C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Seven arrested for robberies on trains
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh/Panchkula, October 2
Seven persons involved in over 30 robberies on trains were arrested late last night after they tried to loot a passenger on the Kalka- Howrah Mail. The gang used to rob travellers after offering eats laced with sedatives.

The seven, Dinesh Kumar of Bihar, Mohal Lal from Azimgarh, UP, his wife Amrawati, Kewal Shankar of Pratapgarh, UP, Gauri Shankar Sahu of Howrah, West Bangal, Suresh Kumar and Indal Paswan, both of Bihar, had last drugged Jamui Sheikh, a passenger.

They were arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in a joint operation from Panchkula. According to the police, apart from Jamui Sheikh, the gang had also drugged and looted Shiv Kumar of Muradabad and Sanjay on September 27 night. The suspects, pretending to be a family, had offered eatables to Jamui, Sanjay and Shiv Kumar, while they were travelling from Kalka.

The police says the gang is also suspected to be involved in similar incidents in Ludhiana, Ambala and Patiala. They had rented a house in Patiala and were operating from there. The gang would travel by bus from Patiala to other towns in Punjab, board a train towards either Uttar Pradesh or Bihar and befriend co-passengers.

Gauri Shankar Sahu is said to be the kingpin of the gang, who was also guiding others on how to mix sedatives as also how to befriend passengers.

To share eatables with passengers, the gang also used to keep food without any sedative to offer initially to unsuspecting victims to prepare the ground. This was followed with food laced with sedatives. The presence of a woman and an old man in the gang was ensured so that they could pass off as a family.

The police operation was headed by GRP in-charge Hakam Singh and RPF in-charge Sukhdev Raj. The gang members were sitting under a tree near the railway station when a patrol party made inquiries from them. The police had a suspicion on the basis of descriptions made by the victims, who had said there were a woman and an old man in the gang. Victims later identified the gang members.

They have been booked under Sections 328 and 379 of the IPC and were produced before a local court and remanded in police custody till October 4.



Vendors rule over Sector 17 pavements
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Sector 17 shopping centre, which was planned with wide open spaces, is today dying a slow death.
Large areas in the sector have been taken over by roadside vendors, selling anything from posters to shoelaces to toys, besides the misuse of pavements to park bicycles. Toilets stinks and beggars pester visitors, especially women. Parking is always a problem, while the water in fountains at the plaza is dirty.

Traders are hassled and say a makeover with futuristic planning for parking, beautification and design is required immediately. The sector is visited by people from neighbouring states and foreigners and it does not convey a happy impression, say traders.

Mr Tejbans Jauhar says the sector needs a facelift otherwise it will die a slow death. “Walking down the corridors is no more a pleasure that it was used to be 10 years ago and customers often complain of being harassed by beggars. The toilets stink. Leave aside using them even passing by can be torturous”, Mr Jauhar added.

A team of Chandigarh Tribune found that beggars target women and start tugging at their shirts seeking alms. Ms Seema Hangal, who was with her sister, said: “We have to be careful with our bags and mobiles”.

Mr Subhash Kataria of the Traders Association of Sector 17 has a solution. He says the sector should be taken out of the purview of the Municipal Corporation. The Chandigarh Administration should take control of the sector. He says entire pavement in the sector should be replaced.

The strain on space has been reduced with the shifting of some government offices. However, the good old days are over. Roadside vendors sell an assortment of items. Shopkeepers allege corporation employees are hand in glove with vendors.



Red tape caused gastro cases 
Ravi Dhaliwal

Rajpura, October 2.
Four cases of gastroenteritis were reported here today. The patients were discharged after being given treatment by government doctors at Grain Market. Dr V.S Mohi, Officiating Civil Surgeon and District Health Officer confirmed.

On Thursday 180 cases were reported. Followed by 70 yesterday. The prime reason that led to the spread of the disease was the wrangling between the government -owned Mandi Board and the Rajpura Nagar Council. A senior Nagar Council official said that had the Mandi Board paid the council its dues on time it could have drawn water supply to it’s tank from the council’s water and sewerage pipelines due to which untreated water would not have entered the water tank.

The Mandi Board authorities filled up the tank, installed by the Board. The tank water over a period got contaminated. This was consumed by the migrant labourers. Many of them were taken ill in a single colony of the industrial township.

Nearly 17 years ago, the Mandi Board had applied for a water connection .A development fee of Rs 4.70 lakh was deposited on May 7, 1993 with the council. The Board started getting treated water. But it stopped after 15 days.

Later, the council wrote to the Mandi Board that the earlier development fees imposed on the board was miscalculated. The council’s contention was that since the market was spread over an area of nearly 83 acres, the fee for the entire area under its possession will be charged. To this the board authorities contended that since they were actively using just 20 acres of the total land and the rest was being used only in the paddy and wheat procurement seasons, they could not pay development charges for 83 acres. This fee was calculated at Rs 87 lakh and now after years of paper work the Mandi Board has finally agreed to pay the entire fee.



Man drugged, looted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
A 28-year-old resident of Sirhind was reportedly drugged and looted by three men, who offered him a lift in a jeep from Sirhind to Chandigarh. The victim, Ashok Kumar, was found lying in an unconscious state in Sector 11 this afternoon.

The victim, though still in a semi-conscious state, said on the way to Chandigarh, they offered him some eatable. After consuming this, he fell unconscious. He has alleged that cash worth Rs 5,500 was missing from his pocket.

Meanwhile, a couple was assaulted by two persons in Azad Colony on Saturday when they objected to neighbours throwing garbage in their compound. The victim, Suryamaan, objected to his neighbours, Ache Lal and Ram Narain, throwing the garbage in his compound. This led to an argument and the duo allegedly assaulted Suryamaan. His wife, Sheela Devi, was also assaulted by accused. 



Cong misusing govt machinery, claims Kanwaljeet
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
The Congress government has very little time to rule in the state as it has failed on every front. This was stated by Capt Kanwaljeet Singh, a former Finance Minister, while talking to mediapersons at Gurmat Roohani Samagam at Balongi, near here, today. He said the SAD would be starting a campaign against the Congress under which people of the state would be made aware of the shortcomings of the Congress government.

He alleged that the Congress was misusing government machinery in the byelections to be held. He further alleged that 2,800 genuine votes of the SAD were cancelled while 11,500 fake votes had been prepared. He claimed that the SAD would be winning the byelections even when the Congress was adopting unfair means to win the seats.



Newspaper employees plan struggle to seek new
wage board

Protest march in Delhi on October 29
Tribune News Service

Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, Mr M.L. Talwar, Mr Anil Gupta, Mr Roop Chand and other leaders of employees’ unions of various newspapers at a regional conference of the All-India Newspaper Employees’
Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, Mr M.L. Talwar, Mr Anil Gupta, Mr Roop Chand and other leaders of employees’ unions of various newspapers at a regional conference of the All-India Newspaper Employees’ Federation in Chandigarh on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, October 2
Various newspaper employees’ organisations, which held a regional conference here today under the banner of the All-India Newspaper Employees Federation, have decided to launch a struggle to press the Union Government for the setting up of a new wage board for the newspaper industry.

A decision was also taken to set up an umbrella organisation in the form of a confederation to provide a common platform to all employees’ organisations for taking up forcefully all issues pertaining to the newspaper industry. The conference was jointly hosted by the Tribune Employees’ Union and the Indian Express Employees’ Union. Representatives of various newspaper employees’ unions had come from Delhi, Jalandhar, Jaipur and Chandigarh.

It was announced at the conference that an employees’ protest march would be held in the Delhi on October 29 on the issue of the wage board. Later, during the Parliament session, employees would stage a demonstration in Delhi.

Leaders of the employees, who spoke at the conference, were of the view that the managements of the newspapers were creating hurdles in the setting up of the board. Even the response of the UPA Government on this issue is not very encouraging. Mr M.L. Talwar, a top leader of the federation, said that without launching the struggle, the Central Government would not agree to constitute the board. The last board was set up in 1994. Since then the price level has gone up several fold and employees are facing financial problems in the absence of revision of their wages.

Non-implementation of the recommendations of the last wage board was also discussed in detail. Union leaders warned that they would not hesitate to start a joint agitation against those managements which had failed to implement the last wage board . They urged the state governments concerned to take action against the managements of newspapers which have defaulted on the implementation of the last wage board. During the discussion, the name of a Jalandhar-based particular group of newspapers came up repeatedly for not implementing the earlier wage board and also for treating the employees shabbily.

Drawing the attention of participants, Mr Raj Kumar Srivastava, president of the Indian Express Employees’ Union, said that in certain organisations union leaders had to face lot of problems to protect the interests of the employees. He said that the managements resorted to various sorts of unfair tactics to harass union leaders in such organisations. Mr Roop Chand, general secretary of The Times of India Employees’ Union moved resolutions regarding wage board etc and these were passed unanimously with voice vote.

The contract system, which has been introduced in almost all newspaper organisations, was criticised by all speakers and a decision was taken to raise the voice collectively against this system because it had opened the floodgates for exploitation of employees by the managements concerned. Speakers urged that all employees should unite under the banner of the federation to stop exploitation of employees by managements.

Earlier, welcoming the representatives of various organisations at the conference, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, president of The Tribune Employees’ Union, said that while the profits of various newspapers had increased several fold, the managements of such papers had not shared the profits with their employees. Mr Sidhu sought pension for all newspaper employees in the country. Mr Anil Gupta, general secretary of The Tribune Employees’ Union, said that the federation would contact various national-level trade union leaders to seek their help on the wage board issue.

Mr Gupta said that there were certain political parties supporting the UPA Government in the Centre which had close relations with trade union leaders. Their support would be taken to plead the cause of newspaper employees at the national level. Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, former president of The Tribune Employees’ Union, presented the vote of thanks.

Among those who spoke at the conference were Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Sarabjit Singh Pandher, Mr Haresh Vashisht, Mr D.S. Verma, Mr C.S. Naidu, Mr Chander Shekhar, Mr Rajinder Gupta, Mr Sadan Lal, Mr Ram Singh and Mr S.S. Rawat.



Illegal colonies in villages should not be permitted,
say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
A call to protect and respect Le Corbusier's Edict of Chandigarh prohibiting any construction activity in the Shivalik foothills north of the city was made at a meeting of the local chapter of the Institute of Town Planners of India attended by some of the leading town planners of the region, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh held here last night.

The meeting which discussed "Options for Chandigarh Periphery" was presided over by Mr J. S. Ghuman, a former Chief Town Planner of Punjab. It emphasized that the Edict should override all other considerations.

There should be no compromise. Therefore, illegal colonies coming up in villages like Kansal, Naya Gaon and Kishangarh etc should not be permitted.

If need be, the governments concerned should offer to rehabilitate those who had been duped into purchasing plots in these areas in towns like Mohali. If there can be rehabilitation schemes for those living in slums and jhuggis, why cannot the government come up for a rehabilitation scheme for those who posed a threat to the very concept of Chandigarh in order to preserve and protect the city which had now become a model for growth for the entire region?

Besides Mr Ghuman, those who took part in the discussion included Mr P.C. Khanna, a former Chief Town Planner, Haryana, and Chief Planner in the Planning Commission, g

Government of India, Mr H. S. Bhogal, ex-Chief Town Planner of Punjab, Mr Rajinder Sharma, Senior Town Planner, Punjab, and Chairman of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Institute of Town Planners, Mr K. K. Kaul, Senior Town Planner, PUDA, Mr G.S. Aujla, Chief Town Planner, Local Government Department, Punjab, Mr R.K.Wadhawan, ex-Senior Town Planner, Prof Sarup Singh Minhas of Guru Nanak Dev University and Mr Deepak Khosla, Divisional Town Planner, Ferozepore.

Most of them called for scrapping of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952 and its replacement by a more dynamic piece of legislation.

They also felt that the Periphery Control Act had failed to keep pace with the changing needs of the changing times with the result that there is now more construction activity in the periphery of Chandigarh than in Chandigarh itself.

The population of the entire urban conglomerate comprising Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Kharar and Zirakpur, has grown to a mammoth two crore people, putting an unbearable strain on the infrastructure of Chandigarh.

As a mater of fact, the death knell of the Periphery Control Act was sounded in 1966 when Punjab was reorganised on linguistic basis and Chandigarh was made a Union Territory.

The Periphery Control Act should have been suitably amended at that time to allow the UT Administration to exercise strict vigil and control over the construction activity in the periphery of Chandigarh.

As things stand today, the UT had no control over what was going on in its neighbouring while both Punjab and Haryana appeared to have adopted a couldn't-care-less attitude.

Moreover, the Estate Officer in the UT Administration already had too much on his plate and could not be expected to control and check the activities taking place in the vicinity of Chandigarh.

Therefore, what was needed now was to replace the Periphery Control Act with a more comprehensive piece of legislation providing for a unified enforcement authority which could exercise complete control over the feverish construction activity going on in the periphery of Chandigarh.

It was pointed out that although the government, through Periphery Control Act, prohibited any construction activity within 16 km radius of Chandigarh, the government itself has been a big violator.

It began with the construction of a cantonment in the Shivalik foothills at Chandimandir followed by the setting up of the townships of Mohali and Panchkula.

Now construction activity was taking place all around Chandigarh and it did not lie in the mouth of the government to call it illegal and unauthorised.

In this connection, it was noted that the Punjab Government had recently moved in the matter and initiated measures to regularise some of the illegal colonies which have come up in the region.



BSF yet to devise promotion policy
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Three years after the Border Security Force (BSF) changed its promotion rules, it is yet to come up with a policy or cadre management system to ensure that officers fulfil the new qualitative requirements for moving up the hierarchy.

This is resulting in a number of BSF officers from the level of inspector up to the rank of commandant being superseded.

While the BSF promotion board, normally held in October and November each year, is now due for 2004, sources revealed that about 40 cases from last year were still pending.

These cases concern officers who could not meet the revised guidelines. A number of promotions were similarly held up during the year before this, sources added.

In August, 2001, a circular issued to all force headquarters and establishments by the BSF Directorate-General prescribed two years command of a battalion or a service (rifle) company within a battalion as mandatory for next promotion.

The order exempted officers on deputation to the Special Protection Group, National Security Guards or to UN Peacekeeping Missions overseas.

Sources said that placement of officers within a battalion was the prerogative of the battalion commandant and there were a large number of officers who had been placed on staff appointments like adjutant or quarter master in a battalion and never served in a service company.

BSF rules do not stipulate time frames on appointments within units.

Similarly, there are a large number of officers who have never commanded battalions and have been placed on staff appointments at various headquarters or training institutions.

A BSF officer who has not commanded a battalion cannot be eligible for promotion to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General. This is the highest rank that BSF cadre officers can attain.

Higher appointments are filled in by officers from the Indian Police Service.

In a number of cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs has granted relaxations and promoted officers, depending upon their service profile.

Some cases have been rejected more than once and already BSF officers concerned are seeking redressal from high courts across the country.



Traffic back on old Ghaggar bridge
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
Traffic has been restored on the Old Ghaggar bridge, connecting Panchkula to Ramgarh,after massive repairs on the 30- year- old structure. For the past two years the bridge used to shake when a vehicle passed on it.

This vital bridge, across the river Ghaggar, on the National Highway- 73, had been closed to traffic for over two months. Traffic was diverted via the New Ghaggar bridge from Sector 21.

The increased load of vehicles had reportedly led to the loosening of expansion joints (also called as span joints) and wearing off of ball bearings which facilitate the working of these joints on the 300 meter long bridge, with eight spans.

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and National Highways had sanctioned a sum of Rs 57 lakh for the replacement of the bearings and the expansion joints, and other maintenance works, which includes wearing coat, mastic asphalt and concrete work, in June this year. The work was executed by a contractor hired by the National Highways division of PWD (B and R).

It is estimated that almost 15,000 heavy vehicles and 2000 light vehicles pass over this bridge on an average each day. It is also proposed to have another bridge parallel to the existing structure on the downstream side, whenever the four laning of Panchkula — Ramgarh road is carried out. 



Gandhi Jayanti celebrated
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, October 2
Tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary at different functions organised here today.
Addressing at gathering at the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, exhorted the younger generation to emulate Gandhiji’s concepts of non-violence, simplicity and sincerity. Today, Gandhiji is revered as the leader of the masses, who showed the world the path of sustainable development and peace.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Pardeep Chabbra, administered the oath to uphold the Gandhian values to the gathering. All participants pledged to resolve their disputes in an amicable way and work to promote peace and non-violence in society.

Saying that Gandhiji was emerging as possible answer to global crisis of human values, Dr Satinder Dhillon, college Principal, said it was the high time that we practised Gandhian principles in our day-to-day life.

Mr Parmod Sharma, coordinator of the “campaign for peace-City Chandigarh,” claimed that till date over 60,000 students from about 50 educational institutions had pledged to uphold the virtues of truth and non-violence.

Mr Sham Lal Sharma, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, was honoured on the occasion. Physically-challenged inmates of the Mother Teresa Home on the Missionaries of Charity presented a skit on the Mahatma.

Spinning of the spinning wheel and rendering of “Ram dhun” marked the celebrations at the Gandhi Smarak Bhavan in Sector 16.

At a function at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan in Sector 35, the president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), Mr BB Bahl, said the resolution of the global problems lied in peace and non-violence propounded by Gandhiji.

He announced that a life-size statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi would be installed in the lawn of the bhavan. The chairman of the Human Rights Department of the CTCC, Mr Bimal Chandan Bitta, also paid tributes to the leader.

Meanwhile, the members of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress, led by its president, Mr HS Lucky, distributed fruits among the inmates of the Kusht Ashram.

Sacrifices made for the freedom of the country by the freedom fighters, led by Mahatma Gandhi, were remembered at a function organised in Sector 30. The president of the Chandigarh Territorial Mahila Congress, Ms Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj, urged the general public to follow the path shown by Gandhiji.

The NSS unit of Government College, Sector 11, observed a communal harmony day. On the occasion, a declamation contest was organised. The speakers aired their views on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi on peace and communal harmony. Lalit Jain and Gaurav stood first and second in the declamation contest. Dr S.S.Sidhu, Coordinator of the NSS, welcomed the chief guest, Dr Avtar Singh.

The NSS unit of the MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, participated in a talk on the ideas and principles of Mahatma Gandhi. A talk on subject was delievered by Mr M.P. Dogra, a naturopath from Gandhi Smarak Bhavan. A poster making competition on “Ideas of Gandhi” was organised on the spot.

Students of Bal Niketan Senior Model School, Sector 37, performed on the stage, showing the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle, speeches, poems, patriotic songs and skits. Senior citizens presented a scene of Dandi march highlighting the non-violent movement of the Father of the Nation.

Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated at Rai School, Sector 48 B. The students presented songs and poems on Mahatma Gandhi’s life. Senior students gave a brief history of Gandhi towards India’s Independence.

The District Leprosy Society, Chandigarh, remembered Mahatma Gandhi today by holding awareness camps on the disease across the city.

A rally was taken out by 75 schoolchildren of Government High School, Sector 30. The children held banners and placards to spread the message that lepsory is curable and not infectious. Children with suspected skin patches were invited to get themselves examined on the spot.

Meanwhile, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary was also celebrated at Weekend Cultural Show at Plaza at Sector 17 today. Vinod Sehgal, a singer with ‘Chappa chappa charkha chale’ from ‘Maachis’ fame was the star attraction.

Sunil Dhyani and his group rendered the song’ Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram. Vinod Sehgal sang songs including ‘Chod Aaye hum woh galiyan, ‘Mirza’ and ‘Guru Naalon Ishq Mittha’ which were appreciated by all. Then dance performance was given by little stars.

PANCHKULA: A prayer meeting was organised by the Block Congress Committee at City Hearth School, Sector 10. The local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, the district Congress President, Mr R.S. Chauhan, Secretary of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Ravinder Rawal, were present on the occasion. Schoolchildren recited prayers and later an essay writing competition was also organised for them.

AMBALA: A number of functions were held in Ambala to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

A prabhat pheri was taken out by the District Congress Committee, Ambala Cantonment. The prabhat pheri passed through different areas of Ambala Sadar and culminated at the Congress Bhavan.

The DCC, Ambala Cantonment unit president, Mr Ashok Jain, said Mahatma Gandhi as well as former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri played a major role in getting freedom for the country. He said we must follow thepath shown by these great people.

Among others, Mr Brij Anand, Mr Arjun Lal Kalra, Mr Narendar pal Shera, Mr Hira Lal Yadav, Mr Kamlesh Gupta, Mr Tilak Raj Taneja, Mr Suresh Trehan, Mr Shyam Manchanda, Mr Darshan Lal Budhiraja and Bhakt Ram were present.

Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated on the campus of the SA Jain Institute of Management and Technology, Ambala City. A cleanliness drive was carried out by the students. A declamation contest was also organised.

Mr R.K. Gupta, director, apprised the students about Gandhian thought and the relevance of Gandhi’s thoughts in today’s world.



Significance of Gandhi’s ideas highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Department of Gandhian Studies organised a special lecture on “Inevitability of Gandhi’s thought in the 21st Century” here today. Mr Onkar Chand, secretary of the People Society, Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Chandigarh, delivered the lecture. Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local MP, was the guest of honour.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, presided over the function. He said Gandhi’s ideas were significant for all times to come. The only thing to understand them was to follow them in letter and spirit.

Mr Onkar Chand highlighted the significance and inevitability of Gandhi’s views on truth, non-violence, love, compassion and satyagraha. He criticised the culture of nuclear weapons and gun power. He reminded that one must think about the future generation being influenced by western culture which had no place for moral values. Gandhi believed in the combination of science and spirituality. For developing countries, the model of heavy industrialisation would not work.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal highlighted Gandhi’s approach to free the poor masses all over the world. He fought against capitalism, exploitation, injustice and discrimination throughout his life. He was an apostle of non-violence and peace.

Earlier, Prof M.L. Sharma, Chairman of the department, explained the theme of the function. Dr J.N. Sharma gave vote of thanks. 



Valuers call for cut in non-performing assets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Lauding the role of the valuers in society, Mr B.L. Luthra, chairman of the Chandigarh branch of the Institution of Valuers, today urged the financial institutions to reduce the non-performing assets (NPAs) which had crossed Rs 1,00,000 crore.

Addressing a function organised as part of the Valuers Day celebrations here, Mr Luthra refuted the charges that valuers alone were responsible for a steady increase in the NPAs. Poor working procedures and lack of coordination and monitoring of borrowers were the main reasons for the unprecedented increase in the NPAs, which were playing havoc with the Indian economy.

Calling upon the valuers to use latest technology for efficient working, Mr Luthra demanded that they should be treated as consultants as it was a specialised job. The institution had a code of conduct for its members, Mr Luthra said while assuring the financial institutions of their cooperation.

The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, had failed to achieve the desired results and there was an urgent need to make amendments in the Act, he said.

In his inaugural address, Mr V.K. Kashyap, DGM of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, while urging the valuers to be conversant with the latest technology, underlined the bank’s commitment to industrial growth. He also highlighted the steps taken by the USA to eliminate the NPAs and establish a strong economy.

Among those who spoke on the occasion were Mr R.R. Honda and Mr Rakesh Datta, secretary of the Chandgarh branch.



Adviser visits Institute for Blind
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh Administration, Mr Lalit Sharma, yesterday visited the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, and also presided over the annual general meeting of the Society for the Care of the Blind.

He observed students practising typewriting and receiving training in activities such as caning of chairs, weaving, candle making, stenography in Braille and computers.

The Adviser said the society had done a commendable job in making arrangements for vocational training, medical consultation and diet for the children residing in the institute.

The senior vice-president of the society, Maj-Gen Rajendra Nath (retd), highlighted the activities of the society. The objective was to impart education to blind students up to the senior secondary level and also give them vocational training, he said.



Saplings planted
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
To commemorate the birth anniversary of Mata Bhagwati Devi Sharma, a vanamahotsava was organised by the local unit of the Gayatri Parivar Trust at Gayatri Shakti Peeth, here today.

A number of saplings were planted. People who had gathered for the function were also given saplings to plant them at their houses. A yagya was organised on the occasion.

Mr Chander Mohan Sharma, managing trustee of the local unit, said the trust would be celebrating the silver jubilee of Brahm Varchas Shodh Sansthan, a research wing of Shanti Kunj, Hardwar, from October 8 to October 10 at the local peeth for scientific propagation of meditation, power of mantra, effects of emotion on life and prayer.



Birth anniversary of Shastri celebrated
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
The birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri, former Prime Minister, was celebrated with great enthusiasm by students of Shastri Model School here today.
Various competitions were organised in which nearly 60 students participated. A havan and a prayer was also organised.

Mr Kuljeet Singh Bedi, president, Block Congress Committee, was the chief guest.

Mr Ram Lal Sewak, manager of the school, while paying tributes to Lal Bahadur Shastri, urged the students to follow the path shown by the great leader. 



Raising Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The 318 Field Regiment, an artillery unit, celebrated its 18th Raising Day somewhere in the Western Sector today.
A sainik sammelan, a get-together of serving and veteran officers of the unit, barakhana for troops and their families and a pagal gymkhana marked the event.

Addressing a special sainik sammelan on the occasion, the unit’s Commanding Officer, Col S.S. Sekhon exhorted the troops to rededicate themselves to the supreme duty of defending the nation.

He also gave away prizes to the unit personnel who excelled in small arms firing competition organised at the division level recently.



Withdraw circular, demand BSNL employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Members of the Punjab circle of the Federation of Telecom Employees of the BSNL started relay fast yesterday against “unjustified” conditions imposed by the management with regard to the payment of honorarium to the employees.

Mr M.L. Sharma, circle secretary, of the federation, has warned that the agitation would be intensified if the circular imposing the conditions is not withdrawn.



Woman receives 70 pc burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
A resident of Chandi Mandir, Saroj, 20, sustained 70 per cent burn injuries today reportedly while cooking at her home in the evening. She was rushed to General Hospital, Panchkula, by her husband. According to the police, the exact cause of burns was yet to be determined.



MC senior vice-chief bereaved
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
Jaswant Kaur, mother of Mr Phulraj Singh, senior vice-president, Municipal Council, died last night.
The cremation took place here today. She was 86 years old. The cremation was attended, among others, by the council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, councillors and council employees.



Two brothers hurt in attack
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 2
Two brothers, residents of Burail village, were seriously injured in an attack by four assailants, who were their relatives, last night.
According to the police, Sidharath and Pardhuman were allegedly attacked by their cousins, Kanwarpal, Brijpal and Satpal, and a nephew, Ajay, at their residence. They attacked the brothers with swords and sticks around 10 pm. An old family feud was said to be the reason behind the attack.

Sidharath and Pardhuman received serious injuries and were rushed to GMCH, Sector 32. Pardhuman was later were referred to the PGI.

Assailants Kanwarpal and Satpal also received minor injuries and were admitted to GMCH. The doctors released Satpal after administering first aid.

The police has registered a case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323 and 307 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused at Sector 34 police station. Except Kanwarpal, who was admitted at GMCH till the filing of this report, all other suspects have been arrested.

Charas seized: The local police arrested a woman with 2 kg of charas on Saturday. Gayanti Devi of Balwa, Motihari, Bihar, was arrested from near the CTU workshop in Industrial Area. She had come from Bihar a few days ago. A case under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered.

Liquor seized: The local police arrested one Nandu Lal, who was selling liquor illegally at Hallomajra on Saturday. The police noticed a rush near some bushes in the locality, where they found Nandu Lal selling liquor.

Eight bottles and 14 quarters of whisky and 29 bottles of country-made liquor were seized. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered at Sector 31 police station.



32 complaints in emigration fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Economic Offences Wing of the Chandigarh Police has received 32 complaints against the arrested regional manager of the Sector 34-based Solutions Group, Anoop Aggarwal.

The police has also found 60 passports on the premises of Aggarwal, who did not have any licence for emigration services. It is estimated that all cases of fraud against him could amount to Rs 13 lakh. Aggarwal was arrested on September 27 for allegedly cheating a person by offering a Rs 5 lakh loan at the rate of 4.5 per cent per annum, but the cheque given for the loan amount bounced.



Biz Clips

CONFERENCE: The three-day 27th Biennial Conference of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees’ Association concluded here on Friday with delegates unanimously opposing the hike in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector and the imposition of service tax on LIC premiums. The members has also decided to go on strike in case the government decided to introduce the Bill to amend the IRDA for increasing the FDI. They will stage walkouts on October 7 and 29 to seek wage revision in LIC and GIC. They have also sought recruitment of Class III and IV employees. TNS

INAUGURATED: The Director (Operations), BSNL, Mr S.C. Choudhary, inaugurated a call centre here on Friday. It is the first call centre for basic services in the North zone. In addition to this, a new recharge coupon of Rs 3,000 value was also launched. The new coupon has a talk value of Rs 3,000 and is valid for one year. OC

JAIPURI SAREES: Jaipuri sarees in bright hues of red, green, orange and pink with zardosi work is the main attrcation at an exhibition ‘Mandana’ at a hotel of Sector 22. Dress materials, fabrics including suits, lehangs, skirts are also on display. The exhibition will continue till October 6. OC

FOOTWEAR: Metro, has launched a new collection of Fusion footwear. The new collection includes handcrafted ‘juties’ embellished with rhinestones to create a new look. These are available in ruby red, sky blue, emrald green and sunflower yellow. These pairs can match with traditional kurti or even with denims. OC


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