C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hawara’s police remand extended
Punjab police fails to get transit remand
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 28
The Chandigarh police is apparently in no mood to let Babbar Khalsa International chief Jagtar Singh Hawara go. The alleged militant was booked by the local police in yet another case today.

His police remand was extended by a local court this afternoon till August 3 even as the Punjab police failed to get his transit remand. Taking up the matter, UT Chief Judicial Magistrate Neerja Kulwant Kalson remanded him in custody for enabling the police to interrogate him in a case relating to the supply of arms and ammunition seized from his alleged accomplices — Samir, Jogdass and Joginder.

Sources in the local police said Hawara was arrested in the case allegedly on the basis of information provided by two accused in another case. Senior police officers said accused Samir and Joginder had disclosed that arms and ammunition seized from them were handed over to them by Hawara.

Going into the background of the case, officers said Samir and another accused were apprehended by the police on July 11 on the basis of secret information. During interrogation, the other accused named Joginder Singh. Subsequently, the name of Hawara cropped up in the case.

Samir and some other accused were allegedly recruited by Hawara to target senior politicians, Army officers and religious leaders, including Jagdish Tytlor, Sajjan Kumar, H.K.L. Bhagat, Bhajan Lal, General Ranjit Dayal, Ashutosh Maharaj, Baba Bhaniarewala and K.P.S. Gill

Giving details of Hawara’s interrogation, the officers, asserted that at least four consignments of arms and ammunition were sent to him through the Jammu and Kashmir border. Senior Babbar Khalsa leader Wadhawa Singh, presently in Pakistan, was behind the entire operation.

They added that the first consignment of arms and ammunition was received in August and was collected from near a dhaba in Ludhiana. Besides pistols, hand grenades and cartridges, the consignment contained 15 kg of RDX.

The second assignment was received in September, containing 13 kgs of RDX, besides three drums of magazines. The last assignment was received in January. As much as 15 kg of RDX was part of this consignment.

Earlier, during the day, the prosecution in an application before the CJM, said Hawara was needed to find persons from whom he had collected arms and ammunition. He was also to be questioned about the role of Wadhawa Singh.

Punjab police personnel from Ropar, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib gathered at the district courts early morning but had to return empty-handed as they could not get his transit remand.

The courts complex was abuzz with activity with a number of Punjab police personnel, besides personnel from intelligence agencies, thronging it. The Punjab police had even brought its own handcuffs in case the militant was handed over to it.

The Punjab police had moved an application before the Duty Magistrate, Mr R.K. Singla, seeking transit remand, who directed it to the CJM. As the CJM sent Hawara in police remand in a fresh case, the Punjab police did not even get an opportunity to move an application.

However, the defence counsel termed the fresh case against Hawara as yet another attempt to falsely implicate him.

Meanwhile, Hawara will get reading material such as newspapers and magazines while in police custody. An assurance to this effect was given by the SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, the defence counsel claimed.



No IT presence in UT villages
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

  • The Administration plans to tie up with Intel for starting computer education for students in rural areas.
  • The Administration plans at least five sampark centres in the villages for information services.
  • The Administration will tie up with the CSIR to procure books published in regional languages on the basics of computer.
  • Plans have been made to extend mobile van services to UT villages.

Chandigarh, July 28
All 18 villages in the Union Territory are alien to the information technology revolution which is transforming the look of the city.
The city boasts of sampark kendras which have centralised and facilitated services regarding routine needs like paying service bills and depositing various forms. Bigwigs of computer networks visited the city recently in connection with the IT conference and efforts have been made to enhance computer education in schools and colleges.

At the same time, the UT villages are bereft of computer education programme in schools and also do not have e-governance centres. A senior officer of the UT Administration said: “I accept the fact that the villages have not benefited by the changing priorities. An effort will surely be made to upgrade the existing facilities.”

Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, a former chairman of the panchayat samiti said: “The city came up on the land of our villages and we have been reassured time and again that programmes will be launched for general uplift. We are treated like outsiders at the moment. An effort to boost computer facilities will be appreciated.”

The officer said: “The IT revolution has mainly benefited the urban areas and the benefits have not percolated to the rural areas. The divide between the urban and the rural populace is almost digital.”

He said in the first step “we are planning to tie up with Intel for starting computer education for students of rural areas in government schools. The idea is not just teaching them basics of computer but also involving them in innovative projects. A similar experience in Kerala has been highly successful”.

The Administration plans to set up at least 50 information technology centres in the city for services to the public. It is planned that at least five sampark centres will be opened in strategic locations in the villages. The programme will enable the rural residents to be in close contact with the Administration and other service providing agencies.

The Administration plans to tie up with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to procure books which they have published in regional languages, including Punjabi and Hindi, on the basics of computers. The books will be distributed to the students of these villages.

The officer said the Commonwealth Youth Programme of the Asia Centre, located on the Punjab Engineering College campus, had already started a mobile van service for the rural areas. The van had computers to train the students who did not have access to computer facility. The programme was earlier started in collaboration with the Administration. An effort would be made to expand the existing programme.



‘It’s hell at Bombay High’
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service


Hakam Singh
Hakam Singh

Kulwant Singh
Kulwant Singh

Sanjeev Kumar
Sanjeev Kumar

Mohali, July 28
For city residents, TV scenes of the ONGC oil platform going up in flames at Bombay High might remind them of Hollywood flicks but there are some others too, who are watching the entire incident unfold with horror writ large on their faces.

City-based merchant navy officers who have worked on offshore supply vessels (OSVs) and diving support vessels (DSVs) at Bombay High are thanking their stars that they are not among those trapped in the flames and stormy seas. Specially harrowing is the knowledge that the ONGC platform, which is home to over 300 persons, blew up into a ball of fire when a DSV accidentally hit the platform legs due to bad weather.

“I have just watched the evening news bulletin said that more than 340 persons working on the ONGC platform have been rescued. I have worked in the area during the monsoon and believe me, rescuing people in these conditions is nothing short of a miracle,” says Capt Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Sector 9, Chandigarh. Captain Kumar has been working on OSVs for the past 15 years and also worked with DSVs at Bombay High.

OSVs are ships that supply men and material to the ONGC oil rigs and processing platforms. These provide divers to carry out repairs etc. “It’s hell working at Bombay High during monsoon. The wind is more than 25 knots an hour and the sea is swollen over 5 to 6 metres. In such conditions, when we are supplying men or material to the platform keeping the ship steady near the platform is a Herculean task. We constantly manoeuver to keep our ship steady but since we are very close to the legs of the platform, a single large wave can push us into the platform structure, damaging both the OSV and the platform. An accident like this invariably leads to a fire since the atmosphere is already laden with volatile fumes and oil. This is exactly what seems to have happened now,” he says.

Captain Kumar managed to make a telephone call to ship “Neel Akash,” the last OSV he worked with that has now rescued 55 persons who were thrown off the platform when it caught fire. “It was just by chance that this OSV was working with a tanker ship nearby and responded immediately to the help calls. I was told that “Samudra Suraksha,” a DSV, lost control and hit the ONGC platform. The seas were extremely choppy and normally OSVs do not go close to the rigs or platforms when it is this bad. “Samudra Suraksha” had an injured crew member on board who was to be shifted to the platform for medical help,” he says.

For other merchant navy officers, too, the rescue operation carried out by the Mumbai Port authorities is laudable. “Whatever we have gathered from the news, the navy coast guard and off shore vessels have done an exceptional job. Look at the sea. You can’t stand straight on the ship but these ships have managed to get out people from the swollen sea,” says Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the Merchant Navy Officers Association, Chandigarh. “I have spent many years manning ships in the area and have also worked on oil rigs. At Bombay High, safety should not be compromised with,” he adds.

“Working there means to be under stress every moment. You cannot take anything lightly. On an OSV that is carrying fuel, food and water for those on the platform and rigs one has to be on the job and alert all the time.

Safety is the first priority and a small mistake can cost you your life and also of many others,” points out Mohali resident, Mr Hakam Singh Dhaliwal, a second engineer who worked on “Neel Akash.”



Rail link between city, Mumbai restored
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
A day after heavy rains virtually cut off Mumbai from the rest of the country, the rail link between the metro and the city was restored today with the Chandigarh-Bandra Paschim Link Express leaving right on time. However, Indian Airline flights neither took off nor landed at the local airport.

Sources in the Railways said the Chandigarh to Mumbia Paschim Link Express which left the railway station yesterday could not go beyond Vadodra (Gujarat) and had to return. The train reached the railway station at 8.45 pm, six hours behind its scheduled arrival time. The train took three hours to travel from Ambala to Chandigarh.

The railway officials disclosed that the train was virtually empty as some of the passengers who had booked the train from stoppages in Gujarat and Rajasthan could board it. 



Crows injure monkey
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, July 28
A bleeding “wild guest” visited the house of Mr Jagmohan Lal in Sector 20-B this evening. Chased by crows, the baby simian entered the house from a door about 5.15 pm.

Noticing it in the lobby, family members were scared. Shivering with pain, the animal jumped over a stool and perched atop a guava tree. The crows again started hovering over the tree. They started pecking it again. Within no time, the number of crows multiplied and they ripped apart its skin on the left arm and the forehead. Hearing the shrieks of the animal, Mr Rajesh Kumar Sharma, younger son of Mr Jagmohan Lal, along with his colleague Rajan Khetarpal, came outside and shooed away the crows.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Sharma said the animal was bleeding when it entered the house. “I offered him chappatis but the animal did not come down,” he said.

A visit by The Tribune team to the house revealed that the animal was bleeding and had taken shelter atop the tree. In pain, it was shifting from one branch to another and was taking small naps.

Mr Sharma said despite repeated calls to Mr Ishwar Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden, UT, and the People for Animal, he had to face disappointment. “I had made phone calls to Mr Singh and to the office of the PFA about 6 pm but no one turned up till 9.30 pm,” he said.

Ms Pyal Sodhi of the PFA was not available for comments while Ms Kiran, an employee of the PFA, said no information had been received.

The Chief Wildlife Warden could not be contacted.



Passing Thru

Sabrine Spanjaard
Sabrine Spanjaard, AIESEC delegate from the Netherlands

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here with a troupe of 18 persons from different countries. We are here on an exchange programme of AIESEC which conducts workshops in schools to educate students from Class V to Class X about career opportunities, cultural education, creative activities, finding solutions to problems and make them capable of thinking out of the box.

Why did you take up this project?

Back in the Netherlands, after completing postgraduation in business science, I joined AIESEC, which is an international students’ organisation with branches in more than 70 countries. I volunteered for a two-month project in India.

How do you assess Indian students?

The children here are disciplined and very curious to know what is happening around the world. I personally like their gesture of giving standing ovation when their teacher enters the classroom. In my country, students do pay respect to their teacher but only by way of greeting.

How do you like Chandigarh?

It is a planned city with lush lawns, wide roads and beautiful roundabouts. We have visited the Rock Garden, Fragrance Garden and the Sukhna Lake. The beauty lies in its calmness.

How do you like Indian food?

I love to eat Punjabi style butter chicken with chappatis.

— G. S. Paul



Tribune Impact
Don’t accept resignations of scamsters, Nabard told
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) has tightened the noose round the neck of the accused allegedly involved in the Nabard Employees’ Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society scam.

In a significant development which could go a long way in bringing the guilty to the book, the RCS has asked the Nabard management not to accept the resignation of any of the office-bearers allegedly involved in scam.

“As you are well aware of the fact that there is a mismatch of assets and liabilities of the society and the ex-office bearers are directly responsible. The process of the completion of record and the verification of the transactions made during the period of 1994 to 2005 is going on. Unless this process is completed, if any former office-bearer resigns from the bank, the same must not be accepted until the clearance is given by the RCS,” a communication from the RCS to the Nabard Chief General Manager says.

In its issued dated July 25, Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted how the roles of the Nabard management and the RCS allegedly came under a cloud in the scam.

Even as the office-bearers allegedly involved in the scam went scot-free, about 40 members of the society were slapped notices for the recovery of outstanding loans by the society administrator.

One of the members received a notice for the recovery of about Rs 1.57 lakh for a loan of Rs 30,000 which was taken in 1994. Another member received a notice for Rs 29,000 for a Rs 6,000 loan taken in 1994.Both the members reportedly repaid the loans years back.

It was widely believed that certain office-bearers were trying to resign from their posts in the wake of the ongoing probe into the scam. Recently, the RCS had raided the premises of certain office-bearers and seized certain documents. The UT Administration also proposed to file criminal cases against the office-bearers.

The alleged scam hit the headlines last year when large-scale irregularities were detected in the running of the society by the office-bearers. The RCS allegedly allowed the society to function without conducting audit for over a decade.

It was alleged that though no audit was conducted, the elections to the society were held every year in collusion with the officials of the RCS. Senior officials of Nabard remained mute spectators to the whole issue with scores of the members and non-members not getting their payment for the fixed deposits amounting to lakhs of rupees for several months together.

The modus operandi of the office-bearers of the society was to give receipts for the fixed deposits. However, the money was never credited to the accounts of the depositors.

Moreover, during an audit conducted by the RCS in May this year, unaccounted money amounting to about Rs 1.83 crore was reportedly detected.



News Analysis
Governor’s remarks on quota run
counter to judgment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The remarks of UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) on 15 per cent quota for the poor students in the private schools seem to have stirred a hornest’s nest.
In fact the remarks of General Rodrigues at a meeting of the educationists here yesterday seem to be running counter to a February 14 judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The February 14 order clearly mentions that “educational institutions shall be required to reserve 25% seats as may be determined by the Chandigarh Administration from time to time in the schools for students belonging to the economically weaker sections of society and the fee charged from those students shall be nominal, preferably the same as is charged from the students of government institutions.”

However, despite clear-cut high court directions, the administration interpreted the order in its own way. The official position is that the quota under Clause 18 “Educational Institutions (Schools) Etc on Leasehold basis in Chandigarh-1996” for the economically weaker sections was never 25% and it was lowered from 15% to 5% in 2001.

And for the benefit of the poorer sections of society, the administration recently hiked the quota to 15% and constituted a committee under the Estate Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner to its effective implementation. Besides, the committee was also expected to go into various aspects of the problems afflicting the education system such as capitation fee, fee structure and ad-hoc levies on students, the administration sources had claimed.

However, the recommendations of the committee never saw the light of the day and even the 15% quota could not be implemented from the current academic session.

A former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, stated that he was “shocked” and “surprised” to read the statement of General Rodrigues. During the last five months, the administration did not take any concrete step to get the judgment implemented, Mr Jain, who is also a senior advocate, alleged.

Going a step further the High Court had directed the administration to enforce Clause 18 of the scheme forthwith which said that the allotees of the school sites shall be required to give an undertaking in writing to this effect within three months from today (February 14).

“In the event of their failure and/or reluctance to give the undertaking, it will be open for the administration to cancel the allotment of the school sites in accordance with law”, the order had warned.



Bansal’s posers on illegal land inquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Did the Chandigarh Administration initiate an inquiry to expose “land grabber in the city” and was this inquiry initiated by the previous Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, hushed up by the Administration? The answer seems to be yes if the question raised by MP Pawan Bansal raised in Parliament two days ago is any indication.

Mr Bansal asked the Minister of Home Affairs to tell “whether the then Deputy Commissioner had instituted an inquiry recently into the “illegal sale” of land.

Mr Bansal asked whether “the Chandigarh Administration had recently publicised its decision to expose and come down heavily on “land mafia” working in the UT?” “If so, whether the inquiry proceedings were dropped midway?” he asked, seeking reasons and interim evidence that came before the inquiry officer.

The reply of Mr S. Regupathy, Minister of State for Home Affairs, reads: “Vacating encroachments and removing violations of the Periphery Act are continuous activities. In the recent past, 19 FIRs have been registered against various persons as a result of inquiries and investigations.”

In reply to Mr Bansal’s question on the number of houses outside the lal dora in the city, the minister replied: “ There were 60 in Dadu Majra, 75 in Maloya, 55 in Dhanas, four in Sarangpur, 90 in Lahora, 65 in Jassu, 75 in Khuda Ali Sher, 150 in Kaimbwala, 280 in Hallo Majra, 90 in Behlana, 200 in Raipur Khurd, 600 in Daria, 400 in Kajheri, 100 in Palsora and 10 in Makhan Majra.”

Mr Bansal also sought a reply on whether the Periphery Control Law was not applicable to the area falling within the erstwhile notified area committee, Mani Majra, and, if so, the reasons for the Chandigarh Administration contemplating to demolish the same.

The minister replied that “the Periphery Control Act is applicable on agricultural land falling within the erstwhile notified area committee. Because Illegal structures have come up in Mani Majra on the land acquired by the Administration for public purposes like educational, commercial, residential and municipal services and compensation has been paid in most cases. Besides, the matter has also been decided by the Supreme Court in favour 
of the Chandigarh Administration”.



New stamp papers for city
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
It will not be easy now to reproduce non-judicial stamp papers. After unearthing of the multi-crore Telgi fake stamp scam, the Indian Security Press at Nasik has format and security features on stamp papers to be sold in the city.

The new stamp papers will have the name of the city in English and Hindi, a serial number and a security water mark. The size and colour of the stamp paper has also changed.

An officer in the District Treasury Officer (DTO) said it would take another few months before the stamp paper meant for the city would be available with licensed stamp vendors. Information about the delay in providing the stamp papers in new format was recently communicated by the Deputy Controller of Stamps, Indian Security Press, to the Finance Secretary, Chandigarh.

The officer said till the new stamp papers were not available, the sale of existing stamp papers would continue. There was no order to stop the sale of stamp papers in the existing format. The stamp papers of different denominations were still in stock with the Sector 17 treasury office.

Mr R.L. Bhatti, District Treasury Officer, UT, said there was no shortage of stamp papers in higher denominations. The sale of the adhesive non-judicial stamps was still on.

In case of fee being deposited with the government department or private persons where there was transaction of higher amount, a special stamp (under clause 10 of the Indian Stamp Act) could be issued by the DTO, he added. 



Prime prosecution witness deposes in Tehelka case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Prime prosecution witness in the general court martial trying Brig Iqbal Singh in the Tehelka case, Mr Mathews Samuel, today stated before the court that the accused had demanded Rs 1 lakh from him for cultivating the then Master General of Ordnance (MGO), Lieut-Gen J. S. Dhillon.

On being questioned by the prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, Mathews said at one time during their sting operation, the Tehelka team was worried that its operation may fall apart if the pamphlets of Hand Held Thermal Imagers (HHTI) given by the team to officers in Army Headquarters were sent to the Indian military attache in London for verification of the firm’s antecedents.

Mathews said the accused had told him that to avoid such a situation, they would have to cultivate the MGO, so that the pamphlets would not be sent to London for verification. For this, Mathews added, he was told that the Tehelka team would have to pay Rs 1 lakh to General Dhillon as and when they met him.

He said he had given the accused Rs 50,000 at Hotel Park on November 5, 2000 and that the accused had also enjoyed the hospitality of wine and women made available by the Tehelka team. He added that the accused had also demanded for a percentage out of the entire HHTI deal and that he had given information about the Army’s procurement procedures to the Tehelka team.

Mathews also testified that he had physically shot the video takes which had caught senior politicians, bureaucrats and army officers allegedly demanding and accepting bribes for tehelka.com staffers posing as arms dealers.

He also alleged that the copy of the summary of evidence (SOE), shown to him by the prosecution, showed that statements made by him during recording the SOE have been tampered with, thereby giving a different connotation to his statements.

When he asked to be shown the original SOE, the court observed that he could not be shown the original documents at this stage. The court, however, recorded the witness’ objections.

The court fixed July 30 as the next date of hearing after the defence counsel, Maj R S Randhawa (retd), sought some time to prepare for cross-examining the witness.



Sukhi wants to join Territorial Army
Tribune News Service

Sukhwinder Kaur Sukhi Chandigarh, July 28
Sukhwinder Kaur Sukhi, who hit headlines over her attempt to scale Mount Everest last month, is seeking entry into the Territorial Army as a special case. Since she has crossed the age limit for getting a commission in the regular Army, she is approaching Army Headquarters, with a request that she be considered for the Territorial Army (TA) as a special case.

Hailing from Muktsar, the 34-year-old mountaineer, who is presently in the city, had scaled Mount Kamet earlier. She said after her successful attempt she had been promised jobs in the police department and elsewhere by a host of prominent politicians, but nothing has materialised so far.

“We have spoken to Territorial Army officers for working out the modalities for taking up her case with Army Headquarters, Lieut-Col Asokan K. (retd) along with Col Rajinder Singh Gadhok (retd) has recently set up an academy in Chandigarh, called Olive Greens, for personality development and coaching for SSB interviews. Sukhwinder is also undergoing training here, which has been offered to her free of cost.

“Since there are already women officers in the Army and a proposal to raise women’s TA battalions are already pending, we expect a favourable response from Army Headquarters,” he added. Colonel Asokan said the Army could also effectively tap Sukhi’s mountaineering experience and her services as a trainer could be valuable.

Claiming that their academy, which was set up here about a month ago in collaboration with the YMCA, is perhaps the only institute offering the entire array of SSB training aids and testing tools, Colonel Asokan said they were working with Sukhwinder to groom her personality and improve her self-confidence and communication skills.



Energy audit at Panchkula bhavans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The Haryana Government has identified 10 big government offices at Panchkula for carrying out an energy audit. The offices are Shakti Bhawan, Sinchai Bhawan, Mandi Bhawan, Krishi Bhawan, Jan Swasthya Building, Hafed office, HUDA complex, Pashu Dhan Bhawan, Awas Bhawan and Pollution Control Board.

Official sources said bids would be invited from private agencies to carry out the audit at a nominal charge. The sources said it had been demonstrated all over the world that energy efficiency could provide significant benefits. If government offices reduced their cost for energy use, it would increase the availability of tax revenues for productive use, the sources said, and added that the Energy Conservation Act of 2001 had provided a framework for promoting energy efficiency in the country.

They said energy audit in the government offices of Haryana would cover energy use by air conditioners, blowers, lighting systems, refrigeration as well as other modes of energy consumption.

The agency carrying out the audit would also identify and evaluate energy saving options and organise an energy management cell in the offices with responsibility for energy accounting. The agency would also define energy measurement procedures, record keeping and preparation of periodic energy reports and train the staff for affecting energy savings in future.

The sources said the private agency doing the audit would be asked to submit its report within 30 days from the day of commencement of the work. 



HUDA to invite tenders for café at Vatika
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 28
HUDA proposes to invite tenders after it failed to lease out its cafeteria in Vatika garden, Sector 5, for the third time this year. For the past eight months, the cafeteria has been lying closed, thus putting off evening visitors from this exquisitely landscaped green space in the heart of the city.

HUDA had invited applications for leasing out the cafeteria four months ago, but there were hardly any applicants. Those who did apply were found wanting in the specifications laid down by HUDA, so the lease could not be signed. HUDA again invited tenders for this cafeteria on July 14, but this time no applications were received.

Located near a pond in Vatika garden, this cafeteria was leased out to Hot Millions for two consecutive terms (of three years each) since year 1997. The term was later extended by a year, which expired in June, 2004. However, the restaurant owner continued to operate from here till November 2004, by paying a monthly rent till the time the premises was vacated.

The cafeteria had been initially leased out at a monthly rent of Rs 30,000, with a 25 per cent increase in each term. When Hot Millions decided to pull out last year, and thus opened its own fast food joint here, they were paying HUDA a monthly rent of Rs 55,000. Officials say that the rent will be increased by 30 per cent as per HUDA’s policy, when the new contract is awarded.

Officials say that some multi-national food chains were also contacted to take over the eatery a few weeks ago, but there was no response. “Four months ago, when the tender was floated, we received some applications, but none of them had the requisite experience to run the cafeteria, so the tender could not be awarded. This time there were no takers. The tenders will be invited again later this week,” a senior official said.



Consumers declare power load
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 28
The maximum load of domestic and non-domestic categories has been declared by consumers of Ambala and Panchkula districts, in the voluntary disclosure of loads scheme started by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).

A press note said more than 47,600 consumers had already availed the benefit of the scheme. The consumers had declared above 144 MW unauthorised load of electricity. These consumers included domestic, non-domestic and tubewell consumers of the rural and urban areas.

The scheme of voluntary disclosure of loads was initially launched only for those consumers who had a regular connection. Later, the facility of regularisation of load was extended to rural consumers whose connections had been permanently disconnected. The maximum load of tubewells had been declared by the consumers of Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Karnal and Panipat districts.

All cash collection centres of UHBVN in Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Karnal, Panipat, Sonepat, Jind, Rohtak and Jhajjar would remain open on July 30 and 31 which are otherwise holidays.



Sending out literary vibes
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Whenever it seems that the case of the written word and more so in the array of literature is lost, there comes a brave new attempt to build up the case all over again. And this time the defence is actually being built word by word by a man of law.

Anil K. Sharma, a legal practitioner who has turned to literature with gusto, has brought out a literary magazine in English aimed at celebrating regional literary talent. Called ‘Contemporary Vibes’, the literary quarterly is designed to feature one senior writer from Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi or English. The inaugural issue has exhaustive interview with well-known writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir and samples of his writings in translation. Besides, the magazine provides space for young writers to be filled in with their poetry and prose.

“It is a project after my heart,” says Sharma who dabbled in Hindi poetry as a young man in Government College for Boys in the mid-seventies. An idealist, he spent his early years as a lawyer in the reform and rehabilitation of prisoners along with social worker Col R.K. Singh. These were the charged days when Anil joined hands with young journalists in town to do path-breaking stories on children in jails and handcuffing of undertrials. What followed were breadwinning years but when he turned fifty a couple of years ago, he took the big decision of his life. “It was time for intellectual pursuits. I started taking only select legal cases and turned back to literature that had been my first love,” says Sharma. So in two years he brought out two books of verse— ‘Panch Dashak ki Dastak’ in Hindi and ‘Five Beats of Heart’ in English.

And now comes the little literary magazine. But such magazines come and are gone all too soon. However, Sharma says: “I am sure that I will continue with this magazine because I feel this is my way of returning to the society what it has given to me.”

The magazine is to be launched formally in the first week of August.



Cleanliness drive from August 1
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 28
The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, has appealed to all sections of the society and various government departments to actively particiate in the cleanliness and awareness week starting August 1.

The MLA held meetings with officials of the Municipal Council and heads of educational institutions here today to discuss the logistics of the campaign.

He said that the road berms, kerb channels and footpaths in the town could not be clearned by the civic body as the Ropar Deputy Commissioner had put a stay on the work when the estimates for the same were presented to her. The estimates were cleared by the general house of the Council. The stay was not vacated for a long period because of which maintenance works suffered.

He said that the centre verge on the road near YPS was in a state of neglect. A part of it was to be maintained by PUDA and the rest of it by the council. The markets were to be given a facelift and the parking areas properly developed.

The MLA said that he had asked PUDA authorities to carry out one-time expenditure on parks and after they were put to a proper shape and residents of the area should adopt these parks for proper maintenance.

There would be no shortage of water in the town after the Phase IV of Kajauli waterworks gets functional in September, he added. 



Status quo on eviction
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 28
A local court today instructed HUDA to maintain status quo on the eviction of encroachments on HUDA land at Kharag Mangoli village.
The directions by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Gulab Singh, came after HUDA had issued notices of eviction to 166 residents of the village on July 23.

The applicants had pleaded that the earlier directions of the court, granting stay on eviction, except as per the course of law be withdrawn till the case was decided. The next date of hearing has been fixed on August 4.

The residents had pleaded that they had been staying in the village for the past two decades. They said they were even issued voter identity cards and ration cards.

HUDA has identified over 1,000 illegal structures on its land in Kharag Mangoli and Old Panchkula and proposes to raze these. A team of HUDA officials had conducted a survey of the area and found that other than 800 structures, hundreds of tenements and commercial establishments had come up on HUDA land.



Falling prey to laptop culture
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Can you live without accessing your hotmail? Or perhaps, better still, your cell phone? Now that would seem difficult in today’s day and age and following in the haloed footsteps on the now ubiquitous handset is the technologically coveted laptop! Just as desktops were your ‘windows’ to the world, laptops are the leap forward, the ‘tiger’ unleashed in the tech savvy jungles of today!

Laptops are the virtual culture now, that all encompassing accessory that most students and professionals cannot do without. It is the key to operations, meeting on-spot challenges and the path to keep pace with the competitive human race not underestimating its ‘entertainment’ value.

Tanbir Chahal, proprietor of Cater Craft, a catering outfit in the city, bought his laptop six months ago and uses it primarily for presentations. A Compaq Celeron is more than enough for his needs albeit the uses are extensive. “People ask for menus and instead of scribbling everything down on sheets of paper, I normally open my laptop up and show them what I can offer and also carry a printer and printout whatever they need.”

His reliance is almost complete now on his machine, “At times people ask for different things and then I quickly use my Reliance cell phone modem and log onto the Internet, quickly surf and figure out what it is that they require and sound very intelligent!” pat comes the reply.

Anupinder Singh, DGM Sales, Spice Communications Ltd, travels extensively with his IBM ThinkPad, logging onto local Spice networks in various cities and bringing up his data wherever required.

Similarly Vikas Suri, a lawyer uses his Dell for all his official work. “I have a powerful machine equivalent to a workstation or desktop. I use it largely for legal database searches, case studies and editing law journals. It is serious business for me.”

And serious business is sure is! Vivek Sharma of Sony World in Sector 8-C believes: “Almost everyone needs a laptop now. MBA students, youngsters going abroad, students of architecture or engineering, professionals in law, banking, chartered accountants, engineers and marketing and sales specialists. Business-men either go for the reasonable models or the very expensive models. These laptops are selected for their configuration or for sophistication.”

According to Amarjeet Singh Walia of Targus Technologies Pvt Ltd which deals in HP, IBM and Compaq laptops, “The basic mobility that a laptop provides coupled with the fact that subsequent models are getting lighter, making it easier to handle, make these machines the keystone for the future”.

You can virtually carry your work around, your life and entertainment with you! Music downloads, movies galore (since most laptops come with DVD combos) and surfing the net, laptops now virtually complete your world.



Understanding the past
S.D. Sharma

‘Normally literature is not read with religious zeal while most of journalistic writing is not readable at all,” observes the octogenarian journalist -litterateur, Satya Pal Gupta former chairman of the Haryana Sahitya Akademi.

Satya Pal had resolved to carry forward the pursuit for literature bequeathed by his father Jenab Roshan Patialvi, noted Urdu poet and freedom fighter of Patiala.

Satya Pal matured as a prolific writer during his years with the Department of Languages, Punjab.

Today he has to his credit 17 literary works ranging from historical, mythological and socio-religious themes.

This exhaustive study of ancient manuscripts and his research has been acknowledged as a landmark achievement. 



Two cars stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
Two cars were reportedly stolen and saries worth Rs 55, 000 were stolen from a shop in the city. Besides this the local police arrested one person for indulging in gambling and another for carrying four bottles of liquor illegally.

Ms Alka Gupta, a resident of Mansa Devi complex in Panchkula, lodged a complaint to the police alleging that her Maruti Esteem car (CH-01-T-6628) was stolen from market area in Sector 9 on Tuesday. Similarly, Ms Manpreet Kaur of Phase VI, Mohali, reported to the police that her Maruti Car (CH-03-E-3902) was stolen from near AC plant in the PGI on Wednesday. Two separate cases of thefts have been registered in this regards.

Theft: Ms Arwinder Shivani of Sector 9 filed a complaint to the police that three saries worth Rs 55,000 were stolen from her shop number 21 in Sector 9 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A case has been registered.

Gambling: The local police has arrested Irshad, a resident of Colony Number 4, for indulging in gambling at a public place yesterday. The police recovered Rs 540 from him and registered a case under the Gambling Act in the Industrial area police station.

Liquor seized: The local police arrested Vishwanath of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, from near the Community Centre in Vikas Nagar with illegal liquor. The police seized four bottles of country wine from his possession and registered a case.



Clerk caught accepting bribe

Chandigarh, July 28
The UT Vigilance today allegedly caught red-handed a clerk working with Haryana's Director, Consolidation and Holdings, in Sector 22. He was accused of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 500. Two travel agents were also arrested by the police. TNS


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