Saturday, February 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Demolished illegal structures resurface
Lack of police force encouraging violations
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
Unavailability of police force to the local administration has reportedly caused a delay in removing unauthorised structures in villages here, which have come up in contravention of the Periphery Control Act.

A number of these illegal structures that were demolished by the Department of Town and Country Planning within the 900-metre radius of the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL) a few months ago have once again resurfaced. With the state government having failed to delegate powers to the local administration under the Defence Act, they reportedly find it difficult to control violations under the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act in this area.

It is learnt that the Department of Town and Country Planning has made at least three requests to the local police for support to carry on its demolition drive during this month. Sources in the department informed that even yesterday a request had been sent to the Superintendent of Police for assistance in the demolition drive.

However, these requests have been turned down as the force had earlier been sent to Tosham in Bhiwani following clashes between the police and labourers and now in Yamunanagar for election duty. As a result, the police could not provide assistance to the Department of Town and Country Planning for its offensive on illegal structures in the periphery.

A visit by The Tribune team along the periphery here today saw that the maximum number of violations were in the villages of Fatehpur, Maheshpur, Abheypur, Railly, Haripur, Majri, Devinagar, Kundi and Bhainsa Tibba.

It is learnt that there are as many as 7500 unauthorised constructions in more than 150 villages of Panchkula’s periphery. Of these, 800 to 1000 structures stand on government land (Forest Department land), 500 to 600 within 30 metres restricted belt of national highway and scheduled road and 400- 600 constructions in villages Chowki and Saketri, area which is to be acquired by Haryana Urban Development Agency. It is also learnt that 2500 constructions have come up on the areas that now fall within the MC limits.

The District Town Planner, Ms Geeta Prakash, when contacted said that these above mentioned encroachments had to be removed by the concerned departments. “There are only 2500 constructions in the periphery which have to be removed by us. As and when we get police help, a new programme for the drive will be charted out and implemented,” she said. She also informed that they have had FIRs registered against atleast 15 land owners and property dealers, for selling agricultural land for residential, commercial and industrial purposes.

Meanwhile, several of the farmhouses in the villages of Kot and Billa, falling within the 900-metre radius of TBRL, have once again started their renovation, after a majority of them were demolished in September last year. Sources in the department say that with the matter of delegation of powers to local administration under Defence Act pending with the state government, their hands are tied.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, said that the issue was likely to be resolved soon. “The state government had asked for comments on designating the authority under the Defence Act to the Deputy Commissioner, but we have written to them and suggested that the District Town Planner should be designated for this purpose.” 


Surplus revenue likely, Admn hopes for more
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
For the second consecutive year, the Chandigarh Administration is going to have revenue more than its expenditure in a financial year, which can be a basis for seeking more money from the Centre.

The Administration’s target is to have a surplus of Rs 78 crore by March 31 — it will spend Rs 579 crore, while revenue receipts will be Rs 658 crore. With just 44 days to go, the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, is confident of meeting the target when he says: “We are ahead of the target already.”

This year, the surplus will be about Rs 4 crore less than the surplus of Rs 82 crore in previous year when the Administration had spent Rs 525 crore and earned Rs 607 crore.

Revenue collection has been good due to realisation of sales tax and excise tax on liquor. The Administration can now press the Union Government for more funds for various projects and an additional Rs 77 crore in the revised budget estimates for this year. Out of this, Rs 54 crore was for land acquisition, Rs 5 crore for the Municipal Corporation, Rs 15 crore for paying off the BBMB and Rs 1.89 crore for the Panjab University grant-in-aid.

The surplus is due to a significant increase in the revenue of the departments of sales tax, stamps and registration, printing and stationery, power and transport. Chandigarh’s expenditure is met directly from the Consolidated Fund of India and all its income goes directly to the fund.

The surplus also goes there. Planners in New Delhi may even reduce the budget allocations, so, the surplus revenue generation has helped the Administration bargain for more money.

MC budget on Feb 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Municipal Corporation budget for the year 2002-2003 will be placed before the Finance and Contracts Committee on February 20.

The Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, decided this here today after her return from election campaigning in Punjab. The meeting of the MC House is likely to be held on February 28.

The date of the F and CC meeting has been shifted to February 20 as new councillors will undergo a two-day training in the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) on February 18 and 19. The property tax issue is likely to be presented before the committee. The Congress, however, has not made up its mind yet on the issue.

Nominated councillors are in favour of the imposition of the tax to get revenue for the fund-starved MC. The BJP has been opposing the tax proposal all through its term.Back


3 of family killed in fire incident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
A woman and her two children were killed when their quarter in Chandimandir cantonment area caught fire because of an electric short-circuit.

According to information available, the quarter of Hawaldar Rajan K.P. in D-sector caught fire during the intervening night of February 13 and 14. At the time of the incident, the sole survivor of the family, Rajan K.P., was on duty.

It is learnt that one of his colleagues came to him around 3 a.m. and informed him that his quarter was on fire. When he reached there, he found that his children, Hrithik (3) and Punia (6), had been taken out of the house, but his wife, Pushap Vailley, was still inside. After the flames were extinguished, the victims were rushed to the Command Hospital, where his wife was declared brought dead.

Both children had reportedly suffered 60 per cent burns and they died in the hospital this morning. 


Punjab, Haryana for own waqf boards
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
While preparations are afoot for holding elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Punjab Waqf Board, a body set up on the lines of the SGPC for looking after the religious institutions of the Muslim community in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, is reeling under the control of the government since 1981.

The continuation of the Punjab Waqf Board, which generates income of more than Rs 8 crore annually, under government officers appointed board Administrator for more than two decades has alarmed the Union Government which recently convened a meeting in Delhi in this connection.

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, following a representation made by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Minority Affairs, had called officials from the three states and Chandigarh to Delhi for discussing the issue of elections to the board.

The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, reportedly witnessed both Punjab and Haryana demanding separate waqf boards for themselves. Representatives from Punjab and Haryana reportedly argued that in case separate waqf boards were set up for each state, there would be better liaison with the state governments concerned which were better equipped to tackle local issues involved in the day-to-day management of waqf property.

They reportedly argued that the breakdown of the state wise income of waqfs showed that the income was small in the case of Himachal Pradesh and negligible in the case of Chandigarh. Punjab, and Haryana, on the other hand had a substantial.

While Punjab has a Muslim population of 2.39 lakh, as per the 1991 census, the number of waqf properties in the state is 22,656. The waqf income (auqaf fund) in 1999-2000 was Rs 7.7 crore in Punjab. In Haryana, where the Muslim population was 7.64 lakh in 1991 , has 12,595 waqf properties. The position of the auqaf fund in Haryana in 1999-2000 was Rs 2.94 crore. In comparison the income in 1999-2000 from the waqfs in Chandigarh and HP, Rs 61,000 and Rs 32.48 lakh, respectively, is much too small. The bigger states are reportedly seeking the constitution of separate waqfs since they feel that the income generated from Punjab and Haryana is being eaten up by Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

While Section 72 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, provided for the continued operation of waqf property in the three states and Chandigarh under the Punjab Waqf Board, in 1967 the Punjab Government submitted a scheme for splitting up the board into four separate boards.

Subsequently, at a meeting of prominent Muslim leaders held under the aegis of the Central Waqf Council in August 19, 1972, it was decided that the question of the future set-up of the Punjab Waqf Board should be referred to the Waqf Inquiry Committee. The committee, however, recommended in favour of the retention of the composite board.

The report submitted by the committee observed that a single Waqf board would be in line with the arrangements followed in the case of the SGPC which is also an inter-state body. The report also pointed out the uneven spread of the Muslim population in the three states and Chandigarh and added that the constitution of separate waqf boards would increase the establishment expenditure substantially. It also said that it would be difficult to get experienced officers and staff members belonging to the Muslim community for managing the separate waqf boards.

However, at the meeting held in Delhi on Wednesday, representatives from Punjab and Haryana reiterated their demand for constitution of separate boards. After splitting up the board, a new elected body could take over these boards, they reportedly argued.

Himachal Pradesh also reportedly agreed to have a separate waqf board. Representatives from Chandigarh, however, opposed the idea of splitting up of the Punjab Waqf Board. The Union Government is expected to convey its decision after examining the viability of setting up separate boards.


Low turnout at Basant Utsav
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Despite best efforts on the part of Environment Society of India and Tourism Department, UT Administration, the turnout at the three-day Basant Utsav, which opened at Leisure Valley today, remained meagre. Except around 12 noon, the time of inauguration of the fest, there were very few visitors to the Leisure Valley grounds.

In fact some of the zeal was also taken away by the fact that the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, who was earlier supposed to inaugurate the show, was out of station today. Mr Vinod Duggal, Director-General, Tourism, Government of India, who was later roped in to cut the ribbons, also did not turn up finally.

Among the officials present during the show were Mr G.K. Marwah, chairman, CITCO, Mr S.P. Singh, MD, CITCO.

The utsav was flagged off with the planting of special rudraksh saplings in a special grove set up on the campus of Government Museum in Sector 10. Later the show was about the routine contests of painting on the theme of spring. About 1200 students from schools of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar participated in the contest. Kite flying contest was won by Manpal Singh, with Isha and Sukriti finishing second and third, respectively. The painting contest (group A) was won by Nisha Sharma, followed by Ruchika and Sahiba.

In group B, the prize went to Navjot, Chaitanya and Ankur in the order of merit. In group C, the winners were Gaurav, Megha and Gurjaspreet, while in group D, the winners were Shivani, Sonia and Bandana.

Apart from the contests, folk dances of Bhagalpur and Multan were presented on the occasion. In the folk song category, Babu Ram Diwana presented Kissa Puran Bhagat and Heer Ranjha, while K Manakpuri presented Kissa Haqeeqat Rai. The performers, however, missed audience throughout the day.

Yellow was the theme colour of all the stalls put up during the fair, including those of eatables, pollution check, Anbros motors, Air Tel etc. In the evening the stage was set for the presentation of spring songs sung by the legendary K.L. Saigal. Among the singers were P.P. Nair, Bhupinder Singh, R.S. Chopra and Radha Chopra.

The attraction on February 17 will be the tug of war contest. Also prize distribution will be held on the same day.


Police revamps cell for women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
To tackle the growing problem of discrimination against women and children as well as tackling crimes related to women, the Chandigarh police has revamped its crime against women cell. Having being made a nodal office for all measures intended to provide relief to women and child victims and those in conflict with law, the cell has now been given a broader mandate and renamed as the woman and child support unit.

It was inaugurated by the UT Inspector-General of Police, Mr B. S. Bassi here today.

The objects of the unit will be to enable the police to intervene on behalf of women and open avenues for woman victims where they could be provided wholesome relief, besides acting as a counselling centre advising women who come with their problems.

The unit will oversee that the police stations deal with complaints of women in a proper manner and take effective action thereon.

The unit will also educate and train policemen and women about new laws which have been enacted during recent years regarding crime against women. In addition, the unit will issue instructions concerning investigation of cases where women are victims, about treatment of woman witnesses and about offenders in police stations.

The unit will also investigate heinous offences where women are victims or have been exploited because of their weaknesses. Special drives against eve-teasing, obscene literature, posters and hoardings will also be carried out by the unit.

Regular liaison will also be maintained by the unit with voluntary social organisations in the city concerning problems of women and working out remedial steps, besides acting as a nodal office to coordinate measures towards women and children.

In order to give effect to provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, the unit has been designated as the special juvenile police unit, with its responsibility being coordinating and taking initiatives to improve handling of juveniles and children by the police. Steps have been taken to sensitise officers about the vulnerability of children and to ensure a friendly approach in dealing with matters concerning children.


Accused allege torture by cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Two persons arrested for their alleged involvement in a number of chain-snatching incidents here have alleged torture in the police custody. The charge was made when one of the accused vomited blood in the court of the Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Pushpinder Singh, here today.

The accused — Satpal, a resident of Dadu Majra and Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Kharar — had been arrested from Sector 38 West on February 2 and sent to the police custody at the Mani Majra police station.

After Satpal vomited blood in the courtroom, the magistrate ordered that the accused be medically examined in the Sector 16 General Hospital. The hospital authorities have, reportedly, submitted their report to the court.

Satpal has a few visible bruises on the face and the jaw and was barely able to speak in the court. Ramesh said, while in custody, they had been attacked with canes, rollers and elbows.

The police denies the torture story. According to the police officials, Satpal vomited blood because he had consumed some Sulphos tablets. Human rights activists who reached the place alleged that the police was forcing the accused to withdraw the charge. They demanded that a suitable action be taken against erring policemen.

The accused, both 22, according to the police, were involved in 16 cases of chain-snatching in the past nine months. Their “escape vehicle” was a Priya scooter that the police impounded. Satpal used to work in a Sector 35 shop and Rameh in a Sector 46 shop.


Candidates protest official’s entry into sealed room
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 15
Tension prevailed on the premises of the local Shivalik Public School here today following allegations that an official had illegally entered one of the sealed rooms where election material had been kept.

Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu and Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, both candidates from the Kharar assembly constituency, reached the school premises after they had been informed about the incident by their supporters.

A part of the school gymnasium building has been used to store the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other election-related material used in the polling on February 13 under tight security. This part of the school building will be used as the counting centre.

Supporters of candidates who were keeping vigil outside the counting centre alleged that Mr Bhupinder Singh, Tehsildar, along with four more persons entered one of the rooms after breaking the seal that had been put on the lock of the door.

Mr Dalbir Singh, a supporter of Mr Padiala and an eyewitness to the incident, said that a CID official came and made several enquiries from him and another supporter, Mr Tarlochan Singh.

He said soon after a jeep came and they saw an official along with four others going towards the building which was being guarded by CRPF personnel. The person on duty opened the main entrance and the tehsildar entered one of the rooms after breaking the seal.

Mr Dalbir Singh alleged that when he along with others tried to find out what was happening, they were threatened by one of the CRPF officials. He further alleged that Mr Bhupinder Singh along with others stayed in the room for about an hour and a half.

Mr Jai Pal Singh, Returning Officer, who reached the counting centre said that Mr Bhupinder Singh was the Assistant Returning Officer for the Kharar constituency and had come to the centre to collect election-related material which had to be deposited with the Election Commission.

He said that no voting machine had been stored in the room that had been opened by Mr Bhupinder Singh. The room had been used only to store election-related material like stamps, spare forms, presiding officers’ handbooks, etc. The seal on this door had been put for “our own safety”.

Ms Kalpana Nayak, ASP, who also reached the counting centre said the “strong room” where the voting machines had been kept was being guarded by CRPF personnel and the Punjab Police was providing the outer security cordon.

Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu said that candidates should have been informed before allowing anyone to enter the building. He said that the material could have been deposited with the Election Commission after the counting of votes.

Mr Padiala said that they had no faith in the government. In fact, he said, his party had demanded Governor’s rule at the time of elections.


Deletion of names from voters’ list
Returning Officer gets 27 complaints
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 15
The office of the Returning Officer of the Kharar Assembly constituency here has received 27 complaints relating to the deletion of names from the voters’ list for the Punjab elections, polling for which was held on February 13.

The Returning Officer, Mr Jai Pal Singh, said today that the complaints, which were from individuals, were being forwarded to the Municipal Council. The Executive Officer of the council had been asked to ascertain the genuineness of the complaints and submit a report by 10 a.m. on February 18.

Mr Jai Pal Singh said if the complaints were genuine, he would get in touch with the Election Commission.

He said that yesterday the AISAD candidate, Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, had complained that the names of a number of voters had been deleted from the poll rolls. However, it was found later that the candidate was referring to the voters’ list of 1996 and not that of 1999 on the basis of which recent polling had been conducted.

The Returning Officer wondered why the aggrieved voters had not bothered to check the voters’ list when a lot of time had been given to them for this purpose, right from the time of verification of voters through the entire process of filing of claims and objections to the list, the draft publication of the poll rolls, the final publication of the voters’ list and ultimately the filing of the nomination papers. He said there was ample time for voters to check whether their names figured in the voters’ list. It seemed, he said, that the residents gave more importance to the making of driving licences or the payment of electricity bills, fearing penalties, than to ensuring that they were registered as voters.

He said that nearly 18,000 names were deleted from the voters’ list, but in most cases voters had changed their place of residence and had not bothered to get their new votes made.


‘It’s problem of plenty now’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
A two-day national seminar on ‘Agri-industries (including horticulture): growth, problems, remedies’ started at Panjab University, here today.

Organised by the Centre for Indian Development Studies (CIDS), the seminar was inaugurated by Mr Ram S. Verma, former Chief Secretary, Haryana.

Mr R.S. Verma, in his inaugural address observed that unlike sixties when India was facing problem of scarcity, at present, we were faced with the problem of plenty. He emphasised that there was a great scope for promotion in agri-industry, especially in food surplus states like Punjab and Haryana.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr S.S. Johl, former Chairman, Agricultural Prices Commission, and former Vice- Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University. He said, “We have produced so much foodgrains that we cannot consume it at the given price. Instead of incurring costs of hoarding, pilferage and distribution, it should be made available to the needy either free of cost or at a price which they can pay.” He said agri-processing industry should be promoted in villages by providing tax holidays. These ventures in villages would not only generate income, but would also provide employment. States like Punjab and Haryana should follow the system wherein small farmers become a part of a bigger enterprise through contract farming. However, this was possible only if entrepreneurs had a facilitating single-window system. Corruption-free administration was another prerequisite for setting up of such industries.

The inaugural session began with an address by Dr G.S. Dhillon, former Chief Engineer, Punjab Government, and a member of the CIDS core group, on the working and achievements of the centre since its inception in 1987.

Dr V.S. Mahajan, Director, CIDS, highlighted the theme of the seminar. Prof B.S. Ghuman, coordinator of the seminar, conducted the session and presented the vote of thanks.

The first working session on ‘Issues before agri-industries and horticulture — a broad survey’ was chaired by Prof S.P. Singh of University Business School, Panjab University.

Dr V. S. Mahajan suggested that subsidies in any form should be discontinued. The money saved on subsidies should be used in encouraging production of high-storage crops, like oilseeds and pulses. Dr S.L. Kansra emphasised that development of adequate and cost-effective infrastructure. Adequate credit and finance should be ensured for progress in this area, he said.

Dr G.S. Dhillon said the Punjab Government should break the spell of wheat-paddy cycle and should ensure proper pricing of water for the irrigation.

Dr Vipla Chopra said better coordination between growers and processors was important for accelerating of development activities in the food-processing sector.

Mr O.P. Middha and Dr Sanjiv Sharma, analysed the impact of the WTO regime on Indian agri-business. Mr S.K. Kapur presented a paper on ‘Role of lantana (agri-silvi) based industries in Kandi belt’.

The second working session on ‘Individual state’s experience’ was presided over by Dr G.S. Dhillon, former Chief Engineer, Punjab Government.

Dr S.S. Sangwan, Dr R.C. Katiyar, Dr N. Mohanan, Dr H.S. Shergill, Dr Gurmel Singh, Dr A.K. Aggarwal, Dr P.S. Rangi and Ms Harsimran Kaur presented their papers in this session.

The third working session was on ‘Growth and problems of horticulture’. Dr B.B. Lal and Dr K.D. Sharma presented their paper titled ‘Technologies for better returns for temperate horti-products’. Mr P.K. Aggarwal presented a paper on ‘Development of horticulture sector in India’ which Dr Shashi Jain presented a paper on ‘Food processing in India — fruits and vegetables’. 


Parking lot for handicapped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Municipal Corporation here today earmarked 22 parking locations for the physically handicapped.

The areas had been identified in tune with a court order, a corporation press note said.

On the entry to the NIFD/Connect parking, near side wall of the British Library showroom, in front of the Maruti Udyog Limited office, near British Library parking, on the side of IDBI showroom, near entry to The Times of India office, underground parking near Mercury Imaging Centre and near Corporation Bank in Sindhi Sweets parking are such areas in Sector 8.

In front of the ICICI Bank and Thomas Cook parking on entry to the Bank of Punjab parking in are these places in Sector 9.

In front of Haryana Handloom (Batra Building), Sindhi Sweets, Bata showroom, CMC Building, parking back of Godrej office, back side of State Library, MOH parking, in front of telephone exchange, Punjab National Bank, Mezban restaurant, Punjab National Bank and CITCO office, back of Anand cinema, Handa and Chopra and General Post Office are 15 such areas in Sector 17 for the purpose.

The necessary signboards had also been displayed in this regard, the press note said.


Special courses for cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Chandigarh police will consider running special courses to make its personnel computer literate once the computer laboratory being set up at Police Headquarters becomes functional in a few days.

Stating this during the valedictory function of the fourth refresher course for investigating officers here today, the UT IGP, Mr B.S. Bassi, said that while it may not be feasible to include computer courses during the refresher courses, short-term courses on a sustained basis for batches of 15 to 20 persons can be run at the computer laboratory.

As many as 34 police personnel including non-gazetted officers and constables attended the six-week course, which had commenced on January 3. Besides sports, yoga and drill, the course covered aspects of human rights, human behaviour, cyber crime, narcotics control and stress management. Visits to the PGI and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Sector 36, were also organised.


Corps of Signals anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The Corps of Signals celebrated its 91st anniversary in Chandi Mandir today. On behalf of all ranks of the corps, the Chief Signals Officer, Western Command, Major-Gen B.P.S. Virk, laid a wreath at the Veer Smriti war memorial to pay homage to the unknown soldier.

In his message to all ranks of the corps and their families, General Virk commended the work done by them in the service of the nation, and reminded them of the great task which lay ahead.

The corps provides the wherewithal to commanders to exercise their command and control over formations and troops and makes available a feedback mechanism to assess the progress of operations. The information age has provided the corps with wide vistas of technological advancement.

Today, the corps is using state-of-the-art media and switching technologies to provide on-the-move wide band connectivity to various headquarters and field units. In the ongoing Operation Parakram, the Corps has provided voice, video and data connectivity to forward-most posts.

The Corps of Signals was raised on February 15, 1911, as a part of Sappers and Miners. With its motto of “Teevra Chaukas”, meaning swift and sure, the corps has won many laurels during both, war and peace as well as during natural calamities.


8,000 applications for 318 PUDA plots
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 15
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) received about 8,000 applications in response to a housing scheme floated by the authority last month.

PUDA’s scheme of allotting 318 residential plots in various developed sectors closed today. It is reported that the banks authorised to sell forms for the scheme had sold about 14,000 forms.


HUDA laying 10 new tubewells
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
Haryana Urban Development Authority is laying 10 new tubewells at the cost of Rs 1.50 crore in order to provide potable water to the residents of the township.

This was stated by Superintending Engineer, HUDA, Mr S.C. Malik, during a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora today. He also informed that 15 tubewells had been laid last year and 17 mgd water was made available to a population of 1. 75 lakh last year.

The DC asked the HUDA staff to ensure that the tubewells started functioning by May 1, 2002 so that the residents did not face any water shortage in the summer months.

She also instructed the Executive Engineer of the MITC to ensure sufficient water in village ponds for animals. 


Voter I-cards
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 15
The District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, has said that Voters’ ID cards for the Kalka constituency will be prepared as per the published voters’ list of 2002 in two phases.

In a press release, she said the first phase the photography programme will commence from February 19 to 28 in various places of Pinjore block, municipal committee area of Pinjore, Kalka and Panchkula. In the second phase, the work of photography will commence from March 1 to 7 in Barwala, Morni blocks and Panchkula. Seven teams of photographers have been engaged for taking photographs from 9 am to 5 pm. 


Manhandling charge levelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
A parking contractor’s staff members and Congress councillor Chandermukhi Sharma’s brother, Surajmukhi Sharma, today accused each other of manhandling at a parking lot in Sector17.

Mr Surajmukhi Sharma alleged that when he objected to overcharging by the contractor’s staff, the parking slip from his hand was sought to be snatched by employees of the contractor and the former was allegedly pushed around.

The contractor Satpal Gupta alleged that his staff was thrashed by Sharma, which caused injuries to him.

The police had not yet registered an FIR. Both parties said that the police was persuading them to reach a compromise.

Later the Haryana Youth Congress chief along with his supporters barged into the Sector 17 police station and attacked Mr Chandermukhi Sharma and Sub-Inspector Sucha Singh who was on duty.


Discotheque raided, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The local police reportedly raided a discotheque in Sector 17 last night and arrested four persons, including its owner, for allegedly consuming hard liquor without a licence. They have been booked under various provisions of the Excise Act. They were bailed out later.

Injured: A resident of Hallo Majra village, Dharam Pal, was injured after his cycle was knocked down by a vehicle near the Poultry Farm chowk. He was admitted to the Sector 32 hospital. The vehicle driver sped away from the spot. The police has registered a case.

Held: The police has arrested a resident of Bihar, Bijli, for plying his rickshaw on the wrong side of the road near the Sector 17 ISBT. He has been booked for causing danger and obstructing public way.

7 booked: The police has registered seven different cases for defacing public property in various parts of the city under the respective jurisdictions of police stations of Sectors 3, 11, 17 and 34. Those booked have been accused of pasting various advertisement posters in public places.

Cases of theft: The proprietor of Aggarwal Agency in Sector 7 reported that his godown was broken into and 40 boxes of brass items have been stolen.

Sector 70 resident Harjit Singh has reported that his Vespa scooter (CH-01-W-5929) has been stolen from the university campus. A case has been registered.

Sector 2 resident S.S. Chadha has reported that the stereo of his car, parked in sector 17, has been stolen. The police has registered a case.


4 arrested: The police has arrested four persons on the charge of gambling and recovered about Rs 8,000 from them.

According to information available, the police arrested Kanvachal from near a brick-kiln in Chandimandir yesterday. Two other persons, Bhola and Swaran Kumar, were also arrested from Chandimandir and Rs 710 were recovered from them.

In another incident, the police recovered Rs 7,550 from Subhash, who was found gambling near Majri chowk.

Car stolen: Mr Sanjiv Aggarwal’s car (HP-51- 1617) was reportedly stolen from outside his house in Sector 9 during the night intervening February 11 and 12. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Accident: Ms Archana Puri has accused Ms Sangeeta of hitting her with her scooter (CH-23-1362 (temp) near Sector 4/ 5 crossing.


Jewellery collection has a mesmerising effect
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 15
A vibrant collection of white gold studded with diamonds and other precious stones that radiate exquisite beauty and rare brilliance created by different leading jewellery houses in India was enough to make a lasting impression on the visitors who visited Swarn Sambandh, jewellery exhibition, which was inaugurated at the CII in sector 31 here today.

Organised by Sercon, a Delhi-based events management company, the exhibition houses the creations by 22 Indian jewellery makers which were displayed to a mesmerizing effect. With products such as Victorian necklaces or a set copied from Princess Diana’s crown or naturally coloured pearl strings or a stling of huge emeralds set in white gold or multicoloured saphire necklace set were simply breathtaking.

The designs include both ethnic and contemporary patterns , ranging from white gold, diamond, kundan and meena that suits everybody’s taste and budget. Sabina, a Delhi-based jewellery engineer, who has come up with a wide range of Indo- western designs, said keeping in mind the latest trends of fashion among the youngsters, she has designed her collection which is both practical and affordable.

Swarn Sambandh, jewellery exhibition launched in 1999, aims at providing a platform to the jewelers to explore and strengthen their client base in new emerging markets where customers have the buying potential but lack wide choice of variety and design.

Those taking part in the four-day exhibition which will conclude on Feb 18 include like Ravoy Gems, Frontline Jewellery, Diamondstar Mfg Ind Pvt Ltd, Mansarovar Pearls, deornate, Dwarka’s Your Jeweller, Living Jewels, R Pukhraj Jeweller, Choudhary Jewels, Zever, the Heritage Jewels, Vishal Jewels, mohak Jewels, Chandra Creations, Lalsons Jewellers, Shubh Gems and Crafts, alpana Jewellers, Gujranwala Jewellers, Shiv Shakti Pearls and Jewellers, Sunrise Jewels, Midas gold and Vanity Gold.

Impressive growth: BPL Mobile, India’s No. 1 mobile phone service, has announced impressive performance for the period April 2001 to December 2001. The revenue from the non-voice stream has gone to 11% of the total revenue. This phenomenal growth has come primarily through BPL Mobile’s technology services, which gives its subscribers a complete wirefree experience.

A further growth in this segment is expected due to the launch of high-speed mobile-Internet services through General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), a next generation technology that allows BPL mobile subscribers to connect directly to the Internet through their mobile phones. The non-voice revenue of BPL Mobile comes from services such as voice mail and SMS and Mobile Internet services.

BPL Mobile has achieved a gross revenue in excess of Rs 725 crore and expects to touch Rs 1000 crore revenue by March 2002 with an operating profit of Rs 240 crore for this fiscal.

This would represent a 37% growth in revenue and 72% growth in operating profit respectively over the previous year. On the subscribers front, BPL Mobile has added nearly 5,70,000 gross subscribers during this period. This figure is expected to touch 8,20,000 by March 2002.

Commenting on the steep rise in overall business and specifically the non-voice segment this year, Mr Fausto Cardoso, Executive Director & CEO, BPL Mobile said, “We are delighted to see that our multi-pronged efforts to enhance value for our subscribers through the addition of more services towards a wirefree tomorrow, has brought about this growth”.


Develop synergy in hardware, software industry: Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Governor, Punjab, and UT Administrator, today underlined the need to develop synergy in hardware and software industry with the focus on design-enabled software to fully harness the potential of Indian engineers and entrepreneurs.

The Governor was speaking at the Panjab University after inaugurating the two-day Chandigarh Symposium on Microelectronics (CSME)-2002 organised by the Indian Microelectronics Society ( IMS) founded by Semiconductor Complex Limited (SCL), Chandigarh, and Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here today.

The Governor said that microelectronics had been the cause for the two most spectacular revolutions of the past century i.e. computation and communication. Stating that today’s driving force was both software and hardware technology, and since hardware industry was experiencing a global slump with little off-take even from hardware majors like Taiwan, China, Japan, the Governor suggested that we should concentrate on the design area, which is not financially intensive and more so the distinct advantage we have in terms of quality brain power available in the country.

He also urged the industrialists to utilise the technical manpower available in Punjab and Chandigarh and use them profitably. He also assured help of the government to those who want to set up industries in emerging technologies such as molecular electronics, bio-molecular technologies etc in the state of Punjab and UT.

Professor K.N. Pathak, Vice- Chancellor, Panjab University, who delivered the presidential address, said that PU had taken the initiative of acquiring and disseminating the knowledge in the area of microelectronics having started M.Tech microelectronics programme with the close involvement of SCL & CSIO and added that PU was shortly going to start B.Tech course in microelectronics which shall be the first of its kind in the country.

He also said that PU shall be complementing the efforts of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) by offering hi-tech course in software technology, bio-technology etc. He urged the industry to offer jobs to the students of the university pursuing hi-tech courses which will give a boost to the efforts being made by the university in developing quality manpower in the region.

Dr M.J. Zarabi, CMD, SCL, and president, IMS, in his address said that the IMS platform envisaged to facilitate consolidation of our strength in microelectronics and related technologies such as nano-technology, molecular technology etc. and to further its growth in this field.

He said that the government should guide markets of certain emerging areas having a large potential such as smart cards and electronic energy meters and not allow these to get fragmented into many different types leading to economies of scale problems for the domestic manufacturers.

Dr R.P. Bajpai, Director, CSIO in his address said that semiconductor technology has travelled a long journey since 1948 and in view of physical limits of the particle size, new kind of technologies are emerging.

He said that the platform of IMS would provide opportunity for the experts, designers from such disciplines to come together and share their knowledge which will help in accelerated development in these important and promising areas.


Household goods on display
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 15
From synthetic soil to kitchen cabinets to mobile toilets, the Inside Outside Mega Show that offers a huge collection of interior and exterior decor items have hit the right cord with the shoppers from the city who thronged the venue at Parade Ground in Sector 17 on the second day of the exhibition here today.

Organised by Business India Exhibitions, the show brings together the leading business houses in India dealing with household products that range from bathroom fittings to floor furnishings to veeners, wood coatings, furniture accessories, designer bed linens and many more luxury items like hammocks, bin bags and antique looking gramophones and telephone sets.

The largest event of the interior design, building and construction industries in India, the exhibition is an annual feature undertaken by Inside Outside, India’s leading magazine on interior design and the Business India group to recognise Indian talent and excellence in design and architecture and put into the practice. The show does not only showcase the recent innovations in this field but also mirrors the future trends in interior and exterior in the global context.

This is for the fifth consecutive year, the show has been organised in Chandigarh which will continue till on February 17.

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