society in general. “There are hundreds of Gurnek Singhs in Punjab. This should be seen as a story of those hundreds,” he said

Mr Jasbir Bhullar said the book was to be named “Khoon Peene Rishte” but was changed later. He added that the book had managed to convey and hide. Mr Mohan Bhandari appreciated the work.

Ms Nirmal Jaswal however said the novel lacked the quality that would hold the readers interest through out the work. Another discussant Mr Govardhan Gabhi said the author had quoted too much of Gurbani in the novel and the readers was at times forced to skip pages.



JAC seeks extension of ‘lal dora’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Member of the Joint Action Committee, a forum of residents living outside the lal dora of UT villages, today participated in a rally. The rally ended with the leaders of the committee submitting a memorandum of demands to the Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal.

As per the figures quoted by the committee, as many as 35,000 families were living out the lal dora in UT villages. The general-secretary of the association, Mr B.S. Rawat, said the concept of lal dora was outdated. The government had not authorised the sarpanches of villages to spend funds on the welfare of the people living outside the lal dora, he said

Members of the committee apprehend that the structures would be demolished under the Periphery Control Act. They argue that the Chandigarh Administration has itself violated the provisions of the Act by raising structures in Mani Majra.

In their memorandum, the committee said the Delhi Administration had regularised all such houses outside the lal dora. And there was a need to extend the lal dora.

After accepting the memorandum of demands from the committee members, the MP assured that the structures outside the lal dora would not be demolished.



2 die in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 20
A grandfather and grandson were killed in an accident that took place near Gharuan village on the Kharar-Ropar road here today.

The victim, 50-year-old Harnek Singh, a resident of Lakhnaur village, was taking his two grandchildren, 7-year-old Jagjit Singh and 5-year-old Anmol to their maternal grandparents’ house in Indupur village on a scooter.

The scooter was hit by an Indica car from the back. Harnek Singh died on the spot while Jagjit died in a hospital. Anmol is admitted to the Civil Hospital, Kharar, in an injured state.

The police has impounded the car and registered a case under Sections 279 and 304 of the IPC against the driver.



Bank employees’ strike tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
More than 10 lakh employees and officials of 32 public sector banks across the country will strike work on Tuesday in protest against the move to allow merger and acquisition in public sector banks and foreign direct investment ( FDI) in the private sector. Transactions worth crores will be paralysed.

Banking activities will also come to a halt in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula due to the call for the nationwide strike under the banner of United Forum of Bank Unions. Union leaders of various banks claim that with over 10,000 employees participating in the strike, transactions of over Rs 300 crore will be affected in this region alone. Even though the private banks will remain open but work in these banks will also be partially affected as clearance of cheques etc will not take place. However, the ATMs of various banks would remain functional.

Sources in banks reveal that officials and employees will jointly participate in the strike and the banks would remain shut. A large number of employees and officers will be rendered surplus through this so-called merger and acquisition among public sector banks, said one of the union leaders.

They would protest against government’s decision of dilution government’s equity capital in government sector banks and increase in private capital, allowing foreign direct investment up to 74 per cent of capital in the private banks, unwanted merger of public sector banks, besides demanding recovery of huge NPAs of banks.

They fear that today they have only decided to bring in investments from foreign operators but tomorrow it could be the staff also, he added. The move aimed at privatisation of banks will also force workers to come under the contract system.

They maintain that the public sector banks have done well for themselves during the past few years. Therefore, the question of reducing the number of banks to a manageable level and creating a large base is totally misleading.

Taking a strong view of Punjab National Bank bringing out a public issue, the forum has described it as a game plan to privatise the public sector banks.

The agitated employees have also raised their voice against the merger of public sector banks. The government proposes to merge these 32 banks into big banks. According to the general secretary of the Central Bank of India Employees Union, the merger will lead to reduction in manpower as well as closure of the branches of banks.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Chandigarh, has appealed to all public sector banks to support the strike call by keeping their branches locked. A rally will be organised in Sector 17.



Hooda presents awards to journalists, photographers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Award for the Best Investigative Report 2004 was awarded to Senior staff correspondent of The Tribune, Ms Geetanjali Gayatri, by Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, at a function of the Chandigarh Press Club here today.

Mr Hooda handed over a memento, a citation and a cash prize of Rs 10000 to the journalist for a story on fungus infected mid-day meals served in to children of primary government schools in Haryana. The Indian Express photographer, Jaipal Singh, won the award for the Best Photograph of 2004. He received a citation, memento and a cash prize of Rs 5000 from Mr Hooda.

Jagwinder Patial of Dainik Bhaskar won an appreciation certificate for his story on spying at the Perchu Lake, Tribune phoptographers Pankaj Sharma and Manoj Mahajan were also handed over appreciation certificates for the Best News photographs.

The Chandigarh Press Club instituted these awards as part of it silver jubilee celebrations. Mr Hooda said that criticism in news was also welcome since it helped improve working of governments.

Congratulating the winners, Mr Hooda said,”With all newspapers introducing city and district editions, the reports had their hands full all the time. It is commendable they find time for investigative stories.

Local Member of Parliament, Pawan Bansal, the guest of honour at the function, praised the press club.

Mr Pawan Bansal also inaugurated a library and reading section constructed with MPLADS fund.

Haryana’s Irrigation Minister, Capt Ajay Yadav, MLA H.S. Chatha and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, M.L. Tayal were among their present on the occasion.



Surjit Patar recalls his poetic journey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Surjit Patar, the most prominent of Punjabi poets, who has kept alive the tradition of lyric along with his blank verse, charmed the poetry lovers of the city by presenting his ghazals at ‘an evening with the poet’ organised by the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi at the Sector 34 cultural centre.

Patar, who appeared on the Punjabi poetry scene in the 60s, spoke to the audience in an intimate manner about his poetic journey and also the creative process of some of his famous poems. Always attracted to music, Patar started writing poems in his college days at Kapurthala. “The college had a library and I read voraciously. The poets who influenced me in the early days were Bawa Balwant and Harbhajan Singh. Although Shiv Kumar Batalvi was gaining popularity at that time, it was only later that we could assess the merit of his verses. At that time S.S. Misha with his modern tone appealed more to my youthful heart,” he said.

Recalling his poetic journey, Patar said that his verses blossomed in the very creative environment of the 60s at Patiala. “I chose to study in Punjabi University because well known writers and intellectuals like Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Attar Singh and Balwant Singh were associated with it. Outside the campus I came across the avante garde influence of Gurbhagat Singh, Harinder Mehboob, S.S. Noor and Baba Laali,” he said.

Talking of his famous poem, ‘Kujh kiha taan hanera jarega kivein’, Patar said he was once passing through the old courts of Ludhiana and he saw the dried up trees in the compound. He felt that these were people who had turned into trees waiting for justice. This and the justice the Naxalites had sought merged into the making of the poem. Referring to yet another well-known poem written during terrorism, he said: “The incident of Hindus being pulled out of a bus and killed perturbed me much. And I thought with horror that if the much-loved Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar had been among them, this would have been his fate too.” Thus he wrote the famous poem:

‘Kal Waris Shah nu wandea si ajj Shiv Kumar di vaari hai

Oh zakham tuhanu bhul vi gaye naveian di hor tiyari hai’



PRO’s passion for photography
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 20
Long-distance travel by train can be boring but not if you are a photographer. City-based photographer, Subhash Sapru has made the best of his long journey by capturing various moments be it of co passengers along the way, or even at various railway stations.

His photographs with an article titled, “Photography makes Travel by Train fun” have been published by the Photographic Society of America in the January issue of its official journal — PSA Journal. Mr Sapru travelled to Guwahati from New Delhi by train last year and had clicked photographs in the moving train, and tried to capture images along the way.

His article has been acclaimed by admirers of photography from various parts of the world. He has explained how he befriended co-passengers in the compartment, so that they oblige him by allowing him to click them.

This is for the second time that the Photographic Society of America has recognised his writing and photography.The massive devastation caused by an earthquake in Gujarat in 2001 was covered by him. The pictures taken by him and the moving description of the colossal calamity coupled with his experience as a photographer in the quake devastated area were published in the Special Photojournalism Issue of the PSA Journal, ( July 2002).

Presently, he is working as Public Relations Officer in Department of Public Relations, Haryana in Chandigarh. Interestingly, neither his official work includes photography nor has he taken any formal training in photography. He says that the desire to improve his skill and nose for news are his biggest assets.



Residents’ body rues shortage of water in Sector 51-A
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The Residents Welfare Association of the Category II of the Chandigarh Housing Board, Sector 51-A, has complained of the shortage of water in the residential complex.

At a meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Mr R.S. Chauhan, president of the association, it was alleged that no action had been taken in this regard despite repeated representations to the authorities concerned nothing had been done. The overhead tanks in the flats remain dry due to the low water pressure putting the residents to a lot inconvenience.

Not only that, the residents also complained of getting muddy water. The accumulation of water near the tubewell had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes making the area disease-prone. The association also alleged that garbage had been piling up in the complex due to insufficient number sweepers deployed for maintaining cleanliness.



Start Kranti Express: manch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The Kerala Sastra Kala Manch and the Kerala branch of the CPM today demanded the starting of the Sampark Kranti Express from Chandigarh to Kerala.

The demand was raised in a memorandum submitted to Mr T.K. Hamsa, MP from Kerala, here today. Mr Hamsa was here in connection with a function organised to pay tributes to Left leaders — E.M.S. Namboodripad and A.K. Gopalan.

The memorandum demanded sufficient quota for the passengers booking tickets from Chandigarh to any station in Kerala in the new train. It also demanded that the frequency of the train should be increased to thrice a week.

Meanwhile, addressing the function, Mr Hamsa underlined the importance of the ideology of the late leaders.



CAT stays recovery of patient care allowances
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has stayed the recovery of Patient Care Allowances from employees of Ordinance Cable Factory. The orders in this regard were passed after a large number of employees approached the CAT for relief. The applicants, most of who are working as pharmacists, ambulance drivers, medical assistants and sweepers, stated that first the authorities concerned stopped paying allowances to them and then ordered its recovery without informing them.

While sanctioning the allowances, authorities failed to mention that the allowances were to be given in hospitals and clinics where there were beds. They said the authorities were aware that these places were without beds.

They further stated that before making payment, it was verified from the Principal Medical Officer that the category of employees working in the clinics involved continuous contact with patients infected with communicable diseases and they were admissible for the allowances.



‘Reserve 2 pc seats for mentally challenged’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
A workshop on vocational training and job placement of mentally challenged children was organised at the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, yesterday.

Prof B.S. Chavan, Joint Director of the institute, and Prof B.Ashok, Assistant Professor, National Institute for Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad, spoke on the occasion, among others.

Prof Chavan said instead of the present reservation of 3 per cent for the disabled persons, the government should make it 5 per cent by adding 2 per cent reservation for the mentally challenged children.

The parents of the mentally challenged children were told that they should prepare their children and explore the avenues for job placements for them.

It has been decided to set up at least four self-employment centres in the city this year.



Workshop on Dandi March
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
The Inter Media Publicity Coordination Committee (IMPCC) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting organised a workshop on the 75th anniversary of Dandi March here today.

Mr Nand Lal, Accountant General ( A and E), Punjab, who was the chief guest said the messages of Mahatma Gandhi were relevant even today to solve problems of poverty, castes system, illiteracy, violence and other social issues.

Dr MP Dogra, Consultant on Naturopathy at the Gandhian Samark Bhavan, delivered a lecture on Dandi March. Mr K.S. Dhatiwalia, Director, Public Relations, and Chairman of the Inter Media Publicity Coordination Committee, also spoke on the occasion. The workshop served as a launch for similar programme in different districts of Punjab.

Meanwhile, the Inter Media Publicity Coordination Committee organised three programmes for the awareness of industrial workers, villagers and residents on the issue of female foeticide.



Mobile phone snatched
Our Correspondent

Lalru, March 20
Two unidentified youths snatched a mobile phone from Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Handesra village, on the Lalru-Handesra road, here today.

In a complaint to the police, Neeraj Kumar stated that two unidentified motorcycle-borne youths snatched his mobile phone while he was making a phone call. The police has registered a case under Sections 356 and 34 of the IPC at the Dera Bassi police station.

Sources revealed that the police rounded up around four persons for their alleged involvement in the mobile snatching cases.

Two unidentified motorcyclists had also snatched a mobile phone from a Panchkula based engineer on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road some days ago. The police has failed to make any headway in the case as yet.


A motorcyclist, Tejpal Singh of Shakti Nagar Colony, Dera Bassi, sustained injuries when a Maruti Zen car approaching from the opposite directions collided head-on with his bike on the Kalka-Ambala highway near here, this morning.

The injured was going on his motorcycle (PB-70-7431) towards Lalru from Dera Bassi when the car (PB-03M-3611) collided with his motorcycle.

He was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, in a critical condition.

The car driver reportedly fled from the scene after the collision. The police has impounded the vehicles and a case has been registered 



Journalist’s car stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
A Santro car of senior journalist Sridhar Raman was stolen from in front of house No. 18, Sector 10, yesterday. Raman’s house is close to Hotel Mountview. The Santro XG car (CH03 P7724) is reported to have been stolen between 2 am and 5 am. The matter was reported to the Sector 3 police station which registered a case in this regard.

Mr Ripu Dhawan Bakshi of Sector-18 C reported that his bag containing a video camera, a laptop, a personal diary and other important documents was stolen from Sector 17 market on Friday. A Sector 39 resident, Davinder Singh, was allegedly beaten up by two persons near Sector 39 and 40 roundabout. Ramesh Kumar of Sector-45 C reported that somebody had stolen his Hero Honda Splendor motor cycle (CH01 V 3323) from his residence. Whereas Ashok Gupta of Sector-40 D reported that two gas cylinders were stolen from his residence yesterday. Randeep Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony was arrested along with Rs 320 while gambling at a public place. 



Youth arrested

Chandigarh, March 20
A youth from Modern Housing Complex was this evening arrested near the Sector 20 Math Mandir for allegedly possessing 50 gram of smack. David Bali was stopped at a police picket near the temple. During the search of his Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle (CH03 8495), recovered the contraband. According to the police, Bali was to deliver the contraband to somebody. The police said Bali was to sell the contraband for Rs 7000 to an unidentified person in the city. TNS



Spice focuses on villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
Spice Telecom plans to provide connectivity to nearly 125 small towns across the state this year.

DGM (Marketing), Mukul Khanna said sites have been erected in Sectors 22, 20, 24 and 49 and some more would be put up in the next two months for better network capacity. Additional towers will also be erected in Sector 17 and Mohali to ease the congestion.

As many as 15,000 to 20,000 subscribers were still getting connected with our services every month. We have a subscriber base of more than 12 lakh, said Mr Khanna.



Biz Clips

magazine: A magazine on mobile phone industry ‘ My mobile’ was launched recently. The magazine will present a clear insight into the mobile world, where technology and innovation are the buzz words.

MEN’S WEAR: TNG, premium men’s wear has launched the Impressionist collection. There is a range of trousers with visible strokes and textures for this summer. These are available in various shades khaki, black, grey, brown, beige and fawn.


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