C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Slapped and splashed on Facebook
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In yet another incident involving the ugly side of Facebook, a suspended student of Class X at Doon International Public School, Mohali, first slapped his classmate and then splashed photographs of the incident on the Internet community site.

The slapped boy was under heavy depression since yesterday afternoon and the family was faced with a splurge of phone calls of relatives, neighbours, acquaintances and many not linked to the family in any way.

The police lodged a DDR into the case. Following enquiries, the footage of the boy being thrashed was scrapped from Facebook. Importantly, the family of the victim had downloaded the clipping and it was in their possession for proving their allegations.

The victim was stopped outside the school premises by a student yesterday and beaten black and blue in front of a group studying in the same school.

The reason was old rivalry, which had led to the expulsion of the offender last year. The victim came out of the school premises after completing his examination when he was waylaid by the group of students.

The boy’s parent said, “The group stood on the side while the accused thrashed my child. One of them recorded the entire episode and pasted it on Facebook. I started getting calls. I went home and was having lunch when my son came and asked me to see the site. I was horrified. I contacted the school authorities, who assured me to look into the incident on Monday. My only apprehension is that the family of the accused looks influential. I expect a fair inquiry and the formal registration of an FIR.”

Talking to this correspondent, the boy’s father said, “I cannot explain my position. I am getting calls about my son. I am repeating the same story. I feel irritated and sometimes shattered. My boy is under depression and I do not know how I will fight my case in case the opposite party is so influential. I thought of shifting my son to some other school, but it is not wise to do so at this juncture. My son is very uncomfortable with the idea.”

A senior functionary of the school said, “We will take strict action against the offender. We had allowed the offender to appear in the examination so that his studies were not affected. I called the parent immediately after the incident and said a police complaint could be lodged. The reply was that there was no need to bother as senior officers of the police could be managed with their contacts.”

Last year, the victim had been dragged to the school bathroom. He was beaten up and his clothes were torn. The school turned the offender out, but he remained in touch with his classmates, as was evident from the presence of others during yesterday’s incident.



Pilot projects a non-starter
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Much-hyped pilot projects of the municipal corporation (MC) have failed to accomplish their purpose. Resultantly, lakhs spent on their planning and execution have gone down the drain.

These projects include a multi-level parking at Sector 17, a modernised ‘dhobi ghat’ at Sector 15 and a fish market at Sector 41.

Multi-level parking

Taking note of the parking problem, the MC had approved a plan in 2007 to set up the first-ever multi-level parking on a build-operate-transfer basis near the Sahib Singh parking at Sector 17.

The cost of this project was estimated at between Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 crore. It envisaged parking space for around 1,500 cars.

The MC had paid around Rs 2.15 crore to the UT administration to shift the power substation. The MC had agreed to hand over a clear site to the company to start the work.

The contractor to whom it was allotted in 2007 had refused to commence work as the authorities handed over the land after a four-year delay.

The contractor had been pleading that the cost of construction had increased manifold in the last four years.

Fish market

As per a survey by the medical health department, about 50 quintals of fish was being consumed in the city everyday in winter and 20 quintals in summer, with most vendors doing business in unhygienic conditions.

Keeping this in view, the UT administration constructed a fish market at Sector 41 and handed it over to the MC for auction of shops last year.

In all, 12 booths in three categories, 22.75 square yards and 25.37 square yards for retailers and 47.25 square yards for wholesalers, with a 380-square-foot chill room, were constructed.

The MC had tried to auction the shops twice, but in vain. There were no takers due to the high reserve price, with the shops continuing to lie vacant.

Modern ‘dhobi ghat’

Dhobi ghat at Sector 15 in Chandigarh.
Dhobi ghat at Sector 15 in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: S Chandan

With the traditional method of washing being a major cause of water pollution, unhygienic conditions, dirt and water wastage, the MC, in 2005, planned to replace all seven traditional ‘dhobi ghats’ at Sector 15 with modern ones.

In 2008, the first modern ‘dhobi ghat’ was constructed at Sector 15, where residents got the facility of getting their clothes washed at a nominal rate of Rs. 20 per wash.

The other six projects were in the pipeline since 2005. This year, a budget of Rs. 1.5 crore had been approved by the MC.



Water-free urinals catch CBSE’s fancy
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
After launching sanitation ratings, it is now water-free urinals that have caught the fancy of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and its key partner, the National Urban School Sanitation Initiative (NUSSI).

The CBSE, in collaboration with the NUSSI, is mulling not only introducing, but also making it compulsory for its 11,000-odd affiliated schools to instal innovative waterless urinals.

It is estimated that the use of this technology in schools will help save 40 lakh litres of water daily.

These special urinals have already made it to the list of key postulates of the Urban School Sanitation Manual.

According to the manual, these special urinals are one of the advances that not only promise to upgrade school sanitation, but also save water resources. The idea has, however, failed to excite city schools.

Said one government school principal, “In the current situation, where it takes years to obtain permission for building extra classrooms or to buy furniture, such a technology appears a distant dream. The CBSE should, at some point in time, review the system. It will then get to know that despite being one of the best cities, toilets are still in a pitiable condition in several schools. Moreover, we deal with students who do not use water in toilets. Having such technology will add to the filth.”

“Anything that sounds fancy is on their agenda. The technology is good, but the issue is whether we are ready for it or not. When their own surveys claim that 40 per cent students in the region do not flush or wash hands after visiting toilets, how can they consider water-free toilets? If you look at government schools, most of those do not have an optimum number of toilets,” observed Independent School Association president HS Mamik.



Deadly Transfusion
After foetus, it’s kidneys
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Wrong blood transfusion to Suman, a resident of Colony No. 4, at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has not only proved fatal for her foetus, but has now affected her kidneys as well.

Enquires at the PGI revealed that Suman had been suffering from severe infection in her kidneys and had to be put on medication. In case her condition failed to improve by tomorrow, she would have to be put on dialysis.

A PGI spokesman said Suman was admitted to the labour room and her condition was stable. Gynaecological and renal experts were monitoring her condition. MP Singh, GMSH spokesperson, said a report in this case would be submitted tomorrow.

Suman had been administered blood meant for another patient with a similar name. Following this, her condition started deteriorating and doctors referred her to the PGI, where the baby was declared dead in the womb.

Meanwhile, Suman’s husband Des Raj, a labourer, today lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh police, seeking action against the GMSH authorities for the lapse.

He said nobody from the health department showed concern towards the plight of his wife, adding that the expenses on her treatment had been borne by him.



Two arrested with stolen items
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
With the arrest of two persons, the crime branch has claimed to have solved a number of thefts and snatching cases in the city, including the theft of a laptop from Panjab University in October this year. Exposing the lackadaisical security arrangements at the campus, the two, who hail from Bihar, managed to steal the laptop by sneaking into the Boys Hostel number 2 at the university in October this year.

The police arrested the duo - Sunil Kumar (19) and Sanjay Kumar (21) - and recovered stolen goods worth lakhs from their possession.

During their interrogation, a Dell laptop was recovered from them and it was found that they stole it from a boys hostel at PU on October 16 this year. The police said investigations were on to ascertain whether they had stolen more laptops from the university.

“As they have no residence in Chandigarh and belong to remote villages of Bihar, the two used to loiter around the university campus and spend their nights at the railway station. They were planning to sell the laptop in the scrap market but all their attempts have been unsuccessful so far,” said DSP Satbir Singh of the crime branch adding that they had stolen items worth Rs 4 lakh from the city in the past six months and had no prior criminal background. They used to sell the stolen goods in the scrap market for quick buck, the police said.

On the basis of secret information, the two were arrested by laying a barrier near Sector 25/38 roundabout. They were riding on a Hero Honda Stunner motorcycle number PB70-B-3696 when they were signalled to stop. It was found that the bike was stolen on October 27 this year from Sector 35 and a case was registered at the Sector 36 police station.

The police recovered a mobile phone Make E-71 from Sunil, which he had snatched from a woman. A Bajaj Chetak scooter, which was stolen from Burail village on October 16 was also recovered from their possession.



Stone laid, that’s it!
Routine development projects going on at snail’s pace
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The mega-projects fiasco seems to have taken its toll on other development projects in the city, with a majority of those not moving beyond foundation-stone-laying ceremonies.

Blame it on the lack of initiative due to a spate of inquiries into various mega-projects, including Filmcity, Theme-cum-amusement Park and Information Technology Park, the UT bureaucracy seems to be a case of once bitten, twice shy.

There is general indifference within the bureaucracy, resulting in the slow movement and execution of even routine development projects, which is causing much inconvenience of the general public.

For instance, two years-and-a-half have passed since the laying of the foundation stone of the additional building of the UT Secretariat at Sector 9, but there has been no progress since.

Similarly, the proposed green and intelligent building of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is still at a conceptual stage after the laying of the foundation stone two years ago. The proposed construction of the multi-storeyed Block A for the CHB at Sector 9 has also failed to take off.

The District Courts Complex, to be shifted from Sector 17 to Sector 43, is awaiting completion even after over two years.

With traffic chaos ruling city roads, the UT administration is yet to begin work on the proposed underpasses at busy intersections in the city.

The construction of the Nehru Centre of Performing Arts in Sector 34 is yet to take off even after two decades of paper planning though the design and concept has been approved since long. The actual pace of the projects can be gauged by the latest example of the road in front of the Beant Singh Memorial at Sector 42, where a 30-metre-long span bridge has been constructed.

It took the UT administration’s engineering department an entire year to complete the pre-stressed concrete bridge at a cost of Rs 3.42 crore, sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Roads and Surface Transport.

Even hospitality in the city is at the mercy of the UT administration, with renovation work at the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation hotels, Shivalikview in Sector 17 and Parkview in Sector 24, sill underway.

The proposal to renovate Hotel Shivalikview was floated over a year ago. The authorities announced its renovation at a cost of Rs 8.75 crore in April this year with a 15-month deadline.

Going by the status of the groundwork carried out at the hotel, it seems unlikely that the renovation would be over by the deadline.



Sanam unwinds with a swing
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
It’s time to rejuvenate for local tennis sensation Sanam Krishan Singh, who returned home after over two-and-a-half year.

Sanam, who has recently made the country proud with his gold grabbing in doubles and bronze in the team event in the recently concluded 16th Asian Games at Guangzhou in China, is in town to meet his mother, other family members and some childhood friends.

“I am here to relax and enjoy,” said 21-year-old Sanam while sitting in lawns of his Sector 8 residence. Watching movies, meeting friends, golf and workout in gym are the main priorities of this local tennis star during his weeklong trip here.

Sanam, who has been staying in USA’s Virginia University on tennis scholarship, had to go straight to the USA after his achievement in China last month.

“I was a bit homesick also. Visiting home after a big achievement is really exciting. I am very happy with our (Sanam and his partner in doubles Somdev’s) performance in Asiad,” said evidently elated Sanam adding that now he was ready to make his foray in Professional arena.

“But at the moment I am in a relaxing mode and enjoying friend’s company, movies, golf and top of all, the home -made food,” said Sanam.

Sharing his experience of the Asian Games, Sanam said that he was not under pressure at that time as nobody had expected that they would win a medal there. “But when we reached in quarterfinal, we started thinking of winning the gold. Playing final against host team in front of 8,000 crowd, who were supporting our rivals, was also a big challenge. But I and Somdev had a talk on the issue and decided to just focus on our strong points and it just worked out,” said Sanam.

He added that it was fun in China. “But now it’s a long road for me as I want to make it big in singles,” added Sanam while talking about his next goal.

Next month, he will take part in Chennai Opens. “I will start my practice very soon. The tournament will be a good opportunity for me as I am looking forward to improve my ranking,” said Sanam.

Sanam, who is also planning to settle down in the USA permanently, will leave the city on December 27.


Mayoral Poll
Posturing among contenders intensifies
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Congress contenders for the top post of the Mayor of the municipal corporation have started flexing their muscles in the runup to the D-Day i.e. January 1.

With the date of election inching closer, the three claimants from the ruling Congress — Chander Mukhi Sharma, Ravinder Singh Palli and JS Kang — have started indulging in show of strength.

In fact, in the past few days, the Sector-28 residence of local MP and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal has become a battleground for show of strength by these leaders.

By virtue of his pivotal position in the local party setup and in the high command, Bansal usually has a deciding role in the selection of the party candidate for the three top posts — the Mayor, the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor.

Sources said with a view to impressing Bansal, the contenders were using persons and leaders close to Bansal to plead for them.

Though Bansal is keeping cards close to his chest, these informal meetings in support of the respective candidates go a long way in influencing decision on various candidates, the sources asserted.

The choice of candidate for Mayor’s election is crucial for the party in the runup to the 2011 municipal corporation elections.

In fact, performance by the Mayor could make or break the Congress’ prospects in the election year.

With the Congress likely to face anti-incumbency against Bansal and the ruling Congress in the MC poll, the choice becomes all the more important.

Since the new Mayor will have to deliver in around 10 months (with model code of conduct coming into effect in October, 2011 for the MC poll), the Congress will have to put its best foot forward for the selection of its mayoral candidate.

Party sources said though Bansal would play a key role in the selection of the candidate, the contenders’ track record in the MC over the past four years and services to the party would be the prime factors for the selection of the party candidate.



Cop-out! Not this time

The police is often faced with the unsavoury situation of dealing with traffic offenders who use their clout to wriggle out their predicament. Not this time though when two youths were pulled over for driving a Jeep with open top in front of the Tagore Theatre in Sector 18.

The two first tried to humour the cops but when it didn’t work, they started claiming that they had been driving the Jeep for the past over one year without once being stopped for the offence. “Ab rok liya na,” pat came the reply from one of the policemen. Finding themselves cornered, they started making frantic calls, asking the policemen to talk to the person on the other end of the phone. However, the policemen refused to oblige and warned of impounding the vehicle if they tried to obstruct them from performing their duty. (see photo)

Living dangerously

Even though negotiating a level crossing while the train is about to approach is extremely risky, people take their chances without thinking about the ramifications of their careless action. In case of an accident, the railways does not offer any compensation since it amounts to trespass. In spite of the risk involved, people continue to commit the offence and end up losing their limbs and even lives in the process. The railway police has been taking action against offenders, yet the practice continues without any signs of abating.

As good as new!

This year, you do not have to wait for your copy of the new 2011 calendar to plan your year, as you can check the 2005 calendar for the same. Interestingly, after five years, the yearly calendar has repeated the similar pattern of dates for 2011. So no need to buy an expensive calendar, as your old calendar is as good as new.

Holiday spoilers

The central government has announced 17 holidays for their staff for 2011, but three of these — Mahavir Jayanti (April 16), Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary (October 2) and Christmas (December 25) — fall on Saturday or Sunday, thus effectively leaving only 14 holidays. In case of states, 14 compulsory holidays are declared, while the remaining three holidays are to be added from a list of 12 occasions listed in the notification by the Central Government Employees’ Welfare Coordination Committee in the state.

Contributed by Arun Sharma, Anil Jerath, Aarti Kapur, Anuja Jaiswal



No beats a loss to UT Police

The vision statement of the Chandigarh Police “Ensure optimum public safety and security to enhance the quality of life in the community through community policing at all levels” has been aptly narrated by Sanjeev Singh Bariana in his article “UT Security: From bad to worse”.

Residents here are sore at the rapidly growing scenario of crime in the city. All attempts, so far, at its improvement have miserably failed. The results clearly show it on ground.

The recent incidents of burglaries, in the sector markets of the city, have instilled a sense of fear among traders. The regular ongoing snatching incidents have caused fear in the minds of ladies. The looting and waylaying of innocent people have created a panic in the minds of citizens. Elderly people have been targeted in the four walls of their houses. No section of the society feels secure.

The ATM frauds have deterred people from using their ATMs. The banks have yet to evolve a system to instill confidence among customers. Every successive SSP of UT has announced different plans to make people feel more secure. How and why these plans did not succeed needs to be seriously deliberated upon.

Undoubtedly, the police department is faced with a staff shortage in handling the ever increasing burden of diversified jobs. A major segment of the staff is deployed for VIP security. With law and order under control and terrorist perception eliminated, the provision of security needs immediate full/partial withdrawal relieving the police for city duties.

There is unanimity that the 'Beat' system had been instrumental in combating the crime graph in the city. Its withdrawal has led to spurt of smaller crimes and gradually it sore in to bigger incidents due to inadequate presence of the police. This inadequate presence of the police was ascribed to shortage of staff even by the senior most officers of the department.

Promotional avenues in the career ladder matter the most, in the police department of the city chances of promotions are limited. No concrete proposals/policies have been drafted to address to this aspect. I have not seen an eligible officer rising above the position of DSP with exception of one or two. It is worth considering that an All India cadre of Police for the Union territories in the country should be constituted so that their posting and promotions may work on all India bases.

Satish Chandra Sharma Chandigarh

ATMs without guards

The police is a Latin world meaning “A society for maintaining and enforcing law and order to safe guards the interests of people”. The massive increase in number of thefts, chain and purse snatching, car lifting and daylight snatching in parks are strong indicators of police not matching its definition, at all.

It’s a fact that "rogue elements in incidents under question" strike only where the police arrangements are not scaring the thieves We hardly find police patrolling on the roads in any part of the day. We are experiencing contingents of city police being deployed on VVIPs, VIPs politicians and bureaucrats ignoring the interests of citizen.

The police efficiency is on a low. The PCR patrol gypsies are often seen parked at secluded places and patrol party sleeping or just relaxing. Women are now feeling insecure in the markets.

The effectiveness of matters and not the number of policemen. In olden times, a no-nonsense, sincere, honest and strict police officer used to send shivers up the spine of criminals. Now, senior officers of police are hardly seen patrolling and supervising police arrangements at odd hours. There seems no accountability for slackness on duty. The police needs a police to monitor them. The ATM frauds has opened the flood gates to a new criminal activity of fraudulent withdrawal of cash by cloning the machine, there is no security guard posted on such ATM

The banks, who cannot afford to post security guards on their ATMs, must be made to close these ATMs. The Reserve Bank of India must take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of public money at these ATM machines.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar SAS Nagar

False police claims

The recent incidents of shop-thefts, burglary, snatching and looting of the public money through the ATMs have only proved that point. It is really shameful and shocking that burglars on December 12 broke locks of various shops in Sectors 19, 24 and 27 and looted thousands of rupees in cash from shops. There was even a spurt in incidents of purse and chain snatching from different Sectors including 16, 19, 41 and 42 on the same day. A few days earlier also there were such robberies in Sector 32 market where cash and articles worth lakhs of rupees were looted.

The city police proudly announces in the press about the latest PCR vans, motorcycles and other means acquired by it to curb crimes in the city. But in reality it has been unable to check thefts, snatching, murders and other crimes like ATM thefts which only go on increasing with each passing day.

There is no night patrolling anywhere in the city on any given night. Wards of rich men crush people under their vehicles and are yet let-off. It is also a known fact that the lawmen do not lay their hands on influential persons.

The police should see that the citizens are free to walk in the streets, markets and parks without any fear of being robbed or attacked by the anti-social elements in the City Beautiful.

R K Kapoor, Chandigarh

Security gate needs to be checked

Residents of Sector 38 West are concerned at the opening of the gate located opposite to an unauthorised colony spotted by settlements of horses/donkeys and their owners, adjoining a recently opened taxi stand.

The gate was closed for nearly one-and-a-half month without even a single adverse event. But, then a few people don’t entertain this peaceful habitation exhibited by residents occupying this pocket, prevailing upon the police about opening this gate. We feel the decisive authority in such cases must be checked, who are responsible for security concerns of people.

Ramesh Sharma, Chandigarh



Exam rush spells chaos at rly station
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
It was utter chaos at the Chandigarh railway station as heavy rush was witnessed following a Railway Recruitment Board examination in the city today.

Around 25,000 candidates had arrived to appear for the examination for 1,000 posts of section engineers and junior engineers in the railways.

According to a railway official, 60,000 eligible candidates had been called for the examination and around 25,000 candidates took it.

The examination was conducted across 140 centres in Panchkula, Mohali and the city, the official added.

Though no trains were delayed, the rush left passengers of other trains high and dry.

Talking to The Tribune, YP Sharda, who had come from Panchkula to board the Unchahar Express, stated: “There is such a heavy rush that I have no space to stand. I am pushed every few minutes. I wish the railway authorities had issued prior notice about the expected rush. Then we would have avoided coming early at the station.”

The examination was being conducted for 1,000 seats under the graduate quota. The heavy rush, however, did not surprise candidates. “I was expecting a lot more candidates. My paper went well and I hope I clear it,” stated Vijay Raghav, a resident of Karnal.

Shailendra Mathur, who had come from Delhi, was not too happy and said: “It is a shame that we have to be bundled like sheep in trains to appear for the test and that too for a handful of seats. I never knew so many candidates would turn up.”

According to the official, the examination went off without a glitch. To clear the rush, a special train was run for candidates at 2.45 pm.

Arrangements were also made for the special running of buses by the CTU, the official added.

Extra security was put in place at the railway station and at examination centres.

Station superintendent, Chandigarh, DK Meena said a special train was run between Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh to ferry candidates.

“Extra security, too, was put in place at the station and at examination centres,” he pointed out.



Protect child from winter blues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
With winter winds lashing the region, your child’s sensitive skin demands extra care and pampering. To avoid itchy and scaly skin among children, lotions and coconut oil must be applied.

Giving winter tips for children, Dr Shailesh Mehta, a local paediatrician, says besides facing common problem of scaly skin, winter brings respiratory infection among children along with winter diarrhoea.

“Chest blockade is the most common problem of all and is a major concern among parents. A child may get cough, cold and or even fever during this season,” he says.

To provide relief from congestion, steam is advised. However in some cases, parents use radiant heaters or blowers to make the child feel warm. Extreme fluctuation in temperature can harm blood circulation and may lead to burns, adds Dr Mehta.

Moreover, steam inhalation should be done with care as there is chance of spillage of boiling water over babies, he says.

Cautioning parents against chest congestion, Dr Mehta adds that infants, usually under six months old, suffering from cough and fast breathing may refuse to take feed. A child of any age with cough and fast breathing and one who turns blue around lips or is lethargic may also be suffering from acute chest blockade, he quips.

In addition, viral infections like respiratory syncitial virus (RSV) are quite common in children less than one year of age. Bacterial infections and asthma are to blame for these infections.

On preventing chest problems in winter, he suggests that children less than six months of age should only be given breast milk.

“Such children should also not be given cow or buffalo milk, ‘ghutti’, honey or even water,” he asserts.

Emphasising on avoiding bottlefeed, he maintains this feed is harmful as it brings problems like colic (gas), diarrhoea, pneumonia.

“Even if you boil the bottle, the plastic leaches out a harmful chemical called bis-phenol, known to cause damage to various organs and immune system,” he cautioned.

Child’s head and feet should be covered, as heat loss is maximum from these regions owing to larger surface area compared to adults.



Role of chartered accountants underlined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A two-day CA conclave, organised by the Chandigarh branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, was inaugurated by Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, North-West region, BS Dhillon, here today.

Dhillon said: “Chartered accountants are entrusted with substantial responsibility under various legislations like compulsory audit of the all companies, banks, stock brokers, big income-tax assesses, large bank borrowers, etc. This shows the confidence and trust reposed by the government and society in the profession.”

Society had increasingly recognised the services of CAs in a gamut of management consultancy services, including management accounting, management information and control system, international finance information technology and financial services sector, besides the core area of accountancy, auditing and taxation, he said.

He added that the assessment of taxes was closely linked to financial accounts.

A chartered accountant with his experience in accounts was in an advantageous position to prepare the returns for tax purposes, represent assesses and render general advice on taxes to his clients.

OPK Singla, Chairman of Chandigarh Branch of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, said the accountancy profession was at a redefining moment.

The dawn and consolidation of cross-border services and further reforms in taxation had led to the emergence of new concepts.

These include International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which large enterprises in India would have to adopt from April 1, 2011; XBRL-Extensible Business Reporting Language, already being followed in the US, which may have to be followed by large Indian corporates in the near future; Direct Tax Code (DTC) to replace Income Tax Act; Goods & Services Tax (GST) to replace VAT; Excise & Service Tax, Companies (Amendment) Bill already awaiting clearance from the government; carbon credits, etc.

Although, these concepts were new to entrepreneur, academician, professional and regulators, the ICAI had been a forerunner in updating its members by way of workshops, seminars, etc.

All these new concepts would be deliberated during the CA conclave.

A large number of officials from income tax department and chartered accountants from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, UP and Madhya Pradesh are taking part.

The speakers include renowned authorities from Deloitte-Mumbai, Infosys-Bangalore and taxation authorities from New Delhi.



Onion makes residents teary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Being available at prices varying between Rs 60 per kg and Rs 70 in different areas in the city, onion prices have shot through the roof here. The prized vegetable was available for around Rs 25 per kg last Monday.

The price of the vegetable changed with the progress of the day. Available at Rs 60 per kg early this morning in the market of Sector 10, the same was priced at Rs 70 in the evening. Customers from across the city gave varying prices for their purchase.

Ruchi, a housewife, said: “When I went to pick my weekly supplies this morning, I was shocked to hear the price of onion. On pointing out that the price was around Rs 25 last week, the shopkeeper replied that the supplies had reduced massively.”

Chandermohan, a clerk, said: “With huge variation in vegetable prices, the UT market committee should keep a check on their pricing.”

Meanwhile, giving little respite to consumers, the prices of vegetables and fruits again showed an upward trend this week with the outset of cold weather and fog in the region.

The prices of most vegetables reported a hike of around Rs 10 to Rs 15 as compared to the last week. The prices of radish, tomato and spinach again went up this week.



Cong accused of dividing countrymen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A meeting of BJP’s ward No. 18 was held under the chairmanship of mandal president Narinder Sharma.

Party’s Chandigarh unit president Sanjay Tandon, former central minister Harmohan Dhawan, general secretaries Satinder Singh and Arun Sood were prominent among those present.

Addressing the meeting, Satinder Singh alleged that the Congress always grabbed power by dividing the countrymen on the basis of religion, caste and regionalism. Sharma said ward residents were fed up with the poor performance of the area councillor. The BJP would win the seat in the forthcoming MC elections, he added.

Tandon gave a clarion call to workers to work for strengthening the party. Party activists are working unitedly and the results would be visible in the 2011 MC election, he claimed.



Mélange of sports, music
Tribune News Service

Santa Claus waves to students on the annual sports day at Strawberry Fields School in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Santa Claus waves to students on the annual sports day at Strawberry Fields School in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, December 19
More than 300 students of Strawberry Fields performed to the tunes of English rhymes here today.

The annual musical soirée, along with sports, showcased students’ learning at school. With innovatively titled presentations, the simple lyrics and actions demonstrated a unique learning system that focuses on comprehension, understanding, empathy and moral values.

Soccer cheerleaders drew attention to the need to look at sports, other than cricket, Patriots Inc. reiterated the value of taking pride in one’s roots and being Indian and “balloon town” was a fun event for toddlers.

General VP Malik, former chief of the Army staff, who was the chief guest, complimented the school for modern education. Complimenting the school on its participatory approach, he emphasised, saying, “The world needs winners but more than that it needs people who can participate with enthusiasm.”

He urged the school to continue working on quality education and most importantly building strength of character of each young student and by making him/her accountable for their actions.



Illegal mining near Ghaggar
Residents fear outbreak of epidemic
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Illegal mining goes unchecked at the dumping ground in Sector 23, Panchkula.
Illegal mining goes unchecked at the dumping ground in Sector 23, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, December 19
Residents living across the Ghaggar fear outbreak of epidemic, as the water was coming out in Sector 23 from pits dug out by illegal miners.

Residents said they had been observing the movement of heavy machinery, including the JCB machines during midnight and when they checked the site this morning they were surprised to see deep pits dug out in more than an acre area.

As the area is hidden with bushes, illegal miners continue their activity without any fear. Residents here have been demanding the shifting of the garbage site to some other uninhabited area of the district. They said garbage gets scattered whenever winds lash the region.

They had also blocked vans and tractor-trailers ferrying garbage to the site and allowed them to go only after assurances from the authorities.

Residents said water was coming out at some places and feared that it could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Digging of pits could result in some mishap, as children from slum areas visit the place during the day, residents warned.

Residents alleged that some vehicles continue to dump garbage in the area. They said though the district administration had decided to put mud on the garbage being dumped in Sector 23 across the Ghaggar, foul smell still emanates from the dump.

They further warned that they would be forced to launch an agitation if the MC authorities failed to take any step to check the illegal mining in the area.

Meanwhile, MC executive officer KK Jain could not be contacted.



Soon, national data bank for all fungal diseases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The mycology division in the Department of Medical Microbiology, PGIMER, is organising a four-day training programme for developing a national network on fungal diseases. The course, to be started tomorrow, will be held under aegis of the Centre for Advanced Research in Medical Mycology.

After the development of zygomycosis network last year through National Society of Indian Human and Animal Mycologists, the centre today developed candidemia network at a meeting held at the AIIMS, New Delhi. As many as 23 medical institutes of the country have been chosen to participate in the meeting.

The purpose of the networking is to develop epidemiological data bank for every fungal disease so that a country-wise management protocol can be developed. Candida (yeast commonly available on healthy human body and environment) blood stream infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in India. The number of candidemia cases is very high (nearly 300-400 cases per year) in India as compared to the western world.

Despite the availability of highly active antifungal drugs, the fatality remains high at about 50 per cent.

Early diagnosis and management of invasive candidiasis (infection due to Candida) remains a great challenge. Utilisation of recently developed diagnostic techniques (not available in most of the centres) in India would help improve diagnostic potentials of the dreaded disease.

“The candidemia network would help us to proceed in this direction,” said Prof Arunaloke Chakrabarti and also the chief resource person, adding: “Fungi are found everywhere, hospitals are not the clean, germ free places we would like them to be. Instead, pathogenic organisms, including fungi, concentrate in hospitals - in its environment, on the body surface of the patients and in the hand of health care providers. The hospitals also concentrate on patients whose immune defences are compromised like a transplant recipient, very low birth weight babies, cancer and AIDS patients, and those on immunosuppressive therapy for serious illness. This has led to a dramatic rise in the incidence of fungal infections observed over the last two decades in the country. Therefore, the mycology division at the PGIMER, Chandigarh, is providing active leadership in the research of fungal diseases under the guidance of the Centre of Advanced Research in Medical Mycology and WHO Collaborating Centre for reference and research on Fungi of Medical Importance.”

To improve laboratory facilities to diagnose fungal diseases, the mycology division at the PGI conducts two workshops every year to train faculty and technical staff of different laboratories. The centre has already conducted nine training workshops.



Rotarians should expand efforts to villages: Pahadia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A two-day conference of the Rotary District concluded here today. Governor of Haryana, Jagannath Pahadia, interacted with the audience and appreciated the Rotarians for their efforts in the uplifting the society. “One must devote time to serve the humanity to make one's life worth living,” he said.

The Governor said anyone who could take time out from one’s life for the welfare of others was a noble soul.He urged Rotarians to expand into new settlements, townships and cities, which were coming up and to engage villages in service activities.

“Non-government organisations play a very constructive role in the communities where it is difficult for the government to reach out,” he said. Pahadia said the biggest challenges before the society were illiteracy, female foeticide, and insanitation. People should be engaged to improve their living conditions through active participation. “Recognise good people in all ways and condemn the negativity of the world to create a better world,” he said.

Glen Kinross, representative of the Rotary International President, in his address said Rotary should make special efforts to educate the children who had never gone to school, increase literacy by bringing back the drop-outs, and improve the health of mother and child. Earlier, Rtn Rajendra K Saboo, past Rotary International President, appraised Rotary's involvement in humanitarian projects including eradication of polio from the world, child health, literacy, and water conservation. 



Only 300 cops to guard 3.14 lakh residents
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 19
Hollow claims of the police have come to the fore, as there is acute shortage of police personnel to safeguard the life and property of city residents.

According to a senior police official, there is one cop for every 300 persons in the state, but going by the figures in the city there are only 300 persons for the safety of about 3.14 lakh residents.

Shortage of police personnel has made Panchkula an easy target for criminals.

All efforts of the police to curb crime in the town seem futile.

Be it jewellery shops or banks, robbers have left no place safe and there have been kidnapping cases, too, in the 898 sq km area that share its boundary with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

Out of these 300 police personnel several are put on duty for VVIP persons.

According to sources, about 120 police personnel posted in five police stations, including Sectors 5, 14, 20, Mansa Devi Complex Police Station and Chandimandir Police Station the same number of police personnel have been put on VVIP duty. About 70 police personnel are on the PCR duty in the city.

Compared to the police strength in Chandigarh, which has about 2,000 men on its roll, there are about 1,127 police personnel for this district, including towns like Kalka, Pinjore, Raipur Rani and Barwala. However, at present there are only 1,018 police personnel showing a vacancy of about 109 policemen, including inspectors, sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors, head constables and constables.

On July 16, an eight-member gang, in a daring robbery, had decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh from a house at Sector 10 after keeping the 13 members of the family as hostages.

The district police has urged the DGP to provide an additional company of the Haryana Armed Police to maintain law and order in the city.

SP Maneesh Chaudhary said they were trying to beef up security in the district. He said, earlier, there were 18 PCR vans, which had been increased to 29 by using other vehicles of the department.

He said they were successful in curbing crimes like chain snatching and vehicle theft.

He said they had also urged businessmen to use security services provided by them.

Various resident welfare associations have also been asked to instal security gates at the main entry points of each sector to check anti-social elements.



Architects honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Mumbai, has honoured architects from Chandigarh and Punjab for their contribution to promoting the profession of architecture in the state. They were awarded at a recently-concluded national convention held at Lucknow.

According to a press release, IIA’s national president Vinay Parelkar honoured them for their outstanding work in 2010.

The architects who were honoured included Surinder Bahga from Chandigarh, Sanjay Goel from Ludhiana, Dinesh Bhagat from Jalandhar and Raj Kumar Aggarwal from Amritsar.

A special citation was given to Bahga reading “In recognition of outstanding qualities of leadership, teamwork, dependability and in gratitude for the services rendered in the interest of the IIA, as council member for the term 2008-2010”, it added.



Awareness on home loan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Home Utsav, organised by the ICICI Bank home loan team at Exhibition Ground, Sector 34, concluded here today.

Tricity residents thronged the utsav with enthusiasm as the deals offered were not only attractive but also affordable.

The aim was to spread awareness among masses about various home loan schemes available.

The event was inaugurated by VP Singh, chief administrator, GMADA. 



Trinamool Cong names unit chiefs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The local unit of the Trinamool Congress named presidents of various cells of the party here today. During a function, adviser to the party Hari Kumar announced the names in the presence of Shambhu Banerjee and Ajay Singla, president and vice-president, respectively.

The appointments have been made with the consent of national general secretary and union minister Mukul Roy. While Aman Kumar has been appointed president of the Trinamool Youth Congress, Mahinder Pal Singh will be the president of Trinamool Congress Traders’ Cell. Parminder Singh has been appointed president of the Trinamool Congress Students Cell.



Lakshya shines in Gita shloka recitation
SD Sharma

Panchkula, December 19
In a bid to strengthen the spiritual base of children during their formative years as also to acquaint them with the importance of ancient traditions of our cultural heritage, the local chapter of Gita Prachar Samiti organised “Gita Diwas Sammaroh” on the eve of Gita Jayanti at Hans Raj Public School, Panchkula.

The Gita Shloka recitation event organised in collaboration with the Haryana Sanskrit Academy and State Bank of India, Panchkula branch, was also aimed at awakening youngsters about the wisdom laced ethics and moral values, as enshrined the epic Gita, eulogised as the eternal song of Lord Krishna, as a part of the national integration and harmony.

As many as 102 students, including students of Blue Bird High School, Jainendra Public School and Moti Ram Arya Modern High School, Panchkula, participated. The event was commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp.

School principal Jaya Bhardwaj, who lauded the efforts of the samiti and apprised the multiple dimensions of life as the harmonisation of the sacred and profane.

Chief guest SS Birdi, regional manager, State Bank of India, Haryana, while distributing prizes to winners of the annual contest appealed to the students to save our ancient tradition by putting sincere efforts altogether with zeal and enthusiasm.

Lakshya stole the event by giving an immaculate presentation and bagged the first prize. The winners include Aditya, Sunil, Virupaksh, Lakshya, Anichetan, Shivam, Raghav/Sukriti, Vishnudev, Bhoomika, Jatin, Manan, Sanu Raman, Sagar, Dikshya, Vikas, Akashya, Anuj, Ankita, Shumbam, Akansha, Ritika, Anshika, Puja Sharma, Rahul, Davinder, Prabal and Himani.



From Schools & Colleges
Teachers’ training

Chandigarh: The eight-day counselling workshop at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, concluded here yesterday. More than 160 college teachers were trained during the workshop by experts, including Dr Vidhu Mohan, Dr Paramjit Tulsi and Dr Richa. The workshop was the brain child of director, Higher Education, Ajoy Sharma. The workshop-cum-training sessions witnessed huge response. — TNS

Annual function

DERA BASSI: Atma Ram Jain school, Dera Bassi, celebrated its annual function on the school premises. School principal Isha Sharma presented the school annual report. Congress leader Deepinder Singh Dhillon was the chief guest, who announced Rs 5 lakh grant for the school. Schoolchildren presented various cultural items to mark the occasion. — OC


Panchkula: A two-week art and sculpture workshop concluded yesterday at Dikshant Global School, Sector 12. An exhibition was organised to display the work of eight sculptors from Vishva Bharati University, Shantiniketan and 35 students of the school. Sudhir Kamal, Ranajit Kumar Ghorai, Shibaji Pal, Shaumik Sanyal, Saroda Sagar Bashuri, Kamlesh Pradhan and Azgar Ali used wood, stone and clay to create sculptures. — TNS

Sports day

Zirakpur: The New Angel Public School celebrated its annual sports day yesterday. Congress leader Dipinder Singh Dhillon was the chief guest on the occasion. Students took part in various sports activities like slow cycling, bag packing, couple race, book balancing, sack race, discus throw, shot put and long jump. Dupatta drill was well appreciated by all. School principal Sharanjit Kaur gave away prizes to winners. — TNS



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