C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Trinabh city topper in IIT examination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
City students came out with flying colours in the IIT examination meant for securing a seat in the top engineering institutes of the country. A number of students cleared the examination conducted in two stages, the preliminary and the final stage. The results of the examination were declared here today.

Trinabh Gupta topped from among city students, securing the sixth rank in IIT. Having clear cut preferences, he says, “I am very interested in computer science and want to do it from IIT Delhi since it has the best computer science department and it is close to home.”

The students are getting ready for the first round of counselling slated for June 28 in Delhi.

Movin Jain, who has secured 11th rank in IIT and was among the toppers of the AIEEE examination conducted by the CBSE also, is elated with his result his first choice, obviously, is IIT.

“I am in two minds both about the institute I want to seek admission in and the stream I want to pursue. I am oscillating between Delhi and Mumbai as also computer science and electronics. I will wait for the counselling where they guide us also to choose a career, before taking a final decision,” he said.

Sameer Madan was placed 21st while Manu Sharma and Abhishek Bansal came 62nd and 91st, respectively. For most of the toppers of the city, Delhi and Mumbai are the most favoured IIT destinations. Among the many streams available to the students, computer science, electronics and mechanical engineering have emerged as clear favourites.

While most students are keeping their fingers crossed and hope that they would be able to secure a seat in the IIT of their choice, the priority at the time of admission would not be the institute but the course.

“I would forgo an IIT of my choice if I don’t get a seat in computer science since it is not the institute but the course that will decide my future,” a student stated. The students have a total of seven IITs to choose from. These are located at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Roorkee, Khargpur and Kanpur.

Nearly 1.75 lakh students from all over the country appeared for the preliminary examination conducted for screening. Following the examination, selection of the top 20,000 candidates was made though no ranking was given for the first time. The main examination was held on May 22.



Students in a fix over delay in result declaration
UGC- NET examination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
It’s turning out be a frustrating long wait for the candidates aspiring for the UGC- NET examination for lecturership and research fellowship as the results of the examination held in December last year have not been declared as yet. With no information on how they have fared in the previous exam, the candidates are finding it difficult to concentrate for the next entrance test, which falls on June 26.

As a norm, the University Grants Commission (UGC) declares the results of the entrance test before the last date of submission of the next test. The National Eligibility Test (NET) is held twice in a session-once in June and another in December.

Students say that unlike previous years, the wait has been extremely long this year and is hampering their preparations.

“I appeared in the test in December and since the results have not been declared till date, I have filled the forms again to sit in the examination on June 26. If I clear the test in my previous attempt, then all my effort and money of filling the form this time will go waste,’’ says Divinder Kaur of Panjab University.

While most of the candidates find themselves in a dilemma, the UGC’s decision of withholding the results is confounding many on the campus.

“It is strange that the last date of submission of forms is already over and the next test is just 10 days away. But the candidates have no option but to wait for their results of the previous examination. Such a situation actually hampers the preparation of the students,’’ says a member of the Chandigarh-based Aryan Education Society and Charitable Trust.



HUDA’s demolition drive in full swing
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 16
The ongoing anti-encroachment drive continued in full swing with the Enforcement Staff targeting jhuggis on the land of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 1, here today.

The day, however, began on a sour note with HUDA officials having tough time to face protests from jhuggi-dwellers in Sector 21 where they had gone to remove malba and for fencing the area. A fire in the malba which damaged belongings of the jhuggi-dwellers led to allegations that the HUDA staff had set their belongings on fire.

This was, however, denied by the HUDA officials who maintained that the fire could have been the consequence of an accident. A fire tender was also called in to douse the flames. Later, the Estate Office carried out fencing of the entire area cleared of jhuggis.

Meanwhile, on the premises of Gurukul School in Sector 1, a cluster of jhuggis were demolished after the drive was stalled yesterday by the intervention of Naraingarh MLA Ram Krishan. The Gurukul was claiming that the land housing the jhuggis to be theirs while HUDA maintained it was their land.

After satisfying the Gurukul school authorities that the land belonged to HUDA and carrying out demarcation, the jhuggis, primarily of milkmen, were demolished after giving them ample time to clear their belongings. Estate Officer, SP Arora said the drive would continue till encroachments were removed from all the open areas and the land was taken in possession by HUDA.

Meanwhile, the department also removed standing crop in Chowki village which had been planted on HUDA land. 



Policies for benefit of employees announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
In what seems like a change towards the promised “clean governance”, the Chandigarh Administration has initiated several employee-friendly policies.
Among the first is the crucial decision to dispose off appeals of employees which have been pending for five years or more. A part of the work has been completed and the entire work will be finished in six months, officials confirmed.

These are appeals filed by employees against departmental action initiated against them. About 250 appeals of drivers, conductors, constables, cooperative employees and employees of the technical education department had been pending for long. In some cases the employees have even died or have retired. Senior officials confirmed that the retired employees, if the decision is in their favour, will get the benefit.

Also, a rooster has been prepared which will indicate the employees retiring in the next six months. Those replacing the retiring employee will be promoted at least 10 days before the retirement.

Also a meeting with various employee association has been held and the issues of appointments on compassionate grounds will be referred back to the Government of India. The issue of paying bonus to employees will also be sent back to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, said officials.

Another decision has been taken to allow the merger of 50 per cent dearness allowance for all daily wagers. Earlier this was allowed in the case of regular employees and daily wagers working against sanctioned posts. Now all daily wagers will get the benefit of DA merger.



French libraries to showcase modern France
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Making libraries desirable is not an easy job. But French library expert and Director, French Information Resource Centre, Agnes Macquin, is trained to take up challenging tasks and bring home the desired objectives.

Visiting this region for the first time in her two-year long tenure as head of 14 French libraries in India, Macquin has several important tasks at hand. The most significant among these is the projection of France not as a casual nation interested in cuisine and fashion alone but as serious nation leading in the realm of high technologies. To achieve this objective, she has in mind a major revamp of French libraries housed in Alliance Francaise complexes across India.

On a visit to the Chandigarh centre today, Macquin said, “It’s strange that we, during our long presence in India, have not been able to project our true selves. It’s time to clear the dust from the image of France which had two Nobel Prizes in physics in the 1990s, which is home to the fastest train in the world and which is a path-breaker in telecom and transport. That is contemporary France which is known for the forays it is making in terms of developing nuances that can bring the world closer together.”

The objective, the expert says, will be fulfilled by way of reorientation of the contents of French libraries in India. Most interested in attracting general public towards a new civilization that France is, she said, “We have a full-fledged Indian section in all our libraries. But we need to update the same by procuring more and more French works translated in English, besides translating effective Indian authors like Amitav Ghosh and Arundhati Roy into French.”

Denying that the French Information Resource Centre was competing with the American Centre corners or the British Library networks in India, Macquin said, “We don’t have the kind resources British libraries have. So our aims and objectives cannot be similar. But we are keenly contesting with them in the area of higher studies.”

Also keen on improving the signage in Chandigarh library and making it more functional, Macquin said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was deeply interested in tapping the young minds in India.

“So we have decided to introduce children’s section on the lines of British libraries in India, besides enhancing the collection on our higher education offers in streams of engineering, MBA and others. There is also a plan to introduce comic strips in the category of easy French books to attract people, besides encouraging librarians to have English sub-titles on all works of French documentations,” said Macquin.

The expert laid immense focus on signage to facilitate visitors to the library. At present the Chandigarh library has signage only in French.

“We have to make the library friendly to every visitor. So we encourage English signages for easy directions. We will have bi-lingual signs for the Chandigarh library,” she said.

Driven by the objective of helping libraries diversify from literature to other fields relevant to human existence, Macquin also went on visiting other cultural centres in the region, including the British libraries. She was all praise for the Panjab University’s French Department which, she said, had put together an impressive collection in its small library.



Passing Thru

S S Chawla
S S Chawla, CEO, Friendz Exhibitions and Promotions Pvt. Limited, New Delhi

What was purpose behind visiting Chandigarh?

To create awareness among youth about career oriented courses, our company organises exhibitions across the country. We will be holding an exhibition from July 2 here.

How will the youngsters benefit from this exhibition?

It will provide a comprehensive knowledge of various avenues, opportunities and quality of educational facilities. The aspiring candidates can get the required information at one platform.

What will be the highlights of this career fair?

The main objective of the event is to provide information on a wider range of career options from MBA, hotel management, fashion designing, CA, CS, ICWA, banking, various specialised courses in engineering, dental, footwear technology, pharmacy and various other courses. Information on many programmes offered at international universities, tests like GMAT,GRE, TOFEL and IELTS.

— Swarleen Kaur



Zila Parishad election on July 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The state Election Commissioner, Chandigarh, Mr S.P. Marwah, said today that the general election to the Zila Parishad in Chandigarh would be conducted on July 3. The notification would be issued tomorrow and the last date for the filing of nominations would be June 22.

The scrutiny of nominations would be held on June 23 and the last date for the withdrawal of nominations would be June 25. The counting would be held on July 5 from 8 a.m.

He said Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director of CITCO, Mr P.S Aujla, Commissioner, MC, and Mr R.K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner, would be the Observers for the general election to the Zila Parishad.

Mr Marwah, while addressing a press conference, said Mr R.S. Verma, Joint Director (Administration), GMCH-32, Mr Gurdeep Singh, Secretary, Chandigarh Housing Board, and Mr H.S. Kandhola, Joint Commissioner, MC, had been appointed Returning Officers.

Mr R.S. Verma would be the Returning Officer for Kaimbwala and Khuda Alisher, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora and Sarangpur, Dhanas and Dadu Majra and Maloya constituencies.

Mr Gurdeep Singh would be the Returning Officer for Palsora, Kajheri and Hallomajra constituencies and H.S. Kandhola would be the Returning Officer for the constituencies of Behlana and Raipur Khurd, Raipur Kalan and Daira and Mauli Jagran and Kishangarh.

Mr Marwah said the draft lists of polling stations had been kept at all offices of the gram panchayats for respective villages and might be inspected by the candidates and general public from June 18 to 22. Suggestions or objections about these lists might be filed in writing with the respective Returning Officers on June 22.

There are around 48,000 voters and 56 polling booths for the Zila Parishad election. The limit of election expenditure for each candidate was Rs 15,000.

The Secretary, state Election Commission, Mr V.K. Harit, the Deputy Secretary (Administration), Mr P.P. Singh, and the Officer on Special Duty, Mr O.P. Arora, were present in the conference.



Stray bulls attack minor girls
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
The menace of stray cattle once again surfaced when two stray bulls injured two girls in Sector 29 here this evening.
The incident occurred when the two bulls locked their horns and, suddenly, came over the road while fighting. Mamta (10) and Sonu (12), both sisters, came out with their mother from colony Number IV to attend a satsang at the Nirankari Bhavan in Sector 30.

The girls were caught unawares when the fighting bulls charged towards them and then attacked them. One girl fell on the road and the other was hit by the bulls in her stomach.

Frightened, the girls raised an alarm and some passers-by gathered at the spot. They whisked the fighting bulls away by pelting stones on them, said Jarnail Singh, an eyewitness of the incident.

The injured girls were taken to the GMCH, Sector 32, for medical examination.

The menace of stray cattle has reached alarming proportions in the city. About two years ago the Municipal Corporation had launched a drive to nab stray cattle and send them to gaushalas in Delhi.

Truck-loads of stray cattle were ferried to the national capital. The scheme could not be continued as the Delhi-based gaushala wanted some money to look after the cattle which the MC was unable to pay.



Envoy’s wife admitted to Command hospital
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Ruth Norfork, wife of Canadian diplomat Adrian Norfork who had fallen into a mountain crevice near Dharamsala yesterday, has been admitted to the Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, after she was rescued by the Air Force this morning.

Doctors attending on her said she had suffered a hairline fracture in her skull behind her left ear and multiple abrasions on her body. “She is in her senses, but was complaining of a headache,” a senior officer at the hospital said.

“Fortunately there are no serious internal injuries or spinal damage,” he added.

Doctors said Ms Ruth was subjected to a CT Scan and X-rays besides investigations which were warranted.

“Her condition is stable and she has been placed under observation,” Hospital Commandant, Major-Gen S.K. Kaul said.

She had been trekking along with her husband, an experienced mountaineer at an altitude of about 15,000 feet near Dharamsala, when she slipped and fell into a deep snow-bound crevice.

The IAF launched rescue sorties using Mi-17 choppers yesterday after the Canadian authorities sought assistance from the government.

Bad weather and poor visibility over the Indrahan Pass yesterday evening had hampered rescue operations.

At first light today, a Cheetah helicopter piloted by Senior Air Staff Officer, Jammu and Kashmir, Air Cmde Raj Assey resumed the rescue operation. The injured Canadian national stranded on the bleak mountainside was winched-up into the helicopter and airlifted her to the Pathankot Air Force Station. After preliminary medical aid at the airfield, Ms Ruth was flown to Chandimandir in a Mi-17 chopper.

Her husband is posted as the Counsellor (Political Affairs) at the Canadian High Commission and is expected to reach here shortly.

Meanwhile, representatives of the High Commission have already arrived at the Command Hospital.

Hospital authorities said that so far there had been no requests from the Canadian authorities to move out the patient.



Experts dwell on Fringe Benefit Tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Ms Sudha Sharma, Director General, Income Tax (Investigation), North-West Zone, has urged corporate managers to work jointly with the Income Tax Department for the implementation of the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) Act, which was introduced by the Union Finance Minister in his Budget.

Addressing a PHDCCI seminar on “Fringe Benefit Tax and other provisions” at Punjab Bhavan here today, she said the government had introduced the tax to raise additional tax revenue of 34 per cent so that direct tax revenue target of Rs 1,70,000 crore was met. She added that only 4 to 5 per cent of gross corporate turnover was being taxed at present. This, she added, could be increased by the FBT.

Ms Sharma called upon corporate houses to interpret the new act in the right spirit and avoid litigation by adopting a pragmatic and more positive approach in complying with the new tax provisions.

Addressing the seminar, Mr V.P. Verma, Co-Chairman, Direct Taxation Committee, PHDCCI, said the rationale behind levying the tax on the employer was the inherent difficulty in isolating the “personal element” where there was collective enjoyment of such benefits and attributing the same directly to the employee.

Mr Amitabh Singh, tax partner, Ernest and Young, while explaining the nuances and provisions of the Act, said the taxation of perquisites or fringe benefits provided by an employer to his employees, in addition to the cash salary or wages paid, was Fringe Benefit Tax.

It included employee compensation other than the wages, tips, health insurance, life insurance and pension plans like service, facility or amenity directly or indirectly provided by an employer to his employees (including former employees) by reason of their employment.

It also included reimbursements made by the employer either directly or indirectly to the employees for any purpose, contributions by the employer to an approved superannuation fund as well as any free or concessional tickets provided by the employer for private journeys undertaken by the employees or their family members.



Research centre tables report on Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Vishakapatnam-based National Ship Design and Research Centre (NSDRC) in its project report to the Chandigarh Administration has suggested three ways of desilting the Sukhna lake.

The three options vary in cost and time frame for carrying out the work.

In the report, the NSDRC has suggested varying costs for work done in two, four and six years, respectively.

For two years, an estimate of around Rs 85 crore at the rate of Rs 213 per cubic metre of silt has been tabled. The cost comes down to Rs 65 crore if the work is done in fours year at the rate of Rs 145 per cubic metre of silt. For six years, the estimate has been put at Rs 41 crore at the rate of Rs 95 per cubic metre.

The administration will hand over the work of the project to CITCO as restoration of the lake is directly linked to tourism.

However, the administration may transfer some funds to CITCO for the execution of the project.

The project report has been submitted after the Chandigarh Administration decided to desilt the lake for which a group of experts was consulted. After due consideration, the administration signed an MoU with the NSDRC for consultation over the project.

The desiltation of the lake will increase the pond depth, which currently stands at 11.7 feet.

The programme will cause minimum interference to the lake and visitors. It will also promote water sports like canoeing, kayaking and sailing.

The lake was constructed in 1958 in the foothills of the Shivaliks. Erosion of soil from the Shivaliks has accelerated the deposit of silt in the lake.



Checking traffic load on road
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
The Road Engineering Department and the traffic police today carried out a survey to check the load of heavy vehicles traffic on the Sector 31 and 32 dividing road.
The stretch of road is already under stress due to heavy vehicular traffic on it. All long-route buses meant for Sector 43 and other parts of Himachal and Punjab is diverted from the Iron Chowk to this road. Due to the heavy rush, the road is in a dilapidated condition.

During the survey, a team from Delhi weighed each heavy vehicle weighing machine that was put on the road. Drivers were asked to move their vehicles on the machine. The traffic police assisted the engineers during the entire survey.

Interestingly, a banner displaying “No challans” was put on tents to dispel fear from the minds of truck drivers, said an officer on duty.



Film industry technicians form association
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 16
Technicians working in the Punjabi film industry have formed the North India Film and T.V. Association (NIFTA) with its headquarters at Mohali.
According to a press note issued here today, the association was formed during a general body meeting of technicians from North India held on June 12. Members of the association include directors, producers, cameramen, choreographers and make-up men.

At the meeting, the following were elected as office-bearers Harjit Ricky — president; Jaswinder Jassi — vice-president; Suraj Bhardwaj — general secretary; Harpal Singh — secretary and Keshav Bharata: cashier. Besides, these, Ravi Nishand, Gurkirtan, Honey, Romi, R.P. Singh, Chintoo Dhillon, Parveen Kumar and Manjit Singh have been elected executive members of the association.



S.K. Pandey joins as RPFC (I)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Mr S.K. Pandey, has joined as Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (Grade I), Chandigarh Region. He has taken charge from Mr N.N. Sharma.

Mr Pandey said that his priority would be to provide quality service to the members. “Bhavishya nidhi adalat” would be held on 10th of every month.

He requested all the employers to cooperate with the department by depositing the dues of all employees on regular basis. All employers were responsible to deposit all the provident fund and allied dues in respect of all the employees, including contract staff, he said.



Vinay to join admn

Chandigarh, June 16
Mr Vinay Singh, HCS officer, presently posted as Deputy Secretary, Health Department, Haryana, will join the Chandigarh Administration on deputation.
The Administration will decide tomorrow as to what work should be given to him. TNS



One injured in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
Pankaj, a resident of Sector 9, Panchkula, who was driving a scooter, was hit by a Scorpio ( HR-68 4272) which belonged to Mr Sham Lal Bansal, BJP leader of Panchkula.
The accident occurred this evening at the intersection of Sector 8/9 traffic lights, Panchkula. Pankaj suffered injuries and was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. His condition is said to be stable.



Two minors held for stealing DJ system
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
With the arrest of two minor boys today, the local police claimed to recover a stolen DJ system along with decorative lights valuing Rs 4.5 lakh.
According to SHO Mani Ram Kadian, the accused had stolen a DJ system, decorative lights, amplifiers and other articles from a godown in Hallo Majra village on June 8. A complaint was lodged in this regard by the owner of Amrit sounds in Sector 30. The complainant came to know about the theft after two days when he went to the godown.

The SHO said following the complaint the police asked for a list of persons who had been working with Amrit sounds. After scrutinising the details, police zeroed in on one of the accused, who had left job two months ago. The same boy had also started his own DJ work recently. The police conducted a raid on his rented house and recovered the stolen goods, Mr Kadian said.

The accused were produced before a local court later in the day, which sent them to juvenile home.

Scooterist killed: A scooterist, Dina Nath, died on the spot last night, when a speeding car (HR-13-E-0004) hit his scooter from behind near Durga Nursery in Mani Majra. The car driver reportedly fled away after the accident.

According to the police, Dina Nath (27) was working with Shivam poultry Farm in Darwa village. The SHO of the Mani Majra police station said the police found broken pieces of number plate of the car and retrieved the number by putting them in place again. A case of rash and negligent driving amounting to death has been registered against the unidentified driver.

Held for stealing: The police has arrested Salim and Vijay Kumar, both resident of Burail village, allegedly for stealing Rs 270 from a rehri at Sector 32 market yesterday. A case has been registered on a complaint by Santosh Kumar of Burail village.

House burgled: Mr Hans Raj of Sector 28 reported to the police that two gold rings and Rs 1,000 were stolen from his residence today. A case has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr Tirlok Rai Bhardwaj of Panjab University lodged a complaint to the police that his Maruti car (CH-01-H-3787) was stolen from the university campus yesterday. A case of theft has been registered.



In-laws of ex-Governor’s niece held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
Following the registration of a dowry case, the police arrested the father-in-law and mother-in-law of a complainant, Ms Roma Dutt, who is said to be a niece of former UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, Lt Gen B.K.N. Chhibber.

Kailash Nath Dutt, a retired Chief Engineer and his wife Santosh Dutt were produced before a local court today, which remanded them in two days of police custody. However, Rajinder Nath Dutt, husband, is still at large.

According to the police, Roma Dutt had filed a complaint earlier, alleging that Rajinder, his father, and his mothe, all residents of Mani Majra, were harassing her to bring dowry.

After conducting an inquiry into the matter a case was registered yesterday in the Mani Majra police station. 



Flesh trade racket busted; three arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
A husband wife duo along with another woman were nabbed here today by Crime Branch of the Chandigarh police on the charges of immoral trafficking. The gang was operating in the city for the past three months.

According to the police, following specific information, the Crime Branch laid a trap and nabbed the accused from near Kiran Cinema in Sector 22. Accordingly, a decoy customer was sent with marked currency notes to strike a deal with the operators. A shadow witness was also sent to hear the conversation of “deal”.

The decoy customer went to the alleged pimp, Rajiv Kumar Saini, and struck a deal for Rs 6,000 per night and handed over Rs 500 in advance. Acting upon the pre-fixed signal of the decoy customer, a police party, headed by DSP Om Parkash and Inspector K.I.P. Singh, swooped down upon them.

The police arrested Rajeev, his wife Manju and another woman Rajni, alias Rozi, a resident of Balungi village. The police recovered the marked currency of Rs 300 from Rajiv and Rs 100 each from the other two women.



Four held for stabbing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
The local police today arrested four persons involved in stabbing and gravely injuring two Mohali residents in a fight late last night in Sector 22. One of the injured youths, Jorawar Singh, is still admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16.

The four arrested by the police are Sumit, Shiv Kumar, Rajesh Chauhan and Sukhbir. They were produced in a local court, which remanded them in two-day police custody. However, two more members of the group, who are said to be residents of Hisar district, are still at large.

A case of rioting and attempt to murder has been registered on a complaint filed by Amandeep Singh, a resident of Mohali. According to the police, Amandeep Singh alleged that he along with his friends had gone to Sector 22 to buy food from a roadside vendor near the local bus station.

Rajesh Chauhan along with other youths drove in rashly to the vend in a Santro car. When Amandeep reportedly objected to it, Rajesh allegedly picked up a fight with him. During the scuffle, Amandeep and Jorawar were stabbed by the other group. While Jorawar sustained injuries on the eye, Amandeep suffered an injured hand. Amandeep was later discharged from the hospital.



12 booked for trespassing, assault
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 16
The police today booked 12 persons on the charges of trespassing, assault and disturbing peace in Lakhnaur village yesterday. At least 12 persons, including a woman and two children, were injured during a clash between two groups over a piece of land in the village. The clash lasted for over an hour with both sides pelting each other with bricks and large stones.

Among those who were booked include Amarjit Singh, who allegedly bashed up his neighbour Jarnail Singh’s family with the help of several musclemen.

Others include Krishan Das, Gurkirpal, both of same village, Lakhnaur, Jagjit Singh, Joginder Singh, Labh Singh, Ajmer Singh, Veerpal Singh, Pradeep Kumar, Surjit Singh, Baaj Singh, and Dharamdas all from Muktsar.

The accused have been booked under Sections 452, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC and have been remanded by a local court to judicial custody till June 28.



2 minor sisters abducted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
Two minor sisters belonging to Ram Darbar were reportedly abducted from the city, the local police said here today. The matter came to light when the police registered a case against an unidentified person for abducting the sisters on a complaint made in this regard by the father of the girls.

According to the SHO, police station, Sector 31, Babu Lal of Ram Darbar reported to the police that one of his daughters worked as domestic aid in Sector 21. On May 31 morning, she left for job but did not return in the evening.

The same day his other younger daughter also went missing. He reported the incident to the police.

Yesterday, he lodged a fresh complaint alleging that someone had noticed his daughters being taken away by an unidentified person on June 1 in Ram Darbar.

On the basis of the complaint, the police has registered a case and is conducting raids to trace the girls.



Power tariff hike unfair to industry: CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) while announcing new power tariffs for 2005-06 has increased the tariff by 10.27 per cent for various categories of consumers. The revision, therefore, has set at naught the very principle that the commission has explained in the order that cross subsidisation has to be gradually eliminated, as it tends to distort allocation of resources, states a release from the CII.

The industry in the state is already going through a precarious phase and facing tough competition due to the special incentives being availed by the industry in neighbouring states, it stated.

Punjab industry will be badly hit due to this hike that would affect their competitiveness, said Mr M.C. Munjal, Chairman, CII, Punjab State Council. Mr Munjal also expressed surprise at the tariff order which had been made effective retrospectively from April 1, 2005, which was a derogatory step and would lead to more litigations.

Only such power costs, which were reasonable and competitively incurred by making optimum use of investments, should be charged from the consumers, said Mr Munjal. He also felt that the cost of supply should be reflected in the tariff itself and cross subsidy should be progressively eliminated within a specific timeframe as fixed by the appropriate commission. If the government wanted to subsidise any sector, it should be done in an explicit manner and no implicit subsidy in the form of higher tariff for other categories should be given, he added.

Mr Munjal also observed that CII’s comments on the Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) 2005-06 submitted by the board were based on the principles enunciated in the Electricity Act, 2003, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s regulations (2004) and tariff orders passed by the PSERC and other state electricity regulatory commissions.

The press release maintained that the industry was surprised at the increase as in the last tariff order for 2004-05, the PSERC had reduced the tariffs for all categories of consumers and some bold steps were taken by the commission in recognising the issues addressed by the CII and other industrial bodies while filing the objections/suggestions to the PSEB proposals of revision in power tariff. It was highly unjustified as the industry was already paying much more than the actual average cost of supply, it stated.

The CII suggested that the board made committed efforts to conform to the norms set by the regulatory commission rather than passing additional burden to the consumers. Punjab would become an attractive destination for investment only if inefficiencies were removed and quality power was supplied at competitive rates, Mr Munjal said.

It may be added here that the CII in its memorandum of objections had raised the issue of excessively apportioning the cost of RSD project, which is irrigation-cum-power project, to the power component. This has resulted in overcharging the consumers through tariff hike in the form of undue interest and depreciation charges. The CII had urged the commission not to pass on this undue burden to the consumers.


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