Thursday, January 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Engineering institute on PU campus
Courses from forthcoming academic session
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 2
In a major step, Panjab University has decided to set up an institute of engineering and technology on the university campus.

According to a university note, “It is planned to start courses from the forthcoming academic session (2002-2003). The help of other university teaching departments like Chemical Engineering and Technology, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Physics and Chemistry will be taken.

Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said “The university was very keen to introduce the engineering courses from the forthcoming academic session. Use will be made of the existing infrastructure. A portion of the new examination block nearing completion will be initially used as classrooms”.

Prof Pathak said microelectronics and software engineering courses were not very common in traditional engineering colleges. The university will also be a leading centre in biotechnology engineering.

A decision in regard to setting up the institute has been taken by the university Senate. Mr Satya Pal Dang, a fellow, said that money generation should not be done at the cost of real merit. Poor deserving students who cannot afford the heavy price of self-financing courses should also be taken care of. Prof K.N.pathak, the Vice Chancellor, said that the details of the course setting would be worked out to suit best the interests of. Members said that the university should make sure that there were scholarships for deserving students and the amount of the scholarships should tally with the course requirements.

It was pointed out “ there are about 50 engineering colleges in the states of Punjab and Haryana offering degree courses in the conventional fields of engineering. With passage of time, several new thrust areas have acquired such significance that full-fledged engineering college has become the need of the day’.

The Vice-Chancellor had constituted a committee to deliberate on the proposed course and chalk out further details. The committee identified certain areas for starting four-year degree courses, including software engineering, telecommunication and information technology, microelectronics engineering instrumentation engineering, material engineering and Biotechnology. Prof Pathak said, “ with the likelihood of conversion of Punjab Engineering College in to a deemed university, now appearing imminent, it is logical to think of planning an institute of engineering and technology on the university campus”.

The fund requirement for the institute is huge and will be raised as loan from financial institutions and banks. Fee collection from students will serve as a source from where the EMI for the loan payback, salary payment and other expenditure will be provided for.

The original plan reads “it is proposed to admit 40 students in each branch.’ As many as 50 per cent will be paid seats where a student is expected to pay Rs 1 lakh annually. The rest 50 per cent seats will be open where a student is expected to pay Rs 50,000 annually. In addition to these sets, another 5 per cent seats will be reserved for the NRI quota where a student is expected to pay $ 5000 annually. In addition to these amounts, students will also pay other dues of the university. Prof Pathak said an advisory committee will look into the new workable fee structure. The admissions will be strictly based on merit through an entrance test.


Admn gears up to tackle war-like situation
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The City Administration has initiated the process of preparing emergency medical and rescue teams from the city to meet the exigencies of a war-like situation.

The beginning of this process by the Administration assumes importance as the PGI in the city being the best medical facility in North India bordering Pakistan with whom clouds of war are looming large.

Although sources stated that this was a part of the implementation of the protocol laid down in the War Book, the city’s Deputy Commissioner, Mr M Ramsekhar, said that there had been no order from the top to start this kind of preparation.

‘‘We are doing this only to activate the civil defence system of the city which should in, any case, be in top shape all the time. But extra efforts are being taken because the situation demands that all those aspects which were taken care of during Kargil war are also taken care of now,’’ said Mr M Ramsekhar.

Sources also stated that an alternate control room had been established and all details of the various health facilities, contact addresses and phone numbers of those made in charge of various duties as part of the emergency and rescue teams were being updated from city hospitals.

The Deputy Commissioner told the Chandigarh Tribune that this process of preparation should not be seen as an indication of impending war but as a revving up of the city's civil defence system.

Sources added that lists of the various emergency and rescue teams, which were made operational during the Kargil war, had been taken out and sent for updating to the various departments. Some of these lists had not been updated since 1971 and had names on them of people who have died or retired since.

Confirming this, the DC said that there were some aspects which had not been touched upon since the 1971 War with Pakistan and needed to be thoroughly overhauled.

It may be recalled that during the 1971 War, the two nations had not turned nuclear which was the greatest known danger to civil defence.

The DC, however, quickly added that this kind of preparation should not cause any fear or panic among the residents as it was all a part of a routine exercise in such situations. He also clarified that there was no mobilisation of any variety in the city, just liaison work of men and equipment to ensure that if the situation demanded things should move smoothly.


PUDA approves City Centre plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
PUDA has approved the concept design for the development of the City Centre at Sector 62 in SAS Nagar. The design was approved following a presentation by Dr B.V. Doshi, a renowned Urban Planner and Designer. The presentation was held under the Chairmanship of Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator, PUDA.

The plan is based on the grid plan which consists of an assemblage of plaza, parks and linear greens. The entire organisation is structured into four precincts and every precinct has distinct character.

The entire ensemble is centered around a Civic Plaza which anchors city hall, convention centre, museum, library, leisure and entertainment complex and the existing gurdwara.

The second precinct which abuts the plaza in the Bazar Street with an agglomeration of retail shopping including showrooms and boutiques and accommodating small retail and informal shopping stalls.

Along the main vehicular route, Himalaya Marg is the third precinct earmarked for the corporates of finance, investment and planning and others with ventures in Punjab and rest of the Northern India. This will bring all the global players vying in the market next door to each other, paving the way for possibilities of their synergistic collaborations.

Three transport plazas for arrival by bus, train and auto-rickshaws combine with underground parking abilities for private vehicles interspersed with informal bazars and public conveniences form the fourth precinct. These connect in the bazar precinct as well as the finance precinct to serve the vast multitude of people using the centre round-the-clock. It is envisaged that the centre would employ about 70,000 persons and be used by 10,000 visitors daily by the year 2021.

The northern end of the City Centre along the leisure valley is dedicated to a consular complex with offices and information centres of various important countries. These would facilitate visa processing services and provide for libraries, cultural and information services to this vast hinterland of a globally connected population. Alongside, there would be a place for trade partner states with their bhavans, information centres, emporia etc.

On the opposite side of the centre, 147 feet wide road connecting the proposed Mohali Railway Station and the proposed International Airport, are located the tourist node with airlines offices, travel agencies, food courts and informal eateries, Restaurants, plots for hotels and commercial guest houses that will offer a multitude of choice for tourists and transit lodgers. Already existing within this part of the sector. is a hospital, the Punjab Education Board’s office and several other important government and semi-government establishments including Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority’s own complex.

The City Centre is planned as an exemplary archetype of sustainable commercial development providing non-conventional, state of the art, energy efficient infrastructure, hitherto not developed in other civic centres in India. It is envisaged as the true portal to Punjab that embodies the Mughal splendour of Lahore, the western monumentality and liberality of Chandigarh and yet represents the inherent spirit of its people. A vibrant, sustainable urban landscape creating the vision of a Garden City, offering equitable access and opportunities to all.

The presentation was attended by Mr RK Wadhawan, Chief Town Planner, Punjab, Ms Namita Sekhon (Additional Chief Administrator (F&A), Mr Dipinder Singh, Additional Chief Administrator (Mohali), Mr J.S. Sekhon, Additional Chief Administrator (Projects), Mr G.R. Jakhu, Chief Engineer, PUDA, Mr Jit Gupta, Senior Town Planner, PUDA, Mr SL Kaushal, Senior Architect, PUDA, among others.


Life’ returns to colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Life returned to the college campuses in the city with colleges reopening, here today, after a week-long winter break. However, lean attendance was recorded in classes on the first day.

The usual activity and hustle and bustle of college life was missing and classrooms wore a deserted look though the teaching fraternity was present in full strength. A handful of students came to classes and hardly any teaching began in government colleges.

College principals said that the attendance in classrooms was expected to be picked up only next week since colleges had reopened mid-week, enabling an ‘extended holiday’ for students. However, the hostellers were not expected to be back before Lohri.

While the government colleges began with classes, it was examination time in private colleges of the city, postponed on account of the teachers’ strike the entire last month.

Slated for December, the examinations in these colleges had been postponed after the teachers announced a ‘ceasework’ from December 3 onwards. The examinations had been rescheduled for December 10 only to be postponed all over again, this time till January with college managements and principals joining hands to protest against non-implementation of their demands.

It was a familiar scene in these colleges—last-minute cramming and sifting through pages for students of these colleges who began the year taking examinations. Unlike government colleges, most students had reported back.

Meanwhile, a welcome party was arranged for the staff, teaching and non-teaching, at Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today, after the college re-opened after the winter break.

The college Principal, Ms Vijay Lakshmi, said that she organised the party every year to welcome the staff after the break. ‘‘I have made it a convention to organise a party to mark the beginning of the new year. On the first day, the entire staff is present in full strength,’’ she added.



MC to explore possibilities of aid from Centre
Sanjay Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Under a commitment to keep the burden of taxes to a minimum, including paid parking and property tax, the Congress has decided to explore the possibilities of financial support to the Municipal Corporation from the Central government, Planning Commission and the Second Delhi Finance Commission to avoid taking harsh economic measures.

A delegation of newly elected councillors will meet the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr K.C. Pant, the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, and the Second Delhi Finance Commission this month ahead of the Municipal Corporation House meeting.

The delegation will be led by the local Congress MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, party sources said.

The decision in this regard is in line with the party’s promise of getting more help from all sources to bail out the Corporation from financial crunch as well as generate resources to meet financial needs of development.

The party is also mooting setting up a committee to work on mopping up resources without putting any pressure of tax on the people.

On the first day after her election, the party Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, was confronted with a demand of removal of paid parking in Sector 17. A representative of the traders of the market today urged the Mayor to remove paid parking, pleading that the Punjab and Haryana High Court order did not direct the Corporation to impose paid parking.

He said that the decision of paid parking was in the domain of the executive and the elected body.

Ms Joshi only sought little time from traders to examine the matter from legal and administrative angles. The Mayor said she had not been briefed on the matter from officials and legal experts as yet.

The party leadership is also trying to understand the financial position of the corporation and options available to generate resources without burdening the people with taxes.

The Congress is likely to seek explanation from the executive of the Corporation on the fall of revenue receipts which could force the party to take decision not in line with the promise made in the manifesto.

There is a realisation in the party that taxes or resource generation measures could not be avoided and it has to do tight-rope walking.

Party sources revealed nominated members were seeking clarifications from the Congress on property tax before agreeing to cast votes in favour of the party Mayor.

Sources in the know of Administration’s functioning said the issue of paid parking will be difficult to handle as the Municipal Corporation House has only an advisory role and is not binding on the Administration.

An option before the House could be to challenge the Punjab and Haryana High Court order in the Supreme Court and seek a stay.


Portrait controversy again?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, may have to make way for the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and the President, Mr K. R. Narayanan, in the new Congress Mayor’s chamber.

The removal and reinstallation of portraits in the Mayor’s chamber during the term of Ms Harjinder Kaur had led to an agitation by councillors of the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

The present Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, had yesterday indicated that her chamber would have the portraits of national heroes.

As of now, portraits of Sardar Patel, Parkash Singh Badal, Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Baba Saheb Ambedkar adorn the chamber of the Mayor.

The President and the Father of the Nation will prove non-controversial figures for the Congress to enter the chamber, the Congress feels.

The presence of the portraits of Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, along with other leaders and Indira Gandhi are likely to meet least resistance from the opposition.

The removal of Mr Badal’s portrait may be opposed by the lone Akali Dal member, Ms Harjinder Kaur, and the BJP may join her due to alliance compulsions.


Poll for 2 Mohali council posts tomorrow
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, January 2
There are at least four aspirants from the ruling group for the post of senior vice-president of the Municipal Council, the election for which is to be held on January 4.

A notice for the election of the senior vice-president and the vice-president of the civic body has been issued by the Executive Officer. The one-year terms of both office-bearers, Ms Indu Sehgal and Mr Manjit Singh, respectively, ended on November 27.

It is learnt that among the interested candidates for the post of senior vice-president are Mr N.K. Marwah, Mr S.S. Barnala, Mr Phul Raj Singh and Ms Prabhjot Sodhi.

When the council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, was asked today how the ruling group would decide which candidate should be fielded fro the post of senior vice-president, he said the group had left the final decision on him. He, however, did not disclose his choice.

Mr Kulwant Singh said the ruling group had decided not to contest the post of council vice-president, leaving it for the opposition group to put up its candidates.

According to sources, four councillors belonging to the ruling group have been approached by the opposition. The candidates have been offered full support provided they join hands with the opposition along with two or three more councillors.

Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, an opposition councillor, claimed that the strength of the opposition group had risen to 10 as two members of the ruling group had joined hands with them.

He said his group had not yet decided on the candidate for the post of senior vice-president as the election notice was received late last evening.

It will be for the first time that voting at the Municipal Council will be done by show of hands and not through secret ballot.

The government had changed the procedure to elect president and other office-bearers of civic bodies in the state. Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Local Bodies Minister, had announced in May last year that the presidents, senior vice-president and vice-presidents of municipal committees would henceforth be elected by show of hands and not through secret ballot.


Hundreds queue up for BCL membership
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 2
Enthusiastic city youngsters turned up in large numbers to become members of the British Council Library (BCL) in Sector 8 today. As many as 587 members were enrolled by 7 pm. Another 150 had to return disappointed after the library closed for the day. The queue had started to build up early in the morning. Aware of the fact that just 1,500 memberships were being offered, they rushed to the library even before the clock struck 10. All 1500 members are expected to enrolled by Friday afternoon.

Large numbers were hardly a deterrent for membership aspirants as they knew that the membership had opened only after a gap of one year and that also for the third time since its setting up.

Describing the response as ‘overwhelming’, the Manager, British Library, Mr Sushanta Banerjee, said, ‘‘The British Library has changed the concept. It has been able to bring residents out of their homes into the libraries even though the habit of reading in on decline all over the region.’’

Expressing satisfaction, he asserted: ‘‘A large number of young professionals, including doctors and engineers, who otherwise also are our target readers, got themselves enrolled as members today.’’

A lot many people, including bureaucrats, students, businessmen, retired bank officials, housewives and others rushed for the membership at the library. They were of the view that there was a good variety of books in the library and they got immense amount of exposure at the library.

In total 4,500 members have been enrolled in the library till date since its inception. For some of the people it was to have a good browse through the informative books but for some it was merely a status symbol.

Many senior officials and managing directors of top companies were also among the crowd. The main attraction of the library was the peaceful aura it offers to its readers, felt most of the senior bureaucrats of the city

The book collection was wide, including a large number of books for the professionals and reference books for the scholars, expressed some of the members of the library.



New number, old number? BSNL rings in confusion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Several telephone subscribers in the city are facing a unique problem. Officially their phone numbers have been changed but in reality when a person dials the new changed number a recorded voice says ‘‘ This number does not exist.’’ And no one is addressing the problem since it surfaced four days ago.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) even issued an advertisement in newspapers on December 29 informing about the change. It also listed a number ‘‘ 728001’’ saying it can be contacted in case of any problem on phones having ISD and NSD facility. Surprisingly on dialling this number subscribers have been hearing ‘‘ This number does not exist.’’

A user said the BSNL was still to shed its ‘sarkari’ ways despite corporatisation and the impending competition from privatisation.

About 400 numbers starting with levels 77, 54 and 78 were to be changed and to have new uniform level that was 72. All these numbers were working on the E-10-B exchange and were to be shifted to the new OCB exchange. The department said it had issued the advertisement listing the 400 numbers and specifying that these numbers would be changed ‘‘progressively.’’

Though no ‘meaning’ of the word progressively had been given in the advertisement, in telecom circles this meant in due course of time or in a phased manner. However, no dates were mentioned in the list and this added to the confusion.

As of tonight about 60 per cent of these numbers had been changed. A classic case was local banker Mr Hari Mohan Gupta. His old number 776920 was mentioned in the list and his new number 726920 was also mentioned. Mr Gupta told his relatives and friends about the change in numbers. But the number did not change.

There were several others like Mr Gupta. Sources said agitated users had even approached the BSNL only to be showed the word progressively mentioned in the advertisement.

Normally when numbers were changed the BSNL informed the subscribers with exact date and time of switchover which enabled users to inform others about the change and be prepared.


‘Fake’ cameramen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Posing as photographers hired by the Architecture Department, two unidentified middle-aged men forcibly entered the Government College for Girls in Sector 11 here today and took photographs of the college building.

Although the two were nabbed by the college gardener in the Botanical Garden on the premises, they later drove away in their Opel Astra car after the Principal took their camera in her possession. This was later handed over to the DPI (Colleges), Mr KAP Sinha.

Mr Sinha confirmed that the camera was with him and that nobody had turned up to collect it. “We will take away the reel and hand them back their camera,” he said.

Sources said the two men, one of them a driver, had come to the college yesterday as well and had told the watchman that they wanted to take photographs of the building. However, the Principal, Ms Vijay Lakshmi, refused them permission and turned them away.

The two today sped down the college driveway without stopping at the security check at the college and started taking photographs of the building where they were intercepted by the college staff.

An argument ensued between the college authorities and the two men who failed to produce any identification and their camera was taken away. Though they were instructed to collect the same from the office of the DPI (Colleges), Sector 9, nobody turned up to stake claim for it till evening.

“The two were intercepted because they did not have the permission of the Administration to take pictures of the college building. They did not approach me for the same and forcibly drove into the college even as our watchman attempted to stop them,” the Principal, Ms Vijay Lakshmi, said. However, no official complaint of the incident has been made so far.



Protests by zoo employees
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, January 2
More than 50 employees of Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park organised a rally and staged a dharna besides raising slogans against the zoo management on the second consecutive day here today.

Members of all the four unions — INTUC, the Class IV Union, the Chhat Bir Karamchari Dal and the Safai Sewak Union — jointly held the rally and criticised the zoo management for not considering their pending demands. They complain that instead of fulfilling their demands, the zoo management has started stopping disbursement of the monthly salaries .

The agitators were demanding regularisation of all the daily-waged workers who have been working in the zoo for the past over 20 years and grant of increments, promotions and other benefits from the back date.

They also demanded uniforms which the management had not issued for the past over one and half years, rank-wise jobs to the zoo employees and change in the shift schedule.

In the rally, the employees also alleged that some officers of the zoo were misappropriating the zoo funds by using construction material (meant for the zoo) in their houses. Moreover, some zoo workers have been directed to work in the houses of some senior zoo officers instead of working in the zoo, alleged leaders of the unions.

Apart from this, the zoo employees were demanding that the zoo headquarters should be shifted from Sector 8, Chandigarh, to the zoo premises and all the quarters on the zoo premises should be got vacated from those employees which have been transferred to other destinations.

It may be recalled that the zoo workers had gheraoed the director of the zoo for not releasing the salaries of four workers — Sohan Lal, Manga Singh, Suchha Singh and Nachhater Singh — staffers and deducting salaries of some other workers on Tuesday.


Protest dharna by powermen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
On a call given by the UT Powermen Union, employees of the electricity wing of the Engineering Department under the Chandigarh Administration today held a dharna outside the Electricity Operation Division 3, Sector 19, to protest against the Administration for its adamant attitude towards the long-pending demands of the employees.

These include grant of four-year bonus to the employees, treating of transferred employees from the Chandigarh Administration to the MCC as on deputation, grant of arrears of DA to the daily-wagers, filling of vacant posts in the department, offer of appointment to the next of kin of deceased employees, implementation of various PSEB circulars, including cash allowance to the employees, grant of 4, 9, 14 years’ promotional scales, scrapping of privatisation policy of the public sector, particularly the profit-making Electricity Department in the interest of its employees and general public.

The protestors criticised the Chandigarh Administration for non-fulfilment of long-pending demands of the employees and privatisation policy of the Chandigarh Administration and the Government of India under the dictate of the World Bank, the IMF and World Trade Organisation and vested interests, and strongly demanded to stop this anti-nation, anti-employee and anti-people policy.

They appealed to the employees to make the January 9 strike a grand success, the call for which has been jointly given by the Federation of UT Employees and Workers, Chandigarh, the Chandigarh UTSSF and the Chandigarh SSF (INTUC). The employees raised slogans against the Chandigarh Administration.



Pensioners' appeal to political parties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab State Pensioners Confederation today appealed to various political parties, including the Congress, the SAD, the BJP, the CPI, the CPM and the Bahujan Samaj Party, to include its 15-point charter of demands in their election manifestoes for the assembly elections to be held on February 13.

Mr B.R. Kaushal, president of the confederation, said their demands included revision of pension to the extent of 50 per cent of the revised scale of the post held at the time of their retirement, merger of 97 per cent of DA into their basic pay for the purposes of death-cum-retirement gratuity, grant of additional pension at the rate of 0.5 per cent and grant of travel concession.


Residents contest house tax
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2
The Panchkula Estate Welfare Society today said the municipal committee had started issuing house tax notices to the residents.

Dr S.K. Chhabra, president of the society, said that the residents were at loss to understand the criterion the committee adopted in fixing the house tax. He said it would have been better if the committee had told the residents and told them the yardstick it had adopted in arriving at the house tax amount.

Dr Chhabra said the residents also had a grouse against the district administration for fixing land prices on par with Chandigarh. He said there was hardly any justification for fixing land prices on the pattern of Chandigarh as there was no similarity between Chandigarh and Panchkula.

Dr Chhabra said there was no house tax in Chandigarh, while it was being imposed in Panchkula. Again, the electricity rates in Chandigarh were far lower than in Panchkula.

He said what was baffling was that the Panchkula committee did not give its address, telephone numbers and even the date of issuing the notices.



‘Initiation ceremony’ at ISKCON
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The local unit of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organised an ‘initiation ceremony’ as per the Vedic system by arranging yaga and havan at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here, last evening, according to Bhakti Vinod Dasa Prabhu, president of the local unit of ISKCON.

Amid the chanting of Vedic mantras and shlokas, 19 devotees got initiation from Swami Sril Gopal Krishna Goswami Bhagvadpad, spiritual master of ISKCON. Delivering lectures on initiation, Sril Bhagvadpad said that in all revealed scriptures it was emphasised that if one wanted to advance in spiritual life he must accept a bona fide spiritual master. 


Bank staff oppose paid parking move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The bank employees in Sector 17 have opposed the decision of paid parking in Bank Square. And emergency meeting of the bank employees was held in this regard here today.

Mr B. S. Gill, a trade union leader from Central Bank, said that parking in Bank Square should be managed free of cost. “The decision will discourage people like pensioners and students from visiting the banks, thereby creating an adverse impact on the business of the banks in the area,” he said.


3 booked in assault case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Mr jagraj Singh of Janata Colony lodged an FIR with the police that he was assaulted and injured by Ranbir Singh, Rishi Pal and Joni. A case under Sections 325 and 34, IPC, has been registered against the suspects.

Knocked down: Mr Bodh Raj Sood, a resident of New Shimla, was knocked down by a motor-cyclist near Poultry Farm Chowk. The motor-cyclist sped away from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Gambling: The police has arrested Kunwar Pal, Shamsher Singh and Sanjay Kumar on the charge of gambling. A police spokesman claimed that Rs 420 and one set of cards were seized from their possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against them.

Arrested: Mr Suresh, a resident of Kumhar Colony, was arrested last night for possessing 35 pouches of Hero whiskey. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Cases registered: The police has registered three cases against Sony World, Sector 8, Saini Electrical and Rajesh Kumar under Section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Government Property Act at different police stations.

Amplifier stolen: Mr Kewal Kumar, a resident of Sector 41, lodged a complain with the police that an amplifier of Siti Cable had been stolen. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.



Teacher robbed of purse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
A teacher in a local school, Ms Rinku Kalia, was robbed off her purse containing Rs 3,500, her driving licence and registration papers of her scooter (CH-01-P-7569) this afternoon.

Ms Kalia had gone to get petrol filled at petrol station when the incident occurred. She had lifted the seat of her Kinetic Honda scooter to get petrol filled. When she started to move out she realised that the purse was missing. A complaint has been lodged.


Seminar on impact of WTO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
In its endeavour to sensitise the textile industry, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the decentralised sector, to the impact of WTO agreement, the Textile Committee in partnership with its sister organisations under the Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Commerce, State governments and local trade and industrial associations, will conduct an awareness seminar in the city next month.

While under this nationwide campaign of the committee workshops at several places across the country have already been conducted, these will continue till March.

The idea was to make SMEs quality conscious both in terms of operational processes and product quality, so as to sharpen their competitiveness, said an official of the Textile Committee here.

He said through these workshops, information on various compliance formalities, standards and concepts, like ISO 9000 QMS, ISO 14000 EMS, social accountability standards, eco-friendly textiles, upgradating technology, quality inspection and testing, cost reduction alternatives, production innovation and e-commerce etc, would be disseminated.

‘‘With the opening up of all countries to free trade from January, 2005, distinction between domestic and export markets will no longer be valid. To meet competition in the global market, the Indian industry will have to pay attention to factors like compliance with voluntary or mandatory standards governing quality, environment and social accountability apart from price competitiveness’’, the official said.

Stating that it is the SMEs which need to lay more emphasis on these issues, he said though the SMEs were backbone of our textile industry, they were far from being scientific and modern.

Unless the SMEs adopt and incorporate quality culture as a part of their organisational philosophy, it would be difficult for them to sustain in the global market, he added. The campaign by the Textile Committee is being organised in 25 textile clusters across the country.


Customer care must for survival: Bhatti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Renowned comedian Jaspal Bhatti, visited Indian Oil’s company-owned, company-operated (COCO 56) retail outlet along with Mr M.L. Toora, Chief Divisional Manager, Indian Oil Corporation, on the New Year Day.

Mr M.L. Toora explained various services available at the retail outlet like first-aid, free air and water, toilet and quality and quantity check for ensuring right quantity at right price.

Jaspal Bhatti conducted quality and quantity checks on various products there. He urged all dealers to provide ‘Q and Q’ products to their customers. He said only those dealers would survive who cared for their customers.

He appreciated the spirit of Indian Oil for voluntarily offering to all its customers the facility of checking for themselves the quality and quantity of oil being sold to them. He was also impressed to see the working of multi product dispensers (MPDs) and urged that Indian Oil should provide such dispensing units at all retail outlets as it would help in winning the confidence of customers.

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