Monday, January 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police to start highway ambulance scheme
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News service

Panchkula, January 13
The local police will soon start a highway ambulance scheme in order to provide speedy first-aid to accident victims on highway.

According to sources, the police has asked the District Red Cross Society for monetary aid in purchasing ambulances for the purpose. Help is also being sought from philanthropists in the district for buying such vehicles.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadav, had reportedly approached the Deputy Commissioner for purchasing the vehicles to be used as highway ambulances during a meeting held a few days ago. “ But for the paucity of funds with the District Red Cross Society , the money for purchasing of ambulances could not be arranged immediately, “ informed a senior police official.

It is learnt that these vehicles will be equipped with wireless sets and have first aid boxes. “Trained paramedic staff will man these vehicles to ensure that accident victims on the highway get prompt medical attention”, informed Mr Manoj Yadav.

The police, on its part, will be providing two female head constables, two male head constables\ constable and an Assistant Inspector of Police to man these ambulances. It is learnt that this constabulary will be provided by the state police headquarters and would be trained in first-aid methods.

These ambulances will be linked with the police control room through wireless sets and in case of any emergency, the person would have to dial the number 100 for these vehicles to reach the spot, it is learnt.

Initially, the police here is beginning with one ambulance, which will be positioned on the Chandimandir- Pinjore highway. This is one of the most accident-prone areas in the district and a number of fatal accidents involving trucks carrying building material ( sand and gravel) take place here.

Sources inform that the police plans to purchase two other ambulances for manning the Panchkula- Ambala highway and the Panchkula- Zirakpur highway.

It may be noted that the highway ambulance scheme is part of the Operation Sadbhawana being celebrated by the Haryana Police to win over public confidence and reduce the public call time in emergencies.

The scheme, a brainchild of DGP M.S. Malik, has already started in Ambala, Rohtak and Gurgaon districts in the state. While Ambala and Gurgaon districts have acquired two highway ambulances each, Rohtak has acquired three highway ambulances.

Meanwhile, Panchkula district has won special laurels from the state police headquarters during the Operation Sadbhawna by winning the best police station award (for Pinjore police station) and the district having the Best Police- Public Relations.



Flat allottees move court against CHB
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, January 13
Alleging deficiency in services of the Chandigarh Housing Board for providing possession of its flats a year later than promised to the allottees-through various schemes floated by it, about 200 cases have been filed before the Consumer Court so far.

The CHB had reportedly floated a scheme known as “MIG housing scheme” in Sector-38(West) of Chandigarh in 1996. The scheme was opened on October 2, 1996 and closed on December 2, 1996. As per provisions of the scheme, the flats were to be constructed and allotted on a 60 per cent self-finance basis.

The allottees were required to pay different amounts before possession and the rest amount was payable with interest at 16. 5 per cent in 96 equated monthly installments. The CHB held a draw of lots on January 7, 1997 in which the complainants were successful and as such acceptance-cum-demand letters were issued to the complainants.

On November 11, 1999, the CHB had completed the construction of flats but as the work relating to provision of basic amenities such as electricity, water supply, storm water was to be undertaken by the UT Chief Engineer and as this was still in progress, it was not possible to hand over the possession of flats. Similarly, under HIG schemes, the complainants had stated that the construction of flats could not be completed by the Engineering Department within a given time-frame.

The possession of the flats was offered to the complainants towards the end of January 2000. During this period, the complainants had to pay rentals in respect of the accommodation they were occupying prior to taking possession of the house in question and suffered monetarily on this account.

The complainants said that they had fulfilled all eligibility conditions. They had moved complaints before the Forum that the CHB be directed to refund ground rent, wrongly charged by the CHB with 18 per cent interest up to the actual date of payment, besides the cost of litigation along with cost of mental tension and harassment.

Meanwhile, in cases related to the MIG schemes, the CHB has been issued notice for February 21 and for cases related to HIG scheme, the CHB has been issued notice for February 4.



STD rate cut may lead to rent hike
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The reduction in STD rates which are applicable from tonight might land the telephone subscribers paying higher rentals. Connect, a private basic telecom operator in Punjab and Chandigarh, which has also announced slashing of STD rates, has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to allow the operators to increase the telephone rentals.

“Almost 70 per cent of the revenue we earn comes from STD calls. Following substantial reduction in STD rates by the BSNL, we also have reduced the rates for the benefit of our subscribers , but that would lead to major revenue losses at least in the near future”, said Mr Vijay Kaul, Vice-President, Marketing, Connect. He said the company has asked TRAI to allow the operators to increase the rentals so that the likely losses in future are covered up.

Following the recent announcement, STD rates of the BSNL will come down by up to 60 per cent from tonight. Connect also today announced an almost equal slashing in its STD rates. The company has announced that there will be a single off peak time between 8 pm to 9 am against the earlier three slabs. Distance slabs have also been changed to 50-200 km, 200-500 kms and more than 500 kms. The new rates will be applicable for all Connect phone subscribers including PCOs , mobile phone and phone card holders.

While the reduction in STD rates will follow an increase in STD traffic, thereby covering up the losses opine the operators, this would come as a major blow in the current fiscal at least.

“The local calls are subsidised by long distance calls. For instance, around 50 per cent of the revenue via long distance calls remains with us, the rest going to the BSNL. There will be a substantial decline in our revenues now and it will take at least a year or so for balancing of revenue inflow with the expected increase in call traffic”, said Mr Kaul.

He said TRAI is positive about increase of rentals. “Even if the rentals increase, the consumer will ultimately gain due to other services getting cheaper”, he said. For the last four decades at least, the local calls have been subsidised by very high long distance charges. With the changing market scenario where long distance calls have become equally important as the local calls, there has to be some additional earning to cover up the losses due to slashing of rates, he said.

The consumer associations at a recent meeting with TRAI apprised regulatory authority of their apprehensions of increase in rentals by the BSNL. “BSNL is already considering increase of rentals for commercial users. Moreover, the basic services are subsidised by revenues earned through international calls, rate reduction of which is also under consideration and following that we apprehend an increase in the rentals”, said Mr Randhir Verma, President, Chandigarh Telephone Subscribers Association. He said TRAI is considering carrying out a tariff revision exercise shortly.



A sector undergoing quiet metamorphosis
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Have you been to Chandigarh’s Sector 17 lately? A visit to the place shows metamorphosis which has been quietly taking place in the City Beautiful’s premier shopping centre in recent times.

As a matter of fact, changes in the Sector 17 shopping centre have come to symbolise the changes which have been sweeping through Le Corbusier’s dream city in recent years. While the profile of Chandigarh has been changing steadily, not all changes are for the better. There has been a marked deterioration as well. And nowhere are all these changes, good as well as bad, as visible as in the city centre in Sector 17.

Gone are the days when the shoppers trudged through dimly-lit corridors in the evenings to gawk at equally dimly-lit shop windows showing rather unattractively displayed goodies. For serious shopping, Chandigarhians would either go to Ambala or Patiala. Those with more moolah, looking for expensive items for occasions like weddings, would head for Delhi.

All that is now in the past. A visit to the shopping centre has now become a pleasure. Most of the shops have been upgraded, some of them to international standards. They are all brightly lit, beautifully designed and attractively laid out. Marble, granite and wooden floors have replaced old chips and red sandstone flooring, even in verandahs outside shops. The ceiling is covered with plaster of paris and bright lights. Display windows at some of the showrooms are a delight. And most of these are air-conditioned, complete with a uniformed doorman to show you in.

Almost all major brands, both national and international, have become available in the shopping centre of Sector 17. “You name it and it is there”. says Mr Sudarshan Jain, an old-timer who has a showroom in Sector 17. These include hotels, restaurants, eateries, fast food joints, bar, cinema hall, readymade garments, dress material, music shops, watches, sports equipment, books and stationery, photographic equipment and labs, TVs, air conditioners, watches, jewellery etc.

“As a matter of fact, Chandigarh’s Sector 17 market has become the biggest shopping centre for the entire region. People no longer go to Delhi for shopping. Everything is available here. In addition to the best brands, there is endless variety”.

And who says there is recession in the country? “We don’t see it here”, says Mr Subhash Gulati, owner of a showroom in Sector 17. A large number of government employees of Punjab, Haryana and the UT administration who have had a hefty pay hike after the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission report, spend a lot. There are also a large number of people who have a steady income of black money and they spend constantly. Their first preference is the shopping centre of Sector 17. “Our volumes have been increasing steadily by 8 to 10 per cent,” says a showroom owner who did not want to be identified.

However, not all changes in the Sector are for the better. Things have deteriorated in many areas. There are encroachments galore. Sanitation, especially around fast food joints and eateries, leaves much to be desired. Beggars have become a big nuisance. Traffic is chaotic and parking a nightmare. Public conveniences are inadequate. Violation of building bylaws is widespread.

Le Corbusier compared the city centre to the heart of the city. It is centrally located at the junction of two important axes of the city, the Madhya Marg and the Jan Marg. “The concept of city centre is very much Indian in its character”, says Mr M.N.Sharma, former Chief Architect of Chandigarh who was associated with the planning and execution of the Capitol Project along with Corbusier and Jeanneret.

A distinct feature of the city centre is the “piazza”, marking the crossing of two pedestrian ways. The city centre also serves the functions of civic administration and activities of the district administration. Recalls Mr Sharma: “The first shopping area for the city and cinema hall Kiran along with health facilities were planned in Sector 22 in 1953 and remained the hub of activity till mid-sixties. The construction of the city centre in Sector 17 started in mid-50s with four-storeyed shop-cum-office brick building blocks facing the Shivalik Hills along with the imposing Town Hall, now called Estate Office, the State Library and the State Bank of India and the 30 Bays office building adjoining the State Library”.

The main shopping centre-cum- offices in the form of four-storeyed concrete building were designed on a grand scale never witnessed before.These buildings were to provide wide verandahs for circulation and weather protection and are connected with the larger uninterrupted wide pavements considered as pedestrian’s paradise.

The transformation of the city centre from a slow-growing city centre to a big regional shopping centre was gradual and took over 25 years. Initially, people did not frequent the city centre and whole place looked desolate and out of scale. This is still the case in some parts of the city centre surrounding State Library and the Estate Office which needs to be reinvigorated.

However, the most imposing 11-storeyed office building in the city centre is yet to be built. It will not only add to the grandiose but also complete the most prestigious but desolate area surrounding the State Library, Estate Office and the banks.



Tradition takes back seat in Lohri celebrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
It was a rather warm day — quite unlike the one which requires bonfires to beat the chill. Nevertheless, the spirit of Lohri reigned high despite the winter’s inability to keep its date with the festival. The day was surely not the coldest in January, as it is traditionally meant to be. But while Lohri remained warm, the element of tradition was kept by city residents, who lighted the ceremonial fire and chanted ceremonial songs.

There was more of the “insignificant” film music playing at various places in the city. Ears had to virtually hunt for some strings of Sunder munderiye.... Only a few rag pickers went about singing the song, which depicts not just one day in the Punjab’s festive calendar, but a whole repertory of its folk heritage. Nevertheless, as age of consumerism would have it, traditional songs must fight for their rightful place in the scheme of things, lest Lohri would be reduced to “lighting a fire” without understanding the significance of it.

While tradition took a back seat, people celebrated Lohri with a lot of loud music today. Though there were some Punjabi folk songs to keep the mood going, with Jazzy B, Jassi, Harbhajan Mann, Mika and Babbu Mann ruling the mood.

Lohri was celebrated in all most all the educational institutions of the city a yesterday. On the Panjab University campus, the festival was celebrated at all the 11 hostels. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of the university, was present at the newly constructed hostel No 11 which celebrated its maiden Lohri tonight. The festive spirit somewhat vanished by 9 pm in the girls hostels but the scene at the boys hostels was different.

Lohri was also celebrated at the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, MCM DAV College, Sector 36, DAV College, Sector 10, Home Science College, Sector 10, Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10 and hostel of Government College, Sector 46 in Sector 15 and was attended by Principal of the college, Mr D.P Singh.

The festive mood was high at the Old Age Home, Sector 15, here. Ms Lalit Mohan Joshi, the city Mayor, distributed gifts to the inmates.

The Indian Medical Association, Chandigarh State branch, also celebrated Lohri with gaiety and fervour at the IMA Hall, Sector 35, this evening. The Residents Welfare Society Government Houses, Sector 23, celebrated the festival with all the tradition and gaiety. Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member Parliament, was also present on the occasion.

Ms K. Atma Ram and Ms Amar Kulwant Singh, newly elected councillors, celebrated the festival. A stream of visitors comprising their supporters and local politicians were seen at the venue. The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha also celebrated the festival at the party’s headquarters, Kamlam, in Sector 33. Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, convener of the BJP ad hoc committee, was also present on the occasion.

The volunteers of the Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organisation Unit XII of Modern Housing Complex, today celebrated the Lohri with the Bal Vikas children at its different centres. Earlier, they visited the Kishangarh village where on every Sunday the classes were held for the children between 6 and 15 years at Government Primary School. The children were served with groundnuts, rewrees, gazaks and pop corns numbering around 40.

The city newspersons along with their family members and guests gathered at the Press Club, Sector 27, in the evening to celebrate the festival after completing their work.

Lohri was celebrated at the Mohali Club last evening in SAS Nagar. Students of the DAV School, SAS Nagar, were a happy lot yesterday as Lohri celebrations in the school meant ‘no classes’ and they gathered on the rooftop of the school building to celebrate.



Channel V hunts 16 popstars from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Channel V’s popstar hunt ended in the city today with the selection of 16 girls out of a total of about 400 girls who had come forward for the much hyped auditions. Till about last evening, the jury comprising Shubha Mudgal, Sandeep Chowta, Sushma Reddy and Manish Malhotra had adjudged about 400 girls from Chandigarh. While 40 had been earlier shortlisted, a Channel V spokesperson today said that finally the list had been cut short to 16. The names of the selected girls were, however, not disclosed.


The real spirit of City Beautiful came alive on January 12, the day which saw eminent artistes adjudging city girls for their singing talent. Channel V’s popstar hunt launched at Chandigarh saw such great rush of girls that the venue was almost packed beyond capacity. The line of girls was visible right at the entrance of the hotel.

No wonder the jury, which included personalities of the order of classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal, ace music maker Sandeep Chowta and film costume stylist Manish Malhotra, was impressed by the way Chandigarh had reacted to the chance of hitting the pop scene in India. Manish Malhotra went to the extent of saying that girls of the city sported a carefree and confident attitude, typical of North Indians. Shubha Mudgal was also heard talking to model Sushma Reddy about how difficult it would be to shortlist a few girls from the big lot.

As for the girls, they kept their patience on the day. Many of them had arrived at the venue at 9 am and were seen waiting till past 4 pm for their chance. Many had to be turned back for the next day!

No boys please

The organisers of the popstar hunt had a difficult time. While they had been advertising the hunt throughout the city, they had forgotten to stress the fact that the hunt was not open to boys. It was a search for girls who would finally be put under a pop band.

Consequently, there was a line of girls inside the venue and that of boys outside. While most boys were apprehensive of walking up to the registration counter to clear their confusion, one Sikh boy dared to go ahead and face the music. He walked upto the receptionist and said: “Where am I supposed to sing?” The girl replied: “This is not meant for you, sir.” The boy reacted sharply:”Je mundayaan nu nahin bulana si, tusi Punjabi vich aihi cheez nai likh sakde si? Vadde aaye popstar.” The boy left the girl speechless and was later spotted raising his collars in front of his friends who were eager to know what transpired.

BBMB bulletins

Besides producing lakhs of units of power and providing millions of gallons of water for irrigation the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) does a good human resource development (HRD) job for its employees and also to project its image. It is through regular in-house news bulletins and timely produced brochures on various subjects.

A quarterly newsletter printed on glazed paper details the activities of the hydropower generation giant. The newsletter also gives details of various prominent visitors to the BBMB and its projects which include the Bhakra dam. Activities of the three hospitals run by the BBMB at Nangal, Talwara and Sundernagar, are highlighted with colour pictures. Schools under the organisation are highlighted. Wives of senior engineers, who remain busy with managing the massive project, look after welfare activities, be it the running of Red Cross society or helping employees. An aspect like inauguration of a computer centre in school gets good coverage and, on the other hand, news about study groups of parliamentarians is also given space. And the best part, which can gladden the heart of employees, is the column “hamare gaurav” .

Under this every little achievement of children of employees, their spouses and themselves is highlighted with a photograph. Besides this the public relations department of the BBMB has produced corporate brochures and souvenirs on 50 years of Indian republic and on other occasions.

Life after retirement

It is often said that there is no age bar or, for that matter, no bars for learning and accomplishment in any field. It is a continuous process.

Here is a case of Prof Gursharan Singh, now Dr Gursharan Singh, former Director, Punjab State University Text Book Board, who has been awarded a PhD degree in the faculty of Languages from Panjab University. His topic of research is “Reality conciousness in the poetry of Dr Diwan Singh Kalepani”. Dr Diwan Singh “Kalepani” was a multifaceted man and a towering personality in the field of Punjabi literature. But unfortunately no significant work had been done to evaluate and explore the range and richness of his creativity and calibre. Dr Gursharan Singh, after his superannuation from the post of Director in 1997, ventured to do his much needed job for the benefit of students, teachers and researchers in this field. Obviously this degree is not going to give any boost in his career or any material dividend but as he says, has filled a long-felt void in his academic career.


Old habits die hard, especially if the person happens to be a politician. One such case is of Chandigarh’s former Mayor, Mrs Harjinder Kaur of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Though she ceased to be a Mayor on December 23 last year, the letterhead used by her is still the official letterhead of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, the only slight difference is that the word “ex” is prefixed with hand thus making her designation as “ex-mayor.” The “ex” part has been added with hand when press notes are issued. As late as January 12 she sent a press note to all newspapers with “ex” prefixed with hand. Probably the old stationery did not finish or she is conserving paper by not ordering new letterheads with her present designation of a councillor of a party which has just three seats in the 29-member House.

With Chandigarh’s Corporation having a system of electing a Mayor every year “ex-mayors” will be aplenty. Already there are seven in the past five years due to political machinations.

For the sake of sun

Ever since foggy days have retreated in favour of the sun, afternoon visitation to the city gardens has increased manifold. The Fragrance Garden and Hibiscus Garden in Sector 36 are particularly flooded with visitors these days. Come afternoon and the rush of people wanting to bathe in the winter sun increases tremendously. Interestingly, there is a huge rush of students from the nearby private college, who don’t mind bunking classes for the sake of the sun.

The other day, there was such a heavy rush of visitors to the Fragrance Garden that its parking lot was filled to capacity. The police personnel deployed in the area also had a hard time patrolling the area. The situation was such that many people parked their vehicles in the market area and came walking to the Garden. But no one really seemed to be minding the inconvenience as long as there was enough space inside the gardens.


Prof I.S. Dua, Department of Botany, at Panjab University, has been awarded fellowship by the Indian Society for Plant Physiology (FISPP) at its meeting at Dhanwad (Karnataka) recently.

The award citation goes to record that Professor Dua is honoured with this fellowship for his contribution in the field of plant physiology and cognate sciences in the year 2001.

Subsequently, Professor Dua was invited by the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, Tamil Nadu University, at Coimbatore to give keynote address during their national symposium on “Metabolic pathway studies in plant molecular biology.”

Astrologers all

It seems the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) House cannot do without an astrologer as its member.

While the first House whose term finished on December 23 last year had Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala who had knowledge of Lal Kitab, the second house has Ms Lalit Joshi whose family is known in Himachal for astrology.

Ms Joshi has been elected Mayor for the year. Mr Kala remained Senior Deputy Mayor for two years.

Astrology, however, could not save Mr Kala from losing election this time. Mr Kala had contested as an independent candidate after being expelled from the Congress.

But both Ms Joshi and Mr Kala had been avoiding flaunting their knowledge of astrology.

“Sharif insaan”

Very few bureaucrats earn the reputation of “sharif insaan” while holding coveted positions. Their colleagues instead describe them as arrogant or stubborn or negative because they create hurdles in every work. However, Mr M.K. Miglani, new Principal Secretary to the Haryana Chief Minister, is described by all his colleagues as “sharif insaan”. And rightly so because whatever post he held he did his work with full dedication and achieved the targets he was given.

If the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, considers himself as messiah of farmers, Mr Miglani may be safely described as an expert in agriculture matters. He had done his postgraduation in agriculture in first division, much before he made it to the IAS. No wonder he remained very successful as Agriculture Secretary. His knowledge of agriculture helped both the government and farmers of the State.

The Haryana Government appears to have taken an unwritten decision not to keep any officer on the all -powerful post of Principal Secretary for a long time. Mr Miglani is the third Principal Secretary ever since Mr Chautala took over as Chief Minister. Mr Chautala will be left with more than two years before the Assembly elections are held in the State. If the present practice continues, two more officers may hope to adorn the chair of Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

Unique good wishes

A local resident, Bawa Kulvinder Singh of Golden Autos, got unique good wishes for the New Year, which he is unlikely to forget. The message on his mobile telephone read:” “Aapko Tata ka status, Ambani ki daulat, Bajpai sa rutba, Hrithik ki sundarta, Osama ki himmat, Bush ki takat aur Aishwarya si dost miley — Happy New Year.”


Channel V’s punch line for the popstar hunt drew almost everybody’s attention. It reads: “Kiska band bajega?”

— Sentinel



A gold medallist councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Ms Amar Kulwant Singh, a nominated councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), is likely to add the social service element to the decision making and functioning of the corporation with her vast experience in the field.

A 61-year meritorious graduate from Mumbai, Ms Singh has won the gold medal and a certificate of merit from the President of India in 1978 and was nominated for the President’s Gold Medal in 1989. Haryana honoured her with a silver medal in 1976.

The new councillor has been the vice-chairman of the Sangam Committee, World Centre of the World Association during 1975 to 1987 and represented India in England, France, Iran, Kenya, the USA and Singapore as a national executive member of the sangam.

As a blood bank activist, in which capacity she remained a Joint Secretary of the PGI Blood Bank Society, Ms Singh rose to become a member of the governing body of the India Society and Immunohaematology and its founder treasurer.

She was the chairman of the Motivation Committee appointed by the Government of India and the World Health Organisation and brought out the first ever book on ‘’donor motivation’’.

The councillor was associated with the Red Cross Society in Chandigarh in 1966 and has continuously worked with it in Karnal, Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh and is a life member. She served the Red Cross Society in different capacities.

Ms Kaur is associated with a number of organisations of the city and in Haryana, apart from being on the advisory committees of the UT.



Car rally against female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Members of the International Association of Lions Clubs organised a car rally in the city to create awareness among residents about the evil of female foeticide.

More than 150 members in 70 cars participated in the rally which was flagged off by Mr D.K.Sood, District Governor, Lions Club International, from Lions Bhavan, Sector 18, and after passing through the road opposite the bus stand, markets of Sectors 22, 21, 20, 19, Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden, terminated at Matka Chowk, Sector 9.

Dr Rameshwar Chander, Director, Heath Services, UT, addressed the rally there. He explained how the problem was affecting society, particularly the urban areas. He stated that government agencies alone without the help of social service organisations could fight such evils. ‘‘Female foeticide is both a medical and social problem and there is a need to educate people about it,’’ he said.

The presidents of the Lions Clubs Chandigarh Central, Classic, Grace Host, Lotus, Moonstar, Nightingale, Plaza, Rose, Supreme and Manimajra Model Town jointly signed a pledge to eradicate female foeticide. They also assured the DHS of their support to the Administration to root this evil out of the city.

The members were celebrating the birth anniversary of Melvin Jones, the founder of Lion Club International at Chicago in 1917 after which it grew to become the largest social service organisation with more than 1.4 million members in 187 countries.



Anti-website Hacking Club formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
In order to check the increasing menace of website hacking, city-based software experts have launched an Anti-website Hacking Club here today. The club experts, apart from reviewing the hacked websites and the modus operandi of hacking, will also share knowledge and support for corporates and individuals free of cost.

“Law enforcement agencies can help only after a website is hacked, but it is unrealistic to expect to resolve attacks after they occur. Our aim is to make protect the sites from hacking, said Mr Nakul Goyal, president of the club. Recent major hacking cases including that of the HFCL portal have led to the formation of this club.

Mr Nakul Goyal, CEO of the Centronics Web Systems, and Mr Vikas Saini, a microsoft certified solutions developer involved in various international news portals development and technical support, will be managing the club here. Mr Raj Vrach and Mr Rahul Aggarwal, Directors of i2k2 Systems and who working on projects by the US Defence to Gracia Infosys, and Mr Manjinder Singh, president of chd, will also support the club.

“The increasing cyber crime in the city has necessitated awareness, technical support and dedicated services to prevent these. However, the services are very expensive and especially in case of small-scale entrepreneurs and individuals, it becomes almost impossible to save their sites from cyber crime”, says Mr Goyal. Free technical support which the club will offer will help all to protect their websites, he adds.

The club will focus on servers, data centre hosting websites and browser-based security issues. The club will provide guidance for sensitive web servers, world wide web security related questions, guidance on security standards, vendor security patches and Begtraq archives . Discussions on problems like network sniffers, operating system problems, web server problems, applications residing on web server, trojans, physical security and DoS attacks will also be conducted. provides details about the club services.

“With the formation of this club which is the first one not only in the city but in the country as well, the corporates now don’t need to set up anti-hacking teams in their offices”, said Mr Goyal.

The Anti-website Hacking Club also plans to organise events in and around the city like cyber crime awareness camps, seminars and meetings, apart from releasing journals.



Seminar on management of hazardous chemicals
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
A two-day seminar on ‘Management of hazardous chemicals’ organised by the Mohali Industries Association and conducted by the HRD Foundation, New Delhi, concluded at SAS Nagar yesterday. The seminar was sponsored by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Attended by over 60 participants from industrial and government organisations, the seminar was aimed at enhancing effectiveness in respect of preservation of environment, safety and achieving excellence in manufacturing industry. The main aim of the seminar was to create awareness among people associated with industry towards safety of industries and people.

The participants included officials from the Pollution Control Boards of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Mumbai, the Directorate-General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institute, Mumbai, the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, and the National Thermal Power Corporation, Gujarat. Representative of various industries from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were also present.

In his valedictory address, Mr B.S. Baidwan said after the Bhopal gas tragedy, the level of awareness and effort on the part of both government and industry to avoid accidents had gained momentum. Mr. K.P. Verma, President of the HRD Foundation, Mr V.K. Janjua, Labour Commissioner of Punjab, and Mr S.K. Bahal, Senior Manager, Liaison, Ranbaxy Laboratories, were also present.

Joyride Time: Students of night schools run by the Durga Das Foundation at Bapu Dham, Hallomajra and Indira Colony, enjoy on the hop-on-hop-off coach in Chandigarh on Saturday.



Opposition to house tax imposition
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
The imposition of house tax by the Municipal Council here has come up with stiff resistance from most quarters. In spite of the assurances given by the government that the imposition of this tax would be for the benefit of the masses, house owners are up in arms. In an open letter to the Director, Urban Development (Local Bodies), the People Voice God’s Voice Group has demanded that the assessment of house tax be reviewed and collection of payment on the basis of tax assessment notices. Mr B.L. Tandon, founder of the group, has said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement of August 27, 2001, had struck down the Punjab Municipal Council Act provision for calculation of house tax on the basis of market rates.

He said that the High Court had also stayed the recovery of enhanced house tax on a petition filed by two residents of Yamunanagar. He alleged that as per the Haryana Municipal Act, only a 25 per cent increase in the house tax was allowed after every five years. However, this has not been considered here while framing the house tax formula.



Former Chief Secy dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
A former Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr Paramjit Singh, died today following a brief illness. He was 76.

A postgraduate in mining engineering from the USA, he joined the IAS in the 1950s. He held key positions, including the post of Chief Secretary, Punjab.

A keen golfer, he had been president of the Chandigarh Golf Club. He was also a member of governing bodies of premier educational institutions.

The cremation will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Counselling session
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
A counselling session on AIDS awareness was organised for young women from slums and bastis’ of the city by guidance and counselling cell of the YWCA in Sector 11yesterday. The counselling programme was held in association with the Inner Wheel Club of Chandigarh Midtown.

About thirty women from the slums were given a detailed discourse on the causes, effects and prevention of the dreaded disease — AIDS — by Ms Renu Gandhi of Panjab University.



Held for abducting, raping minor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
A resident of Unao district in Uttar Pradesh, Rajesh Kumar, has been arrested for allegedly abducting and raping a minor. According to the police, the victim, a 14-year old resident of Mani Majra, was abducted by the accused on January 7, while she was on her way to the Sector 20 pump for buying kerosene oil.

The accused reportedly took her to his native place, from where they were brought back by the girl’s relatives. The girl’s mother had also lodged a missing person’s report with the police on January 7. The accused was handed over to the police last night. Both, the accused, who is a rickshaw-puller, and the victim who works as a labourer, are reported to hail from the same district in Uttar Pradesh.

Three booked: The police has booked three persons for allegedly harassing a Sector 38 resident to bring more dowry. A resident of Maloya Colony, Veena Kumari, has reported that her daughter, married to Satish, a resident of Sector 38, was being harassed by him, her mother-in-law Sita and sister-in-law Sonu. The police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498 of the IPC.

Held: A resident of Ropar, Chandi Parshad, was reportedly caught red-handed while he was trying to steal 40 kg of iron rods from a coal depot in Sector 22. He was later handed over to the police. He was arrested and a case was registered against him.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested a resident of Dadu Majra, Gudita, from the Togan barrier near the colony and seized 13 bottles of XXX rum from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

Held for fraud: The police has booked a resident of Zirakpur for fraud after a Sector 20 resident reported that the accused had taken Rs 2 lakh from him for sending him abroad. The accused neither sent him abroad nor did he return his money, he added.

Stolen: A resident of Dhanas, Shayam Nandan, has reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03-B-8124) has been stolen from Sector 45. The police has registered a case.



Book fair a big draw
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
A large number of book-lovers thronged the National Book Fair at the Circus Grounds in Sector 17 here today on the concluding day of the fair. ‘Ved Shabd’, a collection of all four vedas and the 11 sanghitas, will adorn the stacks of the Central State Library, in Sector 17. It is a rare book, priced at Rs 5,500. The chief guest, Mr K.A.P Sinha, Director Public Instrustions (Colleges), UT, announced that the Administration would encourage many book fairs in future to inculcate the habit of reading among city residents.

Mr Chandra Bhushan, secretary of the book fair claimed that the fair was a grand draw and it belied the popular feelings that people were turning away form books. Mr Rajendra Ranjan, media in charge for the fair, claimed that over 50,000 people had visited the fair till yesterday.


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