Saturday, April 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Is PU planning to ban private candidature in exams?
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Will Panjab University stop private candidates from appearing in any university examination from the forthcoming academic session?

The issue is pertinent in the wake of a resolution of Principal Harmit Kaur, a Fellow of the university Senate, which will be considered by the university shortly. The resolution reads: “Private candidates should not be allowed to appear in any university examination (with effect from the forthcoming academic session, 2002-2003) as directed by the University Grants Commission through its letter dated May 17, 1996”.

The issue will be discussed in detail in the Syndicate of the university before any formal decision. In context of PU the provision to appear as ‘private candidates’ was open only to girl students.

The explanatory note said: “Panjab University follows directions of the University Grants Commission in maintaining the academic standards and providing quality in education. Hence, the university as per directions of the UGC decided to bar private candidates to appear in university examination in its letter of 1999. However, it chose to withdraw its decision in another letter dated July 19, 1999.” Reasons were also given for withdrawing the earlier decision.

Principal Harmit Kaur argued that “PU has all along being feeling concerned about falling standards of higher education and also trying to counter malpractices like tuition business. At present the university only allows women candidates to appear in university examination as private candidates.”

This practice has caused an abnormal rise of “teaching shops” for women. A number of such commercial institutions have mushroomed all over Punjab to “exploit the gullible women”.

The note said: “In an era of unprecedented advancement in science, technology and knowledge, such large-scale exploitation in the name of education should be stopped. This had an adverse impact on the affiliated women colleges at a time when they were facing acute financial crunch and needed support of the state and the university.”

Reacting against a routine argument of such education centres for benefit of women, it has been pointed out that “at present there is no paucity of good women’s colleges. In fact there were more women’s colleges than for men, including co-educational colleges. Women could avail the learning facilities at such centres that are not available in the remote and rural areas. Such students also had the option to appear as students of correspondence courses of the university.

Sources pointed out that during earlier times such academies were often used as centres for university examination where a lot of discrepancies were found. The university has stopped the practice. However, the facility available exclusively to girl students needed to be debated before any formal decision. 



‘Concrete’ solution to garbage problem
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) is seeking to correct an environmentally-harmful lacunae that had been overlooked by the French architect of the city, Le Corbusier, by constructing a concrete garbage collection centre on an experimental basis in Sector 27-A.

The architect had not planned fixed and concrete platforms on specific locations for garbage collection, resulting in bins being planted around the city on soft surface area, thus not only creating demands for constantly changing the location of these bins, but also leading to stench due to the liquid garbage seeping into the ground and hence polluting ground water.

The Municipal Corporation has ‘imported’ the solution to the problem from Delhi with certain improvements to suit its sanitary requirements. A concrete structure will be built in the shape of a ventilated room of 21.9x21.9 feet and will have an at tendant to immediately sort out the garbage into recyclable and non-recyclable varieties.

The first such centre will be ready within three months at an estimated cost of Rs 2 lakh, and if the Sector 27 experiment succeeds, all bins creating problems of littered garbage seepage, stink, stray cattle and rag-pickers will soon be out of sight.

The Corporation plans to have them built in each sector through Build-Operate and Transfer basis, with those building them being allowed advertisement display on 21.9 feet on one side of such garbage collection centres to recover revenue.

The centre will have the bins, found on the roadside kept in them and also receive garbage coming from individuals and NGOs. Individuals and NGOs will also bring their garbage to a counter where the attendant will receive and segregate it .

The Municipal Corporation is initially employing its personnel as an attendants but may later consider handing over the operation to private parties.

The segregated garbage will be collected in the bins fitted on rollers and plates for operational convenience up to a ramp, from where the garbage collection trucks will carry them to the dumping ground. The ramp is outside the structure so that the Corporation does not have to raise the level of the structure to 9 feet. The dumping ground will have a pressure-wash facility for the bins. A dirty bin will be unloaded, to be replaced by a washed one on the truck.

Each collection centre will have a minimum of 4.5 cubic metre of garbage collection capacity. The site in Sector 27 has been identified and work is likely to begin on the centre next week.



Cheema surrenders before CBI
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 26
After evading the police for more than 40 days and about 48 hours’ of anticipatory bail having been dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the former in charge of the Crime Branch, Chandigarh Police, Inspector Jasbir Singh Cheema, surrendered before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here this evening. According to sources, he made a telephone call to the CBI office at around 11 am today and surrendered at 5.30 pm.

Cheema had been apprehending arrest since an FIR was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against him by the CBI earlier in March, for allegedly demanding and accepting gratification. A trap had been laid by the premier investigating agency. Earlier, his anticipatory bail was dismissed by a local court on March 18.

According to sources, Cheema, was alone at the time of his surrender. The entire day, he was believed to be in hiding somewhere in Sector 17. Rumors were doing the round that he may be surrendering in the court of UT Chief Judicial magistrate.

According to the FIR lodged by the CBI, Cheema had demanded Rs 50,000 from Ajay Kumar for preparing his case in such a manner that Ajay would not be shown as an accused and thereby not be required to face trial in a fake degree case.

Ajay Kumar, who was running a coaching institute in Sector 22, had been named as an accomplice by P.S Lamba, main accused, in a fake degree case and later arrested by Inspector Cheema in February.

After Ajay was released on bail, he allegedly paid Rs 25,000 to Cheema on March 6 at his residence in the Police Colony, Sector 17. Another Rs 25,000 was paid to Cheema through Sudarshan Kumar, owner of Chaudhary Medicos in Sector 15. On March 13, Cheema allegedly demanded Rs 10,000 more from Ajay Kumar.

Ajay, however, approached the CBI and later, accompanied by a witness, went to Cheema’s house. Cheema asked him to hand over the money to Sudarshan at his shop. Accordingly, Ajay went to the shop where Sudarshan spoke to Cheema over telephone. Ajay was told to come again the next morning.

Sudarshan accepted the money from Ajay next day. On a signal, a CBI team lying in wait nearby rushed in. The money was recovered from Sudarshan’s shop.

Meanwhile, Cheema will be produced in a local court tomorrow.



Sec 17 parking lots fetch 59.84 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) here today auctioned four parking sites of Sector 17 netting Rs 59.84 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 55.82 and asked the contractors to take over the lots from May 1.

With four auctions today, the corporation was able to get a commitment of Rs 1.17 crore in the auctions held on April 22, 24 and today in Sectors 17, 8 and 9. Zone II of Sector 8 with a reserve price of Rs 3.23 lakh was likely to be auctioned in the first week of next month.

The earlier parking contract which was terminated midway due to irregularities had earlier got bids of Rs 1.16 crore.

Complaints against the parking contractors will be handled by the Additional Commissioner.

The Municipal Corporation has asked heads of the government departments and public sector undertakings to send the list of their employees to the corporation for getting free scooter passes from the corporation, which will issue passes after getting these lists. Passes are lying ready with the MCC.

A corporation official also said that these pass holders would only get entry in areas earmarked for them by the Municipal Corporation.

Every parking lot has been provided with free and pass parking areas.

The biggest parking lot in the Sector at Sahib Singh Chowk went for Rs 35.01 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 30.06, the parking lot near the CMC fetched Rs 10.70 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 10.66, the Bank Square parking lot had the highest bid at Rs 9.41 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 9.4 lakh and the one near the Jagat Cinema had a bid for Rs 5.72 lakh against a reserve price of Rs. 5.71 lakh.

The Municipal Corporation today handed over to the contractors the design and an approved format of a multiple-entry pass for all zones in Sector 17. The multiple-entry pass for all zones had yellow colour and the monthly pass parking for one zone was in light green colour. The MCC asked the contractors to get these passes ready by Monday.

The instructions behind the passes put the responsibility of collecting the slip at the entry on the visitor as vehicle would only be released at the exit on production of the slip. In case, the slip was lost, the vehicle would only be released after verification and payment of Rs 20 for a car and Rs 10 for a scooter along with two sureties. The slip mentioned parking time between 7 am to 11 pm.

The slip also held the contractor responsible in case of theft but absolved him of responsibility in case of theft for anything inside the vehicle and damage to it while using the parking facility.

The monthly rate for multiple entry pass for a car has been fixed at Rs 100 while for a scooter it would be Rs 50. The single zone monthly pass is Rs 50 for the multi-entry pass.

The blue-coloured free parking pass for scooter mentions entry for two-wheelers only and carries the logo of the Municipal Corporation. The payment for the sticker for a year has been fixed at Rs 10.

The parking slip makes it mandatory for the contractor to issue separate slips for separate category of vehicles.

Different coloured parking slips would be for car/scooter and other vehicles in paid parking and different colours for pass parking areas.

The proforma for free parking passes to government employees seeks an application from the head of the department with the name of the employee, designation, place of duty, official address, residential address, vehicle number and its kind (scooter/motor cycle/moped). 



Wildlife Dept’s notice to MCC on nature park
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, April 26
The UT Wildlife Department today issued a notice to the Chandigarh Municipal Council asking the authorities if they had permitted the Environment Society of India to run a nature park within the premises of Sector 26-located Nursery.

The department has asked Municipal Commissioner and the president of society to clarify if the society had sought permission to run a mini zoo in the name of a nature park. The department has also asked the MC authorities to report if the society had taken any approval from the Central Zoo Authorities (CZA) to run a mini zoo.

In addition to this the Wildlife Department has also asked the Mr M. P Singh, MC Commissioner and Mr S. K Sharma, president of the society, to disclose the sources from where the birds have been procured. The notices have been issued to check if the procurement of the birds is legal or not.

While talking to the Tribune, Mr Ishwar Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden, Chandigarh, said that the Municipal Commissioner and Mr. S. K Sharma, have been asked to submit a report till April 29.

‘‘To run a zoo ( big or small), approval from the CZA is mandatory. The society had violated the CZA guidelines as well as Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972,’’ said Mr Ishwar Singh.

The UT Wildlife Department had raided the nature park — mini zoo — on Wednesday and found 33 geese, seven turkeys, eight wild cocks, including five hens and 20 budgerigars in captivity.

The birds were found ‘‘stuffed’’ in small cages and deprived of their natural habitat.

When contacted Mr M.P. Singh, said that an Executive Engineer had been deputed to look into the matter that in what conditions the land was issued to the society to run a nature park or so-called mini zoo inside the nursery.

He further said that he had not received any notice so far and the action would be taken after proper investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile, Mr SK Sharma, clarified that the society had not taken permission as it was not required from the UT Wildlife Department as he had kept domestic birds in the nature park. He further said that permission from the CZA was sought only if he had to keep wild animals and birds in captivity.

He, however, alleged that Mr Ishwar Singh, had raided the park without giving him prior information. The Wildlife team even released the budgerigars without his consent.

‘‘I will sue the department for this act’’, he threatened.

He further said that the park was formally inaugurated by the then Mayor, Ms Shanta Hit Abhilashi.



‘Improve roads, vehicles to reduce accidents’
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
India has the highest ratio of accidents per one thousand vehicles in the world. More than 10 people die of roadside accidents in the city every month. According to trauma experts, a stringent following of rules laid down to improve the condition of roads, some changes in the vehicles being used and proper training of drivers, can reduce this number drastically in the city.

According to Prof V. K. Kak, former Director-Principal Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, who will be delivering a lecture on head injuries at the Trauma and Disaster Management CME-cum-Workshop to be held at PGI on April 27 and 28, the casualties in roadside accidents are mostly young men and women, in the age group of 15 to 35 years, mostly involving the breadearners of the families. The trauma, thus involves not just loss of a life, but ruins a complete family.

In an exclusive interview to Chandigarh Tribune, he said there were three factors involved in an accident. The first was the condition of the roads. “In India, we have the lowest mileage of constructed roads as compared to the number of registered vehicles. The city needs to be planned in a manner that roundabouts give way to traffic lights when the vehicles around it crosses a certain number.

But there are people in the city who object to any such change. And if the number of traffic lights cross a limit on a particular road, it should have a flyover also,” says Prof Kak.

The second factor is the vehicle itself. “Seat belts should be made compulsory for passengers sitting at the back of the car too and Indian cars need to include air bags, which inflate during accidents and are able to substantially save the person from injuries. Car counters too, need to be flat and not have unnecessary knobs, which can prove fatal”, says Prof Kak.

“Special legislations have laid down the minimum tread required on tyres. There is a ban on full-headlight use within city limits, but all these rules are as good as the enforcing agency. Here in the city, the rule-makers are the rule-breakers,” he says.

The person driving the vehicle is the next factor. “India is probably the only country where it is the easiest to get a driving licence. No test, no education is required. And if you are a VIP or the relative of a VIP, the licence is sent home. People with poor eyesight are on the road driving, many are epileptic and many are drunk while driving. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has on atleast two occasion, passed orders that there will not be any liquor vends within 200 yards of a national highway, but these orders are being openly flouted.” he lamented. Prof Kak also pointed out that not obeying road rules or not catering to the egos or whims of drivers are major causes of accidents too.

Talking about head injuries, Prof Kak stated that this kind of emergency is totally preventable if a little care is taken. “Helmets are a must and it is ridiculous that there is a rule for men and not women. A woman’s head is as vulnerable as a man’s and now young women are coming in with more serious injuries, that are fatal most of the times,” says Prof Kak.

To be inaugurated by the UT Administrator, a host of city doctors will be speaking at the CME which is being organised by the Department of Surgery PGI and supported by the Association of Surgeons of India. These include Prof R. S. Dhaliwal, Prof R.J. Dash, Prof K. S. Chugh, Prof V. K. Grover, Dr G. R. Verma, Dr R. K. Sharma and Prof Jaswant Rai among others.


PUDA to restrict entry into parks
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 26
With the aim to check misuse of public parks in the township, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development (PUDA) is restricting entry to parks. Officials of the horticulture wing of PUDA have begun the exercise to lock the gates of the parks in the township.

The parks are being maintained by the horticulture wing of PUDA. It was being felt by PUDA officials that the grass and green cover in the parks suffered damage during the holding of public functions. Free access to the parks allowed stray cattle to damage the plantation. The move follows a recent meeting between PUDA officials and the civic body officials in which the civic body was asked not to give permission for use of parks to hold public functions.

A number of parks in the residential areas have been developed with planting of tree saplings and mild steel railing on the outer boundary of the parks, said an official of PUDA. A nominal rate of around Rs 200 was charged for a day by the civic body to give permission for using a public park.

While asking the civic body to encourage the use of community centres for holding public functions, the PUDA officials have sought that certain open spaces in the township should be earmarked for holding functions. It could, however, not be ascertained the number of public parks which had been earmarked for holding the functions.

The Executive Officer of the civic body, Mr Harbhagwan Garg, said he had already asked the officials concerned in the civic body not to give permission of the parks being maintained by PUDA.

The civic body officials seek that the rental of the community centres should be reduced. A fee of Rs 5,000 was charged for a day. It was felt that permission for using the facility for a half day should also be given. Opposing the move of restricting the entry to the public parks, they lament that in certain phases like Phase 3A, 3B 2, and 4 there were no community centres. 


Bus overturns, boy killed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
A 15-year-old child was killed and eight others on board a Haryana Roadways bus were injured after the leafspring of the suspension kit of the bus broke into two. The bus (HR-37- 3020) was reportedly overloaded.

The accident took place this morning when the bus was travelling from Naraingarh in Ambala district to Raipur Rani via Barwala. It is learnt that a majority of the passengers were devotees on the way back after paying their obeisance at Samlesan Devi in Samlotha village, where a fair has been organised.

It is learnt that after the leaf spring of the bus gave way, the bus overturned and fell off the road near Ganauli village. The deceased was later identified as 15-year-old, Ramesh Kumar alias Tesu, a resident of Bharedo village. Those who were injured have been identified as Naresh, Dinesh, Jaswinder Singh, Rajbir, Paramjit Singh, Gulle Ram and driver Balbir Singh. One woman, Bimla Devi was also among those injured. All these people have been admitted to the Primary Health Centre, Raipur Rani.

It may be noted that this is the second incident of an overloaded bus meeting with an accident. Yesterday morning, another overloaded Jeep had fallen into a 200-feet deep gorge, while it was ferrying devotees to Samlesan Devi from Morni and nearby hamlets. Thirteen persons had been injured in this accident.


Schoolchild crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
A seven-year-old schoolchild was killed after he was run over by a tractor-trailer near Sector 25 this afternoon. The accident took place when he was crossing the road after alighting from the school bus.

The victim, Rajit Sharma, was a student of Class III in Kendriya Vidyalaya, ITBP, Bhanu. After the break, the victim, along with his sister, boarded the school bus to return home. While the siblings, along with two other children, were crossing the road, a tractor-trailer (HR-04-A-1738) that was coming at a high speed, crushed the child under its wheels.

The police has registered a case against the driver, Rakesh Kumar, under Section 304- A of the IPC. 


Army jawan electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
A 35-year-old Army jawan, Baljeet Singh, died of electrocution when he was repairing the TV antenna on the roof of his house in Behlana village.

The victim was rushed to the GMCH, Sector 32. He was declared brought dead.



Police files challan against murder accused
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 26
The UT police today filed a challan against Ashish Arora, alias Ashu, who had allegedly shot dead his brother-in-law Joginder Singh in Sector 23 on September 28 last year. The police has however, failed to recover the weapon used in the crime and to arrest one of the co-accused, Saleem Mohammad.

The police filed a challan against the accused in a case registered under Sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25, 27 and 54 of the Arms Act in the court of the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, in the afternoon. According to the police, Ashish was also wanted in several other cases.

According to prosecution, the accused along with his brother Sanjay and a friend Saleem Mohammad, had allegedly murdered Joginder Singh. Thereafter, Ashish escaped to Mumbai. It was on March 9 that a five-member police team left for Mumbai after getting production warrants from a local court. The local police had received a letter from the Oshi Bara police station, Mumbai, informing it of Arora’s arrest.

The Chandigarh Police team had to face some problems as the Mumbai Police had shown unwillingness to hand over the accused because he was also wanted in some investigations there.

Ashish was later produced in a local court on March 25 by the UT police. He was remanded in police custody and was taken to Mumbai again, but the weapon used in the crime could not be recovered. The accused’s brother, Sanjay, had already been arrested by the police.

The court had also issued a non-bailable warrant against Saleem Mohammad. According to police officials, the weapon used in the crime could be in his possession.


Man hiring taxi robbed of Rs 35,000
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 26
A resident of Sector 41 was allegedly robbed of Rs 35,000 by the occupants of a Tata Sumo he had hired to visit Hardwar here yesterday.

As per police sources, Mr Nawab hired the vehicle from Sector 22 for Hardwar. When the Sumo reached the road dividing Sectors 37 and 38, four other occupants of the vehicle forcibly removed the money kept in his bag. Later, Mr Nawab was pushed out of the vehicle and the occupants sped away. A case under Sections 382 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Resident injured

Mr Anil Kumar Sharma, a resident of Sector 39, was injured after he was hit by an unidentified vehicle on the road dividing Sectors 37 and 38 last night. He was admitted in the PGI. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

During the past 24 hours, the police received three cases of vehicle thefts from different parts of the city. Mr Luxman Singh of Sector 41 complained to the police that his scooter (CH-01-M-6687) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17 here yesterday. Mr Amit Sharma, a resident of Sector 38, reported to the police that his Maruti car (CHK-9455) was stolen from his residence on Wednesday night. Mr Abhimanyu Kashyap, a resident of Boy Hostel No. 3, Panjab University, also reported that his scooter (HR-14-1365) was stolen from the hostel on Wednesday night.


A Sector11 resident, Mr Roshan, reported to the police that a camera, a gold chain, a gold ring and Rs 3,000 were stolen from his house on Wednesday night. The thieves reportedly entered the house after breaking the lock. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

Gang of women held

SAS Nagar
An alert 73-year-old resident of Phase III-B2 today helped the police in nabbing a gang of women involved in incidents of snatching in the town. Aged between 17 and 30 years, the women on the pretext of drinking water entered the house of Mr Kirpal Singh and snatched a bag containing Rs 20,000.

According to the information available, the victim was bringing the money from a bank after his fixed deposit had matured. The women, Ram Sari (25), Jyoti (17), Meena (19), Nabo (30) and Reshma (25) followed him to his house and asked for water.

The DSP, Mr H.S. Bhullar, said they refused to drink the tap water and asked for the cold water. When he went to get cold water, one of the women snatched the bag containing the cash and tried to run away on an autorickshaw. A police patrol party in the area arrested the women. The Station House Officer, Phase 8, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, said the women would be produced in the court tomorrow.

During the preliminary investigation the women confessed that they had come from the Chandigarh Railway Station and were familiar with the escape routes from SAS Nagar and Panchkula. A case under Sections 380 and 452 of the IPC has been registered.


A government employee, Prithpal Singh, has been booked by the Central Police Station for allegedly assaulting two traffic constables, Didar Singh and Pawamjeet Singh, at the Chawla traffic lights near Phase VII here. The suspect was driving a scooter without a helmet. When signalled to stop at the traffic lights, he slapped the traffic cops. A police official said the scooterist was in an inebriated state. At the time of the filing of this report, the medical examination of the scooterist was being done at the Phase VI Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, the traffic police today challaned 50 vehicles for violation. The in charge of the traffic police, Mr V.K. Vaid, said six cars were also challaned for using black films.

Kenyan national booked

A Kenyan national, Christofer Keer, has been booked by the police under the Foreigners Act. Christofer, a resident of Sector 40, was found loitering near the Chawla nursing home in Phase 7. He could not produce any document to prove his identification.


44 porno CDs seized
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 26
The CIA branch of the city police raided six cyber cafes and audio cassettes shops in different parts of the city and claimed to have recovered 44 CDs of X-rated movies and arrested six persons yesterday.

According to the police sources, 15 CDs were recovered from Sanjay Kumar of Sector 22 who runs a cyber cafe in Sector 22, six from Manoj who runs TM Music in Sector 20, 14 from Rajinder of Raj Studio, Sector 35, one from Inderjit Singh of Video Vision, Sector 9, five from Varinder Singh of Dua Audio Cassettes, Sector 27, and four from Sukh Pal Singh of Friends Video, Sector 23. All persons were arrested.



Admn to encourage investments in IT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The city is fast emerging as one of the most important IT-enabled services centre. To encourage investment in this field, the Administration is working hard towards providing the best of infrastructural facilities and an environment that is conducive to the growth of IT industry, said Mr Vivek Atrey, Director, IT and DPR, UT Administration, while addressing a seminar on “Call centre-2002”, at the CII here yesterday.

Mr Atrey said the increasing pool of trained manpower in the field of IT was attracting MNCs from various places here. Talking about the call centres, he said this business is growing at 60 per cent per annum, which would mean additional employment opportunities.

Regarding the efforts being made by the UT Administration, he said the aim was to have infrastructural facilities as those present at places like Gurgaon, Bangalore and Hyderabad, which have witnessed tremendous growth in this field. The upcoming IT park would also cater to the requirements of this industry where apart from other facilities, the companies would be able to get improved bandwidth for high speed data transfer.

About the recession in the field of IT, Mr Atrey said the companies which had a strong base have been performing well.

Mr Darvesh Kumar, talking about the importance of customer service in the call centre business, emphasised on providing the best services to the customers. He said there can be no compromise when it comes to services. “Today the industry is moving towards a phase where holistic approach that ensures individual attention to the customer has to be paid”, he added.

Mr Ashish Gupta, Head, Hero Mindmine, the organisation which organised the event talked about the increasing popularity of call centres. “A lot of graduates start looking for career opportunities in high growth industries and call centre industry is offering immense potential”, he said.

Col J.S. Randhawa, vice-president, Customer Care, Spice, spoke about manpower quality for call centres.


Punjab has immense tourism potential: Sekhri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, today announced that Punjab would shortly be on the world tourism map.

Inaugurating a three-day international travel and tourism exhibition organised by the India Travel Mart, Mr Sekhri said Punjab and Chandigarh had tremendous potential for holding various tourism events throughout the year These events could generate lot of direct and indirect employment and through the multiplier effect, boost the economy of the region.

Mr Sekhri said Punjab planned to develop religious tourism, cultural tourism and road tourism. While Amritsar and Anandpur Sahib would be developed as religious tourism spots, because of the Golden Temple and other gurdwaras, Patiala was a fit site for development of cultural tourism, because of Sheesh Mahal and the fort. Road tourism could be developed on the 250 km four-lane stretch of G.T. Road from Shambhu barrier to Amritsar. Mr Sekhri said if the central divider of the GT Road could be beautified by growing flowers, the highways at Punjab would be pleasantly different. He added that Amritsar could be the gateway to northern India. He said the Punjab Government was toying with the idea of inviting private individuals for the development of tourism in the state. The Amritsar airport could also play a vital role in the promotion of tourism in the state as well as in northern India. The Minister said his department was working on short and long-term plans for the promotion of tourism.

The Minister appreciated the efforts of ITFT-Chandigarh (Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends) for bringing in such a mega event to Chandigarh. He also met all exhibitors who had come from Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Taj Group of Hotels, hotels from Goa, Malaysia, Dubai, Thailand and others from the private sector. There would be attractive lucky draws organised every day of the fair.

Maj (Dr) Gulshan Sharma, Director of the ITFT, Chandigarh, appreciated Mr Ajay Gupta, Managing Director of India Travel Mart, for bringing such a mega event to Chandigarh.


LIC’s best agents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
Ms Monika Abrol, a Life Insurance Corporation agent, has set a new record by being selected as the best agent for the Panchkula branch of the LIC for the fourth consecutive year. She recorded a new business performance of Rs 6.41 crore of sum assured with the first premium income of Rs 33 lakh with 201 policies for the last financial year.

Mr Dharminder Abrol, another agent has occupied the second position in the sum assured by completing a business of Rs 4.33 crore with first premium income of Rs 23 lakh.

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