Monday, December 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



PUDA reduces prices of booth sites by 10 pc
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 23
Realising that the price of free-hold booth sites in the town are "overpriced", the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to offer the commercial sites at a price reduced by 10 per cent. At least 451 booth sites are now being offered under a fresh scheme.

The previous scheme, floated in October last to allot 506 booth sites, attracted only 55 applications. The authorities have decided to do away with the provision to give the first right to chose booth sites in accordance with the seniority list in the draw of lots, said Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator, PUDA. It was felt that better sites were chosen by investors, while others remained unsold.

Now the draw would be held sector-wise instead of the earlier practice of allowing the facility to chose sites in accordance with the seniority list. Though a price reduction of 15 per cent had been proposed, the authorities, in a meeting chaired by the Housing and Urban Development Minister, decided to reduce prices by 10 per cent.

Officials of PUDA said an earlier "tatkal and non-tatkal option" to allot 700 booth sites had attracted 120 and 66 applications, respectively. Despite the fact that these booth sites were located in developed phases (phases 1, 2, 3A, 3 B2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11), there was only a lukewarm response to the schemes which was a clear indicator of overpricing of booth sites. Booths under the 'tatkal' option carried a 10 per cent premium over the booths under the second category.

Under the 'tatkal' option, the price (depending upon the size and location) varied between Rs 8.99 lakh and Rs 16.75 lakh, whereas under the non-tatkal scheme, the price varied between Rs 8.17 lakh and Rs 14.62 lakh. After the 10 per cent price cut, the rates have come down by Rs 80,000 to Rs 1.46 lakh. 


The booth sites available in different phases of SAS Nagar

Phase/ Sector Booth sites  Previous approx price (in lakh) Reduced approxsites (in lakh)













































*The booth sites for which 55 applications were received under the scheme floated in October, the last date for which ended on December 3, have not been included in the list of available booth sites.


It’s all work and no food for PGI doctors on night duty
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Junior and senior resident doctors working in the PGI, numbering at least 400, the most overworked and stressed out group of employees, are up in arms not about work, but food, or rather the non-availability of it. For doctors working on night duties at the Advanced Paediatric Centre, the PGI Emergency and Nehru Hospital, there is no decent meal available for them after 10 pm anywhere in the campus.

For those working in the APC, there is not even tea or coffee available, no biscuits or snacks. In fact, nothing to eat or drink at all after 10 p.m. The doctors who are on night duty starting from 8p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning are virtually starved after their duty.

‘‘We are left with no option but to stack food items in our rooms. But then what about tea and coffee? The person operating the tea/coffee machine is off at 10 p.m. and that is it,’’ complains a junior resident.

For those working in the Emergency and Nehru Hospital, tea and snacks are available at the 24-hour doctors’ canteen, but a senior resident pointed out: “It’s a canteen which leaves much to be desired. Some time back there were rats in the canteen. It is a dark, filthy place and all that is available at night is scrambled eggs. Many of us are vegetarians. As a result, we have to go hungry till morning”, lamented a senior resident on duty in the emergency.

The doctors’ canteen at Nehru Hospital is being run by the PGI’s welfare department but it has been decided that it will be tendered out to a private party. Similarly, the cafeteria yet to start functioning at the APC, too, has to be tendered out.

The government had asked the PGI to form a committee comprising three seniormost professors to lay down rules and regulations for such tenders. Dr Dash, who was chairman of the committee, however, said the report prepared by the committee had been long sent to the government via the PGI Director’s office.

Since a majority of these doctors reside in hostels, they have two of the three meals in a day in the hostel mess and canteen. But for doctors residing in the Old Doctors Hostel (ODH), the mess providing south Indian food is to be shifted since it falls on the land being used to construct the Advanced Eye Centre.

The PGI’s engineering department has promised to build another mess building for them, but the doctors are exasperated. ‘‘We are not being provided with any alternative for the period in which the PGI’s engineering department will build a new mess as the existing building housing the mess might be brought down immediately,’’ says a member of the Doctors Association.

At the Sanjivni Girls hostel, the doctors complain that although the food being provided by the contractor is very good, no dinner is cooked on Sundays.


PU Senate to honour former VC
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
In a rare honour, Panjab University will felicitate a former Vice-Chancellor for his achievements in chemical research.

Reliable sources said Prof Ram Chand Paul, Vice-Chancellor of the university from July, 1974, to December, 1984, would be felicitated by the forthcoming Senate for lifetime achievement at the 38th annual convention of the Indian Chemical Society.

Professor Paul is widely known for his specialisation in the field of inorganic chemistry. He is internationally known for his research in chemistry of non-aqueous solvents and synthetic inorganic chemistry. He is a former chairman of the standing committee of the University Grants Commission for selection of Vice-Chancellors and former president of the Association of Indian Universities.

Born in 1919, Professor Paul has an excellent academic record following completion of his schooling at Lahore. He did his PhD as well as DSc from the University of Cambridge in 1954 and 1968, respectively. He is currently a fellow of the National Academy of Science, of the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Academy of Science.

He started his career as a demonstrator. Two of his former students, are now teachers in the Chemistry Department at PU, said “Professor Paul personified a synthesis of objectivity with magnanimity. He is best known for his humility.”

Foreign visits of Professor Paul totalled more than three dozen, covering all corners of the world. He was an active researcher throughout and supervised more than 70 PhDs and published more than 400 research papers, reviews and articles

The university will also felicitate Dr Daizy R. Batish, a Reader with the Department of Botany, for being selected for the Rajib Goyal prize for young scientists, awarded by Kurukshetra University. The prize is given for work in the field of environment and biological sciences. It is being shared by Dr Batish and Dr Naveen Arora, a scientist at the Centre for Biochemical Technology, New Delhi.

Dr Naresh will be felicitated for his selection by the Haryana Government for the Bal Mukund state award for his contribution to Hindi ‘ghazal’. He is a Professor in Bhai Vir Singh Studies in Modern Literature.

The university will also honour Prof R.K.Kohli of the Department of Botany for his selection for the Dr B.P.Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for biodiversity for the 2001.


Syal allowed to attend office
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, December 23
The focus of the 36 lakh investors from all over the country will shift from the UT Lok Adalat and Consumer Courts to the head office of the Golden Forest as its Chairman-cum-Managing Director R.K Syal, has been allowed to attend his office, for 10 day for six hours daily.

Sources revealed that accused R.K Syal, along with in charge of the administration of the company, Pamila Syal were allowed to attend their office located near Jharmari village, from Model Burail jail from 10 a.m to 4 p.m everyday under police escort. Syal will be making a comprehensive proposal for finalising the liabilities of all investors to be submitted before the High Court on January 17, 2002.

The company had employed at least one lakh persons and about 36 lakh investors from all over the country had invested in various schemes floated by the company. The company had purchased land for agriculture and forestation in many parts of country by collecting money from the investors. The company had assured investors that the rights of ownership of land would be transfered to them on the date of maturity.

Investors from various parts of country have filed thousands of cases against the company when cheques issued by it were dishonoured by the banks. At present about 50, 000 such cases are pending in the UT Permanent Lok Adalat, as R.K. Syal, had agreed to pay principal amount to the investors.

Many investors from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the city had filed about 250 cases before the UT Consumer Court alleging unfair trade practices adopted by the Golden Forest company.

The Vigilance Department, Patiala, had also registered six cases against the company for allegedly cheating and defrauding investors last year. On December 23, 2000 the Vigilance Bureau Patiala, had registered six FIRs against R.K. Syal and other family members under Sections 420, 406, 468, 471, 120-B.



Two dead as truck hits tree
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 23
Two persons were killed and eight others injured when the truck by which they were travelling banged into a tree along the Sohana-Landhran road late last night. The two of the seriously injured, Nirmal Singh of Saidpur village and Mukhtair Singh of Machli village succumbed to their injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh.

The driver of the ill-fated truck, Kuldeep Singh, was in an inebriated state and lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn near Lakhnour village. The victims were returning after attending a cultural evening in SAS Nagar. A case under Sections 279, 338 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered.


Networking sans politics
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Full marks to Mr Suresh Chandel who has kept his promise to initiate networking of fellow MPs from the region to benefit all constituents and not individual constituencies.

Mr Chandel is a BJP Member of Parliament from Himachal Pradesh. In an interview to TNS (published in these columns on December 2) he had shared his idea of involving his colleagues, irrespective of their political affiliations, from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, in preparing a common socio-economic agenda for the region — J and K, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana. (It is expandable to Rajasthan and Uttaranchal). The first meeting of the MPs concerned was held in New Delhi last week. Nearly 20 MPs, who attended that meeting, not only welcomed the initiative taken by Mr Chandel but also identified four issues for immediate collective action.

Mr Chandel and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (MP from Chandigarh) told TNS today that together the MPs concerned would jointly work for (1) establishing diagnostic centres of the Chandigarh-based PGI in the adjoining states; (b) pursue the setting up of a trauma centre at Karnal; (c) a dual railway track between Jalandhar and Jammu; and (d ) a railway line between Jammu and Udhampur.

But for the attack on Parliament House on December 13 and the adjournment of the House, the attendance at the first meeting would have been more. The host was Mr Ramesh Chander Bainda, MP from Haryana. Several other MPs, who could not attend, had extended their support to the idea on the telephone. In fact, impressed by the move on regional economic development initiative, Mr Bansal has offered to host the next meeting when the Parliament Budget session begins on February 18 next.’’ The group will meet at least twice during every session’’, added Mr Chandel.

The two MPs pointed out that there were in all 53 Lok Sabha and 19 Rajya Sabha MPs from the region. It was decided to form a Forum to take up key issues in the interest of the region. The meeting decided to avoid controversial issues — inter-state disputes, etc. The idea, primarily, was to enable MPs from different parties to get together and engaging themselves in ‘’constructive activities’’ in the region.

It was Mr Vinod Khanna from Punjab who had suggested that in view of the heavy rush of patients at the PGI, the institute should set up state-of-the-art diagnostic centres for patients in adjoining states. Likewise, to provide relief to accident victims, a trauma centre should be set up at Karnal, which is midway between New Delhi and Chandigarh. Mr I.D. Swamy, MP from Karnal and Minister of State, promised to use his influence in this regard.

Mr Bansal said: ‘’When 72-odd MPs together petition the government for any project, it will make a visible impact rather than one MP pursuing the matter individually. Take the case of providing additional railway lines, a double-track between Jalandhar and Jammu and a line from Jammu to Udhampur. The survey was completed 20 years ago. Yet nothing tangible has happened except for some token provision in the Budget’’.

Mr Chandel and Mr Bansal said an international airport in Chandigarh could give an economic boost to cargo freight, agriculture, horticulture and floriculture in the region besides promoting tourism and opening employment potential. Similarly, a common market (mandi) in this region would enable the hill states of J and K and HP to market horticultural produce in a cost-effective manner.

‘’At least we now have a common platform to raise our voice both inside and outside Parliament. More important, the new political equations, way above mundane politics, would set healthy trends in politics aimed at development, socio-economic uplift and building a viable infrastructure’’.

Several new ideas were generated at the first meeting. It was felt that development in one state(s) would also benefit the neighbouring areas, say an international airport in Chandigarh. Mr Bansal said: ‘’Such transgressing of political barriers is expected to go a long way in helping the region with equitable development’’.

Among those who attended the meeting in response to Mr Chandel’s written invitation that explained the objectives included Mr Zora Singh Mann, Mr Lehna Singh Tur and Mr Vinod Khanna from Punjab; Mr Maheshwar Singh and Mr Anil Sharma from Himachal Pradesh; Mr I.D. Swamy, Mr Ram Chander Bainda, Dr Sudha Yadav, Mr Krishan Singh Sangwan and Mr Sushil Kumar Indora from Haryana; Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal from Chandigarh; Mr Hassan Khan, Mr Ali Mohammad Naik and Mr Abdul Rashid Shaheen from J and K.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhundar and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, expressed their support promising to attend the next meeting in February. Thanks to Mr Chandel, a new chapter has opened in initiating regional networking by the elected representatives of different political parties.

Once the Forum grows its roots, it was intended to involve the Chief Ministers of the respective states to together prevail upon the Centre to pay more attention to the region’s/people’s problems and needs. Several members even suggested the involvement of senior bureaucrats of the states on deputation to the Centre to work on the ideas and projects that the Forum collectively took up with the Centre and the ministries concerned.


TA units called for deployment
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
In a significant development all infantry battalions in the Western Command Territorial Army (TA) Group are reported to have been called out for operational deployment.

The TA battalions will be moving out to their areas of deployment, complete with all combat equipment and regimental paraphernalia, shortly. Sources say that while they have been directed to move, their respective locations have not been disclosed so far and nor have any specific briefings on their impending tasks been conducted.

The deployment of the entire group assumes significance as this is the first time that such a step has been taken since the 1971 Indo-Pak war. While limited embodiment in this group was undertaken during Operation Brasstacks in 1986, there was no deployment from this group even during the 1999 Kargil Conflict, although one or two battalions of this group have been engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the past few years.

While all infantry TA battalions in the Western Command have been directed to move, the situation in other groups is not known. All five operational commands have their own TA groups consisting varying number of battalions and other support units.

The TA is a voluntary, part-time citizens’ force and is designed to support the regular army in times of need. Further, TA units are “territory-specific”, implying that they are generally deployed in the jurisdiction of their respective commands.

The-large scale mobilisation of regular Army formations as well as deployment of IAF combat aircraft at their operational locations has already been widely reported.



HARDLY anyone knows what the three fountains created at various spots in the Sector 17 commercial area mean. They were originally conceived by Le Corbusier as part of the city heritage and were meant to add life to the concrete of the commercial complex. The condition of the fountains (especially of the two near Bank Square) is not too good. Filth and squalor dot the vicinity of these sculptural forms. On December 17 a group of employees working somewhere in a nearby office were seen spitting on one of the structures. When confronted by a reporter, they replied brazenly: “Who was Corbusier? Can you show us? Bring him and we will stop spitting.”

Not an isolated instance of city’s indifference towards its heritage, this incident might alarm the city Administration with regard to maintenance of city structures. Some panels or boards explaining the significance of structures can help in safeguarding their sanctity.

All about magic

It is very difficult to hold the attention of children, especially when their parents are busy shopping around. But the Haryana State Karigar Association, which is currently displaying the works of 10 master craftsmen at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhavan, has devised a good means to attract children and elevate them to the status of buyers.

One corner of the big bhavan is surely “magical.” Manned by 17-year-old Farooq, who was has won several awards for his magical feats, the corner is always surrounded by kids. Farooq, who poor till sometime ago, is now thanking his stars for his prosperity. He is not just selling magical toys which he has himself designed, he is also teaching the kids magical feats: how to turn a rope into a stick, how to change colour of feathers, how to increase or decrease the size of dice and many more tricks.

While the first two days were easy for Farooq to cope up, the subsequent days proved hectic for the unassuming boy from Delhi suburbs. These days he is visited by close to 40 children who wish to learn all his 60 feats. He was heard saying, “I think now I can open a magic school. Had I known the kids of Chandigarh were so receptive, I would have got other trained men with me. I cannot handle this rush alone.”

Love-struck kids

The youngsters seem to be crossing all limits for the sake of love these days. Where the Sukhna Lake earlier used to be dotted by somewhat mature-looking couples, these days one can easily spot school-going children strolling about the shady areas. Only about three days back there were about five “couples” along the stretch of Sukhna, which is somehow the most favoured meeting place for love birds.

Although privacy is a right, but the Lake authorities need to think about some kind of police deployment all along the jogging stretch. This because the visiting couples move and sit around in a rather easy manner, which is not so acceptable. The lake is a prestigious tourist spot of the city and many tourists frequent its long stretch. The area needs some kind of social discipline, if not much!

Back from Kabul

Many readers would be unaware that Himmat Singh Gill, who contributes regularly for this daily, has often stepped out into the diplomatic arena for his country. After a Track-II mission to the USA, post-Kargil in 1999, he has just returned from a flying visit to war-torn Afghanistan, where his previous knowledge of the area stood him in good stead.

Gill, a retired Major General, and Chairman of the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, has penned two novels and is a frequent TV commentator on international relations and security-related matters. An occasional columnist and book reviewer, Gill is the younger brother of a former CEC, Dr M.S. Gill.

Gold medal for S.S. Bhatti

The highest award of the Indian Institute of Architects, Madhav Achwal Gold Medal, for lifetime contribution to architectural education, has been won for 2001 by Dr S.S. Bhatti, former principal and founder-teacher of Chandigarh College of Architecture. The medal was presented to him at the inaugural function of IIA’s national convention at Aurangabad on December 21.

As Government of India’s representative on the national board, Dr Bhatti accomplished the rare feat of getting the entrance test for PG course in architecture etc introduced independent of GATE, which, though meant for engineering graduates, used to be given also to aspirants of higher education in architecture.

Dr Bhatti has won over a score of awards and honours in architecture and allied disciplines: JIIA award for PhD on Chandigarh, University of Roorkee’s Mahesh Varma award for engineering, AIFACS’ ‘Veteran Artist’ award and Italy’s national academy’s Official Academical Knight’ for art, Editor’s Choice Award, and so on. He has published over 600 articles, reviews, reflective essays on wide-ranging subjects in national and international publications, and has seven books to his credit. At present, he is offering professional consultancy in landscape architecture, structure systems, and campus planning.

Good samaritan

It was 8.45 on Thursday night. Mr H.S. Saluja of Saluja Automobiles was returning home with his son, When he was just 200 metres from the Sector 32/33 crossing, a scooterist driving at breakneck speed overtook him and slammed into a cyclist, sending the man hurtling in the air for a metre. The cyclist hit the ground, and lay motionless.

In no time the passersby stopped and virtually crowded around the motionless person. In the rush the scooterist made his escape. Mr Saluja saw the condition of the cyclist and asked some of those gathered around to help him take the unconscious cyclist to the Sector 32 General Hospital. After a lot of persuasion one of the onlookers got on to the car. They drove down to the General Hospital.

“He is dead”, said a helper. Mr Saluja asked one of the doctors to see the injured cyclist as the accident had taken place barely 20 minutes earlier.

“The cyclist is alive, but badly injured”, said a nurse. Mr Saluja heaved a sigh of relief, he gave his name and address for any future reference, and proceeded towards home, happy that he had been able to save the a life. The good samaritan in him had paid.

VIP wards

There are moments when wards of ministers cause embarrassment to the ofiicials of government-run departments. A situation like this arose recently when the foundation stone of the head office complex of the Local Government Department was to be laid in Sector 62 of SAS Nagar. A technocrat son of the Public Relations Minister was looking after the arrangements at the venue of the function. Moments before the foundation stone laying ceremony was to begin, a rod holding the curtain, which was to be unveiled by the chief guest came off. Some bricks on the face of structure of the foundation stone also came off. Later the VIP ward could be seen expressing his anger at the officials of the public relations department.

Killer spots

Certain road sections in SAS Nagar are turning into killer spots for motorists. In the past one month at least three persons have died and several injured on a particular section of the road leading to PCL from Sector 42 of Chandigarh. Only last week a school bus ( though without students) collided with a Maruti Zen at the PCL traffic junction, thereby damaging traffic lights.

Another accident took place at the same spot exactly after 24 hours.

Residents in the area said the road had not been widened despite if the increased vehicular traffic. Connecting the SAS Nagar bus stand with the Balongi bypass, the road witnesses a large volume of traffic.

Hopes from IIIT

Setting up an Indian Institute of Information and Technology (IIIT) in SAS Nagar as a joint venture between Mahindra and Mahindra and Electronic Corporation of Punjab has once again kindled hope for quality courses in information and technology.

The town has long been projected as IT destination but it lacked the basic infrastructure. The captains of the IT industry feel that since there was demand for the Indian IT professionals in the software development, the IIIT would fill in the gap.

Prof M.S. Johal

Prof M.S. Johal of the Department of Zoology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has been appointed a representative of the South Asian Sustainable Use Specialist Group (Fish species survival group) at a conference of the International Union of Conservation of Natural Resources held in Goa recently.

Professor Johal, who has worked extensively on the fish bio-diversity of Western Himalayas, delivered a lecture at the conference on the use of hard parts such as fish scales, ear ossides and vertebrae for the conservation of native fish species and their growth pattern. It was attended by experts from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. One of the recommendations of the conference is to initiate the restoration of aquatic habitat programme on which Professor Johal has already collected data under a US-India project.

His findings have been accepted by the Himachal Government in order to increase the harvestable size of “golden mahseer” from 30 cm to 50 cm.

— Sentinel


TN endeavour to draw tourists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
In its endeavour to promote tourism as a major economic activity and an industry, Tamil Nadu, which has increased its tourism budget by almost five times, is now focusing on the northern region for domestic tourism. The state has adopted an aggressive publicity and awareness campaign to attract more domestic tourists.

An investment feasibility and guidance cell has also been opened by the state tourism department to promote private participation for projects like building golf courses, amusement parks and other tourism-related ventures.

The Department of Tourism, Tamil Nadu, is organising a three-day exhibition-cum-cutting-edge meeting with officials and people from the hospitality industry, corporate investors, travel agents, writers and people from several other spheres in this regard, beginning tomorrow.

The state expects an increase of more than five lakh tourists following this exhibition.

“The tourism budget this year has been increased to Rs 17 crore compared to around Rs 4 crore last year. Not only foreign tourists, the emphasis is on attracting domestic tourists as well, for which we are very active on organising awareness campaigns and providing more and better facilities to the tourists”, said Mr S. Bakthavatchalam, Department of Tourism, Tamil Nadu.

Apart from highlighting natural heritage, pilgrimage centres and hill stations, the state is laying equal importance on promoting its hotels and festivals, which keep happening for most part of the year.

Talking about the exhibition, to be held tomorrow, he said instant bookings would also be done, apart from the information people could gather about the state tourism.

Benefits like heavy discounts will also be available for bookings during the exhibition. For instance, in packages exceeding 10 persons, one ticket for every 10 will be provided free and a 15 per cent discount for booking at three different places (hotels) will also be offered. Information about various other offers by the department will also be provided.

Those interested in private investment in tourism projects in the state can also avail themselves of guidance from the department. The state also plans to appoint authorised agents from this region.

Tamil Nadu will participate in various international travel marts in the coming year and more domestic campaigns are also on the cards.

“The state received around 2 crore 30 lakh domestic tourists last year, one-fourth of which were from this part of the country. We chose to organise the event in Chandigarh this time because of the tremendous potential this place holds”, he said.



Don’t look towards USA: experts
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 23
A discussion on ‘Terrorist Attack on Indian democracy’ was organised by the Janshakti under the auspices of Servants of the People Society at Lajpat Rai Bhavan here today.

In his presidential remarks, Air Marshal (Retd.) Randhir Singh said that roots of democracy could be strengthened by creating awareness among people and making it a participative democracy.

Terrorism was a geo-political problem which required a balancing act in different countries. He said it was unfortunate that “we Indians are depending on America for a taking a decision on terrorism.”

Prof P.S Verma, addressing the gathering, accused the USA of pursuing vested interests and said India should take a decision on its own. He advised a long drawn strategy to solve the Kashmir problem. Prof P.P Arya, Convener of Janshakti, warned Pakistan that its design to disintegrate India on religious lines would prove counter-productive.

Some of the conclusions reached at the discussion were: terrorism could be checked by creating more employment and removing poverty and inequality, POTO was not required, the root cause of terrorism was economic deprivation, India should not remain a soft state and religious terrorism had to be finished.

Among those who participated in the discussion were Mr B.L Bansal, Mr Jai Gopal Kochhar, Mr Baldev Pandey, Mr Amar Kant, Mr Satya Paul Sehgal, Prof. D.C Sexana, Prof. A.K Aggarwal, Prof. D.R. Sharma, Mr Baljit Rai, Mr Gurbachan Singh, Mr Kasturi Lal and Mr A.K Datta.



Balmiki uplift has been top priority, claims minister
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 23
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has always accorded priority to improving the lifestyle of the downtrodden and those of the minority community in the state during the past over four years. Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, SAD General Secretary and Finance and Planning Minister, claimed at a convention organised by members of the Punjab Pradesh Balmiki Sabha Centre Committee in Lohgarh village, near here, today.

The minister said the community had always been rejected by the Congress during its 45-year rule in the state as well as at the Centre. Attacking the Congress, he said though the Central Government had awarded reservation in jobs to people belonging to the Balmiki community, they were kept “at bay” in Punjab by the Congress.

To uplift the downtrodden, the SAD had distributed 5 marla plots among 17,934 families. A sum of Rs 600 crore had been given to different projects under the Special Component Plan. Besides, 24,190 families had benefited under the Indira Awas Yojana.

The minister said Rs 48.32 crore had been spent under the ‘shagun scheme’ for solmenising the marriages of 1,63,577 girls belonging to poor families. Moreover, 67,37,573 poor and needy students had been given books worth Rs 40 crore free of cost and Rs 65 crore spent on scholarships for 18,90,965 students.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh appealed to the members of the community to support the SAD-BJP alliance in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Workers of the Congress belonging to different Balmiki Sabhas of the Banur Assembly constituency along with supporters joined the SAD and expressed solidarity with Capt Kanwaljit Singh.


DIG’s book on terrorism released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
From ground-level tactics to formulating a national policy, “Terrorism and Response to Terrorist Threat” is a book which deals with the issue of terrorism at large and the means to counter it. Authored by Mr Ranjit K. Pachnanda, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Kolkata, the book was released by the Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), here today.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Pachnanda said he had served several tenures in terrorist-infested areas and he felt that he must pen down his varied experiences for others to benefit.

Besides a stint in the Special Protection Group, he had also served in the CBI. Son of a retired Brigadier settled in Panchkula, Mr Pachnanda had served as the SP CBI in Chandigarh for seven years during the days of terrorism in Punjab. He had been decorated with the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service.

“I have discussed the concept of terrorism and how it has been changing. The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York has defied all definitions of terrorism,” he said. “Narco-terrorism and suicide attacks are also discussed in detail in the book,” he added. The book’s second edition would also include some notable recent incidents, including the attack on the Parliament in New Delhi.

The 11-chapter book includes discussions on the psyche of a terrorist and various types of terrorism and terrorism and the law, both national as well as international, besides a listing of world wide terrorist groups and their operations.


Seminar on ninth Guru’s contribution
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
A seminar on the life and times of the ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur was organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Panchkula, at Parishad Bhavan here today.

The seminar titled “Guru Teg Bahadur — Hind di Chaddar,” dwelt on his sacrifice to save the Hindus from the cruelties of Mughal rulers. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Madhukar Arya said humanity and sacrifice are the quintessential features of the Sikh religion. The guru breathed life into the world tormented by the conflicts of that era, he said.

He said Guru Teg Bahadur made a major contribution towards Hinduism as he rose against the powers that were forcing the Hindus to convert to Islam. Dr Arya also spoke about other aspects of the life of Guru Teg Bahadur and the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.


Memorial to Pothohar martyrs planned
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, December 23
A memorial to the martyrs of the Pothohar “ghallughara” of 1947 is to be set up at Saneta village, near here.

Two acres of “shamlat” land near Akal Ashram in Sohana has been given free of cost by the state’s Department of Rural Development and Panchayats for the purpose.

The president of the local Pothohar Sabha, Mr Sewa Singh Chandhok, said the organisation planned to build a memorial, a school and a dispensary on the land. Under the terms and conditions of allotment, free education will be provided to students of the village and priority will be given in employment to the residents under the project schemes. Meanwhile, the sabha will observe December 25 as “Shaheedi Divas” in memory of the 1947 martyrs. A kirtan darbar will be organised on that day at Gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib in Phase III BI. Bhai Jasbir Singh Khaanewale will perform kirtan. 


Golden girl of gymnastics

THE golden girl of gymnastics, Rajni Sharma, a BA II student of Patiala, created a flutter in the just-concluded National Games when she won three gold medals and a bronze, the maximum among those in the Punjab contingent. Today, she was present at the residence of Punjab Chief Minister P.S. Badal to receive cash award at a sports function. Rajni won gold medals in rope, hoop events and was declared the all-round best woman gymnast in the rhythmic event. Not satisfied with the feat, she later earned a bronze in ribbon (rhythmic event).

Rajni had only this year won a rich haul of four gold medals and one bronze at the all-India inter-varsity gymnastics meet. Last year in the senior national gymnastics meet held at Ambala, she won a gold and two silver medals.

Belonging to a middle-class family, her father, Mr Shyam Sunder Sharma, is an employee with the PRTC, Patiala. He took great pains to ensure that his daughter reached dizzy heights in gymnastics. But this 18-year-old wonder damsel from Patiala, who is coached by Ms Kalpana Debnath, an Arjuna awardee, does not have international exposure and a secured job to further bring more glory to Indian gymnastics. TNS



‘Make spot-testing of ornaments must’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
The Panchkula Consumers Forum has urged upon the Director-General, Bureau of Indian Standards to make spot-testing of gold jewellery mandatory in order to curve the menace of under-carat selling of jewellery.

In a letter to the Bureau of Indian Standards, Mr Jagdish Saini, General Secretary, has alleged that jewellers are double-charging the fabrication cost by recharging on the cost as mentioned in newspapers (this is inclusive of polishing and fabrication.)

The forum has demanded that the jewellers and goldsmiths be made to certify the contents of gold and ratio mixtures of alloy used in the making of the jewellery.



BJP observes ‘sankalp divas’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party observed ‘ sankalp divas’ at the party office in Sector 33 here today with party workers being administered the oath on “maintaining the unity and integrity of the country at any cost”. They resolved that they would fight terrorism till their last breath and support every step taken by the Central Government in that direction’.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former member of Parliament said the entire nation at this critical juncture was behind Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister. He said the step to recall its High Commissioner from Pakistan formed part of a well-planned and calculated strategy.


Fault hits phone lines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Telephone subscribers in Chandigarh trying to dial SAS Nagar numbers could not get through during the evening hours due to a technical fault. The worst affected were the telephone connections on 26 and 67 series. The subscribers, on repeatedly dialling a telephone number, got a recorded message ‘ the lines are busy, call after some time’.

SAS Nagar subscribers trying to reach Chandigarh complained of a similar problem. Officials of the BSNL said the master control equipment at the Phase 4 exchange was functioning normally and there could be some problem in the connecting exchange in Chandigarh.


2 arrested on assault charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Two persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening a Sector 40 resident. Mr Onkar Singh reported that he was assaulted by some persons near the Sector 41 church. The two accused arrested so far have been identified as Anup and Ashok. The police has registered a case.

Theft reported

A resident of Jhajjar village in Haryana, Mr Pardeep Malik, has reported that an amount of Rs 55,000 was stolen from the locker of his truck while it was parked in Sector 47. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

A Sector 34 resident, Ms Nisha Dhingra, has reported that her Maruti Zen (CH-03-E-8351) has been stolen from her residence.

According to a report lodged by a Sector 21 resident, Mr Kabul Singh, his Tata Specio (CH-03-D-9357) has been stolen from his residence.

In another case of Sector 15 resident, Mr Samir Gupta, has reported that his Maruti car (CHK-7650) has been stolen from the Sector 22 market.

An inmate of the Jat Bhavan, Sector 27, Mr Manoj Kumar, has reported that his Yamaha motor cycle (RJ-13-4-M-2555) has been stolen from Sector 22.



Discussion on new accounting standards held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The newly notified accounting standards, six of which are mandatory from the current year itself, will result in more disclosures of the corporate financial statements and make the investor better informed, said Mr Balwinder Singh, a chartered accountant, while speaking at a session on Accounting Standards organised by the Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India here today.

He said between 1977 and 2000, only 16 accounting standards were notified. However, recently, seven new standards (AS -17 to 23) were notified. Of these, six would be mandatory from the current year and one from the next financial year. Two more accounting standards were expected to be notified during this month.

The members of the Institute discussed the new standards, relating to segmental reporting, related party disclosures, leases, earnings per share, consolidated financial statements, taxes on income and investments in associate concern not a subsidiary or joint venture.

The newly issued standards are mandatory and are required to be followed in the preparation of financial statements. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had gone a step ahead and made segmental reporting and taxes on income mandatory for even unaudited financial statements, he said.

Mr Gulshan Kumar, vice-chairman said the new standards, particularly the ones relating to segmental reporting and earnings per share, would give the investor an insight into corporate affairs regarding profitability of products and services and would make him aware of the risks . This would help him take better decisions regarding investment in a particular company. Mr S.S. Mann also spoke.


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