C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Vote, but for whom?
Candidates’ list appears a day after canvassing
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, September 1
Strange, but it is true! Canvassing for the Campus Students Council election has closed even before the final list of candidates has been displayed.

Consequently, students do not know who is in the fray and who has withdrawn his candidature. Nominations are usually withdrawn before the campaigning ends.

According to the code of conduct, the campaigning should come to an end three days before the polling day. But the final list of candidates was displayed only today after campaigning came to an end yesterday.

Last year too, student leaders made last-minute efforts after the canvassing to tell students that they had changed their candidates.

Dean Students Welfare (women) Meenakshi Malhotra was of the view that the code helped in maintaining peace on the campus.

She was of the view that student unions could easily contact voters personally in case nominations were withdrawn.

Also they got enough chance in the Open House to tell students about the latest issues and plans, which will be held tomorrow.

She, however, could not justify the closing of canvassing before the display of final list of candidates.

DSW (Men) Nirmal Singh said they had been following the rule since 1997 elections on the campus and there was no ambiguity in the practice.

But poll campaigners are rather confused. Dalveer Singh Khangura, (Goldy), presidential candidate, Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), said sometimes problems cropped up at the last moment while filing the nominations. “We should at least get one day after the canvassing to tell the latest situation to voters,” he quipped.

He rued that they only had a few hours to speak at tomorrow’s Open House.

Vikas Rathee, presidential candidate, Indian National Student Organisation, (INSO), also felt that the authorities needed to give time for canvassing after the display of final list because there was always the possibility of change of candidates at the last moment.



PU poll: list of candidates out
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
The final list of the candidates contesting for the Panjab University Student Council elections for the office of president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary was displayed at the PU today. The elections are scheduled to be held on September 3.

The candidates in the fray are: Panjab University Students Union (PUSU): president — Amandeep Singh (Department of Law); vice-president — Avneet Kaur (Department of Psychology); secretary — Abhishek Puri, (Department of Chemistry); joint secretary — Karan Veer Singh (University Institute of Engineering and Technology).

Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) + Himachal Pradesh Students Association (HPSU) + Students Organisation of India (SOI) alliance: president — Dalveer Singh (Goldy) (Department of Ancient Indian history culture and Architecture), Gurveer Singh (Department of Law), Parminder Singh Brar (Department of Law); vice-president — Gagan Deep (Department of Mass Communication); secretary — Gurinder Bawa (University Centre for Instrumentation); joint secretary — GurIqabal Singh (Gikky) (University Institute of Engineering and Technology).

Indian National Student Organisation (INSO) + Himachal Pardesh Students Union (HPSU): president — Vikas Rathee (Department of Law); vice-president — Geetanjali (Department of Law); secretary — Vishal Kohli (University Institute of Engineering and Technology); joint secretary — Vikram Prashar (Department of Physics ).

Students Federation of India (SFI) nominees: president — Bhuvan (Azad), (Department of Law); vice-president — Shital Shoekand (Department of Botany); secretary — Sanjeev Kumar, (Department of History); joint secretary — Amandeep Singh (Department of Philosophy).

Akhil Bhartiya Vidayarthi Parishad (ABVP) + Haryana Students Association (HSA) alliance nominees: president — Satender Singh (Dahiya) (Centre for Defense and Security); vice-president — Chhavi Bhatia (Department of Mass Communication); secretary — Ravinder Shoekand (Department of Law); joint secretary — Anup Gupta (Department of Law).



5 parties, 7 candidates for president’s post
Tribune News Service

Dalveer Singh, presidential candidate of SOPU, requests for votes with folded hands in PU, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Dalveer Singh, presidential candidate of SOPU, requests for votes with folded hands in PU, Chandigarh, on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 1
While there are only five parties of students contesting for the ongoing student council elections, scheduled for September 3 on the Panjab University campus, seven students will be contesting for the post of president. This is for the first time in the history of the student council elections that the number of students contesting for the post of president is more than the number of parties in the fray.

This happened today when Parminder Brar and Gurveer Singh from the Department of Laws got late in withdrawing their names. These students had filed their names last morning as covering candidates for the post of president from the SOPU-NSUI-SOI alliance.

Girls take a look at the PUSU panel in PU, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Girls take a look at the PUSU panel in PU, Chandigarh, on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Dalvir Singh Goldy had filed papers for the post of president and he has been campaigning for the past week for the same.

Students could withdraw their names from the nominations today between 11.30 am and 1 pm.

However, the PU authorities refused to entertain the applications of Parminder and Gurveer as they reached late.

Parminder Brar, however, clarified that they did get late for filing the nominations, but it was not intentional. “We went at 11 am and were informed that we were early.

 We later got busy with other election related work and thus got late. We have also given a signed representation to the DSW and Vice-Chancellor for the same.”

Dalvir Singh Goldy stated that an error had occurred. However, he was the only contesting candidate. “Yes, officially there are three names on the final list of candidates now. But everybody knows who is the president and everything will be clear when I address the open house debate tomorrow.” The open house debate will be held tomorrow at 11.30 am on the ground facing the Students Centre. According to rules, the presidential candidates of various parties address the students. The confusion now is if all three will address the students from the alliance tomorrow.



Wooing students with liquor
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
It is well known that students’ parties in Panjab University during the student council elections entertain students and cater to their every demand. However, this year as the elections were announced early and there the time to canvass was short, the demands have been less and pointed in one direction only — liquor.

Talking to The Tribune, student leaders confirmed that the trend of offering liquor to students was always there. It was, however, on the rise this year. “The parties did not have much time to woo voters with dance parties and uphill drives. Thus the focus was more on liquor,” informed an old student leader.

Student leaders confirmed that liquor was being consumed by the bottle. Whisky for the boys and Bacardi with orange juice for the girls. The amount of money having been spent on it, informed the students, would be calculated only after the elections. The trend is more visible in the hostels and liquor consumption usually starts at night.

“Everyday, on an average four bottles of Bacardi and orange juice are sent to the hostel for girls. They arrange ice from their mess beforehand,” informed Mohit Sareen, a senior party worker of PUSU.

Meanwhile, for the boys, he informed it was what they demanded. “Usually whisky, they actually don’t care much what they drink as long as they drink.” The expenditure is usually borne by the student offering these drinks.

An activist of INSO stated that the trend had started even much before the elections were formally declared. “Students are kept happy all through the year to ensure their support at the end.”

Dalvir Singh Goldy, presidential candidate of SOPU, however, stated “I don’t encourage it much as the activists too start drinking and then the campaigning suffers next day.”

The student activists further claim that it is not uncommon for the cops deployed on duty for the elections to share a peg or two with them. “We got too keep them happy too!”

While the spirits are high in the hostels, student activists are wooing the day scholars too by visiting them at their homes.

“As the campaigning has come officially to an end, we are visiting them at home,” informed a party worker of INSO.



PU hostels raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
For flushing out outsiders from the Panjab University campus just two days prior to the students’ elections, the Chandigarh police simultaneously carried out “surprise checks” at several hostels for boys late this evening.

As a result, panic gripped some students and members of different political organisations. Apprehending implications in false cases, they moved out of the hostels into the open.

Though senior officers termed the entire exercise as routine, sources in the police headquarters insisted that the checks were conducted following intelligence reports regarding the presence of outsiders on the campus for disrupting the election process.

Refusing to divulge the details, the sources asserted that nothing incriminating was found during the checks, though several persons were rounded up by the cops for the purpose of “casual questioning”. They were later let off.

More raids were expected to be conducted by the Chandigarh police in the wee hours on the hostels for boys.

A visit to the university late in the evening, meanwhile, revealed that the entire campus had been converted into a mini-cantonment with cops deployed all over the place. In fact, baton-yielding cops could be seen sitting outside the hostels on chairs for keeping tabs on the activities of the hostelers.

Each and every vehicle entering the campus was being checked by the men in khaki. Those without identity cards were refused entry into the campus, leading to resentment among the students.

A senior officer at the campus said the intention was not just to be present, but also to make their presence felt. As such, the cops were patrolling the length and breadth of the campus, besides conducting surprise checks in the hostels.



PU poll sidelights

With campaigning on the campus and in colleges having come to an end, activists of the various parties have started acusing rival groups of winning over voters by throwing parties for students and showings them movies. While the accused parties are denying it, the students are not complaining.

Aggressive campaigning

Better late than never seems to be the motto of the parties on the PU campus a lead from the other parties the ABVP-HAS alliance too today put up huge posters on the campus. This is the only group that has displayed its complete panel on the huge posters.

Low enthusiasm

The low enthusiasm among students was visible from the piled up chairs and empty tents on the campus PU today. For old-timers, it was a shock as the university has never been so deserted of activity, definitely not two days before elections!



Rival groups clash in DAV College
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
Supporters of candidates belonging to the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), contesting the College Campus Council election, had an altercation at DAV College, Sector 10, here today.

SOPU supporters reportedly levelled a serious charge against the vice-president, a female candidate, of PUSU, which led to exchange of heated exchanges between the two groups.

It was only after the teachers of the college intervened that the peace was restored.

Presidential candidate for PUSU Amit Pal Singh tried to dismiss the incident saying that a misunderstanding had arisen between the two groups which was later cleared.

However, presidential candidate for SOPU Rajwinder Singh Benipal denied that any such incident had taken place on the college campus.

Vice-president of SOPU Major Singh termed it as mere rumour spread by PUSU activists. Later, activists of PUSU held a rally to woo voters. An Open House was held at Government College for Girls, Sector 11, today which lend the much-needed colour to the campus.

Students showed up in large numbers to listen to presidential candidates Jasmine Dhaliwal (BA-III) (Independent), and Shailja Pachar (BA-III) of SOPU.

Both made tall promises to bring about a change in the college and win over voters.

Jasmine, who is also a sportswoman, highlighted the problem of sportspersons. She said the college was not providing proper diet and kits to sportspersons.

Shailja Pachar felt that the quality of food in messes of college hostels was not up to the mark and assured of improving the conditions. She also promised to bring a coffee shop to the college.

Elsewhere, the final list of contestants for election to the Central Students Association at Government College, Sector 46, was displayed today.

Three candidates are in the fray for the post of president — Amandeep Singh (BA-III), Pawan Grewal (BA-III) and Rakesh (BA-II).

As campaigning in colleges came to an end yesterday, activists limited themselves to meeting students personally.

Candidates stuck to door-to-door canvassing at various colleges. But at SD College, Sector 32, canvassing went on in full swing.



Nod for separate burns unit at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The governing body of the PGI has approved of the much-awaited proposal to set up a separate burns unit at the Department of Plastic Surgery. The PGI has also been given a green light to start an MD degree course in nuclear medicine.

At a meeting in New Delhi yesterday under the chairmanship of Dr Ambumani Ramadoss, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, the governing body also gave its nod to the creation of a Cyber Knife Unit, which would now facilitate the high-skill “dedicated image guide whole body stereo tactic radio surgery”. Another approval given at the meeting related to the Department of Community Medicine, which would be upgraded to the School of Public Health.

Apart from clearing the long pending proposals that will have a direct bearing on the health of the patients (burns unit was significant to prevent infection among others admitted to the ward) the governing body the appointed Dr Pramila Chari, Head, Department of Anaesthesia, as the Sub-Dean of the Institute.

Dr Vinay Sakhuja, Head, Department of Nephrology, has been kept on the panel to take up the job of Sub-Dean after the superannuation of Dr Chari. The body decided that henceforth the appointment to the post of Sub-Dean would be for a period of three years. Among those who attended the high-level meeting of the governing body were MP Ambika Soni, Mr Prasanna Hota, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr S.P. Agarwal, Director-General, Health Services, Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana and Adviser to the UT Administrator.

On the academic front too, the governing body broke fresh ground by approving of a three-year B.Sc medical technology course in operation theatre techniques and a combined B.Sc medical technology course in radio-diagnosis and radiotherapy. These courses would be bifurcated into independent B.Sc technology course in radiotherapy and radio-diagnosis and imaging.

Another main proposal that was approved pertained to the implementation of the recommendations of the second Cadre Review for Group B, C & D staff of Engineering Department from October 3, 2000. Pending for 10 years, the proposal is likely to benefit 800 employees of the institute.



1 more held in Nayagaon rape case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 1
In yet another major breakthrough, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab police probing into the rape of a minor girl at Nayagaon three years ago today arrested Mohinder Singh, alias Tunda, one of the four persons still wanted in the case.

Mohinder Singh is the brother of Ramkesh, alias Kesha, alias Panch, one of the five prime accused in the case who was arrested by the SIT yesterday.

With today’s arrest, a total of 14 persons have been arrested in the case. These include Kesar Singh, Gurbagh Singh Kanwar Inder Singh, alias Rinku, and Avtar Singh, alias Tari, Ramghir, Shyam Lal, Ramesh Handa, SI Amarpreet Singh, Jyoti, Babu Ram, Gautam Dheer and Inspector Jagjit Singh. Four others had also been arrested for harbouring the accused.

Among those who are still wanted in the case are Gurdhian Singh and Labh Singh both brothers of Kesar Singh and Gurbachan Singh, brother of Gurbagh Singh.

Ex-SHO ceases to be SIT member

Meanwhile, former SHO of Kharar Harbans Singh Riar has ceased to be a member of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the Nayagaon rape case following his suspension and transfer to police lines Ropar.

While verbal orders of suspension were given to Riar on August 29 morning by the SSP Ropar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, written orders were sent to Riar last night.

When contacted, Mr Riar said he had been first suspended then reinstated and then suspended again. He confirmed that he had received written orders for the same and had been suspended for indiscipline.

According to a SIT member, Mr Riar has ceased to be a member of the SIT as suspended officers cannot be part of any investigation team.



Scribe’s case can’t be delinked from rape case: Saini
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
IGP Sumedh Singh Saini, head of the special investigating team (SIT), which is probing the Naya Gaon minor rape case, has claimed that it is not possible to de-link or segregate the investigation into the arrest of The Indian Express journalist in the case from the main case.

In a letter addressed to Punjab Advocate General Rajinder Singh Cheema, Mr Saini has asserted that the arrest of reporter Gautam Dheer by the SIT was part of the investigation in the case.

The letter was produced in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today and was taken on record.

Mr Saini has also said since the SIT was constituted on the orders of the High Court and investigations are being monitored by it, the SIT would submit a report regarding Dheer’s alleged involvement in the case and his arrest to the High Court.

He has also claimed that investigations were at an advanced stage and efforts are being made to complete them early.

It may be recalled that the Division Bench of Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall yesterday asked the government to ascertain the stand of Mr Saini on the issue of independent inquiry into the episode of arrest of the journalist.

The government had offered to hand over the inquiry in the matter to Principal Secretary, Home, or to any independent agency like the CBI or a District and Sessions Judge.

Today, after hearing Mr Cheema and going through the contents of the letter written by Mr Saini, the Bench adjourned the matter to tomorrow and also gave time to Mr Saini to submit the report by tomorrow.



Passing Thru

Vinod Kumar Singh

Vinod Kumar Singh, Regional Manager (North), Onida

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here for the launch of the ambitious campaign “Onida aaye, gaddeech ghumaye” for the region.

What has been the impact of liberalisation on the electronic goods industry?

Latest products force the electronic companies to upgrade the technological know-how with the result that the customer gets the best deal. Moreover, foreign collaborations bring the state-of-the-art technology to India.

Can you say something about the size of electronic goods market in Punjab?

The demand for electronic goods is growing by leaps and bounds in Punjab. For instance, there is a demand of 5.5 lakh colour TVs alone in a year in the state.

What future do you foresee for the electronic industry in India?

The electronic goods industry is set for boom with the size of the middle-class expanding and the companies coming with attractive incentives. In fact,the interest-free schemes of the companies had brought certain products such as DVDs, washing machines and air-conditioner within the reach of even the lower middle class.

— Pradeep Sharma



Madhya Marg unsafe; cops in deep slumber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Chandigarh Police has failed to make Madhya Marg safe. Nothing else can explain the occurrence of yet another accident involving a car and a Haryana Roadways bus on the artery cutting through the city’s heart.

The normal flow of traffic was today disrupted for almost an hour on the busy Madhya Marg in front of Bhavan Vidhalaya in Sector 27 at about 12.30 pm after a Haryana Roadways bus rammed into a car. Fortunately, no one sustained serious injuries in the accident.

Eye-witnesses said the cops came to the spot after about 20 minutes. They insisted that the accident could have been averted had the cops been maintaining vigil on the road.

Though senior officers hate to admit it, the sources in the police headquarters claim that the collision is not an isolated one. Quoting rough figures, they assert that that as many as 186 accidents occurred in the city from January till April this year. Out of the total, a substantial number of mishaps — including the fatal ones — took place on Madhya Marg culminating into the Chandigarh-Panchkula highway.

The sources add that the number of accidents are much higher than officially given out by senior Chandigarh Police authorities as several mishaps go unreported due to complicated legal procedure. In fact everyday at least two to three accidents occur on the road, especially on the stretch in front of the grain market in Sector 26.

They admit that that mishaps involving slow-moving vehicles, including cycles, and mopeds, have registered a sharp decline since the installation of railing on the median. Traffic lights at so many intersections have also made a difference. Yet, the number of accidents is far too high.

Giving details of the mishaps, the sources assert that in a majority of the cases, scooters and motor cycles are hit from the rear by speeding roadways and private buses, besides speeding trucks and even cars.

In a large number of accidents involving trucks, the “offending vehicles” remain unidentified due to illegible number plates. As a result, the victim or his family is not even compensated for the loss by the insurance companies.

Though the Chandigarh Police had earlier made it mandatory for the trucks to have registration numbers painted on either sides as well for easy identification of the vehicles, few drivers are following the instructions. To make matters worse, the Chandigarh Police is hardly doing anything in this regard.

As far as reasons behind the failure of the Chandigarh Police to check the rising number of mishaps on the road is concerned, the sources assert that the cops are not challaning reckless drivers for over-speeding with required vigour and zeal, though so many accidents taken place due to fast driving.

Every now and then, special “nakas” are set up by the police. Besides, drives against traffic violators are launched. But nothing is done by the police on a regular basis to check the menace of over-speeding.

Otherwise also, the cops have so far done little to ensure the removal of liquor vends dotting the highway even though the same are existing in violation of the directions issued by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the traffic management and pollution control case. The sources add that a large number of drivers stop the vehicles for a drinking bout at these vends and subsequently cause accidents.



Free surgery not enough, Assam couple still face penury
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Sujit and Reema Bhattacharya
Sujit and Reema Bhattacharya

Chandigarh, September 1
For this young couple, married recently, life came crashing over their heads when husband Sujit Bhattacharya was diagnosed with acute renal failure.

“We were so happy together and then my husband fell sick. Everything changed.” This one sentence of Sujit’s wife, Reema, epitomises the anxiety, fear, helplessness and above all the rapid slide into poverty that has followed the transplant and ensuing treatment.

Almost eight months after the diagnosis in October, 2004, Sujit Bhattacharya, who travelled all the way from his home in Assam, finally had a kidney transplant at the PGI, Chandigarh, in May this year. The donor was Sujit’s 24-year-old, younger brother Ayan and the surgery, performed for free by the hospital, a facility they offer to poor families.

For them, life has been a series of hardships ever since Sujit first fell ill. A visit to the doctor revealed high blood pressure and a series of blood tests were carried out which indicated a problem with the kidneys. “We were not informed about the severity of this ‘problem’ for eight days, after which we were asked to go to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai,” says Reema.

The hospital asked them to pay Rs 8 lakh before the transplant surgery could take place. Unable to raise this astronomical sum, the family went back to Nagaon. Every three days, they travelled 150 km to Guwahati for dialysis which cost them Rs 3,000 per visit.

“We have never heard of kidneys failing and so the idea of a transplant was alien to us,” explains Ayan. The money started to run out.

Sujit was employed as a medical representative with a local firm at Nagoan, Assam. He lost his job once his condition was diagnosed. He was unable to work any longer. His younger brother Ayan had a small stationery shop which has since been sold to meet the mounting expenses. Even Reema’s belongings from the wedding, her jewellery, utensils and other personal effects have been sold to collect enough money for the treatment. They have even borrowed money from family and friends and now they are on the verge of abject poverty.

Another doctor at Guwahati suggested they go to the PGI, where the surgery was performed free of charge, taking into consideration their financial constraint.

Having already spent Rs 3 lakh they now find themselves penniless. “We are down to our last Rs 2,000. We need to stay on here for the next three months because my brother cannot move as yet and the treatment is still going on,” says a disturbed Ayan.

But they are earnest, brave and determined. “Our case is genuine. We really need the money. All of us are educated. Once my husband is better and my brother-in-law recovers, we all plan to work and fend for ourselves,” insists Reema.

The treatment currently costs a whopping Rs 35,000 per month and has to be diligently continued for three months until full recovery is made. The family refused to give up hope and are sure the city will come to their rescue just as the PGI did at the time of the transplant.

Anyone wishing to help them can send a draft in the name of Director, PGI, with the name of the patient at the back of the draft. Alternatively funds can be contributed to the Poor Patients Welfare Fund at the PGI.



UT plans housing facility at IT park
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Technology Habitat in Phase II of the Chandigarh Technology Park will create housing facilities for IT workers complimented with development of matching commercial, recreational and other service sectors. The administration has already acquired 250 acres to be developed as an extension to the existing IT park.

Lieut-Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, is currently in Bangalore studying the facilities and services at the IT park there. He is accompanied by Mr Vivek Attray, Director, IT. The purpose of the visit is to study the existing facilities and make a list of loopholes, if any, to avoid them in the IT park of the city.

The habitat will be located near Mani Majra. A special emphasis has been laid on developing quality life services. “We want to make the area an independent unit equipped with all facilities of life. Special emphasis will be laid on ensuring the state-of-the-art services for quality life”, a senior UT official said.

The official said, “We have taken the possession of the land. The master plan envisages to leave a bulk of the IT park area for green belts and parks. Under no circumstances will the green belt be compromised even if the area is developed further.”

The official said developing the residential area will be a complimentary exercise to match the good response that the Phase I of the park had received from different IT companies.

The big names who are coming to the IT park include DEL and the Infosys, besides others. The massive response to the built-to-suit sites was a glimpse of the good progress of the project, a senior official said.

The official said the administration had received 42 applications for six sites. The official said, “We are expecting certain feedback after the visiting delegation, led by General Rodrigues, returns from Bangalore. We are told that the park there has certain infrastructural problems in services which we will naturally not like to repeat here”.

General Rodrigues during his ongoing tour has visited the International Technical Park (ITPL), Whitefield, Bangalore . He viewed a presentation by Mr Alexander Castelino, Vice-President, Corporate Services. The Administrator viewed the infrastructural facilities available at the park.

The Administrator also visited the premises of Infineon Limited, a European IT company at the park.

Later, he hosted approximately 50 CEOs and explained to them that Chandigarh Technology Park and the neighbouring Technology Habitat would provide unprecedented, integrated facilities like housing, community infrastructure, commercial areas and green belts for the IT professionals working in the technology park.



Nabard to fund rural projects in city soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
On the pattern of funding of rural projects by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) in Punjab and Haryana, the agency will soon fund similar projects for UT villages under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

Under the RIDF funding, the agency has a corpus of Rs 8,000 crore.

To seek the requirement of different departments and representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions, the Director, Rural Development, Chandigarh Administration, has convened a meeting of the officers concerned tomorrow.

Already, expertise of NABARD is being taken by the administration in carrying out the micro-planning of Kajehri village.

The agency is identifying services like roads, drinking water, primary health centres, school building and veterinary aid centres.

Director, Rural Development, Amarnath told Chandigarh Tribune that the planning would help the administration in knowing village-specific issues.

The representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions and departments concerned would be involved before acting on key areas identified during micro-planning.

Once ready, the involvement of panchayats, government departments and private sector would be sought in developing rural infrastructure.

On a similar pattern, micro-planning of other villages would be taken up.

The UT Administrator has sought for a data bank, giving details of construction work on roads, laying of sewerage and water supply lines, covering open drains, projects concerning sanitation and disposal of garbage, construction of streets and provision of streetlights and bus queue shelters.

The aim was to remodel and restructure each village in such a way that these act as pilot projects for changing the rural scene of the whole country, said an officer.



Functions for senior citizens from September 10
Tribune News Service

Functions for Senior Citizens Day

1. Medical Camps from 9 to 1 pm

September 5-Shri Sathya Sai Old Age Home

September 8-Palsora Village

September 16-Rotary Club, Sector 18, Chandigarh

September 18-Gurdwara, Sector 8

2. Gala Morning September 10, 10:30 am, Government Museum, Sector 10

3. Inter-Collegiate Debate, September 13, 10:00 am, DAV College, Sector 10

4. Seminar, September 115, 10:30 am, Government Museum, Sector 10

5. Brisk Walk, September 23, 6 am, Sukhna Lake

6. Mel Jol September 30, 11 am, Old Age Home Sector 15

7. Grand Finale program, October 1, 9 am, Tagore Theatre

Chandigarh, September 1
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association held a press conference today to create awareness about Senior Citizens Day, celebrated the world over on October 1. This year, starting September 10, events have been planned through the month to commemorate this special day which will culminate in a grand finale at the Tagore Theatre on October 1 which will be presided over by the UT Administrator Lieut-Gen. S. F. Rodrigues (retd.).

Formed on April 16, 1996, the association has been providing health care, administrative help and get-togethers to alleviate loneliness and provide a sense of purpose to senior citizens.

Free medical services like orthopaedic consultancy, reiki healing, physiotherapy sessions, acupressure and magnet therapy, yoga sittings, medical camps and lectures and guidance at geriatric clinics for old persons, are provided.

In addition to its 900-strong volunteer members who work towards caring for each other, the association has been tying up with various organisations, bodies and the health sector to provide care and treatment to older people less fortunate than themselves. According to the president, Mr P H Vaishnav, "Senior citizens have a lot to give to society as they are storehouses of experience. However, with society changing, they are being marginalised and this is where the association wishes to make a difference."

The theme for the Senior Citizens Day for this year is: "Towards a caring society-to provide care where we can and only then seek to be cared for."

The association has been striving to sensitise the public and keep the Administration apprised about the concerns of senior citizens, especially those living below the poverty line. Some of the recommendations pending with the Administration pertain to a health insurance plan, higher old age pension to a larger number of senior citizens, health care facilities, including free medicines to those old persons below the poverty line and travel concessions on all Chandigarh Transport Undertaking routes.

They have also been trying to extend their reach to various sectors in the city by setting up chapters. This is to enable older people meet without having to move out of their area. "This will help alleviate loneliness and also give them a purpose," believes Mr Vaishnav.

Towards this, the first 'club' has been started at Mauli Jagran, near Panchkula, where 35 senior citizens have been identified.

Also on the cards, is a Helpline with the involvement of the General Hospital at Sector 16 to provide care and succour to older people in an emergency.



Withdraw orders on vendors, police urged
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 1
The Dalits Rights’ Protection Forum, Punjab, has demanded the withdrawal of the order of the police which barred vendors from operating in residential areas of the town.

Ms Pushpa Salaria, president of the forum, here today alleged that an arbitrary, illegal and unreasonable order was passed by the Mohali SP in February which restricted the entry of rehriwallas to the residential areas. The police said that the order was passed to control crime in the town. She said by restricting entry of vendors, the police had violated the fundamental right of life and liberty.

Representatives of the forum met senior officials to explain that such a movement could not prevent crime. In fact, crime would increase as the adversely affected persons would be compelled to resort to other activities to feed their families.

The president said the affected persons would hold a protest against the police order on September 3 outside the office of the SP here.



Dairy farming plan for unemployed youth
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 1
The Punjab Dairy Development Department will help unemployed youth in the state to get loans to the tune of Rs 35 crore for starting dairy farming ventures.

This was stated by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Punjab after inaugurating training courses at Chatamali village, near here, today. As many as 50 farmers would be provided training while 20 dairy field assistants will be given in-service training.

Mr Kang said that as the agriculture sector had reached a saturation point and land holding had decreased, the government had to look for other alternatives for farmers. Dairy farming was an alternative that required little expertise and was easy to adopt. The need was to get more milk from less number of animals so that expenditure was reduced. That was why training was being provided by the department to milk producers in modern techniques, he added.

The minister further said that during the current year, the department had a plan to train 2500 unemployed youth at training centres which were presently operating at Bija, Tarn Taran, Sardoolgarh, and Phagwara. Training centres were also being started at Abohar and Moga.

Mr Kang said that Punjab was ranked 13th on the basis of animal population but it stood second in the matter of milk production. He exhorted farmers to go in for artificial insemination of their cows and buffaloes in order to improve the breed.

Mr D.S. Bains, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, said that dairy farming should be followed as a major vocation. He said that countries like Sweden and Denmark were world leaders in milk production and their economies were predominantly dairy-based.



SCL Chairman Zarabi retires
Tribune News Service

M.J. ZarabiMohali, September 1
Dr M.J. Zarabi, Chairman and Managing Director, Semi Conductors Limited (SCL), was given a warm send off by the employees of the company today. Dr Zarabi retired from the company yesterday upon attaining the age of 58 years.

A technocrat, thinker and India’a foremost microelectronics evangelist, Dr Zarabi devoted his career to SCL. He was appointed to SCL, Mohali, as Chairman and Managing Director in 1993 prior to which he was serving the company as Head, R&D, and Executive Director, VLSI manufacturing operations. He has launched and successfully led a number of technology development projects.



1st UT excise officer retires
Tribune News Service

H K Sabharwal Chandigarh, September 1
Today, the first officer of the UT cadre in the Excise and Taxation Department, UT Chandigarh, Mr. H K Sabharwal, AETC, retired. He completed his service tenure of 38 long years, successfully and was given a warm farewell by his colleagues and staff members. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rao, lauded Mr Sabharwal’s services.



Sector 38 resident booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
A man, who had mortgaged his house with a bank, allegedly sold it in a fraudulent manner to a resident of Sector 37-A for more than Rs 27 lakh.

The sources in the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh police said a criminal case of cheating had been registered against a resident of Sector 38-B, Mr Charanjit Singh, on the basis of a complaint by Mr Harish Chander.

Mr Harish Chander in his complaint to the police alleged that he had paid Rs 10 lakh to Charanjit as earnest money, but the latter demanded Rs 17 lakh more for paying arrears due to the Estate Office. Mr Harish Chander reportedly made a demand draft for Rs 17.20 lakh in favour of the Estate Office on behalf of Mr Charanjit Singh. However, Mr Harish Chander later came to know from the Estate Office that the house had already been mortgaged with a bank and thus could not be sold.


Mr Sat Pal of Sector 29-A sustained injuries after his motor cycle was hit by a three-wheeler near the Sector 27 and 28 lights point on Wednesday. He was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against Mr Joga Singh, driver of the three-wheeler. The driver was arrested and later released on bail.

Held with opium

The local police arrested Reena of Dhanas village from outside the PGI gate and seized 5 gm of opium from her possession on Wednesday. A case under Section 18 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered against her.


Dr Ashu Sidana, a House Surgeon, General Hospital, Sector 16, lodged a complaint to the police alleging that her bag containing Rs 2500, two watches and some clothes was stolen from a room in the nurses hostel in the hospital on Wednesday. A case of theft has been registered.



Two booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 1
The police today booked two residents of Kumbra village for allegedly attacking the husband of the village sarpanch last night.

According to information available, the police has booked Balwinder Singh, husband of a block samiti member, Ms Gurnam Kaur, and another resident of the village, also named Balwinder Singh.

Mr Gurmuk Singh, husband of the village sarpanch, Ms Surinder Kaur, complained to the police that when he was coming back to his house after attending the “barsi” of the former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, his car was stopped by Balwinder Singh while the other person allegedly beat him up.

The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC in this regard.



2 shops burgled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 1
Two adjoining shops at Main Bazar, Pinjore were broken into by unknown miscreants last night. The burglars decamped with cash and goods worth Rs 28,000.

The police says that two adjoining provision stores were burgled. While the miscreants entered through the ventilator of one shop, they broke open the lock of the other shop. The burglary came to light this morning.

Mr Adesh Aggarwal, owner of Nand Lal Stores, informed the police that Rs 25,000 cash was missing from his shop. Cash and goods worth Rs 3,000 were missing from Lucky General Store.



Sector 35 house burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
Thieves decamped with Rs 20,000 and gold ornaments worth Rs 50,000 from a house in Sector 35-C last night.

Mr Manjit Singh, resident of H.No 2367 in Sector 35-C, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Rs 20,000 and gold ornaments worth Rs 50,000 were stolen from his residence at about 11 pm yesterday.

He told the police that he and his wife were sleeping on the ground floor of the house and their children were sleeping on the first floor where the theft took place.

The police has registered a case of theft.



Award for IDBI man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Mr Sanjay Sharma, Corporate Head Technology Officer (CHTO), of the IDBI Bank has been awarded the Innovator Award at the Enterprise Connect Awards, 2005, for excellence in enabling the new-generation public sector bank become more efficient and competitive. Mr. Sharma has been awarded for introducing products and services like gift card, international travel card, on line tax payment, value chain management system for corporate functions like payroll, purchase, sales and other customised solutions.

Havell’s gets Kema Keur certification: Havell’s India, the Indian Power Distribution Equipment major has been given the coveted Kema Keur quality certification for its extensive range of Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs) by Kema Quality B.V, Netherlands, a globally renowned independent authority in quality testing and certification of power distribution and electrical equipments.

With this certification, Havell’s India has achieved the distinction of becoming the first Indian power distribution equipment company in the low voltage electrical equipment segment to achieve this quality benchmark.

According to Mr Anil Gupta, Director, Havell’s India Havell’s India has been exporting close to 15 million units of MCBs every year to its customers in UK, Belgium, CIS, Germany and part of the Scandinavian markets. Havell’s is also currently involved in OEM supply of MCBs to a large UK-based electrical equipment company. In the quarterly results announced recently, the company declared that its exports have doubled in the past couple of years and Europe has contributed close to 40 per cent of the total exports.

Punjab Alkalies: Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited has produced 8672 metric tones of soda lye during August 2005. This is the highest production achieved by PACL since inception.

Employees’ State Insurance Corporation: Mr G.C Jena took over as the Regional Director, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation at Chandigarh yesterday. He will supervise work for the state of Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh.



PSIEC to auction 10 sites
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 1
The Punjab Small Industries and Exports Corporation (PSIEC) will auction over 10 commercial sites in the upcoming IT city in the industrial area, Phase VIII B, here. The auctions scheduled to be held on September 12 are likely to attract top business houses of the region due to its location adjacent to Quark City. The PSIEC had recently allowed residential component up to 50 per cent in various industrial plots allotted in the area.

As many as six SCO sites and five booths will be offered for auction. The reserve price of each SCO of size 16’6”x 66’ is Rs 62.5 lakh and each booth of size 8’3” x 24’9” is Rs 15 lakh. Sources in the PSIEC added these commercial sites were part of the entire IT city plan laid out for the Industrial area, Phases VIIIA and B. The IT city would include business, residential recreational and educational activities along with the commercial component.

The commercial area abuts the Sector 71 residential area near Dell International and is a walking distance from the coming up multiplex and hotel.



‘Hindi Fortnight’ by insurance company
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
As part of the Hindi Divas celebrations, a “Hindi Fortnight” is being organised from September 1 to 15 at all offices in Punjab of The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.

A programme in this regard was organised by at the regional office here today.

Organiser of the programme J.C. Galong read out the message of Chairman and Managing Director of the company A. Ramdas on the occasion.

In his message, the chairman urged the employees to carry out transactions in Hindi during the fortnight.

The message was also read out in 54 branches of the company across the state.

During the fortnight, three competitions would be held and winners of these competitions would be honoured at a function to be held later. Employees would also be informed about the language and its usage.


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