Tuesday, December 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


NK Jain held on CBI tip-off
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, December 23
The search for Haryana bureaucrat and former Home Secretary, NK Jain, alleged to be the main conspirator in a rape case involving a girl from Shimla, ended this evening with his arrest from outside the Sector 30 office of the CBI here.

The bureaucrat had gone to the CBI in connection with a case of corruption against him. Sources said senior officials of the Chandigarh Police were sounded by their counterpart in the CBI about the visit. Accordingly, a sting operation was planned by a team led by DSP, SC Sagar.

Sources said to end the controversy about the role of the police in the case, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Gaurav Yadav, had directed the investigating team to work out a strategy to nab the bureaucrat. The arrest came a few hours after hearing on his anticipatory bail plea was adjourned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for January 6. At about 6 pm, when Mr Jain alighted from his car to enter the CBI office, a team of the Chandigarh Police pounced upon him. He was taken for a medical examination to the Sector 16 General Hospital at 10 pm.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Jain said he was being framed. “I will comment on the case at the appropriate time”.

The Chandigarh Police had been raiding a number of places eversince he was asked to appear before the police in connection with the rape case. Mr Jain is alleged to be the main conspirator in the UT police version according to which industrialist and resident of Sector-8 M.K. Jain had been framed in the case. The girl was allegedly raped on August 14 and thrown out of a car in Sector 44. The police had initiated proceedings to declare him a proclaimed offender.

On November 19, Mr NK Jain, once’s Home Secretary, Chandigarh, was asked by the UT police to join investigations into the case. However, he did not turn up. On December 5 the police obtained a non-bailable warrant against him and conducted raids to nab him. A local court directed him to appear in the court by January 30. Three notices in this regard were pasted at different places, including his residence.

The police claimed that the rape was a frame up to implicate city-based industrialist M.K Jain and the bureaucrat was the main conspirator. The victim was charged with conspiring against Mr M.K Jain. The police named Ram Lal, Surinder Sharma, Narveer and Baldev Kumar in its conspiracy theory. All four are lodged in Burail Jail here. The police gave a clean chit to Mr M.K Jain.

Sources in the CBI said though Mr NK Jain used to appear before the CBI regularly in pending case of corruption, the Chandigarh Police, perhaps, got the wind of the same after alerted by a senior police official. 


Police plans change in patrolling pattern
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 23
In the wake of recent daring burglaries in the township, the police here has decided to change its patrolling pattern to avoid inadvertently alerting burglars in action. It has also dispatched a special team to gather information from nearby areas about probable contacts of those in police custody for similar crimes.

This was stated by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ropar, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, at a press conference organised by the police here today.

The SSP also assured the residents of the township that there is no need to panic as the police is doing its best to prevent any fresh incident of theft or burglary and also intensifying its drive to book the culprits responsible for these incidents.

Stating that a shift of technique by the police is required whenever there is a shift in the kind of crime that criminals commit, Mr Bhullar said, ‘‘In this case there has been a shift in the kind of places that the criminals are targeting. The crime in Mohali has been mostly of thieves breaking into locked houses but now they are breaking shutters and targeting showrooms. This is a new trend and the police has to shift its method of catching the thieves accordingly,’’ he said.

Stating that he has asked for information from the Modus Operandi Bureau about the probable contacts of those who have been earlier arrested for similar crimes, the SSP informed that teams had been dispatched to Dera Bassi, Kharar, Nawanshahar, Banur, Rajpura, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar and some other areas to get information.

Quoting figures, the SSP pointed out that although crime had increased over the years in the township following a world wide trend, the fact to be noticed was that the police success rate in solving the various crimes had also gone up from 31 per cent in 2001 to 36 per cent in 2002 in the township. ‘‘The police here has been doing commendable work and it would be unfair to state that they are not effective enough or have failed on any account,’’ the SSP said.

The Mohali police has also been directed to start additional patrolling in the city markets either on foot or bicycles as it had been noticed that in both burglaries, the thieves got alerted whenever a policemen on a motor cycle or gypsy takes a round. Answering a question, the SSP said that there was no way of knowing whether the burglars who struck at SAS nagar belonged to the same gang that had struck in Chandigarh.

Mr Bhullar also stated that there is no use deploying additional forces in various slum colonies across the Chandigarh-SAS Nagar borders.

‘‘Permanent nakas are places that criminals avoid so no useful purpose will be solved by having more men posted on these orders,’’ he said.

The SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar who was also present at the press conference stated that his team would be continuing with the joint operations with the Chandigarh police and conducting regular combing of these slums.


Trust throws culvert safety norms to winds
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

An earth-mover being used to remove river bed material (RBM) from midstream of the Sukhna choe at Saketri village, near Panchkula, to strengthen the embankments along the Beackon Charitable Trust Land. 
— Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan

Panchkula, December 23
Defying all norms of safety for a culvert on the Sukhna choe in Saketri village near here, a charitable trust here is lifting riverbed material (RBM) from the midstream , inches from the base of the culvert, to be used for the protection of the trust land.

Inches away from the base of this culvert, the Beackon Charitable Trust began lifting RBM on the upstream of the choe this morning . The material was then placed on the sides for the protection of the embankment along its land. A JCB machine and about seven labourers were employed for doing the needful, as witnessed by a Chandigarh Tribune team this morning. The work began near the bridge and the RBM was lifted all along the over 500m stretch in the choe along the trust land.

This is against the specifications of the Department of Mines and Geology, as the lifting of the RBM at bases of bridges and culverts poses a threat to the safety of the structure. The department has specified that mining in rivers and choes can take place at upstream distance of 250m and at downstream distance of 125m from a small bridge/culvert. In case of high-level bridges, mining is allowed at 1 km upstream distance and ½ km downstream.

A spokesman of the trust, when contacted by Chandigarh Tribune, said they were not mining the RBM illegally, rather lifting it from one place and using it along the embankment. “ Each year, before the winter rains set in, we follow this procedure, otherwise the embankments get washed away as water gushes down the choe. We are not selling off the RBM or indulging in illegal mining,” he said.

However, officials in the Mining Department, said that the lifting of the RBM from midstream, especially near the culvert, was not allowed even if it was used for the strengthening of embankments. They say that earlier mining of the RBM was allowed in the Sukhna choe, but this quarry has not been auctioned at the instance of the Department of Town and Country Planning since 2000. “ Ever since we closed down this quarry, we had asked the villagers as well as the Public Works Department (which constructs and maintains bridges and culverts) to ensure there is no lifting of the RBM and thus there is no threat to the bridge, “ he said.

Officials in the Public Works Department, on the other hand, when contacted, say that the onus for ensuring that the RBM was not lifted from the river bed of any river/ choe, even if it was near a bridge / culvert lay entirely with the Mining Department.


Playing Santa Claus to sweetheart
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Love is an expensive affair. Zameer realised this after his college-going baby threatened parting ways if he failed to prove his affection for her on Christmas.

Reposing on a freshly polished cane chair in the front lawn of his palatial Sector 8 residence, little miss Tahira was obviously candid, not candied. Running her chiseled ivory fingers through her silky highlighted tresses, she had asserted: “Get me a gift for December 25 before taking me out for the afternoon bash. Otherwise....”

That’s the reason why Zameer is playing Santa in December — 2002. Wrapped up in a faux leather jacket, instead of his time-honoured red cloak, he has just arrived in a Sector 11 card and gift shop, not on his sleigh, but cruiser bike. He is looking for presents, not small insignificant gifts of love for slipping into stockings after sliding down the chimney, but nice expensive ones for filling her heart with ecstasy.

As he walks out of the store half-an-hour later with a heavy heart and light pocket, Zameer, clutching a gold-plated wrist watch, realises he has just lost his “ho, ho, ho”, along with Rs 2,200.

“Love is an island surrounded by an ocean of expenses,” he has finally understood. Things are particularly difficult, he realises, if you are going around with a ‘secular’ damsel who wants a ‘classy’ gift on all occasions — be it Christmas, Valentine’s or our own Divali.

For Zameer, there is nothing new about the realisation. Last year too, he had spent a good part of his pocket money buying gifts. Had even borrowed hard cash from chums Suraj, Dinesh and Raman for buying an impressive teddy that had sent her into a fit of delight. Had also purchased a set of Lycra top for teaming up with a low-waist boot-cut trouser.

Under-grad Zameer is not the only one marooned. His classmate Vishesh is also in a fix. Tahira, his girlfriend for four years, has just demanded a silver set and he has no money to buy it.

“Had Tahira cautioned me well in time about her desire to wear a silver set on the Christmas bash being organised at a local hotel, I would have definitely made some arrangements,” he says. “Right now, I do not even have that much dough. Am sure if I do not get the set for her, she will get it from someone else”.

His fears are not “unfounded”. In 2001, Tahira had accepted a “nice black dress” from her admirer living in the USA following his failure to buy her an evening gown.

“If you ask me frankly, I am tired of all these shopping sessions”, Vishesh asserts. “Still I cannot break free from the rat race because I also realise that in this materialistic world, you do not get love as a gift. You have to purchase it with presents. The expensive, the better”. That’s they way it is folks. 


Ex-DGM of corpn booked
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 23
A former Deputy General Manager in the Haryana Finance Corporation, Chandigarh, Mr Anil Lekhi, was booked here today for causing a loss of Rs 26.62 lakh to the Corporation.

It is alleged that in 1995 Mr Lekhi who was in charge of a Rs 20.40 crore public issue, spent more on administrative charges than the approved Rs 26.50 lakh. He was accused of causing another loss of Rs 5,916 loss to the corporation on account of payment of extra interest to the applicants for allotment.


Qadri stresses on transcendence
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
“Art just happens. It has no beginning and no end”, says Sohan Qadri, world renowned abstract painter, poet and a yoga teacher.

The Copenhagen (Denmark)-based artist was in the town in connection with a talk at the CRRID.

“Artistic creation is pouring from within for which one does not need to pull or push oneself,” Qadri said in an interview with ‘The Tribune’ today. He said he could not understand the argument of artistes who said they worked “very hard” for some creation. A ‘mystic’ by nature, metaphysics has been central to his ‘being’ right from his childhood.

Born into a family of landlords, he opted for the academic field. He did his graduation from Panjab University and a degree in arts from Shimla. Qadri began his career as a teacher at Teachers Training College in Phagwara before he came across Mulk Raj Anand.

Anand convinced him to go in for painting alone. “ Metaphysics was a subject which always appealed to me. It came naturally. This is the central topic of my talks also. He stresses on the message of transcending the self and reaching a stage where there is no distinction between the good and bad. ‘Moksha’ is the ultimate bliss and for this one has to be free from ‘pairs’ (of good or bad) feelings,” Qadri said.

Qadri was born at Chachoki near Phagwara in Punjab in 1932. In 1946 he was initiated in ‘yoga’, ‘tantra’, dance and music. He spent long periods in meditation and also took a journey on foot to Tibet. In 1966, he travelled to East Africa and then to Europe and North America.

Qadri has to his credit over 40 solo painting exhibitions in Mumbai, Zurich, Vienna, Oslo, Montreal, Toronto, Brussels, London and Los Angeles among other places. Qadri is a recipient of the Lalit Kala Akademi Award (1968) and the IAPAA Award, Toronto.

His publications include ‘The Dot and the Dot’s’, ‘Mitti Mitti’, ‘Boond Samundar’ and ‘The Seer’.

Earlier this year, Qadri held exhibitions of his works in New York and Delhi.

Answering a question about the ‘real ‘significance of ‘abstract art’, Qadri said, “Artistic creation has to be a little above a normal presentation. There is some difference in the standing of a commoner and an expert.”

Meditation, using the ‘yogic’ exercises in particular, are on top of his daily agenda. He is engaged in teaching yoga.Back


City students design Delhi Metro station
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
It is a proud moment for the staff and students of the local Government College of Arts, Sector 10. The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, will inaugurate tomorrow the Delhi Metro rail at Seelampur railway station in the Capital which has been designed by the students of the arts college.

There were a total of eight railway stations of Delhi Metro of which one was allocated to the Chandigarh College of Arts for designing. The remaining were designed by the students of the Delhi College of Arts. “Since the railway authorities have picked up Seelampur for the inaugural ceremony to be performed by the Prime Minister, we can safely presume that our work has been regarded as the best”, says Mr Brahm Prakash, Principal of the Government College of Arts who also led the team of students who designed the project. “It is a matter of pride not only for the staff and students of the arts college and the UT administration but also its citizens”, he said in a talk with TNS here today.

The concept of the murals and the paintings was appreciated even when the work was under execution, says Mr Brahm Prakash. It is all associated with travel and depicts some of the famous monuments and landmarks of Delhi. There are also a lot of fairies flying under a rainbow besides a chariot.

Mr Brahm Prakash says that he kept the population profile of the densely-populated Seelampur area of Delhi in mind while preparing the design for the railway station. The work consists of a 20x60 sq ft ceiling arc made of mosaic glass tiles besides four murals made of fibre glass for the pillars in the railway station.

In all, 26 students of the college were involved in the project which took them three months to complete not counting the numerous trips to Delhi. Mr Brahm Prakash says that the opportunity to design the railway station for Delhi Metro came his way because he remains in close touch with the architects in Delhi. He has also done a few other projects including murals in Delhi’s Oberoi Hotel in Mathura Road. The UT administration remained very supportive of the project and Mr Vivek Attray, Director, Public Relations, visited the college several times during various stages of the execution of the project.

But depend on the Railways to commit a faux pax even everything else has proceeded smoothly: It seems to have “forgotten” to invite anyone from the UT Administration or the college to attend tomorrow’s inaugural ceremony of the Delhi Metro.


Civic amenities main issue
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
Residents of ward no. 25 (parts of Sector 4) and ward no. 26 (parts of Sectors 2, 4 and a surrounding village) hope that their representative in the Municipal Council will ensure better civic amenities and more safety.

Voters of ward no. 25 — Sector 4, H. No. 426-884, 926-105P, 1124- 1172, 1328- 1376 , and Ward No. 26 i.e. part of Sector 4 (H. No. 1-425), Sector 2 (1-525) and village Majri (H. No. 1-1235 / 10) — say that the main issue for these elections will be proper water supply, sanitation, streetlighting, proper drainage and permission for gates in the wards for more safety.

Both wards will see a neck and neck competition among candidates supported by the Indian National Lok Dal, the Bhartiya Janta Party and Independents. Mr Jagjit Soi, Mr Tarun Bhandari, Mr Ranjit Singh, Mr Roshan Lal Singla from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Mr J.S. Shangari have filed their nominations from ward no. 23 and Mr Hemant Kinger, Ms Seema Chaudhary, wife of the INLD state Secretary, Mr Amardeep Chaudhary, Mr Gurpal Singh and Mr Surinder Kaushik from the BJP have entered the election fray.

As many as 6,146 voters (2682 and 3464 in ward no. 25 and 26, respectively) will exercise franchise to elect their representative to the Municipal Council. Both wards are general wards. In ward no. 25, the election campaign by Mr Jagjit Soi, Mr Tarun Bhandari, a former office-bearer of Congress, and Mr Roshan Lal Singla has picked up. In ward no. 26, candidates will have a close fight.

For most residents of these wards civic amenities-better streetlighting, cleanliness and better roads are the main issues. Residents of Sectors 4 (ward no. 25) say that the roads are in a pitiable condition.

In ward no. 26 (parts of Sector 4 , 2 and village Majri), the residents feel that other than improving the condition of roads, Congress grass and ‘malba’ had to be removed regularly from road sides. 


24 nomination papers rejected
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
As many as 24 nomination papers filed by candidates for Municipal Council poll were rejected by the Returning Officer during scrutiny, here today.

The candidates whose nomination papers have been rejected are: Mr Karamveer, Mr Dilbag Singh, Mr Satdev, Mr Hari Prakash, Mr Balwan Singh (ward No. 7), Mr Kanhya Lal and Harendra Singh (ward No. 8), Mr Darshan Kumar ( Ward No. 11), Mr Om Prakash and Mr Mukesh (ward No. 13), Mr Krishan Kumar (ward No. 14), Ms Rachna, Ms Ravinder Kaur and Ms Savitri Devi (ward No. 17), Mr Prem Dayal (Sector 19), Mr Jagpal and Ms Shanta Devi (ward No. 20), Mr Gurpal Singh Palli (ward No. 26), Mr Hem Raj (ward No. 29), Mr Gurnam Singh (ward No. 30), and, Mr Amar Singh, Mr Krishan Kumar, Mr Bhajan Singh and Mr Sunder Lal (ward No. 31).

In all 264 candidates from 31 wards had filed nomination papers between December 16 and December 21. The candidates, whose forms have been rejected, can appeal before the Deputy Commissioner. The final scrutiny will be done on October 28. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is December 30.

Meanwhile, a few candidates whose nomination papers have been rejected alleged this was being done to favour certain candidates. Mr Gurpal Singh Palli, a candidate from ward No 26 (parts of Sectors 2, 4 and Majri village), alleged he was not allowed into the office of the Returning Officer to submit his affidavit throughout the day, so as to prepare a ground for rejection of his nomination papers.

He said Ms Seema Chaudhary, wife of the state secretary of the Indian National Lok Dal, Mr Amardeep Chaudhary, was also a candidate from that ward, and she was thus being favoured.

Mr Gurpal Singh said he would make a representation before the Deputy Commissioner tomorrow, and in case his request was not considered, he would go on a fast unto death outside the DC office. 


Delegation to meet President, PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Property Owners Welfare Association here yesterday decided to take a 10-member delegation to meet President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar urging them to scrap the Rs 1500 limit of rent protection apart from not withdrawing the already notified notification in this regard.

At a joint meeting of various organisations, a resolution was passed condemning local Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal for reportedly supporting agitating traders against the rent decontrol notification.

It was also decided to ask each party about its stand on whether it supported agitating traders or owners of property.

Air Marshal Randhir Singh, Mr K.L. Aggarwal from the Modern Housing Complex, councillor Mr P.C. Sanghi, the Pind Bachao Committee chairman, Mr Angrez Singh, Mr R. P. Gupta and Mr R.P. Malhotra were among those who participated in the meeting.


Jeep driver dies for want of help
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 23
One person was killed in a head on-collision involving a jeep and a canter on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway this afternoon.

The accident led to traffic disruption for over two hours in the absence of police personnel at the site.

The deceased, Kedar Singh, an employee of Mahindra Company, a Mumbai-based transport company, was driving a jeep without a registration number when it collided head-on with a canter (PB-12D-8438) headed towards Ambala.

According to vendors and passersby, the impact of the collision was so forceful that the jeep was seen overturned 20 feet from the accident site. The windows of both vehicles were broken.

Womenfolk from a nearby house who assembled at the site said the jeep driver struggled for life for over 30 minutes after the accident but there was no help at hand. ‘‘Had the police reached the site in time, his life could have been saved,” pointed out an eyewitness.

Mr Prem Chand, driver of another jeep, extricated the injured from the jeep and took him to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh, where the doctors declared him ‘‘brought dead’’.


Spirited’ men disrupt fashion show
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 23
Fashion show or free for all? This was what the audience at a fashion show organised here last evening were left wondering about.

The fashion show, organised reportedly by an event management company Ramp World at the Country Club here, allegedly turned out to be a free for all show when some members of the audience apparently in ‘‘high spirits’’ tried to touch some of the models walking on the ramp.

‘‘After which it was just a free for all with drunk men trying to grab the models, some of whom took refuge in the makeshift green room’’, told an eyewitness.

The Manager of the club, Mr Naveen Joshi stated that a ‘‘party had rented the club premises to hold a fashion show and some people did try to climb up the ramp but were stopped when the security personnel intervened.’’ When asked, if the club was responsible for security or not, Mr Joshi said the party that rents the place was responsible for all that happens during the show.


IT training for NCC cadets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Taking an initiative to open up greater vistas to cadets and to make their stint in the NCC more meaningful and rewarding, the NCC today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zee Interactive Learning Systems Limited (ZILS) for providing information technology (IT) training to cadets.

Under the terms of the MoU, signed by Brig D.S. Dhillon, Deputy Director-General, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate, and Mr A.S. Gujral, senior executive vice-president, ZILS, a special package has been designed by ZILS for NCC cadets and all courses will be offered at subsidised rates.

Brigadier Dhillon said the programme would benefit over one lakh cadets enrolled with this directorate. If the programme yielded good results, it would be extended to cover other NCC directorates in the country, he said.

According to information available, the programme will start from January 1 and the initial target areas will be Karnal, Shimla, Ludhiana and Amritsar. A cadet can opt for courses at the basic, intermediate or advanced level, depending upon his earlier qualifications. Training will be imparted by ZILS through its network of Zed Career Academies (ZedCA).

Cadets will have to submit their applications and fees through commanding officers of their respective unit. At the completion of course, a joint certificate by ZedCA and the NCC will be issued to the cadets, who will have to undergo tests and examinations as per regular norms.

Mr Gujral said the courses were being offered to cadets in the ‘A to D frame’ at just one-third of the fee. They would also have the opportunity to pick up any other IT course offered by ZedCA at a concession of 25 per cent.


CIA raids on shops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The CIA branch of the Chandigarh raided different shops in the city and seized 167 duplicate printer cartridges of Hewlett Packard late this evening. According to information, raiding parties of the Chandigarh Police arrested three persons for selling duplicate ink cartridges.

A police official said while Narinder Kumar of Pritech in Sector 22 and Shinderpal of Sector 17 were found in possession of 17 duplicate cartridges, the wholesale owner of laser printers, Girish Kumar of Sector 35, was found in possession of 150 such cartridges.

Meanwhile, five persons were arrested for drinking liquor at New Punjab Apex Food Dhaba in Manimajra here this evening.

A rickshaw puller, Shivram Bahadahur, was killed when he was run over by a bus of the Haryana Roadways near the Sector 17 ISBT on Monday. The driver of the bus was reversing the vehicle. The rickshaw puller was declared ‘brought dead’ at the hospital. The driver, Jassi, was arrested.


Two burglaries
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, December 23 
Two burglaries were reported in the district on Monday. A rented portion of a house in Sector 6 was broken into by miscreant (s) and they decamped with Rs 10,000 in cash and dental instruments. The house had been taken on rent by three students of BRS Dental College only a few days back. They were reportedly out for work when the burglary took place.

In the second case, burglars broke into the Sector 12-A house of Mr J.C. Gupta, when he along with his wife was away with his children in the U.K. The exact amount of loss is not known.

Two arrested

Rajendra Singh of Kalka and Vikram of Ramgarh village have been arrested in two separate incidents on charges of misbehaving with women. They have been booked under Section 294 of the IPC.

SAS Nagar

Pirated CDs seized

The police here has arrested three persons on charges of violating the Copyrights Act and seized as many as 357 pirated CDs from them. The three were found to be in the possession of pirated CDs during a raid carried out by the police in their shops running on the Phase 3B2 and Phase 3B1 rehri markets.

While two of the accused, Anil and Sanjay Bagga have audio-video rental booths in Phase 3B2 market, the third accused Som Verma has a “khokha” shop in Phase 3B2 rehri market. According to the SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, the three have been arrested under the Copyrights Act and also under Section 420 of the IPC.


Loitering youths detained

The police on Monday rounded up 15 youths found loitering near various lottery stalls and banks and released them after verification. The drive was carried out in wake of a large number of incidents of snatching and robberies in the recent past. TNS


Giant strides in IT sector
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
After achieving the distinction of highest per capita income, above Rs 46,000, Chandigarh is emerging as a major destination for information technology and other hi-tech companies. Three call centres have already become functional here. The city has gained a distinction on the World IT map, after signing an MoU with Infosys to develop an IT park this year. During the past one year, the city has moved fast to become as major trading centre in North-West India.

Mr Dalip Kumar, Joint Secretary, Finance, Chandigarh, says: ‘‘During the past one year, the implementation of the Rent Act and amendment in bylaws, strengthening of infrastructure in the city have changed the environment for the trading and industrial sector. The move to privatise the power supply, development of cycle tracks on all major roads and beginning of the direct flights to Mumbai and Goa have helped evolve the city as a commercial centre.’’

Though the city has yet to evolve environment friendly and effective public transport system, but the administration has proposed to introduce an electric trolley bus system during the next few years. The economy of the city is growing at a fast pace. The share of service sector, which includes telecom, banking, insurance and trade, has crossed 70 per cent. Most of the job opportunities were created in these areas this year, and the manufacturing sector, limited to SSI units is continuously on the decline.

Northern Region, headquarters of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), has also decided to promote the city as a centre of service sector and to hold major conferences of the industry. Dr Manoj Sharma of the University Business School, Panjab University, agrees that most of the companies in the software and financial sector are targeting the city youth as customers and a source of skilled manpower. 

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