C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rs 21.04 crore more for city’s development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The Planning Commission has approved a hike of Rs 21.04 crore for development works in Chandigarh during the ongoing financial year. With this, the budget for development in Chandigarh has risen to Rs 187 crore. Originally, it had been pegged at Rs 165.96 crore.

The additional allocation will help complete several crucial projects. Among them is the completion of Phase IV of the water supply scheme, which will bring in 15 million gallons of water a day to the city from the Bhakra main line canal. Several city roads need immediate repairs and widening them has become important.

The formal approval was given by the Planning Commission yesterday and a letter in this regard was handed over to the Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu. The Quarterly Performance Review (QPR) meeting of the present financial year was held yesterday in Delhi.

During the meeting, the Planning Commission was informed about the major projects under implementation. These include execution of the water supply scheme, construction work in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, costing Rs 26.68 crore, the sewage treatment plant, Raipur Kalan, coming up at a cost of Rs 6.40 crore and laying of a network for recycling of water at a cost of Rs 1.50 crore.

The Planning Commission, besides reviewing the sectoral-wise progress, specifically reviewed the progress regarding water supply, sewerage treatment plant and blocks C & D of Government Medical College and Hospital.

The commission reportedly appreciated the pace of development in the areas of rural development, irrigation, power, water supply, housing and urban development. Meanwhile the commission has urged that the progress in areas of forestry and wildlife, transport, science and technology and sports be speeded up.

The meeting was also attended by Mr P.S.Aujla, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation.



Children ‘interrogate’ top cops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 9
The top brass of the police might have convinced the inquiry commission about the sensational jailbreak conspiracy but they seem to have left the “little ones” unimpressed with the investigation.

This was evident today at Sector 34, where students of Ryan International School, Sector 49, were called to the police station to understand its functioning.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Rajesh Kumar, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Gaurav Yadav, and the IG, Prisons, Mr Amitabh Dhillon, found themselves in the firing line over the functioning of the police.

Despite the Chandigarh police having completed the investigation into the jailbreak case and the inquiry commission discussing the issue threadbare, students still had fundamental questions to ask. “How did the alleged assassins of Beant Singh disappear into thin air, leaving behind no trace?” they asked innocently. How could there be no credible information about the escapees, they wondered. Had the police done its job properly, they asked pointedly.

It was quite obvious during the interaction that Hindi films had largely shaped the children’s perception of the police. “Why do policemen take bribes and mistreat the poor and weak.” They questioned. They also wanted to know why policemen were “brutal.”

The officials gave children a lot of officialese on how and why the police is what it is. The children were not impressed when the IG claimed. “Most policemen perform their duties honestly.” Or when the SSP talked about how for every bribe-taker, there was a bribe-giver. They were rather more excited about the weapons on display than the long explanations on how Indian policemen were less “brutal” than the US policemen.

It was for the first time in the city that schoolchildren had a first-hand experience of a police station. Interestingly, a few children strayed from the group and went to the lock-up to talk to two theft accused lodged there. The accused kept mum but a policeman explained that they were addicted to drugs.



2 brothers beaten up by tutor
Charged with stealing Rs 60,000
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 9
Two brothers, aged seven and eight, of Bapu Dham Colony were allegedly detained and beaten up by their tutor, a Sector 18 resident, yesterday to recover Rs 60,000 “stolen” from her cupboard by the two. The two parties, the boys accompanied by their father, a scooter mechanic in Sector 7, and the tutor, arrived at the Sector 16 police post today to register their complaint.

The tutor, Ms Anju Verma, claimed that she found Rs 60,000 missing from her unlocked cupboard at her residence. Ms Verma said while the jewellery lying in the cupboard was intact, a sum of Rs 60,000 which she checked on November 26, was found missing when she checked it again on December 5.

Suspecting the boys of stealing the cash, she questioned them about the missing sum when they came for tuition yesterday. However, while they were being asked about the money, one of them managed to give the tutor the slip and went and complained about the harassment to his father. She categorically denied having beaten them up and stated that she only inquired about the missing money.

Meanwhile, the father of the boys, claimed that when the two brothers went for tuition, their tutor accused them of stealing the money and beat them up.

“The boys lost their front teeth during the beating by the tutor. We don’t have a clue about the missing money, but this is certainly no way of treating children,” he maintained. The police is investigating the matter.



Man jumps to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
A 45-year-old man, father of four daughters and a son, allegedly jumped to death from the fourth floor of his office in Sector 9, here this evening. Ashok Kumar, a clerk, was declared brought dead in the General Hospital.

Ashok, a resident of Meerut, was transferred to the office of the Comptroller of Defence Accounts two months back and felt home sick. 



Chrysanthemum show starts today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The three-day annual chrysanthemum show at the Terraced-Garden, Sector 33, organised by the horticulture wing of the Municipal Corporation, gets underway tomorrow. On the eve of the show the flowers on display were judged in three categories of individual amateurs, private and government agencies.

A visual treat, the aesthetically arranged chrysanthemum pots dotted the garden. The judges had a tough time deciding the winners as they went round the garden and carefully marked the entries.

A resident of Sector 8, Panchkula, Mr Virender Sharma, won 24 prizes in different varieties of flowers. An industrialist, he says tending to flowers is his hobby and he spends nearly five hours daily with his chrysanthemums. His romance with the chrysanthemum began nearly 14 years back when he was refused a carpenter, a variety of the chrysanthemum, by a participant of an exhibition. "I took it up as a challenge and ordered the flower from Kolkata. Since then I have been winning prizes, and now after winning accolades I am planning to venture into growing roses as well," he said. 

To be inaugurated by the First Lady of Chandigarh, Ms Jean Rodrigues, tomorrow, the show would comprise two sections, one each for the competitors and the Municipal Corporation's horticulture wing. Decked up with flowers, the topiaries in the garden have also been done up for the show.

The MChorticulture wing Executive Engineer, Mr Raghbir Singh, said the show would have flowers grown by his department to synchronise with the show and as many as 8,500 pots would be on display during the three days.

Iron railings and benches in the garden were given a fresh coat of paint while the fountain, was repaired to make it functional. The show would conclude with a prize distribution function on December 12. The Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, would give away prizes to the winners.


Class A (Amateurs)

Artistic Arrangement: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula; (I, II and III).

Class B (Institutions)

Artistic Arrangement: Citco (I); Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Chandigarh (II) and Chandigarh Housing Board, Chandigarh (III).

Class C (Amateurs)

Section C-1 (Incurved Chrysanthemum) : S.C. Raj Pal, Panchkula (I); Ganesh Sharma, Chandigarh (II) and Sant Sarup Singh, Gurdwara Sant Sar Sahib, Chandigarh (III).

Section C-2 (Incurving Chrysanthemum) : Ganesh Sharma, Chandigarh (I); Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (II) and Sant Sarup Singh, Gurdwara Sant Sar Sahib, Chandigarh (III).

Section C-3 Reflexed Chrysanthemum : Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I &II) and Sant Sarup Singh, Gurdwara Sant Sar Sahib, Chandigarh (III).

Section C-4 Spider Chrysanthemum: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I,II & III).

Section C-5 Anemone Chrysanthemum: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I & II) and Niraj Pasricha, Regional Institute, Chandigarh (III).

Section C-6 Korean Chrysanthemum : Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I), and Niraj Pasricha, Regional Institute, Chandigarh (II & III).

Section C-7 Pompon Chrysanthemum: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I, II & III).

Section C-8 Button Chrysanthemum : Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I & II) and Ranbir, Chandigarh (III).

Section C-9 Spoon Chrysanthemum: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I & II) and Niraj Pasricha, Regional Institute, Chandigarh (III).

Section C-10 Decorative Chrysanthemum: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I, II & III).

Section C-11 Collection of Four different varieties of Chrysanthemum : Virinder Sharma, Panchkula (I, II & III).

Class D (Institution)

Section D-1 Incurved Chrysanthemum: CITCO (I & II); and Chandigarh Housing Board (III).

Section D-2 Incurving Chrysanthemum : CITCO (I & II); and Chandigarh Housing Board (III).

Section D-3 Reflexed Chrysanthemum: AG (A and E), Punjab (I); CITCO (II) and Chandigarh Housing Board (III).

Section D-4 Spider Chrysanthemum: CITCO (I &II) and Chandigarh Housing Boards (III).

Section D-5 Anemone Chrysanthemum: Chandigarh Housing Board, (I & II) and Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Chandigarh (III).

Section D-6 Korean Chrysanthemum : Chandigarh Housing Board (I& II) and Regional Director, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Chandigarh (III).

Section D-7 Pompon Chrysanthemum: Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh (I); Chandigarh Housing Board (II) and CITCO (III).

Section D-8 Button Chrysanthemum : Chandigarh Housing Board (I); Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh (II) and AG (A and E) Punjab (III).

Section D-9 Spoon Chrysanthemum: Chandigarh Housing Board (I, II &III) and CITCO (III).

Section D-10 Decorative Chrysanthemum: Chandigarh Housing Board (I, II & III) and CITCO (III).

Section D-11 Collection of Four different varieties of Chrysanthemum: Chandigarh Housing Board (I & III) and CITCO (II & III).

King of the show: Ganesh Sharma, Chandigarh.

Queen of the show: CITCO.

Princess of the show: S.S. Gill, Mohali.

Prince of the show: Virinder Sharma, Panchkula.



PEC Director in soup for inciting employee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The acting Director of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) , Dr Baljeet Kapoor, has been asked by the Chandigarh Administration to reply on the tapes in which he has purportedly instigated one of the employees to protest against the notification making PEC a deemed university.

In the tapes, which have been submitted to the UT Administrator by an employee, Dr Kapoor allegedly tells one of the employees how the deemed university status will be harmful for the employees.

Dr Kapoor has been given three days, ending tomorrow, to file his reply following which the Administration will decide the future course of action.



Inside Babudom
No interview of IAS officers before posting in Chandigarh
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
In a major shift from its earlier policy, the Chandigarh Administration has discontinued the practice to interview IAS officials of Punjab and Haryana before taking them on deputation for senior posts in the Chandigarh Administration.

Now IAS officials shall not be interviewed, however, HCS and PCS officers, who occupy middle-level posts, shall continue to be interviewed before being taken on deputation to Chandigarh.

The first step in this direction was taken last week when the scheduled interview of three IAS officials for the post of Managing Director of the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO) on December 2, was put off. Now there will be no interviews and the Administration will forward the names of Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Mr Kulbir Kang and Mr Anurag Aggrawal to the MHA by the end of this week.

Well-placed sources said the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, has decided to do away with this four year old practice started by Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who used to meet all the candidates himself.

Till now, the Administration, after interviewing the candidates sends off the preferences to the MHA which finally appoints the official after due clearance from the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

When the previous Administrator Justice O.P. Verma (retd) opted out of interviewing candidates on his own and asked his Adviser to the interviews, the latter was reportedly not keen. Also when the real power of appointment wrests with the MHA, the ACC and PMO it was pointless for the Administration to interview anyone for the post, said an official. This practice of interview and then Chandigarh suggesting who it will prefer suited fine during the tenure of General Jacob, who was trusted by the then Home Minister Mr Lal Krishna Advani, thus he could pick and choose his men.

Bureaucrats say that in itself this interview business was wrong as there is no such precedent even in the Government of India. Normally appointments on deputation like the Chandigarh Administration are based on the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of respective officials.

In the past the MHA has not gone by the suggestions of the Administration. In most recent times the Administration’s first choice as Finance Secretary was Mr G. Vajralingam, however, the MHA preferred Mr S.K. Sandhu. Similarly, in the case of the Home Secretary the first choice of the Administration was Mr T.C. Gupta, a 1988 official, however, the MHA went by the experience of Mr Krishna Mohan, a 1977 batch official.

Interestingly, in case of HCS and PCS officials from Haryana and Punjab the interviews will be held as their keenness for the post is taken into account as they serve at the cutting edge of the governance. Also their deputation to Chandigarh is approved by the UT Administrator, who is also the Governor of Punjab and the MHA does not intervene. 



Brigadier’s family blames it on girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Nancy, who called off her marriage after an alleged demand for dowry by the family of the bridegroom , was not stable in relationships, alleges the family of the boy. Brig M.P. Singh (retd), whose family was accused of demanding dowry for his Chennai-based son's marriage, said his son Harkirat Singh, the bridegroom, was insisting on a pre-nuptial agreement that in case of a divorce, the girl would not have any right to his property.

The father of the boy said his son had on November 24 held a meeting in the presence of the girl's family, asking her to be transparent in some personal matters. Harkirat reportedly recorded the conversation during this meeting.

The family of the boy termed the allegation of dowry as rubbish and said the boy was earning over Rs 5.5 lakh per annum and a demand for Rs 4 lakh sounded unpalatable.

The Brigadier said he had a house worth Rs 1 crore and three cars. In such a situation, the demand for a car was unbelievable.

The family members said they had objection to the girl's ultra-modern attitude and dress sense, and it was communicated to the girl. The boy's family had an objection to one of the friends of the girl. The family of the boy claimed that the girl had twice visited Harkirat in Chennai but they did not get along well.

The Brigadier's family said despite these problems, they were in a haste to get Harkirat married as his younger brother's financee’s family wanted an early marriage. The younger brother of Harkirat got married yesterday. It was a love marriage.

Harkirat's family also alleged that Nancy was temperamental.

The Women and Child Support Unit is holding a pre-case registration inquiry into the matter. The unit in charge DSP P.K. Dhawan, said the family of the Brigadier had said it had returned the dowry, but Nancy’s family had contested the claim.

DSP Dhawan said both parties could not produce any evidence of the dowry having been given or returned. Asked if Nancy's mother's demand whether dowry had been given in the marriage of the Brigadier's son, would be inquired into, he said the police would find out from the family of the other girl who got married in the house yesterday.

A police team had gone to Aroma Hotel to find out if there was any independent witness to the demand of the dowry. 



Tehelka case: several original tapes produced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Secretary of the erstwhile Phukan Commission of Inquiry, Mr S K Dasgupta today produced several original video tapes shot by operatives of a news portal, tehelka.com as evidence in a general court martial trying Col Anil Sahgal at Chandimandir for professional impropriety.

The tapes feature certain army officers and Defence Ministry functionaries allegedly interacting with Tehelka operatives posing as arms dealers over various matters pertaining to procurement of defence equipment. The tapes also contain footage of some officers allegedly demanding and accepting bribes.

On November 21, Colonel Sahgal had submitted during his examination as a witness that the original tapes were required to be screened in court so that he could prove his contentions. He had then stated under oath that he accepted money from the Tehelka operatives, but had later thrown it back at them. The act of throwing the money back, he had maintained, featured in the original tapes but not on the copies of the tapes which were being used to lead evidence.

Ten VHS tapes were produced by Mr Dasgupta. The prosecution objected to nine of the tapes being admitted in evidence on the grounds that they contained footage relating to other officers and nowhere does the accused feature in them or is referred to in any conversation.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, has been issued a notice by the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council for his name appearing in new reports relating to the court martial. This is contrary to Bar Council of India's rules. When contacted, Mr Moudgil declined to comment on the matter, stating that he would give his reply to the council.Back


Yatra planned to free Kanshi Ram
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
Thickset glasses show the misery in Bishan Kaur’s weary eyes as she scrambles out of a car at the Chandigarh Press Club for addressing a gathering. Exhaustion gives way to determination as she grabs a microphone to talk about a rath yatra being organised for getting her son — BSP supremo Kanshi Ram — “released from illegal custody”.

Her hands tremble just a little bit with anger and excitement as 95-year-old Bishan Kaur claims that her son is being kept by Uttar Pradesh’s former Chief Minister Mayawati at her residence, instead of a hospital, against his wishes.

Trying hard to control her emotions, she claims that the yatra will leave the Golden Temple at Amritsar on December 11 before arriving at Chandigarh after 250 km and four days.

Listing out the route, she says, “From the holy city, the yatra will reach Anandpur Sahib. It will proceed towards Talwandi Sabo before reaching Chamkaur Sahib. The yatra will finally culminate in the city on December 15”.

“The intention behind the yatra”, she asserts, “is not just to muster support from his sympathisers, but also to create awareness among the residents about the way Mayawati is acting. We basically want to take the issue to the masses”.

Adjusting her spectacles with frail hands, Bishan Kaur insists, “Kanshi Ram’s custody should be handed over to the family so that we can get him treated independently”. But why Punjab? “Kanshi Ram has so many supporters in the state. But this is not the only reason behind our decision to organise the yatra here. The BSP supremo was born in Punjab. Otherwise, we have already taken out the yatra in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh”.

Standing next to her, Kanshi Ram’s brother Dalbara Singh alleges that the doctors treating the supremo are in league with Mayawati. “They make him unconscious by administering drugs so that he cannot talk to us”.

Dalbara Singh adds, “Before the High Court issued directions on a petition filed by us, we were not even allowed to meet Kanshi Ram. Still we are not permitted to visit him without informing the police a day in advance. A Special Leave Petition (SLP) has been filed before the Supreme Court in the matter and is likely to come up for hearing with the next few days”.

Going into the background of the controversy, he says that Mayawati was against the supremo because he had refused to help her out after inquiries were initiated into the irregularities committed by her”.

The yatra, Dalbara Singh concludes, is not being organised by the BSP, but by the Kanshi Ram Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. His supporters from all over the region will join the procession”. 



Council beats contractor on octroi collection
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 9
The local Municipal Council has earned over Rs 14 crore in the past nine months from the collection of octroi in the township. This amount has been collected by the council employees and, according to sources, is at least Rs 2 crore more than what the contractor could have collected.

Sources in the council pointed out that the council had given octroi collection on a contract in the township in February 12 this year. The successful bidder had agreed to pay the council Rs 16.91 crore for one year beginning March 1 this year and ending February 28, 2005.

The contractor will have paid approximately Rs 1.41 crore a month to the council and by the end of 11 months the council will have collected only Rs 12.68 crore.

However, following the filing of a public interest litigation by a member of the ruling group of the council, the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the council from implementing the auction decision.

The sources said as a result the council collected octroi through its own employees and the results had been very encouraging. “The council has managed to collect Rs 14.70 crore starting from March 1 to November 30 this year. This is at least Rs 2 crore higher than what the contractor will have paid the council,” said a source.



Three in race for post of CITCO MD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The race for the post of Managing Director, Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO) is hotting up. The key post is meant for an IAS official and is considered to be high profile since CITCO owns some of the leading hotels in Chandigarh.

The Administration has put off the interviews with three IAS officials and will now send the panel of names directly to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in this regard. The previous MD of CITCO, Mr S.P. Singh, was relieved of his duties by the MHA this month. The panel of names for the post includes Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Mr Kulbir Kang and Mr Anurag Aggarwal.

Of them, Mr Bir is the senior-most and belongs to the 1989 batch of the IAS, followed by Mr Kulbir Kang and Mr Aggarwal, who belong to the 1990 batch of the IAS. Senior officials in Chandigarh are tight-lipped about their preferences, saying that the MHA will decide.

Among the three there is neck and neck race. Mr Bir has been Director, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Jalandhar, Commissioner MC, Amritsar, DC, Patiala, Director Public Relations, and now holds the post of Special Secretary, Finance. He will retire in 2010.

Mr Kang has been the DC, Moga, Commissioner, MC, Patiala, and Commissioner, MC, Amritsar. He retires from service in December 2006.

Meanwhile, Mr Aggarwal has served as DC, Ludhiana and Bhatinda and is now Director-General, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan.



Census staff to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
President of India's Census medals and certificates of honour will be presented during a function to be held tomorrow at Shivalik Public School in Sector 41. The Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, will be the chief guest.

According to a press note issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the medals and the certificates will be given to those who have done an excellent work while conducting the Census of India, 2001. In Punjab alone 50,000 enumerators and supervisors were deployed for enumerating 243 lakh persons in about 34 lakh households. 



Sonia’s birthday celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee celebrated the birthday of Congress President and UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35, here today.

After offering prayers for her long life, sweets were distributed among workers and all those present.



Suspended teacher booked for forgery
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 9
The police has registered a case against a suspended school teacher on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery on the recommendation of the local SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal. Mr Agrawal had been asked by the ADGP, Crime, Punjab to look into a complaint made by a resident of Anandpur Sahib against a teacher who had taken up a government job by allegedly producing a caste certificate illegally.

It is learnt that the SP inquired into the complaint and after taking legal opinion recommended the registration of the case which was done at Anandpur Sahib.

Ms Iqbal Kaur, who had taken up a job as a teacher in a government school by producing a certificate which showed that she belonged to the Ramdasia caste, had been booked under Sections 420, 466, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the IPC.

According to sources the parents of Iqbal Kaur were Saini by caste. Later on December 11, 1982, Iqbal Kaur was adopted by a Ramdasia couple, Mr Kirpal Singh and Ms Gurdev Kaur.

On the basis of the adoption documents, she gota caste certificate prepared from 
the tehsil office at Anandpur Sahib 
which was issued to her on October 4, 1993.

It is learnt that on the basis of a complaint Ms Iqbal Kaur was suspended by officials of the Education Department on December 21, 2002.

A complaint had been made to the ADGP by her neighbour, Mr Bal Krishan Sharma. This complaint was marked to the local SP for an inquiry.



Bank official booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9
An Assistant Manager of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allegedly transferred Rs 4,74,900 fraudulently to the Union Bank of India and got the money transferred in his own account. Rakesh Kumar Gupta reportedly wrote a letter to the Union Bank of India informing them about transfer of Rs 4,76,900.

He again wrote to the Union Bank of India to transfer the amount into a particular account as the money transferred was in excess as per the records of the RBI.

During telebanking, the Union Bank of India found the shady transaction and brought the matter to the notice of the RBI. Following this, Mr Gupta wrote a letter on November 22 to the Union Bank of India 
to debit the amount to 
the RBI.

However, Ravinder Kumar said that he had neither signed the letters nor written them. A case under Sections 420 and 511 was registered in the Sector 17 police station on the complaint of D.P. Sharma from the RBI.

During the investigation, the police found out that R.K. Gupta had said he had got the money in his account from provident fund for a marriage in a family.

But inquiries from the RBI revealed that he had not even applied for the PF in his office.



Jewellery, cash looted from house
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 9
In a daylight burglary, thieves reportedly decamp-ed with cash and valuables worth Rs 15,000 from a Phase II residence of an industrialist here. The house owners had gone to Patiala during the day, taking advantage of which thieves gained entry into the house and ransacked it.

The house owner, Mr Balbir Singh, has an industry in Mohali and had left for Patiala for a trip along with his family today.

He told the police that on their return in the evening, they found that the house had been ransacked and valuables like gold and cash missing from the almirahs.

The door locks had been broken along with the latches, said Mr Jagjit Singh, SHO, Phase I police station.



Bata owner visits Chandigarh
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 9
Mr T.J. Bata, owner of Multi national company Bata, a brand in footwear, along with his wife, Ms Sonia Bata, visited his flagship store at Sector 17 today. It was his second visit to the Chandigarh after 19 years.

Mr Bata, who had come from Canada was very particular about the store details. He took keen interest in knowing sales figures. He checked every product and paid attention to even small things. He said that the store was not doing much business.

“My wife, who is my business partner is keen to encourage the company’s share in women segment. She feels the store should have more variety, he said.

Ms Sonia Bata said there were plans afoot to launch new designs especially in women segment. She admitted that other footwear brands were giving tough competition to Bata. “But Bata has an advantage over the other because of its affordable price range.

She said fashion trends were changing in India. She felt the women segment had to catch up with the latest fashion.

At present, Bata brand sells in 65 countries. Her son, Thomas, who is the President of the company, was shouldering his responsibilities well. She has four children and nine grandchildren.

Mr Bansal, manager of the Bata store, Sector 17, denied that the store was not doing much business. He said the store had lot of variety and this year’s sales figures were high as compare to that of the last year.



Ganeev winter wear on display

Chandigarh, December 9
Ganeev, a leading Delhi- based export house manufacturing for international brands like Zara, HNM, Gap and domestic brands like Benetton and Unistyle, sees enormous potential in the booming Indian market. According to their research division, smaller cities are seeing a 30-40 per cent exponential growth with the huge middle class segment being the highest spenders on fashion, beauty and fitness- related apparel and accessories.

Test marketing their range, which combines the latest international styles with current Indian haute couture, they are holding an exhibition of designer sweaters, ponchos, jackets, throws and drapes in fine knits, fitted body hugging woven skirts with tassles, embroidery, glitter, handwork and other embellishments ideal for the upcoming party season. Regular day wear can be accessorized with elegant capes, mufflers and stoles.

Ganeev is also displaying a collection of summer clothing for 2005 which includes a range of crinkled skirts, T-shirts, tops and some gym wear too. The exhibition is on in Sector 9-A, here for two days beginning tomorrow.



Encourage bio-tech, govt urged
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 9
Mr Mohan Singh, Director-General, Centre for International Trade and Industry (CITI), here today urged the Government of India to encourage establishment of bio-tech industry in the state.

In a press note he has stated that India is almost 50 years behind in the bio-tech industry as compared to the West.

Mr Mohan Singh stated that the government should clearly define various schemes and incentives.


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