C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Missing links in UT power-cut list
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The detailed chart of the power cuts to be imposed in the city daily has a number of missing links overlooked by the Electricity Department. The power cut chart has no mention about any cut in sectors 11, 25, 49, 51, 61, 36-A, 36-B and 44-B , besides others.

The schedule says there will be two-hour power cuts in two different schedules during a day in rural areas. The list, however, does not specify the village and the time separately. There is a mention of Sector 30 in the power cut schedule between 10 a.m and 11.30 a.m and another one on a part of Sector 30 from 11.30 a.m and 1 p.m There will be no power supply to Sector 23-A and B from 11.30 a.m to 1 p.m and the cut schedule from 2 p.m to 4 p.m also shows no supply to Sector 23-A from 2 p.m to 4 p.m.

The cut in the morning shift of Sector 8-C is again repeated in the afternoon session. Sector 7-B also faces two power cuts in a day. Sectors 8 and 9 have no cuts scheduled in the 'D’ phase. A part of Sector 9 is listed for another cut in the evening.

‘‘I know there are a certain missing links in the scheduled printed in the newspapers. But only a few names have been missed. The cuts are being imposed as per the plan and no areas have been let-off except those specified’’, Mr V.P Dhingra, Superintending Engineer (Electricity) said.

‘‘The list shows only peak hour cuts in the Industrial Area. Does this mean the normal electricity there will not be affected at all?’’ Mr Tarsem Singh, a local resident asked.

The supply chart in other parts of the area largely adhered to the announced power cuts.

In a very important development the Administration has spread the power-cut schedule all over the city which followed complaints by residents from the southern belt saying there were no cuts being imposed in the northern sectors. ‘‘It is better now because we have prior information about the cuts daily which allows us to plan accordingly,’’ said Ms Rachna Singh, a housewife.

The power situation in the city continues to be grim in wake of the supply being less than the demand. At present, only 88 MW to 145 MW of power is available against present peak demand of 186 MW.

The Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC) has pointed out to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission that the Union Territory was overdrawing power far more than its limit. Overdraw from Nathpa-Jhakri is one of the problem areas. The supply in the Chandigarh-Nalagarh line was disrupted more than twice during the past week.



2 ultrasound machines sealed at Fortis
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 22
Two ultrasound machines were sealed at the Fortis Hospital here today by the health authorities on a charge of violating provisions of the PNDT Act.

Dr Lalit Mohan Gupta, SMO in charge of the local Civil Hospital, said checking was done at the hospital on April 18 and it was found that proper records were not being maintained by the Fortis staff. However, he said, that two other ultrasound machines, one at the coronary care unit and the other for use during cardiac operations, were not sealed keeping in view the convenience of patients.

He said after the checking on April 18 a letter had been written to Fortis stating that the registration, as required under the Act had been suspended. The two machines were sealed today.

Two ultrasound machines were also sealed on April 19 at the Batra Centre in Phase X here. The SMO said during the checking it had been found that the authorised technician was not present at the centre and the two machines were lying unattended and there was a possibility of misuse. This was a clear violation of the Act. Two ultrasound machines had also been sealed at the Sohana hospital. Dr Gupta said the ultrasonologist at the hospital was not authorised to carry out the tests.



Decision on foreign jaunts draws flak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Chandigarh Vikas Manch has criticised the move of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to send municipal councillors and its officers on a study tour abroad.

In a statement, the spokesman and general secretary of the manch, Mr Sandeep Singh, said. “On one side, the Congress-led corporation is crying hoarse about paucity of funds and is imposing fresh taxes on the people of Chandigarh by way of property tax, parking fee, sewerage tax and other taxes. On the other hand, the corporation is ready to spend lakhs on the foreign sojourns”.

Mr Sandeep Singh also said the countries chosen for this proposed tour were very surprising. The countries chosen like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia hardly had anything in common with the people of Chandigarh by way of culture, food habits or social life styles.

The officers of the corporation should bear in mind that nothing fruitful was achieved by the previous study tours of these councillors and officers to different cities of India. Hardly any recommendation was made or implemented from these tours.

The timing of these foreign sojourns was strange too as by the time these tours would end, the corporation elections would be due and the report of these members would have no bearing.

The manch appealed to the Administrator of UT, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) to immediately cancel all the unmindful wastage of money of the exchequer.



Official apathy to Jeev’s win nettles Milkha Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Flying Sikh Milkha Singh has expressed anguish over the indifferent attitude of the government and administration in recognising his son’s achievements. While Milkha Singh’s mobile phone was buzzing constantly as family and his well wishers tried to get through to congratulate him on Jeev Milkha Singh’s recent splendid success in the European Circuit golf event, not a single congratulatory call came from any governing or administrative wing of the city.

‘‘Yes, it is true; I have not received any call from our worthy Governor or Chief Minister or Sports Minister of Punjab regarding this. I am pained a lot. I agree that these governing bodies have little time to spare but I think Jeev’s achievement and that too in the European Golf circuit deserves some kind of appreciation from the governing bodies. Being a father, I think I can expect this much,’’ said Milkha Singh emotionally.

Jeev won the Volvo China Open—his first European Tour title and the first of any description for seven years. This win saw him leap from 319th position to the 195th place in the latest Official World Golf Ranking. Jeev was the first Indian golfer to qualify for the European Tour in 1997 and his courageous final day effort after carding a final round of two-under-par 70 at China Open Golf tournament, has scripted his name in the history books and he has joined Arjun Atwal as a winner on the European Tour.

‘‘Jeev has brought laurels for the city, ending a seven-year title draught. I received phone calls from all over the world, from my family and friends, but not a single call from Administration’s or state sports' side’’, rued Milkha Singh.

At present, Jeev is participating in the next challenge at the BMW Asian Open at the Tomson Pudong Golf Club, Shanghai.



Forum order on learner’s driving licence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The UT State Consumer Redressal Forum has stated that a learner’s driving licence holder can be considered eligible for seeking claim against a vehicle insurance policy.

Passing the orders in reference to a case of claim, the Chandigarh District Forum-II has directed the New India Assurance Company to pay the assessed claim of Rs 87,328, along with an interest of 6 per cent per annum.

A compensation of Rs 10,000 and costs of Rs 2,500 have also been levied.

The complainant, Mr Gian Chand of Sector 20, had filed a complaint that his Santro car met with an accident, after which an estimate of Rs 1,09,903 was prepared by the authorised workshop.

The claim had been filed with the insurance company, which appointed a surveyor and also an investigator.

The surveyor had assessed the amount of loss as about Rs 87,000, but the claim was repudiated upon the report of the investigator, saying the driver was not holding a permanent driving licence.

He only had a learner’s licence and at the time of the accident, he was not accompanied by an expert driver.

The forum held that the insurance company was liable to satisfy the claim if the vehicle was driven by a person holding a learner’s licence at the time of the accident.



Bomb found near Ghaggar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
Panic gripped Kharag Mangoli area when a person reportedly found a capsule bomb in thickets along the banks of Ghaggar this morning.

The man reportedly found the misfired bomb, measuring about 2 feet and 6 inches long, in thickets when he had gone to answer the call of nature.

The person made a call to the police control room, following which a team of police personnel reached the spot and evicted the area.

Subsequently, a team of bomb disposal squad of Army was called from Chandimandir. The team disposed of the bomb. The police started investigating.



2 killed, 2 hurt in road accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
Two persons were killed and two others sustained serious injuries when the autorickshaw in which they were travelling had a head-on collision with a Haryana Roadways bus on the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway in Moginand village today.

The Lalru-bound autorickshaw (HR-68-3760), carrying three passengers Mota Singh (50), his son Kishan (16) and Rakesh (5) of Old Panchkula had a head-on collision with the bus (HR-37A-2651), killing Mota Singh and Tota Ram, a resident of Indira Colony, on the spot.

The injured were rushed to the GH-6 here where the doctors declared Tota Ram and Mota Singh “brought dead”. The critically injured Rakesh was referred to the PGI.




What is the eligibility criterion for being a scout?

C.J. Kalra
C.J. Kalra, Leader Trainer (R), National HQ, Scouts and Guides, New Delhi

A boy who is a citizen of India, 10-years-old but not completed 17 years of age is eligible to be a scout. A recruit shall complete Pravesh requirement to the satisfaction of the Scoutmaster before being invested as a Scout. After making the Scout promise, he gets eligible to wear Scout uniform and membership badge.

What kind of badge is this?

The membership badge is a cloth badge with green background and yellow Lilly flower superimposed by the Trefoil with the Ashok Chakra also in yellow in the centre. The badge is worn in the centre of the pleat of the left pocket of the shirt or at the same place on the jersey. It is issued by the local or the District Association, but on the recommendation of the Scoutmaster only.

What are the basic qualities you see in a recruit?

The scout motto is “Be prepared”. He should have to be morally straight, physically strong and at the same time mentally awake. He should have instinct to work selflessly for the Nation and serve the suffering humanity.

What procedure is adopted for their scouting status?

A boy can be invested as a Scout on the completion of Pravesh test i.e. work for atleast one month. A Pravesh Scout will work for atleast six months to qualify for the Pratham Sopan Scout. After working for nine months he gets himself eligible for the Dwitiya Sopan and another nine months at the least for the Tritya Sopan. A Tritya Sopan Scout will at least work for six months to qualify for the Rajya Purskar Scout. It takes another nine months to qualify for the Rashtrapati Scout Award for which the testing camp is being held here. — G. S. Paul



Jain flays Cong govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The local unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party today came down heavily on the local Congress for failing to redress pressing problems regarding the electricity and water supply during their tenure in the Municipal Corporation which ends later this year.

Addressing a protest demonstration at the Matka Chowk, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former Member of Parliament, said ‘‘the present Congress Government has been exposed within two years of its rule on account of non-performance at the Centre and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Minister of State for Finance, has been exposed within two months for not providing electricity and water to the city as per the requirements’’.

Mr Jain said, ‘‘First the houses are demolished at the instance of the Congress Government and the officers of the Municipal Corporation and subsequently Congress leaders visit these places to show lip sympathy to the people whose houses have been demolished. The Congress is in power in the Centre, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The party should either solve the problem or should resign. They should not mislead people’’.

Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the party, said ‘‘the Property Tax, paid parking and the VAT imposed in the city should be immediately rolled back. The ‘lal dora’ should be extended, houses sold on ‘power of attorney’ should be regularised, and extension should be provided to private schools being run in residential buildings’’.

Mr H.S Lucky, Deputy Mayor, while talking to the Chandigarh Tribune said ‘‘the BJP rally turned to be a flop show as the gathering was very small as compared to the figures being quoted by the party. The BJP was in the Centre and also enjoyed a five-year stint in the MC, however, they had failed miserably to fulfill people’s expectations’’.



BRO officer cremated with honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The mortal remains of V.K. Lamba, a junior commissioned officer with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), were consigned to flames with service honours here today. He had been killed by terrorists near Udhampur on April 20.

Lamba belonged to Zira near Ferozepur and his family was at present residing in Sector 43 here. The 54-year-old official is survived by his wife, Veena, and three children. The eldest, Kuldeep is working with a multi-national company in England, while his daughter Deepika and son Honey, are students of Class XII and X, respectively, in local schools.

Tributes were paid before the pyre was lit. Assistant Engineer in the BRO, Mr Navin Sharma, and several other representatives from the organisation paid their tributes to their colleague.

Family members said they did not inform Veena as she was a heart patient and they preferred not to inform her about the incident till the body arrived.

Relatives and well wishers poured in to offer condolences and moral support to the bereaved family. Lamba’s elder brother Mr Kulbhushan too served with the BRO and is now retired.

Lamba’s body was brought from Udhampur today and was kept in the mortuary in the Sector 16 General Hospital for some time. According to family members, they had received a telephone call yesterday morning, informing them of the tragedy.

Lamba, along with two others were traveling from Budhal to Gool in a service vehicle on Friday, when terrorists ambushed around 7.30 pm. They segregated one of their companions, a muslim labrourer named Mohammad Sultan and shot Lamba and another labourer, Luldeep Singh. Lamba was reportedly hit in the chest and died on the spot. The bodies were recovered the next morning after BSF personnel combed the area.



Poetic comment on social issues
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 22
Prominent poets of the region presented their literary creations on diverse issues at a Trilingual ‘Kavita Mazlis’ organised by the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademy at the Akademy conference hall today. The Chairman of the akademy, Dr Naresh, highlighted the attributes of the poetry in sensitising the readers.

However, the chief guest Dr Yudhvir Singh, Registrar, Kurukshetra University, exhorted the visionary poets to transform their idealistic revelations to reality by awakening the masses to serve society. He exhorted them to emulate the resolute determination of an ordinary bhajans singing poet who generated enough funds for a school building in his village by motivating people.

As many as 15 poets, including established names in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu literature , regaled the audience with their latest poems bringing the burning issues of the role of governance, political leaders and fanaticism of the institutionalised religion to focus. Making a scathing attack on contemporary administrative trends, Padamabhushan Dr S. Anjum rued “Mein kahan se pesh karta ek bhi sacha gawah,” “Urm bhi tha aapka, aur aapki sarkar thi..” and won applause for his rebellious courage in “Mein chiragon ki tarh jinke andhere mein jala, vo mujhe maarne aaye hain hawa ke pathar”.

While the senior poets preferred to concentrate on the abstract themes of romanticism and reverie a few younger poets like Dr Anubhav Naresh and Praydyuman Bhalla touched the spiritual and social chords.

The only poetess Dr Mira Gautam , Prem Kumar Nazar, Meboob Aloam, Dil Kashmiri, Jai Gopal Asq, Parminderjit, Barjinder Chauhan, Siri Ram Arsh, Labh Singh Kheeva, Babu Ram Diwana, Paresh swayed the audience with potent literary content of their poems.



Speaking Out
“Shatabdi food below average”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Poor quality of food and catering service on different pairs of the premier Shatabdi Express, running between Kalka and Delhi, has annoyed commuters.

Complaints of half baked food, unhygienic surroundings and poorly maintained toilets are surfacing every now and then.

To ascertain the experience of travellers, the Tribune approached a cross section of frequent travelers on the super-fast train.

A Panchkula-based businessman, Mr Rakesh Sharma, said, “I have been travelling on the train since it was introduced. The food is average, the omelet served as a part of the non-vegetarian breakfast is oily and is not good in taste. I prefer to take coffee and leave rest of the food”.

The curtains need frequent cleaning and service is not up to the mark, Mr Sharma added, who travels thrice a week as a part of his business, feels that service and food is just average.

“I am forced to travel by the train as it takes about three hours and there is no other alternative”, said another frequent traveller, Ms Vimal Khanna.

Asking for the complaint book is another problem. Ms Khanna, a senior citizen, has the experience of seeing cockroaches in the train. “On one occasion I pointed out the insects to the attendants. But they said they were helpless”, she said adding that the peas which were served as part of the vegetarian breakfast were half cooked.

She got the newspaper after she demanded for the complaint book. “ I want that the toilets should be well maintained and the sitting area should be clean”, she asserted.

A lawyer by profession, Mr K.S. Lamba, who had to go to Delhi last week to appear in an examination found the food to be below average. “ You can get the same quality of food on other long distance trains as is being served in Shatabdi”, he said.

Mr Lamba entered his remark in the suggestion form supplied by the catering staff.

Mr Ajay Sachdeva, a businessman, was all praises for the air conditioning. “But it is a problem when you try to wash hands in the toilet. The omelet served in the morning Shatabdi is oily and does not taste well. The preparation is not worth the money charged to travel on the train”.

A number of travellers felt that it was high time that the quality of food and service improved on the train which had been a profit making venture for the Railways.



Chandigarh division of LIC exceeds target
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
LIC of India, Chandigarh division, has exceeded its annual target by garnering Rs 239 crore as first premium income on the sale of 237284 policies in the financial year 2005-06 against the annual target of Rs 160 crore first premium income.

According to Mr N.P. Chawla, Senior Divisional Manager, the division has shown a growth rate of 93.1 per cent over the corresponding period last year and achieved 150 per cent of its target in terms of premium income. Last year (2004-05) the division completed Rs 136 crore FPI on the sale of 191276 policies. The division stands first in budget achievement of unit-linked business in the country. It has shown remarkable performance in unit-linked business by mopping up Rs 167 crore premium income on 49268 policies against the budget of Rs 77 crore on 24000 policies.


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