C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City cable katha: no signal, high rates
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
For the past one month, residents of Panchkula have been missing their favourite programmes on the Zee bouquet of channels. Residents of Chandigarh have been complaining of poor services and frequent hike in the cable charges. The residents of Mohali too were not spared as the viewers were recently forced to forego watching their favourite programmes with the cable operators cutting off transmission to their subscribers for five hours in protest against the attack on a fellow technician.

The instances are different but one thing is clear — hapless subscriber continues to be at the receiving end. They pay more, receive less and even what they get to see on their TV sets is difficult to decipher because of the poor quality of transmisssion. And, the question of quality comes in only when the channel is on air. Hundreds of residents have to suffer no transmission or blackouts every day because of the poor quality of service provided by cable operators.

However, as the pay channels arm-twist the cable operators, the latter force the consumers to shell out more. This coupled with variation in the cable subscription rates in the city and the satellite towns is a grim reminder of competition in today’s market place. Ms Jyoti Sharma, a school teacher, complained about the poor quality of transmission by saying that “poor quality of cable used by the local cable operator affects the quality of reception. Even after paying Rs 200 every month, one gets to watch only 15-20 channels clearly and is forced to pay for even those channels which one can not have access to.” It is a better option to have a dish that costs Rs 2,800 installed and enjoy 170 odd channels, she suggests.

From Rs 50 in the neighbouring colonies and villages (for only free-to-air channels) to Rs 325 in Sector 9, the cable rates different in different sectors. Chandigarh has about 1.75 lakh cable homes and two MSOs — Siti cable and Future Communications Network — that together have command over 90 per cent of the market share. Similarly, in Mohali, which also has two MSOs — Future Communications Network and Punjab Cable Services — the rates vary between Rs 150 to Rs 250. The pinch is felt the maximum by the residents of Panchkula, who have to shell out anything between Rs 250 to Rs 325 per month. Here too, the area is catered to by two main operators  Panchkula Cable TV System and Panchkula Cable TV Network.

And it is the residents of the sectors, where a single cable operator is serving the area, are the worst affected. Residents of posh northern sectors like 8, 9 and 16 fall in this category as they have only one cable operator from the beginning.

Even as a majority of TV viewers continue to remain dissatisfied with their cable operator, they lack the option of switching over to another service provider.

The complaints of the consumers in the city and the surrounding areas range from arbitrary hike in subscription rates to channels going on the blink. Col T.S. Dhillon (retd) a resident of Sector 35 said “the pay channels hike charges without any prior information, thereby compelling the cable operators to pay more. And eventually, it is the consumer who ends up paying more due to the frequent rise in the subscription fee. The need of the hour is to have a regulatory mechanism to monitor the functioning of various satellite channels.”

Mr Ajay Mahajan, a shopkeeper is all for uniform pricing of cable TV subscription rates across the country, just like the cellular or electricity services. TRAI (Telephone Regulatory Authority of India), which has been entrusted the task of fixing uniform prices of cable connections across the country, should do so at the earliest to check the fleecing of consumers.

Ms Kusum Joshi, a housewife also rued the attitude of the staff towards the technical and the delay in handling the problems. The overhead network of cable wires often disrupts telephone connections and despite repeated complaints, one has to suffer in the absence of basic services like telephone.

Mr M.K. Virmani, a bank employee, said television viewers were suffering on various fronts, including poor services and exhorbitant prices. The variation in rates depends largely on the greed of the MSO and the cable operators, who in the absence of proper competition indulge in monopolistic practices. He is of the view that the consumers should not be made to pay for the paid channels, which get enough revenue from advertisements because of the heavy viewership.

As a rescue act, the UT Administration is taking up the issue of difference in rates in the city with the cable operators and broadcasters separately to workout a formula for uniform cable charges. The administrations of the neighbouring townships of Mohali and Panchkula have also issued a set of directions to the cable operators to regulate the rates.

What the Cable Operators say?

The blame of variation in subscription charges lies mainly with the broadcasters of pay channels who frequently arm-twist them by raising the subscription. Mr S. Bedi of the Joint Action Committee of Cable Operators Association says, the local cable operator has no choice and is at the mercy of the MSOs, who create a monopoly by using their status and muscle power.’’

On the exorbitant prices, he maintains that the entire exercise of wiring up homes till the last mile and providing round-the-clock services is an expensive affair. The rates also depend on the maintenance cost of the areas, competition amongst the operators and the quality of services that are offered to the consumer. Since the cost of infrastructure and other overhead charges in northern sectors with bigger houses were higher than the smaller cluster of houses in the southern sectors, the rates in northern sectors are higher. 



TV channels submit rate list
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Major television channels have submitted a detailed list of the rates they charge from cable TV operators in the city on per connection basis. The lists have been submitted to the Chandigarh Administration, which is trying to solve the problem of overcharging by the cable operators.

The rates were submitted at a meeting called by the Administration. Sources said the rates more or less matched the rate list provided by the cable operators last week. The Administration will now rope in consumer organisations to devise a formula, suitable for everyone. The operators should also have a profit margin, said official sources adding that the disparity in rates in the city needed to be removed.

The system works like this — the channels charge the cable operators a fixed rate on per connection basis. In turn, the cable operators add their profit and bill subscribers. Each channel comes in a package like the ZEE TV, Sony, Star and ESPN. News channels, with a couple of exceptions are mostly free to air.

A package means that if an operator takes the Sony package, he will get all channels from the Sony stable. The same formula is applied in case of Star and ZEE. In the past, various consumer organisations and residents have protested whenever the cable operators raised the monthly subscriptions. The cable operators, in turn, blame the broadcasters for the raising the rates.


Admn to seek NCR-like system for periphery woes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh Administration will ask the Centre to notify Chandigarh and its periphery area on the pattern of the National Capital Region (NCR), New Delhi. This will entail funding the development of self-reliant satellite peripheral towns in Punjab and Haryana beyond the existing green belt areas.

This will also mean that people from the neighbouring states could be discouraged from settling in Chandigarh as these new developed places will act as counter magnets. These areas should have coordinated approach for growth and these new townships should have very good road connectivity. The new areas should be as good as Chandigarh. The concept of NCR with regards to success of NOIDA and Gurgaon can be replicated here also.

The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), asked his Adviser Lalit Sharma to put proposal which can be forwarded to the government for development of such towns. To develop these places funding will be required. Chandigarh was being throttled by influx of population, the Administrator opined while addressing a meeting of senior officers today.

In the meeting it was felt that the influx of population in the periphery and its unplanned growth was putting a great strain on the civic amenities of the city besides encouraging slums in and around the city.

Chandigarh Administration on its part should ensure that maximum area in the periphery falling in its territory should be greened or brought under forest cover, said the Administrator while asking his Adviser to put together a concept for greening the periphery areas.

In the meeting it was opined that the original vision of having a green belt around the city had been violated at many places in Chandigarh as well as in the adjoining states. It was felt that for proper low density green development of the periphery an institutional arrangement was required to regulate the development of periphery in Chandigarh and in adjoining states.

Justice Verma said “Chandigarh was the first planned urban planning model envisioned in the independent India and we all have to ensure that this model was not defeated.”

Regarding the planned OPD Block in General Hospital, Sector 16, it was informed in the meeting that design and plan of the OPD block would be finalised by the end of March, 2004, and the Engineering Department would start the construction work by the first week of April.


Beggar’s bid to kidnap children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
A beggar allegedly kidnapped two three-year-old children from the Mauli Jagran complex here this evening. The beggar, who was from Meerut, had kidnapped the children with the intention of making them beg.

However, another child playing with these children immediately informed their family members. The police arrested the beggar, who identified himself as Ashok Kumar from Meerut.

The Mauli Jagran police post in-charge, Mr S. S. Rana, arrested the beggar and recovered Paras and Karan Sharma, who were restored to their parents.

The police is interrogating the beggar, who said he had reached Chandigarh today itself and it was for the first time he had tried to kidnap children from the city. The beggar said another person, whom he did not identify, was also involved in the racket. The beggar said his modus operandi was to kidnap a child posing as a beggar. Later, he would change his clothes to give a slip to the police.


Special CRPF units for n-warfare
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The CRPF is raising special battalions to deal with the threat posed by nuclear, chemical and biological (NBC) warfare. These will also be trained in counter-insurgency and urban warfare operations. Special units are also being raised for disaster management.

One such battalion, 152nd Battalion, will become fully operational tomorrow, with the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, reviewing its passing-out parade at the CRPF Group Centre, Pinjore, near here. Another such battalion is being raised in south India. Two disaster management battalions are also on the anvil.

The move to raise special battalions comes in the wake of the CRPF having been designated by the Ministry of Home Affairs to be the nodal force to manage internal security so as to relieve the Army and the BSF.

CRPF officers told TNS here today that 65 new battalions would be raised by 2005. As many as 13 battalions were being raised this year.

152nd Battalion is expected to be deployed in Jammu and Kashmir. Though it consists of about 950 personnel, undergoing training at the centre since March last year, its strength will be reduced to 650 men. The extra personnel will be earmarked for other special units.

The 44-week course included aspects of NBC warfare, counter-insurgency operations and jungle warfare.


PGI may jointly conduct trials on anti-cancer drug
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada, and the PGI are likely to enter into a collaboration for human trials to check the harmful effects of an anti-cancer drug causing heart failure in a large number of patients.

“Though the use of the anti-cancer drug- adriamycin has been minimised due to its side effect of causing heart failure in patients but now we have been able to prevent this in rats and I am confident that it will prove to be successful even during trials on humans,” informed Dr P.K. Singal, Professor of Physiology at University of Manitoba in Canada.

Dr Singal, today delivered a talk at the PGI, after releasing a book “Antioxidants and Cardiovascular Disease” he has co-authored with Dr R. Nath and Dr M. Khullar.

He said he was already in touch with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to get the ethical approval and other formalities required in this regard.

“It is a wonderful drug but international studies have indicated that it caused heart failure in 23 per cent cancer patients, as a result of which it is only being used as a cocktail, along with other drugs,reducing its side effect to almost zero,” he clarified. He said the doctors at the PGI too had similar experience after they used adriamycin to treat cancer patients.

Dr Singal said since a lot of finances would be involved in the trials, he was also in touch with other institutes in countries like Kuwait, as the pharmaceutical lobby in the US was not too keen on the project. “The success of human trials will bring about a phenomenal change in cancer treatment as people will start using the drug. It is the most effective drug in case of variety of cancers.

Explaining about his research he said though adriamycin stopped progression of cancer cells but could lead to heart failure. “The presence of trace metals in the body produces free radicals, which damage the heart, compromising its structure and heart,” he elaborated. Based on his research, formulations could be made which will prove to be antidote for free radicals and oxidative stress.

Dr Singal said the fact that the drug was causing heart failure, had led to very limited use of adriamycin, given in small doses so as to reduce chances of any side effect. He said there was no cause for concern for cancer patients as the dose was kept restricted and a patient’s consent was taken before he was given the drug during cancer treatment.

Dr Singal said now there were hardly any cases of heart failure due to the limited use of the drug, but patients who had taken it almost 10 to 15 years back, were now suffering heart failure.

“The damage due to the drug manifests much later in life but the peculiar structural damage caused to the heart establishes the fact that it does have serious side effect,” he said.


Global need for Indian sea-farers set to rise
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
After years of rather indifferent performance, shipping industry has finally come out of the trough. The “feel good factor” which now pervades the industry provides India with a unique opportunity to train and market its sea-farers throughout the world, says Mr G.S. Sahni, Director-General of Shipping and ex-officio Additional Secretary, Government of India.

India has an age-old tradition of supplying sea-farers to the world. Even now world’s largest ship, Jahareviking, which is an oil tanker with a capacity of five lakh tonnes, owned by a Japanese, is commanded by an Indian, Capt J.K. Sharma. Its chief officer, H.S. Sandhu, is also an Indian while its Chief Engineer is from Mohali. The second and third largest merchant ships of the world are also captained by Indians.

“There are at present about 20,000 Indian merchant Navy Officers and Ratings serving on foreign vessels throughout the world,” says Mr Sahni. “But the projections are that in view of the upswing in the shipping activity, this number can go up manifold in the coming years. There is going to be a shortage of 10,000 officers alone by the end of next year. Hence, the need for training more officers and marketing them abroad.”

India has at present 132 merchant navy training institutes, all of them in the private sector. Delhi has four such institutes but there is none in this part of the country. However, if everything goes well, Chandigarh will soon have a merchant navy training institute run by some of the serving and retired merchant navy officers. Mr Sahni who was in town today to address a meeting of the Merchant Navy Officers Association of Chandigarh, said in an interview with TNS that he wanted to motivate these officers to do something to pay back what they owed to Mother India.

“It is time these officers rose to the occasion and contributed their might towards increasing the country’s share in the world shipping industry. They have the expertise, training and experience,” he says.


Support of media in creating employment opportunities sought
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 25
The media should carry success stories of those who have been able to carve a niche in lesser known areas, said Ms Usha Albuquerque of Delhi-based Career Smart Private Limited.

Addressing the gathering at a hotel in Sector 10, Ms Albuquerque added that such stories were essential, apart from disseminating information about emerging trends in different sectors, including the services sector. She added that media could be catalyst for Indian youth.

She further asserted that there was huge human resource potential which required suitable utilisation. Moreover, there was a need for upgrading the existing professions to international standards. Education, she added, was given least recognition though good professional jobs paid well.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT), Dr Gulshan Sharma, said problem of unemployment, especially of the educated youth, has taken a serious turn.

He added that there was an apprehension of it becoming grimmer in the future if remedial steps were not taken. Unemployment, he asserted, not only led to serious social disruption, but also resulted in indulgence of youth in undesirable social activities. It was also putting an enormous strain on society’s fabric.

Dr Sharma further disclosed that total unemployment in India was estimated to be 35 million, while in North Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, besides Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, there were more than 26 lakh people registered with the employment exchanges.

The actual number, he added, could be more than 50 lakh as not all unemployed persons were not getting their names registered with the exchanges. He said more than 2 lakh graduates passed out from North Indian universities every year.

Dr Sharma also sought the support of media in generating employment opportunities for the educated youth in the region. He said media with its ears and eyes open to problems and aspirations of society could help in numerous ways by creating awareness about vast job opportunities available in the services sector.

Supporting his contention, he referred to Planning Commission’s report stating that 120 million jobs out of 200 million created by 2020 would be in the services sector.

Dr Sharma said as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of ITFT, the institute was planning to help 10,000 unemployed graduate youth. ITFT, he added, was organising a “Job-Fest” at Chandigarh on April 11. The event, he said, would be the first of its kind in forging partnership between the corporate sector and the student community.

Mr Rabindra Seth, an eminent media personality, gave details of “self employment” in fast developing tourism and hospitality sectors, including travel writing which entailed creative urge to write and travel. Ms Asha Nayar from Career Smart also highlighted the need for closer partnership between employers and the emerging labour force. She said steps should be taken to reduce the mismatch, which existed between the job market and educational inputs.


Market projects in shambles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
A project for a market at the entry point to the city on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway initiated a decade ago is in ruins. The six-odd existing structures are replete with filth, garbage bins and Congress grass.

The original plan earmarked 2.04 acres of area for the project, a majority of which is still unoccupied at the spot adjoining the UT insignia of the Open Hand opposite the Fun Republic complex in Mani Majra. A dirty water “nullah” flows at the backside of the area and no shop structure has come up in this portion of land. The construction here seems impossible as there is no passage to facilitate the transportation of the construction material.

The original plan of the UT Administration has parking space, toilets, streetlights, a fountain and several other facilities. In reality there are no roads, no lights, heavy shrub outgrowth, human excreta and vegetable waste on the site. Scores of vagabonds inhabit the area.

A number of shopkeepers, requesting anonymity, highlighted the government apathy. “We are told that the government will provide basic amenities when at least 60 per cent of the area is inhabited. The auction could not be completed at one go and a number of plots had to be surrendered to the government how could the area be inhabited,” a shopkeeper said.

In a representation to the Commissioner of the municipal corporation, it has been pointed out that “long-pending demands of shopkeepers were ignored”. “We are made to run business in a jungle like surroundings with no basic amenities. The surrounding are in a shamble.” A booth owner said “the booths at the site were auctioned two years ago. No official has visited the spot to redress the grievances of shopkeepers”.

It has been pointed out that there are no approach roads to the booths and it is difficult to carry the construction material inside. The site has no paved footpaths either.

The “nullah” often leads to flooding of the area during rain. There are complaints about the non-availability of drinking water.


Public health surveillance conference from Feb 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
In order to enable better detailing and monitoring of diseases in the country, the PGI’s Community Medicine Department will hold a three-day national conference with the theme “Networking for Public Health Surveillance” from February, 27.

“We do have a system of monitoring and detailing of diseases but it needs to be further strengthened and the deliberations and recommendations arrived at during the conference will be conveyed to the government through the Indian Association of Social and Preventive Medicine,” informed Prof Rajesh Kumar, Head of Community Medicine at PGI.

As many as 100 eminent experts from all over the country will be attending the conference, so that we can have a better surveillance system where a continuous watch can be kept over the situation, he added. The conference will be inaugurated by Mr R.C. Dogra, Minister for Health and Family Planning, Punjab, on February 27.

Various topics like communicable diseases, reproductive and child health, adolescent health, gender and health, HIV control, TB control, health management, rabies, injection safety and health promotional strategies will be discussed. Research papers will be presented and poster presentations will be made at the conference.

During the conference, discussion will be held both on communicable as well as non-communicable diseases, so that the situation can be monitored and kept under control.” The delay, at times almost four to five years between the collection of the data and its compilation makes the entire effort futile, as by then the situation changes drastically,” lamented Dr Rajesh Kumar.

He said India had emerged as a global leader as far as Information Technology was concerned but unfortunately this was not being put to use in the area of health. Citing an example, he said though there was a system of civil registration of deaths in the country but almost 50 per cent of these still go unrecorded. “Even in case of deaths which are reported , often the cause of death is not mentioned,” explained Prof Rajesh Kumar.

He said having a better surveillance system would also facilitate better fund allocation and utilisation of funds.


Cops assault 3 men
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 25
Three employees of a stray cattle contractor were allegedly assaulted by two policemen near the Sector 17-18 chowk here today.

According to information, Mohammad Ali, Sahib Jan, Manjit, Baljit Singh and Sagar were trying to catch a stray cow. In the process, the animal hit a passer-by.

Eyewitnesses said while the passer-by and the employees were having an argument, two police personnel, a head constable and a constable, reached the spot. While Baljit Singh and Sagar managed to escape, other three employees were given a severe beating by the cops with batons.

Sources said Mohammad Ali sustained injuries on the left arm and Manjit and Sahib Jan on their backs and feet.

Later, the trio was bundled into a PCR van and taken to Sector 16 police post where they were detained for over an hour.

In the meantime, the contractor, Mr Upinder Chadha, met Ms Seema Chaudhary and Mr O. P. Siag, president and executive officer, respectively, of the local municipal council(MC) and demanded strict action against the police personnel.

The sources said it was at the intervention of Mr Siag that the employees were released. Later, they were taken to the General Hospital.


Vastushastra a vedic science, says consultant
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 25
Terming vastushastra a Hindu vedic science, Mr Khushal Sachdeva, a Vastushastra consultant, today said the placing of a pyramid on the study table helped children concentrate in their studies.

Students who study facing the rising sun fared better as the sun is an infinite source of enlightenment and energy, the Mumbai-based expert told The Tribune here.

Mr Sachdeva, who is here to deliver a talk at the Rotary House in Sector 12-A,said for better performance in the examinations study room should have shades of green and mustard yellow.The wall paper and screen saver on the computer should not depict depressing pictures. Similarly, the students should not have unwanted books lying on the study desk.

It was a myth that vastushastra meant demolition, he said, adding that vastu experts provided effective remedies to existing structures without major structural changes. “Vastushastra is the art of placement which guides a person to remain in harmony with the nature and placed five essential elements of nature in the ideal position. It also harnessed the solar energies,north-south magnetic flux and gravitation forces,” the expert said.

Listing the benefits of modification of the residences as per the vastushastra, he claimed that “redesigned” houses ensured more peace of mind and happiness and better coordination between the members of the family. Financial stability and better health were the other benefits of the “Vastu houses.”

Mr Sachdeva, who is vastu consultant to several big industries in the region, said modifying a factory according to vastu principles ensures more sales and financial stability. Better coordination and creation of a bigger business empire are other benefits more and more industries are seeking consultation from the vastu experts, he claimed.


Goldy remanded in police custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Crime Branch today remanded Gurvinder Singh, alias Goldy, in police custody till March 3.

Goldy was arrested by the Fatehgarh Sahib police for allegedly supplying hawala money, sent by two foreign-based Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) activists to Jagtar Singh Hawara, who escaped from Burail Jail on January 21.

Goldy had reportedly admitted that he supplied money to Hawara in three installments in August to September and October. The police suspects he could be a crucial person to probe the international angle of the jail break conspiracy.

Goldy initially came in contact with BKI chief Wadhawa Singh’s son-in-law Sewa Singh in Bangkok. Sewa Singh introduced him to a hawala operator in Delhi. Goldy had earlier been arrested in connection with carrying fake currency.

Goldy was also allegedly in touch with Germany-based Sohan Singh, who is considered to have helped Hawara and Narain Singh Chaura in the conspiracy.

The Chandigarh police has to investigate if Goldy himself supplied the money to Hawara in jail or used Baljit Kaur for the purpose.


Test face mask on wrist first
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 25
The peel-off mask that promises to pamper your skin with goodness of orange has sometimes confusing fine print on the carton. It says “enriched with vitamin A, C, E and fruit AHA”. Well, you know vitamins can make a difference in the way you look. But “AHA” fails to enlighten you.

This is not all. There are creams that are full of enzymes and oxygen. Also available over the counter are gels for ensuring glowing skin. The mind-boggling range of cosmetics displayed in the picture windows of drug, cosmetic and departmental stores, leave you perplexed.

But instead of scratching your head, you can easily make an attempt to learn the “label language” so that you know all about the benefits, and harmful effects, of ingredients next time you drive down to market for buying cosmetics.

“AHAs”, from fruit acids, are supposed to be best suited for fair skin. In case your complexion is not that radiant, be a little cautious before applying the products containing AHAs.

“Though the chances are absolutely bleak, AHAs just might cause allergy in case of darker skin,” says Sector 35-based beauty consultant Radhika Sharma. “Just to be on safer side, you should first apply the product on your wrists to check allergy”.

In case you have picked up a cream rich with oxygen, you can safely presume that it will help in skin renewal by “improving cellular activity” — at least this is what Ms Sharma reveals.

“Enzymes also contribute in skin revival,” she adds. “You should go in for creams with enzymes if you have a skin that looks tired. Otherwise, enzymes are naturally found in fruits, including papaya and pineapple”.

Gels are free from oil. These are best suited for summers if you have an oily skin. In fact, you can pick up gels for washing your face, even for applying on hair. Serums, on the other hand, enhance the efforts of anti-aging ingredients.

Herbal extracts are relatively safe — so claim the doctors. “A good herbal-based product will protect you from harmful rays of sun, and effect of wind, besides other elements,” another beauty consultant Neeru Sidhu adds. “You now have products with herbal extracts for almost everything, including hair and skin”. 


Seminar on public audit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, Mr Lalit Sharma, today inaugurated a seminar on “public audit and good governance” by the Institute of Public Auditors of India (IPAI), North-West Chapter, Chandigarh, at Hotel Shivalikview here.

The president of the IPAI, Mr Nand Lal, apprised the audience of the activities and objectives of the institute. Mr Dharamvir, former Deputy C&AG of India, also shared with the audience his experiences of government service. Mr H.S. Arora, Director, Finance (retd), ONGC, presented a paper on audit in the present context, whereas Mr S.S. Mann, FICWA, highlighted his views on social impact of public audit. Similarly, Mr Sada Nand presented a paper on the “role of audit in good governance,” Mr N.S. Kalsi, Managing Director, Public Information and Communication Technology Corporation, Chandigarh, discussed electronic governance in Punjab.

Prof Suveera Gill, Panjab University, also discussed the corporate governance, whereas Mr G.R. Sood presented a paper on good governance.Back


Cong workers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee today held a demonstration against the UT Administration on the issue of sale of commercial property on a leasehold basis.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, said he had pleaded for the auction of commercial plots on a freehold basis. He said it was with his efforts that properties in the city were being converted into freehold. “Reverting back to the old system means cheating the people. To keep pace with the increasing trading facilities, the notifications for leasehold should be withdrawn”, he said.

Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress, said the BJP was making all efforts to ensure that the local administration, controlled by the Congress in the corporation, was unable to “look after welfare of the people”.

Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, and Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the local unit of the Youth Congress, were also present on the occasion.


Som Dutt to represent Jonathan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Major Som Dutt, Past District Governor of Rotary District 3070, has been appointed by the world president of Rotary International Jonathan B. Majiyagbe to represent him in the conference of District 3070 being held at Amritsar on February 28 and 29.

Major Som Dutt will be delivering the keynote address on this year’s gloab ltheme of “lend a Hand”.


Crackdown against noise pollution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chandigarh police has arrested and bailed out eight persons during the past three days allegedly for causing noise pollution between 10 pm and 6 am.

The police crackdown has come in the wake of noise disturbing students who are preparing for the annual examinations, and also to provide relief to the aged.

A police team led by ASP (City) Sanjay Jain last night booked Dadu Majra Colony resident Satinder Singh, another person of the same name in Sector 20, Kishangarh resident Udhey Bhan and Kuldeep Singh of Attawa. They were violating the pollution control norms at the Sector 15 Community Centre, Agarsen Bhavan, Sector 30, Lubana Bhavan, Sector 30, and house No. 157 in Attawa, respectively.

These persons were booked under Section 4 of the Punjab Instruments (Control of Noises) Act, 1956, which prescribes imprisonment up to six months or a fine up to Rs 1000 or both.

The police has appealed to the people to strictly adhere to noisefree time norm to help students and the aged people.

The registration of the case for noise pollution is part of an ongoing drive to curb the nuisance caused by playing loudspeakers, DJs, music, etc at high volume during late night hours.

The police, in an official release, said the indiscriminate use of loudspeakers, amplifiers and such other gadgets transmitting sound was a great source of nuisance causing obstructions in streets, lanes, annoyance and injury to neighbours, especially the student community and endangering health of the aged and infirm who cannot enjoy a sound sleep.


Cyclist killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
A cyclist was killed when a jeep (HR 68-2269) hit him in the Industrial Area and seriously injured a roadside vendor. The accident occurred near plot number 125 in the Industrial Area, Phase I.

The jeep first hit a rehri, then the cyclist before bumping into an electricity pole. The cyclist was declared brought dead when he was taken to hospital. The roadside vendor Kaushal (35) was taken to hospital where he was stated to be serious.

The driver of the vehicle fled from the scene. The jeep has been impounded.


Man found murdered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The body of an unidentified man (35) was today found lying on Tolly Road in the Mauli Complex.

According to the police, the body did not bore any marks to suggest he might have been murdered.

The dark-complexioned man, who looked to be a labourer, was wearing two shirts, hawai sleepers and had a little-grown beard.

The body has been sent for post-mortem examination.


2000 pirated CDs seized
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 25
The police here today arrested two persons on the charge of carrying pirating compact discs. Over 2,000 pirated CDs have been recovered from the two.

Sources stated that simultaneous raids were conducted on various CD shops in Mohali village, Phase VII, Phase V, Sohana, Shahi Majra, etc. Ramesh, a shop owner in Phase 1, was arrested with 1,500 pirated CDs, while Dolly of Phase V was arrested with 518 pirated CDs.


Cartel ‘exploiting’ small scale steel units
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 25
Industrialist of the region will organise a march on February 28 to protest against the hike in steel prices. This was decided at a joint meeting of representatives of various industry association of the region held here today where a unanimous call for banning of export of steel was also raised.

Mr A.L.Aggarwal of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries alleged that there were mala fide intentions in the coming together of certain large steel using industries and signing of MoUs for cornering almost 40 per cent of the total steel being produced. “Our demands are simple and few. We want zero per cent import duty on steel, immediate withdrawal of incentives to steel exporters and a total ban on the export of steel,” he said.

Stating that the price of steel went up from Rs 2,000 per tonne to Rs 8,000 in 20 years but registered a sharp increase to Rs 24,000 in the past one year, Mr Aggarwal pointed out that steel had been bought by this cluster of large players for Rs 20,500 per tonne but being sold for Rs 26,500 a tonne. “The prices are rising by the hour and this situation is unacceptable,” he said.

Organised by the Mohali Industries Association, the meeting was chaired by the MIA President, Mr Gurmeet Singh, who informed that all the industry associations in the region, including the ones from Chandigarh, Panchkula and Dera Bassi were now uniting for a common cause.

Mr Rajiv Gupta of the Federation of Small Scale Industries stated that the steep increase in steel prices during the last one year have shattered the economy of the small-scale industries in the country and hundreds of units were being forced to close down following the unavailability of steel in the open market.

“Business planning has become a problem as the steel manufacturers have formed a cartel which increases the prices of steel at its own sweet will in the garb of globalisation. They exploit the small scale manufacturers by creating artificial shortage in the market and then hiking the prices. This has made it impossible for small scale units to execute their orders as these are booked at lower prices of steel,” he said adding that a large number of tenders that they had taken up for the railways have failed due to the hike.

Emphasising that over 3,000 units in the region were using steel, Mr Arvind Mehan, Vice-President of the Industries Association of Chandigarh stated that 30 per cent of employees in these units have been removed following the hike in steel prices over the past one year. “The worst-hit are the fastener industries, those involved in the production of railway goods etc.” he said.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, General Secretary of the association, had earlier welcomed the members and Mr Yogesh Sagar proposed a vote of thanks.

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