C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Most Nari Niketan inmates mentally disabled
Degree of retardation varies from 75pc to 100pc
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
In the absence of a permanent home for mentally challenged women in Chandigarh, the Nari Niketan in Sector 26 is performing a role it is ill equipped to perform.
Mainly conceived to offer temporary shelter to women in conflict with law, the Home is now handling cases its staff is not “trained to handle.

If reports of the recent medical examinations of 16 home inmates are anything to go by, almost all of them have been found to be mentally challenged — with the degree of retardation ranging from severe mild (in 11 cases) to mild (in 5 cases). The degree of disability varies from 75 per cent to 100 per cent.

While three occupants have reported 100 per cent degree of mental retardation, five have recorded 90 per cent, while two have recorded 75 per cent disability.

Another disturbing finding of psychiatrists from Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 is an exceptionally low IQ in most of them.

While the normal IQ is 100, all occupants of Nari Niketan have recorded abysmally low IQs — ranging from 17 to 35. Only three girls have IQs close to normal — 74, 75 and 88, respectively.

Conducted after long, the medical examination of inmates has brought to centre stage a vital issue which UT Administration has been ignoring for years. Although repeated recommendations regarding provision of a separate Home for mentally challenged women has been made to the authorities, the request has not been processed so far.

Head of Department, Psychiatry, GMCH-32 Dr B.S. Chavan confirmed that a lot of correspondence had been made in this regard but nothing concrete had resulted.

The “GMCH 32 runs a training institute for the mentally challenged children but it has no space to lodge and treat such cases. Some time ago there was a proposal to spare a crèche in Sector 32 for this purpose, but the same was defeated due to some reasons. A model city like Chandigarh must have a separate home for mentally retarded women and children,” he said.

While the request is considered, Director Social Welfare Office, despite its problems, is doing all it can to help the inmates live comfortably. Ms Madhavi Kataria, Director Social Welfare, has ensured their segregation on the basis of physical fitness. She was also instrumental in getting their medical check ups done after long.

For their part, the superintendent and staff of the home, though not trained, are doing what best they can to maintain a peaceful ambience for the mentally disabled women. Incidentally, transfers of such inmates to other mental health institutes as in Amritsar have also declined over the years.

Superintendent Sukhraj Kaur tells, “All cases have been closely monitored by doctors who have recommended that they be retained here because of obvious reasons.” The feeling is that transferring mentally challenged women/children to other mental health institutes may not help, given the conditions that prevail therein.

Dr Chavan also said trauma could lead to trouble. “Mental retardation can be triggered by factors like trauma and abandonment which most women in Nari Niketan are already facing. It is best to provide a separate place for them where trained nurses can care for them.”



Who allowed these ad boards?
Massive billboards put up along busy roads
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
Giving a complete go by to rules, huge billboards have been put up on all major intersections in the township. Interestingly, the companies which have put up these boards have reportedly not sought permission from the Municipal Council or Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

Other than the billboards put up by the two multiplexes that are coming up in Sector 5, ICICI Prudential and Hutch have also put up their billboards at most of the traffic intersections in the township — Sector 11, 15, 8 and 9. Spotlights have been put up on these boards to make them more attractive at night. This is in spite of the fact that putting up billboards along busy roads, where they can cause accidents, is banned.

Courts in the country have restricted the putting up of advertisements on state and national highways, and places where these can cause accidents. These advertisers are circumventing the law by not only putting up these billboards facing all busy roads, but most of the billboards have been put up without taking any permission from the authorities.

Officials in Municipal Council inform that they have not granted any permission for displaying of these boards. “When we questioned these advertisers, they told us that they have taken permission from HUDA. We were told that the billboards near Sector 5 were allowed by HUDA for some fee each month. But HUDA is not allowed to grant any permission for these boards, this is the jurisdiction of the MC,” informed a senior MC official.

The MC has now shot off a letter to the HUDA authorities asking them if any permissions have been granted in this regard. They have questioned that if so, under what rules has HUDA granted permission for these advertisement boards? “We are waiting for their reply. As soon as we get the reply, these billboards will be pulled down,” said the MC official.

Other than these billboards along the roads, trucks carrying advertisements can also be seen parked along different roads at different times of the day. These trucks are generally parked near the various sites of apni mandis, or near the Sector 7/ 8 roundabout which is the busiest intersection as commuters enter in the township.

As per the rules the advertisement boards should not exceed 10 feet in height from the ground level and seven and a half feet in width or the width of the vehicle whichever is less. Contrary to the rules most of these trucks carries advertisements not in accordance with the prescribed size. Not only this, the trucks have a hydraulic lift to raise the height of the board carrying the advertisement. 



Rs 45 crore earmarked for IT city in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 30
In a significant move to upgrade infrastructural facilities for the fast emerging Information Technology (IT) trend in Mohali, the Punjab Government has decided to shell out a whopping Rs 45 crore to develop 600 acres of industrial land in Mohali as an IT City.

Originally planned for the electronic industry, the focus has now shifted to develop Phase VIII A and VIII B Industrial Focal Points in Mohali for IT centric industries due to the strategic location, infrastructure support and increasing interest of internationally reputed IT companies for setting up their IT ventures in the area.

The government has decided to upgrade existing infrastructural facilities covering widening and strengthening of roads, augmentation of water supply, street lighting system, development of road-side arboriculture, installation of modern traffic control system etc. While the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) would spend Rs 20 crore for the infrastructural up-gradation, in addition another Rs 25 crore is proposed to be incurred for the up-gradation of peripheral services by other agencies.

This was decided during a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, on June 15, attended by representatives of PSIEC, PUDA and the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar.

“The core emphasis has been laid on the future requirement of infrastructure support. Ordinarily, developing agencies are first mounted with problems warranting augmentation of the basic amenities. However, making a departure from the old style, Phases VIIIA and B Mohali are being equipped with world class high-tech facilities in advance that would cater to the pressure expected in the next 20 years,” pointed out Mr S.P. Singh, General Manager, Estates, PSIEC.

Major IT giants like Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Convergys have already approached govt of Punjab/PSIEC for allotment of land in these phases for setting up their business enterprises. Punjab government is equally keen to invite more and more IT companies for making their large-scale investments in Mohali and expand activities.

When contacted Mr J.S. Bhatia, Chief Engineer, PSIEC said: “Up-gradation of roads include widening of carriageways from existing two ways to multi ways, strengthening cover laying with provision of central verges, service roads, cycle tracks, sub ways rotary junctions and delinators etc.

Similarly up-gradation of water supply scheme includes provision of additional deep tubewells, rising mains and laying infrastructure for bringing canal based water supply. 



Admin move to curb speculation in real estate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
In a major policy decision, the UT Administration has decided to discontinue the grant of extension of time for the construction of buildings. The move is aimed at curbing the large-scale speculation in the real estate market.

An official press note said: “No extension will be granted except under rules.”

The Administration has decided to give last time extension till March 31, 2006. The extension will be Rs 250 per sq m for residential, institutional and other categories and Rs 500 per sq m for commercial and industrial buildings.

The Estate Officer will proceed as per rules against those who will not complete construction by the prescribed date.

It has been clarified that the date of extension of time limit had been earlier granted for a maximum of 14 times after charging the extension fee which was Rs 5 per sq m and Rs 10 per sq m for the first time. The rates were applicable in separate cases of five years and three years for the sale of buildings and lease sites, respectively. In the 14th extension, the public paid Rs 110 per sq m and Rs 220 per sq m in separate categories.

In routine, the buildings in separate categories were given five years and three years in two categories of the sale of buildings and lease sites.

“The Administration has decided that the time limit for the completion of the building for an indefinite period is not in the interest of the public. It is felt that the period provided under rules which was five years and three years in the case of the sale of buildings and lease sites, respectively, was reasonable. Any further extension encourages speculation in the real estate and reflects that the transferee is not actually in need of the site,” the note said.

A senior official said: “A large number of people sought extensions and did not complete the construction in time limit. They were paying the extension fee, however, the corresponding rise in the price of property was much higher. This had led to heavy speculation and corresponding rise in the property prices.”

“The time limit has been specified after going through all technical details of the construction projects, yet, the matter was taken very casually going by the number of people who sought extensions. Incase people with genuine problems, which have been specified by the office, the office will give extension even in future,” he said.



CBI raids house of couple working with PGI
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, June 30
The CBI conducted a raid on the house of a couple working with the PGI here today.
“Heavy cash, besides details of investment in movable and immovable properties” were allegedly found during the raid on the Sector 15 residence of PGI Store Officer Nand Kishore Munjal and his wife Janki Dulari Munjal, also working as a store keeper with the PGI.

More such raids on other government officials are expected in the coming days. Sources in the CBI said the raid was part of the nationwide campaign launched against corrupt government employees suspected of having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

Though senior CBI officers refused to divulge the details of the operation, which began in the morning and continued till late in the evening, the sources said the raids were carried out on the office of the couple in the PGI, besides their residence. Action against them was initiated following the registration of a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

As the word about the raids spread, an eerie silence prevailed in the area. Their neighbours, even the late evening walkers, avoided the road leading to their house. Only CBI sleuths and mediapersons, could be seen in the vicinity till late in the evening.

Meanwhile, the sources said the couple had allegedly been misusing their official positions to amass assets. Giving details of the search operation, the sources said certain incriminating documents pertaining to assets allegedly running into crores of rupees were found.

The sources said the couple allegedly owned four vehicles and two houses in Sector 15, besides a shop in Mani Majra and two other plots in Panchkula. They also owned immovable property in Khuda Lahora. The sources added that six bank accounts having a balance of approximately Rs 7 lakh were also found, along with Rs 2 lakh in cash.

Though the couple could not be contacted, the sources close to it said the couple was being implicated in the case. They added that the CBI was blowing the matter out of proportion and a case of assets disproportionate to their known sources was not made out against them. There was no transaction that the couple could not explain. Each and every item was accounted for, they claimed.

The PGI authorities, on the other hand, admitted that they were caught unawares. Though rumours about “action” by the CBI had been making rounds since long, they were not expecting the raid to actually take place.

A senior officer of the PGI said it was premature for them to comment on the issue. He added that action would be initiated against the couple only after “something concrete” was brought to the notice of the authorities.



Tunnel Museum inaugurated at Fort Ramgarh
Adit Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
It takes a world of enterprise to package something as fragile as a past glory. And caretakers of Fort Ramgarh, a heritage hotel along the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway in Haryana, possess that enterprise in generous doses.

First they retrieved a legacy from oblivion and restructured it to underline its heritage value; now they are refashioning history for the moment and they are doing it well. Blessed with a 350 year old past that recalls to the visitor the era of Chandel Rajputs, the fort is in a transformative mode yet again.

And the change, this time, is uniquely contemplated to charm children on the one hand and connoisseurs of art on the other. Beginning from today,

Fort Ramgarh will play a special host to children for whom it offers an exclusive discotheque, done up in vibrant and interesting themes.

Easily the first in the region, the discotheque has been designed to give effects of a moving train. The entrance is in the shape of an engine, the passage to the main dance has elements which give the feel of a running coach. The main complex has been spruced up with lively blues and greens, with the themes being inspired by the jungle on the one hand and the sea on the other.

Fluorescent lights also do their bit in adding glamour to the surroundings. And although hotel owners are not sure whether the discotheque will be a rage, they think the innovation was worthy of a trial.

“Children are invariably neglected in get together. Here is a place meant exclusively for their enjoyment,” says Mr Naresh Trehan, the hotel manager.

Contrasted to the discotheque is another addition which redirects the visitors’ attention on heritage and royalty. After ages, the tunnel of the fort has been restored and converted into another heritage site. Mr Trehan explained, “The idea was to preserve heritage. We have restored the tunnel and enlivened it with objects that are reminiscent of a bygone era.”

Inside the tunnel, nostalgia reigns supreme. As you bend to make your way through the virtual museum, an old Lata Mangeshkar melody gives some company. The walls are laced with remains from a glorious past - there are specimens of weapons, rich armoury objects, mirrors, curios, photographs, artifacts, jewellery pieces and anything that you can think of, including wares from royal kitchens.

The tunnel museum as hotel owners call it was inaugurated this evening by Deputy Chief Minister, Haryana, Mr Chander Mohan, who earlier also opened the discotheque for children.

And that is not the only news from Fort Ramgarh. The owners have another feature, a healthy one at that. Starting today, the fort will offer an all-organic gourmet sourced from the finest organic food growers of the region, including IDMA Laboratories near Sirhind. Already a pure vegetarian hotel, the fort will only serve chemical free foods, while the menu remains the same.

So, relish a refashioned past in the company of the present.



Passing Thru

Cathy Jacques
Cathy Jacques Assistant Director, Banner Staffing Services, Banner Health, Arizona

What brings you to India?

We are short of thousands of nurses in the USA and the shortfall is likely to go up drastically in the coming days. India’s asset is its young population and we are looking towards the country to help us with human resource.

Why do you prefer Indian nurses at your hospitals?

Experience has shown that Indian nurses are hardworking, more caring, compassionate and sympathetic. Besides, they speak clear English rather than the heavily accented version. They are simply the best and fit in well into our system with just a little coaching.

While you recruit nurses directly, there are a number of agencies that are in the same business. What should a keen candidate watch out for?

With an agency, they just could be walking into a trap. Candidates need to ask leading questions like who is going to employ them, what is the number of the hospital employing them is, whether they can call the hospital directly, what will they be assigned and who will pay during their orientation. They must be well armed before flying overseas.

—Geetanjali Gayatri



Jaitley favours uniform civil code
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The BJP stepped up its “anti-Left” campaign today accusing it of adopting double standards by taking to the streets when they were “hand-in-glove” with the Congress in the anti-people decisions.

“While the Left shows red flags by holding protests on the roads against the Congress-led UPA government, they support their decisions inside Parliament,” the BJP General Secretary and former Law Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, told reporters here.

“The double standards of the Left parties are nothing new as in the 1942 Quit India Movement they sided with the British. Not only that they did not accept Chinese as aggressors in 1962 and some of them even supported former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the 1975 Emergency,” he alleged.

Though the Left had been expressing dissatisfaction over the working of the UPA government, yet they were fighting shy of withdrawing support to the government as they were “hand-in-glove” with the government in its economic policies.

The hike in the prices of petrol and diesel by the UPA was not justified on the plea that there had been an increase in the crude oil prices in the international market, he said, adding that the Centre should have “shared” some of the burden. It was for the first time that the oil prices had been increased four times during the past about one year.

Answering a question on Bihar, Mr Jaitley said the BJP would fight the coming assembly elections in alliance with the Janata Dal (United) and certain Independent and Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) leaders.

Coming down heavily on the role of the UP Chief Minister, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, on the Imrana issue, Mr Jaitley stressed the need for having a uniform civil code to end exploitation of women.

Earlier, Mr Jaitley courted arrest along with 273 party workers in protest against price hike and the “anti-people” policies of the UPA government.



Zila Parishad poll
Votes of those living outside lal dora cancelled
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Calculations by the candidates to corner “targeted” vote banks in the forthcoming Zila Parishad elections have gone haywire.
Reason, the votes of over 4000 electorate living outside lal dora of the 18 UT villages have been cancelled for the parishad elections to held in 10 wards.

Since the voters are occupying the land acquired by the Chandigarh Administration, they can not be considered part of the villages, said officers of the Chandigarh Administration.

On the other hand, the voters rue that their names had been included in the electoral rolls revised by the UT Election Office in January 2005 and now had been cancelled for the Zila Parishad elections.

“We have been living on the land for years and have been part of the development and social activities in the village”, said Mr Dev Dutt Sharma, a resident of Kajehri village. His wife, Ms Sarla Sharma is a former member of the village panchayat.

Sources in the Rural Development office of Chandigarh Administration revealed that before and after the last Panchayat Samiti elections, held over an year ago, land had been acquired by the administration in Kajehri, Palsora, Kambwala, Daria, Raipur Khurd, Kishangarh, and some other villages.

“Since the land on which the voters were living was no more recorded as village land, they can not be considered as eligible voters for the elections”, said an officer in the Rural Development Office.

Enquiries reveal that the maximum number of such votes had been cancelled in Kajehri ( approx 700) and Kaimbwala ( approx 400) villages. Votes had also been cancelled in Kishangarh, Daria and some other villages.

The affected voters contest that in some cases the land had been shown to have been acquired by the administration, but the same had not been recorded in the revenue record. In some cases, litigations were going on.

The sources revealed the Block Development Panchayat Office (BDPO) after conducting a survey had forwarded the information about such votes to the UT election office. Accordingly, the election office has cancelled the voters in the list.

However, the administration has not touched the other voters who are living outside the lal dora on acquired land.



Govt keen to rationalise stamp duty: Selja
Sum earmarked for creating rural infrastructure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Congress-led UPA government wants to rationalise the stamp duty in a bid to promote the real estate sector, Ms Selja, Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, said here today.

Talking to reporters, Ms Selja said there was a huge difference in stamp duty from state to state and needed to be rationalised at a level of around 5 per cent to ensure that properties are bought and registered in a fair manner.

This would not only increase the total revenue of the states but also boost the real estate development in the country. The property tax also needed to be looked at from a holistic angle, she reasoned.

“The Centre is trying to convince the state governments to bring about harmonisation in the state levies to facilitate larger inflow of both domestic and overseas investments in the real estate sector,” she added.

Earlier, addressing a conference on “legal reform and governance issue in the real estate sector” here, Ms Selja informed that the UPA government would spend Rs 1,74,000 crore in the next four years to create rural infrastructure in the country.

Conceived by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the “Bharat Nirman Project” seeks to create rural infrastructure, build a strong real estate to serve the masses in the countryside and provide dwelling units to the poor, she said.

The real estate sector would generate economic activities to the tune of thousands of crores and would have a multiplier effect in sectors such as steel, cement,bricks and electricals.

Under the Urban Reforms Incentive Fund scheme of the Centre, the states were being given financial assistance for undertaking reforms like the repeal of the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, rationalisation of the stamp duty, reforms in the rent control laws and reforms in the property tax, the minister informed.

The Centre has announced the launch of the National Urban Renewal Mission for rejuvenating towns and cities. Under this mission, the cities and the towns will be demand-driven, reform-oriented and community-oriented with strong private-public sector partnership, she said.

The government policy of allowing 100 per cent FDI in the construction sector will give a fillip to the pace of investment in the sector, she added.



CM fails to turn up at complex inauguration
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, June 30
Despite all arrangements made by the local administration and the Public Works Department, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, failed to keep his date with residents of this town today.

The Chief Minister was to inaugurate the building of Tehsil Complex and a road linking the Kalka-Ambala highway, near Lalru, with the Chandigarh-Patiala highway, near Banur.

To review the arrangements, the Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, Mr Tejveer Singh, visited the tehsil complex on Tuesday. Some of the offices were partially shifted to the new building yesterday.

The foundation stone of the complex was laid by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, a former Finance Minister.

The police had tightened security around Government Senior Secondary School, Lalru, and Government High School, Dera Bassi, where the Chief Minister was supposed to land. The PWD authorities had also removed unauthorised structures, dhabas and other establishments apart from wild growth along a portion of the Lalru-Banur link road.

Mr Narinder Sanga, SDM, Dera Bassi, said the Chief Minister could not turn up due to some health reasons. The inaugural ceremony had been postponed temporarily.



Reforms needed in immigration laws
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
He is back from Salt Lake City in the US after attending a four-day conference on immigration laws. But that’s not the only thing that makes city-based advocate Ranjit Malhotra, an authority of sorts in immigration laws. He is also the only nominated India representative of the International Bar Association’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee with headquarters at London.

No wonder, whatever he says about the visas and work permits make a lot of sense. Sitting in his Sector 16 residence-cum-office, Mr Malhotra asserts: “Even though the Union Government started the process of updating the rules and regulation regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country way back in 1992, the authorities concerned have so far ignored the much-needed reforms in the immigration laws. In fact, the outdated immigration laws collide with the liberalised FDI laws”.

Giving details, Mr Malhotra — the first Indian lawyer to be awarded prestigious Felix scholarship at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London — says, “The immigration policies regarding the transfer of manpower, including technical experts, are to a large extent still restrictive and outdated”.

Elaborating upon his contention, he adds: “Unlike in the US and the UK, we still do not have in place a consolidated work-permit regime mechanism. As of now, employment and business visas are issued to foreign personnel from Indian consulate or relevant Indian foreign mission in the country of their habitual residence”.

This practice, he says, is also resulting in a loss of revenue. “Work permit applications in all developed jurisdictions have a set basis of charging standard fees. The amount thus collected takes care of the administrative charges”.

Regarding the time required for the issuance of a temporary work permit or a visa, he says, “It varies according to the embassy or the consulate in which the application is filed. In certain cases, the embassy or the consulate requires clearances from ministries concerned in India, which can cause delay. As of now, there is no fast-track processing of temporary work permit visas. We do not even have electronic visa process”.

Talking about the conference organised from June 22 to 25 by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, he says nearly 100 sessions were attended by 3,000 lawyers from all over the world. The only speaker from India, Mr Malhohtra elaborated upon “The global work visa option in the Indian context”.



Website of Engg Dept launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Administrator, UT, today launched a website (http://chandigarh.gov.in/engg_web/index.html) of the UT Engineering Department.
Addressing senior officers of the Administration, General Rodrigues emphasised on the need of institutionalising a transparent and responsive system for monitoring and reviewing the public utility project after every three months and to update it with necessary modifications.

He said regular sector-wise assessment and analysis should be made keeping in view the larger public interest. Reminding the officers of their commitment to bring down transmission and distribution losses from the existing 24 per cent to 16 per cent, General Rodrigues asked them to introduce effective strategies for clearing bottlenecks. He said effective steps should be taken to check power theft. He said a constant coordination must be established by the Electricity Department with the Municipal Corporation authorities.

Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, stressed on the need for giving prompt response to the complaints. He said this website would help in providing improved services to the citizens.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary Finance and Engineering, said to combat various problems of the consumers, the Engineering Department had planned to set up a centralised complaint centre. The centre would function round the clock.



Sangeet Natak Academy awards announced
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 30
The executive council of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy has announced the Sangeet Natak Academy awards for the year 2005. The academy vice-chairman Dalbir Singh, secretary Prof. Rajpal Singh, Ajmer Aulakh, Tarlochan Singh, Devi Sharan and other members participated in the meeting held today at the Kala Bhavan.

Academy secretary Rajpal Singh, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune from Patiala said following persons had been had been chosen for the honour for their contribution in the realm of respective arts: Om Puri (films), Lachhman Singh Seen (classical music), Devinder Daman (theatre), Paramjit Singh Sidhu popularly known as Pammi Bai (folk dance) and Baba Kashi Nath for folk music (been and vanjali). The recipients will be presented a citation, shawl, a memento and a cash award of Rs 31,000 at a state level function to be held shortly, said Prof. Rajpal Singh.



ACs in mortuary not working
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Non-working air conditioners at the PGI’s mortuary are adding to problem of those working inside the mortuary. Out of the 17ACs, four are not working for past over one month, resulting in foul smell and making the bodies prone to an early decay.

“Some air conditioners are not working this summer season due to frequent power cuts and fluctuations in the voltage,’’ said a member working inside the mortuary.

Meanwhile, it is not the mortuary alone that is the victim of erratic power supply and failure of ACs.

Earlier in the month the air conditioners at the PGI’s emergency ward had also stopped working and the condition in some other wards was also similar. 



Prof Nindra retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Prof J.P.S. Nindra has retired as Vice-Principal of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Chandigarh after 33 years of commitment to the teaching profession.

A well known figure in political science circles in the city, Professor Nindra was known for his astute observations and would often regale his students and the faculty with anecdotes and humorous tales. 



Khanna takes over as Superintendent

Chandigarh, June 30
Mr K.K. Khanna, took over today as Superintendent in Animal Husbandry Department of Chandigarh Administration. He has replaced Mr O.P. Bhardwaj, who retired today. TNS



Tribune Foreman retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Mr Satinder Raikhy, Foreman (Press), today retired from The Tribune Trust after putting in 30 years of service. A party was held by his colleagues to bid him farewell. Among others, Mr O.P. Arora, Officiating. General Manager, lauded his services to the institution.



Miscreants snatch purse from woman
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
Two unidentified scooter-borne youths snatched a purse from a woman in Sector 44. In a separate incident a man was allegedly caught red-handed while picking a pocket. Two persons were held allegedly carrying poppy husk in Mani Majra. The police arrested one person for trespassing.

Mrs Avtar Kaur, a resident of Sector 44, has complained to the police that two unidentified scooterists snatched her purse from near the church of Sector 44 on Wednesday night. She told the police that her purse contained cash Rs 500, two silver karas of 5 tolas and a diary. The police has registered the case. No arrest has been made so far.

About the arrest of a pick-pocket, the sources in the police said, Hoshiar Singh, a resident of Kajheri village was caught red-handed while stealing a purse of Mr Parminder Singh of Pipliwala town in Mani Majra on Wednesday in Sector 17. A case has been registered.

Two persons were arrested on the charge of carrying ½ kg poppy husk. The police said, Sita Ram, a resident of Motor Market, Mani Majra, and Sardool Singh of Basma village in Rajpura was arrested from Kishangarh on Wednesday. Both the accused have been booked under the NDPS Act.

Meanwhile, three persons were arrested by the police for indulging in gambling. The police arrested Husan, Masta and Shyam Lal, all residents of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, from the Grain Market, Sector 26, on the night of Tuesday. The police recovered Rs 2000 from their possession and registered a case under Gambling Act. Later all the accused were bailed out. 



Unhappy over marriage, father kidnaps couple
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
Unhappy over the inter-religion marriage of their daughter, the father of the girl along with other family members today kidnapped the married couple from their house in Colony Number 5 in the wee hours here.

The sources in the police said, Jahan Aara (above 19) and her husband Ashwani Kumar, alias Rinku (24), of Colony Number 5 were today allegedly kidnapped by Mohammad Aarif, the father of the girl along with others this morning.

Ashwani had solemnised his marriage with Jahan Aara against the wishes of her parents on April 17 this year in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. The engagement of Ashwani was fixed two days before with another girl. But he eloped with Jahan Aara and got married in Kangra.

Ashwani, an electrician, was living in her neighbourhood. They fell in love a long time ago. The sources in the police also added that the lovers had earlier also run away from home about 11 months ago. That time they were brought back by their parents.

The police has registered case in this regard and raids are being carried out at several places to trace the couple and accused.



Held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
A city resident was today arrested on charges of implicating a resident in a false cheating case. The police arrested Naresh Kapoor for cheating and forging false evidence under various Sections of the IPC on the basis of a complaint made by Anu Sharma, a resident of Sector 38-West.

Naresh was today produced in a court which sent him to judicial custody.

Giving details of the case, sources in the police said Naresh had filed a false case against Sharma in 2003 alleging that he had taken Rs 4.5 lakh on the pretext of sending him to Korea. Naresh had allegedly prepared forged documents in support of his complaint.

However, the court found Sharma innocent and acquitted him in the case registered against him in 2004. Thereafter, Sharma filed a case against Naresh for dragging him in a false case with the police.

The sources added that an enquiry was entrusted to the DSP (Crime), who found the accused guilty and a case was registered against him yesterday.



Gold, mobile phones, VCD recovered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 30
The local police claims to being solve a several cases of thefts, burglaries and snatching in the city and adjoining areas with the arrest of a resident of Burail.
Police sources said, Purshotam (24) was today arrested from Sector 43 and recovered 50 gm of gold ornaments, four mobile phones and a VCD from him.

Giving details about the accused, SHO said Purshotam was involved in more than 12 cases of thefts and burglaries in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

He was reportedly booked by the police for kidnapping a woman. However, he later married her.

He further added that Purshotam had snatched a chain in Sector 22 about four months ago, committed a burglary at Burail.

He was involved in another snatching in Panchkula, stole a VCD from a house in Mohali, took away three mobile phones from Burail and one from colony Number V.

A case has been registered against him.



FTA Agreement to multiply bilateral trade with Thailand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The FTA Agreement between India and Thailand shall multiply the bilateral trade between the two countries from the present $ 1.7 billion, according to senior Thai officials who were on their first business visit to India after signing of FTA in September, 2004.

Addressing an interactive session at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) here today, Mr Chavalit Rojjanaprapayon, Minister Counsellor (Commercial), Royal Thai Embassy, Delhi, disclosed that nearly 5,600 items traded between the two countries at present would be classified under 3 categories of 0%, 3% and 5% custom tariff in addition to a minimum of 100 – 200 items in the negative list within the current year for expanding trade between the two countries.

The four foreign trade Thai officials accompanying him highlighted the opportunities to import cotton yarn and fabrics, auto components and pharmaceutical products from Chandigarh region. The delegation offered the possibilities of establishing joint ventures for rubber parts for automotive sector through tie-ups with auto component makers in the region because India is not self-sufficient in rubber products. At the same time computer hardware import from Thailand and export of software skills offer another opportunity.

Mr R. K. Saboo, past president, PHDCCI urged the visiting Royal Thai delegation to fully take advantage of the “look east policy of Government of India. He emphasised that preferential / free trade and economic cooperation offers opportunities of a win – win situation for both the countries.

Responding to a question regarding expanding tourism, the Thai Minister Counsellor (Commercial) stated his govt’s keenness to double Delhi – Bangkok flights apart from other major metros. Furthermore, a Thai tourist office is being opened up in New Delhi on July 8,he informed.

Mr Saboo emphasised the need for flights during convenient hours between the two countries as most of the flights were currently operating in odd hours.

Mr V.K. Gupta, Joint Director, Foreign Trade, Govt. of India, indicated potential of exports from Chandigarh region with particular reference to textiles, bicycle and auto components and collaboration in the fields of IT, healthcare and education.

Earlier, during another interactive session at CII, the minister, Mr Rojjanaprapayon stressed on the need to strengthen economic and commercial relations between the two nations.

Answering queries of participants, Mr Chavalit informed, “a joint venture to manufacture and supply motor cycle parts to OEMs became operational in Gurgaon three months ago and a Thai company had already been manufacturing auto parts for Tata Motors in south India. There is a big opportunity for Indian automobile, particularly two wheeler companies in Thailand. There is great potential to cater to the needs of the Thai population or access the neighbouring markets of Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam”, he added.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Mr Partap K. Aggarwal, vice-chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council welcomed the growing Thai interest in the Indian market after the liberalisation policy of India.

The broad areas of cooperation that emerged during the discussion were auto components, electronic parts for the automobile industry, IT & communication software, construction material, furniture and tourism.


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