C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman arrested for suicide bid
Booked for firing in the air over dog
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 4
The local police today arrested Rana Singh, a day after she allegedly fired a shot following a fight over a dog with her neighbours at her Sector 44 residence on Wednesday night.

She was taken in custody from her residence. The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 34 police station, Mr Ajaib Singh Somal, said Rana Singh was arrested following the registration of a case against her on the complaint of constable Vijay Pal.

He added that she was booked for attempt to suicide and endangering life under Sections 309 and 336 of the Indian Penal Code, besides under Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Giving details, he said Rana Singh fired a shot from .12 bore double-barrel gun. As her husband Lakhmir Singh held the licence for the weapon, she violated the provisions of the Arms Act.

Rana, the sources said, was produced before a duty magistrate later in the day and was remanded in 14-day judicial custody.

On the other hand, 38-year-old Rana Singh, a law graduate, and a car rally driver, claimed in her statement to the police that her family had been complaining to their neighbours that their dog had become a constant source of nuisance, but they refused to budge. On that fateful day, when she complained again about the dog menace, her neighbours allegedly got agitated over it and picked up a fight.

Rana maintained that she fired the shot in self defence as her neighbours trespassed into her house and were threatening her. Rana alleged that they had also manhandled her and her son following which she called the police. The shot was fired only after the cops arrived and that also to disperse the charged-up neighbours.

Rana said she bolted herself in a room and did not open the door until Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh police (South) K. Singh spoke with her from outside. She said it was only after the DSP assured her of justice that she opened the door and handed over the gun.

When asked why she refused to undergo a medical examination, Rana said: “I did not refuse medical examination. Doctors at the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital asked me “whether I have any problems. I replied none and they discharged me after sometime”.

Rana was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16 later in the day after she complained of hypertension.

The DSP, Mr K.I.P. Singh, said the police had impounded the gun and it would be sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory along with the used cartridge that was fired on that day to ascertain whether the shot was fired from the same weapon. The police would also move an application to the District Magistrate for the cancellation of the licence to keep weapon of Lakhmir Singh as he failed to keep it in safe possession.



Book ex-SHO for shielding killers, say villagers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
Over 250 residents of Hangola village led by Mr Verender Bhau, Chairman of the Panchkula Zila Parishad, today demanded that the former Station House Officer of Raipur Rani, SI Amar Singh, should be booked for “helping the suspects in the double murder case”.

These men and women staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office around 4 pm, and demanded that the cop should be booked for conspiracy in the murder case. They also demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each should be given to the family of the two deceased — Ajmer Singh and Nirmal Singh. They also demanded that the government should provide employment to a family member of the victims.

These people, accompanied by family members of the deceased, arrived at the Mini Secretariat here in tractor-trailers, jeeps and maxi cabs. They raised slogans against the police for its alleged failure to nab the main suspects — Kashmira Singh and Sadh Singh. They said Kashmir Singh and Sadh Singh were brothers of Mr Balbir Saini, former Haryana Minister. Mr Hukum Singh, of the Paul Sabha, Kurukshetra, alleged that the police role was questionable, as the main suspects had not been arrested. “They are politically well connected and have thus been able to evade arrest,” he said.

The villagers alleged that the police had taken money from the suspects. They said that a night before the murder, the suspects had fired in the air and they had called the police. They further alleged that the Station House Officer, Raipur Rani, SI Amar Singh came to the village, but instead of listening to their grievances, he went away and was with the suspects for two hours. Moreover, the police arrived two hours after the incident, though the police station is only 8 km away, they said. Though SI Amar Singh has been sent to the Police Lines earlier, the villagers are demanding that he should be arrested.

The villagers submitted their memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh, who said that the SDM, Panchkula, Mr Virender Dahiya, had been asked to inquire into the role of SI Amar Singh.

He also announced a grant of Rs 25,000 each to the families of the two victims, and said that he would also recommend the families for getting a grant for the construction of house under the Indira Awaas Yojana. Regarding their demand for getting the disputed shamlat land in the village vacated, Mr Brijendra Singh said that the matter was in the court and the court would decide on it.



5-year-old reunited with parents
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
The shining toy car clutched tightly in her hand held no charm for five-year-old Raveena. All she wanted was her parents. Holding on to tears and braving hundreds of questions that her caretakers and mediapersons had asked her since yesterday, Raveena cried for an hour when she finally met her mother this evening.

Raveena’s story, as it has unfolded since yesterday, could find a place in the next book of fiction for children. Daughter of Mohan and Bimla, Raveena lives in Colony Number 5, Chandigarh. Last evening, she went running after her father, wanting to be taken along as he left for work. He got off the cycle and took her back home, only to be followed by the tiny feet again. This time, however, Raveena lost her way and after having walked for at least 2 km, landed at the Phase X market in Mohali.

Realising that she was lost, Raveena did what she thought was best. She saw a kind looking woman and followed her home. “She kept following me as I walked back from my shop in Phase X to my house. Initially, I thought she knew where she was going but when she stopped with me outside my house, I asked her who she was. She said she wanted to go home and did not know where she lived,” related Ms Manjit Kaur, who gave shelter to Raveena till she was finally found by her parents this evening.

“We quizzed her about her parents. She said her father, Mohan, was a carpenter and mother, Bimla, was a housewife,” said Sarabjot, Ms Manjit Kaur’s niece in whose care the child remained since yesterday.

“We gave her food and made her comfortable. We tried our best to locate her parents. I hired a rickshaw and took her back to the Phase X market but she could not recall the directions to her house. She pointed towards Phase XI and I took her there too, moving about in the streets. Then when it got dark, I brought her back. In fact, the rickshaw-puller told me to hand over the child to him, offering to locate her parents. I told him to get lost and brought her home. We reported the matter to the Phase XI police post. They told us they had no information about a missing child. Finally we contacted the SDM who told us to contact mediapersons and TV channels for help,” said Sarabjot.

Clad in a shirt and knickers, Raveena clung to Sarabjot as her lease of life through out the day today. Trying her best not to cry, Raveena, however, bravely answered all questions put to her. “My younger brother is Sooraj and he does not go to school but my elder sister Neelam goes to school. I go to Arya School and am studying in nursery,” she told The Tribune team this morning.

Efforts were made by mediapersons to contact various Arya schools in the area but no one had a student named Raveena studying with them. The Phase I and Phase VIII police stations informed that no one had contacted them with a complaint of a missing child.

“We were beginning to lose hope when the God came up with what only He is capable of — a miracle. The rickshaw-puller who had taken me and Raveena yesterday met Raveena’s mother, desperately looking for her daughter near the temple in Colony Number 5 temple today. He got her to the Phase XI police post. The police contacted us and the child was united with her mother. I can never forget the sight. Raveena started crying and did not look up from her mother’s lap for the next half an hour. We were very happy that the family is together but had tears in our eyes when we parted from this innocent soul,” said Sarabjot.



Punjab blamed for poor cotton crop in Haryana
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
The inability of Punjab government to release water in the Narwana and Bhakra Mainline branch in May and June this year, has led to a decline in cotton production in Haryana.

The cotton production in the state this year is around 20 lakh bales — 5.49 quintals per hactare. This, in spite of the fact that the weather remained conducive and there was no pest attack (American bollworm). The Agriculture Department was expecting a production of over 22 lakh bales, but because of unavailability of water at the time of sowing (in May and June ) this year, the production is less than expected.

At the time of cultivation, the Punjab government did not release Haryana’s complete share of canal waters, on the pretext that the water level in the Bhakra reservoir was at an all time low. Haryana was getting about 2500 cusecs to 900 cusecs water short of its daily quota of 10,794 cusecs, in May and June. It was only when Haryana sought the intervention of the Central Government, that adequate supply of water was released in the Narwana and Bhakhra Mainline branch.

Last year, there was a glut in cotton production, leading to its distress sale. The total production was 20.75 lakh bales and the yield per hactare was 5.68 quintals. The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) had refused to lift the stocks from the mandis. It was only after repeated requests by the state government that the CCI stepped in, and the farmers managed to get proper renumeration for their produce.

The state government was expecting a much higher crop production this year. Since the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of Government of India had allowed the cultivation of Bt cotton in Haryana, the farmers were more enthusiastic about “trying their hand at the white gold”. Officials in the Agriculture Department say that water shortage weaned away farmers from the cotton crop to other cash crops.

In fact to avoid any distress sale, the Agriculture Department had made arrangements with the CCI for lifting the stocks. Till last week, 1.30 lakh bales had arrived in various mandis, of which 2283 bales were lifted by the CCI. The most of stocks are being lifted by the private traders and cotton mills. As against the minimum support price of Rs 1800 per quintal, American cotton is being lifted at Rs 1750-1861 per quintal. Desi cotton is fetching Rs 1750 per quintal as against the MSP of Rs 1310 per quintal.



15-year-old boy killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
A 15-year-old boy was killed after his bicycle was crushed under a speeding truck near Ramgarh village today.
The victim, Rakesh (Noni), was on his way to his house in Khangesara village when the accident took place. He was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he was declared dead. His body was handed over to his family after the post-mortem examination.



Colonisers eye Dera Bassi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
With Zirakpur, the fastest growing township of Punjab, bursting at the seams, Dera Bassi is emerging as the next destination for major colonisers.
Even as colonisers advertise new colonies, several major players in the real estate industry are all set to launch their multi-storeyed flats in the busy subdivisional town on the Kalka-Ambala highway.

Among the builders toying with the idea of constructing flats are Silver City Construction Limited, the Parshvanath Group of New Delhi and Motiaz Construction Private Limited.

The strategic location of the township, coupled with ever-increasing middle and lower middle class population, will provide the clientele new schemes. And the availability of large chunks of land at affordable prices is the added advantage for the developers,who had already tasted success in their residential ventures in Zirakpur, Mr Sunil Bandha, general manager of Silver City Construction Limited, told Chandigarh Tribune.

“The new scheme will provide affordable accommodation to those persons, who had missed the bus in Zirakpur. In fact, close competition among the builders would ensure reasonable price for the dwelling units,” Mr Bandha added.

Mr Bhupinder Saini, another property consultant, claimed that the subdivisional town provides better infrastructure such as medical, dental and engineering colleges and hospital facilities. The availability of land at affordable prices would bring the property within the reach of the common man, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the approval of a flyover at Zirakpur would also reduce the distance between Chandigarh and Dera Bassi and act as a catalyst in the township’s development, Mr Saini asserted.



Id celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 4
Id-ul-Fitr was celebrated with great fervour in the city and nearby areas today.
Devotees, attired in tradional dresses, thronged markets. This was followed by evening parties, where sweet dishes such as “phenian” and other delicacies were relished.

The sighting of the moon on Thursday finally set the ball rolling for the thousands of Muslims who began the celebrations.

This morning, the namaz was recited in various mosques of the city. These were Jama Masjid, Sector 20, Norrani Masjid, Sector 26, Idgah, Manimajra town, Idgah, Burail, Sector 45, Mohali Phase XI, Sabri Masjid Burail, Idgah Mohali, Matour Mohali, Madina Masjid, Sector 41, Masjid Panchkula, Sector 21, Masjid, Dhanas, and Madrasa Maloya Colony.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai, attended the Id celebrations at Jama Masjid Sector 20, here today on the occasion of Id-Ul-Fitar and greeted people. The Governor also embraced people at the masjid and wished them prosperity and healthy life.

The Governor, while speaking on the occasion, said God had created all human beings alike. All religions propagate the message of unity and mututal understanding, he said and added that nature and its resources like water, air and light did not differentiate among human beings. Therefore, nobody had the right to create differences among the people. This, he said, was the message of Id.

Those present on the occasion included Imam of Jama Masjid, Chandigarh, Mullana Ajmal Khan and other distinguished personalities of the Muslim community.



Old man with 4 sons, but homeless
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Families of four well-placed sons are denying the filial comforts to a 91-year-old man.
A relaxed life in the comfort of his dear ones has remained only a mirage for Mr Kedar Nath Sharma, a retired pharmacist. None of his celebrated sons’ wants to keep him. The family of the son he was last residing in Delhi turned its back on him. He walked out and landed at the Tribune office today.

The man is too feeble to walk and even struggles to give voice to his agitated thoughts. He cannot see properly and draws his ear near your mouth to listen. “I am just managing small stays at my sons’ places and am absolutely at mercy of their mood. I am only begging for a permanent solution and want reprieve from being shunted out constantly”, he said.

Mr Sharma said “I am made to shift from the houses of my sons at their convenience. I have no choice but to agree and I realise after a few days that I am unwanted. Often, I find the doors of homes locked at odd hours and more than a couple of times I have been dropped at bus stands without directions for where I should be going.”

When a Tribune team was attempting to ferry him to the Old Age home in Sector 43, he said “I have four sons and will definitely not allow the government to take the responsibility that should be borne by my sons”. He gave his house number and directed the car driver to the house of his son in Sector 47. His son Mr Subhash Sharma, a bank manager currently posted in Gujarat, asked him to come home.

The son said: “my father has stayed with me for long periods. This was evident from the quickness he showed in recognising my home. The problem is that I am posted in Gujarat and my wife is also working so it becomes difficult for us to handle him some times. My brothers are not willing to share their responsibility. They take him, but there is no guarantee when and where they would leave him.”

Mr Sharma had a house in Sector 29 here which was sold after the death of his wife about eight years back.

He is the father of a retired XEN, a retired SDO, a thermometer manufacturer and a bank manager. Mr Sharma was a pharmacist with the Tribune dispensary and served here for more than 30 years.



Parking fee disparity at rly station
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Rail commuters are up in arms against the Railways authorities for creating disparity in the parking fee being charged by two contractors at the Chandigarh railway station.

While the contractor for the two-wheeler parking on the Chandigarh side of the station has not effected any increase in the charges, the new contractor on the Panchkula side has increased the fee by almost 100 per cent.

This has mostly affected the passengers who daily commute between Chandigarh and Ambala and park their vehicles at the station. Irritated at the hike, an association of the commuters has decided not to pay the amount of their monthly passes to the contractor till the issue was resolved at the level of the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ambala.

Enquiries revealed that around 150 commuters, who daily park their two-wheelers on the Panchkula side, had not paid the amount for October. The association has convened its meeting in Ambala on November 4.

Expressing his helplessness, representative of the contractor, Mr Satpal, said the new contract had been auctioned by the Railways for Rs 32,000 per month against the earlier auctioned amount of Rs 20,000. As a result, the monthly parking fee for two-wheeler had been increased from Rs 60 to Rs 150 and for bicycles, the charges had been increased from Rs 30 to Rs 75. Subsequently, the parking amount for two-wheelers (for the first four hours) and for bicycles (for the first four hours) had been increased from Rs 5 to Rs 8 and Rs 2 to Rs 3, respectively.

He said the contractor had no option but to take the contract at the increased rate. He produced a letter issued by the commercial office of the Railways which indicated the increased rates.

However, the rates on the Chandigarh side remain the same. The parking fee for other parking at the station would increase once the contract was renewed, said Mr Sat Pal. Questioning the hike by the Railways, Mr Sheeshpal, a daily commuter, said it was difficult for the employees to pay more than the double amount.

Pre-paid taxi stand to be relocated

Aiming to reduce chaos at the entrance to the railway station building, the Northern Railway has started work on relocating the pre-paid auto-rickshaw and taxi stand near the entry to the station. At present, the auto-rickshaws and taxis are parked in the parking area meant for the parking of private vehicles.

To check the visitors who park their vehicles near the entrance to the station building, the authorities had plans to regulate the entry of the vehicles which come to drop passengers. The illegal parking of private vehicles and taxis in the area meant for flag cars and official vehicles has been banned.



Selection system responsible for moral slide in Army
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The all important selection system within the armed forces has been a major casualty of moral degeneration afflicting the services. The rot in military organisation always starts from the top and rapidly percolates downwards.

Highlighting this, a paper on The Psychopathology of Military Corruption, published by the Army War College, Mhow, has come down heavily on the institution of the commanding officer and seniors up the chain of command. Though capable and honest individuals are generally assessed fairly, at the same time, however, a significant proportion of “clever crooks and sycophants” also get promoted because of the venality or weakness of the assessing officer.

“Commanding officers (COs) have to look after or get illegitimate things done for seniors in order to be in their good books. They get such chores done by their immoral but effective subordinates, who invariably extract their pound of flesh in the form of an extravagant annual confidential report,” the paper candidly states.

Most COs today behave as if they were going to contest an election or participate in a popularity contest. Such an effete and ineffective command structure cannot enforce true discipline or accountability, which is integral to any credible system, the paper adds.

Blaming the culture of cynical opportunism gripping the services as the root cause of corruption, the papers states that malpractices in matters of promotions, postings, allotment of accommodation, misuse of transport and manpower for personal comfort, prize assignments, nominations to prestigious courses and even decorations are far more rampant than one would like to believe.

“The man in the street feels a sense of regret and betrayal. The euphoric spirit of Kargil has suddenly evaporated and in its place we find bitter feelings of outrage and seething anger at traces of corruption in the military,” the paper reports. Stating that this aspect has not received the attention it deserves, the paper adds that the recent fake Siachen fake kills court martial and the adverse judicial comments in the air marshals’ promotion case have further aggravated this feeling of bewilderment.

Erosion of status, a fatal attraction for the good life which cannot be financed on a service salary and the adequacy of their emoluments being a sore point with many officers have been cited as some of the reasons for corruption.

While stating that no aspect of military life has been spared by the cancer of ethical turpitude, the paper has praised the esprit de corps which to a large extent still exists, and the determination and grit with which young .officers and men have faced prolonged deployment in counter insurgency operations which is unparalleled in military history.

Stating that military morality cannot survive a midst universal immorality, the paper has suggested that the clean-up must start from the top. “Generals with dubious reputations or inappropriate lifestyle should be dealt with summarily by withdrawing the President’s pleasure,” the paper states.

Calling for a restoration of professionalism and transparency, the paper states that formation commanders should judge a unit on the basis of objective, quantified and independently verifiable parameters of military performance rather than the entrepreneurship of the CO in “looking after” senior officers.. Similarly, the populist tendency to overrate juniors needs to be ruthlessly curbed and the individual evaluation systems needs a radical overhaul to make it more valid and transparent.

Ensuring accountability and punitive action for culpable acts of omission and commission, online administrative audit of routine administrative and personnel matters and improving the procedure for redressal of complaints and grievances are other suggestions made in the paper.

The paper has also suggested establishing a “court of honour” comprising immediate past service chiefs assisted by a compact secretariat to look into allegations of misuse of official position and corruption by general officers has also been recommended.



Airport facilities inadequate to cope with rush
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
With low cost air carrier, Air Deccan starting its Delhi-Chandigarh- Jammu flight in the afternoon, the infrastructure available at the Chandigarh airport has been put to test. All three airlines — Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Deccan — which provide air connectivity to the city, are now jostling for the limited space.

Because of a clash in the arrival and departure timings of Air Deccan and Jet Airways, the problems begin from their landing at the airstrip to unloading the luggage and continue till the passenger has not left the airport.

A visit to the airport indicates that the infrastructure presently available is not sufficient to cater to the increasing passenger rush of all three commercial flights landing in the city. The problems get compounded when all three flights land at almost at the same time. While the schedule arrival timing of Air Deccan and Jet Airways from Delhi is 1.40 pm, it is 1.20 pm for Indian Airlines. Similarly, the departure timing of Air Deccan and Jet Airways is 2 pm and 2.10 pm respectively. Air Deccan has started its extended Chandigarh-Delhi flight to Jammu from October 31, after cancelling its morning Chandigarh -Delhi flight.

Passengers have a trying time from the time they arrive at the airport, particularly if the flights are full. Due to paucity of space, the counters of all three airlines are located adjacent to each other, thereby creating problems for passengers who have to check in for Air Deccan and Jet Airways.

To further add to the woes of the passengers, the airport has no proper canteen facility or an STD booth to make calls.

Senior Aerodrome Officer, Mr A.K Verma, said he has already written to the Airport Authority of Indian and the Air Deccan officials to reschedule the newly launched flight on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Jammu sector to avoid clash of any kind, practically since there is provision for parking only two flights at a time. There should be at least a difference of half an hour in the arrival and departure timings of any of these airlines, he added.

Jet Airways has also put forth its objection to the airport authorities with a view to ensure that their passengers are not inconvenienced due to the Air Deccan flight. Air Deccan officials at Chandigarh, on their part, add that timings of the flight are not likely to be changed as the morning flight had already been cancelled in view of the fog and winter conditions ahead and not likely to be resumed.

As regards the lack of proper facilities at the canteen, Mr Verma said it would be eventually managed by the Oberoi Group, which would revamp the place completely after its expansion and add to the menu also.



Donor passes ‘sold as tickets’ for Jagjit nite
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Despite the Chandigarh Administration having slapped a fine of few lakh rupees for tax evasion in the past, the Durga Das Foundation, a local NGO, is yet again selling its donor passes as tickets for the Jagjit Singh Nite tomorrow.

The tickets are being marketed by Spice Telecom, main sponsor for the event, and are being sold to the ghazal buffs and Jagjit Singh’s fans for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 during the past two-three days.

Spice Telecom has been sending SMS to all its subscribers informing them of the place where all passes were available for the much-awaited night to be held tomorrow at the Sector 24 Nehru Bhavan. And when the people reach these places for collecting the donor passes, they are being asked to shell out Rs 500, Rs 750 and Rs 1,000 per ticket as entry charges.

Two years ago when the Durga Das Foundation and Spice Telecom had organised the Jagjit Singh Nite in Hotel Mountview and issued similar passes without paying any entertainment tax, the Chandigarh Administration had raided the venue and booked them for tax evasion.

The General Manager (Marketing) Spice Telecom, Mr Mukul Khanna said they had issued the passes only to a few select customers of theirs. However, there is a great demand for tickets priced at Rs 750 and Rs 1,000 and none is available and only tickets worth Rs 500 were available now. In all 1,000 passes are to be issued.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Inder Jit Singh Sandhu, when contacted, said the Durga Das Foundation had so far taken permission only for hosting the nite. He clarified that they had so far not received any application seeking exemption from paying entertainment tax on the show, it being an non-government organisation.

However, Mr Atul Khanna, Director, Durga Das Foundation, could not be contacted.



Mohali girl chosen for Wizteam finals
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
Mohali girl, Ibna Sharma, will represent the city beautiful in the All-India Horlick Wizteam, national finals, 2005, to be held in Bangalore from November 7 to November 12.

A student of class VI at the Saint Stephen’s School in Chandigarh, Ibna along with Varun Sarwal of Delhi Public School were among the two chosen from among 1000 students from 50 schools in the semi finals.

Ibna, daughter of well-known comedian, Bal Mukand Sharma, is very daughter. She has also given talks on the topic of solid waste management and pollution on All-India Radio, Chandigarh, Doordarshan, Jalandhar, and satellite channel, DD, Punjabi to. Now Ibna has prepared a 40-page project on house hold pollution and solid waste management in collaboration with the Chandigarh Pollution control Committee, the Punjab State Council for science and technology, environmental society of India and Yuvsatta.



Passengers harassed as train cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
For the second consecutive week, the Chennai-Chandigarh Express (train No 6033), which is scheduled to arrive on November 7, has been cancelled.
The reverse train, Chandigarh-Chennai ( train No 6034) has also been cancelled, said a railway officer.

Though the Railways has announced that the passengers can get their reservation cancelled, the passengers complained that they had to face a lot of harassment as they had booked their tickets as per their engagements.

They lamented that they could not get reservation on other trains at such a short notice. 



Divali spelt darkness for old-age home inmate
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
Seventyeight years old Inder Singh wanted to celebrate Divali with his near and dear ones. He pleaded with the authorities of Sathya Sai Seva Organisation to let him go “home”, to his son and his family. However, the latter had forgotten all about him and were too pre-occupied with their own lives to spare a thought for him. Dejected, he has now landed in the general hospital here.

Inder Singh, emotionally shattered at the neglect, says that he was better off at the Old Age Home, safely shielded in the belief that his family still cared for him. “I want to go back to the Old Age Home,” he all that he said to the Old Age Home officials, when they went to get him back.

He has been an inmate of Sathya Sai Seva Old Age Home, Chandigarh, for the past seven years, informed Dr Deepti, Coordinator of the Old Age Home. This Divali, he decided to visit his son in Sector 14 here. But when he went there on October 31, he felt that his son and his family had no time for him. They were busy with their own engagements and left him all alone at home.

An emotionally distressed Inder Singh then went to the Sector 7 house of his grandson, he welcomed him, but the old man fell ill and had to be hospitalised. His grandson took good care of him, while he was in the hospital, but Master Inder Singh, wanted to go back to the Od Age home.

When he expressed this desire to the hospital staff, they contacted the Old Age Home officials, who took him away in the evening.



Board staff unable to meet chief
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 4
It is becoming difficult for officials of the Punjab School Education Board to meet the Chairman following a directive issued by his office recently.
In the directive it has been stated that heads of different branches of the board approached the Chairman to discuss cases related to their branches or to meet him according to their own convenience.

This adversely affected the busy schedule of the Chairman and even the matter could not be discussed properly. In order to bring efficiency in office work it was necessary that in future officials should fix prior appointments and meet him only at the scheduled timings.

The directive further said that an official should first discuss the case thoroughly with employees working under him before meeting the Chairman. Moreover, the official should not be accompanied by any employee of the branch at the time of the meeting.



Readers Write
Need to restart school for poor

A businessman, Mr M.R. Ahuja, runs 10 schools for child beggars in Panchkula. Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, Panchkula, has started a project for enrolling child labourers as students. The initiative taken by these individuals to help and rehabilitate downtrodden children is commendable.

On the other hand, the Congress government in Punjab has shut down the only government school in Patiala where evening classes meant for domestic servants and poor children had been going on since September 2000. In year 2000, during the Akali regime, the Education Department had issued a circular, whereby, all government schools in Punjab were asked to start evening classes meant for domestic servants, dropouts and poor students free of cost.

This letter further stated that the teacher who opted for these classes would take regular classes in the first half of the school timings and rest in the evening school. Out of all government schools in Punjab only Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, Patiala, started these classes. The teachers were asked to give their options and only one teacher opted for this and the classes were started in September, 2000.

This all went well till June 2001, when during a process of rationalisation, the teacher concerned was transferred to Pheelkhana School, Patiala. The teacher concerned was taking 23 periods in the morning shift and 24 periods in the evening classes. During the process of rationalisation the 24 periods of evening classes were not taken into account thus declaring the post surplus.

The students made a representation to Mrs Parneet Kaur, MP, regarding the closure of the school and complained to Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, in an open durbar at Patiala. There and then, The Chief Minister ordered the authorities to do the needful. No other teacher opted for the evening classes, the school being closed, the children made a representation to transfer back the teacher. The teacher herself requested for that.

Dr P.S. Bhatti, Patiala

Panchkula needs a public library

The necessity of a public library at Panchkula is being felt since a long time back. Though HUDA is providing all facilities, it is not understood how this deficiency has not been felt.

Panchkula is fast developing to be a metropolitan city. It is no doubt that the population of retired persons is the highest here. Moreover, bureaucrats, technocrats and defence officers live here. It makes it more essential for the establishment of a public library. The library and reading room should be located at the central point of the town.

I hope that the administration will expedite the opening of a library and reading room at Panchkula to meet the long standing demand of the residents here.

M. Paul, Panchkula

Appeal to motorcyclists

I daily commute between Panchkula and Mohali and watch youngsters, especially those on motor cycles, driving at a very high speed. Not only they break traffic rules, they cause lot of inconvenience to the general traffic. Whenever a youngster passes me on a speeding motorcycle, I often miss my heart beat. I also shudder to think that a mistake of a fraction of a second would be fatal. I often read in your paper regarding death of numerous young motorcyclists.

Through your newspaper, I appeal to these youngsters to drive safely. I also appeal to the parents, sisters and brothers of these motorbike drivers to advise them on slow and safe driving and not to make them run around too much.

Baldev Singh, Panchkula

Exploitation of teachers

The Chandigarh Administration has recently appointed lecturers on contract basis in the government colleges. They were appointed in the pay scale of Rs 8000 plus dearness allowance. The rate of dearness allowance w.e.f. 1.1.2005 is 67 per cent. So the total emoluments by adding the basic pay and dearness allowance come to Rs 13,360.

However, the college administration has paid them Rs 9,360 only and the rest amount has been illegally and arbitrarily withheld by the Principal without assigning any reasons.

So I request to highlight this issue in your esteemed newspaper so that teachers appointed on contract get their promised salary.

Rama Rani, Chandigarh

Pollution clouds twinkling stars

“Twinkle twinkle little star

How I wonder what u are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky”

This poem is being taught in Nursery classes to the tiny tots since ages.

Even in my childhood about 70 years back, we as little children were taught 'baby rhyme's' in different languages. Later, the little star poem became so popular that almost very parent wanted to sing "little star" rhyme to one's children.

I live on the first floor of a very big house and there is a very spacious terrace which is open on there sides. One can behold the green trees all around and the open sky overhead.

The other day my little grandchildren were sitting with me on the terrace. It was approximately 8 pm and i started humming the 'little star' rhyme casually. My children asked me to sow them the "twinkling stars" in the sky.

To my surprise there were no stars visible in the clear looking sky. But yes 'Chanda Mama' was there.

The children were adamant to see the "little stars" and they were getting irritated.

I went to the weather office to confirm that the sky might be overcast with clouds.

To my disbelief they told me that the sky was overcast with "pollution clouds" and not the natural clouds.

It was an amazing revelation. If one of the most beautiful cities of the world is having a thick layer of pollution cloud covering the sky, what will happen to the rest of the country and the world?

K. Murari, Chandigarh

Neglected park

The Central Public Park in Sector 71, where hundreds of residents come every day for a walk, is in a state of neglect. Grass remains uncut for weeks together and flowerbeds are full of wild vegetation. The park is on the mercy of rain gods for irrigation. A large number of lights do not work.

It has become a haven for stray dogs and animals. A lot of children use this park for playing, there is a danger of dog bite. There used to be a watchman earlier, but he is no more seen these days. The authorities must arrange sustained maintenance of the park.

Lt-Col Bhagwant Singh (retd), Mohali



Rotract Club president installed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
The Rotract Club, S.A.S Nagar today held a function to instal its president at the auditorium of Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology here.
Navdeep Singh Rajpal has been installed as the President of the team for the year 2005-2006. (Dr) B.S. Chandhok, President, Rotary, S.A.S Nagar of the parent club, performed the ceremony.

Brig G. J. Singh, VSM (Retd.), Director-General, Youth Services, Punjab was the chief guest and Mr Shaju Peter, District Governor, nominee 2007-2008 of Rotary District 3080, was the guest of honour during the ceremony.



Award for Vaid Jagjit Singh

Chandigarh, November 4
This year’s prestigious Pranachayra Award from the Indraprastha Vaid Sabha and the All-India Ayurveda Congress has been given to Vaid Jagjit Singh. The award was given by Mr Yoganand Shastri, Health and Family Welfare Minister, on the occasion of Dhanwantri Jayanti function held at Hindi Bhavan, New Delhi, on October 30. — OC



Travel agent declared proclaimed offender
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 4
The local police has arrested a proclaimed offender booked in four cheating cases. The police said he had duped several persons of lakhs of rupees on the pretext of sending them abroad.

Giving details, Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 39 police station Nanha Ram Kadiyan said Amar Nath, a resident of Sector 40-A, was arrested last night from Ropar. He was involved in four cheating cases and was declared proclaimed offender in various cases for jumping bails.

The SHO further added that the offender had been running a travel agency based in Sector 41. He allegedly lured people belonging to Punjab and other areas aspiring to go abroad. He used to take money from them on the pretext of sending them abroad. When he failed to fulfil his promises, the affected persons filed complaints against him. After investigating the complaints, the local police had registered four cases of cheating against him. He was arrested in this connection later.

During the trails, he allegedly jumped bails and did not join hearings. Later the local court declared him a proclaimed offender in 1999, 2000 and 2001 in this connection the SHO said.



15-year-old boy held for theft
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 4
The local police today claimed to have solved four cases of thefts with the arrest of two persons, including a juvenile.
Giving details of the arrests, the sources in the Sector 17 police station said Deepak Gupta of Sector 22-D and his accomplice, aged about 15, were arrested this morning from Sector 22 following a tip-off. The accomplice is a vagabond and used to sleep in verandahs in Sector 22.

The minor boy has been sent to a juvenile home while Deepak will be produced before a local court tomorrow, said the police sources.

The police reportedly recovered two cameras, two mobile phones, four watches, Rs 830 and other articles from their possession. The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 17 police station, Mr Satbir Singh, claimed that the police had solved four cases of thefts committed in Sector 22 and 35 during September 22 to October 31, in which the suspects burgled houses and shops and decamped with cash and other articles.



Primary sector on way out in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The primary sector in the city is on its way out as indicated by the report on “State Domestic Product and Per Capita Income for the year 1993-94 to 2004-2005” prepared by the UT Directorate of Economics and Statistics.

The primary Sector comprises agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying. Giving the details, Mr S.K. Sandhu, the Finance Secretary, said on Thursday that at current prices, the percentage of contribution from the primary sector to the total Gross State Domestic Product had decreased from 2.66 per cent in 1993-94 to 0.87 per cent in 2004-2005. At the constant prices the collection from primary sector had decreased from 2.66 per cent to 0.82 per cent.

A senior official pointed out that the change was indicative of the decreased land under use for agriculture and allied activities. More and more housing colonies are coming up and there has been negligent development on front of the fishing, mining and quarrying fronts.

Mr Sandhu pointed out that the contribution from the secondary industry had also gone down from 27 per cent in 1993-94 to 23.78 per cent in 2004-2005, at current prices. The secondary industry comprises manufacturing, registered and unregistered construction, electricity, gas and water supply.

Clarifying the development chart of the city, the Finance Secretary said the tertiary industry had grown from 70.23 per cent of the GSDP at current prices to 75.35 per cent. The tertiary sector comprises trade, hotel, restaurant, transport, storage, communication, banking, insurance, real estate, public administration and legal and business services.

A senior manager of a private bank said the city was not a suitable venue to host major manufacturing units as was evident from the existing infrastructure. The city is capital to states of Punjab and Haryana so there is a lot of activity. The lifestyle is changing which fits perfectly the bill of the tertiary industry. The lifestyle was also changing in context of the changing economic scenario nationally.

Mr Sandhu said “the state income measures the change in the level of economic performance of the nation or the state. It also serves as a useful framework for analysing the basic economic problems of the state and helps in planners evolving a suitable guidelines for future economic policies”.

The trends are a clear indicator of the fact that the tertiary industry has the biggest growth potential in the area particularly the work related to hotels, restaurants, communication, transport and banking.


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