C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hindi certificate puts Colonel in spot
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
For want of an English word, admission was refused! That has happened with Col D.K. Chauhan (name changed), who approached the Panjab University admission committee to seek admission in engineering institutes in Chandigarh.

The recipient of the Chief of Army Staff's (COAS') commendation for gallantry, Col Chauhan was quite bewildered when his son was denied admission under the quota on the grounds that the certificate of commendation is in “Hindi” and contains the word “Prashansa”.

The university officials argued that the word “Prashansa” meant appreciation and not commendation.

Consequently, Col Chauhan’s son was refused admission despite the fact that certificates accompanied the commendation cards issued by the Army, which stated that the award is officially known as “commendation”, and there is no such thing as “appreciation”.

“The notification and the supporting documents provide that I have been awarded COAS' Commendation. Still it is disgusting on their part not to honour it. I have also written a protest letter to the PU authorities and still waiting hearing from their side”, rued Col. Chauhan.

A COAS' Commendation is announced by the ministry of defence on the eve of Independence Day and Army Day.

The commendation cards since almost the last two decades have been issued in Hindi with the word “Commendation” translated as “Prashansa”.

Brigadier Harwant Singh, vice-president of the Indian Ex-Servicemen League said, “This is intolerable on part of PU to raise controversy on a weird logic. It is not within the jurisdiction of the university to claim that the award certificate is 'appreciation' and not 'commendation'. It is just a matter of translating the term
in Hindi”.

What has been more disappointing is the fact that after bypassing such applicants, the admission committee has granted admission to other ineligible students whose parents have been the recipients of “distinguished service” medals such as the Vashisht Seva Medal (VSM) which is not included in gallantry awards.

However, the admission brochure contains a stipulation that only the kin of those personnel will be accepted in the category who have been given any award for gallantry. The parents have blamed the lack of understanding of military matters for this goof up.

The parents were also disturbed when one of the members of the admission committee compared the decoration of COAS’ Commendation with commendation certificates issued in the police department, which are issued by junior police officers to the constabulary for sundry contributions.

S.K. Kulkarni, dean, University Instructions, PU, showed ignorance about having received any such complaint.

“No, I did not receive any such complaint as yet. As soon as we receive it, we will look into the matter”, he assured

Admissions in the gallantry award category are available in an order of precedence, which starts from Param Vir Chakra (PVC) and ends with Sena Medal (gallantry) followed by other awards.

The only award covered in the other awards category is the Chief of Army Staff’s (COAS’) Commendation, which falls in the first category of gallantry awards.

The complete list of gallantry awards is available on the Indian Army’s official website at www.indianarmy.gov.in/awards.html.



Canadian diplomat dies of cardiac arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A Canadian diplomat, J C Gosseian (62), working with High Commission here, died this afternoon after a massive heart attack he suffered while playing tennis at the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association, Sec 10.

Gosseian was reportedly working as a senior officer in the immigration department of the Canadian High Commission in Sector 17.

According to doctors at the PGI, where Gosseian was declared “brought dead”, the diplomat was initially taken to Sector 16 hospital by other CLTA players. He was subsequently referred to the PGI where the doctors pronounced him dead.

According to officials at the CLTA, the diplomat was regular at the courts. A CLTA player said everyone there new that Gosseian was a heart patient but he never behaved like one. He said even today he was playing with a teenager.

CLTA officials said the diplomat collapsed on the court and was immediately rushed to the hospital.



Row over SE selection
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Chandigarh Administration is learnt to have taken a serious view of the MC commissioner bringing in his “preferred” official from Punjab while ignoring other eligible candidates.

The official, R.K. Goyal, an XEN from the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, was selected as superintending engineer, Public Health, MC, while ignoring a panel of three superintending engineers received from Haryana.

Though UT officials are tightlipped on the issue, sources reveal that the name of the XEN was cleared while the commissioner, MC, Dr Roshan Sunkaria was officiating as secretary, Local Government.

The name was finally approved from the UT Administrator on June 12, 2008. The panel of the other senior officials was never forwarded to the administration.

The plea taken for Goyal was that in his parent state, his name had been approved by the DPC for appointment as SE. Roshan Sunkaria was not available for comments.

The process of selecting the SE was initiated in April, 2008, when the decision was taken to sent back R.C. Dewan, XEN, to his parent

state of Punjab. The selection of the XEN as SE was made in contradiction to the orders of the adviser to the Administrator who has sought a panel of SEs from Punjab and Haryana.

The sources said the MC commissioner was being advised to submit the proposals of selection through the branch concerned in the UT’s Home Department.



Bajwa chief of Nayagaon NAC
Tribune News Service

Nayagaon, July 26
Harbant Singh Bajwa, an Akali councillor elected to the notified area committee (NAC), Nayagaon, was unanimously chosen first president of the committee today.

The meeting of the elected councillors took place here this afternoon under the chairmanship of convener Balbir Singh.

Sarbjit Kaur Dhillon, a BJP councillor, was chosen as the vice-president. Other than the 15 elected members, Morinda MLA Ujagar Singh Badali was also present at the meeting. Badali managed to rope in other Akali contender for the top post Arjan Singh to vote for Bajwa.

Badali told the members that he had a mandate from the party high command that Bajwa’s name should be proposed as the president.

Following this, the councillor elected from ward number 13 Kuljinder Kaur proposed Bajwa’s name, which was seconded by Arjan Singh. A show of hands in Bajwa’s favour sealed the choice.

The Congress did not put up any candidate and their five members also raised their hand in favour of Bajwa.

Sources pointed out that Bajwa had the support of one Akali, one BJP member and the five Congress members.

Arjan had the support of four Akali members, one BJP member and one independent candidate. Ironically in the end, the candidate who had lesser number of Akali members on his side became the president.

Badali said the party had wished Gurdhian Singh had been chosen as the Akali candidate for the post of the vice-president.

His name was proposed by Arjan Singh and seconded by Surjit Singh. However, an Akali candidate Krishna Devi proposed the name of BJP candidate Sarabjit Kaur, which was seconded by Harbant Singh.

Badali got up from his seat and came to Bajwa and virtually begged Bajwa to allow Gurdhian to become the vice-president.

But Bajwa did not agree and asked for voting. Gurdhian Singh, realising that he would lose in the game of numbers, withdrew from the contest.

Talking to mediapersons later, Harbant Singh said he would focus on the basic civic amenities for the people of Nayagaon.

“Sewerage system, storm water drainage system, roads and street lighting are my priorities,” he said, adding that repealing of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) would also be on his agenda.

The Congress councillors said they had voted in favour of the Akali candidate for the sake of development of the area. Arjan Singh said he bowed before the wishes of the party high command.


City to have its own Delhi Haat
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Adding another feather to its cap, Chandigarh is set to have its own "Delhi Haat". It is a development that will go a long way in promoting rich Indian cultural heritage.

Kala Gram, on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway, is set to make more strides as an advanced cultural centre with the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) chalking out an ambitious expansion plan.

In fact, with the Chandigarh Administration approving the project, it has moved a step closer to realisation.

Under the ambitious project, which was approved at a recent governing body meeting of the NZCC held at Jaipur, the sprawling complex would have an air-conditioned handicrafts market, state-of-the-art indoor auditorium and classrooms for students on the pattern of "Delhi Haat".

The project, to be executed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), will get rolling when building plans are approved by the UT estate office, sources told The Tribune.

Situated on the strategic highway, the sprawling complex already has the requisite infrastructure, including the sculptor park, outdoor auditorium and a restaurant run by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO).

With Chandigarh recently organising the first crafts fair patterned on the Surajkund fair, the Kala Gram could emerge as a permanent venue for such fairs.

In fact, the setting up of air-conditioned crafts shops (numbering about 100), could give a boost to tourism, particularly in the backdrop of a large number of tourists visiting the sculptor park here.

It is argued that the Kala Gram could be also be used as a venue for holding of handicrafts exhibition-cum-sales.

Currently, the exhibitions are held in several bhavans violating the estate office's terms and conditions of the allotment.

Confirming the expansion plan, NZCC director RT Jindal claimed that the upgradation of the complex would provide a platform to the artistes and artisans from all over the country to showcase their talent and give a boost to the region's economy.



High drama on PU campus
Chaos rules as journalist hit by speeding car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
High drama prevailed at the Panjab University Student’s Centre today, which remained a hub of activities for most part of the day even though it was a day off.

It all started when a private radio FM channel engaged students on the campus
in the afternoon.

Soon after, staff members of the dean students’ welfare office reached the spot and asked the channel staff if they had the required permission for the purpose.

While this was going on, a self-styled Panjab University’s student leader, Anurag Chahuan, intervened and started arguing and yelling at PU officials.

DSW Prof Naval Kishore also reached the scene along with SI Uday Pal Singh. When Uday Pal Singh asked Anurag to mend his ways, the latter yelled back at him. Brinder Dhillon of SOPU also joined Anurag in the verbal tirade.

In the process, students gathered at the scene as also journalists from various newspapers along with photojournalists.

Just as this was going on, a speeding car hit one of the journalists from an English daily. The security staff tried to stop the car but the driver, Sonu, a resident of Naya Gaon, accompanied by his friend, tried to flee.

When mediapersons photojournalists tried to take pictures of the occupants, the two threatened them. Police personnel present failed to pay any heed to the requests of mediapersons seeking action against the driver.

A delegation of journalists then went to the vice chancellor’s office and submitted a complaint in writing to the vice chancellor, demanding action against the culprits.

The vice-chancellor said as admissions were going on, they couldn’t stop outsiders from coming to the campus.

However, he assured that drop gates would be installed by August end to check the entry of outsiders on the campus. The committee constituted for the purpose was also informed.

Recently, an outsider driving a speeding car had hit three high-tension power poles on the campus. As per police sources, a case has been registered under Section 279 of IPC in this regard.



Ahmedabad Blasts
High alert in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Chandigarh police today reviewed security arrangements and issued fresh instructions following serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad today.

An alert had been sounded after Bangalore blasts yesterday as well. A high alert has been sounded, besides security in and around crowded places in the city has been beefed up.

Security has been tightened in areas like shopping complexes, railway station and the two inter-state bus terminuses in Sector 17 and 43.

Special checkpoints have been set up at sensitive parts of the city. A senior police officer said though they had not received any security alert from intelligence agencies for the city, they had taken precautionary measures.

The police carried out a search at the railway station and stepped up vigil on suspicious persons to tackle any untoward incident, said the police officer.

The police also frisked and examined luggage of passengers at the ISBT, Sectors 17 and 43, using metal detectors and other devices.



CBI-NCB Tussle
Another complainant, another arrest
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The tussle between the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has once again surfaced with the arrest of an alleged drug peddler, Liaqat Ali, alias Lakhwinder, of Behlana village, who was arrested by the latter on Thursday.

Like in some other cases highlighted in these columns yesterday, in this case too, Lakhwinder was a CBI complainant and on the basis of his complaint, the investigating agency had arrested a sub-inspector and a constable of Mauli Jagran police post.

SI Baljit Singh and constable Ballu Singh were arrested for allegedly demanding Rs 20,000 as bribe from Lakhwinder.

Lakhwinder had claimed that the two had threatened to implicate him under the Narcotics Act in case he failed to meet their demand.

The raiding team recovered two bags of poppy husk, which the accused policemen had threatened to plant on the complainant.

However, in a curious turn of events, Lakhwinder has now been arrested for possessing 4 kg high-quality heroin, valuing crores in the international market.

Sources in the NCB said Lakhwinder Singh, a drug addict himself, was released on bail in connection with a case after he was arrested by the Chandigarh police with 1 kg poppy husk last year.

He was reportedly involved in the poppy husk business for the past 10 years and had reported changed his name to Liaqat Ali.

Lakhwinder was lodged in Patiala jail around 4-5 years ago and had come in contact with a Pakistan national, after which he started the business of peddling smack.



Ex-servicemen remember Kargil martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A large number of ex-servicemen paid tributes to their comrades-in-arms, who had laid down their lives in the Kargil conflict in 1999, at the war memorial here today.

Though no official function is now held by the government or the Army except in Jammu and Kashmir, where the battle was fought, ex-servicemen said it was their sacred duty to pay homage to those killed so that the supreme sacrifices made by them for the cause of the nation were not forgotten.

A few civilians also paid tributes at the memorial. In the evening, family members of armed force personnel lit candles in the memory of the departed soldiers.

Over 500 Indian soldiers, many of them hailing from the region, had laid down their lives while evicting Pakistan troops who had intruded onto Indian territory across the Line of Control in desolate heights of Kargil sector in northern Jammu and Kashmir.

It was on this day nine years ago that the last Pakistani intruder was evicted and the battle was officially declared over. Initially, the day was observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas all over the country.



2 more cholera cases in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
Two more cases of cholera were confirmed at General Hospital, Sector 6, here today. A five-year-old boy Kuldeep and three-year-old Rajni, both residents of Mouli Jagran Colony, were detected with symptoms of cholera.

Although, both have been discharged from General Hospital, they are still under treatment. Just a week ago, at least 18 confirmed cases of cholera were reported from General Hospital and over 400 others were being treated for diarrhoea.

Despite the tall claims of the district administration, the situation seems to have gone worst as cases of cholera are being reported from various parts of the town as well as its adjoining areas.

Cases of cholera are also reaching the hospital from Raipur Kalan, Phase II, and Sectors 26 and 15. The Panchkula health authorities sent 12 samples of suspected cholera cases at the PGI, Chandigarh. Earlier, the PGI had confirmed at least 15 cases of cholera in the city two days ago.



Work together to curb vector-borne diseases: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme Unit, Chandigarh, organised a panel discussion at UT Guest House, Sector-6, here yesterday.

Secretary health-cum-commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Dr Roshan Sunkaria inaugurated the panel discussion.

In his inaugural address, he stressed that economic and social development for improving quality of health of citizens should be part of holistic concept of health.

He also stated that the public health should be given due regards for the prevention and control of all outbreaks and epidemics.

People participation in all health programmes should be in the form of a movement. He desired that all health functionaries at the grassroots should work together to curb outbreaks and epidemics.

Dr Manjit Singh Bains, director, health services, in his presidential remarks said war against vector-borne diseases could not be won by merely deploying highly-potent weaponry. The sound strategy with thorough planning would pay quick dividends in exterminating scourge.

“I feel that all programme managers in different states, UTs and other units will understand and assimilate the various facts of planning and successful control operations,” said Dr Bains.

Dr Rajinder K. Sharma, assistant director, health (malaria & VBD)-cum-state surveillance officer (IDSP)-cum-nodal officer (NRHM), Chandigarh, talked about the involvement of masses and laid stress on the behavioural change and communication for creating an awareness of all section of the society.

During the technical session, expert panelists were invited from various field to discuss the topics. Speaking on healthcare expenditure and gross domestic product, Dr Nisha Agarwal said there should be adequate allocation of budget.

Dr R.K. Ratho, professor in the department of virology, PGI, drew the attention on climate change on vector-borne diseases. He said a concrete strategy needed to be adopted for reducing the impact on climate.

He stressed that efficient public health system would be the sole answer to such changes. However, there was a need to take policy decision on the basis of the findings of the climate change.

Discussing the national programme on diabetes and stroke, Professor J.S. Thakur from the department of community medicine, PGI, recommended that a practical strategy was needed for the implementation of the national programme on diabetes and stroke.

The panelists were of the opinion that independent national programme for prevention and control of diabetes, CVD and stroke would be sufficed to deal with the situation.

H.C. Gera, nodal officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), coordinated the panel discussion. He posed critical questions to experts for generating debate on each issue.



Irked by power cuts, residents block highway
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
Hundreds of residents from more than 20 villages, including Mouli, Batod, Kami, Sunderpur, Jaloli, Rihor, Khatoli, along with people from Barwala blocked the NH 73 at Barwala near here today.

The agitated villagers were protesting against frequent unscheduled power cuts. They sat on a dharna for two hours from 11.30 am and lifted the blockade only after the officials of the UHBVN and Panchkula administration assured them of improved power supply in the region.

The electricity supply was so erratic in the region that no work in the fields as well as shops could be carried out resulting in huge losses to the farmers and businessmen of the area, said Vijay Pal, a shopkeeper of Barwala.

Even the fields could not be irrigated as there was no fixed hours for electricity supply, rued Inder Singh, a farmer from Mouli.

The police force led by Chandi Mandir SHO Baljeet Singh was sent to the spot to avoid any untoward incident. UHBVN Xen T.K. Sharma also reached the spot and assured the protesters of improved power supply in future.

In fact, unscheduled power cuts were necessary to prevent collapse of the transmission system whenever a thermal plant tripped, he said.

However, with the recommissioning of two plants of 300 mw at Yamunanagar, the situation was bound to be improved in the area within a couple of days, he added.



Morni forests get Swiss cottages
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
Come September and tourists to the region can have a unique experience, with Thapli nature camp in Morni forests, developed to promote eco tourism, being formally inaugurated yesterday.

The nature camp, around 15 km from here, set up in dense forests in pollution-free environment, will have 15 twin-bed Swiss cottages.

The cottages, made of tent on an elevated platform, will be equipped with modern facilities, including a study table, a sitting corner, an attached bathroom and a dressing room.

Tourists will be able to enjoy their stay in the jungle while having access to
modern facilities available at their homes, said deputy conservator, forests,
Haryana, M.P. Sharma.

While kitchens can be used on sharing basis, food will also be cooked by the staff deputed at a common kitchen set up at the camp, said Sharma.

The initiative of the Haryana Forests and Haryana Tourism is expected to generate revenue and employment opportunities in the area.

“We are looking for people in the area who are good at cooking and can supply local delicacies to tourists on demand,” said Sharma.

Tourists from other states are always fond of relishing local food and spicy ‘kadi-chawal’ and ‘saag-makki ki roti’, he added.

Residents of villages in the area have approached the authorities to set up similar projects near their villages, he added.

While cottages are being given a final touch before these are thrown open to public in the beginning of September, the tariff and packages are also being worked out, he said.

In addition, tourists will be able to visit the water body developed near Mallah for wild animals, he said.

Also, Chaudhary Surinder Singh Memorial Elephant Rescue Centre is being set up at Ban Santhor in Yamuna Nagar on the pattern of the one in Holland. The centre is expected to be ready within one year.

Elephants in need of medical treatment will be brought here from all over the country. Similarly, work on Chuharpur Herbal Park will also be undertaken shortly.



Reward scheme for PCR staff shortly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Chandigarh police is on the verge of starting a reward scheme for the staff of the Police Control Room (PCR).

According to senior officials of the UT police, any PCR member who catches the shortcomings of a police station will now be rewarded.

Work on the installation of an LCD screen is in progress, following which the PCR staff will monitor the police stations round the clock.

The Chandigarh police had recently launched CIPA programme, under which all 11 police stations were linked through the CCTV, making it easier for higher officials to monitor the functioning of the police stations.

However, now with the installation of the LCD screen in the control room, the staff will be asked to monitor all police stations 24x7.

If any member of the PCR staff catches inadequacies in any of the police stations, he will be rewarded by the IGP.

IGP Shanti Kumar Jain said: “Work on the installation of the LCD is under progress. Once it is over, we will start monitoring the police stations. The PCR staff will be asked to monitor the working of the police station through the CCTV. In case, any inadequacies are found, one catching the fault will be rewarded.”



Conversion Fee
IT Park’s gain is Ind Area’s loss
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Built-up rental sites in the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park are giving stakeholders under the conversion policy in the Industrial Area a run for their money.

The Chandigarh administration is playing a spoilsport, if the owners of the converted sites are to be believed.

As the city is emerging as an important destination for IT and commercial activity, the demand for built-up commercial space is going up.

While the built-up sites in the IT Park are available for Rs 45 per sq ft, the commercial space in the Industrial Area was available for anything between Rs 60 per sq ft and Rs 120 per sq ft. A number of corporate establishments prefer IT Park as compared to the Industrial Area.

To the advantage of the IT Park are well-laid roads, better infrastructure, clean working environment and uninterrupted power supply.

On the other hand, potholed and clogged roads, poor infrastructure, unsanitary conditions and encroachments greet visitors to the Industrial Area, Phases I and II.

“It is like setting cat among pigeons. While the allotment in IT park has been at subsidised rates, sites in Industrial Area have been converted after paying huge conversion fee (increased from Rs 18,000 per sq ft to Rs 29,700 per sq ft),” said M.P.S. Chawla, president, Chandigarh Industrial Association.

If the yardstick for calculating the conversion fee based on the past three auctions is correct, the new allotments in the IT Park, Education City, Medi City and Amusement Park need to be revised. The conversion policy and its survival cannot be seen in isolation, said H.S. Mamik, an industrialist.

A number of industrialists in a representation to the UT administrator have highlighted their plight about the stiff competition emerging between IT Park and Industrial Area. They alleged lack of vision on part of the Chandigarh administration.

Problems of Industrial Area are galore. The Chandigarh administration has asked the municipal corporation to carry out development work out of the funds given as grant-in-aid and from tax collected from industrial units.

The corporation on the other hand claims that conversion policy was the baby of the Chandigarh administration and it should pay the money for carrying out the development works.



Schools do little to curb accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
City schools seem to have learned little from the Thursday’s road accident in which a 14-year-old girl was killed in Sector 10.

The girl was killed after she was knocked down by a car while she was on her way home after school.

While the Punjab and Haryana Court has ordered school authorities to control traffic outside the school premises both before and after school hours, the authorities are doing nothing to curb the increasing risk of accidents involving schoolchildren.

The UT police has now asked city schools to strictly adhere to the norms of the High Court, asking the authorities to deploy a teacher outside the school after the school gets over.

In the absence of any check by the school authorities, children are often seen running across the road after school hours, posing a risk to their lives.



Now, rural post offices to process loans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Union government has decided to extend the facilities of processing of loans and Indira Gandhi old age pension scheme in rural post offices of Punjab.

This will not only benefit the rural population but will also improve the working condition of “gram dak sevaks” (GDS).

Chief postmaster general, Punjab circle, Prithvi Rajkumar said efforts were being made to provide quality service to customers of the rural areas and also increase GDS commission.

The postal department has already tied up with the SBI for the loan-processing facility, said Prithvi Raj Kumar.

Also, the Indira Gandhi old age pension scheme will be available to rural people of Punjab very soon, he added.

The beneficiaries are required to open an account with zero balance in post offices.

“There is a great scope of business in villages as Rs 219.67 crore under the rural postal life insurance scheme was procured during 2007-08, which was 314 per cent higher than the last year,” said Pritvi Raj Kumar.

Due to increased revenue from rural post offices, the centre plans to focus on the working condition of the GDS, as they are the main source of providing services there. “We will also provide fan facility and chappal allowances along with existing facilities like allowances of Rs 50 for housing post offices,” he added.

On being asked about the allowance amount, he said it was yet to be decided.

We also requested to the ministry of human resource development to consider the possibility of allowing admissions to the wards of gramin dak sevaks in Kendriya Vidyalayas on a par with the other central government employees.

Besides, the postal department had requested to increase the rate of interest in postal saving schemes. The plan is to expand the business in villages.



Consumer Courts
Mobile shop penalised Rs 5,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Platinum Communications, Sector 35, and Tata Tele Services Limited, Mohali, to pay compensation worth Rs 5,000 for harassing a Sector 44 resident.

The forum has also asked the opposite parties to refund Rs 1,399 to complainant as the cost of mobile and Rs 500 as security amount.

Complainant Raj Kumar stated that he had purchased a mobile phone for Rs 1,399 and deposited Rs 500 as security with Tata Tele Services.

Thereafter, the complainant received a bill for Rs 208 from the opposite party, which was deposited by him on January 5.

The complainant stated that the defendant stopped the working of his phone service by saying that the area where he was living was not centrally located and could not be approached by courier companies.

The company asked him to provide a new address so that the company could supply the bill’s copy.

Upon this, the complainant approached the staff at the public desk, who misbehaved with him.

The complainant added that the opposite party withheld Rs 2,000 on account of charges of connection of mobile phone and had not refunded the same to date.

The defendant argued that the complainant subscribed to the connection by filling out the customer application form.

It was stated that the complainant was informed that the mobile connections were provided at the discretion of Tata Tele Services Ltd and connections were activated after verification agency submits its report.

The forum observed that in fact the connection to the customers, including the complainant, should have been released after making proper verification as was required per rules, terms and conditions as appended on the customer’s application form. In this way, the opposite party has indulged in unfair trade practice by just enticing customers.

The mobile set sold by them to the complainant for Rs 1,399 also became useless causing him further financial loss.



Art of Living to plant 10 crore saplings in India
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 26
Art of Living, in association with the United Nations Millennium Campaign, has launched “Mission Green Earth Stand Up Take Action 08” which was announced during the press conference, here today at the Chandigarh Press Club.

The initiative has been taken to plant 10 crore saplings in India from July 15 to October 16 and globally the figure would be touching 1400 crore saplings across 140 countries worldwide.

Rakesh Sharma, member of the APEX Body, Art of Living, said human beings would have to plant saplings and nurture them till they grew and became full-bodied trees.

The environmental balance had to be maintained in order to avoid disaster, which was fast becoming a reality in view of the increasing thereat of global warming.

Elaborating the benefits of the trees, he said that the first basic need, which was met by planting more trees, was valuable oxygen.

The Art of Living in India has collected a database containing phone numbers and contact addressees of all the district level functionaries of department of Forest and Environment, Government of India, which can be used to arrange saplings by any Indian in his or her own town or city.

This database is provided free to all individuals, NGO’s government departments and corporate houses.



Student commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
Suman (21), a resident of Azad Colony, ended her life here today when she could not make it to the next class.

According to the family members, Suman, a student of BA I at Government College for Girls was disturbed since last night when she came to know that she had failed in the examination the result of which was declared yesterday.

Suman hanged herself when his father Pramod was not at home. Her mother was sleeping in the adjoining room. The police has registered a case of suicide. The cremation took place in the evening.



Labourer electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Ashok Kumar (25), working as a labourer, died after he was electrocuted in Sector 46, here this evening.

According to sources, the victim was operating a machine when the incident happened around 4 pm.

The victim suffered a shock after coming in contact with naked wires.

He was taken to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The body of the victim was shifted to the mortuary for postmortem examination.



Two hurt in accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Sandeep, a home guard with the UT police, was injured after his motor cycle slipped on an internal road in Mauli Jagran, here late last night.

According to sources, Sandeep, who is currently posted at the Industrial Area police station, was on his way home after work around 2 am when he lost control of the bike and it skidded off course.

Sandeep was taken to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, from where he was referred to the PGI. His condition is stated to be critical.

In another incident, Ritu Bhatia, a resident of Sector 10, was injured in a road accident near Matka chowk here this afternoon.



Helpline for elderly launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
To guide senior citizens on the reverse mortgage loan scheme launched by the National Housing Bank and HelpAge India, a helpline was launched here today. It was inaugurated by minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal.

These helpline will provide services to elder citizens by advising and resolving queries about the scheme under which senior citizens can mortgage their property to have financial security.

National Housing Bank and HelpAge India had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently to provide reverse mortgage counselling to senior citizens who own a house and need liquid money.

Currently, eight banks are providing reverse mortgage facility to the elderly and the helpline will give an opportunity to them to choose the best deal.

Bansal said such initiatives by NGOs helped retiring senior citizens who were worried about the dwindling amount in their bank accounts.

Normal options are to rent the existing house, move to a smaller house or sell the house and invest the proceeds better.

While addressing senior citizens, Helpage India country head Kapil Kaul stated that the helpline would prove to be a vital link between banks and senior citizens.

Talking about the changed scenario of investment by elderly, he said senior citizens were now looking for options to invest their money in a secured sector.

Under their expansion plan, HelpAge India is coming up with counselling centres at Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bhopal by the end of this year.

Helpline numbers 0172-2620869 and 6542268 will remain functional from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.



Development a casualty in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
Development in the town has come to a standstill due to the indifferent attitude of the officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the municipal council.

This was stated by B.S. Tej, president of the Citizen’s Welfare Federation (central body of welfare associations), at a press conference here today.

He said roads in the town had pot holes, parks were not being maintained and sanitation was in a state of neglect.

He said both GMADA and the civic body had failed to develop the town even when the government had been making claims of providing facilities of international level
in Mohali.

Heaps of garbage could be seen at various points of the town which emitted
foul smell. Wild growth in open spaces had become a breeding place for flies
and mosquitoes.

He demanded that the condition of roads should be improved and a sanitation drive should be started in the town.

The president said the district administrative complex should be constructed in the town and not in nearby villages keeping in view the convenience of the residents.

There was a proposal to set up an inter-state bus terminus on one side of Mohali which was not linked with a direct bus service to different parts of the town.

People would have to depend on auto rickshaws and would have to pay exorbitant rates for the service.

A local bus service should be started linking the proposed bus stand to other parts of the town and rates of auto rickshaws be fixed.

Tej demanded that the sewerage treatment plant should be made functional on a priority basis.

Sullage from different parts of the town was dumped in a choe which passed through Sectors 61, 62, 63, 67, 68 and reached some villages creating pollution even when the treatment plant, which was ready, had not been operationlised for the past many months.

The federation was against the trend of keeping paying guests in private houses. This had adversely affected the atmosphere in residential areas.

PUDA had enacted a law in 1995 which stated that commercial activity could not be carried out in residential areas. In violation of the same law, GMADA had now allowed PGs in private houses.



Kin create ruckus over patient's death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
Agitated relatives of Puran Chand (45), who died at General Hospital, Sector 6, here today, created ruckus outside the hospital.

They alleged that the Puran died after he was given a wrong injection. They even had heated arguments with the staff following which the police was called to avert any untoward incident.

However, later the relatives left the hospital with the body without lodging any formal complaint with the authorities.

According to relatives, Puran, a resident of Maturam Colony, suffered from fever and was admitted to the emergency ward of the hospital at around 9 am.

Deceased's son Ramesh said the doctors, after initial check-up, sent his father to the general ward.

However, later around 12 noon, his condition started deteriorating, but the doctors did not bother to attend to him which resulted in his death, he alleged.

On the other hand, the authorities, denying all allegations, said the pulse of the patient was already weak and it was observed that he was under septic shock.

Though the doctors tried to revive him for which he was given an injection, the life of patient could not be saved which infuriated the attendants.



Mohali’s Industrial Area in disarray
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 26
The claims of the Punjab government about making Mohali the future city notwithstanding, the ground reality as it exists now reflects a different picture.

The Industrial Area here has gone without proper upkeep for years. The condition of roads within the various industrial phases here has gone from bad to worse.

Roads here have not been repaired for years and at some places these have ceased to exist.

The owners of industries point out that roads have become virtual death traps for employees who come on two-wheelers.

They add that streetlighting also leaves much to be desired and at many places visibility in the night is very poor.

The authorities concerned have also not bothered to remove congress grass from various areas in the Industrial Area.

The roads are lined on both sides with five to seven feet of wild growth, which has not been weeded.

Similarly, at many places where plots are lying empty, wild growth has taken over, making the area a safe haven for snakes.

Members of the industries association point out that the Congress government had announced a package of Rs 200 crore for the uplift of the Mohali Industrial Area but not a single penny had either been given or used.



Experts dwell on role of chemistry
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 26
The IIIrd mid-year symposium of Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) organised by the department of medicinal chemistry of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) was inaugurated by Dr V. Krishnan, president, CRSI, Bangalore, and Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, yesterday.

In his inaugural address, he discussed the role of chemistry and chemist in the society. He appealed to young scientists to assimilate knowledge and transfer it to production capabilities.

“If you were young in chemistry, irrespective of your biological age, it would lead to fruitful results for the nation,” he said.

Earlier, Prof P. Rama Rao, director, NIPER, welcomed the guests and office-bearers of the CRSI and said it would provide an opportunity to scientists to come together and exchange their ideas.

Prof S. Chandrasekaran, vice-president of the CRSI, elaborated on the structure of the two-day programme.

Prof U. Maitra, secretary general of CRSI, Prof N. Sathyamurthy, director, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali, Prof Saranjit Singh, dean, NIPER, also spoke during the function.

Prof A. K. Chakrborti, convener of the symposium, and head, department of medicinal chemistry, NIPER, proposed the vote of thanks.

The objective of the symposium was to facilitate and promote research in all branches of chemistry in order to popularise the subject in general.

It would also help recognise, promote and foster talent in chemistry and chemical sciences. The symposium comprises invited lectures from eminent speakers.

Oral presentations, interactive sessions and poster presentations will also be
part of the symposium.

Over 140 delegates, including educators and budding scientists from various institutions all over the country and abroad, faculty, staff and students of the institute are participating in the symposium.



PGI union bids farewell to 32 workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The PGI Employees Union bade farewell to 32 retired employees at a function organised by the management committee of the Benevolent Fund Scheme (BFS) of the union at Bhargava auditorium of PGI today.

Member of Parliament and former union health minister Sushma Swaraj was the chief guest. Over 1,200 members of the BFS, guests, faculty and officers of the PGI attended the function.

Swaraj handed over financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of two deceased members and Rs 50,000 to the family of another member.

She also presented blankets, mementos and entire amount of the contribution to 32 retired members on behalf of the BFS. PGI director Prof K.K. Talwar and deputy director Anil Kumar Gupta were also present.



Diarrhoea cause for concern

The present situation of diarrhoea in the city is due to lack of awareness of simple, life saving interventions such as oral re-hydration solution (ORS), zinc and especially improved hygiene practices.

The increasing number of the diarrhoea cases is a matter of concern. Renewed political will and dedicated resources to prevent and control the disease is perhaps the need of the hour.

It is not just the slums that need to be assessed, but the sanitary conditions of the city hospitals also need to be checked. Health department should provide checklists for doctors.

Apart from instructing hospitals to clean equipments and rooms properly in order to prevent infection, the authorities should also direct the medical personnel to stop wearing their uniforms outside the hospitals, as it may carry harmful bacteria to the public places.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh



From Schools
200 saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A sanitation week, organised to mark the International Year of Sanitation, concluded at the Government Model High School, Sector 26, today with the plantation of 200 saplings on the school campus.

The plantation was done with the help of LIC Cricket Club. DPI (schools) S.K. Setia was the chief guest and New India Assurance Company chief regional manager Dr R.K. Atri presided over the function.

School principal Purnima Vats said during the week-long programme, competitions like painting, poster, slogan writing, short stories, elocution were organised, besides cleaning up of the campus.

Setia honoured three best teachers of the school — Baljinder, Renu and Sukhwant — with cash prizes and an autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi for maintaining cleanliness in their classes. Dr Atri presented autobiographies of Gandhi and certificates to 110 students.

Kavi sammelan: As part of the golden jubilee celebrations of Carmel Convent School-9, an intra-school hasya kavi sammelan was held here.

In group I, Pranvika Bedi got first place, while Gursahiba Gill and Sharon Sharpe jointly shared the second place. Keerat Kaur Virk and Prerna Sharma jointly grabbed the third place.

In group II, Mugdha Manni, Sunaina Kaul and Garima Yadav got first, second and third places, respectively.

Environment week: Charmi, Gurmeet and Tejpreet, all students of class VIII, won first, second and third prizes, respectively, in powerpoint presentation during environment week celebrations at Shivalik Public School-41.

A play, “Dharti Ki Kahani Usi Ki Zubaani”, highlighted the importance of conservation of trees.

In poster-making competition, around 500 students participated and the winners — Varanpreet Kaur, Shubham, Simranpreet, Sahiba, Sagarika, Mayank, Falak, Jasneet Shraya, Ustatleen and Manav — were given away the prizes and certificates.



Haryana academy starts Urdu course
Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, July 26
There is good news for those who aspire to learn Urdu languge as Haryana Urdu Academy has started one-year course in Urdu through correspondence.

This was revealed during the distribution of teaching kits at Haryana Niwas, Sector 3, here, yesterday.

Students were distributed teaching kits by Rajan Gupta, commissioner and secretary, education and language department, Haryana Government.

As many as 350 students have applied for the course from various states, including Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh. The last date for the admission is August 31.

Introducing the students with the basics of Urdu language, K. L. Zakir, Secretary, Haryana Urdu Academy said Urdu was written in the opposite direction to English, from right to left.



Sushma honours toppers at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
“A precise balance has to be maintained between interest and strength, while choosing the stream for children,” this was advocated by the former Union Health Minister, Sushma Swaraj, at a function to honour the toppers of Class X and XII.

The function was organised by Yuva Sankalap Foundation, an NGO, at Panjab University auditorium, here, today.

Heavy rush of toppers was seen outside the auditorium to get their names registered with the organisers.

Over 200 students of government as well as private schools were honoured with mementos during the function.

Sushma Swaraj, the chief guest of the occasion, advised parents to refrain from imposing their wishes on their wards.

“Let children be their own judges. Every child is born talented and we need explore that talent. After completing Class X, they should be let free to choose their interested line,” said Swaraj.

Swaraj appreciated the fact that girls outscored boys in the merit lists of Class X and Class XII both. “ It seems the girls would evade our idea of asking for 33 per cent reservations in Parliament”, she added.

RC Sobti, who presided over the function, recommended that the youth should recognise their inner strength and should follow the rich Indian cultural heritage.

Among others, those present on the occasion were the Ex -MP Saya Pal Jain, SAD leader Gurpartap Singh Riar, Devesh Moudgil, president of Yuva Sankalp foundation.



School gives disability certificates
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
A free medical camp to give disability certificates was organised by the education department in the Government Primary School, Phase II, here today. As many as 82 children were given the certificates.

Children in the age group of four years to 16 years were given disability certificates by the district medical board under the supervision of the civil surgeon.

Three specialist doctors examined children who were physically challenged, visually impaired and mentally challenged.



HC declares superior judicial service results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today declared results of Punjab Superior Judicial Service Examination, 2008, held for selecting Additional District and Sessions Judges in Punjab.

The merit-wise result of general category candidates appearing in the viva voce for the posts is: Munish Singal, Rupinderjit Chahal Kamaljit Lamba, Nirbhow Singh Gill, Jatinder Pal Singh Khurmi, Hemant Gopal, Kanwaljit Singh, Sumeet Malhotra, Arun Gupta, Gurmeet Pal Singh, Anuradha, Kadambini, Arvind Kumar Sharma, Preeti Bhargav, Parmod Kumar, Balkaran Singh, Munish Kumar, Sudeepti Sharma, Dalbir Singh, Dharminder Singh, Dharm Chand, Tripatinder Pal Singh Sekhon, Amandeep Agnihotri, Jaswant Rai, Abha Nagar, Jitender Kumar, Karunvir Vashist, Lalit Mohan, Mukesh Nanda, Rajesh Kapur and Pushpinder Singh Benipal.

Besides this, the names of Jatinder Kaur and Mohd. Gulzar figure in the merit list of backward class category candidates, who had appeared in the viva voce. In the Scheduled Caste category, Parveen Bali's name finds a mention.

The final result of officers for out-of-turn promotion is: Varinder Aggarwal, Mandeep Pannu, Ashok Pal Batra, Rajinder Aggarwal, Tarsem Mangla, Arunvir Vashista, Jasjit Singh Bhinder, Surinder Singh Sahni, Ranjit Kumar Jain, Manjinder Singh Sanjay Kumar Sachdeva, Harsh Mehta, Gurmeet Kaur, Kulbhushan Raheja, Gurnam Singh-II, Anshul Berry and Kuldeep Singh Cheema.



Rizwana’s father moves court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
At least 10 members of Muslim community gathered in the district courts yesterday to move an application seeking immediate restoration of custody of abducted Rizwana Bano, who got married to Vijay Kumar on June 19.

The application was moved by girl’s father Abdal Latif in the court of the chief judicial magistrate Kanchan Mahi, under Section 98 of the CrPC for immediate restoration of Rizwana’s custody from Vijay. It was mentioned in the application that Rizwana was 16 years old and was abducted.

While the girl in the statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC on Thursday had stated that she was 18 years old and had got married to Vijay at her own sweet will and was not forced to do so.

High drama was witnessed outside the district courts, Sector 17, on Thursday evening when parents of Rizwana, objecting to her inter-religious marriage, attempted to persuade her to change her statement in the court.

She was literally ‘gheraoed’ by her parents and other relatives while she was leaving the court after recording her statement.

The parents surrounded the police vehicle in which Rizwana was travelling and kept pressuring her to state in the court that she was a minor.



Assault Case
Former mayor acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A local court today acquitted former mayor Gian Chand Gupta and three others of assaulting superintendent engineer K.B. Sharma in 1997. The case was registered on the complaint of Sharma.

According to the prosecution, the complainant stated that while he was making arrangements for the scheduled visit of BJP leader L.K. Advani on July 7, 1997, he received a message from Gian Chand, president of local BJP, that streetlighting on the road from Sectors 19 to 27 was not up to the mark.

He stated that he was surprised to receive the information as the then XEN, Harish Kumar, had checked the streetlights in the area in the morning. The route from Sectors 19 to 27 was part of Advani’s Rath Yatra.

On receiving the information, Sharma checked the area and found decorative lights having been installed without seeking prior permission.

It was alleged that Sharma was assaulted by Gian Chand when the former questioned him to explain the reason for installing lights without seeking permission.

The defence counsel stated that the case was registered due to political rivalry within the party.

Furthermore, the prosecution had filed an application seeking the withdrawal of case in October, 1998 but was declined.



Graft Case
Witnesses depose before CBI court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
CBI Special Court yesterday recorded statement of two witnesses in a corruption case involving two suspended judicial officers - R.M. Gupta and S.S. Bhardwaj.

Defence witness Tara Singh, who was a domestic help at the residence of S.S. Bhardwaj, stated before the court that when the shadow witness of the CBI, Devraj, came to their house, Bhardwaj was taking bath. He added that Devraj was known to Bhardwaj and he was a regular visitor.

Thereafter, the statement of the second witness, Amar Chand Pansari, was recorded. A resident of Sunam, Pansari while deposing before the court stated that his daughter was married to Devraj - the shadow witness.

He added that his daughter was having a matrimonial dispute with Devraj and Bhardwaj used to intervene and as such was known to Devraj.

According to the prosecution, Gurvinder Singh Samra had approached the CBI alleging that Bhardwaj, a judicial officer in the city’s district court, had demanded a bribe of Rs 11 lakh on behalf of suspended district and sessions judge R.M. Gupta.

As per the allegations, the bribe was demanded for passing a favourable order on Samra’s anticipatory bail application in a case pending before Gupta.

Bhardawaj was caught red-handed while accepting the bribe at his Sector 22 residence. The case has been adjourned till October 11.



3 get life term for murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Additional district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg today sentenced life imprisonment to Sobhraj, Jia Lal and Laxman for murdering Nand Kishore and Rooplal, employees in liquor vend in Sector 24.

The court, however, acquitted Mewa Lal due to lack of evidence. According to prosecution, Nand Kishore and Roop Lal were found murdered in the liquor vend on the night of August 16, 2000. The two used to work in the liquor vend.

A case was registered on the complaint of another employee in the vend. It was stated that a few lakhs of rupees was also found missing from the liquor vend.

Thereafter, the police arrested Sobhraj on August 22, 2000, from Sector 32 and Rs 6 lakh was recovered from him. Rs 48 lakh was also recovered from Jia Lal from Dadu Majra. A weapon allegedly used for committing the crime was also recovered from Sobhraj on August 27, 2000.

Two more persons, Mewa Lal and Laxman, were also alleged to be conspiring the murdered of the two. However, no recoveries were made from them.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |