Tuesday, February 13, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT may allow IT units in residential houses
Bid to checkmate Bangalore, Hyderabad
By A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — In a bid to promote Chandigarh Union Territory as the new IT destination in the North rivalling Bangalore and Hyderabad, the UT Administration is considering a proposal to allow the establishment of IT units even in residential houses in the city.

The government of India has already allowed IT units to be set up in residential areas in Delhi and elsewhere. But in Chandigarh, because of its strict laws and the Master Plan laid down by Le Corbusier, the Administration’s thinking is yet to crystallise fully in this regard.

The beauty of an IT unit is that it is environment friendly, non-polluting, quiet and does not require much power. Nor does it interfere in any way with the normal flow of life in the area where it is set up. Hence, the administration feels that permitting an IT unit to operate in a residential house should pose no problem.

Chandigarh already has as many as 52 IT units operating in different parts of the city. Most of these are located either in the industrial area or the commercial spaces in shop-cum-offices in different sectors of the city. Chandigarh is already exporting software worth Rs 60 crore annually. Some of these units are big companies, including Quark Media House, Trident Infotech Corporation, ATEC Software (P), Inde-Dutch Systems(I) Ltd., Rana Informatics, SmartData Enterprises (I) etc. Incidentally, Quark is said to be shifting to its new facility at Mohali shortly. So Chandigarh’s loss will be Punjab’s gain.

However, the feeling in the UT administration is that much more can be done to develop Chandigarh as a big IT destination. The Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), who is also the Administrator of UT, is known to be very keen on developing the UT into a big IT centre. With this end in view a big IT park is being developed in Kishangarh village . The Administration is at present in the process of identifying a consultant who will advise it with regard to the development of the park.

According to Mr Vivek Atray, Director of IT, UT administration, once the consultant is picked up, the Administration plans to get in touch with some big IT companies who will take over the park and develop the infrastructure before undertaking its marketing in an effective manner. The intention is to attract big players first. General Jacob is already in the process of getting in touch with some multinationals and inviting them to set up their manufacturing facilities in the new IT park.

However, there is a feeling in some quarters that inviting the multinationals alone to the IT park will not result in the fulfillment of the Governor’s dream of turning Chandigarh into the IT city of the future. If the UT Administration’s intention is to promote Chandigarh as the IT city of the future and generate employment for the city’s educated youth, then multinationals alone will not be sufficient.

In order to generate employment for the city’s educated youth and allow their entrepreneurial skills and talent to flourish, they will also have to be provided with facilities in the park to set up their own units for IT hardware and software development and manufacture. The Administration’s thinking on the subject is still nebulous.


Admn issues show-cause notice to MCC
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Issuing a show-cause notice, the Chandigarh Administration today asked the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh ( MCC) to explain why all proceedings held on the floor of the House subsequent to four members standing up and asking for voting on the agenda item pertaining to the dissolution of the MC sub-committees, should not be quashed. The nine sub-committees were dissolved by the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, at the special meeting of the House on January 29 without allowing voting on the issue.

While issuing this order this evening to the MC, the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, granted it a week’s time to reply to this question. The FS is reported to have observed that the legal opinion sought by it clearly indicated that prima facie all the proceedings, which were conducted by the Mayor on the floor of the House after four BJP councillors stood up and asked for voting on the item pertaining to dissolution of committees appear to be void ab initio. The same were said to be illegal as they were violative of the Municipal Act.

Sources revealed that now it was statutory on part of the Mayor to call another special meeting of the House on the same issue, for the Mayor was in no position to decide the issue on his own. It is the House that decides the legal position and not the Mayor. One possibility was that the matter was settled in the House, if the majority BJP-SAD councillors in the opposition passed a resolution that the said proceedings, which had been found to be illegal be quashed and further the issue be resolved by voting on the issue. If this did not happen in accordance with the Act, then the Administration might have to issue orders quashing the said proceedings.

It may be recalled that the Mayor, Mr Goyal, had announced the dissolution of the sub-committees in the House on January 29, following heated arguments on the issue by the BJP councillors. The meeting was subsequently adjourned without granting permission for voting on the issue sought by four BJP councillors. Further, the house was adjourned without the consent of the majority. Subsequently, once the Mayor along with the officials left the House, the Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh conducted the proceedings in which 14 BJP-SAD councillors passed a unanimous resolution, thereby withdrawing the powers of the Mayor to constitute these sub-committees and had also formed a five-member sub-committee to nominate members to these committees. The said committee had representation of 2 BJP councillors, besides one each from the Congress, SAD and nominated councillor.

The BJP councillors had in a representation to the Adviser to the UT Administrator pointed out the “unconstitutional” conduct of the Mayor in dissolving the committees and adjourning the House without the requisite power to do so. They had urged the Administration to look into the issue and check the misuse of power by the Mayor. The legal opinion was sought by the Finance Secretary, who is also the Secretary, Local Bodies, and it was prima facie found that the Mayor had violated the provisions contained in the MC Act, for as per Section 54 (2), once four members demand voting on the floor of the House, the Mayor was under obligation to allow voting on that specific agenda item. But in this case more than four members had demanded voting on the floor of the House repeatedly, but the Mayor did not allow voting and instead he adjourned the meeting. 


Pension for MC employees
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — For providing pension and other allowances to its employees the Municipal Corporation has framed new pension regulations, which will come into effect from May 24, 1994, and will be called the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Employees Pension and General Provident Fund) Regulations, 2000.

Under the regulations, a pension fund will be established for paying pension to these employees. The benefit of these regulations will also go to those CITCO employees, who were transferred to the MC on deputation and even the employees of the erstwhile Notified Area Committee (NAC), Mani majra.

According to the information available, the MC shall make a monthly contribution at the rate of 10 per cent of the basic pay of the employees towards the pension fund. However, the rate of monthly contribution is subject to any change, that may be made by the corporation from time to time. The monthly contribution shall be drawn out of the MC fund and credited into the pension fund through a bank draft by the Drawing and Disbursing Officer not later than 11th of every month. On completion of service, the employee will be entitled to pension alongwith the fund amount.

The regulations framed under the Punjab Service Rules, will also have provision of auditing the pension fund and general provident fund from time to time.


Candidates miss exam, courtesy HSSC
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 12 — A number of candidates had to return without taking the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) examinations following the failure of the state to properly notify the change in timings of the tests here on Sunday.

According to the candidates, the Commission had issued intimation card informing that the test would be conducted on February 11 from 10.00 a.m. to 12 .00 noon at different centres. Later, an item “Exam time changed” was published in the newspapers regarding change in the examination time, they alleged. The item stated that the HSSC will hold a written examination for the post of science master and music master at Panchkula on February 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. instead of from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon.

Various candidates reached the examination centres to appear in the examination at noon but were surprised to know that the tests had already taken place from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon, alleged Jyotika Ahuja, a candidate from Chandigarh. She said that the staff members on duty informed them that timing of examination were again changed and was published in a Hindi newspaper.

The candidates have criticised the HSSC for not publishing changed timing in all the papers on the same date. They have termed the action of the HSSC to be illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and condemnable.

They said that this act of the commission has played with the careers of the candidates.

Mr A.C. Chawla, Chairman, HSSC, was not available for comments.


Get phones on demand: BSNL
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The local office of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today said that members of the public could get telephones on demand in Sectors 1 to 48 of the city.

One could get a phone after 10 days of his/her applying for the same, a press note of the BSNL said. However, the scheme does not extend to SAS Nagar and Panchkula, a spokesperson of the department clarified.


Get gifts for your love on Internet
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — No love so strong it needs no sign; nor feeling deep it needs no light. So here I ask of you my love — will you care to be my valentine? If you say yes, I’ll tell you go how words can tell what hearts have whined; But do say yes and let me go to fetch you a bunch of flowers divine.

For those who still want to say it with flowers this Valentine’s Day, there should be no problem. They can just bank upon florists who have sprung up in every corner of the city. Traditional Valentine’s-Day gifts of cards, candies and toy hearts can also be chanced upon anytime, for they are in virtually every shop, waiting to be handpicked.

However, there is more to this Valentine’s Day than meets the eye. The real treasure is waiting to be downloaded from websites that also help you plan the day in your way. You need not visit a store and browse racks of cards with mushy messages.

Go e-shopping for your Valentine, create a personalised card online on Zing.com and have it delivered. After this, visit www.commission-junction.com and select a modest box of heavenly delight. Chocolate still remains the winner. Once you have the card and candy, you need a decent bouquet of flowers, which is available on a many websites. Internet florists like linksynergy.com offer you a lot of choices.

You can also turn your favourite photograph into a framed oil painting on canvas after visiting photomasterpieces.com. Here, you can also pick up a personalised song for your loved one. For specific gifts, there are exclusive sites on the Net.

Greeting cards are galore at greeting-cards.com. Photo greeting cards can lift anyone’s spirits. Imagine what a greeting card with pictures can do — make a friend laugh, keep your grandmother smiling. While personalising a card, choose from a range of Valentine’s-Day poems and quotes from the Internet. MP3.com offers a choice of free musical greeting cards and there is also watch.com, featuring mini greeting cards. Ecard.com is for flash animation greetings. Paper greeting cards and flowers are available on hallmark.com and Sparks.com. You also have the choice of adding a gift certificate, bouquet or chocolates.

For flowers, choose from exclusive gifts like a Venetian-heart bouquet or You Are So Sweet bouquet. Flower shopping websites like 1-800-flowers.com offer you a choice of gourmet foods, candies and gift baskets as well. Other websites that offer flowers include greatflowers.com, flower.com and proflowers.com.

For gift baskets, the best website is perhaps 247malls.com. The AAA fruit basket provides daily delivery of fresh fruits anywhere. Ashlanegiftbaskets.com is another site for gift baskets.

Personalised gifts are a plenty on linksynergy.com. There is a keepsake frame with gold painted hearts with a space that can accommodate upto 20 characters. Heart-shaped ceramics bowls are also available. For kids, there are personalised trinket boxes and personalised Valentine Bear blanket. Best sites for choosing personalied gifts are RossSimons.com and send.com.

Chocolate, like wine, has many intricacies to discover and savour. If you want a special gift of Hautchcolate box comprising 16 chocolates, log on to wine.com.

Perfumes and cosmetics for your Valentine can be found on perfumania.com and avon.com. For buying jewellery, the best websites are buyjewel.com, finejewelers.com and Myjewelry.com.


500 shortlisted at recruitment rally
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — About 500 candidates were shortlisted for undergoing tests on the first day of the recruitment rally being organised by the Punjab Regiment in Chandi Mandir cantonment, near here, today.

According to the officials organising the rally, about 1,500 candidates from the region had converged on the recruitment venue. The candidates shortlisted, after screening their documents and educational certificates, were put through physical tests, including a cross-country run, leaping over a ditch, chin-ups and balance beam.

The candidates passing the physical tests will be required to undergo a medical test. Those who are declared medically fit will be required to appear for a written examination, scheduled to be held on February 25. Preference is being given to sons of war widows and regimental personnel as well as potential sportsmen.

Only sons of serving personnel and ex-servicemen of the Punjab Regiment were screened for enrolment today. As per the schedule, Sikh candidates (other than Mazhabi and Ramdasia) will be screened on February 14 and 15, while Dogra candidates will be screened on February 16 and 17. Tradesmen will be considered for recruitment on February 19.


Police to provide free legal aid
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — In yet another attempt to better the police-public relationship, the local police has decided to provide for free legal aid to one and all by arranging for the chosen counsel by the Legal Services Authority at the beck and call of any accused, if so desired, and to make entries of those willing to avail this in the DDR.

This decision was taken during the monthly crime meeting presided over by the UT Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi here today. Later, while disclosing the proceeds of the meeting to the press, he said that this practice would go a long way in helping the police fulfil its responsibility of providing for this primary right to an accused, as directed by the apex court in the 1980s.

He said that each police station in the city would have to make a “ready reckoner” of all such accused who would want to avail the free legal aid so that their case particulars are easily available. “The main objective behind this is to project the humane side of policing and to reduce the possibility of injustice and excesses against any person,” he said.

Speaking about the other main decisions taken in today’s meeting, Mr Bassi said that it had been decided to reorganise the crime branch creating specialist units like Finger Print Bureau, enlarging the scope of the photography cell by providing the state-of-the-art equipment and creating a small and specialised team of police personnel for collecting evidence from the place of occurance of any heinous crime.

He said that all the subdivisional police officers and the Station House Officers of the various police stations have been directed to keep track of all bad characters, history sheeters and other suspicious elements in their jurisdiction. They have also been asked to conduct random checking in the city at all odd hours to see the positioning of the police personnel deployed for security.


Dumping practices worry Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, FEB 12 — The need for going into the implications of the Washington Consensus in view of its effect on the agricultural sector and also the domestic industrial environment was stressed on the opening day of a three-day international conference on “Beyond the Washington Consensus — governance and the public domain in contrasting economies; the cases of India and Canada”, which got under way here today.

The conference is being organised jointly by the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies of York University, the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development and the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development.

The Governor of Punjab-cum-Administrator of Chandigarh, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), while inaugurating the conference, said that the imports and dumping practices resorted by foreign exporters resulting in a crash in the prices of farm produce were a matter of concern.

“The extent of subsidy that the developed countries are giving to their agricultural sector cannot be matched, thereby giving an unfair advantage to the foreign exporters,” he said while expressing the need for the reorientation of the education system to meet the challenges of the cyber age. He said in the new scenario, Punjab should take steps to emerge as a major area of resource for its qualified experts.

Expressing his concern over the rising cost of medical services, he said that policy-makers must dwell on the issue how best to provide the services whose cost was increasing exponentially.

In his address of welcome, the Director of the CRRID, Mr Rashpal Malhotra, talked about the relevance of the subject of the conference and various issues to be discussed.

Prof Harry Arthurs, President Emeritus of York University, Toronto, said the “time has come for us to name the potentially debilitating weakness of the Washington consensus: it relies too much on the microphysics of corporate power, too little on the macrophysics of state power. The Washington Consensus was built on the preposition that governance is too important and too costly to be left to governments; but experience shows that it is also too complex to be undertaken without them.

“The Washington Consensus assumed that a public domain would somehow emerge within a global political economy; but so far at least, there is only economy, little politics and only fragmentary experience of governance on a global scale,” he added.

Dr Daniel Darche , Director, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, said that “if there is a common understanding forming at the margin, it is that unfettered global market forces have produced a large and dangerous social deficit and civil society is increasingly doubtful that the existing global order can survive without major social reform.

Prof R.P. Bambah, Vice-Chairman, Governing Body of the CRRID, proposed a vote of thanks.


Contributions to relief fund
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Responding to the appeal of the Chandigarh Administration, contributions continue to pour in for the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund — Gujarat.

Today a delegation of the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 38A and B, handed over a bunch of drafts amounting to Rs 72,500 to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). The Property Consultants Association handed over cheques for Rs 75,000 and Justice Harbans Singh gave two drafts for Rs 36,000 as his individual contribution.

The Taxi Workers Union gave a cheque for Rs 61,000 whereas the Chandigarh Tourists Bus Operators Association contributed Rs 55,000. Various individuals donated Rs 2,99,560 at the Red Cross Centre, Karuna Sadan, Sector 11.


Dharna against water tariff hike today
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 12 — To oppose the hike in the water and sewerage rates in the town, the municipal councillors of the opposition group in the local civic body will hold a dharna in front of the council office in Phase 7 here tomorrow.

Mr S.S. Patwari, a councillor, said their group would sit on a one-hour dharna to air the voice of the residents in this regard. He said the President, Mr Kulwant Singh, had been promising to look into the issue since the first meeting of the civic body held in December last but nothing had happened. “If the issue was delayed we would launch an agitation in coordination with the local welfare associations,” he added.

The President of the council, Mr Kulwant Singh, said it had already been decided to substantially decrease the rates of water and sewerage. The expenditure and the income had been worked out and the new rates would be announced soon, he said, adding that: “There was no need to sit on dharna”. Sources in the council said the rollback in the rates was expected to be more than 20 per cent, but the President did not confirm it.


Slum kids recall Vineet Khanna’s services
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Teachers and students of various slum schools here today paid homage to social worker-cum-director of Youth Technical Training Society Vineet Khanna, who passed away yesterday. All night schools remained closed to mourn his death.

His death came as a shock to the students. Sadness was writ large on their faces. “Who will send food to us? What about the stationery? Will the school continue to exist or will it close down?” They were asking.

Director Public Instruction D.S. Saroya said all efforts would be made to ensure smooth functioning of his “dream project”. He added that Vineet Khanna was a source of inspiration to the down-trodden. Vineet Khanna had defied a crippling handicap for over 25 years and nothing could deter him from leading a meaningful life and work for the cause of the poor.

Describing Vineet Khanna as a “saviour”, a student, Gurmail said, “Bade Sahib used to bring for us school bags, copies and toffees, besides so many other goodies. Now who will take care of us? We will be neglected again”.

A teacher in a night school, Ms Sudesh Garg, said, “He used to supply pencils, rubbers, books and copies to the students”. She added that Vineet Khanna used to visit the school and monitor the progress after every 15 days. He used to listen to their problems, check their copies and clear their doubts. Frequently he used to organise different games for the slum school kids, another teacher added.

She talked about a series of night schools that were being managed by him. He was also working simultaneously with three government night schools.


Kalwant Singh freed
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 12 — Mr Kalwant Singh, a resident of nearby Badanpur village who was illegally confined by his family members with iron chains, for the past about three years was examined in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh and has been admitted there.

According to police, as per the orders of the SDM, Kharar, he was taken to Chandigarh by the police and was examined there specialists who found him to be suffering from nervous illness. He has been admitted to the hospital for about one month.

It is worth mentioning that the Kharar police acted on a news item published in a newspaper on February 8.


Theft in Sector 40 house
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — The number of thefts in the city go on unabated with the local police receiving a large number of complaints each day. During the past 24 hours, four cases of theft and burglary have been reported from different parts of the city.

Gold ornaments worth thousands of rupees were stolen from a house in Sector 40, while the owner, Mr Jagjit Singh Sohal, was away for three days from February 9. It is alleged that someone broke into the house and decamped with a gold necklace, rings and a bangle. The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.

In another case, a Maruti car (CH-01D-6046) was stolen from the parking lot of Sector 17 yesterday.

However, the police has made some advances with the arrest of two thieves in separate cases and booking them under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. While Kuldip Kumar was arrested from the Ram Darbar area while trying to steal a tin sheet from Government Model School last night, pick pocket Pramod Kumar was arrested from outside KC cinema. A purse with Rs 200 was recovered from him.

Other than this, the police has also recovered 50 pouches of liquor from Balwinder Kumar, a resident of Kumhar Colony, and booked him under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.


Munna Lal, a resident of Amb Sahib Colony in Phase XI, was allegedly kidnapped by some persons and roughed up for two days before he escaped. According to information available, the victim, a daily-waged earner, was taken by the suspect on the pretext of getting some work was taken to the Industrial Area and roughed up. A police official said a case would be registered after the medical examination report of the victim was received.


Man hangs himself under bridge
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — Mystery shrouds the death of an unidentified man whose body was found hanging from an iron pipe beneath the bridge on the Chandigarh- Panchkula road here early this morning.

According to the information available, the deceased was supposedly in his mid-30s and appeared to be a migrant labourer. He had supposedly committed suicide late last night . The deceased had hung himself with the help of a strip that he had torn from his loongi.

The commuters on the road noticed the body hanging at around 9.15 a.m. following which both the Chandigarh police and the Panchkula police were intimated.

The suicide reportedly has became a bone of contention between the two police departments with both the sides claiming that the place of occurance of death was in the other’s jurisdiction. This made sure that the police did not remove the dead body till the case was finally decided that the place of occurance was in Mani Majra.

After a few hours of the incident coming to light, the body was finally removed and sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

In yet another case, a 50-year-old woman reportedly immolated herself at her Sector 30 residence this morning while she was all alone. The deceased, identified as Janki Devi, was reportedly suffering from depression for the past few months. It is learnt that her husband, Phul Chand, a labourer in a needle factory, was off to work when the incident occured. The couple was issueless.

When the incident came to light, the victim was immediately rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where she died later.

The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the Cr. P.C.


Students beaten by ‘outsiders’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 — At least seven youths, including four students were injured in a clash between students of SD College and a few outsiders at the college premises here this morning. The clash is reported to have been a sequel to an earlier fight between the two groups on February 10.

Those who have been injured are Paramvir Singh, Jeevan, Amit and Vishal Talwar (all students of the college) and Tejinder Singh, Gurjinder Singh and Harjit Singh. While others were discharged from the hospital after treatment, the three accused are still recuperating.

According to information available, it is learnt that trouble between the two groups erupted on the day of the college fete on February 10, when a college student, Sunil, in a mood of revelery, reportedly collided with a youth, Prince who had come to see the fete. Soon the argument led to a fight between the two groups, but the situation was brought under control.

It is alleged that at least four persons of the other group again came to the college yesterday and told the other group that they would teach them (students) a lesson. This was also brought to the notice of the college principal by the students, who in turn informed the police, but no action was allegedly taken.

It is learnt that around 10 to 11 armed youth converged on the college premises this morning and attacked four of the above mentioned students with swords and lathis.

Later, the police arrested six of the accused-Sarabjit Singh, Rajbir Singh, Sukhminder Singh, Harpreet Singh, Sukhwant Singh and Manmeet Singh and have booked them under Sections 149, 323, 324, 452 and 506 of the IPC.

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