Friday, September 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU student council to have direct elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Putting to rest anxiety among campus students, Panjab University today decided to conduct direct elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council in the current academic session.

The university also decided to conduct direct elections to the student bodies in affiliated colleges located in the city. It was also decided that the university will ask Punjab Government to allow elections in affiliated colleges located all over the state, mainly in Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Ferozepore districts.

The university has decided that the elections will be conducted “soon”. The university also decided to convey it to the administration that security and peace on the campus in the wake of the elections will be the responsibility of the local police.

A decision to this regard was taken at a high level meeting under the chairmanship of Prof K. N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor. The meeting was also attended by Principals of local colleges, including Principal P. S. Sangha (SGGS College, Sector 26), Principal A. C. Vaid (GGDSD College, Sector 32), Principal Vijayalakshmi (GCG, Sector 42), Principal S. N. Singla (GCM, Sector 11), Principal Usha Wahi Khetarpal (GCG, Sector 11), Principal Harjinder Kaur (GGS College for Women, Sector 26) and Principal S. C. Marriya (DAV College, Sector 10). The meeting was also attended by the university DUI, Registrar and the Controller of Examination.

It was pointed out in the meeting that university could not go ahead with the elections without the presence of the major student bodies. It is worthwhile to mention that the top leaders of the Students Organisation of Panjab University and the (SOPU) Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) are lodged in Burail jail following a case of altercation between the two groups.

Malwinder Singh Kang, the likely presidential candidate of the PUSU and Harveer Singh, the likely presidential candidate of the SOPU, are both behind the bars at the moment. The bail applications moved by the top leaders will come up for hearing at the court of the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge.

The other prominent student organisation, the ABVP, had hit the headlines of the local newspapers in the past few days in connection with the student agitation in colleges over the cancellation of September house tests and enhancement of lecture requirement to 75 per cent from 66 per cent from the current session onwards.. The ABVP was viewing the ‘very partial’ acceptance of its demands as a big success.

Principals who attended the meeting were not in favour of the elections. This was pointed out even in an earlier meeting with the UT officials. It was felt that elections in the UT colleges should be allowed only after Punjab allowed elections in all its colleges.

The ABVP, however, had said it would be forced to launch another agitation in case the university did not allow direct elections, even in local affiliated colleges.

The university will have to balance its session keeping in mind the house tests and the autumn break.


PGI Director may get more fiscal powers
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
With the rent of commercial sites within the PGI complex ranging from Rs 800 to Rs 8.36 lakh per month, the issue of delegation of full powers by the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) to the Director for approval of tenders will be taken up at the meeting, so as to avoid loss of revenue to the institute.

The PGI, through item number 20 in the agenda for the September 28 meeting, will seek the approval of the committee to give powers to the Director for floating detailed tenders without any upper limit and to decide the tenders up to an annual value of Rs 2.50 crore in each case. The Director, AIIMS, has powers to invite and accept tenders up to an extent of Rs 50 lakh in each case.

As per the Regulation 23 (2) (e) of the PGIMER, Chandigarh Regulation, 1967, the powers on all such matters vest with the committee. The reasons being cited for delegation of these powers to the Director is that with the meeting of the committee not being held frequently which leads to delay in deciding the fresh tenders or renewing the old ones.

It has been pointed out in the agenda that practically every month two to three cases have to be decided as the lease for these commercial sites is for one year. “ Leaving these sites vacant for a long period for want of the committee meeting will not only lead to loss of revenue but will create inconvenience to patients,” is the reason for seeking delegation of powers.

Commercial sites, including shops, are a major source of revenue for the institute. Shops given out to chemists have a monthly rent of Rs 8.36 lakh.

The issue of approval of tender for the construction of Advanced Trauma Centre at the cost of Rs 11.22 crore will also be taken up at the meeting. The name of the company which has quoted the lowest rate, out of a total of eight, will be decided by the committee.

The issue assumes significance in view of the CBI raids at the construction site of the Advanced Cardiac and Eye Centres last month amidst allegations that there were irregularities in approval of tenders in favour of a particular company.

The issue of creation of 115 posts of 28 categories on contract basis in the Advanced Paediatric Centre will also be placed before the committee for approval. The proposal for creation of 222 posts for the paediatric centre, Phase II, has already been granted approval by the Ministry of Health and Finance. The matter is being brought before the committee for making of budgetary provision.

Other proposals to be placed in the meeting include grant of pensionary benefits to the pensioners drawing Punjab pay scales, change of option from Contributory Provident Scheme to Pension-cum- Gratuity Scheme, creation of two posts of Junior Laboratory Technician in nuclear medicine, creation of one post of Hindi translator , revision of pay scale attached to the post of the Registrar and granting of higher scales, upgradation, redesignation and grant of two advance increment to Additional Professor to give them a higher start.



Kayak’s body comes up on Sukhna surface
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The worst fears of Mr Balbir Singh — father of 19-year-old kayak Ravi Ankit of the Central Protection Police Force (CRPF) who went missing in the Sukhna Lake on Tuesday — came true this morning when his son’s body was found floating on the water at about 5.45 am. The body was found near the regulator end of the lake.

A Sub-Inspector of the CRPF, Raguveer Singh Chauhan, who along six other personnel, was camping at the lake was the first to see the feet of the victim, and immediately the motor boat was requisitioned to the take out the body. The body had apparently been pushed towards the regulator end by a fishing net used by local fisherman (who were looking for the body) on Tuesday, said an official of the Chandigarh Police.

When the father of the victim got the news, he could not hold back his tears. His endless wait ended with dreams shattered. “We were planning to marry him and had high hopes from him”, said a sobbing Mr Balbir Singh, who had come from his native Karer village on Tuesday evening.

After the autopsy of the body at the Sector 16 General Hospital, the body was handed over to officials of the Hallomajra-based 28th battalion of the CRPF. The body was sent to Ravi’s native village after the official ceremony of paying last respects to him.

Though the autopsy report was yet to be given to the police, sources said there no external or internal injury mark on the body. The viscera has been sent for chemical examination to Patiala. To check the possibility of a cardiac arrest, a test was also conducted.

An ace kayak, Ravi had won a gold medal in an All-India championship and was preparing for a forthcoming national championship. It was a usual day for Ravi as he along with his colleagues and a team of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) had gone to practise in the water channel of the lake.

A few moments before he went missing at about 7.30 am on Tuesday, the promising kayak was seen about 250 m from the regulator end of the lake. The kayak used by the victim was found lying upside down.


Minor reshuffle of UT officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Chandigarh Administration today ordered a minor re-shuffle of middle-level officials and appointed Mrs Madhvi Kataria as Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), south replacing Mr H. S. Kandola of this additional charge.

Mrs Kataria will also be incharge of continuing education programme relieving Mr Prithi Chand, SDM (central), of this additional duty. Mr Kandola will continue to work as Joint Director, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32. In addition to this he will be Director Industries, relieving Mr S. P. Arora, SDM (east), of this additional duty.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Inderjit Sandhu, has been given more responsibility in addition to his existing duties. He will now also work as Director, Social Welfare-cum-Managing Director of the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial and Development Corporation. He will also work as MD of the Chandigarh Women’s and Child Development Corporation. All this work till now was being handled by Mrs Kataria.

The Chief General Manager of the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism and Industrial Corporation (CITCO), Mr N. S. Brar, will now also look after the work of Director, Hospitality, relieving the Joint Secretary, Home, Mr Ashok Sangwan, of this additional duty.


Unrepentant, he ‘plans’ another crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The eerie silence behind the bars does not stop the 42-year-old notorious cheat, Gurdip Singh, from planning yet another white collar crime.

“I do not regret what I have done in the past 20 years and will now again commit a crime involving at least Rs 100 crore”, boasted the unrepentant cheat while talking to mediapersons at the Operation Cell in Sector 26 here today.

From getting duplicate books of known world renowned publishers published to arranging fake green cards for illegal immigrants, the “ace” cheat has done it all. He regrets he had always been caught in the country and abroad due to a fault of his accomplices or beneficiaries but was never caught red-handed. This is the reason I have always come out of the jail, adds Gurdip.

For this 42-year-old college dropout, the life took a spin when he got the idea of printing duplicate books of a UK-based company in 1982 and minted Rs 25,000 profit in the gamble. During questioning by the police he confessed of having arranged green cards for over 200 immigrants under an amnesty offer by the US government in 1982. Says Gurdip, “I command a lot of respect in the Doaba belt for sending their people aboard”.

Gurdip used to arrange fake documents for illegal immigrants and charge money for it. After being caught by the FBI on December 23, 1989, for arranging green cards for the immigrants, he was released on January 31, 1990, after he turned state approver in the case. He nearly escaped from being caught again by the FBI in the same illegal business when he had left USA.

He was deported from Korea, Malaysia and Poland for sending illegal immigrants to USA through these countries.

Gurdip told the police that he had remained in jail for 14 months and 25 days — the maximum term being of nine months and 15 days in Amritsar jail.

I was always over ambitious in life

*Being over zealous to prove his intelligence has always landed Gurdip in trouble. Having an ancestral property worth Rs 2.5 crore and a shopping complex in Delhi was not enough for him and he went on to explore the world of white-collar crime.


Silver doors at Mansa Devi shrine before Navratras
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
The Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board proposes to replace wooden doors of sanctum sanctorum of the shrine with silver carved doors before the onset of Navratras in October.

Sources inform that negotiations are under way with silver craftsmen from Jaipur and Amritsar for carrying out the work on two silver doors. The board has conceptualised these doors having silver plating and floral carvings and carvings depicting religious symbols.

Officials say they are looking up to donors for donating silver for construction of these doors. However, in case donors are not forthcoming, the board will use silver items donated at the shrine for making these doors.

Meanwhile, a team of experts from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is carrying out restoration work on murals in this 175-year-old shrine. While work on the Singh Dwaar has been completed, restoration work on the murals (which belong to the Kangra School of Art) in the sanctum sanctorum is still on.

Mansa Devi is situated on the foothills of the Shivaliks and is a Shakti Peeth, which is thronged by lakhs of devotees each year. The main temple was built by Raja Gopal Dass of Mani Majra, while the Patiala temple was built later by Rani Raj Kaur of Patiala. Ever since a board was constituted by the state government for its maintenance, extensive work on its maintenance has been carried out.

The sanctum sanctorum of the temple as well as the Singh Dwaar have as many as 10 panels of Kangra style paintings. The paintings, in different colours, adorn upper walls and ceilings of “parikarma” of the sanctum sanctorum. The paintings depict Hindu mythological legends, mainly those of Mother Goddess in her various manifestations. While legends of Mother Durga, as Asur Vardhini, are depicted in majority of murals, paintings depicting legends related to Goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi can also be seen at a few places. Geometric patterns, floral designs and paintings of animals can also be seen here.

Long neglect, wearing out of plaster, cracks, human vandalism (in case of paintings at head level), defacing, deposition of dust, soot and salt, and loss of pigment etc. have led to decay of these exquisite paintings over the years.

It was only in January this year, at the instance of the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, that officials of the ASI finally agreed to carry out the restoration work. A team of experts led by Director, Science, ASI, Mr R. K. Sharma, had earlier visited the shrine in September, 2001 to assess the damage and then work out the cost.

After the board had deposited a sum of Rs 1.21 lakh with the ASI for carrying out the restoration work, the work finally began. Since the main artist of the ASI is presently away to Jammu and Kashmir on an assignment the work cannot be completed before Navratras that begin from October 7. But the authorities are expecting him to return next month and the work is expected to finish by the end of this year. 


On pre-shraadh shopping spree
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, September 19
Manisha does not believe in making lists, nevertheless she is carrying one in her handbag. No, the 26-year-old housewife has not turned forgetful all of a sudden, but wants to buy every thing that is essential before the shraadhs begin.

No wonder, she is maintaining a long list running into two pages. “It contains details of household items including electric iron and also clothes I want to wear during a party being held at the residence of a friend next week,” says Manisha, a resident of Sector 23. “I have even included a double bed in the list which I want to buy before my mother-in-law reaches the city ”.

She adds, “As far as the party dress is concerned, I purchased the cloth today and will give it for stitching tomorrow just before the shraadhs begin. To be on the safer side, I have even made the full payment to the tailor. All other new clothes, I will be trying tomorrow so that they are no more new”.

You may call her superstitious, or someone who is “still bound by the shackles of tradition but Manisha, is not disturbed by such epithets.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I alongwith my sister, was taught not to buy new things during shraadhs,” she says adding. Manisha is not the only one-buying things before the shraadhs begin on September 21. Several other city residents too are taking home the goods. Among them are Rahul and Sunidhi Khanna of Sector 46. Their daughter is getting married during the Navratras and “this is the right time for buying all the stuff”.

“You should normally buy things during the Navratras as it is the most auspicious period,” says Ms Khanna. “But since our daughter is getting married during this period and we will not be left with enough time to do all the essential shopping, so we are buying whatever we can before the shraadhs.”.

The effect of this “panic buying” is there for all to see. “More and more residents are coming to the market for buying jewellery and wedding gifts,” says Sector 35 shopkeeper Arun Kapoor. “That is the reason why our sales have shot up by as much as 20 per cent since the beginning of this week.

Well, Handa couple and all other residents apprehensive of buying things during shraadhs, here is some good news for you from religious heads. “You can buy things on the seventh and eighth shraadh as these days are considered auspicious’’, believes Ms Naresh Sharma of Sector 39.


Mahila Cong chief addresses city party workers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
The All-India Mahila Congress will urge Congress President Sonia Gandhi to allot 33 per cent of party ticket for the next Lok Sabha elections to women. In the past some years, the number of women MPs in both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha have fallen. This was stated by Ms Chandresh Kumari, president of the All-India Mahila Congress, while addressing party workers in Sector 35 here today.

Women were averse to fight elections especially the Lok Sabha election because of criminalisation and money power in politics, Ms Chandresh Kumari said praising the Election Commission for its efforts to check criminalisation in politics, she hoped that this would inspire women to participate in politics.

She claimed that the Congress was committed to the passage of women reservation Bill but the BJP was divided on the issue. The Vajpayee government was not interested in the passage of the Bill. She further claimed that when the Congress would come to power, the Bill would be passed.

She announced that on October 1 a one-day seminar on “Woman Peace” would be held in Delhi, which would be presided over by Ms Sonia Gandhi. She also expressed her desire to contest from Dharmasala Assembly constituency during the forthcoming Himachal Pradesh elections. Among others who were present on the occasion included local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and some senior Congress leaders.


MPs to visit city from Sept 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will start its two- day visit to Chandigarh from Monday morning. This is an inspection-cum-study tour for the MPs. Out of the 45 MPs on the committee the Chandigarh Administration had received confirmation from 19 till late tonight. The number can even go up.

Led by Congress stalwart and former Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee, the team is scheduled to arrive here on Sunday night on board the Shatabdi. The UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will host a dinner for them on Sunday night itself.

On Monday morning the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, will make a presentation detailing the development work and present an overall picture of Chandigarh. The UT Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, will give a presentation on the financial position and revenue generation.

On the same day the MPs will have a few site visits thrown in. They will be visiting various projects being carried out by the Administration like the upcoming Botanical Gardens, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, The Sukhna Lake and see for themselves the process of computerisation initiated in the Administration.

On Tuesday matters of the Municipal Corporation will be discussed and the MPs will meet the councillors. While Mr Mukherjee is expected to depart by Tuesday evening others will return on Wednesday morning or afternoon.

A background note on Chandigarh has already been despatched. Each MP will be assigned a protocol officer during his or her stay in Chandigarh. The duty of this person will be to with the MP during the entire period. Super deluxe coaches have been arranged to ferry the MPS to various sites.


Sohini preparing for Miss India contest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
Where Sohini Jaitly lacks as an experienced model, she makes up for this with her charm and enthusiasm. Sohini recently won the “Face of the Year” title by beating 15 contestants in a contest organised in Mumbai. A student of Bachelor of Mass Media with specialisation in advertising, Sohini is all set to set the ramp and modelling scenario ablaze.

“I have done a few modelling assignments but winning this title has given a solid platform to work as a professional model.” Her major assignments, include Axe-effect deodorant, Khoobsurat and a music album by Whispy. Besides, she has also worked for a ramp show organised by the National Institute of Fashion Technology and another organised by a German hair care company.

Sohini while pursuing her studies is also grooming herself for the “Femina Miss India 2004”.

Sohini was here for an advertisement campaign for the Bausch and Lomb. The company aims to popularise the use of contact lenses as a means of optical correction as well as for cosmetic purposes. Saying that in India there has been a 15 to 20 per cent growth in lens-wearers, the company maintains that in the younger generation, contact lenses have served as a means of boosting confidence. 


Ex-Services League meeting on Oct 26
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 19
The annual general body meeting of the Indian Ex-Services League, UT, will be held on October 26 at Giani Gurmukh Singh Bhavan in Sector 24. According to the general secretary of the league, Major Prem Singh (retd), the notice of resolutions, besides points proposed to be moved or raised for the welfare of ex-servicemen and their widows should be sent in writing to him before October 10. These should be duly seconded by at least one member entitled to vote.

He added that during the meeting annual report for the year 2001-2002 would be presented, along with audited accounts and balance sheet up to March 31. Any other point raised by members would also be discussed with the permission of the Chair. 


Finance firm owners booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Chandigarh police has registered a cheating case against a Sector 36 based finance company for duping two investors of Rs 3 lakh.

According to information, Mr P.S. Dhawan, a resident of Sector 16, complained that he was cheated of Rs 2 lakh by Dawn Financial Services.

The complainant, a former employee of the UT Treasury, had gone to a branch of the Bank of Punjab to invest his life savings. There he met Jaswinder Mann, who told him to invest the money with the finance company.

A case has been registered against Jaswant Singh Mann, Sumeet Mann and Khushal, all owners of the company.

Man cheated

In another similar case, Ram Asre, a resident of Colony 4, complained that unidentified persons cheated him on the pretext of providing him currency notes of smaller denomination in lieu of Rs 1,000.

The complainant had withdrawn the money from a Sector 28 branch of Punjab National Bank.

Family members booked

The police has registered a case against three members of a family of Sector 38 for allegedly assaulting a lawyer, his wife and their nephew. According to an FIR, Sumeet Arora, entered the house of Mr Brijinder Singh, an advocate in Sector 38, and allegedly assaulted him and his wife.

Their relative was also allegedly assaulted by Sumeet. Parents of Sumeet were present when their son was allegedly assaulting Brijinder.

The victim in his complaint said on September 16, workers of the Municipal Corporation were repairing kerb channels when Sumeet Arora and his family members started abusing MC workers.

When the complainant tried to intervene, Sumeet allegedly assaulted Brijinder and his wife.

Tyres stolen

As many as 90 tyres and tubes were stolen from an industrial plot in Industrial Area, Phase II, on the night intervening September 17 and 18.

The theft was reported by Udatha Ramesh.

A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.


Two held

A resident of Sector 8, Mr Neeraj Goyal, on Thursday caught two persons, while they were trying to flee after allegedly snatching a chain.

It is learnt that Mr Goyal was standing outside his house at around 1 pm when he heard a woman’s cries for help. The woman, Ms Neena Madan was screaming for help after two motor cycle-borne youths snatched her gold chain, while she was returning back from work.

He followed the two accused in his car and managed to catch them. They have been identified as Sunil and Kala. Soon a number of people gathered on the spot and the police was informed. A packet of red chilli powder was also seized from them.

House burgled

The house of Mr Dinesh Jain, SDO, Irrigation Department, was broken into by miscreants . He was putting up in Transit Flats, Sector 12-A, and was away to attend a wedding at Malerkotla when the incident took place.

The entire house was ransacked. The extent of loss could not be ascertained.


Auto-show displays latest car models
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Canadian Institute of Computer Science and Technology (CICST), an institution promoted by Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services Limited, celebrated its second anniversary last night.

Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Punjab Minister for PWD (B&R), was the chief guest on the occasion. Brian Tamblyn, president of Georgian College, and John Bobbette, vice-president, Student and International Services, also attended the function.

The celebrations took off with a mini-auto-show. Almost all passenger car manufacturing companies in India took part in it. Maruti, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Fiat, Mercedes, Hindustan Motors, General Motors etc. displayed their latest models.

The institute director, Mr Bruce Condie, talked about automobile engineering courses in manufacturing and product design to be launched next year, starting of the CISCO certification, and hotel and resort management courses to be offered in the future.

The model of the new college was also unveiled. The new campus would be spread over 45 acres and include multimedia classrooms and labs, hostel, swimming pool, gymnasium, playgrounds, auditoriums, recreation rooms, learning resource centre and a lot more.

An MoU was exchanged between Mr Bruce Condie, institute director, CIIS and Dr Rizwan Haq, Dean, Computer Studies, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, to offer four-years Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Laurentian University in India. Laurentian is a bilingual English-French University.

The CIIS also announced the best Co-op employer of the year award, which was presented to Mr M.J.S. Bindra, location head, Tubes Products of India, Rs 4600 crore Murugappa group company. Other companies in the portfolio are TI Bicycles and TI Diamonds. The selection of the best Co-op employer was done by monitoring more than 25 specific parameters laid down by Georgian College, Canada.


Canadian Automotive Institute was launched on the premises of the Canadian Institute of Computer Science and Technology here today. With this the automotive programme of Georgian College, Canada, was here in India.

Mr Bruce Condie, Director of the institute, told mediapersons at a press conference here that the aim was to provide world class education in India and that too at a lesser cost.

It is a three-year programme that consists of six academic semesters and three co-op work terms. Canadian Automotive Institute here is an extension campus of Georgian College, Ontario, Canada. The campus has state of art facilities and services, including well-equipped computer labs, audio-visual centres, blackboard system as software, 512 kbps internet connectivity speed, multimedia classrooms, learning resource centres, etc.

Mr Condie said the faculty was a mix of Canadians and Indians. Their ratio at present was 20 to 30 per cent of Canadians and the rest Indians. He said the Indian faculty members were given training in Canada. The Canadian Automotive Institute could boast of a graduate placement rate of as high as 98 per cent, he added.

He said a plus two student from any stream was eligible to join the course after clearing an entrance test. Col B.S. Sandhu (retd), CMD, WWICS, said so far Rs 8 crore to Rs 10 crore had been invested in setting up the institute and the amount would double when it would be further expanded. 


Only the fittest will survive in Telecom
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Ashok Goyal
Ashok Goyal

MR Ashok Goyal loves challenges. He likes to meet them head on and overcome them. This is just what he is trying to do to his latest challenge as the head honcho of the Rs 1,700 crore Spice Telecom in Punjab in the face of ever-increasing competition.

Mr Goyal became the Executive Director of Spice which is Punjab's premier mobile phone service provider and is the first cellular operator in India to be ISO-9001-2000 certified for its entire operations. Spice has an extensive network across more than 100 cities and towns in the state, covering 93% of Punjab's urban area.

In addition, it also covers more than 2000 km of roads and highways of Punjab including connectivity on the National Highway GT Road. Spice has roaming tie-ups with all national and over 100 international cellular operators. It has a subscriber base of more than 3,90,000 subscribers in Punjab, supported by a strong operational and billing network.

Mr Goyal holds as many as five degrees: he is a qualified chartered accountant who later did his LLB. He is also a qualified cost accountant and a company secretary and now done MBA from London. He has also had the proud privilege of starting country's first mobile cellphone company, Modi Telstar, way back in 1994-95.

Born and brought up in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Goyal says that he loves Chandigarh and Punjab and the way the people of Punjab have responded to and patronised his company. He is equally appreciative of his team and the enthusiastic manner in which it responds to the demands of the market and implements the company's policies. He started his career in British Indian Woolen company which makes Dhariwal and Lal Imli suitings. Later, he joined Modi Xerox and also launched Modi Telestar, the cellphone company. He was overseeing the operations of Spice Telecom from Delhi before shifting to Chandigarh earlier this year.

He has remained chairman of northern regional chapter of Institute of Company Secretaries, chairman of NOIDA chapter of Chartered Accountants and member of experts committees of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FICCI and CII.

Mr Goyal has deeply studied the market which he says is going through a churning process right now. And despite various constraints, Spice Telecom has increased the number of its transmission towers in the state from 100 to 160 and plans to hit the figure of 200 towers by the end of the year.

"Telecom has a long gestation period. Everybody knows that you cannot make profit from day one. Spice Telecom has been making an operating profit but is still some way away from making a net profit".

Telecom market, he feels, is getting more crowded with the entry of new companies but ultimately he is sure that there will only be a few players. "I foresee only a handful of national players and regional players in the days to come.

There will be a series of mergers, groups and alliances and ultimately, only a handful will be able to survive and operate. In Punjab, I foresee a tremendous growth in which three-four operators can function comfortably".


Internet company enters ASEAN
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Best Internet Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Chandigarh-based ISO-9001 company, has announced the launching of its operations in ASEAN countries. Ms Harjinder Kaur, Chairperson, and Mr Sapan Jain, President of the company, said here today that the company had already launched its operations in Nepal and was successfully offering various e-services, e-solutions, on-line education and Internet telephony to its clients. The company has been invited by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, to participate in GITEX-2002, the third largest IT event in the world likely to be held in Dubai from October 12 to 19.


Company drops CD prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Saregama (India), in an effort to make quality music more affordable to all, has introduced new CD prices. Now music lovers can buy Saregama albums in CD format across a wide range of genres, including catalogue music, new Hindi film music, non-Hindi film music, regional and international music, starting from Rs 99 per CD.

Commenting on this initiative, Mr Abhik Mitra, Managing Director, Saregama (India), says: “Ardent music lovers have so far been buying CDs of their favorite artistes on pirated CDs, which do not allow them to experience the ultimate audio quality or source the best of the songs. With our entire range of catalogue music, we have made it more affordable for the common man to have his own CD collection. The new prices are extremely affordable ”.

This drop in prices is a step to cater to music lovers and also combat music piracy in the country. 

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