C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nod to multiplexes in shopping malls
HUDA to auction sites today
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

  • Reserve price 11 crore
  • Area of the 7020 sq mts shopping mall
  • Earnest money 5 lakh

Panchkula, January 19
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has allowed multiplexes in two shopping malls here. The auction of sites for these malls will be held tomorrow.

Besides, HUDA has also decided to cover the malls under the Haryana Apartments Ownership Act. The Act will enable the mall owners to sell or lease out the built-up property, according to sources.

The auction of the malls is aimed at bringing the “metropolitan culture” to the City Centre in Sector 5 here.

According to HUDA officials, these moves would help boost economic activity in the town.

The zoning plan provides for a permissible ground coverage of 40 per cent of the plot area and maximum permissible height of 30 metres. A three-tier basement to take care of the parking has also been planned.

Earlier, HUDA planned to allow retail commercial showrooms, restaurants, health clubs, call centres and corporate offices in the shopping malls.

As a large number of town residents belong to the higher income group, the HUDA authorities are hopeful of a good response from the MNCs and corporate giants to tomorrow’s auction.

This is not the first time that HUDA has come up with the idea of setting up such commercial establishment in the town. About five years ago, HUDA had proposed a multi-storeyed shopping tower in the Mansa Devi Complex along the Chandigarh-Shimla highway.

However, the move fell through as the site was situated near a housing society of top government officials. It was contended that the proposed shopping tower would deprive the society residents of a green belt.

Ultimately, the government officials’ lobby had its way and the area earmarked for the shopping tower was reportedly converted into a green belt.


Ludhiana lecturers sweep Academic Council poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Candidates from Ludhiana swept elections for the 15 seats of the Academic Council in the lecturers category. The results for these seats were declared at Panjab University here today.

While Dr Narinder Singh from Khanna polled 946 votes, Dr Prem Sagar, a candidate from a local college, was the last lecturer to make it to the council, polling 607 votes. Nine of the 15 seats went to candidates from Ludhiana which has the maximum number of colleges.

Out of the 1960 votes polled in colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh, 42 votes were declared invalid after counting concluded at the Administrative Block of the university this evening.

The results for the elections, which saw 28 candidates are as follows: Dr (MS) Amrit Walia-Ludhiana (709), Mr BK Gupta-Ludhiana (692), Mr Bhupinder Singh-Abohar (691), Mr Barinder Jit Singh-Ludhiana (850), Prof Gurdev Singh-Ludhiana (880), Dr HS Dhanoa-Chandigarh (707), Dr Jagdeep Singh-Ludhiana (746), Mr KK Sharma-Khanna (654), Mohd Saleem-Ludhiana (746), Dr Narinder Singh-Khanna (949), Dr Parvinder Singh-Chandigarh (861), Dr Prem Sagar-Chandigarh (607), Ms Raminder Grewal-Ludhiana (704), Mr Sandeep Sahni-Ludhiana (611), Mr VK Bhardwaj-Ludhiana (767).


Legal opinion against Dean above 60 years
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

The legal retainer has recommended that a Professor above 60 years should not be appointed DUI on the grounds that....
  • The Government of India has refused approval for proposed enhancement of age from 60 to 62 made by PU
  • The PU calendar provides that “one of the university professors” be appointed DUI.
  • The PU is already fighting a case in the High Court against enhancement of retirement age.

Chandigarh, January 19
While convention at Panjab University has it that the seniormost Professor usually above 60 years and less than 62, is offered the Chair of Dean of University Instruction (DUI), legal opinion sought by the university in this regard recommends otherwise.

The legal retainer, Mr Anupam Gupta, has suggested that a university Professor beyond the age of 60 should not be appointed as DUI when the PU Syndicate slated for January 24 meets to decide the successor for Prof R.J. Hans Gill, who is due to retire on January 31 this year.

In his advise to the university, Mr Gupta has said a professor who has crossed 60 years should not be chosen as DUI in view of the Government of India’s letter to the university refusing the approval of enhancement in age of retirement of teachers from 60 to 62.

He says the appointment of the DUI from among Professors who have crossed the age of 60 should not be made, especially since a case regarding enhancement in the retirement age is pending with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In this case, the university is opposing the enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 62. The next hearing is slated for January 22.

Also, the report mentions that the chapter of the PU calendar which deals with appointment, duties and function of the DUI does not refer to seniority or length of service. It is provided in the calendar that “one of the university professors” may be appointed to hold the office of DUI.

Interestingly, despite this opinion, a list of eight senior-most Professors, has been circulated by the university authorities among members of the Syndicate for consideration and appointment. However, all of them are above 60 and some have already turned down the offer.

This opinion, sought last year by the university, has been given to the Syndics along with the agenda, though it is likely to be overlooked again as has been done in the past.

A former president of the Panjab University Teachers Association, a Senator and Syndic, Prof P.P. Arya, says,“Since the enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 62 has been given by UGC, all Professors beyond 60 are entitled to hold posts and get other consequential benefits. Besides, the Punjab Government has nothing to do with the finances of the university where all regulations are approved by the Centre. The PU Senate and Syndicate, too, have adopted 62 years as the age of retirement.


Man killed, 2 others hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 19
One person was killed while two others sustained serious injuries in separate accidents on the Kalka-Ambala highway here over the past 24 hours.

According to police sources, Joginder Singh of Bhabhat village was crushed to death when a vehicle hit his cycle on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highway early this morning.

Joginder Singh was going to his office at the Health Department in Chandigarh, when the vehicle, bearing registration number of Himachal Pradesh, rammed into his bicycle from behind. The driver of the vehicle sped away after the accident.

The body was handed over to the family of the deceased after a postmortem examination at the Civil Hospital, Rajpura.

A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered at the Zirakpur police station.

In another mishap, two scooterists were injured, one seriously, when a Tata Estate (bearing registration no HP14-6636) collided with their scooter on the Ambala-Kalka highway, near Lalru.

According to police sources, Balbir Singh of Raipur Rani was driving his scooter (HR03D- 9865) with his relative Jasbir Singh in pillion. The two were coming from Batauli village when the Tata Estate collided with their scooter.

Balbir Singh was seriously injured and had to be taken to the PGIMER, Chandigarh, while Jasbir Singh was given first aid at a local hospital.

The driver of the Tata Estate managed to escape.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against the driver of the vehicle at the Lalru police station.


SI succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Chandigarh Police Sub-Inspector Somnath, deployed in the security of Adviser to the Administrator Lalit Sharma, today succumbed to injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident on January 12.

The Sub-Inspector’s scooter was hit by a vehicle on the dividing road of Sectors 27 and 28 on January 12 at 9.45 pm while on his way home.

Somnath (50) had been in the security of several Advisers in the Union Territory.

He was taken to the Sector 32 hospital on January 12 and referred to the PGI as he had head injuries.


Consumers not aware of rights, says forum
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 19
Most consumers are either not aware of their rights or are reluctant to file cases, even when they have been supplied substandard products. Every consumer has the right to make a claim because he has paid for the item.

Such views were expressed by speakers at a consumer awareness camp organised by the Consumer Protection Forum at Shastri Model School here today.

Ms Renuka Salwan, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), stressed that consumers should go in only for ISI-marked products.

She warned misuse of the mark was rampant. The ISI mark should have a standard number as well as the license number. She told the gathering how an ISI mark was granted to a particular firm. If the consumer was not satisfied with an ISI marked product he could approach the BIS to make a complaint.

Mr H.S. Walia, a member of the Consumer Forum, Chandigarh, said the public was not aware whether cable operators could increase their charges whenever it suited them and what were the powers of the SDM in this regard. He said service charges were being drastically hiked by operators without taking consumers into confidence.

He said traders had been fleecing customers for centuries and to avoid this the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, had been formulated. Quoting various examples, he said people who had become aware of their rights had fought against exploitation and claimed compensation in a number of cases.

He said the District Consumer Forum should have a sitting in Mohali once a week.

Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, who was the chief guest, said he would organise a meeting with cable operators and find a solution to the problems of consumers.

Mr A.N. Sharma, adviser to the forum, said people avoided taking proper bills from traders for saving tax. They depended on the word of the shopkeeper, but if a product turned to be faulty, they were unable to avail replacement during the warranty period.


MC takes over sanitation work
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 19
The Municipal Council today took over sanitation work in the town as the process of allotting work to private parties is in progress. The term of the contractor, who had failed to provide satisfactory work, ended yesterday. Tenders for the work were called today. Six agencies responded. Council officials are busy making a comparative analysis of the rates quoted by them and it is likely that work would be allotted tomorrow though other formalities might take another two days.

Employees of the sanitation wing, who were earlier looking after the industrial area, have been asked to take care of the residential area till the work is allotted. The work of lifting garbage as well as sweeping roads is now being done by 120 employees of the civic body.

Though earlier the sanitation work of the town had been allotted to one contractor, Opposition councillors had demanded at the general body meeting of the civic body on January 6 that the work should be allotted to different parties after dividing the town into zones. The town now has been divided into four zones so that the work is allotted to different private parties for better performance. While zone I will include Phases I, II, IIIA, VI and Mohali village, zone II will have Phases III B1, III B2, VII, VIII and IX. The area included in zone III is Phases X, XI, Sector 48C and Guru Nanak Colony. Zone IV will have Phases IV, V, Sectors 70 and 71 and Mataur village.


Verma for collective war on AIDS
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 19
The Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (Retd.), today called upon voluntary bodies and non-government organisations to wage a collective war against AIDS.

Addressing the delegation of Indo-Canadian Youth, who are on a visit to India to work in the area of AIDS prevention, Justice Verma said AIDS was spreading tentacles in developing countries, partly due to ignorance about this disease.

Justice Verma said voluntary bodies and non-government organisations should adopt a two-pronged strategy to make people aware about this disease. He said in the high-risk areas, maximum efforts should be made for rehabilitation of AIDS victims so that they were not ostrichised in society.

In the low-risk areas there should be more concentration on spreading information so that people should not fall a pray to this disease.

Justice Verma said a multimedia strategy to educate people regarding this disease should be launched and traditional media, including nukkar plays, would be more effective in rural areas and slums.

Emphasising the need for educating the mobile population, especially truck drivers, falling pray to this disease, Justice Verma said that the Punjab Red Cross should organise special campaign to educate this strata of population.

Earlier, Justice Verma handed over a draft for Rs 1 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner of Moga for maintenance and upkeep of a dental van.


Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir remembered
Tribune News Service

A contestant recites a poem at a function to observe the 105th birth anniversary of the late Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir at Musafir Bhavan in Sector 24, Chandigarh
A contestant recites a poem at a function to observe the 105th birth anniversary of the late Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir at Musafir Bhavan in Sector 24, Chandigarh, on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 19
“The late Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, can be role model for politicians and religious leaders who have strayed from their prime duties, said Justice Kuldeep Singh, a former Judge of the Supreme Court.

Paying tributes to Musafir, Justice Kuldeep Singh said he was a political stalwart and a man of great integrity.

The former judge was speaking at a function organised to observe the 105th birth anniversary of Musafir organised by the Gurmukh Singh Musafir Trust at Musafir Auditorium here today. The Governor of Punjab, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), and the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr H.S. Hanspal were also present on the occasion.

A poetry contest for students of colleges and universities was also organised on the occasion. As many as 51 students participated in the contest.

Remembering the former Chief Minister, Justice Kuldeep Singh gave an insight into his life and deeds. He said the contribution of the great leader to the political, literary and religious spheres could not be ignored and his teachings should be a lesson for every one. Citing several examples, he said Giani Gurmukh Singh left many opportunities in his political life for the sake of his uprightness, morality and integrity.

His contribution to the national freedom struggle, his tenure as the Jathedar of the Akal Takht and president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee were well acknowledged, he said.

The vice-chairman of the trust, Mr K.S. Duggal, was also present. Justice Verma said one must respect such great personalities and follow the path shown by them. A dramatic performance based on a short story “Sasta Tamasha” was presented by Gursharan Singh. The winners of poem recitation and essay writing contest were given cash prizes and books worth Rs 25,000.

The overall trophy in the poetry contest was won by SD College, Ambala. The individual prizes were won by Amanpreet Singh Mann of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh (1), Harvinder Singh of Government College, Sector 46 (2), Ram Bhajan of Government College, Ambala (3), and Rajinder, Gursewak and Sandeep Kaur (4). In the essay competition, the winners were Gursimran Kaur and Kulwinder Kaur.


New British Library opens tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Sir Michael Arthur, the British High Commissioner to India, will inaugurate the new British Library in Sector 9 here on Wednesday January 21.

Mr Robin Baker, the Deputy Director-General of the British Council, will also attend the function. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will be the guests of honour.

The British Council was established in India in 1948 and became a division of the British High Commission in 1972. In India, it operates in 11 cities through its offices and libraries. The head office is in New Delhi and offices in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

The British libraries are run in cooperation with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in seven cities. They are in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram.


Candidates for post of clerk taken aback
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Candidates appearing for the post of a Lower Division Clerk (LDC) in the regional office of the Indian Council of Social Science Research Centre( ICSSR), North-Western region, were taken aback when they were asked to show their typing speed on computers.

In the call letter, the candidates had been allowed to bring their own typewriters for the typing test.

Around 20 candidates from different places in the region had come to the regional office of the ICSSR, located in Panjab University to give the test. A number of candidates, on condition of anonymity, said in the letter sent on January 3, 2004, nowhere it was mentioned that the tying speed would be tested on the keyboard of a computer.

Officials at the regional office of the ICSSR could not be contacted for comment.


Fauji Beat
Army mess life undergoes a welcome change

Time was when women could go to an officers’ mess rarely and that too for certain social functions. Each mess had a women’s room, where an officer could, with the permission of the President Mess Committee (PMC), invite a woman guest. But over the years both mess rules and mess life had undergone a change with the entry of women officers into the Indian Army.

An officers’ mess now is not only a home for bachelor officers, but it has also become a home for women officers who live in the mess and dine there. This has brought a welcome change in the mess life, for now both men and women officers can freely mix and interact with one another. No doubt, women officers, like their men colleagues, have to observe a strict dress code.

Army Hospital adopts latest technology

A few decades ago, military hospitals were not so well equipped as civil hospitals. But over the years, most military hospitals, especially the Army Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, and command hospitals had been well equipped to provide the latest treatment.

As for the Army Hospital, which has become a research and referral hospital, it has the most modern 27 super-speciality departments. Some of them need a special mention. The Cardiology Department performs about 10 open-heart surgeries every week. Unlike the conventional cardiac surgery, it has developed the concept of “warm heart surgery” in which the body is warmed to a temperature of 37° C. This is probably the only centre in India which does not keep the cardic patient on mechanical ventilator after operation.

What is important about the Gastroenterology Department is that it maintains complete data on the hepatitis disease for follow up of all cases. And the medical fraternity of India gets the most authentic data on this disease from this department. The Nephrology and Kidney Transplant departments provide comprehensive care for diseases such as acute and chronic renal failure. The Neurosurgery Department created a record by carrying out the first cervical disc replacement and bi-level cervical disc replacement in Asia in 2002 and 2003, respectively. The departments of obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology and oncosurgery maintain international standards in the treatment. All other departments have also made a mark in their expertise and treatment.

New promotion policy

Announcement by the Army chief, General N.C. Vij, at the Army Day parade in Delhi Cantonment on January 15, about the new promotion policy for the officers has brought a cheer to the serving officers. The welcome measures of this policy encompass that an officer will be promoted to the ranks of substantive Captain and Major after two and six years of service, respectively. Incidentally, around the 70s, these ranks were granted after six and 13 years of service, respectively.

Besides, the Lieut-Colonel’s rank will not now be a selection grade rank. Instead, the first selection grade rank will be the Colonel’s rank. And those officers, who do not make the grade for this rank, will become time scale Colonels after 26 years of service. Two main advantages of this measure are that in future all officers, who are not promoted further, will retire in the rank of Colonel. The second advantage will be that there will be no stagnation in the ranks of Major and Lieut-Colonel.

The adoption of these measures in the next six months will create some incentive for the youth to opt for the Army for the reason that the lowest retiring rank for an officer will now be that of a Colonel or equivalent in the other two services.

Stopping malpractice in canteens

It is a welcome news that military intelligence personnel have been deployed at certain CSD canteens to check the sale of canteen stores and liquor to the non-eligible people. These personnel should be changed frequently and they should not make their presence felt in the canteens.

Culprits, though only a few, are among those buyers who visit the canteen for purchase of stores frequently. Anyone who buys liquor to his full entitlement every month also needs to be watched. After a few of the wrongdoers are caught and punished, this malpractice will stop.

Pritam Bhullar


Readers Write
Pollution on your doorstep

Residents of Chandigarh should thank the city administration for bringing pollution to their doorsteps. When Chandigarh had only a few schools with buses picking up their students, the school buses were never allowed to enter bylanes (roads in front of houses). The children were always picked up from circular roads from inside the sectors. But now one has to step out around 6;30 a.m. to smell fumes in the morning air.

A very few private vehicles ply that early in the morning. And private vehicles don’t give out such polluted emissions because their maintenance is generally better than public vehicles like school buses. Now, since the buses pick up children from their doorsteps and almost all known schools have buses, the chances are at least 10 buses will be crossing your house in any given location.

Chandigarh has always been known for its long walkable roads and Chandigarians love walking. So why should they be made to inhale such unhealthy air in morning itself.

Now one can’t even enjoy a good cup of tea in one’s lawn in a peaceful and pollution free surroundings.

Lanes in some of the sectors are very narrow and every house has two or three vehicles parked on either side of road. When buses come to drop the children back chances of mishaps are high as children are often playing or moving around on those lanes.

(Mrs Brijinder Deepak)

85th Amendment discriminatory

This is in reference to the statement of Mr Shamsher Singh Purkhalwi, president of the Dalit Chetna Manch, Punjab unit, in Chandigarh Tribune. It is difficult to understand how the implementation of the 85th Amendment would eradicate untouchability under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955. This Amendment violated Fundamental Rights under Article 14 and affected the basic structure of the Constitution. The forum had already challenged the Amendment in the Supreme Court on the above grounds. The non-implementation of the Amendment did not discriminate against the Dalits. By virtue of this Amendment discrimination had been caused the general categories as it nullified the Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench judgement in Ajit Singh Janjua case for political expediency. The Janjua balanced the rights of both categories under the provisions of the Constitution. In case the Amendment was implemented it would have the effect of superseding the senior general category employees, which was against the basic principles of service jurispudence as an employee could not be superseded without punishment. Moreover, in Punjab state reserve category employees had adequate representation in promotional cadres as per Article 16(4A).

(Chandigarh) (K.K. Goyal)


3,000 Cong men join BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
A former sarpanch of Hallomajra village and executive member of the Chandigarh Congress Committee, Mr Tajinder Singh, and Mr Umesh Parsad Gupta have joined the BJP with 3,000 supporters. Other Leaders who joined the BJP are Chanda Devi, Panch Mohan, Srivasta, Suman Kumar, Munna Singh, Kishori Mandal, Ijaj Khan, Vipin Kumar Singh, Naginder Yadav, Varinder Singh, B.N. Pandey, Daleep Uadya and Kedar Nath.


Autopsy conducted on Geeta’s daughter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
A team of experts from the PGI today conducted autopsy on the girl child who was strangulated to death allegedly by her mother Geeta yesterday in the PGI.

The body of the child was handed over to her father Surinder Rai for her last rites. However, the experts have not yet given their report to the police.

Meanwhile, Geeta remained incarcerated in Burail jail after being remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.


Prof K.K.Dhawan dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Prof K.K. Dhawan, a leading educationist of Chandigarh, died here this evening following brief illness. He was 77.

Prof Dhawan is survived by one son and two daughters. Prof Dhawan remained Vice-Principal, D.A.V. College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, and Principal, D.A.V. College, Hisar. He also remained a member of Syndicate and Senate of Panjab University. Presently, he was Honorary Director of Lal Chand Library at D.A.V. College, Sector 10.

The funeral procession will start tomorrow from his residence, H.No. 88, Sector 16-A, Chandigarh at 11.30 a.m.


Held for setting neighbour ablaze
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
The Sector 31 Police Station today arrested one person from Hallomajra village for allegedly setting a neighbour ablaze on suspicion of having illicit relations with a married woman.

Deepakar was arrested today after being booked for allegedly attempting to murder Shamshad. Shamshad was admitted to GMCH with 20 per cent burn injuries yesterday.

The police said the arrest had been made on the statement of Shamshad that Deepakar had poured kerosene on him before setting him on fire.

Preliminary investigation revealed that both were vying for the attention of the married woman of the same locality.

An unmarried Shamshad was living with one of his married friends, Alam, in a one-room accommodation in Hallomajra.


2 purse snatchers arrested
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 19
The police arrested two persons here today on the charge of snatching a purse from a woman on January 14.

It is learnt that a constable saw two persons with a scooter standing near Diplast Chowk. Their faces were partly covered and they were waiting for their accomplice who was coming after snatching a purse from a woman.

The policeman hit the scooter with his vehicle to stop them get away. While two of the snatchers fled, the constable was able to nab Amritpal Singh.

Special nakas are being set up in the town on the directions of Mr S.P. Singh, SSP, Ropar, to nab anti-social elements. At such a naka near PTL chowk today, the police arrested Vikramjit Singh, alias Vicky, and Ravi Kumar, alias Sonu, both residents of Phase I, and alleged accomplices of Amritpal Singh. They had fled earlier from Diplast Chowk.

Mr Bhupinder Singh, SHO of Phase I police station, said the arrested persons were involved in a case of kidnapping and had also indulged in small extortions. He said the police had registered a case under Sections 382, 511, 186, 353 and 34 of the IPC.


Police yet to trace girl
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 19
Mystery shrouds the disappearance of an 11-year-old girl from a house in Phase VII here with the police yet to find her.

Mr Surjit Singh said here yesterday that he had complained to the SDM, who had directed the police to look into the matter. He said the girl, Jugnu, was working as a domestic help in his house. She had been brought here from Danapur in Patna about a month ago by his brother-in-law, a railway engineer in whose house the girl’s mother was employed.

He said the girl did not feel at home in the new place and his family had decided to send her back to her mother. However, the girl, who went to sleep in the house on the night of January 7, was found missing the next morning. The drawing room lock had been opened and Rs 500 was missing from his daughter’s purse, he said.


Small enterprises must turn to IT, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Information and technology can increase productivity and efficiency of small and medium-scale enterprises(SMEs). Despite stiff competition from large-scale units and MNCs, the SMEs are playing a decisive role in economic development of the country and creating employment opportunities, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P.Verma, said here today.

In his inaugural speech at the regional workshop on “Strategies for development of SMEs,” the Administrator called upon the industry, state agencies and the National Productivity Council to take measures for the modernisation of the SMEs.

He said with minor exceptions, the share of small-scale manufacturing in terms of both output and employment was increasing all over the world.

Unlike old technologies that relied on centralised practices and supported large enterprises, the current technologies relied on computer-aided manufacturing, designs and flexible manufacturing systems and favoured small and medium firms.

Large corporations had been withdrawing from direct manufacturing activities and concentrating more on marketing, technology creation and networking with small and medium firms in manufacturing and related activities.

He said even highly integrated companies like General Motors, Toyota, Maruti Udyog, Hero Group, Ford and Hyundai accounted for more than half of their sales on purchases from suppliers. The SMEs could enhance their capabilities by integrating information technology.

He called upon entrepreneurs to make use of IT. Participation in workshops, conferences and training programmes was an effective method of obtaining new information. E-commerce was creating new modes of operations which could benefit the SMEs, he said.

The speakers said by developing distribution channels and a close relationship with upstream and downstream manufactures, it would be possible to reduce customer acquisition costs and reduce the time needed to develop new products and services.

Referring to the national census on industry, Mr P.K. Verma, Resident Director, PHDCCI, said due to lack of technological upgradation, finance and quality, 8.76 lakh SME units in the country had closed down by March 2001. However, during 2002-03, the SMEs were offering employment to about 2 crore persons and their production was worth Rs 75,000 crore.

Dr S.K. Pachauri, Director General, National Productivity Council(NPC) said, “The SMEs should focus on clean production technologies, energy saving, technological upgradation and management.” He said the NPC was interested in setting up clean production centres in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.


BoP’s help desk inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, today inaugurated the help desk of the Estate Office and that of the Bank of Punjab on the Estate Office premises, (Sector 17) today.

A joint venture between the Estate Office and the Bank of Punjab, the project will enable residents to avail of services like access to information on property records through the Internet. The bank has been selected by the Estate Office out of 18 organisations to set up its infrastructure.

The facilitation help desk will have counters for providing information to the public regarding commercial or residential property in Chandigarh and later will be linked to the Internet. It will also facilitate payments through Internet banking channels like ATMs. The help desk will be controlled by the Estate Office and will help in providing authentic and efficient service.

Instalments, premiums or penalties can be deposited at the Estate Office counter of the bank, besides any of the 11 offices of the bank in Chandigarh, Manimajra, Panchkula and Mohali. This facility will be extended to other branches of the bank.

The UT Administrator said the computerisation of the Estate Office had been carried out as part of the e-governance initiative of the Administration. He said e-governance involved transparency and efficiency in the working of various departments through the use of information technology.

The other departments which are being taken up simultaneously are the Birth and Death Registration, Excise and Taxation, police, municipal corporation, Engineering Department (electricity and water billing), education and health.

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