C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


P’kula MC chief poll put off 
The deputy commissioner told the councillors that the SDM had postponed the election as they had not reached the venue on time
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
While the Congress has failed to reach a consensus on its candidate for the post of Panchkula MC president, the confusion between the INLD and the BJP over the quorum led to the postponing of the election for the post here today.

The election was scheduled to be held at 3 pm in the SDM’s office. The SDO-cum-election officer, Virender Dahiya, waited for about half hour before decided to put off the election indefinitely.

Nine councillors of the INLD and eight from the BJP reached the mini secretariat before the scheduled time for the election, but preferred to remain outside. They sent their representatives to the SDM to clear their doubts over the number of councillors required to complete the quorum.

It was after half hour, when representatives of both parties, V.K. Sood and V.K. Kapoor, decided to ask the SDM to hold the election, but the SDM had left office by then.

The councillors then approached the deputy commissioner, Rajinder Kataria, who told them that the SDM had postponed the election as no councillor had reached the venue on time.

The sequence of events gave Congress time to decide on its candidate. Its councillors had not even reached the venue as the Haryana deputy CM, Chander Mohan, and union minister of state for poverty alleviation Kumari Selja remained busy holding discussions with them to reach a decision on the candidate.

Late in the evening sources said it was decided that Ravinder Rawal (Ward No. 14) and Jalmegha Dahiya (Ward No. 11) should be fielded for the posts of president and vice-president, but they may not be keen on the post of vice-president.

Meanwhile, the district administration had deputed over 200 police personnel at the mini secretariat to prevent any untoward incident during the election.

While entry to the mini secretariat was restricted after lunch hours, nakas had been set up on roads leading to the building. Vehicles of councillors were checked before allowing them to enter the parking of the secretariat. 



Negligence costs GMCH Rs 10 lakh 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the GMCH-32 to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to complainants from Ambala.

Holding the hospital authorities guilty of callous attitude that led to the death of 24-year-old Harsh Sudan, the forum also asked the institute to refund Rs 3.5 lakh incurred as medical expenses, along with Rs 2,500 as cost of litigation.

M.P. Sharma, father of the deceased, said his son met with an accident near Dera Bassi in 2004. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital at Dera Bassi, from where he was referred to the GMCH-32. He was given traction by Dr Raj Bahadur and his team as his left femur was fractured.

His parents said Harsh complained of chest pain the next day, but the doctors ignored it.

Later, the doctors received medical reports stating that he had developed fat embolism, but he was still kept on traction.

On April 19, his condition worsened and the doctors informed them that there was no spare ventilator in the hospital. Thereafter, the victim was shifted to another hospital where he died on April 25.

The GMCH, however, denied that fat embolism developed due to the negligence of its doctors. The hospital further clarified that ICU beds were occupied on that day and the facility of a ventilator could not be extended to the patient.

The forum observed that out of the 19 ventilators in the hospital, 15 were non-functional. There was no report by any doctor on when a report was made regarding the defective ventilators. 



Schools default on quota admissions
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Efforts of the Chandigarh administration to facilitate children belonging to the economically weaker sections would come to nought unless a concrete policy is framed by the administration regarding the proper implementation of the scheme.

The administration had announced that parents whose income was below Rs 1 lakh per annum could get their wards admitted to good private schools under the 15 per cent reservation quota scheme with full fee concession.

However, several private schools run by “well-connected” managements are ignoring the quota.

Manvir, a teacher, having an annual income of Rs 80,000 was happy to know about the policy. She went for admission at a reputed school for her son, but was denied admission. “Straightaway I was denied admission for my son who is a topper in Science Olympiad. I was not even allowed to meet the principal or vice-principal of the school and I returned from the reception itself,” she said.

Dinesh Kumar, a trader, was treated so badly that the application form of his son was thrown at his face when he went to request for a seat under the quota scheme at a school.

The school authorities have a justification for their “conduct”. They claim that since they run “special parallel” schools for underprivileged children and they should not be questioned on quota implementation.

“We are already running a school named “Unchaai” for underprivileged children where we give free books, uniform etc., to students and also a special cell for slow learners,” a vice-principal of a school in Sector 27, said.

Ishwari Devi, who earns Rs 1,500 a month, however, belies these claims. She had a bad experience when she went to get her special child admitted to the cell run by the school.

“I have been trying hard to get my daughter, who is a slow learner, admitted under the quota scheme, but in vain,” she said.

The DPI (S), S.K. Setia, said, “The school authorities are flouting guidelines under Clause 18 issued by the department. The administration is proposing strict measures to deal with such schools.” 

Not Enough

As per a survey by the education department, uptil March 2008, against the 15 per cent quota for poor children, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan-27 has admitted just 4.36 per cent students, Carmel Convent (2.8 pc), Sharda Sarv Hitkari School (1.7 pc), Ashiana-46 (9.4 pc), Divya Public School (3 pc), St Soldier School-28 (0.5 pc), St Joseph’s School-44 (0.6 pc), AKSIP School-41 (5 pc), Banyan Tree School-48 (4.2 pc), Ryan School-48 (0.5 pc), Gyandeep Model High School-20 (3.8 pc), SD Public School-32 (2.6 pc), and SD Public School-19 (3.24 pc)



No old numbers for new vehicles
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Owners of old vehicle registration numbers will not be able to retain the numbers for new vehicles from now on.

The office of the deputy commissioner has stopped giving permission to vehicle owners to retain the registration numbers.

Often, people like to retain old numbers for religious or numerological reasons. The office of the DC receives quite a number of such applications.

The DC, R.K. Rao, said he had stopped entertaining such applications following instructions of the Central Government. A new vehicle registration software “Sarthi”, developed by the Central Government, does not allow the retention of old registration numbers. The officer has requested the home department to repeal his powers.

In the past, these powers were given or withdrawn by the Chandigarh administration. In July 2006, the then home secretary, Krishna Mohan, while repealing the orders (July 1996) of the DC, K.K. Khandelwal, had allowed vehicle owners to retain old numbers.

While Khandelwal had issued instructions that old numbers could not be retained, the Motor Vehicles Rules were amended in July 2006 to allow vehicle owners to retain old numbers.

The home department would now have to alter previous orders.

Sources said the Government of India had issued strict guidelines against the retention of old numbers as it created problems for police agencies to track stolen vehicles.



F&CC Meeting
Essential services take back seat
Move to purchase vehicles shot down
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Essential services, including water supply and streetlights, will continue to elude the city residents, as the finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation today rejected proposal for purchasing new vehicles pertaining to the departments concerned.

Sources told the TNS that the administration had taken a “strong” exception to the purchase of Toyota Corolla for the mayor, though it had granted permission for the same.

The administration had in letter directed the corporation not to purchase any new vehicle. Hence, the agenda of purchasing Honda City car for MC commissioner, three water supply tankers, two boom ladder vehicles for maintenance of streetlights, two Mahindra Bolero pickup truck for enforcement wing, Bolero jeeps for SDM were rejected at the meeting.

Some of the items were included in the table agenda presented before the meeting.

According to sources, there were 48,000 street lights in the city and the corporation only had two boom ladder vehicles in working condition, while two others were condemned.

Similarly, the civic body needed three more water tankers with a view to meeting the water supply demands in the summer. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of mayor Pardeep Chhabra at the MCC office in Sector 17 here and was attended by all members of the committee, including Surinder Kumar Jagota, Pallav Mukharjee, Vijay Singh Rana, Chander Mukhi Sharma.

MC commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria, secretary P.K. Sharma, joint commissioner T.P.S. Phoolka, assistant commissioner Parminderpal Singh, chief engineer S.K. Bansal and other senior officers of the corporation attended the meeting.

On the other hand, the meeting accorded approval to various important agenda items, including design, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of remote computer surveillance system for 200 tube-wells (with or without booster) and four boosters in the city. The committee approved rough cost estimate (RCE) for beautification and strengthening of parking lot on the rear of showrooms in Sector 26, RCE for providing and laying 25 mm thick SDBC on parking area in front of Gurdev Studio, Sector 17; RCE for providing and laying 25 mm thick SDBC on internal roads of Dr Ambedkar and Aman Chaman Colony, Dhanas.

It also approved estimates for water charges for water supplies to various slums and colonies through stand posts in city, as also construction, running and maintenance of public toilet block on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis near 30 bays building, Sector 17, and providing and laying 25 mm thick SDBC in front of road and parking in cremation ground, Sector 25.



Water Panel Meeting
SDO to inspect renovated toilets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The water supply and sewerage disposal committee of the Chandigarh municipal corporation today decided to get all renovated toilet blocks checked fortnightly in phases by an SDO.

Besides, the meeting approved various important agenda items to the tune of Rs 97.77 lakh.

Chander Mukhi Sharma told the TNS that he had raised the issue of maintenance of public toilets in the city and insisted on deploying an SDO to conduct inspection of the status of maintenance of toilets.

Directions had been sought for an SDO to maintain a register and give a report to the area councillor. The issue was accepted unanimously at the meeting.

Besides, regular agenda items, included rough cost estimate (RCE) for shifting and construction of new letter box type road gullies due to widening of V-6 road in Sector 8-A, B and C for Rs 10.90 lakh, Sector 15-A, B, C and D for Rs 9.97 lakh and in V-5 roads in Sector 29-A and B for Rs 3.62 lakh, Sector 39-A, B and D for Rs 7.97 lakh and in Sector 15 for Rs 5.80 lakh were approved.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Jagjit Singh Kang and attended by other members of the committee and officers of the corporation.

Agenda items like RCE for construction of toilet block in Sector 40-C for Rs 7.70 lakh; RCE for providing SW line and road gullies along road from Palsora village to Mohali barrier (Ph-I) for Rs 9.49 lakh; RCE for providing road gullies and MH chambers on existing drain in Sector 29-B for Rs. 6.82 lakh, RCE for shifting and re-construction of road gullies due to widening road from Hotel Shivalik to Hotel Taj, from Hotel Taj to SBI building and from SBI building to fire station building and strengthening of existing SWD system in Sector 17 for Rs. 5.91 lakh were also approved.

It also approved RCE for work of providing sewer line from Palsora village to Sector 56 pump for Rs 8.11 lakh, RCE for shifting and construction of new road gullies due to widening of V-6 road in Sector 19-D for Rs 3.67 lakh, RCE for construction of toilet block in Sector 17 in between Anand theatre and petrol pump as per standard drawing/design of built operate and transfer (BOT) public toilet for Rs 8.44 lakh, estimate for supplying and laying of PVC pipeline for irrigation purposes for park in Sector 22-C for Rs 2.92 lakh and RCE for construction of public toilet block in Motor Market, Mani Majra.



Market Committee Poll
Cong, BJP to battle it out for chairman’s post
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
With Congress and BJP candidates being elected directors of the market committee here today, it is going to be virtual face-off between minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal and his bete noire, senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, for the election to the post of the chairman.

In fact, the election saw general secretaries of both parties - Davinder Singh Babla (Congress) and Ramvir Bhatti (BJP) - being elected from the arthiyas and producers categories, respectively.

Another BJP leader Des Raj Gupta (arthiyas) was elected, while Digvijay Kapoor, a close confidante of former union minister Harmohan Dhawan, lost the election.

Though the elections are not held on party ticket, the victory of senior leaders of the Congress and the BJP may come as a morale booster for both parties ahead of the next Lok Sabha election, while delivering a minor setback to Dhawan and his BSP.

The election is seen as a tug-of-war among various parties ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.

With budget running into several crores of rupees, the election has a history of horse trading for the post of chairman of the committee and the parties vie with each other to grab the  coveted post.

Interestingly, the post is considered to be an influential one in city’s rural politics and wields considerable influence among rural voters.

The run-up to the election of the chairman is notorious for “Bharat darshan” excursions when directors are taken to tourist spots in a bid to woo them to their favour by various contenders for the post.

Meanwhile, the following were elected other directors of the committee: Jeet Singh, Jujhar Singh, Darshan Singh, Anand Singh (producers), Subhash Chand (palledar); and Davinder Kumar (cooperative societies).

Official sources said a notification fixing the date for the election to the post of the chairman would be issued soon.



Attendance at RLA to go biometric
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The registering and licensing (RLA) department is all set to install biometric attendance system for its staff at its office.

“The system is being introduced to ensure that nobody can tamper with the attendance record and make sure that 100 per cent attendance is recorded,” said RLA head Niharika Rai.

She added that deviations such as late arrival or early departure could be easily detected through the system.

The system involves registration and recognition of fingerprint of an employee. It will not only enable authorities to track those coming to the office late but also ensure attendance of staff on time i.e. 9 am, she added.

The common man will benefit from the system, too, as employees will be in their seats on time. People generally visited the office at 9 am but due to late arrival of some employees, they had to stand in queues till the day’s work began.

Prem Birla, a resident of Sector 22, who had faced a similar problem at the RLA office, said people would heave a sigh of relief with the introduction of the system.

Under the system, the contractual staff will have to record their attendance by placing the finger on the system.

The system matches the input with the database and displays employee’s code along with his name, including other details.

The time of a person’s arrival at the office and his departure are registered. The system can be used to prepare attendance report, leave record, employee-wise punctuality index, etc.

Unlike smart card or punch card system, there is no scope for proxy attendance in this system.

Under this system, the presence of staff during duty hours is ensured, said a senior officer of the RLA.

The attendance details can be assessed and aggregate data used for preparing reports.

“The system will be introduced within 15 days. If an employee fails to mark his presence on time, strict action will be taken against them,” Rai added.



Schools for brick-kiln workers on anvil
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
In order to uplift their living conditions as well as making them aware of their rights, the district administration has decided to start ‘bhattha pathshalas’ at 39 brick-kilns in the district.

The move will help in providing education and health facilities to the brick-kiln workers. Labourers and their children will get basic education and health facilities at their doorstep under the Satat Shiksha programme. The programme will go a long way in mitigating problems being faced by the migratory population which moves from on place to another after the season is over.

Giving details of programme, Panchkula deputy commissioner said it had been decided that the children of labourers working at the brick-kilns of the district should be provided at least basic education on their doorstep as their parents avoided sending them to schools. As the brick kilns were located far from populated areas, the parents found it difficult to ferry kids to the schools. Moreover, these families did not stay at one place for long making it impossible for the children to continue their studies when the family shifted to some other place, said Kataria.

These pathshalas, to be started under total literacy programme, would be started on their doorstep and even adult education would be provided in these schools, he informed. Being a national programme, the information about the child’s progress in the class would be sent to the authorities of the area wherever the family decided to shift after the season at the brick-kiln was over, said the deputy commissioner adding that it would help the child to continue the study no matter where the family settled. Mid-day meal in these schools would help in curbing malnutrition among these children, he added.

Similarly, these families would be provided with health facilities. Majority of the people working at brick-kilns were found to be suffering from or prone to tuberculosis, said Kartaria. To tackle this problem, they would be told about the benefits of hygiene and toilets would be provided on sites.

Tuberculosis patients would be treated under directly observed treatment short course (DOTS) and whenever the patient decided to move to a new area, the authorities concerned would be informed to avoid the any lapse in their treatment, said Kataria.

The schools would be used to create awareness about their rights as well, said the deputy commissioner. Reports of bonded labour, child labour and violation of the Minimum Wages Act were a routine from these areas. People working here would be told about their rights as well, he said.



Akali faction pulls out of BJP-led protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
A day after the BJP and the SAD announced strike on May 2 in protest against price rise, fissures appeared in the local SAD unit today with a section expressing its desire not to participate in the protest.

At a meeting attended by certain senior leaders, including former mayor Harjinder Kaur, former SGPC member Amrinder Singh, councillor Gurnam Singh, N.S. Minhas, H.S. Sahni and Gurdeep Singh, the leaders decided that “it was not possible to participate in the May-2 bandh sponsored by the BJP.

The party would show its displeasure on the issue of price rise at some other time, a press note said here today.



IT collection up by 39 pc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Tax collection in the North-West region, consisting of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh, exceeded budget targets of Rs 9,699 crore by Rs 45 crore in 2007-08 showing a 39 per cent growth over last year.

This year, a number of surveys were carried out and an amount of Rs 400 crore was surrendered, exceeding the last year’s amount by 18 per cent.

The budget collection, including TDS in North-West region, stood at Rs 9743.96 crore in 2007-08, as compared to Rs 7007.74 in 2006-07.

Even the number of assesses increased in 2007-08 to 32,10,280 as compared to 29,99,284 in 2006-07.

The amount surrendered in surveys was Rs 400.39 crore this year as compared to Rs 339.23 crore  last year.

The number of returns received stood at 29,01,830  in 2007-08, as compared to 28,59,829 in 2006-07,  said income tax chief commissioner, North-West region, Chandigarh.



Alert cops save drowning man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The alertness of cops deployed at Sukhna Lake saved the life of Ashwani Jindal, a resident of Sector 28, at Sukhna Lake here this evening.

Ashwani, allegedly under the influence of liquor, was spotted inside the lake by constables Balram and Hari Om. The duo immediately jumped into the lake and bailed out Ashwani.

According to Ashwani, he was standing at the corner of the lake when suddenly his foot slipped. However, sources said Ashwani made an attempt to commit suicide.



Poster contest on ills of tobacco
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Sahayta Cancer Sahyog is organising a poster-making competition depicting the harmful effects of tobacco which may lead to cancer.

The posters should reach the Sahayta Cancer Kendra, Sector 15-B, by noon on May 10. There is no entry fee. Winners will be given prizes on May 31 (World No Tobacco Day) at the kendra.



Start routes from P’kula to ISBT-43

All buses for Punjab and J&K start from the ISBT-43, Chandigarh, and terminate there. As there is no regular bus service between Panchkula and ISBT-43, Panchkula residents are feeling handicapped to reach the ISBT and come back from there. Those going by bus have to change it at the ISBT-17. This is not only cumbersome and inconvenient, particularly for ladies and senior citizens, but also results in wastage of time.

Keeping in view the difficulties of Panchkulites, the CTU and Haryana Roadways should start new local routes from Panchkula to the ISBT-43. This will not only alleviate the hardship of the residents, but will also add to the revenue of the departments concerned.

Er D.P. Piplani, Panchkula

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Dance fiesta by INIFD students
S.D. Sharma

INIFD students present a colourful dance during a function organised to mark the fifth year of the tie-up between Annamalai University and the INIFD in Sector 30, Chandigarh,
INIFD students present a colourful dance during a function organised to mark the fifth year of the tie-up between Annamalai University and the INIFD in Sector 30, Chandigarh, on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 28
The couplet “Nahin mohtaaz zevar ka jisse khoobi khuda ne di” by an Urdu poet is seemingly a veritable compliment to the persona of vivacious and versatile young beauty Partvathy Omanakuttan, the Femina Miss India World-2008. Born and raised in the natural and beautiful environs of Kerala, Parvathy had her grooming in Mumbai. Talking to The Tribune about her passion for winning the Miss World title, she said she had been nursing the dream since her very childhood. Apart from being proficient in dancing, she is an avid reader.

She was in the city to grace the annual function of the Inter National Institute of Fashion Designing (INIFD).

“The greatest thing is not winning but fighting well and I am undergoing strenous training by specialists so as to be fully equipped to face the challenge of the Miss World contest scheduled for October next in Ukraine,” says confident Parvathy adding that positive attitude and sincere efforts could guarantee success.

A graduate in English literature from Mithibahi College Mumbai, at 20 the beauty appears to be older than the years while she talks about social evils. A strong proponent of the gender equality, she laments that the woman, extolled as an angel or Devi in our epics and scriptures, is subjected to dowry deaths and infanticide by the male-dominated society. “My heart goes for sympathy as I often visit the orphanages,” she rues.

She is not averse to acting in films provided offers come from good directors for meaningful stories. Presently concentrating on the forthcoming contest, she says that working for the empowerment of women will be on her agenda.

Earlier, a colourful dance bonanza by students at the Loban Bhavan marked the five years of collaboration between the INIFD and Annamalai University. Union minister for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai, who was the chief guest, complimented the institute for their revolutionary proliferation to 180 centres in India. He offered the central government’s full support to the INIFD for starting courses in food processing. Accompanied by Dr M. Ramanathan, VC, Annamalai University, and Parvathy Omanakuttan, he launched the INIFD prospectus for 2008-09. Parvathy interacted with students and exhorted them to imbibe moral values. The annual awards were presented to the best centres in various categories. 



8 more join chain fast at PU
Manpreet to hold meeting with PUTA representatives today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Eight teachers and students of Panjab University joined the chain fast, which was started to demand the central university status for the university, on its 22nd day today.

Dr Naresh Tuli from the department of geology, Dr J.K. Goswami from the UIET, Dr Ameer Sultana and Dr Manvinder Kaur, both from the Centre for Women Studies, joined the fast. Among the students, Upneet Mangat, Amandeep Dhaliwal, Deepti Salhuria and Satinder Kaur joined the fast.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) apprised the authorities concerned that the university had not been given its due by the Government of India as it did not recognise it as an institute of national importance.

Punjab minister of cooperatives Captain Kanwaljit Singh listened to the arguments of the delegation members and promised them to talk to his other cabinet colleagues. Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal proposed to hold a detailed meeting with PUTA representatives in his office tomorrow.

PUTA also held a general body meeting to mobilise support for fighting a decisive battle on the issue. The association also welcomed the decision of the university to introduce the re-employment of teachers in order to meet the requirement of additional workload after the introduction of 27 per cent OBC quota in the university.

At the general body meeting, JAC chairman Prof A.S. Ahluwalia said on the one hand, the Centre had directed Panjab University to introduce 27 per cent OBC quota on a par with other central or centrally funded universities while on the other, it was dilly-dallying to acknowledge PU as a central university.



Sanchit best debater
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Sanchit Kumar of host St Stephen's School was adjudged the best speaker during the Sgt Uday Singh memorial debate competition held at the school auditorium in Sector 45 here today.

Topic of debate “Present generation has greater intellectual capacity and emotional skills than their predecessors” was given to the participants one hour in advance. Akash Kaura of St John's School-26 and Ibna Sharma of St Stephen's-45 were the first and second runners-up, respectively.

The debate was conducted to pay tributes to Sgt Uday Singh, an ex-Stephenian and hero of the Iraq war. “To commemorate the 25th birth anniversary of Sgt Uday Singh, the debate was started by his family in the year 2006 and then onwards, it has become an annual feature,” said principal of the school Harold Carver. The best three debaters were to be awarded certificates and there was a running trophy for the best team.

Himesh Sabhlok, general manager, Kingfisher Airlines, Sunita Patnaik, sr English lecturer at PU, and Sabina Ali, a social worker, counsellor and entrepreneur for schools, were the judges. Col P.M. Singh and Manjit Singh, who were the chief guests, gave away certificates and prizes to the winners. St Stephen's was declared the best team. The school has won the award for the third consecutive year. 



City student wins laurels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Abhinav Sharma, a Class-XII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, has become the only student from the city to grab the runners-up position in the Race for Awareness and Knowledge Award 2007-08.

Abhinav was honoured for this distinction, instituted by Air India, at a state-level function held at Yadgaar Bhawan, Jalandhar, on April 23. Punjab education minister Dr Upinderjit Kaur was the chief guest. 



NIIFT for Ludhiana soon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 28
In view of the heavy demand for fashion-related courses, another Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) will be opened by the Punjab government in Ludhiana.

Stating this today at the annual convocation of NIIFT here, minister for industries and commerce Manoranjan Kalia said the Ludhiana NIIFT would start functioning from the coming academic session. He said the state government was opening the new NIIFT in view of the large number of hosiery units in that city which would be useful for students going in for fashion-related courses.

He said the local NIIFT had, in a short time, carved out a niche for itself and was recognised among the finest institutions of its kind in the country. Some of its students had even found placements abroad. He appealed to hosiery units to cooperate with NIIFT students and fulfil their needs related to their study.

Students of various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in fashion design, knitwear design and technology, garment manufacturing technology and fashion retail management received diplomas from the minister.



Quark Engineer’s Murder
HC rejects wife’s bail plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Over two years after Neki Nalwa was accused of being involved in the murder of her husband Sukhvinderjit Singh, an engineer with Quark, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected her bail plea. Seeking the grant of bail before Justice R.S. Madan, Nalwa’s counsel had claimed that the petitioner had been implicated in the case.

Her name had not figured in the first information report registered in the matter. It was added that over two years had lapsed since the case was registered and the trial was likely to take a long time, as majority of the 36 witnesses were yet to be examined.

Sukhvinderjit and Neki had filed for divorce. Their petition was still pending when Neki and another accused, Brandy, allegedly planned the shooting down of Sukhvinderjit near his house on December 4, 2005.

Their divorce case, which was almost on the verge of being wound up, was to come up for hearing on December 15. Brandy’s alleged role in the case had come to light when he was caught on a CCTV camera withdrawing cash from Neki’s account at an Amritsar ATM.



Graft Case
Accused Goel’s wife deposes in court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The statement of Anu Goel, wife of K.B. Goel involved in an alleged corruption case, was recorded today in the court of Special CBI Judge, Jagdeep Jain.

She deposed before the court that on March 14, 2000 she had gone to the office of her husband, who worked as superintendent in accounts department in the secretariat, and realised that the vigilance bureau had arrested him. She stated that she was not allowed to meet her husband.

She asserted before the court that her husband was scared when he returned home on March 15, 2000. She stated that her husband told her that the then deputy commissioner, Ram Shekhar, SDM Ashish Kundra and CBI DSP H.R. Chopra had interrogated him.

Her husband told her that he was being falsely implicated in a corruption case, she added.



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