C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Enforcement staff ‘forces’ penalties on shopkeepers
Receipts issued saying it is for festival 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
It seems that taking a bribe is now routine thing in the Municipal Corporation. The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation resorted to forcible collection of lakhs of rupees from shopkeepers in the name of Divali and even issued receipts for the same saying the money had been collected on account of the Festival.

On the condition of anonymity a number of shopkeepers told the Chandigarh Tribune that the enforcement teams had ‘‘forcibly’’ issued the receipts despite no violation on their part. Shopkeepers say since they were busy with the customers they could not protest at that time.

Though officials in the enforcement wing flatly denied the allegation, saying the receipts were issued on the spot when any shopkeepers was found encroaching on public land without permission during the festival days. Investigation took the team of Chandigarh Tribune to the junk dealer market in Sector 45. A look at the some of the “festival receipts’ (in possession of the Chandigarh Tribune) issued by the enforcement staff has raised several questions on the way of functioning of the enforcement staff.

In one specific case, a receipt issued on behalf of Store Keeper (Enforcement) for Rs 200 to an iron store in Burail village mentions the date of issue as December 13, 2003. Fearing retaliation, none of the shopkeeper wished to come on record. In another case, a junk dealer was issued a receipt for Rs 500 despite no violation of space. Those who did not pay the money were harassed, said the Chairman of the Enforcement Sub Committee of the Corporation, Mr Jatinder Bhatia.

Sources in the corporation said some shopkeepers had complained to the officers of the corporation through their elected representatives.

On being contacted the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, confirmed that he had received certain complaints against the enforcement staff. He said he had talked to senior officers of the corporation and action was being taken in this regard. It is learnt that sub Inspector Rakesh Gupta has already been transferred and there was a move to transfer another Inspector.

The Mayor questioned the authority which had set fine collection targets for the enforcement wing. It may be mentioned that a pick-and-choose policy of the enforcement staff has already come under fire. It has attracted severe criticism from several councillors.

The issue, raised in the last General House meeting of the corporation, saw the Chairman of the Enforcement Committee pointing out the questionable role of the enforcement staff. The Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, had also expressed concern at the pick-and-choose policy of the enforcement staff.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, the Chairman of the Enforcement Committee, said a transparent policy on the functioning of the enforcement wing was required. To discuss the menace, a meeting of the enforcement sub committee had been called on October 29. He pointed out that while rehri and pheri walas were being challaned, the big businessmen in different parts of the city had been spared by the enforcement staff.

“The ward of the councillors who spoke against the enforcement staff in the committee meetings was targeted by the enforcement staff. The enforcement staff spreads a wrong word that it was being done at the instance of the area councillor”, said Mr Bhatia. A decision to make Sector 17 encroachment free had not been implemented by the enforcement staff.


Two held for drugging, looting passengers
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Modus operandi

* Befriending passengers, especially those coming from UP and Bihar
* Offering them Frooti, tea or ladoos laced these with 2 mg tablets of Ativan
* Unconscious passengers were looted and left in trains or at the station.

Chandigarh, October 27
Befriending co-passengers and naive people in trains and on railway stations in the city, Ambala, Ludhiana and Kalka, before drugging and looting them, brought in quick money for two unemployed youth on a number of occasions but eventually landed them behind bars.

Nabbed from the local Railway Station during a joint raid by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Police Force (RPF) carried out last night and languishing in jail, the two — Babloo, alias Vikas (24) of Dumka district in Jharkhand and Singh Bahadur alias Padam Bahadur (25), of Nepal — were identified by a person who was looted by them a week ago.

The victim, Kitabuddin, hailing from West Bengal, in disguise, was made to thoroughly comb the railway station to identify the culprits after he was discharged from a local hospital. He was admitted to the hospital after being found unconscious at the station on October 23.

Accompanying him during the three-day scanning of people at the station were police personnel of the GRP and RPF led by Mr Sukhdev Raj of the RPF and Mr Hakam Singh of the GRP. The sources said he identified the two culprits last evening following which they were arrested past midnight in a joint action by the force.

The personnel recovered eight disposable syringes from them along with eight 2 mg Ativan tablets, their weapons for the execution of their plan whereby passengers were offered Frooti injected with a paste of the tablets or ladoos and tea laced with at least two tablets.

Responsible for at least five such incidents, three in the city and two in Ambala, in the past six months, the duo said the passenger would lose consciousness in 15 minutes being drugged after which the two culprits would take away their belongings besides cash.

Repenting his action, Vikas claims that penury drove them to the “business’ of looting.”We were brought from our native places by a man called Kabul along with 70 others. Employed as labourers in Himachal Pradesh, we were brought to the city on the assurance that we would be paid much more. Once here, Kabul taught us to use these tablets to our advantage and, for at least a year, gave us nothing out of the loot. I could not go back to my village since I had no money. He fed us all this time though we have no clue about who he is, where he came from, what he does and where the rest of us went,” he informs.

Stating that they had a 12-member gang, he said they had gone into hiding with the police hot on their trail following the incident on October 23. “Both of us came back on Divali in search of ‘prey’ hoping things would have cooled down. We do not know about the whereabouts of the rest since we were not “committed” to each other but co-operated only for our convenience,” he adds.

Sources said the personnel would keep up the vigil at the station to try and arrest the other accomplices with the help of the two arrested last night. The two have been sent to police remand after being booked under Sections 328 and 379, IPC.


Kapil inaugurates cricket academy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
India’s ‘Cricketer of the century’ Kapil Dev inaugurated a cricket academy at the Sector 16 cricket stadium here today. The academy, set up under the New Area Development Programme with the assistance of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, initially has 40 trainees—20 each in the under-19 and under-17 age groups.

Speaking after its inauguration, Kapil, who belongs to Chandigarh and learnt the basics of the game on the same ground, urged the trainees to utilise the facilities made available to hone their cricketing skills.

“Hitherto, city cricketers had to make a choice between representing either Punjab or Haryana in Ranji Trophy matches. With the cricket academy having been set up here, there is a chance for city cricketers to do well and have an identity of their own.”

Kapil said it was sad to see Chandigarh suffer due to lack of affiliation as it had produced many international cricketers, besides about 30 top Ranji Trophy cricketers. He thanked Mr M.P. Pandove, secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association and the coordinator of the academy from the BCCI, for presenting the case before the board.

Mr Pandove, who is on the NADP panel which oversees the development of the game in union territories and remote states, said it was a god-sent opportunity for local cricketers to make a mark for themselves. He said a tournament featuring teams from similar academies being run with the assistance provided by the board would be organised. The two best teams will play in the final of the tournament to be played in Kolkata. Hence, there is a chance for players of these academies to perform well as the performances during the tournament will be watched keenly by the board, he said.

Mr Pandove said Chandigarh was the hub of cricket, probably the best after New Delhi, in the region. He felt that the centre should be developed properly so that at least first-class matches could be organised here.

Mr Vivek Atray, Nodal Officer, Cricket, Chandigarh Administration, said 350 players had participated in the trials before the final selection was made for the academy. He said trainees in the under-15 age group would be selected soon so as to make it a full-fledged cricket training centre in the region.

Mr Atray said the equipment for the trainees was being provided by the board. Two coaches, Sukhwinder Bawa and Harish Sharma, are already engaged in giving coaching to the youngsters. One coach as well as a physical trainer appointed by the BCCI would visit the academy from time to time.

Kapil later spoke to the trainees in an effort to motivate them to work hard and bring laurels for the city as well as the country. He also gave them T-shirts and caps sent by the board.

D.P. Azad, the first recipient of the Dronacharya Award in cricket under whom the World Cup winning-skipper learnt the basics of the game, Mr Ravinder Talwar, Principal of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, where Kapil Dev studied, and Mr J.P.S. Sidhu, Deputy Director, Sports, Chandigarh, were among those present on the occasion.


Divali sales in city over Rs 100 cr
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

* After the SAS Nagar cricket match, TV channels gave wide coverage to the shopping carnival in Chandigarh.
* Lucky coupon schemes, not discounts, boosted sales.
* Heavy sales of jewellery, garments and gift items.
* Shopping bonanza to continue till the new year.

Chandigarh, October 27
“We had never expected such a heavy rush of customers on Divali. The response from them has been unprecedented. Not only city residents, but also customers from all over Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and even Jammu and Kashmir have thronged the city markets,” said Mr Arvind Jain, president, Shopkeepers’ Association of Sector 22.

The wide coverage of festival shopping by different electronic news channels added flavour to the sales jamboree. TV channels, including Zee News and Sahara TV, telecast live coverage from the Sector 17 Plaza, putting shopping in the city on the national map. Traders in this largest shopping complex of the region claimed that the sale of gold jewellery and diamonds, readymade garments, saris, gift items, shoes and other items was unprecedented.

A shopkeeper, requesting not to be quoted, said, “Some of the shopkeepers claimed sales of 2 lakh every day. On an average, every family has spent over Rs 5,000 during this festival season, which includes shopping on Karva Chauth and Dasehra. Despite the lack of any traditional discount offers from shopkeepers, it was almost impossible to find parking space in the evening.” The market associations are offering prizes worth over Rs 70 lakh through lucky coupon schemes.

Members of the Sector 17 Market Association however, were tight-lipped when asked about the sales volumes. Off the record, they disclosed that the total sales during this festival season had already crossed over Rs 25 crore. The total sales figures in the major markets of the city, including Sectors 19, 22, 35 and Mani Majra might have been between Rs 100 crore and Rs 200 crore during the past few days.

Som Nath, a trader who had come with his family from Panipat to purchase designer jewellery, new style clothes and other gift items, said “We have done purchasing worth over Rs 2 lakh and collected a lot of coupons. Earlier, we used to go to Delhi, but this time we decided to purchase from the city market only.” Hundreds of people, said traders, came from Patiala, Ludhiana and Shimla to buy branded items of new fashion and due to the attraction of lucky coupon schemes.

Mr Jain said the festival sales are likely to continue till the new year. He said, “A large number of customers could not buy due to last dates of the month and because of a heavy rush in the market. They are expected to make purchases during the coming days. .”

Dealers of electronic goods in Sector 35 and automobile dealers confirmed that after the sale of bumper paddy crop, they were expecting a jump in sales from farmers who come here from places like Moga, Ferozepore and Fazilka. Though the market associations complained of harassment at the hands of the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation, they appreciated the role of the traffic police for effectively managing the traffic.


A day after Divali
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar/Chandigarh, October 27
After the shopping spree during Divali city residents seem to be taking the much needed rest. Many shopkeepers too closed shops early today.

With the Punjab Government announcing a holiday today those working in Punjab Government offices had an extra day of relaxation as compared to their counterparts in UT Administration.

But then Chandigarh limped back to normalcy a day before SAS Nagar, where the administration is yet to awake from its extended Divali holidays.

However, the mood in the city offices was still festive. ‘‘Since we could not have a get-together before the office closed for Divali we are having it today. We are all pooling in money and will have sweets,” said Mrs Lata Sharma.

Among the men folk animated discussions on how much they had won or lost in gambling continued during lunch.

Most of the roads in the city were littered with the remnants of crackers which certainly would take some days to clear.

For some of the residents, however, Divali could have been celebrated even better had it been in the first week of November as they would have got salaries.

‘‘We enjoyed a lot this Divali, especially with so many discounts and schemes. And we wish that we will get some big prize from the daily market draws.’’said Mr Subhash Verma a resident of Sector 41.

Many markets have decided to continue the shop-and-win contests till early November or even Guru Nanak’s birthday celebrations.

However, the special Divali melas at Sectors 15, 34 and 17 and Phase VIII, SAS Nagar, closed today.

For SAS Nagar residents, however, the celebrations are still on. Most of the day crackers were being bursted by children.

Some shops in the rehri markets were still making good money from the sale of crackers.


PU plans value-added courses for arts graduates
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Panjab University proposes to introduce value-added courses at the undergraduate level to develop entrepreneurship in students who pass out as simple arts graduates. This is to be in tune with the changing times and in consonance with the market-driven economy and job opportunities.

In an interview, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak told Tribune News Service today that the basic idea of giving “practical orientation” at the undergraduate level was to impart skills to the ordinary B A pass students, enabling them to fit in various job slots. A committee is being set up to study this concept and suggest appropriate ‘’applied’’ courses to add value to the B A degree. The committee would suggest changes, additions or substations or substitutions, if any, in the existing syllabi.

Outlining the broad contours of the conceptual plan, Prof Pathak said these courses could be in the field of domestic or home science or commerce — covering insurance, banking or dealing with money matters— or agriculture. If the domestic or home science will enable students to develop better understanding of the vicissitudes of life while dealing with family affairs later, the commerce courses would enable them to find jobs, working as “agents” with companies and firms dealing in money matters.

There is vast potential for absorption in agriculture given the new emphasis on agro-processing and infrastructure development in the farm sector, including allied fields like dairy, poultry, etc.

It is estimated that at least 50,000 new BA pass graduates come out of the portals of 240-odd government and private colleges, in Punjab and Chandigarh. At any given point of time, there are nearly 90,000 students in B A (Part I), 60,000 to 70,000 in B A (Part II), and 50,000 to 60,000 in B A (Part III).

Some students opt for B.Ed courses in 20-odd colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh which have limited seats, around 5,000, some seek admission in post-graduate classes and several join their family business, etc. while others make rounds of offices for appointment as peons, clerks, etc.

Prof Pathak said since B.Ed degree holds promise for employment, it was proposed to introduce a “compulsory’’ paper in computer science and application to further equip the students with additional skill. This will give additional benefit to simple B A students who join B.Ed. A committee has been constituted for this purpose and hopefully this compulsory paper would be introduced from the academic session beginning July 2004. This paper is already operative at the undergraduate level.

To give impetus to undergraduate studies and raise standards of teaching it was also proposed to appropriately honour the top graduate students.

The university has drawn up plans to introduce five-year integrated courses in social sciences and in science, after plus two. In these programmes, students would get a master’s degree in social science, which would include sociology, political science, public administration, and economics. This means that there would not be a separate MA degree in each of these subjects.

Likewise, instead of separate postgraduate degree in say chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, microbiology, etc, there would be one integrated M.Sc degree in science, encompassing all these disciplines.

Prof Pathak explained that these programmes were primarily intended to encourage “research scientists’’. Of late, it was widely felt that in the race for professional and vocational courses introduced en mass in the wake of the government policy of globalisation, liberalisation, and privatisation, there had been a mad scramble for courses like computer education, management, engineering and information technology, etc. Besides, this had resulted in mushroom growth of institutions, most of which had “commerce” as their first motive.

Consequently, the intake of brilliant students into pure sciences had dropped significantly. Thus, the two programmes of integrated master’s degree in social sciences and science were aimed at giving a boost to “research’’.

The next major item on Prof Pathak’s futuristic agenda is rationalisation of the fee and fund structure in the 122-odd affiliated colleges. The Vice-Chancellor is keen to fix a maximum ceiling on the funds charged by the colleges and ensure a uniform pattern. “There is not much of a problem with tuition and admission fee charged. But there is much problem with the funds collected by the colleges’’.


Fee hike in PU colleges on anvil
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
A fee hike in the colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh affiliated to Panjab University is on the anvil though the proposal of the massive hike, recommended by the UT Administration, is unlikely to get the nod of the special 10-member committee of the Senate when it meets tomorrow for the second time since its constitution in July this year.

Instead, the proposal on fee hike, likely to get the green signal from the committee, is that of the university. The recommendations of the university are well within the ambit of the 10 to 25 per cent hike approved by the Senate at its meeting held on July 6 this year which found support from a majority of the Fellows.

Under this new structure, Panjab University would hike the tuition fee of the B.Sc, BA and B.Com classes from Rs 756 to Rs 960, that of MA and M.Sc from Rs 840 to Rs 1,080, while the fee of M Com would be increased from Rs 1248 to Rs 1,560 annually. The admission fee, too, is all set to go up from Rs 165 to Rs 210 annually.

In continuation of the first meeting held last month, the committee headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, would also discuss the implementation of a uniform fee structure in all colleges with regard to various funds, in addition to the implementation of a uniform structure on tuition fee and admission fee.

The only hitch in the execution of a uniform fee structure, as pointed out at earlier meetings, is that most private college managements are utilising the funds charged under various heads for payment of gratuity to the teaching and non-teaching staff and salaries of staff on unaided posts.

With nearly 1,500 such posts created after November, 1981, the managements are spending over Rs 5.5 lakh for payment of retiral benefits. In view of the acceptance of the demand to cover these posts, the colleges would have no objection to a uniform fee structure.

Also, the members would discuss allocation of separate funds to rural, semi-urban and urban colleges. The facilities being demanded by the urban colleges is greater in comparison to those in rural areas.

The 10-member committee was constituted by the Senate at its meeting on July 6 this year following a notification of the Punjab Government to hike fee in colleges. 


Hansraj Principal moves court against suspension
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 27
The Principal of the prestigious Hansraj Public School in Sector 6 here, Dr(Mrs) Rajani Thareja, who has been placed under suspension by the DAV Managing Committee, Delhi, for the alleged insubordination, has gone to the court against her transfer to Surajpur as well as her suspension.

The Civil Judge, Senior Division, Panchkula, Mr Gulab Singh, today issued notice to the committee and others for tomorrow when Dr Thareja’s application for a stay order as well as for a suit for declaration will come up for hearing.

The notice has also been issued to the general secretary of the committee, Mr Punam Suri, secretary of the committee and Mr Subhash Marriya, Manager of the school, who is also the Principal of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh.

In her complaint, Dr Thareja said she was appointed the Principal of the school in 1994 and since then the school had achieved great heights. The achievements of the school under her leadership, however, did not go well with certain “vested” interests in “the local managing committee of the school as well as the Delhi committee”, she alleged.

She alleged that the general secretary of the Delhi committee conspired with the accountant of the school, Mr Manmohan Sharma, and tried to implicate her. She further contended that despite her having produced documentary evidence before the general secretary of the Delhi committee and the Panchkula police having challaned Mr Sharma in a case of fraud and embezzlement, the former directed her to allow Mr Sharma to join duty in the school. Mr Sharma was earlier suspended by her.

Dr Thareja alleged that since the general secretary was out to protect Mr Sharma, she was apprehending a decision against her by the committee.

The plaintiff said according to the instructions issued by the Delhi committee, a purchase committee was formed to procure computers for the school. The purchase committee comprised Mr Marriya, Dr Thareja, Ms Monika Madan, Supervisory Head of the school and Mr Ramesh, Accountant. Tenders were invited and the firm offering lowest rate was shortlisted. However, she alleged, Mr Marriya insisted that the offers made by certain other companies after the tenders were opened should also be considered.

She contended that the order was placed with Allied Technologies at the insistence of Mr Marriya, who allegedly unilaterally increased the rates of computers from Rs 31, 500 each to Rs 33, 500. Mr Marriya, she alleged, also insisted that there was no need to take prior approval of the Delhi committee.

Dr Thareja said these facts were brought to the notice of Mr Suri by her. She also informed him that the quotations for computers were called on the basis of different parameters from different companies. As Mr Suri did not respond to her letter, she wrote to the Adviser, Audit Section of the Delhi committee, Mr R.N. Chawla, and sought his advice.

She claimed that she had never been cowed down by “veiled threats of the vested interests and have not submitted to their illegal and unjustified demands by ignoring the procedures set down by the managing committee”. However, “a caucus within the committee has not liked the way, the plaintiff has handled the affairs relating to Mr Sharma(accountant) and Mr Marriya, who managed to prevail upon the committee to transfer her.” She further alleged that “their only aim and objective was to go in for corruption and include such elements in the school who would help them in achieving their purpose.”

Dr Thareja went on to allege that “Mr Marriya and Mr Suri and other interested persons entered into a conspiracy” against her and managed to transfer her to Surajpur DAV school. The transfer order was issued when the school was closed for Divali from October 23 to October 28. The order was never issued to her. However, she came to know about her transfer orders from “other sources”. The orders were issued by the general secretary on October 22. She contended that the transfer order was issued by an authority “not competent to do so”. Since she was teaching physics to Plus Two classes, her transfer would adversely affect students.

She alleged that Mr Marriya and Mr Suri misinformed the Delhi committee that she had refused to accept the transfer orders and thus managed to place her under suspension. She denied that she had ever committed an act of insubordination.

Dr Thareja termed the action of the respondents as “mala fide”.

Source in the management told TNS that an inquiry was instituted against Dr Thareja for the alleged diversion of school funds to another school owned by her family. They said Dr Thareja was transferred so that there was no hindrance in the inquiry. 


SC grants bail to N.K. Jain
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, October 27
Former UT Home Secretary, N.K Jain was today granted bail by the Supreme Court in a case pertaining to his alleged involvement in the rape of a Shimla girl. Mr Jain was arrested by the UT police on the charge of hatching a conspiracy to implicate a city-based businessman, Mr M.K. Jain, in the case.

When contacted, Jain’s son, Mr Ashish Jain, confirmed that his father N.K. Jain had been granted bail by the apex court. Giving details, he said the bail application moved by N.K. Jain came up for hearing before a bench of the Supreme Court comprising Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Mr Justice S.N. Srikrishna. “Senior Counsel P.S. Mishra along with S. Chandrashekar argued Mr Jain in the Supreme Court, he said.

The orders are likely to be reach the UT District Courts within a day or two, after which Mr N.K. Jain is to furnish a surety bond in the local court. Thereafter, he will be released from the Model Burail Jail.

When The Tribune contacted the Jail Superintendent Model Burail Jail, Mr D.S. Rana, he said official orders had not reached the jail authorities. Mr Rana said Mr Jain would be released after getting the court orders.

A case against the former UT Home Secretary was pending in the court of the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr R.S. Baswana, along with other four suspects. The two accused — Ram Lal and Narveer — in the case have already been released on bail. Three other accused, including Mr N.K. Jain, are at present lodged in the jail.

A 21-year-old Shimla girl had claimed that she had boarded the car of Sector 8 resident M.K. Jain from Sector 20 on August 14, 2003, but had lost consciousness after consuming a cold drink purchased by him.

Later, she had found herself unconscious in the Sector 16 General Hospital where she came to know that she had been raped. The police on the other hand had claimed that it was a frame-up. Investigations by the UT police in the case led to the conclusion that the victim was not raped by Mr M.K. Jain but the former UT Home Secretary who along with others, had hatched a conspiracy to falsely implicate the former in the case.

The police had initially filed a challan against Ram Lal, Narveer, Baldev and Surinder. Later, it file a supplementary challan against Mr N.K Jain.


Admn move to attract top biotech firms to sign MoU with Imtech
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
In a move to attract top-class biotechnology companies to the city, the Chandigarh Administration has tied up with the Institute of Microbial Technology (Imtech) which will provide its world-class laboratories for use by these companies against payment.

This is part of the Administration’s biotechnology policy for promoting research in biotechnology and the growth of the biotechnology industry in Chandigarh and the region. For this the help of various national level Institutions like Imtech is required.

A formal memorandum of understanding between the Administration and the Imtech will be signed soon. The Central Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the controlling body of Imtech, has already given its approval. The CSIR will decide on what areas will be opened to private parties and what will be the charges to be paid by private companies using the laboratories.

Companies which are into biotechnology can come here and develop processes, designs, compounds, equipment and solutions which have applications in the field of agriculture, industry, food and nutrition, medicine, pharmaceuticals, health services and environmental sciences.

On the Administration’s agenda is to facilitate networking among biotech organisations and universities and colleges offering biotechnology, biophysics, biochemistry, nanotechnology and bioinformatics. The next step will be a tie-up with the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO).

In January this year, the Administration claimed that Chandigarh had many advantages for the growth of the biotech industry.

It provides an urban and relatively pollution-free environment. Human resources with practical experience in biotechnology are readily available in the many teaching and research institutions in the city, which enjoys top rank in the country with regards to the Human Development Index.

The educational environment of the city is highly conducive for the development of biotechnology.

Scientists and biotechnologists at nationally renowned institutions provide a valuable resource pool for companies.

The upcoming botanical gardens has a large reservoir of plant species. This includes medicinal plants, a large sample of indigenous plant species and selected exotic plants, the Administration, had claimed.


  • MoU will provide facilities to biotech companies to use high-end laboratories of Imtech.
  • It will enhance growth in the biotech sector by attracting technology leaders.
  • This will create employment for trained biotech professionals and other qualified personnel in Chandigarh and the region.


Who will light these expensive park lights?
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 27
Once again residents of the township find themselves at the receiving end due to lack of coordination between the Municipal Council (MC) and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) here.

A majority of the intra-sectoral parks are sans proper lighting despite installation of expensive light in these parks.

The PUDA authorities, who are responsible for the maintenance of a majority of the parks, state that they are doing their best but are keen to hand over the maintenance of the parks to the Municipal Council, which on the other hand does not want to take over these parks till PUDA provides various facilities.

A few weeks ago, Mrs Kulwinder Kaur, a middle-aged resident of Phase VII, was taking her usual evening walk in the neighbourhood park when she was asked to stop by an unidentified person. ‘‘I will kill you if you move or shout,” he said. But Kulwinder Kaur started screaming and the man ran away.

‘‘The lights in this park are rarely on. In fact now we take a walk in the afternoon but then there are not enough people in the park at that time, so its not safe.’’she pointed out.

‘‘The lights were installed over an year ago. For the past two months they have not been functional, ’’ said Mr Batra, a resident of Phase III-A.

“It is useless to try to bring the matter to the notice of PUDA authorities. I have personally called the XEN, in charge of the electrical wing of PUDA, but his response has been not positive” said Mr Manjit Sethi, a municipal councillor, who also lives next to the park.

Interestingly, the parks being maintained by the Municipal Council in various parts of the township are well lit and properly maintained. ‘‘This is because there are just a few parks to maintain. Once all parks are given to the MC for maintenance they too will face difficulties,” pointed a PUDA employee.

“Moreover the parks which are with the Municipal Council are on the main roads and are big parks. Some of these parks also run music. But in majority of the parks within the sectors, which cater to the residents living far from the main roads, lighting is poor,” added Mr Manjit Sethi.

Sources in PUDA state that a move is on for the handing over of these parks to the Municipal Council but the matter is pending due to lack of clarity on certain modalities. The MC is not ready to take over the parks till PUDA sorts out the problem regarding staff for the maintenance of the parks.


Goods damaged in fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Goods worth lakhs were gutted in a major fire which broke out in an industrial unit in Ram Darbar here this evening. The unit, Ajay Steel Industries (Delight Chairs), manufactures plastic chairs, steel chairs, plastic tables and plastic fridge stands.

The fire, which was noticed around 7.40 pm, was controlled within half an hour by fire tenders from the Industrial Area fire station. The fire spread due to plastic chairs and foam lying on the premises of the unit. A fire officer said the fire started from the entrance and spread to the rear of the unit.

Due to timely action by the firemen, a number of plastic chairs and raw material lying at the rear of the factory was saved. The exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. 


Add soya punch to your diet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
With more than 80 per cent of the Indians suffering from some disease or the other, a conscious effort is being made by the community at large to adopt healthy eating habits. Most of us today do understand and relate to health related issues but do we actually make a conscious effort to modify our diet or introduce healthy eating habits?

Soyabean, a leguminous plant, cultivated and consumed by the Chinese since centuries has been in India for the past 30 years. However, it still remains an unexploited territory as far as the Indian cuisine is concerned, say experts.

Today it has been scientifically proved that soyabean play, an important role in preventing and treating chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis etc. Recent research in the food and health care segment has shown that soyabean is one of nature’s most important nutritional gifts and soy protein is a balanced plant protein on a par with egg and milk proteins.

One of the most important and unique features of soyabean is that it contains all three macronutrients i.e. proteins, carbohydrates and fats required for a good nutritive diet. As compared to other legumes, which contain 20-25 per cent protein, soyabean contains 38 per cent 40 per cent protein. Though plant proteins are mostly of lower quality as compared to animal proteins because they have a lower content of certain essential amino acids. However, soya protein contains sufficient amount of all essential amino acids for human needs, and is considered equivalent to animal protein quality. Furthermore it provides several therapeutic benefits as well, and has been confirmed as an excellent food for children, elderly people and pregnant and lactating mothers. Some of the nutritional and therapeutic qualities of the product are as follows:

Cholesterol and Heart Diseases — Soyabean being the natural alternative to many cholesterol-lowering drugs helps reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases, which today is the number one cause of deaths in urban India.

Cancer: Researchers have found a link between soy consumption and reduced risk of certain types of cancers especially breast and prostate. Isoflavones, phytochemicals found in soy products have shown to be anti-carcinogenic.

Osteoporosis: This disease is prevalent in aging men, women and even in children. It causes bones to become porous and brittle due to the loss of calcium and other minerals. According to a study, 30-40 per cent of women and 13 per cent men have life time risk of fracture due to osteoporosis. Soya protein reduces these risks as it causes less calcium excretion from the body as compared to animal protein thus helping in development of bones. In fact it has been scientifically proved that children who consume soybean products show a higher increase in memory power, weight, height and considerable rise in their hemoglobin level as well.

Diabetes: Soya products help in reducing diabetic risks in patients. The protein requirement of a person with diabetes increases and this can be met with ease by adding soyabeans and soya products to the diet. Not only this, the protein helps reduce cholesterol and controls blood sugar levels. The significance of soyabean is felt more so in Indian diet, which is predominantly vegetarian. (A vegetarian diet often lacks in terms of both quantity and quality of protein.) Even the non-vegetarians do not consume animal products on a daily basis in quantities sufficient to provide the recommended amount of protein. Thus soy, which is high in protein, can easily meet the protein requirements of a vegetarian diet.

After reviewing almost 50 scientific publications, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 26, 1999, issued a health claim for soy protein. The health claim states that “Consumption of 25 grams of soya protein per day with diet low in saturated fatty acids may reduce the risk of health diseases by reducing cholesterol.” Exactly after one year the American Heart Association endorsed the FDA health claim.

Soyabean today is internationally recognised for its versatility as well as for its nutritional and therapeutic properties and indeed has the potential to become a daily part of the Indian diet.


Convention achieved nothing, says Chohan
Next to be held in December
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 27
The leader of the Khalsa Raj Party, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, said here today that nothing concrete had emerged from the World Sikh Convention and announced the holding of another convention in December.

Dr Chohan said yesterday’s convention here had failed to achieve its objectives and merely kept attacking Akal Takht. He said the importance of Akal Takht could not be reduced and its sovereignty had to be restored. Akal Takht was a political centre and Darbar Sahib a spiritual centre and the two together constituted Sikhism.

Dr Chohan said those persons who wanted to reduce the importance of Akal Takht were against Sikhism. He said some neutral Sikh organisations would be asked to play a role in organising another convention. This convention could be held either in Amritsar, Anandpur Sahib or Chandigarh.

He said the demand for the formation of Khalistan would be taken up with the United Nations, which would decide whether the demand was justified or not.

He said the Gurdwara Act, 1925, had become defunct and there was a need to rewrite the Act.

A demand for the installation of Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman’s portrait in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and the allotment of a piece of land for building a memorial to him would be presented to the Punjab Chief Minister. Mr Chohan said the sacrifice of Pheruman had been ignored for 34 years.


Pak national allowed to observe Ramzan fast in jail
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, October 27
Stating that every prisoner has a right to practice his religion while he is in jail, the Model Jail Burail authorities today allowed a Pakistani national, Abid Mehmood, lodged in the jail on spying charges, to observe fast, along with about 25 other Muslims, during Ramzan. Meanwhile, Abid’s request to allow a maulana in the jail for namaz has been turned down by the authorities due to shortage of time to verify his antecedents.

The Muslim prisoners are observing fast between 5.30 am to 5.30 pm from October 26 to November 10. The Superintendent of the jail, took the decision after the court’s direction to consider Abid’s request as per the Punjab jail manual, if there was any provision. Abid had requested the court to grant him permission to keep fasts during Ramzan and arrange for a maulana for namaz on the jail premises.

At present more than 500 prisoners are lodged in the Model Jail Burail. The majority of the prisoners are Hindus and the jail authorities have constructed a temple for them the jail premises. There is also gurdwara for Sikhs and on occasion of Gurpurab, they have the access to organise langar in the jail. Muslims, like other religions, are free to observe fasts according to their beliefs and call a maulana for namaz.

Confirming that Abid had been allowed to observe fasts along with other prisoners, the Superintendent of the jail, Mr D.S. Rana, said the jail authorities had no objection inviting a maulana on the jail premises, but not without a prior permission of the higher authorities. For the verification of his antecedents, at least seven to 10 days were required. Since the Model Jail Burail was a high security jail, it was not advisable to allow the entry of outsiders without knowing their antecedents from a local court.

Mr Rana added it was not possible to verify the whereabouts of a maulana on such a short notice. Mr Rana added that Abid’s counsel, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, had been informed that he should move such applications well in time so that the jail authorities could get enough time to take a decision.

Abid is lodged separately in the jail due to high sensitivity of the case he is involved in. Abid, along with Abdul Wahid and Mohammad Arif, both Indian nationals, was arrested under the provisions of the Official Secret Act, the Foreign Act and cheating and forgery charges on February 23.


Strengthening the bond of affection
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, October 27
Strengthening the bonds of love and affection, sisters throughout the city applied vermilion on the forehead of their brothers on the occasion of Bhaiya Dooj today.

The early morning excitement was for everyone see. The time for applying vermilion and the related ceremonies, according to the priests, was till 11 am.

Little wonder, excited sisters, clad in their festive best, did not go to the university or colleges. They stayed back or drove to meet their brothers. The Inter State Bus Terminus and the railway station, too, were abuzz with activity as brothers reached there to receive their sisters.

As city residents were on a visiting spree traffic at certain places almost came to a standstill. Major traffic jams were witnessed in different parts of the city, including the road separating Sectors 23 and 24, Sectors 35 and 34, even on Panchkula-Chandigarh highway.

However, the celebrations were not all that simple. Sisters, instead of carrying the vermilion on simple platters, preferred to pick up traditional trays decked with glittering mirrors. As they stood excited, brothers could be seen bending to touch their feet.

Many went to temples to pray for the success and long lives of their brothers. Heavy rush was also witnessed in front of the sweet shops all over the city as the residents did last-minute shopping.

Some of the sweet shops went out of stock last evening asking residents to come next morning as early as 6 am. For youngsters, sweets were not the right choice and they picked up boxes of assorted chocolates and biscuits.

Bhaiya Dooj symbolises the bond between a brother and a sister. It rejuvenates the special bond they share. It is also a reminder of the sense of protection a girl derives from her brother and symbolises his victory in all the ventures he undertakes.

Panchkula: Bhaiya Dooj was celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety. Sisters put vermillion tilaks on their brother's foreheads and prayed for their long life and well being.


Don’t treat infantryman as unskilled labourer

Infantry Day is celebrated on October 27 every year, because on this day our first battle, after the partition of the country, started with Pakistan. On October 27, 1947, one infantry battalion (1 Sikh), was flown from Gurgaon to Srinagar. This sudden action was taken to save the Srinagar airfield from the advancing bands of raiders, who were supported by the Pakistani army. The airfield was saved but at the cost of heavy casualties, including the Commanding Officer of 1 Sikh, Lieut-Col Dewan Ranjit Rai. He was awarded Maha Vir Chakra.

Infantry is the only arm which physically comes close to the enemy to destroy or capture him. It is for this reason that it suffers more casualties in battle than any other combat arm. For the past several years, an infantryman is fighting a battle everyday, thanks to the surging insurgency in J&K and in the North-East. Our infantry has suffered more casualties in J&K in the counter-insurgency operations since 1989 than it had suffered in all wars after Independence.

The sacrifices that the infantry makes to save the honour of the country are remembered on every Infantry Day but hardly anything is done to improve the terms and conditions of service of this arm. The infantry has not only lost its pristine glory but has also become so unattractive that hardly anyone likes to opt for it. Ironically, an infantry man’s rating as per the Fifth Pay Commission is as low as that of an “unskilled labourer”.

It is time we made the infantry lucrative by granting it a special status with the attendant financial benefits and post-retirement concessions that it attracts the pick of the youth to its fold.

Command Hospital

The Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, has received sanction for an MRI machine costing Rs 5.23 crore. The equipment will arrive in a few months.

A noteworthy development at the Command Hospital is that Commandant Maj-Gen B. Sadananda himself goes to the hospital mortuary when a body is to be handed over to the deceased’s relatives. He checks the packing of the body, expresses his sympathies to the deceased’s relatives and then sees that the body is loaded in the vehicle properly before it leaves the hospital.

Fifth SSB

The selection of candidates for the Army training academies, which extends over a period of five days, involves several tests to make a true assessment about each candidate. It cannot, therefore, be rushed through. Although we have four Services Selection Boards (SSBs) in the country to accomplish this task, what has been experienced in the past few years is that the biggest SSB in the country, the Selection Centre East (SCE), Allahabad, has been handling about 30,000 candidates in a year to select nearly 50 per cent of the total number of candidates.

To reduce the rush at the SCE, another SSB, called 14 SSB, was started recently at Allahabad.

Army placement agency

The Army Placement Agency, Western Command, which is located at the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, continues to explore avenues to widen its clientele base to find more and more jobs for the ex-servicemen. Since this needs to create awareness among various employing agencies about the availability of the Army manpower that can meet their requirements, regular contact with them through all available means is essential.

An in-house workshop is being organised at Ambala Cantonment by the Western Command Headquarters on November 5 to find ways and means of broad basing the spectrum for the prospective candidates. A discussion will also be held at the workshop on how best the media could be utilised by the Army placement agencies cost effectively. A representative of the Army Headquarters Placement Agency has also been invited to attend the workshop.


City to have another electric crematorium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The city will have a futuristic plan for roads for the next 20 years. This will include the involvement of road science experts who will conduct a study and visualise the future requirements of city roads.

The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today told the Finance Secretary that in view of the increasing population of the city and increasing vehicular traffic this plan has to be evolved.

The city will also have a second electric crematorium which will be located in the Industrial Area Phase I. In due course, the traditional cremation ground will be segregated and the one in the Industrial Area will be exclusively earmarked for electric crematorium.

The Administrator asked the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to plan the second electric crematorium in the city in the next year’s plan.

Taking a serious note of the erratic working of present electric crematorium in Sector 25, Justice Verma said the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, should ensure its un-interrupted working. The Administrator also asked the commissioner to break the nexus, if any, between wood sellers in the cremation ground and a section of employees, which result in frequent breakdown of the electric crematorium.

Justice Verma asked the Engineering Department to complete the ongoing working of cycle tracks at the earliest and close all openings on V-3 roads so that slow moving traffic could be segregated from the fast moving traffic, reducing the chances of mishaps.

Taking a serious note of the expanding activities of rickshaw ‘mafias’ in the city and increasing numbers of un-licenced rickshaws in the city, Justice Verma asked his Adviser to work out the modalities for strictly enforcing rickshaw bylaws in the city. It was informed in the meeting that on an average 25,000 rickshaws are plying in the city out of which only 3,000 were licenced and rest of the rickshaws were owned by the so-called rickshaw mafia operating in the city. Justice Verma said plying of unlicenced rickshaws should be checked strictly and in this process administrations of the neighbouring satellite towns of Mohali and Panchkula should also be involved.


Bhatti opens ‘kabootar centre’ in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 27
“Canada, America ke dekh nazare, jameen jaidad bech ke pyare,” was a satire typical of Jaspal Bhatti. As the comedy king and members of his Nonsense Club launched the International Kabootar Centre amidst much fanfare in the Sector 17 Piazza here today, Jaspal Bhatti hit it where it hurts the most, attacking the ongoing practice of human trafficking in the name of art and culture.

Starting with a speech, Bhatti lured the gullible audience to join his International Kabootar Centre which, he pointed out, provided all the facilities required for sending people abroad (read illegal migration) under the same roof. The centre not just offered a wide spectrum of choices in terms of profession and was giving a whopping 30 per cent festival discount on the ongoing market rate charged for illegal immigration.

“We offer all sorts of choices like pop singing, dancing or sports depending on the category in which one needs to migrate to foreign countries,” said Bhatti keeping his straight faced look in tact as he interspersed his speech with slogans like “Desh videsh agar ho jana, kabootar centre daud kar aana”.

The centre was supposed to be inaugurated by letting 11 pigeons free in the air, but as the members could not collect more than two pigeons, the comedy king had to carry out the rituals of the inauguration ceremony with only two pigeons. The members of the club had dressed up to suit the mood — disguising themselves as folk singers, film producers, raagi jathas (religious singers), players, politicians and policemen. The banner at the background added to the pun which read “International Kabootar Centre — Inhuman Traffic System.”


RSS chief mourns ex-Chief Justice’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Mr K.S. Sudharshan, chief of the RSS, has condoled the death of a former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Jitender Vir Gupta, who was the president of the Northern Zone unit of the RSS. The former Chief Justice died on October 25.

In his condolence message sent to Justice Hemant Gupta, a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court , who is a son of the late Justice Gupta.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the UT District Courts today abstained from work to mourn the death of Justice J.V Gupta, a former Chief Justice of India. This information was given by the president of the District Bar Association, Mr Sajal Koser, here today.


Judges mourn Justice Gupta’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Call it coincidence or destiny. Former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana Court Justice J.V. Gupta had attended the full-court reference to mourn the death of Justice J.M. Tandon just four days before he died.

It was on October 21, Justice Gupta had reached the courtroom of the Chief Justice, the one he had adorned for so many years, but on the night of October 24, he left for his heavenly abode.

“I can safely presume that he may have thought to give the last visit to the courtroom of the Chief Justice which he had adorned,” said Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr B.K. Roy.

He was addressing former judges, besides the Advocates-General of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Harbhagwan Singh and Mr Surya Kant Sharma, respectively. Also present were Chairman of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council Mukesh Beri and High Court Bar Association President Anmol Rattan Sidhu. They had gathered to attend the full court reference for mourning Justice Gupta’s death.

Appreciating Justice Gupta’s efforts, Mr Justice Roy said, “After retirement, he did not accept any government assignment, though he remained active and associated himself with social organisations and non-government organisations”.

Requesting the gathering to observe a two-minute silence, Mr Justice Roy asserted, “He was the national president of the Bharat Vikas Parishad. He was also the president of the Rama Krishna Mission Ashram at Chandigarh. He was also the Chairman of Seva International and patron of the Indian Institute of Culture”.

Mr Justice Roy concluded, “We pray to God to give peace to his soul and sufficient strength to the bereaved family, the relations, the friends and his admirers to bear the shock”.

Mr K.S. Sudarshan, Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, has mourned the death of Justice Gupta, president of the northern zone of the RSS and former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Hayana High Court.

In a condolence message to Mr Justice Hamant Gupta, a judge of the High Court and son of Justice Gupta, Mr Sudarshan said that Justice Gupta devoted almost the whole of his life to the service of the nation.

Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, Punjab state president of the BJP, also mourned the death of Justice Gupta.


Cops to check gambling at public places
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 27
A special drive to check incidents of gambling and liquor consumption at public places is on the cards. The police will also try to reduce the crime rate in the city. It claims that the crime rate has decreased as compared to the last year.

These were some of the decisions taken at a crime review meeting chaired by the IGP, Mr Rajesh Kumar, and attended by all station house officers, the SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, DSPs of the three police divisions and the DSP (Crime).

The police has been asked to start a special drive to arrest those who have been declared proclaimed offenders. There has been no reduction in the number of the incidents of vehicle lifting in the city and the police has been asked to check such incidents. Maximum cases of vehicles theft have been reported from the areas falling in the jurisdiction of police stations of Sectors 17 and 34, said police sources.

As per the police, the IGP told the DSPs and the SHOs that he would start the inspection of working of the police stations from November 15 onwards. Till date, there are about 780 unsolved cases registered this year and the police will make efforts to solve most of them by the end of the year.

Some of the major cases which are yet to be solved include, the sensational daylight murder of 24-year- old Simran in Sector 22 on July 17, murder of Gurwant Singh Walia near Hockey Stadium this month and killing of Nem Pal Singh on August 14 in Sector 45.

The police has not made any headway in the robbery of about Rs 8 lakh from a car in Sector 19, the armed robbery at a Sector 61 petrol station and the snatching of cash and jewellery on gun point from a jeweller in Sector 37.

Other decisions taken up at the meeting are speedy disposal of cases of property in maalkhanas of different police stations and closing of unauthorised openings (passages) in different sectors on the various roads of the city.

The police said there had been a reduction in incidents of robbery, snatching and theft in the city.

The police supplied a data to support its claim. This year, till October 15, 2003, only 10 cases of robbery, 163 of burglary, 996 of theft and 60 of theft have been registered as compared to 22, 277, 1285 and 996 cases of robbery, burglary, theft and snatching, respectively registered during the same period last year. However, there has been an increase in the registration of cases related to the Gambling Act, the Excise Act and the Arms Act.

At the meeting, the IGP asked police officials to improve their dealing with the public. The police will also be watching the activities of criminals, who were arrested earlier but have been either discharged by courts or are out on bail. 


Burn victim dies at PGI
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 27
A 32-year-old woman Laxmi, who was admitted to the PGI with severe burn injuries, died at the hospital today.

Condition of her husband, Manpal, who was also admitted in the hospital with similar injuries is, however, stated to be out of danger.

As per the police, Laxmi’s clothes had caught fire from a candle in her jhuggi in Sector 25 at around 2 am today.

Her husband, a vegetable vendor, was injured while trying to save her. The two were later taken to the PGI. Laxmi is survived by her husband and two children.


CAR STOLEN: A Zen car (HR-61A-0006) belonging to the state Secretary of the Indian National Lok Dal ( INLD), Mr Amardeep Chaudhary, was stolen from outside his residence in Sector 2 on Divali night.

It is learnt that the car was parked outside the house while the family was performing Divali puja. A case has been registered at the Sector 5 police Station.

BOOKED: The police has booked Srikant, his father D. Prasad and Jawahar Lal on charges of assaulting Srikant’s wife Veena Devi and mother- in- law Vidya Devi. While Veena Devi managed to escape with minor injuries, Vidya Devi sustained a fracture and is admitted to General Hospital here.

The two women have alleged that Veena and Srikant were having a marital discord and on an earlier complaint by her, Srikant was lodged in Ambala Jail and had recently been released. A case under Sections 452, 323, 516 and 34 of the IPC was registered.


HDFC Bank launches scheme for card users
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
HDFC Bank has launched a “Shop and win” carnival for its 22 lakh credit and debit card users that will enable them to win prizes like Ford Ikon, diamond sets, home theatre systems, DVD players, microwaveovens, discount vouchers and lots of other prizes by using debit or credit cards by December 31, 2003.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Neeraj Swaroop, country head, retail banking, said, “The scheme will be open to HDFC Bank debit and credit card users in nine cities across the country, namely Chandigarh, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad. To become eligible for winning the prizes, customers will have to use their card at any of the outlets of their choice in India or overseas by December 31.”

He said, the customers would also receive assured gifts in the form of watches for early birds and discount vouchers from Espirit, Adora and Onkyo, ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000, depending on their purchases from Rs 3,000 onwards. Discounts up to 25 per cent would be offered at over 600 outlets, he added.

Mr Swaroop said that the bank’s retail lending was growing at an annual growth rate of 50 per cent and corporate lending at a rate of 15-20 per cent. In a short time, he said, the bank had provided its customers the complete range of accounts and services such as Net banking and financial transactions over the cellphone through 24-hour mobileBanking, Phone banking, Net-based instant car loans, personal loans, loans against securities, inter-branch banking, sweep-in facility from FDs, cluster deposits, international debit card, international credit card, advisory services and NRI banking services across the country.

Ms Neena Singh, regional head of HDFC Bank, informed that the Bank will add six new branches in the Chandigarh circle during the current financial year.


Ropar resident wins fridge in lucky draw
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
This Divali proved to be a special one for Mr Ashwant Verma of Malhotra Colony, Ropar, as he won the first prize of a 460-litre LG refrigerator under the lucky draw scheme floated by Bhatia International Super Market, Sector 35-C.

It was a festive mood at the super market when the draw was held this evening. Member Secretary-cum-Judge, Permanent Lok Adalat, Mr Sant Parkash, picked the coupons of the lucky draw and announced the names of the winners. The second prize, an Onida 21” colour TV, went to Aditya Vardhan Happa of Sector 49-B, Chandigarh while the third prize, an LG washing machine of 6.5 kgs, went to Dimpy Narang of Sector 39-A, Chandigarh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sanjeev Bhatia said, “Keeping in view the good response to this lucky draw scheme, we have decided to continue it on other festive occasions in future with new prize schemes of enhanced amounts”.

Lucky draw winners: The Business Promotion Council of Sector 17 today announced four lucky draws under the ongoing festival offer. Bishanjit Dey ( coupon no 038999) of Chandigarh, Sneha Shayam ( 165777) of Lucknow, Charanjeet Kaur ( 146642) of Chandigarh and Raji ( 218835) of Mohali won Samsung refrigerator, colour TV, microwave oven and washing machine, respectively. The council has informed that the winners can either collect the prizes or could participate in the mega contest by surrendering their prizes. The result of the mega contest will be announced on November 9.

New look: SPYKAR has launched its new winter range. The range has been inspired by the STUDIO ‘54 look. Overall and asymmetric print and embroideries, pigment sprays, bold and psychographic prints and applique qorks are the main features of the collection.

The denims this season have been treated with multiple processes and washes; overall discharge, uneven blasting, pigment sprays and stitch detailing.

Several techniques and materials are blended together to give richness and individuality to the fabric. Mixing fabric in a kind of patchwork style are eye-catching. The range has a multitude of contrasts in fabrics, patterns and prints.

SPYKAR has also added of a vast flat-knit range to its existing range of T-shirts.

Ethos schemes: Ethos, Sector 8, the leading watch showroom of the city, is going all out to woo its customers with attractive schemes. In an attempt to give variety to the people of the city, the store has added some names to the existing 16 international brands of watches and accessories. The new collection displayed includes names like Giordano, Wenger, Fossil, and Titan Nebula.

Ethos has also added to its stockpile pens from Caren d Ache and Ted Lapidus. It has also added to its Dunhill products like cuff links, tie-pins. Ethos has given a new look to its first floor. The floor houses new brands like Fossil, Espirit, Titan, Timex and Swatch.


Chandigarh Carnival from Nov 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Administration will hold the annual Chandigarh Carnival on November 29 and 30. A meeting to decide the schedule of events will be finalised in the next two days. The Administration plans to make it a big show.

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