Saturday, November 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Infosys to set up Rs 100 cr centre in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The Union Territory Administration today took a major step towards becoming a major IT destination of the North when it signed an MoU with a leading software development company of the world, Infosys Technologies Limited, for the establishment of a Rs 100-crore software development centre in the City Beautiful.

The MoU was signed at Punjab Raj Bhavan in the presence of Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.), Governor of Punjab and Administrator of UT, by Mr Karan Avtar Singh, Secretary, IT, Chandigarh Administration, and Mr H.R. Binod, Associate Vice-President, Commercial and Facilities, Infosys Technologies Limited. Under the agreement, 20 acres of land would be allotted to the IT major which would be the anchor company of the Chandigarh Technology Park.

As per the agreement, Infosys would set up a Rs 100-crore Software Development Centre at the Chandigarh Technology Park in the next five years and would employ up to 2,400 professionals. During the first phase, Infosys would invest Rs 30 crores and would employ 600 professionals. This would be the first large software development campus to be set up by Infosys in North India.

Representatives of the industry, including the Chairman of the Northern Region of the CII, Mr S.K. Bijlani, the Chairman of the Chandigarh Chapter of the CII, Mr Y. Saboo, the President of the Chandigarh Chapter of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Vikram Sahgal, and senior officers of the Union Territory Administration, including the Secretary (Industries), Mr G.K. Marwaha, the IGP, Mr B.S. Bassi, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said Chandigarh was fast emerging as the technology hub of North India and it was a matter of pride for the residents that Infosys had decided to set up a large campus here. The advent of Infosys would provide high-quality employment to the young professionals of the city and the region. He said the technology park would provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to IT and IT-enabled services companies to set up their facilities. He said the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) was helping the Administration in promoting software exports from Chandigarh, which were expected to touch Rs 100 crores this year, and would increase significantly with the entry of Infosys here. The STPI would also set up high speed data connectivity facilities at the technology park.

It may be added that it was with the special efforts of General Jacob that Infosys had agreed to be the anchor company for the technology park. The Chairman of Infosys, Mr N.R. Narayanamurthy, met General Jacob earlier this year and also visited the technology park site. General Jacob also addressed CEOs of leading IT companies at the IT.Com event in Bangalore on October 30, and invited them to set up their facilities in Chandigarh. He also visited the Bangalore campus of Infosys on the same day.

The technology park is spread over an area of 111 acres and comprises large anchor plots, sub anchor plots, built to suit sites and ready built space. An Entrepreneur Development Centre is also being set up at the technology park site. Set in the backdrop of the Kasauli hills, the technology park provides the ideal setting for IT companies to set up their facilities. The consultants for the project are M/s Jones Lang LaSalle. Infosys currently has a 200-persons strong development centre at Mohali.



Bring in Model Rent Act’
Tribune News Service


  • Landlords seek special courts for quick settlement of cases; want the Model Rent Act to be implemented.
  • The Pind Bachao Committee and the UT Villages Property Owners Association wants the Rs 1,500 limit to be reduced to Rs 500.
  • The Beopar Mandal wants the amendments withdrawn; continues to protest.

Chandigarh, November 15
The number of property owners who welcome the recent amendments in the rent Act grew here today. A few hundred landlords attended the meeting of the Joint Action Forum of the Properties Owners Associations in a Sector 26 showroom.

Landlords said the Chandigarh Administration should, now, bring in the Model Rent Act and check the practice of renting out premises on ‘pugree’ (huge security deposits). The need for setting up special courts for quick settlement of cases was also stressed. A landlord who attended the meeting said property that was more than 10-year-old should not be governed by the rent Act.

The landlords were joined by Mr Angrez Singh Badheri, president of the Pind Bachao Committee, who called for unity among landlords. He said this was the first benefit that had been given to land owners, which was a good step. Mr Badheri said there should be no ceiling on the property in villages.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, one of the landlords at the meeting, said the recent amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act of 1949 was a small benefit given by the Administration and a big one would be to implement the Model Rent Act. He said the Act was to be implemented in Haryana and Punjab. The Administration notification says that property rented out at less than Rs 1,500 per month will be governed by the provisions of the Act.

At the meeting today, the landlords said a clause for fixed nominal increase in rent be included in the Act. This would bring a balance in the otherwise lopsided rent Act favouring tenants, it was said. This would reduce property grabbings by tenants.

Meanwhile, the UT Villages Property Owners Association also held a meeting here and said the UT Administration should decrease the Rs 1,500 limit to Rs 500. It also called for assessment of rents.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal also continued to hold meetings in various city markets. On November 18, a rally will begin from near Neelam Cinema in Sector 17 at 11 am. Traders will pass through various sectors of the city and end the rally in Sector 44.

A delegation of the mandal met the UT Finance Secretary here today and told him that several tenants had already been served eviction notices.



Mortar shell found in Sec 38
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
A trunch mortar shell (used in a rocket launcher) was found from a vacant plot near the Prajapati Bhavan, Sector 38-A here tonight. The ammunition — almost 1.25 feet long and shaped like a fish — was found at around 8.30 pm. An anonymous caller had reportedly informed the Police Control Room of the ammunition lying in shrubs near the Prajapati Bhavan.

The information was immediately forwarded to the Sector 39 police station. The bomb disposal squad, quick reaction squad, dog squad, Crime Branch and Operations Cell officials, along with officials from the Sector 39 police station, immediately rushed to the spot with a posse’ of cops. The entire area was cordoned off and the mortar was found.

The bomb disposal squad of the police was also not sure if the mortar was live. But they pointed out that the mortar was harmless till the firing pin was intact. It was then carefully lifted by the police and placed in a police Gypsy and brought to the Sector 39 police station.

Senior officials informed that the mortar was then kept in the open space outside the police station, after it was covered with sand bags from all sides. One cop has also been deputed near this place to keep a watch on the mortar.

The local police has been put on alert after the recovery of this high-intensity shell from within a thickly pouplated residential area, close to highly protected VIP area (Sector 39). Punjab, being high on ISI target list, this recovery becomes significant, especially in the wake of Kashmir elections and the political developments in the region.

Well-placed sources in the police, while expressing surprise at the discovery of this potent artillery shell for the first time in Chandigarh, said they would inform the Army authorities at Chandi Mandir tomorrow morning and hand it over to them.



blows up police claim
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 15
The statement of one of the witnesses in the 1998 Burail jailbreak case was recorded in a special court today before the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr Justice Balbir Singh, in Model Jail at Burail. The witness, who was a constable in the CID in 1998, said he had been deployed in the jail since February 1995 to collect information about the accused in the Beant Singh assassination case.

According to his statement, one of the accused, Jagtar Singh Hawara, used to receive a regular visitor, who, it turned out, had entered his false name, Charanjit Singh, in the guest book and given a Fatehgarh address against it. The constable found out that the real name of the person was Satnam Singh and he belonged to Ropar district.

The constable, Nirmal Singh, said Satnam had also visited Jagtar Singh Hawara on June 8, 1998. He gave this information to Sub Inspector Balkar Singh and he, then, forwarded it to his seniors. Nirmal Singh said Satnam Singh had made false entry in the guest book on June 8, too.

After receiving this information from Balkar Singh, another Sub Inspector, Dilsher Singh, and two other officials arrived at the jail gate. From his hiding place behind a eucalyptus tree, Nirmal saw the police party catch Satnam and take him away in a van.

However, Satnam was shown to have been arrested on June 11, 1998, trying to pass on the RDX ‘pinnis’ to Hawara.



Pounds-wise MC to buy own land
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 15
After months of standoff between the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and the Municipal Council (MC) on land for a cattle pound here, the MC has decided to buy its own land than waiting for PUDA to give one at subsidised rates.

This decision was taken at a meeting between the MC president, Mr Kulwant Singh, and the Deputy Commissioner of Ropar, Ms Seema Jain. She suggested that, since the MC could not afford to pay the price quoted by PUDA, it should acquire its own land on the outskirts of a village.

“This will give us the freedom to have land of the size we want, at rates we can afford,” says an MC official. Sources say that the MC has sent a proposal in this regard to the DC of Ropar for approval. In November 2001, the MC had sought land for the cattle pound from PUDA. Following this, two acres on the outskirts of the town were demarcated for the purpose by PUDA and the MC paid it a token price of Rs 1 lakh for the land. The understanding was that PUDA would charge only a nominal rate from the council, since the land was to be used for a public cause.

However, in June, PUDA wrote to the council, saying the charge would be Rs 1,746 per square yard, according to the current selling price of the land in that area. It said the total cost of the land would come out to be Rs 1.7 crore.

The council had, then, told PUDA that it had been expecting to get this land at a nominal price. At a meeting between the MC president and the ACA (SAS Nagar) of PUDA, it was decided that PUDA would sell the land to the council at its acquisition cost (Rs 12 lakh per acre). The land would have cost the MC about Rs 25 lakh, but, after its fresh decision, the MC would, now, be able to acquire land at less than Rs 5 lakh per acre.



An exhibition with a difference
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 15
It was a scene straight out of Gurdas Mann’s famous number “Apna Punjab”. A thick chunk of butter, placed over `makki ki roti’, melted with a sizzling sound as a couple reposing on a weather-beaten ‘charpai’, placed next to a well, discussed something not-so-serious in an inaudible tone. Just behind them, young girls in Punjabi suits could be seen cutting `saag’. All this, and much more, was displayed during an exhibition held at Sector 26 Sacred Heart School today.

Most of the visitors reaching the school premises in the morning for having a look at the exhibits were expecting to see nothing more than the “routine models” on display. Something interesting, perhaps, but nothing very unusual — they were hoping to view.

As they parked their vehicles in the lots well-managed by the traffic cops, along with private security guards, and walked towards the classrooms, they were pleasantly surprised by the spectre.

The rooms had been converted into “a complete world” to “project the chosen theme in its totality” after laying emphasis even on minute details. Little wonder, in the Punjabi section, maidens clad in their cheerful best, pulled and released the rope while taking out butter from cream. This was not all. Dames could also be seen working on a `charkha’. Others performed giddha, while guys in traditional dresses danced to the rhythmic beats of bhangra music.

The room exhibiting Punjabi culture was, however, not the only one that was a hit among the crowd. The ones on moral science too were appreciated by the visitors. Once inside, you could feel “peaceful vibrations” that had a soothing effect on the visitors as they stood looking at charts on mental, spiritual and physical dimensions of human mind.

In the computer room, the enthusiastic students worked furiously on the key boards placed in front of colour monitors to show how the brain machines ruled the world. Another section appreciated by the visitors was the one on English with students elaborating upon the themes of their self-composed poems with the help of models. If the verse was on effect of pollution on the environment, there was a model of a tree with no leaves, but birds sitting on the branches.

Cushion covers too were on display, along with pots, ‘diyas’ and teddy bears in the art and craft section. In the Hindi section, one could witness scenes from Ramayana with Ram and Sita standing next to Tulsi Das. The History and Geography sections, meanwhile, were nothing less than a pilgrimage with temples of South on display. Rajasthan culture too could be witnessed. In the science section, one could see human organs functioning. Sections one sports and maths were also well appreciated.

Students of primary classes too were active. They had made models out of clay, besides face masks and other photo frames. As more and more residents came to know about the exhibition, they rushed to the venue armed with cameras.

According to the principal of the school, Sister Elsy, “We always try to bring out the best in each student for the child’s overall development. The innovative ideas were mostly of the students, while hard work and co-operation of the parents and teachers made everything possible”. The exhibition will continue tomorrow also.



Computer literacy drive launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 15
To spread computer literacy among all strata of society, the Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.), today kicked off the World Computer Literacy Day-2002 campaign of the NIIT at a ceremony held at Rotary House in Sector 18 here today.

Flagging off the campaign, General Jacob said the new economy across the world was driven by the cutting edge Information Technology (IT) and the impact of computer and the Internet had had as dramatic effect on the civilisation as did printing. Stressing on the urgent need for computer literacy, General Jacob said the Internet had become a vehicle for almost any kind of human activity and the IT had affected all spheres of economic activity — be it agriculture, industry, finance or education.



Flesh trade racket unearthed; 11 held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 15
The police today arrested 11 persons, including three women, allegedly involved in flesh trade. The accused were arrested by a police team led by DSP Desh Bandhu and SI Haripal Walia from Abheypur village .

The police had received information that a 40-year-old woman from Jalandhar was running the racket from H. No. 114 in Abheypur. A raiding party was immediately formed and the police struck at the house at around 9 pm tonight.

Other than the woman operating this gang, two teenaged girls one from Rajasthan and another from West Bengal were arrested. As many as eight of their customers — Montu Sharma from Simla, Kartar from Patiala, Sardar Singh from Ropar, Ram from Ferozepur, Faqir Chand from Sector 21, Panchkula, Som Prakash from Karnal, Vikram from Delhi and Kishan from Jalandhar were arrested.

All accused have been booked under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.

This is the second time in less than a week that a flesh trade racket has been unearthed. On November 11, too, the police had busted a flesh trade racket and arrested three persons, including two girls, from Sector 19.

A trap was laid and the three accused a 19-year-old girl from Ambala, another 19-year-old girl from Abheypur village here and Naveen, a resident of Sector 12-A were arrested. All of them have been booked under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.


Burglary in Sec 34
Burglars broke into the basement of a shop in Sector 34 and stole Rs 35,000 kept in the cash register. In his complaint, Mr Davinder Singh, told the police that the burglary took place on the night intervening November 12 and 13. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

A white Maruti 800 car (CH03J 0975) of The Tribune employee, Mr Sunil Kumar, was stolen from House No. 3171/3, Sector 44-D in the wee hours today. Yamaha motor cycle (CH01Q 9756) of Mr Neelam Sharma, a resident of Phase 3B-II, was allegedly stolen from a parking lot in Sector 20 here yesterday.

Mr Kishan Dass, a resident of Hoshiarpur district, reported that his Bullet motor cycle (PB8AB 5170) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17 on Wednesday. The Maruti car (HR03A 5268) of Mr Arvinder Arora, a resident of Panchkula, was also reportedly stolen from Sector 32 on the night intervening November 12 and 13.

One hurt
Mr Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Chaman Colony, Dhanas, was injured and admitted to the PGI, allegedly after the scooter he was riding was hit by a Cielo car here yesterday. The driver of the car sped from the spot after abandoning the car. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Three booked
Ms Mukhil Suda, a resident of SBS Colony, Sector 49, has alleged that three residents of the colony — Nashir, Abhar Ahmed and Akram — beat her up on Wednesday. A case has been registered.



Cash, jewellery stolen in daylight robbery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 15
Burglars reportedly broke into NAC, Mani Majra, residence of Mr Raj Kumar today and decamped with cash and jewellery. The house was unoccupied this afternoon as both Mr Raj Kumar and his wife had gone to their workplaces. The burglars who entered the house after breaking rear door of the house, reportedly took away with them Rs 20,000 and jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh. A case under Sections 454 and 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Meanwhile, the police has also registered a case against three persons, who alleged purchased raw material worth Rs 37 lakh from Mr Sidharth Anand of Himachal Filament Pvt. Ltd, Sector 35, but did not make the payment. The accused, Rahul Arora, Vikram Puri and S.K Arora, claimed to represent a West Bengal-based petro chemical company and purchased the raw material from Mr Anand.



Tzarina of coffee launches new flavours
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
An enduring passion for coffee has made Ruhi Singh what she is today: the official coffee specialist for Barista Coffee Company.

Consuming up to seven cups of coffee a day, Ruhi is a diehard coffee lover. Little wonder then that she loves her job which is to sip coffee for conducting quality checks in the product, service and operational efficiency of making and serving beverages in the coffee bars. “My job is to ensure that consumers in every location enjoy the same unique flavour of coffee”, she emphasises.

Ruhi was in town on Friday to launch a new set of coffee flavours for the festive season. She has played a vital role in the implementation and strengthening of Barista’s operations in India. In her capacity as a coffee specialist, Ruhi has travelled widely to coffee plantations across the world, to research the concept of espresso bars and study the field of beverages. She has undergone formal training at the prestigious Lavazza Training Centre, the world-renowned roastery at Venice, Italy, under the tutelage of Torrefattore Bernado Della Mea in roasting.

Ruhi also represents the company at various international fora such as Nasscore (North American Speciality Retailers Exposition) and international training programmes conducted by the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America). Ruhi says that although coffee has traditionally been more popular in South India, it has found rapid acceptance in the North in recent years. Barista has made its own contribution in popularising the beverage throughout India. It now has many as 120 outlets in the country including 30 in Delhi alone. In Chandigarh, it has five and one in Panchkula. It may soon open its branch in Mohali as well.

She says that Barista coffee bars have proven to be popular with people of all age groups but they hold special attraction for the young in the age group of 17-37.

The new exotic beverages launched by Ruhi today included hot and cold coffees spiced with the bold new flavours of orange, chocolate and vanilla. They are Caffe Borgia, Latte Biano, Espresso Con Panna, Caffee Mocha Grande, Esperano, Vanilla Frappe and Mocha Freeze”.

Says Ruhi: “Our freshly brewed beverage menu reflects the refreshing new flavours of the season. After considerable research into the various international flavours trends, we have created an assortment of hot and cold coffees to give a whole new zing to coffee bar experience. These will further enhance the authentic Italian espresso bar experience delivered at our coffee bars”.



Focus on garment industry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Innovation, in every aspect of the textile process chain, would be the key driver in propelling this industry into a competitive future, said industry expert after expert at CII's ongoing international conference on "Emerging Trends in Textiles — An Exciting Challenge" being held concurrent to its Textile Technology Expo, Textech 2002 in Chandigarh.

The renaissance of the Indian textile and clothing industry would only come with timely and appropriate deployment of functional technologies, to increase efficiency at every stage from product development to final delivery, it was stressed.

Yarns, fibres, spinning machinery, fabric production, weaving, knit goods and environment-friendly fabrics formed the wide ranging scope of one parallel session of today's conference.

The other session, held concurrently, focussed on different aspects of the garments/made-ups industry covering issues in processing, chemical innovation, eco friendly dyes, apparels, value added knitwear, furnishing and home textiles.

Price reductions, strategic alliances, between the textile managers, the apparel managers and the various retailers, along with government encouragements to import skills from other countries would go a longway to enhance the competiveness of this industry.


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