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Police Upgrade
Admn seeks Rs 15-cr grant from Centre
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
In the backdrop of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the UT Administration has sought a Rs 15.51-crore grant for the modernisation of the Chandigarh Police from the Central Government.

“In view of the terrorist incidents in various parts of the country, an urgent need has been felt to upgrade the communication system and augment the security by acquiring sophisticated and bullet proof equipment to thwart any terrorist threat in the city,” a communication from the Administration to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated.

Earlier, the Centre had sanctioned Rs 7 crore for the five year plan(2006-2011), making it an annual grant of Rs 1.4 crore. However, keeping in view the current security scenario and given Chandigarh’s strategic location as the capital of Punjab and Haryana, the administration pegged the demand for additional grant at Rs 14.11 crore for the financial year 2009-2010.

Chandigarh is inhabited by a large number of VVIPs and is the seat of administration of Punjab and Haryana. With the threat perception over the city looming large, the demand for extra grant could not be over-emphasised, sources said.

The upgrade of communication and transport systems and improvement in the infrastructure of police stations, besides the purchase of the latest gadgets, have been listed as priority areas.

The matter was also raised by UT Administrator SF Rodrigues at a recent conference of Chief Ministers on security in New Delhi. Recently, Home Secretary Ram Niwas had taken up the matter with B Bhamathi, Joint Secretary (UT) of the MHA, officials said.

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Cop suspended for eve-teasing
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, January 24
The hollowness of the “we care for you” slogan of the police was exposed when a constable of the UT police was arrested from the Sector 11 market for eve-teasing here this afternoon.

The police said the constable had been identified as Varinder Kumar, who was in his mid-30s and posted at the Police Lines in Sector 26.

The woman, aged about 22 years, filed a complaint with the police that she had was to the market to purchase milk, when the constable, in an inebriated condition, blocked her way by using his arm and even pushed her.

Stuti (name changed), BCom student, said: “The constable was on duty as he was wearing uniform and was drunk.” She said he was smoking and tried to flee in an autorickshaw after the incident, but some people caught him and handed him over to the police.

Sukhbir Rana, SHO of the Sector 11 police station, said that they had registered a case under Section 354 of the IPC against the cop and he had been arrested.

It had been proved in his medical examination, conducted at the GMSH-16, that he was drunk at the time of the incident.

Madhuri, a friend of the victim, said: “We have been staying here for the past nine years and it is a shameful act. Senior officials should take appropriate action against him.”

ASP (central) Madhur Verma said the accused had been suspended.

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R-Day award withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The Chandigarh Administration today withdrew the name of hotelier Baldev Aggarwal from the list of Republic Day awardees for allegedly concealing facts relating to registration of a police case against him.

Aggarwal was to be awarded by the administration at a state-level function here for social service.

According to sources, on the complaint of Sector 27 resident Sunita Rawat, a case of cheating was registered against Aggarwal in 2007.Aggarwal had reportedly sold off a Maruti Zen car to Sunita for Rs 1.4 lakh. However, when she applied for the registration of car in her name, certain amount was shown as outstanding against Aggarwal and the car was not transferred in her name.

The matter was brought to the notice of Home Secretary Ram Niwas today evening, who got the facts verified from the police.

The administration took the decision to cancel Aggarwal's award as the matter was still in the court and Aggarwal allegedly suppressed the information about the case.

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Ugly face of beautiful city
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Chandigarh is acclaimed to be one of the cleanest cities, but how far it holds true can only be answered by residents of Dadu Majra. After living near the garbage of the entire city for years, they are now suffering from serious health problems.

Besides the constant stench emanating from garbage heaps, the residents have to bear with the garbage that flows into their houses during rain. All this has led to stomach problems, skin ailments and asthma, besides other diseases.

Though the municipal corporation took no time in getting the much-hyped solid waste disposal plant worth crores of rupees inaugurated in May, it’s another matter that it has failed to serve any purpose.

Garbage is dumped near houses and during rain, it mixes with water and gets collected in a pond near some houses, making it difficult for the residents to even walk past it.

Narinder Choudhary, general secretary of the Dadu Majra resident welfare association, said: “We are virtually living in hell. We have often requested the area councillor, Kamlesh, to do something about it, but nothing has come of it.”

Last time, when MC commissioner Roshan Sankaria came here on a visit, the residents were given an assurance that a drainage system would be made, but even that hasn’t been done, he rued.

Earlier, chemical sprays were used at the dumping ground to counter foul smell, but this practise has also almost stopped. As a result, the garbage is still dumped in the dumping ground but no precautions are taken.

Before being elected Mayor, area councillor Kamlesh not only made senior MC officials visit the site and get first hand experience, but also apprised the UT Administrator and Adviser about the problems of the residents. She even complained that nobody was ready to listen to their problems.

Now after becoming the Mayor, the Administrator again visited the dumping ground, but didn’t find anything wrong. Though the situation has gone from bad to worse, the Administrator appreciated the MC for its efforts.

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LPG-run auto registration
Transport office wants ban to go
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 24
Hope has emerged for Mohali residents to travel in “zero-polluting” autorickshaws. As a unique case, the district transport office has urged the state transport authorities to lift the ban on the registration of LPG-run three-wheelers in the city.

In December 2008, the state transport department had directed the district transport authority not to register such vehicles. The ban was applicable to all other cities where LPG filling stations were missing.

“Due to the absence of LPG filling stations, there was pilferage of domestic LPG as there was difference in the price of auto LPG and domestic LPG,” an official said.

Sources said since the case of Mohali was unique, the registration of LPG-run vehicles should be allowed. Being part of the tricity, residents of Mohali often get tanks of vehicles filled from either Chandigarh or Panchkula. The public transport vehicles often ply between the tricity.

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Honour Killing
Man, son get life term
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg today sentenced Jaswant Singh and Sunil, father and brother, respectively, of Parmila, to life imprisonment for murdering her.

The court also asked the accused to pay a fine of Rs 15,000. They were convicted on January 22.

They were found guilty of killing her for honour as she was four months pregnant. They disfigured her face after strangling her and later burnt some parts of her body to conceal her identity.

They even tried to fake her rape by removing her salwar and strangling her to mislead the police.

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AWWA Controversy
Documents rebuff Army claim
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Documents produced before the Central Information Commission (CIC) by the Army have contradicted its earlier claim that the Army Wives’ Welfare Association (AWWA) is an independent NGO and does not come under the purview of the military establishment.

During hearing of an appeal filed before the CIC by a local lawyer Guneet Chaudhary seeking details of AWWA’s functioning and sources of funds, the CIC has also summoned representatives of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) and sought details about the annual cost of hiring government premises in which its offices and facilities are housed.

The CIC issued summons to the CSD for February 27 after the appellant pointed out that the balance sheets furnished by AWWA did not reflect the entire sources of its income and he specifically referred to the 2008 report of the CSD which stated that the department had contributed to the AWWA and some other welfare establishments a total of Rs 9,500 million over the past 60 years.

Further, copies of posting orders produced by the Army showed that AWWA was substantially using the human resources of the Army. During the earlier hearings, the Army had declined having posted any serving officer/personnel on AWWA duties. The said posting orders issued by the MS branch at Army Headquarters reveals that posting of staff officers is directly controlled by the Army.

The Army had contended that all men associated with AWWA were rendering voluntary services after office hours.

Though the Army had earlier claimed AWWA to be an independent entity, AWWA’s balance sheets were submitted for audit by the Army.

Records further revealed that the audit of AWWA accounts was conducted at the behest of the Army authorities and the audit reports were also submitted to the Adjutant General’s Branch.

This, the appellant has contended, showed that the Army has direct control over AWWA’s funds.

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Traffic diverted for R-Day function
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 24
In the wake of Republic Day function, the UT Traffic Police has imposed some restrictions on vehicular movement and has planned diversions from certain roads near the Parade Ground, Sector 17, and near the Punjab Raj Bhavan.

The stretch from the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 to the rotary near Gurdial Singh Petrol Pump, Sector 22, on the Udyog Path, from the crossing Sectors 16 and 17 up to the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Jan Marg and from light point near Lyon’s Restaurant, Sector 17, up to Parade Ground, will remain closed for public with vehicles, from 7 am onwards on January 26 till the function at Parade Ground is over.

The parking area in front of the shops in the market of Sector 22-A will not be allowed from 7 am onwards. The VIPs’ and the senior officers with the authorised car parking labels on their vehicles will be allowed to enter from roundabout of Sector 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Udyog Path and will be allowed to park their vehicles in front of market in Sector 22-A.

The general public will be allowed to park their vehicles in Sector 22-B and near the Blood Disease Hospital, in Sector 23-B on the rear side of Neelam Cinema in Sector 17, in the parking of Football Stadium and the Circus Ground in Sector 17.

All long route buses coming from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other places have been diverted towards ISBT roundabout from Bajwara roundabout and Piccadilly roundabout via Himalya Marg for Republic Day function.

The traffic police has also imposed restrictions for traffic around Punjab Raj Bhavan for the “At Home” function. The road stretch from the roundabout of Sectors 5, 6, 7, 8 up to the T-Point near the Golf Club and from the T-Point near Punjab Raj Bhavan onwards and towards the residence of Advisor to the Administrator will remain closed to general public from 2 pm onwards on January 26 till the function is over.

Vehicles with the ‘pink car parking labels’ will be parked at the rear side of Advisor’s residence. They will be allowed to park in front of entry gate of Punjab Raj Bhavan. The self-driven cars of senior citizens with ‘pink car parking labels’ will be allowed to park in the area of Mini Zoo.

Invitees with the ‘green car parking labels’ are requested to use the road from the turn of Sector 7 and 8 and can park their vehicles in the parking area adjacent to Advisor’s residence, Sector 7.

The traffic police has requested the Golf Club members can use the road from Shri Guru Gobind Singh College, sector 26 to reach the Golf Club, from 2 pm onwards, on the same day.

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‘Global warming is natural, enjoy it’
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The hot news on global warming is that “it’s natural” Man has nothing to do with it.

Rather, global warming and cooling processes are like day and night, though of longer durations.

No wonder, award-winning Indian Geologist Dr Ritesh Arya suggests, “Enjoy it”.

A specialist in hydrogeology and groundwater resources in the Himalayas, Dr Arya says, “Man is too small to cause any impact on global warming.”

Author of research papers and invited by the Royal Geographical Society in 2005 to discuss climate change, Dr Arya insists, “Holding man and his activities responsible for pollution is acceptable. Blaming him for global warming is far from truth.”

His vision is not without basis. “Experiments carried while drilling wells in the Indus basin clearly show major glaciers melted much before the advent of industrialisation,” he says. “The rate at which the glaciers receded, though unknown in those times, was much faster than now being projected and related to the activities of man.”

Dr Arya’s views have found a platform in Turkey. He is scheduled to give vent to his findings through a scientific paper. It has been accepted for presentation during a worldwide conference on global warming in Istanbul, Turkey. It is slated to be held from July 5 to July 9.

Dr Arya says his new paper emphasises on the need to reexamine the global warming definition. The one in currency holds man and his activities responsible for increased global warming in recent years.

Dr Arya believes the time has come to put things straight, before it is too late. “Holding mankind responsible for directly or indirectly contributing to increase in greenhouse gases, leading to enhanced temperatures or faster melting rates of glaciers, will only make things worse.”

The so-called greenhouse gases, he says, are essential for survival. Dr Arya is, otherwise also, convinced that global cooling will only lead to extinction. “Imagine living in Antarctica or Greenland for the rest of your life without water, without cyclones, without floods,” Dr Arya says.

He says his paper “is based on the data gathered for over a decade from the bore-well samples drilled in the Indus basin in Ladakh and the Indian-Himalayan region.

“Bore-well samples analysed from the wells drilled clearly show that global warming and cooling processes are like day and night though of longer durations. They are an essential part of the natural cycle.”

So what are the suggestions and safeguards? “With little precaution while selecting the site for habitation near the coasts or glacio-fluvial valleys, the impacts of global warming like cyclones, flash flooding and land submergence can be minimised,” he asserts, adding, “As such, it’s high time we learn to enjoy global warming.”

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Councillors meet to check delay in projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation held a meeting yesterday to fix responsibility for delay in completion of various developmental works and other projects assigned to contractors. Earlier, in the House meeting held in December 2008 , the issue pertaining to the completion certificate by the respective area councillor was taken up.

In fact, a proposal was also sent to the administration that the contractors would be issued completion certificates after a particular work was over by the area councillor. This was mooted after it was found that many a times the work was left incomplete and payments were made to the contractors. To keep a check on the works and fix responsibility for the delays, the councillors had proposed that a certificate with their signatures should be made mandatory before making payments by the MCC. However, the same was not accepted. A meting was held today in this regard wherein it was decided that a fresh proposal be sent in this matter with necessary changes.

Suggestions were made that a board with contractor’s name, date of starting the project and its deadline be fixed at the site, so that the resident would know as to who is responsible for a particular work in the area and thus responsibility could be fixed.

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Vigilance probe into land deals ‘unconstitutional’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The decision of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to investigate land projects approved by the UT Administrator, who is also the Punjab Governor, has come under questioning.

Raising reservations about the constitutionality of CVC’s investigation into big land deals in Chandigarh, wherein the Administrator-cum-Governor played a major role, social activist Hemant Goswami today submitted a representation to the President of India. The petition sent on behalf of Citizens’ Voice requested for ensuring the maintenance of dignity and honour of the office of the Governor.

Calling investigation by the CVC as unconstitutional while the Punjab Governor remains in office, Goswami said: “The role of the Chandigarh’s Administrator, who had promoted, approved and pushed all these projects in an illegal manner, is going to be the prime area of investigation for the CVC.” He stated that the Governor should be requested to relinquish office till the time the investigations were on.

He said a Governor or the President of India could not be made criminally liable while in office and Article 361 of the Constitution specifically bars any such action.

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Relay fast of tenants’ body enters 24th day
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 24
The chain fast of Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association (CIATA) today entered its 24th day. More than six hundred entrepreneurs assembled and conducted a peaceful procession through the Industrial Area via The Tribune rotary.

S Sagar, president CIATA, said, “The landlords of the Industrial Area are doing mass eviction of tenants to opt the “Conversion Policy-2005”. Besides eviction, torture, mental tension is being given to the tenants.”

Sagar further added that the industrial plots were being converted into shopping malls, multiplexes, banquet halls and hotels, thus the small entrepreneurs were having no other option than close their commercial activities.

The members of the CIATA also demanded that the administration should take effective steps in this matter.

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Smog, Cuppa Mocha under scanner
Violation of Anti-Tobacco Act suspected
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 24
Smog and Cuppa Mocha, two favourite hangout joints for youths in the township, are in a spot over allegedly offering tobacco products to its visitors and various other violations. There were several instances in the recent past when the police received complaints regarding fights among youths at these outlets.

In fact, district administration and police top brass today came into action and conducted raids at the two outlets situated in Sector 8 and 9 here today. The district health office lifted the samples of the ash flavours and water being used in hookahs at Smog.

It was around noon when a team of district administration, including Deputy Commissioner Rajender Kataria, Superintendent of Police Sandip Khirwar and SDM Ashok Meena, reached the Smog where many couples in their teens were found using hookahs sitting in small cabins.

The packets of flavours used in hookahs at the premises specified that it contained tobacco. Neither any notice was displayed earmarking no smoking zone nor any record of visitors maintained. The team also visited Cuppa Mocha in Sector 9 where youth, including girls, were found smoking even as no notice board was displayed earmarking no smoking zone.

It was only three months back that the government notification under the Anti-Tobacco Act had been issued and it was under this Act that the raids were conducted today, said Deputy Commissioner Kataria.

Teams were sent to some other public places also for challaning the violators and as many as 42 persons were challaned, said the officials.

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Three PGI doctors feted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Three PGI doctors, Dr Akshay Saxena, Dr Kushaljit Singh Sodhi and Dr Veenu Singla received an award for their research work at the 62nd annual conference of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association held in Patna.

According to a press note issued by the PGI, Ashok Mukherjee gold medal was awarded to Dr Akshay Kumar Saxena, Associate Professor in the radio diagnosis department, for his research on spot images in paediatric fluoroscopic procedures while Dr Kushaljit Singh Sodhi, Assistant Professor, received the Onco Imaging gold medal for his paper on multi detector CT and virtual bronchoscopy in tracheo bronchial obstruction in children.

Dr Veenu Singla, Assistant Professor, received the second best paper award in the preferred paper section for her paper on computer-aided detection in digital mammography.

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Environment cause of worry: Defence expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The two-day international conference on civil-military relations, organised by the centre for defence and national security studies, Panjab University, concluded today. Lt General Hardev Lidder, former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, addressed the conference.

He said the military is an instrument of policy. War is a complex phenomenon and is more impacted by human ingenuity, evolution of technology and global interplay of relations between the states, he added.

He said there was a need for a clear defence policy for a solution to the problem of civil-military relations. He pointed out that the environment was changing at the rate of 20 per cent every year and therefore the efforts should be made to move along with the changing environment where globalisation and technological advancement had larger share to play.

Peter Stephen Probst, a former CIA official with an exclusive experience in the field of counter-terrorism, pointed out the role of media in highlighting the major events like Mumbai blasts, wherein certain inadequacies in addressing such challenges were brought out.

The Mumbai attack resonated what had happened in USA on September 11. The prime goal of the terrorists had been to influence the population and the politicians.

Prof David F Ciampi, US professor in international politics, spoke on civil-military relations and disaster response emphasising on gaps in military effectiveness. He said many global challenges, like terrorism, and national disasters, like bird flue, are causing threat to national security and defence.

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These HIV+ kids have nowhere to go
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Raju (name changed) dusts cars at a busy roundabout on Dakshin Marg while Ajay (name changed) spends his day serving tea at a stall near the ISBT and Munna (name changed) earns his livelihood begging in the corridors of Sector 17. Though they look like hundreds of other poor and deprived kids in the city, they are different. They may laugh and play, but there is a sadness in their eyes that can’t be ignored, for they are HIV positive.

Each day they go about their daily routine, eking out an existence, with a lurking fear of death. Having lost their parents to AIDS, these children don’t know what the future holds for them.

Raju (8), Ajay (14) and Munna (9) are not the only ones in the city who are living with the deadly virus. There are over a 100 children in the city who are infected and pass their days in fear.

Shanti (name changed), recently approached an NGO which is working for people living with HIV/AIDS, seeking help to send her two minor HIV positive children, to an orphanage as she cannot fend for them. “I don’t have the means to either bring them up or seek treatment for them,” she says.

She lost her husband to AIDS two years ago. Shanti, now a sex worker, says she was shocked when she came to know about her and her children’s HIV positive status. Her earnings are too meagre to support her children and she has no choice but to find an orphanage that will accept them. Navendu Jha, a volunteer of Drop In Centre (Sector 15), which is engaged in the counselling of HIV positive patients, says there are many “HIV widows” in the city who are finding it extremely difficult to make their ends meet.

Since most of them come from slum colonies, they have no source of income after the death of their husbands. Also, there are no schemes available from the government to help such people.

According to some social workers, life is hell for HIV patients since relatives and families are reluctant to look after them and usually desert them. There are no orphanages or homes for such patients.

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Security up ahead of Republic Day
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 24
Security arrangements here have been tightened by the police in view of the Republic Day celebrations. Nakas were being laid and passengers being checked at the railway station here today.

Coaches of a train from Ambala to Nangal were checked by the district police and the railway police. Those sitting along the track were also questioned.

SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh said checking at the railway station was carried out not only because of the Republic Day, but also because of a threat call that had been received by an official of the railway police based in Ambala.

He said nakas had been laid at 13 points over the past two days across the town. These points were Punjab-UT boundary, Phase VI, Phase I, microwave tower, Phase III-V chowk, T-point, Lakhnour, Spice Chowk, Guru Nanak Colony, Jagatpura and Phase III-VII lights, among others. Vigil was also being kept in market areas.

Owners of hotels and guest houses had been asked to provide lists of persons occupying rooms.

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3 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 24
Three persons were injured when a call centre cab rammed into the back courtyard of a house in Phase II here today.

According to information, driver Mandeep Singh lost control of the fast-moving cab near the Franco Hotel and it rammed into the wall. The vehicle also hit the wall of a room constructed in the courtyard, injuring the servant of the house.

The driver received serious injuries and was taken to the Phase VI Civil Hospital from where he was referred to PGI, Chandigarh. The girl, an employee of the call centrewas also injured in the mishap.

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Engg college to pay Rs 24 lakh fine
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 24
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has decided to impose a penalty of Rs 27 lakh on an engineering college for using an electricity connection meant for agriculture purpose to run the college activities. The misuse of connection was detected by a team of vigilance from the department on Thursday.

According to PK Goel, Xen, UHBVN, Panchkula Engineering College run by Balaji Institute at Mouli Chowk near Barwala had a temporary connection at the time of construction of building of college.

However, the college after the completion of construction work did not deposit the electricity bill and the department removed the connection. Later the college management started drawing the electricity from a connection meant for agriculture purpose. This connection was installed in the name of Mahipal Singh, the landlord from whom the college management bought the land, said Goel.

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Child welfare panel to be restructured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 24
The Child Welfare Committee and the Inspection Committee for Chandigarh are being reconstituted Under the Juvenile Justice Act (Care and Protection) 2000.

The chairperson and members of the committees are to be appointed on the recommendations of a selection committee constituted for the purpose headed by SK Verma, a former DGP of Punjab.

For the Child Welfare Committee members should have background of social work, child psychology, education, sociology or science. The Inspection Committee with tenure of three years will consist of members from the administration, local authority, medical and other experts, voluntary organisations and social workers.

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Auto drivers block road
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 24
Members of the Chandigarh Autorickshaw Union held a protest and blocked the road separating the Industrial Area and Sector 29 here this afternoon.

Charan Sahni, president of the union, they had been called to attend a meeting at the traffic lines in Sector 29 to help the police against criminal activities, “but as we came out of the office, the cops impounded four autorickshaws. This is not fair and we blocked the road,” he said.

Vandana Dasodiya, Secretary, State Transport Authority, reached the spot, they suspended the protest and fixed a meeting with her.

Kamla Kantt, chairman of the autorickshaw joint action committee, said officials of the STA were also issuing challan without any fault of drivers and this was not acceptable.

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Role of students’ organisations discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Himachal Pradesh Students’ Federation of India state committee yesterday held schooling on various contours of the organisation in the Cheema Bhawan, Sector 30-B, Chandigarh.

About 70 delegates from various parts of Himachal Pradesh assembled here. The first day of the three-day schooling was inaugurated with the class of organisation, addressed by All-India General Secretary of SFI Ritobroto Benerji laid down the historical aspect and the organisational view over the evolution of concepts of student’s organisations.

He taught the role of Student’s Federation of India to fight the impacts of imperialism on Indian education system. He explained the path will be full of struggle and we have to carry over our legacy of combating with such forces. To overcome these obstacles we have to enrich our organisation with discipline and a progressive ideology.

The further classes will concentrate on the other topics like evolution of humanity and society, current political situation and programme and constitution Student’s of Federation of India.

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Sarpanches, panches honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The local unit of the BJP honoured panches and sarpanches of 13 villages of Chandigarh who have been elected in the recently held panchayat polls. BJP candidate from Chandigarh Parliamentary constituency Satya Pal Jain honoured five sarpanches and 72 panches at a function organised here today.

Cooperation Minister, Punjab, Capt Kanwaljit Singh and MLA from Morinda Ujagar Singh Badali were also attended the function.

Addressing the villagers, Capt Kanwaljit Singh pointed out the indiscrimination meted out to farmers by the Chandigarh Administration while giving compensation for their land in the name of development.

“Punjab is giving compensation of Rs 1.5 crore per acre to the farmers whose land is being acquired. Even those who opt to purchase land anywhere in the Punjab are being provided free connection of tubewell and the land purchased by them is free of any registration fee,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Jain said the remaining 13 villages of Chandigarh would be made model villages and all the basic amenities like hospitals, schools, sanitation, roads and drinking water would be provided.

Yash Pal Mahajan, former president, Bhajan Singh Maru, chairman, zila parishad, Ramvir Bhatti, vice-chairman Market Committee, Shingara Singh, president District No. 5, Dr Hukum Chand, district general secretary Desraj Gupta, Mata Ram Dhiman, Balvinder Singh, sarpanch and Anil Dubey also addressed the gathering.

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Fire officers go wrong with uniforms
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Not caring for rules, some fire officers of the Chandigarh fire services wear uniform and stars of higher ranks and would salute the Tricolour on January 26.

Instead of wearing uniform as per their own ranks, they wear uniforms of higher ranks. High-ranking officials of the department have in the past questioned them about it. Despite this, they were seen wearing wrong uniforms and badges during the rehearsal for the Republic Day. One of them has been assigned duty with the Mayor during the unfurling of the National Flag.

The list of 33 fire officers who are going to participate in the Republic Day parade has Shyam Singh as sub fire officer on the top followed by Mangal Chand. According to this list, they are sub fire officers who have been assigned flag duty. But as per official records, Mangal Chand is a leading fireman.

Even on Republic Day last year, the same mistake was committed, wherein the then ad hoc station fire officer was seen rehearsing while wearing three stars even as his extension had already ended.

Realising the mistake, the chief fire officer of the MC extended his tenure just before the final parade.

Sources claim that Mangal Chand’s rank is that of a leading fireman though he has been assigned the duty of a sub fire officer for the time being. He is being given financial benefits of his original post. His orders also clearly mention that he is eligible only for benefits extended to a leading fireman only.

According to the sources, in 2008, when some officers wore wrong stars at the Republic Day parade, Parmod Kumar, leading fireman, complained against them to the Mayor and the chief commissioner. Following the complaint, the fire officer concerned investigated the matter and those who wore two stars were made to wear one as per their ranks.

A notification of the Union Home Ministry in 2003 clearly states that as per the standing fire advisory council’s directions, a station officer wears three stars and a sub fire officer can wear one star.

It was only after this notification that these officers adhered to the guidelines. After this, another complaint was filed against the wearing of even one star. SK Gosain, senior fire officer, is investigating the matter.

A report was sought from the store in charge if the officers in question were assigned uniforms of sub fire officers. He also clarified that they were not issued any uniforms. The final report would be submitted soon to the chief fire officer.

When contacted, Gosain confirmed about the complaint and said the matter was being investigated.

Chief fire officer (officiating) PK Sharma could not be contacted.

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200 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The security department of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) organised a blood donation camp in the lecture theatre complex of the PGI here today.

More than 200 volunteers from CBI, CISF and various departments of the PGI, including the security wing, donated the blood during the camp. The camp was inaugurated by Inspector-General of Police, UT, S.K. Jain. A team of doctors from the department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, conducted the camp.

The camp was conducted under the supervision of Chief Security Officer P.C. Sharma.

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New Punjabi Theatre Fest concludes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 24
The four-day “New Punjabi Theatre Festival” of plays by playwright director Pali Bhupinder, organised by the Punjab Arts Council and NZCC concluded at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

All the plays with different thematic content and treatment, which took the Punjabi drama to heights, were a treat to watch for the city audience. The concluding presentation “Tuhanu Kehda Rang Psand Hai” or which colour fascinates you seems to be a simple query for any one but Pali, using it a metaphor, offered a psycho-analysis of human mind’s suppressed desires, morality and sex. The tension, conflict, crisis of illusion and reality operate at different levels in the play seeking answers to the very independent existence of man virtually confined to societal dictates, diverse social strains and the institution of marriage.

To illustrate the logical and philosophical dilemma of the inquisitive soul of protagonist, or for that matter any living human being, the playwright had employed his alter ego as “Ajanabi”.

The lively and creative confrontation of ideas and actions on the stage brought alive the thematic content through an immaculate acting spells by the versatile duo of Kumar Ajay and Sachin Kohli (Ajnabi) with Rajesh and Sandeep in supporting roles.

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Introduce quota in private institutes: Former don
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
A special lecture on “Dynamics of Reservation Policy: Towards A More Inclusive Social Order” was delivered by Prof Virendra Kumar, former chairman, department of laws, and dean, faculty of law, Panjab University, here today.

Prof Kumar analysed the whole scope of reservation policy in terms of three main perspectives, which he identified as “judicial resilience for accommodating legislative intent,” “reservation as a dynamic social phenomenon” and “reservation as a strategy for inclusive social order.”

He also questioned the exclusion of private un-aided educational institutions and minority professional educational institutions from the purview of reservation policy. He said the distinction between the so-called aided and un-aided educational institutions was invidious, because the most critical support received by an educational institution from the state was not financial, but its recognition. If such an invaluable support was availed of both by the aided and the un-aided institutions alike, there seemed to be no reason for exempting the un-aided institutions from the ambit of reservation policy, he added.

He also questioned the exclusion of the SCs and the STs from the purview of' the exclusion of the creamy layer, both by the courts and the Parliament. So far, as the basis of determining backwardness was concerned, there was no differentiation either in degree or in kind between the SCs and the STs on the one side, and the OBCs on the other, he further said.

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Organ donation campaign initiated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
To mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the local branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in association with Desh Bhagat Group of Institute launched a eye and body donation campaign here yesterday.

Dr Zora Singh, IMA’s branch president, said his family had pledged their organs. Hundreds of students and staff members of Desh Bhagat Group also pledged their eye. The campaign would continue round the year, said Dr Singh.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Singh said: “Organ donation should run in family and promoted by making society aware of making a legal will before death.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ashok Sharma, director, Chandigarh Cornea Centre, said in one of the surveys it had been found that the prevalence of corneal diseases was higher in North India compared to the rest of the country. It was surprising that donor eye procurement was less in the north zone where the requirement was more, compared to the west and south zones.

Religious myths needed to be dispelled, asserted Dr Ashok. He said: “People need to know that anyone can donate eyes. Age is no bar for eye donation. People wearing glasses can also donate eyes. Donor eyes are evaluated in the eye banks before these are released for surgery.

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Punjabi album ‘Jazbaat’ out
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 24
Deeply rooted in religious and folklore traditions, the rich and vibrant Punjabi culture and literature has been enriched by our spiritual sage, Sufi seers and scholars from time to time, said Dr Sardar Anjum while releasing an audio album by an upcoming singer Garima Noor here today.

Dr Anjum maintained that lyrics were always the lifeline of any musical composition and all the 11 songs of the album written by different lyricists bear the common stamp of felicity of literary language though weaved in pastoral idiom.

He appreciated that qualified and dedicated artistes like Garima, an MBA and trained classical vocalist, were now opting for singing Punjabi folk rather than the pop or filmy numbers. Such artistes must be encouraged, he added.

Garima has learnt the rudiments of classical music from her mother Savita Jain, an accomplished vocalist. Garima had earlier teamed with her mother for a devotional album before cutting the solo album.

Young maestro Vijay has scored the music for the album produced and presented by Power World and J.S. Bahia.

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Dharna by sangharsh committee
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 24
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Sector 76-80, staged a dharna outside the GMADA office here today to protest against the failure of the authorities concerned to hold draw of lots for plots allotted to them eight years ago.

The protesters raised slogans against GMADA and demanded that the date for holding the draw of lots be fixed at the earliest.

Sucha Singh Kalour, president of the committee, said that Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, was not implementing the directions of the Punjab Chief Minister who had said that draw should be held for the remaining plots falling in Sectors 76 to 80. He demanded strict action against officials who were responsible for the delay.

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Power conference ends at PEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The two-day national conference on the power distribution system, operation and control, organised by the department of electrical engineering, Punjab Engineering College, here, concluded today.

Various papers concerning sustainable growth of the power sector, technical, commercial as well as administrative aspects of distribution system were discussed during the conference.

Dr Madhusudan Singh stressed on the potential of the wind energy for global deployment on large scale in the wake of depleting fossil fuels. He also apprised the audience of the growth in wind energy at the global level, which was estimated to provide 12 per cent of world energy by 2020. At present, in India, only 8,000 MW of wind energy was being tapped, which was about 15 per cent of the total wind potential.

Prof MK Verma presented a paper on the optimal placement of the UPFC to enhance voltage stability. Prof Gayadhar Panda discussed the automatic generation control of two-tree interconnected power system using conventional integral and fuzzy logic controller. Prof Balwinder Singh apprised the audience of the effects of luminaries on power distribution system.

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Boot camp held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
For over 50 students, who got interview calls from the IIMs, a two-day boot camp was organised here by Career Launchers.

According to a press note issued here today, the boot camp comprised 48 hours of intense grilling and mentoring on various parameters. The camp had over 20 trainers, who mentored the students on a one-to-one basis, shared their experiences and addressed the special needs of each call getter.

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Dancers dominate talent fest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 24
Final day of the Talent Festival at Manav Mangal Smart School was dominated by dancing and singing performances.

The theme for the group dance, “war and peace”, was depicted by various schools, using a variant mix of songs.

Results of the events:

Category A (Classes V and VI): Choral Melody: 1 Manav Mangal High School, 2 Smart school.

Category B (Classes VII and VIII): Foot Loose (Group Dance): 1 Smart school, 2 Swami Ram Tirath.

Choral Melody: 1 Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School and Smart school, Mohali, 2 Ajit Karam Singh, Chandigarh.

Participants will be awarded certificates and prizes at a ceremony to be organised in February.

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Environmental week ends at girls’ college
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 24
Amar Singh Chandel, deputy editor, The Tribune, today said along with global issues, the students must be concerned with immediate surroundings. He was speaking at a seminar organised by Government College for Girls, Sector 14, here on the concluding ceremony of the environmental week.

He made the students aware of the environmental problems and exhorted them to come forward to curb the activities leading to the global warming. It is the duty of every individual to contribute for the prevention of this degradation, he added.

Seven students of the college made presentations on various topics of environment, like atmospheric pollution, population growth, disaster management and global warming.

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Vivek school celebrates sports day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Vivek High School, Sector 38, celebrated its annual sports day on the school premises here today.

All the 350 students from Classes I to III participated in the event. The children depicted motor skills in marching parade. Flat races were conducted for boys and girls from each class. Children also participated in skill races like ‘Planet Hopping’, ‘Balancing Beans’, ‘Sack Race’, ‘Minkey Dribbling’ and ‘Hurdles’. Relay races (50m x 4) were also organised.

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