Friday, October 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



PU ties up with 3 top institutes
Signs MoUs for work on human genome
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Panjab University has tied up with three premier research institutes of the region to carry out pioneering work on the human genome. The study has been accorded national status.

The university has signed separate Memoranda of Understanding with the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) and the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH). The MoUs have been signed for the ‘ Centre for Applied Human Genome and Research’. It has been decided that these institutes will extend full co-operation for the next five years.

Giving information about the project, a senior faculty member said human character was based on genes and genomic research attempted to study the character of individual genes. A separate study could provide possible details of functions of each unit separately, which could revolutionise the subject of human study, he added.

For fruitful results on the project, attempting to make “contribution in national development on research”, the university would also contact Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Panacea Biotechnology, Dera Bassi.

The centre would run a two-year course of MSc in human genomic ( semester system). The course would provide three semesters for classroom teaching and one term for research in a national laboratory.

The main areas identified for research included functional genomics, microbial genomics, molecular biology, genotype, phenotype genomics and structural genomics. Students having passed BSc would be eligible for the course. The department would have 15 seats and reservation policy would be followed as per UGC norms.

The University Grants Commission had sanctioned Rs 1 crore as a one-time seed money for establishment of the centre. The university would take the assistance of different science departments on the campus, including biochemistry, biophysics, computer science and application and microbiology.


CBI arrests 4 on charges of corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested four persons, including three employees of the State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, on charges of demanding and taking extorting money from local transporters.

Sources in the investigating agency said that Surat Singh, Motor Vehicle Inspector, Arvinder Kumar, clerk and Suraj Bhan, helper, in the office of the Secretary, State Transport Authority, were arrested on charges of demanding and accepting bribe. Sukhdev Singh, an alleged tout in STA, who was in cahoots with the above mentioned, was also in the CBI net.

The case brought to light large- scale corruption in the Chandigarh State Transport Authority. Sources said certain officials of the STA took a bribe of Rs 2500 per month from transporters for allowing them to ply their vehicles in the city without relevant papers.

The four had been accused by a local transporter, Mr Varinder Singh of Chaddha Transport, of harassing him time and again by impounding or challaning his buses for not acceding to their demand of paying a fixed amount. He had alleged that during the past three months, his buses had been challaned twice.

It was alleged that the accused wrongly challaned a bus of Chaddha Transport ( CH-01- 4108 (T)) on July 9, 2001, and took away the driving licence of Mr Varinder Singh. The accused reportedly told him that he could have the licence back only after he had made them a small payment, failing which his buses would not be allowed to operate in Chandigarh.

Mr Varinder Singh had alleged that since he was not in a position to pay the amount demanded by these officials in the State Transport Authority, he could not get the licence back. He approached the officials again in September for getting his licence , but was refused the same.

It was on the night of September 27 that Surat Singh again impounded the bus (CH-01-4018 (T)) on charges of plying without the stage carriage permit. Mr Varinder Singh was forced to pay Rs 5000 on the spot. At that time, he pleaded that his driving licence was in possession of MVI Surat Singh. The latter again threatened Varinder Singh that if he did not pay him Rs 2000 by October 3, his bus operations would not be allowed in the UT.

Following this, the CBI today laid a trap and all four accused were caught red-handed while accepting bribe. They were booked under sections 7, 13 (i) D and 13 (ii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.


50-crore compensation for farmers by year-end
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Land owners in villages of Kajheri, Palsora and Badheri will get compensation for their 229 acres acquired by the Chandigarh Administration by the end of this year. A sum of about Rs 50 crore is to be collectively paid to the farmers and the Administration is presently making arrangements for the money.

Importantly for the land owners, the average rate will be calculated for one year between August 1998 and August 1999. This will be a relief for the farmers. At one time last year, the Administration was toying with the idea to pay as per an average rate calculated for a period of three years between August 1996 and August 1999.

August 1999 is the cut-off date. The Administration had then issued acquisition notices under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act , 1894. The land is located in the area now known as Sectors 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56. This is being acquired for planned sector-level development.

On the release of funds , a source said, there would be no problem as certain agencies like the Chandigarh Housing Board as well as the Housefed, had shown a keenness to get land allotted for their respective housing projects. A well-placed source said the target date fixed by the Chandigarh Administration to give the compensation to farmers had been fixed for January 2002.

Official sources confirmed that the compensation would be paid on the average calculated on one year prior to the date of issue of notices under Section 4 of the Act. The land owners would also be given interest on the money they had to be paid.

One year’s average rate per acre was approximately Rs 25 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 16 lakh, for Badheri, Kajheri and Palsora, respectively Had a three-year average been taken into account, the price per acre would have been less by anything between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh.


Outdated missiles burden IAF squadrons
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
New squadrons raised by the IAF for providing air defence cover to vital points have been carrying unreliable surface-to-air (SAM) missiles, an official report has revealed. The report says that as many as 80 missiles, imported at a cost of about Rs 27 crore, continue to remain in the IAF’s inventory though they cannot be used. In addition, seven special command and control (C&C) vehicles procured for the squadrons at a cost of over Rs 4 crore cannot be used by the IAF as the C&C facilities are already existing at the bases where the squadrons are based.

“This raises serious concern about the operational effectiveness of the new squadrons which carry unnecessary vehicles and unreliable missiles,” the report, a copy of which was made available here, comments.

In 1989, the Defence Ministry had sanctioned the raising of several missile squadrons for low-level air defence requirements. A contract was signed with Russia in 1993 and 80 low-level SAMs were received by the IAF in the next year. Though the SAMs were received in 1994, the reports says that live firing was not carried out till January 1999. “Performance of only one of the six missiles used in live firing was found to be satisfactory,” the report states. After the failure of the missiles was brought to the manufacturer soon after, it took over an year of negotiations for the visit of the manufacturer’s inspection team to be sanctioned by the government.

Despite the failure of these missiles during live firing, their operational life, according to the report, has been extended by two years up to December 2002.

As far as the issue of special vehicles is concerned, the report says that these are being used by the Army for air defence of mechanised infantry or armoured formations, but the IAF had no use for them as its squadrons were assigned the role of providing air defence cover to airfields. “The Base Air Defence Centre (BADC) were already available for providing command and control inputs to the missile systems. Therefore the special vehicles could not be put to used after their receipt in 1990,” the report notes. Stating that the Army has been regularly requesting the IAF to transfer these vehicles to it on the grounds that the airfields protected by the squadrons are static points, the reports adds that despite the inability to use these vehicles, the IAF has been resisting the transfer for over 10 years. Even though the transfer has been approved last year, it is yet to be effected.


Kapil has date with Kargil martyr’s son
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, October 4
In just over two years after the education of Jatinder, son of a Kargil martyr, got sponsorship from former cricketer Kapil Dev, he visited Guru Nanak Public School in Sector 36 here to see how the student was faring.

Along with Lions Club Midtown, Kapil had got the student admitted to Guru Nanak Public School in Sector 36 after raising about Rs 2 lakh for him in 1999. Jatinder’s father, Subedar Joginder Singh, had died in the Kargil War, following which the responsibility for his education was taken up by the Rotary Club Midtown. The child’s mother stays in a village.

“The remainder of the amount collected for the welfare of the student has been deposited in a fixed account, which will be used whenever required for the child. Jatinder is doing well in his studies. It was a change of environment for the child initially. Now he has adjusted quite well in the new atmosphere. He feels encouraged that Lions Club Midtown has contributed for him. Captain M.S. Kahlon, his foster father, visits him every Sunday and takes him for an outing,” said the Principal of the school, Ms Jasminder Singh.

“The monthly return of the fixed amount, about Rs 1800 per month, is used for the school and hostel fees, which has been subsidised by the school. The student is getting fee concession of around Rs 30,000 a year,” said Captain Kahlon.

Kapil spent about half an hour in the morning on the school premises, interacting with Jatinder and other students. The students were fascinated to see him in their school. A large number of students gathered around him for autographs and queries coming up in their minds.

Jatinder was excited to see that Kapil Dev had come to inquire about his welfare. He was feeling proud of the fact that a star cricketer was among his schoolmates due to him. He said, “I am feeling on top of the world. I was anxious since morning to meet Kapil. I am grateful to Captain Kahlon for bestowing his love on me. I will like to excel in studies and make them all feel proud in return of the care and affection they have given me.”

The students also enquired about Kapil’s new passion — golf. They asked him the secret of his success, technique of playing cricket and how to be a national-level cricketer.

Kapil was glad to be with the children and answered the queries of children patiently. He cleared the doubts of the students . He remarked, “The key to success is complete dedication and motivation for the game. You should excel in any field you choose for yourselves. I am quite happy to see that Jatinder is being looked after quite well and he is putting in efforts to do well in studies”.


Separate parking lots for private vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Following the attack by militants on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on October 1, the UT police today made separate parking arrangements outside all government buildings. The decision was taken by the top brass of the city police yesterday.

Private vehicles will no longer be parked near the buildings or inside the complex. For those visiting the UT Police Headquarters and the Education Department, the traffic police today earmarked the empty space between the building and the Chandigarh Housing Board for parking of private vehicles.

The traffic police has set up barricades all along the road in front of the UT Police Headquarters to ensure that no private vehicles are parked here. Barricades have also been put up in front of the main entrance of the building to ensure that no private vehicles enter the building.

A number of persons visiting other buildings had been parking their vehicles near the UT Police Headquarters . Following the suicide attack in a car parked near the Assembly in Srinagar, the local police has decided to make a separate parking arrangement.

The traffic police has also decided to expedite the new proposal regarding a separate parking for visitors on the rear of the UT Police Headquarters buildings. 


Kidnapping case: car owner traced
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 4
The car used in Tuesday’s incident of kidnapping of a 30-year-old son of a Phase 3B1 businessman, Lalit Bansal, has been found to be owned by Mr Puran Chand, a resident of Sector 12 of Panchkula. The kidnappers had made minor changes in the original registration number of the car. 


103 sites for auto-mechanics fetch Rs 5.68 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Chandigarh Administration today netted a sum of Rs 5.68 crore by auctioning 103 sites for auto mechanics located in different sectors of the city.

The highest bid was for a shed of car mechanic. This booth in Sector 28 was auctioned for Rs 14.15 lakh against its reserve price of Rs 6.12 lakh.

The highest bid in the category of scooter mechanics was for a booth in Sector 43. A bidder offered Rs 4.71 lakh against its reserve price of Rs 2.70 lakh.

Booths auctioned today are located in Sectors 28, 43, 48 and 52. At the conclusion of the auction, the Assistant Estate Officer, Mr S.P. Arora, announced that the allotments of booths had been made to facilitate the shifting of auto mechanics from various other sectors.


Rival SAD camps seek alliance with BJP
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The change of guard in the BJP ahead of the Municipal Corporation elections had its reverberations today in its alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), with both of its groups seeking BJP’s exclusive liaison with them.

While the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur-led SAD faction, welcomed the change in the local BJP leadership, the other faction-led by the local unit president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, sought explanation from the BJP on which group it recognised for its alliance.

The BJP National Secretary, Mr O.P. Kohli, was caught in a whirlpool to chose his allegiance to one of the two Akali groups.

The Harjinder Kaur-led group asked Mr Kohli to direct the local BJP leadership withdraw its petition against Mayoral election and warned if that was not done relationship between the alliance partners would be disturbed.

Mr Riar-led group apprehending the changed BJP leadership flirting with his rival group sought to make clear that Ms Harjinder Kaur-led group was not the official one.

The Riar group said efforts in the BJP to remove the Akali Marketing Committee Chairman, Mr Kesar Singh, would prove to be detrimental to alliance and asked Mr Kohli to restrain them from indulging in ‘anti-alliance’ activities.

Mr Riar also asked Mr Kohli to clarify by October 20 which and how many seats would be given to them so that they could stop dissidence in the party.

He argued if the issue was delayed, it could lead to dissidence in both parties as individual candidates would unofficially start campaigning for themselves, a stage from which they could not be withdrawn.

Mr Riar would tomorrow brief the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, about the deliberations he had with Mr Kohli.

Mr Riar clarified that efforts by his rivals to seek withdrawal of the case, tantamount to going against the joint decision of the two parties to abstain from the election of Mayor, which was flouted by Ms Harjinder Kaur.

Mr Kohli is said to have given a patient hearing to both groups and informed all these matters would be discussed by the Central leadership.


Ambulance service for accident victims
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 4
A Chandigarh-based social organisation, ‘ Zindagi Welfare Society’ today urged the local administration to make arrangements for rushing the victims of road accidents.

Mr A.S. Mann, president of the society, said there had been several instances when no social organisation or the local civic body came forward to take an unclaimed body to the hospital. Even the local civil hospital authorities refused their vehicle for carrying injured persons and unclaimed bodies. With this in mind, the society was starting an ambulance service, he said.

Mr Mann, who was taking to mediapersons, said the society had prepared a list of over 500 blood donors, residing within 20 km radius of Chandigarh. The society arranged blood for emergency cases. He said people generally faced difficulties in arranging blood. In some cases, they even fell in the trap of unscrupulous elements.

He said the society ensured that donors got to see the people who required blood. He said for the past many years the society had been serving the poor and unidentified victims of road accidents and performing last rites of the unclaimed bodies. The society also urged the residents to verify the credentials of a social organisation before making donations. Mr Mann said the members of the society could be contacted at SCO 485-86, Sector 35-C, Chandigarh.


Cops on the job in robbery case
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 4
The local police today questioned employees of Mr Baldev Singh Sumal, a businessman in Phase 7 here, who was robbed of Rs 1 lakh by two unidentified motor cycle-borne youths on Tuesday night. Persons living in the same locality were also being questioned.

According to the police, the snatchers were known to someone related to the shopkeeper. The ASP, Ms Kalpana Nayak, said the police was working on different theories. The main hurdle in the case was that the shopkeeper neither saw the face of the snatcher nor read the registration number of the motor cycle due to darkness. The identification of the vehicle could have given some lead to the police.

The modus operandi of the snatchers appeared to be the same as was in the September 10 incident in which Rs 1.5 lakh was snatched from employees of a Phase 5 gas agency. In both cases, the snatchers had apparently noticed the time, manner and the bag used to carry the cash.

Police officials said despite repeated advice to the shopkeepers to change their schedule of carrying and depositing cash in banks, no one was paying heed to their advice. The DSP, Mr A.S. Bajwa, said recently the shopkeepers of the Phase 7 market had been advised about various security measures they should take. The manner of carrying cash was the main point which needed to be addressed by the people who often carried cash due to business reasons, he added.


Demonstration on air-attack
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
The Haryana State Civil Defence today organised a demonstration at D.C. Model Sernior Secondary School to apprise Home Gaurd jawans against an air-attack.

Addressing the gathering the Director of State Civil Defence, Mr Vikas, said the prime motive behind the exercise was to enlighten citizens of the technique to save themselves from a possible air-attack, their belongings and protect essential commodities producing units.

Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, gave an assurance to the jawans that they would soon be imparted the necessary training. In this training various education institutions and social organisations would be included. 


Contests for mentally challenged kids
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 4
The North Zone yoga and cultural competitions for mentally challenged children organised by the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, ended at Lecma 3 BRD here today.

The Mayor , UT, Ms Harjinder Kaur, was the chief guest at the function. The Director, Government Medical College and Hospital, Dr S.B.S. Mann, and the Joint Director, Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Dr B.S. Chavan, were present.


Conference on disaster management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The regional branch for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) will hold an annual conference on ‘Disaster management: Lessons drawn and strategies for future’.

A basic theme paper has been prepared by Mr Anil Sinha, Head of the National Centre for Disaster Management, New Delhi.

Mr D.V. Bhatia, honorary secretary of the regional branch of the IIPA, said eminent academicians, professionals, bureaucrats and experts on the subject had been invited to speak on the subject.

The conference will be held on October 6 at 11 am in the Department of Public Administration, Panjab University, Chandigarh.


Three theft cases registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Three cases of theft were registered in different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

Raj Kumar was caught red-handed while stealing diesel from a school bus (CH-01F-4619) in Sector 45 on October 3. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

A Maruti car (UP-80J- 5457) was stolen from near Hot Millions in Sector 17 on the night of October 2. In another incident, a stereo was stolen from a car during the intervening night of October 2 and 3, from the Sector 22 residence of Mr Madan Lal. In both cases, FIRs under Sections 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Girl abducted: Savita Gupta and her mother Sangeeta Gupta have been accused of having abducted the former’s friend from her house in Sector 35. In a complaint under Sections 366-A, 368, 506 and 120-B of the IPC, Ms Kulwant Kaur has alleged that the accused came to her house in her absence on September 29 and abducted her minor daughter. They also threatened the complainant over the telephone.

Theft: Three gold earrings, a pair of bangles, a pair of tops and some Indira Vikas Patras were stolen from the Sector 45-A residence of Mr T. Kachru. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized: Sanjiv Kumar was arrested by Crime Branch officials from Sector 22 and 150 pouches of Hero whisky were seized from his possession. Sohan Lal was arrested from Sector 31 and 24 bottles of whisky was seized from him.

Both of them have been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Man found dead: A 36-year-old man was found dead in the stairs of a house in Sector 29 yesterday morning.

Paramjit Singh, a mechanic by profession, was found dead in house number 295 at about 7.30 am yesterday. It is learnt that he was an alcoholic and died because of having too much liquor. He had reportedly gone to his friend, Ram Sarup’s house for drinks and left his house late in the night.

According to the police he later died in an inebriated condition. 


One held on robbery charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Sector 36 police today arrested one person in connection with the robbery in the Sector 42 house of Mr Manjit Singh on September 8. All stolen goods have been recovered from him. The accused, Rang Lal was arrested by a police party from Dhakka colony in SAS Nagar today.

The accused had allegedly approached the Sector 42 house of Ms Jasbir Kaur when she was alone on the afternoon of September 8. He had robbed her of her gold chain and pendant, earrings, ring and Rs 2500. She had locked the accused in the bathroom. However, he escaped from the ventilator when the woman ran out of the house to call for help. The accused, a native of Bihar, has been booked under Sections 452 and 395 of the IPC.


French company to develop Indian kitchenware
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Tefal, a French multinational, is trying to develop traditional Indian kitchen and home appliances like tawa and karahi for the Indian market.

This was stated by Mr Marc Prager, head, Middle East and South Asia, Tefal SAF, France, while talking to newsmen here today. He said some of the home and kitchen appliances manufactured by his company had now become available in India. But all these items were quite expensive. Because of the delay in introducing the WTO regime in India so far, the duty on these items remained pegged at 65 per cent. Once WTO regulations came into force the duty would come down to 20 per cent, making these items affordable. He said Tefal was trying to develop traditional kitchen appliances because of the vast size of the Indian market.

Earlier, Mr Prager inaugurated Planet Glen, an exclusive lifestyle appliances showroom with a store area of 800 sq ft at SCO 23, Sector 17-E, Chandigarh. The distinctive ‘Glen gallery’ would showcase the entire available range of premier home and kitchen Appliances from Glen and leading European brands like Tefal France, Reginox Holland, Turboair Italy and Haier China, which are marketed by Glen in India. It is the second such exclusive Glen gallery to be launched in India, the first being situated in Delhi, on Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road.

Mr Ajay Khanda, general manager, Glen India Limited, said, “With this second exclusive Glen gallery, we are a step closer to our customers. He further added, “We are considering the opening of more such exclusive Glen galleries in all major cities of India.”

Mr Jagdeep Chaddha, Planet Glen Franchisee, said, “We see a huge potential in the Chandigarh market. Glen is a brand we are very proud to be associated with. We are aiming to capture the Chandigarh market in the lifestyle home appliances sector.” 


Raid on Dera Bassi unit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
A large team of PSEB officials accompanied by a posse of policemen today descended on a steel furnace unit of Dera Bassi to check alleged pilferage of power.

According to a spokesman of the Dera Bassi Industries Association, attempts by office-bearers of the association to find out the exact cause of the raid proved futile.



The Attractions, a four-day exhibition of consumer goods, was inaugurated by Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former MP, at Parade Ground here on Thursday. Around 150 companies are participating in the exhibition which is being organised by Global Exhibitors. Participants include Bank of Punjab, Duce Food Industries, Bajaj Auto Industries, Gujari, Whirlpool, Tata Finance Limited, Motorola, CMPL Motors, Dhodha and NattuJi Foods. The exhibition will conclude on Monday. TNS

Rajbhasha mas: Rajbhasha Mas (month) in the State Bank of India, concluded today with poetry symposium and prize distribution. The function was presided over by Mr Rajinder Kakker, chief general manager, Chandigarh Circle. He exhorted the staff to do work in Hindi. Later, Mr Kakker, Mr D.L. Manwani, and Mr Deepak Chawla, gave away prizes to the winners. TNS

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