C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Confusion over PEC counselling dates continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Irked by the stand of the Chandigarh Administration to postpone the dates of counselling at the Punjab Engineering College (PEC), the students seeking admission to the college today decided to air their grievances at a meeting with the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, tomorrow.

Acting on a plea of the parents, Justice Verma agreed to meet the students though the Advisor remained evasive and elusive when parents of these children tried to meet them.

They lamented that the Administration had been taking different stand on the issue of PEC being declared a deemed university on different occasions. They added that due to the postponement of the counselling dates, they would miss their counselling at Thapar Institute, Patiala, and the counselling fee would go down the drain.

“On one hand the Administration says that first academic session of the deemed university would begin from the next academic session 2005-2006. On the other hand, they claim the college has been notified as a deemed university”, said Dr ML Garg.

They maintained that it was wrong on the part of the Administration to notify changes in the quota of seats of UT candidates from 85 per cent to 50 per cent. The notification had already been challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the next date of hearing was July 23.

Though officially, no explanation has been given for the postponement of the counselling dates, a senior official told The Tribune that the counselling would be done after the decision of the court.


Licences for vehicles which are not in market!
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The Chandigarh Administration continues to issue driving licences to youngsters over the age of 16 for vehicles below 50 CC engine capacity, even though no such vehicles are being sold in the market!

The Motor Vehicle Act 1989 permits anyone who is 16 years of age to drive a vehicle provided it had an engine capacity of less than 50 CC.

A couple of years ago, major vehicle manufacturers in this segment like Bajaj, Kinetic, and TVS stopped making 50 CC vehicles. The scooties (as these were popularly called) were upgraded from 50 CC to 60 CC-65 CC.

This reporter checked with an LML dealer and found that the company had no product to match the description on the driving licence. Hind Motors and Kinetic and TVS dealers also said there was no vehicle with 50 CC engine capacity.

But the Administration says it is not wrong in issuing these licences. Officials at the Registering and Licencing Authority explain that they are only following the Motor Vehicles Act.

Sources say children are seen driving heavier vehicles. In case of an accident, this can create problems of insurance claims. Parents are also ignorant about this.



‘Wild guests’ come calling on two homes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 21
Two homes in the district today had some ‘wild guests’. In the first incident, a two-and-half-feet-long monitor lizard (goh) that had strayed in a house in Sector 26, was rescued by wildlife officials and released in the Berwala forest. The sector is located across the Ghaggar river.

An Indian pangolin (ant eater) strayed into a house in Kabir Panthi Mohalla in Pinjore in the wee hours. Wildlife officials rescued it.

It is learnt that the light brown coloured scaly creature, almost two-and-a-half feet in length, had strayed in the house of Ram Singh in Pinjore. He discovered the animal early in the morning and raised an alarm. A few neighbours gathered there and not knowing what animal was, too, got scared and called in the police for help.

It was then that Wildlife Inspector Sada Ram and Wildlife Guard Ramesh Kumar rushed to the house and captured the animal. They then brought the animal to the Wildlife Department headquarters here. The Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden, Mr Vinod Kumar, said the animal was almost five years old. He said the animal had probably strayed in the house from the Shivalik forests.

He said the animal feeds on termites and worms and generally came out of the forest during the monsoon season. The pangolin was later released in the Bir Shikargah forests. This is not the first time that a pangolin has strayed into the residential areas as, last year too a pangolin had strayed into a house in Sector 21 and was rescued by the Wildlife officials.

In case of the monitor lizard (Goh) this was the second incident of the similar nature within this week. Earlier a four-foot-long goh had found its way in a house in Sector 2.

However, the terrified creature entered a drain and forest officials could not save it. 

The goh was used by nomadic tribes to climb up steep cliffs as the animal has a very powerful grip. The animal resembles a huge lizard.


Women taken away from high court premises
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 21
A young woman was today forcibly taken away from the Punjab and Haryana High Court premises by her parents and some relatives.

The woman, who had arrived in the High Court for hearing in the petition filed by her and her husband, was also beaten up by her relatives. The couple had married against the wishes of the girl's parents.

According to eyewitnesses, the woman, Sunita, and her husband, Harvinder Singh, both from Mansa, were standing in front of a tea stall inside the high court premises when they were called outside by her father and some relatives.

Trouble started when she refused to accompany her father after leaving her husband. Apart from her, the boy and some of his relatives, who were accompanying them, were also beaten up. The police officials posted at the entry of the High Court and some people intervened to stop the scuffle from developing into a major incident.

However, before anybody could stop them, the girl's relatives managed to get her inside a waiting car, which then sped away.

A case has been registered at Sector 3 Police Station.

On being informed about the incident, the Bench of Chief Justice Mr Justice BK Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant directed the Superintendent of Police, Mansa to safeguard the lives of the couple.

Meanwhile, the members of High Court Security Committee, which held its meeting yesterday, expressed concern over the growing incidents of violence on High Court premises.

They have sought that the security of High Court be made stricter on the pattern of the Supreme Court. The High Court is likely to take a final decision on the issue soon.


Aaina does city proud
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The telephone in the Jains’ house in Sector 28 has been ringing since yesterday night, ever since the news that an Indian team had won a space settlement competition organised by US space agency, NASA, in Florida, came in.

Aaina Jain, a member of the Indian squad and second year student of Thapar Engineering College, Patiala, spoke to her mother, Ms Anupam Jain, for half a minute on the night of the result. “Even before I picked up the phone that night, I knew there was good news. She was very excited about having won the contest and said they were off to celebrate,” Ms Jain said.

The very fact that the Indian team had defeated seven US teams on their home turf was the icing on the cake. “She told me that while some US participants were crying after the declaration of results, there were others who were congratulating the Indian team for their win. Since yesterday night, our phones have been ringing. In fact, I was delayed for office attending to all calls,” a proud Ms Jain says.

Aaina’s father, Mr Rakesh Jain, a businessman, is lost for words. He prefers to bask in the glory of his daughter’s success by just being around while his wife fields all questions. “I feel just what any other parent would feel at this moment. I am proud of her, India is proud of her. My role has been limited to letting her mind and spirit soar. She had lived up to my expectations and I am happy she has realised her dream,” Mr Jain says after a little prodding.

Her parents are eagerly awaiting her return. “While we are planning to organise a big party to celebrate India’s win, she is being honoured in the USA. The trophy, medals and certificates are to be handed over to the Indian team at a formal function today. I am looking forward to her call in the evening. She also told me that Kalpana Chawla’s husband was taking great interest in the Indian team and was very supportive throughout,” Aaina’s mother discloses.

The creative director for the project, Belleviste, would cost $ 2.56 trillion and would be kept by NASA for future planning of a space settlement to accommodate 16,500 persons in space or on the surface of the moon.

Recalling the run-up to the final selection of the team, Ms Jain explained, “She is a very committed student and is not fascinated by the flashy possessions that would interest a girl of her age. All through the preparation for the project, she would switch off her mobile and work. Even if we did manage to get through, she would tell us that she had her hands full and would talk later. This has been true for her ever since her school days and her teachers would vouch for the same.”

“When she left, her morale was high and the mood was upbeat. The fact that theirs was the only team from outside the USA gave them a high,” the father finally chips in while the mother adds, “I think the Indian team was able to beat their American counterparts only because of hardwork.”


Army paid field area allowance in violation of orders: CAG
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
In violation of Ministry of Defence orders, the Army had paid about Rs 3 crore as field area allowances to personnel during Operation Parakram. The allowance was not only paid beyond the authorised period, but to troops who were not entitled to it.

The ministry had accorded sanction for grant of field area allowance in December, 2001, to armed forces personnel who were mobilised during Operation Parakram. The allowance was to be paid till September, 2003, or termination of the operation, whichever was earlier.

A test check of documents in five static units revealed that contrary to provisions, officers and other ranks posted in these units, who had not actually moved out, were paid field area allowance amounting to RS 2.96 crore from December, 2001, to May, 2003, the Comptroller and Auditor General, in its latest report has revealed.

The units where the checks were carried out were Ammunition Depot, Bathinda, 11 Field Ordnance Depot, 17 Field Ammunition Depot, 23 Field Ammunition Depot and 24 Field Ammunition Depot. Since a test check in only five units has revealed irregular payment of about Rs 3 crore, the total such payment made by the Army could be much more.

In January, 1994, when the field area allowance was introduced, the ministry had made it clear that these allowances were not admissible to static formations or establishments. In February, 2003, Army Headquarters again clarified that the field area allowance was admissible only to those persons who physically moved out of their existing stations during the operation.

In January, 2004, the ministry maintained that the allowance could not be restricted only to personnel who had moved out of their permanent locations as there was no such stipulation in its sanction issued during December, 2001. This, the CAG pointed out, was contrary to earlier instructions. The ministry also stated that payment of field area allowance for Operation Parakram was authorised only till December 18, 2002.

CAG also noticed that three units later issued cancellation orders of the field area allowance with effect from December 19, 2002, which amounted to Rs 64.73 lakh, while another unit issued recovery orders for Rs 31.34 lakh paid from December 19, 2002.


2 Mohali residents die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 21
Two residents of Phase VII here were killed when the vehicle in which they were travelling collided with a truck on way to Gorakhpur this morning.

Jaspreet Singh (19) and Saurab Singh (30) were killed when a tyre of their Mahendra Scorpio burst and the vehicle collided with a truck. Both were killed on the spot. The accident occurred at a place falling under Eicchua police station on the Lucknow-Kanpur road.

It is reported that Saurab Singh, who belonged to Gorakhpur, was living in rented accommodation here.


Minor fire in school creates panic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Panic-stricken students and teachers of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, rushed out of their school building into the open when a short circuit in the electricity meter caused a minor fire here today.

With the fire tragedy in a school in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, still fresh in their minds, the students and teachers remained in the school ground till the fire (confined to the meter) died down. The incident took place at 10:15 am.

The principal, Ms Khushinder Sharma, immediately informed the fire office as well as the electricity department.


Oppn councillors threaten to gherao MC chief
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 21
Opposition councillors have threatened to gherao the president of the Municipal council and other officials at the monthly meeting of the civic body to be held in the next few days in protest against the failure of the council to carry out development works in the town.

A notice in this regard, with the signature of seven councillors was received at the council office here today. A copy of the notice was handed over to the Municipal Engineer, Mr Tarsem Rai, yesterday.

The seven councillors — Mr Amrik Singh, vice-president, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr Manmohan Singh Lang, Mrs Harbans Kaur, Mrs Manmohan Kaur, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali and Mr Manjit Singh — said they would gherao council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, the Executive Officer, Mr H.B. Garg, and the Municipal Engineer, Mr Tarsem Rai, at the meeting.

They alleged that no development work was being carried out in the town by the civic body. On this issue they had walked out of the council meeting on June 9.

They said the council was the second-richest in the state, yet it had not undertaken development works in the town.

It was not even able to pay salaries to its staff. Roads in many parts of the town were in bad shape, the congress grass was not being removed from vacant sites, sanitation was in a state of neglect and no big project like construction of office buildings could be undertaken by the council.

The Opposition councillors alleged that corruption was rampant and this had been brought to the notice of the higher authorities, but to no avail. They thanked the Ropar Deputy Commissioner for putting a stay on the “fake” estimates prepared in connection with some development works worth about Rs 65 lakh, which were cleared at the last meeting. The DC had ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Mr Kulwant Singh, however, said that Opposition allegations were baseless. He said it had always proved to be a hindrance in the execution of development works. The gherao by Opposition councillors would be illegal as they had the right to bring up issues for discussion in the House, being elected representatives of the people.

The president said finances were no problem for the civic body. Employees were getting their salaries in time and the council had enough funds to carry out development works in the town.

A number of such works were already on. He said after making payments to various contractors, the council had more than Rs 1 crore in its kitty.


Kendriya Sadan to get new look
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The Kendriya Sadan in Sector 9, housing about 40 Central Government offices, is all set to acquire a new look with the addition of more facilities for employees and visitors.

In fact, at a meeting of the Heads of Departments held under the chairmanship of Mr M.A. Bakshi, Chairman of the Central Government Employees Welfare Coordination Committee, recently, various proposals to spruce up the complex were mooted. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) was asked to work out the modalities for the execution of various proposals.

With a view to having a better liaison and coordination among the officials working in Sadan, it was suggested to have more intercom and Internet facilities through the National Informatics Centre (NIC). And keeping in view the security considerations and to regulate the entry of the visitors, it was proposed to have a reception counter at the entry point.

Sources said to provide additional facilities to hundreds of the employees, it was proposed to have the extension counter of a bank with ATM facility, besides a post office. The committee was also toying with the idea of leasing out the canteen to government departments such as the Food Craft Institute or CITCO.

The secretary of the committee, Mr Yash Pal Bhagat, said certain measures for the entertainment and benefit of the employees were also in the offing. These included the formation of the thrift and credit society, the employees benevolent fund society and a recreation club.

Besides these, covered dustbins, water purifiers checking of the leakage from toilets and furnishing of the conference hall were same other measures planned by the committee.

He said the vehicle stickers regulating parking were being introduced. In fact, the permission from the Chandigarh Administration for the construction of parking sheds was being sought.


Mix response to move on Portraits Gallery
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The proposal to relocate the National Gallery of Portraits housed on the premises of Centre State Library, Sector 17, is receiving mixed responses.

While freedom fighters and others associated with the gallery for long are viewing the rearrangement of portraits with great apprehension, the officials have a sound reason to make their next move. Speaking to The Tribune today, DPI (Colleges) Dilip Kumar said the idea was to realign the Portraits Gallery and put in it sync with the changing times. He brushed aside all fears regarding the ‘‘assumed resumption’’ of some of the portraits in the gallery. ‘‘We have long been monitoring the functioning of the Portraits Gallery. The statistics on visitation have not been encouraging. Meanwhile, we are looking at major expansion of the Centre State Library. The American Centre Corner is awaiting a launch, so is the Internet section. But we need space to give shape to our proposals. That is the only reason we have planned to go in for a judicious use of the space of National Gallery of Portraits," he said.

The proposal to use the gallery space for accommodating additional features in the library is not new. As Chief Librarian, Ms Ramola K.C. said, "This proposal was mooted 12 years ago. Also, we are not planning anything that would hurt anyone’s feelings."

Even as officials extend ‘‘logical’’ reasons, a section of people are already raising eyebrows apprehending ‘‘desecration’’ of the gallery space. Inaugurated on September 9, 1970, the gallery was conceived as a space that pays a tribute to those who laid down their lives during the freedom struggle. A source said any changes in the current arrangement would amount to losses to a heritage property.

He added, ‘‘I fear they will consign some of the best portraits to the store room. Moreover, if they extend the library into the gallery space, much of its spirit would be lost. The gallery contains features that have cost its makers lakhs. Each portrait is valued at not less than Rs 5000.’’

Even as the next official move is awaited, some people are keeping their fingers crossed. Says one of them, ‘‘If the portraits are removed, it would be very sad. Incidentally, Chandigarh is one of the three cities in India that house offices of this gallery. The other two are Delhi and Kolkata.’’ Going by the official version, however, the fears appear unfounded, especially when DPI (Colleges) has confirmed that none of the portraits would be resumed. They would only be rearranged to make way for vibrant alterations that would, in the bargain, make the National Gallery of Portraits more attractive.


Council yet to prepare ID cards for milk vendors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 21
The local Municipal Council has failed to make any progress in preparing the identity cards of milk vendors and meat sellers in the town as had been directed by the Department of Local Government.

The officials, who had been assigned the work, said the identity cards could not be prepared as the list of milk vendors operating in the town had not been given to the civic body by officials of the Health Department. The identity cards of the meat sellers would also be made along with the others.

The council had written a letter to the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, on June 4 in which it stated that the council does not have a list of the milk vendors operating in the town. The Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, had been requested to provide the list. The work of making the identity cards would start once the list was received from the authorities concerned. The letter, however said the identity cards of meat sellers would also be made soon.

The council had written two letters dated May 25 and June 11 to the SMO of the Civil Hospital for providing the list of milk vendors operating in the town but failed to receive any response from the SMO.

In order to keep a check on the quality of milk and the meat being sold in the town, the Department of Local Government had directed the council to prepare identity cards of milk vendors and meat sellers. The orders to this effect were received by the civic body in the first week of May.

The orders which were issued by the Joint Secretary, Local Government, had stated that it had come to the notice of the Estimates Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha that members of the Health Department were facing problems while taking milk samples for testing because milk vendors gave wrong names and addresses. It became difficult to catch them when samples failed. In certain cases milk vendors even fled after leaving their bicycles and other belongings behind. That was why the committee had recommended that identity cards, bearing photographs and complete addresses of the milk vendors, be prepared by the civic bodies.


Cheques distributed among ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 21
The Ropar administration is committed to rehabilitate the families of the soldiers who had attained martyrdom while performing their duties since 1999 and it had made special efforts in this regard.

This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain, while presiding over a meeting of the District Sainik Welfare Board at Ropar today.

She said so far an ex gratia amount of Rs 68 lakh had been disbursed as financial assistance among 26 families of the martyrs of the district, members of the families of 14 other soldiers had been provided government jobs while cases of 11 others were under consideration.

Similarly, families of 18, out of the 28 soldiers killed during the period, had been either provided pieces of land or Rs 5 lakh while the cases of 10 others were pending. Three families had been allotted petrol stations and one a gas agency, she added.

The Deputy Commissioner said under various welfare schemes for the ex-servicemen, an amount of Rest 32 lakh was distributed among them, their widows and dependents during the first half of this year. Mrs Jain also distributed cheques totalling Rs.1.10 lakh as financial assistance to 16 ex-servicemen and their widows.

District Sainik Welfare officer Major M.P.S. Kakra also addressed the meeting. Among others who attended the meeting were ADC Surjit Singh, ADC (D) Harpreet Singh Garcha, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances) Surinder Riar, District Transport Officer Pritam Singh Johal, SDM Ropar Daljit Singh and SDM Mohali M.L. Sharma and Col Didar Singh.


Panchkula Diary
New rates for bricks, tiles
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 21
District Magistrate, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, yesterday set the new rates for bricks and tiles, and transportation costs, for carrying on various developmental works in the township. According to a press note, the new rate has been fixed at Rs 1320 per 1000 bricks and Rs 1500 per 1000 cement concrete tiles.

Reaching out to destitute women

The District Welfare Department has spent a sum of Rs 3. 71 lakh during the current financial year on developmental schemes for scheduled castes and backward classes. Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, said that 69 beneficiaries would be selected this year under the Kanyadan Yojana, whereby the administration would give a grant of Rs 5100 for marriage of a poor girl.

She said a sum of Rs 50,000 had been disbursed to five widows and destitute women for the marriage of their daughters. She said the department had also started stitching centres at Raipur Rani, Nangal, Kandiyala and Rampur Seori.

School celebrates monsoon

A special function to mark the arrival of monsoon was organised by Satluj Public School, Sector 2, recently. The school students presented a cultural programme, including a one-act play on the theme of water conservation, a rhymes parody and a dance number on rain songs. Mr H.S. Malik, Executive Engineer, Horticulture, Haryana, was the chief guest and he distributed prizes to the students.



Yajna to appease weather gods
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Jaspal Bhatti was at his cynical best yet again. This afternoon, provoked by the failure of rains this year, he planned a special “yagna” to appease the weather gods. The ceremony took place in the heart of Sector 17 where all members of Bhatti’s Nonsense Club gathered to indulge in “strange” antics.

Bhatti began with burning of an effigy of the Metrological Department, blaming it for its inability to forecast correctly. This despite the fact that department had forecast “minimum rains” due to weak monsoons earlier this week.

Facts notwithstanding, the Nonsense Club and its members went ahead with what turned out to be an interesting show that attracted passersby. As the “yagna” went ahead, the members chanted self-composed mantras like “Krishi mantralaya swaha”, “Jal Pariyojna swaha”, “Food Supplies swaha”, and sinchai vibhag swaha.”

Explaining his prank, Bhatti said, “When weather forecast fails, it is the prime duty of the Nonsense Club to come out with scientific myths about its failure and also do certain things that would make Indra happy.”

The club members sang monsoon songs in anticipation of rain. Participating in the “yagna” were Keshav Bhrata, Brijesh Ahuja, Lally Gill, Vinod Sharma and Deepak Sandhu.


UT signs power pact with NHPC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
In order to meet the demand for power, Chandigarh Administration today signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the National Hydro Electric Power Corporation ( NHPC ) for buying power in the future from the upcoming 231 MW Chamera Hydro Electric Project near Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Karan Avtar Singh, Secretary, Engineering, on behalf of the Chandigarh Administration and Mr S.D. Tripathi, Executive Director (Commercial) signed the PPA on behalf of the NHPC.

Chandigarh is expected to be allocated 20 MW from this project on its commissioning subject to the allocation of power by the Union Ministry of Power.

Chandigarh has no power generation of its own and to meet with the requirement of power, it is being purchased from other agencies. At the time of creation of the Union Territory of Chandigarh the peak demand was only 15.6 MW. Today the power requirement in the city on account of development of city and population growth has risen to the extent 214 MW. Anticipated demand by March 2006 has been worked out as 255 MW considering 10 per cent rise every year.


2 hurt in highway mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 21
Two youths sustained serious injuries when the scooter they were riding rammed into an earthmover on the Kalka-Ambala highway, near here, this evening.

Eyewitnesses said the youths were going towards Chandigarh when the accident occurred. Following the accident, traffic on the highway came to standstill for more than one-and-a-half hours inconveniencing travellers.

Though local residents and passers-by informed the police well in time, the PCR vehicle deployed by the Punjab police on the highway patrolling reached the spot over 30 minutes late, claimed an eyewitness.

Driver of the earthmover reportedly fled the scene leaving the vehicle behind.

The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Salesman attacked

Parminder Singh, a salesman at a liquor shop, was assaulted by some miscreants at the shop at Jhaunsa village, near Handesra, about 15 km from here, on Wednesday.

The miscreants exchanged heated arguments over some issue with Parminder Singh following which they attacked him with stones and sticks.

An injured salesman was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Roshan, owner of a video library, was arrested for keeping five pornographic compact discs in his library located in the local market on Wednesday.

The police said Roshan had been renting out CDs to youngsters of the area for a couple of months.

A police party raided the library and seized the CDs. A case has been registered.



Unemployed youth to get loan for ventures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The Industries Department, Chandigarh Administration, has said that it will provide financial assistance up to Rs 2 lakh to the individual unemployed youth and Rs 10 lakh for a group of unemployed youth under the Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojna to enable them to set up their own ventures and become self-sufficient and self-reliant.

The financial assistance is to be provided to the unemployed youth who have passed their eighth standard examination and are between the age group of 18 to 35 years. The youth belonging to the SC, ST, ex-servicemen, physical handicapped and women candidates will be given age relaxation of 10 years. The assistance will be provided in the form of loan and subsidies on easy terms and conditions.

The applicant should be a resident of UT Chandigarh for at least three years and the annual income of the beneficiary along with income of spouse and parents should not exceed Rs 40,000.


Stress to strengthen coop movement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Mr S.S. Dhillon, Registrar of the Cooperative Societies of the Haryana Government, underlined the need for strengthening the cooperative movement in the country.

While inaugurating the higher diploma programme in cooperative management at the Regional Institute of Cooperative Management (RICM) in Sector 32 here on Monday, Mr Dhillon said there was an urgent need to run the cooperative institutions on a professional basis in the wake of the changing socio-economic environment in the country.

Earlier, Dr Niraj Pasricha, Regional Director, RICM, in his welcome address, assured quality training to the participants. Improvement in all aspects of training was a dynamic thing and resting on past laurels brought about the downslide, he added.

He said that the Himachal Pradesh Government had recognised the diploma as an important qualification for the job-seekers in the cooperative sector.

Participants from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are taking part in the programme.


Accident victim dies at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Shanbhu Prasad (27), who was seriously injured last night in an accident in which his pillion rider Geshu Chawla (22) of Ambala died on the spot, today succumbed to his injuries at the PGI.

The bodies of both victims were today handed over to their families after carrying out autopsies at the PGI.

Shanbhu Prasad, who hailed from Bokaro in Jharkhand and lived in Sector 22-C in a rented accommodation, had been working with PCS, a computer company, as Customer Support Territory Manager for the past three years.

A B.Tech, Ms Chawla (22) had joined the PCS only 15 days ago as a trainee.

A resident of Haryana Urban Estate, Ambala, she had done her B.Tech from the Doon Valley Institute of Engineering and Technology, Karnal. She had secured 64.6 per cent marks in 10 plus two and 70 per cent in matriculation.


Sekhri meets Governor on lease money issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The Management of the Central Club led by its President, Maj J.S. Sekhri (retd), today met the UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma, and sought an amicable solution to the lease money issue.

The Chandigarh Administration had yesterday cancelled the lease deed of the Central Club in Sector 9 following non-payment of dues.

The management has pleaded before the Administrator that the club was in no position to pay the monthly lease of Rs 25,567. It is spread over a small area thus could not increase the number of members and nor could it hike the subscription to such a level that it becomes unviable for its members. The club management has also highlighted how they were handed a dilapidated community centre in 1971 and in 33 years the members had spent their own money to renovate and develop it into a pleasant place.


Food Corporation association flays abolition of posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Punjab unit of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) Officers’ Association has decried the move of the FCI management to abolish the posts which have fallen vacant because of some officers opting for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

The association, at its meeting held today, discussed various issues relating to the welfare and the service conditions of the officers. The association members decided to impress upon the management to sort out various problems and to improve the working conditions.


Disabled children have fun
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 21
A party was organised for 165 physically challenged children by the owner of Memorable Moments restaurant, Mr Alamjit Singh Mann, at Sector 35 yesterday. The children were from Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Swera, Sector 22, Sadhna, Mani Majra and Saupins School, Sector 32.

Folk singer Avtar Tari presented a programme.

Mr Mann announced that he would provide one Kanal land free of cost to a charitable institution which could look after physically challenged children.


FM can’t satisfy everyone: MP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
It was not possible for any Finance Minister to satisfy everyone, Rajya Sabha MP Ashwani Kumar said yesterday in his speech on Budget. He had also avoided heavy taxation.

In his speech — the copy of which was released here yesterday — the MP said “hard decisions are there and they ought to be there, but the Finance Minister has been wrongly condemned by some for not taking hard decisions”.

Referring to some hard facts, the MP said, “over the last couple of years, the burden of subsidy had risen 10 times to about Rs 48,000 crore”.


Clerk caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A clerk in the Directorate of Haryana Education, Om Prakash Sharma, was today arrested red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 8,000 from a JBT teacher from Kurukshetra district.

The JBT teacher, Naresh Kumar, who wanted a transfer, reported the demand for the bribe to the Chandigarh Vigilance Department.

Naresh Kumar wanted to be transferred to the primary school of Bakoli village from a place in Karnal. When the matter was reported to the Vigilance Department, it laid a trap and arrested the accused.

The complainant reported to the UT Vigilance Department that his transfer had been cleared by the Haryana Chief Minister’s office. Naresh Kumar was to be transferred to Kurukshetra district from Yamunanagar district and another teacher was to swap places with him.

Naresh Kumar approached the District Education Officer of Yamunanagar who asked him to meet Om Prakash at 30 Bays Building in the Haryana Directorate of Instructions office. Naresh Kumar approached Om Prakash who allegedly demanded Rs 15,000, but the deal was struck at Rs 8000. The vigilance team reached the office of Om Prakash in the evening and arrested him while he was taking money.


Man cheated of Rs 5 lakh
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 21
A resident of Sangrur has alleged that he was defrauded by V.N. Sharma of Euro Technologist, Naya Gaon, who had taken Rs 5 lakh from him on the pretext of sending his son to the USA.

In his complaints to the SSP (Crime Branch), SSP (Vigilance) and the Home Secretary of Chandigarh, Mr Parkash Chand Jain alleged that he had given a sum of Rs 4.97 lakh (Rs 2.97 lakh cash and a cheque amounting to Rs 2 lakh) to Sharma following an advertisement that promised government jobs in the USA to youths.

Mr Jain alleged that his son, Ravinder Jain, had appeared for an interview before Sharma for a job in the USA on June 15 and Sharma had promised him a job with a salary of $3000 per month and had asked him to deposit Rs 9 lakh with him for legal and other expenses. Ultimately the deal was struck at Rs 5 lakh and they were asked to report at the Naya Gaon office of the company on June 29.

When Mr Jain reached Naya Gaon on June 29, Sharma was nowhere to be seen. They were informed by Mr Narinder Singh, that Sharma was his tenant.

Enquiries revealed that Sharma had stayed at Hotel City Heart, Sector 17, in the month of May and had listed his address as : 32/2, Bani Park, Jaipur.

Mr Jain has urged the Chandigarh police and other authorities concerned to register a case against him.



Married woman abducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A 21-year-old married woman has allegedly been abducted by her former friend from the Janata Kumhar Colony here.

The family members of the girl reported the incident to the police yesterday stating that a person known to the girl before her marriage had abducted her and kept her in illegal confinement to force her to marry him.

A case has been registered in Sector 11 police station under Sections 365 (kidnapping to illegally confine) and 366 (kidnapping to compel a woman to marry somebody) of the IPC.

The woman had married three years back, but was childless.

Police sources said that the suspect was friendly to the girl and wanted to marry her. But the family of the girl objected to their marriage and hurriedly arranged her marriage.

The woman had been missing since July 15. Her family members had approached the family of the boy to produce him and the woman. But when it did not happen, the matter was reported to the police. The girl had returned from her in-laws’ house on July 15, the day her former friend allegedly abducted her.



2 held for stealing woman’s bag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A Sector 40 resident and another of Panchkula have been arrested for allegedly snatching Ms Inderjeet Kaur’s bag from Modern Housing Complex Mani Majra. The police was able to trace the persons from registration number of the scooter given by Ms Inderjeet Kaur.

They have been identified as Kapil Kumar Sharma of Sector 40 in Chandigarh and Davinder Kumar of Sector 11 in Panchkula.

Manhunt to nab 2 youths

The Sector 39 police station today launched a manhunt to arrest the two unidentified motorcycle-borne youths, who allegedly tried to rob a petrol station in Sector 37 yesterday.

The police today registered a case on the complaint of a petrol station employee Double Singh, who was injured when the two youths allegedly attacked them. The police today verified the statement of the employee and registered a case under Sections 382 and 511 of the IPC.


Rs 2 lakh stolen from Sector 42 house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A sum of Rs 2 lakh has allegedly been stolen from the house of Mr Vinod Kumar, a resident of Sector 42. The cash was kept in the safe of an almirah.

The complainant, who resides in house No. 1402 of the Sector, said that he used to hide the keys in the piles of clothes. Mr Kumar found yesterday morning that the money had disappeared from the safe. The police has registered a case under section 380 of the IPC.

Mr Kumar added that the renovation work was going on in his house. He suspects that same labourer might have decamped with the cash.

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