Thursday, August 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Laltu’ is new PUTA chief 
Election results mixed 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The elections to the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) today resulted in a split panel. Dr Harjinder Singh ‘Laltu’ and Dr Akshaya Kumar were elected president and the secretary, respectively. They replace top two office-bearers from the group in power.

Dr R.K. Sharma was elected vice-president, Dr (Mrs) Praveen Rishi as joint secretary and Dr Rajeev K. Puri treasurer. These candidates owed alliance to the outgoing office- bearers.

Dr ‘Laltu’ (Chemistry) polled 289 against 231 by Prof J.K. Chauhan (Laws), Dr R.K. Sharma (Department of Correspondence Studies) polled 264 against 252 by Dr D.S. Toor (Physical Education), Dr Akshaya Kumar (English) secured 256 votes against 251 by Dr Ashwani Sharma (Regional Research Centre), Dr (Mrs) Praveen Rishi (Microbiology) polled 270 against 237 by Dr K.K. Sharma (Department of Evening Studies), and Dr Rajeev K. Puri (Physics) polled 276 votes against 230 by Dr R.K. Sapru (Public Administration).

The number of invalid votes was reported to be between nine and 26 in different categories, the maximum in case of joint secretary with 21 votes invalid.

Prof C.G. Mahajan, Department of Physics, was the Returning Officer. There was no controversy over voting this time. Prof P.S. Jaswal was the legal officer for the election process.

Following declaration of results, Prof P.K. Mittal, the outgoing president of the PUTA, submitted his resignation from the university Senate. The seat now goes to Dr ‘Laltu’.

Addressing the general house following his election, Dr ‘Laltu’ said the team would work for implementation of the pension scheme, enhancement in retirement age and pursue the issue of reduction in the rate of interest on Provident Fund. “ We fought the elections in different groups on the basis of our opinions. However, in house we are a united community”, he emphasised.

Dr Akshaya Kumar said the PUTA would introduce web facilities for teachers. It would facilitate online interaction with the Vice-Chancellor and other authorities.

Professor Mittal said the pension issue had been discussed with the Chancellor. “He had demanded the relevant data. The process of compiling the data is near complete and will be forwarded within a couple of days”, he added.



Case filed against Cipla drug company
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Health Department of Haryana has initiated criminal proceedings against Cipla Limited, a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company, for selling life-saving drugs at exorbitant prices to the public.

The case has been filed by the Drugs Inspector, Panchkula, under Section 17(C) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, in the court of Mr H.S. Dahiya, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Panchkula, who has fixed November 27 as the next date for summoning the directors of the company.

Dr B.S. Chaudhary, Civil Surgeon, Panchkula, in a press statement issued here today said the company was selling the popular brand of tablet Hipres-100 at a maximum retail price of about Rs 35 (local tax extra) per strip, which would finally cost Rs 39 to the customer. Ironically, he said, the company was selling strip of Hipres-100 to retailers at a price of Rs 8.76, thus misleading the general public.

He said in 1999 the company was offering just 20 per cent margin to the retailers on this hypertension drug, which had been now increased to 300 per cent. During correspondence, he said, the company could not justify any rationale for giving huge profits to the retailers and termed this misleading act as “their methodology of promoting products like Hipres-100’’.

Dr Chaudhary claimed that such cases against several other major companies like Ranbaxy, Cadila, Ipca, Lupin could be launched soon if they failed to reduce the prices of several others medicines which were sold by them under the garb of “branded generic medicines.’’ 



PSHRC reserves order on Ranbaxy fire
Kiran Deep

* PSHRC reserved its order in the case. The order is expected within two weeks.

* Lawyers for Human Rights International, an NGO, requested the PSHRC to order the closure or shifting of Ranbaxy Laboratories to a site at a safe distance from residential areas.

* Ranbaxy demanded an inquiry into the incident by an independent agency like the National Safety Council.

* Director of Factories and Deputy Director, Forensic Science Laboratory filed inconclusive and contradictory reports on Ranbaxy fire incident.

* ADGP (PSHRC) stated in its report that the inquiry conducted by the Punjab Government did not mention the possible cause of explosion and fire.

Chandigarh, August 13
Lawyers for Human Rights International, an NGO, today urged the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) to order the closure or shifting of Ranbaxy Laboratories to an alternative site at a safe distance from residential areas. The commission, after hearing the pleas of the complainant and Ranbaxy, reserved its order in the case.

Five persons were killed and several were injured in a fire at the Ranbaxy unit on June 11 this year.

The NGO suggested that a special commission headed by a retired high court judge assisted by technical experts could also be constituted to ensure the safety of the residents.

On the other hand, the Ranbaxy authorities have objected to the observation made by the Additional Director-General of Police (PSHRC) regarding the safety measures to be taken by the factory. Ranbaxy also demanded an inquiry into the incident by an independent agency like the National Safety Council.

The report submitted by the ADGP (PSHRC) stated that the inquiry conducted by the Punjab Government did not mention the possible cause of explosion and fire.

On the other hand, the Director of Factories and the Deputy Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Punjab, filed inconclusive and contradictory reports on the Ranbaxy fire incident.

The report submitted by the Deputy Director of Factories to the PSHRC stated that the explosion took place first and it was followed by fire. The reports also stated that the fire did not take place due to any outside source like short-circuit, electrical fitting, smoking or fall of metallic part from a height.

Giving an opposite opinion, the report of Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, stated that the fire was caused due to some outside source. It said the source of flame could be a mobile phone, intercom or fall of a spanner on the ground.



IT sector labour laws relaxed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh Administration today announced relaxation of labour laws for IT and IT-enabled service companies operating from the city. It would enable women employees to work during night hours provided certain conditions were fulfilled by them.

This was announced by the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Justice O.P. Verma (retd) who presented second Software Exports Awards to entrepreneurs here today. He honoured the managements of IDS, Infotech, Excel Callnet and E3R Ltd for their contribution to the field of IT services.

Justice Verma said IT companies were demanding a relaxation of labour laws for the past many years. He said this would further boost investment in technology sectors in the city. Appreciating the efforts of entrepreneurs for increasing software exports, Justice Verma said by honouring leading exporters, the Administration was recognising the contribution of IT and IT enabled services in the city economy. He said this sector had created vast job opportunities for the youth.

He said: “There was a need to encourage the growth of local small and medium scale companies. The Indian and foreign companies had evinced keen interest to invest here.” Justice Verma claimed that nine companies were already exporting software worth crores through the incubator centre set up by Punjab Engineering College. The Chandigarh IT policy, he said, was providing number of incentives to the IT sector.



Two persons released from ‘illegal’ detention 
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A warrant officer today got two persons released from alleged illegal detention from the Sector 17 police station here.
Vinod and Dinesh, sons of an absconding CITCO watchman Chandan Singh, suspected to be involved in the murder of another employee, alleged that they had been picked up by the police and tortured to force their father join the investigation.

Acting on a habeas corpus petition, the Punjab and Haryana High Court appointed the warrant officer and sought a reply from the police on August 25.

An official spokesman, however, denied the allegation of torturing the two but admitted they were released when the warrant officer reached the police station.

Chandan Singh had been absconding since August 9, two days after the murder of Budhi Singh whose body was found in front of the CITCO office on August 7, and has not joined his office since then.

The brother of Chandan Singh and an uncle of the two who were released today, Ishwar Singh, alleged that the police illegally kept his nephews in custody and tortured them.

Ishwar Singh said when the warrant officer raided the police station, the two were locked up in the sector police station, and the wife of Dinesh, Rebti Devi, identified her husband and brother-in-law in the presence of the warrant officer and the uncle of the two.

Ishwar Singh said when he visited the police station, a police officer called Jarnail Singh allegedly slapped him and used foul language, which the police has denied.

The police said it was not illegal detention but getting the family of a suspect to join the search for a person who was being suspected in a murder case.

Ishwar Singh said the police took Dinesh to a village in Almorha and was left there but asked him to join the search by the evening.

The police, however, disputes the claim saying Dinesh was taken to Almorha in search for Chandan Singh but his son left the place immediately after the police party reached the city.

Ishwar Singh said Dinesh had not even informed the family before going to the Sector 17 police station as he had allegedly been threatened by the police.

Ishwar Singh, with no information of his nephews, approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to file a habeas corpus, which appointed the warrant officer.

The police said one of Chandan Singh’s son was also taken to Madhuban in Panipat district in Haryana to find out if Chandan Singh might have gone to his brother-in-law who is with the Haryana Police.

The death of Budhi Singh remained a mystery for a day till post-mortem report confirmed that he was strangulated.

The police initially did not register a case on the day when the body was found despite apparent marks of nails and strangulation on the neck of the victim.



Aristocrat girls dance to Indian tunes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
For youngsters of the city, it was yet another day out with music. Visiting the city for the promotion of their latest remix album “Mast Aristocrat Mix” were none other than the hot and happening Mast Aristocrat Girls from Australia, who have set the small screen on fire.

Being promoted by Aristocrat, the album is being released by the girls in prominent cities all over India. The promotional campaign across music stores will be followed by a special performance schedule by the six Australian dancers, now part of the Aristocrat’s latest venture into the world of music.

The album, which has hit the television with the video presentation of “Chhoti se umariya mein lag gaya rog”, was released at Music World this evening by the six Australians, all trained dancers. They are Julia, Naomi, Kara, Samantha, Curstie and Briana.

Excited about being in India, the dancers said they had picked up the meaning of the songs they had danced to. “That’s why we were able to lip sing in the music video of the song,” said one of them.

Looking forward to many more presentations in India, the girls are getting the feel of the land that is rich in diversity. They remember how hard they worked to get through the auditions conducted in Australia by Aristocrat.

As of now, the girls are waiting for more of Indian music to happen. Even at the music store this evening they danced away to the tunes of the remix album, which has songs like “Chhoti se umariya, recreated by Farhad Wadia, member of the Instant Karma trinity. Jai Walia of the Aryan band fame is recreating the other 10 songs of the album, which was released about two weeks back.

The songs have been sung by Pamela Jain and Pritha Mukherjee.



CBI not probing Bhardwaj's escape
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 13
In a corruption case involving two judicial officers, the CBI is not investigating as to where suspended Judicial Magistrate S.S. Bhardwaj stayed for a month after escaping from the CBI custody during raids on his house on June 10.

The CBI had filed a charge sheet against Bhardwaj well in time, but the mystery of his absconding from the CBI custody and the places where he stayed remains unsolved.

The Chandigarh police has already registered a case against Bhardwaj for escaping from the lawful custody of the CBI. The police is investigating the matter separately as to where did Bhardwaj go between June 10 and July 10, the day of his arrest.

A top official of the CBI in Delhi told The Tribune that the CBI had got nothing to do with the matter as the case was under investigation by the Chandigarh police. He also said that the CBI had no locus standi to speak on this matter.

The Superintendent of Police (CBI), Mr R.S. Bhatti, had lodged a complaint against Bhardwaj at 5.30 a.m. on June 11. Mr Bhatti has stated that a trap was laid by a team of the Central Bureau of Investigation at Bhardwaj's residence on June 10 after obtaining permission from the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Giving details, he added that Bhardwaj was caught red-handed while demanding and accepting Rs 7 lakh. When the CBI was busy in completing other legal formalities at the residence of Bhardwaj in the presence of two independent witnesses, Bhardwaj escaped from the place of occurrence 12.20 a.m.

The UT police had registered a case against Bhardwaj under Section 224, IPC, in the Sector 17 police station.

During his absconding period Bhardwaj had also given an interview to a news channel.

After his arrest on June 10, Bhardwaj had denied that he was present at his house when the CBI had laid a trap. The CBI had recovered the photographs and photo negatives from a Hindi daily in order to prove the presence of Bhardwaj on the spot. The Hindi daily had published the photographs of Bhardwaj during the CBI raid at his residence.



NRI woman entrepreneur makes millions in UK
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Madhu (Madi) Sharma has made a name for herself in the business of manufacturing Indian food in Nottingham town of England with a turnover crossing the £ 1 million mark.

It all started in 1994 when she found herself divorced and left alone to fend for her two young daughters. That's when she decided to put her cookery skills she picked up from her Punjabi father while growing up to test. Her mother is an Austrian and Austrians eat only boiled food, she laughs away. It's the ethnic stuff that interested her. And her targeted clientele was not the Indians in England as they make everything at home themselves.

She wanted to win over the taste buds of the British to the samosas, bhaji, korma, balti and chicken curry.

So, with help from friends, she started rolling out dough and dishes from her kitchen counter. The condition with the local retailer was that if her stock of six items was not sold by the weekend, she would take back the packets. But she was pleasantly surprised when she got a call from the excited shopkeeper two hours later that the goodies had been lapped up and he wanted more. There was no looking back after that. Today, 10,000 items with a shelf-life of seven days are assembled out everyday.

The kitchen counter gradually gave way to two factories by the name of Original Eastern Foods that have 35 employees — all white men and women trained by Madi herself.

But all this did not come easy. She has had to fight the prejudice of bankers for loans as they looked down upon her proposals, trying to discourage her by saying that women do not succeed. Overcoming entrenched attitudes and mindset in the Asian community, including her father, was also not easy. It is only persistence and perseverance that saw her through.

Today, after shattering myths about women entrepreneurs, she is the proud recipient of a number of awards and honours. They include a pat from the Prime Minister and association with the Royal family in providing food for a charity. Madi has won the Asian Women of Achievement Award and also an award from the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners. Madi was voted runner-up in the Lloyd's TSB Best Boss-2002 award. Original Eastern Foods has also found its way to the plates of visiting Indian cricketers and the High Commissioner. Now she is a role model. "I'm someone who has changed things. If I see a barrier, I go over it or round it. It never holds me back. My biggest problem is that I don't see any negatives. I'm extremely optimistic and I don't look back," says the gusty entrepreneur.

Madi is in Chandigarh with her teenaged daughters, Luxmi and Melissa. And it's not just a holiday. She is here to pick up new recipes, specially those that steer towards the two latest buzzwords in the food industry — oil-free and vegetarian. She is looking forward to being the first to give oil-free tandoori samosas and vegetable arbi, spinach, kalam kakri kebabs to the Britons back home because to succeed you have to be the first. The entrepreneur in her is also on the lookout for an opportunity to set up a unit in India that would manufacture food for the European market.



US scholars in city for Punjab programme
Roopinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Two important American scholars, Prof Mark Juergensmeyer and Prof John Stratton Hawley, were in Chandigarh recently to participate in what has now become the most significant Punjab studies programme offered by an American university.

Based in the University of California, Santa Barbra, and directed by Prof Gurinder Singh Mann, the Summer Programme on Punjab Studies (SPPS) has Chandigarh as its venue. A six-week summer programme, it has been running for seven years and entails 50 hours of study of the Punjabi language and 90 hours of Punjab history and culture.

Many of the participants are themselves teachers who wish to learn more about the region. This year’s group included three faculty members with interest in economics, politics and religion, nine postgraduate-level students and two undergraduate students.

Prof Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of California. He is also Director of Global and International Studies in the university. He described the establishment of the Sikh and Punjab Studies Department at his university as the high mark of his academic career.

Winner of the Grawemeyer award for 2003, Prof Juergensmeyer has been familiar with Punjab since 1966 when he first visited Chandigarh and taught economics in order to barter for living quarters on the Panjab University campus. He has done seminal work on the Adi Dharmis and the Radha Soamis, and is familiar with Punjab and the Punjabi milieu. He has been studying the role of religion as a vehicle for social and political transformation for most of his adult life.

His most famous book is the recent “Terror in the Mind of God”, of which a revised edition has just been published. The book has sold over 60,000 copies and has been on the bestseller list of The New York Times for many weeks.

“I see Sikh studies as a significant component of religious studies, but not only that. Sikhism is a part of the global diaspora now. I appreciate Prof Mann’s hard work in making this programme so successful.”

As for the attacks on the Sikhs in the West, he blames stupidity. “Stupidity on the part of those who can’t distinguish between various religions as well as stupidity of people who blame religion for terrorism.”

Prof Hawley is Ann Whitney Olin Professor and Chair, Professor of Religion, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. He is currently in India on a sabbatical to work on his forthcoming book “A History of Bhakti as History”.

“I love Chandigarh,” says Prof Hawley, “it is possible to do things here that are not possible elsewhere.” Talking about the Punjab Studies Programme, with which he has been associated since its inception, he says: “I am thrilled with the way it has developed. What I particularly like is that it is not a one-stop deal. Students can come back to it more than once.” Indeed, many already have. Caroline Sawyer, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Languages, SUNY College at Old Westbury, New York, was in the programme for the second time.

As many as 90 students and scholars have participated in the programme that draws on top local scholars for instruction and interaction. Indeed, it is inspiring similar programmes. John W. Williams, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Principia College, St Louis, USA, plans to use his experience in this programme as a model to establish a 10-week programme for his US students in Chandigarh. His college already has a similar programme in China.



Foreign town planners visit SAS Nagar
Plan to develop ‘integrated township’ in Sectors 88, 89
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 13
If the response of a team of foreign investors visiting the township is anything to go by, SAS Nagar will soon house the first ‘integrated township’ in Punjab, completely planned, developed and marketed by foreign investors.

A four-member team of urban developers from Malaysia and Singapore was in the township today to consider a proposal of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to set up a township here.

Spread over 500 acre in Sectors 88 and 89, the township will be a self-sustained unit having its own set of hospitals, living units, entertainment, education and recreation features. “What we do here in SAS Nagar will complement the Chandigarh pattern,” said Mr Manjit Singh Brar, country manager, IJM (India) Infrastructure Limited, Malaysia.

The company is developing and promoting a 2,500-flat housing unit in Pocharam, Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board. “There we have 50 acres of land and the focus in on housing people in high-rise buildings, but here the plan is much more elaborate. What we are proposing for the project here is not mere housing of persons, but providing a different lifestyle altogether,” said Mr Virinder Kaul, general manager, IJM (India).

In its proposal for SAS Nagar, PUDA had offered development, marketing and implementation of a high-end residential-cum-commercial township with an equity requirement of $17.7 million. PUDA’s project vision for SAS Nagar envisaged that this township will ‘offer the finest lifestyle in Punjab’ with focus on designer garden homes, villas with good quality of construction, among other features.

“Learning from experience, this time we also intend to provide maintenance services to the consumers so that the resale value of the house remains intact and the customers are also able to enjoy the same quality for many years,” said Mr Kaushik Ramanujam, business consultant, CESMA, Singapore.

Hoping to enter an agreement with PUDA within the next fortnight, the team led by Mr Brar said the final details would be worked out with PUDA once the round of visits was over. “The details have to be taken care of by the government. We have shown them the main landmarks of the township, the upcoming sectors and the developed sectors. We have also given them an idea of the expected housing demand,” said Mr Yashvir Mahajan, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, SAS Nagar.

The minimum investment expected of these companies is Rs 25 crore per project on a joint venture basis and at least Rs 50 crore on a complete ownership basis. “But we are more interested in a joint venture in Punjab,” added Mr Brar.

The team visited Ludhiana yesterday. It will be visiting Patiala, Amritsar and Jalandhar in the coming few days. “The most visible difference between the projects we have undertaken in India and Punjab is that here area is already highly developed from the infrastructure point of view. So things would be easier and move quicker here,” said Mr Ramanujam.

Sources in PUDA said last month their team had made presentations before leading urban developers of these countries and the response had been overwhelming.



Traffic restrictions for I-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
In view of the Independence Day function, the Chandigarh police has imposed restrictions on the movement of traffic on certain roads in the city. Diversions on certain sections of roads leading to Parade Ground and Punjab Raj Bhavan would be effective till the end of the function as per the schedule given below.

The stretches of roads on the Udyog Path from the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 up to the small rotary near petrol station at Sector 22 A and from crossing of Sectors 16 and 17 to the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Jan Marg from light point of Lyon’s Restaurant up to Parade Ground will remain closed to vehicles from 6 am till the Independence Day function is over. No parking will be allowed at the parking area in front of shops in Sector 22 from 6 am onwards till the end of the function.

The VIPs and senior officers with authorised car parking labels on their vehicles will be allowed entry from the roundabout of Sectors 16,17,22 and 23 on the Udyog Path. Parking will be allowed at the parking area in front of the market of Sector 22-A.

The general public can park their vehicles in the parking area of Sector 22-B, adjacent to the Blood Disease Hospital, Sector 23-B, on the back side of the Neelam Cinema in the parking area of Football Stadium and in the circus ground.

All buses coming from Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the ISBT, Sector 17 would be diverted towards the ISBT roundabout from the Bajwara and Piccadilly roundabouts to Aroma light point to the bus stand via the small rotary near Gurdial Singh Petrol Pump, Sector 22.

For the “At Home” function at Punjab Raj Bhavan, the road stretch from the roundabout of Sectors 5,6,7 and 8 up to T point near Golf Club and from the T-point near Punjab Raj Bhavan towards the residence of Advisor to the Administrator, UT Administration, will remain closed to the public from 2 pm onwards till the function at the Raj Bhavan ends.

The invitees at the function with pink car parking labels will have to park their vehicles in the parking area on the back side of Advisor’s residence.

Self-driven cars of senior citizens with pink car parking labels shall be allowed parking in the parking area towards the mini zoo.

The invitees with green car parking labels will have to use the road turning from Sectors 7 and 8 onwards to park their vehicles in the parking area adjacent to the Advisor’s residence, Sector 7.

Members of the Golf Club are requested to use the road from the SGGS college side to approach the club from 2 pm onwards till the function end.



Seven policemen to be honoured on I-Day
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 13
Seven police personnel, including an Inspector, will be awarded medals and commendation certificates for meritorious services on the Independence Day function here.

Inspector K.I.P Singh SHO, Police Station, Sector 39, SI Karnail Singh Photographer, Police Photo Section, SI Ramesh Chand, CIA and Head Constable Milap Singh (Traffic), will be awarded Administrator's Medals for meritorious services.

ASI Ravi Dutt, Reader to DSP (East)), Head Constable Gurmeet Singh Mavi, Police Headquarters, and Constable Sher Singh, Police Station, Sector 31, will be given commendation certificates for their meritorious services.



GMCH scampers to finish block before Kalam’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Even though the authorities have failed to meet the deadline of August 14, for the completion of the Rs 35 crore Block-C at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), it is expected that the nine-storey building will be inaugurated by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, during his visit to the city next month.

Though most of the work is complete and the UT Engineering Department today began the process of handing over the building to the hospital authorities, installation of machinery and beds will take some more days.

“Within the next few days we will be able to ready the operating theatres and place all beds in the wards. In case the President is able to spare some time during his visit to the city in the first week of September, the building will be formally inaugurated,” said Dr Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent, GMCH.

Dr Bahadur said if the President was unable to spare time, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, or the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, would be contacted for the inauguration.

“Barring small jobs to be done later at the seven operating theatres, we have started handing over the building to the hospital authorities, one floor at a time,” said Mr Puranjeet Singh, UT Chief Engineer.

The hospital authorities said efforts were on to get the wards ready so that patients were admitted at the time of the inauguration. The authorities have already started placing the operating tables, in view of the impending inauguration. The construction of Block-C that started in 1998 was to be completed by 2002. With the inauguration of the building, the bed strength at the GMCH will go up to 609, with more than 300 beds in this new block. 



Virus hits Internet users
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A computer virus ‘‘Worm -32’’, has hit the city’s Internet users in the past few days. Though the local Internet service providers (ISPs) have taken steps to block it, the virus is reported to have attacked computers in several government offices located in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.

Sources in the industry said the virus was attacking computers running on ‘‘Windows Xp’’. It comes through e-mail. Once in, it picks up the Internet protocol address which is unique to each computer user and given through the ISPs, it affects the local network. “The virus has entered the mail boxes of several users who even have anti-virus,” said an official who got his computer freed from ‘‘Worm 32’’ today. “There are at least two ways to beat the virus, although neither of the solutions works all the time,” said a source.

On August 11, the threat from the virus was upgraded to category four by ‘‘Symantec’s Deep Sight Threat Management System, Symantec Security Response’’. Information from its site was used by several users and ISPs to keep “Worm-32” out. In the city, it all started on August 10 when they logged onto the Net and the computers shut down.

The website says the worm attempts to download the msblast.exe file to the harddisc of the computer. It performs a “denial of service” (DoS) on Windows Update to prevent you from installing a patch against the attack. The patch acts like an anti-virus. The website also says how Symantec has developed a system to kill ‘‘W32.Blaster.Worm’’ — as the worm is called in the Internet jargon A local programmer who had removed the virus from the computer of senior government official said he was getting close to 80 distress calls a day. A director of local a ISP, who requested anonymity, said: “The virus has been tackled well at our level, but for users, with little technical knowhow, it may cause problems. The ISP has got the latest patches.”

Meanwhile Dr Sanjay Tyagi, Additional Director and Centre Head, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), said the virus had not attacked the STPI. ‘‘This is because we give usage bandwidth to select users who have good security systems.’’ Sources in the industry said ‘‘Worm 32’’ could spread to Windows NT or Windows 2003 servers. Desubscribe to unneeded services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical, such as an FTP server, telnet, and Web server.

Configure your email browser to block or remove email containing attachments commonly used to spread viruses, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files. Organisations need to isolate infected computers quickly to prevent further threat. Employees need to be trained not to open unsolicited e-mail. Software downloaded from the Internet should not be used unless it has been scanned for viruses. Because of the way the worm works, it may be difficult to connect to the Internet to obtain the anti-virus.



Memorable day for special children
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 13
It was a memorable day for more than 200 physically challenged children who went on an excursion to an amusement park near here today.
One could see excitement all around at Thunder Zone Amusement Park as children in groups could be seen enjoying different rides and boating.

There was sparkle in the eyes of six girls in three pedal boats. They communicated their excitement to one another through the sign language as they vigorously pedalled around the pool.

A number of students from the Institute for the Blind in Chandigarh’s, Sector 26, had a great time. Shiv Kumar and Devinder said they were taken around by their guides. They had a ride in the “sky train” and “bumping cars”. Amarinder and Mohit said their ride in the “octopus” was very enjoyable. The children said it was their second trip to Thunder Zone.

The excursion for children who had come from Batala, Ludhiana, Chandigarh was organised by the National Society for Child Artists in association with the management of Thunder Zone Amusement Park as part of Independence Day celebrations.

Mr Ajit Salani, chairman of the society, said 60 deaf and dumb children had come from Ludhiana and 50 deaf and dumb children from Vatika, Chandigarh. As many as 80 children had come from the Institute for the Blind in Chandigarh and 10 from Central Public School, Ghumaan, Batala.

Four out of them were physically challenged. Others had come to provide help to them. He said children were given refreshments and lunch. They were also given gifts.

Children presented a cultural programme and were blessed by Sant Baba Ajit Singh Ji Hansali.

The children had gathered on the premises of the Punjab School Education Board in the morning from where they were flagged off for the amusement park by the board chairman, Dr Kehar Singh.



Special dessert from the desert
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Hotel Maya Palace in the Sector 35 lane of hotels wears a festive look these days. Strings of electric lights dangle down the front facade, twinkling bright at night. A camel dressed up in desert finery gives children joyrides at the entrance. Another lot is occupied by a puppeteer who entertains guests with the show embellished by loud music. Then there are huge cardboard cut-outs reminding you of forts of Rajasthan. All this just outside.

Inside, the restaurant has been done up in ethnic style with bright multi-coloured Jaipuri fabric framing the walls and pillars. The tables have soft lighting with candles and brass stands. As light classical notes fill the air, the ambience for the Rajasthan Food Festival is created. The festival opened on August 9 and will continue till August 17.

For starters, there are pakoras of huge green chillis brought from Rajasthan. You have to see them to believe their size but they are not as deadly as they seem. Stuffed with a filling of veggies, herbs and dried fruit , and dipped in chilli sauce, they whet your appetite for the main course.

Try the onion kachori. It’s a fried snack of boiled and mashed onion jacket with a spicy filling tempered with sweet raisins and nuts. Pep it up with the tomato sauce for that amazing effect and get ready for more... More like dal baati churma, the typical three-in-one sweet’n salty dish from the rajwada kitchen. Layer the sweet baati with the namkeen chane-ki-dal and bite chunks of the churma to complete the taste. The other mouth-watering dishes offered are guava curry, gatte ki sabzi, panir pasanda, green vegetables and a meat dish.

To tone down their combined effect is the raita or the thick lassi seasoned with almonds and saffron (I wish it was served chilled). Down the savouries with special dal ki rotis or puris. And don’t forget to dip your helpings into the assortment of traditional chutneys and sauces that complement the food.

End the treat with ghevar, a special dessert from the desert. For that one last time, you will have to forget the calories count of the rich desi ghee and the enticing white topping of almond paste.



BIS officer inspects police support unit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) team is inspecting the Women and Child Support Unit of the Police as the latter strives to become the first police unit in the country to get ISO 9001-2000 for quality service.

“The Chief Vigilance Officer of the BIS Mr A. K. Dhul, a senior IPS officer, is leading a team of auditors to investigate whether the support unit in the city was following norms evolved by it in consultation with the National Productivity Council (NPC),” the SP in-charge of the unit H. G. S. Dhaliwal told the Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The NPC has been preparing the unit for the last seven or eight months to tailor their documentation standards and implement the systems evolved as per the ISO 9001 guidelines to provide satisfaction to the complainant women.

The Deputy Director of the NPC supervising the training of the police force, Mr Arun Kumar Singh said: “We conducted a survey on public and 20 out of 21 people expressed a high level of satisfaction from the services of police in the unit.” NPC Assistant Director Vineet Kumar said police personnel came up with suggestions to adopt practices of document maintenance and implementation of quality standards. The training focussed on complainant requirements, quality policy and quality dealing to make the unit to public-friendly.



Confusion over Janmashtmi date
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 13
Even though Janamashtmi, Lord Krishna’s birth anniversary is round the corner, people are still unsure of the exact date.
The confusion stems from the fact that a majority of government offices are closed on August 20, while a substantial number of temples in the city are celebrating the occasion on August 19.

Pandit Satyavrat says Smarth Janamashtmi falls on August 19, while Vaishnav Janamashtmi falls on August 20.

Hindu Mahasabha authorities have decided that all Sanatan Dharam temples in the city will celebrate Janamashtmi on August 19.

A survey of the city reveals that temples in Sectors 39, 23 and 18 are being decorated with colourful blinking lights for the occasion on August 19.

However, Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36, is holding the celebrations on August 20. Chaitnya Gaudiyamath in Sector 20 is also holding functions the same day. Editor of an astrology magazine “Jyoti Sagar,” Avnish Pandey, explains: ‘Ashtami’ will start at 5 pm on August 19 and will continue till 7.30 pm the next day.



File report on milk purity, PHRC to govt
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 13
Taking cognizance of media reports on adulteration of milk and soft drinks, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the Health Department to report within a week what steps has been taken by the authorities to prevent it. The PSHRC ordered that a copy of the order be sent to the Principal Secretary, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Department, and the Director, Health, Punjab.



Tribunal meeting

Chandigarh, August 13
An emergency meeting of the local Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Bar Association, held here today discounted reports in a section of the press that the working of the Chandigarh Benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was not proper. The meeting held under the presidentship of Mr S.S. Rikhy, said “no complaint against the working of the tribunal, Chandigarh Benches, has been lodged by any of its Bar members or other practitioners. TNS



Four thefts in 24 hours
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 13
In the past 24 hours, the police has registered at least four cases of theft, including one regarding cash and jewellery worth Rs 88,000.
A Sector 20 man, Mr B.K. Sharma, reported that someone had stolen gold jewellery worth Rs 70,000 and Rs 18,000 from his first floor house (324) on the night of August 11.

Thieves broke into a Sector 35 shop (SCO 447-448) on the same night and took away 25 trousers and some jackets, besides Rs 1,200. The thieves had entered the shop from a window.

A Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03 J-2236) of Ms Bindu, of Ropar district was reported stolen from Haryana Panchayat Bhavan, Sector 28, on August 11. Mr Rohit Narwani of Sector 22 reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03 C-9182) has been stolen on August 7.

Assaulted: A man of Madrasi Colony, Sector 26, Mr Munna Lal, was injured after allegedly being attacked by his neighbour, Sai Ram, and his family on Tuesday. Mr Lal was admitted to General Hospital, Sector 16. A case under Sections 323, 325 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

Eve-teaser held: The police arrested Montu of Nehru Colony on Tuesday and charged him with eve-teasing under Section 294 of the IPC. 



Former ultra turns extortionist, nabbed

Panchkula, August 13
A former Punjab terrorist, Avtar Singh , was nabbed by the police here today. Avtar Singh is believed to be involved in extortion and robberies. He is a suspect in a murder case at Raipur Rani. Avtar Singh had contacted Dr Billa two days ago and demanded “protection money” from him. When he reached his house last evening to collect the money, he was caught by Dr Billa, his brother and other villagers. But before the police could arrive at the scene, Avtar Singh escaped. OC


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