C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


VIP sectors also to face power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
In order to have uniformity in the power distribution system in the city, the Electricity Department has decided to impose rotational power cuts in the city. In the wake of the ongoing power crisis, the cuts were largely restricted to the southern belt of the city so far.

According to sources Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to UT Administrator, has instructed the Electricity Department to draw up an elaborate chart of the power supply in the city. Calculating distribution on base of the available supply, the department will announce the power-cut schedule for the entire city.

This development follows complaints by residents of southern sectors. The southern belt is witnessing unscheduled power cuts since the past one week, much to the discomfort of the residents.

A senior official said ‘‘top officials of the Administration were contacted and told that power cuts were unheard of in the northern sectors where VIPs of the UT Administration, Punjab and Haryana reside. The northern belt also houses all major offices. It was pointed out that public expected equality in the power distribution’’.

The Administration has conceded to the reduction in the power supply from various sources. The Nalagarh-Chandigarh supply line had collapsed yesterday. Sources said the Administration had managed a deal from a power project in Himachal Pradesh to tide over the current problem.

Residents of the city, particularly those living in the southern belt, witnessed the unscheduled power cuts even today. The same was reported even yesterday. The most affected sectors included sectors 36, 37, 40, 41, 38 (West), 48 and 49, besides others.

Ms Ranjana Sharma, a resident of Sector 36, said, ‘‘first there was a power cut of more than an hour in the morning and another one- hour cut in the evening, yesterday. I checked the newspapers, however, there was no mention of any scheduled cut. The same was repeated today afternoon also.’’

Mr Amarjit Singh, a lawyer, said ‘‘it looks like the summers are going to be tough this year. The Administration has already sent at least a couple of press notes stating the situation will be difficult this year.’’

The Chandigarh Administration in a press note issued earlier this week had asked the general public to curtail the consumption of power in order to help overcome the ongoing power crisis without having to impose power cuts in the city.

It was stated that as the UT had no power generation of its own, it was entirely dependent on the Firm/ad hoc allocation (to the tune of 235 MW) from BBMB and various Central Power Projects. The allocation includes five per cent allocation from the unallocated quota.

However, at present, only 88 to 145 MW of power is available against the present peak demand of 186 MW. The present reduction in allocation is due to the stoppage of eastern inflow of power and also reduced allocation out of the unallocated quota by the Ministry of Power.

The Chandigarh Administration has managed to arrange 50 MW of power through PTC at Rs 4.85 per unit for the period from July to September and 20-30 MW of power through NTPC at Rs 7.25 per unit for the period from April 10 onwards. The rest shortfall in availability is being managed by overdrawing power at exorbitant rates from the Northern Grid.



Sonic booms trigger panic calls
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 20
Two consecutive explosion-like sounds, possibly from a flying jet breaking the sound barrier, triggered anxious calls from city residents to the Chandigarh Police control room and newspaper offices. Chandigarh Police too remained bamboozled throughout the day as it could not pinpoint the exact spot from where the noise had originated.

However, the police later clarified ‘‘it was possibly sound from a flying jet’’. ‘‘People have been making calls to us to inquire about the source of the noise that was heard in Manimajra and Sector 17 at around 10. 20 am, but despite our assurance that all was well, not many believed us’’, said a police officer.

Mr Yogesh Tiwari, a resident of Sector 18, says that he along with his family rushed out of his home on hearing the noise and found that most of his neighbours had also come out of their houses. Another resident of same sector added that the noise remanded him of an explosion that took place in a Mohali-based factory a couple of years ago.

Confirming that the sound had been emitted by fighter jets, sources at the Air Force Station said, ‘‘It is a usual practice. Whenever a fighter plane breaks the sound barrier it produces a thud like noise, called sonic boom’’.

Adding to this, sources said, it was a part of routine exercise. However, it was after a long time that such sonic booms were heard in Chandigarh as the IAF fighter squadron has been shifted from the city.



Beware! spam calls may soar your phone bills
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
If you thought that spam was only restricted to your PC or notebook, think again. Spam on the cellphone —generated both by telemarketers and cellphone operators — is getting you even while you are watching a movie, letting your hair down at a party or a holiday, or even during your important business conference.

And imagine getting one of these annoying calls from a telemarketer when you are in the midst of an important business conference, say in Mumbai or Bangalore, and then being billed for answering the call on roaming! sounds absurd? It happens!

Ask Mr Anil Gupta, a city-based businessman. He was in Mumbai for two days, last month. "In two days, I received at least six calls from marketers, offering me services like a credit card, a house loan, and even a membership of some multi-level marketing company. All through the journey to Mumbai by train, numerous messages from cell phone operators kept flashing, as I moved into respective operator’s telecom circle. Though the sms were free, but nevertheless it was spam. By the end of my trip, I must have spent over Rs 200 on taking these telemarketing calls," he rued.

"Inspite of the ban imposed by the Supreme Court on invasion of privacy and spam by telemarketers, most banks, credit card companies continue with this "aggressive marketing", and in one of the most cost-effective ways," said Mr Tarunbimbrahw Singh, a businessman. Many cellphone operators have also added cellphone numbers which advertise their new services, and beep at all odd hours. Interestingly, subscribers who call back on these numbers, hear the voice at the other end say that the "number does not exist".

Though the cell phone operators in the region deny it, the general feeling among residents is that the list of cell phone subscribers is sold out to telemarketers by low-end employees. Cell phone companies say they are determined to nip cell-spam in the bud, because it clogs their network system, besides putting their integrity to test.

Senior official in Spice Telecom, on condition of anonymity, said though the customer data was not let out by the company, it was taken from other sources where customers give their cell phone numbers. "The subscriber also has the option to deactivate all our promotional calls by logging onto the Spice website, and choosing the option of "Do not disturb".

Mr Randhir Verma, President of Chandigarh Telecom Subscribers Association, and member of core group of consumers elected by TRAI, said cell phone spam began about four years ago, and was continuing unabated, because there is no strict implementing authority.



Vivek High principal resigns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Ms P. K. Singh, principal of Vivek High School, Sector 38 here, resigned today. The resignation was announced by Ms Singh herself in the morning assembly. Notices regarding her resignation were also put up in the school.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr H.S. Mamik, chairman of the school trust, informed that Ms Singh had put in her resignation papers in February. He added that efforts were made to convince her not to quit but due to personal reasons, she decided to leave. “After 22 years with school, she has resigned as principal but will continue to stay connected with the school,” said Mr Mamik. Ms Daman Duggal, vice-principal of the school, will be made the acting principal, he added.

Ms Singh could not be contacted till late evening. She is reportedly leaving for Canada in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a number of class IV workers, who were removed from the school and have been protesting in front of the school for almost a year now, expressed mixed opinion after hearing the news. While one of them said that it was because of her that they had to lose their jobs, others said that she did understand their problem but could do little to help them.

It may be recalled that very recently, there was widespread resentment among the parents over the sharp fee hike by the school and also the Estate Office had cancelled the land allotment orders of the school.



Youth hangs himself to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 20
A 21-year-old youth allegedly hanged himself to death at his Mani Majra residence late last night. The reason behind the extreme step was not known. The police quoting the victim’s family said he was depressed due to his addiction to drugs.

Sources in the Mani Majra police station said Rajiv Kumar was found dead by his brother at around 2 a.m. when he returned from Delhi. He found the door of Rajiv’s room locked from inside. In police station, Mr Dhan Raj Sharma, said no suicide note was recovered. He added that the victim’s family told the police that Rajiv was a drug addict and used to get upset due to his addiction when his family objected to his habit. His father runs a provisional shop and his brother came last night from Delhi after purchasing goods for the shop. The body was handed over to the family after post-mortem examination.



US Govt to honour Neerja Bhanot again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
The US Department of Justice has decided to confer the country's highest award for crime victims — the 2006 Special Courage Award — to Neerja Bhanot and the other flight attendants on board Pan Am Flight 73, which was hijacked at Karachi airport in 1986.

As many as 21 persons, including Chandigarh resident Neerja , who was a Senior Flight Purser with Pan Am, were killed in indiscriminate firing by five terrorists, while more than 100 were injured.

According to a release issued here, the award will be presented on April 21 in Washington DC by US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales and accepted by Neerja's brothers, Aneesh and Akhil, who have already left for the USA for this purpose.

The Special Courage Award recognises an individual or individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or who have performed a courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim.

The award honours a victim or survivor who has exhibited exceptional perseverance or determination in dealing with his or her own victimisation, or acknowledges an individual who has acted bravely to either aid a victim or prevent victimisation.

Neerja was the first woman winner of the Ashok Chakra, awarded by the Indian Government to civilians who show exemplary courage,and also posthumously awarded the Justice for Crimes Award by the US Government.



Passing thru

N.K. Gaur, secretary, All-India Bank Employees Association
N.K. Gaur, secretary, All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA)

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am in the city to launch a special project of the local unit of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation to part finance the education of slum children adopted by an NGO. In the wake of the completion of the 61st anniversary of the AIBEA, the association is collaborating with the NGOs for the uplift of the downtrodden as part of its social responsibility.

Are trade unions against liberalisation and globalisation of the Indian economy?

The trade unions are not against the globalisation of the Indian economy. However, we want that reforms should be “pro-people” and aimed at the general welfare of the common man.

How do you compare the performance of public sector banks vis-a-vis private banks?

Contrary to the general perception, the performance of public sector banks, particularly in public dealing, has improved tremendously. While the private banks are “elitist” having branches only in the urban areas, the public sector banks have wider reach and cater to all strata of society.

Is trade union movement on the decline?

No. In fact, the resistance against the “imperialist policies” is on the rise all over the world, with people opposing multi-national corporations (MNCs) tooth and nail. Moreover,there is more collaboration among the trade union organisations at the world level. — Pradeep Sharma



Administration order on demolition stayed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
The Administration in its unprecedented order has asked the police to provide force for removing an encroachment on a piece of panchayat land by one of its inspectors in Hallomajra village.

The Inspector, Mr Ishwar Singh Mann, who is currently posted as SHO, Sector 36 police station, has denied that he had encroached upon the land. “I have registries of the land,” he added.

On the complaint of the gram panchayat, the Subdivisional Magistrate (East), Ms Swati Sharma, today ordered the SHO, Sector 31, to provide police force to enable the panchayat to remove the encroachment.

“While encroaching upon the land, the police officer extended the boundary wall of his plotted area so that the number of one-room tenements could be increased. The tenements have been rented out. A drain has been covered by the Inspector while extending the area,” said the sarpanch, Mr Sukhjeet Singh.

The sarpanch said on the basis of a panchayat resolution, the notice had been served upon the Inspector on March 1, but he paid no heed to it. So the panchayat requested the SDM to pass order to provide police force.

Claiming that he had registry of 18 biswas of land in the name of his sons, he said demarcation would reveal the truth.

Meanwhile, sons of the Inspector today moved the court of Mr R.K. Singla, Civil Judge (Junior Division), against the SDM order. The court restrained the gram panchayat from demolishing the structures. A notice has been issued to the respondents for May 1.

Earlier, the Inspector had filed a civil suit in the local court but it was withdrawn. He alleged that it was the panchayat which had illegally sold off the land to a CRPF employee. However, the sarpanch denied his allegation.



Riot-affected families to get grant on April 24, 25
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 20
Even as the local administration has announced to disburse a rehabilitation grant of Rs 2 lakh to the 1984 riot -affected families , a local leader has demanded that the cheques in this connection should be handed over to the families only by the Deputy Commissioner or the SDM and not by any political leader.

In a press note issued here today the SDM , Mr Sandeep Hans , said that cheques would be handed over to the families on April 24 and 25. He said 864 cases had been provisionally approved by the state government out of which all formalities in connection with 805 cases were completed and these were ready for disbursement .

Various formalities regarding verification in connection with the remaining cases were being completed in the office of the Ropar Deputy Commissioner and these would be received shortly.

Mr Hans further said the cheques would be disbursed to 805 persons from 10.30 am onwards at the community centre in Phase XI on April 24 and 3 pm onwards at Shivalik Public School , Phase VI , on April 25.

The SDM has appealed to all beneficiaries to reach any of the two venues but must bring the red cards along with them . Persons who are unable to collect the cheques on both days can contact the SDM office later .

Ms Kashmir Kaur , president of the Danga Peerit Welfare Society, Punjab, said no political leader would be allowed to take political mileage in connection with the rehabilitation grant as it was being given by the Central Government .

She said in Ludhiana and Patiala cheques to the riot -affected persons will be distributed by the Deputy Commissioners and the SDMs of those areas.



CTU grid system irks residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Residents of the southern sectors are complaining of the change in bus routes under the new grid system introduced for the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking buses earlier this year.

"We were first inconvenienced by the change to the new grid system and now another change has followed the first, causing us greater inconvenience", Mrs Urmil Gupta, a resident of Sector 47-C, said.

Mrs Gupta said:"I work in Sector 26 and have to first walk a long distance to Sector 46 to catch the bus. Often I have to travel on a rickshaw or an autorickshaw. There are several other commuters in my category".

Mrs Sunita Verma, a resident of Sector 47, working in the ESI dispensary, Sector 19, said the earlier bus number V had been stopped which had led a great inconvenience, not just to me but to at least four more colleagues. We have requested the CTU to have a relook".

Similar request was made by Mr Harsh Kumar, a bank employee, and at least half a dozen more city residents waiting at the but stop, opposite the Grain Market. A senior official of the CTU said: "We have changed in the grid system very recently following public demands. The public inconvenience even this time will be duly looked into".



‘Gymkhana Club charging high prices’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 20
Members of the Gymkhana Club, Sector 6, have complained of poor services, high prices of food and liquor, besides inadequate parking space, absence of banquet hall and guest room.

The members also complained that the club had no elected body since it came into existence, which further made things worse.

According to the members, the club management has been charging almost double on every eatable as compared to other hotels and restaurants in the city.

In a complaint to the Chief Administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Mr Hemant Kinger, general secretary of the District Congress Committee who is also a member of the club, said the members were upset with the decision of the Excise Department for being charged 12.24 per cent excise duty since after June 16, 2005.

He also added that the club had imposed Value Added Taxes (VAT) at the rate of 20 per cent on liquor, while no VAT was being charged by the liquor vend owners in the open market. Charging high prices for liquor has also affected its sale in the club adversely, he alleged.

He also complained that the canteen was not equipped with ultra modern electronic items. The lawns were not maintained. The club also lacked spacious parking lots, banquet hall and guest rooms , he complained.

When contacted Lt Col F.D. Sharma (retd), manager of the club, denied the allegations. He claimed that the club management had been charging as per the terms and conditions fixed by the Haryana Tourism Department.



Lending helping hand to HIV infected
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Narayan Das would not have landed in Chandigarh had it not been for the indifference of doctors in Delhi. Now an active employee of the Chandigarh AIDS Control Society’s drop-in centre for infected persons in the region, he was once at a loss as a carrier of the infection himself.

He learnt of his HIV + status after contracting diarrhea while on a pilgrimage to Hardwar. Dislocated from home at Nagpur, he travelled to AIIMS, Delhi, hoping to get help. But he had to wait outside the emergency for three days while his condition worsened.

Traumatised by the neglect, Das swore to guide HIV/AIDS infected persons to sources of treatment all his life. Landing himself a job at the drop-in centre in Sector 15 run by the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (SACS), he is doing just the same - driving hapless HIV/AIDS patients to the PGI.

At the centre, he has found a home and a vocation, as he says, “There was no one to guide me in Delhi, and I suffered in silence. Now I am happy to take patients to the PGI in my rickshaw.” Das takes people to the counselling and testing centre at the PGI, the block where tests are conducted and to centres where parent to child transmission is detected. The idea is to save precious time.

Nawendu Jha, project coordinator at the centre where infected persons can come for counselling and day rest, says, “We have given Das a rickshaw so he can guide people to the different blocks of the PGI where information on tests and treatment is available. Low on energy and hope as these people are, it is criminal to make them roam around in search of help. At the centre, we ensure guidance to all our HIV + visitors. We also have counsellors in the PGI so they can guide the patients to us.”

The centre is novel in many ways. It is made up of HIV positive people who have put their derailed lives back on track and have offered to help others.

Among the counsellors are Ranbir, Pooja Thakur and another girl from Ambala, whose son has just tested negative, much to her bliss. “I lost my husband to AIDS. I am a carrier, but my son is safe. He is just 18 months old,” says Neetu who counsels other victims out of grief and trauma.

For his part, Jha is expanding the centre’s role by solving problems of infected persons. Issues he is tackling relate to the testing of infected persons and the timing of their tests.

Most HIV + people who come to the PGI are too poor to get CD4 count tests done. Jha mobilizes funds foe them. Each test costs Rs 500, though the same is free for registered patients. At another level, he is helping in advancing test dates of persons who come from far-off places or who are awaiting therapy.

Thanks to their efforts, Sonia Trikha, in charge, Chandigarh SACS has written to Head, Immunopathology Department, PGI, to conduct CD4 tests across the week. Right now they are conducted only thrice a week. She thinks all five days should be utilised.

Besides this, Trikha is also working on getting a second CD4 count testing machine at the PGI. Right now there is one that has to cater to lakhs across the region.



Drug ban sought to save vultures from extinction
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Ban diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, used widely for treating livestock, to save vultures from extinction. This is the message environmentalists, biologists and ornithologists intend to put forward at a meeting of the National Board for Wildlife to be held in New Delhi on April 28. It will be chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

To garner support on the issue, the BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) Director, Dr Asad R. Rahmani, has appealed to its members and supporters and also to partners of the Indian Bird Conservation Network to write to the Prime Minister in this regard and to seek ban on the “killer” drug.

“Please help the vultures. Your letter to the Prime Minister can make a difference between vultures’ survival and their total extinction,” writes Dr Rahmani.

From a decade ago, when the scavengers were among the most common birds, their number has drastically declined. Three of the nine species of vultures found in India, white-backed, slender-billed and long-billed Gyps vultures, are almost extinct.

BNHS studies attribute their decline to the use of diclofenac, loss of habitat, use of pesticides, competition for food among other scavengers and change in livestock management.

“In the beginning we thought that the vultures were dying due to some viral disease, but in 2003 it was found in Pakistan that the real culprit is diclofenac. This was also subsequently confirmed in India and Nepal. Since then, we have been urging the Union Government to ban this drug for veterinary use. Last year, at the meeting of the National Board for Wildlife, the Prime Minister said diclofenac would be phased out and ultimately banned within six months.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has also accepted that unless this drug is banned completely, there is no way we can save the remaining vultures.

However, the Animal Husbandry Commissioner and the Drug Controller-General are dragging their feet. During the past two years, we had numerous meetings with them, we also gave them evidence that diclofenac is the real culprit but they are unmoved...” says the letter.

Dr Vibhu Prakash, Principal Scientist, BNHS, who had documented the rapid vulture population decline in the Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan in 1999, says the affect of diclofenac is more on the white-backed, the slender-billed and the long-billed vultures.

He says almost 99 per cent of the white-backed vultures and 97 per cent of the long-billed vultures have been wiped out. Only 200 pairs of the slender-billed vultures are left throughout the world. Other vulture species are also witnessing decline.

Should we remain a mute spectator and wait for the last wild vulture to die while the Animal Husbandry Commissioner and the Drug Controller take time to act? wonders Dr Rahmani.



SSP announces measures to check crime
Our Corresponden

Mohali, April 20
Six police posts will be upgraded into police stations and four new police posts will be set up in the new district, keeping in view the hike in the population as well as the crime rate in the area .

This was stated by Mr Naunihal Singh , SSP , Mohali , while addressing mediapersons here today . He said the police posts that would be upgraded were the ones located in Phase VIII and XI in Mohali and those located at Nayagaon , Kharar city , Mullanpur and Zirakpur. New police posts would be set up at Balongi , Majat , Handesra and Mubarkpur . He said detailed proposals highlighting the financial implications and resources were sent to the authorities concerned, who approved these in principle .

He said in order to carry out adequate patrolling, 170 vehicles would be received shortly . Three to four temporary police lines would be set up at the Phase VIII and Kharar police stations . Permission had also been taken from PUDA to use two community centers for about 15 days to accommodate additional staff.

The SSP said his biggest priority was to stop the crime committed by kale kachhewale gangs and they were gearing up in this regard . It was the duty of the police to protect the life and property of the residents . Other specific issues would be dealt with later, he said

While talking about corruption in lower cadres, Mr Naunihal said the best way to reduce corruption was to make the system accountable.

There was a need to show accountability and transparency in the working and give exemplary punishment to a person found guilty.



Bank body’s gesture to slum children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Shedding its agitational image, the Punjab Bank Employees Association today did its bit for the upliftment of the downtrodden by adopting school-going slum children.

It was a special day for the slum children with the bank sponsoring their education for the current academic year. Happiness was writ large on their faces as they enjoyed every bit of attention given to them at the function organised by the Aruna Asaf Ali Memorial Trust in Sector 44 here this afternoon.

"It is part of our social responsibilty.Our association has completed 61 years and we want to share our happiness with the lesser-privileged sections by collaborating with NGOs such as this trust," said Mr N.K. Gaur, secretary of the All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA).

"The bank employees' associations has never shirked its responsibilties towards the society, particularly the lower strata," claimed Mr Davinder Singh, president of the All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation.

Mr Rajesh Sondhi, zonal secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Association, informed that as part of their social commitment they would launch special projects for the community.

Meanwhile, Mr P.H. Vaishnav, and Ms Oshima Raikhy, president and managing trustee of the trust respectively, said a number of social welfare activities had been undertaken for women and children by the trust. Special steps were being taken to rehabilitate drop-outs and neglected children.



Art of Living course to begin today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Rishi Nityapragya, a senior Art of Living instructor, will conduct a Divya Samaj Nirman (DSN) course in the city from April 21 to 23.

Introducing the course at a press conference yesterday, he said DSN was a three-day workshop which covered sadhna, seva and satsang. This course aimed at making individuals more responsible through meditation and service orientation.

It is the second stage of spiritual growth for those people who have already undergone the Art of Living basic course. This course helps people to evolve beyond themselves. Once that happens, the spirit of contributing to society sets in and they begin feeling more responsible for everything around them.

Rishi Nityapragya is also a renowned singer and appears regularly on Sanskara TV channel. He has transformed the concept of satsang to make it more appealing to the present generation. During his visit, he'll conduct a maha satsang at Kalagram on Sunday evening.

As for the Art of Living Foundation, it offers various courses for self development and spiritual enhancement. The courses developed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar offer simple but effective techniques, which eliminate toxins and stresses that accumulate in our systems over time.

Besides this, the Art of Living undertakes a large number of community service projects across the world to help the poor and downtrodden. It has adopted 25,000 villages across the country where several projects are being implemented. In addition to this, the foundation has adopted orphan children and destitute women in various states.



Panchhi to head Beopar Mandal task force
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi will be heading the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) Task Force and the Municipal Corporation Coordination Committee.

Mr Panchhi has been appointed by the CBM president, Mr Subhash Sethi, to head the committee aimed at helping traders in performing their day-to-day activities.

Meanwhile, the following have been appointed the chairmen of different committees:

Mr Sat Pal Garg--Sports and Cultural Affairs Committee; Mr Arun Talwar--Income Tax Committee; Mr LC Arora--Building Byelaws Committee; Mr Gian Chand Gupta--Officer Coordination Committee; Mr Gurdial Bhasin--Membership Screening Committee; Mr Rajinder Manocha--Constitution Amendment Committee; Mr Sukh Pal Singh--Disciplinary Action Committee; Mr Sat Prakash Aggarwal--Sales Tax Committee; Mr Ravi Ahuja--Commercial Tenant Welfare Committee; Mr Ram Karan Gupta--Health and Consumer Affairs Committee; Mr Ashwani Khanna--Weight and Measurement Committee; Mr Rattan Lal Goyal--Police Coordination Committee; Mr Ravi Prakash Kansal--Food Supply and Karyana Trade Committee; Mr Arun Kumar--Shop and Labour Act Committee.



1st phase of theme park to be completed in September

Chandigarh, April 20
The first phase of the theme park at Chamkaur Sahib to commemorate the 300 years of martyrdom of elder Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib will be completed by September-end this year.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Tourism, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister, Punjab stated this here yesterday while presiding over a meeting to coordinate different departments concerned with the conceptualisation and construction of the theme park.

Mr Kang said a world-class memorial to preserve the saga of events linked with the martyrdom of elder Sahibzadas would be built at an approximate cost of Rs 13 crore. He added that almost 9 acres. TNS



DD Chandigarh launches new programmes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Doordarshan Chandigarh has launched a series of new programmes keeping in view the cultural and aesthetic requirements of the people of region. For the first time, daily news-based programme titled Aaj Kal has been launched which covers political, cultural and socio-economic activities of Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab.

A separate time slot has been earmarked for weekly cultural round-up for cultural events in the Union Territory. The Doordarshan Kendra head, Mr M. Ashraf Sahil, Deputy Director General, Doordarshan Chandigarh, said with the support of leading writers, intellectuals and media personalities, problems of common people would be brought into sharp focus.

The Doordarshan Kendra will encourage students of journalism & mass communication from Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjabi University, Patiala, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, to show their talent.



City to observe Earth Day

Chandigarh, April 20
Come April 22, and the city beautiful will host a number of activities to observe Earth Day. While the green cover of Chandigarh has increased from 26 per cent to 35.7 per cent, the UT Administration is committed to increase it further and make the city cleaner and greener.

To this end, the Department of Environment, UT Administration, has not only roped in schools, colleges and other educational institutions, but also the resident welfare associations (RWAs), market associations and rural development departments. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Ishwar Singh, Director, Department of Environment, UT, informed that various activities related to upgradation of environment and related issues were being organised. TNS



4th application for conversion of plot received
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
The Chandigarh Administration yesterday received fourth application for the conversion of area in the Industrial Area here today. Mr Vivek Ahuja and Mr Manmohan Singh Chadha, partners, deposited Rs 2.01 crore in the first installment.

The conversion fee has been submitted for plot number 28, measuring 5600 square yards in the Industrial Area, Phase I. The venue will be developed as a retail and commercial site.



3 held with stolen items
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 20
The local police today arrested three youths, including a minor, and claimed to have recovered a stolen motor cycle, a fan and some garments from their possession.

Giving details, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said a police party from Sector 52 nabbed the three accused when they were triple riding on a stolen motor cycle.

When the police signalled them to stop they tried to flee, but were nabbed later. The verification of documents of the motor cycle revealed that the accused had put a fake number plate on it. The motor cycle was reportedly stolen from Sector 43 on Wednesday.

The SHO said the accused had been identified as Ashu from Rae Bareli and Raju from Uttar Pradesh. The minor boy was sent to the juvenile home. The police also recovered a fan and some garments from their possession, which the accused had reportedly stolen from a shop in Mohali. They would be produced before a local court tomorrow.



Chain snatcher nabbed by public
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 20
A chain snatcher was caught red- handed in Sector 23. Elsewhere, a car and two motor cycles were stolen. The local police also arrested a resident of Bapu Dham Colony and recovered 20 gm of smack from him.

Twenty-four-year-old, Mohammad Hanif, was nabbed by the public this morning in Sector 23 when he tried to flee after snatching a chain from a woman. The victim raised an alarm, following which people gave a chase. He was later handed over to the police. A case has been registered against him on a complaint filed by Shamsher Singh, the victim's son.

Vehicles stolen

Pardeep Rattan of Sector 37 alleged his Tata Indica car (CH-01-Z-9056) was stolen from near Rattan taxi stand in Sector 37 on Tuesday night.

In another incident, Umesh Vashishat of Sector 15, reported to the police that his Enfield Bullet motor cycle (PB-11-BA-0101) was stolen from Sector 33 on Monday night.

Deepak Sharma of Tagore Garden Ambala lodged a complaint with the police claming that his Yamaha motor cycle (PB-08-L-1007) was stolen from Sector 43 on Wednesday.

Three separate cases of theft were registered in various police stations in the city.

Smack seized

The Special Investigation Cell of the Chandigarh police arrested Monu Kumar of Phase I, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, on Wednesday on charges of carrying 20 gm of smack. A case under section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered against him. 



Beating case: maid for action against guilty

Mohali, April 20
A maid , who had allegedly been beaten and assaulted by her employer living in Sector 70 here, has demanded action against the guilty .

The maid, who had earlier complained to the Women Helpline, today met the SSP in Phase IV. She alleged that the police had so far failed to take any action on her complaint made on April 13. She had complained that her employer was paying her less and when she asked her salary to be increased she was allegedly beaten up. OC



Body found

Panchkula, April 20
The mutilated body of an unidentified man was found in thickets from the Mansa Devi area this afternoon.

According to the police, the man seemed to be 50 years of age and a migrant. After taking the body into its possession, the police today got a postmortem conducted at General Hospital, Sector 6. The body has been kept in the mortuary for identification. TNS



Transactions of PNB hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Transactions in various branches of Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali were hit yesterday because of a snag in the computer system of the bank. The connectivity speed was very low, which led to slowing down of the transaction process. Customers had to face a lot of problems in most of the branches because of this. Mr Surinder Malhotra, Head of the IT division of the bank, said the connectivity speed was slow across all bank branches in the country. “Our engineers are on the job, trying to rectify the problem,” he assured.


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