C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bypass to Patiala gets nod
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
The proposal of the Ministry of Defence for a bypass to Patiala city on the Patiala-Sangrur National Highway has been accepted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Now, the former has proposed that the portion of National Highway 22, dissecting the Chandimandir cantonment area in Panchkula district, be abandoned.

Officials in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways inform that the authorities at Western Command headquarters have proposed that an alternative bypass be created on the Panchkula-Shimla highway, with its alignment along either bank of the Ghaggar. They have proposed that a new alignment of the highway be created so that the 5-km stretch between Panchkula and Chandimandir can be included in the cantonment area in order to consolidate the Army land.

Sources say that the Army authorities have contended that formations under the Western Command have to pass through the highway, and normal traffic flow on this stretch affects the smooth flow of Army vehicular traffic. The authorities also contend that normal traffic flow on this stretch results in a large number of accidents, leading to traffic jams, and thus posing a threat to the security of the Army area.

A similar proposal was made by the Army almost 10 years ago. However, it remained shelved. Now, as the four- laning work on the Panchkula-Kalka National Highway is in the pipeline, and the National Highway branch of the Public Works Department is working out modalities for acquiring land for road widening, the Army authorities have again made this proposal.

Meanwhile, officials in the Ministry of Road Transport are busy making last-minute preparations before work on a bypass to Patiala city (on National Highway 64) begins. The project, which is of strategic importance to the defence forces, has been hanging fire since 1979. This will now be constructed by the Border Roads Organisation at an estimated cost of Rs 37 crore. The land for the bypass has been acquired and final shape to the proposed alignment and transfer of land to Border Roads Organisation is being given. The bypass will be constructed from near PUDA Colony on the Rajpura-Patiala road, and join NH-64 beyond Patiala, and will be 18.6 km long. This will be a two-lane bypass with a width of 7.8 metres.

The Western Command authorities, while pressing for this bypass, had said asked for the construction of the bypass to Patiala city on the pretext that their formations had to pass through Patiala city in order to reach border areas of Punjab and Rajasthan via Sangrur for various trainings and military exercises. They had said that the bypass would also aid the military traffic from Himachal Pradesh to border areas via Sangrur.



3 fresh meningitis cases reported
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, May 9
After meningococcal meningitis claimed its first victim from Chandimandir yesterday, three new suspected cases have been reported from different parts of the district today. While one of the suspected cases, Neetu, 24, hails from Faridabad (near Delhi), the other two — Ramu, 17, and six-month old Preeti, are suspected to have got the infection locally.

Ramu is a resident of a labour colony in Manimajra was rushed to General Hospital here last night with high fever. The doctors suspected him to be suffering from meningitis, and after his condition deteriorated, they referred him to PGI, Chandigarh.

The other two cases — Neetu, and six month old Preeti - were also admitted to General Hospital, Panchkula. While Neetu had come to Azad Colony in Kalka from Faridabad near Delhi 15 days ago, Preeti is a resident of Punjabi Colony near village Ramgarh. The laboratory tests of the two patients were underway, and they have been kept in isolation. To prevent the spread of the infection, eight persons who were in contact with Neetu at Kalka, have also been given preventive medicines by health authorities.

Following the emergence of fresh cases, the health authorities have now renewed their surveillance in all slum and labour colonies in the district. The District Health Officer, Dr Lalit Virmani, said five teams of health workers today surveyed Chandi Tana and Chuna Bhatti village (where Nanhu Ram had died). “Five teams also visited the small labour colonies at Nandpur, Kedarpur, Ranmpur Seori, Kutbewala, Masjidwala, Dewanwala and Bhagwanpur villages. About 20 cases of fever were found in these villages, and we have taken blood and sputum samples of 28 persons,” he said.

Meanwhile in Chandigarh, no fresh cases of the disease have been reported today. The Director Health Services, Dr C.P. Bansal said that neither any new case nor the confirmation of suspect cases at PGI could be done. The condition of 11-year-old Meena from Mohali, admitted to PGI two days ago, continues to be critical. However, PGI authorities said it would take another day for test reports to be confirmed.

The past few days might have created a scare residents are thronging the city hospitals in case of symptoms of meningitis. But doctors at the PGI do not seem to be in much of a hurry. Many persons, who took their children to the PGI emergency after reading about the symptoms of the disease were told by the doctors at the emergency that they should come the following day at the OPD clinics. The father of a 14-year-old said: My daughter was running fever but I was told by doctors that there is no emergency and I should come the next day in the OPD. Now I want to go to a private practitioner to rule out meningitis.’’

“It is natural that people are scared and come to PGI even when there is no emergency. So doctors tell them to come in the OPDs,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar.



Hello MC, I have a complaint, please
Emergency phone number by next week
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
An emergency telephone number on the pattern of 100 for police and 101 for fire services will soon be announced by the Municipal Corporation. Problems of citizens pertaining to all wings of the corporation, including lesser supply of water, leaking sewerage, broken roads, unkempt parks, confusions regarding payment of property tax and others can be recorded in the control room.

Residents of the city currently have to shuttle among different offices with regard to filing their complaints. Residents are forced to trace different offices on different numbers and different locations. Offices of different wings of the corporation are scattered all over the city, for practical reasons. “A great deal of time is spent in locating the exact office concerning our problems. I spent nearly a week in reaching the officer concerned for a complaint pertaining to the public park in my sector,” Mr Ranjit Singh, a resident of Sector 46, said.

Mr P.S. Aujla, Chief Commissioner, confirmed the MC move on installing an emergency number. He said the programme was currently under way and the number is likely to be operational in the coming week.

The corporation has already put on Internet (mcchandigarh.com) a chart of different wings. Details of the functions of each department along with names and numbers (including e-mail addresses) of each officer have been put on the Net. The site also has proforma of different forms which can save rounds of the residents to the MC office. These include forms for property tax, water connections, storage of building material and permission for religious functions, besides others.

Mr Arvind Syal, programme officer, said another programme to facilitate registering of complaints within the coming week will be the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). Complaints will be registered , through a special programme, on the computer directly. The system will also incorporate the facility of replying to the complainant regarding the status of the report.

Mr Syal also gave details of the wireless Internet facility in the office. All offices in the corporation have been inter-connected. “A cable connection has also been made to the office of the Deputy Commissioner which will save time in inter-departmental enquiries and information,” he said.

It was pointed out that a special training programme for the staff was currently under way in the corporation.

A Congress councillor said the idea to have a centralised complaint number was very good. However, the results depend on functional inter-connectivity between different departments.

Complaints can be immediately forwarded to the departments concerned. However, the system of replying back also needs to be incorporated.

An effort should be made to put a time limit on action on different complaints. In case of any complexity in handling the problem, the complaint centre should have a reply ready for the resident.”



Centre for captive breeding of vultures at Sabraon
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Under the South Asian Recovery Plan prepared to enhance the rapidly dwindling population of vultures, six centres for their captive breeding will be set up in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Four such centers will be in India, one in Pakistan and an other in Nepal. The execution of the plan has already started in India.

One such centre will be set up at Sabraon, near Harike, in Punjab and another at Buxa in West Bengal. One is already working at Bir Shikargah, near Pinjore. The place to set up the fourth centre in India has not been finalised yet.

Informed sources said today that there was a forest cover over 80 acres near Sabraon and it was found most suitable for captive breeding of vultures, which were the best natural scavengers. The forest is a deserted place which is a principal requirement for setting up such a centre.

With the almost disappearance of vultures from the countryside in almost all parts of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries, the captive breeding is a major task taken in hand by ornithologists. Eminent ornithologists, environmentalists and zoologists have been trying hard to enhance the population of vultures in India and other parts of the Asia.

In fact, a very few vultures are found in India. There is no trace of them in the rural areas where they used to be a common site. Besides, the experts have no idea about the exact population of vultures in India and other parts of the Asia.

“We have no count of population of vultures in India”, said Dr Vibhu Prakash, Principal Scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society( BNHS) and Coordinator of the South Asia Vulture Recovery plan in India. In fact, Dr Prakash was the first person in the country to alert all concerned regarding the falling population of the vultures in India and other parts of Asia. Experts say that the surviving vulture population is just a few hundreds.

He said the Pinjore project was going as planned. “After the hatching of eggs, it takes two years to develop the bird for release from captivity”, said Dr Prakash. All vultures kept at the Pinjore centre had adapted to their surroundings. The number of vultures is 42 at the centre, he added.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Government is facing a crisis as far as managing the Harike wetland, one of the recognised international sites for migratory birds, is concerned. While there is no Divisional Forest Officer( DFO) there to look after the Harike wetland, two wildlife Inspectors, who were posted there, are facing a criminal case. They were recently booked by the Vigilance Bureau in a case.

“As no senior officer is holding charge, there is a strong possibility of rare species at the wetland, which remains home to nearly 40,000 migratory birds during the winter. Even during summer, one can find huge concentration of birds there”, said a bird watcher. In the past, a number of cases of poaching of birds had been reported from the wetland, said the bird watcher.

Being Chairman of the Wildlife Advisory Board, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, should himself look into the matter and direct the authorities concerned to make adequate arrangements for protecting the wetland from possible assault of poachers, said an other conservationist.



Admn advised to review property conversion rule
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh Administration has been advised to review the conversion of Property Rule 2001 apparently to consider removing an anomaly of GPA holders getting their houses registered in five years while allottees have to wait for 15 years.

The anomaly has been put forward to the Chandigarh Administration in an official note prepared by the competent authority. A meeting was today called in this connection by the Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, but no decision could be taken as the Law Department wanted more time to study the implication of the review further.

A section of the allottees of the housing societies have been pressing for reduction of time from 15 years after the completion of the work to five years to change the laws according to the new economic realities. However, a section of the Chandigarh Administration feels the change of the period would throw open the property market despite the fact that the land was allotted to housing societies at a concessional rate.

Rule 2001 needs to be amended because as per the Power of Attorney Act, the GPA holder acts on behalf of the Principal as an agent and is not supposed to use the authority in his own benefit or favour.

Transaction of sale by power of attorney is in violation of the prescribed procedure in the Transfer of Property Act and Section 11 of the Registration Act which requires that the sale of an immovable property be compulsorily registered.

The review of Rule 2001 is also required due to the fact that the Chandigarh Administration is losing hundreds of crores of rupees as no stamp duty is paid on the GPA transactions except Rs 15. There is evasion of the stamp duty on a transaction which was 12 per cent before being reduced to 6 per cent. The calculation has to be made at the market price for this fee. GPA that has spread across the city is punishable under Section 82 of Registration Act and Section 43 of the Indian Stamp Act.

The review is also required as transfer in favour of a GPA holder is permissible after five years while the lock-in period is between 10 and 15 years in the case of allottees and lessees. The amnesty scheme for GPA holders should have been close-ended. The GPA holders should have been given permission for registration for a particular time.

The sources said an instrument of a higher conversion fee making the state a partner in the rising land prices could be an effective deterrence against sale and purchase of flats by profiteers instead of a long lock-in period.



Man clubbed to death
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 9
A cashier of a brick kiln located at Pandwala village, near here, was clubbed to death by a group of some migrant labourers employed at the same unit, late last night.

Mr Sunil Kumar, a resident of Pandwala village, was clubbed to death with a spade when he disconnected an electricity connection drawn by the labourers. The labourers were drawing electricity without seeking permission from the brick kiln owners to run a DJ system to celebrate the birth of a boy to the wife of Sarvesh Kumar, a labourer.

The labourers, who allegedly had consumed alcohol, turned violent when Sunil Kumar disconnected the power supply. In the heated exchange of words one of the labourers hit Sunil Kumar with a spade on his head. He died on the spot.

The assailants reportedly fled from the village after the incident. The news spread in the village and the family members of the victim reached the spot. They subsequently informed the police.

A police party arrested Sarvesh Kumar, Puran Chand and Sonpal. Three other suspects — Chandra Pal, Jai Singh and Rajpal — are still absconding.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

The body was handed over to the family after a postmortem examination.



Chandigarh Calling

FOR the cold climes in the West, these 31 days get the nomenclature of ‘The merry month of May.’ In the warm East, it is the time of sweltering heat and so it would not be out of place to say ‘The murderous month of May.’ This year, however, May has been unusually pleasant but summer has started showing its fangs now with the second week of the month well begun. Just as well because the city folk feel that delayed summer would mean delayed monsoon and messing up of the entire weather cycle. So people are ready and geared up to face the heat.

A dog’s life

A dog’s life is not bad after all if the way this family of seven Pomeranians is looked after is any indication. Ganesh Bahadur takes the seven to a stroll twice a day on the road by the Sukhna Lake. Tribune photographer Karam Singh who trained his lens at the privileged lot learnt from Bahadur that they are the pets of an industrialist, J.S. Kang, who lives in city’s Sector 5. The two dark ones are Ma and Dad and have seen five years. The five lighter-wool ones are the progeny in the age group of two to three years. All of them get a diet of milk, biscuits, patties and chicken soup.

Songs sung blue

Talking of the summer months of May and June, one is reminded of the famous lines of Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi — ‘Ik chhati mere haarh tapenda duji chhati jeth/ Ni sayio main agg turi pardes’. This was the dirge of the beautiful low-caste Loona who is married to Salwan, the high-caste ageing king. The summer months are so beautifully linked to the fire that rages in a young girl’s breasts as she is wed against her wishes. On the sixth day of the month friends and admirers got together to recall the late poet’s days in the city and listen to his poems sung by his old friend Bishamber Shambi at a small and intimate gathering.

Ride and seek

When it comes to enjoying life and celebrating festivals, Punjabis never lag behind. So whether it is Baisakhi, Holi or Divali, they have special fairs for every occasion. A major feature of these fairs is the joy rides being offered in the kids carnival. A paltry sum of Rs 10 is what you pay for these joy rides, which include motorcycle ride, train ride, merry-go-round and other such fun rides. However, one wonders whether these jhoolas adhere to the requisite safety norms, what kind of safeguards have been taken to prevent any mishap and if any mishap occurs, what kind of first aid arrangements they have. Moreover, since these contractors are always on the move, so it is difficult to fix the responsibility. One just hopes they are not taking Chandigarhians safety for a ride.


The media may have highlighted the news of CSD items being kept out of the purview of VAT over 10 days ago. But all those brave serving and former armed forces personnel who rushed to CSD outlets in the hope of buying grocery and other items after hoping that the dark clouds of VAT would have lifted leaving racks brimming with bounty of tax-free goodies, were in for a shock as a desert of empty racks greeted them at the outlet. So several had to return empty handed. The scene in the liquor section was also not much different as many had to return ‘de-spirited’. Reason being that the official notification of the decision is still awaited and things will become back to normal only after the ides of May.

Party poem

Gurmel Singh Sra is a man of action as well as muse. Some years ago he sued a religious head, Bapu Asa Ram, for causing communal discord. These days Sra is very seriously going about the business of writing poetry and there are three books ready in a row. Themes close to his heart are love and spirituality. He is also inspired, or should one say uninspired, by the communists who had him in their gips way back in the seventies. He pays them back thus in verse: Suna suna dil da veharha/Jiyon communistan da daftar. In spontaneous translation it would read that the courtyard of the heart is as deserted as the communist party office.

Cops and birds

Happily for the birds in the forested area opposite Sector 39, the CRPF platoon camping there has moved out. Would one say that the birds scared the cops out of the habitat that originally belonged to the winged species? Whatever be the reason, the people in the south of the city are happy and want this area to preserved thus so that the birds remain in their homeland and the residents can benefit from hearing their songs.

So much for a line!

Seldom are book release functions well attended. But the one organised to mark the release of Dr S.S. Bhatti’s latest book ‘Journey of the Straight Line’ was an exception to the norm. Such was the visitation on the occasion that even the seemingly spacious auditorium of Natural History Museum in Sector 10 seemed rather insufficient to accommodate all. With no space to move, people were literally huddled together. And none seemed to mind the inconvenience. Noteworthy the fact that that each guest no matter how uncomfortably placed did not leave until the show was over. So much for a line!

A bit of colour

Ever heard of government departments building partnerships with commercial outfits to help poor children/youths upgrade their skills? Well, Chandigarh Social Welfare Department is showing the way. While 100 Scheduled Caste youths are training as drivers with Maruti Udyog, the Department’s next partner in cause is L’oreal, which will train adolescents from slums in the art of hair-styling. Ever since the news spread, children from slums have been hugely excited over the prospects. Suddenly everyone wants to train in beauty culture and hair-styling, with Tress Lounge, L’oreal’s local franchise offering to train. The offer is also to absorb the talent hence trained in the company’s salons.

Well done

Prof R.K. Kohli of the Centre for Environment and Vocational Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has been selected for a fellowship of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi. He was selected in the section of natural resource management. The fellowship will be awarded at a function to be held in New Delhi on June 5. Scientists who have made significant contribution to various fields of agricultural and natural resources are the fellows of the academy. The fellows include Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, and Prof M.S. Swaminathan, a renowned agriculturalist. However, for a scientist like Prof Kohli working in a non-agricultural university it is an achievement in itself.

Indecent proposal

Recall the 1993 Robert Redford and Demi Moore film of this name. To most it will be vintage fare but it comes to the mind as the speech of the city youth shows new patterns. What was once a proposition has now become a proposal. So if a young lady says, “So and so proposed to me’, it rarely means wedding bells. It could mean a lot else. It seems no proposal is indecent now!

— Sentinel



Passing Thru

Dr Rajesh Talwar, Dental Surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
Dr Rajesh Talwar, Dental Surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi

What is the dental implant technique all about?

Dental implant treatment is a new technique to replace the missing teeth and can be offered to patients with difficulty in retaining lower denture. Under this treatment, titanium metal is inserted in the jawbone and the missing tooth is replaced with the support of the metal implant, unlike the other treatment where the natural teeth are also affected to support the artificially inserted tooth.

How popular is the technique of dental implant in Delhi as compared to Chandigarh?

This new technique has become very popular in Delhi while in Chandigarh a few dentists are offering it to the patients. The treatment is patient friendly as it is done under local anaesthesia.

How much does the treatment cost?

Since the technique is still catching up in India and the implants made of titanium metal are imported from the USA, dental implants are a little expensive. On an average, a person has to shed somewhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for getting a single implant.

— Neelam Sharma



A flight to inconvenience
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
For commuters, it was nothing less than a flight to inconvenience. Though low-cost carrier, Air Deccan, today kept its date, it left the passengers high and dry waiting for the inaugural flight of the plane to land from Delhi. In fact, on the very first day, the passengers had to wait for over an hour in the lounge. Some even missed their connecting flights and their appointments as a result of the delay.

No wonder, Air Deccan’s ambitious plan of providing economic and comfortable flight on schedule failed to take the traveller’s to new heights... It all started with a sour note. The inaugural Delhi-Chandigarh flight, which was to take off at 5.55 a.m. and reach here at 6.55 a.m., finally took off at 7.05 a.m. and reached at 8.05 a.m. The response to the flight was also lukewarm, even as the inaugural fare on this route was Rs 1,499. While only 10 passengers travelled from Delhi to Chandigarh on the first flight, 13 others travelled to Delhi from Chandigarh today.

Officials of Air Deccan when contacted attributed the delay to technical reasons. Airport Manager, New Delhi, Wing Commander, Mr Rajeev Jain, said, “delay was due to changing of one of the tyres this morning. We had checked it last night and changed it but since it had leaked, the same had to be changed this morning.’’

Dheeraj, Chief Operating Officer, Cellebrum, who was anxiously waiting in the lounge for the flight to arrive had to finally cancel his ticket for, he could have missed his connecting flight to Bangalore from Delhi at 9.30 a.m. due to the late arrival of Air Deccan this morning. There is no connecting flight till the evening after that, so there was no point in going, he said. He lost his money for the Airline takes no responsibility for the connecting flight and promises no refund, as mentioned on their simple tickets on the A-4 paper.

The Executive Director of Quark City, Mr P.S. Sehgal said: “The purpose of the flight gets defeated if one does not reach Delhi two hours before Shatabdi to finish the meetings and fall back to the city by the afternoon flight.’’ Here, one had to wait for over two hours today to board the flight, including the checking-in time. Hope the airline sticks to the time schedule in the days to come for it will lose out passengers otherwise.

Another commuter, Mr Satish Dhingra, also missed his connecting flight to Mumbai at 9.35 a.m. as he was not prepared for this delay and was carrying the tickets of the connecting flight for his friends, who were waiting for him at Delhi. “I decided not to go a day before for I was sure of reaching Delhi latest by 8.30 a.m. and then boarding the connecting flight,’’ he said but here I am stuck now. Since it is a point-to-point airline, it simply takes no responsibility at the time of booking.

However, the inaugural flight from Delhi went off well as despite the one hour delay they reached their destination well in time to take on the scheduled tasks. Anil Kheterpal, a lawyer said, “despite the delay I am in time to attend to the court work.’’ Even Mr Xavier C.R. from Mumbai said the delay would not affect his meetings at Baddi, since he was here for the next 2-3 days.

For Mr U. Subramaniam, who works for ACC, the travel was comfortable but one had to pay Rs 10 even for buying mineral water.

Mr Rakesh Prabhakar, Vice-President of Reliance, was happy with the journey and the facilities within the flight. The timing and the duration of the flight are good, he added.



C-DAC celebrates 16 years of establishment today
Gets projects on telemedicine, advanced security analysis
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
The centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) here has received two prestigious projects sponsored by the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.

This was disclosed by Mr J.S. Bhatia, director in charge, at a press conference here today on the eve of the foundation day celebrations of the centre. He said one of the projects received was “ Customised development and implementation of telemedicine application for rural and remote areas of Himachal Pradesh”. The grant-in-aid received for this project was Rs 451.37 lakh for a period of two years.

This would involve provisioning of basic medical diagnostic equipment like ECG for heart cardiograms, microscope for pathological images and scanners for scanning X-rays, ultrasound and CT scan images, computer workstations and 384 kbps of telecommunication link at each CHC/PHC/hospital. The general hospitals and IGMC, Shimla, would require more number of workstations and servers. The patient’s data from the diagnostic equipment could be sent using the telemedicine software package and ISDN/broadband telecommunication link. The project would be implemented in phases. Once implemented, the project would provide medical care at the doorstep of the people of Himachal Pradesh as had been desired by the government of Himachal Pradesh and also by the Government of India.

The second project was “Attack methodology analysis, network attack modeling and survivability simulation”. This was a three-year project worth Rs 125 lakh. On of the main aims of this project was to provide an extensive investigation into advanced attack analysis methods and theory. This investigation should then provide a basis from which it could be shown that attack analysis formed a crucial part of any security protocol analysis and that an attack analysis module was an important inclusion in a multi-dimensional approach to security protocol engineering. The project also aimed to add the ability to generate secure, executable implementations for survivable networks.

The Director said the centre had recently completed a Rs 7 crore project on “Development of telemedicine technologies and its implementation,” the outcome of which had been “Sanjeevani-An integrated telemedicine solution”. The developed telemedicine technology had been clinically tried and successfully installed at three premier medical institutes All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh. Peripheral hospitals like Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Shimla, PGIMS, Rohtak, and SCB Medical College, Cuttack, had been connected to the above hospitals.

He said ongoing core and sponsored R & D projects at C-DAC, which would complete 16 years tomorrow, included black box for automobiles, Surbhi (Speech system for handicapped), Sarthi (a low cost audio-visual teaching aid), development of true type fonts, optical character recognition system and text-to-speech synthesis system for Punjabi language and digital device blood pressure measuring.

Mr Bhatia said the centre was working closely with the armed forces vis-a-vis training requirements in information technology, information security and network security. The C-DAC had also designed and developed a software “Senani” for the Department of Defence Services Welfare. The software stored the personal information of ex-servicemen and their families and generated reports by processing the data as specified to help the Welfare Department in implementing various welfare/resettlement schemes of the Central and the state governments.

The C-DAC will be celebrating 16 years of its establishment tomorrow. An award giving ceremony would be organised on the occasion.



“Respect child’s individuality in decision making”
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, May 9
If a child starts giving his independent judgments, parents do not take too kindly to him. For them the best child is the one who acts according to their thinking and doesn’t have dissenting opinions. It would not be out of the way to say that parents are the biggest violators of natural rights of their child. This was stated by Dr I.P. Massey, a member of the State Legal Services Authority, Himachal Pradesh, in an interview with The Tribune. He was in the city to speak at a seminar.

Mothers, too, perpetuate discrimination against the girl child at home, giving preferential treatment to the male child. We should learn to respect children’s individuality and their decisions, he said.

Women and Dalits and physically challenged persons, too, are treated as lesser beings, as their rights get the least respect.

He said there was a big need to change the mindset of the people. If the violations of human rights continue unchecked, then there is every danger that society will become violent and the state will fail.

Mr Massey opined that imparting education on violations of human rights in schools be a big leap towards ensuring a healthy society. They should also be acquainted with problems of their region so that they develop sensitivity towards local issues. Thirdly, students experience and their opinion should be given weightage while forming policies. Our education system does not equip the students with sensitivity to treat social issues.

Stressing that there is no need for a new law to check rights violations, he said this would not bring any long-lasting change. What is needed is a change in the attitude of the people. In this respect only education can bring desired changes. Changes in education won’t mean much in a country teeming with illiterate but it can contribute towards constituting a healthy society, he added.



Fauji Beat
Filling pockets in name of welfare

FOR quite some time now, ex-servicemen from various districts of Punjab have been raising their voice against corruption in the District Sainik Welfare Offices. What has added credibility to their voice is the “loot” by the Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, Bathinda, Lieut-Col S.P. Singh (retd). That he did not hesitate even once while robbing a Kargil martyr Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja’s kin of Rs 40,000 out of the grant of Rs 2 lakh sanctioned for the war hero, speaks volumes about his brazen courage.

Two days after his arrest, he took the plea that he had sought the money as part of the Flag Day donations. This brings one back to the allegations that the hapless ex-servicemen have been levelling against the sainik welfare functionaries. This practice seems to have become an easy way of filling pockets by the sainik welfare officials. The donation boxes in the sainik welfare offices should be removed and destroyed to put an end to this money-laundering campaign.

Dismayed over this disgraceful incident, many ex-servicemen organisations have demanded a high-level inquiry into the functioning of the entire department of Sainik Welfare. Some have gone to the extent of recommending the disbanding of this department. The department has a useful purpose to serve for the servicemen and ex-servicemen. What is needed is to root out corruption from it, rather than disbanding it. The department should not only be cleaned but it should look clean to the ex-servicemen.

Project Clay

As part of Project Clay (Computer Literacy Amongst Youth), the Indian Military team in Bhutan ran computer courses for the youth recently. This project was launched in December 2003 to increase computer literacy and for create awareness about information technology among the youth. Another objective of the project was to enhance Indo-Bhutanese friendship.

On conclusion of computer courses, 55 students were awarded certificates of merit by Major-Gen S.S. Dhillon, Commandant, IMTRAT, at the Wanghcuk Lo Dzong Military School.

Personal kit stores

The Army headquarters has decided to set up “Personal Kit Stores” in the CSD canteens. These stores will stock items of uniform and accoutrements of standard quality for the Army personnel. Initially, only 18 essential items of uniform will be available at competitive rates at these stores.

The Army Chief has approved improvement in many items of uniform. The olive green (OG) uniform will now be in a breathable, cellular weave and trousers will have a smarter drape and finish. The Army Chief has also approved a woven fabric for combat uniforms for all ranks. And for the mess dress for officers and mufti for men, he has approved high-quality shoes.

Admission to RIMC

The Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehra Dun, which is a category ‘A’ Inter-Services Institute, was established in 1922. It is a premier feeder institute for the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakvasla and the Naval Academy, Goa. It provides quality education to the students from Classes VIII to X. All citizens of India (only boys) between 11½ to 13 years of age are eligible for admission to this college.

The entrance test for the RIMC is held twice a year in June and December. The website www.rimc.org provides all essential information about the RIMC.

Direct enrolment of sportsmen

The Government of India has sanctioned the extension of the existing schedule of direct enrolment of meritorious sportsmen in the rank of Havildars into the Army until December 31, 2005. As for the other conditions for enrolment such as educational qualifications, eligibility criteria, selection procedure and the training period, they remain the same as before.

— Pritam Bhullar



A park 8 years ago, now a parking lot
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
Eight years ago, the piece of land opposite the Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Sector 9, was a public park. Lined with lush green trees on its borders, a barbed fencing to keep away stray animals; and, with benches for visitors, this was one of the most frequented haunt in the evening by residents in the vicinity.

Now reduced to a parking place for the devotees to the temple, a garbage dump, and converted into an open urinal, this park is an eye sore in the sector. By night hours, it virtually turns into a “dairy farm” with stray animals grazing here. Since piles of cow dung and garbage line up in this “park”, the residents in surrounding houses are forced to battle it out with mosquitoes. It is also used as a parking place for trucks carrying goods to and from Panchkula. A number of beggars, including child beggars, have made it their haunt and they sit here in morning and evening hours, begging for alms from devotees.

Mr M.C. Jain, a resident of the area, says that a few years ago the park was at a two feet higher level than the road and was fenced by a barbed wire. “Then one day, the fencing and plinth from the park was removed to bring it to the level of the road. No one knows who did this, or why it was done. Now, we are suffering as everyone turns a blind eye to our problem,” he rues.

The residents of the area say that they have taken up the matter with the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Municipal Council and the district administration several times, but their appeals have failed to yield any results. “It is plundering of the green space, but no one takes the responsibility, or makes efforts to restore the park. In the HUDA records, this still exists as a park,” alleges Mr Rishi Jain. He says that the residents even took up the matter with the area Councillor, who assured help. But nothing has been done to restore the park so far. 



Sohal to take over as Lion Club DG
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Mr K.S Sohal will take over the charge of District Governor of Lions Club International, District 321-F on June 1. This was stated in a press note issued by District PRO of Lions Club, Ms Renu Bali, today.

As many as 140 clubs in different parts of J&K, Punjab and Chandigarh come under District 321-F.

Sharing his goals for the year Mr Sohal said he would aim at making Lion members more aware of and fully equipped to fulfill their responsibilities. For this purpose ‘‘Residential schooling’’ will be held in Shimla from June 18. All office-bearers of the clubs from different towns will be made aware of their responsibilities so that they can work for the betterment of society in a more beneficial way.

According to the press note a Micro Cabinet Meeting of district officers will be held in Ludhiana on May 15.



Cong leaders meet Union Minister in Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Congress leaders who have “fled” the city called upon Mr Prakash Jaiswal, Union Minister of State for Home, in Delhi today pointing out their reasons of discomfort in Chandigarh.

The team calling on the Home Minister included Mr H. Lucky, the president of the Chandigarh Youth Congress, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, president of the District Congress (Rural), and Mr Devinder Babla, a party leader close to Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Member of Parliament, it is reliably learnt.

The leaders are camping in the capital following apprehensions of “inconvenient times at hands of the Deputy Commissioner.” Today was the third day and there are no indications of immediate return of the leaders.

A leader said “we have met several senior party leaders pointing out our problems in the city. We are merely narrating our side of the story and not expecting any immediate announcement”.

It is learnt that Mr Lucky participated in a rally of the Youth Congress earlier during the day. The immediate reason for the Congress leaders running away to Delhi was the arrest of Mr Pawan Sharma, a district president, for allegedly filing a fake affidavit for securing a flat in a housing society.



Employees unions back strike call

Chandigarh, May 9
Employee unions from different wings of the corporation and the administration have decided to join the strike on May 11 given by the co-ordination committee of Government and MC Employees and Workers. This was stated in press notes of different employee organisations here today.

The organisations which have responded to the call for the strike include the Federation of UT Employees and Workers, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Public Health Workers Union, the Municipal Corporation Roads Workers Union, the General Hospital and Allied Dispensaries Class III Employees Union and the Chandigarh Housing Board Supervisors Union.

The coordination committee has pointed out that the administration was not paying any heed to the demands of the employees despite the agitation entering its 148th day today. Employees from different wings of the administration and corporation have been sitting on a dharna.

The major demands include regularisation of the daily wagers and those employed on basis of work-charge (a number of employees have worked for more than 25 years in these categories); service conditions in consonance with Punjab Government rules and payment of bonus paid.

The Chandigarh Transport Front Employees Union in a separate press note has announced its decision of not joining the agitation. “The said strike will cause revenue losses to the CTU and unnecessary harassment to commuters”, the note added. TNS



150 ‘kundis’ removed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
Nearly 150 ‘kundis’ were removed by a team of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) from Amb Sahibcolony here today. Residents have been drawing power illegally from nearby lines over the past quite some time.

Members of the PSEB team, accompanied by a large number of police men, climbed up the poles to remove cables that were used by jhuggi dwellers to illegally draw power. No resentment was noticed during the time of action. Nearly half a kilometre long cable was removed by the PSEB team. Bare wires were made non-functional by the team to avoid theft of power.

PSEB officials said kundis had been removed by them many times from this area but residents again and again resorted to theft of power. Now the authorities were determined not to allow the residents to indulge in illegal activities. They had been given the option to get power meters installed. In fact, a contractor had to be assigned the work of providing power to residents. But as the jhuggi dwellers were in the habit of drawing power illegally, they were not ready to get meters installed.

In fact, a high-capacity meter installed by the power board outside the colony was removed by the residents on April 26. A private contractor was to supply power to jhuggis in the area from this meter. The residents had also removed cables laid by the contractor for supplying power. The PSEB authorities had then complained to the police in this regard.



Encroachments removed again
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
The anti- encroachment staff of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had to repeat the entire exercise of reclaiming land in Industrial Area, Sector 14, 15 and 17, after encroachments resurfaced within days. About 50 jhuggis and meat market near Abheypur village were removed in today’s drive.

The drive launched by HUDA today was peaceful. It was carried out under the supervision of five Junior Engineers of HUDA — Mr M.P. Sharma, Mr J.S. Beniwal, Mr Ram Phal, Mr Jasbir Singh and Mr Ajay Bansal — along with 15 men of the anti-encroachment wing of the Estate Office.

As the drive was launched on a massive scale, an earth mover and trucks and tractor were used to demolish the temporary structures. However, no police force was employed and after the encroachers had moved out, the jhuggis were razed to the ground. The encroachments were removed from the HUDA land near the Sector 15 iron market, Sector 14 parking, near village Chotta Haripur in Sector 11. The scrap dealers on the road dividing Sector 17 and Rajiv Colony were removed for the second time, tractor-trolleys parked illegally at Labour Chowk removed for the second time, and meat market near Abheypur removed for the third time. The drive lasted for almost six hours and encroachments along the road sides by building material contractors were also removed.



Kisan Ekta Diwas on May 17
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
The Kisan Hit Bachao Committee (Periphery Area) has decided to celebrate May 17 as “Kisan Ekta Diwas” and 51 farmers will take part in relay hunger fast on that day to show unity and determination.

This was decided at a meeting of the committee held here today. The president of the committee, Mr Tejinder Singh Jakhar, said the relay hunger strike started by farmers in support of their demands would complete one year on May 17. He said farmers from other districts would also join the protest on that day. He said farmers wanted a share in the developed land and they would keep fighting for their rights in a united way.

Mr Baljeet Singh Kumbra, press secretary, said an eight-member team of the committee had visited all those villages where the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) wanted to acquire land. The farmers were ready to approach court against the forcible acquisition of land by PUDA authorities.

Mr D.P. Singh, convener, said farmers of Landran, Behrampur, Manakmajra, Mauli Baidwan and Raipur Khurd had been granted a stay by a court in connection with the acquisition of land by PUDA.



40 pc streetlight points non-functional in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
The five-member committee of Municipal Councillors formed to study the actual number of streetlight points in Panchkula has claimed that 40 per cent of these points are non-functional.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh, today the Councillors alleged that the MC office was unable to provide them any record saying the total streetlight points handed over to the MC by HUDA were 8,800.

The Councillors said that though no staff was provided to them for inspecting the streetlight points, they inspected these on their own and concluded that the light points were much less than 8,800.

They alleged that though electricity bill was being charged by the UHBVN for these streetlights, the electricity meters were out of order, hence excess payments were being made. They demanded that the tender for streetlight maintenance to be opened be postponed.



Food preservation course for cops begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
A free of cost five-day Fruit and Vegetables Preservation and Nutrition Course meant for the welfare of police personnel’s families is being organised by the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, at the Police Lines in Sector 26, here. Mr Satish Chandra, IG, Chandigarh police, inaugurated the course today.

The trainees will be given knowledge about the food and vegetable preservation and its better use, during off season. Preparation of jams, pickles, and squash would be taught during the course.

Mr S.K. Mehta, in charge of Community Food and Nutrition, an extension unit of Ministry of Human Recourses and office-bearer of the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, said the course would help the wives of police officers.

About 150 trainees are attending this course.



Security tightened after killings
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
With the killer Kalandar gang becoming active near the city killing three persons and injuring seven at Dappar, the Chandigarh Police tightened security in the city.

More than 26 pickets and 29 patrolling parties and seven DSPs and Punjab Police commandos will stand guard in the city between 11 pm to 4 am.

The Commandant of the 30th battalion of the CRPF will supervise the security arrangements.



Pickpocket arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
A 30-year-old post-graduate man has been caught red-handed while picking a pocket in the Grain Market, Sector 26, here. The police said the accused had twice been booked for picking pocket earlier also.

Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Maloya Colony, was caught after he had picked the pocket of Idresh Ahmed of Sector 30 yesterday. Idresh had Rs 300 in his wallet. He raised the alarm and the policemen at duty nabbed the accused and recovered the stolen money from his possession. A case has been registered.

2 youths injured

Two motor-cycle-borne youths suffered serious injuries after being hit by a scooter near the Sector 9 lights point yesterday. The motorcyclists were coming from Sector 4 when their vehicle collided with a scooter driven by one Kennedy Singh of Bishnaopur District in Manipur. Kennedy Singh is a delivery man working for Pizza Hut, said the police.

The two youths were taken to the PGI, where their condition was reported to be serious. A case of negligent driving under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered against Kennedy Singh. He was produced before a local court today.

Bag stolen

Ms Anna Pihlgven of N. Denmark lodged a complaint with the police that her bag containing one walkman, 15 CDs, some silver ornaments, clothes and other articles was stolen from opposite the ISBT, Sector 17, on May 4. The police said Anna was coming from Kulu that day and had arrived in the city in the wee hours. She then boarded a bus for Hardwar, where she was to attend a yoga camp. She reportedly thought of lodging a complaint of theft at Hardwar, but she was told by the Hardwar police that as the incident happened in Chandigarh so the case should be registered there. The local police yesterday registered a case of theft following her complaint.

Car stolen

Mr P.D. Sharma of Sector 46-B reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH-01-J-8145) was stolen from his residence during the night of May 7. A case of theft has been registered.

Smack seized

The local police arrested Raj Kumar of Sector 38-A with one gram of smack from near the Veterinary Hospital, Sector 38, yesterday. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

Held for gambling

The local police arrested Jai Narian of the Panjab University campus from near Sector 14 and 15 dividing road for gambling at public place yesterday. The police seized Rs 300 from his possession and booked him under the Gambling Act.



Thieves decamp with valuables, cash
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 9
Thieves broke into a flat (No 12) of IAS Society (GH Society-31) in Sector 21 and decamped with valuables and cash worth thousands of rupees in broad daylight here today.

The thieves struck at the flat owned by Air Commodore (Retd.) V.K. Seth (64) at about 12 pm. The thieves broke into the flat when Air Commodore Seth along with his wife was at his sister-in-law’s house in Sector 10.

The theft came to light when the old couple returned home and found the locks of the main door broken and the entire house ransacked. He subsequently informed the police.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Seth claimed that the Station House Officer of Sector 20, Mr Balwant Rai, visited the flat twice and advised them not to touch any of the items inside until a dog squad and team of forensic experts arrived.

Till filing of the report, neither the dog squad nor a team of forensic experts had arrived following with the old couple was forced to sit in a room. Moreover, no case was registered till late in the evening.

The couple had to arrange a photographer to get photograph of the ransacked house.

Mr Seth claimed that frequent thefts had put a question mark on the functioning of the Panchkula police. The spate of thefts had created an atmosphere of insecurity among city residents.



Two arrested for theft; Rs 1,18,200 recovered
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
The police has arrested two persons on a charge of theft.

According to the police, the arrested persons were Gurdeep Singh and Harbhajan Singh. Cash totalling Rs 1,18,200 was recovered from them when they were caught at a naka near Balongi chowk.

The two persons were coming on a scooter and after seeing the police they fled. However, they were soon nabbed.

According to the Superintendent of Police, Mr Rakesh Agarwal, an industrial unit owner of Phase VIII had complained that some persons had entered his unit on the night of May 6 and decamed with cash to the tune of Rs 1,37,200 which was lying in a cupboard.

The unit owner suspected his driver, Gurdeep Singh, and electrician, Harbhajan Singh, to be involved in the crime.

The police had registered a case in this regard.



Indian pharmaceutical cos in transitional mode
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
Introduction of product patent regime has led to significant transitions in the Indian companies. The alignment of pharmaceutical business in India with the global practices will depend on the scientific temperament, enterprising spirit, proactive approach and adaptability of the major players i.e. policy makers, researchers and industrial leaders.

This was stated by Mr Paresh Johri, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, while discussing the status of Indian pharmaceutical industry in the global scenario. Mr Johri was speaking at the two-day workshop on “Regulatory considerations for exports of pharmaceuticals” which was inaugurated at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) here today.

He said the government had been responding to the needs of the pharmaceutical industries and catalysing their transition to internationally recognised companies.

Mr P.U.M. Rao, Additional Adviser, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, presented the exports trend from Indian generic pharmaceutical companies in his keynote address. He highlighted the expected impediments in the entry of Indian companies into the global generic market and suggested strategies to help them in grabbing a substantial market share.

Professor P.Rama Rao, Director, NIPER, highlighted the significance of regulatory affairs in drug approval process in his inaugural address.

NIPER had been playing the role of a catalyst by regularly organising training workshops in the area of pharmaceutical regulations. This helped in upgrading the skills of professionals engaged in the area.

The workshop, which was being attended by more than 30 participants from industry and regulatory bodies, was sponsored by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Government of India.



Consumer fair begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
A handicraft and consumer fair, organised by the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation, began at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, here today. Embroideries from Gujarat, Kashmir and Lucknow, khadi work on silk and cotton are among the items on display.

The DSIDC provides a marketing platform to craftsmen, weaver and SSI unit of Delhi. In this exhibition, DSIDC has displayed an exiting range of Indian handicrafts from artisans of Delhi and consumer product of SSI. This exhibition was inaugurated by Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor.


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