C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Shyama flays Mayor’s trip to Germany
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
Living up to its reputation of heavy infighting, the local unit of the Congress today witnessed another episode with Mrs Shyama Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor, and Mr Chandermukhi, a councillor, questioning the propriety of the trip by the Mayor and other Congress councillors to Germany.

The “Congress has got nothing to do with the matter so I do not think it required me talking to the local president or the local Member of Parliament. It is a matter which concerns the ethical functioning of the Municipal Corporation. I, being a Senior Deputy Mayor and the councillor of the area where the project under consideration is coming up, should have at least been taken into confidence”, Mrs Shyama Negi said.

Mrs Negi has questioned the Mayor going on a foreign tour to Germany without even informing her. “I was sent away on a trip to Bangalore and then he along with the rest rushed away to Germany. The work of the garbage processing plant under consideration pertains to my ward. I was not even taken into confidence”, she said while addressing a press conference.

“When contacted regarding the proposed trip, I was told by the Mayor that no trip on garbage processing unit was possible without me. I was sent on a trip to Bangalore and in my absence the Mayor accompanied by the Commissioner, Joint Commissioner, Medical Officer Health, Mr Subhash Chawla and Mrs Lalit Joshi, both Congress councillors, flew to the foreign lands. Mr Chawla and Mrs Joshi have nothing to do with my ward and do not even possess any special knowledge about the project”

Mrs Negi felt that the tour had been undertaken on the company expense which is violative of the norms.” I am not even sure if the government is paying for the officials. The matter, however, needs to be looked into. I have made the officials pay at least once in the past”, she said.

“I will like to know whether the Mayor had sought the permission from the administration? What is the expenditure? Whether the team included all experts? In case norms have been violated, it is a clear case of corruption and needs an immediate inquiry by a competent authority”, she added.

Mr Chandermukhi, another Congress councillor said, “when I was the chairman of the sanitation committee the committee which looked into the matter included experts and the area councillors, in particular. This trip is in clear violation of the norms”.

When questioned whether the matter will be taken up with the party high command, she said, “this is not against the party so no need to go to the party seniors. The mater is an inhouse affair and can be settled here if proper answers are given.”

This is not the first time that Mrs Shyama Negi has questioned the MC foreign tips. During the tenure of Mrs Kamlesh as Mayor, she had written a letter to the Adviser complaining that she had been left out of a trip to Canada on a waste management plant despite the plant coming up in her area. The trip was cancelled.



Heat stroke claims 1 more life
Tribune News Service

1. Have plenty of fluid intake throughout the day. The bets fluid to drink is water. Avoid tea, coffee, soda and alcohol as these lead to dehydration.

2. For children, any hectic outdoor physical or sporting activity should be encouraged only early morning or late evening.

3. Wear clothes that are porous and do not retain heat like cottons, khadi and linen.

4. Ensure kids eat small, frequent light meals that are easy to digest. Fruits, fresh vegetables, curd and buttermilk should be a regular component of daily diet.

5. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and using an umbrella.

Chandigarh, June 12
An unidentified man in his thirties was found dead today in the parking lot of the railway station here.

According to the police, the victim might have died due to a sun stroke. This is the second such incident in the past two days after a woman died of heat stroke in Manimajra on Sunday.

The death came to light around 5 pm when someone noticed the listless body of the victim. The victim seemed to be a beggar who had been seen roaming at the station in the afternoon. He was wearing grey trousers, a ragged shirt and was barefeet.

The body was taken to the Civil Hospital in Kalka.

On Sunday evening, an elderly woman collapsed in Manimajra after suffering a heat stroke. She was taken to the hospital, where the doctors declared her dead on arrival.

Meanwhile, with mercury soaring, hospitals in the region are witnessing a rise in the number of cases, specially of children, suffering from heat related problems.

"The harsh summer months are the time to protect our children from the intense heat. Children being children, will play outdoors. But as parents and guardians, we must carefully watch out for any symptoms which could be the beginning of a heat related illness," stated Dr Vishal K Singh, Dept of Pediatrics, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, in an advisory issued by the hospital today.

According to Dr Singh, "Children and adolescents adjust more slowly than adults to changes in environmental heat. They also produce more heat as they are more active than adults and sweat less. There are three types of heat related illnesses - heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes."

Heat cramps are the mildest form of heat injury and show up as painful muscle cramps and spasms that occur during or after intense exercise and sweating in high heat. The cramps are painful, especially in the legs, and accompanied by a flushed moist skin and low fever of less than 102 degrees Farenheit. The remedy is to move the person to a cool place and let him rest, remove excess clothing and sponge with a cool towel, make him drink cold drinks such as nimbu pani, electral water or Gatorade and stretch the cramped muscle slowly and gently.

Heat exhaustion is more severe than heat cramps and results from a loss of water and salt in the body. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is unable to cool itself properly and, if left untreated, can progress to heat stroke. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are cramps, flushed moist skin, fever above 102 degrees Farenheit accompanied by nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, weakness, anxiety and feeling of fainting. The remedy is to take all the steps as in the case of heat cramps and also ensure plenty of cool fluid intake. However, if the condition does not show improvement in an hour, consult a doctor.

Heat stroke occurs when the body's heat-regulating system is overwhelmed by excessive heat. It is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention. The symptoms are a high fever, usually above 104 degrees Fareheit, warm and dry skin, loss of appetite, severe headache, vomiting and nausea, a rapid heart rate, stupor or disorientation, lethargy and, in severe cases, seizures.

The remedy is to remove excess clothing immediately and drench skin with cool water and constantly fan the skin. Place ice bags in armpits and groin area. If the person is able to drink, give cold drinks or electral water. Call for a doctor immediately or take the person to a hospital, since he would, in all probability, need intravenous fluids."



Gusty winds, showers catch city unawares
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
After four days of sweltering heat, city residents were in for a relief with an unexpected brief spell of rain this evening. However, the rain also brought in its wake a squall and high winds forcing the residents to rush back indoors.

Traffic was disrupted on the Chandigarh-Panchkula main road after a heavy storm uprooted a big tree. A motorcyclist was caught unawares, when the tree fell on him, injuring him seriously. The police reached the spot later and pulled him out.

The high speed winds forced cars especially two-wheelers off the roads. Even a brief spell of rain laid bare the complete lack of preparedness on the part of the authorities with power disruption reported from many parts of the city. In fact, the entire city plunged into darkness for almost half-an-hour.

Roads were converted into rivulets with water gushing through them. Shoppers were also caught unawares. Motorists totally unprepared for rain took shelter under trees and at bus stops.

The Met Department recorded 6mm of rain by 11.30 p.m. Temprature fell sharply to 22.3 degrees Celsius. Thunderbolt and lightening along with rains lasted for about two hours.



Police stands by as illegal parking resumes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
Nothing else but an eyewash can best describe the action initiated by the Chandigarh Police against illegal parking in front of Mehfil restaurant in Sector 17.

Two days after cops ensured the parking of only two-wheelers in the lot in accordance with terms and conditions of the contract, it was back to cars and other four-wheelers parking there.

As a result, traffic jams lasting up to 10 minutes on the narrow strip during lunch hour followed bottlenecks due to wrong parking of the vehicles. Also, free-flow of traffic remained disrupted throughout the day due to congestion.

Though personnel belonging to the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police were challaning violators for various offences at the intersections in the vicinity, they did nothing to remove the bottlenecks.

While senior police authorities preferred to maintain silence over the issue, sources in the headquarters said, "Certain business establishments in the area were insisting on allowing the parking of cars and other four-wheelers".

A parking lot attendant said the ban on four-wheelers in the lot was imposed by the cops "just for a day". It was lifted "after the matter was taken up by the parking lot contractor with the police".

The attendant added that the contractor told the police that the business of showrooms located along the road was getting affected due to non-parking of cars and other four-wheelers. The contractor himself was not available for comment.



City centre in Mohali still a distant dream
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 12
Even as the town is flourishing and became the district headquarters two months ago, residents’ hope of seeing a city centre dominating the skyline remains a mere dream.

As residents have to depend on Chandigarh for many of their needs, they want the town to become self-contained fulfilling their major requirements. They feel that the development of the city centre will be a step in that direction.

Five Chief Administrators of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority ( PUDA) have come and gone but the plan to develop the city centre in Sector 62 is yet to take a definite shape. Announcements like PUDA inviting global tenders for developing the city centre have also been heard now and then but one fails to see any development on the ground.

It is learnt that the present Chief Administrator (CA) of PUDA, Mr Som Parkash, had called the renowned architect, Mr D.V. Doshi, the man behind the prestigious project, to PUDA office last month to make a presentation. But whether the plan takes a concrete shape, only time till tell.

The plan to develop city centre had been initiated about five years ago at the time of Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, the then CA of PUDA. It is reported that Mr Sidhu was the one who had allotted the work of designing the city centre to Mr Doshi. After Mr Sidhu, Mr D.P. Reddy took over as the CA of PUDA followed by Mr Suresh Kumar, Mr Sanjay Kumar and Mr A.S. Chattwal. All of them discussed the project in their own way, each failing to take a major decision to develop the city centre.

According to sources, the work of developing the infrastructure in the sector at a cost of Rs 50 crore was about to take off about two years ago but unfortunately the tenders were cancelled at the last minute because the authorities concerned wanted that the work should be carried out in a phased manner and not in the way it was being allotted. Out of Rs 50 crore, Rs 30 crore were to be spent on civil works while the remaining amount was to be spent on developing works related to public health and electricity. Sources said that now PUDA would have to spend more than Rs 70 crore on providing the same infrastructure in the city centre.

Insiders say that no CA wanted to take the responsibility of such a large project and that is why no development had taken place in the area. Problems like funding of the project and how to go about it could not find any solution . Land in Sector 62 was reducing as it was being allotted for other works. More than three acres of land had now been reserved for the District Administrative Complex in Sector 62.

Mr Som Parkash, CA, said that PUDA was now keen to take up the project . A presentation had been made by the architect some days ago. The project was being discussed at the level of the government and it had to be decided whether to involve private parties in the project or not. He said PUDA was also holding in-house meetings in this regard. He said that he was quite hopeful that the project would certainly take definite shape in the near future.



Chandigarh Calling

Who is on the right track?

Photo by Paevesh Chauhan This week the picture brought by Tribune photographer Parvesh Chauhan brings the question to the mind that which horse-pulled cart is on the right track? The query raises its head because one reharhewala is on the main road and the other a little way behind on the cycle track. What happened was that one cart was already on the main road but the traffic cop managed to sidetrack the other one for that is the right place for all slow-moving traffic and only the automobiles for the main road.

Shiamak’s idol

Spunky, expressive and full of beans, Shiamak Davar in town briefly for ‘Summer Funk 2006’ waxed lyrical about his dance but is there anyone who impresses this nimble-toed performer? “I like Saroj Khan very much because she is a pioneer who has created a niche for herself,” he says. In fact, here is in interesting morsel to chew on, Shiamak’s first music video Jaane Kisne was choreographed by none other than this ace Bollywood choreographer, this despite the fact that Shiamak is credited with sprouting the modern dance movement in India!

Einstein award

Prof R.K. Kholi of the Department of Botany, Panjab University, has been asked to evaluate the 2006 candidates for the “Albert Einstein” World Award of Science by the World Cultural Council of Mexico. The award was created as a means of recognition and as an incentive to scientific and technological research and development. It takes into special consideration those researches, which have brought true benefit and well being to mankind. The recipient of the award is elected by the interdisciplinary committee, which is constituted of world-renowned scientists, among them 25 Nobel laureates.

Adieu Vinaya

Only 35, Vinaya Katoch Manhas passed away last month as a result of multiple organ failure after struggling for her life for two months at the Army hospital in Delhi. For more than six years, Vinaya wrote the column Dream Analysis (later Dream Theme) for the Magazine section of The Tribune, in which she analysed readers’ dreams. Vinaya touched many lives in the course of her work in Chandigarh as a clinical psychologist at the Neurology Department, PGI, and counsellor at the Deaddiction Centre at Lajpat Rai Bhavan. She also worked for special children and before her death was the Principal of Asha, a school for special children at Jhansi.

Besides her family, there are many others in Chandigarh who will miss Vinaya and her gentle ways.

City facelift

With the Municipal Corporation busy in the large scale re- carpeting of roads, it is time to say goodbye to the jerky, bone shaking rides. This repair and maintenance of roads provides a smooth and safe journey to the residents in comparatively less time. Another task they are undertaking is of constructing new parks, which is adding considerably to the aesthetic beauty of the town. Large open spaces, which were lying vacant, are cleared of all the weeds, ploughed and fenced properly. This face-lift is a new sight to behold these days.

Devil’s day

Did you know that last Tuesday was not a usual day? Why? Because that day saw three same digits 06.06.06 (666), which meant sixth day of the sixth month in the sixth year of 21st century. The day comes once in 100 years. But what does that mean? Many associate ‘666’ with the “devil” or the “mark of the beast” as mentioned in the Bible.

Contributors: Gayatri Rajwade, Vishal Gulati, Aruti Nayar, Shreyasi Thakur, Rajiv Bhatia & Nirupama Dutt



Compensation to farmers: Admn clarifies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The Chandigarh Administration in a press note here today clarified its stand regarding payment to farmers for acquiring their land for the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park. Farmers are resenting that they are being paid “peanuts” as compared to the “huge” benefits being accrued by the Administration

The clarification has come in reaction to various news items regarding low rate of compensation given to the owners of acquired agricultural land in the UT.

The note said: “It is clarified that the Land Acquisition Act is a Central Act, enacted for the acquisition of land for the public purposes and for planned development and for creating infrastructure in public interest like in the field of education, housing, health, slum clearance and other developmental activities.

While acquiring land, the due process of law is followed by providing opportunity of being heard to all persons going to be affected by such acquisition. Thus, it is not an arbitrary attempt on the part of the Administration, rather for the socio-economic developments of society as a whole; the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act are involved. The basis of assessment of the award is basically the same throughout the country.”

“Guiding factors for assessing the value of the land is Collector’s rate. The determination of compensation of land is based on a sound ‘principle of average’ as enunciated and upheld by the Supreme Court in various judgments as a sound basis for calculating market value.

In this method, all registered sale-deeds during the past one year immediately prior to the initiation of the acquisition proceedings i.e. notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act as per record of the Sub-Registrar are taken”, the note said.

“Collector rates for agricultural land have been revised twice in the last year and there has been 140 per cent increase in the collector rates in the last year, as compared to the year 2004. Subsequently, the rate of compensation in respect of agricultural land has also registered an increase. The land owners have recently been compensated to the tune of Rs 40 to Rs 45 lakh. While acquiring the land the land owners are not only paid the award calculated on the basis of Collector’s rate, but solatium at the rate of 30 per cent on the value assessed on the basis of Collector’s rate and additional market value at 12 per cent per annum is also paid through the award.

The land owners have recently been compensated to the tune of Rs 40 to 45 lakhs per acre. However, the award is further subject to enhancement as the land owner is at liberty to approach the High Court/Supreme Court, if he thinks that he has not been compensated suitably.”

It said: “The Administration is not a profit-making organisation and no surpluses are being generated from acquisition or from further allotment of land. In fact, a huge funds are spent on public utility services like water supply, sewerage, electricity supply, laying of roads, power plants, welfare activities, public amenities, public toilets, dumping grounds, sewerage treatment plants, government schools, hospitals etc.

Some land is also allotted at subsidised rates in public interest like for religious, charitable, community/ institutional purposes and for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.”



Denotify land Act: BJP
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 12
In response to a call given by the Punjab unit of the BJP, a memorandum demanding the de-notification of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, was presented to the Deputy Commissioner here today.

Villagers led by Mr Khushwant Rai Gigga, president of the Mohali unit, and Mr Vineet Joshi, BJP youth leader, submitted the memorandum to Mr Tejveer Singh, Deputy Commissioner.

While addressing a gathering outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, Mr Gigga said the Act, a century-old law formed under the British rule, was primarily aimed to check soil erosion. But surprisingly even after the Independence, then re-organisation of states in 1966, still people of Punjab were governed by this stringent Act.

Justifying the repeal of the Act, he added that with the subsequent development and construction of 68 check dams and effective soil conservation measures like bench terracing and countering these areas had generally been stabilised and were no longer prone to any soil erosion. He further said the Act was technically temporary in nature, which was shaped with the amendment in the Act by Punjab Act No. 7 of 1926 and it could be notified for 10-15-25 years depending upon the nature of the area.

Mr Joshi, who is also a member of the national executive of the BJP youth wing, said in the past 105 years ground realities had changed in these areas. Of all 15,0000 hectares under the Act, 166.82 hectares had come under cultivation and 3200 hectares was now habitable area. Moreover, the government too was a culprit of changing the nature of the land under the Act. Over the years these areas had undergone many new constructions like roads, sewerage connections, electricity lines, telephone lines, schools, dispensaries, water works and shops.

Mr Joshi further said that even if the state government decided to implement the Act in its true spirits, than automatically, most of the land of affected 470 villages would be excluded from the clutches of Act. While explaining, Mr Joshi added that Sections 4 and 5 of the Act were enforced by district collectors with the issuance of the notifications under the Section 7 of the Act.



Brig, Lt-Col summoned in molestation case
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
After examining an Army medical specialist and another lady officer, the Army has now summoned a Brigadier and a Lieutenant-Colonel from the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Department to depose as witnesses before the court of inquiry (COI) investigating alleged molestation of a lady officer at the hands of her superior.

The orders were issued on Friday. Their names crop up in the statements given by the victim before the COI and their deposition is required to corroborate what the victim has contended.

It is learnt the psychiatrist who had treated the lady officer after she was admitted to a military hospital in Jammu had deposed before the court of inquiry. The officer had remained in hospital for several days, from where she sent a written seven-page complaint to the General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps, alleging molestation and harassment at work.

According to sources, another lady officer in whom the victim had reportedly confided was also summoned to depose before the court of inquiry. The said officer, it is understood, was also asked by a senior officer to speak to the victim and counsel her when she first revealed the situation she was in.

Sources added that the Brigadier whom the COI has summoned was the victim’s earlier boss. After the victim had told him about her problems, the Brigadier had reportedly apprised his counterpart in the Northern Command as well senior officers of 16 Corps.

Authorities at Headquarters, 16 Corps, have also procured copies of some judgments on sexual harassment cases to study the legal implications of the case. Among them is the order passed by the Supreme Court in the case of R. Vishakha versus Union of India.

Meanwhile, in the ongoing COI proceedings, the victim has also alleged several other irregularities by the officer she has charged of harassing her. Among them is the officer allegedly getting a jawan belonging to a Rashtriya Rifles battalion located in J&K attached to an establishment in Pune as a helper for his family staying there in separated family accommodation.

It is also alleged that the accused officer had got gypsy belonging to an artillery regiment in a different formation attached to his own office in contravention of rules.



Sodium lamps to replace tubelights
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 12
All existing tubelight-points on dividing-roads and roundabouts in the city would be replaced with sodium vapour lamps. A sum of Rs 1.20 crore would be spent on this project. This was the major decision taken in the general meeting of the Panchkula Municipal Council (MC) chaired by its president, Ms Manveer Kaur Gill, here today.

The meeting was attended by 21 members of the council, including the Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Chander Mohan, and two nominated councilors — Mr Sanjeev Chopra and Mr Bipin Singla.

Out of the 36 only 23 elected councilors — Ms Manveer Kaur Gill, Ms Renuka Rai Walia Mr Dalbir Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr S.S. Goyal, Mr N.K. Rawal, Mr Randhir Maik, Mr Sunil Talwar, Ms Amol Jit Kaur, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Randhir Badhran, Mr Vikas Choudhary, Ms Sharanjit Kaur, Mr Pawan Mittal, Ms Kastoori Devi, Mr Gomti Parsad, Ms Anita Aggarwal, Mr Amar Singh Ms Kuljit Warach — were present in the meeting.

The rival Congress councilors and former MC chiefs, including Ms Seema Chaudhary and Mr Tarun Bhandari, however, boycotted the meeting.

The meeting was called on eight items of the main agenda and 16 other items, besides two items, all others were passed unanimously.

The items in the main agenda included, the approval of a monthly expenditure of Rs 4.95 lakh on 92 vacant posts, expenditure of Rs 3.00 lakh for the purchase of 10 garbage -lifting containers, the purchase of electrical items worth Rs 3 lakh for the maintenance of streetlights, the installation of lights for Rs 1 lakh in various parks in Sectors.

The issue of stray cattle and sanitation contracts for 2006-07 and precurment of a machine for lifting dry leaves were also taken up.

The other items on the agenda, 100 solar lights, 25 solar blinkers, two traffic signals, and one solar power plant of 1 KW would be installed. A sum of Rs 20.40 lakh (net of subsidy and state share of Rs 23.00 lakh) would be spent on it.

The House also approved five development works of Rs 3 lakh, each, in 31 wards of the civic body and Rs 3 lakh, for the development of parks, each. A sum of Rs 1.50 lakh would be spend on hiring a JCB machine and a tractor-trailee for lifting of malba. A piece of 5 acre of land would also be procured on lease basis for the setting up a cattle pond and Rs 3 lakh would be spent of erecting temporary stores. The issue of purchasing a utility vehicle and a motor cycle for development works was also taken up. Electricity wiring and fitting of electric items in the Fire Brigade office and staff quarters would carried out at a cost of Rs 55,000 besides paying legal fee of Rs 8600 to the MC advocate.

Meanwhile, the rival municipal councillors, belonging to the Congress, the BJP and some Independents who have challenged the Panchkula Municipal Council elections in the Punjab and Haryana High Court boycotted the meeting.

The issue of evicting the house allotted to earlier Executive Officer (EO) of the MC Mr O.P. Sihag was deferred on the directions of Mr Chander Mohan. The house was provided to Mr Sihag by the civic body. The EO has not vacated the house even after he was transferred from Panchkula a year ago.

The issue of sterilisation of stray dogs and leave them outside the municipal limits was kept pending for the next meeting.



INLD protest against price hike
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 12
In protest against the allotment of 1700 acre of land to Reliance Group in Gurgaon, hike in prices of petrol, diesel and other commodities, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) held a protest outside the officer of the Deputy Commissioner, here today.

Raising slogans against the government, workers and leaders of the INLD from the district assembled outside the mini secretariat at about 11 am and criticised the government for its anti-people policies. The protesters also demanded a rollback in the in the price hike in petrol and diesel.

They also flayed the government for ignoring the common man and giving benefits to big industrialists and traders.

Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, spokesman for the INLD, while addressing the gathering demanded that the President of India should dissolve the UPA government for its failure on all fronts.

A delegation of the leaders later met the Deputy Commissioner and handed over a memorandum (addressed to the President of India) to press their demands.



Jean distributes tricycles, cheques
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
Ms Jean Rodrigues, wife of UT Administrator, today inaugurated an awareness camp in Palsora Colony.

The main objective of the camp is to ensure the benefits of various schemes, including pension for old, disabled and women of poor strata of society, besides financial assistance to the disadvantaged people for setting up their own vocations to earn their livelihood. Ms Rodrigues distributed hand-driven tricycles and loan cheques among beneficiaries under self-employment schemes and certificates to students of English, Hindi and Punjabi stenography course.

Appreciating the efforts of Ms Amandeep Kaur, the Social Welfare Department and the Women and Child Development Corporation, Ms Rodrigues emphasised that more awareness camps would be organised in different parts of the Union Territory to make the needy people aware about the existing schemes and other benefits available for the uplift of disadvantaged sections.

She enquired about the healthcare problems affecting women and children and asked the officers to pay special attention for providing them all basic minimum civic amenities for decent human existence.

She also interacted with women, youth and girls and impressed upon them the need to actively involve themselves in the welfare projects.

On this occasion, the Social Welfare Department has set up a single-window facility and its teams were present to fill forms and to complete other necessary formalities for different pension schemes and loan schemes for the needy. Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, and other senior officers of the Administration were also present.



Fauji Beat
Remember, you too will retire

It was about two decades ago that a retired Lieut-General told this writer with a lament: “Now when I read about the problems of ex-servicemen and widows, I realise that I could have done a lot more for them as an Army Commander”. It is well known that today’s serviceman is tomorrow’s ex-serviceman. Yet this reality does not dawn on the uniformed elites until they hang their uniforms. One does find a few examples of senior officers who went all out to help the ex-servicemen and widows.

The name that strikes one is that of the late General B.C. Joshi, who unfortunately passed away in the mid-nineties while he was the Army Chief. The ex-servicemen in this region will never forget Lieut-Gen Shamsher Singh Mehta, who had a soft corner for them as the Western Army Commander. The Ex-servicemen Helpline is his brainchild. It was started by the Headquarters Western Command in September 2002. This yeoman service became so popular that all other commands also took a cue from this command and started helplines within two years. Today, you find ex-servicemen helplines all over the country.

In periodic discussions, General Mehta always used to say: “Ex-servicemen are a part of us, without them we are incomplete.” He is now the Principal Adviser of the Confederation of Indian Industry at New Delhi. He is still helping the ex-servicemen and widows a lot in his present assignment. This clearly flowed out from a discussion with him the other day.

Tenures in ECHS polyclinics

We had brought out in our column on March 14 that two years tenure for the officer-in-charge, doctors and other medical staff at the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinics was not enough. For, they could not do justice to their jobs in this short tenure. The ECHS being a new scheme, very few officers who are posted as officers-in-charge of the polyclinics are conversant with the rules of this scheme. It takes them minimum of six months to grasp these rules and their implication. As for the doctors, what matters is the patient’s confidence in the doctor, which takes time to develop.

The Central Organisation of the ECHS in its recent instructions has said that a two-year-tenure is insufficient to understand and fully develop the unique features of the ECHS. It has, therefore, ruled that the tenure of an employee should be till the age of superannuation i.e. 65 years for the sake of continuity and optimum utilisation subject to his/her performance being satisfactory. It has also mentioned that since the conduct and performance of each member of the staff is reviewed after every 11 months, the services of an incumbent whose performance goes down can be terminated at the time of review.

Another reason given by the Central Organisation for not changing the polyclinics’ staff after every two years is that it results in the wastage of the ECHS funds on advertisements which are followed by convening of selection boards at the cost of other work.

Defence University

The proposed Indian National Defence University will include existing institutes i.e. National Defence College, New Delhi, National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, Institute of Defence Management, Secunderabad, and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. It will also have the new Institute of Strategic Studies, College of National Security Policy and Institute for Advanced Technology Studies under its wings.

So far no final decision on the location or the time by which this university will be established has been taken.

Parasailing camp

A parasailing camp of four days duration was held by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Jodhpur, recently. More than 300 parasailing launches were conducted by Flying Officer Dinesh Tyagi and his team at this camp. The camp was inaugurated by the Air Force Station Commander, Group Captain T.P. Singh.

— Pritam Bhullar



Shanti Swarup is president of Panchkula District Assn
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 12
Mr Shanti Swarup Sharma has been elected unanimously as the president of the Panchkula District Association.

Mr Vijay Kumar, Principal, Hans Raj Public School, was elected senior vice president. Mr Sandeep Moudgil was elected honorary secretary for the third consecutive term.

The other office bearers elected were Mr Satish Gandhi, Vice President; Mr Aman Chaudhary, Mr Sat Pal Singla, Mr Deepak Sharma and Mr Yadvindra Mander, Joint Secretaries; Mr Jaswinder Singh and Mr. Sanjeev Trikha, Treasurer; Mr Youv Raj Kaushik, Media Advisor; Mr Vijender Sharma.

It was further decided that in addition to its training center at J.R. Institute of Cricket Technology, Barwala, the association would start its own cricket academy for players between 9 to 14 years at Hans Raj Public School, Panchkula.

The selection of the trainees would be made by conducting trials. The date for the trials would be announced shortly. Coaching for the under 19 category was already under way for the forthcoming season under Navneet Thapar and Jai Kapil. Narender Walia has been appointed the coach for the under 17 age group. It has further been decided to organise an inter-school cricket tournament in the months of September-October.



Kabir’s birth anniversary celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ms Santosh Chaudhary
Ms Santosh Chaudhary

Panchkula, June 12
“Forgetting caste and creed, work for the upliftment of the downtrodden,” would be the best possible tribute to the great poet and saint Sant Kabir, said Ms Santosh Chaudhary, chairperson of Rashatriya Safai Karamchari Aayog.

Ms Chaudhary was in the city to attend a function organised by Sant Kabeer Jankalyan Sangh to celebrate the 608th birth anniversary of Sant Kabir at Parshu Ram Bhavan, Sector 12-A, here today.

She also said the UPA government had initiated many schemes for people of the weaker sections.

Besides a number of followers of Sant Kabir who spoke on the occasion, there was Prof Virendra Singh, political advisor to Haryana Chief Minister; Ms Sunita Duggal; Mr Manfool Sing, former Haryana minister; Ms Shakuntla Khangwal; Mr Balbir Ranga, president of Guru Ravidas Sabha, Panchkula.



Man held for stealing bag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The local police today arrested a UP resident on the charge of stealing a bag of a passenger from the Sector 17 ISBT.

A motor cyclist snatched a purse from a woman in Sector 23 last night. Besides, a motor cycle and a scooter were stolen from the city.

Elsewhere, the police arrested two persons for allegedly indulging in gambling and another one for carrying liquor illegally.

Sources in the Sector 17 police station said Harish Kumar (29) of Muzafarnagar was arrested when he was trying to decamp with a bag of a passenger at the ISBT. The police said Harish was earlier arrested by the police on similar charges. A case has been registered.

Mr Baljit Singh of Sector 31 lodged a complaint that his motor cycle (CH-32-T-1238) was stolen from the Sector 47 market on June 9. In another incident, Mr G.S. Sandhu of Sector 42 reported to the police that his Hero Honda scooter (C-23-T-3313) was stolen from his residence on May 25.

Two cases of theft were registered in this regard.

Ms Seema Tehran of New Delhi reported to the police that a youngster riding on a Hero Honda motor cycle snatched her purse from near Nehru Park in Sector 23 on Sunday night.

Satish Kumar and Ashok Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony were arrested from the same locality on charges of indulging in gambling at a public place. The police recovered Rs 295 from their possession and booked them under the Gambling Act.

The police arrested Nirmal Singh of Phase II, Ram Darbar, for carrying 11 bottles of country-made liquor on Sunday. A case under the Excise Act was registered.



Youth ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
Tormented by prolonged ailment a 19-year-old boy of Deep Complex in Hallomajra village allegedly ended his life by hanging at his residence this evening. In a separate incident, a 32-year-old married woman caught fire while filling kerosene in a stove at her residence in Manimajra. She suffered 60 per cent burn injuries and her condition is stated to be serious. The police has ruled out possibilities of foul play in both incidents.

Giving details of the suicide, sources in the Sector 31 police station said Sanjay Kumar was found hanging by his mother in the evening when she returned home from work.

Sanjay, an unemployed, was also suffering from a prolonged ailments. In his suicide note he has held no one responsible for the act and written that he has failed to serve his mother.

The other incident, sources in the Manimajra police station said, took pace at around 8 pm, when the victim, Geeta, was filling oil in a stove. In process the oil spill over her clothes. When she struck a match her clothes caught fire and soon she was engulfed in flames. Hearing her cries her daughters and neighbours rushed to help her and called the police. A mother of three daughters, Geeta was rushed to the PGI, where her condition is stated to be serious.

The victim in her statement told the police that it was an accident, said a police officer.



4 miscreants arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The police today arrested four students who tried to burn a sign board of a canteen near the administration block of the Panjab University on Saturday night. The accused had escaped leaving their car behind.

According to sources in the Sector 11 police station, those arrested are Karan Chodha, Vinay Thakur, Mickey Mehra and Digvijay Singh. Karan is a student of BCA Ist year, Vinay has a compartment in the plus two, Mickey is in the final year of CA and Digvijay Singh is doing MBA from Pune. They were arrested from the city after the issue was highlighted in a section of media.

A case under Sections 435 and 34 of the IPC has been registered on a complaint filed by Sunil Kumar, owner of the canteen. The accused were later released on bail.



Flesh racket busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The police today busted a sex racket with the arrest of seven persons, including two women, from the Old Rajpura area.

According to police sources, acting on the directions of the local DSP, Mr Manmohan Sharma, a police party, led by the City SHO, Mr Surinder Singh, and Mr Raghbir Singh, raided a house and arrested the accused.

The kingpin, Gurmit Singh, had allegedly been operating along with his “wife” from Baniya Mohalla for quite some time. While the police could not locate his “wife” the other accused were arrested.

Besides Gurmit and the two girls, one of them hailing from Kolkota, the police arrested Gurivinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Jasmer Singh and Gursewak Singh.

A case has been registered.



Body found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 12
The body of a middle-aged man was found near Shakti Chowk in Sector 7, here today.

According to information, a passerby noticed the mutilated body lying in thickets and informed the police. Receiving the information, a police party reached the spot and took possession of the body.

Injuries marks were also found on his head and the body had been lying at the spot for the past two three days, the police claims.

The police has sent the body to General Hospital, Sector 6, for identification and postmortem.

A case has been registered.



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