C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


1 dead as gurdwara dome collapses
Our Correspondent

Kharar, February 8
One person was killed and another injured when a building of a gurdwara collapsed in Balongi village, near here, this afternoon.

The dead person has been identified as Manjinder Singh Lovely (23) while a migrant labourer, who reportedly sustained fractures in the mishap, was identified as Akbar Ansari hailing from UP.

The incident took place around 2:45 pm. Soon after, the local administration swung into action. The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, the SP, Mr Varinder Pal Singh and DSP, Kharar, Mr Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu, reached the spot and supervised rescue operations. Four JCB machines were put into action and officials of the local fire brigade made all efforts to take out bodies trapped under the debris.

The residents of the village suspected about four persons had been trapped under the debris. The rescue operations which started after 3 pm went on till about 6.30 pm. Only Manjinder Singh was pulled out of the debris around 4.15 p.m. He was immediately taken to the Mohali Civil Hospital where he was reportedly declared brought dead. Akbar Ansari was pulled out by those around, soon after the incident. No other person was found trapped. The persons working to demolish the old building of the gurdwara got trapped when the dome of the gurdwara fell suddenly.

A team of four doctors, headed by Dr Maninderjit Singh, from the Kharar Civil Hospital also reached the site along with two ambulances.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, president of the gurdwara, told The Tribune that the building of the gurdwara was very old and the walls had been constructed with mud. The dome of the gurdwara was constructed later in 1984 using concrete material. As the population of the village had increased, there was a plan to construct a bigger hall after demolishing the old structure. The dome probably collapsed as the pillars could not bear the load of the dome.

A large number of people from the village gathered near the site of the incident to witness rescue operations, while some women could be seen weeping and praying for the safety of those who had been trapped. Mr Tarlochan Singh broke down and had to be given sedatives by a team of doctors from the local civil hospital.

According to residents of the village, the deceased was an orphan and had been staying with Mr Tarlochan Singh for more than 15 years. He was looking after the construction activity on in the gurdwara.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said an inquiry would be ordered into the mishap as an expert opinion should have been taken before demolishing the old building of the gurdwara. He said action would be taken after the enquiry against persons who were found guilty.



GMCH-32 to revise hospital charges
New tests to be introduced
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, is in the process of revising all hospital charges, introducing new tests and modification of the three-tier test rates.

Among the changes proposed by the Review Committee for Hospital Charges, the most significant proposal is of reduction in the existing three-slab system of charges to a two-tier system.

While rates for various tests were charged in three categories of "Below Rs 3500, Rs 3500-7000 and the above Rs 7000 income category", the hospital authorities now intend to have only two slabs of "Below Rs 7000" and "Above Rs 7000 category". The proposal to do away with the second category was made because less than 10 per cent patients visiting the hospital fell in this income bracket.

Also, since the intention of the rate revision was not to hike hospital charges alone, the committee has recommended that an average of the existing rates in Categories I and II be taken and should be rounded it off to the nearest round figure without substantially increasing the prices for the "Below Rs 3500" income group. In a few tests, the committee has lowered the test charges as well.

The committee which has already met twice and is likely to give a final shape to the proposal next week has also given its nod to the introduction of new tests. These include bio-chemistry, haemotology, microbiology tests as also those for pulmonary medicine and new surgical procedures.

Also, another change in the offing is that the hospital will allow government employees coming from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to avail benefits of private rooms according to their entitlement in their parent state.

As of now, patients only with an income of Rs 8000 and above were entitled to a private ward. However, in the adjoining states, this limit was lower for government employees, leading to resentment among the patients who could not avail of the private ward facility. Clarifying their stand, the hospital authorities have agreed to accommodate these patients as well. However, rates of the private ward remain unchanged at Rs 785 per day.

When contacted, the Medical Superintendent of GMCH-32, Dr Harsh Mohan, said the rates had not been revised since a long time. "We had been making additions and modifications in the existing list for very long. This prompted us to come out with a comprehensive list of all tests, procedures and surgeries.

The merging of the three categories to two has been recommended because there were very few clients in the second group," he added. The review committee will give a final shape to the proposals and forward these to the Health Secretary, UT Administration, for approval.



Five killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Five persons, including four members of a family, were killed in a head-on collision between two vehicles near the Banur sales tax barrier on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway this evening. While three died on the spot, two died on way to the GMCH, Sector 32. Traffic on the highway remained blocked for a few hours after the accident.

The dead have been identified as Mewa Singh, a resident of Mansa, and Krishan Kumar, his wife Parmila, Parsan and Ayush — all family members.

Another occupant in the jeep, Kuldeep Singh, has been admitted to the GMCH.

Eyewitnesses said the police wasted time in evacuating the injured to the hospital. The body of Mewa Singh kept on lying along the roadside for over two hours.

The accident took place between Mahindra Max jeep (HR 40A 2599) and Maruti van (HR 20A 8440). Eight persons, who were coming from Chandigarh after attending a rally, were travelling in the jeep. The van occupants belonged to Una.



No headway in triple murder case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 8
The police is yet to achieve any breakthrough in the gruesome triple murder that shocked the city yesterday. Preliminary inquiries by the police indicated that someone ‘familiar’ with the family could be behind the crime. Circumstantial evidence suggested that the assassins were looking for some “important documents”, as cash and valuables were not touched.

Though the police shifted the three bodies to the Sector 16 General Hospital late last night, their post-mortem was yet to be conducted for want of identification by their next of kin. The police has sealed the entire house and investigations by experts were carried throughout the day. The police sources ruled out the involvement of Ajay, the servant of the family, as nothing incriminating against him surfaced during his sustained interrogation.

The police has hinted that the couple had strained relations with their elder son, Pawan, who lives in Gurgaon. It is working on various theories in this connection. It failed to contact Pawan last night and it was only this afternoon that a friend of his approached the police and told that Pawan was in Assam. Meanwhile, Aman, the younger son of the couple, reached the city in the evening and recorded his statement with the police.

Senior Superintendent of UT Police Gaurav Yadav visited the spot twice in the day. He remained there for more than an hour in the morning. In the afternoon, while briefing the media, he said, “It’s a blind murder case and the police is working on several theories.” About the role of Ajay, the servant, he said, “Though his role was not over board, nothing incriminating has come against him during the interrogation so far. We have sent teams to his native village in Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh to verify his antecedents.”

He also did not rule out the possibility of robbery being the motive behind the killings, as only close family members could provide information about the missing articles. He added that the police was also working on family dispute, property angle or some sort of enmity being a motive. “The police is investigating the matter in a scientific manner and is picking up vital clues from the spot. He said it could be the handiwork of two or more persons,” said Mr Yadav.

When asked about the inefficiency on part of cops in delayed action, the SSP refused to make any comment on it. The police has yet to recover the stolen car of the retired IAF officer.

The police has picked up some hair from the spot that apparently did not match with that of the victims and could have been pulled from assassins hair during a scuffle. The sources said the samples would be sent for a DNA examination to find out their linkage. The police carried out the closed door investigation during the day and it was only later in the evening that the mediapersons were allowed to enter the premises.

The house presented a gory sight, as walls were still splattered with blood stains, indicating sign of a struggle. The body of the Group Captain was found near the main door in a pool of blood. In the living room, the police recovered the body of his wife Shibani lying near the dining table. There was blood stained over the wall along with impression of her hand in blood. A pillow was also recovered from the spot, indicating that the woman was gagged while her throat was slit. Ajit Kaur’s body was found in another room in a pool of blood. She too was gagged and slit by sharp-edged weapons.

The cops recovered broken knives from the spot along with a broken jar and a flower vase. The police believe that the killer wanted to slit the victims, but they fired shots on the Group Captain, who apparently ran for his life. The culprits could be familiar with the victims, as the dog was not heard barking when the killer gained entry into the house. The killer also locked the room before leaving.



Jain condemns killings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Questioning the law and order situation in the city, Mr Satya Pal Jain, former MP and member of the national executive of the BJP, today condemned the murder of T.P. Singh, retired Air Force officer and his two family members, at their residence in Sector 34 here.

In a statement today, Mr Jain stated that such ‘shocking’ incidents had now become a part of everyday life.



Indian teachers have ability to acquire greater skills: Canadian experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
With a thrust on moving forward from teacher-centred classroom to child-centred classroom and resource-based learning, the specialised training programme for the Punjab Government Primary Teacher Association which concluded today discussed the shift from traditional paradigms to the evolving ones.

Conducted as a joint project between The All-India Primary Teacher’s Federation, the Canadian Teachers’s Federation, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and the Punjab Government Primary Teachers Association, resource persons George J. Georget and Joyce de Mooijor explained to the teachers how new ways of teaching and different techniques could be used to engage the students.

Talking to TNS, Mr George said the entire training workshop was designed keeping in mind how the teachers could focus on concept attainment, mind mapping, brainstorming, co-operative learning and multiple intelligence among the children. Aimed at students from classes I to V, Mr George stressed that it very important to transform the single instructional approach to multiple approaches to instruction leading to the empowerment of the learners.

He added that the lecture method too was effective but the teachers should also learn to assign roles to the learners and respect the individual learning differences. Similar training workshops had been conducted in the other states by the federation. According to Mr George, the teachers in India have the ability to acquire greater skills and in future the training programes will use the audio-visual support. He further added that in Canada there were lesser number of students in each class as compared to India, the infrastructure too was better and the educational system had been restructured in such a way as to increase the parents involvement. He suggested that similar efforts should also be made in the schools here in India. The federation will also conduct an impact study for all states in the next 10 to 15 months.

Meanwhile, also present were the members of the Punjab Government Primary Teachers’ Association who said that such training programmes should be undertaken by the government.



IAF changing training policy to reduce manpower employment
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Indian Air Force is changing its training policy to cut down manpower employment and to enhance the professional acumen of its technical personnel. The change comes in the backdrop of new squadrons being raised but without any increase in the manpower.

According to IAF officers, new squadrons of the Su-30 as well as the light combat aircraft, Tejas are in the offing as and when aircraft are inducted. Some new raisings are also expected for the proposed 126 multi-role combat aircraft.

Air Vice-Marshal R.P. Singh said that studies had revealed that the number of technicians assigned to work on a single aircraft at a field base can easily be cut down. “Often we have as many as nine technicians from different trades servicing an aircraft, which is no longer warranted in the present-day environment,” he said.

“Costs after rationalising training and servicing procedures can be cut by over 20 per cent,” he said, while citing an example of a NATO air force where only one technician, assisted by a subordinate, is responsible for the entire aircraft.

In fact, Western Air Command had conducted a pilot study at the Ambala Air Force Station recently which resulted in cutting back 296 man-hours and saving of Rs 63,000 in diesel expenditure alone over a three-month period. The study was undertaken on Jaguars and MiG-21 Bisons.

Air Marshal Singh said that the “Just in Time (JIT)” training policy, which totally revamped the IAF training philosophy, was now being streamlined. The JIT involves airmen being trained in phases over several years and for particular tasks he is expected to perform within defined parameters. It does away with the earlier concept of consolidated training where airmen left training institutes “fully trained”.

Earlier, he addressed officers and men of No.12 Wing and the MiG-27/29 TETTRA School, where he discussed training and maintenance procedures as well as certain other administrative matters. He urged Air Force personnel to strive for professional excellence, be innovative in their approach to their tasks and perform their duties with dedication and zeal.



Bhatti’s Joke Factory now a sought-after studio
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 8
This factory churns out humour! And why not? Owned and run by the inimitable Jaspal Bhatti, his Mohali-based ‘Joke Factory’ is now one of the most sought after studios for many upcoming films and TV shows.

The unique production studio spread over five kanals in the Industrial Area here is wooing stars and big production houses to its funky interiors most of which have a joke to go with it.

“Other than the big sound shooting floor (40 feet by 50 feet), which is the main studio, we have a big lawn for outside shoots as well. And if you notice the small hut in the corner of the lawn you will realise it is called the pachhtava hut. This is the place where the producer can go and regret the project he has taken up. It happens so often that we thought we should give the poor man a special place to do it,” said Bhatti.

And this thoughtful gesture is just the beginning. The entire place is full of small jokes built within the structure. The studio has a set of small shops all of which sell things like the Dilkharab Sweet Shop: pichle hafte ki taazi mithayiana and bahumulya rishte todne ke liye Gift Shop and the Disposable Garment Shop.

Other than the nooks and corners of the building that are being designed to look like an office, a bedroom, a drawing room and a canteen the Joke Factory also has a big reception hall set, a clinic, a conference hall and a police station. Now we are thinking of having a dhaba built here. A lot of films demand a highway dhaba locale and it can be easily set up here,” he said, adding that most of the shooting for the super hit Punjabi film Jijaji was done here and the first of his son Jasraj- Ladla Driver was also shot here,” he said.

Stating that his was the only well equipped studio in the area, Bhatti pointed out that studio services were more in demand now.

“Earlier people used to allow shoots to take place in the houses but soon they realised that it was quite a bother. Now every producer wants to come to studios where most of the other accessories are available,” he said.

Stating that the Chandigarh Administration was going all over Mumbai trying to woo people from there to set up film production centres here, Bhatti added that he found the entire exercise odd.

“Its strange they never contacted us. We were one of the pioneers in the field. No one offered us any place in the proposed film city or even asked for any help,” he rued.

Jaspal Bhatti has larger plans for the studio. “This is not going to be merely a film shooting studio. We would be creating a data bank of original jokes and provide these to mobile companies for pumping into mobile phones. Weekly magazine cartoon strips and daily political cartoons and even funny features for newspapers and magazines would be made available,” he said.



UT may waive entertainment tax for 3 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
There is good news for cinegoers. On the pattern of Punjab, the Chandigarh Administration is contemplating to waive entertainment tax on multiplexes for a period of three years. Once approved, the price of tickets would come down by 30 per cent. To attract more investment, the Punjab Government has waived the entrainment tax on multiplexes for a period of five years.

The proposal was awaiting the nod of the UT Administrator. Persons associated with the business of multiplexes believe that the loss of revenue to the Excise and Taxation Department on account of entertainment tax would be offset by increased investment and rush of cinegoers to the multiplexes.

Sources in the administration said the waiver, if granted, would be in consonance with the infrastructural facilities coming up in the adjoining cities of Punjab and Haryana. Owners of a number of existing cinema halls have shown interest to convert their premises in to multiplexes. After Jagat, others are expected to follow the suit.

The move has been initiated after the administration came up with a new conversion policy of waiving all conversion fee and minimised paper work in case of change of trade.The sources said the administration was also contemplating to give certain relaxations like increased Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to the cinema halls owners, waiting to convert their premises in to multiplexes.

Under the proposed policy, the administration would allow increase in the FAR of the plot on which multiplexes are being built.



Society asked to cancel allotment of flats
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 8
The Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Mohali, has asked Pancham Cooperative House Building Society to cancel allotment of 262 flats made last year.

Directions to this effect were given in a show-cause notice issued to the managing committee recently. The notice said the draw for the allotment of flats should have been done in the presence of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, or his representatives and a video recording of the proceedings of the draw should also be done.

The Assistant Registrar stated that the society had alloted 262 flats in September last at its own level when according to the model bylaws of cooperative house building societies, the draw for the allotment of flats was to be done in the presence of the Registrar or his representative.

He said as such the allotment of flats was done in violation of the bylaws.

Directions were also given to return the blank cheques that were taken from the allottees for carrying out work inside the flats as collecting blank cheques was illegal. The management committee was asked to present photocopies of the blank cheques collected.

The Assistant Registrar pointed out that the house building society was allotted 8.80 acres of land by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority and permission was given to construct 448 flats, but the society had enrolled 949 members.

He wanted to know why so many members were enrolled when permission for 448 flats had only been given by the authorities concerned. Moreover, why construction had been done on an area meant for parking. The Assistant Registrar has asked the managing committee to present clarification within 15 days from the receipt of the letter failing which action would be taken in this regard.



MC to eliminate defecation in open
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Municipal Corporation has decided to provide 50 toilet blocks in 11 colonies to eliminate defecation in the open. In all 500 toilets at an estimated cost of Rs 53.56 lakhs will be provided under the Swaran Jayanti Sahari Rozgar Yojana.

An official spokesman of the MCC said here today that this was decided at a meeting of the Chandigarh Urban Development Authority under the chairmanship of Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, UT, while reviewing the implementation of the SJSRY in urban areas.

It has been also decided that the residents would be permitted to use the toilets free of cost for a period of one year. Uniforms will be provided to poor children enrolled with 232 anganwari centres.

Under the healthcare programme, it was decided to take up immunisation campaign against MMR and hepatitis-B in association with the Health Department.

Around 20,000 children enrolled in primary schools and primary schools will be covered under the programme.



Atray set to go back to parent cadre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Mr Vivek Atray, the man who is largely credited with having worked hard to bring Chandigarh on the Information Technology map of the country, is all set to go back to his parent state, Haryana, once his six-year tenure in Chandigarh Administration comes to an end in March this year.

Mr Atray, Director, IT, has conveyed to the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, his desire to return to his parent cadre, sources in the Administration confirmed this today. The Adviser has also agreed for the repatriation of Mr Atray.

The Haryana Government had wanted Mr Atray back in March last year but it was Mr Lalit Sharma, who had prevailed upon the Haryana Government that as the Rajiv Gandhi IT park project was in the final stages of completion. The departure of Mr Atray would hamper that work.

The IT park was finally inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on September 24. The Chandigarh Administration had announced its IT policy in the year 2000 when Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), the then UT Administrator, had virtually handpicked Mr Atray, who is also a qualified engineer, to start the IT park project from a scratch.



Mayor holds meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, today held an in-house discussion with presidents of different residents welfare association, affiliated with the FOSWAC LED BY Mr P.C. Sanghi, chairman.

The Chief Engineer, Secretary, SE, Public Health, executive engineers of different wings, MOH, and other officials of the MC attended the meeting.

Presidents of different associations highlighted common problems concerning different wings of the MC being faced by residents of different sectors.

The Chief Engineer of the MC gave assurance for implementation of suggestions put forth by the participants.



BJP leaders meet Governor
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, February 8
A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, former MP, and Mr Ram Bilas Sharma, former Haryana minister, met Dr A.R. Kidwai at Chandigarh and submitted a memorandum seeking improvement in the law and order situation particularly in Panchkula district.

The delegation talked, to the Haryana Governor about the rising crime rate in Panchkula district.



Flights delayed

Chandigarh, February 8
All three flights to and from the city were delayed by over an hour each.

The Jet Airways flight was an hour late from its scheduled time of 1.40 pm, while Air Deccan was about 50 minutes late. The Indian Airlines flight, too, was delayed by an hour from its scheduled time of 1.25 pm. TNS



Two boys decamp with purse
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 8
Two urchins decamped with a woman’s purse containing jewellery and Rs 30,000 in cash by distracting her attention. Giving details of the incident, the police said Dr Gurmit Kaur Sandhu of Sector 34-D lodged a complaint with the police alleging that two unidentified boys distracted her attention by tapping on her car’s window.

Nagged by their act, she came out of her car. One of the accused ran away with her purse. The incident took place near the State Bank of India, Panjab University, yesterday.

The purse contained eight gold bangles, two big gold chains, eight gold rings, a pair of diamond tops, some documents and Rs 30,000 in cash.

A case has been registered in this regard. It is the second such incident in the past couple of days. Earlier this week, two boys had lifted a purse from a car in a similar fashion.

Scooter stolen

Mr Kulwant Singh of Tripari in Ropar district reported to the police that his scooter (PB-27-A-2055) was stolen at Kisan Bhavan in Sector 35 on February 4. A case of theft has been registered.



Suicide bid by journalist
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 8
A journalist working with a Panipat-based vernacular newspaper allegedly tried to commit suicide near The Tribune office here this morning. He was protesting against the ‘failure’ of Haryana to take action against persons who assaulted him in Panipat last month.

Giving details of the incident, sources in the Industrial Area police station said the cops acted in a swift manner and swooped down on the journalist before he set his clothes on fire.

The journalist Vicky Nagpal, is working for a vernacular daily evening newspaper “Apna Paksh” published from Panipat. The police recovered a threatening letter from his possession along with a match box. The letter read: “I am going to self-immolate.”The police has registered a case.



Car hits cycle, one dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 8
A cyclist was killed while another sustained serious injuries when a car hit the cycle near the Sector 51 and 52 dividing road this morning.

The car (CH-03-F-5023) was registered in the name of Manjit Kaur of Sector 41-B. The police said the woman no longer lives at that address. Efforts are on the to trace the her.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to negligence against the car driver.



Exhibition concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Inside Outside Mega Show, an event on interior design, furniture and furnishings, buildings and construction industries, is scheduled to start at Parade Ground, Sector 17, from tomorrow onwards, a press note said here today.

The exhibition concludes on February 12. At least 150 companies are participating in the event.


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 |