C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


After escape, Hawara hid in haystacks
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, July 10
After escaping from model jail In Burail village, Jagtar Singh Hawara, the alleged assassin of Punjab former Chief Minister Beant Singh, hid in sugarcane fields for at least five days in Ropar district along with other escapees. Hawara, being interrogated by the Chandigarh police, reportedly told the cops that they continued to lay on the haystacks till hot pursuit. All these days they survived on dry fruits which they were carrying.

After it cooled down, they parted ways with mission to ‘instigate’ the people against state “operations”. Hawara, in custody of the Chandigarh police for past three days, was also reportedly taken to different places in Punjab. Though senior officers of the Chandigarh police refused to divulge the details, the sources said Hawara was taken out of Chandigarh in an apparent attempt to trace his accomplices in the jailbreak case.

Hawara along with Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora had tunneled his way out of the model jail in Burail village 18 months ago. After his escape he had reportedly stayed in different cities and had tied knot with a girl in a village near Sangrur.

After interrogating, the police today claimed that he was in touch with others escapees. The sources did not rule out the possibility of Hawara meeting them during the period he remain underground. Hawara never came to Chandigarh and has no contacts in the city.

Mr B.D. Bactor DSP Operation Cell disclosed Hawara also told the police that he was an expert in preparing bombs with the help of explosives and was involve in training youngsters in the use of arms and ammunitions. For flaring up people’s sentiments, he used the issues of 1984 Delhi riot and Operation Bluestar, said police officers after questioning him.

Senior officers of the Chandigarh police maintained that Hawara was in the Operation Cell. The sources said the Chandigarh police took Hawara to several places in Punjab on the basis of revelations that Hawara made during his interrogation.

However, confirming the absence of Hawara from the Operation Cell in Sector 26, his counsel Arvind Thakur said he was denied meeting with Hawara, which was permitted by a local court.

Mr Thakur alleged that he had gone to the Operation Cell twice after 4 pm, and each time he was not allowed to go inside. He was told by the police officers present on duty that Hawara was not inside and was taken to somewhere. They refused to give details of Hawara’s whereabouts.

Mr Thakur added that when he took up the issue with the senior police officers they also gave him no satisfactory reply. Mr Thakur said he will move to court tomorrow in this regard .

When the Senior Superintendent of Police and in charge of Operation Cell L.S. Sandhu was contacted, he also did not gave a clear reply.



Hawara ‘softened up’ due to marriage
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
For investigating agencies, be it the Delhi Police, the Chandigarh Police or the central intelligence agencies, digging out details from the BKI India chief, Jagtar Singh Hawara would have been an arduous task had he not married Balwinder Kaur a month before being caught.

A hard nut to crack, Hawara spilled the beans about his “grand” plans as the interrogators started questioning him about his marriage that was solemnized on May 11. Sources in the police disclosed that he promised to cooperate with the police provided the information about his marriage was kept confidential and his wife and her family members were kept out of the investigations.

A senior police official disclosed that he broke down on account of his emotional involvement in his marriage. He had disclosed his plans to his wife and in-laws before the marriage.

Hawara, while being produced in local courts, had alleged that his wife was being harassed by Punjab police. She had no involvement in the activities of the BKI. Before leaving his wife at the house of his in-laws, Hawara had left Rs 1 lakh with them. He had lived with his wife for about a month before being caught.

He told the police that he wanted a child from his wife as his elder brother Avtar Singh, who is settled abroad, was issueless. Before his marriage, he had disclosed his identity to his in-laws and had planned to leave the country in another three months after eliminating his “targets.”

The sources said while being interrogated by Chandigarh police Hawara had insisted on seeing his wife.



UT attempt to thwart monopoly in liquor trade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
In an attempt to thwart monopoly in liquor trade, the UT Administration is considering allocation of vends through licensing. A high-level committee has been constituted with Mr S.N. Sahai, head of the Chandigarh Housing Board as the chairman.

The members of the panel include Commissioner of the Excise and Taxation and Joint Secretary (Finance). Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner, is the convenor. A preliminary report is expected later this week while the committee is expected to submit the final report before August-end, sources said.

Sources pointed out that recent auctions had led to monopoly of a single cartel in the city. “Monopoly in liquor trade often led to inflation in liquor prices. In the case of sale through licensing, the government or the administration plays a major role in fixing price of liquor and also has a share in the total sale.”

States like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra already have the system of allocation of vends through licensing.

“In order to be fair, prices of vends are fixed going by the location of vends. The vends in Sectors 17, 22, 35 and 20 are naturally going to have higher prices compared to the outlets located on the outskirts of the city, like Dadu Majra, Sector 38 (West),” the official said.

The changed policy is likely to be implemented in the next financial year. The committee already has had one meeting. Each liquor vendor will be given a license and in case there are more than one applicants for a vend, the liquor vend owner will be decided by a draw of lots.

The states which are not following the allocation of liquor vends through licensing include Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand and Orissa. Under the new policy the administration is likely to fix a limit on the number of liquor shops in a locality.

It was pointed out that even at the moment, the city does not have overflowing liquor counters in any sector. For future it needs to be specified that no localities are allowed too many vends.



City to host major IT conclave from July 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
City Beautiful, Chandigarh finally steps into the IT world as it is now fast emerging as the most preferred IT/Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) destination beyond the metros.

  Special invitees would play golf at the lush green Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA) Club behind the Sukhna Lake.

IT art exhibition will be organised on the sidelines of the conference.

Trip to the picturesque hills is also on the cards.

Bigwigs would be put up at the newly opened five-star GVK Taj Chandigarh and Mount View.

HFCL would provide monitors required for the mega event, besides Internet facility.

The city is gearing up to showcase itself as the country’s next big IT destination after Bangalore and Hyderabad during the forthcoming IT conclave — E-revolution 2005, being held at Taj Chandigarh from July 14 to 16.

It is for the first time that the IT Department of Chandigarh Administration, with Punjab Infotech and Hartron have joined hands to host the mega IT conference showcasing the opportunities that exist in the field of IT in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.

It is being jointly hosted by the IT Department, UT Administration, NASSCOM, Government of India-run Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and the Chandigarh IT Club. Director IT, Chandigarh Administration, Mr Vivek Atray said, “The event E-revolution, being organised on the lines of the annual fare” IT.com’’ held at Bangalore, will promote both Chandigarh and satellite township Mohali as an attractive destination for IT/BPO companies. Besides this, technology and service providers who will be the delegates at this conference will get a first hand assessment of the viability of Chandigarh as their future destination”.

IT honchos, including Mr Kiran Karnik, President NASSCOM; Mr Mohan Das Pai, CFO Infosys Technologies would be the special invitees and key speakers at the inaugural session on July 15. Mr Brajesh Kumar, Secretary IT, Government of India, would also be there. The conference will be inaugurated by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues ( retd). More than 400 delegates are expected to attend the conference, of which nearly 100 will be from Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The show, “E-revolution” will be about attracting projects and investments to the region and creating employment and export opportunities, said Mr Pankaj Nath, event manager, Cyber Media.

The highlights of the first day will be sessions on the “IT and BPO trends -2005”; “beyond Metro— Emergence of new cities as preferred BPO destination;”

“Beyond Call centres and IT services”. Interactive sessions would also focus on process excellence and mapping the right skills for the right job on the first day. The participants will unwind themselves during Networking Nite, organised later in the evening.

Among the participating companies will be IT giants Infosys, Dell, Wipro, Oracle, TCS and IBM besides a few others. Infosys is setting up its second biggest campus in Chandigarh Technology Park (CTP), after Bangalore and the construction of the project is already under way and is likely to be completed by October.

Besides a galaxy of keynote speakers from the government, industry and research bodies, there will be interactive sessions between the ministers, IT secretaries and industry experts. Mr J. Satyanarayana, CEO, National Institute for Smart Governance, Hyderabad, will be one of the main speakers on the session on ICT for Society, the future of ICT in government /technology for economic development on the second day. Mr Neelratan, Executive Director, PWC and Mr Rajeev Chawla, Secretary E-governance cell, Karnataka, will be the key speakers at the session on E-Governance, besides Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary IT, Chandigarh.

As per the scheduled programme, Mr Krishnagiri, Head E-governance (ASEAN) - IBM Singapore; Mr Vikram Chand, Senior Public Sector Management Specialist of the World Bank and Mr Rohit Singh, IT Secretary, Rajasthan will address the session on "Global trends in E-government with special thrust on the future of wireless government, Information - Intelligence an Innovative Knowledge. It will touch upon the partnership between industry and government in various spheres of It applications for social and economic progress. Technology issues like networks, connectivity, last mile issues, bandwidth and wireless solutions are among the challenges that would be discussed.

Mr Pradeep Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Cybermedia India Ltd; Mr Pawan Duggal, a senior Advocate of Supreme Court and an expert on Cyber laws would b the key speakers during the last session on shared services-highlighting the ethics and moral of technology, knowledge management and business intelligence, outsourcing private and public partnership capacity building and change management in E-governance. Informal exchanges between participants would also be encouraged.

Representatives of Canada and French embassies are also likely to be here. Those of British and German High Commissions have also been invited for the conclave, said Mr Atray.



Law institute case: AG refuses to offer opinion
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had delivered its judgement in the Chandigarh Law Institute case on February 14, holding the allotment of a prime piece of land in Sector 38-A for the Institute as arbitrary, unjust, clandestine and illegal and opposed to Article 14 of the Constitution.

On March 16, the Attorney General of India (AG), whose opinion had been sought in the matter by the Chandigarh Administration, wrote back to the UT, refusing to offer any opinion in the matter.

The reason cited by AG Milon Banerjee for not giving any opinion on the legality of the allotment of land as also the appropriate steps required to undo the wrong was that the High Court had already delivered its verdict. The AG also pointed out that his decision not to offer an opinion was also influenced by the fact that the UT Administration had sought review of the High Court judgement.

Incidentally, it took the AG almost two months to say that he could not offer any opinion. It was on January 17 that the UT Administrator admitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that there was something wrong in the allotment of the land to the private company run by influential persons.

The Directors of the company include two sons of a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Dr. V.K. Bansal, former Chairman of the Department of Laws of Panjab University and advocate Shailendra Jain, who is Central Government Standing counsel for UT.

In a communiqué addressed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) had also acknowledged that “corrective steps” were needed to be taken in the matter.

He had also said that after going through the record of allotment of land to Chandigarh Law Institute Private Limited for setting up a law institute, he had come to the conclusion that under the present circumstances, there were two options open to the Administration. These options were either to cancel the allotment or let the allotment stay but charge enhanced market rate from the allottee.

Gen Rodrigues had also said that he had sought the legal opinion of the AG with regard to the options.

But, in his letter, the AG, while refusing to offer any opinion, has pointed out that the High Court had held the allotment illegal and unjust. He has also cited the action that the High Court wanted the Administration to take in order to re-allot the land. Top UT officials refused to say anything on the issue.

Incidentally, despite clear-cut directions, the UT Administration has not implemented the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in he case.

The two-month period given to the UT Administrator for taking “necessary corrective steps” lapsed on April 14. Also, no action has been initiated against any officer for having willfully caused loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer.



Passing Thru

Prabjot Singh Bhullar, legal expert on Electricity Act
Prabjot Singh Bhullar, legal expert on Electricity Act

Should sops like free power to particular sections of consumers be granted?

Giving free power to any section is a discretion with the political bosses in each state and granted to fulfill political objectives. But at the same time, the power utilities should not be compromised with, and the governments should pay them the subsidy. Also, there is need to distinguish and grant free power only to those farmers who have very small land holdings.

Are waiver of long-pending power bills a burden on the electricity companies?

Though the waiver schemes initiated by various governments from time to time are not a violation of the Electricity Act, they do cause additional financial burden on the power utilities. The government should first pay the subsidy to the power companies, before waivers are announced.

Are frequent power tariff hikes justified?

Power tariff hikes are necessary as the cost of service has to be met by the consumer. The state cannot continue to give subsidy and consistent power supply, if it is financially burdened by subsidies.

Ruchika M. Khanna



French globetrotter on wheels
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
He’s bitten by the travel bug and it is taking him places. Literally. Twenty-six year-old Frenchman Christopher Huggins is on a roll, riding around the world on a recumbent bicycle, powered with the desire to explore the unexplored.

The smallest of countries, cities, villages and streets are all on his agenda and he’s a man with a purpose — a mission to promote cycling for which he is meeting heads of municipalities in towns he is crossing. In the city today after visiting Dharamsala and Shimla, Christopher said he would meet the Municipal Commissioner, UT, tomorrow for the same.

It all began one fine day while Christopher, a keen traveller, was sailing with his friend in 2002. As his friend narrated experiences of cycling around different cities, the idea of going round the world took shape in Christopher’s mind.

“With a degree in Computer Engineering, I had a job that was paying me well in Amsterdam, my parents were happy, my girlfriend was satisfied. However, I knew my calling lay elsewhere. It was not just working on the French market and trying to get people to sign papers. Finally, I resigned a week before I started from Paris in the June of 2004,” he recalls.

The plan took wings and he flew far and wide beginning with Italy, proceeding to Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan before finally setting foot on Indian soil. “I had realised that the best way to explore a country was on cycle, slowly and gradually, watch the people, the landscape, the food habits change within a few kilometers. I arrived in India through Pakistan last week and plan to be around for atleast four months, pedaling across the length and breath of this vast country,” Christopher says.

Though preparing for the trip was not a wee bit difficult, this traveller maintains the toughest bit came from dealing with his mother’s trepidation and his girlfriend’s concerns. “Making a website (www.360ways.org) for recording my experiences, too, was a challenge as was getting the sponsorships. In three months’ time, I had figured out what the website should look like, its contents et al. Now, I update it weekly, noting down not only my experiences of various countries but also the characteristics of food, culture, music and people of the place I visit. I also have a database of photographs of countries I have visited,” he mentions.

Full of traveller’s tales, Christopher prefers to sleep rough as he snakes through mountain roads, takes the straight roads and braves the heat or the cold. Through it all what keeps him going is the smile his odd-looking cycles brings to the faces of country folk. “They are almost amused to see a foreigner riding this crazy bike,” he comments.

So far, his most pleasant experience has been in Turkey where he was presented with a huge cake. “After having food at a restaurant, I asked the manager for a picture and recipe of the cake to put on my website. They were so thrilled at the prospect of having it hosted on my website that they gifted me a cake. While passage through most countries has been trouble-free so far, in Baluchistan some people threw stones at me while I was pedaling down the city. My parents were worried while I was in Iran though the rest of the journey has been fine,” Christopher claims.

“Do in Rome as the Romans do” is his guiding light through the journey. He eats, sleeps and dresses like the locals. “At the border I stop and ask translations of ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’. That suffices for as long as I stay there,” he explains and is looking forward to a feast of Indian curries while he is here.

Come rain or sunshine, this highway peregrine, with the spirit of a nomad goes on, moving from one place to another, “from point A to B, leaving all my worries behind”, as he puts it. Christopher Huggins is hooked to the drug called travel and his addiction is growing, taking him to a new high everyday.



Better civic amenities sought for Ind Area
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The Panchkula Industrial Association has demanded better civic amenities in the Industrial Area here. According to members of the association the poor civic amenities in Industrial Area were driving the industry to the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

Addressing a press conference here today, the President and General Secretary of the association, Mr S.L. Jindal and Mr S.S. Goel, said the Industrial Area was dotted with clusters of jhuggis. Insanitary conditions prevailed as the sanitary workers remained absent from duty; and there were no streetlights.

Mr S.L. Jindal said there were around 250 jhuggis on the HUDA land reserved for making an ESI dispensary near the Sector 19 police post. “There is no stay on the land, but HUDA is making no effort to clear the encroachments and construct the ESI dispensary. The ESI dispensary is at present being run from the Sector 20 dispensary,” he said.

Mr S.S. Goel, who is also a Councillor from Sector 16, said the roads in Industrial Area were in a bad shape. “There are pot holes on all roads, waterlogging is there after rains everytime. Sometimes, HUDA office records show that roads have been recarpeted, but on ground no work has been done. A thorough probe should be conducted into this,” he demanded.

They also said the streetlights remained non-functional for months. “Ms Seema Chaudhary, during her tenure as MC President had promised that 1,000 additional streetlights will be installed. But nothing has been done so far,” they added.

They also said industry was already shifting out of Panchkula because of a tax holiday in Himachal Pradesh. “Here we are not even allowed to change the nature of industry without permission. HUDA bylaws are stringent and notices for resumption are issued every now and then. The government should give certain relaxations and improve civic amenities to develop industry here,” they demanded.



Army introduces computer software packages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Disseminating the use of information technology (IT) for management of day-to-day activities down to the lowest echelon, the Army has introduced a range of computer software packages for utilisation at the unit level.

The packages include inventory and store management, including control of arms and ammunition, accounting, human resource management, secretarial work and bilingual packages. These are different for training and battle simulation software packages, which too are finding their way down the echelons.

The development of these packages by the Army Software Development Centre in Delhi, is part of the Army's "Bottoms Up" approach for proliferation of IT in the force. Higher headquarters and large headquarters have their own versions to similar software to meet their requirements.

The most notable of them is the Arms Management package, which automates handling of all weapons at the unit level, right from the receipt in the unit till it is back-loaded to ordnance depots. Besides recording the weapons' history and maintenance schedule, the package's features include generation of four-monthly demands, allotment to sub-units and individual, pre and post firing inspections and generation of various reports, ledgers and registers.

A similar software, Ammunition Management automates ammunition demand, distribution, rotation, storage, back-loading, inspection and various other inventory issues at the unit level.

Expenditure, discrepancies and loss, turnover, issue to personnel, demands for training and service ammunition, storage can be worked out on this package besides recording defects, failures and accidents.

The Vastra package has been designed to automate clothing management, which includes generation of clothing card, stock accounting, assessing demands, schedule and reports of condemnation boards and other issues related to clothing management at the unit level.

A Human Resource Suite developed recently to handle administrative and personnel matters in a unit is now being upgraded. It automatically generates the unit's parade state, e-reports, leave certificates, movement orders, nominal roll, Part-II orders and military training reports.

A bilingual package, Vijay 2000, which can support 10 Indian languages, has been introduced. It can be used to convert text in commonly used packages like MS Word and Lotus into bilingual mode. An Office Automation Package, a document management system aimed at having a paperless office in a networked environment and Kuber, a package for automating various types of unit accounts in a unit have also been introduced.



Engineers’ Regiment being reorganised
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The army’s Corps of Engineers is being reorganised and several new units are being raised to fill in existing gaps in the field. This includes raising three full-fledged regiments and several independent squadrons.

“We are establishing the new units from within our existing resources on a ‘save and raise’ basis,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman said.

“This implies saving and cutting where warranted, elsewhere for generating the manpower and equipment for these new units,” he added. General Pattabhiraman is one of the army’s senior-most sapper officer.

Of the three new regiments, one would be listed on the Order of Battle of the Western Command’s recently raised 9 Corps, with its area of responsibility stretching along the Pathankot—Akhnoor axis.

In addition to the three regiments, a number of independent engineer squadrons are also being raised. These would be attached to some of the independent brigades, which are so far doing without having their own sapper squadrons to support them during operations.

The Corps of Engineers comprises three groups, Madras Sappers Bengal Sappers and Bombay Sappers, which have a number of regiments and units under them. The new raising will be equally divided among the three groups.

The first to enter the battlefield and the last to leave sappers provide mobility to own forces by constructing bridges, tracks and helipads. On the other hand they are tasked to deny the same to the enemy by creating obstacles such as mine-fields and demolishing of those bridges which may help the movement of the enemy forces.

Sappers have also been deployed abroad as part of UN Peacekeeping Missions, where they have constructed bridges, opened lines of communication and executed numerous humanitarian tasks.

General Pattabhiraman also said that subsequent to the establishment of the South-Western Command, the new boundaries and areas of responsibility of the army commands in the western theatre we expected to be finalised by August 15.

The creation of the South-Western Command, headquartered at Jaipur, has resulted in the Western Command shedding some area south of Sriganganagar up to Bikaner. It has, however, got additional areas in its north from Pathankot to Akhnoor. This area was earlier with Northern Command.



Golden hue new rage in hair fashion: Sandra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Internationally acclaimed stylist and consultant, Sandra Brey is the third generation into a family of hair-dressers. “My grandmother, my mother, my father, my brother....we are all into it,’’ informs Brey who conducted a staff training programme on latest trends in hair cuts and colour at Tress Lounge in the city.

Speaking about her changing trends Brey (from Germany), who has a masters in hair dressing, was quick to explain, “It’s not the same for all. People mostly do not know what suits them and what does not”.

“It depends on how you carry yourself, your work, your personality. It differs from person to person and your hair stylist is the best person to guide you.” A consultant with L’oreal, Brey works with colours as well and conducted a staff-training workshop too. “Speaking of colours, don’t even think of getting red or copper highlights. They are completely out. It’s the gold contrasts like beige that are in,” explains Sandra who advises professional range for colouring for lasting results. The hair colour should be decided after taking into account the original colour of the eyes, face, skin and hair, she says for it has to match them. Sandra changes her own hairstyle and colour at least once in three weeks. She also interacted with the clients at the beauty saloon and answered their queries pertaining to hair styling and hair coloring.

“Indians should experiment more and long hair can be made to look stylish by layering. Also I personally don’t recommend henna. It completely dries out the hair and does not let hair colour stay on,” signs off Brey.



Devoted to the cause of women
Geetu Vaid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
In times when the lure of greener pastures takes most people away from their roots not only physically but also mentally persons like Surjit Kaur Dhaliwal who are imbued with a spirit to ameliorate the lot of their less privileged brethren come as a whiff of fresh air.

Working at present as Senior Accountant in AG, Punjab’s office in Chandigarh, Surjit is a perfect example of not only how hard work can change the life of a person but also of how one can stay connected to one’s roots and make a difference.

Surjit Kaur, has been rendering commendable service for the rehabilitation and welfare of persons with disabilities, generating awareness against gender discrimination and female foeticide for the past 10 years. She has shown exceptional courage to fight against social evils and to further the cause of women.

Born in a backward and orthodox village of Dhaday Bawa Mohar Singh in Hoshiarpur district in a poor family she was among the very few girls from her village who got a chance to get educated. She graduated from Saini Bar College, Bulowal, and did her M.A, B. Ed and L.L.B from Panjab University

‘‘I want to use my education for the benefit of my sisters who have not been privileged enough to taste the fruit of freedom and education. In rural areas girls’ education is still not given proper importance and this ignorance is the bane of several girls’ lives. This is what motivates me to go back to my roots again and again to generate awareness among women about female literacy and a woman’s equal right to education and freedom and I feel that this is the best use of my education’’.

She has worked in collaboration with Pals International Organisation, Jalandhar, to raise a voice against female foeticide. She has held seminars in village schools and panchayats to raise a voice against female foeticide.

She is also the founder of the International Social Welfare Organisation that works to help mentally and physically challenged persons and for the rehabilitation of leprosy-cured persons

‘‘Although a lot has been done to benefit the physically challenged but the hearing and speech impaired, mentally challenged, visually challenged and leprosy cured are still in need of a lot of help from the authorities and society as a whole’’, she says while telling about the mission of her welfare organisation.

‘‘Legislation was framed in the shape of Equal Opportunities and Full Participation Act 1995 by the Ministry of Law Justice and Company Affairs to uplift the social status of disabled and to provide them suitable jobs but visually challenged are still not being provided jobs in North India. The welfare of the disabled should be included in the integrated programme in education schemes and our organisation is working towards that goal.’’

Doing her bit for society this gutsy woman is not scared to take lead and to tread a difficult path. ‘‘ I am sure that more and more like-minded people will join hands with us and till that happen I am determined to keep doing my bit.’’


Irked residents storm ‘Bijli kendra’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
Irate residents of Sector 4 forced their entry into the Bijli Suvidha Kendra — a complaint cell outsourced to a private contractor by Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam- last night, and manhandled the staff. With Sector 4 and 21 without power supply for several hours yesterday, and no power personnel coming over to help them, they decided to take the matter in their own hands.

The incident took place around midnight, when five residents of Sector 4 broke into the premises of the Bijli Suvidha Kendra in Industrial Area. They complained that Sectors 4 and 21 were without power since 3 pm, and inspite of numerous complaints at the Kendra, no body had come forward to repair the fault.

These residents broke the switch of the transformer and also damaged some equipment in the kendra. One of the employees, Naresh Kumar was also manhandled. These residents then went away. The employees then called senior UHBVN officials for help.

The officials assessed the damage, and immediately got into action to repair the fault in Sectors 4 and 21. The power supply was restored only around 1 am.

However, the residents of these sectors were again facing unscheduled power cuts and given a single phase supply in the afternoon.

The UHBVN officials say that there is a temporary problem in the fuse of the transformer supplying power to these sectors, which will be repaired soon.

Officials also admitted that there was a problem of coordination between the Bijli Suvidha Kendra employees and the linemen who are sent to repair the fault.

“We have called a meeting of all employees tomorrow to ensure better coordination and instant redressal of complaints, “ informed a senior official.



Slogans raised against PSEB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Irritated over erratic power supply, residents of Mullanpur Garibdass village blocked the Chandigarh- Mullanpur road for over two hours raising slogans against the Punjab State Electricity Board.

They lamented that despite assurances that power would be supplied interrupted, the supply was erratic.

The blockade was lifted after the officials assured the residents that the power situation would improve

Scribes body: The journalists of Kharar, Kurali and Morinda today joined hands to form a joint forum under the banner of Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists.

The Ropar district convener Nitin Jain said Ashwani Sachdeva, was unanimously elected president, and Darshan Singh Sodhi was elected general secretary.

The other office-bearers are Krishan Parvez-patron; Gangan Suri-advisor; Devinder Singh Chauhan — senior vice president ; Harish Bathla and Amarjit Singh — both vice-presidents; Rajiv Singla — vice-president-cum-finance secretary; Manoj Girdhar — secretary; Kuldeep Sharma and Manoj Joshi — organising secretary.



Probe into spending of funds sought
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The Citizens Welfare Association has demanded a thorough probe into the alleged bungling of funds by the committees formed for maintenance of parks.

The association has alleged that while no money was spent on the development or upkeep of parks, this was siphoned off by the committee members in collusion with certain Municipal Councillors, who were heading these committees.

Mr S.K. Nayar, president of the association, said that though the public parks in the township were transferred to Municipal Council, the latter had no staff for their upkeep. Thus, it was decided to form committees of residents to maintain the parks after Municipal Council paid them some money.

“But the entire scheme came a cropper and the committee members used the money to develop their personal gardens at home. Lakhs of rupees have thus been siphoned off, and a thorough probe should be conducted,” he said.



BJP councillors not quizzed for supporting Cong candidate
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The BJP councillor from Sector 6, Mr V.K. Sood, said yesterday that no senior state BJP leader had questioned him, or the other two BJP councillors on their role in electing the Municipal Council president.

He was addressing mediapersons here today. Earlier, a BJP leader, Mr Anil Goel, had said the three BJP councillors would be questioned about their alleged taking sides with the Congress councillors during the election of president of the Municipal Council last month.

The three BJP councillors — Mr C.B. Goel, Mr V .K. Sood and Ms Jagdamba Gupta — had been accused of joining hands with the Congress supported councillors in the 31-member House. While one of the councillors had joined hands with the local MP, Ms Selja’s faction, the other two had joined hands with the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan and abstained from voting to elect the MC president on June 11.

Mr Sood said he was leaving for London on July 11, and would meet Indians and Britishers and express condolences to those killed in the 7/7 terrorist attacks.



Over 120 panches, sarpanches attend workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Over 120 panches, sarpanches and progressive farmers from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh attended a one-day workshop on integrated village development at the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) in Sector 26 here today.

Addressing the workshop, Ms Rajesh Kumari, chairperson of the Board of Directors of the NITTTR, stressed on the need for training the community polytechnic teachers. The knowledge dissemination of the technologies, which are compatible with ecology, should be ensured for the benefit of the rural masses, she added.

The institute Director, Dr O.P. Bajpai, stressed on the need for conserving natural resources while adopting technologies for value addition of the finished products.

Prominent among those, who spoke on the occasion, included Dr J.S. Saini, Head of the Rural Development Department and Dr A.N. Pathak, Head of the Applied Science Department of the NITTTR, Mr KM Nath, Principal of the Government Polytechnic, Nilokheri, Mr S.K. Gautam, Head of Pharmacy, Government Polytechnic for Women, Kandaghat (Solan), and Mr B.S. Thakur, chairman of the Vichar Vibhag of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC).

The workshop concluded with a visit to the Organic Farm, near the PGI, for live demonstration of vermin-compost, biogas and solar technologies for rural development.



Youth Cong to send ration for Gujarat, MP flood victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Youth Congress is collecting dry ration like rice, pulses, sugar, salt, tea leaves, biscuits and milk powder for flood victims of Gujarat and eastern Madhya Pradesh. This was stated by the president of the All-India Youth Congress, Mr Ashok Tanwar, while speaking to activists of the party at the Punjab Congress Bhavan here today.

Mr Tanwar said, representatives of each district in Punjab and Haryana had been asked to provide one truck-full of rations. The convoy would be sent as one batch from Delhi. The material was to leave in the next two or three days.

The Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, had expressed displeasure at the flood-relief measures, said Mr Tanwar. Some dry ration had been sent as an emergency measure by the Mumbai unit of the Congress. This would be supplemented by the ration from here, he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Harpreet Singh Bunty, president of the Ropar unit of the Youth Congress, said his unit was ready with the goods.



City gets another spell of rain

A magnificent monsoon spectacle in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A magnificent monsoon spectacle in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 10
Weather gods continued to play hide and seek with the Chandigarh resident today. After a hot and humid yesterday, it was time for a pleasant afternoon today, as rains came running down from the sky.

The spell was an unexpected one, but it was more like a sudden rush of emotion — now here, now nowhere. No wonder the actual rainfall was just 0.2 mm in the city, while the rest of the region did not even record traces.

Met Department official said the rainfall was insignificant. They added the rains did not effect any changes in the day temperature which was the same as yesterday — 35.8° Celsius. The humidity lessens with the rains today. TNS



Gang of narcotics smugglers busted; 3 held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 10
Continuing with its campaign against the drug-menace in the city, the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh police today apprehended a three-member gang of alleged inter-state narcotic smugglers from near Sarangpur village. The police seized 288 kg of poppy husk worth Rs 1.5 lakh from their possession.

Sources in the police said acting on specific information, a trap was laid on a road separating Sarangpur and Dhanas village. On the basis of tip-off, a tractor-trailer coming without a number plate was stopped by the police. The search of the tractor-trolley led to recovery of 12 bags containing poppy husk weighing 288 kg.

The police arrested the occupants of tractor trolley Mohammad Dilshad and Bablu, both residents of Dhanpura village in Haridwar district (Uttranchal) and Irshad of Perrawali Gali in Saharanpur district. A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered at Sector 11, police station.

About the modus operandi, the sources in the police added that poppy husk was concealed beneath the heap of wheat chaff in a tractor-trailer. They used to bring large quantities of poppy husk to the city which they would further sell to the retail peddlers operating on the periphery.

The sources added that the gang was operating for the last about four months. During interrogation, the accused reportedly told the police that they had brought the consignment from Deoband and had kept it concealed in a rented house in Sarangpur village, after which they were carrying the consignment for further distribution amongst peddlers.

They also told the police that it was their fourth trip to the city in the last four months. Mohammad Dilshad was arrested earlier also in the city for carrying the poppy husk and is facing the trial in a court.



Auto spare parts worth lakhs stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 10
Auto spare parts worth lakhs were stolen from Industrial Area. In two separate incidents, the Chandigarh Police arrested two persons on the allegations of stealing and a motorcycle was reportedly stolen from the city.

Mr Sushil Kapoor of plot No 28/1, Phase II, Industrial Area, lodged a complaint to the police that 700 shock observers, 900 electric horns, 1,600 litter of oil and 250 electric bulbs were stolen from his plot during the night of July 8. He told the police that the theft was detected when he saw the lock of his plot broken in the morning and the things were missing. A case has been registered.

The sources in the police said Ram Khalayana of Indira Colony, Sector 16, Panchkula, was arrested on the allegations of stealing iron pipes from a plot in Phase I, Industrial Area, on July 9. A complaint was lodged in this regard by Mr Rajesh Aggarwal.

In another incident, Surinder Singh of Raipur Khurd village was caught red-handed while stealing a stabiliser from Rai Khurd village on Saturday, here.

The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint made by Ram Dev, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, who caught the accused red-handed.

About the thefts of a motorcycle, Mr Dudev Sharma of Sector 21 reported to the police that his motorcycle (MP-09-JG-2720) was stolen from near Taj Hotel in Sector 17.

The police arrested Ashok Kumar of Phase II, Ram Darbar, for indulging in gambling from near Singla turn on Saturday. The police recovered Rs 270 from his possession and booked him under the Gambling act.



Residents “assault” colony developer’s staff
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 10
After getting upset over their ongoing tiff, residents of the New Generation Apartments, a residential colony located along the Zirakpur-Panchkula road, allegedly tried to assault certain employees of the colony developer and locked their office, this morning.

Sources in the police said residents, while trying to hold a protest against the developer outside this office, were restrained by certain employees of the developer following which they got agitated and this led to a scuffle.

While Mr R.K. Saini, president of the New Generation Apartments Residents Welfare Society, alleged that the employees and some labourers of the developer tried to assault them and hurled stones when they were protesting this morning. Mr K.N. Pandey, Manager of the project, claimed that the protesters threatened them of dire consequences and locked them inside the office.

Mr Pandey also claimed that they had to seek help from the Lohgarh police post. He added that they were rescued by a police team that reached the spot after getting a phone call.

The police has started investigating the matter.



Thieves decamp with 62 mobile phones
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 10
Defying the electronic gadgetry installed for prevention of burglary, thieves took away 62 expensive mobile phone sets worth Rs 2.42 lakh from an office being operated in a residential area in Sector 21 last night.

Mr Harish Dhingra, distributor of Nokia mobile phones, said the theft came to light in the morning. He said he was operating business with his partner, Mr Sanjiv Jindal, from Sector 21. He said a strong room was built and burglar alarms were installed.

Mr Dhingra while giving details of the theft added that the thieves possibly gained entry from the rear of the house, as it was situated on the Sector 20-21 dividing road. They broke open a window of the office premises and entered.

The strong room has a window which is fitted with an iron door and a burglar alarm is also installed on the window. The thieves broke a part of the wall and opened the bolt of the window from inside. The thieves also reportedly disconnected the wire before opening the window. Surprisingly, the alarm did not blow, which is supposed to start working if one tries to disconnect the wire.

Mr Dhingra said there were 1,000 mobile phone sets.

Mr Dhingra said he called the police. There was some construction work going on in the office about 10 days back. The police has started investigation in this regard. Mr Dhingra said there were 20 employees working in the office. They tried to contact them, today being Sunday some of them were not available.

When contacted the police, it said they were investigating the case.


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