Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



200 new cases against Golden Forests
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 12
Alleging unfair trade practices adopted by the Golden Forests company, a large number of investors from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh have filed cases against the company in the consumer courts.

As many as 200 fresh cases have been filed against the company so far. The cases have been preferred against the chairman-cum-managing director, R.K Syal, through the Superintendent of Jail, Burail.

Taking note of 115 cases filed by the investors, the consumer court has issued a production warrant against R.K. Syal. He has been directed to appear before the court on January 9, 2002.

Sources revealed that the company had moved a plea before the court that the managing director of Golden Forests (India) Limited, R.K. Syal, was presently confined to the Model Burail Jail and there was possibility of a settlement being arrived at between the complainants and the company in case Syal was brought from jail to talk to the complainants, agents and counsel in respect of the principal payment. The complainants were agreeable to some settlement in these circumstances.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, investors had said they had deposited various amounts in several schemes floated by the company to attract the general public with features such as free accident insurance, highest return, no lapse of public money and investment secured.

They had complained that after visiting in the office of Golden Forests, they had failed to get their dues back. They had alleged that employees of the company had refused to return their money. Cheques issued by the company had been dishonoured by the bank, they had said.

The investors had prayed before the court that their complaints be allowed with relief and the company be directed to refund the maturity amount with interest and compensation for mental harassment suffered by them and non-utilisation of invested amount. They had also prayed that the company be directed to pay cost of litigation to the investors.

Mr Balwant Singh of Patiala district had filed a complaint alleging that he had deposited Rs 27,000 with the company in 1996. He had alleged that the company had failed to pay him Rs 37,000 despite a number of attempts.

Mr Satish Kumar of Sonepat had filed a complaint that he had deposited Rs 10,000 with the company. He had alleged that he had visited the company office as the money matured, but the company employees had refused to make the payment.

Mr Ujjwal Sharma from Himachal Pradesh had complained that he had deposited various amounts in several schemes of the company. He had alleged that despite a number of visits, the company office had refused payments.

Mr Bahadur Singh, a resident of Una district in Himachal Pradesh, had filed a complaint that he had invested Rs 5000 for 25 years. He had added that after the five years the company had to pay him Rs 20,000, but he had not been paid.

Mr Naresh Kumar of Badheri village had filed a complaint that he had deposited Rs 9,600 in the Golden Forest schemes for four years.



HUDA seeks 100 cops for anti-encroachment drive
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 12
The Haryana Urban Development Authority has sought 100 personnel from the district police for launching its anti- encroachment drive in housing board colonies here. The drive is likely to be launched within two days.

According to well-placed sources in HUDA, the Administrator, Mr Aroon Kumar Gupta, has written to the Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, and asked for a total of 100 cops in order to ensure that their anti- encroachment drive is carried on peacefully.

Sources in HUDA said fearing a sharp reaction from residents of these colonies, where encroachments were rampant, they had decided to wait for removing encroachments till the district police was able to withdraw its personnel for the purpose.

With the residents of housing board colonies refusing to budge, in spite of several notices issued by HUDA, and the seven-day deadline given by the authorities expiring on December 10, the Estate Office of HUDA is all set to start its anti- encroachment drive.

It has also been decided that the staff from the housing board will accompany HUDA officials whenever an anti- encroachment drive is launched in the colonies developed by the board. The issue was finally resolved at a meeting of officials of both departments held on December 10.

When contacted, the Estate Officer, Ms Geeta Bharti, confirmed that they were now gearing up for removing encroachments in housing board colonies. “We are awaiting the availability of police in order to avoid any untoward incident during the drive. As and when we get the nod from the SP, Panchkula, we will proceed with our drive, “ she asserted.

These colonies exist in Sectors 6, 8, 10, 11, 15, 18, 19 and 26 in the township. Encroachments have continued to grow in these colonies, mainly comprising raising of unauthorised structures, encroachments on road berms and opening of commercial establishments. A preliminary survey by the authorities shows that around 1000 houses have encroached upon road berms. Encroachments are so rampant that even live electricity poles are covered and live cables pass through buildings. 



Most dairy products in city heavily contaminated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
In what might come as a surprise to city residents, almost every dairy product sold in the city has other than heavy bacterial contamination, presence of fecal matter. This was proved in a recent study conducted by two PGI faculty members as part of a project financed by the science and technology cell of Chandigarh Administration.

The study which had tested as many as 200 samples of dairy products collected at random from various selling points in the city concluded that most of the samples were found to be positive with large amounts of viable bacteria.

These samples included almost equal numbers of ice creams, kulfis, softy, paneer etc, collected from time to time over a period of two years, particularly in monsoon months when these products are available in plenty.

The most contaminated samples were that of paneer with 91 per cent of the samples full of bacteria. About 60 per cent of the ice creams had viable bacteria while 75 per cent of the kulfi samples were found contaminated. Sixtyfour per cent of softy samples were found to have viable bacteria.

The study also indicated that there was inadequate pasteurisation of milk for the production of dairy products. Other than infection causing bacteria, fecal organisms were also found in the samples. The samples also had bacteria caused by environmental contamination and unhygienic handling.

The study attributes the heavy bacterial contamination found in all samples to the practice of preparing large bulks far too advance of requirement and being kept for long periods at room temperature. It was also indicative of poor hygienic conditions and faults in manufacturing/handling process during the production of these dairy products.

The study conducted by Dr Chetana Vaishnavi, Associate Professor, and Dr Kartar Singh, Professor and Head, Department of Gastroenterology, PGI, recommends that stringent control of thermal processes in the manufacture of dairy products from raw or heat treated milk is required. Also strict hygiene in the preparation and storage of dairy products has also been recommended. 


It’s canvassing time at Golf Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Teeing off at the golf course here has nowadays acquired a slightly political hue. Other than discussions on the distance one would swing and send the dimpled golf ball, regular golfers are also faced with smiling fellow golfers seeking votes. Yes votes.

The club — considered to be an upper crust one — will be holding its annual elections on December 22. Till then golfers, who are contesting the poll, are leaving no stone unturned to attract voters. With a ban on hosting parties to attract voters, the best option is to seek votes by arriving each morning at the golf course and to accost and woo fellow golfers with promises of better facilities and making the club more friendly for golfers.

“A stiff competition is expected between the two presidential candidates, Mr Tegbir (Gogi) Sibia and Mr Ravi Sandhu. This time there is no traditional rivalry between the IAS fraternity and the group of retired Army officers, who are members of the club. Army officers have a fair representation in the club and their votes can tilt the balance in any body’s favour so every group is trying to take them along,” says a member of the club.

This year also, candidates are following the same strategy. Mr Sibia, who was the president two years ago, has five armymen on his panel. His rival Mr Sandhu, an old-time member of the club and a Punjab cadre IAS official, has matched him with four ‘fauji’s. Each of the panels has fielded a woman candidate.

Besides the direct election for the post of the president, each member of the club will also have to vote for electing a body of 10 executive members. Twenty candidates are in the fray for the executive body.

Each of the candidates is heading a panel which will be elected by about 1,000 members. Although, the battlelines have been drawn for the poll, the overall atmosphere of bonhomie is being maintained and the members are a close-knit unit. It is an accepted fact that cross voting takes place as friendship weighs more than loyalty to a panel, points out a member.

This means that it is not necessary that the entire panel of a president will be elected. Going by record in the past decade or so the voters have usually elected a majority of the president’s panel. But it does not mean that the executive members elected from the other panel are not taken into confidence while doing anything. The entire team then works as a single unit for the betterment of the club.

The panels are:
Mr Tegbir (Gogi) Sibia (president). For the posts of executive member, Mr S.P.S. (Nippy) Ghai, Mr B.S. Gill, Dr G.S.Kochar, Mr Ronnie Hoon, Col S. Gill, Col H.I.S. Dhaliwal, Col H.S. Baidwan, Brig B.S. Bains and Col A.P.S. Grewal.

Mr Ravi Sandhu ( president) For the posts of executive members, Mr S.M.S. Sandhu, Mr S.P.S. Matharoo, Mr S.S. (Sukhi) Lehl, Mrs Pika Prithipal Singh, Mr Jaideep Sekhon, Mr K.S. Brar, Col S.S. Boparai, Col J.S. Panag, Col Iqbal Singh and Brig R.S. Dhillon.



HC issues notice to Home Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Taking up a petition filed by a Sector 38 resident Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against UT Home Secretary R.S. Gujral and a police official, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the respondents for December 20.

In his petition, Dimpy had contended that the High Court after taking up his earlier petition, claiming that the police had not registered an attempt to murder case against the accused who were SAD members had directed the investigating officer to associate the petitioner in the investigations and conclude the same expeditiously. The High Court had also directed the Home Secretary to take appropriate action in view of the threats being received by the petitioner, but till date nothing had been done.

His counsel had added on the petitioner’s behalf that “inspite of clear directions from the court and legal notices by Dimpy, the respondents had failed to take any action and there was intentional, deliberate and wilful violation of the orders”.



What led to SAD-BJP rout ?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
A combination of factors like anti-incumbancy, intra-party wranglings and an aggressive pursuit of liberalised economic policies by the NDA Government affecting employees and the retired seemed to have resulted in the rejection of the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance in the just concluded Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) poll.

The sheen of the BJP which propagated itself as ‘’a party with a difference’’ also seems to be fading amidst allegations of corruption at the Centre, if the MCC elections are an indication. It was more a vote to reject a party which was seen as betraying the faith of people rather than a positive vote for the Congress which probably had even greater bickerings and manoeuverings in the 20-member house.

The party has now a challenge of wooing the 65 per cent voters who stayed away from the ballot apparently to show disgust towards politicians of all hues and their capability to deliver despite all promises. But the Congress found itself at all those places where the BJP had created a vacuum mainly due to latter’s wrong projection. The Chandigarh Vikas Manch was written off due to its influence in limited pockets not enabling it to cash in on an anti-BJP wave. The manch had three seats in the last corporation, the same as this time.

The loss of the alliance is the gain of the Congress which raised its tally from one to 13. Local MP Pawan Bansal improved relations with Mr Venod Sharma, a former member of the Rajya Sabha. Mr Sharma campaigned with Mr Bansal during the elections.

During the past five years Congress leaders worked hard and tried to do whatever they could for various resident welfare associations. This paid dividends. Mr Bansal released funds out of the money he received from the government for the development of his constituency. This established Congress leaders’ rapport with the public.

As for the defeat of the Shiromani Akali Dal, it has been a divided house for several months. The president of the party, Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, publicly criticised two of the four candidates fielded by the high command. He even told mediapersons that Mrs Harjinder Kaur, sitting Mayor, who has again won the election notwithstanding the stiff opposition of Mr Riar, was not the party’s candidate. She had to hold a press conference to supply photocopies of the letter to mediapersons.



Congress to consult high command on Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Congress will decide the candidate for the post of Mayor in consultation with the high command.

This was indicated by local MP Pawan Bansal and Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee President B.B.Bahl at a press conference here today.

Mahila Congress President Lalit Joshi and Anu Chathrath are being tipped for the post in the first term that is reserved for women.

Mr Bansal said people had rejected the policies of the BJP and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in whose name the BJP had sought votes.

He said the victory of the Congress in the MC was a precursor of things in store for the party in the Punjab and Himachal Assembly elections due early next year.

Mr Bansal said the party would prepare a time-bound programme for the development of the city.

He said the party would initially focus on sanitation and would apply pressure on the Administration for better coordination between it and the MC.

Mr Bansal said the party would fight for the transfer of powers to panchayats and more funds through the Finance Commission.

He said the party would constitute ward committees and sector-level sub-committees to ensure participation of people.

Mr Bansal said the EC had failed to enthuse people for election despite efforts to urge people to vote.

Mr Bahl without naming CVM chief Harmohan Dhawan said those who claimed to have helped Mr Bansal win the Lok Sabha election themselves, could not help win their party’s most prestigious seat (Ms Satinder Dhawan’s seat.


Jubilation over MC results at Iftar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Sonia Gandhi’s Iftar party yesterday in Delhi had reverberations of a resounding Congress victory in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

This was informed here today by the CTCC spokesman, Mr Amarjit Sethi and its member Chaman Lal Sharma, who were the only two, to have attended the party from the city.

As soon the two were informed about the results the news spread to everyone in the party where the Congressmen said it was a signal for the Punjab elections.



Badheri front runner for samiti chairmanship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Former Union Minister Venod Sharma’s follower Bhupinder Singh Badheri has emerged as a front runner for the chairmanship of the panchayat samiti by leading a campaign to wrest 13 out of 15 samiti seats under his leadership in the December 8 Panchayat polls.

Mr Badheri, who is the District Congress Committee (Rural) president and was elected unopposed as a panchayat member earlier, is the only Sharma camp man who is in a position to take some responsibility and maintain balance of power in the party dominated by the local MP Pawan Bansal.

Badheri had sent a strong signal before the MC poll by sending five of the Congress-supported panchayat members unopposed immediately after withdrawal of nominations. This move was being seen as a tactic to influence the Congress wave in the MC poll that had to follow.

The formal decision on the chairmanship has to be taken by the high command in consultation with the local leadership.

Twelve of the 13 Congress-supported members, Purushottam Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Didar Singh, Mohinder Singh, Jagir Singh, Amrik Singh, Dayal Singh, Jasbir Kaur, Bhupinder Kaur, Surender Kaur, Sudharshan Kaur and Meenakshi Devi, today expressed their support for the Congress before the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president, Mr B.B. Bahl, and Mr Bansal. Lata Sharma also expressed her support, but could not join today’s parade. All of these have been elected in the election counting for which was done yesterday.

Only two of the BJP-supported candidates, Shangara Singh from Darua and Hukum Chand from Khuda Alisher, were elected in the election. 


Living for a cause

SUBHASH Chander Bhasker believes in living for a cause. For the past about three years, he has been actively working for the betterment of thallasaemic children in the city. An employee of Markfed, he has been motivating people to donate blood for these children, who need blood after every 15 days.

While Bhasker has himself donated blood 20 times, he has organised many blood donation camps in government departments, including the Punjab Financial Corporation, Director, Food and Supplies, Punjab, Gyanjyoti Institute of Management, Agriculture Department, Punjab, and many more. He says, “Organising camps is essential. When I donate blood, a single unit goes, but when I arrange a camp, at least 100 units go”.

Some time ago, Bhasker had arranged a padyatra from his native village Payal to Naina Devi. The objective was to spread awareness about thallasaemia. Accompanied by 70 volunteers, Bhasker went about distributing books, pamphlets and self-written articles carrying information on the disease. He said, “Our aim is to spread the message that this disease is curable. It just requires the man and the woman to get their blood tested before marrying each other”.

Bhasker also arranged a cycle rally to Delhi in November. He met the Health Minister in Delhi and requested him to award the thallasaemic children a special status, under which they could enjoy some benefits. He says, “There are about 350 thallasaemic kids in the PGI. They are too weak to work. The government must secure rights for them”. For his efforts, the UT Administration presented Bhasker with an award on the occasion of Republic Day in 2000.


Chaos unplugged as traffic lights refuse to blink
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 12
Non-functional traffic lights on the intersection of the busy Chandigarh-Ambala and Panchkula-Zirakpur roads continue to be major traffic hazards for the past many months.

A number of accidents have occurred due to these lights. Road users and pedestrians hardly observe rules, which made the site accident prone. Vehicular traffic remains disrupted for hours on the roads as vehicles cross the intersection haphazardly, throwing all norms to the winds.

Goods and other material spread by shopkeepers in front of their shops here have become another bottlenecks. Barricades put up by the police adjacent to the bus queue shelter, have reduced the width of the road, resulting in congestion on the highway.

Traffic jams for hours can often be noticed along the highways during office hours. Passengers remain stranded for hours. The worst sufferers are students, patients and those who have to catch trains from Ambala and buses from Chandigarh and Patiala to reach their destinations.

According to Mr Krishan Sharma, a local resident, local residents have hardly seen traffic lights functioning at the Zirakpur-Panchkula road intersection for the past over six months. ‘‘Non-functional traffic lights have become traffic hazards, which often result in accidents here’’, he opines.

The president of Zirakpur Market Welfare Association, Mr Sunehari Lal, complaints that the department has hardly thought about the safety of road users. He says the traffic lights, installed by the department some time back, have failed to remain functional for long.

‘‘The department had installed a sound system, but that had failed after a few months’’, says Mr Amit Kumar, a shopkeeper.

A policeman deployed at the Bhabhat police post says repeated representations to the department concerned have been futile.

The Punjab Public Works Department authorities, disclose that the area has been transferred to the local civic body. The Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities were not available for comment. 


Reminiscences of a seasoned soldier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
“An Old Soldier Speaks Out”, a book on Indian military affairs, was released by the Punjab Governor, Lieut Gen J. F. R Jacob (retd) here today. Authored by Col S. R. Nanda (retd), the book recounts his experiences and observations from the integration of states in the post independence era to the Kargil war.

Speaking on the occasion, Col Nanda said he had dealt extensively with the integration of princely states with the Indian Union, with special reference to the accession of Hyderabad. “This was a crucial period in the post-Partition days of which the public is generally unaware”, the 85-year-old author remarked. Intelligence operations during the Hyderabad expedition are also discussed.

Colonel Nanda, who has been writing for newspapers and journals for the past 20 years, said a chapter titled “Defending the Defenders” has been devoted to issues concerning the servicemen. “After independence the role of the Army was never recognised,” he said. “We were looked upon as a mercenary army and were ignored and mistrusted,” he added.

Relations with China have been extensively covered and Chinese territorial claims and threat perceptions from a soldier’s point of view are discussed. Colonel Nanda was of the opinion that China has still not given up its territorial claims, which includes chunks of Kashmir and the North-East, besides parts of Burma and Nepal.

Of significant interest to readers of military matters would be chapters devoted to the role of media as a tool of information warfare and the recent Kargil conflict. Colonel Nanda, a World War II veteran who was commissioned into the British Indian Army in 1941, said almost half a century ago he had served in that sector when marching on foot was the only means of travelling in that area.

His experiences during a stint in Vietnam from 1962 to 1963 are also included in the book. Letters written to his daughter, Ms Neeru Nanda, an IAS officer currently posted as the Adviser to the UT Administrator, from Vietnam have helped him compile this chapter and are included in book.

Later, General Jacob said it was a delightful book, covering a whole spectrum of events over a period of 50 years. “It is entertaining, comprehensive, revealing, and should make a good reading,” the Governor remarked.


Cinema hall opened near Zirakpur
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 12
The NRIs of Punjab are investing a major part of their earnings in the peripheral areas of Chandigarh which directly reflects their affection for their native places, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, Punjab, here today.

The minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a movie hall located on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road near Dhakauli village, about 2 km from here.

Mr Singh also appealed to the NRIs of the state to invest more in their native villages so that they may be developed on a par with towns. He said the government had already started “village adoption scheme” for the NRIs. Special benefits are being provided to NRIs adopting village for its development.

He said the government was doing its best to provide all basic civic amenities and other facilities to the residents of Zirakpur like on Chandigarh.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said a park would come up in Zirakpur at a cost of Rs 1 crore.



Water pressure to be low today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Water pressure may be low in the evening hours tomorrow due to repair of the delivery header of the augmentation Phase-I and Phase-II at the Kajauli water works.

According to a press note, pumping of raw water from Kajauli to waterworks, Sector-39 Chandigarh, through rising main Phase-I and Phase-II, will remain suspended between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.


Osho’s birthday celebrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 12
The Osho Naman Dhyan Kendra organised a one day meditation camp to celebrate Osho’s 70th birthday at Rajasthan Bhavan in Sector 33 .

The camp was conducted by an old associate of Rajneesh Osho, Mr Vairagya Amrit . People from the vicinity city celebrated Osho’s birthday with great fervour.


Pensioners’ Day on Dec 16
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 12
Under the banner of the Coordination Committee of Central Government Pensioners Associations, Chandigarh, the Central Government Pensioners of North India, will organise Pensioners’ Day on December 16.

The function will be held at the auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10 here. Ms Neeru Nanda, Advisor to the UT Administrator will be the chief guest.


Employee decamps with 1.8 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Rajiv Sharma, a Sector 26 resident, has reported that his employee Joginder Podar has decamped with Rs 1,80,000. The complainant had given him the cash to deposit in the Rajpura Branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce at about 12 noon. Joginder, a resident of Somah village in Bihar, was presently residing in Bapu Dham Colony. The police has registered a case.


A resident of Palsora, Raja, was caught red-handed by a Sector 40 resident, Malkiat Singh, while stealing a bicycle. The accused was later handed over to the police. Eight stolen bicycles have been recovered from his possession.

Case registered

The police has registered a case of fraud against a Ropar resident, Surinder Pal. A resident of Badheri village in Chandigarh, Ranjit Singh had reported that the accused had allegedly taken Rs 50,000 from him in February last year for sending him to Italy. The accused neither sent him abroad nor did he return his money.

Question paper missing

A question paper for the entrance examination to MD/MS course conducted at the PGI on December 8 was reported stolen by an invigilator, Uma Grover. Candidates were supposed to return the question paper along with the answer sheets, but on counting after the exam was over, one question paper was found short. The police has registered a case in this connection.

Accident case

A resident of Gango village in Himachal Pradesh, Puspraj, was injured and admitted to the PGI after his cycle was knocked down by a Tata Sumo near the Sector 16 cricket stadium. The driver of the vehicle, Supual, a resident of Nagla village in Punjab, has been arrested and a case has been registered.

Vehicle thefts

Janak Raj, a resident of Sector 29, has reported that his Kawasaki motorcycle (CH-03-C-8378) was stolen from the parking lot outside his office on Madhaya Marg, Sector 26. The police has registered a case.

A Sector 41 resident, Davinder Kaur, has reported that her scooter (CH-03-B-3192) has been stolen from her residence. The police has registered a case.

Mobile stolen

Mr R.N. Raina, a Sector 42 resident, has reported that his mobile phone has been stolen from his car which was parked at the Rock Garden last night. The police has registered a case.

Held for gambling

The police has arrested three persons on charges of gambling at a public place. While Saleem, a resident of Dhaalwal village, was arrested for playing satta and Rs 918 was recovered. Rattan of Dhaluwal village was arrested and a sum of Rs 1030 was recovered. In the third incident, Paramjit was arrested from Rajiv Colony in Sector 17 and Rs 318 recovered from him . The three accused have been booked under different sections of the Gambling Act.

Kinetic Honda stolen: A Kinetic Honda scooter ( HR- 03A- 4920) was reportedly stolen from Sector 4 here yesterday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Arrested: Harchand Singh, a resident of Sector 18 was arrested and 48 pouches of liquor were recovered from him. He has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.




Booked for making obscene cassette
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The police had reportedly booked a resident of Panchkula for allegedly making an obscene video cassette of a girl residing in Panchkula. According to the police, the girl’s father, also a resident of Panchkula, lodged a complaint at the Sector 17 police station today.

It is learnt that both the complainant as well as the accused are embroiled in a legal case at the district courts here, The girl’s father had earlier charged the accused with sexual misconduct with his daughter following which the matter was taken to court

The accused had produced the said cassette, said to be shot secretly, before the court in his defence during the trial. The matter went up to the higher police authorities, on whose directions the case was registered.


Seminar focuses on need to promote tourism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Concentration on domestic tourism is the key to success in the post September 11 scenario for any tourism based economy to survive, said Mr S K Gupta, Tourism Analyst, while speaking at the special seminar on “Advantage North – Domestic Tourism” today here organised by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT), Chandigarh.

The Union Ministry for Tourism India, acting in tandem with the private sector, had made elaborate plans to promote India as destination for the east and South-East countries as there had been a setback to inbound traffic to India from the USA and Europe, Mr Gupta said.

He said travel for pilgrimage and learning had been an integral part of Indian culture, besides India is also home to many world religions which make domestic tourism a year –round activity. He said there was tremendous potential to promote domestic tourism as India offered myriad attractions like the mountains, beaches, fairs and festivals, and a rich cultural heritage. Domestic tourism, which served as a base of pyramid for international tourism, showed that its growth rate was more than 10 per cent with more than 200 million persons travelling every year while inbound tourist traffic increases at the rate of four to five per cent annually, Mr Gupta said, adding that efforts should be synergised to promote both domestic and international tourism.

Mr Gupta was of the view that Indian tourism industry could grow much faster if they made optimum use of our existing resources and available infrastructure with an integrated tourism policy with pragmatic and innovative marketing strategy. He said the country’s adverse balance of payment and debts could be cleared by the tourism industry alone if tourism was given due importance by the government as India had tremendous potential to promote its tourism products and services.

Talking about tourism in northern states Mr Gupta suggested that they should have an integrated tourism policy, planning and marketing of the entire northern region as single destination. He said special packages should be worked out for these states. About Chandigarh he said, he did not see Chandigarh tourism taking active part at the WTM, ITB and other international and national tourism marts which can bring in additional tourism inflow and revenue for the City Beautiful. “Why not to have a small group of youth specially trained to offer tourism services for the entire Northern India with a base at Chandigarh,” Mr Gupta said. The youth so trained should have comprehensive knowledge about all tourist attractions in northern India with the amenities and facilities available for tourists. Mr Gupta suggested that there should be a common window information and facilitation desk/ centre for all the northern Indian states at Chandigarh with CRS, and latest information by means of audio-visuals said, adding that gone were the days for the traditional way of promoting tourism. He suggested both macro and micro approach to tourism planning and marketing.

He suggested that the Festival of Gardens at Chandigarh taking place in February next year could be utilised to garner international image and mileage if the organisers invited various embassies and high commissions based at Delhi, various tourism organisations representing tourism and hospitality industry, airlines and others who matter to get tourist inflow to northern India. During this period, a tourism expo with participation from central and state governments and industries would promote this city as an attractive destination. “We can also have health related tourism seminar and exhibition on Indian herbs and medicines as part of the festivities”, Mr Gupta said, adding this would also promote Chandigarh as a healthy and eco friendly place.

Chandigarh with attributes such as being a gateway city, modern and planned infrastructure, multicultural society and easy accessibility should be promoted be promoted as a convention city.

Caption: Mr S. K. Gupta delivers lecture on domestic tourism at Chandigarh on Wednesday.


BP to organise cookery contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Bharat Petroleum Corporation will organise “Bharat Cookery Contest - “Vyanjan- 2001” on December 20. The Bharatgas consumers and petro card holders of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar can participate in the contest by sending their recipes by December 15.

The categories under which one can participate are hot pakoras, sukhi seasonal sabzi and garam halwa. The faculty of the Institute of Hotel Management will assess the entries and the shortlisted candidates will be required to bring the prepared dishes to the venue, Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Sector 42-D, on December 20 for the final evaluation.

The prize distribution will be held the same day. All finalists will be given a free copy of the shortlisted recipes, stated a press note.


Shangri-La opens in Mohali
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 12
People having a taste for Chinese and Japanese multi-cuisine have now their favourite joint, Shangri-La at their door steps. After having been in Chandigarh for last 20 years, an outlet of the restaurant was opened in Phase 3B2 here today.

A special team of Chinese cooks has been brought from Calcutta to cook and savour authentic Chinese dishes for its clientele. The owner of the Shangri-La chain of restaurant, Mr Amarjeet Singh, plans to open outlets of the restaurant at Panchkula and Jalandhar also.


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