C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Low-end power users to feel the heat
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The Chandigarh Administration today released its new power policy, paying little regard to the slogan “conserve power”.

Now people consuming less power will have to pay more from next month, while those guzzling 1,000 units or more will be have to pay less than what they do now.

In both the cases, the increase or decrease is marginal but for the first time high-end users will benefit from consuming more power. The new policy comes into effect from July 15.

From now on, the city’s majority middle class will pay marginally more on per unit basis, while those consuming anything more than 1,000 units will pay less.

More than 20 per cent of domestic consumers having even a single air conditioner in their houses consume in the excess of 1,000 units in a billing cycle of two months, point out sources.

The average cost of domestic power will rise from Rs 2.65 per unit to Rs 2.71 per unit for domestic consumers.

However, various slabs of tariff have been done away with, thus making the high-end users pay lesser than before (see chart).

Separately, the administration has reduced the tariff for commercial establishments by 54 paise per unit.

The new policy had to be announced as there was a Rs 50 crore shortfall in the money spent on buying power and the money recovered from consumers.

By increasing the tariff marginally, the administration aimed to bridge at least half of this.

Meanwhile, giving details of the new policy, the Finance-cum-Engineering Secretary, UT, Chandigarh, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said the complexity in the existing policy necessitated the need for simplifying it by bringing amendments to ensure that the consumers were made fully aware of the tariff paid by them and its purpose thereof.

A spokesperson for the administration said: “While making the policy it has been kept in view that the basic amenity of power remains within the reach of poor and middle class families.” Hence, no increase up to consumption of 150 units had been made for the benefit of poor and middle class domestic consumers, numbering 1,73,800, who consumed 36 per cent of power in the city.

The increase in domestic category of consumption up to 200 units was only 1.4 per cent. Mr Sandhu said: “The system of having nine categories of consumers has been done away with and only three categories — domestic, others and agricultural — will exist. All categories of power like commercial and industrial will fall under ‘others’.”

Furthermore, the numerous slabs within the categories had also been abolished except in the domestic consumer category, which would have only two slabs as compared to five slabs, he added.

He said the Engineering Department had also launched an intensive drive to reduce the transmission and distribution losses. Target was to restrict these to 16 per cent in the next two years.

These had been consistently brought down to 20.33 per cent in the current year from 24.75 per cent in 2002-03.

The administration aimed at reaching break even stage in the next three years.

The rationale behind fixing Rs 2.71 as domestic tariff was that the cost of electricity per unit — Rs 2.34 — had to be added to the national average distribution losses of 16 per cent, which worked out to be Rs 2.71 per unit.



Residents to pay fixed charges for power consumed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Apart from the hike there is good news in the power policy announced today. The monthly minimum charges (mmc) which determine the minimum liability of a power consumer have been done away with. A new fixed charge has been introduced and the consumer will now be required to pay for the power consumed.

Introduction of fixed charges will bring in Rs 26.75 crore, whereas the yield from the monthly minimum charges was Rs 8 crore, say officials. Presently the monthly minimum charge in the domestic category is levied at Rs 35 per KW per month. For example, in case of a person having 10 KW of load — most middle-class homes in the city fall in this category — this works out at Rs 700 for two-month billing cycle. This is charged regardless of amount of power consumed. The fixed charge will be Rs 5 per KW per month. This will work out to be Rs 100 for 10 KW load.

Monthly minimum charges at varying rates have been discontinued. Under the new tariff scheme, monthly fixed charges at a rate of Rs 5 per KW for domestic consumers and small-power consumers and Rs 60 per KW for other consumers have been introduced to defray the expenditure.



Simian menace stalks city residents
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

PGI employee falls to death

Lajja Ram
Lajja Ram

Lajja Ram, a foreman in the Engineering Department of the PGI, fell from the roof and died today when he tried scare away monkeys stealing mangoes from a tree in the compound of his house.

Lajja Ram was standing on the parapet of the roof and trying to shoo away monkeys. He slipped and fell on the corrugated roof of a makeshift shed. The roof cracked and he crashed on to the floor.

He was taken to the PGI’s emergency ward where he died. He was to retire later this year.

An aggrieved relative said the PGI authorities needed to take drastic measures to check monkey menace on the campus.

Chandigarh, June 13
Residents of the city are a peeved lot as they continue to face monkey pranks in the city. Monkey population is spread all over the city causing anxiety among residents against attacks, plundering of their clothes on lines, digging of flower beds and dirtying of water tanks.

Official sources confirm around 20 cases of monkey bites every year in the city. These are abysmally low compared to nearly 500 dog bite cases in a year. However, the inconvenience caused to the general public is in no way any less.

Officials put the population of monkeys at around 500 although there is no official census on it.

Earlier, monkey were largely confined to the areas around the PGI and Panjab University.

A survey indicated that a vast population of monkeys, otherwise inhabitants of the wild, are now permanent residents of the city.

Numerous complaints regarding monkey menace have been reported from Sectors 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 15, 16, 21, 26, 27 and 28, besides the PGI and the PU.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Avoid eye contact with monkeys as they are easily offended.
  • Use plastic snakes in the compound or on water tanks as monkeys are scared of snakes.
  • Ask children not to stone monkeys.
  • Keep the overhead water tanks locked.
  • In case of a road accident involving a monkey never stop lest they should gather.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Ishwar Singh said: “Monkeys living in the city were not fit to be left in the jungle. Once we experimented by marking a monkey from the PGI and dropped him in a remote corner of Kansal forest. Before our team could reach the original spot, the monkey was already there. The monkeys in the city have forgotten the habits of the jungle.”

Anand Ramesh, a resident of Sector 26, said: “We always fear for the security of our children when they go to parks in the evenings. Children, out of fear or excitement, sometimes tease the monkeys who respond by attacking them. There have been a few cases of monkey bites.”

Rooplata Sharma, a housewife, said: “Our compound in Sector 35 is very often plundered by simians. They tear the clothes or soil them. We know of instances when monkeys have entered houses and opened refrigerators. I keep the doors of my house shut. Our lawns are also often mutilated.”

Ishwar Singh said: “We respond to complaints of people and trap the trouble-makers. These are handed over to the People For Animals for sterilisation. A sum of Rs 500 is paid for each sterilisation. The PGI has deployed two langoors on its campus to counter the monkey menace as monkeys are scared of them.”

He added: “We will put up at least 15 notice boards all over the city to educate the public on avoiding trouble with monkeys.”



Spanish dream turns into nightmare
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 13
Even since Satwant Singh (24) had cleared his class XII examination from a school in Morinda, he desperately wanted to leave Punjab for greener pastures abroad… but only till last year. His unsuccessful bid to go to Spain via Morocco taught him a lesson he is not likely to forget for the rest of his life.

Satwant came back to his parents last winter after spending a harrowing nine months in Africa, the last one month spent in a jail in Senegal where he along with 11 others from Punjab, survived without any food. When Satwant and his group finally trudged back to Punjab they had nothing with them except scary tales of having lived in boulder crevices in deserts and going without food and water for days forcing them to drink urine.

Fighting for justice and demanding action against Prabhjit Singh, the Mohali based travel agent who had promised him a work permit in Spain, Satwant today deposed before the SDM Mohali the entire story of the nine months he spent in Africa. “We paid Prabhjit Rs 2 lakh initially. We were told that I would go to Spain via Kenya. I and eight others boarded the flight to Kenya in April last year after paying Prabhjit the entire amount. We lived in Kenya for three months. From there we were put on a flight to Tanzania where we stayed for another three months. Then we were sent to Comoros islands from where we were supposed to be taken to Myoto islands but the bid failed. After a month we were sent back to Tanzania where we met Prabhjit. He sent us to Senegal by air on fake visas. We had stayed for only 15 days when in the Interpol arrested us. We were in a jail in Senegal for a month living with over 60 blackmen in a small hall. No food was given to us. We went without food for three days. We bribed the workers in the jail to get food for us. Finally we contacted our parents in Punjab to send us tickets back to India,” said Satwant.

Having braved thirst, hunger and disease, Satwant considers himself lucky on returning to India. For there are some who have neither reached their destination nor come back. Ashok and Rajesh both residents of Mataur village here have been missing for the past one year. They were among a group of five cousins from the village who were to go to Spain on a promise given by Prabhjit. Sunil, Ashok’s brother also met the SDM today showing them a fax send to him by three of his cousins who had reached Spain. “Vipin, Hukum Chand and Samit reached Spain, these two are missing. It has been one year now,” said Sunil.

Reading about the fax with tears in his eyes Sunil shudders at the thought of what fate his brother might have met. “Vipin, Hukum and Samit were taken to Kenya to Tanzania to Senegal. In Senegal they were stripped of every thing except their clothes. They were put in an open jeep and after traveling for days without any food the three were left near the Moroccan border. During the journey at times they were forced to drink their urine since there was not enough water. Hungry, ill, injured and extremely weak the three lived in crevices in boulders there. They waited their turn for two months surviving on pieces of bread and water braving the extreme hot days and extreme cold nights. Finally they were asked to move on foot for another two days till an ocean shore where they were put in a small wooden boat with another 38 persons. They traveled in the boat without any food for two days before they were picked up by a Red Cross ship. They were given food and clothes in the ship that dropped them to Spain,” related Sunil.

Stating that many Punjabis are still stuck in Senegal, living in boulder crevices feeding on shrubs and urine, Satwant pointed out that three persons, who joined his group in Senegal had retuned from the Moroccan border twice. “They were caught by the Moroccan police trying to cross the border and brought back to Western Sahara. This is where they are living with Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans in boulder crevices in the middle of a desert. In case someone falls ill or refuses to go further he is simply killed. When they are taken in open jeeps they are made to crouch in the back and covered with tarpaulin, tied with ropes For the five day journey all they were given was a five litre water bottle,” said Satwant.

Prabhjit was booked for cheating by the Mohali police last month on a complaint given by Sunil. He along with his family, is has absconded.



Nagar kirtans taken out

Chandigarh, June 13
Thousands of devotees today took part in a nagar kirtan to mark the martyrdom day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev, which falls on June 16.

The colourful procession began from Sector 7 gurdwara around 2 pm and after passing through sectors 27,19, 20 and 21, ended at Sector 22 gurdwara in evening. Devotees were served sweet water and prasad by volunteers at various places.

Gatkas, and a Brass band were main attraction of the procession. Meanwhile another Nagar kirtan was taken out from Sector 29 gurdwara to gurdwara Sri Arjan Dev Ji in the evening. OSR



Passing Thru

Priti Kaushal
Priti Kaushal
Senior Consultant
Oriflame, New Delhi

When did Oriflame enter the Indian market?

Oriflame entered India in December 1995. It is a Swedish company specialising in skin-care products and was founded in 1967. It was the first direct selling company to enter India.

What is the concept of direct selling?

The company does not have any retail counters and products are sold directly through its members. In India it has 50,000 members. Most remarkable is that 70 per cent of its work force comprises women.

What is company’s USP?

The company specialises in skin-care products. Our products contain 99.9 per cent natural ingredients and do not contain any chemicals. Only in a very few products do we use preservatives like in lipsticks. It was also the first company in India to introduce cleansing-toning-moisturising products for all skin types and ages. Our products use ozone-friendly aerosols.

Have you modified your products to suit Indian skin?

We have modified and launched many products for the Indian skin. This includes foundations, sun screens, nail and lip colours etc. Also our all products contain sun screen, including shampoos, lipsticks.

— Renu Manish Sinha



Chandigarh Calling

While the city residents reel under the unrelenting gaze of the scorching sun, the animals at Chhatbir Zoo, on the outskirts of Chandigarh also struggle to maintain their good cheer. Lions lie in exhausted heaps near their water pool, gazing listlessly at passers-by, braving the sun for the ‘safari’. The beautiful zebra makes a dash for his thatched enclosure just as the rays of the sun strike his ‘pad’ and thereafter remains motionless there! However, it is the singular python that has it real good! In a thatched hutment, all for himself (no animal is willing to be fodder for this giant snake!), the python sleeps lies coiled up in a remote, dark corner and around him roam the fluffiest Japanese Koels, his live feed for the day! The python is the only creature at the zoo that gets live ‘food’ and rats (white ones only!) and chicks are the favoured fare.

June ka mausam

Remember the old time Bollywood song that celebrated hottest month of the year with a romantic number — ‘June ka mausam, mast maina’. The reason for the merry-making in June was further elaborated with ‘Chand si gori ek hasina, Aankh mein kaajal, Moonh pe pasina…’ And what did the lass as fair as the moon do? The reply was ‘Ya Allah, Ya Allah dil le gayi.’ So these young ladies with umbrellas shading their fair faces, captured by Tribune photographer Manoj Mahajan, seem set to inspire more summer songs.

Walk the talk

There are a couple of reasons for the increase in the number of evening walkers at the Garden of Annuals, Sector 44. One, it is vacation time for school and college kids. Two, the walks can now continue till late at night. This can happen now because the MC has finally installed lights in the garden. So one finds the strollers stretching their exercise well past the dark hours with the moonlight above and the neon-light below gently guiding the walkway. The blooms, of course, find it hard to rest in their beds till late but the walkers are a chirpy and happy lot.

After the storm

Last week the city witnessed a violent duststorm that raged through sturdy trees - uprooting them, trashing debris and crashing through hoardings. The upside to it was the sudden drop in temperatures and the scattering of the beautiful lemon-yellow amaltas all over the gardens. Little children went wild, shrieking with delight at the veritable ‘festival’ of flowers. In Sector 8, two children braved the dust, the boy trampling as many flowers as he could find and the girl making necklaces, bracelets and earrings of the fallen amaltas.

Honeymoon special

The fallout of the summer weddings aplenty was a near record turn out of honeymooning couples who could not believe their luck. Jaishree and Arihant Joshi live in Mumbai and are in the region for their honeymoon. Their ultimate destination is Kasauli but the pull of the Rock Garden and Sukhna, “the country’s most beautiful man-made lake” prompted them to spend a day here. Sukhna, in a duststorm, is “sooo romantic!” says a gushing Jaishree. Maybe the city needs to market its peak summer months differently!

Readymade excuse

Not everyone likes to beat the heat by taking a bath every few hours. And this summer there is a good excuse available to those who shirk from washing themselves all too often and that too all over. In old days the excuse to be given was that how could one bathe for the taps had gone dry. But now a save-water campaign a la Shabana calling out ‘Do bucket paani rozana hai bachana’ is now working as a ‘readymade bahana.’ So now one can stay without a bath for an ecological cause.

Water bodies

To sensitise students about the importance of wetlands, the Environment Society of India (ESI) has published 10,000 posters. The posters, “Wetlands in crisis”, will be distributed among eco clubs of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The Punjab Council for Science and Technology has funded the ESI for bringing out the posters. Wetlands perform a number of important functions such as groundwater recharging, nutrient recycling and providing life support and livelihood to millions of the poor. Many of the world’s major rivers originate in mountain wetlands. More than half of the freshwater used by humans comes from mountain sources. So these posters with pretty pictures of water birds and wetlands should help in raising awareness. Studies in 14 states of India reveal that all wetlands are polluted and that 1,249 specimens of fish drawn from 115 water bodies contain pesticides and heavy metals.

Day of the dad

Young ones have got into showing their affection in human relationships only on fixed days the world over and so also in this city of ours. We have Valentine’s Day, then Friendship Day, Mother’s Day and so on. And now the city youngsters seem to be getting all set for the Father’s Day that falls on June 19. The history of this day dates back to 1910 when Sonora, a woman living in Washington, after her mother’s death decided to tell her father how special he was. So she started celebrating his birthday as Father’s Day. Stores are already trying to make pretty packet by offering special gifts for dads.

Meethi goli

Almost every other person that one comes across in town is offering alternate medicinal treatment of or kind or the other. There are herb specialists. Some of course, are from the ayurveda school and others are selling expensively packaged miracles herbs from China and Japan. Homoeopathy, too, never had it so good as it has now. There is a virtual crowd of self-taught homoeopaths treating themselves, their families and friends. Dr Jagdish Jaggi of Sector 37, who boasts of a letter of valuable services rendered to none other than President Abdul Kalam, says this line of medicine is not to be taken lightly for it requires thorough study and research. Jaggi has prepared some medicines including eye-drops. But his real passion is to go about town lecturing with a view to popularising homoeopathy. It seems to be the day of the meethi goli.

Smelling a rat

The mechanic at a local electronic repair shop smelt a rat in many of the gadgets brought to him by customers. An airconditioner was not working because a portion of a rat’s leg had become a hindrance in the way of the circulation of the cool air. This season the same gadget was brought back to the shop and it was found that a rat had eaten into it. Next came a refrigerator with its coil messed up a by a rat. Indeed, the city could do with a Pied Piper or two.

Real gold

The hallmark of real gold is 24 carat and this is all too well known but one was tickled when one saw the board outside a public drinking place proclaiming — ‘24-carat Drinking Place’.

— Sentinel



College Call
Only college to offer BA in fashion designing
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, June 13
Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, is one of those colleges which were established with an altruistic cause. Since its inception in 1981, it has encouraged many girls to fight mental barriers. The college's momentous moments have now arrived. Its silver jubilee will be celebrated in July.

The college has every reason to flaunt a feminist tag. Upholding its commitment to the cause of women's education, it has decided to celebrate the occasion as of 'women's empowerment year'. Many of its alumni have made their mark in numerous fields.

Its strings of accomplishments have helped it in redesigning its conventional image. It is the only college which is offering fashion designing course with B.A and has been running this course successfully for the past three years.

Cultivating a careful approach, the college is all set to provide a hostel facility from this academic session. It is also introducing a placement cell and an Army wing will be added to the existing NCC unit.

With almost 300 seats in Arts, 140 in B.Com and 40 in BCA, the college offers many vocational and add-on courses. In vocational courses it offers fashion designing, office management and secretarial practices. In add-on courses it offers cosmetology and event management.

It will also introduce functional English from this session.

A polytechnic and computer centre on the college premises attract many working women, housewives and girls in the evening.

Ms Shashi Jain, Principal of the college, said, "Students can opt for short-term vocational courses also along with the degree courses. These courses are available at nominal charges and it will help the students to grow in this competitive era".

The college also provides bus facility for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. 



No admission forms for BDS course on scheduled date
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
It turned out be an unending wait for a large number of students and their parents who came to Panjab University (PU) to purchase admission forms for the newly introduced Bachelor of Dental Sciences (BDS) course today.

Despite advertising June 13 for the start of sale of admission forms, the university failed to make the forms available at the last minute.

No prior information was given about the unscheduled delay, causing a lot of harassment to the students who had come from outside the city to purchase forms, which are not available on the Internet also.

Citing “some technical problem’’ for the last minute delay, the university Examination Branch has revised the new date for the sale of prospectus-cum-application forms as June 16 and the last date of submission of forms has been extended from June 24 to June 25. The date of entrance test remains unchanged and will be held on July 3.

Meanwhile, students and their parents, who returned empty handed from the university today, said they should have been informed in advance if there was such a delay. “The university should inform the students at least a day in advance if there is any unscheduled change in the important dates,’’ said Gagandeep Singh from Patiala, who had come to purchase BDS form.

For many aspirants, BDS course at PU will be the last chance of getting admission in the dental course as PU is the last to have advertised its BDS course in the region.

It is only last week that the university officially announced the starting of the course this session after getting approval.

In fact, the university, to speed up the entire process, has also made the provision of issuing the roll numbers at the time of submission of forms itself.

“Since the course has been added at the last minute only, unforeseen problems delayed the entire process of examination,’’ added another official.

BDS prospectus along with the form will be available at the State Bank of India counter, PU, and the main branch of the SBI, Sector 22, Chandigarh, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, and Parliament Street, New Delhi.



HSA, ABVP open guidance counters at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The Haryana Students Association (HSA) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) opened their admission guidance counters at Panjab University here today.

Mr Sunderpal, media adviser to the Chief Minister of Haryana, inaugurated the HSA’s guidance bureau.

In his inaugural address, he advised the students to work hard to achieve their goals.

Chand Singh Madan also addressed the students.

Mr Baldev Goel, social activist and president of the Market Association, Sector 27, inaugurated the admission guidance counter of the ABVP.

Convener of the guidance bureau Anup Gupta said, “In addition to making the result gazettes available to the students, we have introduced the facility of free access to the PU’s official website to know about the results.

The admission forms, costing Rs 250, are also available at our bureau and can be downloaded from the website.’’



Jhuggis with regular power supply on HUDA land
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 13
It is a free-for-all at Kharag-Mangoli village here. Residents of the village are allegedly selling off government land to labourers to construct jhuggis.

This land, on the outskirts of the village, near Old Panchkula, had been acquired recently by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). Some residents of the village, who stay near the phirni (outer ring road of the village), are allegedly selling off land for construction of new jhuggis on the acquired land. Depending on the size of land that a person wants to occupy, he is ‘sold off ‘ the land for anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000.

As Chandigarh Tribune visited the village, several of these illegal occupants showed receipts of payment made to a woman in the village. About a dozen new structures have come up on the HUDA land here. The occupants said that they had temporarily set up tents, but the woman then approached them and sold off the jhuggi, after constructing small rooms.

“The money that we pay is the cost of material used in the construction of jhuggis,” informed one person, whose jhuggi is under construction. Most of these encroachers have also set up kundi connections for uninterrupted power supply.

The local Municipal Councillor, Mrs Kasturi Devi, says that most of the new settlers are Bangalas and Dhehs, who have migrated from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

“We suspect that many of these are involved in criminal activities and have made numerous representations to the police and district administration, requesting that these encroachments be removed and a police verification of these persons be carried out, but to no avail”.

She says that she has even raised the issue in various open darbars.



Police steps to check robberies, killings
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, June 13
Tightening noose around unscrupulous persons in the area, the Punjab police today banned carrying of arms and ammunition inside marriage palaces, hotels and other public places located in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru. Playing of sound systems, speakers and equipment of loud sound during odd hours has also been prohibited. Moreover, the playing high intensity fireworks has restricted at these places.

The decision has been taken by the Punjab police in view of the increasing crime rate in this belt which saw sensational robberies and killing incidents in Dappar, Chaundheri, Singhpura and Bhukhri villages of the subdivision in the recent past.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mr AS Rai claimed that the owners of various marriage palaces, farmhouses, hoteliers and restaurants have already been told not to allow any persons carrying arms (licenced or un-licenced) and ammunition inside their establishments.

He warned the owners of these establishment, that action would be taken against them if any untoward incident occurred in their premises. He also made it clear that the plying of loudspeakers and other music after 11 pm would be sufficient to penalise them.

The SSP also asked the labour contractors, builders, industrialist and common residents to submit a report, along with the latest photographs and complete address, of their servants and workers to the nearest police station.

While expressing his concern over increasing traffic at the intersection of the busy Kalka-Ambala and the Chandigarh-Patiala highways at Zirakpur, Mr Rai said that the Punjab police will soon solve the problem after taking up the issue with the Department of Local Government of Punjab and the Punjab Public Works Department.

He stated that the evil of drug addiction had gripped the youngsters of the locality. The SSP appealed to the parents to motivate their children positively, if they suspected that they took drugs.

Mr Rai asked the public to co-operate with the police and intensify community policing (thikri pehras) so provide security to the residents.

He, however, admitted that the police had failed to make any headway in the robberies and killing incidents occurred in Dappar, Chaundheri, Singhpura and Bhukhri villages, recently. He claimed that the police had identified some suspects on clues provided by Ms Priyanka, a victim in the Bhukhri robbery incident.

Besides sarpanchs, panches of a number of villages, municipal councillors of the local civic body, Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, Mr AS Ghuman, SHO, Dera Bassi, Mr Narinder Kumar Sharma, president, and Mrs Manisha Malik, vice-president of Zirakpur Nagar panchayat were also present on the occasion.



Police accused of laxity in probe into girl’s death
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Anju Kohli
Anju Kohli

Chandigarh, June 13
The father of Anju Kohli (30), who was found hanging in her Sector 38 West residence on June 1, today alleged that the Chandigarh police was not investigating the case with regard to many unanswered questions relating to her death.

Mr Jagan Nath Arora, father of Anju Kohli, has maintained that it is not a case of abetment to suicide but of murder as the accused have indulged in the heinous crime of murdering her directly.

The police had registered a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306, IPC, against Ajay Kohli and his mother Sawaran Kohli on June 1. They were later remanded in judicial custody by a local court.

Mr Arora in his complaint to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Satish Chandra, accused Anju’s husband, her mother-in-law and others of having committed the crime.

He demanded a probe by a senior police officer into the facts left untouched in initial investigation.

Mr Arora alleged in his complaint that his daughter was well dressed when she was found hanging from a ceiling fan on June 1. She was wearing a bindi, lipstick, gold bangles, a gold chain, rings and tops, and a dupatta across her shoulders at the time of her death.

He questioned the logic of someone dressing up before committing suicide.

Moreover, as the photographs taken by the police suggested, a small stool had been placed upright near the legs of the victim along with the slippers, which the victim used to wear while going outside.

Mr Arora said the circumstantial evidence clearly indicated that his daughter was planning to go out of the house before her death.

He also added that since June 1 was Wednesday, Anju had got ready to attend a Radha Swami congregation, which she used to do every Wednesday.

He said as per the photographs taken by the police, the eyes of the deceased were closed, the tongue was inside the mouth, no saliva had come out of the mouth and the feet were touching the floor. Mr Arora said the evidence indicated at foul play behind the death of his daughter.

The DSP (South), Mr S.S. Randhawa, confirmed that he had received the complaint today and they would look into the matter.

He said the police was already investigating the case.



SGPC member issues new panel list
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 13
Within a day of the members of the Gurdwara Co-ordination Committee releasing a list of its office-bearers without the consent of the local Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member, Mr Hardeep Singh, the latter today issued his own list of members of the Dharma Prachaar Committee.

According to a press note issued here, Mr Hardeep Singh has declared the formation of the Gurdwara Co-ordination Committee as illegal. Pointing out that he had constituted a fact-finding committee to look into certain allegations made against Mr Joginder Singh Sondhi, president of the committee, Mr Hardeep Singh added that he had directed Mr Sondhi not to take any step till the findings of the committee were received. “This renders his release of list of the office-bearers illegal,” said Mr Hardeep Singh. The five member-committee, constituted by Mr Hardeep Singh, includes Mr Baldev Singh Mann of Phase VI, Mr Jaswant Singh Natt of Phase III, Mr Amrik Singh of Phase V, Ms Balvinder Kaur Dhaliwal of Sector 71 and Mr Balwinder Singh of Phase X.

Mr Sondhi had yesterday stated that the committee would not “tolerate any interference of the SGPC member” and that he had no role to play in the committee’s working. “This is wrong. According to the constitution of the committee, the local SGPC member is to ensure not only the smooth conduct of the election of the president but also interfere in the working of the committee in case of any dispute,” said Mr Hardeep Singh adding that the members should read Section “kh} (the letter kh in Punjabi) of the part on aims of the constitution of the committee.

The members of the Dharam Prachaar Committee in the list of Mr Hardeep Singh are: Mr Surjit Singh Mann, Ms Balvinder Kaur Dhaliwal, Mr Jaswant Singh Natt, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Harminder Singh Dhillon, Mr Joginderpal Singh, Mr Sukhpal Singh Chhina, Mr Amritpal Singh, Mr Satbir Singh, Mr Jaswant Singh, Capt Prem Singh Gill, Mr Arjun Singh Shergill, Mr Swinder Singh Khokhar, Mr Gurpreet Singh, Mr Santokh Singh Manana, Mr Kulwant Singh Bindra, Mr Harjinder Singh, Mr Umrao Singh Lambian, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Tarsem Singh and Mr Sewa Singh.



3 diarrhoea deaths near Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 13
As the summer advances, the diarrohoea cases in the town are increasing. Three diarrhoea deaths have been reported in the adjoining Peer Machhaila village of Punjab, near Sector 20, forcing the Panchkula health authorities to swing into action.

Three persons, including two three-year-old girls, have died because of diarrohoea in neighbouring Punjab. Ram Lal, 55, Suhani, 3, and Sukanti, 3, have died during the past two days in Peer Machhaila. The victims were staying in a colony of construction labourers. The sewerage pipe is discharging sewerage into the open, just near the hand pumps used for getting drinking water. The water supply has probably been contaminated, leading to diarrohoea in this village.

The health authorities here say that during the past three weeks, about 160 diarrohoea cases have been reported in Panchkula, though no diarrohoea deaths have taken place. Cases are pouring in from various slum and labour colonies and surrounding villages of the township.

Health officials say that an epidemic-like situation prevails in Kundi village near Sector 20. Almost 10 new diarrohoea cases are being reported from here each day. Insanitary conditions prevail in the village and the swerage disposal is very near the water supply lines. Residents suspect that the sewerage may have contaminated the water supply here, leading to the epidemic.

Today a team of doctors visited the village and distributed chlorine tablets to the residents and also asked them to boil water before drinking.



PSEB union seeks release of staff
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 13
The Technical Services Union (TSU) of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) held a rally here today and demanded unconditional release of employees working in the Gurdaspur circle, who were arrested for protesting against the contract system.

Mr Lakha Singh, circle president, said if the arrested employees were not released unconditionally and the government did not take back the proposal to privatise the board, they would be compelled to lodge a strong protest. The board’s management and the government would be responsible for the consequences, he added.

Mr Lakha Singh said the rally was organised because employees of Kahnuwal subdivision under the Gurdaspur circle were arrested because they had protested against a contractor who was doing the work of the board privately. The speaker at the rally condemned the arrest of board employees. No work was carried out in the offices from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The president of the union, Mr Vijay Kumar, said a rally would be organised on June 22 and 23 against the privatisation and unbundling of the board. He said the employees were being compelled by the board authorities to cut the power connections of those farmers who had not cleared their dues.



Cooperative society ‘not dissolved’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 13
In an attempt to revive trust among all the members of United Cooperative House Building Society Sector 68, some members of the Society today stated in a press note that the Society had not been dissolved by the Registrar, Cooperatives, Punjab.

Pointing out that the self-styled convener of the ad hoc society that had held a meeting yesterday, had no official validity, these members said the tenure of the society office-bearers had expired in March following which the administrative work of the society had been handed over to the Administrator.

Stating that the ad hoc committee of the United Cooperative Housing society had been formed by those members who had not paid the requisite sums to the society, these members pointed out that the allocation and possession of flats of the society was done by the previous managing committee with the consent of the members and no irregularity was committed while doing so.

The members added that the construction work at the site stalled by the authorities of the Cooperatives Department should be resumed immediately. They appealed to the authorities to intervene and bring relief to over 400 families which had been affected due to delay in the decision by the authorities.

The ad hoc committee of the society had yesterday demanded the intervention of the Punjab Chief Minister in solving the issue of the United Cooperative Housing Society. Following a meeting of the members of the ad hoc committee held yesterday, a press note issued by Mr Prem Singh Jindal, convener of the ad hoc committee, had alleged that the society office-bearers had indulged in many irregularities and the member were now paying for it.



Hand over work to CHB: housing society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
Some members of the Super Cooperative House Building Society Limited, Sector 49, today demanded that the construction work of the flats should be handed over to a government agency, preferably the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

In a signed statement, the members claimed that the construction work had been disrupted for the past over one year as the matter was in the court in wake of the removal of the previous contractor, who had obtained a stay order against the termination letter.

They alleged that the rules were flouted while appointing the new contractor. A complaint against certain office-bearers of the management had been pending in the Office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, the members alleged.



Cheques disbursed under Kanyadaan scheme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 13
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh, today disbursed cheques worth Rs 76,500 to 15 beneficiaries under the Kanyadaan scheme. He also gave away sewing machines to 75 girls from lower socio-economic strata, who have trained in sewing.

Mr Brijendra Singh said that under the Kanyadaan scheme, girls who had attained over 18 years of age, and who belong to below poverty line families were given Rs 5100 for marriage. He was addressing a gathering at a function organised by District Welfare Department at Sector 12- A.

He also said that financial assistance up to Rs 10,000 was given to widows and women who were not economically independent for the marriage of their daughters.

The District Welfare Officer, Mr Shiv Nandan Sharma, said that during this financial year Rs 2.40 lakh had been disbursed to 40 beneficiaries , while Rs 7.19 lakh were disbursed to 141 beneficiaries last year.



Search Within
Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well

It is essential that everyone must work to earn his livelihood. Sir Walter Scott known for his industrious nature wrote to his son Charles when at School: I cannot too much impress upon your mind that labour is a condition which God has imposed on us in every station of life; there is nothing worth having that can be had without it, from the bread which the peasant wins with the sweat of his brow, to the sports by which the rich man gets rid of his ennui. As for knowledge, it can no more be planted in the human mind without labour than a field of wheat can be produced without the previous use of the plough.

Southey, another writer who witnessed the industrial revolution in England, wrote these words when he was only 19.''Certainly a fourth part of my life; perhaps how great a part! And yet I have been of no service to society. The clown who scares crows for two pence a day is a more useful man; he preserves the bread which I eat in idleness.

It is this attitude to labour that is the key to progress of individuals and societies. Unfortunately, the youth of the day addicted to entertainment and pleasure has almost developed an abhorrence to all kinds of labour. There is a love for easy money that has become contagious.

Unfortunately the attitude to work in our land is so negative that it is the one element wrecking the reputation of all governmental offices in our nation. Go to any public counter that has to do business with the common man, you will find apathy and indifference as the hall mark of the people who man the offices.

One major reason for our industrial backwardness and lack of economic progress is the absence of a good work culture. Go to any public utility maintaining land records or dealing with collection of taxes; the man on the street has to grease the palm of the public servant employed by the state to serve him.

Getting a birth certificate, a ration card or a driving licence or even payment of power or telephone bills could be a frustrating experience. This happens to be the state of affairs in a state like Kerala where more than 90 per cent of the collection of revenue is spent on the payment of salaries to its employees. It is also a state where strikes and hartals by workers is an everyday happening disrupting normal life. So long as the trade unions are strong and indifferent to the issue of making workers work, and the government lacks the political will to set things right, there is no hope of redemption.

While the trade union movement in the country is reputed to have secured for the worker his legitimate rights and equipped him with bargaining power, there is no corresponding effort to ensure that every worker puts in labour that justifies his wages.

The absence of discipline and the disinclination to put in a honest day's work had wrecked not only industrial progress but also agriculture in Kerala. As a result of the spread of literacy, men are no longer willing to do manual labour; it has become difficult to find enough farm hands to work in the fields; often their demands are so unrealistic as to make it uneconomical to employ them. Farmers are compelled to leave their land uncultivated because they cannot afford to employ farmhands.

Especially at the lower rungs, there is a lack of motivation to put in their best; it may be low morale or want of accountability. Clerks are absent from duty, teachers do not report for work, dispensaries and hospitals remain unmanned for long periods for want of doctors. And they are unaware of the misery they cause to members of the public by their indifference to work.

It seems there is a justification for the following statement of Martin Luther King Jr to be engraved on the walls of each government office, factory or other work place:'' Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn could do it no better. If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

MPK Kutty



Readers write
Prevent entry of silt into Sukhna

Everybody is convinced that the solution for solving the Sukhna lake’s silt problem is to prevent the entry of any silt in it in future. A practical scheme costing Rs 50 lakh has already been recommended by the Institution of Engineers after holding a public debate on its feasibility.

The government is not taking any action for it though the project can be completed before the next rainy season. Instead, it is going to start a scheme for desilting the whole lake to its original bed-level with the help of such machines as are used for deepening sea harbours. It will take five years to complete the gigantic task at a cost of Rs 80 crore. During this period, the usual silt will be entering the lake as before.

But if a suitable place near the lake can be found to dump silt it can go a long way in solving this problem.

J.K. Mago

Dairy problem

I am a resident of New Mehar Singh Colony Tripuri, Patiala. This colony has been approved by the town planner Welfare 5-A scheme. But of late cattle dairies have mushroomed in the area. The dairy owners are dumping garbage and washing cattle dung in the nearly plots. In this rainy season this is giving foul smell. Mosquitoes and flies are also breeding over the stagnant water. Our life has become a hell but the authorities concerned including the Sanitation Department, Municipal Corporation, Pollution Control Board, or Health Department are not taking any notice of it. I request you to highlight our problem so that some relief may be provided to the colony residents.

Also some residents of nearby colony are keeping pigs which can be found roaming in our colony. This causes us great irritation.

Kashmir Singh

Pollution near schools

Private vehicles owned by students of schools and colleges of the city are a great source of pollution. But the students are forced to use the vehicles as their educational institutions are far from their residences.

A solution to the problem seems to lie with the authorities concerned in the Chandigarh Administration, if it takes measures for admission of the students to the schools as well as colleges (private/government) nearer to their residences regardless of the marks obtained by them. This way there would be mixed admissions of meritorious, average and weak students in each school and college and these institutions would be able to show their results at equal level judiciously.

Similarly, in addition to thousand of students, hundreds of teachers of the city are also forced to use private vehicles being posted at far off places.

The Administration should consider these suggestions in public interests as it would end headache of thousands of students, parents and teachers and save the city beautiful from pollution and accidents.

A.C. Wadehra and Dua

Minister’s choice

It is surprising that ministers of Haryana are vying for residences in Chandigarh instead of in Panchkula. Panchkula is more peaceful, calm, scenic, and beautiful and located at foothills; has broader roads and is better planned, since it was created after Chandigarh.

Most of Haryana’s important offices are located in Panchkula. If the ministers stay here it would also help in rapid and better development of the city; which should also be considered for developing into capital of the state. It has great scope for development, because of a lot of vacant land. This should be considered for Haryana’s own High Court, University, Engineering, Medical, and Dental College and so on.

Harish Khanna

Quack menace

I want to bring to the notice of the authorities concerned about the increasing number of quacks in Kacha Bazar, Ambala Sadar Area.

In this area some lab technicians are working as doctors , there are others who have opened shop without any signboard, while many have added false degrees along with their names on large signboards and are befooling the public. These persons even issue fake medical certificates using fake registered numbers.

So many times I have drawn the attention of authorities concerned to this menace but to no avail. I wonder where the common man should go to redress his grievances!

While these quacks are looking the public openly the health authorities are simply looking the other way. I again request the health authorities to take some concrete steps to close these shops immediately.

Asha Rani
Ambala Cantt



Fauji Beat
‘We are victims of intelligence failures’

GOHAR AYUB KHAN’s assertion that Kashmiris did not back Pakistan in 1965, is only partially correct. When Pakistan let loose its “Gibralter Force” of about 4,000 trained guerrillas into Kashmir valley in August 1965, we got no wind of it. The people in the valley connived with them. We came to know about them only when they had already come across Bannihal into the Jammu region. Gujjars detected them and informed an Army unit about their presence. It was then that we launched action against them. Our intelligence agencies had no clue about the presence of the Gibralter Force in the valley.

The intelligence network again failed to inform us about Pakistan launching its “Operation Grand Slam” into the Chhamb sector on September 1, 1965. We could save Akhnoor only by hurriedly launching operations in Lahore and Sialkot sectors to draw Pakistani forces away from Chhamb.

In 1971 war, Pakistan again surprised us by mounting an offensive into the Chhamb sector. Intelligence agencies had informed us that there was only one enemy brigade against us in that sector. Later, it was found that seven brigades were opposing us in that sector. In the Chhamb sector, we proved the Greek proverb right, which says: “It is disgraceful to stumble twice over the same stone”. Yet again, our intelligence agencies failed to give us any prior information about the Kargil war in 1999.

Soap operas for Rathore

The proposal of the Army Headquarters that the Olympic silver medal winner, Lieut-Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, should be cleared for the soap operas, has been accepted by the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee. Mr Mukherjee has, however, said: “I have cleared the proposal with the conditions, which the officer will need to bear in mind while taking assignments to promote products”.

“Unlike cricketers and sportspersons who have endorsed products such as jams and biscuits, Rathore will endorse high-end products,” said his manager Litka Khaneja. “We are pitching for him in all market segment and are approaching companies,” he added.

The Army wants Rathore to keep its image as well as his own newfound status as a youth icon in mind while performing for companies.

The Army has treated on a wrong path by recommending Rathore for advertising products. This kind of a job does not go well with soldiering. It will set a wrong precedence for others in the Army. The advertising companies’ main concern is to promote the sale of their products. The image of the Army and all else come later for them. The Army should reconsider its decision to embark on this image-lowering campaign before it is too late.


The Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members and their dependents are entitled to treatment at all polyclinics. But every member has a designated ‘parent polyclinic’ where his medical records are kept. There will be 227 polyclinics in the country in the next few years. Of these, 152 are already functioning.

When consultation and treatment by a specialist is required, a patient can always give his preference for a particular empanelled hospital. The decision, however, rests with the medical officer at the polyclinic who has examined the patient.

Some members have an apprehension that in case of a heart attack, if a patient is not referred to the appropriate empanelled hospital, his life can be put to risk. The members are again reminded that in an emergency, they should not go to the dependent polyclinic, but straightaway rush to an empanelled hospital. The information about this should be given to the polyclinic concerned within 48 hours of the admission by any of the patient’s family members.

Fortis hospital’s concession

Those ex-servicemen who are not members of the ECHS, including Short Service Commissioned Officers, are given 20 per cent concession on consultation, test and treatment by the Fortis Hospital, Mohali. This is a good gesture towards the armed forces by the hospital. — Pritam Bhullar



No headway in Babita murder case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
The local police seems to have failed in making any headway into the Dr Babita murder case. The police remand of Dr Deepak Kaura and his sister Deepali Kohli ends tomorrow.

When contacted, sources in the Crime Branch said the investigating officers had prepared details of phone lists.

They had requested a private cellular company to provide the details of certain phone calls made and received on Dr Deepak Kaura and Deepali Kaura’s mobile phones on the day of Babita’s murder and afterwards.

The sources said the company was yet to provide the details and the police had sent them a reminder in this regard.

Also, family members of Dr Babita Kaura have not yet come to the city to record their statements. This was causing a delay in the investigation, said a police officer.

Meanwhile, the investigating team has recorded the statements of some of the staff members of Dr Deepak Kaura’s hospital — Annie Heart and Medical Centre, Sector 15.

A case of murder was registered against Dr Deepak and his sister Deepali on June 9 after a report was submitted by the experts of the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL).

Dr Babita was working as Assistant Professor in the Immuno-pathology Department of the PGI and had succumbed to her injuries on January 19 at the PGI before the police could record her dying declaration.

She was critically injured and found lying in a pool of blood under her third-floor flat in Sector 24 on the night of January 18.



Boyfriend held for PU student’s murder
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
The mystery surrounding the suicide of 21-year-old Chandni Bansal was solved today when the police arrested her alleged boyfriend Rakesh from his residence in Sector 7 Chandigarh.

Chandni Bansal, a student of the department of sociology of the Panjab University, had reportedly committed suicide on June 11 by jumping into the Sukhna Lake. No suicide note had been found on the body.

A resident of Panchkula, Chandni was reportedly going around with Rakesh for the past many years and had been childhood friends. However, according to the information provided by Chandni’s sister Nidhi Dubey to the Chandigarh Police, Rakesh had been avoiding Chandni for the past one week and she was disturbed due to that. The police sources added that Rakesh had reportedly started “seeing” another girl instead.

The police arrested Rakesh, a resident of Sector 7, who works in a mobile telephone company. He has been booked for abetment to suicide based on the statements given by Nidhi Dubey who also works in the same company with Rakesh.

According to the police, Chandni had left her Panchkula home on June 10 night saying that she was going to meet her maternal aunt in Sector 20, Chandigarh. Next day she went to her friend’s house, who was living in the vicinity of her aunt. During the day, she met Rakesh along with the girl whom he was now going around with to solve the issue. They roamed about in the car for over two hours after which Rakesh dropped Chandni back at her friend’s place. After spending the night there, on June 11 she left her friend’s house around 2 pm leaving behind her mobile phone and purse, said the police officer investigating the case.

Chandni’s suicide came to light when a daily walker saw the body floating on the surface of the lake near the fourth staircase from the regulatory and informed the police. The police said the deceased was identified when her father, Mr Hari Om Bansal along with other family members came to lake on their own in search of Chandni, who was missing since this afternoon. On their arrival, the family members of Chandni were shown her slippers and handkerchief as by that time her body had been shifted to the General Hospital, Sector 16.

They came to lake, when they failed to get any information about Chandni from her friends and other family members.

Mr Hari Om admitted to the police that Chandni was under some kind of visible depression of late, but she did not appear to be that tense to take such an extreme step.

She had taken her first year examination and was waiting for her result. He also ruled out any foul play behind the death of his daughter, said the police.

Initially the police was groping in the dark to establish the identity of the deceased girl wearing blue jeans and pinks striped tee shirt. There was no document like a driving license or purse found in her pocket. The police found only Rs 3 with a handkerchief from the hip pocket of her jeans.



Decomposed body found
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 13
A badly decomposed body of an unidentified person was found under stones in a forest area in Bhoj Kudana village near Morni Hills today. The body had injuries marks and a piece of cloth was found tied around his neck.

According to the police, some passerby noticed the feet, visible under the stones and he subsequently informed the villagers. The villagers informed the nearby police post.

A police party lead by Ms Prerna Puri, DSP, reached the spot and the recovered the body from under the stones. The body was later sent to the General Hospital, Sector 6, for post-mortem.

The police has started investigating into the matter but no case was registered till late this evening.

Narrow escape

Mr Puneet Chhada, a resident of sector 20, had a narrow escape when he lost control over the wheels of his car while driving on the Sector 20-21 dividing road.

The car first rammed into a road-berm and then crashed into a Maruti Zen car parked in front of house number 1304, owned by Dr Shashi Jindal. Both the vehicle were badly damaged but the driver had a narrow escape with minor injuries.



Gold items stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
Ms Simirjit Kaur Brar of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra reported to the police that five gold ear-rings, four gold pendants, six rings, one gold chain, two gold bangles, one gold set and three diamond rings were stolen from her residence during day time, yesterday. A case has been registered.

SCO burgled

In another incident, Mr Shanker Pal Chauhan of Sector 33-A lodged a complaint with the police that one CPU, one key board and other articles were stolen from SCO number 71-72-73 in Sector 34 during the night of June 12. A case has been registered.


An unidentified pedestrian sustained injuries after being hit by an unidentified vehicle near Sector 37, 38, 40 and 41 roundabout yesterday. The victim was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16, in an unconscious condition. A case of negligent driving has been registered.



Pedestrian hit by bike, killed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
A pedestrian was hit by a motorcycle this morning while he was crossing the road between the Colony No V and Sector 46. He was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, with serious injuries, where he died later in the afternoon.

According to the police, Paire Lal (53), a resident of Colony Number V was hit by a motorcycle when he was crossing the road while going to Sector 46. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to injuries at 4:30 pm. A case of negligent and rash driving has been registered against the motorcycle rider, Hemant Kumar (25), a resident of Sector 46.


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