C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Property sellers in troubled ‘waters’
No-due certificate for water bills made mandatory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A resident of the city is required to have a no-due certificate with regard to water bills before selling his property. The proposal to make it mandatory was cleared by the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation here today.

The dues will be cleared and a certificate of the Estate Office will have to be shown before the sale proceedings are completed. The step has been initiated following a number of complaints where buyers complained that they kept on receiving water bills after taking possession of the new property.

A member of the committee said, “The problem has been highlighted by different residents’ associations. There were an unspecified large number of cases pending in the courts with regard to pending water bills. The new buyers say that why they should pay for facilities they have never availed of. The sellers have literally washed their hands off the pending dues after handing over the property”.

The F and CC decided to install new machinery at a pumping station in Water Works, Sector 26. The station has two sides — the Jyoti Side and the Kirloskar side. The replacements are being made at the Kirloskar side only. The committee cleared two separate budget estimates pegged at Rs 19.39 lakh and Rs 26.52 lakh.

Machinery at two pumping stations of the city water works which covers a major portion of the city population has far outlived its utility. Official documents have pointed out that “pumping sets have far outlived their utility because life of fast moving machinery is about 15 years”. These sets have not been replaced since 1965.

Certain pumping sets have been declared abandoned and “there is no alternative than to replace them”. Officials confirm that the water pumping capacity was inadequate to meet the requirements of pumping water.

The pumping stations facing the problem are located at the Water Works, Sector 26. One of the stations, called the Jyoti side, caters to Sectors 19, 20, 26, 27, 30 and Industrial Area, Phase I. The Kirloskar side of the station caters to water supply to Sectors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, and 11.

The Kirloskar side houses certain important institutions like the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Raj Bhavans and Secretariat of Punjab and Haryana, UT Guest House and residential areas of Punjab and Haryana Ministers, besides certain others.

Official sources maintain that the cost of maintaining the machinery had risen considerably. The efficiency of the machinery has decreased considerably and the power consumption has increased considerably. Sources said, “The pumping sets have remained under operation for quite some time and had witnessed several repairs. Certain crucial items which suffered maximum damage are neck rings, sleeves, sleeve cups, rewinding of motor and gland cups, besides certain others.

The F and CC has given the sanction to Asiad Circus for the circus ground, Sector 17, at a rent of Rs 6,000 daily between August 1 and September 9 later this year. The estimate for V-4 road in Sector 32 for Rs 32.49 lakh was referred to the MC house because the F and CC does not have the power to sanction amounts above Rs 30 lakh.

The issue of introducing paid parking at the district courts of Sector 17 was deferred.

The F and CC granted permission to CITCO to organise functions free of cost at the Plaza, Sector 17, on Saturdays and Sundays. The latter will not be allowed to erect sales stalls nor display any advertisements.



Railways to put its 1,400 passengers on road today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Railways estimates that it will have to ferry about 1400 passengers by road when they close the Kalka — Chandigarh — Ambala railway section for about 11 hours tomorrow.

The Railways needed to carry out major repairs on two bridges on the section, thus the closure was required, said the Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Mr Dayal Dogra, adding that the Railways would be providing air-conditioned buses and qualis vehicles for Shatabdi passengers. For those booked in trains having non-AC coaches, non-AC buses would be provided. However, those travelling in AC coaches in other trains would be ferried on AC buses.

Special porters would be provided for luggage and advance announcements would be made in the train.

The bridge near Lalru on the Ambala-Chandigarh section would remain closed between 11 am and 6.30 pm tomorrow while the bridge between Chandigarh — Kalka section would be closed from 7.30 am and 7.30 pm. The bridge at Lalru was damaged in a rain on August 3, while the one between Chandigarh and Kalka has to be replaced as it has outlived its utility being more than 110 year old.

The existing tickets of passengers would stand valid and the passengers would be transported from Chandigarh to Ambala or vice versa on board special AC buses and taxis.

The following is schedule for trains coming towards Chandigarh-Kalka : Jodhpur-Kalka — no change; Kalka Mail — no change; Himalayan Queen — terminating at Chandigarh instead of Kalka; Shatabdi, arriving at 11 am, would terminate at Chandigarh instead of Kalka; Shatabdi, arriving at 8.30 pm, no change; Paschim Express — to terminate at Ambala instead of Kalka; Sadbhavana Express — no change and Jan Shatbadi — to terminate at Ambala.

To faciliatate passengers, there would be announcements in the coaches for the Paschim Express and special arrangements have been made and ticket checkers would board from Kurukshetra telling passengers about travel on buses from Ambala to Chandigarh or Kalka, said Mr Dogra.

For trains departing from Kalka and Chandigarh : Kalka —Jodhpur—no change; Kalka Mail — no change; Shatabdi, leaving in the morning at 6.50 am, — no change; Shatabdi leaving at 6.20 pm, — would start from Chandigarh and not Kalka; Himalayan Queen — would start from Chandigarh and not Kalka; Paschim Express — would start from Ambala and not Kalka; Jan Shatabdi — no change; Sadbhavna Express — no change.



Kaura, sister remanded in police custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A city court today remanded Dr Deepak Kaura and his sister Deepali Kohli, who were arrested by the police yesterday for their alleged role in the death of Dr Babita Kaura, a PGI doctor and wife of Dr Deepak Kaura, to police custody till June 14.

Meanwhile, the police today decided to examine the mobile phone records of the close relatives of Dr Babita to get to the bottom of the case.

The calls made by her relatives before and after her death on January 19 this year would be screened, the DSP (Crime), Mr Om Parkash, said.

The police has also decided to probe the quantity of alcohol intake by Dr Babita on the evening of January 18. Dr Babita, along with her husband, reportedly had taken a few drinks at her husband’s clinic in Sector 15.

It would be probed whether a huge quantity of liquor, shown as 436.98 mg in the report of the local Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL), was taken by her voluntarily or not police sources said.

While Dr Babita had driven to her third floor flat in Sector 24 in her own car, Dr Deepak Kaura had gone to drop a nurse at a hostel. The couple reportedly had a fight when Dr Deepak Kaura got unreasonably late on the way.

At that moment, Dr Deepak Kaura had called her sister Deepali around 11 pm following which her husband dropped her at the Sector 24 seat. After that Dr Babita Kaura had reportedly fallen from her flat.

It may be recalled that an Assistant Professor with the Department of Immuno-Pathology at the PGI, Dr Babita Kaura had succumbed to her injuries at the PGI on January 19 before the police could record her dying declaration.



Hawara case: raids in Mohali, Ropar; 5 rounded up
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Chandigarh, June 10
Following up leads on associates of dreaded terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara, police teams raided various places in Mohali and Ropar and rounded up at least five persons.

In a separate development, the Phase IV residence of Gursharan Singh, a Junior Engineer in the Irrigation Department, was also raided. The SSP, Ropar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, said the Junior Engineer was not at home and efforts were on to trace him.

It was in his father Sewa Singh’s house in Samrala where Hawara was staying from the past one year. They had rented out a portion of their house to Hardeep Kaur, a woman, who was allegedly harbouring Hawara in Samrala.

The SSP added that the Junior Engineer was not at home when the search was carried out while his father, Sewa Singh, claimed that he did not have any clue that his house was being used by Hardeep Kaur to harbour Hawara.

The police is searching for harbourers and associates of Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora. The SSP said four to five persons had been rounded up from various places in Ropar and were being questioned.

Since Hawara had already been nabbed by the Delhi police the focus was now on trying to locate Tara and Bheora, the SSP said. Special teams headed by SP-level officers had been formed and the entire search operation was being handled centrally. “Houses and hideouts of their associates and sympathisers were being searched across the district. We have also started a 24-hour surveillance of the houses of the three,” the SSP said adding that since family members of the three were mostly women thus they had not been picked up for questioning.

Meanwhile, Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant and the main accused in the Burail jaibreak case Jagtar Singh Hawara is unlikely to be produced in a court in Chandigarh tomorrow.

With Hawara cooling his heels in the Delhi police’s custody, the UT police, the Punjab police and the CBI are all set to file replies regarding his appearance in the local court tomorrow.

A team of the Chandigarh police has returned empty-handed without the transit remand. The team, led by the DSP, Mr B.D. Bector, had gone to Delhi to interrogate Hawara and claimed to have got certain vital clues in connection with the sensational Burail jailbreak case.

An indication in this regard was given by the IGP, Mr Satish Chandra, who said the police was working on the vital clues obtained by the team. Following Hawara’s arrest by the Delhi police, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr M.M. Sharma, on June 8 had issued notices for his production in the local court. An undertrial in the Beant Singh assassination case, Navjot Singh, had filed an application seeking his appearance in the court.

Since Hawara was wanted in Beant Singh assassination and Burail jailbreak cases in Chandigarh, the applicant had demanded his production here. It was alleged that Hawara had falsely been implicated in the Delhi blasts cases.

We will chalk out our strategy after the UT police, the Punjab police and the CBI filed their replies in the court tomorrow, Mr Arvind Thakur, defence counsel, added.



Lending visual voice to valley’s pain
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Years of violence have altered the image of the Kashmir Valley: from an ethereal, tranquil space to a zone of war, languishing for peace.

But even in this image Kashmir has managed to make its mark, showing the world the graceful way of handling terror. It has wept over its fading glory and screamed over its human loss but has, finally, brought home the vitality it was once known for.

Had it not been for the valley’s struggle for existence, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting would not have been inspired to trail its course from smiles to tears and back to smiles…

Opening in Chandigarh today, the ministry’s exhibition “Jammu and Kashmir: A passage in time”, captures the pulse of the valley - its past glory, its troubled present, its best and worst moments.

Some of the rarest shots in the exhibition organised by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity in the Ministry include “Kashmiri women taking arms training in the wake of 1948 Pakistani invasion”, a compelling view of the Avantiswami temple which charms even with its ruins, Indira Gandhi sharing a thought with Kushak Bakula in Leh, the majestic old township of Charar-e-Sharief much before it was ravaged by militants, a smiling child from an Indo-Pakistan border village, and Mohd Yasin Dar, the dreaded battalion commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, being shown to the media at a BSF Camp.

Rich with 150 frames, the show, for the first time, offers a pictorial view of the state which has braved the worst of odds.

The pictures trap a range of human emotions, painting a wondrous pattern of human resilience - the nuance, which is most defined in people of the Jammu and Kashmir.

From the tragic consequences of insurgency to the return of normalcy and the triumph of democracy following the May 2005 civic poll, the exhibition offers a complete insight into what the state bore and how.

There are frames that offer a visual voice to Kahsmir’s rich history - the second page of the instrument of accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, the historic speech in which Sheikh Abdullah, in the company of Pt Nehru, declared that Kashmir was “ours”, the fear of 1948 invasion and the frantic preparedness, few years of peace followed by decades of terrorism, the attack on Raghunath Temple and its religious purification by priests, the traumatic Kargil chapter and the post-Kargil revelry.

Outstandingly conceived, the shots are not mere moments in time. They are supported with history which secures place in each frame — sometimes in the form of the chinar-strewn Nishat, sometimes in the form of women engrossed in namaz.

While the exhibition shows how Kashmir is poised for growth, it never loses touch with its people - the ultimate forces behind valley’s resurgence. The resurgence is also well captured in frames which have enough room for Chashm-e-Shahi as well as Kargil, which marked another chapter in the state’s history.

As Gayatri Sinha, curator of the exhibition says, “Kashmir has fascinated travellers, writers, historians, has been a home to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism, and the fourth century mystic poet Lal Ded rich songs. We have simply attempted to retrace the valley’s life back to its future which looks bright.”

The exhibition can be viewed at state library, Sector 34, till June 17.



It’s more relaxed for boys in hotels
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, June 10
Boys lodged in college hostels in the city can have a whale of a time. Unlike girls whose outings are limited, dictated by the warden's will, boys can roam outside and enjoy the new-found freedom.

Boys, in comparison to girls, are 'free birds'. Boys hostels in general do not have many restrictions to which they have to adhere to. Most colleges know that even if the boys' wings are curtailed, they are bound to find their way around these rules and regulations.

They can 'freak out' till 10 pm and there are no fixed days for outings. The rules and regulations are meant for girls only and these holds no value for boys. This session nothing much has been changed and city colleges are again ready to give their best in the hostels to cater to the boys.

Mr S.C. Marriya, Principal of DAV College, Sector 10, said, "We are offering all facilities, including a coffee shop, STD facility, milk bar, television and recreational halls. Food is available at subsidised rates and our menu has been developed by experts from home science college. The library will remain open till 12 pm for hostlers. All boys have to report in the hostel at 9 pm".

At Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, the special attractions are indoor and outdoor games, common mess, canteen and other basic facilities. The good thing is that Sukhna Lake is very close to the college and students can go out for a walk.

The boys can enjoy the facilities like spacious grounds, recreational halls, home theatre, mess, hot shop, canteen, gym and other basic facilities at GGDSD College, Sector 32.

However, boys planning to take admission in government college hostels would do well to remember that it is necessary to have 75 per cent attendance every month. If one fails to do so, one has to vacate the hostel room.

The hotels offer common rooms, guest room and amenities like television, newspapers, geysers, water coolers and public phones, indoor, outdoor games, canteens and messes.

Government College, Sector 46, has tied up with International Hostel in Sector 15. Boys do not have to share a rooms and enjoy all amenities that most hostels provide.



Student bodies counselling admission-seekers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
With admission rush beginning to pour in on the Panjab University campus, student organisations are making the most by catering to their potential vote banks. The shy youngsters, straight out of the colleges, most with a quizzical look on their faces, would have easily lost in the campus maze but for the able guidance by the activists of various student unions, who have put up their tents just outside the Administrative block to provide all information regarding admissions and declaration of results.

It is their guidance, timely help and handy information, which are making things easy for the first timers on the campus. ``The idea of each student organisation may be to garner maximum support from the new comers and convert them into their loyal vote bank when the student elections take place later in the session.

But the fact is that the system is a hit among the aspiring students, who prefer students guiding them rather than uninterested officers of the university,’’ quips a student leader.

Students activists, acting as admission counsellor, say as many as 1,000 enquiries per day are handled by them and it is just the initial days of the admission rush.

Vikas Rathi, president of the newly formed Indian National Students Organisation, said, “We are here to help the students get maximum information regarding the admissions and forms in the university”. But the help isn’t limited to the tents alone, but the ebullient `counsellors’ accompany the aspirants to the departments to submit their forms.

Harpreet Singh, president of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), says, “We get around 100 students daily, who come to us with so many questions regarding the admissions.

We also provide the students with forms free of cost, which otherwise are given at a price of Rs 250 by the administrative office.’’

The unwilling members of the Administrative Block also help the student activists in their counselling. Handling the tent of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), activists say they sit under their tent from 8 am to 2 pm for the students’ welfare. “This place will be totally like a fish market in the mid-June when the deadline for submitting the forms will come near,’’ says the president of the union.

Amandeep Singh, president of the Punjab University Students Union (PUSU), says, “When we for the first time came to the university as a student we were as confused about the system.

So we are working for the students’ welfare. We get around 300 students daily in the end of June when the admission time comes near”.



Dept of Correspondence to introduce internal assessment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
One of the largest department on the campus is in for the changes this academic session. The Department of Correspondence Studies, Panjab University, has now decided to introduce internal assessment for the undergraduate students for 2005-06. The faculty feels that the new move will now make students work more seriously. The university has decided to introduce internal assessment in the undergraduate courses starting this academic session. The 10 per cent internal assessment will be based on the “response sheets” submitted by students, twice in an academic session.

With enrolment of over 14,000 students, the department was till date asking students to submit their response sheet (work-based assignments) based on the syllabi of various subjects, but there were no marks allocated to the sheets. “It is obvious that when the students have no incentive in terms of marks, the quality of the work would suffer. However, with the new system of internal assessment, the students will have to work harder on their assignments,” agrees a faculty member of the department. The internal assessment in the regular courses of the university a few years ago promoted the department to think about such a system for its students also.

The department had forwarded a proposal of internal assessment to be started in all postgraduate and undergraduate courses. The syndicate passed the proposal in the undergraduate classes alone.

Popular courses offered by department:

1. Undergraduate courses: B.A, B.Com, B.Ed, Bachelor of Library Science (B.Lib)

2. Postgraduate courses: M.A in various subjects, M.Com, Masters of Finance (MFC), M.Ed.

3. Diploma in Education and statistics, PG Diploma in mass communication.



Dept of South Indian languages goes defunct
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A rusted lock greets one to the room where the board even today boldly says “South Indian Languages (Tamil)”. Located in the Old Correspondence Block and covered with layers of dust that have not been wiped of the walls and windows for years together, the unkempt location pronounces the tale of the “no student, no teacher” for the four South Indian languages that were once taught on the campus.

“It’s been years when the South Indian Languages Department was closed down at Panjab University. The board only suggesting that the department once existed. There is no demand and it was pointless to appoint any faculty for the courses that virtually had no takers.The department was not attracting any students,” says the Dean University Instruction (DUI), Prof J.K. Gupta.

While the response to foreign language courses is mixed — with a few drawing students and others not — the response to the South Indian languages-Tamil, Telugu, Malyalam and Kannada has vanished. “That is true despite the fact that there is a sizeable population of South Indians in the city. We cannot focus on short-term course in Indian languages as is the case with foreign languages,” adds Professor Gupta.

In fact as the Dean suggests, the room, which still holds the name-tag South Indian languages, will be restored so that it can be put to some academic use for the students enrolled in the neighbouring departments like the Department of Music or the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education. “We have plans to put the room to some other use,” he says.



College Call
Govt College, Sector 42, gets B+ grade from NAAC
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, June 10
Government College for Girls, Sector 42, with its latest offering — B.Sc (Computer Science) — is now set to be at the centre- stage in the field of girls education.

The college's aptitude for providing quality education has received a boost following its accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) which accorded it B + grade.

Having well-equipped laboratories, the college campus abounds in scientific temper with graduation in medical, non-medical and bio-technology streams. Its courses in humanities and commerce subjects are other avenues for students.

The college also has other utility courses. UGC-sponsored subjects of functional English and principles and practices of insurance. The functional English course empowers students with a good command over the language.

Another course on similar lines is one-year part-time diploma in translation from English to Hindi, which is formulated as per the rules and regulations of Panjab University. There are 30 seats and admission to this course is strictly based on merit.

Founded in 1982, the college has grown by leaps and bounds since then, opening up new vistas. Broadening its horizon, the college offers facilities like library, spacious play-grounds and a hostel with modern amenities.

With the strength of 3,000 students in sports the college is offering 16 games, including hockey, basket-ball, table tennis, cricket and football. All students opting for physical education as elective subject and participating in games must equip themselves with proper sports gear. Facility for participation in the National Cadet Corps (Army, Navy and Air wings) is available for students. Students are prepared for B and C certificates.

The institution looks after the learning concerns of students not only from the city but also from nearly villages in the vicinity of City Beautiful. The prospectus of the college has been available since June 6 and the last date of submission is June 24.



Sahitya Akademi to tap talent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi has decided to make the city a hub of literary activities and create a literary ambience here. Dr Naresh, chairperson of the akademi, said that UT Administration had given full autonomy to the akademi to conduct literary activities so as to encourage the young writers and lend recognition to venerable scholars and veterans.

Main thrust of the akademi, he said, would be on tapping talent among students of schools and colleges. Such youngsters would be invited to reading sessions which would be attended by eminent writers. Youngsters would be encouraged to write plays, novels and short stories.

Seminars, conferences and poetic symposiums will also be conducted on a regular basis to bring together writers, book lovers, publishers and literary organisations. The workshops in schools and colleges, Dr Naresh said, would be conducted to acquaint the budding writers about the skill of editing.

The akademi would also prepare a timetable of year-long literary activities.



Fire in house: goods worth Rs 3 lakh destroyed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 10
Household items worth over Rs 3 lakh were destroyed in a fire that broke out in a house in Phase VI here last night.

The bedroom, from where the fire probably started due to a short circuit, was completely damaged. The box-type beds, containing clothes, suitcases, TV set, VCR, and jewellery, lying in the room, were completely destroyed. Household items lying in the adjoining living room and kitchen also got damaged. The blades of the ceiling fans in the living room got bent due to excessive heat.

It was a harrowing experience for the inmates of the house, who had to run out of the building to save themselves as the flames were spreading due to the fast winds that lashed the town last night. One person received minor burn injuries.

Col Joginder Singh (retd), owner of the house, told Chandigarh Tribune today that the fire broke out after 10.30 pm when everyone was about to go to sleep. It was not noticed immediately as no one was sleeping in the bedroom from where it started. It was only when thick smoke spread to the adjoining rooms, leading to suffocation, that the fire got noticed. Immediately, members of his family tried to move out of the building but the outer doors were locked. Tracing the keys of the doors also became difficult in the dark as there was no power supply at that time.

He said his wife, Ms Surjit Kaur, got trapped in the back courtyard and was rescued by neighbours with the help of a ladder. She sustained minor burn injuries on her feet. It took about an hour and a half for fire brigade employees to bring the flames under control.

He said it was sheer luck that his daughter-in-law had gone to her parents house along with his grandson and as such their bedroom was vacant. Had they been in their bedroom, it would have become difficult to rescue them from there. He said some gifts that his daughter-in-law had received at the time of her marriage got destroyed in the fire.



Panchkula MC chief poll today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 10
Amid controversy and factionalism within the Congress, elections to the post of president and vice-president of the Municipal Council will be held here tomorrow.

The Civil Judge, Senior Division, Mr Gulab Singh, turned down the plea of the five Congress councillors seeking a stay on the elections. The next date of hearing in the case has been fixed for June 14.

Congress councillors owing allegiance to Mr Chander Mohan — Mr V.K. Kapoor, Mr R.K. Kakkar, Ms Renuka Rai Walia, Mr Pawan Mittal and Mr Om Prakash — had filed an application in the court yesterday, requesting for a stay on the MC meeting scheduled for June 11.

They have alleged that there are certain procedural lapses in holding the meeting.

The councillors alleged that, the time given for the meeting to be held is too short and at least seven days’ notice should have been given for holding the meeting.

The post of president and vice-president here has been vacant for the past two months after the Indian National Lok Dal supported president, Ms Seema Chaudhary, was removed through a no-confidence vote.

Meanwhile, councillors from the faction owing allegiance to local MP Selja Kumari and Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda held meetings this afternoon. Councillors supported by INLD and BJP too have reportedly assured their support to this group. Meanwhile, eight councillors from the Chander Mohan faction held separate meetings.

Mr Chander Mohan, who has been holidaying in Australia for the past couple of days, was expected to reach here late tonight.

The strength of Congress-supported councillors in the 31-member MC House is 18.



BJP lashes out at UPA govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The local unit of the BJP today held a demonstration against the “anti-people” policies of the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress-dominated Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

Addressing party workers, Mr Satya Pal Jain, former MP, alleged that the Congress had committed a breach of trust by not fulfilling various promises made to the people.

The UPA government had failed on all fronts and people were at the receiving end of the apathetic bureaucracy, he said.

Coming down heavily on the functioning of the MCC, Mr Jain said there was acute shortage of water in various pockets of the city, particularly in various colonies.

The plight of the residents of the upper floors was pitiable in the wake of the low water pressure, he added.

Though Monsoon was round the corner yet the MCC had failed to complete the drainage system exposing the residents to water-borne diseases. Streetlights in cities, particularly in the southern sectors, were non-functional, he alleged.

Speakers highlighted lax removal of garbage and stressed that condition of roads and sanitation was going from bad to worse with each passing day.

Prominent among the speakers were the leader of the Opposition in the MCC, Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, Mr Purshotam Mahajan and Mr Megh Raj Verma.



Rodrigues exhorts banks to reach out to the poor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has emphasised the need for a proactive role of banks in building sustainable financial services systems to reach out to the poor and to bring about social transformation in society.

Interacting with bank executives after inaugurating the three-day ICICI Bank Family Festival in Sector 34, here this evening, he said the people with low income must be integrated into the formal financial sector to ensure their active partnership and to provide them economic security through opportunities of self-employment and sponsorship. Once some degree of economic security was attained, access to credit facilities on easy terms could help them move out of poverty.

He said the banking system should come forward with innovative programmes to upgrade the lives of 260 million people of the country living below the poverty line.

Mr M. Vaidyanathan, senior general manager and country head and Mr Vineet Dhar, AGM (North Zone), ICICI Bank, also addressed the gathering.



Trade Union Council members hold rally
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 10
Members of the Trade Union Council organised a protest rally in support of ESPL employees here today. Representatives of other employees unions also participated in the rally.

Employees of the ESPL have demanded that the scheme cleared by BIFR on February 20, 2002, to revive the company should be implemented by the government. The decision of the Punjab Government to close down the factory should be withdrawn and its managing director be placed under suspension.

The protesters said the company was earning profits for the past five years and work of the election commission and of some thermal plants was lying pending. The TUC would continue the protest till employees were taken back by the company.



Hooda to visit Press Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, will address a meet-the-press programme at the Press Club here tomorrow. The programme will start at 11 am. It will be his first meet-the-press programme since he took over as the Chief Minister.



Dust storm hits city, neighbourhood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula were at the receiving end of a lashing dust storm last night which culminated in 3.6 mm of rainfall.

With wind speeds reaching 118.5 km per hour, trees were uprooted and the electricity played truant with wires getting tangled.

The minimum temperature, which was hovering around a pleasant 24 to 26 degrees celsius, came down marginally to 23.4 degrees celsius.



CITCO hotel to have 44 more rooms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
As many as 44 new rooms will be added to the existing facilities at Hotel Parkview.

A decision to this regard was taken at a meeting of the board of directors of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) here yesterday, sources said. Those present at the meeting included Mr Krishna Mohan, Chairman of CITCO, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, Mr R.K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Jasbir Bir, Managing Director of CITCO, besides others.

Hotel Parkview currently has a capacity of 78 rooms. The occupancy rate here has gone up to 87 per cent during the past two months. “The accommodation offers very good place for the budget-travellers. The place is fast emerging as a hot spot for the visitors,” a senior official said.

The board of directors also decided to start a new restaurant adjoining the Baithak in Kalagram on the Chandigarh-Panchkula highway. An amount of Rs 20 lakh has been sanctioned for the project. Sources said a village-like aura would be created at the new restaurant to gel with the art and culture atmosphere.

It was also decided that an automatic traffic light signal will be installed opposite the gate of the Kalagram on the highway. At present, traffic from Chandigarh had to travel towards Panchkula for around 1 km from the Kalagram gate and again return back to the same spot on the other road to reach the venue

A reference was also made to the status of Mountview seeking a five-star status. It was pointed out that CITCO had drafted its case and presented it to the Tourism Ministry and a reply was awaited.

The issue pertaining to conveyance allowance to CITCO employees was deferred.



Toor aiming to become the fastest pizza maker
Geetu Vaid

Kirat Inder Toor
Kirat Inder Toor

Whether you are 6, 16, 60 or anywhere in between, the temptation of hot and aromatic pizzas that melt in the mouth is too good to resist. But imagine getting these at the speed of three pizzas in under two minutes. Yes, this is precisely what our Punjabi puttar Kirat Inder Toor is aiming for at the Domino’s International Fastest Pizza Maker Competition to be held in Orlando in Florida, USA, on June 14.

City-based Kirat Inder Toor, who is the district manager with Domino’s pizza chain, is looking after Punjab, Shimla, Dehra Dun and Mussourie. He is upbeat about the contest after being selected to represent Asia-Pacific zone as his timing (of less than two minutes for three pizzas) was the best in the preliminary Asia-Pacific region round of the contest held in Delhi. He beat competition from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and India to qualify for the international contest.

Only the second Indian to qualify for the pizza race, Toor started his journey to the USA on Friday after extensive training and practice in Delhi for over 10 days.

Telling about his passion he said: ‘‘It wasn’t always pizzas as I did a diploma in pharmacy in 1993 but I soon realised that it was not my line and enrolled for a course in hotel management at Pusa institute.’’ He joined Domino’s as manager in training in 1997. ‘‘I started as a pizza maker and have been interested in this art since then. To match perfection with promptness is a very tough job but this is where the excitement begins.’’

Quality and speed are the hallmark of the company that promises to deliver pizzas in 30 minutes or refund the money to the customer. ‘‘We ensure prompt delivery not by driving fast on the road. In fact the hustle is in the store and not on the road.”

Brimming with excitement and confidence Toor gives a rundown of the contest. At least 13 participants from Domino stores all over the world are taking part in the contest which will be witnessed by over 2000 persons. On offer is $ 5000 reward plus incentives from the company (last year’s winner got ownership of two outlets in USA.)

Each contestant will have to make three 14’’ pizzas with cheese, mushroom and pepperoni toppings. The process involves pulling dough balls and stretching those into a pizza size. Stretching has to be done first so that the pizza gets its edges and the pie has to be rotated at 360 degrees. The central consistent volume of the pizza has to be maintained and any pizza with a thin centre would have to be remade.

And that is not all, the contest rules make it mandatory to have the sauce evenly spread, cheese evenly poured and portioned and toppings spread evenly all across and not overlapping. The judges monitor the whole process closely and if the stretching, saucing and cheesing is not done properly then the contestant will be asked to correct it or remake the pizza,’’ he added.


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 |