Tuesday, December 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Suggestions to amend bylaws ignored?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Barring a few suggestions, the UT Administration appears to have ignored most of the suggestions and objections put forth by different bodies for amending the proposed Apartment Act, and the Chandigarh (sales of sites and buildings) rules, 1960, and the Chandigarh leasehold sites and buildings rules, 1973.

At least that is the impression gathered by several bodies, including Samadhaan, a local pressure group for social justice, which has been at the forefront of the struggle for amending and removing what it terms anti-people provisions contained in various bylaws and rules of the UT Administration.

These groups have welcomed the move for scrapping the clause for charging unearned profit from allottees of auctioned leasehold properties, at the time of resale, as the process shall encourage open sale, enhancing the state revenue considerably in the shape of transfer fee and stamp duty.

The Property Consultants Association of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali has welcomed the decision of the UT Administration to auction commercial sites on freehold basis. According to Mr Tirlochan Singh Bittu, president of the association, the decision will create a lot of goodwill, besides boosting the sale of commercial property in Chandigarh.

However, Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of Samadhaan, feels that if the recent reports in the media and a discussion held with the Finance Secretary, UT, Mr Karan A. Singh, about the expected Apartment Act are any indication, the Administration has not even bothered to go through the text of the objections suggested by different welfare bodies and NGOs, leave aside considering them.

The Administration has come up with the proposals of fresh amendments to the Chandigarh (sales of sites and buildings) rules, 1960, and the Chandigarh leasehold sites and buildings rules,1973, and objections to the draft rules of proposed amendments have been invited from the public till December 21.

Expected fate of these suggestions and objections notwithstanding, Samadhaan will like to suggest a few practical and public friendly changes to the proposed draft of the notification.

Proposed increase in the percentage of initial deposit, 25 per cent presently, is sheer commercialisation and anti-people policy. The provision is justified with those profit-making bodies like housing boards, which purchase the land for resale under certain housing schemes, but as the Administration is selling public property to the public, that too in open auction, the increase is not justified.

The provision of charging compound interest is illegal and anti-people and has been struck down by the competent courts a number of times. Thus it is likely to be challenged in the court, if implemented.

Proposed clause to allow the bidder to surrender the purchased property in an open auction held by the Administration is a welcome step. But when the delay to offer the possession of the property is on the part of the administration, a time limit of 90 days to surrender the property should not be fixed. The Administration, using the allottee’s money without giving him possession of land, should rather pay interest on his initial deposit for the period till his filing of application for surrender.

Before making any policy to punish the violators of bylaws or misusers of premises, the Administration should first categorise the violators. First category of need-based internal violations should be allowed, second category of minor changes in elevation, increased width of projections and slight infringement of the prescribed covered area be compounded after charging composition fee and third category of violations of serious nature should be treated as non-compoundable. Only the category of non-compoundable violations should be treated under the proposed policy.

The onus to remove violations and misuse should lie with the occupier rather than the allottee. If the allottee, in reply to the show-cause notice, shows his helplessness and consents for the forcible removal of violations, the action of forcible removal of violations at the risk and cost of the occupier, by the Estate Office and not the resumption of the site, should be initiated.


Maintenance of streetlights to be privatised
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
In a significant development, the Municipal Council proposes to privatise the maintenance of streetlights in the area under its jurisdiction.

Well-placed sources here informed that the Municipal Council authorities have submitted a proposal in this regard to the state government through the Director, Urban Development. The government is likely to give a go -ahead for the privatisation of maintenance by the end of January, 2002.

Officials say that the terms and conditions for privatisation of maintenance of streetlights have also been decided upon. “Once this is privatised, the MC will save several lakhs of rupees incurred for the maintenance and energy bills of street lights,” said Mr. O.P. Sihag, executive officer of Municipal Council.

A sum of Rs. 30.80 lakh was spent on maintenance during the year 1999-2000 and Rs. 31.64 lakh in 2000-2001. This mainly includes the salaries of staff deployed for the purpose of maintenance. Thus the MC has now proposed for creation of only nine posts for operation and functioning of streetlight system and, that too, for assisting the private contractor.

He said that once the proposal was okayed by the government, bids for giving out contracts will be invited. Mr. Sihag also informed that case studies of Ludhiana in Punjab and Faridabad in Haryana were examined before the proposal on privatisation here was finally prepared.

It may be noted that with the creation of the Municipal Council in January this year, state government transferred all developed sectors (2, 4, 6- 19, Industrial Area Phase I and II and Sectors 4 and 5 of Mansa Devi Complex) to the Municipal Council for maintenance of streetlights, parks, sanitation, construction and maintenance of roads, sewerage, water supply and other development activities. Earlier, these activities were being carried out by the Haryana Urban Development Authority.

It is learnt that 8200 light points, including 135 points in 13 villages will be offered for privatisation. The remaining 3795 streetlights in the township will continue to be maintained by HUDA. Maintenance contracts will be given for lines/streetlight points on composite poles and maintenance will be for three years. The contractor will provide all necessary materials required for maintenance—lamps, chokes, cables, poles etc. The contractor, who must be a licence holder of Chief Electrical Inspector, will be required to have his own skilled labour and other infrastructure.

With the privatisation, services, too, are likely to improve. It is alleged that as of now, 30 to 40 percent of streetlights remain out of order and complaints are rarely attended to or disposed off. However, the private contractor will be made more accountable. Besides ensuring the right intensity of lamps, he would have to replace the non-functional lamps within 48 hours.


Powermen put off strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The UT Powermen Union has decided to postpone its strike scheduled for tomorrow in protest against the move to table the Electricity Bill, 2001, regarding privatisation of electricity boards. The postponement has been done in response to a directive from the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers.

The union decided to hold a protest demonstration on December 21 against the UT Administration’s decision to invite tenders from the private operators regarding giving the meter reading and bill distribution work under Electricity Operation Division No 4, Sector 34, Chandigarh, to private firms.


Id celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
There was excitement in the Sector 20 Jama Masjid here and in other mosques of the city as enthusiastic Muslims, clad in white kurta pyjamas, warmly hugged each other today on the occasion of Id-ul-Fitr.

Devotees could be seen wishing “Id Mubarak” to each other. After bowing their heads towards the holy Mecca, they offered namaz.

Besides the Sector 20 Jama Masjid, Namaz was offered at Noorani Masjid in Sector 26, Manimajra Idgah, Faridi Masjid at Dhanas, Sector 31 Masjid, Jama Masjid at Baltana, Masjid at Phase XI in SAS Nagar, at Batela mosque in Sector 42 and at Sabri Masjid in Sector 45. Namaz was also offered at Maloya Colony Masjid and at Masjid Shahi Majra in SAS Nagar.

Members of the Muslim community had prepared “saviyan” and delicious meals on the occasion.

In a special message, Salim Akbar, president of the Muslim Welfare Committee, with its office at the Sector 20 Jama Masjid, wished Id Mubarak and a year of health, happiness and prosperity to the city residents. 


Good news for the diabetic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
There is good news for those suffering from diabetes. Making diabetes management easier with each passing day is the plethora of new drugs and products available in the market at affordable prices:

TYPE I DIABETES: Complete insulin dependence: For the person suffering from Type I diabetes, only a regular intake of insulin can help control glucose levels in the body at a safe level.

A. Insulin: A large number of international and national brands of insulin are now available. The patient is free to choose between synthetic insulin, also called Human Insulin and Animal Insulin available in bovine (from cattle) and porcine (from pigs) forms. The human insulin is comparatively fast acting but comes with a warning for patients that a sudden drop in the levels of glucose in the body can cause related problems. The latest in the field of human insulin is the availability of human insulin in combinations of slow and fact acting molecules to reduce the ill effects of a sudden drop in glucose levels. Human insulin can cost anything between Rs 185 per viol to Rs 210 per viol and more. Animal insulin which is considered safer is also cheaper. Bovine insulin can cost Rs 65 per viol and porcine insulin costs upto Rs 145 per viol.

B. Oral Hypoglycemic agents: Other than insulin, which has to be injected, oral tablets are available in the market which help in reducing the glucose levels in the body. These agents though not very effective in patients suffering from insulin dependent diabetes but are used more by patients suffering from senile or maturity onset diabetes.

TYPE II DIABETES: Defective/low secretion of insulin: Oral drugs are very effective in controlling this type of diabetes.

A. Insulin secretogouges: These set of drugs stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin. These tablets costs anything between .30 paise per tablet to Rs 15 per tablet.

B. Insulin sensitisers: These improve the uptake of glucose in the body. These tablets cost anything between Rs 1.80 per tablet to Rs 8 per tablet.

C. Acarbose: One of the new drugs in this range. Helps in delaying the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. Also provides therapeutic support in Type I diabetes. One tablet of this can cost anything above Rs 7.

PRODUCTS: Among the latest products that are available in the market for a diabetic are:

1. Insulin delivery pens: These pens are fast replacing syringes to inject insulin in the body by the patient himself. Almost painless in operation, two varieties are available in the market. The one which is a life long product costs Rs 1100 and comes with a warranty. Another is a disposable one for 300 units of insulin deliveries. It costs Rs 250. These pens however work only with their specific refills of insulin which are slightly more expensive than the normal insulin viol.

2. Glucometeres: A large number of liquid crystal display glucometers are available in the market. Ranging between Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,500, these meters have revolutionised monitoring of glucose levels in the body which the patient can do himself. Special pens to prick the skin of the finger painlessly, the strip etc all are made available with the glucometer.


Rise in diabetes cases

By 2025, there will be 57 million people in India, most of them in the prime of their life suffering from diabetes. “Every fifth person suffering from diabetes in the world will be in India and by then this disease would have presumed epidemic proportions. What required urgently are effective control programmes for complete diabetes management by the patient.” This was the message being sent out by the delegates at the annual conference of the RSSDI which concluded at the PGI here today.

Giving detailed data of the prevalence and incidence of the disease in the country, Dr Ajmani from New Delhi stated that many of the young of developing countries were likely to suffer from the disease where the number of people suffering from the disease was also going to rise steadily. Dr Ajmani also gave figures of the extent of undiagnosed diabetes in the urban and rural population. He also informed that the most common complications which a diabetic suffered in India from were neuropathy and diabetic retinopathy. “Infections remains the main cause of death among the diabetic in India,” he said.


7 detained in murder case
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, December 17
The police has detained seven persons, including some employees of Taj Poultry Farm in the Awadh Kishore murder case. Police parties have been sent to different suspected hideouts of the assailants.

Sources revealed that the police has also recovered some mufflers and a sharpedged weapon which were used by the assailants in committing the crime.

Meanwhile, the body of Awadh Kishore was handed over to his family members after a post-mortem examination conducted at Civil Hospital, Rajpura.

It may be recalled that an accountant-cum-cashier of the poultry farm located in Behra village on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road was hacked to death by some unidentified assailants on Saturday night. The assailants had also taken away Rs 1.75 lakh from his almirah after committing the crime.


Nagar kirtan procession
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
An impressive nagar kirtan procession was held in the city today on the eve of the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The procession began from the Sector 22 gurdwara and culminated at the Sector 38 gurdwara in the evening. It passed through the road dividing Sectors 17 and 18 before reaching the gurdwaras in Sectors 8 and 7. It also passed through Sectors 17, 7 and 19 and through the markets of Sectors 21, 22, 23 and 37.

The entire route had been decorated with colourful welcome arches and the devotees were given parsad at various places. As the band played religious tunes, a large number of schoolchildren dressed up as Panj Piaras led the procession followed by a bedecked vehicle carrying Guru Granth Sahib. Elaborate arrangements had been made by the police to regulate traffic.


Young Voice
‘The world is a stage’

These words of Shakespeare are more relevant in today’s over- mechanised and over industrialised society, where life has become too mechanical. Human relations are thus suffering.

For most of us, we have no time to stop by and appreciate the beauty of the world around us. We have become so absorbed in ourselves and our daily nuances that nothing more than the mundane routine remains in our lives.

I wish that materialism that has crept in the very core of society could be replaced with love and compassion for others. On the one hand we have the elite classes that literally own the world, and on the other hand are the hundreds of thousands of poor, who cannot afford two square meals a day for their families.

Unfortunately, most of these people prefer not to share their wealth. If these people today decided to share their good fortune with their unfortunate fellow human beings, the world would be a better place to live in.

So let us all join hands in order to make a new beginning and contribute to the welfare of society. We have all along been contributing towards our own selfish motives. Let us now make a change for better.


Niazi was not arrested: Nagra
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
“Lt-Gen A.A. Niazi, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, of the then Eastern Command of the Pakistan army, was never arrested. He had surrendered after I had sent him a note: ‘My dear Abdullah, I am here. The game is up. I suggest you give yourself up to me. I will look after you,” recalls Maj-Gen Gandharav Singh Nagra (retd), the man who was commanding the composite Indian forces and was the first Indian officer to enter Dhaka on December 17.

“I have been forced to present the correct picture in perspective as lots of distorted versions about the actual surrender of the Pakistani forces in Dhaka have been appearing in various newspapers these days,” he says maintaining that when he flew into Dhaka he had taken with him his two Brigade Commanders — Brig Sant Singh and Brig H.S. Kler.

“I did my job and never bothered to claim any credit for it. But when someone tries to misinterpret or distort history, it hurts me,” he says, maintaining that it was like a soldier that he preferred to take his two Brigade Commanders to Dhaka after the Indian Army got wind that Pakistan was ready with a white flag.

“It was Major-General Jamshed, General Officer Commanding, Dhaka Garrison, who had come to receive us. What we did was that we took off his flag from his car and put ours on it and then we drove to General Abdullah Niazi’s office. I was initially alone with him in his office.

“Subsequently, I called Brig Sant Singh in and asked him to take away a timepiece lying on his table as a memento. The personal pistol of General Jamshed is with me as a war trophy. We had tea together.

“Since we had only 2 Para, the leading battalion, in Dhaka, I instructed its Commanding Officer to raise a platoon for the ceremonial guard of honour. Similarly, General Niazi was also asked to rig a similar platoon for the guard of honour before the surrender ceremony. There was no question of arresting him.

“Since we were expecting only two Army Commanders to go through the formality of surrender, I also instructed that both chairs in the office of General Niazi and a lovely white oriental-type table be taken to the Maidan for the surrender ceremony,” recalls General Nagra.

“After meeting General Niazi, I went to Dhaka airport to await the arrival of the Chief of Staff of Eastern Command, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, by helicopter from Kolkatta,” he said, maintaining that initially Lt-Gen J.S. Aurora was not expected.

General Nagra said that after the surrender ceremony, a crowd virtually mobbed General Niazi and raised slogans against him and the Pakistan Army.

“I whispered into the ear of General Aurora that we must take away General Niazi otherwise he would be lynched. I put him in my Jonga and drove him through the crowd to the Dhaka Garrison. That is how we saved him. That is why I could not go to the airport to see off General J.S. Aurora,” he added.

He said when he was given the command of the Indian forces, they were attacking Dhaka from both the west and east sides. “I explored the third route, from the north, and entered Dhaka via this newly found route — a new highway that linked Khulna-Dhaka and led to the capital through Manikganj, from the west. I placed my bet on this axis and pushed the completely regrouped 2 Para Battalion down this road,” he concluded. 


Residents resent HUDA decision
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
Residents of various Housing Board colonies today took out a rally in protest against HUDA’s decision to carry out an anti-encroachment drive in these colonies.

A large number of residents of Housing Board colonies in Sectors 6, 8, 10, 15, 18, 19 and 26 gathered in Sector 10 and took out a protest march. Another rally was held in Sector 19, with a number of women gathering together and raising slogans against HUDA.

The residents were demanding that HUDA wait till all these developed sectors of the township were transferred to the Municipal Council. They said that the decision to remove encroachments should rest with MC officials.

The deadline given by HUDA to these residents for removing encroachments expired on December 10. The anti-encroachment drive is expected to begin any day. This follows the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the authorities of Panchkula, Chandigarh and SAS Nagar for removing encroachments from road berms.

While the authorities in SAS Nagar were quick to act, the tug of war between the Housing Board, Haryana, and HUDA over the responsibility for removing the encroachments stalled matters here for a while. The issue was finally resolved with HUDA agreeing to remove encroachments.


Speaking out
Varying views on India’s options, post-attack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
With the government maintaining that it was Pakistan’s ISI which had “directed” militant groups Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba to launch an attack on the Parliament House in New Delhi, a debate has stirred up over the options before the leadership to chalk out a strategy to deal with the ever-increasing threat of terrorism.

In the sensitive geo-political situation prevailing in Asia following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, the government appears to be high on rhetoric, with the Defence Minister, the Home Minister and the Railways Minister publicly blaming the ISI for the incident, maintaining that hot pursuit across the border is a serious option, or promising a decisive battle to finish of Pak-sponsored terrorism.

While investigating agencies are busy gathering proof of the possible involvement of Pakistan and establishing links of the attackers with various other accomplices, organisations and past incidents, the government, even four days later, still appears to be far from coming up with a clear-cut course of action and the strategy to be adopted.

TNS spoke to several defence experts in the city on the prevailing situation and the likely options which can be pursued by the powers that be.

Air Marshal Randhir Singh (retd), former AOC-in-C, South Western Air Command, was of the opinion that we had actually lost count of our options and only seemed to be discussing them instead of acting. A stage had come where the problem had been internationalised and we could do very little without the blessings of Uncle Sam. If they gave us the go ahead, only then something could be done, he remarked.

“My hope and fear are that if Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar are found in Pakistan, Pakistan will become the next target of the US, which means we will then get full support. Till then, we sit back and watch, because the leash is in somebody else’s hand. However, if the country, after due calculations, decides for offensive action, then we should not look back till the target is achieved. Earlier blunders, where we have backed off in just the nick of time, should not be repeated,” he said.

Stating that the Government had three options before it, Lt-Gen B.S. Randhawa (retd), former Director-General, Rashtriya Rifles, said the first was to remain defensive, as a result of which we would have more casualties, which would be demoralising. The other option, he added, was to button up the intelligence and security forces to ensure timely information was available to nab culprits and prevent innocents from being punished, while the final option was to go in for a pro-active stance against any country indulging in acts of such nature.

“For the time being, as a short-term measure, I feel that we should gear up our intelligence and security forces, which are quite lethargic and casual, enabling terrorists to strike with impunity, as it is still not clear as to who is exactly behind the strikes. So far it is all stories and conjectures,” he remarked, adding that if such strikes happened again and the source was confirmed, there should be no option but to go in for a pro-active stance.

Lt-Col D.C. Katoch (retd) was of the opinion that the situation was very fluid and unless the war in Afghanistan was over and key Taliban elements, including bin Laden and Mullah Omar, were captured, India should refrain from striking across the border. “In the meantime, we should formulate international opinion in our favour that Pakistan is backing terrorist activities, besides increasing vigil on borders and entry points into the country,” he added.

Crossing the LoC would only escalate the situation, felt Wg-Cdr D.P. Sabharwal (retd). It would result in two great losses, the first being loss of international support, which had taken us many years to generate. “A war or major military operation will also badly shake the economy at a time when it is trying to sustain”, he added.

Stating that while gains of a military operation were not assured, he added that the government should track down the perpetrators and if the involvement of Pakistan was established, open it up before the world. He also said the government might try to involve others to bring out the truth.

Brig Harwant Singh (retd), a former Brigade Commander in Siachen, was in favour of a more forceful approach. “We need to send a message across to them that we mean business,” he said. Stating that we kept on talking but did nothing, he was of the opinion that we should close down our embassy in Pakistan and ban Pakistani flights over Indian territory, which would hurt their economy. Saying that unless they were hurt they would not understand, he added that we should involve the US to put diplomatic and economic pressure on Pakistan.


Gallantry awardees want ministry for security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Members of the President’s Police Gallantry Awardees Association have, in a statement issued here today, stressed that there is a need to have a full-fledged ministry of national security to co-ordinate the functioning of defence and internal security forces and to bring in accountability.

Stating that it was the para-military and police forces which saved Parliament during the December 13 attack, the statement added that it was time to shed ad hocism and form a uniform national policy for martyrs, disabled personnel and gallantry awardees of all security forces, besides forming a separate directorate of welfare for para-military and police personnel.

While condemning the attack, the statement said para-military personnel put up a good performance and saved national leaders while sacrificing their own lives. A demand for a uniform compensation to martyrs’ families besides free treatment in government hospitals or private institutions to those wounded in operations had also been raised.

Members of the association have also volunteered free services for the cause of national security and have also appealed to all ex-defence, paramilitary and police personnel to come forward for this cause.


AIATF burns effigy of ISI
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
Activists of the local unit of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) held a procession against terrorism and burnt the effigy of the ISI in, Sector 17 here today. The activists strongly condemned the recent attack on Parliament House and demanded stern action against terrorist outfits responsible for the act.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Vikram Chopra, president of the unit, criticised the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for its failure in controlling terrorist acts and urged the President to dismiss the Vajpayee government. He alleged that the government ignored intelligence warnings about the attack.

He also condemned the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, for his duality. According to him, on one side he was shaking hands with the Indian leaders and, on the other hand, he was sponsoring terrorist training camps in occupied Kashmir. Mr Chopra held Pakistan responsible for terrorist activities in the country.

The other AIATF leaders who were present on the occasion included Mr Ajay Joshi, Mr Anil Kumar, Mr Rajiv Awasthi, Mr Chitranjan Chanchal, Mr Madan Acharya, Mr Avinash Malik and Mr Gurmukh Namdhari. This was stated by Mr Anil Kumar, spokesman of the unit.


Jan Jagriti Mahabhiyan reaches city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
The Jan Jagriti Mahabhiyan, led by the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti, a non-political association of religious saints of all sects, reached Chandigarh yesterday.

A two-day congregation was subsequently held at Nehru Park in Sector 22. The founder of the International Brahmrishi mission, Vishwatma Bawra Ji Maharaj, spoke on the concept of establishment of Indian nationalism.

It may be recalled that more than 100 saints from all over India started from Vaishno Devi Shakti Peeth on December 5 and will complete the campaign at Kamaksha Devi in Assam on February 28. They have already visited Udhampur, Jammu and Kathua, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Batala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Ludhiana, Khanna and Patiala.

The founder of the International Brahmrishi Mission, Virat Nagar, Pinjore, Brahmrishi Vishwatma Bawra Ji Maharaj, said, “The main objective of this campaign is to awaken society to the grim situation facing the country. Three main problems faced by the country are economic exploitation, moral degradation and terrorism. More than 50 years of rule by their chosen representatives has landed people in deep ditch of moral degradation, economic exploitation and political immorality with each passing day.”

“The morality of common public has been hit by foreign TV channels which spoil impressionable young minds. Terrorism is another problem being faced by our country,” added Bawra Ji.

The function concluded on the note that the mission of the saints will be successful by awakening them to their duty towards their motherland in order to build a better community.


Adventure camp from Dec 24
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Durga Das Foundation’s week-long adventure camp commences on December 24. To satiate the sport and adventurous appetites of an emboldened generation of Tarzens and Janes, this time the winter offering from the foundation takes on the shape of a comprehensive residential camp.

Rather than taking children on day trips to different locations, an organised plethora of activities has been planned with the base camp being at Dharampur. Having all children under one roof would facilitate a learning of a different kind.

With the spectre of school bags, tests and home assignments, a blurred memory, children will find plenty of avenues to “find” themselves. A hardcore adventure camp calls for unlimited reserves of physical energy, stamina and risk taking abilities.

But the foundation’s programme has enough for the creative, imaginative and artistic ones too.

Professionals will take the participants on a journey of self discovery and learning combining outdoor visits like trekking, camping, cooking in the wild and nature walks with inter personal socialisation via participation in impromptu cultural events and of course honing managerial skills as they learn to plan, organise, navigate and understand nature and juxtaposing city life with village life.

Admission to the winter camp will be on the first come first serve basis. 


Printing error in Rs 50 note
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
A city resident complained to Chandigarh Tribune that she had received a Rs 50 currency note from a branch of the State Bank of Patiala today which had a printing defect. The complainant, Ms Meena Dhall, a resident of Sector 32-A, said she had withdrawn Rs 5,000 from the bank on Saturday. When she opened the Rs 50 she wad found that one of the notes bearing number 9 UP 011981 was not properly printed. One side of the note was completely blank and other side half faded, she added.

The complainant was, however, sure that it was not a fake note and added that this was gross negligence on the part of the Reserve Bank of India. She even blamed the bank’s staff for not checking each note carefully before giving it to customers.


Financial aid to bereaved family
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 17
The Ropar District Petroleum Dealers Association has given Rs 1.25 lakh as monetary help to the mother of Manjit Singh, an attendant of a petrol station in Kurali, who was shot dead while on duty by three unidentified culprits a few days back.

According to a press note issued here today by Mr Sushil Kaushal, president of the association, the amount was given to the mother of the deceased on the occasion of the bhog ceremony of the deceased held at his native village, Chokki, in Himachal Pardesh yesterday.


Ram Parshad Sood dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Dr Ram Parshad Sood, PCMS (Class I), died here today after a week's illness. He was 91. He was the father-in-law of a senior journalist, Mr Prem Mohindra. The funeral procession will leave 3533, Sector 35, Chandigarh, at 11.30 am, according to family members.


Two cars, scooter stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
In his complaint to the police, Mr Amandeep Singh of Sector 21 stated that his Maruti car, parked in front of his residence, was stolen on the night of December 15. According to police sources, a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered and further investigations into the matter were on.

Mr Des Raj of Phase IV, SAS Nagar, alleged that his car was stolen on December 16 between 1 pm and 2 pm from the staff parking of the PGI. The police registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC and further investigations were on.

In yet another case of theft, a Sector 37 resident alleged that his Priya scooter, parked at his residence, was stolen on the night of December 11. According to sources, a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered on the complaint of Mr Sukhbir Singh and the police was investigating the matter.

Shop burgled: Medicines worth Rs 1,29, 355 were reportedly stolen after the locks of a basement of a shop-cum-office in Sector 26 were broke open. Acting on a complaint filed by Mr Prem Sagar Kapoor of Sector 26, the police registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC and further investigations were on.

One arrested: The police arrested a Kangra district resident, Om Parkash, on the charge of stealing a Hero bicycle, belonging to Mr Raju Parsad of Ram Darbar, Phase I. According to sources, a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC was registered and further investigations were on.

Cases registered: Three cases under the Excise Act were registered by the police after the arrest of Sat Pal and Beera of Karsan Colony, besides Jaspal Singh and Balraj Singh of Kangra district, along with Ramesh Kumar of Mandi district on the allegations of consuming liquor at a public place. 


Roaming facility launched on Spice Quicky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Spice Telecom, today announced the introduction of roaming facility on its pre-paid card — Spice Quicky. The facility will allow Spice Quicky subscribers to receive incoming calls and SMSs at all times in the adjoining states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

To activate the facility, a subscriber has to dial the IVR number - 727 from his handset, just before leaving the Spice network. For further details, subscribers can contact the toll-free helpline number of Spice: 98140 12347.

Speaking at the introduction of the facility, Mr Vinod Sawhny, MD, Spice Telecom, said, “Spice Telecom – Punjab is the first telecom player in its category to introduce inter-operator roaming facility on its pre-paid cellular connections. Having seen the widespread adoption of roaming by our post-paid subscribers, we have extended it to fulfil an increasing need on part of our pre-paid customers to stay connected at all times”.

In order to activate the roaming facility on Spice Quicky, a pre-paid subscriber should have a minimum cash balance of Rs 250 on the card. Incoming calls will be charged at the rate of Rs 15 per minute for airtime while all incoming SMSs would be delivered free of cost. During the activated period of the pre-paid roaming facility, the subscriber will not be able to make outgoing calls or send SMSs and hence a Spice Quicky subscriber will have to dial the same IVR no. (727) from his handset, when he is back in the Spice network to restore the normal services on his card.

Added Mr Sawhny, “With the introduction of the roaming facility coupled with the recently announced increase in validity period and drop in tariffs, Spice Quicky subscribers will stand to benefit from the ever-increasing advantages of mobile telephony.”



Joshi Autozone: Chandigarh-based Maruti dealer, Joshi Auto Zone Pvt Ltd, has been ranked second on all-India basis in sales satisfaction index, according to a communication received from MUL here on Monday. Maruti has introduced balance score card (BSC) system as a tool to measure the strength of operations of a dealership in dealing with customers with regard to sales and delivery of Maruti vehicles. Maruti Udyog Ltd will give a trophy to the dealer, according to Mr Deepak Joshi, MD of Joshi Autozone. TNS

Jewellery corner: Phulkari, a showroom in Sector 17, has added a jewellery corner in its complex. The jewellery section will have a collection of Jaipur stone-studded silver jewellery, coral and jade collections, navratna sets and other antique. Ms Harjot Sodhi has designed the entire collection. She has learnt the art from Jaipur and has been in this trade for the past 10 years. OC

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