C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Farmers get relief after 20 years
SC approves award of Rs 1.75 lakh per acre
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 2
The Supreme Court has approved the award of Rs 1.75 lakh per acre compensation for land in Kambali village of Kharar tehsil acquired for the expansion of the Mohali industrial focal point and rejected the Punjab Government’s petition challenging enhancement of the amount by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The High Court in its order of January 1989 had enhanced the compensation to 1.75 lakh overruling the Ropar District Judge’s verdict, fixing it at Rs 85,000 per acre in 1983.

The process for acquiring the “Chahi land” in Kambali village, which was the subject matter of the case before the apex court, was set in motion by the Punjab Government in February 1981.

Dismissing the government appeal in a protracted litigation on the issue, a Bench of Mr Justice A.R. Lakshmanan and Mr Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta in a recent judgement said: “In our opinion, there is absolutely no warrant for interfering with the order passed by the High Court fixing the compensation at Rs 1.75 lakh per acre.”

The apex court directed the government to pay the enhanced compensation within three months, making it clear that the farmers whose land had been acquired would be entitled to all other statutory benefits under the amended provisions of the Land Acquisition Act as contained in Sections 23 (1-A), 23 (2) and 28.

The farmers would also be entitled to claim litigation cost from the government as awarded by the High Court.

“The reasons given by the High Court in fixing the compensation at Rs 1.75 lakh per acre is cogent and convincing…and it cannot at all be characterised as excessive or on the higher side as argued by counsel for the state,” the court ruled.

It took 20 years in final settlement of the compensation case of the farmers after they had got an order from the District Judge on September 9, 1986.

The apex court said the sale price for the land comes to Rs 2.81 lakh per acre and the High Court by taking into consideration sale transactions in Phase IX pertaining to 407 sq yard for Rs 23, 635 and that it was in a developed colony, reduced it to Rs 1.40 lakh per acre. Since the matter had lingered on for so long in courts, it enhanced it further by Rs 35,000 to arrive at a final figure of Rs 1.75 lakh.



22-year-old girl jumps to death in Sector 34
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A 22-year-year-old girl, a student of a Sector 34-based airhostess training institute, allegedly jumped to death from the top floor of the Old Passport Office building in Sector 34, here this morning. The reason that lead her to take this extreme step was, however, yet to be ascertained as no suicide note was found on her body, said the police.

Sources in the Sector 34 Police Station said the victim had been identified as Meenakshi Chawla. She belongs to Kotkapura in Punjab and was staying as a paying guest in Sector 34. The incident took place at around 11 am. Her body was recovered from a heap of debris. People gathered at the spot and immediately shifted her to a nearby private hospital from where she was referred to the PGI, where the doctors declared her ‘‘dead on arrival’’.

Meenakshi had joined the local institute in August 2005.

An eyewitness Navdeep Singh said, ‘‘I was passing by the building when a heard a loud thud behind me. I turned back and saw a girl lying over debris. I rushed to her but she seemed to have died on the spot’’.

Giving more details Mr Navdeep added ‘‘I also saw a man in an opposite building, who was shouting and telling the girl not to jump. Soon people gathered on the spot and the girl was taken to a nearby private hospital’’.

When asked about the reasons leading to the extreme step, a senior police officer said, ‘‘It is not possible to say anything with certainty at this stage. The matter is being investigated and we are yet to record the statements of the victim’s parents, who are on their way to Chandigarh’’. Adding to this he said the police was looking into all possible aspects of the matter. He said the police was working on several theories, career related frustration, domestic disputes or some mental problems like depression.

The sources said the possibility of a failed love affair is also being probed by the police. They further informed that the police would also obtain the phone call details of the victim.

The police said Meenakshi had come to Sector 34 along with her friend after dropping her mother at the Sector 17 ISBT. Her mother had come to meet her about four days ago and today she went back to Kotkapura.

The body has been kept in the Sector 16 General Hospital. Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard. 



Happy ending to Munna’s tale of sorrow
Runaway boy from Bihar reunited with family
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Twelve-year-old Munna has learnt the lessons of life the hard way. Fifteen months ago when he ran away from home to escape beating by his elder brother, he did not know worse kinds of abuse was in store for him.

The train he boarded in Bihar brought him to Ambala and then to Chandigarh where he landed into abusive situations one after the other. For a year he remained a captive in the house of a local transporter, who abused him physically and made him work for a pittance.

Only a few days ago the runaway boy from Bihar managed to escape virtual hell, courtesy Constable Vishnu Dutt from Sector 26 Police Lines who rescued the wayward boy and helped reunite him with his father Bhutkan Ram. The reunion happened today at the Pingalwara Society where Munna had been lodged following his escape from the clutches of his employer. Everyone who had made an effort to bring lost smile back on the face of the boy was present on the occasion.

The happiest among those present were Vishnu Dutt, the humble Constable whose proactive approach in the case helped PGI Child Line and Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee script a rare success story. Hardly has the Child Line, which officially rescues and shelters abandoned and runaway children managed such quick results as in the case of Munna who clung to his father Bhutkan Ram the moment he saw him today.

For his part, Bhutkan, a rickshaw puller, had mortgaged his entire land in Bihar to raise money for tracing his lost son. He spent most of his money paying up palmists and astrologers, a majority of whom said his child was dead. ‘‘I did not know what to do until one day I received a letter in my name,’’ said the child’s father.

The letter, bearing details of Munna and his present status, was posted by the volunteers of PGI Child Line in whose custody the child was till today. The effort to locate Munna’s family began earlier this month after Ms Madhu Singh from the Child Welfare Committee, Chandigarh, completed the formalities and arranged temporary shelter for the boy at the Pingalwara Society. She also got Munna’s employer pay him Rs 1,500 for the months of hard work he had put in.

At the society the members and caretakers bade farewell to Munna with a heavy heart. The child reciprocated the gesture by walking around the campus listlessly, as if trying to collect a few happy memories the place had given him. His anxiety, however, lasted only till the time he was formally restored to his father.

The moment release orders were passed, Munna took the flight of fancy. Only this time it was directed back home and not away from it.



HC restrains CBI court in power theft case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The hope of the CBI to speedily finish the case pertaining to the role of seven officers of the BBMB and the UT Electricity Department in allegedly facilitating theft of power by the Bhushan Industries has been dashed.

The case has been put on hold, at least for the next over one month.

The reason behind the setback is that the Punjab and Haryana High Court, acting on a petition filed by Mr Brij Bhushan Singhal, MD of the Bhushan Industries, and the Power Department employees, has restrained the CBI special court for tomorrow.

Thirteen years after the CBI booked seven officers of the BBMB and the UT Electricity Department for allegedly facilitating theft of power by the Bhushan Industries, the CBI special court here framed charges against the accused in February 2006.



Passing thru

 Aurobindo Mohanty
‘Mr Aurobindo Mohanty, Vice - President, Marketing, Rasna

Why are all soft drink manufacturers now diversifying into ready-to-drink juices?

The Rs 1000 crore aerated drink market in India had remained static for the past couple of years while the juice market is growing at the rate of 20 per cent. Since people are more health conscious now, they prefer juices over aerated drinks. It is because of this thrust on the juice segment, that Rasna is scouting for sites around Delhi to expand its manufacturing facility. As of now, we are manufacturing our soft drink concentrate at Bhopal.

Since Real and Tropicana are established brands in the juice market, what is the growth you see for Rasna?

We are aiming at Rs 70 crore for Juc -Fit in this fiscal. As of now, Dabur’s Real has a 55 per cent share and Pepsi’s Tropicana has a 25 per cent share in the Rs 620 crore ready-to-drink juice market. We have tied up with Cafe Coffee Day (in all its 261 outlets) for retailing Juc- Fit granitas, besides Indian Railways, some major airlines and retail stores like Big Bazar, Spencers and Food World.

What is the edge you will have over the other established players?

The company’s strategy is to sell its products at very competitive prices. As compared to one litre of Tropicana and Real, priced at between Rs 65 and Rs 70, we have priced our product at Rs 50 a litre.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Admn allows foreign beer sale at vends
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The war over the sale of beer is all set to assume a new dimension, with the Chandigarh Administration allowing sale of foreign brands at liquor vends in the city.
Under the new excise policy, import licence holders of different brands of beer have evinced keen interest in selling their products in the local market after the new concept of allotting liquor vends was introduced in April.

Sources in the Excise Department confirmed that the mandatory licence (LIF) had been issued to at least three import licence holders and some more were in the pipeline.

The licence fee was Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10,000 as brand fee. As per provisions, the import licence holder, apart from selling his brands, could also procure foreign brands from other licence holders.

A senior officials of the Excise Department said some of the foreign brands which would soon be available in the city were Heinekaein, Guineess, Budweiser, Tiger, Stella, and Miller.

Though the exact price at which the brands would be sold in 330 ml and 500 ml cans had not be worked out, it was expected to cost around Rs 60 a can.

The licence holders would be allowed to sell the beer to the retailers, as was being done for the Indian brands. “The foreign brands would offer an alternative to those who have a liking for foreign brands and want to change from the Indian brands”, said the official.

Licences suspended

The Excise Department today suspended the licence of the company which was supplying Hayward beer in the city. The supply of the brand had been stopped to the liquor retailers in the city. The licence was suspended for a few days.

The licence of the supplier of Godfather beer was yesterday suspended till May 20. Excise and Taxation Commissioner R.K. Rao, said the companies had been warned to maintain their supply and sell their stocks at the old rates till the issue of ex-brewery price was not settled.



MC removes board of parking rates
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
In less than a week after “illegality” by a parking lot attendant was carried in these columns, the Municipal Corporation (MC) finally swung into action and removed the board displaying the rates for parking cars and various vehicles in a lot assigned for two-wheelers only on a narrow strip along the road in front of the Mehfil Restaurant in Sector 17.

The civic body’s action seemed to be a half-hearted attempt as cars and other vehicles could still be noticed on the narrow road, leading to congestion and bottlenecks.

When this correspondent visited the spot today, cars and other four-wheelers were found to be parked there. A representative of shopkeepers of the market area when asked about the violations, stated that the MC had allowed them from today to park four-wheelers also. However,

When contacted, a senior MC official, while refuting the claims, asserted, “No such permission has been granted by the MC and the parking lot is only for the two-wheelers”.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, an employee working at the parking lot said the board was removed by some persons after the matter was highlighted in a newspaper. He also added that the traffic police personnel had also warned them not to allow parking of vehicles other than two-wheelers there. When asked about the cars already parked there, he said the vehicles were “forcibly” parked there.

Sources in the police said the MC has not proceeded against those responsible behind installing the board displaying rates for parking of various vehicles and had not reported the matter to the police in this regard.

Both the Chandigarh police and MC officials were now fixing the responsibility on each other for the continuing violations,

The MC officials alleged the traffic police was hesitating to tow away the four-wheelers parked there due to the reasons best known to them. They blamed the traffic police for never making serious efforts to proceed against the guilty.

When contacted, DSP Traffic Prem Singh Malik said, “It is the contractor’s job to not to allow cars to be parked there. He should report the matter to the police if someone forcibly parks his vehicle there”.

He added that police would only take action when a vehicle was found parked outside the earmarked parking place.

The road was partially auctioned to a contractor as a parking lot for two-wheelers only, but in violation of the contract, the place was openly being used as a car parking also.



Confusion over AC cab rates in city
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Chandigarh Administration has issued one notification announcing the new rates for the AC cab service in the city and another one cancelling the old cab rates. This means there is no official rate list for hundreds of old cabs on the city roads.

A Chandigarh Administration notification deleting the taxi fare for the old taxis for journey in the city and introducing new fares for the Air Conditioned Contract Carriage Cars gives a very confusing picture. It was earlier decided to remove the old cabs from the city roads. They have been allowed to continue, at least for the moment. A notification saying what their charges will be should have been issued.

A notification dated April 28 stated the maximum fares for the newly introduced Contract Carriage Cabs. It is Rs 15 for the first kilometre and Rs 12 per kilometre, subsequently. The waiting charges have been marked as Rs 100 per hour. This was preceded with a notification dated April 10 which said the earlier rates had been "deleted".

Talking to The Tribune, Mr P.S.Shergill, the secretary of the State Transport Authority, said the earlier rules had been deleted to make for the new AC cab service on the city roads. As far as the rates for the old cabs on the city roads were concerned, the department will be looking into the issue."

Mr Shergill said there should be no confusion at all. The new rates have been issued for the Contract Carriage Motor Cabs(AC) plying in the UT. Currently, there are only about 50-odd new cabs on the roads, which was far below the required number. The old cabs had the all-India tour permit and did not qualify to ply in the city under the new notification. They can apply fresh under the new conditions and get a proper permit. The issue will be resolved shortly".

A senior official said "the matter of the fact is that it was practically impossible to monitor the actual fares charged by the old taxi operators. It is well known fact that passengers were forced to pay heavy charges. The meters were often not used at all."

A casual survey of the city roads said that the old cab operators were unaware about the old rates being deleted. "We are still charging according to the old rates. We carry the taxi charges cards along", Mr Narinder Singh, a cab operator said.

Under these old rules, charges for hiring on daily basis up to eight hours was Rs 450. This was applicable on Fiat, Ambassador and Maruti cars. The consumer was also expected to pay additional charges of Rs 12 per kilometre for a Maruti up to a maximum distance of 150 km. Additional charges beyond eight hours daily was Rs 10 per kilometre. For hiring on an hourly basis the charges were Rs 200 for the first hour and Rs 150 for each subsequent hour. The charges from airport\railway station to any sector of the city was mentioned as Rs 200. 



Govt’s failures to be main poll plank: Kanwaljit
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, June 2
The failure of the Congress government on all fronts and anti-incumbency factor are going to be the deciding factors in the coming Assembly elections, the SAD general secretary, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, said here today.

In fact, the government had proved to be one of the most-inaccessible regimes with bureaucrats calling the shots. For the past four and a half years, the development projects had come to a standstill, the Akali leader alleged.

Saying that all sections of society were at the receiving end of the “apathetic administration”, he said the government had failed to provide even basic civic amenities, including power and water, to a vast majority of the people.

Picking holes in the claims of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on Rs 56,000 crore investment in the mega projects in the state, the former Finance Minister asserted that the projects had been cleared only “on paper” with nothing concrete happening on the ground. The Chief Minister had failed to provide a detailed list of mega projects on the floor of the Assembly, indicating that all was not well with his claims on the mega projects, he alleged.

Not to talk of creating more job opportunities for the youth, the government had abolished 98,000 posts during its tenure.

Claiming that the party was fully geared up for the Assembly elections, he said the party cadres had been asked to “expose the misdeeds” of the Congress regime all over the state ahead of the poll. The party would soon launch a “people’s movement” against the “anti-people” policies of the government.

Mr N.K. Sharma, president, Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, and Mr Bhupinder Saini, a social worker, were present, among others.



Postal charges up by 12 per cent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Those who went to various post offices of the city today to send a speed post or deposit premiums for postal life insurance (PLI) or despatch an express parcel were in for a rude shock. The customers found to their amazement that charges had suddenly shot up by over 12 per cent of the original cost.

The Director General, Post, New Delhi, in a letter dated May 29, had asked the post offices to collect service tax at the rate of 12.24 per cent (12 per cent service tax and the rest education cess on service tax) from speed post, express parcel post and premiums of PLI. The directive landed in post offices of Chandigarh on June 1 and its effective implementation started from yesterday afternoon.

The Department of Post, it was learnt, was compelled to impose tax on these services as a result of the enactment of the Finance Act by the Central Government in April. The letter from the DG said the Central Board of Excise and Customs had told that “some of the services of the Department of Posts were liable for service tax on the taxable services such as speed post, express parcel post, all types of money orders, Western Union money transfer, time sensitive mail services, PLI and agency services”.

While right now service tax was being levied on only three services, i.e. speed post, express parcels and PLI premiums, imposition of service tax on money orders, Western Union money transfer and other services mentioned above are very much in pipeline. The tax on money order, when it gets going, will hit the poor labourers hard as money order is the mode through which they remit money back home.

The proposed tax on Western Union money transfer will make international money transfer costly and will be resented by the affluent classes.

Meanwhile, service tax being levied on speed post will come as a boon for low cost courier services and will further reduce the clientele of this particular service offered by the Department of Posts. Introduction of service tax on express parcel too will benefit the private courier services.

The PLI, for which only the government and public sector-undertaking employees are eligible, too may have a bleak future in view of the new directive. The attraction of PLI was its low premium and high periodical bonus. The premium will be now on the higher side following the imposition of over 12 per cent service tax on the amount.

The directive has also given very short notice to Head Postmasters to get registered with the respective Commissioners of Service Tax. Issued on May 29, it asked them get registered positively by May 30.



Hot mix plant contractors to boycott tenders
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 2
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 works after June 30.

A majority of the units were on the verge of closure due to huge losses and non-cooperative behaviour of the state government. Mr Ashok Jain, general secretary of the association, claimed that development works had also been hit drastically due to steep hike in the prices of bitumen, cement, steel and low speed diesel in the past.

Mr Jain claimed that efforts to meet Haryana Public Works Department Minister Venod Sharma over the issue had been futile many times. The association decided to hold a meeting of the association and file a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



MC team set to visit Germany, sans Shyama
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A team comprising councillors and officials of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is all set to visit Germany on June 6 to study a solid waste management plant of M/s Jai Parkash Associates. The team, however, does not include Ms Shyama Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor.

Interestingly, a team of councillors is also leaving for a study tour to Bangalore and Mysore tomorrow. Ms Negi is part of this team.

According to sources, the Mayor, the Joint Commissioner, the Medical Health Officer and ex-Mayors Subhash Chawla and Lalit Joshi are going to Germany.

The argument being given for the Germany trip is that the corporation has signed a contract with M/s Jai Parkash Associates to set up a solid waste plant in Dadumajra and it was part of the contract that officials of the corporation would be shown a similar plant in working condition. The company has already been given 10 acres to set up the plant and the work would be completed by this year. However, none of the officials have yet seen a similar plant functioning.

However, the exclusion of the Senior Deputy Mayor, who also happens to be the councillor of the area where the plant is being set up, has not gone down well with many.

The sources said the Germany trip was planned quietly to avoid any “hiccups”. However, when Ms Kamlesh was the Mayor a trip to Canada was planned to see a similar plant. A representation had been made for the trip to the Administration. At that time, Ms Negi had complained to the Administration that she was not included in the trip despite the fact that she was the area councillor where the treatment plant was proposed. The trip was subsequently cancelled, the reason being that such free trips were not permitted.



Notice to Sector 5 parking lot contractor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has issued notice upon the contractor of the parking site opposite Lake Club, Sector 5, for violating the terms and conditions of allotment and called upon him to give explanation within three days as to why the licence of the parking lot should not be cancelled.

In case, the contractor fails to appear on June 6 in the office of the MCC, it will be presumed that he has nothing to say in this regard and an ex-prate decision to cancel the licence will be taken as per law.

A spokesperson for the MCC said the parking site opposite the Lake Club was allotted to Mr. Satbir Singh Khokar of New Indira Colony, Manimajra on December 28 for one year at a premium of Rs. 21.01 lakh and Rs 5, 25, 250 lakh was deposited by him as security and 12 post dated cheques were deposited for clearing the entire outstanding amount of premium in 12 monthly instalments.

According to the police complaint against him made by morning walker's four drunk staff member of the contractor did not let them park their cars and hurled abuses at them at 5 am yesterday. The staff deployed by the contractor was openly having liquor on a table at the parking entry and blocked vehicles from entering the premises.

As per terms and conditions of the MCC the contractor is required to manage the parking properly without any mismanagement, misconduct, misbehavior or subversive act on his part or on the part of his employees. 



Administration offers free yoga courses in summer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh Administration would start yoga facilities in its various government school and college buildings during the summer break. These classes would be offered free of cost to the general public and government school and college teachers would be taking these classes for an honorarium.

Free yoga classes would also be introduced for the general public at the five government Yoga Health Organisation sub centres.

The main centre of the government Yoga Health Organisation located at Sector 23 has been revived by the Administration.

Dr Pahlad Aggarwal the Deputy Director, Colleges, UT, has been made in charge of the centre. The centre has, from June 1, started rush yoga classes for schoolchildren. More than 150 students drawn from various government schools in the city have joined the classes.

Sharing the plans for the further revival of the centre and its various sub-centres spread across the city, Mr Aggarwal said yoga would be spread across the city in a big way. ‘‘The entire world now realises that yoga is the best solution for mental, physical, spiritual and emotional fitness. The centre here was not being utilised in accordance to its full potential but now we are providing a plethora of facilities for the public,’’ he said.

Starting from 4.30 am, the centre has various forms of yoga sessions throughout the day. The centre would offer laboratory tests for a nominal cost and a therapy class for patients in the morning. Summer camps would be organised for schoolchildren in activities which they can pick up in a fortnight.

‘‘Yoga camp for school teachers would begin from July 17 and for college teachers from August 1’’, said Mr Aggarwal.

The centre would also start three months certificate course for college students in ‘‘yoga and quality education’’ from September to November 2006. During the same duration a three-month-long certificate course for the general public would be organised on ‘‘Yoga and stay young’’. A three-month-long advance course for all on ‘‘Yoga and new age’’ would be organised in December 2006.



CHB staff call off agitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The agitating employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board today called off their agitation after a ‘‘compromise’’ was struck following a round of discussion with the Chairman of the CHB.

The employees had called for a 'dharna' and threatened to court arrest incase their demands were not met. A massive rally was oganised before the employee leaders were called in by Mr S.N.Sahai, the Chairman.

The employees are complaining against the CHB giving the entire financial dealings of the board in the hands of the UTI. The employees were also resenting the constitution of committees for feared action against the employees alleging ‘‘victimisation’’. Talking to The Tribune later in the evening, Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the CHB Employees Coordination Committee, said:‘‘ We have reached an understanding with the Chairman. We have been assured an audience on the coming Thursday. We have also given a representation against the rude behaviour of the Chief Executive Officer".

Mr Sahai said, ‘‘the matter had been sorted. The employees have been explained that we are working for a board and not a private institution. There is no question of retrenchment. We are not throwing anyone out. Those performing below average will be identified and given a special training for improvement. They will be later tested in their new skills. A very miniscule number might have to face the brunt incase they are absolute non-performers.’’

Mr Sahai said, ‘‘the move for improvement was not against any individual or individuals. The entire process will be very transparent ’’.

Mr Avtar Singh said ‘‘the Chairman has accepted that the uncomfortable situation had arisen because of a miscommunication. The matter will be very soon sorted out’’.



Mann is chief of ABCS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The former Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr RS Mann, has been unanimously selected as life chairperson of the newly-formed Animal Birth Control Society (ABCS).
A press release issued here said that the first meeting of the society was held last week, and it was attended by founder members which included former president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (SPCA) and former Animal Welfare Board member, Mr Jasbir Ralhan, Mrs Pushpinder, Mrs Peeyush, Mrs Mridhula, Mrs Nirmal Milkha Singh and Dr Rahu Rama Kumar, who is the president of the society.

Mrs Nirmal Milkha Singh said that the society had been formed with a view to controlling the stray animal population by conducting surgeries, to ensure safe and hygienic disposal of dead animals by electrical incarceration and to make a count of the number of stray animals.” A former Joint Director Sports, Chandigarh Administration, she said a shelter would be required for operations and post operative treatment.

According to society president, Dr Rahu Rama Kumar awareness building in the community regarding the need to manage animal population with kindness and care is one of the foremost concerns of the society. The society welcomes members willing to contribute to associate themselves with a nobel cause.



Economists reveal poverty shock
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Fiftythree per cent of the rural households which were poor in 1970 continued to remain so until 1981. The figures did not change even in 1999 when theNational Councilfor Applied Economic Research rounded off its survey on the original set of 3139 rural households in the country .

These figures should have rung alarm bells for the planners long ago, Prof Aasha Kapur Mehta from the Indian Institute of Public Administration today said .

"Our survey has shown that 47 per cent of people who worked between 1970 and 1999 escaped poverty; sadly however out of those who were not poor during this period, 25 per cent became poor ," Professor Mehta said.

Professor Mehta, presently member of the think tank to assist the exercise for the 11th Five Year Plan ,has twice submitted detailed proposals to the Union Government to address the issue.

The regional consultation for northern states is being held at Panjab University in Chandigarh, and is drawing purposeful contributions from scholars working to improve the lot of women and girl children in India.

Listing "health shock" as a major factor behind poverty in the country, Prof Mehta said, "Most of the people have fallen to poverty following grave or prolonged illnesses that have prevented them from earning for their families. Expenditure on healthcare needs to be minimized by making healthcare available and providing access to drugs.

Crop failure is another factor responsible for chronic poverty. The planners must take care of problems like poor quality pesticides that delay seed germination, reduced tariffs that induce competitiveness in domestic agricultural markets. Also agricultural extension services need to be provided to farmers."

Reiterating that poverty is not static but dynamic, the economist said a longitudinal analysis of poverty was a must to ascertain the position of poor rural households in India, and the plan document must make such analyses possible. "Healthcare infrastructure," she said, "was far from available where people needed it most".

Anuj Kapilashrami and Dr Sabu George, both social activists engaged in health sector bared the loopholes in health sector. Incidentally the promise of spending 3 per cent of GDP on the health sector, made in the UPA Common Minimum Programme, has still not been fulfilled. The expenditure right now is only 0.9 per cent of GDP.

Also, there has been no formal progress on the implementation of Indian Council for Medical Research guidelines which, Dr George said, should have been shaped into laws by now.

"That would have prevented infertility clinics and other such assistive reproductive technologies from thriving without checks and balances. More and more women are being put to the risk of ovarian cancer by being subjected to induced ovulation in India," he said.

As regards availability of health services in rural India, experts exposed the rot. Anita Sharma, a volunteer from Chamba revealed the endless woes of people living in remote areas of Himachal where medical services are virtually non existent. Mobile operation vans, she said, were a must for far away places with difficult terrain like Rampur and Chamba.

Education was also hotly debated, with Hemlata Swarup, former V-C, Kanpur University proposing the need to have 12 years of regular schooling in India instead of eight. 



AC funeral van service from June 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
It will be a comfortable journey for those accompanying the mortal remains of their near and dear ones to the Sector 25 crematorium.
From Monday an air conditioned funeral van will be at the disposal of those requiring the services of the UT Red Cross. The charges will be slightly higher as compared to the non-AC funeral van, said an official of the Red Cross.

Built at a cost of about Rs 7 lakh, the funeral van will be stationed at the Sector 11 office of the Red Cross and the procedure for hiring it will be similar to the one for the non-AC funeral van.

Besides, the Red Cross is also introducing a state-of-the-art air-conditioned ambulance with the mandatory life support system and a team of paramedical staff.

Stationed at the Sector 11 office of the Red Cross, the ambulance would be available on call for 24 hours. To ensure that its services were used in evacuating injured persons from any point in the city to the nearest hospital, the Red Cross authorities would be tying up with the police, said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K.Rao.

The existing ambulance with the Chandigarh Police does not have the required life support system. The new ambulance would supplement the facility of evacuating the casualties. About Rs 21 lakh has been spent on the ambulance from the central government funds. 



World Environment Day on June 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
World Environment day will be celebrated by the Department of Environment and Forests on June 5 at Kansal Log Hut, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, an official press release said here today. A noted environmentalist, Sunder Lal Bahaguna, will be the chief guest.

The Forest Department has fixed a target of planting 1.21 lakh saplings during the current financial year to maintain the ecological balance and make the environment pollution free. At least 90 per cent target will be achieved before September.

Government departments, Panchayati Raj institutions, NGOs, resident welfare associations and others will be given 15,000 saplings free of cost. As many as 10 nurseries of various departments will prepare different kinds of saplings.

To mark the occasion saplings will be planted followed by the distribution of awards. The function is being organised in collaboration with the environment NGOs, Yuvsatta and school students of government and private schools.



Raid on office of nursing council
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 2
Officials of the Vigilance Bureau conducted a raid on the office of the Punjab Nursing Council here today to nab an employee who had allegedly demanded money for attestation.

According to reports, Mr Gurinder Singh, a resident of Sampli village, had complained to vigilance officials in Patiala that a junior assistant working in the council office in Phase X here had demanded money illegally for attesting some certificates of his wife.

A team headed by a DSP laid a trap to nab the suspect but failed to do so.



Brig Thind to head Territorial Army group
Tribune News Service

J.S. Thind
Brig J.S. Thind

Chandigarh, June 2
Brig J.S. Thind, took over as Commander, Territorial Army Group, Western Command headquarters, Chandimandir, yesterday.
Brig Thind was commissioned in the Corps of the Artillery of the Indian Army in March, 1972. He is a graduate of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington.

He has a distinguished career and has served in peace, field and counter insurgency areas.

Brig Thind has also served on various staff appointments in the formation and Army Headquarters. Before taking over the appointment of the Commander, Territorial Army, he was commanding a medium regiment and an infantry brigade. He was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal in 2005.



Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A 42-year-old resident of Hallomajra village was electrocuted today after he entangled in a high-tension wire. He had gone to help his neighbour fix a tin roof at her residence, when the accident took place.

The police said, Ram Naresh, a daily wage earner, fell from the roof after losing his balance and got entangled in the high tension wire passing along the house. He suffered burn injuries on his back. He was shifted to a hospital where the doctors declared him “dead on arrival”. Ram Naresh is survived by his wife and two children.



Kashmiri Pandit Sabha

PANCHKULA: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Kashmiri Pandit Sabha: president — Ms Vijay Moza; vice-president — Mr R.K. Raina; general secretary — Mr I.K. Kaul; joint secretary — Mr Om Jee Tickoo; financial secretary — Mr Pradeep Dhar; and social secretary — Ms Reeta Dhar. — TNS



85-year-old woman’s bid to resist snatchers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 2
An 85-year-old woman put up resistance to snatchers but failed to stop them from taking away her purse here last night.
According to reports, Ms Gurinder Kaur, a resident of Phase III B 1, was walking home after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib in the area. She had her purse with her containing among other things Rs 18,000, a gold ring and some documents.

She was followed by two persons on a motor cycle who tried to snatch her purse. She clutched her purse tightly and resisted their attempt. Then one of the persons got off the motor cycle and pushed the elderly woman who fell down. The man then snatched her purse. However, Ms Gurinder Kaur did not show any fear and got up and raised the alarm. By the time people could gather the snatchers made good their escape.

It is reported that the police reached the house of Ms Gurinder Kaur for investigations today instead of reacting promptly after the incident.



30-year-old man goes missing
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 2
A 30-year-old resident of the Hardoi locality in Uttar Pradesh, who was hoping for good employment in the city, went missing after he forgot getting down from a Haryana Roadways bus in Zirakpur, yesterday.

Mr Ram Singh boarded a Haryana Roadways bus for Zirakpur from the Ambala bus stand along with his brother Gajraj and six others.

After getting down at Zirakpur Gajraj and others found Ram Singh absent from their group.

Mr Gajraj said as Mr Ram Singh did not get down at Zirakpur, the alarm was raised.

“We even tried to chase the bus, but of no use,” said Gajraj.

After a long chase, Mr Gajraj and his companions caught the bus at Chandigarh, but the driver and conductor told them that Mr Ram Singh had got down between Zirakpur and Chandigarh. Mr Gajraj lodged a complaint at the bus stand police post. 



Body of newborn girl found in PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Morning walkers in Panjab University were shocked today to see the body of a newly born girl child wrapped in a polythene bag being dragged by dogs. They immediately shooed away the dogs and informed the police about the incident.

According to the police the body, wrapped in a polythene bag, was lying over grass in an open space near Type E flats on the campus. A case of concealment of birth by secret disposal of body under Section 318 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered on a complaint filed by Mr Labh Singh, a watchman posted at the Gate Number 3 of the university.

According to the police investigations into the matter were on and they were questioning midwives in the nearby colonies to know if they had carried out any delivery to identify the mother of the girl child.

Meanwhile, the body has been kept in Sector 16 General Hospital. 



Man crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 2
Harish, a resident of Dera Bassi, was crushed to death by a Haryana Roadways bus on the Chandigarh-Ambala road here this afternoon.
Harish, who was on his way to Dera Bassi from Chandigarh on his motor cycle, was hit from behind by a roadways bus belonging to the Gurgaon Depot. A tyre of the bus crushed Harish's head and he died on the spot.

Meanwhile, the police arrested driver Anil Kumar and impounded the vehicle. A case has been registered.



Biz Clips

Samsung India today began its five-day “Dream Home Road Show” at the CII Convention Centre, Sector 31.
The exhibition showcases the company’s premium, leading technology products like flat panel TVs (LCD and plasma TVs) and flat TVs; frost-free refrigerators, washing machines, airconditioners and digital media products like digital still cameras, digital audio players (MP3 players) and Digital Camcorders.

On this occasion, Mr Arun Pal, Senior Branch Manager (Sales), Samsung India, said,”The purpose of carrying out this road show is to reach out to customers and allow them to experience our leading technology products”.

Honoured: Mr Arvind Singhal, branch head, State Bank of Patiala, Solan, Mr V.K. Gupta, branch head, State Bank of Patiala, Sector 35, and Mr S.C. Dhall, branch head, Kalka branch, have been awarded trophies as “STAR Performers” of Chandigarh and Haryana. The trio were awarded at a function organised by SBI Life Insurance at Dalhousie. — TNS


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 |