C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City IT park gets SEZ status
Naveen S. Garewal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Promotion of Chandigarh as a preferred information technology (IT) destination got a further boost today with the Union Ministry of Finance granting the final clearance for the setting up of a special economic zone (SEZ) at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park. This has put Chandigarh on the national IT map. Though, the clearance was accorded in Delhi today, the announcement will be formally made by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, when he inaugurates the IT park later this weekend.

SEZ ensures

  • Uninterrupted power supply
  • Permission to build independent power plants
  • Single window clearances
  • Customs and other benefits, and tax exemption for 10 to 15 years on Sales tax/VAT, purchase tax, property tax, stamp duty and electricity duty.

The Chandigarh Administration had announced its SEZ policy through a notification in March 2005 and applied for SEZ status for the IT park in June after Parliament passed the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005. It was in August that the Ministry of Commerce notified the areas to be included in the SEZ giving revenue retails of the area to be included in the SEZ. It was today that the Department of Revenue gave a final clearance under the Customs Act and the Companies Act and will include the areas of the technology park, except the 12.5 acres with the DLF Info City builders.

At the same time, the Union Ministry of Environment has also given the final environment clearance to the technology park that is mandatory for setting up the SEZ. According to highly-placed sources in the Administration, though the decision of the Finance Ministry has been conveyed to the Administration, the formal letter will be sent before the Prime Minister arrives here on Friday night.

The “Preamble” of the SEZ policy of the Administration states the objective behind the setting up of the SEZ. It reads: “Whereas it is considered necessary and expedient to promote the industry in general, including the knowledge industry comprising IT, IT-enabled service and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Chandigarh to generate employment, increase exports and boost the economy. Therefore, the Administration will promote the setting up of SEZs which would be industrial/IT habitats, wherein investing companies would receive single-window clearance and would be able to avail of the benefits as per the SEZ policy of the Government of India”.

The notification further spells out the necessity for setting up the SEZ. It says: “Chandigarh is a growing city and is the hub of the region. Over the years it has enabled itself to be a rich human resource centre which is a permissible for growth and setting up of any modern industry, particularly, IT, ITES and BPOs and the services sector. Therefore, in order to provide employment in sufficient numbers to qualified and employable youth of Chandigarh and the region, SEZs should be set up to attract the industry from India and abroad to Chandigarh for investment. The technology sector which is growing at a rapid rate and which is likely to provide jobs in large numbers, would be promoted through the SEZ. The policies of the government of India relating to the SEZ are extremely attractive and, therefore, it is considered necessary by the Administration to enable the setting up of SEZs in the union territory of Chandigarh”.

With clearance for SEZ, the zone will attract many multi-national companies and boost IT exports, besides strengthening the economic backbone of the region.

All units and establishments in the SEZs will be declared public utility services under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act and the Administration will make exclusive arrangements within and around the SEZ for the maintenance of law and order.



Six sites at IT park allotted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Chandigarh Administration has today allotted six build-to-suit sites at the Chandigarh Technology Park after a draw of lot in the Estate Office in the presence of representatives of the short-listed companies.

A press note said the Administration had earlier received an overwhelming response to the sites as 42 companies had applied for these sites.

Out of these, the Administration had shortlisted 20 companies, four in the first category and 16 in the second category on the basis of the eligibility criteria.

Three leading companies, including Amadeus, KMG and Microtech have been allotted the sites in the first category under the Chandigarh Information Service Park Rules 2002/2005.

These are three leading BPO companies of the country and provide outsourcing to multinational companies such as Lufthansa. Microtech is a large computer/IT firm which is now venturing into software and BPO work also.

In the second category, three more companies namely Bebo Technologies, Synapse and Alchemist have been allotted the sites. These companies would take formal possession of the sites and start the construction work.



IT park to come up at Landran
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 19
New Delhi-based Advance India Projects Limited would be developing an information technology (IT) park in Landran near here. The Rs 92-crore project has been approved by the Empowered Committee of the Punjab Government, which is headed by the Chief Minister.

The park, second of its kind in the area, would complement the Quark City and IT City being developed by the Punjab Small Industries Export Corporation (PSIEC) in Industrial Area, Phase VIII A and B.

Though basically a construction company, Advance India has earlier taken up projects for Gujarat Ambuja, Sify, Metro Group, Ogilvy, Leo Burnet etc. The company had, in its proposal to the Punjab Government, offered to set up various projects in Punjab with a total investment of Rs 941 crore on a proposed area of 390 acres.

The company intends to develop a multiplex-cum-shopping mall in Amritsar at a cost of Rs 52 crore while a similar project worth Rs 177 crore had been proposed for Ludhiana and a Rs 100-crore one in Jalandhar.

The company intends to develop townships in Amritsar, Khanna and Ludhiana and the IT park in Mohali following the general trend of development in these areas. The projects listed by the company would have an employment potential of over 5,000 persons, including women employees.

The IT campus, spread over 20 acres, would come up on Chunni road at Landran, 4 km from here. A part of the land, according to the company, had already been bought and work would commence as soon as they got an approval from the government.

The IT park would be developed in a phased manner. The company would also be involving NRIs from Punjab in the projects.

Other than the purely industrial component which would be spread over 60 per cent of the total area, residential and commercial components would be built in 30 and 10 per cent of the rest of the area. A group housing scheme would be floated within the campus.

Among a host of exemptions and relaxations demanded by the company for the setting up of the project in Mohali, the company has demanded uninterrupted supply of electricity and permission to generate its own water supply.

The company has pointed out in its proposal that they would create special infrastructure like schools and hospitals for providing health and education to the economically weaker sections of society. These ventures would be run on charity.



8-yr-old girl hit by car, dies
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
In two accidents involving students, an eight-year-old girl was killed and another seriously injured, while nine others in an auto-rickshaw had a miraculous escape.

Kamini, studying in a Sector 46 government school, succumbed to her injuries after being hit by a car on the Sector 45-46 dividing road this afternoon. She, along with another student, was crossing the road when the accident occurred.

The car driver lost control over the vehicle and rammed it into a post. The other student and the driver were admitted to the GMCH in Sector 32. Their condition is stated to be stable.

Giving details of the fatal accident, sources in the police said Kamini of Colony Number 5 was on her way home, along with her friend Nitu, when they were hit by the car. The impact was so great that the two were thrown at a distance.

Kamini with severe head injures was shifted to the GMCH along with Nitu. Kamini was declared brought dead.

The injured car driver, identified as 70-year-old Ramesh Chander of Sector 37, has been booked by the police on the allegations of causing death due to rash and negligent act under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Elaborating on the circumstances leading to the other accident, the sources said the autorickshaw with nine students of the Sector 47 Government Senior Secondary School overturned twice. The students were on their way home in Phase XI, Mohali.

The accident occurred after the truck in front of the autorickshaw applied the brakes, suddenly forcing him to follow suit. In the process, the three-wheeler driver lost control.

Though the accident took place in the afternoon, the police did little to fix the responsibility against the truck or the auto-rickshaw driver. In fact, it tried to play down the incident, claiming that “nothing serious had happened”.

They were later discharged from the hospital after administering first-aid, a police officer said.



Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
Tormented by his ailment, a 30-year-old married man hanged himself to death at his Dadu Majra residence this afternoon. He, in his suicide note, held no one responsible for this extreme step and had written that he was ending his life because of his illness.

The police said Darshan Singh, father of two, was today found hanging from a ceiling fan hook by his mother at around 2 pm. She told the police that on her return, she found the house locked from inside. When her repeated calls went unanswered, she looked through a window and found her son hanging. She raised an alarm and soon people gathered there. They informed the police and the police lowered the body and took the deceased to General Hospital in Sector 16.

The police, while quoting the family of Darshan Singh, said he was mentally disturbed and was taking treatment from General Hospital in Sector 16 and from the PGI. Darshan was working in a private firm. His wife had gone to meet her parents, along with Darshan, but he came back two days ago.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC. The post-mortem of the body would be performed tomorrow, said the police.



Passing Thru

What brings you to Chandigarh?

Parminder Tolpa, Coordinator, Youthful Offender Transition Programme, Tacoma Community College at Washington Community Centre for Women, USA

Parminder Tolpa, Coordinator, Youthful Offender Transition Programme, Tacoma Community College at Washington Community Centre for Women, USA

Apart from visiting my family I wanted to see if I could meet someone in the prison system here and offer programmes for offenders so once they come out they can be productive citizens. I also hope to make a presentation about the same to the Governor. We have realised through our work in the US that education helps offenders’ transition into progressive members of society. I am also here to give a talk to the Rotary Club on the work we do at our college.

What does your work entail?

I work as a coordinator for a programme which runs on a federal grant and also conduct post-secondary classes for young offenders between the ages of 18 and 25 years to college. Apart from education, the programme offers vocational courses like IT, master gardener programme which deals with horticulture, building maintenance, cosmetology and college honours programmes, among others.

What do you like best about your job?

The satisfaction one gets at making that difference because these youngsters are very appreciative of what we offer them.

— Gayatri Rajwade 



Chandigarh Calling
Cinema relics in vogue

Of late film buffs in the city are now wondering how to make a buck from their hobby of collecting old cinema stills and posters. Well there are certainly takers for popular art. Bollywood relics find pride of place in well-designed interiors and not just in ‘paan-and-bidi’ shops as of old or for that matter tacky hair-cutting salons. The answer lies in the right kind of packaging and marketing. The picture of this poster with Zeenat Aman in her ‘Manoranjan’ role is an indicator. Artist Baba Anand has added some paint and tinsel to the work and now it is art what if it is somewhat kitschy. A good way would be to start with an exhibition and throw open the nostalgia collection to people who like some glitter in their homes and offices.

Junk art

The city has a fine tradition of recycling waste into art with Nek Chand having shown the way with the Rock Garden. Many others followed the trend in smaller proportions of course. Children of Dutt Vishesh School in Sector 26 under the supervision of the Chairperson, the 80-year-young Mrs. Sharda Dutt, made some interesting junk art. So old pots were put together to make a saucy ‘paniharin’. Old tyres were put together with two basins at each end, a painted face and antennae to make a delightful caterpillar that children could even sit on. Mrs Dutt says, “It is wonderful to watch how children learn ways of seeing and identify the images that they see in the waste.” Of course, the kids were all given the title of being ‘junkies’ and they quite liked it.

Pheasant lore

All that one would wish to know about pheasants is now available courtesy the Chandigarh-based Environment Society of India’s charts. The charts were distributed among activists of eco-clubs in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The clubs were set up under an awareness programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Pheasants are shy and charming birds known for their brilliant plumage. They belong to order Galliformes and family phasinidae. The Galliformes are known as game birds. Fifty-one species are found in the world. All species, except the Congo Peafowl, are from Asia. About one-third of the pheasants are found in India. The male blue peafowl (peacock), India’s national bird, the red jungle fowl and the Himalayan monal are pheasants. The red jungle fowl, with a rich brown, orange and metallic greenish black plumage, and the peacock can be spotted in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in the early morning hours. Spread over 2,600 hectare, the sanctuary is located on the foothills of the Shivaliks. The Himalayan monal is the state bird of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. It is also the national bird of Nepal.

Old gold

At a seminar held last week by the Senior Citizens’ Association, the morning seemed to belong to their 19 year-old guest speaker Radhika Singh. A student of Economics at GCG-11, this petite, young girl moved the audience with her poem, “A Journey Called Life.” Written by her, just a day before the seminar, the poem reflects deeply on her own influences with her grandparents, with whom she has lived, “all her life.” For her, older people hold great meaning. “We need elders to guide us, to give us a strong foundation of where to take a stand and where not to in a world that is full of compromises.” With every face glistening with tears in the auditorium that day, is making a difference with her caring. “Old people need to be felt wanted. In fact I am all for orphanages and old age homes running together because in this way love and caring hold more meaning.”

Punjabi Idol

After the grand success of the Indian Idol, it is now time for the Punjabi Idol on DD Jalandhar. Indoscreen Films and TV Productions have planned the first round of auditions at Mehga Resorts on Ferozepur Road from on September 24 and 25. The next round will be held at Hot Millions II in the city on October 1 and 2. The audience will decide the winners who will get a lot of goodies and the top winner will get a chance to release an album. This talent hunt includes not just music but dance, mime, jugglery and what have you!

Contributed by: Gayatri Rajwade, Vishal Gulati and Nirupama Dutt



HCS officer accused of rape bid
UT Administrator to meet ‘victim’ today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
A resident of Sector 51 in her complaint to the UT Administrator has levelled allegations of a rape attempt against an HCS Officer. The Administrator has asked the woman to meet him tomorrow.

The woman, along with representatives of the Lawyers for Human Rights International, handed over the complaint to the Administrator, who had come to Sector 47 to attend a function.

In her complaint, she alleged that Mr Sushil Sarwan, Joint Director of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism, Haryana, had come to her house on September 8 and tried to rape her. In a bid to save herself, she locked herself in a room and informed the police about the incident, after which the accused went away in his official vehicle.

A daily diary report has been registered in the Sector 34 police station in this regard.

The woman said Mr Sarwan was a friend of her brother-in-law and came to her house two days before the incident to collect some keys belonging to her brother-in-law. On September 8 he came again on the pretext of collecting a transfer certificate and when she allowed him inside, he tried to rape her.

The woman also accused the police of acting in a biased manner. She reportedly met the UT SSP, who marked an inquiry to the woman and child support unit of the Chandigarh police.

Sources in the police said they had called Mr Sarwan to join the proceedings but he had failed to do so.

Meanwhile, the Sector 34 police station has sent its report about the matter to the SSP for further action.

On the other hand, the mother of Mr Sarwan while denying the allegation, said her son had been implicated in a false case. She could not, however, point the reasons behind her son being linked to the case.

Mr Sarwan maintained that he had never met the woman.

He pointed out the inconsistency in her statement by saying that in one complaint she had said the incident happened on September 8 while in another she had mentioned a different date.



Residents complain to Governor about road
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, was flooded with complaints regarding the pitiable condition of the road diving Sectors 46 and 47 when he came to inaugurate the new 66 KV power sub-station in Sector 47 here today.

More than six resident welfare associations handed him representations seeking a quick redressal to their problem of deplorable condition of the roadstretch diving Sectors 31 and 32 and following it up the on same length ahead in Sectors 46 and 47. Interestingly, even the cavalcade of the UT Administrator made its entry to the site of inauguration using a wrong side of the road.

General Rodrigues assured the gathering that the matter would be sorted out soon. Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, talking to the Tribune later, said “We have taken cognizance of the public inconvenience and the road stretch will be recarpeted in the near future.”

The Senior Citizens Forum, Sector 47, in a representation, said that there were no proper traffic lights and roundabout on the stretch under question. There had been over half a dozen deaths on this stretch of the road during the past one year.

The Army Welfare Housing Co-operative and Maintenance Society said that “The road stretch from Dakshin Marg to Vikas Marg is in a deplorable condition. Heavy traffic passes through this stretch of the road and the load- bearing capacity of the soil is very poor. “the Chandigarh Housing Board and the UT Administration have been passing the buck about maintenance to each other”, the representation said.

Mr Sandhu said that the responsibility of maintaining the sector diving road was with the Administration and the issues would be soon resolved.

The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 46, said, “The dividing road between Sectors 46 and 47 is in a worst possible condition in Chandigarh. It is because of confusion between the officials of the Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board. We are made to shuffle between the officers of these two different wings”.

The Sector 47-C HIG (L) Flats Residents Welfare Association said that the roadstretch under question was full of potholes. Accidents were common here and the road required an immediate attention of the Administration. The Welfare Association, Sector 47-D called the roundabout of Sectors 46-47-48-49 as a ‘killer chowk’ referring to a big number of accidents here.

A senior citizen said the entire matter would have been resolved within a couple of days in case the Governor travelled on the road stretch under question.



3BRD modifies six helicopters for UN operations
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Indian Air Force will deploy six Mi-17 helicopters in Sudan as part of the United Nations (UN) mission in the African country. The helicopters have been modified for the mission at No.3 Base Repair Depot, here and are expected to move out shortly. Meanwhile, the United Nations has extended the IAF’s ongoing deployment in Congo, by a year.

The decision to deploy the IAF under the UN mandate in Sudan comes on the heels of the recent decision to send an Army brigade group comprising two infantry battalions and two mechanised columns to Sudan.

The contribution to the UN mission assumes significance because the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is operating an oilfield in southern Sudan and also has stakes in two exploration blocks there. Bharat Electronics Limited also has the Sudanese Army as its client, having recently sold it 10 battlefield surveillance radars generating a revenue of $ 15 million.

This would be the IAF’s third UN mission in recent years. Currently, three contingents are deployed in Congo, with one looking after airfield operations and the other two operating Mi-17 utility choppers and Mi-35 gunships.

The IAF is laying more stress on participating in UN missions because the realistic warlike situations under which the men operate provide a fantastic training ground. Also the IAF can project itself in the international arena.

IAF sources said the modification work on the Mi-17s for the Sudan mission was finished several weeks ago and they had been lying in a special hangar awaiting shipment. The IAF contingent for Sudan would consist of about 150 personnel, including aircrew, technicians and ground support staff along with logistics, administration and medical personnel.

The modifications done to the Mi-17s at 3 BRD include additional armour-plating, retrofitting an electronic warfare suite and defensive measures against radar homing and heat seeking missiles, and upgradation and standardisation of communication equipment. They have also been painted white and carry UN markings.

The choppers have also been thoroughly serviced. Under UN specifications, all serviceable components and sub-systems should have at least 500 flying hours of life without having to be serviced or replaced.

The choppers would be inspected by UN teams before being deployed. All Mi-8/17 helicopters deployed by the IAF on UN missions earlier were suitably modified by 
3 BRD.



House sparrow on verge of extinction
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: Cities of Punjab and Haryana are no longer a habitat of a house sparrow. Its chirping is fading from the vicinity of human habitation.

A small plump brownish bird, which is a widely distributed species in most parts of Europe and Asia, it is slowly disappearing from urban areas. Flocks of the sparrow, which were a common sight till a few years ago, are now rarely seen.

Ornithologists attribute a number of reasons to this phenomenon. These include lack of nesting sites, use of pesticides and non-availability of food. Even in the UK the bird has undergone a drastic decline.

Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh (retd), a Chandigarh-based bird watcher, says since the sparrow is closely associated with man, it is the man who is responsible for its decline. He observes that the decline is due to lack of holes for nesting in modern houses and cutting of hedges from gardens.

Earlier houses had a number of crevices and holes. This enabled the bird to make nests. These days houses have little space for making nests.

Use of heavy doses of pesticides in kitchen gardens and fields results in the decline of invertebrate fauna. Small insects play a very important role in the survival of newborn sparrows. It is believed that with the decline in insect numbers the survival rate of the newborns has come down.

Mr Suresh C. Sharma, a member of the Delhi Bird Club, blames the use of chemically treated seeds by farmers for its decline. A sparrow feeds mainly on seeds.

Similarly, the treated grains available in the market are also a slow poison for the bird.

He says it is almost extinct in Bangalore. In Himachal Pradesh and the rural areas of Haryana, a good number of sparrows can be spotted.

“We lace their food with liberal doses of pesticides,” says Mr S.K. Sharma, president, Environment Society of India, Chandigarh. The pesticides are used for preserving the grains.

Reduced spillage of grains, improved storage, decline in the practice of feeding sparrows, increased predation by owls and cats and competition for food by other species, including pigeons, are threatening the existence of sparrows.



Governor opens substation, e-sampark centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab, inaugurated the 66/11 KV power substation at Sector 47 here today. General Rodrigues also inaugurated an one-Sampark Centre.

Completed at a cost of Rs 7.21 crore, the new grid sub-station will not only improve the power supply to southern sectors, including Sectors 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 but will also form part of the 66 KV transmission ring around the city as a backup power supply arrangement.

After the inauguration General Rodrigues went around the control room and asked the officers to improve the efficiency of the distribution network and cut down transmission losses. He emphasised that environment-friendly sources of energy should be explored and exploited fully for meeting power needs.

He also asked the Engineering Department to start the process of arranging more power from Himachal Pradesh and other surplus states as a long-term measure for meeting future needs.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary, Finance and Engineering, and Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, while briefing the Administrator stated that Chandigarh had an assured allocation of 228 MW and within two years the city would achieve 100 per cent efficiency.

General Rodrigues also inaugurated the e-Sampark Centre in Sector 47 which will provide public utility services including payment of taxes, issue of bus passes, issue of senior citizen card, issue of disability card, payment of electricity bill, issue of births and death certificate, payment of water and sewerage bills, space booking, tenant registration, domestic servants registration and sticker or postal challan.

He announced that old age pensions would be disbursed from e-sampark centres. He asked the officers to evolve an effective mechanism with a monitoring system in this regard.



Sanitation supervisor untraceable
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 19
Even as the protest by municipal council employees continued here today, the civic body has failed to trace the sanitation supervisor who had made a complaint to the council in connection with poor sanitation work.

According to sources, a peon of the council was sent to the house of Mr Gurdev Singh, who worked as a sanitation supervisor with a private sanitation contractor, Ms Anita Sharma, to hand him over a letter on September 15. In the letter, it was stated that the complaint made by him (Gurdev Singh) against the sanitation inspector of the council and others should be given in the form of an affidavit. When the peon reached the house to hand over the letter, he was told by the occupant of the house that no one by the name of Gurdev Singh lived there.

Mr Gurdev Singh had alleged in a complaint to the Executive Officer that sanitation work suffered in parts of the town because the contractor had employed inadequate number of safai karamcharis. He said in the complaint that the contractor was allegedly paying bribe to a sanitary inspector and other employees of the civic body.

The issue was raised by councillor Manjit Singh Sethi with the sanitary inspector. It was alleged by the council employees that Mr Sethi had talked rudely to the inspector. Since then the employees have been protesting against the behaviour of Mr Sethi.

Ms Anita Sharma, who runs an agency by the name of Ara Housekeeping Services and was looking after sanitation work of zonal I and II of the town, said no one by the name of Gurdev Singh worked with her as a sanitation supervisor. Instead, Mr Baldev Singh Gill, a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh, worked with her agency for a little over two months and had to be removed because the safai karamcharis had complained that he was allegedly indulging in corruption.

Mr Avtar Singh Kalsia, general secretary of the joint action committee of the council, said the committee would be presenting a memorandum to the SDM tomorrow, apart from continuing the protest.

Mr Sethi, however, said he had not misbehaved with anyone but had only raised an issue, allegedly relating the corruption. The employees had given a twist to the whole matter to distract the attention of the authorities concerned from the corruption that was going on in the civic body.



New parking lot for trucks to have all facilities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The local Municipal Corporation has evolved a plan for the construction of a parking lot for trucks in 2.36 lakh sqft area with a parking capacity of 250 vehicles near the transport area.

According to a spokesman for the corporation, the parking lot will be surrounded by a boundary wall and fencing to separate it from the adjoining areas. It will be manned by a private agency. The move will help in checking the theft of articles and material from the trucks parked in the parking area.

The existing parking area for trucks in the transport area, Sector-26, is insufficient and is also in a poor condition. The Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Chandigarh, Gen S. F. Rodrigues (retd), along with senior officers of the Administration and the corporation had visited the area earlier this month and directed the MC to construct the parking lot equipped with all basic amenities in the transport area.

Besides the parking of trucks, other basic facilities like a labour hostel, dormitory accommodation for 60 persons on nominal charges for truck drivers, ultra modern toilet blocks for 20 persons at a time, a medical room shall be provided at the parking complex.

The Administration has also agreed to providing at least four dhaba sites in the complex.

The road in front of the parking lot is also being widened with a central median for the easy manoeuvering of the vehicles and to avoid chaos. The whole project is likely to cost Rs 2 crore. The funds for the project will be provided by the Administration.

It has also been decided to privatise the operation and maintenance of the parking lot. A parking fee of Rs 50 per truck per day will be charged from the users. The president of the transport area union has agreed to the levy of the parking charges.

The work on the Phase-I of the project, which consists of construction of the parking lot, is in progress and will be completed within next three months. The work on Phase-II, which involves the other facilities, will also be taken up shortly. 



DGP advocates yoga for Haryana cops
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
The Haryana Police is in for a complete makeover. Other than a possible change in the colour of uniforms, the cops are being asked to be more polite, taught gender sensitisation, and encouraged to practise yoga.

The Director-General of Police, Haryana, Mr Nirmal Singh, said that he was personally interacting with the cops, including the constabulary to ensure a complete image makeover for the police. The DGP was interacting with the mediapersons here after holding a “inspirational talk” with the police personnel.

The Director General of Police, Mr Nirmal Singh, today said the Panchkula Police lacked the understanding and foresight to deal with the mob of Dalits, that wreaked havoc in Panchkula on September 2. He said that the police had failed to anticipate the events in advance, even though there was sufficient proof of an upsurge here.

He said that he had toured the entire state with an aim to tell his force that their basic duty is to safeguard the interest of the public. “I have instructed them to be polite and ensure that the public does not eye the police and the police stations with fear, but they should feel free to walk in as in any other government building,” he said.

He admitted that the stress levels in the police force was high. “We are working to give a weekly off to cops. The Superintendent of Police in each district has been advised to try and include yoga lessons and games in the Police Lines as stress busting exercises,” he said.

The DGP said that it was proposed to change the colour of the uniforms of the police. “The idea is to change the “khakhi” mindset. Goa and Sikkim have already changed the colour of uniforms for police. Himachal Pradesh, too, is planning to change the uniform. We have asked for a new set to be introduced in Himachal, and the proposal is being considered. It is an expensive preposition,” he said.

Talking about the Gurgaon incident, he said that the video clippings of the incident had been examined by the police, and some cops who had acted beyond their brief had been identified and sent to the police lines.



CPM opposes Assembly for Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Punjab unit of the CPM has taken a strong exception to statement of BJP leader and chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Home Ministry on the constitution of a separate assembly for Chandigarh.

The secretary of the Punjab unit, Mr Balwant Singh, termed Ms Swaraj’s statement as “full of mischief and aimed at communal divide among the Punjabi people.” He reiterated party’s stand that Chandigarh belonged to Punjab.

Urging the Congress-led UPA government to immediately transfer Chandigarh to Punjab, Mr Balwant Singh demanded a resolution of various pending issues such as river waters sharing and territorial disputes within the framework of the Rajiv-Longowal Accord.

Coming down heavily on the Amarinder Singh government for its failure on all fronts, the CPI leader alleged that even the Shiromani Akali Dal had failed to discharge its duty as the main opposition party.



Zirakpur residents’ problems discussed
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 19
Problems of the residents of the town and the possible solutions were discussed at a meeting of the area Congress Committee here today. At least 450 workers attended 
the meeting.

The meeting was presided over by Mr Akattar Singh, president of the city unit of the Congress. Eminent Congress workers of the city, including Mr Bhagwant Baltana, Mr Jaspal Singh, Ms Devinder Kaur, Mr Rajinder Singh Dhola and Dr Ashok Maria, attended the meeting.



Remove e-meters, PSEB urged
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 19
The House Owners Welfare Society, Phase V, here has demanded that electronic power meters installed by the PSEB in the town should be removed immediately as these were found defective.

In a letter to Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman, PSEB, Mr Albel Singh Shyan, general secretary of the society, said today that electronic meters were showing consumption of power much more than what was actually being consumed because these meters ran fast. 



Cong men praise Governor’s visit to Estate Office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A number of Congressmen today appreciated the surprise visit by Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, by visiting the Estate Office as a common man.

A press release to this regard was signed by Mr Sunil Parti, Mr Chandermukhi, Mr Ravinder Singh Palli, Mr Mukesh Bassi, Mr Surinder Bhardwaj and Mr Jagat Sharma, all members of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee and Mr Kuldeep Singh, a councillor of the Municipal Corporation.

“His surprise visits to public offices will strike balance of able governance between the citizens and the Chandigarh Administration. We appeal the Administrator to ensure that various developmental works initiated by him be completed as per the schedule because delay causes increased costs for the projects”, the press release added.



PM greets Rodrigues on birthday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, today greeted Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, on his 73rd birthday.

An official press release said that “in a telephonic message, the Prime Minister of India conveyed his best wishes and exhorted him to continue with his sincere endeavours for the welfare of the people.

Dr A.R. Kidwai, Haryana Governor, and Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, also extended their birthday wishes to General Rodrigues.



Fauji Beat
Soldiering continues to be Haryana’s pride

HARYANA has the proud privilege of contributing a large percentage of its population to soldiering.

While its population is only 2 per cent of the total population of the country, its share in the armed forces is about 10 per cent of the later’s strength. Not only that, Haryana has made commendable sacrifices in all wars. It has won a large array of gallantry and other awards in each war.

During the Kartil war, 158 soldiers from Haryana sacrificed their lives, which comes to about 25 per cent of the total number of casualties in this war. Among its award winners were one Parma Vir Chakra, 21 Mahavir Chakras, 129 Vir Chakras, 11 Ashok Chakras, 17 Kirti Chakras and 181 Shaurya Chakras.

The Haryana Government has given Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin (NOKs) of each Kargil casualty. Apart from this 65 NOKs of these casualties, who applied for jobs within three years of the war, were given employment, which includes two HCS posts. The soldiers disabled in war were also given handsome grants. Those with 100 per cent disability were given Rs 6.5 lakh. The grants for the disability from 50-75 per cent and 20-50 per cent were Rs 4.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, respectively.

A mismanaged health scheme

If reports from Gurdaspur and certain other districts are anything to go by, then the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), which is the best scheme that the ex-servicemen could have ever got, is being ruined by its managers. Ex-servicemen from Gurdaspur say that initially the scheme functioned well and this attracted a large number of them to become members. But now they are not getting medicines from the polyclinic. And the reason given, they say, is that the funds are not available. Why should this happen when the government’s undertaking is that the members of this scheme will get free medicines and treatment for all the diseases, they add.

If proper planning is done by the COs of the hospitals who are delegated with adequate local purchase powers, then there should be no shortage of medicines. Another local restriction that a patient can not stay in an empanelled hospital beyond the packaged number of days is totally unjustified. For, it causes great inconvenience to the patients and their dependents who have to rush to the Senior Executive Medical Officer (SEMO) after every few days for a fresh sanction when a patient has to stay in hospital for a longer period. What needs to be understood is that the package is only a guideline and not a binding. Such local restrictions are making this scheme unattractive. They must, therefore, be removed because they are hampering the success of the scheme.

A picturesque officers’ mess

Started from a barrack in 1942, the Assam Regimental Centre Officer’s Mess, Shillong, depicts the cultural heritage, traditions and diversity of various tribes of the seven sister states of North East. The tusks and tiger skins displayed in the mess, remind one of the shikar days.

The mess is known to have played host to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and two former Presidents of India i.e. Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed and Giani Zail Singh.

Emergency admission

When in an emergency an ECHS member gets admitted to an empanelled hospital without going through the polyclinic, the polyclinic has to be informed within 48 hours of the admission. While this is generally done, the requisite form duly completed and signed by the empanelled hospital is not submitted in most cases. The fault lies with the empanelled hospitals.

Fortis Hospital, Mohali, where most of the ECHS patients are admitted, must note this point so that no inconvenience is caused to the patients or their family members in future.

— Pritam Bhullar



A clarification
Tribune News Service

DPS Rathore Chandigarh, September 19
A picture of Mr DPS Rathore, Regional Director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was inadvertently carried along with the “Passing thru” published in these columns on September 19 instead of Mr Yogesh Aggarwal, Managing Director of the State Bank Patiala.

The correct picture of Mr Aggarwal appears today. The error is regretted.



SIT nabs 4 more in rape case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 19
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab police probing into the rape of a minor girl at Nayagaon three years ago today arrested four persons on charges of criminal conspiracy.

The accused, Surinder Mohan, a property dealer from Nayagaon, Satpal Singh, resident of Kansal, Ram Singh, resident of Mullanpur Garibdass, and Rajwinder Singh of Dehlon, Ludhiana were arrested this evening for allegedly conspiring with those absconding in the case to criminally intimidate the victim’s family.

The four had earlier been arrested by SIT for allegedly harbouring the absconders and helping them with ill-gotten money. Rs 43 lakh was seized by the team from bank locker of an accused.

They had earlier been booked in a separate case registered at a Kharar police station under Sections 212, 216, 412 and 414 of the IPC.

Today, they were arrested in the main rape case under Section 120 B of the IPC.

Sources in SIT the four were harbouring Gurdhian Singh, one of the main accused in the case, and others were using a mobile phone the absconders had procured on a false address.

Interestingly, the sources said Indian Express journalist Gautam Dheer also made calls to this telephone number.

These calls were allegedly made between the first two calls made to the victim’s mobile by Dheer.

This mobile phone was seized from them when they were first arrested in early August when they were moving around in a black Scorpio car belonging to Gurdhian.

The sources added that the interrogation of these persons was being done regarding what had transpired in the conversations that took place on this mobile phone and how much money, other than the 43 lakh seized, had been accumulated to help the accused and the absconders.



2 scooterists hurt; 3 vehicles stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Two scooterists were admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) with injuries. The thefts of two scooters and a motorcycle were also reported to the Chandigarh Police in the past 24 hours. Besides this, a Mauli Jagran resident was arrested on the allegations of gambling.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh Police said Anuj Naurang of Sector 39 was rushed to the PGIMER after a car rammed into his scooter near the Shahpur chowk on Sunday. A case of endangering human life due to rash and negligent driving and other offences has been registered under Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The spokesman added that Naresh Kaur of Sector 40 here was admitted to the PGIMER after the scooter she was riding skidded near Batra cinema in Sector 37 this afternoon. The doctors on duty said her condition was stable.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Mohinder Singh Saini of Sector 20 here said his motorcycle bearing registration number CH-03-F-8334 was stolen from outside a house in Sector 41.

Mr Suresh Pal of Sector 24 in a similar complaint claimed that his scooter bearing registration number CH-03-L-2086 was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 34.

In another case Mr Deepak Rawat of Modern Housing Complex said his scooter bearing registration number CH-03-E-3524 had been stolen. In all incidents cases of theft have been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

The spokesman added that Mauli Jagran resident Shyam Kumar was taken into custody on the allegations of gambling at a public place. A case under the provisions of the Gambling Act has been registered against him.



Theft at Markfed official’s house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 19
Thieves decamped with gold and cash from the house of a Markfed official in Phase III B 2 here today.

The thieves took away about Rs 15,000 and about 10 tolas of gold after breaking an almirah.

Mr Bal Mukand Sharma, Deputy Chief Manager, said the theft probably took place between 11 am and 12 noon, soon after his helper left the house to get a scooter serviced. There was no one in the house at that time. He said the cash and jewellery was withdrawn from a bank as the family had to attend a wedding of his niece.

The theft was noticed by the wife of the helper who lived on the second floor of the building.

Mr Sharma said the thieves had broken the front door of the house to gain entry into the building. When he came to his house after the incident, he saw that the house had been ransacked.

The police was informed. A team of fingerprint experts reached the house of Mr Sharma but failed to lift any prints.


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