C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


4 students seriously hurt as buses collide
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 26
Four students of Sector 44 St Xavier’s School were seriously injured early this morning after their bus rammed into a roadways bus near the Aroma Hotel traffic lights in Sector 22. Twenty students were in the bus.

All seven passengers, besides the driver and the conductor of the Abohar-bound PRTC bus were also injured in the mishap. They, along with the students, were referred to the Sector 16 General Hospital. Except for the roadways bus conductor, others were reportedly out of danger.

For the students and the passengers it was nothing less than a miraculous escape. Eye-witnesses said so powerful was the impact that the roadways bus overturned before hitting an electricity pole, uprooting it in the process.

The Chandigarh police claimed that the accident had occurred due to jumping of traffic light by the school bus driver. He has been booked under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC. He was later released on bail.

Even though the Chandigarh police claimed that the mishap occurred due to negligence on part of the school bus driver, the students were quick to defend him. Students Gunveer, Sapanpreet Kaur, Trichi and Prashant insisted that a major tragedy was averted due to timely action by the driver and the conductor. “They did their best to stop the bus..... It was the driver of the roadways bus who was driving rashly”.

Meanwhile, giving details of the incident, “an eye-witness said the mishap occurred at about 7 a.m. The school bus (CH-01-N-1553) coming from Sector 21 jumped the traffic light and banged into the rear door of the PRTC bus coming from Sector 17 inter state bus terminus.

Another eyewitness, Yogesh Tiwari of Sector 22, blamed the drivers of both buses. He added that both were driving at a high speed. They tried to slam the brakes but failed and the mishap occurred.

The trapped passengers in the overturned roadways bus had to find their way through the shattered windshield. Some of them sustained cuts and bruises in the process.

Apprehending blast in the roadways bus due to the fuel tank leakage, the commuters ran away from the vehicles, creating panic in the process. As the diesel continued to spill from the tank of the roadways bus, a fire tender was rushed to the stop and the area was cordoned off.

For over an hour traffic came to a standstill at the intersection even as the police asked the commuters to take alternative routes to their destinations. Eventually, a crane was pressed into service for removing the bus from the spot. The entire operation was supervised by a team of Chandigarh police officials, along with Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central) P.K. Dhawan and Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 17 police station Prem Singh Malik.

Recalling the incident, Patiala-bound passenger Paramjit Singh, who was travelling along with his sister, said the incident took them by surprise. He added that the passengers simply fell on each other as the bus overturned. “Fortunately, the bus was not full and we managed to get out of the vehicle without much difficulty,” he added, while rubbing his injured knee.



It takes a tragedy to wake up cops
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh police challaning erring drivers during a special drive launched in the city on Tuesday
Chandigarh police challaning “erring drivers” during a special drive launched in the city on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik 

Chandigarh, July 26
It takes an accident to wake up the Chandigarh police out of slumber. Though school bus drivers and conductors have been giving two hoots to the safety of school students since long, the cops challaned erring drivers “in bulk” only after four students were injured in a mishap this morning.

Senior officers refuse to comment on the issue. But sources in the police headquarters admit that the mishap could have been averted had the cops been challaning the erring drivers on regular basis, instead of springing into action “when it was already too late”.

Giving details, they say that the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while issuing directions in the traffic regulation and pollution control case, had directed that the school buses should not be allowed to “exceed the speed of 50 km per hour”.

But little was apparently done by the Chandigarh police and the state transport authorities to check overspeeding and other violations — evident from today’s accident in which a speeding school bus rammed into a roadways bus.

The sources add that this is not the only direction ignored by the Chandigarh police. A random survey reveals that contrary to the directions issued by Mr Justice Swatenter Kumar and Mr Justice Sat Pal in civil writ petition number 7639 of 1995, so many drivers and conductors have not attended refresher courses. They are dressed up in casuals, instead of uniform.

In a large number of cases, the conductors do not possess driving licenses. Worse, in so many buses, the first-aid box is missing, or has medicines that have outlived their lives.

The result of non-compliance is there for all to see. Earlier this month, injuries were sustained by six school students. They were on their way to an institute in Sector 26 when the bus being driven in a rash and negligent manner turned turtle in Sector 11.

In July 2003 also, as many as 23 young innocents were hurt in a collision between a senior Punjab police officer’s car and an Army truck ferrying students to the school. At that time also, special challaning drives were launched. Several drivers were fined. A number of vehicles were also impounded. But after a few days, the “policing was back to normal”.

Forced into action by a mishap involving a school vehicle, the Chandigarh police today fined “erring drivers” of 90 such vehicles. For the purpose of catching the violators, barricades were set up at several places in the city by the police.



Split youth fest on gender: Principals
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, July 26
When youth fest organisers make distinction between boys and girls, it is not healthy. But ask girls’ college authorities about it, they will stoutly defend the decision to keep the boys out of their cultural extravaganza.

Deviating from the trend introduced last year, this time girls’ colleges in the city are demanding that the Panjab University youth festival to be held in their colleges should be held not along with the boys, but separately. Earlier, the youth festivals for boys and girls colleges used to be held separately. But last year it was decided to conduct a combined fest for boys and girls for more healthy output.

However, practical experience brought out another aspect of boys to the fore, indiscipline. Boy students in tandem with hoodlums created utter chaos in the girl’s colleges during the fest. During the presentation of a music item at a girl’s college last year, some mischievous elements busted crackers in the hall and disrupted the show. Similar, unruly scenes were witnessed during the dramas and giddha session.

The Principal of Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, Ms Shashi Jain, Principal of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Ms Upinder Mehra, Principal of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Ms Manjit Kalra, Principal of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, Ms Puneet Bedi and Principal of Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Dr Harinderjit Kaur have written to the Vice Chancellor, K.N. Pathak of Panjab University. They have requested the PU authorities to revert to the old practice of making Zone A fest for girls colleges and Zone B for boys or co-educational colleges. They also said that the joint festival becomes unduly long which affected the studies.

Upinder Mehra, Principal of Government College for Girls Sector 42, said: “Though it was a healthy competition, but it had become very difficult to check indiscipline. Boys created ruckus in the college last year. It would be certainly better if the fest for boys and girls colleges were held separately as it will help in maintaining the decorum of the host college.”

Dr Harinderjit Kaur, Principal of GGSC, Sector 26 said: “For maintaining discipline it is better to hold the competitions separately. It will also draw maximum participation from the girls. I am in the favour of disciplined approach.”

Meanwhile, Principal of DAV College, Sector 10, Mr S. C. Marriya, had called a meeting regarding PU’s youth festival yesterday. “Last year the festival was hosted by our college. 



Passing Thru

Akhtar Ali
Arjuna awardee tennis coach Akhtar Ali.

What brings you here?

I am here to conduct a 10-day tennis coaching camp at the CLTA, Sector 10, here.

Your milestones?

I have been National Tennis and Davis Cup coach for many years. In the 1960’s, I was a member of the Davis Cup team, which included Ramanathan Krishnan, Jaideep Mukherjee and Premjit Lal. I coached the Indian team in 1966 and 1974 and it reached the Davis Cup finals. I have also coached Holland, USA Australia, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Malaysia.

Your distinguished trainees?

The list of my trainees includes the Amritraj brothers, Ramesh Krishnan, Nandan Bal, Leander Paes, and my son Zeeshan Ali who remained India’s national champion for many years.

Have your services been recognised?

I have received numerous awards, including the Pro of the Year Award in 1998 by the United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR) and the Arjuna Award in 2000.

— G.S. Paul



City loses chance to emerge as big tourist centre 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Chandigarh, July 26
A good opportunity for the city to emerge as a hub of tourist activity in the entire northern region has gone a little off-track because of no follow-up on the recommendations of the committee of northern region tourism secretaries and managing directors of the concerned state corporations.

The first meeting of the committee was held in August, 2002, at the PHD House, New Delhi. Right at the outset of the action programme, the meeting was not attended by directors from Uttranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was attended only by officials from Punjab, Haryana, New Delhi and Chandigarh.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director of CITCO, said he was unaware about any such meeting in the past. “I have just read the details of the proposed action plan and feel that the city had a big potential to emerge as a facilitating centre for tourism in the entire region. The city is a perfect doorway for entry in areas of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The state of Jammu and Kashmir also fits in the picture”.

Mr Bir said he will communicate with the tourism MDs and secretaries of all neighbouring states and work out a possible avenue for development.

The joint action plan of the committee had proposed that a tourist information kiosk should be opened in Sector 17. It proposed that information material from other states should be provided at the centre. The centre in the city currently has no literature on tourism from the neighbouring states. “We can coordinate with the neighbouring states and ask them to supply us information material which can disseminate to the interested public”.

The committee recommended that a joint calender for events in the region was suggested on the occasion. The calender would list all major events, dates and venues for the scheduled functions. Possibility of joint participation in fairs and festivals was sought to be explored by the committee.

One of the valuable decisions was exploring possibility of free travel within a radius of 100 km from Chandigarh. The major tourist centres underlined under the project included Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sirhind, Patiala, Pinjore, Kurukshetra, Morni Hills, Mansa Devi, Timber Trail, Kasauli, Chail and Shimla.

It was felt in the meeting that inter-state tax on tourism transportation sector, particularly coaches, was a major impediment for tourists from one state to the other. It was suggested that to begin with five coaches of different states should be allowed to travel without any tax impediments.

A senior officer of the UT Administration said that “tourism was an industry with a big potential for generating resources which ultimately contribute to the state economy. The presentation and marketing need a more professional approach”. 



Statements of accused not voluntary: defence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The prosecution in the general court martial trying Brig Iqbal Singh in the Tehelka case today sought to recall CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr K.Y. Guruprasad, for producing the record of the entire deposition made by the accused before the erstwhile Justice Phukan Commission of Inquiry.

This was strongly objected to by the defence, which contended that there was no provision under law to undertake this exercise.

Prosecution counsel Arvind Moudgil had submitted before the court that the deposition was required as it contained certain confessions and admissions by the accused, which was necessary for adjudication of the case.

The defence counsel, Maj R S Randhawa (retd) contended that the CBI official was not competent to produce the record as it could only be produced by the person who had recorded the same or by Justice Phukan himself, before whom the evidence had been recorded.

The defence also contended that even if the record of the deposition was produced by the CBI official, he was not in a position to prove it. Unless the record is proved, it cannot be admitted as evidence.

The defence also claimed that the statements made by the accused before the commission were not voluntary and were done under duress after notices had been issued. Further statements made by the accused or a witness earlier cannot be produced again.

The prosecution’s contention was that the statements made by the accused before the commission were voluntary and the accused had not sought protection under Section 132 of the Indian Evidence Act. It claimed that deposition made before a commission of inquiry can be used in subsequent judicial proceedings as the same was confessional in nature.

The court will reassemble tomorrow to decide upon the matter.



Inquiry ordered into fly-in-syringe case
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Taking cognizance of a news report carried in these columns, the Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Dr K.K. Talwar, has ordered an inquiry in the fly-in-the-syringe case.

The UT Health Department has also initiated a drive to check the sale of sub-standard syringes in the market. For the purpose, special teams have reportedly been constituted.

The sources in the institute said PGIMER’s Medical Superintendent (MS), Dr Anil Kumar Gupta, has been asked to look into the entire issue and submit a detailed report to the Director. Though time frame has not been fixed, the MS has been asked to complete the probe as soon as possible. Giving details, the sources asserted that the objective of the probe was to ascertain the source of the syringes’ purchase and to suggest measures for ensuring against the repetition of such incidents in the future. The sources add that Dr Gupta has already initiated the inquiry.

The Director, when contacted, said he had received information about the incident from the ward staff also and was determined to get to the bottom of the matter.

Dr Talwar added that further action like the withdrawal of syringes, manufactured by the particular company, from chemist shops located in the PGIMER campus would depend upon the findings of the MS.

The family of Chandigarh’s Permanent Lok Adalat member J.S. Kohli had reportedly purchased the syringe, containing the fly, from a drug store located in the institute. The insect — common source of infection — was, subsequently, spotted floating in saline solution by a nurse just as she was getting ready to administer the intravenous injection.

At that time, the doctors-on-duty had categorically stated that “anything could have happened” if the nurse had failed to spot the fly. Mr Kohli — also a former Chief Engineer-cum-Secretary in the UT Engineering Department and ex-Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board — is undergoing treatment for sinus at the PGIMER and is stated to be fast recovering.

Meanwhile, several social organisations have demanded a high-level probe into the incident. Claiming that the lives of so many patients were at stake, the Chairman of the Chandigarh Parents’ Association, Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, demanded an inquiry into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Describing it as a “nationwide racket”, Mr Sehgal said the PGIMER authorities or the local police were not having enough resources to look into the matter and bring the guilty to the book. 



Contractor accuses MC chief of misbehaviour
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
An MC contractor has accused the MC President, Mr Tarun Bhandari, of misbehaving with him, because his friend, B.L. Tandon had made several complaints against Mr Bhandari.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr S.K. Jain said that when he went to get his payments released from the MC on July 22, Mr Bhandari misbehaved with him and said that payments would be released only after he (Mr Jain) coerced Mr Tandon to withdraw the complaints.

Mr Jain has also made a representation to this effect to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh. Giving copies of his representation, Mr Jain said he had been hired for installing joyrides and benches in parks. He had supplied all material to the MC in accordance with the specifications given to him, but his payments have not been released so far.

Meanwhile, Mr Bhandari has denied the allegations. “In fact, Mr Jain had threatened to level all kinds of allegations against me if I did not release the payments. His payments have been stopped on instructions of the Local Bodies Department, which is inquiring into how the contract for joyrides and benches were awarded at such high prices. The quality of material supplied by him is also being investigated into,” he added.



ZP chief’s post: members cry foul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
With the Chandigarh Administration yet to decide on the issue of reservation for the post of Chairman of the Zila Parishad, the newly-elected members of the parishad today expressed uncertainty over its functioning.

A group of candidates, who have decided upon Ms Kuldeep Kaur as the consensus candidate for the post, supported by the Behl group in the Congress and by the BJP leadership, alleged that the administration was delaying the matter under political pressure. “It was being done to create confusion in the minds of the candidates who were supporting me”, alleged Ms Kuldeep Kaur, who is the wife of the Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, Mr Didar Singh.

“It has been over a month that the administration has not decided on the issue. The results were announced on July 5”, said a member. The issue was raised after the Secretary, Rural Development, Mr S.N. Sahai, administered them oath of the office here today. Mr Didar Singh claimed that there was no need of seeking legal opinion when there was a noting on the file about the reservation of the seat. The UT follows the Punjab pattern and there was no confusion.

It may be mentioned that a few days back after two members of the Bansal group claimed the support of at least six members in the 11-member parishad to elect its new Chairman, the Behl group managed to bring at least seven of the members under its fold with the “active” support of three BJP aligned candidates.

The delay in announcing the status of the post could encourage the members to resort to horse trading. The BJP led by Mr Rambir Bhatti and Mr Harbhajan Singh Kaheri was favouring Mr Kuldeep Kaur as it would ensure that the Bansal group did not have an upper hand. As a result of this strategy, three BJP members, Mr Hukam Chand, Mr Jai Chand and Mr Bhajan were with the proposed candidate.



Tribune Union condemns police action
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, July 26
The Tribune Employees Union today condemned the brutal lathi charge on workers of Hero Honda Company at Gurgaon by the police yesterday.
The union said the police action was barbaric and it had tried to muzzle the democratic right of the workers to stage a peaceful protest. The union, while expressing its solidarity with the striking workers, called upon the Central and state governments to take strong action against the guilty policemen and civil officials.

The BSNL Employees Union, Punjab Circle, too has condemned the police action at Gurgaon. The employees condemned the indifferent attitude of the management and the government towards the demands of the workers who have been agitating for the past six months.

Meanwhile, Mr Amadeep Chaudhary, State Secretary of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) , while reacting to the lathi charge on employees of a multinational company at Gurgaon yesterday said the present Congress regime in Haryana had failed to meet the expectations of the people. Repression of the common man seemed to be the norm. He said that the workers were demonstrating peacefully and such harsh action against them was uncalled for.

Mr Chaudhary said such massive repression of workers had never taken place in Haryana.



Kargil victory: Venkaiah flays no-UPA show 
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 26
The former BJP president, Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, today sought to take political mileage from the non-observance of Kargil victory day by the UPA government saying that the government owed an explanation to the nation.

“The UPA government’s decision not to celebrate the Kargil victory was an injustice to the people and the Army and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, must make a statement on the issue in the ongoing session of Parliament, the BJP vice-president said here today.

It was the sacred duty of the every Indian to remember the Kargil martyrs and the government’s indifference towards the martyrs was an insult to them, he added.

Saying that the UPA government was having second thoughts on the Iran-India oil pipeline project under pressure from the USA, Mr Naidu alleged that the Congress and Left were speaking in different voices on the issue. The statement of the Prime Minister on the project during his recent US visit raised doubts about government’s intentions to complete the project. Terming terrorism as “international menace”, Mr Naidu alleged that the government was going soft in its campaign against the militants. The infiltration was on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir the situation in the North East was far from normal, he added.

Mr Naidu described the yesterday’s police action in Gurgaon as “barbaric” and demanded a high-level probe into the incident. He, however, did not demand the resignation of Bhupinder Singh Hooda government

Earlier, addressing a function organised in connection with Kargil Vijay Divas, Ms Kiran Maheshwari, MP, and in charge of Chandigarh, came down heavily on the UPA government for its failure to celebrate the Kargil victory and alleged raw deal to the defence personnel and ex-servicemen.

The convener of the legal cell of the BJP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, demanded that the upcoming Chandigarh Technology Park should be named after either a freedom fighter or a martyr.

Prominent among those, who spoke on the occasion were the local unit chief, Yash Pal Mahajan, and president of the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Mr Devesh Moudgil.

PANCHKULA: The BJP on Tuesday honoured the parents of Shaheed Gursimrat Singh Dhindsa. Lieut-Gen J.L. Malhotra (retd) was the chief guest, while Maj-Gen S.S. Verma was the guest of honour. The gathering paid homage to all those who had laid down their lives in the war.



City remembers heroes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 26
The Students’ Wing of the city unit of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front held a memorial service on Vijay Divas in memory of the Kargil martyrs at “Memorial of Martyrs” at DAV College, Sector 10, today. Floral tributes were paid to the martyrs and 2 minutes silence was observed in memory of those who laid their lives for the nation.

Capt Harpal Singh (retd), father of Shaheed Maj Harminder Pal Singh (Shaurya Chakra), Prof Harbans Lal Sagar, father of Shaheed Maj Sandeep Sagar, Mrs and Mr D.S. Sandhu, parents of Shaheed 2nd Lt Rajeev Sandhu (Maha Vir Chakra), Mrs and Lt-Col J.S. Kanwar (retd), parents of Shaheed Maj Sandeep Shankla (Ashok Chakra), Mr S.Gurbax Singh Dhindsa, father of Shaheed Flt Lt Gursimrat Singh Dhindsa; Mrs Sudesh Sharma, mother of Shaheed Capt Atul Sharma; and Col H.S. Yadav (retd), father of Shaheed 2nd Lt Anil Yadav, attended the memorial service.

Mr S. Marriya, Principal of DAV College, also attended the memorial service. Mr Rajesh Sharma, President, city unit of the front, thanked the martyrs’ families for attending the ceremony.

Among the prominent persons who attended the memorial service were Vikram Chopra, senior vice-president of the front, Ashwani Pandu, vice-president, Amanjit Singh, Ravinder Gill, Mahesh Rana, Sunil Dutt and Yogesh Mahajan. Kulbir Singh and Kanwaljit Singh Rocky, president and vice-president of the Youth Wing of the INTUC, Vijay Singh Bhardwaj of the VHP and Sushil Gupta from the NCP also attended the ceremony.

AMBALA: The Citizens Council here celebrated Kargil Divas. At a Council meeting it was suggested that a memorial for Kargil martyrs should be constructed at Indra Chowk. Members sought financial help from the local MP Kumari Selja for the project.

The Bharatiya Janata Party celebrated Kargil Vijay Divas at SD Senior Secondary School, Ambala Cantt this evening. Brig D.K. Khullar (retd) was the chief guest while the former MP, Mr Ratan Lal Kataria, presided. 



Letters for Sector 24, Panchkula, returned
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
The fifty odd families in Sector 24 are encountering a strange problem. In spite of shifting to their homes in this sector along the Ghaggar river, the Department of Post and Telecom Department have refused to acknowledge that people are residing in the sector is inhabited.

Residents of the sector complain that not only has the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) forgotten about the development of the sector, but other Central government departments, too, have failed to accept the existence of the sector. No land telephones are being installed here, and all posts being addressed to the residents of the sector are being sent back.

Mr Vireder Chopra, a resident of Sector 24, narrates how the passports of his family members sent by the Regional Passport Office through registered post were returned, because the Department of Post “assumed” that the sector was uninhabited.

“No letters are delivered here because the department assumes that no one stays here. We also pursued with the Telecom Department to instal cables for land telephones, and were amused when the BSNL authorities said that they were unaware of the existence of the sector,” he says.

Another resident, Col. Satish Khanna rues that there is no bank or petrol pump in or around the sector. “We have to go to the old sectors, on the other side of Ghaggar even for our daily needs. We have often requested the HUDA authorities to ensure that the sectors across the Ghaggar are properly developed, but to no avail,” he alleged.



Stray dogs: MC to seek NGO help
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Unable to deal with the stray dog menace the Municipal Corporation, has yet another plan up its sleeve. Under the new scheme, the two animal welfare organisations in the city, People For Animals (PFA) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), will be asked to take over the entire sterilisation operation of stray dogs in the city.

Post-monsoon, the two organisations will catch and sterilise stray dogs for the Municipal Corporation. Earlier also they had been involved with the MC in the sterilisation drive during the past two years. But the programme failed miserably because the MC took on itself the task of catching stray dogs and passing them on to the PFA or SPCA for sterilisation.

Against supplying five dogs a week per organisation, the MC only managed to hand over the dogs once in two months in absence of a systematic approach.

Another problem with the earlier procedure adopted by the MC was that they would catch one dog from Sector 30, another from Sector 18 and yet another from Sector 11. This made it difficult for the two organisations to streamline the sterilisation drive and keep track of the number of canines sterilised in a particular sector.

But the MC will this time allow the two organisations to arrange for catching of the dogs as well. “While the PFA has been allotted Sector 1 to 11, the SPCA has been asked to handle the dog population in the sectors beyond the Dakshin Marg. We are sure it will make a difference,” Medical Officer, Health, G.C. Bansal, said.

The PFA representative, Ms Payal Sodhi, said they would be operating through the network of residents welfare organisations in each sector. “Residents in the area allotted to us can call us up at 2749211 to inform us of the stray dogs. We have involved the area councillor as well and will begin with collection of the data of the dog population in every sector. From now on everything will be our responsibility and we will sterilise the entire stray dog population within a year,” she maintains.

The two organisations will not only sterilise the dogs but vaccinate and deworm them. Before discharging them after the operation, the dogs will be tattooed to identify them from those still to be sterilised. The people of the area would also be educated to be able to identify all sterilised dogs. 



Entries invited for Gandhi Peace Prize
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Union Ministry of Culture has invited entries for the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize, an official press note said here today. The prize for eminent persons and institutions carries a cash award of Rs 1 crore, a citation and a plaque. The award is decided by a jury headed by the Prime Minister each year.

The prize is awarded to individuals and institutions for their outstanding contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other methods for amelioration of human sufferings particularly for the under-privileged sections of the society, contributing towards social justice and harmony.

The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, creed or works done during the past 10 years. The nominations need to be sent by August 31.

The award in name of Mahatma Gandhi was instituted in 1995. Certain personalities who have been conferred the award include Dr Julius K. Nycrere, a former president of Tanzania, Dr A.T. Ariyaratne, president of the Sarvodaya Shramdan Movement in Sri Lanka, Dr Gerhard Fischer, a former German diplomat, the Ramakrishna Mission, Baba Amte and Dr Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa.



Manjot’s kin seeks FIR against erring cops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 26
Accusing the Punjab Police of abducting Sector 34 resident Manjot Kaur on the grounds of being associated with Jagtar Singh Hawara, her family member today sought the registration of FIR against the erring cops.

In her complaint to the Sector 34 police station, Ms Manjit Kaur, the mother-in-law of Manjot Kaur, claimed that a police party, comprising two policemen accompanied by three gunmen, two of whom were in plain clothes, along with a woman, reached their house at about 4.30 pm.

Ms Manjit Kaur alleged that at 4:30 pm there were loud banging on the door. The police left the home within five minutes after taking Manjot Kaur with them. Before leaving they reportedly told her that they are taking Manjot to the Sector 34 police station and would leave her after questioning.

When asked about the incident, the SHO of the Sector 34 police station said he had received the complaint and they were investigating the matter. 



PSEB urged to pay interest on security
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
The Consumers Protection Forum has urged the Punjab State Electricity Board to pay interest to consumers on security deposits as was being done by it earlier. In a letter to the Senior Executive Engineer, Mr P.S. Virdi, president of the forum said complaints were received that interest was not being paid to censure by the board over the past about five years.

The authorities had also been asked to withdraw the policy according to which billing was done on the basis of the sanctioned load. The forum said due to frequent power cuts, especially during summers, residents were not able to consume power even up to the sanctioned load and preparing bills on the basis of sanctioned load amounted to doing injustice with the consumers.

Mr Virdi said the board had also been asked not to replace old meters with electronic meters as these were not giving satisfactory service.



Protest by sand transporters
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
Transporters dealing in the sale of sand and stones staged a protest outside the office of the District Industries Centre (DIC) here today against the forced issuing of receipts by mining contractors.

The protesters, who raised slogans, alleged that they were transporting sand from fields owned by farmers and not from river bed and even then they were being issued receipts by mining contractors and were forced to pay Rs 400 per vehicle.

Mr Bhinder Singh, Manager, DIC, told them that they were indulging in illegal activities as sand could not be removed from the fields. He said he would also have to listen to the contractors before reaching any conclusion.

He told mediapersons that the contractors were paying Rs 30 lakh per month to the government for mining. The term of the earlier contract had expired and fresh auctions had not been carried out so far. The contractors were being given extension every month to carry out the mining work.



Cleanliness drive from August 1
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, held a meeting with officials of various departments here today in connection with the cleanliness and awareness week that was being started from August 1.

He said there was a need to give a facelift to the town and the involvement of all departments, welfare bodies and residents was must to make the drive a success, adding that the main role in the drive was to be played by the Municipal Council and PUDA.

He urged all departments to prepare a plan so that drive could be carried out in the best possible manner.

The police was asked to clean areas in and around the police stations and provide a list of vehicles being used by it. Heads of various government schools were told to keep the premises neat and clean.

The MLA said the person who gave the best performance during the drive would be honoured on August 15.



60-year-old woman dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 26
A 60-year-old woman was crushed by a Municipal Corporation truck this afternoon at the dumping ground at Dadu Majra Colony here. She was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Sources in the police said Chandrawati, a rag picker of Dadu Majra Colony, sustained serious injuries when the MC truck while reversing crushed her. The truck driver, Satpal, a resident of Dhonori village in Ropar district, and the other employees immediately shifted her to the hospital, where she died.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the truck driver.



City, Mohali water supply to be hit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 26
Water supply to various places in Chandigarh and Mohali will be affected tomorrow and day after tomorrow. According to a press note issued by the Executive Engineer here, the rising main of Phase III carrying water from Kajauli to Sector 39, Chandigarh, will remain closed for the next two days.



AIR FM reaches Himachal

Chandigarh, July 26
All India Radio (AIR) FM on 103.1 MHz has started broadcasting its programmes to Kasauli and its neighbouring areas in Himachal Pradesh. It was launched by Mr Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, on July 10. AIR Chandigarh reaches most parts of Punjab, parts of Uttar Pradesh and now remote parts of Himachal Pradesh, courtesy a transmitter placed at Kasauli. The station broadcasts its programmes from 6 am to 12 in the afternoon everyday. TNS



K.B. Sharma to officiate as MC Chief Engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Superintending Engineer (B and R), Mr K.B. Sharma, will be the officiating Chief Engineer of the Municipal Corporation. According to sources, this follows the repatriation Mr S.K. Khanna, to his parent cadre Haryana. Mr Khanna, whose promotion is due in his parent cadre, had sought the repatriation, the sources added.



A chase, an accident and cases of liquor seized
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, July 26
It was a chase in Bollywood style. The antagonist was the driver of an Ambassador car with a redlight. He was being chased by a PCR vehicle of the Chandigarh police. The chase ended with two persons sustaining injuries and the car ramming into a tree near a government school in Sector 7.

The UT PCR vehicle reportedly left the car at the spot. Hearing a loud thud, residents of the locality came out to see what had happened. Mr Vikas Thakur, an eyewitness, subsequently informed the police.

A PCR vehicle of the Panchkula police that was also chasing the vehicle reached the spot and overpowered the car driver. He was later identified as Ranbir Singh, a resident of Patiala. After searching the car (PB-11F-8822), the police also seized 25 cases of country made liquor.

Others injured during the chase were a rickshaw puller Vishnu Lal and a pedestrian.

Sources in the police claimed that Ranbir Singh had been using a red light blinker on his vehicle to mislead the police.

Mr Balbir Singh, Superintendent of Police, in a press note said following a tip-off about smuggling of liquor by a Patiala resident in an Ambassador car with a red light, the police alerted all PCR vehicles in the district.

The police personnel at a PCR vehicle on the Kalka-Ambala highway signalled the car to stop but the driver sped away. The policemen chased the vehicle for a long distance and finally caught up with it in Sector 7.

In the press note the SP claimed that during interrogation, the car driver had disclosed that he had been smuggling liquor from bordering areas of Himachal Pradesh and selling in Patiala on retail basis.

After registering a case under the Excise Act against the car driver, the police handed over the liquor cases to the officials of the Excise Department. 



Courier firms take customers for a ride
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Remedies available

Remedies available to consumers about deficiency in courier services include registering of a criminal case under various Sections of the IPC for fraud, breach of contract, misrepresentation and theft or filing of a civil complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, on a plain paper giving details of the case. Both complaints can be filed separately or concurrently. The district forum’s jurisdiction is up to Rs 20 lakh while the state commission can adjudicate from Rs 20 to Rs 1 crore. The national commission decides on case over Rs 1 crore. Complaint can be filed up to two years from the date of booking a courier.

Chandigarh, July 26
Courier services may sound very attractive in terms of “reliability” and “speed” in comparison to the traditional postal service. But going by the experience of harried consumers, courier companies are allegedly taking them for a ride if the numbers of cases of the “deficiency in service” are any indication.

According to sources, there are over 12 cases pending for adjudication in various customers forums and civil courts in the city. Many more complaints continue to pour in with each passing day.

Take the case of Mr L.K. Sharma, who has been running from pillar to post to know the whereabouts of his parcel sent through a Sector 17-based courier company. On June 2, he had sent CDs of his daughter’s marriage and a pair of imported goggles from the city to Porbander in Gujarat for a faster delivery through On Dot Courier Company.

When the parcel did not reach its destination, concerned Mr Sharma contacted company officials here and at its headquarters in New Delhi. However, despite repeated efforts, Mr Sharma did not get a satisfactory reply. Now he is contemplating to take legal action against the company for “deficiency in service” and mental harassment.

Mani Majra-based parents of a child studying at Dalhousie paid through their nose to courier school shoes and other personal belongings through Blazeflash franchise, Asian Enterprise, on July 4. When the 3 kg parcel (Booking no E-8480061) did not reach its destination for over a week, they contacted Mr G.S Negi and Mr Naval Thakur, in charge, Blazeflash operations, in the city.

After two days of repeated phone calls, company officials told them that the parcel was delivered on July 14. But this was far from true; the parcel has not reached the destination till date, they alleged.

The parents of the child are so upset that they too are planning to take legal action against Blazeflash. “We are very upset at the response of the company. It not only failed to deliver the parcel, the company officials are also lying and insisting that the parcel was delivered, but at the same time they have failed to show any proof of delivery”.

“We are not so upset at Rs 135 we paid as courier charges or the gifts we brought from abroad for our child, but because of the child being censured for not wearing her school shoes”, said the girl’s father. He said Mr Jeevan Singla, proprietor of Asian Enterprise, the Blazeflash Franchisee, was not courteous enough to inquire into the matter.

Similarly, when Dr Jaspreet Singh, did not receive a gift comprising surgical instrument sent by his parents through a courier, all he could do was to shuttle between the courier company offices in Ludhiana and Rajpura. Finally, he reconciled to the loss amounting to Rs 5,000.

An advocate, Mr T.S. Sudan, said an application before the consumer court was the only requirement for filing a case, which the court was obliged to decide within 90 days, he added.



PunCom wins orders worth Rs 10 cr
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
Punjab Communications (PunCom) has bagged two major orders of Rs 7.46 crore from Railtel and of Rs 2.4 crore from HVPNL.
According to Ms Ravneet Kaur, Vice-Chairperson and Managing Director, Puncom, HVPNL has placed an order for supply of power line carrier communication (PLCC) equipment while an order from Railtel was for STM-16 equipment-based nationwide broadband network.

Ms Ravneet Kaur said the HVPNL order, for supply of 148 nos of PLCC equipment, was a result of competitive bidding and subsequent strategic negotiations by PunCom at the Hinghpowered Purchase Committee of the Haryana Government in which other competitors like ABB and BPL had given a tough competition to PunCom.

According to the VC and MD, PunCom, which was executing a project covering 12,500 km and connecting 199 stations across India for setting up a broadband long haul telecom network for Railtel Corporation of India at a value of about Rs 39 crore by using SDH equipment (STM-16) of Alcatel, had now been given an additional order for Rs 7.46 crore for additional routes in the same network by Railtel.



PSIEC sets up training centre in Kenya
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 26
The Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) has set up a training centre in Kenya for imparting training in handloom weaving. The centre established with assistance of Commonwealth secretariat, UK, will enable persons of weaker sections in Kenya to acquire skills for making handloom product like durries, sheets, dusters, etc.

The PSIEC will impart training to 28 persons at Ahero village in Kenya. This will be organised under the auspices of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation, Nairobi. The Corporation has also arranged to send handlooms and other accessories, including raw material, to Kenya for the training.

According to Mr Arun Goel, MD, PSIEC, the training will last for two months and end on August 5.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |