Thursday, February 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Babus jittery over golden handshake offer
Central Government employees await details of VRS
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The Voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) benefits unveiled yesterday have made Central Government employees ‘’insecure of being declared surplus’’ in the absence of any transparent definition of ‘’surplus staff’’.

However, an offer of 35 days’ of payment for every year served and 25 days salary for the remaining years of service apart from leave, pension and gratuity benefits have been considered ‘’attractive enough’’ to opt for the VRS.

This emerged from reactions sought by the Chandigarh Tribune from a number of Central Government employees, who sought anonymity offering initial reactions.

Employees said in the absence of details of the VRS announced by the Central Government, they would not be able to decide whether they could take this option or not.

They said the option was not available to everybody as the nomenclature of the scheme might suggest but to only those who would be considered surplus by the Central Government through some procedure which was not yet known to employees.

The scheme was only available to surplus staff which did not want to be re-deployed.

The threat of retrenchment announced yesterday and then immediately withdrawn by the Union Minister Arun Jaitly within hours, however, was being viewed with suspicion as it could have been withheld till the elections in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

They felt it had been shelved for the time being.

Though the scheme was not available for every Central Government employee on the pattern of the banking sector, yet a large number of employees were making individual calculations as to how much he or she would get as benefit if handed over the VRS.

A person, who had a basic salary of Rs 11,000 and was left with three years before retirement, would get an amount of around Rs 5,40,000 as benefit.

And a person who got around Rs 20,000 and was left with four years of service would get something around Rs 7 lakh through the VRS.

This scheme would be ideal for those who were left with four years of service before retirement as the lumpsum amount on VRS benefit would be equal to what one would get completing full four years of service, one official said.

Another advantage for those left with four years of service would be that a person was left with enough energy at this stage to take up some thing new and execute it, he said.

The timing of the VRS might not be appropriate as those who would like to start a business or look for a new job in the private sector would not be very confident because of a general economic slowdown and reports of retrenchment everywhere, an employee said.

The banking sector’s VRS timing was right as there was an overwhelming response to that due to job opportunities in the MNCs and the private sector due to the opening up of the financial sector.

It could have been a better offer for young employees if there was a boom in the economy to make them confident of getting rehabilitated either in business of their choice or a more remunerative private company but in the prevailing economic conditions people would have to think twice before taking the option.

The timing of the announcement might have been forced by the fact that the fiscal deficit was dragging down the economic growth and the government had committed itself to ‘’rightsizing’’ with 10 per cent reduction in work force every year, which would send a positive signal for the launch of second generation economic reforms.

The State Bank of India, in fact, had to stop the scheme as ‘’’performing’’ human resources of the bank had taken the option leaving largely the ‘’deadwood’’ in the bank.

This experience seemed to have weighed heavily on the mind of the Central Government which had restricted the offer only to “surplus’’ staff and not to all employees.

A number of employees considered, government housing facility as a deterrent to opt for the VRS as accommodation would cost them dear in the open market.

An officer, however, said being considered surplus sparked off fears of dislocation, disturbance and transfer and that would force lot of people for a “golden handshake’’ .

But ‘’insecurity’’ about the future of government employees might discourage them to take the option as the work culture in the government offices would not make them confident of succeeding in other ventures.

Employees were awaiting full details to come through a notification after the Cabinet cleared the VRS and did not know what would be the criteria for declaring the surplus staff.

The Central Government for the purpose has a Staff Inspection Unit under the Department of Personnel and Training, which assesses whether a particular department either has shortage of staff or surplus.

But the basis of declaring certain people surplus apart from those departments which have closed down, was not known to employees who thought the government might declare any body surplus in the absence of a methodical transparent procedure.


Setback for guest-house owners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Guest house owners running their business from residential areas in the city today suffered another setback after a Special Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed their application seeking alternate sites.

The orders were passed by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice Amar Dutt, after the counsel for the Chandigarh Administration stated that the authorities were willing to allow the change of user from general trade to lodging-cum-restaurant for enabling the guest house owners to shift their business from residential areas to shop-cum-offices lying vacant.

Delivering the verdict in the afternoon after going through the record and hearing arguments in the case for over an hour, the Bench observed that they were of the opinion that there was no need to issue directions in the matter. They added that the members of the Guest House Owners Association could move the competent authority for conversion of SCOs into guest houses in view of the statement issued by counsel for UT Administration.

Earlier during the proceedings, the counsel for the UT Administration stated that in majority of the cases, the guest houses were being run by the tenants and the axe was falling on the landlords. He added that none of the guest house owners had approached the Administration for alternate sites. Nevertheless, the owners could easily shift over to the SCOs as these were lying vacant due to the paucity of tenants. Giving details, he added that 12 SCOs had been recently auctioned.

Supporting his arguments, the counsel for a residents’ welfare association stated that sufficient accommodation was available in Chandigarh for the visitors. Over 400 rooms in the bhavans were being rented out at reasonable rates, besides dormitory accommodation.

The high court, while directing the Chandigarh Administration to ensure the closure of guest houses, had asked it to explore the feasibility of providing alternate sites in the non-residential areas. The Judges had ruled: “The Chandigarh Administration will have to balance the need of the visitors for accommodation at reasonable rates with the rights of the residents of the locality and ensure closure of these guest houses while exploring the feasibility of providing alternate sites.”


Advani, Sonia to halt in city today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
Over 500 police personnel besides the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) will be on their toes tomorrow as two VVIPs with Z-plus security , leader of the Opposition in Parliament and President of the Congress, Ms Sonia Gandhi and the Union Home Minister, Mr L. K Advani, will be in the city tomorrow.

The city cops are lucky as the timing of the two VVIPs are not clashing. Ms Sonia Gandhi is expected to reach the city at around 3 pm while Mr Advani will be in the city at around 10 am.

Police sources said the SPG personnel from Delhi today carried out a full rehearsal in the city. The route to be taken by the two VVIPs are, however, known only to the SPG but the expected routes to be taken by their cavalcade have been sanitised, said a senior police official. Police personnel will be deployed along the routes.

Police sources said vehicles entering and leaving the city are being checked. Special nakas have been put up at various places in the city and the cops were seen maintaining a tight vigil on the movement of vehicular traffics. It is learnt that the police is also making an intensive checking in the colonies of the city.

Mr Parag Jain, Senior Superintendent of Police, said security in the city had been beefed up and the cops had been put on high alert.

Ms Sonia Gandhi will be going to the Congress Bhavan in Sector 35. She is expected to reach the Congress Bhavan at around 3 pm.


National Child Award for city girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A local girl, Kriti Puri, has been awarded the National Child Award for exceptional achievement in 2001.

Fourteen-year old Kriti, a student of class IX in Carmel Convent, Sector 9, was given the award in Delhi by the Vice President, Mr Krishan Kant. She given the award for ‘‘ outstanding ability in the field of academics, sports and arts’’. She was conferred with the State Award for Chandigarh in the same fields during the last Independence Day celebrations.

Young Kriti has already been awarded the National Cultural Talent Search Scholarship by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). She is the national champion in speed skating in both school games and national open roller skating championships. Kriti is the topper in Chandigarh in state-level mathematics competitions and also the at National science olympiad. She has also won prizes in debates and other extracurricular activities.


Cable operators accused of manipulation
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
Rubbishing claims made by cable operators in the region about the various paid channels being responsible for hike in tariff, representatives of various paid channels have accused the operators of manipulating the situation to their own advantage.

Officials of various paid channels today accused the operators in the region of large-scale underdeclaration of subscription to them in order to pocket the maximum profits. They informed that they had recently carried out rough surveys in the region and found that declaration of subscription by cable operators in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar was even less than 30 per cent .

They maintained that while local cable operators were extracting enhanced tariff from customers, the pay channels were not being paid their right dues. Paid channels were troubled by the fact that many new operators had started operating here without paying any subscription fee to these channels.

A spokesman of Zee Telefilms said according to a recent survey, total viewership of Zee Telefilms, comprising Zee TV, Zee News, Zee Cinema, Zee MGM, Alpha TV Punjabi HBO and Cartoon Network, was more than Rs 1 lakh in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. “Connectivity of a meagre 30,000 subscribers is being paid to us. The operators are pocketing the rest of the money. Instead of the Rs 150 per connection cost to the operator, the cost per connection works out to be much less,” he informed.

Though a major share of viewers was controlled by Siti Cable in Chandigarh, some private operators had also set up shop here. These operators were allegedly using decoders to catch signals for airing the paid channels, without paying any subscription fee to these channels. The paid channels were now considering a move to proceed legally against the operators for cheating as well as under the Copyright Act.

Following a hike in subscription rates by various pay channels, cable operators in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula had decided to hike the cable tariff per viewer by Rs 35. Cable tariff per connection had been hiked from Rs 150 to Rs 165 per connection in October 2001, following the hike in connectivity charges to the operators by the pay channels. A lot of hue and cry had been raised over the hike.

As of now, 52 channels were being telecast by operators in the region. Of these , 34 channels were now pay channels and were charging between Rs 6 to Rs 40 per connection from operators.

Reliable sources in Star Television, Star Sports and ESPN, when contacted, also complained of large-scale underdeclaration by subscribers. They maintained that there was underdeclaration of about 40 per cent for their package. When contacted, an official of Star TV here said though the operators were charging Rs 50 per connection as establishment cost, this was entirely the profit of the operator.

The representatives of paid channels conceded that a certain amount of underdeclaration by operators was permitted so as to give them a profit margin. “But the amount of underdeclaration here ensures that the operators have at least a 40 per cent profit, which is more than what one can make in any other business,” said the official from Star Television.


Regional meet of women sarpanches opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Today could well have been the ‘women empowerment day’. A day-long visit of Mrs Suman Krishan Kant, wife of the country’s Vice-President, to the city, was made to coincide with the inauguration of the three-day Regional Meet of Women Sarpanches and Transformative Politics at the Panjab University today.

While Dr Poornima Advani, Chairperson, National Commission for Women, inaugurated the meet earlier in the day, Mrs Suman Krishankant was the chief guest at the silver Jubilee celebrations of the Mahila Dakshata Samiti (MDS), where Dr Poornima Advani was the guest of honour.

Organised by the Centre for Women Studies and Development, PU, in collaboration with the MDS, more than a hundred women sarpanches from villages in the region, Maharashtra, Karnataka and MP are participating in the meet.

Stating that the sarpanches were leaders of the future, Ms Advani stressed the need for gender budgeting and creating awareness among persons of authority who come in daily contact with women problems of women like policemen and policewomen about gender issues. She also said that all organisations, both government and non-government including media, should work hand in hand for the cause of women. Talking about future agenda of the national commission for women, Dr Advani stated that amendment of certain laws relating to women was one and creating awareness about the rights of women at the grassroots level was another. ‘‘We have started workshops for this purpose and made certain recommendations for the same’’, she said.

Prof Chandrakala Padia, Chairperson, UGC Standing Committee on Women Studies, in her keynote address stated that any number of women study centers were of no use till this education reached the villages. She exhorted the women sarpanches that they should first free their own minds of fetters like dowry, preference for male child, caste system etc. ‘‘These are matters, one tends to internalise when one grows in an environment like this. But you need to get out of these and then start work in your villages.’’she said. She also suggested to the sarpanches that they should not get involved in political gambits of allegations and counter- allegations but take their villages together with them like their own family.

Later in the day, Mrs Suman Krishan Kant, President of the Mahila Dakshata Samiti (MDS), voiced similar thoughts about women empowerment at the silver jubilee celebrations of the MDS at the Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15 here today.

‘‘The need of the hour is to empower women through greater access to various productive resources like land, credit marketing and decision-making.’’she said.

Ms Kant stated that poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, growth of population and lack of adequate health care were endemic problems, which require urgent remedial measures. All these problems were highly inter-related and one affected the other.

In her address, she remarked that there was a need to recognise women’s economic activities in the domestic sector, which largely go unpaid. It was all also necessary to remove shackles, which hindered, women’s access to the productive resources so that she could be self-reliant and she could fully enjoy all benefits of development.

The Mayor of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, Ms Lalit Joshi, was also present on occasion. Earlier, Ms Pam Rajput, national vice-president and president Mahila Dakshata Samiti, Chandigarh, has welcomed the guests and introduced the chief guest to the audience.


Education vital for women empowerment: Mrs Kant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The eventful last decade of the 20th century witnessed very active and multifaceted efforts in various national and international fora towards a human face development, based on the principles of equity, equality, sustainability and empowerment with special focus on women.

This was stated by Ms. Suman Krishan Kant, wife of the Vice-President of India, who was the chief guest in a seminar “Women Empowerment — The need of the hour” held at MCM DAV, Sector 36, Chandigarh today.

The issue of empowerment of women had moved centrestage with the global paradigm shift from a growth-oriented to a human development approach. In the Indian context the shift in approach and change in direction were recognised in the 6th Plan, accepted in the 8th Plan and further strengthened in the 9th Plan, which accepted “Empowerment of Women” as one of its nine primary objectives, she said.

Speaking on the occasion, she stated that women’s empowerment greatly hinges on their overall development in the economic, and political spheres. To realise this objective, there is a need to generate awareness among them of their rights and entitlements and free them from exploitation and injustice so as to enable them to enjoy economic independence, social and political opportunities. Given the existing social stereotypes and patriarchal mindset, every effort should be made to create a positive atmosphere enabling conditions where women enjoy dignity and status.

The greater the exposure of women to education and other development opportunities, the higher would be their share in family responsibilities, jobs and participation in the social and political activities. An educated and economically independent woman takes all decisions concerning various aspects of her life. As a potent instrument of social change, education helps them understand their problems better and guides them in the right direction. Equal access to educational opportunities is imperative to make women, agents of change, she added.

Ms Kant remarked that it is heartening to know that remarkable progress had been made in the field of female literacy. The last decade had witnessed a quantum jump in female literacy rate due to literacy campaigns and the Mahila Samakhya programmes. However, the gap between the male literacy rate of 75.85% and female literacy rate of 54.16% in 2001 census was still not very encouraging. The female literacy in India was greatly constrained by dropout rates. According to a report, in rural India out of every 100 girls who enrolled in class 1, only one entered class 12th. In urban areas, the corresponding number is 14. Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh Administration, spoke on the occasion. In her address, she advocated that the dowry problem should be dealt with sternly. There is a need for the guidance for overcoming the problem of female foeticide in society.

Mr Justice Dharmavir Saigal, Lok Pal, Punjab in his speech said that there is a provision in the Constitution of India, where in special amendments can be made under Article 15.3 to empower women.

Mr Saigal, while speaking on the occasion, remarked that during the last 100 years 20 international conferences were held on the empowerment of women but the scenario was the same as it is prevailing in the present time. He stated that a bill was forwarded in Parliament for 33% reservation for women which should have been 50% as half of the population accounts females.

The Lok Pal of Punjab gave astonishing facts regarding atrocities being committed on women. He stated that 88% rapes on women are committed by their relatives and 89% crime are committed on women in the homes and not in the streets and 50% rapes are done below the age of 16 which is very shameful.

The Principal of the college, Ms Usha Gupta, in her welcome address, highlighted the urgent need to check the deteriorating sex —ratio in the country.


Jacob lays stress on IT, e-governance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Further positioning Chandigarh as an information technology hub, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), laid stress on use of e-governance in the city the IT-friendly changes brought about in the city, while speaking at a conference on e-governance ICT Nasscom World Trade Centre, Mumbai, today.

With computerisation of public dealing departments like the Registrar of Births and Deaths, the Excise and Sales Tax Department, the Police Department, and the Health Department. Chandigarh was now a wired city with an extensive optical fibre cable network, which was in place to provide connectivity to the city. This network would be utilised for e-governance applications by the Administration. In the Secretariat of the Chandigarh Administration, a network existed where information exchange on the Internet and video messaging was possible.

Governments, he said, should provide service to the public as it provided speedy and efficient access to information. The kind of interface that the government provided to the public determined its effectiveness. E-governance presented the ideal vehicle for precisely this kind of interface. Long queues at government offices could be eliminated and the time spent by a citizen to get a simple job done, could be reduced drastically if computerisation of all public dealing departments was done on priority basis.

The General gave an example of the driving licences in Chandigarh. A process of smart cards was started as pilot project in the country. Chandigarh, he told the audience, was emerging as a regional hub and growth centre for information technology. He also gave details about the IT park spread across 105 acres. An incubation centre for new IT entrepreneurs had been set up in the Punjab Engineering College and it was fully occupied. Several IT companies were in Chandigarh.

All government schools and government colleges in Chandigarh now offered computer education. The Punjab Engineering College was being upgraded to university and a new engineering college was being set up. With all these steps, a large pool of trained personnel would be available, the General said.

Speaking about the Government of Punjab, he said a comprehensive Information Technology Policy was now being implemented in the state. The objective of the policy was to create an enabling environment for establishing high-quality infrastructure required for the development of information technology industry in the state.

A knowledge park was being set up at SAS Nagar by the Mahindra and Mahindra Group with an outlay of about Rs 350 crore. At the same time, Telecom Companies like HITL and Reliance were laying a fibre optical network in the state. The Punjab Government had established an Indian Institute of Information Technology, a deemed university, at SAS Nagar, which would be functional from the next academic session. The government had also notified the special package of incentives for software and IT industry. This package included a capital investment subsidy, exemption from electricity duty and subsidy for human resources development.


New turn to driver’s murder case
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, February 6
The murder case of Mr Raghubir Singh, a factory driver, who was stabbed to death by some employees of the same factory on January 26, today took a new turn with the brothers of the deceased accusing the factory owner of being involved in the crime.

In a complaint to the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Minister of Punjab, the Director General of Punjab Police, the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala and the Senior Superintendent of Police, two brothers of the deceased — Mr Kewal Singh and Mr Subhash Chand — has alleged that employers of Mr Raghubir Singh alias Bittu hatched a conspiracy to kill him.

The employers had not paid salary for three months to Mr Raghubir Singh and had threatened him when he demanded the same, they alleged. Bittu had told them all about this 15 days before he was killed.

Though Mr Raghubir Singh was stabbed at about 11 pm, he was not taken to the hospital. The police was also not informed despite the presence of over a dozen workers within the factory premises on the fateful day, they alleged. It may be recollected that Mr Raghubir Singh was stabbed to death by some workers of Laxmi Packages Limited located in Mubarakpur village on the Mubarakpur-Ramgarh road over a minor altercation. Mr L.S. Verma, owner of the factory, denied the allegation, saying that some rival industrialists were instigating the complainants to implicate him in a false case. He further said it was a holiday that day and he was out of station.

The police has already arrested five factory employees — Raja Gupta, Anil Kumar Gupta and Triloki Gupta of Uttar Pradesh, Arjun Singh from Nepal, and Prabhu Yadav from Bihar — in connection with the case. A case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them.


Focus on police role in atrocities’ cases
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
Police officers were asked to take prompt action on receiving of complaints a regarding atrocities on persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes at a seminar organised by the police on “Prevention of Atrocities on Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe” here today.

Mr Tanzin Wangyal, Director of the National Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, was the chief guest on the occasion. Detailed discussions were held about provisions of the Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989, and the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955, and Rules 1977. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act, provides time-bound investigation of such cases by the Investigating officer (not below the rank of DSP) and formation of special court, headed by Additional Sessions Judge, for the trial of offences against the accused persons. The Senior Superintendent of Police is the nodal officer under this Act.

Mr Wangyal, while speaking on the occasion, said basic objective behind such seminars was to make the officers aware of the basic object of various acts so that these could be implemented in letter and spirit.

Besides others, Mr Parag Jain, UT, SSP, Mr H.G.S Dhaliwal, SP (Operations), Mr Baldev Singh, SP (City), Mr R.P Singh, Deputy District Attorney, DSPs and Inspectors of the police were present at the seminar. Mr B.D Bector, DSP (EOW and CAW) and Mr R.P Singh presented summary of the two Acts at the seminar.


Cong was behind ‘anti-Sikh’ riots: Jain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Former BJP MP from the city Satyapal Jain has accused the Congress of being allegedly behind ‘’anti-Sikh’’ riots in the country and said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s friendship had stood for Hindu-Sikh unity.

These attacks on the Congress were made at a public meeting in favour of the Kharar Assembly constituency candidate of the BJP -SAD alliance, Kiranbir Singh Kang, yesterday.

Mr Jain also addressed the people in Ropar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts.


Woman dies after falling from scooter
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
A 64-year-old woman, Ratan Kaur, a resident of Phase XI, died after she fell from the Kinetic Honda she was riding pillion near the roundabout of Sectors 27, 28, 29 and 30 this afternoon. Ms Surjit Kaur, daughter of the deceased, was driving the scooter.

She said that her mother complained of convulsions. According to her, the passers by gave her mother first aid. After that she was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in a PCR van but she reportedly died on the way to hospital, said police sources. Ratan Kaur is survived with three daughters and two sons besides her husband.


Murder accused surrenders
Our Correspondent

Kharar, February 6
Onkar Singh, the main accused in the murder case of Kaka Singh, a SAD supporter of Naya Goan village, yesterday surrendered in the court of Mrs Preeti Sahni.

Kaka Singh was stabbed on February 1 and he was admitted to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries the next day. The police had arrested the other accused while Onkar Singh was at large.

Mr Baljeet Singh Sahota, Assistant Public Prosecutor, and Mr Gurmeet Singh Sub-Inspector, appeared in the court after arresting him in the court and pleaded for police remand for seven days. They pleaded that the weapon of offence was yet to be recovered from the accused. The court remanded him in police custody for two days.

Meanwhile, the other accused in the case, Pal Singh, was also produced in the court. He was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.


Two hit-and-run cases reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
During the past 24 hours, the local police received two complaints of hit-and-run cases. A cyclist, Mr Dinesh Kumar, a resident of Bapu Dham, was allegedly hit by a Santro car (HR-04-B-0002) in Sector 7 last evening. The cyclist received injuries and was admitted into the General Hospital, Sector 16. The driver sped away in the car from the spot.

In the other case, a scooterist, Ms Madhu Sahil, a resident of Sector 14, Panchkula, was allegedly hit by a car (PB-38-8338) being driven by a woman near the roundabout of Sectors 7,8, 18 and 19 last afternoon. Ms Sahil received minor injuries while the driver sped away in the car. Two cases under Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code were registered.

Principal’s complaint: The Principal of B.Ed College, Sector 20, Ms Surinder Tangi, reported that Suresh Kumar, a resident of Ambala Cantt, who had appeared in an examination yesterday at the college, ran away with the answersheet and questionpaper from the examination centre. A case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code was registered.

One assaulted: Mr Ram Subaz, a resident of Maloya Colony, reported that he was assaulted and threatened by two unknown persons in Sector 25 yesterday. The accused were allegedly stealing bricks from the nearby construction site. The complainant sustained injuries and was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16. A case under Sections 332, 353, 186, 379 and 511 of the IPC was registered.

Computer stolen: Mr Amrinder Singh, a resident of Sector 10, reported that thieves broke into his house last night and decamped with a laptop computer. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC was registered.

Theft reported: Copper and brass items were reportedly stolen from Plot 128/28, Industrial Area, Phase I, on Friday night. A case was registered on the complaint of Mr Khushi Ram, a resident of Sector 46.


Accident victim dies: An accident victim, Ramkrishan, succumbed to injuries in Command Hospital yesterday. The police has booked the driver of Tata Mobile (MH- 12- 0781) under Section 304- A of IPC. The accident had taken place on February 1, when his motor cycle was hit by the vehicle.

One held: The police has arrested Sumeet, a resident of Sangrur , on charges of eves-teasing. He was accused by a minor girl of having used abusive language and derogatory words when she was walking in Sector 12 A. He was accompanied by another person, Ravi, who managed to escape.

Booked: The police has booked a resident of Sector 17, Ms Rama Rani, of having submitted a fake General Power of Attorney in order to procure a duplicate allotment letter of the house where she is staying. A case has been registered by the police following a complaint by HUDA.


Head constable in police net for graft
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested a head constable, Sat Naryan, of the local police for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe. He was reportedly caught red handed while accepting Rs 500. The CBI had laid a trap on a complaint, according to police sources.


Power invertors launched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
Microtek International, an IT peripherals company, launched ‘EcoPower’ — it’s series of power invertors, here today. During the initial phase, the company has launched model 650 VA and model 1,250 VA. “These products have been designed by our research and development team in technical association with Motorola-approved design house in Taiwan”, said Mr Rajesh Gupta, CEO of the company.

The unique feature of these invertors is that they offer, for the first time in the country, a trapezoidal waveform output on battery mode which reduces to a great extent, the risk of overheating and shortened life of the equipment attached to it, he said.

Elaborating further, he said the specially designed constant voltage charger using pulse techniques would increase the life of the battery by one and half times compared to other conventional invertors, another user friendly feature of these invertors was that the user did not have to top up the battery water at short intervals.

The company is also planning to launch high end invertors shortly.


Maruti remains ‘favourite’ despite hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A week after the hike in its car prices, Maruti has recorded a sale of around 250 cars during this period in the city. The increase in the prices — 800, Omni and Esteem have made these cars dearer by around Rs 2,000 to Rs 9000.

“After the increase in prices, the average sales have been almost the same as earlier. We have been able to maintain the sales figure primarily because the price increase is not very high”, said Mr Vikram Mehtani, Regional Manager, MUL.

While the price of New Car Standard 800(E1) has increased by Rs 3,926 —from Rs 2,04,040 to Rs 2,07,966 (ex-showroom price Chandigarh), that of Omni five-seater from Rs 2,25,481 to Rs 2,28170 (Rs 2,329 increase) and of Esteem VX (E2) has increased by Rs 4,724 (from Rs 5,41,709 to Rs 5,46,433).“The company has increased the prices in order to cover the input costs”, said Mr Mehtani.

Last month, the company sold 5,650 cars in the region, including 1,100 cars in the city. This included 355 Esteem cars and 3,500 Maruti 800 cars. “We target to capture a share of more than 50 per cent for Esteem “,said Mr Mehtani.

The new prices are: Maruti 800(M) (E2) Rs 2,27,071; New Car Standard Htr (M) (E1) Rs 2,09,489; Omni eight seater XL (M) Rs 2,38,616; Omni XL Amb Rs 2,72,347; Esteem LX (E1) Rs 4,53,786; Esteem Limited Rs 5,91,353 and Esteem AX (E2) Rs 6,13,094.


Mega-show today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
In tandem with a local fashion store, the National Institute of Fashion Design will organise a mega-show on the Panjab University campus, here tomorrow.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Atul Chandra, managing partner of the fashion store, said top female models of the country like Mehar Bhasin, Shefali Talwar, Aparna Kumar, Seitu, Simran and Lada and male models like Gaurav Dhir, Raman Dhodi, Maninder Singh and Aditya would display latest creations of reputed designers Sukarma and Shashank Devsare. He said the fashion show would be choreographed by Priyanka Singh and the compere would be Pallab Bose.

He said there would be nine rounds of various garments. The ladies range was designed by Sukarma and men’s range by Vash.

The price of these clothes would range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, depending upon the quality of the cloth and the design. It was not possible to make the same kind of design on another cloth, he asserted.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |