C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Normalcy returns to hospitals as doctors resume work
Tribune News Service

Docs to hand over agitation baton to students

Though the strike has been discontinued, doctors insist that they will pass on the agitation baton to students of various colleges, institutes and the university. For the purpose, a general body meeting of the doctors of the PGIMER, representatives of GMCH-32, GH-16 and various educational institutes is slated for Friday.

The president of the Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Jaspreet, said they were even contemplating being party to the PIL on reservation admitted to the Supreme Court.

“Four to five colleges besides AIIMS are petitioners in the case. We will join them. Also, we will thrash out way to keep our agitation alive with the help of the student community though medical services will not be disrupted,” he maintained.

Chandigarh, June 1
After waging a fortnight-long battle against reservation, resident doctors returned to work in city hospitals here today. While the hospitals limped back to normalcy with the return of junior and senior doctors, the struggle is far from over with doctors committed to the abolition of quota system.

It was business as usual in the OPDs, emergency and wards as doctors took over charge from consultants standing in for them during the strike period. Though patient-flow was lean, today being the first day after calling off the strike, their numbers are expected to build up by tomorrow.

Kurukshetra resident Asha Rani, who had been making rounds of PGIMER ever since the strike began for treatment of her burnt arm after she was referred to PGIMER, said the return of doctors had come as a great relief.

“Commuting from Kurukshetra every couple of days to look up a doctor is a tough job for a poor family. We had no choice but to keep coming back in the hope that there would be doctors. Finally, they checked my burnt arm today and have told us to return for surgery,” she, accompanied by her father, said. Though the usual hustle and bustle was missing in the OPDs brimming over with people, doctors stayed put despite near empty waiting halls.

Greatly relived at the return of resident doctors, considered the backbone of the institute, Raj Rani who travelled down with her 10-year-old daughter from Shimla for treatment of an orthopaedic complication, said, “The doctor has finally agreed to admit her to hospital. Once treatment begins, you at least know things will improve. The strike was unnecessarily leading to postponement of the surgery and building up anxiety levels”.

Also, the PGI has decided to accommodate pending cases of surgeries which were postponed during the strike period. A spokesperson for the institute said main operation theatres of Nehru Hospital would run beyond their scheduled time.

Meanwhile, the number of patients in PGI’s OPD which had come down to nearly 400, today picked up. A total of 1,062 patients were registered while 61 patients were admitted to the hospital and 21 patients reported in the hospital’s emergency.

While dwindling patient strength visiting OPDs did show improvement in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, doctors said only 20-30 per cent of the usual strength visited the OPD.

Though resident doctors here had called off the strike last night, they had decided not to resume work till tomorrow. However, in view of doctors in other city hospitals, namely PGI and General Hospital, Sector 16, taking charge of their duties today, resident doctors of GMCH-32 also decided to join back.

Students of GMCH-32, too, decided to return to their classes after boycotting these to press for a rollback of the proposed quota. They were to take a final decision on returning to classes this morning.

At the General Hospital, Sector 16, junior doctors, interns and house surgeons, resumed their duties but sported black badges to express resentment on the implementation of quota. “We will keep a close watch on the developments and keep up our public outreach programme,” a spokesman said.



All flunk in middle exam
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, June 1
Blame it on the reported strictness by the invigilating staff during the last middle standard examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board or the indifferent attitude by authorities concerned towards rural education, Government Middle School, Kakrali, on the Dera Bassi-Ramgarh road has come a cropper.

The school has earned the dubious distinction of getting zero per cent pass percentage in the examination. However, for a change, the villagers are putting the blame for the dismal performance on students and parents, saying their careless attitude let the teachers down.

A visit to the school revealed that studies seemed to be last on the agenda of the failed students. Balkar and Subhash, two of the failed students, said they had no time for studies as they had to chip in the household work.

The Sarpanch Gurdeep Singh absolved the teaching staff of any blame for the poor performance and squarely blamed the students and parents for it.

However, sources in the Education Department said a strict vigil by the invigilating staff during the examinations had spelled bad news for at least a dozen schools in the sub-division, including the Kakrali school.

An official, who was the part of the anti-copying squad, said the squad had been able to check copying to a large extent in rural schools and therefore, results reflected the true academic standard of rural schools.

It was highlighted that the results of certain rural schools were reportedly “good” in the wake of mass copying during the annual board exams.

Villagers informed that the results showed the general indifference of parents and students towards education, particularly of the girl children. Of the seven students, who failed the examination, five were girls.



Producing national toppers not uncommon for city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Even as Chandigarh students ride high on their performance in various national-level entrance tests, bringing laurels to the city is not a new phenomenon here.

Raghu Mahajan’s fete of topping the country in the IIT-JEE test is the second such achievement for the city. Vineet Gupta, the brilliant son of Dr Sunder Lal Gupta, a former Panjab University mathematics professor, topped the country in the IIT-JEE in 1985.

The nation’s topper was then awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh by the tutorial college from where he received coaching. Vineet joined IIT Kanpur and in 1989 topped his batch, getting the President’s Gold Medal. “Vineet enrolled for a PhD at Stanford University and immediately after his doctorate, he started his first job at the Xerox Research Centre,” recalls Professor Gupta.

Vineet joined NASA after Xerox and is now working with Google for the past three years. “He is posted in Bangalore for the past one year,” he said.

Dr Gupta has also retained the newspaper cutting that had reported his son’s glorious achievement. “When he topped the country, I told him that his record would remain unbroken for at least 20 years, a statement which proved true. And I am glad that city students have done us all proud once again,” he said.

Vineet had done his schooling from St John’s High School followed by a two-year stint in DAV College, Sector 10. “Three classmates of Vineet had also achieved top positions in the IIT that year. Alok Ramsisaria got all-India 20th position, Sankrant Sanu was 42nd and Vikrant Raina was 52nd,” said Professor Gupta.



Beer goes out of stock in UT
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
A majority of the liquor shops all over the city are running out of beer stock, at least popular brands. It is very difficult to trace a bottle of Kingfisher, Thunderbolt or Godfather at a majority of shops.

The reason for the peculiar situation has arisen because of differences between the Chandigarh Administration and liquor companies. Mr Satpal, a contractor, said “The situation has arisen because the liquor companies have formed a cartel against the Administration’s stand of not agreeing to an increase in EDP (ex-distillery price).”

A casual survey by a Chandigarh Tribune team in different parts of the city revealed the abysmal shortage of the beer products in a majority of shops. The salesperson at the English Wine Shop in Sector 37 said, “We are not getting any supply from the past few days. It is for the Administration to settle the issue with the companies”.

The salesperson in a shop in Sector 44 said “We only have Stroh as the other companies are not supplying any stocks”. A similar opinion was expressed by the salesperson at vends in Manimajra and Sectors 38(West), 29, 21, 22 and 17.

Confirming the development, Mr I.S. Sandhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said he was aware of the development and was looking into the issue. “We have asked all the parties to give us the stock statements. Reliable sources have communicated that the demand had gone up more than three times during recent times.”

“The department will initiate necessary action in case stocks are being piled up without proper supply. Suppliers are having certain problems with the EDP, which is being looked into,” Mr Sandhu added.

Beer prices had gone down by more than half in certain cases, which was one of the biggest reasons behind the sudden spurt in its demand. “The demand is soaring and the companies are corresponding with the prices. It will be unfair to shift the price burden on the consumers”, a salesperson said.

It was being felt that opening up of greater number of vends had led to the prices coming down initially. The change also occurred because of the Administration breaking the liquor cartel domination.

“I personally feel that the number should not have been increased so highly. This is evident from the fact that even after two trials, all the vends have not gone”, a senior official said.

At the same time, the UT Excise and Taxation Department invited applications for the grant of 36 more retail sale licences of country liquor (L-14A) for the remaining period of the financial year 2006-07.

The department asked the applicants to apply on or before June 6. The draw of lots would take place on June 7 at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18.

Successful applicants would be required to deposit 30 per cent of the licence fee on the date of draw of lots on the spot and the remaining 70 per cent in two instalments by September 30. In case of companies, the complete fee would be payable within 24 hours of the grant of licence.



Illegal structures come in way of land acquisition
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Unauthorised structures are threatening the delay of acquisition of about 300 acres of land for a rehabilitation colony on the outskirts of Maloya village.

The Chandigarh Administration is acquiring the land for building one-room tenements for about 22,000 slum families, identified through a recent bio-matrix survey done by office of the Deputy Commissioner.

After issuing notices under the Periphery Act, the office of the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) has failed to take any further action against the violators. In the area, three large sheds have been raised by religious sect Radha Soami Satsang in violation of the Periphery Act.

Sources in the administration said about year ago, permission had been granted to the sect for a mali hut. But at the site, three large sheds and another structure have been raised without seeking any permission from the Administration. Officials in the administration admitted that no permission could be granted for such types of structures. As per the provision, a structure in the form of mali hut can be raised in an area of about 165 sq feet.

Mr A.M.Sharma, an official of the religious sect, said the structures were temporary and they had done no violation. We would seek permission before raising structures”. He added that they had so far no received any notice from the administration.

Sources said there was a signal from a senior official in the administration to adopt a soft approach towards the sect. The possibility of the Administration releasing the land during acquisition could not be ruled out, said a senior official.

“The Administration cannot have two set of rules while dealing with religious structures. On one hand it has stepped up its drive against unauthorised religious structures while on the other it cannot allow new religious structures to come up” said Mr Jaswinder Pal Singh, convenor of the local unit of the Bajrang Dal.

It may be mentioned that the Administration has stepped up its focus against religious structures which are blocking development works.



Man vents ire against wife over phone call
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Misunderstanding over a phone call nearly cost a woman her life!

Irritated by a call his wife received from an “acquaintance”, a Sector 41 resident allegedly banged her head against a wall before tightening drawstring around her neck. The “victim”, working as a clerk with the PGIMER, was saved only after their children and neighbours intervened in the matter. The police registered a case of attempt to commit culpable homicide and other offences under Sections 308 and 323 of the IPC against husband Rajesh Sharma on his wife Sunita Sharma’s complaint late Wednesday night.

The husband, working as a manager with an industrial area factory, was subsequently taken into custody. He was later produced before a local court and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

Sources in the local police said Rajesh Sharma was transferred back to Chandigarh about two months ago after a stint in Mumbai. The couple were married about 20 years ago and have two children.

Giving details of the incident, the police said it all started when Sunita received a phone call just when she was about to leave for work. An argument broke out between the two over the “reason” behind the phone call and within minutes it turned into a quarrel with the husband losing his cool.

Later when their children and neighbours rushed to intervene in the matter, the husband left the house and Sunita went to the PGIMER. There she took treatment and was discharged after about two hours. The doctors prepared her medico-legal report and Sunita reported the matter to the police late in the night.



PSEB drive to cut consumers’ power bills
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 1
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has launched a drive here to help reduce bills of consumers by improving the “power factor”.

An awareness drive is already in progress in the industrial area. Factory owners are being educated to go in for installation of the appropriate capacitors on the premises which will help improve the voltage, ultimately cutting down the power consumption. In the second phase of the drive the scheme will be extended to domestic consumers .

The main advantages of the scheme are that the consumer will be able to recover the cost of the capacitor in one or two months with financial gains later in terms of reduced power bills. The scheme will cover all areas, including villages, in the boards Mohali circle.

Medium-scale industrial units are being covered at present by board officials. Later, small scale units will be persuaded to adopt the scheme. There is also a plan to cover large industrial set ups.

In the next phase, the board will install capacitors on 11 kv power feeders to improve the voltage. The problem of low voltage exists at tail-end points in the network.

When asked whether a consumer could be compelled to install the required capacitor under the scheme, Mr Surinder Pal, Deputy Chief Engineer, Mohali circle, said the PSEB could only use persuation in this regard. He said it was to the advantage of the consumer if he installed the capacitor. House owners at the tail end of the power system would be advised to install the capacitors for their own benefit. A good-quality capacitor for use in houses cost only about Rs 400.

In the rural areas, too, capacitors are being installed on power feeders. Farmers are also being persuaded to go in for capacitors. However, the scheme has so far not got a good response from farmers. With the paddy season round the corner the demand for power would rise and response from this section of the consumers would then be clear.



Officialdom least bothered about traffic rules
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, June 1
Pulling down the curtains on the rules governing the plying of vehicles, senior Punjab and Haryana government functionaries, along with UT Administration officers, are patrolling the length and breadth of the city in the seclusion of curtained cars.

Even politicians are no different. They too are throwing the laid-down rules to the winds by travelling in vehicles with thick drapes fully drawn.

In an apparent attempt to frustrate the mandate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing against the use of “black films” without permission, so many of them have devised a unique way to travel away from the eyes of general public in curtained cars without going through cumbersome procedure.

Legal luminaries assert that fixing curtains in the vehicles is liable to be punished under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

“Section 100 of the Act dealing with safety glass on vehicles clearly states that the windscreen and rear window of every motor vehicle should have visual transmission of light not less than 70 per cent and 50 per cent transmission of light is required for the side window panes,” asserts Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate A.P.S. Shergill.

He adds that in practice, however, no such limit apparently exists. The fact that the top brass of the government and even the police is seldom challaned for the offence provides a testimony to this effect.

A survey of the city reveals that in a large number of cases the vehicles are flouting the Act with impunity as they have not only fixed the curtains, but have also glued black films on the window panes, completely blocking the visibility in the process.

In fact one can see scores of such vehicles moving on the city roads with their rear window panes covered with drapers, even though the rear window pane should have more transmission of light than that of the side windows, as per the Act.

The practice is not only illegal but is also dangerous as it mars the view of the driver of the traffic coming from behind, the sources in the police headquarters agree.

Quoting the figures, the sources in the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police claim that over 150 motorists have so far been proceeded against for the violation. Among them there was hardly any driver of a government-owned vehicle.

“The number of motorists booked for the violation is in any case no where near to number of violators in the city. Though the men in white are strict about booking the commoners, especially the ones from neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, they prefer to close their eyes on the vehicles belonging to the top brass travelling in vehicles with almost 100 per cent opaque panes” says Shergill.

Commenting on the situation, Senior Superintendent of UT Police (Traffic and Operations) Dinesh Bhatt says: “No special permissions are being given for curtains or use of black films beyond permissible limits in accordance with the High Court orders. Permissions granted in the past have also been revoked by the police department. We believe that there is no need for a black film on grounds of security for any individual. We will certainly take action against those violating the high court directions by installing curtains.”



Workers-management tussle hots up at CHB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Work at the Chandigarh Housing Board was affected today following a situation of confrontation between members of the Chandigarh Housing Board Employees Coordination Committee and senior officials here today.

The employees had a heated round of discussions in the room of Mr S.N.Sahai, chairman of the CHB, followed by a gate rally in the afternoon and another one later in the evening at the Matka Chowk. The employees have announced to hold another gate rally tomorrow afternoon. Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the committee, said “We will not just hold a rally. We are also prepared to court arrest”.

The employees, who have been protesting against the management, alleged that Mr Sahai threatened suspension of at least two of the agitating employees.

Mr Avtar Singh said, “We are against the CHB giving the entire financial dealings of the board in hands of the UTI. We are also against the constitution of committees for taking action against the employees. We fear victimisation”.

Mr Sahai, however, refuted the allegations that any employee was going to be retrenched. He said, “The committees under question were constituted under the existing provisions for improving the work culture in the CHB. The committee did not mean suspension of anyone. It will prepare a list of the performance level of the employees. The average performers will be imparted training. In case of non-performance even after giving them due chance, some of them may have to exit. It is a very fair policy”.

Mr Sahai also said, “The work was handed over to the UTI after tenders were opened. The lowest bidder got the deal and it could have been anyone. All action initiated by the CHB is only for the improvement of the public utility services”.



Bahl justifies anti-encroachment drive in Ram Darbar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee today appreciated the anti-encroachment drive of the Chandigarh Administration in Ram Darbar. He was addressing a 'Meet the Press' programme at the Chandigarh Press Club.

He said:'' The drive was being carried out for widening and recarpetting of roads, which was in the interest of the city residents. I have issued instructions to Congress councillors to understand the issue".

The utterance gains importance in the light that a number of Congress councillors have expressed their difference of opinion on the issue. Reacting to the stand on high rise buildings in northern sectors by Ms Ambika Soni, Cabinet Minister, Mr Bahl, said that the fact of the matter was that the city had no more area for horizontal growth and only vertical growth was possible.

In the forthcoming elections to the Municipal Corporation, the CTCC will give tickets only to candidates bearing a clean image, he said.

Reacting to a question regarding action against Mr H.S.Lucky, Deputy Mayor, for his wife’s name figuring in the controversy of theft from Sector 17, Mr Bahl said:"Small incidents and differences occur in a family. I have submitted a report to my High Command. Under the guidance of the head of the Congress family, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, we shall make all efforts to cleanse the system.

Reacting to the statement of Mr Surinder Singh, the Mayor, regarding supply of water to the city from Phase IV of Kajauli water works, he said: "He was unaware of any conversation with the CM. Maybe, Mr Pawan Bansal the local MP had an interaction with the Punjab CM at an informal level".

"In any case, I have written to the Chief Minister asking for the right of the city. There are more than 50,000 employees from Punjab alone. The city also houses a very big percentage of general population from Punjab.

The water is our right and we are hopeful that the government remembers the crores spent on laying out pipelines. We are hopeful of better water supply very soon".

Earlier, Ms Nanki Hans, secretary general of the Press Club, introduced the speaker. Mr Balwant Takshak, the president, gave a memento to Mr Bahl.



Indo-German society formed in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Aiming to encourage linguistic and cultural contacts between India and Germany to enhance business and educational opportunities, a group of local residents formed the Indo-German Language and Cultural Society, Chandigarh, supported by the German Embassy and Max Muller Bhavan, New Delhi.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, academic director of the society Surinder Singh Maaken said the society has been affiliated to Max Muller Bhavan, New Delhi , and is supported by the embassy of Federal Republic of Germany in New Delhi. They would also provide financial assistance to the society.

Sharing the objectives of the newly formed society, Joachim Hecker, cultural counsellor in the German Embassy, who was in the city for the launch of the society, said it would provide new avenues to those interested in German language and literature besides benefiting those who wanted to have business links with Germany.

When asked about the eligibility standards to become a member of the society, Mr Hecker said any one interested in German language could become a member of the society.

The society was also going to start a two week long special inter-cultural training-cum-language program titled "Fit for Germany", a preparatory course for managers and travellers. The society would also design courses to meet the requirements of IT specific companies and other multinational companies dealing in German language in India.



Vigilance raids at CTU workshops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The UT Vigilance Department has been carrying out raids at three separate places in Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) workshops in the city. Sources in the Vigilance Department said
the raids were being conducted following secret information with regard to the alleged misappropriation of stock of spare parts.

The sources said today was the second day of the raids that would also continue tomorrow.

The vigilance sleuths are checking the record books of storeroom to look for any misappropriations in keeping the details about the spare parts.

They would also tally the purchases of spare parts with that of those used in buses and kept in store room. The sources said they could not say anything with certainty at this stage as they are still taking notes of the stock.



CMP brass band to participate in Republic Day parade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Corps of Military Police (CMP) is raising its own brass band which will participate in the Republic Day parade next year.

Informing this, while addressing CMP officers and others at Chandimandir on Tuesday, the Army’s Provost Marshal, Maj Gen M.K.V. Paniker, added that a hostel for wards of service personnel was also being set up in Bangalore.

General Paniker was here on a four- day official visit to the Western Sector. He also told the troops that opportunities existed for those who were interested in pursuing management and computer courses.

The Provost Marshal was also briefed by the Commanding Officer of the Western Command Provost Unit, Col S.K Chauhan, on special measures initiated by the unit to check crime and traffic violations in the station. He also inspected the unit.



FCI staff resent Admn’s interference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) Staff Union and FCI Class IV Union today protested against the interference by the Chandigarh Administration in their holding of a peaceful rally outside the Sector 30 office of the FCI here.

The union leaders alleged that after allowing them to hold a rally on June 2, the District Magistrate imposed Section 144 of the Cr PC outside the FCI office at the behest of the General Manager FCI, Mr TC Gupta.

Threatening to hold a rally near the Tribune Chowk, Mr Vinod Kumar Verma, General Secretary of the FCI executive union and Mr Amar Nath , president of the FCI Class IV Employee Union, said on May 25, the Additional District Magistrate had granted them permission to hold a rally in front of the FCI office. The District Magistrate, however, imposed Section 144 of the Cr PC from June 2 to June 30”.

Raising their demands, the leaders said they would launch trade union movement against atrocities upon field staff by the General Manager of the FCI.



Villagers protest privatisation of dispensary
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
Residents of Matour village staged a protest here today against the government’s move to hand over the village dispensary in private hands.

They raised slogans and demanded that the dispensary be run only by the government, failing which they would be compelled to lock the building, in which the dispensary was running. Residents would not allow a private doctor to function from the same building.

The protesters said the village had no panchayat. Neither was it under the jurisdiction of the Zila Parishad. It fell under municipal limits and the local municipal council was taking care of the village. As such, the dispensary in the village should be run only by the government.



Threatened villagers seek security
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
Residents of Ramgarh village have demanded that strict action should be taken against some persons who were threatening villagers and creating tension in the village.

The demand was made in a letter written to the SSP today. Residents alleged that some persons who had a criminal background were threatening the villagers and creating a feeling of insecurity among them.

They said a group of persons, including women, had allegedly started dismantling the boundary wall of a gurdwara on the night of May 27. When they were stopped by the villagers from dismantling the wall of the gurdwara, members of the group allegedly attacked the villagers. Six persons had got injured in the clash and were undergoing treatment at the PGI, Chandigarh.

This group of persons had been threatening villagers not to construct the boundary wall of the gurdwara failing which they would have to face dire consequences.



Vinay Singh is LAO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
In the new transfer orders issued today, the Chandigarh Administration posted Mr Vinay Singh as the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) and Assistant Estate Officer(Appeals) in respect of court cases of abuse, building violations and the Periphery Control Act in the State Office.

Mr Vinay Singh was posted as Controller of Printing and Stationery and Additional Inspector-General of Prisons.

Mr O.P. Popli has been posted Controller of Printing and Stationery, Superintendent Model Jail and Additional Inspector General of Prisons. He was posted as the Land Acquisition Officer and Assistant Estate Officer (Appeals).

Mr Kamlesh Kumar has been posted Chief General Manager of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation, on joining. Ms Sarita Malik is the new Secretary of the Municipal Corporation. She currently held the charge of the CGM of CITCO.

Mr Daljit Singh is the new Director Public Relations, Director Hospitality and Director Technical Education. He was currently posted Secretary of the Municipal Corporation.

Mr Ashwani Kumar will be holding the additional charge of the Secretary of the House Allotment Committee and Mr R.S. Verma will hold the additional charge of the Additional Registrar of Cooperative Societies.



Lalit Joshi is welfare panel chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Former Mayor Lalit Joshi took charge as the chairperson of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board. Appointed by the Central Social Welfare Board, Ms Joshi now faces the challenge of streamlining the activities of the board in the region.

An advocate by profession, Ms Joshi was born into a family of freedom fighters. She received Sardarni Nanak Devi Gold Medal for distinguished social service and overall best student in university while doing law.

Inducted to the Congress in 1979, she remained an active party member and shouldered responsibilities of the Bar Association, Youth Congress, Chandigarh Territorial Congress, Anti-Dowry Welfare Society and many other wings.

She is presently the president of Chandigarh Territorial Mahila Congress.



PUDA’s grievance redressal cell
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
In order to ensure redressal of public grievances, Mr Som Parkash, Chief Administrator, PUDA, has deputed Additional Chief Administrators to attend to public grievances.

According to a press note of PUDA, the Additional Chief Administrators would be daily available to the public between 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. The secretarial assistance for the redressal of public grievances would be rendered by the Grievances Redressal Cell especially formed for this purpose. The names of officers on duty would be displayed on boards fixed at reception halls.



Hot mix plant contractors to boycott tenders

Panchkula, June 1
After suffering huge losses due to abnormal price hike in construction material, members of the Haryana Hot Mix Plant Contractors Association have decided to boycott government tenders till June end. The association has also decided to review the execution of ongoing projects after June 30.

Mr Ashok Jain, general secretary of the association, claimed that the development works had hit drastically due to steep hike in the prices of bitumen, cement, steal and low speed diesel in the past. The government should compensate them the rise in the construction material prices, demanded Mr Jain. — TNS



No end to MES contractors’ stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The strike of the MES Contractors’ Association entered the 20 day here on Thursday, a press release said here today. The contractors are protesting against a Garrison Engineer.

Contractors have also written to the Engineer-in-Chief who has assured them to look into the matter.



Undertrials boycott  proceedings

Chandigarh, June 1
The undertrials in the Beant Singh assassination case today announced to boycott the proceedings of the jail in the Burail Jail till June 5 to commemorate the Operation Blue Star. At present the statement of Balwant Singh, an accused, is being recorded by the presiding officer. — TNS



Father beaten to death by sons
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 1
In a shocking incident, Pal Din, a resident of Chhat village, near here, was allegedly beaten to death by his sons late last night.

According to sources, the sons, Soni and Roop, had an argument with the father over stealing of some money by the latter. The sons alleged that the father had stolen their money and consumed liquor with that amount, a charge that was denied by Ram Din, in his fifties.

However, his denials fell on deaf ears with the sons mercilessly beating up the father. After a severe thrashing, the father was left to die. Even as Pal Din struggled for life, no help was forthcoming and he died before he could be shifted to any hospital.

A police team, led by the in charge of the Zirakpur police post, Mr Shaminder Singh, reached the spot this morning. The police has taken the body, which bore injury marks, in custody and the post-mortem would be conducted tomorrow.



8 booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 1
The police has booked eight persons, including two women, on the charge of assaulting two employees of a private coloniser at Bartana here.

According to sources, the accused allegedly beat up two employees of the Ravindra Enclave — Hari Ram and Gurcharan — following an altercation last night.

Meanwhile, the employees, who were injured, have been admitted to Dera Bassi Civil Hospital.

A case has been registered.



Thieves decamp with goods, cash
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
Thieves decamped with goods and cash last night from four shops being run in a residential area in Phase XI.

Though they broke the locks of six shops, they managed to take away cash and goods from only four. Thieves decamped with grocery, stationery items, cameras and sun glasses, apart from cash.

Ram Pal, a resident of Phase XI, said his auto rickshaw parked outside his house last night was also stolen.



New rail plan popular with private companies
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
An increasing number of commercial establishments are responding to the Railways' recently introduced scheme of allowing private companies to own rolling stock in return for rebate in freight charges.

"We already have about 18 privately owned rakes, mostly belonging to cement factories, running on our network since the scheme was launched last year," Member (Electrical) Railway Board, Mr R.S. Grover, told The Tribune here recently. He was here to deliver a talk at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Research.

This amounts to about 700 additional wagons in the railways' pool. About 100 more proposals from the private sector are being processed by the Ministry of Railways. The cost of one rake, depending upon the type of wagon is about Rs 15 crore.

Allowing private establishments to own rakes adds to the Railways' overall freight carrying capacity. The owners, in return, get an assured number of rakes available to them for ferrying their cargo and also enjoy some concessions on freight charges, thereby bringing down the transportation costs. The concessions depend upon the type of freight.

Mr Grover said the Railways had also set targets to reduce the turnaround time for wagons to five days this year. At present it was six days, which was brought down from seven last year. In 1980, the turnaround time was 15 days.

"Reducing turnaround time would increase the productivity of wagons and more number would be available at a faster rate for ferrying the next load," Mr Grover said. "This would also help in achieving the planned surplus of Rs 20,000 crore this financial year," he added.

The Railways has set a target of generating a surplus of Rs 20,000 crore this year, which is an increase of Rs 7,000 crore over last year's surplus. Towards this end, the Railways is also increasing the number of coaches in passenger rakes from the present 18-20 to 24 coaches.

He also revealed that the production of locomotives in the country had been stepped up. This year the 200 diesel locomotives and equal number of electric locomotives would be produced at factories in Chittagong and Varanasi, respectively, he said.


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