C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PM arrives 25 minutes before schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today created a record of sorts by landing 25 minutes before schedule unlike former Prime Ministers.

Sources said they could not recall a time when a VIP had reached the city before time. The Prime Minister also left the city half an hour early.

The sources said the security agencies got communication from the Special Protection Group that the Prime Minister was ahead of schedule and might reach the city half an hour early. The police accordingly made preparations. Security arrangements were, however, not affected as arrangements are normally made three hours before a VIP reaches a place.

However, the early landing of the Prime Minister put those who were to receive him under stress to be in time at the airport.

As soon as the Chandigarh Administration got information about the Prime Minister’s early arrival, it passed on the information to the Governor of Punjab, Gen S. F. Rodrigues (retd), his Haryana counterpart A. R. Kidwai, Punjab Chief Minster Amarinder Singh, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Secretaries of the two states and the Western Command chief who were scheduled to receive the Prime Minister.

The sources in the police said the Prime Minister’s attitude of sticking to time and schedule made their task easier. He did not talk much to anybody and stuck to the schedule.

Though no certain reason for an early arrival of the Prime Minister has been given, it is believed that the Prime Minister avoids formalities at functions and so might have cut it short in Udhampur.

Dr Manmohan Singh had a quiet lunch alone in his room at Raj Bhawan, the sources said.

They added that the Prime Minister was so particular about time that when photographers asked him to pose for a minute he obliged them but only for a minute.

The euphoria over the Prime Minister’s first visit to the PGI notwithstanding, patients and their attendants had to face several problems due to the security. While the police was allowing patients to enter the emergency unit of the hospital till early afternoon, after 1 p.m. no private car was allowed to enter the area. Only ambulances were allowed to reach the emergency. In many cases the patients along with their attendants had to walk to the emergency. This continued till the function was over in the evening.



PM cautions nation about excessive privatisation in health sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Cautioning the nation about excessive privatisation of the health sector, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said there was a possibility that this might widen the gap between healthcare services provided to the rich and the poor in the country.

Delivering the address at the annual convocation of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here today, the Prime Minister said, “I am not against privatisation in the health sector but excessive privatisation may lead to creation of two worlds; one in which a few can avail world class facilities and another in which a vast population may not have access to even ordinary healthcare”.

Reminding the gathering that no nation can become a superpower if its population remains unhealthy, Dr Manmohan Singh said special attention needed to be paid on the healthcare facilities in the rural sector.

“India is today on the peculiar crossroads. Not only are we burdened with communicable diseases like TB and malaria, referred to as the diseases of the past, but we are also burdened with diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery diseases. We have to devise imaginative ways to tackle both simultaneously,” said Dr Manmohan Singh.

Hailing the PGI as among the premier medical institutions in the country, the PM, however, said institutions of excellence must make sure that the benefits of the research reached the common man.

A common perception among the lay man, he said, is that the institutions running on public money end up being ivory towers, “and to a limited extend this perception is not incorrect,” he added.

Cautioning the medical fraternity not to get engrossed in the higher research without keeping the common man in focus, PM said, “I know how exhilarating is the world of academic discovery. However, in both economics and medicines, it is easy to get lost in the rarified atmosphere of high-flown research and forget about the ground realities of the nation’’.

Dr Manmohan Singh, however, said the country still did not reward the intellectuals and teachers even as the investment in knowledge pyramid, from the primary education to higher education was the key in the 21st century. Calling teaching a very noble profession and himself still a teacher in his thought process, PM remarked that his own entry into politics had been a sheer coincidence.

Earlier, 470 students received their degrees at the convocation ceremony, which was presided over by the Union Minister of Health and family Welfare Dr Anbumani Ramadoss. As many as 23 students received their Ph.D, 49 received MD, 36 MCH, 191 MD, 72 MS, 27 M.Sc and 71 students received B.Sc degrees.

The Prime Minister awarded five gold medals to the students. The Katariya memorial Gold Medal for best post graduate student was bagged by Dr Anand Sudhir Vinekar, the Major General Amir Chand Gold Medal for best research work in clinical discipline was bagged by Dr Srinivas Murki and for research in basic sciences by Ms Jyotika Sharma. The Prof R. Nath Medal was awarded to Dr Deepali Jain and the Aikat Memorial Gold Medal to Ms Sadhya Toki and Ms Varpreet Kaur. 



PGI union unable to meet PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The PGI Employees Union alleged that they faced harassment when they proceeded towards the Bhargava Auditorium to meet the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today.

The union alleged that despite being shown the identity cards, the security personnel stopped them.

“Though a notice circulated a few years ago say the staff and students could enter the auditorium with the identity cards. There seems to be a total mismanagement on the part of PGI authorities,’’ stated the press, statement. 



Cong members divided over DC’s extension, meet PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The local unit of the Congress today presented a dilapidated citadel of the party command to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on a visit to the city here today.

A group backed by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of Gen S.F. Rodrigues, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, and Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar. The other group backed by Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit, said the Deputy Commissioner should be given an extension for his “exemplary work” in the development of the city. The group also praised the Governor with regard to the “rehabilitation of the downtrodden”.

The Bansal group alleged that the Governor was shielding the Deputy Commissioner who was taking decisions against the will of the local people, including the MP.

The DC had come in direct confrontation with the group over the removal of Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri as the Chairman of the Market Committee. It was alleged that the DC had forced the government official to vote against Mr Badheri.

The delegation included Mrs Anu Chatrath, Mayor, Mrs Pushpa Sharma, Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid, Deputy Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla and Mrs Kamlesh, both former Mayors, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, a former Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr H.S. Lucky, councillor, and Mr D.D. Jindal, Mr Pawan Sharma and Mr Badheri, all district presidents of the Congress.

The delegation demanded that the post of Chief Commissioner should be recommissioned in the city. During the days of terrorism in Punjab, the state Governor was given the charge of the UT Administrator.

Mr Bahl led the other delegation which included Mr Chandermukhi, Mr Kuldip Singh and Mr Surinder Bhatia. “We do not want bias to eclipse the quality work done by the DC and the Governor. Development and welfare of the poor has been adequately addressed by both,” a Congress leader said.

The Haryana Government had recently sought that the DC be repatriated to his parent cadre (Haryana). A Congress leader said: “Several programmes that he had initiated require him to continue in the chair so that he is given a chance to show the results”.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the Vyapaar Sadan in a press note has appreciated the stand taken by General Rodrigues in seeking extension for the DC.



Rodrigues wants DC to stay on
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh, Mr Arun Kumar, getting caught in the middle of a political controversy is not new to Chandigarh, nor is the support given to the DC by the Chandigarh Administration.

The Congress MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and his supporters want the DC out. The Chandigarh Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), is, however, backing the DC and has threatened Haryana, the parent cadre Mr Arun Kumar, to appoint a UT cadre IAS officer thus robbing Haryana of its post.

There are many similarities of this situation to another incident that occurred four years ago. In 2001, the former BJP MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, wanted the then DC, Mr M. Ramsekhar, out of Chandigarh. He got in touch with his mentor Mr L.K. Advani, who was the then Union Home Minister. Mr Jain was close to Mr Advani as he was his lawyer in the case pertaining to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

The then UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), had great faith in the young Ramsekhar who was known for his uprightness. A former aide of General Jacob recollects that General Jacob was also close to Mr Advani and he personally spoke to him to allow Mr Ramsekhar to stay back in Chandigarh. Mr Advani allowed the request of the General and Mr Ramsekhar stayed on till May 2003. Since Chandigarh is a UT, all appointments are routed through the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The present Administrator is also known to enjoy good relations in Delhi.



Traders ask PM for balanced rent Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, comprising Mr Jagdish Arora, Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, Mr Sat Paul Garg, Mr Jagdish Paul Kalra and Mr Ravi Ahuja, today submitted a memorandum regarding the withdrawal of the Rent Act notification to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The members apprised him about the amendment of the East Punjab Rent Control Act, 1952, issued by the UT administration on November 7, 2002, which stood stayed by the Supreme Court. While giving details of the Act, they also told him its adverse impact on 95 per cent of the traders and tenants, who were unable to meet the demand of exorbitant rent, thus feared of eviction from their landlords. They also urged that the notification should be kept in abeyance till a balanced Act was enacted.

In a press note issued here today, they claimed that the Prime Minister had assured them to take up the matter with the Union Home Minister and the Urban Development Minister for a positive solution.

The delegation also discussed other trade and business-related problems like VAT, service tax etc.

Meanwhile, the Merchants Association of Chandigarh have appealed to the Prime Minister not to impose VAT in the city till the central sales tax was abolished, since the city has to import almost every product from other states. They have also sought a balanced Rent Act, according to Mr Ravi Parkash Kansal, president of the association.



PM assures succour to varsity teachers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
Mr Ronki Ram, president, Punjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), led a delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here today. They put their pension-related demands before him. Dr R.K. Sharma, Ravinder Nath Sharma, Dr Manjeet and Professor Indu Bala were the members of the delegation.

They had earlier met the Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, in this connection at his residence.

“We presented a memorandum to the PM and he listened to us patiently for 10 minutes. The PM assured us that he would look into the matter and that he would talk to the HRD Minister and Finance Minister in this connection. I also invited him to the university. “ Dr Manjeet said, “ It was a great opportunity to talk with him face to face. The PM gave us a very positive response and we hope that our wait for the implementation of the pension scheme will come to an end soon.”



Valmiki Sabha seeks help over SC issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The Chandigarh Pradesh Valmiki Sabha presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in which the sabha alleged that the Scheduled Caste certificates were not being issued to children belonging to the caste.

The sabha, alleged that the administration had not implemented the 85th amendment of the Constitution following which the SC employees were suffering.

The Valmiki and Dr Ambedkar Maleen Awas Yojna was yet to be implemented, the sabha added.

The president of the Sabha, Mr H.C. Kalyan, said steps should be taken to clear the backlog of quota posts. He also demanded that contract system, especially in the sanitation sector should be adopted as early as possible.



Five Dalits held during PM’s visit
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
The police today arrested five members of two Dalit organisations for what they claimed showing black flags to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to lodge their protest.

While the organisations in the press release claimed they had shown black flags to the calvalcade of the Prime Minister, the police said they were picked up as a preventive measure before they could show the flags.

They were later produced before Additional Deputy Commission I.S. Sandhu and released on bail.

Mr Mukaesh Kumar, president of Chandigarh Schedule Castes’ Welfare Association and two other members Mr Karam Singh Lohia and Mr Raju were arrested from near the Poultry Farm Chowk in Hallo Majra village in the morning. The police also arrested the president of the SC and ST Morcha, Mr Sahcin Lohtiya and Mr Krishan Kumar, general secretary as a preventive measure.

In a press statement, representatives of the association said they had shown black flags to the visiting Prime Minister for not giving them time to hear their grievances. They also burnt the effigy of the Prime Minister near Sector 25 in the evening.

They claimed that they had faxed a message to the Prime Minister’s Office on April 10 to seek an appointment and discuss the problems the Dalits of the city were facing. The protesting organisations said the same message had been sent to the Chandigarh Administration.



Defence Minister to visit PU today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee is coming to Panjab University on Thursday to deliver Dr V.N. Tewari Memorial Oration on "Peace Perspectives in South and South East Asia — Challenges and Opportunities". The lecture will be delivered at the English Auditorium.

PU has invited the Minister to deliver lecture in the memory of late Dr V.N. Tewari, Member of the Rajya Sabha and a Professor of Comparative Modern Indian Literature at PU, who was assassinated by terrorists in Chandigarh on April 3, 1984. 

Schedule of Defence Minister's visit

Departure from Delhi 9.30 am

Arrival at Chandigarh 10.30 am

Arrival at the University Guest House 10.50 am

Arrival at the English Auditorium 11.15 am

Lunch 1.15 pm

Departure for Delhi 2.45 pm 



Tortured over dowry, pregnant woman sets herself afire
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Garibdass, April 13
A 24-year-old pregnant woman tried to immolate herself allegedly following torture by her mother-in-law. The victim, Geeta, who was to deliver next week, has lost her child and is struggling for life at the PGI with over 70 per cent burns.

According to the police, the incident took place on April 11 night when Geeta locked her room, doused herself with kerosene and set herself on fire. She was rescued by her brother-in-law and his wife. Geeta’s husband Narinder who runs a photography shop here told the police that he was not at home when the incident took place.

Geeta’s brother Ashwani who works as a “khalasi” at the Governor’s house in Chandigarh, said: “Instead of rushing Geeta to a hospital immediately or informing her family, her in-laws kept her home the whole night. When her condition deteriorated in the morning, they took her to a private clinic yesterday. Only when the clinic refused to admit Geeta, did they inform me. I got her admitted to the PGI. She told me that after the incident, her in-laws threatened her with dire consequences if she gave a statement against them and did not take her to the hospital because of this.”

The police was called in by the PGI and a case has been registered against her in-laws. According to the SHO Mullanpur Garibdass, Mr Bhagwant Singh, Geeta’s mother-in-law Kanta Devi, her sister-in-law Raj Rani, brother-in-law Rajesh and her husband have been arrested.

Geeta’s elder sister Urmila who is attending to her at the PGI said Geeta could barely speak and was burnt beyond recognition. “She told us that her mother-in-law started misbehaving with her over 20 days ago. She would not allow Geeta to eat food and make her do laborious work. A week ago, Geeta told her husband that she wanted to contact Ashwani but Narinder did not allow her to make even a single telephone call. Finally, when she could not tolerate the treatment being meted out to her she decided to commit suicide,” said Urmila.

Ashwani said Geeta was married in May last year. “It was an arranged marriage. Narinder wanted to marry Geeta within days of having seen her. We could not make sufficient arrangements for the wedding and Geeta had to pay the price for it. Her mother-in- law would taunt her for not bringing enough dowry. Geeta’s divorced sister-in-law Raj Rani who stayed in the same house would join in,” he said.

According to doctors, Geeta’s condition is critical. In her statement recorded before the Duty Magistrate, Mr Harsimran Singh Bal, today, she alleged that her mother-in-law had been mentally torturing her for the past month and she had no option but to kill herself.

According to police sources, Geeta had recorded a statement before the Duty Magistrate yesterday also but changed it today stating that yesterday’s statement was given under pressure.

The police has registered a case under Sections 306, 511 and 498-A of the IPC. 



US award given posthumously to Neerja Bhanot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
At a simple but impressive ceremony held at the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Chandigarh-born Neerja Bhanot was posthumously awarded the 'Justice for Crimes Award'. The award was presented as part of the Annual Crime Rights Week.

It was one of the rare occasions when an Indian national was bestowed the prestigious award by the US Government. Almost 19 years ago, Neerja had fallen to terrorists' bullets while performing her duty as Senior Flight Purser with Pan Am on Flight 73 that was hijacked at Karachi Airport on September 5, 1986.

She was shot many times while trying to save the passengers on board the Pan Am aircraft after it had been hijacked. The bullets that felled her were meant for three small children whom the terrorists tried to kills when they were escaping.

Neerja's brother, Aneesh Bhanot, received the award on her behalf. It was presented by Mr Kenneth L Wainstein and Mr Gregg Maissel of the US Attorney's Office in Washington DC.

Recognising her exemplary courage, the Union Government had awarded her the Ashok Chakra posthumously, while the airline company joined hands with her family to set up the Neerja Bhanot-Pan Am Trust.

Every year, the trust honours an airline crew member who acts beyond the call of duty and an Indian woman, who shows exemplary courage, commitment and compassion for her fellow human beings.



Dry leaves keep Fire Brigade on the run
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Piles of dry leaves in the city keep Fire Brigade engines on the run. In the past 14 days, the city has witnessed at least 18 cases where the fire engines had to be rushed to extinguish the rising flames in different pats of the city which posed threat to the immediate surroundings.

Incidents of fire have been reported from Sectors 16, 23(Children Traffic Park), 42, 43, Darua and Industrial Area, besides other places. In a majority of the cases piles of dry leaves were set on fire by the local residents on roads berms or corners of the streets.

The Sanitation Committee of the Municipal Corporation has decided to employ at least 50 safai karamcharis only for picking the dry leaves. The committee which met on Monday decided that these karamcharis would be employed for a short period (about two months) just to tide over the immediate problem.

In certain cases, employees of the Municipal Corporation were involved in burning the leaves. At least three employees have been proceeded against by the department on account of setting dry leaves on fire, a senior official of the Municipal Corporation said.

Under the Environment Act dry leaves are not supposed to be burnt. Burning of leaves is a source of environmental pollution. The leaves can be very good sources of manure and can also be used in making pellets which can be a source of energy.

The MC is deliberating upon setting up a garbage processing unit since 1996. No decision has been taken on the technology that best suited the requirements of the city. This has led to the Central Pollution Control Board stopping the release of fresh grants for the sanitation in the city. One of the possibilities in the processing of dry leaves could be making pellets which can be used as a source of energy.

Nearly all city roads, particular the internal roads in the city sectors are strewn with the dry leaves. The sight clearly shows that leaves have remained untouched on the roads for very long times. The sight of piles of burnt leaves are also very common.

Mr Tarsem Singh, a resident of Sector 36, said, “residents are forced to burn the dry leaves because the roads are full. The authorities are not touching them. There is no other way to clear them from roads other collecting them and burning them”.

A senior officer of the corporation said “We don’t have enough staff to employ for removing the dry leaves. Cleaning garbage is the most important issue on our agenda. The corporation also does not have enough machinery, including transport to employ on removing the leaves”.



Carry forward Ambedkar’s legacy, says Governor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has advocated the launching of a crusade against discrimination due to caste and creed as envisaged by Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the main architect of the Constitution.

In a message on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti, General Rodrigues said he envisaged an “Indian solution” to Indian problems, suiting the needs of the people.

He said the real tribute to Ambedkar would be to carry forward his legacy and contribute to social harmony.



Public holiday today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
The Central Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, has declared April 14 as a public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, on account of the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.



Passing Thru

Why are lens manufacturers going in for innovations?

Changing lifestyles and increasing emphasis on style statement has ensured that leading lens manufacturing companies bring innovations in frames and lenses to meet the requirements of the customers.

Vipul Motani
Vipul Motani, 
Director, Delta Lens

Do we have a market in Punjab for expensive range of lenses and frames?

Professionals, executives and students from affluent backgrounds, who have easier brand recognition and buying power buy frames and lenses over and above Rs 4,000.

What steps can be taken to standardise the unorganised trade in the eye market?

A lot needs to be done. For instance, the stockists for Kodak lens products are for the first time been given a lens catalogue with fixed price list of spectacles (lens and frame together) with specified prescriptions. Those defaulting will be taken to task.

Are plastic frames in?

The shares of plastic lenses in the market has begun to increase. Their share was a bare 3 per cent 10 years ago, the rest being glass lenses. But at present the ratio is 25 per cent plastic lenses and 75 per cent glass lenses.

— Poonam Batth



Of ripe crops, bhangra, gaiety and thanksgiving

It is harvesting season in many parts of the country. This is the time you see the fields in the countryside swaying to the winds. Nature is in full bloom. Several festivals coincide with the harvest time and Baisakhi is one of them.

Punjab still occupies a position of pride as an agrarian economy. Farmers are on the forefront of the celebrations, marked by gaiety and merry-making. It is the time when they look forward to reap the fruits of their labour. It is also the time for thanking the Creator.

Attired in their best clothes, revellers break into a bhangra. The scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops are expressed through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads.

This spring festival, coinciding with the New Year, is also known by different names in other states. It is Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Bihu in Orissa and Vishu in Kerala.

History has been a witness to a number of significant events on this day. On this day in 1699 Guru Gobind Singh organised the order of the Khalsa. He discontinued the tradition of Gurus in Sikhism by declaring the Granth Sahib to be the eternal Guru of all Sikhs. On this day Guru Arjan Dev was martyred by Mughal rulers. On this day in 1875 Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj. This day is of immense religious import to the Buddhists because Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment (Nirvana) under the Mahabodhi tree in Gaya..

However, the spirit behind all these festivals is the same and that is thanksgiving. The Sikhs visit gurdwaras. For Hindus also it is the start of the new year and is celebrated with requisite bathing, feasting and worship.

Many poets in the past have given expression to this basic emotion in their works. But what are the things one should be thankful for? One of them wrote: “God of all blessings, source of all life, giver of all grace, we thank you for the gift of life; for the breath that sustains life; for the food of this earth that nurtures life; for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life.”

The gratitude to the Creator then extends to all fellow beings and to all creatures. God has set us in communities and families, providing us with opportunities to love and be loved. Then we have friends who are a source of comfort and encouragement. There are others with whom we maintain daily contacts, work with them in offices, factories or in the fields.

And then we need to thank Him for each day. Every day presents a new opportunity to make a fresh beginning, one more day to love, to work for justice and peace and experience His presence. M.P.K. Kutty



UT fails to follow Punjab pattern
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Even as Punjab took the administratively bold step of opening all its offices and establishments on Baisakhi and also on Ambedkar Jayanti, the Chandigarh Administration has gone ahead and closed its offices for two days.

This despite the fact that Chandigarh supposedly follows what is called the ‘Punjab pattern’ in official parlance. It dawned on the Administration this morning that the official machinery in Punjab was working in full swing even as Chandigarh was closed. Normally the Chandigarh Administration leads the region by having the least number of closed days.

Chandigarh finalises it annual list of holidays for the next year in the month of December. This is done after screening the list of holidays declared by Punjab and also the Central Government. Since both Baisakhi and Ambedkar Jayanti are closed days for the Central Government they were retained as holidays.



PWD forgets to construct bridge promised 2 years ago
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
It was in June 2003, when the Punjab PWD Minister laid the foundation stone of a vital bridge over Patiala Ki Rao, connecting Chandigarh with Nada, Sheonk, Jyanti Majri and other villages in the Shivalik Hills.

But still there is no trace of any bridge over the seasonal rivulet, thanks to the apathy of the PWD Department. The villages are put to a lot of inconvenience as the road link is snapped during rainy season.

“It is going to be two years this June ever since the foundation stone was laid and the Minister had assured that the bridge would be completed by March 2004. But no spade work has been done at the spot. The problem of inaccessible road remains as it was two years back”, says Mr Jeet, a resident of Nada village.

The residents of the area complain that to reach Nada village from an alternative route, one had to take a long detour. Many employees working in offices in Chandigarh live in the villages.

Sources in the PWD said the case was being processed.



Chhattisgarh Governor to open seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The Governor of Chhattisgarh, Lt Gen K.M. Seth (retd) will inaugurate a media seminar at the Academy for a Better World, Gyan Sarovar, Mount Abu in Rajasthan, on April 27. The four-day seminar is likely to be attended by participants from all over India.

The seminar would be on media, society and human values, according to a spokesman of the organisers, Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya and the Media wing of Rajyoga Shikshan and Shodha Pratishthan.

Prominent among those who will attend are MP Eduardo Falerio (Goa), Mr Mahesh Joshi, Director, Doordarshan Kendra, Bangalore and Mr Sunil Mishra, Director Central India institute of Mass Communications, Nagpur. 



Truck falls into ditch, 1 dead

Chandigarh, April 13
One person died on the spot and 13 others were injured after a tractor fell into a ditch along the Ramgarh-Naraingarh highway, following brake failure. The accident occurred around 9.30 pm near Morni T-Point at Nada village when driver of the tractor lost control following a massive brake failure. The tractor, loaded with Kota stone had embarked on a journey to Sector 26 in Panchkula where some construction work is going on. It had been loaded at Raipur Khurd village in Chandigarh.

As the tractor neared Morni T-point, its brakes failed and it went sliding down the slope, ramming into the side berms and falling into the adjoining ditch. While Mahesh, one of the labourers died on the spot, three others including Yadav Lal, Nand Lal and Jagru were seriously injured and referred to the PGI. — TNS



Police raids to nab ASI
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 13
Raids have been conducted by the police to nab an ASI who fled from police custody yesterday.

Mr Harpreet Singh, DSP, has sent a report recommending the suspension of two cops who had been charged with corruption.

According to the police, the ASI, Balwinder Singh, who had been arrested on a charge of accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000, had fled from the police station in Phase VIII here where he had been brought after his arrest.

The police had booked an ASI and a Head Constable, Vijay Kumar, on the charge of accepting bribe from a resident of Sector 68 here. While the ASI was nabbed while allegedly taking the bribe amount in the presence of the SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, the Head Constable, however, ran away.

It is learnt that Mr Varinder Verma, who had been stopped at a naka by the ASI and the Head Constable, was found carrying liquor. Instead of registering a case against Mr Verma on a charge of smuggling liquor the two cops allegedly demanded Rs 4,000 for letting him go. 



Woman succumbs to accident injuries
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
A 47-year-old woman succumbed to accident injuries last night at the PGI. She was admitted to the hospital with multiple injuries after she was hit by a car near Mata Sheetala Devi Mandir, Mani Majra, in the morning.

According to the police, Naresh Kumari, a resident of Modern Complex, Mani Majra, was going to hop a bus for Zirakpur from near the temple when a Hyundai Accent Car (CH-03-N-0123) hit her head on. Her son Jaspreet was also accompanying her when the accident occurred, however, escaped unhurt. The deceased was employed with Punjab State Electricity Board in Zirakpur.

The car was driven by Gurdial Sharma of the same locality. He rushed the victim to the Civil Hospital in Sector 5, Panchkula, in his own car. Later the doctors referred her to the PGI, where she succumbed to her injuries late in the night, said the police. 



Man caught stealing scooters
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
One person was caught while stealing objects from SD College, Sector 32, while two scooters were stolen from the city, the police said here today.

Mr A.C. Vaid, Principal of the college, reported that Ram Narin of Burail village was caught while stealing one bed and a roll of wire from the college premises yesterday. A case under Sections 380 and 411 of the IPC has been registered and a local court has remanded him to judicial custody.

Scooters stolen

Mr A. B. Sharma of Sector 23 reported to the police that his Kinetic Honda scooter (HR-03-2432) was stolen from Ram Leela ground, Burail village, yesterday. In another incident, Mr Subash Suri of Sector 20 lodged a complaint that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-01-Z-2174) was stolen from Sector 17. Two separate cases of thefts have been registered.

Laptop stolen

Mr Paramjit Singh of Shahi Majra village, Chandigarh, reported that his laptop computer was stolen from his car (CH-03-R-1531), which was parked in CMC parking area, Sector 17, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.



Fake postal stamp in circulation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A local stamp collector, Mr Rakesh Walia, has found a stamp which is in circulation despite the stamp not being released.

Since no stamp can be in circulation without its official release, Mr Walia said it needed to be looked into. The stamp bears the year 2005, but no such stamp was released on its slated date in March.

Mr Walia said he got the stamp from an envelope orginating from Uttar Pradesh.



One arrested in fraud case
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 13
The police has arrested one person on a charge of cheating and criminal breach of trust here today.

According to the police, Dayal Singh, who was working as a manager with a travel agent, had been arrested while the travel agent, Prabhjeet Singh, had gone underground along with members of his family. The police had registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 120 B of the IPC against Dayal Singh and Prabhjeet Singh.

Residents of Mataur village here had been demanding action against the two persons. They had complained to the police that they were not being provided any information about two of the five persons sent abroad by the travel agent. They had alleged that the travel agent instead of helping them in this regard was threatening them.

They had further alleged that the travel agent had taken more than Rs 4 lakh from each of the five persons sent abroad on the pretext that they would be sent to Spain and also provided employment. But the five were sent to another country instead of Spain. At their own level the three of them managed to reach Spain after facing a lot of hardships. However, nobody was aware of the whereabouts of the other two persons.



Woman held for cheating villagers
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Garibdass, April 13
Vidya Vati, a 35-year-old resident of a village near here was arrested by the police on a charge of cheating residents of Sarangpur village.

According to the police Vidya Vati would collect money from the residents in the name of a Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Sarangpur village. The police has booked her under section 420 of the IPC and also recovered fake receipt booklets. The police said Vidya Vati would pose as a volunteer and issue receipts to the donors but never deposit the amount collected with the mandir management.



Austrian energy drink launched in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A drink that gives you a burst of sprightly energy with all the goodness of clear spring water from the Austrian Alps! Claiming pep vigour, FullPower, the Austrian energy drink, was launched in Chandigarh today at the Shivalikview Hotel.

With Red Bull, the other energy drink making its presence felt in the urban Indian market, especially in Mumbai, FullPower has its hands full in India and in their home country where, ironically, their competitor produces their version of the energy boosting thirst-quencher a mere 50 miles from FullPower’s manufacturing centre!

Positioned at Rs 75 for a 250 ml can with 46 calories, this ‘carbonated non-alcoholic energy support’ is a concoction of Taurine, an amino acid found in our body. 



First mobile technology show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
‘MOBILETEK 2005’, the first of its kind technology event in the city, will provide unique platform where telecom operators and service, material and content providers relevant to the industry, will meet under one roof to outline the future of mobile technology in India.

Talking to TNS, Managing Director of Masterline, Mr Naresh Nanda said: “There are still many questions to be answered about the technologies in the telecom sector and their role within the mobile operator’s service portfolio. With digital convergence, the competition between the telecom companies is intensifying. To meet the challenges of these paradigm shifts and continue efforts to create new values for its customers, operators need to include technology based services. We endeavour to provide all concerned an opportunity to answer all such questions through mutual interaction and exchange of knowledge-base. This event will be true to its motto of ‘communication unlimited’.”

Mobiletek, which will be jointly inaugurated by the Chief Operating Officers (CEOs) of major telecom operators in the city namely Airtel, Reliance Infocomm, Hutch, Connect and BSNL. Spice and Tata Indicom are likely to stay away from the mega show. It will see the participation of all major cellular operators, handset manufacturers and service, material and content providers relevant to the industry, including brand names like Nokia, Acer, Samsung, LG, Hutch, Reliance, BSNL, Connect, My Mobile, Sagem, Panasonic, Amson, Automation International, O2, Akasaki International, IBM, Microsoft, Nortel Networks, Spring Ventures, Toshiba to name a few, besides having Airtel as its Principal Sponsor.

Mr Vinod Sawhny, Executive Director, Airtel, said: “Over the years Chandigarh has emerged as a hub of activity in telecom for north India. Forums like Mobiletek-2005 offer n opportunity for various operators, handset companies and others to showcase the technology, various applications and how these can benefit the end consumer. Being leaders in the region, it was imperative for Airtel to be a part of any new initiative in the sphere of technology and telecom. 



PNB celebrates foundation day
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 13
The Punjab National Bank Zonal Audit Office, Panchkula, celebrated its 111th foundation day, here today.

While addressing the gathering Mr P.S. Bedi, Assistant General Manager, Zonal Audit Office, claimed that the bank started its operations on April 12, 1895 from Lahore with an authorised capital of Rs 2 lakh and a working capital of Rs 20,000.

He said that the bank came into existence with the efforts of visionaries and patriots like Lala Lajpat Rai, Mr E.C. Jassewala, Babu Kali Prasonna Rai, Lala Harkishan Lal and Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, founder of The Tribune Trust.

With over 4487 offices all over the country, PNB was the first bank to implement Basel-II norms and Risk Based Internal Audit with an aspiration to become a world institution with an international presence.

The bank has deposits of over Rs 1,00,000 crore, advances worth Rs 60,000 crore and total business worth Rs 1,60,000 crore, he claimed.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |