C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Even Corbusier bore the brunt of babudom
Confidential letters written by Le Corbusier to top Indian functionaries, including Jawaharlal Nehru, show the agony of the legendary architect over the “stumbling blocks” created by the bureaucracy in the execution of his dream project
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Somethings do not change in India and the bureaucracy is one of them. Despite having patronage of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Le Corbusier had to overcome bureaucratic hurdles to realise his dream of creating an architectural marvel and India’s first modern city — Chandigarh.

In fact, "confidential" letters written by Corbusier to top Indian functionaries, including Nehru, show the agony of the legendary architect over the "stumbling blocks" created by the bureaucracy in the execution of the dream project.

In a "strictly confidential" communication to Nehru, now part of the Le Corbusier Centre, Corbusier complained that his contract had not been renewed. To top it all, two of his pending bills (November-December 1957 and March-April 1958), had also not been paid, he alleged.

In one of the confidential letters dated June 7, 1958, the master architect complained to Nehru about "problems” faced by him at Chandigarh. Miffed by the attitude of DP Nayar, the then secretary, capital project, Corbusier rued that two key persons associated with the assembly and secretariat projects had been dismissed without his knowledge.

However, Corbusier's complaints to even the Prime Minister seemed to have little effect on the powerful bureaucracy. In still another letter, Corbusier accused KS Narang, then secretary, capital project, of being "hostile to me and harassing me and my officers". He also alleged that his contract for the Bhakra dam had not been signed though he had been working on the project for several months.

And all these slights were heaped upon the Chandigarh's creator despite the fact that Nehru had gone on record directing the Punjab Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon that "you will not overrule him".



Drive against corruption
Three top officials in CBI net
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
With the arrest of Y. R. Verma, assistant director of the Advance Training Institute, Ludhiana, for allegedly accepting a bribe, the CBI has so far nabbed three officials in the past fortnight as part of its recently launched drive against corrupt government officials.

With the help of the BSNL, the Anti-Corruption Cell of the CBI, Chandigarh, has launched a campaign against corrupt Central Government employees in the region, including Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The CBI has roped in the BSNL and sent SMSes to its subscribers asking them to come forward with complaints against corrupt officials demanding bribes.

Sources in the CBI said Verma was caught red-handed on Sunday from his Delhi residence while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 lakh for providing affiliation to a technical college in Hoshiarpur.

The sources said Balwinder Singh, chairman of the Desh Bhagat Technical Institute, Bhatar, Hoshiarpur, lodged a complaint against Verma, an official under the ministry of labour, New Delhi, on October 4, alleging that he had been demanding Rs 2 lakh from him to sign documents for giving affiliation to his college.

A three-member team comprising two state-level officials and an officer from the Central Government visited his college for inspection on September 9. The team was to submit its report within a week. While the two officials gave their reports, Verma dilly-dallied over it. Balwinder required affiliation from the National Council of Vocational Training for his institute.

Balwinder alleged that Verma asked him to meet him in a hotel in Sector 35 on September 30. Initially, he was demanding Rs 10 lakh, but after negotiation, he agreed to take Rs 2 lakh. Verma told him to deliver the money at his residence in Delhi. Balwinder told TNS that he lodged a complaint with the CBI, which laid a trap after registering a case against Verma. The CBI seized Rs 6.49 lakh, jewellery and property documents from Verma’s residence.

Verma was today produced before the CBI Special Court of Jagdeep Jain and sent to judicial custody.

CBI officials further said as a part of its campaign, Manmohan Garg, manager of National Insurance, Hisar, had also been arrested. Jora Singh had lodged a complaint alleging that Garg had demanded 50 per cent of the compensation amount of Rs 1 lakh to be given to his brother’s wife. The accused was harassing him to release the amount. He was caught red-handed on September 29.

In another case, Naresh Kumar, an assistant officer with the Provident Fund commissioner, Gurgaon, was arrested on the charges of accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 for releasing an amount of Rs 1 lakh to Balbir Singh. He was nabbed on September 24.



Foul Play
Education dept goes extra mile to help ‘favourites’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The sports wing of the UT education department has once again come under scanner with a recently appointed sports organiser protesting against the department’s alleged efforts to accommodate certain ‘favourites’.

Jeet Singh, a lecturer of GMSSS, Sector 15, was appointed as the UT sports organiser on a part-time basis in September this year. However, if sources are to be believed the department’s ‘biased’ attitude in creating new post of assistant sports organiser to accommodate H.S. Brar, a lecturer of GGSSS, Sector 23, and Rajiv Tandon, a lecturer of GMSSS, Sector 20, was resented by him as they were allegedly allowed to spend entire day in the department despite part-time nature of their appointments.

Speaking to The Tribune, Jeet Singh said: “Going by the norms, the department has provision for the sports organiser’s post only. Even if they designate anybody else, I should be appointed on a full-time basis. Former DPI S.K. Setia had promised to appoint me full time.”

“Jeet Singh is the senior-most lecturer in the UT. Despite this, Brar was appointed as the sports organiser earlier and he was also supposed to attend the school in morning. After our protest, the department replaced Brar with Jeet Singh on a part-time basis with a promise of full-time appointment. Instead of reverting Brar and Tandon to their routine duties as lecturers, they were adjusted as the assistant sports organisers by the department,” alleged Harbir Singh, convener of the coordination committee of teachers.

A senior official of the department said: “Ever since Brar was made the sports organiser, such objections have been raised. Most of the day, he is in the DEO office only.”

However, denying allegations, Brar said: “I am doing the duty assigned to me by Setia and the DEO. I support Jeet Singh’s demand of full-time appointment and think he is the rightful candidate for this post. But the department wants me, so I am working here. It was on my request only that I was allowed to take classes.”

While DEO Khushinder Sharma refused to comment, K.S. Bharti, assistant sports director, UT, said: “The best way to solve the issue is to have well-defined and divided roles. The officials should be permanently designated and a person should not be entrusted with two tasks.”



Wedding turns sour for NRI couple
Bag with valuables worth Rs 10 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 6
Marriage celebrations turned sour for an Australian NRI couple on yesterday morning when their bag containing valuables worth Rs 10 lakh ($15,000 and jewellery worth $10,000) was stolen from a rented house in Sector 10, here.

According to sources, Pradeep Verma and his wife Mona had come to attend the marriage of his brother-in-law on October 5 and the theft allegedly took place during the “Sehra Bandi” function at their house.

According to Pradeep, his wife's purse was nicked when she stood up to bless the groom. “She left her bag on a chair and within a moment it was gone. We could not locate a purse even after many efforts,” said Pradeep.

He said, subsequently, they scanned all pictures clicked during the ceremony and they suspected the involvement of a minor girl (about nine years of age), who was present at the function but nobody knows her. "We have already given her picture to the police," they said.

Sources close to the family revealed that apart from dollars and gold, the bag also contained Rs 15,000 cash and some important documents, including Mona’s driving licence. The couple was bitter about their experience here and they reportedly left for Delhi immediately after the wedding.

Meanwhile, the Panchkula police has registered a case of theft at Sector 5 police station. Ajab Singh, SHO of Sector 5 police station, said “We have questioned the family members and other guests.” He said efforts were on to establish the identity of the girl.


Dowry case: Remand for BJP leader, son
Girl’s relatives raise slogans against them
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
Amid heavy police deployment, district vice-president of the BJP Suresh Gupta and his son Rohit today got two-day police remand. Both had been arrested yesterday in a case of dowry registered at Dera Bassi police station.

Suresh Gupta’s daughter-in-law Jyoti had complained that she was harassed and intimidated her to bring dowry.

The case was registered after the victim was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, when she complained of vomiting and nausea. In her statement given to the SDM, Dera Bassi, she stated that her condition had deteriorated after her husband gave her some medicine when she complained of stomachache. She was taken to a local hospital before being referred to the GMCH.

When the suspects were produced in the court, a large number of supporters of the BJP leader and the girl family had gathered. The victim’s relatives raised slogan against the BJP leader after he was produced before the court.

The girl’s family alleged that the police was going slow on the investigation under pressure from a Punjab BJP minister. A case of attempt to murder is made out against the suspects and the police should act accordingly, said uncle of the victim Tulsi Ram Singal, who further alleged that the police was giving VIP treatment to the suspects and no effort was being made to arrest other members of the family.

The defence counsel alleged that she herself consumed some substance and raised an alarm, a fact contradicted by the girl’s counsel and family.

The SSP, Mohali, J.S. Aujla, said the police was proceeding as per the statement of the girl. In the course of investigation, if anything further came, relevant sections would be added, he said.

In the courtroom, the counsel of the victim’s family stated that it was heinous crime and suspects should not be spared. The counsel of the suspects said as no recovery had been made the police remand should not be granted. After hearing the arguments of both sides, the magistrate granted the two-day police remand.



Le Corbusier Centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

UT chief engineer slips, fractures leg

The inauguration ceremony of
the Le Corbusier Centre in Sector 19-D here proved dear for UT chief engineer S.K. Jaitley who slipped and fractured one of his leg bones.

As soon as the function ended, Jaitley, who was on his way to his official car, fell on the corridor of the centre.

He was shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where his femur bone was diagnosed to be fractured.

Dr Raj Bahadur, principal, GMCH-32, informed that Jaitley would be operated upon as soon as he became fit for operation.

Chandigarh, October 6
UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues today inaugurated Le Corbusier Centre at Sector 19, the work place of Chandigarh’s creator and his team.

He ordered the constitution of a multi-disciplinary team of eminent experts for this project. He further emphasised that the endeavour must be focussed on establishing linkages of the conceptualisation of the city, the old civilisation of Harappa and the Indus Valley and its relevance to futuristic needs.

Rodrigues said, “Corbusier and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visualised Chandigarh to be a dynamic and vibrant city and we have to revalidate our approach and strike a balance between the old and the modern city.”

Nodal officer of the centre V.N. Singh said the centre had three sections comprising museum and display gallery, research and publication, and administration. The projects and components are conservation of the old architects’ office in the manner of an authentic resource that can be used for disseminating information about the experimental aim of modern architecture of the city and the establishment of a well-organised information/interpretation centre for dissemination of knowledge regarding the history and heritage of Chandigarh, he added.

Preservation of various small-scale artefacts such as furniture, furnishings and fittings, preservation of archival resources, establishment of a research, documentation and publication centre on the modern heritage of Chandigarh and the establishment of the Chandigarh heritage conservation cell for monitoring the conservation activity in the city would also come under the mandate of the centre.

Meanwhile, “A dream realised -- an architectural overview of the ideas that became cities”, an exhibition showcasing the works of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret by the Saakaar Foundation will be on display at the centre till December 31 this year.



Corbusier’s creative genius on display
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
"A dream realised — an architectural overview of ideas that became cities", an exhibition showcasing the creative genius of Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, who gave India its first modern city, was cynosure of all eyes.

In fact, the exhibition proved be an icing on the cake at the inauguration of the Le Corbusier Centre in Sector 19-B by UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues on the first day of the Chandigarh Heritage Festival celebrations and a perfect tribute to Corbusier on his birthday.

A brainchild of Surinder Bahga of Chandigarh-based Saakaar Foundation, the exhibition gave a peep into the personalities and works of Corbusier and Jeanneret, who despite being different from each other in temperament and attitudes, complimented each other in their professional lives. In fact, Chandigarh became a fertile ground for them to experiment with new ideas which made a lasting impact on contemporary architecture all over the world.

"The exhibition is not merely a work show. It is aimed at educating professionals and lay persons on the masters' philosophy, besides tracing their influence on modern architecture," Bahga told 
The Tribune.

In fact, a judicious cocktail of panels illustrated with drawings, sketches, photographs and quotes, transported the visitors to some of the best urban designs and town planning in India in the post-independence era.

While Corbusier's artistic bent of mind is well illustrated in the exclusive panels on the tapestries, Jeanneret's stamp of versatility is evident in innovative furniture designs. Workplaces designed by the architects, including the City Centre, the Town Hall, Panjab University, the PGI, College of Art and Chandigarh College of Architecture, are another highlights.

The section called "zones of peace" dwells on the landmarks created by the duo such as Museum and Art Gallery, pavilion for temporary exhibitions (City Museum), Sukhna Lake, Leisure Valley, Lake Club , Bhakra Dam and Sanskar Kendra at Ahmedabad.

The exhibition will remain open to the public till December 31, 2008.



City’s heritage fest begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Chandigarh Heritage Festival kicked off with the inauguration of the Le Corbusier Centre at the Old Architects’ Office building, Sector 19 B, here today.

The administration today announced to organise heritage walk as a part of the festival. It will be inaugurated tomorrow by UT administrator and Punjab Governor General (retd) S.F. Rodrigues.

The walk will start from Open Hand Monument and terminate at Botanical Garden. The walk is being organised in collaboration with INTACH and SBI.

The Heritage Tree Tour will also be a part of the programme for schoolchildren of Gurukul School, Mani Majra, with an objective to conserve and educate the community about the importance of protecting our tree wealth. The tour will commence from Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24 and culminate at Sukhna Lake.

To mark the occasion, a lecture is being organised at Chandigarh College of Architecture. Eminent engineer Mahendra Raj will deliver the lecture on the life of Le Corbusier and eminent architect Sen Kapadia would make a presentation of his works at the lecture. An evening of music by renowned ghazal and playback singer Vinod Sehgal is also on the programme list at Government Museum & Art Gallery, Sector 10.

The Le Corbusier Centre is of immense historic value to the city as the centre was the workplace of Le Corbusier and his team from 1952 to 1965 and is also the spot from where the entire city was designed. The structure is also a significant resource for understanding the technological, formal, and aesthetic spirit of modern architecture, as also its peculiar manifestation in the context of Chandigarh.



Cash Scam
CBI asks media to exercise restrain
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) does not want the media to speculate in the cash-at-judge’s doorstep case.

Apparently perturbed over the appearance of speculative news reports in a section of media, the CBI has asked the publishing and broadcasting houses to exercise utmost caution.

In fact, it has issued an appeal to “print and electronic media to refrain from publishing/broadcasting baseless/imaginary versions”.

The CBI was reacting to a “baseless and factually incorrect” news report carried in an English daily. The report was on a request made by a Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge to Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, asking him to ensure examination by the investigating agency in the presence of a third person.

In an appeal in response to the news report, the CBI’s Delhi-based press information officer R.K.Gaur has asserted: “The matter relating to the delivery and recovery of Rs15 lakh from the residence of a Judge of the High Court at Chandigarh is under active investigation by the CBI.

“The investigations by the CBI are being conducted as per procedure prescribed by law and there has been no briefing of the media, formal or informal, by any CBI officer about the progress of investigation”.

The appeal comes as clarion call to a section of media that has been indulging in speculation ever since the scam came to light on August 13 with Justice Nirmaljit Kaur calling the police soon after Rs 15 lakh was erroneously delivered at her residence in Sector 11.

Initially, the media carried speculative reports that the bag containing the money was opened by the security guard at the gate of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur's house. Afterwards it became apparent from the statements of the accused that the bag was opened in the drawing room by the Judge’s clerk.

A section of Bar also feels that the media gave undue importance to an attempt made by interested parties to divert the main issue. A section of media carried news report saying other judges were present at the house of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur when the money was delivered.

So far, there is nothing on record that suggests the presence of the judges, or the effect their alleged presence has on the case. Subsequently, the publishing house itself took a u-turn to say the judges came to the house after the incident was reported to the police.

Interestingly, once bitten, twice shy CBI had faced a similar situation in the Arushi case where her murder became a TRP fetching machinery, and the media was out with the verdict even before the agency could gather evidence.



Panel for Industrial Area’s upkeep set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Chandigarh administration today constituted a committee for the development of infrastructure in the Industrial Area.

The committee was formed by Chandigarh administrator S.F. Rodrigues after listening to grievances at a public hearing session here. The committee will comprise the home secretary, finance secretary and representatives of the CII, PHDCCI and various industries to suggest a road map for strengthening support structure in the industrial area.

Rodrigues also stressed the need for making a provision of a permanent exhibition ground in the Industrial Area, which must be made a part of Industrial Area development strategy.

Expressing concern over the encroachment on the government land, Rodrigues asked the home secretary and the DC to review the functioning of the committee of the task force assigned the job of removal of encroachments. He also wanted that the encroached land of Timber Market should be vacated and furniture business should be shifted to an appropriate place.

Responding to various grievances and problems presented by the people, Rodrigues asked the officers to streamline the functioning in their respective departments so that the common man's problems were solved promptly.

As a part of the programme for empowering physically challenged people, Rodrigues asked the finance secretary to chalk out a plan for giving them booths or sites to enable them to earn their living.

Pradip Mehra, adviser to the administrator; M.P. Singh, secretary to the Governor; Ram Niwas, home secretary; Mohanjeet Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board; Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary; R.K. Rao, DC; Roshan Sunkaria, commissioner of the municipal corporation; and Vivek Gogia, DIG; were also present.



Probe team accused of shielding suspect
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
If allegations of a Zirakpur resident are to be believed, the investigating officials are ignoring "glaring facts" in an attempt to shield a former superintendent in the office of director, public instructions (secondary), Punjab, booked on the charges of procuring a job under the Scheduled Caste quota by furnishing fake certificates.

The accused Yadwinder Singh, a resident of Ram Bagh Colony, Lila Bhavan, Patiala, was booked for cheating and forgery on October 25 last year. The police had reportedly prepared the cancellation report of the case in April this year and filed it in a local court.

Kidar Nath of Zirakpur, an informer in this case, told TNS that orders of senior police officers notwithstanding, the investigating officials had flouted the directives to favour the accused. Even as on November 19 last year, the UT SSP ordered reinvestigation into the case and entrusted the probe to the crime branch, the officials sent the case to the court for cancellation of the case, bypassing the SSP's orders. The court had in its recent order dated September 13 rejected the cancellation report, asking the police to reinvestigate the matter.

In his complaint to UT IGP SK Jain, the informer alleged that the police had filed the cancellation report on wrong grounds without any proof and ignoring the caste of the accused. “The caste of the accused's son is mentioned as ‘Ramgarhia’, while he himself claims to be a Sikligar (a Scheduled Caste), and the probing officials ignored this aspect. The probing official did not probe the second marriage and also did not bother to go through the departmental inquiry conducted by the DPI (secondary), Punjab, which found Yadwinder guilty.”

ASP ( central) Madur Verma, maintained that the case was thoroughly investigated by the Sector 17 police station as well as by the crime branch and nothing substantial had come out against Yadwinder. He, however, stated that if the court had directed to investigate the matter he would look into it and got it reinvestigated.



Aanganwadi workers call off 92-day strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
With the enhancement of Rs 200 and Rs 100 in the monthly honorarium of the workers and helpers, respectively, the Aanganwadi Workers Union has called off its 92-day old chain hunger strike here today.

To celebrate the victory, the aanganwadi workers held a big rally in front of the office of the director, Social Security Women and Child Development, Sector 34, here today.

Addressing a rally of Aanganwadi workers and helpers from all over the state of Punjab, Dr K. Hemlata, general secretary of All-India Federation of Aanganwadi Workers and Helpers, congratulated the protestors for their victory, which came following a long and hard struggle.

“It was your strong determination and hard struggle, which forced the Punjab government to take this decision,” said Hemlata.

She, however, criticised the government for not implementing the Centre government’s decision to enhance Rs 500 and Rs 200 in the honorarium of workers and helpers, respectively.

“Now the All-India Federation of Aanganwadi Workers and Helpers would hold national convention on October 22 to chalk out the next course of agitation to pressurise the UPA government for further demands,” said Usha Rani, president of the union.



Police cancels case against MC staff
Civic body withdraws protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 6
Employees of the Mohali municipal council have withdrawn their protest after the police cancelled a case registered against five of their colleagues.

Five employees of the civic body were booked by the police under Section 429 of the IPC after residents of Lambian village complained that a stray bull had been tortured by employees on duty while trying to load the animal into a vehicle. The animal had died later.

SHO of the Phase VIII police station said here today that a board of three veterinary doctors had conducted a post-mortem on the dead animal and according to their report the bull, which was about 12 years old, had died due to shock and not because of external injuries. As such the case registered against council employees on September 17 was cancelled. A letter in this regard was sent to the executive officer of the civic body.

Ever since the registration of a case against five employees who had been assigned the work of catching stray animals, the staff of the civic body had been protesting. They had demanded that the case be cancelled, as the allegations levelled against their colleagues were baseless.



Puncham Coop Society stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
Occupants of the Puncham Cooperative House Building Society, Sector 68, Mohali, today staged a dharna in front of the office of the registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, in Sector 17 here today.

The residents were protesting against the unfair conduct of election by the previous managing committee and officials of the RCS.

In a complaint of the RCS, Punjab, Vishavjeet Khanna, they lamented that during the conduct of elections to elect the new managing committee, the office-bearers of the outgoing body declared 413 out of the total 454 members as defaulters so as to ensure that members of the opposite group could not vote.

Following this, 35 members who were not declared defaulters elected five members of the new managing committee among themselves.

It is learnt that the RCS has marked an inquiry into the entire issue. The role of the RCS officials was also being probed.

The information about the defaulter members was produced at the last moment despite other members repeatedly asking for the list for the last 20 days.

In the complaint to the RCS, the members alleged that the officials of the RCS, who were deputed for the conduct of the election, remained mute spectators. They claimed that previous managing committee on its own increased the price of the flats to declare persons of the rival group as defaulters. Those who had not been declared defaulters had made payment last month only. A claim of the protesters about the election being cancelled could not confirmed from the RCS.

H.S. Mann, the then general secretary, claimed that the record would clear the picture. The cost of the flat had been increased as the cost had come to Rs 513 per sq ft. Besides, a large amount has also to be paid to the GMADA. He claimed that that the conduct of election had been fair.



Courier company to pay Rs 90,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Deep seed EX Express, a courier company, to pay Rs 90,000 for not delivering a parcel, as it got lost.

The compensation amount consists of Rs 80,000 for items in the parcel and Rs 10,000 as refund for the fees they charged for the courier to be sent to England.

The petitioner, Neelam Arora, a resident of Mohali, sent four consignments through the courier company that was supposed to be delivered to her newly married son and daughter-in-law in London, UK. The company had taken an amount of Rs 10,000 for the consignment.

The petitioner stated that the consignments included household articles and others worth Rs.1.5 lakh. The company had promised to deliver the said consignments within five days but the same was not delivered.

After the petitioner complained about it to the company an inquiry was conducted according to which the company admitted that the goods were lost in the transit. The courier company did not depose before the court nor the complaint was contested.

The forum observed, “The company is held guilty of deficiency in service and has to pay Rs 80,000 as compensation for the loss of goods in the parcel(s).”



OIC sets up service centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) opened a ‘claims service centre’ at its regional office in Sector 17 here this morning. It will deal with all motor own damage claims in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.

In the event of a claim, motor insurance policy holders in the tricity can contact Elizebath Philip, manager, who is in charge of the claims service centre.

This is the ninth service centre in the country. It is IT-enabled and linked with all the branches in the region and will speed up the process of settlement of claims. The centre was inaugurated by S.K. Chanana, director-cum-general manager of OIC. A similar centre will soon be opened in Ludhiana.

While talking to The Tribune after inaugurating the centre, Chanana said the economic boom, changing lifestyles and high disposable income have paved the way for the growth of the non-life insurance sector as well.

With this sector growing at the rate of 30-35 per cent per annum, insurance companies are expected to do business worth Rs 62,000 crore in the next few years. Last year, the figures were close to Rs 25,000 crore. The Chandigarh region being prosperous, the insurance companies have a huge potential to tap.

Chanana said that the Oriental has 950 offices in the country and three overseas offices in Nepal, Kuwait and Dubai. "The market is, no doubt, very competitive nowadays, particularly after the arrival of the private sector in this field,” he added.



More than 85 donate blood at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
To commemorate National Voluntary Blood Donation Day, the Department of Transfusion Medicine, GMCH-32, in association with the Medical Laboratories Association, Chandigarh, organised a blood donation camp today on the hospital premises.

More than 85 blood units were collected at the camp. Prof Raj Bahadur, director principal of GMCH-32, inaugurated the camp. The faculty, residents and staff of the hospital participated at the camp.

The donors also registered themselves on the voluntary donor list at the blood bank to be on the call for blood donation in an emergency. Some donors also registered for the plateletpheresis programme, which is important for providing platelets to patients, especially those suffering from dengue and cancer.

Certificates and special gifts carrying the message "Donate Blood, Seek Blessings" were also distributed among blood donors. President of the Medical Laboratories Association Sanjay Mehndiratta was also present there.



IIT fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Kshitij, the annual techno-management fest of IIT, Kharagpur, will be held from January 29 to February 1.

The four-day fest, to be organised by the IIT scholars, will include workshop on cryptology by Dr P.K. Saxena, director of scientific analysis group at the DRDO, workshop on rocketry - conducted by Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad and workshop on kite modelling by Iqbal Husain, a kite making, flying and collecting enthusiast, besides other events.

The students can submit their first-round submissions for many of the events by December 16, 2008.



Mock UN session begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh October 6
A national-level conference on the lines of the UN, WORDMUN 08, kicked off here today. The event, being organised by WORDZ, a debating society, has around 124 participants from various schools of India who will represent various countries in a mock United Nations, attending various bodies like the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Security Council.

The event was inaugurated by Pawan Bansal, minister of state for finance at St. Stephens School today. Post-inauguration, students headed to the CII convention centre to brainstorm over burning issues like women empowerment, nuclear waste disposal, etc trying to express their views in line with the policies of countries they were representing in this mock UN.

According to Ankush Arora, media manager, WORDZ, “The event is happening for the first time in Chandigarh. We create a mock UN and students act as delegates from various nations. This event is best way to expose them to the policies of various nations.”



Theatre body to hold music workshop
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 6
The Indian National Theatre (INT) will hold a five-day music appreciation workshop from October 9 to 13 at Bhawan Vidyalaya in Sector 27.

Well-acclaimed musicologists and performers will hold interactive sessions between 5.30 pm to 7 pm.

The speakers include AIR classical vocalist Vinita Gupta, course director Dr Nivedita Singh (Punjabi University Patiala), Tarun Das (Lawrence School Sanawar), Dr Arvind Sharma (Punjab University) and Manjit Singh (Sri Ram Bhartiya Kala Kendra, New Delhi). Music lovers may contact course director Vinita Gupta (98720 67896) for details.



Guidelines for maternity homes

It is high time that the UT health department should instruct all the private maternity homes running in Chandigarh not to misguide the pregnant women that the Caesarean section is easier, painless and quicker method of delivery in comparison to the normal delivery.

These maternity homes must not be allowed to play with patients’ health for earning heavy amounts of money. My own daughter underwent a bad experience with a famous gynaecologist of the city when she was pregnant.

G. K. Chopra, Chandigarh

We too are responsible

As mentioned in Raveen Thukral's write-up, I agree authorities have made mockery of issuing driving licences. We too try our best to obtain driving licence for our child before he is 18 years old. Even boys of 16 years are seen driving expensive cars.

Drinking is also main cause of road rage. Psychiarists consider road rage a multi-factorial behavioural disorder. Further, it leads to honking, verbal abuse, rash driving and threats of physical violence.

It is important to keep control on your own temper, while someone is driving aggressively. Try to maintain distance from aggressive drivers. If some underage or rash driver is caught, his licence must be seized.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Gandhigiri won’t work

Rightly written in Raveen Thukral’s column, fear alone can ensure sanity. Not a day passes when you don’t read the newspaper without a road accident mentioned.

It hurts when children or youngsters die an uncalled death. Youngsters generally play havoc on the roads. Either they are underage or drunk, and try to race on roads.

Nobody has any regard for the traffic lights. Those who follow traffic rules feel foolish as they usually see people taking over from wrong side or turning without any indication, putting the good drivers at risk. The episodes of road rage happen when people feel they can go scot free after doing any type of rowdy behaviour, even killing a human being.

The traffic police should have very strict rules like cancelling of driving license or heavy fines. Gandhigiri will not work in this scenario.

Also, it is not possible for traffic police to man all the roads. We have to wake up and solve these problems.

Dr Kanwarjit Kochhar, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030.



PU to have own exam centre
Rs 12 lakh to be saved per year
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Panjab University has finally woken up to the need of having its own examination centre after spending lakh of rupees each year taking on private halls for the same.

According to sources, each year, the university has been spending around 12 lakh rupees for conducting various examinations such as entrance tests for various courses.

The proposed examination centre will be set up in place of a gas plant and workshop for the chemistry department that is situated in front of the mathematics department. The site was being used as a dumping ground for a long time.

The vice-chancellor visited the site, and after examining, it was decided to utilise the place lying unused for years together.

The project will be made at the estimated cost of Rs 3 crores. The construction will begin early next year, and if everything goes as planned, the ground floor of the building will be ready by next May.

On the site, three gas wells have been found, which were used for storage of gases. As per the plan, the wells will be converted into basement rooms to keep question papers and other important documents.

Interestingly, among other things, which were found in the dumpings, included chairs designed by Le Corbusier. “Many of the 600 chairs which were dumped were designed by Le Corbusier himself,” said R. C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, PU.

All the chairs will be given for repair and will be put to use again.

Sobti said: “For years, the university has been conducting the exams at outside venues, thus spending lakh of rupees per year. Now, the same amount can be saved and utilised somewhere else for students.”

Earlier, the vice-chancellor had constituted a committee to examine the viability of the plan. After the committee gave it a nod, only then the work to clean the site and further planning an examination centre was chalked out.

The university has also identified another similar site, which can also be utilised for the same purpose.



Manpreet Badal plays guide to students
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
Over 200 students of Gidderbaha constituency visited the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, IT Park, Punjab Tractors, Panjab University in Chandigarh, and the Dell in Mohali today.

Led by Punjab finance minister, Manpreet Singh Badal, the students are on a three-day educational tour to Chandigarh and its surrounding tourist areas. The aim of the tour is to encourage the students of government schools to giving them wide exposure.

The finance minister had promised the students to sponsor their three-day tour if they showed distinction in studies. The students were accompanied by more than 15 teachers, whose results were 100 per cent.

During interaction with the students in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Badal said the Punjab government would enhance the budget for education from 10 per cent to 50 per cent in coming years. He also explained them details of working of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

“Due to lack of basic facilities, infrastructure and latest trends in education, the students in the rural areas lag behind academically. So they are not capable of competing with other students on international level,” he added.



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